United in Tragedy

Every so often a tragedy strikes. Whether it’s a devastating natural disaster like Irma or a man-made catastrophe such as the recent shooting in Las Vegas, every one of these painful occurrences brings with them a subtle reminder of how fragile we really are. They reveal how gentle, soft and delicate we are at the core. They remind us how much we grieve when we lose someone we love. They show how much we hurt when we see others in pain. They demonstrate how sorrow is a universal feeling shared by each and every one of us, regardless of our background or upbringing.

We are reminded by these bone-chilling moments that despite our differences we are much more alike than we are different. Our bodies need water and our lungs demand air just the same. Our eyes shed tears and our wounds bleed blood just the same. We want love for our children and good health for our parents, just the same. We all harness a passion to care, to feel, to love.

Yet somehow, time and time again, we go astray from this natural way of being. When the dust of a tragedy settles we go back to our conditioned ways. We listen to the whispers or sometimes outright screams who tell us blame them, punish him or hate her. Pick a side they tell us, join our team. They’re wrong, we’re right. It’s us against them.

Whether its sports, politics or news, they want us to take sides, to separate, to divide. And we do, time and time again. We argue with our family over the next politician, we get sucked into race wars and finger pointing, we defend our beliefs with sweat blood and tears.

The harsh truth is each one of us is doing it because we think it is the better way. We wholeheartedly believe that we are on the right path and want our loved ones to recognize, validate and join our journey. But what we forget or neglect is that each individual is on their unique path and we cannot change or convince them otherwise. All we can do is support, understand and listen but most importantly unite. Unite in our love for life. Unite in our love for peace. Unite in our love for the world. Unite every day like we did after 9/11, Paris, Florida, Irma, Manchester, Las Vegas.

Let’s stand united in the name of all the victims of brutality with love and kindness in our hearts for their loved ones who have to cope with so much loss and pain.

The topic of unity always brings me back to a famous Charlie Chaplin speech made in a 1040 film The Great Dictator. His bone-chilling words continue to resonate almost 80 years later. If you have yet to see this speech, please take a moment to see it here.

Sending you love, peace and unity my friends. Be kind to one another. Love, support and appreciate each moment we get to share on this unpredictable journey of life.

With Love,

Is your fear of failure holding you back from reaching your goals?

Do you remember your first kiss? How about your first job? Maybe the day you finally passed your driving test? First concert? The first time you rode the bike?

There are certain special moments in our lives that become so deeply memorable, it’s as if they become engraved in our souls. Many of those memories are our first experiences.

In our younger years, we tend to do a whole lot of learning. We are risky, adventurous, energetic and eager. We try new things without hesitation. Some of those decisions turn out great, some not so much (like that lower back tattoo your mom didn’t want you to get, by the way, you were right about that one mom.)

This is why so many people refer to their younger years as the good old days. (to my younger readers, role play with me, pretend I’m talking to the older you;) Just because we may be getting older, it does not mean we have to stop trying new things, it shouldn’t mean we have to become old, stale and boring.

Learning a new skill can feel overwhelming, I know. The idea of doing something I’ve never done before used to scare me half to death. I was petrified of failure, which is why I stuck to my familiar and comfortable routines. I cautiously spent my time doing what I knew how to do well which inevitably became old and boring.

One day my sister gave me one of the greatest gifts of all time (thanks, sis). She recommended a book that completely changed my perspective. The book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carole S. Dweck, Ph.D., showed me that within each one of us lives incredible potential to develop our unique talents. It also taught me that fear of failure is the reason most of us won’t pursue our passions, follow our dreams or even follow through with our goals. I learned that all successful people have failed at one thing or another but always find the courage to get back up in the end. This book inspired me, motivated me, and ignited a fire of curiosity.

This new perspective got me thinking: what else can I be good at? What can I master? What hidden talents can I tap into? Is there more out there for me to learn and love?

This became somewhat of an obsession for me. Since reading the “Mindset” I took up art classes, turns out I’m not bad at drawing. I had no idea. I also took on playing the piano. While I’m still no Mozart, I did learn a few songs that light up my heart with joy whenever I play. Turns out I’m not terrible at piano either. In order to challenge myself physically, I joined a martial arts class which made me a stronger, more confident and more resilient me than I’ve ever been.

If you told me two years ago that I would be studying martial arts, I would have laughed out loud. Today it is not only one of my favorite hobbies but is also an important part of my identity.

This new adventurous and risk-taking me is someone I did not know before. These days I actively seek out new learning opportunities and I am always up for a new experience. I’ve learned that there is no better feeling than mastering a new skill. The excitement, the happy juice that flows all over my body when I learn something new, is exhilarating! This excitement is exactly what we need to keep us young at heart and filled with passion and purpose.

Today I can’t believe that for so many years I’ve allowed my fear of failure to prevent me from learning all these amazing and exciting skills I cherish today.

How about you my friend? What are you really good at? What would you love to learn? Is fear of failure holding you back? Do not allow fear of the unknown prevent you from learning new skills.

Have you ever wanted to learn another language? Or maybe learn how to dance salsa? How about picking up an instrument or playing a new sport?

Whatever it is that intrigues you, give it a try. Just maybe you are awesome at it?

I invite you to find out.

If you need a little motivation, pick up a copy of the “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”! As most things, you can purchase it on Amazon 🙂 buy it here

Sending you love, peace, and good vibrations, today and always.

