My Heartfelt Confession: The Truth About Grief

They say that “time heal all wounds” and when it is connected to a death of  a loved one, that wound is huge. So does time really heal that huge wound? Since my dad’s passing 8 months earlier, I’ve experienced my own passages of grief and witnessed how other loved ones are dealing with it. All I can say is that grief comes in all different forms and everyone deals with it in their own way.

While everyone else around us are moving on with their lives, time definitely stand still for those of us who are grieving; at least it feels like that. Our world has been rocked and we understand that life goes on, so we do have to go along with it, and go through with the motions of everyday life. I have found that at least for me, that I may be there physically for my everyday routines, but often, I may not be there emotionally and mentally. At the same time, there are sudden spurts when I am physically, emotionally and mentally there, and genuinely happy, ready to move on. And for now, I tell myself, it’s okay to feel, think and just to be confronted with all these conflicting thoughts and emotions. The loss of my dad is still quite fresh and I’m still trying to make sense of how I’m going to cope.

In this short little time, I’ve learned that time does not heal the huge wound, but time does lessen the pain; however the grief can suddenly come back in full force and take over. And these moments can come any time, so it’s unpredictable. It can be as random as suddenly hearing my dad’s favourite song on the radio to changing my snow tires at the auto shop this week, or deliberate like when I began sorting through his things with my mom this weekend. These moments remind me of what my dear friend Zainab shared with me a few months earlier, and now I totally understand. She told me that grief is like an ocean. I think this quote explains it perfectly: “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it it overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”

I am currently learning to swim along with the water and am facing each wave as it comes my way and hopefully one day when I think of my dad it is with a true smile on my face and in my heart, and no more tears.

In this moment, thank you for reading and listening to my heartfelt confession on my grief. I am grateful for you, my readers. ❤

I promise when I’m ready emotionally and mentally, I will be in touch more often here since I do have a few posts to complete and share with you; and for my fellow blogger friends, I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to since my absence sometime soon.

With love and gratitude,

Violet

grief pic

 

 

 

 

Lazy Sundays are Good for You!

To my dear readers:

The past 2 weeks have passed by like a whirlwind. I’ve been so busy adjusting back to my regular and new routines, also fitting in socializing and family times that I realize I am neglecting something very important in achieving work-life balance. It is ME!

Where I am, we have been blessed with warm summer-like weather for the past 2 weekends even though it’s Fall. Last Sunday I was thinking I should take advantage of the beautiful sunny day by doing something outdoorsy. However, I finally listened to what I really wanted and needed which was a lazy Sunday spent in my pajamas and doing nothing at all. I have been mentally and physically exhausted for a while now. My version of a lazy Sunday was being in my PJs and baking some goodies with the windows wide open so the sun can shine into the kitchen, while listening to peaceful music. Having a lazy Sunday all to myself made a world of difference for the rest of the week whether I am at work, exercising or being with other people. I felt more refreshed, energized and happier. 🙂

My lazy Sunday reminded me gently that all of us have to slow down once in a while and really listen to what our body and mind need to rejuvenate our soul. Having “Me” time allows us to enjoy and live in the moment and makes us feel more calmer, re-energized and confident in dealing with anything that comes our way in the upcoming days.

What is your version of a lazy Sunday? 😀

Wishing you all a happy beautiful Sunday & week ahead!! ❤

XO,

Violet

I found this awesome online poster on pinterest and it describes my version of lazy Sundays perfectly! Enjoy! :)

I found this awesome online poster on pinterest and it describes my version of lazy Sundays perfectly! Enjoy! 🙂

 

Stop & Smell the Flowers

This long weekend I had the pleasure to spend some quality time with a few good friends whom I don’t see enough, due to our busy lives and schedules. Since Spring is upon us, we wanted to take advantage of the weather to go for a walk, searching for Cherry Blossoms at High Park.

Despite the fluctuation between sun and rain while we were at the park, I’m glad we were able to catch a glimpse of the remaining Cherry Blossoms and saw other beautiful flowers and plants too.

I had an opportunity to try some of my amateur photography skills. I’m excited to share with you the beauty of Spring at High Park because I think my photos did justice to what we witnessed at the park. Enjoy! 🙂

 

The famous Japanese Cherry Blossoms that return every Spring at High Park

The famous Japanese Cherry Blossoms that return every Spring at High Park

 

Gorgeous magnolias, that we mistaken for Cherry Blossoms at first when we couldn't find any. hehe

Gorgeous magnolias, that we mistaken for Cherry Blossoms at first when we couldn’t find any. hehe

 

Bright, colourful and cheerful tulips, another sign of Spring

Bright, colourful and cheerful tulips, another sign of Spring

 

I am not sure what type of flower this is, but I love the vividness of the purple, and since it's my favourite colour, I took a close up of it. ^^

I am not sure what type of flower this is, but I love the vividness of the purple, and since it’s my favourite colour, I took a close up of it. ^^

This weekend’s nature walk with my friends through the sun and rain helped me to remember that no matter how crazy busy life gets, we still need to take time to stop and smell the flowers along the way, on our own and/or with people we treasure. This thought reminded me of this beautiful quote/poem by Bruce Williamson, which I would like to leave with you as food for thought:

“Walk in the rain,
smell flowers,
stop along the way,
build sandcastles,
go on field trips,
find out how things work,
tell stories,
say the magic words,
trust the universe.”

