A Swap Don’t Shop Event

Clothing Swap, Toronto.

Clothing Swap, Toronto.

Over the weekend, on September 21st, I was lucky enough to go to yet another great clothing swap. This one is organized by Swap Don’t Shop, and it was located at the industREALarts room at 688 Richmond Street West. It is walking distance from Thenix’s apartment, so I decided to walk on this beautiful Sunday morning over to the swap.

The room is located in a co-working space, where lots of creative artists, meditators, and yoga teachers collaborate and use the space. The reason I like this swap over other ones, is because the people at this swap, both the organizers and the attendees are really polite, well-behaved, calm and happy. If you grab something that another person is looking at, by mistake, they are more than happy to let you have the item. There isn’t any animosity towards another. Getting one item or another isn’t a matter of life and death in this swap – unlike other swaps, where I am sometimes fear for my life and for all the items that I have been lucky enough to snag.

The organizers took my items and bag from me, when I walked in. They didn’t make me wait while they went through my items. I was allowed to go in with a small payment of 5 CAD, and I browsed through the items they had on the tables and hangers. There were already a bunch of items on the tables and racks, as a lot of people come in early (1130am is the earliest you can come in), and drop off their items. Continue reading

Then What About Coincidences?

Richmond Street at Bathurst, Toronto.

Richmond Street at Bathurst, Toronto.

We do not create our destiny; we participate in its unfolding. Synchronicity works as a catalyst toward the working out of that destiny. ― David Richo, The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know

Then what about coincidences? That is the question that plagues my mind. If we are in control of our destiny, and we control everything, then what about coincidences. What if the universe is listening to our intentions, and putting it into action – what if ‘Ask and you shall receive’ actually exists. Let me give you an example to start. This is just a minor example of coincidences that happen daily in my life. I have a yoga studio that I have been going to for the past few years. It is close to my home. The teachers are alright.

I decided that I wanted to get a monthly pass so I could go to unlimited yoga classes without hesitation – plunking down 20 CAD a class is rather steep. I knew that the student pass is 80 CAD a month. I have done my teacher training at this studio; so I imagined I deserved some kind of discount on the pass. I told myself I would get the student rate on the yoga pass, and if not that, I wouldn’t get the pass at all.
Continue reading

Asking The Right Questions

Asking The Right Questions

View of Toronto from Ontario Place, Toronto.

Thenix got me hooked upon Star Trek – The Next Generation before we left for our travels. Now that I am back, I am sitting at home under my comfy quilt, watching as many episodes as I can manage. The interesting thing about this show is that it asks, and tries (sometimes fails) to answer some really important questions about existence, mortality, and so on. In one episode that I watched recently, the crew was trying to figure out what was wrong with the Enterprise (the ship that they were on). Jordy, one of the engineers, put his thinking cap on, and started asking the computer questions.

The computer had all the answers hidden inside its enormous memory, but until Jordy had creatively thought of the ‘right’ questions to ask, the answers remained hidden inside her. As soon as Jordy (the mere human) used his creative side to come up with a maybe solution and started working on it with the computer, a whole avenue of solutions and other questions opened up. Continue reading

Everything That Is Happening Is Perfect

St. James Church, Toronto, Canada

St. James Church, Toronto, Canada

Everything that is happening every moment of your life is perfect as it is. I wish to ingrain that statement into every being of my life. I want to put that statement into every molecule, every atom, every cell of my body, so that every single moment that something happens that isn’t to my liking, I am reminded that everything that is happening ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is happening in its perfect time and moment.

Even though hindsight is 20/20, I want to know that each moment is perfect as it happens. I want to know it now, not later. But now. When something happens against what I have been working towards, like being rejected from medical school, or failing at a particular job, I instantly admonish myself for being a failure. But, weeks or months later, I look back and I realize, if that particular moment hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.

Everything does happen for a reason. In fact, everything is happening for the absolute perfect reason, that you might not realize right now, but will later. It’s like this fake Buddha quote says, ‘When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.’ Continue reading

Tangled Headphones. New Bicycle.

Beef Kebab at Acha, Panama City, Panama

Beef Kebab at Acha, Panama City, Panama

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.- Robert H. Schuller

I was hanging out with Thenix on the weekend and he asked me if he could borrow my headphones. He rummaged through my purse and found my apple headphones and exclaimed out loud. He was disgusted by the way I kept my headphones. I had found that my headphones kept on tangling even when I untangled them every morning. Every morning on my journey through the Toronto subway system, I spent two minutes untangling my headphones.

