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Blogging 101, Day Sixteen: Make a Prompt Personal

Needless to say, the prompt from April 30th invited Johnny Cash into my head and the tune is on a loop. As I write this post, I can hear him, with his signature voice, doing his thang so I’m just going with the flow and using that as a spot of inspiration too.

ID-100129642Call me the Queen of Spice. Not just spice but hot spice. I love it and I cannot do without it for long. I add chili powder to my eggs in the morning, to my pasta whenever I can and of course when I am making a curry, besides the cumin, coriander and cinnamon, chili is a must for that extra kick. My mother makes this saltsa made of pureed fresh red chilies and tomato. Prawns and cluster beans are added to the dish and you eat it with  plain or coconut rice. We spread that chili mix on some bread and make sandwiches with the leftovers. I have an Irish cousin who didn’t do too well with chili when we were kids. My mother would always make sure that if we were having Asian food, then he’d have a special non spicy dish prepared for him. He’d be happily eating his food and enjoying it but if he saw so much as a red tomato in it, he’d start fanning his mouth and downing glasses of water. So one day just to call his bluff, I made one of those sandwiches for him and told him that it was jam. He took one bite and his face lit up like a red light bulb and he was running all around the kitchen like he was being chased by a swarm of bees. So I was wrong but I had to know. Plus, I thought it was really funny, at that time.

As you can see, I’ve been eating hot spicy food since I was a child so my stomach doesn’t react in a bad way to it. My brother-in-law however, who loves spice and my cooking, always feels the need to tell me about the morning after and how his bum was on fire. He thoroughly enjoys shocking people with the things he says. He loves winding people up and always succeeds with his mother. She reacts which only encourages him. I have this deadpan look whenever he tries with me and so he gets bored and moves on to the next victim.

I called him the other day.

“Hey. was wondering if you’d like to come over for dinner on Friday?”

“Yes, of course. I’ll be there!” [Enter my mother-in-law in the background and he addresses her] “What? What did you say? It’s Juliana…What? Don’t talk about her like that Mama. What? No, don’t worry, she won’t be coming over…”

I was laughing on the other side of the telephone because I knew what he was trying to do. My mother-in-law however was getting really worked up and telling him off, saying things like…“Don’t say rubbish like that, she’ll think its true…” I wasn’t falling for it, not for a minute. I think deep down inside, she knew better but I find that sometimes, the idea of pausing for a moment after stimuli and choosing the best response is difficult and easier said than done. He knows all her buttons and he pushes them regularly.

He does this dance for me. There’s even some kind of twerking in it. He sends us all into stitches when he does grace us with his repertoire. He has threatened to do it in a g-string. A leopard patterned one. It was all talk of course because he would never go to those lengths but again, just as I did with the sandwich and Aedan, I thought I’d test him out too. For one of his Christmas presents, I bought him that g-string as a laugh and when he opened up his present, the whole clan was there and he was incredibly embarrassed. For once, we didn’t hear a word out of him and everyone thanked me profusely!

 

ogging 101, Day Sixteen: Make a Prompt Personal

Write on My Balls

Blogging 101, Day Twelve: Be Inspired By the Community

I have been inspired by so many of you. ID-10043163

Thank you.

When I signed up for the course with the Blogging University, I thought to myself, “Hmm, that looks interesting. I think I’ll do that!” I am so glad that I did. 

The assignments before this one asked us to visit blogs and make a number of comments and spread the love. I had already been doing that so the likes, follows or comments were out there. It was great to see that I was on track with the action that was expected of me. Feedback.

A couple of nights ago, I received a number of follows and so very early this morning when I had some down time, I sat with my filtered coffee in hand; an Espresso roast, black no sugar and spent some time visiting and reading. Something on Joe Seeber’s website caught my eye and I lingered on one of his posts in particular, even extending my stay by watching the video of him discussing the topic and elaborating further. He talked about not putting so much emphasis on what people think about you. He put it in his own way and if you have the time, you should go visit his blog.

I completely get the point he was making about not giving a shit. I think that people can be very fickle and if I were to base my actions and ideas based on what people might think of me, then I’m headed for ‘Doomsville’. I’d be Jekyll to you and Hyde to her because let’s face it, not everybody shares the same values or sees things the same way. I welcome different ideas and opinions, it’s the flavour of life. What I don’t welcome is someone trying to force their point of view down my throat and have me accept it in order to do right by them. Stuff that!

“But Morpheus, everyone doesn’t believe you”

“My belief does not require them to”                                        

I think that building a relationship with myself is more important than any other because if I don’t have that to begin with, I won’t have the others either. I now have a strong sense of myself and because of that, I have real relationships with many people. When we have conversations with each other, there is no need for anyone to be right or wrong. It is a meeting of souls that have had a variety of experiences and we are seldom attached to any one of them. Sharing and connecting is really our primary reason for reaching out to each other. A coffee, a dinner or even a phone call. We exit the scene feeling fantastic.

“Always leave a situation better off than how you found it”

In Greece, there is a saying, perhaps more so in the modern community but having said that, everyone there gets it. Saying it to your grandmother however, would not be appropriate.

“Γραψεις στα αρχιδια μου” (Grapsis sta arxidia mou) This literally translates to “write on my balls”.

