Tag Archives: My favorite

Princess vs. Queen

24 May
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When I began thinking about writing this post I turned to my fiancé and asked him the following question.  “Do you think women are mean to men?”  “YES!” he said without hesitation.  Ouch.  Why I asked?  “Because you guys are mean to each other”. Double ouch.  But that’s true.  And it starts young, doesn’t it ladies. I remember that day in elementary school when I realized that I could not count on some friends to ever be real friends because at any given day they would decide that I had done something wrong and would not talk to me for weeks.
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Also, remember when the movie Steel Magnolias came out and tons of people fell in love with it (and Julia Roberts hair)?  My father however, did not fall in love with the movie.  He said that he didn’t like the way the women spoke about the men that he found it to be degrading to men in general.  At the time I didn’t understand what he meant.  Now I look back on it and can see what he was talking about.
When my fiancé made that statement, my father’s observation of that movie came back to me.  I had seen plenty of times in my life where women were mean to men and talked down to them.  A fine  example of this was when I was living in Orlando and took a day trip with a then friend of mine and her boyfriend to the beach.  Our destination was a sunny spot where other friends and cute boys would be hanging out and drinking beer for the day.  What could be wrong with that?  Plenty.  My friend (who we will call Janet) was a woman who was mean to her boyfriend.  It was well known that Janet really really really wanted to get married and somehow her boyfriend (who we will call Chris) was pissing her off – for not asking her I suppose or not living up to some ideal she had scripted for him.  Chris was perfectly nice if a bit young – aren’t we all at some point?  Janet took many opportunities to belittle Chris in front of me and others, yelling at him for his “Piss Poor Planning” (the gas light on the car came on), raising her finger at him and reminding him that he needed to take one step at a time (when cuddling her and asking her if she wanted a house at the beach one day) and generally being not so nice.  Riding in the car in the dark on the way home was a bit uncomfortable for me because I sincerely didn’t think Chris deserved any of this talk and HELLO!  I was in the car with them.  Now I didn’t know the ins and outs of their relationship but sometimes it doesn’t take much information to know a relationship isn’t going to work out and sure enough, this one ended.
Marianne Williamson is a teacher and lecturer on the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and she often touches upon romantic relationships.  While she does address the way men relate to women she often speaks about the opposite – how we as women tend to relate to and treat men.  Our words she says, are to men what men’s fists are to women.  Women hurt with their words and have a tendency to say such cutting things in the name of fighting to be “right”. I see plenty of examples today through social media, where women write or post pictures and sayings about ex-husbands, men who wronged them.  I often hear men referred to as idiots or stupid.  I am all for people venting their anger and see it as a necessary process in life. But there are times when we can be WAAAAY too indulgent in our feelings and we can seriously hurt loved ones.
One of the many man name-calling items I found online.

One of the many man name-calling items I found online.

There is a time in women’s lives according to Marianne, where women are in our princess phase. Our emotions are high and we are learning how to grasp the unique privilege that is being a woman. Voicing our thoughts and ideas strongly and powerfully in a world where our ideas and thoughts are not often taken seriously, is an important undertaking.  Let me be clear here – there are definitely times when being true to yourself does mean yelling and does mean being loud and angry.  I’m all for the emotional flip out.  But if turning in a frenzy on a loved one or anyone is your most frequent or only method of communication in any of your relationships then its time to learn how to communicate more effectively.  Because let me tell you, if any woman wants to be treated like a Queen in her life, it’s time she stop acting like a Princess.
Earlier in the year I was experiencing much anxiety about our fall wedding.  I sat at my computer and began seething about dates that had gone by, deadlines that were not met, important starting points not decided.  And I began to get angry, mostly at my fiancé for whatever reason.  He was nearbyI suppose? I was ready to start a big temper tantrum about why we hadn’t done this and that and the other.  But then I stopped myself.  Because that would have been the easy way out.  What did I really want to get out of our interaction?  Did I want to make him feel bad about it?  Did I want to tell him it was his fault?  Most of all, did I want him to listen to me?  Because starting a hissy fit would have been a sure way to confuse the poor guy and accomplish nothing. I thought about how I would feel at the end of that scenario and decided that was not the route I wanted to take.  So I went to his desk, sat down next to him and asked him if he had time to talk.  When he said yes, I began to talk about how worried I was about everything that was pending and what needed to be done and how overwhelmed I felt.  We talked for a while and afterwards I felt better.  I even told him how before I sat down with him, I had considered starting a hissy fit and he laughed at that.  The outcome was better, I felt better and I felt like I had chosen the approach that really benefitted the both of us.
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Be nice to your men ladies.   It’s not easy to be a man today.  Their dynamic in the world is changing and times are hard for them. While women are rising up many men are trying to figure out how they fit in the changing arena.  Give them a break.  Be nice to them!  Say nice things to them! Compliment them!  Whats the big deal?  Whats wrong with treating them in a way we want to be treated? They need our respect. Drop the Princess act and start finding the Queen inside of you that you deserve to be.
“A queen is wise.  She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passed her tests.  She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it.  She has proven that she can hold her kingdom together.  She has become it’s vision.  She cares deeply about something bigger than herself.  She rules with authentic power.”  
– Marianne Williamson

