Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year, A New Intention.


For the past couple years, I declared an intention instead of a resolution. The year 2012 was self-declared my “year of authenticity.” I wanted to make choices based on what was best for me. I would spend my time for me. I would honor my truth. 

As I reflect back on to 2012, I can confidently say, that overall, 2012 kicked my ass

I was challenged in ways I would have never imagined. I experienced life changes I had not expected.

In the end though, 2012 was full of greatness and my intention was honored. I learned more than I anticipated about what it means to be authentic, honor my truth, and understand and act on what's best for me. It took almost a year but I realized that's okay too. Sometimes things don't unravel as we expect. Some lessons take longer to learn and sometimes it's that process that's needed to point us to our lessons.

As I prepare for a new year, I have set a new intention.

The year 2013 will be my year of experience!

I will be mindful of every experience and truly live in it. The challenging, sad, jubilant, frustrating, lonely, new, exciting, and colorful moments will all be truly experienced.

So often, it's easy to just go through the motions, brush off our low points, and focus too much on the future or past. Everything I do and everything that happens in 2013, I will give myself permission to just experience, free of judgement. 

My New Years Eve wish for you is that 2012 is closed with a blessing and 2013 embraced with an intention that suits you.

Happy New Year!

And now a few of my memorable moments from 2012....



Yoga retreat in Costa Rica 

Surfing for the first time and making it to shore in Costa Rica! 


  
Visiting lifelong friendships and remembering that they are only a plane ride away sometimes. 



Loosing my job of almost four years...


...landing a new job. 

Packing everything up to move from the familiar to the unknown.

Signing on for a new adventure with a Florida address.

Letting go of relationships that no longer served my highest good and being blessed with new relationships full of love, spirit, support, and plain silliness. 

Happy New Years! May 2013 be more than you anticipate. 






Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Your Heart Too, Will Go On.



I was sitting in a coffee shop the other day and overheard three girls chat about their lives. Which at 17, almost always only consists of boys and relationships. 

"I don't know what I would do without him. Honestly, I don't know if I could be happy without him," Coffee Girl said. 

Hearing her, I reminisced back to my first relationship and recalled how the heartache can be so palpable you feel it in every muscle and with each breathe. 

Heartache doesn't lessen or get easier to handle with age and experience. It still hurts and the bathroom floor is still a place you end up on at 1:00AM with a piece of overly used Kleenex. 

With every break up however, you do experience enhanced endurance, resilience, and a wee bit of wisdom. 

Having gone through a few breakup's myself, I can vow that each one proves to yourself, that you can not only survive a break up but you can also thrive after one. 

I'm sure your boyfriend is great Coffee Girl. (That's not true. He may be a real douche bag but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt). In the chance that it doesn't work out, know you will in fact be happy again. Sure, you will cry, feel moments of despair, and dramatically threaten to go rescue a cat to start the collection that will eventually run rampant in your knitting filled and potpourri infused home.  

But one day, a moment will enter where you feel the smallest tinge of what you can only recall as happiness. Little by little, these moments will string together before you're eventually just living your life again, happily. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Night and Thoughts of Frank.

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"Modigliani. Your first summer in New York City, you were dating a guy who worked on Wall Street ...this was around the time you discovered Modigliani and became obsessed with his painting of this woman who had a blue scarf on, holding a baby. You said, 'That painting captured the essence of that woman better than any photograph.' I also remember you freaked because you said you felt more passionate about that painting than you did about Mr.Wall Street and you wondered if you ever could meet somebody that could make you feel as passionate as that work of art." -Made of Honor


I remember being about thirteen years old and dancing in my bedroom to a mix CD full of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. I loved how magical all the songs felt. They breathed lives lived. They carried adventure, emotion, and promise. Letting each note flow over me, I could envision how one day I'd dance a life fit to be accompanied by such melodies.

