Don't play with it

Somewhere I made a wish, on lucky Denver mint.

By 11:40 AM

Earlier this year, I had the amazing opportunity to work at Dive Grenada, a 5 star PADI certified dive shop located at Flamboyant Hotel, at the end of Grand Anse beach. For the 4+ months that I was there, I made lots of amazing connections and friendships as well as added to my list of amazing life experiences. 

What made it so amazing to me? Lots of things. Whilst the folks around me were busy becoming doctors and lawyers, even though I'm teetering well into my late 20s, there were a few things I've always wanted to do. Many years ago, when I was younger, I had come to that very same dive shop and asked about learning to dive and the cost. Of course then I was too young... probably about 10 or 12 years old. However, after I finally finished up university last year and wanted to get a job that allowed me some extra time to play with, I couldn't pass up this opportunity when I heard they were looking for a dive shop attendant. A few years ago, I had dedicated my summer to conquering my fear of the sea. I had developed a good relationship with the lifeguards and was able to persuade them to help me on my quest. As fate would have it, Andre, the lifeguard and dear friend that went out with me the most, helped me score my first(and only) job on a sailboat where I got to practice my free diving skills that he taught me on professional snorkel tours. Then, it so happens that he had worked at Dive Grenada coincidentally prior to my arrival there.

I had the delightful experience of being in the sea almost every day, carrying out tours guided by yours truly, learn about marine life live and direct and be in the position to find out as much as I wanted. Phil and Helen, the owners, were awesome. Phil was in the British Navy and Helen was a medical doctor in the UK. They were incredibly patient with my millions of questions regarding health and safety with scuba diving as well as identifying marine life. I was blessed to be around such highly skilled and highly patient people with so many amazing life stories they were willing to share with ease. I particularly looked forward to Phil's random life stories like when he told us, the staff, the proper and real way to walk with a staff as a shepherd if ever we ventured to become one in Scotland. It was so random, yet so precious and endearing. 

Also, as with everyone, nothing is ever perfect. However, they were among my best professional experiences to date. I don't remember if I had told Phil, but it was truly refreshing to have a boss that addressed personal and individual issues personally. I wasn't made aware of other staff transgressions, nor were they made aware of mine. He was incredibly patient and understanding and should something pop up that he doesn't like... he'd simply pull you aside and address it privately. My collective recent work experiences to date locally seem to trend with your boss either shouting at you in front of everyone or in other cases, shouting at the customer. I don't recall ever witnessing that there. The staff, including the two dogs Jack & Jerry, were just as friendly and welcoming as well. I made some amazing bonds there. I still meet up with my old coworkers from time to time to catch up. My most amazing underwater shots, that you're going to see (not in this post), were taken by Ricardo, who was also one of my dive instructors.

Ultimately, I was faced with the current job opportunity I'm at now which I felt was a good career move and we parted on good terms. I still drop by every time I'm in the area. I won't lie, I miss the place and the people. My current office is located in Black Bay, St. John. Every day as I venture to the office, I traverse the same route on land along the coast as I did when I worked there. It pulls my heart strings sometimes to be high up on land and not dashing to the Marine Protected Area by boat, prepping to gear up and enter the water. The good news is a few of my projects are going to be sea based and I was given the privilege and trust of the assignment from my experiences from Dive Grenada.

Working there is definitely not a decision I regret and one I would encourage any 20 something year old, even those falling into 30 to try at least once. The sea has a way of calming the spirit and reminding oneself that you're a part of the huge ecosystem and world, and not the one that controls it. Who doesn't need such a reminder from time to time?

Half way through working there, my Ricoh underwater camera finally arrived and I was able to get some beautiful shots from some of my snorkel trips and scuba diving experiences. Even though work has doubled up on me since I started the new job and projects are finally about to roll out, I'm finally dedicating time to edit and post about my experiences there in pictures. 

Hope you enjoy! These were taken in Flamingo Bay.

What did you think? Post a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)

Oh... and I have more pics where these came from... expect some more underwater posts!
Love Shell-aye

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Memories in F minor

By 10:00 AM

Life Lessons #19: Sometimes in life.

I've been doing some reflecting on life's strange ways and perception. Often we can be placed in positions where it's easy to pat oneself on the back for being objective. However, being objective as with many things, is limited by the amount of knowledge and understanding of the situation.

