Monday, November 7, 2011

The Gift Of Giving

Someone asked me recently, "How do you do it? Where do you find the time to give so much of yourself?"  I laughed and responded, "I'm not sure that I give enough!"

In truth, I always feel like I don't have enough time and that there is more I would like to do. If anything, I wish I had more time!

What I have learned is that I get great personal satisfaction from giving of myself and I truly believe it is one of the reasons I feel so fortunate. I believe being a giver explains why I'm a happy person.

There is very little in life that upsets me!

I started the practice of giving, really giving, many years ago.

For starters, I find a way to give every day, every moment, and every chance I have. I look  for opportunities to give. And giving doesn't necessarily mean money. It can be our time, a smile, a hug, a positive thought about someone, or sending good vibes out into the universe in the form of a prayer or truly wishing the very best for someone with a sincere heart.

It can mean something so simple as sending a text to someone and wishing them a great day! Or surprising someone with a card or giving that extra change at the bottom of my wallet to a homeless person.

It is important to give with a pure heart and with no take backs or regrets! I have learned to do this on a very regular basis so that it has becomes a way of life and to do it all anonymously.

Giving also means knowing when to allow someone else to bless us by accepting their gift of giving.  Too often, we keep others from receiving a blessing by not accepting their wanting to do a nice deed for us.

Giving with no personal agenda is the purest way to give cause it is not about us, it's about putting others first. 

Isn't that the goal? To put others first? Isn't that the greatest expression of giving? I think so!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Man VS Ants

So the day started off with me realizing that I made a huge mistake last night before going to bed. I threw an empty bag of sugar into the trash can underneath the kitchen sink.

Lord have mercy! We woke up to the largest sugar ant infestation I have ever seen!

Well, my husband, being the manly man that he is, saw this as an all get out battle cry! It was on!

Now mind you, this was about 5:45 am in the morning when we discovered our kitchen had been invaded by this army of black ants!

So the first thing my husband did was grab an orange from the fridge and cut it up with the dullest knife he could find, which was not hard to do as we both agree that we have no sharp knives in our house. So after attempting to stab the orange to death, he managed to finally get an orange peel and exclaimed with excitement, "Oh, this will get 'EM," as he held the orange peel in the air waving it!

He proceeded to rub the peel on a portion of the wall to throw their scent off!

All it did was disperse them! They walked around the area he had rubbed the peel on. Almost as if in defiance. My husband swore they were doing the Dougie as if to tease my husband! Well, this did not set well with my now somewhat offended husband! SCORE: Man - 0. Ants - 1

My husband's next game plan was to set out the ant traps we had stored away by placing them in strategic places. He even attempted to use a push pin to stick them on one section of the wall to no avail. The trap fell on the floor.

It was at this point that I overheard my husband speaking to the ants, "Oh, you think that's funny huh?"

That's when my husband pulled out his GhostBuster outfit! This is when the real battle began!

He went all gangster on the ants and grabbed a paper towel and actually started killing them and yelling, "Take that! Oh you think just cause there is only one of me and you outnumber me that you're going to beat me?"

By this time he had basically called out these ants and they were on the attack jumping on him! He swore they were wearing little capes and they were carrying mini swords and were out to get him! SCORE: Man - 0. Ants - 2

Well, three hours later, the trail of ants had subsided but they were not giving up! They were still in hot pursuit of the bag of sugar that had been thrown away hours earlier! And they came back!

But this time, they came back with a vengeance and re-enforcements!

So, my husband challenged them and pulled out a bottle of Scrubbing Bubble cleaner! "This ought to do it," he said! And proceeded to spray them like a mad man!

(Everytime I walked by, I just nodded my head. Where does my husband come up with this stuff?)

Well it didn't work! It just made them more fierce and charge in more persistently but my husband took out quite a bit of ants this round. SCORE: Man - 1 Ants - 2

So here were are twelve hours later and these ants are not retreating! My husband swears they are hiding somewhere reorganizing and trying to outsmart him!

My husband decided to retreat and pull out his white flag...for today. He's up to something. He never gives up!

I'm pulling out a big bowl of sugar and inviting the ants to pull out their mini lawn chairs, their teeny tiny sunglasses and letting them enjoy a dip in the sugar bowl.

Knowing my husband, this ain't over! He will stay up tonight scheming and planning his attack in the morning. These ants are in for a real fight!

And these ants! They are serious about sugar!

Who was it that said, a little sugar goes a long way? Boy, they weren't kidding!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Price Tag

So, I'm stumped!

I cannot figure out why my 12 year old daughter is so opposed to our family purchasing nice items or acquiring things she perceives as too costly.

She had an adverse reaction recently when I just went 'window shopping' for a Coach handbag.

Mind you, I have 'one' already.

I have a total of three handbags. Only one is a Coach! The other two are not expensive.

The other night the family went to price a new watch for dad. We spotted a really nice one - a Bulova.

She was so uncomfortable in the jewelry store! The whole time she kept saying, "That's too much!"

Tonight we announced that we have a professional cleaning lady coming in tomorrow to give us a quote on what they would charge to clean our home. My daughter got so upset that she was moved to tears!


Don't get me wrong. We appreciate her being frugal and not insisting on having brand name clothing.

Our family had to explain to her that sometimes it is better to pay a little more for quality.

We also explained that we do work very hard and on occasion, it really is okay to reward oneself.

What we can't figure out is why she is so opposed to our family having really nice things.

So I asked her why it bothers her so much.

She said that she is afraid to be perceived as being rich.


A. We are not rich!

B. If we were, why would that bother her?

C. Why does she think being rich is a bad thing?

D. What am I missing here?

I need some time on the meditation cushion to figure this one out!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nun Experience

Last weekend I entered a monastery for three days as a Buddhist Nun at the Thai Buddhist Temple Of America in Ontario, CA. This was the second time for me to do so at that particular temple.

My days were spent in prayer, sitting meditation, chanting and helping around the temple.

When I entered last time, there were four nuns. This time, there was only one nun. I must admit, it was really nice just the two of us.

Did I mention she spoke no English and I speak very little to no Thai? We made an interesting pair. We used a lot of hand motions. And yet, we completely understood each other. Not being able to really talk to each other also forced me to basically take a vow of silence.

I discovered that I hum incessantly! Which is a no no when you take the nun's precepts. That's right, no makeup, no perfume, no music, no dancing, no sleeping on a high bed, no radio, no TV, and only one meal a day. We are not even allowed to have any money!

Everything in life seems to slow down while in the monastery. Which is really nice with my fast-paced life.

I went there specifically to slow myself down and center myself. Strangely enough, it took me about eight hours that first day that I went in just to get to that point of complete peace and solitude. Wow!I had no idea I was carrying so much!

I came out rejuvenated not only physically but also metally. I am grateful for the practice and was reinspired to spend more time in sitting meditation.

I want to say a special thanks to my family for supporting my spiritual journey. I mentioned to my husband that I look forward to the day that I can enter the monastery for a longer period of time. He jokingly responded,"Two days of your not preparing our meals is long enough!"

Well at least I 'think' he was joking.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The dictionary defines commitment as a pledge or undertaking. For me it is both and so much more.

Our production company is embarking on our third movie project which goes into production this summer, June 13th to be exact.

This morning in our daily meeting, my husband (who is a producer and director on the project with me), asked me, "Dianna, are you fully committed to this project?"

And immediately, I knew where he was going with his questioning.

He went on to say, "I know that when YOU commit to something, there's no stopping you!"

My answer was a resounding, "YES!"

He then went on to ask, "Are we shooting a movie this summer?"

Again, with a deep conviction and resolve, I responded, "YES, we are!"

In all honesty, I AM ready! I'm ready mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Moviemaking is not for the faint of heart so I appreciate my husband's confidence in me.

I am fully committed.

And he's right. When I do make up my mind there is no turning back.

For me, and some have laughed at this analogy, it is like brining a child into the world. Once conception occurs, get ready cause the baby's coming!! And if I treat the project as such, somehow he and I make it happen.

In this case, at least I know the due date! Now, all I have to do is work backwards and get everything ready for that date!

