Quentin Tarantino realized he needed to leave his flock as a young adult. He was working in a video store (remember those?) and enjoying the benefits of watching movies, which were his passion. His co-workers were also making minimum wage, but he knew he was the smartest one among them. This made him feel comfortable – for three years – where he admits he “lost all ambition.” And then he woke up. He didn’t want to be an elderly man working in a video store, talking about movies. He wanted to MAKE them. So he had to leave his flock.
My daughter and I went to the animal shelter today to inquire about volunteer opportunities. The minimum age is 16, so Ava will have to wait another year…but she fell in love in the meantime. The dog’s name is Maya.
While we were there, a young lady was returning a dog she adopted a few days ago. The dog was too “feisty” and energetic. It’s too bad she was not willing to put in the time and energy necessary to train the dog.
Our Opal was a bit hyper when we first got her. We had to get a crate for her when we realized that she has separation anxiety. She nearly clawed her way through a wall to find us our first time we went out to dinner and left her home. She still prefers to be in her crate when we’re away.
I’m playing with form, color and inspiration. No great art here, just having a lot of fun. For the last one, I didn’t know I was going to write my name in Korean until I did it. It might have something to do with recently reading about Bruce Lee and how proud of he was of his Chinese ethnicity and because I’m so happy that Sandra Oh is the first Asian-American actress nominated for a best lead actress Emmy award. Who knows?
I started with acrylics, but it’s so hard to clean up (requires rubbing alcohol) and gouache is more forgiving. I’m sticking with gouache and watercolor for the near term.
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” Dalai Lama
Sometimes, we want something very badly: a new job, a promotion, a raise, or an award of some kind. It’s usually because obtaining it would give us meaning, value or respect in the eyes of others.
It’s good to strive for better. It’s good to push yourself. But it’s in the effort that the reward sits, not in the fruit.
Eckhart Tolle says, “How do you let go of attachments of things? Don’t even try. Effort creates attachment. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.”
Byron Katie reminds us that (for example) when it comes to working hard to get a new job (crafting your resume and cover letter, preparing for the interview), that is YOUR business. But when it comes to deciding whether you get that job, that is THEIR business and all the rest is up to “god” (her definition of god is reality).
So stay in your business. Live each moment fully. And let everything else go.
“The hard part isn’t charging more. It’s delivering more than the person paid for.”
He published Purple Cow in 2003 and his message, “Be remarkable to cut through the noise” rings truer than ever. Snake oil and social media are ubiquitous. There’s too much information, noise, and duplicity out there. You can stand out by providing outstanding value.
When Chinese railroad workers came to California, they brought with them a magical elixir made from water snake fat. The fat from these snakes was high in Omega-3 fatty acids which we know today really does work for reducing inflammation, blood pressure and more. Non-Chinese went crazy for the stuff.
Non-Chinese started to make their own snake oil, but either watered it down, or used fat from other animals that were not nearly as high in Omega-3. Peddlers sold this inferior “snake oil” and then it got a bad reputation. (Very Well Health)
And here is one example of modern day “snake oil”:
Wait, you can INFUSE YOUR SKIN with youth? Why, then, is it on clearance?
You are your own suffering. You are your own happiness.
Wandered into colored pencil pet portrait class on Creativebug.com. Hm. The instructors had cute little terriers with different colors. They could use big, broad strokes with reds, browns and yellows. My dog Opal is pretty much a short-haired black pit bull mix. Short strokes for short hair. My hand got tired.
“Don’t worry if yours doesn’t come out the way you want. It took me seven years to get good at it,” said the teacher.
Ai yi yi.
Well, seven years is going to happen either way. If I’m still around, and I keep practicing, I could get good at this.
I’m typically identified in my country and community as “Asian-American” because I’m 100% ethnically Korean (but I was born in Iowa). We have Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and Native-Americans but rarely do we ever call white people European-Americans. What is the ramification of this?
Why not do away with these labels?
Who cares if someone is gay or straight? Religious or not? Conservative or Liberal? Poor or rich? Why not label everyone simply “human” and treat each other humanely?
A religious woman I know told me, “I love my gay son, but too bad he’s going to go to hell.” Labeling her son and categorizing him as a sinner effectively created an unnecessary distance and one I believe she could regret.
Labels are used to create differences. It’s time we emphasize how we are the same.
Here is an in-depth, research-based study on the effects of labeling people:
I finished reading Kevin Kwan’sCrazy Rich Asians. It was hard for me to get into because materialism does not interest me in the least and the story line itself was pretty “soap operatic.” But when I abandoned judgment, I found it to be pretty entertaining albeit predictable. It’s Kwan’s first novel which became an international bestseller. I am planning on seeing the film when it opens in August: an all-Asian cast!
Next on my reading list is the Tao Te Chingby Lao Tzu. It’s really the antithesis ofCrazy Rich Asians: a book that extols virtuous characteristics and behavior and rejects external rewards such as fame and wealth.
