March 31, 2009

Guiding principles: A summation

Posted in Philosophy tagged , , , , , at 3:40 AM by moxiemuse

Today, I am moved to jot down a few phrases that have caught my eye and imagination recently. I’ll keep adding to this list although for now, here are some that represent a flavor of my favorite guiding principles:

  • Arouse impulses of brilliance.
  • Be generous with praise, especially in public.
  • Play fair in the criticism department.
  • Use moxie whenever possible to create a win-win.
  • Seek out a good leader; a good manager is not the same thing.
  • To honor and reward personal growth for enlightened teamwork depends on the vitality of every member of the ‘family’, however you define family.
  • Mentor others.
  • The whole is more than the sum of its parts, but the whole must contain the parts, even the parts with warts.
  • Be instrumental in redefining corporate soul, thus linking purpose and people.
  • Embrace the workplace in your own genuine style.
  • The seeds of magic are found within your imagination and planted in your deeds.
  • Let gratitude and generosity underly your deeds and motives.
  • Embody the spirit of reconciliation even during your darkest moments.
  • By tapping into the profound wisdom of the heart, one can operate with greater internal resonance and less distortion, thereby bringing much greater innovation, creativity, and clarity into one’s home and work life.
  • Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.—Wayne Dyer
  • Constantly reassess.
  • Institutionalize innovation.
  • Let the best idea win.
  • Boundarylessness.
  • Stay close to the customer and even closer to the competition.
  • Schedule regular brainstorming sessions with yourself, your colleagues, and your family to encourage a growth attitude.
  • In perfect balance do all things live and thrive.
  • Magic is not from an external source, but from deep within.
  • People want to believe that their work is bigger than their jobs.
  • People live for the moment when the heart’s alive.—Dan Bishop, Institute of HeartMath
  • Energy + Thought + Action = Results—Lisa Niedermeyer
  • I AM in balance in mind, spirit, and body, every moment, bringing joy to me and all those I encounter.
  • Embark on a life quest to understand others through communication, silent and spoken, and to seek information through mental and spiritual processes.
  • That which is unique and worthwhile in us makes itself felt in flashes. If we do not know how to capture those flashes, we are without growth and without exhilaration.–Eric Hoffer, longshoreman-philosopher
  • Only from a place of bliss can one truly elevate the spirit of another.
  • Experience a full-on heart opening: swim with wild dolphins.
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March 30, 2009

Happy birthday to me

Posted in Celebrations tagged , , at 4:33 AM by moxiemuse

March 25th had come and gone and I was kind of craving a birthday cake so on the 26th after dinner, Jason surprised me with a delicious gluten-free, flour-free chocolate truffle cake. OH. MY. GRACIOUS. It was scrumptious and dense and had to be eaten over 4 days because its density and richness demanded very small slices.

Picture of my birthday cake 2009

Picture of my birthday cake 2009

Actually, I’m dragging out my birthday week through to the weekend. Jason and I enjoyed a drawn out and delicious repast at El Gaucho in Bellevue. To start, we enjoyed cocktails, El Gaucho’s signature cheesey bread, and Caesar salad dressed tableside.

Picture of Jason and I at El Gaucho Steakhouse for my birthday

Picture of Jason and I at El Gaucho Steakhouse for my birthday

I ordered Dungeness king crab legs and Jason chose the hazelnut-encrusted rack of lamb. El Gaucho serves their side dishes paesano-style and so we shared sauteed spinach and skillet hashbrowns. To whet our whistles with the main course, the sommelier suggested a spicey Betz syrah.

Wine label for Betz 2005 La Cote Rousse Syrah -- Red Mountain

Wine label for Betz 2005 La Cote Rousse Syrah -- Red Mountain

We cleansed our palate with fresh fruit, nuts, and blue cheese on wafers. We weren’t going to have dessert but they convinced us to enjoy, compliments of the restaurant,  the quintessential New Orleans favorite, Bananas Foster.
Our dinner was a true representation of dining alchemy: good food, great conversation, good service, and a lovely ambiance.
We finished our evening enjoying a modern rendition of “Not Now, Darling” by the Microsoft Theatre Troupe. The plot is a farce set around a fur salon in London. The acting was first-rate and we thoroughly enjoyed passing the time in the makeshift theater that is the Building 31 cafeteria.
Poster of the play, Not Now, Darling, by Microsoft Theater Troupe

