The Joy Project

Little Moments of Big Love

Category: Learning something new

12.12.12.

Ballons fly in air as newlywed couples celebrate their mass wedding in conjunction with the date 12.12.12 outside a Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur on December 12, 2012. Some 200 couples gathered at the temple to attend a grand colourful wedding ceremony on December 12, 2012, which many in Asia marks an auspicious date on the calendar. (AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)

Balloons fly in air as newlywed couples celebrate their mass wedding in conjunction with the date 12.12.12 outside a Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur on December 12, 2012. Some 200 couples gathered at the temple to attend a grand colourful wedding ceremony on December 12, 2012, which many in Asia marks an auspicious date on the calendar. (AFP Photo / Saeed Khan)

 

Today is the last day most anyone of us will see a sequential date in our lifetimes; December 12, 2012: 12.12.12

Some people believe the date brings luck or romance. Chapels in Las Vegas are sold out today (luck and romance!) Many parents scheduled Cesarian for today. There is a benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy victims. I’m going to try a new soup recipe for dinner.

But even if you aren’t starting a new marriage or a new venture, today carries special energy and many believe, it is the beginning of a new chapter of healing and transformation, on both a personal and global level.

Set your intentions today for the good things you want in your future. Start the thing you’ve always wanted to do. Send out your prayers to the world. Give gratitude for the gifts you have already been given. Leverage all this positivity for change and growth in your own life, and ask for joy and love for the planet.

Think of it as a big ol’ megaphone multiplying your thoughts and dreams. What message do you want out there? Is it one of love? Of health? Of financial success or personal freedom? A new motorcycle or strong calve muscles? Today is the day to ask for it, and start taking action towards it.

Some things to think about:

The established order of things is rarely the source of new beginnings. -Marianne Williamson

A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today. -Karen Lamb

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Happy 12.12.12. to you.

PS: if you feel so inclined, I would love to hear what goal or dream or intention you are asking for today. Leave a note in the comments section and I will be sure to think good thoughts for you.

 

The Black Workshop

I recently found this blog, The Black Workshop. It’s such a bizarre and lovely feeling to see a whole collection of photos that look like I feel.

On this cozy, rainy day, I recommend a long perusal. Plus they have music to listen to while you dream.

All photos from theblackworkshop.tumblr.com/

I’m Hugging You With My Mind Right Now

I’m about to get all hippy-birkenstock-let-me-feel-your-energy on you.  Are you ready for it?

I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my thoughts lately.  The Law of Attraction says you get what you think about.  So if I keep thinking about how fat my butt is, I will keep getting more butt fat.  But if I focus on how great I feel about my body and thank the universe for keeping me healthy (even if I currently don’t feel great about my body), then the universe will send me health.

Supposedly, this is how Jim Carey became a famous actor, and that guy that writes Chicken Soup for Your Cat’s Soul made his first million.  (Apparently the universe does not have taste, but whatever.)

So then I saw this posting on another cool blog.  And now I go to bed thinking about you in a warm light.  Is that weird?  At least I am not imagining you in your underpants, like my high school speech teacher suggested.

A powerful mindfulness exercise that I do is to practice love.

“Wait a minute,” you might say. “Isn’t love something you either feel or not?”

I’m glad you asked! The answer is that every feeling you have is either a derivative of love or fear. The more you shift your thoughts towards love, the more you love your life–and allow love into your life.

When you consider that energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed, doesn’t it make sense to begin to shift any fear-based catabolic emotional energy more towards love-based anabolic energy? In other words, to practice love?

I usually do this exercise just before going to sleep, but it really can be done any place you can sit quietly, relax, and focus.

To begin, bring to mind something that you totally and completely love. This may be your spouse or partner, pets, children, etc. Sit a moment and envision them totally enveloped in love. Get creative here. See them in a warm golden light, a big hug, or whatever feels like being embraced by the biggest expression of love you can imagine.

Then bring someone or something else that you love into the picture. As you stay in that feeling of love, start to include more and more people and things—and even places—that you love. Eventually you want to work up to having the entire planet embraced in your vision of love.

For me, this may look something like this:

I envision my husband being surrounded by a warm, golden light that is pure love. That light expands to include our pets, our families, and our friends. It spreads to include our home and everything in it. It expands to include my job and all the people I work with. It grows and encircles our town, and all the places where I have ever lived. It expands to cover the states where I have lived, and spreads to the whole country. It then moves around the world embracing everyone and everything. It encompasses the planet itself and everyone and everything is enriched and enhanced by this feeling of love.

You can make the exercise last a long time, or just a few minutes. Practice this daily and watch for examples of more love coming into your life.

Together we can do it!

From Goss Coaching

PS: I hope you know that wolf picture is a joke.  Right?  Also, I am getting you a wolf poster for your birthday. Sorry to ruin the surprise.

An Apple A Day

How cute is this calendar from AOK aimed at helping insurance consumers lead a healthier life?

I would like similar but with martinis instead of apples…

Going Green 1949 Style, B****H

Love the Eames.

Love Ice Cube.

Love Random Couplings.

This is Pure Perfection.

Leisure Time but Not Leisure Suits

In one of the chapters of The Happiness Project, the author spends time really figuring out what she genuinely enjoys doing during her leisure time.  In an attempt to be more authentic, she stops doing the things she should like doing, and starts doing more of the things she truly enjoys, like reading children’s novels (weird). At first she found it a bit difficult because she had spent so many years doing what she thought she should like, that she didn’t really know what she, authentically, enjoyed anymore.  So as a starting exercise she made some lists to find out what she really loves.  Because time is precious, and no one should waste it pretending to like American Idol (or pretending not to like American Idol).

One of the things I really like doing, authentically, is making lists.  So I decided to do the same exercise and figure out what I really enjoy doing with my leisure time.

Things I Think I Should Like But I Don’t Really Enjoy:

  1. Jazz
  2. Gardening (sorry Mom)
  3. Sight seeing
  4. Going to bars to “hang out”
  5. Book clubs
  6. Reading The Economist
  7. Zombie movies
  8. Concerts at the Fillmore (I can never see anything)
  9. Going out to lunch
  10. Jogging
  11. Grocery shopping
  12. Trivia Night
  13. Politics (sad face, because I was a Political Science major, but politics these days are El Booooooring.)
  14. Shopping at the mall (Express gives me anxiety attacks.  But Express online makes me two clicks away from total pants joy!)
  15. **PS I also dislike Twilight, Harry Potter and the local evening news but never even pretended to enjoy them so not sure they count for this list…

Things I Really Like Doing That Might Be Weird But Is Authentic And Could Be My Hobby

  1. Jazzercise (Zumba?)
  2. Indoor gardening (My orchid plant is out of control!)
  3. Travelling (but mostly relaxing and not seeing much)
  4. Making mix CDs
  5. Writing, blogging, making lists
  6. Learning languages
  7. Going out to brunch
  8. Hosting people at home for dinner and dominoes
  9. Box wine
  10. Design (interior, architecture, pinterest…)
  11. Church
  12. Recipe planning
  13. Baths
  14. Reading (why does this one make me feel guilty if I spend time doing it when I should be doing other things?)
  15. Managing my finances (I love mint.com)
  16. ***Also, I’ll just put it out there; I like funny pictures of cats on the internet.  Yep, it makes me seem crazy, but “funny cat videos” is the #2 searched topic on youtube, so I’m not the only one.  I just don’t think I should make this one into a hobby.

Phew.  That feels better.  Glad I got it out there.  Sorry, I won’t be joining your book club, and we can’t meet over lunch during the work day.  But I’d love to have you over for some cheap wine and dominoes.  And I’ll make you a mix tape for the ride home.

What do you spend your leisure time doing that you really don’t enjoy?  And what do you wish you really could do more of, even if it’s a little embarrassing?

These Eyes of Mine

Something really weird happened to me this week.

I paid someone an exorbitant amount of money to cut my eyeballs with a laser. Which, to me, felt exactly like being abducted by aliens circa 1976.

Before I had the surgery I had plenty of people tell me “it was no big deal”. Who are these people??? How is getting your eye-ball cut by a laser “no big deal”? Of course it’s a BIG DEAL! I bet they like getting colonics too. Freaks.

Anyhoo.

The morning of the surgery they give you a little chat, put a hair net on you, slip a Valium under your tongue and whisk you away to the “laser suite”. Like calling it a “suite” makes it sound fun and posh. Like maybe you might have some champagne and talk with a British accent whilst having a little work done on the old eyes, right chappie? But that is not what happens. Calling it a “suite” is like calling the place where you get mammograms “the Getting Felt Up by Brad Pitt station”.

So they whisk you into the suite and they lay you down on a leather bed with your head facing up with a giant mechanical arm over your head and about four people in the room (I only have two eyeballs, what they heck? Why are all these people here?). And the lights are down way low and they are playing the Bee Gees up way high. And the Nurse tells me “not to worry, this will only take a minute.” And I’m thinking to myself “hey, take all the time you need. No reason to be hasty WHEN YOU HAVE A LASER POINTED AT MY HEAD.”

And then they pull the mechanical arm over my head and tape open my eyeballs and my vision gets all blurry and there’s green and red lights flashing and the nurses are putting liquids into my eyes and the Bee Gees are getting louder and I am seriously starting to get nervous.

