The Lady in Number 6.

Happy Holy Thursday.

Not to brag or anything, but this has been the best lent I’ve ever had. By some divine grace,  I was made aware of something in my life that in and of itself is good, beautiful, inspiring, but had caused a great deal of envy develop in my soul. I gave up looking at blogs as I said before (almost 40 days ago). It has been so freeing. It has taken away so much of my desire for material goods, given me more time to be present in my actual life and I compare myself less to others and what others have that I don’t.

Strangely it makes my eyes tear up at the thought of it. I’ve built in place of it a practice of gratitude for what I have and asking God to come into the places of my day where He was missing. I am so grateful that I listened to that little voice that popped into my head the day before Ash Wednesday.

Anyway, I watched this little documentary a week ago called The Lady in Number 6. It was incredible.

It’s only 40 minutes and can be downloaded here or watched on Netflix.

Let’s find joy amongst the suffering this Holy Week.

Love,

erica copy

No Green Beer for me this Year.

I’ve been pretty vocal about quitting drinking. I quit for mainly two reasons.

1) It was getting in the way of me getting to heaven. That’s where I’d like to end up and I saw reoccurring negative behaviors that could be stopped more easily if alcohol was not involved.

2) It was getting in the way of me having a healthy relationship with a man.

So, I was really honored when my friend approached me to write an article for Verily Magazine about the relationship between dating and drinking. Read it here!

What has been your experience?

xxx, erica copy

Let All You Do.

Just mailed off my first commissioned print! Thanks, Janet, for asking me to do this for you. It is a great reminder to us all.

let all you do2

I’ve been reading a lot of writings by Anthony de Mello, an Jesuit Indian priest. I first read him my last semester at DePaul (which finished this week 4 years ago!!) while taking a class for half a credit to be able to graduate. I remember it rocking my world, but years later could never remember his name to find more of his work. Long story short, I stumbled across it again and wow! I am just devouring it.

He writes, “You must not think for love to arise in your heart, you must first meet people. That would not be love but attraction or compassion. Rather it is love that first springs in the heart through your contact with the Real. Not love for any particular person or thing but the reality of love–an attitude, a disposition of love. This love then radiates outward to the world of things and persons.”

At another point he writes, “How we despise the man whose choice of his wife is determined not by any quality she may have but by the amount of money she will bring as dowry. Such a man, we rightly say, loves not the woman but the financial benefit she brings him. But is your own love any different when  you seek the company of those who bring you emotional gratification and avoid those who don’t; when  you are positively disposed toward people who give you what you want and live up to your expectations and are negative or indifferent toward those who don’t?”

Ah! How much easier it is for me to love the things that bring me enjoyment–calligraphy, reading, riding my bike– and to hate the things that are mundane–going to work, cooking, cleaning. But love is not based on feelings! Love abounds from within. I am trying so hard to stay aware of this.

Then de mello goes on to say, “Love so enjoys the loving that it is blissfully unaware of itself. The way the lamp is busy shining with no thought of whether it is benefiting others or not. The way a rose gives out its fragrance simply because there is nothing else it can do, whether there is someone to enjoy the fragrance or not. The way the tree offers its shade. The light, the fragrance and the shade are not produced at the approach of persons and turned off when there is no one there. These things, like love, exist independently of persons.”

I’m going to stop myself before I type out the entire book. You should just read it in its entirety on your own! The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello.

I send my love to you, erica copy

Lent.

LiviaMy spiritual director suggested I give up men for lent. I said, “sure,” pretty easily since there aren’t any to immediately give up and I know how much anxiety I create around my male relationships. So that was has been the plan leading up to tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, for those of you who don’t know. I was going to couple that with praying the rosary or something. (Not to mention that giving up men would be like giving up diet coke, which I haven’t even had in over two months–something I love, but hasn’t been a part of my life in a while).

Until today. I was sitting at work and a new thought entered my mind. Just as quickly as it came, I wanted to erase the thought–erase any future thought. I had a new idea and I immediately said, “no, I can’t do that. That would be impossible.” Which, as we all know, means it is exact thing that we should be giving up during the time of lent. A difficult sacrifice and something that helps us grow.

I’m going to give up looking at blogs–the kinds of blogs that I go to for daily inspiration and reprieve from my day. It seems like a pretty harmless activity except that it has become a habit that fills me with envy and a desire for more more more. Sure, sometimes I use it to inspire me to make something, but that always comes out as copying. Instead of going to a museum, I’d rather spend my day on the couch clicking on my computer. I use them to write my own blog, which creates pretty mundane blog posts.

Blogs in and of themselves are not bad. That’s why I love them, but I’ve gotten a little overboard and find that I quit looking for inspiration in my every day. I love all the quotes on the internet, but I’m sure I could find just as many inspirational quotes in a good memoir or poem. I will be more free of the idea that I need more fashionable clothing and in turn more money to buy such things.

My brain tried to make the excuse that I wouldn’t be able to find recipes of what to cook, but was quickly refuted with the idea that we actually have an entire shelf of cookbooks! I’m not against good articles, things that make me think, but will focus more on the plethora of images that leave me feeling “not enough.” My apartment is not decorated enough, my blog is not cool enough, my clothes are not updated enough, my job is not enough.

So here’s to a lent of finding the One who says that my life is beyond enough. A lent being inspired by the every day (like Livia pictured above at our slumber party this weekend)!

What are you doing this lent?

United in Him,
E

Friday Favorites.

It’s been another weird week for me since I took Thursday off and actually kept my promise to lay on the couch all day–easier said than done for me. But it made my leg feel so much better. Can’t wait for the work day to be over so that I can rest some more. I so badly want to do things tomorrow, but I know it’ll be better if I keep my feet up for one more weekend.

These lovely things are cheering me up! What are you going to do?friday favorites

1. I want this shirt and hair and glasses via Le Fashion / 2. so it goes by Lifestyle & Living / 3. White vases via La maison d’Anna / 4. wow, this man makes my heart thud.

friday favorites5. Cool organizer using hangers on Apartment Therapy! / 6. This office on Decor Dot / 7. amazing Maybelle calligraphy interview on Besotted / 8. I want ALL of these dresses by Sonnet James (but as my friend pointed out, they’d be even better if they had pockets. Maybe I’ll need that fanny pack after all)

friday favorites9. Austin home tour via domainehome

Happy birthday to my dearest cousin, Gillean tomorrow. Wish I could be with you to celebrate!!

xxx,erica copy

A little dose of reality.

I have been paralyzed lately. Unsatisfied with so many choices that I cannot act. I find monotonus and most days I don’t have enough to do–even after telling my boss that I need more to do. That’s what I get for an entry level position. But somewhere along the way (maybe when I was 5), I became fearful. I graduated from high school with so much hope. In fact, I graduated college with so much hope. I was sure I’d do something big with my life.

I had this idea that after giving up a year and a half to serve the poorest of the poor, everything would be handed to me–set out for me to swoop up. All I got was challenge after challenge. And many days I’ve been really pissed off about that. The other day I texted my dad that I was so afraid of not doing anything with my life. That fear has paralyzed me. I keep hearing “do what you love” and I surely do not love my job. So it leaves me unsatisfied. Shouldn’t I be doing something that moves me to get out of bed every day?

Then today, I read this article, “Why Generation Y Yuppies are unhappy.” In contrast to the feel good articles that I’m used to reading, this article actually left me feeling happy. It was what Oprah would call an “ah-ha” moment. Maybe it was because it put me in my place. It made me realize that I have a lot of work to do and that maybe my expectations were setting me up to be unhappy–how could I expect enough money to pay the exuberant price of NYC rent, pay off student loans, keep my closet stocked with the newest fashion trends and travel to exotic places–AND love my job. (right now I only manage two of those). I’ve been going about this all wrong!!

Of course I loved the article so much, that I clicked the related story at the bottom entitled, “How to Pick Your Life Partner–Part 1” and “Part 2.” The advice of waiting for the universe to plop the right man into my life has only left me with distress. All single people should read this series.

when it comes to dating, society frowns upon thinking too much about it, instead opting for things like relying on fate, going with your gut, and hoping for the best. If a business owner took society’s dating advice for her business, she’d probably fail, and if she succeeded, it would be partially due to good luck—and that’s how society wants us to approach dating.

I may have fallen prey to this too many times

shallow

I haven’t exactly been actively looking for a life partner and tend to just accept whomever walks into my life, even if I feel it is not right. I thought that’s how it worked. I do believe everyone comes into our lives for a reason, but I should remember that not every man that bumps into me is a right match and I should follow these guidelines a little better.

What do you think? Do you agree with these points? Would you argue against it?

I’m trying to remember that

b45457880f62be56f45f1184bbc92cd9And what I no longer want to allow is unhappiness. If

Happiness= reality – expectation,

then,b5ee0bb1ebcb05a782bdf3b1cf28d82d xxx,