Category Archives: Love life

Book Review: The Wait by Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin

Before I get into my thoughts about the book “The Wait”, I want to share the background on why I chose to read this book. For a few months… actually a few years now.. God has been dropping the subliminal hint that maybe I should consider celibacy in dating.

After numerous heartbreaks, I decided instead of dating society’s way, I might as well try it God’s way and see how I felt. Sure, why not?

So I pursued my personal relationship with God. It was a testing time, but it was rewarding. I learned a lot about myself. I learned about  my worth as a woman, my worth as a person. God’s love filled my heart. His love healed my past emotional wounds. It was empowering, to be in love with how God made you, and be content with what God gave you. 

Then God placed my boyfriend into my life. The ultimate test, because in a short amount of time we went through a lot of crap together. I met my boyfriend at a stage where he was coming back into his faith. God really pushed us away from each other because we weren’t ready, but we’re both so grateful for everything we went through. It makes you think some people are content with hurting you– you can say this hurts me and they won’t change. While others will acknowledge hurting you and make the effort to change– because a person’s heart is what’s most important. My boyfriend will say that I pushed him closer to God. But God did that, not me.

My boyfriend and I learned that we live on God’s time, not our time. We want it now. God says later. That’s why patience is important. Now that God brought us back together, we’re stronger than ever– with friendship and Godly love being the foundation of our relationship. My boyfriend and I are “waiting”– to respect and honor God, and respect and honor each other. We push each other towards God, and it’s really amazing.

I was really excited to read this book because celibacy is NOT easy, AT ALL, no,no,no, no, no, so I needed a testimony– I wanted to feel inspired by reading Megan Good and DeVon Franklin’s story.

I was definitely inspired in a lot of surprising ways!

 

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Book Review: The Wait

The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and The Life You Love by Meagen Good and DeVon Franklin, gives readers so much more than I expected. The media of course focuses on the celibacy thing, and that’s a huge part of it and why it works. Yet there are more powerful messages in this book. The book is an easy read, I read it in a day. I appreciate how vulnerable the authors are, it is not all good times and happiness, but they talk about what they struggled with as well. The book is real and raw. I loved reading it! I even gave a copy for my boyfriend to read. He enjoyed it too!

Four things I love about this book:

  1. This book is not on about waiting for sex, but waiting in general. Patience. Something our generation lacks (me included). We are a generation of instant gratification. The book touches on patience with your career, with finances, and yes patience in dating. Our generation thinks love is instant, but it’s not, it takes a while for you to get to really know someone. So we shouldn’t rush it. We can rush it with the wrong person and be stuck. For life. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce but the majority of marriages today are couples under the age of 25 and/or couples who get married after only dating for a few months. Many things fail because we rush into with without understanding it.
  2. Relationship advice. DeVon makes a claim that marriage fails because we don’t date the right way. The book offers a lot of great relationship advice. If your goal is to be married one day, it offers great guidance on how to know if you and the person you are dating are compatible enough for that next step. It offers insight on what exactly should we really be looking for in a life partner.
  3.  It has a guy’s perspective. I think men are criticized more for being celibate because society often defines a guy’s manhood on sex. This ideal that real men pursue sex constantly, how can they live without it? That’s kind of insulting to think that a man has no self-control? I digress. In the Wait, there is a whole section where DeVon speaks to the men. If women, money, power status makes you a man– you will fall as soon as one of those things falls. DeVon pokes at the insecurities of men in society today, and helps men overcome them and be more empowered. He gives a real definition of what it is to be a man. Clearly, a lot of men in my generation need to take notes.
  4. Empowered my decision on celibacy. Yes I am a Christian honoring my body for God, but the book made me feel very empowered in my decision and also very badass! If I can do this. I can do anything!

My grade: A-

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#TravelBlog: 5 Reasons Why I Love New Orleans!

