Sunday, 18 May 2014

Soulful Sunday

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats

A Sunday well-spent brings a week of content.
~ Proverb

We each have our own challenges and difficult days. But even on our darkest days, our instinct is to feel grateful for the things that we do have and for the things that are going well. And since gratitude is the doorway to hope, once hopeful, we find the strength and the will to take one small step that will more us to better and easier times. It’s the human spirit at its best. It’s who we are.

"Your heart is the real temple. It is there you must install God. Good thoughts are the flowers. Good actions, the worship. Good words the hymns. Love, the divine offering." - Amma

Sweet violet is a medicinal flower and herb that has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties. It is rich in vitamins A & C and is packed with bioflavonoids and anti-cancer compounds that have been shown to be effective against lung, skin, stomach, and breast cancer. Sweet violet is also known to help ease headaches, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, dizziness, arthritis, gum disease, swollen glands, stomachaches, ulcers, canker sores, and indigestion. It is also excellent for any respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, chronic cough, congestion, asthma, or sinus infections and for helping to lower blood pressure. Sweet violet contains significant amounts of rutin and salicylic acid which act similarly to aspirin and are useful in alleviating pain, body aches, and inflammation as well as helping to prevent blood clots and inhibit platelet aggregation. Sweet violet has also been shown to be beneficial in protecting against and treating HIV. Sweet violet flowers and leaves can be added to a bath or used in a poultice or cream as an effective remedy for treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, sores, and even skin cancer. Sweet violet is also a great blood purifier and can detox and cleanse the entire body. Sweet violet tea is an excellent way to reap the benefits of this medicinal herb. Use 2 tsp of fresh or dried flowers and/or leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes and sweeten with raw honey if desired. Fresh sweet violet flowers and leaves are also a wonderful addition to fruit and vegetable salads, smoothies, and jams. Sweet violet can be found online or at your local health food store in tea, capsule, syrup, tincture, extract, salve, and cream form.

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”
She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”
And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less