As we get older, it's easier to hear sounds of reality play over the notes which first inspired us. We discover unpaid loans, relationships with varying and sometimes challenging traits, bill payment due dates, food that actually has the potential to turn into fat, that traveling includes costs along with adventure, doctors sometime deliver bad news, and restless minds make for restless nights. 

In the mist of it all, we have the ability to hear a song and travel back to a familiar melody and nostaligic memory. It can remind us how passionate and ambitious we are at heart. It should encourage us to grab onto that feeling, aspiring to acheive at least that much. Find something in life; a book, film, piece of artwork, or song. Let it push you to crave better things in your life and be sure to turn up the volume.  


Friday, August 24, 2012

Forgiveness - It's More Than Saying Sorry

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While visiting my Grandma, she was flipping through a notepad she used to scribble down quotes, random thoughts, lists, reminders, and theories.

She read one of the quotes she recorded, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

I believe as human beings, it's often easy to view withholding forgiveness as proof to the other person that they don't deserve to be forgiven. Somehow what they did was so hurtful, wrong, and disheartening, they are simply not worthy of being forgiven.

Instead, we hold resentment. We foster anger and let sadness cascade over any prevailing pleasant thoughts. We hold resentment because it's easier than facing any harsh truth of reality where we could have been hurt by someone we love or even by someone we just brush elbows with at the water cooler.

Though, as Grandma's notepad explains, this resentment only kills us.

The act by which you hold bitterness toward someone creates a chord to you and extends to that person, hurtful action, or condescending phrase spoken. As we move forward in life, we do so dragging these chords along with us. They wrap around us, cradling negative energy and heavy weight to an unresolved past.

Work toward cutting the chords. Seek forgiveness. It's not easy and it will take time but there truly is no single act unforgivable. There are just many challenging moments forcing us to grow and be pruned into our highest self for our happiest life. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #5



April 28, 2012

The taxi is schedule to pick us up in 15 minutes. I'm sitting near the yoga deck taking in the view and feeling of being apart of this experience had in Costa Rica; knowing this is me breathing it in for the last time.

There is a certain feeling of calmness and serenity that's reflected in the surrounding ocean and mountains. A light Costa Rican breeze blows and I know this trip was a gift for me that will only unwrap more over time.

This trip is an imprint, displaying how if I look to it, I will experience great things. I will travel, love, learn, and this is merely just the beginning.

So long Costa Rica and thanks for the view.

xoxo,
K

Monday, July 30, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #4


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April 26, 2012 


I had never been surfing before but had always viewed it as something that simply defines you as a quintessential badass. By this mere fact, I was allured to the board and becoming a self-proclaimed badass. 


I'm not a good swimmer. I hold my nose when I go under water. I understood surfing would push my aquatic abilities but I'm in Costa Rica and I'm up for the challenge. 


Two locals taught us on the shore. Imaginary surfboards were lined in the sand and we practiced doing an upward facing dog which led to a standing position on the board. After the precautionary information was explained, it was time to head out into water. 


The first trip, would simply be lying on my stomach. I'd ride the wave allowing myself to feel the tide and pull of the water. 


This will be fantastic I thought. I just get to lie here and cruise into shore. 


False.


I was on the board for a total of 3.2 seconds before a wave pummeled over me and swirled me around a bit before allowing my head to bob up for air. 


Alright. That's it. I'm out. What was I thinking? I don't swim. I'm not badass. I belong on shore doing something less strenuous like whittling a stick or applying more sunscreen to my pasty white skin. 


As water drained out of my ears, nose, and eyeballs, I was able to see a bit more clearly. 


Screw stick whittling. Let's give this a real shot. 


I marched back out pulling the board and my new attitude with me. 


It's fierce out there. As Yohan, my instructor, reconizged the right wave rolling in, he'd holler to get on the board. I'm facing the rolling waves and a few crash into my face before Yohan spins my board around to face shore. 


In an instant, I feel the sensation from the wave curl under my board and I know that's my queue to push myself up in preparation to stand. 


As I get up, I mentally check the notes Yohan taught on shore. Foot placement, knees over ankles, butt stuck out and balancing low. Hands straight and spanning the width of my board. 


