Inspiring cup of tea

If you are a tea drinker, I highly recommend you trying Yogi Tea. Most inspiring tea product I have seen lately. Each tea bag comes with a "food for thought. The one I am drinking right now says, "An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities"! 

Isn't that nice!

Photo source

The spirit of Christmas

Here are some highlights from around the world:

Make space for God, Pope says in Christmas sermon: "Do we have time and space for God? Can he enter into our lives? Does he find room in us, or have we occupied all the available space in our thoughts, our actions, our lives for ourselves?" he said.

Cheerful Christmas in Bethlehem:Encouraged by renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Christian pilgrims from around the world converged on Jesus' traditional birthplace Monday to celebrate Christmas.

To hear Season's greetings in many different languages click here

To see photos of Christmas around the around: Click here


My wish for you:

Wish you a great Christmas spirit and I hope you will have many moments where you will be inspired, moved and touched !


Prayer Dance

Thanks to the information posted on Sadiq's blog , I went to see Dervishes' prayer-dance last night.  It was my first time and  it was absolutely mesmerizing. Dervishes were celebrating “Wedding Night” of the great mystic poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi’s, 13th century Sufi mystic, passing from the circle of time.  I learned so much about this spiritual ritual.    Here is a great quote explaining the dance:
"We do not turn for ourselves. We turn around in the  way we do so that the light of God may descend upon the earth.  As you act as a conduit in the Turn, the light comes through the right hand, and the left hand brings it into this world."
~Suleyman Hayati Dede

If you have not seen one, here it is a short video.

Thanks Sadiq!


Who's Scared of the Word 'Christmas'?

I love anything Dinesh D'souzh writes and I am glad the he is addressing this issue, why is it that people are afraid to say "Merry Christmas" during Christmas season and we just go along saying "Happy Holiday"? I am talking about Christians saying happy holiday to each-other! Why would corporations like Nordstrom, K-Mart, Best Buy and Home Depot ban the word Christmas?   Well read this if interested.  Click here.


City walls with poems!

A piece of a Hafez poem, written on a wall in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapols, Minnesota. Here is the link as to how they did this project.

Now Can you imagine, more cities would do this? instead of reading useless billboards or have to tolerate Graffiti, we could read poems as we drive by neighborhood? I should go and talk to my city council!


A Sufi Perspective

Watch this Sufi's sermon!

Click here for Shaykh Hisham bio. Don't know about him much but I liked what I heard in that video.

Christmas Around the world

Sorry, I have not posted regularly lately. Thanks for all your emails asking me if everything is ok. Thank you, it's so nice to "hear" from you.

It's Christmas season so I thought you may want to check this site:"Christmas around the world", and check out how each country celebrates this great season.

Christmas season is the festival of wonder and celebrations, regardless if you believe in Christ or not. One of my favorite poet, James Dillet Freeman, had this to say about Christmas:
Christmas is the celebration of imagination, with its power to warm our heart on snowy day and sprinkle glitter on a dark one, to give us the goodwill to wish a merry Christmas though there is not much to feel merry about, to give us the faith to believe that life is not humdrum existence, but is capable of unbelievable wonder, and in the stable that is the human heart God Himself may make His appearance. (excerpts from "once upon a Christmas")
I love Christmas, it's true it has become too commercial. But it's up to us to make it as worldly or as holy...


What Are You Optimistic About?

I have often posted here about  the negative oriented media and their interest in reporting more bad news than uplifting news. I do believe there are more good signs in horizon  than bad and here is a book to proof it. A newly published book called, "What are you optimistic about?"  by John Brokman, has recently asked more than 150 high-powered scientific thinkers to answer a vital question for our frequently pessimistic times: "What are you optimistic about?
mostly scientists from all disciplines.  Here are some of the answers:

Steven Pinker(Psychologist, Harvard): The decline of violence

Haim Harari (Physicist): The evolutionary ability of humankind to do the right things.

Juan Enriquiz (CEO, Bitotechonomy): A Knowledge driven economy allows individuals to lead millions out of poverty in single generation.

John Gottman (Psychologist): When men are involved in the care o their own infants the cultures do not make war.

