creativity

DONT READ THE COMMENTS

From author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert to a fan (Julia):

“It’s always devastating to witness ignorance and heartlessness, Julia. But you are clearly a sensitive and kind-hearted person, and, as such, I beg you to stop reading the comments section of contemporary newspapers, and I beg you (and everyone) to disengage from participatting in, or even reading, Internet arguments. There, you will encountear some of the darkest and most wasteful behavoir in the world. (I mean, wasteful of our stupendous human energy and potential.) Don’t linger where the bottom-feeders lurk, Julia: You can’t change them, and hanging out around them will only put your own compassionate spirit in jeopardy. (As we say in my family: STEP AWAY FROM THE BURNING VEHICLE.) It takes discipline not to tumble into black holes of online aggression and savagery — but such tumbles are voluntary, and thus staying away from the darkness is a discipline you can cultivate. In my own life, I consider it a public service for me for to avoid such shadowy places, because it only darkens my own spirit and then I can’t serve anyone. I would no more hang out around those “chats” than I would attend a public execution. Turn your face stubbornly to the light, and keep it there. Look for love, act from a place of love, work for love, consider yourself a servant to love and a student of love, and you will soon see love everywhere. This is how we begin to serve. Bless you for your kind heart, darling, and please keep your energies safe and bright and strong. We need more people like you, so stay with us.”

“My guru used to teach us that our senses — our sight, our hearing, our touch, our taste — are our loyal servants. Our senses have no will of their own, but can absorb what we point them toward — can only obey our commands. Wherever you direct your senses, therefore, they will have to go. Whatever you turn your eyes toward, your eyes will have no choice but to see. Whatever you tune your ears into, your ears will have no choice but to hear. And a lot of what’s out there in the media and on the internet is absolutely abusive to your poor senses. But your senses cannot be protected from this abuse unless you have the discipline and the good sense to TURN AWAY.

Believe me, I know this intimately. I’m somebody who only has to Google her own name to find an endless supply of people who are shredding to me pieces all over the Internet — saying absolutely awful things about me, and attacking all that I do, say, or make. So guess who NEVER Googles her name, and never reads the Amazon reviews, and never looks at the comments after articles about EAT PRAY LOVE, for instance, have been posted anywhere online? Yup.

Don’t torture your poor, loyal senses, my friends. Instead, become a good and loving master of them. Use your senses for higher pursuits. Give your eyes beautiful things to see and read. Give your ears uplifting things to hear. Give your taste marvelous adventures to explore. Use your voice for more interesting activities than arguing over the internet with strangers who have simply not been able to find a more creative use of their sacred life energies than venting their own bottled-up anger into the dark and bottomless megaphone that is the eternal Comments Section.

Likewise: Excuse yourself from Twitter wars.

Likewise: Excuse yourself from jumping onto dog piles of group shaming over the Internet, just because it makes you feel good that 100,000 other people are also outraged and shocked at that dumb or insensitive thing somebody said. The dog pile can live without you — and believe me, it will.

Likewise: Excuse yourself from political arguments with people who will never, never, never, NEVER vote the way you do, no matter how many memes and charts and links and facts you may send to them.

We are here in this incredible world for only an instant. Life is precious and it passes in a flash. Surely, we have other things to do, right?

By the way, this doesn’t mean tuning out of the world’s problems, or shutting off your heart toward those who suffer. But it DOES mean turning your senses away from people who are rageful, combative, and gratuitously vicious — both online and offline. This takes discipline, but we can cultivate discipline. In fact we must. Discipline is the heart of every spiritual practice, and your spiritual practice can extend onto the Internet.”

image[6]image-5image[7]image[5]

 

Experimenting In Ze Kitchen

Most of the time I don’t follow a recipe. Instead, I experiment and end up pleasantly surprised (most of the time). Below are some of my recent creations. From top to bottom: gluten, refined-sugar and dairy-free walnut and mandarin cake which I made using the juice of two mandarins and which ended up tasting not a smidgen mandariney but still yum according to my mom (that rhymed). Wholemeal turmeric, sundried-tomato and parsley muffins, and today’s lunch: a green salad of broccoli, snap-peas and asparagus, all young and all blanched in hot water for 4 seconds then tossed with raw pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts before being dressed in lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Oishi katta (it was delicious).  They were delicious.
image[4]image[3]
image-30.jpg
image[2]

MY Kind Of ‘Food Porn’

Being a food blogger is easy: you just eat food and photograph it.

From top to bottom: my goods in my kitchen, power slaw using soft-dried blackcurrants in place of raisins, an incredible spread of home-made bread, fresh fruit (sweet lemon, strawberries and blood orange), onigiri and a simple sweet potato and black sesame seed medley, homemade green tea, the organic plate from nonocafe and last but not least, their yellow kiwi-fruit cheesecake.
imageimage (11)image (2)image (3)image (4)image (1)image (9)image (6)image (5)image (7)image (8)image (10)On another note, Japan is still bloody cold, my parents arrive in exactly 2 weeks, 13 days, not including today (not that I’m counting) and I realized recently that my blog, much like my life, is rather jumbled and lacking one major goal (sigh). Though even so, for some reason, y’all still follow… So, arigato, arigato and chuuu xx

A new project

image[12]

I’m going to be completely honest with you, which I hope you know has been my so-called blogging “style” all along. There are a lot of successful folk in the blogging world and I happen to know a few ;) So, we’ve been talking and it turns out, in this techno day and age, bloggin’ just ain’t enough! Faaaack, I can’t keep up. No, I’m not going to take social media seriously, I’m not going to be sucked down that hole. I’ll post real life pictures and I’ll post them many times and that shall be enough (my initial thoughts).

Except it isn’t.

I’ve had to shift my thinking. Posting carefully selected, edited pictures isn’t just lies. It’s also an art. It’s not easy to have a visually pleasing and uncluttered Instagram account. It takes effort and time. Both of which I am willing to give if it’ll help me become the next Julia Child.

And here is the part I don’t like but alas, one that has to be done. Please follow MY NEW INSTAGRAM account and please share it with your friend, sibling and dog.

ARI GA TO!