All throughout the day, the headphones provided great service to me, for 2-3 hours, while I listened to amazing audiobooks by Deepak Chopra and others through my phone. Because I had to untangle the headphones every morning, I decided to let them stay untangled for a couple of days to see the effect. The headphones got to a certain state of tanglement, which seemed to be their maximum, and then stayed that way for a month. They didn’t get further tangled or untangled. This was their point of homeostasis. I decided that I would keep the headphones in this state of homeostasis, thus, saving me 2 minutes of untangling misery every morning.
Continue reading

Good Advice, But Unasked For

Graffiti on the side of the street in Panama City

Graffiti on the side of the street in Panama City

I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes. ― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Last week, I was helping Thenix move back into his condo downtown. He was excited as expected. He had a couple of friends helping him out as well. They were there for the big items – the couch and mattress. When they were moving the couch, there was a lot of shoving, pushing, pulling, pivoting, and cursing. Getting the couch into the elevator was easier said than done. They got the couch into the elevator half-way, but then were unable to move it further. A couple of women pushing strollers came into the building and were waiting for the other elevator. One of the ladies said to push the other end up. Neither of the men, Thenix or his friend were really listening. But as it happens with insights, both of them decided to try it  the other way up. It worked! The couch slid into the elevator like melted butter on toast.

The lady who felt unheard was unhappy. She complained to her friend. ‘Didn’t I say that? I said that? Didn’t I say that just now? I said the other end up. Didn’t I just say that?’ I felt bad that none of actually acknowledged her idea, but before I could say anything, our elevator door was closing and I rushed in. One of the people helping us commented on the unsolicited advice. He said, he did hear the lady’s comment, but because it was unasked for, it was unwanted. He said, ‘Unasked for advice made him angry.’ Continue reading

As A Millennial, I Dislike GoodLife Fitness

Red Bull Mini-Cooper, Downtown Toronto

Red Bull Mini-Cooper, Downtown Toronto

Even though I am a marketing professional by day, I haven’t written much upon my observation of marketing and the various facets of it in my daily life. Something has been irking me about my commute and walk through downtown. I had to write to my readers about it.

I don’t know if GoodLife Fitness is making a major push this year, or I’m just waking up from a fog and noticing this; but I see GoodLife Fitness duffle bags everywhere! Every second person I see on the subway, or walking on the street is carrying one of those red and white duffle bags with GoodLife written on them. A lot of them look like they are dressed for a workout while carrying that bag, so I’m assuming they are going to a GoodLife. Continue reading

What Does $2600 A Month Mean To You?

What Does $2600 A Month To You?

The sunset at Riot Fest, Toronto.

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery. – Charles Dickens

I was chatting with a friend recently and she told me that she’s moving into a new apartment in Santa Cruz that was inordinately expensive. She was going to be paying 2600USD a month for a 1-bedroom apartment, in a space that was small by regular standards but perfect for her, as she doesn’t have a lot of belongings.

The reason the place was so expensive was because it was right next to the ocean and the river, with a beautiful view of both. There were other reason I’m sure as well, but we didn’t get into those. After the conversation, I thought to myself, I make about 2600USD a month in a regular paycheque! My friend was going to spend in rent in a month how much I make in a month. I should have had a crisis right about then about how little money I actually make. Continue reading

Starting A Work Day With Judgement

Flowers on my walk through downtown Toronto.

Flowers on my walk through downtown Toronto.

That when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees.  And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever.  And you look at the tree and you allow it.  You appreciate it.  You see why it is the way it is.  You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way.  And you don’t get all emotional about it.  You just allow it.  You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that.  And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.”  That judging mind comes in.  And so I practice turning people into trees.  Which means appreciating them just the way they are. – Ram Dass.

I was in the TTC bus the other day. I was chilling out with some amazing music on Sound Cloud from Satin Jackets. Then, we stopped at a random stop on Wilson Avenue, and this mother walked into the bus. She was having a bad morning, I think. I noticed myself and several others in the bus looking at her, and judging her instantaneously. She obviously had children from two different fathers with her – one of her child was a mix of black and asian. The other was a mix of white and asian. She was of Asian descent herself. I tried to cull down my judgement. I don’t know where she’s been, or what her life is like. I have no right to judge, I told myself. Continue reading

Society Is Pulling Me Down

Horse and carriage through a downtown parking lot, Toronto.

Horse and carriage through a downtown parking lot, Toronto.

The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.
C. JoyBell C.

I have been dressing like a bum for the past ten months while travelling. In order to get away from that, I have come into a new phase in my life where I like wearing heels often and dressing up as much as possible. I am wearing dresses, pencil skirts, dress shirts, big chunky jewellery, and other fun girly stuff. It is my way of coming back into the work world. If I’m going to be sitting down in front of a computer for 10 hours, I might as well be dressed up while I do it. But I got quite a rude awakening, when people started asking me why I was dressing up for work when we are supposed to be in a casual environment.

I never thought about it myself, to be honest. I am not dressing up to stand out from the crowd, or to get brownie points. I’m doing it for myself – it makes me feel good to be dressed up. Then I read the story about the experiment with monkeys and the ladder. You can read it yourself here. We live in a society that tries to pull someone down if they are trying to get ahead of themselves. If they are doing something different or out of the norm, we want to ensure we ‘protect’ them from themselves, and bring them back down to Earth. Dreamers need to be squashed, and doers need to be stopped. Continue reading