culture shock and the inner self

catchin’ a sunset at Oxnard Shores


It’s Saturday morning and I’ve been pretty homesick lately.  Miss my fam, dog, friends, my old life.  


Being the rational being that I am, and at the suggestion of a friend, figured out I’m basically in the “negotiation phase” of culture shock. 

Negotiation Phase (from wikipedia)

After some time (usually three months but it may be sooner or later depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. That sense of excitement will eventually give way to new and unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as you continue to have unfavorable encounters that strike you as strange, offensive, and unacceptable. These reactions are typically centered on the formidable language barrier as well as stark differences in: public hygiene; traffic safety; the type and quality of the food.  One may long for food the way it is prepared in one’s native country, may find the pace of life too fast or slow, may find the people’s habits annoying, disgusting, and irritating etc. This phase is often marked by mood swings caused by minor issues or without apparent reason. This is where excitement turns to disappointment and more and more differences start to occur. Depression is not uncommon.

Even broke down and cried yesterday at work. 

Thank goodness for good friends (thanks Rachel for catching me crying THREE times in the halls and forcing me to stop grading and sit in her class and talk ūüôā

6 more months!

Yoga always helps.
I’ve been missing all the great yoga that Southern California offers…I even ordered a  DVD by Shiva Rea (famous LA yoga instructor) to tide me over till I’m back.  While I was waiting for that DVD to come in the mail (amazon.com delivers here!), I started subscribing to Yogaglo.com, which broadcasts new classes from Santa Monica, CA everyday.  I just took a 60 minute class with Elena Brower which was AWESOME.  it changed my perspective on things and made me stop wallowing.  The style of the class was Anusara (which is “a powerful method of hatha yoga which integrates biomechanical principles of alignment with the celebration of the heart and spirit. Developed by John Friend in 1996, Anusara Yoga¬ģ offers a dynamic synthesis of asana technique, yoga philosophy, and the celebration of good company”-yogaglo.com)

This practice could not have been more perfect today…Elena instructed us to “bow” during certain poses and “lean” with our backs to those who support us in life (hello Mom and Dad), 

and she spoke a lot about concept of :

“The stage is the inner-self” from Shiva Sutras 3.10.

How we react or respond to situations is up to us…the chapter we are on right now, how it gets played out, is up to how we see things from our inner self and how we handle things.  we’re in control.

I think this concept will make the next 6 months a lot easier…make it a good 6 months, or count down the days…it’s a choice.  It’s up to me…

Off to go grab dinner with friends…woooo
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Dongdongju and Makgeolli!


Now if you know me you know I’m not a partyer.  
Rather, closer to a 35 year old Soccer mom most of the time.
I appreciate being home by midnight and getting a good night’s rest.  
Love waking up early to seize the day, maybe go for a walk, do some yoga before real life takes the day over.  
I enjoy grocery shopping.  
I budget.  
I indulge in creating healthy recipes.  
I crave silence, solitude, and serenity.  
I wear my SPF, as well as sunglasses and a hat.  
I’m responsible (and boring) for my age.  
I love James Taylor music for crying out loud.   

But once in a while, 
I really like knocking a few back.  
Maybe even going out till all hours dancing.  
This wild side (ha ya right, wild…) 
comes out every once in a while…

and in Korea it’s come out in the form of really liking Dongdongju and Magkeolli. 
enjoying Dongdongju in Insadong, like really enjoying it.

Makgeolli is a fermented rice wine…it’s unfiltered (you shake the bottle to mix the rice sediment with the liquid) and it can range from bland rice tasting to super sweet.  Alcohol percent is about 7%.

Dongdongju is similar to Makgeolli but I think it’s made from glutinous rice instead of just rice.  I’ve been researching the difference between the two and just got frustrated and gave up…but I know I like both!  I’ve had it served with an ICEE consistency, which makes it even better…kinda like ice cream or an alcoholic icee.  

