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Treasure dad on Father's Day

Strong and Tender – Modern Fatherhood at Its Best

The breadwinner, the disciplinarian, the guy who wrestles with sons and dotes on daughters – this is likely what comes to mind when you think of fathers. The traditional role has been one of supporter and teacher, but today fathers are allowed and encouraged to be so much more. Look at your family and around your local community and you’ll see fathers taking a far more active role. Look around and you’ll find a treasure in these men.

It’s a New World

Modern-day dads change diapers, take care of midnight feedings, cook dinners, and carpool kids. Dads are the trustworthy guide through the challenging parts of childhood and the teen years. They are the guys in your local community coaching the kids sports teams and volunteering at local charity events. They are no longer just the guy who works hard at the office all day to feed his family.

Not all men are comfortable with this new, softer side of fatherhood. They may be reticent to fix their daughter’s hair, to cry at a sad movie in front of their kids, or to step outside of the traditional role and help clean the house. But as new generations of dads are born I imagine that “being manly” will become more about stepping up in any capacity that’s needed. They are the unsung heroes in many lives and increasingly are becoming an inspiration for defining fatherhood for future generations.

Creating a Bond That’s Out of This World

My husband lost his father at an early age and it had a huge impact on who he is today. He made a vow to himself to be an involved, loving father – to never let his child miss him even if he was still living. He has more than succeeded. The relationship he has with our son is filled with laughter and includes lots of time spent doing the things they both enjoy. It’s also filled with great trust, honest discussion, and genuine expressions of love. There is no fear in either of them about hugging and saying “I love you.” It fills me with joy to watch them together and to know that my son is learning to be a good person, a good man, and one day a good husband and father.

Give Them the World

This Father’s Day, look around your local community for the unsung heroes of parenthood, see the fathers in your family and view them all in a different light. Not just as the strong and trustworthy financial provider but also as the necessary compliment to mothers. Treasure them as the one who provides strength that comes from a place of love, and discipline that comes from a place of tenderness and caring. No matter how much they may try to hide it, dads are all just those little boys who may have wanted something more from their fathers, like time, attention, approval, or love. Know they are strong but give them permission to be softer. Love them regardless.


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.
She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.
Brenda H.

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Jump in

Jump In, The Water’s Fine – The Risk /Reward Experiment

It’s that nagging voice in your head that holds you back. It’s the thought that something big has to happen in order to feel truly alive. It’s the fear that you’ll never accomplish a dream. Taking chances and making things happen doesn’t always feel like an easy thing to do. But actually it can be. You just might have to make small changes to reach your destination.

Hesitation

Getting a job, meeting someone to spend your life with, traveling to far-away places – there are people who seem to do these things with ease. Some people feel comfortable throwing themselves into new adventures, others don’t. But anyone can accomplish what’s in their heart. Knowing what you want and setting a goal is a place to start, but don’t lose sight of the smaller, less obvious things you can do to work towards your goal.

  • Wake up each day feeling as though you can.
  • Change something in your routine and learn to embrace disruption or change.
  • Put yourself in uncomfortable situation.

Time to Overcome

Growing up I was incredibly quiet and shy and didn’t want to be noticed. As I got older, I realized my fears were affecting my ability to participate in life, it was impacting my personal growth. I wasn’t challenged in my job but had no confidence that I could do anything else. Knowing I had to push myself, I vowed to make small changes. I began with having conversations with strangers I encountered, I explored my area and ate in new restaurants, and I started singing to myself – very loudly – in spite of the fact that my upstairs neighbors might hear. Anything to push me out of my routine and comfortable place.

Then I took a real risk by signing up for a local adult education course in theater. There’s nothing more terrifying for a shy person than to stand up in front of others and perform a scene. Turns out it was scary and it was fun at the same time. I auditioned for some plays at a community theater and performed on stage in front of real audiences, accomplishing something I never thought I could do. The next step was going back to school to study journalism and eventually I landed a new job. It was a long way from being shy to reporting on camera and ultimately anchoring a newscast, but I made it. I threw a rock into the calm water and started a ripple that carried me to a new life.

