Thursday, December 11, 2014

Something You Are Good At

Found ‪#‎inspiration‬ talking to Chris about ‪#‎painting‬ and ‪#‎heights‬ and ladders...

In-the-moment. Inspiration on napkins.

Something You're Good At

There's something that you're good at,
that you relax into,
that feels comfortable,
like a cozy blanket,
a chat with an old friend,
like a pair of jeans, worn in by time,
by the steps you've taken in them.

There's something that you're good at,
that you're a boss in,
and you know it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sword Dance

One of my students said that every time we dance tango, Arya's sword fighting lessons from Game of Thrones replay in his head.

"This is what is happening in my head every time we dance together." ~ Archis Gore 
Full video: Game of Thrones ✖ Sword Lessons 

I love the connection between dance and sword fighting.  There are so many parallels within this clip (the full video compilation), besides the actual act of swinging the swords and the dance itself:

1) the sword (or your embrace and your partner) becomes an extension of you and as such, you learn to use your muscles and move in a way that includes and responds to the weight and shape and position of this additional part of yourself; it becomes a part of you in accomplishing your (common) goal

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hugs a Day

I recently took the streets of Seattle asking people how many hugs they give or get a day.  Most people fell in around 4-5 hugs, some less, some more.  They say we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth (Virginia Satir).

And it’s even scientifically proven: studies show that when we hug people, our pituitary gland releases oxytocin, a hormone that contributes to our happiness. Oxytocin – nicknamed the “cuddle” or “love hormone” – also boosts trust and empathy and reduces anxiety and stress ("Oxytocin Moer Than Mere 'Love Hormone'", Web MD).  So, just pop some oxytocin pills?  You could, but the effects are greater when coupled with social interaction.  Yup, got to hug actual people to get this effect!  Besides, who couldn’t use more hugs?

How many hugs do you get or give a day?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Creativity has its own Timeline

The thing about having lots of ideas coming at you and feeling inspired, is that you have to juggle them all... I'm just taking them in as they come until the storm subsides and I can see who's left standing. Then I'll roll up my sleeves and attempt to make sense of them all.

Creativity has its own timeline.  Let it flow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nature's RESET Button

Feeling frazzled?  On the edge of a breakdown? 

This morning I came in to work at 9am and when I looked at the clock reading almost 11am still feeling like I hadn’t really started my day, I heaved a huge sigh. Frustration. A coworker who hadn’t finished her work the day before came in so she needed the computer, which disrupted my get-the-day-started flow. It’s ok – she’s new. But once I finally did get started at 9:55am, I took some pictures of this adorable baby and plugged in the camera to load them into the system as I usually do. Instead of showing up on the screen, the computer just kept showing that little blue circle spinning and spinning. No pictures. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Default is Atrophy

Hunch Back Posture Problems
“Our default is atrophy,” says Charlie Bellia – if you don’t use it, you lose it. That goes for muscles, languages, skills. That’s why it’s so hard to get back into working out when you stop for a couple weeks.  Your brain is efficient; it’s the best spring-cleaner, trims out all the extra fat, anything we don’t need, it gets rid of. Our instincts tell us that if you work your muscles to the point of fatigue, those muscles need to be stronger. It’s survival, explains Charlie, if you get too tired hiking up Mount Si, your brain senses that it could be, on the most primal level, dangerous. Working your muscles tells your brain that you need them. And if you demand more of them, they rise to the occasion – that’s what they’re there for. Their function is to work for you and your movement needs.

Lydia Condrea, a linguist and language teacher, tells her students that their brain is lazy. Unless they can trick it into needing to work to find other ways to communicate, it will default to the system it is most comfortable in. That is why it is nearly impossible to really pick up a new language in a situation in which you rely heavily on your native language or one that you already know well. When I studied in Rome during my sophomore year in college,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pet Portraits

One of my newest endeavors. I have been taking pictures of cats and dogs for years. I love the challenge: they don't care if you're trying to take a picture, so pictures of animals are always candid shots. But this challenge is actually what I feel allows me to capture their personality, their essence. Cats and dogs don't hide anything - what you is what you get. Real.

June 21st ~ 11am-12pm

If you know of any pet owners who might be interested in
a portrait, please spread the word about my upcoming Mini-Photo Session Event this Saturday, June 21st at Greenlake, just North of the Bathhouse!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Gift of Eye Contact

Eye contact is a huge return-on-investment.

