November 9, 2017

I am constantly taken aback by the way my children find delight in even the most mundane things. In fact, one my my clearest memories of my son happened when he was about a year and a half old. We were shopping for a new car and were having a particularly excruciating experience with a salesman when a song my son liked came on and he began to dance. Shortly thereafter, we were re...

October 26, 2017

In many spiritual practices, the aim is to remain steady. Steady emotions, steady thoughts, steady actions lead to inner calm. Inner calm allows us to connect with (our inner) divinity, and also to see the muck that surrounds us more clearly since sand settles to the bottom in calm waters.

I am not so much inclined to having temperate emotions. Perhaps it's my Latin background, bu...

October 13, 2017

I went out to dinner with a very dear friend the other night. When people say things fall apart, her current situation is pretty much an illustration of that. She was laid off from a high-level position, within weeks got a cancer diagnosis, and days later watched her apartment flood. She left the state to move back into her parents’ home to live there while she received treatment...

September 30, 2017

My grandmother often did it. My sister-in-law does it now. They give me recipes they want me to have, want to pass down as family heirlooms. They tell me step by step how to make these dishes that have been eaten by generations before us. “And then you sprinkle some paprika/saffron/salt.” How much, I ask. I don't know, they reply. You just look at it. You smell it. You taste it.

I...

September 15, 2017

Over the past month, I have been trying out a concept that seems revolutionary to me: the key to a satisfying relationship is simply “giving freely.”

The idea comes from Erin Loechner’s book Chasing Slow. In it, she determines the key to a lasting marriage is “giving freely.” She refers to the Bible while presenting her conclusion. “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt. 10...

September 1, 2017

Back in the mid-90s, I was on a college tour in Boston when I came across a bookshop in Copley Square. One of the first books I saw as I walked into the mahogany wood-panelled store was Wherever You Go, There you Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I bought the book and have held onto it through 9 moves, two of which were overseas. Interestingly, it's not the topic (mindfulness) that still ca...

August 15, 2017

Procrastination, the action of delaying or postponing, is something all of us struggle with in some areas or at some point in our lives--work; errands; returning phone calls, texts or emails; making appointments; etc.

There are many theories as to why we procrastinate. One of them is that the worst procrastinators are perfectionists who don’t want to start certain activities for f...

August 4, 2017

I am very much a Pollyanna, always seeing the bright side and believing everything happens for a reason. It’s why I mesh so well with LYB since Lisa Berry and her crew share a sunshine-filled, can-be-done, just-take-a-breath-and-trust-the-universe perspective. But even I have to admit that there are moments in life when it just sucks...and Lisa agrees with me.

Sometimes it’s the r...

July 20, 2017

When I was working at a large NGO in my mid-twenties, we had a boss who split her time between two offices. One day, she showed up at our office even though she wasn't expected for days. I asked if everything was okay. She said: “I felt you guys needed some face time with me.”

Her comment stayed with me because she was right. We hadn't seen her for almost three weeks as she had be...

July 6, 2017

Whether you are able to get away for a beach vacation this summer, or are stuck at home with no vacation days left, here are some novels that will take you away. The stories are engrossing and the settings are exotic. The first two take place during actual vacations, one on a trip to Spain, the other to Italy. The second two give us access to alluring worlds, the expatriate exper...

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