Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thank Goodness

Thank goodness Patrick loves me enough to love me regardless of and as I work through my problems. Thank goodness I love Patrick enough to love him through his problems too.

This is one of the clips from the last episode of Grey's Anatomy. It wasn't the pivitol point of the episode or the biggest tear jerker for me, but still, a meaningful moment that reminded me of the importance of compassion and empathy.

Grey's Anatomy has put out 3 phenomenal episodes in a row with some serious tear jerking moments. The issues surrounding the death row patient and Meredith's compassion for him spurred a little ethics discussion in my head. I'm realizing more and more that the world is not black and white, and I find myself identifying with Meredith's choices in the last couple episodes.

I'm still digesting the last couple episodes and trying to process it all. Wow. Just wow.

(And I'm supposed to be doing homework right now.) :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Zen for the day!

A mind full of light is like a blue sky found in a somber room.

- Hung Ying-ming 1596

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Warrior of the Light Online

If you love Paulo Coehlo, too, or don't know who he is (aka...have yet to fall in love with him!), check out his blog. It's a newsletter sort-of format where he shares insights and little stories. There's more information about him as well. Here's a link that will take you to an especially insightful article that has made me consider breaking the "norm."

Warrior of the Light Online

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Today's Daily Zen

Sitting by a teapot in a room bathed with pure breezes and moonbeams, one can read the mind of Heaven in every thing. Walking along a running brook in the clouded mountain, one can observe the mysteries of Tao in every moment.

- Hung Ying-ming 1596

Daily Zen Highlights

There's a website called Daily Zen that I set to pop up every time I open my browser. The daily posts are always great, but a few have really struck me. I usually post them on my friend, Melanie's MySpace or Facebook account, since she's my zenny friend. I've decided I'm going to start posting them here, too.


Growing older, I grow into the Tao
I make my home in southern mountains
and go there on a whim to wander alone.
But even in all this splendor, things remain empty.
I climb to the headwaters of the river
where clouds rise up from emptiness.
If I chance to meet another hermit in the woods,
we talk and laugh and never even think of home.

- Wang Wei


Autumn mountains:
Brocades of light
The clouds:
Endless beauty
I lean on my staff,
Contemplate crimson leaves
As the birds streaming above me.

- Shih-shu (17th century)


We just sit in the midst of this contradiction where, although we aim, we can never perceive hitting the mark. We just sit in the midst of this contradiction that is absolutely ridiculous when we think about it with our small mind. In our zazen, it is precisely at the point where our small, foolish self remains unsatisfied, or completely bewildered, that immeasurable natural life beyond the thoughts of that self functions. It is precisely at the point where we become completely lost that life operates and the power of Buddha is actualized.

- Kosho Uchiyama (1912 -1999)


Melanie and Me after a concert in 2006

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I want to make this

A yardstick coat rack!

This would look fabulous in our house. :) And it's super easy to make!

A goal: Read 12 books in 2009

What I want to read this year:

1. “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse (recommended by Paulo Coelho)
2. “The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho (I’ve already started this one)
3. “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” by Hannah Green (recommended by my husband)
4. “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. (I started this one a couple years ago and never finished. I was enjoying the book.)
5. “Who Cut the Cheese: A Cultural History of the Fart” by Jim Dawson (another book I started and didn’t finish…my husband gave it to me in fun)
6. “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values” by Robert M. Pirsig
7. “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho
8. “Prose Poems” by Kahlil Gibran (I’ve read a couple of the poems and LOVE this book. I found it at an antique store…lucky me!)
9. “Remembering Wholeness: A Personal Handbook for Thriving in the 21st Century” by Carol Tuttle (almost finished with this one)
10. “Atonement: A Novel” by Ian McEwan (started…need to finish…I need to quit starting and not finishing books!!!)
11. “Accepting the Universe” by John Burroughs
12. “The Fifth Mountain” by Paulo Coelho (pretty much anything by Paulo Coelho is on my list.)

...any other suggestions?? We pretty much have a library at my house; there certainly isn’t a shortage of books I haven’t read. I’ll probably just pick books at random to read, or I’ll ask my husband what he recommends, since most of the books are his. I’ve read most, if not all, of the books that are mine.

a funny(ish) story

Okay, it's probably not that funny, but I tend to entertain myself very easily. I'm the first one to laugh at my jokes and sometimes the only one that laughs. I'm okay with that.

Anyway, on to the story...

