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Bedoor Bluemoon

Everyday writing to expose the soul

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Decision Day

Pursue

A Re-post
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He stood by his desk thinking of the decision he just made and finally followed through after being so reluctant for the past 15 years.  It took him 15 years to take this step and when he finally did, it didn’t feel the way it should.  He wasn’t happy, he was ecstatic.

He looked at the picture of his wife and two boys and wondered how they would take the news.  He didn’t know that today was the day.  He didn’t know that today he would set himself free to pursue his dreams.  He didn’t know that on his way to the water cooler he would deviate and pass by his boss’s office to inform him.

He stood by the glass door of the office knowing exactly what he wanted.  Everything was clear to him.  Everything he did up to this point in his life was clear in his head and he saw exactly where he needs to be next.  He wasn’t emotional and he didn’t have a plan.  Nothing specific happened to trigger the decision, it was just time.

Time.  Oh how much time he wasted doing something he didn’t enjoy.

He had enough.  He had enough with putting on his suit every morning and driving the same route.  He had enough of thinking “what if” and “when will I?’  It was enough procrastination.  He procrastinated his life for the past 15 years and it was time for it to end.

He always knew what he wanted to be and do at an early age.  His passion for the kitchen led him to come back from work everyday and cook, regardless of the workload he carried.  He only felt alive with the chef’s knife in his hand, cutting vegetables and stirring pots on the stove.  He had a calling yet ignored it for so long thinking that his pay was more important than his dream.  He planned to start a small restaurant when he retires but couldn’t go on one more day.  This was it.  This was the day he chose to change his life.  This was decision day.

He knocked on the door and waited for the answer.  He walked in and very calmly explained his decision.  The boss nodded, stood up, and gave him a hug.  The boss knew him too well.  He saw him in the company’s last barbecue dinner and how his eyes lit when he was grilling the burgers, how laid back and comfortable he looked in the apron. He knew he would be losing one of his best employees soon and he was right.

He walked back to his desk and saw he didn’t have many “personal belongings” to pack.  He took the photo frame, his keys, and mobile phone and started walking.  He was never one of the team, he was always a guest that never clicked in.  One step, two steps, three steps, he smiled.  Four steps, five steps, six steps, he turned and looked at the office, everyone was busy working on their computers or talking on their phones. He grinned. Seven steps, he started removing his tie thinking how cliche.  Eight steps, nine steps, 10 steps, he throws the tie in the bin and reaches the elevator.  He presses the down button and waits.

The elevator arrives, he walks in and turns.  This would be the last time he walks into a corporate building and he gladly presses “G”.  He knew that this was the best decision he ever made.

Gratitude- Happy New Year

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Happy New Year!!

With the beginning of the new year, resolutions take an interesting place in our lives.  People who have not considered goals for the past 11 months have typed up or wrote on a piece of paper, using great penmanship, their goals.  I have also typed up different lists in previous years but this year, I thought I would approach the new year differently.

In my mind, I know what I want.  I know what I’m aiming towards, and I know what matters to me.  I know my shortcomings, I know my strengths, and I know the people I’d like to keep in my life and those I would rather not have around.

So it’s the first day of the new year and I haven’t written my resolutions, didn’t update my vision board, and didn’t set deadlines for weight loss and schedules for play dates.  I would rather spend the first day in gratitude.

This may seem to you as a very cheeky post as many people are so keen on starting something new, new challenges and new hope, whereas here I am trying to pull them back, pressing the break, and asking them to breathe.

Yes, breathe.

Breathe in the air.  Feel the air around you, you are alive.  You are alive and conscious.  You are in this world aware of what is going on, that’s something.

Gratitude.

Gratitude for being alive and well.  Gratitude for a good year, gratitude for not having lost anyone this year.  Gratitude for having my parents and seeing them everyday.  Gratitude for two healthy boys, gratitude for a loving husband, gratitude for wonderful siblings.

Gratitude.

Gratitude for not living in a war zone.  Having a safe place to sleep and not having to worry about starving.  Gratitude for running water.  Gratitude for all my accomplishments.  Gratitude for being able to wake up, move my arms and legs.  Gratitude for the ability to take a deep breath and gratitude towards having the ability to think.  Gratitude for all the days I spent, however they were, in this life.

