The Loveliness of New

Have  you ever met someone that you connected with right away? Have you ever felt that initial impression bringing a smile to your face? Have you felt the surety that what is happening in that time is pure and genuine? Oh new infatuation.  That first inkling of promise, the shining hope that this new thing remains as good and as wonderful as it began. I just got to experience that very recently, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I have the luxury of at least emailing with this person daily which helps bridge the life/distance gap, and in some ways, keeps things from getting too complicated too fast. I’m not saying to over-think and find a list of everything that could go wrong, but I would say watch the signs. Watch for any red flags and pay attention to what’s being said and unsaid. More times than not, the actions could show way more or way more truthfully what’s really going on in someone’s mind. It’s best to go into every new relationship with eyes wide open, heart leading the way with your brain as your navigation system. As for me with MY new, full steam ahead hoping for all the best.

The Art of Forgiveness

They say that true forgiveness is that we forgive whatever offense done to us and forget it. But what are we supposed to forget to get us to the point of real forgiveness? To forget the offense is to pretend it never happened as if no wrong were commited. I personally believe this an ineffectual way to deal with such a thing. Whether we like it or not, this bad thing happened and it needs to be faced. Revenge does not need to be the way this happens, but selective amnesia is also not a way to go. I believe that to forgive includes the following: acknowledge the break in trust, address the break, decide on the lessons to be taken from the experience, and finally to move forward with an open heart choosing to put that time in the past with the hope that the relationship is improved or that at least some understanding has been reached that you not stay in that negative attitude. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean that whoever offended or hurt you will or has to stay in your active life. It means that that the negativity caused by the break won’t. You refuse to let it control you because you know that it won’t benefit you. Forgiveness is no easy feat especially when you remember what you’re trying to forgive. True forgiveness is not without immense effort and compassion and understanding. It is appreciation for the complexity of the human condition; it is an art.

A World Divided

I have to admit. Waking up everyday with a new report of another crime, a vicious comment about someone, a video fueling the rage of any number of people from all over showing that in spite of time and supposed progression, mentally and emotionally the human race is mostly very much the same as our predecessors just with Internet, better clothing and bigger and better ways to cause each other to suffer. Bullies are mostly drawn attention to if they are children, but what about the adult bullies? Childhood bullying however cruel usually will have an end when someone will stand up to say “no more”. Adult bullies come in different shapes and forms. They can be a coworker, a boss, a neighbor, a cop, a doctor, a lawyer, a government official, even a stranger. All over the news, there are countless stories of injustice very many which stem from prejudice, hate and an inherent blood lust for pain and misery. Is it the long struggle of minorities against the “white betters”? Is it a need to be seen powerful through force no matter the cost? Is it just history repeating itself in a different time with new players in the roles?

We now live in a world technologically, politically, and educationally that even only 50 years ago would not have been easily dreamed of. Does that make us better? Does that prove our advancement? Only to a point. While yes, what those predecessors had been working towards all those years ago has come to the present; the prejudices of the past have come with it. The certainty that even with the opportunities out in the world made “openly” to all who seek them is not made for everyone in the same way is still there. I wonder if looking to the past and seeing so many parallels to the present, what will the world look like in another 50 years? Will there be anything in the future to compare to the past to really decide whether if and how we can move forward? For a time with some many resources at our fingertips, how it is that such a willful blindness can persist? We’re a society made with a glass house ideology that as long as we’re who we are, nothing else matters. If it doesn’t affect me and mine, then it has nothing to do to me. Don’t be fooled by this ideology. We are all human and should not only stand up to be counted for the cause when it affects our race, our group, our sources. Hate knows no color, it knows no position, it knows no separation in who to target. It only knows that it wants division. It wants blood, it wants more and more chaos. Why is it that we live in a world in which action is only effective when paired with aggression? And when it is paired with aggression, it has to overtake everything in its path forcing a surrender by any means necessary.

Instead of leading the way with violence, can we not inject learning into the mix? Can we not add knowledge as a weapon to the arsenal? Can we not find a way to finally see that the “I’m better than you” idea of class and status is there because we ourselves have done so? It is true that there is a classification of those who are in positions of leadership because they have the qualities necessary to do what is needed. There are also some who take those positions and can’t handle the power but know how to keep it and make those they lead the worse for it.

We make challenges for sport, to draw attention to a cause, to make a point and for many other things. And in closing, I make this challenge. For those who see themselves as leaders, remember that to lead by example is through more than to do so in front of the crowd, it is behind closed doors, it is in your convictions, it is your character, it is every part of you. In spite of the popular quote, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, it is not power itself that corrupts; it is mental, it is emotional, it is moral. We stand or we fall based on what hill we allow ourselves to die on or even if we intend to show at all. We are remembered for the great and the terrible. What we seem to forget is that what happens in the middle affects the outcome whether great or terrible. In the work that is done, have we gained victory in becoming something more or have we made ourselves a prisoner of a specter given a body through our actions?

Chocolate Covered Cherry Power Smoothie

I have to admit, I was very skeptical about the green smoothies. I love smoothies and used to haunt Jamba Juice like I had stock in the company; but I always thought once you started throwing greens in the blender and called it a smoothie, it was bound to be gross. It was only a matter of the flavor of grossness. I’ve been addicted to Pinterest for quite some time as well as food blogs. I finally found a good base for a green smoothie and made some tweaks; and voila, the chocolate covered cherry power smoothie. Here’s my recipe. Enjoy!

2 cups of spinach
1 cup chocolate soy milk
2 cups Wallaby’s lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 single serve packet of Justin’s chocolate covered hazelnut almond butter
1/4 cup of tart cherries (bulk bin at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the spinach and soy milk in the blender until well mixed. Then add the yogurt, almond butter, cherries and cinnamon until it’s all well blended. Pour into your container of choice and freeze until ready to drink!

My Ex Asked Me To Meet for Coffee…And I Said, Yes.

First of all, this did NOT turn out like a plot in a rom-com nor did I expect it to. It was as awkward and uncomfortable as I imagined it would be…okay, it was even more so than I imagined; and I have a very good imagination. But back to the story, it had been nearly a year since we had been in the same room together, much less face to face sharing a table. There were a lot of mixed emotions there…First off, there was a feeling of expectation. Of what? That is still undetermined. There were also feelings of curiosity, of “what if”, of awkwardness, and of surety. My curiosity stemmed from wondering what motive could have influenced my ex to reach out to me. The “what if” was what most “what ifs” are: “What if we didn’t break up when we did?” “What if we never spoke or saw each other again?” and the like. The awkwardness was for obvious reasons…I had thought of our seeing each other again but you never quite get the amount of awkwardness you’ll feel quite right. And let me tell you, it was ridiculously awkward. And lastly, there was a surety. And that surety was that we were absolutely meant to go our separate ways ultimately; we were never meant for a “happy ever after” with each other. And now, I could really know it and internalize it on a complete level. I don’t wish any ill will towards my ex. I wholeheartedly wish him every happiness. Would I have still decided to meet him knowing the awkwardness that would ensue? Yes, I would because we had time to get through the destructive feelings that too little time would have put on blast. We had an open and honest conversation about what ultimately lead us to break up and finally buried it. We banished “what ifs”, satisfied curiosities, and conquered our past misunderstandings. Will we be friends now? I can’t say for sure. Only time will tell. Is that door open with a better mat at the door? I think so. Again, only time will  tell what happens. But, I can say this, in spite of all the awkwardness, I gained complete peace.