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12.30.2010

We Can Be New

"And we'll shed of our skins like trees do with leave
We'll glide together down in winter breeze
And rest in the Earth intertwined at the roots
Until we have grown into one, me and you"
-We Can Be New by Amel Larrieux

So it's been a little while since I last made an entry, but alas, here I am! I've taken some time and dedicated it to editing my book, building my design portfolio, and stalking some new job perspective (I won't give up until I make my first paycheck). Though today I received a lovely notice in the mail from my phone company to 'pay my bill or else', the old fears didn't settle in. I shruggged it off. I much rather spend my energy focused on making my life better than focusing on the things that are trying to make me miserable. Being broke is only temporary. I simply start playing Amel Larrieux's Shine and become ever more optimistic that something great is just around the corner.

Speaking of around the corner, the new year is upon us. I'm a little happy and sad to see 2010 go (mostly happy). I'm going to be the cliche and dedicate this blog to new beginnings. Here are my top ten things I believe we should all add to our list of resolutions:

10 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS EVERYONE SHOULD MAKE 

1. Cut the Excuses, Just do It : It feels like most of our lives are made up of excuses as to why we can't do this, or don't like that. This year, I'm going stop listing reasons why I shouldn't, can't or didn't and start just doing it.
2. Check In with Me: Making time for ourselves is nothing new. And yet, we still devote majority of our time to our friends, careers, and everything under the sun. This just further exasperates the stress that we eventually develop throughout the year. So let's do ourselves a favor by setting aside 'me time' for one day every single week.
3. Let It go: Oh boy, was it ever so hard for me to let things go in the past. I do it now with much less resistance,and as a result I've become a better person for it. Instead of letting anger fester or holding onto old baggage, resolve to let that ish go!
4. Keep it Sexy: Did I just say that? Lol. There's nothing like getting dolled up and looking so divine that compliments come in the droves. What better way to boost your spirits and self esteem? Well...maybe chocolate...
5. Exercise The Mind: Education doesn't end at school, so I'm going to keep the New York Times bestsellers list to very good use in the coming new year
6. Do Something Scary: mostly for the sense of pride one feels after accomplishing such a feat.
7. Think big (...bigger than that): Sometimes my tiny little mind can't even begin to grasp the potential power I have to rule the world (insert wickedly evil laugh here). But until that world conquest, I will rest assure that the greatest things in this world begin with just a dream. So as long as I shoot for the stars, I'm bound to hit the moon.
8. Smile: Have you ever randomly flashed your teeth to the world? I experimented with smiling just because, and someone smiled back! Seems trivial, but I was surprised how easily my mood changes by just smiling.
9. Sing and Dance: In the rain, in the shower, on key, off key, until your ears bleed. Lol. To steal a line from Corinne, but your record on and let your hair down.
10. Laugh until your stomach aches: Why? Because it feels damn good.

Beyond this I have made a list of 111 things (cheesy I know) to do before the year's end. So in between writing books and working I'll slide in riding a horse (#34), and petting a dolphin(#45) somewhere in there. I wish you the best.

Happy New Year Loves!

12.17.2010

MY FAVORITE 12/17/10

I'm going to deter slightly from my usual romance rants to give way to my favorite things. This week:

Definitely have been a fan since 'Like a Star'. Her music is on constant rotation in my head, as should be because she is absolutely talented and has an addictive way with words and sounds. Her last album the sea has been out for a while, but if you haven't listened to it, what are you waiting for? It's great! But this post isn't her old stuff, it's about her new album coming out in January called the 'Love LP'. The album is going to be a collection of love song cover from her favorite artists. The first single released off the album is a Bob Marley cover of  'Is This Love". Give it a listen.
xxx
Shirley

12.16.2010

Oh, umm..Thanks


I heard this hilarious story the other day of a woman who received what I believe is the worst gift ever from a boyfriend. On the day of their anniversary she arrived at her bf's home. Immediately she noticed that he looked extremely sexy in his dapper attire. Score! From that point she figured things could only get better, but apparently not so much. Later on that evening he presented her with a 'romantic' dinner for two. At the table her bf had set a single lit tea candle, Styrofoam plates, and two sodas. The utensils you ask? Well there were none, because the main course consisted of a $0.25 bag of Doritos and hamburgers. Lovely. Let's just say this was not exactly the four course dinner menu she had her heart set on, but I guess his intentions were in the right place. Well, at least she had the gift to look forward to.

After the unfulfuilng meal she looked at her bf whose face held an expression filled with excitement and enthusiasm. It must finally have been the moment she was waiting for, and so he gave her the queue to close her eyes. The woman was so elated about the gift that she twisted in her seat with glee. What did she hear as her bf pulled out the present? No, not the sound of Tiffany's box, but the familiar and distinct rustling of a brown paper bag! Not good. When she opened her eyes she was greeted by a bright red paper bag that read 'BIG SALE!' which apparently held her gift inside. Her boyfriend reached into the bag (which still had coupons he used to purchase the gifts with inside)and pulled out a vanilla scented candle.  He must have not been listening when she previously told him how much she absolutely abhors all thing scented vanilla. But she simply smiled and waited for the other gift that weighed down the oh so lovely brown paper bag. Next he pulled out a self help book with the widest grin on his face as if he had done something extraordinary well. Wrong! So apparently he chose to listen to her when she expressed feeling of insecurity, but not when she talked about vanilla? Interesting. The woman was thouroughly unsatisfied, and even offended that her boyfriend had gotten her these horrble gifts.

Here's the thing some people don't seem to understand when it comes to giving gifts. The gift must have significance, and it must show that you've been listening to your mate throughout the year. It is absolutely tacky to not even take the time to thoroughly plan out such a special occasion, let alone not even have enough time to wrap up a gift that was clearly a Buy One Get One free deal at the mall (Did I mention that he kept the other candle to himself?) If you haven't purchased your gift yet, than here are some great things to think about before you get her that present:

The Do's and Don't of Gift Giving:

DO ask her for at least five things she's been eyeing. This way She'll know that she'll definitely receive something that she's always wanted as apposed to something you suspect she wants
DON'T use her cries for help as an opportunity to get her a self help book. In a time of need, she needs a your shoulder, leave the self help books for her girlfriends to buy

DO take time to plan out a proper dinner. If you can't afford to go out to eat, make a dinner that consists of a salad, a main course, and dessert. Visit allrecipes.com if you need a few pointers. Everything should be eaten on a solid platew/ utensils and napkins (stop being lazy and wash the dishes!) .
DON'T cook the meal if you have never cooked in your life. You can purchase frozen dinners or pre-cooked meals at your local grocers.

DO buy flowers. Even if you can't buy her a gift, the flowers in itself will out shadow any of your small discrepancies
DON'T leave her presents unwrapped and in the shopping bag. As a matter of fact this shows that you don't even care about her gift at all. It's all about presentation. The prettier the package, the more you care. We want to know that you took your time out of your busy schedule and put your heart into making the gift special. Don't have the gift of wrap? Grab an inexpensive gift bag, some stuffing paper, and a big bow. Viola! You have a lovely package.

DO remember why you're getting her a gift. The gift is a representation of your affections for this person.
DON'Tget anything at all if you feel you're getting it out of obligation. Giving is supposed to make you feel great when your do it. Instead do something  like a serenade, a massage, or a poem that will like it comng from the heart and out of love (or like).

DO allow her to enjoy her gift
DON'T make plans to use her gift. A gift is not for you, it's for someone else

The best gift of all is absolutely knowing that something you are giving is bringing joy to someone else's life.This is your part of your life purpose. So give it your full attention and devotion because it will always come back to you in the form of happiness.

12.14.2010

What Did You Say?


I was watching a couple on Clean House on the verge of getting into an argument about why they are driving each other crazy. This would seem normal for any couple, but what really got under my skin was the fact that every time there was a disagreement, the wife would walk away. The strange thing is that in the past I have been guilty of doing the same thing. Rather than bicker and argue about something I much preferred to walk away from the situation. But in doing that I never was able to properly resolve my issues. Instead, I was just erasing them from my mind, taking caution not to repeat the same mistake to avoid the argument.

