Friday, November 30, 2012

" Solitude ... "

In my solitude
You haunt me
With dreadful ease
Of days gone by

In my solitude
You taunt me
With memories
That never die

I sit in my chair
And filled with despair
There's no one could be so sad
With gloom everywhere
I sit and I stare
I know that I'll soon go mad

~ Billy Holiday ~ Solitude ~

There are times when we need a variety of ways to cope with life pressures.  The need for balance and some sense that we are still steering the ship of our life.  Otherwise we feel overloaded and we overreact.  One way is by seeking solitude.

But it is important to know the difference between solitude and loneliness, because they are often confused for one in the same.  They may look alike because they are characterized by solitariness.  But that is the only thing they have in common.

solitude restores your mind and body, 
loneliness depletes them 

So what is loneliness? ... it is a marked by a sense of isolation and a negative place.  When you are lonely you feel like something is missing.  And perhaps the most bitter form of loneliness is when you are with people but still feel it.

Solitude on the other hand is a state of being alone without feeling a loss of something or someone.  It is a positive place where one can engage in something constructive.  It can be desirable as you provide yourself what you need, by yourself.

Solitude: an opportunity to refresh, replenish and renew ourselves 

Ideally, if you had to choose a state, solitude is your best bet.  Solitude can be a time that is used for reflection, inner searching or growth.  Activities such as meditation, in-depth reading, experiencing the beauty of nature and even creativity requires solitude.  

Solitude: a means of enjoying the quiet and whatever it brings 
that is satisfying, from which we can draw sustenance 

But the trap is falling into loneliness ... a state of discontent, a sense of estrangement, a place of deficiency.  And worse, loneliness can lead to depression.  One way to view it is loneliness is imposed on you where is solitude is something you choose.  

Personally speaking, I have struggled between the two.  At times craving solitude, only to have it turn into loneliness and deep depression.  I am slowly learning not to be ashamed when I need a hand up, when I need to reach out, and when I need to ask for help.  

On the positive side, I am learning to be okay with solitude.  I am understanding solitude gives me time to know myself.  It is a counterpoint to intimacy.  It allows me to have a self worthy of sharing.  If I can catalogue my thoughts without having to filter them through other people’s opinions, I think more clearly and regain perspective.  Things don't seem as overwhelming, I stop grasping and clutching and controlling and allow the flow of life to happen.

The key for me is to have a peaceful atmosphere surround me and let my free will inspire my feelings of serenity without the fear of loneliness taking over.  It’s really about giving myself the time to develop a closer relationship with me, and that time is coming ... 

solitude pain with deep calm hope pastel by Prasenjeet Chakraborty

Monday, November 26, 2012

" Deal ... "

Since it cost a lot to win
and even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
wondering what to choose

I been gambling here abouts
for ten good solid years
If I told you all that went down
it would burn off both your ears

It goes to show you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down
Don't you let that deal go down, no
Don't you let your deal go down
~ Grateful Dead ~ Deal ~

When crisis hits your life, how do you cope, how do you deal?  Is your environment filled with calm or chaos, logic or heart, optimism or pessimism?  Oceans of emotions to choose from ...
Yet if I am completely honest, there is something really annoying about getting sick because there is never a good time for it.  We all have “things to do” and really it just messes with your life plan.  So when diagnosed with cancer, your life departs from coffee & dinner dates, travel plans, social activities and eating whatever, whenever you want ... to doctors, tests, rest, research, dietary restrictions, medications ... it is just downright inconvenient!  

With almost 21 months of the Gerson Therapy under my belt, I am managing my cancer and I am researching and learning more about how to help my body heal in the best way possible ... especially through the dark, rough moments.

open source cure ...

Which led me to this amazing video and website by Salvatore Iaconesi.  Salvatore is 39 year-old data artist has been diagnosed with brain cancer.  He is seeking a cure but not in a traditional way.  Salvatore is calling for an “open source cure”.  He decided to crack his own files and create an open format that anyone who want to can read them.  CT scans, MRIs, laboratory notes, etc are available on his website, La Cura.  His intentions ... we use these records in whatever way we want to and creatively.

Personally I feel that Salvatore’s request shows how we as a society can embrace all forms of healing in addition to medical advice.  Marrying the two for truly healing.  He suggests that we can “create a video, an artwork, a map, a text, a poem, a game, or try to find a solution to my health problem.  He welcomes “artists, designers, hackers, scientists, doctors, video makers, musicians, writers.”  

going beyond the walls of hospitals and physicians’s offices ...