You can spend most of your understanding to date believing a situation to be one way, and in one day learn that your perception was wrong. Like spending your life thinking your grandmother didn't like nor care for you, and a year after her death, discover letters and gifts for you returned to her due to mailing to the wrong address. Or spending most of your life growing up with your mother as a single parent, genuinely feeling like your father doesn't like or approve of your existence, and discover in one visit, it couldn't be further from the truth.

What do we do in such a situation? In some cases, it could be a happy ending. A new path to a different relationship is forged. A 'nothing happens before its time' moment. In others? What does it really change? How much time has to pass to make huge revelations irrelevant? To what degree of a revelation need to be to be considered valid enough to trump the experiences life tossed your way? What does it really change? The people in the situation are still the same people. While a revelation may cast them in a different light...does it always necessarily change what has become your truth to understanding how to deal with them? If someone beat you badly for years, does it matter if they reveal a sympathetic sad story in the end? Does it change the way that experiences shaped and molded your interactions with others... Because that is the reality. Life is happening while the secret life is happening. Emotions, defensive reactions learned and so forth are developed. Does this disappear instantly just because you learn to believe what you learn to be not? 

I've come to learn its too easy to pin selfishness on people. As a friend pointed out to me yesterday, who ISN'T selfish? As humans, at the core, are our actions based off of selfish desires? For example, let's say you have two pieces of fried fish and offer a piece to your friend. One of the pieces is bigger than the other. Who gets the bigger piece? Do you take the bigger piece because it's yours and your offer and you really want the fish for whatever personal reasons, be it hunger, etc? Or do you volunteer it even if deep down you want it to satisfy your conscience more than your stomach with this act of kindness and generosity? Either choice is motivated by a selfish desire on some level - be it to to quell self doubt on being a good, kind person or to give in to the raw desire of wanting and having what you want for the pure reason of wanting it. The desire of wanting even in the selfless ways are in hopes of gaining something. I remember coming down to the last scenes in "7" the movie (on the seven deadly sins), even though the man had orchestrated the 7 deaths to illustrate his point of societal flaws and insisted it was a selfless act of forcing folks to deal with something real and bigger than all of us... it was pointed out that he took pleasure in each killing. And he admitted that he did, but then he asked who doesn't derive some satisfaction from their work on a deeper smug level? Like when the cop was chasing him hoping to catch and kill him. Does it make the cop bad to have derived pleasure from the skilled chase and hopeful killing of a serial killer? He would've been doing a societal good, but the pleasure on a personal level goes deeper than that to pride at oneself and joy of illustrated skill. 

These situations then also beg the question of perceptions of good and bad.  It is possible to the perceived right thing to the masses for the wrong reasons. It is also possible to do something that looks immediately wrong but with good intentions. Is murder less of a murder if it was killing a serial rapist? Is a gift of full university coverage from a wealthy man less of a gift to a female if he has hidden intentions of "special" returns on his investment?

Life mandates that we each get faced with at least one of these perplex situations throughout our lifetimes. Some folks have a more dramatic revelation than others but the take away lesson is the same; Treat each situation as individual, don't discredit the notion of your own personal bias and perception is not to be confused with fact. Sometimes the reason behind the action is irrelevant and other times it is. 

To wrap this up I'll close with a quote by Chronic Future from one of their songs, "Sometimes you are the flight of the birds, sometimes you're watching the flight of the birds and other times? You're yourself." (Sometimes you’re the spectacle people can’t help but to watch; other times you’re watching things in life happen; and other times you’re just you, completely away from all of those things.)

Let me hear what you think, drop a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)

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Back to school $800 Giveaway!

By 12:18 PM

Hello my lovelies! I'm trying something different. This blog has been my baby off and on for the last 9 years. With that said, I'm trying my best to be consistent and active here for you guys, my readers and newcomers. I know a few of my returnees as they message or stop me in the streets from time to time inquiring about a post or when's the next update. As a reward for dutifully returning time after time to see whether I've updated or not, as well as those who have just arrived and decided to stay, myself and a team of bloggers from a blog community have come together to chump up and co-host an $800 USD back to school giveaway on our blogs. It's open to anyone, anywhere with a few conditions later on in this post. The giveaway raffle officially opens for entry on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015... You have a month to deliberate and secure as many entries as possible!

How to enter:
**The Rafflecopter link will provide directions for your tickets. You have the option to log in with Facebook or with your email. Different requests would allow you to earn more ticket entries to increase your chances of winning. Aside from those I won't mind if you do these as well, if they're not listed in the Rafflecopter (I'm a newbie at these blog giveaways). If you've already done the following already... then great!

