Category Archives: Self Help

[Self Discovery] Water Your Own Garden

Standard

wateryourowngardenv2

You are here now. Those four words echo through my head like the perpetual reverberations of time. In the past few days, I’ve felt an awakening in my center, a soul-shaking, mind-altering shift in my own consciousness as we’re poised to embark on this new journey around the sun.  Hindsight being 20/20, as I think back to the past year, hell – even the past few months, I find myself in awe of my own growth spurts. And now, we’re at the precipice of a new cycle, the perennial moments of the new year and I have to say – it’s a wonderful time to be aware.

As I collect my annual memories and analyze them through a birds-eye view, my resolution for 2017 comes in crystal clear: the grass is greener where you choose to water it, so it’s time to water my own garden, catalyze my own transformation and spend this year turning inward to become the best version of myself.

With the exponential growth of social media grow and smart phones, one could argue that we’re actually just making dumb people.  Don’t get me wrong, being on social media can be fun. It’s a great way to keep in touch, catch up on “news”, and see what the masses are up to.  But, over the last decade, it’s turned into more of a spectator sport and digital version of the SIMS than an actual mechanism of friendship.   Instead of losing yourself in the unimportant feedback cycle of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like – put your phone down, in the other room even, and pick up a book, pick up a hobby – pick up yourself from the couch and go outside for a walk, surrounded by the wonders of nature; engage in your life, and life will engage you back.

Watering your own garden is about personal accountability for your life and the world you’re constantly curating around you; it’s about being a contributing member of your tribe; and, most importantly, it’s about being immersed in the magic of the moment and letting it wash over you like a late Summer rain on a warm August day, without hesitations from past anxieties or future worries.  It’s about creating your own curiosity and caring less about what others are doing in their own lives.  One of the biggest realizations I’ve had as an adult is that we are all the center of our own universes, and each is just as chaotic and nonsensical as the next – but time after time, people become so wrapped up in ourselves that they forget – I have a universe inside me, too. An empath at heart and a giver by nature, sometimes I don’t realize how much of myself I pour out freely for others – often to the point that I have little to none of myself left. So this year, I want to focus on shifting my perspective inwards, focusing on the cosmic shifts that I can cultivate by my own hands.  Collecting intention and owning the now, I finally see what’s possible for me – and let me tell you, it’s possible for you, too.Water your own garden, and you’ll see your life bloom and blossom in ways you ever thought possible.

How do you choose to water your own garden and what are your resolutions for the coming months? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy 2017!

Advertisements

[Self Discovery] The Truth About Lying

Standard

Image result

Lies.  Big or small, white or monstrous – we’ve all told them, and to believe the contrary would be – you guessed it – a lie. According to a recent study, we lie in 25% of our interactions.  Both in action and as concrete ideas, lies can build an unstable foundation in any relationship, familial, romantic, platonic – and even your relationship with yourself. And these untruths aren’t confined to our external environment, either; for every falsehood we voice out loud, there are a handful of others that we tell to ourselves. Unfortunately, the lies we tell ourselves pave the way for the way we lie to the world.

In contrast to Mark Twain, who saw them as ‘Lies, damn lies and statistics’; I choose to think of them as white lies, grey lies and black lies, all sitting on a sliding scale of deception. Let’s do a thought experiment for a second. Quick as a bunny, what’s the last lie you told?  Did you tell your boss you needed more time on a project, when you’ve actually just been procrastinating?  Did you misrepresent yourself in the way you dress, catering to a specific subset of society? Did you tell your squad that you’d meet them for drinks tonight when all you plan on doing is curling up on the couch? Did you tell an artistic friend that you enjoyed their last piece of work when you were anything but interested? Did you tell yourself you didn’t want seconds when you’re still hungry? From half truths to complete falsehoods, none of them are honest – but, one could argue, they’re socially necessary.

From an early age when we couldn’t yet grasp the veracity of the truth when contrasted with the stark emptiness of a false promise, or erroneous nature of a flat out lie – we babbled, we balked, then we talked and walked.  We expressed ourselves emotionally, in our own truth, while slowly learning the truths around us.  Leaves don’t dance down from trees, they fall with the assistance of gravity; I’d rather believe the former, but the later screams accuracy.  And that’s the thing, lies always start small – innocent, lacking any semblance of personal harm or distrust.

