Happy New Year 2023! If you are reading this, it means you survived 2022!
Let’s celebrate all we have overcome in 2022 and all that awaits us in 2023 and beyond!
Let’s also take the time to understand the meaning of Auld Lang Syne.
2022 has been quite a year but with it there have been lots of lessons and just as there have been for me, surely, there must have been for you! To those who ended the year with me, thank you! To those who have supported me, thank you! Let’s move forward together!
As I celebrate all that I have overcome in 2022, I urge you to celebrate all that you have overcome! Celebrate you! Celebrate where you have come from, celebrate where you are now and celebrate where you are going! Celebrate your journey, celebrate each step you take and the journey that await you!
As you do this, please accept some friendly advice (yes, it’s a A to Z version created by me just for you!):
Always be true to yourself!
Be your best friend and not your worst enemy.
Celebrate you, where you are and where you are going!
Do not let people and situations destroy you!
Erase negative qualities!
Find a positive out of every negative.
Give yourself the best chance possible!
Have faith in yourself and do not underestimate your worth.
Invest in self-care! Invest in you!
Journeys vary for everyone- yours is different with others!
Keep your focus!
Make every moment count.
Never give up.
Open your eyes to reality and accept it for what it is.
Passionately pursue your dream(s)!
Question what you need to but only to find answers that will help you!
Remember silence is golden.
Show the people you love that you love them- don’t just say it!
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Use the scissors of life!
Vision Boards help so create your own! Place it where you can see it every day!
Wasting time is not an option! Every moment is precious!
X-factor applies to everyone, so, what makes you unique?
You are stronger than you realize and your strength comes from within just like your peace of mind.
Zealously move forward, giving your best always!
As this post is being written, it’s already New Years Day 2023 in many parts of the world. Here is a short video sharing some of it.
In many countries too, there are different traditions. Have fun looking at this video from the Today Show with some of our favorite hosts.
If you would like to sing along to Auld Lang Syne, here’s a video you will enjoy as the lyrics are there!
I wish you the very best to you and for your family for this New Year 2023! Be true to yourself! Take it one day at a time and don’t give up!
“It’s a Happy, Happy, Happy Day! It’s a Holy, Holy Day! “
These are the words which have been playing in my head all day, because for us (meaning the devotees in Trinidad), the celebration is two-fold! The difference is, I am hearing it in Sri Bala Swamiji’s voice and the only other song I stopped to sing today was “Vande Santam Hanumantam” when I heard it in Pt Ganesh Maharaj’s TikTok video being sung by His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda!
This was one of the first bhajans of His Holiness that I heard and today I was reminded of my initial visits to the majestically tall Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti which stands tall in Carapichaima. It is one many Datta devotees enjoy listening to, so I am sharing the YouTube link here.
Why is the celebration two-fold?
Let me explain:
June 9, 2022 marks the 19th Anniversary of the consecration of the 85ft Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti by His Holiness Pujya Appaji.
At the time when this post is being written, it is already Jyestha Sudha Ekadasi in India. It is also the day when we celebrate the Lunar Birthday of His Holiness and we wish His Holiness a very Happy 80th Birthday!
The 85ft Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti here in Trinidad is one that reminds us day after day, how blessed we truly are here in Trinidad. No amount of words can ever say how truly grateful we are!
As the day began, for me it didn’t feel like one where I wanted to be rushing and sorting work! Yes, I know work is important and it takes so much of my time, but it was a day when I wanted a different pace and in more ways than one, I got it.
The energy, the peace and the way the entire day unfolded was proof of it!
For those wondering about Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman, please allow me to share an excerpt from a post on Trinidad Hanuman Datta Mala, “Apart from that, Sri Appaji has always realised from His early visits, that our ancestors brought Hanuman worship in their hearts and minds and would sing his Chalisa if physical worship was not always possible, because of the difficulties they faced! This Hanuman devotion sustained them and helps us now also to overcome all obstacles!”
As described in “The Journey- Memoirs of A Devotee of Parama Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji,” by Sheetal Prasadji, a very humble and gentle soul who is widely known as a musician and author, who is Trinidadian by birth, “On that most auspicious day, Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Pontiff of Datta Peetham and Spiritual Master to countless devotees all over the world, by His Divine Sankalpa, consecrated the Karya Siddhi Anjaneya Temple and later stated, Now He had synthesized Himself with Sri Hanuman and taken permanent residence in my ‘Bhoomi’ my home land (Chapter 31).
With an abundance of posts on Social Media, namely on Facebook to mark this historic occasion, the energy and celebration were evident. They were all filled with so much love with several special moments and memories shared by Datta devotees. For most of the day messages and posts celebrating the anniversary of Lord Hanuman dominated social media and messages celebrating Appaji’s birthday were evident as soon as it was either morning in India or it was morning in other parts of the world.