Everything was in check. I was standing. Granted, it was only for 2 seconds but now I knew I could do it. 


This time, I was ready to march back out before my head had even surfaced. 


I was addicted. A few more attempts, and I was now regularly surfing upright to shore. 


Runs of success pushed me to crave more wins and trips where I was less successful only pushed me to do it again and to do it better. 


By the end of my session, I felt exhilarated. I took some mean falls and succeeded at some smooth rides. In the end though, it was all about the process. 


Far too often, as perfectionists, type-a personalities, and human beings, we beat ourselves up on the status of our successes and failures. Far too often, we let ourselves become defined by a win or a loss. Most often, it's the seemingly failing moments we focus on and sulk into; spending more time basking in a downfall than rising from it to move on to the next wave.


What we should focus on is the ride. It can beat you up, push you down, leave you with shortness of breathe, take your breathe away, balance you, motivate you, make you stronger, and have you bursting with exhilaration.   


But at the end of it, hopfully you walk away simply feeling like a badass. 





Monday, July 23, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #3


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April 24, 2012

It's weird. You'd think when you're surrounded by such beauty, it'd be difficult to feel anything but pure joy. Oddly enough, I've felt a range of emotions today; lonely, intense vunerability, and unexplained sadness. It seems downright silly to feel such emotions in a place most will rarely have the opportunity to visit.


Had I been surround by anyone except for this group of women, I would have most likely judged myself for these thoughts and emotions. It is a different mindset here. 


Lori spoke earlier about how small children cope with their emotions conversely to adults. A child often transitions from crying hysterically to running around like crazy. Then, giggling to sniffling tears, falling asleep, and back to playing again with big smiles. They feel their feelings and they experience them fully as they come.


Why as adults do we tend to judge our emotions? 


"I can't be tired now, I have more errands to run." "I'm hungry but dinner is not for another two hours." "I can feel the tears welling up but I'm at work." "I feel like staying home to rest but my friends are waiting."


Why do we judge our thoughts and feelings rather than let ourselves feel them without fear, doubt, or even apologies?


Here it's easier to feel like children do. Just this afternoon I teared up during a conversion with some of the ladies. 


Then, I cried. I cried a really deep cry. 


The day and my emotions completely transformed when a spontaneous dance party evolved out on the yoga deck after dinner. 


There's something to dancing freely under the Costa Rican stars overlooking the ocean and mountains. It is both an idealistic feeling that could be deemed as merely wishful thinking and a moment of jubilant, comfortable, grateful reality. 


The ladies formed a circle and each one paraded through the middle. It didn't matter what had brought you here, what had brought tears to your face earlier, or what was going on at home. This was the epitome of living in the moment and we were feeling our emotions as they came and as the beat of each song played on.  


And this time, I laughed. I laughed a really deep laugh. 


xoxo-
K

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #2


Hillary and I about to take our walk to town and the beach!
Hillary and Lora - My wonderful roomies for the week :)


April 22, 2012


I met a lady on the beach today. She came to Costa Rica to visit for three weeks. By the end of her visit, she had decided to stay. She subleased her LA apartment while still here and had family put her stuff in storage. She's been here for several months now and has decided to stay until the end of the year, working odd jobs in the tourism industry.


After Costa Rica, she nonchalantly informed me that she'll probably move to some village in Mexico since she's craving more culture than what she feels here. During our short conversation, I learned that outside of her native LA roots, this early thirty-something has lived in Spain, across other parts of Europe, and NYC. 


She described how a lot of people say they're going to live where most just visit but they never really do it. She spoke while throwing some drift wood into the ocean for a stray dog to fetch who also appeared to be a fellow beach regular.


It came as no surprise when she introduced herself as,"Athea." Athea. Even her name was free spirited. 


I started to think about large life transitions and how she managed to move into an unconventional lifestyle with a confident ease of normality. 


