Father’s Day 20 Years Later by Danisha Bhaloo

Father’s Day is a special day for many who are honouring their dads and the father figures in their lives. It can also be a day of complicated feelings and grief.

Today’s guest post is written by my cousin, Danisha Bhaloo, whose father passed away 20 years ago. My mom’s younger brother was funny and generous, and loved to tease his nieces. He also loved his daughters immensely; in fact, the majority of my memories of him include watching him interact with his girls. In one, we are at the wave pool in Calgary and he’s holding onto his oldest who is thrilled to be in her daddy’s arms. In another, he’s watching me rock his younger daughter, a newborn, to sleep, making sure I was holding her right. “Don’t fall asleep in there. She’s supposed to sleep – you stay awake!” It’s heartbreaking that our memories of him are so few.

Danisha’s post will touch you as a parent and a child. It will make you reach for the camera – and for those moments – more often. It will make you think of your loved ones who have passed and search for their faces, their voices, their quirky habits. It will give you an idea of how important time with those we care about truly is.


20 years ago, my dad passed away. My fear every single day is that the few memories I have of him will fade away as time goes on. Before 1997, there weren’t any smartphones that could capture memories of my childhood. I don’t have many hard copy pictures to hold on to of my dad and me. The one thing that has kept his memory alive for me is linked to…wait for it….the Backstreet Boys. Yes, the 90s boy band that reunited over and over throughout the years and are now celebrating their 24th year together.

I know, I know. This probably sounds irrational at first glance. Let me explain. 20 years ago, on April 1, 1997, my dad took me to my first Backstreet Boys concert….actually, my first concert ever. There are no pictures of this night. But there are the sounds, the music, and the lyrics that evoke that memory every time I attend their concert. And since that time, I’ve attended 5 of their concerts…some might argue, to recapture those memories.

A few days ago, on June 15th, 2017, I flew from Edmonton to Las Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys…for the fifth time (just to be clear, I didn’t fly around the world to see them every single time. I’m not crazy.) Being a 30 something female, I’m sure you can imagine the pure authentic joy it is to see your favorite teenage boy band perform live. But for me, attending their concerts means so much more than that. The concert I attended just a few days ago brought up those important memories of my time with my dad. And so it seems fitting, that on Father’s Day and the 20th anniversary of my dad’s passing, I share those memories.

At the age of 8 years old, I was OBSESSED when the Backstreet Boys released their first song. I became one of the millions of girls around the world to fall in love with them. I bought their posters to put on my bedroom wall, their videos presenting the making of each music video (which I faithfully watched every single day for almost a year), and I joined their official fan club.

By the time I was 12 years old, their second album “Backstreet’s Back” hit stores. I begged and pleaded with my mom to let me buy the album. She refused, probably rightly so as she saw my growing obsession with boys. And so I did what any tween girl would do: I kicked and screamed and locked myself in my room in tears.

But I came up with a plan. A very elaborate plan to get my hands on their album, in a way that my mom couldn’t refuse. I went to my dad. I asked him to buy the cassette tape and mail it to me, under the guise of the BSB fan club (which, as mentioned above, I was a member of). It took some convincing, but he eventually agreed. And the morning of my 12th birthday, on March 16th, 1997, I opened the mailbox to find a large envelope from the ‘BSB fan club’ with a copy of their new album to commemorate my birthday. I kept this secret, between my dad and me, for almost 10 years before finally confessing to my mom the truth.

Father's Day, backstreet boys, danisha bhaloo

On April 1, 1997, my dad stood in line for HOURS with my cousin and me to go see the Backstreet Boys perform live at what was the Edmonton Convention Centre (now the Shaw Conference Centre). Still 12 years old, I wasn’t allowed to go by myself, and so he offered to take us. It was my very first concert.  I will never forget holding my dad’s hand as he bought me my very first BSB T-shirt and carrying me on his shoulders so that I could see past the crowd of much taller screaming girls.

6 months and 6 days after that concert, my dad unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack.

3 days ago, I attended the Backstreet Boys concert in Las Vegas. During that whole 2 hour show, all I could think about was the memories of my very first concert with my dad and that cassette tape that he secretly bought me, which I still have today.

Father's Day, Danisha Bhaloo, backstreet boys

It seemed fitting to spend the 20th anniversary of his death attending the concert again, evoking those memories, and sharing them to commemorate my time with my dad.

Happy Father’s Day, dad.


You can meet and tweet Danisha @danishabhaloo – she’s one of the most inspirational women I know!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Grieving A Loss: The Tools I Have Come To Rely On

I share a lot online; it’s part of my work. I’m willing to do it because I know the benefits of sharing one’s stories. But when something personal happens, and it’s still raw, grieving in public spaces is extremely difficult. I’m still realizing that time didn’t stop for the rest of the world since my aunt passed away two weeks ago. Instead my work piled up, laundry followed suit – and somehow with less energy than I have had in awhile, I have to climb this mountain while keeping life as normal as possible for the kids. That means keeping up with field trips and notices and sports.

The quiet hush we lived in with close family and friends is now lifting and I’m stepping out into the sun, blinking, looking around at this new life. I’ve been here before, and I have no doubt that my family and I will move forward. Our get-togethers will once again be joyful, we will laugh. We will watch the kids grow and ask each other for advice. We will sound like our mothers. And the ache of that recognition will be more gentle and tender as the years go by. I know we will get there, but today we are facing our collective and individual traumas.

Grieving is a different process for each of us. Much of my solace comes from writing and telling stories. Sometimes the stories rip open the tiny seams I have stitched across the hole that grief made. But then the next seams that are stitched are stronger, tighter. I also turn to another source of ‘mother’ for me, and that is Mother Nature herself. Last week, I visited the river and trees at Surrey’s Serpentine Fen. I listened to the birds and took in lungfuls of air heavy with a syrupy scent. I forced myself to notice, to be present, to get out of my own head. With each step on the trails, it got easier to surrender to the fact that life will go on. That there will be new forms of life.

grieving, grief, serpentine fen, taslim jaffer, let me out creative, surrey bc

So, I’ll keep walking along this trail and I’ll use the tools I have come to rely on during the difficult times: writing uninhibited in my journal; sharing what might help you, too, on my blog and other places; a good old-fashioned cry; the love of my family and close friends; and of course, my faith that everything happens for the best.

I’m also looking ahead to teaching more writing classes in the fall, as well as writing about travel and the arts, and enjoying motherhood with a new perspective that a loss often brings. I find the best way to move forward is to look in that direction. We always carry our loved ones with us, and while I enjoy the comfort of their memories when I need their company the most, a life cannot be lived backwards.

I hope that if you are experiencing a loss of some kind – whether it be a relationship, an ability, or the life of someone close to you – this helps you in some way. And if you have tools you’d like to share with us in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative



Summer Reading List

When I traded in the boob tube for a book list, my happiness factor increased dramatically. I know that sounds – well, dramatic – but I really am much happier now reverting back to my chain-reading habits. And it wasn’t such a big deal for me to cut out T.V. because I was really only addicted to one show (The Young and The Restless, of all shows. Now THAT’S drama!), but it opened up enough time for me to fuel my creativity every evening from Sunday-Thursday. On the weekends, my husband and I will try to watch a movie and maybe catch a couple episodes of Hawaii Five-O as our way of unwinding together when the kids go to bed.

Many writers live by Stephen King’s famous words: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Maybe this summer you can figure out what your major time-sucker is, evaluate its importance, and work toward opening up more time for reading.

And to encourage you to do so, I’m sharing with you the books I’ve read to date in 2016; maybe something will catch grab your attention and you can add it to your reading list.