With love, Alyana

For more soul searching strategies check out these articles Not Getting What You Want? and Surviving in an Overachieving World


Summer Poetry – Beneath the Great Unknown

This summer I got to enjoy a clear starry night with almost no light pollution. It felt surreal. I was captivated by their beauty and amazed at how many stars are available for our viewing pleasure each night but how rarely we are actually able to see them. Where I live, light pollution rules the sky, which is why I seek out places where the light has yet to take the throne.

One night this summer while camping on a beach I was inspired to write a few words that express my love for the stars. Today I want to share that with you in honor of summer, in honor of time, in honor of life.


Beneath the Great Unknown

There’s something special about gazing at the stars
No light pollution, city noise or cars

We smile as we get lost beneath the great unknown
No interruptions, no reception on our phone

The midnight chill dominates the air
The conversation’s steaming, feet are bare

We lie beneath the studded sky
Talking about what ifs and whys

We ponder about what the future holds
While the worlds greatest show, in front of us unfolds

Our ears are tuned into the ocean
And just like that, worry becomes a silly notion

I see the universe reflecting in your eyes
Childish, beautiful yet wise

Today we found a new dimension
A place of wonder, kindness, and intention

This moment we will forever own
A king and queen under the stars
swinging on their throne

With love, Alyana

If you share my love for stars, please help me share this poem with our fellow night sky lovers via your favorite social media link below! 


Craving more poetry?  Check out some of my favorite works: Young Love and Dreaming of a Better Life


Not getting what you want? Don’t worry, it’s meant to be.

Have you ever heard this quote from the Dalai Lama “sometimes not getting what we want is a wonderful stroke of luck”? I love this quote, it makes me think about all the things I thought I wanted and all the things I didn’t get.

Looking back at a younger me, I see a very different person from the one I get to be today. Just a few years ago, I had drastically different priorities and possessed what I would now consider to be pretty questionable values. Back then I hoped for things I wouldn’t want today. Just a few years ago I wished for a life I would go great lengths to avoid now. This doesn’t mean that I was wrong. It simply shows how much I didn’t know.

Isn’t it amazing how much can change within a relatively short period of time? Particularly when we make room for personal growth. This kind of growth takes patience and a whole lot of soul searching. It requires thinking outside of the box. It may call for visiting places we’ve never been before and it might demand of us to let go of predispositions we oh so cherish. If we pay attention, we can almost hear our inner selves silently screaming to break out of their tightly fitted comfort zones. If only we dared to try something new, something scary, just enough to shift our perspective. If only we gave our soul some room to stretch its legs. Imagine the wonder we could find.

Through my own set of experiences, I now see that not all of our wishes are meant to come true and I now realize just how wonderful that can be. Here are some examples of what I didn’t know just a short time ago and how grateful I am to know them today.

  • I didn’t know that the quiet of the forest sounds better than the noise of a bustling city.
  • I didn’t know that money is just a supporting role, not the lead.
  • I didn’t know that there is so much more to life than building a career.
  • I didn’t know that big mansions and fancy cars do not guarantee happiness.
  • I didn’t know that by chasing things on the outside I would never find inner peace.
  • I didn’t know that facing uncomfortable inner pain of the past leads to finding the ultimate freedom of the future.
  • I didn’t know that struggles and challenges don’t happen to us but happen for us, in order to propel us to become stronger and more resilient beings.
  • I didn’t know that being comfortable in my own skin feels way better than trying to fit in.
  • I didn’t know that trust is worth the effort even if there is a chance we may get hurt.
  • I didn’t know that vulnerability is much more attractive than perfection.
  • I didn’t know that being weird is actually much more fun than being normal.
  • I didn’t know that being myself was not only enough, it is the key to emotional freedom.
  • I didn’t know that I don’t need attention to feel validated.
  • I didn’t know that a walk in nature can help us solve some of our most complex problems.
  • I didn’t know that welcoming and accepting all beings just as they are, feels so much better than criticizing and judging them. I mean this for the smallest of things, like judging someone’s attire to bigger more meaningful ideas like criticizing someone’s lifestyle choices. I’ve learned to love letting people be!
  • I didn’t know that love is the answer to almost every problem. At the very least, it is at the core of every solution. If we think and act from a place of love, our lives will be better and more fulfilled.

I’m grateful that the wishes of my past did not become the reality of my today. So if you haven’t quite obtained what you are hoping for right now, perhaps it’s life’s way of telling you that there are better and more meaningful experiences waiting ahead. Don’t fret over not getting that job, not landing the deal or not getting a callback. Maybe it’s all preparing you for the future, more wiser, more resilient and more complete you. After all not getting what we want could be a wonderful stroke of luck.

Need help with soul searching?  Try these articles How to Live Awake and Surviving in an overachieving world

Sending you love, peace and good vibrations.

#11 Communicate without saying a word

Communication is key to every healthy relationship and it is imperative to keep in mind that there is more than one way to communicate. The verbal form of communication is just one of the many ways we can demonstrate our love, express concern or show support, yet we so heavily rely on spoken words. Much too often we underestimate the power of a gentle touch, a warm smile, a kind gesture or a flirtatious glance. Silence at times can be much more powerful than a shout. Whether we admit it or not, we are profoundly affected by touch, both physically and emotionally. Happy couples touch each other frequently. A caring touch can offer an acknowledgment of your partner saying “way to go” or “I know that was difficult for you” all without saying a word. Look for opportunities to express yourself without making a sound and you may be surprised how quickly your partner beings to reciprocate.


Missed tip #10? Click here: Focus on Fairness