Drinking is social event.  
It’s also an eating event here in Korea.
one eats some yummy Korean bar snacks 
(popcorn, pretzels, giant fruit loops…ya…) 
and traditional food with this stuff–like pajeon, a korean pancake, or dubu kimchi (tofu with fried up kimchi).  

Usually a massive bowl of Makgeolli or Dongdongju is served in the middle of the table in big bowl with a soup ladle, then you serve friends and yourself into smaller bowls.  
It’s a lot of fun.  
You should try it.  
Even if you are boring and quiet and responsible.

makgeolli tasting for 2,000 won at “h” makgeolli bar in my ‘hood of Haebangcheon, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
5 different makgeollis from 5 different regions of Korea.

But…
 don’t come to me complaining about a hangover.  This stuff doesn’t feel good the next day (or two).  You been warned!

Ambiguity of Life

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”¬†

~Gilda Radner


Taken from MindBodyGreen.com ūüôā


I like it.  Roll with it, make the best of it, be present, be flexible.

Green Korea 2010 (+ Bus Explosion)

On a random sunny Sunday a few weeks ago, I stumbled on a pretty darn cool thing.

Green Korea!

Guess Korea is trying to clean up it’s polluted act by going Green.¬† Sweeeet.¬† There’s a whole museum type expo going on in Downtown Seoul dedicated to it.

I had some fun lighting up a lightbulb with just the energy my body produces…

and learned a whole lot about new developments in Green transportation, housing, etc…and how the K-government is supporting alternative transportation like riding bikes to work and school by creating more bike paths. ¬†This is good stuff!

simulating real bike riding…this shows Seoulite’s where all the bike paths in Seoul are (out of the PC Bang (translation: video game room, latenight hangout for many young Koreans), and into the real world and nature, yay!)
geothermal heating and cooling = very cool idea
A 3D graph showing Korea’s projected decrease in reliance on fossil fuels projected from now-2030
I’m quite happy that this place is cleaning up it’s act. ¬†I’ve been blessed to have spent my life breathing pretty clean air (despite LA traffic…the smog in LA has nothing on Korea’s Yellow Dust, and a deep breath in Ventura is just pure, clean air). ¬†I never appreciated clean air so much as I do now.
Actually, my first impression of this place was, “gee, I want to hose this place off”. ¬†In the city, everything just looks as if there is a layer of filth. ¬†You can see it down to Korean’s pores…this place’s air is DIRTY.

Oddly enough, coincidence, I picked up a newspaper on Tuesday and on the front page…one of these Green bus’s fuel tanks blew up on Monday, severely injuring many passengers, and leaving one 27 year old woman without feet (this tidbit made me nauseous, imagine one second, going about your day, walking to the bus to go home from work, only to get off that same bus never to walk on those feet again–puts things into perspective and makes one grateful for their working body). ¬†Guess going Green still has some work to do…technology is not perfect…yet.

Reading this I was shocked and got the same icky feeling that came over me when I had been at King’s Cross Station in London just 12 hours before the terrorist bombings in 2005. ¬†Same icky icky feeling, but just as in London during that Summer of ’05, “carry on” is the mentality here in Korea, and there are no empty buses in sight.

from the Joonang Daily

The intra-city bus #241B exploded near Haengdang station in Seongdong district, Seoul yesterday around 4:55 p.m[Monday]. The police speculate that the compressed natural gas in one of its seven tanks at the bottom of the bus exploded due to the heat wave. 17 passengers and pedestrians were injured. [Yonhap]

Anyways…good intentions, some scary news…more work to be done….

Dongdong-ju and Makkeoli

Now if you know me,

you know I’m not a partyer.

Rather, closer to a 35 year old Soccer mom most of the time.

I appreciate being home by midnight and getting a good night’s rest. ¬†

Love waking up early to seize the day, maybe go for a walk, do some yoga before real life takes the day over.  

I enjoy grocery shopping.  

I budget.  

I indulge in creating healthy recipes.  

I crave silence, solitude, and serenity.  

I wear my SPF, as well as sunglasses and a hat.  

I’m responsible (and boring) for my age. ¬†

I love James Taylor music for crying out loud.   