Dive In

What are you afraid of? Do you have a dream that seems too big? The hardest thing may be determining how to accomplish the things in life you desire. But your personal growth won’t happen on it’s own. Drop a pebble into the water and let the ripple begin. Soon you may create a wave of change that sweeps you into a wonderful place. Don’t leave the water stagnant – take a risk, accomplish a dream, or simply live a more fulfilling existence.


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.

She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.

Brenda H.

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Face your fears with action

Face Your Fears With Action

What is fear? We can ask many people the same question and get different answers. However, one thing fear definitely shows us is that it is all in your head.  If we think of our childhood, did the ghost in our closet ever come out? For one moment, remember the worst times that you’ve felt fear. Did that plane crash? Did that dog bite? Did the boogie man come out from under your bed? Fear means false evidence appearing real.  It’s all in your head. Or is it? Let me explain.

I have gone to different countries without knowing the language, the culture, or even how to get to my hotel. I cannot even ask for directions because I do not speak the language that I need to ask the directions in.Sometimes, I learn how to ask for directions only to not understand the answer. At this moment, fear has a way of creeping in. I start to panic until I realize that these are just thoughts and there is not any logic to them.  Surely, I will find that hotel eventually.  The worst case scenario even when I do not speak the language is writing the address down and catching a taxi—something I have done many times.  My fear is not logical.  It is just panic and fear of the unknown at that moment in time.  It is not a logical thought to think that I will never find my hotel and I will have to sleep on a park bench somewhere.

But what if what we fear has happened?  If you know me, I have a dog phobia.  As a child, I fell asleep at a friends house and they put me to bed.  I must have been three or four years old.  When I woke up, maybe the dog was startled or maybe it was upset that I was sleeping on its owners bed.  The dog did bite me and as a young child that experience stuck with me.  I learned that dogs were unpredictable and unsafe.  It is a fear that I am consciously working on.  The truth is dogs do bite sometimes.  I know because it happened to me.  So how do I deal with this fear that totally makes sense?  I replace the fear with constant action.

Don't panic

The USA has strict laws that require dogs to be on a leash.  However, this is not the case in other countries.  In Paris, I was once in a phone booth for a good 30 minutes because there was a dog that decided to take a nap right next to the phone booth. It was not until I got to Thailand where I faced my fear directly. There are dogs everywhere in Thailand without a leash and just laying around all over the streets. I did not have a phone booth to hide in.  I had to walk everywhere so I did not have a choice but to replace my fear with action.  I calmed my thoughts that every dog out there is out to bite me.  As I walked to my hotel one night I must have run into half a dozen dogs.  Here it was, the moment of truth. One dog looked at me as I passed by and could not have been more disinterested in my presence. I giggled at that moment because I realized that my fear was not justified.  Most of these dogs are so accustomed to taking long naps under that hot Thailand sun that they do not have any interest in coming to you.  If anything, some of them are even more scared of you than you are of them.  It occurred to me that these dogs may be abused and the only desire they have is to be left alone. It was not until I replaced my fear with action that I started to realize that my thoughts are just words taking up space in my head. I can acknowledge my fear and its existence but I can just as easily replace them with new thoughts and ideas.  My dog phobia is something I deal with but I remind myself that unless I take action to finally heal this phobia—the fear is still controlling me. An episode that happened in my childhood still has power over me until this day.

I will never forget a blind man with a dog that could tell that I was afraid of it.  He asked me what had happened to me that I was so hesitant with his dog.  He must have had that sixth sense and could tell I was afraid of it even though he could not see me.  When I told him my childhood story his answer was ¨How old are you now?  You are STILL holding on to something that happened decades ago?  Let it go.¨

Thanks to that gentleman I noticed that he was right.  It seems we hold on to negative experiences a lot longer than the positive ones.  Surely, over all those decades I have been around dogs that never bit me 99% of the times.  Even though I had evidence that dogs can bite, I had more than enough evidence that most do not.  I learned that it is true that fear is false evidence appearing real. As for my travel adventures, I have never spent a night on a park bench and I have never been bitten by a dog again since that episode as a child. The only way to take the power of fear from controlling us is by replacing it with the actions we are most afraid of.  We must say hello to fear, accept its presence and then tell it to go on its way.  Trust that all will ultimately be well and you deserve the joy and peace that comes from moving beyond all of your fears.  You must choose to take action through your fears instead of always allowing yourself to feel helpless by it.  You have the ultimate power to choose your ultimate path.

