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Practicing. Beauty Here.

By on Nov 11, 2013 in addiction, Authenticity, los angeles, spirituality

My new favorite cooking show on TV these days is Heartland Table with Amy Thielen. Amy lives in rural Minnesota and features Midwestern foods she grew up with. Perhaps this does not seem a natural choice for me (I am Asian American, originally from Hawaii/California) but for some reason it’s hitting home right now. Maybe because I’m always trying to figure out what to make for my boyfriend who (is not from the Midwest either but) doesn’t care for Japanese food, or anything with quinoa in it, and I have been inclined to try to present to him both. Utter failure. To give him credit he did take me out for a wonderful Japanese meal the other night, fulfilling my sudden craving for agedashi tofu, and he only whined a little. Anyway, Amy Thielen’s Fried Onion Dip and Maple Bread with Soft Cheese: THE BOMB. So Midwestern foods don’t relate much to my life in...

Live Simply

By on Oct 27, 2013 in Authenticity, recovery, spirituality

Living simply is paring away – stuff, obligations, expectations, people. It’s removing all the glut and rubble from your life, making space in your house, your heart, your brain, and your life for exactly and only what you need. It’s getting down to the core of things and returning to a way of living that most of us can only vaguely remember: pleasures that don’t cost piles of money, rewards you don’t have to buy in stores, amusements that don’t require a screen or scrabbling with hundreds of other people to get to.

When I say live simply, I’m not talking about picking up a copy of one of those make-your-life-simple magazines at the checkout counter of the health food store for $4.95 and doing all the pretty expensive things they tell you to do, like paint every piece of your living room furniture the same uplifting color of pea green. I’m talking about the practice of simplicity in all its forms as a kind of human grace and peace, about being present in every moment with the softest, smallest thing you can be present with – washing dishes, taking out the trash, choosing what you wear and eat and listen to, what you choose to throw away, what you save and use again. Simplicity can be as simple as sweeping the leaves from the path and using them to mulch the ferns, cutting up your old T-shirts and using them for rags, refolding and reusing a brown paper bag.

Daphne Rose Kingma

The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart

 

Bookmaking as Process

By on Oct 4, 2013 in books and publishing, callings, hope, poetry, recovery, spirituality, writing

Someone was reminding me recently how it’s about the process, that it’s all process. Last year I launched a Kickstarter project to self-produce a collection of poems and I don’t know why but every logical part of me thought this end of things would be a simple and straightforward process. For reasons that are not apparent to me, it has been anything but simple or easy. The plan I had turned out not to be the plan that the Universe or the Book-making Gods had in mind for me. In fact, I’m still in this process, and need to make more books. However, I have been, at last, able to produce the first twenty. My boyfriend said that one day, when I’m all done, whatever day that is, I’ll be able to tell people that my blood, sweat and tears went into these books. Two nights ago I was binding the books with needle and thread and poked myself really badly and...

A Note About the Interviews

By on Jul 10, 2013 in addiction, art, Authenticity, callings, Interviews, poetry, recovery, spirituality

It’s been an amazing experience so far doing these interviews. They’ve been mostly conducted with artists, of varying mediums. I’m fascinated with the process artists use and one of the connections I’m looking to make note of  is how  art-making can support living authentically, as a process, in addition to being an important means of self-expression, catharsis, and a vehicle for joy and beauty. (The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is an important reference for how to physically enable the artistic process, especially for those experiencing some degree of stuckness in their creative flow.) I’m also very interested in addiction, and especially recovery from addiction. Why? Because I suffer! I want to live out the true purpose for my life. There are a few things that make this difficult and addiction is of the most difficult. Mainly because, as it is...

Authenticity Defined

By on Jul 10, 2013 in Authenticity, callings, recovery, spirituality

From Wikipedia: Authenticity is a technical term used in psychology as well as existentialist philosophy and aesthetics. In existentialism, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. A lack of authenticity is considered in existentialism to be bad faith.

Interview { The Poet }

By on Jul 6, 2013 in callings, Interviews, poetry, recovery, spirituality, writing

Barbara Rockman Santa Fe, New Mexico http://stingandnest.wordpress.com/ Barbara’s collection of poems, “Sting and Nest,” won both the New Mexico Press Women’s 2012 Poetry Book Prize and the National Federation of Press Women 2012 Poetry Book Prize. She also received two Pushcart Prize nominations and was  selected to be an Associate Artist at a 2012 summer residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts. She teaches poetry workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico.   What is your relationship to the authentic self? My ongoing quest is to reveal and embrace the authentic self. I wrestle with peeling the layers of defenses and doubt and long-held assumptions that can hide the truth of who I am and can be. In my writing this is an ongoing challenge. I want to be as odd and beautiful and tender and fierce and mysterious and original as I can. That is, to trust my voice, the...

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