Happy Dasara

Wishing all a Happy Dasara! In honor of the occasion, here is my little elephant getting ready for the Mysore Dasara procession. On this auspicious occasion I wish the color, bliss, and beauty of this festival be with you throughout the year. Enjoy the victory of good over evil.

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Curious to see more of my art? Follow my art blog at: andysartworks.wordpress.com

 

Happy Varamahalakshmi

Today is Vara(boon) Mahalakshmi(Goddess of Wealth) festival. Celebrated across south of India. The women folk celebrate this for the wellbeing of their families. Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Siri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvathi (learning), Prithi (Love), Keerthi (Fame), Shanthi (Peace), Santhushti(Pleasure) and Pushti(Strength). Each one of these forces is called a Lakshmi and all the eight forces are called the Ashta Lakshmis or the eight Lakshmis of the Hindus.

Here’s wishing one and all a happy Varamahalakshmi.

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Gift it forward, With Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

Still hunting for the perfect last-minute holiday gift? No need to wait on your local shipping company or post office, or deal with the holiday crowds, you can gift it forward this year.

Tis the season to give! be a do-gooder.

here are some recommendations of charity’s or organizations you can donate to:

Greater Good Networks – buy goods and funds are paid to a benefiting organization

The Giving library – Browse nonprofits. Find your passion. make donations to non-profits that match your interests.

Bars of Hoap – artisan soaps made with 100% natural ingredients. All proceeds go towards helping entrepreneurial women in Haiti.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that fights childhood cancers. A donation helps fund research for cures.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders – Your donations can help in the fight against the deadly ebola epidemic.

Heifer International  – gives livestock and other animals to empower people to earn an income and feed themselves.

Ten Thousand Villages – offers goods from local artisans in 28 different countries.

Feeding America – A gift of cash or food to your local food bank will help feed some of the millions of Americans, including children, seniors and active duty military, who go hungry, according to a

Shopping for a Change – works with artists around the globe, paying them up front for their products and work.

WhyHunger‘s – John Lennon inspired Imagine scarf will help you imagine a world without hunger a little bit easier. All proceeds go towards fighting childhood hunger.

Re:loom  – sells uniquely crafted rags made from recycled materials. All of their products are hand woven by employees who were homeless at one time or in risk of becoming homeless. All proceeds go towards employee wages and benefits.

Green Gifts  – offers an array of eco and wildlife friendly gifts that are perfect for your green friends or ways to remember loved ones.

A do-gooder’s holiday gift guide: 5 gifts that give back.

If you have an etsy shop here’s 5 ways you can give back.

Sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/16/living/do-gooder-holiday-gift-guide/

Gift It Forward / Pay It Forward this holiday season.

Some of us have everything we need, so what do you get the person that has everything? I like to give gifts that give back. I feel like I have so much to be thankful for, and that others deserve the same. I choose to be filled with gratitude and open my heart this holiday season. It fills me with love, warmth, and I feel a sense of purpose that I can bring joy to someone and put a smile on their face.

Gifting it forward is my way of paying it forward each holiday season. I am not looking for any type of recognition, I just want to do what I can to make someone’s holiday season that much merrier. I may not be rich, I work hard just like everyone else, but I have a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes to keep me warm in the blustery winter weather. Not everyone can say that.

Last year in 2013 I sponsored a 4-year-old girl through a local organizations called DFC Department of Children and Families. My instructions were to purchase at least 1 clothing item and 1 non-clothing item and or learning toy. I found some great deals on little things for her so I was able to purchase 2 pairs of leggings, a Merida doll and a learning toy.

Pay-it-forward

This year I decided to go with something that had been weighing on my mind. India holds a special place for me. I have family there, and I wanted to do something to help the future generation. I wanted to give someone the chance to better them self. I kept thinking there must be a way to help support an underprivileged girl. To give her a chance in life. I wanted to be able to provide an opportunity, the tools to succeed in life utilizing the gift of knowledge and support. As a woman who put her own self through school, I feel quite strongly about other girls being able to go to complete school, rise up, and make a better life for themselves and their families.

Facts: One-fifth of the world’s out-of-school girls are in India, and among those that enroll in school, only 3 out of 10 finish 10th grade. Only 65% of India’s women are literate.

