A Patient Start

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The keeper of time,

the setter of the sun;

Keep smiling, stay patient,

it’s only just begun.

A seedling in the dirt,

awaits its time to grow,

sprouting when it may;

Good things take time, you know.

In my happy head,

with my happy heart,

I’ll wait & wait & wait some more;

Love grows with a patient start.

Lately, life has given me some not-so-subtle reminders of the joy that patience can bring. There is a quote that says, “It was sunsets that taught me that beauty sometimes only lasts for a couple of moments, and it was sunrises that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again.” I think that the power of mindfulness is the ability it gives us to trust patient timing, and not try to force life to fit within the schedules that we so often are governed by. So many of us settle for the things that we think we should have by now, because they are within our reach. But I believe that it is the things that we have to stretch for, and practice patience in order to attain, are the things that make life so beautiful.

Intellectual Intercourse: The Battle Between the Heart & the Brain

“Your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. Keep fighting. Keep loving.” 

We as human beings harbor an internal battlefield. We have two (sometimes three) organs in our body that are vying for our attention and submission. Sometimes we let the heart take the lead, making decisions based on overwhelming passion. Other times we listen to our brains, carefully considering consequence. In either instance, the entirety of the individual is held accountable for the sum of its parts.

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In case you are part the population of those who greet me with furrowed brows when I say that I watch the Bachelor (…and play in a fantasy league…), let me give you a brief recap. Each season, contestants have two months to find out if they could potentially be set up with the love of their life. On the outside looking in, it seems laughable. Can you really fall in love in two short months, where your attention is being split amongst many? Isn’t that a lot of pressure?

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When it came down to the final two last night, it was a battle of Heart vs. Brain. Bryan, the heart, gave Rachel the passionate confidence that he was ready to be her husband. Peter, the brain, was in love enough to speak the honest truth: that he wasn’t ready to speak for forever. Rachel, wanting a ring at the end of this thing, was not happy with that response. This was the first time that a Bachelorette didn’t have to make the ultimate decision, it was made for her.

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There are bouts of time when you’re acting with your brain, yet speak from your heart. Peter told Rachel, if she wants to rush into a proposal, she can go find someone to have a mediocre life with. Her and Peter broke up, and she accepted a proposal from Bryan. Although this break up was fueled by the brain, it was more emotional than the proposal, which was led by a passionately pumping heart.

Rachel and Bryan’s relationship will never be mediocre. The love is certainly there, but there takes much more to know if a relationship will stand the test of time. How much of a relationship can we physically process in just two months?

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Who knows what circumstances would have let Peter let his heart take the reins? Maybe what they say is true, that the brain is the most outstanding organ, that works for 24 hours, 365 days, right from birth until you fall in love. That’s when the heart starts pumping, and never looks back. When this happens, you better hope you’ve prepared well enough, back in the day when your brain was in the driver’s seat.

As someone who leads with their brain, I feel you Peter. But, we can’t let our hearts get rusty. If you don’t use it you lose it, and us mindful decision makers are in danger of missing out of those free-falling emotions associated with leading with your heart. Life is a balance, and if the give isn’t equal to the take, then maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner & love is in the air! 💓 Go follow @the_best_date_ever to follow the adventures of our Out There Socialite Bri & her boyfriend Chris as they quit their NYC jobs, dropped their leases, booked flights, & are traveling the world! 💏✈️

“Blocked.” Does Avoidance Solve the Problem? 

Being a millennial in the technological world of 2015 is a blessing and a curse. 

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We’re connected in a way like never before, where we can express our thoughts and feelings instantaneously. The anxiety of picking up the phone, dialing someone’s number and hoping they pick up is long behind us…

So, we got rid of that anxiety, and replaced it with a new one. Today, we are scoping out Instagram maps and tagged photos. We’re watching who ‘likes’ what, and freak out when Snapchat no longer tells us who’s best friends. Is technology the problem, or are we?

Considering social media is something that is being created by us, I’m going to say that we are the problem. But, on the bright side, there is a solution. One solution many people turn to: “block this user.” From a psychological standpoint, avoidance is basically coping by not having to cope. You’re pretending the problem disappeared *poof* into thin air. The feelings of discomfort are gone, and you are free to sink back into your comfort zone.