Stephen Kosslyn (Psychologist): Human intelligence can be increased, and can be increased dramatically.

Brian Goodwin (Biologist): Our ability as a species to respond to the challenge presented by peak Oil.

Read more here if you can not buy the book.


Inspired Gifts

It's the Holiday season again and many of us will be thinking about gifts to buy. If you think about giving someone a gift with a charity component, here are some resources that will definitely Inspire, move and touch someone:

Inspiregifts.org: Inspired Gifts is an innovative program that allows you to purchase real, lifesaving products--like blankets, bednets and vaccines--to be shipped directly to one of over 150 countries where UNICEF is saving children's lives.

Audreybag.com: The Audey Hepburn Children's Fund has begun producing a limited collection of beautifully made handbags showing Hepburn's image. All profits, after production costs, will go to the fund.

Heifer.org: Heifer's mission is to work with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth, and they are currently have several giving opportunities that help achieve that mission.

World Vision: My favorite one for many years, you can give a gift in honor of someone you love and respect.


Thought of the day!

It's appears that there is no break in people killing people over their religious belief. People fight over doctrine and dogma, we don't see people being murdered over attaining divine Union!

A "religious war" and "religious suicides" is really large-scale egotism gone berserk.

Swarmi Prebhavandanda used to say, "if you put Jesus, Buddha, Moses, and Mohammed in the same soon together , they will embrace each other. If you put their followers together they may kill each other". Hmm....something to think about!


Play and donate rice!

My favorite American tradition is the Thanksgiving day, so what a great day to visit Free Rice website. You play, and they will donate Rice to the United Nation to end world hunger. I was introduced to this website by my dear blogger friend Maithri. Now, its been a fun game for my sons to play and what a fun way to be involved. Thanks Maithri!

Free Rice


My favorite animal is chimpanzee,  I wish I could have them as a pet...look how adorable this baby is in the picture! I love the fact they are capable of empathy, and altruism and they maybe the only animal that has these capabilities.
 My kids are off today, so we are going to visit our dear Chimpanzee at the nearby zoo.  will report later.

Update: oops! my son corrects me that Dolphins also are capable of empathy!


I love to read old legends to my sons and this is the one we read yesterday:

When man had become so evil and corrupt that the angles decided to hide all goodness and truth from him. Not knowing where to hide it,they discussed many ideas. One angel suggested that it be buried in the earth, but the other angels disagree saying that with everything that was known about man, he would min the earth for all its resources and find it there. No, the earth would not be a good place.

Another angel suggested the ocean as a good hiding place for goodness and truth. But again, that idea was ruled out. "Man has such an insatiable appetite," the angels said. " After he has mined the earth, he will go on the oceans and mine them for all their resources. Surely then he would find this treasure."

Another one suggested the sky. To put all goodness and truth in outer space might work. But alas, once man had conquered the earth and seas, he would move on to the sky.

Finally, after having been silent the entire time, a very wise angel said, "We shall put goodness and truth inside of man. For all the we know of him, he will never look for it there." And, they all nodded in agreement.

Time and time again we need to be reminded that "kingdom of Heaven, is indeed, within" (luke 17:21).  


Hail to Innovators!

I love this time of the year where awards are given to best innovators of the year.  I find the innovators' passion, hard work and genius so inspiring.  So here is the link, some of them will surely inspire, move and touch you also!

Innovations of the year 2007. Tell me which is your favorite?


Our Mother Earth!

How delicate our homeland looks from far, far away.... how peaceful it looks, and how full it is.

Click here to see other fascinating pictures of our Earth. The Japan Space Agency's (JAXA's) Kaguya spacecraft re-created one of the most memorable photos from space--an Earth-rise from lunar orbit.


Moon is always full!

One of many blessings of blogging is that you "meet" (well, virtually meet) many like minded people and it's a great joy to read their words and get inspired by them. I am so glad Irving left me a comment and when I visited his blog called Darvish  I read the post beautiful poem. The poem touch me so much, that I read it for my  sons (9 and 11 years old) . One of them suggested that we can use this as our nightly prayer and I just loved the idea. So here it is, enjoy!
The moon is always full
Our human eyes
See only its phases

Love is always here
Our human heart
Sees only its shadow

Joy is always present
Our human mind
Reasons it away

God is always near
Our human spirit
Knows this without words

.... Continue here


Come to terms with peace

"In order to come to terms with peace of mind concerning God and ourselves, the first consideration must be this: God does not punish us for our sins; we are punished by them. You are perfect, as God is perfect, at the spirit level, and our very reason for being is this incarnation is to bring the physical up to the spiritual level of being. With each thought, with each action, our every ideal should include the transformation from the human to the spiritual level.

By your thoughts and actions, you create the world in which you live. If you think wisdom, there is wisdom, if you think misunderstanding, there is misunderstanding. The world, the true world, is a wold built on thought.

You are God's temple, and God's spirit dwells in you! Be at peace."

Excerpts from my dear teacher, Rev. Thomas Witherspoon's book called "The Peace That Passes All Misunderstanding".


21st Century Commandments

It's the commandments time again! I have posted this before and I like to reminde myself of these new commendmants. My spiritual teacher, Rev. Tom, has proposed these Ten New Commandments (to augment the original Ten Moses gave the Judaic world) that he feels are especially appropriate for our modern times.
  1. Thou shalt not worry. (it is the most unproductive of all human activities.)
  2. Thou shalt not be fearful. (Most of the things we fear never come to pass anyway.)
  3. Thou Shalt not cross bridges before you come to them (No one has ever succeeded in doing this.)
  4. Thou shalt handle only one problem at a time. (Leave the others to God until their turn comes up.)
  5. Thou shalt not take your troubles to bed with you. (They make poor bedfellows.)
  6. Thou shalt not try to carry the problems of the world on your own shoulders (only God has a back that strong.)
  7. Thou shalt be a good listener (For God often speaks to us through the mouths of others.)
  8. Thou shalt not try to relive yesterday. (it is Gone; Rejoice in today.)
  9. Thou shalt dismiss Feelings of frustration (90% of them are rooted in self-pity and interfere with positive action.)
  10. Thou shalt count thy blessings daily (never overlooking the smallest one, for our biggest blessings are often composed of many small ones.)

Have a fullfilling weekend!


Eat, Pray, Love

All right, I finally finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book, "Eat, Pray, Love". Almost everywhere I turned, people were reading this book, and a good friend of mine, literally, ordered me to read. So, I did it! I must say I still don't get the reason for it's HUGE success. It is a well written book and in fact funny and thoughtful! But it amazes me the degree that it has resonated with so many people! Does this mean that many are searching for their spiritual path? or many are unhappy in their marriages and looking for a way out gracefully? hmmm

It's story of a woman's spiritual journey after her divorce, when she takes off a year to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia. I liked her story when she was in India the most, where she quoted many things from her Guru...and here is an excerpt:
" Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of your through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss. Swamji, my Guru's master, was a stickler about silence in the Ashram, heavily enforcing it as a devotional practice. He called silence the only true religion. It's ridiculous how much I've been talking at this Ashram, the one place in the world where silence should-and can-reign."
Here is another one I liked:
"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I am aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a clod fog and never lift."
Update: Just found out that Paramount Picture will be making the movie of "Eat, Pray, Love", starring Julia Roberts.


Some good links to read

- The worlds leading atheist has written a book and tells us that now he believes in God. Here is the book by Anthony Flew

- Will money solve Africa's Development Problem? Read these essays by leading experts.

- The new Nostradamus! How political scientist, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, is using Mathematics and game theory to predicts the future? And he has a great track record! He is a kind of Mathematical Fortune-Teller. Click here for another article about him.

-Watch a great video of Saturn. Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shows breathtaking images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, she focuses on Saturn's intriguing largest moon, Titan,with deserts, mudflats and puzzling lakes. Watch Here.



Transformational Seminar

I get many emails asking me about the meaning behind my blog address which is "racket-free"? Well, I learned the term "racket-free" from the Landmark Education Forum I attended last year. It means to live life fully and live without creating excuses. Landmark education was the best transformational seminar I have ever taken and if you are interested, here is a short online introductory course for you to learn and consider.