Poster of the play, Not Now, Darling, by Microsoft Theater Troupe

March 23, 2009

Book reviews about a 13th century religious people and a life transformed in a magical amusement park

Posted in Books, Religion tagged , , at 12:53 AM by moxiemuse

This afternoon, at SoulFood Books in Redmond, in a Beatnik-like bookstore reminiscent of one found in Ashland, OR, Jason and I attended a wonderful lecture and reading by author, Nita Hughes.  Nita is a lovely, soft-spoken, yet determinedly passionate woman when it comes to the Cathars, which led her to writing two novels about them.

Cover of Nita Hughes book, The Cathar Legacy

Cover of Nita Hughes book, The Cathar Legacy

We enjoyed hearing about the history, the religion, the way of life, and the secret of the alleged Cathar treasure. This supposed treasure is the basis for a potential third book in the Cathar trilogy that Nita is currently contemplating.

From what I’ve heard so far, the Cathar story is intriguing and I want to learn more so I bought both books. I’ll post a review on each book once I finish reading them so stay tuned.

Speaking of book reviews, I just finished reading, Life’s Golden Ticket, which was recommended to me by Deborah Voll.

Cover of Brendon Burchard's book, Life's Golden Ticket

Cover of Brendon Burchard's book, Life's Golden Ticket

From the website:

Life’s Golden Ticket is an inspirational novel about second chances in life and in love. It’s the story of a troubled man who visits an abandoned amusement park searching for clues into his fiancée’s disappearance. While at the park he experiences a series of miracles and meets a number of caring yet confrontational park employees who help him discover what happened to fiancée, understand why his life has turned out the way it has, and, finally, uncover the greatest gift of all—life’s golden ticket. The parable inspires readers to release the past, rediscover their strength, and resolve to make a greater difference in the world.

I like the parable-like premise of the book although I found parts of it to repeat other self-help books I’ve read. An example of stuff I’ve heard before is when the main character has to sign a form as the price of admission to the amusement park. The form reads:

  • I agree to give up my dependency on my present experience and be open to possibility.
  • I agree to give up my defense mechanisms and face the truth.
  • I agree to give up my belief that change equals pain.
  • I agree to give up my impulses to quit or leave my host’s side.

These types of principles, guidelines, or rules for life are quite vague and I didn’t feel like I needed them to set the scene for me. The originality lies in the storybook format and that makes the man’s journey of transformation interesting to follow until the end. I recommend this book as a quick, motivational read.

March 20, 2009

La bella primavera

Posted in Art tagged at 11:59 PM by moxiemuse

The letter "A"

The letter "A"

I drew this letter “A” last spring. I happened upon it whilst browsing through my pictures folder. It is colorful and interesting and makes me want to understand what lies behind its creation, much like how I think of spring. “A” is also the first letter of the Western alphabet and implied in this position is a new beginning (much like spring) and representative of how I always choose to start my birthday and the vernal equinox.
I’ve taken a couple of workshops on illuminated letters, all inspired from books on medieval lettercraft. Illuminated letters, in either the Western or Islamic tradition, are letters that are supplemented by the addition of decoration with metallics or pigments. In the strictest definition, only those letters with gold or silver, would be considered illuminated. Not being a purist, I don’t adhere to this definiton 😉
My interest in drawing illuminated letters has grown and I have started a collection of illuminated manuscripts upon which to feast my eyes, which are hungry for aesthetics amongst all the online text and physical books I read daily. Reading and drawing these letters is now an annual ritual as I drop fast the bonds of winter’s grip and turn in earnest to the colorful, illumined spring.
My blog title is also along the lines of a spring theme or “beautiful spring” in Italian. Botticelli immortalized spring in one of my favorite pieces of art of the same name, a print of which hangs in my upstairs hallway while the original oil painting is in the Uffizi Galleria in Florence, Italy for all the world to gaze lingeringly. Plotting its heist has always been a lifelong dream and if successful, I would not leave the rest of the world without at least replacing it with my print version. Fair trade, me thinks.
Sandro Botticelli's painting, La Primavera

Sandro Botticelli's painting, La Primavera

 Happy, illumined spring, everyone!