Elaine Mercedes Mendoza is a writer, speaker, traveler and foodie who uplifts our world one word at a time. She is passionate about travel and shares her experiences on www.finallyelaine.com. You can also follow her along on Facebook.

Elaine Mercedes Mendoza

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Cavemen do it. You should too

Cavemen Did It – Why You Should Too

I know people who meet friends every week at the same place for dinner. It’s a local destination that they admit doesn’t have the best food – it’s just ok. But that’s not what they go for. It doesn’t serve the kind of food that makes you feel good about eating healthy, it’s more the type that you keep eating in spite of the calories, the fat, and the lack of nutrients. Also, the ambiance is a bit cheesy. So why has it become a tradition? I have joined them on many occasions and I can tell you it isn’t just about the food. It’s about what happens there.

 

There’s More Than the Menu

Because they have been going to this restaurant for so long, the wait staff knows them well and they are treated like special guests. The food seems to come just a little bit faster, the drinks are a little bit stronger, and the interaction is more personal and pleasant without being invasive. Yet it’s more than that. It’s the simple act of joining together with friends to share a meal and doing it with regularity that creates a family – meal feeling. It’s the creation of a tradition – that’s the real draw.

 

Serving Up a Connection

Sharing food, whether it’s at a local destination or in a home, is an event that brings people closer together. Meeting for coffee or gathering in the park isn’t quite the same. Sitting at the table and eating together – the traditional breaking bread – is what makes it a bonding experience. Passing platters, sampling appetizers, and sharing food has an effect on everyone.

Are you the type of person who doesn’t want anyone touching your food, or asking for a taste? Are you a food protector? Perhaps you could use a lesson from your ancestors and learn to let go.

 

It’s Primitive

In the days of early man, food fresh from a kill had to be shared. This type of communal dining facilitated cooperation amongst the participants. People worked together to hunt and prepare the food and learned to take only their fair share, no more. There was the unspoken connection of having tasted the same thing and the comfort of feeling satiated like those around you.

 

It Makes Your Better, Really

There is also evidence that sharing a meal with others increases altruism. Yes, it actually makes you a kinder person. Eating family style prompts an awareness of your behavior. Will most people eat what’s been ordered? How much should you take? Passing a platter and monitoring your personal intake makes you more aware of others and their needs. It’s also fun.

Not many restaurants are family style, but many offer “sharable moments” that allow everyone to try a taste of what’s ordered. If you’re eating healthy, and you’re sharing, you’ve accomplished two of the most important things your mother likely taught you. You’re also doing yourself a favor emotionally.

Whether you gather in someone’s home or meet at a restaurant that’s a favorite local destination, enjoy the bonding of a shared meal. Pass the plates, share the food, and talk with each other. You’ll be glad you did.


Sources:
How Sharing Food Makes You a Better Person


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.
She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.
Brenda H.

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Swimming Pigs

Swimming Pigs and Lobster Dinners

When one becomes a traveler, the desire to seek unique experiences can lead you to some unusual places. The act of traveling can put you in touch with interesting people, strange customs, different local foods, and some pretty amazing adventures. Sometimes it even brings you face-to-face with farm life run amok.
A very recent trip to the Exumas, a chain of small islands in the Bahamas, landed us in an environment so beautiful and peaceful that it seemed this couldn’t possibly be one of the  trips mentioned above. But then again, one should never make assumptions.

 

Taking a Chance

In spite of a love of travel, I am a fearful flyer, so the 9-passenger plane that brought us to our tiny island nearly did me in. Once ensconced in our cottage on the 2-square-mile island, my heart-rate slowed and the stunning crystal blue waters calmed me. Perhaps the quarters without televisions, phones, or any of the usual trappings of daily life, would set the pace for a quiet time. This would likely be an uneventful tour of the white sand beaches that dotted the islands around us.

