"I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

Monday, November 22, 2010

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."


As I end the day today, I try hard to internalize this quote.
But it is difficult, because I feel fear.
To explain, I hope in a short and bittersweet matter: I had to check some details and facts about a medical procedure I have to have in about a week tonight, and ended up reading through the steps of these (a combined procedure) procedures in detail and the preparations I have to do before, as well as what the results could be.
I have known about what I will have to do for some weeks, and had finally done a good job of putting it out of my head until tonight.
So all the not so fun details and fears and an image of me in a violating position in front of doctors came flooding back over me and I sort of feel panicked again.


And so the quote...


Especially in this case, since the fear I have is for something I can't control or change, and something that is to come. I cannot agonize over something that is out of my hands, and it will do no good to anticipate the worst or over analyze the situation.
Instead I need to once again put it out of my head and go on living my life for the next week.
When it comes, I will surrender to those who have greater expertise than me and my health and best interest ( I hope) at heart and go through what I have to, then be done with it (hopefully).
Its as simple as that......









Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Daily Mantra

This is my new thought for each day, each morning when i wake:
"All the windows of my heart I open to the day."  ~John Greenleaf Whittier


What a perfect, all encompassing thought for an approach to each day.


And, repeat...


(now if only i could find time daily for the meditation I learned in Bali, the actions of which are displayed by the statue above...)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pretty houses goodies & France.

This morning Brian and I went to a coffee shop in our neighboring neighborhood, Mission Hills. Now we have both been in and around mission hills lots, and I also growing up.
But I had never been to the shop we went to this morning and this part of Mission Hills.
Can you say charming?! The coffee shop was mellow and cute: Espresso Mio.
They have a nice little patio in the back that overlooks a green and tree fill gorge.
But the neighborhood was what really took me by pleasant surprise.
I've always thought of Mission Hills as charming; filled with historical craftsman style houses, but this part of the community was just a step above.
We were on Fort Stockton and drove around the surrounding blocks in what we realized was one of San Diego's historic districts. Huge, tree lined streets with massive craftsman style houses, brick houses and other traditional style houses.
Up on the hill on this clear cool day, nice breeze, I couldn't really think of a better place to be.
This neighborhood just made the list of potential future homes.

http://www.missionhillsheritage.org/Historic/historic-districts.html

After a wonderful drive through these peaceful streets we made our way back home through the more familiar parts of Mission Hills and came upon one of my favorite stores, Maison en Provence.
This store is like my favorite things exploded all over the place. It is full of beautiful things, and more importantly all French beautiful things.
Linens from Provence, soaps, teas, antique French furniture. Parisian themed totes, note cards, tissue wrapped bunches of lavender.
Though I wanted nearly everything in the store, I did find a few favorites, and came out with two of them for myself; a Garnier-Thiebaut Eiffel tower dish towel, Harney&Sons black French tea and a Provonce print little girl's sundress.
I took home the dish towel and the tea. The dress will have to wait to be a Christmas present to my niece.

http://www.everythingprovence.com


After our visit to Maison en Provence Brian and I inevitably started talking about France. Me swooning over the Macaroons, the Tea, the Champagne, the Cheese, the scenery. And he came up with a new and incredible idea; why not go to France instead of to Italy like we had been planning for our first wedding anniversary in August?
And so to France we will go!!
I have been to Paris four or 5 times and to the south of France a few times but not anywhere else.
I CAN NOT wait to explore Provence and Champagne especially.
I have a bucket list, if you have not noticed, posted here on my blog, and there are three things on it that require me to be in France to do.
I cant wait to check off two out of three of them on our trip!
One, go to champagne and visit Veuve Clicquot and champagne taste, and two have tea at Laudree's tea salon in Paris.



So here's to Saturday morning's with my husband, coffee, beautiful neighborhoods full of charm, and the little things that make me happy, like Eiffel tower dish towels and trips to France. :)

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you. ”

― Peace Pilgrim




                                          Art salon in the historic Mission Hills Neighborhood









                                                                               Paris


                                                                             Provence




                                                                   Provence Lavender 


                                                                           Paris



Monday, November 1, 2010

Breathe

As this new month arrives I am reminded of the fact that I will have a birthday at the end of it.
Another year almost over, and what year its been! Engaged, married and bought my first home.
Though these milestones mark important rites of passage and steps of adulthood, I find lately, that i feel in ways more venerable and helpless than ever.
Many things seem just right, if not perfect and overflowing with joy.
Marriage, for one. I am so blessed to have my husband. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed at how much and how unconditionally he loves me. Me and all my faults and all the times he is the sane one, the bigger person.
After eight years together he still tells me I'm beautiful every day and how happy i make him.
Its also amazing to feel like you have complete confidence in someone. I feel safe, taken care of and like I will always have someone who will be my best advocate. I don't worry because I know he'd never let anything happen to me.
Love is amazing.

But lately I've had a series of medical inquires, they are still going, that make me feel a bit panicked and undone. I'm sure everything will turn out fine; but that's just the thing, its out of my control and I don't know for sure what the outcome will be and that is just almost too much for me to handle at times.
Because anything can be surpassed with time and effort. The greatest heart break, the biggest disappointments. And I think that no matter the struggle I go through, I know, somewhere in the back of my head, it can and will be overcome.
But these things, concerning my health, I can't know for sure that they will be overcome with effort and time. What if there is nothing I can do?
I find myself feeling like a child, wanting my mom and dad to hug me and tell me it will be fine and I whole heatedly believe them because they know everything and would never lie to me.

And holy perspective. I find myself asking for heartache or struggles if it could guarantee that I would be completely healthy and live until I was 90.

I'm sure some people would role their eyes if they knew what I was dealing with, because nothing is said or done and no one is saying I should be worried, but I can't help it.

Life is not a guarantee. I know I am most thankful for the one I've lived so far.
But I have miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Cliff Dwelling

There sandy seems the golden sky
And golden seems the sandy plain.
No habitation meets the eye
Unless in the horizon rim,
Some halfway up the limestone wall,
That spot of black is not a stain
Or shadow, but a cavern hole,
Where someone used to climb and crawl
To rest from his besetting fears.
I see the callus on his soul
The disappearing last of him
And of his race starvation slim,
Oh years ago - ten thousand years.
Robert Frost

People are too much it seems, sometimes. 
We are ticking bombs, waiting to explode all over the person that taps into the raw that is so ever present inside.
It seems easier to just avoid it all together.
I crave solitude today.
To be lost in a foreign city, where no one knows me or cares about me.
Or completely alone in a forest.
Somewhere away from the emotionally charged sea of people i somehow have no idea how to deal with anymore.

This doesn't mean i am a miserable human being. That i hate the world and all who inhabit it.
It just means that sometimes I need to be lost in the caverns of my own thoughts. 
And maybe it means i feel disillusioned or a bit anti-social.
Sometimes I just want to be. I don't want to worry about how my being or what I'm saying affects someone else.
If I could float on, down a quiet river... and if you could all just let me be.





Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I guess many people are not exceptionally talented. That sounds harsh, I know, but think about the words. Exceptionally, talented. That means you stand out. It means genius in some cases, or even just a glimpse into some way or something in a new light, that brings inspiration, thought, maybe awe.
So, yes, most people are not exceptionally talented.
I realize this.
But i crave creativity in my bones, and so seek those who not only exhibit this, but light up a fire, inspire and create awe and motivation.
So, as I read their blogs, view their creations, I sometimes feel sorely inept.
I know i have the creative drive, its a need for survival. But what can I create?
I think I have the subtle desertion it takes to recognize that something different, that something that we often seek to exude but just cant get there.
So from point A to B... ?
Are those who recognize destined to be simply recognizers their whole lives?
Or can we too become creators?

I long to create beautiful art, sew innovative and inspiring garments, create feasts that feed the soul.

 I wish anything and everything in my life could reflect that little light that speaks to creativity, beauty and that something different and inspiring.
But, am I capable? And also, am I too lazy?
Why can't it be that I just can't help it, that it seeps from my very pores?

All I know is that today I can feel the angst thriving within me. The frustration from lack of creation and creative brilliance.
I crave it and need it, yet am not sure exactly how to produce it.

Whenever i have these feelings at this intensity (because these feeling are always there, but not always so strong), I find I can't imagine that any other human could possibly know exactly how i feel and I long to be a recluse.
My tortured mind is just too complex.
yeah... ha.
I flatter myself.

I am not musically talented, god knows. But I love music. And what a brilliant creative outlet.
Its amazing how much music moves us, how expressive and innovative it lets us be.
Whenever I go to a good concert, I enjoy it, very much, but I also feel a sort of melancholy.
Because I can't have that outlet. Because I know in my bones I need to be putting something out there, in a way that really speaks. And not sure I can, or if I'm good enough, or how I can do it exactly.

Ok, so writing is definitely an outlet for me. But its not graphic in the visual sense. Which really strikes me. You can't stare at a page of writing and instantly be moved. You have to read, and contemplate. And thats ok, but sometimes I just want an instant punch.
And music is not visual, but its just so stimulating.

The other thing is, being profoundly creative is exhausting. Its like an adrenaline rush.
So how to keep it up?

I'm not sure where this leaves me.
I feel in all of my being I need to produce; in a way that is profound, beautiful, moving, inspiring and eye opening.
But how to do it, or how to keep it up?

God bless the creative geniuses; all you artists, musicians, photographers, chefs, paper artists, designers, writers and all those in between who combine these and more in a way that's new and interesting.
Because that is what life is all about, right?
Discovering and seeing the world in a new way on a constant basis.
Hell, even if its not necessary to survival, it sure makes me happy.



                                                              Some Visual Inspiration
                                                                        (me; I like)









Monday, June 14, 2010

A thought for every day

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. "




-Marcus Aurelius 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.

The World  is Too much With us
by William Wordsworth

The World is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours
And are up-gather’d now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn,—

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├ęd horn.





It isn't often in an young person's life that one really contemplates the brevity or fragility of being alive.
We wander on, worrying about day to day stresses or anxiously awaiting our next fun adventure.
It sometimes seems hard to concentrate on the present; we are awaiting the next great thing.
But as soon as a moment comes, it passes and we can never get it back.
How many do i know who are just waiting for something to pass, or getting though the week so they can have time for themselves on the weekend?
But what we forget, is that that time we are just waiting and hoping will pass is life, is living, that is being alive!
How sad to just "live" only in the few moments that we chose, and throw the rest away.
Because life is short, its precious, and any day may be your last.
Yes, we are young, and therefore must be invincible.
But we are not.

I had to have a mole removed from my stomach last week.
It was not as simple as a small removal of a tiny mole.
They had to cut a significant part around the mole out because this mole was one step away from Melanoma. Cancer.
Cancer -that I could never have, because I am young, and fit, and healthy.

Nobody is invincible,.
And though it could have been an lot worse, I was faced with a significant reality check.
Thoughts spun through my head. So young, so much yet to do, not ready to leave.

Its almost wonderful to be forced to evaluate your life, in spite of how terrifying it is.
I thought, where have I been, what have i done, where am I now?

And I thought...

Where have I been?
I have been overly blessed and born into a family with arms wide open.
Never had to doubt I was so very loved, and cared for.
Never had to wonder if I was important or worthy of love.
Had every door opened to me to succeed in my life, and every other door to explore the world and enjoy this precious life i was given.

What have I done?

I have gone to school, learned and graduated from college.
I have traveled much of the world, though there is still so much to see, but i'm only 27.
I have discovered a career that means something, to me, and to those i teach, and that I love.
I have loved, fully and whole heartedly without reservation, my friends, my family, and with relationships.
I have made mistakes and taken them to heart and worked on being better and doing better next time, then moved on.
I have found the love of my life! And we have promised to each other to start a family of our own and dedicate our lives to one another, getting married this august.

Where am I now?
Learning how to be an adult, depending on my parents less and less ( though god knows i'll always need them in a way that every child needs their parents).
Getting ready to make a family of my own (marriage, then in a little while, children of my own)
Feeling joyful and like I am coming into my own.
And most importantly, when i reflected on my life and where I am now, i knew I had no regrets.
No regrets!
I have never been perfect, but I know that I have loved and learned and given freely of myself.
And i don't think i could do any better than that.

