I am on a journey to live a life I love and to fill my life with the things that truly bring me joy... my dream job, loving relationships, financial abundance, a healthy mind and body, and a deep spiritual connection with all that is. I am living consciously to create a life filled with all the things I love.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

3 more weeks!

It has been a long, long time since I have posted here! Two and a half months have flown by, and my excuse is school and pregnancy. :) School, because it has kept me so busy that I am constantly working on projects and pregnancy because whenever I am not working on school projects (or eating or commuting), I am sleeping! Being pregnant means you have to make more time in your day for sleep, including naps, just to feel normal. I've had to adjust my life for that and am realizing how I have to make the most of my awake time and make it more productive so that I can continue to get adequate sleep.

What I am really excited about is that I only have 3 more weeks of school left! Wow! That means that I will be done with formal education for good in 3 weeks! Yey! And I will officially have a degree in fashion design. This is an exciting time for me. It means that I can have time to myself and have time to do the things that I've wanted to do but have had to put aside for the sake of homework. I am mostly excited for all the craft projects I can finally finish. I will be posting them on my craft blog. And of course all the unfinished sewing projects, including alterations that I've promised myself and my husband. But first, the baby gifts will need to be knitted and crocheted for my pregnant friends before their baby shower!

Besides all the excitement of the personal craft and sewing projects I have going on, I will continue interning for an independent designer that I started interning for this semester. It's been a great learning experience and what's even better is that she has been so flexible with my schedule. I am excited to have so many things to look forward to as this semester comes to a close. It makes all the work to catch up and finish final projects more tolerable.

And of course the biggest thing I have to look forward to is the arrival of our baby! I have about a month after school ends before the expected due date, so during that time we will be organizing everything from the crib to getting all the baby supplies and finishing reading up on what I should expect before it's time to deliver. What a life changing experience that will be! I couldn't have asked for better timing! I am extremely grateful that things have turned out the way they did. It's amazing how nicely everything is working out.

Ok, this was just a little update since I felt like I've neglected all of you for a while. I'll be back with much more I'm sure as the next 3 weeks come to a close! Until then, enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Semester

I started my last and final semester at Parsons two weeks ago and things have already kept me pretty busy. I've managed to keep my schedule reasonable this semester, especially knowing that I am going through pregnancy at the same time. After we started school, we already had Labor Day off and Rosh Hoshana off, so it is a slower start for those classes that fall on those days, but teachers have been generous in giving assignments in my other classes. I even had one teacher assign a big assignment that was due on the first day!

As with all semesters, the beginning is always a time for schedule changes. There are always students to register for classes late, or have to change their schedule for some reason. I really feel bad for these folks because they are playing catch-up, and unless the class is a little lighter on the work load, there's usually enough work from just one week to keep you really busy! I have always tried to avoid this by registering for classes the second that I am able to. This is the only way to ensure that you will get into the classes you want. A few second lag can mean that others sign up before you and that the class become full. At that point you'd have to either wait for someone to drop or beg advising to let you in over tally. Fortunately I've been able to avoid that scenario. I only had to add a class after they canceled one of my classes last semester due to low enrollment. Fortunately I was able to enroll in the same teacher's class on a different day.

This semester I did register for a class late. This is only because I had no intention of taking this class, and did not even know it existed until one of my classmates recommended it to me. It was just the class I was looking for to round out my semester of classes, so since it is my last semester, I decided to try and get it. It was a full class, so I would've had to deal with advising and all that, but after some patience, prayer and sheer luck, I logged on one more time before I went to the city to go to advising to find that one person had dropped the class! Lucky me! I was able to snatch that spot up immediately. This is a course that will help me create a business plan for a fashion business, but it's not the Entrepreneurship class that falls within the fashion school. That one did not get such good reviews, so I was looking for an alternative when the right one came along!

Signing up late means catching up on the homework and finding someone to be kind enough to send you the notes and syllabus. Most teachers do not like you to bother them for these things, so I was finally able to get notes from a classmate. I have one day to complete everything, though, so today is the day dedicated to finishing a lot of homework for the upcoming week so that I can stay on top of things. Things always take a lot more time than expected, but this time I am prepared for that reality. The only thing in my way is trying to organize my space so that I have work space for all my patternmaking/sewing homework, drawing homework, and everything I need to complete on the computer. Organizing supplies and making them all accessible in a NY apartment is a feat in itself.

I am excited, though, that this is my last and final semester. I have no idea what the future holds other than that I will be having a baby! It's not very realistic that I will be able to work on anything right away, so my focus will be on having a baby come next year. There is another girl in my class who is also pregnant and due 2 days after me! It's amazing how many people I've met and run into that are due within a few days or a week of me!

I am continuing to update my pregnancy blog if you're interested in keeping updated about my pregnancy. We found out the baby's gender and I'm starting to feel the baby move! How exciting!

I'm just hoping for an easy but rewarding final semester where I can have work/life balance and a healthy body for pregnancy. It's only 3 more months until the semester will be over!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Celebrating our 5 Year Anniversary

My husband and I took one last trip together last week before we are expecting the baby. It was to celebrate our 5 year anniversary and was essentially our "babymoon." We went down to Puerto Vallarta for a week. Somewhere not too far and an easy place to vacation while pregnant. It's nice to get that last trip out of our system so that we feel like we were able to get some r&r before the big day arrives.

Here's a picture of us with an iguana and a little one on top of my head.

If you're interested in seeing more pictures, you can take a look at my Flickr set.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Success Story: Terry's Toffees

An incredible story about how a new business can be born effortlessly. It all started with the book, The Artist's Way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Big News!

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while since I have posted, but it's been quite a busy time getting organized after our move! And, I also have some big news that I'd like to share that has also kept me pretty occupied! I am 15 weeks pregnant!

I have been adjusting to a new life of symptoms, fatigue, and constant eating. It's been an interesting road so far, and if you are interested in reading about my pregnant journey, I've created a blog just for that topic. I assume not all of you are interested in reading about all of my pregnant details, so I decided to keep it separate from here. I've been blogging there for almost a month now, so you can check it out: http://dancingbaby.wordpress.com

I haven't taken any pictures of myself yet since I'm in the in-between stages of actually looking pregnant and just looking like I have a huge gut, but here is my ultrasound from week 11 and 4 days.

Can you believe it? I'm going to be a mom! I had postponed this because of my new career change, but I finally decided that I can't push this off forever. It's better for me to have babies before age 35, so my husband and I decided it was time to start a family, despite the fact that I'm in school. I'll be done with school in December, and it looks like I'll be a mom before I start working as a fashion designer. I've always wanted to find a career where I can work from home and take care of my family, so I guess this is the beginning of the road in trying to figure out how that will all work out! Who says you can't have both a family and a wonderful career? The career will probably wait a little until I am all situated with the new baby in my life.

As you can imagine, with the new move, we have been organizing, decluttering, and just trying to get our place more suitable for a baby. This means selling (or giving away) furniture that is too oversized for our new place, making room for a crib and baby changing station/dresser, and trimming everything down to only what we absolutely need and love. It's a huge process that will probably take my entire pregnancy to complete, but we've made significant strides, so I am happy about our progress.

The first trimester was the most unproductive time for me. My body was so busy making a placenta and a baby that I was so tired and fatigued that I could not do much else except figuring out what to eat next and sleep. Eating consumed my entire day. I would eat every hour. My appetite was so big, I could not believe it. I had to take my healthy eating to a different level. Despite my food aversions (I could not eat salads during the first few months), I had to find a way to get proper nutrition, including enough protein, calcium, and iron. I've had to make a lot of adjustments to what I eat, but I managed to survive until second trimester finally rolled around.

It's a much better time for me now. I have more energy so I can actually tackle things on my to do list and make some good strides in organizing our new home. I even managed to assemble furniture by myself. That was quite a feat! I think we are 40% of the way there, so there is still a lot to do, but I am excited and am motivated to get it all done before the fall semester begins. Actually, I am hoping to get the bulk of it done before our vacation next week. My husband and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary this year. Whoo hoo!

Ok, back to the organizing (and eating). Decluttering is no joke! I hope you don't have as much stuff to get rid of as I do. We've already donated about 20 bags to Goodwill, but there's so much more to come. I think the most challenging part has been reconfiguring our furniture in this new space. We've had to get rid of furniture and buy new furniture to fit the new space, and we've set aside a pile of artwork, decorations, kitchen appliances, and lots of other things that need to go. I've recycled so many magazines since we've moved and have gotten rid of tons of books. Step by step... my life is starting to feel so much lighter and clearer. Yey!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update on My Organic Veggie Garden

I came back after an extra long weekend trip to San Francisco, and although our pet sitter watered my plants and my veggies, the big plants (cucumber and zucchini) were starting to get yellow leaves at the bottom. At first I thought it was because the pet sitter didn't water them often enough (due to the small pots, I had been watering the plants every day because the soil would dry out quickly from the hot weather). She only watered them twice during our 5 days away.

Later I realized it was because these plants were outgrowing the little yogurt cups! I started to see a maze of roots starting to poke out. Wow, they are really searching for more space! So, finally, I made some time yesterday and replanted all of them into bigger pots and those long plant trays. I was so proud of myself because it was my first time using my new gardening tools and I actually started to feel like a beginning gardener. I purchased these on sale at Anthropologie.
I was so happy to give my plants some sun, but unfortunately, by the time I finished, the sun was behind buildings and wouldn't come back until the next day. I woke up this morning excited to see how my plants would do in their new environment and was happy that they would be getting some real sunlight since indoors there isn't much direct sunlight. I'm surprised they grew at all with so little sunlight.

My excitement died when I realized that it was a cloudy day. And then it turned to horror when a storm came in and started to pour...heavily. Oh no! My little plants were going to drown! There are no holes in the bottom of my pots. There was nothing I could do. It was too rainy to go outside, so I just hoped that it would all end soon and that I could go outside and drain them.

It was quite a feat to drain the pots. As I poured the water out, the soil went with it. And I couldn't get all the water out, so these plants are excessively watered. The soil went all over the plants themselves, so they no longer looked like the beautiful house plants from the day before. The tiny lettuce and mesclun leaves were flattened out, along with the sweet peppers, bunching onions, and spinach. Oh so sad. I'm hoping that they are strong and can reach up to the sun (and hopefully the sun will be out today) to continue growing.

Other people must use pots that have holes at the bottom. Such a novice mistake I made. I mistakenly assumed I could use indoor pots outside. They look more beautiful after all. The long trays are made for outdoors, but somehow those don't come with holes either. Not sure why.

I don't have a picture of the plants right now since I hadn't anticipated writing about it, but now that I have, I'll try to take a picture. I wish I had a before picture to show you how nicely it was all planted.

My basil plants are doing fine. I kept those indoors. Lucky them!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Organic Vegetable Garden!

I planted my very first organic vegetable garden on June 12, which coincides with the first day season 6 of my 100 day reality challenge. I had been wanting to plan an organic garden since last year and have been dreaming about the day that I can properly do it and have one big enough that I can actually feed my family just from the veggies from the garden alone. I know it will be a while before that can happen, but in the mean time I decided I had to start and learn how to garden.

I don't get much sun inside our new home since the main window is north facing, but the plants get maybe an hour of sun in the morning, and they have still been growing! I've been so surprised.

Here's a picture of the organic garden after just 4 days after I planted it!

Here is a video of my organic vegetable garden at just a little over a week after planting!

I'm going away this long weekend, so I really hope our pet sitter will take care of the garden while I'm gone. I'm hoping to plant some more new seedlings so that I can eat from the vegetable garden in batches once they are all ready to harvest. Once I get back from my trip, I will also try to buy some containers so that I can transfer them outside! I'm assuming they will grow much faster with much more sun. Exciting stuff! I was worried since I haven't been known to have a green thumb in the past, but I guess these little seeds have given me more confidence to continue. How exciting!

Interviewed by Lilou about the 100 Day Challenge

Hi everyone,

I was interviewed by Lilou Mace, co-founder of the 100 Day Reality Challenge yesterday. It's interesting to look back on my journey and see everything that has unfolded during the past year and half since I started my first season. I am now on my 6th season. Here's the video. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Website Address

Hello everyone! I know it's been a while since my last post, and I was surprised to find that my domain name expired and someone else snatched it up! Can you believe that? Why would someone want to buy my name? So, since I no longer have access to that website name, I'm reverting this back to it's original blogspot address. Hopefully those of you who follow my website can find me.

Here's the new website address: http://christineykim.blogspot.com

Friday, May 21, 2010

Time for Recovery & Completing Unfinished To Do's

I've taken this week to really slow down and catch up on sleep and cleaning in preparation for our move to our new home. I've been getting plenty of rest and taking vitamins to give my body a little boost. There's only a few more days until I start summer classes and only another week before our big move!

It really is amazing how much time you can spend on cleaning and organizing, especially if you've allowed things to pile up over months. I've been going through an incredible stack of magazines, tearing out images and articles that I like. After a while, though, even this gets pretty exhausting and I just want to take and dump the rest into the recycle bin. I honestly may do just that. I don't think I can spend yet another day pouring over magazines to collect inspiration. The right resources will come to me when I need it and I just need to let it all go.

As much as I feel like I'm not doing that much (compared to my normal schedule with classes), I realize how much has been accomplished in this short time. I think it's because when the pressure of deadlines is lifted, things get done with much more ease. I've managed to clean the home, including vacuuming, scrubbing the bathroom, wiping counters, doing laundry, and organizing my clothes. There's still more to go, but I've made some good progress.

I've also completed several initial health consultations with others for my health coaching program, and made progress on my own as well. I've started cooking some more and have resolved to really clean out all the remaining things in my life that are just weighing me down. Into the recycle bins they go!

The preparations for the move have been set, and we've even taken measurements of the new home to make sure our current furniture will fit. Some will have to be sold and left behind, but that was expected.

I even managed to run all my errands, finish knitting some baby mittens, write in my journal, organize all of my finances and pay bills, watch a movie, play with my dog, have dinner with my mother-in-law, and even meet up or catch up with friends over the phone (or skype).

