Fall Comfort Food

Here in LA, it’s recently started to seem like fall.  There’s a bit of a chill in the air, and we’ve had some cloudy skies and drizzles this week.  I’ve even reintroduced sweaters to my wardrobe.  (I can hear you people in colder climates snickering, “Cold?  In LA?”  You’re not wrong.  Today’s high is supposed to be in the mid/upper 70s [about 25 degrees for you Celsius folks], but I think that’s just a temporary little warm up.  Summer’s last hurrah.  I promise, it’s been a bit chilly otherwise.  Well, by my standards at least…)

A lot of people I know get excited for all the pumpkin-flavored foods that re-emerge this season, but I’ve opted for a little treat that is near and dear to my heart: my mom’s chili.  There’s just something so comforting about having a warm, tasty meal from my childhood.  It’s like nourishment for the soul, too.  (Side note/epiphany: Ohhhhhhhhhh, I think I just figured out where the term “soul food” comes from.  Duh.)  Chili is the perfect dish when it’s overcast and cool outside, or what I like to call “snuggle weather.”

Yes, I know chili isn’t technically paleo when you put beans in it.  I did pair it with paleo “cornbread” muffins, though.  According to my math, those two should offset.  Right?  That’s how it works, isn’t it?

 

 

Happy Halloween!!  Hope you get lots of treats and very few tricks!

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The Law of Attraction, Part 2

In my last post, I mentioned my struggle with the Law of Attraction.  To refresh, here are the steps:

1. Be clear, really clear on what you want.

2. Ask God/the Universe for it.  Have faith that you will receive what you asked for.  There’s no room for doubt or wishy-washy wishes here.

3. Feel the feelings you would have if your dream came true.

4. Feel gratitude for all that you have received.

As luck would have it, I’ve found a way to help myself (and maybe others if you guys are interested?) with steps 1 and 2.

Voila!  Intent.com.  It’s the brainchild of Mallika Chopra, daughter of the famous alternative/holistic physician and philosopher Deepak Chopra.  It’s a website where people post their hopes, dreams, and goals to an online community.  You can support others’ intents and receive encouragement for yours.  (For example, here’s mine.  Hopefully the link works even if you’re not signed up to the website…)

According to the Law of Attraction, others’ reinforcement and energy behind my intent will strengthen it.  If nothing else, making my goals public will hold me more accountable.  Win-win.  Even better, when I accomplish my intent, I can notify my supporters and we can all go “Hooray!” together.  Win-win-win.

 

 

Disclaimer: I’m in no way affiliated with Intent.com.  I just discovered it and thought it was worth sharing.  Just FYI.

The Law of Attraction

Have you heard of the Law of Attraction?  I imagine most people have heard of this idea even if you’re not exactly sure what it means.  It means that the things you say, think, and do–the energy you put out into the Universe–directly affects the events that happen to you.  The people and situations you encounter?  You manifested them.

It seems like this idea has existed for a while.  The Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7), and Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23) before he cured a boy of what we might call epilepsy in present times.  Today, various authors (like Abraham via Esther and Jerry Hicks) and celebrities (Oprah, for example) still promote the same basic ideas.

Does it work for regular people like you and me?  I certainly hope so!

According to (my condensed version of) the Law of Attraction, if you do the following steps, you can manifest your dream:

1. Be clear, really clear on what you want.

2. Ask God/the Universe for it.  Have faith that you will receive what you asked for.  There’s no room for doubt or wishy-washy wishes here.

3. Feel the feelings you would have if your dream came true.

4. Feel gratitude for all that you have received.

I’m really good at steps 3 and 4.  But considering that I am stuck on #1 and 2, I’m not sure I can manifest anything at this point.  And since I don’t think I can do it, then I’m sure that means I’m right.  Hmmm…  I’m gonna work on this.  Stay tuned.

Monday Pick-Me-Up

Today, I would like to draw your attention to a few super awesome videos posted by SoulPancake.  SoulPancake, as far as I can tell, is a new media company with an uplifting internet presence that (among other things) posts videos on Youtube about life’s big questions on topics like religion, creativity, philosophy, art, science, and all sorts of interesting things.  So far, their videos have made me laugh, cry, and think.  They study happiness, suprise unsuspecting people with song-and-dance numbers, and connect strangers who might not have learned about each other otherwise.

My favorite of the SoulPancake series: “Have a Little Faith” with Zach Anner.  Zach is a “religious idiot” (his words! not mine, I swear!) who makes fast friends with people of various faiths, and uses his show as an opportunity to learn and teach his viewers about their beliefs.  And he does it in a funny-yet-respectful way.  He rolls around in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy and is able to approach people and ask them personal questions in a very non-threatening manner.  But it’s his adorable enthusiasm and quirky sense of humor that really shine on camera.  In the first episode, “Take Your Shoes Off, Pray Awhile,” he goes to a mosque to learn about Islam from Marwa, a 19-year-old Muslim woman.  In the second, “L’Chaim on a Roll,” he visits a Hasidic temple with his new Jewish friend Mendy.  If you like these, stay tuned for more episodes on Fridays.  I know I’ll be watching!

 

My thought for today is how wonderful the world would be if more people were like Zach and took the time to learn about and connect with people who believe differently.  I suppose making/watching these videos is a great start!

 

On an unrelated note, if anybody reading this blog happens to know people at SoulPancake or Zach, I would love to help out with their videos.  Just sayin’…

Physics!

Inertia is “the resistance of any physical object to any change in its motion (including a change in direction)” (Hat tip, Wikipedia).  In English that means that a moving object will stay in motion, or an unmoving object will remain still, unless an outside force changes things (for example, gravity, friction, or your brother, who picks up a rubber ball and chucks it at your head.  Ow).

I think the principle of inertia applies to people, too.  Have you ever noticed that when you get into a rhythm, it’s easy to stay in that rhythm?  For example, you wake up every day at 7:00 to feed the cat.  You regularly go to the gym 3 times a week.  Friday night is always date night.

The hard part is getting back to your regularly scheduled programming.  You went on vacation, and getting up to feed the cat seems SO early.  You skipped going to the gym for a week while you were sick.  Getting back on that proverbial ol’ horse seems so daunting.

Or, in my case, I took time off yoga while entertaining out-of-town guests, and I just can’t muster up the motivation to get my butt back in class.  I love yoga.  It makes me feel good.  I intellectually know this, but why-oh-why does it seem like so much work to get back into the groove?  Even though my guests headed home, I still skipped a couple of my regular yoga classes.  Hrmph.  Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

See?  I’m not lazy.  I just have inertia.  It’s physics!  Thanks, Sir Isaac Newton!

 

 

On another note, I hope you have a nice weekend, People of the Blogosphere!  If I have any exciting thoughts over the next two days, I promise I will write them down and share them with you next week.

Adventures in Dog Washing

Backstory:

My dog and I have had each other for a little over a year now.  She’s pretty much the cutest creature on the planet, and I love her to pieces.  She’s definitely got a personality!  I think she was a cat in her previous life.  She’s smart, opinionated, sassy, patient, and gentle.  And boy, is she stubborn.  Ninety-five percent of the time she is really mellow, but about once a day, she’ll get unbelievably excited, which makes her run enthusiastically in circles (and on and off my couch if we’re at home) until she exhausts herself.  I know, it’s adorable.

She is somewhat of a fearful dog, though, and I’m not sure if it’s because of her experiences for the first year or two of her life before we met, or if that’s her temperament.  The thing she hates most in life (other than big, aggressive dogs) is going to the groomer.

Now, for the past year, I’ve been all too happy to pay someone else to wash her (and clip her nails and clean her ears and express her anal glands—eeew), so I don’t have to be the bad guy.  But the last couple of trips to the groomer have just about broken my heart to see her so distressed.  So, I resolved to do it myself.  (Except for the anal glands.  The vet did those at her recent annual check up.  As I said earlier—eeew.)

 

Here’s the scene:

I installed a special dog wash shower head with a long hose in my tub (yeah! go me! I did it by myself!!).  I armed myself with bits of chicken to use as positive reinforcement/motivation.  I put a couple inches of what was hopefully comfortable-temperature water in the tub.  I moved all the shampoo bottles and such to the other side of the bathroom so there would be no falling debris in case of extreme panicking.  (I should probably mention that my dog weighs 40-something pounds.  If she flailed wildly, she could knock stuff over.)  Lastly, I grabbed towels, and I put on my rain gear.  (True story.)

