Are You Too Hard or Too Easy on Yourself?

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Balance


Do you cut yourself too much slack? It’s okay to let yourself splurge sometimes; you don’t need to be so hard on yourself, of course. But, being too lax can end up negatively affecting you down the road.

The interesting thing about consequences is that they don’t always show up immediately. If you are too easy on yourself in high school, you kick yourself when it’s time to get into a decent college. If you party too much during college, then you find yourself floating aimlessly after you graduate. That’s if you graduate.

We can let ourselves have “cheat days” where we eat whatever we want, but we must make sure those cheat days don’t grow. The fact is if we’re too soft on ourselves, we allow excuses to remove accountability and responsibility. When we don’t hold ourselves accountable it becomes too easy to procrastinate and avoid our priorities. Sometimes we sabotage our potential because we don’t think we’re good enough or that we don’t deserve success. So, we allow ourselves to slack off and thus fail.

We can equally be too hard on ourselves. I tend to fall into this camp and I’m sure many of you do, too. When I lived in Colorado Springs for about a year, I became an avid hiker. My dog Abraham and I hiked Waldo Canyon (before the fires) about six days a week. No exaggeration. I became so good, I had all the trails memorized and could do them at night without headlamps. I purchased a doggie rain jacket and garbed myself in my own so downfalls wouldn’t sideline us. This is a seven-mile hike at 8,150 elevation. I was training for what would be an amazing six-hour hike up Pikes Peak, my first and only 14,000-plus elevation hike.

I’m not a skier but, I also tried that too. Hey, you can’t live in Colorado without trying out the snow. Then, on a bunny slope, no less, I wound up falling so hard that I had to get taken via gurney off the mountain. My knee hurt like it never hurt before, and being hard on myself, I told my body to toughen up. I didn’t get it checked, the pain went away and that was that. However, I continued to fall or collapse on it. Long story short, I just found out that I not only have a torn meniscus, but a torn ACL in my right knee. The doctor said I actually have no ACL remaining. I will likely need surgery and now my left knee is also tweaking. It feels like a meniscus tear in my left knee, as well, which could also require surgery.

Regardless, I walked 40 miles a week all throughout my pregnancy on both deteriorating knees. My sister the nurse was surprised that I was successful at carrying my daughter without any further serious injury.

Let’s just say the way I am with my knee is the way I am with everything. I push myself and push myself. Sometimes that’s great but other times life forces you to take it a little easy.


The Bottom Line:

You could fall into the “too easy on yourself” category or if you’re like me, the way too hard on yourself camp. I think the first step is to acknowledge that you’ve got to find your way towards the middle. We have to be tough on ourselves to push towards achievement and have the follow through in order to succeed. But, we also need to know when to cut ourselves a little slack.

I prefer to be harder on myself because at least I know I am setting goals and achieving them. When you’re too easy on yourself, you lack the motivation and drive to follow through to the finish line. When it comes to your body and an injury, the lesson that I’ve learned is to not let an injury go without getting checked for years. As I did with my knee, it went unchecked for like six-plus years. It’s okay to push yourself, just know your limits and your body. It’s all about being balanced, knowing when to work and knowing when to schedule relaxation time.

We’re either too easy on ourselves or way too hard. Balance is key and possible, but it’s often extremely challenging obtaining it.



Albert Einstein on Balance



 

 

Never Negotiate Your Integrity

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Life is certainly too short to live our lives affected by other people’s decisions. That’s why we have to reach a point of focusing on our own choices and how we can better live our lives. We only have control over ourselves, but certainly people do affect us with their stubborn refusal to negotiate. When dealing with inflexible people, sometimes the only thing to do is to get up and walk away. This is as true in business and as it is in most areas of our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

The Force of Positive Connection

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Photo by Sonyo Estavillo shot on Canon T5i at the South Coast Botanical Gardens

Early this morning on my way to the gym, I saw a disheveled homeless man convincingly arguing with a phantom antagonist. He was waving his hands in the air to emphasize an imperative point.

