Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I am preparing to throw a fantastic dinner party this coming weekend and had to make a decision on the guest list a few weeks ago as I prepared to mail out the invitations.  There was one name in particular that I stared at for quite some time  -- unsure what to do.  He had become a dear friend of mine this past year and someone I really enjoyed having in my life -- but I met him through The Ex.

I contemplated on the "appropriateness" of including him at the dinner party table as he would be integrated with many chapters of my life, including family members, but then I also realized the background for each of the other contenders and saw that for at least 5 of them the common thread was an ex of some kind.

In the movie The Holiday there is this little old man that befriends Kate Winslet and he relates the modern day Hollywood (and life in general) to the patterns and quirks of the Hollywood Golden Era -- life in Tinseltown.  It is the sweetest character that I have ever come across in a movie as he looks through his 'Tinseltown' glasses at so many situations and at one point he describes to Kate that what she just experienced was the "Meet Cute".  The point in a film when two characters are brought together in a spontaneous moment and from there the relationship begins to develop.

I had experienced my 'Meet Cute' with many friends, new and old, over the years through a former lover.  It was just a fact.  I am a personable young lady that appreciates developing relationships with those I can immediately relate to and I happened to develop these relationships beyond the relationship status of my lovers.

So naturally, I posted his name on the envelope and placed it in the mail.  I am prepared for the backlash that might come from those that feel when you experience a break up it is best to pack up all of your things, including your friendships, and go your separate ways.  People, and relationships, run a deeper connection than the egg poacher or margarita machine that might have been shared by a couple.  I'll take the poacher and you can have all the margs you want -- but I don't want to have to end some fantastic friendships after my lover served up the Meet Cute.

Now here is the kicker -- and it might leave you in a fit -- since I feel like I carry the weight of a broken heart after the most recent breakup, I have decided he isn't allowed to have access to any of my friends.  The fringe friends you can have all you want, but my 'besties' have seen the bruises of the heart and know where their loyalties lie.  A double standard?  Absolutely.  So the question remains...In a break up, who gets the friends?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Have you recently connected with a friend and been on the receiving end of the basic question "How are you?" and answered it with anything other than "Great!"?  The other night I received a more honest response from someone as they told me that their day was okay, but really just another ordinary day.  A simple response, yet somewhat profound.  I hardly ever respond with such honesty -- especially in our Facebook driven world of competitive comparisons of Status Updates and Posted Photos.  Can life ever look less than extraordinary or has ordinary become passe?

I was ruminating on this whole idea this morning as I was informed by my boss that our recently hired operations manager has resigned before his first official day on the job due to a better offer, our intern has dyslexia and probably needs to quit soon to focus on school, and our lead customer service representative has given her two weeks notice to transition into the insurance industry.  Awesome day to start giving thanks, right?

Brace yourself -- Pollyanna is about to get up on her soap box -- I'm not going to head into the holidays with a cloud above me, instead I am going to try and Keep Up The Beat!!  Get it?  My little play on words, to stay upbeat?!  Yes, I have possibly overdosed on lattes this morning but for now I will state that it is erroneous.  No Twitter tweet, FB update, or work challenge is going to make me feel like life isn't worth celebrating this weekend.

Sometimes we have to set aside significant time and energy to actually give thanks and recognize the blessings in our life.  Do you have a roof over your head?  Do you have good health?  Can you name at least one person in your life that knows you well and loves you just for being your perfectly flawed self?  If the answer to two out of three is yes, then we are on the right foot to a very Happy Thanksgiving!

As for the other challenges that flow freely through life...they will still be there on Monday to tackle, so let's just deal with it then...

"A philosophy of life: I'm an adventurer, looking for treasure."

- Paulo Coelho, from his best-selling book "The Alchemist".

Monday, November 21, 2011


Manifestation:  The materialized form of a spirit.

This past weekend I enjoyed the company of good friends on Friday and Saturday with wine nights and birthday dinners -- but then found myself in a very quiet place and alone on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  As I have alluded to in the past, I am a bit of a 'Type A' personality and I enjoy keeping busy and feeling productive.  So here I was with the only productive activity on my list for the day being "Do Laundry" and I had successfully checked it off my list by lunch.  In my moments alone, that many of you pine for and consider a peaceful space, I was suddenly able to set aside all of the joy of the last few days and settle in on the loneliness that come with the fact that I was watching the light hearted comedy 'New Girl' alone in my apartment while laughing out loud and hearing my own voice echo down the hallway.  I was pretty up-to-date on the season so two episodes later I was at a dry river when it came to 'things to do'.