Of course, there are some situations where blocking a person is necessary. Perhaps they are someone you genuinely do not want to find you, due to possible violent or traumatic outcomes.

Some people “block” out of maturity, because they do not agree with the thoughts a person has, and would rather ignore them than give into the temptation of engaging in a fight.

Then there are others, who “block” because they are being told to. They’re faced with an ultimatum from a significant other, where they have to prove themselves by “blocking” someone else from their life.

To the one that wants the blockage:

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You remember on Friends when Ross was marrying Emily and she told him he couldn’t be friends with Rachel anymore? You’re Emily.

First of all, before getting into a relationship with someone else, you have to be 100% secure with yourself. Know what you’re worth and be proud. Be confident in yourself, so you can be confident in your relationship. A major tenant of any relationship is trust. By telling the person you supposedly love that they can’t talk to someone— what you’re actually saying, loud and clear, is “I don’t trust you.”

Maybe you have a reason not to trust this person. Maybe this person can’t have a platonic relationship with the person you want blocked. In that case, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them. It sounds like your future is a lifetime of mistrust, checked phones, and trying to dig for a deeper connection that doesn’t actually exist.

Or maybe these reasons are all in your head. Maybe you’re creating situations that cause you to be skeptical due to experiences you’ve had in the past. Maybe you’re not giving your significant other the benefit of the doubt.

In either case, have some more respect for yourself. Don’t think that simply “blocking” someone is going to erase your problem— because your problem lies within: security with yourself, and with your relationship.

To the block-er:

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Toughen up you weakling! A lot of people choose appeasement over dealing with their problems, because it seems like the easier option. Instead, all it does is dig yourself into a hole of deeper problems. You’re creating a standard with your significant other that they’re allowed to tell you what to do. A relationship requires sacrifice— it’s a give and take. It’s not a dictatorship.

Maybe your bae hit the nail on the head. “Block this person, you still have feelings for them.” Maybe they’re right, and maybe you’re too afraid to confront those feelings. Maybe if you didn’t block that person, you would suffer other repercussions, like having to sleep on the couch, or getting your iPad smashed.

Maybe they are completely wrong! Maybe you are putting a genuine friendship at risk, just to ease someone’s nonsensical, worrying mind. Sometimes its easier just to say yes, rather than put effort into explaining that they have nothing to worry about.

In either case scenario, you’re doing two things:

  1. Respecting the person that doesn’t trust you.
  2. Disrespecting the person on the sidelines.

To the block-ee:

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Knowing you are blocked by an old friend, former love interest, or even just some random Joe Shmo is a blow to the ego. I’m currently in this situation, on two very different sides of the spectrum (if you couldn’t already tell from the course of this post)…

The first one stemmed from a mutual attempt for a mature post-hook up-friendship (those could get messy, especially when feelings are involved). The second was from a long time friend, who feels more like a family member to me. In both instances, the “blocked” notifications hurt.

One of my favorite pearls of wisdom from the book “The Four Agreements” is: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…” -Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements 

To everyone reading:

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Maybe I’ve been watching too much “Are You The One” lately, or maybe its situations I’m currently being faced with, but I truly believe that when you are with your “Perfect Match”, you will be able to trust them.

Take a step back and look at your relationship for what it is. If you truly appreciate the person you’re with, and feel in your heart that they are doing the right thing for you; then let them follow whoever the hell they want on Instagram. If you feel that just one simple glance at a tweet is going to jeopardize your relationship, then maybe you’re better off single.

If you’re being told what to do this early in your relationship and would rather appease than succumb to threats, then do some research on abusive relationships. If you are giving into appeasement because you genuinely care for someone, have a mature, civilized discussion with them about the person they are feeling threatened by, and tell them they have nothing to worry about. But only if you mean it.

Stay true to yourself, realize what you are worth, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Sometimes this means having hard conversations, sometimes it’s walking away from something that no longer suits you, and sometimes it’s writing a blog post to call attention to the issue. You’re given one life… live it out of compassion and trust, not out of jealously and fear.