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That’s me and my best friend/sister Maria. We spent our 4th of July weekend in New Orleans for Essence Fest. There were so many amazing things about this magical place. I’m going to share some highlights about our adventure to NOLA and why I think everyone should go there at least once in their lifetime!

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“5 Reasons Why I Love New Orleans!”

1. FOOD FOOD FOOD

OF COURSE this is number one for me. One of my favorite things to do is EAT. Although I keep a fairly healthy diet at home, I eat anything and everything on vacation, and New Orleans is the place to indulge! NOLA has many dishes that will make you consider not buying anything but food while you’re down there. In fact, yes when you’re visiting New Orleans, spend all your money on food. And take food back home with you as souvenirs (if you’re flying within the United States). You’ll thank me later.

Other foods we enjoyed: Gumbo, Crawfish Bisque, Jambalaya, Muffuletta sandwich, Drumettes, and other seafood dishes.

Beignets

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From Cafe Du Monde
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Crawfish (Cajun seasoning)

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My first time eating crawfish! I’m hooked!!!!!!! New favorite.

Po’Boys

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Catfish Po’ Boy

2. THE ART — A CREATIVE’S PARADISE 

At night Frenchmen Street in New Orleans turns into an outdoor market, selling things like homemade jewelry and paintings. We even saw artists painting live.

There are streets filled with art galleries and cute cafes. Maria and I also visited the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and the Sculpture Garden. If you love art, you will leave New Orleans with your heart filled.

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Frenchmen Street
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Store window

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Street Art

3. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

First shout out to all the amazing natural hair women we saw in NOLA!!!!!! Maria and I fit right in, and we bonded with some fellow curly natural hair chicks!

On that note, Maria and I talked to strangers everyday in New Orleans. We met so many amazing, incredible, inspiring people– from musicians to artists to cab drivers to store owners and fellow travelers. Hearing people’s stories will make you build a connection with the city itself. I feel like I have family in New Orleans. The people are incredibly nice.

When you travel, talk to strangers… we’re all family on this planet!

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4. LIVE MUSIC — HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE!

The purpose of our trip to New Orleans was Essence Fest. A huge festival with thousands of people coming from all over the United States to hear empowerment seminars during the day, win contests/giveaways, and dance the night away with performances by Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Usher, etc.

However, you do not need to buy an Essence ticket to enjoy music in NOLA. There is music everywhere, literally. The streets are filled with musicians–the bars, cafes, and even the museums had a pianist playing live. No wonder I felt so merry and light on my feet, prancing and dancing around the streets of New Orleans.

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Louis Armstrong Park
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Jackson Square

5. HISTORY & CULTURE

 I felt transported back into time visiting some of the museums and walking down the streets of New Orleans. The French Quarter is probably my favorite place because it still has European influence in its structure, truly a cultural gem inside the United States. It was so pretty walking around all the little shops and cafes. Until we got to Bourbon street aka the biggest non-stop frat party– at anytime of day people are drinking and partying in the street, smells like pee and beer, but still fun at night. Try signature drinks like the Hurricane and Hand Grenade.

Other cultural and historical places to visit are the Voodoo shops, the cemeteries, the Louis Armstrong Park, the Bayou, the big Southern-style mansions in the Garden District, and the National World War II museum. 

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In front of Jackson Square.

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World War II Museum

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Louis Armstrong Park

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I hope you go see New Orleans for yourself!

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Dear NOLA, Maria and I will be back soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“Love Drunk” poem #100DayProject

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Love Drunk (full poem)

He gives me so much love that I felt overwhelmed.

Dazed and confused,

Not used —

Not used to a man treating me so well.

That was hard to admit,

But as I take another sip,

His love moistens my lips,

I’m left breath-less.

Less breath at that moment

I thought love would be the death.

Of me.

My knees get weak.

I try to catch myself

Giving his shirt a tug.

He smiles.

That was the first time I felt okay falling.

In love.

