Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to Deal With People Who Pretend to Be Your Friend But Want Something More

As a very free spirited and relatively care free person, I approach all of my relationships with a certain openness and flexibility. I try not to project expectations onto family or friends or partners. I respect the fact that people have very different ways of showing their love, affection, and support. I embrace the fact that people seek out connection and expression in various ways, and I am honest enough with myself to recognize that certain people's natural affinities complement my own.

Despite all of this, I still can't avoid getting hurt. One theme that has been causing me some social grief ever since middle school has been the awkward unrequited friend attraction.

I make a friend. We get along super well. I make it very well known that my romantic interests lie on someone else, because that's the truth. We stay friends. Then one day, I am made known of my friend's sexual or romantic desire. I make it known that those feelings are unreciprocated as gently as possible. I also make effort to open up a new thread, a chance to resume our buddy-centric interactions. And then,  maybe a few weeks without contact. Maybe a few months. Then we chat each other up again, and I assume that its all been forgotten, that's been dealt with, it's out of their system, whatever, it's all good. No.

Again. Friendship develops. Emotional openness. Bonding. Laughter. Memories are made. Inner selves are discovered. Inside jokes are built upon and elaborated. Gifts are given. Fun is had. And then again, that desire gets in the way. That unreciprocated desire. And then again, it's goodbye. I'll hear from you in a few weeks, I guess. Take your time.

Shit hurts, ok? This kind of friendship is conditional and built upon the most unstable of foundations. It is immature and closed minded, and it is so unhealthy. It is convoluted and unfair and damaging.

It can hurt more than a breakup. It can be more empty than a purely self serving hookup. It can make you question whether or not people actually take you seriously. Are you just a sexual object? Is there something wrong with you because the people you cherish closely seem to put more importance on what they can get from your body than your humor, your kindness, your intelligence, your emotional openness? Are all of your relationships empty? What's going on?

All these questions get raised. Enough of them can cause some serious self esteem issues to develop. It hurts, I know. It's confusing. It sucks.

I won't blame anyone for me feeling hurt. I won't sit here with my mouth agape, wondering just how someone could pretend to be my friend and just how someone could let their desire get in the way of such a good bond. I won't assume that someone has just been pretending the entire time, either. Maybe the confusion is just too strong at the moment. Maybe it's hard to decide whether or not someone can stand interacting platonically with someone you want romantically, sexually. Maybe it's ego, casting me as the enemy for not reciprocating that interest. Maybe it's entitlement issues. Maybe it's a lot of things. Some people mean well but can't process things well enough to really engage in true friendship. Some people are just assholes.

Patterns are meant to be recognized, examined, and evaluated. I believe life should be easy and that relationships should be simple. So I am encouraging more simplicity in my relationships, and I will make note to put most of my energy into those relationships.

Simple relationships are honest. Simple relationships involve needs being met in a straight forward manner. Simple relationships are not constrained, but simple relationships clearly state their boundaries. Simple relationships are in the moment, adaptable, flexible, but simple relationships do not lie.

I'll listen more closely to my intuition. I'll nip it in the bud. Life is too short to get involved in thorny and knotted relationships. I have to agree with Mark Manson, it has got to be a fuck yes or no. There are 7 billion people on Earth, we can all find friends who become our brothers and our sisters, our cousins, our tribe.

So if you've recently been bummed because you've felt cheated and hurt by a disingenuous or highly confused friendship, don't fret. Get your intentions clear, release the past, move on with better clarity. It can be easy to feel inadequate when people you really care about bail on you because of unrequited attraction. It isn't you. It's not that people only see you as a sexual object or that you're not funny/cool/interesting/substantial enough to deserve true friendship. Nope. Nope. Nope. Go share your attention, energy, and time on people who can handle their desires effectively and who can accept the truth of a situation. These people are better at life. These people know what they want and accept the reality of what they can't have.

It may feel easy to victimize ourselves, but it takes way more effort to blame the world. So know what you want, be honest, and take it easy but don't take it the wrong way.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

How to Get Over Romantic Apathy

Romantic apathy is a dull, aching pain that weighs down your heart in spite of all of the freedom it claims to offer. You just don't care. No one gets to you. No one makes you feel anything. Interactions are empty. Pleasure can't be sustained in this state, so it is chased after within the confines of quick fixes and half hearted attempts to make a connection. It is never enough.

Maybe you got burnt. Maybe your heart got broken. Maybe you saw things that made you never want to be vulnerable. Maybe you've never truly let someone in, or maybe the person who you considered home made some very hurtful decisions that left you feeling betrayed and angry and hopeless. Maybe you were counting on someone and all the weight of your blind faith toppled them off of their pedestal. And now you feel very alone.

You feel alone despite all of your efforts. Maybe you're a machine now, performing once meaningful acts in the most mechanical of ways. That gesture that once held so much tenderness becomes a simple process of consecutive steps executed with anticipated timing. You're getting by. Maybe you're hurting people along the way, maybe you've found fellow broken souls, maybe you just stay away completely. This part of your life is just not alive.

Romantic apathy is not like saying you aren't ready. Some aren't ready for that connection- some genuinely believe that they must be settled into their life first before going about anything involving love, and that's okay and that's their way. Romantic apathy is saying that you just don't care.

The freedom of not caring, the liberty of no attachment, is a clever thief. It seems like you can do anything, experience whatever you want, go whenever and wherever without anything weighing you down. This privilege of detachment is only truly fulfilling those who are engaged and involved. Only those with an open and vulnerable heart ready to connect and share can fully enjoy the freedom, for it is a journey of exploration for them. For the apathetic, the world of possibilities is just an errands list of interactions.

Romantic apathy hurts. Sometimes, the severity of the numbness will creep up on you and remind you of its vice like grip. It will introduce a fracture that grows in your happiness, and you will find a way to overcompensate to feel like you've escaped it. Maybe you'll be too focused on everything else in your life- a perfectionist and workaholic. Maybe you'll chase the joys of the world- a dysfunctional hedonist hiding in the pleasures that keep you from feeling that empty quiet. There are so many ways to try to reconcile it. True happiness and romantic apathy can not be sustainably reconciled.

Like guiding a broken bone back into its correct place, healing from this apathy requires a little direction. Maybe you know what you want, maybe you feel like you have no clue. I have a feeling that after some pondering, the answer will involve connection and trust. The entire point of romantic relationships is to feel a level of intimacy, connection, and trust that platonic friendships can not achieve.

Getting out of this rut requires you to believe that genuine intimacy, connection, and trust are a possibility for you. Don't make excuses. You have time. You have the energy. You will meet someone, and along the way, you will find people who show you little acts of confirmation. Maybe that one showed you a peek, the other gave you a taste. Notice these moments and appreciate them. They will grow and they will lead you to someone who you can share a world of it with.

Don't go about romance in compulsivity. Take inspired action. Delay instant gratification and wait for something with more meaning. Don't ruin opportunities for meaning by dismissing them as another way to get a quick fix. Don't dismiss opportunities by deciding their failure before their actualization. Be open to what really can fulfill you.

Let go of your past wounds. It happened, it is over. If you're reading this, you're ready to move on. There is no closure outside of you. People are irrational beings most of the time, and yet we still gain so much from trying to empathize and understand. Their actions were driven by their own ideas of how to deal with their issues and desires. Try to see, from a balanced perspective, your influential role in those decisions of theirs. Maybe you had a lot of influence, maybe you didn't. Maybe you made a million mistakes you were blind to before. Maybe you were a helpless child watching painful events unfold. Let yourself recall these details and let yourself be angry. Let yourself cry. Let yourself sob and loudly blame whatever powers you may believe in. Experience it- this is how you let it go. Let it burn up. Don't try to drown it or bury it or throw it to the wind. You need to burn through it or it will come back. Closure is a job fit only for a fire and a fire will burn you clean.

