[Reading is Sexy] Find Solace in Your Soul with ‘The Art of Happiness’


“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Oh, 2020 – the year that has progressed in time, but seemingly not in anything else. With this year going a way none of us predicted, now (and all times, lets be honest) are an important time to channel our true nature and understand what is blocking us on our path to enlightened happiness.

It’s become easy to lose one’s way this year, where routine and schedule have fallen out from underneath themselves as we try and determine what it means to have a “new normal.” COVID coupled with the inability to travel to new destinations, and I’ve found it increasingly important to delve and dive inward on a personal manifest-destiny of the psyche.

From the esteemed brains of the His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, paired with the intricate introspection and psychological musings of Dr. Howard C Cutler comes ‘The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.’

Through introspective, open-minded conversation and personal anecdotes – the pair provide a beautifully written manual for understanding, finding and securing your own personal happiness, as well as methods for producing a feeling a oneness with your external world, however chaotic or calm it may be.

As the world spins, we have a choice of either spinning with it or pushing against it, creating friction – throughout this fantastic read, I found bits and pieces of advice, much like the bread crumbs left by Hansel and Gretel, on how to live a more personally sound and fulfilling life. For anyone who is on that spiritual, personal journey – or is curious to delve into it, this book is a fantastic starter manual for a healthier, happier way of life.

As always, I’m going to leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the book; enjoy!

“…there is another source of worth and dignity from which you can relate to fellow human beings. You can relate to them because you are still a human being, within the human community. You share that bond, and that human bond is enough to give rise to a sense of worth and dignity.”

“…the ‘right choice’ is often the difficult one – the one that involves some sacrifice of our pleasure.”

“When life becomes too complicated and we feel overwhelmed, it’s often useful just to stand back and remind ourselves of our overall purpose, our overall goal…turning-toward happiness as a valid goal and the decision to seek happiness in a systemic manner can profoundly change our lives.”

“For our life to be of value…we must develop basic human qualities – warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful – happier.”

“….By broadening our definition of intimacy, we open ourselves to discovering many new and equally satisfying ways of connecting with others.”

“…the law of death is that among all living creatures, there is no permanence.”

“If you directly confront your suffering, you will be in a better position to appreciate the depth and nature of the problem.”

“..the root causes of suffering are ignorance, craving and hatred. These are called the ‘three poisons of the mind’.”

“…Unhappiness, I saw then, comes to each of us because we think ourselves at the center of the world, because we have the miserable conviction that we alone suffer to the point of unbearable intensity. Unhappiness is always to feel oneself imprisoned in one’s own skin, in one’s own brain.

“If we carefully examine any given situation in a very unbiased and honest way, we will realize that to a large extend we are also responsible for the unfolding of events.”

In fact, the enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience. Without an enemy’s action, there’s no possibility for patience and tolerance to arise. Our friends to not ordinarily test us…only our enemies do this. So, from this standpoint, we can consider our enemy as a great teacher, and revere them for giving us this precious opportunity to practice patience.”

“It’s the very struggle of life that makes us who we are”

“A tree with strong roots can withstand the most violent storm, but the tree can’t grow roots just as the storm appears on the horizon.”

“Negative mental states are not an intrinsic part of our minds; they are transient obstacles that obstruct the expression of our underlying natural state of joy and happiness.”

Snag your copy today – and Pro Tip: Don’t pay full price on Amazon for a book, you can snag them through a third party retailer for nearly 60% off!

‘The Art of Happiness’: Amazon | Good Reads

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: Website | Books | GoodReads | Facebook

Dr Howard C Cutler: Website | GoodReads Profile

What books are currently on your nightstand? Let me know in the comments below!

[Self Discovery] My Favorite Ways to “Treat Yo’self”

My words have been perpetually jumbled and I’ve pressed delete more times than I wish to recall. It’s been a trying week, and the more I dive into the minutiae of my life – the deeper I sink into this reality of a writer’s block. Not only is it real, but it’s really frustrating.  In the last seven days, I’ve seen more doctors than friends and have had my body groped more times by strangers in white coats than my boyfriend. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been the in the brightest mood.  What I’ve forced myself to remember is that at the end of the day, things can happen to you and around you, but they’re just things. Good and bad are human attributions that have a permanent ability sway our emotions.  Things are what they are; if you take the facts and remove all falsities, the truth you find shall set you free.

There’s been an Instagram hashtag going around – #100HappyDays and though at a basic level I appreciate the notion, I think it’s absolutely 100% ridiculous.  Each and every day is what you make it, but if you go around with your ‘Happy’ blinders on in perpetual search of it, and think that including words like ‘blessed’ and ‘thankful’ while posting daily pictures to your social media accounts are poignant ways to display your affinity and zest for life – you’re doing it wrong.  Happiness isn’t a beautiful butterfly, or mystical creature, that you need to hunt and capture day in and day out; instead – if you live each and every day with the intention to be the best version of yourself and push yourself to evolve from the amazing person you are into the fabulous person you want to be – happiness will become you.

And this brings me back to my mood from earlier – the more deliberate myself over my doctor’s dictation and mull over, the more removed I’ve become from my emotional state.  The only self remedy to get myself out of this über funk, is to treat myself like I know I deserve.  Here’s the thing with life – being that it’s what you make it, once something pushes you into a bad mood, it’s up to you as an individual, and only you, to at the very least find a way to bring yourself back to neutral.  If you bring math into the equation, and you’re at a low – one of the only ways to balance that out is to do something positive for yourself – and that’s just to get back to neutral.  To boost your mood, get out there and try something lavish, extravagant and or over the top – like they gleefully gush on Parks & Recreations – ‘Treat Yo’self’. So, below are some of my favorite ways to pamper, divulge, devour and marinate in the beauty of the world – and leave all those anxieties, woes and worries deep in the dust.

Change your passwords to positive affirmations: I’m not saying to change all your passwords to “ILoveYou143” but if you start including things about you being awesome, or the day being great, or changing the world in your work passwords – you’ll find yourself repeating a daily positive mantra, which truly goes a long way in pushing towards a positive outlook.

-Indulge in a lengthy Bubble Bath: Try out some scented Epsom salts for a delicious scent, and I highly recommend putting some oil in the tub (you’ll thank me later!)

– Find a new hiking trail and take your camera on an adventure

Take a good book to a lush and lovely park: Sometimes, one of the best ways to escape this world is to engulf yourself in another. I used to love reading anything and everything for fun but over time, I’ve gravitated more towards non-fiction science books – great for learning and expanding your mind, but they’re not exactly easy or quick to read.  Instead, when I’m feelin’ down and out I grab a trashy beach read, or anew psychological thriller, and head down the rabbit hole between the covers.

Upgrade your wardrobe with a snazzy new find: Retail therapy is real, and if you don’t trust me now – go out and just buy that fabulous coat/dress/jacket you’ve been yearning for and tell me you don’t adore staring at it in your closet.

– Find some live music and dance your cares away

– Wine and dine yourself and indulge in your favorite meal (*cough* sushi *cough*)- 80% of your body’s serotonin receptors are in your GI tract – if they’re not being stimulated, neither are you – so head to your favorite local spot and get your chow on.


Flower bomb your neighborhood and go back and water it: Make sure you remember where you planted them, so you can water them – and occiasionally take pictures while you’re strolling through your hood, and appreciate the beauty you’ve deposited in the world

-Visit a museum on a topic you love

Get some stand-up comedy in your life: These guys are paid to make you laugh; let ’em do their job!

– Breakfast for dinner (because why not?!)

20140703-140635-50795404.jpgHead to Sephora for a free makeover

Pick a new penpal and send a handwritten letter; whens the last time you got one? I know they make my heart incredibly happy

– Find a tranquil location and take a nap


– Donate your old clothes, books and movies

Volunteer at an animal shelter: Bonus points if you take one home!

What’s your favorite way to get out a slump – or just treat yo’self right? Let me know in the comments below!







[Self Discovery] The 10 Things Great Minds Do For Each Other

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
– Albert Schweitzer 

Our twenties is a time of self-exploration and discovery. It’s a  rite of passage and mental manifest destiny we’re all forced to come to terms with once we enter “the real world” and figure out what it means to be a contributing member of the community, or on a more global scale – a contributing member of the human race. These are the years that we change jobs, cities, significant others, interests and musical taste as frequently as we change socks.  Just like there are laws of physics, there are also laws in the physics of our mentality: external change catalyzes internal change and propagates our growth as individual.  We need to remember that it’s not selfish to take an adjustment period to get reacquainted with your life, it’s honest; because if you can’t take a moment’s appreciation for your newly acquired situation – was there really a point?

As we work our way back into the folds of life, back into social circles and bar scenes – you have a unique opportunity to look at things with a fresh perspective. Sometimes, that perspective pulls you out of prior relationships as it pulls you into new ones – and it’s helpful to know what qualities to keep around in a person, and what to avoid.  I’ve seen (and read) a heaping dose of articles on toxic friendships lately, and just like a regular friendship – that’s a two way street, too. Whether it’s actively toxic, or passively toxic (read: enabling).For a toxic friendship to persist, both parties have to be engaging in toxic behavior.  If you’re an emotional hypochondriac and sit there using those traits as a litmus test, solemnly and discretely analyzing your relationships – you’ll probably think there’s at least one person in your world that’s ‘detrimental to your existence‘.  Instead of trying to find the negative, I want to look at the positive; if small minds tear each other down, great minds should build each other up. So, I’ve come up with a little list of qualities that you should both look for in others and manifest in yourself.


The 10 Things Great Minds Do For Each Other

1. Encourage Growth

A good friend not only accepts you for who you are but challenges you to become the person you want to be (not the person that they want you to be) by allowing you to challenge the limits of  your comfort zone.

2. Focus on the Positive

Life follows a stereotypical pattern of twists and turns that translate into a sine curve of highs and lows. We need to both celebrate our victories and acknowledge when things aren’t up to par – but unless you’re actively working on improving something in yourself, marinating on the negative isn’t going to get you anywhere but stuck in a negative feedback cycle.  And they’re as equally detrimental to ourselves as the people around us.  Humans aren’t magnets. Negative doesn’t attract positive; positive attracts positive; you’ll get back from the universe exactly what you put into it.

3. Allow You to be Wrong

As a species, we don’t have all the answers yet – so it’s silly to think that any one individual does, either. We need to allow ourselves to be wrong in the pursuit of what is right – through empirical evidence and healthy, intelligent debate with our peers.

4. Laugh With You, Not at You

First things first, your friends should have a sense of humor.  If they don’t, there actually might be something wrong with them and you should probably should just stop talking to them all together.  Anyways, I digress. Funny happens all the time and I’ve actually laughed out loud at myself before, but when a friend actively pursues a facet of your life for their enjoyment, it might be time to cut them loose.  A good friend can find humor in the moment, but knows how to let it go and not project the humor onto you.

5. Emotionally Supportive

When life turns sour, it helps having people around that bring over vodka when all you have are lemons.  But, depending on the situation – some friends might become Negative Nancy and have nothing nice to say, a few will turn the conversation to their life and their problems (which of course, still matter – but this isn’t the time or place for it) and others will simply dip out of your life.  The positive influences in your life will find a way to give – whether its their ear, a shoulder to cry on or a couch to sleep on and silence is golden, especially when someone is at their most vulnerable.

6. Give Space When Necessary

When Galileo discovered that there was a flaw in the geocentric model, there was an uproar.  Sometimes, when people come to the realization that the world is about more than just them, they react the same way.  Everyone has a personal universe to deal with that we simply can’t know everything about.it.  We have to learn to respect boundaries and allow the people in our lives to cultivate their own worlds.

7.  Brainstorm Solutions

One of the greatest things about having a group of peers is that you get to constantly crowdsource solutions. Is your boss being too hard on you? How do you train for a marathon? Should you move to a new city?  These are all things we deal with in our life and we should feel confident that we can reach out to the people in our lives in search of our own answers.  A good friend will engage you and play devil’s advocate to get down to the root of your question.

8. Constructive Criticism

It’s okay to have an standpoint on a person, and often there’s a time and place to voice it – but unless you can find a proactive way to express it, you should probably keep it to yourself.  If you’re forming a negative opinion on someone’s life, make sure it’s not a mirror that you’re holding to your own.  Instead, take a step back from the friendship and really examine what’s bothering you.

9. Value Time

Time is valuable, and other people’s time – doubly so.  A good friend understands that everyone has their own time table and own rate of life, we simply don’t all move at the same pace in life.  So, when it comes to hanging out and getting together – they’ll let you know when they’re running late and are conscious that your time matters, too.

10. Inspire Greatness

We’re all made of stardust, and I truly believe that within each of us – there’s something amazing.  When a beautiful soul meets another, they burn brighter together – just like when two candles meet.  They listen to your ambitions, goals and lofty visions. Instead of diminishing you, or them, they’ll encourage you to chase down your dreams and convert them to reality.

I hope you guys all have friends in your life like this, because I know I do.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art….
It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
– C.S. Lewis –