30 September 2010

2010-2011 Goals

I don't know about you but fall to me still feels like the beginning of a new chapter.  A time for reassessment and fresh starts and goals to accomplish by the end of spring next year.

At my last Ignatian Retreat meeting, my spiritual director asked me what was next for me.  I had no clue.  I was just relieved and ecstatic to be finally done with the Ignatian Retreat.  I saw this next year as one of no obligatory daily meditations.

But then, as I was in a yoga class on Monday, I had a brilliant idea.  This year would be the year of the body--getting in touch with my body, taking care of my body, and connecting that to my spirituality.

I get tingles just thinking of it.  If I could describe this past year in relation to the body, I would say it was one of mental and emotional exploration and healing.  And now, I'm looking forward to being more grounded, in tune with my body, and exploring what it means to honor my desires and take care of my body.

To kickstart this year, I'm going to run my first 5K on November 6th with my beloved partner, J.

I'm taking yoga classes once a week at my gym.

And this is a hard one but I'm going to make it a goal to do at least 30 minutes of heart-raising exercise a day.

Do you have any goals?  Looking forward to hearing them.

24 September 2010

Two Things for Friday

 Gwyneth Paltrow's Newsletter, "GOOP," has been around for a few years and seems to draw lovers and quite a few vocal haters.  I'm not a regular reader but I checked it out again this week and found two articles that resonated:  one for fun and one for reflection.

The Uniform
Wish I could post all the pictures here but it's such a fun little spread on how you can take a gray tank and black leggings and mix it up for different occasions.  It's not a new idea but it was inspiring to see it done well.  I find that even though the newsletter was created several seasons ago, it's still relevant--another clue that this works and has longevity..  I've been thinking more and more lately on how I'd like to invest in a few quality key pieces that lasts and goes with lots of items rather than buy lots of shirts and random stuff on sale.  Wish I lived by a Uniqlo!  I think wide legged jeans and booties are on my list for fall.

Friendship Divorce
Fall out.  Have you ever uttered those words?  It used to bring me shame and anxiety and guilt.  But I'm learning to embrace that friendships change just like everything else in life changes and even if I value loyalty and jung (the Korean word for deep seated unwavering affection that motivates a kind of familial love and attachment), I've got to move on and not hold on to my expectations of a friendship if it's not working.  I found the reflections and responses from Dr. Karen and Cynthia Bourgeault to be particularly apt, challenging, and affirming (Which by the way, sidenote!,how does Gwyneth know Cynthia Bougeault?). I'm so tickled whenever I find Cynthia on GOOP (she's actually a regular).   Cynthia is an Episcopal priest, contemplative prayer teacher, and a protege of Thomas Keating, father of the contemplative prayer movement.  She's also a hermit!  I'm a fan of Cynthia's book, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening--it really shaped my practice of centering prayer.

Happy friday!

22 September 2010

Grateful Wednesday

Grateful to live by my favorite beach and drive down the coast to Laguna Beach

Grateful to witness the setting of a pink sun hidden by gray clouds over the most serene green gray blue ocean.

Grateful for people who love art and design and fashion and light up my life.

Grateful for fall and wearing layers of clothing and clogs.

Grateful for new furniture and the energy it's giving me and J. to tackle other parts of our lives with gusto.

Grateful for the hidden voice of desire and the dear friends who remind me to listen and act.

21 September 2010

Happy Birthday & Happy Graduation

Today is the last day of my Ignatian Spirituality Retreat.  Can you believe it?

It feels like an epic journey.  Has it really been a full year?  A full year of emotional ups and downs, of psychological examination, of spiritual growth, lots of consolations and desolations, countermovements and movements towards God, and most of all, freedom.

The Ignatian Retreat wasn't perfect.  There were times when I wanted to quit or questioned whether this was really all that good for me.  But you know, I'm glad I did it.  Last night I reflected on what I received from this retreat.

Here are some below:
1.  One year ago, I looked at my Bible and didn't want to touch that thing for fear of brainwashing or a severe case of the fundamentalist scabies.  Now, I am at peace with it for what it is and what it isn't.  It doesn't have power over me but it nourishes me when needed.

2.  A year ago, I didn't talk to God for fear of talking to a made up voice in my head that would make me do shitty things that seemed Christian.  Now, when I talk to God, I hold all things loosely and can discern what is love and what is not.

3.  I feel really free in who I am.  I don't feel entrapped by religion.  I don't even feel like I have to be any particular religion.  I feel called to be me.

4.  On that note, I have grown in my desire for authenticity and humility.  Humble enough to be my true self and not fake any thing more or less.

That's it for now.  Gotta go for my final session with M.!  xoxo, Hanna

15 September 2010

Taize: Cantarei ao Senhor

I remember sitting in the main hall at Taize, France, fumbling through the Portuguese in the song, Cantarei ao Senhor.  I learned to love this song, to associate it with the hundreds of lovely Portuguese young adults that were there that week, and by the end of my time, I was singing it along with the best of them.  It's a beautiful song.  It's better live, sitting on the floor with thousands of people at a faster pace.  I came across it again today while writing an email.  Thought I'd share.

Cantarei ao Senhor, enquanto viver.
Louvarei o meu Deus enquanto existir.
Nele encontro a minha alegria. (x2)

All life long, for the Lord I will sing
While I live, I will praise my God;
My joy is in God.

