Moon, Light and Shadow




Breaking Up With Loved Ones

“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.” — Daniell Koepke

For all love relationships, with significant others, friends and family, this works both ways. If you are anything like me, you have probably dished out your fair share of drama, confusion and pain to friends and loved ones. It is perfectly all right for those you have hurt to let YOU go as well. Continue reading “Breaking Up With Loved Ones”


Christmas Moments 2012

At Mum’s home.

My cousin took me for a drive through Snug Harbor Estates. It’s a whole neighbourhood that goes all Griswolds for Christmas. It was absolutely beautiful. Photos alone don’t do justice to the overall feeling seeing 15′ candy canes and beautifully decorated trees. I felt like a kid again. 🙂

Christmas won’t be Christmas without Ralphie. There’s a TV channel here in West Palm Beach that is showing 24 hours of A Christmas Story! Of course an Indiana Jones marathon is on as well. All I need now is A Charlie Brown Christmas, Love Actually and Home For The Holidays and I’ll be set.

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Spinach baked in Cream of Mushroom Sauce, Kale & Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Caramelized Carrots and Fresh Salad – Mum’s and my contribution to the Family Christmas Potluck. It’s no wonder I’m already hungry. Hoping to hold out until one when the family gets together. 🙂

Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🙂

What’s In A Year?


December 31st, a day for setting resolutions and goals, is fast approaching and I’m overflowing with blog post ideas: December 21st and the ‘end of the world as we know it’; A possible explanation for my missing Farewell to 2011 post; My 2012 Wrap Up; What 2013 means to me; and many more. But right now, more than anything, I find myself ready for some peace of mind. If there is one thing I’ve done a lot of this year is THINK. I’ve analyzed EVERYTHING: the past, the present, the future, my behaviour, the behaviour of others, and supposed meanings in everything around me. It’s time for some quiet. So, I’m covering everything today. All these thoughts running rampant in my brain are coming out now. So, on with the show!
December 21st and the ‘end of the world as we know it’
Last week, on the drive to the airport it was the hot topic. To me, the big change is the shift in collective consciousness. Of course this is a shift that has been happening for decades and it will continue to shift for a few more decades. This year simply marked an acceleration. For the first time in the history of humanity as we know it there is a global network unlike any other. Almost 35% of the people on the planet have Internet access. Almost 85% of the global population is literate. Information is shared in a way it never has been before, through the Internet, television, radio and print media. And, even though much of this ‘information’ is insubstantial and as far as I see it, rubbish, I cannot deny that I’ve seen people who are trying. I see those who are making a difference in the world by helping others, by teaching, and by doing their part to make the world a better place. Those are the ones who give me hope. That is the collective shift that I am talking about. I see more and more like minded people making connections and working together for common goals. It’s exciting and encouraging.
My missing ‘Farewell to 2011’ post
By December 2011 I’d been going to a psychotherapist for a little over a month. After an unnerving end to an unhealthy relationship I realized that I was at a point where I had to figure out how I’d reached a point in my life where I felt it was acceptable for me to deem myself unworthy of, well, more. When the time came to write my end of year post, all I would do was re-read my end of 2010 post and wonder where I went. A friend told me that I had already accomplished so much, just by standing up for myself and having the courage to try to understand my life and to change it. He was right, but at the time, I felt broken and unsure and quite frankly, terrified. I didn’t know whether or not I could do it. Changing a core belief from a negative one to a positive one after almost three decades of reinforcement seemed an insurmountable task. Looking back on it now, I would say that if there was anything at all I accomplished for 2011, it was that I took a hold of myself. I made ME my first priority and I knew for sure that no matter what was revealed to me and where my journey led, I wasn’t going to quit.
2012 Wrap Up
It’s fitting that this would be called a Wrap Up. Like they say in the film industry: “That’s a wrap!” It’s been one helluva year. A few weeks before my birthday in November I was talking to a friend and I said to him that I was as much as 90% happy with my life. I am surrounded by people who I genuinely care for and am genuinely cared for: a loving family and friends I respect and have so much fun with. I can afford to pay my bills and have enough to enjoy going out for dinner or meeting friends to share a bottle or two of wine. I made a commitment to myself to leave an unsatisfying job no matter what, and I reaffirmed my choice to make Luna Surya Studios a place for creativity and healing. I learned to love and respect myself in a way I never have before. I’ve come to an understanding about my history and I see all the potential that it has. I’ve learned to love all the shadowy corners of me and embrace all the light in me. I am truly grateful for my life and for all my gifts. At the very beginning of 2012 I remember saying that this was a year for change. This was to be a year to understand what was not healthy for me and to learn to let go. It was a year for improvement. It has been, with all the remarkable, painful, surprising and incredible lessons that such change brings with it. This has been, truly, an amazing year, and I am humbled with gratitude for having had it.
What 2013 means to me:
So here I am on the threshold of a new year and for once it really does feel like an ending and a beginning. I know that change will continue, as it is in life’s nature to do so. I’m OK with that. I am stronger than I’ve ever been I think and I get butterflies in my stomach when I think of POSSIBILITIES. My world is open. My future is open. 2012 was a year of soul searching, learning, lessons and revelations. I think for now, I can say that for 2013 my goal is to Be Present. I am grateful for the past, it is my teacher, and I look forward to the future, it is my destiny. But today, I’ll make another promise to myself: I’m going to enjoy my present. I’m going to spend time with those I love, enjoying the things that make me happy: books, food, laughing, flowers, body scrubs, being healthy, art, music, writing, photography, nature walks, and my Studio. I’m going to have fun, go crazy and embrace life in a way I haven’t before. I’m going to BE PRESENT. I’ve earned it.