Click here and then click on each teacher to hear him/her talk about one aspect of this transformational seminar. The subjects are:

1- Our "blind spots" in life and how to recognize them
2- The Vicious cycle that we create in life, facts vs the stories we create
3- The fixed vs. malleable world
4- What are rackets? The payoffs and the cost of our excuses that we create in life
5- The filling error: how we live our lives by constantly bringing the past into the future and sabotaging our own success.

Please let me know if you are interested and if I can be any help. Landmark Education is worldwide and you can click here to find out if there is any free introductary class where you live.

Update: Jerry sent me this link about the founder of Landmark education. Click here to found out more.


Don't lose your compass!

Sail thy vessel on, -
Steady, friend, steadily sail along.
Water may be rough
Or water may be smooth;
But ever hold fast to thy compass.
The sky may smile
Or the sky may frown-
Hold fast to thy compass.
Wind may roar
Or wind may be still-
Hold fast, hold fast to thy compass and sail thy vessel on.
Steady, friend, steadily sail along.

~Swami Paramananda

I believe when you are open to receive, you will get what you are looking for. I needed help today and I received the above poem from a friend 10,000 miles away. Again, reminding me that regardless of situation, I have to remember about my own, internal moral compass.


Blissful Sunday!

I wrote about Vedanta philosophy/religion last week, I was intrigued by what I read about their belief system. So this last Sunday, I decided to attend their Sunday services(after attending my own Church) and check it out in person. The temple was nestled in a woodsy area surrounded by oak tress, it had an intimate building. The inside of the temple was surrounded by many pictures of spiritual leaders from different religions. When I entered in, the smell of incense was calming and the teacher's voice was so soothing, so I fell right into his comforting sermon. The thought of the Day was;

"One who wants nothing gets everything"

It was about giving up self-limitation; and no longer yielding to a lower order of things. He said; "so many people want happiness with a passionate longing, but the fever of self keeps them from attaining it. Change your outlook and all the narrowness of the little self and you will shine."

With the following prayer they ended their Sunday service:

May God, The Absolute, One without a second, the One in Whom we live and move and have our being...the One God who is called by many names.........
Christ of the Christians,
Hashem of the Jewish People,
Ahura Mazda of the Zoroastrians,
Allah of the Muslims,
Buddha of the Buddhists,
Shang Di of the Chinese,
The Great Spirit of the Native Americans,
Shaki, Ishwara, Brahman, The Divine Mother....
the Infinite and All-Abiding spirit of the Hindus.......
May You Who are Mother, Father, Friend, Companion, Beloved and Guide.....
Grant unto us all peace and blessing.
Peace! Peace! Be unto us and Unto all living beings!

Needless to say, it was a blissful Sunday!


Suffering occurs when we want
other people to love us in the way
that we imagine we want to be loved,
and not in the way that love should manifest itself - free and untrammeled,
guiding us with its force and driving us on.

~excerpt from The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

It took me many years to really get this, but I finally got it. I accept love anyway it comes my way without trying to "control" the love I receive. Love shows up, when you allow it to enter!


Meaning of Life

Paulo Coelho has been an inspirational writer and many regard him as the alchemist of words. His writings are very simply written but provokes many social and cultural debates. If you have not read any of his book, pick any of them and you won't be disappointed. Here is a portion of his acceptance speech delivered to the Brazilian Academy of Letters:

"What is this force that drives us far form the comfort of the familiar and makes us take up challenges instead, even though we know that the glory of this world is only transitory? I believe this impulse is called the search for the meaning of life. Over many years of seeking a definitive answer to this question in books, art and science, and in both the dangerous and easy paths I have followed, I have found many answers. I am convinced now that a definitive answer will never be given to us in this life, but that, at the last, at the moment when we stand once more before the Creator, we will understand each opportunity that was offered to us. "

For my Persian and Arab readers you can also check his site in Farsi, Arabic, and many other languages. And do also check his blog, it's great!


