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Nugget # 103 Life is an Acappella!

acapellaHi friends,

Hope you are doing fine. This week I’d like to share a nugget that many of us could relate to. Firstly let’s define what an acapella really is: Acapella according to Internet slang refers to “vocal music without instruments.” The first time I heard this kind of music I was flabbergasted. Since then I have been a big fan of all kinds of acapella music.

Click here to hear the first acapella song I heard. It’s made from an old Hindi film song. The song was brilliantly remade using sounds made by voice, mouth and body only. Can you imagine, there are no musical instruments used in making it! Amazing right? 🙂

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This week I’d like to share how much we too are like Acapella singers in our life as we do the many roles handed over to us- a daughter/son, a sister/bro, a spouse, a parent either by choice or chance, a homemaker / a career person, a friend, a writer, teacher, story teller, a cook, a cleaner, a singer, a believer… the list goes on endlessly…. And we can keep adding or subtracting from it. Just like how in acapella, we mainly sing vocals but simultaneously we also imitate the other instruments or sounds to give it the effect of hearing the original track , in life too we may be called to play several other roles in addition to our main role. Just like the acapella singers focus one by one on each sound and then synchronize it with the other sounds similarly we need to give our 100% dedication to each role assigned to us and do it with a spirit of excellence. Later on, we will be able to manage our time and prioritize the things according to their urgency. Sometimes we will have to postpone or even drop some activities from our list in order to live a balanced & stress-free life. Many times we may have to even sacrifice certain privileges just in order to see a smile on another’s face. At these times it may be tempting to ignore ourselves or others, the optimal method is to be able to know when and where to draw the line. Prayer & planning as well as delegation & brain storming with friends & family helps us to do this. Once we have drawn a blueprint, it is essential as far as possible to stick to it. However we need to be flexible enough to incorporate changes as we move along.

downloadThe final result will be the acapella where our different roles are played out successfully & now we can hear the lovely song played in our own unique version. Surely, there will be mixed responses and reactions to the music of our life but as long as we have tried our best and even enjoy or like what we have done, we can lean back and nod our heads to the trendy beat of the song we have always loved!

Click here to hear Pentatonix singing Mary, Did You Know?

guitar-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life: “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest. Heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from Heaven to the soul!”

Have an awesome week!

 

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

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Posted by on September 25, 2016 in LIfe, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget #101 Life lesson from a 92 year old woman!

wondaHi friends,

This week, I’d like to share a wonderful poem gone viral on the Internet. Its wisdom from a 92 year old woman. The best part of being ready to learn from her is that we can learn in a few moments what took her 92 years to learn! 🙂

                                  The Giftwrap & the Jewel by Wonda B Goines (https://youtu.be/2YxCR2a-sxI)

 “I looked in the mirror and what did I see, but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair, and I asked my reflection,
‘How did you get there?’
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak, when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique
My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied, ‘You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside.
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on Earth
The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel, should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free, to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity.'”

Friends, all we have is a maximum of 70 , 80 or at the most 90 odd years. And who has any guarantee of that? If we were to breathe our last breath today, could we say without  a shadow of doubt that our jewel was so well polished that its sparkle actually lit the way for another? Will there be even a single person who would say with tears in their eyes that we had made a difference in their life? Friend, that’s what life is really about! That’s when we have ceased to exist and started to live!

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Nugget of Life: “Leave nothing but footprints, Take nothing but pictures, Kill nothing but time!”

 

Have a pleasant week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 100 Life lessons from a Sun flower!

downloadHi friends,

This week I’d like to share  life lessons from the sunflower. We all know how a sunflower looks, it’s a bright yellow flower resembling the sun. It has pretty yellow petals and a brown center which is actually composed of little florets. The sunflower belongs to the genus Helianthus annus. “Helios” meaning sun in Greek and “annus” meaning annual. The name is believed to have originated from the flower’s connection to the sun both in looks and behavior!

The part that intrigues me is that the sunflower always faces the sun. The sunflower is called a mystical flower which follows the sun from the east to the west from its rising to its setting. This phenomenon of solar tracking by the immature sunflowers is called heliotropism. The real reason for it being its narrow neck where most of the cell expansion occurs. This takes place at different rates on different sides of the stem. So, in the morning, most of this growth is on the West side of the stem so the flower tilts to the East; later on in the day we find stronger & faster growth on the north side, so the flower becomes tilted and so on until the evening when it ends up facing West. At night, the growth is on the West side so at the beginning of the day it is facing East again.

