Patrick Willis – A 49ers Linebacker With Two Men to Call ‘Dad’

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You are probably thinking what I was thinking when I first read the New York Times headline: “A 49ers Linebacker with Two Men to Call Dad.” Patrick Willis grew up with two gay dads?  And although I don’t think there’s … Continue reading

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Tal Ben-Shahar teaching

A Short Intro to Tal Ben-Shahar:

Tal Ben-Shahar, the  professor of Positive Psychology at Harvard University, and author of two best selling books, Perfect and Happier, is a pioneer of self-awareness. This educator, author, and philanthopist is exploding on the mainstream media with his outlandish proposal that people can actually achieve happiness; like it is not some sort of far fetched ideal we all strive for, but know that we will never reach.

From everything I’ve learned from watching his lectures online (FOR FREE), he highly recommends that you get in touch with what you really want, and learn to be grateful for your life and the daily “mundane” experiences you go through.

He says, “your goals are your means, but your experiences are your ends.”

To see a short clip of some of the buzz surrounding this man, please check out this video:

Why Avoid Silence?:

From Tal’s first lecture I picked up a trick for happiness that isn’t acknowledged in the usual “How to…live a happy life” manual. This trick is Silence.

In a world were we constantly bombarded each other and ourselves with sounds from televisions, radios, our portable mp3 players, phones, and other technology, the act of silence becomes equivalent to absence of comfort.  In fact, when a conversation between two people reaches a silence, it is often referred to as “awkward.” Some people find it difficult to exist in a world absent of noise. Why is that?

Is it because when we are silent we are forced to reflect on our thoughts and emotions – the ones that we demote to internal static in exchange for a song on the radio? Are we merely giving in to our desires for distraction because we are a generation of ADD? Are we afraid that silence will lead us to boredom? To disconnection from the world?

Whatever your reason is for disliking silence, avoidance of it can only keep you from reaching your personal potential. Maybe, if you learn to see the beauty of silence, you may feel curious enough to explore how adding it into your life can transform the way you think and feel. Did you know that silence is good for your brain as well as your heart.

Silence Helps Your Brain:

Having time to reflect in silence after a learning task allows your brain to reinforce and better memorize the information you have just collected. There is a very small threshold of time after you had just taken a test or sat through a lecture where if you repeat in silence what you had just heard or saw, you will remember it better.

David Foster and Matthew Wilson,  Psychology Professors at MIT, did a study on the learning patterns of rats going through a maze. It compares rats that had time to reflect on their accomplishments after finishing the maze and rats that had no time to think because they were thrown into the maze again.

 While the results suggests that there certainly is some record of learning as [the maze experiment] is occurring, the actual learning, when they try to figure out which turn should I take and which should I turn away from comes after the fact.”

This means that the rats that had time to reflect on what they learned after completing a maze learned better and performed better the second time than the group of rats that had to repeat the maze right away.

This is a great tool to use in school to do better on exams. After every lecture, remember to sit in silence and reflect on what you just absorbed from the speaker. It is critical to reinforcing the information to make studying for finals much simpler.

It works the same way with dreams. Did you notice that you can never remember your dreams unless you reflect on them as soon as you wake up or write them down? If you woke up and raced out of bed to rush through your morning routine, there is not a chance that you remembered your dream. But if, after you woke up, you took the time to think about what you experienced in your dream, it will stay with you for a long time.

Silence Helps Your Heart:

Lastly, silence is good for growth. You cannot understand what you really want out of life if you don’t give yourself a chance to listen to your heart. Sitting in silence for a couple of minutes to examine what your body and mind is experiencing can be very beneficial to the connection your have with yourself.

If anyone ever asks you “What do you really want to do right now” or “What do you want to be?” but all your responses are “I don’t know,” well, sitting in silence for a few minutes a day can help make your answer more specific and true to your needs. You don’t have to know how to meditate to listen to your body. How can something as amazing as your hopes, dreams, and fears ever be so boring that you can’t spend five minutes discovering them?

If you’d like to learn how to meditate, check out this video:

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Chocolate Loveliness – 1 Minute Mug Brownie Recipe

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They say “You cannot satisfy spiritual hunger on the physical level,” but you sure can ward off your cravings for chocolate in just one minute. A long time ago, I stumbled across a one minute brownie recipe online and I … Continue reading

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10 Songs To Put You In A Lovely Mood

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Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, angry, or just plain unlovely, I turn to music to get me through it.  I decided to make a list of a few songs that have literally helped me back down from the edge of a … Continue reading

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Lovely Guide To Decoding Dreams

Haven’t you ever wondered if your dreams meant anything? Are they simply expressions of your subconscious mixed with present day circumstances? Can they predict the future or help you make decisions? Does everyone dream?

When someone says, "dream" this image usually comes to mind....

