On dating, anxiety and believing that I know the future before it happens.

This blog post is part of an ongoing series on dating mindfully. For years, dating for me has been fraught with insecurities, fears and my favorite beast: "not good enough." I have finally found my groove and am learning so many lessons on how to date from a place of empowerment and authenticity. I of course will be sharing these lessons as I work through them with all of you - they're too important to not. 

I’ve had dreams all week long of the guy I’ve been dating totally letting me down. In some, he’s breaking up with me for his ex-girlfriend (whom I’ve never even seen). In others, he bails on the date I planned for us this week. And in the moment, they feel SO DAMN REAL. To the point where I can’t help but wonder if they are, in some future state, the truth. 

In the past, I would have interpreted dreams like this as signs that this was going to come to fruition. My anxieties had been right in the past, after all. To me, anxiety and intuition (the voice that guides us and ultimately does have a sense of knowing) were one in the same; my anxiety stood to protect me from what it knew to be so. But today I know that anxiety isn’t our intuition.  Anxiety exists because it tries to keep us safe from perceived harm. It’s an extension of our ego, a fight or flight response that came to be to keep us safe from touching fire or running into oncoming traffic. So while we can give anxiety credit for trying to keep us safer, it also flares up at inopportune moments like those where we’re being really vulnerable. Anxiety, unfortunately or fortunately, doesn’t know it all. But we often treat it like it does, and that’s where things get hairy. Our ability to manifest is powerful enough that if we believe in our fears, they become our reality. The more this happens, the more evidence we build up in our minds supporting the fact that our anxieties are our truths. “Our fears were right,” we think. When really, we’ve made them right. And the cycle goes on. 

The good news: the more we do the work to separate fear and love, ego and intuition, the more we start to see our fears and anxieties as not necessarily coming from a place of knowing. And when we stop believing in our anxieties, we stop giving them power. This changes the whole game, it breaks the chains. We start seeing that just because we fear something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Outcome after outcome mounts into tangible evidence (again for our simple minds, always seeking to compartmentalize our experiences) that our anxieties are actually not the truth. They aren’t all-knowing. They are often just fear-mongering crazies.

So how do we identify the crazies? How do I, for example, decide if I SHOULD be seriously considering that my guy is going to bail, or if I’m CREATING the situation in the first place?

 For me, all it takes is slowing down and asking a few thoughtful questions:

What fears are creating these dreams [these thoughts, etc]?

My answer: The fear I’m giving too much and being taken advantage of.  The fear of getting hurt, getting left, opening my heart too much and allowing it to happen, having to start over with someone else. Embarassment. Not being enough. Being too much.


Are any of these fears coming from a place of love?

Hell no! None of these serve me or are truly protecting me.


Are they ‘fight or flight’ responses?

Yes! Getting too close to something that makes me uncomfortable and wanting to push off simply because I am afraid to get hurt.


Are they based on old stories I’ve experienced or old evidence I’ve stored in my mind?

Yes! Guys have let me down in the past, too many times. I’m afraid that because I haven’t seen him for a few days that he must be ready to go that way too. But he hasn’t really acted like he isn’t interested anymore.


And based on the above, are they intuition or ego?

EGO, 100%, no question.


So what does my intuition have to say? [here you want to slow down, take a deep breath, and let your mind be quiet and your heart do the talking]

You’re scared. You’re playing into old beliefs about yourself and about love. I love you. You are safe. He’s a good person. Take the chance. You are so loved.


And there you have it. The answer, the truth, the non-anxiety-brain knowing. 

Sometimes the answer will be the same- maybe your anxiety is simply screaming the same message that your intuition is gently prodding you with. If that’s the case, listen. The key is to get in touch with what is coming from within, under the layers of broken record going off in your mind. That’s where the magic lives.



Why you should share your story right now!

brene vulnerabilityWe all have dreams. Dreams that we would love to see come true in our lifetimes, but have no idea where to begin. Desires that burn in us so deeply, we just wish they'd happen already. Desires aren't just normal, they're a healthy part of human existence. They help us move forward to where we want to go. They connect us to who we are, to who we are meant to be and to our greatest purpose in life. Desires = our ultimate destiny. They enforce big, important shifts.

The problem with dreams and desires is that they're often accompanied by fear. We're afraid that we won't be good enough to achieve our dreams. We don't know where to begin. We're afraid that if we fail, we'll be ridiculed. We're scared that our desires may change over time.

