Praying – things we should know –

Everyone makes mistakes, even me with my blog, and the things I post here. You can read about one such mistake here, if you’re curious.

It’s not my place to judge people, but I think that if we want G-D to give us something, we must pray the right way, and to try avoid making some mistakes.

Several years ago I decided I should be more spiritual, to pray more, be kinder, less negative. I took a notebook and wrote in it some guidelines for “how to pray.” Surely I found this guide somewhere on the internet, but for the love of what’s good, I can’t remember.

This entry is an adaptation of that info – simply because I didn’t agree with everything in there, and I also think some other stuff should be added.

Matthew 6:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Prayer is a highly personal experience

For me this is true, as you could probably tell from this blog entryEveryone whose prayers have been answered wil

not my picture

l probably tell you the same thing. This is not something that can be explained.

What I can say is that the prayer is a tool helping us to attune and communicate with G-D – or whatever other Higher Being or Creator you believe in.

Don’t pray just in time of need

I find this to be wrong, though it can be effective if you pour all your soul into it. I think that if you want to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life, trying to pray on a more regular basis is [or works] better.

You can compare this to a person whose teeth look perfect – surely they visit their dentist quite often, brushes and flosses their teeth twice each day.

Be thankful while praying

Forgetting to thank G-D for everything positive in our lives is something many are guilty of. Including those that pray on a regular basis.

What can you be thankful for? The clothes on your body, the house you live in, the neighborhood you live in [if you like it there and feel safe], the food on your table, your job [especially if the income is acceptable], for having people that care about you in your life, for being able to have pets [if you have them], and so on.

These were just examples and are the things I’m generally thankful for while praying. Every little thing does matter and you should be thankful for, including your health, looks [if you consider yourself pretty, or you particularly like something about yourself like your eyes or hair], talents [like cooking, baking, drawing, fashion style, applying make-up].

Some of these attributes sound vain to be thankful for, but I can guarantee there is at least one person out there that wishes they had what you have – material or not. You can walk, talk, see, read, sing? Be thankful for all of those since there are folks that can’t perform these actions.

What to pray for

You can pray for everything or anything, including for world peace. For better and higher chances of the prayer to be answered, just ask for small things and one thing at a time.

For instance, you lost your job [or were forced to quit?] when praying, thank your Divinity for all the jobs you had in the past and ask Them to help you find another suitable one quickly.

We can even ask for help in becoming mentally stronger, better people [less negative, less critical of others], in finding a new hobby, a new partner, in overcoming problems that seem very complicated, or even forgiveness.

We can pray for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Maybe you lied to someone and now you feel bad, but still don’t have the courage to confess to them? Ask G-D for forgiveness, but try not to lie anymore in the future. If someone did something hurtful towards you, you probably can’t let go of those negative emotions so easily. Ask the Divine to help you with that, and ask the Divine to forg

not my quote

ive that person’s mistakes.  [I did this and it felt liberating.]

Acknowledge you’re wrong or sinful

This segment goes against Christian teachings of confessing and stuff. We all do things we’re very ashamed of later on [what? it’s just me? hmmm]. Sometimes those actions feel too heavy, and we’re too embarrassed to confess them to a priest [if that’s part of your belief system].

Telling G-D during a prayer about those things can be liberating. Not many people know what you did, but G-D DOES know. The Divinity knows everything about you. Admitting that doing this or that was wrong and asking for forgiveness can help. [It did help me, I felt less tormented].

When and where to pray

You can pray at any time, in any place. It is however better to find a quiet time and place to do so. For instance, you could pray while showering or taking a bath, right before falling asleep, when everyone else is asleep or away.

The most important thing to try and remember is that you should not be disturbed. You should silent your phone too, if you receive too many texts, calls and notifications.  You don’t have to be in a church [or similar type of building] to pray. You don’t even need a picture of your Deity around you.

Faith is crucial

No mater who you pray to or what for, you must be certain 100% that They hear you and that They will answer. It’s not enough to say “Oh, my god’s name is this, and they DO exist… blahblahblah.” No! You must feel with every cell of your body that that Creator exists and that They love you and will send you what you ask for.