I had thought of starting my own organization if something did not already exist. I wanted a way to give back and support many girls in such a way. I wanted a way to make an impact. After much research I found such an organization, Nanhi Kali, already in existence. They help people like me provide a girl the chance to improve her future. Sponsoring a girl child in India provides her a new beginning. Lets work towards making poverty history, promote literacy and higher education, and support the education of under-privileged girl children in India.

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If you’d like to do the same here are some details for two ways to donate through Nanhi Kali. Its worth noting that both not only ensure that such girl children get access to quality education but also complete 10 years of it. Academic support towards improving learning levels, material support to provide access to quality education, tutors, uniforms, bags, books, shoes, pencils, notebooks, even hygiene materials so she can attend school with dignity and social support to ensure that she doesn’t drop out. This Christmas send a girl to school, be her Santa.

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The Girl Store  – Gift her school supplies.
Site gives the flexibility to the donor to donate any variable denominations of payments. You can buy a girl one or all of the items needed to send her to school for a year.

Nanhi Kali Sponsorships  – Sponsor her education.
Support the education of under-privileged girl children in India where you can look forward to receiving a detailed profile of the “Nanhi Kali” [little bud/flower] along with her photograph and regular updates of her progress.

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#behersanta
#payitforward
#giftitforward

To Follow or Learn more:
https://twitter.com/NanhiKali
https://www.facebook.com/ProjectNanhiKali
http://www.the-girl-store.org/shop
http://donor.nanhikali.org/DonateNowMfusa.aspx

I am in no way affiliated with the site or organization. I am someone who believes in their mission, wants to make a difference and offer you alternative gift ideas for any time.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!!

It’s Mothers Day here in the United States. So with that I dedicate this post, and today’s yoga practice, to my own Mother, and Mother in Law.

Our mothers and grandmothers have handed on the creative spark to us, their children. Today I honor the nurturing spirit of the mothers in my life, with an Apache blessing and wish that you have an absolutely lovely mothers day.

May the sun bring you new energy by day,
may the moon softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty all the days of your life.

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My own Momma and my Amma [Mother in Law] have touched my life in positive ways. Today, I honor them. They have comforted me, encouraged responsibility, and embraced my unique expression. I show my gratitude by sharing my own innate nurturing spirit with others. Thank You, for your infinite love that is moving through every soul. I am so grateful.

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Wishing you infinite blessings on your path.

Love and Light,
RC

Happy Belated Ram Navami 4.19.2013

I’m playing catch up on posts. Ram Navami was on April 19th. I planned originally to post a “Happy Ram Navami” blessings post that day, however at that time things were a bit out of hand around here. You see that was the same week the Boston Marathon bombings [a few miles from us] happened. The city shut down, the non government office I work in closed the business, and we had to work from home. My family and I are safe, unlike many of those who were at the marathon and injured or lost their lives. My heart goes out to those affected by such a tragic event.

Once stress and safety were no longer a concern, and the random April 19th National Grid power outages stopped, there were still a few niggling things on my plate. I’ve been caught up in some post vacation normal adult life responsibilities [read work, domestic goddess chores, playing tech support guru for family, and uploading vacation photos]. Anyway I am back from such a partially long unplanned posting vacation and….

I wanted to wish you all a belated Ram Navami, Jai Shree Ram. May Lord Ram shower his blessings on you on Ram Navami and always. Happy Belated Ram Navami.

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Image Source

http://mazematlo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/1364706781_happy-ram-navami-2013-free-1080p-desktop-hd-wallpapers-1024×768.jpg

īsṭar habbada shubhaashayagalu / Happy Easter /śubh īsṭar

Today is Easter Sunday, so I wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter.  It’s currently 35F but sunny where I’m staying, so it sure doesn’t feel like spring yet. Easter fills us with hope, joy and warmth. It is a time to get together with friends, family and loved ones to celebrate this joyful time.

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Oestre/Easter, is a time of rebirth and fertility, symbolized by the “bunny”.  The popular colored eggs representing the sunlight of spring.

Yogaverse:

We’ve had our spring vernal equinox meaning the day and night were of equal length since the sun was sitting above the equator. The days are getting longer, they will slowly warm up at a snail’s pace [at least where I’m at]. It’s easier to feel more motivated, joyful inside and with a happier heart. The winters are hard to get through and really exacerbate depression, so I am grateful for this new equinox granting us more sunlight and generally warmer weather.