First Half-Marathon

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This weekend I did something I never thought I’d cross off my bucket list, or be able to do, which is to do a half-marathon. As some of you know I regularly run marathons during the summer, but mostly 5k. I’ve ran about five 5k, and last year I ran  my first  10k. The 10k was an absolute success and my timing was just perfect, so this year I thought I’d challenge myself and run a half-marathon. By far this has been the most challenging and rewarding race I’ve done. 

It wasn’t what I expected; it was so much more, and there were so much emotions experienced. This is something I think you can’t describe, but only feel. Perhaps it’s what people call a runner’s high or perhaps it’s the realization that you’ve just ran 20 miles and you have less than 2 miles left. Perhaps it’s the sense of vulnerability that you experience, the sense of knowing that in that very moment you are in your most vulnerable state; anything is possible and anything could happen. In that very moment you’re body could just give up, and that will be the end of it, the end of the long training, and preparation. Nonetheless, it was an amazing experience. 

Looking back I think there are many things I wish I did different, going into the race I’ve had enough training, but not enough. First thing I would’ve put more effort into training outside, and in different temperature. Most of training’s done indoor, in controlled temperature with no sun. This  had a significant impact on me on the day of the marathon. Apart from having to run the marathon early in the morning, my body was forced to run in hot an humid temperature which I’ve never done before. This led to me having to walk more than I would’ve liked. The other thing was my failure to  pace myself while running. There are many things that I can outlined that I wish I would’ve done to improve my time and my overall experience. But like life, you can’t go back and fix thing. The one thing you can do is look forward to the future and figure a way to make things better next time. The past is the past, what matter, is here right now. 

Nonetheless, in doing this marathon I was able to learn key lessons that I will keep in mind while training for the next marathon: 

1. Train before running: 

You know the saying ‘practice makes perfect’, well the same concept applies to running a half-marathon. If you’re planning on running a half marathon, or full marathon make sure you train. In order to achieve the goal you set yourself, you have to train your body. There is no way of succeed without training. 

2. Set a goal: 

Regardless if it’s your first time running marathon, or you’ve done this many times I strongly recommend setting yourself a goal. Goal setting is something everyone does in their life because it gives you a long-term vision and short term motivation. Having an idea of the BIG PICTURE is a strong motivation. My motivation for this marathon was to run just under three hours given that this is my first time, and I was able to achieve such goal. This was a strong motivation for me that kept me moving when I felt physically tired and just wanted to stop. 

3. It’s about the journey and not the destination

I think one the thing you should always remind yourself when running is that it’s not about the destination, but rather the journey. The journey is far more amazing than destination itself. Let me start by saying that running marathon or even just 5k is amazing, it’s amazing because for those few minutes you and a  thousands group of people come together from different region of the world with the one goal of running this marathon. In those few hours you are one with each other, and your differences are insignificant. What matter is that you’re all trying to finish this marathon. This sense of unity, and community created by this  marathon makes the destination a secondary reward. 

4. Their friends and partners, not competition

Marathon runners are known for offering encouragement and helping others given the chance. I think because they understanding that its less about winning or losing, but the experience itself and finishing the race together. As a result the entire race was filled with encouragement from bystanders to other runners. This was able to experience this first hand, every time i stopped to walk I always had someone asked me if I am okay, and had another runner who made sure I didn’t stop to walk. Every time I started to walk he would encourage to start running. This is why I love running these marathon, this sense of unity and community that’s established by runners makes me think that the world would be a better place if we competed less with each other and encourage each other. 

5. Find your motivation and keep going

While running it’s normal to struggle to finish, as you run more distance you become tried and lose all motivation. The desperation to find inner strength becomes difficult the more distance you run. But remember that you alone can finish this marathon, regardless of how many people cheer you on, at the end of the day it is up to you to finish the race. The same lesson applies to life decision, you’re friends and family will always support, but regardless of how many friends and families you support you, you will have to face important life decision by yourself and carry your own weight. It is it up to you to either give up, or keep going. 

