Happy Weekend!

Image

The “why” is such an important question to ask yourself. “Why” is much more important than the “what”. If you have the “why” right, then the “what” will fall into place. Whenever you are struggling with a choice or a decision, ask yourself why. If the choice would be made because of fear, insecurity, ego, pride, or anger, then this is probably not the right decision. If the why is based on love, hope, integrity, determination, then the choice is probably the right one. When we make a choice out of fear, we give fear power over us and our lives. I believe that fear is never a good reason to make a choice, and thus when I realize that fear is dictating my anxiety, or driving my decision, I am able to step back and re-evaluate. What do you want to fill your life with? Make decisions based upon the intentions for your life. Be motivated by these positive intentions, and the “what” that results from this motivation, will most likely be positive as well. Happy weekend : )

Advertisements

Happy Weekend!

Image

Eastern philosophers always speak of water because of its unique qualities. Water is soft and flexible. It always chooses the path of least resistance, and yet, it carves paths through rocks, creates canyons, and holds up ships. A ripple in water, effects every other water molecule associated with that body of water, regardless of distance. Water soothes and heals. It washes and renews. Water can slip through fingers, but hold up ships. In your life, try to be more like water. Flexible, soft, but strong. It can be done. Happy Weekend!

Happy Weekend!

ImageThis quote is quite fitting for the weekend, as the weekend is a time when most of us can get still again. This past week was particularly busy for me, and waking up this morning to stillness and and open day has made all the difference. When I am too busy, my mind can’t open. I have to get still, to find peace and clarity. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try creating stillness, either by taking a day off, or going to a remote place to be alone. Hope you are able to see this weekend by creating space : ) Happy Weekend!

Simple Pleasure-A Peaceful Morning

Image

On Labor Day the weather was beautiful. In the morning I opened the door to see what it felt like outside, only to discover that it was a perfect morning. Have you ever noticed how special morning is? There’s something wonderfully still and quiet about this time of day. The light is prettier, the earth is quieter and stiller (especially on a weekend morning) and your mind is fresh, still warming up after the night’s hibernation. There was something about this particular morning that gave me the urge to go outside. I filled up my cup of coffee and walked down to Lover’s Point (a point on the Pacific Grove, Ca coast). I sat there, on the wall with my coffee and just enjoyed the sound of the ocean, the solitude, and the stillness of this time of day. I felt a calm come over me. I watched the ocean ebb and flow along the sand and it was definitely a simple pleasure.

Simple Pleasure-Farmers Markets

Image

The farmer’s market is something that I look forward to every week. It has not only become a simple pleasure, but also a necessity for me; something that I rely on for procuring my weekly fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. When you are gluten free and vegetarian, vegetables are a necessity! Reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan was the catalyst that began my diet transformation. In this book, he argues that how we eat determines, not only our health, but also how we want the world to be. The typical American eats at least 3 times/day and is therefore spending money on food at least 3 times per day, per person, on average. How we buy our food matters and the fact that we spend money on food daily gives us an enormous amount of power in determining how we want our food produced. The increase of gluten free options and organic selections are evidence that consumers have power to change the system and selection of food available. Michael Pollan explains that every dollar we spend as consumers counts a a vote for how we want the world to be. The more we spend money on organic produce, the more the industry will put into producing food organically. Simple supply and demand. The more we support local, organic farmers, the more likely these farmers are to stay in business. What we spend our money on matters!

Michael Pollan also argues that transparency is crucial in transforming the food industry. In a standard supermarket, the farmer is left out of the interaction, and thus transparency is impossible. Accountability is also much less likely to be present in the interaction between you and the corporate grocery store. However, when you take the middle man out and have a real face-to-face interaction with the farmer who grew the produce you’re buying, you can ask questions like “do you use pesticides on your produce” “how do I cook this squash”, “how do I know when a peach is ripe” “what is this odd looking edible plant” (because you will surely see produce at a farmer’s market that you’ve never seen in a grocery store before. You are able to give your money directly to the person/farm that grew your produce and they are able to put a face to their customers, increasing the farmer’s sense of accountability. At a farmers market, suddenly, food gets personal. It becomes an aesthetic, sensory, personal experience. You are able to smell the produce, speak to, and ask questions of the farmers, listen to the local blue grass band that plays live during the market, and give your money to the person who actually grows your produce. It’s romantic, idealistic, and reconnects you with the process of buying food for you and your family. This process is something that our culture has become disconnected with.

Matt and I have built relationships with some of the farmers. We have our favorite stands/farms and often, vendors will remember if we’ve missed the week before. We have learned how to cook new produce like acorn squash and how to tell if a peach is ripe thanks to the farmers sharing their knowledge with us. Also, it’s just a great place to get kick-ass deals! We can buy organic produce for half of what it would cost us at Whole Foods and have a good time while doing it. The produce is local, and therefore seasonal, picked when at its peak, and very high-quality. I couldn’t imagine buying my flowers anywhere else, and I feel good knowing that I am spending my money supporting a philosophy that I believe in! Often the markets will include ready-made food stands from local restaurants, or coffee. I love to get a bag of kettle corn for dessert or a cup of coffee at the morning markets.