It's really interesting what happens when you take some time and give yourself permission to do whatever you feel like doing. All of the things that have been pushed to the back burner all of a sudden start getting done. These things are important things too, but jut not as urgent as our usual pressing matters at work or school. What surprised me was that given a choice, instead of frolicking in the sun, I decided to clean and organize away. I guess the satisfaction from this cleaning process is much more liberating for me right now than going outside to play. I know I'll have plenty of time for that after the move.

We all need down time every now and then. Time to catch up on things that might be pushed off for another year if we don't give ourselves time to address them. I still have a long list of things to complete, but at least I know that I have a chance of completing them once and for all.

Do you have a list of unfinished items? Take some time to make a list and check them off as you go. You will feel so much better knowing that you took care of all the little things that have been nagging for your attention. And make sure to add in some fun with friends or family in there. It's easy to let life pass on by if we don't know how we want to spend our time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making Space for the New

In order for new things to come into our lives, we must make space. This is what I did today with my closet. After battling my closet for years, I decided to just let go of things I did not like and make space for things I love to come into my life.

I am simplifying in order to make my life more abundant. Less clutter means more time, more focus on the things I love, and an easier and more pleasant life. After years of experiencing clutter and having too much stuff, I know first hand that clutter and excess creates stress. Have you ever seen a spa or relaxing retreat area loaded to the brim with things? I didn't think so. And there's a reason for it.

You cannot find peace amidst chaos and clutter. Maybe you can if you are an ascended master or an enlightened guru, but why make it more difficult for ourselves? Just let go and trust that the universe will always bring what you need when you need it. You can only receive the blessings of earth when your arms are not already full. Hanging on to old things just means less mobility and a feeling of being weighted down.

Watch my video of me letting go of old clothes in my closet.

Changes in Life

I was listening to a video on youTube today on The Wisdom of the Heart's channel, and he was interviewing Nadia Kahlil Bradley, author of Origins of Truth. She said something during the interview that really rang true for me.

"Every change requires a million baby steps."

This really rang true for me because during the past few years, after I made the decision to live my dream life and have my dream career, I've gone through hundreds and thousands of steps that have helped me grow and get closer to my dream job. I had originally expected to identify EXACTLY what the job is (by the job title) and just go for it. This is the conventional way of thinking. But as I moved through this process of pursuing this new found career path, other passions of mine have come up and my original career path did not seem as appealing anymore. It's not just because the new found career path is not what I want. In fact, I found that it IS what I want. But I just don't want to work in the existing established industry in the way it currently is. I did not want to continue a crazy, hectic and stressful life only to be burnt out once again.

This time I am choosing a life of balance, of joy, and find a way to make money doing the things I love without being constrained with the ideas of how things need to be because this is how they were before. It is the advice of all those who do what they love and love what they do and are therefore really successful, happy, and never work a day in their life. I am going to live this advice, embody it, and see where it takes me. Even I can't dream up how great life will be. I'm sure it will be better than I could ever think up, as long as I stick with it and keep taking baby steps with the big goal in mind.

I believe the world is changing at a rapid pace, and if we follow our intuition, we will be guided to the best place for us. By following my inner guidance and my heart, I ended up going through many, many different steps, hoping to finally say, "I've arrived!" In reality, I discovered that there were many, many more steps to go and these steps could not be charted out in advance. They unfold as the previous step is completed by my actions and my commitment to move forward into the unknown.

This time, however, I know I am on the right path, and I am getting more comfortable with the idea that life will continue to unfold, step by step. If I want to speed up my process of living my dream career sooner, I must follow my heart with everything that I do. Absolutely everything. And it involves a "cleaning house" process, from my home (literally), to my finances, relationships, my closet, my electronic files, food in my kitchen, memories, attachments, and emotions. It is a big change to live a life that contains everything that I love.

I choose to no longer settle. Settling is a way for us to treat ourselves worse than we deserve. It is what we do when we are busy, lazy, overwhelmed, or too tired to really care about taking care of ourselves. If we start to live from our heart and embrace everything we love, we begin the process of changing our lives to one that we can fully embrace as being truly "us." It is through this process that we begin to uncover who we really are. Each of us is unique with our unique voice, our unique ambitions and passions, and with different things that bring us joy. Find that authentic part of yourself by letting go of everything that is no longer serving you and choosing to be selective about what you allow into your life.

I am deep into the process of cleaning up my life. In the next blog post, I will share a video I created about cleaning up my closet. It's amazing how many things I was holding on to that I did not like. How much simpler and happier life would be if we just brought in only the things that brought us joy. Can you imagine being surrounded by things, events, people, and a job in your life that were only the things you love? We can vibrate at the frequency of love, by choosing to love the things in our lives that already bring us joy. By choosing love with every decision we make, we will speed up the process of living fully in the life we deserve.

I hope that by sharing my journey I encourage you to keep on going. Things might take longer to change than you wanted, but just know that big progress is being made, even if you cannot see it immediately. It is a process that requires our commitment with every single step.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Power of Love

For many years now, I have been searching for my life purpose, which led me to change the question that I asked from "what is my life purpose?" to "how can I serve?". Everyone's life purpose involves service of some kind. Our life purpose is about sharing our gifts and talents with the world. It can be service in the literal sense of helping others through volunteer work, philanthropy, helping out a family or friend, etc., but can also include things we get paid to do, such as our jobs, things we just love to do, such as hobbies or creative projects, or things we do because we feel compelled to do them, such as healing work or taking action on things  because you feel like you should do it at that moment.

The main thing is to give of yourself to the world by sharing your gifts and your love, and to shine the light within you outwards so that others may see it. When we hide our talents or let them go unused, the light inside us dims. It is the same when we withhold love from others. We are witholding that love from ourselves. Our nature is to shine brightly by doing what we love to do, and if we don't let ourselves go down this path, a deeper yearning will find you to nudge you and encourage you to go and do the things you love rather than doing a job just for money.

I have been going down this path and it has led me to unexpected things... from feng shui, pranic healing, meditation, angel therapy, personal development, social networking sites, youtube videos, spiritual journeys, fashion design, and integrative nutrition. As strange as this process has been for me, looking back, I realize how important each and every step of this process has been towards creating the life that I want, helping me discover my passion, and thus helping me move towards fulfilling my life's purpose. One thing I have realized is that my life purpose is not something where I can say one day, "I know what it is and I have arrived." Instead, it is a growth process and we are all here enrolled in this school called Earth to grow, expand, become more aware, and learn to share our love with the world.

In order to share our love with the world we must do what we love, as often as we can, until we can do it every moment of the day. Step by step we shed the things that no longer serve us, let go of the burdens we've been carrying, and then step out and walk into our dreams with the faith that everything will work out for the best, prepared to do whatever it takes to follow this path through until the end. This process is not always easy--there will be days where we find our joy and bliss, but other days where life will challenge us to make sure this is what we really want and to see if we are truly committed towards making our dreams a reality. We learn to become comfortable with the unknown and with who we really are.

If we are currently too attached to roles and titles, those will be removed from our lives so that we can see ourselves fully without those titles. If we are too attached to our belongings and things, we will start to experience situations that help us learn to detach from our things. What is within each of us is more important than attachment to material possessions. It is okay to have a lot of material possessions, as long as the attachment to them is not there.

