Smiles


A new challenge by Sally this month was to choose our own theme.  I chose smiles because that is my favorite thing to do and to see.  In every country that I have been blessed enough to visit I have found favorite smiles.  I sort of collect them.  When I feel down or angry, I can look back on some of my favorite smiles.  If you look past through my posts, you can see all of my favorite smiles so far.  Smiles from family.  Smiles from old friends.  Smiles from new friends.  I have found people who just look angry and annoyed and yet when I smile at them, they almost always smile back.  Sure there are those that do not.  But in my experience, for the most part they usually do.  I hope you enjoy my most recent collection of smiles from Egypt.

Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. Paramahansa Yogananda

 

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From my last post. One of my favorite most recent smiles. My driver to the airport who got a call during the ride letting him know that his wife just had a baby boy. They had been waiting 5 years for this news.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Teresa

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On a visit to the Egyptian Museum, these adorable young kids visiting the museum asked if they could take their picture with me.  I in turn asked if i could take my picture with them.  I LOVE this picture and love that they wanted to take their picture with me.  How fun is this.

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen

A person is just a person.  A job is just a job.  We do not know why someone looks angry (Resting bitch face?  Maybe?) or sad (Really actually sad and alone?).  We will never know why unless we engage.  Maybe you will get a positive response or possibly just an angry grunt.  You will never know unless you engage.  Every single sad or angry looking face I encountered above eventually smiled.  Maybe I just wore them down, I don’t know.  But engagement brought life to the face.  To theirs and mine as well.

A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose. Tom Wilson

The tour we went on introduced me to a bunch of new smiles that still make me happy to look back on and remember.  What a great trip. Still smiling from the fun.

View other entries for this week’s challenge :

challenge-all-ears;  2016/11/28/-for-sally-ds-mobile-photo-challengethe-tea-house-goddessnetdancer.com/2016/11/28challengers-choice-landscapechihulys-basket-series;  challenge-challengers-choice2016/11/30/the-fernery-2challengers-choice-nature-of-flowerszimmerbitch

Stillness|Croatia


As we are winding down into the final days of our vacation, I present to you… a small, still, calm glimpse into an incredibly active vacation.

The Post that inspired stillness

where’s my backpack

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: A “birth” Day in My Life


This weeks photo challenge was: A day in my life.  I’m going to actually expand it by a half day and make it a day and a half in my life.  It was my birthday yesterday so I feel that this expansion is merited.

A friend who works with digital photography created this for me for my birthday.

A friend who works with digital photography created this for me for my birthday.

I’ve been studying diligently now for over a month and making great progress.  I have been overdosing on Nepali language because when I went through the Spanish program I did NOT do so well and had to spend about 2 years being teased about my lack of ability in language.  I’ve decided that this is NOT going to happen this time.  What this has meant for me is about 5 hours straight of class time only to come home and spend between 3-5 more hours studying, creating flashcards, reviewing an electronic flashcard set I created, reading Nepali newspapers and on and on. I’ve been posting notes on walls, in notebooks and on my computer. I’m loving it, but it has been exhausting and has left little time for anything else.  I do mean.. anything..

My birthday was on Saturday so I decided that on Friday I would ride my bike to school which would allow me to get some fresh outdoor, brand new spring like weather outdoorness.  It was a brilliant idea.  Got to school and felt great.  Full of energy and enthusiasm.  By the time I got home.. it was a little bit of a different story.

Getting to school

Getting to school

Getting home from school

Getting home from school

My very good friend Marcia decided that enough was enough and even though I wasn’t very keen on celebrating my birthday, I needed a break.  She believes that birthdays are to be huge events that are celebrated to extremes.  I am the opposite.  I feel birthdays are days you should do what you want to do and pamper yourself or not.  Because I have been loving learning the language, my plan was to just stay home and study.  Her plan involved a gigantic dinner with friends around to celebrate the passing of yet another year. We made a compromise.  We went to a nice dinner on Friday night and then spent most of Saturday afternoon shopping, drinking some wine and eating some cheese.  All in all, it was a lovely day.  She was right.  I did need that break.  I hope you enjoy.

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

The seaweed is always greener In somebody else’s lake…


If you could be anything in the world, what would you be? Today I’d be a fish or a turtle. So cool.

This post is dedicated to a couple of friends who are really struggling with who, what and where they are in life.

So many times we want to be what we are not.  Where we are not.  More often than not, it’s perfectly fine being exactly who we are, what we are and where we are.  What else is there?

If you could be anything?  What would you be? Where would you be?

I think that sometimes we think that if only we were someone, somewhere or something else, life would be better. I also think that sometimes we assume others have special powers or characteristics that give them special privileges that put them at a higher level or in better positions causing them to have fabulous lives and if only we had what they have life would be sublime.

Man got fire!!

“Everyone’s afraid of their own life
If you could be anything you want
I bet you’d be disappointed, am I right?” – Modest Mouse

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

“Something inside you emerges….an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself.”
– Eckhart Tolle

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I am a Pirate.. a mighty, mighty Pirate


Who am I?  Why am I the way I am?  What am I doing with my life?  Where am I going to be  in the not so distant future?  In the very distant future?  How did I get here and where will I be going?  All questions that can probably be answered in just one picture –

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Yes, you are right.. I am a Pirate.. a mighty, mighty Pirate.

