Lucky Star

I visited new San Antonio eatery Starfish last Wednesday night, and I can’t wait to tell you all about  my visit! I ended up there accidentally, as my friends and I had a different dining destination in mind. However, one of the hostesses came out and spoke with us outside when she saw us stop to take a look, and as the door opened, the most gorgeous smells wafted out behind her…and I was sold!! While the service was odd (too much crossover between servers on our table, unusual timing on food delivery, and a never-ending friggin wait for bread), the experience was pretty much incredible…and since this was their fourth night of dinner service since they’d opened, I know that their lovely manager Logan will rectify the front of the house hiccups very quickly. Here are the highlights of our meal:

 

I started with Bread Salad - I've never had Bread Salad before, but this very simple dish is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. The ingredients were simple, but the depth of flavor was incredible. Love!!! :-)

I started with Bread Salad – I’ve never had Bread Salad before, but this very simple dish is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. The ingredients were simple, but the depth of flavor was incredible. Love!!! :-)

Grilled Calamari - my dindin. Mighty tasty, friends....the sauce was divine!! :-)

Grilled Calamari – my dindin. Mighty tasty, friends….the sauce was divine!! :-)

One of my friends ate shrimp and grits - this bowl had a chorizo vinaigrette in it that pushed the dish to a whole other universe. A-ma-zing!!! :-)

One of my friends ate shrimp and grits – this bowl had a chorizo vinaigrette in it that pushed the dish to a whole other universe. A-ma-zing!!! :-)

Their bouillabaisse was extraordinary...just look at it! It was served in a very cool angled bowl (I'm a sucker for good presentation),and the broth....oh,friends, the broth....insane. The very delicious bread they served was unreal dipped in that broth. Yum. :-)

Their bouillabaisse was extraordinary…just look at it! It was served in a very cool angled bowl (I’m a sucker for good presentation),and the broth….oh,friends, the broth….insane. The very delicious bread they served was unreal dipped in that broth. Yum. :-)

This pork chop was one of the most beautifully-presented dishes I've ever seen....and it reportedly tasted incredible!! Juicy and flavorful, bursts of yummy in every bite! :-)

This pork chop was one of the most beautifully-presented dishes I’ve ever seen….and it reportedly tasted incredible!! Juicy and flavorful, bursts of yummy in every bite! :-)

The kitchen action - check out the jellyfish lights!! :-)

The kitchen action – check out the jellyfish lights!! :-)

 

Dessert #1 - fruit, peanut butter, some tasty cream stuff. Good,but not worth the moolah.

Dessert #1 – fruit, peanut butter, some tasty cream stuff. Good,but not worth the moolah.

Dessert #2 - Key Lime Pie. I know,I thought this thing - pretty though it is - was unlike any key lime pie I'd ever eaten,either. But guess what? It's earth-shatteringly delicious!!!!! Woohoo!!! Plus, anything that throws a macaron on top is cool with me. :-)

Dessert #2 – Key Lime Pie. I know, I thought this thing – pretty though it is – was unlike any key lime pie I’d ever eaten, either. But guess what? It’s earth-shatteringly delicious!!!!! Woohoo!!! Plus, anything that throws a macaron on top is cool with me. :-)

Dessert #3 - the menu calls this Banana Story, which I hope they change because that's a dumb name. What's not dumb, though, is this dessert: banana bread, chocolate mousse, brûléed banana....it was freaking amazing!!! :-) Don't let the name out you off! (Perhaps they'll rename it Leanna Banana in my honor??! ;-) )

Dessert #3 – the menu calls this Banana Story, which I hope they change because that’s a dumb name. What’s not dumb, though, is this dessert: banana bread, chocolate mousse, brûléed banana….it was freaking amazing!!! :-) Don’t let the name out you off! (Perhaps they’ll rename it Leanna Banana in my honor??! ;-) )

Dessert #4 - Basil sorbet, with a mint macaron. It comforts me to think that there might be a heaven...and they might serve this there. Otherworldly, my friends....for realz. :-)

Dessert #4 – Basil sorbet, with a mint macaron. It comforts me to think that there might be a heaven…and that they might serve this there. Otherworldly, my friends….for realz. :-)

 

Starfish is located on South Alamo, my favorite neighborhood in San Antonio. Here are a few pictures of the things I saw in their neighborhood:

The Friendly Spot - my favorite watering hole :-)

The Friendly Spot – my favorite watering hole :-)

I want a letter box like this on my house SO much...and I don't even have mail delivery to my house.

I want a letter box like this on my house SO much…and I don’t even have mail delivery to my door.

Few things are more beautiful than a secret garden! :-)

Few things are more beautiful than a secret garden! :-)

 

 

I hope that things go well for Starfish, and that they are super successful. Everyone there seemed to be really great, and there is a heap of talent in that kitchen…I was humbled by the artistry that went into this meal. I hope you’ll check them out…let me know if you need a date!! ;-)

xxx

 

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

I treated myself to a new piece of jewelry recently – a diamond in the rough ring. I’ve wanted one for ages, so I decided to just go for it and have one made for me a few weeks ago. It arrived this morning, and I could not be happier!!!! Loooove!!!! If you’ve ever tried to photograph jewelry, it’s really hard, but….I tried:

Pretty, right? :-)

Pretty, right? :-)

 

Ta-dah!!!! :-)

Ta-dah!!!! :-)

Here’s a description of the ring: This ring features a beautiful white/ silvery uncut, raw conflict free diamond set in a solid handmade recycled 14k yellow gold setting. The diamond sits atop a solid recycled sterling silver ring band which measures 2mm in width. This is a high quality, natural earth-mined certified conflict free diamond. This diamond ring is made to be incredibly durable and suitable for everyday wear.

* The exact diamond in these pictures has been sold. Another diamond of the same shape and carats will be used to make this ring. The diamond used to make this ring is .75 carats.


This diamond as well as the other diamonds I use are certified by the international standard for certifying conflict free diamonds, which is known as the Kimberly process. You can receive a copy of the Kimberly process certificate if you would like with your purchase.

The Kimberley Process Certification process was established to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market. The KPCS was introduced and established by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution. The process was set up “to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.”

Eco Friendly and Sustainable: This ring is eco friendly and made from sustainable sources. Because the gold and silver used is recycled and from non-mined sources.

 

I love it so much!!! :-) It’s so different looking, and so sweetly and beautifully made…I’m thrilled with it!! :-) It was made by PointNoPoint Studio – check them out on Etsy!! :-) I kind of like to think of the rough diamond as a bit of a metaphor for me and my existence – I’m rough around the edges, kind of awkward, not the best or the brightest, but…inside I’m still a diamond. :-) And it’s what’s inside that counts the most, right? :-)

 

xxx

 

 

Baby Girl

Yaa!!! :-)

Yaa!!! :-)

My baby girl turned 8 yesterday!!! I can’t believe it!! It seems like just last week that she was a wee three-pounder wearing teddy bear clothes (for realz, the poor little tiny baby friend!!)…but look at her now! She’s so sweet, kind, smart, funny, beautiful…I could not be more proud of the girl that she’s become. :-) We spent the day together for her birthday – the weather here in San Antonio was rainy and rather miserable, so we ended up heading downtown to take in a Matisse exhibit at the San Antonio Museum of Art – it was GREAT!!! :-) Here are some pictures:

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Beautiful! :-)

Beautiful! :-)

Another Tony Danza!! :-)

Another Tony Danza!! :-)

:-)

:-)

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After the Matisse exhibit, we checked out some other collections in the museum – here are some of our favorite pieces:

 

Love these fishies!! :-)

Love these fishies!! :-)

This is a neon pink chair, and I can't even tell you how much I want it!! :-)

This is a neon pink chair, and I can’t even tell you how much I want it!! :-)

The colors in this are mesmerizing!!! :-)

The colors in this are mesmerizing!!! :-)

The birthday girl and her new baby Merry! :-)

The birthday girl and her new baby Merry! :-)

Pretty :-)

Pretty :-)

:-)

:-)

Isn't this just the best? Love! :-)

Isn’t this just the best? Love! :-)

 

The rest of our day was lovely – drink at Starbucks, playing together at home, a piano lesson, dinner with the grandparents at Kona Grill…movie night snuggled up on the couch at home, and a camp out sleepover in the living room. :-) I had the greatest day just hanging with my tiny baby friend…and I’m looking forward to more time like this with her this summer. :-)

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! :-)

xxx

 

 

Marigold

I have all sorts of troubles with makeup. First, I’m mighty pale, meaning that I have a tough time with colors that look good (and not whorish) on me. Second, my skin is über-sensitive, so I have to tread carefully lest I use something that I’m allergic to -I found out the hard way that I was allergic to makeup from Estée Lauder: I tried some eyeshadow and mascara, wore it to work, and then frightened the bejeezus out of my students when I began bleeding from my eyelids (no joke)…it was gross!!! It also took ages for all of my eyelashes to grow back (the Estée Lauder mascara caused them to fall out, too, no doubt in solidarity with the bleeding eyelids). I’m always on the lookout for new makeup that will work for me – and not cost a fortune. I might have found it in the Flower line, by Drew Barrymore. I’ve always loved her – I dig her movies, but more importantly I appreciate the unapologetic way she’s lived her life. I admire people with the nuts to do as they please in a very public way…I think that’s fabulous! :-) As she’s grown up, Drew has diversified – she has a winery now (that makes DAMN good wine, no joke!), and a line of low cost-high quality cosmetics. I ordered a bunch of things online, and so far I’m right pleased with what I’ve received. Here’s what I got:

I am completely in love with this lip color - it's rich, moist, and is true to the color in the tube...even on my odd lips. It looks very berry-ish!!! :-) Love!!! :-) Bonus - it lasts!!! :-)

I am completely in love with this lip color – it’s rich, moist, and is true to the color in the tube…even on my odd lips. It looks very berry-ish!!! :-) Love!!! :-) Bonus – it lasts!!! :-)

This one - Tender Tuberose - is positively stunning!! I love the richness of the color, and the lasting power. Yaa!!! :-)

This one – Tender Tuberose – is positively stunning!! I love the richness of the color, and the lasting power. Yaa!!! :-)

I ought to be better at wearing blush - I need it because I'm so pale! However, I fret that I go from rosy glow to street walking whore far too quickly, so....I get nervous. As well, I've always feared using bronzer for contouring purposes, even though I need it badly. I tried this duo out this morning, and good news: I resemble neither whore nor pumpkin! Woohoo!! :-)

I ought to be better at wearing blush – I need it because I’m so pale! However, I fret that I go from rosy glow to street walking whore far too quickly, so….I get nervous. As well, I’ve always feared using bronzer for contouring purposes, even though I need it badly. I tried this duo out this morning, and good news: I resemble neither whore nor pumpkin! Woohoo!! :-)

This palette is on my eyes today....and it's pretty great! I think my eyes are probably my best feature, so I try to play them up as much as possible. I also ordered a really good black eyeliner from Flower, and it used in combination with this palette has really upped my eye game today!! That plummy color in the corner? Dy-no-mite, friends! :-)

This palette is on my eyes today….and it’s pretty great! I think my eyes are probably my best feature, so I try to play them up as much as possible. I also ordered a really good black eyeliner from Flower, and it used in combination with this palette has really upped my eye game today!! That plummy color in the corner? Dy-no-mite, friends! :-)

Haven't tried this yet, but I will give 'er a go tomorrow. I love the sandy colors, they remind me of a palette that Revlon used to do that I looooved!! I'm planning to use the darkest color to really smoke things up on my eyes. What do you think? :-)

Haven’t tried this yet, but I will give ‘er a go tomorrow. I love the sandy colors, they remind me of a palette that Revlon used to do that I looooved!! I’m planning to use the darkest color to really smoke things up on my eyes. What do you think? :-)

 

All in all, I think that some of these Flower products are going to be fun to use, and a nice, inexpensive change to mix things up this summer. I won’t give up on my staples (I’m talking to you, Chanel foundation and lipstick #45), but I’m excited to experiment with fun colors for summer. Thanks Drew!!! :-)

xxx

 

Simple Stuff

My boss’s daughter got married this past weekend, and I played the piano for her wedding. Fifteen years ago this would have been a minor situation, as I played the piano all the time and was accustomed to playing for people. However, I don’t get to practice nearly as often as I’d like, and my poor left wrist has deteriorated so much that I never know from day to day what feeling – if any – I will have in my fingers. FYI – playing with numb fingers is much harder and less fun than it sounds. Anyway, I’ve been practicing, and I played for the ceremony on Saturday. Clearly, this was not an engagement I wanted to bomb (boss’s daughter and all that) – and I’m happy to report that I didn’t screw it up. Was it my best performance? Nope…but it was okay. :-) I survived….and hopefully nobody noticed my wee mess-ups. :-)

I want to talk about the wedding itself for a minute….I do think it might have been the most lovely wedding I’ve ever been to! :-) There was nothing over-the-top about it – everything was simple, tasteful, and sweet. From my spot at the piano, I could see  the groom’s face as he said his vows, and I’ve never seen such sincerity or raw emotion in my life. It was really emotional, and I ended up weepy myself. It was awesome! :-) The ceremony was performed by a pair of older gentlemen who bore more than a passing resemblance to Waldorf and Statler from The Muppets – they had the witty banter, the sweet way about them….we all giggled throughout the beautiful ceremony.

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I was really struck by the romantic simplicity of this wedding – every detail had a beautiful, sweet, homemade vibe to it, and I felt like I was being embraced by love the whole time. I know that this sounds all mighty hippie-ish, but…there was something very different about this wedding. I felt the love…and that’s not something that happens often. Here’s some pictures:

This is so cute! :-)

This is so cute! :-)

The bride and groom are artistic, creative people :-)

The bride and groom are artistic, creative people :-)

They had wedding-themed Mad Libs on the tables...Wed Libs!!! Loooooved this!!! :-)

They had wedding-themed Mad Libs on the tables…Wed Libs!!! Loooooved this!!! :-)

Pretty :-)

Pretty :-)

The piano :-)

The piano :-)

Where I played my part :-)

Where I played my part :-)

All I need is love :-)

All I need is love :-)

:-)

:-)

The father of the bride made this cake - awesome or what??! :-)

The father of the bride made this cake – awesome or what??! :-)

One of my thank you gifts for taking part in the wedding - cute, eh? :-)

One of my thank you gifts for taking part in the wedding – cute, eh? :-)

My other thank you gift - yum yum yummy!!!! :-)

My other thank you gift – yum yum yummy!!!! :-)

 

 

I loved this wedding, and I wish the happy couple so much love and happiness….may he always look at her the way he did on Saturday – and may we all be lucky enough to be loved like that.  :-)

xxx

Summertime

…and the living is easy! Well, it will be once I go on vacation time and am away from work for a bit! :-) I’m really loving our summer schedule, though, as it offers more time for a real life, and there’s not many evening events. Woohoo!!! :-) Last Friday, I took the Wee One and met some dear friends for a picnic at Boerne City Lake. I had never been there before, but I had such a gorgeous time, I can’t wait to go back!!! :-)  These sweet friends of mine were kind enough to take care of all of the details – and what glorious details they were!!! They barbecued chicken on skewers, hot dogs, had wine/beer/wine cocktails/soda/water, chips, snacks, veggies…it was AMAZING!!!! :-) They also invited another friend of ours who has a little girl close in age to the Wee One – they played in the water and had a whale of a time! :-) The girls got taken out in the boat to do a wee spot of fishing, while I lounged around on shore enjoying the day and the beautiful breeze. It really was one of the very best days I can recall having in AGES, and I love and appreciate my friends so much for planning something so lovely for all of us. :-) I am so lucky! :-)  Here are some pictures:

Paradise :-)

Paradise :-)

Adorable :-)

Adorable :-)

The best hot dog EVER!!! :-)

The best hot dog EVER!!! :-)

:-)

:-)

 

This gorgeous day reminded me so much of my childhood, and the very best times I had then. My family had a tiny little cabin on the lake near our hometown in Canada, and that place, to me, was heaven. It was by no means fancy (as evidenced by the outhouse in the yard and the lack of running water and telephone inside), but truly – those things were a big part of what made it so awesome! :-)We used to go out there and stay for weekends, or a week at a time…and I loved it so much! I would spend most of the day swimming and playing in the lake, reading in the sand, wandering around and hanging out with whichever other kids happened to be down there at the time, and playing board games. My lifelong love and obsession with Clue came out of time spent at the cabin. In the evenings, we’d have a bonfire and sit around outside with whoever…and it was awesome. I never slept so well in my life as I did there…the combination of the sun, the fresh air, all of the swimming and playing, and the magic mattress on my bottom bunk were all I needed for a great sleep. :-) My memories of the cabin are so vivid – I remember everything that I did there, especially the time I put my brother’s underpants on my head and danced around in front of him and some company that he had…which resulted in him hitting me, me falling over, smashing my head into a magazine rack, and pushing my letter L earring 3/4 of the way through my ear. The doctor was down the road at his cabin, so he came to help my parents remove it. It wasn’t pretty. :-(

As I got older, my family quit going to the cabin – once I could drive, though, I went all the time. My friends and I used to love going out there, lounging around with no one to call us or bug us for anything…it was so peaceful. :-) I was heartbroken when my parents sold the cabin when I was in university, but I was is in no position in my life to maintain it, so….I understood their decision. It has since been torn down, with a new property built on that lot – I drove by a few years ago on my way to see one of my girlfriends at her family’s place. (Fun Fact: That same sweet friend of mine was there the night of the underwear and the letter L earring – I’m sure she’s still traumatized by me, my stupidity, and my howling) While driving by, I pulled off the road for a minute, stepped out of the car, and put my feet on the ground that had been such a big part of my life for so long. I marveled at all of the beautiful changes around me, and heard the sound of children laughing and playing down by the water…it sounded like the echo of me in the distance, and I swear I could smell the wieners cooking over the bonfire, and the can of Heinz pork and beans heating on the little stove. :-)

