Texting is Not a Relationship

Daily or almost Daily texts is not a dating relationship.

It’s not.

I promise you it’s notYou, my dear friend, are so worth a phone call.  You’re worthy of an invitation. A verbal (phone or in person) conversation cannot be copy and pasted. 

That’s all I wanted this blog post to say. But, I also know that many of you are going to be sitting there trying to justify why your text conversations are a relationship. That the smiley face at the end of “Hey” is endearing and personal. The text “what are you doing tonight?” That they sent you at 6pm really was only sent to you and not after their other plans fell through.   I know that the world is all about instant messages. Texting, iMessage, Tinder, Grindr, What’s App…insert whatever other instant notification app here. But guess what?  There are still phones. We still speak out loud. Phone companies still sell plans with minutes. Unlimited minutes are cheaper than ever. People do not have to use them wisely. They can just use them!

If someone really likes you they’ll call you.  I promise you they will.

Sure there may be a text here an there “I’m on my way” is absolutely appropriate. It shows that they care enough to give you a heads up and that you have made plans to get together. If they always text you “what are you doing this weekend?” There is a huge chance they copy and pasted that to a few others. I’ll say it again because it’s true.  A phone conversation is pretty tough to copy and paste.

In a world where people can text It’s pretty special when someone picks up the phone and calls you.

I remember last Spring I was out having dinner with a girlfriend talking about the guys I was dating. I had just arrived back from another trip to Boulder, Co. While telling her about “the musician” he called. My phone lit up. I literally laughed out loud. How warm were his ears? Anyways, it went to voicemail since I’m a firm believer in being with those I’m spending time with. After dinner I got in my car and listened to his voicemail. Yes, a smile on my face. He called me! His message: he was sitting in his hotel in Las Vegas (his band was performing there) and he saw i had arrived back from Boulder. Wanted to hear about my trip.

I know! My smile grew even bigger and it felt so nice that someone called me just to see how I was. He was in Vegas on a Saturday night and called me. He could have texted or waited until he arrived back.

Back to my point if they call you it’s for you. It’s personalized just for you.

Conversations on the phone and in person are so personal. There’s tone, inflection, complete sentences and depth. No amount of emoji’s, elipses and punctuation can replace an actual vocal conversation. The best part about a phone conversation is you never have to watch those three dots start, stop and start again only to stop and leave you hanging!

Since I’m not a complete cold hearted message take-away-er here are some tips to help you ween off the addiction:

1) don’t go cold turkey: delete one app a week

2) only use messages for confirmations, out of state/country friends

3) start calling a friend or family member a week. Get used to talking on the phone again. You’ll start to crave that kind of communication

I know I’m getting brutally honest with you here. But, it’s for your own good. The person who treats you like the Royalty you are calls you on the phone.  Gets to know you. They take interest in what you are doing. I know it’s going to be tough to let those text conversations go. It’s nice that someone is contacting you. Wallpaper is nice my friends; your relationship should not be just nice.

xx~LL

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Xx ~LL

Am I An “Amy”?

I’m reading Gone Girl, and I’m almost done—don’t worry for those of you who are reading it or have plans to see the movie, I’ll talk about the book some, but nothing that gives away any spoilers. I have to admit the book was really difficult for me to read for the first section. I grew up in a small town in Kansas, and I know where North Carthage is. I have been to North Carthage. My Midwestern town seems grossly similar. I also now live in New York—and although I’m not the heiress and namesake of a popular book series (yet), I was feeling a lot of parallels in my own life. Which I’m sure is a point Gillian Flynn is trying to make—are you like Amy?

This fact is almost as terrifying as some of the twists in the novel. Amy talks about being a “Cool Girl” and makes herself a blend of what men think they want—the thin girl who isn’t afraid to eat, likes to be adventurous, and isn’t upset if a guy goes off and does his own thing instead of premade plans with her. There are a few articles out on the subject like this one, that state their viewpoints on “Cool Girl” status.

