Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stuff that Keeps You Alive, HUMP DAY Ed.

The Conversation w/ Amanda De Cadenet 
 2 Coco & Breezy, even better to follow them on Snapchat
 3 The Man Repeller on Anything but in particular Slow Fashion (she is too cool)
 4 Llorraine Neithardt's Venus Unplugged this is an especially nice balm for broken hearts.
 Tomboy KC
 6 White Collar marathons on Netflix
 7 "2 Days, 1 Night" & "Running Man" on Dramafever 
 8 Raquel Dakota on IG, raqueldakota she is a bright ray of CA sunshine + chefdiva + surfer + major babe + vegan rockstar 
 9 TOP on IG, choi_seung_hyun_tttop for artsy stuff that doesn't make sense but is still amusing and if you're an artist, the only stuff that makes sense (i.e. chairs, lots of chairs)
 10 Zella Day, you will fall in love with her instantly.
 11 We Broke Up on YouTube
12 Great ideas like Subway Symphony

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Disrupting can be a great strategy to integrate new ideas into an old environment. When we undergo a shift in thinking we tend to introduce them to our old relationships, often sparking some fear, relief, dread, anger, elation, and excitement. You'll notice the wide range of reactions the "new you" can instigate. It can be tricky. The practice to cultivate is open-mindedness, paying close attention to all the feelings that come up, the willingness to reflect (think twice), and just experience the moment. You don't suddenly forget the past but you're willing to see a different future and work the hinge of the present to swing open new doors.

Fringe of Your Own Knowing

Before we understand the science of something we see it as a stroke of luck, before that, a mystery, and perhaps fate, the possibility of karma, a god, the universe. There's no shame in that as long as we are moving towards clarity, complexity, and understanding. Seeing "God" means you are on the fringe of your own knowing. You're ready to discover something new.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How to Find Comfort When "Nothing is Going Right"

It's 1:18AM and my mind is racing.

The past three years have been filled with nights like this and the most common emotions that are still awake with me are fear, guilt, shame, anxiety, insecurity, and self-hatred.

Moments like this, I feel so exposed and unmoored.

I wonder yet again why I decided to make a change in the first place. Sure, I've been moving forward, mustering the courage time and time again. But I usually succumb to sleep before I feel any real comfort.

Tonight though, it's different. I can hear whole insights and sense a clarity I've never experienced. I think it's because I've learned how to listen to my heart vs. my ego.

I know because my heart tells me things like "be brave", "be vulnerable", "why not?", "survive", "create", "be bold", "make mistakes--it's okay", "connect", "commit", "dream and do", "care", "be earnest", "be serious", "be you", "stand up for yourself", "be loud", "just feel", "accept", "live", "love", "let go", "try, always try".

These are not things I would have recognized before practicing good listening skills, a path to intimacy or INTO ME I SEE.

I see how for very long I've chosen the voice that says, "what are you doing?", "you're in deep trouble", "how could you let this happen?", "you're making a fool of yourself", "you are a bad daughter", "you are a bad friend", "you should be x, y, z", "you can't do that", "be realistic", "be practical", etc. Every time I chose to act from that place, I also chose some version of death, the absence of real life. In place of living from my true essence, I fill my life with more lifeless things, stuff, tests, work, useless conversations, suffering.

It's early morning now and after bouts of sitting and meditating, I give myself a chance to let go. And I reflect on how I "survived":

  1. I walked away. I made a real decision to change when I quit my first full-time job out of undergrad. I couldn't figure out what it is I wanted to do so whenever I found myself doing something I did not enjoy, I stopped. I kept things very simple, I listened to my gut. 
  2. When I felt frustrated, I acted it out. This may sound counterproductive but connecting my actions with how I felt was (and constantly is) an important step to living a true life. We are human, our human experience is made up of emotions. Connecting how we feel to how we act is a natural thing. We begin to signal to ourselves and others that this is OK.
  3. Accepting that natural does not always mean peaceful. Many people think the axiom, "be yourself" will bring you peace. You can choose peace but being who you are may cause confrontations with others. Actually, it probably always will with someone, somewhere. You'll shake up environments. You will be challenged because you'll challenge all sorts of norms and there will be fights, lost battles, lessons learned, and broken relationships. Authenticity is not for the faint of heart. Which brings me to my next point...
  4. You don't "fake it until you make it"; you are honest until you feel more and more comfortable with the discomfort honesty brings. That's the place from where you develop confidence. Confidence doesn't happen if you aren't aligning what you experience inside with what you experience outside. Doing so will make you feel vulnerable, which will prompt you to have courage. Having courage in fearful situations demonstrates confidence. You demonstrate confidence when, despite of everything that opposes your will (including the internal experience of shame, guilt, nerves, whatever is your poison), you do what it is you came to do anyway. The virtue expresses itself in the moment, it's not an afterthought, a constant state, or a contrived behavior, you express it in the now by being true. 
  5. Breathe. It is the easiest thing to do. Shallow breaths, deep breaths, sharp breaths, doesn't matter how you were breathing a moment ago. You are aware of it now. Awareness is the beginning of all change. 
  6. Create. It could be moments, buildings, dinner, relationships, ideas, books, letters, texts, gifs, clothes, vegan pies, communities, wealth, whatever you want. When we create, we begin to tap into our essence, we brush up against (sometimes run head first into) our blocks. Which is good, it only expands our awareness of just how grand we can be. 
  7. Relate. We have to relate to the experience in order to experience it fully and integrate it into our ego's awareness. We begin to relate to the guilt we experience every time we do something nice for ourselves. We relate to the joy we experience when we do it anyway. It seems counterintuitive to relate to opposing emotions simultaneously but if you don't establish an open conversation with all of your emotions, your ego will continue to freak out every time you experience the emotion you choose to ignore. Once you start relating, the opportunity inherent in each case will be apparent to you. Opposites will begin to function as one whole movement. You'll be able to flow through the experience instead of getting stuck on one end of the pole. 
  8. Choose to be vulnerable vs. perfect. Vulnerability is what creates real relationships. It opens you up to the experience of oneness with others and therefore, your full potential. This is different than wearing your heart on your sleeve or becoming a doormat. Vulnerability implies susceptibility to the influence of others. We are all already susceptible to the influence of others. If we bring into focus the intention to be vulnerable, you can exercise choices based on the information you receive. You build a tolerance for a wide range of reactions to your behavior while developing a finer tool for discernment. You can perceive vs. project what is happening around you. 

BEFORE:                                                                                         AFTER: