Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thank You 2013!

As I begin to pen my reflections, the clock just struck midnight on ole year's morning and I am 
photo credit - newyearsms.net
curled up under my covers with my wonderful kwan loong oil :) The once lingering tiredness escapes me right now and my mind wanders...

What can I say about 2013 that I haven't already said in the last few days...

It was a good year. Many firsts for me...first time living on my own for so long in a different land, facing fears, stepping outside of my comfort zone and finding the inner strength to do all the things the minority said I couldn't and much more...But this blog is about you and not me. Around this time of year, this is my ritual: to share my lessons. 

Here are some things I learnt in 2013...

Cherish the ones you Love

Time is short...it goes by in the wink of an eye...you will be amazed how many things can happen in the space of 12 months! A very special friend of mine told me a long time ago to cherish the time I have with my parents because they won't be around forever. Indeed this is good advice so I'm passing it onto you...whether you are married or single, young or old, live in the same country or not: make the most of the time you have with your loved ones especially parents. Life is unpredictable and uncertain, old is age is non-discriminatory...Some of us shine in our twilight years with all our sensibilities and the vigours of youth...some are not that lucky. All I can say is that you never know what life has in store for any one of us....you can be good one day and then totally transform or regress into a totally different person the next. It's a sad reality but when it happens, you have to find the strength to cope with what comes your way and the hand that you are dealt with. So show and tell them that you love them, kiss and hug them, talk and reminisce with them and value their presence in your life before it is too late.

Exercise, eat healthy, stay away from stress and negativity 

Over the past year and more recently the last month and week I realized how important this is. Whenever you can: get moving, stay away from junk and rid yourself from toxic people and situations or find a way to keep your distance. I've been involved in some form of exercise for the past 13 years...not as passionately as I wanted to, but yes I stayed committed. This year was the only year I haven't been exercising consistently due to my location. I think it's because of my past regimen that kept me afloat and I didn't turn into a weak marshmallow. Staying fit is an important part of keeping your mind and body healthy. It takes fortitude, mental strength and sacrifice. The same goes for negative people. To keep sane, it is important to find a way to keep them at bay if different ideologies or mentalities prevent you from getting along for longer than 5 minutes.

It is important to believe in something otherwise you would stand for nothing. I can't tell people what or who to believe in, but the mere fact that you have life in your body and all the blessings manifested in your life is not by luck or chance nor your own doing. God reigns supreme in my life and He comes through for me time and time again even when I think I wasn't deserving. He forgives, He forgets, He warns, He protects, He provides, He inspires and guides, He caters to your every need and He would never let you down if only you let Him direct your life. Pray earnestly and consistently, forget your own intuition and advice of others, believe and trust with your whole heart and allow Him to work miracles in your life.

This is a short list this year, but it captures the essence of the matter. Hope everyone had a great holiday...I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas season and I'm still enjoying it till January 6th 2014! Overall I must say that 2013 has been a good experience...I was at a friend's house last night and was telling them that I feel really blessed to have connected with so many cool people over the past few years..she said to me that it's good that I was also receptive to those connections. My friend is right: It is very important to stay open to people and opportunities God places in your life...everything happens for a reason...Stay OPEN! Don't shun or close the door on someone or something, because you never know how great it can turn out to be. I thank God for giving me supportive parents and placing all of these special people in my life who believe in me and my dreams and volunteer their advice and support. 

Good things are in store once you believe. I believe and I earnestly wish each of you a Blessed and Bountiful New Year 2014 with all your dreams coming true. I wish you all the good things you wish for yourself...good health, long life, family, good friends, happiness, peace, love, fulfilment...abundance. May your cup overflow and may God shine His face upon you with unending blessings. 

Don't hold back on your dreams, longings and aspirations: feed your dreams with all the necessary ingredients like dedication and sacrifice and you will succeed. I do not make resolutions anymore but however work towards monthly and daily goals for myself. At the start of the year you can note them, but remind yourself constantly with "loud" reminders on your fridge, computer, phone or real life people who serve as cheerleaders in your life.

As the sun sets on this last day of December 31st 2013, I urge you to reflect on the past year, thank God for all that He has done for you and your loved ones: the good, bad, ugly, indifferent. Find the lessons, tuck the memories away in the recesses of your mind where you can refer to it as often as you like, but don't dwell...Let the past transform your present so that your future can be an awesomely favour-filled experience!!

photo credit - flickr.com

Peace & Love,

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Don't Listen to the Naysayers....Live your Life in COLOUR!!

