This Is Your Life

this is your lifeMy passion is reading, I read anything that make sense, anything that will get me thinking about the way I live my life. Once in a while I come across a passage  or quote from a book or poster which resonate with how I see life. I would like to share this one with you. It was sent to me by a friend and it is from “The Wedding Day” by Joanne Clancy.

“This is your life. Do what you want and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over-analysing, life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Life is simple.
Open your heart, mind and arms to new things and people, we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.
Life is short, live your dream and wear your passion.”

Stop kidding ourselves…children are not colour blind!

Yesterday I felt so sad when a friend who lives in the USA said her son was told that he has not been given a birthday party invitation because he is “dark skin”. It broke my heart because I knew how she was feeling and I understand how her son must have felt. My children who are 9 and 11 years old have been through similarly situations both in UK and overseas.

I remember the day my daughter announced that she wanted me to straighten her hair because she is tired of being called “fuzzy” by one of her classmate and she would like to have a ‘bouncy’ pony tail like the rest of her friends. I become very teary when I think of the day my daughter was found in the toilet crying because she was told she has colour like “poo”…as a result she spent her entire lunch break hiding in the toilet!

I was born in Seychelles and my husband is part Scottish and part Irish so our children are mixed-race. My husband and I never thought about the challenges of being a multiracial family until our trip to Australia three years ago when our children were called names because of the colour of their skin both by children and adults.  My son one day came home from school and told me that a friend from school asked him why his daddy married a black woman and that black women are supposed to be servants not wives. I must admit although we felt sorry for the boy we thought it was quite funny and it made my husband and I laughed  but when a grown up man came up to my husband and asked him if “these two coloured kids” were his, that was no laughing matter. My son was upset and asked “why is he calling me coloured Daddy?”

As parents we need to talk to our children about race. Some parents naively believe that if they talk about issues of race with their children, they will cause them to notice race in a way that they did not before. When our children are young, they mirror our behaviour and belief. Our children need to know that people come in different shades but we are the same on the inside and that there are words that are not appropriate to use to describe other people’s race.

I sympathise with the teenager who once called me a ‘N’ and that nine year old boy who told my daughter that she has skin colour like “poo” or the 6 year old boy who called my son a “freaky black boy” and the boy who excluded my friend’s son from his party because he has a different colour of skin. They clearly haven’t had an education. Saying they are just children is not good enough because they are children hurting others by their mean words.

My beautiful children during our brief time in Australia

My beautiful children during our brief time in Australia

As a family, we are proud to be multi-heritage. We have family and friends with different racial background and we will not have it any other way. My children are growing up loving who they are. My daughter is about to start high school here in UK. After passing her entrance exams and visiting schools we chose two schools. Both were girls’ school renowned for their academic excellence but one school(A) has a 90% white British girls and the other school(B) has an evenly distributed population of different racial background. When it came to choosing the school I must admit my husband and I preferred the school with multiracial atmosphere (only because she wouldn’t stand out and ‘fit’ in) but my daughter’s comment made us realise that we are raising a  girl who knows who she is and proud to be… “I can see me in school A. I will blend in perfectly and get on with it but why blend in when I can stand out? I read a quote by Dr Seuss in one of my magazine and he said “Why fit in when you were born to stand out? I choose school B.”

I will never kid myself in believing that my children will stop getting picked on for being different and so other parents should also stop kidding themselves that their children do not see when other children look different to them because they do and they can be quite nasty about it!

Racial and cultural diversity is an excellent topic to teach your children. You don’t have to teach your children tolerance, here’s the beautiful thing about our children: Most are born with a natural sense of justice and fairness and will tolerate each other. Unless they are taught to be hurtful and cruel, children know that it’s wrong to attack others either physically or with words. All we have to do is nurture this natural love of people. A child who is taught to devalue others based upon differences will face a tough and lonely road ahead. As parents we need to think about and look at our attitude. If you are uneasy or uncomfortable around people of different backgrounds, your child will pick up on it and most importantly consider the way you talk about people in front of your child.

Little habits that steal my happiness…

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I’m still smiling!

For a few weeks I have not been blogging simply because life’s little pressures weighed me down a bit. I was so busy with work, marking assignments and working on personal projects that I temporarily forgot how to be happy. It has not been all doom and gloom as I have been enjoying the world cup and I celebrated a birthday (I turned 44 since you asked!). Sometimes we all have bad habits that steal our happiness. Here are three habits that stole mine these past few weeks and I hope sharing it with you will make a tiny difference in how you pursuit your own happiness.

