Category Archives: Love

Present Over Perfect

So I’m reading this amazing book “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist and it’s really got me thinking. I was drawn to it because lately I’ve been trying to practice and be in the present. It’s always been difficult for me to live in ‘the now’. I tend to live in the future because I’ve always operated from a get shit done mentality. However, when I’m sad or lonely I revert to nostalgia and my past. 

I’m only a quarter through this book and holy shit I feel like a lot of it was written through me. Ok, maybe not the parts when she references being a mother and her kids and husband but damn. 

Here’s the thing… there was some divine intervention that happened in February. I lost my job and was forced to slow down. Slowing down made  sure the ice that we’ll call numbness melted. The ice was the shield of anything that got in the way of me operating at a gazillion miles an hour. With it melting it made me look at what was left underneath the water of the melted thick block of ice. It truly made me take inventory of where I was currently at. So where was I? Let me remind you. I was lost, scared, confused, lonely, sad, grateful, relieved, stressed. I was all those things and then some. My world felt pretty bleak and so so gray.

It’s now about to be September. I’ve felt even more emotions since then if you can believe it. But where I am now.. presently I’m in a place that feels new and true and challenging and beautiful and bright and authentic and right. This is where I need to be. I’m in a place of acceptance and love and openness and growth and curiosity. I’m digging in deep of the crevices of past hurt that I stifled for so long. I’m grieving. And in doing so I’m cultivating new ways of being. What used to serve me no longer serves me. 

I liken it to the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin. I want to rid myself of all this old skin, these parasites (ideas, behaviors, habits) that don’t serve me. It’s a rebirth of sorts. 

I’m really excited to get back to who I really am and who I want to be. I’m finally ready to start loving myself in all my perfect imperfections and I’m so grateful to be able to remake my life from the inside out and unfold all the goodness along the way. 

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A life I love

Here’s the thing. People have expectations of you. They want to label and put you in a box because it’s easier to understand you. It’s not coming from a mal-intentioned place. These people may truly love you and want the best for you. But it’s hard when people’s own shit (ie their own insecurities, hopes, dreams, flaws, judgement, expectations of your relationship and self etc) gets in the way of how you want to live authentically to who you know you are.

This is more an elaboration on my last post but I’ve been thinking about this a lot these days. I’m starting to really feel like I’m coming into my own. Meaning; I’m practicing daily the person I know I want to be, I’m choosing who and what I want to do with my precious time, and I’m learning the reason why I am here on this earth so I can truly honor and fulfill my life’s purpose.

That’s it. It’s not easy but surprisingly because it’s in my truth instead of labeling this shit hard it’s now a beautiful challenge that I’m enjoying and has allowed me to be at peace with where I am at in my life at this exact very moment. It’s allowing me to be present and mindful.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have moments lacking self love (which btw is really just another name for insecurity but in a seemingly more compassionate way). Being vulnerable can be tough but it’s fucking courageous. For example, the other day I was having drinks with friends and we were talking about my future plans and where I want to move to next and when it would happen. I have some ambiguity around it which can feel like lack of control. Couple that with feeling misunderstood and not truly being heard got me emotional and all of a sudden I’m in this dark place of not being good enough especially not being good enough to be heard and have a voice. It took me back to the root of the very shit I’m working through; having a voice and using it with the intended motivation of love and understanding and acceptance.

My beautiful friends gave me the space to truly say what I was feeling and I actually told them what I was feeling. They gave me permission to cry and be heard. They shared with me their perspective of the situation that just unfolded. These moments are not easy but these moments mean I’m actively practicing what I want to overcome and allow for me to step into my truth. For that I thanked them. They are my sisters. These are a couple of strong beautiful women who make me better. They truly don’t have an agenda. They don’t judge me or get upset if I don’t fit what they need me to be. That’s love.

Every day I do something for myself that brings me joy. It can be something as small as a longer walk for me and Huxley, wearing a bold colored lipstick, buying a beautiful bouquet at the bodega, eating more veggies instead of crap, or as big as spontaneously booking a trip to The US Virgin Islands, South America or Paris. It can be writing here on this blog. Texting a friend I love them. Giving gratitude daily for my cute apt or my weekly paycheck. It can be seeing friends for dinner or listening to a podcast that’s inspirational. It can be anything as long as it brings me joy.