Ok, I was ready.  It’s now or never.  Do or die.  <Insert dramatic music here.>  I put her leash on her (Poor girl, she though we were going for a walk.  Psych!), but instead led her to the bathroom.  She got a piece of chicken for coming into the bathroom even though she kind of figured out what was about to happen and tried to backpedal.  She got a piece of chicken for calming down and investigating the tub.  But no amount of chicken enticingly placed on the opposite side of the tub would get her to go in.  So I placed her in the water, as gently as I could with 40 pounds of fur wriggling in my face.

 

So?  How’d it go?:

It went ok.  I tied her leash to the faucet so she couldn’t go too far, and she still tried (unsuccessfully) to escape a few times, but I was always able to grab her and hold on.  I (successfully) shampooed and conditioned her fur (do dogs really need conditioner? Or am I a sucker who buys unnecessarily foofoo stuff for her dog?).   We took a walk to air dry.  Now she smells nice and is super duper fluffy.  Mmmmm, clean dog smell.

The part I wasn’t prepared for was all the fur.  Despite the fact that we had spent 20 minutes brushing with the Furminator right before doggie wash.  (If you have a double-coated dog and you don’t have a Furminator, buy one.  Buy one now!  It’s a ridiculous price, but maybe you can score a cheap one on Ebay like I did.  Anyway, back to the fur.)  OHMYGOD THE FUR!  FUR EVERYWHERE!!  IT LOOKED LIKE FUR CARNAGE ALL OVER MY TUB!  AND ON THE WALLS!!  IN THE SINK!!   HOW IS THERE FUR ALL THE WAY OVER ON THE TOILET?  HOW IS SHE NOT NAKED RIGHT NOW??  I thought about taking a picture of the fur carnage to post, but then I thought, a) That’s gross, and b) You guys would probably think I was involved in some sort of animal abuse, that’s how much fur there was.  We spent another 20 minutes with the Furminator post-bath, and the fur still kept coming out.

 

Moral of the Story:

I think we were both traumatized by the experience.  Fortunately, we’ve both since recovered.  She doesn’t hate me, which is a win in my book.  I think next time, I will pay someone else to wash her.  But first we’ll go hang out at the groomer’s with some chicken.  Maybe if we go there a few times just to hang out and get treats (no doggie wash yet), she’ll see that it’s not such a scary place after all.  But I’ll tell them to let her air dry when I do make her a grooming appointment.  She’s afraid of the hair dryer.

Putting it in Perspective

Since my last post was a little bit of a downer, I thought I’d share a more positive realization I had recently.  The other day, I was watching 19 Kids and Counting.  (Because that’s what you do when you’re unemployed: watch reality tv.  Don’t judge me.)  In case you live under a rock and aren’t familiar with the show, it’s about the Duggars, a very conservative Christian family in rural Arkansas.  And yes, there are 19 kids in the family.  All of them are natural-born children of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

So I realized that if I were a Duggar, I probably would have been married off years ago and would have popped out 5 or 6 kids by now.  Seriously.  5 or 6 kids.  Sheesh.  Suddenly, being single, unemployed, and 30 doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

How A Chorus Line is Like Life

Who am I anyway?

Am I my resume?

 

If you’re familiar with the musical A Chorus Line, you may remember these lines from “I Hope I Get It,” a big song and dance number with hundreds of dancers auditioning to make the cut.  Although I’m certainly not a professional dancer in NYC in the ’70s, I totally can relate.  I am in showbiz in LA, where the good jobs are hard to find, and it seems like there are perpetually lots more job-seekers than open positions.  Plus, I’m someone who needs a purpose, so I’ve historically used my job to define a large part of who I am.

I’m currently between jobs (as is par for the course in the entertainment industry), and I’m feeling a little lost as a result.  I’m trying to view this time as an opportunity to really tune in and figure out my next step in life, but instead I’m just sorta… floating.  Do I want to continue working in the industry?  I like what I do, but there is no long-term job stability.  Can I deal with the inevitable financial uncertainty in all the years down the road?  If you’re lucky, you can work on a hit tv show for multiple years, or find a big budget movie for maybe a year.  If you’re lucky.  So far, I’ve had a little luck.  But I’ve hit some bumps in the road that have me questioning things.  It shouldn’t be this hard to figure out what I want, right?  After all, the only person I have to please at the moment is me.

 

What should I try to be?

So many faces all around and here we go.

I need this job.  Oh, God, I need this show.