Book Club: August

For the month of August, I wanted to chose a book that a large portion of the world is going through at this moment, war, spiritual awakenings, segregations, and imposed limitations for what someone is “suppose” to believe in (inside their own religion). Find Nouf by Zoë Ferraris dives into each one of those touchy subjects.

Sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, along with a truck and her favorite camel, her family (who are wealthy)calls on Nayir al-Sharqi, a desert guide, to lead a search party. Only ten days later, when Nayir is about to give up, Nouf’s body has been discovered by some anonymous desert travelers. At first it seems as those Nouf had died of dehydration, but the coroner’s report came back with the death being ruled as drowning. Her family suddenly becomes uninterested in finding out how she could’ve drowned, however, Nayir takes it upon himself to finding out what really happened to Nouf. This will push gentle, pious Nayir, a Palestinian orphan raised by his bachelor uncle, to delve into the secret life of a protected teenage girl, in one of the most rigidly gender-segregated of Middle Eastern societies.

This novel dives deeper showcasing us Nayir’s deepest thoughts, and see him go through transformations spiritually and mentally as he discovers more about Nouf’s death.

Reconnecting With Yourself

There are times where we need to unplug from our electronic devices, get away from the internet, and the social media wars that seem to plague everyone across the world. The reason for this is to reconnect with ourselves, continue our own growth, and get back to the core of our own being. That is what I have been doing for the past two months, I had rarely made any posts on here, or on any of my social media accounts, because I wanted and needed to reconnect with myself and see where I was going, to see if I was growing in any sense of the word (except for height, because I am always going to be short).

Stepping away from the internet helped me, because I was able to focus more on my poetry, on myself and heal. Knowing that I was starting to become a slave to my electronic devices, I set them aside, and started to focus on myself and see what it was that I needed to do in order to grow more spiritually, personally, and career wise. Plus, I needed to focus on my health. During the two months of not only posting anything, I also ended up not really speaking to many people that I know, this is also due to a fact that I needed a break from socializing, because I was being drained. Drained of my energy, and drained of any thoughts that I harbor. And it was slowly making me depressed and unable to focus on a lot of things.

After spending time by myself, meditating, healing, and just focus on my own well being for a change, it made me happier, and made notice that we all need to make time for ourselves more than just an allotted time each day. And so now, after taking those two months, I figured out how each person, child, woman, or man can create more time to just reconnect with themselves even if they are on a tight schedule and cannot devote an entire month to themselves.

Each morning when you are getting up, or helping your children get ready for school, create a drink  to your liking for each season (hot chocolate or coffee for fall or winter, smoothies or iced tea for spring or summer), to go along with your breakfast. Sit together, you don’t have to speak to each other necessarily, but sit at the same table, and enjoy  the silence or put on some light music, while you prepare yourself for the day ahead. For lunch time, sit by yourself and enjoy your lunch while you read a book, listen to your iPod, or sit with your friends or colleagues and just enjoy a light conversation that doesn’t cause such a big stir (ahem, politics). When it comes to dinner, socialize with your family, talk about your day, enjoy your dinner. But after dinner, make that time for you, and you alone. Put on some music, write in your journal, meditate; just shut out social media for that time period. On your days off, go out into nature, embrace the beauty, the energy that she provides us, and take it all in. Because while you are walking through the hills, forests, mountains, or near by the ocean, your body is healing, your soul is healing. And that is what you are needing.

A lot of people don’t realize that they are needing some time by themselves, so that they can heal, can reconnect with themselves. And that is the problem with social media and the internet, it takes away that time, and instead uses its vortex of search engines and websites to drag you in further, keeping you away from what your body is needing, and what your soul is needing. Always make time for yourself to heal, to reconnect, because if you don’t then you won’t be able to help others. You need to help yourself first before you can help others.

Book Club: May

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For the month of May, the novel that was picked out is by the ever so talented Thomas Hardy, who is a well known romanticist novelist from England. Tess of the d’Urbervilles is one of Hardy’s famous novels for several reasons, one of the reasons is due to the original novel being censored for challenging sexual morals of the time, late Victorian era.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles follows a young sixteen year old girl named Tess, who is the oldest child of peasants, John and Joan Durbeyfield. A chance encounter between John and a man named Parson Tringham occur, and it is in that moment that John has been notified that he is a descendant of nobility. John and Joan send their daughter, Tess, to go to a nearby relative and “claim kin”, to alleviate their status and financial problems. While Tess is visiting the relatives, a young man named Alec d’Urbervilles, he becomes very attracted to Tess and decides to hire her to help his mother with her poultry. While in the residence, Alec seduces and rapes Tess, leaving her pregnant. She gives birth when she gets back home, to a young boy named Sorrow. Suddenly, Sorrow falls ill and dies in infancy, leaving Tess wounded and devastated of losing her child. After losing her child, Tess meets a young man named Angel Clare, and after a while of saying no to Angel’s proposal, Tess finally agrees to marry Angel. However, they are not married for long. For they decide to split after they both divulge each other’s past secrets to one another. After they have both gone their own ways, Tess sees Alec (who is now a minister), and tries to stay away from him. However, Alec leaves his post as minister and pursues her, asking her to marry him over and over again, with Tess giving him the same reply, that she will not be his wife. **You need to read the entire book to understand what all Tess goes through, it is impeccable.

