Mind Full, or Mindful?

by Angela on April 26, 2013

in Lagniappe

Mind Full, or Mindful?

Over the past year I’ve been working to move out of a state of mind full, and into a state of mindful.  To be honest it’s not easy for me.  I’d taken on a tremendous number of responsibilities –  not the least of which is running a company – and my nature is to leap at every opportunity that presents itself.  I’m a generalist at heart and genuinely interested in so many different things.  I also have an incredible capacity to work, which is super easy to do when you care about and like what you’re doing.

I have a lot of conversations with myself these days about what projects to take on and which ones to put on back burner (lord knows I can’t drop them entirely. That would kill me.)  I focus more on being in the moment and being present.  I take time out of schedule to do fun activities and go on new adventures.  Relatively speaking, I minimize new acquisitions and prioritize minimalist living.

And I’ve found that mindful living is so much more relaxing. I’m not 100% there yet, but we’re steadily decluttering life, cultivating tranquility, and focusing on mindfulness.

If you’ve been on this journey, I’d love to hear your experience. 

 

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Lagniappe

by Angela on April 18, 2013

in Lagniappe,Portland, OR

Graham & Winston walking through another park

(The picture of Graham & Winston we included in the photo book.  All those little white petals are from flowers that are killing Winston’s allergies. He’s now on a regular dose of Zyrtec because his eyes get so fiery red.  Poor guy rubs his face all over the carpet trying to scratch his eyes.)

We’re finally getting to see the difference between the weather in Houston (warmer and humid) and Portland (still cool and wet, but not humid).  Lately we’ve been working long hours trying to clean our desks before we travel to China.  It’s not a small task – I don’t think I’ve had a clean desk since I started NM 4 years ago – but with enough diligence I think we’ll just about get there.  

Angela & Winston @ one of the parks near our PDX apartment

(No make-up aka Portland style.)

We’ve gotten lots of gifts lately and can’t wait to set up WX’s bed in our PDX apartment. Last week we sent a care package to China with some pictures of us, our home, and the pets.  Also had a United aircraft picture in there so we could use it as a narrative to explain to WX through pictures “what’s going to happen next.”  We sent that along with a big box of See’s Lollipops over to China.  We hardly sent anything – less than most families! – and the shipment still cost a fortune!
Here are a few things we’ve read lately.
  • Why You Truly Never Leave High School
  • The grape obsession in Jeff Fischer’s life yields Habit wines
  • Ghost marriages
  • Paper is not dead!
  • Outer order contributes to inner calm – I’ve been telling G this for years, but I think he’s still skeptical.
  • What would Socrates do? – WSJ subscription may be required.  I have mixed feelings about this article. On one hand I think it’s mighty presumptuous to assume “poor” people need a moral education – as if a moral education would lift them out of poverty and “civilize” them.  That sounds like something straight out of the 1800s.  Lack of morality and poverty don’t go hand-in-hand.  At the same time, access to opportunities to experience “high culture” IS a typically consequence of poverty.  But it’s lack of opportunity, not lack of morality.  The pursuit of education in the humanities should be valued not for it’s morality, but because this type of education creates adults who are able to think critically, who have a variety of experiences from which to draw, and – most of all – because it produces a well-rounded person.   Educating poor people in the humanities as a method of promoting morality is just condescending.    (Also, Socrates is my favorite.  And for the record I’ve read  Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides and Mill – and many, many more.)
  • Why Techies Don’t Buy Art – This is one of those pieces where you read it in order to read the comments.

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I used to ask myself this all the time. “It is absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you do not like,” says Alan Watts. Amen and hallelujah to that.

Now I ask myself, “if I had all the money in the world, what projects would I work on?” I don’t have all the money in the world, but those are the projects I work on in the extra non-billable hours of my week. Hours and hours a week, week after week, month after month, year after year. Relentless pursuit to finish projects that interest me.

And then things like this come into being. And it’s the best thing in the world.

Welcome to the world, Brainiac!

Welcome to the world, Brainiac.

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We’re adopting a little boy in China!

17 March 2013 Adoption

We have such good news: we’re in the final stages of adopting a little boy in China. His name is Wenxuan and he’s 2.5 years.  He’s in an orphanage in Jiangxi Province in China. After a nail biting few months of waiting for China to give us final approval, on Friday we got our official letter [...]

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Lagniappe

14 March 2013 Lagniappe

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Houston lately, which is nice.  I’ve missed my friends, my office, and knowing my way around.  Sometimes in Portland when I head out to Target, I forget I’m not in Houston.  It’s so nice to go into auto-pilot and get to the right place without any confusion. [...]

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Lagniappe

3 March 2013 Lagniappe

Last week we got to visit several homes in San Antonio.  Many of them had gorgeous – if a bit outrageous – floor tiles like these throughout the house. Top 10 Fiction Books of 2012 – A little late, but I’m now lining up my spring 2013 reading list.  I’ve got quite a backlog – [...]

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Lagniappe

10 February 2013 Lagniappe

Welcome to the family Winston. Here’s a few thinks I’ve collected over the past month or so. Marginalized populations & for lack of a better term, those who aren’t: What’s “white privilege”? (Quora) – We’ve been doing a lot of thinking and talking around the idea of “white privilege” after we were introduced to an [...]

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Merry Christmas from PDX

25 December 2012 Lagniappe

As part of our very long vacation, we’re spending Christmas in Portland this year.  Happily that means escaping the snow in Houston, too.  (I’m always pleased to bits when I can say it’s colder in Houston than PDX.) Merry Christmas to you all!

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Commonwealth Tour Art

3 December 2012 Art

I love how the world begins and ends in Europe!  What a nice little piece of art to chronicle the tour – I’d totally add this to my propaganda collection. (Source)

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Patrick Hruby – Concept

19 November 2012 Art

I’m blown away this is a decal – so intricate, but the lines remain incredibly clean.  Concept artwork by Patrick Hruby. | Decal by Blik.  

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McCarthy Peace (Propaganda)

18 November 2012 Art

  Ben Shahn for Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 Presidential Election.   (Library of Congress | Available for $500.)

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Lagniappe

5 November 2012 Lagniappe

So far my favorite thing about Portland has been fall.  I first noticed the leaves changing in August, and it’s November and we’re still treated to beautiful sites.  This picture is from a visit to Macy’s (ladies must have their eye shadow!) where I found them growing on a trellis on the parking garage. Can [...]

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