Walk On By

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about the idea of self-actualization, manifesting the life we want, and how all we really are is our thoughts. If we think we are shit, we are – and if we think we are pretty friggin’ awesome, then we are that, too. I’ve spent a lifetime battling the voices in my own head, constantly believing that better things didn’t come my way because I didn’t deserve them…which is more than a little ludicrous, I know. The trick for me has been overcoming those voices, making it clear that I myself am more than enough as I am, and just getting on with the business of enjoying all of the great things in life. I do this most of the time these days – which is awesome. I’m not perfect every day by any means, but…I’m making progress, and I’ve found ways to accept and marvel at the person that I am. It certainly makes life a whole lot easier, not to mention more fun! :-) You’d be bloody amazed by the opportunities that land in your lap when you conduct yourself like the super-amazing badass that you are! :-)


One thing that has been a huge struggle for me was putting aside my pursuit of my doctorate degree – I haven’t cancelled it all together, I’ve just hit the pause button. For now. I wasn’t able to devote myself to it 100%, and I didn’t want to keep half-assing it any longer. I wanted to take a break from the pressure that it was putting on me (and I was putting on myself), and I wanted to reclaim a good piece of my free time – and spend that on developing a real personal life for myself. All work and no play makes someone dull…and I wasn’t interested in that, let me tell you!! I accepted a different degree to recognize the work that I did, which is something to be proud of…yet I was sitting around feeling shame, like some sort of loser jackass. It was just stupid. I went through the motions – framed the diploma, hung it up in my office, bought myself a lovely present to celebrate (which helped a fair bit), but…I was still feeling weird, as if I was a failure. And then I read this little gem, about Blake Lively closing down her lifestyle website Preserve, of all things:

Entrepreneurs and A-list celebrities have one major thing in common: They are fodder for unbelievable scrutiny. From a product’s success to what they wear on the red carpet, it’s all fair game for criticism.

So when actress Blake Lively launched lifestyle site Preserve last year, she was hit with a double whammy of hateration. Fans slammed her about issues with site design, product descriptions, and sky-high prices. Plus, all of the outside critiques were heaped on top of her own dissatisfaction with the site, which she revealed to Time.

Today, Lively announced that she is shutting the site down completely on October 9.

“It never caught up to its original mission,” she told Vogue. “It’s not making a difference in people’s lives, whether superficially or in a meaningful way. And that’s the whole reason I started this company, not just to fluff myself, like, ‘I’m a celebrity! People will care what I have to say!’ It was so never meant to be that.

As any entrepreneur can relate, pulling the plug on a startup is a huge ego blow. It can feel like a failure, like everything you’ve worked so hard to create has crumbled and you’ll be pegged as a quitter. With the shuttering of Preserve, Lively knows exactly how that feels.

Ending it is “very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary,” she continued. “I never thought I would have the bravery to actually do that, to take the site dark and to say, ‘You know what? I haven’t created something that is as true and impactful as I know it can and will be.’”

While walking away can be scary, not only is it completely understandable, it is a decision that true leaders sometimes have to make. Lively added, “I know what it’ll look like, what I’m facing publicly, that people are just going to have a heyday with this. But it’s so much worse to continue to put something out there—to ask my team to put something out there—that isn’t the best we can do. I’m going to take this hit, and the only way I can prove all the negative reactions wrong is to come back with a plan that will rock people.”

So the next time you’re beating yourself up for walking away from a job or a project, remember the power of making tough decisions and following your gut. As Lively proves, quitting and walking away aren’t the same thing, and they sure as hell don’t make you less of a boss. In fact, as Lively said, it will make you stronger “because without great risks it’s impossible to have huge success.”


Hmmm. I like this a whole lot. Makes sense, and certainly makes me feel like less of a failure than I have been feeling lately. This new degree of mine is an amazing accomplishment that few people have – I have so much to be proud of. As well, it’s not the end of the road for me/my life/my career…and I’m not a loser for this one, either. Damn those voices in my head!


The more I think about the idea of manifesting the life I want, the more it makes sense to me…but how? There is a Buddhist proverb that has been inspiring me lately: “If you have a problem that can be fixed, then there is no use in worrying. If you have a problem that cannot be fixed, then there is no use in worrying.”  If you know me in real life, you know what a struggle this is, as I am a world class fretter – or, I used to be. I was a person that needed to classify things and put a label on them, when frequently the situation I was trying to figure out was just so beautiful that no definition was needed. I worried about every possible thing that could go wrong at any time, instead of wiggling in and getting comfortable with the beauty that was all around me. Thankfully, I don’t do that much anymore – and I’ve zero intention of returning to Torment Town again anytime soon. I spent so much time catastrophizing (that’s a word, right?) all the things that could go wrong, that it’s no wonder they so often did – it was me who was bringing on the rains. Ridiculous! All of the energy that I’ve spent on the negative things has been slowly migrating towards the positive, and I’ve been working on applying Maslow’s theory of self-actualization to my everyday living:

1. Experience life fully and vividly

I am enjoying myself so much more these days, I’m finding heaps of pleasure in the tiniest of moments, and I feel like the colors around me are brighter. Here’s an illustration of this – this past Friday was my Dad’s birthday, traditionally a sad day for me. I spent the latter part of the evening watching a movie that I KNOW he’d have loved – A Million Ways to Die in the West – and laughed my fool head off at just how foul, silly, and colorful it all was. I toasted my dad with a fine Molson Canadian, and felt happy instead of blue. The work day on Friday had been chaotic, but I spent that evening doing my favorite things, was happy as could be, and enjoyed every single second of it. I need more evenings like that. :-)

2. Be honest in my choices

Think of life as a series of choices, one after another, and be as truthful with myself as I make my choices. This has been hard – actually, being honest in my choices isn’t the hard part, it’s having to tell others why I’ve done what I’ve done that’s the rub. I stand by the decisions I’ve made in life, good bad or indifferent (I don’t do much that I feel indifferent about, actually) – but I hate hurting other people, so sometimes I just keep my honesty to myself. It seems kinder that way, don’t you think?

3. Be aware of the uniqueness of myself

I’ve never stumbled when it comes to realizing that I am one unique kitten – I’ve known forever that I was born to stand out. Accepting that this is okay has been where the challenge is for me – but what choice do I have?

4. Act with integrity

I am trying to act with integrity, and I always take responsibility for my actions. There are things that I am avoiding dealing with at the moment, but… I will get there one of these days, I promise. I’m trying. :-)

5. Be courageous

I think that I have done an okay job at learning to become courageous. I don’t back down from anything, I live as bravely as I can – and, I’m learning to express the things I like and don’t like, without fear of hurting someone’s feelings. This is progress, friends! :-)

6. Self-development

I am constantly working on myself, and I hope that continues until I take my final breath. I read a lot of things designed to help me become a better me, I engage in the act of self-care on a regular basis, and I am being so much kinder to myself. Yaa me! :-)

7. Peak experiences

I have had the odd peak experience (which Maslow described as ‘transient moments of self-actualization’). These experiences are times that you feel truly at peace and in harmony with your environment and the universe and are marked by a feeling of euphoria and deep joy. My goal? To have as many of those as possible in a week. Sometimes, when things are really tough at work, I crawl under my desk and have a quiet moment – it’s a bit of a running joke in the office, but for me it is essential. I need to have that quiet, safe space where I can just take a moment, shut off everything that is happening outside my door, and just be. It’s awesome. :-)

8. Lack of ego defences

This is a tough one for me, for I can be a defensive mo’fo when push comes to shove. I am learning to let go of the troublesome defense mechanisms that I keep around me (they keep me safe inside, and everyone else on the outside of that wall….and most of them don’t even realize that that is where they are), and becoming more accepting of people, and of letting those around me get close. It turns out that having people close to you isn’t so bad at all…provided that they are the right people. :-)


It’s all a journey, isn’t it? I’ve just finished reading Jewel’s autobiography “Never Broken” – I will write a review soon – and I can’t stop thinking about that book. In it, she talks about a soul being something that is never broken…a sentiment that I absolutely love. By all accounts, the path of my life should have broken me a million times over – it’s like I saw the fork in the road, the easy way in life and the hard way, and I said, “F- it” to both of them and took off through the woods, to the truly tough terrain…choosing to make my life out of the most difficult of circumstances. The thing is, though, that I’m still here, still hiking (metaphorically speaking, of course – I’m not much of a hiker, especially here in Texas…too many damn critters out in the wild). That has to count for something. :-)



Apocalypse Today


I just finished reading an article from Vanity Fair magazine entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse“, and I am positively brimming with sadness. The article details the use of social media apps to facilitate hookups for sex. Apparently, people aren’t dating anymore, they are swiping right (or is it left? I’ve never Tindered), exchanging a couple of text messages, and meeting people for shags. Read this passage from some of the girls interviewed for the article:

They’re just looking for hit-it-and-quit-it on Tinder.”

“They start out with ‘Send me nudes,’ ” says Reese. “Or they say something like ‘I’m looking for something quick within the next 10 or 20 minutes—are you available?’ ‘O.K., you’re a mile away, tell me your location.’ It’s straight efficiency.”

“There is no dating. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one. “They’re rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your ‘boyfriend.’ [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.”

“Agh, look at this,” says Kelly, 26, who’s sitting at a table with friends, holding up a message she received from a guy on OkCupid. “I want to have you on all fours,” it says, going on to propose a graphic sexual scene. “I’ve never met this person,” says Kelly.

When it comes to hooking up, they say, it’s not as simple as just having sex. “It’s such a game, and you have to always be doing everything right, and if not, you risk losing whoever you’re hooking up with,” says Fallon, the soft-spoken one. By “doing everything right” she means “not texting back too soon; never double texting; liking the right amount of his stuff,” on social media.

“And it reaches a point,” says Jane, “where, if you receive a text message” from a guy, “you forward the message to, like, seven different people: ‘What do I say back? Oh my God, he just texted me!’ It becomes a surprise. ‘He texted me!’ Which is really sad.”

“It is sad,” Amanda says. “That one A.M. text becomes ‘Oh my God, he texted me!’ No, he texted you at one A.M.—it’s meaningless.”

They laugh ruefully.

“If he texts you before midnight he actually likes you as a person. If it’s after midnight, it’s just for your body,” says Amanda. It’s not, she says, that women don’t want to have sex. “Who doesn’t want to have sex? But it feels bad when they’re like, ‘See ya.’ ”

“It seems like the girls don’t have any control over the situation, and it should not be like that at all,” Fallon says.

“It’s a contest to see who cares less, and guys win a lot at caring less,” Amanda says.

“Sex should stem from emotional intimacy, and it’s the opposite with us right now, and I think it really is kind of destroying females’ self-images,” says Fallon.

“It’s body first, personality second,” says Stephanie.

“Honestly, I feel like the body doesn’t even matter to them as long as you’re willing,” says Reese. “It’s that bad.”

“But if you say any of this out loud, it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism,” says Amanda.


Isn’t this heartbreaking, appalling, and fascinating all at the same damn time??! I know. How on earth did society manage to get itself to such a point where people aren’t even treating people like humans anymore? These women are being treated like little more than a hole by these guys – and it’s a toss up which is worse: the men who do it, or the women who allow it. I am all for people getting together to knock their boots – not every bonk has to result in a long term relationship. However, I think that when people are having casual encounters, there still needs to be a sense of manners about the episode: spend a bit of time together while still vertical, talk to the other person, be polite about things (Wanna screw? never a good opener), and afterwards, for the love of all that is good and holy – be gracious. Be nice. Stick around awhile – do not get up and leave while you’re still breathing heavy…that’s just the worst manners. Nobody feels good about that kind of thing. If at all possible, sleep over….waking up not alone is awesome. :-)


From the perspective of the men, those featured seemed to be big fans of this arrangement: they got to have sex with a lot of women, they had ‘the pick of the litter’ so to speak, they didn’t have to put in the effort required with traditional courting/wooing…very rarely did they even have to buy the ladies involved a drink. This does not sit well with me at all – I believe passionately in courting, I’m a fan of the woo. Why the hell would anyone want to get rid of that????! It makes NO SENSE!!!