Life is a process, so you may as well enjoy every part you can. My simple pleasure for the week is the farmers market because it allows me to get great deals, make my dollar stand for something that I believe in, and enjoy the process of buying fruit, herbs, veggies and flowers for the week.

Image

Simple Pleasure-Loving Where You Live

Pacific Grove, Ca

Pacific Grove, Ca

Matt and I met in Santa Barbara, Ca when I was in college and he was in a band. After I graduated and Matt left his band, we moved to Santa Cruz, Ca (my hometown), however when we visited the Monterey Peninsula, we really fell in love with the area. We both felt connected, in some way, to the area and drove the 45 minutes almost every weekend to spend a day there. The more we discovered about the area, the more we loved it, and we felt like we had finally found a town/place that we loved in a similar way to the way we loved each other. It was unconditional, always growing, and felt natural. I’ve read a quote by Oprah where she described the way she felt when she first visited Chicago. She said she felt like she had gown roots and maybe that’s what happened to Matt and I when we visited Carmel and Pacific Grove. We finally moved to Pacific Grove, Ca in August almost one year ago and I feel like we continue to build our community here. It’s wonderful to walk half a block and have the view pictured above.

In “The Geography Of Bliss”, Eric Weiner explains that “The late British-born philosopher Alan Watts, in one of his wonderful lectures on eastern philosophy, used this analogy: “If I draw a circle, most people, when asked what I have drawn, will say I have drawn a circle or a disc, or a ball. Very few people will say I’ve drawn a hole in the wall, because most people think of the inside first, rather than thinking of the outside. But actually these two sides go together–you cannot have what is ‘in here’ unless you have what is out there.’ ”
In other words, where we are is vital to who we are.” 

Where we are is vital to who we are. We can not separate ourselves from where we live and we are constantly interconnected with our environment exchanging, simultaneously, information and energy. Matt and I found that we are slightly different people, living here, in a place that we love. We reach out to others, we are friendlier, happier. We feel motivated to build a social community around ourselves rather than isolate from the rest of the world. We feel comfortable, natural, like we belong, like we have grown roots. When you find the right person to spend your life with, you can be happy doing nothing with that person. That is the way we feel about the Monterey Peninsula. We are happy doing nothing here. I mean we are happy doing something as well but we don’t NEED to have something specific to do. It is a full day just to go for a walk with Matt along the beach or go out for coffee, or window shop in Carmel. Of course, just like specific people fit or don’t fit, specific places resonate with specific people. Not everyone would love this area like we do, but what is important is to find the right place for you. It is possible to have a soul-mate home. Eric Weiner says that the easiest way to determine where your true home is, is to ask yourself where you want to die. Matt has always said “I could die here” when we visit Carmel, and so I feel like that may be our true home, the place where we will raise children, and build a home, a life. But to end this point, my simple pleasure of the week is that I love where I live!

 

Happy Weekend!

Image

So many of us play it safe our whole lives and risk taking is often looked down upon. I’m not talking about taking risks at your local casino (gambling is a fabricated risk, created for monetary profit). Everyday, we are afforded with the opportunity for taking a risk like making yourself vulnerable, apologizing when you are in the wrong, placing yourself in a situation where you could  be rejected, being honest even though you know the other person may not agree with your belief/point of view. We are also afforded the opportunity within our lives to take even greater risks like quitting that job you hate and going for your dreams or traveling for a year. The point is that if we don’t take risks, we can’t grow, or fail, or learn. In exchange for safety, we often agree to a life of monotony and mediocrity but this is not the type of life we were meant for. Be bold. A boat is safe in the harbor, but this is not the purpose of a boat.  Happy weekend!

Happy Weekend!

Image

Lover’s Point Pacific Grove, CA

Discomfort, failure, and adversity are all ways in which the universe helps us to grow. A traveling yoga teacher once said “If you feel discomfort, this is good. This means that you are changing your body. If you feel sharp pain…back off”. This is true, not only for yoga, but also for life. If you’ve ever stretched, or exercised you know that there is a certain level of discomfort needed in order to change your body.

Now, I strive for this discomfort in life because I know it means I’m growing, learning, and becoming polished : ) I was watching an interview with Jay-Z one day (he’s actually very intelligent) and he said “I haven’t figured out how to learn from success yet. I know how to learn from failure.” How we think about failure, adversity, and discomfort is very important because, often in our society, we view failure as negative. Failure isn’t a bad thing, or it doesn’t have to be. Often times “failure” is the catalyst that propels us to the next level. If you are afraid to fail, you will never do anything innovative or creative. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes. Kindergarteners typically test at genius level for divergent thinking, however just a few years later their aptitude for divergent thinking greatly declines. This is because when we are small, we haven’t learned to be afraid of failure, of making mistakes yet, but as we grow, we learn that there is one right answer (which is not true at all).

Don’t be afraid of failure, or of making mistakes, because failures and mistakes are signs that we have learned something, that we have tried something, and that we have grown. Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. In fact, strive for discomfort. If you look at discomfort as a positive thing, it won’t be so uncomfortable.

If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?

Happy Weekend!

Happy Weekend!

When the Whole Earth Catalog ended this was their farewell quote to readers. To me, stay hungry means continue to strive, search, and desire. We are motivated by our desires and our goals. What is life without these? Stay foolish … Continue reading