When you start communicating with Them, you have to be aware of Their presence in and around you: you wouldn’t be here without Them, and you wouldn’t have everything you own without Them.

May God look over
From His Holy Dwelling and may he strike
all those who hate His People
with a wink of an eye

Behold here is the Lord
rising and standing on a plumb-line
Giving them a cup of poison
but not wine

Pronunciation:

Yash’kef Elohim
mima’on kod’sho veyach
kol sonei amo
keheref ayin

Hineh Hashem
kam venitzav al anach
yash’kem lechos ra’al
aval lo yayin

I have no words to express how much I like this song, and how well it helps me get into a praying state of mind. It also helps me be more aware of G-D and His presence in my life.


©2013 – present the owner travels to. All rights reserved. The song and lyrics belong to Sagiv Cohen.

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Sand Storm – movie review and spoilers

You probably noticed already I have nothing against watching movies that are not spoken in English – I often times like them more. They present the life of the people in a very unique way, and possibly they stay quite true to the life of the common people [of the represented country].

I had to search to learn where was this movie made – in Israel, in a Bedouin remote village.  The spoken language is Arabic, the shown community is Muslim, and the credits are both in Arabic and Hebrew. Most likely this movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you should know it did win a few awards and it was pretty close to being nominated for the 89th Academy Awards [2016 Oscars].

On with my review! and the spoilers, marked as usual in orange.

We get  a small glimpse into the lives of a Muslim family, and especially into the lives of the women in the family. Their village seems forsaken in the middle of nowhere – some people might feel lost in those living conditions.

The family has 4 daughters, no sons, and all of them attend school, despite the fact that the eldest daughter [Layla] is of a marrying age. We also see a scene in which the men in the village question why is she allowed to study, instead of being married. At this point, we can understand the father really loves his daughters, and as a result lets them do whatever they want, despite their mother disapproving.

The parents don’t have the best relationship, but both love their children and show their love in different ways. When a 2nd wife is brought home, the differences between the parents become even more obvious. The 2nd wife even got a better looking and more modern house as well.Her house is bright, has a big modern fridge that is also filled with food.

The mother discovers her eldest talks to a boy at school and this is the point when the tensions also intensify. While there is a moment when Layla considers eloping with the guy she likes. In the end she reconsiders her actions and chooses her family instead.

The movie ends with Layla marrying a guy her father chose, despite both she and her mother opposed it at some point.

I still have some thoughts on this movie, and I’m not sure I had things I liked or disliked about it. This was more of a slice of life movie, one that is meant to make you think about some stuff.

One of the things you can think about is: what matters more? Family you’re born into or your love interest?  Clearly there is no easy and universally true answer here – it all depends on the environment, but many people will treasure the family they’re born into more than a lover or partner.

We also see that growing up is not easy, especially in places where old traditions are still deeply rooted in people’s minds. Having to chose between your parents and your spouse is probably one of the most difficult decisions you could be faced with.

Whatever the choice may be,  person can still be happy – in fact, many people manage to be happier if they make a conscious choice about something, versus going with the flow. [Though there are folks who are happier when they go with the flow instead of stressing over things.]

The plot of the movie seems to be missing, but if you consider that here we actually see Layla and her journey to mental maturity, we can easily see a plot. Mental maturity sometimes means that we have to compromise if we want a peaceful life – and this is not always the most horrible thing we can possibly do.

I’ll rate this movie 3.5 stars, if not almost 4 stars. I think older teens can also watch it and possibly learn something as well. Prepare a cup of hot cocoa or tea, a blanket, and possibly some tissues – I didn’t cry, but this is not the most cheerful movie either.


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

The House of the Disappeared – movie review and spoilers

Do you know I like to watch horror movies? at least I used to. The last one I saw was The House of the Disappeared, a South Korean mystery thriller, released earlier this year. The main actress is Kim Yun-jin who you might have seen in the TV series Lost.

