Adult Children and the Peter Pan Syndrome

Sometimes I forget that I’m going to be 25 this year.

When I was young and pictured myself as a 25-year-old, I didn’t have a clear vision. I actually avoided visualizing that period of my life, because to me 25 was OLD, a time when you’ve started your downward descent from cuteness and you have to do a bunch of stuff you don’t want to do. And from what I’d heard, your 20s were a scary tunnel of uncertainty, a darkness through which you have to blindly feel your way. The light at the end of that tunnel is your 30s, where you have a well paying job, a home and a family.

But I look around and think “Woah. I’m in it NOW. Like, DEEP in it.”

And I think part of the reason I forget that I’m not a teenager anymore has much more to do with my entire generation than just me. A generation that coined the term “adulting” to be used in such sentences as “Adulting is hard” or “I forget how to adult”. The Millennials.

As 25-year-old Alex streams “Dragonball”, a bizarre Japanese cartoon from the 1980s, he can’t help but notice that the advertisers know exactly who is watching Dragonball these days. And it’s not children, but nostalgic adult children. One ad in particular for California vacations shows the parents goofing off like children in the background while the actual children face-palm in the foreground.

 

So not only are we asking for more cartoons, more toys, more playtime, we are actually being given just that. More and more often I am noticing this incorporation of child-like play in every area of life that Millennials participate in.

Are we a generation of Peter Pans who never want to face reality? Can we not function without a daily dose of recess??

HEY… I sure hope so!

There is a large chunk of the population that loves to make fun of Millennials. They call us the “me” generation, the “flip-flopping” generation, the “special snowflakes”. Even our own kind has turned against us. Millennials post video blogs and articles about how other Millennials SUCK and they’re embarrassed to be one. They cite problems such as:

  • Expecting to be handed everything
  • Communicating via social media ONLY
  • Low work ethic
  • Requiring special treatment
  • A need to rest, and not work hard until you die of working hard

Those videos make me so sad.

But I don’t stay sad for too long! I remind myself of the vision I have for the world, and the overwhelming evidence that we are heading to a happier, more fun place!

Consider this: Perhaps Millennials aren’t just a selfish generation who thinks they don’t have to do the hard work our ancestors did.

Perhaps Millennials are the first generation to accept the REALITY that one should work smarter, not harder.

And nurturing people’s personal strengths will ultimately help the whole.

And that incorporating fun and play actually makes people work more efficiently!

I am a strong believer in the idea that life is meant to be enjoyed in all areas. The idea that you work a job you hate until you can finally retire just in time to have a bunch of medical issues caused by years of stress has NEVER made sense to me.

Thriving Millennial businesses all over have done the research for us, and yeah. Happy employees make for better business!

Google employees are paid to play beach volleyball, go bowling or scale a climbing wall; activities that take place at the search engine’s main campus in California.

At LinkedIn, employees can play foosball or ping-pong when they tire of answering emails. At Zynga, arcade games grace the hallways.”

-Work Hard, Play Harder: Fun Boosts Creativity, Productivity

“Many of America’s future business leaders desire a casual work culture, in which fun features as a fundamental part of the nine-to-five, and corporate America is responding! Glance through any of the many lineups for “the best places to work”: Facebook, Twitter, SAS, and Google, (to name a few) are all successful, powerful, multibillion-dollar organizations, and they also each boast the reputation of being “fun” while thriving. The message: you can have fun and still be incredibly productive.”

-Millennials Just Want To Have Fun

Now, to talk about the “special snowflake” thing for a minute:

It’s hard to say whether people have always been this way and we ignored it, or if the people being born these days are actually a new breed of human. Because it seems these new young people are more intuitive, more sensitive, and more suited for this era. (Shout-out to all the indigo, crystal and rainbow children.)

There are tons of brilliant creative types or tech geniuses who may likely fall on the autism spectrum, and are an integral part in helping to build the amazing future that is coming! And because these people are more sensitive, they have different learning styles and working styles. And I think it’s amazing that we are taking that into consideration when it comes to the workplace.

Why should we encourage different learning/working styles in children when they are young, but once they’re adults just expect them to suck it up and do what everyone else has to do?

In conclusion, I want to say thank you to all you creative sensitive adult babies who are helping the world realize that life works better when you’re having fun!

Cha cha cha,

Your Peacefriend

 

Heal Your Life with A Cow Bone and a Chicken Toe

Know what’s on my mind lately? I’ll tell you.