I come back from my "Internet fasting" and was delighted to see many emails and great quotes sent by many good friends. Well the following quote is a great way to start the day:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

~Marianne Williamson
Sorry, I have not posted anything new lately. I was having Internet "fasting"... I needed to be completely without Internet for a week and since I don't watch TV much, I was literally shut off from the world around me. Happy to report, I did survive and I did not have a withdraw symptoms ! Thanks for all your emails asking about my whereabouts.


Are you a vicitm of your own mind?

My little sister, just last week, introduced me to Vedanta philosophy/religion and handed me a book to read titled introduction to Vedanta. It was absolutely a great little book to read about a group that I had no idea it existed. So, here is a excerpts about how your mind can be your enemy or your friend?
Most of the time we remain unaware of the mind's erratic movements because we are habituated to giving our minds free reign: we've never seriously attempted to observe , let alone train the mind. Like parents whose indiscipline has created children that everyone dreads, our lack of mental discipline has created the turbulent, ill-behaved minds that have given us endless difficulty. Without psychological discipline, the mind becomes the mental equivalent of the house ape. And all of us, sadly enough, have suffered mental agony because of it.
While we may have grown accustomed to living with an uncontrolled min, we should never assume that it's an acceptable, if not inevitable, state of affairs. Vedanta says that we can master the mind and, through repeated practice, we can make the mind our servant rather than being its victim. The mind, when trained, is our truest friend, when left untrained and reckless, it is an enemy that won't leave the premises."

Then it goes on the emphasis the value of meditation and the need for cleansing your mind by repeated practice of mediation and through the practice of moral virtues.

Oh! how I wish I could follow this advise consistantly! I find all the excuses in the world not to do it!

Click here for more articles

Throw a party, make a difference

An inspirationl parent at my sons' school is an active member of the Machao Orphanage Foundtaion. The Machao Orphanage Foundation is dedicated to assisting the orphaned and impoverished children of Makueni, Kenya by providing shelter, food, clothing and an education through the support of well wishers all over the world.
I just found that they have a program that is called popular Circle of Friends program that assists groups and individuals in holding fundraising or informational events to support the work of the Machao Orphanage Foundation.

So, why not throw a party and make a difference. Call them up if you like!


Know Thy Secret

I am still reading Gary Kasparov's book and here is an excerpts that you may like:
" Such decisive moments are tuning points- every time you select a fork in the road knowing you won't be able to backtrack. WE live for these moments and in turn they define our lives. We learn who we are and what truly matters to us. The "secret" then is to actively, consciously pursue these challenges instead of avoiding them. This is the only way to discover and to exploit all your gifts. Developing your personal blueprint allows you to make better decisions, to have the confidence to trust your instincts, and to know that no matter the result, you will come out stronger. There, inside each of us, is our unique secret success"

Pick up this book if you can, there are a lot of good and interesting insights.


Live for 100 Years

Would you like to live to be 100? Well you can, according to, John Robbins, author of “Healthy at 100: How You Can — At Any Age — Dramatically Increase Your Life Span and Your Health Span”. Here’s what else he tells:

1. Loneliness kills. Yep, faster than cigarettes, he maintains. Strive for healthy relationships.

2. Attitude counts. Poeple with positive outlook live longer than negative oriented people.

3. Go forth and conquer. A century ago in the United States, 1 in 500 people lived to be 100. Now, the U.S. Census Bureau expects 1 in 26 baby boomers to reach that age.

It's seems we are back again talking about how how are mind controls our lives, change you mind and you will change your life for better. It's basically what Buddha has said and Jesus Christ has told us thousands years ago. There is nothing new, but it's good to be reminded again again.

Read more: click


The Year of Rumi : 2007

UNESCO has declared 2007 to be the year of Rumi. This year was 800th anniversary of the birth of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi (1207-1273), one of the greatest poets, philosophers and scholars of the Islamic civilization.
Rumi was a Sufi saint who was born in Afghanistan, lived in Turkey (most of his life) and wrote in Persian (Farsi). The people of Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey consider him to be their own poet. There is always discussions among these groups as to what nationality was he really from? Amongst his numerous disciples were Arabs, Armenians and Greeks. Rumi belongs to the whole world because his words did not have national boundary. He addressed humanity as a whole: “I do not distinguish between the relative and the stranger.”

