Really liked this one today:
Both emotional and physical pain are messages that we need to stop and pay attention.
When we feel pain, our first impulse is often to eradicate it with medication. This is an understandable response, but sometimes in our hurry to get rid of pain, we forget that it is the body's way of letting us know that it needs our attention. A headache can inform us that we're hungry or stressed just as a sore throat might be telling us that we need to rest our voice. If we override these messages instead of respond to them, we risk worsening our condition. In addition, we create a feeling of disconnectedness between our minds and our bodies.
Physical pain is not the only kind of pain that lets us know our attention is needed. Emotional pain provides us with valuable information about the state of our psyche, letting us know that we have been affected by something and that we would do well to focus our awareness inward. Just as we tend to a cut on our arm by cleaning and bandaging it, we treat a broken heart by surrounding ourselves with love and support. In both cases, if we listen to our pain we will know what to do to heal ourselves. It's natural to want to resist pain, but once we understand that it is here to give us valuable information, we can relax a bit more, and take a moment to listen before we reach for medication. Sometimes this is enough to noticeably reduce the pain, because its message has been heard. Perhaps we seek to medicate pain because we fear that if we don't, it will never go away. It can be empowering to realize that, at least some of the time, it is just a matter of listening and responding.
The next time you feel pain, either physical or emotional, you might want to try listening to your own intuition about how to relieve your pain. Maybe taking a few deep breaths will put an end to that headache. Perhaps writing in your journal about hurt feelings will ease your heart. Ultimately, the message of pain is all about healing.


Get in the driver's seat.

An expression that I have always found sort of amusing is the old "everything happens for a reason" routine.
(I also, for the record, think "No regrets" is overrated. I have about 75 1/2 million regrets in my life)
Yes, I know this sounds like I'm being a pessimist, but I assure you that I'm not. The reason I think "Everything happens..." is a tired excuse is that that it's silly. Of course everything happens for a reason. But people have a tendency to rely on "fate" to provide that reason. We say to ourselves, "it doesn't make sense now, but one day life will unfold it's true meaning to me and it will all come together."
Come on, now. Everything happens for a reason, but more often than not it's the reason that we give it. One person will take a success to mean they've reached a goal, while another will take it as an indication that they should continue making even bigger goals. As romantic as it sounds to say these good and bad events are guiding you toward your destiny, I just don't think that's the case. I think that life happens, and if there is any reason behind a lot of this stuff- it's so that we will learn to grow from it. Hey, a bad thing happened when I did that. I shouldn't do that again. Good or bad things don't happen because we deserve it or because we are being guided toward our destined path of life. They happen so that we will learn to correct ourselves, and to learn to make the best of our lives. Human beings are not victims of fate, we're evolutionists. Not in a religious sense, but in the sense where we need to use the things that happen in our lives to constantly move upward and onward.
So I suppose that everything DOES, in fact, happen for a reason. But it's not to get to a final product of a life. It's to improve the methodology of the person in the driver's seat- it's meant to improve you. So I think it's time we own up to our responsibility to ourselves and learn from our lives rather than feel like they're out of our control. Learn from everything, good and bad, and progress in the direction you feel should result.
Live your life for the process and not the product.


Siiiick, bro!

I woke up yesterday with that old familiar feeling. Scratchy throat, itchy eyes... welcome to cold season!! I hate it ...I hate it so much.
I have a history of sort of over-reacting to cold season. It's pretty standard protocol for me to go to Sav-On Drugstore and nearly buy them out of anything I haven't tried before. I would like to think I've tried it all. I even bought one of those Zicam nasal sprays once... gross. But in the past few years I haven't been getting (or at least staying) sick nearly as much. I know I usually try to post stuff on here to take care of your soul, but you can't take care of much of anything when you're under the weather. So here is what works for me when I'm sick.
1. Drink copious amounts of water. I usually aim to drink water consistently throughout the day. I rarely drink soda (it eats at your tooth enamel, among other things) and I don't bother buying juice because most of the juices from the market are like, 8% juice and the rest is crap. Water is my best buddy. And Chai Tea. But that's a whole 'nother ballgame. When you're sick, drink water like it's going out of style. It's going to flush out all the toxins in your system and clean you out. You will also be better hydrated which means clearer skin, better brain function, and more energy. And if you're like me- you don't look so hot with dry winter skin face. Or Rudolph nose.
2. Emergen-C. I'm obsessed. It's the only thing that I've tried that I can honestly say I think helps me with my cold. I also take Nyquil or Dayquil if I can't sleep or function at work & school. But those don't actually beat the crap out of whatever Cold Bugs I have the way Emergen-C does. I drink it like it's going out of style. Whatever vitamin C you don't need, you body just disposes of. So you can't, so I hear, overdose on it. I actually ONLY take anything with vitamin C in it when I'm showing symptoms of getting sick because for some reason if I take anything outside that window I actually start getting a cold. Weird, I know. Bonus: if you're drinking a crap ton of Emergen-C packets you are also drinking lots of water. Two birds. One stone. Sweet.
3. Rest. This is key. This means as much as you can, don't stay out on Friday night until 2am. Not getting enough sleep is pretty much the worst thing you can do. I know that if you're a parent or have other non-negotiable responsibilities you don't have many options. But do what you can to keep it really low key.
4. Light exercise. I am an avid stretcher. I stretch my body at least once an hour, sometimes more. Especially in these stuffy winter months, it just feels good. Yoga and light cardio are also great. Don't work yourself too hard. Then again... this might not be an expert opinion since I never do really strenuous exercises. If you're a big runner, I say you go for it. I also recommend getting outside as much as you can. For some reason fresh air really makes me feel better. If it's freezing, uh... bundle up. Duh.
5. Eat. The old "feed a cold, starve a flu" applies. I like chicken soup. And anything with tons of vegetables. I also take a multivitamin, but I do that year-round as well. If you can take the heat, add hot peppers or hot sauce to your meals when possible. I don't have a medical excuse for this but it sure does clear out your sinuses. Don't drink milk or eat anything dairy if you can help it. Cheese-a-holics, I feel your pain. But no one wants to hear you coughing and congested for hours just so you could enjoy some brie. Gross.

