an untitled note on right vs. wrong
happy friday! the weekend is finally here… sometimes i worry that i spend tooooo much time during the week looking forward to the weekend… but more on that another time.
i originally had another post planned for this week, but given the current “state of affairs” in this country, i just couldn’t bring myself to pull it together. so, bear with me.
i’ve been feeling pretty effing shitty this week. the events in charlottesville… and the lack of a real response from the “president” have had me seriously doubting pretty much everything… my faith in humanity. where the country is going. where the world is going. life in general. i just can’t seem to escape this overwhelming feeling of dread/doom/hopelessness.
now, i’d be lying if i said i hadn’t felt like this before… i spent a solid 3-4 hours sobbing uncontrollably when trump won the election… and some people told me i was “being ridiculous” and “needed to get a grip” because “everything was going to be okay”… well… things aren’t okay, they haven’t been okay, and i feel like they might never be okay ever again. [and i don’t think i’m alone here.]
but, i’m not writing this post to talk about trump. i don’t want to talk politics right now. i don’t want to discuss republican vs. democrat, right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal bullsh*t because right now, none of that f*cking matters.
what i do what to talk about is right vs. wrong. a pretty simple concept that we’re taught from… oh i don’t know… pre-school?!
we all know what is right. we all know what is wrong. this isn’t a matter of opinion. regardless of what side you stand on politically or who you voted for, you know that it’s wrong to murder someone. to intentionally run your car into a group of people protesting – something we have the right to do as american citizens.
additionally, it’s wrong to be racist. it’s wrong to hate someone because of their religion. and it’s certainly wrong to be a neo-nazi, a member of ISIS or a f*cking terrorist. there is no way around any of that, so hold your arguments because they don’t. f*cking. matter.
at this stage of the game, i’m exhausted from trying to understand how so many people can care so little for other people. can have so much hatred and violence inside of them. can be so un-american in the name of “taking back america”… excuse me… what? this country was founded [see also: taken away from the native americans] by refugees fleeing oppression and tyranny. i can’t even wrap my head around the level of hypocrisy we’re dealing with right now. it blows my mind.
so, WTF are we supposed to do? these are the cards we’ve been dealt. this is the world we’re living in. this is real life. the roller coaster over emotions i’ve been on this week has taken me from sadness to anger to fear to confusion to hatred to apathy and back again…
and i’ve realized something: that by hating the people on the other side, i’m no better than they are, even if my hatred is coming from a place of wanting a world where hate, bigotry, and violence don’t exist.
so on that note, i’m going to make an effort to remove hate of any kind from my heart. to be f*cking nice even when i don’t want to be or i don’t think someone deserves it. to live my life from a place of love. to smile when i pass a stranger on the sidewalk or at the grocery store. to let that person merge into the lane in front of me, even if they aren’t using their f*cking turn signal. why? because the world needs more love, kindness, and acceptance more than ever.
yes, i know that i’m only one person and that “being nice” isn’t going to solve the world’s problems. but what other option do i have? i obviously wish there was more i could do to make this world a better place. i really, really do. but at this point, this simple step is it.
i don’t really know where i was going with this, or what point i wanted to make… it really was just more of a therapeutic thing i wanted to do for myself that i’m sharing with the hope that maybe it will inspire someone else to be nicer… or take action in their own way. we’re all in this together.
please, please, pleeeaaasssseeeee feel free to share how you’re handling all of this in the comments below! i think we could all use some inspiration right now.
p.s. shout out to maya angelou for her wisdom. i often come back to her words in times like these. #bosslady
#needit: acupressure mat
happy thursday, and welcome to the #needit series! this isn’t really a new series… i’ve just renamed the “healthy lifestyle staples” series… #needit is just way easier to say [it flows better, no?] and feels waaayyyyyy more me [yes, i speak in hashtags sometimes… sue me].
so, let’s get down to business, shall we?
about a year ago, i was introduced to the concept of the acupressure mat by my old boss. he kept one at his desk and the first time i saw it my reaction was, “wtf is that?!” it literally looks like a little pillow with needles on it… not something you immediately would think you would want to own.
he explained to me what it was, the benefits, and how he used it, but i wasn’t really convinced… so, i just forgot about it.