  1. What Alice Forgot by Liana Moriarty – A funny book with some deeper messages about the difference 10 years (and 3 kids and marriage!) can make on a woman’s personality and outlook. Great book club discussion book!
  2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – This one has shaped my 2016 into a more creative, authentic year full of possibilities! One of my favourite non-fiction books and a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the value of following their curiosities.
  3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – A fabulous book to re-read as an adult. I was blown away by the writing, which I probably didn’t appreciate the first time I read it. Definitely a book to get lost in on a hot summer’s day!
  4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – Also a re-read because it was my book club’s pick. A very insightful look into the life of a boy with autism. It will open your mind and your heart.
  5. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – Another book club read. Humorous and touching, especially if you know any grumpy old men! Took me a bit to get into the book but once I got hooked, I was ignoring everything.
  6. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler – I don’t know a lot about Amy Poehler (see note above re: T.V.) but she shared a lot of lessons I could relate to: about life, creativity, work and love. If you know more about her than I do (which is likely the case), I am sure you will love this memoir.
  7. Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill – If you know me, then you know I have a deep interest in the slavery era of the Deep South and the subsequent (and present) repercussions of it. If you are into historical fiction and that time period, you’ll love this book from the author of The Book of Negroes. I’m currently on the waitlist at the library for his book, The Illegal. (Hurry up, people before me! Read faster!)
  8. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – HILARIOUS!! So, I don’t know much about Mindy Kaling either for the same reason I don’t know much about Amy Poehler. But this book made me follow her on Instagram because she is just too awesome. I could relate to her a lot because of the whole immigrants-for-parents thing and her love of writing, and this was another book I could not put down.
  9. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer – If you are a woman and a writer, you should read this book. It might piss you off like it did me (well, not the book really, but the husband…grrrr), but the writing is wonderful and the story, gripping.
  10. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – another re-read and one of my all-time favourite books. More historical fiction taking place around the time that black Americans were ‘allowed’ to vote (but were met with resistance every step of the way, literally, to the registration sites). Sue Monk Kidd has a way of writing that transports you straight to the Deep South; for a complete sensory experience of the people, sounds, smells and sights of that time period, grab this beauty of a book.
  11. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – A Nigerian woman, also a writer (ok, I’m seeing a theme here), moves to America to go to school and basically reports on everything she encounters through this story. If you love sociology, you will LOVE this book. And you will learn a lot about the immigrant experience.
  12. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – OK. Not a beach read. Not a public read. At all. From about halfway through the book, I basically ugly-cried into my pyjama top and littered my bed with used tissues. You have to read this World War II book about 2 sisters left behind to fight the war in their own ways. But not in public.

Go visit your local library or bookstore and get started on your reading goals. There’s never a better time! Let me know which book(s) you would add to this list, or which ones from here you’ll be adding to your own!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Back At Square One

A strange thing has been happening lately, and I’m almost scared to write about it. I don’t want to frighten it, or make it stop happening, whatever it is.

A couple Thursdays ago I went to my neighbour’s house for a tea and catch-up. While talking to her about my latest perceived obstacle in my career path, I suddenly said, “I think I need to ditch this route. Something about it just doesn’t feel right, I’m going against my grain.”

I felt really light when I said it, even though this kind of left me back at Square One. I didn’t really want to be at Square One because 2016, I had declared, was my year to shine. Does anyone really shine at Square One? I didn’t know, but at that point, I was tired of banging my head against the wall trying to move along a project that was kind of morphing into something I didn’t really want.

I am not kidding you when I say this, but from that very night and over the next 8 days, 4 major opportunities virtually landed in my lap. While all related to writing and speaking, these didn’t have a whole heck of a lot to do with my original focus for this year. Not directly, anyway. I can see how they will all contribute to the success of anything I want to do going forward, though. I guess Square One isn’t such a bad place to be.

So, what happened? Where did this shower of opportunities come from? What started it all?

I think it was a combination of a few things. First, I let go of something – not just the project I was working on, but also the idea of needing to be doing a particular thing at a particular time. Then, in completely unplanned conversations with a couple of mentors I mentioned experiences I would like to have. Each of them offered me an opportunity, right away. I also silently sent up an intention to contact someone who had been on my mind, someone who is deeply involved in a subject of my passion. I didn’t really have a particular ‘thing’ I wanted to talk to them about, but I knew I wanted to connect. Shockingly enough, this person ended up emailing me with one of the 4 opportunities I mentioned above. It was our first personal exchange in about a year. And then honestly, I saw I was on a roll so I reached out to someone else, pitching something I always thought would be a fun channel for my messages. It looks like it just may happen.

The thing is, I don’t know where each of these will leave me. I don’t know what the next steps are. But I’m finally understanding that if I want to live in the flow of my creativity and give the world what it needs at the time that it needs it, I just have to trust that if I do the work, the work will just lay itself out for me.

I also think my work is not really to question too hard where this all came from and just be grateful that it happened.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative



Periscope, Zumba And Soup – #3ThingsThursday

Three random things on this day before Christmas break officially begins! If you’ve been reading my posts on Thursdays you know I have been counting down since forever (or like 4 weeks ago). This time tomorrow I’ll be getting ready to pick up the kids from school – the kids, by the way, will already be in their pyjamas thanks to pyjama day! – and bringing them home. And then we are NOT leaving the house. I’ll make homemade pizza (using my go-to recipe for the dough). After dinner we’re planning on watching a movie, munching on popcorn and then calling it a night!

