28.4.09

new blog title

thinking about changing the title to my blog to something a bit more 'generic' but travel related (i.e. will be relevant even if i decide to move to paris or some other random country). thought about 'just travellin' through', but don't know if it 'works'. thought i'd ask my blog readers---as few as you may be what you think or if you have any better ideas?

26.4.09

vintage pics + inspiration for the weekend


double click to see them larger
vintage pics from here


+

i want to be like these two: here & here

{thanks M.K. for the ideas}

25.4.09

52Q update

wk 16

wk 15

wk 14

wk 13

wk 12

wk 11

19.4.09

happy photo no. 2


greenwich park

urban garden


who says you need a backyard to grow food? in various pots throughout the flat we have tomatoes, herbs and salad lettuces. we talk kindly to our plants and even play mozart for them. its amazing the mozart plants turn in the direction of the music and are growing faster than the others. makes you wonder what kind words and good music would do to humans?

12.4.09

leeds castle (in polaroids)

i've been playing with the poladroid software and did some polaroids of our trip to leeds castle yesterday. if you are one of my facebook friends forgive me if you've already seen these:







p.s. happy easter. i've been downing copius amounts of chocolate and jelly beans. hope your day has been equally sweet.

11.4.09

newborn

leeds castle today. my new favorite place in all of england. spring was in the air- baby animals everywhere. absolutely fell in love with these newborn twins. born just a few days ago & still clinging to mama. my heart just melts. i wish i could take them home with me:

nap time


following mama


lunch

on the go again
more lunch
hold on where you going?
wait for me
feeling sleepy
and wondering what everyone's looking at
such a busy day. play more later.

8.4.09

happy photo no. 1

i have managed to get back in contact (via Facebook) with a dear friend from back in the days of jr. high. its been wonderful to hear about her life with her gorgeous family as well as be able to admire her huge talent as a part time professional photographer (i always for some reason, drift towards creative people). anyway--we've started this little challenge of trying to post a picture of something that made us happy each week. well anyway here's mine:


like I mentioned in my last post i have been feeling very knackered/tired. james and i went for a walk and the shadows were really clear over the pond that's right next to my house. i felt peaceful, happy and grateful all by the end of the walk. as you can see by the picture its no surprise why.

springtime in greenwich

i've been crazy busy recently. this internship is nearing an end and i'm pretty knackered every night enough so that i've been neglecting blogging. anyway--we've been trying to relax a lot in greenwich and close to our flat so here are a few snaps i've managed to get while we've been out & about (more on flickr) :

the thames


the naval college

tulips in the park
our neighborhood in b&w
stopping to look @ the daisies

5.4.09

10 ways to get more energy by being thankful

i saw this article on the huffington post today and thought i would share.

10 ways to be more grateful:

1- keep a gratitude journal
2- before sleeping go to bed with a smile
3- do a happy dance

don't know if you have seen this video yet, but if not it will put a smile on your face:



4- appreciate friends, family & coworkers
5- express appreciation to others
6- take a mid day break (go for a walk, etc)
7- see the blessings in disguise
8- have a gratitude gathering
9- take a nature walk
10-be grateful for you!

how i left religion and found god

ok ever since i started this blog i've been reluctant on putting my thoughts on this cause i was worried i'd offend or people would leave or i'd make enemies. in the end this post is for me though, please don't take it personally or feel like i'm having pot shots at particular religions. i value people's rights to worship or believe how they feel and these are just my feelings.

so here's the very long story.....i was born in utah. went to church every sunday, youth group every wednesday night, paid my church contributions as requested, prayed at every meal, etc. etc and dotingly listened to my church leaders. as i started getting older i found it difficult to fit in with the image that was expected of me particularly trying to tick off all the requirements set out for god to 'love' me enough and consider me 'obedient' enough to live in heaven with him.

in college it got to be too much for me. i was struggling quite a bit just to pass classes but yet i was being called into leaders offices saying that i was not fulfilling my spiritual potential just because i wasn't making it to the activities held three nights a week. i explained that i had to work and i was doing the best i could, but still i was given a grilling for not being good enough. my doubts about the religion had been for some time before this (doctrine, etc) but i couldn't deal with the pressure to leave my responsibilities with my studies just so they could fill seats every sunday.

i began to feel incredibly depressed at school. it wasn't just because of the expectations but many things including having to find ways to pay for my own education by myself (i ended up declaring bankruptcy at the end of my time there), unsupportive family and lacking friendships. i felt incredibly ignored not only by God but by the church. i went to them for help several times--they did not listen and went the other way and continued to tell me i wasn't filling my 'spiritual' potential. so, i stopped going and almost 9 years now have only set foot into a church house 'once'.

things got pretty icky before they got better. i tried to commit suicide several times unsuccessfully and failed several classes. it wasn't until an unlikely correspondence with the real patch adams happened that i began to pull myself out of a very very deep hole. he encouraged me to volunteer my time, to read poetry and to get on the path to loving myself (its a loooooooong path). i had some very special experiences with sick children at the seattle children's hospital---life changing i tell ya. so--the random act of kindness from a complete stranger saved me and i was able to finish school and two weeks later i was in london.

london opened my eyes. there were people here that spoke every language in the world, all backgrounds. i started travelling and seeing the most beautiful places you could imagine including the alps in austria, the rose windows of notre dame, venice, tuscany and the beaches of thailand. don't get me wrong i had my ups and downs and it hasn't all been peachy here--but the experiences have changed me.

i discovered yoga and a spiritual connectedness very very deep. i started reading books on spirituality: A new earth, books by deepak chopra and wayne dyer. i started eating organic food and living a healthier life, having gratitude and doing long walks in greenwich park--noticing the deer and the birds and the baby ducks that have just come with the start of spring.

i then began to realize: spirituality cannot be found in a building for three hours. true spiritual growth can only be found from questioning and challenging your own beliefs. spirituality/god is everywhere---in the oceans, in the smiles of your children, in the flowers and in the blue skies. constantly worrying about being ready for when/if christ comes again prevent you from fully living in 'this' moment of time because you are worrying so much about the future that you aren't living 'now' which is all there ever is. i feel like christ was here to teach us more about conscious living than to focus on his death and when he'll come again.

i've studied many religions and the stories of their particular 'saviour' are all similar. to me i feel like scriptures throughout time are man's interpretation of god. the god of religions seem to make him into a vengeful, wrathful, angry god which are all signs of imperfection. to me god is a lot more loving than we make him out to be--he loves us all no matter whether we're a democrat or even gay. the idea of heaven to me is a lot more welcoming too---we wont need handshakes or passwords to get in--everyone who has done their best in this life will get to live with god again.

i feel like religions use the fear of god to control the masses. i don't like what some religions have done with wars and discrimination against others or as an excuse to spread bigotry, hate or violence. it seems ironic to me that for some who say they are christian actually live lives far from these values.

all the religions say they are the one true church as well. i read somewhere a story where an indian guru was asked why she hadn't started a religion yet and she answered, "religions are like rivers--many have their different paths, but they all lead to the great ocean that is god".

i feel closer to god now than i ever did being stuck in a church. i feel connected to the rest of the world, to nature and anytime that i want to feel the 'spirit'---i go for a walk and look at the birds or do a glorious yoga session.

as human beings we all have the desire for something more and for some 'religion' is their way of realizing this. for me spirituality is different, for me god is much bigger, grander and loving than any religion could describe him, for me kindness is my religion (gandhi said this once) and spirituality is very much a personal journey of awareness and connectedness.

so anyway---this is how i left religion and found god.

{i think i'll go for a walk now---the sun is shining}

2.4.09

the G20 summit

thought, i'd do a few thoughts on what's been happening here in london the last few days. for those of you who have been hiding under a rock--20 of the world's leaders are in london for a huge economic summit to try to resolve the horrid economy.

the city has been full of excitement and anger and hope all at the same time {if that's possible}. police are patrolling everywhere and travel has been weird: either no one around, delays due to protesting or completely crammed {no change from before on this one}. the excel centre where these world leaders are meeting is about 15-20 minutes by train from my house. lots of protesting. the protestors have moved to the docklands area now. it was icky yesterday as someone died near the bank of england and people's anger about everything spilled over into violence and breaking into a bank here (RBS). i don't think violence does anything personally, it completely makes your message of protesting weaker. so... one can only hope that things will be much more peaceful today.

times like this make it very cool to be living in this city. i love the thought of being so close to the action of such an important 'world event'. i just hope and pray that all these leaders can be inspired {can get along} and come up with some reasonable solutions to help end the financial suffering before it gets worse.

in the mean time remember those horrid class photos we all had to take in school? well this 'class photo' was taken yesterday of all the world leaders. you gotta wonder what they were thinking:

picture from here