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Showing posts from July, 2013

Amma, the Hugging Saint, Boston Retreat 2013

by Marie Aunio The operative word in my life for the last year has been one: overwhelmed. Often not visible on the outside but within, it is there. As soon as I complete what’s needed, double comes back. It’s the Blob eating everything in its path and getting bigger with each thing it eats! How do I escape and stop this?!? Going on a retreat last week was my answer. Ironically though, in being with my guru, Amma, it reminded me instead of the world I left behind. What a contradiction! Here is Amma outwardly constantly and famously in action. As of recent count, she has hugged over 30 million times and has produced more philanthropic initiatives than any other in this day and age. Inwardly however, she is immovable, silent and centered. Just like the first time I saw her in 1998, Amma sat for endless hours in the morning and evening giving darshan. She hugs every single person, weeps and comforts their woes, plays with them, gives a caress, says a prayer or song in their ea

365 to 50 : Happy. Simple Life.

Happy. Simple. Life. As I turn a new chapter (which for me is every morning), there are a lot of things I am truly thankful for. From an awkward, shy and tomboyish girl from Paranaque who wanted to be a Benedictine nun to a blessed mother of four wonderful children, married to a very thoughtful man who loves me more than anything in the world; Interesting. I was prepared to list down all the blessings I had in the past 10 years but my family seems to be the one important gift that drove everything I do. Nothing else mattered. I'm lucky to be born to a family who would stop at anything to help one another. I'm lucky to be married to a family who loves me no matter what. Lucky. Something I never thought I was. But despite the challenges my family had been through, I am definitely thankful for being me. Turning 49 drives people to review the past decade. Just like what I did 10 years ago, when I turned 39 (duh!) So in that tradition, here

Nikka: TV Broadcaster, Mother and Baker

by Veronica Cleofe-Alejar (Nikka with her husband and children) Hello everyone! I am Veronica Cleofe-Alejar, Nikka for short, 37 years old. I am a broadcaster by profession; a mother of four, all spaced roughly three years apart, by vocation; and a baker by passion. Our eldest, Therese, is pretty and demure and turns 9 this December; followed by mischievous yet sweet Andre who turns six this October; then chubby and charming Reuben who had just turned three this May; and lastly, lovely and smiley Isabelle who is eight weeks old. Quite a handful, eh? Being the elder of two girls, I never thought that I would outnumber my parents in terms of how many children I would or could pop out. The magic number for them, as my Papa revealed to me one time, would have been FOUR, but due to Mama’s health problems and Papa’s perceived budgetary constraints, they only had TWO – me and my sister, Erica. Mama was never able to see any of her grandchildren, having passed away when I

Largest Can Pyramid: Guinness World Book Record of Cans with a heart!

(photo credit: Cranford Teen Advisory Board ) A group of teenagers had an idea and they made sure it happened. These young social entrepreneurs from Cranford Teen Advisory Board Collected 25,585 cans Built the largest Can pyramid Broke the Guinness World Record Donated the cans to the victims of Super Storm Sandy. Their recent world record has been selected by Guinness World Record for this week's Fans Choice contest. Show them your appreciation for what they've accomplished and visit the link below and scroll down and vote for “Largest Can Pyramid”. Let's help them to be this week's Fan Choice winner: (photo credit: Cranford Teen Advisory Board )