Every day is a blessing.

Thank you, Lord, for a great year.

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Vision Boards

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Vision boards were first introduced in one of the best selling self-help books in 2006 The Secret.  The law of attraction and the importance of living with our goals staring us in the face was implied in both the movie and the book, and actual results from using vision boards were also displayed to us.  That was when people started using and believing in The Secret and the law of attraction.

In a nut shell, you attract what you perceive whether it is good or bad.  I am not here to discuss my belief or disbelief in the law of attraction because this topic has been overly questioned and I do not have the experience to do so; I am merely here to demonstrate how I have been creating my vision boards.

What I believe is that your vision board should make sense to you.  What do you want to be displayed in front of you and how do you understand it?  If you are a visual person who prefers only pictures, then by all means use only pictures.  If you are more comfortable with words that indicate something to you, go ahead.  Most people like to use a combination of both so as to target both sides of their brains but my vision boards only contained images and pictures of things that I wanted.

Some people prefer to concentrate on one aspect in their life in their vision board such as their career. Their vision boards usually have more details in regards to that topic such as an image of a big office table, the picture of a secretary, signing agreement papers with a high end expensive signature pen, a picture of a bank statement showing a big sum of money, and so forth.

Other vision boards may represent a road map to something; it contains one goal and how to get to it.  An example could be losing weight (the goal) and pictures of healthy food, gym membership, the weighing scale with the target weight, an exercise schedule, and a picture of a person with the “ideal” body.

Vision boards can contain anything.  Engineers could have a 3D printout of their future home, artists could have a painting of their”target” family,and poets could have a poem describing them in a 6 foot yacht. Vision boards can be made of anything and use any sense as long as they shine light on the goals.

My vision boards are more general and contain the different aspects in my life that I deem valuable.  Because I am a person who wants to keep things balanced, I thought of my values.  While searching for images to print out, I realized that the Wheel of Life is a great tool which at least gives me the headlines for my vision board.  It wasn’t applied fully but parts of it gave me a significant starting point.

I started in the core of my beliefs: God.  I believe that when God is in the middle, everything falls into place.  So I printed a picture with God/faith.  I then thought of family, career, health and weight, finances, and personal growth.  So in the middle, I had God and the rest of the topics were clustered around the corners.  I printed pictures of how I saw the “utopia” of each goal and how happy I looked achieving the goal.  So for example, a picture of 4 adults in a meeting was representative of the communication and synergy at work.  I think this helped not only in keeping my goals in view, it helped maintain the life balance I sought after.

Throughout the year, I kept the vision board in front of me to remind myself of what it is I was working towards.  Not only is the Vision Board a tool for the universe to conspire and give you what’s on it, it’s also a tool that let’s you maintain focus and not lose your priorities.

Motivational quotes, words that explain the goals, and pictures of you photo-shopped next to lake Lucerne with your husband raise your hopes and act as engine boosters for your future.  You know what the saying says, out of sight, out of mind so keep your goals in sight to keep them in mind.

There are many days where you lose focus, and many days that make no sense to you.  Having a bit of belief that you are in control makes it a bit better.  Knowing that there are things that do not change in your mind and knowing that you, once upon a time, knew what you wanted makes you trust yourself in days when you trust no-one.  Be there to guide yourself forward and, to me, put your faith in the middle for comfort and strength.

Choosing a Linkedin Photo

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Linkedin is a a business oriented social networking service.  People use it to display their CVs and have recruiters (or headhunters) approach them for employment opportunities or even to network with people in similar fields.  Companies also can create their page and share news, articles, and any other important issues.  Some people use it to share their experiences and post articles they wrote in hope someone might listen to them.  Like any other social networking service, Linkedin gives the opportunity to post a photo of yourself.

Being a member of the Linkedin community for a few years, I have come across many photos of people I know (and people I don’t know) that make me wonder what they were thinking when they chose to upload their photo.  Well, I then decided to scroll down the list of People You May Know and be struck with disbelief.  Since this is a professional social networking site, I thought that people would care about their image; I mean, their profiles are open for recruiters and maybe their future bosses.

