Female clients and friends often chat with me about their dating lives. I have come to realize the largest problem people face today when dating is that one person (usually the woman) has a disproportionate interest in the person she is seeing. It is understandable that when there are problems in a relationship and someone we care about hurts us, we want to feel like there is an interest to communicate and work things out. Even if there can't be a mutual solution it is nice to know the other person has some interest to try to make things better. However, I notice many men are incredibly careless with the people they date. Women tell me they wish they lost weight or got a better job to show their ex-boyfriend he made a mistake in dumping them. But it is hard to make a person jealous or rethink an action when the other person has little emotional investment. I think many men would be surprised that the reason there are so many angry women is that they just want to feel like they matter to the men they are dating. If you are ready for love, it is human nature to want to feel acknowledged and cared for. But what happens when you are wronged and the other person doesn't care. How do you seek justice for wrongdoing? After much discussion and meditation, I realized you can't. Unfortunately, you really just have to forget about and ignore those people that hurt you. You can't force someone to feel jealous because you have a great life, a hot boyfriend, a fabulous career, etc. You can't force someone to care about your wellbeing. You can't emotionally reach someone who doesn't care. An analogy would be like trying to beat someone at a game of cards who has no interest in playing...The truth is simple. If the person you are dating had feelings for you, they would not hurt you to begin with. So I tell my friends and clients this. If you want to up the chances of having a successful relationship by 1000 % only date people who have the emotional capacity and readiness to love and deeply care about you. This will eliminate the largest obstacle facing daters today...Namely, if the person you are dating actually wants to be dating you.
For all my life I defined my worth by the way other people saw me. Men or random acquaintances determined my value. The way they saw me was a mirror reflection of how I thought of myself. I struggled most of my life wanting to be just like the popular girls everyone admired. I thought if I looked and acted just like them, I would finally feel beautiful and valued. As I lost weight, learned how to dress better and be more outwardly confident, I realized something about myself and others. Some people are in fact extremely superficial. People will decide your value and it will rise and fall quickly for any trivial reason. Seeing this phenomenon first hand, I realized I no longer really give a sh**t about what people think who don't love me. My family and close friends care about me no matter what I look like, how much money I have, where I went to school, etc.. and will be there for me when I am old and grey. Their reflection of me is what matters because they see my beauty and value my soul. Worth itself truly is relative. My grandma is in her mid 90's and I still think she is beautiful and wonderful despite what society would think of a frail elderly woman. Now that I am in my 30's I came to a point where I understand that worth has nothing to do with how random people see you. There will always be someone who is prettier, younger, more exciting, sexier, funnier, smarter, etc. than you. To be loved and valued is to be treasured for the mosaic of traits uniquely yours. No one should have to "sell" themselves to another to gain acceptance. It is important to see yourself clearly and not from other's distorted mirror of you. The lesson I am finally learning is that to finally end living a superficial life starts with one's own refusal to see oneself superficially. Namaste :)
That old movie quote "Love means never having to say you are sorry," never made sense to me. I assumed if I hurt someone I love, of course I should apologize. I heard the quote again recently, and I think I finally understand the meaning. If you love someone and know they love you back any action taken will be done for your benefit in mind and vice versa. Someone who loves you wants the best for you. Like a loving parent towards a child, no actions are done to purposely hurt the child. Even if a mistake was made, forgiveness is granted since love is unconditional. After meditating on the quote further, I stumbled upon one of the biggest obstacles we face in communicating with other people. We want those we care about to respect our thoughts and feelings, but many people in our lives don't really care about us. We can't force someone to think of our best interest equal to their own. We can't force love. There are only a few people you will meet in your life that will love you unconditionally and for those rare wonderful people, you will never have to say you are sorry. They will love you forever.
Growing up in the 1980's and 90's I was encouraged to believe that men and women were essentially equal in all areas of intelligence and leadership. As I became older and saw my friends excel in college and their careers, I noticed these same women had a hard time dating. I noticed that the majority of men preferred women that were weak and acted like babies. These men choose traits in women that were diametrically opposed to the image women were supposed to embody. Ironically, as women tore down barriers in the workforce, barriers were created in the relationships between men and women. The feminist movement is considered a "stalled revolution." Women are encouraged to be successful, but many men do not want to emotionally connect with intelligent women. For example, in magazines and television, you will see advertisers deconstruct women's bodies, highlighting specific body parts. This creates sexual objectification, dehumanizing the female mind and soul. There have been numerous studies to suggest such objectification encourages violence against women, such as rape. So the feminist movement has created two problems. It is still a struggle for women to be accepted in leadership positions and smart strong women are not as attractive for many men. The stress of fixing our own inequality issues has often encouraged women to engage in efforts oversees instead of domestically. The women's rights movement is not a completed project. Only when it is broadly acknowledged that women's rights are human rights will we feel safe and free.
