Posts from ‘Love’
I don’t know about you but I’ve been experiencing a lot of change lately—some in my outer world, but a lot in my inner world. Based on conversations and catch-ups with long-time friends, colleagues old and new, and my immediate family, I’m not the only one who’s going through something inexplicably uncomfortable. My friend Redreeds (also known as Rabboud) validated this inner chaos with tales of her recent visit with an astrologer, who confirmed that there’s something wacky and weird going on at the universal level.
Finding myself over coffee
When so much of my inner world is in turmoil and uncertainty, I look to the people and things that bring me back to who I really am and what really matters. Recently I went for coffee with my long-time best friend from Grade 2, Sarah. Somewhere in the middle of coffee, I snapped back into who I really am. I looked at her and thanked her for bringing me Home (yes, I’m being cheezy and capitalizing the “H”). And then while parting in the parking lot, I yelled back at her that every time I need to be reminded of the real me, I would call her up and say “Home time!”
Home with a capital H
It makes me think about the things that bring us Home. Baths, meditations, long walks with the dog and long talks with the husband, meals with family, weekend catch-ups with faraway relatives, coffee with friends from grade school, hot cups of Chai.
What brings you Home? Is it Home time for you too?
Think about it for a moment.
Many of us fear commitment because it means we are promising ourselves to one person, one company, one idea, one act, one whatever. We fear that by committing, we are shutting down the possibility for better opportunities, growth, change or something new that might just show up in some fuzzy future. We also fear that we if we commit, we may have to admit, at some point in the future, that we were wrong.
But here’s the truth.
When you leave a door open and only invest half of yourself, you never get to experience the fullness of that person or thing you are committing to. You also don’t get to experience the fullness of yourself because you are only half there. You just don’t go to the depths where the treasures of intimacy, love, vulnerability and mutual growth lay. You deprive yourself and the other of possibility. And if you do end up walking away from a half-baked relationship, you will question yourself. You will wonder if you truly did everything you could. You will ask what it could have been. That’s the shit that builds regret and self-loathing.
So here’s what I think.
Don’t leave a safety hatch open so you can escape when things get hard or something shinier shows up. Give someone or something your everything. Time-box it if you have to. Trade in a breadth of opportunities for the depth of one. Do it because you are creating the possibility of experiencing more of yourself and more of the other person. Do it because you could be transformed. Do it because you can walk away with a clear conscience. Do it so you won’t have regrets. Do it. Go deep. Try it.
Commit. Because that’s where the real opportunities lie.
Today is the 13th anniversary of my very first date with Bruce. As you can imagine, a lot has changed since then. And to be frank, dealing with that change hasn’t been easy for a Type A control freak like me.
For example, our hair. See Exhibit A below.
Okay, now for the more serious kind of change.
Years of fear
For years I feared change, especially when it came to my relationship. I feared Bruce changing. I feared me changing. I feared that change would mean that we would grow apart and that we would have to get a divorce. Being a child of divorced parents, I developed a hyper-sensitivity to change. Change = not good.
The perfect man for me
The irony is that I chose to be with a man who changes by the minute. Whenever I come home from work, he announces his day’s news. Some days the news is big. For example, one night I came home and he announced he was vegetarian. Just like that. Another night I came home and he announced that he felt it was his responsibility to educate Calgarians about the source of the fluoride in the City’s water and that he had purchased a $350 filtration system to get it out of our household water.* Or, one morning he woke up and decided that he was no longer eating sugar. After decades of being true to his Dutch genes and being notorious for polishing off a box of cookies in one sitting (my youngest nephew used to fear losing his stash of cookies to Bruce) and consuming half a pie for breakfast and the other half for dinner, he was no longer eating sweets. Ohhhhhh-kay. Another time, he declared he wasn’t going to travel ever again until his insomnia was cured. This coming from a guy who spent three months in Rishikesh sleeping on a concrete floor in service to a wise old Indian sage. I’ll also never forget the time he said to me “I don’t think there was ever a Jesus.” Huh? This is a man had a small picture of Jesus in his bedroom when I met him.
Last month, on my way to NYC I decided to watch Going the Distance (starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long) on the plane ride there. I always watch romantic comedies when I travel so that I can spare my husband the pain.
When we landed, the passenger beside me asked what I was watching. Apparently, she heard me at times laughing and at times crying. I surprised myself at how highly I recommended the movie to her. Then on my way back from NYC, I found myself urging my male co-worker to watch it on his way home too. So I decided I should just review it and tell everyone about it in one shot.
