Oh, Hello!

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This cropped t shirt is from Target. I was drawn to it because I saw a hilarious Broadway show a couple years ago that was called just that; “Oh, Hello!”. The show starred comedians Nick Kroll and Jon Mulaney. My daughter has excellent discerning comedic taste and is a huge Mulaney fan (he’s been a head writer on SNL for years). In the show they played two older men living together on the Upper West Side. I read that they based the characters on actor Alan Alda. That was all I needed to hear. I don’t like most theater but this was wacky and unique. It was a show for New Yorkers. I took my daughters who were a bit young for it, but all cultural experiences have value.


While the shirt reminds me of the play, I’ve gotten some really cool uses out of it. It looks cute with a denim skirt of any length, fitted sweatpants, and even under these tailored black overalls as seen here. The one strap unfastened was the right move since the shirt does have words. It’s all very playful and effortless. My vintage black leather newsboy cap added a dose of unexpected chic. I love dressing up a denim t shirt combo with cool details. This look is so easy to pull off. Three components and you’re out the door: a cute t shirt, denim overalls, and one statement accessory. Adorable Fall fashion transitions; Oh, hello! 🏻

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Citrus Pistachio Biscotti

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I love making biscotti and am always on the lookout for new takes on it. They are perfect for the holidays since they yield so many and can be made well in advance, since they freeze beautifully. These were inspired by a Giada De Laurentiis recipe. I had wanted to add pomegranate seeds to the dough, but the ones I bought didn’t seem fresh. I still want to try that for the pop of color and seasonal feel. Dried cranberries would work well here too. The white chocolate chips I added were a great move🏻. These are amazing; the citrus zests add something special. I can’t stop eating them .

You Need:

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1.5 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

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1 TBS grated orange zest

1 TBS grated lemon zest

1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325. Like a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl mix the sugar and eggs in an electric mixer. As you stir, slowly add zest. and then the flour mixture. Lastly, stir in pistachios. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Use a rubber spatula to transfer the dough to baking sheet and create two equal mounds spread apart.

Moisten your hands and shape the dough into two 11 x 4” logs.

Bake for 35 minutes and then let cool for 5 minutes.

Use a serrated knife cut the logs crosswise into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices.

Place back on baking sheet and bake an additional 25 minutes.

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Forgiving and Unapologetic

I was struck by how my brilliant yogi friend, Talia Sutra, put these two words together in an Instagram post. Talia is a deeply aware soul and a fantastic writer. She’s Israeli but her mastery of English often blows my mind, the way she stacks and arranges her words in just the right way. It’s always enough and never extra.
I have a hard time with forgiveness. It is something I want but don’t come to easily. I recently realized that it’s a skill like everything else, and it was a skill I wasn’t taught growing up. It just wasn’t seen or practiced in my large, crazy family. There was simply no way for me to model it. I have forgiven myself for that. We can’t read if we don’t know the alphabet. In my family grudges were fiercely gripped like wild horses trying to run away. No one wanted to let go of anger, resentment, or past wrong doings. Then you’d have lost your leverage, and leverage was power. Mistakes, both intentional and unintentional, were lorded over you for eternity. Everyone’s past history was always open to present attack. No one truly wanted to move on, which is why to this day it’s a family buried under mountains of emotional debris that’s literally generations old. As in any unhealthy family, there were superficial ebbs and flows. Terrifying fights would often lead to meetings during which peace was declared. Treaties for the sake of our grandmother. There were always tears and promises of new perspective. Family first. That is, until someone upset your ego. Any offense immediately cleared the path of perspective, inviting in every perceived wrong move you ever made. Adults attacked children surprisingly easily. Aunts, uncles, parents, cousins, siblings; it was this giant black ball of tangled yarn. No one knew how to get out. I think it never occurred to anyone to want to. It just was what it was. We were used to it. When I began to actually disentangle myself physically and emotionally, that was met with an onslaught of evil threats and criticism. Attacks on my character, my disloyalty, my selfishness, and my stupidity were every day occurrences. This went on for years, and still goes on somewhat, but I have removed myself and my children completely. When we do that it’s out of self protection and self reservation. It took ten years of therapy to make that move through tremendous guilt. The guilt eventually faded, and my estrangement is simply a necessary decision to keep myself safe.