In life, there are many things that can go wrong. When given stressful situations many of us act unaffected by stress and hope the bad feelings will go away. But, the problem is that such anxiety will hunt you down and just like Glen Close in "Fatal Attraction" it will not be ignored. Stress will stalk you and manifest itself in other areas of your life. For instance, when we don't get that promotion, have a fight with the significant other, or can't pay the bills we build negative feelings physiologically. That sadness collects in your psyche and emotionally weighs you down. The pressure builds and we consequently turn to our favorite calming habits. Those of us who are on a healthier track may exercise, meditate, talk to friends, get a massage, or watch a movie to dissipate the negativity. Some of us however, turn to the dark side. We may relieve anxiety by grabbing a pint of Ben and Jerry's on the way home, have a few drinks at the bar, take illegal drugs, or engage in risky sexual behavior. These bad habits are very dangerous for the long term. One often feels worse because poor choices create physical problems, such as weight gain and enhance psychological conditions, such as guilt and shame. It is my belief that the best way to feel happier when stressed is simply to cry. Crying releases tension and actually honors your feelings. So many of us want to feel in control or our feelings, but that is not realistic. We are in fact human beings. Crying is your body's way of saying it needs a break. After a good cry, you will see that you feel spiritually lighter and more capable of making rational and healthier choices. Namaste.
Food is one of life's great pleasures. For me, having a warm fresh croissant with butter and marmalade is delectable. During my own journey of trying new ways to lose weight, I discovered the fundamental secret of healthy thin people...they eat! The misconception for many people is that the enjoyment of eating needs to be severely compromised to lose weight. I promise you that is not the case. In fact, the sense of wonder and excitement about eating actually becomes heightened for healthier folks. The key component is in the delayed gratification of the naughty foods you truly enjoy and not eating them that frequently. When you do not give in to temptation that easily, that brownie tastes so much more satisfying. Keeping to a regiment of healthy foods (that you enjoy) and occasionally adding in the naughty foods you crave will make you feel very relaxed as you pursue the long-term goal of healthier eating. Given enough time, your taste buds will adjust marvelously to the reduced fat and sugar. In time, you will actually crave less of your favorite foods and enjoy them so much more when you do eat them.
Many of my students feel that teachers of yoga have found the eternal key to happiness and don't have personal struggles. I want to humanize my profession. Yoga is the practice of self-acceptance and I am making it my life's work to honor that message for my students. Yet, there are times I definitely feel it difficult to accept my flaws. As a woman living at such a superficial time, I struggle with my own beauty. Specifically, the issue of plastic surgery has been a recurring battle for me. I have debates with myself on the benefits of a breast lift and a butt enhancement despite the dangerous complications of these procedures. I also see lines on my face and feel the urge to use Botox. For those of us who strive to be our best selves, physical perfection can be a tough hurdle to cross because our bodies can't be fixed so easily. These physical imperfections are issues I meditate on regularly. When I am faced with feeling insecure, I tell myself I can love my imperfections as I do love others. I can dislike things about myself but still love my whole being. I can accept my flaws. I can accept that I am human. Only in those moments of self-acceptance do I feel like a true yogi. Namaste ;)
Competition can be wonderful in moderation. Having a competitive spirit is a powerful trait in business, creating a strong will to succeed. But, that desire to win can turn ugly when the feeling moves into one's personal life. Highly competitive people are prone to becoming envious or resentful of others who are "winning" anything of value. Your best friend who had a baby, or lost a lot of weight, or the couple who bought a big house in the city, suddenly don't seem so nice anymore. Anger and annoyance may replace earlier feelings of love and compassion. That visceral desire to win can make it hard to feel happy with yourself or with others who are successful. As a yoga instructor, I see students push themselves beyond their current ability to compete with other students. It is distressing because they are missing the point of the practice. Yoga is the practice of self-acceptance. It is a personal and special journey. It starts and ends with feeling grateful for who you are at this point in time. There is no need to compete outside of work. I urge my clients to feel happy and grateful for their unique blessings and find inspiration and joy in other's success. Namaste :)
I just bought a large container of carob powder and I am feeling inspired! Carob is a legume and comes from the carob tree. It has been a historically prominent food, consumed for nearly 5000 years. Carob continues to play a large role in Jewish tradition, traditionally eaten during the holidays of Tu B'shvat and Lag BaOmer. It is also called "honey locust" or St. John's Bread and was eaten by John the Baptist. In addition to it's historical relevance, here are some of carob's many health benefits.
1. Carob is dairy free for those vegan or lactose intolerant
2. Medicinally, carob is used for digestion problems including diarrhea and heartburn.
3. There is good reason to believe that carob may be beneficial in the
treatment of diabetes, since it reduces blood glucose and
4. Carob lowers high cholesterol levels in the blood. Not only serum cholesterol,
but also serum triglycerides.
5. Carob contains a large amount of phenolic antioxidants. Phenolic
antioxidants helps the body fight diseases that are the result of cell
oxidation caused by free radicals, such as cancer.
6. Carob contains no caffeine or other stimulants
7. Carob has almost no fat naturally and has a lot of natural sweetness, so it doesn't need as much added sugar.
Try adding yummy carob chips to cookies and desserts as a substitute for chocolate. Carob powder can also be added to hot water or milk for a delicious warm beverage. Enjoy!
A few years ago I had an interesting conversation with an
acquaintance from an ivy league university. He was a very good-looking guy, 23 years old and studying at a prestigious law school. It seemed he had all the things most men would want. I asked him what it was like being him. A bold question that gave me an equally candid answer. He confided in me that being "perfect" was not much fun. Most people he knew were not rooting for his success. He felt that most of his friends from his hometown were intimidated by his ambition. He felt others thought his abilities and good looks were sheer luck and that he didn't deserve to have so many blessings. I found his point of view intriguing. I realized there was some truth to his perspective. Sometimes I also feel I should conceal good things in my life to gain acceptance. It is interesting to think about why we can admire celebrities, but have trouble honoring the good fortune of people we actually know. It would be a great thing if we could inspire each other and not look specifically to famous personalities as our mentors.