Just another site

Just Grace.

The truth of our being is simply this process of flowing change. Everything is impermanent. Nothing is worth grasping because nothing lasts…it is like clouds moving through the sky. Knowing that nothing is secure, that there is no solid place on which to stand, we can let go, let be, and come to rest.” The Heart of Wisdom

I suppose I have always known, on some level, that my golden-retriever/barnacle tendencies lead me down the path of looking to others for fulfillment (you know: for fun, pleasure, intellectual stimulation, security…all those things). I just chalked it up to “that’s just how I am.” I was the “social butterfly,” according to every teacher I’d ever had. Alright, I’m an extrovert…so what? It wasn’t until recently that I recognized that this tendency I have could be sort-of problematic. First: logistically it’s sort of difficult to constantly be in company Second: it’s quite an exhausting role to ask those who are in my life to fill (the role of constant company and fulfillment). Third: It turns out that it’s actually impossible for anyone to know exactly what you need, when you need it, and how you need it (though moms, dogs, sisters, and best friends get pretty damn close). I suppose my point is quite simple: I can control myself, and no one else. I can’t make anyone show me love or affection just when I need it, or say the right things when I need to hear them, I can’t possibly expect that every bad day will be made right by someone else, or that someone else’s appreciation of me would ever be enough. I’m not discounting the power and the necessity of companionship and love and social bonds. But I also fully understand, perhaps now more than ever before, just how impermanent relationships are. By nature, human relationships are volatile. “The truth of our being is simply this process of flowing change. Everything is impermanent. Nothing is worth grasping because nothing lasts…it is like clouds moving through the sky. Knowing that nothing is secure, that there is no solid place on which to stand, we can let go, let be, and come to rest.” It’s exhausting to chase down those fantasies of perfect relationships: those connections and interactions that will complete [you], because it is impossible.

I have this whole new found sense of self-reliance. It is proving to be the most comforting, stable relationship that I’ve ever had.

The other night: I was getting ready to meet up with friends, and I was listening to a wonderful mix of songs, dancing and singing and laughing. It sort of surprised me: I was having fun all by myself. Like a lot of fun. It had never occurred to me before, that that might be important (to be able to have fun all by my lonesome). It sounds sort of schizophrenic, but maybe it isn’t all that crazy…isn’t that sort of what Christopher McCandless is looking for in Into the Wild? And, (because I can’t go one blog post without referring to her/quoting her) it certainly is what Elizabeth Gilbert is looking for and discovers on her journey in Eat Pray Love.

I love how, in Buddhist and Yogic teachings the Self is referred to with a Capitol “S.” It is given importance and reference as though it were a name. The Self is the light within each of us. Relationship with your Self is crucial, simply because, your Self is always gonna be there. You can’t guarantee you’ll always have someone else…but you can bet that you will always have you. That much I know for certain.

Oh happy day(s)




OMG…I took the MCAT. I did. HOLY SHIT. So… we will see how my scores look in a few weeks. I am sort of a nervous wreck about finding out. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped I would. But, it’s the first go round. There is always next time. (I’m trying to be all Buddhist about all of the interest of avoiding stomach ulcers and or hypertension and or a nervous breakdown of some sort). Oh yeah, and I ordered one of these shirts from Etsy. Pretty awesome, right?

IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL this time of year here in Portland. I love the Pacific Northwest in every season, but especially in these warmer months. After I took my test I went over to Mt. Tabor park, one of my favorite spots in Portland.





I made Strawberry Basil Sangria. It was amazing. I got the recipe from Pinterest, but the pin came from this blog. So easy, and so so good. I changed things a bit from the recipe: One bottle of Pinot Grigio, ice, sugar in the raw, sliced strawberries, fresh basil leaves, splash of club soda, one sliced gala apple…and vwala!

SUMMER DRESS weather is here…and…anyone who knows me well knows that I love a summer dress. If I could live in them, I probably would. In fact, I think I have, for at least a summer (maybe three). What can I say? I sweat a lot so the breezier and the flowier the garmet, the better. Sorry friends, if that was TMI.

Mother’s day was pretty great this year. My mom, my sister and I were all working, so I brought the party to us! I made chicken ceasar wraps, fruit salad and quinoa. It was lovely. We danced around a little, laughed, and soaked up some sun. My Momma was happy, so I really couldn’t ask for more.


Is everybody else a little addicted to Pinterest? My hunch is that I’m not alone in the craze. IT’S JUST SO COOL. Well, thanks to Pinterest I have about 8,000 DIY/craft projects I want to do this Spring/Summer, and I have discovered some more awesome blogs. PS. – I made this is one of them…and it’s pretty rad.
Lots of fun projects to try on this site, and the best part? The nice concise-to-the-point format this blogger uses to share his/her ideas. It’s like SBAR, for crafts! Hooray! Anyways, this project is one I’ll be doing sooner rather than later. I’ll post my results. If they turn out alright, that is! HA.





Frida Kahlo. Just looking at portraits of her inspires me. I feel as though I know her. She personafies female strength and resilience.



one of my favorite blogs sfgirlbybay posted these photos of a little hideout she’d made. how lovely right? so dreamy and perfect. I just want to curl up in a little nook like that: MCAT materials, Hoover, and all, and let the world slow down.


you love him already right? the smile, the bow-tie, the wispy white hair and big frame glasses…Eric Kandel is the Austrian-born, nobel prize winning, get this – NEURObiologist – (you know how I have a thing for Neuroscience…) who wrote The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present and In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind. You can buy both books on Amazon. I DID.  I heard his interview on Science Friday (the best part about Fridays, by the way…) I  fell in love with this man listening to the interview. He is so passionate, brilliant, balanced. His love for art and science and the connection of the two worlds is infectious. He is a beautiful example of the joy that life can bring when we follow our passions; no matter how different, or seemingly unrelated they may be at first glance.

in full bloom


I came across a most inspiring article in, of all places, Allure magazine. I’m not knocking lady-mags, I’m just sayin': for beauty tips and the latest fashion sure… but an interesting and insightful essay? Not so much. Touche. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the issues that women face with self-image and beauty and all that stuff. I have been so frustrated with the women around me and their constant obsession with appearances: their appearance, their friends’ appearance, their neighbors’ appearance, their boss’ appearance…alright you get my point. It drives me nuts. I know I can’t possibly be alone in that. With so many things that are so much more interesting to discuss than the amount of weight you (or your friend, neighbor, or boss) lost or gained this week, why circle around the same shallow topics? Hear me out: I know I am not perfect, I have been guilty of this too. I’m simply saying that excessive, constant, perseverating over boobs, hair, thighs, skin etc. should be kept to a minimum. We owe it to ourselves.

Quite frankly, it is concerning. Physical beauty is temporary; fleeting. Aging is inevitable, accidents happen, things change.

Women posess an inherent magnificence and power that is held in something deeper than what meets the eye.

Read that article in the May 2012 Allure by Julia Alvarez. You’ll be glad that you did.
“looking at those luminous faces, young and old, I understood that beauty really is the gift of ourselves we give to another…beauty comes in the caring and love of what is there,” Julia Alvarez


In honor of it being the last day of National Poetry Month, I thought I would share one of my favorite Maya Angelou pieces: Phenomenal Woman.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

sin dudas

There are constant changes. Our practice is relate to what Zorba the Greek called, “the whole catastrophe,” all the parts of it – the beautiful, the pleasant, the troublesome, and the unpleasant – with a certain amount of ease and humor. This quality of acceptance is the ground out of which true insight and understanding develop. If we don’t accept some aspect of ourselves – a feeling, a physical or mental sense of ourselves- -then we cannot learn about it. We cannot discover its nature and become free in relationship to it.

We can learn a great deal about the impermanent, ungraspable nature of the mind through watching doubt. We also learn about what it means to be identified with and caught up in our moods and state of mind…It is natural for the heart to doubt. But let us understand it and let the doubt lead us to a deeper attention and a more complete seeking for the truth.


Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Mediation Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield





Things are starting to go really well at work (the new job). phew! I was really worried there for a minute, but I think I had forgotten that all new jobs come with a learning curve/period of feeling like a real idiot. The good news is, that goes away with time/experience/familiarity.

I’ve been doing a lot of this lately

And that always helps things, right?I’ve discovered that the more time I spend outdoors and taking care of myself the better I feel about everything, but then, that’s not really revelatory…I think that’s universally understood. What can I say? Some things take me a while to grasp.

and then Spring comes along & brings change


Blooms and birdies and babies! What’s not to love about this time of year? As if on cue, I got a new job that I will be starting next week! It’s all about keeping in theme with the Spring season. (Okay not really, but you’ve gotta admit, fits in pretty nicely with the Spring theme). It’s really a very bitter-sweet transition. I am thrilled about the change, it’s a good one pretty much all around, the only draw back is that, I love the job that I have now. I love my coworkers and my boss(es). I am not saying that in a phony-baloney-kind-of-way (I promise), I really do love them. Almost since the day I started I have felt at home with these women (they are all women, and yes, remarkably we love each other, get along, and are 98% cat-fight-free). It feels as though I have gotten to work every day with a big group of surrogate moms/sisters/girlfriends. Pessimistic though it may sound, I have sort-of accepted the fact that I will never work with a group that is this close and familial ever again. It’s a rare find, and knowing that makes it painful to leave behind. Does this sound dramatic? Probably. Especially considering that I’ll still be in the same hospital, and literally right behind my “old” department. A stones throw away. I can still stop in and say “hi,” when I have a chance, have lunch with them, and of course, I will still go on the “Just Us Girls,” trips and “Girls Night Out,” outings. I am probably giving you the impression that I am being forced against my will into this change, into this new position, or that I’m not excited about it; don’t get me wrong, I am really excited about my new job! (Better hours, more direct patient contact experience – in the Emergency Department no less – hooray!) I am just lamenting that although I am really excited about what is to come, I am sad about what I am leaving behind. I’m leaving Disneyland for the real world. But I am ready. (I think).

I have this theory that it is a good idea to seek out experiences and new opportunities that scare you a little. (Since beginning this blog I’ve become oh-so-philosophical and just chalk-full of these life ideas and theories, my apologies friends). It’s an idea that has really worked for me. So here I go, “BOO!” (to me). Come Monday my adrenaline will be pumping – in a good way.



Nerd note


Um, Words with Friends: “CA” is Cancer, and “afib” is Atrial Fibrillation. I, for one, would like to see Medical abbreviations deemed legitimate in Scrabble games across the board. (No pun intended. HAHA!)

What am I thinking?

Am I completely insane for giving up this:


For this?

I think I might be. But this is what I want, I’m goin’ all the way! And I’m takin’ the MCAT in a few short weeks. Oh. My. God.

Image Credits: Scutmonkey comics by, my favorite writer and blogger: Dr. Michelle Au.

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