I usually post my end of year review on ole year's (as we say in trini-land)...otherwise known as New Year's Eve. So this is my pre-year-in-review blog post...Thought I needed to clear my head for a much needed catharsis before the final countdown.

photo credit - www.quitsmokingjournals.com
As I am about to embark on my new journey, I've been sharing my news with others...I must say the vast majority of persons are really happy for me....ecstatic even....that was a pleasant surprise. However only one person who is rather close to me has scoffed at my decision...This has left me with quite a few emotions:

After the emotions subsided somewhat...I asked myself why can't this person ever support my dream(s)? Of course this was expected. Recently one of my former work colleagues loaned me a book entitled: "The Dream Giver" by Bruce Wilkinson. It's about the journey of an "ordinary" folk outside his comfort zone to achieve his Big Dream. The author warned about "border line bullies" and the like...people who would come along to throw sand in your dreams with all the reasons why you shouldn't leave them in the land of ordinary and go into the unknown doomed for failure. 

What they don't know is that though you may in fact encounter the wilderness, as the author likened this to Moses' journey in the bible, you also come face to face with the Dream Giver in the sanctuary. And if you trust the Dream Giver (God) He will guide you through the darkest, most bleakest wilderness into the promised land and empower you to conquer all your demons, warriors and obstacles, leading you not only to your Big dream, but He will help you unlock your full potential to Bigger and Bigger opportunities for the greater good of mankind. Sounds dramatic...but it's soo true as I have witnessed it in my life before.

The author cautioned the reader to beware of "border line bullies" who may come in the form of friends or family members, those in authority or anyone who has the potential to squash and tear your dream into tiny pieces. To make you feel unworthy and crazy for leaving the land of familiar to pursue your dream. He said to take from it what you can and use it constructively to push even harder. Wilkinson also said that sometimes persons may feel angry that you are leaving them in "familiar" among other things.

This book changed my life. Although I had already made my decision before reading, the messages cemented my resolve and connected the dots to see the bigger picture...it has prepared me somewhat for what is ahead and gave me inspiration to continue.

What has this experience with my "border line bully" taught me?

It has provided the impetus to push even harder to become all the things that they say I can't ...to prove them wrong and succeed. I believe I am well positioned at this stage of my life to give it a go...I've been putting it off for years and it's time to take the bull by its horns and devote all my time and energy into something more meaningful and purposeful...something that can help others and also assist me in becoming a better person...

I expect many more of these people to surface, but I will not be swayed...I will not give up and I will not give into their demands. To each his own...I know that only few people walk this walk...only the truly brave and courageous amongst us, who are bent on living their life in colour...living their purpose...influencing lives and being a change-agent and not letting life change and scar them...I plan on becoming one of those persons.

Each one of us was born for a purpose, few of us find it...some find it and don't have the guts and fortitude to pursue it due to commitments or fear...Even if things don't work out exactly the way you expected, at least you would have satisfied yourself and created a name and brand for yourself...caused a shift in at least one person's modus operandi...and left your mark on the world for the better...

That is my definition of success and when I leave this earth...I know my life would have had meaning.

Do you have a passion or special talent? A burning desire, dream or mission in life? Are you actively pursuing it? If not, what's preventing you from pursuing it? Have you already pursued it? Please do share and comment...since I along with many readers of this blog may want to hear and learn from your journey...

Life is short. Don't live your days conforming to the status quo and playing it safe, doing what everyone wants you to do...Don't make yourself miserable by going through the motions of a regimented routine...

When it is even remotely possible...

Peace & Love,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Give a Gift of Love this Christmas

Christmas is finally here...We made it to the BIG day! Rejoice for a King is born! Give thanks for life! Can you believe that after months of planning and anticipation, in only a few more hours and it will be over for some of us on the western hemisphere...it's already over is some parts of the world. 

I do hope that yours was special and was spent in the company of loved ones. At the end of it all when the last present was unwrapped, lights out and ham and grog depleted...we ought to remember that this celebration would not be even possible without Him. The birth of a Saviour who was sent for our salvation so that we may enjoy this day and many more Christmases to come. 

So keep the Christ in your Christmas...give a gift of love, say a prayer for those who need it the most...like the less fortunate or those who may have lost loved ones or may be spending this day alone. Make it merry and always remember the reason for the season. 

Oh and continue to dream your BIG dreams and believe that miracles do happen. If there's something you are wishing for and need in your life right now...have faith, put your trust in Him and believe in your heart that your innermost desires will come true. Think it in your head, believe it in your heart and watch it unfold. Faith can move mountains. 

Many blessings to you and yours this day and alwayz...

Peace &  Carolyn xo

Have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to one and all. May the light of the Lord Jesus Christ illuminate your life and those of your loved ones this day and always. 
Wishing you abundant peace, joy and love. 

