Self-care is a form of trusting, listening, seeking, yearning, surrendering…it’s purpose is convivial at the core.
This is the story of my convivial discovery of an Ancient Mayan massage therapy and how I came to the understanding that you are your body’s advocate and its up to you to find the many ways that nurture, restore, and heal you…
Once upon a time, I headed to Mexico for a much needed sabbatical after quitting my job in Banking. I left behind my husband, my home, my parents; my country, language, currency, and all certainty to walk the cobble-stoned streets of San Miguel de Allende with the intention to restore myself to who I once knew myself to be…a writer.
My first week in town, I went to the mercado and purchased what I thought was a fresh bowl of albondigas (meatball soup). After taking a long walk and climbing the steps of El Chorro to reach the peak streets of this colorful central Mexican town, I knew Moctezuma had spiked my soup with drano, because I fell ill that night with chills and fever.
My mother-in-law, concerned for me, recommended I visit La Dona Chole, “‘pa que te de una sobada…” My Spanish was getting better by the day, but I still had to put two and two together to understand that she was suggesting (more…)Tweet
When I was 16, I wrote this quote in my journal…
The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. -John Wooden
At that time, I didn’t know why those words were special enough to write down, but now I do. (more…)Tweet
Before you head out the door this weekend, I have one more Chicago eatery to share with you.
My childhood chum, Carrie and I went here two years ago when I last played Chicago tourist with my husband Martin, so we decided to venture over to Logan Square, one of the hottest neighborhoods to lead the pack in real estate this year for
Another heaping dose of Lula Cafe.Tweet
Recently, I was in Chicago to support my friend, Carrie during a special time in her life and our first day together proved to be memorable.
We’ve known each other since 5th grade, when Carrie transferred into school as the new girl sporting a Judy Blume adult novel under her arm. When she used the word generic to describe something she didn’t like, it was then that I knew we were meant to be friends.
She’s an intellectual woman with inner-city Chicago roots and has an adventurous palate like I do, so on a first culinary jaunt around our city, she suggested we head west of downtown Chicago to have lunch at Little Goat Diner…Tweet
Meeting for brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert is a sport for me. I practice as often as I can because it makes me happy. In fact, it relaxes me.
Today, I had lunch at Hula Hut, a restaurant on Lake Austin that offers a Polynesian – Tex-Mex themed menu. Who would’ve thought of that combo? Someone in Austin, of course.
My friend, Monica joined me so we could discuss our upcoming trip to (more…)Tweet
It’s that time of the year when we honor the soldiers who have served and continue to serve the United States of America. I don’t normally do this on my blog, but…
I can’t think of a better way to honor and recognize one soldier in particular for the sacrifices he has made for our country and my family, as well as the selflessness he has taught me as a friend.
I’ve known him since we were 13. (I’m older.) Here we are with our church crew, circa 1994. He’s wearing the cream-colored suit. (more…)Tweet
Recently, my cousin and her hubby came to Austin for a brief stay and being their convivial host and tour guide, I took them around to a few notable spots.
We had a few good chuckles while out on the town together and here are a few places we went…
First stop: Home Slice Pizza on Congress Avenue.
Can you go wrong with NY style pizza paired with table talk about U.S. conspiracy theories?
I encourage public displays of affection any chance I get behind a camera.
They were stoked to sit in on a live session at the Texas State Capitol.
Cool graffiti spot in downtown Austin.
I was instantly transported back to my short-lived stint with gymnastics, walking the balance beam at 6 years old.
Alchemy: a power or process of transforming something common into something special…
I’m so thankful for my cousin’s visit- or any visit I get from family or friends because its usually me flying away somewhere or stopping by to say HEY! It’s just my nature to want to always get out and try or see something new and anyone I can bring along for the ride, then I say come on!
Do you have family to host in your hometown or city soon? Where will you be taking them? I’d love to hear…
(Photos by yours truly)Tweet
Do you ever find yourself holding back because you feel conscious about what others may think or say about you and your lifestyle?
If you play good girl to the world, then holding back is a common sentiment.
Recently, I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and we started talking about her passion for a certain sacred spot in Rome, Italy. I could see how her face lit up when I touched on that subject and being the kind of woman who wants to encourage the work of art in every person, I asked, “So, when are you going?!”
She melted at the thought of traveling to Rome and said, “Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to go, but my husband would never want to go with me. He just wouldn’t want to do all that walking and go that far.”
My brain nearly short-circuited at her response and convivial instincts kicked in when I said, “So you mean to tell me, you would sacrifice a dream of yours because your man is unwilling to step out of his comfort zone, if only momentarily?” I continued…”All I’m saying is…if you have the opportunity to make that dream a reality, why not take a chance and rock that boat because you only have one life to live. Just one.”
