[Self Discovery] Water Your Own Garden

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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!

[Self Discovery] A Resolve for Growth

“Resolve, and thou art free.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I moved to Los Angeles in my early twenties, I quickly realized I had the entire world at my proverbial fingertips and set out in a determined fashion to conquer most, if not all, of it. Maybe it was a byproduct of my 20-something, 20-anything phase, or maybe it’s simply an ode to the fact that I love making lists – but as I was rounding out the last decade of my life, I found myself insatiably devoted to the litany of bucket lists that I’d created.

As I approached 30 and 31, my lists extensively cataloged places to go, things to do and personal mountains to climb. Each was carefully curated with the best of intentions in mind, playing on my zest for life while rediscovering a purpose in my passions.  As the beginning of the year came and went, I realized that though my lists were representative of the person that I was driven to become – between the constant stroking of the go and daily reminders of what hadn’t been accomplished, they were also slightly exhausting. As John Lennon so famously said, ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

Instead of limiting myself to resolutions I tried to start at the inception of the calendar year, I’ve decided to maintain a fluid list of small ideas where each day holds a unique opportunity for growth and a resolve for evolving past who we were, to become who we want to be.  Regardless of when you set your resolution, it’s important to understand that it’s really the intent that matters.  Sure, a ’31 Before 31′ Bucket List was great – but I found myself so wrapped up in checking the boxes and heading into the next goal, that I couldn’t stop and simply appreciate my small moments of accomplishment; and that’s when I realized that my focus was in the wrong place.  Contrary to my previously held popular belief, It’s not important how many goals you accomplish, or how ‘much’ you grow – but that you have the will and wherewithal to grow in general.  We must be willing to step out of the mundane routine of the every day, and into the novelty of creating magical memories where even the most minute metamorphoses can equate to a massive internal shift.

Over the past few years I’ve inched towards several goals, some haphazardly while others have been more wholeheartedly. Tthis year, instead of a compiling a concise list or a ridiculous repository, I’ve decided to keep it rather short and sweet – well, all things considered.  No joke, going back and looking through these lists is a bit emotionally exhausting – not the kind of feeling you want to have when you’re gearing up to accomplish greatness!  Instead of a grandiose number of accomplishments, I’ve whittled it down to a few that I’m set on taking up.

First and foremost,  I vow to give less fucks. Less fucks?  Yes, a whole lot less.  I suffer from this incurable disease called ‘caring too much about everything’ and not only is it time consuming, but it’s simply exhausting.  Giving less fucks has freed up more time to care about what’s truly important – me, my cats, my husband and this beautiful life that we lead – and less about isn’t – like a past that can’t be changed, unwelcome opinions and toxic friendships that in the grand scheme of things don’t matter.  Coinciding with giving less fucks,

Next, I really want to get back into reading. When I read, my writing improves tenfold and my imagination runs rampant – it’s like a vacation in my hands, how could you not love it?? I implicitly understand that reading more than 10 books a year is a lofty goal; one that can basically be accomplished only if you choose to live inside a literary world and essentially ignore the real one that we’re living in.  Instead of a list of 20 books, I really just want to get through five good ones.  Just five.  I think that’s pretty solid.

Now that I have a plan to engage my mind, I also want one that engages my body and spirit.  Creating a militant workout routine just isn’t my style, because give me rules and watch me avoid them – but I’ve rediscovered a love exploring the great beyond, and have found that being outdoors reinvigorates me from head to toe.  Instead of inundating myself with gym time or diet plans, I’m choosing to eat healthier – with less processed foods and more time at the Farmer’s Market.

When it comes to the my professional life, I’ve realized that I need one job that pays the bills and another that makes me happy; and if they can be the same – even better.  By in large, they aren’t though and you have to be willing to subsidize your happiness somehow – take a course at a local community college, join Toastmasters, volunteer at an animal shelter, join a neighborhood council, take up an instrument, join a choir, write for a local paper, read to schoolchildren, start up a kickball team…the opportunities are endless once you open your mind beyond your 9-5.  And working from home, I’ve also realized that when I’m done with work for the day I need to be done – put the laptop away, get off social media, and get into myself.

Lastly, when I think of my friends – I want to let them know personally.  Not post on their Facebook wall or send them a Snapchat, because really – those aren’t for them, it’s for you – I want to reach out and tangibly touch them with my words, hear the nuances in their voice as they tell me about their day.  I want to be present in the moment with them, and by in large that means getting offline and into a real conversation.

Whether you’re carving out a solid block of a few hours every weekend, or devoting 30 minutes a night, it’s important to set aside some personal time for yourself to dive into your dreams and rediscover who you are at your core.

What are your personal goals for this year? Where’s your resolve for growth?

[Self Discovery] Time Management and Expressing Priorities Through Action


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] What’s Your Lucky Number?


Numbers entwine into and extrapolate patterns as the building blocks of life; from the formation of universe and spiral galaxy arms of our Milky Way down to the cellular structures of every being inhabiting this beautiful earth is formulaic.  Ever since I was a wee little one, I’ve been a little obsessed with numbers.   Number Theory and Numerology both deal with the relationships of numbers to the cosmos, but in two drastically different ways; the former is a branch of pure mathematics concerned with the correlation of integers, while the later is steeped in mystical tradition.  Either way,considering I see 11:11, 2:22, 4:44 and 3:33 on the clock rather frequently, numbers and their unfolding patterns seem to follow me everywhere – but I don’t mind in the least. In fact I find it comforting that the universe is undulating in harmony and overflowing in frequencies, sonically stringing us into One. Expounded upon by Pythagoras back in 580 B.C., there is inherent mystery and magic to numbers as we know them. If you’re ever in the mood for a great read about numbers, which though it sounds paradoxical is anything but, some of my favorites are:

Anyways, I digress; back to the topic at hand!  Depending on who you’re talking with, a lucky number can be two very different things.  In mathematics, there are Euler’s Lucky Numbers which pertains to prime generating polynomials and Lucky Numbers are a set of natural numbers generated from sieves; but lucky numbers as you and I both know them are vastly different.  From sports jerseys and phone numbers to birth dates and area codes, we all have sorted relationships with numbers – each eliciting an emotional response.  Thanks to Basketball, I have an affinity towards the numbers 23, 55 and 33 (the middle of which was my basketball number for ages growing up)  while life has left me in lust with 13.  Toss in 7 for my Birthday Number and my Age Digit, 5 set as my Life Path and Expression Numbers, 3 as my Heart’s Desire Number and 1 as my Sun Number – and I’m just swimming in odd numbers, repeating numbers and primes.

Speaking of prime numbers, let’s get back to my favorite of all numbers – lucky little 13.  In accordance with all things idiosyncratic, I have an equal affinity towards Friday the 13th as I do towards the number itself.  Last year, there was only one – but now for 2015, we have the maximum possible: 3! And to boot, the February-March Friday the 13th is the only time that you’ll see it on two back to back months. In any given year, there are 13 Full Moons which were ripe with celebration for various occult religions. Unfortunately, modern history hasn’t exactly been kind to 13. Triskaidekaphobia is the irrational fear of the number 13 while paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of the day Friday the 13th.  I’m guessing the lot of you don’t have it, primarily based on the fact you’re still reading this post instead of having an anxiety attack. Many modern high rises omit the ’13th’ floor and skip right on from 12th to 14th – but if you’re ever on the 14th floor, you know what’s really going on.

What’s do numbers mean to you?

What are your lucky numbers?

[Self Discovery] Nine Ways to Raise Your Personal Vibration

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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.

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[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?

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[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.

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[Self Discovery] The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten

When I was younger, my step mom and I would frequently dissect social scenarios and discuss what it meant to simply be.  As the child of two incredibly intelligent mathematicians, this was probably one of the most helpful things that she ever did – and, to this day, still does.  I call her, sometimes more often than others, for both commentary and brainstorming solutions to the current conundrum, however big or small, I had at hand.  Like my natural parents, my step-mother has a strong footing in math and statistics and like my parents – she’s incredibly nurturing, loving and supportive.  The main difference being that she’s an empathetic extrovert and a social butterfly, whereas my parents fall more on the introverted side of the spectrum.  Simply put, her advice makes sense; it sticks.  But why? First, it’s because on an emotional level – we understand each other, and operate relationships in a similar fashion.  But on a larger scale – as humans, we tend to not ask questions or seek advice that we couldn’t somehow  manifest for ourselves.

Over the years, I’ve collected the advice – sometimes on scrap paper or text messages to myself, other times in journals – and I’ve kept it close to my heart all these years.  And not just from her – but from my relatives, friends, teachers, blogs, Reddit threads, basketball coaches, college TA’s….you name it, I took their wise words to heart.  I’ve always been told that ‘experience is the hardest teacher, because you get the exam before the lesson‘ but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that living vicariously through the rollercoaster of experiences – ups, downs and in-betweens – of my peers serves me just as well as if it had happened to me.  Around the apartment, I have daily mantras scribbled on mirrors and from time to time – I stumble upon them and marinate for a minute to let the words soak in.  So, I wanted to share some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten because, let’s face it, from time to time we could all use some.

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(1) Anyone chasing a dream is bound to fail once or twice in its pursuit; passion is what picks you back up and urges you to try again.

Success doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a day in and day out struggle with who you are and what you want to achieve.

Let go of any preconceived notion that you should know what you’re doing and learn to live in the moment; after all, life’s about the journey – not the destination.

(2) “Never let your schooling get in the way of your education” – Mark Twain

I’ve learned more about social dynamics and street smarts in the five years I’ve lived in Los Angeles than I had in my previous 24 years.  I’ve met people from different and exciting backgrounds and picked their brains on our differences and similarities in our lives.  I feel privileged and honored that I have such an awesome variety of people in my life.

(3) What people think about you is none of your business.

(4) Marinate in the splendor that is alone time, it’s a beautiful thing.

I’m an only child, which means I know how to entertain myself – I’ve been doing it my entire life. As much as I love being a social butterfly, at the end of the day there’s absolutely nothing like curling up with my cats, some hot tea and a good book.  If you can’t enjoy some self imposed isolation every once in a while, you might actually need to take some you-time to figure out why.  Besides, if you don’t want to hang out with yourself – why would anyone else?

(5) There’s no perfect time for anything; but the  best time for anything is always now.

(6) The beauty of life is that people fall together; cherish and appreciate them while they’re with you. The tragedy of life is that people fall apart; understand that we all have our unique path to continue on and it’s okay to go down ours alone.

(7) You don’t have to be friends with everyone, and not everyone needs to like you.

I had a problem when I was younger – I had this overzealous urge to be loved and not cause conflict.  This made me quiet for a while, and this made me hide parts of my personality.  Now that I’m older and have the confidence to be myself – I’ve realized that you can be nice to everyone without having to be friends with everyone, and it’s okay if people don’t like you.  People don’t need to like you – just so long as they can still treat you with decency and respect.

(8) Never miss an opportunity to shut up;better a moment of silence than a lifetime of regret.

(9) “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu.  

More often than not, anxiety gets a hold of me and decides to make an awkward appearance.  I’ll think about past grievances and what could’ve been done differently, then I’ll consider ‘every-case-scenario’ for the future and overwhelm myself.  What I’m forgetting in those moments is that in the present, everything is okay.  The past has come and gone, and the future hasn’t matriculated yet – firmly ground yourself in the present moment and you’ll free your mind

(10) The only expectations you need to live up to are your own.

As always, time is the best teacher and the best advice is something that you give yourself; what are your daily mantras that keep you keepin’ on every day?

(11) Being alone and happy is better than being miserable and in a relationship.

and, last but not least –

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” — Buddha

[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.

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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 –