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, and 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 and 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, and 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, and 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 and 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, and 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, and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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, and 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 and really keep it zen when you’re on vacation? do you have any cuba recommendations?! leave them in the comments below… and i’ll see you on the otherside… adios!
5 reasons we all need yoga right now
life in 2017… it’s interesting, right? the world is a really, really crazy place right now.
there’s lots of change happening and many of us are getting caught up in the moment of everything… we keep scrolling through the comments of those truly awful facebook posts [i’ve literally lost all faith in humanity doing this]… we’re cutting people out of our lives when their opinion doesn’t align with our own… sometimes, we’re just curling up into a ball, crying our eyes out, and telling ourselves that we should just give. the eff. up. that it’s all a waste of time and we have no control over where anything is going.
it’s easy to forget the big picture. it’s easy to feel hopeless. it’s so easy to be afraid of what’s ahead. but does feeling this way help us rise above the bullsh*t and continue to move forward, both on a personal and societal level?
i’m guilty of feeling all of the things i outlined above. i go through periods where i feel paralyzed by my anxiety… moments where giving up seems like the best option, because why fight a losing battle, ya know? and this applies to my feelings on my personal goals, my professional goals, and where i wish society would go as a whole.
my anxiety pretty much encompasses everything. it’s not picky. if i can worry about it, i most likely will, sooner or later. but there’s one thing that always, without fail, snaps me out of it. one thing that brings me back to the present moment, brings me back to my power…
probably not very surprising, considering that yoga works wonders for a lot of people, and i’ve talked about what it’s done for me personally here many times before. but sometimes, we do need that friendly reminder to put us back in our place.
a few years ago, i wrote an article for elite daily titled “5 reasons why all millennials would benefit from practicing yoga” that really hit home for me when i was writing it… and i think it resonated with others too – it was shared almost 300 times!
i wanted to share it here today, because i think all of these points are still valid… for everyone, not just millennials [although they may hit a little closer to home for us than other generations].
… and then go hit the mat… and take this little piece of yogi wisdom with you…
friday favorites: an LA edition
happy, happy, HAPPY EFFING FRIDAY, EVERYONE. is it just me, or was this week… weird? i literally had no idea what day it was for the majority of the week, and the days just seemed to craaaawwwwwlllllll. makes friday feel that. much. better.
it’s been a while since i’ve done a “favorites” post of any kind… and i felt like it was a nice way to end this long, grueling week.
and since i’ve been living in LA for about a year and a half [it will be 2 years in july… excuse me… WHAT?!] i thought… why not do a post about the things/places i’m loving in LA right now? i have to say that i really feel more at home here than i have anywhere else, so it really just feels right, ya know?
1. beaming. beaming is an amazing little superfood bar with several locations throughout los angeles. they have everything from smoothies to cleanses to nut butters to granola mixes. and everything is amazing. i recommend the kale-fornia smoothie [because duh]. they even have an online store for those of you not local to LA!
2. archlight culver city. a movie theater? yes. why, you ask? because they have a full bar in the lobby… and you can take your drink into the theater with you. talk about really transforming the experience of going to see a movie on a sunday evening! it’s possible that they do this in other theaters, too, but it’s the only one i know of so… there ya have it! i guess you could call this ~*soLA?
3. playlist yoga. this was a studio i had heard a lot about before i even lived in LA, but it took me way too long to actually try a class there. now, i’m hooked. all of the instructors are amazing, the music is LIT AF, and the lockers are all labeled with the names of musicians [think bey, kendrick, calvin, biggie]. maybe i’ll do a full class review one of these days!
4. my favorite murder. okay, so this isn’t specific to LA, but the hostesses do live here, so i’m counting it. my favorite murder is the podcast i’m currently bingeing. literally, cannot get enough of it. they cover a couple of different murders stories each week, walking you through all of the details… and they also manage to make it absolutely hilarious [in a non-offensive way]. if you’re into true crime, you’re probably already listening to it, too, but if you’re not… what are you waiting for?! oh, and their tagline is “stay sexy, don’t get murdered”… that’s all.
5. the weather. again. finally. the past few months have been pretty sh*tty here in LA, weather-wise. i know, i know you don’t wanna hear it because angelenos are spoiled and basically always have perfect weather, but GUYS. when it rains almost every day for 2 months and is grey and colder than usual… in a city where the weather is literally always perfect… it really takes a toll on you! don’t like it? don’t care. haters gonna hate, i guess. this past week has been absolutely gorgeous, and now that all of the rain has turned LA green… i’m more ready for summer than ever. can’t wait to get out and do some hiking this weekend!
what are your favorite things to do, places to go, food to eat in your city?! share in the comments below! and would also love more LA recs!
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