Jul 30, 2009

My rampage of appreciation...

I've always said that 'emotions' are just indications of the thoughts you are having, and to change the way you feel, you have to change what you think. If you want to feel good, you have have good, positive thoughts.... and the feelings and behaviour will follow.

It can be harder than it sounds but once you get in the habit it becomes easier to do. One exercise i do every morning on my way to work involves 'appreciation'. being happy with the good things in your life ensures a number of things:

- Your conscious becomes aware of how great you are and how amazing your life is
- Your overall outlook, mood and behaviour is attractive and positive
- You draw attention to the things that make you happy, therefore seeing & attracting more of it

lately through work i've let things slide, so as an exercise i decided to 'appreciate my life' in a blog post... as writing it down always makes it seem more real for me. So what do i have to be thankful for lately?

the sunshine whenever i walk to work always reflects on my hair and makes me warm and smiley

cold, chamomile tea with honey in the morning

kissing you... you always make me feel so sexy and alive

my business idea is starting to take shape... i can't wait to see what happens next year. And i have the best business partner in the world

living in LONDON!!!
my best friends. they truly care for me and love me so much.

i am grateful for my fashion sense. seriously

whoever invented the pill. thank you for making my breasts bigger

H20= great skin, more energy & youthful looks (i love you)


finding a book that i can' put down

Ode to the blackberry - connection to the virtual world of communication. You are my soulmate

the bubbles in the champagne. they make me merry

sometimes, just sometimes... girls get in free

I'm in control of my life and no one tells me what do

All things hot.... like chocolate, weather, men & me :D

MY NIKON D80 SLR. You inspire me!

Freedom of expression: my blog, twitter, facebook...

being a geek

just spending time with you beneath my feather duvet ;)


lacy, sexy lingerie. wearing you... make me so happy

Bubble baths, candle light & lots of me time


Of course i notice these things vary considerably everyday! So above is just a slice in time of what makes me happy now.

Tell me yours... i'm curious to know ;)

Jul 26, 2009

Only love is real...or maybe not?

I remember believing that only 'love was real'. You know the kind, the love that movies & songs were written about, the love of two people.... soulmates. Theres actually a book called 'Only love is real' by a Dr Brian Weiss. And about seven years ago my boyfriend at the time gave it to me as gift. I loved him then, for his attitude to love was so open and embracing, a rarity in men. He wasn't afraid to tell me how he felt, that i was the one who he had been looking for his whole life... and combined with his easy confidence that i felt the same way, i couldn't help but do just that.

And now, many years on, after that 'love' that was so special, hasn't seemed to last... i've learnt a few things. I got into understanding 'the game' because i didn't know the rules. And where there are rules, there is a way you can win. I needed to believe that i could win for once, at this game called love. At first i was inspired and intrigued. The whole concept is more complex than you can imagine. I now know a lot about dating and relationships all based on the 'male dominated' concept of attraction I can interpret body language and sub-communication between couples. I can see what is wrong and how to change it. Its like i've finally been given a 'love manual' with all those misunderstandings about men explained in length and depth.

And it was fun for a while... but now my life is changing. I'm having a hard time writing because i don't know what i believe anymore. or should i say, i don't know what i want to believe. It strikes me that a lot of people study hardest either what has caused them pain in the past or what can help alleviate that pain. I study nutrition because i've always had tummy trouble. I needed to understand food to stop being a victim to my intolerances. Fear gives more motivation than anything, even love. The motivation to prevent loss, embarrassment, suffering, boredom, obscurity... we all have something that challenges us.

I admire those who study how people interact and behave. I'm one of them. But i'm motivated by fear... and i realise that so is everyone else who studies dating. We break it down because it scares us. We need to see how it works, so we can understand it. We've either suffered badly because of love in the past either because its always eluded us, or we've been burned badly.

And so that leads me to my internal state of affairs. Do i want to forever believe that 'love' doesn't exist? That its a chemical reaction and that it can be created with anyone should the present enough of a challenge to me to trigger intense attraction. Or do i want to got back to seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses and falling head over heels with the guy of my dreams. I know i can choose, for whatever i believe i create. And the latter would be nice, especially now i have a better understanding relationships....

But the answer? None of the above.

I like to be the observer of my own thoughts, because internally i sound like a four-year old trying to understand life and the universe. Sometimes i just need to shut up. I forget that writing is my way of making sense of that four year old. I don't even have time to write in my creative journal anymore... which makes me sad. Still when i get to blog it helps, and when i started this post i was still undecided about who i was, but now i think i see things clearer. Writing helps me take a step back and see that there is no choice. Its never just black & white. Life is many shades of grey, and when we go through life experiencing, we're adding to our color palate so when we come to paint the picture we want... we can pick from many hues, making life richer and a lot more interesting. In short, why choose just one path?

I can't go back to being the girl who loved too much. Just believing in love is not enough to be happy. When you don't have it. You mourn the loss and loneliness of it. And this new avenue i'm trying out lately... as much as its amazingly positive, being in control of all emotions gives no room for anything but a love for yoursel. It is the other extreme.

I need balance, and the middle road has the positives of both. Love does exist... i've had already decided that much. A life without it may stop you from getting hurt and letting anyone close, but its just an empty and unfulfilled way to live. But love doesn't conquer all. It wrong to put so much pressure on something that is just a feeling. Love can be created, it can be maintained... but it can also be abused. Love is in your life with or without you sharing it with a guy. It was always there if you choose to see it, you just have to find it. And you also need to understand it. Its taken me the last two years of my life to realise this piece of the puzzle. I now get how and why i lost love in the first place. And i also get that i do want to have it in my life going forward, but on my terms. And so i'm open to the next phase of my life and what (or who) it will bring ;)

Jul 14, 2009

Love may be blind... but your friends see clearly and thats not always a good thing.

There comes a time when you have to justify the guy in your life to your friends. It doesn't matter how committed the relationship is... if you are sleeping with him, they will have an opinion. In the past i developed a habit of keeping my dating life under wraps as far as how i 'truly' felt. I would glaze over the details when asked how things were going, mostly because my ex was the subject of scrutiny, and no one liked him because of how he treated me. It was better that way.

Its only in the last 6 months that i've allowed myself to open up again, though only to a select few friends, and mostly because of my increasing interest in dating and relationship psychology. I like the feedback ;)

Now with all this men-talk between us girls, one thing strikes me as true: Its very easy to feel insecurity when other people have an opinion. We like to seek their approval. Now i have written a post on this before but it was very generic. I'm now mostly focused on the fuss around why we need to get our men "qualified" by our friends.

Is it because we don't trust our own judgement? I remember not fancying my long-term ex at first until i asked my best friend if he was attractive. As soon as she said yes i didn't hesitate to like him back. So boys if you want to ensure she likes you, make sure her friends do...

I also think its because love can be blind.... but i'm wondering if love is blind for a reason. Is that the reason why (from my last post) Ross & Rachel were not able to just walk away from each other in the end. there were lots of reason why it shouldn't work, but to each other and many other 'real' couples out there this doesn't matter. They either don't see each other's 'flaws', see them and not care, or appreciate them as a part of that person... something they can tolerate and eventually come to love?

I've have had instances where i loved the fact a guy dressed badly! (yes me the girl who loves to make it catwalk day everyday) just because it was who he was. I've also found myself dating a guy who seems to tick all my boxes. But now i'm wondering if they were my boxes before i met him, or if they are now because he fits into them? I seem to like different things about different guys... and I can't change my mind that often? Can i?

And now i wonder if that means the guy who seems great on paper, when you market his brand to your friends, will be set up for a downfall when they actually meet him. The standards you set are high when all they know is he must be amazing to have caught your attention. But alas, when they finally meet him, and the cocky comments he makes, you know the ones that make you giggle, are not remotely funny to them... is it better they tell you? or keep it quiet?

Now if a friend says they don't like a guy i'm seeing or if he behaved badly in some way i don't let it deter me. If i'm happy then all is fair in love and war. Most of the time a guy-friend will "cock block" but i ignore that. Especially if the friend likes me in that way. But if its a girl its harder to understand, and even worse when its more than one. All i can think is that they don't want to see me get hurt, he must have been drunk or had his reasons. Still one can't help but wonder if its me that is truly blind in all of this. Afterall i lived with the most selfish, calculated ass-hole i've ever met, and i loved him.... and i wanted his children. I have a history of being unable to see.

I realise however that i am the one living this life and only i can judge my own happiness. I think these days i'm very capable of knowing my own inner state of affairs. And that should be the only compass guiding you.... otherwise you could get lost.

Jul 9, 2009

"Friends" never goes out of fashion... but does 'Ross & Rachel'?

I love re-runs of 'friends'. They make me chuckle ;) The in-jokes and long standing '20 something and still dating' storylines... everybody can relate to a character and situation they've been in. That's why we like it so much, and why it will never go out of fashion, however dated the wardrobe & set.

Still i seem to be the only one a little frustrated by the tidy last episode when Ross & Rachel finally get together. Really? After 10 years? After Ross went a little odd and Rachel had a baby? I don't buy it. The whole 'meant to be together' thing is just so 90s. Or maybe its just to Hollywood. Movies and dramas have been selling us 'The One', 'guy gets girl' or 'soul mates & true love' script for so long, that we rose tint our way through life expecting it as reality... actually no, correction.... we desire a happy ever after but expect reality to be different. More disappointing. And true to form, we always get what we expect.

In my view the last few generations are confused. We are not the romantics of the early 20th century, who have set family values, classic marriages and courting rituals, nor have we adapted to the realism of the future. Our ideals still cling to the past, to what society used to deem as acceptable.... and yet our lifestyle suggest something very different. How can a woman in her 20s in this day and age live as she desires and yet still fit with historic ideals of what 'should' make her happy?

In the 90s, dramas like 'friends' clearly emphasized this confusion. Thousands of weak heroines like 'Bridget Jones' were our role models. Stupid 'rom-coms' where people mess up in love taught us to accept misunderstanding in each other (men & woman) and see drama or a challenge in love as normal - no guy ever gets the girl straight away, no girl ever has it all without it being by chance and the end-goal is always to be 'lucky in love'.

What happened to strong, independant leading ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day & Marilyn Monroe? Role models that gave men a run for their money? What happened to guys like James Dean, Cary Grant & Bogart? Men who knew what they wanted (usually the ladies) and charmed their way into getting it? The golden era may have had old-fashioned ideals, but it also had strong personalities to go with it. Now? it seems society is reluctant to let go of these ideals and what is right and wrong behaviour for people in love and relationships. We judge to make ourselves and our situations seem better by comparison and in this messed up world of adult angst, there is not one celebrity out there that i would want to emulate.

Ross & Rachel may have been the 'couple' we all understood and wanted to be in. But seriously... look at the cracks that splintered their relationship time and time again. Where is the 'gone with the wind' moment when he just kisses her and says 'frankly my dear i don't give a dam' and walks off and leaving her hanging because she took him very much for granted? It didn't happen. Ross was weak and too indirect with his intentions. He was sloppy and hesitated way too much in moments when he needed to just act. He had poor boundary function and then pushed her away with his inability to communicate them. And Rachel.... was callous and lacked empathy & understanding. She kept score and nagged. She flirted with other guys to get attention. And generally drove him away with her ego's inability to just 'let it go'. Its no wonder a ton of my friends (men and women) are constantly confused, out of love, and always in the 'friends zone'.... we grew up in our teen years watching 'friends' who were most of the time just that and nothing much else.

And why should Ross & Rachel just settle for each other after all this time? There is more to life, and always someone new, than going back to something that 'just didn't work in the first place'. We all need to let go of past failures and enjoy 'fresh blood' so to speak. I can't tolerate 'love' for love's sake.... it doesn't exist. Like anything 'love' is an addiction to good emotions and feel-good chemicals. And no one is a slave to addiction. We all have the power to face the fear of being on our own and not accept 'second-hand' romances. I know Audrey wouldn't have.... and that's good enough for me.

Jul 4, 2009

If you want to make a "connection"... sell emotions not yourself

Did you know that when models take to the catwalk there is a a key factor that contributes to seamless effect of their gliding walk.... its called alcohol.

Just before a show, on a not so surprising empty stomach, they down one glass of champers. The immediate light-headiness and buffered reality gives them a boost of confidence. They are relaxed and feel good. And so when they poise for the cameras and the onlookers they also look really good, the pictures are amazing, and the resulting show is a success.

So why do they do need to engage in the ritual of bubbles? Well, emotions convey a power sub-communication of someones agenda, outlook and personality. Being able to affect the emotional state of others is essential for those in sales and promotion. And an edge of alcohol is an easy and quick way to do it ;) In the most basic sense, we feel and take on the emotions of those around us. So if you are having a good time, feel relaxed and happy, most likely those in your company do to.

I try to use this to my advantage in business as well as social situations like dating. A lot of girls (and guys) ask me how to ensure you date is having a great time. Do you make sure you take them to their favorite place? Do you have to constantly ask them if they are ok? Do you seek their approval or entertain them at every step?

No. And if you did any of those things i can assure you your date will probably feel that you are a nervous, insecure and a bit creepy. Then comes the 'ick' factor - you are nice, but they don't fancy spending more time with you. They just don't 'feel' good around you. In fact they feel like you are making the 'date' hard work for yourself and because you can't relax... and so they can't. No one likes a slimy sales person who tries to 'convince' you to buy, so why should they like a date who sell themselves in the same way. The 'product' just feels cheap.

So what do you do?

Well in my experience its the same as being a host. The best make you feel like their home is your home. There is limited choice, because their event or party is catered to their taste, but you are free to take action or not in your own time. It is also about selling an emotional feeling. They should 'feel' that by spending time with you they get into a 'good emotional state', and so later, when they think of you, they associate you with that addictive state and seek you out for more of the same.

You can get anyone into a good emotional state just by having it yourself. And if you have solid inner game (positive self-image and attitude) then like any broadband radio station... your frequency is easier to listen to and dance to rather than tune out or into someone else's.

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