06/17/12

Can I change it?

With fathers day being today, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my dad. I’m still in disbelief that almost two whole years have passed since the last time I saw him, hugged him, and said goodbye.  While the passing of time does offer acceptance, time can trigger painful remembrance of the season and the scar he left behind.  As I come up on two years, I find myself still very much in the aftermath of his death, still sorting through confused feelings, confronting issues of depth, and undergoing frequent transformation.  I want more than just an acceptance of his departure, I want to know peace and I wonder if I ever will.

When a loved one leaves your life so unexpectedly, your thoughts begin to fill in a future time line you will never live.  Never knowing what it’s like to walk down the aisle with him at my wedding, never being able to see the look on his face when he meets my children for the first time.  I grieve mostly for the conversations I will never have with him, conversations that could have healed heartbreaks of my childhood.  It all seems terribly unfinished, a story without an ending, closure I may never have.

I’m blessed to have a bachelors in psychology and the ability to express and understand myself through writing.  It’s nice to have an understanding of why I do the things I do, it’s calming to know why I am the way I am.  I wonder though, is knowing, is it just damage control?  will I always be this way?  I’m aware of it, but can I change it?

It’s goes way beyond just missing him.  I miss who I was.  To finally be happy and understand circumstances, only for them to change without warning.  I miss what I expected.  I miss the reality I knew my entire life.  It turns out, it’s not really about getting over it and feeling better, it’s about simply going with the flow of changes I’ve experienced since my father left my life.

For the first year after he died I put up walls around my heart.  There was no  way I would let anyone get close to me.  There was way too much I needed to work on and confront within myself, I simply had no time and energy to give to anyone else.  This second year I learned to let down my guard and how to fall in love again.  But I can’t deny the undeniable parallels between the man I fell in love with and my father.

My father was an alcoholic.  I spent most of my childhood wishing he would change, wanting so much for him to choose me over his need to drink.    After years of anger I came to accept my father for who he was and who he would never be.  I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with him, grateful I learned to forgive.  My dad was a great friend, my number one fan, and he loved me very much.  He loved me the only way he knew how, the only way his disease would allow.

 

06/15/12

Electric Daisy Carnival: The Generation That Saw The Light

Over the weekend, more than 100,000 young adults from all over the world headed to Las Vegas for the same reason, music. And because of music, they were united. Three days, six stages, and hundreds of DJs. An iPhone app that allows you to create your own personal line-up for each night. LED lights, lasers, lit-up carnival rides, flaming dinosaurs and glow sticks lighting up the night as you run from stage to stage to make sure you see all of your favorite artists.

The beauty doesn’t stop at the lights. I was so amazed by our generation, and proud to be a part of it. A generation completely evolving alongside the music and advancing technology. With flowers in our hair, dressed in neon colors, sequins, glitter and tutus – together we created an experience of love and acceptance and a place where you can feel completely free.

 

Here is a video I took at Armin Van Buuren’s opening set Day 3 at Circuit Grounds (ASOT stage).

Also, check out one of my favorite sets from EDC Las Vegas 2012 – Tritonal!

06/12/12

Deliberate Creation <3

An old friend and a forever friend, called me the other day furious and heavy hearted.  The permanent teaching position she’d been fighting and hoping for was offered to another candidate who had nearly the same experience as she.  She felt that her hard work over the past year had gone completely unnoticed and was in complete shock of an outcome she hadn’t seen coming.  My childhood friend had called me because she knew I would understand and hoped I could lend her a few inspirational and hopeful words.

As we move through our lives we face more than just a handful of disappointments, some that we can see coming coming and others that seem to appear out of thin air.  Bad news and set backs, road blocks that stop us abruptly in our track can cause us to question our faith, to wish for fairness and shatter our self esteem.  We learn very quickly that kicking and shouting that life isn’t fair doesn’t ever get us very far.   While anger does feel much better than  defeat and hopelessness, bitterness will hold you right where you are until you learn to let it go of it.

One of the most interesting phenomenons in life is when we look at our friends and loved ones and can recognize their beauty and infinite potential while they struggle to see it in themselves.  My childhood friend is one of the brightest, intelligent, and driven woman I know and at times like these it’s important that I remind her of the bright future that lies ahead.   I want to remind her that dreams really do come to those who believe and that there is always a brighter side of every situation.

Life isn’t about fairness.  It isn’t about placing blame and it’s not about working hard.  It’s not about who you know and more about why you know them, it’s more about why the right people were there at the exact right time.  Life is about deliberately creating.  It’s about aligning your thoughts with who really are and watching the universe conspire for you.  Instead of hanging onto bitterness, remember that we live in a universe that is ruled by the law of attraction.  The more we focus on loss the more hardship we will find.  But if we make the effort to find the optimistic thoughts, the more we see the light at the end of the tunnel and the easier our so-called struggle becomes.

