i just ate a one pound salad from whole foods. yum.
i've been reading the book 'the art of possibility' by rosamund and bejamin zander, and i have to say, it has been an absolute eye opener. i've recommended it to a few people, and think that really everyone should read it. in case you aren't able to buy the book, or make it to a library to check it out, here are some passages from the chapter 'the way things are':

From the film Babe:
The scene: Christmas day on the farm. The pig, cow, hens, and Ferdinand the duck crowd by the kitchen window, craning their necks to see which unfortunate one of their kind has been chosen to become the main course at dinner. On the platter is Roseanna the duck, dressed with sauce l'orange.

Duck (Ferdinand): Why Roseanna? She had such a beautiful nature. I can't take it anymore! It's too much for a duck. It eats away at the soul...

Cow: The only way to find happiness is to accept that the way think are is the way things are.

Duck: The way things are stinks!

The cow expresses an oft-repeated philosophy, while the duck, if truth be told, speaks for most of us - not only about the way things are, but also about the cow's sanctimonious and resigned attitude toward life. Presumably, the cow will go like a lamb to the slaughter, while the duck will look for means of escape. But what if there is no apparent way out? Will the duck spend what he conceives to be his last days in misery, flapping against the walls of his cage?

The practice in this chapter is an antidote both to the hopeless resignation of the cow and to the spluttering resistance of the duck. It is to be present to the way things are, including our feelings about the way things are. This practice can help us clarify the next step that will take us in the direction we want to go.

The calculating self is threatened by such an attempt: "Why hang around and feel like a sucker?" it asks.

But the central self expands and develops with each new experience:
"What is here now?" it asks, and then,
"What else is here now?"

Being present to the way things are is not the same as accepting things as they are in the resigned way of the cow. It doesn't mean that you should drown out your negative feelings or pretend you like what you really can't stand. It doesn't mean you should work to acieve some "higher plane of existence" so you can "transcend negativity." It simply means, being present without resistance: being present to what is happening and present to your reactions, no matter how intense.


Mistakes can be like ice. If we resist them, we may keep on slipping into a posture of defeat. If we include mistakes in our definition of performance, we are likely to glide through them and appreciate the beauty of the longer run.


When we dislike a situation, we tend to put all of our attention on how things should be rather than how they are...When our attention is primarily directed to how wrong things are, we lose our power to act effectively. We may have difficulty understanding the total context, discussing what to do next, or overlooking the people who "should not have done what they did" as we think about a problem.


Speaking in Possibility
Often, the person in the group who articulates the possible is dimissed as a dreamer or as a Pollyanna persisting in a simplistic "glass half-full" kind of optimism. The naysayers pride themselves on their supposed realism. However, it is actually the people who see the glass as "half-empty" who are the ones wedded to a fiction, for 'emptiness' and 'lack' are abstractions of the mind, whereas 'half-full' is a measure of the physical reality discussion. The so-called optimist, then, is the only one attending to real things, the only one describing a substance that is actually in the glass.

Being with the way things are calls for an expansion of ourselves. We start from what is, not from what should be; we encompass contradictions, painful feelings, fears, and imaginings, and - without fleeing, blaming, or attempting correction - we learn to soar, like the far-seeing hawk, over the whole landscape. The practice of being with the way things are allows us to alight in a place of openness, where "the truth" readies us for the next step, and the sky opens up.
so, i never really realized how much stuff i had till i had to actually move using a moving company. especially once the movers commented that never before had they seen so much in a one bedroom apartment. i admit - i love things. i collect found objects. every trip requires some sort of momento in which to remember it by. i keep virtually all gifts - even the tacky ones i'm not that fond of if it's from someone i love. i have shoes - lots of them. and plenty of clothes to match. (and handbags...) i have two pets, and while they are small, they too have a lot of stuff. nonetheless, i managed to get everything up here and just like a puzzle, everything fit into place. (minus the 5 trashbags of clothing i have to sell simply because there just isn't enough room...)

so between oliver and i, we managed to get almost everything unpacked rather fast. i still have to finish the office and the bedroom - but for those who have inquired, here are some pictures of the place thus far. it was a little hard to photograph - this place is illuminated beyond belief during the day and well, i didn't want to close the blinds, otherwise you wouldn't see my nice view of the panhandle, which is literally, right across the street.

while i miss my family and friends, and dread oliver's return to orange county - i absolutely adore it up here. my spirits are already lifted and everything (or well, minus oliver) is in it's right place. he'll be needing road trip buddies - so if anyone wants to come up over a weekend, drop him or myself a line and we'll figure it out...


watch this.

i am officially a resident of san francisco. oliver and i spent almost a week trekking through the city looking for the perfect place. or well, any place really. finally on our last day as we were prepping to return down south we found a place. not just any place at that.

as many of you know, i've been hunting in a particular part of town. i'm a hippie at heart, and well, hippies tend to love the haight and the park. i indeed love these two things. so naturally it was my goal to find something in ashbury heights, the haight or cole valley. requirements included bay windows, hardwood floors and a kitchen i would be willing to eat in. and that is precisely what i found. so it's not a cute victorian home. it's not expansive with crown moldings. but it is a delightful one bedroom overlooking the golden gate park panhandle, two blocks from haight and two blocks from two amazing ladies i've gotten to know in these last couple of weeks. and the most important part for all of you - there's room for you to crash on my floor...

i move sometime in the very near future - i.e. sometime this weekend. it's a total emotional roller coaster relocating - especially when you have a special someone in your life. but that city is electric. eclectic. everything.

i'll post photo's of my pad once i'm there...

We Are What We Do is a rad website that will help you DO SOMETHING. They make it EASY to use your everyday actions to change the world.

They have created a list of everyday actions you can take that can improve our environment, our health, and our communities, making our planet and the people on it much happier. So simple. So profound. But not only that... they have also created a
"Dare-A-Friend" function where you can even challenge your friends to take a specific action in their life.

01 Decline plastic bags wherever possible
Read a story with a child
Fit at least one energy-saving light bulb
Learn basic first aid
Smile and smile back
Take public transport when you can


07 Plant a tree
Have a bath with someone you love
If it says 30mph, do 30mph
Turn your thermostat down by 1ยบ
Get fitter, feel better
Turn off appliances at the mains
Recycle your mobile phone
Spend time with someone from a different generation
Register online as an organ donor
Give your change to charity
Try watching less TV
Learn to be friendly in another language
Learn one good joke
Find out how your money is invested
Turn off unnecessary lights
Use your will to good effect
Have more meals together
Put your gum in the bin
Use a mug not a plastic cup
Give blood
Pay more when you buy at charity shops
Seize the moment
Recycle your computer
Bake something for a friend
Turn off the tap whilst you brushing your teeth
Do something you think you are unable to do
Recycle your books
Buy fairly traded products
Write to someone who inspired you
Take time to listen
Let at least one car in on every journey
Dont overfill your kettle
Shop locally
Join something
Hug someone
Recycle your specs
Grow something with a child
Report dumped rubbish to your council
Give your phone number to 5 people in your street
Use both sides of every piece of paper
Buy a copy of this book for a friend
Send us an action
Learn more, do more
Do something for nothing

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say hello.

all content © natalie shahmiri 2006 - 2010