Reflections On Food: Five Foods To Live For…

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” James Beard Reflections On Food: Five Foods To Live For...? Reflections On Food: Five Foods To Live For... Thyme & Garlic grilled salmon w/ Mango salsa, Rosemary potatoes, snow peas Reflections On Food: Five Foods To Live For... Chocolate covered macadamia nuts Teriyaki Salmon, Chocolate drizzled Macadamia nut cake, Carrot Cashew soup, Kashi Cereal, Mediterranean Salad… If you could only have five food items for the rest of your life, what would you choose? When I first ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: BIG…

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.”  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.  Life’s Little Instructions Weekly Photo Challenge: BIG… The huge robot soldier at Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan Weekly Photo Challenge: BIG… Supermoon; perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system Weekly Photo Challenge: BIG… Big Art at Storm King Art Center: Alexander Calder Five Swords (red) and Buddha at Rest. In NYC: Giant Needle and Button on Fashion/7th ...

START: Face the Fear & Just Do it Anyway

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting.” Siddhartha Gautama As humans, we experience a wide range of emotions, see Plutchik’s wheel of emotions above, and one of them is FEAR. I have my share of fears and have written about some of them here (flying & grace) and on my Positive Kismet blog (childhood & writing). The fear of dying, public speaking and the fear of failing are ...

Nothing wrong in asking for a pay rise

A recent survey by YouGov for the Sunday Times, found that British women are less likely to ask for either a pay rise or a promotion, than men. I’m sorry, but this isn’t news to me and the findings don’t surprise me in the slightest. Although women can manage the household budget and make most of the larger financial decisions at home, they are totally embarrassed about managing their own worth in the workplace.  One friend once confided that if she was ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers…

“Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature.” Gerard De Nerval Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... Beautiful Lutea... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... Lovely lilies... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... More blooms in lilies... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... blooming black eyed susans... I love flowers in all shapes and forms and could spend hours in a garden enjoying the blooms. At different points in my life, I have been an avid gardener and then a reluctant one. When I moved to the suburbs, just before my twins ...

Plant Diseases: Rust

Rust is one of the most common fungal plant diseases. The rust fungi will cause unsightly, small, yellow spots on the surface of the leaves and a brown, orange or black powdery residue underneath. The disease is not deadly, but can cause leaves to fall off early and weaken the plant. Unlike other fungi, rust tends to affect healthy plants, usually during late summer or early fall. The disease is spread by spores in the air. As a fungal disease, the ...

Reasons to Grow Native Plants in Your Garden

Gardening can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Not only are there are thousands of different plants and flowers to choose from, breeders are constantly creating new varieties each year. That being said, many gardeners are making an effort to add native plants to their landscapes. People are rediscovering the beauty and benefits of growing native flowers. Native plants, also known as indigenous plants, are naturally occurring plants that have adapted to the climate, geography and habitat of a particular region. Here are ...

Amazing Flower Contructions by Anne Ten Donkelaar

Know what I love more than flowers? Art! Much like flowers, art adds beauty and life to our world. I especially enjoy artwork that is inspired by flowers, like the artwork by Dutch artist Anne Ten Donkelaar.” Inspired by her love of flowers, her whimsical “Flower Constructions” series explores the complexity and the beauty of nature, while challenging viewers to use their imaginations. Anne used a combination of pressed flowers and leaves, illustrations and magazine cut outs to create these stunningly detailed ...

Renting Textbooks … Is It for You (and Yours)?

Digital art by Idea go The most expensive textbook I had to purchase in college cost $29, if memory serves. I think on average I was probably spending about $15 per book, so the most expensive one was about twice the normal cost. In the late 1960’s it was a jaw-dropping amount. The shock of it was good for at least a week of conversations with other students before other topics took over, like which fraternity party to go to the ...

Predicting Our Baby’s Gender….

Baby Predictor My wife is 19 weeks pregnant today, and this afternoon we’re going to her doctor for an ultrasound to (hopefully) determing the baby’s gender. [NOTE: our fingers are crossed that the baby's legs won't be...] That’s the kind of people we are – we don’t like surprises and we even peek and partially unwrap Christmas presents to alleviate the suspense. Don’t judge us! Anyway, before we try the scientific method of knowing the baby’s sex we decided to try a completely ...

5 Delivery Room Survival Rules For Dads

My blogging buddy and mentor Michelle Shaeffer told me about this great, free site called Piktochart that enables non-PhotoShop mortals like me to generate cool infographics. An infographic is a graphical representation of information in a highly-visible, easily digestible format. Given that we’re about to have our third child, I thought I’d share five rules to help expectant dads survive and navigate the newborn experience. With that, here’s the world premiere of my first infographic – Baby Delivery: 101. Question: What’s a topic you’d like ...

TED talk on Culturomics and ngrams

Cityscape USA You may already have seen the video below of a talk given at the 2011 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, this talk being on Culturomics and ngrams.googlelabs.com. I’m posting it here because all the data behind the phenomenon is being taken from books. I would be remiss not to include this somewhere on my site! The video below is “What We Learned from 5 Million Books.” And the following paragraph is what is written on the TED site about ...

Fabulous Finds: Valentine’s Day Decor and Gifts

Life may be like “a box of chocolates,” as Forrest Gump would say. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants one for Valentine’s Day. If you want to give your loved one something that lasts longer than a sweet confection, check out these fabulous finds. Each one is sure to put a smile on their face. Smith & Hawken Cream Curved Wood Wreath; 21.25″. Priced at $33.99; www.target.com. Red Foil Ceramic Bowl. Priced at $34.95; www.pier1.com. Go Home Venice Candlesticks; pack of two. ...

