Intentions + Goals= Game on!

Happy New Year! 

By now you may given up that New Years Resolution to eat healthy, drink less, you know, something vague and probably unrealistic.  Or maybe you're following a growing trend to do away with resolutions altogether. Hey, I get it. The less we expect of ourselves, the less we have to be disappointed about. Except, resolution or not, it's not so hard to find an area of our lives to be disappointed in.  Sigh, it's part of being human, feeling like we're not doing enough and that we could be better. Sometimes it's even comforting to have a goal, that feeling that we're working toward something, anything.

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Let me suggest a new way to inspire yourself toward change.
Intentions! 

Intentions and goals often get confused, here's a mini breakdown.

Goals: They can be very valuable in motivating us to make changes and reach a higher potential. Where goals have the power to trip us is in that achieving them happens in a far away future, NOT in the here and now.  To keep up our motivation to work toward a goal, we attach a whole lot of expectation to a desired outcome. This desired outcome is supposed to solve our problems, make our life better, maybe even be a dream come true. The problem with that is that it puts a crappy sheen on our current state. It can make life in the present moment full of disappointment and anxiety. Not a good thing for long term motivation and current happiness. 

Pairing long term goals with daily intentions may be just the fix though...

Intentions: Unlike goals, intentions are based in how we want to FEEL, now.  They are instantly achievable with a shift in mindset. Where goals require us to create a long term roadmap for a desired outcome, intentions are a call for a desired feeling. 

The Dynamic Duo: Intentions and Goals
The way these two can work together is pretty sweet. Like I said, having long term goals is A-Ok. It's when goals take us out of the present moment that they can become unhelpful. To stay in the moment and give ourselves a steady buzz of success and contentment try using a related intention that matches your goal.

For Example: A goal could be "I want to make new friends." A noble goal no doubt. There are physical actions you could take to achieve this goal, inviting acquaintances out for bevs, making your home into a place where people would like to gather etc. Creating bonds takes time though and inevitably along the way of trying to achieve your goal, you may begin to feel disheartened with all that emphasis on what you DON'T have. Enter intentions. It's time to take emotional action to boost up the physical action!

When you think about creating and intention that jives with your goal it opens up a really beautiful thought process about how we actually want to FEEL when we reach our goal. So many times we create empty goals, say, about wanting to lose weight and drink less when deep down what we want is to feel healthy, clear and in control.

If your goal is to make more friends you may have a desire to feel understood, connected and inspired.  When you know how you want to feel in that moment when you reach your goal you have the power to feel that way RIGHT NOW! That's what an intention is. A practice in feeling the way you intend to feel when you reach your physical goal. 

If I want more friends in my life I would want to practice the feelings of being more understanding of others.  I would intend to be more open minded, I would intend to be more inclusive and compassionate.  These are daily challenges I could slay on my toward reaching my goal. I would practice being a good friend so that I in turn make good friends. 

When we tune our future desires together with our present feelings we create a very powerful shift of energy that can create a far away dream life in the here and now.

Mindfulness In Real Life- 5 Online Dating Tips For the Mindful Person

Online dating gives you access to a huge bevy of people you’d never cross paths with and it’s amazing. On the flip side, online dating gives you access to a huge bevy of people you’d never cross paths with and it can be a shitshow.  It’s a numbers game, they’re not all gonna be golden tickets! I think that sharing a little bit of common ground and establishing some fresh dating rules could make the whole thing a LOT more fun.  If dating  happened in a more open, honest, compassionate and vulnerable space (like if we all agreed those traits would not make women “Crazy & Needy” and would not make men “Emo & Weak”) we’d waste so much less time and get to the good part (connection?!) faster. With real communication the inherent up and down of dating could be more enlightening, educational and have less potential to be confusing and hurtful.  From my own experience in dating for the last 10 years or so at the dawn and rise of online dating I’ve compiled a few tips, some of them may be challenges:)

 Late night swiping spree's can lead to this....

Late night swiping spree's can lead to this....


5 Online Dating Tips For the Mindful Person

1.  SWIPE/MATCH WITH INTENTION: I know Tinder can feel like a game (woowee I’m on a streak!) and OKCupid can satisfy the basic need to have someone to communicate with. But there are some REAL live people on the other side! Know why you’re online dating, know why they are online dating and for gods sake be honest and truly listen. Meet up only if your intentions match. We can always dream that someone we’re physically attracted to may change over time and want what we want but it makes for a much better chance at connection if you meet someone where they are at, not where you want them to be. If you just want to Netflix and Chill but aren’t looking to enjoy the Farmer’s Market or go out dancing, it’s ok, but be honest. If you are looking to get married, it’s ok! But again, be honest and maybe don’t swipe right on the person looking for casual sex. If we’re all clearer about our intentions for dating, there will be a lot less mismatching and broken expectations and a lot more connection and fun.

2. MEET IN PERSON AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: After meeting online, take things to date planning as soon as you know you’d like to meet that person. We ALL know that texting can go wrong, fast.  If you’re texting or worse yet, emailing at an extended length before meeting in person, there’s a big chance that:

a. Through printed word alone something is taken out of context and things are ended before even meeting in real life (you know, with the added benefit of 93% of your full expressive potential).

OR

b. Things become so intimate over printed word alone that you feel the intensity of an emotional investment you weren't prepare to handle with a total stranger.

The point of online dating is to introduce us to someone to  DATE.  It’s not to spend more time on our phones. Don’t breadcrumb someone just to stave off boredom or to have an option on the table at all times. To clarify, bread crumbing is leading someone on with just enough communication with no intention of ever meeting them or moving things further.   If everyone is open and honest from the git we’ll spend a lot less time feeling confused/exasperated or sheepish/manipulative.

3.  MATCH THE SETTING WITH YOUR INTENTION: I am loving The Coffee Date. You usually have somewhere to go after and my day clothes are cuter than the few Friday Night Out outfits I’ve been rotating.  I use coffee dates for people who I’m not sure what category I’d lump them in. Sometimes I just want to meet people who sound interesting but I’m not attracted or vice versa lol.  It’s low pressure, CHEAP and honestly if someone can’t handle the rawness of a sober date I know they are probably not for me. You probably aren’t going to get laid after a coffee date but you probably will be more in tune with how you feel about that person because the hazy sheen of alcohol and late night revelry will be removed.

The Evening Date on the other hand is sexy and fun! I’m loving date night in Seattle, couples are out and about, you can feel the current of unsureness and possibility wafting around.  I save evening dates for people I’d consider going home with. When you just have a picture and a few sentences to go with though, alcohol can blur the lines of truth. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all create a fantasy of who that person is going to be on the other side of the computer. Rarely are they that person for better or worse.  This can be more easily ignored with alcohol!  The problem I’m facing lately is wanting to continue hanging out, partying and flirting but not wanting to drink or spend any more money. Inevitably this leaves some badly lit 24 hour dinner or a closing coffee shop to continue in. Or our houses. And once were in each others houses that mood decidedly shifts to a more sexual nature. This is a place where I’ve both enjoyed casual sex AND regretted it. Make sure only go home with someone you can discuss your boundaries, fears and desires with BEFORE clothes start flying off.  It takes a lot of balls to be that vulnerable, heck it can be more intimate than the sex itself! But in this day and age we all owe it to ourselves to quiet the hormones and hornyness and support and nurture a shift toward healthier sex. This can happen with an open minded and respectful dialogue between two consenting adults.

4. SPEAK UP: For the love of all things holy, know that it is ok, amazing and BRAVE to discuss your desires, fears and boundaries at any stage of a relationship.  If you went into the date with one intention (I just need to get laid tonight, it could be anybody!) and that intention changes (I don’t want to have sex with this person but I’d like to make out) you’ve got to speak up. In dating, nobody is locked into anything! Don’t let outdated gender roles and expectations scare you off from being open, honest and vulnerable. Don’t ever assume someone can read your mind/vibe and know exactly where you are at. Guessing how someone feels is ludicrous and infuriating, as mother’s say to toddlers “Use your words.”  I think the worst that could happen is someone thinks you’re crazy or lame (In which case, THANK YOU for making my decision to walk the other way more clear and easy).  The best that can happen is you cultivate the power to speak your truth no matter how other people might think about you. It takes practice but it encourages others in your dating sphere to do the same and thats huge.

