MORNING LOVE: BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

This audio note is a bit long but I would like to thing its a message we all need to hear. We spend so much time living up to other people expectations – not just in work but also in our personal lives. What happens when we make a decision for ourselves that are not accepted by others or that hurt others? We may not be living up to their expectations but what about the expectation we set for ourselves? It is so easy for people to judge. I know that if my support systems truly believe in me, they will understand, maybe not right away but this is where benefit of the doubt comes in.

We need more of that. We need more courage, confidence and faith in ourselves – less reliance on others to define our identity for us.

A STORY OF LOVE

I know it sounds cliche but as someone who hasn’t had a real Valentine in over 15 years, I can honestly say that this “manaufactured holiday”, in my research is not made up at all. In fact, it is quite inspiring.

From Your Valentine

St. Valentine was a Roman doctor who also was a Priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius. At the time, marriages were outlawed. The Emperor sought men for his army and thought love and marriage would weaken his strong and virile citizens. Secretly, St. Valentine married couples in love, openly defying the law of man, in favor of the law of God. Of course he was caught and sentenced to prison. This did not stop St. Valentine from continuing his mission, if only to share the unconditional love he felt and understood through his faith. In prison, he befriended his cell mate who asked if he would help his daughter, who was blind. Over time, a close bond was created between the daughter, Julia, and St. Valentine. It came to be, that even the Emperor grew to like St. Valentine, and was willing to pardon him, if only he would renounce his faith. St. Valentine refused, and upon his death, had sent Julia a card signed, “from your Valentine.” It was said that Julia’s blindness was cured, so she could read the note, thus eventually giving Valentine his Sainthood.

Love Conquers All – Start With Yourself

While Hallmark and florists seem to dominate this “holiday”, upon researching this story, I realize there are simple truths for anyone to remember regardless of your relationship status.

Unconditional love is not just for parents and children. It begins with oneself. Love thyself. Know thyself. Do not be afraid. Your self-awareness and reflection encourages deeper, more meaningful connections with others. The human condition is more optimistic and empathic, less harsh and judgemental. Your heart becomes more open and compassionate; this behavior becomes normalized.

I always say, perfection is never the goal. Love is a way of life, not just a behavior. We celebrate as a reminder of the choices we have, what we strive for.

SINGLE’S GUIDE TO VALENTINE’S DAY

I’m a veteran at navigating Valentine’s day – I haven’t had a “valentine” in over 15 years. Don’t pity me. Being alone and being lonely, are separate states of mind. I understand that holidays are a time for special recognition. A reminder, in our busy lives to appreciate those relationships that matter most, in whatever way you choose to do that.

Let’s take a moment though, to recognize the person most important, yourself.

Treat Yo’self

Have a little fun. Celebrate you. This means different things to different people. Go lavish, go simple. Please yourself.

Give a Compliment. Make Someone’s Day.

I love giving compliments, whenever I can, especially to strangers. It is amazing to see how their face lights ups.

Be Purposeful with Your Words.

Your most meaningful relationships deserve attention. Words and simple actions of appreciation can go a long way. Intention run deep.

Stay Off Social Media.

Put the phone down. Enjoy a little quiet time. Do an activity you might not normally do.

Honor the Past.

Its important for me to appreciate people who have passed. There are some relationships that leave an indelible mark on your soul. Honor it appropriately.

A Day or a Way of Life?

See Valentine’s day less about Hallmark and flowers and more as an opportunity to have a more generous heart.

A CASE OF THE MONDAYS: OFFICE WORK

Happy Monday! I thought I would help get your week started off right. A little bonus “Fantasy Friday” on a Monday.

We spend so much time at work, that fantasizing about a colleague/boss is inevitable. In fact, I bet sexual tension between colleagues is one of the reasons why people remain at their jobs. Sexual tension combats turnover.

Enjoy!

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PUTTING THE “GENTLE” BACK IN MEN

This blog post was originally written in 2010 from an old Typepad blog I had. It has since been adapted.

If there is one animal that should be on the “extinction list” it is, the gentleman.  I’ve lived in NYC for 16 years now and have been been a girlfriend, a friend with benefits, a lover, a mistress, a submissive, a swinger, a one night stand and yes, a professional companion. Yes, I have even been a wife. I can tell you that it makes no difference – the one night stand can treat you better than the boyfriend. The point is that the Gentleman is on the verge of extinction and we need to do something fast or we could have a serious societal crisis on our hands with women raising kids from freeze-dried sperm. (joking)

I LOVE men. This is precisely the reason for why I am writing this piece in the first place. They do try hard. We do and should love them for their efforts.

1.  You always open a door for a woman. This includes the car door.

2.  You are willing to splurge on an entire meal not just cocktails. Being cheap is never gentleman-like behavior!

3.  At dinner, you pay attention to what she would like to order, ask her and then you order for the both of you.

4.  Sex is not payment for the meal you splurged on that is now causing you to eat cheese sandwiches for a month.

5.  The date should end with a kiss and you hailing a cab/calling an uber for her, first.  This may get push back, but sex does complicate matters no matter what your age. Think of each date like foreplay. The tease of the journey.

6.  A woman likes a man that is decisive. Sure, you can wait a day to call her. In the age of technology and dating apps that just require swipe, if you want a second date, ask at the end of the first date. Waiting may cause you to miss a real opportunity.

7.  Compliments are like diamonds – rare and and even the smallest sparkle because they are genuine and high quality. 

8.  Show you have style but don’t overdress.  First dates are not the time to peacock. A gentleman is all about subtlety. 

9.  Conversation is an art. A gentleman will engage his date, asking questions, caring about the answer and asking following up questions in return.  Conversations are like a volley in a tennis match. Relax and have fun.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not just about you.  Enjoy the adventure of getting to know someone new. Yes, women have become extremely independent but believe me we still need men and any woman that tells you differently is a lesbian.