White lies are the lies we use on a daily basis to navigate the world.  Telling the cashier that your day is going well even if it’s anything but, entertaining a lunchtime meeting with your boss when you just wanted to have your head in a book, compromising on restaurant choice because your friend’s appetite is heavily invested and you could give a shit.  Yes, you could be honest in all occasions: My day is actually shit, how long do you have to talk; Sorry, I would rather be alone than talk to you; No, I’m not interesting in eating there.  Yet, you don’t – because it’s simpler, easier, almost more necessary to give in to the dance of life.  However, each of those scenarios becomes exponentially trickier the more you you’ve seen the cashier, the longer you’ve known your boss or just how well you know your friend.

They say that improvisational comedy won’t work if you continually say ‘No’ to scenarios, and life isn’t much different. Though white lies are most certainly lies, how awkward or tense would you have made each of those situations for both parties by delving into the veracity of the situation?  In an economic sense, you understand what you’re giving and you’re complicit in what you’re getting. What transforms the white lies into the grey ones, and the damned black dishonesty, are the people you’re deceiving and the levels of duplicity you’re willing to go through.  The closer you consider the relationship, the more harm dishonesty inflicts. Conversely, the more effort you put into the lie, the more disastrous the backdraft.

Beyond being kinder and flat out honest (things I like), the truth is also easier to remember and never has to be defended – because, simply put, the truth just is. It exists whether or not we want to acknowledge it.  It’s like evolution, climate change and science – it’s there, and life becomes more valuable when you accept the truth and move forward with it in your pocket.

The economy of friendship is built from the supply and demand backbones of truth. Though we would love to believe that we are infallible and incapable of telling lies, the fact of the matter is we all bend fact to make fable from time to time. Which begs the question not of why do others lie, but why do we lie? Comfort, ease, and emotional protection top the list – the comfort, ease and protection of our own ego.

Sometimes, the truth is boring and as orators and storytellers by nature, we yearn for the truth to be more exciting.  But more often than not, the truth is a a difficult pill to swallow – let alone force feed to another soul; it becomes an alarming reason for pause, a conversation starter, relationship ender, or an anxiety induced call to internal calamity. All the while lies, time and time again, are used to smooth over any future scars before the threat of pain is on the horizon.  The problem is this – lies are akin to using a bandaid to stop a gunshot wound; it might cover the wound and provide a momentary solution, but it’s not going to stop the bleeding or the pain.  While, on the other hand, intimate trust is more like a mirror – once it’s broken, it can never be put back together quite the same again; and lies have the innate ability to dismantle relationships altogether.  This brings about a new problem – and I’ll leave it to Nietzsche to summarize: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that I can never believe you again.

None of us wants to believe the people in their lives to be liars, or dishonest in any way.  Yet knock out one of the mosaics in the stained glass window of your relationship with a lie and you’re bound to shine light on an emotional situation.  Knock too many down, and the vibrant image has been replaced with a new vision of clarity.  How many lies does one need to tell to be removed from our inner circle and emotionally placed outside of the intimate confines of our reality?

How many lies do we need to tell ourselves before we realize that we don’t have to be what the world wants us to be? We can be unapologetically ourselves, with all of our faults and idiosyncrasies, where our true preferences are wrapped up in the fibers of your ego and expunged through every fiber of your being.  Once you’ve lived honestly with yourself, there’s no going back – being honest with the world you cultivate and curate feels like living with love in every step; once attained, it feels like the only way to live.

No matter the circumstances, next time you’re about to fib, falter, misspeak, or flat out lie – wonder what you’re lying to yourself about first, and ask yourself why.

I watched this movie called “Liar Liar” and the message was, *Don’t* lie; and that was a smart movie.