Apparently, the original title translates to House Above Time, and I personally think it would have been a better choice as English title as well. Both translations give indications to what the movie is about, though the original tells exactly why things happened.

I guess I spoiled you enough, so see you next time!

Just kidding! The real spoilers [in orange] are about to begin, so read on at your own risk.

For starters, the story appears confusing, at least until you realize some of the scenes take place in the present [when Kim Yun-jin is old] and in the past [when she’s young]. There is a gap of 25 years between the two timelines.

The basis of the story is that what happened cannot be changed, because history was written and the ink has dried. We see this theme in movies like Harry Potter when Hermione is given a time travel device, as well as in the popular TV show Game of Thrones – for those who didn’t read the books. Surely, this idea must have been at least tackled in other shows and books, but I don’t remember them all.  

In a way, this movie reminded me of the movie The Others starring Nicole Kidman. I suspect this was the inspiration for this Korean movie, given the very similar posters they have, see the image to the right of the screen.

The Korean movie seems more tragic in a way, because not one family was  ‘haunting’ the house, but two as it is revealed towards the end.  These families weren’t even dead, but they were trapped in a parallel universe where time didn’t exist. All the puzzle pieces fall into place at the end, everything making sense for our main character and for us.

What I liked in this movie: the themes of time travel, parallel universes, and that it was less scary than I expected. Though being trapped between 2 worlds can’t be too pleasant.

What I disliked: I actually disliked the main character because she acted very muggle-like. I borrowed the term from Harry Potter and I gave it the meaning of someone who doesn’t (nor wants to) understand supernatural happenings.

Split feelings and opinions: I should mention that many mothers would have probably acted the same way she did, because she thought it was the right and best thing to do for her child. What’s more, who knows what would have happened if she didn’t decide to act the same.

Rating: I give this movie 4.5 stars because it is a really good one, kept me on my toes, and made me think of things. It wasn’t the best movie ever, and I think a cup of tea would have made it better. Go see it if you like supernatural and mysterious movies, with a bit f a scare factor.

Praying brought me peace of mind

I hope this entry inspires you to pray, be a more grateful and kind person. I want to mention that while I do mention God from the Bible, I will NEVER force anyone to share my views. Atheists might be the only people who see no need for praying and I am nobody to tell them otherwise.

I started praying a few months back. I was tormented by various nightmares that would pop up when I felt more anxious or stressed. One evening, I decided that I had enough of these terrors, and I started praying to G-D, as in the Bible. To my surprise, my prayer has been answered … on the spot. I instantly felt at peace, loved, not alone.

My only worry is the dark figure I felt and nearly saw coming to my side that evening. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, and say it was this or that, but said figure took away whatever was tormenting me, and now even if I want to think of those things I can’t. Not for more than 5 seconds.

In any case, this happening gave me the push I needed to start praying more. And to actually to way of G-D’s presence in my life. Even before that evening I was trying to see the side the side of the glass everyone thinks is full [though the glass is ALWAYS full. But this theory is for another time]. This thinking is also encouraged by those who use a bullet journal – it is recommended to have a gratitude’s section for every month you’re using the journal.

how do i pray

I usually pray at night, before going to bed. Sometimes when I wake up. Praying throughout the day is more rare. Before telling you how I pray, you must know the purpose of prayer: it is meant to renew our awareness of the Being we pray to, and it is meant to also help us attune more with said Being [in my case, G-D].

I try to find a quiet moment [when I consider nothing will interfere with the process]. I start reciting Lord’s Prayer – and I use the 1928 English version because for some reason I do this in English. I try to use the Latin version too, but I have a hard time remembering the words, and I don’t always want to read it – well, in time it will happen.

When I finish Lord’s Prayer, I start by thanking G-D for all the things I possess [I try to call Him Father, but it doesn’t always work. I also use words like G-D and Lord, but I feel the distance grows, and I want to avoid this]. I’m giving thanks for the clothes I wear, for the roof over my head, the food on the table, my skills and abilities, and so on.

