Lists: The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs: -Respect for self -Respect for others -Responsibility for all your actions.
  4.  Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you have never been before
  17. Remember that the best  relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Which of these rules are you going to follow today?


Things I Love Thursday:

Back to work! I’m feeling nice and charged from my trip to Kentucky. Just as well – my schedule for the next two weeks is going to be a little hectic!

Here’s what I’ve been digging since last week….

WordPress’s scheduled post function. What a lifesaver! ♥ My school offering an ‘Intro To Sustainable Agriculture’ class – sign me up. ♥ Half Price Books – I finally visited one during my trip to Kentucky and walked away with two great books that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into! ♥ Trader Joe’s. It’s a given but I thought I might reiterate how much I love it ♥ Subversive cross-stitch patterns. I don’t need another hobby, but this really makes me want to pick up a needle and embroidery thread! ♥ Dreaming of summer and all the things I’ll do when I get home ♥ Litographs – because just reading your favourite classic literature isn’t enough, why not wear it? (Dying for their Sherlock Holmes shirt!) ♥ Epic medieval English renditions of American Pie ♥ Giggling at stupid movies ♥ My new music obsession, Bear in Heaven. ♥  How many historians does it take to change a lightbulb? ♥ Bunches of sunny daffodils brightening up a cold and cloudy day…♥

What are you loving this week?

Shifting Perspectives

Greetings from the Ville!

I may have underestimated how cold it would be in Kentucky – the thought that it might not be springtime everywhere didn’t even occur to me until I got off the plane and went, “Wow, it’s freezing!” As I write, last night’s flurry of snow is half-melted on the ground and I am clinging to a cup of green tea just a bit desperately. I’ve been spoiled by the Land of Eternal Summerand Florida seems worlds away right now – and that’s a good thing!

Stepping away from your current situation and getting a change of scenery always changes the way I think. Whether it is the actual, literal change of scenery, or something subtler such as the different energies and vibrations that one’s exposed to while in transit or in a new location, it’s astounding how differently the brain functions while taking a trip. Every chance I get to travel somewhere and take a breather, I wind up finding out new things about life – or else I have radical moments of clarity when I had only been floundering through murky thoughts for the longest time!

The flight from Orlando to Atlanta brought with it some caffeine-deprived musing on what I’m currently doing with my life. Admittedly, lately I’ve been feeling disenchanted with my College Program experience at Disney, due to several factors (in short – loneliness, anxiety about my living situation, long and frustrating days at work and meager paychecks that make wonder, “Is this even worth it?!”) It’s still very early on in my program, and the past week I’ve gone from feeling bad to worse about my decision to move across the country for my college program experience.

It wasn’t much longer after the plane touched down in Louisville that I came to a startling epiphany. Thoughts that had been slowly developing, unrealized, in the back of my mind suddenly burst open!

What I figured out was this: Lately, I feel like I don’t belong at Disney.
But wait! There’s more. It’s not a bad thing, I promise:

I don’t understand the standard corporate 9-5 (or 4pm to midnight, in my case) job. I don’t understand working eight hour days and trying to advance through the company as so many of my coworkers are trying to do. I just don’t see the point of it.

I’m thrilled that the ultimate goal of the company I work for is to make guests happy. I love that goal – I love being happy. I love making people happy. Happiness truly makes the world go round, in my opinion. Yet – at the same time, I feel that there are more important things to apply myself to. I want to make a difference  and here is where I get started, making a difference by contributing to a company that makes people happy. I’m working for the mouse for another four and a half months, which is more than enough time for me to learn all the lessons that I’m meant to learn here.

I want to do the things that I’m passionate about for a living (if you do what you love, you don’t work a day in your life!) and make a difference somehow. Looking at my parents – two awesome people who are doing what they love for a living, or taking steps toward it – it’s no surprise that I can’t adhere to the standard work routine.

(Well, I can – I just don’t enjoy it!)

My questions about the future, which have been floating vague and menacing around my head for some months now, are answered in at least this regard: In the long run, I am not going to forge a Disney career. But this experience will teach me and give me tools that I wouldn’t be able to gain anywhere else.

And now, I’m okay with not fitting in quite right with the rest of the College Program participants, and I’m okay with not especially wanting to extend my College Program until January of 2014 like other people are going to do. I don’t need to be living large with my paychecks, networking within the company, or making friends wherever I go.

This shift in perspective has shown me that I just need to be filling out my toolbox for the rest of my life so I can do what I’m passionate about – and I’m okay with that. I am exactly where I need to be, even if where that is is only temporary.

Until next we meet –

Be happy, be well, and be warm,

~Tessa Grace

TiLT: Everything in Bloom

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland

With the vernal equinox occuring yesterday, it is officially springtime! Though I am a child of autumn heart and soul, preferring the sombre progression of fall into the quiet dark of winter, I cannot deny that the frothy green and pastel renewal and fresh air that spring brings with it makes me effervescently happy.
And admittedly – there’s a lot that makes me happy lately. There’s just as much that brings me down or makes me frustrated, but isn’t the whole point of the gratitude list to keep your head above all that mire?