It didn't inspire me to become a drifter. I admired her passion to peruse life in a diverse geographical manner but in a way, it almost made me miss home. 


And now I sit here thinking about my little encounter with Athea and plenty like her who I have met already. You don't need to be a drifter to live an adventurous and free spirited lifestyle. You don't even need to move anywhere. This I understand. 


Although, it's also to be understood that at any moment you can choose to move to another city, live in a place that started as a vacation, or wake up in an enviroment completely different than the one you grew up in if you so wish. It's not just for drifters and it doesn't just happen to other people. It's an option for us all and knowing that we have that choice is pretty damn empowering, whether we travel or seek our adventures right here. 


Thanks for the chat Athea and good luck in Mexico next year. 


xoxo-
K


Monday, July 16, 2012

Costa Rica - Journal Entry #1




April 21, 2012.


Somewhere above Central America and one hour away from landing in San Jose, Costa Rica! An announcement was just made in Spanish and English to make sure we are seated with our seat belts fastened. For some reason, it still hasn't 100% set in what I'm doing, the trip I'm on, or the fact that I'm going to be in Costa Rica attending an idealistic "bucket list-esque" trip in mere minutes. 


I remember booking this trip. It was during my self-proclaimed, "Year of Crazy Kate" in 2011. Albeit, eating an entire large bag of peanut M & M's for dinner is some kind of crazy, booking this trip was undoubtably the most spontaneous and grand gesture I made that year.


I had gone with a gut feeling. Now, this being my self-proclaimed "Year of Authenticity," it feels harmoniously in theme to be attending an all women's yoga retreat in 2012.

Aside from some organic meals and yoga poses, I really have no idea what to expect for this week and I'm peacefully okay with that. May the journey begin. 


xoxo-
K



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proud to be an American.

I am proud to live in a country where I can proudly voice my opinions, speak and write my thoughts, support myself, and create the life I want. 



Monday, July 2, 2012

Tips on Applying Self Tanner From One Very White Girl


I am white as one can be without being a natural red head. I don't believe in sun bathing (I'd burn anyways) and I don't endorse fake baking (I'd burn anyways). I've recently decided white is the new tan. Though, I'm afraid most of our nation has yet to get on board with this beauty trend. Soon...very soon...


I do realize there are certain occasions where a little bit of color is flattering. For those occasions, I turn to self tanner. Over the years and after a few poor attempts at applying tanner, I've now mastered a system. 

For all you tan challenged folk or those who are just trying to avoid skin cancer but appreciate a nice summer glow, this process is for you. 

Pick your Potion: Choosing the right self tanner is vital. First, you want a lotion or foam oppose to a spray. Unless you are having someone else apply this stuff (and even then I'd still encourage lotion), you want something you can easily control and lotion can be manipulated more than spray. Secondly, pick tanner that is tinted. White lotion will blend into your pasty skin as soon as its applied and it becomes much more difficult to determine if you've evenly covered every area. I personally recommend St. Tropez self tan bronzing mouse. It comes with a foam mitten which allows you to easily apply the foam without getting those weird hand tan lines. (Honestly, I can't recommend this stuff enough. It doesn't even leave that tanner smell). 

The Shower Routine: Shower per usual but be sure to use some type of exfoliater while washing. A luffa will suffice though shower gel with micro scrubbing beads is encouraged. Next, grab a fresh razor. Those legs need to be freshly shaven. 

Pre-Lotion: This is where most people fall short in their self tanning routine. They leave out a pre-lotion. Grab some body lotion and lather up any parts you plan to apply tanner to. 

Get Comfortable Being Naked: Apply tanner one appendage at a time. I recommend the following order: legs, arms, back, front torso, chest, face. Stay naked for as long as you can. (Play this to help pass the time while you're walking around naked in your living room). One hour should be sufficient. It's important to allow time for the product to dry and be absorbed into your skin. Initially avoid light colored clothing. 

Admire Your Glow: You are stunning. 



