Chicago Goods: Museum of Contemporary Art

In the last month, I have been to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) located downtown Chicago twice. They currently have Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, on exhibition with The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

Murakami has an interesting mix of artistic displays, ranging from traditional Japanese paintings to fun animated characters to kooky yet darkly playful looking, almost monster-like characters to pop art collaborations with musical artists like Kanye West.

MCA is located just behind the Water Tower Place, a mere block from the Magnificent Mile. Most days they are open until 5pm with the exception on 9pm on Tuesday and Friday and being closed on Mondays. Suggested regular admission price is $15 for adults. Illinois residents are free on Tuesdays which is also a treat because during the summer, MCA hosts Tuesdays on the Terracewhich features live jazz from 5:30-8pm, has drinks for sale and space for people to mingle or chill on their back patio area. After the jazz is done, visitors have an additional hour to walk through all open exhibits before the museum closes at 9pm. 

Murakami’s The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg came out of the Japanese folk saying that an octopus in distress will chew off a damaged leg to ensure survival, knowing that a new one will grow in its place. 

A really profound concept when you think about it.

“The exhibition chronologically traces the many reinventions and refinements that have fueled Murakami’s career. I have now gone through the exhibition twice and I don’t think it will be my last. I find something new and interesting every time and there is plenty more to discover. Though some of the pieces have aspects that are plain weird, when I think overall about his message, I get it. I love that the exhibit goes in chronological order so you see the evolution of Murakami’s craft and mental state as he reinvents and refines over time.

I know the Art Institute of Chicago gets a lot of love (and it should!) because it has a lot more historical pieces but this is another option for people looking for something different in Chicago.

Murakami will be on display until September 6. Enjoy! 

Book Review: The Mastery of Love

“The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”

A friend of mine recommended this book by Don Miguel Ruiz, said it changed their relationship which was fascinating enough a statement for me to check it out. 

This book, also boasting as, “A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship,” was quite a read. I highlighted so many strong takaways and nuggets of wisdom. 

“The whole world can love you, but that love will not make you happy. What will make you happy is the love coming out of you.” 


Essentially Ruiz focuses on fear-based beliefs and assumptions that sabotage love and cause drama in out relationships.  He discusses control, accepting & loving ourselves to love others and how perfection leads to self-rejection. 

“Whoever wants to suffer is welcome to suffer, but we don’t have to suffer.”


There are three masteries that guide us towards happiness, freedom and love. The Mastery of Awareness, the Mastery of Transformation and the Mastery of Love which is the result of achieving the first two masteries. 

“If you go into a relationship with selfishness, expecting that your partner will make you happy, it will not happen. And it’s not that person’s fault; it’s your own.”


I will say some parts at the end gave me pause when Ruiz tries to solidify examples through character stories from ancient India and Toltec tradition but other than that, I was tracking along with a great deal of what he was saying. 

“In the end that is what we are looking for: to find ourselves, to be ourselves, to live our own life, instead of…the life we were programmed to live.” 


I can see how this book can positively impact a relationship. I have already used some of the key wisdom points in my own. 

“When you hear your heart guiding you to your happiness, then make a choice and stick to it.” 


Communication and the desire to understand our significant other can help us elevate one another in love. We practice love. We are able to be vulnerable, open and honest without fear. 

“The relationship you have with yourself is reflected in your relationships with others. If you reject yourself then you will make the assumption that the other person will reject you for the same thing you reject in yourself.” 


You are what you believe you are. Be love for it’s what we all need most.