 

 

How to recover from Too Much Fun

31 Mar

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I love having fun as much as the next person and sometimes, it catches up with me.  The good thing is that now, I am able to recognize signs that are telling me to take a break and get myself back on track.  Whereas before I would ignore the exhaustion and twitching eyelids (yes, this is a real thing) and carry on like a champ.

Here is my video to give you 4 methods or techniques, to help you begin a healthier lifestyle today!  It doesn’t even have to be a result of having too much fun.  Maybe it’s stress, frequent travel or anything else that is making you feel lethargic and unfocused.  These techniques will help you begin to reclaim your well-being, even if you decide to use one method at a time and focus on that.

Now its your turn – tell me what YOU do to recover from fun, stress and excessive travel in the comments below.

Thanks for tuning in!

XO,

Patricia

Get ready for 2014! Four ways to change your life this year.

31 Dec
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My favorite holiday is not Thanksgiving or Christmas or anything in between.  I always enjoy them and look forward to them for the fun and family time they bring along.  But my favorite holiday is the week in between Christmas and New Year.  The busy season winding down, people are returning home from vacation or going back to work and things seem to move a bit slower.  This mellow mood invites time for reflection, time to  think about where we were, whats coming and what we want to do with this whole, new, sparkling and pristine year that is just a few days away.  People all over the world are preparing for the new year, seeing it as a perfect blank canvas.  The energy behind the New Year is big and pulsates with people’s hopes for who they see themselves being and evolving into. I believe in change except when I hate it.  I’m probably not alone in my slight disdain for the C-word but it is this inevitable turning of the calendar that makes the New Year so ripe with possibilities.  Even those of us who hate to see things change will consider the idea that change is constant and that in order to grow as people, our lives will eventually have to evolve, usually with some effort on our part.  New month!  New Year!  Clean slate as of January 1st!  What do you want to change this year and how do you want to begin seeing yourself?  How do you want to use this clean slate to evolve into a person you love even more?
As the (city, county and possibly the state’s) biggest lover of New Year resolutions, I have thought long and hard about the best ways to help people usher in the changes they want to see in their lives.  I found 4 ways that I believe are best for a variety of people.  The person who’s resolution seems to confining, anyone who feels daunted by the many months of the year and need a concentrated time to focus, those who might need to lighten up their way of seeing things and those who know that they tend to blow off their commitments to themselves (ahem).  You can use these all together or pick 1 or 2 methods to use.  The idea is to make you feel as though you are using what will fit best for your life and your personality, ensuring that you can easily embrace resolutions that you make for yourself.  Excited yet?  Good!  Here they are:
1 – Decide how do you want to feel.
I was turned onto this idea by the wonderful Danielle LaPorte.  In the promos for her book Desire Map she states that we are not chasing a goal or an end result, we are chasing a feeling.  You say you want to lose 10 pounds?  Why?  How do you think it will make you feel?  Happy, Healthy, strong, active, empowered?  You want to start taking guitar lessons.  Why?  How do you think it will make you feel?  Creative, talented, confident?  You want to pay off your credit cards this year?  Why?  Do you think it will make you feel abundant, in flow with your finances, in control of your financial future? What feelings are you looking to bring into your everyday life?  Stating how you want to feel opens the doors on all of the changes you want to make, by allowing them to become bigger, more flexible and full of more possibility instead of confining yourself to a strict regimen.  If you say, I want to feel healthy, active and strong you have just opened yourself up to many new methods for finding this feeling. Dance lessons anyone?  Weekend hiking trip?  Try out that new Barre studio sometime?  Instead of saying, “I want to save more money” or “I want to go to the gym 3 times a week,’ ask yourself Why and come up with an answer. Dig deeper.  Find a touchtone feeling that will keep you going through out the year.  Now if a year seems like a really long time to you…