Romance is important to me. I want to feel like someone likes me, enjoys my company, wants to be with me, thinks I am gorgeous and awesome, etc etc etc – I want to feel like I am worth a bit of effort. The funny thing is that anyone (romantic possibility or otherwise) who puts even 10% effort into me will get about 1000% back…I am very much a giver. I think I provide good return on investment! 😉 I have said many times that I don’t want the whole picket fence, etc dream that many women do – it’s not for me, and not something that I have any interest in. All I want is somebody who wants to spend time with me when they can (and when I can), thinks I’m awesome, and wants to shag. Easy, right??! :-)


A CNN writer feels much as I do about the sadness regarding the Tinder thing:

If you want a relationship, remember this: The men you meet on Tinder most likely are not available; they are there prowling and looking for some fun. No matter how good you are in the sack, or how well you play by the rules, you are not going to turn a casual encounter into a meaningful relationship. This is not to say all men on Tinder just want something casual, but use common sense.

So are we living in the “dating apocalypse”? We’ll have to see.

One of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard about dating was from a scene in “Sex in the City.” Essentially: Men are like cabs — they are only available if their light is on.

Miranda: Men are like cabs. When they’re available their light goes on. They wake up one day, they decide they are ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. The next woman they pick up, boom, that’s the one they’ll marry. It’s not fate. It’s dumb luck.

Charlotte: Sorry, I refuse to believe that love is that random.

Miranda: It’s all about timing. You gotta get them when their light’s on.

Carrie: Most men I meet are flashing yellows.

Miranda: Or off duty. They can drive around for years picking up women and not be available.

Without a willing passenger, a taxi driver drives around alone. It’s the passenger who holds the power and decides whether or not to accept the ride.


Brilliant, right? I know! I’m all for people doing what makes them happy, but I have a hard time believing that all of the girls profiled in the article above are really feeling too happy about these casual hookups. I also worry about the expectations that young people are going to have if they grow up in a world where the ‘hookup’ is the standard of measurement…I am all for convenience, but this is ridiculous. Let’s resuscitate romance, friends! :-) Ready? Set? Woo!!!!



Where Have All The Cowboys Gone? – Reprint :-)






AUTHOR’S NOTE: This piece was written two years ago, but its words hold true just as much now…happy reading, friends! :-)


While talking with a female friend this week, we began complaining about the lack of real men around. We weren’t talking about those who burp, fart, and chew snuff so much that they could medal in the hillbilly Olympics, but rather the kind of real men who are chivalrous, respectful, thoughtful beings who value women and treat them accordingly. They believe in little things like opening doors and walking on the street/curb side of the sidewalk, and not so little things like defending your honor against shitty street harassment and respecting and valuing your career. Real men are brave enough to stand up for what is right, even if it is unpopular. And it seems that these days, sadly, real men are about as common as unicorns. Why is that?

real men deaddog

Let me share some examples with you to illustrate my points. First up – a girlfriend of mine recently told me about a dalliance between she and a a guy that had been off and on for the past few months. The girl liked spending time with the guy, despite his propensity for not being able to get his shit together. She patiently offered help repeatedly, went out of her way to make time for the two of them to spend together, and happily picked up the check most of the time they went out for dinner or drinks…even when he had invited her. Now, before you think this kind-hearted soul is a right idiot who was being used – she is just a person who places a higher value on people than she does on things and money…and she thought this particular dude was good people. However, the drama llama lurking inside got the better of him, and things went uproariously tits up yet again. He didn’t call much, missed plans he’d made with her, and essentially left her feeling like crap. And what had she done wrong? Nothing. She certainly understood that he was going through impossibly hard times,and she wanted to be there for them and help – isn’t that what people do for each other? She called to express concern, to see if she could help, and to try to bring some levity to his life by telling him about the fun birthday present she was going to let him open early in light of all the hard times he was having – but before she was able to get to that part, he went off on her about how stressed he was and how he was barely holding it together, but that she should be grateful that at least he is attempting to talk to her and not shutting her out completely. Huh. I can’t speak for you, dear readers, but I think that’s one of the rudest, shittiest things ever said. She had been trying to help, to offer tangible assistance, and help him get back on his feet – yet in that moment, he had cut her to the very core. I haven’t heard from her what happened next, but I’m fairly certain that she was done with this guy. I reminded her what Maya Angelou said: “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I do believe that our fair lass had been schooled on the differences between real men and fake ones.



Next example: another maiden I know that I used to work with has been hanging out with a male colleague of hers for nearly six months. These two generally go out once or twice a week, and he seems quite fond of her – and she enjoys his company, too. The only part that has our maiden wondering? He has never – to use an old-fashioned phrase – tried to get fresh. Never. Not once. Nothing more than a few chaste kisses. Not even tongue, friends! Nada. Zip. Zilch. She can’t figure it out, because as far as maidens go, this one is pretty cute ..but he’s most certainly not acting like a real man who is in to it. It’s troubling. She can’t work it out. Is he not interested in women? Not interested in her? Both?? Neither??? Too much confusion, friends!


My final example comes courtesy of yet another lovely friend of mine. She was talking last week about the most recent male that she dated – he showed up at her home on a weekend morning with a plan to help her move furniture, and declared that he would love some wine – it was 9:00am. Now, I’m all for day drinking and am never one to judge, but this asshat (I do believe he may have been royalty – the Crown Prince of Douchebagastan, perhaps) loudly announced that he figured he should move in (since he had helped move the furniture), give up his job and be a house husband. This was their third date. Uh huh. Shocking, if you ask me. I asked my friend about the possibility of her and a couple of men that we know in common going out on dates – her response about the first one that he was too busy dying his hair with Grecian Formula (which always gives me the giggles) and chasing 21 year old skirt (he’s 49) to bother with a woman in his own age bracket…and, as for the other man, he smothers his face in so many anti-aging and male beauty products that she can check her makeup in the reflection off his face on the regular, so…not for her. Too metro.




Now…what do all of these tales have in common?? First – apparently I know some interesting women! 😉 However, these are all girls that pretty much any man would be lucky lucky LUCKY to have…and yet they are still looking for the one – and, in the meantime, they are enduring ridiculous and rude treatment from the men that they are meeting. I understand the whole kiss-a-lot-of-frogs-before-finding-your-prince thing, but…goodness, how many damn toads are there out there?!?!?!? And, why do these otherwise fabulous women keep finding them??! Apparently they need new swamps to hang out in… 😉



Tell me…where have all the cowboys gone? And what do we need to do to bring them back??? The sisterhood is depending on us…. 😉



This Is How We Do It


Someone sent me this anonymously last week, as a comment through Pretty Things. I have no clue who the sender was, but I wish I did – I want to say thank you to them. I’ve spent a lot of time reading this over and over again, thinking about these words and how I’ve screwed this all up in my life. Let’s take a look at this together, shall we?

If people don’t communicate with each other, things will never work. For those who need a cheat sheet, the word ‘communicate’ implies speaking – not just texting. Shame on those who are too lazy/ambivalent/stupid/whatever to pick up a phone and call. There are a lot of conversations that are too important to be had via text – but the inconsequential conversations are just as important, too. So – speak to those around you. Some people are really easy to talk to, and when you are with them, the conversation will just flow like magic water…others are not so easy, and it takes a fair bit of work. Put in the effort – lean in, friends. It’s important.


Now….be there for one another, make time for one another. This is massively important, my friends – if you don’t see people, how can you expect to have a relationship with them? You don’t have to see them in person, either – I have some dear friends at home in Canada that I talk to regularly on the phone, and we have very close, strong relationships. We make the effort – and that’s really what all of this stuff boils down to. You have to make the effort. If you don’t, surely you can’t (won’t) be surprised when things don’t work out.

I love the next part about leaving the past in the past – I certainly have zero desire to dig up the bones of my rather checkered past. I won’t do it – I think it’s unnecessary. I am not the kind of person that rehashes past relationships, and will in fact rarely discuss them at all. Part of it is that I don’t fancy being reminded of my mistakes (of which there are many), but mostly because discussing exes can hurt – and I’ve no interest in making someone feel badly. It serves no point. I don’t much want to hear the sordid details of somebody else’s past conquests, either – unless the story is framed in such a way as to point out my awesomeness as being superior to their tremendous shortcomings/tendency to act nuts/humpback/subpar intelligence/warted nose, then you can keep that to yourself. I’m good. :-)

This next part is tough for me – I have always feared arguments, as I have spent my life in constant fear of being left. I don’t know how to have an argument with someone else, and know that they will still be there the next day, whether we make up or not. I rationally realize that this is not normal behavior, but I’ve never managed to figure out how to get through this…and I don’t help matters, since I have been known to hightail it out of a situation at the first sign of trouble. I don’t have a tremendous sense of ‘stick-with-it-ness’…but it’s something that I want to work on. I promise. I do understand that I won’t always be happy – in fact, I think I’m pretty great at managing life in a state of unhappiness…but I don’t want to be that way. I want my version of the fairytale:


That’s it. That’s all I want. I don’t want all of the other trappings of the ‘typical girl fairytale’…that’s a scene that I’m not cut out for at all. This is what I want out of life – someone who wants to spend time with me, wants to shag only me, and thinks that I am very awesome. I used to think that wasn’t asking too much, but I was completely wrong. Finding someone who agrees with this is like locating a unicorn in its natural habitat, but…I’ve never chosen the easy path in life, why the hell would I start now?

I know that I can’t change anybody else – I would be doing really well to change anything about myself. I don’t want to be with someone who has lost their spine and is willing to let me give them a personality makeover of sorts anyway – why?? That’s just stupid. I think I am very good at appreciating people – I love to receive praise, and positive feedback makes me absolutely gleeful, so I try to pass that on to others. I am always full of compliments and kind sentiments, and I hope that they come across sincerely. Hopefully. :-)

The part about becoming best friends is so important…my most successful relationships/encounters have been with people that I have been friendly with. You know those people, the ones that you can talk with for hours, about any old thing under the sun – but when there are quiet moments, they are companionable, not awkward and painful. (Here’s a funny for you – I was having a conversation with someone recently, and the topic of pubic hair came up…as it does. We were discussing the change in female pubic hair over the last thirty years, and how the day of the bush is a distant memory. Somehow we segued into talking about a woman that we mutually know and dislike, when the other person said, “You know that she just has to have a giant bush. Like a wheat field. No, Children of the Corn style bush…and, if you get too close to that thing, something runs out after you and slits your throat.” That was quite possibly the funniest thing I had ever heard – I admire people who have twisted little minds and are willing to ‘go there’. So. Funny.) I don’t want to replace my best girlfriends because nothing will ever replace them – but I do think that having a solid foundation of friendship with someone is pretty essential to building any kind of relationship.