The pity party was soon to follow and my imagination was running amuck:  "I wish I had a boy here to cuddle on the couch with while enjoying a fire and a movie.  I wish I had a small dog to curl up on my lap and at least pretend we were conversing.  Maybe I should visit home so that I could at least have my parents around to laugh at my jokes -- oh wait, they are out of town too!  Why, oh why, do I not have a text message to return, a man to dote on me, or a posse of people to keep me company on this rainy day!?"  Oh yes, poor lonely me. 

In case you missed the tone of my last line, I will emphasize the sarcasm in describing my next move:  telling myself to snap out of it!!  I have a great life and this wide open day with rain as a relaxing backdrop is something for me to make the most of -- so I hopped in my car and drove to the LACMA (Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art).  I bought my $10 ticket and wandered the exhibits and the hallways all by myself for over two hours.  It was the best Sunday afternoon I can remember on record. 

As I wandered the halls, staring at the exhibits and telling myself what a gift a day like this truly is, I nearly laughed out loud at the memory of a heavy heart drowning in a pool of pity just hours earlier!  I was in a great mood and spirits were high, yet I had done nothing much beyond change my own internal frame of mind.

When times are good it is so easy to focus on everything we have, and if we are mindful enough, to express gratitude the generous people around us or the Higher Being for the blessings in our life.  But what about when things are so perfect and plentiful?  The times when our minds can run a long list of everything we DON'T have in our live?  That is when we are in charge of our own destiny and we can choose to focus on what we HAVE or HAVE NOT.  It's the basic idea of Manifest Destiny.  Yesterday I was on the edge of the cliff towards full free fall into the pool of pity and instead chose to focus my mind on all of the blessings and goodness that I can -- and will -- seek out in life.  How will you CHOOSE to MAKE tomorrow a great day? 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This week my mind has been filled with gratitude and excitement as I look towards the future.  I have "cut the chains" of the past that were holding me back and am now preparing to embrace life and enjoy the adventure ahead.  With a free mind and open heart to explore new ideas, I started thinking about the upcoming holiday season and more specifically the -- only weeks away -- food feast that is commercially titled "Thanksgiving".

I played in my mind a list of things that I am grateful for and even started the dialogue as a prayer of thanksgiving..."Dear Lord, I am so thankful for my family and friends as they have showered me with unconditional love this past year.  I am thankful for my parents as they continue to provide encouragement and a rock hard foundation for me to stand upon in both my professional and personal life.  I am thankful for my sister who always seems to know just when to check in on me.  I am thankful for my friend that shared a glass of wine with me last night and had me laughing for hours..." -- and the list goes on.  After a couple of moments, I sat up in my bed with my eyes wide open (I'm talking Kathy from NJ Real Housewives raccoon eyes) and realized -- This is all well and good, but what am I doing to actually give thanks to these people in my life?!  Sadly, not much beyond whispering a prayer.

Everyone from Wal-Mart to Nordstroms is gearing up for this 'Gift Giving' season as we shower our loved ones with thoughtful presents of new possessions.  I would like to offer to you the same challenge that I presented to myself -- how can we actually giveof ourselves to those we are most grateful for in our lives?  Is it delivering dinner unannounced to the friend buried at work or barely sleeping as a new mother?  Is it sending a greeting card in the mail (snail mail, unlike Santa Claus, actually does still exist!)?  Is it sending cupcakes to a friend the day before their big presentation?  Or perhaps it is simply telling someone, I need to make time to celebrate our friendship as we have both been busy -- you name the date and place and I will be there to enjoy your company.

Whatever it is that can personally touch and give back to the people that brighten each and every day of your life -- I encourage you to write the idea down and make it happen.  My list is quite long as I feel very blessed to have so much love and support in my life, but I am bursting with excitement at executing each of my little deeds.  In fact, I have changed the name plate on my desk to "Santa's Little Helper".

Happy Thanks Giving to all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


"People always say change takes time.  Indeed, the majority of change requires commitment and daily repetition, but there are cases in which major life shift can occur overnight.  These types of instant changes come to those who are truly open to them, at times that are called "Quantum Moments."  The outcome of a QM is a Quantum Shift, which results in allowing you to change your perception of who you are and what you can accomplish.  Quantum Moments are actually opportunities to reinvent yourself." -- Gabrielle Bernstein from Add More ing to Your Life.