Everything is split. Not just into FOR or AGAINST, but a million different shards of opinions.

There is no pleasing everyone, in any situation. Also, it’s very difficult to change someone else’s mind. And no amount of angry arguing with an un-like-minded individual is gonna make it happen. I wish I could give that word “angry” a spiky font to illustrate how uncomfortable it makes me.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand up for what you believe in and work toward change. That is a wonderful and powerful thing, and that’s how change happens.

But I do wish there was less anger everywhere. I can feel it’s spikes jutting out from people as I pass them on the street. Spikes poking through my phone as I scroll through facebook conversations between people I love. Heck, the spikes are even manifesting in the weather patterns these days.

I wanted to do my part to bring some shiny light into the internet world with some happy little blog posts about positivity and health and looking forward to things. Because these are what I want my life to be full of. But I can’t help but fear that I’m going to say some little thing that’s going to offend someone looking to be outraged. “How can you be so positive when the world is ending?! You are selfish to think you can enjoy life while so many terrible things are happening! Rainbows cause cancer and smiles killed my Dad!”

These are the words of the imaginary dude who lives in my head and proofs my writing before it gets typed onto the page. Seriously though? F this guy. I never even hired this guy. He just started showing up every day, that was four years ago. (Any High Fidelity fans?)

I don’t write for that guy, I write for anyone who is looking for a little softness in their world. Anyone who has a suspicion that joy is beyond powerful and changes worlds. Anyone who is open to the idea that joy is born from joy alone, and multiplies exponentially when practiced often.

If this doesn’t apply to you, then you may go read some more angry words and let this little blog float off on its lily pad, never to intend harm on anyone.

ANYWAY the whole point of this post is to share with you how I make bone broth. But when I went to brush up on my research, amid all the glowing reviews of bone broth, there were a couple articles that couldn’t wait to tell everyone that bone broth is a HOAX! Like “First of all, IT’S NOT EVEN BROTH. It’s STOCK. NEXT, Everyone who thinks bone broth good for you is A PSEUDO HIPPIE IDIOT (and yes, technically it does have amino acids that help build your skeletal structure, and it has lots of electrolytes and sodium so it’s good, like, after a workout) but IF YOU REALLY THINK DRINKING COLLAGEN IS GOING TO GROW COLLAGEN IN YOUR BODY, THEN YOU ARE SO MUCH DUMBER THAN ME!”

I’m exaggerating obviously. Perhaps I feel a bit defensive when it comes to this sort of thing, mainly because it appears to me that these folks are just getting worked up over people drinking home-made stock. The tone of these articles do feel condescending to me and even made me feel like I’m an idiot for wasting time on bone broth. It may not be a cure-all miracle tonic, but it’s a good source of amino acids and has been proven to improve joint flexibility, and most importantly it’s a home-made food that’s ingredients can be traced back to your own kitchen cupboards.

So the title of this blog post, “Heal Your Life With A Cow Bone and A Chicken Toe” is me having a bit of satirical fun. Sorry if I got your hopes all up for a quick-fix witches brew, but alas, healing seems to only come from within ourselves.

From my Pollyanna-silver-lining perspective, the spiked interest in bone broth is a happy sign that people are becoming more drawn to the natural, the original, and the organic. Since the Green revolution in the early aughts, more people have been turning their cheeks to processed foods, chemicals, and the like.

Yes, there is more knowledge of health sprouting up in people, and corporations are having to adjust to fit us! That’s what I’m most excited about! There was once a time when we could be convinced by a simple magazine ad that we could eat fried food every day  with a clean conscience as long as it was fried in Crisco, because “medical tests” prove it’s healthy!

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And to show how far we’ve come, let me tell you about this Panera Bread commercial I saw. They were bragging about how their food is REAL FOOD, no chemicals or dyes. (Who the heck knows if it’s true or not, but I’m just happy to see that that’s what is testing well in their focus groups!!)

 SO getting back to the whole point, here is how I make bone broth.

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First, I go to the Rochester public market and buy a bag of bones from the nice guy, you can usually get two big bags for $6. Then I pick up some chicken paws. That’s right. The feet of a chicken. They have them at Price Rite. They add the gelatin you’re looking for when you make bone broth, but are not essential. They are… difficult to look at. The bones aren’t great to look at either, hence this crisp pot-handle and blurry carcass parts pictured below!