Setbacks are small tests we set for ourselves, key reminders of who we are and what we are looking for.  In our careers we come to know that it’s easier to work for an employer who recognizes our strengths and potential from day 1 than it is to to work for someone who you are constantly seeking approval.  Life doesn’t have to be hard, life should be easy and guided by inner happiness.  We create our own reality so choose the challenges that drive you towards fulfillment and leave behind the obstacles that cause you agony.

Hold your head up high in it’s rightful place, move forward and expect the impossible.  Work for employers who see your worthiness, who recognize your potential, and make your life easy.  You are worthy and dreams come true for every believer.  Stay true to who you are and the message you want to emit in your classroom, love everyone you interact with and appreciate all experiences because all of it calls growth from within.  All of it will push you to reach for the infinite happiness you are always seeking.  Setbacks and disappointments will always look a bit differently in hindsight.  When we look back later we realize that doors slammed in our faces only so we could find our way to the right door and unlock our passion

06/2/12

Castles and Kingdoms

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life” – Elizabeth Girlbert

I talk about the idea of Balance a lot, but everything always seems to come back to just that: Balance.  Every area of my life seems to be balancing out.  I’ve found a happy balance of time I designate to others and to myself.  I realize it’s so important to have different people in your life because every person I interact with brings out a different part of my personality.  I’ve discovered a healthy balance between work and play, when I have down time I give myself permission to take a nap or read on the beach and at work I’m performing better than I ever had because I’m generally happier.  Love, however, is the one aspect of my life I’m still working on.  In love and romance I’ve always lost my balance and never cared enough to work through my insecurities in order to find my footing.  Whenever I’ve felt too off-balanced in the past I pulled back, deciding it would be easier to just walk away and it was always in the walking away where I found my balance once again.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

Now I find myself in a loving relationship that I want to hold onto, I found someone whom I can never walk away from.  With this discovery comes a deeper understanding for the quote I’ve listed above.  It’s easy to fall in love and much harder to make it last.  It takes courage to let yourself be vulnerable in love and to love yourself enough to stay grounded.  I’m a hopeless romantic so I sway easily.  I get such high  hopes for my knight in shinning armor that I sometimes become blinded to my own magical powers.  Our needs and desires are always changing and it takes courage to verbalize our feelings to the one we love in order to maintain the ever important equilibrium and move with new transformations.  The key is to be aware of your own needs and desire and figure out how to fulfill those needs on your own instead of expecting your lover to fulfill those needs for you.

Each of our lives will look differently when balanced, that’s because our personal needs and desires are specific to each individual.  Use your heart and emotions to guide you.  We often make the mistake of turning to others for advice or for their approval of our behavior when really, you are the only one that knows what will make you happy and it’s only you that knows when and why you ever feel slightly ‘off.’  Whenever you give too much of your time and energy to one part of your life such as work, play, friends, or lovers you begin to take that part of your life for granted.  Be confident in the knowing that a shift in balance will always be apparent to you.  Pay attention to how you feel and take baby steps towards finding your own special balance, a deeply fulfilling life must follow.

 

06/1/12

Sarah Stieber #PlasticLove #OilOnCanvas


I love most about working for MOGL, San Diego’s 2011 start-up restaurant loyalty company, is getting to meet so many amazing people every single day.  While working a MOGL promotion at the Beach Boys & Foster The People concert at Cricket Amphitheater last weekend, I met the very talented local fine artist, Sarah Stieber.

Sarah is the newest resident artist of the Cirello Galary in North Park.  After studying painting and psychology in Italy and earning her bachelor’s degree from Boston University, Stieber returned home to California where she’s already left an impression on San Diego locals with her vibrant and impassioned collections.

The Plastic Lovecollection pulls at my heart, sending me down memory lane of lovers past and present.  Sarah’s work exposes the dangerous and thrilling aspects of love and romance.  For me, the Plastic Love collection heeds warning and beckons pleasure in love, youth, and recreation.

05/26/12

25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s « Thought Catalog

25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s « Thought Catalog.

((Ryan Connell))

#3.  You’re going to lose touch with a lot of your friends. With some people, it will be expected but with others it will feel like a punch to the stomach. No friendship is truly safe in your twenties. You’re undergoing so many personal and professional changes that there’s bound to be some casualties along the way. Don’t worry though. You’ll end up with the ones that matter. If someone’s no longer in your life, it’s for a reason.

Life really does only get better as you grow up because we come to understand ourselves, we see more clearly, and stop questioning as frequently because we’ve come across quite a few of our answers.  It’s been a real challenge letting go of people and learning to say no, it may just be me but for a long time it really bothered me when someone didn’t like me.  When a friendship or romantic relationship ends with someone I at one time shared a bond with I tend to hold onto those last parting words.  I play those last fights and cutting comments over and over in my mind, contemplating if I made the right choice, wondering if I held true to the person and character I claim to be.  Sometimes these endings spark the beginning of a personal change I work towards, other times these break ups reinforce that some friendships and romantic relationships are better left to fade out than to exist only to dim your own light.  I’m learning to let go and be easier on myself, take what I can from the endings and move into a better beginning.

Everyone won’t love you and they don’t have to.  In your twenties you learn that it’s most important to love yourself, or as Connell says so eloquently in #13 Loving yourself is hard. Hating yourself is harder.  We work for other’s approval only because we believe we will feel loved, appreciated, and worthy in the having of their approval.  The key is to find self-love, self-appreciation, and worthiness on your own and independently from what is going on around you.  Love people, regardless of if they love you.  Approve others even if they disapprove of you.  What you will find upon focusing on their positive aspects is a shift in vibration that will either create a harmony between you and them or a separation of two completely different wave lengths.

05/24/12

Zedd – “Spectrum” (Preview)

Here’s a sneak peek of Zedd’s “Spectrum” which will be released June 4th. Zedd continues to produce some of the greatest tracks of our time, both electro house and dubstep. This one has a unique  sound that leaves you wanting more.


Until then, here is a couple more to hold you over…

Passion Pit – “Take A Walk” (Peking Duk Mix)

A-Trak & Dillion Francis – Money Makin’

Katy Perry – Wide Awake (Kaskade Mix)

The Wanted – “Chasing The Sun” (Hardwell Remix)

05/22/12

Kate MacDowell #Art #Sculpture #Porcelain


As artists, we sometimes must visit dark places in order to share the light with the world.  Kate MacDowell’s sculptures make strong comments on how humanity can interfere with the natural beauty of this world, how we can harm other living things in order to meet our own selfish needs.  It is so easy to get caught up in our get up and go lives, to lose sight of the beautiful world outside our office doors and bedroom windows.  When we were children we rarely took nature for granted, we were content and happy to simply walk around outside appreciating the green world around us.  MacDowell’s sculptures highlight an alternative perspective in order to awaken us to the whole picture, bringing attention to our own actions and how those actions impact all living things.

“In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment.  These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops.  They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones.  In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world.  In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats.  In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.” – Kate MacDowell

To check out more of Kate’s Sculptures you can visit her site by clicking here

05/21/12

Learning how to slow down & still keep Up

Lately I’ve been feeling like there’s not enough time in the day.  There’s this self-induced pressure to work as much as possible, work out whenever I can, eat exactly the right foods, be careful not to over-indulge, finish the book on my night stand, and to always be thinking about the story I will write later.  Coffee is appropriate any time of day and there is no such thing as a day off.  There’s always a goal I’m chasing after and a second goal once I get there.

I think I need to focus more on the fact that I do get there, and less on the chasing.  I do accomplish my goals and I do hit the marks I set for myself.   Moments when I open my pay check, beat my minute per mile, enjoy a healthy meal, make the right decision, finish a chapter, or hit the the publish button on an article: I need to bask more in these moments.  Learn how to pause, breathe, and even meditate on how far I’ve come to be exactly where I am.

On Sunday I decided to take the entire day off.  I slept in, drank my coffee slowly, and got my car washed.  I spent the entire day basking in the presence of the man I love and the joy I feel when I’m with him.  I laughed more than I have in weeks, sang disney songs, and fell asleep before 10pm after reading a chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey.  I woke up this morning feeling rejuvenated.  I went for a run, ate a yummy breakfast on the beach, and mediated by the bay with Heather.  This afternoon, I finally took up my friend Chase on his offer to teach me how to surf.  I learned why surfers say it’s all about balance and rhythms.  I know there are quite a few more lessons ahead of me, but today I stood up on a surf board and for today that is something I can be proud of.

When I first moved to San Diego, my friend bought me a poster that said “The obstacle is the path.”  For a long time, that poster was the only decoration that hung on my bedroom wall.  Focus on the journey rather than the destination.  It’s interesting how quickly we can let ourselves get caught up in life and forget to appreciate the small steps that get us from one big moment to the next great one.  I look for ways to improve the quality of my life on a daily basis, to adhere more closely to the words I write on this blog each week.  With each day comes a new lesson and with a new lesson comes frequent practice.  In the end, we should measure our day by quality rather than the quantity of items we’ve crossed off our to do list.