Week Of Rainbows

“May I never miss a sunset or a rainbow because I am looking down.” 
Rainbow over the Anchorage
Almost every day last week I spotted rainbows. On my way to and from work mostly.

In the boatyard near my office

Above the boatyard next to ours

A friend sent me a link to beautiful photos of Moonbows,
a phenomenon I did not know existed.

On Friday, my last day of work for 2012
In flight, just after take off on my way to Florida.
The dark spot on the lower left is the shadow of the plane
and it is encircled by a rainbow.

First rainbow in West Palm Beach outside my Mom’s apartment.
Rainbows have been symbols of hope and new beginnings throughout time, and seeing one has always made me smile. I photograph rainbows whenever an opportunity presents itself and seeing five rainbows in a week seems too important a symbol to ignore. So I did some research. The Symbolism of the rainbow is both rich and ancient.

A rainbow can symbolize a bridge between the spiritual realm and the realm of matter below. Or it can represent a journey’s end. The leprechaun’s legendary and mystical “pot of gold” is to be found at the end of the rainbow. Noah saw a rainbow at the end of the great and turbulent flood which signified the end of his voyage and a return to calmness and peace. In this respect the rainbow is also a symbol for cleansing.

As the rainbow only appears after stormy skies, it is a symbol for the restoration of cosmic order. And, just as turbulent storms are necessary for nature to cleanse and feed the Earth, so too are emotional storms necessary in our lives in order to cleanse away our burdens and feed our souls. In this respect the rainbow also symbolizes the peace and calmness which comes to us at the end of unsettling periods of our lives.

This last interpretation, for me was particularly beautiful. I believe that glimpsing so many rainbows in just a few days could not be simply by chance (or weather systems). I’ve been weighed down lately by several emotional situations and trying very hard to deal with them properly and move on in a healthy way. For me, these rainbows are reminders to have faith in myself, my path and my future. 

Rainbow research source: Joseph Panek

Like Mother Like Daughter

Snapshot of a section of my Mom’s bookshelf! I’m in West Palm Beach for Christmas with family, using my Mom’s dinosaur of a computer to post. But no worries, I like dinosaurs. Off for our morning walk! Have a great Sunday folks!

Family Always Knows

Yesterday afternoon I received a surprise message from my Mom, inviting me to spend Christmas with her in West Palm Beach. My first reaction was confusion and worry, after all Mom was here in Trinidad just a few days ago for my birthday. After confirming that she was okay and not ‘in need’ of a daughter, I realized she was probably doing this for me. Maybe she’s been reading my blog and figured that some time away from Trinidad might be best for me. That’s when the tears came and I couldn’t figure out if their cause was the thought of being cared for or the thought of what leaving my life here for Christmas would actually mean. 
I called my sister who told me not to hesitate and it would actually be good for me to get away. When I told her I couldn’t figure out the reason behind the tears she said I’m probably still in mourning and that the tears were ok. She agreed that the tears were probably my body and soul’s way of telling me to let go, to let release happen. She also suggested that I stop worrying about it and trying so hard to put meaning to everything. She’s right. I told Mom I’d be happy to visit and stay for the holidays. (Thanks Mom, I’ll see you soon.)
Then today, I had an unexpected visit from my sister this morning, as she stopped by for a few minutes on her way to teach an art class. She brought breakfast and advice for me: light some scented candles, listen to music, play with my creative side, possibly in the form of a mandala, don’t let my mind get cluttered with facebook and twitter, and spend some time with myself. Thanks Maggie. How do sisters always know? How does family always know? 🙂

On Birthdays

Last year, on my birthday I posted the above status on facebook. I meant every word of it. Now, one year later and I realize I can only wish the same for myself and for everyone, with one addition: Gratitude. This past year has been an incredible one for me, full of surprises, delights, discoveries, adventure, as well as disappointments, hard lessons, and tears, which for me, inevitably led to triumphs, joy, happiness and more than anything, gratitude.