Each aspect of our lives is there to teach us and to show us what we, as co-creators with the universe, are creating in our lives. We create what we predominantly focus on. By stepping back to observe ourselves and go within, we learn to identify the burdens, limiting beliefs, old wounds, and bottled up emotions we carry from our past. We learn to see them for what they are (limiting beliefs, self-pity, playing the role of victim, old traumas, or situations that we just don't want to carry around for the rest of our lives), we face them, and then we let them go. It is by going through this darkness that we can enter the light. It is by facing our fears that we can move into that space of love. And as we do what we love, we can live from a place of love, and the more love and gratitude we have in our lives every day, it becomes easier to love ourselves, our lives, and everyone else around us.

As we begin to love those around us, we begin by loving those that are nice to us, that treat us with love and kindness. Eventually, as our love and respect for ourselves and our lives grows, we learn to love all others (even those that are not always pleasant), and we learn to forgive and to let go, in order to heal ourselves, and then to heal others. This is the process I have moved through. I am now living from a place where I have learned to identify judgment (from myself or from others). I have learned to first recognize that it is there, face it, and then let go of those beliefs and thoughts and realize that those judgments are a reflection of how I feel about myself. When I let go of these thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, I heal myself. As I continue to heal myself, my life gets lighter and lighter as each of the burdens I carry are removed. As I let go, any blocked emotions in my body are released. My life gets easier and as I start to feel more free, I start to believe that life can be easy, that it is supposed to be fun, joyful, and effortless, much like how water runs down a stream. Life is supposed to flow.

Life does flow, as long as we allow it to flow. We let it flow by letting go and surrendering the things that no longer serve us and by moving towards the things that bring us joy. We bring our lives and our bodies back into balance as nature designed. During this process we realize that we were never alone, that we are never alone. We have had help all along through our trials and tribulations. Not only were we loved by friends, family, and the people we've met along the life's journey, but we we are also deeply loved by the earth, the universe, God (or god), guardian angels, our ancestors, and by all spiritual beings that reside in other realms. We are all one spirit, a collective consciousness, connected in this web of life by things beyond our comprehension.

It is from this space that we realize that our divine purpose is to spread our love, our light. We do this unconsciously when we do what we love, every moment, of every day. Our bodies vibrate at a different frequency that we broadcast out into the world and everyone around us when we are in a state of love. We can do this consciously by sending love from our hearts directly into the hearts of those that need love to heal, including Mother Earth. We also do this when we send our prayers out into the world. We are sending our love, compassion, and healing energy out to those that need us. In this way we are providing additional service to the world. As small as this gesture seems, it is making a BIG impact on the lives of others in ways that you cannot see or understand. Just like a little candle can light up an entire room, your light can give hope to others around you, just because you are being you... because you are living in your truth, because you are living an authentic life. You are living the life you were meant to live. This is your gift to the world.

Do what you love. Live in peace, love, and joy. Do what brings you happiness, moment by moment, every single day. Follow your intuition and quiet your mind. Your heart will guide you every single step of the way. You can create the life you want to live, but you must decide to go down that path. You must choose joy. It is your choice.

Choose joy and share your inner light with the world. Live a happy life filled with peace, love, and joy. By being peace, love, and joy, you spread peace, love, and joy... just by being it and living it. You are becoming a shining example of how life was meant to live. Just as Ghandi said, "Be the peace you wish to see in the world," you too can BE peace to change the world.

Love has the power to heal...to heal ourselves, to heal others, to heal our homes, our planet, and our lives. Choose joy. Choose love. And choose to live in the light. With every step it gets easier as you see the fruits of the seeds you have sown. It gets easier to believe that it is working, that the path we are walking is safe and supported, and to believe that we really do deserve to do what makes us truly happy, despite whatever financial situation you may be in. Your needs will ALWAYS be met. I have experienced this first hand. The world is conspiring to help you succeed as you choose to go in the direction of love. You meet the right people at the right time. The resources you need will come to you in unexpected ways. And any time you may feel stuck, just ask for help! Literally. Say "help!" either out loud or in your mind and help will come your way. The world hears you and is supporting you even when you don't notice its support.

And lastly, be grateful for every blessing that comes your way, no matter how small. Gratitude brings more blessings. The world is yours. You get to design your life, your experiences, and how you will use your talents to share them with the world. Life is fun. Do what excites you! Give yourself permission to live your dreams. Start today! Sending you much love, light, and blessings for a happy and joyful life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pre-Cut Veggies at Whole Foods

One of the ideas I had years ago was making it easier for people to cook home-cooked meals by having kits of the appropriate amount of each ingredient bundled together along with a recipe. It would be nice to be able to just pick up an organic meal for 2 or 4 or whatever size your family was and have everything ready to be prepared at home. It's the healthy and easy way to cook for your family from scratch without having to spend time looking for every ingredient in the grocery store and then having leftover ingredients that you have to figure out another recipe for. With these bundles, it would be easy, fresh, and have everything you need.

I'm not quite sure if I'll pursue this idea, but I was walking through Whole Foods the other day and saw these pre-cut veggie containers. That's definitely a step towards making it easier for people to cook more at home! I've noticed that in New York, people rarely cook. People are actually surprised if you cook dinner at home. Everyone orders take out. Every day. Really. That doesn't sound too healthy, does it? And I'm sure it gets expensive. But, in a culture of not enough time, tiny kitchens, and having to lug groceries by foot, convenience is key.

 How do we make it easier for people (myself included) to cook more at home? I find the process of researching recipes extremely time consuming, and with everything else going on in my life, I haven't had time to just sit down and look through all of my cookbooks. I'm sure I can open up a cookbook and find a recipe to make, but now that I am trying to make even healthier recipes, the challenge is to find something that is tasty, nutritious, and quick! And I'm not just going for low fat = healthy type of recipe. I am looking for nutrient dense meals that are vegetarian, preferably vegan, and more raw than not, yet extremely filling at the same time. Hot foods are necessary since my body does get a bit cold, and I want "live" foods with as many superfood ingredients as I can get in there.

Hmmm, but this requires a bit of research. There are cookbooks out there that are raw, or vegan, or contain live foods, but I find it hard to follow recipes with no picture. Somehow, it's very uninspiring. As a visual person, I need to see the photo of the end result to see if it actually looks tasty before I even commit to the process. Know of any books out there that fit this criteria? If so, I'd love to know. Combination of hot and cold foods please. Maybe I'll do the research this summer, but for now I am sticking to the few recipes I know.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Home!

I have great news! We have been approved for our new home in Brooklyn. After some long days looking at many different apartments in the neighborhood we wanted, we found one that was perfect. It has a little outdoor space for my future organic herb and vegetable garden, a downstairs space with a window for my workspace for all my design work, and it's near the park! The dogs get to roam free at the park during certain hours of the day, which will be great for Winston. If you haven't seen my dog, you can check him out here.

I am super excited that I will be near nature at last. I've had a deep yearning to be near nature all year since I moved to Manhattan, and moving to Brooklyn will be a welcome change to the concrete jungle of New York. I am also super excited about growing my own garden. It's been a burning hidden passion or mine that is ready to come forth. This is the summer for it!

There's still quite a bit of purging and furniture selling to do before we move in, but streamlining will be well worth it for this cozy well-kept home. I was also very excited to learn that there is a CSA (community supported agriculture) a few blocks away that the owners get most of their groceries from. That means organic fruits and veggies from a local farm ready to be picked up each week. Super!

