Be strong, have faith in yourself

This post is different from my usual posts. Today, may 31st, is no tobacco day, and I wanted to share my experience here from the time I used to smoke.

Like most people who got hooked, I was young (maybe a little younger than usual) when I tried my first cigarette, around age 14. At 15 I was a smoker, though at first, 3 to 5 cigarettes a day were enough for me. But like any addiction, as days became weeks and weeks months and then a year, the number of cigarettes increased to half a pack a day, sometimes more. By then I would do water pipes (shisha) as well, strawberry flavoured, sometimes cherry flavoured, sometimes apple.

Shisha:A bowl filled with water, hooked to a hose and tube. Atop the hose is a small bowl, filled with flavoured tobacco, covered with aluminium foil and heated with hot coals. Smoke gathers at the neck of the water bowl, to be inhaled through the tube.

By the time I was 17, I was at the peak of my life, enjoying being a smoker (yes, I knew it was bad for my health), doing a pack a day, with no signs of slowing down. By the time I was eighteen, I would smoke around a pack and a half, sometimes one or two more, sometimes one or two less.

But by then I had my doubts, and decided smoking wasn’t all that fun anymore, so I throttled back to a pack, then half a pack a day.

Between 18 and 21 I was oscillating between that half pack to a full pack, but never more, never less. And then at 22 I finally found the will power and determination to quit and go cold turkey.

I remember that morning in March when I decided that was that and stubbed out the cigarette halfway through.

I moved away that same day – different house, different city, different people. I changed my habits – started eating a full breakfast every day, avoided people who smoked, no more coffee and hot drinks, no more idle lazing around (so the craving wouldn’t occupy my mind).

The first month was the worst.

The headaches came first, during the times I routinely had a cigarette: in the morning, with a cup of coffee, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner, before bedtime – basically, for the entire day. But I was determined, and so I held on. Slowly the craving… didn’t lessen, but it wasn’t as bad, the headaches not as spiky, or it could be I got used to it. And then a month turned into two, then three, then six.

The urge to smoke was always there, the need to light just one and settle frazzled nerves, to soothe anxiety, to fill in the habit I once enjoyed so much.

But I never gave in.

Three years later I started drinking coffee again, and the craving for one more puff would appear suddenly, but it was easy to ignore by then.

It’s been now 13 years, 1 month and 28 days since that last half cigarette.

I have dreams at night that I still smoke, and whenever I do, the phantom craving will be there in the morning, giving me a sense of nostalgia, the need to know the what if I gave in, or hadn’t moved away, or hadn’t changed my routines so completely.

Today, may 31st, is no tobacco day, and I wanted to share here that it’s possible to give it up, if you’re determined enough and believe you have the will power to be stronger.


Some – a midnight muse

Some people move on and never look back
Some people move on, but leave mind and heart in the past
I have been absent lately from the blogosphere working on the second book in the Roxanne Fosch trilogy, Heir of Doom.
The edits and revision are going well, and I hope I’ll have the manuscript ready for the betas very soon.
Meanwhile, I woke in the middle of the night and the two phrases above flowed in my mind like water. Groggy and sleepy, I typed them on my laptop (half were typed wrong), knowing I’d forget all about it in the morning.
When I read them again with an alert mind, I knew I’d be sharing it here with you guys.
Until next.

Little things, big things

‘Never leave for tomorrow the things you can do today’

Are you familiar with this quote? Have you ever lived by it?

As we grow, our priorities change, and the need to have fun and enjoy ourselves take a backseat to more serious things. Some of us lose our carefree spirit, others bury it so deep inside, they forget to smile, really smile, at the silly things in life. Yet, some of us refuse to let this part of ourselves go, and in return, we are never really taken serious.
And then comes the day when we’re old enough that we need to provide for ourselves, for those dependent on us, for a financially stable future.
We fill our days with patterns, routines, the monotony of repetition, and we start losing sight of other important things.
We forget that we live only once, and that a day that goes by will never return. We count on the fact that there will be countless minutes, countless hours, plenty of years and a handful of decades to do what we like and want to do.
But unlike deeds, what goes around doesn’t come around, and if we don’t pause the endless cycling and repeating routine and take a look about other things we once considered important, we lose sight of ourselves.
Yes, providing for the family is no duty a person can shirk off, no matter how short the period, and a constant change in routine will only cause you to seem unreliable.
But, life is a chaotic paradox, and no matter how prepared you are, life will always surprise you.
It’s a lie that people say by telling you that money buys no comfort, no happiness.
It’s a lie that people say that money cannot buy your health.
Most people know this, though only a few will admit to a hard notion drilled into them at a young age, a belief they have been indoctrinated with since childhood. Perhaps, a thousand years ago, this may have been true. But in a world where money is power and power is money, money can help make life easy, more comfortable, and certainly help optimize the health.
Is it a lie that everything now-a-days revolves around money? good care – a routine check up in a clinic; healthy food – fruits, vegetables, vitamins, unprocessed meat and chicken;, quality mattresses, spas, prescription medicine; staying warm during the winter, or cool during the summer . . . a simple vacation.
A person needs to work hard for the above to be possible, and we also learn this at a very young age.
Yet, no one lied when they said that money isn’t everything, at least not yet, and the little things in life is as important as the big things, because little by little, small things combine and gain weight.
Do you postpone things for later, confident that there will always be a later? When was the last time you watched the sun set? Took a quiet walk on the beach, in the park or just around the neighborhood?
Do you work day and night so that you can one day achieve a financial stability, only to realize later on that some of the years have gone by in a blur?


Time is a vast beast with far reaching tentacles.

Its eyes are all seeing, indifferent, unfeeling.

Its tentacles are long, infinite, growing and growing and growing.

It’s an uncaring, untouchable monster, capable to harm and heal with equal measures.

It can comfort, help a wound to close.

It can inflame, help a wound to fester.

And it can do both, by leaving a scarring mark.

It can keep a secret throughout lifetimes and beyond the grave,

It can spread a scandal back and forth like a gossiping neighbor.

It can bring tears of joy and sadness through equal measures,

It can be kind and cruel.

Time, that abstract creation, that molds and shapes and help us grow, that give of itself to help us become what we are today.

Time, that capricious monster we all want more from . . . and can never have.


Time is vast.

It has no vanity, it cares not if its ugly or pretty.

It has no sympathy; it cares not if it’s cruel or kind.

It has no humor; it cares not for laughter or tears.

It is pure, it cannot be corrupt.

It is fair; it gives as much as it takes.

It is fickle, uncaring of the changes it brings.

It is all seeing, unfeeling and indifferent.

It is an infinite  beast with long reaching arms that touches every individual, big or small, rich or poor, past, present and future.


By Jina Bazzar

Sometimes we are nothing but ripples

Sometimes things happens to us that we have no say or control over.
Sometimes we react the only way we know how to, though in hindsight, we wish we had reacted differently.
Sometimes these reactions inadvertently affect the lives of others.
And sometimes others will react to things that affect them.
A pebble, sometimes in a pond, sometimes in an ocean.
Sometimes ripples are formed that can affect the far away shores.
A pebble – a simple action – that provokes the reaction that can affect others to react.

What is bad?

There are plenty of bad out in the world, sometimes hidden, sometimes it’s out in the open, often its mixed in with the good.
But what is bad, exactly, but a perception of what each individual believes wrong?
It comes in degrees, in shades of grey, and sometimes we fight a battle within ourselves, between whats bad and good.
There is, of course, a demarcation between good and bad, though most often than not, we make it flexible. Some people keep this line higher, give it a name –their moral standard, or ethics; some have it lower, call it an open mind and liberty of self.
Yet others bend it to their will, sometimes considering bad to be a necessary evil. Or just something necessary that they couldn’t have done without.
But really, what is bad but a perception of what we consider right and wrong?

Have you met Boredom and his twin, Time?

I miss you, Boredom, my love

Gone are the days when Boredom and I’d roamed around the house, searching for something to occupy Time.
Or sit and think about nothing and everything, life, friendship, love, hate, enemies, the sky.
For hours I’d sit and have nothing to do, wishing for something.
Boredom was a fixture, a permanent guest, an annoying presence.
I complained about Boredom a lot, talked behind Boredom’s back to a friend, a family, a passerby, even the parrot.
I guess Boredom finally got the point, because Boredom got up and left me, and took Time, his twin with him.
And now my life is a quick marathon, with me always on the losing side.
I catch glimpses of time every now and then, but all twenty four legs pass me and I can never catch it again. But of Boredom , there are no signs.
I wish I could see Boredom again, for a couple hours once or twice a week, to reminisce some times.
For old time’s sake.
**Once upon a time, I had a friend called Boredom. Boredom and his twin, time, kept me company – until one day when they packed up and left me.

Julia Flynn – blogger and columnist

With Julia Flynn, all her words are inspirational in a way or another. Another member of Conscious Talk, Julia’s articles all have some sort of uplifting, thought provoking ideas that will leave you contemplating her words long after you finish reading. She is also a blogger, and for those of you who enjoy a spiritual word or two, it’s the perfect place to stop by for encouragement.

Below are a few of her articles from Conscious Talk:


Opposite Worlds, Same State: Closing the Achievement Gap between Inner City and Affluent Children

I believe that people, whether you are black or white, want the same things; love and respect. Love that is expressed through kindness, listening, openness, understanding, and guidance. Respect that’s expressed through welcoming another’s healthy values.

These definitions…..



Behaviors that Guide and Soothe When Life Falls Apart

“The Truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen.” This is….


How To Experience Self-love’s Emotional Healing And Guiding Wisdom

While contemplating the emotional healing effects of self-love, Lionel Richie and his Commodores quietly singing lines from Sweet Love, a 1974 classic rhythm and blues song


The ups and downs of life


Life is a constant work in progress.

You have to work for the love and beauty

As well as away from the ugly and hate

You have to work toward health and fitness,

As well as out of a flu or illness.

You have to work for knowledge and wisdom,

As well as away from ignorance and unawareness.

You have to work to find the warmth and comfort,

As well as shield against the cold and rain.

This doesn’t mean you have to labor hard, sweat a lot, sleep or eat little;

Only that you have to search for the beauty amidst the ugly; the good amidst the bad.

to give as much as you take, and love as much as you’re loved.

And remember that there always will be a light, no matter how dim or bright.
And that the sun will shine by day,

The moon and the stars by night.