Efficiency

Going back to work has made me a lot more efficient with my time and it’s fascinating how much I can get done in a compressed amount of time.

When you don’t have pressure to get things done quickly, you simply don’t. Or at least, I don’t. Typically, I like to flow with the day and to not rush and to get things done in a more relaxed fashion.

  
Before as a full time stay at home mom, it would take me all day to get out of bed, clean the house,  workout, shower, make dinner, shop, run an errand or two, check email and social media channels and perhaps volunteer or meet a friend for coffee or lunch before my real job began at 2:30 when the kids came home.

Now that I’m working, I have become more efficient with my time and get things done compressed all together consecutively at once.

For example, this morning I had coffee, read the paper, made lunches, cleaned the kitchen and made dinner before showering and driving Juliana to school at 8 am. By 9:30, I had gone to the car dealer, stopped at the store to buy suede spray for my boots, sprayed them, did my hair and makeup and stopped at the dry-cleaners on my way to work.

I worked my half day and then went shopping for the holidays with the last half of the afternoon before joining the kids back at home at 5:30 pm, thanks to the carpool friends. I sorted through the mail, wrote a check for a school event, caught up again on a few work emails and warmed up dinner before heading out for the evening date and appointment with Juliana.

If I want to get my work hours in and keep my personal life and house life running, I have to plan ahead and utilize all the minutes and the hours. I tend to like this pressure because I seem to get more done. I do miss the carefree days, but not as much as I am enjoying working.

So for now, life is good – working part time and figuring out the work/personal/volunteer/home life balance.

How does your life flow? What works well for you? Are you happy with your balanced or unbalanced days? I’m curious.

Wishing you well.  nAmAste.  xoxo

 

Share Your Sweets

I found the solution to world peace and creating One Love.  We must come together and share our sweets and taste each other’s different versions and interpretations and show up at our communal table.

People across religions and continents bake sweets and cookies and cakes to celebrate life, whether it be a birth, an anniversary, a celebratory dinner or holiday.  We love the smells and creating something good to give and share with our friends and family.  We enjoy our grandmothers’ recipes and repeating what was once good.  Celebrations revolve around sharing food and traditions and creating memories.

Think about it. We share sweets and break bread together and we create intimacy and joy.  We create memories as we practice our traditions and invite others in.  Will you be making Christmas sugar cookies this year?

christmas-cookies

How about the traditional Jewish chocolate covered Matzo?

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Sharing sweets is like a sacred sacrament.

Two stories of humanity caught my attention this week and I want to share them with you, if you haven’t read them already. Both touched me, because fear caused discomfort and yet sharing baklava and mamool brought people together and helped them to smile and see one another.

Image source: http://images.mediaallrecipes.com/userphotos/720×405/21460.jpg

Maher Kahlil is an American citizen who was speaking Arabic at an airport and was profiled and detained and treated as a terrorist. He was questioned and embarrassed, however once he was allowed on the plane and people asked him what was in his white box, he opened it up and shared his baklava.

Image source: https://louanneskitchen.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/c2adc-baklava.jpg

Hopefully by sharing sweets, passengers could see he was just like them.  Here are the details from his story:

Maher Khalil Story

Another story is about a woman who understood Arabic and was able to help a troubled, hysterical, older Palestinian woman who didn’t understand English when their flight was delayed: Naomi Shihab Nye Story . The American woman reached out and not only communicated and comforted the Palestinian woman, but also kept her company and helped her to communicate with her family, sharing her phone while they waited and making calls to other friends who shared the same language. As they waited, the Palestenian woman opened her bag and shared her powdered sugar covered mamool cookies. Every woman she offered them to, took one and thus she created a connection between strangers. It was as if she was apologizing for her tears and offering peace to those around her. And everyone chose to share communion in that sacred space.

The world is good. There are good people all around us. Let’s share our sweets and create this one sweet love. One love. No Fear.

If you like these stories of humanity, Frank Somerville KTVU is a great person to follow on Facebook. He is a local news reporter and chooses to share stories like these all the time. I absolutely love his perspective and love reading the comments and reactions from around the world even more.

He’s a lot like Brandon, from Humans of New York that you can also follow on Facebook or on his website:  Humans Of New York. He shares real stories of our humanity by showcasing strangers and sharing their stories, to which we can always relate. Again, reading the stories and seeing the pictures are powerful and reading the comments from his 8 million followers makes the world feel a lot smaller.

So what’s for dessert?  I like chocolate whatever. 😉

Life is Sweet.

nAMaste

 

 

Looking for a Sign

Recently I shared that Charlie had made bags to give away to homeless people in our community through a service project at our church. We have had 3 bags in our car since Wednesday and have only given one away.

Today we were looking for someone holding up a sign, that might need food or a blessing. As we were driving to San Jose for his soccer game, we came across a man in the middle of the intersection with a sign, that said, “God Bless You” and another sign that I could not see. We were stopped at the red light, about 5 cars behind the line and the man was at the front. I opened my window and motioned for him to come our way. He waved me on, as to tell me he’d be right there, as another person had opened their window and was handing him something.

I felt anxious, as I was going to have to move as the light would surely change any second and it made me nervous interacting with a stranger this way.  He eventually made his way up to my window and I showed him the bag, and asked him if he was hungry. He looked at me with a funny, inquisitive look, and I told him we had food and a rain poncho for him.