Almost translucently white, before shot. 
Portraying a human with somewhat normal circulation, after shot.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Female Celebrities and Fictional Characters Who Would Be My Friend If They Really Knew Me




There are a few famous females who if they had the opportunity to get to know me, I believe would truly enjoy being my friend in real life.

In no particular order, here are the sisters of my traveling pants club.

Kaitlin Olson - Sweet Dee from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Days would start out pretty simple. We'd share a few beers and follow it up with some more beer. Then, it'd be lunch time so we'd chat about how to spend the rest of our day. That's when we would decide to recreate a scene from Sex and the City or plan a road trip to the Grand Canyon in an RV we “borrow” from the neighbors.

Kristin Wiig - SNL Star and Face of Bridesmaids
Kristin and I would bond over our mutual ability to dance like we're performing next to Charlie Chaplin. I'd like to believe we would just spend our time doing a lot of dance dares. (Not familiar with dance dares? See pure awesomeness here).

Mindy Kaling - Writer and Cast Member for The Office
Mindy and I would spend the majority of our hang out sessions shopping and commenting on each others clothes. I'd tell her how pretty she looks in that dress and she'd tell me what it's like working with John Krasinski and not being able to grab his butt while shooting.

Cindy Chupack - Television Writer best known for her work on Sex and the City 
Cindy would be considered my “lady friend.” (Lady friend is a term my mother uses to describe a relationship between an adult woman and another woman old enough to be her mother. My moms lady friend is Anne. She's 92. They watch Mary Tyler More together).

My lady friend would be Cindy and we'd meet for brunch at outdoor restaurants in NYC. We'd always order a glass of some-adult-festive-beverage because that's just how me and my lady friend roll. Then, I'd listen to Cindy describe her recent trip out to LA. Her stories consistently shed advice into my twenty something soul. Sometimes at lunch, she'll ask to review one of my stories I've been working on. She provides insightful comments and articulates how to transform dialogue to make it sound more realistic. Inbetween reading, she makes a snarky comment about middle aged men who sext. She's such great lady friend. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A "That Time of The Month" Letter


Dear PMS lady,

A few things to keep in mind over the next few days...

It's not really that sad. It's just a commercial. 

If you must yell, do it alone in the car to no one but yourself. You'll be happy for that choice tomorrow.

You are the only one loosing sleep over how you treated people today. The women in your life understand and the men probably didn't notice. If they did, just be extra nice to them tomorrow. Men get over things more quickly than we do and won't hold it against you. Unless you keyed his car. He might hold that against you. 

It's normal to feel like an emotional zombie. 

It may seem like it's the end of the world because someone ate your dessert or your internet isn't working. Try to realize that these are not life shattering events. It's hard to put anything into perspective now but in a few days you'll see more clearly. I promise.  

In the meantime, try to exercise, get plenty of sleep, enjoy hot showers, and for the love of God avoid all Lifetime movies. You will only sob realizing your love life blows. Plus, the fact that the pretty lady usually, always gets murdered will leave you fearing for your life. It's one of the few emotional roller coasters we can avoid this week. 

xoxo,
Aunt Flo




Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Fathers Day Note


Dear Dad,


I've always heard it's a girls dad who sets the bar for what kind of man she'll fall in love with. As I navigate through the dating world, I feel confident knowing I've already had a man in my life for 24 years who has demonstrated to me the type of man I will end up with. 

I know I will be with a man who is respectful and kind toward me. He'll be ambitious and hard working. He will put his family first. He will show how he loves me through his actions. He will make jokes that expose everyday situations with more humor and less seriousness. He'll show up to the important events and be there to listen and enjoy my stories. He'll believe in me, support me, and give me straightforward and valuable advice.

He'll be a great father because I chose to be with someone who reminded me of my dad.


I know he'll be a lot of great things because of you, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that he may not be as good of a dancer. I guess we simply can't have it all...


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Friday, June 15, 2012

The Shopping Cart




I had a call with a client today. She made a comment to me. She said, “You just seem like a very zen and centered person.”

