Eat, Pray, Love, and Vacation
Aug 15 2010

Hamilton Pool

I just got back from a week long part stay-cation and part away-cation with some friends who live in two different cities.  We visited some local Austin famous places like the Oasis and Hamilton Pool.  We also saw The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (nice movie).   I always feel so blessed after I get to spend time with these particular friends because I’ve known them for 20+ years now.   Our kids have virtually grown up together and at one point in each of their lives, they thought they were cousins.  It didn’t matter that we looked different, to them they just felt like family.  I feel lucky to have them in my and my kids lives.

During this time, I read a very interesting book (that most of the rest of the world already knows about because the movie is now out starring Julia Roberts) Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia (Amazon Link) by Elizabeth Gilbert.   It was if the author was writing parts of my story!  It got enough positive reviews to warrant a movie starring Julia Roberts but it certainly touched a nerve with some of the Amazon reviewers who decided it was self indulgent!  One of the moms at a water park we went to  saw I was reading it and told me how great it was and she loved it.  She told me “just wait until you get to the part when she’s in India.”  This is obviously a book that elicits very different responses from people depending where they are in their life/spiritual journey.

I won’t quote some of passages (that I desperately want to) here because my blog is read by many people…not just women age 30+ going through a mid-life awakening and search for meaning.  This is a non-fiction account of the author’s experience of taking one year ‘off’ to find God/herself.  She does not have kids and received a hefty book advance which makes this a much easier endeavor.  She spends 4 months in Italy (eating), 4 months in India (praying), and 4 months in Indonesia, specifically Bali (loving).   She writes about divorce, marriage, God, spirituality, crushes, love, food, different cultures, depression, not wanting to live, yoga, meditation, physical intimacy, soul mates, etc.  The only character in India who the author says she uses his real name is Richard from Texas.  Richard has an interesting take on soul mates (see quote below) and apparently he builds houses in Austin.  I SO want to run into Richard from Texas some day!  Given I live in Austin, it might happen.  Now for some quotes:

“Sincere spiritual investigation is, and always has been, an endeavor of methodical discipline.  Looking for Truth is not some kind of spazzy free-for-all, not even during this, the great age of the spazzy free-for-all.” p. 2.

I’m not going to type it all here, but the top of p. 49 she talks about how she tried to make sense of her depression and why she would feel this way from chemical, diet, seasonal, to being an artist/writer, to her situation, to her parents, to xyz and she concluded it was probably a little bit of everything and things she didn’t even understand.

“Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword.’  On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where ‘all is correct.’ But on the other side of that sword, if you’re crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, ‘all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course.’  Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.” p. 95

“The Bhagavad Gita – that ancient Indian Yogic text – says that is is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” p. 95

“The classical Indian sages wrote that there are three factors which indicate whether a soul has been blessed with the highest and most auspicious luck in the universe: 1. To have been born a human being, capable of conscious inquiry. 2. To have been born with – or to have developed – a yearning to understand the nature of the universe.  3. To have found a living spiritual master.” p. 124

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants.  But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.  But to live with a soul mate forever?  Nah.  Too painful.  Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.  And thank God for it….[they] shake you up…tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you [have] to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it.” p. 149

“To know God, you need only to renounce one thing – your sense of division from God.  Otherwise, just stay as you were made, within your natural character.” p. 192

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.  You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.  You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.  And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” p. 260

“The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy.  We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash.  We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure…I’m lonely…I’m a failure…I’m lonely…) and we become monuments to them.  To stop talking for a while then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.” p. 325

Yes, this is a great book to read for those of you on a journey ‘to understand the nature of the universe’ which is a means to understand yourself.

