Author Archives: Kiki

Question: Are you a ‘locavore’? Answer: HUH?

I know, I know — of course you don’t know what’s a ‘locavore’! Well, let’s start at the beginning, shall we? A carnivore is a meat eating animal, a herbivore is a grass and plant eating animal, an omnivore is an animal that eats meat and plants — but what’s a locavore? I can hear you losing patience ;)…


Well, I too didn’t know until half and hour ago… it’s a word so new even my computer is refusing to accept it :)… but while reading a food magazine I came upon this term. Apparently, it’s a new one, and has recently gotten invented in California — and it means ‘to eat fresh and local’ — yep… with more and more emphasis on eating local produce, at its peak of freshness, this new trend is catching on everywhere, although slowly. And a very good thing too, I say — foods that come to us from far off places just don’t have the crispness, the taste and the zest which a freshly picked vegetable or a freshly plucked fruit has.

Spring and summer abound in fresh and local, so a perfect time to really give our taste buds a treat and give them the experience of the ‘real’ taste of thing! I find it so satisfying to bite into a crisp and fresh vegetable, or a fruit, and feel its juices explode in my mouth! How about you?

So now, are you a locavore? Let’s hear a resounding, YES! 🙂


What is Reiki?

imagesAs an ‘energy’ healer/therapist I’m often asked this question. The simple answer is: “Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the ‘receiver’ by means of touch, activating the natural healing processes of the receiver’s body, and restoring physical and emotional well-being.” What this definition is missing is the fact that this first step leads to core healing at the physical, emotional and spiritual levels 🙂

imagesTo explain further, it is a technique that balances the energy in our endocrine glands, which are the energy centers that can become over or under-energized, depending on a person’s lifestyle or simply their pace of life.

It is said that ‘stress’ is the biggest killer of our age! When coping with stress, don’t underestimate the value of ‘Reiki’ (pronounced ray-kee), to bring your body and all its systems into balance.

I hope you’ll try a session soon!

If you have a quiet home

I just returned home after a hectic afternoon with friends from my flamenco group — an hour of intensive practice; some time devoted to discussing our progress and planning future practice sessions, and some to planning our forthcoming trip to Seville, Spain. Added to that was a bit of urgent shopping, for items I had to run around a bit to find. When I finally got home, turned the key in my door and stepped into the hallway, I was, as I always do, filled with a sense of deep peace and quietude.

I feel very blessed to have such a peaceful, quiet home, in very quiet and peaceful surroundings. As I connected with this tangible feeling of tranquility, the lines from a poem I had learnt in Grade 7 flashed through my mind. The name of the poem was ‘A Quiet Room’, written by Patience Strong (her ‘nom de plume’/pen name).

“If you have a quiet room
Then you are truly blessed.
For only in a quiet room
Can heart and mind find rest.”

I changed the word room to ‘home’ in the title of today’s post because that’s my situation, but for those who have only a room they can call their own, in a larger home or building, I hope it’s a quiet one, a calm one where you can be still within. For, to hear inner wisdom we have to have quiet surroundings, or the external noise just takes over our life.

I often wonder at people who need constant noise around them, and when they’re by themselves they have headphones or earphones stuck in their ears with sometimes music blasting away so loud that others around them can hear it. When do these people enjoy the sound of silence, I ask myself.

We live in miraculous bodies, that also receive intelligent information from nature, from the Universe, and if we’re never calm and quiet, within and without, chances are we’re existing at a very superficial level, completely disconnected from our Source!

My wish for everyone here is a few moments of stillness and quietude in your day so that you may walk more gently through your life <3


What do i.e., e.g., viz and other Latin terms mean?

There are all these terms and abbreviations we see everyday in various texts. As we see them, we often have just a vague understanding of what they mean, and make a mental note to one day find out what, but then we never do. So, today, I decided to educate myself better, and help you all too 😉

i.e. id est. “That is more precisely.” Literally, “it is.” Commonly used to refine a general statement or provide additional information. Usage: “Jerry’s girlfriend always managed to turn the conversation toward children, i.e., the possibility of having children together.”

e.g. exempli gratia. “For example.” Literally, “free as an example.” Usage: “We have numerous problems to deal with before reforming welfare policies, e.g., the trade deficit, Medicare, and social security.”

viz. videlicit. “More appropriately or accurately; namely.” The abbreviation is often used interchangeably with i.e. Literally, “As it befits or is pleasing to him.” Usage: “He was a minor Duke in the House of Lords, viz. the Duke of Rochester.”