*picture was taken on East 13th street, NYC*

Amy Schumer’s Powerful Speech About Confidence

Earlier this week at the Gloria Awards and Gala hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, comedian Amy Schumer gave a speech covering issues all women go through, including regrettable sexual encounters, crises of confidence, and tips on being one’s own fairy godmother.

Powerful and inspiring.

Here’s her speech in full.

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Here I go, and if it doesn’t go well, please just don’t blog about it.

Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. Feel it. I knew where to park, I knew where to get the best chicken-cutlet sandwich, I knew which custodians had pot. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one … for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. They wanted thinner, blonder, dumber … My sassy one-liners were only working on the cafeteria employees, who I was visiting all too frequently, tacking on not the Freshman 15, but the 30, in record-breaking time, which led my mother to make comments over winter break like, “You look healthy!” I was getting no male attention, and I’m embarrassed to say, it was killing me.

But one guy paid me some attention — Matt. Matt was six feet tall, he looked like a grown-up von Trapp child, and he was five years older than me. What?! An older boy, paying attention to me? I must be okay. Uff. I made him laugh in our bio lab, and I could tell a couple times that we had a vibe. He was a super senior, which is a sexy way of saying “should have graduated, but needed an extra year.” He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him. We grew up in the same town, and getting attention from him felt like success. When I would see him on campus, my heart would race, and I would smile as he passed. I’d look in the mirror and see all the blood rise to my face. I’d spend time analyzing the interaction, and planning my outfit for the next time I saw him. I wanted him to call. He never called. But then finally, he called.

It was 8 a.m., my dorm room phone rang. “Amy, wassup? It’s Matt. Come over.” Holy shit! This is it, I thought. He woke up thinking about me! He realized we’re meant to start a life together! Let’s just stop all this pretending that we weren’t free just to love one another! I wondered, would we raise our kids in the town we both grew up in, or has he taken a liking to Baltimore? I don’t care. I’ll settle wherever he’s most comfortable. Will he want to raise our kids Jewish? Who cares? I shaved my legs in the sink, I splashed some water under my armpits, and my randomly assigned Albanian roommate stared at me from under her sheets as I rushed around our shitty dorm room. I ran right over to his place, ready for our day together. What would we do? It’s still early enough, maybe we’re going fishing? Or maybe his mom’s in town, and he wanted me to join them for breakfast. Knock-knock. Is he going to carry me over the threshold? I bet he’s fixing his hair and telling his mom, “Be cool, this may be the one!” I’ll be very sweet with her, but assert myself, so she doesn’t think she’s completely in charge of all the holiday dinners we’re going to plan together. I’ll call her by her first name, too, so she knows she can’t mess with me. “Rita! I’m going to make the green bean casserole this year, and that’s that!” Knock-knock. Ring ring. Where is he?

Finally, the door opens. It’s Matt, but not really. He’s there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can’t focus on me. He’s actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark. “Hey!” he yells, too loud, and gives me a hug, too hard. He’s fucking wasted. I’m not the first person he thought of that morning. I’m the last person he called that night. I wonder, how many girls didn’t answer before he got to fat freshman me? Am I in his phone as Schumer? Probably. But I was here, and I wanted to be held and touched and felt desired, despite everything. I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands, proving, “Look! I am lovable! And this cool older guy likes me!” I can’t be the troll doll I’m afraid I’ve become.