He did something that surprised me. He didn’t speak English and instead, sort of grunted and frowned and backed away, saying no to me with his actions. He did not want what we had to offer and he did not smile.  This made me curious as to what he did want. Maybe he just wanted money. I’m not sure and I wanted to respect his wishes. I didn’t want to project our wishes to share goodwill when he didn’t wish to receive it. I just said, “Okay. God bless you.” and drove away.

Life doesn’t go as we expect it and I’m practicing accepting what is, in the moment. I think they call this acceptance, without holding on to expectations. It’s not easy to do, but it sure felt good to let go in that instance.

I wish him well and we’ll keep our eyes open to help someone else.

Hope you are well.

Love,

Adriana

 

Fatherhood

Today I read a post on Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg that caught my interest.

He and his wife are expecting their first baby and he is planning on taking two months off from work to be with his child. I cheered out loud! Yes!!  Yes!! Yes!!

He stated that this is a personal decision and that research shows that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. 

Imagine that?  When parents, especially dads, decide to invest their time in family bonding and learning and growing together from the very beginning, the outcomes are better.  Isn’t that a great plan? I love that he’s able to and is making his family a priority.

Facebook offers their US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.  I hope that he is a leader in corporate America and that other companies follow his lead.

Tonight Juliana and I were walking in Campbell and we saw a big, hunky guy sitting outside Starbucks by himself, except he was pushing a stroller back and forth. This made us both smile and warmed my heart. I loved this picture of a good looking guy, relaxing and pushing a stroller. This was another great image to me. I hope this guy becomes a role model for other men.

I think Mark’s story and seeing the guy with the stroller touched me because I love that men are caring about their wives and children this way. It makes me feel like they are interested in building their family foundation and legacy and this is valuable to me and to American society.

I love this way of thinking. Cheers to participative fathers!  

One love.

Namaste

H2O – Help 2 Others

I tend to keep my writing neutral and focused on one love and not religion, so not to separate us into categories of believers and non-believers.  I believe that we are all more alike than we are different and that our belief systems should not separate our oneness. We may choose different paths for living moral lives and we are all coexisting and expressing love in different ways, which is a beautiful process.

We are members of an active, loving, community building church. Our motto is rooted in Christ, reaching out in love.  Our faith is actionable and I want to share a story about how our church family is helping the homeless.

We have a mid-week program for 2nd through 6th graders, who come to church every week for 2+ hours and share fellowship, bible study, a meal, prayer, and an activity, all run by volunteers, even the cooking dinner part.  It’s amazing to be part of and to witness.

Last week, our activity was filling brown, paper lunch bags with items that we can give to the homeless in our community. We had stations where the kids were writing cards, preparing muffins to be baked, decorating the outside of the bags, and then one to fill the bags.

One of the love notes looked like this:


 Inside the bags, the kids placed a rain poncho, a can of vienna sausages, instant oatmeal packets, squeezable applesauce packets, a fruit bar, and a love note.


They filled over 160 bags. As they left for the evening, each kid was told they could take 3+ bags home with them and they were told to keep them in their cars and to hand them out with their parents to those in our community who were in need.

Charlie was very excited for this event and couldn’t wait to be able to find his first person to help.  While he was coming home from his soccer game this weekend, a homeless person was pandering for money at the intersection. Charlie told his dad that he had to stop and give the man one of his H20 – Help To Others bags. Jeff was confused at first, because he didn’t realize that Charlie had been prepared to serve others right there and then. Charlie was insistent that Jeff open his window and give it to the man standing nearby before the light changed and he missed his opportunity.

Jeff told the man that he had a care package for him and asked if he would like to have it. The man agreed and was very thankful for the gift and connection.  Charlie watched and felt content. The two of them talked about their experience the rest of the way home and Jeff praised Charlie for his persistence and active interest in following through and helping the man, standing in the cold.

Sometimes sharing my faith makes me uncomfortable because I don’t want to leave anyone out or have anyone with different beliefs than mine to feel disinterested because it’s a discussion about something they don’t believe in. The root is still the same and that is the connection I hope you find, whether you’re Christian, Atheist, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, or other. We are all rooted in love. One love.

I shared this story because I wanted you to see faith in action. I want you to see the good that churches provide a place for people to gather and to create good deeds and to make our communities a little bit better. We are teaching our children compassion, to be giving, and to help others. I’m sure you are too, perhaps in similar ways and different ways too.  This is just one of the many ways that connect us to love and to serve each other.

Do you have a story to share about helping others, big or small?

nAMaste, BeLoveRs

Changing Seasons

  
This is looking up into the sky from the underside of the big tree in my front yard.  I’ve been waiting for her magic show to open and today was the big day for me to show up and see her in her colorful glory.

I love watching her change every day and seeing her sisters all lined up and down the street, welcoming us home every day in an array of beautifully mixed colors. They are gorgeous and represent that the holidays are coming and that it’s cold outside. 

I will enjoy these moments before the leaves begin to fall. And then I’ll enjoy those moments too of purity and nakedness and clean, visual structures. 

As the world rushes by, remember to slow down and enjoy the magic that swirls around you and live in your moment, right now and share your story of being with those you love.

nAMaste