Be kind and compassionate, and the whole world will be your friend.
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.
Strength does not lie in what you have. It lies in what you can give.
It could even be as simple [and free] as a hug or smile that could easily uplift and transform someone’s day.
Better late than never! I meant to get this post prepared and published on the 1st of December. Obviously that did not happen so I will say it again better late than never, especially when giving is involved.
This year when my husband asked me “What do you want for Christmas? I don’t know what to get you“. I told him to save his money and that he didn’t need to buy me anything. I don’t need anything really. I’ve been feeling the call to give back, somehow someway. I started researching charities to donate to and in case you too are feeling in the spirit of giving, I have complied a list to help make it easier. These are ones that simply stood out to me at the time of research. Since there are 31 days in the month of December, that’s how I picked my magic number of charities to share. Not all items cost you monetary units and some are even gifts that give back. When you buy gifts for your family and friends the money goes back into the related program. This list is by no means the end all be all, so if you know of a charity out there worth adding or have an idea, please comment below.
31 Days of Giving
- Operation Christmas Child – Touch the lives of Philippine children living in dire conditions by creating a shoebox filled with goodies and items of need for a boy or girl.
- Jaipur Foot – Rehabilitates the physically challenged by providing alritifical limbs to the beneficiaries free of charge.
- Face Aids – Give life-saving meds to an HIV-positive pregnant woman in Rwanda. Vital drugs to help prevent transmission of the virus to her baby.
- Save a Pet – Save a cat or dog from a from a high-kill shelter, provide them vet care and medicine so that they can become adopted.
- Pencils of Promise – Sends one child to a new school in a developing country who would not be able to attend school otherwise.
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Donate your old cell phone to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence which will refurbish and sell it, then use the proceeds to get survivors back on their feet.
- A Message From The Heart – Send a Teddy Bear to a deployed child of a marine with a voice message recorded by the parent that will play when the paw is pressed.
- Drive to End Hunger – Picks up the grocery tab for a senior who is struggling to put food on their table.
- Embrace – Protect newborns in India and keep nine babies alive with a genius incubator like invention.
- Fight Breast Cancer – Help women get free mammograms.
- Fender Music Foundation – Give a guitar to a struggling music program.
- Princess Project – Donate your old formal gowns so a teenage girl can have a dress and go to her prom.
- Heart of Haiti – Give gifts that give back: Heart of Haiti gifts from Macy’s provide steady work for many Haitians.
- The Water Project – Provide access to safe, clean, sanitary water for African villagers.
- Reading Village – Help pay school fees for rural team leaders teaching younger children to read in order to break the cycle of poverty.
- Clean the Air – Defends our breathing supply from polluters. Dirty air can cause asthma attacks, take a stand against proposals that can weaker then Environmental Protection Agency.
- Unicef – Give gifts that give back: Shop for a cause and help children in need. Improve their lives, provide health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
- Volunteer Match -Make a difference in your own zipcode and be matched with with ways to improve your own neighborhood, such as working at a food bank, clowning around with seniors or coaching a girls’ soccer team.
- Vital Voices -Supports Egyptian women who have fought hard for change, and provides them a voice in their country’s future.
- Global Literacy Project – Pass along your favorite books [yes even ones like twilight] to deprived youth, helping them learn to read.
- CauseOn – Similar to LivingSocial and Groupon, Causeon offer’s up daily deals, however it also contributes 20% of its revenue from those deals to a charitable cause.
- Equality Now – Put sexual abusers behind bars! Guarantee the rights of women and girls. Helps provide legal support, counseling and job training to victims pursuing cases against their assailants around the world
- KrochetKids – Keep women in Uganda working and educated when you purchase a cute crotchet hat for $35 or less!
- Afghan Institute of Learning – provide two Afghan girls to take computer lessons for six months.
- Stand for the Silent – Stop bullying. This Program addresses the issue of school bullying with an engaging, factual, and emotional methodology.
- Conservation – Preserve our Oceans, save them from overfishing and pollution.
- Artists for Peace and Justice – Pay a students bus fare. Donation will help a child from the slums of Haiti to a new school for two months.
- Give an Hour -Buy a counseling session for a soldier returning home after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
- Care for a Chimp – Care for a chimp orphaned or harmed by hunters or pet sellers. A small donation buys food and care.
- Women for Women – Help women in war torn countries start a business. Your donation buys a sewing kit for a woman so she can earn a living as a tailor.
I am throwing a few bonus ones in here just for the heck of it, and also in case any of the above links become overwhelmed you’ll still have sites to choose from because giving and making a difference in someone’s life really does mean that much to me.
- Causeon – 20% of the site’s proceeds go to a variety of charities in your community. You can get coupons to
- Greenbelt Movement – Aid a women while stopping deforestation, donation pays a gal in Kenya to plant a tree.
- Why Hunger – Put a salad on a kids plate. Your donation will help needy kids grow produce, both for their family’s fridge and to sell at farmers’ markets.