I’m learning to really love myself. I’ve loved aspects of who I am but fuck if I’ve ever really loved myself truly and completely. I’m working on it. And in doing so I’m creating such a beautiful life I love.

Thank you to those who understand and support me through my changes. If who I am becoming is hard for you to understand or accept I wish you well and want to thank you for being a part of my journey. I know I have learned from you and I will be forever grateful for that but I no longer want to continue making space for what doesn’t serve my truth.

Thank you.

TRUST

I’ve had a pretty emotionally charged year and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. I keep being reminded by all the powers that be (ie my coach, my therapist, my friends, the universe…) that I am exactly where I need to be.

Only in the last few weeks have I really felt the comfort in being present. Mind you, I’m still not completely 100% comfortable with ambiguity and not being “there” yet, wherever “there” is. However, I do feel like I am where I need to be. There are things I’m now consciously working on to alter my mindset and the toxic stories I’ve told myself over my lifetime that no longer serve me.

I am now an emotionally equipped adult with the aptitude, the insight, and the wherewithal to make sound moral and healthy choices. I have to tell myself that. I’m not dependent on these stories and beliefs that I learned to survive as a child. I want to be free of these harmful beliefs because I want to be the best version of me. I want more for myself. I know I can be better.

Wow.

This is huge guys. I’m in a place where I am consciously aware and practicing daily how to negate bad thoughts and bring in positive ones. I’m learning how to trust myself, the process, and the universe.

When I started this year I decided my work was TRUST.

It’s so fitting. I’ve made peace with saying goodbye to friendships that no longer serve me. I had to trust in the fact that I lost my job (for political reasons) so that I could make space for something better. That space has allowed me to really look inside myself and start the real work. I’ve been ‘working’ for years on myself. But this shit I’m currently working on is deep. It’s digging through my soul’s crevices and dark corners to bring shit to light I’ve tried so hard to suppress and ignore.

Looks like you can’t really get over anything until you really get into it and fucking feel it. Huh. Imagine that.

When I become present I see the magnificence in it all and I feel more connected. Not just internally. When I say connected I mean connected to the world. To life. To everything that’s bigger than me and us.

I am exactly where I need to be.

With all that I am learning I’m also trying to prioritize myself. That means listening to what I really need. I’ve historically been the doer and the over-extender. The one that made other people feel special to show them the magnitude of how much i really love them. A part of me feels that in doing all these things I will get love in return.

The fact is. People will love me if they want to and it’s completely out of my control.

It’s been exhausting. I kept waiting for my turn while still over extending. It doesn’t usually come and that’s ok. Because frankly, this was my shit. People love me in the way they know how. And if I’m going to be honest I have a lot of love in my life. I choose to act in ways I thought I had to for love.

Looks like I have other choices.

I’m going to put my Self  first. I want to give myself all the love I give out. I know that this will be uncomfortable for a lot of people. For example: when one decides that a friendship doesn’t serve them anymore people will have thoughts and feelings behind it. That’s ok. If these people with these sentiments love you they will respect your decision even if it changes dynamics and status quo.  Ask me if you need more examples. I have them.

It’s tough to feel like I’ve disappointed others. I’m working through this whole ‘prioritizing myself’ thing and all the super charged feelings and reactions I have to things.

Just know that by being a better me I will be a better friend, better sister, better partner, better worker. Trust.

 

To let go; to bring in

As the year comes to a close I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. There was a night I gifted (well not quite gifted since it’s something we should give ourselves more frequently with zero guilt) myself where I sat down to be with my thoughts while I drank some fantastic wine with a smell good candle lit and Huxley snoozing on the bed by my side. It’s kind of incredible what a treat a night to yourself spent in the way you want to does for your being. It’s so completely underrated. 

I suggest you all give yourself a night immediately. 

You guys, I’ve done a lot this year. And it’s crazy to think I just realized how much I’ve done. I tend to jump in headfirst and boom there’s autopilot. It used to work for me. It was a survival skill I learned very young to help me through life that I now know wasn’t easy, ideal, or to be honest very loving. I don’t want it to sound like love was lacking in my life but the love was conditional and hard. It wasn’t conducive to a child’s growth or mindset.

But what I want now for myself is to be more mindful. I want expansion. I want to be seen. And by doing/having/being I will then create so much more opportunity in my life. 

I’ve learned that what I tend to do is expend ALL energy I have in work, friendships, whatever. And then as fast as I started I’m left exhausted, tired, and heavy with no energy. Ugh. It’s depleting. And it’s not sustainable. 

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past 5 years. And I haven’t done it without help. 

If ever there was a segue to the idea of therapy I’m going to take this as it. 

Therapy is important. It is fruitful to being a well rounded person who can look at their hardships and give themselves love. Love to forgive. Love to accept. Love to take action. 

I cannot stress this enough. Therapy is important. It can have a negative stigma and that’s bullshit. 

Would you ask a sommelier what wine they recommend that pairs the best for the plate of food you’re about to order at an established 4 star restaurant? Did you not have a coach to guide you and challenge your physical and mental strength and capacity for whatever sport you played in school or professionally? Do big wig executives not have a board of trusted advisors to check in quarterly on the roadmap and to advise them of sound decisions to ensure a company is headed in the right direction? 

Then why the fuck as a human being living as an adult do you not have a therapist or life coach who has studied, mastered and understands human behaviors, thoughts, and emotion. It’s imperative as a citizen of the world and if, at the very least, as a person who craves something beyond them, to understand who they are by unearthing what they came from to discover who they want to be. Read that again. Please.

You guys, your ego is an incredibly powerful thing. It can hinder so much of who you are. But by acknowleding and recognizing how and when it shows up and why will allow you to move mountains. 

By any means do I think I am moving mountains but by every fuck out there I have the ability to do so. And there’s a fuck for you if you think otherwise.

I am a better person for asking for and seeking help. I’ve always had a problem asking for things. I had pride. I had ego. I had insecurity. 

Now? Now I have and am still learning love for myself. And compassion. 

I want so much for myself. I know you do too. We owe it to ourselves to give ourselves all the resources to actualize our wants.

This is my life. I have to remind myself that I have time. I also have the skills and resources in abundance. 

So this is me. 

I am so grateful for what 2016 has brought me from experiencing the opera at the Met for the first time, to the travel to far away lands, to all the glasses of wine and bowls of fondue at Murray’s Cheese Bar, to those bartenders at Murrays Cheese Bar who didn’t judge me for all the glasses of wine and bowls of fondue I scarfed  down and instead hooked me up, to my super who unclogged my toilet and gave hux love, to drs appointments and physical therapy for my knees, to all the people that have visited me and shared with me their first New York moments, to the seamless food delivery guys that brought me lunch at work daily, to Huxley’s sweet lovable nature, to being able to surprise my best friend on her birthday, to all the apt cleaning I did resentfully, to the subways that came at just the right time, to my shitty narcissistic boss, to becoming a certified coach, to the friends that I’ve laughed and cried with, to saying goodbye to my brothers, my mother, and Becca who beacame one of my best friends, to the overpriced New York everything, to the Greek guy who reminded me how I want to be loved, to being published in a handful of online articles for work, to my rooftop views, to relinquishing my Cali license, to 2016 and everything in between. 

I let go of stories I narrated to myself that don’t serve me. I let go of the negative ideas and perceptions I held of myself. I thank them for the lessons I’ve learned. I am grateful for everything. I hate the turn of connotation of the word has taken but I will say it. I feel blessed. 

For 2017 I bring in expansion. However that means. I say yes to love, to opprtunity, to life.

I breathe it all in. I expand. 

Gratitude

There are so many wonderful things to be grateful for. With Thanksgiving this past week it’s a really great reminder to give thanks and have gratitude (especially in lieu of the current state of our country). 
I try to keep daily reminders of gratitude. Sometimes I forget to write them out but never am I not grateful. 