Notice what you like about people. The way they walk with a spring in their step, the way they speed up or slow down before a door to be the one who holds it open for the rest of the crowd, the way their eye crinkles crookedly when they laugh at something no one else would. The more you let yourself love these little details, the more they will grow. Stay open.

The love you seek will not break you out of your apathy, unless you are very lucky enough to cross paths with someone who shakes you so completely out of it that it makes you believe and feel again. Still, romantic apathy is not the best energy with which to receive such a person into your life. Breaking your own romantic apathy is much more pro-active.

Expect it to come. Go about your days open. Appreciate it all, follow those details. Don't be obsessive, and don't be compulsive. Be alive again. Care again, and life will bring you someone to really, truly care about.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to Stop Being Possessive and Trying to Control Your Partner

The desire to control your partner presents an incredible strain on your relationship and on your self. This desire to manipulate your partner into fulfilling expectations you hold as to what their behavior should be like is an ugly fire that will burn both of you out. The only solution is to let go of this desire for control, and the fastest way to let go of this desire is to understand why you hold it in the first place.

Why The Need for Control?
Maybe you are jealous. Maybe you are possessive. Maybe you are very insecure. The desire to control your partner and limit their behavior in a way that you find acceptable shows that you do not have enough confidence and faith in yourself, your partner, and the relationship.

The desire to control your partner shows that you want to change them. The desire to change your partner never leads to anything good- it is a very destructive goal. Successful relationships occur between two people who love each other for who they are, not who they could be or who they want to see the other person as. This requires an abundance of honesty with yourself and with your partner. Ask yourself if you really want to be with your partner or if you want to be with the idea of your partner. Are you and your partner actually, naturally compatible or do you have to struggle, fight, resist, and exert a great amount of effort to really get alone and enjoy each other's presence?

For example, if someone who is naturally very friendly, sociable, and open starts dating someone who is very uncomfortable with their social style, what do you think will happen? The uncomfortable person will probably misunderstood the very friendly person's behavior as flirtatious/immoral/disloyal etc. The uncomfortable person wants their naturally friendly person to stop being themselves because it makes them feel bad. Obviously, this relationship is not going to work unless the uncomfortable person can get over their own insecurities and embrace the social style of their friendly partner. This might sound like oversimplification, but it is actually a very common theme. The friendliness is a very relative parameter. Some people aren't that social compared to the majority of people, but if they are more social than their insecure partner, then a problem will still be made. The insecure partner must stop projecting the limits of their comfort zone as the ideal social model.

The scarcity mindset is always evident in the desire to control one's partner. Maybe you fear that your partner will not love you as much, or that you are entitled to all of your partner's attention/resources/affection. The truth is that your partner is entitled to freedom as long as it does not infringe upon the agreements of your commitment to each other. Your partner is entitled to spending time and giving love to his or her friends of any gender, your partner is entitled to spending his or her free time the way they want to, and your partner is entitled to spending his or her resources in ways that they see fit. 

A problem arises when you project negligence onto your partner's independence. Maybe you feel neglected because your partner chose to spend a night out with his or her friends instead of staying in with you. Maybe you feel neglected because your partner bought someone lunch instead of bringing some to you. Maybe you feel neglected because your partner is spending time with other people and you have no plans and this makes you very frustrated and you project this frustration onto your partner so that you don't have to feel responsible for your own feelings.

Neglect is no joke, but happy relationships occur between self sufficient and secure people. Go make your own friends, go get your own hobbies and interest, find some projects you can work on, go out there and grow on your own. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean you two are supposed to do absolutely everything together and be attached at the hip. Find and embrace your independence. Be your own person more and more. Stop looking to your partner to fulfill all of your plans with, and learn how to be alone. Learn how to like your own company. Learn how to embrace the company of other people, be open to them.

Ask yourself why you are in a committed relationship with your partner. Did you latch onto your partner because you felt lonely, because it gives you a sense of security and identity, because it makes you feel less alone? If that is the case, you are due for a lot of self analysis and growth. Relationships succeed between two self sufficient and secure people. Otherwise, a relationship becomes a security blanket for one or both of the partners. Whenever this occurs, problems will always arise. 

Of course, bad behavior should not be tolerated. If your partner is doing things that makes you feel uncomfortable  and/or disrespected for logical reasons, you need to have a conversation with them. Ask them why they choose to do those things and tell them how it makes you feel, but don't start off the conversation with angry accusations. Make considerate, reasonable suggestions instead of demands.If nothing improves, ask yourself why you are in the relationship. What do you want to experience with your partner? Why are you staying?

Relationships require cooperation and independence. Successful relationships have some growth oriented direction and purpose to them, but they are in no way clean cut. Always examine why you hold the ideals and expectations of a relationship, and ask yourself if these assumptions are well grounded in reality and in your goals or if they were subconsciously formed/accepted. 

Look within for the answers. Be open. Let go.

Take care,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thoughts on Intimacy

The success of a relationship should not be based on how long it lasts- rather, the success of a relationship should be measured by the value it adds to one's life. A long and empty relationship and a meaningful, transformative, and fleeting connection are extremely different in the value they offer.
Sometimes, you meet someone and it feels as if your world has changed. Knowing them has introduced a rupture into your normalcy. Maybe this is a quiet rupture- maybe it is small enough that the emotions, desire, and passions gently trickle through. Maybe this is a huge, gaping fracture- maybe it is large enough that the feelings, wants, and energy violently unleash themselves, leaving you to feel lost and purposeful at the same time.

Some loves change you. These people transform you and you can never be the same. They touch you in ways that rearrange your insides- suddenly your eyes see a certain shade more vividly, your fingers relish a new texture. your mind wraps around a concept you could never before understand.
As is the law of the world, in order to create, you must destroy. These loves can take the seemingly safe foundation from beneath your feet and send you reeling, breathless from the impact. Maybe it is quieter. Maybe the love gently carves out a new path and blurs out the footprints of a former one. The old ways must be sacrificed- you have grown too large for that collar. You have grown too tired and weak from all the unnecessary strain. These loves will show you a new way, whether they are conscious of it or not.

That is the beauty of human connection- the magic often happens without our will. As if we were built from elemental material, we react with each in the most innate of ways. Your fire and their water make steam. There is creation. This creation is a blessing best experienced fully. Their water may put out some of your flame, and you may burn a part of them away. This is natural.
These loves open your eyes. Look how different you two can be. Look at this entire human being- look at all of them completely without judgment. No need for labels, for categories, for neatly re-done and overthought lists of pros and cons. Don't stay in one spot- explore all of them. Swim every depth and count every star. This is intimacy.

This intimacy does not live in the temporal world. One can disrobe the cloth of ego and remove the judgmental lens in an instant with the person that this happens with so organically. Sometimes you have to make note of it, remind yourself to make that effort and try. Sometimes its easier not to be naked, but only when we truly are can we feel the warmth of another so much that it envelopes our being, and ours does theirs. This. Is. Intimacy.

And just because you know one intimately does not mean that your paths are closely intertwined. Let go of that worried grip. Surrender control- you can barely predict and plan for your own future. Trying to predict and plan your future around another with a death grip will wear you out incredibly quickly. You will only build resentment and false hopes when fighting reality.

If it happens that your orbits grant you a lifetime together, be thankful. If it so happens that your paths cross less than your ego would like, be thankful that they cross anyways. Look at what you've learned- you can be intimate with someone. And just because it was so easy with this person doesn't mean they are the only one. The more you hold the intention to see, the more will be revealed. No need to expose- let it divulge itself naturally.

Have a good day,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Perks of a Long Distance Relationship: How to Survive Long Distance

The long distance relationship is an often dreaded experience. It is to be merely tolerated, a stage to be worked through. I think the long distance relationship is an experience to be embraced. Few situations offer the clarity, growth, and freshness of long distance.

When we are geographically closer to our partners, our lives tend to be more fused. We see them from a much closer point of view. To step back and see the big picture is a blessing, as is the chance to develop the flexibility and strength of the bridge that connects us to them.

