KikiBeachStretch

Soon

When your lashes unlace to greet the light. Your body uncoils, unwrapping your flesh from her thread-count comfort. You discover reassurance. It’s close to normal, this sacred breadth you’ve reclaimed as your own. You stretch, allowing your lungs to expand and release within the space of familiar. What’s old is slowly new again.

You are singular but not small.

When brushing past a stranger in a crowded room, their fragrance leaves a familiar trace – something happens. You inhale detailed Technicolor memories – setting the dragon free from slaughter. There’s no use in sleighing the visions of who you were with them. You unleash the reality, welcoming their face, their hands on your body, their taste on your tongue. Falling among the trace of tears that struggle to emerge are fragments of your smile.

You are longing, but embrace living.

When driving home isn’t met with worry. Anxiety falls into the lap of acceptance. There is no one on the other side of the door. Your phone is silent. You curl up to the empty space, making peace with alone.

And a song is just a song.

Soon.

Soon you will find the familiar reflection. Your smile, unorchestrated without agenda. Free-falling within the space of your heart, you find yourself. Your laugh laces her fingers with acceptance and time.

When you slip under the covers. Your eyes slowly drift. Your thoughts aren’t far behind. They whisper. Soon. Soon. Soon.

Forgiveyourself

Forgive WHO?

We’ve all been there. Turned into that person we don’t recognize. Our brains hold our happiness hostage, giving pain where pain doesn’t need to exist. We unknowingly sabotage our hearts because our perception of reality is altered thanks to a heavy dose of What We Wish To Be The Case.

Perception is horrifying when the lens we choose to view from isn’t based in what’s real. The trick is knowing that we are choosing to stay in the clouds.

Red flags are not welcome signs waving from across the field. We aren’t bulls who need to charge at the first sign of danger. Seriously. Danger doesn’t equal excitement. Healthy doesn’t need to be boring (is this just a drug addict thing?).

I can’t speak for any other PTSD-Drug Addict-Sex Abuse Survivor-Ex-Stripper, but for me – the lessons in reality come at a lofty price.

Between planning a huge life-changing move, my story-telling series, and licking wounds from a recent breakup (talk about being in denial), it’s all I can do to keep it together.

So how do we get real with ourselves without beating our hearts up in the process? For starters, we need to forgive. Not the ones who’ve hurt us - but ourselves.

We can point the finger all we want, but let’s face it – at some point, when it comes to living through pain based on patterns we keep repeating – we need to look at our own choices. Once we realize we have more power over our happiness than we realize, the best thing to do is wrap our hearts around our loving souls and forgive us.

There are so many things I’m not proud of about myself. So many actions I’d love to take back. Tomorrow is another day. Another chance to get it right. New beginnings that shed old patterns. How lovely it would be to have a clean slate with the one person who matters the most, who we are always the hardest on – us.

So tell me – What do you forgive yourself for?

 

yoga

Ch ch ch changes

I’m not one for change. I like what I like, and that’s it. Even when I think I’m happy, turns out, I’m just content with the way things are. Content is all well and good, but it doesn’t scratch the itch we all have in terms of personal fulfillment.

Content may be the symphony, but Happy is the dance.

Have you ever said “I’ve always wanted to…” and never found a way to make it happen? What about that thing you’ve been putting off because you just don’t have the time or energy, but it’s still on the front burner of your mental dream list?

When a friend passed unexpectedly last week, I literally felt shock waves throughout his circle of friends and family.

Tragedy has a way of waking us up.

MarkusQuote

Markus D Manley

I wasn’t terribly close with Markus, but that’s the thing about him – you didn’t need to be to have his influence wash over you. He was and continues to be a light of unparalleled energy and intent.

From our very first conversation, I felt his vision and passion for the arts. I saw myself in him; the way our eyes lit up when exchanging stories and professional plans. He was a visionary and person of substance.

