Mindscraps: D’Cache to the Artwalk at the Miracle Mile

It appears the Flamenco restaurant will be my home away from home. Friday night I organized a girls night out and took them all to D’Cache for sangria, chocolate souffle and live Flamenco! This time I tried various tapas: empanadas, pinchos de carne, mushroom pizette and fried yucca… exquisite!

The restaurant was a hit with the other six women who joined and we all end up showing off our sultry Flamenco moves along with another all female birthday group.

I’ve decided I need to work there. The romantic ambiance of the candlelit restaurant, the savory food, the sweet sangria and the live Flamenco music infect me with an utter sensation of feeling alive with magic! I’ll be calling the restaurant tomorrow… informing them they have a new waitress… in lesser words. 😉

After dinner, I felt like I had stepped back into Central America as we hit a latino club for some reggaeton! The night was a blast and the women were fabulous… we can’t wait to do it all again!!

Saturday was all about expression. Art class with Clara Berta and her two other students was a spirit-lifting success… smashing glass, white-washing a painted canvas to begin anew and adding the final touches to a third. All three pieces I’m currently working on look promising… promising enough for me at least! I’ll post when they’re complete.

I met with Clara again in the afternoon after she clued me into the autumn artwalk at the Miracle Mile. We discovered a great new gallery Art Space Ware House, which opened just three weeks ago. Some photo on canvas modified with texture and paint has inspired me to experiment with modifying my own photos soon!

In one of the galleries I picked up an informative magazine about The Julia Dean Photo Workshops. Apparently the artist is going to begin offering workshops in Guatemala. I just about died. I’m going to contact her in the mere hope that somehow I can convince her she needs me to help with something… anything!! I’ve certainly got plenty of photos and connections in Guatemala!

The highlight of our Miracle Mile exploration though would have to be Colleen French and her Renegade Dinner Club. Owner of two restaurants in Portland, OR, Colleen lives in LA after falling for an Cali dude. Consequently, no longer cooks in her own restaurants, but still relishes in her passion for cooking by offering to cook for anyone willing to buy the food. She and friends had just recently traveled out to have a gourmet dinner in the desert. They trucked in a beautiful hand carved table made from shipping pallets, strung together sheets and fabric for a colorful, make-shift canopy and dined in the desert! I LOVE the concept. Colleen even has her truck set-up to be a rustic, portable kitchen, complete with two propane-fueled burners. We spotted her outside the gallery that featured the set up from the dinner in the desert an old record-player accompanied her slow cooked pulled-pork and chicken… all served from the back of her truck. Both were a savory surprise!

Mindscraps: The Dizzy Donkey Dance

Lately, I feel as if I’m caught up in a never-ending game of pin the tail on the donkey…

The nearly non-existent trickle of income is my blindfold. Short on funds, the hunt for a decent wage is a constant distraction from my true goals. I can’t seem to see past the “no cash” dilemma. So I focus on trying to make ends meet, instead of focusing on what my heart calls me to do. And that’s the irony. The more I allow myself to stray away from my true heart’s desires… the less success I find. The more I give away my time, energy and talents to outside aims, the more I find them used, abused and under-valued. I’m so eager to help. But in my eagerness, I’m learning, that “take advantage” seems to be the law of the land. I must be more wary of where I decide to invest. Lately, it feels as if my “investments” have only been sucking me dry.

It is the mysterious adventure of life that is constantly spinning me, whirling me, sending me in somersaults. I LOVE it. I LOVE the commotion. I LOVE the thrill. I LOVE her, life. But, at times, when I come up for air, I end up dizzy and confused. I know what’s written upon my heart… but which way was it that I needed to go? Which way is forward and which way is backward again? What step is the right step toward achieving my goals?

The hope? Despite the blindfold and the dizzy dance, the donkey – representative of the longings of my heart – is still there, whether I see her or not. Grasping at capital can momentarily obscure my vision. Life and her wondrous, thrilling adventure can disorient me. Yet, nothing can rob me of what lies upon my heart.

So, with the naivety of a child, I still believe and I will still try… to pin that tail on the donkey!

A quiet moment with myself: Let the dizziness clear. Realize the blindfold is a blessing in disguise. Use not the eyes of illusion to make out the way, but the inner eye of faith, wisdom and intuition.
Continue reading “Mindscraps: The Dizzy Donkey Dance”

Mindscraps: Mourning for the Maya

Hector Tobar of the L.A. Times just published For Maya, A Paradise Lost. After reading the article, I’m left with a strong desire to help do something for these immigrants. Having lived 8 months in Guatemala, the country and its Mayan people hold a most special place in my heart. I’m not sure what I can do yet, but I’m posting this article as a reminder to myself to come up with something. There are no words to describe the love I have for Guatemala – so magical, so beautiful. It pains me to know that relatives of those who have welcomed me so warmly in their native land are suffering so much in my native land.