So when my husband asks me if I'm committed, what he is really asking me is, "Are you going to make this happen Dianna?"

And it's not as if he's expecting me to do all the work to get us into production and through production. He is very involved as he enjoys the moviemaking process as much as I do.

So, am I going to make this happen? He has no idea how far along I am in the pregnancy. I am so ready to drop this baby!

This project is very dear to our hearts as it was written by my husband with information being fed to him by some of my zany shenanigans!

The idea came to us several years ago on our first film project back in 2004.

So commitment is not only a pledge and undertaking for me, it is breathing life and giving life to to this project that has been brewing for quite some time.

We are ready to share our story; a story of survival and doing what it takes to keep it all together when things seem to be falling apart. It is a story of staying committed to yourself and your values, your ideals as well as staying committed to those you love no matter how tough life might get.

I know that this movie will touch hearts. And strangely enough it is a movie about commitment.

So, am I fully committed?

I have never stopped being committed. I've just been waiting on things outside of my control to fall into place. How foolish of me. Since when did I need permission to follow my own bliss?

Commitment only requires one action - a decision. To either do or do not.

I choose to do.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mindful Holiness

Right before the beginning of the new year, I went on a personal sabbatical.

I didn't really go anywhere in particular. I merely set myself apart from mindless activity such as watching TV and made a conscious effort to remain mindful and focus on holiness. And not only focus on it but to find a way to put holiness into action.

I used this downtime for deep meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Instead of watching TV, I read inspirational books. I read everything from the Bible to Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam.

It was during this time that I discovered mindful holiness. The act of being mindful of each moment and concentrating on holiness and just being holy. And what it means to be holy.

In essence it is what Buddhist refer to as Right Concentration, Right Mindfulness, Right Effort, and Right Action.

It boils down to total awareness in every moment and acting appropriately in each moment.

The result of putting mindful holiness into practice has been astounding!

I have never, ever, felt closer to God, to life, and to people! There is no separation from me and God and others. I can only define it as complete unity with the universe.

And not only that but things seem to be coming to me so much easier such as money, solving problems, getting the things we need, making things come to fruition and so on. Things seem almost effortless.

But, the single greatest benefit from practicing mindful holiness by far is the sheer joy and bliss that I have discovered! I haven't laughed this much ever before! And I laugh a lot!

Now I get why God in the the Christian Bible urges everyone to, "Be holy for I am holy."

God is not up in heaven pointing His finger down at us and bullying us to be holy!

He is lovingly wooing us to be holy and to be mindful of every action we do for our own good so that we can experience His very best continually without cessation.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Error Of My Silly Thoughts

The other day I had probably one of the silliest thoughts I have ever had! Of course at the time, I thought it made perfect sense.

Sad thing was, I put it out in the universe and my husband picked it up.

I was in one of those reflective moods and I mentioned to my husband that I wished I had made better choices/decisions in my younger years.

My husband sat there for a beat and then asked, "You know that if you had, we might not be sitting here together right now?"

I sat there baffled for a moment. Contemplating exactly what my husband was saying and where he was going with his train of thought.

He went on to add, "If you had, we might not have ever met nor have had the wonderful children we've been blessed with."

Again, I sat there quietly wondering what my life would be without my children and my husband. And a sadness came over me. Tears (which I tried to hide from my husband) began to well up in my eyes and I got a big knot in my stomach. My heart felt as if it were being torn apart and ripped right out of me!

Immediately, I repented of such foolishness! (Silently in my heart to God!)

As I sat there and thought about it more, I could not help but honestly ask myself, "Really Dianna? What would you have done differently?"

More importantly, how crazy is it to live in a world of woulda, coulda, shouldas? It is what it is! Get over yourself Dianna!

Somebody slap me!!!

As my husband and I talked more about these 'choices/decisions' it was apparent to both of us that it was just OLD GUILT that I was still lugging around weighing me down. Guilt that was keeping me from TOTALLY moving forward. It wasn't the decisions at all!

Ah, the mind can play such silly tricks on us if we are not diligent and fully mindful.

Silly old me! I am feeling much lighter today!