Archive for December, 2013

 

Singles, Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The other day, I was trying to get a spark going in our fire pit, when a friend of mine stopped me and said, “Here’s what you’re doing wrong…” I found myself stiffen a bit, a precursory defense, steadying myself for the blow. It turns out I wasn’t pulling the butane lighter’s saftey back while I was pressing the flame button. A simple fix. Too bad all of life isn’t that easy, right—especially in dating. Well, maybe it is.

Are you tying yourself up in knots with the negatives?

Are you tying yourself up in knots with the negatives?

I realized after fixing my butane button issue that hearing “Here’s what you’re doing wrong” is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and pay attention. This isn’t easy for me to do that for you: I’m a dating optimist. My first book, Meeting Your Half-Orange, is all about loving who you are and being authentically, gloriously happy in your own skin while you focus all your energy on how you want to feel in your ideal relationship. Which is to say I believe every “single” person is uniquely awesome and that you’re not doing anything “wrong.”

But if you’re killing yourself trying to come up with the end-all reason for why you’re still frustratingly single, the fact is, you are doing something wrong. And to be all “meta” about it, here’s what it is:

What you’re doing wrong is that you’re focusing on what you’re doing wrong.

What you focus on, you see, is everything. And that’s because what you choose to focus on actually affects the neuronal pathways in your brain, which affects how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you. The scientific term in play is neuroplasticity, and I explain how it all works in relation to dating and love in Half-Orange. It is utterly fascinating stuff and it’s no joke!

If you’re single and focusing on “what you’re doing wrong,” then it’s all you’ll see, and it’s all your brain will store in its implicit memory. In other word, it’s time to stop the cycle. Today, focus on what’s right—and only what’s right. Just for today, at least, don’t think about how old you are, or how long you’ve been single, or what past boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses have said about you for a minute. That’s all irrelevant. All that matters is who you are right now, this minute. And if you can look at what’s right about your dating life, you can change what ensues from this minute on.

So do this for me: List three things that you’re doing right, right this minute:

1.

2.

3.

Visualize what you’d write in those blank spots—the awesome things you’re doing that are spot-on. Maybe how you’re giving it a shot with dates you’re not 100% on, because you’re open to seeing what might happen. Maybe how you’ve come to love a physical aspect about yourself—a mole, a height, a curve—and will settle for nothing less than a partner who loves you for it. Maybe how you’ve mastered making tapenade and can’t wait to show it off.

Fill in those blanks your own way. If you don’t, well, that’s what you’re doing wrong. You owe it to yourself and to your love life to give yourself positive props every single day. The more right you see, the less wrong your life will feel, and the better the energy you’ll be putting out there for your wonderful other half to come find you. It’s an easy fix: Pull back the safety and push the right button, and you’ll light the spark you’re working on, too.

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Whaddaya Doin’ New Year’s Eve?

Big love and happy listing,

Amy Signature 4

 

 

 

What Would You Do with a Karma Camera?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

I’ve always thought it would be fun if each of us got a “Karma Cam” after someone screwed us over. You know karma, right? The belief that a person’s negative act ripples through the universe and at some point comes back to them like a boomerang?

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Well, just imagine if, after someone dumps you, or steals your client, or cuts in front of you in line at Target, a Karma Cam would let you see the moment their negative action comes back at ‘em. It sounds kind of delicious. And the other day, I essentially got to see a Karma Cam in action.

I was driving along a busy road when I needed to switch lanes, so I put on my left turn signal. I was just about to slide over in front of a white car, when they hit the gas and inched up as close as possible to the car ahead so I couldn’t fit in.

The nerve, I thought. I was so peeved! But I kept driving, confident I’d find a spot to slide in soon. Well, as we all pulled away from a stop light, that white car lagged behind (texting, maybe?), so I took the opportunity to switch lanes in front of it. And a few minutes later, I noticed in the rearview mirror that the woman in the white car was now trying to change lanes herself. And guess what? No one would let her in. I watched as car after car in the other lane inched up close just like she had. As she banged on her steering wheel with frustation, I admit it felt kind of good.

But after I turned off that road, I started thinking how I was still carrying that negative energy with me. And I wanted to shake it! So when I reached the next stop sign with another car, I smiled and waved it on ahead of me. I was determined to balance out the bad by passing along some good.

That’s when I realized the happiness math: Sure, it would be fun to see the negative come back around on the Karma Cam, but it’s even more fun to actively do something positive to cancel it out.

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So try this: The next time someone really jabs you—in a little way or a big one—resist the urge to jab back. It’s hard! But rather than paying the negative experience forward, pay it forward positively instead. Balance the world with better things. Because that is what is going to make you happier.

• If someone has rejected you in love, turn around and accept another person in a kind way.

• If someone has taken from you, give.

• If someone has said harsh words to you, say someflattering, kind and loving words to someone else.

• If someone has elbowed you out at work, let other people you work with in.

It’s not always easy, I know. To this day, every time I’ve opened my closet for the past two years, I still bristle at the thought of the publicist who nabbed my adorable go-to J. Crew blazer during a celebrity interview. But while I work on getting over that one—and I’m determined to!—I’m doing my best to balance the universe with better things.

Join me. Those people in bad moods, with prickly natures, the people who lie or steal or push or hurt? Let them go do their thing. And show them by your actions what it means to act with a giving, generous, warm, open heart instead. Shake the anger and spread the love.

Let’s see how we do.

Big love,

Amy

Note: This first appeared as one of my Vitamin Optimism emails. So if you’re signed up, you got this post early!

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Be sure to sign up for my next Happy Emails so you don’t miss any! You can do that in the upper left box on this site, or on my web site. And if you want to see the original post, here’s the full Happy Email of What Would You Do With a Karma Camera?