 

Happy Spring to all of you out there! 🙂

XO,

Violet

 

Ten Easy Tips to Good Health!

Ten Easy Tips to Good Health!

Hello to all my dear readers & fellow blogger friends,

I have been away for a month or so due to low energy and sickness (I’ll explain and share with you what I learned during the time in some upcoming posts ^^) and am happy to be back here again! 🙂 I look forward to more blogging and connecting with you all once again!!

My best friend shared these awesome tips with me and I would like to share with you all here.

I love these simple tips, because it’s easy to follow on a daily basis!!

Cheers to good health to all of us this year! 😀

XO,
Violet

Simplify & Love Life!

Here’s a beautiful story that I would like to share with you that really made me think deeply about living and balancing life during yoga this week.  While we lay in shavasana (corpse pose),  my yoga instructor ended our class with this meaningful Zen story entitled, The Tea Warrior.   This story is taken from here: http://www.buddhagroove.com/readings/listings/zen-story-the-tea-warrior

*I have italicized the words taken directly from the above link.

Story: On a mountain lived a famous tea master. His skill in this art was unsurpassed, and many came from faraway to sit at his tea house.

One day an impatient samurai burned his tongue on the master’s green tea. Enraged, he challenged the master to a duel.  

As the warrior drew his sword, the master turned to his young apprentice.  “I have done nothing but make tea my whole life. This duel is surely my end. The tea house is yours, my student.”

The student cried out.  “No master, take my sword. Face this warrior and raise your weapon in the same way you raise the teapot!”

The master walked slowly into the courtyard, and the samurai rushed to attack. Then, the master closed his eyes and raised his weapon steadily towards heaven, with the same grace and strength he would command in the solemnest of tea rituals.

At this display of balance, the samurai panicked and thought, “This old man must be a master swordsman!”

The samurai fled the tea house, never to return.

Food for thought: This Zen story shows how true mastery of one skill is far better than trying to learn multiple skills to appear more formidable. In our world we are constantly pressured to multitask and be able to adapt to any situation, but what really makes us effective in work and play alike is to find what we are really good at, and devote as much energy as possible towards developing ourselves in those areas.

The lesson? Simplify. Remove all obstacles. Do only what you enjoy doing, and trust in your unique skill set to get you through any situation in daily life.

My own reflection: The year is coming to an end, and over the course of this year, I have discovered even more about myself such as what truly makes me who I am and what I find real pleasure and enjoyment in, and what I am really good at.  Life has been quite hectic and fast paced this year, and if I ask myself why, it’s because even though I have promised myself to cut down from the “pace” I’ve been going from a few years ago, I’m still multitasking as it’s demanded in my workplace, social life and the society I live in.  I realize this multitasking mindset needs to be slowly teared down, and to tell myself this: “Hey, it’s ok to slow down and just focus on one thing at a time to the best of my ability or on myself, then move onto the next task, because things will get done eventually anyways.”

This insightful story and lesson from yoga class has reminded me that we need to be true to ourselves and turn inwardly to think about what makes us really happy.  For example:

Is it working and multitasking like a robot from 9-5, as demanded by societal norms?

OR

Is it finding something we truly love and enjoy, and turning that into a lifelong passion/career, even if it’s considered impractical or foolish by the majority of people around you?

These are just  some things I’ve been contemplating lately, and with the story from my yoga class, I’m inspired to turn my thoughts into actions, and find my ultimate happiness.  I know it will definitely take a lot of courage to step forward to simplify life, something that is considered outside of the “norm”, but I’m prepared to slowly work towards my passion and dreams, to find my real “joie de vivre”.  As Confucius said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  I’m ready to take that single first step towards my own “simplified” journey, to be my true self and dance to the beat of my own drum, and live and love life the way I want it to be!

I challenge you to look deeply, and think: What do you truly love and are you ready to simplify your life and live life to the fullest every day at your own drum beat, and not by others? 🙂

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead!

Namaste,

Violet

I took this photo when I was doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.  This trip reminded me that the endless tiring hours of hiking was worth it because I not only got to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful natural sceneries along the way,  but also fulfilled my dream of seeing Machu Picchu in person.  Therefore, by focusing only on hiking (one of my hobbies), I was able to reach my goal of seeing Machu Picchu with joy!  In the same way, I believe that with focusing on what we love and enjoy to do, we can live the life of our dreams with happiness.  So... "Follow your own path, let your heart lead you to do what you love."

