Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Today is truly a celebration of resurrection, of new life. 

As we celebrate Easter, may we also celebrate 
each moment of resurrection we are given after each 'death' we experience---each sorrow, each heartbreak, life challenge, illness, or mistake. 
Let Easter be a reminder that just as Christ died and rose to heaven, 
we too can see each day as a gift for renewal and opportunity 
to strive towards our highest selves.  

*(Original 'A Field of Flowers' photo by Nigel Corby)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Catharsis Has Been Nominated!

Very recently, I received word that I was nominated for the Top Mom Blog List for 2013 over at voiceBoks.  I was definitely thrilled to receive this news, but more importantly, I am honored to be in the company of other amazing Mom blogs! 

I just wanted to share this great news with the rest of you (in case you're not subscribed to the Catharsis Facebook page and haven't heard yet) and want to thank everyone for your support!  Thank you for always inspiring me to write and find my true voice.

If you haven't voted yet and would like to see Catharsis as a Top Mom Blog (I sure hope so!), you can visit this link and click on the Facebook 'Like' button right under the Catharsis title.  You can only vote once and the deadline for voting is on April 30, 2013.  We still have much time so if you could, kindly spread the word.  I appreciate it!  You can also vote here and see the other wonderful nominees.  (Scroll down to see Catharsis).

Thank you so much again, especially to all of you who have voted.  ❤❤❤ 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Door Bell Phobia

We've all seen it --- those home decor photos showcasing rooms with light-colored, thin curtains  that make the rooms look so fresh and airy.  And Pinterest makes it even more attractive by showing the same rooms and telling you how achievable those window coverings are because you can create them yourself for a ridiculously low price! Well, much as those rooms make me want to relax and just sit and put my feet up, the truth is that if I had such window covers, relaxing and putting my feet up aren't really my best options.  

If you're anything like me, you probably prefer being left alone especially when you're inside your house.  This means no unannounced appearances (unless you're on my 'Most Wanted & Loved' list and trust me this list is short), and most definitely no door-to-door solicitation of any kind, whether you're selling lawn service or your religious and political beliefs.  If life is like a 'stage', a 'performance', then being home, to me, is being in my private backstage.  It's where I want to just be myself and carry on with what I need to do without caring about how I do it and how I look. 

I assure you that there's a well thought-out reason behind my choosing darker drapes for our home, or at least ones that have two layers of fabric to compensate for their being light-colored.  First, I absolutely don't spend my days all dressed up for public viewing.  I could stay in my pj's the whole day so this makes it embarrassing for me when someone suddenly rings our door bell and I am forced to answer. There have also been times when I just completely froze and stayed absolutely silent upon hearing the door bell because there was just no chance in hell I could answer the door.  Why?  Well, because other than being in some shabby house clothing, I also haven't had time to put on my bra!  And since I don't have exhibitionist tendencies, I just completely ignored whoever it was and waited until I was sure the person was gone before I moved a muscle.  

My clothing isn't the only issue here, by the way.  I wish I could tell you that I look exactly like my Facebook profile picture 24/7, all clean and sparkly.  But I really don't.  (Is there anyone who does?)  

Instead, 80% of the time, (and that's a conservative ballpark estimate), you're most likely to see me like this... 

Give me 'A' for effort for giving you the best angle to showcase all my flyaways. I must apologize for the poor lighting that it didn't highlight the happy, light green shade of my favorite and ever-reliable fuzzy robe.  You should thank me that I didn't bother to show a full body shot.  I'm afraid of getting sued for blinding my readers with too many hideous images.  I save that kind of trauma for those who insist on ringing our doorbell and disturbing my hibernation.  

I hope this serves as a fair warning to those who are fond of making unannounced visits, especially those unwanted sales people and evangelists who knock on doors to tell me that the end is near.  Bother me one more time and YOUR end will BE HERE. 

So who else hates their door bells the way I do?  Do you get all dressed up and stay presentable when you're spending time at home?   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Relationship Threshold

Just a quick post for today...

Is this true for you as well?  Do you have people in your life you have a lower threshold for?  What ticks you off and how do you handle them?

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Has 'No' Become Your Auto Response?

I think I 'con' people into thinking that I'm sociable, friendly and cope well in times of stress.  However I assure you it's all presentation of self and impression management and that deep down, my internal universe is way different. 

I'm an introvert.  I thrive in predictability.  I don't like being in unfamiliar situations.  Prolonged social interaction with strangers stresses me out to some degree and will never be my preferred choice.  I rarely venture into anything without knowing a lot of details and being able to plan for it as much as I can.  I'm not a natural risk-taker because that trait just doesn't blend well with all the overanalyzing I'm wired for.