And so let us appreciate every single day we are given.
Every second, even the bad ones.
Because we are alive, and this is the only chance we get.







Friday, April 9, 2010

fight your deamons

"When we were made we were set apart
Life is a test and I get bad marks
Now some saint got the job of writing down my sins
The storm is coming, the storm is coming in"
- Brand New, Degausser


I can't shake the feeling that I have a knack for making not so great situations worse.
I feel surrounded by people who seem to be constantly confident, sure, rational and easily happy.
And then I come around and screw it up.
It seems I can make even the calmest person livid.
So what gives?
I'm not vindictive. I do not find joy in making people mad, nor do I enjoy being upset.
As soon as its happened, i wish i could change the way i acted or handled the situation.
But its too late.
I have problems stepping back, evaluating at the moment.
And even when I'm not emotional and saying things that might make a situation worse, even when things are happy, mostly I am just plain awkward.

I can't shake this little feeling, i'll never get anything right..

Why don't I exhibit the kind of success and confidence that i was raised in?
Why do i fail to go get things and then do them well?

It seems I come from somewhere that I cannot measure up to.
I need to be able to conquer the world if I chose, but I don't think I could.
And in many ways i do want to.

Sometimes, not in the way one might think, that is not in the i hate myself and my life and am utterly depressed kind of way, but sometimes I wonder what is it that i'm good for?
I wonder this in the sort of way that I take a lot, but don't seem to have that much to offer, really at the end of the day when you consider all those out there who are brilliant and confident and, well, conquering the world in their own way.

I'm not sure i do anything excellently.
I used to think i could write decently, but even then it was not good enough in comparison.
But now that seems to be non existent.

As i realize the years that pass in my life, i am faced with the cold reality that I will not have infinite chances in this life.

I think I would say that most of the time, though definitely not all, that I do close to the best I can.
But there lies the seriously paralyzing problem; that my best simply might not ever be good enough.
For the life I aspire to lead, for the company i seek to keep.
Fear overwhelms me and I sink deeper into oblivion.

"I'm on my own, never say anything right
I'm on my own, never say anything right
I'm on my own, never say anything right
I'm on my own, never say anything right"
- brand new, degausser



Saturday, April 3, 2010

bucket lists

Tonight at a family dinner at my parents house, my sister started talking about a "bucket list."
She reminded me how she and her husband and a couple they are friends with decided to start a bucket list together where they each took turns writing down something they wanted to do or experience at some point in their lives and then would do, as a group, every other year or so.
They did this as a group so that they would hold each other accountable and actually do these things instead of just talking about them, which we so often do.
So then all of us at the table started discussing our "bucket lists" and I've been brainstorming in my head ever since about all the things that would be on mine.
Not that its hard for me. In fact, Brian (my fiance) always rolls his at me for the constant ideas and adventures i propose and the things i continually come up with. I admit I have new ideas almost every week, most of them travel motivated, because that's really what I love to do most (well, besides eat).
So here is the beginning of my "bucket list", what I have so far. And god only knows it will rapidly multiply, because, hey, I'm a girl who is up for almost anything, and I have a great imagination...

- Go on a hot air balloon ride

- Go on a week long or at least several day riverboat cruise down the Mississippi visiting all the old towns and plantations

- go on a Safari in Africa

- Race sled dogs in Alaska

- Go on the sounds of music tour!! (yes, this does exist.. its in Austria)

- Go on an English countryside trip.. where I.. Stay at a manor, shoot skeet, ride horses and drink lots of tea. :)

- Visit Champagne France and go Champagne tasting

- Go on a sleigh ride, horse drawn.. preferably while its lightly snowing while taking it to a cozy dinner by the fire :)

- Go to Scotland and do something there.. not sure what yet

- Go to and stay at a ranch

- Sail through the great barrier Reef

- Ride in a biplane

- Go to a country dance in a barn

- See a Shakespeare play at the Globe in London

- Go to Prince Edward Island (Canada) - the setting of my all time favorite show, Avonlea

- Raft down the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon

- Buy myself a Chanel bag on the Champs Elyse in Paris

- Attend a winter Olympics and see snowboard cross and figure skating

- go on a cruise to Antarctica

-Successfully cook a delicious and authentically French beautiful meal

-Visit Savannah and some other southern places that are on the ocean

- See fireflies.. can you really catch them so they are all lit up in a jar??

