Heavy Heart? How Much can it Hold?

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Image via Wikipedia

February is around the corner, and I can’t help but think about Valentine’s Day; must of us do, at least if the holiday is part of your culture. The sweets are everywhere, the cupids are in full view, and the roses are in full bloom in the store shelves. The other day, my husband came home  with the cutest Valentine mug full of Dove chocolates – he knows I love coffee and he told me “you don’t have one of these.” I have enjoyed the little chocolate treats from time to time, and I love to read the sweet message inside the wrapper. I read one that stuck with me – “Discover how much your heart can hold” – it read. That tiny Dove chocolate heart was an epiphany.

Huh, I thought; I have never asked myself that question before.  I wonder, how much can my heart hold?  The answer is as inspiring as it is scary.  Why?  Because it touches on the essence of being human; on how much can we love, and how much we can  hate, and all the other emotions and feelings in between – from Awe, Bliss, and Beauty, to Fear, Doubt, and Heartbreak.  In physiology, the heart can take a beating, and eventually, one day, it will give up.  In terms of emotions and feelings, the heart is so much more amazing, stronger, and stretchable.  (I know, it is all about the brain and its electrical connections, but bare with me for the purpose of this post).

While pondering about the message in the Dove chocolate wrapper, I realized that the only way to know the answer to that is to live life, to live one heartbeat at a time.  Only thru living, the heart will continue to expand, to hold all the humanity and spirituality that life presents its keeper.  So, how much can the heart hold?  It is different for every person, as it is life and the things we let ourselves experience.  We can live minute by minute, or we can live heartbeat by heartbeat – it is up to us.  We can live life going thru the motions, at the beat of the clock, or we can find a true heartbeat in everything we do.  We can expand the capacity of our heart to hold as much as we want, as we allow, and many times, as much as we need.  As far as I’m concerned, every heartbeat counts, you don’t have to climb Mount Everest to get your rush, but if you want to do it, that is wonderful, as it is the way you want to live as you stretch your heart.

How much can your heart hold?  It is up to you to discover it.

Yesteryear Craftsmanship – From Screwdrivers to Writing

I love old tools.  I guess it comes from growing up with my grandfather who had the coolest tools and from watching him use them with pride.  He even let me handle a few, with much care of course.  There is something about vintage tools that you cannot find in the new ones; it is that attention to detail, that craftsmanship that seems to have been lost over the years.  It is that history embeded in them that is not present in the new ones – from the paint chip that tells you that someone was trying to open an old paint can long time ago with the screwdriver, to the markings on the top that tells you that someone attempted to use it as a hammer once.  You cannot read this in a new tool – it has no story to tell, at least not yet.  New technology offers great designs and materials, but somehow, it misses the soul into the piece.  I don’t know if you can understand me, but that is how I see it, when I look at those pieces and compare them to the new ones.

A few years ago, I came across an old wooden toolbox and kept it on the side, with the intention of using it one day.  As my life has taken a turn, and I am headed to a different lifestyle, I decided to continue to build my old tool collection.  Recently, I was lucky to get a set of vintage screwdrivers at a steal.  I say a steal, because for some reason, vintage tools are starting to get popular with collectors, and you cannot get your hands in a good lot.  Well, I guess my grandfather was looking after me and I was able to find and win this set.  It even has the approval of Gadget Man (my husband) who loves new tools and all kinds of crazy designs.  He is starting to appreciate them now, and he even told me that he was going to build me an old fashion tool box to accommodate my growing collection.  This is why I love him so much – he gets me, and I get him.

As writers, we can look and study old literature, but also, appreciate the new works that many talented writers are sharing these days.  It can all  blend beautifully and cohabit in peace.  There is “Soul” in writing, in the classic works as well as the new works that are born of inspiration, are well crafted, and proudly presented to the reader, not because the writer wants to run after the market to make a quick buck, but because He/she has fallen in love with the piece and wants to share it with the world.

Here are some pictures of my latest tool bounty, which I proudly share with you.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

The Why to What?

As I savor the last piece of my magical box of Turkish Delight, I happen to be thinking about a post I read earlier.  The post was about “what you really really really want,” and you can read about it in Ollin Morales blog – Courage 2 Create.  Well, right now what I really want is another box of Turkish Delight, but pondering about this issue prompted me to write this post.  I like to read books about positive thinking/attitude, setting goals … and so on.  Most of these books talk about how important and crucial it is to know your why, because without knowing your why, it will be very difficult to achieve your goals.  The Why is the real reason or motivator for you to do something or achieve what you want.  Thinking about Ollin’s post, I realized that the Why doesn’t matter so much if you don’t know or have a clear definition of “what you really really want.”  In other words, you have to know the What to be able to ponder and establish your true Why.