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Rolled Oat with Almond Butter

IMG_1860.JPGAs a lot of you know based on my previous blog post when it comes to breakfast I tend to be the most boring person ever. When I find something I like I stick with it and try as much as possible not to change it. As a result of this mundane outlook my breakfast has been the same for the last two to threes years with little departure every now and then

Given my love and strong obsession with oatmeal as a fuel to start the day I found a way to make it less dull and tasteless by adding my favorite fruits. This has resulted in the most amazing breakfast. I read somewhere that one way to make yourself wake up early was to have to plan an awesome breakfast that you could have the next morning. This allows you to have something to look forward to the next day but also acts a good motivation to get up either 5am or 6 am. This awesome breakfast has been my motivation for those days when I had work 6 am and I had to wake up by 5 am.

This almond butter oatmeal is full of nutritious you need to start the day, starting with fig which is a great source of fiber and full of vitamins and mineral. For those who have sweet tooth fig is not only a healthy and versatile ingredient but it can add a burst of sweetness. To top it with walnut which is known to be a great source of antioxidants and an excellent brain food.

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup rolled oats (Option: gluten free, or ancient grain organic oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 2 tablespoon Almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sub coconut sugar, organic brown sugar, or stevia to taste)

Toppings

  • Fig, mango, pepitas seeds, dried cherries, and walnut 
  • Granola

 Steps 

  1. Stovetop: Bring the water, add the rolled oats, reduce heat, and cook 10-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cover and remove from heat and let stand a few minutes. 
  2. Microwave: In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1/1 cup of unsweetened almond milk. Microwave for one minute and 30 seconds. Stir oats and microwave another 30 seconds. Cover and let stand 3 minutes.
  3.  Sprinkle honey and decorate with your choice of toppings. 

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Curry Lentil Cauliflower Soup

FullSizeRender 5.jpgWhat are the fundamental or essential things in your life that reminds you of home? For many travelers or nomads the essential of their live are comfort home food.  The further they travel the more these comfort food absences become apparent. While I am not much of traveler or consider myself a nomad among the many essential in my life or comfort food that remains me of where I was born and raised for the early years of my childhood is lentil. Strange as it maybe, these essential food or comfort food have stories and deeper meaning; they are a part of who we are. Lentil brings me back to third grade in North Sudan; my holder cousin who is a year older than me waiting in line during lunchtime for both of us. While in class I can smell the lentil soup, its always-green lentil. Now, every time I have lentil or cook lentil it brings me back to that early childhood of being 8 years old, in all catholic middle school with my dark blue and white uniform; with my cousin always finishing class before me and waiting in line for both us during lunch time. The essential of our lives are never the big things, many time s they are the simple things, things that we don’t really look at as being potent. However, these essential of fundamental become potent when they are no longer accessible. But as far as we travel we can always remake the essential. What are the essential in your life?

Here is a take on my essential; this is a modification of Angela Liddon The Oh she Gloss Cookbook Indian Lentil-Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

  • 1-tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons hot curry powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • ¾ tablespoon salt
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils  – rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets
  • 2 mediums size white potato, peeled and diced
  • 2-handful spinach
  • Pepitas seeds 

Steps 

  1. In a large cooking pot hear the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and potato. Salute for 10 minutes until translucent
  2.  Add curry, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Saute for another 5 minutes.
  3.  Add both broth and lentil. Bring the mixture to low boil and let it cook for another 20 minutes
  4. Stir in the cauliflower, cover and reduce heat to low medium and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. Add more spices as desired.
  6. Add spinach and let it cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
  7.   Serve the soup in a bowl and top with pepitas seeds 

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New season, new beginning and new adventure

