Light and Laundry

My family room has become my laundry room. I was hoping to have all the laundry done before the end of the day, but of course that didn’t happen.  I was just caught up two days ago, and already the piles are high! How does that happen so quickly?

I don’t really like seeing piles of laundry sitting in my living room, but today I saw it in a new light. Literally.  

I was having fun in the kitchen making all kinds of messes and interesting dishes, and the beautiful light shining unexpectedly in the room caught my eye.

  

The sun was setting after 7:30 pm and this light should not have been piercing through this room that way.  I was curious. 

It actually was reflecting off a neighbor’s mirrored windows and reflecting into our room.  I loved how it caught my eye and I was able to snap a quick picture with my iPhone 6.  (I just felt like I had to add that camera type in the details as Apple is advertising their photos in magazines and billboards everywhere touting the excellent photos their phones can take and I agree!) 

Sometimes we find something interesting and beautiful in the not so interesting simplicity of repetitive laundry.
What did you find interesting or beautiful today?

xo Adriana

Love is Louder – The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Success

If you want to see love in action, just take a look at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


We, as a community, are speaking up. We are accepting a challenge to connect, to raise awareness, to be giving, and loving and supportive and playful, and grateful.  We are creating compassion and we are doing something good that feels good and right, and not just for ourselves or our families or necessarily something close to home.  We are helping others and that helps heal us and creates happiness despite the pain and suffering that exists in its many forms. And ALS is just one of them.

Love wins.

There will be haters and nay-sayers, but when we are loving and authentic and share from our hearts, love and goodness wins.

ALS Awareness is also winning through our social media online campaign.  Just look at the numbers… over $42 million dollars has been raised in a month by thousands of new contributors.  That is CRAZY good.  I hope this sparks giving all over the place.

We as a society are winning by communicating and connecting and bridging the gaps between our humanity, across religious and political and financial and age differences, one at a time in our own little way.  Woohoo!!

It is amazing to be part of this wonderful movement, and not just for the awareness that our participation and sharing is bringing to ALS, but also to the connection and compassion and kindness we are sharing with one another.

What if we can learn from this successful social media online campaign and apply the lessons to other causes?

What has made this so successful?

Here are my takeaways, in no particular order:

1.  It started with a SPARK.  Pete Frates, a patient with a need, had an idea. He dared someone to take a fun, goofy challenge to create awareness and to raise money and gave them a specific time period to respond, within 24 hours, and asked them to spread the love by challenging friends, creating a personal connection.  He created an inferno!

2. A DARE.  When we are dared to do something, it’s like challenging us to step up. In this case, it was a fun dare that is possible and easy to do, and most everyone can participate without getting hurt (if you’re careful!! – of course there have been injuries)

3. A quick turn around TIME, within 24 hours. The challenge was action oriented, dump ice water on your head and/or donate to the cause within 24 hours. People can’t put it off to do later.

4. Social Media – we have the means to connect quickly via Facebook and Twitter and Email, etc.  People want to be part of something fun and good and it’s catchy. Sharing is caring.  We are connecting communities and feel like we can do something to create change by participating. We can be seen and we can be creative and we like those things.

5. It’s FUN.  It’s fun to be play and be silly and with all our busyness, it’s great to stop in a 24 hour period because we “have to” and to just be goofy.  We are given a pass to play because we accepted a dare.  It’s fun because of the anticipation of ice cold water being thrown on our head and waiting for the cold to chill and shock us and make us laugh and make those around us laugh. It’s like that carnival dunk tank game that makes us laugh every time the ball hits the target and the volunteer falls in the water. We laugh at this. We love the anticipation and clean, safe, fun that surrounds us and we want to play, participate and watch.

6. It’s POSITIVE and we can all connect and share and create community across communities. There is a lot of negative news and we’re tired as a nation of all the terrorism and racism and any other -ism. We need to laugh. We need to connect. We need to share some love and laughter, as a nation and across nations. We’re hurting as a society and we need to love one another. LOVE doesn’t see age, sex, fat, politics, religion, etc.