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So first things first, I dump the bones and feets in this big ol’ pot. I fill it with water, just covering the stuff (these were frozen in a log shape but fell under the water when they defrosted), and bring it to a boil and simmer for an hour. And surprise! This isn’t going to be the actual broth! Tricked you!! Aw man. You were like “but you said crockpot, not STOCKpot!” Shoulda seen your face. Anyway, there are WAY more steps involved. This is just to get rid of all the “scum” that will mess up the taste in the end.

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Here is the scum-water, looking pretty appetizing, but trust me, it smells kinda weird in here. And then this gray foam forms on top that you have to skim off.

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So next, preheat your oven to 400. Once your scummy hour is up, drain the bones. I usually just pour out most of the water because there are too many bones for a colander to hold. Then, get a 9×13 baking dish. Use tongs to put the bones in the dish. I don’t roast the chicken feet, because I dunno what the hell would happen to those freaky things in the oven. God, they’re gross. I’ve heard recommendations to roast the bones, but not the feet, so I just let them chill off to the side for this part.

Roast the bones for apx. 1 hour, but the longer the better tbh. The roasting gives the broth more flavor.

Once they’re roasty toasty, let them cool a bit before FINALLY putting them into the crock pot with the chicky feet. Cover everything with COLD water, and add a splash of the good stuff:Bonebroth4

Now you gotta let it sit in the cold water for ANOTHER hour. You pretty much need a free day to do this, by the way. This step sucks minerals from the bones that otherwise would be missing from the broth!

K, it’s been an hour. Now you can add any aromatics and flavor-boosters you want, although I’ve read it’s best to keep it simple with just some onion, garlic cloves, and black peppercorns, so that’s what I do. But feel free to add carrots, celery, etc.

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Next, switch the crockpot dial to “low”, go to sleep, wake up the next morning, and discover that you never plugged the thing in. This IS an essential step!!! (JK, Mommy messed up) PLUG IN, make sure it’s set to “low”, come back in 24 hours.

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Ah, yes. This time I woke up to find broth.

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The next step is to get a bunch of big glass jars, a strainer, a bowl for discard bones, and a few shallow glass containers, like the pan you used to roast the bones in. Ugh, you have to wash it. Sorry.

The reason we need shallow containers is because at this stage, the broth needs to cool quickly, or it’s in danger of growing bacteria. Also, have a few ice cube trays filled and waiting in the freezer, too. Here’s my little set-up.

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Now begin ladeling the broth through the strainer and dump the strained bits in your garbage bowl. Or your recycling bowl if you want to re-broth the bones, which you can do by all means.

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Once all the broth is ladel’d, drop a bunch of ice cubes in to help cool the broth faster. This is a pretty potent broth, so adding water won’t dilute it too much.

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Then, carefully ladel the broth into your mason jars (I always make a mess everywhere so don’t feel badly if that happens) and pop them in the fridge, careful not to put them next to anything that might spoil with a little extra warmth. When they cool they will have this layer of fat which isn’t harmful, but you can scrape it off if you want. If all goes according to plan, it should have a jello-like texture. This broth will be good for about 5 days in the fridge, months in the freezer.

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So there you have it! That’s how I make bone broth, and I use it to make rice and quinoa and soup, and sometimes I drink it by itself! Make it or don’t, but please don’t shame the broth-drinkers. We’re just trying to figure out way to be better to our bodies.

Softly,

Your Peacefriend

Donuts and Dresses: A Success Story

Today began with donuts.

One of our fav Rochester businesses doubles as an art gallery and café. It’s called Makers, and from them we glommed a Strawberry cheesecake donut, a Crème brûlée donut and a Caramel-Apple glazed with crispy proscuitto on top. Also two amazing pour-over coffees from locally roasted beans.

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That perfect strawberry slice fell on the floor but I still ate it anyway.

Alex and I have this monthly ritual called “donut day”, and the general rule is one morning each month is dedicated to these amazing donuts, but ONLY one. Oh, and only a couple donuts. We learned that the hard way, you cain’t cram a dozen donuts into one day.  Just cain’t.

I’m a strong believer in following one’s bliss, but more often than not mine leads me to the dones, hence the once-a-month rule.

This ritual started out great 6 months ago. But as time went on, we’ve slipped up here and there. One donut day per month turns into 2 and then 3. And today was one of those naughty illegal donut days. Because I’m weak.