The article just briefly describes the country’s beauty:

He spent the first 27 years of his life in the town of San Pedro de la Laguna, which sits alongside the cool waters of Lake Atitlán, in a vast highland valley surrounded by three volcanoes. Patches of corn cover the hillsides like a quilt. For American and European backpackers, it’s a vision of paradise on Earth.

See for yourself. A couple of hundreds of pictures I have from that stunning country:

MindScraps: From Backpacking to Flashpacking

“Transition” has been the word on my lips for the past several months. “I’m ready for a transition,” I say. “I DO NOT want to stop traveling but I’m ready to graduate to the next level. I loved my five years of budget backpacking – the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve encountered, the life changing things I’ve learned – but I’m ready for the next level. I’m ready for a little more comfort.”

Then, oddly enough, thanks to Halogen‘s write up on it’s show Alive! With Adventure Aaron, I eventually stumble upon the term “flashpacker.” Apparently, as How To Travel The World describes the term, it’s the backpacker of the 21st century:

No longer about a few clothes, hitch hiking, or hoping you have enough money for the day, flashpacking is about travel with means. The flashpacker contains the backpacking ethos but wants to do it with a little more style and a lot more technology. Just because we are traveling doesn’t mean we can’t have some comforts.

I LOVE the concept. It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to describe as what I want next out of life.

To read more about it click here.

Mind Scraps: Blogging Cures Blocked Bowels

Okay. This is getting absolutely ridiculous. But, it is proven through my own self-study:

I don’t write/blog = my bowels get blocked.

I do write/blog = my bowels function.

Thus, I really need to find a way to get paid for my mental musings… MY HEALTH DEPENDS ON IT!

Which, ultimately means, I need to be paid to travel, since well my mental musings are inspired, sharpened and continually developed through the wisdom I obtain through my experiences in travel. Mwahahahahahahaha…

But I’m serious.

For days my bowels have been blocked again and my health was going to the pits… again. I returned my focus back to writing on my blog again… and instantly I become “unblocked.”

Now, it’s not just my spiritual being, but my physical being insisting that I blog. But, I don’t get paid for this… something’s got to give. :S

I put it out there… make it happen Universe! 🙂

Mind Scraps: Challenged to Become Divine Lovers?

A brief email from Caballo Blanco inspired me to respond with this:

Challenges are the training ground for restoring us to become the divine, loving beings we are destined to be.

Posting the quote as my status on Facebook (ironically enough if you see my prior post) instigated this:

Me: I do believe I’m learning more and more how to comfort myself…

Radt Dujarric: pa na platano y pa vacio jaiva!

Me: okay that’s kind of slang/alternate meaning so I’m having difficulty understanding it…

Radt Dujarric: its a matter of time B-)

“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. Since the bourgeois prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire.. Solitude is independence.” ~Hermann Hesse

Me: I agree with much of that. A strong quote. But in the end I ask… is independence what we should truly be after? Or rather, is it LOVE?

Now LOVE doesn’t comply with preferring “comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire” but it also doesn’t comply with “solitude.”

So perhaps instead of it being “A” or “B”… it’s simply “C”?

Radt Dujarric: depending on what kind of love… we all have our secret garden and sometimes love consumes your own by sacrificing it for the most common of the interests.
if by loving you manage to share the dreams besides the bed and remain being yourself … and keep your own inner space for yourself… then you’ve found it all.

Me: Wow. Beautiful Radt.

Mind Scraps: ‘The Social Network’ Suggests Facebook “Friends” are an Illusion

Facebook Feels Unfriendly Toward Film It Inspires

Behind the scenes… [Mark] Zuckerberg and his colleagues have been locked in a tense standoff with the filmmakers [of The Social Network], who portray Facebook as founded on a series of betrayals, then fueled by the unappeasable craving of almost everyone for “friends” — the Facebook term for those who connect on its online pages — that they will never really have.

Mr. Zuckerberg, at 26 a billionaire, and his associates are wary of damage from a picture whose story begins with the intimacy of a date night at Harvard seven years ago and depicts the birth of a Web phenomenon in his dorm room…

In Mr. Sorkin’s telling, Mr. Zuckerberg is not so much villain as antihero, a flawed human being whose deep need for acceptance becomes the driving force behind a Web site that offers the illusion of it…

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Wow… intriguing to say the least. But even if it’s all true, perhaps Zuckerberg simply hit a chord that struck with the populace. Perhaps, even if all this IS true, the resulting “connections” don’t have to be bound to “illusion.”