Image result for liar liar meme

[Self Discovery] Revel in Your Personal Rituals

Standard

In the few years after I moved to Los Angeles, I’ll admit that my mornings would be ridiculously unproductive. I would roll out of bed, play with the cats, entertain the idea of going to the gym while jumping in the shower and haphazardly set on my way through the monotony of the work week: Eat, Work, Sleep, Cats, Repeat. Though my weekly charade got me to the weekend in one piece, I can’t say that my mind, body and soul were in harmonic balance.   Rudimentary routine escaped me and I most certainly hadn’t even entertained creating any sort of personal ritual.  Leave it to my first yoga class in 2012 to set my mind right. What struck me so succinctly was the necessity to practice with intention – not just yoga, but every little facet of life.  Ever since, I’ve developed a few small practices, and I encourage you to do the same because when I permeate the present with purpose, I’m not only proud of the work that I do – but I find I get more done and am happier to to it.

Whether its a daily, weekly or monthly pursuit – the development of sacred rituals and mantras allows one to hone in on their personal potential while infusing the moment with positive intention.  Whether personal and private or social and shared, a ritual has importance beyond the moment and has a heavier grasp on our psyche, playing a vital role in regulating our mental and emotional statesBy routinely focusing our internal energy and calming down the external world around us to a whisper, rituals reduce stress, depression and anxiety while simultaneously increasing our self discipline, enhancing our creativity and adding to our general sense of self and well being; by purely focusing on the moment, we allow ourselves to truly be present. Though in a traditional sense ‘ritual’ is related to a religious pursuit, to me – a ritual is a repeated tradition seeped in personal significance.

When it comes to the every day, simple rituals like a hot pot of coffee paired with 20 minutes of a good book can set the morning on the right foot; at night, rinse and repeat but replace your beverage with some calming tea.  Realistically, rituals can range from skincare regimens and stretching routines to mid day siestas and late night rune readings.  A tried and true night owl –  I enjoy implementing a morning ritual to set my intentions and ramp up my day; but for you it might be something that helps you wind down and out, allowing you to process your waking moments.

Your ritual can be as simple as setting a daily intention, or a morning mantra, or it can be cathartically complex; either way, it should invoke calmness and tranquility throughout the day. Translated from Sanskrit and part of the Hindu and Buddhist practice, a mantra is a phrase, sound or word repeated over and over to increase concentration and awareness; some personal favorites are  – ‘I will be fully present in the moment’, ‘seek the good’, ‘the grass is greener where you water it’, and’find comfort in the chaos’.

When it comes to rituals, my personal favorites include journaling, reading, music, meditation, road trips, arranging and cleaning crystals, playing with my cats and dancing.  To you they might sound like hobbies, but for me there’s something simple yet sacred about all of those pursuits and combined, my heart truly sings when engaged in those activities. For those that enjoy being more physical like myself active pursuits like yoga, a trip to the gym or an enjoyably long walk with your dog, a friend or significant other will set off the day or night in a positive light.

On a larger scope, weekly rituals like a set gym or yoga schedule and standing date night with your significant other or social circle give you something to look forward to on a weekly basis and strengthen your support system at the same time.  I’ve also taken fondly to monthly rituals like writing out my monthly intentions, engaging in full moon tarot readings and adventuring to a new nature infused landscape.  Lastly but certainly not least, avoid becoming stuck in a rut with your rituals – remember -they should let you breathe new life into your day, not bog you down with unneeded responsibility.

What are your favorite ways to break in the days, weeks and month? Do you have any rituals that you hold dear to your heart? 

Let me know in the comments below!

  

[Doing It Right] How To Fight USPS On a Lost Package

Standard

“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.”
Bo Derek

tracking1

I’ll be the first to admit it, I love a good bout of e-tail therapy.  There’s nothing quite as satisfying as sitting in the comfort of your domain, messy bun toppling to the side while in remnants of last night’s outfit opting for your next purchase.   Whether it’s a snazzy new top, a fantastic read, art supplies or a gadget for the kitchen – I get excited, excited like a five year old on Christmas ready to rip through to their first present.
mermaidBut let’s be real for a second, not every package comes in tact – or at all. I’ve recently discovered just how frustrating it can be trying to reconcile a lost package, and it gives a whole new meaning to going ‘Postal‘.

