Monday, June 14, 2010

My favorite things

So here are ten new and old favorite things of mine:

1. rock climbing- the most fun way to be reminded of how much you weigh. haha.

2. body combat- kicks my butt every time.

3. Edamame-so yummy!

4. chocolate milk- I think I'm reverting back to my childhood days

5. John Steinbeck novels- amazing author. Truly captures human nature.

6. Pilates- strengthen those abs!

7. Slumdog Millionaire- wow! One of the most creative, heart wrenching, and inspiring films I've ever seen.

8. Pantene Pro-V flat to volume- my hair is so soft! Feels like it just got cut.

9. French pedicure

10. Playing the guitar- I just love love love music! Can't wait till I get a piano also.




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why

So lately I've been thinking about the "why" behind poor choices. And I've come to a conclusion. Now, there are some people in life who make bad decisions because they really are evil. And then there is the rest of us. People who make bad decisions for sometimes reasons we ourselves can't identify. Coming from a religious background, I grew up always thinking that when someone sinned it was because they lacked spiritual strength. However, I have come to realize that are two reasons good people make bad choices: one is that they lack spiritual strength, and the other is that they lack emotional strength. The problem is that the two are very connected. Each strength enables you to have greater strength in the other area.

What can happen is that we might develop one and fail to develop the other. However, this lack of development in one area can hinder the development of the other and even thwart all the efforts we've made to develop that strength.

This can occur in a culture that emphasizes spirituality and fails to ensure that people understand what true spiritual strength requires: emotional strength. This may be why you see a church leader that has displayed great spiritual power and then later you hear that he has had an affair or an addiction or that maybe he has abused someone. You feel betrayed. But if you take a closer look you begin to see that most people aren't the way we see them. We see a snapshot of a person, and while a picture says 1,000 words, that is not enough to understand an individual. Most of try to only show our good sides because that is what we believe we truly are inside. However, the truth is that we all have very deep rooted insecurities and very few of us ever confront those demons until the life of a relationship is threatened by them. This is why relationships are so important. They help develop the character of the individual.

So does someone have an affair because he doesn't believe in the ten commandments? Probably not. There is an emotional need that is not being filled. Most people don't recognize how serious the need is until they are trapped in a love triangle. Same with a person that is addicted to pornography. No one in their right mind wants to be enslaved to any addiction. But that person has an emotional deficiency. Most addicts that I know resorted to a substance or pornography because it took them out of their reality into a happier place. Their choice had nothing to do with spirituality but was a result of lacking emotional strength to confront the difficulties of their lives. Many of these people are really good people. They can be kinder than most others and many have strong feelings towards deity.

I am in no way trying to justify bad decisions but in order to stop making bad decisions or help others from doing so, it is important to understand what influences our decisions. The hardest part is recognizing what you lack or what you need before you find yourself in a vulnerable situation. This is why many of us learn the hard way. Learning the hard way isn't always a bad thing. The lesson that is the hardest to learn is often the one that we never forget.

I'm not quite sure how you can sustain spiritual strength without emotional strength. For many years I have heard that praying and reading your scriptures would solve all your problems. And while I do believe these things do help an individual develop spiritual strength and peace, real healing and growth occurs when we change who we are. This requires first, looking within and really admitting to ourselves who we are. Once we truly accept ourselves for the good and bad in us, then we can better apply spiritual teachings. It is not enough to know where you want to end up. We must know where we are starting from.

About 6 years ago I was invited by some friends to hike Mt. Timpanogas. The plan was to leave at midnight so that we could be at the top of the mountain at dawn. We had fasted that day and I said to my cousin after eating the one and only meal we had eaten that day, "let's go to bed right now so we won't be tired." At midnight we packed a little bag with a few water bottles and I threw in some fruit snacks in case we got hungry. We had been told that the hike would be six hours. Well, we didn't make it to the top before dawn. By 9:00am, we were starved and had just reached the top. I was used to a lot physical activity but cousin wasn't and she was tired. Luckily our friends had made extra sandwiches and had prepared more adequately for the hike. We finally got back down to the base at 1:00pm. Turned out that we had taken the wrong trail so that is why the hike had been longer and more difficult.