Eye contact is recognition. With eye contact you acknowledge the presence of another human being, another living, breathing person with their own reasons to smile or sigh heavy, with their own mother, sister, brother, family ties, with their desires, their worries, their little silver lining, their needs, their space. When you pass a person on the street and make a little eye contact, just a little, maybe even smile, you make a gesture, a connection, acknowledging the presence of a human being sharing space with you.

It's nice and I bet everyone involved will feel just a bit lifted, a bit lighter, a bit brighter. I'm working on this and if you feel you can work on it too, let's do it together.

Eye contact is a little gift of a bit of yourself. Give more. Give the gift of eye contact.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Community: The Power of Collaboration

By Eleni @ Kouzina Restaurant
A huge Thank-you to Eleni Ponirakis Henry for inviting me to join her at her quickly-growing Kouzina Restaurant this Friday and Saturday for the PhinneyWood Art Walk. She and her husband own this small, popular restaurant and whole-sale operation where Eleni shares her passion for fresh, wholesome food inspired by her Greek roots. Her dishes can be found at cafes and stores all around the Seattle Area. Not only does she share the delicious Greek tradition of food, but she opens her doors to local artists during the monthly art walks in the tradition of hospitality and community. Thank you, Eleni, for including me and supporting my work on connection (book: WHEN 1+1=1).

Community @ Kouzina Restaurant

Hope to see you this Friday to check out Eleni's delicious food, the local artists, and more!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Jewel Game: Seeing Possibilities

I stayed up all night on the red-eye flight I was supposed to sleep through, playing the Jewel game (got to level 16!). I did find a philosophical lesson in it, though: When I tried to find a place to put the shapes, it was much harder than when I just sat back and went with the flow and looked for the opportunities as they presented themselves.

See possibilities vs. obstacles.

En vez de descansar como correspondía, me quedé despierta toda la noche durante el vuelo entero jugando ese juego de joyas (y llegué al 16o nivel!). Encontré un mensaje filosófico mientras tanto: cuando buscaba acomodar las joyas como quería yo se sentía forzado y me costaba
mucho más que cuando me entregué al flujo de las formas y empezó a fluir mucho más.

Ver las posibilidades en vez de las imposibilidades.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Body Language: Between the Words

Body Language: Between the Words by Gabriela Condrea
Dialogues of Healing and Resistance
Union Cultural Center, Seattle
Photography by Eduardo Inclouds
Sometimes we get stuck in the verbiage,
as if in our you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it culture,
if we can’t put it into words, it doesn't count; it isn't valid. 

But communication is 70% body language, they say,
and interpretation is always at play…
Nothing is crystal clear,
nothing is black and white.

And some things can’t be contained in boxes
or tied up in neat little bows;
Some things go beyond our capacity to formulate
strings of pearls and paragraphs.
Between the commas and the periods,
all caps and hash-tags,
there’s more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

March in Buenos Aires 2014

La gente me pregunta cómo lo pasé en Buenos Aires…. y agradezco eso porque – más allá de ser una muestra de atención muy linda – me hace reflejar y organizar dentro de mí todo lo que trascurrió mientras estuve ahí. Esta estadía en Buenos Aires fue intensa, hermosa, todo lo que generalmente haría dentro de tres meses, embutido en uno.  ¡La montaña rusa de emociones todo junto! Pasé tiempo con amigos, comí bien y sano, cargué libros por todas partes de la ciudad, brindé para la vida con una copa de champagne casi sin faltar. Hermosa gente, una recepción calurosísima que la verdad sobrepasó todo lo que hubiese podido esperar de parte de organizadores de milongas y eventos desde Palermo al Centro, en el barrio de Villa Urquiza que voy conociendo más y más y encariñándome cada vez más, hasta San Isidro, en la radio – momentos emotivos, risa, abrazos…. ah, los abrazos. ¡Tanto cariño y contención! Gracias a todos mis seres queridos que reforzaron en mí la sensación de que Buenos Aires es parte de mí, una parte inextricable de mí.      


Sunday, March 16, 2014

La vida es muy corta

A veces la vida me parece muy corta, las horas muy pocas…
Pero de eso no me quejo; lo agradezco
porque significa que hay vida
mucha vida
muchas ganas
proyectos pendientes
segundos que valen la pena respirar
agarrar con ganas
y pasar en la mejor manera, 
dándoles el valor que les corresponde.
La vida es corta, muy corta  la bella vida.

Se dice que cuando lo estés pasando bien, el reloj no es amigo.

(( ENGLISH translation ))