10 seconds to Zen, random thoughts

Togetherness

In this period of life when we hustle and zip about, relationships can get lost in between the characters in our texts and pithy lines of social media prose.  Caught in the metal world of platinum, plastic and other types of alloys that I didn’t research to make this post, we are super saturated in heavy metal, and I only wish it was the musical genre.  I am not going to get pedantic and tell you to throw the devices away that you have grown to love for their ease of hurtling you towards the chaos of democratization so fast that you can’t tell the difference between truth or fiction.  At the end of the day, it probably doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that your soul is demanding some human play time.  Dolphins do it, dogs do it, and I found out today that ants do it.  They get together, they have play time.  It’s time to do things (madly) like water balloon fights when it is 100+ degrees outside.  You need this joyous physicality much more than the click-clack and whir of metal tech and the ever-evolving digi-sphere (a universe itself, to be sure).  Go on, the evening’s warm air is ready to take your hand, and bring you to the glee of your children’s eyes.  It will only take about 10 seconds to throw the balloon and see the dazzle of spray caught in the glow of dusk:: Zen.

 

 

10 seconds to Zen, random thoughts

When times get tough, remember your practice (10 Seconds to Zen)


When was the last time you checked in with your practice?

It is one thing to talk about how quick it might be to get to Zen when you take the time to begin a practice.  It is quite another to become accountable to the practice.  So here is a quick check-in.

Have you made a routine of one or two things you have done to get to your own brand of Zen?  If so, have you checked in recently?  For me, this is the time of year that is so fast-paced and crazy it is easy to forget your routines.  However, routines save us and work to make us feel like some things are in our control.

Just today, I realized I better check-in with myself. This is a week where my oldest will graduate from 8th grade, and I am the one in charge of the graduation events at his (my) school.  It is a frenetic pace, and I have been riding the bullet train since last month.  Yesterday, I was vanquished by a four-day long migraine that made me cranky and zombified in my thinking.  Thanks to my darling partner, he took some time to help me with a quick massage.  But, here is the thing, over the course of those four days, I hadn’t put into place some of my rescue techniques.  I did my daily meditation, but I hadn’t done the extra 10 seconds to Zen practices because of the pace at work.  Today, I woke up and remembered without the practice, we become a mess, and then we are no good to anyone else.  And I don’t know about you, but I want to be fully present this week to enjoy my son’s graduation events since this is a milestone event.  Truth be told, I do have some jitters.

So right now, I am diffusing some essential oils that take me back to my favorite place (Rome!)…a shout out to my sister-in-law, Angel, for posting these recipes!

It only took me 10 seconds to put these drops into the diffuser and turn it on.  In less than a hot minute, I am floating away to Roma in my mind.  I am rejuvenated (and ready for the house cleaning that must commence post-haste)!

creative thinking, daily draw, random thoughts

10 Seconds to Zen…

Ginger, Tumeric Tea

Peace finds us if we prepare the way for it.

Peace, or a sense of calm/Zen had always eluded me as a child and younger adult. I used to think finding it was going to be outside my skill set– reserved for the wiser, more patient folks. I always had hope though– and that may be why I never gave up the quest. Hope, I am told, is a very human trait (emotion?), and I believe hope is what allows us to be creative problem solvers. Without hope what is the point of moving forward? Hope is futuristic and revolutionary. Hope, creativity, and skill is what drives innovation forward. Hope is not fluffy as some might suggest. It is downright necessary, and the stuff of radical positivity– it is the superhero battling entropy.

However, I digress. Back to the original topic: Peace. It IS possible to find a sense of peace or Zen (whatever you wish to call it) if you train yourself to be accustomed to it. You don’t have to be a Buddhist. You don’t have to spend all day meditating or doing yoga. All you need is a dash of childish wonder, and the willingness to begin a routine. I am no yogi nor master teacher, but I have found some calm in this ferociously beautiful and sometimes crazy chaotic world. I would like to share how I got there with you in an upcoming series of posts.

I believe all you really need is 10 seconds and regular practice. What your grandmother told you may be right after all, “Count to ten before you say anything you regret.” Great sage advice. In our hyper fast paced world, 10 seconds is a long time. I wonder when we will begin to divide time into nanoseconds. I am fairly certain it’s possible. Because all things are possible.

Today, I found peace in the ten seconds it took me to breathe in the sweet aroma of the fresh brewed pot of my ginger, turmeric tea while sitting quietly watching the date palms sway in the spring breeze.  What peace will you find in your 10 seconds?

random thoughts

Mama always said there would be dragons…

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Ok, no she didn’t. Not in those exact words. But the message that there would be pain and storms to endure was definitely clear.

This pic was clicked right outside the building in which I took my first and second SAT. Of course, the exam I took in the mid 80’s, I am told, in no way resembles what I survived. I will argue having not seen the latest version, that for many, it is still something to be survived.

I would like to think these magnolia blossoms represents the blood of a vanquished dragon. Well, at least my dragon. My children are in the throes of the repetitious events of standardized testing. And next week my eldest will take his second of three high school placement exams– well because– the schools need to find ways to eliminate who might not be the best fit. I’m not upset at that. The system works until it doesn’t. I sense the tides shifting. It may take 20 years, but the tests will eventually go the way of the Do-Do.

random thoughts

It’s that time of year, when…

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I realize that I am happy.  The weather bobs and dips like a fisher’s boat along with the tide.  Aromas glide in through the cracked window, warm and cozy: onion, sage and spice. It is a crazy time of year for me (work), but I still attempt to stop and focus on what moves me: waning light, sounds that crackle in the crisp morning air, the delight of roasting acorn squash with butter and brown sugar.  Join me in this moment of reverie.

creative thinking, daily draw, random thoughts

Third Time is the Charm! 

 

Our summer has been about adventures at home and locally. Swimming at friends’ or family’s homes, having (almost nightly) water balloon fights/competitions, playing (video) games at home and Dave and Buster’s – it has been a blast so far!

On one of the really hot, record busting, days last week, I decided I was going to try my hand at making popsicles with and for the kids.  Right.  Good fun. Check.  Low Cal (mostly). Check.  Ready, set, go!

The first batch (the orange ones above) tasted like mango smoothies.  Not terrible, but really not so popsicle-y.  My sons ate it out of duty (sigh).  We can’t have that.  I figured my problem was probably not following a recipe. Yep.  Well, my grandmother trained me to be creative in the kitchen.  This is a good thing when improvising with something you actually KNOW how to make.  This is not quite a good thing when you have never made it before.  So, round two I didn’t really use a true recipe and just poured root beer (my favorite popsicle flavor as a child) into the molds and froze them. The taste– excellent!  The presentation, not so much.  You kinda have to wait for the root beer to go flat.

What did I learn?  Use a recipe!  So round three (pictured on right above): Fudge popsicles from a recipe by Live Simply .  Excellent smooth results.  Presentation: Good. Flavor: Intense and very popsicle-y.  Success!  Next we plan to try a Dole Whip imitation popsicle recipe.  Can’t wait!

random thoughts

The Pleasures of Summer

Mocha Latte @ThePeachCafe
Starbuck’s “The Pink Drink”


Colors are part of the fabric of who I am. Ask anyone and they will tell you I have a plethora of special gel ink purple pens in assorted nib sizes, my office is painted a lux Caribbean blue, and I wear jewel tones as often as I can.   That said, I truly enjoy colorful drinks as well. These two images are from the beginning of my summer adventures.  The mocha did not disappoint, but the “pink drink”, alas, was far too sweet.

random thoughts

Gradually, then Suddenly Everything Changes


The traffic slow down, the rubber band of cars moving slower and slower, and then the final slam on the breaks. Everything halts.

Or waiting at the car dealer is first gradual, no problem, the ebbs and flows of excitement and anxiety swirling as one, and then energy suddenly gone.

Too much and then deal done. Finally.

Is this the way continents move? Or how the sun will eventually extinguish itself? 

creative thinking, random thoughts

Summer Reading 2017 (Yay!)

IMG_0814.JPGThe pile of summer reads is here! I have been curating and choosing what I want to read for the last month or so, and now it is ready! This is just in time since I take vacation next week. Curl up. Lay out. Drink a summer beverage (most likely iced coffee). Read. Repeat.  I am looking forward to my self-education on Futurism. Thank you, Jane McGonigal, for sharing your syllabus online. I’m going to do my own research since I can’t make it to Stanford to take your class this summer! I have bought all the required reading. Can’t wait!