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Showing posts from November, 2011

Working On My Body Image Art Project.

For the past few days, I had a great day painting in the studio.
Everything went smooth and felt almost meditative, while I painted and listened to Bach or Mozart.
Not many days were like this, since I started my new art project.

I worked on a large piece from my new project in which I am exploring the concepts of body image and how it influence our Self image.

I can honestly say that this project has thus far proven to be the hardest and most demanding art project I have attempted.

Looking at my nude body and translating it into art, while being attune to my inner dialog and listening to my self doubts, ideas about aging, mortality and fears, is very emotional and demanding.

I am doing all of this while at the same time trying to sort through wrong concepts of beauty and brainwashing, of many years of being exposed to advertising and living in a society that believes in so many wrong ideas about what constitute female beauty and attractiveness.

I noticed many things both wise and foolish, …

Portraits From Rural New Zealand (3)

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Portrait #3
Getting a house sign made...

I have changed the names of the people in this story.
I am sorting through memories and events that happened since we moved to rural New Zealand nine years ago.
Now that we are in the process of moving out of Kohukohu, I am taking the time to reflect back and to acknowledge the humor and the spirit in what has been an interesting life's adventure for us.


When we first moved to New Zealand, we bought a house in the hilly picturesque harbor town of Kohukohu.

The Tasman sea is very torturous, and so the only boats you will see in the Hokianga harbor, stay inside the perimeters of the harbor and never venture out.

But the Hokianga harbor is vast, and it meanders deep into the west coast landscape, spreading tentacles into this region like an octopus.

The strong tides fill this harbor with large fish and all sorts of sea life, including occasionally some Orcas or jumping dolphins.

When we neared the end of a long renovation process, I wanted to make a…

Portraits of Rural New Zealand

Portrait # 4
Heavenly Thai massages...

It took us awhile to get used to the lack of available services while living in rural NZ.

We learned that deliveries take an extra long time to arrive, that they can get stuck in a depot in Whangarai, halfway up the road from Auckland, and get released weeks later......
Many deliveries were dropped off at the Mangamuka Bridge store or gas station, located more than 20 kilometers away from our home, and required us to drive to get them.

Plumbers, electricians and all sorts of repair and service people, would initially refuse to make the drive into the Hokianga, as if it were located in Vietnam.....and finally years later, they would agree do it, but many would add an exuberant fee to cover their "travel cost," often totaling more than their repair bills.

But these are NOT the kind of services I am referring to as missing.
I yearned for a great meal.... For a bookstore, for a swim in a good size heated pool, for a movie with popcorn, for a mass…

Preparations are on their way for the Venice Carnival

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Organic New Zealand

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One of the things that interested me greatly when we settled into living in rural New Zealand, was how to source organic vegetables.

At the time we were vegans, eating vegetables and fruit almost exclusively, and even though we had a small patch of vegetable garden at the edge of our property, we were not successful at growing much besides lettuce and spring onions.

I knew that we could grow more if we would clear more of the grass around the vegetable patch and enlarge the garden beds, but we did not live in New zealand full time, and every time we left to go back to the USA, our vegetable garden would turn into a nightmarish bed of impossibly strong weeds.

We would start again every time, and plant only what we could grow and harvest within three months, which was the allotted time that we spent in New Zealand.

Beside, most of our time was taken with making construction and renovation choices, and driving around sourcing the necessary items like toilets, sinks, taps, kitchen cabinets, f…

Guilt about enjoying my life....Happy Thanksgiving, and the importance of giving thanks...

In the past few days, I noticed that I felt strange about spending money and enjoying my life, while living in a world where the main focus is on lack.

When I presented my feelings to Jules, he jokingly reminded me of the old saying, that "Good news does NOT sell newspapers."

It is a sad and not encouraging fact, that the media ALWAYS focuses on lack, poverty, crime, and on calamity and disasters.

Because I minimize my exposure to the media, I am usually happy and content with my life, but the minute I listen to the news on TV, or read the daily newspapers, I get depressed and feel guilty for living a healthy, happy, safe life and for enjoying myself.

Today the newspaper wrote about people who cut back on shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, because of the high cost of food.

Unless they were referring to homeless people or to people who have no jobs or are deeply in debt, how is it possible that people cannot afford one frigging turkey, a few sweet potatoes, a handful of chestnuts …

Going on a date with my husband...

Not many married couples do it... But we do it often and we enjoy it SO MUCH, that we cannot imagine going a long time without it...

We go on dates.
Just the way we did when we were dating.

We choose a nice place to have a dinner, a charming hotel to spend the night, and an activity to do during the day, that we love.
We may go to museums, to an art exhibition, on a cycling day trip, or a hike somewhere...

