Aug 1: Switzerland National Day and My Swiss Bucketlist

Every 1st of August, Switzerland celebrates the Swiss National Day. It is the date of the Federal Charter of 1291, Pacte du Grutli when “three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation” (Schwyz, Uri and Unterwald), an action which later came to be regarded as the founding of Switzerland (source: Wikipedia).

726 years have passed and Switzerland stands firm and marvellous like its gorgeous Alps, serene surroundings and wonderful people.

My Swiss Buckelist

This country is still on my bucket list. And here are some of the things that I wish to do and places that I will travel to some day:

  • Set Foot on the Alps of Jungfraujoch

erol-ahmed-JungfrauJoch

  • Traverse Grindelwald

Grindelwald Switzerland

  • Ride the Swiss Train or Glacier/ Bernina Express

swiss train - bernina express - glacier express

Continue Reading: Aug 1: Switzerland National Day and My Swiss Bucketlist

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18 July: Nelson Mandela Day!

Every year on 18 July (the day Nelson Mandela was born) the United Nations asks individuals around the world to mark this day as the Nelson Mandela International Day.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

 Source: Nelson Mandela International Day by UN A/RES/64/13

Nelson Mandela Inspirational Quotes

Reflecting on his life, I believe that everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better. Today is a great opportunity to take action and inspire change. Honouring Nelson Mandela, here are 25 Inspirational Quotes from himself that will guarantee a change in your life.

Quotes on Success and Perseverance

Nelson Mandela as the man of change and inspiration, he shares these:

  1. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  2. Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
  3. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

  4. There is no passion in playing small – settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
  5. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.
  6. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.

  7. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
  8. Difficulties break some men but make others.
  9. Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I feel down and got back up again…

Read 16 More Quotes from 18 July: Nelson Mandela Day! at LynDurante.com/Be-Inspired

7 July: Tanabata Day. Make a Wish. Be Grateful.

Today, the 7th of July is Tanabata Day in Japan. This is a Japanese tradition where people write their wishes on small, colourful pieces of paper called tanzaku then hang them on bamboo trees outside their home.

Tanabata Day-min

Knowing this made me happy as me and my kids are planning to prepare a wishing tree over the weekend. In my previous post on the 1st of July: Celebrate!, I shared with you how we spent our weekend wonderfully with some pampering and joy. This time around, we know we are in solidarity again with other people in Japan will be remarkable.

So, what is Tanabata? Where does this festivity originate?

The Legend of Tanabata Day

The legend of this celebration started from the story of two descendants of Japanese gods – Orihime and Hikoboshi. Orihime is a maker of kimonos for the gods. Meanwhile, Hikoboshi is a herder of cows. These two immortals have fallen in love with each other and eventually got married.

However, they have forgotten about their work. Consequently, people did not have enough kimonos and dairy to use. Moreso, people have died from diseases as a result.

Because of all these, the higher gods have been angry with Orihime and Hikoboshi. They have separated the two and let them meet only every 7th of July.

Tanabata then is born from this tale. The Japanese believe that these two gods will grant people’s aspirations on this day. (Source: FastJapan.com)

Tanabata1-min

Isn’t it amazing how a story can influence people’s lives?

That is the reason why I personally have great respect for traditions and cultures around the globe. It is one of the things that Travel has taught me. Some people may call it superstition or paganism. But I don’t see anything wrong with beliefs and the expression of it.

Celebrations and the Need for it

In fact, celebrations, such as the Tanabata Day, are essential for an authentic living. Why? Every time we remember a date and celebrate, we take the opportunity to stop, reflect, connect and grow. (Learn about Life as a Balancing Act.)

If we celebrate, we develop gratitude. In fact, according to a research conducted by Dr Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, “gratitude results in higher levels of enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy.” All the more when we write them.

In this regard, despite domination, faith, gender and age, festivities are fully appreciated as they satisfy human’s needs for social connection.

Read: Tough Times Never Last, Take It as An Opportunity

No man is an island. We are by nature social beings. As such we need belonging, love, respect, faith, connection, direction and a sense of purpose. Hence, we only meet these needs in a safe community of people, spirituality, work environment, group, family or like-minded friends.

Read More: 7 July: Tanabata Day. Make a Wish. Be Grateful at LynDurante.com

Tough Times Never Last, Take the Opportunity

“Tough times never last, only tough people do.” – Rober Schuller

When life gets tough, don’t forget to stop for a while and breathe. Yes, we need those little breaks but Don’t Quit. Never give up.

During these times, refocus and resume with greater power. Remember winners, unlike losers, stick it out until they reach their goal.

Tough times never last, only tough people do.