5. NO GHOSTING. EVER. PERIOD. LIKE DON’T DO IT. Ghosting is when you flat out ignore someone that you’ve met because you’re too scared to hurt someone’s feelings (aka be real and possibly endure them saying someone mean about YOU). Ghosting is mean, rude, cruel and a total fucking fail on the journey to being a better person.  In my personal opinion, if you’re going to let someone know you’re not interested  after one or two dates texting is fine, after 3-5 dates, you should call, and after that consider meeting in person (unless you feel this person could put you in danger). The bottom line is you should have the compassion and courtesy to speak your truth to a person you’ve spent time with, regardless of how they will react. In 95% of the instances I’ve done it the person has been pleasant and even grateful. In 5% they’ve gotten nasty and blown up (dodged a bullet!). I’ve survived. In 100% of the the times I’ve been ghosted it hurt. In 100% of the times someone told me they weren’t interested it stung but I’m so grateful and respect that person more. You are not required to provide a reason although, if said with tact, truth and compassion could be a relief for someone and may even provide a powerful learning experience for both of you. Fight the good fight to end ghosting.  It may sting for a second but it’s better than obsessing/aching for awhile. And if you get a text that someone isn’t interested in moving forward (A TOTAL OPTION IN DATING, DUH!) then be classy about accepting that. It took some bravery to do that and now you can move onto a much better match.

HAPPY DATING EVERYONE!!!!


 

Wellness In Real Life- Cauliflower Pizza Crust

For me the cauliflower pizza crust is more about ease and affordability than the drastic difference in calories over a dough crust.  Just like a traditional pizza recipe you can top it with anything you've got laying around, a great way to get more veg in my diet without repeating my tired old stirfry routine. It's pretty delicious and cheap to make but makes me feel like a gourmand. Buon Apetito!
Here's how easy it is....

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Cauliflower Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated cauliflower (about 1 head of cauliflower)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt
  •  
  • For topping:
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • Meat, veggies, herbs etc

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place grated cauliflower on a clean, thin dish towel. Wrap up in the middle and twist closed, squeezing out all the moisture. If you don't squeeze out the moisture your crust will stay together but it will be soggy. A cheese clothe worked best for me.
  3. Place dry cauliflower into a bowl and add yogurt, eggs, and spices. Fold mixture until evenly combined.
  4. Place dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread mixture with hands until about 3/4-inch thick. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and firm enough to hold its shape.
  5. Remove crust from oven and top with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, and veggies. if desired. Return pizza to oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Adapted rom a recipe on The Greatist

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Somewhere along the way the meaning of Thanksgiving was....let's just say diluted since vanquished is a bit dramatic. Mindless gorging, Black Friday death scrambles and dreaded family arguments are some of the things that make us roll our eyes when we think about that last Thursday in November.
LET'S RECLAIM THANKSGIVING!
And the solution is pretty simple. Use the ENTIRE day to give thanks. Not just those few minutes right before you eat. Do you guys also go around the table and have everyone say something they're thankful for? If you're like me year ago you sit, fork poised, thinking, "Shut up shut up shut up!" Well this year let's really take the time to listen to what people are saying. These are people I love or at least am connected to in such a special open moment. Many people rarely find the moment to give thanks for what they have.  We're usually to busy listing what we DON'T have.  Gratitude is a very potent & powerful tool in shifting the energy and flow in your life. It is a force!  Any moment where you can stop and realize the gifts and abundance in your life, in the present, means that the flow of negativity, lack and fear has stopped, if even for a brief moment. When you're in the Gratitude Zone, the magic happens, spiritually, emotionally and even physically. Give those around you a Bummer Break by using gratitude as your anchor for a day long meditation. When you feel things shifting into an Armageddon, be that annoying person who shifts the subject back to something funny, uplifting and full of gratitude. You've got a free pass, It's freaking Thanksgiving Day, and you have been officially challenged!

Want to Up the Anty?
Check out my Eating Meditation on SoundCloud
 

Top 10 Things To Talk About At Thanksgiving Other Than Politics and Religion

10. Puppies (We'll start easy...)

9. Top 3 Places You'd Love to Travel

8. Most Embarrassing Moment

7. Dating (Comparing dating in my grandparents time to now has provided lots of laughs and some surprisingly good insight)

6. Favorite Recipes and Worst Cooking Fails

5. If Hugh is gone, who's running the Playboy Mansion?

4. If you didn't have Netflix, what would you do with the spare time?

3. Favorite character on Friends and why

2. Your Dream Job, feel free to completely create a new job suited just for you

1. Mindfulness and the Effects of Meditation!

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Mindfulness In Real Life- Stop Being a Jerk to Yourself

For most of us this is true: We are the hardest on ourselves. You wouldn’t dare talk to a friend or child like you do to yourself (Get of of bed, why are you napping?! You think you can fuggin eat that?! Oh really, you think you can pull off that promotion!?). It’s not cool and despite what we think, that prodding, negative self talk isn’t going to motivate us into changing. It takes real practice to learn how to turn that voice down and listen to a much kinder, understanding one. It's in a more compassionate space that we can REALLY find the courage to make some changes. We could all use a good friend. Why not get to know the one that lives inside your own head?

A Few Tips On Being A Cooler Friend (To Yourself):

-Know Your OWN Personal Values:  Chances are you're judging yourself using a set of standards you didn't even create or may don’t even truly believe. Check in often to see if that voice in your head sounds curiously like your mom, dad, older sib, religion, job, mentor,  idol, group of friends or more often than not, an old incarnation or idea of yourself. When you can suss out your own voice it makes it WAY easier to make a move that actually resonates.

-Hug Yourself, no seriously, hug yourself: It works! Try it right before you go to bed and really mean it. If you can use it to send love to someone else, why not yourself?

-Don't beat yourself up: We think beating ourselves over the head or prodding ourselves along will motivate us to achieve the goals we create for ourselves. Yeah right. Maybe we can shame ourselves into action in the beginning but we all know it’s not a lasting mindset and usually leaves us feeling worse when we end up not meeting our goals. You need some understanding and compassion, you need a good friend. Be that person for yourself a little more often and you may find it easier to make the necessary changes in your life to get to where you wanna go. (And no, being kind to yourself isn’t “letting yourself off the hook”!). When you have a rough day or fail at something give yourself a compliment or kind word instead of the opposite and just observe what happens.

-Be More Understanding of Others: It's time we were all aware of how much we judge others. I fancy myself a pretty openminded go with the flow type of gal but when I made the decision to be aware of it, I noticed just how often I internally clutch my pearls or roll my eyes at others.  Suffice to say that if you find that your a Judgy Judgerson of those around it you, it's worse on the inside. Maybe giving others a dang break will help you loosen up your judgments on yourself as well.

-Treat Yourself: Do something REALLY nice for yourself. Go more towards an experience than a material item like a meal, drink or clothes. Avoid sneaky "Treating Yourself" pitfalls like cleaning your garage because you "should" when you really just want to go see a movie. Get a massage, take a bath or a class, take a day off work and do whatever the F you want for the ENTIRE day. Enjoy it! And every time something like guilt or To-Do List stress pops up, push it away, and come back to your intentional self care moment. You deserve it as much as the people that you love.

I offer intuitive counseling sessions that can help you with all your self-love (or lack there of!) needs. Let’s talk:)

Mindfulness In Real Life- Retreat Yoself

I spent the last four months planning two Happiness Retreats with one of my closest friends and creative business partner Amanda for our collaboration, The Buena Vida. We're not even a week from the end of the last retreat and I'm still reeling from the fact that we not only pulled it off, but did it with such grace, beauty and FUN! It was what I pictured and then 10 times better in all these unforeseen ways. I'm trying to make a list of my takeaways so here is what I have so far:
 

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1. I'm focusing on What Went Right.  Not so long ago after my events I'd go into automatic "What Went Wrong" Mode. This time around it was easier to focus on what went right and it made listing ways we could improve way more fun and inspiring. I took a Mindful Self-Compassion course last year and since then have been practicing  showing myself a little more patience and understanding, being a better friend in general to myself.  I can see it paying off in times like these where in the past I would have been kicking my ass about little snags that went down and not reveling in the beauty of finishing a big project from idea to finish. That's an incredible thing in itself!

