English Words With Greek Origins ~ ‘Angel’

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Meaning: “Messenger”

Angel is derived from the Greek word ‘Angelos’ – Believed to be a messenger of God offering comfort to those in need. A spiritual being watching over us.

Spiritual moments are not easily recognized by everyone. Maybe it is because mortals are more logical in their thinking or perhaps fear of the unknown restricts their supernatural sight? As a teenager and in my early twenties, I put logic above all other forms of thinking and believed that if you cannot see something it could never have existed.

There are so many varied stages to life that at some point you will have no choice but to question the logic behind it and with an open mind, eventually, you realize that there is more going on than the information written in textbooks or the findings of the most noted scientists of our time. Scientists whose theories and inventions have changed the way we communicate, travel, work and save countless lives.

There are, however, some things that a scientist cannot explain. Wearing a black scarf, I noticed out of the corner of my eye something white. I thought it was the annoying white label that I try my best to tuck in – not an easy task. It was in fact, something that I was not expecting to see – a white feather.

A scientist might ask me if I had been visiting a menagerie or if I have a cockatoo at home. They would be the logical answers but I have no bird in my house and haven’t been to the zoo in a while. The only answer existing in my mind now, a mind that is not scared of acknowledging spiritual forms, is that it was a sign from my Guardian Angel – I believe we all have one (maybe more)

This is not the first visit tap on the door I have had from mine and they usually find ways to ‘sit on my shoulder’ when my mind is overthinking and swamped with a worry or two. The beauty of Guardian Angels is that they do not have favourites. Skin colour, status, faith and religious beliefs play no part in their mission to guide and protect us.

Adopting solitude as our only friend and safety net is inevitable for most of us at some point in our lives but this self-preserving choice makes it almost impossible to express our thoughts and feelings verbally. Who is there to hear them? The good news is that they are being heard!

Not only are the wings of these Guardian Angels strong enough to find their way to you but they can also hear the voice that no one else knows exists.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2021

Give Me a Word, Any Word & I Will Show You The Root of That Word is Greek ~ ‘Agoraphobia’

Photo Credit: www.layersofred.com ‘Girl at The Window’

Meaning: Fear of going outside and being in public places or of being in a situation from which it might be difficult to escape or in which help might not be available.

Agoraphobia is derived from the Greek word ‘Agora’ – Agora were central public spaces found in the city-states of Ancient Greece.

The Athenian Agora, in particular, lies beneath the northern slope of the famous and still standing today Acropolis. It is there that Athenians of Ancient Greece assembled to discuss business and affairs of the state by democratic thinking individuals of all ages and class. It was also a melting pot for the arts in all its forms from acting, singing and listening to the notable philosophers of the day. It truly was a place to hang out for everyone.

Sounds right up my street! Meeting friends, listening to the coolest new sounds, talking freely in the open about life, love, why some relationships turn sour and how other couples seem to have the whole work-life, love-life and having a life balance completely down! I can even see a dancefloor at the very core of this welcoming scene inviting everyone to express their souls through dance and movement whilst being enveloped by the whisperings of mythology and great meaning.

Normally, I would be totally down for going out, excited that I would enjoy some sort of memorable experience (within reason and standards) however, something in me has changed over the last few years and I must admit that I find this change exhausting. There was a time when I would arrive and swing the doors wide open, announcing my arrival with confidence and courage; I cannot remember the last time I did that. It is the intimate social gatherings I am nervous about and I hold my hands up to say that for anyone reading this who has sent me an invite and I didn’t show, I know that I have let you down and for that, I am so sorry.

When I think of the times I have missed out on, the opportunity to make more laugh out loud memories with my friends, meet new acquaintances and connect with the world at large; a new world at that. I find every reason not to go unless I have a wingman waiting for me at the door or I am going with a group of friends or family. I ask questions of myself all the time to get to the bottom of my debilitating behaviours. I do recognise that protecting myself is at the heart of this anxiety, the irrational fear that I am not safe and if I do not have a safety net arranged or waiting, panic and paranoia move in for the night.

I can see my ancestors right now, high up on Mountain Olympus debating how the Agora that brought so much joy, freedom and evolution, is now out of rational reach for so many. There are varying levels of Agoraphobia with symptoms depending on individual experience and whilst we find physical connections a strain, we can reach out to one another from behind our laptops and smartphones. This is not a long-term solution, but it is a step taken. A virtual Agora if you will, where we can debate and discuss how we can kick Agoraphobia’s butt – democratically of course!