A few months ago while living the festival life, my girlfriends dubbed themselves the ‘Mermaid Mafia’ – and from that, our Halloween costume has pretty much been etched in stone. We all went our separate ways to procure our wears, and for me that meant heading to ETSY.  Within minutes, I had my sights set on the most perfect pair of shimmery, deep purple, mermaid scale leggings from Roberta Basics; they always have killer gear and I was stoked to finally be purchasing some of it.  But when I finally clicked on that elusive green purchase button, I had no clue the agonizing adventure I had ahead of me.

The last week of August I saw ETSY send out a shipping notice and eagerly counted down the days to arrival; literally ready to pounce on that package like a hungry kitten.  On Monday, August 31st a little notification popped up on my phone and immediately I sprinted down the stairs, smile on my face, flung open the mailbox door…and….nothing.  Not just no package, but no mail, no junk mail, which for a Monday was bizarre.  I looked at my phone again, delivery notification staring me flat in the face, and back into the empty metal box that was begging to be pleasantly full.
dragonsUnsure of what to do, I waited until Tuesday – thinking maybe it’d been misplaced and would arrive with the mail the next day; yet, still – our mailbox remained empty and an uneasy feeling crept into my stomach. I felt like Khalessi in Game of Thrones; where were my fucking dragons?! Finally, Wednesday rolls around – the mailbox has assorted junk in it but nothing of worth, and our regular mail lady let on that on Monday there was a new guy on duty. Instead of just throwing my hands in the air and accepting defeat by mail, I got a bug up my sleeve and decided that wasn’t the way those leggings were going out.

Filing a Complaint with USPS

From the second you notice something is wrong with your mail – you want to do two things: start making a log and then give USPS a call.  The log might seem tedious at the time, but later when you’re attempting to refute a claim it’s completely necessary.  For the record, USPS – or as I’ll refer to them from now on, US-POS has one of the most obnoxious automated phone lines I’ve ever dealt with when trying to follow up on a claim, but setting one up is relatively easy.  The first thing you’ll want to do is call 1-800-275-8777 (1-800-ASK-USPS).

Because you need to talk to a real person and not a computer, don’t wait for their automation  to spit out a lucky number for you to press; instead, hit 0 repeatedly and say either “Complaint” or “Operator”.  Just trust me, you’ll be dealt with a whole lot faster.  Be sure you have your tracking number handy and walk them through your entire log; at least at the end of my call, I had a very nice woman on the phone give me a confirmation number for my problem.  Each confirmation number starts with your state ID followed by a 10 digit ID number (for example, mine is CA124550061). Hold onto this like the holy grail, you’ll need it! You’ll also want to snag the number to the local post office that delivered your mail so you can put in a formal inquiry through them. If you are having trouble finding it, head here. When you talk to your local Post Office branch, be aware that they can track your package’s whereabouts using GPS coordinates, don’t be afraid to ask them to hunt this down!

Filing a Claim against USPS Online

Even though you can file a formal complaint with USPS within days of your grievance, to file a claim online you have to wait 15 days to file a claim and have up to 60 days after your item was shipped to do so. First off, sign up for an account with USPS, don’t worry – it’s a free service. To file a claim, go here and have all your information at the ready: complaint number, tracking number, purchasing information and retail cost. You’ll need to sign up for an account so you can go back and check in on your claim. And don’t be dismayed if your claim is denied – I’ve already been denied twice and am proudly on my second appeal. In future dealings with USPS, make sure you always elect for insurance – you never know the potential headache you’re saving yourself!

Do you have your own personal Post Office horror story?  Or maybe some neat tricks and tips up your sleeve? Let me know in the comments below!

