Dancing to the beat of your own drum (and other ways to alleviate stress)

The Getty Villa

There aren’t a lot of places to find peace and solitude in Los Angeles, but it definitely exists at The Getty Villa. Forgive me in advance, I am about to post a lot of pictures- mainly because this place is just so beautiful it was hard to pick which to cut.

As I walked onto the property at the Getty Villa I was happily overwhelmed by lush greens, herbs, and flowers. The first garden I saw was reminiscent of Monet’s Giverny, ponds and waterlillies included. Moved by the resplendent beauty, a tear of joy gently cascaded along my cheek. I could finally feel the sense of relief that I had been craving for so long.  As I turned around to face the west, the breath taking view of the ocean framed by silhouettes of diverse trees embraced my heart. I was surrounded by calm. I felt calm. Its so hard to find this within the urbanity of Los Angeles, yet this is right there on the edge of Malibu and Santa Monica. My only regret is that I hadn’t come here sooner.

This just reminded me of a mini Giverny. Love!
This garden also reminded me of France, a mini Tuileries.
This woman looks so peaceful reading her book. Next time I will bring a book and stay a little longer.

One thing I realized as I perused the grounds; one can only find inner happiness by following his/her own passions. Sometimes its difficult to make a choice that is right for you, just because by doing so you may possibly hurt someone else and/or pick something against the grain of the majority. Just know that’s ok. Its important, though cliche: “to thine own self be true”. Ultimately it will give you an empowering inner strength. You will be able to do even more to make the world a better place this way.

In representation of staying true to myself, I decided to dance all over The Getty Villa. I did pirouettes through the gardens, and glissades around the statues. I probably looked like a nut, but it felt amazing. Dancing silences my mind and the chaos of the world around me. I can feel the music and become part of something bigger. Here on the grounds of the Getty I could feel the wind through my soul. There’s just something so magical about combining art with nature. I can’t put my finger on it, but its definitely the fastest way for me to feel  inner peace.

Tendu. Photo: Docent
The architecture here was absolutely exquisite! Photo taken by museum docent. 
Photo: Juliette Zanfardino
Pirouette in the park. Photo: museum guest.
Photo: Museum employee
Photo: Self timer 🙂

The set up of the museum is magnificent. Guests can weave in and out of gardens and rooms exhibiting artwork from Odysseus’ time. Well written text explains each exhibit. I loved learning that at one time the Greek had pet bears! It was also interesting reading about the woman’s position in ancient greek society. Opposite of today where we hear so much about the socially elite via the media, back in the hay day of Greece the women who were considered the most socially elite were heard of the least by the rest of society. My mind was blown by the drawings of humans and how they look just like us. Its crazy to think we’ve been on this earth for over 200 years, and we still basically look the same!

This is a statue of a pet bear! I can’t even imagine! The Grissley Man was born in the wrong era!
OK so the art work is a little “Napolean Dynomite” but still- we still look the same. This could have been painted yesterday!

The museum has an interactive room where guests can draw hieroglyphics on pottery and/or put on a shadow dance/show. Interactive is always fun!

Kids must love to play this shadow game. There is a large selection of props and different images that are projected onto the screen, setting the stage for an interactive play. 
Guests can see what its like to draw stories on ceramics.

Other Stress Coping Mechanisms:

Someone told me once that extreme stress can be caused when there’s a chasm sized gap between expectations/desires and reality. Obviously we can’t have it all all the time. Even billionaire celebutaunts are not impervious to stress; You can’t buy love, and you can’t buy peace. It’s imperative to bring little bits of our dreams into reality, and it’s up to us to do this. Make a list of things you dream for, and then figure out how to bring just a little piece of it to life. Here’s some examples from my list:

Dream/Longing: my childhood back yard and Ohio’s metroparks

Solution: 1.  find great places to hike in LA, go at least once a month

2. Put plants in your apartment.

Dream/Longing: Travel all over the world

Solution: Start with day trips or weekend trips around california while you save up for the big trip. Do this at least once every few months.

Dream: Walk in Closet

Solution: Find an affordable place where you can turn the extra bedroom into your closet.


A list towards inner peace:

Its good to have a list (mental or written) of activities to do when you need to find some inner peace. I find my list prevents me from stress eating chocolate or something else loaded with fat. My list may be totally and completely different from yours, but maybe it will give you some ideas or at least get the gears moving:

  1. Go for a walk
  2. visit a museum or garden
  3. bake something – then give it away
  4. read a good book
  5. take a bubble bath
  6. sip hot tea
  7. Write in journal
  8. meditate- I’m learning this now.

What to wear to the Getty Villa:

It was a warm breezy day here on the West Coast. Most of the museum is out doors, so its wise to bring layers. In the summer, wear SPF. And I sort of wished I had my sun hat.

In theme of this post, Danielle does not love these ballet flats but I wear them anyways- because they are totally me! Shirt: Joie Skirt: ALC Shoes: Chloe Bag: Chloe
Leap! In theme of this post, Danielle does not love these ballet flats but I wear them anyways- because they are totally me! Shirt: Joie Skirt: ALC  Shoes: Chloe Bag: Chloe

Here’s to liberating your soul and dancing to your own beat!




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