1. Like my art Facebook page:
2. Follow me on Instagram: bluemoon_daisy
3. Follow me on Blog Luvin' (Hit the + Blogluvin'  button on my side bar)
4. Post a comment saying hello, which part of the world you're from and what you plan to do with the money if you win it! Click here!
5. Tell a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & conditions: The giveaway starts on September 1st @ 12:00am EST and ends on October 1st @ 11:59 PM EST. There will be two winners ($400 each). Winners must be 18 years or older to win. Giveaway is open world wide, void where prohibited, Full Lives Reviews will choose the winner no later than October 6th 2015 and the winner will be notified no later than October 7th 2015. The winner has 48 hours to respond by email before forfeiting the prize. The co-hosts (like myself) will be notified no later than October 10th 2015 with the winning names.

Good luck!!

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Climate change remains yet to be proven.

By 9:57 AM

In keeping with my recent theme, I decided to do another environmental piece. This one too will soon be up on my Society6 store ready for purchase. With that said, it's of fish dying in a dried up river valley. Initially, I was going to put up a sign similar to the one with the bears saying "Climate change remains yet to be proven" but seeing the dying fish is already such a dire scene, I decided to use floating balloons carrying the message instead to add a little colour and life to the piece. Hope you like it.

The piece is mixed media. It was sketched lightly in pencil. I used markers to superimpose the lines. I used pencil crayons to do the shading.


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Share your light

By 11:31 AM ,
Dear All,

The following is a guest post by Lizelle from Sandals & Sunnies. (I have often referred to her as Sher here on mine) Also, after you're finished reading this, there will be a link at the bottom of the post for her super awesome free End of Summer Giveaway. Read, enjoy, and then hightail it over there...! You can win one of my art prints...!


Life Lesson #18 : On sharing your fireflies with your creative friends to keep the drive alive.

When I was younger I used to chase fireflies in the field beside my house. We had just moved here and there were no signs of development for a constructive purpose yet. It was just a wide open field with tall grass full of butterflies for chasing and catching (alive and well) in masses during the golden hour while you watched daylight turn the rich green colour of healthy wild grass into a colour tinted with the shade of amber.  Releasing them then, back into their home ecosystem as soon as the sun had disappeared and watching them spiral into the air happily and relieved into a dusk veiled sky. 

At night, it was for watching fireflies (where I am from on the island we call them lightening bugs) pop slowly and with little purpose over the then black grassy plain.

Watching them was and is still amazing; so majestic, it seemed to me. So much so that when I heard those lyrics 'Would you believe your eyes...when ten thousand fire flies...light up the world....'  it made me vividly nostalgic.

When I saw them at first they would always be alone; just one bobbing, as if the weight of their light and their beauty was too heavy to keep them steady. Yet, purposeful and driven they flew on, sharing their light with me, with every on looker. Lighting up the world like no human could imagine or conjure....

Much like the creative. Much like the artisan. Much like the ascetic.

Funny story: lightening bugs always seem to move faster to me when in pairs. Every time I sat in silence marvelling at a lightening bug, whether in that field or in the verandah of my own home, I would almost hold my breath as a voice in the back of my consciousness whispered 'Wait for it...'

Sure enough a while later as the first lightening bug was well on it's way, whether from underneath the leaf of a fig tree our from the grassy dark plain or just somewhere out of my peripheral vision, would come a next lightening bug. Soon they would catch up, if not then almost but they would both suddenly seem to be moving so much faster into the distance....birthing a different kind of beauty for my eyes to feast upon.

I feel like the weight of an artists' creativity is like the lone lightening bug.

I recently saw an image, surfing around. It said something along the lines of surround yourself with people who light your path. I have found that good friends and or supporters don't just light your path. Hey lets face it, scarcely is that what we need. We don't need someone to provide the light for us, we have our own light, this is the age of the independent remember? More often what we need is someone to hold their light up as they walk beside us so that we can see further than beyond our footsteps, farther than the top of our toes that we thought would have been further along the track by now. Someone to improve upon our vision when our hands grow heavy with doubt so that we end up lowering our lanterns.

It is then that a good friend raises their own light, in that moment when the darkness of self doubt, obstacles or just plain tiredness seems thickest, when our own light feels too heavy for our hands.

Motivation is a powerful thing, a good friend is there to remind you not so much of the things you have not yet done but of how far you come and how capable you are of going so much farther.

Preferably over wine.

Peace. Love. Lightening bugs 


As promised, click anywhere here on the text to get a direct link to the giveaway post. Go take part!

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