And so, we keep them to ourselves.

We lock our dreams in our heads and hearts. We tell ourselves to aim lower. We silence our creativity.

But holding back on your dreams is one of the worst things that you can do in this life. Dreams don't go away... they grow into regret.

I recently took a leap of faith. I have a dream to one day start a business that will bring women and girls on the journey to self love that I myself completed. I want to make this more accessible, acceptable, and sought-out. And I've started verbalizing this dream as much as I possibly can.

Here's why I think that EVERYONE should stop what they're doing and start shouting out their dreams RIGHT NOW.

1. The more you share you dream, the more likely it is to come true.

Manifestation 101- if you put it out in the universe, the universe works with you to make it happen. So don't stop sharing what you want. Keep putting it out there, share your passion. The more energy and emphasis, the better. The world WANTS you to achieve your desires, guys! Let it work for you.

2. The amount of people who will rally to help you achieve your dream will astound you.

A few weeks ago I made the decision to invest in Mentor Masterclass as a first step to making my dream a reality. When I was first considering the class, it felt so "alternative" to me, nothing like the straight and narrow college to career path that I had taken my entire life. I was worried that I would be rejected for wanting to pursue this, that my family and friends would think I was off my rocker. I have been amazed that this couldn't be further from the truth. Since I decided I wanted to take the class, I've found the most amazing of support from family, friends and acquaintances. I've had ex boyfriends, co-workers and Facebook friends volunteer to help or just share support. And most amazingly, my parents reacted in the exact opposite way I thought they would. They didn't look at me like I was nuts, they didn't try to talk me out of staying on the rational path. They supported me wholeheartedly. They smiled wide at the idea and they told me to go for it. They're holding my hand through the process. The only person who thought that I was being crazy for wanting to do this was me. Support is all around.

3. More and more opportunities that will move you forward will arise.

Like attracts like. So, the more you make your desire into something tangible, a goal that you're actually working towards, the more the path to achieving that desire will unfold. Tell one friend about your dream and bam! she knows of a class to help. Tell another and wam! he knows the perfect person to network with. And, verbalizing your desires helps to crystalize the resources that you'll need to make it happen. The more you work through this, the more the path will naturally come to you.

4. You'll realize you've had the power all along.

Nothing hurts us more than keeping our desires to ourselves. We hold back our creative voice, we tell ourselves that we're not good enough to do what we truly want, we validate that negative voice in our heads that's held us back for so long. In truth, the only person who can make your dreams happen is YOU. And 99% of that struggle is mental. If you believe you can do it, you will. This applies to absolutely everything in life. The sooner that you can learn to believe in yourself no matter what, no matter how big the dream, the sooner you will blossom into the life of your dreams.

5. You'll master one of the most valuable life skills: how to sit in vulnerability.

Vulnerability. For many of us, we go to great lengths to avoid it. But as Brene Brown (one of my favorite human beings) teaches, vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change. Vulnerability brings our true selves into the open. And when we allow ourselves to be seen deeply, wholeheartedly, we call in love and joy. By showing yourself (all of yourself!) as you are, you're inspiring meaningful change in your life.


What is one of your biggest dreams for your life? Tell me in the comments below and let the magic begin!


Crafting a new definition of beauty

Ocomparisonne thing I've come to learn in all of my soul searching over the past year or so is that comparison to others is a quick way to ruin your own life. For me, I've struggled most with comparison when it comes to my appearance. Our culture is the most connected and consumptive of its kind, and because of this, we're constantly inundated with visuals of society's idea of the perfect woman. And, she feels more accessible than ever thanks mostly to social media. We've created a very narrow box for what beauty can mean in our society, and most of us don't quite fit the bill.  There is nothing wrong with this type of beauty, however there is everything wrong with rejecting other types of beauty in favor of this particular mold. It breeds a comparison culture, and a culture of self-hatred and shame. We spend hours upon hours each day working to achieve an ideal that we may never reach, berating what makes us different, and putting ourselves down. At least, I know that I have, and sometimes still do.

I'm ready to break free of the need to compare myself to others. I'm ready to kick any and all body image garbage to the curb.

Caroline suggested that I take some time to re-write what I've told myself for years is beautiful, mostly influenced by my ideas of what society thinks is beauty. So, I'm writing a new 'manifesto' for what beauty really means to me.

Here we go.

The Blissed-Up Beauty Manifesto

Beauty is not just a symmetrical face, free of lines and wrinkles, an unobtrusive nose, a pinned back pair of ears, a slightly defined but not too defined chin, and eyes that are perfectly shaped with lashes that flap like fans.

It is a contagious smile, an inner light that shines out for others to see in the glimmer of an eye. It's creases and laugh lines and sun burn, the things that we gain from the experiences we have. It's the differences that make us who we are: our grandmother's noses, our father's lips, our mother's cheek bones.

Beauty is not just a perfectly sculpted body, all jagged and angles and bones, with long legs and a size zero waist, a flat stomach, and just enough muscle definition without appearing bulky.

It's a body that shows up with confidence, wherever it goes. It's a softness and warmth, smooth lines rather than angular, inviting to the touch. The kind of softness that implies youth even when youth is gone. It's well cared for and loved. Beauty is a body that is miraculous and strong- it does things both great and small to propel us forward in life, to help us to fulfill our greatest desires and to help others, too. It is the fact that our bodies are ever adapting and changing to meet our needs, our greatest champion and supporter. That our body works as life's vehicle for our dreams and our destiny.

Beauty is a feeling. It's an aura of self-love, a look directly into the eye. It's a proud display of the inner soul and the outer being, a welcoming gesture, an inviting posture. It's a glow that you can feel, an energy that pulls you in. It's kindness, it's joy, it's connection. It's in our propensity to show up and honor ourselves and those around us.

Beauty is in our uniqueness, the little things that one day will be irreplaceable to someone else but for today are yours and yours alone.

Beauty exists in all of us, and once we learn to celebrate what's beautiful about ourselves instead of criticizing what we think needs to change, that beauty will radiate for all to see.


The Law of #FuckYes

I'm absolutely in love with Mark Manson's recent post on The Law of Fuck Yes. It's something I wish I had put into practice much, much sooner. But here we are. via giphy.com

The Law of #FUCKYES simply states that you shouldn't waste your time on anyone where a mutual fuck yes is not present. The keyword here is mutual. We all deserve lives of great passion and fulfillment, and if fuck yes is not present on either side, we lose. We're destined for hardship, for struggle, for not living up to our full potential. For missing out on real happiness. For constantly wondering why we're not good enough for the BEST THINGS life has to offer.

But living to the law of fuck yes isn't always easy. Our ego gets in the way. Love can blind us. We turn to excuses.

Mark starts with a simple, but powerful statement: Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?

Unfortunately, this is a question I know all too well.

For almost a year, I was in a relationship that was an absolute FUCK YES for me, and a very timid, whisper of a yes for him. The timid yes eventually turned into a heart-breaking "I can't." Should I have waited as I did for months hoping that the whisper would turn into a resounding full-on, everything in all caps with tons of emojis and exclamation marks statement? Today, I say no. Today I set boundaries because I believe, truly believe, I deserve better. But back then, I didn't. Back then, I waited.

It's easy to hold on to hope that someone will change. And sometimes, they do. But holding on to a no, maybe, or timid yes is not something that anyone should do. Ever. Don't wait for someone to suddenly realize you're awesome, or to suddenly feel a fuck yes for someone you're not that into. Instead, choose to move on. Choose to love and honor yourself, to pursue big happiness. Look for other fuck-yes's in your life, like your relationship with yourself, your job, your friends, or your favorite hobby.

Wait for the big, unquestionable fuck yes. Whether it comes back to you from someone who is already in your life or [more likely] an amazing person you've yet to meet who will blow anyone else out of the water.

In other words, it ain't worth settling. Because you, my friend, deserve magic. You deserve #FuckYes.

via giphy.com

An experiment in "Love Bombing."

spreadloveToday I started day 1 of a new three day energy experiment (an e-cubed moment, see this earlier post for reference) focused on the power of spreading love. The idea is the more love you dedicate toward others, both en mass and individually, the more loved you will feel back by the world. Love breeds love breeds happiness. It can even change your most difficult of relationships. I've seen this work first-hand with a coworker I was having difficulty with. The moment I decided to stop struggling and start killing with kindness, I experienced a huge shift in how we related to one another. I stopped noticing all of the negative, and she started to soften almost overnight. Based on that experience alone, I'm totally on board for this experiment.