Many times, we make choices that sacrifice our own happiness, in small or large ways, because we have been conditioned to avoid conflict.
In the words of Bob Newhart, stop it! Conflict is a stepping stone to growth. In fact, Margaret Heffernan dares you to create conflict. Imagine that! She points out how most people instinctively avoid conflict, but good disagreement is central to progress.
The hardest thing to do, which should be the easiest thing, is to live your life- not one that others deem to be appropriate to their eyes, ears, and personal beliefs. Many opportunities to live are passed up because so many people are afraid. What are your deep desires and what fears surface when you even think of the possibility of pursuing them?
How about you go against the grain of convention, culture, (fill in your blank) and think/repeat when necessary…
“While they’re busy talking, I’m too busy LIVING.”
Choose to be an example of someone who is living according to their own beliefs and values- ones gathered from your own life’s experience.Tweet
As it pertains to your desires, dreams & wishes, the language goes like this…
THEY say: You’re crazy.
YOU say (grinning): I know.
The naysayers will always be there.
It’s your choice to be affected or not by their indifference.
I once attended a SXSW talk given by Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Yogurt CEO and his wife, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg and she was discussing her new book, For Better or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families.
As they shared their experience creating and running Stonyfield, what stays with me the most is when Gary said,
“I am a pathological OPTIMIST.” -Gary Hirshberg
Meg had us captivated when she talked about the stress that came with building their business (couples in attendance all nodded their heads) and how there were times when she and Gary didn’t speak to one another (couples elbowing one another and chuckling), when they literally had to stay away from one another to give Gary the space to do what he did well (couples smiling).
There was a time when they got news that their farm had received some sort of citation which required it be shut down that day. This was potentially devastating to their operations and Meg thought it was the end of the world while Gary never saw the risk involved because he had something fundamental to true entrepreneurial thinking…the understanding that there are no impossibilities unless you choose to see them.
When Gary shared his one-liner with the group, it was like a lightning bolt straight to my heart. I clearly understood what he meant because I see opportunity and growth everywhere and seek to find ways to maximize and express it.
It’s easy to go on that “just-be-positive-and-have-faith” spiel when it comes to the aspects of our lives that aren’t so convivial, but you have to meet hope halfway and find ways to think and act in the face of risk and fear.
Have the courage to see your problems for what they are, then take the necessary steps to figure them out. That’s much better than playing the sugarcoating game, or ignoring them altogether.
Where in your life can you choose to be more pathologically optimistic?
(Photo by Julian Dufort, Inc Magazine)Tweet
There is a treasure chest of hidden stories living behind each person’s eyes. If you care to look long enough, often enough, perhaps you might be granted access into a world you might never know.
When was the last time someone looked into your eyes for the simple purpose to see you, really see you? Or vice versa? How did it make you feel?
Artist Marina Abramovic did just that at the Museum of Modern Art, back in 2010 with her performance of The Artist is Present. It may be two years since she performed, but its moments like these that live on forever.
(Click photo to watch this powerful interaction/surprise reunion)
She sat for a 736-hour and 30-minute static and silent piece where museum visitors waited in line to sit across from her and look into her eyes. In this particular photo, she received an unexpected visitor…her former love Ulay.
The two had a relationship in the 70s and when they felt the affair was over, they walked The Great Wall of China, each from opposite ends, meeting for the last time in the middle and never seeing each other again.Until this moment, that is. Can you imagine the intense energy and emotions flowing between them in that very moment?
See the moving images of people Marina sat across from along with the amount of time it took for their interaction to result in tears.
Can you guess who this woman is?
Imagine all of the painful and joyous stories dancing beneath each set of eyes…what did this “momentary” work of art allow them to relive, acknowledge, face, make peace with…if only for a moment?
Check out the rest of the images in the tumblr called Marina Abramovic Made Me Cry.
When things feel hard and my vision is not clear and important details are not coming together for me, whether professionally or personally, I am easily tempted to throw in the towel on this whole idea of convivial living.
But guess what?
I can’t. I just can’t.
There are just too many dreams and desires that are more powerful than I am and I am forced to keep going.
There is just too much love that I owe to myself.
There are just too many hills, steps, mountains I’ve climbed.
There are just too many people who truly believe in my abilities…more than I probably believe in myself.
There are just too many conversations that I’ve had that require me to walk my talk.
There are just not enough good enough reasons to give up.
There are just too many breaths I still have to take.
The journey is just too long to even think that I’ve come to the end of it.
So I keep on.
And so you must carry on with your own journey, dream, life…don’t give in.
The challenges you face are there to shape and catapult you onward…