In the past three days we went on an such extended date.
We left home with an overnight bag, and went to have fun and romance.

We live in such a remote and isolated place in the middle of the mountains, and we both work from home.
That means that we have stretches of days in which we stay home working, cleaning, cooking and relaxing.
We only go out for shopping or for exercise and fun.
In the summers we go cycling, go to concerts in Aspen and have more fun outdoors.
But in the winter most of our outing is either to run errands or to ski.

Our dates also give us an opportunity to dress up once i…

The magic of the Yartsa Gumba, and a bit about Tibetan Tummo.

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Reflections on the adventurous life....

There were times in my life when all I wanted was a house in a quiet and isolated part of the earth with beautiful views... To be surrounded with nature.... To live on a small piece of land so I can grow my own vegetables, with some fruit trees, listening to the songs of birds.....

I wished to meet and to live with a man whom I loved, and to have plenty of time and enough money so I could relax, stop craving all the time.....have time to think, to meditate.... and to touch what is real in life.... and above all, I yearned to develop a quiet and contented mind....

I worked hard towards these goals, and one by one they manifested in my life.
After having all these for more than ten years, a new urge emerges in me.... The urge to roam the earth...

I have always loved traveling, to see new places, observe new cultures, taste their food and enjoy the beauty of our Earth.
I love diving in the tropical oceans, swimming, exploring, and falling in love…

Sensory overload.

We are all multidimensional beings, and we need stimulation, just as much as we need quiet and isolated time.

The problem is that in our modern society, we lock ourselves into busy days of work, parenthood and a variety of activities, and forget to claim the solitude and the quiet that we also need in order to be balanced human beings.

We may know what we are SUPPOSE to do, in order to grow on the path of self discovery, but we may find the challenges too hard at times.

We may feel disappointed in ourselves for losing patience, not being able to manifest what we want, not being as tolerant and loving towards others and ourselves...

I would like to suggest, that the process of self discovery and growth, needs much time for inner reflection.
We need time and space to look within...

But not all of us can take time off from work, leave the kids or our affairs behind and claim the quiet time that we all need..... I would like to suggest another solution, that worked well for me.

If you cannot aff…

We are going to.....

We are back home in Colorado from our trip around Morocco for a bit over a week now.
The high mountains of Colorado are frosty and beginning to accumulate snow.

The heat in my studio does not work, and the technicians that installed our new Furnace, are trying to repair it.
It is so chilly in my studio, that I stay home instead, where it is toasty and warm.

Ski season is approaching fast, but it is not snowing enough to open all the ski resorts.
There is simply not enough snow yet...

The high elevation ski resort of Breckenridge, is already open, but only 5% of the mountain is open for skiing.

I do not like early season skiing, unless the mountains are covered with snow.
The bottom of your skis can get easily scratched from exposed rocks that are just dusted with snow, and the slopes are not yet fully covered with many feet of snow.

But I do not have to worry about the lack of snow this early in the season.
In just two weeks we fly to our home in New Zealand and we will not be back until the en…

Two big "C's" to avoid- Criticism and Condemnation

A tendency to criticize the actions of others, can be a real hindrance to our inner joy.

We are all guilty of doing this, and I am the first one to admit that what I wrote here, I learnt from my own experience.
We must learn through experimental growing, to let this bad habit go.

We all know that if we constantly criticize our friends, partners or children, we will soon have very rocky relationships, or no relationships at all with them.

Even if we do not voice out our opinions, criticism can harm us by robing us of inner peace.
The good news is that it is a learnt habit and with realization and deliberate intentions, we can get rid of it.

What we may not be aware of, is how being critical and condemning people we do NOT KNOW in the world, effect us also.

We criticize everyone and everything in the world, that is not in alignment with our own ideas and beliefs.

We criticize politicians, powerful personalities that do not use their power for good, artists that make art we do not like, musicia…

A meditation on the concept of HOPE.

Try to read this with an open mind.

This idea may be contrary to other ideas you hold inside, and as we usually do when an idea does not fit well at first, we may develop resistance to it, not because it does not make sense, but because we tend to filter out what does not fit well in the basket of ideas that we already carry inside us.

We do this by losing focus, or by glancing at the written words, but not really contemplating their implication.

But if we truly care to progress on the path of SELF exploration, we must keep an inquiring open mind, and examine NEW ideas.

OK.... So....Here it is:

Hope is a state of uneasiness.

When a person perceives his or her situation as being incomplete, they develop hope.

That means that hope imply that you are NOT currently in a perfect state.

It means that you believe that your situation IS hopeless right NOW, but that by being hopeful, you are hoping to make a positive shift.

All people are searching for a state of inwards security, for inner balance and…