[Self Discovery] Time Management and Expressing Priorities Through Action

Standard


The irony in trying to write this….is I actually don’t have the time to write it. I want to have time to write it, inevitably, it happened; mostly due to the ideas that start flowing out of my body like a cold sweat because of my internal anxiety.  Over the course of my life, I’ve discovered that if there’s one thing I need to do every single day – it isn’t showering and it damn near isn’t working out, but if I don’t exhibit some form of mental dexterity throughout the day – whether that’s my literal job at hand, or my life path in universe – I feel like I haven’t done my job as a person  I haven’t been peopleing.  Most of the time, it’s some form of reading and writing; either letting my innermost thoughts and wildest emotions run rampant through my veins, out my fingers and into binary code or ingesting tactile worlds that taste like wanderlust and leave me breathless. But I digress, because I don’t have time to go down that path.
Time is one of the most important and intangible things in the world; especially when you understand that the concept of time is a manmade construct, a measurement to feel more in touch with the ebb and flow of the external world and at peace with the universe inside you.  The past, the future – they’re both irrelevant, because we can only inhabit the present moment.  So when I talk about “Time Management”, I’m actually referring to managing the present moment. 
 The easiest question to then ask, is what are you choosing to be front, center and present for – and what areas of your life are you just waltzing through robotically, almost like you’re your own understudy?  Once you figure out what you truly want to be passionately pursuing, you proverbially trim off unnecessary ‘time-fat’ and all the sudden, you’re left with a hearty stake in yourself.
First, repeat after me: I cannot do everything and be everywhere; If I am everywhere, then I am nowhere, if I’m doing everything – I am not doing me.  Now, As a quick exercise, grab a piece of scratch paper (because it feels good to physically hold onto an idea), time yourself for 60 seconds, and quickly write down every small picture idea or thing you ideally could accomplish in a day; next, think a little bigger to what you want to do every week; now, a month – and finally, a year. You’ll notice common trends, and maybe a few standout things that you keep kicking yourself for not doing or that you’re proud you’re a part of.  
My trends start with writing, reading, fitness, learning about social media strategy, discovering new music, making jewelry and other new hobbies when I’m looking at my small picture – but the second I move to my year projection, I realize all of the larger, umbrella plans: saving up money to travel overseas (which means, working more), catalyzing my identity within the music industry (which also means, working more), having a bigger footprint in both my community and neighborhood (which means a more open schedule on weekends while being home more), not to mention amassing vast quantities of knowledge like new languages or progressive science classes that one needs to devote a lot of time to (meaning I’d need to insert maybe 10 more hours in my week).

Last, but certainly not least, there’s the special relationships in my life – including the one I have with myself, as well as my romantic relationship with my fiancé.  Combined, I lived by myself for a mostly glorious, sometimes tulmultuous, three years on and off and through it all I became my own best friend.  The first relationship you should prioritize in your life is the one you have with yourself; and you’ll soon find that the others fall in line.  By prioritizing yourself, you’ll meet other strong willed, like minded people who can’t be bothered with trivialities and truly invest in the people they’re around. 

So, on one hand – I want to do everything that has nothing to do with work; on the other, to get to where I want to be in life, it looks like work is where I need to center my presence.  It might be the two job thing….or three job thing when you consider I’m still the Director of Social Media for The DJ List.  I discovered that if I don’t write about 500 words a day, I legitimately feel like I’m going crazy – the same goes for getting a good dose of cardio in every other day; I’m simply a happier person for doing it.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a week, but honestly just haven’t found the time.  I’m sure it’s existed, somewhere between cuddling with my fiancé  and cuddling with the new kitten, I could’ve slipped into it before driving to Marina del Rey for work or coming home from downtown LA, maybe even jotted down some notes when I was writing copy for The DJ List or drafting up a press release for the Lucent Dossier experience, maybe I didn’t need to go to sleep so early the other night or sleep in so much, but it’s been a long hard road home since LIB and the recovery seems everlasting.  I even thought about not writing, because I didn’t have the time.  And then, I did want to write it, even though I still didn’t have the time.  Because 1,000 words later I’m happier, I see the world clearer, and I feel lighter – like I’ve been tumbled in the dryer with fabric softener.

The truth of the matter is, telling someone else how to manage their time better is like telling someone in California how to prepare for a blizzard.  It’s useful, until you have to do it. What I’ve actually discovered is that to manage your time efficiently you have to express your priorities through your actions.  Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two as well!  Now it’s your turn – what are your best tips on time management?

[Self Discovery] Nine Ways to Raise Your Personal Vibration

Standard

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vibrations.  They’re more than the physical projection of minutiae, or the oscillation of air molecules.  For as much as they occur around us, they’re simultaneously emitted from us.  Each and every entity, not just on the face of this Earth, but the universe in it’s entirety is vibrating at a unique frequency. From a cosmic perspective, molecule by molecule we’ve all been vibrating equidistantly away from the heart of the Big Bang.  Could it be that our entire lives, as we ebb and flow through the world we’re most attracted to those molecules that were in fact within the closest proximity to us when the Big Bang happened? And then, take the idea of two tuning forks set to an equal resonant frequency; one static – the other made to vibrate.  If you bring the two tuning forks together, the tuning fork at rest raises to the vibrating frequency of audible fork. In the same way, maybe that’s an underlying science to instant friends – those people who find a strange affinity towards, but can’t place the time or place; soul recognizes soul when they’re vibrating on the same frequency plane.

Vibrations. We all have them, and we’re all tuned into them whether we recognize it or not. It’s the warmth of a hug from a friend and the ice cold, clandestine stare of a stranger, the enticing diatribe from a family member and the off-putting physical stance of a foe.  Whenever we feel, we emit a vibration – and whenever we act or speak, doubly so.  From the first breath, up through this very moment – you’ve been a human battery, charging and recharging on the vibrations raining down from the world; where external chaos breeds mentalMade with Repix (http://repix.it) calamity and physical tranquility evolves from calm surroundings. As we’re propelled into maturity by life experiences compounded by emotional epiphanies, the goals and passions we seek in life changes as do the types of personalities we desire in our lives; along the way, we pick up a few friends here, a few others there….and at other times we undoubtedly, unfortunately, outgrow friendships of our former selves and end up leaving a few wonderful people behind along the way.    That’s not to say their effect hasn’t been left, our shared past is my prologue – my future story wouldn’t be complete without their cameo in an earlier scene.

VibrationsWithin each and every action, interaction – reaction – the vibrations we’ve exchanged have shaped, manifested and evolved into my current world.  So it’s only right that in turn, we acknowledge our own ripple effect on the world. Smiles to frowns, bubbly laughter and emotional explosions, private conversations unintended for public ears, words spoken out of turn or context, unfriendly fire in the form of gossip and flippant phrases better left to your imagination; over the course of a day, a week – a year, how many ripples have you left, intentionally and unintentionally in the lives of others? Do you realize that over the course of your life, they’ve been compounding around you? Innocent conversation converts into malicious musings, and sonic snap judgments are all too easy to make – especially out of context. Quite simply: you effect the universe in more ways than you can ever understand.  Your physical presence can say as much, if not more, than the words coming from your mouth and your intonation and intent play as crucial a role as your elocution.  As an empath, I’m constantly bombarded by the everyday energies of those around me, but that’s not to say those who aren’t are immune – they’re simply not as aware of the effects.

Nostalgia, though a beautiful reminder of the way things were – is also by in large the reason we get nasty expectation hangovers.  The stark irony of being blessed with a beautiful series of friendships over the last year is that it’s caused pause and perusal of the ghosts of friendships past. The toxic friendships that manifested during times of strife and the beautiful friendships borne out of shared genius. I’ve always been incredibly receptive to the forces around me but it’s only been recently that I’ve felt understood their full weight.  The good news, is that what has been seen cannot be unseen – once you acknowledge the gravity of your weight on the world, there’s no going back.  As they say in the Matrix: there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path and the only way I saw that I could be a better version of myself was to elevate my every day life.  Somehow, while in the throttles of passionate, intense and at times subversive life experiences, my soul grew into my twenty nine year old body.  I was vibrating on a higher frequency, attracting other passionate souls who were pushing their own personal boundaries while reveling in the wild ride of life.  So, how exactly does one raise their personal vibration? I have nine ways to do it.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)


[Rule #1]  Treat others the way you want to be treated.

It’s the Golden Rule and Newton’s Third Law, not to mention – we’ve been learning it since Grade School, so it should be relatively easy to remember. The universe reacts to the energy you put out and the friends you keep are in effect a direct reflection of who you are at your core.  The second half of the rule, often not mentioned, is never – ever – let someone else’s behavior prevent you from being the person that you are.  The behavior of others is just that – their behavior, and it’s not directed at any one person more than the sun’s ray’s fall on any one part of the world.  Adjust and adapt, and if you’re not keen on a person – just know that there are millions upon millions of people in this world, just waiting to meet someone like you.

[Rule #2] A Friend of a Friend is a Friend of Mine

Though a lot easier said than done, this isn’t actually that hard.  That circle of friends you have, well – let’s just put it this way: you’re not their first friend, right?  They come with chums from Grade School and Band Camp, Summer Camps and Basketball Teams, College Fraternities and Study Abroad Programs; they’re located around the world and chances are, they’re just as wonderful as you.  When the opportunity arises to adopt them into your social circle, think of your mutual friends as your flotations devices; don’t dilly dally in the shallow end – jump on in and swim a little deeper, you might just make a new friend for life.

[Rule #3] Reach Out and Touch (or, just hug; whatever)

It’s 2015 and I’m so sick of meeting people with a handshake. Historically, we shook hands with our right hand – the dominant hand – to signal we weren’t wielding a weapon.  At work or while doing business I’ll let’em slide, but in personal, social situations, I want my soul to touch your soul – but I’ll settle for a hug.  Hugs have a calming nature and a healing effect; long hugs can produce the same bonding hormones as sex and hugs are scientifically proven to have healing powers. Have you hugged a human today?

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

[Rule #4] Always true to being you, unless you can be a better version of you – then be that.

You want to know what the best version of you is? It’s youYou are the reason people are attracted to you, and you are beautiful – so never stop being yourself.  It’s easy to become the friend who always says ‘No’ and turns down invitations, and equally easy to become a ‘Yes’ man; instead, throw those words out the window, say what’s actually on your mind and set some boundaries.  And remember, just because you’ve set boundaries doesn’t mean they’re permanent fixtures – that’s the beauty of being you: you adapt, evolve, and become a better version of who you were because of it.

[Rule #5] Respect

Aretha sang it best: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It starts with you, because to get respect – you need to respect yourself.  Respect your own intelligence, respect your body and the things you both put into it food wise and get out of it physically. Once that falls into place, then there’s respecting the world around you. Respecting the personal space of others, whether that’s physical, mental, emotional or temporal, is the first step to garnering it back towards you.

[Rule #6] Let It Go

As Shakespeare put it: Past is prologue.  The past is a beautiful introduction to your story – it’s a wonderful foundation for your current condition, but it’s not the story.  In much the same mannor, the events and circumstances of your friends lives before you are interesting building blocks in their personal puzzle, but the more you focus on them – the less you’re living in the moment of the friendship.  Don’t dwell on grievances or lavish on the lives and things that could have been, instead celebrate greatness and simply enjoy being

[Rule #7] Meditate On It

This too, shall pass.  It’s an old diatribe but it most definitely holds true, time heals all – but what time actually does is give us the personal separation of space from an event. The more space we have, the less personal it becomes and the more we can think of a macrocosmic answer to a problem we shouldn’t have taken so personally to begin with.  Just remember, the best way to get an answer, is to ask the right question.

[Rule #8] Honor The Capacity for Change

Hi, Pot! I’m Kettle.  We’re black! You aren’t the same person you were last year, and you definitely aren’t the same person you were ten years ago.  You could have some of the same passions and proclivities, but on the overall – experience has a habit of evolving us, with or without our consent.  If we can acknowledge our own maturation, then we surely can’t deny the growth of anyone else.

[Rule #9] Practice Random Acts of Kindness.

Pay it forward.  As a general rule, I only ask people to pay me back if either I know I’ll never see them again or I purposely intend on it.  If you’re my friend, we’ll hang out again.  You can get the next beer, coffee, dinner, ice cream, etc…whatever it is, there’ll be a next time – because I want there to be.


For more on the paintings and artwork used throughout this article, please head to the site of 21st Century visionary Alex Grey.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)