7. Happiness comes from GIVING. We give each other a challenge. We give each other a laugh. We give a little bit of money to help others. We give ourselves hope. We give each other some lovin’ and that’s a good thing.  Giving is a secret to creating happiness, not just for the receivers but also for the givers.

8.  It’s ENTERTAINMENT.  We use humor to lighten the stress. We use humor to connect with one another. And watching people dump ice cold water on each other or themselves is funny. We can laugh and connect with one another in this simple way, through a smile and a laugh.  And most everyone can participate in this challenge – young and old.  And we’re using humor to create awareness, love and compassion.  And we’re playing first, learning second, and giving third. Play is important.

9. It’s SIMPLE.  It’s easy to do and it’s engaging and quick. We maybe spent 20 minutes between finding a bucket and filling it with ice and water, rehearsing for a minute and recording the challenge. And then going online afterwards to http://www.als.org to donate.  It was fun, easy, quick and simple to do with my kids.  As a family, we played first, watched a video second and learned about what ALS is really about, and then donated money next.  The dare/challenge from a friend is what got us involved and interested in participating and we didn’t want to miss the 24 hour deadline.

10. The intention is AUTHENTIC and by participating and sharing, we make it PERSONAL. We thrive for authenticity and for what is real. This is a real need. There are real people dying and suffering with no cure.  ALS is a horrible, terrible disease that affects the patient and his/her family and community. And we all know someone that knows someone that is afflicted by this and we can feel empathy by sharing in the pain and feel like we can make a small difference.

I hope what this challenge does is helps to raise enough money and awareness so that a cure can be found for ALS and the conversation continues and those affected feel the love and compassion from all of us. I also hope that we continue to engage with one another, play with each other, focus on the positive, and continue to think of others and give money and time to those causes that need our attention, as often as possible.

We can make a difference. We can be the change we want to see in the world.  I dare you to take the challenge and play along and donate to www.als.org and to any other group or organization that needs some lovin’.  I dare ya!  xoxo

Namaste

Best Part of Your Day

What was the best part of your day? Was it small or magnificent?

We had such a busy day that required a checklist with times and tasks and people to keep track of all the back to back details.

My favorite part of the day was when I wasn’t busy. I was up early and got to drink coffee out on the patio with Jeff and read together before the mad dash.

I heard parrots flying over head and listened to the sprinklers spraying the grass, while feeling the light mist and warmth of the sunshine on my legs. I loved this unrushed space.

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Charlie’s baseball team had it’s closing ceremony and I hosted the team potluck party afterwards. My tennis team had a match afterwards and my doubles team won in two sets, and our entire team won the match.

Juliana and Christian both went to the movies with friends this afternoon, and Jeff grilled out for us for dinner.

Hope you had a relaxing and fun Saturday.

Life is good.

California Staycation – Day 2

Today was an almost perfect day for me, despite waking up with a headache.

Jeff made me coffee and we sat and read the paper together. I love the simple routines.

I had a USTA tennis match this afternoon, so I couldn’t join the family on their afternoon outing to the San Francisco Giants game. They left by 10 am, which gave me several hours alone at home before my match. Having quiet time without any responsibilities was awesome! It did feel funny to be home alone when I felt like I should be with my family. But this didn’t make me worry too long.

I sat and read my book for an hour and then did some work around the house before heading out. It was so peaceful to not be in a rush and to have very few interruptions. This was a luxury to me because I knew everyone was happy and taken care of so I could relax and be happy too.

The kids and Jeff had a fabulous time and I won my singles match, which made me very happy.

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I absolutely love playing tennis. I love the mental part of the game, being outside in the sunshine and working hard, applying what I learn and trying to not over think every move.

When we all came back together, we shared stories and BBQed together.

Today was wonderful! Life is good.

How was your day? What did you do?

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This the cove near the ballpark in San Francisco. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Control

I want to explore this topic as I have a ton of ideas floating in my head about control, but since I’m tired I don’t know if I’ll get them all out tonight.