Here’s a long list of what I’ve been digging since last we spoke…

Delicious macarons ♥ Delightedly sniffing Guerlain perfumes – they created what might be my dream scent. Le sigh! ♥ My flat’s busted garbage disposal finally, finally getting fixed. It’s the little things! ♥ Finding organic soup at the dollar store. Somewhat dubious, but I’ll take it! ♥ This extant book of Danish love ballads – shaped like a heart! ♥ The Neverwhere radio play. Seriously, it’s bloody amazing and you need to listen to it post-haste. ♥ Cauliflower rice ♥ With the coming of spring, strawberry season also arrives! ♥  Getting lost in a book – again and again and again. Whyever did it take me this long to go to my apartment complex’s lending library? ♥ Being ambushed by people giving out boxes of Marshmallow Peeps for the first day of spring at the Cast Service Center ♥ Geeky fandom T-shirts ♥ Surprising conversations about history with my new coworkers (!!!)  ♥ My trainer at work making Doctor Who references and laughing at my stupid Harry Potter jokes, and using “Reichenbach Fall’d” as a verb. Nerds unite! ♥

What’s been making me most happy this week is my upcoming five days off..when I’ll be jaunting back up to Louisville. I’m so excited for this opportunity to spend time with my family and get a taste of home, however brief it will be.

How are you celebrating spring’s arrival? How does this season bring you joy?

How To Be A Princess – A Guide In 13 Steps

1) Listen to the music that makes you feel best – whether it’s fairytale dreampop, enchanting classical arias, or dragon-slaying power metal.
2) Give yourself permission to daydream with reckless abandon.
3) Find the little things, and let them fill you with joy – notice tender sprouts peeking through the earth, the funny way
fat little birds hop, the clouds of milk that curdle in your coffee or tea. There is magic in the everyday, you need only look for it.
4) You don’t always need a Prince Charming to complete your fairytale. Find whatever it is that makes you feel complete and dance with it far past midnight.
5) There will be evil stepsiblings, missed carriages, broken glass slippers, beasts who are beyond redemption, and dragons that refuse to be slain. Persevere through them.
6) There is a crown on your brow that no one else can feel the weight of. Know in your heart that you are beautiful, graceful, kind, and worthy of everything good. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
7) Confidence in yourself is a noble trait. So is humility.
8) Glitter, rose petals, fireworks, and pastries are never a bad thing, but always enjoy in moderation.
9) It is perfectly acceptable, in fact encouraged, to weep when you need to. Know that the way you feel now will not destroy you.
10) Everyone has the capacity to slay a dragon and escape the tower. Do the best you can with what you have.
11) Clothes, perfect hair, makeup, or owning the latest and greatest do not make a princess. Thoughts and deeds do.
12) There are moments where you will act in a less-than-noble way. Give yourself permission to have these moments and learn from them.
13) Never, ever, ever stop wishing or dreaming.

Things I Love…Thursday: Tale as Old as Time…

Mea culpa. How long can I use “I’ve been busy” as an excuse until it’s no longer acceptable?

(That’s a trick question. The fact of the matter is excuses are never cool, especially for personal challenges that you’re trying to hold yourself to. Am I right?)

I had such an amazing day last Friday, it bears being retold in photos! My best friend’s parents were in town visiting for her father’s birthday, and luckily my day off coincided with their first day here. We visited the expanded Fantasyland and spied a castle belonging to a certain Beast…


I got to partake in Enchanted Tales with Belle! Though the wait in line was about forty minutes long, I was practically vibrating out of my skin with excitement. Beauty and the Beast was my favourite Disney movie growing up, and Belle has always been one of my biggest role models – that she’s a princess is only icing on the cake. So when I got my picture taken with Belle, well…I wasn’t quite sure what to do and my face sort of froze in an unfortunate spasm of happiness.


In a masterful stroke of luck which has me questioning what I’ve done to deserve such good karma, we managed to get a table at the new Be Our Guest restaurant. The entire experience was just beyond words, and of course the food and beer were delicious – everything from the French baguette with salted butter, the rotisserie game hen with fingerling potatoes and seasonal vegetables (though I was eyeing Kayla’s strip steak – om nom nom) to the adorable strawberry cream cheese cupcake I had for dessert. Of course, no dinner in the Beast’s castle would be complete without a photo op or two!

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C’est magnifique! I can’t even find the words to express my thanks to Kayla and her family for such a magical evening. Here’s (a huge list) of what else I’ve been digging since last we spoke…

Cupcakes at work ♥ iTV’s Whitechapel – woops, hello new TV addiction ♥ fluffy squirrels and tiny birds everywhere in my apartment complex – #disneyprincesslife ♥ care packages stuffed with tea, Trader Joe’s goodies, and lovely notes from my family and friends ♥ Midnight diner trips with my roommate ♥ Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland – they really did use antlers in all of their decorating! ♥ A friend’s formula for feeling better on a day where I was feeling pretty rotten (Step 1: Eat one super healthy thing. Step 2: Do one thing that makes you feel pretty. Step 3: Text one friend you haven’t talked to for a while. It really works!) ♥ Getting a formal recognition by my coordinator of going ‘above and beyond’ on the job – I was just trying to step in and be helpful, I swear! ♥ At last, finding Udi’s Gluten-free bread in a grocery store. Reunited and it feels so good! ♥ The first sip of loose-leaf tea after going without for so long… ♥ Self-medicating by overdosing on classical music, white tea, and pictures of pretty clothes ♥ This cover of Thrift Shop – vastly preferable to the original! ♥ Collecting little tokens of my journey so far and putting them in the Smashbook my wonderful godmom gave me as a gift. ♥

Every single day brings new memories. They may not be grandiose or life-altering, but they need to be remembered all the same. I don’t think it’s the huge events that make a lifetime, rather, it’s the little things that often slip by unnoticed. Take note of them, whether on the back of a receipt, a note document on your phone, or in a bedazzled gratitude journal. How do you keep track of them?

Till next we meet!