The Evolving Q&A

Jennifer Causey

I recently came across Carolyn Rubenstein’s name, and her amazing work, starting as a teenager as a cancer advocate, when she along with Suzanne Lindley, and 8 others, were finalists in the Give 100% contest.  I contacted her about something and in her reply was a link to her blog A Beautiful Ripple Effect which I have recently fallen in love with!  She has opened my eyes to many great blogs and creative outlets on the web I was unaware of (my most favorite of them all is Etsy).  In her most recent post, “When I Grow Up” she answered 5 unique questions that were sent to her.  Below are my responses to the questions she sent me when I requested to continue this Q & A blog project.  At the end of this post are the rules if you too would like to continue the process.  It is interesting what insight you can glean from both those you know well and others you have never met!  With that said, here are my questions and their answers:

1. What are 10 things that make you happy? Lots of things make me happy, it is more about the little things, than a lavish vacation or expensive gift (although I don’t turn those down either!)  In no particular order: the smell after a rainstorm; watching the sunrise or sunset; doing something little for someone like putting money in their expired meter without them knowing; sending surprise packages to my friends; the feeling after a tough workout; sleeping in freshly laundered sheets that still smell like dryer sheets (mountain rain is my fav scent); volunteering for a worthy cause; a lazy weekend morning in bed with my InStyle and The Economist (quite the contrast I know); finding time to read a great book; catching up on the phone with my family and friends. 

2.  What is your favorite item on your desk? I could tell a sentimental story about a few of the things on my desk, but it would be a lie because my true favorite item on my desk is something that makes me laugh every single time I open it!  I was in Guatemala doing medical work a few years ago and we had little leisure time.  A med school classmate and I went to the local craft market.  I like to bring my friends and family home meaningful gifts when I travel.  Due to the time constraint and the market we ended up at, solely based on convenience, I was having a hard time finding anything more than the average touristy market finds and then I saw it . . .it wasn’t anything gorgeous or sentimental, but it was hilarious and very unique!  I went over and bargained a great deal for a dozen of them.  What is it?  It is a clay egg shaped piece of art that came with a variety of miniature scenes of Guatemala hand painted on the outside.  But, when you lift the egg shaped top off there is one of many different sexual positions being enacted by a mini clay man and woman (so many it was hard to choose!)  I can’t help and laugh every single time I open it, especially since after my last few moves I don’t even have complete people, the woman is decapitated and the man is missing an arm, but they are still “united.”The gift was a hit and nothing like any gift I had previously bought or will ever buy my friends and family again! 

3. What do you want to learn about yourself? Wow, this is a difficult question.  I want to know what I should know about myself.  I know that my personality has evolved a great deal even since I finished college.  At no point have I been unhappy with where I was in life, but the more I have traveled, worked on truly embracing everyone and all the experiences that come my way in life and embraced Buddhism,  I have changed.  I feel that especially in the past three years I have really figured out my life priorities and am much more comfortable in my own skin than I ever was.  With this being said, I hope and plan to continue to evolve as a person, probably in more subtle ways, but I don’t ever want to become complacent.  I have learned the most about myself , in my short 28 years, in periods of adversity and heartache.  I do not wish these times upon myself, but I am realistic and know that they are a part of life and I will welcome more insight into the depths of myself.  

4.  If given five minutes, what would you do to relax? I would close my eyes and meditate on becoming fully aware of my breath.  No I didn’t just start doing this on my own!  In medical school I needed to find a restorative activity to help me deal with all the stress and anxiety that comes with med school.  I turned to yoga.  Yoga not only left me feeling toned and more flexible, but there was a spiritual enrichment that I had never experienced in all my years of church on Sunday growing up.  In all the spare time that 4th year of med school allows I started to devour books on Buddhism and meditation.  I found my teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh.  There are many great practices out there, but his fits best in my fast pace lifestyle (very non-Buddhist of me!)  He believes in “engaged Buddhism.” I think the best beginner’s book into his philosophy is Peace in Every Step.  He believes in eating meditation, driving meditation, and even goes so far to talk about how to meditate as the phone rings before you answer it.  I will admit that I am far better at some of these techniques than others, but there are ways to fit purposeful meditation into our daily lives.  Meditation leaves me feeling more relaxed, refreshed and empowered. What more can you ask out of 5 minutes of your time? 

5.  What are your three favorite quotes? Only 3?!  I have kept a list of my favorite quotes since middle school.  A few years ago I took the time to type them and now keep an evolving document that is now twenty pages long.  There are a few tried and true quotes that I use most often, so for those of you that know me well, they should come as no surprise!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Ghandi

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. -Dr. Seuss

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. -Ralph Waldo Emerso

In an attempt to get to add one more quote, my newer favorite quote: “Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?” Fanny Brice

Lets continue the blog Q & A!! Read the “Interview Rules” below!!THE INTERVIEW RULES
* leave me a comment saying: “interview me”
* all comments will be published
* I will e-mail you five questions of my choice
* you can then answer the questions on your blog {with a link back to my blog}
* you should also post these rules, along with an offer to interview anyone else who e-mails you wanting to be interviewed
* anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog
* it would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger* Note (Carolyn’s Addition to Interview Rules): If you don’t have a blog or would rather keep your responses more private, feel free to respond to your questions directly on my blog or keep them to yourselves [Photo] .“Beautiful Ripple Effect” of this fun blog project:Danielle LaPorte ofWhite Hot Truth & Carrie + Danielle sent questions to:Michelle of When I Grow Up sent questions to:Carolyn of A Beautiful Ripple Effect sent quetions to:Leana of The Happenings of Leana

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