life, life lessons, Living Out Loud Pub, mindset

Perception: The Power to Reframe Things

How you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside.

by Gerthy Bingoly


No one can see the world as you do, and within that canvas we all share, you are the producer of your own reality, a world only you can carry. Add another pair of eyes, and you find yourself with two frames, with two realms of interpretations, with two worlds ready to collide. That’s perspective.

And there’s a gap between perception and reality.

The state of things you believe to be true is, in fact, nothing more but a small portion of the bigger truth. A truth no human ever had access to, nor could hope to hold in the palms of his hands.

And yet, too often, we are preoccupied with what other people are thinking. Too often, we are preoccupied with how others see us. Too often, we forget that things are not what they are, but in fact, what we think they are.

Within that gap between perception and reality lies the power to reframe things.

Wayne Dyer said:

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

In other words, how you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside. — Kim Petersen


1. Let’s Talk About Inputs

The world in which we live is a lively place. Take a look at how busy you are, multiply it by 7 billion, and you won’t even get close to the answer. With so many things to do, discover, and experience, it’s easy to get lost. With so many versions of the same story, it’s easy not knowing what to believe anymore.

Our sense of sight has long been corrupted by what the people around us see as beautiful. Our sense of taste, criticized by what people deem as non-healthy. Our sense of touch, condemned by people with a golden cage of principles. And our sense of self, alienated by our desire to be like the celebrities on our screens.

In a world with so many inputs, the best thing you can do is to never lose your output.

It’s okay to learn from others, and it’s definitely okay to learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. But there are two truths hidden here:

You won’t necessarily meet success where someone else did, and where someone failed, you can succeed. Don’t be quick to jump in the fray, and please, don’t sell yourself short.

Every input life throws at you needs to be filtered by what’s inside you. They all need to be digested and transformed by your experiences and aspirations. And then, redirected out in the world through actions of your own.

No one can relate to you as well as you do. So you have to do the job by yourself and reach that world only you can create.

You lived a beautiful life, you went through a compound of experiences, and you survived. For that reason alone, your voice matter. For that reason alone, you have the right to perceive the world in a way that benefits you.


2. Let’s Talk About Approval

The reason why we want to please people so much is that we want to be accepted. We want to be loved, invited to gatherings, included, and we especially do not want to be left out. We are social beings, and we long for that connection of the psyche, for the warmth it gives us in the winter, and for its freshness in the summer.

But before being accepted by others, please accept yourself. You may think the people in front of you are the only ones that will ever accept you. You may think you have to do whatever you can to stay in their good graces, but that is simply not true.

You have the right to be yourself, and by being you, you will attract people in love with that self. The world is of different spices, and you have yet to taste them all. Don’t be afraid to show yourself, don’t be afraid to be alone because of what is right. Sometimes, the best place to see the light is in the dark.

Please, be the You only you can be.

I recently read a tweet:

What doesn’t kill you makes you weird at intimacy.

What we forget is that weird can only exist within contradictions. Dancing naked at work is only weird if you’re not in a strip club, eating ice cream in the winter is only weird if you do not want to eat it, and saying “I love you” is only weird if you don’t think it to be true.

When you see the world as others do, and not as you do, you contradict yourself. And thus, you act weird.

Clive Staples Lewis said:

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

The only way to be you, to be the best version of you, to get what you want and what you deserve is to be you, the person only you know. Everyone else is already taken.


3. Let’s Reframe It, Perception

I walked a subjectively fair amount of years in this life, and I met my share of people. Of them all, never once, I heard someone seeking the opposite of happiness.

That feeling of joy and contentment has long been a quest of humankind. Some went to look for it in material goods and riches, others in love and pleasures. And when the high passed, the bummed started.

Because someone is rich, you think he must be happy. Because someone is accompanied, you think he should be exalted. And that may be true, but are the circumstances of our life all it takes to be happy?

I watched a Ted Talk recently. The speaker talked about an experiment with two dogs in two cages made of electric floors. Every now and then, an electric shock was sent to both. But one of the dogs had a button that could stop the discharge.

At the end of the experiment, the dog with the button was relatively happy, and the other one was completely depressed.

“The circumstances of our lives may actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives.” — Roy Sutherland

By getting out of the box you were put into, and by perceiving the world from your point of view, you can take back the control over your life. And with it, more chance at happiness.

Here’s a quote from Terry Pratchett:

“A European says: I can’t understand this, what’s wrong with me? An American says: I can’t understand this, what’s wrong with him?”

Reframe it, perception.

As Roy Sutherland perfectly summed it. Choose your frame of reference and the perceived value, and therefore, the actual value is completely transformed.


The Takeaway

Life has many teachers, empty pockets, broken hearts, and health issues are a few of them. And though they are the same for everyone, they do not teach us the same lessons, for you are your own person, with your own experiences and your own aspirations.

Be aware of the inputs the world throws at you, learn from them, filter them and transform them. Don’t be afraid of the word “weird.” It can only be applied to you if you contradict yourself. Reframe your perception and take back the control you deserve.

Your life is your own to live, and you matter more than you think.

How you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside.


Gerthy Bingoly

From Medium: Writing about the things the eye cannot see, and looking for inspiration where my feet cannot take me. Write me at gerthywrites@gmail.com

Discover more of Gerthy’s work at his Medium page: https://gerthyb.medium.com/


This post was originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium.

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Creativity, mindset, writing

News Break Ghost-Rejected Me

Not every Medium writer is permitted to board this gravy-train.


Sometimes the writing life can feel like one big hustle. I’ve got the tattoo on my left leg and the garter on my right. I’m wheelin’, dealin’, writing. I’m holding a wild deuce one day and the next, I’m folding, ready to walk away.

The Jack is my all-time favorite AC/DC track but I don’t always know how to play them fast, I’ve never actually contracted the Clap and I’m definitely not always holding a Royal Flush.

But that’s life. You get to play the full house. Count your money. Then, life plays a card that’ll bring you down. A lot like writing, really.

I’ve played cards on Medium that have earned 37k+ reads and over $2,800 per/article. These pieces continue to create revenue in the long-tail. But they’re the wild cards, and frankly, like many writers here on Medium, I’m feeling the pinch since the platform implemented those changes back in late 2020.

So, what does a writer do?

Flip it or double down?

Flip It

I read about the News Break hype back when the news began to spread across the Medium community like a wildfire. Who could miss that? I checked it out but the idea fell to the wayside until one of my more successful Medium writer friends emailed me. He was heading over to News Break and thought I should too.

