Mirror Love

baby mirrorI play a little trick on myself.

It’s not an easy trick. And it’s not a mean trick. But it’s still a trick.

When I catch myself finding flaws and critiquing myself in the mirror, I stop and start giving myself compliments. Repeatedly. Out loud. Until I feel better. Then I walk away feeling a lot better about myself than if I had kept finding all the flaws.

I started doing this not long ago when I found myself engaging in some bad habits as a result of my own perfectionism and nit-picky-ness attacking my appearance. I’ve always been lucky in that I can keep a pretty balanced head about things. When I do go deep into that rabbit hole, I’ve got some fantastic support systems who get me out quickly.

But it’s still not easy to make this choice. It’s not easy to be proactive about my positivity. It’s not easy to stop critiquing and start talking to myself like a best friend. And to forgive myself for my flaws.

That sh*t ain’t easy.

But it’s worth it. It’s worth looking like a doofus to the imaginary friends who are watching me talk to myself alone in my apartment. It’s worth feeling really cheesy as I repeat affirmations to myself in a mirror like a comedy sketch making fun of self-help gurus. It’s worth it sharing that I do this with you even though now you all know that I am as weird as you imagine I am.

Because down the other path lies madness. The other path doesn’t serve me. The other path doesn’t make me happy. But I can’t just ignore the impulse. I have to replace it with something positive. I can’t just tell myself “Don’t look at yourself in the mirror because you’re always hyper-critical.” I have to tell myself, “If you’re gonna look in the mirror, we’re gonna be loving about it. And that’s that.”

And… I’ll be honest with you all… it really does make a difference. I feel a whole lot happier and healthier after every one of my mirror lovin’ sessions. Which is nice since they could have gone the other way and made me feel a whole lot crummier.

Try it. Let me know how it goes. If you want a jumping off point of the how-to’s of this process, please refer to the following classic video:

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Attitude Adjustment

attitudeI had to check myself before I wrecked myself the other day.

It was the first Saturday of the New Year and I went to the gym in late morning. And, to no surprise, it was packed.

And, unfortunately also no surprise, I immediately became a brat about it.

As I walked in and looked at the crowds of people on the machines and on the equipment, I got testy. I kept thinking somehow they were in my way. I felt so self-righteous that this gym was my gym. And that they were in my way. And how dare they even consider slightly inconveniencing me.

In short, I was a little biatch about it.

But halfway through my workout (when the endorphins started kicking in and I was calmer than before), I realized I was the one with the problem. Here are a bunch of people who, sure, don’t really know what they’re doing yet at the gym. But you’ve got to start somewhere. They were not at all getting in my way. It’s not like I go there with a really clear training plan of certain exercises I have to hit and certain goals that have to be attained. Usually I go with a body group that I’m going to focus on for the day. And then I look around and see what’s available.

These people weren’t my enemies. They were my new friends.

Sure, many of them may not stick around past February. But some of them will. Some of these people will have made it their New Years Resolution to get in shape and go to the gym all the time, and this will be the very exciting start of that journey for them. These are more people I now have something in common with. New people with whom I can talk working out with. New people who can complain about the lazy people who don’t return their free weights with.

It’s so easy to think you’re entitled to something. So much of our world today makes you believe you are entitled to whatever you want in the exact circumstances you want it and exactly when you want it. IWWIWWIWI, I believe is what it’s called (I Want What I Want When I Want It). I wanted to have the gym completely quiet and to myself. I wanted to be able to choose any time and go without any convenience to me. I wanted to have access to all the equipment I could possibly want for my workout at any given time even if I wasn’t using it or didn’t end up needing it.

Entitlement is gross.

I’m not proud of my attitude that day. But I am glad to be reminded that it’s so easy to fall back into a negative mindset. It’s easy to forget that other people are not your enemy. I live in Los Angeles…like millions of other people. If I start getting frustrated at crowds or traffic or whatever, I’ll never be satisfied in this city. Or any city. In fact, if I start wanting everything in my environment to be exactly how I want it without any distractions, I might as well move to a tiny hermit shack in Montana and hide from the world.

I’m not proud to say that I’ve considered this at times.

Then I remember, I love people. I love LA. I love being out of my comfort zone and having shared experiences and the excitement of a crowd. The only reason there’s even a gym close to me is because there are lots of other people who are members. I don’t keep it alive on my tiny membership fee alone. If there weren’t lots of people who belonged, I’d have to go somewhere else.

We need each other.

So I have to wait an extra few minutes for the leg press machine in January because some girl is doing 20 sets of 10 lbs. Whatever. No big deal. She’s gotta start somewhere. And I’m not going anywhere. So I’ll wait.

And I’ll be sure to check myself before I wreck myself.

