Love Anyway

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

– ‘The Paradoxical Commandments’ was written by Dr. Kent M Smith in 1968, when he was a 19 year old student at Harvard, as part of a booklet for student leaders titled, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council. This quote is often attributed to Mother Theresa, who displayed this quote on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta.

I see him on whatsapp. It means he hasn’t left. It means he extended his stay. It means I could get my things back. It means he could’ve contacted me to tell me so, and made plans to return them. But he hasn’t gotten in touch. If he wanted to, he would’ve done so by now. Can I live with that? I guess I can. Those items have sentimental value, but in the end, things can always be bought. But money can’t replace a person, a moment, or trust.

I guess my real struggle is in accepting the fact that he could’ve gotten in touch, but for reasons known only to him, has not. And the struggle is in accepting ‘not knowing’ or knowing that the moment we had, though short and sweet, is gone, and along with it, the trust. The struggle is in accepting the reality, the truth of him, as he is, not what I think he is.

But it’s strange…

I still love him anyway. Not in the romantic kind of way (there’s nothing remotely attractive about the way he is choosing to be these days), but in an unconditional way. I’m aware he’s acting like a prick, and that he’s screwing me over in the way that he’s choosing to be right now, and I’m angry. Nobody deserves to be treated this way—not me, not him, not anyone else for that matter. But shit happens and we don’t make the best choices when our Awareness is bogged down by our invisible baggage.

I’ve learnt through personal experience that on a deeper subconscious level, we treat others, the way we treat ourselves. And I understand that a person with a healthy level of growth, healing and awareness will not consciously do this to another person. When we choose to make others feel miserable, it’s because we’re struggling inside and miserable too.

I guess my struggle is in accepting that he still has some way to go before we see eye to eye. And until then, we’ll need to go our separate ways. In the ideal world, we’d still be friends and part on friendly talking terms. But this is the reality. And I guess I have two choices. Not accept it and keep trying and play the fool. Or accept it and let go, knowing that if he ever wanted to contact me again in the future, he would know how to.

I choose Acceptance.

I love what my friend Julia wrote yesterday, “My laptop crashed, so all my writings are gone, which is sad somehow, but I also take it as a sign, to start freshly. Maybe it’s what I have to do…

It’s good and important to have a peaceful relation to the one you loved. Nobody knows where it’s leading in the future. I learned not to take things too serious… Life goes on anyway, no matter how much energy you put into something and what you get out of it…”

My finger moved away from his number and call button. I’ll leave him alone if that’s what he wants. I’ve said and done what’s needed to be said and done. All there’s left to do now is to Accept that It Is What It Is.

I wish you Love…




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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Camping in the Clouds (Jangal-e Abr, Iran).

middle east revised

Tehran-based photographer Shiva Araghi headed to the misty mountains of Iran for a weekend of camping with friends, cloaked in the clouds of Jangal-e Abr, Iran’s mysterious Cloud Forest. 

This is how it looked like.









Untitled-41photos © Shiva Araghi

See more photos, read the full article and a small interview with Araghi at the Brownbook.

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Work To Make Love Last


Goldfish are one of the most rewarding pets to keep. Like little puppies, they are always super excited to see you–especially in the morning, they go nuts!

They swim like they’re flying, stage a dance-off for attention, have incredible memory, striking personality and individual food preference too.

I love my goldfish.

Pebs in her quarantine tank back in Sept 2010... Best 1 year 7 months with her. Pebbles in her quarantine tub

Pebbles is about the size of my palm lengthwise, and her head’s slightly bigger than a golfball. She’s a playful Crystal Ranchu–a type of goldfish with pretty, sparkly scales. With her big, beady black eyes, she makes you think you’re looking at a live anime! I hope she lives forever and I tell her a million I Love Yous everyday cos I do love her…

…or do I?

I realize that inherently, it’s so easy to think I love my goldfish because of how she makes me feel. But when it comes down to practical love, that’s one department challenging me all the time to prove it.