When I was in Denver helping to open the new Ling & Louie's, we trainers (Hospitality Hot Shots, that is) would come up with an "ice breaker" to start the day with all of the servers and hostesses we were training. One day, the "ice breaker" was to say your favorite animal and who your "celebrity freebie" would the opposite gender's voice. So, in a man's voice, I said, "I love rottweilers because they're so STRONG!!! And I would totally do Bill Murray!!!" It was a joke, of course, but the reaction was great. Good old Makayla said Jackie Chan, and one of the servers said Borat, so there were a couple other funny answers.

I got an email from (which has some awesome workout programs...I have Slim in 6) with Bill Murrays 6 New Years Resolution Tips, and it made me laugh because of my prior reference to Bill Murray. Here's his list of tips:

"Baby steps." In What About Bob?, Bill plays a manipulative obsessive-compulsive learning to get through life using "baby steps," as suggested by his shrink, Richard Dreyfuss. Try baby steps with your resolutions. You don't need to swear off all processed sugar and have washboard abs by the end of 2009. Start by limiting sweets to once a week and working out 5 days a week. If that's too much, swear off ice cream and walk 3 days a week. Pick an achievable goal, and when you reach it, pick another one.

"A former greenskeeper, now about to become the Masters champion." Baby steps might not be enough for you. Maybe it's six-pack abs or nothing. If this is the case, think about Bill in Caddyshack. As groundskeeper Carl, he spends the entire film hatching grandiose plans to beat that gopher.

It never occurs to him to take it one hole at a time. The same goes for you. The abs can be the goal, but start with cleaning up the diet, getting the exercise on a regular basis, burning the fat, building the muscle, etc. This way, if the year is up and you haven't quite got the abs you want, you'll still feel like you accomplished a lot along the way.

"If that were our plane, it'd be crashing." In Quick Change, Bill robs a New York bank. It goes off without a hitch, until the supposed "easy part," the getaway to the airport, turns out to be wrought with obstacles, thus forcing him to continually improvise.

It's almost certain that you're going to hit all kinds of surprise road bumps on the way to your goals. Your body is every bit as complex and chaotic as Manhattan is to Bill and his accomplices. When things go egg-shaped, change your route or, if necessary, alter your goals.

"Stewardess, is there a movie on this flight?" In Stripes, Bill joins the army, but he brings the party with him. P90X® may be a boot camp, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun mingled in with the pain. Pick an outfit you're dying to wear and make it a goal to fit into it. Learn to jump rope. Buy a pogo stick and pledge to get up to 100 bounces. Make a point of going dancing once a month. Mock Tony as he bosses you around on screen—whatever it takes.

"How about a little teamsmanship?" The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou finds Bill struggling to understand the relationships in his life. In the end, he learns about the power of friendship and family. The same goes for you. Don't be afraid to ask for support from the people around you. Or, you can also look to the Beachbody Message Boards and to our workout partnering system,, for motivation and inspiration.

"We came, we saw, we kicked its . . . ." Bill goes up against insurmountable odds to defeat the Sumerian god Gozer the Gozerian in Ghostbusters. Sometimes, it may feel like you'd have better luck fighting the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man than achieving your goals. The odds may be against you, the pounds of fat many, and the cravings intense, but if you sit there and fret, you'll never know if you can do it. The same lesson can be pulled from watching Bill play the role of Polonius in Hamlet. Bill Murray doing Shakespeare? Exactly. You never know unless you try, so don't be afraid of no ghost.

"I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life." If you try and you fail, remember Groundhog Day, which finds Bill living the same day over and over until he gets it right. Just because you mess up your resolution doesn't mean you've been beaten. Just take a deep breath and try again. Eventually, you'll figure it out. And don't forget, if your goal is to do Slim in 6® but you only made it through 4 weeks, that's still 4 weeks of fitness that will back you up for your next try.

Listen to Uncle Bill. He knows what he's talking about. Take this advice regarding your resolutions, and, just as Bill famously said to John Candy in Stripes, you'll soon be a "lean, mean, fighting machine."

Well put, Bill...and Team Beachbody. :)

New Years Eve report

Our New Years Eve turned out quite nice. Patrick and I went to my friend, Brinn's house and spent the evening with her and her man, Trevor, and their adorable little girl, Tinsley. We played a feisty game of Scrabble (that game never gets played peacefully), watched the ball drop in NYC on tv, exchanged a kiss (Patrick and me, that is), and ate a bunch of munchies. It was low key and a pleasant success. :)