Then I ask for forgiveness for my wrong-doings as well as those of other people. Asking Lord to forgive other people makes me feel at peace the most. At this point I also try to remember that Jesus died for our sins, and that if we truly believe in Him, we will be saved. This is why I ask for forgiveness.

I’m being truthful and trying to “confess” my sins, directly to G-D. If He hears my prayer he will hear my confession as well. And let’s be honest here: some of us are utterly embarrassed by some of their past actions. Priests are not supposed to judge you, but how can we be sure they won’t? Even if they’re not supposed to reveal to anyone whatever you confess. Maybe I’m paranoid and committing a sin by thinking this way. I trust G-D, humans not so much.

how did prayer help me

First of all, it helps me be more aware of my actions. For instance, I personally see no point in asking for forgiveness for something if the next day I do the same thing I wanted to be forgiven for. Just like with other people, if you’re sorry for having done something, prove it by not repeating it. It really is as easy as that – no excuses.

It also helped me be more tolerant with others. When others do something that is generally seen as bothering [or it only bothers me], I start telling myself they don’t know what they’re doing. This simply means the person doesn’t realize or is not aware of the consequences of their actions.

I also feel more happy and at peace with myself and everything and everyone around me. This means conflict is minimized. Of course, accidents do still happen, but we generally have a peaceful home.

I also have more faith that more good things will come my way in the future. I might jinx this, but I’m sure I will get the physical things I desire. I also know that whatever difficulties i encounter are not more difficult than what I can handle – my Father made sure of this.


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Sleeping Beauty – movie impressions and spoilers

We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty, so there isn’t much to spoil you with. Perhaps the only spoilers I could give are related to how did the Evil Witch trick the princess into touching the spindle. But that would take away from the magic of the story, wouldn’t it?

I will spoil you by saying that this movie seems to have been quite poorly received, and you can’t really find a Wikipedia page about it. Wait, what? But everything has a Wiki pag… well, my dear reader, if you find the Wiki page for this particular movie, I will have to come back and change this part – until then…

This movie is about an hour and a half long, and can get quite boring. I even wonder if this movie directed by Casper Van Dien was even released for the big screen? Seriously, the fantasy in it, the costumes, and the acting screamed “TV movie.”

WHAT I LIKED

Sadly, there isn’t much I liked in this movie, but I’ll give it a try.

I liked the Evil Witch  – she was young, beautiful, with blond hair, but evil. In a way it doesn’t really make sense to make a young beautiful woman act the evil part in this specific story. The actress did a good job here, though I see her more in fashion related movies, or other types of drama movies – just not necessarily as the evil-doer.

I liked the dragon in the water. I think all stories with a princess that needs rescuing, should have a dragon somewhere. The dragon doesn’t always have to be big, fight the prince, or try to kill him, but should be there.

The princess was really pretty in my opinion, therefore fit for the part. She retained the blond hair we know from the Disney animation movie, but the natural hue made her easier to relate to – or at least she gave a more realistic ‘appearance goal,’ but I’d advise any young girl not to want to look like any fictional character, or like any other human being for that matter.

Prince Charming – he was smart, kind, and wasn’t really afraid of anything. The actor seemed talented enough for this part too, and his acting was the most natural in my opinion.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The King and Queen – or better said how did Casper Van Dien and his wife portrait them. Yes, the director of the movie also starred in the production, along his wife. They sounded fake, with little acting talent in my humble opinion. They sounded like snobs with a snob-like attitude. Well, it’s his movie and he can cast whoever he wants  in it, and have them portray the characters however he wants – it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

The prince wasn’t Prince Charming. This was quite obvious since the Prince appeared in the movie. But if I talk too much about it, I might give away key elements and you might not want to check out this movie.

The zombies – well, yes, you read that right. This version of Sleeping Beauty has zombies and I didn’t like them and I think they needed to go back on the sets of The Walking Dead and Resident Evil. Just saying.