For the next three days, I've signed on to basically be a pseudo "love-bomber," spreading love and kindness wherever I go. What does this mean? I will be... 1. Posting little happy love notes where ever I go. Really. I already have a post it pad of bunches of words of kindness ready to go. I'm not the most covert, but I'm up for the challenge. [if you are inspired by this and need some samples, check these out here.]. 2. Looking for moments to say something kind to friends, family, coworkers, or really anyone!

3. Going out of my way to think only kind thoughts about people who I might not have the smoothest of relationships with (like in my co-worker example).

I'll be back with an update later this week, but so far it's been pretty uplifting to spread little post its around. If you see any on an NJ Transit train today or tomorrow, it's probably me.



Beyond really enjoying my love bombing experiment... something funny happened that I have to share.

Last week, a bit after I had ended my initial love bomb, I found a few extra post it notes in my bag. Rather then toss them away, I decided to do a few last love bombs and spread them around on my way home from work.

The tricky thing about love bombing is that getting caught can be embarassing. As I learned.

I dropped a few post its while I was walking from the train that day, and a few moments later I felt a tap on the shoulder.

A very attractive, tall man had picked up one of the notes I dropped. As I turned to look at him, he said "it's true, you know."

I laughed and took the post it.

It said "You deserve the best."

I'll take that as a sign. :)

Digging deep for the Lesson

One of my favorite things about the self work I've been doing is trying out all of the little tools and tid bits that many authors/experts share. It's pretty empowering and awe inspiring to put one into action and see results, to really start to feel a shift. Even those that at first sound silly or daunting or even impossible can make a difference. It starts with being brave, letting go of judgements, and jumping in. Today's post is about one of the tools I picked up at the Mastin event a little over a week ago. Mastin spoke about how often when something bad or even something unsatisfactory happens to us, we tend to fall into the classic question: Why. Why is this happening to me, why would he/her/they do this to me, why would God let this happen? But these questions only leave us feeling victimized, and perpetuate a circle of negativity, lack, and the idea that we are not in control of our lives.

Instead, Mastin suggests to look for the lesson in the harder moments of our lives. Shifting from the victim from the empowered: what is the universe teaching me? What can I learn from this? What am I gaining?

This really resonated with me because it was a tool that I had employed once before with great results. Caroline, my life coach guru, suggested that I flip the switch on my internal dialogue about being heart broken and instead put together a list of all of the things I gained from the experience. I did just that, and really found it to be transformational--- it helped me to start to let go of the helplessness and the anger, and start to look for the positive in the experience, to feel hope. At the time, it hadn't yet come full circle that this was a tool I could use in every day life. I thought it was just something to help me release my ex. Now, I understand it can be applied to most situations to help maintain the gentle hum of faith.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to apply this tool to my previous blog post.

For a bit of background, a little over a week ago I had to travel to LA for work. LA is where I fell in love with my ex, and that experience is really the only context I have for that city. It was tough to be back there, flooded with memories that I really miss. I found myself in my hotel room that night, exhausted and sad, wondering why I was facing this experience at this moment. We had broken up a year ago almost to the day. I had worked so hard on myself, on moving on and growing forward in more ways than one. I couldn't help but ask myself: why am I still here? Why do I still feel sad? Why am I unable to move on? Why couldn't those wonderful experiences of my past still be in my present life?


What's amazing: you ask for the lesson, and the universe gives it to you.

I was writing this post with the intention of working through what I thought the lesson could be, hoping that it would eventually come to me. Instead, the universe delivered a nail on the head lesson.

I ran into my ex today outside of my apartment, after a year of never having a run in in our neighborhood.

The lesson, after that, was pretty clear: I'm ready. I'm strong, I've grown into a really happy person, living a life that I love. And it isn't dependent on another person, it's dependent on me. I've got a good story to tell these days, and I'm no longer looking to fill voids with someone else's accomplishments. The areas in my life in which I felt most inadequate were areas were my ex really shined, in many ways I was so proud to be with him because it helped me to fill up the places where I needed filling. Where I wished my life could be better. Now, I realize that I was never inadequate in those areas at all, and that what I have is more than enough. I've realized that I've been the person I wished I was all along, I possess the qualities that I so admired in him too.

So while it's hard to be reminded of loving memories and feelings because I still really want these things, the truth is, the sadness is no longer tied to him. It's the sadness of missing the experience of falling in love. And that's an experience that I have full faith I will have again in life. In a way that is bigger than I could imagine.