It may be hard at first to see the perks to a long distance relationship, but if you truly embrace them in honesty then you will grow to appreciate its acquired taste.

More Independence
When your partner isn't there all the time, you are forced to become more independent and self sufficient. You don't have the convenience of having your partner there to accompany you and comfort you all of the time. You learn to do things for yourself more and enjoy possessing that capability.

You have to become more emotionally independent. If you don't learn how to temper your moods and work through your feelings on your own without your partner helping you out a majority of the time, you will become a miserable emotional wreck. Your partner isn't there to be your escape all of the time, forcing you to really face your life and all its issues.

Your lifestyle will also be more honest. You will arrange your life around your partner much less, leaving you with a lot of space. You can use that space to whine and complain and feel sorry for yourself, or you can use it to align your life with your personal goals more clearly. Happiness is found in the latter.

The more independent and self sufficient you are, the better the quality of your relationship. You won't need your partner so much, but you will want them. And the more aware you are of your personal strengths and capabilities, the more you will appreciate the partner who really complements you and your lifestyle.

More Mystery
You won't be hearing as much from your partner. You get more space to wonder about them and be surprised by them. Wherever they are, they are doing things that will change them as a person and force them to grow. You don't know them like you used to anymore- they are changing and becoming someone else, as are you. This is a good thing- you two are evolving.

You won't know every detail about this evolving person. You two will create different pathways in your metaphorical labyrinth, destroying past routes and opening up some formerly closed ones. When you do encounter them again, you have a different puzzle to solve and a new world to get lost it, no matter how subtle the changes are.

More Perspective
You will gain so much perspective on yourself, your relationship, and what you want out of life.

You will question the reason relationships exist and what they add to your experience. You have to align your attitude and actions to what you want from your bond with your partner; you can't go off autopilot anymore. This adds so much more freshness to your life.

You will also see your partner with new eyes, or at least sharpened ones. You experience them again- their curves become smoother, their peaks become sharper, and their colors more vivid. This usually makes you even more attracted to them. Genuine attraction is crucial. You realize how drawn you are to them- heart, body, mind, and soul.

More Trust
You have to learn to trust in your partner and have confidence in them. You do this or you become an obsessed, suspicious, and controlling partner. That kind of partner is miserable to be and miserable to be with. Don't do it. Trust them. It feels better.

More Improvements to the Rest of Your Life
You are forced to focus even more on your career, your friendships, your hobbies, and your personal interests. You have so much more space, time, and energy to transform any aspect of your life and yourself. Its great and doing so will give you and your partner an even richer experience. Embrace the changes and make the most of them.

Being with friends you truly love and enjoy being around helps foster your independence and expands your heart. This allows you to miss your partner less. Loving other people and getting to know them forces you to be more open minded, understanding, and compassionate- allowing you to be more patient and diplomatic with your partner which means less fights and more fun.

Focusing on personal hobbies and interests gives you more depth, more knowledge, and more pleasure. Getting better at things makes you happy. You undergo more growth and you experience more happiness. You have more to share with your partner. This is the antithesis of monotony.

More Ways to Love Each Other
You have to get creative. Send each other surprises. Make their stays count even more with novel dates and revamped favorites. Write each other letters. Talk to each other in new inside jokes that lead to new ways to say 'I love you'. There's so much to explore.

Of course, this only occurs if you are both willing and with the right partner. This is another great aspect of the long distance relationship; if you are willing to adapt but your partner isn't (or vice versa) then you need to have a very honest conversation with each other's true feelings and intentions. If both of you are willing to adapt, but the growth happens to be directed away from each other, then maybe you should talk about that. This approach also weeds out the relationships that just won't work- the combination of open mindedness and the new perspective that comes with long distance has the potential to make you realize you're with the wrong person.

Some people can't do long distance because they say they have to focus on the rest of their life first- but I have to disagree. If you really love that person enough and you two have done the inner work necessary to adapt and make the most of long distance, then you two don't need to put much work in. A relatively short phone call and a few texts a day should suffice as long as you two regularly put in more time for deeper interactions- like a weekly or monthly Skype session, some handwritten letters, and trips to see each other. You have so much time left to improve the rest of your life. You just have to be ready to adapt. If you truly love each other, you two will be fine. You don't have to give up that special bond, you just have to both gain more perspective, tweak your expectations, be more independent, and adapt.

All of this is definitely easier with the right person at the right point of your life, but try to explore and find that ease before calling it quits. And if it's impossible and makes you miserable, give it up. Life is too short to be knocking on locked doors, and it is way too short to be closing the door on someone you really really really love. Good luck everyone. Dig deep, be open, and be honest.

Take it easy, but take it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Deal With and Release Emotions and Feelings

Emotions are incredibly vital to our experience. Without them, life would just feel empty. Emotions color our worlds; they are the spices of our lives.

Emotions are also feared and misunderstood by many people. They can be a scary or dreaded topic. Emotions have unfortunately been associated with frivolity and weakness, leading many to believe that emotions can simply be tossed away and ignored.

Emotions have also been discredited by some. Some people believe emotions are meaningless and are merely a chemical reaction occurring in our bodies- an influx of neurotransmitters interpreted by our brains to produce a certain fleeting feeling.

We are emotional, mental, physical, and if you believe so, spiritual beings. These aspects of ourselves are not separate- any imbalances in one sphere inevitably affect the others. If we neglect our emotional bodies, those repressed and unprocessed emotions will cause our mental and physical bodies to also feel neglected.

For example, if we happen to repress our feelings of anger, that anger will show up in our mental and physical bodies as stress. Mentally, we will be unable to think as clearly and holistically. Physically, we might have aches and pains and lower energy.

The truth is that emotions need to be respected for life to really be enjoyed. Without emotions, we can not truly listen to our inner selves. Without emotions, we can not authentically forge relationships with others. Without emotions, we can not truly take care of ourselves. Spiritually, we might feel disconnected from the world and even resentful, causing us to feed or create beliefs about the world that do not serve as (such as believing we are alone, or that no one understands us, or that others will always disappoint us.)

Emotions can also be overanalyzed. Overanalyzing emotions can be just another tactic to avoid really feeling our emotions. We might feel sad one day, and we might overanalyze that emotion as a way to distance ourselves and disown that feeling. When we overanalyze, we put too much emphasis on logic and reasoning in order to claim a false sense of security regarding our emotional capacities.

In truth, emotions are very simple to deal with. We just need to feel them. We can not just acknowledge them, we actually have to be present with our emotions and feel them fully in order to release them.

This may seem scary, but I have a tip that might help you deal with them more courageously. Remember that emotions are feelings, and our feelings live in our bodies. We can falsely intensify our emotions by trying to feel them mentally, but this is just another way to overanalyze our emotions. To feel our emotions, we must tune into our physical bodies and notice how the emotion affects us. Does the emotion move through our chest and make us feel suffocated? Does the emotion show up in the backs of our necks, or does it make the pit of our stomachs feel incredibly heavy?

Really allow yourself to notice how the emotion feels in your body. Emotions are like batches of water that fill our experience. Imagine yourself in a sea of turbulent water, trying desperately to keep yourself afloat and fighting mercilessly- this is what its like to fight your emotions. To find peace again, we have to sink down to the very bottom of the pool, where we can finally pull the plug. The old emotions drain out and we can reach an equilibrium again where it is easy to swim.

By swimming down to the bottom, we are feeling the true depths of our emotions. By pulling the plug, we are allowing old emotions to be released so that we may find a healthy equilibrium wherein we are not so overwhelmed by our emotions that we are fighting them and trying desperately to not drown in their turbulent waters. By regularly feeling our emotions, we allow our emotional waters to acquire an enjoyable quality. By ignoring our emotions, we allow those emotional waters to become turbulent. Those waters will become more and more turbulent the more you try to ignore them. You can become better and better and trying to stay afloat, but you will only strain yourself more and more.