2 – Commit to 40 days instead of 365
Another of my fave ladies Gabrielle Bernstein loves the 40 day method.  She claims (as does a scientific study) that 40 days of a regimen is what is needed to change habits for good.  So if 365 is overwhelming for you, start with 40.  Forty days of no soda, 40 days of daily green juice, 40 days of riding your bike.  I know people who have quit coffee and binging on sweets using this method.  You can also use 40 days if you want to add something new to your life.  For example I have wanted to make meditation a more frequent practice in my life so I have put myself on 40 days of daily meditation.  I am keeping track of it with my new favorite app called Streaks.  It allows you to keep track of different streaks at a time by keeping multiple calendars, naming them and then marking off days completed with an X.  Looking at the rows of X’s build up on a calendar is about as satisfying as it was in Kindergarten when you saw all of those little gold stars line up next to your name. Once the 40 days are over you will see how any changes you made are suddenly that much easier to make on a daily/weekly basis and just like that, your new habit comes naturally to you.
3 – Review and rephrase.
Its important to review the resolutions you have and make sure all are worded as positively as possible.  What do I mean?  One summer I was discussing with some ladies the ever present girly question of What do you want in a boyfriend?  Instead of giving me a 5 second description of everything they wanted they both said, “I don’t know what I want but I do know what I don’t want,” and proceeded to list dull qualities such as Not Apathetic, Not Boring, Not this, Not that.  I didn’t say this to them at the time but I will say it to you now.  If you focus on what you DONT want, what you DONT want will have this amazing and annoying way of tracking you down and nestling itself into your life.  So if you tend to phrase your resolutions in the following way, “I don’t want to be late for work anymore” or “I don’t want to yell at my family so much,” its time for a rephrase.  Try this instead: “I will arrive at work each day, clear-headed and ready to begin my day.” Or, “I will speak to my family in a way that opens up a constructive dialogue and shows love.”  Boom.  Reword and Rephrase for an optimal and uplifting resolution.
4 –   Schedule it.
As another one of my fave’s Marie Forleo says, “If it’s not scheduled it doesn’t exist”  If one of your resolutions is to say, write a book, or build a website or to create something that is important to you, you need to schedule time, on a calendar to do said task.  Break down the big task into smaller steps and schedule those small steps in a calendar.  Buy a small day planner or print out a calendar from Google Drive. You can also use a super helpful free printable from I Heart Organizing to help you begin scheduling  your days and weeks more efficiently.  I loved them so much I had to add them to my arsenal on Pinterest for easy access.  You can find the copies  here. If you are someone who tends to be lax on yourself (picture me raising my hand here), scheduling yourself is a huge help to accomplish big tasks.
The best thing about all of this?  It’s not confined to just New Year.  Sometimes a new Monday can feel like a clean slate, a random Thursday may be the day you begin again or even a week in mid-June is right for you.  With these ideas at your fingertips, any day, week or month can be a new year for you.  Change is good!
Happy 2014 everyone!
XO,
Patricia

It’s time to get off the couch.

10 Dec

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“The world will be saved by the Western Woman” – The Dalai Lama, Vancouver Peace Summit, 2009

I first heard this quote 1 year ago when I was browsing the website for Nisha Moodley.  Nisha leads seminars for women and retreats around the world.  In one of her Vlogs she states the above quote was why she created her business.  A few months later I found Sarah Jenks who mentioned the same quote in her online training series except she added her own spin to it:  “The Dalai Lama said the world will be saved by the Western woman.  But we can’t do SHIT if we sit on the couch all day in our sweatpants!”  I laughed out loud.

The original quote is truly inspiring.  To hear of the Dalai Lama’s intuitive voice speaking out about the role he sees women playing in the healing of the world is an extraordinary statement.  But Sarah’s statement really got me thinking – how are women keeping themselves on the couch in our sweatpants all day?  Was it a literal statement?  It didn’t seem right.  And then I began remembering.