In the meantime, though, I’m bringing you 3 very random things and linking up with Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch. If you’re a blogger and want to link up, just visit one of their sites and add your link.

One: Periscope!

So, I’m trying this out, guys. I’ve enjoyed making a few videos here and there for Facebook, but this will allow me to live stream and engage with you. I plan on having mini-tutorials, private classes and sharing tips and tools for helping you release your creativity and heal your beautiful soul. I’ll let you know when I broadcast my first one. If you’re on Periscope, let me know so I can follow you! You should be able to find me by searching Taslim Jaffer. Let me know if you can’t find me – I’m still figuring this out!

Two: Zumba!

This weird thing happened when the days got shorter: I don’t want to go out in the evenings if I don’t have to. (Or move, in general). Which means Zumba was harder to get to. So, I made a little switch in my schedule and now go to classes during the day. First of all, wow, what a difference to start the day with some heart-pounding dance moves! I have way more energy to begin with. I’m throwing in a step class to the mix so I’ll be at 2 Zumbas and 1 step each week. It’s something! Definitely working on my self-care so I can thrive in everything else I do. What does your winter workout look like?

Three: Soup!

I’ve been following The Soup Solution on Instagram for a little while now and was so excited by the news that during December, every 5 L of soup purchased means 1 L of soup going to the Quest Food Exchange program. Read more about it here. Stock up on some wholesome soup for your freezer (because what’s better than healthy food that you don’t have to cook?). Follow them on Instagram for some mouthwatering pics!

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know if you’re on Periscope and/or how you workout in the winter!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative


Meeting People – #3ThingsThursday

Happy Thursday, dear Readers! And yes, I will continue with my countdown…just over a week until Christmas break! And by the time we go back to school in the new year the days will be a little longer which might make this whole herding-3-kids-around thing a little easier. Speaking of which, I don’t have a lot of time to spit this out before picking up the kids and going to the ice rink so here goes!

I’m linking up again with Pink Chai Living, Love Laugh Mirch and The Write Balance to share with you 3 things from my week as part of #3ThingsThursday. I try to pick a theme each week (but you don’t have to), and this post is about meeting people.

One: Nat, Drew, Erin and Scooter!

If you’re a 103.5 QMFM listener, you know exactly who I’m talking about. I listen to this station every day – and now that they play Christmas music all the time, I tune in even if I’m just driving down the street to pick up my kids from school. Why I love this team in particular, though, is they make me LOL like for real. Like, I’m giggling and driving. They are funny and tasteful (not always two things that go together, but a preferred combination if you ask me) and also incredibly compassionate. If you’re an animal lover, you’re going to want to give Nat and Drew’s Pet Page a like for sure. Anyway, this morning I got to meet them at Guildford Town Centre where they were broadcasting live from Toy Mountain. I gave you the scoop on why I think Toy Mountain is a fabulous initiative last week and as planned I spent a few hours at the mall this morning.

It was awesome to get to meet these 4 – they were really sweet off air, too. In fact, as we were exchanging business cards, I ended up digging through my mom-purse-filled-with-crap for like a good 10 minutes (felt like it anyway…actually, felt way longer) while I tried to find my fancy business card holder. They were totally cool and made me feel less like a crazy mom-purse carrier. (Side note: I really need to switch bags when I don’t have kids with me.)

And here we are – don’t I fit right in? Like, perhaps I could be a part of their team? 😉

nat, drew, erin, and scooter, nat and drew, producer scooter, qmfm 103.5

Two: Gabby Bernstein!

If you follow me on Instagram or are part of my Facebook community, you already know that I met Gabrielle Bernstein in Vancouver last weekend. LOVED her talk, and I have been to many personal development events. I have to say, she was a remarkable speaker – totally real and honest with a good dose of humour. Her tips on fuelling happiness were all practical and I definitely felt my spirit connect with her energy.