We call people like this homeless man crazy, but I wonder how much of his insanity stems from isolation and the need for positive connection. I wonder how many of us dog lovers have better conversations with our four-legged friends than with humans. I wonder if like this homeless man, we are all craving a little conversation and are willing to argue with ourselves just to feel the rise of human emotion, reminding us we’re still alive. Read the rest of this entry »

Declutter Your Life to Reduce Depression

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I started to clean house and didn’t expect to achieve a therapeutic result, but I did. The reality TV shows Hoarders made collecting clutter a serious situation, bringing awareness that hoarding and disorganized chaos piling in the home is often a reflection of mental wellness or lack thereof. [1] Read the rest of this entry »

Love Is A Verb

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love-is-a-verbLove Is More Than Just Words

The one thing I’ve learned in my travels, having lived all over the United States, is how easy it is for people to come and go in your life. Those who remain in our lives for the long haul are meant to be a part of it. Their love is demonstrated through their actions and not just their words. Read the rest of this entry »

Acceptance Does Not = Failure

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ACCEPTANCE


There are many things we have little control over, most importantly we have little control over others and circumstances. How are you thinking? What are your thoughts telling you? What do you say to yourself every day that does not help you to be the best you? Read the rest of this entry »

Practicing Mindfulness

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Practicing Mindfulness


Monitoring Social Media Usage to Live in the Real Moment Rather Than the Virtual One

Mindfulness today is hard to achieve especially living in our current, highly distracting information and technology driven society. Our gadgets have become highly addictive and often get in the way of ordinary social engagement. I am really guilty of this. Just look around for yourself the next time you are at a restaurant. Pay attention to how many people are not talking to those they are with and instead are glued to their smart phones. Read the rest of this entry »

Insomnia: Can Getting Sleep Reduce Depression?

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Insomnia = Depression?

I have always been a night owl. Without fail, I’d stay up way too late and often not by choice. Insomnia has been a big part of most, if not, all of my life. People who can just fall asleep with ease have always baffled me. I mean, they lie down and within 5 minutes or less they’re totally OUT! I have no idea what that feels like and have a doctor’s prescribed medication that helps me fall asleep at night. Those of us with true chronic and life long insomnia can wake up at 5 am, run a marathon, remain busy from morning until night, maybe even solve all the world’s problems and still can’t fall asleep at night. Read the rest of this entry »

Kale Your Way To Better Mental Health

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Benefits of Kale

I spoke to a doctor once and not in some office setting, but at the sauna of all places at the gym. The doctor was not a proponent of medication, but claimed if people ate what they were supposed to eat and took care of their bodies, they wouldn’t need to be medicated. Read the rest of this entry »

What is a Stereotyped Threat?

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Since moving back to Los Angeles from New York, I have found myself scratching my head as I observe humans in the city of Angels the way a cultural anthropologist would. Unfortunately, my experience is that many people belong to clubs. Read the rest of this entry »

Quality Health Is Much More than Physical

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I was recently interviewed on the podcast Upside Downtrodden (Scott Mullin and Sean Namanny) on the important subject of healthcare. That’s right, someone actually found me via lilpickmeup and actually asked for an interview?!?!  Now, realize I am not a self-help expert. Quite the contrary; I am just like you trying to figure my way through this thing called “life.” While many of you were blessed to be born with the “happy gene,” others like me do their best to manage their happiness and contentment, taking them one day at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

Reclaiming Your Momentum

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Motivation is a muscle, just like obtaining positive vibrations when you don’t necessarily feel it. Emotions can be deceiving. Feelings can be manipulative. You hear the phrase “think positive” or “stay positive” yet what most people don’t realize is that being positive is a muscle. Our positive muscle requires exercise daily but that equally requires motivation, inspiration and most importantly energy. Read the rest of this entry »

Totally Drained!

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Drained


Drained is the only word that describes my current state. And no, I’m not going to blame it on daylight savings. I am searching for momentum, but each day I’ve found myself struggling to find the energy. It’s taken all of me to be a present mother living in the moment with my daughter. So unfortunately, I’m not an everyday blogger. I used to be and then I created a very active little human that requires a lot of attention. My daughter is priority. Managing my time is not a matter of discipline, but a matter of energy. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Deactivated My Facebook Account

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I disconnected my Facebook profile and I can’t tell you how liberating it feels. The thought of waking up and living each day in the present, savoring each moment, as opposed to living through the social media lens, is invigorating. Read the rest of this entry »

An Ego Epidemic: What Happened to Humility?

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An Ego Epidemic: What Happened to Humility?


