Monday, August 30, 2010


My daughter and I strolled the beach.  The water whispered our names but we couldn't answer the call.  See, there was a sign back at the main path that read, "Do not swim - unsafe bacteria levels can cause illness."  So instead, we sat on a nearby bench to watch the sun set.

Before long, these two ducks waddled by.  My daughter couldn't help herself...she had to tell them hi.  There's something quite beautiful about watching her commune with other sentient beings in nature.  But my mind soon drifted back toward these two ducks, as they hurriedly approached, unbeknownst to them, the same bacteria infested water not safe enough for humans...and my heart sunk.  Imagine if we all loved them as much as we love ourselves.

I often read a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh that always remind me of the inter-connectedness of humankind and all other elements of nature.  Hope you don't mind if I share it with you:

"Please Call Me by My True Names."

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply:  I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
   to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
   feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and 

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to my
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
   walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

One Love.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: and the winner is...

And now, without any further delay, with the aid of my daughter as the designated selector of random goodness, I hereby bestow the following *gift of jewels* upon these chosen few individuals:

Christina, Soul Apertureballoons photograph - Kate I.

Tracy, Pink Purlspa cloth trio - Toni

SusyPinkInklingzwind point light - Bonnie (Mamma)

ToniDaily Vignettependant necklace - Teresa O

Congratulations to all of you! I hope you enjoy your gifts. Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart, to all my friends who so generously donated these wonderful items for the *gift of jewels* giveaway...I'm melting over here. 

Give thanks to everyone for joining in the fun. It's always a pleasure to spread a little love all over the world...and please don't forget to check in here when you receive your jewel in the mail.  

one love.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: nature photocards...

Before this love fest is over, I have one more *gift of jewels* I'd like to loosen from my hands, to yours.

This lovely set of nature photocards was donated by my dear friend Chris, author of An Inch of Time blog and esteemed, self-taught photographer.  Perfect for sending a little love note in the mail or even as a gift to that special someone, this set of jewels will surely deliver some joy.  You can see more of Chris' beautiful captures on her website.

* for your chance to win this beautiful set of nature photocards, please leave a comment on this post TODAY.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

one love.

Friday, August 27, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: the secret jewel...

My dear friend Toni, author of  daily vignette and co-author of vision and verb blogs, has donated this gorgeous pendant necklace to one of you.  Can't you just picture it around your neck?  To see more of Toni's creative pieces, please visit toni johnson designs, which features her beautiful art glass and photography.

Oooh wait a minute...did I forget to tell you something?  Aaaah, yes.  The winner of this necklace was randomly selected from the registered participants in the *gift of jewels* project.  This secret jewel will soon appear in the mailbox of the chosen one.  It's my little way of saying thank you for joining the *gift of jewels* project and for helping me spread love all over the world. 

*may i ask one little favour of you? since i track all the jewels until they are delivered to each one of you, when you receive yours, could you please stop by this post and share your thoughts with us. to make it easier, the *gift of jewels* photo button in the sidebar will directly link to this post.  one love.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: take a tea break...

Our lovely tea connoisseur Marilyn, author of Delights of the Heart blog, has donated this delightful gift set to the *gift of jewels* giveaway.  It contains a convenient travel tea tumbler and a delicious jar of Cherry Amaretto jam. ooooh, yum-my!  You can find more of Marilyn's delicious treats at Marmalady's Tea.

*for your chance to win this wonderful tea gift set, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

*for more *gift of jewels* giveaway items, please check here.  please feel free to enter as many giveaways as you wish.  one love.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: dwell in possibility...

"Dwell in Possibility."  An apt reminder from an incredible sketch and culinary artist Marie, author of The English Kitchen and AYear From Oak Cottage.  She has generously donated this print of one of her original works of art to the *gift of jewels* giveaway.  Isn't it just lovely?  You can check out more of Marie's beautiful creations at her etsy shop and Blossom Time Creations.

*for your chance to win this jewel of light, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

*for more *gift of jewels* giveaway items, please visit here, here, here, here and here.  one love.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: clarity and balance...