Put It Out There

I’m a firm believer in putting out your energy into the universe.Energise your soul

I mean, take a quick peek at the amount of content I create for this website- both writings and other avenues. It’s a lot. I like to put myself out there. It’s the only way I feel like you can really learn.

I’ve talked about this type of stuff before.

Right now, I need a few specific people to enter into my world and help. Don’t get me wrong- I’m very luck and have some very wonderful people with wonderful assets and incredible collaborators I’m doing spectacular projects with.

I’m just recognizing there’s a specific need that I would like to be met. So instead of sitting around wondering what I can do about it, I’m starting to make some waves. I’m going to meetings that I wouldn’t normally go to. I’m making sure I’m in locations I don’t normally hang in. And I’m not doing it because I expect every meeting to end with me getting exactly what I want or every event to have the person I need there.

I’m doing it because I know that there’s a reward to putting energy out into the universe. I know that if I say, “Hey- I need this. And I’m willing to work for it. See? See me working? Please send it soon. Thanks!” that I’ll get a response. Something. It won’t always be what I expected, but it will always fulfill the need I’m asking for help with.

So if you want something, admit that you want it. Then look around your world and see what opportunities are around you to possibly get it. Then start taking steps without expectation of anything. Just know that in taking the steps towards what you want, you’re doing it right. You’ll get something. And that’ll rock.

Sorry for the vague-ness. Just not in a detail-oriented mood today. Hope it still helps!

Make-a-the-sexy

russianI was at the gym the other day focusing on my legs. Some people call it “leg day.” Most people who use talk like that, though I can only stand for short periods of time so I refuse to call it leg day.

So I was at the gym for leg day, and these two older women came up to use the leg machines near me. They were tentative about using the machines, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. I was half-way through leg day. And dude, brah, listen, leg day is like real tough, ya know?

At one point, I was isolating my hams… hold on, let me take a giant chug of this Muscle Milk before I continue my story. Anyway, I was on a machine to work my hamstrings and the two women seemed to both be quietly looking at me. I was rockin’ out so hard to some serious heavy metal- you know, gettin’ in my zone, tryna get that PUMP- I didn’t notice at first. Finally, I took out my headphones to see if they had a question or whatever.

The one next to me asked me how to use the machine. I adjusted it for her, told her how to use it and we experimented on how much weight to use. If it were me, like, you know, obvs I go HARD, but I that’s cuz I’m like a beast, brah.

I showed her how to use a few machines around us including the one I was on. She looked at me as I was showing her and said, “Oh, you make-a-the-sexy” and pointed to my rear-end.

I was like chyeaaaahhhh, took a swig of whey protein isolate, and got right back to leg day.

Chyeaaaah brah. Makin’ the sexy.

And now I hate myself.

 

Maintenance worker keep his perfect record of negative interactions intact

The morning after Joanna Greenly moved into her new apartment, she went for a quick run. While outside locking her apartment stairs door, she was immediately and aggressively approached by a man who seemed to be working. He asked her if she was the “new girl” and when she confirmed that she was, he began berating her about how she needed to get the boxes that had been on the porch off the porch immediately. After all, it had nearly been 24 hours they’d been sitting there.

Immediately put off by the interaction, Greenly remained positive. She quickly learned this angry man would be her maintenance worker for the building for as long as she lived there. Keeping this in mind, she continuously tried to be positive and patient with the man.

The worker, however, seemed to have his own agenda. He continuously made every interaction he had with Greenly angry, defensive, and uncomfortable. Even when speaking quickly in passing, the worker somehow managed to insult and attack Greenly.

The worker, who will remain unnamed, said simply, “It’s an issue of pride. I want to keep my streak of negative interactions with Greenly intact.”

In order to do this, the worker has had to get somewhat creative. He would bang on the back porch door loudly at 6 am. He would knock once on the front door and begin to open it with his set of keys if Greenly didn’t get to the door in time to respond. He would accuse Greenly of getting an outside worker to come work on something when, in fact, Greely would just call the landlord and they’d send whoever was available-and sometimes it was the worker’s partner. He would barge his way into the apartment whenever he wanted claiming he needed to check something and this was the only time he had to do it, and would apologize defensively and aggressively if the supposed “job” was already done.

All in all, the worker has worked very hard to make Greenly despise him. And he’s quite proud of the fact.

“Greenly was more difficult than most tenants because she seemed to always greet me with patience and a smile. I had to wear down her patience and get rid of her smile. It was quite challenging, but I think I rose to the occasion,” the worker shared.

Unable to take the man and many other elements of her apartment, Greenly will be moving out before Thanksgiving. She’ll be moving to a much bigger apartment complex with the hopes of staying relatively anonymous and neutral with the maintenance workers there.

Upon hearing news of the move, the current maintenance worker is thrilled. He not only get to keep his current record of always eliciting a negative interaction from every tenant, but he now gets fresh meat to attack and belittle.

It seems to be a win/win situation for both sides.