 

Yeah, When Pigs Fly… Or…

Think again. Never assume. While the overall vibe was very chill, there was an undercurrent of excitement about what a traveler could discover here. Maps showing a grotto made famous in the James Bond  movie “Thunderball” for snorkeling, an island populated with various species of iguanas, and a menu that boasted some fresh local food hinted at the tour that was to come.  This tour was going to take us to a place that had perhaps the most unusual experience of all.

Swimming pigs. Yes, pigs that swim. A boat ride to Big Major Cay brought us to a beautiful beach populated with swine paddlers aggressively looking for food scraps. Good thing we brought some!  Pigs of various sizes swam to the boat – one even tried to climb in – and we spent a few moments tossing bread into the water for them. Once we landed on the beach, we walked amongst the pigs, saw their tiny babies sleeping in the sand, and were even chased by some who thought we still had food. It was definitely not your average day at the beach.  As a traveler, I love when things aren’t typical – this experience definitely qualified.

 

Is This For Real?

Using a hand-drawn map, we carefully navigated the shallows between cays to reach other stops where we could see iguanas, climb on rocks and cliffs, scour sandbars for starfish, and snorkel in some of the clearest turquoise water you’ve ever seen. There was a feeling of connection between us and the water, the land, and the sky. The wide open views and the simplicity of it all was breathtaking.

 

Making a Connection

Coated in salt water, sand, and sunscreen, we landed back at our cottages to enjoy some down time. Memories of our swine friends and their lizard-island neighbors lingered as the sounds of reggae floated through the air. The lack of an agenda allowed for cold beverages and conversation with locals that gathered nightly in the restaurant bar. There was talk of this place being the “real Bahamas” along with stories of how this particular island was settled. It currently boasts less than a hundred full-time residents who are so welcoming – that, in the moment, we felt we could be included in that number.

Then it was off to dinner where the local food that is most plentiful, conch and lobster, appeared nightly. Oh to enjoy the fresh taste of something we don’t eat at home! The conch fritters were formed and fried like a giant hush puppy or lightly battered and served with a tangy sauce. Bahamian lobsters, served simply with drawn butter, have no claws – perhaps a fitting representation of the gentleness of the place and the people.

Full and tired, but ready for another day’s adventure and another tour of low-lying cays and sparkling clear waters awaited us. So we slept the kind of sleep that only comes when there is no stress and no worries – only magical thoughts of fish swimming in grottos and pigs swimming by our side. No we weren’t dreaming – it was real. A unique adventure that was truly a gift.

Think again. Never assume. Take a chance.


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.
She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.
Brenda H.

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Treasure Your Mother

Treasured From the First Moment – The Bond of a Lifetime

Her voice fills my head and her advice and encouragement guides me daily. A sense of warmth floods me when I think of her – she is a treasure. She is my mother. What can I say? Always my trustworthy champion. The one person who knows me better than anyone else. She is love.

My mother is still with me, living nearby, so I am able to experience her generosity of spirit, her laugh, her smiling eyes and her wisdom. I am fortunate. I can tell her how much I love her as often as possible and wrap my arms around her and give a gentle squeeze.  I treasure her with all of my heart. But how can I ever explain to her how much she means to me? How can I help her to understand that she has been the single most influential part of my life? I say the words, but is it enough?

She knows.

Mother’s have a sixth-sense about their children. I know this. I too, am a mother. My son is nearly 13, but he still hugs me and says “I love you”. I know he means it in his own, young boy way. That fills me with a sense of peace, joy, thrilling happiness – you name it. I am fortunate.

 Not everyone still has their mother, even if they do, not everyone has a close relationship with them. Yet it’s hard to deny that we should treasure the mere fact that our mothers brought us into this world and raised us to the best of their ability. As a species, humans stay with their mothers longer than any other animal. It makes us who we are. Some may get many years with their mother, others may not get enough time. But there’s no denying the bond that is created regardless of the experience. More powerful and natural than any other, the mother bond is a force that should never be taken for granted, or dismissed.

The relationship should be celebrated in some way, not necessarily with fanfare but confirmed none-the-less. One day isn’t enough. It should be treasured daily with thoughts and actions. It should be honored with kind words and understanding – with forgiveness.

Cards, flowers, and gifts are nice. Any gesture is greatly appreciated by moms – I know this. But perhaps the best way to show your mom that you treasure, appreciate, or simply acknowledge her role, is to be a good child. It is to be a good mother.

Hear her voice, listen to her advice, and look for the signs of her encouragement. Be the voice, the trustworthy teacher, the encourager without expectation. That is the cycle of love. That is motherhood.


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.
She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.
Brenda H.

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Enjoy something new this spring

A Season to Embrace Something New

Flowers begin to bloom and the color green returns to the earth. Spring is a season of renewal where the world seems fresh and bright. It’s at this time I feel most alive. Clear blue skies and the promise of a new season inspires many things. For some it’s spring cleaning or a time to emerge from inside and enjoy the outdoors. For others it’s determining which fresh experiences to pursue. Enjoying new places, new flavors, new people – it is all compelled by the arrival of spring!

Why Now

As resolutions for the new year may have fallen by the wayside, spring is a time when you can commit once again to something that benefits you and perhaps those around you. Born less out of guilt and overindulgence from the holidays, new commitments that come in the spring are generated from the rebirth that’s all around us. It inspires us to be healthy and to enjoy new, fresh experiences.

The Plan

The goal may be to become more active – to get out and exercise or take up a new sport, or it may be to take a more common sense approach to food – to get healthy without falling prey to the latest diet trends. Setting goals takes planning, and accomplishing them takes commitment. As we muster up the energy to dive into our new plan, keep in mind one thing – if it’s going to be a lasting change then it should be a well thought out common sense approach to food and exercise. It’s not about how rapidly you lose weight as many diet trends emphasize, but it’s about truly changing your approach to health.

I plan to eat clean and to walk as much as possible. Not a huge commitment but one that is achievable. I say this now as I am just getting started. When I am wanting to gnaw on my right foot, slather cheese sauce on everything I eat, and park my rear on the couch for a movie marathon, then I will know I have more work to do. But for now my plan is solid and I am energized by the thought of enjoying a new way of life. Let’s hope those dreams aren’t dashed and that I can stick to my goal to be healthy. I have no real reason to believe otherwise.

Know What You’re Getting Into

Before you decide to embrace the renewal of spring and take on a fresh experience, ask yourself a few questions. What does healthy mean to you? What can you reasonably expect to accomplish for yourself? Will you take the time to actually enjoy new foods and activities, or will you simply be trudging through a regimen? Any fresh experience comes with a touch of risk – but the rewards far outweigh it.

Perhaps you are already healthy and active and your fresh experience will be to take up a new hobby, visit new places, or work on a talent that you’ve let fall dormant. Whatever your renewal plan this spring remember that sometimes we aren’t perfect. Allow for a little bit of struggle without giving up. Soon you will achieve your dream and feel as fresh and vibrant as those flowers that will soon be cropping up.

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Ireland

The Allure of the Irish – Local Treasures Beyond the Pot of Gold

In a world where individuality and the desire to stand out is often expressed through unusual attire and outrageous behavior, sometimes it still feels good to belong. Being a part of a group can create a sense of camaraderie that elevates any experience. No time is that desire to be a part of a particular group more apparent than on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not a complete experience if you don’t adapt the best of the culture and become Irish, even if just for one day.

What’s With All The Green

So why is it people like to walk around in “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirts no matter their true heritage? Does it have anything to do with the supposed “luck” that belongs to the Irish? More likely it’s just an excuse to celebrate with good local food and drink, hear festive music, and wear green. Why not make it more of a complete experience and really get acquainted with the Irish? Explore the best of their culture, taste the foods, learn the history, and actually feel Irish when St. Patty’s Day rolls around.

Let’s Learn

To get you started – St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast for the patron saint of Ireland but has evolved into a day for the authentic Irish as well as all the wannabes to join in a celebration of the Emerald Isle. The name “Emerald Isle” refers to the lovely rolling green hills and vales of Ireland and was first used in a poem by William Drennan – a poet, physician, and political activist from the mid 17th century.