IMG_9296.JPGAt any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end, or how the story is going to continue. A new day, month or season seems like another ordinary day, but that’s not true. A new day or even a month has many unlock potential. It is a time to decide whether you want things to continue as they are, or to stop narrating the story, and say I am going to end here or change how this narrative will be read in the future. It’s easy to feel like you are not in control of things, but you’d be surprise by how much you are in control, each us constructs and lives a narrative wrote the British Neurologist Oliver Sacks, this narrative is us. The self is constantly or perpetually written story and in the end we become the autobiographical narrative by which we tell about our lives (Jerome Bruner).  As humans we are powerful in that sense, we have control over our lives and how the narrative about us is told, we can deny it but ultimately it is us who constructs the narratives that comes to define each of us. We are all storytellers and we are the stories we all tell. We are constantly inventing and reinventing ourselves, to present the best characters or worst character to the audience. We are the central character of this narrative we are constructing, the protagonist of this autobiography. Given such great power we have the power to decide at any moment the fate of this character we call “self” we can decide to let it live the life it is currently living (miserable, lonely, unhappy, and hated), or we can decide to reinvent it into the next Atticus Finch. Regardless of where you are in live, you can decide at any moment to start over, there may not be re-start button that says press here if you want a blank start you can still restart. It is never too late, regardless of how powerless you feel remember that no one is absolutely powerless. You have the power to restart, if not to rewrite the whole narrative of this autobiography the least you can do is decide how the narrative will continue. Whether it is a new day, new month or new season each presents a potential and chance to start over again. A chance to let go of past and start over again. Tomorrow is too late; yesterday is over and now is exactly the right moment.

Allow yourself to be a beginner

 

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“Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.”

Wendy Flynn

As part of my degree requirement I am required to take one language course, and since French is the second dominant language in Canada everyone is expected to take French. So, given the natural inclination toward this language I thought I might as well take the French course as my language requirement. But also, given my previous exposer to French in high school I thought the course would be easy and I won’t be forced to do a lot of work. But few days into the course I came to realize that the course was not going to be as easy as I thought it would be, but also my previous exposer didn’t help me at all. So I decided to drop the course and take an Indigenous language course (Ojibway) instead. At fist I was hesitant at the idea of taking a course that I had no knowledge of. The fear of being a beginner creped in and I found myself questioning whether this was a good idea, and start planning my next step if I didn’t enjoy the course. But, few minutes into the course I found myself enjoying the class and delighted at the idea of learning another language that I was not familiar with or had any previous knowledge of.

This experience got me thinking about the fear that we all encounter whenever we take on something knew; whenever given the option of taking something new that we have no knowledge of we naturally try to avoid it as much as we can because we all strive for perfection and thus we expect our selves to be excellent at whatever we do. This was my situation when I took French instead of another language because I had previous experience with the language, and thus I knew I wouldn’t be a beginner in the course. While this tendency is natural I think its important to recognize that its is restrictive and in the long run prevents it from experience life itself. We live in a society that tells us to strive for perfection, but does not remain us that perfection comes with practice and that practice comes with challenging ourselves to be beginners at something that we aim to strive for. We forget that we all started out as beginners, no knew was born able to walk and speak perfectly, but through crawling and learning the alphabet.

Many times during my practice I try a different pose and find myself disappoint at my failure to master it right away, forgetting that even if you are good at something it doesn’t mean that you will be good at every aspect of the thing you are good at. There will always be certain elements of the practice that I will have to put my beginner shoes on and try, knowing that I will not be excellent at it right away.  I think this is what we need to remain ourselves on a daily basis that it is okay to be a beginner and that there is nothing wrong with being a beginner because no one starts out being excellent. So next time you want to try something knew don’t let the beginner symptoms discourage you because this symptoms is temporary, it will go away with practice. So go ahead and try that inversion twist because you will never be excellent at it if you don’t start out as a beginner now.

Lets celebrate the bliss and beauty of being a beginner at something new

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Who Inspires you to practice?

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Who inspires you to practice?

I’d be lying if I said I wake up everyday fully motivated and ready to practice, despite my strong love for practicing and experiencing the self-discouvery overtime I do a challenging posture many times I find myself needing extra motivation, which is natural and it’s a part of being human, we can’t always have the perfect day or be completely motivated to do something that we love or enjoy.

So whenever I find myself in that state of mind where I need extra motivation I always visit some of my favourite yogis blog to get inspire. Here are my top Five  Yogis who always inspired me to get on the mat even if it’s for one 30 minutes to less.