He put on some music, and we got in bed. As that sexy maneuver where the guy pushes you on the bed, you know, like, “I’m taking the wheel on this one. Now I’m going to blow your mind,” which is almost never followed up with anything. He smelled like skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers, which I planned on finding and eating in the bathroom, as soon as he was asleep. We tried kissing. His 9 a.m. shadow was scratching my face — I knew it’d look like I had fruit-punch mouth for days after. His alcohol-swollen mouth, I felt like I was being tongued by someone who had just been given Novocain. I felt faceless, and nameless. I was just a warm body, and I was freezing cold. His fingers poked inside me like they had lost their keys in there. And then came the sex, and I use that word very loosely. His penis was so soft, it felt like one of those de-stress things that slips from your hand? So he was pushing aggressively into my thigh, and during this failed penetration, I looked around the room to try and distract myself or God willing, disassociate. What’s on the wall? A Scarface poster, of course. Mandatory. Anything else? That’s it? This Irish-Catholic son of bank teller who played JV soccer and did Mathletes feels the most connection with a Cuban refugee drug lord. The place looked like it was decorated by an overeager set designer who took the note “temporary and without substance” too far.

He started to go down on me. That’s ambitious, I think. Is it still considered getting head if the guy falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal? Chelsea? Is it? Yes? It is. I want to scream for myself, “Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful, you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay.” I feel like Fantine and Cosette and every fucking sad French woman from Les Miz. And whoever that cat was who sang “Memories,” what was that musical? Suze Orman just goes, “Cats.” The only wetness between my legs is from his drool, because he’s now sleeping and snoring into me. I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. “Matt, what is this? The Braveheartsoundtrack? Can you put something else on, please?” He wakes up grumpily, falls to the floor, and crawls. I look at his exposed butt crack, a dark, unkempt abyss that I was falling into. I felt paralyzed. His asshole is a canyon, and this was my 127 Hours. I might chew my arm off.

I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. “Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do …” I’m thinking, “What is this?” He crawled back into bed, and tried to mash at this point his third ball into my vagina. On his fourth thrust, he gave up and fell asleep on my breast. His head was heavy and his breath was so sour, I had to turn my head so my eyes didn’t water. But they were watering anyway, because of this song. Who is this? This is so beautiful. I’ve never heard these songs before. They’re gutting me. The score attached to our morning couldn’t have been more off. His sloppy, tentative lovemaking was certainly not in the spirit of William Wallace. And now the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard play out as this man-boy laid in my arms, after diminishing me to a last-minute booty call. I listened to the songs and I cried. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, “Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!” I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her. I’m also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I’m still with today.

Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I have fought my way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking my mind. I am alive, like the strong women in this room before me. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, “Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy.” And it’s all gone. In an instant, it’s all stripped away. I wrote an article forMen’s Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she’s hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, “All right! You got it. You figured me out. I’m not pretty. I’m not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I’ll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see.” But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.

Source: Vulture.com

5 Books to read on Your Self-Love Journey <3

Below are some of the books that I’ve read on my self-love journey. Reading is where I get most of my inspiration and insight. Some are recommendations from friends who are also on the same journey. I picked my top 5.

If you’re planning a reading list this summer include some of these! Click on the picture to buy it on Amazon.com!!!

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1. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom                    Don Miguel Ruiz

Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word. Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally. Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions. Agreement 4: Always do your best.

I read this book while I was in California doing some “soul searching”. Recommended to me by my friend Jamie, I loved it so much I wrote a blogpost on it. Check out my full review.

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2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are                                                                                      Brene Brown

I have so many notes in my book, and so many of these pages highlighted that I don’t even know where to begin. I might have to write a post just for this book! Brené  Brown has dropped so much wisdom on me. This book has changed my life. If you only buy one book on this list, buy this one.

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3. YOU are a BADASS: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life                                                                                                       Jen Sincero

We all need a kick in the a** sometimes, and this book inspires you in the most blunt and clear throat way. But Jen does it in such a witty and clever way you can help but admire her for it. In this refreshing how-to guide, Sincero gives us chapters, such as “Fear is for Suckers” and “Your Mind is Your B*tch”, full of hilarious inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises, and the lots of swear words.

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4. The Path to Love – Deepak Chopra

A quick read with a deep message. This book provided me with so much great insight about what love is and what it isn’t… at a time in my life when it was critical for me to know.