She was lovely to meet when she signed my copy of her book, Spirit Junkie. I asked her who the artist was who sang the songs we listened to during the two group meditations. She told me to follow her on Soundify or something…I thought she said Spidie fy (and I was thinking, wha?? Spiderman??). I don’t even know if it’s Soundify. My friends clarified for me (and laughed at me), but now I can’t remember what they said. Anyway, Gabby was brilliant and I’m fortunate I got to spend my Saturday evening with her and some of my beautiful friends.

gabrielle bernstein, let me out creative, vancouver, fueling happiness, fuel happiness, lululemon, kate muker

Three: My friends meeting each other!

Just as cool as me meeting people I admire, is when my friends meet each other. The people I am close to are just awesome beings and as such they should all know each other. So I was so happy when Sidra, Alexis, and Jamie got to meet at the Gabby event; afterward, the 4 of us found a place to eat and have great conversation.

gabrielle bernstein, styling the inside, sidra subzwari, let me out creative

And that’s a wrap on my #3ThingsThursday post! If you’re a blogger and want to link up, just visit one of the hosts and drop your link! Thanks for reading!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

The Blooper Reel That Was My Life This Week – #3ThingsThursday

Life is bumpy. Sometimes the bumps are just little divets that you stub your big toe on, sometimes they are giant potholes that trip you up. In the end, though, there isn’t really any harm done if you remember that the rest of life is actually smooth. I welcome smooth. But just to tip my hat at Life and its weird sense of humour, I thought I’d share 3 things that made my week interesting.

I’m linking up with Pink Chai Living, Love Laugh Mirch and The Write Balance as part of #3ThingsThursday. If you’re a blogger who’d like to join in, please visit one of their sites and drop you link!

One: My (NOT) Pregnancy Announcement

Sunday was a LOVELY day. In fact, the Sunday closest to December is actually one of my favourite days of the year. It’s when we pull out our Christmas decorations and our tree from storage and pretty this place up. This past Sunday we did just that. What I love about trimming the tree is pulling out the ornaments – some made by my husband when he was a child, some made by my kids at our annual family dinner at my sister-in-law’s house, and others gifted to us that are wrapped in special memories.

Like this one:

bloopers, booties, christmas ornaments, christmas 2015, taslim jaffer, let me out creative

To this pretty picture, I innocently added the caption: It’s that time again!

What I meant was, it’s that time OF YEAR again! Not, it’s that time when I’m pregnant again. I had to laugh when I got questions about this because I mean, c’mon…these people were giving me way too much credit. I NEVER announced pregnancies in this cute-sy way. I was too busy sticking my head in a bucket 4 or 5 times a day, while couch-ridden. As fun as that sounds, no, thank you. These booties symbolize my last baby’s first Christmas. And that’s it!

Two: The Interrupted Webinar

On Tuesday evening, I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with the ladies behind Kindness is Key Training, Inc. Not just with them, but with everybody tuned into their webinar. I was up toward the end of the hour and my excitement had been building. I love talking about authenticity, creativity and kindness and will never turn down a chance to do so! Finally, it was my turn to answer questions, and just as I was in the middle of answering a great one, my older daughter burst into the room, wide-eyed. “Alyzeh just threw up! And it’s all over the floor and Papa and her…”

What?! She’d never thrown up before (other than baby spit up what feels like ages ago) and this one sounded like a doozy. (And it was). I’m not sure if I mumbled anything to the audience at that point, but I quickly muted the microphone, texted the moderator (My daughter’s vomiting! Nadir needs my help!), changed out of my brand new shirt from West + Wind and well…did what mamas must do.

In hindsight, I wondered if there was a different way I could have handled it. Was that totally unprofessional of me? But how could I have left my husband and baby covered in vomit upstairs while I finished up my thoughts on creativity? I guess what I did on instinct was the right thing to do because I got a text from the moderator the next day saying she admired what I did and asked me back in the near future.

Three: Late.

So, there may be some of you (my husband *cough, cough*) who don’t believe it’s a big deal to be late for things. I should tell you I’m a Taurus and I beg to differ. Before kids, my motto was: “If you’re on time, you’re 5 minutes late.” When my first born was 6 weeks old we went to a family friend’s birthday party and we were like half an hour late. It killed me. In the last 8 years, I have slowly, painfully had to let go of my old friend, Punctuality. (Where kids are involved. If it’s just me, I’m good!)

However, I would like to say that it is extremely rare for my kids to get a late slip at school despite the fact that we start at the insane hour of 8:30 am. Not insane to me, the Taurean morning person. But insane to me, the mom of 3 who hears her mom’s chiding when she tries to leave the house in her pyjamas. (I’m just going down the street! I don’t even have to get out of the car!)