So…what do you think? Good advice up there, or a bucket of hooey and crap? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, friends – don’t disappoint me!!!! :-) And, if you are the person who sent me the picture up there – thank you. :-)


Someone Like You


Someone like you wasn’t meant to be defined
Or confined or even met eye to eye
Just there to be explored and then all the while adored
Someone like you, someone like you

Someone like you, is so beautifully designed
From the hands, all the way to the mind
Just there to be explored, and then all the while adored
Someone like you, someone like you


Isn’t that song just perfect? I never tire of it, nor of dreaming of a song like this coming true. Love ❤️❤️❤️



Bad Timing


The last while has found me in a particularly reflective mood – I always get this way as autumn descends. I’ve been thinking about where I am in life, where I’m going, and especially where I’ve been. I’ve had so many fractured relationships, both platonic and not, and I’ve always figured that I just had crappy luck when it came to picking others…however, I’ve FINALLY come to the conclusion (and I’m actually believing it this time) that the common element in all of this is me. There’s something wrong with ME – and, until I fix whatever it is that’s wrong, things will never change. This is a heartbreaking thought. :-(

I’ve been trying to catalogue exactly what it is that I do that’s so off putting, and the list so far is sadly considerable: I’ve always kept myself busy, so anyone who wants to be in my life has to either roll with that or have enough of their own on to not find my absences to be a deal breaker; I never stop thinking, so I probably drive a lot of people off with all of the analyzing that I do – this is a big one…I’m certain that I’m annoying as hell; I like to feel like I am being courted – I don’t require grand gestures or anything over the top…I just want to feel like I am still being wooed, regardless of how long or short we have known each other (DISCLAIMER: Wooing isn’t solely for romantic relationships – friends woo friends, too. When you respect someone’s time, and make the effort to make plans with them you are wooing them…and it feels great!). A final thing is that I have been told that I make others around me feel badly – as if they aren’t good enough as they are. This hurts me deeply, because I generally think that most people are pretty awesome…and I hate the thought of making anyone feel insecure. The hard part is that I’m not even aware that I am doing these things – which makes it kind of tough to remedy, don’t you think?



This article landed in my Inbox this morning, and I actually laughed out loud over the timing…it’s moments like these when I truly believe in a higher power. It was entitled “This One Mistake Might Be Keeping You From True Love” – here’s what it had to say:

For the longest time, I believed what I’d been told: that drunk drivers, whose bodies are fluid and loose with alcohol, are more likely to remain uninjured in a crash than those who are sober and brace themselves against the impact. I’ve since learned that this isn’t true, but it’s always provided a powerful metaphor for the different ways we experience love: we are either accept love in flow, or we brace ourselves against an anticipated impact.

I’ll be coasting along, my life in beautiful alignment; fully grounded in each moment, present with the one I’m with, navigating with my heart. Then, out of nowhere, I find myself holding my breath, overthinking rather than feeling, and braced instead of relaxed. That’s when I know fear has taken hold, and cut off the air supply to my hope, and my reason.

I realize that when I’m in relationships, I spend a lot of time in my head. My love default — how I naturally experience intimacy — is to over-analyze, hesitate, and perfect. I always feel like if I just think it through enough, then I can make it work out the way I want.

Unconsciously, the intellectualizing of relationships is really fear disguised as “being smart about it.” (Note: I am NOT talking about that inner voice — that instinct — that tells you that something is wrong. I am not encouraging you to ignore warning signs.) I’ve convinced myself that if I brace myself against falling too fast or getting too connected, then I’ll avoid heartache should the relationship not work out.

Here’s what I’ve learned about this approach. Instead of protecting ourselves from heartache, we’re pushing love away. Picture someone bracing themselves: They’re stiff-armed and lock-jointed. When we do this, we’re limiting our ability to fully experience the beautiful process of developing and settling into relationship.

In fact, it’s more likely that, by doing this, we are unconsciously drawing heartache to ourselves by being disconnected from our authentic selves. We are disconnected from how it feels to be with our partner.

Falling in love in flow doesn’t feel like this. It isn’t cramped and sharp-edged. It’s fluid and full of trust. Flow comes from being so grounded in and connected to ourselves that we don’t fear the impact of a broken relationship. Instead, we rest in love rather than bracing ourselves against the imagined end.


Here are some qualities of the two approaches to love. Of course, there will be times when you’ll find yourself back in fear, but the goal is to make flow your default.

What it looks like to be in a braced relationship:

You question your every move.

In this type of love paradigm, you might find yourself relying more on dating rules or games than on your own instinct. You might replay conversations over in your head to make sure you “got it right” and didn’t say anything to drive your partner away.

You’re afraid to be authentic.

If you’re bracing yourself in your relationship, you’re fighting against your authentic self. You might hide your strong opinions, pretend to like something you don’t, or neglect to honor your boundaries. In essence, you are wearing a mask instead of being yourself.

You scrutinize your partner.

Do you ever find yourself silently picking apart your partner, wondering if you could ever fully love someone who is/does _________? When we are unconsciously afraid to fall in love, sometimes we fixate on one quality our partner has that we don’t like. (I’m not talking about the big things, like the strength of someone’s character. If we’re bracing ourselves against love, we usually fixate on something fairly petty.) We use this as an excuse to hold our partner at arm’s length.

What it looks like to love in flow:

You show up.

This doesn’t just mean making the date on time. When you love in flow, you’re fully present and fully yourself with your partner. Even if it feels scary to share something about yourself, you say it anyway. You let your quirks shine, knowing that they make you beautiful. You embrace the vulnerability of partnership because you know it’s the only way.

You stay grounded.

When you’re in flow, you are anchored in yourself. Because you realize that you are the source of your own happiness and security, you don’t put pressure on the other person to make you feel a certain way. There is no clinginess in this type of relationship. You recognize the joy this person adds to your life without being the source of it.

You spend more time feeling than thinking.

In this modern, thought-driven society, we’ve lost touch with our feelings. We distract ourselves from them or chide ourselves for having them. In truth, our feelings are guideposts to be honored. When you love in flow, you allow yourself to ride the waves of emotions, without overreacting to them or overthinking them. Rather, you allow yourself to experience them fully. Even the beautiful ones, which we are sometimes scared to experience, for fear that they’ll disappear.

If you feel like you’re more braced in your relationship than relaxed into it, there’s no need to fix yourself. Through awareness, catch yourself and choose to drop your guard. Relax into the moment. Open up to the flow.



Holy crap, this is ME!! I enter most relations with people in a braced position – I question every single thing, and I am afraid to be the real me. I push people away should I think that they are getting too close…I am the biggest, over-analyzing bracer you’ve ever seen. It’s insane!! I need to learn how to relax into things, and especially how to spend more time feeling than thinking. Only then will I perhaps find what has eluded me for so long. There’s hope, friends! :-) I do this with everyone that I encounter – colleagues, friends, romantic others, the whole nine yards…and it’s hard to stop. I don’t know when exactly I developed this rather annoying habit – but I hope I’ve not always been this way. I hope. Part of the reason that I push people away can probably be traced to my incredible insecurity when it comes to having relationships with people – and my considerable insecurities about myself in general. I’ve been working on addressing this issue a lot lately – here’s what I’ve been trying to do (suggestions courtesy of this piece):

1. I will stop comparing myself to others and underestimating my own abilities.
2. I will not live in complacence. I will tolerate feelings of awkwardness and step outside my comfort zone regularly.
3. I will not get caught up in the could haves and should haves – Instead I will embrace each moment for what it is.
4. I will invest in the things that inspire and move me.
5. I will be self-reflective, and open to changing my thoughts and behaviours when necessary.
6. I will never allow setbacks to stop me from achieving my goals. I will get back up and never give up.
7. I will not lose sight of all the reasons I have to be grateful.
8. I will love myself unconditionally. I will stop basing my self-worth on the opinions of others.
9. I will set higher goals. If it doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough.
10. I will face my fears of failure and rejection.
11. I will not become bitter or resentful. I will embrace forgiveness and let go of the past.
12. I will focus on my strengths rather than dwell on my weaknesses.
13. I will not let anxiety steal my peace of mind.
14. I will accept whatever comes my way and use it as an opportunity to grow.
15. I will fill my mind with positive affirmations: “I am strong, capable, worthy, lovable”
16. I will embrace failure as a stepping stone to greater success. I will appreciate the lessons and wisdom it adds to my life.
17. I will consider my opinions valuable and worthy of being considered by others.
18. I will take responsibility for my own happiness. I will not blame anyone for my feelings or the setbacks in my life.

Isn’t this list awesome? I know! :-) I’m partial to these ones myself:

9. I will set higher goals. If it doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough.
10. I will face my fears of failure and rejection.
11. I will not become bitter or resentful. I will embrace forgiveness and let go of the past.
12. I will focus on my strengths rather than dwell on my weaknesses.
13. I will not let anxiety steal my peace of mind.

I love this, don’t you? What do you think, friends? Are you flow-ers or bracers? :-) Do you flow into relationships or brace yourself against them? How do you manage to let people in to your life? :-) Teach me your secrets!!!! :-)



Love is in the Air

I came across this again recently…and I LOVE it with all my heart! :-)
What Love means to 4-8 year old kids …
‘When my grandmother
got arthritis , she couldn’t bend over and paint
her toenails anymore.. So my
grandfather does it for her all the time , even
when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.

Rebecca- age 8

When someone loves you , the
way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name
is safe in their mouth.’

Billy – age 4


‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume
and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.’

Karl – age 5


Love is when you go out to eat
and give somebody most of your French fries
without making them give you any of theirs.’

Chrissy – age 6


‘Love is what makes you smile
when you’re tired.’

Terri – age 4


‘Love is when my
mommy makes coffee for my daddy and
she takes a sip before giving it to him , to
make sure the taste is OK.’

Danny – age 8


‘Love is what’s in the room with
you at Christmas if you stop opening presents
and just listen.’

Bobby – age 7


‘If you want to learn to love better ,
you should start with a friend who you hate. ‘

Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on
this planet)


‘Love is when
you tell a guy you like his shirt,
then he wears it everyday.’

– age 7


‘Love is like a little
old woman and a little old man who are still
friends even after they know each other so

Tommy – age 6


‘During my piano recital , I was
on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the
people watching me and saw my daddy waving and

He was the only one doing that.
I wasn’t scared anymore.’

Cindy – age 8


‘My mommy loves me
more than anybody
You don’t see anyone else
kissing me to sleep at night.’

Clare – age 6


‘Love is when Mommy
gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’

Elaine-age 5


‘Love is when Mommy
sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and
still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’

Chris – age 7


‘Love is when your puppy licks
your face even after you left him
alone all day.’

Mary Ann – age 4


‘I know my older sister loves me
because she gives me all her old clothes
and has to go out and buy new ones.’

Lauren – age 4


‘When you love somebody , your
eyelashes go up and down and little
stars come out of you.’ (what an image)

Karen – age 7


‘Love is when Mommy
sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think
it’s gross..’

Mark – age 6


‘You really shouldn’t say
‘I love you’ unless you mean it.
But if you mean it,
you should say it a lot. People forget.’

Jessica – age 8

And the final one:

The winner was a four year old child
whose next door neighbor was an
elderly gentleman who had recently lost his

Upon seeing the man cry , the
little boy went into the old
gentleman’s yard , climbed onto his
lap , and just sat there.

When his
Mother asked what he had said to the
neighbor , the little boy said ,

‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’



Don’t you just love it?? I know! Me, too!!! This makes my heart super-happy! :-)




Do you know Lindy West? She’s a super-amazing and fantastic writer – and she’s kind of my imaginary friend. I mean she’s real, like a real person….but she is sadly not my friend. Yet. I firmly believe, that if we knew each other, we would totally be friends. For realz. :-) Anyway….Lindy got married recently, and looking at the pictures she tweeted filled me with so much joy, I could hardly stand it. First, she looked RADIANT – like not just typical bride glow-y happy, but other-worldly happy…which was awesome. Second, her dress was the stuff that princess fantasies (at least in my mind) are made of.  Finally? Her new hubby looked at her like he wanted to devour her – who doesn’t want a love like that?!!