 

xxx

 

Strawberry Wine

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I visited a cool place the other night – Wine101 – in Helotes…it was GREAT!! :-) A coworker of mine is a member there (which is cool – you pay a monthly fee, get a few bottles of wine, your own glass, discounts on additional purchases, and invitations to tasting events. Sweet, eh? :-) ), and we met for some good wine and a visit. Here’s what the place looks like:

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I’m a lover of white wine in the summer, especially Sauvignon Blanc. Some of my current favorites are the Franciscan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and the Lake Chalice Marlborough SB. Yummy!! I’m still a Pinot Grigio girl, and have had a few great ones lately – the Altanuta Pinot Grigio, Danzante, and the other worldly Santa Margherita PG!! Divine!!! :-)

If you happen to be in Helotes, check out Wine101…it’s a cool way to spend an evening. If you fancy company, give me a shout – I’m in!!! :-)

Xxx

Joyeux Anniversaire!

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Even though the Wee One won’t be 8 until the end of the month, I hosted her birthday party today – we always try to do it the first Saturday after school ends. We had a Paris themed pool party again this year, as the last one two years ago was such a success. Here are some pictures:

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The treat bags were ordered from Oriental Trading…I think they’re adorable! I filled them with Paris note pads, Paris puzzles and pencils, tattoos and stickers, bit of candy…all very French stuff. I was hoping they would be okay – I always fret that I don’t know how to do all this kind of stuff, that my efforts always fall short of the other moms…but, really, who cares? If the kid is happy, then I’m happy – and you should have seen her smiling today! :-)

Mission accomplished. :-)

 

xxx

 

PS: The cupcakes came from HEB, I decorated them with Paris toppers, put them on an Eiffel Tower cupcake stand – I think they look great…30 cupcakes for $15 total. Deal!!! :-)

Take On Me

I did something really stupid today. I was having a conversation with someone, trying to express my feelings (which we all know I pretty much suck at), when I apologized for being needy, for saying stupid stuff, and for asking for what I needed. I didn’t realize how ridiculously self-destructive that whole shit-sentence was until I replayed it over in my head later (I do that, replay pretty much every conversation I have in my head at later times…I know how obnoxious that is, but I can’t help it. Sorry.) . Can you believe that? Apparently I’m so full of hatred for myself these days that I actually apologized for sharing my truth and expressing what I needed. Ick.  :-(

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You wanna know what I really need? To learn to accept myself as I am, and give myself a damn break. When you Google accepting yourself, there’s a ton of New Age-type, hippie stuff going on…but when you wade through the fluff, there’s some good stuff to be found, like this article :

Therapists Spill: 12 Ways to Accept Yourself
By MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY, M.S.

For many people self-acceptance is hard to come by on a good day. It’s tenuous, a glass with tiny cracks, at best. On a bad day, when you’ve made a mistake or two, don’t like how you look or feel absolutely miserable, your self-acceptance is in shards.

Fortunately, self-acceptance is something we can nurture. Look at it as a skill that you can practice versus an innate trait that you either have or don’t.

Below, clinicians reveal 12 ways we can cultivate self-acceptance.

1. Set an intention.

“Self-acceptance begins with intention,” according to psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber, MA. “It is vital that we set an intention for ourselves that we are willing to shift paradigms from a world of blame, doubt and shame to a world of allowance, tolerance, acceptance and trust,” he said. 

2. Celebrate your strengths.

“We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths,” according to Ryan Howes, Ph.D, a psychologist in Pasadena, California. Psychologist John Duffy, PsyD, agrees. “[Many people] fail to see their strengths and cling to antique scripts they carry about their lack of worth,” he said.

Duffy helps his clients hone in on their strengths and abilities by writing them down. If you’re having a tough time coming up with your list, name one strength each day, he said. 

Howes suggested making a similar list: “Make a list of all the hardships you’ve overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.”

3. Consider the people around you.

What kinds of people do you surround yourself with? Sumber suggested asking yourself these questions about the people in your life:

Who speaks negatively to me? Who reinforces negative self talk? Why do I allow such people to hurt me? Are they just doing my own dirty work because I’m not willing to choose a different reality?

4.Create a support system.

Distance yourself from people who bring you down, said Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist and owner of Urban Balance, LLC. Instead, “Surround yourself with people who accept you and believe in you,” she said.