sic. Literally, “yes” or “even thus” in Latin. It indicates a misspelling or error in a quoted source, in order to verify to the reader that the researcher did not create a typographical error, but instead exactly reproduces the way the word or statement appeared in the original material. Usage: There are, according to the writings of seven-year old Andrew, “Manee wayes of riting words” [sic].

cf. confere. A Latin imperative suggesting the reader should compare and contrast one statement or idea with another one. Literally, “compare.” Researchers often follow the abbreviation with a reference to an author or page number, suggesting the reader look for similarities and differences between what a previous citation has said with the subsequent source listed.

t.i.d. ter in die. “Three times a day.” Used by older pharmacies and doctors to indicate that a medication should be taken three times a day. Usage: “Aspirin, t.i.d.; call if headaches continue.”

s.p.s.sine prole supersite. “Without surviving issue.” The phrase is used in inheritance laws to indicate that an individual has no children or legal inheritors. Usage: “Since Mrs. Clayton died s.p.s., her six million dollar estate will revert to the City of Portland.”

P.S. post scriptum. The abbreviation indicates a last-minute addition to a letter or document. Literally, “After what has been written.” Usage: “That’s all for now. Take care. Love, John. P.S. Don’t forget to write me back!”

N.B.: Nota Bene. The Latin imperative means “Take notice of this very carefully,” that is, pay special attention to this part because it is unusually important, tricky, or confusing. Usage: All assignments are due at the beginning of class. N. B.: I lock the door to the classroom once lecture begins.

R.S.V.P. Repondez S’il Vous-Plait. “Please send a response confirming whether or not you will accept the invitation.” The abbreviation is French rather than Latin. Literally, “Respond please.” (S’il vous-plait are four French words that mean ‘please’). Note that it is redundant to write, “Please RSVP,” since the phrase itself implies “please.” Usage: “You are cordially invited to a wine-and-cheese reception at the Bradson’s House. RSVP by Thursday afternoon.”

Vos crostino :)! (See you tomorrow – in Latin, of course)


WABI-SABI — What the heck is that ?

Some readers may have seen this term before and others may be quite perplexed, wondering just what is this wabi-sabi?

2014-05-02 16_58_33Wabi-sabi is a Japanese expression, that represents a world view centered on our true everyday reality, which is closer to the real life form of objects and life in general, than the artificially perfected shape and form, which is far removed from its natural state.

Wabi-sabi thus acknowledges and accepts beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous (naïve, simple) integrity of natural objects and processes. Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.

2014-05-02 16_59_21If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi, nurturing all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, and so now I’m going to illustrate the wabi-sabi philosophy more concretely. What you see in the first image is a sculpture of the Indian goddess Saraswati, who represents knowledge, music, arts, wisdom, nature (the same as the Greek goddess Athena, and the Roman goddess Minerva). This statue has the pride of place in my home.

2014-05-02 16_59_38The second image is a close up of an imperfection in the wood the statue is carved out of, which subsequently cracked. The third image is a still closer look at the crack. So, is my statue defective? I vehemently have to say NO; it isn’t defective, it is in fact a perfect example of wabi-sabi art!

Look around you, in your home or office — can you spot any wabi-sabi objects? Next time you go out in nature, look around you — can you try and identify pleasing objects and parts of nature that could qualify as representations of the wabi-sabi philosophy? I’ll bet you’ll have a lot of fun :)!

Have a nice weekend everyone! ‘See’ you all soon!


Technology wimp no more :)

My knowledge of technology is not very strong and so, it has taken me months and months to buy myself a tablet, so I could blog on the go! I finally bought myself one, and this is my first blog post, on the go. I am absolutely delighted to be sitting in this office building, with 2 hours to kill ( I don’t really like this expression, it sounds violent to me, but will leave it here  this time, because it does exist 🙂 )… between two ESL students. For long, I considered this sort of waiting a waste of time (waste is better than kill 🙂 ), an occupational hazard that I just had to learn to deal with. But it always bothered me that on some days my blog post didn’t get written at the end of the day, either because my days were too long, or I was too tired by the end of the day — and yet, I’d had time during the day but no access to a computer. Lugging my laptap around was not an option, as I didn’t like carrying the extra weight. And now, I’m going to be just fine :)))

Another thing II’m really thrilled about is that even though this building, where I am right now, doesn’t have an open wi-fi, I have learned to create a hotspot with my phone so that my tablet has a wi-fi connection :)! Yaaayyyy… from being a tech-zero, I’m feeling like a tech-hero!!! The next thing to accomplish is downloading pictures, and I’ll be all set :)!