I’ve noticed this pattern in my life where I’ll have a brilliant, powerfully charged idea for some routine or project or lifestyle change to ultimately improve my situation, but as time goes on the idea loses steam. I find myself rebelling against my own rules, like an angsty teenager yelling “You’re not my Mom!” at the responsible half of myself.

I’m getting pretty sick of it. It’s actually kept me from starting new projects, knowing the chance of my actually finishing the project are in the devil’s favor. And for some reason the devil doesn’t want me to knit TWO pairs of socks, just one and a half.

So when I challenged myself to sew my first dress from scratch, I approached the project cautiously.

I got a great sewing machine for my birthday last year from my grandparents, and though my wonderful Grandma helped me learn some basics when we made an apron together this past year, I’m still a bit of a clueless baby when it comes to sewing. I would love to be able to make most my own clothes, not just because it’s economically responsible skill to learn, but also because I’m a show-off!

I’m sort of kidding, but real quick note: The phrase “show-off” has a negative connotation, but my belief is that there’s nothing wrong with being proud of yourself and “showing off” your success to the world. The notion that you should hide the fact that you’re proud of yourself because it might come off as “braggy” has always seemed super OFF to me.

I meeeean … Don’t we all want success? Unique talents are what make humans so cool, so shouldn’t we be encouraging that in people? Society is made up of individuals who need support, don’t we want our society to thrive? And here’s something to consider: In sharing your successes, you will probably inspire people to make their own success happen! And that is how we grow and change and evolve. So long as you’re not hurting anyone, no one should ever take offense to your success. If they do, that is entirely their own baggage.

So GET READY for me to practice my very best showing off! Because I am so proud of me.

And although I’m still struggling with all that… donut stuff…

…I did show some personal growth in finishing my very first dress! It’s by no means perfect, but it’s good enough for my first try.

And I am going to proudly wear it to a wedding this summer.

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The skirt has plenty of room to expand so I can appear larger and scare off predators.
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“Can’t wait to yellow the pits of this beaut!” says my glands
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BTW It has pockets.

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And if anyone reading this is inspired to make this dress now, here is the pattern I used. Number D.

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Life’s a Gas: How Fart Jokes Improved my Love Life

I live with a goofball. A reeeeeal grade-A wisecracker. A josher. A jokesmith. A MERRY-ANDREW!

(this post supplemented by thesaurus.com)

And I’ve been known to be something of a quipster myself. We can get real goofy together, and I love that.

Allow me to share a bit of our history: a sampling of our earlier tom-foolery is documented in this photo, taken in 2008. Neither of us knew the other was very slightly crossing their eyes, we each, respectively, thought we were ruining a very nice photo. And when we saw that we had the same idea, we broke out in gasping, croaking, drooling howls of laughter.

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Alison at 15 and Alex at 16 years old, being total A-words.

I love covering up the cross-eyed half of these faces with my hands and seeing how nice the picture could have looked. And then I remove my hands and see the wonky faces of two people who will always find something to laugh about. I much prefer these donks.

Alex and I have known each other since 5th grade, and I think our relationship has preserved a lot of that 5th grade playfulness to this day. There’s a great deal of potty humor in our house. One might even call it a steaming pant-load of potty humor.

Aside from this, there are the countless immature and pointless pranks… if you can even call them that.

For example: I got this pair of slippers from the thrift store that were these huge, brown, fat-but-pointy things. Think Mickey Mouse’s footwear when he’s playing a peasant. They looked ridiculous on me, like two tan pillows strapped around my feet, but they’re so soft and warm in the winter.

Alex hated them. He called them my “brebs” because of their bread-like quality. So, naturally, I stuffed them in his pillowcase. And they were never to be seen again.

(This is worded past tense because I think he has since ‘taken care of them’ in the mobster sense)

Alex’s pranks are a little more simple, yet bold. He does things like touch his cold beer can to a small exposed bit of my stomach when I’m not paying attention. Or dive mouth-first at a bite of my food that he wants to eat. He’ll stop at nothing until he’s eaten that bite.

My favorite AND least favorite of his gags, is one that he pulls nearly every time we go out for breakfast, which is more often than I’d like to admit.

What he’ll do is take a toast triangle, hold it flat side down pretending it’s a car, and drive it around in a jittery fashion, making sputtering and popping noises with his mouth like a jalopy. And then always, without fail, it will inevitably drive over to my water glass and he’ll dunk the toast in my water. And then bite the soggy toast corner off and chew it with the biggest smile on his face.

And for some reason, I NEVER think he’s gonna actually dunk his toast in my water. But he does it every time. Every time! When will I learn?

You know those news stories where a 100+ year old person is asked what the secret to a long, happy life is? More often than not, I’ve heard them say “Don’t take life too seriously.”

I can’t speak for all relationships, because there are an infinite number of ways a couple can share joy. But for me and Alex, sharing a sense of humor is a big part of what keeps our relationship strong.

Many times, Alex and I will start an argument that has the potential to grow deep roots in our relationship and continue popping up every so often like a perennial weed. But then one of us will crack a joke, and the power will be taken away from the issue, and given back to us. The energy is lightened and we can turn our focus to healing.

Our gift of humor keeps us searching for new, creative ways to make each other laugh. It’s a constant scavenger hunt for a fresh new silly dance, or made up word, or ugly face that will crinkle my guy’s eyes up in laughter. And with every new inside joke, there’s another layer added to our ever-growing bond.

Obviously, I can get pretty sentimental. I like to *attempt* to have have major rom-com moments when we’re admiring a beautiful sunset, or about to kiss in a rainstorm, or reminiscing about our 10-year-old selves. But Alex is always there to jerk me out of that ultra-serious romantic haze and back into the present moment with a fart joke, or an actual fart.

Some days, Alex is there to cry happy tears with me, kiss me on the forehead, or give me a sincere smile with all the eye contact a needy girl could ever hope for.

Other days, I just get a can of ham.

As much as it might annoy me while I’m taking the pictures, I know these “outtakes” are more real than the “nice picture-day smile” or “gaze into the distance” shots. I’m going to cherish and laugh at these pictures for years to come. This is who he is 80% of the time, and it’s a big part of the reason I luh v’m and will continue to choose him year after year after year.

Please enjoy this juxtaposition of my artsy nature shots and my hammy boyfriend.

 

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Giving a burp back to nature

 

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“Pace”

You are Living Creativity

“What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul”

– Deepak Chopra

Today I am feeling so grateful for the drive within me to create. Create art, create clothing, create conversation, music, delicious food, these posts. I am grateful for my creative spark, and I am grateful for your creative spark.

I can’t help but notice that we are constantly creating new ways of living, and thinking about things, and finding joy. Even if it’s just a small change you’re making in your own life, I believe these small changes do effect the whole.

Whether or not you consider yourself a “creative” person, we are all creating all the time.

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Listen up. Evolution depends on creative thinking. Things very normal to us today were once absurd ideas. Think about cell phones, air planes. Heck, I mean we have 3D printers that can print skin cells for crying in the night! Who thought of that? My guess is it was a  creative person who’d probably been told they were “weird” more than once in their life.

The people who first thought of these things had a strong belief that the future can be amazing. What a bunch of weirdos, huh?

These types people are the reason we evolve and learn and move forward. Even if it feels like we’re standing still, or even taking steps backward, I have a strong suspicion that the feeling of moving backward is actually progression in disguise.

As an artist, I get the impression that people think I, and other artists like me, are more creative than other people.

Here’s my thought about that: I have devoted my life and career to being creative, but I don’t think that means I have more of it in me than anyone else. I am practicing creativity daily, and working it into every area of my life. And like anything, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

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Portraits of Alex’s creative outlets

This is true for playing an instrument, and writing, and playing a sport, and drawing figures, and cooking, and meditation, and being joyful.

And the more you practice, the better you become.

And the more you practice, the easier it gets.

And the more you practice, the more IT comes to YOU.

And the best part is: it’s never too late to begin!

To summarize, you have the same creative spark within you that Picasso had. Want to find that sucker? Simply begin practicing.

Do things that excite you and are even a bit daunting. Find creativity wherever it presents itself to you. Experiment with fashion. Try cooking something you’ve never made before. Learn a new language! Learn a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, like armpit farting.

My dudes, this is how we are MEANT to live! And more and more people are waking up to the idea every day.

I have heard a number of stories about people who were devastated to lose their safe and well-paying, but bland and unstimualting corporate job, but found joy in something creative, and made a happy, rich and successful path for themselves as a VCP (Very-Creative-Person)!

And if I haven’t convinced you yet, according to real actual SCIENCE, neglecting to practice our creativity could severely impact our health.

“Those who continue learning new things throughout life and challenging their brains are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In essence, you need to use it or lose it.source

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This earth fuzz is creating so hard, you guys.

So, I guess, like, if you want to live a long time, you have to actually LIVE. None of this sad, bland rice cake of mere existence. How ’bout a funfetti cupcake that’s piped full of fresh, tasty fulfillment? Or maybe there’s like a cool toy inside, like a whistle… or a tattoo of a dog on a skateboard or something.

So as I listen to Alex drumming along to jazz upstairs, even though it can get loud at times in our little old apartment, I am so proud of his passion and willingness to express himself.

I hope this inspires you, even a little bit. I get so happy every time I hear about someone’s new-found creative passion, and I want more! I want the planet to be filled with creative people, chasing after joy with all their hearts!

Tell me in the comments what you do to practice creativity. But only if you want to make me happy.

Making progress,

Your Peacefriend

 

 

Cyclical Advice and Being Your Own Best Friend

It’s mid-February and I regret to inform you that I’ve contracted a totally harsh case of the drearies.

Normally around this time of year, the sky remains a dim gray overcast, denying everyone the essentail vitamin D and general, you know, colors that sunshine brings.

But the past few years the weather has become more unpredictable, and this year is a real show off in terms of fluctuation. One day, it was 40 degrees and the sun shone until warm rain melted away all the snow. Two days later, I could barely brave the cold.

I’m not sure which is worse… a predictable stretch of depressing gray sludge, or a bi-polar roller coaster (note: possible band name?) of icy-cold-stingy-needles-of-frostbite tag teaming with mild-goopy-mud with a side of DECEIVING sunshine? And then the full moon happens and LOOK OUT.

In short, quit frontin’ on us, nature!

It’s easy to become negative when you’re getting thrown around like this. Luckily for me, I have a level headed Alex who is great at keeping his cool when I’m melting down. He’s the best kind of partner, because he does this cool trick where he listens to me when I’m feeling my best, and then gives me my own words back when I need them most.

This is what I mean by cyclical advice.  It is so wonderful to have someone in your life who can remind you that you’re a shining light by using your very own words, be it a relative or friend. But what about when that person’s not around?

I often find myself giving advice to friends when they’re in a predicament, but feeling clueless when I’m in the same predicament later on. Why do we forget what we already know so often?

It’s easy to read a motivational quote when you’re feeling great and think “Yes! I get that. I can feel that and reach that and be that. I am this quote on Drew Barrymore’s Instagram.”

But then when you read the same thing when you’re feeling down, it just doesn’t break the skin and get in there like it did before. It might even sound dumb, or empty this time around.

Also, your favorite song sounds worse somehow.

Anything too cheery is just uncomfortable.

Does this sound familiar? Yeah, that’s me right NOW, you might be saying. Shoot, me too, girl.

I’m no expert on feelings, and I didn’t do college so good, but I’m going to try something and you can feel free to join me in this experiment. I am going to begin to treat myself like my own best friend.

You would never tell your best friend she looks ugly. You would never tell them things are only going to get worse from here. You would never tell them everyone thinks they’re selfish, or that they suck at the thing they love doing. So I suggest we treat that part of us that is saying all this nonsense like our best friend. OR a small, confused, baby animal. Tell it what you know to be true: It’s so cute. It’s still learning. It’s not the end of the world. It is loved.

This is that voice in your head saying “Man, I suck! I’m the opposite of fluffy! I’m never going to be as cute as that other bird. Everyone probably thinks I’m annoying.”

Here’s something I believe that you can take or leave:

(that sounded like lyrics from a 90s rap in my head)

The part of you that is spouting off janky crap isn’t the true you. You can actually, with some practice, take a step back and observe these thoughts as they come in from a separate consciousness.

This separate perspective is the true you.

Or… The Trou.

I’ve done this a few times. Something in my brain might be telling me, for instance, that I hate my apartment and how small it is. I do my best to actually look at that thought as something that doesn’t belong to me, and think “Focusing on this is making her feel worse and worse. She doesn’t deserve to feel bad! I’ll talk to her (taps mic) Ahem! Hey, Alison. Higher consciousness here. It sucks that your apartment is so small, yeah. Just wondering, though, what do you like about your apartment?