What made my day was being able to view Puja and Purnahuti live from Avadhoota Datta Peetham in Ashrama and being able to hear Appaji’s message as before one of the live sessions concluded. It gave me renewed energy to do one of the things I love most- writing!
Today was a day of peace, a day of giving thanks and a day for counting blessings! It was also a day of positivity and gentle reminders.
In closing I take this opportunity to wish Appaji a very Happy Birthday 80th Birthday year to You! Please accept our humble Prostrations at Your Lotus Feet!
For those who know me, you would know that I am on a mission to help others and touch the lives of people the world over, one country at a time. A question I always ask is, “Why deny yourself an opportunity to achieve the success you deserve?” As such I am sharing this link with you as I want it to be easily accessible to you https://apply.unicaf.org/
Have you seen this video? If not, please check this out as an opportunity to study with UNICAF is one you certainly should not pass up!
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Also, if you need to look at this video:
Give yourself the opportunity to invest in your future and to make your dreams a reality. Don’t lose any more time and remember it is yours for the taking! Apply today and start that new chapter of your journey today! Also, apply, share and give someone the gift of education today! Apply today!
Her smile, her voice and every memory I have with her is how I will remember my aunt. She was a sister, mother, wife, niece, cousin, sister-in-law, aunt, aunt-in-law, grandmother, mother-in-law and friend of many.
The late Kaysika Devi Dookie passed away on Tuesday 17 May 2022 and for those who knew her and the life she lived, she fought a brave fight. While for some Auntie is just a term of endearment, many can agree that those who had Aunties like her have special bonds with nieces and it doesn’t matter how often you see them but moments you share with them are moments that you hold dear.
Kaysika Devi Dookie was the daughter of Celia Dookie and the late Ramlal Dookie. She was the common-law wife of Arnold Bahadoor. She was the mother of Rishi, Imran and Candice, mother-in-law of Stacy and Shizelle and the grandmother of Regan and Rayaz.
The late Kaysika Devi Dookie was the sister of Doris, Dora, Dolsie, Bena, Jaggernath and Rajdaye. She was the sister-in-law of my deceased Dad Ramchit, as well as the sister-in-law of Hussain, Rajesh, Rosemary, Sharaz, Winston, Sally and Reynold. She was my aunt and the aunt of my siblings, Ria and Ricky as well as the aunt of Sasha, Adesh, Sarah, Vincent, Leah, Premnauth, Susan, Joseph and Josiah. She was also the grandaunt of nine.
She was the niece of Betty, Vinda, Doodnath, Sita and the late Mynie, Sookraj and Bharose. She was also the relative of Leela Ramdeen, the Atal, Jairam, Dookie, Thomas, Shah, Bocas, Baksh, Ramdass and Deowajit families.
A lesson she taught us was that no one can stand in your shoes because no one can fill them like you and she did it in more ways than one. Many would remember her as a friendly and hardworking cashier who worked for several years at Rajack’s Supermarket in Point Fortin and also at NH Chan and Sons, Carl Chang Supermarket and Tang Hap’s Supermarket, all that are well-known businesses in Point Fortin .
What I don’t think she knew is that she shared a birthday with famous American actress Dedee Pfeiffer, Italian singer Francesca Alotta and a few others! Her reaction might have been, “Really?” and it would have been matched by a smile on her face.
It is one time when gone but not forgotten holds renewed meaning! Her smile, her calls, her messages, her loving nature and her humility will never be forgotten.
The message that comes with death is to remind us who are here how to live! Please take the time to listen to and look at this!
Do you want to teach online? Do you also want to enhance your chances so that you can teach, travel and settle anywhere in the world? Then you need to read this post!
In case you are wondering if you read the title correctly, yes you did! So if you are looking for recognized school to do your TEFL Training with, this is certainly it! Premier TEFL is certainly it!
This is because a couple months ago I began my journey with this institution and trust me when I say that I have not been disappointed. Having had the choice of quite a lot of institutions I did my research well and thankfully, good research has paid off.
My course was fully online, it was easy to access my study material and chart my progress every step of the way. What made it easier is that even though I had a very busy schedule I was able to study at my pace and ask for more time to complete my studies in case I needed to.
While I know not everyone’s experience will be the same, I am quite happy to share my experience! My advice to you would be to use this link https://premiertefl.com?ptaff=900 and check out their courses for yourself as you will realize there are many options to choose from. What becomes vitally important is knowing how recognized your qualification is and ensuring that you give your best.
What’s even better is that thanks to Premier TEFL I am a trained and TEFL Instructor who is happily working my way through other courses at Premier TEFL.