But this has been bothering me for awhile; if I am genuinely in a place of safety and strength that I have created for myself, why can’t I forgive? Why am I so much more evolved than ever yet seemingly unable to let go? Letting go includes other people who have upset me greatly, say someone in my neighborhood who deeply offended me. I’m not a baby and don’t get upset easily. If I have cut you out there is a reason. But all my reasonings, however factual and justified, have caged me in. They are forms that have indeed formed a fence around my heart. I realized in yoga today that I hold on to these grudges as another way to keep myself safe. Grudges are the mind’s way of protecting ourselves. The mind, especially the ego, is designed for this purpose. Don’t talk to her, stay away from him, block them etc are the mind’s survival guide. It’s sweet in a way. And after a lifetime of feeling unprotected by various caregivers, I listen to the mind because someone is FINALLY on my side. The voice in my head is rooting for me, and that feels good. It’s a warped kind of support that I deserve dammit! We are wired to stay away from what harms us. Basic survival mode. Remaining stuck within the cinder block cell of a grudge initially feels safe. They can’t hurt us in there. Until it feels suffocating. That’s when it’s time to explore the past, in order to practice shifting into presence. I also realized in yoga today that I equate forgiveness with allowing someone back into my life. Having been raised in an environment in which there were zero boundaries of any kind, physical, psychological, or emotional, “forgiveness” following any sort of altercation meant that person once more had full access to you. They could hit you, insult you, stab you in the back, and throw you under the bus all over again. Steal from you, betray you, scream at you, threaten you with abandonment. You get the picture. Who would ever want to forgive anyone with that model? So forgiveness to me became scary. It meant I was offering myself up for sacrifice. The concept of boundaries is still new for me, and so I asked myself while in the home base of downward dog, “What if forgiveness is just an internal endeavor? What if forgiveness means letting go but not letting back in?”. All I’ve read on forgiveness teaches that it’s really for you. To free yourself from past formed pain. It’s meant to be a spiritual release, not a re entry into being a shmuck. I have been working so much with discerning between what is form and formless. I very much grasp the truth of this. I get it. And so I know that like all other thoughts and feelings, grudges and resentments are forms too. It’s why they feel so heavy. They are emotional tumors that clog our true nature, which is light, loving, and free. It just seems silly at this point in my journey to choose to continue weigh myself down. I’ve done so much work to align myself with openness and release; it’s foolish to prevent myself from further progress. I can release old anger while still protecting myself. I can internally relieve myself of that burden while keeping myself safe externally. Forgiveness, like all else, must include myself. Perhaps that’s why it’s been so hard to forgive others. That feeling they didn’t deserve it was a direct reflection of me not believing I deserve it either, for certain shameful things I’m currently grappling with. Forgiving doesn’t excuse. And change can’t occur without radical accountability. The people I didn’t want to forgive never demonstrated an iota of remorse or accountability. There was a ton of blaming others, deflection, transference, denial, and flat out lying. But never true accountability, and so the vicious cycle continues to this day. It’s time for me to exit the board game, though I haven’t played in years. If it’s true that forgiveness of others is a gift you give yourself, then I’ve finally reached a place where I am confident that I deserve that gift. Forgiving anyone who really hurt me doesn’t make any past actions ok; but it allows me to maturely recognize their own pain and confusion and maybe take it less personally. It just feels like it’s time. Time to keep exploring what I need to forgive myself for as well, to be fully accountable of my own errors and the pain I’ve caused others. I can only shift if I really look at myself with honesty. Honesty on that level is scary but that’s really the biggest gift of all. It’s what helps us give our loved ones what they deserve from us. How can I want forgiveness when I struggle with granting it? It’s time for more consistency in this area. I can admit it.


At my Zen Center Selichot service (pre Rosh Hashanah atonement ceremony), my beloved monks asked us what we want to take with us into the new year, and what we want to let go of. Forgiveness popped into my mind but my body contracted. My stomach clenched in frustration at not knowing how. Our hearts are designed to forgive, but our minds tell us we can’t or shouldn’t. We are meant to have this internal battle in order to reach the place of ease that always lies underneath the noisy dialogue.

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I want to invite other things into my life. So many other things that won’t be able to join me if there’s no room. I have committed to a practice of creating space in my life, allowing for fresh renewal of all things. It would be counterproductive to take up precious spiritual real estate with outdated anger. I know this now. I can forgive and create more space while maintaining my safety and well-being. I can forgive while unapologetically respecting my necessary boundaries. I can do anything. You can do anything. We are so many things and yet nothing at all.


Wishing you the knowledge of your own power and ability to heal.

Full of Fiber 🥕Muffins

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Good morning! The only cereal I’m really eating these days is Fiber One. I’m mindful of portions but there’s so much fiber in a serving here so it fills me up well. I love that I can eat this without feeling guilty. I’ll add unsweetened vanilla almond milk, fresh blueberries, and a tbsp of granola to mix up textures and flavors. I like pretty soggy cereal so I’ll let it sit for about ten minutes before digging in.

