Today’s daily prompt is “fabric”. I want to write about “Pad Man“, the new Indian movie that tackles the taboo topic of periods (in India). Based on a true story, this movie tries to tackle a taboo topic and raise awareness about women’s health. While living in villages and working in the slums of Mumbai, I have witnessed the difficulties girls and women face when they have their periods. The biggest issue was not being aware of or being able to afford sanitary pads. I recall the girls and women collecting bits and pieces of fabric and making sure they were washed, dried and hidden away. When I was wrapping up my project at the Film City slum in Mumbai, I asked the members of my group what they would like from me as a parting gift. They asked me for safety pins, good quality safety pins that would hold fabric together and keep them more comfortable during their periods. The question is – why are girls and women in many parts of the world still not able to have access to a basic necessity – sanitary pads? The answer is not just poverty, the discomfort of millions of girls and women, have not made us uncomfortable enough to do something, once and for all.

Photo credit:


i miss


i miss the crimson indian skies

the warm summer breeze

the colorful crowds

the way we talked with ease

i miss standing by the green river

watching gray elephants congregate

red thunder lilies in your garden

white jasmine flowers on your golden gate

i miss the morning temple sounds

mangoes and tender coconuts

cuckoos and koels

something somewhere hurts

i miss the dark loud monsoons

scorching white heat

walking to your home

red kolhapuri sandals on my tired feet

i miss the ivory tea lights 

bocelli singing for us

our midnight conversations

on life and running away from happiness


Photo Credit: Pink Pangea (Kerala, India).


head phones

smart phones

our lives

separate in quiet zones

no need to listen

no need to talk

perfectly fine

to simply get up and walk

busy lives

bills to pay

hard to notice

when someone walks away

until when the sun sets

and the white blanket

covers the lawn

like a casket

looking out into the sky

one sees the astral flake

drifting down with dreams

for those soon to wake

start another day

make another choice

to listen or not

to another human’s voice

sacred bones

precious stones

our lives connected

by different tones

do we care enough

to be there for each other

are we brave

to be together


Photo credit: Frank Herrera Photography, Creative Commons.



Minimalism, Now More than Ever

…finding and honoring ourselves takes work…

Growing Up Minimal


Somewhere between the fall and spring I lost my center. Between the national election (and the divides it created in my organizations and families), the anniversary of our unexpected birth experience, and the allure of more (always more!) to be busy with, I lost sight of my goals and priorities. I lost myself. Fortunately, I won’t be that hard to find.

Why? Minimalism.

Minimalism is the answer when we feel this way. When we’re unsure of ourselves or our futures. When we find ourselves asking,

  • “Who am I?”
  • “What am I doing?”
  • Where am I going?”
  • “What do I want?”
  • “Why?”

Minimalism helps us answer these questions and silence the wondering. Here’s how:

  1. Minimalism helps us remember what’s important. Rather than an absence or an abstinence, minimalism is simply the thoughtful cultivation of a life worth living. It helps us identify our core values, priorities, and beliefs. When we do…

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Arms are for hugging…


Photo credit: CNN.COMDWkYoXDVoAANMUR.jpg

Yesterday, I was at the Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue to meet and hear Alice Nderitu (recipient of the 2017/18 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue) speak about the use of dialogue to advance peacebuilding and human rights.

Communities and citizens around the world have and continue to experience violence, within homes, in schools, places of worship and on the streets. The cost of violence is billions of dollars and the costs are on the rise.

A few hours ago, I came across the picture above. The words “Arms are for hugging”, made me ask the question – why do our children need to beg for peace and remind us that arms are for hugging? Have we not learned enough about the impact of violence in our lives and on the planet? What can we do to make a difference?

Alice Nderitu’s words may help make a difference, “Conflict is a fact of life. Violence and conflict do not mean the same thing because conflict involves choices that include interventions before it becomes violent. We must now join hands to work towards the kind of interventions that promote community ownership of peace.”