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ISSUE NO 2 AUG 31, 2011

U! WRITERS:

The Theme : PLACeS

A Soul Journey With Tonja Hamel Edgecomb

The Magic of Places By: Abir Abusulayman

Jeddah : The city that never sleeps By the editor: Jawaher Zahran

Some photos took from Google

Poll of the issue: How often do you go to a new dining place?

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to the second issue of U! The theme is Places. It is the place that can make you find the peace within you. A place that we can call it “our place.” Enjoy reading every article of this issue!


Theme Story: Places

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Places For the Spirit

A Soul Journey

With Tonja Hamel Edgecomb

The pressures of daily living put an intense demand on the body and spirit. These demands drain your energy. You may not even be aware of the drain until something snaps and relationships erode, you get sick or find that life lacks luster. You begin to think there has to be something more….and there is. You are meant to exist in a place where you are happy and at peace with yourself and the world. Spending time in quiet reflection grounds you and allows you reconnect with Source Energy. This quiet is essential to heal and revitalize your life. I have a couple places in my home where I meditate. The time of year determines where I choose. When I am surrounded by nature, I find my experiences more intense and rewarding. There is something about being in company with other living things that leaves me supercharged. Energy attracts like energy and energy is magnified in certain settings. I imagine my experience is not unlike those experienced in sacred places throughout the world, which is why people are drawn to them. They heal. My purpose with Soul Journeys is to share my spiritual experiences in the places I discover. Soul Journeys lead to a physical and spiritual recharge. The pilgrimage to theses places is part of the experience. Each voyage is uniquely its own, from the decision to take the journey to the location’s revelation. Conscious involvement in each moment is required so no lesson is missed along the way. Take a journey within. It has been my experience that from the moment I take a Soul Journey, my senses become heightened. The mere suggestion to take a pilgrimage leads me to a more mindful state. This day was no different. I hadn’t even thought about taking a journey this week when, during a meditation, I had an incredible urgency to get in my car and drive to the mountains. I gathered my camera, a journal, pen and iTouch then was off to where ever I was lead. I wasn’t sure where, but I knew I’d find mountains. I was divinely lead. I thought I was heading to Mt. Katahdin but that wasn’t the case as I found myself turning onto a road heading to Bingham, Maine. I had been driving for about 2 hours and still had no idea where I was heading. Doubting my intuition, I wondered if my day was meant to drive or to see mountains. The thought no sooner left my mind when I crested the top of a grade and saw what I knew I was lead to see. There before me was a range of sun lit mountains. The clouds cast shadows on the evergreen covered slopes varying the shades of green against the brilliant blue sky. I guessed that this was my confirmation that I was on the right path and


Theme Story: Places

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At one point I noticed I lost track of my thoughts and was just driving absent minded of my purpose. It is easy to get caught up in our daily activities and loose ourselves. Who knew what I had passed and didn’t get to experience? Spirit was teaching me a lesson. How often does that happen in life? Precious moments are lost when we are not present in the moment. I quickly readjusted my awareness and drove on, mindful of each scene and thought. I thanked the Universe for that lesson.

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I lost track of where I was as I took in the scenes on this byway. Then I came to an overpass, which below it, was moving water. It spoke to me. There was an area for canoes to be put in and out of the water so I pulled over. This was my space. I took a few photos and located this great path along the water. In preparation to leave on my unexpected venture, I was more excited than mindful. I was thinking of what lay ahead that day. That made twice today that I missed an experience because I neglected to stay in the moment. I quickly noted the lesson that Spirit had delivered…again, gave thanks for the opportunities I had been given, and began my meditation. Soul Journey was no different from the others in its conclusion. I walked away with a lesson I needed to learn, a lesson that has a direct affect on my life. I have struggled with staying in the moment all my life, instead wishing away my years thinking about tomorrow without enjoying the present. This had especially been a problem for me these last few weeks. I have focused more on mindfulness in my daily activities following this pilgrimage. The Universe spoke and I heard its message. I was given another stepping stone for my journey. Paramahansa Yogananda, in Autobiography of a Yogi, wrote about his daily attitude, “consciously performing work in this world while immersed in an inward beatitude.” I’m working on that.

Tonja’s steps onto the mountain

This is a beautiful area. I pulled over a few times to photograph Wyman Lake


Theme Story: Places PAGE 4

The Magic Of Places By Abir Abusulayman

To describe a place you have to name it, and then give some details filled with emotions. But what about the word “place” itself, a magical word. What is the first thing you have on mind when you hear this word? Some might think of home, park, restaurant, a city, chair at work or a place they dream of visiting. Amazing how different is the interpretation of a simple noun composed of five letters can be. Again, what does the word “place” mean to you? Don’t give an immediate answer, take your time, and benefit from this word to have a positive connection with a place that is related directly to your daily life. The spell of this word spreads and reaches our brains to explode imagination. “Venice” yes “Venice” what occurs to your mind are Gandolas, Plaza de San Marco, the Festival and many other details. Some might have not visited the city and ask the help of an old friend called Google. Seconds and you have hundred of pictures, articles and videos. Let yourself travel through the net and here you are in a new place called Venice. Next time, when you will hear the word Venice, your memory immediately sends a file with hundred of pictures and you know that place. This voyage doesn’t work with all words especially feelings and experiences. I know that imagination is the engine guiding our brain to make a place alive, but the place exists somewhere in our life. Places should be treated as helpful creatures that are available to comfort us and give our lives different meanings. Love my magical place !!


Theme Story: Places PAGE 5

Jeddah: The City That Never Sleeps By Jawaher Zahran

Jeddah

is the capital of tourism in the kingdom and the city that never sleeps. In the morning, people wake up to start their workday. At noon, people make their small errands or officers take their lunch breaks. In the afternoon, when the sun slants a bit and when most shops start to open their doors, people began going to shopping malls. In the evening comes another bunch of people who want to entertain themselves and go to restaurants or cafÊ’s around the town. However, the evening does not stop here. A lot of people are still getting out of their homes to visit places and continue their night. Jeddah does not have an hour of quietness. A rush hour in Jeddah is not exclusive to a certain hour of the day. Every hour is a rush hour. Even at the very late night, you found people who decided to stay up all night.


Theme Story: Places PAGE 6

Poll of the theme Q: How often do you go to a new dining place? 8 people answered the poll and these were the results 40.00% 35.00% 30.00% 25.00% 20.00% 15.00% 10.00% 5.00% 0.00%

Quote of the theme We often say that we want a peaceful life. We wish to be at a place where there is no noise, no trouble, or no hard work. But this does not actually mean Peace. To be in the midst of all chaos of life, and still be calm in your heart – that is what “peace”means. Dany Vitkova

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U! Newsletter - Issue # 2