Unfortunately doing this does not mitigate any problems, it simply bottles up the issue until one day it all explodes into the ultimate no holds bar fight. However, if one constantly seeks confrontation as a way to end all problems, it also back fires. When we're constantly looking for a way to solve the problem, often times it just makes the problem worse. People usually have one of two philosophies when it comes to approaching an argument: 1. Don't give up until I win or 2. Leave before I do something I'll regret. It is a struggle to find balance  between the two and often times throughout our lives we tip the scale  towards one action more so than the other. There is this delicate balance that needs to be found in knowing when to face the issue head on and when to walk away. And this has to be applied to every aspect of our lives. Here are some situations I think we should all put to practice:

When to Walk Away
  • When the situation can effect your job: At some point in time we all will have to deal with a supervisor who is just plain rude and ignorant. They may go on an endless rant about how we're not working up to their expectations or some other excuse with further supports exactly how ignorant they truly are. Regardless, confrontation with a supervisor will more than likely lead to you getting written up or fired. So when your supervisor is being a pain, just walk away
  • When you don't even know the person you're about to fight: This should be common sense right? So why do I constantly hear stories about people who end up in a hospital because of road rage? Come on! When you are in public, you have no idea of what any person is capable of...just walk away! You may just save your life
  • If the issue is about mediocre things: I've seen people start arguments about looking at someone the wrong way. I mean really? The person could just have a lazy eye, let it go. Who cares if someone doesn't like the way you look, smell, smile, talk, laugh, etc. The only approval that really matters is the one you hold for yourself.
  • When it will cause your body physical harm: I believe that fighting should be utilized as a last resort. If you have exhausted all attempts to avoid fighting, then go ahead and swing. But if you can save your body the pain and your reputation the humiliation, then do it by walking away
When to Confront the Problem
  • If it is issues with the spouse: Any repressed issues with the spouse will end up coming up again at some point in the relationship if you don not immediately address it. So save yourself the time and trouble, and get it out of the way now
  • If it is verbal abuse: I don't believe any person should allow someone else to speak down to them, period! If you let it happen once, they will do it again. Confront these type of issues head on, and be firm. Bottom line is that they need to show you respect.
  • When it involves changing a person: I'm sure at some time you will have to deal with a person who is trying to change something about you that you won't like. The rule of life is that you cannot change a person who does not want to be changed. So any arguments surrounding this will have to be dealt with
  • If it is a repeat offense: I had a situation with an acquaintance who was consistently flaky. After the third time I simply decided to address the problem because it was driving me crazy. It especially annoyed me because we had a conversation about the issue the first time it happened! When someone continues to do something that you have previously discussed with them, address it or they will continue to do it.
Of course there will be a list of other pressing situations to deal with, so you will have to use your best judgement in each situation. After a bit of trial and error, you'll find the balance that will make your life much more easier.

12.09.2010

I Hope This Gets To You



So I was probing around online and found this absolutely adorable video. Here's the story behind the video, a very talented boyfriend rounded up his friends to make this digital love letter to his girlfriend in the form of a video. But here's the catch...she has no idea it's online. He's not telling her about, posting it on facebook, sending her an email...nothing. His hope is that it will eventually drift across the Internet and make it to her. To cute! If you're reading this, please please please pass it on!

12.08.2010

Just Breathe


It really is unfortunate when you meet someone you really like and they just disappear. I'm sure many of us have had that one person that entered our lives, and suddenly left without a word. A friend of mine expressed this to me the other night and I empathised with her. I'm no stranger to the Mystery Man. The Mystery Man is that person that piques our interest yet we have no initial intention of getting to know him. But then, he suddenly expresses an interest in us a surprising fashion. Intrigued we probe for information about his life to which he almost always responds with witty lines filled with mystique. What could be more fascinating than magic? A man who delivers vague lines. Of course in the beginning he'll call consistently and somewhere along the line he manages to hook us with a kiss followed by some corny line that make us think of a future with him. That blasted kiss has fulfilled it's duty in making us crazy in like. Fast forward to the present. Now we haven't heard a word from him. Hard to believe but Mr. Mystery has moved on and oh yeah...he forgot to let us know.

