Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Neighbourhood childrens classes in Redmond, Washington

In keeping with the 5 year plan's goal to have neighbourhood children's classes, the community in Redmond holds delightful classes for children in their homes on Sunday mornings. Coroush and Martha, my dear dear Baha'i brother and sister, who moved there from Mountain View, California brought me along to one of these sessions.

The classes started with lots of singing of Baha'i prayers. I was amazed that the children knew so many prayers by heart. Roy and Daniel had an amazing way of captivating the children. It did not seem to matter to them that the age group was so diverse. After this, we did some reading of stories and for this Sunday it was a story about trust. To enable the children to better understand it, they did a great activity of blindfolding each other and then leading the other around. One truly had to learn to trust and the one trusted had also to learn what it meant to be trustworthy. It was indeed great experiential learning. After that there were closing prayers and the children did drawing and coloring activities.
Such a pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning, and thanks Roy and Daniel for making me feel so welcome!

World Religion Day, 21st January 2008

I made a short trip to Seattle to surprise my dear friends and the surprise was on me. I was so amazed to see how many activities there was to participate in with the Baha'i community there. In this one, I will write about the World Religion Day celebration, held in the home of Nooshin and John Darvish. It was a very special celebration indeed.

The day before the activity, their children and my daughter got together to help decorate the place for the celebration. We were expecting to have about 50 people turn up, many of whom were neighbours and co-workers of Nooshin and John, and the local Sammimish Baha'i community. The girls spent 3 whole hours, shopping for craft supplies, doing research on the Internet for quotes and symbols of other religions, and made a poster and cut-outs of the religious symbols. This activity itself was so refreshing to see the dedication of the girls.

The event itself went very smoothly. There was lovely prayers from the different religions read and shared, the girls did a presentation of their work and a lovely Christian Persian couple, sang Christian music in Persian whilst they played the guitar and the tar (a Persian classical instrument). After a wonderful spiritual session, there was much feasting of good food and great conversation. People did not seem to be in any hurry to leave and new friendships were formed.

I feel so blessed to have been a part of such a special day.
Check out also for a posting in the local Sammamish newspaper on the event.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Great step for Junior Youth in South Bay

Thanks to good weather and a great turnout, a group of junior youth in South Bay were treated to a great afternoon of step dancing in the park. Step dancing we were told is a form of dance that helps build a rythm of unity.
With all that stumping and storming, it was good we managed to find a place outdoors to do this. Dancing to a unified beat, the junior youth were led in step dancing by a great group of teachers.

It was nice to see both boys and girls really get into it. In fact, my son loved it so much he has been stomping around the house all day today. Hope we get many more great days to come for the youth to dance in unity. I am really grateful to a dedicated group of teachers who will now make it possible for the youth to meet weekly. Really looking forward to this.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Gregarion New Year!...and it now almost already Chinese New Year (Feb), soon BAha'i and Persian New Year (March), later Indian New Year (April), etc etc.

Whatever the New Year is for you, it is a time of reflection and contemplation looking back into the past to look for hope into the future. New Year resolutions, promises to loose weight, great expectations of self. Starting grandiously for many very soon peeter off into being nothing more than post-its of "should haves".

I decided to make this year different for me. I took the time over holidays to reconnect the family with each other, renovate and refurbish the house, had friends visit and stay with us, and did a lot of learning and planning. We decided to take baby steps. Too many changes can sometimes make you feel disempowered and not knowing where to start. So this year, we wish to start small and build upon our successes from this year to next. After all the children may only be with us for another 5 to 7 years before they all take off to college, university, etc. Our health is catching up with us and we want to have fun with them when we can. So it seems more important now than ever that we spend time together and build this important Baha'i institution "the family". We want the children to learn Baha'i princicples and action from us, that they understand their unique role to serve humanity, etc.

I am also doing some soul searching now that I have sold my business. My consulting practice is doing OK but I really want to be involved in something that awakens my higher need to serve and make a difference. I have not found it yet, but think it may have something to do with education for autistic spectrum children (asperger), use my public speaking skills, organisational skills, etc to use. Let's see what this path will take me to.

Meanwhile, we are really working on building community in our neighbourhood and were so delighted that many of the families from the school were able to come to our home to celebrate my huusband's surprise birthday party. It was indeed very touching to see the love and compassion these new extended family we have. We want to do more to invest and cultivate our new friends, and do hope to serve the community in return.

So it is with much reserve yet hope that I look forward to 2008. I pray it will be a good year of service and living with passion for me and most importantly, I will remember to pray and learn to praise God more often and thank his guardian angels for patiently protecting us through our "stupid" moments! :>