flash forward to a few months ago, and an acupressure mat starts poppin’ up on one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers’ snapchat and instagram stories.. and then, she did a post all about what they are, the benefits, etc., so i figured that an acupressure mat was something i should at least give a try. but, i didn’t feel a real sense of urgency for it, and kind of put it out of my mind… again.
and then… the straw that broke the camel’s back: i was in a car accident [rear-ended on the 10, effing LA] about 2 months ago, and as a result, started having some neck and back pain. i’ve been seeing a chiropractor for treatment, but also felt like i should be doing something daily to help with the recovery and pain management… enter: the acupressure mat.
so, what is an acupressure mat, exactly? so glad you asked! an acupressure mat is pretty much how i described it before… a small mattress and neck pillow set, both of which are covered in little plastic spikes… yes, that’s right… plastic. spikes.
i know that this sounds like pretty much the worst thing ever, but the spikes have a purpose: to stimulate pressure points along the meridian line of the body, which in turn does things like:
- activates feel-good endorphins
- reduces muscle pain and tension, including headaches
- promotes blood circulation and oxygenates the body
- relieves stress and anxiety
- aids in the digestive process
- increases energy and helps with general fatigue
- improves overall sleep quality
not really much that this thing can’t do when it comes to improving your overall health and wellness… and it’s been a go-to in the alternative and eastern medicine communities for a verrrrryyyyyy long time.
so, how do you use it? you lay on it. that’s it. for about 10-20 minutes per day… on your back with your neck on the pillow, on your stomach… you can also sit or stand on the mat to help relieve pain in the lower back, legs, and feet.
over the past month and a half or so, i’ve incorporated this bad boy into my morning routine… i meditate for 15 minutes immediately after waking up each day, and then i go right to the mat for 20 minutes… 10 on my back/neck and 10 on my stomach. i’ll either read or journal while i’m laying there, which makes the time just fly by…
… and i always feel amazing after.
specifically, since i’ve started doing this, not only have i had some relief from the pain and stiffness in my neck caused by the car accident i was in, but i’ve also felt an increase in my energy levels throughout the day [not getting that 2 o’clock feeling anymore!], and have been sleeping much better than i typically do [less waking up throughout the night, it’s easier to get out of bed when my alarm goes off].
i bought this thing for one reason, but i don’t see myself discontinuing the use of it any time soon… if ever.
want to get one for yourself? they’re only $19.99 on amazon, and they’re available on prime, meaning you can start feeling allllllll of the benefits listed above in just 2 days… for less than $20! [this post isn’t sponsored… i seriously just love this thing and want everyone to have one!]
questions? ever used an acupressure mat? if so, how has it improved your life? any other must have products i should try out? i want to hear from you! you can leave a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
book club: the subtle art of not giving a f*ck
the bananas + bellinis book club… something i totally intended on doing consistently and just didn’t… add it to the freakin’ list, amiright?!
at the beginning of the year, i set a bunch of goals [NOT “resolutions”] and one of them was to read 24 books in 2017 [averaging about 2 per month]. i’m a liiiittttttllllleee bit behind [currently working my way through number 10] but i’ve read a few really, really f*cking good ones, so bringing the book club back just feels right. and remember, i’m not pushing things if i’m not feelin’ it anymore.
so, back in april, i read the subtle art of not giving a f*ck by mark manson. i was so excited to dive into this one because it was born from my favorite blog post of all time [of the same title, by the same author] which if you haven’t read it before… get to it, but the book takes the same points made in the blog post and just expands on them… in a big way. it breaks it down, and takes it to the next level.
the core of manson’s message is all about figuring out what’s most important to you… and no longer giving a f*ck about the other sh*t. and he’s really good at removing the fluff. he can seem a little harsh, but sometimes tough love is the best way to get the point across… many of us need a big, fat reality check delivered with eff bombs flying from every direction. if you don’t like the “non non-sense” approach [or profanity] this book definitely isn’t for you. if you’re okay with it [and kinda embrace it, like i do]… read on.
for me, one of the biggest takeaways was that instead of focusing on not having problems and aiming for a life of perfection [because life isn’t perfect and there’s always gonna be sh*t to deal with] manson suggests asking yourself this:
what problem do you want to have?
life is about figuring out what is worth the struggle… what’s worth the pain, the heartbreak… what you want to fail at… what you want to have to pick yourself back up from, and try again and again and again until you get it right… failure and pain are the way to happiness and success, and you can’t have one without the other.