I came up with the following tips:

1- Selfies using any Snapchat filters are not acceptable.  Do not, under any circumstances, believe that anyone would recruit you if you have dog ears or a flower halo above your head. Even if you think you look cute, this is not the right picture.  I could even say that selfies are not acceptable because the angle is all wrong and shows that you did not take the time nor effort to have a professional picture taken.

2- A cartoon drawing of yourself is not OK unless you are the artist and are trying to show your talent.

3- A picture of yourself sitting behind a huge desk just makes you seem desperate.  Don’t top it off acting like you’re busy writing something either.  It’s so obvious.

4- A picture of you caught in mid-laugh.  This is not Facebook and it may be one of your favorite but keep it for your social group only.

5- Do not post a picture of yourself behind a billiard table.  Do not post a picture of yourself with any weird background such as the kitchen (unless you’re a chef), or in a party, or on vacation with the beach behind you.  You want to seem like you are at work, wearing work clothes, and getting work done.  If your work is associated with healthy living and yoga, for example, a picture with some tress in the background may be alright.  But if you have nothing to do with nature, stay away from it.

6-  Look approachable.  Post a picture that makes you look approachable.  A nice smile goes a long way.  You don’t want your picture to resemble a mug shot nor an adult dating service profile pic.

7- Do not post a picture with you wearing a cowboy hat (or any kind of hat).  Do not post a picture with sunglasses, people want to see your face.

8- I’m not 100% sure of this point as it may go either way.  I have seem a few pictures with the person holding a camera and another listening in his headset.  I think it’s a smart thing to be done, that is, showing people what you do; but some recruiters might not appreciate the obviousness.  This should be taken carefully, I wouldn’t feel so keen about a  bank teller holding money in his hands.

9- Make sure the picture is clear and your face shows: stay away from shadows.  Don’t use a picture with you covering your face with your arm, nor a picture with you looking away.

10- Do not use your children’s pictures.  Again, this is a professional networking site, people will want to see what you are doing not how old your child is.  You are NOT trying to get your children employed so keep them out.

11- If you choose to post a picture with something that identifies your current job, go ahead but know that you are not your job.  You have a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are deeper than any job can provide.  Plus, when or if you leave your job, you don’t want to forget to change your picture or you’ll end up looking desperate.  Don’t wear your uniform in your picture either (for those who have uniforms in their jobs).

12- Do not post yourself bowling, ice skating, playing soccer, playing with your pet tiger, eating out with your friends, or doing what you do in your spare time.  You are supposed to portray how you are at work, not out of work.  People want to employ you, not date you.

13-  Keep your image right side up.  Yes, some people have their pictures sideways.  Would you ever submit your CV with your picture printed sideways?

14- Don’t just crop your face from a group picture and settle for that.  This just shows that you’re lazy.  Also, don’t post yourself with someone else, it confuses people as to which one you are.

15- Make sure your image isn’t so much of a close up nor too far to be unidentifiable.  You want people to recognize you, half a face is not identifiable.

16- Do not post a picture of a logo unless you are a company.  Do not post a picture of your shoes, bag, sunglasses, or cup of coffee.  Again, this is not Snapchat.

These are just a few pointers I came up with after paying attention to the different Linkedin profile pictures, you can also go through your list of friends and can easily identify the best pictures that portray strength, confidence, and reliability.  Stay away from photoshopped images that look nothing like you and try to present yourself professionally.

Remember, you don’t want to resemble any funny high school yearbook pictures, you should know better now than what you knew at 18.

My profile pic?  I still didn’t find one that I’m happy with so wish me luck.

Demons

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(From Dreams of A Blue Moon by Bedoor Khalaf)

Darkness along with broken pride

as the glass of water breaks

seeing the wrong, not seeing the right

as bones in their graves shake.

 

Chaos around yet not a way

to change the angel’s mind

for the person that once has been a saint

will be a traitor to all mankind.