I share this story because it illustrates the importance of knowing our strengths and limitations and the journey we face. Too many of us don't want to know where the starting line is because knowing the distance to the top is intimidating. Unfortunately, if we don't know the distance, we find ourselves ill prepared for the journey. We may not pack enough water or food. We may think the hike is short and we won't need sunscreen or a first aid kit. So we end up burnt and sometimes scarred because we weren't able to take care of wounds immediately. And I can tell you my cousin wasn't happy that I brought her on that hike. Sometimes our loved ones might feel that way about the journey that we take them on.

As we willingly look into our hearts and admit our limitations, we can develop emotional and spiritual strength to make good decisions. My friend share with me an interesting quote:
"To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who would rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet."
I love the second part. Many of us, and even myself included, are scared to meet their own hearts in their closet. But I believe that as we do so, we will make better decisions and we really will become the better side that we try to display to the rest of the world.




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More music

Here are a few more songs I've written

video


video


video


video

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Surgery...

Alrighty folks, it's time! Now that my blog has been up for a while I feel like we can talk about some more serious matters. Surgery. Not just any surgery. Breast Implants. No, I am not contemplating getting implants. That would put me up with Pamela Anderson, someone I avoid associating with. And no, I never got this surgery.

Now, my father is a plastic surgeon, so I am grateful for the vain and insecure who made my life possible. Thanks! :) I must preface this by saying plastic surgery is such a blessing. How awesome that should tragedy strike we can help someone look like their original self! However, this boob job thing is getting a little crazy!

First, let's discuss the graduation present.

Many 18-year-old girls get breast implants as a graduation gift from their parents. I'm against this. Why? Well, first because at 18, you may continue to grow...and this includes certain body parts. Second, what message is this parent trying to send their child?! "I feel guilty that your mother and I failed you the first time and didn't pass along the "big boobs" gene, so now I'll make it up to you." Or is the message, "You should be insecure! You're flat! You'll never catch a boy looking like that!"

The other problem with getting this surgery at such a young age is that you will inevitably need to get a second surgery. Although, one may think that fake boobs void out the law of gravity, they don't. Gravity works the same on all women.

Now I would say that most women get a boob job for one of three reasons.

1. To reconstruct their breasts after surgery for breast cancer.
2. To feel more feminine or attractive and eliminate insecurities about their body.
3. A man has requested that she get the surgery.

The first one is obviously necessary and I find no moral dilemma with it. The second is where most people find moral ambiguity. Here is my problem with the second reason. We have a society that degrades women so much that a woman elects to undergo major surgery with many risks in order to fit the model of a perfect female figure. I just don't feel good about women electing to do something so painful when they should have never felt pressured into it in the first place.

This brings us to the third point. The man's request. I remember when I was young, a couple of my mom's friends got breast implants "to save their marriage." Look, if the success or happiness of your marriage depends on the wife's boobs, well, you've got serious problems. You picked the wrong man! Now, they may say we have equal rights, but tell me this, do you think I would ever ask my husband to undergo major surgery and enlarge a body part with the possibility that he would lose sensation in that body part? What man would agree to that? He wouldn't. Yes that's right, many women lose sensation in their breasts after the surgery. On top of that, you can no longer breastfeed. Breastfeeding provides your child with so many health benefits! I'm not even going to get started on that one.

Well, obviously this surgery is a personal decision but it makes me sad that it is becoming so common place that we will forget what the natural female body looks like. I hope none will be offending by my honest opinion. I know many friends that have seen the confidence a woman has gained after such a surgery. However, my problem is the fact that she ever felt a lack of confidence without it. And that my friends is the real issue.