14 September 2010

Tuesday Roundup

It's been a busy month and the  following segments have fed me and kept the excitement of discovery and love around.  Here's a roundup of the week's fun finds.

Aarti Paarti - I discovered Aarti's blog when I was on my guilty pleasure site, the Pioneer Women.  They presented at a food festival together.  I went on Aarti's blog, and I was immediately smitten with her joie de vivre and felt that I could relate to her in many ways such as how she left a succesful job to move to L.A. to be with her actor husband college sweetheart, creating recipes to make an unemployment check stretch, the pursuit of dreams, and her love for good friends and bike riding down to the beach.  Aarti pursued her dreams and her heart on the Next Food Network Star reality show and won!  Her blog writing and personality has such a warm, authentic, and effervescent spirit.  I can see why she would make a fantastic food star.  I've only seen clips of her food show but it looks like so much fun.

Jonathan Franzen - Granted, I had never heard his name until I saw his face on the cover of Time Magazine recently.  But that article and this Fresh Air interview made me appreciate what he had to say about the writing life.  I found his words both literary and personal to ring true and deep.

A couple more Fresh Air book finds:

The 10th Parallel by Eliza Griswold--what a beautiful, poetic, and well traveled book by journalist and poet Eliza Griswold.  The Tenth Parallel is a result of Eliza's 7 years of travel along the 10th parallel, investigating religious conflict between Muslims and Christians and the role of the West in it.

The Warmth of Other Suns--Listen to this segment on the Great Migration of African-Americans in the South to the Northeast, West, and Midwest.  It took the author 15 years and over 1000 interviews to write the book!  Inspiring.

07 September 2010

A Man Named J.


I never thought I'd get married.  But J. convinced me otherwise.  He was my best friend.  And when I first met him in college, I found him incredibly tall and mysteriously midwestern.

He wrote on his shirts with red pens and drew a heart on his sleeve.  He liked to smile like a happy monkey.
And lo and behold, he even liked Hello Kitty.  I love Hello Kitty.

When he came on family vacation, he drove a van full of sleeping Kangsters.  Does that mean sainthood?
He introduced me to his friends, and I loved them.
He wowed me with his intellect and shared my love for London.
He liked to cook and shake his butt in the kitchen.
He was a man of slow golden gazes.
And best of all, when I'm exasperated with life, he brings me balance.  He reminds me to look at things another way, to say funny but true mantras like, "It's not that deep."

02 September 2010

Introducing Awkwerd Turtl, a new blog by Chennergy

 {caviar topped sea scallops w/leek and cauliflower soup}

Some of my favorite people include Dan and Sarah Krusen-Chen of wedding photography and videography fame (consistently ranked top in the wedding industry and blogosphere favorites).  They are the charismatic and romantic duo behind Chennergy, a professional photography and videography business.   J. and I went to Italy last year for their uber romantic, lush, and emotional wedding and feasted for days on delectable delights.

I knew Dan in college when he was living off of Taiwanese dried shredded pork and slim fast (he's a wrestler--I'm guessing it had something to do with that) so I was surprised to hear that Dan had started a food blog.  Now, I knew he had great taste in food.  But I had NO idea, absolutely no idea, that he was a budding gourmand chef.  One look at this food blog and I was wide eyed, salivating, and weak in the knees.  It looks like this guy can seriously cook and combined with his photography skills, he turns his food into visual poetry.

I'm a fan of Dan's unique processing style--a mix of vintage, nostalgic, saturated pics that hearken to the past but also seem utterly new.   They make for beautiful wedding photos and it is a treat to see his signature style applied to food.

Check out his new blog, Awkwerd Turtl.  It's pretty darn amazing.

01 September 2010

September: Fave Products

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the products that have been enhancing my life. I'm not a big consumer of makeup or fragrance but these here below have really been special.

Korres Jasmine Body Butter
I was gifted a bag full of travel size Korres shower gel and body butter for singing at a friend's wedding. I'd never used Korres products, and I didn't think too much of it because I'm not a huge fragrance/bath & body type person. My routine is pretty simple and consists of Dr. Bronner's Lavendar Liquid Soap and Abba Body Lotion.  The Jamine Body Butter is a wonderful pick me up to have in your purse.  Whenever I need a mood kick, I moisturize my hands and the scent just takes me to a higher place.  :)  I'm very sensitive to smell and Korres seems to get it right on.  It smells so natural and not synthetic.  The Jasmine scent always makes me feel as if I am in India or Thailand, or somewhere where jasmine grows profusely.  Guava is also an excellent scent and the shower gels are really worth it.  Even J. commented on how amazing the products were.

M.A.C. Cosmetics Paint Pot: Bare Study
I use this every day.  Swipe it on my eyelids with my fourth finger and it acts as both a primer and a shadow base and makes my eye makeup stick throughout the day.  Really quite useful and so easy to use.  Still have a lot left in my pot and it has been over six months since I bought it.

Cacao Loose Leaf Tea
I couldn't find a picture of Cacao Tea.  Maybe it's because it's not sold in the U.S.  My mom went to Peru on a missions trip and came back with bags of this stuff.  Yes, cocaine is made from cacao but I believe you need like 100 pounds of cacao leaves to make one pound of cocaine.  Something like that.  One sip of this tea and you will feel relaxed and soothed.  The Peruvians use it to deal with altitude sickness, headaches, etc.  If you can get your hands on some, I recommend it.  Everybody that I have served this tea to have immediately felt the happy calming effects.