Happy First Day of Spring!
Where we live, it’s a bright and sunny day and the gardens are suddenly bursting with leaves and flowers. This combined with more sunlight, just makes me feel happy and enthusiastic about all the possibilities the day brings.
A few weeks ago, I started reworking my calendar and giving each day of the week a theme. Monday through Friday, these days are all devoted to creative work and development, and I named Saturday as “Adventure Day”. So you may be wondering what I’m doing typing away at a blog on my Adventure Day? Well, it’s because today I’m starting something new: I’m bringing you some content from a dear friend of ours. It’s my first cross-promotion and it’s a good one! I’d like to introduce you to someone who is extraordinary and who has something delicious to share.
Her name is Chef Katie Chin, - - you may recognize her name because last December I appeared on her online show- - and she is truly one of the one of the most generous, passionate and fun loving people I know. I met her when I first began dating Paul. (Their friendship goes back to high school and has remained steadfast over the years.) Paul brought me to one of her gatherings at a karaoke bar. Katie would regularly gather a group of about 20 close friends to go singing and dancing and also to frequent dinner parties at her home. That’s the thing about Katie, she has a tremendous heart and capacity for welcoming friends into it. I admire how she draws people into her world and maintains such deep friendships. Years later, most of these people from the karaoke bar are still in her orbit. It’s because she’s a good friend and because she’s funny, fearless and has a true zest for living. People are drawn to that passion and charisma and want to be around her.
She brings heart and humor to all she does. And she doesn’t play small ever. She’s seriously bad ass and inspiring on so many different levels. Bungee jumping? Ok. Sky diving? Ok. Leave her high-powered film/TV marketing position to start a new business? Ok. Join her husband's garage band for fun? Ok. Drive a smart car emblazoned with Hello Kitty? Ok. Join a story writing class and write the most beautiful and heart wrenching family tribute? (More about that later) Ok. Katie has a curious mind, takes risks, and lives life fully and joyfully.
This joie de vivre, connection with family, love of entertaining and love of music is something I have in common with Katie. Oh and we’re both mothers of twins. And we both have a connection to City of Hope. (More about that later) The thrill-seeking sports? Nope not me; not even one teeny weeny bit. However, living joyfully and sharing that optimism and passion with others is something I strive to do daily. I love singing and sharing stories and history with you and I hope that when you listen to my music that you feel moved by it. I want it inspire and encourage and uplift. I think of each song and its lyrics as a little melodic story from my heart, to touch your heart. That’s why I choose the particular songs that I do, because even though most of them are almost 100 years old, they still connect to deep emotions that resonate even today. If we can connect to the people of the past, we can certainly connect to each other today.
Few things connect to people’s emotions, as much as music does. Few things except perhaps, food. So, when I released my most recent fun and flirty single, “In the Dim Dim Dawning”, I thought it would be fun to team up with Katie to bring a different type of connection. I asked her for a Dim Sum recipe. Initially I just thought of the tie-in as a fun play on the song’s title, but then I learned a couple of things that revealed to me the synchronicity of this idea. I learned that the Dim Sum means “to touch the heart”. Wow! And when Katie shared her recipe, I realized that this particular recipe was one that she created as a Culinary Ambassador for City of Hope. During that time period, she created a number of delicious dishes with ingredients that researchers have determined have properties that prevent cancer. Here’s her recipe for shu mei (Chinese dumplings) and it’s filled with a delicious super food: mushrooms. As you may know, just a year ago, I had a two surgeries and was undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer. City of Hope is where I went for treatment. Today, I am cancer free and healthy and living out my lifelong dreams. I had an amazing team, helmed by Dr. Dortha Chu.
As part of my healing journey, I also made it a point to be mindful of what food goes into my body and what thoughts go into my mind: Super foods and super thoughts. I am of the belief that words have power. I didn’t understand this when I was younger, and it affected me and my relationships. What we say affects our outlook, our state of mind, our habits, our story and those around us. I’m keenly aware of the phrases and the words I choose and I'm trying to be better at my choices. I deliberately make the effort to use words that are life affirming and encouraging and optimistic and celebratory and compassionate. I think we all need to do that; to celebrate each other and to be compassionate and to hear each other’s stories and histories. We need to listen to each other more and celebrate our common humanity; look for connection, instead of differences. We never know the complexities of each other’s lives and experiences and feelings.
Even those who are close to us, may have stories we’ve never heard. A few weeks ago, I heard the story that Katie is sharing tomorrow as part of the Instagram page #shareyourasianstory . In the story, she reveals something powerful and heart wrenching that I never knew. It was a story I’d never heard. This is a close and dear friend, who was in our wedding and who has been one of Paul’s life- long besties, and yet we both learned something profound and new. I highly recommend you tune in.
Here’s the information taken from the ShareYourAsianStory IG page: “Kicking off our IGTV #shareyourasianstory Interview Series with @chefkatiechin, celebrity chef, author, activist and so much more. Katie will read a piece she wrote about her experiences growing up Asian in Midwest America, talk about her work, and perhaps even share a favorite recipe. "
Truly, it's up to us! We can make the world a kinder, more accepting, more just place. I believe it in my heart and soul! Let's start by listening and learning and sharing the good. Let's start by choosing our words and by educating ourselves and not accepting anything less than love and compassion.
Enjoy your weekend! Make every day a joyful adventure!
Love & Light,