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The base of these muffins are from the back of the Fiber One box. I added a bunch of ingredients for my own Lady Blaga twist, including protein powder. I also swapped almond and whole wheat flours for the white flour. I love carrot muffins, and these little treats froze so well. They’re a wonderful, healthy snack or breakfast option. Again, guilt free🏻🥕. Jeez, moms have enough to feel guilty about, right?

Ingredients:

Dozen muffin paper liners

1 1/4 cups Fiber One cereal crushed into crumbs

1 1/3 cups milk of your choice

1/2 cup yellow or black raisins

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup shredded carrots

2 scoops vanilla protein powder.


Heat oven to 400. Line the muffin tin or just spray really well. In a medium bowl stir the crushed cereal, milk, raisins, vanilla, and carrots. Let stand until soft, about 5 min. Stir in egg and oil.

In another bowl, stir the flours, brown sugar, protein powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until flour is moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. If using paper liners, remove from tin immediately. If not, let the muffins remain in the pan for 7 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Tip; to crush the cereal, place it in a ziplock bag and roll over it with a rolling pin.
This is a fabulous way to get in your Fiber🏻‍🏻‍.

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Faux For Fall

Here’s a trend I’m all about as we shift, hopefully slowly, into cooler weather: all things faux. I no longer buy anything made of fur. I’ll wear what I already own, especially since all of my fur pieces have been passed on from my grandmothers. They hold sentimental value for me. I love envisioning them all dressed up and glamorous for a night out on the town, when nights out indeed called for such glamour.

For me, buying fur no longer feels right. We live in modern times where I simply don’t need a dead animal to keep me warm. I don’t eat meat but I do cook it for my family. Strict vegans would disagree with me, and I respect their opinions, but I don’t equate feeding my growing children meat with wearing fur. Every individual has their own views on this subject, and this is where I’m currently holding. Fur always felt a little ridiculous to me. It’s a bit cartoonish Real Mob Wives. I don’t miss it. However, I love leather. This one is tougher for me, mostly in that I forget to not buy it. It requires more of a reminder that it’s no different then buying fur. I really love leather jackets in various styles and colors. How fortunate are we to have so many faux leather options on the market? I researched a bunch for this Fall, and some are truly fab. The biker jackets were my fave. You cannot tell the difference, and I guess who cares really if you can. Ain’t nothing ever wrong with conscious shopping. Try to go for faux; it may be a look you feel great about choosing.

Might I suggest: UO Faux Leather High-Waisted Short from Urban Outfitters

Might I suggest: UO Faux Leather High-Waisted Short from Urban Outfitters

BLANKNYC Denim Faux Leather Skinny Jeans from Nordstrom’s Rack

BLANKNYC DenimFaux Leather Skinny Jeans from Nordstrom’s Rack

When Non Attachment Feels Like Denial

A friend of mine just died. He’s a very dear friend whom I’ve known since college. His wife has been one of my closest friends since high school. I last saw them at my son’s bar mitzvah in June. I spent last Labor Day weekend at their beach home. He and I were in constant contact this past year since he was a lawyer and had been helping me with a personal matter. He was dynamic, hilarious, dry and sarcastic AF, and larger than life. Everyone loved him and with good reason.


