What does it take to achieve success?
Is there a secret formula or does it just take guts and a whole lot of tenacity? Ask any successful person and I think they might agree that they just outlast the others.
We know we have to go THROUGH the fire, not around it.
And failure is never an option.
Nor is Fear.
Life, for certain, will not always be easy. The journey, while not always a clear path, has the potential to bring us to our knees more often than not, but the riches to be gained are boundless. I am journeying on such a path right now. It is one that is full of solitude and questioning. I am searching for my version of Truth in a World that seems to demand that I just step in line. Well, lucky for me, I am not that girl. I will choose Light and I will choose my Path. I won’t leave that solely to Fate. I’d like to believe that I can influence at least part of it.
When I came across these Crucifixes, which are strung beautifully by a local San Diego Jewelry Artist, @taragasparian on Instagram, I just knew they were mine. I had them on layaway for a very long time and I would actually imagine them in my sleep. Tara asked me at the time if I needed them both. Of course, I didn’t. However, there seemed a reason to me to keep them together. After all, these pieces have been journeying for a century, and have found their way to each other. Who am I to separate them now?
I have been inspired by something very unique and special in the Universe to reconnect with myself. What exactly that is I can only describe as an inner voice urging me to shine brightly, to come out of the shadows and just be me. I have found peace and strength once more at Church. While I’m not a super religious woman, I do have a deep rooted faith with God and the Divine workings of His universe. I have been opening myself up daily to brave the question of asking Him to let me see what comes next.
What I love most about Mary Star of the Sea is the creaky wooden pews and the narrow kneeling benches. I am 5’10” and these were definitely made for a smaller and shorter crowd. Yet, I smile every time I hear the wooden pews making their special music! As I attended mass a couple of weeks ago, I was running a little late for the 7:30 am service. I wore jeans for the first time in my life to Church, carrying a to-go cappuccino! As I entered the front doors, I was greeted by the priest. I asked if it was alright with him if I brought my cappuccino in. I loved his response!
“Diana, that is between you and Him! He is just happy to see you!”
Indeed, it was a morning of firsts for me!
I am definitely in a transition phase in my life. I’ve experienced this pattern before, but never did it require so much patience and tenacity as it does right now. It is like watching a beautiful swirl of puzzle pieces up above me. I am looking up and waiting for these pieces to begin their descent and gently fall into place.
As the summer rounds the corner and we are looking to enjoy more relaxing days, here’s a fresh and delicious appetizer plate.
Sautéed Red Peppers with French Feta and Kalamata Olives
4 Red Bell Peppers, seeded, sliced thin
2 Tbls. good quality extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, gently crumbled, (I really like French Feta, found at Middle Eastern Markets)
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian Parsley
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Middle Eastern Flatbread, for serving
On medium heat, slowly sauté red bell peppers in olive oil. The slower and lower the heat, the more sweet and carmelized these peppers become. So, turn the heat to medium low, and let them cook slowly for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the sautéed peppers to a serving dish and let cool to room temperature.
Layer the feta cheese over the peppers. Spread the kalamata olives and sprinkle the Italian parsley next. Squeeze the lemon juice over the entire dish. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Drizzle with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Serve with warm Flatbread
Accompany this dish with a beautiful chilled French Chardonnay. There is an amazing one at Trader Joe’s right now called Révélation. And it is only $6! It is my favorite white wine going into the summer months.
Success, to me, is a Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson:
The man(woman) is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men(women) and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.
La Zingara is an Italian Gypsy Woman, one whose Spirit yearns for a connectedness to the World around Her! That’s me!!!