In 2009 I was living in New York City and working at a small company.  I had a manager who was nice enough, generous with us employees and really tried their best to be a good and generous leader.  In many ways they were.  Unfortunately, their managerial tactic of choice was to scare us into doing a good job.  I remember clearly a conversation where a statement was made about employees being afraid of losing their jobs: “I WANT them to be scared!”  To better understand this person, it was 2008 and a scary time for all business owners.  Lay-offs were happening left and right and businesses were going under in a matter of days. I can understand why someone was fearful of their family’s livelihood, their employees livelihood, the lives, and would use any measure needed to save it.

Except the tactic didn’t work for me at all.  I lived in fear of everything work-related.  The effect of the scare tactic was, ‘why bother – by the sounds of it I’m going to get fired anyway – is it 5 o’clock yet?!’  Friday’s were the best night of the week because I would experience a full 36 hours of relief. Sunday’s were dreaded because I would have to go into the office the next day and try not to get fired for the next 5 days in a row.  I feared making mistakes, asking questions, I feared a lot of things.  One night the anxiety got so bad that I was up until 3 in the morning, terrified to fall asleep because that would mean I would eventually wake up and have to go into the office.

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I found some relief through wine (don’t we all) and yoga (thank goodness for that).  But work was so front and center in my life that it affected many of the decisions I made, what I did, what I thought about, what I talked about.  And the funny thing was – I don’t remember really actively looking for another job.  I don’t remember networking, applying for new positions, nothing.  I don’t remember telling myself that I had the power to change my circumstances.  I just let it be what it was without an end in sight.  I was basically sitting on a couch, in my sweatpants not doing a damn thing to change a damn thing and letting my life pass me by.  For 2 long years.

Now my outlook on life is completely different.  But I know how easy it is to begin letting things slowly slip away.  You could have what appears to be a great life with a full-time job, friends and all the trappings that make you appear fabulous on the outside.  But your personal reality could be completely different.  Maybe your job is hard and your co-workers annoy you.  Maybe your landlord is making problems for you.  Maybe you resent your family for things that happened when you were a kid.  Maybe you think everyone else has it so easy and it’s just not fair that they got to live that life and you didn’t.  Maybe you think that nothing will ever get any better and you had better just live with it.  Maybe you think that you don’t deserve any better.  Maybe you are angry at people for a seemingly awful thing they say to you “How dare they do that to me, who do they think they are!” and “Can you believe that email? Just read what they wrote!”

This is the nastiest trick that people who could have everything in the world, play on themselves.  And it’s so commonplace today that many of us are letting our opportunities to shine like stars just pass us by.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the cheap drama of our lives that we forget just what we are capable of.  There is a line in one of my favorite movies, Love & Sex, where Famke Janssen’s character has a moment of clarity in a movie theater.  Sitting next to her actor boyfriend, a surge of resentment about their relationship finally boils up in her and she explodes.  “You know what my problem is?  I’m a floater – I float through life like a corpse on a river bumping into rocks and logs.  I don’t choose my path, I just…bump into stuff!  I bump into you in a porno store, boom I have sex with you, boom we’re in a relationship!  I don’t think I just BOOM!”

In early 2011 I had my personal BOOM moment , where I saw myself as that floating corpse on a river and began to course correct.  I realized that all of the opportunities in the world could be available to me if I started taking myself and my life seriously.  I started taking better care of myself and paying closer attention to the foods I ate, and the ways I spent my time.  I began looking closely at my relationships and seeing what needed to be fixed and forgiven.  I took a long, hard look at myself and my life and the choices I had made that led me to this moment.  And let me tell you – it was fucking HARD as shit.  But I was in it, I was in the muck of the things that were keeping me stuck on the couch.  I was doing it.  I was standing up, removing my sweatpants and putting on a clean dress, getting ready to say hello to real life  instead of floating and bumping and hurting.  According to a very spiritual teacher, we women have some serious work to do.  No fear, no petty resentments, no anger, no holding on to the past, no sitting on the couch and letting life pass us by is allowed because there is no time for it.  It’s time to get up, get dressed and show up for our lives because the world is depending on us to do just that.

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