Lost Cause

…only because I’m currently listening to Beck…

Anyhow, sometimes I get bombarded with these “personal epiphanies.”  What I normally do with them is store them in the back of my mind’s filing cabinet like an overdue bill.  for whatever reason, that habit is changing in this particular instance and for this particular circumstance.  I kind of realized today that I’ve been “coasting.”  I’ve been doing ok with the “status quo” and my daily…weekly routine.  

Now, my life isn’t bad; not at all, actually.  I have a good career, I live in one of America’s best cities, I’m surrounded by pretty amazing people, I have a roof over my head and food to eat.  but, sometimes, you don’t realize what more you can do for yourself & for others because you’re used to these routines that aren’t necessarily bad.

this weekend, i spent the long weekend with my partner.  we did not-so-crazy-extravagant-but-ever-so-priceless things like…well, we went to an outlet mall.  partner-love treated herself to some new (and hot) threads while i grabbed us some gadgets that allotted us the luxury of listening to good music at home through these wonderful devices.  Matter of fact, I was listening to Beck and now enjoying the Vaccines as I type.  Music is a big part of our lives.  It’s also a HUGE reason why we met & connected.  Anyhow, we’ve both been deprived of music in the house.  This feels damn good to have it accessible and in great quality and quantities; the way music & love should always be consumed.

I forgot how much music has an effect on me.  Since moving to SF, i haven’t had the opportunity to set up much of a sound system (other than my TV or laptop) due to lack of outlets.  (there are only so many surge protectors one can utilize without making one’s place look like a mad scientist’s lab).  Listening to music via laptop speakers leaves much to be desired.  so, this portable little gadget was certainly the right choice and good investment.

I also got my long-overdue-sasquatch-looking eyebrows threaded today.  this is something I used to do religiously every other week.  it’s nice to look like a normal human being with expressions again.

Lovely partner and I also made our way to Teavana. be forewarned: you will spend a lot of money on things that taste really good, are really pretty and are good for you.  

So, here I am listening to wonderful ear candy while having a cup of citrus lavender sage tea as I try to jot down this cluster fuck of thoughts.

The whole point of this post?  I realized more and more that I’ve been selling myself short.  I had stopped taking these extra little self-care steps and just trekked along and “getting by.”  I don’t mean fiscally, (although, San Francisco, you are VERY expensive and challenge my bank account constantly.) but rather, somewhere along the way, i seemed to have gotten a bit lost.  I had forgotten that taking care of oneself projects a lot more light & brightness into the world – your own and other’s.

it doesn’t take material things for self-care (though my aforementioned statements may make it seem as such.) but these are just staples in my life that ground me…these simple pleasures.

The next step is to de-clutter my surroundings; get rid of clothes I don’t wear, put away / sell / donate gadgets I no longer use, and stop settling for what isn’t advantageous just because it’s comfortable.

I’m kind of disappointed that I’ve “settled” a bit.  but, it’s never too late to do something new & different for the sake of inner peace.  (how hippy did THAT sound?)

PS: listening to Nick Drake’s “one of these things first.” you’ll thank me later. 

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The Trevor Endeavor.

every time i come back home from visiting my second home (SF), i seem to re-spark my drive to make a difference. i’ve always said, i wanted to make a difference in the world…somehow, if even in the smallest way. i seem to get lost in all the bullshit when i’m in my daily grind.

this past weekend, i attended the SF PFLAG chapter meeting where the guest speaker was mike crane of The Trevor Project. mike and I spoke, briefly, before his talk with the group and he mentioned The Trevor Project was looking to branch out into the more conservative cities to cause awareness. since i’ve rejoined the speakers’ bureau of the OC PFLAG chapter, my hope is to bridge OC PFLAG & Trevor Project down here in Orange County (to start).

a bit about the trevor project, they focus on suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community. the 3rd most leading cause of death in teenagers is suicide and about 70% of those suicides are in part to do with LGBTQ issues…getting kicked out of the house therefore facing homelessness, rejected by parents & friends, bullied in the school system. These things can take a toll when already facing the difficult process of coming out.

anyhow, i talked with mike about spearheading the OC / LA chapter or at least doing what i can to help bring awareness out here in conservative OC. this is the philanthropist life i want to have. i, now, have the opportunity to make a difference in society and more so, in my own community.

mike & i have corresponded and it looks like we’re taking a step in the right direction in bringing this to the OC/Long Beach areas and the outlook for me being able to offer my energies to this movement is promising.

i hope the take me up on my offer to bridge various LGBTQ communities out here in OC with the Trevor Project.

if you want to know more about the trevor project, you can go here:
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

and feel free to drop a good word for me, if you’re so inclined. 😉

The Brain In Love.

i spent my morning watching and listening to a lecture by Dr. Daniel G. Amen.  it was a facinating inside look on brain chemistry when in love, how to sustain long-lasting love (opposed to a matchbook-romance) and also how diet affects hormones (not only sexual hormones) and in turn, affecting relationships both in a postitive and negative ways.  (wow run-on sentence).  he also wrote a book on ADD / ADHD and different approaches on managing them called “magnificant mind at any age” (thanks for the recommendation, j)!

the entire lecture was about an hour long where he dove into brain activities, hemispheres, brain chemicals & chemistries…and far too many things to cover in one blog.  however, the last few points of the lecture drove me to take notes (yes, i really did).

1. a healthier brain equals a sexier you.
a. healthy diet
b. fish oil
c. exercise

2. its all about blood flow
a. 25% of blood flow goes to your brain.
b. get enough sleep (oversleeping also causes dullness and fog)

3. know your partner’s brain
a. different brains need different strategies
b. people with an overactive frontal lobe are the same people that love motorcycles, scary movies etc.
c. people with under-active frontal lobe like predictability.

4. boost the chemicals of love.
a. oxytocin = the cuddle hormone (enhanced by holding hands, cuddling, watching movies etc).
b. Phenylalanine aka: PEA (almonds, cheese, chocolate)

5. focus on what you love.
a. make a list of 7 things you love about your partner.  meditate about one each day. <– i think this is a great idea…
b. embed yourself in your partner’s brain.
c. always be on the look out to take your partner’s breath away.

6. kill the ANTs that infest your relationships
(ANT = automatic negative thoughts)
a. write out the ANTS
b. ask yourself if they are actually true.  ie: “he/she NEVER listens to me”.

7.  there are many reasons why people behave badly…simple answers are never sufficient.

i know my blog is not doing justice to the lecture, but it was a really facinating lecture.
i’m probably going to go out and get a couple of his books.  wonder if he has any other televised lectures?

in searching for the video lecture by dr. amen, i found this TEDTalks video on the same subject (lecture by dr. helen fisher).  she and her team took MRI’s of people that are madly in love & of those who were just dumped.

enjoy.