5. Forgive yourself.

Past regrets can prevent us from practicing self-acceptance. Forgive yourself, and move on. “Whether it’s about something you’ve done or a personality quirk that resulted in a social faux pas, it’s important to learn from the mistake, make efforts to grow, and accept that you can’t change the past,” Howes said.

When the tinges of remorse resurface, remember these words, he said: “I made the best decision with information I had at the time.” “The behavior or decision might not seem correct in hindsight, but at the time it seemed like the best choice,” Howes added.

6. Shush your inner critic.

Many people equate their inner critic with a voice of reason. They think their inner critic is simply speaking the truth. But if you wouldn’t say it to a loved one, it’s not honesty or sincerity. It’s unwarranted — and harsh — judgment.

To quiet your inner critic, Marter suggested choosing a realistic mantra. “I believe in the power of mantra and encourage clients to select a mantra that is normalizing, calming and encouraging during times when the inner critic rears its ugly head,” she said. For example, you could use: “I am only human, I am doing the best that I can and that is all I can do,” she said.

As Marter said, “Our mistakes and our imperfections are not bad or wrong or failures–they are the fingerprints of humanity and opportunities for learning, healing and growth.”

7. Grieve the loss of unrealized dreams.

“Many of our problems with self-acceptance come from our inability to reconcile who we are as compared with the idealized dreams of our youth,” Howes said. Maybe you dreamed about becoming an Olympic athlete or a multi-millionaire or staying married forever or having a big family, he said. Whatever your dreams or goals, mourn that they didn’t come to pass, he said. Then “get back to being the best you possible.”

8. Perform charitable acts.

“When you sacrificially give to others, you see how your deeds are a positive influence on other lives. It becomes more and more difficult to maintain the idea that you are no good when you see how your deeds help other people,” Howes said.

9. Realize that acceptance is not resignation.

Marter described acceptance as letting go of the past and the things we cannot control. This way, “you can focus your energy on that which you can [control], which is empowering,” she said. In fact, for some people accepting that they have a problem is the first step to making positive changes, she said.

10. Speak to your highest self.

Marter suggested readers try the following activity that includes imagining and interacting with your highest or best self.

I often ask my clients to visualize their highest and best self that lies deep within them. This process of visualizing a separation or detachment from the current [or] suffering self often helps clients tap into the wisdom that already lies within them — their highest self — to promote healing.

This exercise teaches clients how to be their own best parent and demonstrate empathy, compassion and love towards the self. I advise clients to take a few minutes to meditate and practice this visualization whenever they are in crisis [or] need some direction or some self-soothing.

11. Be kind to yourself.

Many people are hesitant to show even a shred of self-kindness because they see it as selfish or undeserved. But the key to self-compassion is “to understand that weakness and frailty are part of the human experience,” according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, a psychologist and author of Living with Depression. “Coming to accept who you are involves loving yourself because of your flaws, not in spite of them,” she said. You’ll find more on practicing self-compassion here and here.

12. Fake it ‘til you make it.

If you’re unconvinced that you’re a worthy person, keep the faith and keep at it. Keep practicing self-compassion along with the other suggestions. “Most of us do not have direct communication from our deity of choice, yet we take the leap and trust that our God is true and real. The same goes for our self-acceptance. I first must think and do before I know,” Sumber said.

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When I started reading this, I was thinking it was pretty much like every other list (and therefore useless), with nothing of value for me. But I felt compelled to keep reading…and then shit got real. Consider the people around you? Yikes. Most of the people around me only know me when they want something,…which sucks. Very few people seem to enjoy the pleasure of my company, which leaves me wondering if I’m such a miserable arse that nobody wants to be with me! I’ve noticed that I spend A LOT of time listening to the troubles of other people,  but rarely does anybody ask me about mine. I have one friend (she reads this, so she will know who she is! I love her!  ;-) ) who says that she doesn’t ask about me because she figures that if I have something to share, I will just say it. I bet that approach and philosophy works great for most peeps, but for someone like me who struggles with self-worth and rarely believes that anyone gives a shit about her, that approach is challenging. I’m not usually brave enough to share my innermost self, and I take my cues that it’s okay and safe to proceed when people ask me questions. So, if they don’t ask, I say nothing…and the cycle goes around and around.

