October 31, 2012

What They Don't Want Us to Know

My niece, the beautiful bride, sent this clip to me recently that was featured on Upworthy.  It was created by the very talented and inspirational author Karen Walrond.


I've been having a hankering for awhile to make a short film about my mission here on Lines of Beauty. The idea makes me kind of nervous, because I don't know anything about film making, and haven't a clue where to begin. I guess though that I just need to get started and see where it goes. Maybe my first born will join forces on it with me.

With Hurricane Sandy here on the east coast, it's been a crazy, full moon kind of week in this neck of the woods. If you happened to have been in her very destructive path, I hope you are safe, dry, and have electricity.


October 24, 2012

Success or Pleasure?

Earlier this year I posted about sixty-one year old Cindy Joseph (above). She was featured on Yahoo's award winning video series called Second Act, which highlights women and men over the age of 50, who have reinvented themselves.

How fortunate is it that we can always reinvent ourselves? My mom is still doing it and she is almost 91.

Cindy Joseph is up to all sorts of reinvention. I came across this latest clip of hers and give it two thumbs up.

The older I grow, the more I am into pleasure. I guess this is partly because the older we grow the more aware we become of what pleases us. And doesn't please us.

Also this week I came across an interesting website called Uncommon Help. Someone close to me is in the throes of divorce and I went in search of something to help her navigate the rocky road.

If you are in the middle of a divorce, or know someone who is, you might like to read Uncommon Help's 8 Helpful Tips to Getting Over a Divorce.

While on the website I also found The 9 Secrets of a Happy Marriage.

I find the internet so very interesting. To me it's much more satisfying and educational than TV, as there is oodles of endless neat things on here.

So often, being the night owl that I am, I look at the clock, and think "Oh no..it's almost midnight... I have to go to bed!" But I hardly ever want to.

Our baby turned nineteen yesterday in Guatemala, and our oldest is coming home this weekend for a quick visit. I also have my first swim meet in months this weekend. The best thing is that my 59 year old brother is racing in it with me. Because of our age difference, we were never able to be in a swim meet together when we were young, until now.

We can get that nervous, barfy feeling together :-)

Butterflies in my stomach as I write this.

October 16, 2012

Protecting Our Interest

This weekend we journeyed to Middlebury, Vermont  to hear the Dalai Lama speak on Saturday morning. Because we were arriving so late the night before, and had to rise very early, we pseudo-camped for the night in the back of the trailblazer with a blow-up mattress and sleeping bags. It made me feel like I was ten again on the sailboat. After the long drive, Tom nodded off in about six seconds, so I watched part of another great Ted Talk.

It would be terrifying, but I would like to do a Ted Talk.

Anyway, the Dalai Lama was adorable and funny. I wasn't expecting this. In my research I learned that Dalai Lama means "ocean of wisdom", and this he is.

I was surprised to hear him tell a story about staying with a nice family while touring in the US. He said they had a delicious meal, in their lovely home, and then after eating he excused himself to care for his teeth. In the bathroom, the medicine cabinet was open just a crack, and he decided to have a peek inside.

What did he find?

Lots of valium. I forget exactly how he phrased it...but it was something like "This family seemed so calm and perfect, and suddenly I saw that this was not the case."

The toll of trying to be perfect. I love the quote Perfection is the the highest form of self-abuse by Tao Te Ching.

The Dalai Lama had lots of his own wisdom to share:

The importance of sleep. Sleep he says is the best meditation.

The reminder that we are all the same. That we are one.

He also spoke about self-discipline. He said that self-discipline is "protecting our own interest." I loved this distinction. I have always thought of self-discipline in terms of  taking care of myself, of doing what needs to be done, of sticking with my commitments. For me anyway, to place the concept in his light, makes it more about making sure that we are doing what we want to be doing, in our hearts. Protecting our interest.

Or least that's how I interpreted it, or wanted to interpret it.

Here are some of my favorite Dalai Lama quotes I found on the web:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need.'

The concept of war is outdated. 

We all have to live together, so we might as well live together happily.

Beautifully said.

Also, a special thanks this week to Sandi for your lovely Harvest Moon gift. You are such a dear.  This post is for you.  

Let the things that enter our lives wake us up.

October 11, 2012

Still Doing It

86-year-old gymnast, Johanna Quaas, pulled off some moves most people don't ever come close to achieving at the Pre-Olympic German gymnastics trials. She now holds the world record for being the oldest gymnast in history.

Holy smokes missy. Talk about keeping your groove on.

Here is her floor routine, which has also received over 3 million hits.

I've been meaning to write about someone I know who has been struggling with both weight and knee issues over the passed several years. The good news is that before she launched into what she knew was going to be a very stressful summer for her logistically, because of her life being tipped upside-down temporarily, she decided to greatly reduce the amount of sugar she ate. She also cut out white flour. So instead of potentially putting on more weight and experiencing more knee pain with all the stress, she lost twenty pounds over the summer. And don't you know her knee problem resolved itself? Like magic.

Eating sugar, as you may already know, causes inflammation.

I always say that sugar is like poison.

And the more we eat it, the more we crave it.

Sugar is kind of like crack and is bad for us in so many ways.

For further reading, about not feeling like a rusty old bike, see my post called The Sweet Stuff.

And have a wonderful fall weekend, dear readers of mine,

XO, Louise

October 02, 2012

Turning the Boat Around

Every week I try to put my finger on what is happening either within me or around me. Do you remember that sticky yellow tape that people used to hang to catch flies in their homes? Well sometimes, I feel like that piece of  tape. I try to write about what I know, or what I have observed, that has been caught on the tape.

Many years ago, when I was going through infertility, I went to see a therapist named Norm Ephraim, who specializes in negative thought. Thanks to him, I am acutely aware now when I have negative thoughts or those around me do. I don't think negative thoughts are necessarily a bad thing, in fact, I think they can be very helpful in small doses. They can be arrows pointing us in what direction to go in next. They are part of what it is to be human.

It is unfortunate, however, when we get swept away with negative thoughts, and allow them to flatten us. We can get caught in a child-like state, and stuck in "our story", when bad thoughts permeate us. Negative thoughts bring us down, and sometimes paralyze us, and can even make us sick. They are contagious- to ourselves and to those around us. Kind of like when car wheels get stuck in mud and just spin.

Kind of like worrying.

I know personally what it is like to get caught in the web of anxiety. If we can't do anything about a situation, the healthiest thing to do is to just let it be, until we have something new to lead us. It's important to be patient, and have faith, that we will always chose the best thing for ourselves.

There is no sense in letting our thoughts drive us crazy.

Negative thinking can turn some people into complainers and although complainers can be entertaining for a time, after awhile I think most of us just want to say:

Enough already! Change the channel. This is so not uplifting. You sound like a broken record.

Turn off the mental masturbation.

And turn the boat around.

When we can step outside our heads, there are so many things in life to enjoy.

We all have the power to control what we think about.

Carly Simon's song below, although basically about the slow and steady fire, says it perfectly:

Take a look around now
Change the direction
Adjust the tuning
Try a new translation

... And you feel closed in by the same four walls
The same old conversation.