 

Will not care less to what others feel

since everyone has done him wrong

will cause harsh pain and torture on

those with a heart that longs.

 

Nowadays love is a sin

and only sinners love

roses turn into weeds

crows created from doves.

 

Pain and violence the only words

known to the human race

painted masks and hypocrites

stained on people’s face.

 

Angels turn to demons as

they realize life is unfair

but what stunned them most is the fact

that love no longer cares.

Roald Dahl: Simple or Complex?

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After watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory over 70 times in the past 3 months and memorizing it by heart, I have come to question reality as I saw it.  Things are no longer as simple as they once were and, interestingly enough, I have come to believe that chocolate is made by oompa loompas.

Dahl’s amazing creativity is evident in his children books (of which I read just a few) and come to question whether the books were written as a good fiction or do they carry in their pages something of a deeper nature?  Although Dhal isn’t a psychologist, I must respect the fact that his experience does give him validity to be an observer and storyteller.  How so?  Firstly, Dahl portrays five children and their respective parents in the book.  I found out that Dahl had up to 9 different children who were to enter the chocolate factory with Charlie.  By choosing to stick with five, Dahl decided to shine light on the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, the competitive Violet, the spoiled Veruca, and the television addict Mike Teavee.  It could be safe to say that Dahl chose these five characters and personalities because he saw them as the most destructive to children.  It could also be safe to say that Dahl may have encountered people in his childhood (or later life) and got so shocked by their personalities that he believed they should be punished.

One of the issues that Dahl was criticized over was the fact the the antagonists are the “bad” children.  Although the children were portrayed as stereotypes of how-kids-should-not-act, their parents were also portrayed as reasons behind their characters.  So whose fault is it that Augustus keeps getting chocolate whenever he feels like it?  Is Dhal trying to enforce parents into taking responsibility over their children’s negative personality traits or is he placing the blame on Willy Wonka.  Also, who gave Willy Wonka the right to discipline these children (and their parents) by using different sadistic punishments such as being blown up into a blueberry and getting the juice squeezed out or by being pulled in the toffee maker after being shrunk in size?  Yes, the children should have learned their lessons but does Dahl really tell readers (and viewers) how to best act?

Is Roald Dahl Charlie or Willie Wonka?

The five golden tickets that were sent out to people around the world were sent to find an heir for Willy Wonka’s factory.  In the story, the children didn’t know what the prize was but were happy just to enter the factory.  What about you?  Where would your golden ticket take you and what would be the grand prize?  Many people work hard to go on vacations but how can that vacation be turned into a prize (and thus a lifestyle?)  The golden ticket takes you to two places: one is temporary and is a test and the other is the grand prize.  We should strive to make sure that we do not get sidetracked by the “chocolate” along the way and concentrate on getting the real deal.

But did Charlie even get sidetracked or did he live his experience vicariously through the other four and was just lucky enough to be the last man standing?  So is that the way Dahl thinks we should win life?

Is Willy Wonka’s factory a representation of life?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp’s sarcastic comments gives it a little more humor for adults while children watch the plot unknowingly, nodding at Johnny Depp explaining that “everything in this room is eatable, even I’m eatable! But that is called “cannibalism,” my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies.”  Is this a Dahl  comment or Tim Burton’s twist on things?  So, just as the movie has a different perceptive level suitable for adults, Dahl may have entrusted his book to hold some philosophy over children personalities, dealing with the antagonist within us, and the best way to fix bad children is through punishment.

What I prefer to question is where my golden ticket would take me and would I be the end winner of the grand prize.

Simple?  No, Roald Dhal was more complex than a few children’s books and would surely get his philosophies and life wisdom and ideas into children’s books.

 

The Lie That is Brown Sugar

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Lately, people are becoming more nutritionally conscious and care about what goes into their bodies.  This isn’t to say that we never cared before, it’s just that nowadays the overall direction of people is towards healthy living and green diets, therefore our trending hashtag is #healthyliving.

Restaurants (specifically fast food) are requested  and maybe even obliged to supply their customers with the calories and nutritional information each item on their menu contains.  Some also altered their menus to provide health conscious customers with a variety of items to choose from such as lean meat brown pasta with tomato sauce instead of pepperoni pizza.  Ingredients like quinoa, kale, and edamame are suddenly popping up in menus and markets for people to buy.