another thing that he touches on a lot is how caring about what other people think is the downfall of so many of us. we spend so much time and energy pursuing a certain career, dressing a certain way, doing this because we think so-and-so will like us more if we do, putting ourselves in situations we have no interest in being a part of because we feel obligated for whatever reason to do it… and sh*t like this is a giant waste of f*cking time.
why is it a giant waste of f*cking time? because, believe it or not, what other people think of us does not matter. if you’re not happy, if you’re not following your truth… then life makes zero. f*cking. sense. [sorry for all the eff bombs but this book just really fires me up!] so stop giving a f*ck about what you think you should be doing, and just go out and do what you want.
finally, the last point from his book that i wanted to touch on that really struck a chord for me can be summed up in this quote:
“you will have a growing appreciation for life’s basic experiences: the pleasures of simple friendship, creating something, helping a person in need, reading a good book, laughing with someone you care about.
sounds boring doesn’t it? that’s because these things are ordinary. but maybe they’re ordinary for a reason: because they are what actually matters.”
in conclusion, we all need to stop giving a f*ck about sh*t that doesn’t matter. society wants us to believe that our careers, our possessions, our “status” and our bank accounts are the most important things in our lives, but society is f*cking wrong. once we realize this and adjust our lives accordingly, we’ll be able to enjoy and truly appreciate the little things… the little things that make up most of the time in between the big things… and stop giving a f*ck about everything else.
if any of this has resonated with you… or you feel like you just need a kick in the ass to get your sh*tget the book right now together… and get ready to get real with yourself… and everyone in your life in the process.
a note on inspiration
so… it’s been a while. about 2.5 months to be exact. i did feel pretty guilty about this for a while [what’s new?] because i love writing, i love this blog, and i love putting my thoughts, ideas, tips, and tricks out there… and i feel great when i do it… but i kinda came to terms with the fact that i also don’t even care that i’ve taken a little unplanned hiatus… and here’s why.
inspiration comes and goes. my last post, which went up right before i left for cuba, was on a topic i felt really passionately about… something i feel like i have enough experience with and knowledge about to put out into the world. i felt inspired to write the post in the days leading up to my trip because i was living it. i was in the moment, doing what i normally do when i’m preparing to go on vacation… so the post came very naturally for me… one could say that it flowed.
when i got back from cuba… it wasn’t that i was feeling uninspired… quite the opposite actually… but in a different way. i spent the entire week i was there disconnected… no cell phone service, no wifi, no TV… nothing. and i loved every second of it. that aspect of the trip was honestly a huge part of what made it my favorite vacation i’ve ever taken. i was so present… i was living in the moment… and when i got back to LA, i kinda sorta wanted to keep that feeling going.
i kept telling myself “okay this week i’m going to sit down and write a post” … “i’m going to post once per week again starting next week” … and it just didn’t happen. and that’s okay… because this is what i’ve realized:
forcing yourself to do something when you’re uninspired to do it is completely pointless. sure, some people might argue the opposite… and in some cases, you probably do need to pull yourself together and fake it ’til you make it… but, taking a step back can be a good thing… and a totally necessary thing, too. which was absolutely the case for me.
my experience in cuba [which i’ll recap soon!] was so surreal that i don’t know how to put it into words… a few weeks after that, i had one of the most fun weekends ever at coachella… then i celebrated my 29th birthday, and went all out in the process… my family came to visit me in LA allllllllll the way from PA…
i’ve also been teaching yoga, working part time at a really effing cool workout studio [which i’ll tell you guys more about later!]… i’ve met a lot of amazing new people…. gone to parties and celebrated birthdays… i’ve spent a lot of time outdoors [my truest happy place]… i had nights that turned into mornings… i’ve taken naps in the middle of the afternoon [so unlike me]… i got into a car accident [no one was seriously injured, but holy sh*t is dealing with insurance companies a nightmare]… i went camping with 23 of my closest friends in joshua tree…
i’ve had a pretty eventful few months… and blogging took the back burner. and you know what? i’m okay with it. because here i am now… i’ve had some time to breathe, go with the flow, and really live in the present… and get re-inspired in the process. i’d rather post nothing than post something that felt forced… or that was total sh*t [which i’ve done before, let’s be honest]… but now, i’m back in a place where i feel like i’m full of inspiration and i can’t wait to share it all with you!
so, before i sign off, i just want to say this: if you’re feeling uninspired… if you want to do something but just can’t find the will to do it… don’t force it. take a step back… re-evaluate your whys… maybe you’ll discover that it’s not really what you want to be doing… or maybe you’ll discover that it absolutely 100% is… and you just needed some space to figure that out. [kinda comes back to that whole idea of saying “no”, ya feel me?]
and with all of that being said, i’m so excited to be back! i have weekly posts planned for the rest of the summer… and hopefully i’ll be able to revamp some things around here in the next few months, too… so i hope you can forgive me for my little hiatus and hop right back in where we left off… it’s gonna be fun, i promise.
3 tips for a zen vacation
so… i’m leaving for Cuba tomorrow… CUBA. i literally never dreamed this day would come… that i, as an American citizen, would EVER be able to visit Cuba… so i’m pretty damn excited to say the least! i’m desperately in need of a vacation, so in keeping with the theme of the moment, i thought a travel-related post was necessary. let’s get right to it.
the term “vacation” has lost a lot of its meaning in 2017 america. i’m always reading about how many people don’t use their vacation days, how few vacation days many employers even offer in the first place, & how even when we do take vacation, we have a hard time actually vacationing…
you know… we check our email, we take work calls, we text with our bosses… some people will actually sit in their hotel room & work remotely because they feel so strongly that they can’t get away or everything will fall apart.
thankfully, i’ve never been one of these people. i love travelling, understand the importance of taking a break from things to reset and recharge, & just generally love being able to live life for a week or so a few times a year as if i have no real responsibilities.
so, if you’ve ever found yourself doing any of the above… or even if you’ve actually taken your vacation days, decided to check out, & had crippling anxiety over not knowing what was going on back home to the point that you couldn’t even enjoy your vacation… you’ve come to the right place.
here are my 3 tips for a zen vacation:
1. pack a journal. journaling can be really therapeutic. putting pen to paper & just writing, not even about anything in particular, can do wonders for a racing, anxiety-ridden mind. i always pack a journal when i go on vacation, & it serves a few purposes. first, i love being able to write down all of the amazing experiences i’m having, so that i can look back on everything in detail years later. sure, pictures will help keep the memories alive, but those little details can easily be forgotten. second, it’s a great way to pause, take a step back, & really start to process and get clear on things that might be going on in your life… ya know like your feelings, emotions, where you want to go with your life, if you should or shouldn’t break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, if you should make a big, risky career move… whatever. i also love the practice of using a gratitude journal to put things into perspective & remind myself how great my life is, even when things aren’t going my way.
2. swap out your daily coffee for tea. as a society, we seriously rely on coffee to get us through the day. when you’re on vacation, you should be relaxing. sleeping in and going with the flow. sure, you might have tours or dinner reservations at specific times, but other than that, vacation is about taking it easy. instead of running to the closest Starbucks to get your daily fix, pack some herbal teas instead**… especially those of the calming variety [think chamomile, lavender, ashwaganda]. it’ll help to ease the mind & reduce all of the stress you have about not being at work… which will help you be more present in the end.
[**of course, if you’re going someplace like Columbia, Italy or Bali, where coffee is a huge part of the culture/cuisine… DRINK ALL THE COFFEE YOU WANT.]
3. get off your effing phone. i get it. we all want to be connected to our friends & family. we want to share all of the cool pictures we’re taking at all of the amazing places we’re visiting. [#doitforthegram] but, if you truly want to enjoy your vacation, if you really want to experience the culture of this new, exciting place you’re visiting… get off your effing phone. you don’t even have to go totally off the grid… [i know, scary thought, right?] even just limiting yourself to only checking social media in the evening when you’re back at your hotel can make all the difference… i mean… do you really wanna find yourself standing in front of the Taj Mahal or at the top of the Eiffel Tower scrolling through effing Facebook or answering a work email? i don’t think so.
i’m planning on going 100% dark in Cuba… my phone is going into airplane mode from the moment i step on the flight to Havana, & staying that way until i land in LA next week. i’m really craving a little disconnection, and since wifi is hard to come by in Cuba, this is the perfect opportunity to just go for it.
what are your favorite ways to check out & really keep it zen when you’re on vacation? do you have any Cuba recommendations?! leave them in the comments below… & i’ll see you on the otherside… adios!
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