I came home from yoga this morning to six missed calls from a friend. It was clear from syllable one that there was something horribly wrong. Never in the widest reaches of my imagination could I have guessed that this person had a sudden heart attack while on a business trip. I hear this terrible news at 7:50 am. It’s now 11:15 and I have yet to shed a tear. I don’t even feel sad. I think I am just in complete shock. My emotions seem to be hiding right now. My body feels heavy and frozen, my head like cement, but words like sad, broken, destroyed, and grief stricken are not yet applicable. I am wondering if I’m in denial. Though not my typical go to reaction, denial is always on the emotional buffet. How could it be that my dear friend dropped dead and I haven’t lost it yet? I know it will come but it’s been a curious thing to observe as I sit here nailed to my couch. I started writing this because my fingers are the only mobile parts of my body right now. My son needed me this morning and I said, “I can’t help you right now, my friend just died”, as robotically as if I’d just reported the weather. I am a deeply emotional and reactive creature; why have my feelings abandoned me? I’m wondering if all the Buddhism I’ve been studying about non attachment is kicking in. But I don’t think I really shifted into monk mode that easily, and non attachment doesn’t mean you can’t cry. I do know that the human need to dissect, question, and understand the why/how/when is a fruitless yet natural exercise. No amount of questioning and cries of him being too young are going to return his body in this lifetime. We dig ourselves into tremendous, bottomless holes with the Whys. It’s a form of instinctive masochism. The need to make sense, to deny the senseless it’s inherent nature. Was he sick? Was it the altitude? Let’s just say the answer is “yes, he was sick. And it was the altitude”. No one is finding solace in these facts. It’s just information that has no calming effect on a grieving heart. The heart doesn’t care about geographical coordinates or how much a person smoked. It just wants its person back. It wants to not feel debilitating devastation. It wants relief from the pain. The heart wants relief and the mind craves normalcy. We react by chasing the wind. The solace we want is uncatchable because it’s formless. Only form can be caught and momentarily grasped. And like all other forms the body isn’t ours to keep forever. While my zen practice has to be factoring in here in regard to my lack of reactivity, I suspect I haven’t processed this whatsoever. I have no idea how to be there for my friend and her children right now. I don’t know what to do or say. It’s not about me in any way but I’m trying to think of how I can serve her. I haven’t processed that she’s a widow at 41, that her three small children no longer have their daddy. I want all my friends to have beautiful, joyful lives. Is this possible for her anymore?? They have been a couple for decades. A good, solid couple who have tremendous respect for each other. They’re incredible parents. I cannot fathom having to parent alone, though people do it all the time. While we want to not get weighed down by the loss of the physical body since it comes attached to overwhelming suffering, is it really as simple as trusting that God knows when it’s time for a human to transition? If so then why were we designed with the capacity to drown in grief, to cry oceans, and to practically hear our hearts cracking? What is the point of the human emotional range if feelings are just hurdles to jump over in order to reach that true place of non attachment? It almost seems cruel. Again, these are more Whys that aren’t helpful or comforting.


While my current state isn’t denial in the sense that I’m denying the reality of this nightmare, there’s clearly some kind of blockage. He was too important to me, too loved. I haven’t yet grasped the loss. We are all going to die. You know this of course. It’s not this horrible punishment, it’s simply the way it is. We come into this world knowing we will exit at a certain point unbeknownst to us. We die more every day. It is nature. It’s not out to get us. It just is.


I didn’t just lose my husband or the father of my children. Her reality is different from mine. This is not anything I’d say to someone in the throes of grief, but I’m indeed wondering if I’m in an unprocessed state or have I come to further accept the idea of death? It’s probably both. We are always many things at once. I’m going to be patient with my emotions. They don’t need coaxing, they’ll descend upon me when they’re ready. I’ll allow them their stay until I gently extricate myself from them. Whatever arises will also fall away. Everything in life is just doing its job. My personal challenge will be to do my job as a friend who can best be a source of whatever it is she needs. To not assume I’m the one who knows what that is. To bring a lot less of Me to the situation. I’m comfortable with my lack of tears. I’m not resisting their absence. I’m certainly no less distraught and heartbroken. I loved him dearly. I hope he tells me how I can be there for his family. I’ll do whatever he wants and knows is best for them. He can reach me anytime. Ah ok, here they come. The tears. Those last few lines were the invitation they were waiting for. My tears are in good company today. There are millions being shed for him. He was always that guy who brought everyone together.


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Yentas🗣🗣🗣

I recently read a post on Instagram from The Holistic Psychologist about how gossip connects people. My immediate reaction was sure, I used to do that. It was instant recognition. It actually explained a lot because I did used to gossip way too much, but it never came from a place of malicious shit starting. That much I know. I’m not vindictive or deliberately hurtful. Truthfully, I never really understood my compulsion to gossip since it was not due to the more obvious trouble making reasons that drive so many yentas. The need to connect made perfect sense to me about my own motives, and really shed a sad light on gossip in general. People, especially women who are such social creatures, are far lonelier and alienated than they are willing to admit. Shouldn’t we have outgrown that by now? Most of us have spouses, kids, friends, schedules, and jobs. If our days are so full then why are our souls so empty? There never seems to be enough time in the day yet we find plenty of time to talk shit about other people. The urge to gossip is a very powerful one. It’s so hard to fight the need to both spread and hear juicy bits of information about others. We know it’s not nice yet we jump at the chance to be a part of it. Yes, there’s always that real jerk who talks with bad intent. She’s evil and no one likes her. She’s jealous and doesn’t wish others well. She gossips harmfully. It’s textbook insecurity. She is the one most talked about when she’s not in the room. However, I think that most women indeed love to gossip because of that desperate need to connect. The disconnect that grows inside individuals is an unacknowledged epidemic. It’s a very uncomfortable truth that most can’t begin to articulate. It is always easier to find fault with others than admit our own shortcomings. But the underlying force of gossip and judgement is almost always transference based on our own perceptions. We automatically project our own garbage onto those around us, especially those out of earshot. Easy targets. I have clearly seen myself on both sides of this wall. There is a definite connection between my relationship to myself and my relationship to gossip. As my inner dialogue has strengthened, and my self love and compassion has grown exponentially, and I’m so fulfilled creatively and spiritually, my need to gossip has all but disappeared. On its own. While it’s a noble endeavor to commit to intentionally restricting that, it’s not what happened with me. Gossiping, like a lot of other extraneous, useless nonsense I used to busy myself with, just got left behind. I haven’t needed them for quite some time. Ram Dass used to lecture about this a lot in the 70’s. How once you start traveling on a spiritual path the things you used to like and need become obsolete. This includes certain friends you just no longer have anything in common with. I know many catty female “friendships” that are based largely on these gross yenta connections. My best friends and I have thankfully never had that dynamic. Sure, we will share some good dish when something is newsworthy. But it comes and goes quickly because we don’t need that to create the illusion of bond.