As I do this I can easily reach out to the support team and I am always being informed to the best places to apply for TEFL jobs. Trust me, it is a journey you will enjoy so get ready to ‘wet your feet’ and begin a new adventure, for you as well as your family!
2021! What a year! If you are reading this thank God because it means you are alive! It means you survived to see another day and the start of another year!
It may not have been the easiest year but we pulled through- every single one of us! We can all agree that this was not an easy year and it was challenging in more ways than one. As we begin 2022, let’s begin by giving gratitude for ALL blessings. Also take the time to celebrate, reflect and rejuvenate because we need to keep going and we need to take positive energy with us. Here are some helpful pointers!
Decide not to give attention to anyone that caused you pain and do not let their negative energy dominate your thoughts.
Remember to keep living- enjoy life!
Find a positive in every negative.
Move forward- don’t look back.
Keep your resolve!
Use the scissors of life and cut out everthing you don’t need.
Enjoy your journey!
Give gratitude every single day!
Be your best friend- not your worst enemy!
In case you are wondering what musical treat awaits you today then take the time to listen to this!
As you go through the year, take it one day at a time! Also, please remember to do your best to stay safe!
Happy Independence Day Trinidad and Tobago! Today we celebrate 59 years! “Together we aspire, Together we achieve” with “Discipline, Production and Tolerance”.
Have you taken the time to celebrate the Independence of our country? Don’t worry, it’s not too late!
We are a country that is culturally diverse! We are a country that is a melting pot! We are talented and we are gifted! We are people known for our warmth and a truly rich blend of food. Do you need some proof or a gentle reminder? Then click on this link:
This is a message from His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji! Episode 513 Srimadbhagavatam SGSPosts:
“Bhagīratha mounted his chariot and drove swiftly at the speed of wind. River Ganga rapidly flowed behind him purifying different lands as she flowed through them.”
Swamiji explains: What a meritorious deed Bhagīratha performed! He brought purity to all lands by bringing Ganga to Earth. Because of the existence of Ganga, all smaller tributaries and distributaries flow everywhere. You may wonder- do other rivers not have any speciality in them? Of course they have! Each river has its own speciality. But River Ganga surpasses all other rivers with its purity!
How should the auspicious river bath be taken in sacred rivers? It is incorrect to directly go and bathe in the river and cleanse oneself using soap. Prior to proceeding for a river bath, the person should bathe and cleanse himself. He should complete all his daily obligatory duties. He should then, with feelings of total purity and reverence, proceed to the river.
Washing clothes or utensils, bathing with soap, polluting the river with chemicals and factory wastes or dirtying the river by any other method are forbidden. Fetch the river water in a bucket and then use that water for your needs. It is incorrect to pollute the entire river in order to complete your tasks. A river is considered sacred and akin to nectar. A river flows through many mountains and herbs imbibing their medicinal properties. As it flows through varied types of rocks and gems, it absorbs their energies as well. It is natural mineral water. Drinking such water cures diseases. Crops grown with this water are nutritious.
Is it right to pollute such rivers? The Government’s efforts to clean the river are not yielding complete results due to lack of co-operation from citizens. They continue to pollute the river despite Government’s efforts. If at all polluted water needs to be let into the river, the water should be treated and then released. Sewage treatment plants should be set up for this purpose. When treated water is released into the river, the aquatic animals do not perish. By releasing polluted water, the plants perish, the animals are destroyed and the water is no longer fit for consumption. We are poisoning the water. We pollute the water and then blame the Government for not taking adequate steps. Government has been doing its best in this aspect.
When drainage waters are collected and left to dry, then Sun’s rays suck up the dirt and impurities. Germs are destroyed. When treated water is used for watering plants, the water enters into the earth. It gets purified there. Water table improves. We get purified drinking water again from earth.
We are careless in disposing garbage. We worry only about the cleanliness of our house when dirtying the streets and then shift the blame on to the Government. Shamelessly we use plastic covers and indiscriminately dispose them. Cows and buffaloes eat plastic and fall sick. Are we not sinning? When there are alternatives to plastic, why are we insistent on using plastic? Plastic rice and plastic noodles have flooded the markets. Let us now get back to the story.
When we go for a sacred river bath, we should at first bathe and cleanse ourselves at home. With devotion and reverence we should go to the river and dip thrice. That’s all. Applying soap and bathing in river increases the sins instead of destroying them. Sins of those who bathed earlier in those waters transfer to the person who dirties it.
“River Ganga flowed over the ashes of the sixty thousand sons of Sagara. With the touch of Ganga, these sons were purified and they reached heaven. From here originates the custom of taking the ashes of the deceased and offering them in River Ganga. She swallows up the sins”.
Today a nation cries. Today a country is brought to its knees. Today hearts were broken into pieces throughout the island. Today tears were shed by many and pain, anguish and anger were evident everywhere.