We just need to sell our large dining table, buffet table, rosewood vanity, and our three large bookcases and I think we'll be good to go. I find that we constantly have to sell and buy furniture that fits the new home perfectly. It's a lot of work, but well worth it to create a home that feels great and works well for your current needs. I'm sure I'll take lots of photos at the park with our little pup and of my new garden as it grows, so I'll post it when it's all ready for show. Can't wait! Just in time for a beautiful summer... :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Napoleon Hill talks about his meeting with Andrew Carnegie

Watch this video of Napoleon Hill talking about the advice Andrew Carnegie gave him that changed his life:

Monday, April 5, 2010

House Diet

Put your house on a diet! Watch my experience on Day 3 of my House Diet.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Detoxing My Life, April 2010

I have decided that April is the month to detox my life. I have three primary areas of focus for the month: body, home, and my new business. I started on April 1st and am keeping a daily log of what I accomplished that day in these three areas to keep myself accountable on the CCOR site. You can visit that link to see my daily progress. I'll keep all my mundane activities recorded there. :)

So far, even though it's only day 2, I've been very productive and am confident that I am on the right track. I have decided that once and for all that I am putting my health first, and it starts with getting plenty of rest (no excuses!), limiting what's on my schedule, and cleaning up anything that's bringing my energy down in my home, which means I need to simplify and really edit down to live a more fulfilling life! My goal is to live a really focus on the 20% that really matter rather than on the 80% that don't.

These are the different areas I plan on working on during this month:

1. Detoxing my diet by going vegan (I'm doing a one month trial) and eating lots of healthy organic vegetables
2. Exercising and practicing yoga
3. Getting more sleep and creating a regular sleep schedule

1. Getting rid of 10 items per day to simplify, simplify, simplify my life!
2. Finishing up all the little unfinished little to-do's around the home (ex. altering my clothes, returning library books, taking donations to goodwill, finishing unfinished projects, etc.)
3. Organizing things, files, and other items to make my life more efficient

1. Do one thing to start building my new business every day, even if I only have 5 minutes. This could be sending an e-mail, listening to a webinar, researching online, competing an exercise in a business workbook, working on my website, etc.

These are the main three areas I am going to focus on this month. Of course I will tend to all of my other matters, such as my classes, errands, etc., but since these are not the areas I have a problem focusing on (and I always get to them every day anyway), I'm going to put the health of my home and body as priority, and take small steps to build my new health coaching business. This means that I cannot sacrifice my health for the sake of my school work!

Yesterday I was able to:
- get extra sleep
- start my vegan diet (I ate vegan starting from lunch) :) Had to ease into this one.
- attend a webinar for my business
- get rid of 10 items (I started with easy things like mail, disposable empty plastic bottles, old makeup, small miscellaneous items)

It looks like I'm going to focus on at least 1 thing for my body, home, and business, every day, no matter how small. I think writing it down here will keep me on target so that I know that by the end of the day I have to complete the tasks.

I'm off to a great start and am about to record the results of day 2. It's amazing how much cleaner my home is already on day 2!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Follow Your Impulses

Abraham speaks about following your impulses for inspired action for the most comfortable experience in life. This is a really great video that talks about living in the vortex and making that your main priority each day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Going Vegetarian and Giving Up Sweets

I have had a semi-committed relationship with vegetarianism during the past year and half. It's been a semi-committed relationship because I have not done the proper research to really figure out if I am getting enough protein and nutrition in my diet. And to be really honest, one of the main reasons I have not gone all the way is that I have a weakness for sushi. It is (or maybe was) my favorite food.

As I am going through this journey of trying to live more consciously, I am finding that foods I used to enjoy are no longer things I crave anymore. I used to eat ice cream every single day. It was my source of sugar and my body's way of cooling itself when I was overheated inside. Most people think it's funny because I'm so small, and probably thought I was lucky since I didn't get huge even though I ate ice cream so frequently. I think it's because I ate healthy throughout the rest of the day just so that I could make room for ice cream.

Ice cream is no longer part of my life. One day, the craving was gone. I didn't even think about it. I just didn't need it anymore. People would offer it to me thinking that my addition for ice cream was still alive and kicking, but as I kindly accepted their offer for ice cream, I realized that my body had changed. Ice cream was no longer needed. That was easy.

I know lots of people struggle with massive sugar cravings and addiction to sweets. My recommendation for anyone trying to give up the sugar is to load your body up with nutritious foods. By nutritious I mean dark leafy greens, organic vegetables of all sorts, superfoods, fruits, etc. The more my body received the proper nutrition it needed, the less it relied on the quick sugar fix to give it sustained energy. The second thing I did that I probably did but forgot about was that I ask the angels and my guides to help me take away cravings. I ask, forget about it, and then one day I realize that it's gone. Just ask. It's worth a shot, and it gives them permission to help you.

Going Vegetarian

I decided one day about a year and a half ago that I would try and go vegetarian. It started because I was thinking about pursuing a career as an energy healer and was taught that the cleaner the foods you eat, the more easily energy can move through you, and the more powerful of a healer you can become. In other words, the higher the vibration of the food that you consume, the more your own vibration rises. It also helps with your own spiritual development and developing psychic or clairvoyance abilities, along with a meditation practice, of course. So, one day I thought, maybe it's time for me to try it, and I began a semi-committed journey to test it out.

What I discovered is that when I took meat out of my diet, I really did not know what I could eat other than salads, vegetable soups, pasta, pizza, and Korean food. And in my opinion, pasta, pizza, and Korean food are not the healthiest choices. Carbs, cheese, and lots of sodium... that's NOT the the direction I wanted to head. I was left with salad and vegetable soups. Not very filling options... at least for me. For those that know me, I have been known to have a pretty big appetite for someone my frame, so a salad might last me a couple of hours, but I'd be very hungry not long afterwards.

For now, I have been supplementing my diet once in a while with small amounts of fish and eggs for protein until I learn to make recipes with other healthy protein sources. The thing about going vegetarian is that I have noticed that I have replaced most of my protein with carbs. There are definitely great whole grains that I now consume (quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, barley, etc.), but when I'm out and about eating on the go, the choices are much more limited and I am stuck with "whole wheat" or "multi-grain." Somehow these fast food places that use these labels make me feel like only a small percentage of the food is actually whole grain or multi-grain. You can say I'm a bit skeptical about most fast food prepared for breakfasts and lunches out there.

Weight Gain on a Vegetarian Diet

There are definitely healthy ways to be vegetarian and unhealthy ways to be vegetarian. The obvious healthy ways are to eat a lot more fresh vegetables, and the unhealthy way is to always eat simple carbohydrates, including pastas, pizzas, and anything else of that variety. Initially I indulged on the pizzas, pastas, and paninis since I was making a huge sacrifice, or so it seemed at the time, to go vegetarian. What I did notice after a while was that my body seemed a bit flabbier and my jeans were starting to get uncomfortable as my body started to get more soft and fluffy like marshmellows -- not the direction I wanted to continue down. So, I started to incorporate a lot more salads into my life and reduce or eliminate the simple carbs. Instead, I replaced it with whole grains like quinoa that I'm still experimenting with to create yummy dishes. Right now my flavoring for these dishes are a bit bland and the meals are not quite dense enough for me, but I'm sure I'll come up with some recipe that I enjoy that also fills me up.