In honor of Thanksgiving and because #lists below are all the things I am grateful for in this moment:

  • Friends and family near and far more specifically… 
  • – my mom. I miss having her around. Especially now with her being in the Philippines she’s so far removed from my life. She has done so much for me. I miss her terribly. Wish I could be around her for the holidays.
  • – my brothers. One in the army and one in the air force. They decided to dedicate themselves to the good of the country and I look up to them for doing so. I also appreciate them so much more and spending time with each of them separately earlier this year has made me closer to them and that means the world to me.
  • – my sister and nephew bear. They came to visit me in New York not too long ago and it wasn’t easy but I needed it. Not being able to see my nephew grow daily and hang out with my sister weekly breaks my heart.
  • – my Bay Area friends. They are so much of me. They are beautiful in every way. They are supportive and loving and incredible. My life is lacking without them. I feel it every day.
  • – the one very special friendship I made in New York. B, you know what you mean to me.  Thank you. 
  • – the friends here I have that get me, love me, accept me through this very weird strange transition in my life. 
  • Taking a risk by moving to New York City. It truly is one of the best cities in the world and the most culturally diverse. I fell in love with this city 9 years ago and held on to the dream that I would one day live here. Dream realized.
  • Having a good job at a great start up company that provides benefits, unlimited paid time off, awesome coworkers, and a bi-weekly paycheck
  • Huxley. 4 and some change later my little pup continues to teach me about responsibility, love, playfulness and companionship
  • My west village apt. Before I set out to New York I envisioned living in this area. 3rd times the charm in in my New York apt search! I’m surrounded by endless amazing restaurants, great subway lines in short walking distance, Washington sq park, dog parks, Hudson River, and great boutiques. My apt is cozy, gets amazing light, has a responsive helpful nice superintendent and an amazing roof deck. I hit the New York apt jackpot
  • Travel travel travel. I’ve had some pretty incredible trips this year and have even more on the horizon. My perspective has broadened because of it and I’ve met some incredible people along the way. Not to mention strengthened existing relationships that were already so dear to me and on top of all that I’ve seen beautiful sights.
  • My health. Things are a little worn down but it just gives me character. I’m healthy and I have a full functioning body. 
  • Pretty things. Flowers, sunsets, architecture, stylish clothes, my west elm mid century dresser. I like pretty things.
  • Everything I learned from coaching. It opened up a new world for me. One for which I will never look at things the same. I realize from it that I have so much to give. That there are people walking around that also have so much to give. It’s a beautiful community. 
  • Choices and opportunities and signs of goodness that continue to show themselves to me. 

I’m so very grateful. There’s so much more that I haven’t listed. One of my best friends is in town this week. I had thanksgiving with a small group of humans and 2 of which are people I’m only starting to get to know. I spent the day happy. It will be one I know I will remember forever…

Lastly, I am thankful for you. Thank you for wishing me love and goodness in my journey. I will never take that for granted. 

Xx

    Like Sands Through the Hourglass

    I had a beautiful birthday after my incredible trip to Morocco. It was perfect. I did exactly what I wanted to do and I felt zero guilt for doing it. I did have a little work hiccup where I found myself typing furiously on my humongous tablet looking phone in response to a passive aggressive email from someone who really gets to me. But with that said, I woosah’d and got over it and happily went about my perfect day.
    4 years ago on my birthday I adopted a sweet tiny lil pup named Kona in Cali. He is my first and only dog. Today he is a happy healthy 4 yo lil guy named Huxley who lives in New York. He’s the best. On my birthday I celebrate Hux as well. I never knew what it meant to have an animal. It’s amazing. This lil’ one has helped me get through some tough times as well as some big life changes. I’m so grateful. 


    Suffice it to say Huxley got extra love on this day and lots of treats (human food included).

    I took him to the dog park so he can get in his favorite pastime of fetch on. It’s funny. He gets so focused on playing fetch he has no time for other dogs. 


    After the dog run we walked through Washington Square park.


    I then dropped Huxley off at home and went about my morning. I wanted to grab a sourdough bagel from the only bagel shop I know of that serves them in the UWS.


