ellienihon: (Default)
I am grateful:
previous )
7) for life without cable.

Yeah, I'm running a day behind, so I'm going to try to post today's before I go to bed and get on track.

R. and I have been living with out cable TV since October. This was my idea, and I'm grateful the R. was willing to give it a shot. Netflix and friends have kept us from missing TV too much. We watch movies (VCR and DVD), and catch Top Chef and some other shows when we visit with friends. It has helped me enormously to focus on other things, like reading, cooking and cleaning. My default was to come home and catch up on my TV shows. Now I work on dinner first, maybe get online, and then watch something with R. if I don't have anything else to do, or just while we eat. I like this lifestyle. We are talking about getting a PS3 for Christmas, so we can watch Netflix and blu-ray. My hope is that it would just give us easier access to a wide variety of things so that we never miss cable. We'll see.
ellienihon: (Default)
I am grateful:
previous )
6) for free transportation options.

I work at UCSD, and we are provided with numerous free transportation options. For almost two months now, I've been taking the shuttle from Hillcrest for work. It's free, and I've had time to read, write, or doze on my way to and from work instead of driving. It saves me money, and if I get a ride, it takes less time than driving and parking. If I walk, I get some exercise, which I need. The next step is to get a bicycle, but then I wouldn't get to ride with R. every morning, which I've come to enjoy.
ellienihon: (Default)
I am grateful:
previous )
5) for L.

I started dating L. over two years ago. I can't say how grateful I am for her love and support. I have grown so much and much of it is attributable to her. Most of all she has shown me that it's okay to be me, and loved all sides of me. I got to spend time with her this evening, and we caught up from the weekend. It was good, quiet time, and then R. came home and we shared tea and chocolate cupcakes from Eclipse. Life is good!
ellienihon: (Default)
I am grateful:
previous )
4) for the indulgence of my wonderful girlfriend, R.

Yeah, I'm doing the initial thing, cuz I'm posting this open. R. is so wonderful with me. For example, today we say down and went through netflix and rearranged the entire list, adding several disney films. We get "Fox and the Hound" next! She also waited until I was home from rehearsal to eat with me, which is so sweet. I love her very much. I could go on, but it's bedtime. Sweet dreams!
ellienihon: (Default)
I am grateful:
1) for my bio-family
2) for my family of choice.

I spent the day lazing about at home, wishing that the internet was working. (Could someone explain the point of the button on our modem that renders it useless?) R. and I then went over to bff's house, and we had a huge feast with one of my non-bio family groups. I love them all dearly (though the boys were missed).

3) that I have had so many interesting experiences.

Today has been spent sorting things in the garage. We're getting there, and can soon think about what things we wish to acquire for the apartment. Other than a dining table and chairs, I'm not sure what will be on our list (R. has a longer list than me). It's been neat to look back through my old stuff and remember what I did in Japan. They treated me really well.
ellienihon: (Default)
(Technical difficulties prevented posting this yesterday)
I am grateful:
1) for my bio-family

Yeah, my parents and brother may be far away, but I felt their love today. We talked for just a bit as they ate dinner together, and I missed them. The stuffing was apparently very good this year, and Dad talked about trying to send some to me in the mail. We might just wait until the reunion, when we can have a small turkey together (or a large one with everyone?). I love them very much.

I spent t-day dinner with the two loves in my life, and L's kids. It was good. The turkey was especially good. Thank you, L!!
ellienihon: (Default)
I did this two years ago, and it really helped me to keep a positive attitude, so I'm going to do it again. (If you follow the tag, you can see what I posted last time.) It will start tomorrow. I will post one thing I'm grateful for each day (with all the previous days under a cut). The last day will be New Year's Day 2010, when I will have a total of 37 things that I am grateful for. I heartily welcome everyone's support, and invite you to join me in cultivating gratitude this holiday season!

Happy Holidays,
Ellie
ellienihon: (Default)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

The article is worth reading. It goes into philosophy about beauty, and describes the event in excruciating detail. The part about the little boy whose mom pushes him along as he tries to listen is especially poignant.

Here's a quick version of the film and some thoughts from Ray's friend, Chris: Read more... )
ellienihon: (Default)
It would do me good to read this every morning before I go out in the world, so that I can remember what I'm here to do.

You can also read it here: http://www.up.edu/commencement/default.aspx?cid=9456&pid=3144


"You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring."
The Unforgettable Commencement Address to the Class of 2009, University of Portland,
May 3rd, 2009
Read more... )
ellienihon: (Default)
Below the cut is part of an article I found at http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/01/how-to-discover-your-life-purpose-in-about-20-minutes/ (I find Steve Pavlina's writings quite interesting overall.)