In the shower, I was thinking of this—I seem to do a lot of deep thinking in the shower, which is a pain in the ass because by the time I get out, I forget the amazing topics I had just brainstormed.  In the shower I wondered if I should shave my legs, but shrugged it off thinking: I’m not sleeping with anyone at the moment, so…why? After the shower, I was thinking about my last few weeks…I’ve been occupied by a relationship of sorts with a man and it wasn’t as engaging as I would have liked it to have been, so I’m moving on. But before it turned the corner, I was out shopping and planning. I bought new razors, thigh highs, and the pretty kind of panties—the ones that after you wear a couple of times just get all frizzy, so you save them in the back of your drawer for “special occasions” and then in a few years clean out said drawer, and end up throwing them away because they’ve somehow ratted up in the back of the drawer, even though they were never worn—yeah that kind. I have all of these things, and am ready “just in case.” Lesley and I had a conversation about this blog, and she brought up that a common complaint people have when dating is that the other person changes after three months of dating, and it isn’t true. People don’t change, they just relax back into who they really are.

I’m a comfort woman, not that I am lazy, but there are things that I don’t care to do, unless its for show. That being said, there are several things I do for myself regularly like wearing pretty smelling lotion, daily mascara, and blowing out my hair. But the myriad of things that I list to do when I think I’m about to hop into a relationship is a bit mind blowing for me. Partially because the list is seemingly long, but partially because I’m so easily willing to slip into a vaguely different version of myself, a better groomed, slightly more sexy, taller (the heels come out) version of myself. Because, in a way, this is what I think I need to be in order to start a relationship. Again, not major changes, but I don’t show up to a first date like I do to daily things.

I’m not just a heightened version of myself only when dating. We all go into different situations where we are a shinier, better, improved version of ourselves. There is a different me at work, there is a different me with certain friends, there is a different me at a networking party. It just happens. It’s when we play into this persona and create even more heightened versions of ourselves that it becomes an issue.

In Gone Girl, Amy confesses that she hates this person who she has made herself out to be, this perfect version of a wife for Nick. The perfect version of a daughter for her parents who are in a cookie cutter relationship. She hates it so much that she doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t even know what it is that she likes. Because she has created this character, partially out of fun and partially as an experiment, Amy makes herself out to be likeable (to which at one point she asks the reader if “likeable is a compliment”) and therefore makes fake relationships with people by being an amalgam of the things she thinks people want to see.

One of my favorite quotes is: “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” ee Cummings nails humanity on the head with that thought. What is the better choice: to be yourself, or to take on who you think people want to you be? Amy says it’s a game for herself to step into these people, these different stereotypes to be more likeable. Feminism says you should stand up and be different than the stereotypical woman. I say: I like fancy undies and heels when I’m out on a first date—heels for the first impression and to give a glimpse at how intimidating I actually am, and fancy undies so if my first impression of you is a good one, I can know that I have a secret I’d like to share—maybe not tonight… but sometime.


I’m not a feminist. I’m an equalist. I think that if you want to let your freak flag fly, then do. If you don’t, well… don’t. Your choice, just don’t hurt anyone intentionally. I think that its fine to be who you want one moment and try on someone else’s skin the next—just don’t get so deep in a lie  that you hurt someone, or worse hurt or confine yourself. If you want to buy fancy undies, or fancy wine, or have a fancy shave, do.

Plans to see the movie tomorrow with my book club, are urging me to finish reading Gone Girl even though my inner voice keeps comparing me to Amy. I think, even though the comparisons terrify me, I know that I’m not like her. Yes, I do try on different versions of myself, but all of them are rooted somewhere in me—I would wear the fancy undies and heels more often if they were more comfortable. But ultimately its not the true me. And when I do put on these personas it is for me—possibly driven by others—but in the end, for me. I’m going to go finish the book now… maybe you should go check on yourself and see how much of your outward self is for you, and how much is for the world… We’d love to hear your thoughts below! (Oh, and I JUST finished the book… I’m NOT an Amy.  Not even close.)

Clare

Lying–Is It Really Worth It?