I no longer crave meat. Not chicken or fish. Even my once voracious appetite for sushi is starting to wane. But, I am still looking for heartier vegetarian meals that are truly healthy and chock full of nutrients. I am finding myself hungry for nutritionally dense foods, and now I crave super healthy vegetables more than anything else. My weight if probably roughly the same, but my body composition (mostly due to lack of weight training) has changed and I feel like I have less muscle than before. Sometimes I wonder if I can get the really toned yoga body on a vegetarian diet? I guess the only way for me to find out is to try it out and be committed to trying it out.

Why is it that so many vegetarians look like they have a soft body? Is it because they do not work out? Or is it really the change in protein source? Or maybe they are eating simple carbohydrates (that act more like sugar) instead of complex carbohydrates? Maybe they eat a lot of sweets still? I don't know the answer because I do not have any vegetarian friends to ask. I have met a lot of vegetarians, vegans, and raw foodists in my health coaching program and online through social networks, but it's not the kind of thing you ask someone you just met. :) Do you know the answer? Have you been able to get a lean and toned body being vegetarian, vegan, or raw? If you have, I'd like to know your secret.

In the meantime, maybe I'll try to be dedicated to a vegetarian/vegan/raw diet (meaning lots of raw, mostly vegan, and an occasional egg if I really feel like I need it) for a month and start a regular yoga and weight training practice to see if my body changes and becomes more toned. The month of April sounds like a good time to start. I'll try it out for the month of April and let you know how it goes. And if you or someone you know has had success with this, I'd like to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is Beauty?

Is beauty what we see in magazines? Watch this video that shows what happens behind the scenes to create those beautiful pictures of women that we see in the magazines.

Eye-opening, isn't it? So much work goes into creating the perfect shot including all the touch-ups we don't see. This is the version of beauty that is distributed to the world, this model of perfection. This is not true beauty.

Real beauty comes from who we are on the inside. A person looks beautiful when they radiate confidence from liking who they are on the inside. When you like who you are on the inside, you treat yourself with love and care, and when we treat ourselves with love and care, we start taking care of our health, our environment, our relationships, our finances, and all the other factors that contribute to a healthy life. By living a truly healthy life, we will naturally radiate beauty out into this world.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Becoming a Certified Health Coach

My Health Goal for 2010
It was a strange coincidence or synchronicity that happened to bring me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I had decided that 2010 was the year for me to transform my health and my life. 2010 is the year for me to finally create true work/life balance and live a healthy life without overworking myself. It is the year to take care of me to become my healthiest and happiest self. No excuses.

Healthy Cooking Classes
On this mission, I started looking into cooking classes so that I can create healthy meal plans for myself. What started off as just an idea to cook healthy meals evolved into enrolling in a professional program to become a healthy chef. I had no plans to work as a chef, but the professional program at the Natural Gourmet Institute could be completed in four months. It seemed so doable, so why not? Why not actually get trained to become a gourmet natural chef? I was trying to decide when I wanted to do this program. Possibly in the summer during my summer break, or possibly in the fall when my course load would be much lighter for fashion design. I explored the idea and started really liking the idea that I could not only cook but cook healthy gourmet meals for my family and friends. It's the kind of thing people dream about but don't have time to actually accomplish. It had been in my list of things to do sometime in my life... so why not now?

Institute for Integrative Nutrition
I was pleasantly surprised to see an email come into my inbox that advertised a webinar to learn more about the program. I attended this call and quickly realized that the program I was listening to was not about cooking, but rather a program about holistic nutrition and how to become a holistic health counselor. It was intriguing, but not what I was expecting. It was then that I realized that I am listening to a webinar about a different program. This was not the Natural Gourmet Institute, but instead the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).

As I listened to the webinar, I heard the story of a former student who had come to this school after working as a IT consultant. I was fascinated since this is precisely the same background that I had. She now has her own health coaching business and is happy with what she is doing and can create a flexible schedule around her kids. It sounded eerily similar to what I was looking for.

I went to their website and was greeted by the smiling face of Dr. Weil and Deepak Chopra, two of my favorite teachers. It was as if I was guided here through some unusual circumstances to listen to this webinar. I then realized that this was the nutrition program that I had almost signed up for a few years ago when I was living in Chicago. I decided to postpone it at that time because I was too busy and would have to fly back and forth to attend. There would be time later to attend, I thought. Well, I guess that time is now. I was pretty busy with fashion design school, but I had this strange premonition during my winter break that guided me to make time in my schedule. Make time for what? I didn't know, but I had a strong sense that I needed to make space and time for myself. So, I did, well, kind of. Enough so that I could sleep every night and try to stick to my plan of leading a balanced life.

When something feels right, you just know. And after that webinar and listening to what the program was all about, it felt right. It was in line with all of my values. The program not only talked about nutrition, but took a very holistic approach to health, including relationships, career, and spirituality. Isn't this what everyone wants in life? And maybe this was the way that I can pursue both of my loves...design and health. How would I pay? I wasn't sure, but there's always a way to find a way if you want something. The good news was that many students make back their tuition by the time they graduate since a lot of the homework assignments are to go out and find clients! How exciting. A program that also teaches you how to build a business along with teaching you all the skills you need to know in this field. As you can imagine by now, I did register.

My First Weekend at IIN
After weeks of preparing for the course by doing online and audio warm-up classes and even meeting some people before the first class, I attended my first live all weekend session last weekend. It exceeded my expectations at all levels. Not only was the program informative, inspirational, and innovative, but there was also a palpable energy in the room that I had never experienced before. There is nothing like being in a room full of passionate people whose mission is to make the world a better place. It was like being in a room full of lightworkers or earth angels...inspired people from all walks of life that are passionate about health and wellness. Wow, what energy.

And to make it even more amazing, the speakers were absolutely wonderful and inspiring. I had never been to a talk so inspiring in my life. There was also the most innovative and user friendly cooking demonstration that I had ever seen. I along with all the others and an overwhelming sense that we were in the right place at the right time. And I sure was. I found out later that this was the last live class for the school, and after this year everything was going to be online. You can imagine how happy I was that I followed my intuition to register now and not wait until next year.

I met so many amazing people over this weekend that I am excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead. I knew there was a reason for me meeting the people that I did, and I know I will meet many more people as time goes on.

Health Coaching
I have officially begun my training to become a health coach and am offering free initial consultations where I sit down with you live or over the phone or skype to conduct a health history. A health history looks at your health and lifestyle and will give you insight into the overall picture of your health and highlight areas you might like to focus on improving. I am not taking any clients at this time, but if you are interested in getting a free health history session with me, you can email me. Or, if you are interested in becoming a health coach yourself, you can also contact me with any questions about the program. I am so happy that I found this program and I have met so many people whose lives have been transformed from it.

Event with the USDA
One more synchronicity that I'd like to mention. I am slowly finding that food and fashion are both related in the area of sustainability. Both food and fiber (for clothes) are grown as crops. The way we farm these crops have significant environmental impacts as well as impacts to our health. The textile industry and has many processes such as dyeing and finishing that often creates contaminated waste water that pollutes our waterways. Creating sustainable practices is a passion of mine. I studied sustainable enterprises as part of my MBA, and am now finding that all of my interests are coming together.