Hustle.

So, I applied to be a part of their Creator Program, but it turned out that I couldn’t even get formally rejected by News Break. They ghosted me. Twice.

That was a wild deuce without the wild part.

I don’t know if it is because they think that my writing is crappy, my topics off-beat, or if it’s that I’m too Australian for an American based platform. Not to offend, but the rest of the world is starkly aware that a good portion of America believes that the sun rises and sets just for them. And I don’t possess the Medium Star power the likes of fellow talented Aussie writer, Tim Denning.

Ghosting is a real thing in the writing world as much as it exists within our interpersonal relations. It’s so real that it’s almost tangible. I have encountered phantoms, ghouls, and doppelganger spooks in this word-slinging landscape. I’ve even bumped into the Ghost-of-Rejection-Past revisited.

Whatever that means.

Whether you’re dealing with other writers, submitting to an agent, a magazine, or a publisher, or even writing platforms like News Break, you have got to be prepared for the ghost-rejection.

It happens to the best of us.

So, how do you handle the ghost-rejection?

Double Down

We can either let the ghost-rejections haunt us or we can grab a stick of Palo Santo and ghost-bust them the fuck out. Life isn’t just a one-round Poker game, it’s a continual shuffle at Earth Casino. The decks, dealers and your hand may vary, but the table is always in front of you.

You can either play your cards or you can let them play you (and oh, haven’t we all been played at some point).

In a recent blog post written by Seth Godin titled, I’m Just Doing My Job, he asks the question: What if you replaced “doing” with “improving” or “reinventing” or “transforming”?

Repeat: Improving. Reinventing. Transforming.

Three of a Kind in my face.



Right away, it connected. I knew he was right. Godin strikes me as a man with much wisdom and life experience. And even though there has been an occasional instance where I might question his generously imparted life-lesson titbits, I knew that he was onto something here.

Thinking about how to apply those qualities offer us the double-down key. Especially when we’re looking Down the Barrel of a ghost-rejection, or feel as if we’re about ready to give up.

Those three characteristics make for a shift in mindset that is both positive and affirmative in reconnecting with your creative fire, remembering in your heart why you chose the writing life in the first place — your Kicker cards.

The game is endless. You’re not always going to be on an Upswing, but you can think about getting All-in with the above-mentioned Three of a Kind.

A while back, I asked another wise man to take a look at an article I had written about the link between creativity and sexuality titled, The Truth About Love, Sexuality & Creativity. It was around the same time that I first started out writing posts and I had been worried about offending readers.

A wise man told me:

“As far as offending and unsettling, you should be trying to do that. People you “offend” are not your readers anyway. Write from your heart and don’t worry about being polite.”

So, I did.

Eventually, that advice paid off and continues to do so. This, despite almost drowning in the wake of the Medium changes and News Break ghost-rejecting me.

Doubling down looks different to everyone but for me, it means playing the Card of Hearts. Ideally, our heart should be evolving — improving, reinventing, and transforming each time we are called to throw the cards down. So when we get up and dust off our pants, our words remember why we started writing back when.

Get back in the game and do your part in making a difference somehow. That’s what a writer does.

We keep writing with heart and taking risks in pursuit of our dreams.

I’ve got the tattoo on my left leg and the garter on my right. I’m wheelin’, dealin’, writing


This post first appeared on Synergy, Medium

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Inspiration, life, life lessons, Living Out Loud Pub, Love and Connection, mindset

How The Four Happy Hormones Can Help Replenish Your Vitality

#3 Oxytocin, the love hormone.

by Gerthy Bingoly



The human body is a machine made to feel, an apparatus of excitement and pain, a box of emotions. Those feel good and feel bad moments are at the center of your everyday activities. The difference between waking up with a smile and jumping out of bed with a fright can drastically affect the tasks you planned to do.

Your energy levels, and without a doubt, your health, are closely related to the feelings happening in that little heart of yours. It’s a complex relationship, or rather an equation. One, I believe, we must solve every day.

When your energy level is high, you have more resources to help you during the day. From excitement to pain tolerance and from focus to willpower, you have more tools to power through the intricacies life throws at you, more means to resist the temptation of that snooze button.

On the contrary, when your energy level is low, the absence of those resources, the absence of that net, leaves you exposed to most of the negative feelings out there. Thus, the tendencies to take the path of least resistance.

Happiness has the power to bring you the energy you need. By understanding your body, you have the chance to create that feeling of well-being, joy, and contentment. Those four hormones can help you on that journey.


1. Dopamine, The Anticipation Hormone

Dopamine is known as the feel-good neurotransmitter — a chemical that ferries information between neurons. The brain releases it when we eat food that we crave or while we have sex, contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as part of the reward system.

Some twenty years ago, the little kid I was, was always excited at the start of December. Every first of the month, I would write a letter to Santa and then eagerly wait to unpack my gifts. That little action of putting words on paper was enough to make me happy and full of energy for the weeks to come.

The little kids have it a bit easier here: more things to discover and less to worry about — in most cases. As adults, you can do the same. You can use anticipation to bring happiness into your daily life.

I wake up at 4 am every Monday to Friday, and while I do my best to be in bed before 10 pm, a good night’s sleep is not the only reason why my phone and the wall haven’t met yet. I know I’m lazy, so I give myself rewards throughout the day. Every four hours, to be exact.

Early in the morning, I give myself a bit of social media time. When the sun starts waking up, just before work, it’s my cartoon time, with a bowl of cereals and some sweets. At noon, it’s lunch and fresh air. When twilight rings, I let my body sweat as I work out. And when the day is about to end, I give my body the pleasure of sleep.

It can be a food you’re eager to eat, a book you’re excited to read, someone you want to meet, an oncoming gathering with loved ones, or simply watching the sunset. In either case, you can use those little things you like to make you happier. Reward yourself.


2. Endorphins, The Soothing Hormone

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.

A lot of people exercise nowadays. You don’t even have to look on your phone, take a peek out your window long enough, and you’ll see someone jogging outside. While some people train for a competition or simply to stay in shape, you can use it to be a little happier.

You don’t have to work out for one hour every day. You don’t even have to go to the gym. Fifteen minutes in the comfort of your home is enough. Sweat a bit, don’t forget to stretch and take a good shower — a simple formula of happiness.

Exercising is good for the focus it provides, it’s a good method to center yourself and calm your emotions. And it comes with a bonus. It makes you hella proud of yourself.


3. Oxytocin, The Love Hormone

Oxytocin is typically linked to warm, fuzzy feelings and shown in some research to lower stress and anxiety. It has the power to regulate our emotional responses and pro-social behaviors, including trust, empathy, gazing, positive memories, processing of bonding cues, and positive communication.

Love can give us the strength to slay giants. Ask Goliath if you don’t believe me. It’s one of those feelings that can make you look like another person, a version of yourself you didn’t know existed. It can make you shine with confidence and unexpected willpower.

And I’m not just talking about passionate love. Any kind of love has the power to make you happy. We’re social beings. We like to be connected to people, in touch or thought.

While it is okay to be alone, and I insist on this, it is okay to be alone. It is also okay to take time for yourself, time to heal. But please, find the strength to connect with the ones you love.

Life is about balance, and nothing is created out of nothing. Every one of us is busy living his life, and most often than not, we’re not aware of the whereabouts of others. Don’t wait for happiness, don’t wait for love, take action, and go get it. It is your right, and you deserve it.

There are lots of ways to feel love.

About one month ago, I started a “hello stranger” routine (if you have a cooler name, let me know). Each time I entered any store, I took the time to talk to one person, usually the cashier or the employee on the floor. We would talk about anything, deviating from the product to life, talking about a Netflix show in a cannabis store, or about engineering in a shopping center.

Love creates love, and happiness creates happiness. Spread them, and they’ll surely come back to you. It’s contagious.

Talk to someone, call a friend, or cuddle your cat. But take action, your body and your heart will thank you for it. Though, do it at your own pace, one step at a time.


4. Serotonin, The Mood Hormone

Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes your mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other.

The phrase “you are what you eat” takes all its sense here. One thing you can do to regulate your mood hormone is to control your diet, not to reduce your weight, but to feel comfortable in your body.

Every morning, as soon as I wake up, my bottle of water is waiting for me at my bedside. A couple of sips and I’m ready to go out of bed. The human body is made of 60 percent of water, more so in the brain and the lungs, and one glass can jump-start your metabolism.

What you eat during the day also matters, particularly at lunch. I’m not a nutritionist, but a well-constructed meal of protein, veggies, and fewer carbs, does wonder for my body. And taking a short walk in the sun lightens up my mood for the rest of the afternoon.

A good night’s sleep can also help improve your levels of serotonin. And with it your mood the next morning. In the evening, a light meal usually does the trick. You don’t want to put too much strain on your stomach while Morpheus is calling you.


The Takeaway

The human body is like an engine, and like every machine, it needs fuel to rise to its full potential. That energy can be found in the small actions you take during the day, actions endowed with happiness.

And of course some days you’ll be sad. Always acknowledge your feelings, but remember that you cannot protect yourself from sadness without opening your heart to happiness.

Benjamin Franklin said:

Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”

You don’t have to wait for the day, and you don’t have to wait for the one. You can take action now. Life is much more enjoyable when we have the strength to live it.


ABOUT GERTHY BINGOLY

Writing about the things the eye cannot see, and looking for inspiration where my feet cannot take me. Write me a few words at gerthywrites@gmail.com or reach me on instagram.com/gerthywrites


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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life, Love and Connection, mindset, People, relationships, Women

Handling the Friend Who Shamelessly Flirts with Your Man

There’s always a friend you can never quite trust.



She’s the friend who barely waits for your back to be turned before she transforms into a sex bomb, tossing her hair and swinging her hips as she saunters across the room with your man firmly in sight. You try to quell the annoyance splitting your brain as she smiles wide enough to swallow him whole. You take a breath, reminding yourself what it means to be the “better” person — the collected, Stoic kind of person. Besides, you know that he only has eyes for you. But that isn’t always enough to tame the jealousy trickling in your veins like poison ivy, is it?

Hell, no. You’re only human, honey.

“Every girl in here has got a girlfriend they don’t trust around their man.”

Chris Rock


Jealousy is one of those emotions that instantly implies childlike negativity. We’re frequently told that it’s not healthy or “evolved” to feel the pain of jealousy, or we are instructed to stop being so sensitive and be more stoic in our approach to life. Because to not be vulnerable or acknowledge why we are experiencing a certain emotion is better than actually feeling the raw emotion of life, right?

Ha.

Stoicism may teach us to accept the present moment and be less focused on desirable pleasures and the fear of pain, but none of us are totally immune to experiencing a “negative” pang-feel every now then. Or the tantalizing sensations of sexual desire for that matter.

And who in their right mind would want to deny such wonderful pleasures, anyway?

Certainly not I.

It’s called living, experiencing, connecting and learning, and frankly, I believe that feeling a little romantic jealousy has its purpose in love. Every emotion you feel is valid, regardless of what others have to say about it or if you feel as though you’re overeating. Further, your feelings actually reveal something about you, as well as that they may indicate the depth of your feelings for someone else.

You may be feeling jealous because you are head-over-heels in love.


Jenni Skyler, who is the director of The Intimacy Institute in Colorado tells us:

“Feeling jealous at some point is totally normal because it’s a Band-Aid emotion, so to speak. Everyone experiences two core emotional fears — a fear of not being good enough or a fear of being left out. We all have at least a little degree of one of those two issues — we’re basically wired that way.”

So, we learn that jealousy is a normal emotion to experience in our relationships from time to time. Though, when faced with a trusted friend who vies for your man’s attention each time that she’s in his presence, the blow can do a double-time on your psyche.

Here’s what she looks like and how to handle it.


A Woman’s Toolbox = Feminine Sexuality

Whether she admits it not, just about every woman eventually realizes her one powerful advantage over a man is her sexuality. We learn how to work our assets to attract male attention, and we just as fast acquire the skillsets to play on a man’s sexual desire, if we want to go there. Truthfully speaking, women have been groomed to behave this way to win male attention over her sisters from the get-go.

It’s just how it is.

And this innate sense of knowledge is true for a woman irrespective of whether or not she permits herself to use her sexually-alluring feminine virtues in a persuasive manner.

According to an article published by Science of the People, “men are more attracted to a woman who engages in flirtation behavior to show she is available versus the best-looking woman in the room.”

All good. Flirting is a natural part of the mating game. It’s just that some women are more comfortable exploiting and using their sexuality to manipulate men than others, and, unfortunately, some women possess no boundaries when it comes to who’s man they are flirting with — friendships be damned.

The Flirty Friend

You can be flirty. I can be flirty. Depending on who’s doing the flirting, it can be quite fun and definitely arousing. But I most definitely have never crossed the “flirty” line with a girlfriend’s man. That has never been my style.