If women tend to gossip more than men, then what can we conclude about what goes on inside the inner being of chicks? Where is this void coming from, and why can’t we fill it on our own? Most mothers claim that their children are their lives, that their young provide them with limitless joy. Hmmmm... that doesn’t quite match up with a lot classic Desperate Housewife behavior. The gossip, the competition, the need for accolades by being the head of every committee. Just sayin. I write what I see and know, and I hold myself fully accountable for ever having participated in this. This is actually a great way to gain insight into our own holes that need to be lovingly filled. By us and us alone. Not by a spouse, a child, a job, or a brief moment of connection via negative information. The new version of me was easily able to identify the old version and her motives. I was lonely and disconnected but had no idea. It feels really good to look back and reflect on how I have poured grace, love, and forgiveness into those former holes. By filling myself up I have emptied the need for gossip. That is a muscle I’m content to let atrophy. It makes me uncomfortable now to be part of conversations like that. This unhealthy habit no longer serves me, or tricks me into thinking it serves me. And I’m attracting people that aren’t interested either. We swap old habits for new, outdated models for more improved. And then we can write about it as an exercise in accountability. If you liked this post, feel free to talk about it. And if any of this resonates with your own motives, well, that’s one of the most productive conversations you’ll ever have with yourself. We can’t know what to fix unless we identify and admit the source of the problem. Search for your holes first. Connect with your soul. The rest will clean itself up.

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Still Caught Up

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Obsessed with this cover up skirt situation! Such a fresh take on the whole chic poolside outfit concept. While I love my cutoff denim shorts and tank tops just as much as the next gal, it’s lovely to class it up while rocking the bathing suit underneath. Plus, casual coverups don’t cut it for a dressier pool party. This look also goes smoothly from day to night, should your event extend into the evening (hopefully it does!). Just add the right gold statement jewelry and a good wedge or chunky sandal. Nothing too dressy that would throw off the balance. I fell in love with black mesh as a young child of the 80’s who was enthralled by Madonna. Who wasn’t back then, am I right?? I’m sure I spent more than one poor but sweet attempt to dress as her for Purim, the Jewish child’s Halloween. I’ve worn each of these pieces separately , like I have done with the white version I recently posted. Oversized top worn with the skirt to cover up my special area, and almost any bottom with the top. Def break this up for more options. Just choose clean pieces to compliment the bold cleanliness that’s already this vibe. Mesh is a fabulous, edgy material. Hey! Was that the inspiration for “Material Girl”?? I just put two and two together and am mighty pleased with myself at the moment.

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Truffle Parmesan Asparagus

Um, what??? This. Is. So. Good. Inspired by delicious French fries my kids and I had eaten the day before at one of our fave New York City restaurants, Noi Due, I was determined to bring these incredible flavors to something healthier and more diet friendly. Jackpot with the asparagus, though this can work with roasted potatoes, carrots, polenta/ jicama fries, or cauliflower or broccoli florets. This was a breeze to prepare. Truffle oil, fresh minced garlic, fresh chopped parsley, and shredded Parmesan. I broiled the asparagus partially, removed from the oven, mixed in the other ingredients, then put it all back in the broiler to cook and crisp. Ready for this life changing side dish? No more bland, kill me now veggies.

You’ll need:

Two bunches asparagus, bottoms trimmed.

Truffle oil

A cup of packed chopped fresh parsley

Three cloves minced garlic

A cup and a half of shredded Parmesan

Salt and pepper.

Spread asparagus spears in a single layer on an aluminum pan. No glass in broiler ever! Arrange oven rack a few inches below the top of oven. Turn on to broil setting. Drizzle spears with the truffle oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil partially until the asparagus looks bright green. Remove. Mix the garlic, parsley, and half the cheese. Distribute evenly then place back in a single layer with a spatula. Sprinkle rest of the cheese on top. Hit with another nice drizzle of oil to crisp up the cheese. Broil again for a couple minutes until cheese is golden brown. I’m soooo excited for you to enjoy this! If using other veggie options, bake or roast instead of broil. Rest of process is the same, cooking halfway then adding the other ingredients to finish it off. Love you.