“A teacher of fear can’t bring peace on Earth. We have been trying to do it that way for thousands of years. The person who turns inner violence around, the person who finds peace inside and lives it, is the one who teaches what true peace is. We are waiting for just one teacher. You’re the one.” ~ Byron Katie
I procrastinated painting this duck. For some reason, I was sure it’d be terrible. It’s OK.
I wondered where the term “quack” in reference to bad doctors came from. Here’s what I found:
The oldest recorded use dates back to 1638 (Francis Quarles’ 1638 book, Hieroglyphikes of the Life of Man) Mental Floss.
It’s from the old Dutch term “quacksalver” which means someone who cures using home remedies. Salver, as you can infer, refers to “salve” with ointments and such. Somewhere along the line, it morphed into the concept of someone who peddles their own medical tools and remedies with little to no qualification.
To run on a hamster wheel means to do things without thinking and without an end in sight. It’s a lack of presence.
“How can you tell if you’re on The Hamster Wheel? Your focus narrows and becomes singular. You get reactive instead of proactive. You’re not breathing deeply. Your shoulders are tense. Your jaw may be gripped. Your heart is beating fast and you feel frantic. You experience chronic fight or flight syndrome, your adrenaline is pumping like crazy. You stop really ‘seeing’ people and they start to become objects.”
This painting is highly imperfect. The face seems to be floating around, detached. The fur is stiff and square. Painting it was not as fun as painting the hedgehog and it shows. The process reminded me of this quote:
Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
Mary Tyler Moore
Some pieces will be better than others. I love watching August Wren (Creativebug.com) paint because she talks out loud and often laughs at her mistakes.
Did you know that their beaks are “honeycomb-like” (lightweight) and virtually useless as a weapon? But the other animals don’t know that!
Tip of the Day (from personal experience):
Start your day with something that is hard to do physically…something that requires you to push yourself. Achieving it first thing in the day will give you a sense of accomplishment and vigor for the next 15 to 18 hours.
Listening to Oprah’s podcast with will.i.am, I was profoundly impressed with him not only as a musician, but as an education proponent. His i.am.angel foundation brings STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs to under-served communities. This foundation has also awarded over $800k in scholarships and 97% of these students are the first in their families to go to college.
Will echoes Milton Berle’s sage advice:
If a door closes, build a new door.
This reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago, when I was reading the Red4Ed message board. A school bus driver wrote: “Are you guys (teachers) demanding a raise and better benefits for us classified staff?”
I see way too much self-medicating and not enough self-advocating these days. Don’t ever assume someone is looking out for you. You’ve got to do the heavy lifting yourself. Exercise your rights. Vote. Do something with what you have.
If you go by the usual quote, “When one door closes, another opens,” it assumes you will just wait for another one to open. When you build your own, it won’t ever close.
I just finished listening to a Rich Roll podcast. His guest was Jesse Itzler who wrote a best selling book about Living with a (Navy) SEAL. Itzler is also married to Sara Blakely who founded Spanx.
Pursuing outrageous physical feats is not my bag. However, I like to keep learning about motivation and what might help others (as well as me) get/stay motivated to constantly improve (work, relationships).
The biggest takeaway from this podcast for me was to “circle a date in the future” for a goal I have in mind and then to tell everyone about it to hold myself accountable. As soon as I published “Esther, Mia and the Stars,*” I wanted to write my next book. But I haven’t. So here it is: by December 13th, 2018, I will write (and illustrate!) book #2.
What have you put on the backburner? Share it now (here or elsewhere), and get going!
*Yes, it says “Mia, Esther and the Stars” on Amazon. But it’s the right book. ;P
Don’t just worry or complain about global warming and ocean pollution. Do something: Visit the Four Seasons Maldives.
They have a rehabilitation center for injured marine life as well as a “Flying Turtles” program for animals that are unable to be set free in the wild.
Children visitors are the most frequent visitors. They love to name the turtles and check on them several times a day. They also pay close attention to information regarding what harms these beautiful creatures. Fortunately, children are passionate nature lovers.
Today was the fourth day of summer school (I’m teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combo class). We hadn’t even gotten to the fun stuff yet (math Bingo with M&Ms and vocabulary skits) when one second grader beamed and said, “I love summer school!”
“What part?” I asked.
“All of it!”
Her gratitude was intense and contagious. Other students murmured in agreement. Summer school is the bomb.
She could have complained about waking up, getting dressed and going to school.
She could have dreaded doing math (again).
She could have complained and compared herself to other kids who are going on vacations to California and beyond.
But she was completely present. She was 100% here with 16 other kids and me and we had a great time.
Every zebra has unique stripe patterns – much like humans’ fingerprints.
If we could just appreciate our singularity – and the originality of others, this world would be a more peaceful place.
I like Ram Dass’ observation: When we go out and see trees, we don’t judge them. We don’t say this one is better than that one. We appreciate every tree. We should do that with people. Appreciate every person.
Judgmental people tend to judge themselves fiercely. They believe it makes them work harder and be better. In fact, judgmental people possess an insecurity and sometimes a level of self-hate that disables them to love others.
There is strife in America right now. There is a great divide. But ignorance is being met with consciousness and ultimately, awareness will win.