A Few Good Links

IMG_3991

There is so much going on in the world right now.  Sometimes I just want to bury my head in the sand.  Just tell me when it’s all over.

I almost never talk about my work here, but the other day I was asked to see a woman for anxiety.  She was dying of cancer, had gone through a horrific bout of pneumonia and was on a ventilator.  Because of the ventilator, she could only communicate by writing.  The first thing I said to her was “with all that you’ve been through, the cancer, the chemo, the pneumonia and now the ventilator, it’s understandable that you’d feel anxious… but is there something making you feel particularly anxious right now?”  Her arms were weak; she could barely lift her pencil to the notepad.  Very slowly, in faint squiggly letters she spelled out:  T R U M P!  We both sort of just looked at each other.  I shook my head, sighed, and she knew I felt the same…

So with all this terrible stuff happening, I took extra care to share some enjoyable things with you this week:

This week, I read this beautiful short story in the New Yorker called “Likes” by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum.  It’s a modern story about a father who struggles to communicate with his teenage daughter as she is consumed in the world of social media, instagram, and “likes”.  After I read it, I immediately wanted to know what message the author wanted to convey with the story, and was happy to find they interviewed her about it here.

Have you listened to the Secular Buddhism podcast yet?  It’s my favorite podcast of all time.  I’ve learned so many valuable concepts from Noah Rasheta.  He has this wonderful ability to take abstract concepts, that no one is actually able to put into practice, ie. how to stay in the present moment, how to let go of anger, how to forgive, etc…  and turns them into simple practical actions that you can incorporate into your daily life.  If you are new to the podcast, listen to the first 5 episodes in order, then listen to this recent one about anger and hatred.  There’s another amazing episode on how to teach your kids mindfulness.  It involves turning meditation into a game!  How clever!

And lastly, the new Bjork music video is genius.  I’m just blown away by the artistic vision and technical execution of it all.  It’s created by artist Andy Huang, who was actually in my college class.  We took a couple painting classes together and worked on a post modern video project for art theory class during our senior year.  He seemed like a nice guy.  Very quiet and humble.  I always knew he’d make it big.

 

 

The value of one hour to think about one thing.

blank walls2

Sixty minutes, two times a day, 5 days per week = 10 HOURS.  That’s the amount of time I spend commuting each week.  I try to make the most out of that time.  As of late, I phased out listening to my usual politics podcasts because, well, it was getting toxic.  Then I discovered the value of choosing to think about one thing for one hour during my commute. I’ve been using this time to think creatively. I start by selecting from a mental menu of options to think about.   Continue reading →

the feng shui of seams

cropped-capsule-wardrobe.jpg

I’m a big fan of form school feng shui, a branch of feng shui attuned to our natural tendency to seek safety and comfort at home. Form school is concerned mostly about the way we arrange furniture, but the same principles can be applied to almost anything, even clothes.

As I was folding laundry today, I realized that I had always been turned off by clothes with seams running down the middle of the front or back. Same goes for shoes. Ever notice a beautiful pair of boots from afar, only to become disappointed up close when you discover a seam running down to the tip? I could love everything about the silhouette, fabric, color, etc… but add a seam down the middle of it, and it’s ruined!

Continue reading →

closet mindfulness

tank-everlane
When my closet is in order, I am in order.
 My favorite place at home is my closet room.  I’m grateful to have an entire room dedicated to my wardrobe and dedicated to myself.  I don’t have a dining room.  I don’t have an office or a desk, but I have my closet room.  It’s a quiet place where I can get ready in peace.  What happens in my closet sets the mood for the entire day.  As such, I’m careful about what enters and ruthless about what should go.  With age, getting dressed feels easier.  I’m left with more energy to start my day and do better at work.   Continue reading →

How I discovered my style

death-by-elocution-sweater

If you are reading my blog, you probably, like me, enjoy reading about other blogger’s thought processes when deciding what to wear.  It helps me think in new ways about my own style.

What I’ve noticed is that I think much differently than I used to (in my 20s).  When I look back at my old shopping habits, it is astonishing how little thought I put into how I spent.  In my late 20s- early 30s, I slowly dug my way out of debt.  Part of my debt was due to being in school for so long, but a big part was also due to my terrible shopping habits.  I was spending a little each time, and spending a lot overall.  I ended up with a closet full of clothes that was frustrating and didn’t last the test of time.

I didn’t really start to think about my shopping habits until I started reading about how other bloggers shopped.  In this post, I want to share a story about my old shopping habits; not to beat up on myself but to simply reflect on how I learned valuable lessons that allowed me to be more free to be me. Continue reading →