23 July 2010

i love women

Girls are taught to please, to smile, to pretend that everything is ok.

And as we become adults, we realize, we don't want to pretend.

For those who have the courage to be authentic, it sometimes means losing friends and a reputation for being well-groomed, maintained, and mannered.  Sometimes it means people think we're crazy.

Strong women reach out and learn to listen to their desires, their hopes, their fears, those feelings that we've been told is not ok to feel.  We feel them anyways.  And we follow through with action and care for ourselves and ultimately, the world.

I love women.  I love their strength, their vulnerability, the hidden depths that emerge with clarity and beauty.

22 July 2010

When you're worn thin

When you're worn thin and your mind races and there are multiple deadlines and you can't remember the last moment when you had an hour to just be...

When you multi-task everything you do and can't remember when you actually did one thing fully present from start to finish...

When you start hearing a voice in your head that says, "Vacation ...Vacation ...Vacation ..."...

When you start picking on your roommate or spouse and say "Fuck you" during the breakfast rush...

It's time to

Buy a tall soy cappuccino during your morning break even if it breaks your shoestring budget
Plan a vacation, even if it's not in the budget
Stop working on other projects over lunch

Stop thinking about a hundred things while doing something else with your body

Take a walk on the beach
Drive along PCH
Reconnect with yourself
And stop pretending everything's ok.

21 July 2010

Summer Cocktails

Over here in Orange County, it's been mostly grey and cool with a flash of heat this past week.  This morning, we're back to drizzly grey and cool breezes.  It's lovely actually.  I'm a sucker for grey weather...although I've found that this is only true when I'm in California because it's such a novelty.  The sun comes out by the afternoon and in the evening, it's balmy enough for shorts and dinner by the grill.

J., with his epicurean tastes, has taken to making cocktails in the evenings.  Throughout the year, wine is our aperitivo of choice but in the summer, two strong contenders emerge:  Campari and Pimms.

We first had Campari in the Venetian Spritz on our trip to Venice, Italy this past year.  It's a sweet, citrusy, bitter, and salty drink, served with ice, green olives, and a wedge of orange.  In Venice, it was served to us in big glass goblets with a basket of salty potato chips.  Our host told us that the Venetian Spritz was a must have to cooling down in the heat of the summer and experiencing Venice.  He was right.  Our jet lag slid right off into the sweet and briny drink and the crunch of potato chips and we felt the afternoon slow down into a wonderful people watching pool of relaxation.

Pimms is a cocktail from England.  The last time I was in London, my friend Reshma suggested I order it at an open air bar by the Thames, and it was delightful.  A cooling treat to sit and shoot the breeze with and watch the boats go by.  Mint, lemonade, and cucumber combine with liquor for something that feels like quintessential summer.  Cucumber can be cut into spears or slices and eaten along with the drink.  And according to other sources, other fruits can be added such as strawberries, apples, and oranges.  Last night, J. and I enjoyed our Pimms cocktails with a simple dinner of grilled salmon and steamed broccoli drizzled with our very best olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

What is your summer cocktail?  I'm interested to know.

08 July 2010

Week 3

Week 3 sounds so docile and meek, like it happened quickly and in the blink of an eye.  But Week 3 in Ignatian 9 Month Retreat speak means four weeks of contemplating the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

I know, yikes!

Yesterday, I finished the last week of Week 3, and I experienced a passing through and growth in my self and in wisdom. 

Week 3 was tough.  Mary, my spiritual director, mentioned that most people experience fatigue at this point.  I've been experiencing fatigue throughout this retreat so it was nothing new.  But the thing that I was unprepared for was the depth of mourning and grieving I would do for the suffering I had experienced in my past and present life.

I've been learning a lot about suffering--the nature of suffering, what suffering does to us, the gift of suffering, how to experience suffering.  I know it's not a light topic, and it probably seems odd  for someone in their 20s to be thinking so much about suffering.  But it's so human--our need to understand and find a way through our pain.  It doesn't seem odd to me.  Although I didn't expect to learn so much about suffering in this retreat, in a way, it was what I needed all along.  I needed answers and a space to mourn; I needed a way to deal and live.  I needed the space to find my self and honor it.

Some of the wisdom I've gained/others that have been reaffirmed:
- Experiencing our own suffering with more depth and honesty allows us to be more fully human.
- God never wants us to suffer.  God wants us to be deeply alive.
- Stop the pretending; the energy poured into making something work.  Trust your restlessness, your need for something more.
- Suffering happens.  Most of the time, there is no explanation.  It's not rational.
- Our essential needs, the things that make us desire to really live, need to be honored above all else.
- My reactions are not your reactions.  Your reactions are not my reactions.  I don't ever need to compare my reaction to yours and wonder if it's "right."  If it doesn't feel right for me, it's not right.

Peace to my readers.  Thank you for sharing in my journey.

02 July 2010

Work & Hobby

Work:  What you do consistently whether you like it or not.

Hobby: What you do whenever you feel like it.

What is my work?  What are my hobbies?  What hobbies need to become work?