29 November 2009

UN Updates: Visit our website

If you'd like to find out more information about what I'll be doing at the UN in February, check out this newly launched website. You'll meet the other delegates and find out all about what this Beijing + 15 initiative and Status of Women meetings are about.

28 November 2009

Karaoke: True Colors

I've loved watching Glee this fall. I especially love looking up lyrics and belting out to tunes and feeling like I'm a musical star all over again. If you've stumbled upon this teeny blog of mine, please do me the favor of hitting play and singing along. It'll make you feel really good and happy inside.

24 November 2009

The Three Amigos of Interfaith Dialogue

I've been feeling led towards interfaith dialogue and movements lately--it is a result of becoming more contemplative and growing in awareness that all humans are spiritual beings and that religion is a shell, a form for connecting with God and we need greater understanding of both. I love this article in the NYTimes today--it highlights the beauty of interfaith dialogue and friendship.

Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship

23 November 2009

Cesar Milan: A Self-Help Guide

Last night, I indulged myself with some Dog Whisperer action via Hulu.com. Now, I love Cesar Milan. But after a few seasons, I tired of his 911 style episodic formula--it reminded me too much of reality cop shows that respond to crisis with "Bad Boys Bad Boys" songs and testosterone.

However, it had been about a year since I last saw an episode so I took a look and decided to watch the following:
Dog Whisperer: Run Home Roscoe! (season 5, episode 17)
Season 5 : Ep. 17

Oh, I had so much fun. The only thing better than being with the dog you love is to watch someone else love dogs more than you.

Cesar loves dogs. And he loves to rehabilitate them. With his silver hair, toned physique, and charismatic Mexican accent, he exudes what every self-help fan loves: confidence and easy to follow directions.

In this episode, Cesar helped Roscoe, an Akita, learn how to walk with a leash. Roscoe was incredibly fearful of the leash and refused to move. The owner had not been able to take it on a walk for the 2 years that he had had him. Cesar forced the dog to confront his fear of walking outside the grounds of the home (lots of yelping and jerking and panicked leaping about). As I listened to Cesar talk about how essential it is to help a dog overcome fear by confronting it and continuing to move forward and not back so that the brain is moving forward and creating new paths, I had a startling thought. Oh my gosh, I thought. That's me. I have trouble with my brain paths and when I'm confronted with my fear, I automatically try to move backwards, not forward. I began to see the connections between my fears, my brain paths, my need to confront and move forward. Aha!

Exercise, discipline, affection is Cesar Milan's "holy trinity" according to today's NY Times. Yes, I need those things, I thought as I watched his show.

By the end of the show, Roscoe was a confident Akita, no longer sulking and afraid. He got a bath for the first time in two years, he was confident around other dogs, and he could enjoy the grassy parks by his house because he had learned to move beyond the gate and walk on a leash.

I felt a deep sense of happiness, for Roscoe and his owner, George, and myself. Because you see, if Roscoe can do this, then so can I.

Cesar's ending line is classic: "Because he was willing to change, George has not only helped Roscoe, he has helped himself." That's what America likes to hear! Way to go Cesar for your genius! You combined dog training skills, America's favorite self-help language, and TV into one irresistibly entertaining, enormously profitable empire.

At the top of the most emailed NYT articles today is one about using Cesar's tips on your kids. So timely. Click here for the jump.

19 November 2009

News Watch: New EU President Writes Haikus

From the LA Times:
Herman Van Rompuy, the prime minister of Belgium, is to become the EU's first full-time president on Jan. 1, filling a post aimed at helping strengthen and streamline the alliance. Known as
an effective mediator and a composer of haiku, including a widely circulated poem on hair loss, Van Rompuy will move from one office to another in Brussels, the seat of both the Belgian government and EU headquarters.

I had to track this down. Found it on the Times Online here.

Hair, originally written in Flemish Dutch:

“Hair blows in the wind/ After years there is still wind/ Sadly no more hair.”

The sparseness of the haiku form lends itself well to the subject matter does it not? I felt the loss acutely.

08 November 2009

3 Books Giveaway

I've been promising to clean out my shelves and put a few more books out to pasture. Here they are:

The Patron Saint of Liars by well known author Ann Patchet was written before she became famous. It was a good read for my flight at the time but I didn't get what the point of the book was. Maybe you can figure it out and we can talk. Set in the 1960s, the book follows the choices Rose makes in getting married, leaving her husband, and ending up at a home for unwed mothers.

The Conscious Bride was a great alternative companion to the wedding planning frenzy during my engagement. Sheryl Paul, the author, is a professional bridal counselor and Scripps College alumni, and she guides the reader through the emotional and spiritual challenges of becoming a bride. Bottom line: it helped me realize I'm not crazy for not jumping up and down and feeling like a princess. I recommend it as a nice easy to read tonic to all the bridal magazines and planners out there.

This Wild Darkness by Harold Brodkey is a memoir on dying. I got this book for a Spiritual Autobiography Writing class in college. A cosmopolitan, established writer, and New Yorker with AIDs, his writing voice is all together very dignified and put together. It's interesting to hear a man of his experience and worldview describe the raw emotions experienced when confronting death and pain and sickness and shame. I believe it was published posthumously.

If you'd like one or all of these books, leave me a comment or email me and I'll get in touch with you about the details. As always, a $3 per book shipping fee is suggested.

05 November 2009

UN, here I come!

I am so excited to report that I will be attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings in late February with a young adult delegation from the Episcopal Church! Just found out today with a call from the head office and I breathlessly replied, "That's amazing, I feel like I just won a radio contest!"

Dork. Ha.

Thank you to all the friends who have helped me keep pursuing my dreams and keep my passions alive. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about women's issues and find ways to serve women around the world.

I find out more about this opportunity in December and from then, will launch into fundraising to attend the meetings for a week in NYC. I invite you to come along for the ride, and I look forward to blogging throughout the process.


Unfurl your heart and lighten your burden. Watch it lift and spool out, carried by the wind that is rustling like a ribbon like a river into branches and leaves and birds and pink shorelines spotted by glory and hope and desire.