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Is Love a Choice?

My friend sent me an article yesterday about love. It was his suggestion to turn it into a post, so I’m grateful to him for always giving me new things to think about. The gist of the article was that loving someone doesn’t mean you’ve found The One, and that the concept of that one person in the whole wide world who is divinely perfect for you probably doesn’t exist. Rather, the world is most likely full of people who you could have a great, successful relationship with (agreed). The partner we wind up with isn’t necessarily that mythical bolt of lightning who was designed to match our thunder; it’s the person we choose to stay with over all others. Basically, to love is to choose. It’s knowing you could have other options and opportunities but consciously choosing to travel life with a certain person with whom you at least baseline love.

This isn’t anything I haven’t read before, and my friend and I both thought the article was simplistic and stemmed from an immature and inexperienced viewpoint. The author had been married for a few years and was advising his newlywed friend about love and marriage. The newlywed has already been having doubts about whether or not he had found The One, and if he had prematurely closed himself off to other possibilities (my first reaction was to feel badly for his new, clueless bride). So the author, in all his wisdom, launched into the theory that as long as we keep choosing our mate over and over, this will ensure a lasting partnership. An “I love you and will therefore keep choosing you” kind of thing. I must note that this friend and I are both divorced. We have been friends for a year and a half, and have seen each other through various stages of each of our divorce processes. We have discussed countless topics throughout our friendship. Among the topics we love to beat to death are love, marriage, and divorce.              

Now since this particular article had clearly been written by someone who had zero brush with divorce and the extremely difficult years leading up to that painful decision, we both thought the piece was immature drivel. It’s just not that simple as choosing someone. When a marriage is fractured at the very core of it’s infrastructure for whatever the reason, the choices that need to be made go so far beyond what the writer was talking about. Marriage, and certainly divorce, are so much more complicated. He pondered, so did our marriages fail just because we didn’t continue to choose our former spouses? Had we stayed steady in that decision no matter what, would we both still be married? Of course not (he knew this, we were just talking it out). Most broken situations can’t be fixed by a choice. People usually don’t get divorced because of one choice. That’s actually an insult to anyone who has gone through this incredibly dark and difficult process. There are children involved, core belief systems to consider, and knowing the ability of your partner to love, support and respect you (and vice versa). There are a ton of factors weighed before a divorce. It’s not merely one choice, and it certainly isn’t a choice just based on love. Love isn’t enough, as is evidenced by the numerous unhealthy couples and relationships out there, many of whom do love each other. It’s what you do with love that matters. It’s how you are able to both give and receive love that will affect how two people relate to each other.

Another point we touched on was the idea of choice itself. Does the choice equate love? I’m not a pessimist at all, but my immediate reaction was absolutely not. Many people choose to stay married for reasons having nothing to do with love. Most people I know in long term marriages are tired, too burnt out to restructure their lives. They have the same philosophical questions and concerns as anyone else, but there’s a resignation that often leads to choosing their partner. They choose to not alter the lives and routines of the kids. They choose to stay small out of fear of the unknown. They choose to not have to pay alimony, since divorce is very expensive. They choose to not choose themselves and what they really might want out of life, and who they dream of being with romantically. They choose predictability. They choose not disappointing anyone. They choose to avoid the shame, guilt, and discomfort that often comes attached to this process. They choose to stay married so as not to face what they believe to be failure. They choose safety, thinking it’s the easy route. Listen, I understand that. It makes sense on a certain level. I’m not encouraging marital anarchy. But to believe that remaining married to one person is a choice that means love is a self righteous fallacy. It’s often a choice based on selfishness, laziness, fear, and mild depression. Let’s be honest. It’s wonderful to choose your spouse time and again, but only if you’re being truthful about why. If you love her, and can love her well, choose her. If you are unmotivated to live your truth and too scared of change, then really that’s not fair to either of you. Both partners deserve to be chosen, but only for the right reasons. Love is messy, marriage is messier, even the good ones. It’s way more complex than one choice. Choosing to truly love someone is the highest act of the gift of free will. We were all designed to make that choice. We must include ourselves in that decision too.