As so many of us have and still do, I looked up to him as a dude who got his shit done. What he wanted, he sought and conquered. What he envisioned, he created. Check out his legacy WE Labs. Is there anything more RAD?

On the heels of such a monumental life change – the loss of someone so young (39) and so inspiring – I’ve decided to channel my inner Markus and go for it.

I’ve been on the fence with these changes for a while – but have finally taken the steps to make my own shit happen.

I’m moving from Orange County to Long Beach, which is much better suited to my personal and political taste. I’m adopting a dog (I’ve been wanting to do since moving to California in 1996). And after much influence, discussion and inspiration from my new Guatemala family of warrior women  – I’m founding my own storytelling series (think: The Moth & Lip Service).

Bring. It. On.

imagesAm I freaked out? Fuck yes. Will that stop me? Not a chance.

Stay tuned for more. I’m sure there will be many learning lessons along the way for everyone’s entertainment, least of not mine.

If there’s anything that the sudden passing of a loved one teaches us, it’s that tomorrow is promised to no one.

We must drop kick our fears of the unknown and allow the light of our passion to lead the way to our heart’s fulfillment.

We must dance – unabashedly - in the face of personal freedom. And in doing so, we honor those whose lives were cut short, but not without profound purpose.

I’m so ready for a change. Who’s with me?

 

nb

A Narcissist’s Harem: Are you in one?

* After reading these two brilliant pieces: Narcissistic Harem’s In A Nutshell – Why it’s time to stop envying the ex and various hanger-on’s ; The Narcissist and His Harem: Why You Should Decline Membership - I picked my jaw from the floor and felt compelled to share:

 * * *

Let me start by saying that although my tag line states that I’m in recovery from narcissism, the term is a very tongue-in-cheek way of saying I’m a recovering addict.

Addicts are narcissists in our own delightful way – in that when we’re using – it’s all about us. Hopefully, after we pull our heads out of our ass, this darling trait dissipates and a much more level-headed, compassionate and thoughtful person emerges.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the purpose of this post isn’t to gab about my addiction or recovery from drugs. I’d like to shed some light on something I’ve been working through after a recent personal heart-wrenching experience I really brought on myself. Again. Familiar heartache induced by my own denial that somehow, if I were enough – my prince charming would change.

As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, thoughts of:  I’m old enough to know better! creep in whenever  I trip myself up, having not learned the valuable lessons the universe keeps trying to teach me. I can’t seem to get a clue. Or worse, I know exactly what I’m getting into (when I relapse, date the wrong man…), but my “fuck it” switch is on – and I don’t care how much pain I’m serving myself on the back end.

You don’t need to be an addict to date the wrong person. We’ve all been there. Maybe the chemistry is too strong, they’re so much fun, or they live right up the street and it’s too convenient NOT to date them. Whatever the reason, we dive head first.

Fast forward to the moment we realize – somewhere between the snorting laughter and multiple orgasms, we’ve lost ourselves. Our world is smaller. We become obsessed. Every thought, action and daydream is about how we can serve our love. Our friends tread lightly, showing us the obvious red flags, but they know we’re in too deep.

MSBWNot every person we’ve dated who was clearly wrong for us is a narcissist, but check out these basic characteristics and see if any ring true:

1. Extremely confident.
2. Charming beyond compare.
3. Has many friends of the same sex (a “harem”) – most, if not all are previous lovers.
4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
5. Plays on sympathy – “All I am is me”
6. Is the life of the party. Always “on” – a “people person.”

This list sums up just about every man I’ve ever been involved with.

There’s a catch-22 with dating a narcissist - they are so much fun and charismatic, it’s hard to see underneath it all – that they are manipulating our hearts to serve their hungry ego.

To be fair – the last man I dated isn’t a monster. If anything, we’re so much alike in terms of our personal history and struggles. He used to tell me I was the female version of him and I beamed with pride. The issue isn’t how much of an asshole a narcissist is (my guy was actually quite dear), it’s that they don’t realize what pain their behaviour causes because they are so wrapped up in their own turmoil.

