Thursday, May 11, 2017

To India, With Gratitude


This post is long overdue. We visited India a year-and-a-half ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think of that trip. It was amazing and intense on so many levels.

But life gets busy and goes on.

A couple of days ago I came across some notes I'd jotted down for this post. Yesterday, I talked to my dear friend Heather, who just returned from a medical mission trip to India and Nepal. She commented on how much we have to be grateful for here in the U.S. She mentioned clean air. I had an AHA moment, I need to publish this post. Clean air was the number one thing I missed while in India.

So here goes. Thank you, India, for helping me fully appreciate: 

1. Clean air

2. Clean water that we can drink right out of the tap

3. Fresh, organic produce

4. Personal space - there are SO many people in India, and your personal space is constantly invaded

5. Traffic patterns/lanes - this might sound crazy because we complain so much about the traffic in Seattle, but the traffic in India is CRAZY. Sometimes, I'm not sure how we survived it.

6. Garbage collection - seems mundane but in the absence of garbage collection, life is messy!

I am so grateful for our opportunity to visit India. It's interesting how travel helps us grow, opens our hearts and minds, and sometimes helps us realize we have it pretty good!


Friday, April 28, 2017

Practice Aloha

  

Aloha friends!

We were in Maui for spring break a couple of weeks ago and it was AMAZING! The sun, surf and family time were good for my soul.

My favorite souvenir I brought back with me is the principle of Aloha.

Who knew Aloha had such a deep meaning? It's such a common greeting in Hawaii. I wasn't sure if it meant hello, goodbye or thank you.

As it turns out, Aloha is a deeply spiritual principle that conveys the deepest expression of one's relationship with oneself, the creative and life-giving forces, one's family and community, and with one's friends and strangers.

The principles of Aloha are things I strive to nurture and practice in my own life. They can only make me a better person, and society in general could certainly benefit from Practicing Aloha. 




I'm a visual person so putting the principles of Aloha into pictures helps me remember them. I hope these inspire you to Practice Aloha too!

GRACE



HARMONY



GENTLE/PLEASANTNESS


MODESTY


PATIENCE/PERSEVERANCE



Few sports require the patience, harmony and perseverance that surfing does. No wonder surfing is the national sport of Hawaii.


Cheers and happy Friday friends.

Go get some Aloha!

xo,

Amy






Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Marimekko, With Love

 

 "There is only one responsibility - beauty.
There is only one reality - a dream.
There is only one strength - love."

-marimekko founder, Armi Ratia 


If you are a child of the 70s like me, you probably remember Marimekko! If not by name, you'll likely remember the large, colorful, graphical, flower prints that adorned dresses, bedspreads and living room walls.

I was so excited when I heard the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle was hosting the Marimekko, With Love exhibit.

This exhibit really got my juices flowing because it's colorful and I love Scandinavian design and sensibility. Plus it made me nostalgic for my childhood where large yellow Marimekko blooms adorned our home.



 "I don't really sell clothes. I sell a way of living.
These are designs, not fashions.... I sell an idea rather than a dress."

-marimekko founder, Armi Ratia 




Marimekko, With Love offers a retrospective look at the company's mid-century origins and the role Marimekko played in shaping a new aesthetic and approach to living through fashion and design.

The exhibition draws together landmark Marimekko fabrics and fashions created by pioneering designers under Armi Ratia's leadership from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Furthermore, Marimekko played a vital role in the modernization of Finland and the transformation of 20th century design, embodying social change and a business model within which the ideological and aesthetic choices were primary. 

If you have a chance to see Marimekko, With Love I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life is...



Dear readers,

Two things I have to share with you today...

First thing this morning, I walked over to the UW campus (my alma mater) to see the cherry blossoms in bloom in the Quad. I was a bit overcome with nostalgia remembering my college days on this amazing campus. So I had to share the above photo.

Then I came across this passage from the wise one - Mother Teresa. It is too good not to share.

.......................................................................................................................................................

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is a beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is costly, care for it.

Life is wealth, keep it.


Life is love, enjoy it.

Life is mystery, know it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.

.......................................................................................................................................................

Thank you Mother Teresa for these beautiful words.

Life is truly what you make it.

xoxo,
Amy


Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!


For everything there is a season....


Spring is my favorite season! It's a time of re-newal, re-birth and re-vitalization.

It reminds us of the natural rhythms of life and to:

BREATHE

TRUST

BE

It shows us that BEAUTY is everywhere.

It reminds us to notice what sparks joy and to stop and smell the hyacinth.

Happy spring friends!

xoxo,

Amy






Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tears of Joy


 

Man, this parenting gig is a roller coaster.

I finally see what parents who have come before me mean when they say "it flies by."

Sofia is 9. Half way to 18.

The gradual process to adulthood has begun.

She's recently started walking to and from school by herself, and she's more self-sufficient these days (mostly).

It's a beautiful thing, really, and so natural.

But also bittersweet.

She's beaming with pride and exuding a new-found confidence. When she gets home from school, her body language and huge grin say "Mom, I did it!"

I'm so proud of her and I'm starting to see the young woman she will one day be.

But I can't lie. It's a transition for me. Since choosing to work part-time from home, part of my "job" has been to walk Sofia to and from school. Yes I'm gaining more time on both ends of the day, but I'm missing our routine of walking to school hand in hand (when she will let me) and giving her a hug and a kiss to send her off on her day. I also miss seeing my school community of other parents.

This morning when Sofia left for school I felt like my heart was walking out the door as I choked back tears.

I know this is only the beginning. I'm holding onto the special moments and enjoying the ride.

Any sage advice from those who've come before me?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Words Matter




I truly believe in the power of words to inspire, to activate, to change the world.

But actions matter more.

In other words (pun intended), it's not just what you say or think it's what you DO.

It's living your values.

I have several mantras—combinations of words—that guide my life.

Take my 3 G's mantra above. It embodies a whole new meaning when I add the verbs—the action words: notice, show, trust.  

It's noticing when someone shows grace and lets me in in rush hour traffic.

It's sending a thank you note for a kind gesture.

It's trusting God that everything will be ok.

Let's hope the vitriolic words that have been flying around the last several months will not be put into action, and will be replaced by caring and compassionate actions.

What words inspire you to take action?