And then the doctor shoves what looks to be the metal wire cage that comes off the top of a champagne bottle INTO MY EYE and the Doctor (who is just a voice above my head) tells me not to worry because the cage will make sure my eye stays open and I think how I wasn’t worried before, but I am now, because there is metal cage in my eye and I pretty sure that next they are going to beam me up to the mother ship and give me an anal probe.

But instead of an anal probe, there is suction and pressure on my eye, it pushes and it hurts and they are cutting open my eye flap. My eyeball is literally FLAPPING. And suddenly my vision goes black. I can’t see anything. Oh God, why can’t I see anything? I’m sorry I wanted perfect vision, God. I shouldn’t have messed with your creation. I promise to never be vain again. I take it all back. Please just let me see again. Please God, Pleeeeeasssse! And then, just like that, the suction comes off and my vision comes back (but still all blurry and red and green and only in the right eye) but I think, that wasn’t so bad. I take it back God; I do want perfection. I want to not wear glasses at the gym. I want to know look pretty and see well all at the same time. I am vain and I like it! I laugh at your creation! Ha! Science trumps all! Haha hahaaaa God!

And then they bring in the lasers. Oh God. It it smells like burning. And the nurse/alien starts counting down from seven. And there’s beeping. And still the burning, my eye is burning. And also those God Damned Bee Gees singing! And I honestly am not sure I can do this. I choose a lifetime of homeliness. I choose a lifetime of blurry swimming and jogging in eye glasses. I choose the anal probe! JUST MAKE IT STOP!

And then it stops. And I open my eyes and everyone has left the room but one nurse who takes the hair net off me and tells me what a good job I did and guides me to a chair in the waiting room and I go home and I nap. And I nap and I nap and I nap (because the combination of alien abduction and valium makes me quite sleepy).

And when I wake up it’s still blurry and feels like someone pushed my eyes into a sand castle. But I can see. I can SEE! And I spend the next few days playing I-Spy with my boyfriend and I read street signs out loud like I’m five and just learning to read and I know when I put on too much blush before I leave the house. I go out anyway, because I like a lot of blush, but at least I know because I can SEE.

I Can’t Wait to Cook

 

Here’s what I’m feeling today:

 

from Pottery Barn

 

And also some of this:

from Oh Captain

 

Have a nice night.

PS: I just gave that chalkboard a closer look.  And it costs $99.00 American Dollars.

What?

For reals?

Pay me $25.00 and a back rub and I will come over  RIGHT NOW and spray paint the crap out of a kitchen chalkboard for you. I’m not  even kidding.  I’ve already changed back out of my pjs and I’m on my way.

 

 

 

If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me.

I admit it.

I have been known to fall prey to the Late Night Lonelies.

And I don’t always deal well with it.  I’ve texted inappropriately to see if other people have also been stricken. I’ve kept drinking to prolong the party and fend off the lonelies. I’ve cried. I’ve eaten 2 am sandwiches in my bed.

Surprisingly none of these have provided a cure. Not even the sandwiches.

So I admit I have a problem, which is the first step to recovery, right?

I’ve tried to cut out the booze. I’ve mentally prepared myself for going home to an empty house after a night of being surrounded by my lovely, shimmering friends. I am learning about delayed gratification. I got a cat and I’m teaching him to spoon.

But sometimes that old voice whispers to me; call that person, reach out to another human being, it doesn’t count in the twilight hours.

Last night the voice was loud. It made my fingers twitch and reach for the phone. It grabbed my heart and made me doubt my resolve.

And then I remembered that my old tricks haven’t worked for me. And after the sandwich or the late night phone call I usually feel even lonelier.

So I decided to try something new: do nothing. That’s right. I did nothing. Which is actually a big deal for me (the phrase “leave well enough alone” gives me the willies.)

And when I woke up this morning with the sunshine streaming in the window I felt utterly un-alone, self-respect intact, and zero crumbs in my bed.

Well done me.

I like words!

Catachresis:

A rhetorical term for the inappropriate use of one word for another, or an extreme, strained, or mixed metaphor, often used deliberately.  In Cicero’s words, a metaphor “in which you take what you have not got from somewhere else.”

“The moon was full. The moon was so bloated it was about to tip over. Imagine awakening to find the moon flat on its face on the bathroom floor, like the late Elvis Presley, poisoned by banana splits. It was a moon that could stir wild passions in a moo cow. A moon that could bring out the devil in a bunny rabbit. A moon that could turn lug nuts into moonstones, turn little Red Riding Hood into the big bad wolf.”
(Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker, 1980)

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