we’re all just doing our best

a friend often says that “we’re all just doing our best.” and it is so true. it’s like one of my favorite books, “everybody’s got something” by robin roberts: we all have our unique problems, and what may be a mountain to me might be a molehill to someone else, and vice versa. it’s so important when dealing with people that we try to remember that just like us, they too are battling their demons. and i think if we could be a little more open and honest about our respective demons (this doesn’t mean we have to overshare or tell everyone our life story) but if we could just acknowledge that like, “hey, i’m going through some shit today, please bear with me” if would be a huge help to our multitude of relationships. and also to ourselves! so much of happiness and serenity is being self-aware, being able to step back and say, this is how i feel. let me process this and figure out how to go back into the world. i’m continually learning how to do this.

this post comes about because a few things transpired to rattle me a bit over the weekend. when i hung out with a friend i was a little jabby and feel like i unfairly took out my frustrations on this person. i wish i had said, “listen, i don’t want to go into specifics but i had a bit of a rough day so forgive me if i’m not at my best.” instead, i kept my icky feelings to myself, and they made their way out in a not-ideal way. i genuinely did the best that i could in the situation, and so did the person who had to deal with me. but ultimately a miscommunication occurred and that was upsetting to me.

so the takeaway is: you’re going through some shit. so is he. and she. and that guy over there. and your boss/therapist/dentist/uncle. be kind to all of those people and remember that they too are all trying to muddle through this messy, confusing, sometimes scary, but most importantly, very-beautiful-if-you-stop-to-appreciate-it life.

finding your tribe

i recently took a pretty big step towards the “figuring out my life” thing and signed up for what i guess one would call a life coaching program. i used to think the concept was ridiculous: i’m an adult after all- surely i can figure out my own life! but what appealed to me so much about this program is the fact that it’s a group one, so every week i’m communicating with not one like-minded person, but nine like-minded, butt-kicking individuals from different backgrounds and with different interests, but ultimately with the common goal to make life better for themselves and others. we’re only about a month into the program, but i’m already finding so much inspiration in these people who have dreams of doing big things and contributing to the world in some positive way. meditation and yoga and whatever other solo practices i have are fantastic, but i truly believe that there’s strength in numbers. having a support system that understands where i’m coming from and where i want to go is more valuable than i ever could have imagined. it hit me this morning during our video conference: i had found my tribe. i have a few scattered friends who really “get” me, but it’s awesome to commune once a week with nine people who are totally on my wave length, and who have committed to support me in this process (and i in turn to support them).

if you haven’t already, get out there and find your tribe! it’ll make the journey that much more fun, inspiring, challenging, and rewarding. much love to my fellow game changers.

why the world needs yoga

and/or meditation. or any/all mindfulness practices: because of all the horrific news we hear every time we turn on the tv. most notably at the moment, of course, the innumerable shooting incidences right here in our own country. the yogi in me sees that these knee jerk reactions (i.e., the cop who assumes a man is reaching for his own gun and thus shoots him) are fear-based. the visceral reaction is, “this person is going to harm me”. and that is fear talking. what needs to happen is a massive shift in consciousness from fear to love, in which instead of assuming the worst, we expect the best (or at least better). i understand how that shift might seem impossible, precisely because of all the terrible stuff that happens in the world on a daily basis. but it is has to start somewhere. personally, i’m trying to be the proverbial “change i wish to see in the world” by not always being on the defensive (a stance learned from one too many years as a new yorker!); by not immediately and irrationally reacting to every little thing that i perceive as a slight. that could be anything from a friend making a slightly passive-aggressive comment, to feeling a bit uneasy walking past a shadowy-looking character on the street. rather than assuming that my friend meant to offend me or the guy on the street will attack me (extreme case, i know. i hear to many stories of this sort of thing happening in nyc), i’ll give both the benefit of the doubt. i won’t always be perfect at this, but i’ll try. by putting that expectation out into the universe that everything will be ok, hopefully the law of attraction will bring that to me in kind. and to you, too.

i went off on a tangent here, so back to the matter at hand: i know there’s a whole lot of love in the world but WE NEED MORE. any sort of mindfulness practice not only connects us to our own emotions, insecurities, and vulnerabilities and helps us to deal with them, but makes us aware of those same things in others. which allows us to connect with them on a human level. so often our interactions just scratch the surface and we fail to recognize another’s humanness. either because we’re scared, or self-involved, or just oblivious. i feel overwhelmed by the events of the past couple of days, so my thoughts and therefore my words are sort of all over the place. but the long story short is: choose love over fear. <3

the little things in life

once upon a time, a holiday like the fourth of july would have given me a small bit of anxiety. if i didn’t have plans to go out of town and “celebrate” in the conventional sense, i would have suffered that god-awful millennial disease of fomo. but with age comes maturity (well, for some, i guess) and an appreciation of life’s quieter moments. i spent the holiday with a very dear and special friend who currently lives in istanbul, but found herself back in new york unexpectedly. we picnicked in central park for hours and the day slipped away before i’d even realized it was a holiday and i hadn’t been to a barbecue nor had i donned a clichéd red-white-and-blue outfit. (not that there’s anything wrong with those things! just sayin).

i had gotten to the park about an hour before my friend, and set up shop underneath a large tree. i pulled out a copy of the happiness project that another friend had lent me, and settled in to read until my friend showed. i quickly became distracted by the flurry of activity around me: groups of tourists taking a break from sightseeing, dog people walking their furry friends; kids playing and shouting; couples strolling hand in hand. each site was heartwarming in its own small way. then this little birdie flew down and landed on the grass right next to my blanket. i was completely mesmerized by this creature for what felt like several minutes, while it hopped all over the grass, presumably looking for food. i don’t know what it was about that bird- maybe the fact that it didn’t have a care in the world? i have no idea what a happy bird looks like, but this little guy seemed pretty damn content. it was such a beautiful moment of being totally present and in the now, of appreciating nature in all its glory, and not wanting to be anywhere else, with anyone else, than there in the park with that little bird.

so: it’s the little things in life. i feel grateful that i’m learning the lesson to slow down and appreciate right now for all it’s glorious simplicity.

write it down!

it seems as though any and everyone who believes in the law of attraction has read the secret; i myself was a little late to the game but am finally reading it now. i’m about halfway through and can tell that it’s working wonders already. in the span of a few weeks, some pretty awesome things have happened. taken alone, each is minor; but as a whole, they are evidence that this stuff is real. for example, a concept that keeps showing up in my life is to “write it down”. meaning, it’s great to have a vague sense of what you want your life to look like, but the best way to actually make all of that happen is to get super clear and specific on what you want and put pen to paper so that the universe knows it unequivocally. the secret uses the analogy of placing an order via a catalogue: when you place an order, you know with certainty (barring a freak delivery mess-up or crazy snowstorm. but you get the point) that your package will eventually arrive. so too with your dreams and desires. once you’re clear about them, write them down, and let the universe know you’re serious about them, you can consider your “order” as having been placed. and you can know with certainty that you can expect them…eventually. hey, better late than never! for you skeptics out there (and i know there are many- i used to be one of them): i get it. it sounds real hippie-dippie and esoteric and maybe just plain ridiculous. but consider taking a chance, doing something different and giving it a try. worst case, your life stays the same. best case, it transforms into everything you’ve ever dreamed of.