This morning, though, my daughter had to be at school by 8:20 for a field trip. Seriously, that is just Life mocking me for being proud of my ability to get my 3 kids up and out on my own, with no medication-induced superhero powers. I did my due diligence: woke my son up 10 minutes earlier than normal (he’s the slowest), woke the toddler up 10 minutes earlier than normal. Packed their backpacks myself. You know. To be helpful. I seriously did everything right. I didn’t yell. Nobody cried. And we were still 10 minutes late.

When we pulled up to the school, my daughter saw her classmates piling into cars ready to go. “They’re leaving!” she cried.

“Nobody’s leaving without you.” (You’re going to the skating rink, not taking a flight to the moon. Relax, daughter of a time-obsessed Taurean woman).

Later, after dropping the youngest to daycare I noticed I had a missed call from one of the other moms in the class. She was wondering where my girl was as she was the one driving her to the rink.

And for the FIRST TIME in my astrologically-influenced, time-panicked, genetically-disposed-to-crazy life I didn’t feel a darn drop of guilt. Like, nothing. I had done my best. There was not a thing I could have done to change the outcome. I hope it didn’t cut into anyone’s ice time or totally mess anything up, but things can always be worse.

Maybe I traded in Punctuality for Perspective. This morning, at least.

Hope you’ve all had a fantastic week! Cheers to two more weeks of getting my kids to school…on time! Yes, still counting down to Christmas break!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Careers, Self-Love And Intentions – #3ThingsThursday

Good morning, dear Readers! It is a chilly Thursday over here on the West Coast…brrrrr!! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen one of my winter traditions: I lay all the kids’ (and my!) jackets, toques and mitts down on the floor in front of the fireplace so they get all toasty by the time we have to head out the door. The first thing I do when I get downstairs is flick the fireplace switch, and after a whoooshhh the flames shoot up, the first thing to light up my morning. And in that one glow-y moment I think…Is it Christmas break yet?

Today I’m linking up again with Pink Chai Living, Love Laugh Mirch and The Write Balance for #3ThingsThursday. If you’re a blogger who wants to share 3 things on your mind today, go visit one of their sites and add your link!

3 things thursday, #3ThingsThursday, pink chai living, love laugh mirch, the write balance, linkup, blogger linky

Since November is coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to look back on the month and see what your favourite 3 posts were. And here they are in order of popularity:

One: You guys really loved…self-love! In this post I shared a beautiful quote from Victoria Moran (author of Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Life-Long Beauty) and then walked you through Victoria’s references of what self-love looks like. Self-love is central to the happiness in our lives so it’s important that we truly understand what it means and how we go about practicing it. If you missed it, have a read!

Two: In this post, I looked back on my decision to leave speech-language pathology and become a freelance writer. Do I regret it? Am I happier? Many of you shared your thoughts in the comments – thank you!

Three: And finally, following closely behind the other two favourite posts, was my intention for 2016. At first I thought it was too early to be writing about the new year, but you all seem to be thinking about it too! Actually, I saw on Facebook that there’s 37 more days left of 2015. So, perhaps today would be a good day to pop over and have a read and then leave a comment with your own intention/guiding word. I’d love to hear it!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Random Thoughts This Week – #3ThingsThursday

It’s Thursday and I’m glad. I’ll be more glad tomorrow when it’s Friday, but today I’ll take Thursday. And to celebrate that, I’m sharing 3 things from my week as part of #3ThingsThursday hosted by Pink Chai Living, Love Laugh Mirch and The Write Balance. If you’re a blogger and want to link up, just visit one of their sites and add your link!

3 things thursday, #3ThingsThursday, pink chai living, love laugh mirch, the write balance, linkup, blogger linkyOne: My new favourite writer

Last month, my youngest and I left the chiropractor’s office and on a whim stopped in at the library. I didn’t have a book going at that moment and it was the perfect opportunity to grab a new read. I have a list of books that I intend to read but it was at home so, even though it bothered me like an itchy sweater, I decided to be spontaneous in my book search. Walking up and down aisles of books with an almost-two-year-old is a bit of a challenge; I knew I had to be quick. In the end, I came out with two books, both of which I ended up loving. But this one book, which I just finished yesterday, introduced me to a writer I am now adding to my list of faves.

The Stylist by Cai Emmons is richly written; the story line is unique for sure, but her language is what blew me away. One of the best ways to make writing come alive is to use personification. This makes inanimate objects life-like by attributing them human qualities. Cai Emmons nails this literary device. Like, NAILS it! In fact, I want to re-read the book just so I can find all the passages I love and highlight them. (I’ll buy my own copy first.) Yesterday, my oldest and I were reading together and at one point I made her stop reading so I could share the author’s depiction of the rain during a tropical storm. It was a beautiful moment because my daughter is learning about personification in school. We were both excited to find such a great example. There was gleeful hugging involved.

The book also has an interview in the back and some notes from the author that is definitely worth a read. I’m going to grab everything by this talented woman I can.

Two: Hiding my phone

So, it’s come to my realization that when I hide my phone during work times…I get SO MUCH MORE DONE. I don’t now if your phone does this, but my phone tricks me. It makes me feel like I am getting a lot accomplished when I’m on it (because I’m reading and communicating and connecting)…until the end of the day when I realize I haven’t done any of the things I really needed to, or even wanted to. This week I have made a conscious effort to put my phone away during my work time. I was pretty impressed with what I accomplished. Not only did I get my blogs written (did you notice, this is my 4th post this week?), appointments booked, and social media posts scheduled – I even had time to practice my piano! For a full 30 minutes! Needless to say, I think I should continue with this habit. I do have other times when I can text my loved ones or spontaneous moments when I post on social media, but I find that carving out phone-free work time really helped me.

And I need my off-line leisure time. I need to read books. I need to play the piano. I need to write poems. I need to art journal. It fuels me so much. Here’s what I worked on this week. I’m sharing this fully-aware of the botched timings and wrong notes. It’s not perfect, but I really don’t mind sharing it!

Three: Is it Christmas break yet?

This time of year, as it gets a little frosty, the days get shorter and the house seems that much more cozy, I get antsy for Christmas break! (Four weeks left.) Fireplace, movies, popcorn, lit-up tree, pyjamas, family, board games, books, dinners…

And that’s all I have to say about that!

What’s going on in your world this week? I’d love to hear in the comments!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative



3 Wayne Dyer Quotes That Bring Me Happiness When I Need It Most ~ #3ThingsThursday

Today I’m sharing 3 Wayne Dyer quotes that bring me happiness when I need it most. This is part of the blogger linkup #3ThingsThursday hosted by Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch. If you’re a blogger and want to link up, just visit one of their sites! I look forward to reading these posts and hope to meet some new bloggers and readers this week!

3 things thursday, #3ThingsThursday, pink chai living, love laugh mirch, the write balance, linkup, blogger linky

Dr. Wayne Dyer first entered my life when I was a teenager, thanks to my Dad having stumbled upon one of his PBS shows. Wayne Dyer’s teachings have been like a loving father’s sage advice, echoing my own inner wisdom and guidance. I am sad that I will never again see him live on stage, reciting poetry with a sweeping hand gesture, making Emily Dickinson’s words come alive. “This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies…” Now, if he had been the instructor in my first year college class, Poems and Novels, I may have ended up with a different grade!

He made seemingly complicated situations, simple. And many times I turned to his words to help me navigate my own circumstances. Here are just 3 bits of wisdom that I want to share with you today:

One: When you seek happiness for yourself, it will always elude you. When you seek happiness for others, you will find it yourself. 

Two: When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Three: You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive.

We all know what it takes to make us happy, what allows us to feel fulfilled. We do. All of this knowledge is innate. But sometimes we need another soul to light the way and shine some truth on us, to inspire us to remember our true Self and live from that place. Wayne Dyer was that – and still is that – for me.

But along the way I have come across other thought leaders who resonate with me, and that includes the Spirit Junkie herself: Gabrielle Bernstein. I know I’ve been talking about her on social media and here, about how excited I am to be seeing her live next month. I guess I’m a bit of a spirit junkie myself! If you are going, please let me know! Last I heard there are fewer than 30 tickets left. Just sayin’ 🙂

Ahhhh, a great start to this day, thinking about Wayne Dyer and others like Gabby Bernstein whose purpose in life is to remind us of all the ways we can fuel happiness.

How do YOU tap into the happiness inside you? What helps you get back to it and bring it out into the world? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Happy Thursday!