According to Rober Schuller, there are six principles in which you need to put your problems into perspective:

  • 1. Every Human Being has problems
  • 2. Every problem has a limited life span
  • 3. Every problem holds positive possibilities
  • 4. Every problem will change you
  • 5. You can choose what your problem will do to you
  • 6. There is a negative and positive reaction to a problem

What these all mean is you are what you decide. “Problems are not – stop signs. They are guidelines.” If you focus on problems, you will have more difficulties and worries. If you see it as an opportunity, you see possibilities instead of obstacles. It’s how we look at things that matter.

Take for example the story of Jack Ma, the richest man in China and the founder of Alibaba. This online e-commerce is worth more than Facebook and processes goods more than eBay and Amazon combined. However, the founder’s life story has never been easy since childhood.

Read More Tough Times Never Last, Take the Opportunity from LynDurante.com

Happy 4th of July: 20 Powerful Quotes from US Presidents That will Change your Life

Today way back the year 1776, United States of America declared independence from England. Every 4th of July, barbeques, apple pie and fireworks are common in America every Independence Day as according to research.

However, what a great way it is celebrated with the US if we take inspiration from what their past presidents shared that are of value. After all, a leader is someone who inspires others, who leads by example and motivates people to be better and move forward no matter how hard the challenges might be.

Like these inspirational quotes from Abraham Lincoln about happiness:

  • Most folks are happy as they make up their minds to be.
  • In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
  • Whatever you are, be a good one.

Truly motivational aren’t they?

Courage Quotes

Furthermore, John F. Kennedy has always believed that each person is gifted. Hence, one should be courageous enough to find it and share it. Hence, he said:

 

Read More: Happy 4th of July: 20 Powerful Quotes from US Presidents That will Change your Life

Happy 1st of July 2017! Celebrate.

Wow, time flies so fast and it’s a new month again. How I love celebrating the first day of each month as I love new beginnings. For me, it always gives me that certain feeling of excitement and hope for great things to come in the same way that I look forward to New Year celebrations. Well, we don’t need to wait that long for us to take the time to reflect on blessings received, wishes granted and memories treasured. Right?

So what is it that makes the 1st of July special? Well, aside from the fact that is the first day of the second half of the year, it is also a fun-filled celebrations day for the following:

National Creative Ice Cream Flavours Day

I just learned that starting the year 1984, Ronald Reagan deemed July as the “National Ice Cream Month,” thus today is officially a “National Creative Ice Cream Flavours Day“.

Movenpick Ice Cream Adelaide South Australia

Good thing I have blog posts like these to look back to – 1) Why Having a Gelato is Healthy, and 2) How Swiss Ice Cream is Finest with Movenpick.

Reading them again brings me to that child-like feeling of happiness every time I receive a treat whether for a reason or without. And yes, I believe this is important. It is a must for us to find ways to pamper ourselves and rejoice for just about anything. After all, life is meant to be celebrated for all its yin-and-yang. Doing so makes us sane. =)

However today, we didn’t have an ice cream. But, we did treat ourselves to another celebration that one should do every 1st of July – Hop a Park Day.

Hop – a – Park Day

Do you know that July is the coldest month for winter in South Australia? But, guess what? Mr Sunshine turned out quite spectacularly sunny today. Warm enough to invite us for a half hour drive to the southern wine capital town of Adelaide – the McLaren Vale. It is a picturesque town in the Fleurieu Peninsula that is about 40km from the airport.

Meanwhile, in solidarity to today’s Hop-A-Park Day, we did go to two parks today in McLaren Vale.

Read More Source: Happy 1st of July 2017! Celebrate. from LynDurante.com

Battle Depression: Easy Steps to Authentic Self

In the world where social media is a way of life, it is so easy to lose our authentic self to a world of judgment and preconceptions. Inundated with daily notifications on what is happening with other people’s lives either gives us encouragement for self-motivation or disheartenment at times when we feel inadequate of ourselves.

“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland

Steps to Finding Your Authentic Self

Research suggests that authentic people are well-liked, and they benefit from social support and the many other positive outcomes associated with enjoying close relationships with others.

So how to battle depression when negativity starts to creep into our mind? How to be happy with one’s self to feel awesome again?

1. Pay attention. Observe. Sense Your Feelings.

This step may sound simple but is profound. When you take the time to pause and stop, sensing your thoughts and feelings can be scary or challenging.

At times when you feel inadequate, ask yourself what is it that you really feel? Because inadequacy is actually not a feeling. It is a thought and is different from real feelings. Thoughts trap us in the detracting images of other people or the high standards of ourselves.

Meanwhile, a real feeling should free us from the bondage of perfection and help us be in touch with our true authentic self. It is the acknowledgement that as humans, we are imperfect, we are vulnerable and it’s alright to feel sad, fearful, angry, uncomfortable, tired, lonely, worried, anxious, frustrated, impatient, frustrated, weary or despondent.

Identify your real feelings and own it.

“Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of both strength and struggle.” – Brene Brown

Read More: Battle Depression: Easy Steps to Authentic Self

#depression