When you feel emotions coming up, give them your attention and notice them. Set aside alone time at regular intervals throughout your week to process your emotions. Usually, when one emotion comes up, this means an entire wave of various emotions can be expected. Don't be afraid of this momentum, allow it to come and allow yourself to feel it. You need this alone time to really process your emotions. This is your time to feel the anger, the sadness, the resentment, that you may have been trying to suppress or avoid. This is the time you need to clean out your emotional body.

To fully feel your emotions, you might be drawn to writing about them, screaming, punching an object, or breaking things. Try to find an outlet for the emotional momentum. Emotions can carry lots of power, and the suppressed emotions tend to accumulate the most momentum. Sometimes feeling them requires you to do something physical to release them. Sometimes feeling them requires you to write about them so that you may become more aware of them. Allow yourself the outlets that feel right to you. Without a proper outlet, you might take your emotions out on others- you may be physically or verbally abusive, passive-aggressive, etc. Don't take your emotions out on others.

By releasing our emotions, we can stop harmful behavior driven by the avoidance of our emotions. For example, someone who tries to suppress their feelings of worry might exhibit signs of possessiveness and/or be a control freak. Their worry eventually slips out and they are afraid of it, so they act in ways to desperately seek security and control. Our emotions have such an impact on our behavior that suppressed emotions may create personality traits that are inauthentic and harmful to us, which inevitably affects our relationships and usually drains them. You can not have truly healthy relationships if you are emotionally unhealthy.

By respecting your emotions, you will feel so much better. There is a lightness and security that comes with emotional release. You don't have to try to release everything at once. You can feel your emotions bit by bit and expand your comfort zone with each passing feeling that you fully experience. Don't try to intellectualize your feelings- that logic is best used for redirecting your thoughts. Emotions are not thoughts. Emotions may charge thoughts and intensify certain directions of thoughts, but emotions are not thoughts. This is a very important distinction.

Let go of any expectations of eternal and exclusive happiness. With growth comes pain. I am an extremely happy person; many of my friends would say I am the happiest person they know. Yet, happiness is not the only emotion I feel. Happiness is certainly the dominant and most frequent emotion I feel, but I also feel sadness and anger and fear and worry. I am able to work through those emotions and understand their relationship with my thoughts and physical body and that in turn allows me to clarify my intentions and make the choices and fulfill the actions that support my goals and values in life. Emotions are incredibly important in living a fulfilling life, and living a fulfilling life is what allows you to be really happy.

Please feel free to leave a comment and ask about or discuss your experiences or questions about emotions. Take care and be good to yourself.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Apologies and Art

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry that I have not responded to your comments, questions, and emails lately. I have been going through a transition phase in life and have found myself resonating strongly with art again. I will get back to you all in time, please be patient. For now I am really just giving myself into this new wave and thoroughly enjoying it. I shall write soon.

Please take the time to explore my art and maybe even support me on my journey by purchasing a piece for your enjoyment. I also take custom orders, so please email me at to discuss any commissioned works.

Here is a link to me Etsy shop:

Enjoy and please share!

Have a wonderful day,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to Find Someone to Talk To

Hello everyone.

I want to share something very important to me. As you can tell from my blog, I really care about personal issues and hardships and getting through our emotions to find a place of inner peace.

I am currently in the progress if fulfilling an internship with a non-profit called 7 Cups of Tea, a site where you can anonymously chat with trained active listeners who will listen to you non-judgmentally and help you work through your feelings.

It is all FREE and your conversations will not be recorded.

Please check it out and use my referral link (referrals are needed for my internship.)

I might even chat with you there!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Why Disney Princess Movies Are More Harmful Than 50 Shades of Grey

E.L James' 50 Shades trilogy is as hated as it is successful. 50 Shades of Grey has been labeled as an icon of the downfall of society. This “worthless sack of bull” is apparently being pushed onto the mainstream, corrupting the minds of women and perpetuating the glorification of inequality and abuse. This fantasy is supposedly harmful and must be boycotted and banned. Yet society still welcomes with open arms the likes of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast into their homes. Society has no gripes with dressing their little girls up as Cinderella or Snow White. We call our daughters “princess.” The hypocrisy, though subtle at first, raises a plethora of concerns.

In The Little Mermaid, Ariel gives away her voice to be with a man she has met only once. She gives away something that empowers her with the ability to assert her own choices, opinions, and desires.

Cinderella proves her good character by being an all too eager doormat. 
Snow White is hunted because of her beauty by the Queen and her liveliness can only be saved by the nonconsensual kiss of a passing white knight.

To call our daughters “Princess” is to instill an idea in them that they are royal. “Princess” grants one a sense of entitlement. And the thought of her one day finding her Prince Charming gives our daughters a powerless sense of idealism- yes, one day she will meet a man who is perfect for her and who will never hurt her. Forget her ability to grow, forget her ability to communicate, forget her powers of influence in a relationship. Our Princesses must sit pretty, wait, and then give their all to the perfect man who sweeps her off her feet and takes her away in a storm of love at first sight.

In the world of princesses, (with exceptions like Mulan, Fiona from Brave, and more modern tales), our Princesses either expect a man and their relationship to be an idealistic wave of magic, or as with Beauty and the Beast, our Princesses learn to grin and bear it, hoping that their monstrous and angry excuse for a partner will one day transform all thanks to their sweet demeanor and pureness.

These stories are all welcome into our households, yet we are pointing fingers and throwing stones at 50 Shades of Grey.

50 Shades of Grey isn’t a literary masterpiece. It includes many clich├ęs, numerous face-palm inducing scenes, and technically far-from-perfect writing. 50 Shades never aimed to win a Pulitzer.

Unlike Disney fairytales, 50 Shades delivers a love story based on the power of choice and the power to be truthful and open about the desires that drive that choice. No sleep paralysis hinging on the actions of a stranger, no prince who manages to “fall in love” with a girl who can’t speak her mind, no perpetuated sense of entitlement, and no equating purity of character with degree of beauty.

50 Shades delivered a storyline heavy with a taboo sense of sexuality. A (arguably ill-conceived) version of BDSM that appealed to E.L. James (the writer, who wrote her own fantasy, who is a human and not some demon slut-whore attempting to poison society) was woven into a plot involving 2 characters that no one is glorifying. Ana is far too generous with the attention she feeds her strangely bespectacled inner goddess/diva/whatever, and Christian is a bipolar nymphomaniac with anger issues. Their flaws are fleshed out quite obviously, but at least they have flaws. These flaws also have the potential to speak to the readers, albeit very quietly and briefly. Maybe we have a little streak of sex addict in us, maybe we turn into distant, seething drama queens when we don't get what we want, maybe we feel odd being called beautiful and are tired of being hit on by our guy friends. This story is not built to serve as a symbolic mirror for soul searching.
I doubt any of the readers wants to marry a too-easily pissed off alpha, and no reader wants to be an overly apologetic and constantly lip gnawing sexual punching bag (take my reductionism with a grain of salt, please.) No one is glorifying either of the characters. No one sane is pondering a divorce or an affair in hopes of having constant sex with a man who is emotionally, 15 years old. So NO, your wife doesn't look at you and roll her eyes with disappointment because you aren't a billionaire with the sexual prowess of male Aphrodite. (Hint, she just wants you to see her as Aphrodite once in a while.) E.L. James' shared fantasy is not corrupting your marriage, and if it is, then your spouse is probably either ridiculously sexually deprived, unstable, or both.
Readers are hooked on the love going on between these 2 dysfunctional characters. The love is all consuming. It is a welcome route of escape from a possibly humdrum sexual life or a pick me up after a stressful day at work. Readers get a taste of what its like to have a fantasy so vivid and ongoing that its spanned 3 novels. The keyword is FANTASY. Yes, fantasy just like those fairytale films but fantasy that is consumed by adults who are much more adept at accepting and rejecting ideas and beliefs than children are.