BUT, believe it or not, one of the most common dreams is of losing your teeth

I am no expert on dreams, but I am very interested on the topic and can offer you some insight into what I’ve heard and noticed about dreams throughout my life.  Dreaming is probably the loveliest, most interesting present that has ever been given to the human race. But most importantly, dreams reveal, teach, and predict things about you and your life that is invaluable to our understanding of ourselves.

Okay, let’s answer some of your questions:

1. What Are The Most Common Reoccurring Dreams? 

  • Losing Your Teeth –  you are anxious about your appearance or you feel powerless or you wish to be more connected to the divine or you have a sick family member or you are lying a lot or you will come into money.
  • Flying – if you are flying with ease, you are on top of a situation, you have gained a new perspective and entered a different phase in life. If you are struggling to fly, it means that you are having trouble holding on to your power over something or someone. And if you are afraid to fly, it means you are afraid of a certain challenge and of success.
  • Being Chased – coincidentally, this is my reoccurring dream theme – it means that you are anxious and running from a problem, which can be whatever you are dealing with in your waking life or a deeper emotion you fear within yourself like jealousy, greed, anger, or possibly love.
  • Falling – this is an indication of insecurities, anxieties, and instabilities. You lost control of a situation in your waking life or you are failing at something. Freud says that dreams of falling mean that you are contemplating giving in to a sexual urge. hmmm. The only types of falling dreams I’ve personally experienced, which is also quite common, were in the first stages of sleep where I have usually get a  sensation that I’m tripping and falling as my muscles spas. In any case, these types of dreams are considered “unGodly.” Okay…
  • Being Naked – this means that you are ashamed of something or trying to conceal something. Or you’ve been recently caught off guard or you are afraid that people are on to you. You consider yourself to be a phony. BUT if you dream that you are proud of your nakedness, this symbolizes unrestricted freedom. If you are one of those people who dream that you are proud of your nudity, you have what they Jews call “Chutzpah.”
  • Taking a Test/Exam – means that you feel you are being scrutinized by someone else. Or you feel like time is running out and an opportunity is fading. Or you fear not being accepted and becoming an outcast. Or it may be an indication that you feel unprepared for a challenge.

If you ask me, there are way too many “or‘s” in the interpretations of even the most common types of dreams. I’m not sure how much I believe all of these meanings as nobody can decide what each person’s dream means for sure, but I do find it strange that so many of us have these reoccurring themes. You’d think that out of the billions of other types of dream possibilities, why do most of us dream about only a handful of situations? Perhaps there is truth in these meanings, but we should probably use our dreamosaphoguses (a.k.a. our internal bullshit meters) to figure out if any of these meanings ring true.

2. Can Dreams Predict The Future?

I believe so. My mother has this weird intuition where she makes decisions and gains insight from meeting people in her dreams. The night before the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, my mother had a dream that this large, Asian, wise-looking man in a crimson outfit hugged her and covered her head. As she explained it, compared to him, she was the size of a tea-cup dog, and when he covered her, he whispered, “Shhh, be quiet, they’re flying.” The next day, it was all over the news- two planes flew into the Twin Towers. This also happened to be the year that she mysteriously had the urge to move us from NYC to New Jersey. We were safely across the Hudson when the most terrible tragedy to ever hit the East Coast occurred.

And back when we were living in our NYC apartment, she had a dream of this sad-looking man in a golfer’s hat. In her dream, he would just sit around on the couch in our apartment looking sad. Later, our neighbor, who had lived in the building for over 30 years, showed us a picture of the man who used to live in our apartment. It was the sad-looking man from my mother’s dreams! Turns out he died there… That apartment was definitely haunted, but that’s a story for a different post.

Moreover, not everyone has the ability to remember their dreams and recognize their messages. You have to be sensitive to these types of things. I’m not sure exactly how you develop this sensitivity, but I’m guessing it has  something to do with having an open, analytical mind.

3. How Can I Use What I Dream To Interpret My Future?

You can pay attention to the following objects/emotions in your dreams. The information you are about to read is taken from experience and knowledge I’ve picked up from different “sensitive” people I had the good fortune to meet.

