Lent  Up for a cup of tea?

I am sitting enjoying a cup of lemon ginger tea with my friend.  Gillian and I  are discussing what Lent means to us and what sacrifices we will be making this year.   Lent, a period of 6 weeks and signifies the observance of the liturgical calendar followed by many Christian sects.  It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday for most sects.  The Roman Catholic Church ends on Holy Thursday.  Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the 40 days  Jesus spends in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. 

It is a time when many people make a commitment to prayer, mediation, the practice of self-denial and finding ways to incorporate more spiritually into their lives.  It is a time of renewal.  I try to give up something that is difficult for me that will have real meaning, in addition to making a commitment to reading spiritual uplifting material daily.

So today. Ash Wednesday, I attended the children’s service at my church.  Our priest is great and is very engaging with the kids.  He involves the kids, explaining each step of creating and burning the ashes.  He then allows  the kids to administer the ashes to their parents and family members.  This is the stuff that has a lasting impression on us and our kids.  This is the way to help our kids want to observe Lent.  The ashes are made from blessed Palms  from Palm Sunday the previous year.   As the ashes are applied to your forehead,usually in the symbol of the cross, it is commonly stated,

Cross for ash wednesday“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”  This is a reminder that it doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, we are all the same when we die and it is up to us to accept the gospel and believe.

I read an article today about rituals as it relates to relationships but I believe that this is perfect time to incorporate  rituals into our life.  My daughter and I will be reading our daily devotions together and discussing them.  We will also practice our 10 Mindful minutes of mediation daily.

Whatever you do, regardless of how much or how little, do it with conviction.


discipline   Up for a cup of tea?

I am sitting enjoying a really good soy peppermint latte introduced to me by my cousin Indira.  I am chatting with my daughter about self discipline.

We all have goals we want to accomplish, but sometimes we do things in stops and starts.  I have started trying to incorporate additional exercise into my morning routine, like sit-ups while waiting for the kettle to boil, squats as I brush my teeth, little things to start a routine.  What are your wishes? I am working with my daughter on trying to keep the discipline of regularly picking up her things left around the house , putting them away immediately.  Harping on the basics like making the bed in the morning,   Some days are better than others, but repetition makes a routine, so we will keep it going.

It’s not just about you this year, think of something that can make someone else’s day better.  Perhaps,  an unexpected compliment,  a small act of kindness.  Every year I vow to send my grandmother in England a letter at least once a month, in addition weekly calls, but it didn’t happen last year.  This year I  was honest with myself and made it attainable, now it’s every couple of months.  My grandma never forgets an occasion to send a card, admirable in this day when all we do is email.  Anyway, think about how you can contribute to your own joy through daily routines,  as well as  making the lives of those around you better.

As some of your  resolutions start to fade, I encourage you to incorporate the little things, feel accomplished.  Make a commitment.


vision-board   Up for a cup of tea?

I am enjoying a cup of chai tea with my friend and we are chatting about our wishes for the new year.  Calling it resolutions always seems so stressful.   Gillian and I always talk about what our plans and what we aspire for in the new year.  We are also discussing what we choose for our newly minted vision boards.

Gillian and I attended a vision board party a week ago.  A friend of Gillian’s was hosting a party and she invited me along,  so not really knowing what the party would be about and  not minding surprises , I readily agreed.  As we got closer to the date, I became a little anxious as to what this party entailed with a bunch of women I didn’t know.  Anyway, it was wonderful.  It ended up being  a lovely social gathering of about 20 women, with food and wine.  The host talked about what a “Vision Board Party” was all about and relieved our fears.

Over the next 3 hours, we passed the time chatting, flipping through magazines and talking about our aspirations, hopes and wishes for the year ahead.  As I sat cutting articles and words out, I actually became inspired to be more thoughtful about what I really wanted for the year ahead.  It was a marvelous experience.

Fast forward, I am home admiring my vision board which is almost complete,  but I am missing a couple of key things that I need additional  pictures for.   In order to complete this and to share this moment, I decided to host my own vision board party for my 11 year old daughter and 6 of her friends and their mothers.  I believe that this is an invaluable experience for our girls to start setting goals and thinking about what they want from life and how they can control getting there.

So what is this Vision Board stuff all about anyway?  The premise behind this is based on the “Law of Attraction” .  That  our own positive energy can impact the direction of our life.  Positive thoughts can have life alternating impact.   This is not a recent phenomenon, although it feels like it based on all the hype a couple of years ago with the book, “The Secret”.  Every successful guru in business tells us that this is the basis for their success.

Anyway, it is never too late to get your Vision Board started.  It’s January,  so JUMP IN!


Good luck! 


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Theodore Roosevelt