People have dark fantasies, and 50 Shades of Grey was confirmation to many that they were not alone. Nothing is wrong with them; they are not twisted. Just like an embarrassing bodily function no one wants to talk about, the relief with knowing that many, many others also experience it is comforting.

The readers who seek out 50 Shades are doing so because they choose to. No one is force feeding them. The delighted readers are not force feeding anyone. There is no need to shame readers for enjoying an entertaining read for what it is. 50 Shades is being consumed by people old enough not to let someone else’s fantasy shape their expectations of the world. Thank God E.L. James made Christian so exceptionally unrealistic and volatile that no one would even want to set that expectation.

What the readers are empowered to expect is a more open experience of sexuality. Maybe they do want to be tied up, blindfolded, and fucked silly. The book portrays the experience consensually. The readers are also encouraged to seek out more focused sexual experiences. They want to be wanted the way Christian wants Ana. They want to feel so desirable to their partner that all their partner wants to do is satisfy them over and over again, ruthlessly. There is no demeaning of women in this book. If the sex is too rough, it is only because the only way that Christian knows how to deal with anger is to let it transcend through satisfying Ana. Aggressively satisfying a woman seems like a much better way to deal with anger than violent words and actions. The protagonist enjoys it, and NEWS FLASH, some real life people who are sane with healthy self esteems and personal boundaries like rough sex. Some people like a little pain in bed. That does not make them psycho- a brief understanding of nerve endings and neurotransmitters dissolves that theory. Doesn't matter if it makes you uncomfortable, some consenting adults love that stuff.

So, all the haters and naysayers, stop wasting your time and breath. Readers have enjoyed, are enjoying, and will continue to enjoy the 50 Shades Trilogy, and before you point any fingers and go on rampages of condemnation, ask yourself why. Also, ask yourself if you’ve even read the book in a non-angry and non-accusatory mood. Then tell me that it poses way more threat than feeding idealistic, watered down stories originally involving murder, rape, and heavy doses of female inferiority to children with very malleable belief systems. They even sing the songs! Oh, but those are only fairytales, right?

Didn’t like the book? Stop shaming those who did. Go sell your copy and donate the money to a women’s shelter if you’re so concerned with the treatment of women. Go volunteer with social work. Get off the fucking high horse and realize that demonizing this trilogy does nothing to help society.

Also, lay off Dakota Johnson. She’s probably cuter than you. Oh, and go google Jamie Dorner Calvin Klein ads before you complain. He is also probably cuter than you. Still wanna bitch? No one is forcing you to watch the movie.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Real Reason You Are In the Friend Zone

As someone who believes that friendships between people of the preferred sex are possible and have the potential of being functional and authentic, I still recognize the validity of the term 'friend zone.' I understand that the term refers to a wide range of scenarios- some involving a glimmer of hope of romance and some boasting a pure case of unrequited attraction.

Confusion is frustrating. Clarity makes things a lot easier to process, but often times, clarity requires a confession. Not a lot of people are willing to confess their feelings; its a threat to the friendship. Maybe admitting these longing feelings will open up a world of suppressed romance between the two of you, or maybe it will make the friendship a bit too awkward to sustain.

So if you are confused,  please refer to this explanation of the most common reason you're in the friend zone. And maybe, just maybe, you will find an escape route from the slew of strong and frustrating feelings you are all too familiar with.

And that reason is.....

No Mutual Sexual Attraction

Hey, I know it hurts to consider or admit, but maybe this person just isn't sexually attracted to you. Maybe you two share other kinds of attractions, and that's what made you such great friends. Emotional and mention attraction and a compatible or complementary sense of humor or lifestyle may link you two together, but if mutual sexual attraction isn't there, neither is the potential for a successful relationship.

A successful romantic relationship needs sexual attraction. That physical attraction opens up a world of intimacy only shared between lovers- it separates romance from friendship. Of course, a successful relationship involves friendship, but a successful friendship does not need physical intimacy.

So, how do you tell?

Honestly, ask a mutual friend to help you out. If you're that stuck on this person, chances are that your analysis of their body language and subtle responses to you will be slightly skewed.

If that isn't an option, make sure you don't give yourself the benefit of the doubt when observing their behavior. I will use 2 gross categories of describing friendly contact- we have our cuddlers and our non-cuddlers.

 If your friend is a cuddler, they will usually be hugging you or maintaining some form of physical contact- like piggy back rides or other relatively cute things. You might be their giant teddy bear, but that doesn't mean they are physically attracted to you. They might just be physically comfortable around you. With cuddlers, its hard to tell, so I honestly advise that you ask a friend or ask them. Maybe the question could be "Do you think I am sexually attractive?" in the form of asking for reassurance in regards to the general dating idea. Not if that particular person finds you sexually attractive, but if they think you are generally sexually attractive. Listen carefully to their answer. If it's along the lines of "I'm sure you'll find a girl/boy/man/woman who is totally into you that way", chances are, they are not one of them. If their answer is more like "Don't worry, you're pretty sexy," (in a non-sarcastic tone), then maybe you can ask them to be honest and tell you whether they are or aren't attracted to you that way. Make sure you don't become too serious, just ask out of curiosity, no pressure.

If your friend is a non-cuddler, then most likely the limits of physical contact between you fall in line with quick hugs and maybe elbow jabs. If you try to hug them for longer than 1.5 seconds, they will usually feel like a board or pat you on the back in a somewhat patronizing manner. Accidentally touch their hand, and they will quickly increase the distance between you. It sucks to hear this, but maybe your non-cuddler friend is grossed out by any sexual thoughts of you and them. Mention yourself naked jokingly, and they might press their mouth into a hard line and nod silently. Just let this one go. Any romantic advances will likely result in an awkward for you- relieving for them hiatus in your friendship that will begin to pick up again when they deny your attraction for them ever existed.

If the sexual attraction is there, and you two are great friends, then most likely, the more time you spend together, the more the attraction will grow. This means longer hugs goodbye, longer eye contact, more playfulness, increased physical contact, etc. Don't confuse this with physical comfort as in the case of the serial cuddler. If the contact is sexual in nature, both of you will feel the tension. It won't feel like a 5 year old affectionately clinging onto their sibling for fun and safety. It's confusing, so ask! With strong feelings comes a stronger potential of muddying observations and seeing what really is.

Unrequited love needs clarity for closure. Ask or be brutally honest. Maybe ask someone close to you to watch you two together and offer a 2nd opinion.

Also, is it torturing you to keep falling for someone who doesn't want you? Don't worry, you can still be friends. Just let go of the idea and the hopes. Maybe take a break, meet someone else. You might want to be their everything, and it sucks if they don't want you to. Let go of the desire, don't take it so seriously. True friendship is rare, remember that. You're probably in love because the two of you get along really well, you two share something special, but that something special just doesn't involve the mutual need to rip your clothes off each other. That's okay, the world is big and you will find someone who does.

Have faith and take it easy.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to Bring Back Passion and Keep the Spark Alive in Your Relationship

For most relationships, love is at first a force of nature, a flood of heavenly emotions turning current life on its head and transforming it into heaven. You feel so good, your partner is perfect and perfect for you, and you've got the entire world in your heart. And then months pass, maybe a few years pass, and then you doubt whether or not you and your partner are actually meant to be. Are they the same person you fell in love with, was it all just a lie, does love not really exist, was is just stupid passion?

I have a very important message: love does not die unless you allow it to.

Why was the beginning so good? Why was there such an abundance of amazing feelings and captivation passion? Why was there so much excitement?

When you first "fall in love with someone", you prime yourself to really really emphasize their positive traits. You focus so lovingly and enthusiastically on their positive traits. You milk every single joy you experience together- you search and re-search those interactions and extract all the pleasure you can out of it because YOU DON'T KNOW. You WANT TO know that they love you too, so that is why you focus so much on the evidence that supports it. That is why a single look or smile from them can make your day feel like a walk through paradise- that smile was EVIDENCE that they wanted you too, that you were in the middle of experiencing something really, really great.