- See a ballet by the American Ballet Theatre

- learn how to play polo

- do a multi- day overnight river rafting trip

- Go to an authentic new England clam bake

- See Lines Ballet

- see a concert in the Vienna opera house

- have tea at Laudree's tea salon in Paris

- visit big sur and take a bath under the stars

- Spend a summer ( or at least 3 weeks) at a lake or beach house shut off from tv and Internet.. just reading, cooking, swimming, sleeping on a deck under the stars some nights.


Ok, that's it for now..
More to be added later, i'm sure!

What's on your list?


Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring and beginning

So i'm going to start this blog with my observation of how suddenly, it seems to be spring
This is my first blog, and fittingly, spring seems to conjure up images of birth, and new life.
After the dead cold of winter (for some of us, in some places, though not here, thank god!), the thaw begins and warmth, even a little bit from a weak sun, seems like an invitation to emerge and bloom, and involuntarily my body lets go a little, and relaxes.
The other day I was driving and couldn't help but notice that everywhere i looked flowers were abloom; yellow and purple, so vibrant and in giant patches.
On this day, with flowers abound and a sunny fresh breezy blue sky dotted with clouds, I realized, quite jarringly, spring had officially arrived.
Living in southern California where the seasons are not very pronounced, I sometimes feel I miss the subtleties of spring, and one mild sunny day leads into another until the air and the ocean are noticeably warmer and its summer.
I blame it on the region, but the day I noticed spring, I wondered if I was not at fault all along.
I read an article the other day where a father explained that he used to get frustrated taking his toddler on walks. His daughter refused to remain in a stroller, and when he let her out, she wandered from rock to sidewalk to stray puddle, going in no direction and making their walks take twice as long.
And then one day he stopped trying to chase after her and just watched. He was impressed by her observations and discoveries, finding wonder in the seemingly ordinary things we pass over each day without a second glance, as so many children are apt to do.
So from that day forward, he made his daughter the leader of their walks. Though it took more time, he found their new observations and discoveries - wanderings made him notice the sky, the flowers, a dog- infinitely more valuable.
These days its difficult to notice anything that is not slapped in our face in an aggressive and overly stimulating way, because sadly, that is what we have become accustomed to.
The speed at which t.v. is broadcast to us is over 24 frames per second- that is the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames.
No wonder we find looking at a flower or watching the sky boring.
Not only are we constantly over stimulated, we are constantly looking for and rushing to the next thing that is speedy enough to entertain us or even grab our attention, and we lose everything in the background, and everything in between.
Because I live in a region where seasons don't drastically change, and therefore my attention is not wrangled away from whatever is pulsing in front of me, I usually don't even notice the world of nature changing around me and the beautiful delicacy that entails. And I cannot blame this on where i live.
I am grateful that i noticed spring this year. The sense of peace and wonderful slowing change from the daily quest to simply get from point a to b and constant over stimulation was quite gratifying.
And I am not even one of those people who can never relax and shut it off.
Some of my favorite days have been spent lying in the sun in peace an quiet reading a book.
But I could do better.
This is not thing of defiance or to prove I am better or different.
Its for the good of my health and peace of mind, and for the fact that i am simply happier and more satisfied when i take the time to slow down and notice the world around me.
The speedy man made stimulation that surrounds me can be fun, but alone and with too much of it, it simply leaves me feeling empty and tired.
Stepping aside to notice spring, a flower, the breeze, or in the eyes of that toddler, a bug, a puddle or the sidewalk, brings my mind alive with wonderment and a great appreciation for the world that I too live in (even though I seem to forget it sometimes!), and leaves me feeling fulfilled and at rest.
So here's to spring - may it remind you to wander and discover and see life with new eyes.