I personally would not use those words to describe myself. Though, I do strive for these things, I find it's a practice. It's an effort made to try and become a more balanced and better person than I was yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity to become a better person. It's a chance to become a better version of yourself.

Which, leads me to the shopping cart. It's inevitable. I cruise through the Kroger parking lot and pass by a prime parking spot because a lonesome cart is already occupying the space. I'm a huge advocate of returning your cart to its rightful cart corral. Perhaps it's the karma believer in me. If I leave a cart to create damage, one day I will ultimately get dinged.

Though, I've recently transcended past just the fear of receiving bad juju when inspired by a friend and fellow cart corralling enthusiast.

It's about leaving a place a little bit better than you found it,” he said.

It's so simple I thought. By not returning that cart, you are taking one quick action that has strong potential to negatively impact a persons day. 

How often do haphazardly ditched carts avoid hitting cars, not occupy perfectly good parking spots, and make grocery store employee's work easier?

Walk the few extra steps to put your cart back in its designated area. It's not about the cart. It's about being a better person; in its simplest form. Okay, and it's also about the cart. Seriously man, just put it back. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Tips On How To Be The Leading Male in Any Romantic Comedy


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1. Dress Like a College Guy
You are 33 years old, single, and in an established career which pays enough for you to afford that shoe factory turned modern loft. Regardless of your established lifestyle, you should look like you just finished studying for a midterm.

2. Spontaneously Sing Songs You Supposedly Don't Recognize
Be able to bust into ironically bad songs. Do this in an endearingly dorky yet charming manner and when your female counterpart is feeling sullen, overly contemplative, or even upset with you. Don't forget to hit that infamous high note and work in some retro dance moves.

3. Fix Neurotic Women
Recognize characteristics of neurotic women. These types are your target. Traits include but are not limited to the following:

-Career driven
-Perfectionists/Type A personalities
-Have track record of poor relationships
-Broken hearted
-Overly expressive with emotions
-Unable to express emotions
-Wear pencil skirts
-Eat frozen dinners
-Own pets that are mostly self-sufficient such as fish, cats, and hamsters

Most of these woman are too mentally disturbed to notice such things as a car about to hit them in the middle of a busy intersection. So, it's vital for leading men to fix these women.

How to fix a neurotic lady:
1. Grip your hands on her arms or shoulders when she's in the middle of a full blown emotional breakdown.
2. Gently shake her entire body and describe how her OCD like qualities are what you find irresistible. 
3. Shut her up with a kiss as she'll want to interrupt you with irrational lady thoughts.

4. Remember Dead Plants
Women tend to place large emphasis on insignificant things like that shirt she bought you after brunch or coconut scones from a beloved bed and breakfast.

Take these symbolic tangibles seriously. Wear that shirt and she won't be mad at you for running late. Buy those scones and she won't kill you when she's PMSing.

5. Know Secret and Safe Places
A woman typically has one place in the entire world where she can go and simply feel like herself. These places are often located in areas of high escalation such as secluded rooftops overlooking a city or manicured hill tops. Other secret places include but are not limited to docked boats, aquariums, and art gallery benches in front of very specific paintings.

Know this place. You'll need to surprise her here one day after you two get in a fight and she won't return your calls.

6. Talk With Your Buddies Like Girls Imagine You Would
Frequently discuss your relationship and feelings about the girl you just met. Have these conversations while golfing, working out, hitting balls at a batting cage, or playing poker.

7. Be Sensitive and Manly...at the same time. 
Poetically profess your feelings, kill unwanted house pests, and have a rock hard six pack you're modest about.


8. Wear Glasses Only 10% of the Time
Two situations in which you should wear glasses:

1. Early in the morning while reading the paper, sipping coffee, and taking a bite out of some toast. 
2. Working late while disheveled over a pile of papers and chinese food containers. Go ahead and roll up your dress shirt sleeves.

You are ready! Go on handsome and find your leading lady. She doesn't know it yet but you are exactly what she's been waiting for.