    It was delicious. 

    I continued through the UWS and stopped by a nail salon/spa where I treated myself to a manicure/pedicure AND 30 minute massage. It was blissful. 

    From there I meandered into Central Park. It was a beautiful day and wanted to spend as much of my day off outside as I could. 



    While at the park the bestie called to wish me a happy birthday. It was so great to hear her voice and talk about my day and trip. I realized then exactly how much I miss my people. 


    One of my favorite things about New York are all the street performers. I was able to truly stop and listen and appreciate so much talent. 


    This dog was really enjoying himself. He wouldn’t budge although his dad was ready and waiting. 


    Love all the music.

    I found a nice spot on a bench to sit and read and relax. 



    I was super immersed in my kindle when a man approached me saying he was an artist and if I could please sit for him as he drew me. Funny enough earlier I had walked by someone being drawn by another artist and had a fleeting thought about how nice it is to capture a moment in time in that way in Central Park. 

    I asked him if I could continue to read my book since I was really into it. He said please no I need you to look at me. Would only take 15 minutes. I was thinking how much it must suck to want to show your talents and be creative but not have any takers so I agreed. 


    His name was Jacob and he was Armenian. He had a little portable radio playing classical and opera. I told him it was my birthday. Coincidentally, Pavarotti a little while later played on his radio and the dj made mention of it being his birthday. I take all these little beautiful signs and coincidences as the Universe reminding me that it’s here and paying attention. 

    My “15 minutes” took about 30. I can tell you how awkward it is to sit and stare at someone for that long while they turn you into their art. It’s pretty vulnerable but with any vulnerability there’s something truly beautiful about it. It’s the feeling of someone “seeing” you literally and figuratively. 


    Jacob gifted me with his art and I thanked him and let him work on his next subject as a crowd began to form when he was almost finished.

    I found my way to another bench with the intention to finish my book but instead took in my surroundings and enjoyed more performers.​​​

    Writing this and sharing with you I feel like I’m reliving this day all over again and it’s putting me in such a great mood.

    I started to make my way home. When thinking about dinner instead of going someplace fancy and getting an expensive meal I decided Chinese food in bed with Netflix on was more the day and my speed. 


    Thank you all for the birthday love and the best wishes and good vibes. Huxley and I both had a truly wonderful day.

    It’s going to be an incredible year. I feel it in my bones.

    Thank you, New York

    I’ve been here for almost a year and a half now and there really have been some days/nights that stand out because they were so special. I was asked over my birthday from a very dear friend what have been my favorite days and I couldn’t think of more than 2 on the spot. It was a great question that kept me thinking..

    And because lists, I present you with the below (in no particular order):

