Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections on Peace 5

Recently, I found myself reflecting on the passing years and how life continues to evolve for my family as we continue on our journey towards joy and inward peace.

The song, “In My Daughter’s Eyes” immediately came to mind for this challenge, and yes it does make me think of my daughter, but like many others I also think of my son. For, I truly see who I want to be in my children’s eyes. They both inspire me and make me a better person even when I’m having moments where I’m not that person. They are teenagers after all, and sometimes they do drive me crazy. Yet, when all is said and done I do hope they’ll see how happy they’ll made me, for their eyes do reflect who I am.

Author Unknown

Author Unknown

My dear children,

I hope you always remember to:

  • Listen with your heart first.
  • Try to see others’ point of view, but remain true to yourself.
  • Really hang on when your heart has had enough.
  • Keep giving when you feel like giving up.
  • Live your life with integrity regardless of what others do.
  • But, if you do make mistakes, admit them and learn from them, and move forward.
  • Follow your dreams wherever they take you.
  • Know that I am always proud to be your mom.

Much Love Always,


What Lens Do You Use? Not Your Camera, You 1

If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. —- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve learned about various camera lenses through WordPress’ Photography 101 over the last few months, and amazingly it has helped me to understand people better. We all look at life through our own lens.

So which lens do you use when you are looking at relationships with others; macro, wide-angle, or telephoto? Do you look at things so closely that you fail to see the outer world? Do you take the wider view and sometimes have blurred edges and distorted images? Or, are you more versatile and able to change your focus based on the situation at hand, while occasionally missing the details or blurring the background or even blurring the foreground? Or, like me do you find there have been times in your life when you’ve changed lenses or even times when you wish you had changed your lens?

This month the Bloggers for Peace challenge is to focus on our family especially those we don’t fully embrace. Those who read my recent photo challenge post about family know that in Hawaii ohana means family and much more. I am thinking seriously about how the way I view situations has contributed to dynamics within my ohana. Of course living in a culture that discourages outing members of our ohana, I had to find a way to address the challenge without addressing any individual or group of individuals. The letter below is my response to the challenge. And if it touches a chord for you, I hope you will reach out.

Dear Ohana,

Some of you may no longer realize that you are still part of our ohana, but you are. There truly is no way to remove someone completely from your life once they have touched it enough to be ohana. Believe me, I have tried to remove some of you. The reality is you and I were viewing the situation through different lenses and this resulted in a failure to communicate. It happens.

Unfortunately, it happens too often in this world. I’ve searched my soul to find answers to help bring peace back to our ohana. Honestly, it is still a process. I hope you are working on this from your side too because obviously there are always two sides to any problem. I still have hope that deep within your soul you care enough to want a solution.

I am willing to admit at least half of the failure to communicate rests with me. I hope you are willing to meet me halfway, so we can finally view the situation through each other’s lenses and begin to fully understand one another. I wish you nothing but peace and your reply is not essential for my peace, so you do not need to respond quickly or even at all. Still, I hope you will reply at some point because leaving you behind is not an option.

With aloha,


Find Your Joy for Inner Peace 5

FindingJoyAppreciating the simple things in nature can bring joy if you open your heart and mind. It can help heal your soul so you can share your joy with others too. Lookup on a cloudy day and you just might see a rainbow. Take a deep breath after the rain clears the air. Enjoy the silence after the snow falls. Listen to the birds chirping early in the morning. I know if you try you can find something that will bring you joy.

Like many others I loved Pollyanna when I was younger. I especially loved how she focused on the “glad texts” of the Bible: “Shout for joy” or “Be glad in the Lord.”

Pollyanna told the Reverend, “And do you know, my father said that if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must have wanted us to do it.”

Yet, as an adult, I too have been guilty of forgetting the “glad texts.” Maybe, it is time to look them up again.

That is why my focus for this month’s peace challenge is joy.

I know you can find someone in your life or a character to model as you begin your own search for joy. Maybe you prefer Maria from The Sound of Music: