Monday, January 13, 2014

life unfolding

In my past I have tended to be a very busy person. I thought having a long to do list somehow made me worthy. Having to run errands or go to this party or that lunch, made  it even more true, right? Being busy, means you are important. The more you do, the more you prove right? 

We’ve taken this idea of doing things into our hearts, our bones, and I think it’s making us weary and tired. I’m really not sure that’s what we need to be. I don’t think we necessarily need to live like this and I’m attempting to choose not to, but it’s taken some practice. 

I met a guy who is now a good friend a year or so ago. He is a very busy dude, a resident, he works long, long hours, he’s constantly asked to be busy. He has to write orders, see patients, talk to parents, give presentations, he has to be ‘on,’ there is a lot going on in the land of learning to be a doctor. It’s a very hard job.  Our relationship is dynamic and while we do talk about work, we talk about so much more. He introduced me to the idea of Taoism, which has led me into reading about Buddhism, which basically has changed everything. Before he introduced me to Taoism, he taught me how to just relax. How we could hang out and just be. He taught me that falling asleep in the sun on the couch might be the best thing ever. That books could be read. Coffee could be french pressed. Dinner plans could linger. Guitars could be picked up. Sunsets were to be admired. Conversations could go on for hours and so could the quiet contemplation of just being there. 

You know the big picture? How when you’re in the midst of it, it’s hard to see? You see small pieces, you maybe attempt to piece it together, but mostly if you just keep going and trying eventually you start to see it? That is what is happening here. The picture of the past year. Somehow he was the conduit to teach me to be. To learn to trust life exactly where it was. That being anxious about things didn’t change them. That doing a lot of things, makes you miss out on a lot more. That having too many plans keeps you from life. 

Sometimes I tell him these things. How much it’s changed me. How thankful I am. I’m still seeing it unfold and blossom and how much it is changing me. Somehow, his ease with that part of life has now started to become mine and I kind of tear up when I think about it. How grateful I am for someone who could show me ease and comfort, while still being ambitious and getting their work done. It was something I hadn’t quite been exposed to.

Without knowing it, I started to behave differently. I found out I wanted to stay at home. I found I wanted to just read books for hours, that I didn’t want to have plans, that I liked keeping it open. There were times it was incredibly uncomfortable, lonely moments where I had thought I could not stand my own company for one more minute. Those were the moments though. Those are the moments where you grow. 

Those times where I headed to the beach solo, because I knew I had to see the ocean and I would also have to face the feeling of loneliness. I am not a buddhist and I could not say I’m a Taoist, but both religions teach you to notice where you are. Buddhism in particular teaches an idea called Metta. It’s basically loving kindness. When you practice Metta, the first person you practice with is yourself. So you say something like ‘may i feel safe. may i feel content. may i feel strong. may i live with ease.’ They also teach you to look at your own thoughts and accept them where they are. So if I feel intensely lonely and think it’s all my fault that I’m alone then instead of making up an excuse for it or trying to change it by making plans, you say ‘okay, so i feel lonely.’ You essentially notice how you feel. I swear just the mere act of acknowledging that ugly feeling gives you freedom from it. 

There has been a lot of acknowledging this past year. A lot of naming feelings. It’s been uncomfortable. However, it’s also been more beautiful than I could ever explain with words. My heart overflows with gratitude for the changes that have happened in the past year or so. I look back now and I see the bigger picture. Had I not broken up with my ex, I might have never been privileged enough to be a part of this at this time. I see very, very clearly how trusting life, even when it hurts is always the best way. It has been so incredibly gracious and kind to me. 

I am learning to respond with it too. Even in situations I don’t like, even when my feelings are hurt, instead of shutting down, I’m trying to see what I need to learn, how I might have an opportunity to change myself in the moment. Sometimes I’m learning, that I’m completely okay where I am and I don’t need to change anything. Sometimes I learn how to change my perspective, both of those things are miracles. 

I am in love with my life right now. I cannot wait to see it unfold more. It is so beautiful. Each little tidbit that puts the puzzle together is beautiful. Each piece comes together. I have found the less busy I am, the easier it happens. The more I give myself time to lay in bed for a second and think about things, the easier it all comes. The more I say ‘oh that doesn’t have to happen today,’ the more space it creates to unfold with ease.

In yoga we do this pose called mountain pose. You lift your arms and your head to the sky. My mountain pose is currently filled with life, radiance, and thankfulness. 

My prayer? Please help me to show up. To be in the present. To trust my intuition. and to patient and watch life unfold beautifully. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

things you practice in Bali

Seriously? I woke up at 1130pm with the chills, I was shaking so bad. I was freezing cold.  I knew I had to get up and put some clothes on and find the antibiotics I had brought with me in case this happened and get back to bed. Lame, I was going to miss the first day of the retreat, but hopefully, with a few doses of Cipro on my side I would be back in action within 24 hours. Thankfully, the antibiotics did their trick and by the next evening I was able to join the group for dinner! I had missed what sounded like an amazing paddle board yoga session and a yin sunset yoga session to die for, but I was feeling better and ready to hit the water. 

The next morning we hit the waters of Bali, the ocean! It was so nice to get a little saltwater on my skin. The water was beautiful, the yoga was refreshing, and my retreat friends were a lot of fun. They all looked great in a bathing suit. Dammit! Let me just say that being around a group of athletic women, who are all wearing bikinis and are almost all 10 years younger can take a lil’ bit of a toll on the self-esteem when your body is no where near matching. But what’s a girl to do? 

I mean seriously. I run into this problem a lot. I go to yoga. I hike a mountain. I get on a paddle board. I compare. I compare my body with the other women around me. I look at how their clothes fit. I look if they are thinner, fatter, have jiggly thighs, thick ankles. I don’t look at them to judge, because really I don’t care how other women look. I just think it’s rad that they are out there enjoying life and trying. 

So why do I do it to myself?

I suppose it’s somewhat human to look at others and wonder if THAT is how it’s supposed to be. I don’t know if it’s healthy, but it’s what I have have had a tendency to do in the past. I’ve been practicing something different lately. I tried to practice it in Bali and I failed a lot, as you can tell from the paragraph above.

Lately, I’ve been trying to thank my body when I get the urge to compare. In those situations, in yoga, where I’m holding the same damn plank just as good as all those skinny girls in there, I thank my body. On a paddle board, when I can glide through the ocean while standing on top of it, when I can practice a warrior pose and hold my balance on a freaking board on the water. I thank my body. I know my body might not look exactly the same as the people around and it might not fit very well into those damn see thru Lululemon pants, but it does the work and it does it well.

My body isn’t the ideal size for most people. It’s not the ideal size for me, but it is what is here, it is what is right now. If I can’t feel comfortable in the skin I’m in, the world is missing a part of me and I’m missing a part of the world. If I can’t get out of my damn head and stop freaking about how I look, how much am I missing?

If I worry about how I look, if I worry about how I’m perceived in general, might I be missing the bigger picture? If I worried about how I looked in a bathing suit in public I would never have gotten to jump off a sailboat off the coast of Bali at sunset. Can I just tell you how amazing jumping off a sailboat at sunset is? It really does feel like it looks like in the movies. It’s one of those life things, you’ve gotta do it if you have the chance.

If I worried about how I looked in a wet suit I might not get to SCUBA dive with 12ft manta rays. TWELVE FOOT manta rays! Hovering in the ocean above me!!!  I mean where on earth? How can you describe that majesty? You can’t, you’ve gotta just be there. I would have missed it. I could have missed it.

I’ll tell you a secret. I did worry a little. it bugged me. I wished I would have looked better. I really wished I looked better,  but I knew, if i let it stop me, I would miss my moment.

My soul needed to do those other things. It needed to jump into the ocean. It needed to swim below those manta rays. I needed to be exactly where I was and that included excepting the body that was with me. 

So today, in yoga, in each down dog, in each balancing pose. I whispered a lil’ thank you. Thank you to my body for getting me there. Thank you to the universe for presenting opportunities to practice excepting things and feelings exactly as they are.

Thank you to the ocean for calling me gently and forcing me to get over myself to enjoy it’s majesty. 

Thank you. I’m still not where I would like to be, but I’m much more comfortable with where I am at and how I look while doing it. As with everything, I will always need more practice. 

Monday, November 18, 2013


lately. i have really been fond of the word space. 

i’ve found myself using it a lot lately in many situations. i was in japan recently, talking with a good friend who is living in tokyo and having a blast. on that trip for a number of reasons, i kept reverting to the idea of space. japanese people live in a very strict culture. they have to adhere to many cultural standards that we as americans would never understand. they live in tight quarters. they commute in crowded trains. japan has the busiest intersection in the world. they lack space. they lack space to be and grown and expand, i think it might be one of the reasons the japanese have one of the highest suicide rates in the world along with high rates of alcoholism. 

this past year i met a friend. he is a very busy dude. he has way more going on than i ever could, but one of the things that impressed me most about him was how he still creates space in his life. he knows he needs it and so very naturally, he sets healthy boundaries to create a space in a schedule he has little control over. he prioritizes friends and family over cleaning, he spends the day reading if he wants to, if he needs a night alone, he’s not afraid to say. if he doesn’t want to go to loud and crowded bar, he offers a quieter solution. he likes space. i found out that i really like it too. 

i really admire his ability to balance these things and in observing his space, i knew i wanted the same. it took some practice at first. it was also uncomfortable. i didn’t like not having plans all the time. it felt weird to not have an event for every moment of my free days. it felt really weird. sometimes i would sit there on a free day feeling lonely and weird wishing that i had tried harder to make a plan. but then ultimately, i would find if i just breathed through the discomfort, i actually found the space really amazing. 

i have started to remember as a kid how much i enjoyed having a lot of quiet, alone time. as an only child and a latch key kid, i spent a good amount of time by myself. neither my mother or i were huge television watchers and in that quiet space, as a kid, i learned how to be me. as an adult, by letting go of the standard of needing to be constantly busy to seemingly have a ‘purpose’ i was not as good as i could be. space has given me a chance to find that girl again and i’m pretty happy with her. 

what i’m learning, is that by having open space, i have more room for surprise things to come in. here is a good analogy. If your closet is full of clothes how do you know what you have? what you like? and how will you have room for new things you find you might really like? by constantly leaving space in your life, you allow room for the universe to fill it with things you might really need or things you might not know you needed. it’s way more fun this way. surprise blessings are rad.

that happened this weekend. the only plan i had was to watch the t-ball game of a killer 5 year old i know. it ended up including my favorite massage place, my favorite burger place, my favorite yoga class, and making pie & eating thai takeout. all with some of my favorite friends. i was invited. i didn’t have to plan it all. i didn’t have to control it *gulp.* all i had to do was have the open space to show up and enjoy it. 

i’m practicing letting go and receiving. and you know what? i really, really like it. it was hard at first, but man, now it’s easy and it’s fun! i could have tried to plan those things and they might have happened and been just as lovely. but by allowing the space for them to flow naturally i enjoyed it way more. 

on this monday morning i have a very grateful heart. i get to have fun with my friends and i get to have all this space. i mean what more can you ask for? so maybe. if this speaks to you. try it. create a lil’ space. lemme know what happens! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

for dana. a lil' listening to your heart talk.

i’ve had this blog for awhile, but i’ve never really done much to promote it or keep it going constantly, i write things mostly when the mood strikes me and sometimes it’s months or years apart. 

however, lately people keep telling me the same thing. you should write about this. please blog about that. sometimes the universe gives us signs subtly and then sometimes it’s just pretty damn specific. so i’m attempting to listen. these past few months have been a mindfulness journey. it’s one where i’m attempting to slightly nudge my person into a soul who maybe thinks about the feelings i act on a lil’ bit more. However, part of this journey is all about trusting my feelings more too. it seems like a conundrum, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you get down to it.

a while back i met with this therapist. i don’t know how to say this nicely, other than this guy was a total douche bag and clearly not the therapist for me. i’m glad i figured it pretty early on. unfortunately, not before he was rather abusive about ending my sessions with him. the only nugget of information i really felt that i gleaned from him was that most people have their spiritual awakening in their 30’s and that’s my age! Yeah! i did some very real life lessons from him, to trust my gut and my initial instinct about people. my very first feelings towards him were that of distrust and that he didn’t vibe with me, but he was strongly recommended by a friend so i didn’t listen to my heart. It was a strong $800 lesson to trust my instincts. 

a while back i met with an awesome life coach. Dana is amazing, she has this magical gift to kind figure out what is going on with you and then explain it to you. She and I were talking about how I have such strong instincts and intuition. I feel so many things so intensely and my feelings even without a lot of information are usually correct. However, I also have this very strong left-sided brain that is powered through logic and information. Side note: I actually considered a philosophy minor, because I enjoyed logic so much! At one point I had a job in shipping and logistics and I considered going back to school for it because it was so much fun. My brain instinctively wants to put things in place. Then I have this massive heart which constantly relays information to my brain about how things feel and how people feel and I get all confused, because it doesn’t match up with the logical left-brain information. I get all choked up and don’t know how to deal or what to say. My brain computes the information and says one thing and my heart takes all the feelings and gives a completely different outlook. 

After i had that talk with dana i decided one thing. i was going to use my logic for only things that really needed it. i would use it for things that are not feeling directed like organization and plans and i would let my heart feel what it felt. I may mix the two by using a lil’ logic to act on my feelings and I may use a lil’ feeling when it comes to making plans, but I no longer need to be paralyzed by competing information from both places. 

you know what? i feel so much better! it’s so nice to give your feelings credence. it’s also nice to acknowledge my logical side. they are both so powerful and they both help me so much! I am so grateful for both, but i was happy to figure out i can use both for their greatest good separately and together and it was totally okay. 
so todays big insight? trust your instincts. listen to the voices from the universe. they will gladly light the correct path. it’s all pretty amazing.

i have more to say.

i’ll be back. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Show Your Love.

How do you show you love yourself?

Do you do it by driving the speed limit? By getting more sleep? By going to the gym? Do you do it by what foods you eat?

That was a question posed by Dr. Wayne Dyer at an event I had the privilege of attending last week. It was a conversation by Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra and while I honestly have not read any of their works, I’d heard amazing things and really wanted to see what these two had to say. Low and behold at the end of the night Wayne hoped on stage and spoke for a lil’ while. It was what you might call a spiritual powerhouse. 

While I was pretty lucky to be at this sold out event with only 800 people in attendance, I kind of left still wanting. I thought perhaps I would get so much more out of it or have this grand spiritual awakening. I didn’t. I left and we stopped and got some fish tacos for dinner. 

However, a few days later. I was on my way to work. I had extra time, I was hungry and I wanted a donut, perfect! 

Then a lil’ voice in my head asked “Is that really loving yourself?”

Crap! Get out of my head Wayne Dyer, I want a donut! Now!

The answer as you might guess was pretty simple. I didn’t get a donut. What I did find though was that this was one of the most simple and sweet diet decisions I had made in a long time. It was a very simple question and a really simple answer. It didn’t make a set of rules responsible. It didn’t make my fear of failure of following a diet or not following a diet responsible, it just posed a simple question. 

“Is getting a donut really loving yourself?” 

I’m here to say that I think somedays it might very well be. However, most days it probably isn’t.

I’ve absolutely had that conversation with friends too where I’ve stated “I love myself!” and while that might be true in a grand sense of things. Actions speak louder than words. 

I’ve struggled with losing weight my whole life. I have a thyroid issue, I actually eat relatively well, I don’t eat much processed foods or sugary junk, but I do eat out a lot. So now this question is popping up when I have the chance to go out with friends, I have been asking ‘Is that really loving yourself?’ And for me, who is saving money to go on a few trips and who is trying to lose weight, it really isn’t. It’s nowhere near. 

However, asking that question. 

In that manner. 

Makes all the difference in the world. It ultimately gives us full responsibility for ourselves. We can respond however we want. We really only have ourselves to answer to. 

So this week, when I wanted to get sushi with a friend I hadn’t seen for awhile, the answer was yes, this is loving myself. When I wanted to skip yoga, because I was sleepy, the answer was no. When I wanted to watch more tv, the answer was no. 

It’s been more peaceful this way. It’s much easier. This question while completely different, may just be a life changer. 

~ x ~ 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Here. This. Now.

I’m sitting under the most beautiful skylight in a great little coffee shop on the Upper West Side. It’s light, warm, and airy in here. Outside it’s a cold, blustery day in New York City and it’s supposed to snow at any second. I have to admit, I’m kind of excited. I have ALWAYS wanted to be in New York when it snows, it seems so romantic, even though I’m sure I’ll remember how much I hate snow the second it starts to pile up. Until then, I’m enjoying my coffee and taking this time to write.

My east coast trip has been all about connection. I’ve traveled to New York a few times and so this time, I’ve gotten to focus on people. I’ve loved it. I’ve learned so much this trip.

I think the thing I keep learning amongst talking to my friends here and even talking to my friends back home is how much compassion we need for ourselves. Every single thread of conversation I’ve had with my friends in the past week is woven with their fear, hurt, and disappointment. The disappointment has been palpable. It seems so very present. It’s right here and right now and rearing it’s ugly head. 


These people. These amazing people keep showing up. They are doing the coolest thing possible during trying times. They are doing the best thing, they are trying to be present and move through it. 

Here. This. Now.

I bought a Tibetian coral bracelet at flea market in Washington DC this weekend. In the cultural sense, it is supposed to bring luck, but I’ve been using it as a reminder to be present. Present for their conversations. Present when I start to day dream. Present to enjoy the moment.

Here. This. Now.

I can’t change the past, the future isn’t here yet. All I have is now. I can only enjoy life as much as I can be present for THIS moment. I can only love my friends and be there for them during their struggles as much as I can be present.

Here. This. Now. 

I’ve also been trying harder to replace HERE with HEAR. Sometimes hearing people is harder than actually being present. However, that authenticity, that moment, that connection is completely lost if I can’t actually hear the people I care about. I don’t want to be present and with them, yet completely miss the point, because I’m wrapped up in me. 

It’s not easy. 

I’m trying. I’m trying to be HERE for my friends. To tell them how much I love them. How grateful I am for them. I’m trying to HEAR in the midst of their struggle. 

I’m showing up for them. 

Everyday I learn that love is so much about just showing up and being there. It’s not about doing things or buying things, it’s about acknowledging humanity and person. It’s about meeting them where they are and saying ‘okay, I see that. I’m here with you.”

The thing I realize that if we get caught up in what we are supposed to be, if we get caught up in trying to make others perfect and not allowing them to write their own stories, we lose the lesson. We are not validating their existence, their story. I keep learning that if we can show up for those people in our lives and say something like this: 

We will create the most authentic, deep and compassionate relationships of our lives.

If we can say this to ourselves and feel this, feel this, we can change our own personal worlds and create a ripple effect, little waves on the lake of life. Little waves of love and acceptance, that create life changing tidal waves. 

Tidal waves.

How can you show up?
How can you be here and now?

I challenge you, the next time you start to worry or berate yourself for past mistakes. Say it. 

Here. This. Now.

It gives you incredible permission to be the boss of things you cannot control. Do it with yourself. Do it with your friends. Start the ripple.

~ x ~

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We are all scared sometimes

Have you ever had one of those weeks? Where there seems to be an overwhelming theme from you and the people around you? 


That’s the word I’ve heard more than once this week, from more than one of my friends in various life trials. First, I just want to give kudos to my friends who are willing to acknowledge their fears out loud. Second, I’m grateful they are willing to share them with me. It’s not often in this world where it’s okay to really admit you are afraid. 

I recently saw two Ted talks, by Brene Brown. Both are about shame and vulnerability. I was so moved by the talks, I bought all three of her books instantly. I KNEW I needed more of that information. I’ve become enchanted with her words. In fact, the first book I read, I went through a second time to make sure I had copied all the quotes I wanted to. This woman moves me. 

My friend A texted me last night and said, “It’s hard to know what to say to people who are so thoughtful and sweet. These things you send me mean so much to me.” I told her thank you was enough, because it really is. There is something about people sharing their vulnerabilities with me that makes me feel utterly alive and human as well. Brene said it like this: 

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.” ~ The Gifts of Imperfection

I find it incredibly refreshing and honored to have people who are willing to text me and say “I’m scared.” As I write this I’m tearing up, thinking about what a gift that is. How grateful I am to have people in my life who trust me enough to tell me. Who I trust enough to write back and say “You know what? I am too.” 

I met up with a friend that I used to work with yesterday. We actually didn’t really talk much at work, but through facebook we found we had some mutual interests and decided to get breakfast. It was amazing. It’s funny how when you honor those connections in your life, they bring you even more than you would have realized at the time. You find people who are on similar paths as you and if you are open to share, you find a softer place to fall and be yourself. But mostly you just keep finding out that you are not alone.

Each of my friends struggles are incredibly different. They are all traumatizing and are causing  major upheaval in their lives. There are moves that are going to need to happen, new jobs, chemotherapy, breakups, and there is a lot of trusting in the universe that it will all work out in the end.

I don’t know that I ever have great advice for them, but one thing I’m learning to have more and more is empathy. I’m learning how to not only listen, but to hear. I’m learning that their situation really isn’t about me. So when they come to me with what is hurting my best bet is just to hear them. A lot of time I can say, “Oh I totally remember how that feels” But most of them I get to be there to acknowledge their feelings and that I think is better than all the advice in the world.

Somehow in this, I’m also learning to be kinder to myself. I’m learning that I’m not the only one that gets scared and freaked out about feelings. I’m not the only one that wants love and comfort. I’m not the only one that sometimes feels that the things I dream will never happen. We are all in this together and the more we can share with those kindrid spirits in our lives, the better off we may be. 

So, I’m scared too.  I’m forever grateful that I have friends with whom I can share that fear. I’m so glad they are willing to come to me and share theirs too. I'm glad we can all be in this together. It’s such a great place of comfort and rest. 

So thank you Universe, thank you for honoring that friendship and that space. Somehow just knowing that those things have been provided to me, make the unknown a little more easy to handle. 

p.s. As I was driving away after breakfast, this song wandered onto my Pandora play list. It’s an excellent little reminder to slow your roll and try and blow the worry off. After all, we only really have THIS moment. 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Patience, Feelings, and more Patience

I’ve been waking up early these days. It’s been hard to keep a quiet mind, to get a good full nights rest. I find my heart is racing with anticipation for something I’m not sure is going to happen. I find myself flip flopping from “it totally will!” to “it’s time to give up.” And I’m not sure which way its going to play out at this moment. I guess what I know for sure is that my intuition still doesn’t have the full answer and it’s in these moments where I learn to be more patient that I thought I could.

Patience is one of those traits that for me is incredibly hard to come by. I have an incredible ability to manifest my desires and most of the time I get what I dream. This at times can be a dangerous combination paired with an only child. Because then when those dreams don’t happen, when I think they should, I find myself losing faith. I find myself questioning the universe, myself, and if I should really trust my desires.

Here’s the funny thing. The very reason I should have faith, is because so many good things do happen. I’m absolutely a glass half full type of girl. I have moments where I waiver, but overall, I consistently see the sad things that happen to me as opportunities to grow and mend. I also see how much those things have shaped and changed me for the better. I totally get it. And yet I waiver still! 

The truth is, we never know what will happen to us. We are not guaranteed a future. My job provides me the opportunity to see this everyday. You put your sick baby to bed and you wake up with a house full of paramedics performing CPR. You break up with your boyfriend and find out you have cancer on the same day. You find out your husband is cheating on you and wants to make a life with your transgressor. Shit happens. My ex-boyfriend married the girl he cheated on me with 10 months to the day he moved out. She was pregnant. Shit happens.

However, we can’t think that is the end of our story. It’s nowhere near, in the midst of all those emotions and feelings, we have such a tremendous opportunity for growth. We can take these things that weigh us down and use them for good. It almost seems counterintuitive at the time, but I wholehearted believe it is possible. 

I remember the betrayal I felt after my breakup. I had worked so hard to keep my relationship afloat and I was left alone crying and feeling like I was the one to blame. It took me awhile to work through that rubble, but as I did, I learned so many beautiful lessons. 

I learned how proud I was of myself. I made a few hard decisions in that relationship, in sometimes very murky waters, I was still able to clearly see the best decision for me. 

I learned was how faithful I am. I am a loyal friend and lover. Even after all the hurt, I refused to seek revenge.

I learned that doing things and loving people, will never make them love you back. You have to love people because you just want to. Trying to win them with your actions, will most likely leave you are out of luck. They’ve just gotta love you for you.

Most importantly though I learned that even when it feels really scary. Even when you can’t understand what is going on or why you are crying at 3am. Again. You have to trust that the good things that have happened to you, will keep happening. 

One of my most favorite pieces of wisdom from that time was this little quote:

“Feelings are like waves, you can’t stop them from coming in, but you can choose which ones you surf.” 

How empowering! We cannot control what happens to us, but we do have a choice in how to respond.

If I can impart anything I learned in that trying time to others, my prayer for them is always patience. Patience with yourself, patience with your feelings, patience to trust that time will show you why this path is better.  I know sometimes it’s hard to see and I know at times it’s even harder to feel that regardless of what is happening, it will get better. It’s those times that I encourage you to take a deep breath. Say hello to that feeling and acknowledge it, welcome it, and then let it go. It may not go away right away and it may pop up time and time again, but I promise you, it will, eventually. 

My story didn’t end with my breakup, in fact it got so much better. I believe the same for you. To you who are in a crazy battle with your hearts and minds. I pray that you find someone with a kind word today. I pray that you can rest in those moments of peace, but mostly I hope you find a piece of faith that you can hold on to and believe that things will work out for the better.

~ x ~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Intuition, Uncertainty, and Donuts

Have you ever had a magical fluffy donut? You know those donuts that are filled with air and lovely doughy goodness? Donuts are a tricky little sort to actually make. They are a little bit of science, but mostly they are made of keen observation and intuition. Turns out intuition is really just all the information you’ve gathered from previous situations and your brain processing that information to give you a good idea of what may happen. 

When I was in my early twenties I worked for a short time as a baker. The baking process is incredible. It’s a magical blend of chemistry, intuition, and time. You have to measure things correctly, most ingredients are actually weighed to the gram and that process should not be left to fate. You simply follow the directions and go. However, the rest of baking is a little more tricky. The final steps of baking require a lot of faith in the process and your intuition. I’ll come back to the baking part in a minute, but first lets talk more about intuition.

I’ve been learning a lot about intuition lately. How to listen to mine. How to trust it. I’ve had many events that give me confirmation to trust my intuition. However, when it comes to love it gets a bit more tricky. We can’t be good at everything. And this is an area I struggle in multiple ways. However, trusting my intuition isn’t a place where I usually falter, so it can be a bit confusing for me.

Real quick, lets define intuition according to Brene Brown.

“intuition is not a single way of knowing- it's our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we've developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith
and reason.”

My friend J and I were talking about how we just want to KNOW what’s going to happen with our love lives. We both feel like really good things are around the corner, our intuition is speaking loads to us. However, we have no confirmation of what is to come. After all, these are situations where another person is involved.This is where we both get hung up. 

We get hung up on certainty. 

Brene Brown, when writing about intuition says “In my research, I found that what silences our intuitive voice is our need for certainty. Most of us are not very good at not knowing. We like sure things and guarantees so much that we don't pay attention of the outcomes of brain's matching process.” 

The very thing that we want, to trust our intuition, is also the thing that silences it? Our need to know exactly when, where or how can ruin the whole intuitive process. 

J and I were talking about talking about our intuition and the future. I told her how sometimes I feel like my intuition is telling me one thing, but I don’t want to act on it. And I don’t know why I don’t want to act on it, except sometimes we just need more information. 

Sometimes we need to wait for a few other things to come together. We find out information that can cause you to change direction. Changing directions is completely okay, because that’s what your intuition has lead you to.

...Another example of how our need for certainty sabotages our
intuition is when we ignore our gut's warnings to slow down, gather
more information, or reality-check our expectations.”

Let’s get back to baking. When you work in a professional bakery you learn about this nifty little contraption called a proofer. The proofer is basically a big, warm humidified box. The proofer is the last step before baking. The trick of the proofer is this. 

There is not a set time. 

There’s an idea, but it’s all about looking at your dough and knowing when it’s ready, it’s all about your intuition. It's about remember what it looked like the last time you took it out of the proofer and baked it, how it worked out. Your brain does this same thing in life and love. It remembers the situation from last time and tries to tell you.

That time in the proofer is weird, if you take your stuff out too early, it won’t be as fluffy, too late and it gets all mushy. You can also sometimes skip the proofer, but let me tell you, it won’t taste as good. It’s a little bit of what I like to call baking voodoo.

So when J I were talking about all this waiting we feel like we have to do and how impatient we are. I told her about the proofer. I told her about how I see this waiting time just like that dough. We can’t be certain, we just have to wait for that magical moment when we know. 

Even if it forces us to swallow big gulps of fear pouring in from the unknown. 