What Salvatore does is places the ultimate challenge on us to use his personal medical information plus imagination to create something of meaning in response to his diagnosis.

 offer something of value to an individual who is confronted with the ultimate existential situation, 
one that most of us would prefer to ignore ...

Perhaps a daunting task for some who are facing the same situation and have been told there is no medical cure.  But maybe there is another version of a “cure”.  Personally, living life on my own terms with a sense of peace, grace and gratitude regardless of the prognosis ... living wholeness as a person with cancer.  For all this, I am so grateful to Salvatore who allows me to travel in his journey of trauma and loss while experiencing the transformative potential within myself.

Friday, November 23, 2012

" Instinct ... "

Do you recognize the nervous twitch
That exposes the weakness of the myth
When your turn comes 'round
And the light goes on ...
And you feel your attraction again
Your instinct can't be wrong
Separate the fiction from the fact
Been a little slow to react ...
But it's nearly time to flip the switch
And I'm hanging by a single stitch
Laughing at the stony face of gloom
When your turn comes 'round ...
Where the true present lies are
Calling down
Laughing at the stony face of gloom
When your turn comes 'round ...
~ Crowded House ~ Instinct ~
How many times have you been caught up in a head spin of trying to make a decision or difficult choice?  And did anyone ask you what your “gut” was telling you?  Did you follow it?  Or was it so tough for you to figure out the right decision that you never made the decision at all?
I know for me, it is hard sometimes to “trust my gut” even though gut feelings represent my instinct, my intuition ... and isn’t this the key to overcoming a stalled decision-making process?
Intuition is an inner knowing
I know that intuition exists without a doubt and regardless of your viewpoint, head or heart, there is some mechanism that produces feelings within us to help guide us in making choices.  This I get ... yet it seems easier to get caught up in weighing any infinite number of options, resulting in the inability to make a decision ... also known as “analysis paralysis”.
Analysis Paralysis is the result of trying to make important decisions solely based on your logical mind”.  Thankfully our logical mind is great for sorting out the facts .  Yet the problem is understanding the implications of our decision is more than our logical mind can handle.  Decisions brings pros and cons.  We usually weigh them out and sometimes seek counsel.  Then our logical mind ties itself up in knots trying to sort out which pros are the best and which cons are the worst!  
Arghhhhhhhh ... so where does this leave us?  Since feelings isn’t really the logical minds “speciality”, making decisions with the whole self is the key.  The more we are in contact with our “inner feeling self”, the more we will be in touch with it.  Intuition or instinct is a way of knowing without being given verbal information.  It is a knowing that comes from feeling.  It is the intelligence behind feeling.  And we frequently lose it due to the lack of use and the over use of rationality.
We start to learn whether it is our intuition speaking to us or simply anxiety.  It is obviously intuition when it is a feeling.  Feelings are felt in our entire body, they are genuine, real and trustworthy.  Emotions are reactions to what is happening and carry around a sack of memories from past situations where we have been unable to effectively express our self.  
So identify if you have cleared outstanding issues, and that what you are dealing with is the present one.  Make sure you use your logical mind to gather the facts while checking in with your gut.  
Head or Heart ... Ego or Gut
And even I may not be further ahead in making some decisions, I do know that "I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I failed to do" ...

Monday, November 19, 2012

" In Between ... "

Let me apologize to begin with
Let me apologize for what I'm about to say
But trying to be genuine was harder than it seemed
And somehow I got caught up in between

Between my pride and my promise
Between my lies and how the truth gets in the way
The things I want to say to you get lost before they come
The only thing that's worse than one is none

And I cannot explain to you
In anything I say or do or plan
Fear is not afraid of you
Guilt's a language you can understand

I cannot explain to you
In anything I say or do
I hope the actions speak the words they can ...

~ Linkin Park ~ In Between ~

There are times on this wellness journey that I just have to “sit in the fire”.  I have to surrender ... to the physical pain, and to the emotional turmoil.  I have talked about some of the healing reactions in the past, and am now experiencing more, yet again.