 But once in a while, 

I really like knocking a few back.  

Maybe even going out till all hours dancing.  

This wild side (ha, ya right, wild…)¬†

comes out every once in a while…

¬†and in Korea it’s come out in the form of really liking Dongdongju and Magkeolli.¬†

enjoying Dongdongju in Insadong, like really enjoying it.

 

Makgeolli is a fermented rice wine…it’s unfiltered (you shake the bottle to mix the rice sediment with the liquid) and it can range from bland rice tasting to super sweet. ¬†Alcohol percent is about 7%.

¬†Dongdongju is similar to Makgeolli but I think it’s made from glutinous rice instead of just rice. ¬†I’ve been researching the difference between the two and just got frustrated and gave up…but I know I like both! ¬†I’ve had it served with an ICEE consistency, which makes it even better…kinda like ice cream or an alcoholic icee. ¬†

 Drinking is social event.  

It’s also an eating event here in Korea.

one eats some yummy Korean bar snacks 

(popcorn, pretzels, giant fruit loops…ya…)¬†

and traditional food with this stuff–like pajeon, a korean pancake, or dubu kimchi (tofu with fried up kimchi). ¬†

 Usually a massive bowl of Makgeolli or Dongdongju is served in the middle of the table in big bowl with a soup ladle, then you serve friends and yourself into smaller bowls.  

It’s a lot of fun. ¬†

You should try it.  

Even if you are boring and quiet and responsible.

makgeolli tasting for 2,000 won at “h” makgeolli bar in my ‘hood of Haebangcheon, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
5 different makgeollis from 5 different regions of Korea.

But…
don’t come to me complaining about a hangover. ¬†This stuff doesn’t feel good the next day (or two). ¬†You been warned!

The 6 Month Itch: Gratitude and What’s Cool about Korea

I’m bored.

 Again.

¬†Itchin’ for a change.

This seems to be my pattern. Move somewhere, get a cool job, meet some amazing people, get into a routine.
Then something happens around 6 months and I want a change.

First, Santa Monica right after college. Modeling, acting, hosting by day, hauling myself around LaLa land to auditions all day, (and actually making a decent buck, enough to get by anyways), and working at the Huntley Hotel at night. It was a grind for sure but enjoyable looking back. Had a great apartment between Montana Ave and 3rd Street, had time to go to Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga nearly every day AND sometimes take a long walk or jog.

Then it was Ventura and my awesome holistic rehab job. But that proved to be a lil much for me at that time and I wanted to travel. Sooooo…
Now I’m across the globe, working an international gig in South Korea….
The first 2 places would have probably been fine to stay, make some roots, but something else was calling my name.

So I went with it.

Now, starting to see a pattern, I’m making a change (from wanting a change, ha!) from here on out.

From now on, I’m going to focus on what is good NOW.

So, here is what is cool about my life here in Korea:

I’m GRATEFUL for the following:

 People. 

A fab community of artists, musicians, creative, yogis, and like-minded foreigners that I’ve met throughout Korea and also right here in my neighborhood of Haebangcheon and Itaewon. It took a while to find them, but they’re here!

And the friendliness of most folks brings a smile to my face ūüôā

–¬†My apartment is a yoga studio.

And¬†is quiet (although there are no windows :(…and is all my own. And did I mention that it’s¬†FREE?

–¬†Healthy food everywhere.
produce stand just across the street for cheap veggies and nigari/seawater dubu (tofu).
kimchi varieties at a “well-being festival”
“well-being” drinks, ¬†supplements, etc
just a typical 7,000 won ($6.50 about) meal full of raw and semi-cooked veggies, fermented bean stews,  dotorimuk, and dubu.

My cute 3 and 4 year olds who adore me, say “I love you, Elisa teacher”, and give me hugs and kisses and play with my hair during playtime. ¬†

And my amazing co-teacher, Luna, who has really taught me to teach little ones. She also works her magic with the kids when my patience wears thin!

K kids are really cute.

A secure job, with a certain end date, in which I get to move around all day long, run after little ones, dance and sing with them. Fun, pretty physical,  keeps me in pretty good shape, I think. No secretary spread gonna happen this year!

National Health Insurance.  That covers acupuncture.
–¬†The 4 Seasons have grown on me.¬†Maybe I’m just saying that because it’s hot now and I’m loving it.¬† I’ve also gleened lots of winter stuff from amigas who’ve left South Korea for their next chapter (thanks Erika and Aimee), so I’m actually excited to get dressed this winter.

Korean flowers are pretty.

I think these look like dragonflies.

–¬†The ability to buy a new outfit for $10 on a street corner¬†(this is good and bad…a half-Jewish, bargain freak like me has to practice self-control).

 

Muii-do and Deok Jeok-Do 

Islands an hour subway and ferry rideaway.  not bad.

–¬†Insadong and the general Downtown area. I love it there for the art galleries, the Temples. The¬†people watching.

oh, just visiting a historic temple that’s 10 mins from the apartment. ¬†gotta love that.

Rooftops!

Hiking!

hiking is fun and free.

Tour groups.

–¬†No car payment, no paying for gas, oil changes, and hauling my car into the repair shop when there’s a prob. A break from driving, which for me was gettin worse daily…I had 3 points on my license just for running into stationary crap! For now, worry-free transportation for the most part!

the long gone volvo s40. ¬†we had a good 50k miles together, but i don’t miss your “check engine” light that came on every 1,000 miles and your service center that happened to be an hour’s drive away.
 The cool respites from city living like the Cheongycheon Stream, Yangjae Stream, Seoul Forest, etc.
Subway sardine can in the AM…
…is tolerable due to a walk along Yangjae stream afterwards!

–¬†Makgeolli and Dongdongju!

Who needs California wine when you’ve got Makgeolli tasting for $1.75 down the street?!

–¬†Being able to live on a budget of $100¬†(or less sometimes) a week. Sweet.

Cicadas chirping during the Summer!

Let’s not forget that the beaches of Thailand are a relatively short and cheap flight away…

¬†– there’s more that i’ll add to this list later.

-but most of all, just feeling quite healthy

Although the air may be sub-par here, I get a sinus infection every so often, and just the 24/7, unrelaxed energy of this city drives me mad sometimes, my bod feels really healthy and I have lots of energy to do the stuff I wanna do!

Good stuff.

Koh Phangan Island, Thailand: Haad Yuan

Oh the Thailand trip, glorious Thailand trip.¬†Booked 5 months ago, soon as I got my first paycheck in Korea.¬†During the weeks leading to the trip, I had 4 possibly itineraries worked out¬†for the 8 day trip to the SE Gulf islands of Thailand, ranging from deep sea diving on Koh Tao to checking out several yoga schools on Koh Phangan. ¬†I just couldn’t make up my mind. ¬†I’d be dead set on one thing one day, then I’d talk to someone about their experience and feel completely different. ¬†I was pretty confused.¬† In the end, I let go, and decided the intinerary would work itself out when I stepped off the plane.

¬†(oh how grateful I am to have this freedom, it’s akin to having wings)

¬†Stepped off the plane in Koh Samui and still wasn’t quite sure where I was going. ¬†I had a booking in Koh Samui just for the night, planning to take the ferry to Phangan or Tao in the AM. but something told me I wasn’t going to make it..

Met 2 Australian guys, Rone and Michael, who informed me that there are ferries to the other islands all afternoon, not just the AM like my guidebook said!

So, I hung out with the boys for 2 hours waiting for the ferry, sharing fresh guavas, thai beer, and laughs.

                       Lovely scent of plumeria

The next ferry was to Koh Phangan, where I’d wanted to check out 2 yoga schools for my teacher training (will have time and $$ for this after Korea, yay!)

It didn’t really occur to me that I needed to relax, too! Ha! ¬†Guess I’ve integrated into the Korean go-go-go! way of life.