2. The Human Resolve is a Force of Beauty. Since my first Girl Scout camp I've been all up in Retreat Life.  I love it!! You get to kick it in nature, laugh around campfires and explore.  Lately the exploration has focused on the inside. When I sit before a campfire at a retreat I find that I'm either facing and accepting the sides of myself I don't like (and am constantly trying to hide or heal!) or working to love the sides of myself I do like (but sometimes feel selfish celebrating!).  People open up and share deep things in ceremony, that's actually one of the biggest types of healing I know, speaking your truth and having people nod back in compassion and understanding. I'm so blown away when I hear the dark and rough things people have endured yet still are carrying on and living with joy. Humans are strong, we deeply want to live and even more so, live happy lives despite our tough pasts and unwritten futures!

3. Spending time in nature and spending time in silence is powerful.

4. Eating healthy for even 3 days in a row feels amazing!!

5.  Being happy and giving yourself love takes PRACTICE. Being aware of how tough we are on ourselves is the first step. Making an intention to do the best we can at feeling good is the second.

6. Do what you love first for the simple fact that you love doing it. It doesn't have to be for profit or to pay the bills. It doesn't have to be displayed or shared, rated or reviewed. It doesn't have to lead "to the next thing". Just do what you love because it makes you happy:)

Mindfulness in Real Life-Summer Dranks!!

We tend to drink more in summer, plain and simple. The days are longer, the events, weddings and celebrations are seemingly endless and our more active summer MO gives us the perfect excuse to drink more.  It's a three month party! Drinking consciously in summer can be hard for some. But not impossible!

Here's a few tips for more conscious drinking:

1. Plan outings with friends that put you in nature not the bar. There are enough drinking related events  in summer. Plan meetings, outings and hang times with friends and loved ones at the coffee shop, park or nature trail. You may find you have friends who are weirded out about meeting up sober but you can always catch them at the next boozy  shindig.

2. Instead of 18 crappy drinks try 1-3 really amazing ones. It costs the same money to drink a ton of crap as a small amount of awesome. Turns out drinking well made cocktails is way more fun AND will probs feel better in the morning. Ask friends or do your research to find a bar in town that makes unique or incredible drinks and has enthusiastic bartenders. A great bartender can craft you a drink based on your likes. I love to ask bartenders to give me their version of my fav, a margarita. When a drink is wonderful we take much longer to sip it. We taste the flavors and layers. We appreciate the work that goes into it. This time spent truly enjoying the drink means we can feel the booziness coming on much more clearly and gauge when we've had enough with better (or any) accuracy.

3. Get to know your booze. Head to a legit tasting or take a brewery tour. Learn to appreciate the work, process and ingredients it takes to create what many consider an art.

4. Eat before you drink and stay hydrated!! The effects of alcohol are no joke. Eating a real meal that has quality protein and fat (think fish tacos with guacamole!) will SAVE YOUR LIFE lol.

5. Invite your positive, happy and healthy friends out. Drinking with a Debbie Downer can quickly sour and wreck a night out. If you're gonna gonna drink alcohol make sure it's in a relaxing, upbeat and safe environment. One that you can and WANT to remember:)

Perspective Collecting: Where is the best summer in the world?

My perspective: Summer is the Best in The Great Pacific Northwest, especially Seattle.
Low humidity leaves the air crisp with freshness while still being warm. The brilliant green of our trees meets deep blue lake water. These lakes surround you on all sides and I kid you not: The sun sets at about 9:45pm daily. An ocean sunset is pretty spectacular but for me, nothing beats the purple glow of Mt. Rainer out for a summer sunset.  

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If you find yourself immediately trying to silently correct me on this hold up! What if neither of us had to be "right" and we just got to enjoy each others unique perspectives, our heart filled takes on the same thing (and an awesome thing no less!). The best that could happen is that you get an even broader understanding  on what makes summer so incredibly amazing. I'd love to hear more about our planets incredible summers so if you feel like sharing your unique perspective please leave it in the comments below!!

#gratituderaising: Writers

#GRATITUDE RAISING GOING OUT TO WRITERS. In my current entrepreneurial pursuit I’m constantly reminded that the ability to convey feeling with the agonizingly limited communication of WORDS is nothing short of magic. THANK YOU for trying and often time succeding!