I took this photo when I was doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. This trip reminded me that the endless tiring hours of hiking was worth it because I not only got to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful natural sceneries along the way, but also fulfilled my dream of seeing Machu Picchu in person. Therefore, by focusing only on hiking (one of my hobbies), I was able to reach my goal of seeing Machu Picchu with joy! In the same way, I believe that with focusing on what we love and enjoy to do, we can live the life of our dreams with happiness. So…
“Follow your own path, let your heart lead you to do what you love.” 🙂

A Short Reflection on Transition & Transformation

When I am not running around like a chicken with its head cut off at work, I really enjoy having conversations with my friend HezekiYah.  Our conversations usually delve into deep topics about life, human nature etc.  His observations always propel me to take a closer look around me and inside myself.  As our school year comes to an end, our discussion centered around transition.  We both observed that everyone around us, including ourselves, were in “transition”.  To me, transition is the process of changing from one state or condition to another, and change comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and possibly in all areas of our lives.  As we grow older, our attitudes, thoughts, motivations, and behaviours change, which in turn help us to grow stronger and wiser.  I believe that change is good, sweet and life-affirming!

In reflection, the person I am today is different from the person I was a year ago.  For example, who knew that I would begin blogging or enjoy spending time in the kitchen, whereas a year ago I was strongly against learning technology (I see blogging and technology as the same thing!) and preferred to go out for meals.  I guess the beauty of life is that as we encounter new situations and/or people, we grow and change as a result of these experiences, into the person we want to be in our minds and hearts.  As HezekiYah said, if we are the same as a year ago, something is wrong.  Stagnancy begets boredom and inflexibility.  I think it is very exciting to be in transition, embracing change within ourselves and around us, and moving forward at our own pace, until one day, we transform into the person we desire to be and live the life we envision for ourselves!

I will end my short reflection with this quote that I love and reminds me of transition and transformation. I hope you enjoy it and will reflect upon your own transition and transformation, and continue to build the life you dream for yourself and those you love, without fear! 🙂

Go confidently quote

Mind Food: “Our body has the power to self-heal.”

The past week has been grueling from completing various deadlines at work, baking for a variety of events, to attending a few family celebrations (which I absolutely love).  I was literally rushing from one task or event to the next, with hardly any time to stop, breathe and think.  I feel as if I’ve been running on adrenaline for about a week now, and finally today my mentally and physically exhausted body told me to stop, think and listen to myself.  I’m reminded that I promised myself to focus on balancing my life, and right now my health and I am top priorities.  I was craving for some tranquility and relaxation, away from the hustle-bustle.  Without hesitation, I postponed an obligation because I realized that if I went there, I would simply exacerbate my exhaustion further.   Therefore, I escaped to one of my favourite places in the world: my regular go-to yoga studio.  It is a place where after a class, I feel rejuvenated, serene and balanced.

I’m happy I made the right decision to attend a yoga class today.  I met a fantastic instructor whom I have not taken a class with before, and found out why everyone raves about her.  She truly brings the term “yoga” to life.  A simple way to describe yoga is that it’s a union between body, mind and heart, and the continued practise of it brings  a sense of peace and well-being, and a feeling of being one with self, others and the environment.  This yoga instructor started our class with an “intention” (a promise we make to ourselves about what we intend to do, say, be etc. throughout our practise) which was that our own body has the capacity to self-heal.  Her intention for our class really resonated with me and I found it very thought-provoking, so I would like to share it with you here.  You don’t have to practise yoga to understand this message.  I believe it applies to everyone, whether you are beginning or already on your journey towards healthy and balanced living, in whichever way you choose to achieve this lifestyle.

My instructor said that we are conditioned and especially our mind to think that we need prescription drugs to heal, and that we can or cannot do certain things due to our age.  In other words, our mind limits the potential that is within us.  If we change the way we think, we can do anything and be able to broaden our horizon, which also includes the strong belief that our own body can heal itself naturally. Furthermore, we should let go of the fears, anger, self-hate, pain, and any other negative feelings and thoughts, bottled up inside us from past experiences and memories, and just focus on the present, opening up ourselves to the positivity and possibilities of life.

During class, I truly felt as if my body, mind and heart were one as I held the intention mindfully through every yoga pose.  Our body is indeed a powerful self-healing mechanism tied strongly to our mind.  You see, when I entered class, I felt weigh down by the past week’s grueling activities, hopeless towards the load of work waiting for me to be completed, and even restless.  However, at the end of class, my exhaustion and all the negative feelings and thoughts totally disappeared.  I felt re-energized and that I can accomplish anything to the best of my ability.  I just experienced that union of body, mind and heart:  As my mind rid itself of the “negative” energy, my heart was filled with self-belief and self-empowerment, and my body naturally felt more vibrant and strong.  That’s the power of positive thinking and self-healing!

Hope you find this mind food for thought meaningful and applicable for whatever stage you are at right now in your journey towards balanced living! 🙂

Namaste & Love, Violet

Power Within You