Posted in Life, Quotes, Personal Musings

Refocus the Purpose

“When you are standing in the middle of a storm you have two choices: Pray to God that it goes away. Or, start praying to God that he gives you the wisdom to figure out why you’re standing in the middle of a storm.” Shannon L. Alder

One of the constant battles that we often wage with ourselves is whether what we are doing is of any purpose or not. Man is filled with uncertainties and doubts of whether the life he lives is of any meaning. Unfortunately there are no guarantees to life that ensures that we would be able to predict the entire course of events, or that what we do would be of purpose all the time. While every second of our life may not be meaningful, as long as we are happy and at peace the time spent is worth it.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The who, why, where and what centering around us drive our existence. Our purpose in life is the reason why we rise up to each day and live it. To find purpose, we need to centre our lives around those or someone or something we care about. From meaningful satisfying work to responsibilities to family, friends and oneself; we need to find a focus to direct our attention, will and energy. For then that purpose will to guide our decisions, influence our actions and behavior, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, and create meaning. Each person has their own unique perspective and purpose, with different paths that will intersect with other fellow paths at certain point of time. As our purpose and paths will fluctuate depending on our experiences, life lessons as well as interests, there is no set purpose for anyone. But we can have a common outlook which is why no matter how purpose driven our life is, unless we make emotional, spiritual and mental connections, we often find ourselves in a rut or loss of impetus.

“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” Charles de Lint

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Posted in Daily, Food

To Say “Cheese”

The early bird may get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese. Jeremy Paxman

Cheese is one of the oldest foods of man, existed since the domestication of animals began. It was used in the ancient times of Egyptians as evidenced in their tombs and hieroglyphics. The Romans had built up “cheese making” as a very profitable industry. Besides being a rich source of calories, proteins and minerals as well as a great supplement to meals, certain types of cheese(Roquefort blue cheese) have benefits for cardiovascular health as well anti stress benefits of tryptophan.

The word cheese comes from Latin “caseus”, from which the modern word casein is also derived. The word cheese can be traced to chese (in Middle English) and ciese or cese (in Old English). Similar words are shared by other West Germanic languages—West Frisian tsiis, Dutch kaas, German Käse, Old High German chasi—all from the reconstructed West-Germanic form *kasi, which in turn is an early borrowing from Latin.

For every pound of cheese, ten pounds of milk are required. On the record the biggest and heaviest cheese produced weighed 57,518 pounds and was 32 feet long. It was cheddar and came from a Canadian cheese maker who used 540,000 pounds of milk to make it.With different ways of making cheese, there are around 500 different varieties recognized by the International Dairy Federation although there are more than 1,000 varieties approved by Sandine and Elliker. There is no single method to classify or group cheese. Various criteria like length of ageing, texture, methods of making, fat content, animal milk, country or region of origin, etc. are used either singly or in combination.

Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log. Ellen DeGeneres

Cheese has its’ own share of history and legends. By legend, blue cheese was invented when a young boy was eating a sandwich near a cave and abandoned his lunch to pursue her. When he returned a few days later, the sandwich was covered with mold, but he still ate it and well, the rest is blue cheese history. People who love cheese are called turophiles. Yet cheese was relatively unheard of or less popular in east Asian cultures and pre-Columbian Americas to name a few. With the spread of European imperialism, and later of Euro-American culture and food, cheese has gradually become known and increasingly popular worldwide.

Culture and tradition have to change little by little. So ‘new’ means a little twist, a marriage of Japanese technique with French ingredients. My technique. Indian food, Korean food; I put Italian mozzarella cheese with sashimi. I don’t think ‘new new new.’ I’m not a genius. A little twist. Masaharu Morimoto

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

While Evolving

‘You are being presented with a choice: evolve or remain. If you choose to remain unchanged, you will be presented with the same challenges, the same routine, the same storms, the same situations, until you learn from them, until you love yourself enough to say “no more”, until you choose change. If you choose to evolve, you will connect with the strength within you, you will explore what lies outside the comfort zone, you will awaken to love, you will become, you will be. You have everything you need. Choose to evolve. Choose love.’ Creig Crippen

On analyzing the social and cultural anthropology of man, “to evolve” has been a phenomenon going on from centuries. While through some years it was in a drastic manner, the other years would have seen gradual subtle changes. Either way, change becomes inevitable. Yet in the process of “evolving ourselves” care should be taken to not lose ourselves, our principles as well as our morale. For this, few root clauses to keep in mind would include the following.

Identify ourselves and our patterns, gaining insight into both. The latter would help us weed out the negatives and keep the positives to keep our life cycles going.

Restructuring our mentality of our past so as to learn from the good and the bad, never holding onto the regrets as they weigh us when we try to evolve ourselves. Acknowledge the past but don’t let it dictate or structure the future.

Acknowledge our true calling, either profession wise, or what we like doing the most. Take for instance, being a librarian doesn’t mean we have to restrict our inner muse for art or baking, as they may be monetarily unrewarding. Do anything productive that makes you happy and helps you grow as well.

Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell. George Orwell

Accepting ourselves wholeheartedly with our shortcomings whether the latter maybe physical, verbal or social. We are all made different, and the beauty of nature and creation lies in that. Whether by chance or by creation, just as no two fingerprints are identical, neither can we lower ourselves by scaling oneself to others’ eyes. By realizing that we may be different but unique, we can free up a whole lot of negative thinking and comparisons. Setting standards for oneself doesn’t mean altering or hiding what we were born with. Instead using our given talents and multiplying them is what setting standards and aiming to reach them includes.

Appreciate our fellow beings, for then in the course of evolution we learn not to lost the basic humaneness that is quite often, a missing component these days.

Aim to grow, try to learn but remember to say Grace knowing that our existence in this world is always momentary. In doing so, as we learn to evolve we learn to nurture our gifts and treasures that we were given.

Above all, as we evolve for reaching a particular target or focus; being flexible but surefooted, smart but kind, strong but gentle and honest would help us evolve ourselves with a clear conscience, inner peace as well as quiet strength laced with calmness.

I think the only way for you to grow and evolve is to keep listening, keep moving forward, keep jumping in and trying to experience. Dianne Reeves

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Random Thoughts

Through the Toil

“Don’t worry. It will all be alright.”

Very often, we come across these words but though these words are precious their impact varies from person to person, from time to time and situation to situation.

For those of us who hear them, the degree of belief oscillates from disregarding these words to acknowledging them in our heart or simply pass through the words realizing that this is what everyone will say. For those of us who often speak these words, they are said when we may be at a loss of what to say or can truly mean what we have gone through. When it comes from the latter, it genuinely strikes a chord to the person who hears it.

Whichever way or what ever context these words come into play, the fact remains that these words will not change the present situation but can offer a semblance of hope that time will pass through these troubles and we too shall pass this phase. As Charlie Chaplin had once said, “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. (1 Chronicles 28:20)

We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. Barbara De Angelis

The world when it is turned upside down, is like a niggling wound. We can’t turn away from trouble and nothing will change when we run away, besides getting a temporary respite. Trouble can only be passed through and one has to cross the waters either at that point of time or later.

To quote Angelina Jolie , “I do believe in the old saying, ‘What does not kill you makes you stronger.’ Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity.”

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Instead, what we can do is glean hope from others and the Word of God as we travel through the storms and tempest. While we wish courage to all who have trouble, I wish compassion for all those who had trouble and passed. She was with you so that you would not forget about her and feel sorry for those who are today in what you once were and wept.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Posted in Daily, Food, Photography Art

Of Gourmet Coffee

“Coffee in Brazil is always made fresh and, except at breakfast time, drunk jet black from demitasses first filled almost to the brim with the characteristic moist, soft coffee sugar of the country, which melts five times as fast as our hard granulated,” wrote Bob Brown and Cora Rose in the 1939 South American Cook Book, adding “For breakfast larger cups are used, and they’re more than half filled with cream. This cafe con leite doesn’t require so much sugar as cafe preto – black coffee.”