My very first *gift of jewels* pen pal and dear friend Julochka, author of Moments of Perfect Clarity blog, has been busy therapeutically painting feathers on pocket-sized stones in her quest to find balance.  She has donated one of these precious touchstones to the *gift of jewels* giveaway.  Both a talented artist and photographer, you can peruse through more of her great finds at her etsy shop and at big cartel.

*for your chance to win this precious touchstone, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

*to register for more *gift of jewels* giveaway items, here, here, here and here.  please feel free to enter as many as you wish.  one love.

Monday, August 23, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: maybe with love...

The moment I visit her blog, I am captivated by her.  Maybe with LOVE you and I can change the World?  Maybe...and just like that, her BIG heart touches mine deeply...each and every time.

My beautiful friend Kim, author of Queen of Arts blog, has generously donated a package of 4 notecards and envelopes featuring 4 different original works of art to the *gift of jewels* giveaway.  Each card measures 4 x 5".  Kim is a phenomenal mixed media artist who uses her talents to spread love around the world.  You can check out more of her expressions of love at her etsy store.

*for your chance to win a set of her original mixed media postcards, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

*to register for more *gift of jewels* giveaway items, please click here, here and here.  one love.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: wind point light...

"Wind Point Light"

Queen Makeda's Royal Carriage is now overflowing with we're giving some of them away - you know, just to spread the love.  ;)

This gem was donated by my dear friend Susy, author of PinkInklingz blog and owner of Moonflower Studios, her online gallery featuring the most precious works of art.  Measuring 16 x 12", this image is professionally printed on high quality stock paper using archival inks.  Overall dimensions are 24 x 18".

*for your chance to win this fantastic gem, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

* for more *gift of jewels* giveaway items, please check here and hereplease feel free to enter as many of the giveaways as you wish.  one love.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: spa cloth trio...

My lovely friend Tracy, author of Pink Purl, has graciously donated this beautiful Spa Cloth Trio, hand knit in super-soft 100% organic cotton in pretty sky blue.  Comes with delicious coconut-scented soap from The Body Shop.  Cloths are great for bath/spa, kitchen or baby care!  

You can also find more of Tracy's treasures at her etsy shop, which is now having a huge 50-75% off closing sale.  She will be donating a portion of her sales to charity:  UNICEF and Charity Water, where a $20 donation alone can supply one person clean drinking water for 20 years.  How amazing is that?

*for your chance to win this organic spa experience, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 1010.  This giveaway is open to everyone.

*for more*gift of jewels* giveaway items, please check here.  please feel free to enter as many giveaways of interest to you.  one love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

*Gift of Jewels* Giveaway: sprinkle the jewels...

~ symbols of love ~


The above photo appears courtesy of the most sincere Empress 
Christina, author of Soul Aperture blog and owner of 
Soul Aperture Paper Goods which features her special line of notecards, as well as some sweet new photographic prints.  She has generously donated this jewel to giveaway to one of you.  This giveaway is open to everyone - you need not participate in the *gift of jewels* in order to register for your chance to win this stunning, professionally printed, 5 x 7 photograph. 

Can't you just see it hanging on your wall? 

For your chance to win this stunning jewel, please leave a comment on this post by August 28, 2010.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on August 29, 2010.

~ love.  it's what we do here. ~

Dear *gift of jewels* participants,

All week, I could barely contain myself, waiting for this very moment.  the moment when we collectively get to sprinkle the jewels!  whoo-hoo...

I want to thank you all for participating in this international pen-pal project.  By now, each of you should have received a personal email from me with the contact information for the secret intended recipient of your jewel.  If you don't receive your email by Sunday, please feel free to notify me at

Over 70 symbols of love are being sent from loving souls in 12 different countries across the globe and one of them will soon land in your mailbox.  Remember, no one else knows who or where their jewel is coming from so please do not spill the beans.  You can rest assured that the person you are sending your jewel to is definitely not the person sending yours because no two people have each other.  ;)  Please feel free to send your jewel anonymously if you so desire, or you may include your return mailing address.  either way is love.

All *gift of jewels* should be mailed on or before September 11, 2010, the Ethiopian New Year.

One World. One People. One Love.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

are you ready?

one. more. day.
and the *gift of jewels* will be here.
are you ready to spread love all over this world?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

crown jewels...

hey, do you think it's still too early to start trying on my crowns?

well then, i guess i'll just continue gathering my inku (jewels).

c'mon, count down with me.  3 - 2 - 1.  *gift of jewels* ;)

a most sincere thank you for joining in. one love.

*IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you have signed up for the *gift of jewels* project, please be sure to email me your contact information ( Unfortunately, your sender will be unable to mail you a jewel if we've got no mailing address for you.  Thanks.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

happy thoughts...

finding beauty in the ordinary and

planning secret surprises, just for you!

in the *gift of jewels*

hey, i've got an idea...if i wind the clock ahead...

do you think time will move any faster?  ;)

~ ~ ~

hope you are having a fabulous day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

to friendship + love...

I cannot find the words to describe the feeling I get when an envelope full of love arrives at my doorstep. I'm swooning at the thought that I can share that feeling with one of you!!!! (exhale).

Rumour has it that the Queen's royal carriage, carrying the most precious *gift of jewels*, will soon arrive at the station, and then we get to sprinkle the jewels all over the world. I am sooooo excited!  I am beside myself over about you?

Sparkling, shiny jewels will be sprinkled from:



Puerto Rico
South Africa,
United Kingdom, and
the USA.

give thanks.  one love.

Monday, August 9, 2010

gift of jewels: roll call...

i am seeing jewel tones everywhere these days...
probably because i've got the *gift of jewels* on my mind ;)

~ ~ ~

*can't wait to find out which one of you lovelies i'll be sending my jewel to:

vchelle, operation you

kim living life, a box of chocolates

birdie, simple ways

christina, soul aperture

tracy, pink purl

connie, loose lemons

joanna jenkins, the fifty factor

elizabeth, landanna

shani, sling jax

beverley, bunny's girl

suvarna, raptinlight

misspoetick, just me.

kate i, inspired

meredith, the enchanted earth

eslocura, eslocura's asylum

paula, little scraps of magic

sharon, happenings on chaos ranch

sheila, tea and toast

elizabeth, Necessary Room reader

elizabeth, retinal perspectives

carol, my painting room

katrina, kat's cradle

anyes, far away in the sunshine

kathy, carpe diem

kristin, hello sweet world

lesley, sometimes sophia

betsy, my five men

kelli, kelli and her camera

angie, visually oriented blog

sarah kate, Necessary Room reader

erica, erica staab

elizebeth, the art of starting over

anu, samosas for one

wynene, ophelia drowning

lynn, allegria images

elsa, honey & sage

*give thanks to all who've signed up - let's spread love all over the world!

One World. One People. One Love.

Friday, August 6, 2010

silent moments...

it's the weekend again, my friends.

a little more time to pause and reflect,

and meditate on this thing called life.

giving thanks for each moment.

~ ~ ~

today, our brothers and sisters in Haiti, for example, are still living under conditions we couldn't bear to live in ourselves. i think about the hundreds of millions in relief funds raised on their behalf sitting quite comfortably in bank accounts, and i wonder to myself, can't they see my people need help now?
i can still remember the moment i heard the news that the 7.0 magnitude earthquake had hit the country. it's forever etched in my memory. i'll always remember feeling my soul sink to a depth never before discovered. the thought of 230,000 men, women, and beautiful little children gone in an instant. tens of thousands of beings buried in mass graves. it was all too much to bear - i just couldn't process this kind of reality. so i fasted and i prayed, and helped in any way that i possibly could.
this weekend, i will spend 7 minutes in prayer in honour of the survivors of the Haiti earthquake and all the other sufferars around the world, both near and far. because despite all the disasters and atrocities of men in this world, i know, with all that i am, that love is the only way. (exhale).
one love, always.
have a conscious friday and a divine weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

beauty at daylight...

When i was a little girl, my mom had a catalogue of garden flowers. I'd flip through the pages, daydreaming about having a garden one day with all sorts of beautiful flowers, but no such garden would be complete without morning glories.
have you ever seen a morning glory slowly open up at the first glimpse of daylight? simply amazing is all i can say.
GOJ: i'm thrilled to announce that over 65 participants have already registered for the new *gift of jewels* project. Our symbols of love will be sprinkled from at least 10 different countries around the world.  thank you all so very much -- this is gonna be such fun. if you'd like to join us, please click here. one love.