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They were the best of times, they were the worst of times.. Ahhh high school.

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There will be people who state that high school was a low point in their lives or that it didn’t matter at all and made no difference to them in regards to how they turned out as an adult.   Maybe they hated it or thought it was a complete waste of time. However, it cannot be denied that by having gone through it, high school exposes a person, to a certain level, on how to become (or not become) an adult.  It’s a place where you must decide what is important and what is not; how you want to be treated or how you will never treat someone else.  High school, if done right, is a place where you might meet some of your longest standing and best friends in life.

I do understand that high school today is a much different beast than it was when I attended (1981-1985).  We did not have to worry about someone coming in and shooting up the school.  We had authentic learning experiences that were not focused on taking tests.  We didn’t have a lot of parents suing schools, so most of the science experiments and field trips were more spontaneous and exciting than some of what I have seen in schools today.  We were also not monitored as much as kids are today (rightfully so) because we knew that our neighbors would rat us out if we got too out of hand.  We were also given “breaks” by some of those same neighbors resulting in a different kind of learning lesson. There was accountability in the school as well as out of it, which in my opinion, led to a greater amount of freedom because we all knew that we were being looked after.  There is a certain amount of safety connected to discipline and accountability which is not as prevalent today as it was when I was growing up.

Another thing that we had in the 80’s were AMAZING teachers.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying at all that teachers today are not amazing, or at least not trying to be amazing.  The problem is teachers have so many more constrictions and confinements today than my teachers had.  The issues might be the same, but the tools and freedoms to solve the problems are not as available and often times not considered as acceptable.

Teaching to a state/federal/national test limits how much spontaneity a teacher can use in the classroom.  When I taught in California, our administration stated basically, “As I walk by one 1st grade classroom I should be able to hear the beginning of a sentence and as pass the next first grade classroom, I should hear the end of that same sentence.”  This of course is ridiculous, but that is just one example of how tightly planned a teacher’s day sometimes is.

The 80’s were an amazing time of transition as well.  A time of loosening up of some of the more stringent ideas of what should be taught in school so there was a little more play in the school.  I remember our teachers being pretty hip.  It was the beginning of an era of group motivational speaking.  We had so many convocations about self-esteem and enjoying life.  We had a leadership weekend once a year where our entire class could sign up and go to a campsite and sing songs, compete in team building activities and just learn how to bond and enjoy each other while receiving messages about how to be a better person in general.

I think these things that happened to me in my high school years made me the person I am today.  I do realize this is not the case for everyone in high school and that I was fortunate to have gone to the school I went to and had the friends I did and even fortunate to have survived it all unscathed.  I’m still friends with many of the friends I made in high school and actively try to find the ones I lost contact with because they are that important to me.

I had several favorite teachers and coaches/counselors/mentors in high school.  I remember one teacher randomly stopping me in the hallway when I was going through a very low point in my life and telling me how amazing I was and how I was going to be an inspirational and remarkable woman one day.  I don’t even know how he knew I was going through some tough times but he did.  At that particular moment in time I didn’t believe him and I didn’t think it would actually happen at all. Guess what?  It did.  Sure, I’m no more amazing and remarkable than the next woman, but when I feel down or beaten those very words start echoing in my head and push me on.  This man was not an anomaly.  This was a message that many of us got from many of our teachers.

Another teacher/coach/mentor/counselor always wore purple and gold clothing to school.

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I saw him several years after graduation when I was substitute teaching in a different school and strangely, he wasn’t wearing purple.  In retrospect, purple and gold were probably not his favorite colors. These colors were obviously our school colors but to him they were a little more than that.  They were a symbol to him. A sense of pride was demonstrated in this man for being who and what he was while he was what he was. His only objective in life seemed to be wanting to instill that same sense of pride in each of us.  His convocations were always full of life and humor and hoping that we would all be able to acknowledge at some point who and what we were while we were what we were.

More than that though, our teachers seemed to want to help us understand that what we were right now was only temporary.  What we were going through at any given moment was only what was happening at that moment and it was all a preparation for everything that was to come.

One of my favorite convocations we were shown (I think 4 years in a row) a video entitled “Greatest Days of your life (so far).  This film has also echoed in my head when I’ve felt down and out and even when I have been as up as I could be.  I’ve been able to apply it to nearly every situation and time period in my life.  It’s also why I am who I am today and I just wanted to share it and hope you all enjoy it as well.  Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. For some reason I could not actually attach this youtube video.  When I did try, some Mindy Mcready videos popped up in their place.  At any rate, take some time to click on the links.. they really are good, if not a little dated.  Again, thanks for stopping by.

This award winning film, “Greatest Days of Your Life,,,so far” written and performed by Mark Scharenbroich (Mark Shake and Bake) in 1981 has been seen by more than 10 million students

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4vCCP8qi6g&feature=share&list=FLguvhB-JXvilrXL9OlStWGg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg42uFcfj-M&feature=share&list=FLguvhB-JXvilrXL9OlStWGg
Mark Scharenbroich’s The Greatest Days of Your Life…(so far) 1981 film

http://www.youtube.com

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