You can find the movie review at Versus Boredom. Be sure to let me know what you think (of the movie or the review)!
“Hey Mom, what’s that flying kid called?”
“Ummm, you mean Cupid?”
“Yeah, that’s the guy.”
That conversation with my 9-year old reminded me that Valentine’s Day is here, and so love should be too, right? Well, this bit of Feng Shui wisdom is for those of you who don’t have “a flying kid” in the vicinity and would like a little help creating an environment that’s going to bring some quality relationship action.
Here’s a scenario for you: stand at the entrance of your bedroom and get a feeling for what message the room is giving out. Does it look like an office, a library or a big laundry basket? How does any of that connect back to love and relationships? It doesn’t. Let’s aim for an intimate romantic sanctuary.
- Keep electronics to an absolute minimum (don’t work in bed!)
- Get some quality bedding that is not second-hand or overly worn and torn
- Think about introducing warm colours, candles and plants to add to the atmosphere
- Tip: the colour peach creates attraction, red brings in passion, pink brings in lasting love
Sona: I’m by no means an expert on the love between parent and child. I only know it one way since I have no children of my own. So I asked my sister to write an article with her best parenting advice. Anybody who has seen Rachna with her boys will tell you she is an incredible mother. Many of us marvel at her stamina and patience, and all of us wonder how the hell she does it. Here’s just a little wisdom from an incredible mother (and sister).
I have spent the last 6 months watching my twelve-soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old son change in ways that even though I knew were coming, I wasn’t ready for. He’s been growing steadily and all of a sudden is meeting me eye to eye, his voice is continually changing and is now consistently staying deeper, and I’m detecting a slight shadow on his upper lip which signals the end of his, up till now soft-as-a-baby’s-bottom, skin. Sigh. And it’s not just the physical changes. I’m noticing that he’s starting to define his role at home, he’s willingly taking on more responsibility, he’s beginning to feel his way through teenage friendship landmines and is finding his voice on who he is and what he wants to do. It’s exciting and slightly heartbreaking. To be honest, when I thought of him growing up, I didn’t realize how much it would impact me. I found myself pulling out an old home video, because I wanted—no, needed—to see him as a little boy again.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the different kinds of chemistry you can have. The kind between friends that makes conversation bounce back and forth as easy as a little bouncy ball. The kind between you and someone you’ve just met and feel an uncanny connection with. The kind between you and the one you love that encompasses all of the other kinds. The kind between creatives that spirals into worlds of possibility.
Today, I want to share a few videos that capture the amazing creative chemistry in my favourite co-ed duets. I would die to connect and collaborate with another creative at the levels these artists achieve. Just watch.
1. This is Ana Carolina and Seu Jorge singing Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter” which was made famous by the movie, Closer. It’s not in English (I think it’s in Brazilian Portuguese), but you don’t need to understand the words to get the feeling. This video and song has so much magic! Wait till you hear her voice, then wait till you hear his, then watch the intimate glances between them (especially at 2:09).
My friend Edith loooooooooooves her dog. Almost two years ago, she adopted Rogue, an astute little Blue Heeler/Border Collie cross. Since then I’ve seen a whole new side of Edith. The “dog person” side of her. The side of her that always asks how Gracie (our Labradoodle) is doing. The side of her that wants to meet up at the park with the dogs when she’s otherwise not such a social person. The side of her that would rather be teaching Rogue how to whisper than spending time in the kitchen preparing culinary delights (she was a sous-chef for years before the adoption).
Premium pet supplies without premium prices in Calgary
The other day I got a phone call Edith telling me that after many painful months of paying through the nose for good pet supplies for Rogue, she decided to sign up as a distributor at Anipet. From one dog person to another, she wanted me to know that she was going to be ordering some of the best brands of pet supplies at deep discounts for friends and family. For example:*
- Bags on Board poop bags 4 pack or dispenser with 2 rolls for $4.99 or 2 for $7.98 (compared to $9.99 at Petland)
- Bags on board poop bags 8 pack for $8.99 or 2 for $14.99 (compared to $18.97 at Petland)
- Chuckit! Ultra balls at $7.99 or 2 for $14.99
- Chuckit! Glow balls at $6.99
- Chuckit! launchers starting at $6.99 (pocket size) or $9.99 (original size)
- Chuckit! tennis balls standard 4 pack 2.5″ for $5.99 or 2 pack for $3.49
- Three types of booties, all park tested for stay-on power
- ECOgear backpack in green, orange, pink or blue from $27.99 – $45.99
- Meteorlite LED glow ball for $14.99 or $25 for two (we use them and they are awesome for winter!)