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5. The Way To Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello Anthony De Mello

The title of this book should really be “The Way to Be Free.” Anthony “Tony” de Mello was a Jesuit priest who had a good understanding of the human heart. It is a short read and it leaves you wanting more. This book tore my heart open. I highly recommend it.

***Honorable Mentions***

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Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls – Leandra Medine

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A witty Leandra shares her story from her catholic high school days through college and eventually marriage. Sharing her ups and downs balancing relationships and her wardrobe while on her journey to  becoming one of New York City’s top fashion bloggers. I am a personal fan of her blog Man Repeller, a blog she started because her friend would always tell her the way she dressed repelled men, and that’s why she’s single. Genius! Later we find out that her now husband was attracted to how confidently she wore those overalls and grandma harem pants.

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Mrs. Right – Tony Gaskins

 I had the honor to meet life coach and author Tony Gaskins when he came to speak at Columbia University. A former college athlete and ladies man, Tony shares with women how his wife got him to settle down. Furthermore he shares with women the men’s “game”. Yes, they do just want to sleep with you. Find out how to get more from them.

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Still Breathin’: The Wisdom Teachings of A Perfectly Flawed Man                         Brenden Dilley

“Life is not about perfection. It’s not always about making the best decisions. Life is about love, relationships, success, empathy, and humility.”

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A Father First: How My Life Became More Than Basketball             Dwyane Wade

Great book for the men to read on what it means to be a real man.

 

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The Mastery of Love  Don Miguel Ruiz                    I read it in Spanish. My mom bought it for me to help me deal with heartbreak. It helped.

 

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Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting the Soul – Deepak Chopra

Here is another book by Deepak Chopra. All his books are amazing.

 

 

 Poetry Book

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Words of A Wanderer – Alex Elle

This book is filled with original poems and quotes by Alex Elle,  while she was going through her self-journey phase.  Relatable, heartfelt, and revolutionary. I met her at a book signing in Brooklyn, she is just as beautiful as her words.

Fiction

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Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Book of Quotes

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The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

People ages 5 to 95 share what they’ve discovered about life, love and other good stuff.

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reading3kidread One of my NYU writing professors shared this tip with me on becoming a better writer: “Always have a book in your bag wherever you go. Read a couple pages on the train, waiting at a doctor’s office, or whenever you find yourself with extra time. Nurturing that creative side of your brain is essential to your writing.”

Happy Reading.

How to Journey in Self-Love: Part I

The Beginning of the Journey

I made this blog as a Relationship 101: How to improve your relationships. But the relationship I am focusing on, is the relationship with yourself. Why? Because that is the most important relationship to nurture. You stop wasting your time doubting yourself and saying unkind words to yourself. You become secure and confident and overall HAPPIER with your life. This kind of happiness translates to how you view your dreams, and how you treat others. Nurturing your relationship with yourself is the stepping stone to all of our other relationships.

We get so caught up with social media–our friends, associates, coworkers, and people we don’t know– and what these people might think of us. We look for validation with how many Instagram likes we get on our latest selfie and how Twitter followers we have. I think it is important to realize that they don’t matter. In fact, your boss, professors, co-workers, twitter followers, friends, classmates–what they all think of you, doesn’t matter. (Don’t tell them that, just know in your head.) What matter is what YOU think of yourself. How YOU wish to carry yourself.

Why is self-love so important?

Because at the end of the day the only person you have to live with… is yourself.

Now I’m not saying relationships don’t matter because they do. I’m a Pubic Relations and Communications professional, my whole career is based on relationship-building. But they say the best way to love someone else is to love yourself first. The best way to appreciate and be kind to someone is to appreciate and be kind to yourself first. The mean and miserable people are usually insecure or mad at themselves. So never absorb other people’s negative energy. Just focus on keeping a positive energy around you.

I also believe the best way to love Life, is to love yourself first. To believe that in this exact moment, I am enough. I am enough for love, for my goals, for the life I want to live.

