The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism , but to study ourselves .
‎”The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.”

One of my wishes for the upcoming year is to have epically awesome sex to Fugazi playing really loud in the background.

I know a lot of ladies dream about getting engaged / having their wedding day (which is totally cool, to each their own) , but I feel like for me, instead of looking forward to getting proposed to one day , I would probably cry tears with joy with a guy that I am in love with showing up one day with a a pair of customized touring bikes that are epically awesome (and are equipped with a box of vegan donuts). Maybe even with a spoke card that acknowledges that he knows that I don’t want to get married, but wants to add to my happiness and show his admiration and support by giving me the adventure of a life time with a bike tour with him.

I mean, that’s like more badass than a ring or a honeymoon. The commitment and trust is all there, since who knows why kind of situations you are going to get into while on bike tour ….. right?

Pretty sure that I am just trying to find ways to incorporate bikes into romance.
Also pretty sure that I have a bike love problem.

Signs you are not ready for real love

"Last week I wrote about dating emotionally unavailable people. As I was writing, I kept feeling that I was only sharing one side of the story.

I admitted that I have a track record of being attracted to emotionally unavailable men, men who are completely wrong for me.

Learning this was a shock, but the real work came when I asked myself the tough questions. Why do I keep attracting the same type of men? If I keep falling for emotionally unavailable men, then I must be an emotionally unavailable woman.

I made this breakthrough because like attracts like. And a person who is truly ready and open to receive love will not attract or obsess over emotionally unavailable men.

The first step to any healing process is to recognize that there is indeed a problem.

If you’re dating the wrong people over and over, you could be emotionally unavailable.

Relationships in which one or both people are emotionally unavailable can be very depressing, stressful, and filled with anxiety. Inevitably, we end up feeling neglected, unwanted, and unloved.

Which of course can lead to bitter resentment and feeling alone in the relationship. In all of my past relationships, I realized I was picking men who were wrong for me because there was some part of me that was still healing.

Even though I wanted big love, I wasn’t allowing myself to believe I was worthy of it.

To change my patterns, I needed to look at my patterns clearly.

If you are in a relationship that feels strained, you might be avoiding big love. Here are signs:

1. You argue all the time.

If you argue more than you actually enjoy your time together, that is a clear sign that you might not be in the right relationship at the right time.

If every relationship you’re in is a constant battlefield, then look deeper: are you scared of getting hurt? Do you feel worthy of true love? You might not trust love or other people. The best thing to do is stop dating until you heal your heart and learn to trust again.

2. You need validation and approval.

Looking outside yourself to feel validated is a common mistake in the dating world. It’s why so many relationships are fueled by insecurity and conflict.

Spend time improving yourself and getting in touch with who you really are. This will help you attract the “real” right person for you.

3. You ignore red flags

One of the most important things that you can do to avoid falling into the same pattern of dating the wrong person is to look at the qualities of your Mr. Right.

Make a red flag list and stick to it. If a man constantly uses you for money or cheats on you and you keep dating that same type of person, that is a red flag, put it on the list.

4. You constantly criticize the other person.

If you pick at your partner, then most likely you have insecurities about yourself and they’re reflecting on the outside. The best thing to do is turn inward and look at your own insecurities and address those first.

Healthy couples accept each other for who they are and look at the positive aspects of their personality.

5. You get nervous when things are going too well.

Perhaps you go on a few dates and you really like the new squeeze. Things seem to be going extremely smooth. If you find yourself feeling insecure, and saying to yourself, “This is going too well,” then perhaps you are emotionally not ready for real romance.

Look deeper because you could be hiding some emotional issues that are from your past relationships, and they’re preventing you from enjoying the current moments of your life.”

What your bad relationships are telling you

"Are you seeking a relationship that will make you feel complete?

Have you been searching for love but all of your experiences seem to fall short?

Do you get excited, thinking you found “the one,” only to feel dissatisfied again shortly after the high wears off?

If so, you are reading the right article.

This is a very common experience. It’s easy to feel jaded about love if you’ve had enough experiences that haven’t turned out the way you want.

Luckily, there is a reason this keeps happening. Believe it or not, you are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The relationship you are really looking for is one with YOURSELF.

I know, you may not believe me at first. You may think that you already have the best possible relationship you can have with yourself.

However if you are constantly up against feelings such as “something is missing,” or “this isn’t good enough,” or “I’m not satisfied,” then it’s a good indication that it’s time to really start tending to the most important relationship in your life–the one you have with you.

When we don’t feel satisfied within, we project the feelings of inadequacy onto our partners and other aspects of our life. The real truth is, if it feels like something is missing in your life, then it’s probably you (thank you Robert Holden for this life-changing lesson).

Here is what is going on in this oh-so common pattern: When you seek completion (meaning you are looking to feel good about yourself–to feel at peace, in love, and whole) outside of yourself, it implies that you feel incomplete to begin with.

Unfortunately this feeling of incompletion (that lives in you) is going to follow you into whatever situation you make your way into.

Sure, when you fall in love you are going to get a glimpse of completion and love that is so divine.

But, if what drove you into the relationship in the first place was to overcome a sense of feeling incomplete, you will find that soon enough you will begin to feel incomplete within the relationship, too.

Other people don’t complete us. Only You complete You.

I know many of us have heard this before and that, in theory, we believe that it is true. But the trouble is we don’t do anything about this truth!

We keep repeating the same pattern over and over again–looking for love, for completion, for a sense of inner peace by acquiring things (especially people) outside of us.

Unfortunately nothing on the outside can ultimately change the way you feel on the inside.

This isn’t to say that relationships don’t serve a purpose. This is not true. They serve the ultimate purpose–for us to feel love.

But there are very different qualities in the type of love you feel if you are trying to complete yourself with someone else versus the type of love you feel when you are showing up to join, share, and co-create with another.

In the first relationship, you are going to feel preoccupied with everything that is missing–with all that you are not getting from the other person.

In the second, you are going to feel much more freedom to just relax and freely give your love away.

You can feel deeply satisfied in relationships with other people. In fact, you are supposed to. But (and this is a big BUT) YOU have to get right with YOU first.

I came across this quote the other day by Suzanne Falter-Barnes, and she sums it up perfectly. Here is what she said:

"There is no relationship pure enough, pristine enough, sublime enough, romantic enough, beautiful enough, fulfilling enough, spiritually attuned enough to overcome the despair you will feel when you are not connected to who you are–when you are not connected to your own heart and soul."

For your life to feel full, YOU must feel full. For your relationships to feel satisfying, YOU must feel satisfied. Soul, depth, heart, and love all come from within. And when you tap into these parts of yourself, you start to feel them all around you.

When you feel disconnected from you, you feel disconnected from everyone around you too. This is just how it works.

So what can you do? Stop looking for the answer outside of yourself–it’s not there.

You can’t control other people. You can’t expect someone to behave in a way that feels good to you all the time. You can’t get another person’s attention 100% of the time. You can’t get a stream of pure positive love from another person all the time. You can’t.

But, you can give yourself these things. You can connect into your own heart. You can live out your desires. You can be true to who you really are, and feel fullness from within. You can live your life with depth, purpose, meaning and soul. All these things you can do. And you must, if you really want to live a life filled with joy and love.

You are who you are looking for. It’s You. Just you.

If your life doesn’t feel satisfying enough–if your relationships are falling short–stop looking for the answer on the outside and go within.

Connect into yourself. Find yourself. Be true to yourself. And when you do, you will find that the love you have been looking for has been with you all along, and that it’s here to stay.”

"Yoga is almost like music in a way ; there is no end to it. " - Sting

"Yoga is almost like music in a way ; there is no end to it. " - Sting

The freedom (and challenge) of Detachment

" Most spiritual teachers worth their salt, including all the popular ones (Deepak, Eckhart, Osho), speak in depth about attachment.

Being aware of our impending deaths practically since birth, we humans cling to life and our possessions as though we can bring them with us into the next phase. We cannot. And thank the universe, because that would all be quite burdensome.

There’s a fine line between defining and adhering ourselves to our accomplishments, beliefs and opinions, jobs, loved ones, homes and other assets; and severing all ties between us and those outside “things.”

I’d never want to live life aloof, indifferent or apathetic, but that’s not what detachment implies.

Detachment implies acceptance, specifically of life’s transience. We cannot predict or control another and therefore, we’re bound to be surprised and disappointed by many in our lifetime. How we process this delight or disturbance indicates our level of attachment to outside influences.

I’ve had my heart broken and it sucked, royally. If the me now could talk to the me then, I’d say, “He wasn’t what you’d hope he’d be, someone else is. Move the f*ck on, idiot. “

I am mean to myself sometimes. I’m very, very blunt. I spent three years attached to my heartache and disconnected with thousands of potentially great human beings because of it. My attachment to what was left me incapable of embracing what is or open to what could be. I glued myself to the past. If this happened to me today, I’d allow time to mourn and be sad, but you bet your ass I’d be keeping myself in line toward a better future, and more importantly, a happier present.

No one owes us anything. That’s the hard part to accept.

We were born. That’s enough to feel monumentally grateful and excited, but the rest is a cosmic crap shoot. Our pasts define us so long as we carry it and our present reality is a direct reflection of our internal state, our attitudes and mood toward the world and its inhabitants. It benefits us all to detach from what we cannot change, from outcomes and what-ifs, and just enjoy the ride.

When I fell in love again after being heartbroken and bitter for so long, the initial infatuation and lust stages were coupled with bouts of anxiety. I felt grossly needy. And because I was also wickedly prideful, I’d keep this from my partner, but inside I was terrified. I was falling in love, I felt my heart leaving my possession and becoming his, and I had no clue what he’d do with it.

There’s the issue right there. No one can take possession of my heart, my mind, my happiness, or my acceptance but me. I’ve been rejected from schools, friends, men, jobs, and other attempts, and I’m still here.