And above all, 
we must learn how to pause. 
~Sarah Ban Breathnach~

I can never get enough of this song and his dancing

My Generation

As seen on the gorgeous blog The Dutchess link on my sidebar
Thank you 

❦~ Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh ~❦

May all beings be peaceful, happy and light 
in body and in mind.
May all beings be safe and free from accidents.
May all beings be free from anger, unwholesome 
states of mind, fears and worries.
May all beings know how to look at themselves
with the eyes of understanding and love.
May all beings be able to recognize and touch
the seeds of joy and happiness in themselves.
May all beings learn how to nourish themselves
with joy each day.
May all beings be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May all beings not fall into the state of indifference
or be caught in the extremes of attachment and aversion.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Surging Seoul from the Windsor Star May 17, 2014
Seoul radiates a yin-yang of venerable old and futuristic new, a city where you will be thrilled by dynasties of priceless art and decades of contemporary innovations.
But there is more for visitors, intangibles that are to be admired and respected. South Korea is as clean, polite and safe as Canada.
And it's an outstanding success story. A mere 60 years after the devastation of the Korean War, the country boasts the world's 15th most prosperous economy and powerful diplomatic leverage between East and West.
Seoul is also bursting with know-how in technology, shipbuilding, manufacturing, fashion, beauty products and medical advances. And all this is blithely built and nurtured not 50 kilometres from the threat of a volatile rogue state.
The products of Hyundai, Kia, Samsung and LG are household names around the world. South Korea's second Olympic Games will take place in 2018 at a mountain resort that will be one hour from Seoul via a new high-speed train. While UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon works on world peace, Psy, the Gangnam style kitsch king, has focused attention on the K-pop wave.
Seoul rocks with 24-hour nightclubs, Formula One Grand Prix racing and the video masterpieces of Nam June Paik at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
How cool is this town? Very. The mixologist at Coffee Bar K in Cheongdamdong district is ranked among the top in the world for his creative cocktails made with the Korean liqueur soju, often distilled from sweet potatoes.
The Lotte conglomerate, the biggest name in Korean hospitality, operates hotels, cinemas, department stores and duty-free shops and will open Korea's first six-star hotel this year.
The new Lotte World Tower and Mall will be among the tallest skyscrapers anywhere, with a breathtaking observation deck a half-kilometre high.
Wedged between China and Japan, Seoul is within a three-hour flight of one-third of the world's population, so it is becoming tourist-friendly in a hurry, welcoming up to 12 million people a year, about 130,000 of them from Canada.
Seoul is busy, sometimes frenetic and sprawling, but has ways for easy immersion into local attractions. If you are simply on a long layover at Seoul's Incheon Airport, you are eligible for free sightseeing tours.
If you are on your own, the subway is safe, efficient and fully bilingual (Korean and English). Landmarks include the cable car up N Seoul Tower in Namsan Park, Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Han River, which runs through the city.
Seoul's historic culture is based on an exquisite food and craft tradition dating back 5,000 years. Its palaces are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, prized for their intricate architecture and moody gardens. I recommend Bukchon Hanok Village, a cloister of traditional life with guest houses; the World Taekwondo Headquarters, where you can learn how to break a slab of wood with a quick, sure chop of the hand; and Insadong Street, an antique alley of Asian collectibles, tea shops and galleries.
Here are a few diversions that are not on most tourist routes. Try to meet a Seoulmate so you can explore and share them with someone:
The markets
So many markets, never enough time. Dongdaemun Market has manufacturers selling high-fashion, low-priced clothing at showrooms. Myeongdong is a trendy tangle of streets lined with cosmetics shops, particularly ones selling ginsenglaced skin creams, which have anti-aging properties. Gyeongdong Market is a hotbed of herbal medicine, with teas and lotions made from mushrooms, mint, roses and hundreds of flora.
My favourite is Gwangjang Market, partly for the wondrous choice of Korean silks and ceremonial costumes or hanbok, which are mostly worn for weddings. This market also is a foodie haven. Pull up a stool at the most tempting kiosk and watch your cook fry tiny
crabs, octopus and sizzling pancakes.
More food The vast Lotte Food Halls, on the lower level of the Lotte Department Store, are an enormous and fun-filled single stop for the complex realm of Korean cuisine. As many as 100 counters display a staggering variety of vegetables, noodles and rice dishes, fish and meat, all marinated, artistically chopped and expertly prepared in spicy chili sauces.
If you're not sure of how to navigate, simply point, add kimchee and feast for $6 to $15.
It turns out that chicken soup is a restorative cure-all even in Seoul. Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) is one of the most accessible and traditional Korean dishes. Even limos line up at Tosokchon Samgyetang, a historic, rustic diner where chicken-in-the-pot with rice stuffing, a shot of ginseng liqueur, barley tea and dessert costs $13.
The future Samsung D'Light is a dazzling three-storey gallery of the next generation of smart stuff, including wearable devices, interactive classrooms, home theatres, software,
cellphones, video gear and games.
Picture this at-home application: You and your mate are watching the same television, but one is channelling Downton Abbey and the other is fixated by Game of Thrones. All it takes is a specialized Samsung dualvision screen with two sets of headphones.
Besides technical proficiency, Samsung has a sense of humour about the galaxy it helped to change. The futuristic showroom also houses a display of historic artifacts: Remember leather-bound books, fountain pens, VCRs and cameras with film?
Getting there: Korean Air, 800-438-5000,, flies to Seoul from Toronto and Vancouver. Air Canada, 888-247-2262,, flies from Vancouver.
Korea Tourism Organization: 800-868-7567, Seoul information: visitseoul. com. When in Korea, dial 1330 for a tourism hotline in English.
Top mobile apps: Visit Korea 3.0 and Seoul City Walking Tour. Free tours from Incheon Airport:
Accommodations: Fivestar hotels such as Lotte Seoul in Jung-gu district ( start at about $300. The contemporary, four-star Ibis Ambassador Myeongdong, starting at $130, is at the heart of a trendy shopping area. The Korea Tourism Organization runs a lodging-culture program in charming hanok, or old-style houses, with platform beds, heated floors and papered windows. In Bukchon Hanok Village, prices range from $60 for two in a simple guest house up to $250 for more luxury.


  1. I love your blog! So uplifting! That 92 year old women sure has it right! She reminds me of my Grandma was a wise happy lady! I am going to be looking for SWEET VIOLET! Sounds amazing. I have never heard of it before. Thanks for the tip. Thank you very much for visiting me the other day....have a blessed week. xoxo

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