Create a support system? How? I believe that I’ve got this one cracked at work, but….not at home. At work, I have the world’s most wonderful boss whom I love with all my heart – she treats me wonderfully, supports me, and legit wants me to do well. I’ve not had that many times in my career, so I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate her. :) My secretary is dynamite as well, she’s helpful, supportive, and would do anything with me and for me – I loooooove working with her!! She’s fab!!!!! But, at home…it’s just me. I can’t go and visit my parents without enduring my mother’s endless criticism of my appearance and everything I do, so I generally try to spare myself that misery. It’s maddening….and probably explains why things are so rough for me inside my head. I have a few people in my life who I think believe in me and are my personal cheerleaders, but the team is in dire need of some new members. How do you make that happen???

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The next three bowled me over – forgive yourself, shush your inner critic, and grieve the loss of unrealized dreams. Hmm. I can’t ever forgive myself for some of the mistakes that I’ve made, and I don’t get why. My mistakes have hurt mostly me (with a few others tossed in along the way for collateral damage), so it should be easy to forgive myself…but I don’t. I can’t. And I don’t know why. My inner critic had a bloody megaphone that she yells into at ALL TIMES, and let me tell you, that bitch’s voice is LOUD. It never ends. I’ve always marveled at my ability to manage a career that requires me to be the sage on the stage so much of the time, always enduring the scrutiny of a lot of people, when all I hear a constant stream of hateful words in my head every moment of the day. It’s bloody exhausting. :-(

Now, tell me…how do you grieve the loss of unrealized dreams? That’s what’s I need to do. There are so many things that I’ve wanted to do with my life, but they just didn’t happen – generally not due to lack of effort, but rather circumstance. There are many things that have left me feeling disappointed, but there are so many things that have gone well in my life, and I’m a very lucky girl. :-)  I have, however, had difficulties letting go of a few things that I’ve always wanted – and instead of always feeling like a failure, or like I’ve let everyone else down, I need to somehow grieve the passing of my dream, let it go, and move the hell on. I bloody love this idea, it’s brilliant – how to put it into practice??!

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Are you watching the reality series “True Tori” on Lifetime? Cameras have been following Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott following his stint in a rehab facility after he cheated on her last fall. I’m surprised that I’m watching it, actually – this is so not my usual cup of tea, but I came across the first episode in the middle of the night a few weeks ago, and have been compelled to watch ever since. I was a huge fan of Beverly Hills, 90210 – I was still wearing my Donna Martin Graduates shirt a couple of years ago, I still watch the reruns whenever I can find them on TV, and many a life decision of mine has been made by thinking What Would Kelly Taylor do? I still love the fashion of that show (and I still want to wear flowery baby doll dresses with my Doc Martens every day of my life), and the music was pretty damn great as well. Tori’s Donna wasn’t my favorite character, but her wedding to David Silver still brings me to tears. Anyway, over the years, I have kept up with Tori’s life, and while I haven’t watched them, I’ve been aware of the series of reality shows that she and Dean have made following their marriage. I’ve always felt leery about those kinds of programs, since people who go on Tv and tout how happy they are and how perfect their marriage is seem to be hollering, “Look how great our life is!! Look how much yours sucks !!” to me…and I’m uncomfortable with that. (Sidebar: I call it my Facebook theory – if you have to brag about your shit on Facebook, then your shit probably isn’t all that and probably stinks a bit!)  Anyway, I know that she and Dean have four small children, and careers that are very much intertwined -until all hell broke loose and he bonked some broad in Toronto. (There’s another quandary – why do men choose to bonk women who can’t keep their damn mouths shut and be discrete? Stupid.) Now, they have cameras on them filming them at home as they try to adjust to Dean being out of rehab, and they attempt to rebuild their family. This is where things are getting really interesting – Tori is hurting so badly and needs to express it, but every time she does, Dean falls apart. He was suicidal at one point, and she’s scared that her feelings are going to literally kill him. So, she holds it all in…until she’s an absolute mess. It’s painful to watch, truth be told…I never would want to see anyone suffering and hurting, and I can understand the pain she’s feeling. I, too, feel completely alone a lot of the time, and pissed off with the world for ignoring me – I get it. Whatever happens, I wish them well….and I remind the rest of you: don’t brag about your happy relationship – you’re only dooming yourself to misery!!! Be happy and peaceful about it..it’ll mean more that way. :-)

xxx

Another One Bites the Dust

I was recently reminded of the douchebaggery of people (something I’m reminded of far more frequently than I would like to be) when listening to a friend discuss the asshat behavior of men. She was irritated because the new man in her life was doing dumb things, making her feel self-conscious and ridiculously insecure. This dear friend of mine is a serious number one stunna and has no business whatsoever to doubt herself even a smidge. Girlfriend has it going on – the dude in question needs to get his poop in a group and smarten up!!

