Monthly Archives: April 2014

I wanted pizza – so I made a salad

I typically don’t do food/fitness posts, because I am *not* an expert on either. I am, however, an expert on me, so here you go!

I wanted pizza – I made this instead.

tuna salad

Last week my tastebuds were having a revolt and nothing I seemed to do made them happy – or quiet. (Even the special once-a-year jelly beans from Cooperstown didn’t silence them!) They were shouting at me to satisfy them and their desires.

I gave in and had the aforementioned jelly beans, and then some chocolate. Dark chocolate, the kind that’s healthy for you. They wanted milk chocolate smothering caramel (a 100,000 bar to be exact. Sigh, I love those things.) I spent a couple of days waffling about trying all sorts of things to meet their demands, both healthy and less-than-optimally-healthy. And they still chattered away, popping images into my head of varying deliciousness.

Then they asked for pizza… Gah! Traitors!

You see, I’m (slowly) switching to a gluten-free/grain-free diet. Why? Because I’ve been testing it out and I simply feel better when I have less of that stuff in my system. Am I 100%? No. Not yet. Maybe never (um..hello? Pizza!) But I know I feel better when I’m closer to 100%, so I’m doing my best to hover in that area.

This is why the pizza was such an issue. Chocolate has no grains in it, so when the desire for chocolate arose it was more about meeting my tastebuds’ request while choosing smarter and meeting my own larger needs. Pizza on the other hand – well, grains are unavoidable, even if it’s gluten-free. So what did I do?

I made a salad. A great big salad with lovely tasty things in it that feed my body

…and I asked my tastebuds to enjoy it. (< see what I did there?)

The thing is, I had an opportunity to make a choice. I could choose my tastebuds or I could choose my entire body. In that moment, my body won. I’m not saying I won’t have pizza again (I’m from NYC, my goodness – what a thought!). Nor am I saying that I did something amazing (it was a salad). What I am saying, as I’ve said before, is that

life is a series of choices. Each choice in each moment is all there is, and your results are the cumulative outcome of those choices.

Whether it’s pizza, salad, or something else – the power to choose (and direct your life) is yours.

So…happy choosing! :) xo

P.S. It was a REALLY good salad! Avocado, tuna, lettuce and red wine vinaigrette. Simple. Delicious.

Why Love?

Why love?

This holiday weekend got me thinking. Love is the answer to so many questions. So I thought it prudent to ask another question: Why Love? It seems a simple enough question, with an equally simple answer. Right? But let’s look at it from a different angle.

Why not Love?

Well, the opposite of love is fear. It’s not hate. Hate is a byproduct of fear. Fear is love’s nemesis. When fear is present, it does everything it can to keep out love. If life were a bus and fear were driving, you can bet the passenger list would look something like this:

Insecurity
Anger
Envy
Jealousy
Greed
Loathing
Despair
Loneliness
Low self-esteem
Low self-respect
Self-centeredness
Hate
Bullying

And the list goes on and on…and on. Fear drives, loads up the bus, and picks up more passengers as it goes, constantly edging love out.

But here’s the good news: Somewhere on the bus, perhaps in the last seat, pressed against the window, searching the passing scenery for inspiration is a passenger that never leaves. It’s a passenger that is on every bus, everywhere, all the time. Eventually it makes its way to the front of the bus and slowly redirects fear to the stop where love can get on board once more.

That passenger is Hope.

Hope is the often silent, but ever-present passenger on the journey. Thankfully, hope never remains silent for long. Hope restores love when fear has taken over.

hope restores love

So, to ask the question again: why love? For so many reasons, but mainly because with love, there is always hope. (Yay!!)

When the Bubble Pops

Recently, I found myself thinking of an old boyfriend. I was thinking about him and wondering what had become of him and whether he was happy, and then I started thinking about our relationship.

You see, our relationship ended with no explanation. Whatsoever. One minute he was saying “I love you… I want to be with you… I want to see you,” and the next minute he was gone. Just gone. I had no reason why, no understanding, no discussion. No closure. I was left with questions…and a silent cell phone. It didn’t make sense to me. And, truth be told, it hurt.

Fast forward to today and my required reflections on relationships of old (all resurfacing as I write my new book – yay!), and what I discovered was that I was genuinely grateful. I felt gratitude toward him for walking away, because I wasn’t able to at the time. And in the end, “we” weren’t a good “we,” which I can see very clearly now.

We had a good relationship for a time. We both lost ourselves in each other a little, and we needed to. Both of us were post-divorce, feeling wounded, and ready for love and laughter again. And we found that in each other. Until we didn’t. And that’s ok.

Why is this all relevant today?

Because I was practicing a visualization exercise someone shared with me a long time ago. When the unwanted thoughts were interfering as I was writing for the book, I was “bubbling” them so as to contain them and their residual emotional energy. It’s a technique I (and many others) have used for years. And yet it somehow felt wrong this time. It felt like bubbling also squirreled away all the good feelings, keeping them separate from me as well. Why would I want to do that? (I don’t.)

Instead, I found myself envisioning a balloon.

A balloon is blown up with whatever we choose.

It’s not a bubble arbitrarily encircling the entirety of the object. It’s more deliberate.