Narcissists aren’t evil. Like every human being, they have a story. They didn’t wake up one day and decide to manipulate, lie to and cheat on the people they are closest to. They’re protecting themselves against what they fear the most – intimacy, abandonment, heartache. Reasons aren’t excuses, though – so even when knowing our partner doesn’t mean to - doesn’t make our staying with them okay. At some point, we need to take personal responsibility and move on.

I remember early in our relationship, my ex-lover invited me to meet he and his friends for drinks. When I arrived, I met them - all female – and already knew he had a sexual history (and current status) with at least two of them. I held my cool, and at the end of the night as he walked me to my car, I hugged him and told him I wasn’t going to be part of his harem.

On the drive home, I felt proud. I finally held my ground and stood up for myself with a man I was dating.

Three days later he was in my bed.

As much as I knew deep down I was in for heartache, I listened to his confessions of love and adoration over and over again, trying to ignore the constant texts from numerous women at all hours. I knew he was still meeting women via on-line dating sites, sleeping with others. I still stayed.

So why, after knowing all of this did I fall from my self-esteem soap box? It’s easy, when you’re co-dependent and struggle with feeling ‘not enough’. We think “If I’m pretty, skinny, sexy, funny, smart enough – more than any of the others – he will pick me.”

cbAfter a few months, my insides began to rot. I finally had enough. After meeting a lovely women he invited to join us for drinks, I got the last wake up call I needed. When he left for the mens room, his new lady friend asked if he and I were dating and she was floored to learn we were still lovers. She was me, six months ago.

It’s been a few weeks since having any contact with my ex. I don’t harbor any resentment or blame with him, and I hope we can circle back and reconnect one day. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss him – but what I don’t miss is the feeling of being in a competition with his other harem members. I don’t miss the needy, insecure person I was turning into, who I’ve fought so hard – for so many years to change (I’m still fighting).

For some, standing up for ourselves and never settling for disrespect is natural (when your lover shows his friends naughty pics of you on his phone, that’s NOT respect). Then there are people like me, who are still learning to believe we are worth so much more than what we’ve ever allowed ourselves to feel.

Sometimes holding on give us strength. But when it comes to dating a narcissist, we only get stronger when finally letting go.

Thoughts?

elephants

Objects may seem larger

“Dear, it’s no good feeling sorry for yourself. You’re gonna have to overcome these difficulties. And you might as well do it with some style.” – Doris Mann (played by Shirley MacLaine)

Shirley MacLaine is my girl. I’ve loved her ever since The Apartment, and when she rocked Doris Mann in Postcards from the Edge, my adoration exploded.

Doris Mann bubbles over with the type of moxie only movie screen legends seem to pull off. Such is the beauty of cinema. Somehow a morning vodka-banana protein shake doesn’t seem that tragic in the land of make-believe within the context of dry humor.

Denial is fun. Until it’s not. Kinda like when our “fuck it” switch goes off when we chose curtain number three, against our better judgment. And when you’re an addict, well, all bets are off. What’s fun about making the right choices? How will my brain be stimulated with such vanilla flavored normalcy?

The older we get, the smarter we’re supposed to be. In theory. Then there are times when when our fuck ups are so epic, it’s hard to believe we’ve evolved past term papers and learning permits.

It’s a well known fact that the age we start using drugs is where our emotional and mental capacity shuts down and stops evolving. In many ways, I’m still very much a teenager on the verge of a mid life crisis. The moment life tends to feel like it’s normal – like everything is as it should be – I whip up a huge batch of chaos in my favorite flavor of denial.

My non-addict friends are left scratching their heads.

“If something or someone is bad for you – why do you continue to go there?”

“It’s fun.”

“Is hurting yourself fun?”

“I know. It’s fucked up.”

“It is.”

“I’m fucked up.”

“No, your’re an addict.”

“Same thing.”

The hardset part about an addcit falling on our ass is owning the fact that no one tripped us. No one forces us to fuck up. Our brain is sick and we tend to make all sorts of fun choices when faced with the universe’s temptations.

Ever taken a piece of birthday cake at the office because your co-worker is passing them around – and you’re trying to lose weight? It’s the same thing. Sort of.

So chaos is created, and we fall on our ass. Now what? Feeling sorry for ourselves is the usual modis operati quickly followed by self-hate and shame. How could I be so stupid? I’m old enough to know better! Once we get that out of our system, the real work begins.

It takes a lot of balls to talk about the elephant in the room; especially when you’re the one who keeps welcoming it back. The good news is that we can learn to switch the wiring in our brain. We can choose to treat ourselves with kindness and love. No one’s really buying our bullshit but us anyway – so we may as well come clean.

The sooner we get real in knowing our chaos is self-induced and understand why we create it in the first place, the faster it will go away. Drama doesn’t equal fun. All it does is create a distraction from the kind of life we all deserve.

Your thoughts?

 

DQ

Blow on this

Introspection is no picnic. Much more fun to live in the clouds, breathing in the intoxicating vapor of denial and frivolity. Getting high on the life we pretend to live has its moments, but there’s no mistaking the gnawing jabs in our gut when we know at some point, we gotta come clean. Bottom line – it’s never as good, or bad as we think.

 “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change ” ― Heraclitus 

Part of getting real is accepting change. She’s a fickle beast, cloaked in promises of new and exciting, but beneath her veil, lives the weight of logistical responsibilities and emotional adjustments. Nothing like the vibe of uncertainty to pop a pin in our balloon.

There’s an article in the Huffington Post currently circulating on Facebook called “The 18 Worst Things About Hawaii” which is pretty spot on. Being born and raised on O’ahu for 30 years, I relate to all eighteen, but number five hits close to the vest these days:

gb5. It’s a revolving door 

There is a lot of turnover in Hawaii; people move here for an adventure and then go back to “reality.” While this means you are always meeting new people, it also means that friends are constantly leaving. Be prepared for going away parties to be a social staple.”

Even though I’ve been living off the island for years, the pull on my heartstrings when a loved one moves away still carries weight; it takes me back to feelings of loss and longing I struggled with as a teenager.

Compound the fact my biological father bailed when I was a toddler, and you’ve got some serious abandonment issues. Even if you didn’t grow up in Hawaii, and dad was around, farewells are never easy.

So how do we come to terms with change when it comes to loved ones leaving our inner everyday circle? For starters, it’s a good idea to remember – it’s not all about us. Sure we’re affected, but let’s be honest – most things in life have very little to do with us. We just get caught in the fallout. Our world needs to adjust – and whether we like it or not, it eventually does.

Once you pull your head out of your ass and realize the universe has her master plan no matter how much you fight reality, you realize it’s time to step up. Show a little more support and compassion for your loved one who’s starting a new chapter. It’s never easy starting over – and wallowing in our feelings, instead of wrapping our hearts around the person who’s taking a leap of faith with their life is never a good color on us.

Here’s the thing – when it comes to the loves in our lives – whether they’re platonic, romantic or family – no amount of distance will subtract your bond, period.

I recently embraced one of my favorite people, bidding him farewell. As we held each other I felt the loss immediately. We’ve grown accustomed to folding our arms together, in-between wiping tears and snorting laughter. No longer will there be impromptu movie nights and pajama parties – wine soaked kisses and spontaneous Ferris Bueler days. What skin will my fingertips graze subconsciously as the hours float by in comfortable silence?

As our bodies let go and we collected our breath, he looked in my watery eyes, kissed the top of my head and spoke softly to my heart: “It’s just another zip code.” Even in his departure, he made my life easier.