© Michelle Sotiriou 2021

She Be a Poet ~ Sun-Kissed Soldier

Photo credit: www.thoughtcatalog.com

Where do I go from here if the sun isn’t shining on me?

How far will my weakened wings of doubt and distress fly?

Miracles stir when I whisper to my soul and it moves,

Fears rise to the surface exposing my hidden truth,

I bang on the door now my knuckles have renewed skin,

Quite sure my mind will open and invite me in.

I have visited this place before only different,

It makes the choices interesting – somewhat new,

A change of heart and gifting of affection,

No soldier to feed from left-over love – best lessons.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2021

Give me a word, any word and I will show you the root of that word is Greek ~ Chromophobia

(Irrational fear or conditioned response to colour)

The Greek Cypriot in me occasionally awakens with words I have never heard of before; even though their existence has manifestations in many forms. It can take just one Grecian word to open a kaleidoscope of topics for discussion, debate and provocative thinking. The word Chromophobia was introduced to me by a dear friend who has made a career out of creating beautiful colours whilst changing perceptions in the process.

Maybe, you have an irrational fear of the colour green? Unable to eat your peas or any vegetable with a greenish hue for fear they will choke you. Perhaps red is the colour you avoid? I mean red is dangerous, isn’t it? It commands you to stop and forbids you to go there; wherever there may be. There are symptoms of Chromophobia and hate is one of them. Hate through fear, hate because Chromophobes see nothing but dark, foreign bodies and not the full spectrum.

Generally, we all see things in black and white, right and wrong. These views may be part of our genetic make-up, ideas without foundation from our teachers or peers; misguided without a full understanding of the global pallet and its variety of colours. If we choose not to live in colour the canvas will always be blank. If we choose to explore and understand, we lose the fear imbedded in our psyche long before we first opened our eyes to see complexions.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2015

The 80’s – Power and Perfume

The 80’s was the decade of the New Romantics, Frankie said we should relax, Eddie Grant walked down Electric Avenue, Musical Youth were passing the ‘Dutchie’ and girls just wanted to have fun! The aroma in the discotheque was that of cigarette smoke mixed with ‘Panache’ by Lentheric the fragrance of the moment for women and ‘Brute’ was favourite with the gents; they splashed it on all over! The standard slow dance at the end of the night meant you could prop each other up after drinking one too many Campari and Soda’s and chat up lines were all the rage, cheesy but very acceptable:

‘If I told you that you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me’

‘Would you grab my arm so I can tell my friends I’ve been touched by an angel’

Magnum was the thinking lady’s crumpet and Starsky and Hutch set pulses racing on a Saturday night…the throwing of their badges into the ocean scene episode really affected me. Midweek entertainment came in the form of Dynasty and Dallas accompanied by shoulder pads, Stetson’s, stilettos, Bourbon on the rocks, Dex Dexter and the Oil Baron’s Ball an annual event we looked forward to with bated breath. Miss World was another viewing pleasure, an array of lovelies wanting to help children all over the world…Bless em!

The buzz word for that time was ‘POWER’. Superpower, fight the power, power trip, power walk, power dressing, power ballads and the power of love. Some abused this word but other more visionary people realized that by using their creative powers a difference could be made to another word which many had heard for the first time; ‘Famine’. The desperate plight of Ethiopia and its people was a reality that no one with any regard for human life could ignore. I wondered why we were only told about this devastating drought at a time when women, men and children were nearing their last breath. It was clear by the images we saw on the news that this had been going on for some time so why did we hear about it as late as we did?

A power that was perhaps underestimated until the 80’s was music. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been influenced in some way by lyrics written to heal, help and of course enjoy but when musicians from both sides of the Atlantic collaborated to raise awareness and funds to feed the world everyone listened. Music became the only power that mattered during the 80’s and continues to be just as influential today.

It was also a decade of change on a massive scale for girls, their lifestyle and career choices. Strong women became our role models and the front-runners where Margaret Thatcher and Joan Collins…what a contrast! A combination of beauty and brains, Joan Collins showed that it was possible to work hard and be there every step of the way for your children whilst remaining a woman in every sense of the word. So that was the 80’s I remember, full of glitz and glamour but it was also a time when people had the courage to stand up and say we don’t like what we see let’s do something about it. Now that’s powerful.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2015