The ferry to Koh Phangan stops at Haad Rin, infamous for its monthly Full Moon party.  I said goodbye to the Australians there as they were staying for the party, and I wanted to run as far away as I could from the chaos.

I randomly made friends with a girl named Lizzie who I asked about which yoga place to try first, and it just happened she was going to where one of them was located-Haad Yuan! ¬†She said, “Come with me”, and with that,¬†we speedwalked the hell outta Haad Rin to meet a longtail boat which took us just around the bend to the bay of Haad Yuan, a mellow, healing, yogi-filled spot perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Haad Yuan (and Bamboo Huts restaurant) when the sun came out day 3! ¬†It was about 8 o’clock and I was wiped out from the long trip and my crazy no-sleep go go go life in Korea (which is changing now, I’m determined to say no to extra work and take time for me now).¬† I was ready to pass out.¬† I checked out one place, Eden, first, but then remembering I had¬†made a penciled reservation at “Bamboo Huts” bungalows (very close to one of the yoga places to check out), which just happned to be next store to Eden, I headed over there to check into my bungalow.

Somehow found the energy to head back down to the Bamboo Huts restaurant for dinner.¬† I sat down on a cushy pillow overlooking the sparkling bay and had a giant bowl of green curry for 90 baht (um, $2!) and a huge fruit plate, and eavesdropped on the conversation going on next to me.¬† It was a lively group and from my brief espionage, I determined that at least 3 of them were yoga teachers.¬† They were talking about a visualization/meditation about each person’s relaxing spot in the universe or something. ¬†I just layed back on the pillow on the floor, loving every word and thinking that life in that moment was just perfect.¬† In another part of the restaurant, up on the “dinner deck” was a young Aussie strumming guitar.

This place was perfect for the vibe, the chatter, musical, creative people all around.

goofin around after dinner at Bamboo

After a while, I headed back up to my hut and sat on the porch for a bit trying to play some uke.¬† The Australian guitar guy came up and introduced himself.¬† I was so exhausted and dead that I probably seemed like a bitch, but he put up with me and we talked a bit. He showed me a few things on the uke, including the fact that my tuner was messed up!¬† After about a half hour talk, he told me, “You look like you need a month here”.¬† Yes, I was exhausted.¬† And with that I went to bed.

Private hut at Bamboo Hut for 4 nights…perfect for some solitude and catching up on much need zzzzzz’s…

Next morning, rain was pouring down. ¬†But that didn’t stop a group of us from heading to yoga! ¬†We climbed up to one of the most amazing yoga shalas I’ve ever seen. ¬†As I did my first sun salutation, getting the kinks out from the airplane ride the day before, all I could hear was the sound of nature. ¬†Jungle sounds, rain, birds, even a rooster…no street noise, no distraction. ¬†I was finally where I’d dreamed of for the last few months.

walking up to Blooming Lotus

~compassion~: om mani padme hum
       heaven in a yoga shala: striking a tree pose

After yoga, a big group of us, at least 10, went down to the restaurant to meet others staying at Bamboo Huts. ¬†I was thinking of leaving that afternoon, wanting to check out another yoga place. ¬†My new Aussie friend, Ryan, was trying hard convincing me that this part of the island is the best place ever and to stay. ¬†Michael, one of the residents there, called me over to his table where a bunch of people sat, and read my ‘Mayan horoscope’. ¬†Apparently I’m a ‘Radiant Red Earth’, meaning synchronicity, between heaven and earth..sounds pretty similar to ‘Gemini’ astrology…) and that’s all I remember!

I’d landed in some sort of alternate hippie reality.

In the end, I felt very welcome, and curious, I heeded the hippies’ advice and stayed on this part of the island.

And I’m so happy I did.