Personally, I can attest I’ve had TRUE friendships strengthened thanks to the communication ease of Facebook and TRUE friendships even SPRING purely from the technology of Facebook.

Now, on a side note, I DO NOT AGREE, however, that Zuckerberg should claim rights to uploaded photos, videos, or whatever…

Mind Scraps: The DNA of Music… The Beginning of the End of Idolizing Talent?

Improvox is a new iPad application developed by the concert pianist Robert Taub and his company MuseAmi. Improvox came about after Mr. Taub tried to help his kids learn music. (New York Times)

Amazing, exciting… and thought-provoking.

So I’m seeing a trend here… this program which can turn a tone deaf crow into a harmonized singer is just the latest tool that demonstrates how “talent” is becoming less and less of a limited commodity. Modern technology is essentially enabling people to have “unnatural talent.”

An interesting phenomenon when you consider that our society IDOLIZES people who possess talent and talent alone. So, I ask you, if talent is no longer a “limited resource” what will our society value? As any valued “talent” becomes a technology that anyone can buy, what, then, will make people stand out from one another?

One of two things… or maybe both:

1. People with the ability to constantly and I mean constantly invent and reinvent.

2. People who love and live from the heart.

That’s my hypothesis anyway.

So, my advice to all… start stimulating your creative juices are start really learning how to live and love from the heart!

FYI: I”ve come to find that, when you live from the heart, you end up hitting a reservoir of creativity you never knew you had. Well, perhaps, we never have it. Perhaps through the act of loving we simply become the best “conductor” there is for creativity/creation.

Hmmmm… that’s a thought.

Love is the optimal conductor for creation.

Didn’t we already kind of know that?

******

I don’t know… maybe it’s just the way I see things in the wee hours of the morning.

Mind Scraps: Frogs and Turtles, Princes and Princesses

“Do you have a notebook I could use,” I asked my friend Benny – Biologist Benny we call him. “Mine’s about filled up.”

That’s when he offered me The Blue Day Notebook. He had just started using it, but insisted on giving it to me. It’s a cute little blue book with a cute little frog motif. As you flip the pages, the little frog tumbles along the edge…

I opened it up to read:

Laura,

Te quiero mucho mucho mucho. (I really really really care about you.)

Benny

Then I continued on to read the author’s introduction. Here is my favorite prose the author shared:

“True inspiration is everywhere, all the time. It’s in the objects on your desk, it’s in the flashing lights of an ambulance, it’s in the lyrics of your favorite song, it’s the way you hold someone’s hand, it’s the way a dog turns around twice before lying down to sleep. In other words, inspiration is seeing ordinary things in an extraordinary way – imagining what things would be like if they were somehow… different.”

“What is important is that you let your mind run free to consider new creative relationships and then have the decipline to put your thoughts down on paper.”

“To create interesting work you must live an interesting life.”

****

The night before last, Biologist Benny opened his heart to me and moved me to tears. He simply whispered the sweet words that anyone always longs to hear. Words like: special, unique, magic, light. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He’s more than a friend, he’s a soulmate. I have discovered that we have not one soulmate… we have but billions and trillions. Every single being on this planet is a potential soulmate… we only have to open ourselves to see the light within. Benny is an enchanting person and I consider him one of my dearest friends. He is special.

Last night Benny led us on a magical excursion. From shore we silently marveled as the giant sea turtles emerged from the dark waters of the night and slowly crawled their way across the beach. Whips of sand began flying as the turtles stopped and began digging… digging their nests right there in the middle of Cancun’s tourist-trampled, white sand beaches. Then the stillness came and they did not move. The “trance” had begun. The conservationists slowly moved approached the turtles beckoning us to follow with care. Astonished we watched white, mucas-covered eggs pop out from behind the tortoise’s tail. The we helped gather the eggs in buckets, moving them new nests we had already dug in special nurseries built away from tourist trample. Hopefully, we’ve given some little new embryos the chance to survive, grow and hatch.

As we walked back from this incredible glimpse into the mysteries of nature, it was Victor’s turn to move me to tears. His words resembled Ben’s, but were spoken with Victor’s uniquely charming touch. Again my ears wrung with words like special, unique, magic, light and my heart swelled with love. “You really don’t know just how much you’ll be missed,” he told me. When I think of Victor I will always imagine the strong, young mahogany-colored warrior dancing with heart and soul.

