Doodling is important

I have always doodled while thinking. I used to draw goofy pictures, but as an adult, my doodling has changed to random words and phrases. I found these doodles all over a notebook from 2009:

What do you see through the eye of a needle?
I see me.
I see eternity.

Beautiful, peaceful monk
of the dawn
Touching the breath
of the morning life

We co-create.
Allow it to happen.

Hard work and discipline
— What’s down that road?

I touched heaven
and it was fire and love.
The light is the way.
The path is illuminated.
The words are the map.

I am already naked

There was a road
and I didn’t know how to walk it.

If we define art as a beautiful and inspiring act then
Life is art.
Every moment spent truly living
is creation.

My Dreams are often nebulous and beautiful;
they are a Monet of emotions and colors.

Have faith in your doodles. They are windows.

Faith inside darkness is light.

Artwork by Quentin Houyoux.

We were all born to do something. Perhaps to garden, or to nurture children, or to cook, or to write. We all have a purpose. I sincerely believe that. Goals are simply writing down your purpose in life on paper. What were you born to do? Why are you here?

When we don’t follow our purpose, we feel lost and sad. We feel blind and confused. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we were given a purpose – we don’t feel worthy of such a grand destiny. So we deny our destiny, and sadness and confusion fills our hearts.

But when you finally step onto the path of your destiny – when you finally show up and do the work – it is instant relief. The pain and confusion in your heart and brain begins to lift.

There is a reason why you have certain innate talents. It was no accident. Goal-setting is merely plumbing your soul, discovering the hidden light that is bursting inside of you.

And the first step is faith.

And faith is very very very very hard for some people.

But remember, you always know your path; whether you’re afraid of it or intimidated by it, you still know it. It may start out as a tickle, but it will not stay that way. It will grow inside of you and refuse to be ignored. And soon you will feel it like you feel love or kindness, invisible but carrying great weight.

And this calling, this destiny – the reason your soul was so skillfully and artistically crafted – won’t be to lose weight or to make a million dollars. It will be something substantial, something meaningful, something that makes you sparkle and thrive – something that allows you to live passionately. Follow that path, and the rest will fall into place.

Happy New Year. May 2011 bring love and happiness, adventure and growth. 🙂


I decided to own it! I always advise people to own their dreams, to own who they truly are — the part that makes them shine. But I’ve never done it myself because it’s so scary. What if I suck? What if I’m full of shit? What if I’m not worthy? What if it all crumbles and then is consumed by a flaming ball of shame?

Well, I’ll give myself the advise I would give one of my best friends: Fuck all that negative shit that belittles and destroys! You can do it! You were meant to do it!

Or I could take Steve Jobs advise, which is wonderful and much more eloquently put:

It’s still scary to follow your dreams though. You just do it anyway.

Joy Therapy

Photo by kgreggain.

Many a spiritual fable ends with the lesson of meeting the universe half-way on the road to your dreams. In that spirit, I have made a “Joy Therapy” list: things that are within my power to bring joy back into my life. And I leave all the serendipitous synchronicities up to the universe. 🙂

Angel’s Joy Therapy

  • Laugh
  • Exercise
  • Dance
  • Walk in the sunshine
  • Garden
  • Yoga
  • Meditate
  • Pray
  • Journal
  • Write
  • Blog
  • Pet the dogs and cat
  • Sing
  • Eat healthy food
  • Connect with family and friends
  • Read joyful books and blogs
  • Listen to joyful podcasts
  • Spread love

Word of the Year

Photo by Lynn Cummings.

For the past few days, I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about the New Year and what I want to do with 2010. You see, the New Year has always been a time of brazen hope for me. For this reason, the New Year counts as one of my favorite holidays in the calendar. And as I’ve been journaling and pondering and on the phone with Shelly discussing our exciting hopes for 2010, I have been thinking about and working on my traditional list of what I would like to do in 2010.

And then I read this blog entry from Andrea Scher. To quote:

Have you picked your word of the year? Seems like the interwebs are abuzz with this idea and I love that it has taken a firm foothold over New Year’s Resolutions. I’m actually amazed that resolutions have stuck around so long. For most people they don’t work! and you know why? because they are all about deprivation. They remind us what’s wrong with us, what there is to fix. They tell us that if we were only more (fill in the blank) we would be happy/successful/a good person.

That’s the old way, right? Soooo 2009.

This is the year of the list. The Mondo Beyondo List, the word of the year, the year that we create intentions, follow our dreams, and let our passions and our joys guide us instead.

I LOVE this idea!! This resonated with me like a perfect crystal with a New Age junkie. I snatched it up and watched the light refract through it and said “Yes! Here is how I will organize my coming year!”

I could not settle on a single word, so I picked two. My two words for 2010 are Joy and Trust. I want to learn to be joyful again, and I want to trust in both my dreams and in people. I realized recently that I am isolated and lonely and it’s entirely my own doing. I keep everyone at arm’s length in order to protect myself from being hurt. And although this may be a great defense strategy, it is also very isolating. And so I’m opening up, letting go, and reaching out to touch people, which is really really really scary for me and will have to be done in small, incremental steps.

But hopefully, by the end of 2010, I will be joyful and connected.

A Year in the Life…

It seems quite the popular thing right now to chronicle a year in one’s life as one struggles towards a (hopefully) happier, more fulfilling future: “Julie and Julia”, “Eat, Pray, Love” and “The Happiness Project” all being prime examples. As it is the beginning of a new year, this seems like the perfect time to consider the idea.

If you were to chronicle 2010, a year in your life, what is it that you would want to strive for? What are you trying to change? Would you cook 524 recipes in 325 days? Would you travel to three countries to rediscover the happiness that fell out of your soul? Would you try a new happiness habit every month?

As for me, I have decided that 2010 is to be the Year of Joy. I have actually forgotten how to be joyful. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible. Over the past five years — since the birth of my first child — my life has become one of duty, responsibility and obligation. And although these things are very important, when a life becomes solely one of duty, well… weariness and sadness soon follow.

I wish I could tell you that I will do x amount of things in y amount of time, but the truth is, this year for me is simply one of exploring myself and learning how to be joyful again: writing for fun, sewing for fun, being for fun… learning to play again.

And the first step is for me to slow down. I have become the stereotypical surburban mom with my husband driving to work in the city every morning while I stay home to keep the house and drive my two children to their preschool in my SUV. And as a stereotypical mom, I have my blinders firmly in place so I can stay focused with tunnel vision on the next task.

But all the color has drained out of my world. I have slowed down, taken the blinders off, and now search for the happiness that has fallen out of my soul.

And that’s what I intend to do this year.

More inspirational children’s tunage


I have three more songs from children’s movies to share.

“The Climb” from Hannah Montana: The Movie:

Sometimes the inspiration is woven into the lyrics and not so much in the tune or beat as in the following song:

“Written in Your Heart” from Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper:

And sometimes the inspiration is all about the beat, and you jump and dance and spin around your living room, feeling your own happiness pulse with the beat of the song, as in the following song:

“Alex on the Spot” from Madagascar 2:

Now get out there and fly! You rock, baby!

An awesome way to begin the day


I have two preschool children, so I watch a lot of children’s shows. And I have discovered two things:

  1. Children’s shows are almost always inspirational.
  2. I tend to like children’s shows very much because they are almost always inspirational.

Recently we watched Camp Rock. It was a bit hokey, but overall I liked it. And there was one song I liked very much. In fact, it is now the song on my alarm so when I wake up in the morning, I have “This is Me” lyrics running in my head. It’s a great way to wake up. As I’m stumbling around, brushing my teeth, putting my gym clothes on, and basically trying to keep myself motivated, these lyrics are running through my head:

This is real, this is me
I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, now
Gonna let the light, shine on me
Now I’ve found, who I am
There’s no way to hold it in
No more hiding who I want to be
This is me

Here’s the song if you would like to listen. I do like it very much. Just press the play button and step into my morning routine.


The Mental Shift of Delayed Gratification

Photo by Matthew Bowden

Me and Instant Gratification are lovers. We’ve been intimate with each other for a very long time, and I am fiercely loyal.

But then my husband decides to do the Master Cleanse diet as a way to reboot his body and his focus towards a healthier lifestyle. Basically, while on the Master Cleanse, you drink this spicey lemonade concoction and natural laxatives for 10 days… and nothing else. I did it with him for 24 hours before I cracked and told him (and I quote), “Fuck this shit! I’m eating food.”

But my husband, with his indomitable willpower and laser focus, has just completed day five of the Master Cleanse and is still going strong. He is going for Delayed Gratification.

Delayed Gratification: To give up something I enjoy now for something that I will enjoy even more in the future.

I have read about delayed gratification for many years. My brain processed the words and understood the concept, but I never grokked the concept until I watched my husband go through this Master Cleanse diet. I went through one of those mental shifts where something finally clicks, and you exclaim, “Oh! That’s what they mean!” If I don’t eat that donut now (or any donuts for the forseeable future), I will get to have abundant energy, general contentment and clear skin and get to wear the fun clothes. The donut, which I would enjoy very much, must be sacrificed for the future health and playfulness, which I would enjoy even more.

So now I understand — truly understand — delayed gratification and all the wonderful things that can come from it. I haven’t kicked Instant Gratification out of my bed yet; one does not change overnight. But I have seen a different, and perhaps better, way to act.

The Raw Food Point of No Return

Image by abcdz2000

I’ve been on this raw food diet (well… on and off and struggling with this raw food diet) for almost four months now. As a not-so-newbie anymore, I have some advice that is both good and bad for the raw food newbie:

You will reach a Point of No Return.

You see, when we eat crap food all of the time, we feel terrible all of the time, and we don’t even realize that there is another way to feel. We always feel slightly run down and sick, and we assume it’s the pace and difficulty of modern life.

Then you start eating raw vegan food, and you feel… good. You feel awake and your body doesn’t hurt as much as it did before and your brain is a little less fuzzy. And the longer you stay with raw food and the higher percentage of it you eat in a day, the better and better you feel.

And the opposite happens as well: when you eat fast food or processed food or processed sugar, you feel sick. I mean properly sick with stomach cramps and an achey body and brain. You just feel terrible until your body manages to break the food down and cycle it out of your body.

But here’s the problem: you still like the taste of and crave all that junk food. Just because you’re eating raw vegan food doesn’t mean that all of sudden you don’t want that steak and egg bagel from McDonald’s or those Russell Stover chocolates. So you eat them. And you feel really sick. Then you race back to your raw food until you feel better. And then you eat more junk food. And you feel ill again. Then you eat more raw food until you feel better. Then you eat the junk food….

See the pattern? But then, finally, you reach that point where you just don’t want to feel ill anymore, no matter how yummy Popeye’s chicken and red beans and rice are. It’s just not worth the hours of pain in the mind and the body.

But here’s the other problem besides still liking and craving the junk food: Sure, now you’ve decided not to eat the processed food, but you still haven’t quite figured out how to thrive on raw vegan food. Four months in and I’m still basically eating green smoothies and salads. I don’t sprout any seeds or make almond milk for a muesli-like cereal in the morning. I don’t know how to make seaweed-wrapped veggie rolls. I don’t know how to prepare any of this! What I do know how to do is go through the McDonald’s drive thru and order a #2 and a small coke with no ice.

I don’t want to be sick anymore. It really hurts now when I eat junk food. But I’m still at the bottom of the raw food learning curve. *sigh* I guess it’s green smoothies and salads mostly as I slowly learn how to prepare and enjoy more raw food recipes.

Oh, by the way, the up-side of the Raw Food Point of No Return: 1) you feel so much better and happier; and 2) you lose weight and become healthier. And how can that be a bad thing? 😉