Everyone seemed to know eachother, but instead of being cliquey, ¬†they welcomed me with open arms. ¬†Almost the entire rainy first day was spent at the restaurant overlooking the water, eating thai snacks and just getting to know everyone there. ¬†A group of 10 people had just come to Haad Yuan after a 10 day Silent Meditation retreat (Vippassana, if you’re curious, read more @ dhamma.org). ¬†So it was pretty cool talking about their intense experience and seeing how close these strangers had all become AFTER their experience at the meditation. ¬†Since it was rainy and life had slowed to snail’s pace around the bay, I had the chance to talk to a few local yoga teachers about different trainings around the island, which was cool. ¬†Better than any guidebook or website could have told me.

By sunset time, the weather had cleared up enough to explore the bay on my own.  And take a dip in the crystal clear ocean.

The next couple days are kinda a blur…I was physically and mentally exhausted from work in Korea, and just getting into “vacation” mode took hard work. ¬†My mind kept telling me I had to always be doing something. ¬†I used to be so good at this leisure thing! ¬†What happened?!

This part of the island is so remote that there isn’t any shopping, so couldn’t distract myself with that. ¬†Thank goodness.

So … in a way, it was like being forced to learn how to enjoy free time again. ¬†I busied myself my exploring the surrounds, taking yoga, writing, taking advantage of my hangin’, swimming, and just enjoying some time for me…

hammock, ukelele, journal (not pictured), and yoga mat make good travel pals

The 6 Month Itch/Gratefulness and What’s Cool about Korea

I’m bored. 
 Again. 
 Itchin’ for a change.
This seems to be my pattern. Move somewhere, get a cool job, meet some amazing people, get into a routine.
Then something happens around 6 months and I want a change.
First, Santa Monica right after college. Modeling, acting, hosting by day, hauling myself around LaLa land to auditions all day, (and actually making a decent buck, enough to get by anyways), and working at the Huntley Hotel at night. It was a grind for sure but enjoyable looking back. Had a great apartment between Montana Ave and 3rd Street, had time to go to Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga nearly every day AND sometimes take a long walk or jog.
Then it was Ventura and my awesome holistic rehab job. But that proved to be a lil much for me at that time and I wanted to travel. Sooooo…
Now I’m across the globe, working an international gig in South Korea, and BORED! WTF.
The first 2 places would have probably been fine to stay, make some roots, but something else was calling my name.
So I went with it.
Now, starting to see a pattern, I’m making a change (from wanting a change, ha!) from here on out.
From now on, I’m going to focus on what is good NOW.

So, here is what is cool about my life here in Korea:

I’m GRATEFUL for the following:
People. 
A fab community of artists, musicians, creative, yogis, and like-minded foreigners that I’ve met throughout Korea and also right here in my neighborhood of Haebangcheon and Itaewon. It took a while to find them, but they’re here! 
And the friendliness of most folks brings a smile to my face ūüôā

My apartment is a yoga studio.
And is quiet (although there are no windows :(…and is all my own. And did I mention that it’s FREE?

Healthy food everywhere.
produce stand just across the street for cheap veggies and nigari/seawater dubu (tofu).

kimchi varieties at a “well-being festival”

“well-being” drinks,  supplements, etc

just a typical 7,000 won ($6.50 about) meal full of raw and semi-cooked veggies, fermented bean stews,  dotorimuk, and dubu.

My cute 3 and 4 year olds who adore me, say “I love you, Elisa teacher”, and give me hugs and kisses and play with my hair during playtime.  

And my amazing co-teacher, Luna, who has really taught me to teach little ones. She also works her magic with the kids when my patience wears thin!

K kids are really cute.

A secure job, with a certain end date, in which I get to move around all day long, run after little ones, dance and sing with them. Fun, pretty physical,  keeps me in pretty good shape, I think. No secretary spread gonna happen this year!
National Health Insurance.  That covers acupuncture.
The 4 Seasons have grown on me. Maybe I’m just saying that because it’s hot now and I’m loving it. I’ve also gleened lots of winter stuff from amigas who’ve left South Korea for their next chapter (thanks Erika and Aimee), so I’m actually excited to get dressed this winter~

Korean flowers are pretty.

Korean flowers are pretty.

I think these look like dragonflies.

The ability to buy a new outfit for $10 on a street corner (this is good and bad…a half-Jewish, bargain freak like me has to practice self-control).