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@yoga_girl

Spontaneous Trip

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So over the weekend I’ve decided to take a little trip over the border, and head to Montreal. I absolutely love Montreal and every time I go there I never want leave, the city is beautiful and far more cultural and artistic compared to Ottawa. it’s definitely a place I’d like to live in for while once I am done my undergrad. I went only for a whole day, which was not enough to actually enjoy the city, but I managed to squeeze in some shopping, lunch and museum time, which was the main reason I went. Given my obsession with Russian culture and history couldn’t make me miss the exhibition Fabulous Fabergé.
 “Its eggs are some of the greatest masterpieces ever created by Fabergé, who was, according to connoisseurs, the world’s most famous goldsmith. The museum’s major works include a small hardstone portrait of a sailor from the imperial yacht Zarnitsa, a very rare picture frame in the shape of a column with a portrait of Nicholas II and another in a star shape with a portrait of Grand Duchess Tatiana, second daughter of the last czar, which may well be the last sad trace of the murder of the entire imperial family at Yekaterinburg in 1918. None of these pieces has ever left American soil.” –  Dr Géza Von Habsburg, curatorial director of the London-based Fabergé Company, world-renowned expert and author of several books on Fabergé –  Montreal Museum of Fine art
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Boyhood

Boyhood-Ethan-Hawke-Ellar-Coltrane-1.jpgLet me start by saying that I am not a big moviegoer type of person. I find it some what wasteful to spend $12 dollars or even $20 when you add the snacks to go see a movie that you could watch for FREE in a year at the luxury of your own bedroom. But, lately given my free time, I’ve decided to challenge myself by overlooking this negative view on movies, and go to an actual opening night of a movie, and enjoy myself like most normal people.

So, on Friday I had the pleasure of watching Boyhood, which I have to admit has to be my favorite summer movie right now. The movie was …. I am not sure what’s the correct word to say, but I can’t stop thinking about it because it was just too good. Directed by Richard Linklater, the movie was filmed over a period of 12-years beginning when the lead actor, Ellar Coltrane was six years old and continuing until he was 18. One of my favorite actors Ethan Hawke plays his father, and Patricia Arquette plays his mother. Even though the plot of the movie is simple, which is essential a story of a parent-child relationship that follows a boy from first grade to 12th grade and ends with him going to college. Even though the plot is simple, I think it’s something that everyone could relate to in one way or another, whether you are the parent or the child, the universality of the movie makes it a timeless piece. But also, the thing that really intrigued my interest was the concept behind the production of the movie; shooting and writing a movie over the course of 12 years. As the audience you get a raw and an organic view on the director’s art; and watch it unfold. But also, you watch the actors grow right in front of your eyes, and you feel almost like you are a part of their growth because you watch them go through all the stages that most children go throw, be it the first kiss, drink, or heading to college. As Michael Clark of Gwinnettdailypost notes, “Boyhood is as close as anyone has ever gotten to “real life’ in feature film.” So If you have nothing to do this Friday, grab a friend and go watch this beautiful movie that truly embodies what real art is about. If that’s not enough to convince you, it received an average rating of 99% on Rottentomatoes and 100% on metacritic

“Linklater’s Latest Movie Is Magic” Huffingtonpost

“The project was a leap of faith in almost every sense — for starters, Coltrane (and his parents) was under no obligation to Linklater to return each year and continue the film. “You wouldn’t contract anyone to do something like this for 12 years, much less a 6-year-old,” Linklater says. “My hope was that his parents and him would see this as a positive thing in his life and a fun thing to be involved in every year.” Linklater’s other gamble was that the dreamy, artistic temperament he saw in Coltrane as a child would mature into the smart skepticism and quiet charisma we witness in young-adult Mason. That, in other words, the kid wouldn’t grow up into a dud.” New York Times 

“Boyhood” functions as a de facto time capsule — you could chart the cultural shifts of the past 12 years by the way Mason’s video-gaming preferences progress from Game Boy Advance to Wii or how the soundtrack moves from Coldplay’s earnest 2000 guitar ballad “Yellow” to Daft Punk’s earnest-in-a-different-way 2013 dance hit “Get Lucky” — but the film is not a documentary. “I do want people to think what they’re seeing on screen is real,” Linklater says. “But this is solely fiction. The whole thing is a narrative construct.New York Times 22boyhood_ss-slide-7UMX-superJumbo.jpg

My Top Five of the Week

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So I thought it’s about time I bring back my top five of the week. These are my top five of the week, which are things that interest me, or I feel like everyone should know about.