Learning about other countries and cultures is like taking a trip to another land. The more you absorb, the more it feels as though you’re a traveler to that place – tasting the local food and drink, wandering the streets, and interacting with people of that land. I have Ireland on my list of the many places I’d like to see one day. I can imagine being transported through time as I walk cobblestone streets and climb winding castle stairs. The Blarney Stone, Cliffs of Moher, a taste of Colcannon, and some Irish Stew – it all calls to me.

Join In

But until that day I will have to be satisfied with experiencing the best of the culture here. On March 17th, I will seek out a spot at a local Irish pub where I will eat corned beef and cabbage, bands will play outdoors, and people will dance. Adults will get, pardon the Irish slang, “fluthered” on Guinness. For the complete experience I will wear my green and pretend, just for the day, that I know well the land of the leprechauns.

So even if you haven’t visited the land of Oscar Wilde, Michael Collins, and C.S. Lewis, walked through St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or driven the Ring of Kerry, there’s at least one day of the year you may be lucky enough to feel Celtic. Discover the Irish cultural spots in your town – who knows, you may even find a pot of gold that will help you treasure your world on St. Patty’s Day and beyond!

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Prague, Czech Republic

Our World is Here. Where is here? Everywhere!

Living in Prague for a month opened my senses in a way that street performers performing Bach brought me to tears. What are the chances that two violinists would be playing one of my father’s favorite pieces on the streets of Prague? Life is a continuous series of endless synchronicity if we open ourselves up to the possibility that there is more in this universe than we understand. I believe in that moment that my Father was with me in spirit. After seeing the John Lennon Wall in Prague with messages of peace, music, and happiness, I was filled with hope that a peaceful planet isn’t only possible, but that it’s already here and there are glimpses of it all around us. The ability to live following your heart, making your own rules along the way, and living in peace is all about the power of intention. Peace and happiness is here right now. Our self worth has nothing to do with what we do or how much we make. Tomorrow, I am getting on a train to Venice just because I CAN. I don’t need a reason to follow my heart. It is an inspiring way to live when you fully savor each moment and experience life’s little nuances as minor inconveniences.

The Lennon Wall in Prague

People have told me I must be very brave to travel alone. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s an ability to transcend it and realize that the earth has got your back. As I type this, I can’t believe that tomorrow is the day that I experience Italy for the first time. It is a moment that I have imagined forever and it’s coming true. I will eat pizza and pasta with the locals and perhaps finish off hours later with gelato by the Piazza San Marco. I left my apartment by the water and a six figure income in the USA to travel the world and live off of simple pleasures like a fresh cup of gourmet coffee freshly brewed by the local barista and the local cake recommended by my international brothers and sisters. Suddenly, I’m no longer living off of paychecks and false promises by employers that don’t appreciate me. I am no longer buying clothes with the latest name brands known by everyone as a form of self-validation. I am living each second like a child noticing the world for the first time. Our world is rich in colors, music, flavors, and endless love between us if we only align ourselves with the belief that we have everything we need to be happy right now.

ab-oktoberfest

I don’t know where I am going after Venice but I know that I’m here. I am alive and I am no longer just surviving. I am at peace with life and I want others to experience life as I am. Let’s take care of this beautiful planet and remember we are all in this world together. For example, just yesterday I was in the Hacker tent at Oktoberfest in Germany and I realized this peaceful world is here, right around me. I saw thousands of people drinking, singing, and eating at this festival filled with hope, peace, equality, and love. If an international festival can be created once a year that attracts people worldwide, this camaraderie can be permanent all over the world.

We may speak different languages, eat different foods, and have different customs, but we can all sit down together at a table and drink and eat together. I am blessed to experience different countries, but we can all bring this spirit of togetherness to our own table and in our own town. Next time you sit around a meal with your friends and family, for a moment in time, take a second to appreciate the fact that people are doing this same exact thing all over the world. We may have many countries, languages, religions, and cultural differences but it’s all a part of “Our World.”

Let’s celebrate together. Salud! Prost! Nastravi! Cheers!


Elaine Mercedes Mendoza is a writer, speaker, traveler and foodie who uplifts our world one word at a time. She is passionate about travel and shares her experiences on www.finallyelaine.com. You can also follow her along on Facebook.

 

All images taken by Elaine.

Elaine Mercedes Mendoza