What hasn’t changed is every single time, my faith is tested.  Actually, my faith is tested every day if I am truly honest.  I have so many moments of not knowing.  Not knowing if this is the beginning of the end.  If this truly is how it is going to be.  If things are ever going to get better.  So I am learning to allow myself to sit in the fire ... surrender and accept what is happening in my life.  Rather than participating in the internal conflict my body is enduring, I realize that resistance is futile.  

Not to be mistaken for giving up ... it is relinquishing ... the fear, the heartache, the sadness.  It is realizing that I may have to let go and let be.  Not a battle, not a fight but a journey.  Yes it is hard, so so hard.  And there are days that I am not sure if I can.  I talk often to Russell about being tired.  So tired.  Just wanting to move on with our lives ... not a strict schedule, planning every hour and every meal.  Just wishing for the flexibility, and the ease of what life was.

Of course I know things could be worse.  Much worse.  And yes there are days that is some consolation.  But when you are sitting in the fire there is discomfort, pain, a sense of loss.  And  I am realizing that my mind is so powerful.  It is waiting for the self-doubt to kick in and BAM! ... it takes over.  Ready to led me down a path of destruction.  It is ready to tell me ... “I told you so” or “who are you kidding”.  It is armed with intense negativity and it is dangerous.

I know I have to work hard with balance ... with negative comes the positive, with the darkness comes the light.  I have to go back and remember in all the fires I have sat in, all the challenges and fears I have faced.  Acknowledging the incredible discomfort, yet getting through it.  I managed and survived.  

What is true is that in my experience of being with those feelings, identifying the thoughts that are creating the feelings and loving them is how it eases.  My present thoughts pave my future.  Life continually presents me with opportunities to dive in again and again, and to believe that the truth really is kinder than any story I have about it ... 

the past is where you learned the lesson ...
the future is where you apply the lesson ... 

just remember not to give up in the middle ॐ

Friday, November 16, 2012

" Worthy Of ... "

Am I worthy of? ...
Am I strong enough?
To maintain this love
You’ve got me questioning (yeah)
Got me wondering (yeah, yeah) ...

Am I worthy of? ...
Am I strong enough? (strong enough, yeah)
To maintain this love (to maintain this love)
You’ve got me questioning 
Got me wondering (you got me wondering, yeah) ...
That can keep you happy

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
I wanna keep you happy

~ Justin Timberlake ~ Worthy Of ~

Most of us have seen the commercial with the tag line ... “because your worth it”.  Which is all good and fine but the question is, do you really believe you are?

The issue of worthiness comes up all the time in our lives.  Unconsciously, we ask ourselves if we are worthy of success, love, happiness, etc.  We are not sure if we are good enough, if we deserve it and if we are truly worth it.  

But of course we are ALL worth it ... 
so why do we put ourselves through this cycle of suffering?
Well I think we lose sight of it ... we forget our value.  And maybe it starts with spiritual teachings of “love your neighbour as yourself”.  Although this is a beautiful practice, it is important that as we give and give to others, we don’t give out.  We don’t neglect ourselves, because once we do, we cannot help anyone.  

I remember as a child being told not to brag or be selfish.  I remember as a teenager, minimizing my accomplishments to avoid appearing conceited and just wanting to fit in.  And I recognize as an adult how I have developed a false humility to avoid looking prideful.  This engraves a pattern to not like yourself and believe that you don’t deserve anything. 

“Self-esteem suffers while self-worth is forgotten”.

The reality is that you must love and value yourself before you love others.  And you must have self-respect and acknowledge your own self-worth so that you can truly help thy neighbour.  Selfish, not at the least ... responsible, absolutely.  

Self worth comes from within and you not from having more money, more friends, a fancy car or a big house.  It is something intrinsic.  There are no replacements who can take over and live our lives for us ... no other person who has had the exact same experiences we have had, who has access to the same resources and relationships, nor who carries the same message to share with the world. 

It is your duty to treat the amazing creation you are in an amazing manner ...

Once you accept that you are here to fulfill a particular purpose, a purpose that no one other than you can bring to fruition, you will not longer question whether we are worthy.  And your purpose may be large or small ... remember, small acts of kindness share the stage with large acts of sacrifice.  

Believe we are all equally, exactly, and completely worthy of being here in this life.  Accept that we have been called here to serve and take the steps required to listen and respond to what our lives are asking us to do.

Why ... because you really are worth it and yes, so am I.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

" Mantra ... "

A thousand dreams within
Within me softly burn
They burn the savage soul
Tat twisted what it learned
I feel this life slipping by
I can fell this life slipping by

Mercy is the cry of the soul that stirred ...

Time and time life's left me only
Feeling sick and feeling scared
Now love is strong my love is strong
I'll go on and on and on and on and on

Mercy is the cry of the soul that stirred
Mercy is the cry and it's never heard
Love is all we have
Love is all we need

~ Tea Party ~ Mantra

Mantras ... what are they and do you have one or more?  More importantly, what can mantras do you for you?  

Recently, I read that “ideas remain un actualized until they are created through the power of speech”.  And within large bodies of text (originating from India), also known as Vedas, the is claim that “speech is the essence of humanity”.  Therefore, the expression of ideas and actions through speech determines what we think and become.  At least this is practiced within most Buddhist and Hinduism techniques ... leading to mantras being viewed as a necessity for spiritual advancement. 

But where does the word mantra come from?  Well it is derived from two Sanskrit words.  “Manas” or mind, which provides the “man” syllable and “trai” meaning “protect”.  Therefore, the word mantra literally means “to free from the mind and mantra, at its core, is a tool used by the mind.

So why mantra?

Regardless of your choice of faith, mantras can be very powerful.  The simple act of speaking a word produces an actual physical vibration and energy.  Coupled with the mental intention, the vibration carries the result of saying it.  To the universe.  Literally putting it out there with commitment.

From personal experience, mantras can take you on a journey towards freedom.  At a subconscious level, they help to expand and deepen your mind ... and address thoughts stored in organs and glands, transforming them into places of peace and harmony.  

And yes, 
this can be achieved through dedicated uses of mantras ...

How?  Simply put, a mantra is an empowered word ... a word that has great psychological or spiritual efficacy.  It allows you to focus your attention on your inner self, your spirit, your soul.  And even if you are still not sure if you want to "mantra" ... you may be surprised to find out you probably are.  Just know the most important aspect of mantras is keeping faith.  Faith, aided by strong will, is when we achieve our goals ... leading us to a calm mind, true happiness and ultimate satisfaction.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

" Change ... "

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes ...

(turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace I'm going through ...
Pretty soon now you're gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

~ David Bowie ~ Change ~

There are times when things move slowly and don’t seem to change much.  Then, suddenly, things change quickly.  We learn to accept that change is a part of life.  And that life is a process of beginnings and endings.  But how do we cope?

We live in a culture that has taught us to be 
uncomfortable with uncertainty. 

Life changes are challenging because they force us out of our comfort zone.  They force us to let go of the familiar.  They force us to face the future with a feeling of vulnerability.  This in turn makes us fearful and anxious and this is normal because now your future is filled with questions.  Questions with variable answers.  

Fear ... are we born with it or taught it?

Whether positive or negative, life changes cause us to leave behind the familiar and force us to adjust to new ways of living.  Looking at the bright side, transitions can allow us to learn about our strengths and to explore what we really want out of life.  This can be a time of reflection bringing a sense of renewal, stability and new balance. 

Having the confidence in knowing you can and will move forward helps.  Start by identifying your purpose in life and the things that fulfill you.  Quiet your mind and focus on what you can control.  Convince yourself that the experience you are facing is just a temporary defeat rather than a huge failure.  Surround yourself with positive and friendly associations.  And spend your time and energy on creating a positive future.

Take advantage of the fork in the road 
and explore what your ideal life would look like.  

Every life transition provides a learning opportunity that can be so profound it changes your perspective on life after you have moved through it.  So whether life transition evolves slowly or is forced by an unexpected event, remember this period of time doesn’t have to be purgatory.  

Realize that you don’t have to wait to get through it so you can reach your desired destination.  Have faith you are planting the seeds for a glorious new phase of your life.  Trust me, some days these are the only thoughts that keep me going ...

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, 
we are challenged to change ourselves” 
~ Viktor E. Frankl

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

" Are You Passionate? ... "

Are you passionate?
Are you livin' like you talk?
Are you dreamin' now
that you're goin' to the top? ...

Are you loving it?
Can you ever get enough of it?
Is it everything?
A love that never stops ...

Are you scared of it?
Do you wish that it would stop?
Does it bother you
when you hear your spirit talk? ...

Well I'm right with you,
Yes I'm right with you.
It's working on me,
It's working on you.
It's working on me.