This is the first paragraph of the first page that I opened when I reached for Gabrielle's paperback, which has a permanent home on my bedside table, and opened towards the back of the book where I had not yet read each chapter three times over.  It was a chilly Sunday night and I was processing (ok, maybe obsessing) about an incident that had occurred just days before -- with the outcome of this said incident being that my somewhat emotionally drained and exhausted body felt thrown me up against another one of life's speed bumps.  I read the next two pages after this particular paragraph struck an emotional chord and then made the decision that I was ready for my Quantum Moment.  Ok, let me back up as to how I got to the place of a QM...

This past weekend, while I was en route to spend time with family and enjoy a long four-day weekend in the Midwest, I received an email from one of my closest girlfriends notifying me that my most recent Ex (Ex #1) had contacted her -- to say hello.  Are you kidding me?!  What right does he have to contact one of my closest girlfriends, inquire about her life, and then invite himself to a social gathering that he knows I have planned on attending for months.  Last I checked, she was the Ethel to my Lucy and had been in my life for nearly 5 years. He knew her for six months and only because she was my go-to girl for everything from brunch dates to shopping excursions to Saturday night cocktails on the town.

I felt punched in the gut, for only a moment, and then I was mad.  Not just "upset", but F-Bomb-Every-Other-Word angry!  Leave me alone, Mr. Ex.  You decided, without my input or even any real participation in the matter, to break my heart in ending a relationship that brought much joy into my life.  I get it, you have issues and needed to cut things off, but now here you are deciding to pour salt in a wound.  How dare you contact one of my closest friends only a month after I respectfully asked you to check out of "Hotel B.Dawn's Life" and not return for at least a year.  My mind swirled with hurt and anger for days -- I was reeling about how someone could be so self centered and feel so entitled to live their life with such disregard for others.

I continued to read through Gabrielle's book on Sunday night looking for answers and then I found one:  "Quantum shifts are about deciding who you want to be and then going for it. The Quantum Shift requires an open mind and deep desire to release the chains of the past.  By surrendering your past and accepting a new perception of your present--and a new perception of yourself--you''ll realize that change is available in an instant."  

In that very moment I mentally pictured cutting the chains from my shoulders, took a deep breath, and said good bye to Sean.  This person, this break up, these emotions -- they were dragging me down, and more importantly, holding me back.  I had officially hit burnout in giving him my time and energy and when I made the decision that the time had finally come to release the chains there was a tremendous sense of release -- it was incredible.  

We all have issues/people/decisions that we hold onto in our lives and allow them to swirl round-and-round in our minds.  The ego allows us to fall into this trap and we can get so deep that we don't know a way out. It's a trap that is all too familiar and more pronounced with addicts.  But Gabrielle pointed out the light in this dark tunnel -- the decision for change can be ours alone.  Is there anything chained to your back that you need to release?  Take a chance and cut it free, I can almost promise you will feel liberated in an instant.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Have you ever been thinking about something so ferociously that it literally becomes an obsession?  We hate to used the word obsession or "OCD" because it implies that we are unstable or not mentally sound, but I would argue that all of us find ourselves falling into this trap every now and then.  My latest obsession -- letting go of something where I have no control. 

I have spent the last week or so wrestling with the thoughts of confusion and vignettes of the past in my sleep.  At one point I even woke up and said out loud "Stop!".  I wanted more than anything to have my mind shut down, ease into sleep, and to wake up with a smile on my face  in recognition of the many blessings in my life. 
I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I am still struggling with my most recent break-up, which in real time has hit the 2 month mark -- for a 6 month relationship!  Not a statistic that I am proud of.  I find myself nostalgic for the way that I felt in the relationship and the life that I lived.  I was happy.  I was in love.  I was excited for just about anything.  And I was busy sharing all of this joy with someone else. 

I have been told, by myself and others, that what happened is beyond my control.  He had issues, I did nothing wrong, he can't/doesn't want to be in the relationship anymore, I can do nothing to fix it or change it, and it is time to move on.  So let's get this straight:  I was happy and a good person and then this joyful chapter ended through no fault of my own and without any of my input allowed.  Total bullshit.

Letting go is hard.  Letting go of things that we have no control over is even harder.  I am a firm believer in the power of thought and what influence it has on how we experience our daily lives.  This obsession feels like a brick sitting on my heart valve -- the one that usually pumps highly oxygenated blood throughout my body to create energy and excitement.  The best thing to do is surrender and I am putting my best foot forward to do just that.  I will surrender to a higher power that things happen for reasons we don't understand and then we must accept these things in which we have no power of influence. 

I  started a habit of affirmations last night when I lay down to sleep and I will keep these affirmations going until I feel my mind and soul let go and stop the wrestling:  I am thankful for the many blessings in my life.  I pray for the light and goodness of the future.  And I smile knowing that He is watching over me.