Personally, when it comes to flirting, I much prefer to playfully tease a man on an intellectual level rather than bat my lashes and push my boobs in his face like a brainless ditz. There is just something about a man who can use his intellect to stimulate. It’s like the ultimate foreplay to foreplay, if you know what I mean.

Hmm… back to the flirty friend.

I used to know the woman in the opening paragraph around the same time that I met my now husband. She was a shocker around men. It didn’t matter who he “belonged” to — if he was male and within her proximity, he was an open game.

Shocking, huh?

My friend had no qualms about shamelessly flirting with my husband each time she was around us. I’m talking full-ball performance here — from showing up wearing revealing clothes to the coy smiles to the accidently-on-purpose pawing all over him to the relentless playful banter.

It was draining just watching her.

Naturally, he reacted accordingly. She was a gorgeous woman and, well, it’s hard to find a hotblooded heterosexual man in this world who doesn’t respond in some fashion to the attention of an attractive lady.

It’s an ego thing.

Makes him feel connected to his “sexual-conqueror self” and all that masculinity stuff, reminding him that he’s still got what it takes to capture the interest and hook attractive women.

Enough said about that.

I’m not sure if my friend behaved like a hussy due to some kind of buried childhood scarring. You know, like “daddy” issues or fear of abandonment and whatnot. Honestly, I didn’t care. I’m not the type to pin the blame of adult behavior on childhood trauma, and especially not when it comes to matters of the heart.

We all have a past that we must work on if we’re going to get the most out of this life. And most adults know the difference between good and bad behavior within our friendships, too.

Chris Rock is a funny guy. I remembering hearing the below quote and laughing because it was so true when he said:

When a guy introduces his boy to his new girlfriend, when they walk away, his boy goes, ‘Aww man, she’s nice, I gotta get me a girl like that.’ When a woman introduces her new man to her girlfriend, after they walk away, her girlfriend goes, ‘I gotta have THAT guy.’”

It just goes to show that a woman can be downright determined when she fancies a man. Even more so when she falls in love with him. Let’s not explore that scenario right now.

Handling the Flirty Friend

At first, I tried very hard to be the “better” person in the above-mentioned situation. I didn’t want to let my friend’s extreme flirtatiousness affect me. Even though she possessed some lovely qualities — she was fun, upbeat, kind and interesting — I knew deep down that what she was doing was pretty rotten.

It doesn’t matter much you focus on the positive qualities of some people, or how far you strive to be that “better” person, at the end of the day it comes down to what you are willing to accept as a part of your life experience.

The entire situation eventually snowballed when she showed up at my doorstep eager to impart saucy titbits craftily concocted by her fascination. That was when her devious mindset had worn down its final thread — The cunning tongue, rear door insinuations and sly attempted take-downs …. the way she seemed to have no regard for my feelings.

No thanks.

So, I handled it. I cut her from my life and never looked back.

Game over.

Sometimes, the anecdote to poison ivy is having the guts to suck out the venom and walk away. Because life is too fleeting and precious to waste on the weeds.


Also published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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life, Love and Connection, mindset, relationships, Romance

Relationship Power-Struggles? It May be Time to Surrender to Love

Let’s talk about love connection, baby.


“Surrender isn’t about being passive. It’s about being open.”

— Danielle LaPorte

Remember when you used to play that game of tug-of-war as a kid? You willingly chose to place yourself in a situation where two people or factions fought to keep or obtain the same thing. Love can often feel like a game of tug-of-war. It’s that push-pull dynamic between a couple that usually causes more harm than good. But tug-of-war only works if both sides pull on the rope and struggle fiercely — if one side let’s go of the rope, it’s game over — there is no longer a tug-of-war.

The same rule applies to the game of love.

The inevitable moment will come when every couple engages in some kind of power struggle. We go from completely giving ourselves over to a new lover at the beginning of a relationship, to the sometimes-messy task of establishing a sense of equilibrium and balance.

Kind of like an emotional game of tug-of-war.

I was super young when I fell for the guy who eventually became my first husband. At the time, it wasn’t long before I was head-over-heels in love with him, spending every free moment together between the long hours working as an apprentice in a hair salon.

He didn’t hide the fact that he was utterly captivated by me, showing his adoration through attentiveness, surprising me with gifts and often talking about the future. He came across as thoughtful, gentle and kind, and he declared his love for me quite early on in the relationship.

It was the famous “honeymoon” phase in the love-game that precedes the power-struggle stage of a union.

Actually, this “balancing” phase of a relationship is necessary and important. Not only is this period the part when you get to fully work out your lover’s true intentions and motivations for the future of the relationship, but the push-pull dynamic is where you will truly find love’s foundations — the stability and security within the relationship that allows you to establish trust with your heart enough to carry it forward. Then, you can get back to your normal life after surviving the sexy love-storm (well, somewhat).

Not to mention that you might even discover a surprise or two about your lover during this stage. Like those personality quirks you didn’t realize existed until now . . .

Hmm . . . Why the hell does he flush the toilet 2/3 of the way through peeing so that there is still a little bit of pee left in the loo after it’s done flushing?

Such is the mystery of love (and men), but let’s talk about . . .

Love Games

Author of The Love Gap, Jenna Birch knows that power-struggles in relationships can take on different forms: “Sometimes, they come from the place of believing you’re right and your partner’s wrong, and you both should get your way entirely — because it’s ‘the best way’”.

You knowthe best way isn’t always the right way. Besides that, someone wise once said that “two wrongs don’t make a right”, right?

We all know it even when we pretend that we don’t.

As with every situation, we find ourselves in life recognizing when you are in midst of the power-struggle phase is the first step toward gaining clarity and resolution over said dynamic — provided that you’re both reasonable adults, of course.

The blame-game sucks, yes?

Agreed.

So, if you aren’t prepared, this rocky little path can fast lead toward ridiculous accusations, dumbass denial and multi-rounds of that dreadful blame-game.

I love you, for sure.

He said.

The dynamic usually reveals itself as the intrinsic need to self-affirm and assert oneself on the many levels encompassing the relationship. It can even eventuate as a long-term love/hate power-trip game if we’re not careful.

I’m sure you know how it goes — a certain whiff of self-centeredness rears its ugly head and suddenly, you’re going loggerheads with your beloved.

If you aren’t ready for and aware of it, accusations bordering on ludicrous may fly like doves on speed in both directions.

How it plays out is determined by the maturity of the couple. That, and how much each person has opened themselves to the relationship at the height of the “love-bubble” period.

Red Flags

If both people have the proper emotional tools at hand, this emotional war for power doesn’t have to be too draining — but “emotional tools” equate to a certain level of emotional maturity.

That doesn’t mean you or your partner have all the answers, but it does mean that you both have the skill-set to keep your cool when things become stormy, and that’s important in love.

Personally, I think that this “power-struggle” period of a relationship is the perfect time to flush out and recognize any “red flags” about your partner’s behavior and personality that you may have missed during the initial love-drunk stage.

Toxic and controlling behavior like treating you like a child, unpredictable outbursts, lecturing, blame and trivializing your feelings.

For instance, looking back at this period of time with my first husband, I can clearly point out those above-mentioned traits as well as his need to monitor my every move, treat me to unbearably long lectures and show his ever-growing jealousy.

I just wish that I had the sense of personal power and wisdom to follow my intuition at the time. As it was, I went ahead and married him despite the red flags.

More from Birch:

“Usually, relationships work best when someone takes the lead and the other person is more flexible or fluid.”

In other words, to truly love is to participate in a generous slice of give and take backed up with the ability to compromise and demonstrate the patience, empathy and tolerance that is required to successfully navigate the power-play stage — these rich human characteristics are a part of what it means to love with compassion, and all without slapping conditions and blame on your lover.

Birch says that if you want to overcome the power-struggle, “it’s important to recognize when it’s best to push and pull back”.

That way, your turn to have your way and say will come.

The real secret to winning the love game is how far you’re willing to surrender to love, not your lover.

Surrender to Love

Surrendering to love doesn’t mean that you give up your power and become someone’s doormat, or even placing yourself at the mercy of your lover’s whims.

What I am suggesting is that you take the philosophy that empowers you and enhances your own inner-connectedness — to yourself and your lover — the high road on the journey of love.

No one ever really wins at a power-struggle. There are only losers of the heart.

Every harsh word. Each accusation. Every single act of rage, gaslighting, emotional blackmail or punishment — all of those interactions contribute to slowly corroding the quality of your relationship and stripping the connection of trust over time.

Love is more worthy. You are more worthy.

You’ve got to remember that you always have a choice about how you respond to your lover and how you perceive any given situation, no matter how intense and emotional things become between you — you have a choice.

My ex-husband possessed neither the emotional tools nor mindset to overcome his toxic, argumentative ways of being in the world, never searching inside of himself to become a better person, father and husband. This is a man who took no responsibility for the hurt and pain he caused others. Nor did he make an effort to control his emotional agitation or even try to understand me — who I was or the way I saw the world.

That’s the complete opposite of surrendering to love.

It was a choice that limited him, broke our relationship and damaged the actual process of love. Love cannot be manipulated like a puppeteer.

Love cannot be shackled to a kitchen sink and controlled with brute force or intimidation, either.

Surrendering to love means both people commit to the process of loving, regardless of the circumstances. It means honor between souls enough to cherish the quality of the connection while choosing to deepen the bonds through seeking out the most valuable gifts in each other.

It means allowing love to thrive in its natural state — being who you are and accepting and relishing those differences, believing in each other, and choosing to love to a higher beat than ever before.

Surrendering to love is one of the greatest secrets of the meaning of life because the way and the degree in which you choose to love is what will reflect back into and enrich your personal experiences — it is the selfless act of giving and opening yourself to the wonders of your heart-space — the place where amazing bits of you awaits your personal discovery within your lover’s heart and soul.

Beautify your life journey through deeper connection. Surrender to love.


This article was originally published by P.S I Love You on Medium

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Be inspired, life, mindset, People

The 8 Natural Qualities of Exceptionally Cool People

Cool isn’t just what you say, it’s what you do.


 Austin Powers. For some reason, the prolific 1960s spy who was unfrozen and thrust into an array of new assignments in a confusing ’90s world, is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of someone exceptionally cool — “Yeah, baby?”

Okay, so the main selling point of the film series was clearly imbued with the joyous sexism reminiscent of early Bond flicks, but no one can deny that the always-up-for a-good-time, lusting for life and love Austin Powers, was exceptionally cool in his own right.

Love him or hate him, Austin Powers is remarkably unique.

Have you ever observed someone and thought: “Whoa! That dude is so cool. I want to be like that.”

It is never because of what there are wearing, what they do for a living or what they own. It is because there is something about them that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Something you admire.

That’s how all exceptionally cool people are. Their way of being in the world — how they think, what they choose to do, and how they talk and move — is all part of their wildly different identity that draws others toward them.

If you’re anything like me, you may wonder how they got to be so damn cool. Is there a secret to being less-than-ordinary? Were these people just born with a magnetic personality?

Thankfully, we don’t have to be a shagadelic imitation of Austin Powers to be cool. That is because there is no one secret formula that separates what we call exceptionally cool people from the rest of us — it boils down to what and who they are, along with certain qualities that come naturally to them.

And it is something we can all easily learn and effectively reproduce in our own lives.


1. Cool is Friendliness

Sometimes it can feel as if the world is full of rude, ill-mannered and inconsiderate people.

That is very uncool.

The thing about the people we consider to be cool is that we appreciate them for their caring nature and willingness to treat others in the way they would like to be treated.

They will give you their undivided attention and you can sense their genuine interest in you. These kinds of people know that a friendly attitude makes a positive impact not only at an interpersonal level, but to the world as a whole.

Kindness creates a ripple-effect.

I don’t need to tell you that kind-hearted and friendly people attract more of the same into their lives, and that makes us want to spend more time getting to know them.

Applying the Friendliness Quality

Being kind and friendly makes you feel good about yourself — happier. Make an active choice to qualify any negative feelings with something that feels better.

All of us can take the initial move towards potential friendly behavior with others. We can all make a difference.

2. Cool is Confidence

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” — Nelson Mandala

To be clear, when I speak of confidence, I’m not talking about blind arrogance here — that’s another category altogether.

However, I am touching on the type of self-confidence and self-belief that is needed to have faith in your skills and creativity — the kind that helps you keep striving to realize your life goals and dreams.

Pretty cool.

Yes, cool people have their low days and self-doubts like everyone else, but they also have the ability to overcome the fear of the unknown, set their personal-bar high and follow through with the courage to start new things.

They are the type who continue to test their limits and skills, while forming new ideas in their quest to manifest their greatest desires. Even when those around them are still pondering how to get started.

We naturally admire these people.

Applying the Confidence Quality

Try not to confuse confidence with ego. Rarely does one equal the other. Believing in yourself is what allows you to rise up and reach your potential. Realize that self-belief has a cause-and-effect motion, exactly as Nelson Mandala said in the above-mentioned quote.