And then I look around and say “Well, I like that I live here with just Alex and no roommates.”

Yeah, that’s really lucky, not many people your age can do that! What else?

“I like that even though it feels cramped sometimes, it has an upstairs and a basement and attic… and I like that I decorated it with cheerful colors, and that there’s a bath tub, and I love the new fridge, and blah blah blah…”

And before I know it, I’m feeling a lot better. And my higher consciousness winks at me from the clouds and mumbles “Tricked ya.”

I think the key here is reaching for the best feeling thought at that particular moment. Whatever makes you feel a little better than you did. It’s like a ladder, with each step up, it will be easier to reach the next rung of the ladder. You don’t skip 4 rungs when you’re climbing a ladder!

Try it if you want. Let me know how it works for you.

 

Before I go, I’m going to share a couple pictures from the painfully cold, but suuuper pretty walk Alex and I took the other day. The sun was setting and throwing pink gold light over everything. The Moon had risen on the other side, and it was all duality-ish and symbolism-y.

goldenhourresevoir
“Marco”
goldenhourmoon
“Polo”

 

Giving it the old college try,

Your Peacefriend

Getting into the Naitch

Let me lead this off by telling you I had to google “naitch” to make sure it wasn’t some dirty slang or slur. Because the way I use it is totally wholesome. It’s a shortened version of nature. A little girl coined the term “naitch” (to my knowledge, at least) when she tells her Mom she “loves the naitch” in a vine. Naitch = Nature. Just to clarify once again. There will be a quiz.

I was never a kid who was a tree-hugger or saw fairies or spoke parcel-tongue to snakes. I was the kid who mostly wanted to build stuff out of egg cartons and pennies and tape, and sing Beatles songs to myself. When I did get outside, I was extremely timid and sensitive to all the roughness, prickliness and pointy pieces nature threatened me with. Not to mention bugs, who can’t get enough of THIS Sugar Crisp. Nature to me meant getting hurt or scratched or bitten. Also, I have an unusually low pain tolerance, or that’s what I like to tell myself.

Today, as an awakening adult, I feel more comforted by nature than ever. The older I get (and boy am I old, 24 whole years!) the more I crave a natural and simple lifestyle. I’ve treated any ailments I’ve had in the last 5 years naturally with the guidance of Ayurveda. And every year I eat more vegetables and less sugar. Not to say I don’t eat a lot of crap still, just less than I used to. And most importantly, I’ve been working to change my thought patterns from the automatic setting of judgement to one of acceptance, and even praise. I know my purest state is one of joy, and that any judgements I hold are just mucky mud in my clear pool! And when I say I know my purest state is joy, I don’t mean just me. All of us have that smooth, creamy pure love core, and all of us have the potential to clear away the muck with a bit of thoughtful practice.

For me, being in nature is like hitting the reset button and rising back into my natural state of joy. So my boyfriend, Alex, and I have been trying to get into the naitch as frequently as possible, which is kind of difficult, it being February in Rochester, NY. Colds keep stuffing themselves way up into our heads and we find ourselves cooped up for a week at a time. Alex was just getting some sniffles yesterday, but we decided to go to a park anyway.
alexlight

Check out this picture I took of him. Look at that sweet natural boy soaking in the beautiful rays. After I took this photo, he said “Let me take one of you!” And of course the sun was like ~psyche~ and slunk behind a cloud. So my portrait is much duller in comparison.

alilight

What’s sunnier in my picture is my pose, so I get points for that, I think.

We got out, breathed fresh cold air into our lungs, woke up our sleeping muscles, met a beautiful gathering of deer, and daydreamed aloud to each other about our future.
Someday, we will live in the middle of all of this. We won’t have to say goodbye and drive the 20 minutes back to our city apartment.

We won’t have to try to maintain that peaceful state of mind while bass bumps and vibrates from mysterious cars parked outside.

And when we step out in the morning, the dumps on our lawn will be clean, dark pellets laid from free and happy creatures, and not fat, steamy dumps from sick, sad dogs whose owners were apparently born without the part of their brain that controls the muscles necessary to PICK UP said dumps! (I’m working toward a mindset of positivity and praise, but I have a little way to go still)

Instead, we’ll just walk straight through the nature and directly into our home, where we’ll warm up by the fire, and make some tea.

febalexali

Visualizing,
Your Peacefriend