Peace &  Carolyn xoxoxoxoxox

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Chapter Ends...Another Amazing Experience Begins...

So...I've been away for a minute and a half! Lots has happened...hmm...Where do I begin? I've been in transition in many ways...it may take a few blogs well to bring you up to speed. All in good time. But yes, this is going to be a long one...

As another year winds down...I have yet another life change waiting in the wings...While I can't disclose the details right now...I will tell you what I've been up to for the past year. In January 2013 I moved to the sister isle - sweet Tobago to take up a new job offer. My overall experience on the island has been really wonderful...one of the best kept secrets...it's been like living and working in paradise, but it's time to follow my dream for real this time. 

I've met some really beautiful people...hopefully some of those connections will endure. All I have to say is that God sure knows what He's doing. My faith has grown by leaps and bounds. I was divinely led to each of those moments and people. I've connected so quickly (almost instantly) with so many and it has renewed my faith that we are really one people under one sun at the end of the day...well at least that's the way I see it from where I sit. I've observed throughout my discourse and also by hosting staff functions, that while we may all have differences, we share a common bond that is universal and transcends all cultures, geography, ethnicities and backgrounds. 

What made my experience so special? First of all, I can separate work from pleasure quite well. There's definitely a disconnect and unplug after my day ends. While I was there, I got to sightsee, observe and experience the culture and dynamics of the island. Do you have a minute? I've been to Tobago Fashion Week, Signal Hill Alumni Choir in concert, the famous Tobago Goat Races at Buccoo and Mt. Pleasant, Dragon Boat Racing, Jazz Festival, Culinary Fest, Heritage Festival - Moriah Ole Time Wedding--Roxborough Seafood Festival---In de Harvest, Mt. Pleasant, Reggae on the Beach--Taurus Riley in concert, Blue Food Festival...and more...whew! 

I've been to several dinners where I worked; beach limes, happy hours, Caribbean nights and after work limes at various hotels, karaoke, Christmas lighting up at the Botanical Gardens in Scarborough. My job has also taken me all over the island...my tyres can attest! lol...So I'm well acquainted with the country roads more than anything. And they say Tobago is small! That's a lot of driving in 12 months!! I also lived in the serene, tranquil area of Mason Hall that relaxed my mind and rejuvenated my body and soul with clean, fresh air and my pick of fresh fruits and a plethora of other things...It was conducive to the creativity needed for the continuation of my second book, my blogs and provided the meditation necessary to remain sane after a long day's work.

It may seem to the reader and other onlookers on social media this past year that I was living in a utopia, but everyday was not always rainbows and daffodils. While there were some very BIG and dramatic hurdles...alls well that ends well. It was sporadic and short lived. Don't EVER underestimate the power of prayers. I had the opportunity to accomplish some personal and professional milestones during the time I was there and I believe that I have fulfilled my purpose to which I was divinely led. I've certainly learnt some very valuable lessons in trust and appearances amongst other things which will stay with me for a very long time. It is the hope that I have left my mark somewhere along the way, in the consciousness of all those I came into contact with. 

I am so humbled and grateful for the many blessings of the past year too numerous to mention. Most importantly I am thankful for always having ENOUGH: Enough willpower, enough strength, enough family, enough love, enough friends, enough support, enough economic means to survive on my own in a different land, enough faith, enough energy and time, enough patience AND enough discretion to know when enough is enough!

Thank you Jesus so much for this wonderful, exciting, fun, sometimes crazy, at times challenging, but marvellous, deeply satisfying adventure...To my new friends and acquaintances: thanks for the love, the hospitality, the laughs (and for laughing at my jokes), the tours, the adventure, the lessons and advice, the many discoveries of and visits from my trini peeps and the many amazing memories that comprised 2013! You ALL made it VERY special! I promise to be back often for visits.

I will cherish this time for as long as I have breathe...

While a small part of me wished that my stay could be longer, I strongly believe that God has bigger plans for me and hence my decision to embark on a brand new and completely different journey. Also I need to be cognizant that family is important and always comes first. With that said, after an intense reflection of the past year on my recent 3 hour long boat ride, I am happy with my decision and I'm thrilled for the first time for the year to be coming home (believe it or not, I loved Tobago that much) I look forward to catching up with my family who I've only seen for 3 days at a time for the past year...and also friends. And most of all I can hardly wait to follow my dream!

On the radio, they are now playing "There's no place like home for Christmas" I couldn't agree more! 

I've been going to bed at 3 am since last Thursday...so methinks I should catch up on my zZzzz.