Some might categorize me as an activist, while others might call me passionate. But those who know me best understand I am a decent and caring individual, one who abhors injustice of any kind. Some people become flaccid when they’re treated unfairly; however, I believe that if you’re disrespected, regardless of who the bully is and no matter how stacked the scales are against you, it is your right to stand up for yourself. But no one owes you anything because people have a right to behave however they want no matter how catty, rude, or downright disrespectful and self-centered or just plain wrong their behavior might be. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Second Class Citizens: Minority Women and Mothers

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In the 21st Century we as a country are far behind others when it comes to discrimination against not just skin color but also age and sex. Out of all the social issues facing our country, I want to discuss unequal pay as well as unhealthy work environments that are tainted by sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and intimidation and bullying.1 Why? Women are deemed to be “easy” targets. Read the rest of this entry »

Prioritizing Family: Why The U.S. Falls Behind

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Nurturing Family: Why The U.S. Falls Behind The Rest Of The World


I am exhausted. I was told that once a baby reaches the three-month threshold that they become easier to manage. After passing the three-month mark, you are supposedly able to get decent rest. When having a new kid, the one thing new parents want more than anything other than to know their child is safe and developing correctly is sleep, which suddenly is hard to come by. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving On in the New Year by Confronting The Past

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Moving On in the New Year by Confronting The Past


Only a few days into 2016, most of us have recently emerged from the excess of the holiday season and are inspired to improve ourselves in mind, body and spirit. But are we prepared for the reality, when it comes, that self-improvement means changing the dynamics that are fundamentally rooted within the basic blueprint that makes us who we are?

How do we change what we’ve been led to believe all our lives? The parents and extended family we were automatically linked to at birth as well as all other daily interactions with friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers that fall outside of our control are what we battle against daily. So what can we control? How each of us deal with these forces. Read the rest of this entry »

The Gift of Crisis We Are Leaving for the Next Generation

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Photo Credit: English Blog

My delay in posting a blog lately has been directly related to a couple of family members being recently admitted into the ICU. It’s been a challenge to focus on writing when my mind has been consumed with a concern for their wellbeing. Luckily, one is recovering well but the other remains in the hospital as I type.

Aside from being mentally distracted, the holidays have gotten in the way and then there’s this “new mom” thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Evolve or Dissolve

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Swallowtail metamorphosis


We hope to become more than we are because stagnancy is a recipe for momentum lost. But change is often the one thing we fight against. We’re afraid to admit that there are weaknesses that can be improved upon; otherwise, our ego takes over and convinces us that there is absolutely nothing wrong with us. And maybe this is true, but the history of Earth is the story of evolving. Read the rest of this entry »

Silence: Finding Peace Without Noise

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Silence is not always the easiest thing to experience. Who wants to sit through nothingness and void? We are often bombarded by noise. It’s all around us. It’s in our technology: Smart phones, tablets, laptops, computers, television, radio, music. There is noise everywhere. And where there are coffee shops, we are sure to have caffeinated humanoids who are overly chatty and overly boisterous. Noise feels like energy; it resonates as if life is riveting through us. This is why many of us feel the need to go to coffee houses or bookstores to do work. Silence feels like isolation, and this is why some of us crave crowds and the noise that comes with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Rejection: The Root of Gun Violence?

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Rejection is the most powerful human emotion. Without a doubt, it is a universal experience that, it’s safe to say, everyone hopes to avoid. Personally, I believe everyone has a deep desire to be accepted.

Acceptance is the driving force behind everyone’s human need to love and to be loved. Without the acceptance from peers, friends or family, feelings of rejection often result as does the seeking of vengeance. In our generation of gun violence and school shootings, most of the deadly news headlines have resulted from the same recycled cause. Read the rest of this entry »

Life’s Beautiful Moments in Focus

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It’s easy to be so busy that we forget to live in the moment. Before I became a mother, I found myself consumed with two things: Living in the past or worrying about the future. You can’t undo the past, but you can learn from it. And it’s important to plan for the future, but obsessing about it only increases anxiety. At least, this is what I have learned. Read the rest of this entry »

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

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People want to be around winners. Politics is the prime example because people often are undecided about which candidate they will back until a “front runner” emerges. It can be the same with sports. There are the die-hard fans who bleed their teams colors and there are the fair-weather fans who wait to see which teams make the playoffs before they get really interested. Read the rest of this entry »

Transformed by Despair

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Invaded By Despair- Finding Hope


Everyone, even the likes of Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle, has a bad day. And if you’re one of the few who swears you’ve never experienced dark times, I question if you are human. Some can use spiritual or Zen rhetoric to pontificate that there is no such thing as “bad,” that it’s simply perception. But if you were to strip out the spiritual jargon, a bad day is a bad day.