We could try and make it happen earlier, but it wouldn’t be right. When we relinquish our need for certainty and trust and honor our intuition we can relax in knowing that our time for true love will come. 

Cheers to uncertainty. 

~ x ~

Friday, February 15, 2013

Daring to dream and being ready to get it

I’ve always been one of those girls with a million things up my sleeve. I constantly have something new I want to try. There’s always an adventure to be had. I love experiences, meeting new people, and challenging myself out of my comfort zone. Except, when it comes to love, I find myself usually lacking the above qualities.

You see, loving someone is scary. Loving someone who may not love you back is even more scary. I mean, who really wants to put their heart on the line like that? Years ago, in my early 20’s I fell in love with my best friend. This guy was awesome and to this day we are still very close, but when I finally admitted to him that I was in love with him, let’s just say the response was, well, heartbreaking. I was kind of a mess for awhile. I felt betrayed, I felt that the world had completely let me down, after all, I thought he was perfect for me. 

However, sometimes when you are in the middle of something your ability to see clearly is marred by all the chaos going around you. I now look at him and while I think he is an amazing person and I now have enough information to know that we wouldn’t work in a romantic relationship. And perhaps had he given into my desires to make me happy, we would have lost a friendship that will probably last for both of our lives. 

I sometimes get scared when I realize how much I want something. Because you see, I have a habit of getting what I want. 

I’m still not sure how this happens, but I know I am very good at manifesting goodness in my life. Let me tell you some of the things that have happened in the past few years that are examples of this manifestation. I currently live in the EXACT apartment that I wanted to live in when I moved back to LA proper. I got TWO different jobs for a company that is notoriously difficult to get a job with.  I got the job I wanted and was the only person in both interviews offered the exact position I hoped for. I had less experience, than other applicants, but my desires lined up with the universe and good things happened. As it is, I love my job. I have been so blessed there. I’ve made friends for a lifetime and actually have a lot of fun when I go to work. These are just a few of the many awesome things that have completely worked out for me when I dared to dream them.

I have an incredible set of friends who share my joy and pain. Who have my back, who keep me honest, and love me, even when I come up with some crazy idea. You see these are things I had the courage to dream. I happen to be a fantastic day dreamer. And I am very comfortable admitting the things I want to the world. I keep finding that as you let the world know what you want, it comes around.

Expressing your desires to yourself, to the universe, to your friends not only puts things in motion to get those things to you, it always you to be more authentic and vulnerable which only increases the strength of your friendships. I currently have a huge desire that I would really like to see happen. It keeps floating around my heart and while I am positive that it is supposed to happen, I have to wait on some other factors to come together. Having that kind of patience is killer. I constantly have to remind myself that what I want takes time, but the outcome is worth it. 

What is funny is that I’m the one who wants this dream and my friends who know this dream sometimes press me to get the ball in motion to make the dream come true. However, I have to be true to MY dream and not theirs. I know their intentions are good, but I have to my heart and trust my intuition. Knowing their wants for me line up with what I want sends some amazing positive energy out into the world and hopefully encourages the changes that need to happen to make it grow. It’s good to admit to the people you love what you dream.

So I encourage you to really sit for a second and see what your desires are. What do you day dream of in your relationships? Your job? Your home? Start to believe it’s already happening.

If you want to move to a new city, start writing your address with that city on it. You want to be in a happy relationship? Start work on making yourself happy, do things you love. it’s amazing how much attractive you are when you find that you aren’t looking for the relationship to change, but just working on yourself. 

Be open. Be open to the gifts, to the words, the encouragement. Notice the sunshine. Be grateful for what you already have. Don’t put all your eggs in that basket. Know that if you get your hearts desire it isn’t going to radically change who you are, it’s only going to enhance who you are. It should compliment you, but not define you. 

Make a vision board. Write down a life wish list. Know that it’s okay to have dreams and desires. Don’t let the world define who you are or what you should want. 

Have the courage to dream. Then be ready to make it happen. Maya Angelou said “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” Seriously, be prepared. It happens folks and when it does. Bask in the glow of knowing your desires can be met and then, have the courage to dream more!

As for my dream. I'm working on me. I'm actually trying to not worry to much about making it happen right now. I'm just working on being prepared to get it. After all, when it happens I want to be ready to jump up and down and bask in the glow of another dream coming true. Try it. It works, I promise.