1. Focusing on everyone’s story except your own.
Don’t be over excited by the success stories of others and how things have gone for them that you forget to write your own story. Unfold your own tale and bring it to life. You have everything you need to become what you are capable of becoming. Incredible change happens when you decide to take control. This means consuming less and creating more. It means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and deciding for you. It means learning to respect and use your own ideas and instincts to write your passage.

If you want your life story to soar to new heights, you’ve got to clear a path, reduce the time-sinks and burdens weighing you down, and pick up the things that give you wings. Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day. If you truly care about what you do and you work diligently at it, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish.

2. Waiting for the perfect moment.
Don’t buy into the myth of the perfect moment. Moments aren’t perfect; they’re what you make them. So many people wait around for the stars to align to do what they’re here to do. The perfect moment, the perfect opportunity and the perfect state of being; they do not exist. Wake up! These states of perfection are myths.

Your ability to grow to your highest potential is directly related to your willingness to act in the face of imperfection. You will come to succeed not by finding a perfect moment, but by learning to see and use life’s imperfections perfectly.

3. Working for nothing more than a salary.
Work without interest is imprisonment. Even if you aren’t super-passionate about your work, you’ve got to at least be interested in it. When you design a lifestyle in which your work is something you suffer through daily strictly to pay your bills, you end up spending your entire life wishing you had someone else’s.

Think about it. This is your life; your work will fill a large percentage of it. It’s not all about the money; it’s about you. Ignore the propaganda, especially from people who say, “Don’t let your work define you.” Reverse this message and mediate on it: “I will do work that defines me.” When the essence of who you are defines at least some slice of the work you do for a living, that work generates fulfillment.

Have a lovely week and always remember that “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Aristotle

Source: www.marcandangel.com

 

 

Love and Friendship…The Best Man Holiday

Monday is my work from home day  and I normally dedicate a few hours  to my writing, giving my blog some TLC .The best part of Monday is that  for eight hours  there is no staffroom chit-chat, students, husband or my children (Sorry-just being honest here!). I sometimes refer to it as my ‘Thinking Monday’. However today I needed a laugh out loud Monday and I ended up watching ‘The Best Man Holiday’ which I randomly rented online and little did I know that the film will have an impact on me. I laughed, cried and laughed and cried again. I just wanted some honest laughs out but the film, released during Christmas time last year actually got me thinking and needless to say reminded me of some valuable life lessons:

  • The truth always sets you free, even when it’s tough to swallow.
  • Trying to destroy someone else’s happiness will only diminish yours.
  • Friendship can never exist without forgiveness At some point in your life you will have to forgive the friends you love the most for something and if you can’t, that will be the end of that friendship.
  • Never pretend that you do not need friends because you do and friendship brings out the best in all of us!
  • You lose loved ones, but their legacy never dies-Death happens, but what your loved ones really want is for you to honour them in your heart.

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The Best Man Holiday is about friendship, old grievances, misunderstandings, romantic conflicts, death, birth and religion. The film will leave you cringing one moment and wiping the tears from your eyes the next and in my opinion, the message is sincere.

WARNING: Get your tissue box ready!

Much love LBS

 

 

 

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Maya Angelou…Her wise words.

maya1The poems and stories she wrote  were gifts of wisdom and inspiration to many. In my mid twenties I picked up one of her books, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings;that was the moment I knew that for many years to come she will be part of my life.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which dealt with the racism and family trauma of her upbringing, spent two years on the US best-seller list after its publication in 1970. It was the first of seven memoirs which I digested over many years.Through her writing, her strength and eloquence as a role model for people finding answers for inequality and injustice won her many admirers. I will be forever grateful for all her wise words which inspired me in so many ways as a young woman. Maya died on the 28th May at the age of 86. Her ability to inspire will live on in her prolific thoughts, proverbs and works; her words will forever be a guide to  leading a fulfilling, successful life. Here I share with you some of my favourite quotes from her writing.

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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

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“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

 

“I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

IMAGE: MASHABLE COMPOSITE JEFF DALY/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

IMAGE: MASHABLE COMPOSITE JEFF DALY/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

 

 

 

Live,let go and move on…

moving on by Shelby  (kerens texas)

moving on by Shelby
(kerens texas)

Holding on is like believing that there’s only a past; letting go and moving on is knowing in your heart that there’s a bright future ahead.