I want to set aside some time and do this exercise. I'm feeling the urge to clarify my direction again. Things have gotten busier lately, though I've been taking more time for myself.

Read more... )
EDIT: I found this additional comment about using this method:

The answer you get from this process, however, depends heavily on your ability to generate good input. Essentially what you are doing is exploring the search space of possible purposes, and you’re using the heuristic of your emotional reaction to gauge how close you are. But one thing I failed to mention in the original explanation of this process is that it requires you’re clear about your overall context for life first. If you don’t have that level of clarity yet, then you’ll have a hard time making this approach work successfully — you’ll be approaching the problem from the wrong context, so the potential answers you generate will all be in the wrong neighborhood. Garbage in, garbage out.

To use an analogy, imagine you’re looking at a map of the United States, trying to locate Las Vegas. If you have a good map, it shouldn’t take you long at all. Your eyes might shoot towards the left (west) side of the map, slide right (east) from California to Nevada, and you’ll soon spot Las Vegas in Southern Nevada. But what if you try this same exercise using a map of the U.S. from 1870. Now that’s a problem because Las Vegas didn’t officially become a city until 1911, so you won’t find it on a map from 1870. You won’t be able to locate the city until you realize you’re looking at an inaccurate map and get yourself a more recent map. Similarly, if your context is an inaccurate fit for reality, corrupted by too many false beliefs and incorrect assumptions, then you’re unlikely to be able to define a meaningful purpose for your life no matter what method you use — it’s simply not to be found anywhere on your map. Most likely you’ll settle for something that’s close to your purpose, but not quite right. You may target Reno instead of Las Vegas (Reno became a city in 1868, so it might be seen on your 1870 map).
ellienihon: (Default)
Why We Write, by Julia Cameron

There are many things which resist naming,
And that is why we write.
We write because language is slippery,
And the truth is.
We write because
The light we have to see by
Is always shifting
Never forget that writers are prophets.
We speak in tongues.
We testify.
We are for each other a believing mirror.
Our words make us visible.
Our listening makes us heard.

Never forget that writers are soldiers.
Our writing is the long march,
The walk into time.
Each word is a drum.
We sound it across great distances,
Reaching one another and ourselves.
Every poem is a day's march.
A celebration more necessary than water or wine.
Every poem is a drink of blood.

Never forget that writing is an act of courage -
Not on the days when it is simple and we discount it.
Not on the days when it is hard and we write like sand.
Our words are torches.
We pass them hand to hand
And mouth to mouth
Like a burning kiss.

Never forget to say thank you.
Every syllable is a grace.
ellienihon: (Default)
I heard a story about a farmer who had an old mule who had fallen into an empty well, 40 - 50 ft deep. When the farmer surveyed the situation, he realized it was almost impossible to rescue him. The well was narrow and the mule was crammed at the bottom. As much as he didn’t want to, he decided he was going to bury the mule. He called some friends over to help, and they began to shovel dirt. When the old mule felt the dirt on his back and realized what they were going to do, he decided every time he felt the dirt on his back, he would shake it off and step up. Finally after 2-3 hours of doing that, he was able to step over the well. What’s interesting is that the dirt that was going to bury him actually saved his life.

We all face situations that seem like they could bury us. The only difference between being buried and being planted is the expectancy of what’s going to happen next. When you put a seed in the ground, you say you’re planting the seed, not burying the seed, because you know it’s coming back. You can have a seed on the shelf for a lifetime, but its potential will never be realized until it is put on the ground. Only after it’s been planted in the dark ground, something supernatural starts to happen. It goes through germination, the outer shell breaks off, the new growth springs forth, and that’s when it blossoms.

When you go through tough times, you may feel like you’ve been buried, but the fact is, you’ve simply been planted. That means you’re going to come back, and you’re going to come back stronger, better, and increased. Extraordinary people face extraordinary difficulties. Tough times give way to new growth, new potential, new talent, new vision, new opportunities, and blossom in ways you’ve never dreamed of.

~Joel Osteen, You Have Comeback Power
ellienihon: (Default)
from http://www.bodhicitta.net/Loving%20Kindness%20Meditation.htm
See also http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/allmetta.pdf

"Begin by repeating the following phrases over and over for 15-20 minutes once or twice daily in a quite place for several months. At first this meditation may feel mechanical or awkward or even bring up the opposite feelings of irritation and anger. If this happens, it is especially important to be patient and kind toward yourself, allowing whatever arises to be received in a spirit of friendliness and kind affection. In its own time, even in the face of inner difficulties, loving- kindness will develop."