Groundhog’s Day For Dummies….

Punxsutawney Phil - image courtesy Wikipedia In case you missed the “breaking news” this morning out of central Pennsylvania, it seems that part-time weather prognosticator (full-time rodent) Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, which means we’re destined for six more weeks of winter. However, given the balmy temperatures that most of the US experienced this past “June-uary” more winter might be a good thing. And here’s another good thing, a video by the YouTube troubadour, C.G.P. Grey who deftly navigates the fact ...

Village Park Eco Home

Green building, or sustainable construction, is more than environmentally responsible. It’s fiscally smart. Simply put, eco-friendly designed buildings cost less to operate. That’s why we’re so excited to be on the design team for the Village Park Eco Home, a contemporary hill country home about to be constructed in Highland Village, Texas. The home is being built to answer the question, “What’s next in high-performance home construction?” And the answers are cutting edge! It’s an exciting project in green construction, being built with ...

4 July 4th Holiday Traditions

This holiday weekend is a family favorite for us. The girls are out of school, the weather is awesome and it's a great time to relax. While there have been some tweaks to it over the years, every July 4th weekend there are four traditions that our family tends to follow: 1. Parade - we make an effort to attend one parade during this annual holiday to help instill in our daughters the concept that freedom has a cost. 2.Campfires - this holiday ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
January 28, 2013, 11:00 am

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

“Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.” Leo Buscaglia

couple-embrace

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

“I will not play tug o’ war.
I’d rather play hug o’ war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.” Shel Silverstein 

Hello there! My name is Hugo and I’m a hugaholic… I capture images of people and other life forms sharing a hug; in common and unusual settings. I travel around the world as a freelance photographer for a news outfit, and every chance I get, I encourage people; couples, kids, families, even strangers, to exchange a hug for my Hugging Hearts – Hug Another Soul Today photography project. How did this hugaholic hug fest start? Keep reading…

The first shot above, was taken in Portugal next to an Alexandre Farto, aka VHILS installation. The couple in the shot, Jorge and Carmelita, are good friends not lovers. We met in Lisbon on special assignment and they offered to show me around. I’ll come back to their story in a bit. We definitely bonded and they exemplified what Farto said in describing his silver funicular car that “Beyond nationality lies our most essential humanness.” That humanness also defines the universality and power of a hug…

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.” Bil Keane

mata_amritanandamayi

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

There’s something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart,
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part….
Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr., “A Simple Hug”

How did I get into the hugaholic photography business? I wasn’t born that way even though my mom told me I was the happiest and most huggable baby of all her five kids. My move from being a regular, self-conscious stiff Joe to Mr Hugaholic, began five years ago. I was a film major at HK University and took a course on creating documentaries. My professor advised us to find a subject of interest, interview them and document it.

I mentioned the project to my best friend Jenna and she suggested we go see the beloved hugging saint, Amma, who was in NY for a few days. I was curious and agreed to go. “Should I bring my camera equipment? Ask for an interview?” I asked Jenna. “No,” she said, “Just bring yourself and be present with an open heart.” I had reservations but went as planned. It changed my life. We arrived at the Center mid afternoon and watched as thousands of people gathered and stood in line to meet Amma; each got a hug.

We waited patiently for our turn and when it came, I knew something in me had shifted. I was swept away by the most tender, loving hug that enveloped me, lifting away my worries and fears. I felt cocooned by a deep love as the sweet smell of jasmine filled the air and Amma whispered blessings in my ears.  She soon released me, smiled at me with compassionate eyes, handed me an apple, sweets and sent me on my way.  I floated away feeling peaceful and quiet inside in ways I had never felt before.  Suddenly, a voice rose inside me, “Go share your hug a 1000 times over, and then share it 1000 times more.”  it said.  And I did. More below!

“A hug is worth a thousand words.” Author Unknown

hugs

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

Hold a friend’s hand through times of trial,
let her find love through a hug and a smile;
but also know when it is time to let go -
for every one of us must learn to grow. Author Unknown

The next day, Jenna joined me on the streets as I stopped and asked people if they’d been hugged and if they’d share a hug and a story. I captured it on camera and shared the results with my professor. I got an A but kept going. Each hug I got filled me with happiness, love and peace; always reminding me that hugs cut across all boundaries and make our humanity shine. I joined the Free Hugs Campaign,  enjoyed offerings on HugsUnlimited and built my portfolio.

I’ve accumulated hundreds of photos, plus Jorge and Carmelita are my 999th and 1000th hug. When we first met, they were volunteers in an Orphanage and suggested I create books and support orphaned babies. I agreed I would when I reached my 1000th hug. They helped make it happen and I’m grateful for that.  I also thank Amma for her special hug that inspired me. If I meet you on a street somewhere, be sure to ask me for a hug.

Soon, I will create my coffee books and start the next set of 1000 hugaholic shots. I’ll share any proceeds I make from my hug photos and coffee table books with an Orphanage (all kids there get regular hugs) in another part of the world. Stay Inspired. Have a blessed day and thank you for stopping by!
*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs. Thank you all for your patience!

Happy 2013! This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words, Take Two.  Your challenge this week is to write a post based on this picture: Who are these people? What’s their relationship? Could you use a hug? Why?

Positive Motivation Tip: A hug and humor can save the day… Give someone a hug today!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: Amma via Wikipedia,

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

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