The brewed drink prepared from roasted beans and the seeds of berries from certain Coffea species have grown to worldwide acclaim. Initially the genus Coffea was native to tropical Africa and certain areas like Madagascar, the Comoros, Mauritius; coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries. The two most commonly grown varieties are C. arabica and C. robusta. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. Dried coffee seeds or “beans” are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and then brewed with near-boiling water to produce the beverage known as coffee.

“The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Gourmet coffee has been in vogue now. They are coffees grown by a specific country which can also refer to a specific grade or region of a country. For example Dejardin Supremo Colombian refers to the region: Dejardin, the grade: Supremo and the country: Colombian.

“No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness. Sheik Abd-al-Kadir”

Regardless of the type, what matters most is how coffee tastes, smells, and whether or not it makes you feel alert and happy. There are quite a lot of different types of coffee beverages with more than thirty on my count with most popular being Cappucino, Cafe au lait, Caffe Americano, Espresso, Mocchacino and Irish Coffee available at most coffee outlets.

“Among the numerous luxuries of the table…coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions…is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.” Benjamin Franklin

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings

Refresh from Tiredness

There are some days when we get exhausted, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. Yet when we try to relax, it doesn’t happen. The question then arises what are we tired of. The truth is we are just tired of ourselves.

We are exhausted by our experiences as well as expectations, fears, speculation and anxiety.

We are drained from our feelings of guilt and trying to control everything.

We get spent by trying to model situations, by trying to achieve the impossibility of predicting every twist and turn, every reaction and getting ahead of time to control every minute detail.

We get worn out by looking back at every instance for any analogue and cliches.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

The easiest way to tackle this is pretty simple but the most difficult to achieve. The way out is to stop comparing, stop scaring ourselves, not building illusions, do not think for others and stop the constant drivel and dialogues in our own head. When in the state of being bombarded by the baloney of thoughts, let go and realize that neither did we create ourselves nor can we attempt to. Just like the first man was created by God or even if the atheists say, it was a lot of sciences and chances, the very same God (or chances as they believe) will take care of all the rest. So breathe, live and rest.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Posted in Christian, Life, Quotes, Reflections

End in the Circle

When we look at the skies every night, one startling fact is that everything that stays in the universe is round, or spherical (perfect or oblate spheroid) to put in better terms. As per the laws of physics, it is a balance of gravitational and centrifugal forces as well as rotational speed that results in the asteroids, stars and planets being spheroid to galaxies being disc shaped.

Putting the scientific aspects into the world of philosophical views and thinking, when we look back through our various phases in life, we come to the understanding that everything boils down to being round especially “what goes around, comes around” like a circle or an oval.

While we see one person at one phase in our life, we realize what the latter had gone through only when we walk in the similar shoes which maybe soon or much later, at another point in our life. Although the Lord made all of us different, in essential unless we learn to appreciate the differences we never realize what a beautiful picture the various versions make.

Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul. Maria Montessori

Each of us has our own life, our own way of life, our own life situations. A person who has not gone through troubles and temptations will not understand the grieving. A happy father will not understand a father who has lost his child. The newlywed will not understand the divorced. A person whose parents are alive will not understand the one who has just buried his mother.

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Jean-Jacques Rousseau

One can theorize, but there is a practice of life. We often don’t have life experiences and when we begin to gain it, we remember those who we had condemned, with whom we were strict and we begin to understand that at that moment we are like dummies. We did not understand how this person felt. We tried to edify them to the view we wanted to see them to make them but he was not up to remarks. Their hearts were filled with grief, their souls were weary and tired, they did not need lectures and lofty words. All they needed at that moment was sympathy, compassion and consolation, but we did not understand it. And when the Lord takes us through the same thing, we begin to feel what the other person felt. This would be one of the “circles of life” that everyone would go through at some point of time or other.

One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. Simone de Beauvoir