As I write this post, I’m reminded of that scene. That this sacred, beautiful life of ours is to be explored with the very people who ignite our soul. The sooner we stop trying to understand it, the closer we are to really living – no matter how far apart our zip code.

MGR

Like a Record, Baby.

“I hate news and information and anything that threatens to puncture the bubble of oblivion in which I live.”  ― Augusten Burroughs
 
I’m not a fan of merry-go-rounds. Never have been. Something about the incessant moving and turning and not really going anywhere. Let’s not get into the haunting organ music. It’s highly possible I’ve seen too many slasher movies as a kid, but still – to me - creepy.
 
 
It’s been a couple of days since re-entering life as I know it, after being in Guatemala for ten. Time was spent creatively and with purpose. I wrote letters. Made life-long writer-friends. Devoured my reading list. And, in true romantic fashion – turned out some Grade-A poetry that would clog your arteries, they’re so cheesy.
 
 
One of the things I adore most about my heart is her capacity to pump the corniest, most childlike illusion through my body while I’m knee-deep in the fantasy of being in love.
 
 
There’s nothing wrong with having fantasies; they keep us flying above the day-to-day bullshit.  What gets us in trouble, though, is when the line between what’s real and our delicious daydreams become blurred, we pretend we know what we’re doing. Seriously – when it comes to love – do any of us know?
 
 
When on the merry-go-round of yet another wake-up call, when we know it’s time to hop off and run far away from the creepy slasher music, why do we continue to stay? Is it fear of changing course? Do we secretly like the stability of knowing exactly what’s around the bend – even if it’s not what we want?
 
 
One of the hardest things to do is stand up for what we deserve – even when we don’t feel worthy.
 
 
On this Valentine’s Day eve, if any of us are spinning on our own personal merry-go-round, not feeling we’re getting exactly what we want - let’s ask ourselves why. It’s so easy to point the finger at the person operating the ride, but remember, it’s WE who make our own choices. Owning our shit in the harsh light of reality may be pulverizing at first, but in the end, our fantasies will serve our hearts more than ever – knowing we refuse to settle for anything less than what we are worth.
 
 
I’ll always be That Girl. The Romantic. The Dreamer. Never giving up on the one thing I keep at bay because I’m too afraid to feel it. With each relationship, I’m getting closer – and the amount of love and gratitude I feel for those experiences are immeasurable.
 
 
We learn so much by taking chances – even when the deepest part of our being already knows the end result. We are better for having loved deeply. And even stronger for surviving the fallout.
 
 
Sometimes, instead of getting back on the horse, it’s entirely possible we just need to find another ride.
 
 
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Letting go, holding on

One of my girlfriends posted a question on her Facebook page asking about favorite quotes. Call it the bloggy-writer-poet-romantic-dreamer in me, but I do love me some killer dialogue - especially ones that leave an indelible mark.

I don’t remember when I first came across the one I shared  – one of my all time faves - but there was no question this quote was my choice:

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Henry Ellis

If you follow my Twitter feed, you’ve heard my running joke – the devil and angel on my shoulders always have three-ways with my voice of reason. What usually breaks up these tumultuous trysts are moments when I come up for air, realizing I’m once again, making the same choices that cause me to take two steps behind when I should be trying to evolve in a forward, positive motion. Breaking rules instead of blazing my trail and writing my own. So I dust off my ass, kick experience and memory to the curb and press ahead.

The good thing about tomorrow – it’s always a clean slate.

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I don’t care if the blood pumping through your veins is the oil straight from a Normal Rockwell painting – living inside every one of us is our very own saboteur – and they’re always down to party.

Careers, relationships, even emotional baggage that weighs us down; we know we should be letting go, but our fear of the unknown serve as cinderblocks, pulling us deeper into a sea of regret and longing.

So what do we let go of, hang on to, and how the hell do we know when to turn the page? It’s easy to look at anyone else’s world and offer up the typical advice. Let go of the bad, hang on to the good; but reality isn’t a twenty-two minute sit-com where resolutions are made and all is tied up in a bow as the credits roll.

Sometimes shit is so simple, we try to find ways to fuck them up.

We stay in relationships we know are toxic. We talk ourselves out of a career move because we listen to our fear. We hold back – hanging on – even with bloody fingers, because the only thing scarier than staying with the darkness, is free-falling into the unknown.

If only we had a guarantee that what we’re falling into is better than where we are now; but when has life ever been easy?

What I’ve come to realize lately is that even if what lies ahead isn’t what I hoped for and takes me farther away from my dreams – it’s always better than holding on to something that keeps me from going after them.

Moving forward into the unknown will always trump staying where you aren’t happy. Yes, there are no guarantees that what lies ahead will serve our soul - but the fact we have the courage to keep trying is a helluva great start.

GB

Be. The. Ball.

If you haven’t heard of professor, scholar, author, and public speaker Brené Brown, allow me to introduce you through her two most popular videos: The Power of Vulnerability and her follow-up, Listening to Shame.  

Over the last ten years she has been involved in research on topics ranging from vulnerability, courage, and authenticity, to empathy and shame. She’s written books such as The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and Daring Greatly (2012). She and her work have been featured on PBS, NPR, TED, and CNN.

In a nutshell Brené is every hot mess’s wet dream. I’ve seen her videos more times that I can count, and each time (this weekend, being the most recent), I well up at the same moments, where she talks about selectively numbing our pain (not possible to do, without numbing joy), and daring greatly – embracing vulnerability.

If you don’t consider yourself to be, or never have been a hot mess at some point in your life – congratulations – you don’t exist. Every one of us has our shit. That thing we don’t talk about, try to wish away, or, maybe you’re one of those peeps who point the finger at everyone else to avoid focusing on your own mess. I’ve been and done all those things.

Sometimes we don’t even create our shit – it’s just there, served up on a shiny platter of Fuck You, and we’re left to clean it up. Most of the times though – we end up buried in How Did I Get Here as a result of our choices. And life being its adorable self tries to teach us lessons along the way, in our ever-evolving journey to Bliss.

I used to think Bliss was only possible through chaos. Getting high felt great. Until the lows Continue reading

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A safe kind of high: My unexpected relapse

You would think after fifteen years, my memories of “rolling” and free-falling inside myself would be strung together on a distant, blurry line, for which I am older and wiser living clear on the other side. For the most part, this is true.

I can’t remember my last night taking Molly (we called it ecstasy, or “X”), but it’s been so long, my cravings are nearly non-existent. There are times when I allow myself to enjoy a memory or two – and those flashes in my mind are always wrapped in a glittery bow of reckless abandon, stitched together with youth and frivolity. These warm and fuzzy emotions are always balanced by the harsh realization that thanks to a solid five-year, six-pill-a-day habit, my brain is now permanently damaged. My docs and I have a good thing going now, with regular maintenance of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) therapy. It’s a pain in the Continue reading

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Popular Chaos: How Smartphones affect us

JR

Remember in [the movie] Sixteen Candles when Molly Ringwald’s character Samantha (Sam) confesses via secret note that she’d, like totally bang Jake Ryan? She drops the paper on the classroom floor over her shoulder expecting her BFF Randi to pick it up immediately. Like most of her classmates, Randi is bored shitless and nearly faced-down on her desk. Buried in her poodle-permmed-mullet, she misses the communication entirely, but Jake sees the whole thing go down and snakes the paper with his foot. After reading about Sam’s secret desire to rock his jock, his dreamy foxiness gets a curious chubby and, viola! – let the John Hughes movie magic ensue.

Classic prehistoric social media.

If you were around in 1984 to enjoy this instant classic on the big screen, you can attest – there wasn’t a theater in existence that didn’t feel the collective weight of gasps from mortified teenage girls everywhere when Sam discovers her secret is out. The shame equivalency scale, being right up there with sexting the wrong phone number by accident today.