Perhaps we should blame ourselves for being so naive and vulnerable to a person we hardly know. But this is something I feel people (especially people pleasers like me) do much to often. The feelings of having failed at doing all we could to appease that person is what really kills us inside. It is in our nature to naturally attract, and satisfy the people in our lives. And when that doesn't work it leaves us confused, hurt, and obsessed with finding the reason why.

I propose we take a moment to really assess whether or not this person was even worthy of receiving anything from us to begin with. A person unwilling to divulge information wreaks of suspicion. Mystery Man could very well just be a jerk. But I'd like to think he is most likely holding onto baggage which is hindering him from opening up to anyone. In reality Mystery Man hides his issues behind his success in the form of dashing attire, great educational credentials, high paying jobs, endless partying, and a barrage of sexual conquests. For the most part these things may just be innocent fun, but in other cases they could be tell tale signs that he cannot face his own inner demons. He has no sense of who he really is so when he enters our lives, we are completely oblivious of what we are getting into.

It's not your fault you were just being you. To blame yourself for not being able to solve that other person's problem is truly self defeating. It is a battle that cannot be won. Maybe one day Mystery Man will unleash his Pandora's box to someone, and who knows, it may be to you (that would be very interesting to say the least)...but until then start to accept that whatever the problem is, most likely has nothing to do with you. Allow that burden to rest entirely on his shoulders. Start to breathe and sleep easier knowing that he is one less person you have to take care of.

I'm Over It...I Think


A heart that still belongs to your ex is a heart trapped inside a prison. Why is it so immensely hard to overcome the end of a relationship? Maybe it's because that person was the best thing to have entered our lives. Maybe it's because that person brought such great joy to our lives. Maybe it's because the idea of letting something perfectly good escape our company sounds absolutely insane. But never the less, holding onto a past relationship does no good for anyone, especially not for you.

I've come to realize that more than our careers, education, or money, relationships are a priority in our lives. They create friendships, partnerships, sisterhoods, brotherhoods, mentors, families, and lovers. Yes, it is clear that the one relationship that has the most significant impact in our lives are the romantic relationships. But unfortunately this is the most unstable relationship out of all the relationships in our lives. Romantic relationships are the ones we want to talk about all the time, but very rarely openly discuss. Although some (especially women) walk around with their hearts on their sleeves, others (like men) walk around almost ashamed to discuss it. We create this empty prison constructed of disappointment, crushed egos, unmet expectations, hurt, and longing. That prison waits there ready for your heart just in case a relationship ever fails, and when that happens your heart stays there until it can finally build up the courage to break free.

Three Reason's it's so Hard to Get Over Someone:

1. The Happy Feelings They Gave Us: There's no denying the utter joy they bring to our lives every single moment we're in their presence. Once they leave, they take that happiness with them. It's hard to recreate a happiness which is dependent on another person

2. He's Always Around: He's always there in some form, but the one place that he cannot seem to leave is in our minds. Obviously it is really hard to escape from someone whose always in your thoughts

3.The need for Closure: ending a relationship with absolutely no excuse is the most vexing situation. Majority time when our relationships end we don't get this. For an individual who demands answers to questions, this is torturous.

Getting over an ex is most definitely not an easy feat. But it's only as hard as we make it. We complicate the issue using too many excuses to remain in love (or in like) with that person. So here's the thing, knowing that romance is so important what we want to do is give extreme attention to maintaining the strongest relationship with the best possible person. But if we have given all we could into that past relationship and our exes decide they no longer want to be with us, than maybe we should reevaluate if that is the type of person we should divide our attention to. Think of it this way, if you are an extraordinary person, than by definition you should be with an extraordinary person...nothing less. In most cases, your ex was the man/woman that wasn't quite extraordinary but was able to pass your threshold therefore you invited them into your life with high expectations. Sorry to break your heart but an ordinary person can only do ordinary things. So if you're looking to take the steps towards moving forward, part of getting over someone will first involve us accepting that maybe it wasn't meant to be...at least not with that person.