It's so inspiring to see, 800 years after he was born, Rumi is so popular in the Western world, specially here in America. But it's too sad to see, the region that he was from, has forgotten the spirit of Rumi and has become the center of a lot of turmoil. It's hard to believe that Rumi's Afghanistan can be controlled by Talibans, or Rumi's Iran can have a cruel and inhumane regime like Iranian regime. Too bad the wisdom of Rumi is dead among these groups, but it's inspiring to see others are celebrating his soul, his words and his love of Creator after 800 years.
Rumi's poems are about the highest state of a human being, and he believed a complete human is not bound by cultural limitations. Rumi had this to say about ideal man of God:
He is drunk without wine,
He is full without roast meat.
He is all confused, distraught,
He needs neither food nor sleep.
He is a king in a dervish frock,
He is a treasure in the dust.
He is not of air nor earth,
He is not of water, nor fire.
He is a boundless sea,
He rains pearls without cloud…

Let's hope that the Rumi's birth region will wake up someday and they will follow Rumi's wisdom and spirit and make him proud!

H/T to dear Serendip


How life imitates chess

I just ordered a book written by Gary Kasprov, greatest chess player of all time , called How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom.

He is an inspiring figure! I have been reading his articles with great interest lately. You may know by now that Garry Kasparov is now running for President in Russia. In 2005, he left the chess world for politics. He formed the United Civil Front to "work to preserve electoral democracy in Russia. He he one of the few heroic politicians, so if you get a chance read his book and the book has nothing to do with his politics.

Here is an excerpt from his book regarding managing stress:
Usually when you are under stress there is a good reason for it. Learning not to get anxious about things beyond your control is a separate issue. So don’t fight stress, use it! Channel that nervous energy into solving the problems. Sitting around worrying isn't going to achieve anything and the loss of time will often make the problem worse. Even in the worst case, mistakes of action teach you much more than inaction


Play your own instrument!

I guess this poem is a good reminder that we all have a role to play in this life and lets not complain about our perceived luck. If the symphony of life has given you a violin to play, play it well and play it fully. Don't complain why you have not been given the harp to play.

I am humbled and moved by Maithri's gesture, nominating me for "Thinking blogger award". Thank you for making my day and letting me know that this blog have inspired you.


Power of Family!

"Families not only reflect who we are , they show us who we will be. Perhaps the greatest power any of us has is the power to pass along our beliefs, values, and traditions to a child. This is not a new thought. While you may not have heard of the 19th century American poet William Ross Wallace, I'll bet you've heard the last 2 lines of this excerpts from his most famous poem:
Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide streamlet,
From them souls unresting grow-
Grow on for the good and evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the Hand that rules the world.

This is poetry that speaks a truism: Those people who pass along their values to the next generation have a disproportionate effect on the future."

~Excerpts from Laura Ingraham book called, "Power to the people". There are so many foods for thoughts in this book and how individuals can bring change to the society.


Looking younger!

I just finished reading a funny article by my favorite journalist, Christopher Hitchens. His editors are trying to give him a makeover by sending him to a restorative/makeover resort, and this article is about his experience with facials, mud masks, yoga, etc. It's so funny. Here is his last comment:
"I also take the view that it's a mistake to try to look younger than one is, and that the face in particular ought to be the register of a properly lived life. I don't want to look as if I have been piloting the Concorde without a windshield, and I can't imagine whom I would be fooling if I did. "

Hmmm.... "properly lived life"...why do we try so hard to look younger?

