Archive for August, 2011

Meditation

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapelss – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee

I tried meditation for the second time last week. The first time was in my 20’s and I hated it. I’ve always had a problem with quiet and being still. Whether it was the TV, radio, or me just talking, I’ve always needed noise in my space. During Girl’s Night Out last week, a few of my girlfriends suggested Ah Meditation. I was a bit skeptical at first, because I didn’t know where to begin and  instantly convinced myself that it wouldn’t work because I had already tried it once. I also tried potato salad as a kid and hated it.  I rediscovered it two years ago and it wasn’t that bad so I guess taste really change with age. So, I was open! Especially since there was a You Tube instructional video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PwVJOiRcI8&feature=grec_index.

Okay, can I say, I loved it! I’ve been doing it every day since last Monday. And I had a breakthrough the first day – I felt the blockage of my third eye and it freaked me out. But afterwards, my mindspace was empty… clear. I was ready to receive!

So now at 35+,  I enjoy being still. Maybe I should give yoga a second chance…

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Luck

“Good luck is often with the man who doesn’t include it in his plans.” – unknown

Luck. Some may define it as the chance happening of fortunate events. Oprah has explained it as preparation meeting opportunity. Gautama Buddha thought that all things which happen must have a cause and do not occur due to luck.

In my 20’s, I began a tumultuous love affair with luck. I was convinced luck had been responsible for me finding a job in television my second week in LA. I thought I was lucky to discover the perfect apartment in Sherman Oaks even though I spent a year apartment hunting. I even thought a little luck helped me to publish my first book. So it’s no surprise that after attributing many of my accomplishments to luck, I was convinced that it was going to rescue me from my past distractions and I would ride off into the sunset with career success.

My dependency caused me to ignore a lot of realities. Although I had this passion to be a writer, my focus was never on writing. Instead, I dedicated my energy and placed all of my fears in the belief that luck would continue to do right by me.  However, the last few years have mostly been filled with resentment and disappointment. So, at 35+, I am breaking up with luck. The dependency has created laziness, self-doubt, and a little bitter entitlement. I now know that luck isn’t responsible for my accomplishments. I AM. I still believe in luck. And maybe one day, we will meet again. But I can no longer depend on it to complete me. So, I am now ready to put in the work to create my own happy ending!

 

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Stuff

“You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy” – Eric Hoffer

Hello, my name is Kim and I’m a stuff addict…

The majority of my worldly possessions carry a story. Whether it’s me discovering it in Thailand while trying to escape two guys I thought were trying to plant drugs on me to carry back to the US (Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have watched Brokedown Palace before my trip) or me catching an amazing 90% off sale, most of my stuff bears an interesting story.

My mantra in my 20’s was: I work to buy anything I want. And I wanted a lot.

After losing my job in 2009, I was forced to spend time with all of the things collected over the years. Since I was so used to the routine of working to buy more, I had never paused to come face to face with all of the stuff hidden behind the anecdotes. I had clothes with price tags still attached; electronic gadgets only used once; books never opened. Finally being at one with all my stuff, I began to reflect on its purpose and my addiction to it. I began to realize that I had come to define a piece of myself through my stuff and my ability to acquire it.

Yes, it’s hard to admit, but at 35+, I can now look around at all of the crap, I mean treasures acquired over the years and admit that the fascinating stories or the incredible deals fail to validate it today. It’s all just… stuff. I’ve taken back the value that I once gave my material possessions and have begun to invest it in myself.

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Mama

I still hear you humming, Mama. The color of your song calls me home. The color of your words saying, “Let her be. She got a right to be different. She gonna stumble on herself one of these days. Just let the child be.” And I be, Mama. – Sonia Sanchez

My mother was a soprano.  Whenever I teased her challenging voice, she would laugh and say with Paulette’s famous attitude, “Baby, I know I can sing!” My case would then often weaken with the reminder of the one solo she performed in the church’s choir in the late 70’s. Although she wasn’t the best singer, my mother was never afraid to loudly belt out a tune. And she sang even louder for her three daughters. She was always my biggest fan. From the beginning, she supported and embraced every turn I made, even when it wasn’t on the “normal” path. She cheered regardless of my own strength and courage and she embraced my dreams like they were her own.

In my 20’s, it never registered that I would be forced to live without my mother even after losing my Grandmother and Aunt Margaret. I never applauded my Mama. Instead, I concentrated on perfecting my independence and placed the weight of the world on my shoulders. I became stuffed with the idea of success. I was so consumed with building and shaping my life that I disregarded the shoulders my mother had sacrificed for me to stand to receive the success. I knew she was responsible for the child I was, but often neglected to give her credit for the adult I be.

Four years ago today, my mother took her final breath with a smile. Knowing Mama, she was probably singing her way to the pearly gates.  Although she’s no longer singing loudly in this life, my ears are often comforted by the songs I once called out of tune and mistakes, but now know as love and sacrifice. I now recognize that her beautiful soprano voice continues to guide me, console me, and build me. Today at 35+, I cherish my Mama! I’ve embraced the many similarities we share: her features, her personality, her voice.  And I am so grateful for her lessons of teaching me to sing loud and proud. I love you, Mama!

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