In the big wild world

Cheering each other on

 

What’s Your Special Un-Love Love?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

When you’re searching for romantic love, it’s natural to treat life like a zoom lens: to twist that camera lens until all you’re focusing on is the one and only love you want in your life: a relationship. But in order to keep sane and happy, it’s better to pull back on the zoom and take in a wider view of what you have. And you know who’s gotten a good handle on this? Jennifer Aniston.

Aniston just told the UK’s Red magazine she feels a relationship and other passions in life—like a fulfilling career—are not mutually exclusive. Here is how Jen put it:

“You have to have a balance in life. You also have to have your own personal love. What inspires you, what excites you when you wake up in the morning?”

Jen’s right. If you can focus on what else you love—your un-love loves—you’ll find yourself feeling happier and more fulfilled on a daily basis, which is exactly what will draw your half-orange your way. Instead of waking up in the morning and focusing on the empty spot beside you in the bed, find something that makes you want to jump out of bed and into life. What can you look forward to? What can you throw your passion behind? Do you want to write the novel you’ve been talking about for years? Travel? Start your own business? Get that promotion? Learn Italian? Play piano? Rock climb? Spend time with your nieces and nephews? Do one thing within the first hour of your day that feeds your dream in some small way. If you want true love in your life, you have to truly love your life.

Keep thinking about the relationship you want in your life, by all means. Wake up, smile, and create that “orange buzz” of feeling that reminds you how great you’ll feel when you find your other half. But then, head off to fulfill your other dreams. Find your own personal love and create a glow about you that will make you positively happy—and, while you’re at it, absolutely irresistible.

You might also like:
Have You Tried Circuit Dating?

Big love,

10 Things Singles Should STOP Saying…and What to Say Instead!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Now, I’m not as into slapping as the girls on Jersey Shore seem to be. But every now and then I hear something from a single person that makes me wonder, “Now, what it would take to stop you saying that?” Because sometimes, what you say about your single life hurts you more than a slap even could.

Is it time to get slap-happy with yourself in love? (Image: Amy Spencer) 

So, I’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Things I Think You Should STOP Saying When You’re Single. And here’s what I want you to know about these things: I’ve said them all. Yep, every darn one.

In fact, the only reason I know about these phrases and the exhausted frustration with which you might cough them up is that they came out the same way from me. So if you recognize your own voice saying any of these things, you have to change your story.

Why? Because while it may feel good to say some stuff out loud, the more you say it, the more you’ll believe it, the more you’ll create the energy of it around you, and the further you’ll it’ll send you from the love of your life. Here’s my list. What’s on yours?

Do yourself a favor and STOP saying…

1. “I’m sick of dating.” If someone said to you, “I’m sick of going to the water park,” you’d probably say, “Then stop going to the water park!” If you’re sick of dating, stop dating. I mean, think about it. You’re dating to find love, right? But do you think you’ll find it being all “sick” and all? Not a chance. If it’s making you ill, stop doing it, get some bed rest, slurp some chicken soup, and when have your appetite back, go do some dating you feel healthy about. What to say instead:“I’m going to date when it’s fun or make dating fun.”

2. “Maybe I should just start being dumb/mean/slutty/_____.” The only way to end up in a healthy relationship is to do it being your very real self. You know this. If you’re going to try being someone less than you are, you’re going to end up in a relationship less than you deserve. What to say instead: “I’m going to meet someone being 100% myself.”

3. “There are no good guys/girls out there.” I know it feels that way because you’re not meeting any good ones near you, right now, who like you back. But there are so many good single people out there. It’s just taking you a second to get together in the same place and see it. If you acknowledge there are good folks out there, you’ll remember to ask for one. What to say instead:“There are great people out there, and one of them is about to meet me.”

4. “Maybe I should just marry rich.” I know, I know. You’re joking. But…not really. I used to say this, too, so I know that behind the cackling laugh, you really kinda mean it. So what’s wrong with this? The idea that you’ve given up on getting love so you’ll settle for something else you think will make you happy (though you know deep down it won’t). If you want to be rich, kick your own career up a notch and get so rich they’ll be joking about marrying you for it. What to say instead:“Screw rich in money. I want to be rich in love and see what comes with it.”

5. “I guess I’m too strong/smart/independent/______…” Sorry, but there’s no such thing as too much of a great thing. If you’re strong and smart and independent, rock on with your good self! However, what there may be (I’m just sayin’) is such an overemphasis of your strength, smarts or independence that your dates feel pretty darn unnecessary in your life. Don’t just reveal your tough side; open up with your wants and weaknesses, too. What to say instead: “I’m awesome as is, the tough parts and the vulnerable ones. And I’m going to show people both sides.”

6. “I’m never going to find anyone.” As I say in Meeting Your Half-Orange, boy, this strategy always works well, doesn’t it? When you say, “I’m never going to lose weight,” and “I’m never going to find parking” it’s funny, because you never do all those things when you think you can’t, do you? Haven’t you learned anything from The Little Engine that Could? Stop calling the “never” right to you and start talking about your ever happy future. What to say instead: “I’m going to find someone amazing for me. I’m going to find someone amazing for me.”

7. “Dating sucks.” Not if you find a way to make it fun, it doesn’t. It’s like anything in life. If you think driving sucks but you still have to do it two hours a day for work, you’d find a way to make it fun, right? You’d upload two new albums to you iPod, you’d download a book on tape, or you’d use the time in traffic to catch up with your Mom or best friend.If you think dating sucks, do the same thing. Find a way to make it not just bearable, but fun. Pick a new restaurant to try, hit a billiard hall, go see a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, go dancing. Do what makes dating not suck. What to say instead: “Dating is awesome when it’s me doing it.”

8.One thing’s for sure: I don’t want to meet him/her online.” Ooh, what a brilliant idea: Close down doors and opportunities where you might meet someone! You know what I think? You’re closing a door because you’re being too vain about “the story.” Who cares about the story of how you met; what matters is the story you create together!Consider this: Recent research from the “How Couples Meet and Stay Togther Survey” found that a whopping thirty percent of couples now meet online. Do you want to make finding love 30% harder for yourself? No? Then stop saying what you’re “sure” of and let life bring you love in it’s own unique way. What to say instead: “I don’t know how I’ll meet them, and I can’t wait to find out.”

9. I don’t want to date anyone with kids/an ex-wife/baggage.” Oh, right, you think you don’t have your own baggage? We all do. Sure, someone else might have physical baggage (on stuff, on people) you could stick an Avery label on. But we all have pasts and personalities a psychologist could easily stick an emotional label on! Don’t let the life your partner has led before you steer you clear away before you even consider the amazing path you could forge together. What to say instead: “I look forward to seeing the interesting package wrapped around the love of my life.”

10. “I feel like I’m the only single person left.” I used to say this when I looked up one day and realized all my friends were coupled up or married or married with three kids. Everyone except me. But here’s the problem with this: What other people are doing in their lives and relationships has nothing to do with you! And by addressing other people, you’re putting pressure on yourself to “fit in” with your crew, or focusing on trying “not look stupid and lonely” to your family. But you know what you should be focusing on instead? Your life. Your happiness. Your choices. And how good you’re going to feel when you find your other half. Forget them. What to say instead: “My life is on its own awesome path and all I need to do is keep on it.”

So that’s my list. Admit it: Which of these things have you caught yourself saying? And what have you heard or said that should be on the list?

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10 Reasons You Should Never Settle in Love!

Would You Make Out With Him Anyway?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

I just had myself an LOL moment today. And I really needed it. I’ve been having a down week in which even this optimist wasn’t feeling the optimism. So I have to give it to this video for sucking a little laugh out of my small spare tire of a belly.

Even the show's poster is hilarious.

The credit goes to a live theater show in Hollywood, Los Angeles called I Made Out With Him Anywaybilled as a multi-media, cabaret-style extravaganza starring Evie Peck and Kirstin Eggers, based on their collection of very true man dates gone very very wrong. For anyone in the Hollywood hood, there is one new show next week, December 7th, 2010, and tickets are available, so you might want to snatch one up. Because if the show itself is anything as funny as the first video in the creator’s web series, it’s gonna be good.

Which brings me to the I Made Out With Him Anyway web show. If you’ve ever had a disappointing online first date, you’ll probably appreciate the re-enactment of one girl’s true dating story. Check out the episode: Date #1: Stephanie and Cooper and ask yourself: Would you still make out with this guy? (I think not.)

Then, the next time you find your heart sinking during a date (or in a job interview, or at an apartment showing you’d set all your hopes on), just know that you’re not alone. We all go through these every day, and the best way to survive a bad date may be to turn your highly disappointed moment into highly-larious. How will you re-tell—or re-enact—your next bad date? And do you have any bad dates in your story roster that help get you or your friends out of a funk when you need ‘em?

P.S. I’d like to point out that this is only the second time in all my digital life I’ve ever typed LOL. Whoops, okay, now the third. The first was in a Facebook comment last week. The second was when I wrote it up there in the post itself. And now again here. But I kind of like it. It makes me smile a little to type it. I mean, I am a laugh out loud kind of a girl. LOL. Uh-oh, I might start getting too used to this…

You might also like…
The Tightrope Fall of Negative Thinking

Big love,

A Brilliant Idea: Joy’s “Thanksgiving List”

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Ooh, I love me other people’s genius ideas.

And today, the credit goes to Joy Meredith, author of the thought-provoking book, My Last Wishes: Life, Love, Laughs & a Few Final Notes.