Back when apples and blackberries were just fruits, there was no internet. We sucked up Continue reading

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This is for the “Jordans” (I was one too)

When it comes to reality television, any die-hard fan accepts that from the moment we turn the channel and allow ourselves down the rabbit hole of dramady (drama + comedy, duh), the word “reality” is stretched beyond the norm.

It’d be swell, having our own personal lighting director and a fat producer budget to pump up the volume on our everyday routine. But at least we can vicariously live through Housewives, Top Chefs, Survivors, Apprentices, Bachelors, Tabitha’s Taking Over, Idols and Amazing Racers!

Seasoned shows aside, lately I’ve been satiating on fresh TV meat, like LA Shrinks and Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis. I’ll delve into my psychology crush with Dr. V another time, because today, I gotta talk about the abuse that went down on the season finale of Interior Therapy.

Yes, it’s a silly reality show. And yes, we know its template is designed for entertainment. But Continue reading

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Good News Tuesday: Tiny Superheroes

Ah. GOOD NEWS. It’s out there. Harder to find than the heartbreaking stories that seem to blanket our media streams? Yes. But don’t give up, peeps. There is a lot of GOOD NEWS in this world. Even if we do have to dig a little deeper to find it.

Every once in a while, I’ll highlight an article I find that focuses on GOOD NEWS. This column is called Good News Tuesday.

Please spread the word.

Today’s entry comes to us from a groovy little site called Karma Tube, a phenomenal website dedicated to bringing inspirational stories to light, using the power of video and the internet Continue reading

DayOfHappy

Good News Tuesday: Nottingham Day of Kindness

It’s always refreshing to read GOOD NEWS. And it’s out there, even if we do have to dig a little deeper than turning on the television or logging on-line.  I’d like to help make it a little easier.

Every now and again, I’ll highlight an article I find that focuses on GOOD NEWS. This column is called Good News Tuesday.

Please spread the word.

Today’s entry comes to us from one of my favorite organizations, Charter for Compassion. If you haven’t heard of it, The Charter is a global movement to create communities of compassion (and worth checking out, trust me).

Through Charter for Compassion’s site, I found this little gem:

Nottingham’s In Kind Celebrates Day of Kindness

Nottingham group In Kind has declared Saturday July 27 2013 as Nottingham’s Day of Kindness to tie in with the UN International Day of Friendship on July 30.

In Kind was set up two years ago to promote more compassion and kindness in the daily lives Continue reading

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Breakups: 5 ways to keep your sanity (and help heal your heart)

It’s been nine years since the shittiest break-up in the universe was aired on Sex and The City. You remember. In season 6, episode 7, when the dude (Jack Burger) Carrie was just talking to her BFFs about ending it with (unbeknownst to him) beat her to the punch by splitting in the middle of the night, leaving a seven word break-up post-it in the dust. Yea, that break-up.

“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

Sure, it’s fiction, but being a die-hard SATC fan, I felt a little something when Carrie whacked that vase of carnations to the floor after her discovery. A wave of sorrow, anger, frustration, and empathy crept through my bones and I was once again impressed with how the writers of the show were able to hit a nerve.

Most of us have been there. Whether on a post-it (or these days, text message – both are equally gross), email, phone call or *gasp* in person, being told our love-partner wants out is one of the scariest and heart-breaking moments in our lives (surpassed only by the feeling you get when a nurse calls to schedule a timely in-person appointment - because your test results can’t be discussed over the phone – but that’s another level of scary).

Some would say the pain of a break-up is (in some ways) even harder to survive than losing a loved one to death. With loss of life, you have the brutal fact that the person is physically gone from this world – and however painful the process of accepting this fact – it’s that much harder to have the knowledge that your lost love is still walking around. Happy. Without you.

I remember my first heart-wrenching break-up. I was in my late 20s and we had been living Continue reading