My final piece of advice is to get, like, 5 things of Anti-bacterial gel. Use the crap out of it. I have one at work, one in my purse, and one at home. The pump kind is convenient, or Bath and Body works has some that smell delicious so you will be more motivated to use them. You wont only avoid catching germs, but you wont be that jerk who drops them off on the door handle at the mall either. Not the kind of "Giving Season" you were going for.

Get well soon!



I've had some writer's block lately, which has been stellar since I'm trying to write a screenplay and realized a week ago that what I have so far is complete crap. But this morning I started to feel inspired again, so I'm pretty happy about it.
I want to talk about revertation. Revertation is probably not a word... but guess what, I don't care. I've decided that revertation is the act of reverting. BAM! Just call me Webster.
Now I know that life is a lesson and that it's important to adjust your sails based on acquired knowledge. However, there is a certain amount of power in reverting to the innocence of our youth. Who we were before we learned how to exist according to everyone eles's expectations. We are individuals, each and every one of us. However, as time wears on in our lives and we experience the world more and more- we become more run of the mill. We alter ourselves based on learned fears and behaviors. But as with everything else in life, it is vital that we instill a sense of balance to the equation. Learn to exist with others, but remain true to who we are at our core.
Let me address the "exist with other" portion of that statement. I use a lot of idealism in my writing, and plenty of "should," statements. But I realize that in order to coexist, we have to adapt to our surroundings. It's ideal to think that the true "you" should sit and play video games all day because it's what makes you happy, but it's not a practical survival method. The same goes for social coexistence. I know a lot of people who will tell you that they say whatever they want to others without worrying about their reaction because they are going to "be who they are." These are the same people I know who have hardly any social connections because people don't want to be around someone who cares little for their feelings, and these are the same people who seem to me to be consistantly unhappy human beings. It's not sacrifice of being true to yourself, but merely adaptation. You adapt, you consider the feelings of others. It may be considered slightly selfish to admit, but being kind and considerate enables that you will be more permitted to interact with other people. You give a little, you get a little. In return, they receive (considerate) interaction from you. Everyone wins.
On the other side of that balance is the idea of remaining true to yourself. I encourage you to think back to who you were as a child. What was important to you? And I mean before interactions with parents or friends changed you to adapt to your world. Before I was influenced by others, I was always a very weird kid. I'm sure that wouldn't come as a shock to anybody. I collected bugs, ran around barefoot, told people I was from outer space, and loved to play pretend. I remember my favorite game being "Speedy Gonzalez" (remember him?) and it consisted basically of running around our neighbor's fruit tree in circles as fast as we could. I don't remember watching TV pretty much at all and I would sneak into the kitchen and steal literally spoonfuls of sugar when my Mom wasn't around. I also remember sitting in my brother's room and listening to The Smiths and They Might Be Giants for hours on end while he was at school. Then my neighbors taught me what a Barbie doll was and that if I wanted to be accepted, I needed to stop playing pretend because it was "weird." So I grew up. I feel like a lot of my life went that way... people saying that what I wanted to do was weird so I would try to be more serious and socially "normal." I suspect a lot of people had the same experience.
It's important for us to maintain some of that sense of who we were as kids. Free, full of dreams and fantasies, individuals. We grow up and become so much of what the world tells us to be that we forget who we are at our core. It's time we revert. Revert back to who we were as children and remember to dream and play and to have fun. I spent an hour yesterday walking my roommate's dog (see: my old dog) and stepping in every pile of leaves I saw- just to hear the crunch. Totally weird, but completely awesome. We can't live our lives according to someone else's idea of normal. Closed mindedness really ought to be something we leave in 2011.
So the real question is how do you balance the two? How can you hold to who you are while coexisting with other people? I think the answer is to determine what behaviors of yours are detrimental. Most people are willing to accept oddities in others, so long as they aren't attitudes or behaviors that put people down. It's really a matter of "just be nice." The answer really is just to live with love. You can be weird, peculiar, strange, and bizarre. But remember to connect with others in acceptance and love. Love their weirdness, and recognize the beauty in their differences from you. Love is the only compromise you should make in yourself. In the end, it has a tendency to be what matters most.


The Red Queen.

Isn't this the most beautiful thing ever??
It makes me want to learn how to play Chess.
Maybe in 2012?

(Anthropologie: $1,200... Not exactly practical)