This week, she wrote a wonderfully brilliant post called “The Thanksgiving List” on her blog Finding Joy, about a tradition she started called her Thanksgiving List. First, she makes a list of all the people in her life she’s thankful for and why. Then, on Thanksgiving morning, she calls and tells them so. Here is the short version of how it works:

“On the morning of Thanksgiving,” writes Joy, “I wake up early, make two Pepperidge Farm cherry turnovers, and begin my calls around 9ish.

Working off my notes I take a moment to get present with my gratitude and then I call my friend Ann (the list is alphabetical) and begin the thanking. It is designed to be a quick call, there are no pleasantries or small talk, it starts: Are you ready? Ok, Ann this is why I am thankful for you this year….”

Joy writes more about it—including how she rarely allows them to thank her back how her friends and family have responded to being on the list. So check out her full post for the story.

But I had to pass this on. Because if you want a loving relationship, you have to live a loving life. I mean, think about it: You can’t live like a hermit with a cold fish attitude who’s not engaging in any warmth of emotion with any family or friends around you, and expect that—Poof!—a loving partner is going to recognize you as their dream girl or guy as you grumble your way forward on the drugstore line with a pack of paper towels. You have to tune into that soft side, the heart side. The more you get in touch with your feelings of love and gratitude, and the more you engage in relationships with friends and family, the more open and ready you’ll become for a romantic love in your life.

Joy’s Thanksgiving List is a perfect way to do this. Plus, it can help you pinpoint the right relationship for you. How? It carves out some time in your life to reflect on what really matters to your heart, which can help you make your Big Love List. (My post OPTIMISM WORKSHOP: Your Big Love List will get you started.) But making your Thanksgiving List and your Big Love List can become intertwined: Are you thankful for a friend who always supports you, even when you do stupid stuff? Then you’ll probably want to feel unconditionally supported by a partner, too. Are you thankful for a cousin who always leaves hilarious messages on your phone in a French accent when you’re having a down day? Then feeling like you can laugh with a partner through tough times should be on your love list.

Go on, make your Thanksgiving List. I know I’m going to. Even if you’re not as organized and amazing as Joy obviously is to squeeze in those calls on Thanksgiving morning, making the list itself is a darn good start.

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Big love,

Dolphins, Moose and Dating

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The other night, my husband told a guy he knew that we were heading to Japan soon. (We’re going Sunday and I’m stoked!) The man shook his head, and said, “Have you seen The Cove?”

A photo of a diver with gorgeous dolphins from www.thecovemovie.com

“Not yet,” said Gustavo.

“Oh man,” the guy said of the film that won the Best Documentary Oscar this year. “It’s so messed up. Watching those Japanese fishermen slaughtering those dolphins made me lose respect for them. I can’t go to Japan now after seeing that.”

“It’s really sad,” said Gustavo, “I hear ya.” They stood there for a second taking in the weight of it.

“So,” said Gustavo, changing the subject. “What are you up to this weekend?”

“I have the best plans,” said the guy. “My friends and I are going elk and moose hunting!”

Okay. So. I know this topic is sensitive and we could debate the “We eat cows, they eat dolphins” and “Why do we eat any animals at all” topic until we’re blue in the face. But what I want to focus on right now is not the debate, but that this guy did not recognize the mixed message he was sending: After a rant about how bad it is to kill one animal, he was setting out to kill another one!

I was blown away by his blindness until I realized how much we all speak in mixed messages in more subtle ways.

If you’re single, you may have said at some point, “Dating sucks. All guys/girls are jerks. Ugh, I’m so over it.” And yet if I asked you why you were dating, you probably would have said, “To have a happy, fulfilling, wonderful relationship in love.” In its own way, those two ideas are like the dolphin and the moose. You want a happy, uplifting, loving relationship, and yet you’re growling about how sucky everything is with a scowl on your face? Talk about a mixed message.

Don’t think you can complain about being single or sarcastically groan about dating or roll your eyes and mock the whole thing…and then hope that your secret desire for a bright happy relationship will come! Nuh-uh. Life doesn’t work like that. You have to be the part you want to be.

You only get the promotion when you talk positively about how much you want it. You only get picked for the football play when you tell your fellow players you’re confident you can pull it off. You only get the loan when you convince the lender you have every positive intention of paying it back. And in love, you only get a happy, wonderful, loving relationship when you positively express that you actually want one!

Whether you’re talking about dolphins and moose or talking about what you want out of life, look at the message you’re sending. Do your words match your intentions? Because your words need to match your intentions! If you’re talking about how much dating sucks, it will suck. Un-mix your message and start talking about what you want. I’m going to finish watching The Cove on my TiVo and try to do the same.

You might also like:
If You Think You’re Happy…
Can You Be a Cynical Optimist?


Big love,