"Sit in a comfortable fashion. Let your body relax and be at rest. As best you can, let your mind be quiet, letting go of plans and preoccupations. Then begin to recite inwardly the following phrases directed towards yourself. You begin with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others."

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

"As you say the phrases, you may also wish to use the image from the Buddha's instructions: picture yourself as a young and beloved child, or sense yourself as you are now, held in the heart of loving-kindness. Repeat the phrases again and again, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind."

"Practice this meditation repeatedly for a number of weeks until the sense of loving-kindness for yourself grows."

"When you feel ready, in the same meditation period you can gradually expand the focus of your loving-kindness to include others. After yourself, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has truly cared for you. Picture them and carefully recite the same phrases: May he/she be filled with loving- kindness and so forth. When loving-kindness for your benefactor has developed, begin to include other people you love in the meditation, picturing them and reciting the same phrases, evoking a sense of loving-kindness for them."

"After this, you can gradually begin to include others: friends, community members, neighbours, people everywhere, animals, the whole earth, and all beings. Then you can even experiment with including the most difficult people in your life, wishing that they, too, be filled with loving-kindness and peace. With some practice a steady sense of loving-kindness can develop and in the course of 15 or 20 minutes you will be able to include many beings in your meditation, moving from yourself, to a benefactor and loved ones, to all beings everywhere."

"Then you can learn to practice it anywhere. You can use this meditation in traffic jams, in buses and aeroplanes, in doctors' waiting rooms, in a thousand other circumstances. As you silently practice this loving-kindness meditation among people, you will immediately feel a wonderful connection with them -- the power of loving-kindness. It will calm your life and keep you connected to your heart."
ellienihon: (Default)
You Are the Throat Chakra
You are outspoken and eloquent. You have no problem making your opinion known.
It's likely that you're very verbal and artistic. You are creative in every aspect of your life.

You love to communicate with people. You think it's valuable to talk out ideas and issues.
You are very honest and straightforward. Speaking the truth is important to you.



This is particularly interesting to me because the throat chakra was quite blocked up until a few years ago, and I would agree that this is where I come from today.
ellienihon: (Default)
"Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem."
~Krishnamurti

This is a huge struggle for me right now.
ellienihon: (Default)
"Victory breeds hatred. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he is contented and happy."
~The Dhammapada

This brings to mind something I heard a few weeks ago about not being attached to emotions. The speaker was talking about not only letting go of the painful thoughts, but also the joyful ones.

I have been contemplating my relationship to success and failure. The above quote seems eminently applicable. If I let go of my perceptions of both, it takes away the story behind it. Without the story, life can be peaceful and joyful. If happiness is dependent on success, each success brings a brief burst of happiness, followed by anxiety leading up to the next success/failure.

I'm certainly not "there" yet, and I feel I'm moving in the right direction.
ellienihon: (Default)
Dream of the Crossroads
by Christine McQuiston 2007

Someone in the dream said, "You're at the crossroads," as if answering a question. It startled me, because as I looked around I realized it was nothing like I had ever imagined this archetypal "place." In my mind, "The Crossroads" has always conjured an image of some flat, dry, dusty abandoned place, one simple intersection of two roads, a choice to make alone. No turning back. But in my dream, there were countless roads converging on this place, each the road of many travelers who were arriving constantly, each in their own time, from the road that had called. At the center was a great celebratory gathering, nothing but love among these strangers, all celebrating their arrival here. So great was this energy that emitting from the center was a bright white-golden light, and all who entered into it became pure energy. People walking out of the center were transformed in some imperceptible way, and were meeting and hugging each other, and having lively conversations. In pairs, or clusters, or alone they walked off, choosing one of the many roads. I had come to the crossroads and I was not alone! I felt the most ecstatic relief! As I ascended out of my dreaming state, trying to hold on to this image in my waking mind, I heard the Great Mother laughing gently at my surprise - " You didn't really think I'd leave you stranded did you?"
ellienihon: (Default)
If you are in San Diego or nearby, and you enjoy classical music, I invite you to come see the Pacific Women's Chorus sing our concert, "For the Beauty of the Earth", of music describing nature. We'll perform at 4pm this Sunday (1/11) St. Elizabeth Seton church, and again on Sunday (1/18) at 3pm at the UUF in Solana Beach. We ask for $10 donation from each person to cover costs.
ellienihon: (Default)
I hope everyone is having a joyful holiday season. It's been a pretty good Christmas. Spent time with bio-family and chosen family, and gave some things that people appreciated. Now I'm just waiting for [livejournal.com profile] raysterfiend to come pick me up so we can head up to the Bay area for New Year's. I'm very excited.
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