CONCLUSION

I think this is a light movie that anyone can watch, even children. Remember that the Grimm Brothers didn’t write all their stories for children, but this one seems appropriate enough. It is also perfect for summer when all you want to do is relax and not really think it the main guy was trapped in a dream or not – like in Inception [a movie I loved and would like to rewatch].

I’ll rate this movie 2.5 stars out of 5. If you’re bored out of your skin and don’t feel like watching anything else, watch this Sleeping Beauty instead.


©2013- present. the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

RIP Chester [Linkin Park]

RIP Chester. I wish you found peace. Sadly you’ll never get to read this. 😦
This entry is beyond serious.
Depression goes hand in hand with suicide.
These two topics are generally taboo. But we need to talk about them, we need to learn how to read the signs. And we need to be more understanding of those suffering from these … I’m not sure how to call them.

If you’re like me, you probably have no idea what depression is. Or how does it feel. How it REALLY feels.

Sometime last year I read about a woman who went to a hair salon wanting to buy some hair products: her hair was a rat’s nest, all tangled up. Poor woman thought that by getting expensive hair care the tangles will magically go away: they would not. Only a careful hand with a comb can do something about that. One of the employees stopped her from shopping and instead invited her for a de-tangling session. The woman only managed to show up a few weeks later after several attempts at making an appointment and then canceling or not showing up. the woman was severely depressed. so much she didn’t care to wash or comb her hair.

Depression is also walking down the street and not realizing a car is about to hit you, or not caring if it does [this happened to me, but I think it was a mistake since i was really upset that day]. Sometimes I get the blues, and it can last for some days. But then it passes.

But you know what? Depression is like a weed that keep growing back, like some mold you don’t notice because it forms behind some furniture. And it spreads slowly. slowly but steady. And when you finally see it, the only solution is to completely remove the wall.

Depression is like a worm in an apple, in a way: you can’t know the apple is rotten until you cut it open. Depressed people are similar because depression is not only tired eyes and black eyeliner. But there are signs. Signs that a trained eye – or another sufferer- is able to see. Fake smiles, flimsy happiness that doesn’t last more than a few hours.

I know depression because my partner is depressed. What scares me the most is that they have almost the same mannerisms as Chester in this short clip. Not to mention a very similar way of talking, intonation and all.

I just watched a few Linkin Park videos. In the end for instance, clearly describes depression and even suicide. I still have a difficult time realizing he’s gone: it’s unreal. He didn’t really mean anything to me, but … I can’t realize what it is.

I even have a confession to make. I knew he would die – just didn’t know how. I have some sort of a 6th sense, or psychic abilities, if you will – that’s why I started posting tarot interpretations. Sometimes I just KNOW things. A few months back I started watching their Breaking the Habit video. In the middle of one session I heard a voice telling me he will die. I brushed it off. I am not sure I would have been able to prevent it. But those close to him could have!

People NEED to start learning about depression more. To recognize it, and also how they can help those suffering from it. Depression doesn’t pass with pills – they just might make things bearable. A therapist doesn’t always help – because they’re also human, and they’re not always good at being a therapist.

What could help more is for friends and family:

  • not to push the sufferer into unpleasant situations, by saying “oh, come on, come with us!” Instead something like “if you change your mind, we’re at….”
  • not to act condescending, by saying “oh, you’ll get over it!” NO they wont! it’s not the blues, not just sadness, but deep shit. so deep your brain can’t comprehend it. A “hang in there” or “i’m here” is sometimes much more helpful. this attitude gets them One Step Closer to the edge..
  • check on the person 24/7, like on an infant, like first time parents do.
  • read forums about mental disorders: they generally talk about depression as well. they can learn more about how sufferers hide it, how to deal with it, and so on.
  • understand that for a depressed person, ANYTHING can be a trigger for suicide – it doesn’t matter how small it is in their peer’s eyes. It could be as small as a Papercut.
  • not to blame the depressed person. see the point above.  telling them calmly something is wrong, but that it’s not serious and it can quite easily be fixed is a better approach.
  • thanking the depressed person for everything they do: joining them for breakfast, for a group activity, or anything they have a really hard time doing.