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Grilled 🍑 Over Frisée w Red Onion and Mint

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I have never understood the whole grilled fruit thing. I know that cooking the fruit brings out its natural sugars to sweeten it but I generally like it raw. This summer though, the peaches were so big and bright. I had to think of a way to feature a perfect without slicing it. My goal was to create a fruity summer salad that was as clean and simple as possible. When the ingredients are perfect there is no need to overdo it. They shine on their own. This composed salad was sooooo good. The grilled peach halves caramelized beautifully and were delicious to the point that now I do get the grilled fruit thing. The crisp frisée was a nice way to anchor the peaches, while the diced red onion added some sharpness to cut the sweetness. Fresh mint leaves are my favorite summer garnish for most things involving fruit. This is an easy salad to travel with if you need to contribute a fabulous side dish to a get together. Just pack each of the components separately and quickly assemble on an attractive disposable platter. No mixing or tossing. The lettuce doesn’t even need to be dressed so as not to take away from the wonderful peach that holds the spotlight. Mama Nature knows her stuff.

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Ingredients:

One firm but ripe yellow peach per person. Peaches should be large.

One diced red onion.

A dozen fresh mint leaves.

One or two containers of frisée lettuce.

Cut the peaches in half and remove pits. Heat an indoor grill pan on medium, brush with olive oil, and grill peach halves flat flesh side down until there are dark grill lines, several minutes. Flip and grill on other side just a minute. You want to balance heat throughout but not make it mushy. The peaches should be sweet and firm (Oy vey). When setting aside don’t use a fork; that will make holes. Platter the peaches on top of the frisée grilled side up. Scatter the diced onions and mint leaves. That’s it! I served this to a friend and she didn’t believe me that I hadn’t added a sugary glaze. The extra peaches were a treat I kept in the fridge to snack on. Get this one in before season is totally over.

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❤️❣️❤️❣️

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You know how much I love red. The boldness of it, the statement, the strength, the confidence. Red and I weren’t intimately involved for many years. We reconnected as I came into my own personal alignment; reunited and it feels so good️.

Red is among the one stop shop in the color wheel. Meaning, it speaks for itself. You don’t need to overdo or overthink the rest of your outfit or accessories. Red can do the talking for you. This jumpsuit has taken me to a chic pool party, throughout the day with cool sneakers, and to evening with a heel and blazer. Yellow gold and black are my go to friends to compliment this color. This piece is clean and strong, so the accessories need to continue that to keep the look streamlined. I wore this when I DJ’d the WIN Summit in May. It was cool, comfortable, and bold. It def got attention and I was able to do my job looking fabulous without thinking about my clothing, which sums up my general approach to fashion. If you knew I’d say that then you red my mind.

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Enmeshed

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I so appreciate versatility in my wardrobe choices. When pieces can serve more than one function it also really helps with packing for a trip. I’m not an efficient packer yet but it’s something I’m really working on. These tres’ chic mesh poolside ensembles from Norma Kamali can be used in a few ways. I have worn them as cover ups, as loungewear, and even from day to night with the right shoe and jewelry. Each piece can be used separately. I love how the tops are long sleeves even though they’re meant to be worn in warm weather. Over the right fitted tank or bralette they can def be used as legit tops. The pants look great with almost anything on top. I’ve used the skirt as a real skirt with a top that’s long enough to cover my tush, say an oversized belted t shirt or button down. These pieces are all about how you work them. The mesh fabric provides instant edge. There’s an out the gate cool factor. These pieces pack beautifully. They don’t wrinkle. The black and white allow for multiple uses over a warm weather vacay. The day I can successfully have all I need in a carry on is a day I can die happy🏼.

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Roasted Zucchini Basil Soup

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So in love with this delicious soup made with a base of perfectly roasted vegetables. Roasting in the oven instead of just sautéing in a pot really brings out the wonderful flavors of the vegetables. I think I made this move out of laziness at the time, but it worked so well that it’s now my go to method. Roasted veggies, vegetable stock, fresh herbs (in this case basil) all perfectly blended together. Great for babies too!

You’ll need :

Ten medium or eight large green or yellow zucchini’s cut into two inch pieces

One and a half Spanish onions cut into quarters

Three cloves fresh, unpeeled garlic sliced lengthwise into thirds (or just coarsely chopped)

6 cups of vegetable stock (a box and a half)

A cup packed fresh basil leaves

Four stalks diced celery

salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Directions:

Toss the zucchini, onion, and garlic with olive oil, and not too much salt and pepper and roast on 400 until the veggies start to turn golden brown around the edges. We don’t want it too dark. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Sauté and soften the diced celery in your soup pot in two tbsp heated olive oil. I like to add a quarter cup of the broth and sweat it with the lid on for a couple minutes. Turn off the heat until the vegetables are ready, lid off. Add the roasted vegetables to the pot with all of the the broth, as well as the basil. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 3/4 garlic powder. Bring to an active simmer with the pot lid on, then lower to a calmer simmer, lid half on for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool for 20 minutes if you can, then blend with an immersion blender. Adjust seasonings to taste. Always start with less salt and pepper. You can add but can’t remove.