  1. Moby-Dick; or The Whale by Herman Melville. I am currently reading this book and every time I find myself lost in the adventure, and completely lost in the voyage and the sailors’ pursuit of Moby-Dick. “Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into small still subtler form” p. 268
  2. @cyogalab June yoga Challenge. I love summer challenges, and this is the perfect challenge for me. For the next 30 days I will be posting 30 asana from the 30 days challenge calendar offered by cyogalab.
  3. Orphan Black – I’ve recently started watching the show Orphan Black and I completely love it. I am really big on Sci-fi movies and TV shows and this show falls right in my ally. The thing love about the show is that it asks many questions particularly about moral and ethical consequences of human cloning and its effect on issue of personal identity. Also, it’s a great personification of the old debate about the importance of nature vs. nurture; whether one is far more influential than another. The show seems to point toward the nurture side.
  4. Frida Kahlo self-portrait with Thorn Necklace – I absolute love this photo of Frida; there is something about that’s beautiful and speaks for itself.
  5. Vegan Brownies – I had some time off today so I decided to try making brownies for the first time. This is absolutely my favorite thing to bake now. The recipe is based on food.com site version; with a minor change in the frosting; I went with a store bought frosting.

Ingredients

  •  2 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • ¾ Cup cocoa powder
  • ½ Cup vegetable oil
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Almonds

Steps

  1. Cook water and 1/2 cup of the flour over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency of a gluey paste.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  3. Mix sugar, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder and vegetable oil, and then add the flour-water mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add the remaining 1½ cups of flour, plus the baking powder and almonds.
  5. In a baking pan spread mixture
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Once done, let it cook down a little, than spread the frosting. Enjoy with a side of cold milk.

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Another 5k

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This weekend I ran my fourth 5K and I’ve finally came close to reaching my ultimately goal of running under 30 minutes. Even though my time was 31:05 and not 20 something as I planned, I am still proud of myself because now I can start training future marathons.

I am currently trying to find job and it seems like retail is no longer for me, so I am currently training to get my Smart Serve certification so I can find a job in the service industry of restaurants, which I think would probably be a better fitting for me because I will be dealing with food all day, and you guys know how I love my food; the ultimate job for a foodie is to work in restaurant. I will get you guys updated if and when I get my certificate and find a job.

I’ve recently developed this strange liking toward asparagus, which is strange because I’ve tried a year ago and I could not bring myself to eat it. But for the last few weeks it’s has been a stable in my diet; I’ve been adding it in everything that I cook. So this weekend dish key ingredient is asparagus. This dish is a colorful fusion of Indian food meets  Caribbean food.

Ingredients

·      Half Avocado (sliced in cube shape)
·      Half white onion (sliced in cube shape)
·      Half red bell pepper (sliced in cube shape)
·       Half green apple (sliced in cube)
·       Half tomato (sliced in cube)
·      4 asparagus sliced
·       ½ tbsp. Spicy curry
·      ½ tbsp. turmeric
·      ½ tbsp. cumin
·      Olive oil
·      2 cup of Basmati rice (cooked according to box direction).

Steps

  1.  In a cooking pot or pan pour the olive oil and add the chopped onion, let it marinate till brown. Add the sliced avocado, asparagus, green apple and red bell pepper. Spice the marinating vegetables, let them marinate/cook for 10-12 minutes.
  2.  In a cooking pot bring the pot to a boil; add the rice with a pinch of salt and 2 cup of water let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Once the rice and vegetables are done cooking serve them warm or hot, and you are done bon a appetite.

 

 

How many of these books have you read?

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So, I had a little conversation today with a friend regarding how many books I have on my shelf and it got me thinking about actually counting how many books I actually have. After counting the books  I was a little disappointed to find out that I have only 210 books on my personal library with about 10 or 20 that I have not finished reading or started to read.

But, after feeling guilty and a little disappointed at my poor book shift, I remember reading Nessim Nicholas Talab book The Black Swan and he had a really quote that I think conceptionalizes how we should all feel about our book shelf, whether we read all the books on it or not it should not matter because the number of books read should have less value compared to unread book;

“Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.”   Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable 

“The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore, professore dottore Eco, what a library you have ! How many of these books have you read?” and the others – a very small minority – who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. ”   Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

So, next time you start feeling guilty about the number of unfinished or unread books on  your bookshelf remember that read books are less valuable than unread ones.