Please, if you know someone depressed, DO NOT laugh at them, do not tell them they’re weak or cowards when they ‘casually’ talk about suicide. Most definitely DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE tell them to ‘just do it” because in that moment you just took their life away! YOU killed that person! Morally, it won’t be a suicide anymore, but an act of taking another person’s life! If you think you can live with that hanging on your conscience, then you’re a psychopath and you’re a danger to society, and need to be locked up!

All those people complaining Linkin Park’s music changed, THEY KILLED Chester. and sadly, I saw MANY people lately acting the same way: laughing at various popular people, and thinking of themselves they’re better than said popular people.

I hope Chester’s family and friends are strong enough to get over this tragedy.


(c) 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. all rights reserved.

Final Recipe – Movie impressions and spoilers

It seems I was hit with new ideas form this blog: writing my impressions on movies or series I watch, books I read, and .. well, I don’t play video games.

This is a movie from 2013 and it’s a South Korean and Thai production. This is a drama about growing up, family reuniting, and it has a happy ending. There are also a couple of more funny scenes, but comedy isn’t on the menu of this movie – see what I did there?

I watched a version dubbed in Chinese [most likely Mandarin, but I can’t be sure at this point], though originally English was also spoken in the movie. The movie was also subbed in Chinese and English, and the dubbing part didn’t bother me much.

You might want to skip the colorful text if you don’t want to read the SPOILERS AHEAD…

A man from Singapore loves cooking, and his son does too. The man however wants his son to become something else – an engineer perhaps. The son leaves his father and own son in order to appear on a cooking show and doesn’t return. The man is left with raising his grandson, but in the end sends a message to the son telling him he no longer has a family to return to.

Some 15 years later, the grandson is now studying to become an engineer himself, but he has a penchant for cooking as well. His now ill grandfather runs a restaurant but the business isn’t going well.

The grandson decides to join a cooking competition in hopes to win the big prize and help the business. Little does he know the man he needs to impress with his cooking skills is his father.

The final stage of the competition reunites the family and everyone is happy.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE MOVIE

  • they made cooking and the results look like art. Well, in real life, most expensive restaurants present food in an artistic way, so they weren’t far off from reality with this.
  • the movie has a happy ending. You want to watch a movie to relax in summer? you’re either going to watch a comedy or a movie with a happy ending. A little redundant since most comedies I remember watching have a happy ending, but there are other movie genres with a happy ending too.
  • one of the messages I got from this movie was to trust my instincts. This is a life lesson I try my best to obey. Luckily I didn’t really need it lately.
  • the movie makes a good point about what lying can do to a relationship. Many other movies do too. Yet, we never learn.
  • another message I saw in this movie was not to let relationships die. Comfort is no. 1 relationship killer: it makes us or our partner stray, and makes others grow apart.
  • there’s also a lesson to learn here: it’s OK to follow your dreams. Just make sure they [the dreams] can bring food on the table, or that you follow a path that can bring food on the table. [IE: you like painting. Awesome! but artists have a hard time making money, so better work as some sort of a designer instead, and paint on the side. At least until you can sell your art for big bucks]
  • be stubborn when it comes to work, not when it’s about relationships.
  • the movie points out what matters more in life: family.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THE MOVIE:

  • that acting wasn’t the best I’ve seen.
  • I also think it sets some unrealistic expectations when it comes to cooking and following our dreams. Making it into a competition can’t possibly be THAT easy. Being a chef is more difficult than that, I believe.
  • I also think that 2 side characters fell in love in a quite unrealistic way.
  • some scenes, or at least the ending was predictable from a certain point onward. This is not such a bad thing after all: you can still watch to see how the events fall into place from one situation to the other, to end the way it’s supposed to end.

Verdict: I liked the movie, I give it 3.5 stars, and I think you should watch it if you want to see something light that is easy to follow, and perhaps predictable at times.


My next review, next week, will also be about a movie. Action movie!


© 2013- present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.