When Lindy got engaged, she wrote a piece entitled ‘Why I Can’t Wait to be a Fat Bride‘ , which brings up a lot of interesting things.  She wrote about the idea that society usually expects couples to ‘match’ – I will let her explain:

I wasn’t surprised that this woman took so many wilful leaps past “couple” and landed on “roommates” in her split-second sussing-out of our relationship – it happens literally all the time. But it was a disheartening reminder of an assumption that has circumscribed my life: couples ought to “match”. My partner and I do not. He is thin and I am fat. He is conventionally desirable and I am a “before” picture in an ad for weight-loss tapeworm eggs. It is considered highly unlikely – borderline inconceivable – that he would choose to be with me in a culture where men are urged to perpetually “upgrade” to the “hottest” woman within reach, not only for their own supposed gratification but also to impress and compete with other men. It is women’s job to be decorative (within a very narrow set of parameters) and it is men’s job to collect them. My relationship throws off both sides of that equation, and a startling number of people find it bewildering at best, enraging at worst.


Isn’t she right?? Mind blowing – why is it that men are generally taught (by their friends, society, some secret boy-coven that meets outside of NASCAR and WWE events) to always seek out the most conventionally attractive woman that they can possibly get and lock her down – when sometimes, said woman may in fact be a raging idiot??! Thank goodness that there are loads of men out there who don’t ascribe to that, or I would have never had a date in my life! I have never been, nor ever will be, the hottest girl at any party…and I am so cool with that. However, having said that, I have never wanted for the company of men, either – it’s interesting to me how I have always managed to attract men (some of them – a lot of them – I wish I hadn’t, but…c’est la vie). I was hit on recently while grabbing take out from the bar counter at a local Chili’s, and I giggled as I was walking out of the place at the ludicrousness (is that a word? Should be) of the situation – I’m 41 years old, not skinny, showing the wrinkles, etc…yet somehow, there’s still something alluring enough to bring a complete stranger over to throw some lines at me. How funny. 40 is the new 20…and my milkshake is still bringing the boys to the yard. Bonus! 😉


Anyway – back to Lindy and her magical wedding. When discussing her impending nuptials, she wrote:

So, I grew up assuming that I would never get married (unless I found my own John Goodman – swoon), because marriage was for thin women, the kind of women who deserved to be collected. How could I be a bride when I was already what men most feared their wives would become? I was the mise en place for a midlife crisis. I was the Ghost of Adultery Future. At least, that’s what I’d been taught. And that’s why I can’t goddamn wait to be a fat bride.

As soon as you start making wedding plans, you’re bombarded with (among a million other beckoning money pits) a barrage of pre-wedding weight-loss programmes. Because you’re supposed to be as thin as possible on your special day. After all, there will be pictures! And what if someone remembers your butt as looking like what your butt looks like!? “I’m only eating grapefruit and steam until my wedding.” “I enrolled my whole wedding party in bridal boot camp.” “I bought my dress in a size four even though I’m a size six.” And that’s totally fine, of course, if that’s your priority.

But when I think back on my teenage self, what I really needed to hear wasn’t that someone might love me one day if I lost enough weight to qualify as human – it was that I was worthy of love now, just as I was. So I’ll be fat on my wedding day. Because being fat and happy and in love in public is still a radical act. Attention, every fat teenager on earth: you’re invited.


Isn’t that gorgeous??! I love her – and she is so right: being fat and happy and in love in public is a radical act. And it bloody well shouldn’t be. Everyone one of us deserves to be in love and happy for the whole world to see – regardless of the width of our arses.


Lindy wrote a follow up article after her wedding, and it’s so beautiful that it made my heart sing – you can read it here. Here’s my favorite part:

And to my 16-year-old self, if you’re reading this, listen to Alithea; she is wise: “When I enter into a relationship, I am not filling a hole that society has dug out of my soul, telling me that I am fat, and because I am fat I am ugly, and because I am ugly I am unlovable. I am there, in their bed and in their life, for the purest of reasons, not because I am insecure and need the external validation that a patriarchal society has taught us to seek. I am not seeking validation from a partner, I am seeking partnership in that partner.”

I have never in my life been fatter than I was on my wedding day, I have never shown my body in such an uncompromising way, and I have never felt more at home in that body. I was fully myself, and I was happy. We are happy. This life is yours, fat girls. Eat it up.


And I’m leaking from my eyes. Again. Bloody hell… what’s better than that? Not much. There is so much crap thrown around in the media these days about how we need to look, and what we need to do to look that way, and it’s such pure bullshit. We look how we look. It’s pretty straightforward. And you know what we need to do to look that way? Nothing. Just do us. We are more than enough. Satis sum – I am enough. Words to live by, friends.



Shaddap You Face


Why some people think that it’s okay to express their opinions whether they are wanted or not is completely beyond me – I don’t get it. Personally, I wait until I’m asked to offer my little nuggets o’wisdom up – and if I’m not asked, I keep my mouth shut. Why? Because I’m not pompous enough to think that the rest of the world gives a shit about my opinions – I figure if they want/need to know, they will ask. Until then? I shut up and keep it to myself.

However, I have noticed over the years that I am amongst the minority with this one…very few people know how to be quiet and keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t get it – but it’s absolutely true. Everywhere I go these days, it seems that someone I encounter feels it is their God-given right to spout words about what I’m doing/wearing/eating/drinking/being…and it’s ridiculous. What made them think that this kind of behavior is okay? I somehow manage to resist the urge to comment on their appalling fashion choices or charisma-bypass procedure, so why can’t they shut up about the width of my arse/my lipstick color?I don’t get it.