Also interestingly, some people are religiously defending the idea that human beings are not supposed to consume cow’s milk after the age of three.  It is said that cow’s milk is custom designed for calves and humans could actually lose their calcium by drinking cow’s milk.  Instead, we humans can substitute it with almond or soy milk because almond and soy milk are not custom designed for almond and soy babies.

The other day I asked my husband to get some brown sugar cubes because we were running out.  He got a pack of white sugar and a pack of brown sugar cubes stating that there is no difference in the nutrition facts on the packs and that I should compare them.  I chose to consider his comment later on because if what he said was true it would mean that one of the pillars of my beliefs would be susceptible to questioning and there’s never a good time for that.  So instead, I took his word for it and a few days later I googled “what is the difference between brown and white sugar.”  Surprisingly, google laughed out loud and answered nothing much.

What I reached in my research is the following:

1- White sugar is more processed than brown sugar

2- Brown sugar contains molasses and thus tastes a bit different

3- Brown sugar has bigger crystals

4- Brown sugar looks more organic

5- Nutritional value of brown sugar is slightly more than white but not significant enough for it to be measured

So what now?  Should I start questioning the cow’s milk?  Should I start questioning brown vs white rice, brown vs white bread, and brown vs. white eggs?  Should there even be a difference if we are vouching for equality?

So the lie that is brown sugar has finally been revealed.  The next time you see someone choose brown sugar instead of white to sweeten their drink, chuckle a little inside and let them be.  Their perceptions could make a difference as per the placebo effect (the sugar pill experiment where a group of people were given real medicine and another group were given sugar pills and had similar results in their treatment.)  It is the importance of beliefs and obviously nutritional values are on top of people’s lists these days.  It’s a great way of opening new business opportunities, I tell you.

Advice to your Younger Self

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A few days ago I was feeling nostalgic and the question, ‘what advice would you give yourself’ popped into my mind so I posted it on my Instagram.  I got one reply only.  I was expecting people to interact with my question given its severity and depth but, apparently, people are just like me: we choose not to think of this.

Why is that? Because it would mean that we have regrets in our lives and the more you dig into the ‘what ifs’ the more you will end up feeling like you should have known better.

Yes, you should have known better but this is you today comparing yourself to you back then.  You didn’t reach where you are today nor who you are without being that pimple faced lost teenager who doesn’t know better. The journey of being who you are started with that weirdo you once were and its alright.

Let’s go back to the question: what advice would you give your younger self? Would it be related to your health, wealth, social status, or what?  The advice, in my opinion, would probably be something that is aching you today, making you lose sleep and which still feels painfully real. So your advice is basically the issue in your life. You know when people say ‘he’s got issues?’ This is the ‘issue’ they’re referring to.

For me, till this day, I choose not to answer this question. I am too scared to look inside my soul and search for the thing that makes me ache but which, interestingly, is what makes me ‘me’. It is the thing that I know in my subconscious but act like I don’t which pushes it back even further to my inner soul and personality. I choose to coward away from looking inside, from choosing to unravel the complexity of myself. I choose to live today accepting the fact that I made mistakes and that I learned from.

Would you go back and do things differently?

If I could see what path it would lead to and I have my current blessings wih me would it be a better choice? It’s similar to a choose your own adventure book which were once so very popular. You get to make decisions in place of the character and I kept on peeking into the consequences of my decisions just to realize that it’s very rare that the book gives you a good ending so, why exchange what I have today and where I stand today for the unknown?

People who are regretting where they are and what they went through, please count your blessings. Count your blessings and know that grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side and if it is, try watering your own grass and make a difference in your life.

What advice would I give my younger self? Stop fretting and start doing. Things aren’t as complicated as they seem. Take control of your emotions and embrace them, speak up, and live.

I wonder… if pilots have performance appraisals would it include “reduce the amount of turbulence by 70%” and “make sure to speak eloquently in the microphone so passengers can understand?”

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