    1. My old roommate really instilled in me the belief that Valentines day should always be celebrated. It isn’t just about having a significant other. It’s about love even if it’s for yourself. My Valentines day was fantastic. I treated myself to a day of pampering. That included a massage, a facial, and getting my nails done. After that I bought pretty flowers for the apt. And that night my roommate and I threw our one and only party together. In Cali I loved to host and have people over for any given reason. With feeling a bit unsettled in not having a really strong core group of friends; I was excited to have all my different friends meet each other. I love strengthening bonds and sharing experiences with people just as much as I love bringing people together. It was such a great night. We had yummy desserts, great wine, and played fun rounds of cards against humanity. It was the perfect day that turned into the perfect night. It was the first of many nights that the people I loved in New York would enjoy each other’s company and come to love each other like I do.
    2. On the night of my anniversary with this beloved city I received a job offer from a CEO I was introduced to almost a whole year prior. This was a  job I wasn’t expecting nor did I apply for. But it was for a company that unknowingly at the time, had everything I wanted in a job. I received a great offer and I celebrated and treated myself to a glass of wine at a local wine bar and enjoyed my own company while I reveled in the fact that New York gave me the best anniversary gift it could. You see, I had quit my job at a company I couldn’t get behind that I was very unhappy at prior to traveling to Tanzania for a few weeks. So I didn’t have any income and probably needed to start thinking about how that was going to change. This just goes to show timing really is a thing of beauty.
    3. There was a night, on a random Tuesday, that I met up with all my coaching peers at one of our friend’s gorgeous apt a month after our classes had ended. I had just returned from Tanzania a few days prior. It was a night full of love and celebration for everyone’s going ons since we all were together last. We laughed, we ate, we drank, we shared stories. It was a night I felt and maybe even just started to feel like I belonged to something really special. These people are my super hero squad and I feel so blessed to know each of them.
    4. It was a few weeks or so into my new life in New York. I don’t know what day it was nor do I remember exactly what happened on that day. I wasn’t working yet but I had settled into the new apt in the UWS with Huxley and my new roommate. Hanging out in the sun in Central Park was all I wanted to do. I packed a picnic for the both of us. Really good stuff too. And brought a blanket and my new kindle. We unpacked in front of Belvedere Castle by Turtle Pond. The sun was shining but it wasn’t too hot. Huxley and I spent hours there not paying any mind to time. At one point I remember a mother and her cute kid came around. The little girl was excited to see a puppy and came up to Huxley. Hux has a history with toddlers and is very wary because of how he was treated when he was a pup. I was shocked to see how good he was with the little girl and she was so playful and happy. It made me feel like Huxley accepted his new city and I made the right decision. I was in love with that day. All of it.
    5. One of the turning points in my New York life was the day I grabbed Huxley, put him in his subway/bus bag (my old shoulder bag that turned into his transportation carrier because carries are required for dogs on public transportation), took the crosstown bus to my leasing office, and  picked up the keys for my new apartment. I remember stepping into my (admittedly very small but very cute) apartment as Huxley sniffed about and explored, thinking finally, I have a little bit of space in this crazy chaotic too crowded city that is just mine. Although it was quite a tough process that wasn’t conducive to good thoughts; once that was over I felt like I could breathe a little easier with my key in hand.
    6. Last year on Thanksgiving day I could’ve spent feeling sad I wasn’t home in Cali with family. What I did instead was take Hux for a walk in the light snow super early then sauntered over to check out the rest of the balloons that were blown up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade near my old apt and be a spectator in some of the hubbub. There were crowds of people but it was so fun to watch as the volunteers who walked with the balloons were prepping for the start and checking to make sure everything was still on par. Huxley was even spotted by a photog who asked to take his photos in his cute red snow vest. After we watched and waited for a while we went back to the apartment so that I could get started on my pecan pies. Later that day with 1 pie in tow I met up with Dahlia’s friend so that we could train it together to spend Thanksgiving with Dahlia, Kimia and their wonderful parents in Long Island. This was the first time I met their parents and I fell in love and again felt so grateful to have met some pretty wonderful people who took me in and welcomed me to their family and their home on Thanksgiving. Truly a day of thanks.
    7. For a while I was volunteering at the St Francis Xavier soup kitchen in Chelsea, it’s the biggest soup kitchen in New York. It made me feel fulfilled to be able to give back even if all I was giving back was just time. There was one day that a choir was going to perform. My duty that day was to direct the lines for the food. We had 2 different lines; those that were disabled and any others looking for a hot meal or two. The average number of meals we served on Sundays ranged from 1000-2000 meals. You can imagine it gets busy. Then a really beautiful moment happened. I stood there directing as the choir started signing New York State of Mind by Billy Joel. I was filled head to toe with so much gratitude and so much love. I felt so incredibly fortunate to be in New York, to be able to serve a needy community, and to be listening to music that spoke to my soul. It was beautiful and I was enraptured with my love for New York that was growing deeper by the minute.

    All of the above are such beautiful moments of time that are so special to me. These are a few of my New York highlights. I’ve had plenty of wonderful moments and experiences both shared and private. I continue to feel grateful. And as I listed these it makes me smile thinking of all the happy moments but I also anticipate all that’s to come.

    Thank you, New York. And thank you to those that opened and continue to open up their arms, hearts and homes to me as I figure out my way through life in this city.

    I’ve got great plans for me and New York next year. New York get ready. It’s gonna be a good one. ❤