Friday, November 24, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #75

Quote of the day: 

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. 
-Nelson Mandela

Image Credit: Guardian

A former homeless man who spent his years selling Big Issue magazines on the streets of Cambridge in the UK has won a place at the city's renonwed University to study English literature. Geoff Edwards, 52, had gone through dark periods in his life involving itinerant farm work, unemployment, depression and homelessness. The Big Issue magazine was set up to help homeless people or those at risk of homelessness the opportunity to earn legitimate income. Founded in 1991, it was inspired by the Street News Newspaper sold by homeless people in New York.

Image credit: TehranTimes

An Iranian Olympic weightlifting champion, Kianoush Rostami, has put his Rio 2016 gold medal up for auction to raise money for victims of a recent earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border. With hundreds of homes destroyed, the death toll rose to 400 with thousands injured. Rostami said he was "taking a step, however small" to help all those who were affected by the tremor. He is also to set up a donation fund for the victims.

As seen on Arch Daily, SEL House

Architects: CampoTaller
Location: Coyoacán, Mexico
Photographs: Moritz Bernoully


A modification and intervention of a 70's style house to adapt to the needs of the owners.

Theme:  Enhancing the visual connection between the house and its surroundings, as well as admitting daylight into all interior spaces hence the large windows with rectangular frames whici offers a generous view of the outside space. The wooden staircase in the house stands out as well as the roof terrace. A mixture of clay tiles, cement and wood finishing makes this a distinct house.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Oasis - Wonderwall

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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We Are All Minimalists But May Not Know It

Quote of the day: 

When you give your items away, don’t keep the excess of your pride.
-Bremer Acosta

Sometimes less is more. Somehow we still find ourselves stuffing clothes into wardrobes. And if we need more space we just get a bigger wardrobe, or suitcase. What else do we store away, oh right books. You really don't know how difficult it is to transport books -until you have to move house. And if you have a large library the harder it is to transport. Do we really need a library of hundreds and hundreds of books -most of which to be honest we only get to read once? I don't know. What I do know is that today, I'd rather borrow a book than buy one. It is not due to a lack of interest but more to do with dwindling storage space. And what about all that junk we hold on to, things with so called 'sentimental' value. Filled drawers, closets, basements, boxes and boxes of stuff and products collected over the years, cluttered living space, and a propensity to keep buying things we end up not putting to good use.

We live in world of hyper-consumption, zombies programmed to spend, spend, spend, and sometimes we just can't help ourselves. The idea of minimalism -which this post is really about, is an approach centered on living simply. Less is more and all that. Embracing more of the essence of things around you, less the physical objects. Watching a documentary about two guys who call themselves the minimalists reminded me of how one can get by with simpler living. A minimalist is often described as a person who has a moderate approach to thing. So in a sense anyone who likes keeping things simple is a minimalist. In art history, minimalists were artists whose work were filled with simple ideas and gestures. In government, there are those who advocate for minimal reforms. No matter which end of the pole you are minimalism is everywhere.

Minimalism sheds the excess clutter and reveals the underlying layers of clarity that we often seek. With minimalism the word 'enough' takes on a new meaning. Only the essentials matter. Everything else falls into oblivion. The main task becomes prioritizing what is necessary and doing away with the extras. Whether it involves doing a yard sale, donating to charity, or just throwing stuff away, a clutter free environment should count for something.

Minimalism is a lot harder than it sounds and something to think hard about before starting. It shouldn't be forceful but it should come from a good place. These days you don't even have to worry about paying to dispose off things you don't need any more-some local charities will pick up the stuff if you contact them. You de-clutter your home and at the same time make a change in a person's life somewhere.

I imagine myself living in such a way that even if I were to move to a smaller space, all my possessions would fit in nicely. But alas that may not be the case as I continue to remind myself about living clutter free -mentally and physically.