This novel is one of the most unique novels out there, because for it to be a novel to challenge the time period that it was released in is truly magnificent and bold. Thomas Hardy is definitely an author that everyone needs to read at some point in their life.

Book Club: April

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Alison Weir is one of the most famous authors for writing about history and bringing it back to life for the modern day bookworm. She has written about so many historical figures from the Prince’s in the Tower to King Henry VIII, and more recently she has tackled on the challenge of writing about all of King Henry VIII’s wives, all six of them.

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, is based on the life of Queen Katherine, the Spanish princess who was the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. She was betrothed to Prince Arthur (King Henry VIII’s older brother) at a very young age, then married him on November 14, 1501 at the Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. They were only married for five months when the sweating sickness swept through the country side and enveloped the both prince and princess. Katherine had survived, however, Arthur had passed away, leaving Katherine a widow. For months Katherine was left to her own devices in a strange and foreign land where she had her servants as friends. Her father and prince Arthur’s father, King Henry VII, were trying to figure out what to do with Princess Katherine, for King Henry VII  was afraid to lose the 200,000 ducats that was her dowry. At one point, King Henry VII had proposed of marrying Katherine himself after his own wife had passed, but thankfully King Ferdinand did not want his daughter marrying him. Instead, King Henry VII had proposed the idea of Katherine marrying his youngest son, Henry ( the future king), but had realized that after her mother had died, her “value” was now down. After years of King Henry VII trying to keep his son and Katherine from marrying, the king passed away, leaving his youngest son to ascend the throne. When Henry was crowned King Henry VIII, he had said that he was going to marry Katherine himself, for love and security for the throne for she would bear him sons (only one son survived for 52 days). The couple did have one surviving child, the future Queen Mary (also known as Bloody Mary). After several other failed pregnancies, King Henry VIII’s eyes started to look the other way and found himself in the arms of a young lady of the court by the name of Anne Boleyn. The divorce trials that followed this torrid triangle affair was outstanding and nearly took the world by storm. For Katherine refused to divorce her husband, for she in her own words, “have been your true wife, in every way.” But King Henry VIII was adamant about divorcing Katherine and marrying Anne, for he wished to have sons succeed him on the throne.

This story follows the entire life of Queen Katherine, and with it being historically accurate and somewhat fictional in certain parts, it is one of the best stories of the 21st century. Queen Katherine has always been my favorite Queen, besides Nefertiti (she was known as a Pharaoh), and this novel does her justice. All of you will truly enjoy this magnificent story.

Zen-Beat (Poem)

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One of the members of a lost generation,
Where the poet takes off down the road,
leaving behind the modern temptation.
Gone are the ways of the old fashioned tradition,
Gone are the white picket fences,
While saying ‘hello’ to the path that was written for I,
and live the nomadic life.
A bag filled with journals, hopes, and clothes,
hopping along this life,
never knowing what the Universe holds.

The Personal Growth we go Through

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This year I will be turning 26, and while I am off exploring my new home state (Alaska) for the next couple of years, I will be learning more about myself as I go. About two years ago, I wrote a post about knowing yourself, and knowing that you are ever growing, and that couldn’t be even more true. Because every day, every month, and every year we are learning more about ourselves as we continue on in this life. Think back, are you the same person you were three or ten years ago, no, you were not. You have changed in many ways, and some of those ways may be subtle, nevertheless, you’ve changed. Now, the changes you’ve gone through don’t affect your overall personality, quirks, or who you are in general, it just means that you’ve matured in the sense of your personality. I know that I’ve changed in the past ten years, and that doesn’t scare me at all, in fact, it helps me embrace who I am as a person.

Growing up, I ‘ve always been known as the hippie child or granola child amongst my friends and family, because I would refuse to eat meat, bring stray animals home (tried to bring a snake home once, my mom was not having that), talked about utopia and love, put flowers in my messy curls; my personality was all about love, peace, and equality, and it still is. My personality is still like that, however it has matured on another level, and I embrace it. Because it is who I am. I don’t eat red meat or poultry at all now, and I get my source of protein from fish, eggs, and various nuts (except peanuts – I’m allergic), and vegetables. I still hug the trees, rescue animals from horrible living conditions, don’t follow any religion – however I am spiritual, and live a nomadic/hygge life of moving around to different places to continue my writing and helping others.

Personal growth, spiritual growth, mental growth, emotional growth, are all very important in our lives, for they are part of our own path’s and purposes in this life. We must allow for the growth to occur, let ourselves mature, and take us on these detours throughout our life. That is what makes it so fun.

The Nomad (Poem)

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The nomadic soul that lies between the mountains and the sea,
The nomadic soul that dreams of living a bit differently.
A little off the grid,
far away from civilization,
but close enough,
to embrace the beauty of each citizen.
The nomad goes about their day,
wading back and forth,
letting the cold north winds pick them up,
and guide them out further more.
A drum plays inside their soul,
While the dreams of their hearts and minds
shake them to the core.
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