Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition 4

Honolulu's Fall

Honolulu’s fall.

I’ve always loved fall and I couldn’t resist these contrasting colors when I saw them side by side as some of Hawaii’s trees were losing their leaves last November.

This week for the weekly WordPress photo challenge, Michelle W. inspires us:

A juxtaposition is “the act of placing things side by side, especially for the purpose of comparison or contrast” — …

THIS WEEK, IN A POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO SHOWING JUXTAPOSITION.

Weekly Photo Challenge: ‘Ohana (Family) 3

My_ohana

An old picture of my ‘ohana, edited to protect them.

‘Ohana is family, but not just those with blood ties. It includes calabash cousins, the people close to our hearts, the ones frequently invited to share the food at our table. Today ‘ohana also loosely describes any place where you belong like your child’s school community or your work community. Therefore, all of my ‘ohana are not pictured.

‘Ohana embraces all aspects of affection and being connected. The origin of the word comes from ‘oha, or corm of the taro plant. Cecilia Kapua Lindo explained this in great detail in “The Spirit of ‘Ohana and the Polynesian Voyagers” for those who want to learn more about Hawaiian culture.

Obviously, family is very important is every culture. Reading Ms. Lindo’s article made me keenly aware of cultural parallels especially when she mentioned that the first written record of taro came from China.

Chinese New Year is a time to honor family too. The celebrations begin days before the New Year which officially begins on January 31, 2014. I’ll be celebrating with some of our extended ‘ohana. Of course I will be sharing gau with my family to help us stick together. This year my new addition to celebrate is this blue double fish water feature representing tenacity and happy union for marriage, family and business. The Conch Shell at the top represents safe travel, wisdom and good judgement. I wish all of you Gong Xi Fa Cai or Kung Hei Fat Choi during the Year of the Wooden Horse. May it be a year of peace, joy, harmony and prosperity for all of you.

Josh R’s post at The Daily Post inspired this post. Be sure to read it for your own inspiration.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window (to My Soul) 2


In 2013, I changed both my front and backyard to add a more joyful look and to add flowers to attract beneficial insects for my herb and vegetable garden. This had the added benefit of changing my view. I have continued to focus on gratitude including being grateful that my son attends a school that I love.

My magnet

My magnet

There is an old saying, “Let go or be dragged.” It now is on my freezer door to remind me that there are times when we really do have to let go. It is what my daughter wisely advised me to do when the new head of her former school adamantly refused to give her a requested apology for their failures.

There are some institutions and some people who have to learn to change in their own time, and we cannot force that change. That does not mean we should stop trying to educate. I am not sorry that I wrote my novel or that I tried to educate others, but there are times when we need to change focus for our own sanity. Walking away has helped my family and me return to our joyful place, and in my heart I know creating more joy for those around us is what life is all about.

This post is inspired by this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Window.

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: