December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

What is one to do with all the parts of one’s life?

I’ve been here in Rio de Janeiro, my birth town, for five weeks producing a film.  As I speak my native language and see the places of my childhood, those memories come back to me and with them a certain sadness, as they remind me of times gone by and people who no longer hold space in my present life.

I have lived in 3 cities: Rio de Janeiro, New York and Los Angeles.  Each physical place holds a period of my life.  Of course my present life is the result of all of my experiences but it is clear how many of these experiences have stopped exciting and are now just memories.

Memories are someone’s history but somehow just the word is enough to make me melancholic.  Maybe it’s the conscience of time passing, maybe it’s the knowledge that life has taken many different turns or maybe it is just the thought that it could all have been very different.

I never thought I would leave my family at eighteen years of age and go live in another country.  I never thought at twenty, I would marry a man who would bring me to standing in front of a subway train and wonder if being under its wheel would actually be a better memory.  I never thought I would hold in my arms the person I have loved the most in my life while he took his last breath.  But so it was and so it is.

Memories, all memories.

So as I sit here in a shanty town filming a hip-hop film, I ponder about all the different parts of my life, and wonder which new parts will come to belong to my bag of memories.


Five Steps To A Happier Life

September 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

Nobody can guarantee or be guaranteed happiness forever but there are a few things that we can do every day that will help us have more satisfaction and a better outlook in life.

Below are some ideas in how to live a happier life.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so – William Shakespeare

  1. Be a Part of Something You Believe In – It can be any type of organization that supports a social cause. This activity will act as an anchor by giving meaning to your life no matter what else is going on.  Helping others or doing something for the environment gets us out of our heads and gives us a feeling of accomplishment. It will also get you engaged with others and give you responsibilities.
  2. Share Time with Friends and Family – This one seems obvious but some many of us get so involved with work that we forget that friends and family feed our hearts. Feeling loved and belonging to a group gives us the inner strength to go out into the world.
  3. Reflect on the Good – Quite often people concentrate too much of their attention on negative outcomes and leave no time to positively reflect on their successes.  It’s natural for a person to want to correct undesirable circumstances and focus closely on doing so, but there must be a healthy balance in the allocation of personal awareness.  It is important to mindfully reflect on the good while striving diligently to correct the bad.  A continuous general awareness of your daily successes can have a noticeably positive affect on your overall emotional happiness.
  4. Be Honest – Being truthful without being hurtful is key to our well being.  Lying to ourselves and others create an environment of negativity.  Always tie loose ends and try to leave things on a good note so you can move on without having emotional strings attached.
  5. Slow Down And Enjoy The Simple Pleasures – We are always in such a hurry that we never get to appreciate all the gifts that are given to us on a daily basis.  A tender moment, a beautiful sunset, laughter, a pleasant smell, these are things that enrich our lives and give us pleasure.  But if we are always running we don’t see any of it.  Small things, such a nice meal with a loved one, has the capacity to make us really happy.

Really give it a try to these five life altering suggestions.  You’ll see how much more you’ll be able to draw out of life.