Unless you know your true What, your Why is useless.  To add to the dilemma, many times, you might think that what you want is a certain something, to later find out that you really didn’t want that at all, or maybe had to tweak your want a bit to realize that your Why was totally out of zinc with your What.  I don’t blame you if your head hurts by now, but life is complicated sometimes, or at least, our perception of it.  I have found that many times, my What (s) were totally wrong, and my Why (s) did not take me there; however, I found that it was all a process for me, and one that I had to undergo to be able to find my true What and Why.  Sometimes, the journey is a What in itself, and later, it becomes the Why, at least temporarily until you realize your true What and Why.

Don’t forget to check out Ollin’s post; you can find it by clicking here – http://ollinmorales.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/and-you-cant-pull-me-down/



New Look to Inkspeare

2012 is a year for change, for dreams, for living, for realizing our potential, and for loving this planet, our home – a tiny speck in the vast universe, but still our home. I decided to give Inkspeare a new look, one that reflects me, but also where I am headed – the simple life. Yes, this is where I am heading. I hope that you enjoy this new look.

Complete Disregard is Learned

English: A cigarette butt, lying in dirty snow.

Image via Wikipedia

The other day, I was parked at the local Wawa-gas station having a cup of coffee with my husband.  Parked next to me, there was a woman who may have been in her mid or late sixties, waiting for her friend who went inside the store.  The woman was in the driver’s seat.  Just in front of her car, maybe about 15 steps or less, there was a giant trash can.  The woman chose to open her window and throw her cigarette butt on the floor, mind you, we are at a gas station/convenience store.  I could not understand this behavior.  There she was, less than 15 steps from a giant trash can, and probably had a trash compartment in her car, and she chose to litter.  I thought of saying something to her, but I stopped myself.  Instead, I looked at her, looked at the trash can, and moved my head from side to side – I’m sure she got the message.  I did not say anything because at that instant, I realized that if at that age, who knows, she could have been in her early 70s, she was still doing this, she must have done that her entire life, and my comment wouldn’t have mattered.

When I thought of it, her disregard for her planet, must had been learned long time ago, and she will probably go to her grave in this state of mind.  I am no saint, far from it, but there are things that baffle me, and they just don’t make sense.  This woman had no regard for the planet she calls home (unless she was from another planet), which translates, in my eyes, to disregard for the legacy she leaves her children or grandchildren, if she has any.

Ok, maybe you are thinking that I am making a huge deal out of a woman who happened to flick a cigarette at a parking lot.  However, the way I see it – “every action affects you or someone else, either in a positive or a negative way.”  I wish I had the power to follow that cigarette’s journey throughout the many years to see the impact that simple action had.  I can think of many scenarios –  the breeze rolls it over to the gas section just as a person is retrieving the gas nozzle from their car and a drop of gasoline falls to the floor.  Or maybe, a cute little bird or pigeon carries it to its nest underneath the roof of a home nearby.  I can think of many more scenarios, but it was just a cigarette butt, right?

The drama, oh, the drama …

Kreativ Blogger Award


Thanks to Marc Schuster for giving me a Kreativ Blogger award! Per the rules of the award, here are six blogs that I think deserve this award (and not in any particular order) followed by ten things you (probably) don’t know about me.

1. The Jittery Goat

2. Rosekate

3. Dr. Tom Bibey

4. Living Life in Glorious Colour

5. The Short and the Long of It

6. Courage 2 Create


Ten things you probably don’t know about me

1. I love ferrets

2. My favorite foods in a deserted Island would be – Pizza, M&M’s, Cheesecake.

3. I love Zero bars.

4. In my dreams, I am a Vampire Slayer and I never die.

5. I love to wash dishes by hand and smell the aroma of the bubbly and soapy water.

6. My favorite book is Jonathan Livingston Seagull

7. If I’m digging in dirt and accidentally dig up a worm, I will make a hole further away and put the worm in it so she is safe.  I also apologise to it.

8. I grew up in a tropical island but I can’t swim.

9. I love bats.

10. I keep a neat environment.  Messes drive me nuts.


My Enchantment with Turkish Delight

I love Turkish Delight; it is my weakness and I will succumb to it just as Edmund did in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  This is one of my favorite books, too.  If you have not tried this delicacy you are missing on a Treat of the Gods.  My sister gave me a box for Christmas once and since then I have been hooked.  Yesterday, I got a surprise from them – yes, you guessed it, a box of the most tempting and scrumptious Turkish Delight.  Why I love it so much? – well, I guess that since I love powder sugar, gummy bears, nuts, and rose water, it was my dream come true when these ingredients came together as the tantalizing treat that it is.  Of course, there is more to it than that, but I leave it up to you to try it and find out for yourself.

Turkish Delight originated in Istanbul, invented by Bekir Effendi, who opened a confectionary store in 1776.  It is called Lokum, and it was a Briton who got hooked on it (in the 19th century) who gave it the name of Turkish Delight.  The man got boxes of it shipped to England under this name.  I guess it stuck and since then it has been called that.  In Australia is has been known as Tom Bee, since this serviceman, Tom Bradfield, was the one introducing it after the war – another poor soul hooked on it.  It has been called many names around the world, Greek Delight, Delicia Turca, Bala de Goma … and so on.

