Being Content Today

June 27, 2010 by  
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I often write about being content rather than happy. I thought I should explain why I make this distinction. To me being content is a result of a constant feeling of well being and it is something we can all achieve. We can all work towards letting go of anxiety, low self-esteem and the never ending cycle of looking outside ourselves for every emotional and psychological need we think we have.

What is contentment and how can we achieve it:

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Sacred Time

April 17, 2010 by  
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I’ve been thinking about unplugging and what that means.

Much has been said about all the time we spend on the cell, computer, DVR, TV etc.

So recharging is a must.  But before you say you don’t have the time or the money let me tell you that you can do it on the cheap and in a short time.

For me recharging means slowing down enough to enjoy a good glass of wine, a good meal and my home.  My home is my Tara – for you who maybe too young to have seen “Gone With The Wind”, Tara is the home where Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) finds her strength, rent it today.  One of the best movies ever made.  Anyway…

I realize I am fortunate to have a Tara.  I realize that many people are still searching for a place to call home while I have found mine.   But regardless, I do know we all have something that is special to us.  Find what that is for you and do it.  If you have kids, send them to your family or in-laws for a night and do it.  If you are restricted financially, there are still many things that can recharge you without costing you lots of money or time.  A bath? A meal? A glass of wine? Meditation?

Again, for me the simple action of slowing down and actually being able to savor a glass of wine, a good meal and my yard, is enough to make me feel I’m recharged and I’m ready to tackle whatever obstacle life is presenting me.  All I need to do is slow down to appreciate my wine, my meal, my yard.

Find your Tara, strengthen and recharge yourself and embrace your life.


Take A Day Off

March 27, 2010 by  
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I want to remind you to take a day off this weekend.  Either today or tomorrow please don’t work, don’t clean and don’t run around from task to task.

We must unplug and recharge to have satisfying and healthy lives.  Working non-stop doesn’t make us more productive and it doesn’t get us ahead of anybody else.  Working non-stop burns us out and creates stress in our lives.  Stress creates bad relationships and unhappiness.

Technology has in many ways made our lives and communication easy but it also keeps us “on” all the time.  If we don’t slow down we can’t appreciate the gifts life gives us every day.  If we don’t slow down we choke on a beautiful meal or on a complex wine which is meant to be savored sip by sip.

As I grew up in another country and have family living all over the world, I intimately know how other people live.  While the whole world is plugged in nobody is as plugged in as we Americans are.  We work seven days a week and maybe take one or two weeks off a year while the rest of the world takes a least four weeks off a year.  We have very few national holidays while other countries have double or triple the amount of holidays.

Relationships need attention.  We need to slow down and spend quality time with our friends, family and mostly with ourselves.  How can we check within if we continuously go from being super busy to super stressed?  Life needs creativity and creativity needs space to flourish.

Last March 19th and 20th, from sundown to sundown, a national unplug day, was promoted by the Sabbath Manifesto.  Below are the principles they promoted.

The Ten Principles

01. Avoid technology

02. Connect with loved ones

03. Nurture your health

04. Get outside

05. Avoid commerce

06. Light candles

07. Drink wine

08. Eat bread

09. Find Silence

10. Give Back

Please join me in taking a day off every week.  This ancient concept of rest is as important as anything else we might think of doing for our health and work.


Note to Self

June 4, 2009 by  
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9:35 am June 4th 2009, 41 weeks and a half since my husband passed away. 

I’ve started cleaning up his office.  I’ve given his clothes away to family, friends and strangers and I’ve discarded the many bottles of drugs that he needed on a daily basis, but cleaning up his office feels like I’m raping a sacred site left behind by an old civilization.

Chris’ office was his sanctuary.  It was his place to be as messy as he was and to pile high whatever he felt like. 

Every note from every trip, restaurant, wine, spirits and music is in his office; his life’s work which to me are just memories of him.

I feel I have to start turning the space into something else but every move hurts so I give myself a half hour every so many days to walk into his office and go through his notes.  I end up throwing most of them out.  Not because they aren’t good but because their meaning and function ended with Chris’ passing.

His computer, I have been using since August 15th.  I wanted to let his friends and colleagues know.  That was the first line to cross.  Chris didn’t like anybody touching his computer.

I work on a PC, Chris worked on a MAC.  Every so often when I need to use Safari or Firefox to check out a site I go to his computer.  I now have documents and my history of searching in his computer. 

The only message I have left on my voice mail is from a day before he passed, when I was in my office with my nieces (my office is next to his) and he called my number because he could no longer get up from bed, and said “Deborah no one is to be on my computer.  I have too much work there.”

I tell myself “what am I supposed to do? Leave everything intact?”

It hits me hard the understanding that when we’re gone all that we cared so much about is eventually gone and all that is left is what we lived and had in our hearts and in the hearts of others.

Note to self: “when in doubt, remember the computer.”