Stay tuned to this space for more.

There were many magical Kodak moments all of which I can't post but each one holds a special place in my heart...Also find me on facebook for more>>>https://www.facebook.com/ThinkingoutLoudbyCarolynCorreia

Peace and love....
Carolyn xoxoxoxoxoxox

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Life Well Lived - The World Mourns an Icon

You lived a full and meaningful life. Let's live ours so that we can say that at the end. Death is celebrated in African culture. From this moment on we celebrate your life and all that you have done for us. 
You have traversed many barriers and left behind a rich legacy. 
Your memory will be forever etched in history. 
May you RIP Nelson Mandela

Silence is Golden

At times we may have to adjust our responses to negative people and situations in our lives so as to find our equilibrium. 
Not every malicious remark deserves a retort or 'come back.' 
When we put ourselves in the right frame of mind and try to find the underlying causes of such negativity, the effects can be alleviated considerably. 
Sometimes such toxicity from others stems from hurt, inferiority, fear, insecurity or jealousy. 
If something is said and we are so deeply affected, perhaps we have to try to desensitize ourselves and look inside to find the answer. 
Maybe it's something we need to alter or 'fix' within ourselves so as to move on to that higher ground. 
When we are able to empathize, we discover the root causes and effects. 
We become immune to such challenges and that person or situation becomes irrelevant to our well-being. 
Everything in this life is temporary and many things are a means to an end. Once it has served its purpose, it no longer bears significance on our existence. 
However we must be fully present in the here and now and learn the lessons of our past so as to evolve to the next level of our lives. 
It's like the rungs of a ladder: we must have a firm and solid footing on each rung before we ascend to new heights. 
After all is said and done: we must remember to remain true to ourselves, don't let anyone shake your footing because he who believes in God will always stand on solid ground and will always overcome all spiritual, physical, emotional and mental battles.
 As this year comes to a close and we get ready to start anew, let's reflect on the months gone by and make a decision to put the past behind us and choose our battles going forward as new situations and personalities present themselves in our lives. 
Sometimes silence is more potent that war. 
"A still tongue keeps a wise head." 
"He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from trouble."...Proverbs to live by! [21:23] 
Peace & Love

Sunday, December 1, 2013


photo credit - magazinebank.com
Tis' the Season!

December is here...

One of my favourite times of year.

Wishing you a month filled with good tidings of joy to last the year thru and peace, happiness and love in abundance.

The world is so much more joyous with love. Although we can't humanly love everyone we encounter, we can learn to exercise tolerance for our differences. When it's too much to bear, we ought to remember a happy time and Jesus' love for all mankind, so much so that He gave up His life for our salvation.

So as we hustle and bustle to put our physical houses in order with the painting, decorating, food preparations and shopping for gifts, let us all Remember the 'Reason for the Season' and put our spiritual houses in order. Christmas is about selfless giving, hope, faith and love. Let's all make a special effort even if it's in a small way to give a little, really believe that miracles can happen and spread a little love and cheer.

All of our lives are a work in progress. No one expects us to be perfect, but at least we can strive to attain as close as possible to this model through trial and error. Maybe we would never get it right, but the important thing is that we try to achieve even a semblance of what our Father teaches us, so that all will be well in our lives. 

Good things comes to those who pray and who believe that a good life is worth working for...When we truly believe with all of our heart and all of our soul, we experience a little piece of heaven on earth. When we believe that dreams can come true, everyday seems like Christmas. Bad may come, but we deal with it in stride and try to see the silver lining and transform it into a positive experience.

I know this pic doesn't symbolize a Caribbean Christmas but it's what dreams are made of...we were taught as children to think that a white Christmas and Santa is part of what the season is all about. As adults it still makes some of us happy and it's okay to feel this way. Technology allows us to appreciate difference in cultures and climates. Whether we experience it by hopping on a jet plane or vicariously through television and movies, it's worth it to have the best of both worlds. 

I love a trini Christmas with the sorrel, ginger beer, ham, pastelles and punche de creme but I long to experience a white Christmas...(San Francisco doesn't count)...My plans did not work out this year but sooon! Everything happens for a reason, I look forward to going home for Christmas, catching up and spending the season with family and friends. I had a great start to the month...and hope it continues as the season gets further underway...

I say to you: Remember the people that matter most, that have made sacrifices for you and treat you right. Recognize the little things that all add to the bigger picture. Although circumstances may change, always try to remember the good that was bestowed unto you and never lose sight of the magical moments that make everyday Christmas. It's not just once a year...it's about the symbolism of the birth of a Saviour. And Always Remember to Make it COUNT!!! 

Peace & Love