Because of all these things, I am, sadly, what I would call a 'No-er'.  When invitations or opportunities come my way and it's something I did not plan for or expect, generally you could bet that I'd say NO.  At the very least, if I could ask for some sort of postponement, I'd most likely beg for that so that I can prepare myself, do all the research I can and plan it out to death.  The idea needs to sink in first, and then I need to be really comfortable with it (translate: the task is something I feel equipped or qualified for to keep the stress level manageable for this neurotic brain of mine).  Undoubtedly, this tendency has made me miss some opportunities in the past, but luckily, I don't regret any of them enough to self-flagellate. 

Three days ago, I unexpectedly received a call from one of the staff at my son's elementary school.  I had worked with her before during the times I volunteered to help out at my son's class.  I missed the call and she left a message asking if I could be available to help out during picture day the next day.  I listened to her message twice and it didn't take long before the tension crept in.  As expected, my knee jerk reaction was, "No thanks.  I don't think I can do it." Besides, I didn't think they would mind so much if I declined as it seemed to have been a last minute decision on their part.  

The usual internal dialogue kicked in.  Nah.  You have other things to do. You don't even know what it requires of you so it's dangerous to say yes.  You might just look stupid and for sure you won't know anyone there.  The whole thing will just make you uncomfortable.  You're just not the best person for the job.

However, this time it turned out to be a little different.  I challenged myself.  I genuinely did.  Busy?  Really?  You've always said you enjoyed helping out with the kids. Won't this be a good opportunity to test the waters should you consider volunteering more in the future, or maybe even work in a school again even if it's just in an administrative capacity?  And seriously, how complicated can it be?  You're just assisting.  You have a Master's degree for God's sake!  You can talk to people, manage kids, read and write and organize whatever.  You can't pass this up.  There's just NO excuse!

After a few minutes I called back and happily accepted the opportunity.  This was new territory for me; saying yes to something even though I didn't know all the details.  I didn't want to obsess and overthink it.  I knew that the longer I postponed returning the call, the greater the chance of fear overcoming me. I consciously took a deep breath and just let go.  It felt good.  It felt liberating to be able to slowly step out of my comfort zone. It might have even felt like jumping off of a cliff.   At that point, only one thing kept echoing in my head...Grow...this is how you grow.  Only by challenging our normal patterns, pushing our boundaries and trying new things can we truly evolve.

I know that this won't always happen.  I know that there would still be days when I won't feel as open and as brave.  But the nice thing about Life is that, just as I'm sure I'd still have my usual 'normal' days, I can also bet on having those braver days showing up! Helping out last Tuesday kicked my butt as I had to stand for 3 1/2 hours straight.  But I sure had fun and as usual, it wasn't as bad or scary as I had imagined it.  It never really is, is it?

Have you challenged yourself with something new recently?  Did you feel like you made your self unnecessarily anxious over nothing?  How did you push your self?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Love Speaks

I was going to write something that relates to today being International Women's Day but fate intervened.  And there's nothing else to do but submit really.

My friend D.L. (yes, again I mention her...what a celebrity!) sent me this link just a few minutes ago and it touched me so much that I could not help but tear up.  I knew it was something I just had to share and I'm sure a lot of you, especially the women (it's our day after all!) would appreciate this and maybe cry along with me.

I understand that this happened about two years ago but I just saw this and just feel beyond compelled to share. Just to give you a background, Marina Abramovic (the artist) and Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen) met in the 1970's and collaborated in a number of projects that I would describe as completely avant-garde in the world of performance art. Abramovic is known for her works in exploring "the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind". (Source:

Again according to Wikipedia, Abramovic and Ulay had a passionate relationship until they both decided to embark on a journey that would serve as a proper (and dramatic) ending to their intense love story.  In 1988, they walked the Great Wall of China, with each of them starting from the opposite ends, until they met in the middle.  When they met there, they said goodbye to each other and never saw each other again.

In this video below, Marina Abramovic sits with strangers for one minute in total silence.  What she did not know was that Ulay was present and would sit in front of her.  What happens next is something that I find so indescribably beautiful but at the same time, painful.  In one word, I would say that this is one of the most soulful things I have ever seen.  I have never witnessed anything like this, where so much was said without any words.  All I could think of was being in their shoes, on those chairs, face to face with someone I hadn't seen for forever but with whom I connect so much.

What would you do if this happened to you?