You first love every little thing about them, because you actively seek our evidence in them that supports your desire to have a really good relationship with them. You seek out evidence that tells you that you two are good for each other and that this person is beautiful and that you have really stumbled upon a blessing in your life.

And then what happens?

Then you establish the relationship. Then you KNOW. You stop looking for evidence to support your desire for a relationship because the relationship is there. But that focus has got to go somewhere, doesn't it? And unfortunately, the focus often goes to their negative traits or what isn't there. You focus on the way they leave their dirty socks on the floor or crack their knuckles when its super quiet. You focus on the way they focus on their friends instead of focusing on you 24/7, and then that focus builds up momentum and suddenly you're a teeming mess of possessiveness and jealousy. You focus on what your relationship doesn't have- and that lack only grows and grows and grows. And maybe this lack will cause you to break up, but if you go about life this way, you will only repeat the cycle with your next relationship.

So what do you do instead?

Well, what do you want?

Relationships are an everychanging dynamic, just like you, just like your partner. You are not the same person you were yesterday, you have new experiences, you have been moved with those new experiences, as was your partner. You and your partner are not stagnant, therefore your relationship is not stagnant. But we often treat our relationships like a stagnant object- its there, its been made, its a GIVEN. IT IS CERTAIN.

Relationship problems are rife with expectations that just don't align. You expect your partner to act a certain way, so you OBJECTIFY your partner. You have reduced your partner to a therapist who SHOULD listen to you complain about your problems. You reduce your partner to a FINANCIAL SOURCE who SHOULD support you and your lifestyle. You reduce your partner to many things and in doing so, you are basically turning them into an object. Yet, you are bored or frustrated because you miss and want the excitement back, the passion? How are you going to be excited or impassioned by a set OBJECT?

To bring the spark back into your relationship, you need to retrain your focus and intent. Remember in the beginning when you were dating? That was you intending to find everything good about them and focusing on it to bring about your desire for a relationship. Why did you stop? Don't you still want a relationship? What kind of relationship do you want? You aren't the same person as when you started the relationship, what do you want now? Have you ever even sat down and thought about how you want to feel in your relationship or have you been operating from an unexamined default?

It is simple. The next time you are with your partner, intend to see the greatness in them and appreciate it. Appreciation is just positive focus. To love someone is to walk their field and enjoy all of their flowers instead of picking out their weeds. The more you love someone, the more flowers grow, the less space there are for weeds. The weeds will be there, okay, accept it, don't pay attention to them.

Approach your relationship from freshness. This is a new day, what do you want to explore in your relationship with your partner? What do you want to share and create with your partner in this space you've set aside? A relationship is a playground for you and your partner to explore and create- it is a beautiful space, let it be beautiful and see the beauty in it.

Maybe you love the way your partner used to stroke the bottom of your chin with their finger and look into your eyes. Ask them to do it again, feel it thoroughly, eat it all up and soak it all in and enjoy it. Go to the store and pause a little longer in front of something you and your partner could enjoy- if you brough this home, what experiences would you want to co-create with your partner? Be open, be playful, see their gold. Your job as a lover is to see their gold, to actively search for it, not focus on the dirt.

What do you want in life? How do you want to feel? How do you want to feel in a relationship? Allow yourself to focus on what you want and let it grow in your reality. Stop focusing on what isn't there. Why are you watering the weeds? Water the flowers.

This isn't an excuse to stay in an abusive relationship. This isn't an excuse to ignore true unhappiness and misalignment with your partner. You see, when you focus on how you want to feel, it shows up in your life and you are guided to take actions that help bring about that desire into fruition. Maybe this focus on what you want will guide you out of the current relationship, that is okay. You can have a happy breakup (post to come.) Don't  lie to yourself, be totally honest. Don't take it so seriously- go about it with ease, play with life, be light-hearted.

Feel good first. Relax, smile, release the tension, then be with your partner. It is hard to enjoy being with your partner when you are wrestling yourself. Maybe you need some extra support and love from your partner as you release the tension, ask for a huge, a massage, a take out dinner and a few hours of funny movies while you cuddle. Allow the love to guide the focus.

Enjoy your life,

Sunday, May 18, 2014

How to Make the Right Choices and Big Life Decisions: Are You Living with Intention?

Many of us wonder if we are making the right choices in life. We torture ourselves over the possibilities, wondering if one decision will unleash a cascade of unwanted circumstances and wondering if another decision will allow us to experience heaven on earth and unlock the happiest of our dreams. The flaw in this kind of thinking is that in wondering if we are making the right choices in life, we fail to remember what drives us to make those choices.

Should we stay or should we go? Should we give this person a second chance or forget them completely? Should we leave our lives as we know it and embark on a fresh start?
In wondering about the validity of our choices, we approach our lives indirectly. We become a slave to our pre-conceptualized understandings of possibility. We become a slave to the set of feelings that we believe our set of choices will create.

Instead of feeling first, we choose first. We don't choose how we feel, we just choose actions. Our feelings merely become a consequence of our actions instead of our actions becoming a consequence of our feelings. To really create a happy life and make the choices that are aligned with what you want, you need to feel first and act after.

Choosing how you feel puts you into the most beneficial position to make the choices that align with what you further want to feel. You have to feel good first. You have to reach inside and explore your insides and allow yourself to shift into a space that feels good, or else you operate as a slave to your feelings that resulted from actions that resulted from other actions and you are a slave to your actions and your actions are a master over your feelings.

When you choose to feel good, you flow through life with ease. Your being is much easier and much more open- you have a softer focus on the big picture which allows you to see the small details with much more clarity. When you feel good, you weigh your options with more possibility- you don't feel trapped. You make decisions that are good for you because when you feel good because you choose to feel good instead of feeling good because of something someone said to you or because your partner has been acting in a way that pleases you or because your boss complimented you this morning, then your actions will come from a place of self assurance and self power. When you make yourself feel good, you exercise your ability to create the life you want instead of allowing the external world to dictate your inner world.

To feel good, all you need to do is release. Allow yourself to feel at ease, listen to your body, don't ignore what it says to you. Ease into your being, untense yourself, release all of the tension and contractions you've accumulated. To shift into a place of feeling good, open your heart and relax your mind and breathe deeply. Allow yourself to feel easy.

Once you are in a space of feeling good, then you can decide what actions to take and you can make those action with intention. With every choice you make, you intend something to correlate to that choice. Its like waking up and instead of just allowing your day to be shaped by default and usually external circumstances or internal, mindless habits, you set aside some time to feel good and you tell yourself that you intend to wake up and enjoy the process of waking up and enjoy the process of walking into the kitchen that you're grateful you can walk into and that you will enjoy the process of turning on your coffee pot and you will enjoy the coffee that is really such a blessing and delight to have and you will taste that coffee and allow yourself to really notice and be with that coffee and you will enjoy opening your mind and body so that they can connect and you will enjoy listening to any urgings your body has to guide you on the path of health. And you can make these intentions for any part of your day- you will enjoy the process of driving to work and listening to your favorite station. You will enjoy the process of deciding what to have for lunch and going out there and getting it. You will enjoy this breath and you will enjoy exploring how deeply your lungs can take in the air and you will enjoy how much of a relief a slow exhale can bring.

We need to place importance on all of our choices. When we live life more deliberately, those seemingly little choices add up. Its like the difference between north and south. If you are facing south and want to get north, every little degree that adds up to 180 gets you there. And making 1 or 2 degree turns is much easier than making a 180 degree turn for most of us. Its much easier to enjoy and align with the experience of really enjoying a shower or really enjoying the process of cooking a healthy meal than it is with enjoying the process of breaking up an old relationship. We can enjoy the process of breaking up an old relationship, but to do so we can't just put it all into one action- its a series of moments and feelings- a huge degree turn made of smaller degrees that we have to be able to recognize.