Last week I did something I wasn’t proud of. And even worse, I was called out on it. I lied. It was a small lie, one that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things… I gave a friend some sunglasses that were given to me, told her not to say where she had gotten them, and lied to get another pair. I did it because I knew I could. Instead of just asking for another pair of sunglasses, I lied saying that mine broke. The friend I gave my other pair to was seen wearing the sunglasses the day after. When asked where she got them, she said I gave them to her.

I’m not of the belief that “no good deed goes unpunished,” however it sometimes reigns true. This article isn’t about being punished for trying to do good. It’s about lying. I hate that I got caught trying to do something nice. It is worse that I thought I needed to lie to get what I wanted.

Sure you’re probably saying, “It was only a little white lie,” or “It was a lie to help someone else,” or “really, it wasn’t that big of a deal.” You’re right, on some levels. Ultimately, no one died, no one was bleeding… so it should be ok. It was only a pair of sunglasses, it helped someone else out, and no one was really hurt. Or were they?  Two friendships were harmed. The person who gave me the sunglasses now has the need to question when I ask for things, he generally trusts me, but that trust was broken down until further notice. He has every right to feel mistrust towards me. The friendship between the new owner of the sunglasses and me is also harmed. I held her in confidence, I trusted her, and now that trust is broken. So, with one tiny little lie that didn’t really hurt anyone, I created questionable relationships.

The major point I want to make is: lying just isn’t worth it. A few years ago, I made a huge effort and stopped lying. I was inspired to do this by my roommate Melisa, who posed the question to me: why do you lie when it doesn’t really benefit anyone? My eyes were opened in that moment. It wasn’t easy always telling the truth. Especially, in those moments where a lie would make someone feel better. It is so much easier just to tell a lie sometimes. But in the long run, lies hurt. Sometimes it’s not a detrimental, life ending, tragic outcome. Sometimes it’s just a friendship level readjustment (if it’s a big change you might want to read Growing Out Of Friends). However, no matter how high the stakes, why do it? Why not make honesty and truth your go-to? I don’t know why I didn’t just tell the truth in the first place. More people got hurt because I told the lie, than if I had just been honest.

Honesty is the best policy. Benjamin Franklin didn’t just say it to sound smart, and add to the thousands of things he is known for. He said it because it’s true. It takes time to be able to be honest. Why is that? It is hard to be honest. Not only to dis-ingrain lying from your natural instincts, but also to be able to hear the feedback to your honesty. I didn’t want to hear “no, you can’t have a second pair of sunglasses because you gave away your first pair and that was your choice.” So, I made the choice to manipulate the situation, and lie, so my chances of hearing “yes” were higher. Re-read that last sentence. If the word manipulate didn’t jump out at you either time, I want to make it clear that every time you lie, you are manipulating a situation. A lie might not be a big deal, but a manipulation should be. No one really likes to be lied to, but most people hate to be manipulated. A lie is a manipulation. When you lie, yes even to tell someone they don’t look fat in that dress, you’re manipulating the situation to make yourself more comfortable. Yup. Think about it. The last few times you’ve lied: maybe you’ve only told a friend who asked you to hang out that you’re doing laundry, when you’re actually hanging out with another friend. (Why not just say you have other plans? If pressed for more info, just say you’re doing something with a friend or you’re helping out a friend. If you say who it is, and the other person is judgy about it—tell them that is why you weren’t as revealing at the beginning, and its none of their business who you are hanging out with.)

If you’ve told your mother/father/significant other that you can’t do something, why not just tell them that you don’t want to do it? These are people you’re supposed to be intimate with, why not just tell them your preference? Yes, there are sacrifices that should be made in close relationships, but if you’re really against something, tell them. I know you don’t want to create fights that aren’t necessary, and maybe to start out, lie now and tell them later, “you know, I actually lied to you before, I really am not into that Indian restaurant/knitting club/model trains/baking cupcakes these days. I want to spend time with you, but can we do something else instead?”

If you are asked the dreaded “how do I look in this?” Don’t lie and tell the person they look great. Instead think of something else to compliment, or if you think the person can take it, say that it isn’t the best choice of outfit, or that they might want to try another look—especially if you’re in the store—don’t approve a horrid outfit!!

In all lying, you need to observe the reason why you’re lying—is it to protect the other person, or is it self-preservation? Why not admit you’re hanging out with the people you are—its your choice, and that is ok. Why not tell the people you love, that your interests have changed? People grow, people change. You don’t love anyone less for having changed. You just changed—go re-read Patterns Versus Change.  If its about a fashion choice, is it possibly that you want to put your fashion choices on that person, or that you, yourself have body issues? Or, is it truly because they look fat? No matter the reason, there are delicate ways to deal with all of these situations, but you have to figure out what is really happening in you.

It takes strength to show vulnerability and weakness. I’m not asking you to change overnight. I’m asking you instead to be strong. To be willing to hear “no.” To be willing to show who you really are.

Let’s start you on the Path of Truth Telling. First: start small. Start with the fibs. (But Clare, you’ve opened my eyes, and I do tell a lot of lies, and manipulate people, and I need to stop, today.) Well, darling hearts, most people aren’t good at quitting anything cold turkey—and even if they are, relapse rate is high. Instead, like a work out, or a new diet, or starting a new job: start small changes and know you’ll have to work at it daily to have results. Start observing when you lie, and see if you can stop yourself before you do. Instead of telling someone that they are wearing an awesome outfit when they look terrible, tell them instead that their hair looks awesome. Or instead, maybe their choice isn’t quite right for where you’re going or what you’re attending.

Second: remember brutal honesty serves brutal honesty. In other words, when you give feedback that is straight up, you might get it thrown right back at you. Find ways to tell the truth but that might not be as harsh as you initially want to respond. (Part of the reason we stray to lying is because we think it is easier to just lie. Instead of putting the work in to readjust our truth to a kinder, gentler version.) Don’t be angry with your mom for not remembering you don’t knit anymore. Instead, kindly tell her that it’s no longer exciting, and instead you’d like to see a movie/art show/ concert with her. Don’t tell your significant other that ballet sucks. Instead, say that you wanted to make him or her happy by attending those few times, but you would love it if they found another friend to go with, and rain check you for some other activity.

If you ease yourself into a life of truth telling, albeit gentle truth, you’ll find it feels better to tell the truth, and its actually harder to lie. Telling my lie about the sunglasses really wasn’t a big deal. I was approached by the giver, and we worked it out. I then approached my friend and talked to her about her side of it—even though she was the one who told the truth in all of this. The funny thing is that I felt horrible for telling a lie. In my truthful world, I was bitten in the ass by telling a lie that didn’t even benefit me. I’m glad it happened, because it inspired me to write this (even though it’s written guiltily). Truth sometimes hurts, but lies are ultimately more painful. Let’s stop lying to each other and make this a more truthful world.

Clare

Flirting: A How To Guide

One day earlier this spring, a dog walker I passed (a tall, but average looking dude who I wasn’t terribly interested in), commented on my sunglasses. I wasn’t sure if he was flirting or not. I already knew that I wasn’t interested, but afraid to engage or lead him on, I didn’t flirt back. But why didn’t I?  Flirting is harmless, especially in open spaces and either during the day or in the company of others. It makes you feel good, it makes them feel good… so why is it underrated, complicated, and only allowed if you’re romantically interested in the person you’re flirting with? Why has it become a taboo or just a subject that isn’t discussed?

Well, this will be no more. All right, y’all, lets dissect flirting. EVERYONE loves to be flirted with, no matter what. Even if you’re not interested, you can admit that having someone throw out a flirtation in your general direction is always a wonderful feeling. Why? Because everyone loves to be acknowledged that they’re sexy.

Why am I going on about this? Because, generally women don’t take compliments or flirting well—because we’re afraid that we’ll have to put up with whatever comes after, and you’re just not what we’re looking for. Men sometimes don’t quite get how to flirt without being so aggressive. Everyone should be aware of the fact that sometimes whomever is sending forth the flirt isn’t always looking for more. In fact, the best flirts, are flirting ONLY FOR THE MOMENT with no goal other than to flirt. I have friends call me out all the time for flirting with the waiter or waitress… I’m a heterosexual woman, but I’m not above or below flirting with anyone. In fact, I flirt with babies like crazy!

In the 80’s there was a movie called My Blue Heaven, in which the character played by Steve Martin has a philosophy of: I tip everybody, and its not tipping I believe in, its over tipping. Basically, the character is not afraid to palm anyone a bill to get what he wants. I have the generally same feeling about flirting. Why not just do it with everyone?! You never know the benefits you’ll reap!

What if you don’t know how to flirt, if you think you’re bad at flirting, if you enjoy being flirted with, if you enjoy flirting. My answer to all of these is: why not do it? In a way flirting is kind of a “pay it forward” action. What? Yup. Think about it: I flirt with you. You feel good, sexy, handsome, and have a high feeling about yourself, you’re going to flirt with someone else to see how far you can stretch that feeling, and without knowing it you’re giving someone else the happy, high on life feeling, too.

When it comes to flirting, there are some easy guidelines to follow. Seriously, try this out first on people that you don’t really care about an outcome with, or people you won’t see again—that way if you crash and burn, you will feel embarrassment for a moment and then can move on.

Seeking women—shoes, earrings, hair, face, and the hand/wrist area are always good safe places to flirt about. Aka—that bracelet makes your eyes sparkle. Your earrings give you a statuesque look. Those shoes make you a perfect height. And yes, they can be that silly.

Seeking men—compliments and flirting about a man’s height and strength are always appreciated. Again, stay away initially from sexual body parts. This isn’t to say you can’t add a sexy tone to anything you say, just overt sexual flirts will return you with overt sexual overtures or the person running away. So, stay neutral in your flirts—at least for now.

When receiving flirtation, stop yourself if your sizing up the person. Seriously, stop. Pretend the flirt is a compliment and only a compliment. How would you take it or feel if I just said—hey, you look great in that color! Think about it. Now how would you respond to me? Most likely, it’s a genuine and simple, “thank you” with a smile attached. A flirt is really just a compliment of you being alive and in this spot at this moment. Really. Take it as just that. Smile. Be happy to be appreciated. If you feel like reciprocating, do.

Flirting is simple and fun. Keep it easy. Keep it light. Keep doing it daily! You’ll feel more confident and people around you will to. Just remember to keep it appropriate in places you frequent, and pay attention to social cues—if its unwanted, stop with that person and move on. Don’t take it personally. Flirting is fun. It should be easy, and if you’re not good at it, practice for a while. Hey, you could even do a Joey/Rachel situation and sit around with a group of friends and flirt with each other to see what works and what doesn’t. (“How you doin’?) And if all else fails, say something and smile and wink. (Go ahead, practice in the mirror first… I won’t tell.)

Clare

If you’re looking for more on this subject, check out our book out this fall!  Stay tuned for more details!

Growing Out Of Friends

Friendships are usually loving relationships with urban family members of your choosing.  However sometimes they do grow stale and even toxic.  Earlier today, I sent a link to a friend about an article online that I thought she would find comically introspective. Although I sent the article with good intentions, she got quite incensed. It used to be that she would laugh at something like this, and not take it so personally, but now she sees it as an attack—and I’m probably mothering and smothering, as I’m wont to do.  Both of us have changed along the way, and neither of the women we have become inside the friendship are the women who entered it.  We’ve evolved.  We are at the point of toxicity.  We’ve grown past our need for each other.  So the question begs to be asked: what do you do when you’ve found yourself outgrowing a friend?

Like a romantic relationship, a good friendship is a partnership. They should bring out your best, help you shadow your dark to the public, and help you tailor or fix these things in private. You’re not necessarily agreeing to go in half and half, but you do have to ebb and flow with what life brings to this coupling.  Someone once told me that kindred spirits find you when they are needed and then when they no longer are, they leave you. They might come find you in other lives (whether you’re a faithful person or a spiritual person, we all think that we will find people again that mean a lot to us).  The big question for today is: when is the time to leave people in this lifetime?

We often think about how to update and improve our romantic relationships.  Couples go to counseling in extreme situations, but successful couples continually strive to make the relationship new or constantly evolving.  In today’s society, where we are in consistent endurance to make our own selves better, and our romantic relationships better, the same society that applauds and reveres “friendship comedies” like Sex and the City, Friends, Will and Grace, and How I Met Your Mother, why are we NOT investing more time into friendships?

Have you found that you’re sort of ignoring or avoiding a friendship?  Maybe you’re not reaching out to the friend at this moment because the person no longer serves you.  And that’s OK.  Really.  People come and go in our lives.  Humans are constantly growing, adapting, and making changes with our lives and where our journey is taking us.  This really is ok.  Change in friendship is bound to happen when you’re upgrading and updating your life.  So what do you do when this happens?

Friendships have to be whatever suits both of you.  At the beginning it could just be a mutual shoulder to cry on and bitch to, but understand that you’ll need to grow and adapt as you both grow and change as people.  When the friendship starts feeling labored, or even if you’re just simply not as excited as you once were to see the person, then its time to rethink your friendship formula, or even walk away.  Not a bad thing.  Change isn’t always bad.  Adapting your friendship to your lifestyle is something that does exist.  Sometimes its natural or unneeded, if you’re lucky, and the friendship just adapts itself.

Taking a break isn’t always detrimental, either.  Lesley and I met at work, many different life choices ago.  Dramatic things happened; I changed jobs, Lesley moved up in the company.  We stayed friends, but weren’t as close because our friendship was built into our work lives.  Lots of things happened in between. I do think that Lesley and I grew out of each other, and then grew back in.  I don’t think I ever got tired of Lesley (and I’m not writing this because I know she’s reading and editing it) but we truly just grew away from each other.  Because I listened to where life was taking me, it led me back to her at a moment that we both needed the support—A Boomerang Friendship, Lesley has dubbed this phenomenon.

Know that sometimes people come into our lives and accomplish what they need to and then move on.  Like anything else in life, change and adapt to what you’re thrown.  Feel free to keep in touch with as many people as you care to on social media, but know that the real friendships are those that both sides invest in and make a priority in life.  If you’re not making someone a priority, or enjoying your time, then its time to evaluate, try to fix, and possibly let go.  Its alright.  Change happens.  Breathe and let go.  A forced friendship is never a good friendship.  If you’re lucky, friendships just work, but sometimes you do have to work at a friendship.  Evaluation and evolution are never a bad thing to stop and do.  A good friend will be there to support change, not add to the aggravation of it!

Friendships are hard.  Cell phones, Internet, and social media allow a little more assistance with friendships, but they don’t do the work for you, they just make it easier to connect.  In a way, these technological advancements have made us even lazier at friendship cultivation.  You have to work at friendships.  You have to check up on people and invest in them to have them invest back.  A successful friendship isn’t a two way street every day, but you have to get back a good amount of what you put in order to remain devoted.  You just have to understand what you put in isn’t always the same thing you’ll get back.  Make sure that your friendships are still working and are serving your current life.  Friendships aren’t always fun, but they should never, ever be labored or make you feel bad about yourself or your life choices.  Evaluate yourself in your friendships—are you getting as much as you would like in return?  Is it you or the friend?   If a friend is driving you crazy, evaluate the relationship and maybe take a break.  Otherwise, you might keep trucking down past the point of no return.  Like any good relationship, a good friendship brings out the best in ourselves.  If you’re not seeing your best, you’re not in the right relationship anymore.