When I first learnt that saying, I had a good laugh and I thought it was perfect. It encapsulated exactly how I felt about expressing myself when it came to this type of thing. A person doesn’t agree with whom I want to marry. They can write on my balls. A store attendant thinks she is all that and a bag of chips and is treating me like she owns me. She can write on my balls. An acquaintance thinks I’m an idiot for giving up my job and moving half way across the world because I’ve got such a good thing going. He can write on my balls too. You use this phrase when people are imposing or self importantly judging. Not because a friend may like chocolate and you hate it.

We were sitting at the beach and basking in the beautiful Mediterranean sun. A woman emerged out of the water and she was wearing a bikini that had watermelons on it. In fact, the bottom part of her suit looked like a serving of a big piece of watermelon. She was on the larger side and the swimming suit didn’t flatter her body. I actually didn’t even notice her. I was sprawled over the chair and had my shades on. I only looked up because Sakis, a friend of mine said, “I am never eating watermelon again!” with such utter disgust. The woman glanced over and it looked like she had caught his comment. She looked directly at him and slapped her inner right thigh with her palm facing outward and simultaneously said loudly, “Nah!” which is the sign for…yes, you guessed it…altogether now…write on my big hairy balls! It was classic. I burst out laughing and immediately jumped out of my chair, going towards her with my hand in the air signalling for a high-five. She gave it to me. God bless her. That was the only exchange we needed. She got me and I got her. And Sakis got it nice and proper.

Source: The Matrix Reloaded 

Being Still

Blogging 101, Day Nine: Inspire Yourself

I’m still at it, working hard at being a student with the blogging university and having a blast! I am so overwhelmed by all the support and love people have in our community. It’s really all about sharing and connecting and I am standing, screaming, “Yes I get you!” or “Wow, just wow” or “Really? That’s amazing” or “Thank you for taking me there with that post”. I think if there was a webcam or some video device that showed us how we react when reading each other’s posts and blogs, some of it would blow our minds. Already the comments and interaction are a wonderful thing to have.

The exercise is about inspiring myself and using my About Me page as a tool towards creating that experience. When I read my page again, the mind is what shot out at me. After all, I have a header with a neuron firing and that only occurs when it responds to stimuli. All of this is very stimulating indeed. I believe that everything, good and bad is given birth in the mind. We are the creators of our own reality. I think to be the best human being I can possibly be, I need to have the highest relationship with myself which for me means a collaboration between my heart and my mind.

There was a time in my life where I was desperate to find that relationship but the more I craved it, the more difficult it seemed. Then one day in my search, I became so frustrated that I abandoned everything that I was doing and visited a Buddhist Temple. Just like that. The wonders of what spontaneity can do. This was a place that I use to pass on my journey in and out of a neighbourhood in my father’s hometown. I had often looked at it and wondered what it was like inside. The monks there were very open and friendly. I sat with one and we started talking. He asked me what I wanted for myself and why I seemed so perturbed? I told him that I was looking for enlightenment. He chuckled and smiled answering, “Why are you running so fast? Enlightenment is like your shadow. The faster you run, the further away it will be from you. Be calm, stand still and it will be right there with you”. I know it sounds so simple and maybe even a little cliché but the moment he said that, perhaps it was the way he did it too, something fell into place and this peace and serenity replaced the anxiety and frustration. I wanted to jump up and hug the life out of him but I knew better and just grinned from ear to ear, looking at him but saying nothing. He looked back at me with that perpetual smile and with cheekiness he told me that I was welcome which sent us both into a series of laughter. I will never forget that moment. I still remember the trees around us, some of them had signs with mantras written on them and others with phrases like “eat to live”, the lazy dogs basking in the sun, the smell of sandalwood from the incense burning and the both of us sitting there and laughing together. I had learned how to just BE. Just…like…that! My heart opened to his wisdom and my mind made it so.

The Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha

That is what I am doing here with this blog. I am being me, sharing my thoughts and ideas in the form of posts with a group of people who do exactly the same thing but in their own beautiful unique way. There are no real rules, just guidance. There is no judgement, just opinion and sharing. It is an open space for us all to just be.

 

 

Blogging 101, Day Six: Write to Your Dream Reader

I have the day off which is a good thing because I spent my night blogging, burning the midnight oil and passing out from the fumes. I promised myself that I would get to these assignments after signing up for the Blogging 101 Challenge. First thing I did was to backtrack and look up Day One in the list of assignments. I used it as a checklist and I’ve gotten right through to Day Six which is why I am here, writing this post.

Dear Dream Reader,

I am so glad that I found you and that through my writing, we have connected. I am happy that you get me and my thoughts enough to drop me a line and share your comments and ideas. You are why I started blogging. I wanted to find a platform to experience the connection I know we already have. We belong to the same species and you have so much to teach me about the world around me. I know that in this lifetime, I will not be able to see or do all the things that interest or inspire me and I am hoping that through you, I will get to live some of it. After all,  I have experienced entire eras and new worlds through the words of some great authors so why not you? In truth, it’s a whole new experience because I get to give you instant feedback about how your words moved me or what triggered which emotions.

I know that you are genuine. I thrive on the notion that my thoughts and words conjured up different feelings in you and that created a reaction…a comment, a laugh, a follow, a like, a nod or the act of wanting to read more. I am grateful and respectful of you and the time that you have spent with me. I know that I am feeding you but you know that you too, are feeding me. Open channels and enchanted energy laced with the real deal.

With Love and Light,

Jules