Yippy dabadoo 🙂 🙂 🙂


What is the Law of Attraction (L of A)

By now, almost everyone has read the book, the Secret! It was a wonderful book, and its Australian author, Rhonda Byrne, single-handedly raised the ‘spirituality’ level of the planet by many notches! Any time, now, when I start speaking about ‘energy’ a lot of people I know tell me, “Yes, I know what you’re talking about. I have read The Secret!” And this is always so wonderful to hear! 🙂

As a result of this book, a lot of people have understood, or have started to understand the Universal Law of Attraction. There are several Universal Laws, and all are important, and this one is one of the most popular ones.

Quite simply put, the Law of Attraction means that:

(First the bad news)

Anger WILL beget* anger
Fear WILL beget fear
Hatred WILL beget hatred

and on, and on, and on…

(And now the GOOD news)

LOVE WILL beget love
TRUST WILL beget trust
PEACE WILL beget peace

and on, and on, and on and on… <3

*Beget means to generate, or to result in (something)


On being successful

In determining what is success, I have found that it’s important to not let ourselves be held hostage by the society’s, or someone else’s idea of what success is. Instead, it is better if we investigate within, and figure out for ourselves what ‘success’ personally means to us!

Today, the world mostly interprets success to mean the resources someone has accumulated; their accessibility to material objects, and the measuring stick for success seems to be the answer to these questions: How much money someone has or makes? What do they do for a living? What school did they go to? Does their address show affluence (do they live in the ‘right’ part of town)? What car do they drive? How often do they travel? Where do they travel to? If married, who are they married to?

What if judging yourself by these criteria, you feel you’re a failure? And if no change in the above scenarios seems possible, would you feel doomed to feeling a failure for the rest of your life? Don’t you then think, that it would be a more intelligent exercise to re-evaluate for yourself, what success is, and what it means to YOU?

I cannot describe success for anyone else, because this definition should be a personal one. However, I can certainly help you find your own answers by sharing what success means to me. Over the years, as I walked consciously along the spiritual path, I started realizing that having made the spiritual gains I’d made, I would not trade places with anybody else in my life — people I had earlier considered very successful, and by the norms of the society I lived in, they were indeed, very successful, but no, I didn’t any more want to be like anyone else. Due to the earlier brain-washing, I was a bit surprised at this awareness, but so comfortable was I in my skin, that to change who I’d become was simply not desirable. I remembered then, a definition of success from a long time ago that had appealed to me, and with which I now resonated very strongly: “Success is living your days exactly as you want to live them!” I saw how true this was of me, and from this vantage point, success felt sweet.

Then, moving on still further, I remember arriving at a point where the word success lost all meaning :)— because, if I was living my days exactly as I wanted to live them, then what did it matter if I was a success or not by any conventional, or unconventional, standards!

So, NOW what does the word success mean to you? 😉


Who likes movies?

This might be a very odd question for most people ;)… especially those who watch almost every movie that’s made, and I know several such people! I have never been an avid movie-goer, but there was a time I did watch all the very popular ones, or if a friend recommended one. However, being a writer, I’m a sucker for good lines, and know a lot of them, even if I didn’t watch a particular movie. Here are some of my favorite movie lines!

* “You complete me!” and “You had me at ‘hello’!” — The famous lines from the movie Jerry Maguire, that express love, and how long a person has had affection for somebody. Both lines are in a dialogue. At the end of the movie, when Jerry (Tom Cruise) expresses his love in a long speech to Dorothy (Renee Zelwegger), Dorothy’s reply was simply: “You had me at hello.”

Jerry Maguire: “I love you. You… complete me.”
Dorothy: “Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at ‘hello’.”

* “Here’s looking at you kid!” — The well known, but slightly confusing line from the movie Casablanca has been interpreted differently by different people, but the most common interpretation is that it was a one-time idiomatic phrase meaning simply, “Here’s to you”, or “Best of luck to you and your future endeavours.”

It’s a bit ambiguous and so you kind of have to conclude its meaning from the context, but as Rick, the character played by Humphrey Bogart, used it as his goodbye to Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, believing he’ll never see her again, it can be assumed he was wishing her luck and a happy future!

* “Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering!” — This is one of my favorite lines from Yoda, in the Star Wars movie, The Fantom Menace. The line is self-explanatory!

* “Do. Or do not. There is no try!” — another one of my favorite lines from Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back. This one is THE most popular of Yoda’s quotes!
* “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it!” — This line was spoken by Rafiki, in the movie Lion King.
* “There is a story in the Talmud about a king who had a son who went astray. The son was told, ‘Return to your father.’ The son replied that he could not. The king then sent a messenger to the son with the message…’Come back to me as far as you can, and I will meet you the rest of the way!’ ” Reuven, the character played by Barry Miller in the movie “The Chosen”
Enjoy :)… and you are most welcome to share your own favorite lines from the movies!