Life lessons:

1) The narrow neck of the flower is the actual reason for the sun-ward tilt – In life too we may have to go through narrow/hard areas or have weaknesses that cause us to turn towards God for strength.

2) It is the immature flowers that actually do solar tracking, once matured, the sunflowers no longer exhibit heliotropic behavior as the stem is generally frozen in an eastward facing position.-Similarly as we progress in life, our inconsistencies slowly begin to reduce & we begin to develop steady & consistent patterns of behavior which keep us stable in our faith. Like the old sunflower, no matter whether we can see the light or not, we remain steadfast in our Eastward location. We no longer vacillate from our position in uncertainty as we have now come to know the heart of God so intimately that we know for sure that He will come through for us no matter what we face. So dear friend, let me encourage you today, no matter how hard your present moment is, hang in there, don’t lose hope. Things always get worse before they get better. It’s always darkest before the dawn! Face the sun and stay immovable, the sun will undoubtedly come around the next morning and you will be glad that you stood your ground. 🙂

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Nugget of Life : “Hope is like the sun which as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”-Samuel Smiles

Have a hope- filled weekend! See you next week,

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

Ref : http://www.sunflowerguide.com/facts-about-sunflowers.html

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Nugget# 97 Life lessons from Baby N!

while-we-try-to-teach-our-children-all-about-life-our-children-teach-us-what-life-is-all-about9Hi friends,

As I was pondering on what to write this week, my one year old said forcefully “Sha”…I had heard baby N  say that word before and was wondering from where he had learnt it. I said “No Shaa baby… don’t say Shaa..”  But he continued to repeat it over and over again. There were many words that I had been repeating and reciting to him and he was learning; but here was this expression …that he had effortlessly picked up….and was repeating.

Later that afternoon as I was clearing up after lunch, I noticed baby quickly crawl into the kitchen and pick up something from the kitchen floor and put it into his mouth… “Sha”… escaped my lips as I ran to take that particle from baby’s mouth and quickly dispose it off. That’s when I realized to my utter amazement the source from where baby N had picked up his new fav phrase! shocked-smiley-emoticon

That set me thinking…

1)How often when we act mindlessly or sometimes due to preoccupation with many things, we may  respond in a way that may not even be aware of.

2)People who look up to us often catch the things we least expect them to and so we have to make a deliberate effort to be intentional (as much as possible) with our words as they do influence others.

To continue the story,  I couldn’t help laughing out aloud as I watched my lil one’s mischievous grin & sparkling  eyes as he was enjoy repeating “Sha” every time I tried to make him stop.

Let me apply this nugget to our life. Whenever we find imbalance in any area of our life, we usually think of change. To facilitate this,(full of good intentions) we make resolutions as we decide to strengthen our will to say “NO” to the addiction (be it food, TV, sports, work, people, shopping, drugs etc) Ironically, though we may succeed initially, it is only a matter of time that we will soon get tired of resistance & throw in the towel.

By doing this, we repeat the mistake that I made when correcting my baby. While correcting him, I had tried to make him stop by focusing fully ONLY on what needed to be changed. Unknowingly I had drawn both of our attention to that which we actually needed to forget. Was it any surprise that he remembered that word perfectly? The right way to correct baby was to teach him another word or to distract him or to entertain him with something more interesting that would make him forget what he was repeating. The same thing applies to us. Sharing  below some practical tips to help us overcome old habits /learn new ones.animated-smileys-thinking-20

Sparky Laurie’s 10 Rs to either learn /unlearn something: 