One thing…

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memoirs of minimalistic people: women of vision


“In my whole life, I have never felt love.” Mejgon, married at 11, Afghanistan

Masuda Mohamadi

War Letters, 2005

Correspondence to family members and friends during wartime chronicles world events through a personal lens. Letters become touch points for the living, recorded memories of past experiences, and a way to process loss and grief. In considering how to photograph images for an article about the written word, Steber “had to figure out how in one picture I could embody the story of this person and the letter and their experience and what they wrote about and what they went through.”

For this portrait of Masuda Mohamadi, Steber photographed her lying next to childhood photos of herself and her father. These images remind Masuda of peaceful times in Afghanistan. She was a child in 1979 when the family fled the Soviet invasion and settled in the United States. Masuda and her father returned…

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Love Sets Crazy Straight

Once Upon a Truth

I mentioned that we are stuck on the crazy wheel and can’t seem to step off, right?

I wrote yesterday how I was finding some comfort in God’s immeasurable power. Later in the day I was informed that the sheriff had found the “crazy” who had taken my husband’s car for a little joy ride, used his credit card for personal purchases (conveniently left in the console by my ever so kind husband), and then spent the last three weeks introducing us to a whole new vocabulary by way of repeated phone calls.

Having been through this, we’re still curious: If someone claims that they are going to “F” you up, is that a colloquialism or threat of bodily harm? Yeah, we are still a little confused too.

One assumes that if they are a law-abiding citizen minding their own business and just stay on the up and up that they are not going…

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Throwing Up My MEssiness–My Messy Beautiful


My MEssy BEautiful Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton

There are very few things I am good at. When I say “few,” I mean 5. I am a good baker. I am very good at yelling at my kids. I excel at injuring myself on a regular basis (traumatic brain injuries, staples in the head, motorcycle spills, and detached retinas to name a few). I’ve been told I’m frequently inappropriate even whilst sober, so I’m good at embarrassing myself and those around me.

My most useful talent though is that I’m a good writer. I can be poignant, I can be clever, I can be funny, I can even be modest. I finally pursued my passion of writing in 2011 after committing myself to a journey of living a life of loving kindness, compassion, authenticity and vulnerability. Of putting my shame and feelings of inadequacy down, of learning to be brave and scared simultaneously. Of doing hard things. Of…

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“My Golfball Goldfish Won’t Eat” and Other Goldfish Lover’s Dilemma…

Someone typed “my golfball goldfish won’t eat” and found his / her way to theloveculture.

I know the panic the goldfish lover must be feeling. I know the desperation of not knowing what to do and who to go to for help. As a last measure, J drove up to a clinic to see a vet about our goldfish. The doctor actually laughed at him when he said our goldfish was sick and needed meds.

It’s true most people rarely take goldfish seriously as a pet. They even joke that if one dies, just get another. They don’t realise that every goldfish is unique and irreplaceable. They are not only intelligent, sentient beings with good memories. They are super playful, lovable, and have a strong mind of their own. We got the idea of making swimming hoops by observing Patches’s way of playing with the tubings sticking out of his quarantine tub. He’d head-bang the tubes until it formed a circular loop, swim through it and make a round. By the time he’s back, the tubes would be back to its original position. He’d push at it again till it gives way and forms a circle, shoot right through it, then repeat, till he’s bored of it.

I’ve also observed my goldfish trying to communicate to me, using body language. After a while, though they can’t speak or bark or make any audible sounds, you can learn to ‘hear’ what they’re saying, simply by observing the way they’re being when they see you. They say A LOT.

The thing is, I met an amazing man last Friday. He is a retired army guy, and is now in the business of goldfish. He’s in it for the passion. He knows so much about goldfish and how to treat them when they’re sick. I wish I met him years ago. He might’ve been able to help me save my chubs. And the thing is, it’s never too late to start. I just got the idea of interviewing him and featuring him on my site. We can learn so much from him, and the wonderful thing is that he is willing to share what he knows, with us.

He taught me all about APACHE Goldfish last week. I didn’t know there were such a thing before this! “See this goldfish? It’s orange now, but two weeks ago, it was black!” Then he shows me a picture of how it looked like before. “Now see the lips? Looks black isn’t it? It means it’s beginning to change colour again. It’s slowly changing back to black. Then back to orange… this will happen throughout its lifetime.”