I believe in my heart that what other people think of me is absolutely NONE of my business. However, it kind of becomes my business when someone takes it upon themselves to tell me – and this is where things get tricky. Very rarely these days do people stop you to tell you how wonderful you are, or how clever and witty they think you are. I wish more of that happened – but sadly it does not. (NOTE: It totally should – there’s your homework assignment for today, friends – go find someone and tell them how wonderful you think they are. It’ll make their day. :-) ) Instead, what seems to be commonplace now is people giving you their unsolicited opinions about the things that you do wrong, or the things that they perceive to  be wrong with your appearance. Why? Many of them claim that they do this because they want to ‘help’ you – I call bullshit on that. They don’t want to help you. They want to somehow build themselves up by putting you down….and that is crap. All that this does is make you feel bad, and pretty much ruin your day. Gross.


Instead of going around ruining each other’s days, why don’t we celebrate the things that make all of us unique? How about we focus on improving the quality of our own lives, doing the things that make us feel so awesome that we don’t need to put anyone else down? I’m so on board with this idea…let’s all give it a shot, and see if we can’t get a movement going. Here’s a list – 30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves the Quality of My Life – to get you started:

1. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to give you a much-needed boost – and it is pretty delicious too!
2. Wake up earlier. Set your alarm to go off quarter of an hour before you normally get up. This extra 15 minutes will help make your morning less stressful, and you will able to have a more organized and productive day.


3. Clean out your email. Delete all of your spam emails and the ones you don’t need. Decluttering will make you more organized while helping you to keep on top of work.

4. Make a friend smile. Send them a funny video online, or text them to see how they are doing. Making someone else’s day is a sure-fire way to guarantee your day being great too.

5. Read the newspaper. Keeping up with world events will stimulate your mind and help you to gain new perspectives.
6. Hug someone you are close to. From your child to your partner to your sister, having a good old hug will improve your mood and mental state. This is also a great way to keep your relationships healthy and happy, too!

7. Have a quick tidy up if you have a few spare minutes. It will barely feel like tidying, but your mind will thank you for making the environment tidier and more pleasant.


8. Write a diary entry or a blog post. Many people find writing cathartic, and it can help you to process your own emotions and feelings. This is also a great way to keep your brain sharp!

9. Smile at the first stranger you see. This will put a smile on their face and leave you feeling warm inside!

10. Raise your heart rate. From a brisk walk to a session in the gym, exercise stimulates your body and mind, leaving you feeling generally more energetic and improving your mood.

11. Take a walk. Being outside will raise your mood and it can calm you down if you are feeling stressed or worried.
12. Carry a bottle of water with you. Water is one of the best drinks for your body, and it will improve your health, your skin and your mind – perfect!

13. Look through old photographs. Reliving old memories will put a smile on your face, and you will feel grateful for the wonderful people in your life.

14. Write down three things you are thankful for each day. This will help you to appreciate all of the brilliant people and things you have in your life.

15. Put some laundry on. No-one likes doing laundry, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is much better for your mind than the negative feeling of putting it off.


16. Read a chapter of a book you love, or a new book. This will help to both lift your mood and relax you – a twofer!
17. Have a meaningful conversation. After a day of work and chores, it is important to feel like your day was important and meaningful – and one of the easiest ways to do this is to sit down with someone interesting and chew the fat.

18. Listen to music. Put on an upbeat album you love, and after a few tracks you will notice yourself humming, smiling and dancing – all indicators of a great mood.

19. Light a candle when you get home from work. The appearance and smell of a candle will help you to relax and wind down.
20. Eat at least one healthy meal, with fruit and vegetables. The healthy food will give both your body and your mind energy – and you’ll feel great for choosing the healthy option.

21. Listen to something that makes you think. From the radio on the way home to a podcast you like, this will stimulate your brain and get your mind thinking about different things.

22. Do something nice for someone else. Mentally fulfilled people think about other’s needs as often as their own, and simply offering a co-worker a word of encouragement will help you to feel more positive.

23. Spend some time with the people you live with. From family to housemates, this will make you feel more connected to the people you share your life with – and it is a really fun way to wind down!

24. Have a drink you love with your lunch. Lunch can feel like a hurried affair, so make the effort to bring a drink you love to savour, whether that is a comforting latte or a healthy berry smoothie.

25. Do the washing up before you go to bed. The next morning will be much more pleasant and relaxed if you don’t have to start the day with yesterday’s chores.

26. Put on an outfit you love. If you feel great on the outside, you will start to feel pretty good on the inside too – trust me!
27. Speak to someone who lives far away. From your parents to a friend who moved away, this will make you feel proactive – and no doubt they will really appreciate you calling them!

28. Spend five minutes alone. If you feel life starting to get on top of you take a break and spend a minutes alone. After this reflection time you will feel noticeably calmer and more relaxed.

29. Take a long bath or shower before you sleep. You will go to bed feeling clean and relaxed, helping you to get a great night’s sleep.

30. Make sure you get eight hours sleep. Everything is more difficult and stressful when you’re tired – get a head start on this and make sure you are refreshed for a productive and fun day!


Good list, eh? Thanks, Lifehack! I highlighted my favorites in bold, but I think the whole list is a pretty good one. I think that it has become too common in today’s world to shit all over the people around us as a way to make ourselves feel better…which is  the absolute stupidest thing ever. If we focused more on making our own lives rich and full of happiness, we wouldn’t feel the need to stick our noses into the goings on of others. You do you, and I do me. It’s a beautiful thing, friends….let’s try. :-)



PS: The next time you find yourself offering your unsolicited opinion to someone around you, stop and take a deep breath…think carefully about what you’re about to say. If your words could possibly hurt, just shaddup you face. 😉