Monday, September 2, 2013

Getting into a Zen place....in Vietnam



Scene from 'Something's Gotta Give'

Erica ( Diane Keaton):

"Okay, I can handle this.

I'll just get myself into a Zen place.

Play music. Cook. Write. Focus."

Diane Keaton here


This week I have been working on getting myself into a Zen place. I imagine many of you are as well. It's that time of year.  The time when you wonder how you can possibly accomplish all the tasks before you. That's when I have my 'Erica moment'. I go in search of the Zen place...the place where you take a deep breath and say "right, I can do this".  I want to thank many of you for being part of that deep breath. I appreciated your comments last week as I slipped in and out of my jet lag fog from Tahilla Farm in the USA to Chateau Mango in Vietnam. I am happy to report that the fog has lifted and I have found my Zen place.


My Zen place mantras...


Exercise.

 here

Post ice cream exercise to be exact.
I have stepped up the exercise in a big way.
I admit I have this slight weakness...
for Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream
Hence the exercise.
(Thankfully, they do not sell Coffee Heath Bar Crunch in Vietnam)



Sleep.


I loved my summer cover from Rough Linen so much 
that I brought it back to Saigon with me. 
You can read all about it here.



Cook.


I love Vietnamese food and decided to take a Vietnamese cooking 
lesson at one of my favourite restaurants in Saigon, Hoa Tuc here



Music.

I discovered Philip Phillips song, 'Home'..and my Zen place.
 here





Shop.


A trip to one of my favourite haunts is a sure way
to get the creative energies flowing again.
I love that anything and everything goes in Vietnam.



Read.

I left Tahilla Farm with an untethered soul,
a desire to listen to stone and plan an intimate garden.
Perfect reading when looking for a Zen place.


Write.

I found an old typewriter in my travels and best of all.. it works.
Type..write..perfect when looking for a Zen place.


Focus.

Fred...my sunshine?


I admit that is a little difficult to focus with Fred on my mind.
Have I told you about Fred? Mr. H discovered him in Papua New Guinea,
 At first sight, I had a few other words for him other than 'Fred'. 
I figure if I have to live with him, I might as well keep it simple.
He has been sleeping in a crate for the past five years...until now. 

Bringing Fred into my Zen space is proving challenging.
I think the barn space would be better...but I will keep trying.
:)

here

How about you? 
How do you get into your Zen place?



41 comments:

  1. I love your intentional transition.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  2. I LOVE this post, Jeanne...this is a favourite song of mine at the moment...they're playing it a lot on the radio here :-) and Something's Gotta Give...well how many times have I watched this film...Diane Keaton is fabulous in it and Keanu Reeves....well...speechless :-)
    Have a great week.
    xx

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    1. Catherine...a movie that keeps on giving! Best wishes... xx

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  3. Lovely post! I really enjoyed reading it...
    Have a great week!
    Ciao, Bette
    http://bettesblues.blogspot.fi/

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    Replies
    1. Same to you Babette..thank you for stopping by! :)

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  4. I loved you had "exercise" with a picture of Ben and Jerry's. Ice cream is my salve for "I had a really rotten day" . I am hoping to get back to my yoga, my writing and my routine. Preparing for tomorrow has taken all my energy the last three or four weeks. It sounds like you have a great plan. Glad to hear you have healed from jet lag. Have a wonderful week.
    Hugs, Bonnie

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    Replies
    1. So glad you 'get' the ice cream dilemma Bonnie. Your Zen place sounds wonderful to me..hope all goes well for you big day! xx

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  5. Jeanne, Vietnamese fresh rolls are my favourite. Your Vietnamese cooking class looks so interesting and yummy. I like that song "Home" too. It's so soulful,

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    1. Vietnamese fresh are my favourite too Pamela. I am having them for dinner tonight.
      Soulful is the best.... xx

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  6. This post made me smile, Jeanne...so happy you are finding your zen back in Vietnam.

    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sandy...feels good to get it back.. xx

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  7. My zen place?...just followed you through yours, what a fabulous post.
    Adding Philip Phillips to my listening list too
    love it x

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  8. oh that rough linen! i want it all! those table clothes! and that pinafore! i wonder if they ship to paris? :)
    just finished The Chaperone and Atonement..loved both..waiting to receive Untethered Soul..and i listen to Home while cooking. love that song.
    so happy you're settling back in. we are too xo

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    Replies
    1. So glad to hear you are getting your 'groove' back too Pam. I listened to The Chaperone via CD on a long car ride and it was great. It was read by Elizabeth McGovern of Downton Abbey fame, it was great! Atonement was totally captivating, not sure which I enjoyed more, the book or the movie. I think you will enjoy The Untethered Soul...lots to think about. xx

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  9. 1. Good to hear you are back on track.
    2. I like the movie particularly Erica...D.K. is a great actor.
    3. You did so many things in a couple of days and call it ZEN?
    4. At least you had a handsome guy "Fred" on your side. Mine is similar but has no name
    yet.
    5. Zen...for me it was a seminar where I was meditating and not speaking for 1 week. Hard but the best I had ever done for my soul...unfortunatelly it didn't last long when I went back in my daily life. It was called "Vipashana".
    6. Enjoy HCM even it is sometimes strange for strangers.

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    Replies
    1. Rena...I am fascinated by your experience with 'Viashana'. I thought I was branching out by wanting to get into Tai Chi...no speaking for a whole week...is like transcending into another world! You brave woman! xx

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  10. Oh, I forgot to let you know that I loaded down "Home" it's a song which goes under my skin...and the idea of the cooking class. Like to join you, because Vietnamese food is much better than Thai food. LOL

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    Replies
    1. Agree..the song makes me want to push 'play' over and over again. I love the simple flavours of Vietamese food..so different to Thai (which I enjoy too). :)

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  11. My zen place is found after riding the tractor around. I've found that I'm better able to focus inside after spending some time outside. So sorry I missed meeting you when you were here but come back in the winter/spring months that's slower pace for me...summer is always a crazy time.

    XXX
    Debra~

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    Replies
    1. Debra...you are a woman after my own heart. A tractor! Love it! Agree with your thoughts on summer, it was madness for me..lovely, but madness. I look forward to exploring PB during the others seasons as well...especially autumn. We will meet one day, I am sure of it! xx

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  12. I LOVE FRED!Poor Fred hidden away for five years!He is the ZEN!Just past by him and give him a touch and there you have it a lifted soul and a skip to your day!You ask how i get my ZEN.........I ZEN A LOT!Mostly by going out into my garden of 265 roses and other assorted plants and leave the "HOUSEWORK" for another day!

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    1. Contessa...you have made Fred so so happy, I am sure of it! Loving the notion of your 265 roses...Zen heaven!

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  13. as phillips says "Know you are not alone" + Thanks for the introduction to his music + yeah for shopping! + cooking those are my zen places xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Peggy...lovely to hear you have the same Zen places. xx

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  14. I turn the TV channel to Soundscapes and go to my sewing machine to make quilt squares. Early morning walks in the dark will do it, too :)

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    1. music. sewing. walking...sounds perfect Becky... xx

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  15. .. what a great post, I thoroughly enjoyed it. As always, your photos are very special.

    Last night I played "Something's Gotta Give" for maybe the hundredth time. I don't know, tried to explain it this am. It's not just DK's great acting, but there is so much decorator eye candy ... just a lot of eye candy in general.

    Love your blog ...

    Karen in CT ... now VA

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen...and I get the part about playing it over and over again. I have two DVD's in our home in Saigon. When I moved to Tahilla Farm for the summer I realised I did not have any DVDs and decided to pick up a few for those occasions when you need them. The fist one into my basket was 'Something's Gotta Give'. My 13 year old son was with me and said..."But Mom...you have two DVD's back home" to which I replied.. "...it's a Mom thing" . Works every time... :) xx

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  16. Oh my goodness Jeanne, Fred is going to give me nightmares! I think you might get into a zen place with him around if you put a bag over his head. My husband has a large collection of similar things and lucky for me he has them all contained in a huge theater/library/study.

    I love all of your ideas for getting into a zen place. I am working on that myself...from now until March my life is on a fast track.

    I hope that you have a fabulous week!

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    Replies
    1. Elizabeth...the funny thing about Fred is that he is growing on me. When I am in the house alone...I think of him scaring off any would be intruders. I know he would, if he could. My ever faithful Fred...we have an understanding...he should not be offended if I put him in a closet. :) xx

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  17. I absolutely LOVE Phillip Phillips too, and this post is wonderful. Thank you so much for the comment about the e-zine. I totally agree. I think we've already proven our market. All I need is the final concept and we're there. Thank you again!!!!

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  18. Marsha...with the group of clever and talented women you have signed up...you can not go wrong! xx

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  19. Hi Jeanne - I found it easy to be in my Zen place when visiting Vietnam, seemed to come naturally, and the fabulous food, such as in your cooking class photo sure helped! Meanwhile back here it's harder, always so much requiring attention, except when away on a trip. Last week I felt it sitting at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, gazing out across the Blue Ridge Mtns., sipping a glass of excellent chilled NZ Sauvignon as the sun dropped behind the ridge. 'L'heure bleue' filled me with peace and thankfulness for the moment.

    Happy week - wherever you are - and thanks for Philip's music, he's adorable.

    Mary

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    Replies
    1. I think you had the right idea Mary..mountain views and chilled NZ Sauvignon...my favourite! xx

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  20. You touch the beautiful places for your Zen and you have the tropics.

    I walk to the river and contemplate.

    Thank you for Phillips. I enjoy his music.

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  21. I adore Phillip Phillips..I so want to learn more about Vietnamese cooking via you...

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    Replies
    1. Big task Cindy...I am working on it.. xx

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  22. Leslie in Portland, OregonMonday, September 09, 2013

    I got into my Zen place by spending five recent days on the shores of, and in, Wallowa Lake, on the northern edge of the Wallowa Mountains in the northeast corner of Oregon. Spending at least two hours each day swimming in the clear, pure waters with my Golden Retriever paddling alongside (and, one day, four otters frolicking about 40 feet ahead as we swam down the lake), and playing or otherwise relaxing the rest of the time in a clean, quiet, charming, rustic cabin camp at lake's edge, was so peaceful, so energizing. Solitude or great company, gorgeous starry nights...I've rarely felt better! Thanks for asking.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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