To confirm that I am heading in the right direction, the universe provided me with an opportunity to see others that are working towards the same goals. I found a flyer at my fashion design school about a presentation from the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, USDA, about our food systems. I was interested, but was not sure if this presentation was going to be real, healthy and fresh food, or if it was going to be about our conventional and traditional approaches to food systems. I went anyways because I always want to see what all sides are thinking.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find a packed room of people working in the food industry and the topic of discussion was about improving the nutrition of school lunches. Wow. This is something I am also very passionate about and it was great to see people who in the government who had access to big budgets doing something about this. They were promoting fresh local foods and talking about the Know Your Farmer initiative. There were so many innovative ideas and plans in place that I really felt like this was a huge movement with people from all aspects of the food industries, even outside of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, participating to create a better future for everyone. It was refreshing to see, very eye-opening to hear about all the wonderful programs in place, and truly inspiring to see motivated people that are taking action to do something to participate.

If you're interested in learning more about it, you can visit www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer.

Snow Day! And Living a Life of Synchronicities.

During these past couple of weeks I have experienced more synchronicities than I had ever imagined. This word was so foreign to me only a few years ago. I had experienced synchronicities back then too, but doubted them and usually dismissed them as pure chance or "luck," unless the event was really blatantly obvious. This year, these synchronicities have increased and I find that every person I meet, every event that I attend, every flyer and opportunity I see around me are all perfectly orchestrated for my personal development and to support me on my life's mission.

Snow Day
Case in point - This week I had been struggling with a bit of a nagging sore throat that wasn't going away. I knew it was because I had been a bit sleep deprived from trying to finish assignments, work, and make it to extra classes I had signed up for over the weekend. Last night I really, REALLY needed extra rest to recover from lack of sleep and fell asleep at 9pm. I still had a lot of work ahead of me and decided to wake up early to do the work. I woke up at 3am but realized I still needed some sleep. I woke up again at 4am and moved myself from the couch to the bed. Still, I was so groggy that I knew my body was crying out for more rest. One more hour and then I would do some work. Usually my body can handle this type of schedule, but today it was not cooperating. I did some work from 5 - 6:30am and finally succumbed to my body's cry for more rest. At this point, I knew I needed a day of rest and was really hoping for a snow day. It was the only way that I could really recover.

Just in case, at 7:30 I decided to make a pot of coffee to help me push through the day. I would have considered taking a sick day, but the classes I had for today had special field trips scheduled and an exam. It was not a day to miss. The only way I could really get the rest my body needed if classes were canceled altogether. After drinking my cup of coffee (and still feeling groggy) I checked my email to see if the school was closed. Yes it was! I was hoping, but not really thinking that this would actually happen. I have the rest day that I desperately need, thanks to the snow day! I tried to go back to bed, but the coffee kicked in so I am going to use this day to catch up on all my work and nourish my body with healthy food. Oh, and I learned my lesson about sleep. My body can no longer sustain the sleep deprivation that I used to make it undergo. It's time to nurture, nourish, and take care of my health.

Following Our Own Inner Guidance
There are so many synchronicities I have experienced lately that there are too many to mention here, but I would suggest being open and listening to the gentle tug from your heart as you go through life. There is a reason for events, books, places, courses, cravings peaking your interest. Listen to your body and observe the things that get you most excited. The things you discover may not initially make sense, but you are being led step by step to your best life by following that subtle guidance.

For me I waited until the signs became completely obvious before I took my first big step, but I am so glad that I did. Knitting, sewing, and healthy living are the things that constantly call my name. I've taken big steps towards all three even though the combination does not necessarily make sense. I taught myself how to knit after walking into a gorgeous knitting store while living in San Francisco a few years ago, which was the first step. Now I am enrolled in fashion design school, hand knitting classes, and a nutrition school called the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. These were never planned. In fact, I had vowed that my days in school were over, but there were other things in store for my future.

All I knew was that my dream was to one day open up a wellness spa. Once I took steps towards becoming a fashion designer, I thought that dream was gone and I had to follow the traditional fashion design route. Now that I am in the field, I am realizing that it is a tough field to make money, and starting at the bottom and working my way up will not be the path for me. I've done that before and I was not happy. There is an alternative and more creative route for me to go that still has not been clearly charted yet, but is becoming clearer every day. Really, this is a path of faith and trust. Trusting that our guidance will take us to where we want to go in the most direct way possible while picking up all the skills, advice, and relationships to get us to where we need to go. This has been my experience.

Dream Big and Take Tiny Steps Every Day
I live by my motto of always dreaming big, and taking tiny steps every single day to move towards my goal(s). The commitment in taking steps towards your goal, no matter how small, builds energy and momentum in the right direction that brings opportunities and synchronicities that could not even be imagined by your conscious mind. Trust that the universe and your own connection to that infinite intelligence knows what you need. Take steps into the unknown while clarifying your vision of what you want in as much detail as possible. Then watch as the opportunities come your way. Your job is to seize them.

These opportunities are very subtle, so you need to be very aware as they come across your path. You may get an email, see a flyer, talk to someone, overhear a conversation, read something in the newspaper, magazine, or a book...you never know the opportunities will come to you, but what you do know is that they will. As you step forward into these opportunities, even more opportunities come your way to help you get where you want to go. You'll look back one day and realize how far you have come and how easy it was just by taking little steps all along the way. And just a reminder -- be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way. The state of gratitude raises your vibration and helps you align with all the goodies of the universe. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I love knitting. Period.

I don't know what it is about knitting, but it soothes my soul. I was having one of those days where I was feeling a little bit... blah. Or maybe more than blah, and needed a pick me up. Back in the day I might have chosen a vice to make me feel better (ice cream was the most frequent choice), but the sweet cravings have long since gone away and was never the thing I really craved to begin with. Back in those days, I'd be left with an empty carton of ice cream, still noticing that I was not feeling better. Since then, I have found more constructive (and productive) ways to lift me up, and to my surprise knitting does the trick.

I don't even have to be knitting. I can just be looking at pictures of potential knitting projects or be at a yarn store picking out yarn. On that particular day I was not feeling my usual happy self, I was walking home and was passing by the library and thought that it might be a great idea for me to see if they had any books for an assignment I needed research for. I stumbled upon the knitting section, my usual detour. 20 minutes of perusing the books and I found the perfect book for me that day. With lots of excitement, I took it to the register and checked it out. I actually don't even need to read the book to make me happy. I think it's just the process of being surrounded by certain subject matter that just really makes me happy. If I am busy and don't have time to actually read the book, I can just look at the cover and feel perfectly content. Happy. Satiated. (Just in case you're curious, the book I borrowed was called The Natural Knitter.)

This is how you know you have stumbled upon a passion. A true passion. You get excited just by reading, learning, or looking at pictures of it. For me, one of my passions is knitting. It just is. I don't know why, but I absolutely love it. I thought it would just be a hobby, but somehow the whole knitting thing brought me all the way to fashion design school. I thought I'd be in love with fashion, but in reality I am just in love with making beautiful things that I can wear. Things that fit beautifully, flatter me, and that have some interesting design to them. That's all. Hmmm, but how does one make a living just by making clothes for themselves?