This is especially if it’s not only bad but you’ve reached your lowest point. You’ve hit rock bottom. Taken from 16th-century Spanish poet, Saint John of the Cross and his famous Noche obscura del alma. Translated into English it means The Dark Night of the Soul. Tolle and others have used the poem’s title to describe a moment in their lives when the feeling of utter despair became all-consuming. Read the rest of this entry »

Raising Your Energy: Nothing Happens Without Movement

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Raising Your Energy: Nothing Happens Without Movement


I am a firm believer in a layered approach to productivity, living a healthier and potentially happier life. A layered approach to progress is like living in snow country. When it’s 30 below zero (I’ve actually lived in such conditions) you have to dress in layers. It’s the same when it comes to addressing a stable emotional, spiritual, mental and physical life. Some of you might only need a couple of layers, while some of us might need several. After all, everyone handles cold weather differently.

Locals might be so used to the weather, that they’re almost immune. Others can live in the same area for the same amount of time and can never get used to how cold it is. Then there are times when it’s so damn cold, that wearing layers is the difference between life and death, no matter if you claim to be thick skinned or not. My main pursuit is happiness, as my main struggle has been my ongoing battle with depression. I know many creative people and artists who struggle with depression. But what I learned is that it really does take a layered approach. You have to try every angle and you have to tackle each life area and analyze it, to see if there’s something that can be improved. Read the rest of this entry »

Depression is NOT Lack of Gratitude

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Depression is Not Lack of Gratitude


In my experience, anytime people hear of someone who throws the word “depressed” around with the next breath you are automatically bombarded with the word “gratitude.” And the more you’ve seemingly accomplished in life, it seems, the more you’re a total moron for living with a serious and underestimated illness such as clinical depression. Read the rest of this entry »

I Haven’t Reached Enlightenment

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I Haven't Reached Enlightenment


I haven’t reached enlightenment yet. And although we are all on a path to hopefully discover this for ourselves, sometimes people will not understand your process because it’s not theirs. We see things often one-sided through one story and one set of lens.

Introspection is more than digging deep within yourself to face the mirror towards our own face, but it’s also asking others to respect the period of transformation you undergo. I am working on doing the best and being my best that I can be without comparing or competing against anyone other than myself. I do my best to avoid situations and people who function off of one-upmanship. I know people who see nothing wrong with it, as they literally thrive off of trying to outdo everyone around them. Read the rest of this entry »

To Self-Publish or Not Self-Publish

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I’m seeing more and more aspiring writers and future authors impatiently go the self-publishing route. I say “impatiently” because it indeed takes some time to go the traditional way, namely knocking on publisher’s doors and, often, getting rejected over and over again before something happens.

Like many bloggers, I’m a writer who aspires to have her books published, but I don’t feel it necessary to constantly post or discuss it. As a matter of fact, I prefer not to discuss it. Having said this, for the sake of this post title, I’ll finally mention it. I’ve written a memoir titled Scars of Valor, but I am also considering it as fiction “based on a true story” about my experiences as a former Army wife who struggled through our nation’s period of heavy deployment to Iraq and then to Afghanistan. It’s an insight into depression and isolation caused by moving from base to base, town to town, and enduring Army life, PTSD and, then, divorce. Read the rest of this entry »

Expect Nothing: No One Owes You ANYTHING!

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http://mimiandeunice.com/2011/07/19/expectations/

Ever heard of the biblical saying, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you?” You don’t need to be religious to understand the meaning or to abide by it. Just because you live by a certain moral and ethical code, it doesn’t mean others do.

Over time I’ve grown to realize that living my life this way would one day reward me on many different levels. At the same time, I’ve also learned that having expectations of other people and how they live is wrong because everyone has free will. Just because you respect someone else’s time and planning doesn’t mean that they have to return the favor. People will say that respect is earned, but this is not always the case. You’ll meet people who simply refuse to respect you regardless of what you have or haven’t done, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Read the rest of this entry »

You Cannot Lose. You Either Win or Learn!

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You Cannot Lose. You Either Win or Learn.


From the time that we are in kindergarten or maybe even preschool we are conditioned to keep score. We are introduced to scoreboards, on which we receive stars for doing good, or we lose them for doing bad or at least not good enough. The more stars we obtain, the closer we get to winning some type of prize.

We are ranked from childhood. We have report cards that indicate how well we are doing in our school subjects. By December, we even have Santa Clause to remind us if we’ve been naughty or nice. By the time we are deep into elementary school and junior high, we realize that not only do we have to do well because our grades depend upon them, but we learn the importance of conforming to social and family pressures of perfectionism. Read the rest of this entry »

Lack of Community + Selfishly Independent = Depression

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People working in a community garden --- Image by © Monalyn Gracia/Corbis
People working in a community garden — Image by © Monalyn Gracia/Corbis

Until 12,000 years ago, approximately 90 percent of human history functioned off of food foraging. Our communities were simple with simple tasks and roles. It seemed the simpler our society, the easier it was to live comfortably in supportive communities where people truly helped each other. Perhaps in communities, relationships are naturally cultivated and nurtured. The more advanced our civilization has evolved, the more competitive and autonomous we’ve all become.

We triple lock our doors, scoff as we wiz by the neighbor with the morning coffee in hand and hope that no one else interrupts our perfectly sculpted routine. Today, especially if you live in big cities, it almost seems impossible to say you live in a real community. Back in the day, we used to be able to knock on our neighbor’s doors to borrow a cup of sugar. We used to wave to familiar friends as we jogged down the street. While some people can genuinely say that they’ve managed to find the best and most friendly community to live in, I’m going to say most people have naturally become more shut off. It’s like the more you crave community, the more it shows that you are weak, needy, and even insecure?! Read the rest of this entry »

The Value of Forming Organic Friendships

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Walking along the beach one day, my 15-pound Jarkie (Japanese Chin/Yorkie mix) immediately took to Molly, a Tibetan Terrier. Abigail my 5-pound Japanese Chin was a little more aloof because that’s just her personality and, by default unfortunately, Chins take a while to warm up to people – or other dogs – they don’t know. Just like dog breeds have natural disposition and personality quirks, it goes the same for humans.

On that walk along the beach I immediately took to Melanie, Molly’s owner. She was sweet, honest, willing to listen, open to forming new friendships, and she was 65 years old. Ever since, we’ve walked every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We met the month I got pregnant and walked throughout my pregnancy, and we’ve continued to walk after my daughter was born. Melanie’s an no-nonsense Jewish woman who’s lived an interesting life full of old school gender roles, sexism, and adjusting to being a mother while juggling a career as an accountant. Melanie and I have enjoyed coffee and breakfast and genuine, good conversation that money cannot buy. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Is Your Baby So Skinny? America’s Obsession With Fat Babies

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Ariabella Zofia Gray
6 weeks old, a little over 8 Ibs and growing!

If you don’t already know, I had my daughter on May 12, so as I write this she’s exactly 6 weeks old (a little over one month in non-mommy lingo.) I know, I know, it’s annoying how mother’s use weeks when asked how old their child is, as in they’re like “24 weeks,” and you quickly have to do the math in your head to figure out the kid is 6 months old.

It is odd how being a new parent changes your vocabulary, disposition and level of patience and how it forces you to become the best time manager ever. You literally have to plot out a strategy as to not when but if you will shower, and only then can you maybe figure out when it will happen. You spend way too much time figuring out how you will walk the dogs and how you will get everyone (including baby) out the door. If you’re crafty, you manage to go to the toilet while the baby is still snuggled against you in the baby carrier. Read the rest of this entry »

The Various Stages of Life: Can Grief & Happiness Co-Exist?

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The Various Stages of Life- Can Grief & Happiness Co-Exist?


Anytime there is a life change, the stages you go through can often mirror those of grief. If your only child or youngest finally goes off to college and moves out, you may experience “empty nest syndrome.” Or your 40-year career is finally winding to a close and the light of retirement that you once looked forward to at the end of a very long tunnel suddenly is replaced with a feeling you didn’t expect – sadness.

Say you’re moving out of state for a new job. Coming from personal experience, having moved around more than the average person (an ex-military brat), I can say that moving can be stressful on so many levels, not only physically but emotionally. You’re likely met with a heavy heart as you are faced to deal with saying goodbye to people, places and things that you’ll miss more than you can comprehend at the time. Saying sayonara to friends, relatives and, heck, even old routines makes you yearn for familiar stomping grounds. Read the rest of this entry »

The Homeless Generation

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Hunched over on the cement bench facing the ocean at Redondo Beach is Esperanza. Most, if not, all locals know who she is by sight though very few know her by name. Esperanza in French and Spanish, ironically, mean’s hope, though perhaps from society’s perspective she represents the loss of it.

I have tried to talk to Esperanza on several occasions, only for her to retreat by hanging her head in shame, reversing her cart piled with a hodge-podge collection of discarded junk, but it’s all that she owns. Despite her need for privacy or, perhaps, due to her fear of the outside world, I managed to catch her on a good day and squeezed out her name. Walking my dogs along the beach, we’ve managed to get to know other dogs and their owners around the neighborhood. So, I wanted to also know Esperanza by name rather than to simply point to her, referencing her by apparent her lack of finances and an address. Read the rest of this entry »

But, That Wasn’t The Plan?!?! – Dealing With Life’s Curve Balls

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I haven’t gotten a chance to breathe, at least that is what it feels like since May 12th when my daughter was born. I’ve managed to check my email here and there via my cellphone (starting to really pat myself on the back for choosing the iPhone 6 Plus for its large screen) and to virally poke in from time to time on Facebook. But that’s the extent of it. This is my very first time turning on my computer and attempting to write a post before I am back up to my eyeballs in poop and pee-pee diapers.

As a late bloomer, motherhood didn’t seem to sink in for me during my pregnancy. Perhaps I should blame it on my body’s amazing ability to absorb most, if not, all of the negative side effects and instead leave me feeling mostly symptom-free. Compared to the ordinary woman and most stories I’ve read and heard, my pregnancy was by far the easiest. I never felt sick and did not experience any swelling whatsoever. Occasionally I’d need a nap after I ate, but that wasn’t until I was nearly 8 months prego. So, honestly, my pregnancy itself was DRAMA-FREE! Read the rest of this entry »

1st Time Mommy: Why I Kept My Pregnancy in the Social Media Closet

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Baby Bump
Me & my bump at Manhattan Beach. Photography By: Yaz

As Mother’s Day approaches, I thought it fitting to explain the reasons behind a very personal decision to not write or discuss a huge moment in my life. For the past few months, I have kept this very huge life transition practically secret on Facebook, Twitter and the like, opting instead to share the news the old-fashioned way. In about a week and five days, my first child will be due. You’ve heard me correctly; I am 9 ½ months pregnant, 38 weeks to be exact. My daughter can come any day now, as I am full term.

I have discussed my education in some of my posts, but what you might not know is that I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer. I didn’t graduate with my bachelor’s degree in film production until I was 29. This wasn’t by choice; I was working full-time and didn’t receive any help from family. Following graduation, I waited a few years before getting my project management certification, and then I opted to get my master’s degree after that. Somewhere in between, I wrote a couple of screenplays and a novel that I am attempting to publish after a few final touch ups and last-minute revisions. But, who hasn’t written a screenplay or a novel? Tons of bloggers have and they even write about their self-published or traditionally published books. It’s more common especially now days and especially in Los Angeles. Read the rest of this entry »

The Condition of Unconditional Love

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More times than not we place conditions on everything. This is especially true when it comes to love. I am not necessarily speaking of romantic love but the kind that you give to yourself. But, many of us continue to place conditions on ourselves as we do others.

There’s a quota we must all meet, and if this minimum is not satisfied, then we put up barriers and our love is constrained. Disappointment can equally set in and devastate our motivation when we haven’t lived up to our own expectations. FYI – beating up on yourself or others, whether physically or verbally, is not love. Read the rest of this entry »

Diversify Your Coping Skills

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Depression


If you’ve watched Limitless you’ll probably agree that the concept of taking one pill to make you brilliant, happy and invincible is not a new one. Like the “fountain of youth” we’re always looking for that magic elixir that will make us younger and more beautiful, or the best medically crafted and extensively researched pill that can make us not only exceptionally happy but also elevate our IQ to a level that provides us with solutions to all of life’s problems and removes from our mind all doubt in our abilities.

The popular trend heads more towards a culture obsessed with organic living, one that praises the holistic, go-green, recycle, anti-dairy, gluten-free, take-your-vitamins-and-herbs, and don’t-forget-to-consume-only-organic/non-pesticide-riddled-food. Others find a bit more comfort in modestly embracing the organic trend, realizing that not everything prescribed by our doctor or psychiatrist is necessarily horrible or evil. I believe in a customizable approach to life, where people ought to realize that they’re individuals and that not just one solution fits everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Embrace Being Average?

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I finally got around to watching “Big Hero 6” via Redbox and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story as well as the moral behind it. In many ways the movie hits the mark in describing that inside all of our geeky, quirky, and oddball shells lies a soul longing to fight against dullness.

There’s a huge fascination for turning yourself from an ordinary human into someone with super powers: Hollywood, comic book creators and video game developers exploit this. Let’s also not forget sci-fi and fantasy writers. It’s nice to live vicariously through an avatar, one that is stronger, braver and smarter than you may ever be. Read the rest of this entry »

Managing ADD/ADHD: Simplify

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Managing ADD_ADHD


As a child I wasn’t diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, but I always new that I was different. As an adult, a doctor would later confirm my suspicions. I recall, childhood was laborious. My handwriting was extremely messy, I read slower than other students, and it was harder for me to get focused. I wasn’t the hyper kid bouncing off the walls, but I remember being a talker. The absolute most difficult thing in the world was taking tests.

From the time I was in elementary school all the way up until I got my master’s degree, test taking was never ever my forte. Only during special situations and classes that really interested me did my brain seem to memorize the material photographically. I recall one of my favorite classes was cultural anthropology at a community college. I don’t know why I enjoyed it so much, maybe because it explored a variety of cultures, societies, lifestyles, religions, and all with such an educated, yet open-minded objectivity. I found exploring cultures so fascinating, and I still do. Read the rest of this entry »

Going With the Flow Can Result in the Best Decisions Made

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Going With the Flow Can Result in the Best Decisions Made


I recently found myself consumed with tasks that take up a good portion of my mental and physical energy, hence the lag in updating this blog. I had been meaning to post one or more articles daily, or at the very least, on a weekly basis. It’s amazing that, when push comes to shove, some things must really be put on the back burner while life takes priority. Everyone will tell you until it almost becomes an exhausted cliché, that “Oh, just write down a list of what your priorities are and what aren’t.”

But often it’s true the best way to decide what needs to be tackled is to just make it brutally simple for yourself and tackle what needs to be done right this second and let the rest wait until later. But, what if all the tasks on your list hold equal importance in your eyes? I think it’s important to understand the way our minds work in these instances. Read the rest of this entry »

One-Dimensional Thinking: What’s Your Label?

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One-Dimensional Thinking: What’s Your Label?


It sounds like a generic interview question, but what is the one adjective that best describes you? Do you consider yourself hardworking, motivated, conscientious, methodical, a team player, honest, reliable, confident, ambitious, or punctual?

There’s not a soul that doesn’t have their own best intention in mind, and certainly for a job interview we all want to ensure we put our best foot forward. The same goes for cover letters and resumes but also for online profiles, in-person networking opportunities, the first time meeting your partner’s parents — nearly everyone wants to present him or herself in the best possible light. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media Obsession: Do You Have A Life?

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facebook, more like bragbook
Created by Sonyo Estavillo

Once upon a time, I thoroughly enjoyed updating my whereabouts 24/7, especially on Facebook. Guilty like many of the other 1.39 billion users around the globe, I would post sexy pictures of the most scrumptious meals and boast as to where I was dining, or shopping or whatever that day. And if not updates of provocative, mouth-watering and expensive meals there were the pictures from Disneyland, the weekend getaways, the latest DLSR camera purchase, or simply a note with a picture of my washed Prius just to demonstrate how nice and shiny it is. Oh…and let’s not forget doggy and kitty pictures. They are by far the best especially when wanting to garner extra attention.