Love Your Enemy & You Won’t Have Any

Nothing makes something more intolerable than hatred. Whether it is a person, place or thing; hatred makes the heart heavy, mind cloudy, and soul discouraged. 

The Dalai Lama has told us, “in the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” Examples of this have been slapping me in the face lately.

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Let’s take, for example, wintertime. Me and the winter have not been on good terms. There is nothing that I love more than being outside in the sun, and I have always blamed winter for stealing that from me. The bitterness of the cold wind has been matched by the bitterness of my attitude walking through it. I have been as salty as what’s used to melt the snow on the road.

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The fact of the matter is; hating the winter isn’t going to make it go away. The sun still shines in wintertime. While I always considered snow to be an inconvenience, I started to look for the beauty in it. Aesthetically, it could be actually be quite pleasing. I began using shoveling as an activity that allowed me to get some fresh air, rather than a tedious chore. Winter will never be my favorite season, however, I’ve learned to appreciate it’s fleeting presence rather than loathe it… and I am a happier person for it.

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Another relationship that started out rocky… feelings towards working out. Does anyone really enjoy sweating, moving, grunting, lifting, squatting, jumping, running or any combination of the aforementioned? How does anyone find the motivation to dedicate time to put themselves through something so uncomfortable…. and do it daily?!

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The key, once again, is learning to love it. While you may never skip to the gym saying to yourself, “I just LOVE burpees!”, you will grow to love the feeling of success in your endeavors. Embrace the burn by recognizing what it all represents: strength, growth, determination, and surpassing the boundaries you have previously set for yourself. True motivation can only come from within. Once you can cultivate this for yourself, you are capable of anything!

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“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.“

The bottom line: you are the one in control of your own perspective, so why not have a positive one? 

While it can be difficult to find an enticing aspect of something you dislike, isn’t it even more difficult to harbor hatred in your heart? In looking for silver linings, the raincloud seems to disappear. Things become less foggy, and you are able to better navigate along the path of your life.

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My Valentine to Both Singles & Couples:

Whether you’re with your bae or livin la vida single, today is a day to celebrate love. Here’s my messages to the masses…

Dear Couples;

I hope you are spending your day with someone as amazing as yourself. I hope your day is filled with genuine love, rather than an elaborate show. I hope you take the time to tell your “bae” how much you appreciate them, rather than focusing on which photos you should post on your instagram collage.

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Look at the person you’re spending today with; look deep into their soul. What do you see? What do you feel? Are you blissful, or content? Are you excited, or bored? If given the opportunity, would you commit the rest of your life to them tomorrow… or are you curious about the other fish in the sea?

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Yes, Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday”, conquered by florists and Godiva, but, it is also a wonderful day to reflect. Think back to when you first met this person, how it all began. Think about what brought the two of you together, and why you decided that this was the only person you want to be with. Now— look at how far you’ve come. Yes, the “honeymoon phase” ends, but what path did the two of you take? How has the journey been along the way?

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I’m going to hit you with a big ol’ dose of reality: this person you’re with… you’re either going to get married, or break up. If you can see yourself building a life together, then I hope you shower them with all the love they deserve today. If you’re less than excited to even buy this person a present, well, read on…

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Dear Singles;

First and foremost, stop pouting. You are spending this day with the most incredible person in the entire world— yourself! While it is hard to ignore all of the couples blowing up your newsfeed, or sucking each others faces on the beach, I can almost guarantee a huge majority of them are not nearly as happy as they seem. There is a reason so many marriages end in divorce. It’s because not enough people take the time to truly foster love for themselves before trying to love someone else.

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So, use today to ignite some self-lovin’. Treat yoself! Buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing. Take yourself to dinner, and splurge on the expensive beer. I’ll even go as far as to tell you to give yourself some self-lovin’ under the sheets. Taboo… yes. Scientifically supported to make you a happier person… also, yes.

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Today is not just about couples— today is about love. And if you can’t love yourself, you can’t truly love anybody else. While being in a relationship may seem glamorous on a day like today, i’ll reiterate what I said before: you’re either going to get married, or break up. So enjoy the mean time! These are your “selfish years!” Love yourself and keep your heart open, and nothing but good things will follow!

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