Thoughts from class.

I hope you didn’t hold your breath, because I clearly wasn’t able to keep up with this trial, and wasn’t able to blog yesterday. Nonetheless, here I am writing today, some is better than nothing at all, right?

Wednesdays are such long days.  I don’t know what to expect out of them aside from my excitement of going to the city for my Complementary and Alternative Medecine (CAM) class.  It has been such a rewarding class, and a great experience, I am always rejuvenated by the chance of air and scenery by going into the city and experiencing the busy vibe that is rather refreshing in its own way.  The class is so interesting and I often find myself wandering about it and about how complicated yet simple life is.  Our bodies are such amazing, capable, complex beings.  We have powers beyond our imagination and we only need to listen to our bodies, our spirits and admire, embrace and live the beauty of this universe.

Having had such a long day on Tuesday, I slept through my alarm this morning, and I had literally 15 minutes to get ready and catch the bus. My tiredness was increased with my lack of eating (not good, but didn’t plan it, things happened…woopsies) and I got to the city and my class, ready to talk about Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM) and Ayurveda (an Indian traditional medecine).  These two modalities are similar in many ways, they share their focus on the flow of energy in our bodies, and how connected our minds are with our bodies.  The concept that makes me respect these traditional modalities are their approach of letting the body heal itself, and the focus on prevention rather than intervention. It makes complete sense to follow what your body is naturally used to, rather than interfering with it and introducing foreign chemicals that fight the body’s ways of healing itself.  Last week, we talked about Yoga, its history, usefulness, effectiveness in healing and in living a healthy life as well as how integrated into the western societies it has been, more so than other CAM modalities.

All of these modalities as I’ve already mentioned focus on the mind-body connection and the abilities that come as a result. It might be just me, but that totally comes in easy to me, and makes total sense how we can influence our state of health and being by the way we project our thoughts towards different situations we encounter.  Our abilities once we determine to accomplish something are amazing. And inspirational story that blows the mind is one that took my breath away in today’s class. A story of determination, hope and yoga. I thought I would share it with you here, so when things seem negative and things get out of hands, you can remember to never ever give up, and never underestimate the power we all have.

With that I leave you with peace.

Until next time,


Geese and Oscars.

I just decided that I am going to try something new this week, where I will try to write a short post about either something I did during the day, or some random though that pops to my head (and those do happen a lot…) let’s see how successful I am at this new thing, but please don’t hold your breaths, I don’t want to disappoint anyone.

I think my favorite thing that happened this fine Monday morning were the geese on campus.  I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, -which if you’re on campus, I think you must have -they’ve been coming to campus everyday.  They started out on Merion Green, and they’ve now been all over the place, circling Taylor, next to Thomas, closer to the campus center..pretty much everywhere.  And, to me, they just have this vibe that doesn’t fail to make me laugh, and bring so much joy to my heart.  I know you’re probably rolling your eye at the screen thinking what on earth am I reading, but it is the truth.  And, I’ve managed to take multiple pictures of them whenever I got the chance to, here’s one of them;

Geese on campus!

Aside from the geese, Mondays aren’t many people’s favorites, but to me at least Sunday is over.  Sundays are the hypocrite days where you wake up thinking, alright it’s still the weekend and I’m going to have time to finish my work, and perhaps do something fun…but then it slipps through your fingers and it’s 10pm and you realize that all the work you’ve been trying to finish is still yet to be done, and more has piled up… Or maybe that’s just my experience with Sundays…  Anyway, yesterday was the Oscars night as many of us know, and, I have never really been into any of these programs, and yes, yesterday’s Oscars was the first time I’ve ever watched it, blame it on peer pressure.  It was an interesting experience nonetheless, and now I can cross it off my list.  I was very happy to see that a Palestinian Documentary was nominated!  It’s such a huge accomplishment, to be recognized.  The documentary “5 broken Cameras” is one that is absolutely worth watching.  It has a message for everyone, not just to/from Palestinians, but to all those in distress, in injustice situations, that making your voice heard in peaceful acts is a very important step towards freedom, peace and justice.  If you haven’t seen the documentary, I strongly recommend you to, it is on instant watch on Netflix.  And the trend on Twitter made it more exciting to realize how much of a huge step this is for us.  Aside from how happy, proud, and excited I was to see Palestine well represented, I enjoyed the experience of Oscars, and I have to admit, I did give into the peer pressure and had to pay for it by waking up early this morning to finish my homework,,but it’s not finished yet, nor will it ever be before the last day of classes. Ha. it’s just the reality I have to face.

Speaking of homework, that’s where I’m headed next.   So until we meet again,



Unwinding and Meditating!

Why hello again…It’s been a while, I know. Forgive my MIA behavior, it was the last of my intentions, I promise. I let craziness and business take over me. I won’t let it happen again..I have missed you guys too much.

Wondering about what I should write about, my mind goes from Hell Week, to plans after May 18th, to up and down feelings second semester senior I’ve been experiecing, to my CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medecine) class I am taking at UPenn and absolutely LOVING to last night’s UnWind Wednesday.

Being a senior, and an international studen on top of that makes things a little more spicy if I must say. The excitement that is Greaduation to the Bittersweet feelings that are tingling and starting to take over as the days go by, to the Blurry future and the scary scenarios I can play, you get the picture, pretty spicy…or that’s how I like to think of it.

As part of being an HA, we get to hang out with really amazingly awesome people, and funny enough that my last post was actually about an HA event! Wednesday night was Lia’s magic Unwind Wednesday! I had had so little sleep the night before because of staying up studying for my stats midterm ( why do I always end up staying up?…#haventlearnedyet) I was low on energy, but managed to sneak a nap early in the day to get me going for my long day. I started my afternoon with going to CHOP (Children’s Hospital Of Philadlephia) where I will hopefully be volunteering for a while for an information session! I cannot wait to start! I love volunteering and I love children!

Anyway, after getting so excited about volunteering at CHOP I headed to my CAM class, where we were talking about Ayurveda and Yoga! This is my favorite class this semester, and probably one of the classes I will never forget after I graduate. It’s not so much an academic class as much as it’s more of a life class. We talk about so many things that keep me thinking and learning new ways of how amazing our bodies are, and how wonderful this beautifully natured world we live in. Yoga is about uniting the body, soul and mind while connecting with nature and peace. I am such a big advocate for mindfullness and spirituality in many aspects of life, and growing up in an environment where we dealt with hardship the way we dealt with happiness, utilizing the nature around us, as well as connecting with our feelings and beliefs, this class has been such an amazing experience so far.

Getting back on track to what I meant to talk about, haha, can you tell that I’m such a babbler? Anyway, after a 3 hour class, I was just ready to be in my PJ’s, hop into bed with some tea…well, I headed to Lia’s where we actually did meditation and yoga. Breathing techniques and massages followed by healthy snacks of strawberries, edamame seeds, mandarins, nuts and some “healthy” cookies. The atmosphere was so relaxing, with some incense in the air, low lighting, just the right mood for such a long day. Talks, smiles and laughs filled up the air. It was such a nice way to close a long day, the middle of a busy week, to give a push to keep us going. But it doesn’t end there, face masks were the cherry on top! Feeling so fresh and rejuvenated was the way the night ended, leaving me with such good spirit for what’s waiting for me the rest of the week.

So, here’s my last few words to you, my lovely readers… do some meditation, take a deep breath, look around closely, you might not notice it, but Spring is coming, and life is wonderful as this gorgeous Earth we call home!

And to really cheer you on, here’s a picture of our epic face masks!

Face masks! (Mint mint mint!) Luciana Fortes '13 on the right.

Happy Friday, and until next time,