Clare

 

Transitions

Recently, I was taking a Pilates class and the instructor emphasized how important the transitions are.  I know Pilates, Transitions…sounds like I’m trying to get you to exercise, but let me explain.  In Pilates, there are several key principles; one of them is “Flow.” Each exercise should shift from one to the next so that the person doing them never actually stops moving.  Often, we throw away the importance of that movement from one exercise to the next: the transitions. When practicing Pilates, instead of lifting both feet at the same time keeping our abdominals on, we can also slide our feet into position or do one at a time. Why? It’s easier. We subconsciously want a break. We just didn’t know we wanted a break from the movement.  Whatever the reason may be for ditching the transition or keeping the principle of flow in mind the out come is the same. We didn’t utilize the transitions from point A to point B to the fullest. For their intended purpose.

Ok, why am I talking to you about Pilates transitions? Simple! In life we go through transitions all the time. There are times between the moments, events and/or goals that we miss. Skip or even complain about. These times we have names for: lulls, ruts, bad days, retrogrades, etc. You with me yet?

As the one year mark has finally arrived, the day that I became single, I thought back to all the transitions I have been through this past year. The transitions I am still going through. Guess what…even though at the time I endured what I had to, I am so thankful for each one of them. Even the ones that made me cry.  In fact, today I am declaring that all life transitions be welcomed and celebrated as much as the peaks in our lives.

In one year I have: moved (4 guest homes and one apartment), furnished a whole apartment (I moved clothes, an antique trunk and my grandma’s china), the studio I taught my clients out of closed (had to find a new home for them), I totaled my car (leaving the Ex’s home thank you universe for making sure I was well aware I needed to stay away from the valley) adopted a dog and sadly, buried her, published a book, won Best of Los Angeles Magazine Pilates Instructor, transferred studio manager locations, won a half marathon and walked in one (never have walked in a race in my life), went to Colorado five times, New York twice, traveled to Florida, Vancouver and San Francisco alone. Of course I did so much more in this past year. I hit goals, I can now do unassisted pull ups. I was selected by my company to teach my workshops in Colorado, San Diego and Los Angeles. I have dated winners, whiners and men who were not for me. I have made friendships I never would have, gone to restaurants that never could have been and enjoyed trials and errors that often make me smile and their ridiculousness. Its been a lot.

Here I sit after all of the good and the bad, happy as a clam, stronger than I ever knew was possible and while I feel like I am constantly in transition these days. I know now that this part of the journey is just as important as the place I will arrive. Which of course makes me wonder—do I ever want to arrive? What does that mean and then where shall I go after I have arrived? But let’s save that rabbit hole for another posting.

Today, I challenge you to enjoy your transitions. Yes, even the ones that make you cry. When you find yourself saying you are in a rut, having a bad day or feeling stagnant observe it. What should you be learning from it? How far have you come from where you were? Instead of jumping from peak to peak, enjoy the hike in between. Take in the views.  When you are feeling like crying, that its been a seven year transition and you’re just wondering WHEN it’ll be over. Lay on the ground, open your palms and get as heavy as you can with mother earth. Literally, get grounded. Eat warm soups, drink hot tea and fill full. Then take a look at your world from a different perspective. What’s rocking and what’s rolling? What makes you smile and what makes you frown?

Without these challenges, how would we know how strong we are? How far we have come? How much can we can handle and bounce back? Thank the Universe for these transitions, I do. I would have no idea what I could survive with out them. Sure, it would have been nice to not total my car and lose my dog.  But, I also negotiated my own car lease and had more friends reach out to comfort me than I probably get to see in a year!

If we take the moment to enjoy the transitions we may just see how lucky we are and how blessed we are to be the high times. I have decided to OWN being in transition.  Recently, when a male suitor was over trying to make dinner in my small kitchen, he mentioned that I didn’t have much in the way of cookware (a strainer, more than one bowl, knives) I am still living without. I declared: I am a Work in Progress, don’t be jealous!

It’s been one heck of a year. I must enjoy, welcome, take in the different transitions the Universe has in store for me. They are gifts. I will continually be transitioning, as will you. Just remember a transition doesn’t last forever and its only the movement from one position to the next.

LL