So, I visualized a balloon, and into it I blew all the residual negative emotions from that experience (in truth, there were very few), and then I tied the knot and let go. I watched as it floated away above me. Interestingly, my hand reached up for the dangling string (we all have trouble letting go of things that once defined us, don’t we?). Just then, my other hand swooped in with scissors, and it cut the string making it shorter and out of reach. Away it drifted, into wherever. And it felt good.

It was then that I realized the powerful but important simplicity of my modification:

Bubbles pop (and whatever’s inside comes back out).
Balloons float away and seem to disappear.

Try it. You might like it. :) xo

P.S. My balloon was red. What color is yours?

When being hesitant created an unexpected opportunity

As you know, I talk a fair amount about having barometers in your life. These are the personal measuring sticks that help you gauge your actions and decisions against what you believe and hold true.

I have my own barometers – several, in fact. They’re my system of checks and balances that I employ in most areas of my life, especially my writing.

I wrote a piece last week that was a reflection of an experience I had personally had on Facebook. I refrained from blaming, naming or sharing anyone else’s story, as that had no bearing in what I needed to write and explore. (Plus that kind of writing is definitely out of whack with my barometers!). I’m glad I wrote the piece, and I believe in what I wrote (I’ve read it many times since). I still hesitated to share it, though, and I needed to figure out why.photo

So, I went to my barometers. I measured what I wrote against my values and beliefs, and it was fine. I measured it against my truth, and it was fine. I measured it against other barometers I use that involve ego and authenticity, and it was still fine. And yet, I hesitated…

What this has led me to understand is that it wasn’t about the piece, but instead it was about my recognizing that it was time for some maintenance on my barometers.

Like everything else in life, our barometers require attention and adjustment every now and then. They need their regular tune-ups in order to be most effective, and more so for us to know we can rely on them 100%.

My hesitation brought my awareness to them, which is what was needed at the time. It took me a few days to realize this, and even more time to perform the maintenance and adjustments they now require. (In fact, that part is ongoing.)

So, this week I’ve shared with you the personal account of how hesitancy caused me to shift my focus and realize that I needed to revisit my barometers, which resulted in deeper understanding.

Doubt (or hesitancy, in this case) is a red flag on the side of the road saying “Take note.”

P.S. If you want to read the original piece – I posted it here.

Words, backlash and throwing stones

If you’ve followed my blog thus far, you know I draw from all sorts of inspiration that I encounter in my path. Sometimes it’s nature, sometimes it’s clients, and sometimes it seems to just drop out of thin air. The one thing (I hope) it all has in common is the pause it creates to take a look at things from a different (read: not better, or worse) perspective.

That being said, I had an encounter on Facebook last weekend that left me feeling disheartened. It was all shared in “personal” space, so I am not going to get into the details of it.

On this occasion I felt compelled to chime in on behalf of a silent victim. (Yes, victim, because she was being attacked.) In doing so, I offered a different perspective, and suggested that this event was an opportunity for those who felt angry to examine what was going on underneath the anger.

In my experience, anger is the externalized expression of something internal.

It makes sense that if you’re angry at someone (especially if that person is totally unknown to you personally), there’s something going on inside that you can now begin to explore and address.

I also shared that I had a different perspective on the event itself and that I didn’t feel anger. In fact, I felt good about it on some level and couldn’t understand why so many people were outraged over somebody’s word choice over their divorce.

Ok, so the cat is out of the proverbial bag now. I’m talking about Gwyneth Paltrow’s use of the term “conscious uncoupling” when referring to her break-up with her husband. To me, there was nothing wrong with that. In fact, I thought it was a lot right. Nowhere in her statement did I feel she was holding herself above others (me). Nowhere did I assume she was making a statement that other divorces were unconscious (mine). I heard her statement for what she said: she was breaking up with her husband, and they were fully engaged in their decision.

I offered this opinion on Facebook, when others were expressing anger and frustration at her words. It seemed there were a lot of assumptions being made on things she did not actually say. There were accusations and implications, and frankly, I felt it was time to offer a different perspective. So I did.

I wrote three primary comments sharing my opinion. It was in my third comment, though, in which I expressed my thoughts about it being a wonderful opportunity (“a gift”) for others to look at their anger and see what was going on underneath. I suggested this could be healthy and beneficial for those who were struggling with a stranger’s words and experiencing anger and feelings of inadequacy as a result. The response I received was initially argumentative and then rather dismissive. (The sarcasm wasn’t lost on me.)

So, why am I writing about it? Because

1) it disheartened me to see that it’s easier (too easy?) for others to point fingers and hurl insults and blame onto a stranger than it is for them to reflect inwardly and possibly see that this isn’t about the stranger on the internet, but about the person in the mirror. Of course it’s ok to be angry if it’s how you feel, but then look at the reason why, rather than blaming and villainizing someone else; and

2) it saddened me to realize how hard it is for others to hear a different perspective, when it doesn’t fit into their script or identity paradigm.

All that being said, I genuinely hope that my few small words will trickle in somewhere and pop up when they’re least expected, allowing those who are angry and hurt to begin to use this as an opportunity to explore healing on a different level.

Gwyneth’s words may not be the ones you would choose, but as a great teacher once said (albeit slightly modified): who among you has chosen perfectly? xo

 

 

 

 

To know that anger begets anger and doesn’t serve to help anyone.

 

And that if we want to grow and learn, it’s important to take perspective. The personal path we walk may be different than our neighbor’s, but they’re both equally valid.