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Are Outer Beauty and Kindness Connected?

So what do you think about this; I was at an event for Fashion Week and a speech was made about the beauty industry. The gist was how important beauty is because when we look good we also feel good, and then we are kinder to each other. Oof. This is not a concept I’d have ever questioned prior to finding the deeper, truer knowledge I’ve been immersed in the past couple years. However, at this juncture, that idea is completely antithetical to what I know to be true; that kindness towards others needs to be unconditional. That we don’t have the right to be rude to others if we don’t like our hair on a particular day. While I am most def on a spiritual path, I am also a woman who cares very much about her appearance. There have been countless times when I have indeed been softer when what I saw in the mirror pleased me. So too there have been countless times where a zit or clothing that pinched and was tight pissed me off. And a pissed off Me probably won’t be that nice to hang out with. This is natural and I fault no one for these kinds of moods. I spent years as a slave to the scale. Every pound and ounce governed my emotional state, which is obviously ridiculous and unhealthy. I thought about my weight non stop. If I felt a few pounds up I’d get a blowout or a facial to smooth out my agitation. Spray tans was another trick since looking tan always gives the illusion of being slimmer. Every woman I know goes through this and has their own bag of tricks to feel good. We don’t want to be bitchy or snappish, so we have become experts at relieving those tendencies. It’s all escapism. Hair salons are places of fascinating anthropological studies. You can feel moods shift and lighten when someone is done with their haircut or blowout. Penelope Cruz once said that as the daughter of a salon owner in Spain, she first learned acting by observing the different energies of the customers before and after their appointments. Genius, so on point for a child to notice and understand that. Bottom line, when we look like shit then it’s easier to fall down the rabbit hole of shitty behavior. This is clearly where the beauty business swoops in and ropes us into buying all the products that will ensure our physical and emotional wellbeing. This is what that industry is for. It is doing nothing but it’s job. Most women will always love makeup. It’s one the fun facets of being a chick. The clothing, creams, workouts, Spanx, makeup, and hair products are meant to help us achieve better versions of ourselves. Of course any face looks better with concealer covering dark under eye circles. Widening my eyes with mascara no doubt makes me look fresher. Hued lips add so much color to my complexion, the list goes on. I’ve always felt bad for (heterosexual) men in that it’s not socially accepted for them to employ all these tricks. Just like anything that focuses on the external, our job is to watch ourselves that we keep it there. Makeup and water retention simply cannot alter our dispositions. What is the point of looking beautiful if we don’t behave beautifully? A breakout sucks but does that excuse being unfriendly and curt to our neighbor? Will a bad hair day determine how we speak to our children? Who are we really if we act from such a place of surface? We are always the soul, and the soul is always at peace. Lipstick and spin class are alien languages to the soul. It’s impervious to any thoughts and emotions that bombard the body mind. The soul is governed by love and truth and those states of being are simply its permanent nature. It knows no other way. This is what we must come to know, and we must act from that knowledge. If we can find that place of innermost wisdom and certainty then we are much less likely to run to Sephora and empty our bank accounts. We can feel beautiful in a much more natural state. I can tell you with certainty that I wear way less makeup than I ever have. When my hair isn’t blown out I let it dry naturally with no product. Unless I need to be made up, then I really only use concealer and maybe a little contour powder. Those are my most beautiful days. I have become good at nurturing myself from the inside out, from the vitamins I take to coconut oil hair treatments, to the yoga, the meditation, my zen practice, the Buddhist psychology books, the heart wisdom podcasts and dharma talks, and even to the company I keep. My skin looks better than it did ten years ago, even with a pimple or two (though I will cortisone them immediately) because it glows from eating well, increased circulation due to yoga, and inner peace. Haggard, tired skin indicates a haggard, tired person. All of me has been rejuvenated and so I am not a slave to beauty product consumerism. The natural yogis I follow on Instagram are way more beautiful and sexy to me than anyone made up, sprayed, sucked in, and plumped. Feeling beautiful from the inside has no question improved the way I deal with others. I have cleaned out a lot of my inner nonsense, which allows me to listen to my inner teacher much clearer. And It doesn’t care what I look like. When we say “namaste” we mean “the light in me bows to the light in you”. And the light in each of us cannot be improved. It’s perfect. When we can go far beyond the surface and see each persons’ innate beauty, that is what will shape our interpersonal action and communication. Not Kylie’s Lip Kit. I practice seeing beyond the human jacket, in both myself and others. I slip then I begin again. There is beauty in that too.


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