THANK YOU!

January 27, 2013

30,000 Readers! Well, hellllooo there!

 

I just want to extend a Thank You to everyone who reads my blog, comments, likes or just passes by my pages. My goal is to inspire, move and to flush great feelings through the hearts of anyone I come across, and if at any point, I’m able to touch a spec of your life, even though I don’t know you, I’m really grateful and happy for that. So thank you, for letting me in, even if it’s just for a second!

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LoVs’n’Mua

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“I  am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.” – Virginia Satir

In a world that makes you feel like a hermit if you are not plugged in to every form of social media, it’s always important to remember, that being alone is not the same as being lonely or disconnected. For it’s within our times of solitude, that we are truly able to nurture ourselves and thus productively nurture others.

Nowadays if you do not keep up with or are not on fakebook, twitter, or any of the new social interacting media outlets you might be seen as a bit odd, a social hermit or living in the stone age, but the fact is, no amount of online networking signifies actual real time connectedness. If anything, sometimes being plugged in so much takes away from our alone time with ourselves. We must embrace the silence that is within us and hear the beat of our own hearts in order to understand the heart beat of others. I mean, it’s either that or contract

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In an interview on Boston. com, New York University sociologist and author of “Alone in America,” Eric Klinenberg, explains, “There’s so much cultural anxiety about isolation in our country that we often fail to appreciate the benefits of solitude.”

Percent of People Who Use Social Networks Percent Yes
Do you ever use / have a profile on… (Poll Taken in early 2012)
Any social network 56 %
Facebook 54 %
LinkedIn 13 %
Twitter 10 %
Google+ 8 %
Social Network Statistics Data
Total number of Facebook users worldwide 1.2 Billion
Total percentage of 18-24 year olds who already use social media 98%
Total percentage of people on Earth who use Facebook 11%
Total amount of minutes people spend on Facebook every month 700 billion
Average amount of time a person uses Facebook per month 15 hours 33 minutes
Total amount of people who access Facebook with phone 250 million

I believe that alone time and privacy are essential and necessary elements of survival for the individual voice. Finding out who you are and spending time with yourself can sometimes be more fulfilling than inundating yourself with the mirage of being “accepted” by a society that dots their affection with a  “like.” The better we learn to communicate with ourselves the  deeper we will be able to connect with others, especially those we hold dear. And as much as I like the occasional party and get together, I find myself more desirous for intimate settings where meaningful interaction can be held. In my eyes, abstraction is best left to art over the intimacy of the relationship with ourselves and others.

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Swiss designers Micasa Lab, have developed a way to quietly retreat with a fun bubble like house, called Cocoon 1. It is equipped with a power pack that has enough energy for 40 hours of light or 20 hours of light and 30 minutes of cooking, they can be transported to any secluded area, as well as a basic cooking facility and water pipe.

While you don’t need a bubble like this to find time alone, I can’t say I wouldn’t mind having one. It sorta’ reminds me of the equivalent  of making a mini-house out of bed-sheets when you were a kid. You know, you’d prop up a blanket over chairs, attach it to the bed post and crawl inside to your little house within a house.  Well, this to me seems like the manufactured version of that.

While some may think or postulate if…..being_alone_is_shameful__unfortunate__sad__by_ayanashii-d5fbnbb

They may want to consider 7 things that being too plugged in can lead people to do:

1. Develop a steroided need to impress others over themselves

2. Feel non-existent or insecure at any given moment they are not urgently met with feedback

3. Lack of personal investment in a singular relationship tied in with the constant need to quickly sell our personality to every single walk of life we come across.

4. Our evaluations become externalized comparisons of our material lives in contrast to others inverse of internal self-evaluation and personal growth in contrast to ourselves.

5. By plugging into everyone else, we give people pieces of ourselves that have not been cultivated or nurtured by moving inwards.

6. The content and power of a one-on- one face time experience is lessened due to the constant flow of being plugged into our gadgets and not plugged into ourselves.

7. Sound looses it’s meaning and silence is never heard.

While I do not snub my nose at social media, as it allows me the forum to connect to all of you,  I am simply saying that we must not neglect the value of  seclusiveness and a bit of privacy. For without solitude our sense for simplicity will be numbed and  in turn we lose the pleasure of noticing all the natural, little details in  others and in life,  from the mundane to the thrilling.

“What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.”
Ellen Burstyn

 

 

Well Hello Gorgeous

December 6, 2012

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Welcome Lovelies, to a row of voices wrapped in the titillating thoughts of a bottomless mind. And it’s all for   YOU, so go ahead, ‘like’ it 😉   http://www.facebook.com/lovsnmua

FuN- LaUghs- GoOdTimE!