The embarrassment and shame I feel from being wrong or from failing is all my ego’s worry about how I’ll be perceived, yet another thing I cannot control.

As long as I keep learning, as long as I exude kindness and acceptance outward, I am an impenetrable force to be reckoned with.

And SO ARE YOU.

Attachment has never reared its ugly head more than in response to our recent election. I, too, was a bit nervous, very passionate and hopeful, but that day I never felt more at peace, because I remembered what Yoga has taught me time and time again. There will be losses, failures, tragedies and missteps. There will also be major wins, successes, gifts and good fortune. Each will come and go like a breeze, but I will remain like a tree; deeply rooted, with courage to reach for the sky.

I’ve been afraid to pursue what I love for fear it wouldn’t work out. To that, I now say, who cares? I am the only judge that matters and so long as I operate from a loving place, not hurting others, my successes and failures are my business, they’re for me to grow.

Taking ourselves out of worry for the good that will inevitably pass and the bad the may or may not strike us delves us deeply into presence. We are at one with the flow of life, enjoying every hug and kiss, accepting every opinion no matter how strange, choosing to treat ourselves how we wish to be treated first, leaving any desperation and need for others to give us what we already possess behind.

We cannot hold onto any moment, person or thing, nor can we wish any negativity away. Living life fully predicates these experiences. We take the good with the bad, we absorb what we choose and we move forward how we choose as well.

Be selective in your thoughts, acknowledge the image and possessions you define yourself by, knowing all are subject to change and dissolve eventually.

The very acceptance of death frees us to live.

Embracing the reality that you will live through monumental highs and lows allows you to let go of resistance and fear, choosing love and inner peace instead. Of course we want to get our way, and it’s unfortunate when we don’t. Acceptance and non-attachment frees you to live light, happy just because, grateful to be alive, and this positive disposition then opens you to other opportunities that wouldn’t have come your way if you stayed in a state of contention and dissatisfaction.

Regret is a waste of time. I’m where I am today because of the mistakes I made in my past, but often I imagine how my life would’ve been different had I decided not to choose sadness and loneliness, living with a severely guarded heart. If, instead, I’d unchained myself, trusted in my ability to handle the inevitable ups and downs, I’d have met so many more great people, learned so much more about myself and life, and I wouldn’t have given an outcome that could never be changed the power to hold my happiness hostage for all those years.

Detachment places the power over bliss in your hands.

It is not dismissive or distant. It’s confident, open, vulnerable, accepting, forgiving, resilient, encouraging, supportive, and the key to navigating these unpredictable waters we call life. Let people be who they are. No matter what they do or say to you, you will be fine.

Detachment makes space for courage to take the risks, to follow unbeaten paths, to love with reckless abandon, and to live without the constant fear of loss. We are already enough, simply by being born. When we define ourselves by our hearts, feeling grateful for every single breath, happy to share experiences with others along our way, we honor the gift of life and we set an impeccable example for others to do the same.

Detachment is freedom. Care deeply, but accept through and through. Celebrate successes, learn from failures, remain kind and humble; the acceptance you give yourself will set a barometer for happiness you’ll no longer sink below. Detachment allows you to float on.

It seems esoteric and often paradoxical, but detaching allows you to fall in love with the life you are, rather than being defined by the life you have. Eckhart Tolle reflects, “How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.”

You are all that you seek. You are enough. You are whole. Detach from everything outside of yourself and you will soar, inside and out.
Published November 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM”

Even though I say that I don’t like romance , the truth is that I don’t like romance because it was completely crushed and drained of me from when I was healing from a former love. I don’t have a desire for it anymore because I don’t remember what it is like. I blocked out so many aspects of my past , that if I try to recall it , only fragments resurface. There is still a curiosity and some form of memory of what it felt like, but the pain was so intense that I’ve neglected ever bringing it back into my life. My more recent dating experiences within the past few years and current relationship are completely different then what it was like in my past when I was madly in love in my first long term relationship.

Part of me believes that I am this way now because I have ignored romance for so long, and maybe it’s time I try to become vulnerable to it again. I don’t feel ready for it, but I hope that one day I will be.

It was a beautiful and passionate thing to experience.
Even though it turned me into a realm of darkness in the end, it opened up me to life lessons and taught me so much.

Strawberry and mint infused water 

All you do is get a blender (or let the strawberry and mint sit in a container of water over night in the fridge to get flavor. Mason jars work great for this )

* add a few strawberries (cut them up if you won’t be blending)
* add some fresh mint leaves 
* add water and ice 

And blend it ! 
Boom!
Awesome flavored water for the day ;)

Strawberry and mint infused water

All you do is get a blender (or let the strawberry and mint sit in a container of water over night in the fridge to get flavor. Mason jars work great for this )

* add a few strawberries (cut them up if you won’t be blending)
* add some fresh mint leaves
* add water and ice

And blend it !
Boom!
Awesome flavored water for the day ;)