Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Say Hello To Your Little Green Monster.




"...I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU"
-The Little Green Monster










We all have times in our life when we are doing really well. When our hair looks shiny, and our skin is glowing, and the world falls at our feet.

We also have times when things don't going that well for us. During these tricky times, it's hard not to look around and see the flaws in our lives.

If you stalk enough people on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you're eventually going to feel inadequate or...like full-on garbage. Heck, my breakfasts alone would make anyone cry with jealousy. #blessed.

So what happens when you're feeling stuck in a rut and your friends are...well...thriving?

Now I know what you're thinking. Laurel, are you implying that you're not always happy for your friend's success?

To which I'd reply:

Excuse you! Of course I am.

But if you asked me again, I'd probably say:

Yes. But sometimes not immediately.

I love my friends. I want them to thrive. But sometimes there is this jealous part of me looks at them and thinks..."But I want that too."

It's ugly, it's not helpful but sadly, it's the truth.

I'm addressing this dark and dirty secret because the more I talk to people about this, the more I hear about how much shame we carry around because we feel jealousy. Our shame is what cripples us even more than our little Green Monster.

How can we address this if we aren't able to talk about it?

Immediately my writer brain starts spinning. If enough people in my day-to-day life are talking about their doubt and petty thoughts, then shouldn't we open up the conversation about it?

Well...I volunteer as tribute!

It's a shitty feeling to realize that you are...well... human. We all have some flawed emotions. To realize that your knee-jerk reaction is not as altruistic as you've thought is depressing as fuck, to say the least.

But I think it's important to address these feelings head on and be open about them. Otherwise they fester and that's when you start taking those flawed feelings and start making harmful decisions. And that is when the real problems start.

So what do we do? How do we stop the cycle of envy?

Perhaps with some good old-fashioned conversation!

What would happened if we changed our view of our Little Green Monster? What would happen if we embraced it fully?

To look at it from a positive perspective, we could say that jealousy may be a useful emotion. Sure, if you let it, your jealousy will drive you mad (That's a Moulin Rogue quote btw. NBD). However, I'd argue that jealousy can serve a purpose. It highlights qualities, accomplishments, and people that we also desire in our lives.  Without Jealousy perhaps we wouldn't know what we wanted?

Hmmm...what?

Now I'm not codoning senseless jealousy. If you can't let your partner go out without you, or you are driven insane when they have friends who they could theoretically have sex with (but don't) then you need to check yourself. Or if any time someone does better at you in your field it drives you to the point where you seriously consider pushing that person down a set of stairs, then again, you're going to need to check yourself. No one wants a Tanya Harding around them, boo. Sawwwwwy bout' that.

Of course, the world would be a better place without jealousy coursing through our veins. But until we collectively learn to meditate, or self medicate it away with a magic jealousy-free pill, I guess we're stuck acknowledging these feelings and turning them into productive energy.

Your jealousy can be your compass. What is it trying to show you? Is this worth stressing about? How can this feeling launch you forward instead of crippling you into a hot-mess filled with doubt and spite?

You're worth giving yourself a break from this mental torture. Trust yourself and cut yourself some slack! We all, whether we admit it or not, have moments of intense jealousy. It's...normal (I think).

So today, as you scroll through your social media feed, maybe take it all in with a grain of salt. Practice being truly happy for the people around you because at the end of the day, it's awesome when the people around you are killing it. That thriving energy helps to inspire us to work a little harder and to take joy in the areas of our lives that we value. Happiness does not result from other people doing worse than you. And if it does then you've got some stuff to work through, my friend.

Whether you want to admit it or not, you are doing better at this whole living thing then you'd imagine. And you can chose to thrive even if your monster is tugging at your clothes.

On that note, breathe, release and have a happy Wednesday!

XO.






Monday, 8 February 2016

10 ways to navigate through Valentines Day.

Valentines day, Valentines day, Valentines day.

This holiday is a very tricky holiday to navigate. Whether you are with someone or not, there is so much pressure to enjoy this loved-filled day.

Here is what I think if you are with someone this Valentines, whether it's a hook-up, casual, or a long-term "Put-a-ring-on-it" type situation, maybe we can follow some ground rules.

1) Let's act like we give a shit.  No one wants to feel like they are garbage or the equivalent to chewed up gum on your shoe. Even if you don't end up together forever, you can still treat someone well in the present moment. Be a good person. Be kind. People have hearts and feelings even if they pretend not to.

2) Say Happy Valentines Day. It doesn't mean you'll be together forever. Relax.  It won't trap you into a binding life-long contract. You can say it. It won't kill you...unless, of course, you choke on a candy heart...in which case...sorry.

3) Don't Break-up On Valentines day. Don't do it. Please don't do it. You will ruin Valentines day. Stick it out one more day. Don't be that person. It's like breaking up with someone on Christmas or your birthday. Sure you "can" do it but you're kind of a dick.

4) Eat some chocolate together. Oh, you don't agree? Chocolate is the best. You should eat it everyday.  And why not eat some chocolate with your super sexy someone OR your super sexy friends? What? You don't call your friends super sexy? WEIRD.

5) If you want to have a big argument. What is so important that it can't wait until February 15th? Stop. It. NOW.

6) Have sex...if you're into it. Because why not? Duh. Unless that's not your jam. In which case, rock on. Valentines day (just like any day) can be exactly what you want it to be. You can create your own version of things-take what you like and leave the rest. If you want to sit around in your P.J's  and watch a Muppet movie instead of the typical roses and blah-blah, then by all means, do it!

7)  Cut yourself and your S.F (Special Friend) some slack. February is a tough month. You know it's not the best month when Valentines Day is the only thing you look forward to. If you're feeling pressured or weird about the "holiday" why not...dare I say it...talk about it. Chances are your partner can relate. Most of us know that Valentines Day doesn't always bring out the best in people so by talking about it, you can be one the same page. Page Awesome.

8) If you're single, treat yourself. Are you feeling sad and lonely? Nah bra. You're a babe. Seriously. Why don't you make yourself some treats, put on some sweet sweatpants, and invite some friends over? Friends are pretty much the loves of your life. Think about it! They know all of your favourite foods, they love you despite your awful taste in music, and the put up with your shit. That's love and that's special.

9) Tell your family you love them. Your family loves you (hopefully) and so why not tell them you love them? I know. It's a crazy concept. Chances are your family has seen you at your worst and STILL loves you. Wow, you go famjam.

10) Don't take it too seriously. Valentines Day is a made-up holiday that makes single people feel bad and coupled people feel stressed out...and i guess gives a some people the excuse to buy cute bears. Fine, fine. I'm a sucker for those sappy teddy bears. Shut-up about it.

 In the end, maybe if we appreciated our special someone more than just this one day, it would feel okay. Or if we just chilled out about our expectations , it could be fun? Who knows? But for now, I'd say let's relax and appreciate that we are able to watch Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey fall in love in various movies...and  also...that we're able to celebrate that wonderful thing called Love in WHATEVER form it's shows up in our lives.

XOXO







Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Just Because You Can't Do Something Perfectly, Doesn't Mean You Aren't Perfect To Do It.















Ah perfection.

That elusive mistress that chains us to the floor and prevents us from doing the things we want for fear of embarrassment. Or failure.

Perfection and I have personally danced an interesting dance for many years. She, in one corner. Me, in the other. Staring each other down, hoping that one of us will budge.

Much like a lover that no longer wants to be there, Perfection can be cruel and vindictive.

You could have done that way better today. You aren't as good as you think you are. Why do you even bother?

And other times, Perfection will cut you some slack. She'll even go out of her way to flirt with your ego.

And by the way, your ego, is hot for perfection. Ego always has been. Always will be.

You should have totally got that job. That babe of a human was totally into you. It wasn't you who was in the wrong...it's never your fault.

The back and forth of her mood swings is what makes hanging out with perfection so damn interesting. She'll stay with you for a night but God help you if you want to make breakfast Sunday morning. She's gone and she's taken your confidence with her.

So just because we'll never be perfect doesn't mean that we should sit on the couch and never try anything. No (WO)Man!

In my experience, most of the time I or anyone else I've known has pushed ourselves to next step in jobs, in love, or in physical progress is when we just did it.

That's it? That's the secret?

Yup. Pretty much. And although I'm not exactly thrilled to admit it but by doing and getting that adrenaline rush, "am-I-going-to-shit-myself?"feeling, I've learnt more then if I thought about every aspect of something and waited and inevitably talked myself out of doing what I needed to do.

For instance, I can't explain how many times I've gotten a job or an opportunity that I'm technically not the most qualified candidate for.

And sadly, for years, anytime I got close to getting what I wanted I would start to back away. I'd think, "Who am I to have this?" or "Why should I get this?"

It took finally admitting to myself that maybe I wasn't going to do that job or role perfectly but that didn't mean that I wasn't perfect for the job.

And that's something I try to think about when I get into a self-defeated state of mind.

Here it is again:

Just because you can't do something perfectly doesn't mean you aren't the perfect person to do it.

To sum it up, sunshine, you and I will never be perfect. But you are perfect for something in all your flawed glory.

On that note, is there something you'd like to do but you have no idea if you're capable? What's holding you back?

Feel free to comment below. I ALWAYS read the comments and I'd love to hear from you.

XOXO






Tip Jar: Support this artist