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1. Accept loneliness.

The best part of my self-journey was accepting being by myself. Reading alone in the park, going to yoga sessions alone, going to restaurants alone, and enjoying that time fully. That’s when I did most of my self-reflection, and the busier you become with work and life, the more time you need to think. Meditate, be alone with your thoughts, recharge.

That comes to my next point, if you’re in a great relationship you can still do this. But in fact as much as I advocate love, being single and truly loving yourself and others is one of life’s blessings. It prepares you for love. You get to appreciate the single life so much more that you rather be single than be in a bad relationship. So I encourage you to stop “looking” for a partner when you’re damaged. Learn how to heal. Don’t go back to that toxic ex boyfriend/girlfriend, instead work on yourself. Know that there is better out there but if you don’t change, what you attract won’t change either.

2. Embrace the word L-O-V-E.

“Love is what we are in our essence. The more love we feel in our hearts, the more it will be brought to us.” @DeepakChepora

Now I am a LOVE advocate. It’s a topic people do not like to talk about because it makes them seem vulnerable. But being vulnerable and exposing your feelings shows strength NOT weakness. Now I can talk about love until I sound like a greeting card, but I don’t expect people to feel comfortable doing this. It is like talking on stage for the first time with 50,000 eyeballs staring at you. Scary. But I encourage you to have this honest conversation with yourself.

How do you want love to make you feel? How can I give that feeling out first? What gets in the way of you being able to put things like love and compassion into practice in our daily lives?

It is usually an internal problem. When I hear people say “fuck love”,  I think of love as: love for family, love for God, love for your friends, love for yourself. And if we don’t change our view on love, it shows that we aren’t fully secure and in love with ourselves like we should be to be truly happy.

3. Cry. if you want to.

Like anything that requires change. Journeying in self-love is NOT EASY. You have to cut everything toxic in your life–easier said than done, you will relapse a few times but learn to check yourself and stop. Reinventing yourself is hard because it requires you to step out of a comfort zone. This is particular hard for 20-something year olds, most want to play life safe. BUT it is extremely admirable to self-journey. If you do it, you will feel good and have a reason to be proud of yourself everyday! You are not going to feel different overnight, some days will be shittier than others but the growth is something you can be proud of.

4. Smile at your reflection.

 I can blame social media for the” persona” people want to show off to other people, we fall in love what people think we are and start hating who we truly are.

Start loving the person in the mirror.

5. Make a promise to yourself and keep it.

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 6. Feed yourself and other kind words.

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7. Don’t take other people’s negativity personally. 

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Hi my name is Jessica, and I’m a recovering loveaholic

Stay tuned for Part II.

 

The Science of Happiness: 4 Science Experiments That Will Make You Smile

Hap·pi·ness noun \ˈha-pē-nəs\:

a. A state of well-being and contentment; joy.

b. A pleasurable or satisfying experience.

via Merriam Webster Dictionary

We all have our own definition of happiness. I spend a lot of time reading books, blogs, etc. on what other people think happiness is all about. I came across these videos on a religious account I follow on twitter and thought how ironic that they would tweet about science experiments, but these videos aren’t exactly scientific, they’re humanistic. A fun and interesting way to see how difficult it is dealing with simple emotions like love, happiness, kindness, and forgiveness. These words require us to dig deep. Most people hate to dig deep, but digging deep gives us a sense of happiness and freedom. All your insecurities go out the door when you feel stronger emotionally. Watch the videos all the way through, I promise it is worth your time.

Hope this brings a smile to your face today! =]

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1. The Secret to Happiness is… What?! REALLY?!

This video gave me reassurance about my definition of happiness. I’ve read many books on whole hearted living and happiness, and the common theme is gratitude. If we simply take the time to see how wonderful life is, thank people often, be grateful for the people and things in your life, happiness grows inside of you. I’m a strong believer that outside influences do not always determine if you live a happy life or not. It is you who determines that. Your way of thinking, your mindset. So count your blessings, be grateful and you’ll discover all the reasons to be happy.