You are changing.  The universe around you is changing.  Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is.  This could be a relationship, a job, a home, a habit, etc.

It happens to you slowly as you grow.  You discover more about who you are and what you want out of life, and then you realize there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you.

The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits.  The specific people and routines you’ve known forever no longer align with your values.  So you cherish all the memories, but find yourself letting go and moving on

Here are eights ways to help you let go and move on:

  1. Accept the truth and be thankful. – To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and helped you learn and grow.  It’s the acceptance of everything you have, everything you once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead.  It’s all about finding the strength to embrace life’s changes, to trust your intuition, to learn as you go, to realize that every experience has value, and to continue taking positive steps forward.  (This process is something Angel and I discuss in the Adversity chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  2. Distance yourself for a while. – Sometimes you need to take several steps back in order to gain clarity on a situation.  The best way to do this is to simply take a break and explore something else for a while.  Why?  So you can return to where you started and see things with a new set of eyes.  And the people there may see you differently too.  Returning where you started is entirely different than never leaving.
  3. Focus only on what can be changed. – Realize that not everything in life is meant to be modified or perfectly understood.  Live, let go, learn what you can and don’t waste energy worrying about the things you can’t change.  Focus exclusively on what you can change, and if you can’t change something you don’t like, change the way you think about it.  Review your options and then re-frame what you don’t like into a starting point for achieving something better.
  4. Claim ownership and full control of your life. – No one else is responsible for you.  You are in full control of your life so long as you claim it and own it.  Through the grapevine, you may have learned that you should blame your parents, your teachers, your mentors, the education system, the government, etc., but never to blame yourself.  Right?  It’s never, ever your fault… WRONG!  It’s always your fault, because if you want to change, if you want to let go and move on with your life, you’re the only person who can make it happen.
  5. Focus inward. – It’s important to make a difference in the world.  Yes, it’s important to help people, but you have to start with yourself.  If you’re looking outside yourself to find where you fit in or how you can create an impact, stop and look inside yourself instead.  Review who you already are, the lifestyle you’re currently living, and what makes you feel alive.  Then nurture these things and make positive adjustments until your current life can no longer contain them, forcing you to grow and move beyond your current circumstances.
  6. Change the people around you. – Some people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them.  They are supposed to be part of your memory, not your destiny.  The bottom line is that when you have to start compromising your happiness and your potential for the people around you, it’s time to change the people around you.  It’s time to join local meet-ups, attend conferences, network online, and find a more supportive tribe.
  7. Take a chance. – When life sets you up with a challenge, there’s a reason for it; it’s meant to test your courage and willingness to make a change and take a chance on something new.  There’s no point in denying that things are different now, or being fearful of the next step.  The challenge will not wait even if you hesitate.  Life only moves in one direction – forward.  This challenge is your chance to let go of the old and make way for the new.  Your destiny awaits your decision.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)
  8. Focus on today. – You can decide right now that negative experiences from your past will not predict your future.  Figure out what the next positive step is, no matter how small or difficult, and take it.  Ultimately, the only thing you can ever really do is to keep moving forward.  Take that leap without hesitation, without looking back.  Simply forget the past, look straight ahead and forge toward the future.

For more inspiration see original post at marcandangel.com

 

Dedicated to all the mothers…

blog2The best part of motherhood is being a role model to your children and loving them unconditionally… I hope  we raise children who say “thank you” and “please”. I hope we raise children who lose graciously and win without bragging. I hope they learn that disappointments are fleeting and so are triumphs but what’s important is that they have a mother who loves them so neither one matter because we are not keeping score. I hope we raise children who are kind to other people. I hope we raise children who realise that life is unfair but that doesn’t mean giving up on it. I hope we raise children who know that they are loved and special but that they are not the centre of the universe and probably never will be. I hope we raise children who relish life’s tiny pleasures—whether it’s a piece of music, or the colour of a flower. I hope we raise children who are open-minded and curious about the world without being reckless. I hope we raise children who are courageous when sick and grateful when healthy. I hope we raise children who realise that their parents are flawed but we love them anyway. I hope for all of these things, but I know this: Being a mother is so much more fulfilling than anything we mothers have ever done; I hope you are with me when I say…nothing can beat nurturing your own creation.

Happy day to all the wonderful mothers.

Much love LBS