To all my new & old subscribers, Ciao & Thanks for following & reading. What can I say, you’re just a bunch of classy people.

Also, I’m quite thankful that the blog not only got a Freshly Pressed Feature but that the blog to date has over 20,000 readers! The Irish in me is dancing a jig to this.; )

It’s NEW!  I Guess, that means.. I need It?

These next few weeks if you plan to go to the mall, you might see a volley of iPhone 5 ravenously hungry customers wrapped around the Apple stores. Opening weekend, Apple sold $5 million iPhone 5’s in three days and according to Barclays, Apple may sell 45.2 million iPhones in the December quarter and 170.7 million through next September. My question is, why?! Ok, so my knowledge of the new phone extends to a small excerpt I listened to on Conan O’ Brien the other day where a gadget expert said the biggest difference between this one and the old phone is it’s thinner, has a bigger screen, a panoramic camera and is much quicker.  I get that it’s technologically more advanced than the last, as was the one before, and the one before, but just because it’s new doesn’t mean we need it.  Not to say I don’t own things I don’t need, but the problem is not in having things you want and don’t need, the problem is we are becoming numbingly comfortable with the excessiveness of the things we don’t need at the cost of the things we do.

We are nurturing our obsessive like relationships with technology over our relationship with others and worst off, ourselves. Now, I’m not one of those people who’s completely adverse to technology, and think things would be better if we went back to “snail mail” times; I just think we have abandoned some much needed balance and have confused movement for progress. One of the main reasons many of the great empires of the world fell were because they were technologically and industrially advancing faster than the emotional and psychological human development.

Once upon a time, the wait to get a message from a love one or friend would take as long as weeks or even months, which means patience, faithfulness and the integrity of one’s word was crucial, because you had one time to leave that impression and express a sentiment before you would get a reply. Even before cell phones, when landlines were all we had, if you told someone you were meeting them somewhere, you’d have to be sure, because once you or they left the house there was no way to re-schedule or be late without looking tacky or inconsiderate.  Lucky or maybe unlucky for us, we live in an age where you can get a reply or change your plans within seconds. So what I don’t get, is if we’ve decreased the time it takes to get a message,  you’d think we’d be less apt to jump to conclusions if we don’t get a text within two minutes of sending one,  you’d think we’d be bully less, we would know our friends better, you’d think we’d honor commitments more,  that the divorce rate would be way less than 50% (75% in California), you’d think that people’s social graces and manners would be more intact, you’d think people would be just overall more knowledgeable and more compassionate, you’d think.

I mean we really have it good, at the click or vocal command of a button, we can send someone a message! Could you imagine the hysteria that would ensue if we had to use the old fashioned ways of connecting such as camels, dogs, horses, pigeons, and reindeers, not to mention boats?!  To deliver mail in Alaska in 1899 they used reindeers. In Canada and Alaska from 1896-1903 they used dogs to pull their sleds, and in Australia, Afghan cameleers would take around 4 weeks on a 520 kilometer journey.  As for the main carriers of mail throughout the world since ancient times, horses and homing pigeons were used to delivered government, war news and personal messages.

Sorry I gotta’ interrupt this article real quick, hold on.  Let me, just, finish my text real quick and I’ll umm, get back to my point, you can keep talking though, I’m listening really I am….

Wait where was I, oh ok, right, so today we have phones, Facebook, twitter, and a number of other social networking sites whose  major intent, I do believe are to connect people, but like any great tool, it is in how it is utilized that makes it a thing of creation or a thing of destruction within a civilization.  According to Digital Buzz Blog, 87% of the world’s populations are currently mobile subscribers, 48% of young people in 2011 got their news through Facebook, and over 700 Billion minutes a month are spent on Facebook with 48% of 18-34 year olds checking as they awake.  I am not saying get rid of these things, I have Facebook, twitter, a blog, a computer, and a good phone, but they don’t take the place of good old fashioned communication and human interactions nor should they be utilize to create a make-belief world. I  must say, that while I do see some of the benefits of this new social revolution and at times participate, it wasn’t without feeling a bit  begrudged over the notion of succumbing to the pressures of  keeping in touch, doing business and networking in an almost paper & email-less world. It’s as if once something is invented people forget how they used to function before.

The problem with Facebook, contemporary phones, eReaders, iPods, iPad, twitter, and our most modern machines is they are not being used as additional ways to connect and inform, an they aren’t  improving our linguistic skills or the quality of the news. Modern technology and this new social revolution are substituting and morphing our tactile day to day interactions with people and events and disconnecting us from reality while injecting us into an “I” driven virtual reality run world.

Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-Up 2012

Aside from ways of keeping in touch, social media sites are often used to sell to others an alternate reality of what one wishes their life would be or what they would like others to think of them via a barrage of status updates or photos of how “awesome” my life is or “how sexy, confident, and independent I am, outside of what you normally see” photos. While we’re on the subject of sexy, taking a photo of yourself in your bathroom mirror, mid-torso up with your shirt off or in a bra with your lips puckered, only advertises  a deep need for public affirmation and attention. In addition, topics like your relationship, whether it’s dribble from a break-up, partner information or sexual information, shouldn’t be reduced to status updates as if there’s nothing private or sacred anymore.

Facebook and twitter give people a stage to be all talk and no action. They redefines bravery and affirms cowardice with a platform for people to speak their minds in ways that they would hardly dare to in person. There was once a time where only the few were given a stage to say something, and when they said it, it would make people think and want to research and find out more. Now, the mystery is gone, the desire to discover others has waned because with the click of a button you can just go into someone’s Facebook and look at their entire life via photos. I feel like it’s the same equivalent of leaving the door to your house open when you’re not home, someone just wonders in and looks through all your stuff, walks out with their assumptions of knowing you and you never knew they were there, but are somehow ok with that. Gone are the days of sitting down with a photo album and laughing as you turn the pages, gone are the days of having to actually work, create or do something worthwhile to get your message heard. Oh and you can forget about love letters, we’ve apparently made it clear that texting “I ‘Heart’ U ‘smiley face,'” does the trick.

Somewhere along the lines, we have linked the word new and faster with better, which is great for companies like Google who annually earn 2.5 Billion in mobile ad revenue convincing you of this.  While we spend our time thinking that it’s a great and efficient idea to manage and contain our world on little digital machines or to allow computers and apps to take the place of people, places and events, we  lose out on the human experience and amplify the hysteric need for stimulation to authenticate and activate our emotions.

I’ve been watching commercials on tv where they advertise groups of friends hanging out online or a young girl introducing her new boyfriend to her father via a web cam or the worst of them all are those Siri personal assistant commercials.The fact is, no amount or ordering digital songs on iTunes will take the place of going to a music store like Tower Records, to listen to and find your favorite CD while you read through the lyrics or even better, making a mixed CD for your buddy or crush. With companies like Redbox and Netflix, future generations will miss out on walking the aisles of  Blockbuster or Hollywood Video whilst reminiscing on old films as they pick up a new one. It is those interactions with people in the stores, in the grocery line or the checkout clerk or even being tutored by a person inverse of a computer or sitting in a library doing research, touching and smelling the history that romantically envelops a  book, that make for some of the most funny, intimate, unplanned and memorable experiences.

This new social revolution is breeding the next generation of kids who are  bored and starved of the beauty and significance of simplicity, nature, imagination, adventure and experience as the new toy is a notebook computer and portable TV’s become backseat babysitters in cars taking coloring books and landscapes out of commission. One thing is for sure, all this text talking and technological reliant behavior is totally killing the classic story elements that made films like these so timeless: ‘Say Anything,’ ‘High Fidelity,’Three Amigos,’ ‘Working Girl,’ ‘Sixteen Candles,’ ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ ‘She’s Having a Baby,’ ‘Goonies,” ‘Ferris Buller’s Day Off,’ and  ‘Princess Bride.’

In a society where everything is revealed and patience is at an all-time low, gone are the days of heightened mystery and intrigue and taking the time to actually, with a marinated palpable attentiveness, get to know someone or something outside of an app or website.

You see, with all that time we supposedly saved, no one really seems to use it to stop, bask, see, feel and truly, smell the roses.

 

With Love to Japan

March 14, 2011

 

By: Nicole Cleary
“Floating Gold”

This past, Friday, March 11 there was a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit northern Japan, generating a tsunami that has caused extensive damage.  My brother, who has been living near Tokyo for over five years with his wife and kids, was caught in Tokyo the day it happened.  A few days ago he wrote this note on Facebook about his experience. I wanted to post it on my blog because I admire his ability to embrace a moment while still being proactive. It’s not that everyone should or should not feel this way; it’s just a different way of looking at things. It’s difficult to have a light heart in the midst of chaos and when everything looks and feels grim, but I find the ability to be able to grab light-heartedness from anywhere you can, an amazing ability. I appreciate his perspective and hope that when faced with traumatic events, I can too, be calm and embracing all whilst being steady, focused, and proactively determined.

I have posted this with LoVe to Japan.

28 Kilometers….

By Cecil- on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 6:54am

….That is the distance that I walked from Tokyo (Roppongi) to Yokohama (Aobadai).   The quake hit about 245 Tokyo time while I was in a meeting with a client.   I felt it first, ignored it, kept feeling and called his attention.  We stopped, waited…listened…and felt.  The ground swelled.  We went outside and found a bunch of people kind of meandering about, looking at each other for confirmation of what everyone was thinking, “is this the big one?”  The ground kept shaking for about 6 minutes, with intermittent ground swells.

