Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back in the saddle again...

When I started this blog, I had no idea what a challenge it would be to regularly have something to say (well, write).

I get in my own way more often than I'd like to admit.

Considering this, it's practically a miracle that I've posted anything at all. :)

Oh well. Life is a journey. My blog isn't perfect because life isn't perfect. I might be off to a slow start, but I'm still moving forward. Which is awesome.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't Buy It

 "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it." 
- Professor Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays With Morrie

Thank you, Mitch and Morrie, for this reminder of life's basic truths. I'm looking forward to dusting this book off and enjoying a full refresher course. 

Looking forward to sharing more later.  
In light and love...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Waking with Gratitude: Tuesday top 10

It's such an incredible feeling to wake up and be filled with gratitude. I am thankful for every aspect of my  life. It's the little things, as much as the big things, that make my heart sing.

  • My lightweight striped pajama pants. They're mellow, they're comfy and they make me feel smart. Really, whoever set the trend for separating day wear from night clothes should get that designation, but for now, I'll take it. 
  • My coffee this morning. Brewed perfectly, enough for two cups. In my adorable honu (green sea turtle) mug. 
  • Waking up to a text message and picture of one of my best friends.... in a Batman costume. Because it's Super Hero Day at the Office Max call center. Of course! 
  • Modern medicine.
  • My amazing, incredible, resilient, loving friends. I learn so much from them. I admire them. I respect them. They rock!
  • My job. Okay. There! I admit it! My job is not always the catastrophic nightmare it has been of late. It often brings me happiness and joy. There are quite a few days when I feel that I'm doing something worthwhile, making a difference in the world. 
  • God. I'm not a traditionally religious person at this point in my life. But I am spiritual. I believe that God exists in many forms. I know that I am being guided. I am uplifted and I am grateful. 
  • Let's get basic here: my car! It runs, I can afford to put gas in it. Vroom, vroom, baby!  
  • My health. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the current of wellness flowing through my body. 
  • ME. I'm far from perfect, I make mistakes like everyone else. I have moments of poor judgement and there are times when I seem to snap, crack or pop under pressure. But I'm human. I'm so grateful that I finally understand that perfection isn't realistic. Authenticity is where it's at. 
Cheers to a terrific Tuesday! :)

Needs vs. Wants

When it comes to NEEDS, it's easy to believe the list is long. Most people I know think we need things like cell phones, computers and flat screen tvs. Think about it - when was the last time you went a day without checking your email, talking on the phone or watching TV? Our perceived needs aren't just limited to technology. We "need" cute clothes, nice cars, scented soaps, appealing food, frosty beverages, etc. The list is endless.

My household recently underwent an enormous reality check. For two weeks, we opened our home  to friends/acquaintances who were homeless and living out of their car. The following week, we hosted guests who live in a $860,000 home complete with a million dollar view. 

For a total of three weeks, we had front row seats to completely contrasting lifestyles. "Group A" lived off of a daily McChicken sandwich and cans of coke. "Group B"enjoyed more variety: fine dining at restaurants, groceries (no expense spared), fresh fruit from farmers' market, bottled water, soda, ginger ale and a liquor stash (Jim Beam, Seagrams 7 Crown). 

Group A's mission was to secure housing, find paying work, maintain running transportation and stay medication compliant. Group B was focused maximizing their vacation: snorkeling, sunning on the beach, hiking and finding the perfect island property for purchase. Talk about yin and yang.

My household tends to fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, but suddenly I'm questioning my values and beliefs. What I once viewed as a necessity (a steaming shower with scented bath gels, exfoliation cloth, pumice stone, followed by a rich body butter) has been boldly bumped into the category of luxury.

In my NECESSITY column, these things remain:

  • Faith in the goodness and kindness of the human spirit
  • Self respect 
  • Love for self and others
  • A stable foundation
  • Warmth (both emotional and physical)
  • Trust in one's self
  • Humility
  • Resilience 
  • HOPE

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A few of my favorite things

Ever made a list of what / who you love in life? Thinking positive = FEELING positive, which provides greater power to live the life you want to live.  Here's a sprinkling of my favorite things. Be on the lookout for more! :)

A hot bubble bath. A handful of chocolate chips. My favorite faded jeans and Hawea's softest, most comfy t-shirt. A good massage. Being accountable. Crossing things off my "to do" list. Free wi-fi. Smiles from strangers. Arty glass light fixtures and rich bold coffee. Flip flops year round. Blooming hibiscus and coconut trees. Jewel. Generosity and kindness of strangers. Clearing out the jam. Restoring the flow. Catching up with old friends. Birth announcements- new parents' joy and pride. Warm fuzzy feelings.  Family vacations, nostalgic destinations. Reunions with old friends. Volkswagon bugs (and buses too). Fitting into a little black dress. Hip hop class. Booty shakin'. Roller derby! Nutritious food. French vanilla tea. Books, Nooks, and Crannies.  Live music. Funny people and belly laughs. Basking monk seals. Journal writing. Walks with the dogs. Apple / mac computers and iphones. My rockin' new laptop bag. Long, wavy hair. Jeepin' with the top down. Meeting new people and making friends. Chilling at the beach. Campfires and s'mores. Beautiful Mauna Kea. Being left handed. Blogging. Experimenting in the kitchen. Scrapping all of your plans and doing something else because you can and because you want to. Self respect. Swimming with honu. Diversity and equality. Appreciation. Divination. VACATION. Witnessing selflessness. Giving (and receiving) support. Affirmations. Candle-light. Nuts, berries, spinach and hard boiled eggs. Deep breaths. Stretching. The benefit of the doubt. Money in the mail. Charisma. Digital cameras and social media. Piggy banks. Full gas tanks. Gardens! Nail polish and fluffy pillows. Dreaming. Believing. Doing. Creating.

Oh yes, LIFE IS GOOD. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Peace in the morning hours

My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. I hit "snooze" twice and was up by  5:40 am.  Stumbled my way down the hallway, and settled into the quiet, comfortable darkness of my living room.

For those who have always been "morning people", I'm on to your secret. I adore the sacred solitude of a quiet hour, before the day springs to life. It seems there's more kindness, more consideration, more TRUTH in the quiet hour.

I'd love to harness the simplicity, the goodness and the the purity I find in early morning moments - and use it all day long. Perhaps I'll try.

Cheers (clinking coffee mugs) and Happy Thursday! Here's to a blessed, beautiful day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Staycation Rundown

I have been on vacation for the past week and a half. During this time, I have pulled off an artful blend of productivity and pleasure. On the more productive end of the spectrum, I interviewed for two potential jobs, deep cleaned the bathrooms, caught up on laundry, and spent hours shredding years' worth work documents and old financial statements. With that clutter cleared out, I felt free to do some hard core relaxing.  It has been fabulous. There has been no shortage of beach basking, socializing, ocean floating, margarita drinking, nacho eating, pad thai tasting, etc.  Suffice it to say, vacation has been my friend.

The last few hours of freedom involved a free Kiwi Fit club workout (Shaun T's Insanity) and a big bowl of fruit melange - kiwi, blueberry, raspberries, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit. I then found myself catching up with friends on Facebook, even as the minutes spilled past midnight. This has been a truly remarkable day. It's nearly 1 am and I realized I couldn't have made it more meaningful if I tried. I am so grateful and thankful. I am blessed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A few extra moments...

Getting up just a little bit early can lead to a surprisingly big payoff.

I heard a while ago how powerful it can be to wake up at least 30 minutes before your normal time, prop yourself up on your pillows and allow yourself time to "just be" in silence. The idea is that if you take time to appreciate your life before jumping right into it, you will set the tone for everything else that happens that day.  I will admit, I rolled my eyes when I heard that. I mean, it sounds nice and all, but who actually does that? Well, as of yesterday, me. :)

I was tempted to stay snuggled in bed, but didn't give in.  I got up, enjoyed a cup of coffee and then realized if I put my shoes on right now, I could get out the door, have time for a run, make it through the shower and get to work on time. If I left RIGHT NOW. So, I listened to that nudging voice. I did it. I laced up my shoes and headed out the door.

The sky was clear, the sun was bright and Mauna Kea was brilliant and beautiful. I snapped a pic with my trusty iphone and headed on my way.

A couple of miles later, something shiny caught my eye. I've run this route a hundred times easily, but never noticed it before. There it was, sparkling in the sun: 

I knew it was a sign. I finished my run, got ready for work and got on with the rest of my day, feeling like a million bucks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Rumbling

Welcome to the first installment of A Snowfall in June.

A snowfall, in Hawaii, in the middle of summer, is about as likely to happen as a parade of flying pigs. And yet, on June 8, 2011, that's exactly what happened.

Not surprisingly, this phenomenon was featured on the front page of the Hawaii Tribune Herald. The caption below this photo reads as follows: "This is Hawaii: Blue skies, swaying palm trees and snow in June. An unusually strong storm for this time of year left the White Mountain wreathed in white over the weekend."

This image struck me as the perfect introduction to my blog. First and foremost, it represents the power of possibility; it champions the unexpected and I LOVE THAT! I have felt for a while that my life is living proof that dreams do come true (more on that later), and that is why I chose this title.

Secondly, I feel a deep and lasting sense of reverence for this majestic mountain. Since I first laid eyes on her rugged slopes and peak, I have felt an inexplicable connection.  Words alone cannot describe it. Translated, Mauna Kea means "White Mountain", but she is so much more than a mountain. Sacred to Hawaiian culture, Mauna Kea is technically an inactive volcano. Although dormant for a very long time (4,600 years to be precise) scientists predict future eruptions. Maybe this explains the kinship I feel. After years of inactivity, forces within me have come alive. No one was more surprised than I when, two years ago, passion for exercise, nutrition, balance and living well began to spew from my core.  And now comes the writing.  I have always loved to write but being published literally gives me "page fright". The call to write is rumbling again, like magma beneath the surface, and I am readying for the flow.

The stirrings come as I read the enchanting adventures of my dear friend, who just blogged her way through Thailand. Her tales of self discovery and spiritual homecoming while halfway around the world made me laugh, cry and nod in knowing.

So here I am, looking out my window at Mauna Kea's majestic beauty. I may not be tooling my way around Chang-Mai on a Vespa, but I am here: in my glorious life, present and accounted for - and so very full of gratitude.

It scares me a little to hit the "publish post" button. And that's exactly why I'm doing it.