I would like to share this article Live and Let Live to celebrate the birthday of Alizé (my youngest daughter) who is turning 18 today. Time flies! I feel so blessed to be her mother, to have been able to nurture her, love and guide her along the way. Alizé is the name of the wind that blows over Réunion Island where I live – it is a gentle wind not a stormy wind. I like to describe her as our Little Miss Sunshine because she has brought so much light, love, and fun into our lives and to other people’s lives too. Alizé’s superpower is to be able to illuminate the room as soon as she steps in. I am so proud of who she is and have great expectations as to whom she may become. She is a beautiful lady inside and out and strong too.
This article is a way for me to celebrate her and give her some further guidance as she will soon leave the family nest to do her own thing.
I wrote the poem below for my eldest daughter Maya when she graduated from High School in 2020. Today, I wish to re-iterate the same guidance I gave to Maya a few years ago to Alizé and expand it a little bit.
To my lovely daughters, Live fully and courageously, Let live and understand Human Nature, Know yourself and your true essence And understand how the world around you operates.
Wake up, dress up, show up, And do the best you can every day, Until You know better, Then, when you know better, Do better.
Treat your body as a Temple, Attend to it every day, Nurture it, Worship it.
Know that early years can be full of tears, But I know that you are built to face those fears, And I will always be here to send you cheers.
Do you have what it takes? A mind of your own, And the ability to get in the zone.
I wish you clear vision, So that you can make good decisions, And not be paralyzed by indecision.
To have clear vision, Can you master your intuition? And use it as ammunition.
You have this flame, this light inside of you , That sometimes will shine very bright, Surround yourself with people Who would say, woaw this is a beautiful light! Keep shining baby.
And when your friends’ light is shining You want to be the kind of friend That would say, woaw this is a beautiful light! Keep shining baby.
So, go and shine your unique and natural light, As bright and as strong as you can, Be phenomenal! Be you.
Wishing you health, wealth, love, and happiness. We are coming to this time of the year when we wish our friends, family, colleagues, and everybody we meet the best of everything; wishing for health, wealth, Love and happiness encompasses pretty much everything that we all wish for. I wrote a whole book about this “This Is Your Quest”.
Wherever we are in the world we all want the same thing. We all want to survive and thrive. We want to be happy, healthy, and wealthy. Surely, there must be a secret to get to this Eldorado. I’ve got news for you: the secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that there is no secret.
Wishing you good health
Health matters a great deal. It has always mattered but for the past two years, it has become the topic of conversation in all circles of society and the subject of health remains at the center of every decision we make on a daily basis, where the medicals, the politicians, the economists, the lawmakers, and law enforcement people take their turn to opine, legislate and execute decisions that affect us all on a daily basis. Health is at the center of everything we do today.
“Everything on Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it and every person a mission.”
Native American Theory of Existence
From the beginning of time, health mattered a great deal. Life in the Ancient World was a dangerous endeavor. For most of history, living was a dangerous occupation with most people at risk of dying from war, famine, disease, epidemic, or childbirth with the average lifespan much lower than it is today. In those days, people relied heavily on the good graces that their favorite Gods were willing to dispense over them in order to maneuver all those perils. People prayed and made offerings to their favorite Gods in order to keep them healthy. A healthy person was recognized as being in the “good books” of the Gods; being sick on the other hand, meant that you were being punished by the Gods for some bad deeds you did.
By the 5th century BC, physicians started to develop and exercise a more scientific medical profession Hippocrates, also known as the Father of Modern Medicine, is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, and not because of superstition and Gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the Gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.
Hippocratic medicine was humble and passive. The therapeutic approach was based on the healing power of nature. According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself. Hippocrates was reluctant to administer drugs, the medicine he prescribed was very kind to the patient,his favorite treatment included fasting, the consumption of apple cider vinegar, and exercise and he emphasized the importance of keeping the patient clean and sterile . He sometimes used potent drugs but when absolutely necessary.
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food. The strength that is in each of us is our greatest doctor. Man must harmonize mind and body. It is nature that heals the sick. Everything in excess is opposed to nature. The same remedy could heal in one dose but could cause harm in greater doses. Unless you have real evidence that medical treatment was helpful, you shouldn’t use it. To do nothing could also be a good remedy, depending on the case. “
Fast forward to our modern era, everybody knows that in order to have a healthy body you have to eliminate toxins as much as possible from your environment, eliminate tobacco and alcohol, eat healthy nutritious food, exercise and keep active. This information is no secret. It is out there, and it is available to everyone. Those people who walk around on the beach in their bikinis with a toned body and a six-pack didn’t get there by accident, they worked on it days in and days out. They didn’t take a secret pill that gave them a fit body overnight, they honed their skill quietly and patiently.
The expectation nowadays is for things to happen instantaneously; and when it doesn’t, we get frustrated even angry. Being patient is a virtue that has been forgotten. We should get re-acquainted with this concept. In public, it is the impatient one that grabs all the attention but patience is a skill that you practice quietly, behind a closed door, just like professional athletes who step away from the limelight taking some time off to heal their injures so that they can come back stronger, step back in the arena and compete another day.
Wishing you wealth
There are a lot of things you hear about money: the love of money is the root of all evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Money can’t buy happiness. Nowadays there is a huge divide between the 1% of the population who holds in their hands the vast majority of the world’s wealth, leaving the 99% to scramble for the leftover. Money is what makes people worry the most and makes them the happiest and the unhappiest.
The true fact of all money matters remains a secret for the majority of people. “Money ” is created out of thin air and is just a piece of paper with no intrinsic value. The current debt-based-fiat-money system was born in secrecy following a meeting of some of the most influential people of the time gathered on Jekyll Island.
“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again … but if you want to continue as slaves to the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and to control credit.
Sir Josiah Stamp – Former Director of the Bank of England.
But our true wealth is our time and freedom.
“Our true wealth is our time and freedom. Money is just a tool for trading your time. It is a container to store your economic energy until you are ready to deploy it. The secrets of money are hidden in plain sights they are, they are out in the open, like the way the monetary system works, but most people can’t really see or understand how it really works; the use of technical jargon makes it very opaque and inaccessible to the uninitiated. The secret remains a secret because of a lack of proficiency for the majority of people. Other secrets are meant to be just that, secrets! But the truth is finally coming out, such as the fact that the Federal Reserve is a private corporation and not part of the US Government.”
For the 99% knowledge is power. Know how the system works and you will become powerful.
Wishing you Love and Happiness
Falling in or out of love is one of the strongest emotions that people can experience. Love can be kind. Love can be cruel. Love is everything. Love has been called one of the most studied and least understood areas in psychology. Everyone has experienced feelings of love to some extent or another. There are those who found love then lost it, those who found it and kept it, and those who are seeking it in odd places. They are also those who don’t know they have it, not realizing it is closer than they think!
Romantic love, the love that perhaps most naturally springs to mind, has been the inspiration for countless ballads, stories, and pieces of art and has captured the imagination of singers, artists, poets throughout history. However, there are many flavors of love, from brotherly love, the love of God, and self-love. The question of “what is love?” generates a host of issues; some have sought to analyze them; others have preferred to leave them in the realm of the ineffable. There are 8 types of love according to the Greeks:
1. Eros: erotic love;
2. Philia: affectionate love or friendship;
3. Storge: familial/unconditional love;
4. Ludus: playful love;
5. Mania: obsessive love;
6. Pragma: enduring love;
7. Philautia: Self-love
8. Agape: selfless love.
We are all students of love and in our Quest to find love we should remember to Stay away from mania. Don’t just seek eros – it usually ends badly. Cultivate philia by spending more time with your friends and family. Add some frivolity into your life from time to time with ludic activities. Seek pragma for a long-lasting relationship. Indulge in storge, let your maternal and paternal instincts out. For all the lonely souls out there, get yourself a dog. Practice philautia to stay away from stress, anxiety, and depression. And for the most advanced students, seek agape.
Wishing to all my readers and followers health, wealth, love, and happiness.
