I joke that I like gloomy and cloudy days because they are thought provoking days. It’s funny because it’s true. As the days in Shanghai are becoming increasingly more cloudy and cold, I find myself making more time to create through art, writing, photography and my yoga practice. One of the main reasons I love yoga and meditation so much is that it has helped me learn to not think and find clarity in my thoughts that like anyone can look like a Picasso painting exploded.
On the eve of the beginning of December, I am reflecting on the past few months of this chapter of my life. The middle of December marks fourth months of living in Shanghai! I was talking to a friend yesterday over Facetime and trying to describe how “right” my life feels at the moment. I feel to the core of me that I am exactly where I am meant to be and doing what I am meant to do in this chapter of my life. To me, Shanghai is pretty magical. My friends have always nicely teased me when I use words like “magical.” How I feel right now is as close to real life magic that I have ever left. I feel so settled in myself, passionate and excited about teaching, curious about everyday happenings and have consciously surrounded myself with some really phenomenal human beings.
Happy Thanksgiving from Shanghai! Life lately has been a lot of fun, very busy writing midterm reports and of course funny because what is life without humor. A few days ago I was at a museum with a friend and sat down only to be bombarded by Australian high school students who after learning that I was American proceeded to interrogate me about the news. “What do you think of Donald Trump and gun control” was the first thing out of their mouth. Nice to meet you guys too! It was actually a very interesting conversation. They were on a six week trip, spending two weeks in China and then the other four in Israel as they went to a Jewish prep school in Australia.
“The quality of our lives depend on the quality of our relationships.” -Esther Perel
Lately I have been focusing on the different relationships in my lives including with myself, friends, family, colleagues, students and the new people I meet everyday in Shanghai. Esther Perel is a psychotherapist who is most known for writing about intimate relationships in her best selling novels, TED talk and podcast that I have started listening to. She is so in-tune with relationship dynamics and I continue to listen to her podcast which is groundbreaking in its approach and look into different relationships and the complex elements that life brings.
During my commute on the metro back home this afternoon, it dawned on me that it is September. I arrived in Shanghai the evening of August 15th and the last few weeks have been somewhat of a blur between surviving the heat, welcoming afternoon rain showers, moving out of my hotel, training for work and exploring Shanghai. I recently received my schedule for work and was informed that I have the first week of October entirely off for the autumn festival. I can only imagine that this week is hectic with celebrations and busy assuming that most of the country has the week off.
“I am so glad that I live in a world with Octobers”
-Anne of Green Gables
I will keep repeating this for a long time…but October is my absolute favorite month and fall is my favorite time of the year. It is filled with pumpkin spice and everything nice and has some of the most gorgeous scenery. It is a very nurturing time of the year that I like to especially spend with friends and family, soaking in the fall leaves and new cycle as everything turns over. There is also something that seems to be in the air; a magical and whimsical wind that brings a smile to my face. This summer has been magical in its own right; starting off with such a personal transformation that was the best possible thing to happen to me. It transitioned to a fun month of new people, places and experiences that gave me lots of perspective on not only my life, but the infinite world we all live in. And as August crept up on me, I returned to school. This year had a very special energy like no other and set the tone for what I hope to be the best year yet. And as the weeks have gone and time has passed, I feel at peace more than I have in a while. Despite the ups and downs, the doubts and revelations we all have, I feel settled and am relishing in the ability to stay somewhere.
It turns out that staying is quite the adventure…
Looking back at everyday human interactions, imagine how many times we cast spells on each other with our word.
For those of you who know me, you know that I have always loved reading and now consider myself a certifiable bibliophile. As long as I can remember, there has always been a book with me from riding in the car to Wyoming and using a flashlight to read The Little House on the Prairie Series to spending my summer days biking to the library and checking out the maximum books allowed. I decided to add this page to my expanding site to talk about books I love and share some of the best that I think you all would enjoy and give you lots of food for thought!
The first book I am adding is The Four Agreements which is one of the most phenomenal books and I wish I could buy hundreds of copies and give them to everyone I know and come across in everyday life.
Hope you make some time to read this book! I strive not to make promises that I can’t keep, and I will promise you that this book will elevate your life and thoughts and hopefully change the way you think for the better!
Sharing with you our year of wander, wishing and wisdom (or lack of)!
Here’s to the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.
Final Xmas Letter
(click to read the full holiday letter if you wish)
Lately in life I have been lost in the world (as opposed to school). I have been far too distracted and interested in the world (and less in my reading) and can’t seem to stop moving; its as though I have an endless adventurous twitch in my body that won’t let me sit still. I had an amazing weekend and went on countless adventures, mostly by myself which was kind of perfect. I think a lot of people have a huge fear of being by themselves, solo and alone. I think there’s no better way than to be my yourself; we all are stuck with ourselves our entire lives, so you might as well learn to enjoy it.