February 4, 2021- the day the body of Andrea Amy Bharatt was found in the Heights of Aripo, her body thrown over a precipice. This is a day many would not forget. Prayers were being said for the young law clerk to return home safely since she went missing on the evening of Friday 29 January, 2021. Hundreds turned out for a vigil only the evening before while several hunters and trackers had joined the police in the days she went missing- many hoping they would find her alive.
The life of a family was turned upside down as this young woman who had done everything she was told to do was subjected to a horrific end. She travelled with a friend in daylight shortly after finishing work in what appeared to be a registered taxi. However, she was lured into a trap many others would not have expected as the license plate was fake. God only knows how her father is coping. To think that she left home and could not return as she left, to think that they could not say goodbye or hug each as they would is the unfortunate reality that her murder has brought.
To think of her last moments is painful and heartbreaking. To think of the scant disregard and respect for her body as she was assaulted and her body thrown over a precipice is beyond disturbing.
Described as an ‘angel’, Andrea was also described as a soft-spoken, pleasant and very hard working young lady who worked towards her dreams and she greeted everyone she met with a smile. She was one who left many with great memories and there has been an outpouring of love and concern since the day she went missing.
To have raised her alone for the last eight years following the passing of his wife, for her to grow up to be the young woman she was, it means Andrea’s father did an incredible job. It also means the bond they shared would have been a very close one. To have her snatched from him like this and to lose her like this is inconsolable. More so it means more hearts are continuing to break as many think of the irreparable damage done to him and the constant pain and anguish he is facing.
Andrea’s story is one of the many that has brought pain to many in our twin island Republic. This is not the ‘sweet T&T’ Natasha Wilson described years ago. The stories of the tragic end Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley, Krysta Lackpatsingh, Joanna Díaz Sánchez, Rachel Logan, Cindy Joseph, Hope Arismandez, Emily Annamunthodo, Sean Luke, Jezelle Phillip, Ellena Dial and so many others faced have showed the harsh reality of the times we are living in. We pray for each of their souls. We pray for each of their families.
Ashanti as many would remember left home to attend her grandmother’s birthday party. She was on her way to meet her boyfriend and other family members and together they would go to her grandmother’s home but Ashanti never arrived. Like Andrea, she was a beautiful young woman with a beautiful soul. She too was described as a loving young lady who was hard working and she too had a horrific end. She brought joy and laughter to many.
Ashanti had spent her Sunday morning at home with her Mom and when she left little did anyone think that she would never return. Ashanti disappeared on the 29th of November and her corpse was found on Dec 4th; Andrea disappeared on January 29th and her corpse was found on February 4th. Her murder sparked outrage and the ordeal she faced in her final hours was surely inflicted by persons with no compassion, no mercy and no respect.
Let us go back to a most tragic day in 2004! When Krysta Lackpatsingh’s life was taken in 2004, it was on a day when she had returned home early to type up a report on the family’s computer because a computer had not yet been installed at work. Krysta, a Probation Officer attached to the Point Fortin Magistrates Court was found by her parents, Jade and Steve Lackpatsingh in a pool of blood. She had been stabbed at least 18 times. Always pleasant, she loved helping others and she loved life. She was beautiful inside and out. Her laughter could fill a room and she had a special ability to soothe those around her.
What wrong did Krysta do? She came home early to complete her work because it could not be done at her place of work and instead had her life taken in a most tragic way, heartlessly and brutally. Krysta’s death shocked the entire Cedros community.
The torture Andrea, Ashanti, Krysta and each of the other victims endured is unthinkable. So too is the torture their families have endured and continue to endure. When several of these victims did the right thing how can we say they did wrong? Their lives were ended by heartless, cold, unfeeling monsters that are roaming our land. Who are they to take lives they did not give life? Yes, once there is birth, death is inevitable but when that time comes is not to be determined by man.
We need to wake up and look out for each other. We need to be vigilant and careful. We need to take measures for good protection and we need to keep praying. We need to be thankful for our loved ones and for our time with them.
Yes, many of us did not know any of these victims, but it has not stopped us from caring and praying. Do not let their stories be stories which will be forgotten. Do not let their lives be a distant memory in time to come. Do not forget their families. Do what you can to offer them comfort and prayer. In essence, keep applying the golden rule- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
The lives of each of these victims matter! Let us remember what they taught us, how they have inspired many and what they have showed us. The lives of their families matter too! This is not about you or me but it is about every single one of us!
We celebrate each of these Angels! Together they have shown us how inner beauty radiates outward! Together they have shown us how rising in the midst of adversity is imperative! Together they have shown us that the purity of their hearts is something they were blessed with! They were gone too soon but they will never be forgotten!