In addition to publishing my articles on my website, I have also been publishing on Medium. I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication. DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice. DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category. Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.
One of my very good friends, Todzia Aird from Edmonton, Canada, is a marriage commissioner. Love is her business. She tells me that getting married is still in vogue. I love weddings, it is such a beautiful occasion and the perfect excuse to splash out on fabulous outfits and jewelry. I also like seeing the bride being at the center of attention for a whole day surrounded by a small army of professionals doing her hair, make-up, and nails. Then there is the catering, being driven around, taking pictures throughout the whole event making sure to show the couple at their most fabulous. What a day! Who wouldn’t want to have a day like this?
Depending on where you live and what your religious practice is, you will need an official to perform the ceremony. Religious Christian weddings are officiated by a pastor or a priest. Jewish weddings are presided over by a rabbi and in Islamic weddings, an imam is the marriage officiant. Religious ceremonies are not the only way to get married, you can make things official in a civil ceremony which will be conducted by a mayor, a judge, a Justice of the Peace, or a Marriage Commissioner.
Wedding ceremonies are all about the bride and the groom surrounded by their friends and family, but in this article I would like to take the focus off them and shine the light on the person who officiates.
Marriage hasn’t always been what it is now
Through history, the institution of marriage went through three different stages of evolution. The first stage was all to do with survival of the species and the protection of property rights. In the olden days, marriage was designed to secure an environment for the perpetuation of the species through a system of rules to handle property rights and the protection of the bloodline. The institution of marriage handled these needs and was purely designed to promote the survival and economic prosperity of both families.
During the Victorian era, romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage and couples spent a huge amount of time and energy in the rituals of courting and finding romantic ways to express their love, affection and loyalty to their chosen ones. In this period, the new ideal was to marry for love and live happily ever after.
Love, particularly the long-lasting kind, has been called one of the most studied and least understood areas in psychology. This fundamental domain of human existence remains somewhat a mystery, but what we do know is that being in love and being married are good for your physical and mental health.
In this modern era, the institution of marriage is now evolving into a third stage, also known as self-expressive marriage. Nowadays, marriage resolve around self-expression, we seek not just love but mutual personal growth. We want partners who are able and willing to help us explore our feelings and our identity, partners who can help us bring out our most authentic selves.
Let’s take a trip to Edmonton, Canada to meet my friend Todzia and ask her a few questions.
How did you become a marriage commissioner?
Marriage Commissioners come from different walks of life; some are retired politicians, school principals, doctors. It is not just a question of applying for the job, you have to be appointed by the Provincial Government. My life experiences seemed to fit perfectly for me to be nominated to this position. A whole chunk of my professional career has been around weddings. When I started, I was behind the camera, now I am in front of it sharing the stage with the bride and the groom. I spent 20 years running my own business videotaping weddings. What qualified me for the job is my natural ability for public speaking, good negotiation and marketing skills, a willingness to serve my community, and my ability to understand different cultures. All this put together put me on the path to become a Marriage Commissioner. Since my appointment in 2009, I had the pleasure of officiating over 1,200 civil marriage ceremonies.
Do people still want to get married and why is it important?
Yes, believe it or not, many people still want to make that commitment❤️. Getting married is not just reserved for the young ones. When you are in love, age is not an issue. I married high school sweethearts, couples who already had children, couples who spent a lifetime living together and then deciding to make it official with a wedding ceremony with their children and grandchildren in attendance. I married couples where the husband was a soldier on the eve of being sent on a military tour to the Middle East and to Africa. The oldest couple I married, the groom was 84 and the bride 76. Being a widow or a widower does not mean the end of your love life, getting a second chance at love is something that is beautiful and should be celebrated.
Life can be complicated sometimes, and couples can go through many ups and downs. I married couples who were once married, divorced, married to someone else, divorced then came back to each other to remarry. As long as love is around, I am around to officiate and make them husband and wife even if it is for a short period of time. I will never forget the ceremony I conducted for a couple who had lived together for 35 years; the groom had cancer and had only a couple of months left to live. The ceremony was conducted in the living room of their home with their two adult children as witnesses. It was heartbreaking but also beautiful. The last thing that the groom wanted to do before he passed was to become a husband and make the love of his life his wife.
