Friday, January 23, 2015

Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Woohoo!


Nominated for this award!

When I was informed by Usha Menon, a sweet elderly Indian woman who happens to be a prolofic blog writer, I was thrilled! Not just because this prestigious award (though a different look) was bestowed upon me last year (by her then too), but because it's great to know that people appreciate my blog writings.

Usha affectionately terms herself as "eccentric grandmum" as her blog site demonstrates. Her blog is named 'Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha' seemingly after an Indian movie. She writes delightful haiku and imparts compassionate wisdom on her other blog posts.

I am grateful to have met her online - she is like a grandmother, to me too! - and, of course, to be honoured with such an award.

According to the guidelines (rules), you are supposed to write seven things about yourself. Here are mine:

1. I'm Dutch Canadian having been born in The Netherlands (also known as or nicknamed 'Holland' for short) and becoming a Canadian citizen as a young girl.
2. I was born a twin and am a surviving one, and middle child.
3. I consider myself a survivor having been close to death a few times in my life.
4. Apparently, I was left-handed as a child and was 'forced' to change to my right (wonder what would have happened if my left hand was my dominant one?)
5. Music has always been an important part of my life, though as I get older I love silence more (since we live in a relatively noisy world). I love a variety though I especially appreciate electronic for dancing, instrumental for relaxation, and devotional music for chanting.
6. I love to read non-fiction though I love to read great fiction - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon is my favourite book or at least one of them. IF you read it, you will understand why!) and I wish I had more time or ahem, need to make more time.
7. I love to look at the sky, day and night, though especially the moon and stars...don't ask me why, I just do! ;)

And now, I am supposed to nominate bloggers whose blogs deserve the award. Usha already mentioned names, some of which I would have listed below otherwise. I will name those who are part of BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm) as I belong to two blogging groups, this one more actively than the other.

In no particular order then, actually I changed to alphabetically, I choose the following bloggers to receive this award. Drum roll please....

1. Cat Graham
2. Kathy Combs
3. Hema Anavatti
4. Nabanita Dhar
5. Nisha Sanjeev
6. Sanch LivingLife
7. Shailaja Vishwanath

Add the badge in your post.

And inform each one whom you have nominated for the award.

Thank you again dear Usha for this award nomination. I truly appreciate it. Namaste.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: What is it that I really want to say?


The title is the writing prompt and is the challenge for today's writing for anyone who chooses it, namely, "What is it that I really want to say?"

Sometimes a challenge is, well, a challenge! And why not challenge myself and perhaps learn and/or grow in the process, if not a foot, maybe an inch? ;) So here goes...

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Clipart image

"So, what is it that I really want to say?" This thought ran through Emily's mind as she pondered what occurred to her between her birthday and a couple days prior. The scenario played over in her mind as she churned this question.

Two days before a momentous birthday, Emily went to see a counsellor for free as part of a work benefit. She had had the feeling a few months prior that she wanted, perhaps even needed to see one who specialized in the area of family of origin (or FOO for short) in order to deal with negative issues or patterns in her life.

She knew intuitively that the root causes of some of them such as an addiction to food stemmed from childhood or FOO, and she was curious in wanting to explore that and get to the root causes in order to change what was not working or no longer working for her.

Though her counsellor was a stranger - initial session - Emily felt comfortable enough with her and unloaded her thoughts and feelings, dumping them unceremoniously to or rather, towards the walls, the floor, the door, and occasionally at Mary, her counsellor.

Mary was an older woman which initially surprised Emily, but then came to the quick realization that that would be highly beneficial in giving her more experience and expertise to deal with Emily's problems or issues.

It was as Emily was talking about her twin sister, actually dead twin sister along with things that happened in her - Emily - life, that a thought triggered like a spontaneous flash in her brain. She came to the utter realization of something, something important she felt she needed to do, to share.

And two days later on Emily's birthday, as she was participating in an online healing discussion, this thought struck her again out-of-the-blue. Emily knew that when that happens, 'Spirit' or intuition was beckoning her.

In fact, later in the evening when Emily was conversing with her mother about details of her birth, her twin, and the like, the same idea stuck in the background amidst questions and responses.

It was the first time that Emily had even considered her mother's viewpoint in giving birth to her and her twin, and the aftermath of what happened, some of which wasn't shared verbally then, but implied.

And thus a formulation spun cycles in Emily's brain in speaking with a work colleague about writing and blogging, two days later.

Emily discovered then: she was pregnant! Oh my! How could that be? She was 55 after all!

Though most pregnancies are usually nine months, Emily wasn't sure how long hers would be. She hoped it wouldn't be much longer; however, one really never knew. She was to give birth, one that she knew she had inside of her, one that she was told by at least one if not more than one person.

And it wasn't the inspired children's story she had in mind written after a group of young children she had designed a program for. No, no! This was different. And it could be a long, labor-intensive birth, though who was to know for sure... ;)

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Epilogue: If you haven't figured it out yet, this woman is actually the author of this blog, namely me, and it is a true story, albeit a tad 'fictionalized.' That is what this blogger wants to say, yet doesn't quite know how to say it directly as there are ramifications with that, including the possibility of saying goodbye to her supportive loving community of online friends, though not yet!

An important note or aside as congratulations are not in order, not just yet, not until after the birth. That is really important which will be shared at a later time, sooner rather than later(?).

She isn't sure how her already busy lifestyle, currently working full-time, singing in two choirs (first time), seeing a counsellor, attending occasional meetings and community events here and there, visiting with friends occasionally, and life in between will justify writing a book based on her life's story or stories... ;)


This post is written as a sentence prompt for Wordy Wednesday at the "BAR" (Blog-A-Rhythm). ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gratitude List #1


My Earl Grey tea with heart

Here is my gratitude list for the day, week, month, and year(!) thus far in no particular order.