Author: | Filed under: book review, books, new york city, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Yoga and Other Blog Mentions
Jan 14 2008

I’m making some progress on my personal 2008 goals.  I signed up for yoga and have lost between .5 and 1 pound.   Regarding my business goals, I’m still working on the executive summary, financial projections, visuals, and finding an attorney in order to raise funds. If all goes well documents will be substantially ready by end of next week, and I’ll be well on my way to finding the perfect lawyer…if that’s even possible. :-)   

Posting will be light over the next few weeks so in the meantime please check out the Work It, Mom! interview of me where they asked me the following questions:

  • What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
  • You’ve written that you and the other founder of your first company were “washed out.” How did you recover from that? Was it hard to jump back into the entrepreneurial game after that experience?
  • Many women entrepreneurs have mentioned that they felt they were not taken as seriously as businesswomen once people knew their companies were geared toward mothers. Has this been your experience?
  • What lessons from your first company are you applying to your second?
  • What’s most challenging part of your working-mom juggle?
  • What advice would you give a working mom who is trying to start her own company? What pitfalls would you tell her to avoid?
  • You have a great general attitude — what motivates you besides, well, creating a super-successful company?

Then pop on over to Thom Singer’s Some Assembly Required blog and check out my guest post on Building your e-Network where I expand on the following tips:

  • Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it.
  • When someone reaches out to you for help, answer them.
  • Build and foster trust by being consistent.
Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, mom, mother, social networks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

One Entrepreneur’s 2008 Goals
Jan 1 2008

woman-writing-on-board.jpg

I don’t really like making New Year’s resolutions.  However, I’m making an exception this year because I figure I’ll try something new.  Maybe I’ll even make quarterly resolutions!  This is the first year I’ve had a blog which means I can now write them down and let my readers hold me accountable.  So here it goes. 

Business Goals

Raise funds for Babble Soft.  I will finish the business plan, refine the pitch, and set up meetings with angel investors.

Establish additional nanny partnerships and other corporate partnerships that lead to increased revenue and revenue opportunities.  I have to make hundreds of calls, send hundreds of emails, set up meetings, and close deals.

Identify and become a member of at least 2 organizations that will help build my network to reach our customers.  If you have any suggestions on what organizations to join I would love to hear them!

Convince some great companies to advertise with us.  If I can demonstrate a significant increase in users (SEO please work!) of our applications, I believe those advertisers who want to reach new parents and caregivers that are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, changing diapers, taking medicine, pumping, and trying to get some priceless, precious sleep would be *extremely* interested.  Plus with our planned new applications that audience widens and deepens.

Find great people to help make it happen!  Must find great people.  Must find great people!  Key team additions needed are 1) Experienced Senior Product Manager with strong technical skills to manage products from design to implementation to market and 2) Experienced Internet Partnership, Social Media & Ad Sales Manager (does such a person even exist?).  Must find great people!

Personal Goals

Lose 5 pounds.  I will eat less and exercise more.

Take Yoga classes.  I will locate, sign up, and attend classes.  Anyone have any recommendations for instructors in the Austin, Texas area?

Laugh more.  I will find more funny and fun people to hang out with. :-)

Be less concerned with what other people think.  This will probably be the hardest one for me to accomplish and the hardest to measure.  Worrying about what people think of me, my decisions, my company, my appearance, my parenting, my words, etc. sometimes unduly stresses me out and takes up way too much energy that should be devoted elsewhere.  I’m not alone in this issue.  I’ve seen many bloggers write about it but more women than men which may be a result of our society or more likely Oprah.  I will work to drastically reduce the negative self talk in my head.  I think Yoga will help me with this goal.

My Personal Goals are mostly in my control.  I decide what to eat.  I decide when/how to exercise, etc.  I decide when to pick up the phone and sign up for a Yoga class.  

Achieving the Business Goals, on the other hand, are less in my control.  I can do everything right but if the angel investors don’t understand or care for the market or market need I’m addressing then funding sources might not be available.  If the stock market crashes and everyone quits investing then, c’est la vie.  If the funding doesn’t come through then I won’t be able to hire great people, etc., etc.  I believe I have the most control over establishing additional partnerships and joining organizations but that’s what I believe right now on January 1, 2008.  As the Internet has proven, things change at the speed of each new thought!

What are your goals?  Feel free to leave a comment here and/or leave a link back to your blog to where you posted your 2008 thoughts.

If you’d like to see if I meet my goals (or even heckle me – I don’t mind as long as its funny and helps me with my Laugh More goal :-) ) subscribe to this blog’s feed and share your wonderful thoughts with me.

Happy New Year Blogosphere!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby sleep, blogging, breastfeeding, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, Just For Fun, random stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »