Travel Goal: Contemplate Geography

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I find myself increasingly thinking about settling down.  This year, I want to think about what qualities are important in the place where I put down roots.  I like sunshine and warm weather, but would give up some good weather if the place rocked.   I don’t want to learn a new language, so it has to be a French, Spanish, English, or German-speaking country.

Safety issues are important; high crime rates are a drag.  Cost of living is a concern–to a point.  I prefer mid-sized cities with cultural resources, kick-ass music and good internet connectivity.  A developed public transportation is important.  Access to other interesting cities is critical.  For example, Sante Fe is nice, but the next serious cultural center is too much of a hike.  The South of Spain and France are attractive.  I also feel a growing urge to talk a year and travel slowly through the U.S.

My main travel goal this year is to contemplate geography.  I have a lot to think about.  Ready, aim, fire.  Make it happen.  Yeah!

Financial Goals

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My revenue goals for 2018 for my research business are to 1) refresh my website, facebook page and linked-in page and 2) Expand my client base, including the supplier-side as well as client-side of the research business.   I would also like to explore offering a cooking class.   Don’t want a full-time gig, though.  It’s all about balance.

On the investment side, I want to invest more aggressively, especially if the market corrects.  (as Rothschild said, “The time to invest is when blood is running in the street.”)

Regarding minimizing expenses, I’m already pretty good at that!

 

 

 

2018 Physical Goals

Physical Goals

Quite simple.   1) Study Salsa and Tango twice a week, 2) Dance with the Ecstatic Dance Community, 3) Stretch every other day, be able to do the splits again (almost there) 4) Lift Weights when I have the time, 5) Walk everyday, and 6) Replace one meal with a salad or veggies and eat one piece of fruit a day.  No weight goals this year.  I am strong and fit and healthy.  I like my body.  Not into being a size 2.

Girl in a Hammock

 

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Bella
Pablo Neruda

Bella,
como en la piedra fresca
del manantial, el agua
abre un ancho relámpago de espuma,
así es la sonrisa en tu rostro,
bella.

Bella,
de finas manos y delgados pies
como un caballito de plata,
andando, flor del mundo,
así te veo,
bella.

Bella,
con un nido de cobre enmarañado
en tu cabeza, un nido
color de miel sombría
donde mi corazón arde y reposa,
bella.

Bella,
no te caben los ojos en la cara,
no te caben los ojos en la tierra.
Hay países, hay ríos
en tus ojos,
mi patria está en tus ojos,
yo camino por ellos,
ellos dan luz al mundo
por donde yo camino,
bella.

Bella,
tus senos son como dos panes hechos
de tierra cereal y luna de oro,
bella.

Bella,
tu cintura
la hizo mi brazo como un río cuando
pasó mil años por tu dulce cuerpo,
bella.

Bella,
no hay nada como tus caderas,
tal vez la tierra tiene
en algún sitio oculto
la curva y el aroma de tu cuerpo,
tal vez en algún sitio,
bella.

Bella, mi bella,
tu voz, tu piel, tus uñas,
bella, mi bella,
tu ser, tu luz, tu sombra,
bella,
todo eso es mío, bella,
todo eso es mío, mía,
cuando andas o reposas,
cuando cantas o duermes,
cuando sufres o sueñas,
siempre,
cuando estás cerca o lejos,
siempre,
eres mía, mi bella,
siempre.

Creative Goals

Photography: 1 ) Go on three photoshoots in Mexico with other photographers, 2) Take three classes in composite photography; 3) Publish a book of photography and writing from the past five years of traveling,       4) Set up a professional website and have cards printed, 5) Exhibit work in a photo gallery, 6) Purchase a larger monitor and more powerful computer and 7) Explore acquiring a drone.

Painting: Complete four pieces. (One done)

Dance: 1) Latin dance classes twice a week; 2) Participate in ecstatic dance community, 3) install a dance mirror (done) and ballet bar at home.

Writing: 1) blog regularly; 2) Join a writer’s group; 3) publish a book of travel photography and writing, and 4) take a class on Food writing.

Food: 1) take a cooking class; 2) give a cooking class, and 3) explore food writing.

Touching the Mystery

I am taking an online course with the secular Buddhist thought-leader Stephen Batchelor.  I like that Batchelor transforms the Four Nobel Truths into the Four Calls to Action he calls ELSA: Embrace Life, Let it Go, Stop and Think, Act Not React.

The first session focused on how meditation helps us embrace life.  Breathing and watching our thoughts is a way to open up the world and create more clarity of vision.  During meditation, we look inside and ask over and over “What is going on?” Meditation gets us out of the gated community of our comfort zone.  We sit with the mysterious mess of life, with the humility of not knowing, observing, and letting go of the ideas, comparisons, certainties and convictions which flatten our world.  Meditation sensitizes us.  As we develop the ability to see with more depth, the world becomes more luminous and mysterious, simultaneously more comic and tragic, and much more precious and fragile.   The are moments on the cushion which are simply breathtaking.

Only one thing is certain: this life will end.  What is uncertain is when.  This knowledge makes today, and this very moment, more precious.  This knowledge motivates us to live fully.  This knowledge calls us to be of service to others, so that they may live more fully, too.

Intellectual Goals

Este año, tengo dos objectivos: perfeccionar mi español y manténgar fluidez con francés. He llegado a un nivel de español donde necesito usarlo más que estudiar la gramática. Entonces, este año mi enfoque será pasar más tiempo con los mexicanos y menos con los gringos, leer un libro en español al mes, mirar una película en español dos veces a la semana, dar algunas presentaciones públicas a la Universidad de León, tomar un clase enseñando en español en algunas temas que me interese (arte, baile, cocinar, meditación, matemática, etc.), y de ESCRIBIR en español. (Soy muy débil) Talvez, más tarde en el año, tome un clase de gramática.

C’est la même chose por le français, mais la objectif es secondaire à l’espanol: parler, ecouter, et lire. La difference est que l’écriture est moins importante.

 

If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him

Over the years, I have gradually reduced the need for all manner of outer symbols of spiritual practice.  I just ordered this sculpture for the shrine.  A flower and two candles are all that is needed.  Strip it down.  Sit on the cushion.  Quiet the mind.  Shhh…

Spiritual Goals

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I have three goals this year: meditate, study and practice.  March is meditation month.  I meditate nearly every day and have opened the house to other practitioners.  I also enrolled in Stephen Batchelor’s online study course.  Batchelor is a well-known thought leader among Agnostic Buddhists.

Practice areas are pragmatic:  the Kashanti Paramita (the practice of patience), Lojong slogan training and service to others (specifically, the Photography Gallery which serves photographers in SMA. )  The 56 Logong slogans are pithy and to the point.  Today’s slogan for me is “Don’t expect applause”, which I always change to “Don’t expect a birthday cake.”  It means practice with no thought of reward, just see what happens.