He is a heavy smoker and drinker, so this is what he had to say about exercise:

"The trouble with bad habits is that they are mutually reinforcing. And, just as a bank won't lend you money unless you are too rich to need it, exercise is a pastime only for those who are already slender and physically fit. It just isn't so much fun when you have a marked tendency to wheeze and throw up, and a cannonball of a belly sloshing around inside the baggy garments. In my case, most of my bad habits are connected with the only way I know to make a living. In order to keep reading and writing, I need the junky energy that scotch can provide, and the intense shortterm concentration that nicotine can help supply."
Read the whole article here


Leave your past behind

Does your past experiences seems to be calling the shots in your life? If you are stuck in your past, I urge you to read this article by Dr. Nancy Zapolski:
"Trying to resist, change, or avoid the enormous influence of the past keeps us foolishly focused on it. Yet we’re reluctant to leave it behind, reluctant to transform the pervasive hold it has on our present-time lives. Not doing so, however, results in an endless continuum of living a “now” that is littered with the detritus of the past. There’s no better arena to watch this play out than in our relationships."

Read the complete article here or watch this animation.


Ayn Rand

New York Time had a great article on Ayn Rand (1905-1982)this last weekend. 25 years after her death, she still has influence on people and inspires many in the business world. I usually give her book, Atlas Shrugged, to new graduates. This book is about the power of human will and it is celebration of life and true happiness. I have blogged about her before, Ayn Rand was one of the smartest women in America and is one of my favorite writers. Here is an excerpts from NYTimes article:
"It (Atlas shrugged story)begins in a time of recession. To save the economy, the hero, John Galt, calls for a strike against government interference. Factories, farms and shops shut down. Riots break out as food becomes scarce.

Rand said she “set out to show how desperately the world needs prime movers and how viciously it treats them” and to portray “what happens to a world without them.”

Rand’s free-market philosophy was hard won. She was born in 1905 in Russia. Her life changed overnight when the Bolsheviks broke into her father’s pharmacy and declared his livelihood the property of the state. She fled the Soviet Union in 1926 and arrived later that year in Hollywood,

When they read the book, often as college students, they now say, it gave form and substance to their inchoate thoughts, showing there is no conflict between private ambition and public benefit.

There is something in your inner self that Rand draws out,” Mr. Stack said. “You want to be a hero, you want to be right, but by the same token you have to question yourself, though you must not listen to interference thrown at you by the distracters.


Happiness is a Warm Electrode

Can science bring happiness to people? They can, according a research done by a neurosurgeon, Ali R. Rezai. Patients receive deep-brain stimulation, a procedure in which two electrodes are implanted in the head. This is how a patients describes her situation the moment after receiving the electrode treatment,
"The room looks brighter to her. The faces, the big, circular lights overhead, the ceiling—they all seem clearer. Malone asks her how she feels. "I'm really happy," she replies, clearly surprised. "I feel like I could get up and do all sorts of things." But even more telling than her words is the look on her face. For the first time in 20 years, with a halo bolted to her head and two freshly drilled holes in her skull, Hire smiles."

I am all for it, if it will give them a permeant feeling of happiness.



Too much on my plate lately, and when I saw this beautiful painting from French Toast Girl, I had to post. She has captured a mothers life in the picture perfectly.

Please go to her site and enjoy her fun blog. Click


Good News! World faces brighter future.

Believe it or not, the world faces a brighter future with fewer wars, higher life expectancy and improved literacy, despite many challenges according to a report released Monday by the American Council for the Tokyo-based United Nations University, a global think tank. Here are some highlights:
  • The average world per capita income by 4.3%. At this rate world poverty will be cut by more than half between 2000 and 2015.
  • The world’s average life expectancy is increasing from 48 years for those born in 1955 to 73 years for those who will be born in 2025.
  • Although great human tragedies like Iraq and Darfur dominate the news, the vast majority of the world is living in peace, conflicts actually decreased over the past decade, dialogues among differing worldviews are growing, intra-state conflicts are increasingly being settled by international interventions, and the number of refugees is falling. The number of African conflicts fell from a peak of 16 in 2002 to 5 in 2005.
  • The number of free countries grew from 46 to 90 over the past 30 years, accounting for 46% of the world's population, and for the past several years 64% of countries have been electoral democracies.
  • Since democracies tend not to fight each other and since humanitarian crises are far more likely under authoritarian than democratic regimes, the trend toward democracy should lead to a more peaceful future among nation state.

Now, do you think you will hear this on your local news channel? There are some bad news in the report but overall it was an inspiring report and makes you hopeful for the future of our mother earth.


Well, then I should not mind that I will be 44 great years old today!

Are we supposed to feel our age? I don't feel any number, strangly, I like to grow older or I should say I like to grow wiser. I am enjoying my 40's. Every age has it's blessings, if we allow ourself to look for it. After all we really don't change much, as Eric Butterworth used to say, "We don't change what we are, we change what we think what we are."


Kite Runner Movie

I can't wait to see this movie. It will be released in theaters on Friday, November 2nd. There is no one that I know, who has not been moved and inspired by the book. The author Khaled Hosseini is very pleased with the outcome of the movie. So it must be true to the book.

Watch the trailer here.


Inspiring Song

A group of Pakistani pop artists has collaborated on a song with an anti-terrorist message that has become an anthem among Pakistani youth.

Yeh Hum Naheen, or This is Not Us, is being played thousands of times on the pop channels, was No. 1 for four weeks on MTV and 8 out of the 10 biggest Pakistani music stars participated in the project. There have been 60,000-70,000 downloads which is an impressive figure for a poor country like Pakistan.

Read more here & and watch the video here.

An amazing show

Last weekend, we took our kids to see the Cirque du soleil's show called KA , and what an Amazing show it was. It was so magical, please, if you can go and see it. Worth every penny!

Watch here.


Most Powerful Woman

This lady is the most powerful woman in the world!

At least according to Forbes Magazine. Most often, when a Poll result is published, I just don't take them seriously. Most Polls are organized by certain groups that have an agenda to push forward. To judge a "valid" poll, one must study the questions that has been asked of the participants, and no one has time for that. Well, the Forbe's list is not based on a typical poll, but it is based on a composite of visibility (measured by press citations) and economic impact. Well it is, still, based on some people's judgment and not necessary the absolute truth.

Having said that, I am glad to see Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, name on top of the list. She has an inspiring life story and a great role model for many women around the world. She is a daughter of Christian pastor who grew up in East Germany and, in addition to being the first female German chancellor and the youngest German chancellor ever, Merkel is also the first one from East Germany (although born in Hamburg), the first one born after World War II, and the first one with a background in natural sciences.

I like the fact, that she has always played down the gender issue and brushed off media gibes about her plain appearance. Read about her, and I am sure, you will be inspired, touched and moved by her accomplishments.

There are several other names on this list that I like and I always follow their stories. But I would like you to read about Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (#100 on the list),President of Liberia, the first female president of an African nation to get the war-torn country back on track.


Never too late!

A 98-year-old great-grandmother in Australia proves you are never too old to be a champion athlete. Ruth Frith still trains and competes in track and field events like the long jump and 100-meter sprint. She's earned piles of international medals in shot put, javelin and hammer throw.

Watch the video here: click


Our Wholeness

"In every adult there lurks a child an eternal child,
something that is always becoming,
is never completed,
and calls for unceasing care,
attention, and education.
That is the part the part of the human personality that
wants to develop and become whole."

C. G. Jung

The older I get, the more I believe in these words written by Jung. We never really grow up unless we come to terms with our eternal child. Praying for "wholeness" is my ultimate request from our creator.

This also reminds me of Eric Butterworth's words that says:
"A true desire is not to Have but to Be. We are whole creatures in potential, and the true purpose of desire is to unfold that wholeness, to become what we can be. As Goethe says,'Desire is our presentiment of our inner abilities, and the forerunner of our ultimate accomplishments'


Does the Universe have a purpose?

Each month the John Templeton Foundation (I have blogged about this foundation before) hosts an online exchange on a various illuminating questions . This month question was, Does the Universe Have a Purpose?

Out of 11 leading scientists and scholars; 6 said YES, 3 said NO, 1 NOT SURE, and 1 PERHAPS.

What you say?

It's a great read. Click here


"If we did all we are capable of, we would astound ourselves". Thomas Edison

This painting is by Freydoon Rassouli which I just found out about him. He is a mystic artist that has captured the attention of the international world. He has the incredible talent of expressing the emotions and spiritual wonderment of re-discovering our own selves in his awe inspiring paintings.

Source of Painting