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Once upon a time, I was asked out for drinks and food by a member of the male persuasion. I didn’t usually accept such invitations, but I knew this fellow a bit and figured it wouldn’t be too bad, so I gave it a whirl, and said yes. We went, and had a lovely time – everything went very well, including the good night kiss at my door. The next day, he asked me for a movie date a few days later – again, I went, and things were awesome: laughs were had, hands were held, I was on my best behavior (witty, charming, not breaking wind or burping)….I thought it was great. Oddly , there was no good night kissy-face at the end of this date, but…I didn’t give it much thought. Over the next few days, we messaged back and forth, but something felt palpably different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was off. I asked a few times about making tentative plans, that kind of thing, and there was always a reason, an excuse of why he couldn’t get together. It was weird. One night, he invited me over to his house to watch a hockey game, which I thought was code for something else – it wasn’t. Hockey was watched, cheeks were chastely kissed, and I went home. Huh.

Me being me, I couldn’t take it anymore. I asked if there was something up – this was the conversation:

Me – Is everything ok?

Him – No. I can’t see you anymore. I never should have asked you out in the first place.

Me – Ok. My apologies if I’ve done or said something to offend you. I’m confused!

Him – You didn’t do anything wrong, haha, you are very cool.  I never should have asked you out in the first place.

Me – Gee, thanks. Never mind, it’s all good.

Him – By doing that, I broke a very long-standing personal rule and I owe you an explanation. Or an apology.

Me – No apology needed.

Him – It’s hard to adequately explain without you taking this the wrong way, but this is completely on me. I stay out of relationships because I’m really really really bad at them. I hurt people emotionally, even nice people. I’m not going to go through that again. And you especially don’t need that either.

Me – Oh, okay. I understand.

Him – I doubt that. It’s just me. I’m stuck in a behavioral pattern that I recognize but can’t break.  For what it’s worth, you’re the first woman in over five years to make me forget my rule.

Me – Um, thanks.

Him – I tend to be a much better friend…just ask my ex’s!!

Me – Haha.

Him – You are by far the most interesting person I’ve met in years. Plus you are actually a decent human being. And maybe even the Least Crazy Female I’ve Ever Met???!

Me – Gee thanks.

The conversation continued with more insanity, so imagine my shock when the next day, he texted to ask if I wanted to make plans for a few days later. I said okay, assuming we were having a ‘friend’ outing, and made a bunch of suggestions.  We made plans for the evening – to go out somewhere. Here’s what transpired next:

Him – Are you still coming over tonight?

Me – Oh, I thought we were going out!

Him – I don’t know.

Me – Okay, would you fancy a trip to see a movie? That’d be fun!!

 

About an hour passes.

 

Him – I don’t know. I just got out of the hot tub. But yeah, by the time I shower and get dressed and all it’s probably late to head uptown for a movie.

 

FYI – this text came in at 5:45pm.

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Baffling behavior, yes? Frustrating? Indeed. Why do people who pee standing up act this way? Lest you think me a psychotic stalker who saves messages, I wrote this all down in a journal. Ages ago. And I kept the notebook. You know why? So that I could pull it out from time to time to remind myself of just how shitty some people are, and just how far I’ve come. There was a day when a conversation like this would have crushed me, leaving me crippled and feeling like there was something wrong with me. Now it makes me think that he’s a freaking idiot with issues far beyond the scope of any crap I’m interested in dealing with.  Gross.

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Why are relationships so hard? Why is it so difficult for people to be straightforward? Why can’t we as people say what we mean and mean what we say? I find that the older I get, the more blunt I am  - God help us when I’m 70….yikes!!! I am not mean (or I try not to be), but I sure don’t endure stupid crap like I used to!! I would never have done what the idiot from the above story did….because, even though I’m really blunt and stuff, I’m not hurtful. I try not to toy with people’s emotions, I try not to be hurtful or unkind…and I try really hard to be the kind of person I want to be around. In her book “Miracles Now”, Gabrielle Bernstein writes that peace begins with you. So does happiness. Being happy depends on how happy you are with yourself. If you’re a miserable sod who loathes their own company, nobody else is going to want to be near you, either. So, to the guy who told me the crap above – thank you for reminding me of the things that are important in life…and, sadly for you,you weren’t one of them. I wish you well still – just as long as it’s nowhere near me. To my dear friend who questions her own desirability – love you, friend…you deserve the moon and the stars, and any man worth having will give you all that – and more. :-)

 

xxx