~ Neil Young ~ Are You Passionate? ~

Passion ... defined as “a strong desire towards a self-defining activity that one likes or loves, values high and in which one invests time and energy”.  

So what are you passionate about?  

Personally, I am striving to live a purposeful life, therefore I want my life to be filled with passionate pursuits.  Now, I work, when I want to, on my terms, allowing me time to write, learn and research.  And I continue interact with others about inspiring topics.  The plan is to continue building my life in this fashion.  

Studies have shown that those who are passionate about daily activities are likely to have greater zest and energy for life ... a sense of meaning in what they do.  This harmonious passion leads to self-growth, happiness, greater well-being and fulfillment.

Sounds good but not sure where to start?  Well ask yourself, what in you life do you love to do, has importance and has you devoting most of your time?  The beauty is, the sky is the limit.  No restrictions, no rules ... just ask.  You see, regardless of what your passion is, it is crucial that you have moments in your day where you are filled with that enthusiasm and gratification.

Any pitfalls?  Yes! ... our passions can lose their impact on our well-being when they become tainted with external factors.  For some, our passions separate from our livelihood when we try to turn something we love to do into a tireless quest for wealth.  We set ourselves up for misery simply because take away the emotional benefits for an external reward.

So is is possible to blend passion and profit?  Yes!  Just ask those who say “I love my job”, because to them, it isn’t a job.  My husband Russell is one when you ask, “What would you do in retirement?” ... his response ... he has no reason to retire because what he does “isn’t work” ... he truly LOVES what he does and is passionate about it.  To me, truly awesome!

Feeling a sense of control & balance in your life related to your passion.

Personally ...
  • I am passionate about my loving relationships which fill my life with colour, movement and light
  • I am passionate about exercise, meditation and yoga
  • I am passionate about the work I do and the contribution I make to the lives of others
  • I am passionate about learning and sharing with other inspiring people I continually meet

And the list goes on ... you see to me, passion is energy ... it is what powers my day.  It is the necessary fuel for a healthy mind, like good food for our bodies.  Or body and soul is required to drive our passion because when our lust for life wanes, things lose their lustre.  

When you lose track of time, lost in the pleasure of doing something you love ... 
When you spend time with your girlfriends, feel motivated and full of great ideas ...
When you alive every moment you spend with the love of your life ... That is passion!  

Our passion for life is what gives our life colour ... from grey to a technicolour dream coat.  It is what turns you on because You know it with all your being and You live it with all your might.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

" Give It Away ... "

Greedy little people in a sea of distress
Keep your more to receive your less
Unimpressed by material excess
Love is free, love me say hell yes ...

Lucky me, swimmin' in my ability
Dancin' down on life with agility
Come and drink it up, from my fertility
Blessed with a bucket of lucky mobility ...

There's a river born to be a giver
Keep you warm won't let you shiver
His heart is never gonna wither
Come on everybody, time to deliver ...

What I've got, you've got to get it put it in you
Reeling with the feeling, don't stop continue ...
Realize, I don't want to be a miser
Confide wisely, you'll be the wiser ...

Give it away, give it away, give it away, now
Give it away, give it away, give it away, now ...
Give it away now
Give it away now

~ Red Hot Chili Peppers ~ Give It Away ~

Sharing what you have, showing your appreciation and giving because you truly care.  Doing good ... consciously, every day.  Most of us strive to do this because it makes us feel good.  But do we really understand the power of giving?

I have noticed that when I simply give from my heart, with no other motive and expecting nothing in return, things shift ... specifically, how the world and I interact.  My grief, worry and sorrow is replaced with joy, laughter and peace.  
This to me is the real power in giving.

So I say that the power of giving comes from a selfless act.  It is not tied to an event, holiday or celebration.  It is just a moment when you give from your heart and soul  because you want to.  It is a time when I am saying to the universe, my higher power, and my subconscious mind that I care by sharing what I have ... and it’s okay to get nothing in return, and if no one notices, or if no one thank you.

Simple enough?  Well, for some, not so easy.  The dreaded expectations ... we all want to be appreciated and sometimes we confuse this with just giving.  And this is okay, because we are all just human.  Yet what I have realized is that when you give in manner, the response I get is not as rewarding.  I use to feel that no matter what I did, it is not good enough, leaving me unsatisfied.

