What is prayer?

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When you think of “prayer” what is it exactly that you picture in your mind’s eye?

Do you think of falling on your knees? Hands clasped together? Is prayer out loud? Or is it silent?  Is prayer done in a church? Or in the privacy of your home? Do you pray by yourself? Or with others? Is prayer all of the above? Or is it none of the above? Continue reading “What is prayer?”

Cultivating creativity + community in Paris

Cultivating creativity + community in Paris
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My travel companions, Jasmine and Amanda, sharing the love along the Seine.

I recently returned from a trip to Paris, during which my priorities were shaken up, stirred, and reordered. Still stuffed with French butter, baguette, and chocolat noir, I spent my plane ride home drifting in and out of sleep and melting memories of those things that make Paris Paris: the gray and cream cityscape at dusk, the steep ascent to the hill at Montmartre, the assurance of perfect croissants on every block. I’ve been to the city many times, but this particular trip moved me in such a way that I’ll be processing, remembering, and living in it for weeks and months to come. Continue reading “Cultivating creativity + community in Paris”

How to fail forward

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learning to surf means you’ll have to embrace falling as part of the process.

Here’s to being vulnerable: for most of my life I’ve struggled with perfectionism. I’ve felt I had to make the right choice in every single situation, however seemingly inconsequential. Did I study the right subject in school? Did I say the right thing in that conversation? Am I wearing the right outfit? Did I eat the right thing for lunch? I used to obsess over decision I had made, agonizing over whether I had made the “wrong” one and whether that would taint a (ridiculous) aspiration to live perfectly. Continue reading “How to fail forward”

Grain-free breakfast bowl with raspberry compote + almond butter

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In the spring of 2010, I studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, during which I gained a healthy 8 pounds on my 5 ft 2 inch frame. You guess the culprit: a) tender, beautifully buttery croissants, b) tarte flambée (basically, French pizza) c) copious amounts of chocolate, or d) jam.

The answer is: d) jam. Continue reading “Grain-free breakfast bowl with raspberry compote + almond butter”

Why you should schedule rest

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One of my favorite French phrases borrowed from the English language is le week-end. In French, “week” is semaine and “end” is dernier. I guess the French allowed week-end to slip through the typically impenetrable fortress of the French language to make it just a little easier to reference those glorious two days at the end of every work week.

In theory,  we rest and recuperate on Saturday and Sunday. Le probleme is that the French- and many other cultures- do le week-end so much better than most Americans do. When we do have “time off”- which is often rare- we have the tendency to fill those extra hours with more scheduled time. Grocery store runs, hours at the gym, and quick coffee dates with friends end up dominating days off, or hours after work. Continue reading “Why you should schedule rest”

Not so faraway places: Palos Verdes, CA

 

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Terranea Resort.

Just over a year ago, I moved back to my hometown of Palos Verdes, CA, after almost ten years of a journey that I never expected to end where it started.

Returning to California, I’ve found that I haven’t rediscovered my home so much as discovered it for the first time. As a child, I could not see the gorgeous purple bloom of bougainvillea, the drama of high yellow cliffs over the surf, or the wide, blazing sunsets. I did not marvel at the rolling hills and rocky outcrops of my hometown, or explore coves and winding trails. I wanted to go to the pool, the mall, the movies. But now, I look at where I was born and raised as a frontier in and of itself: a destination just as much as any of the cities or countries I have lived in before. Continue reading “Not so faraway places: Palos Verdes, CA”

Mediterranean bowl with olive-oil fried chicken + quinoa tabbouleh

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Here’s my approach to weekly lunch prep, which always includes a type of salad or “bowl”:

1) Choose a flavor profile (Mexican? Mediterranean? Thai?).

2) Stock up or assess where I’m at with ingredients (if it’s Mexican, I’m gonna need black beans and jalapenos, for example).

3) Cook or prep necessary components to throw together a salad/bowl every morning before work.

More often than not, I choose Mediterranean. Continue reading “Mediterranean bowl with olive-oil fried chicken + quinoa tabbouleh”