This solves the mystery! There are quite a few goldfish owners panicking in forums, wondering why their black goldfish had become a “common orange” colour. They’re guessing that maybe the goldfish didn’t get enough sunlight so the colour is “fading”. Or that something’s wrong with the food or water. If only they knew they have a magical APACHE in their hands and that it’s genetics! They’d freak out less and celebrate!

Anyways. I like this idea of interviewing the goldfish man and learning how to take better care of our goldfish. The fancy ones are able to live 9 – 12 years, and the wild ones are known to live up to 30 years. Let’s not allow our unintentional ignorance to cut short their wonderful years.

Let’s help each other take better care of our goldfish. If you’re a goldfish lover and you’ve got some questions to ask / tips to share, please leave a comment here below.



Here are pictures of a goldfish I fell in love with, last week, at his shop. I call him PEPPPER, cos he has a speckle of freckles like pepper across his cheeks. Also, all my goldfish have names beginning with P. No reason why, it just started off that way and will stay that way, as a tradition, and just for fun. 




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein. What are some major shifts you’re ready to make in 2014? 9 more months. Make it count.

We’re 3 months 8 days into 2014. The past few months have been nothing short of challenging, not only for the world, but for most of us.

There’s plenty of good, a lot of gains, but along with it, there are the not-so-good, the bad and the setbacks. It’s unavoidable. Or is it?

It’s true there are many things we can’t control. We can’t choose what happens to us or what people say and do. We definitely can’t control Life. But every step of the way, we can choose wisely for ourselves. We do have a role to play in steering our life in the direction we want to go.

But we don’t always make the best choices under the circumstances.

Yes, we’re human. We slip up, we mess up, we make mistakes. The important thing is, after acknowledging our responsibility in our mistakes, we can forgive but we must never forget. If we do, we’ll never learn.

Moving forward, let’s see what we can learn from the past 3 months and see how we can eliminate the things that detract from our 2014 Goals.

I’ve gotten myself into unfortunate situations that are totally out of character, when I drink too much. Even though this happens only once a year, all it takes is just ONCE to make a mistake you’ll regret a lifetime.

This is not what I want for myself.

Like I said in my previous post, even as I’m regaining clarity, I’m allowing the gravity of it all to bring me to its proper place. The point isn’t to put it all behind me. I want to face the truth of the reality, to fully learn from it.

I know I want to step up. I want to raise my standards. I want to develop goal-achieving rituals. I want to surround myself in growth-enhancing company. I want to value my time more. And most importantly for me, I want to do what I can, to maintain an Absolute Peak State Of Mind.

I want to take better care of me, so I can take better care of others. I want to be more responsible for me, so I can be more responsible for others. I want to be able to protect me, so I can protect others, too. 

It begins with me.

It begins with you.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.

What are some major shifts you’re ready to make in 2014? We have 9 more months.

Let’s make it count.




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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The China Earthquake: “You Must Remember That I Love You”

My Good Time Stories

Mother and Child 1 This is a true story of a Mother’s Sacrifice during the China Earthquake.

After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman’s house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supported by an object. The collapsed house had crashed her back and her head.

With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescue team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure.

He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reasons…

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Defining Who You Are & Your Path: Leave Room for Where You Will Go


Once I began the process of questioning my path and considering whether or not a career in music is what I want, I had a life altering discovery. I realized that there is no need to concretely define Who We Are/what we do. In fact, in doing so we will be sadly disappointed if/when that person changes. We also have to be careful of defining Who We Are by “what we do” in general. We are NOT “what we do.” Who We Are is manifested through our actions, but we ourselves are not WHAT WE DO. I believe that if we understand this we will be less afraid of changing our paths. In attaching our identity to “what we do,” we build barriers for ourselves.The moment we attach our identity to anything we stop “the FLOW.” We stop the process of evolution. In calling myself a “musician,” I do not allow room for…

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