2014 Manifesto

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It feels like its been forever since I blogged … oh wait it’s 2014 and the last time I blogged was 2013 so it has been forever since I blogged. Happy New Year!! I feel like the boy who cried wolf when it comes to keeping my promises about blogging, so given my poor inability to keep my promises regarding blogging I am not going to give you guys the old speech of “I promise I am going to blog more this year” however, I am going to TRY to write more. So, lets address the big elephant in the room, yes I am talking about New Years Resolution! if I said I did not have one I’d be lying. I am no different from anyone else out there so, like all the ordinary people who took it upon themselves to set new goals for 2014 so did I. Given that it is 2014, this is my 2014 manifesto:

  1. Do what you love, and do it often
  2. Be Honest with yourself
  3. Let yourself be Vulnerable
  4. See as much as you can of what’s right in front of you
  5. Treat yourself like you want other people to treat you
  6. Say “Exactly” What you mean
  7. Trust your Instincts and Stop Doubting yourself
  8. Don’t be afraid to say “NO” or “YES” – Try something new
  9. Stay away from negativity
  10. Be less serious and PLAY more
  11. Take Care of the Vehicle you’ve been given – Health- gym – yoga twice or once a week – convert completely to veganism
  12. READ MORE FOR FUN
  13. Aparigraha – Reduce possessions (donate one possession 1/m)
  14. Let go of what you can’t control

I am pretty sure I’ve broken at least half of the resolution and its not even February; number 10 is probably the hardest for me to get away from because to be honest I don’t know how to be fun, or have fun. My definition of fun is reading a book, being left alone to my thoughts, or working out. But number 11, 12, 1, and 13 are the four that I am finding easy to maintain. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been going to yoga class every Saturday, gym three or 4 times a week. Eating healthy could be improved on, but with school and staying late night is hard. Number 12 is probably one that I am finding easy to keep, and really enjoying; this month alone I’ve read three books, Brave New WorldThe Kreutzer Sonata, and currently I am reading Black Skin White Masks. 

Reading the Black Skin, White, Masks, makes me feel a little sad but, also it has awaken me to something that has been right in my face but, I’ve been ignoring, or knew it before but, just wasn’t sure if it true or not. In the first Chapter Frantz Fanon writes; “there is nothing more sensational than a black man speaking correctly, for he is appropriating the white world (Fanon, 19).” When I read this quote it really stood out for me, and brought out a memory. A while back ago I remember calling a hair salon about an appointment and when I got there, the woman confessed to me that when she heard me on the phone she thought she was speaking to a white girl, and when I walked in she was a little confuses as to who I was because the person she talked to on the phone was “white.” Also, a while back I met this person, and when we later became friends they confide in me and told me how they were completely surprise when they heard me talk, and my reaction was of course what do you mean by that. They replied by saying, you have a white girl accent. Both incidents and other similar events meant nothing to me, till now. There appears to be an assumption or misconception that if you are black you are supposed to speak in a certain way, and if you are white same applies to you. For a black girl to speak not with an accent or “ghetto,” or not say “Yo” etc… she is not truly black and the same applies to a white person. Isn’t this crazy, when did language become so racialized, why can’t I speak proper English and not be labeled as “white.” How does speaking proper English makes me less of a black person? I don’t want go in depth about this topic because I have a lot to say about it. The first chapters is essentially about this idea of language and how language has become a thing that can make a black person white; the French Antillean who wants to be white can become white by adopting the French language because according to Fanon; “to speak a language is to appropriate its world and culture (Fanon, 21)” etc…

This is the point where I stop because I could write a lot about this topic. I’ll leave you all with words of wisdom from the great Russia writer Fyodor Dostoevsky; “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for,” I hope you embrace 2014 by this quote as I shall try because there is more to life than we realize. More than often we forget that there is more to live than just going to work and or school. It is about finding something we enjoy, and love doing. IMG_3933.JPG