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The Art of Learning

Photo of Gala Darling
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. ~Mathama Gandhi

The most inspiring and brilliant people I know have one thing in common: they never stop learning. At the moment, I’m sitting in a crowded Apple Store at a table across from a man who is setting up his brand new MacBook laptop.

This is serious business.” an elderly man in his late 70’s says with an eager smile.

The Apple rep is showing him how to browse the web and set-up his first email account. The elderly man is diligently taking notes as the Apple rep gives him a tour of the fresh and foreign, online world with his newly purchased laptop.

Simplify Your Life

Photo by Shannon

We’ve been deep-cleaning around the house lately: donating old clothes and getting rid of any extras that have been unused for sometime. In order to create ease with our daily routine, we’ve been simplifying our home and life.

My husband and I have a lot of random items from previous moves that we’ve been unable to shake – mainly sentiment that has spared numerous boxes of trinkets from our childhood or souvenirs from our travels.

But we honestly have no use for any of this stuff. They’re space-takers – they’re extras.

In an effort to simplify our life, we often turn to our material possessions: de-cluttering, donating, and organizing our space to create a sense of calm.

Synchronicity – The Beauty of Coincidences

Photo by Mike Bailey-Gates
Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident. ~Mark Twain

I missed Yoga this AM, as I thought it was Wednesday instead of Tuesday . . . a recent side effect of finding it hard to sleep and easy to wake up. The irony of all this is I sent the above quote streaming into Twitter space right before I rushed into an empty yoga room. Accident–the greatest of all inventors.

My newly gained, completely open hour gave me the opportunity to write this piece, spend more time in meditation, and just allow my day to flow as it is.

As I approached my 28th year last month, I’ve learned that mistakes, “accidents” and synchronicities are a recurring open door that provide us with an opportunity to address what really needs our attention. While a simple analogy, sometimes it is in the most ordinary moments of our day where there is wisdom to be found…even in missed yoga.

How to Wake Up Early

After reading last week’s article on problem solving, Tina casually mentioned wanting to wake up early. I felt inspired to write a piece on how to wake up early. For the past 4 months, I’ve been consistently waking up early—5am specifically. This article contain tips I’ve found helpful to become an early riser.

4:45 a.m. arrives and our bedroom becomes a full on symphony of battling alarms: my husband’s starts at 4:45, mine follows at 5:00, his chimes back in again at 5:00 (in unison with mine), and depending on the snooze capacity that day … we may even have one more finale at 5:15 a.m.

The coffee grinder is also programmed to go off at 5 a.m. The aroma and grinding sound of coffee beans travels all the way from the downstairs kitchen to our bedroom upstairs.

How I Found Love (Again)

Photo by aeschleah
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes. ~Sally Field

Recently, my husband and I had several arguments—one after another, each fueled by the prior. This series of bickering pushed me to examine marriage: both the societal conditioning of how relationships should be and a reflection on my own journey in the love department.

I have been married for five years; but up until this past year, I often hesitated sharing my relationship in much depth, beyond the fact that we had celebrated two proms together in high school and experienced a unique journey thus far. Although I knew my husband was my life partner, lover, mentor, confidant—my one and only now and into old age—I was self-conscious about the layers beneath our outer shell.

The Art of Simplifying

Photo by Gala Darling

We live in a society where our worth seems to be validated by how large our network is; how often our Blackberry goes off; how worldly we are from our travels; or how many awesome Facebook pictures there are of us, proving to our friends we live the good life. Not to mention, as we grow older and wiser, there is a constant learning curve on how to gracefully handle evolving responsibility.

So, we resort to multi-tasking. A term I’m all too familiar with:

For the past three years, I’ve adopted wearing several outfits: the Corporate Banker, the weekend Real Estate Agent, the closet writer, the Board Member, the six days a week fitness guru, the overly helpful sister/mentor, the “wherever there was time” Nutrition Coach, the social planner… The exhausting list can be rattled on, but these were my staple outfits.

The Perfect New Year’s Resolution

Photo by Andrea D'Aquino
Editor’s Note

I am honored to introduce you to a new member of our TSN team, Cat Li Stevenson.  Cat is an exceptional writer - transparent, authentic, and self-reflective.  This is an extraordinary piece from her as a gift to us for the New Year.  I loved and savored every word.  I hope it will inspire you to reflect and contemplate your truth in welcoming a new marvelous year.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~Lao Tzu

As we bring a close to 2010, I decided to take a new approach to how I’d invite the New Year into my life. In prior years, I would laundry list every over-achieving goal that would bring me closer to the perception of “perfect.” In reflecting on check marks next to certain goals of the past, I honestly cannot attach a purpose behind what that particular accomplishment did to truly serve me. Once I removed the glitz of the curtain—the appearance of the goal—behind it was nothing more than the yearning of fulfillment I had began with.

What I thought I knew was—that with each accomplishment—this would bring me closer to the perfection theme I sought out in my career, physical appearance, friendships, bank account, family, and spirituality. I practiced this redundancy for the past several years without realizing that this “perfect” I pursued was never defined by the reality of my own authenticity.

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