  1. Reason – Prepare a Declaration of Freedom for ourselves by listing the reasons why we choose to break free from that habit or learn a new way of life.
  2. Remind – Keep a print out of the Declaration (mentioned above) in front of us to empower us as we realize that we have chosen to break the power of the bad habit over us and be its slave no more/ Or work intentionally towards the goals we plan to achieve.
  3. Replenish – When we are tempted (to give in or give up),we could think of an appealing alternative action that we could engage in rather than use that time and energy in combat.
  4. Relate –  Seek a support system, for instance call up a favorite friend/parent/ relative  and converse about anything else except our struggle. No matter how many times it tries to creep into the conversation, switch gears. Give it neither our attention nor our time.
  5. Repeat- Say aloud, “I am made for better things than this. I will live my life to its fullest.”
  6. Review – Make a bucket list of the impossible things we would like to try in our life time. Even updating it when we hit our lowest point would uplift us and bring us back on track.
  7. Relax-Take a break, go out for a walk, breathe slowly. Get some sunshine. Feel the breeze. Smell the flowers. Thank God for life.
  8. Refresh –Do something for brightening up someone else’s day. Give someone a lift, smile at a passerby.
  9. Rejoice- Watch a Madea movie and laugh out loud… its wisdom and humor all in one!
  10. Recreate –Everyone is made in the image of God and He has deposited a part of Him in every one of us. Our gift is that which we could naturally do, that which brings us joy, that which excites & invigorates us. “That which honors God, blesses others and delights your heart, that is your calling, that’s your gift!” Discover and cherish your gift.

Coming back , I distracted baby N to see and enjoy a few other things and finally he stopped what he was initially saying. And just when I thought I had nailed it , ….guess what?  …..Baby N says out aloud…. “Sha…” LOL…. 🙂 ….well, I guess that’s going to take a little more time!

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The same may be the case with many of us as we try to overcome or learn new things. Always remember that No matter how many times we fail, each time we emerge stronger if we determine to learn and persist.

baby-pooh-icon-emoticon-032Nugget of Life : “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”- Socrates

Have a fun filled week,

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

 

 

 

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Nugget# 96 Life lesson from SUE THOMAS: F.B.Eye!

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Sue(Deanne) with Levi (Jesse)…Notice his ID!! 🙂

Hi Friends,

Firstly, let me apologize for not being around for a while. Hope you’ve been doing great. At my end, I’ve been going through some fine learning experiences here in the University of Life. Nobody really prefers to enroll at the School of Life’s Hard Knocks and this post is especially dedicated to all those of us who have graduated from there! 🙂

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The real Sue Thomas F.B.I. with her hearing dog Grace!

I’ve recently been enjoying watching the famous Sue ThomasF.B.Eye,a critically acclaimed groundbreaking TV series inspired by the true story of Sue Thomas,who although profoundly deaf from the age of 18 months, overcame significant obstacles to work surveillance for the F.B.I. Incidentally, Deanne Bray, who plays the role of Sue is herself a severely deaf actress who was also strongly encouraged by her parents to speak and read lips.

As portrayed in the series, Sue Thomas is about to start her first real job – which happens to be with the F.B.I. Though initially underestimated, very soon she is recognized for her intelligence and unique lip reading skills and she lives her hard earned dream when she along with her adorable hearing dog Levi join the bureau’s elite surveillance team.

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The awesome team from (Left-Right)  Dimitri,Tara,Bobby,Lucy,Myles,Levi,Sue & Jack

Joining Sue, Levi and Jack on the team are Bobby Manning, a charismatic agent who likes to bend the rules; Dimitrius Gans, the senior member of the surveillance unit; Lucy Dotson, the team’s right hand support person and Sue’s best friend & roommate ; Myles Leland III, the Boston born, Harvard educated, self-proclaimed ‘Einstein with a gun;’ and Tara Williams, the quirky but brilliant go-to tech expert.

This is a show about courage & perseverance, it not only keeps us on the edge of our seat, but also makes us laugh & cry. Though there are many lessons that one could learn from this delightful series (a real breath of fresh air in the highly contaminated & toxic atmosphere of TV entertainment today), the one that I would like to share is IDENTITY.

When we split up the word Identity, we come up with ‘I’  & ‘dent.’ The pronoun ‘I’ refers to the real us without any apology, compromise or mask ; it refers to the basic core of who we really are,our strengths and weaknesses just as they are.

The other part dent refers to 1) a notch or hollow made by a blow or pressure. 2) An impression or effect made usually against resistance.

Like I said in the beginning, we are all dented by life. To succeed, we need to grab life by the horns anyway with absolutely no excuses and seek to live out our dreams boldly and courageously no matter what the odds or obstacles. In the story, Sue cannot hear and even speaks with a lisp. But she uses what she has which is her unique lip reading skills that she has worked on since her childhood. Her mother has been her guiding force always reminding her that in spite of her disability, she could be everything she wanted to as long as she worked twice as hard. She skates, sings and plays the piano as well. If she was like any other person, I doubt she would have inspired us as much. It is her ‘Dent’ that makes her so beautiful and compassionate. She knows what it is to be unwanted, to be the odd one out. And that is what causes her to select Levi in spite of the abuse that he had been through. She in a way empowers him and he ends up saving her life!

It is when we fully accept the ‘I’ in Identity, which includes the good, bad and the ugly (dents & all)…. both in ourselves as well as in others , That is the divine moment when we have ceased to simply exist and truly live our life to its fullest!animated-flower-image-0091 Click for the  WHO I AM song with favorite sneak peeks from the Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye …Enjoy!

animated-dance-smiley-image-0044Nugget of Life : “When you know yourself, you are empowered. When you accept yourself, you are invincible.”-Tina Lifford

Have an awesome week,

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

 

 

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Nugget # 89 Life lesson from a Snake Story!

Kid riding snakeHi friends,

This week I’d like to share a nugget from a story of a snake I came across through email.

Once upon a time there was a snake who was vicious, snarling, and dangerous. He terrified the villagers, bit the children and scared everyone. But the truth was that the snake sometimes felt lonely and craved companionship.

One day, a wise man wandered into the village. He clearly saw the chaos the snake’s actions had brought. He said to the snake, “ Listen up, snake. You’re not only making the people here unhappy, but you yourself are clearly miserable, so practice some kindness and gentleness to improve the lot of everyone here, including you.” And so the wise man went on his way.

Years later, the wise one happened to pass through that same village again. To his surprise, he saw an inert, passive plaything being kicked about by the children. He realized that this was, in fact, none other than the formally aggressive serpent he’d had words with years before. The snake managed to free himself from his tormentors and slide up to the man.

“Your advice was disastrous!” he hissed faintly. “Practicing gentleness has brought me complete misery! Now I’m used as a toy, laughed at, and taken for granted. I was better off before!”

The old man replied, “You took my advice too literally and without reflection. I said that you shouldn’t bite… but I didn’t say you should never hiss!”

In our life too, in order to be happy and fulfilled, we may have to maintain a balance between being too aggressive and being a door mat. And the right word for that is to be Assertive! It helps to remember that ‘there is strength in our diferences and there is comfort where we overlap!’

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Nugget of Life: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”- Dita Von Teese.  So, go ahead and  just be you! 🙂

Have a wonderful week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in NUGGETS OF LIFE, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 88 Life lesson from a Jammed Finger !

550px-Treat-a-Broken-Finger-Step-4Bullet2Hi friends,

This week I’d like to share a nugget that came to mind as I nursed my bruised finger.

Last Saturday, I accidentally jammed my ring finger as I was hurrying into a supermarket elevator. My finger turned pale and it pained me. So we went to the orthopedist who suggested an X-ray which confirmed no broken bones, but only a slight injury to the soft tissue on my knuckle.

Relieved to hear that, I went with the nurse who taped my injured finger to the unhurt finger next to it. This process is called buddy taping where we use the unaffected finger as a splint to keep the injured finger from moving too much and aggravating the injury.

Later, on reaching home, as I tried to do my daily chores, I was finding it difficult to move my finger since it had been taped to the other one. But that made me draw a paralell to our ordinary everyday lives.

Many times in life we may get jammed or injured and at that time if we ignore our hurt and just go on as if nothing happened, later in the long run, we will have to face the dire consequences of a serious damage due to neglect. Just like in the case of the injury we used a buddy splint, in our real life situations also, when hurt, the right move will be to open up to a buddy/persons we can trust and pray with. We may also brainstorm with them about how we can solve the issue. If nothing else, we will be able to experience a few moments of temporary relief at least instead of carrying the heavy load ourselves.

Just like in the case of my finger, we will remove the buddy tape when the swelling and pain have subsided and the finger is healed. Similarly, after some time, when we have drawn enough strength and courage, we will be able to move ahead more confidently in our life.

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Nugget of Life: “None of us can ever save himself; we are the instruments of one another’s salvation, and only by the hope that we give to others do we lift ourselves out of the darkness into light.” – Dean Koontz

PS: My finger is healed and I have removed the buddy splint! : )

Have a blessed week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in NUGGETS OF LIFE, Uncategorized

 

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