So today, once again, my birthday wish for you all is: That you figure out what makes your heart smile and your spirit soar and that you have the faith and perseverance to make your dreams your reality. I wish you love and light and gratitude.


P.S. My sister just called to tell me that on our birthdays we have a direct channel to the moment we were born when who we are meant to be was set. All our possibilities, potential and the divine essence of who we are meant to become was present, and on our birthdays we have a direct connection to that essence and potential. That’s why we feel special on our birthdays. She wanted me to know that today I have the power to repel negativity because of that connection, that I should find strength in that and celebrate my day and that connection. Anything is possible. Isn’t that beautiful? Of course I got all choked up but that’s me: whenever I feel the most connected to my true self, I feel overwhelming joy and it’s an emotional experience for me. A good one though.

Magical World

Thank you for sharing my Month of Calvin & Hobbes. Now grab a friend and go explore! It’s a magical world out there!

Love and light!

In celebration of the release of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes on November 13th 2012, I’ve decided that November is My Month of Calvin. I’ll be featuring my favourite panels with that lovable, precocious, and philosophical six year old and his tiger. Enjoy! All my Calvin & Hobbes posts can be viewed here.

Chinese Wish Lantern Festival

All this week the Chinese Association hosted it’s Lantern Festival, held annually to highlight the integration of the diverse cultures of Trinidad and Tobago and China. There were events and demonstrations throughout the week.

(above photos by Allan Lim Choy)
Photo by Damian Luk Pat
The week long celebrations culminated in a grand event on the final night: The Wish Lantern Festival! My Mum is visiting this week and she, having only just arrived at my apartment, hurried to get dressed as I excitedly explained to her what the event was and what a wish lantern represented. During the Yuan Dynasty, which began in the 13th century, Chinese Wish Lanterns became a symbol of hope and good wishes. The Lanterns are now traditionally released with a wish to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. It is no wonder that with Trinidad and Tobago celebrating it’s Golden Jubilee that the Chinese Association saw it fitting to encourage people to make such wishes. 
I had offered to add my friend’s wish to my lantern for her, as well as her brother’s as he was unable to attend as well. So Mum and I bought an additional lantern to our two, to release for my sister and my one year old nephew. We were guided by Chinese symbols for Happiness, Courage, Joy, Wealth, Love, Peace, Harmony, Health, and the like, and you could pay extra to have the symbols screen printed onto your lantern. We decided that the Sharpies I brought along would be sufficient. 
We walked around the asphalt grounds looking for a clear space to sit to write our wishes on our lanterns. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people present. People seemed excited and thrilled and hopeful. This was the first time such an event was planned here and it was obvious that many many people were enthusiastic about the event. I was for two main reasons: the act of wishing, sending your dreams and desires up and out into the world, and secondly: to photograph the hundreds of beautiful lanterns lifting up into the night sky!
By the time we were through, we folded back our three lanterns and met up with friends who were anticipating the lantern release as much as we were. There were demonstrations going on, while we waited out the windy conditions: Dragon Dances, Martial Arts and Tai Chi Performances. 
It was a little difficult to see all the demonstrations because of the amount of people but it didn’t matter. We happily waited, hugging our wish lanterns to our bodies as we waited. The event organizers said they were only running half an hour behind.
Photo by Simone Rudder

Alas, our Lanterns were not meant to set free that night. The Fire Marshall’s voice came over the microphone to say: “Goodnight ladies and gentlemen. While we encourage you to continue with your celebrations please be advised that you will not be allowed to release your lanterns.”
That was all he said, unfortunately. Needless to say we were very disappointed. My friend Simone, her first reaction was: “Does this mean my wish won’t come true?” She looked so unhappy. I felt it too. But I was more concerned with us leaving before the crowd. We got to our car as quickly as possible and headed home with mixed emotions. I understood about the safety factor but was disappointed that the event was not better organized / managed in terms of the wish lanterns. Whether the fault lies with the Association or the Fire Service, it is unfortunate. There were so many people there who seemed excited and hopeful and genuinely interested in this first of its kind event and the release of the lanterns was what everyone was talking about.
Ah well, c’est la vie. Perhaps we are meant to be more determined to make our wishes happen. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to prove what we really want. We’ll find a way to let our lanterns fly, one day very soon.

A Wish Lantern Release in China

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