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2. Benefits to Being Happy

We’ve all heard it – the more successful you are, the happier you are. But what if it was the opposite? ….. What if being happier, actually made you more successful?

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3. I’m a Nice Person. Some Say I’m Too Nice. But I Think Kindness Wins.

I want to do some of these acts of kindness. Like now. Anyone willing to join me? 😊

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4. Forgiveness is Hard. But Living A Bitter and Unhappy Life is Harder.

I saw this video and thought wow I need to try this! Another example of digging deep. We aren’t perfect. We are not going to like, or get along with everyone. People will annoy us, people will hurt us, some people will hurt us so deep that we are scarred for a while. With any extreme of pain I always tell people that it’s good to talk about it, or write it down. It has always made me feel better to try to understand why I felt the way I felt. We aren’t wrong for holding grudges, we just have to learn to let go. Do it for YOU. So you won’t be scared to trust someone again. You grow emotionally stronger, brave enough to trust someone, or love someone, because you’ll know how to deal with hurt. You’ll be happier once you learn how to forgive.

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Any comments? Feel free to comment below! I would love to know your thoughts on HAPPINESS.

Thanks for the videos @SoulPancake http://www.soulpancake.com !!

Click on the picture below to see a Soul Pancake segment on Oprah about Love. 😍

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“Live, Laugh, Love” is just a corny wall sticker. But here are Some Realistic Ways to Be More Positive.

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“Jess you are such a dreamer, it’s so annoying….”

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There’s a myth about people that are “optimistic”.

No, I am not happy all the time.

Yes, I do feel overwhelmed and cry at times.

Yes, no matter how much life may suck, I am an extremely positive person.

There is so much resistant to just letting yourself be happy because we always want more. I get it; I’m an ambitious person. I am just as goal-oriented as the next 20-something year old, but the key to becoming successful is by thinking optimistically.

Do you think Steve Jobs was thinking like a realist or an optimist when he created Apple? Optimists achieve great things because of their attitude. The more I started thinking positive and kind towards myself, the more I truly believed I was enough, the more the universe returned that same energy and set up to help me accomplish my goals.

Maybe for my generation it’s cool to be a bit negative–to critique others, to bad mouth or to put others down. Maybe this makes us feel better. But if you pay close attention, life really doesn’t suck.

 For the Realists, 5 “Realistic” Ways to Be More Positive:

1. Make An Inspiration Music Playlist.

Or simply listen to happy music–this can be any song that brings out good thoughts. Refer to my previous post to see my personal “good-feeling” playlist.

2. Make a Small Effort to Look Nice Everyday.

I’ve never been one to dress up. As a former athlete, I’m a huge advocate for sweatpants anywhere, anytime. But your appearance can improve your day-to-day life. I never knew how much fashion impacted the confidence in people until I starting working in fashion! As a men’s fashion advisor and sometimes personal stylist, I thought my job was filled with selfish, egocentric, shallow, freaks. Yeah and some people in the fashion world are like that, (luckily not anyone I work with, LOVE YOU GUYS.) It was during my training that I realized I was helping people gain more knowledge on how to present themselves; I was building their confidence.

First day of orientation the fashion advisors watched a scene from the movie The Devil Wears Prada. The main character, who is a recent college graduate and serious journalist, cares more about the content of her work ethic than her clothing–I was a nerd in college, I can relate (again sweatpants everyday, all day). However, when she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown because she is busting her ass but not pleasing her boss, she decides to get a makeover. A new look, new clothes, and wa-la she is feeling more confident about her position! With a pep in her step, and a better attitude at work, she ends up impressing her boss and most importantly herself!

Before, I would get up for work and leave make up and getting all done-up for when I got there. Now If I have the time I wake up 10 minutes earlier than usual, just to spend extra time on my hair and makeup. A minor change like this can make you more likely to engage in conversation with the hottie at Starbucks 😉 or have a good day overall.