Muii-do and Deok Jeok-Do 
Islands an hour subway and ferry rideaway.  not bad.

Insadong and the general Downtown area. I love it there for the art galleries, the Temples. The
people watching.

oh, just visiting a historic temple that’s 10 mins from the apartment.  gotta love that.

Rooftops!

Hiking!

hiking is fun and free.

Tour groups.

gotta love tour groups! ~river rafting

jeollanam-do tour group

No car payment, no paying for gas, oil changes, and hauling my car into the repair shop when there’s a prob. A break from driving, which for me was gettin worse daily…I had 3 points on my license just for running into stationary crap! For now, worry-free transportation for the most part!

the long gone volvo s40.  we had a good 50k miles together, but i don’t miss your “check engine” light that came on every 1,000 miles and your service center that happened to be an hour’s drive away.

The cool respites from city living like the Cheongycheon Stream, Yangjae Stream, Seoul Forest, etc.

Subway sardine can in the AM…

…is tolerable due to a walk along Yangjae stream afterwards!

Makgeolli and Dongdongju!

Who needs California wine when you’ve got Makgeolli tasting for $1.75 down the street?!

Being able to live on a budget of $100 (or less sometimes) a week. Sweet.

Cicadas chirping during the Summer!

Let’s not forget that the beaches of Thailand are a relatively short and cheap flight away…


– there’s more that i’ll add to this list later.

-but most of all, just feeling quite healthy

Although the air may be sub-par here, I get a sinus infection every so often, and just the 24/7, unrelaxed energy of this city drives me mad sometimes, my bod feels really healthy and I have lots of energy to do the stuff I wanna do!

Good stuff.

Let’s Talk about Ahimsa…Non-Harm

So, I started a yoga teacher’s training course here in Seoul. ¬†First concept in our readings is “ahimsa“, or¬†non-violence.¬†

First thing’s first:

Being kind with yourself first, leads to kindness towards others.

Ahimsa is nothing new to me. ¬†I’ve heard this concept before…yoga teacher’s speaking softly about it during savasana, in the Yoga Philosophy group I’ve gone to a few times here in Seoul, and now in the very first readings of teacher’s training. ¬†Before I really put a name to it, it was even a¬†concept which my Dad, (well one of the two Dad’s, frequently referred to as D2 (better than Stepdad)) and I have spoken about. ¬†It’s even written on my little bulletin board here in Seoul.

But you know what, I don’t think I’ve fully been embodying it.

There’s something I’ve been¬†schlepping¬†around with me.

It’s been with me since a few weeks before college started (August 2004), to UC San Diego and my 4 different apartments there where it stayed in many a bathroom under the sink, across the world to Europe where it had a home in my underwear drawer in my little studio at Cambridge University, to under the sink at an apartment which I shared with 6 other equally insane (if not moreso) girls at UC Los Angeles for a summer, back to SD, up to Santa Monica (where it’s #’s seemed oh-so-crucial to my success…inevitably, those #’s dipped so low that I don’t think casting directors wanted me anymore,¬†to Oxnard where it was occasionally used but not so important, and now, all the way here in Asia where it’s been hiding again under the sink, this time in the kitchen, where it’s been getting used less and less…but nonetheless still lurked it’s mind control and¬†evil calculations every now and then…

So, I finally did something I should have done a while ago…

 

I smashed my scale!

 

 These were taken after a few blows with a hammer I had lying around.

I would’ve done some more destruction, but my landlord came knocking on the door. ¬†When I answered, he took a peek past me, started smiling and offered his help…

“So proud of your goddess and your hammer. May the scales of all rest in peace as we remember that our true measure has always been how much came from love to us and the all”

~A quote from an e-mail from my¬†wonderful neighbor,¬†Nancy Szakacsy,¬†MS, LMFT…¬†an all around awesomely, inspirationally¬†good person, who just so happens to be a Pro Head Helper, AND who got me starting this blog in the first place. ¬†Extra kimchi kisses for you :*