* A new year and thus a new beginning (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/12/out-with-old-in-with-new_31.html)
* My birthday this month: treating myself and being treated! ;) (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2015/01/happy-birthday-to-me-part-1.html)
* A new hair style, a new me! ;)
* The basics: shelter - a roof over my head and warmth; food; clothes
* Tops and sweaters at great discount prices
* Thrift stores...need I say more! ;)
* Donating to clear up space and help others in need
* Recycling and compost programs to help Mother Earth
* Creativity through blogging and writing
* Singing in two fun choirs including two of my favourite songs: Happy (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/world-gratitude-day-part-2.html) and Ode to Joy (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/12/ode-to-joy.html)
* Blogging communities for support and learning
* Blogging prompts, though even though I have lots of ideas and inspiration to write from, sometimes it's fun to write as part of a challenge and write FUN posts! ;) (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2015/01/wordy-wednesday-rainbow-connection.html)

(Just a side note, that I have copied and pasted the links above as my links don't seem to be working...not sure if temporary or not.)

I'm sure there is lots more I can list; however, I have left you with enough reading so enjoy! ;)

Now it’s your turn!

What’s on your list this week? Please share with me and the woman who inspired me - finally doing it! - to start this: Laurel Regan.

How to get involved in the Gratitude Linkup

1. Write and post a gratitude list in your own blog.
2. Click the "add your link" button below and share your gratitude post.
3. Click "get the InLinkz code" below and add the linkup code to your post.
4. Visit and comment on some of the posts listed in the Gratitude Linkup.

What's on your gratitude list today? Please feel free to share!






Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Birthday Tribute: Letter to My Dead Twin (Part 3)


Dear Luisa or what name I should know you by,

I hope I am spelling your name right! [For you readers, see why on my post from yesterday.]

Please know that I love you and have loved you, even though I didn’t know you, as long as I can remember, at least, after I found out about you. You probably know that already as the other things I am about to tell you. However, I wish to express what is upon my heart at this time.

I used to be SO angry - with sadness underneath all that anger - at God and for quite some time, demanding answers: Why did YOU die and me live? Why couldn’t I die and you live? Why couldn’t we BOTH die or both live?

As I was growing up, I often felt something was missing, but I never knew what it was. As a child growing up, I would feed this “hole in the soul” as author and former alcoholic, John Bradshaw terms it.

My relationship with food, I believe, was primarily to numb my feelings, to dampen my feelings of sadness, sometimes so intense, due to the pain of a sense of loss. And I feel there is tons of sadness, layers and layers of it.

I don’t recall having an ah-ha, this-is-it moment when my Mom informed me of your death, connecting it with feelings of emptiness that I felt a lot thus far. I doubt it, as I don’t even recall the conversation.

I desired to feel your presence or to see you even as some people do…some who can see spirits and angels. However, I never did and I wondered why not. It made me real sad. Why couldn’t I at least sense you around me?

I rarely spoke with you as if you were in the room though and I can’t even tell you why, other than perhaps because I didn’t see or feel you energetically. I felt guilty about that, thinking I was supposed to… if I didn’t, well, it might mean that I didn’t care about you or didn’t love you, enough.

I used to wonder what it would have been like to be playmates as children and even as adults, like to play pranks or tricks on people. For example, maybe swapping a date with our boyfriends. I think it could have been a lot of fun! ;)

And I also wondered if you and I would look alike and how much so so we could pull such stunts and pranks on people in the first place! ;)

And by the way, I would really like to know: Are you the one that puts heart shapes in my path so that I see them and think of you? It happened so innocently and spontaneously until I discovered in hindsight that I had a heart collection, I mean heart-shaped collection of items.

I later became aware of them over the years when I would see it especially in nature such as stones or even leaves or trees, and so many things like in my kitchen or elsewhere! ;)

Was that you whispering to me, letting me know of your presence? Was that a symbol of your love for me? Was that the reason why my inspired poem entitled
"You"
came to mind, because it was about reflection, and being a twin is like that.

Did you happen to know dear twin, that a perfect heart shape is made up of two perfect halves, like a twin?

Will I ever hear or know the answers to all these questions and more that I have been thinking of over the years?

Will it even matter when I see you, when we meet beyond this realm? Will I be able to embrace you and will I weep all my pent-up tears over all these years as I feel them now running down my cheeks, or will we kiss and hug each other in joy and laughter?

Oh God, how hard it is to be a surviving twin...at times. I know I am strong, but sometimes it’s so tough. It’s tough to be alone as I feel so often in life. So many people do not see me, the real me, not know me or understand me.

That is why I have looked for you, looked for you everywhere, searched for your presence everywhere in others. Occasionally I would meet someone who would symbolically represent you, usually in a workshop of which I have taken many to uncover and unearth the layers of emotions, especially anger and sadness that I have felt most of my life.

I no longer cry as much since my cycle ended and sometimes I wish just for that reason, and that reason alone that it didn’t stop just yet. It’s so healing and cleansing to cry.

Just remember this please, that no matter what happens I love you. I miss you. I wish you were here, here with me, here to hold my hand, here to give me a hug, here to share joy and tears and laughter.

May you, wherever you are, be at peace, at peace in your heart and soul...till we meet, and then may I join you and feel that too.

Love you dear twin, love you sis. <3 Namaste. Now your turn: have you ever written a letter to a dead relative as if they were alive? How did you find the experience?