I don't follow any organized religion & consider myself Spiritual, not religious, although the philosophies of Pantheism and Buddhism resonate with me on many levels. I practice Vipassana meditation and also do a meditation of sorts while I'm painting, both of which help keep me grounded and centered. My painting process is not only very enjoyable for me, it's also quite cathartic in many ways.
I lived in Florence, Italy for 7 years (I moved to Austin 9 years ago) and that experience in Italy definitely helped me to further develop my passionate side in other aspects of my life allowing me to fully live in the moment, to love life and to to take time to "stop and smell the roses", so to speak. I've been back to Italy or France many times since returning to the States; these trips back to cultures where life (and food!) is still savored fully, help to keep things in perspective for me. ;-)
I grew up in Ontario, Canada, but have lived primarily in the States & Italy since graduating from university, save a year a few years ago when I moved to British Columbia to complete my acupuncture training and also had a healing practice working with cancer patients.
I typically spend my time in a variety of ways:
- being outdoors (very important and grounding for me - running (several times a week, around town lake), hiking & camping (not as often as I'd like for lack of company), sailing, swimming, etc - horseback riding when I can);
- painting (for work, but I love my job!);
- studying new things; reading; traveling;
- watching foreign & other films - I LOVE an intelligent comedy as well as any film that teaches me something or makes me think about it long after I've left the theater;
- hanging out with good friends; enjoying excellent food and wine;
- finding new places that make the perfect margarita! :))
- listening to all sorts of music - Coltrane, Davis, Haden, Brubeck, Baker, Morgan, Monk, etc.. Gotan Project, Pink Martini, upbeat dance music when I'm painting, Cohen, Waits, Newman & Chuck E. Weiss, Etta James, Billie & Patsy, blues, African & other world music, classical, many Austin musicians (love catching live music at off the wall venues in town); playing the piano ...
... and just enjoying great conversation about a wide variety of topics. I find many people quite fascinating and enjoy learning from them via their life experiences.
I love cooking healthful foods that combine flavors in a unique and imaginative way but I enjoy preparing a meal with another person even more, especially while savoring a fabulous wine from around the world (my favorites are still France & Italy (or anywhere that manages to emulate that wonderful old-world style)). It's much more fun to cook and dine with another person. :)
I'm equally happy experimenting with a new recipe at home or eating out in a nice restaurant or even better, in some as yet undiscovered gem of an eatery or 'healthy-ish' hole in the wall.
Getting dressed up to enjoy some cultural event (opera, theater, dance, etc) can be fun, as can an evening of live music in some funky locale, and I can be equally content other times, staying home, kicking back and watching a great film on DVD with a bowl of popcorn. (BTW, I literally never watch television (ie. network), although I do have one for DVD viewing and Netflix streaming video).
I have a pretty dry sense of humor and a quick wit (a Canadian/British influence thing ;-) ) and love an intelligent man with a great sense of humor who can keep up with the banter. I like to laugh and kid around a lot but can also be serious when the situation warrants.
Speaking of which, I love kids and they, for some reason, have always really liked me ;) ... I've just never wanted any of my own. There are too many other things I've wanted to do with my life besides being a mom.
I'm ultimately interested in finding a partner who shares my sense of adventure in life and who wants a truly intimate connection. I've had two long-term relationships, my most recent lasting 7 years. I'm eventually looking for a man who's passionate about living life to the fullest and appreciating the positive things that are always around us... someone who's interested in learning from each other as well as in personal growth. And having a big brain and a kinky side doesn't hurt, either. There's so much more to life than just plain vanilla. ;)
In the meantime, I'm enjoying meeting a lot of fun and interesting new people.
(BTW, all of my photos have accurate dates on them. And yes, I painted all of the abstract paintings visible in the photos :) )