  • dogs – when you have dogs in your dreams, this is an extremely good sign. Dogs represent friendship. Dreams involving dogs indicate that you will gain a good friend, strengthen a current friendship, or a friend will surprise you.
  • cats – this is a bad sign. If you have cats in your dream, it means that you will be betrayed, and that an enemy is lurking somewhere in the shadows. Watch your back. I like to pay attention to the number of cats in my dreams, should they appear, as I think it signifies the number of people to watch out for.
  • spiders – this means that you will receive important news. I once dreamt of spiders and when I woke the next morning, I received a letter that I was granted a scholarship. I’m not sure if the news you will get after having a spider dream will always be good, but it will always be important.
  • crying/sadness – believe it or not, this is a good sign. If you are crying in your dream because something you fear happens, it’s like you are getting it out of your system. It will most likely not happen in real life. If you wake up crying, even better -it’s a good sign that things are going to turn for the best.
  • death of a loved one– when someone who you know is alive dies in your dream/nightmare, it’s a sign that the person will live a long life. Sure, it may be unpleasant to spend the night believe it’s true, but at least you’ll be comforted when you wake up that it won’t happen for a long, long time.
  • dreaming of someone who is deceased – when a deceased person comes to you in your dreams, it means they are still around, and may be responsible for some of the good “coincidences” in your life. Conversely, if they didn’t like you, perhaps they may have something to do with the bad “coincidences” in your life. If so, see a priest immediately. Just kidding.
  • marriage/love – if you dream that you are getting married or are super in love with someone in your dream, it means you will receive news that somebody you know or somebody you’ve heard of will die. Johanna from 10th grade once told me this and it is so true. I once dreamt that I was unexplainably head over heels for Luke Wilson at a frozen yogurt shop. I was completely smitten. I thought I was going to marry this man.  On the way to school the next day, I was told that a friend of my grandma’s had a niece that had passed away earlier that morning. It was super weird. 

4. What Do Sex Dreams Mean?

I want to take the time to tell you that sex dreams, while they are healthy to have, don’t really mean anything. You have sex dreams when you are going through puberty and when sex is on your mind quite frequently (cough, boys). It doesn’t really mean or predict anything will happen. The frequency of these dreams doesn’t say much either. Some people get these every night while others don’t.

For those of you who wish you had more sex dreams, you are probably wondering, how do I make sure that I dream about sex more often? It sure beats dreaming about death or cats. Honestly, I wish I knew. But there doesn’t seem to be a formula, at least that we know of, which guarantees that your dreams stay hot and heavy.

And for those of you who have these dreams a lot, rest assured that it is perfectly normal to have sex dreams. In fact, such dreams are encouraged because, unlike performing sex, dreaming about it protects you from unwanted pregnancy and diseases 100% of the time. So dream on.

5. Does Everyone Dream?

Yes, even cats and babies dream. Some people forget their dreams easily. This happens most to men. The deeper the sleep, the harder it is to remember your dreams. So does this mean that men are deeper sleepers? Maybe.

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Using Your Lovely Deamosophogus

Never give up on lovely people

Remember that people come in all shapes and sizes and shades of gray. Since everyone is so different, it’s hard to find people who appeal to your mind and heart. In fact, you’d be lucky to have even a handful of people who you genuinely find to be lovely in this lifetime.

But how do u know when you finally find that lovely person? Good question.

That answer is your dreamosophagus will let you know, duh! People have different names for it like “intuition” or “the 6th sense,” and you may have your own creative name for it, but I prefer “dreamosophagus” because it sounds most biologically credible. It’s the thing that detects when someone or something matches up to your inner hopes and dreams. All you have to do is look at an object or a person and push the dreamosophagus On/Off button located on the tip of your nose.

I know what your thinking, “If my dreamosophagus has been on my nose the whole time, how did I miss it?” That’s not it, silly. On your nose, is only the On/Off button, not the masterful work of art that is the dreamosophagus.

Remember the good old days? I bet you can’t, so how can you expect to remember your dreamosophagus?

Everyone has a dreamosophagus, but people hide it in different imaginary places inside their bodies. You might not remember the exact location where yours is because you hid it a long time ago – when you were a child, and in the prime of  sculpting your dreams. You created your dreamosophagus in attempt to cushion your fragile mentality from harsh reality of adulthood. Too bad you let it collect dust in a nameless place somewhere inside.

And to think, you had the power to turn your dreamosophagus on the entire time. How often we miss to see what is on the tip of our noses!

What does your dreamosophagus tell you?

I recently rediscovered my dreamosophagus – mine is a silky, purple bubble made of thin membrane, extending from my heart down to the pit of my stomach, attached by a string of red yarn to a dusty nook inside my cerebellum. The string wraps around the side of my skull until it reaches the wires inside my nose. That way, the button can turn my dreamosophagus on and off without a problem.

To see if it works, I pictured the faces of people I know. I closed my eyes and, one by one, I examined their faces on my eyelids. I pressed the button on the tip of my nose and colors flashed brightly for every person. If it was a picture of someone who I truly believe is lovely, the color green flashed. If it was of someone who is not lovely to me, the color red flashed. It does the same thing if I picture different career paths or different places I’d like to visit.

Incredibly, it is accurate 100% of the time in accordance to what I truly feel! Sometimes, I didn’t know I felt something about a person, thing, or place until the color flashed as the picture appeared. I found out so much about what I want.

You think that maybe it’s time that you rediscover your dreamosophagus?

Anyway, the point of this entry is based on the finding that out of all the pictures I scanned through my dreamosophagus, I realized that it flashed the green light only for very few individuals. For that reason, I consider those few lovely individuals very special. Your dreamosophagus doesn’t lie because you made it at an age where your heart and your intentions were pure. So it’s time to put a little faith into your dreamosophagus and the people who it declares to be compatible with your dreams. Never lose this faith.

Stay lovely.

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A Lovely Guide to Getting Over It

Face it, it's over

Breakups don’t have to wreck your loveliness.

There comes a time where you have to realize that the world cannot afford for you not to be lovely even for a second. Remember, being upset ruins your makeup and your mood.

Get over your ex and move on using these 6 steps:

  1. Put everything your ex gave you out of your sight.                             Remember, you don’t have to burn anything, but you do have to hide it. Objects are attached to memories and significance. Why look at the things that constantly remind you of someone who is now dead to you. Having said that… 
  2. Throw a funeral for your ex.                                                                                      Studies conducted on patients who have recently experienced trauma show that physically performing a ceremony allows the brain to adjust to a new life after grief.  A funeral can help you adjust to the finality of the break up situation and your new single life. There’s no going back.  Your ex is your ex for a reason. So put a stuffed animal in a box, invite your friends over (or not), and have some houre d’oeuvres. Go around in a circle and have your friends say what they really thought about your ex. You’ll be glad you did it. 
  3. Exercise                                                                      This is probably the best thing you can do for your mind and your body. Ask anyone, read anything, they’ll tell you that exercise is the ultimate cure for every single ailment: depression, acne, pneumonia, lazy eye, menstrual cramps, diarrhea, anorexia, obesity, bloatedness, but ESPECIALLY a broken heart. Plus, it gets your butt in shape. Want a killer right hook? Pretend you’re punching your ex’s face! Not into boxing? Then try jumping jacks. And why not  list his short comings after every  jack? That way you’ll be both burning calories and reminding yourself that you are superior in every way. 
  4. Tell yourself you are incredible until you believe it                                               I mean it. Sit in front of the mirror and genuinely compliment yourself. Start small. “I like my dimples.” Then move on to bigger and better traits. “I like the shape of my lips. Come to think of it, my whole mouth is very shapely. I like my straight teeth. The color of my eyes is gorgeous. I should have wallpaper made in that color…” If this doesn’t work, force your friends of the opposite sex to give you compliments. That kind of attention always cheers you up. But if you have no friends of the opposite sex, ask your parents. They’re always full of compliments, except you’ll rarely hear them say, “you sure are sexy.”
  5. Understand that it’s not you, it’s your ex’s karma                                        Believe you are incredible, and if a relationship that you were invested in ended, maybe it wasn’t because of your bad karma as much as your ex’s. Most likely your ex messed up so much in this life (or his previous life) that something real and unseen is denying him the complete and utter joy of keeping your company. Sure you might have been “hurt” a little in the process but you have more important fish to fry… I mean catch.  Clearly you’re meant for better people (better, in the sense that they’ll be better suited for you). You just don’t know it yet, but the sooner you get over your ex, the faster you’ll recognize somebody else.

    Follow these 6 steps and maybe you can find yourself in a field of yellow flowers too!

  6. Releasing your love into the universe                                                              Usually, it takes three times the amount of months you were together with your ex to reach this step.  For example, if you were with your ex for 5 months, (5×3=15) it will take you 15 months after you broke up before you can do the last step. It’s usually how long it takes the bitterness to disappear (assuming you were in love, if it wasn’t love then recovery time may vary):
  • mentally collect all of the memories, emotions, and images of surrounding people that remind you of you ex. We all know that what was loved is never forgotten, so don’t even pretend like you don’t ever think about him/her from time to time.
  • step outside at night time, preferably when it’s not raining or snowing, and when the moon is visible, and you are alone. 
  • imagine that you are drawing out an electrical force of energy from your heart to the palms of your hands, cultivating a big ball of electricity. Only it’s not electricity, it is your emotions and loving energy associated with your ex, and it’s imaginary. Nobody can see it but you.
  • Fill the electric ball in your hands with all the love and kindness that you can muster up and watch the ball grow. Think of all the wonderful things your ex taught you and be genuinely grateful for having known him/her.
  • When you are ready, kiss the imaginary ball of love and gratitude, and release it into the sky, aiming at the moon. (Think GoKu from Dragon Ball Z) When you let it go, picture your ex with another partner, completely happy. Genuinely wish them all the very best.
  • Imagine that your ball of love travels and reaches this person that you once loved and he/she feels it, make his/her peace with it, and returns his/her gratitude for having known you.
  • You may now smile.
  • Become aware of the emptiness that exists within you and embrace it. This can only be a good thing because now you made room for other people. And, believe me, there will be other people.

Congratulations, you are now “over it.

Stay lovely.

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