What are your thoughts on minimalism? Do share.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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Poem: All Too Easily Pleased

Quote of the day: 

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. 
-Vincent Van Gogh 

In the beginning
With little else to attain
But pluck fruit from trees
Amidst well trimmed bushes
And fragrant flowers
Cradling well fed honey bees
All too easily pleased
The world was a treatise
Written with such delicacy
And old-fashioned elegance

The reverie of time not long past
With nothing more to put aside
But memories rendered null and void
As days age in continuum
And life is skimmed through like a book
Emptiness filled to fullness
As dragonflies manifest across puddles
And does life stand still like a flamingo
And does love ever exceed expectations

In the end
With everything to earn
How dare time to never rest
On its oars.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: James Brown - The Boss

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #15

Quote of the day: 

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. 
-Jim Rohn 

It's Not Over Till It's Over

I'd like to think of this year as a catalyst to further self discovery. And as the year limps to its finale and end there remains much to accomplish. Forget about yearly goals, this is some last minute rush for self preservation. This is the fight of all fights. Cramming a year's worth of unspent goals and resolutions into the very last days and weeks. You wanted to read 50 books? The window is still open. You set out to lose a certain amount of weight? Hey, the window is still wide open. New language? Check. New skill? Check too. New job? Time off? Worry less? Check, check, check. It is not over until the end -so milk time till the last second of the year.

Cold Calls

Ever sign up for several services and then thereafter get harassed by cold callers? And by thereafter I mean weeks later which leaves little room to find the real culprit. Who was it who sold you out? And why is a lady calling to ask if 'have you ever been involved in a car accident.' And the timing is always suspect -like you are being spied on. Just when you are in the middle of something, your phone rings, but it's far away and as you swim through seven seas and climb mountains to get to it, pressing the connection button only to hear the words 'have you ever...'

I can't Function Without Coffee

Can you function without drinking coffee in the morning? I can. But I know a few people who claim otherwise. It is a ritual you see. They need their 'early morning fix' -their words not mine making it all sound like a terrible addiction (is it not?). But it's all in their heads really. Yes you can function without coffee as according to research coffee drinkers aren't more alert than their caffeine free counterparts. But then again, drinking just one cup a day can cut the risk of early death by 12%. So drink on and live long.

Just Go With The Flow And Keep It Moving

There will be good days and bad. There will be comedians who are not funny. Singers who cannot really sing. Pets who love and appreciate us more than we do them. People who talk throughout a live show. Weathermen who don't know the weather. Plumbers who make things worse. Doctors who hate patients. Customers not receiving customer service. Cyclists who can't cycle. Leaders who can't lead. Lovely people who can't love. Kids who aren't kids. And then there is you and even though you may not always be at your best -just keep things moving nevertheless.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Everything's Not Lost - Coldplay

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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When In Doubt Think About Your Accomplishments

Quote of the day: 

Never let hard lessons harden your heart; the hard lessons of life are meant to make you better, not bitter. -Roy T. Bennett

Do you ever stop to ponder on this journey called life and the triumphs and setbacks that go with it? I have. Many times I have pondered on my odyssey to find purpose, truth and knowledge. And along the way when lost the trip leads to other pathways -purpose gets replaced by weakness, truth by falsity, knowledge by ignorance. Finding the way and getting back on track takes time and energy which would have been used in the original pursuit. Familiarity enhances openness but a lack of it breeds restriction.

And when I ponder on life a reoccurring theme forms like medieval stained glass in a cathedral, a rainbow of colours representing different events in life. And each thought leads back to one:

"At each point in life when nothing seems perfect, there's always someone around the corner to remind us that perfection isn't everything." 

Think back to the times when you were almost down and out and with no ounce of hope left in you, who was it that helped you out of your situation? Who was it who gave you some talking to, and who was there for you when you most needed someone? Surely you have come across such people, some you will remember and some you probably won't. And what did you do when you were back to your normal self and standing on your own two feet, didn't you think of ways to pay it forward, to be the person that everyone close to you could count on for help or advise?

You may not know it but you may have helped someone who will forever remain grateful, who may not remember who you are or even know you personally, and you may have offered words of comfort or advise to many others and the impact of your actions may never be fully revealed to you. The same can be said about how we have been affected by the kindness of others through the years. It is this thought that we should always hold on to and never forget.

Life is all about helping and being helped as no one is an island. Thinking you don't require any help or knowledge tears you from your purpose and path. The next time you find yourself almost feeling inadequate or overwhelmed with life, just sit, take a deep breath, and mull over life, reflect and examine where you are and the journey that has brought you thus far.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Memphis Slim - Nobody Loves Me