But I’ll start with this. Do you have any relationships you wish to control? I mean no one really wants to control someone else, because that would be bad. But do you have some relationships where you have expectations about how you want things to go, but they don’t go as planned because the other person has different expectations? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

I have a couple like this. I have these dreams and a very active imagination and I build up these fantasies in my head that don’t go as I have scripted. Because there are other smart and grown up people involved with their own set of images and dreams and needs and wants. And sometimes we’re in alignment and sometimes we’re in conflict.

So for some reason, sometimes I want to be in charge. I want things to go my way. But they don’t. And I don’t have control and I don’t like that feeling. But I’m working on that every day. To let go and to let things just flow. To let others have their way and to not expect them to do what I had envisioned. So simple, right? But that letting go part is so hard. And so what? The best thing to do is to listen, be understanding, share, adapt, and flow.

I’ll give you a silly example. Juliana was sitting in the back seat of the car, and I opened the door to have her move up to the front. But she closed the door as I was talking to my friend, and didn’t move. So I clicked the automatic door button again and told her she could move up front, but again she closed the door and I was confused. I thought for sure she would want to move up front. But she didn’t want to and had her reasons, which made sense. I felt like I knew better and wanted to control the situation and felt agitated. But why? Because I had envisioned her moving and it didn’t make sense to me why she wouldn’t move the way I imagined. I felt conflict, on a very small scale, but this is what I’m talking about. And this same story plays over again and again. Things don’t go the way I plan. Duh. I want to be less rigid and let go of my feeling of need to control situations, and just flow and trust my loved ones. Usually the outcome is better anyway and everyone is happier.

Having big kids or being in a partnership, people that we love are going to disappoint us, but not intentionally, especially because they love us and typically have good intentions. They just have their own agenda and free will and usually aren’t thinking the way we do. The sooner we let go and flow and move our ego out of the way, the happier we all will be. Am I right?

Here’s my joy face from tonight Good things come when you let go. :-). Namaste.

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everyday life

simple.

it doesn’t have to be complicated.

i choose to share my everyday life to share a story of one person practicing living in the moment, perfectly imperfectly, and doing my best.

i don’t always get it right, but the beauty is… there is always just another moment beginning to start and try again. there is hope. for us all. always. and if we don’t like what we’ve done or what we’re doing, we can change. for real.

i laugh at myself. i tell my kids when i mess up. i thank them for teaching me every day, because i still don’t have this life thing and parenting tweens thing all figured out. don’t you wish life came with a manual?

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Today’s joy was delivered in several ways.

I exercised and felt alive and felt muscles that are building, thanks to Lysia and her TRX training. Thank you.

I sat quietly and had my nails done, because I’m practicing discipline this week. I am a nail biter, and have been since I was 5 years old. I am practicing discipline this one way, and enjoying the sweet rewards of being pampered and practicing sitting still, which is hard for me.

I am also practicing discipline by doing Weight Watchers. I love to eat and drink and be merry. A little too much. So last week I decided to practice discipline this way too. I have to say, I am enjoying living a less gluttonous life style.

The real joy came from being with my kids today and not being too busy.

Charlie had friends over to do homework and they were pretending to be Santa Claus and the North Pole.
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Charlie was Santa and the girls were tracking his arrival on their computers, before falling asleep right before Santa arrived at their house with toys. I wish you could have heard the dialogue, as it was too cute!

I made a kid friendly meal for dinner – baked teriyaki chicken with rice, broccoli and grilled pineapple brushed with butter and brown sugar. I sat with them and shared stories and enjoyed them climbing all over my lap, making fun of my stupid, big cheeks that make my eyes shrink when I smile. I love that they want to play and tease me.

When I went to drop off Juliana at her event, I took Charlie with me to see the Christmas lights.
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I love that he loves Christmas, and I know I’ve already said this before, but seeing him enjoy it makes me enjoy it even more.  Loving this moment.

These were a few of my favorite things… what were your favorite moments from today? What made you smile?

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