3. Set Short-Term Goals. On your Phone.

Like any 20-something, I’ve got big goals. Huge, daunting goals that make me feel so unbelievably overwhelmed that sometimes it’s hard to even start. To ease my mind, I’ve started writing everything down on my phone. From my late night “I’m lonely” thoughts, to “pick up dry cleaning tomorrow!” I even set alarms and cute reminders for myself  “Meeting at 5pm, smile your day is almost done!” Taking things one step at a time, one day at a time and accomplishing mini goals really boosts your confidence and make your giant dreams feel more attainable.

4. Stay Busy.

I came across a quote from Joyce Meyer, “When we fill our thoughts with the right things, the wrong ones have no room to enter.” As much as I hate the fast busy pace of New York City, we live to work not work to live, but a busy life is indeed a happy life. And forgive me for the add-on but following inspirational people on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn, is SO worth it! Some of the most depressing times of my life have been when I simply didn’t have enough to do—it breeds boredom and negativity. Staying busy will make you realize that you simply don’t have time to worry about your supposed “weight gain” or that stupid ex boyfriend who keeps texting you.

5. Forgive Yourself and Forgive Others.

As a selfish generation we tend to be too sensitive. Taking everything personally and not stopping to think how our actions may affect other people. Forgive any guilt you may feel. Forgive yourself for hurting people or any wrong doing you have done, and give yourself a fresh start. Also forgive those who hurt you. Let it go. Whatever you do, do not hold on to bitterness. Go on your own truth-seeking journey. Have the courage to accept yourself and your flaws. You are imperfect but you are worthy of love and belonging. Never blame yourself for a break up or change yourself for the sake of making something work. You know what kind of person you want to be, so be that person. Have a vision of what kind of life you want to live. Be the best version of you.

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“Jess you are such a dreamer, it’s so annoying, but I like being around you because you give me hope for my dreams too.”

 

Heal your Heart

Another night up past midnight on social media, another bitter tweet, facebook status, instagram post, I see about an ex boyfriend or girlfriend.

Social media has taught me that there are people out there… that are happy in their misery. These types of people stay in unhealthy situations because they like the attention they receive as a result. They like that fact that people feel sorry for them. They love being the victim. Sometimes receiving victim-type of attention.. is more important than their own happiness. If you’re still angry with an ex from a while ago, or badmouthing people who did you wrong — do yourself and those around you a favor…STOP. The anger is unhealthy to hold on to. It also makes you miserable to be around. Bitterness is fine to feel for the recently dumped or hurt — but in time you must forgive.. or forget… whichever you choose… stick with it.

Anger is natural and we must nurture it and take care of it as we would an open wound. My anger goes as fast as it comes. The worst mistake I’ve ever done was convincing myself I was over a situation when I wasn’t. Too often do we hurt so bad that we jump into the next person’s arms (or the same person’s arms), thinking he or she will fill the void. If you were devastated after a break up then the new person breaks your heart…you will feel double the pain. I know because I’ve experienced it first hand. You will feel the pain of both heartaches at once because you never gave your heart time to heal from the first one. Just like the numerous concussions I had in high school, where I pretended I was fine so I can come back in the game. When in fact, NO, I was not okay. None of my injuries healed overnight, and neither will a broken heart. So give your heart love and attention. Talk to your friends, to your family, to someone you can trust. Or like me–write–write it all down in a journal, not for everyone to see. Rant on blank pages. Emotionally I rather write, because when I speak with such emotion the words never seem to come out right.

So find a way to heal yourself and love yourself, before you are ready to heal and love someone else. The beauty of love comes in healing.

Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from peace and happiness. But if you are feeling pain…. less tweeting and more healing. Don’t let your audience keep you on a stage that’s caving in. People will pay to watch you fall.