I just got the best holiday gift catalogue in the mail. It came from Plan Canada. Let’s just say it wasn’t your typical gift guide; no smelly soaps, kitschy keepsake ornaments or plaid pyjamas.
21st century catalogue shopping
At the risk of sounding trite, it’s true what they say about giving being the best gift of all. But now you can take that to a whole new level by giving some in-need communities some basics in life that we privileged first-world dwellers take for granted, like water, warmth and nourishment. Add to this the fact that you can buy these gifts online (ahem, without facing the stooooopid Christmas rush at the mall) and suddenly catalogue shopping is looking very appealing.
Gifts you can feel good about
When I got this catalogue, I was suddenly filled with a desire to shop, spend and give! I wanted to buy mango trees ($12), re-build a home in Haiti ($2,500), install a water and sanitation system ($1,000), start a school in Rwanda ($10,000—okay this might have to wait a few years while we save up), buy a herd of goats for a community ($75 for one goat and $775 for a herd) and maybe even invest in a zambulance ($150). Starting from just $10, I could buy some much-needed ethical gifts that would change the lives of individuals, families and communites around the world. Imagine little me effecting change without even leaving my laptop.
Gifts of change closer to home
For some of us, charity starts at home and giving the gift of change to someone we know and love is just as important. If this is where you are at, here’s some more holiday gift ideas that could make a difference in the lives of your loved ones:
- A Feng Shui consultation for someone you love (or maybe you!). Anyone you know looking for a boost in a certain area of their life? Love? Money? Health? Fertility? Rachna Joshi, certified Feng Shui consultant (and best big sister ever!) is kindly offering her “Feng Shui Fix” for a single area of someone’s life for only $150 for sonakhosla.com readers (regularly $199). Or, you can go for the whole sha-bang and get a full home or office make-over for $350. Or, maybe you can stop wishing for a shot at appearing on What Not to Wear and you can just get yourself or someone you love a Feng Shui Fix for their wardrobe with some personal shopping (rates vary). You can email Rachna at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. All I can say is that within three days of having my bedroom feng-shuied, I met my future husband.
- Music from the streets of the world. Have you heard of Playing for Change? It’s a band and not-for-profit organization that brings together amazing street musicians from around the world who make music so they can build music and art schools in communities that need inspiration and hope. I have the CD but recommend the DVD because watching the musicians do their thing is truly moving.
- The gift of nutritional wisdom. Amy Bondar’s book, Sound Nutrition, is still one of my favourite books on nutrition. It addresses the many facets of nutrition, brings together some of the leading research in the field, answers some tough questions (like do eggs really increase your cholesterol?) and serves it up in digestable chapters that are informative and inspiring in equal parts. It makes a great gift for both those who are curious and serious about using the power of foods to achieve better health.
- Clean drinking water systems for the home. There’s nothing more important than the water you drink, so consider a home water filtration system from Crystal Quest. This is hands-down the best company to get a custom water filter from (including systems that take out fluoride). And guess what? They are now offering sonakhosla.com readers a 10% discount with this downloadable coupon. If you are looking for cleaner water, give these guys a call and ask for Elaine. She really knows her stuff and recently helped us put together a custom filtration system for under $350!
There’s only one month left till Christmas and if you’re not like the guy I work with who finished his shopping yesterday, then you might still be in need of some inspiration on what to give this year. Consider this blog your unorthodox guide to giving change this holiday season.
Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve always had a funny thing about kids. I love ‘em, but I don’t want ‘em. If I’m totally honest, freaked is the most accurate way of describing my personal feeling about having a baby.
But somehow when a few pregnant friends recently suggested we watch a documentary called Babies that had no dialogue, I was intrigued. “I’m in,” I said, which is the most affirmative statement I’ve made about children in my life thus far. My husband looked at me with a scowly face. He did not want to watch the babies, but the tape was already rolling.
80 minutes of Babies
An 80-minute documentary about four infants raised in four different parts of the world, Babies by French director Thomas Balmès, is a pure joy to watch (especially with pregnant women). You will laugh, you will be horrified, you will be surprised, you will be confused, you will coo, you will say “ew.”