We have to recognize those little turns in our life and we have to make those turns from a place of feeling good. We have to feel good first and then move, or else we just move through life and take what we can get.

So if you are trying to make a huge major life decision right now, don't make it right now. Make small life decisions right now. Read this article more slowly again from a place of feeling good. Feel the delightful tapping of your keyboard. Enjoy and adore your next glass of water. Enjoy the process of identifying any aches and tensions in your body if they come up and stretch them out deliciously. Relax, relax, relax, relax. Breathe deeply, enjoy this breath, get to know this breath, get to love this breath, feel and taste and intimately discover the air moving through your lungs.

All the best,


Thursday, May 8, 2014

No One Can Steal Your Energy and Energy Vampires Don't Exist

I take public transportation quite frequently, and one thing that I have noticed is that people love to stare. I can honestly say that I am the recipient of unwanted attention in the form of long-held staring. Fortunately, this staring never transpires into anything more, but the act still annoys me. The issue I have with staring is that it often comes with unnecessary projections and emotions- that's why you can feel when someone glares at you angrily or watches you with pleading eyes. Staring, like all other actions, involves its own dance of energy, and a quite unequal dance at that. Although we can't control who decides to stare at us, we can control the way we respond to these unwanted energies.

One of the most un-grounding decisions we can make as human beings is to accuse others of being energy vampires. To believe that others are capable of stealing our energy is to give up our own personal power and blame the world for the way we feel inside and the way we tell the world how we would like to be treated. The most dangerous part of the concept of energy vampirism is how easy it is the believe it. It is so much easier to blame others for our lack of energy, and it is so much easier to assume that others our controlling us at a subconscious level. It is so much easier to blame society for our lack of happiness- and that is why this concept of energy vampirism is so easily adopted by many.
Energy vampirism can also cause someone to blame themselves for imaginary wrongdoings and condemn ourselves for doing what we naturally like. A ridiculous article I read suggested that the way we choose to dress can be, heaven forbid, appealing, and that appeal upsets the energies of others and causes us to steal energy. Someone susceptible to self condemnation can buy into this and quickly turn themselves into a miserable wreck by over-analyzing all of their life choices and living in a constant state of fear and paranoia that they might be stealing the energies of others and that inside of them is something hideous because they subconsciously act in ways to steal the energy of others.

The concept of energy vampirism is rooted entirely in fear- it assumes that the world and even ourselves, can not be trusted, and that we have no control over the way we feel. The concept of energy vampirism encourages us to give away our personal power. This is a blatant lie- NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR ENERGY. Your energy is yours.

You can choose to give your energy away and you can choose to adopt beliefs that make it so much easier to give in to the will of others. You can give your power away by blaming the world and distract yourself from your own internal responsbilities by adopting a paranoid lifestyle involving constant vigilance in energy transactions between you and the world. You can choose to live in a constant state of tension an distruct because you need to protect your energy and you can watch your actions meticulously and question every motive and behavior you express wondering if something hideous in your unconscious is trying to steal energy from others.

Although it is true that humans are generally social creatures who are happier when we have intimate connections with others, our energy is ours. If someone around is tense and angry, they are not stealing our energy and causing us to descend into a similar state of tension and anger- we are simply feeling how they feel because we have EMPATHY. To live only through empathy is to distract ourselves from ourselves and live through the emotions and feelings of others- we have to find balance and we have to be aware of both. We have to be aware of how we feel, how those around us feel, and we have to know how to exercise healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are set by focusing inwards and listening to our inner voice instead of getting lost in the sea of others' emotions and feelings and thoughts. If we become lost is that sea, we lose our roots and we give our lives away to the current created by others because we believe that is the only choice we have.

We can not be happy by living in a world only of ourselves or centered completely on others, We need to integrate ourselves and assume our own place in both spheres to reach balance. This balance is dynamic and life is ever-changing, and to maneuver through live with empowerment and awareness, we have to feel both worlds and know both worlds. We must release resistance to both worlds and that is how we forge our desired path.

It is so easy to over think and analyze these concepts. Please know that it really isn't necessary, Feel through your emotions, take note of how others feel through your empathy but don't get lost in it. Always come back to your center, reside in your center. The more you reside in your center, the strong and more supported and expansive your center becomes. No one can steal your energy or power. Assert your own power. Make it known when you don't like something and don't blame others for how you feel. No one is stealing your energy. No one can steal your energy.

There are so many topics this post can touch upon, but I will conclude by emphasizing the fact that you are much better off in life to forget the concept of energy vampires and realize your own power.

Have a good day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sorry I've Been Gone...and How to Find and Maintain Great Friendships

Hey everyone!
Sorry I haven't been able to respond to comments for a while; I have been really busy with school and life in general, and up until now, I had not been struck by the inspiration to write a new article. I will get back to your comments as soon as possible, please be patient with me, and I hope that you leave my site feeling a little better.

How to Find and Maintain Great Friendships
No matter whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, misunderstood or easy to get along with, everyone needs human connection and interaction. Our happiness is deeply linked to our connections with other human beings.

Although some spiritual teachers will propagate ideas that may lead you to believe that you don't need others to be happy because they are external and that true happiness depends only on what is found within, I must sincerely and clearly tell you that I really do think that humans are social creatures who thrive when committed to intimate relationships.

Friendships, or the illusion of friendships, can suck sometimes. Maybe you have been betrayed or abandoned by someone whom you considered a friend. Maybe you have put in great effort into developing a friendship only to see that the interest is not reciprocated. Maybe you have drifted away from a group of people who you used to considered home. These painful experiences can debilitate us socially and lead us to develop beliefs that we're outsiders or that we don't belong with other people. This belief can have the most convincing of arguments when our experiences give us so much proof and evidence that we really don't fit in with others, or that we're never understood or appreciated by others. This is the downfall of friendship. This belief will keep us from developing intimate relationships with others, and ultimately this belief will keep us from achieving our truest happiness.

I honestly think that people need true friends, or even just one. We starve ourselves if we think we can get by without intimate connections. We need to share ourselves with others and create roots and anchors in other people's lives, or else we become unstable and ungrounded and we easily float into waves of unhappiness and depression.

So, how do you create these roots of friendships? How do you go about finding the right people, and what do you do to help those roots grow strong and deep and healthy?

To have a true friend, one must be a true friend. I honestly don't think you can be someone's true friend if you've never been a friend to yourself first.

Be Your Friend First
It may sound weird, but befriending yourself opens up so many doors for self exploration and happiness. By befriending yourself, you give yourself the opportunity to really get to know yourself and treat yourself the way you want to be treated.
See yourself as a friend- would you treat a friend badly all the time and exist as a constant cloud of negativity, or narcissism? Would you treat your friend in unhealthy ways that prevents them from living a balanced life? Would you have crazy expectations for your friend and constantly judge them?

The truth is that we attract people into our lives based on our relationship with ourselves and the beliefs we hold. If you don't have a healthy relationship with your mind, heart, and body, and if you don't have healthy boundaries with yourself that allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and maintain freedom for playfulness and expansion, then you will attract relationships that mirror those aspects of your inner relationship back to you.

Also, be the kind of person you want to be friends with! This doesn't mean you need to "change who you are", but this means you can make choices that make you feel better and feel freer. Do you want to be friends with someone negative and constantly in need of reassurance? Probably not, because those people are emotionally draining. So if you want to instead be friends with someone fun and happy, you can choose to do things and pay attention to things that make you feel like you're having fun and help you be happy. It isn't complicated- just choose ways to be the person you want to be with.

Don't Expect Too Much
Friendships take time to develop. Although instances of magical rapport can happen between two strangers, it usually takes a few different occasions of getting to know one another to really establish a bond. Always do your best to fend for yourself and take care of your own needs so that you don't depend on a friend to fulfill your needs for you.

For example, if you don't pay attention to your own feelings and frequently recurring thoughts about a problem in your life, you might have the habit of constantly venting to a friend. You'll constantly need that friend to listen to you, and you might end up always venting to them that you don't even listen to what they have to say, or you pretend to listen but actually are just waiting for your turn to talk.

Some people take time to warm up, and that is fine, just be patient. Don't push and prod, and if you are the opposite of "pushing and prodding", maybe you expect others to do all the initiating. Why not invite someone to hang out or suggest a hang out or just strike up a conversation with them out of the blue through a thoughtful text or phone call?

Also remember, true friendship doesn't need constant communication. Everyone has different needs, but if you get really good at being with yourself, you won't be so hungry for connection. This means that connection really gets freedom and I promise, connections that come from a place of freedom get you the best results.

Be Honest and Set Boundaries
Set healthy boundaries and be honest with yourself- if a friend is talking badly or gossiping about someone who is their friend, you don't have to engage in that behavior. Don't do something just because your friend does it, and if that is all your friend wants to do, you don't have to be friends with them.

Be honest with yourself about what you like to do. It is so much easier to develop friendships over mutual interests and hobbies.

Also, don't be a doormat or pushover. A friend is not a slave or master, and a friend is not someone you need to impress or deserve. A friend is someone who you really like being around because being with them makes you feel good. True friendship does not drain you, except maybe physically if you like developing friendships over a fun sport.

Go With the Flow
Just relax into the whole friendship experience. Make the efforts that feel good to make, reach out and be there when you know you should be there. Stay positive and feel things out as they come, we all make mistakes and we can all learn from them. So I hope you find some really cool fun people to spend your time with and connect with.

Peace and love,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How to Find Balance and Sustain It

Balance is the key to a happy life. When we allow ourselves to stay grounded, we allow ourselves to grow deeper and taller. A determinant factor in our happiness is the balance of our energy. Our energy includes the way we think, act, speak, and how much time and attention we allot to various areas of our life. Balanced energy is never stagnant energy- there is always an input and output, there is always an inward flow and an outward flow.

When we become too focused in the inward flow, we become hoarders. We become scared that we will lose and we believe there is not enough abundance to go around, so we try to take and take and keep it all without giving any away. We can not exhale and there is no release, just build up.

When we become too focused on the outward flow, we lose our grounding. We do not allow ourselves to receive and only push ourselves to give, so we lose our power and allow our energy to dissipate without proper renewal and nourishment. We can not inhale and there is no growth, just out pour and soon we feel empty.

We can become imbalanced in any aspect of our life. Our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial lives need balance in order to thrive. In order to find balance, we must observe our relationship with our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial lives and be honest about our beliefs regarding the flow of energy,

Conflicting beliefs often cause a great deal of stagnation and imbalance. In-authenticity and fear-driven beliefs also cause disharmony. It is our jobs to pay attention to our thoughts and observe what we have programmed our minds to play for our day in and day out. We think tens of thousands of thoughts in a day, and we subconsciously say yes to further developing those thoughts the more we allow them to play on in our brains. In order to take a more pro-active approach to balance, we must exercise our abilities to choose which thoughts we give our energy to and which thoughts we should stop feeding.

As we gain more control of our thoughts by controlling our attention and commitment to those thoughts, we can direct our thoughts to support balance.

 If you think mostly of losing money, you will probably be hoarding money to the best of your ability. You are suffocating yourself financially. Stop thinking of losing money and start thinking of appreciating money and financial abundance and a healthy input and output of money.

If you think mostly of being cheated on, you will try to hoard your partner's attention and energy and you will suffocate your relationship. Stop thinking of being cheated on and start thinking of appreciating your relationship, your partner, and healthy boundaries that can exist between you and within you.

Balance is also a game of growth. One day you might find it hard to balance on one foot, but you can ease into that until it is effortless. In the future you might find it hard to balance on your hands, but you can also practice that balancing act until it too becomes easy. You will always grow and your balancing points will continue to expand and so is life and so is happiness. Your inner nature wants to expand to reach new balancing points and it also likes the satisfaction and security of laying back and enjoying what has already been developed.

So look within and observe, breathe deeply and pay attention to your thoughts and energy. Don't get too caught up on the exact numbers of the balancing- you don't need to calculate everything to a T. Balance requires flexibility and adaptability, and the more you exercise these traits the better your life becomes.

Happy Sunday everyone. I wish you all an enjoyable journey.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Tell If Your Partner is the One/ Soulmate

A majority of people in various stages of relationships often wonder whether or not their partner is "The One." Lots of us expect ourselves to one day find someone who will make our dreams come true and fill a space in our hearts that catapults us into eternal happiness. It definitely is not wrong to want this, but the path to fulfilling this desire gets awfully messy. Thanks to our strong tendency to neglect ourselves from giving ourselves the love, attention, honestly, and acceptance we need to consciously make our own dreams come true and feel the wholeness of our own heart and enjoy the choice of happiness right now, we give that power away and conveniently project it onto "The One."

Yet, no one is ever "done" giving themselves love and attention. No one is ever "done" opening their heart and choosing happiness in the present moment. We all must continue to practice this way of being. The more we live in a state of connection to ourselves, the more we root ourselves and really allow ourselves to be, and the more we take responsibility for the way we feel inside and adjust that so our lives are more aligned with how we'd like to feel, the more clarity we have to assess a relationship and let our intuition and logic help us make any decisions we need to make.

That could mean you aren't at a place where you are truly ready for the One. Maybe deep inside you feel like you need to work on yourself first before finding the One. Maybe you feel like you need to explore life and grow as a single person. These are very valid intentions, and maybe you are holding these intentions and they are contradicting your search for the One. Get to know yourself and become aware of any contradictions like these that also create "conflict" in real life. If you truly feel like growing as a single person but you also keep driving yourself crazy looking for the one and he/she isn't showing up, you can set yourself at peace knowing what you truly want more and what really resonates with you in the now. You may still have the desire to find and be with the One, but right now, you may feel that you truly want independence. Examining your beliefs and desires and becoming aware of any contradictions really help elevate your sense of inner peace.

 I think that if you are very hung up on the idea and label of "the One", you should really loosen your grip on that label. The more relaxed you are, the more open you are and the more space for love and fun and happiness you create and share. When you are in this space of love and happiness and respect with someone for long enough, you grow together in this space. When you grow together in this space, you really get a sense of what the best of life can be together when you both are living from a place of lightheartedness, respect, care, and authenticity.

In order to live in this space, you have to be responsible for creating your own life so that you can allow yourself to be with a partner because you truly love them and are even happier when you are with them, not because you need them. Clarity comes from knowing who you want, and clarity is muddled when you throw needs onto partners. These needs can be financial, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. Its totally fine to want to connect and resonate on all of these levels, but to absolutely need a partner who can fulfill your self created lack on these levels takes you away from that space we want to be in.

When you're with your partner, just be with your partner. Be relaxed, be yourself. Experience each other's true essence and if you find yourself peacefully and sustainable rejuvenated every time you're with your partner, that is a pretty good sign. If being yourself with your partner makes you feel rejected, consider the reasons as to why that could be so. If you feel high with your partner and then crash down hard when you're apart, also consider why that could be. The point is to find and be with someone who makes your life even better, and whose life you also improve just by being 100% you.

Remember, relationships aren't meant to be hard. Sure, you will have problems but those are just opportunities to grow and practice your free will. Do you want to use your free will to experience love and happiness and connection and intimacy or do you want to use your free will to experience doubt or control or anger or desperation?

Relationships can be easy if you are steady and strongly rooted within yourself and open to growth and connection. The One is the person who you share a deep sense of love and care and peace with, whose life and personality just so happens to complement yours so that you don't need to suffer at the hands of distance or time or personal preference. Just trust that your inner world will undoubtedly create your outer world and start approaching life from the inside.

Stay balanced,