I guess it would be more glamorous to go the traditional fashion design route, but something tells me that I'm not going that route, and that I'm not that traditional. I'm going to stick to what I know, what I love to do. I'll find the right career choice for me down this path somewhere. For now I am just loving the process of learning new things related to fashion design and hand knitting. It's so much fun now that I have the time thing under control. My schedule is much more balanced now.

I wish I had more time to knit. :) Really. I just want to finish making one sweater or cardigan for myself. This year. It will happen. I'm making a hat right now to match my coat. It's silly how much I love to knit. But, believe me, it is love. I can spend hours in the knitting section at Barnes and Nobles or Borders. I just did a few days ago. I loved it. Oh, and I can spend just as much time at a knitting store. Maybe I should become a sweater designer. I'm slowly trying to clarify what I want for my future. So many things I love to do, so many choices.

If you love knitting too, visit my other blog at www.flowdesignstudio.com. This is where I have my posts about knitting and design. There will be more to come in the future when I have more time to knit and sew. And I WILL have time because I create my future. :)

The next time you're having a blah day, think of me and the joy I found by stumbling upon the knitting section at the library. What brings you joy? Go in that direction and use it to give you a boost of energy whenever you need it. Find more time to dedicate to the activities that really make you happy. Wouldn't it be great to have a life to only do the things that you enjoy doing? Oh, but we can, we can. Decide what that is, set the intention to create your life to fill it with things you love doing, and make time to live in your joy. Peace, love, and happy knitting!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A New Era of Responsibility

I believe there will be a noticeable shift in the attitudes of people around the world in the next few years. The consciousness of the planet is rising, and as it continues to expand, many people will feel compelled to take a deeper look at their lives and how their actions affect those around them. As we gain a broader perspective, we will become very aware of how our decisions and actions create positive or negative consequences. We will also become highly aware of any unintended consequences that result from our decisions.

What does this mean for us? It means that we are all being given a choice. We can choose to take responsibility for every decision and action in our lives, taking steps to improve anything we see that can be improved, or we can continue to our live as it is and live with the consequences. Many will see this as an opportunity for positive change and choose to stand up and take action to do something that improves their lives or the lives of others. This is our time to notice the opportunities to take responsibility for our lives, our communities, and our planet. This will be a new era of responsibility...and it has already begun.

A great example of the type of change we can expect to see in the coming years is from a preview clip for Undercover Boss. This is truly an inspirational clip that I really enjoyed! It is about the President and COO of Waste Management going to do the jobs of the employees of the company undercover. If we all take a more holistic view of the decisions we make every day, we can start creating a better and brighter world that impacts all of us. Watch the preview of this President's experience:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project You and Me

This is a project that focuses on improving ourselves completely to clean up our lives so that we are who we want to become this year! Let's work on our health, relationships, finances, spirituality, home, office, physical body, products we use, and even our wardrobe! It's time to work on you as hard as you work at your job or your studies. Join me! I'm starting Project Christine. Start your project with me!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jim Carey and Eckhart Tolle

Jim Carey gives a speech about his experience with Eckhart Tolle's teachings:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Consciousness Matters: The Rice Experiment

I found this interesting video about an experiment done with rice to see how fast it decays in an airtight container. One rice container was exposed to words and videos of love and the other one was exposed to words and videos of fear. See the results of the experiment in this video:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Year of Healthy Living

This year, my most important focus (other than my career) will be my health. Just eating a salad here and there just won't do anymore. I have decided that it's not enough to create the healthy life I have been wanting for so many years.

What's my 2010 health action plan?

1. Nutrition
I am going to feed my body all the nutrition it wants and needs from whole organic foods. Food-based vitamins are great, but it is time to invest in learning some yummy organic recipes to satiate my taste buds along with my body's need for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and all other healthy goodness. Salads are great, but it's time to add variety by creating quick and easy meals that are nutritionally dense.

2. Fitness
We all talk about fitness every year as part of our New Year's Resolutions, but how many of us have started a fitness program that we plan on sticking to this year? Our bodies are calling and we must commit. A new year, a new body, a new you! Who will join me? My plan this year will include regular exercise at least 3x per week of jogging, strength training, and yoga.

3. Rest
Our bodies need ample rest and relaxation to heal our bodies. This year I am committing to a sleep schedule to give my body the rest it needs!

4. Environment
Have you noticed how your living and work environment affects your mood, energy level, and stress? Time to clean up and clear out. Let go of all those unnecessary things we have accumulated in our lives and clean up the space around us. This includes our electronic environment too! Clean those hard drives, desktops, financial files, etc. Once the dust has settled, you'll experience a renewed surge of energy. This year I am cleaning up every inch of my space. It is time to live a clean and organized life.

There are plenty more things that I intend for 2010, but these are the few simple steps that I must master before overloading my plate. Let's get these pieces in place by the end of this month to build good habits for the rest of the year.

To the best year yet! Yey 2010!

Here are some videos I just posted for CCOR (cocreatingourreality.com) talking about my last season from Aug-Nov 2009 and what I plan on focusing on for the next 100 days Jan-April 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Living in Pug Land

My life revolves around my new pug now. I plan my days around who's going to feed him and clean up his poop. It really is what they say...training for a baby. It's much easier though since you can leave him home alone. Even when I'm home, he sleeps most of the day, so I'm left wondering how he has enough sleep left in him to last through the night so well. When I give him attention, though, watch out! He goes a little nuts with his hyper-activity. He brings his toys to me to ask me to play fetch. That part is really cute.

Now that my life is immersed with pet duties and giving and receiving love and affection, I've dedicated an entire blog to my pug's life. It was the only way to aggregate all of his funny videos to share with family. If you're interested, take a peek. And if you're really interested, you can subscribe to his youtube videos.

There's so many things I've learned from having a pet so far. They need lots of attention. When given the choice, Winston (our pug) prefers affection over food. I'm drawing lots of parallels from this to our human life. Humans need attention and affection too. Maybe the lack of attention is what's drawing so many people to food instead? Winston also loves people. And I mean ALL people. Someone asked me who he likes better between my husband and I, and my answer was, he loves everyone the same! And he truly does. Unconditional love, as they say. There are no grudges, no moodiness, no temper (although he does whine a lot when he's really hungry). He has short-term memory so he really lives in the now. And I mean the NOW. The now now. He'll eat a piece of lettuce and then find another one, only to forget about the one he left behind.

Moral of this story? Love your neighbors, your family, your friends, and everyone. Unconditional love, just like our puppies give us. And give special attention and love to those who seem to be craving it but taking it out on other things such as excess eating, shopping, exercising, working, sleeping, being sick... pretty much anything excessive will indicate a lack in some other area. A little love can do a lot of healing. Think of Winston. If you ever meet him, he'll be sure to give you LOTS and LOTS of love, affection, and attention. Oh, the joys of having a pug.

See more of Winston, the pug who LOVES broccoli, at Puggie Land.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Susan Boyle Achieves Her Dream

What a wonderful inspiration she is to all of us and an example to us that dreams do come true. Keep dreaming your big dreams, for dreams do come true!

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