So instead just give.  You will be amazed how things start to fall into place ... because those who give from the heart always get back a thousand times more.  How?  

The Law of Giving ... if you give you will receive in abundance.  

But the catch is ~
No whats’s in it for me ...
No strings attached ...
No tax write off ... 
No hidden motive ...

Shift and live your life knowing you can afford to give something even before receiving what you seek.  This provides you with security, peace and serenity.   This allows you to not get caught up in your wants an needs.  This directs you to look at the bigger picture and not get stuck in the details.

I believe we are always provided for.  
I trust we will always have what we want.

If you don’t believe me, search out countless stories about when people who simply give and what happens ... they always get more in return because they know they will always have more than what they need.  The open the flow to give and receive.

So you decide how to enrich your life ... because you have already been given this opportunity, so isn't it time to make the most of it?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Moment For Life ... "

I fly with the stars in the skies,
I can no longer try to survive,
I believe that life is a prize,
But to live doesn't mean you're alive ...

This very moment I bring
Put it on everything, that I will retire with the ring ...
We done did everything they can think of
Greatness is what we on the brink of ...

I wish that I could have this moment for life, for life, for life
Cuz in this moment I just feel so alive, alive, alive

~ Nicki Minaj ~ Moment For Life ~

On the eve of an annual one-day festival celebrated by South Asian women, I felt the urge to blog about why.  Why we do it.  Why we take this moment in our lives to fast from sunrise to moonrise.  And if you are not aware of what this festival is ..... it is called Karva Chauth.

Karva is another word for “diya” or a small earthen oil lamp.  Chauth means “fourth” in Hindi, referring to the festival falling on the fourth day of the dark night.  So the festival, Karva Chauth, is a time when married women from North India and parts of Pakistan fast for the safety and longevity of their husbands ... and sometimes even unmarried women observe the fast for their finances or desired husbands.

As I researched about the festival, it was difficult to find how it originated except that the festival coincides with the “wheat-sowing time”.  It seems that big earthen pots in which wheat is stored are also sometimes called “karvas”, so the fast may have been initiated as a prayer for good harvest in some regions.

So besides the fast, what else is involved?  Well many women prepare for Karva Chauth in advance by buying cosmetics, henna, jewelry and a decorated plate, also known as “puja thali”.  

My experience ... we usually prepare our plates, which is used on the day of the festival.  And just before sunrise on the day of Karva Chauth, my mom, sister and I awake to feast.  A side note is that traditionally, this feast or “sargi” is given by your mother-in-law.

And so the fast then begins with dawn ... with no food or water during during the day.  Usually we pass the day, by spending time together the ceremony, which is usually held at our local Hindu temple.  And believe me, this is the time when you will find some of the best dressed women ... in marital clothing, expensive jewellery and beautiful henna designs.

The ceremony itself requires us to sit in a circle with our puja thali while the story of Karva Chauth is narrated, usually by an older woman or a priest.  There are regular pauses and that is when the puja song is sung collectively by the women and we pass our puja thalis around in the circle.  Upon conclusion, we await the rising of the moon.  And once the moon is visible, with our husbands nearby, we view the its reflection, offer water and secure its blessings ... a brief prayer in asking for your husband’s longevity.  The husband then gives his wife her first sip and feeds her with the first morsel of the day ... the fast is now broken and a complete meal can be had.

So ... you may still be pondering why?  And believe me I have had lengthy conversations from both sides.  Critics wonder what role the men play in all this?  Supporters say it symbolizes true love, like Valentines Day!

Interestingly, there have been calls to modify or eliminate the festival as some feel it to be anti-women, perpetuating the dependency of women on men.  Some even feel Karva Chauth is a symbol of cultural repression of women.  

But isn’t up to the individual to decide what gesture of love is right for them?  Just take the following top three gestures I found, where some may think is “over the top” ...
  • Richard Burton bought Elizabeth Taylor a 69.42 carat diamond
  • Shah Jahan, Indian emperor, built the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal
  • After Marilyn Monroe’s death, Joe DiMaggio placed a 20 year standing order with a local flower shop to have long-stemmed roses placed on her grave three times a week

So my parting thoughts?  You decide what is right for you because as long as your intentions are pure, it doesn’t matter how people judge your actions.

To my lovelies 
  may the moon light fill your life with peace, love and harmony  
Happy Karva Chauth