- Career Gear – Empower men who are low-income to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. The charity provides them a suit, access to a Job Readiness Program, a Professional Development Series and MAST, a mentoring program.
- Memorial Scholarship Foundation – Open the doors of opportunity to a young person in pursuit of higher education.
- JustGive – Give gifts that give back: and the site offers an advanced search and information on nearly 1.8 million charities.
May the good things in life be yours in abundance not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year.
Being disabled doesn’t have to be a disadvantage.
In the face of adversity the possibilities are limitless. Its the time for monumental changes, and what lies ahead is the opportunity to look at each obstacle we face not with despair but with the knowledge that each has a purpose. Each obstacle offers us the chance to become stronger, gain more patience, and to be persistent. The road is limitless and its up to us to stay positive until we can see our way through the obstacles or barriers to all the possibilities beyond. Everything happens for a reason, so I look at it as its the universes way of conspiring to improve us and to make us better.
After performing my practice I find it easier to think more clearly and realize that the world isn’t against me like it may seem. While tonight is another night of feeling down, at least there is hope for me yet… I just have to tell my self to breathe deep and use these opportunities that I am faced with to soak up the knowledge I am being offered to learn from the situation, whatever it may be. The possibilities are endless, the road may be rocky, but at least its there and not a cliff looming in front of me.
You must know that you can swim through every tide and change of time.
Being a self-professed yoga nerd, [and trying to keep my depression at bay] I do yoga everyday. On a good number of days I do a specific practice based upon what I want out of the practice that day. Some days it might be that I want to open my heart more, or maybe I am feeling a bit haggard after a long day at the office [technical work and moving technical equipment is exhausting] and need a relaxing and restorative practice. The latter being my Thursday evening. On Friday morning it was a bit hard to get out of my nice comfy bed. All this New England rain and overcast weather really affects my mood, how I long for my SoCal weather!
Once I got up and started moving around, I made my daily morning cuppa green tea. I like to make it before I start my practice so that it can cool on the counter a bit while I perform the asanas. I just hate burning my tongue/mouth on hot foods and drinks! I unfurled my lovely Gaiam ombre yoga mat, the one that reminds me of the aurora borealis [the northern lights]. I was feeling indecisive as to what type of practice I wanted to do especially since I didn’t have a lot of time prior to the trek into the office. I recalled watching the yoga mat unwind a moment ago and thought how free was, like the birds chirping outside my living room window. I decided then an there that I wanted to feel free, so I did what I call Freestyle Friday.
I threw on some relaxing music for and I padded over to my yoga mat. I just did whatever pleased my body, whatever poses my body naturally started doing or whatever happened to pop into my mind. I had a great practice, I felt free, content, and let my botherations and stress melt away with each breath.
Since this blog is also record of my spiritual journey practicing yoga, and life in my yogaverse, I thought I would start this post off with how I am feeling, and boy am I feeling in a funk today! I don’t know what happened, maybe I “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” as they say, or perhaps my working life is causing me not to get enough sleep, or perhaps my hormones are out of whack, but I just couldn’t shake it. Whatever the case may be as the day progressed on I found myself more and more irritated with the people around me at work. I wanted to escape to seek tranquility, peace and solitude elsewhere. Regrettably that was not in today’s cards.
Everyone that I try to avoid in the office for a myriad of reasons was seeking me out today. They were in full force! Not to mention they were really trying my patience. I dug deep and tried hard not to let my emotions get the best of me but try as I might I think they could tell something was up by the questions of “oh are you okay” that came my way. As much as I wanted to say the naughty [read not nice] thoughts from my mind I refrained and just said “oh I’m tired”. Well that didn’t get them to leave me alone either! My word people, then they started asking me more questions and making recommendations of things to try when all I wanted was to just get my cuppa tea from the kitchen and be on my less than merry way. I was easily annoyed today. I have to remind myself that I have plenty to be grateful for and these people keep me in a job.
I must admit I was surprised I was feeling so moody today, especially after a 40 min core strength vinyasa flow this morning, and a 30 min vinyasa flow yesterday morning. I can only guess that perhaps as can sometimes happen with yoga, that sometimes our deep emotions are brought to the surface and we have to let go, to release them. Tonight [or what’s left of it] I am trying to center and ground myself. I’m trying to clear my head and find peace within the chaos. I am looking forward to an upcoming trip to one of my favorite spiritual places, Sedona [Arizona] next month. I’m looking forward to warm weather and waking up with the sun for a sunrise yoga practice.
I decided to jump on the chia seeds band wagon and give them a try. I’m eagerly awaiting their arrival to my door this week but anticipate that they will help me feel full and add to the vitality of feeling healthy. I suspect they are similar to the seeds found in falooda [a basil seed].They are supposed to help balance blood sugar levels, add omega 3 to the diet, sustainable energy all day long, cut out food cravings [my sweet tooth has been rampant lately] . They are a good source of fiber.
Core Vinyasa Flow
The flow series I did today was quite a work out, but definitely in a good way. In case you are interested in trying I am posting the video below.