Two Australian girls also accompanied us. Biologist Benny was hosting them through Couchsurfing. Benny had told me ahead of time that Grace and Zia were “encantadoras” (enchantresses). He was right. In less than 10 hours, these two young hippie girls who grew up on a commune out in the wilderness of Australia’s bush had also earned a very special place in my heart. Two powerful young women full of love and magic.

Of course, Perla was there. Throughout the day, her pure, sincere and unassumingly loving friendship provoked my eyes to moisten. She is as faithful and loving as man’s beloved best friend. A true spitfire in her own right. I adore her…

Mind Scraps: World Class Pro and Nothing Less!

What’s next?? Oh that seems to be the eternal question for me…

Answer? Typical. I don’t know. BUT, I do know… it’ll be WORLD CLASS! 😉

Please enjoy the following quotes!

Book: Guru

“Within each of us is a NATURAL PATH. Someone who ALIGNS themselves 100% to their PATH finds an EXTRAORDINARY sense of FLOW and ENERGY comes into their life or work.”

“Don’t trade movement for MOMENTUM.”

“The middle class trades time for money. The WORLD CLASS trades IDEAS that SOLVE PROBLEMS for money.”

Steve Siebold

“Amatuers tend to seek riches while PROS seek FULFILLMENT.”

“CHAMPIONS CREATE so much value in their QUEST for FULFILLMENT that they often develop substantial riches.”

“FULFILLMENT is a mental state CHAMPIONS experience as a result of their ELEVATED AWARENESS.”

“In essence, CHAMPIONS INVEST the necessary time and resources to DISCOVER what they LOVE to do and the FOCUS on doing it to the BEST of their ABILITY.” (This is what you were explaining to me… about you. I’ll be honest. The one ingredient to this I’ve struggled with thus far is FOCUS. The rest are in the bag. Wink wink.) “Their FULFILLMENT doesn’t come from the results of their ACTIONS but from the ACTIONS themselves.” (We both agreed on that one!)

“PROS seek FULFILLMENT first by LOVING what they do for a living.”

“The GREAT ONES have a sense of URGENCY because they are operating on a level of AWARENESS that constantly reminds us that the present moment is all any of us ever really have.” (HA! Just today a friend told me… ‘Laura. Chill. You always want action NOW. Slow down. Take your time. Thus HA! HA! HA! – Yes, that’s me gloating. – I can’t tell you how many times others have told me that I don’t have to do everything NOW. Pfffff… never listening to that advice again!)

“The WORLD CLASS is on a MISSION to FULFILL a DREAM…”

“PROS tend to PURSUE LARGE, MAGNIFICENT VISIONS… they want to leave a LEGACY.”

“Make it your MISSION to DISCOVER the EMBERS that BURN within your SOUL.”

“PURSUE your DREAM BOLDLY and FIERCELY. It may be closer than you might think.”

“The real question to be answered is not the how-to but the WHY.”

“CHAMPIONS know the SECRET to WORLD CLASS MOTIVATION lies in EMOTION.”

“The great ones decide what they want, why they want it.”

“Obstacles are no match for a VISIONARY driven by RAW EMOTION.”

“Ordinary people are transformed into EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMERS who no longer recognize failure as an option.”

“Send the HARMONY of GREAT DESIRE vibrating through every fiber of your BEING. Find a task that will CALL FORTH your FAITH, your COURAGE, your PERSEVERANCE and your SPIRIT of SACRIFICE. Keep your hands and your SOUL CLEAN and your CONQUERING SPIRIT will flow freely.”

“Work smarter not harder. Learn from mentors and coaches.”

“Copy genius.”

“Instead of investing years in the school of hard knocks, the WORLD CLASS often reaches their heights by often standing on the shoulders of giants. CHAMPIONS are famous for building MENTOR teams who are already where they want to be… mentor teams GUIDE, TEACH, ADVISE and ENCOURAGE performers to THINK BIGGER and REACH HIGHER than ever before… MENTORS are continually prodding and pushing CHAMPIONS beyond their comfort zone.”

“COMMIT yourself to never ending PERSONAL GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT.”

“CHAMPIONS invest time in GETTING BETTER.” (you again)

“SCHOOL is never out for the GREAT ONES.”

“A never-ending cycle of SELF-EDUCATION is the centerpiece of WORLD-CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS.”

Bill Gove (The Father of Professional Speaking)

“When you’re doing something you LOVE to do the only REWARD you need is the EXPERIENCE of doing it.”

Walter Hailey

“The ultimate source of information and the whole world’s LIVING WISDOM lies in the minds of others… all you have to do is ASK.”