It’s true, we’ve all been guilty of bragging, boasting, gloating, exulting, and showing off via social networking accounts. Caught red-handed and equally red-faced, I refrained from the boastful social media braggadocio for the first month and a half of this year. But recently I backslid and allowed a fitbit sticker I won to be posted on my timeline. I proudly gloated that I walked 20,000 steps in a day exactly 12 days ago, not that I was counting. (Well, yeah, I was.) And although it garnered only two “likes,” I was pleased with myself and patted myself on the back while enjoying a couple of “atta-girls” from FB friends. Sigh. But there are so many friends and family members who are rather talented at soliciting enough likes to graduate them to a level of importance that supersedes us dull, unpopular FB folk. Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing With Haters: Internet Trolls and Nasty Comments

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Dont-Feed-the-Trolls


I have been bombarded by comments as I have two blogs I write and manage, this one and tvshowjunky. I find myself mostly deleting rather than approving them. Either someone is trying to promote a work-from-home opportunity or they have nothing better to do than to troll and try to pick an Internet fight. So it was little surprise to receive a pretty rotten comment from f*cky*u@yahoo.com, originating from IP address 174.3.204.253, S0106602ad084a489.ed.shawcable.net, tracked to someone in the region of Alberta within the city of Edmonton, Canada to be specific. There was also this whois link attached: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/174.3.204.253.

The attack was in response to an article I posted that tends to generate the most views: From Tots to Adults: When Spoiled Brats Grow Up into Bigger Ones! Let’s just say that I was called a word rhyming with “blunt,” and my mother (who is Korean) was suddenly a Chinese piece of sh*t. Yes, we look alike, but c’mon! Read the rest of this entry »

Planting Yourself In the Proper Soil: A Lesson From Nature

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Orchid


It’s been almost two years since I discovered my love for orchids. Ever since, through trial and error, I have learned that orchids can be simple, yet fickle, even sensitive indoor plants to grow. For in everything in life we can glean similar lessons from nature, if only we truly pay attention to the subtle way it speaks to us.

In June, I wrote about my initial experience with repotting orchids. I learned that when you don’t repot an orchid in a proper pot, the chances of the flower surviving long-term is slim. And just like in real life, if we don’t decide to spread our wings we become stunted. We can’t grow by confining our roots. Back in June, two out of my three orchids died mainly because I didn’t repot them in time. I replaced them and assumed I knew the “orchid trick” to keep them living a long time. Upon getting two more orchids to replace the deceased ones I immediately learned my lesson and bought orchid pots. Read the rest of this entry »

Mind, Body & Spirit: They’re All Connected

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Relationship of body, mind and spirit


Our mind, body and spirit are truly connected. This is why if you stop feeding what lifts your spirit, no matter how physically fit or mentally sharp you might be, there remains an imbalance in your life. The same can be said about our body.

You might work really hard to keep your spirit afloat; in fact, that’s all you live for is to do what ever it is you do. Your work and your title can make you feel on top of this world. However, if you’re too busy working, especially with a high paying, high demand job, then your body might be totally out of shape or stress might be preventing you from getting a decent night’s sleep. Your blood pressure might be through the roof, and your cardiologist might warn that if you don’t slow down and get healthy you’ll be on the brink of a heart attack. That’s if you haven’t already had one. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Pain

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We’re never quite ready for what we’re about to face in life when it involves two ingredients: unpredictability and pain. I’m one of those who thrive off of solid plans; I work best with some sort of structure, and knowing where I stand makes me feel secure. If you asked me, surprises are overrated. I’m not big on them.

However, I don’t care if you claim to be the world’s leading psychic — no one can completely be prepared for tragedy to strike. As I described in my last post, an unexpected tragedy struck one woman whose life would be forever altered. On Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006, 26 year-old Claudia Salley drove her husband and her four-month-old son Levi westbound on Interstate 20 in Shreveport, Louisiana. While Claudia slowed her family’s white Lincoln due to road construction, the 18-wheeler behind her didn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

I Will Be Happy When__________________.

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happy smile guy


I can’t begin to tell you how often I have played this game. You know, “the happiness game” where I become fixated on this “major” situation that may or may not be so serious. But it is to me at the time, and if only I can accomplish the goal or avoid the calamity then I’ll be sooo happy.

Have you ever had a “major” thing, be it a goal, desire or wish that you fantasized and dreamed about daily, even to the point of obsession?

I bet that with enough sweat, hard work and tenacity you reached that major goal just like I have. Maybe you bathed in euphoria afterward, but how long did the high last?

According to psychological research, there’s a name to the drop off in happiness after having achieved or reached your coveted goal. The phenomenon is called hedonic adaptation and it’s essentially when we adapt to whatever it is we’ve achieved regardless of how grand the result. In fact, the idea is you return back to the same emotional state before your big reward. Read the rest of this entry »