People started screaming.  I made my way to the highest ground I could find with no electric cables around and just enjoyed the ride.  I figured if this was the big one, it would be my only chance to participate in this AWESOME experience….so I might as well enjoy it.  Hahaha.  Every time I felt the ground swell, I was like “Yeah! Baby!”…and then I looked over at this huge office building and stopped cold, watching it sway back and forth as if rocked by a breeze. The quaking stopped.  I stood for awhile and just enjoyed the moment.  I had tried calling my wife, but line was totally dead.  Although the biggest I had ever felt in my 10 years in Japan, I did not feel it was big enough to inflict major damage in Tokyo.  Also, the way it built up gradually, it provided enough warning for people to move and get to safety, if they had a clear head.   In any case, I simply did not FEEL (in my spirit) that my family was in danger.

I went back to my meeting, excited and even a bit…disappointed…that the big one was not so big.  And then, about 5 minutes later, another one.  We darted outside again, and met the same group of neighbors, this time a bit more panicked.   The lady next door came out in her bathrobe.  I was like, “Cool.”:)   hahaha.   This time was not as strong but combined with the experience of the first, it felt just as big…standing on the ground, like I was surfing on a wave. Kawabunga dude!

After this quake, we decided to head to safer ground and walked to Aoyama cemetery.  I thought to myself, “Best place to go if we are going to die”…laughed to myself and then thought, “that’s not funny” hahaha.  (Actually, i said it to the lady next door who had changed from her bathrobe into jeans and was heading the same direction. She laughed as well, but then kind of stopped and gave me an odd look…hahahaha! I deserved it.  ANYHOW….)

When we got to the cemetery, people were gathered there and in the street, talking, texting, being scared and surprised.  My client and I finished our meeting standing…and took a snap shot to commemorate the event:  “3/11/11 at 3pm – The big one”

My next meeting was at 4 pm in Daikanayam.  I was still thinking to go but was going to be late; Trains were not running and all the phones were still dead.  I had about 5 meetings that day and was just going to stay in the city and have my meetings and hope that the trains would be running when I was ready to head home at night. I realized that I could still text, so I text my wife to see if she was ok.  She was fine and went to pick up my son, Cecil Jr., from pre-school.

But, then I stopped and thought for about 4 minutes…”what if this was just a warning?…What if this was NOT The big one and it was coming tonight?  Then it hit me, I need to get home ASAP because I have no idea what will be coming tonight and if I will be able to get home.  Then I started to survey the damage, and it occurred to me that in the worst case scenario, I might not be able to make it back home and my wife would be stuck with the kids.  That single thought was the trigger.  I decided to go home.

I thought to take a bus, but the line for the bus was about 1hr long.  Shibya was 20 min away on foot.  Decision: walk.

When I got to Shibuya station, it was flooded with people, lines everywhere and nothing was moving.  I did not know what I was going to do, but waiting in those lines was not the solution.  So I started to walk in the direction of home, thinking that I would catch a taxi…then I SAW the traffic; no movement.  I was walking pretty quickly and noticed that I was passing busses…and taxies.   And slowly it dawned on me, there was only one way to get home: Walk.

So with my PC (actually Mac Book…do I get money for the product plug?:) on my shoulder and my Alberto Rossis (plug plug) on my feet, I pounded the pavement for about 30 kilometers (about 20 Miles) to get home.  I left Roppongi roughly around 4pm and delayed about 20 min to buy water and 2 pieces of bread, so the total trip took approximately 5 hours.  I walked mostly along the 246 highway at an average pace of 6 kilometers per hour.  I got a helluva’ workout, wrote some DOPE rhymes, got to walk ON the 246, and was able to grab some quality thinking time – all good!

When I got home, all was fine with the fam.  One room was pretty bad, but all in all, not a disaster at all.  My feet were swollen and blistered, ankles were out….but I was home and my family was together.  Can’t complain at all.

I heard that a friend’s dad made a similar 18mile walk in about 11 hours!  And a friend of mine who lives in the area, made roughly the same drive on the 246 in about 8 hours…and another friend walked about 20 Kilos in 7 hours!  I wonder if I set a record!?

Right now, as we have now prepared sufficiently for another quake and have a kit ready, clothes next to the door, ready to jam on a dime, I am trying to discern fact from fiction and decide when to get out of emergency mode.

Now, after seeing the news and seeing the magnitude of what has happened, I really feel for those who have lost everything.  At the same time, I am all the more grateful that my family is safe and aim to them this way.   Once I decide what the next move is, I will inform my network of the facts that I have gathered and the decision that I have made.

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