This is a good segment to mention the fact that in addition to being a marriage commissioner, I am also a funeral celebrant. Funerals are usually sad and somber events; when people book me to officiate as a celebrant the emphasis is on celebrating the life of the deceased by recalling happy memories and having friends and family giving beautiful testimonies. Those ceremonies are really special. I have clients who told me how the ceremony helped their mourning process in a very positive way.
[Author Joanne Reed. Note to self: Make sure to leave some instructions to my daughters to organize a ceremony/party for me when the time comes to celebrate my life and not focus so much on the dying part.]
What is the most unusual wedding venue you have officiated at?
Everyone has got in mind an image of the perfect wedding venue for their perfect wedding subject of course to the limitation of their budget. But you don’t need to go all fancy in order to have an unforgettable wedding in a magical setting. I have officiated inside a home or apartment or a barn, backyards, city parks and provincial parks, legislative ground, acreages, golf courses, historical buildings, parks, community halls, river cruises, trains, coffee shops, restaurants, hotel ballrooms, churches (yes, some churches have allowed a civil ceremony to take place). The most original ceremony I performed was outside the city in a small plane. There were 15 people in this plane. As we reached the top height, the ceremony started. Right after the couple signed the legal document, they jumped out of the plane. There were beautiful parachutes floating in the sky with the sign just married. I was asked to jump too but I decided not to. I was a flight attendant in the past but that job did not require jumping out of the plane. This is a new rule of mine “ I will officiate in any venue of your choice with the caveat that I will not be required to jump out of a plane!”
Is the Canadian weather kind to newlyweds?
The weather in Alberta province changes very quickly. In one day, you can have sun, wind, clouds, rain, snow and even hail. Therefore, couples are very prepared for unusual weather on their wedding day. If the couple wishes to have an outdoor location which I call Location 1, then I automatically ask where is Location 2 (in case of rain, snow or hail). Everyone seems to dread a rainy wedding but one of the most beautiful ceremonies that I officiated was in the biggest downpour ever. And it was the most beautiful wedding ever. It was in a couple’s parents’ backyard, under a large, white, wedding tent. This was an evening ceremony where small candles were lit on very beautifully decorated tables with the rain pouring all around us. While I officiated the ceremony, you could hear the rain in the background. It was so magical. Brides always fear rain on their wedding which no one can control, I say it is good luck.
What do you think are the key ingredients for a successful marriage?
For me the Key ingredients are, mutual respect, good daily communication, don’t be patronizing and resist the urge to order your spouse around, appreciate what you have in common but also appreciate the differences, move through different chapters of lives together, think of your marriage as a garden that needs to be tended to daily and be prepared for different seasons, some days are rainy and some are sunny.
Is love the most important thing in marriage?
There is a long section in your book about love that was an eye-opener to me. Of course, I was aware of different Love but not to the extent you so beautifully wrote. The different categories and examples of historical events to back them up were very interesting and educational. I really think that young couples who are getting married should read your book, it is like an introductory course to relationships for single or married couple. You said in your book that people spend so much time and energy trying to find love and so little time in learning how to maintain it. This is so true. Getting married is the beginning of a wonderful adventure that will last a lifetime, so once the wedding and honeymoon are behind you there is still lots to look forward to and that is your life together each and every day whether it is a sunny or rainy day outside. Another reason why young people should read your book is because it really teaches you to know yourself before you commit to share your life with another person. When people get married, there is a tendency to lose your own identity under the label of wife and mother, but you should not forget your own identity even when you become a wife and a mother; and I thought that your book illustrated this point quite well.
In closing I would like to thank Todzia for sharing some of the precious memories she has collected over the years as a marriage commissioner.
My take on this is best summarized by a famous quote by Charles Franklin:
“No one gets out of this life alive. So, leave a footprint of your choice. You are writing your epitaph. You are writing it now! Life is a process, not a goal. Live it now, or you will miss it! We have time to spend and no time to waste.”