If you decide to try it, don’t blame me if your soul is captured

English: Plates of turkish delight for sale in...

Image via Wikipedia

by this tantalizing and delicious gooey confection – I warned you.

How to Wow your Customers/Clients

The busy Holiday Season has ended and a new year is here.  For those who are independent contractors it means a fresh new start and the continuation of past business.  Keeping clients isn’t easy, whether you do retail or offer a service.  You have to find that balance that makes clients happy as well as yourself.  But what are the things that make your clients/customers go Wow?

  1. Attention to detail – I have found that this is very important in keeping your customer happy.  It goes beyond good and basic customer service.  You can be polite and go thru the motions of the sale, but when you take a good look at what your customer likes and strive to magnify that a bit, you are putting some love into the sale or service.  It is popularly called “going the extra mile;” however, you can go the extra mile out of duty or you can walk it loving it – there is a difference – and there is the balance.  To put it into perspective, when you give attention to detail, your packages are neat, extra well-packed, beautifully wrapped, and you include a little something special inside for your customer – they will remember you for that.  The online world has open many retail opportunities for online shops, and this is good.  However, I have seen many things that I don’t consider desirable; for example, receiving an item packed in a cereal box without any lining in it or any extra layers of protection.  I am all for recycling and saving the planet, but if you need to use a cereal box, you can pretty it up by wrapping/camouflaging it with some nice paper, putting some tissue inside to protect the item … and so on.  Recycle but also Upcycle.
  2. Being honest – Honesty in business goes far, and customers/clients notice.  Maybe for you, the extra dollar in shipping doesn’t make much difference, but it does to a customer.  These days, shipping packages is expensive, online sellers know that, and many times, they cannot compete with the free shipping or low shipping deals that other large companies offer.  The way I see it, it is not about competing but about being different, and you do that by refunding the difference if shipping was less and eating up the cost if it was more than you quoted.  Customers will notice and they will thank you for that, usually.
  3.  Giving the Royal Treatment – Even if you operate a very small online store, you can treat your customers as royalty.  Strive for an excellent shopping experience in all levels – communication, delivery of the product, and resolving any issues that may arise.  From offering tracking numbers, returns, and striving for making your customer happy at the end, there are many ways to wow your customers.  If you offer a service, excellent communication practices and prompt delivery, as well as following up are key.
  4. Saying Thank You – This is one of the most important things that you can do, whether you work an online business, brick and mortar store, or are an independent contractor.  It says to the  customers/clients that you value and appreciate their business – in other words, you don’t take them for granted.  You are stepping away from the “clerk treatment” so common at the street and letting your customers know that they are appreciated and that you would like to continue serving their needs in the future.  You do this by thanking them verbally, sending an email or a personalized card, including an appreciation gift or a discount coupon, and most important, following up with them briefly.  There are as many ways as far as your imagination can go.
  5. Personalizing the sale – This is of most importance, at least in my eyes.  Treating customers as people and not as dollar signs is what it means.  You can chat up a storm with a client and ask many questions to find common ground, but if you still see that person as a dollar sign, you will give that vibe back to him/her – everything is energy and energy passes thru.  Instead, think of a way in which you can truly help that customer with his/her need.  If a customer/client came to you, it is because there is a need and it is up to you to find a way to please that customer.  Next time, he/she can go somewhere else.  These days, there is a whole worldwide of choices out there in the concrete world and in cyberspace.  So, when a customer visits your online site or your brick and mortar store, be honored that they have seen your tiny dot shining in this huge retail universe.

Loving What You Do

English: Heart and Earth

Image via Wikipedia

The New Year is here and I’m happy that it is.  Despite all the doomsday talk, the way I see it, each day is full of possibilities, so I got myself a year full of possibilities.  Each day important, and certainly, not taken for granted.  Although I am a planner by nature and I love lists, I have trained my stubborn self to appreciate each day for what it is, despite the curve balls that life serve and the not so happy situations that may present along the way.  I have learned that everything is temporary, nothing is forever, and things are as bad as you make them to be – the mind and the attitude will master your emotions, and the acceptance and understanding of emotions will shape your day – days will shape your present and your future.  I say this because I have realized that life is indeed too short.  I know everyone repeats this adage, but many have not ponder the depth of it, and truly, when you think about it, life is too short for all the things you want to do and live.  This is why it is so important that you love what you do and try to pursue that love and get there.  Whether that means moving to another state or country, no one will know but you, and there are always sacrifices on the way – a great salary, time, lifestyle … it is different for each person .

I think of the day I arrive to this earth, my birth day, and I am amazed first, that I was born, and second, at how fast the years have gone by.  Yes, I regret the bent on the road, some detours, but then I understand that without taking those, I would not be writing this post.

I have arrived to a point where I can say that I am blessed and I am happy, and it doesn’t have to do with financial status, material possessions (I have none of those) or the curve balls that life serves – all of that is temporary.  One thing I am glad I found along the way – that I CAN love every single day.