I discuss this an much more topics in my upcoming book "Johnny Took My Heart: The Heartless Woman's Guide to Getting Over Him" which will be available soon. Keep an eye out.

12.06.2010

It Won't Last


A friend of mine was showing me pictures on facebook of this guy who wants to take her out. As I looked at the pictures, I was thoroughly impressed. The guy was extremely handsome, tall, tan, and adventuristic. He's every woman's fantasy. Now usually I would tell her to go ahead and let the man take her out on a date, but she's already in a relationship! So I told her it's a pity she's already has a man, to which she responded "What my boyfriend doesn't know won't hurt him....anyways he didn't ask if I had a boyfriend." Sigh.

Now I love my friend, but I don't know how I feel about this. With the oncoming premier of my first book, this seems an appropriate time to discuss the topic of signs a relationship won't last. Though there are many signs a struggling relationship won't last, sometimes we choose to set aside the obvious to maintain a sense of security in knowing there will always be someone to fall back to in worst case scenarios. Our fear of being alone, or fear of an unforeseen future terrifies us more than the repercussions of hurting the person we are in a relationship with. My friend does have some underlying issues that causes her to act this way, but in essence it all stems from the same root of fear. If you find yourself in a relationship, but simultaneously seeking more, than maybe it's high time you realize that the relationship will not last.

Five Signs a Relationship Won't Last

1. You (or your mate) have commitment issues: This is something I almost always see. Some people have a tendency to be serial dater/ monogamist. They jump from relationship to relationship without even giving themselves a moment to just be single. These people carry a relationship stopwatch. When opportunity presents itself they are quick to take it, and move onto the next prospect.

2. There's tons of chemistry, but no compatibility: Chemistry an amazing thing, but chemistry in itself won't make a relationship last. Shared values and interaction is what sustains a relationship. I am guilty of this myself. Sometimes we get so caught up in the excitement of the initial energy this person ignites in us. We are blinded by the fact that those feelings  don't last, and when it's gone we continue to try reigniting a flame that has completely burned out.

3. You're keeping Secrets: We all know the phrase "Don't ask, don't tell" but when secrets are unveiled they have potential horrible ramifications. If you're in a relationship I should hope that you're in it for the long run, and not for temporary gratification. When you're in a relationship for the long run, secrets (especially those that pertain to the relationship) can tear a couple apart.

4. Your mate brings out your worst: Being in love and happy, and optimistic are all the good qualities of being with someone. However, when that same person has the ability to make you furious, and do things that you would never normally do, don't expect the relationship to last. When you compromise your integrity, you sacrifice your happiness. Being in a relationship with no sense of joy or happiness is pointless.

5. You're slightly embarrassed about your mate: Some people tend to focus on external approval to solidify whether their mate is the right chose for them or not. When we do things like refrain from PDA because we are embarrassed by our mate's behavior, or are obsessed with superficial things like grooming we are creating this barrier within the relationship. If you don't want to be seen with your boyfriend/girlfriend then why are you with them?

Overall, if you're looking into prospective new mates then maybe your should consider the idea that you may not be committed to being in a relationship. You may want to focus on you and what you really desire before entering a relationship.

I talk about this and more in my upcoming book 'Johnny Took my Heart: The Heartless Woman's Guide to Getting Over Him' coming out soon. Stay tuned for more relationship related posts.

12.04.2010

A Limitless Love


Absolutely love this

Don't Expect Much

Lowered expectations are so dreadful. Essentially it is never believing the best of anything. Fortunately low expectations do have some benefits that can work in our daily lives. For me the bar had always been set high, especially when it comes to relationships. For instance I expect the people in my life to follow a laundry list of things. Anything contradictory to the list results in immediate expulsion from friendship. Many people have admired this about me. But trust me when I say it has had it's downfalls. As a result of the high expectations, I have made many good quality friends. However those are few. Once again, no matter how long the friendship had been, or how much I really liked the person; if they ever violated my list, they were gone.

Which leads to the topic at hand. I've noticed many people who have maintained friendships with others (despite the horrendous things those people may have done) lead happier lives. These 'friend keeprs' have a plethora of acquaintances and a never ending  social lifestyle. Rather than eliminating the person as a friend, they keep them at bay while happily floating through their other choices of friends. So the question is, do I really care about keeping and maintaining friendships? Of course I do. It wasn't until I was at the bottom of the pit that I realised I had practically no one in my life to throw me a rope. The secret to keeping and maintaining friendships is to ultimately lower my expectations.

In general sometimes we set our relationship bars way to high. The people in our lives are expected to call us weekly if not daily. They are expected to be there when we need a shoulder to cry on. They must loan us money when we're broke and if they ever ignore or forget a birthday it's a wrap! When we expect the people in our lives to keep up with this list, I can almost guarantee we end up disappointed majority of the time.

I'm freeing my mind of this anxiety and am facing the fact that no one is made perfect. Thank God for the power of forgiveness for without it the entire world would be a collection of friendless, loveless introverts. Building up these high expectations creates a barrier that can not allow room to grow. Let's face it, without people in our lives we are useless. They inspire us, motivate us, make us laugh, cheer us on and so much more. The more you have, the better your life can be. I will keep in mind that quality is still a very important factor, but my list of qualities will never again hinder me from keeping good people in my life.

Today I am lowering some of my absurd expectations. Yes, they may forget to call me in over three months, and yes they may forget a birthday or two, but they are still my friends. And that is something I should never expect to change.

Dear Santa...I'm all set!



Over the last couple of days I've barely been able to sleep. It's not insomnia that is leaving up til the wee hours of the morning, but the excitement and energy of the new year to come. With only a few days left in 2010, I've been wondering exactly how I wanted to end this year. Beyond the typical money, love, and material things I want more than anything to end this year by giving closure to the things that I have tried to ignore or erase from my past. Funny how I began the year thinking that this was going to be the most amazing, momentous, and financially abundant year of my life. And to a certain extent I did get exactly what I asked for. This year was amazing not because I traveled the globe, or because I'm living in a lavish home, or because or I'm living care free. This year is special to me because I learned to grow up in every sense of the word.

I grew into the person I always wanted to be but feared to be it because it was going against the norm. I guess I could say the greatest gift I received this year is courage. The courage to take a different path, to face up to my mistakes, and to ask for help. With all the gifts I've been given it's hard for me to believe sometimes that I could receive anymore.

Five Gifts I've Already Received...

1. A New Home : Granted I'm still living with my parents, I certainly am not complaining about moving to an extraordinary new home in the suburbs. I have a room to myself, free food, free Internet, and entertainment at my finger tips.

2. A loving purposeful relationship with my mother: I resented my mother for about ten years for never having the time to spend with me, have a conversation, or be enthusiastic about my life decisions. But through those years she always managed to sneak in some words or hope, love and support. Maybe it sounds stupid, or cliche but there's nothing like the love of a mother, and to finally be able to laugh with her, cry on her shoulder, and share words of inspiration and hope means something more significant than anything I've encountered thus far.

3. My Friends: Oh friends, how I have taken you for granted. Anyone who knows me knows that I change friends like the seasons. In the past there has always been this timer inside me that monitored when it was time to let go and let new friends flow into my life. Maybe it was the thrill and excitement of meeting new people, or maybe even my lame desire to have constant change in my life. Fortunately, there were a few who refused to let me brush them off. I am humbled and absolutely grateful for these people.

4. The Secret: The Law of Attraction has changed my life. I've been hearing these people say these positive messages for year. Things like 'you can do anything...' or 'believe and you can achieve' were always around me. But I never really listened to any of it. Now that I hear the message, and put it to practice every single day I've been able to do things I never imagines I would be doing.

5. Joy: and I feel it on my own with no external influences. Sure I could say I'm happy, but the over powering sense of euphoria that runs through my veins every time I experience joy simply doesn't compare to just being happy. I've felt joy before, but it was always through something else life having money, or being in a relationship. Since I currently have neither of those, I thought I would never be able to have that feeling in my life. But here I am, joyful.

For the Holiday this year, I'm simply going to sit back, relax, and drink to the little things I have that made a big change in my life. Cheers to that!
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