That is positive power imbued in exceptionally cool confidence.

3. Cool is Philosophy

Every exceptionally cool thought leader is a forward-thinking rebel by nature. These individuals don’t much care about authority and are fast to question the ideal moral framework with regards to traditionalism, “right human conduct” and conformity.

Austin Powers provides a groovy example of a revolutionary mindset:

“If we had known the consequences of our sexual liberation, we would’ve done things much differently, but the spirit would remain the same. It’s freedom baby.”

Those with a sense of inner-freedom are the type who naturally live their life knowing the truth of John Allen Paulos’s popular observation about life:

“The only certainty in life is uncertainty”

Very cool people are open-minded with a focus on what matters most to them — their quality, freedom and vision for life, regardless of what others think of them.

Applying the Philosophy-Quality

I’m not suggesting that you need to break the law, wave your protesting-pitchforks at the next “extremists” rally or host psychedelic orgies to be cool.

But do try to make the time for introspection — stretch your awareness to encompass self; go deep and ask the important questions — about yourself, the world and your life purpose.

Analyze stale societal conventions that may be holding you back.

You see, opening your mind to new ideas is what creates positive change, improved thought-patterns and ways of being. Philosophy in a nutshell.

4. Cool is Inspiration

Just by being who you are.

A quality many cool people demonstrate is the innate love to evoke inspiration as much as they are motivated by the inspirational qualities in others. They give and take in mutual balance as they willingly share what they know minus the airs and graces.

That is, without being condescending or expecting something in return.

I also think that cool people strive to bring out the best in you by showing trust in your potential and lending you words of encouragement. It just feels uplifting to be around someone like that; as if you don’t need to worry about being judged, scorned or undervalued, even when you mess up.

But the best thing about cool people is that they walk-the-talk — fully backing up their words with actions, showing you what you mean to them.

Real life cool people know the power in showing up for others.

We can all do that.

Applying the Inspiration Quality

Don’t do things for people and always expect the favor returned. Try not to say things you don’t mean or make promises you cannot keep.

Short and sweet — keep it real. That’s inspirational.

5. Cool is Desirable

We all want to feel seen, known, and cherished by others.

Right? It’s the feeling that drives us towards attaining love, intimacy and connection in our lives.

Attraction is the energy emanating from within that draws people closer to us. It creates desire, intrigue, and deeper connections in relationships.

What is often misunderstood about desire and attraction is the fact that it has very little to do with your outwardly appearance and everything to do with how you feel about yourself.

Attraction happens from the inside out.

One of the coolest guys I know dated my girlfriend for a number of years. He wasn’t overly attractive but he was smart with a voracious, magnetic personality, and he was funny as hell.

Humor is very cool. You know this.

Anyway, just being around my friend’s fella somehow switched my energy meter to high, and that made him a desirable person to hang out with.

Cool people are less likely to spend time trying to create an appearance that fits a particular aesthetic and more time cultivating an inner connection to who they are.

Applying the Desirable Quality

First, you must realize and internalize that desirability is not about what you wear but how you wear it, and it’s definitely not about what you do but how you do it.

Feeling like an attractive human being is about cultivating an inner-connection to who you are and standing strong within yourself as that person.

Appreciate and love who you are.

Self-love and self-care are key factors because when you feel good about yourself, others will find those same qualities highly appealing. And it’s desirable.

6. Cool is Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, express and control your emotions, and it is a very cool quality in a person.

Whether expressing honest feelings or dealing with a blow-up of some sort, it takes a certain level of intellectual capacity and self-awareness to remain “together” during the hard times.

Think about the people you consider to be cool. I bet you seldom see them acting out with anger, or slicing and dicing someone with harsh words when things don’t go their way.

Cool people keep their cool.

They understand the significance of staying under control when circumstances force them to burn out. They also realize their irrational response will achieve nothing other than to worsen the situation.

They work at dealing with problems by focusing on solutions, rather than losing their cool. And they make sure you know that you are important to them, regardless of the circumstances.

Applying Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is mindfulness-in-action — it’s the ability to empathize, communicate effectively and defuse conflict.

Be conscious of your inner-world and immediate responses by practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises; and paying attention to the moment, your body and your feelings.

7. Cool is the Language of Love

What sets exceptionally cool people apart from everyone else is that they see the good in others and don’t withhold expressing their love to the people they care about.

It touches our hearts so deeply to feel the truth and honesty of love.

Somehow, cool people are able to effortlessly touch you in the most meaningful and unexpected ways with their deepest truths, acts of humility and humble hearts. They are the type of people who show you beauty where you previously saw none, as well as restoring your faith where you most need it.

That’s what cool people do — they remind us to believe that we too are worthy of great love, beauty and kindness.

Applying the Language of Love

Truly exposing yourself to the language of love can be scary because you must allow yourself to become vulnerable. I totally get that.

However difficult it may seem, you have got to remember that love is worth every bit of putting yourself out there, as that’s what creates deeper connection and intimacy in your life experiences.

Exposing ourselves to great love and vulnerability takes courage — take a deep breath and dip your toes in a little at a time. Trust your intuition. Celebrate your ability to sense and experience love deeply in this lifetime.

That’s what makes you beautifully human.

8. Cool is Being Your Authentic Self

It may very well be impossible to always operate from your authentic self, but it is entirely possible to become aware of and connect with your authenticity. It is making the choice to merge with that immaculate, hidden part of yourself once again; learning who you really are and how to be true to that person.

Cool people know the value in authenticity and keep up the inner-work to be able to identify when their behavior or actions don’t align with their authentic nature. They realize that to experience a meaningful life is to fully embrace who they are, holding their inner-sanctuary in a place of love and forgiveness, along with the important people in their lives.

Exceptionally cool people empower others with their presence. They have a knack for making you feel cool, too, just by being around them.

Applying the Authentic Quality

To find your authentic self, you’ve got to dig beneath the layers of borrowed thought processes and learned behavior, social conditioning and expectations; as well as needless education and unnecessary moral policing.

Qualify every aspect of your life by honoring who you are. Accept, connect and strengthen how you choose to love yourself and others.

Being authentic takes real practice and effort, though it’s an important aspect of your humanity worth striving for.

Friendliness, confidence, philosophy, inspirational, desirable, emotional intelligence, love and authenticity, are all shared qualities that come naturally to exceptionally cool people.

But they won’t tell you that they are essentially good people. They won’t need to — their actions will speak loud and clear.

Now, that’s exceptionally cool.

Yeah, baby!


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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Humor, life, mindset, sexuality, Women

How to Be Effortlessly Cool

Ode to the women who make it look easy

by Jennifer M. Wilson


This is a total bait and switch title. Did you think I was going to teach you how to be “effortlessly cool”? Hell no! I have no fucking clue how to be hip! Do cool people still say “hip”? 

I wish I were the type of woman who woke up, tossed on a vintage Ramones t-shirt (I don’t think I’ve ever even heard a song by them, that’s how uncool I am), some ripped skinny jeans and…crap I don’t know what shoes would go with that outfit without looking like I tried too hard.

I want to be the woman who just looks cool and fashionable without even trying. When the outfit looks flawless, everything seems to come together.


How do you define those women who look fabulous no matter what they wear? It’s like their clothes are a tribute to their essence and their soul. A woman who looks spectacular in a business suit might look ridiculous in the same summer romper worn perfectly on another.

For me to look good, it takes effort. I can look fantastic in that business suit too, but it won’t feel comfortable on me; it’ll feel like a costume. When I wear my “standard uniform” of skinny jeans and a weird t-shirt (usually made myself because I’m a crafting nerd with a Cricut), I don’t look “effortlessly chic”. I look homeless.

So if wearing what is comfortable doesn’t inherently make a person stylish, but dressing up doesn’t make them fashionable either…what is the special sauce for those that make it look so easy and perfect?


High school is one place you never want to stand out. At least, that was the case in the 1990s. This was the era of In Living Color, when J Lo was an unknown backup dancer. Baggy oversized sweatshirts. Overalls. Air Jordans. One girl in my school followed the beat of her own drum.

I jumped to my yearbook to remember her name. I’m looking through mobs of grainy black and white pictures (my GOD kids today are lucky Photoshop exists), figuring I probably wouldn’t recognize her. Nope. BOOM. Her gorgeous smile and bouncy blond curls popped out of the page.

Her name was Sarah.

She wore hippie-style outfits. Lots of peace signs and cartoon-y flowers. Nothing like our faux hip hop clothes. In our final year of high school, she decided she wouldn’t shave her legs. Did I mention that we had a Best Legs Competition? (yeah, that’s a little inappropriate in hindsight)

Of course, Sarah won. She had legs for miles and could pull off crazy knee-high socks with bright patterns.

Anyone else straying from the teen norm and growing leg hair would be a high school pariah. Not Sarah. She didn’t give a shit. She wore shorts and skirts. It wasn’t attention-seeking; she simply didn’t care. The rest of us girls were awestruck.

Is that the definition of being “effortlessly chic”?

I would look like a clown in Sarah’s outfits. But on her, it was like she walked out of an Abercrombie for Hippies catalog. Is the key that it’s something that feels natural to who you are? Not “comfortable” like my lazy jeans and t-shirt look. But “natural”, like comfortable to the wearer but spiced up a bit.

That might be the secret.


Purging her closet to embrace minimalism, a friend of mine gave me a bag full of clothes. She works in the entertainment industry so I trust her taste in fashion better than I do my own.

While there were things I didn’t keep, I held onto a fitted orange corduroy blazer. It sounds hideous, right? I kept it for years when one day, while heading out the door wearing the usual jeans and t-shirt uniform, I grabbed it on a whim. Surprisingly, it fit me perfectly. This jacket fits as if tailored custom for me.

As I walked around work that day, I received dozens of compliments on the jacket. Even a few male employees risked HR suspension by saying, “Wow…that color on you…you look great!” and “You look really good today.”

Had I unknowingly mastered “effortlessly chic” without knowing it?


Perhaps I’ve cracked the code: The key to looking effortlessly chic isn’t wearing comfortable clothes. It isn’t wearing clothes that are too dressed up for your style. It’s the intersection of your go-to outfits with pieces outside of your typical comfort zone. Not so much that you feel self-conscious; just enough to feel like you mixed it up a little outside of your norm.

What that in mind, scroll up to the picture at the top. Unsplash Photo Woman may be used to leather and high boots, but maybe wearing animal print isn’t her jam — Boom.

Effortlessly chic. Nailed it.


About Jennifer M. Wilson

From Medium: My midlife crisis and adventures along the way. I write because in real life my humor is allegedly too sarcastic and inappropriate.

Read more of Jennifer’s work on Medium: NinjaGirl@gmail.com


This post was also published by Living Out Loud on Medium.

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Creativity, life, mindset, Newsletter, writing

New Year Energy Revolution

Who and how do you want to be in the world now?


You’ve felt the universal lull lately. The void. In past months, you’ve succumbed to a sense of nothingness. Captured in a loop of indecisiveness. Loneliness or abandonment.

It is as if we’ve all been suspended in vain, waiting for the slightest sign… a shift…. an omen. Waiting to realize the healing secrets of the moon, illuminating a new path.

Haven’t we all been waiting for change?

Transformation is now

Planetary trends and universal energy point towards a new landscape for 2021 and beyond, suggesting new vibrations and energetic frequencies. Meaning great potential and opportunity for a whole new life experience.

“Riding on the crest of a grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, the atmosphere is high minded, hopeful and inspired.”

 Astrologist Belinda Dunn

The 2021 energy-revolution is an artisan time of huge creativity, harmonious collaborations and deep inner-trust, as we die to old ways of being, shed our stale skins and societal imprints to embrace the new and improved.

It is now time to stretch our wings in freedom to make choices from within about who we are, what we want, and whom we want to be with.

Saint Germain said:

“There is nothing that comes into the physical form which is not first perfected on the invisible or higher planes.”

In other words, how you perceive the world needs to be seeded from the inside. That’s what gives rise to a new sense of self and manifestation.

The January 2021 Revolution is about releasing old structures and mindsets that no longer serve us and allowing ourselves to go to the next level; thinking of what and who is most important to us and bringing in something new, better…. evolved.

Let’s celebrate harmonious collaborations, energetic revolutions and co-creation together.

This month, Living Out Loud invites writers to share our deepest dreams and strangest musings. Let us create, see, trust and support each other, and let us get a little wild.


Dear Writer,

Who do you want to be now? How do you want to affect the world? And who do you most want to share your life with during these transformative times?

Julia E Hubbel ♥ Gerthy Bingoly ♥ Catherine Evans ♥ Jennifer M. Wilson
Wistful writer ♥ Genius Turner ♥ Kate Mackay ♥ Harley Christensen
David Gerken ♥ Kevin Horton ♥ Kevin Ervin Kelley, AIA ♥ Kate Conradie
Cynthia Webb ♥ Elna Cain ♥ Deeksha Agrawal ♥ Rosie Wylor-Owen
Christopher Wills ♥ Clarrisa Lee ♥ George Frey ♥ Matt Lillywhite
Beth Prentice ♥ Kaia Maeve Tingley ♥ Em Hoccane ♥ Ana Ryan
Kara Summers ♥ Michael Grimes ♥ Anna Foga
Albert Heemeijer — Author at Balboa / HayHouse ♥ Surbhi Tak
Ellen McRae ♥ Anna & Ryan ♥ HKB ♥ Amanda Clark-Rudolph

Love & 2021 Revolution,

Kim, Harley & Lexi

#RealLifeNow

P.S. A HUGE shout out to our wonderful writers who have contributed their stories to our little publication this past month. It’s an honor to share your work with the world.


Latest Stories…

Love and Relationships

#LovingOutLoud #Passion #love

Overcoming a Relationship with a Narcissist by Kara Summers

Loose Boundaries and Parking Problems by Melissa Rhoads

If We Meet and You Don’t Look Like Your Pics, You’re Buying the Drinks Until You Do by Julia E Hubbel

Why Couldn’t He Be Real? by Kara Summers

Narcissists Don’t Have Kids — They “Make Babies” by Kara Summers

The Narcissist’s Cat by Kara Summers

“Can You Talk?” by Melissa Rhoades


Real Life Now

#LivingOutLoud

The Promise of Powerful Money Charms by Kim Petersen

How Have You Changed in 2020? by Jennifer M. Wilson

Walking Away From Negative Relationships by Michael Grimes

I’m Going BALD! by Julia E Hubbel

The Top Movie I Watched All Through 2020 by Julia E Hubbel

Wearing Make-Up: An Ongoing Battle With Society by Rosie Wylor-Owen

Humans and Humanity by Catherine Evans

Humans and Animals by Catherine Evans

The 8 Natural Qualities of Exceptionally Cool People by Kim Petersen

How The Four Happy Hormones Can Help Replenish Your Vitality by Gerthy Bingoly

Unearned Cheap Thrills are for Amateurs. by Julia E Hubbel


Creativity

#CreativeLocomotion #Poetry #fiction

My Guiding Light by Gerthy Bingoly

Where The Green Grass Grows by A.j Thomas

Helping Other Writers by Catherine Evans

Not Just a Writer by Catherine Evans

My Words Dried Up by Catherine Evans

The Perfection of Breathing by Catherine Evans

Writing Events and Conferences by Catherine Evans


Published at Living Out Loud on Medium

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mindset, Spirituality, Wealth

The Promise of Powerful Money Charms

What’s the deal with money charms and superstitions, anyway?


“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

– Lao Tzu

When I was a girl, my grandmother gave me a little pink purse with a coin inside because it was ‘bad luck’ to give someone a purse or wallet without doing so. She told me that money will bring more money, and that you shouldn’t gift someone a money bag without a coin because then it was destined to never have money in it.

Like attracts like.

It was my introduction into the superstitious world of wealth and abundance.

Beliefs about attracting money can run the gamut from the slightly lucrative to the silly, to the downright bizarre. But behind every good luck charm or superstition is a deep-rooted history connected to the charm’s origin and the culture from where it began.

Charms and superstitions about attracting money can evolve from folklore, legends, and even religion. But do they really work? And which of them is the most powerful?

Most of us could use an extra dollop of luck in the wealth department — let’s explore a few of the most popular money superstitions and find out which charm will help bring abundance into your life.

The Money Frog

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was browsing my local Hippie Shop when I overheard a conversation between the store owner and a customer. The shopper, a middle-aged woman with an 80s Metal hairdo wanted to attract more wealth into her life, they were discussing frogs.

“I keep one right here on my cash register.”

The store owner gestured at her cashbox.

My interest was perked enough to check out the very handsome brass frog resting among chunks of crystals, bottles of essential oils and an array of other ornamental creatures.

The shopper frowned. “Does it work? Does he bring you fortune?”

A somewhat thought-provoking question. I cued in for the answer:

“The trick is that you must keep your frog on the left-hand side of your room and facing inwards.”

Hmm….

My left palm got itchy.

Shopper woman was hooked. She bought the frog and other money-attracting items before departing the store looking rather satisfied.

Does it work?

“The Feng shui money frog — also known as the three-legged toad or money toad — has deep symbolic roots. It is a mythological creature with three legs that is said to attract wealth and abundance.”

— Rodika Tchi

Later that afternoon and back home, I had a lightbulb moment when I recalled the little frog sitting among the rocks in my back garden. He was here before us, left by the previous dwellers.

I have a frog! I thought.

He is green with shiny brown spots and a huge grin on his froggy-face. A bit like Kermit, really. So, I fished him out and plonked him in a pot sitting on the left-hand side of the steps just outside my office doors, the sliders open onto the back garden.

It’s still early days, so I have nothing solid to report yet — but the frog does look happy in his newly potted life.

That might be something.

So might be….

The Money Cat

Money superstitions and talismans are always fun to hear. My husband keeps a gold Maneki Neko on the sill in his office window. Its small metallic hand waves on solar-power, greeting the incoming by the front door.

I don’t even know where he got that thing but it kind of makes me feel weird when approaching the entrance door — raised paw waving…. odd look in its black eye…

The “lucky cat” with its raised paw is said to welcome abundance in one’s life.

Take a look:


The legend of the Maneki Neko originated from a story about a wealthy man who took shelter from a rainstorm under a tree next to a temple during the Edo period in Japan (17th century to mid-19th century).

From the article, 5 Interesting Facts About Maneki Neko Cats AKA Lucky Cats:

“The man noticed a cat that seemed to be beckoning to him, so he followed it inside the temple. Shortly thereafter, lightning struck the tree he had been standing under. Because the cat had saved his life, the man was so grateful, he became a benefactor of the temple and brought it much prosperity. When he passed away, a statue of the cat was made in his honor.”

Does it work?

Well, the Lucky-Cat who occupies the bottom level in my home cannot divulge such sensitive information to the mere ordinary. At least, not out loud.

Let’s just say that my husband is by no means short on cash-flow — but he does work extremely hard for his good fortune.

The Money Elephant

Years ago, my Italian girlfriend presented me with a white elephant about the size of a baseball. I have always loved and been fascinated by elephants. There is just something about the majestic animal that speaks to my soul.

I feel the same way about whales.

The first time I saw a Humpback breach some one hundred meters from where I stood on the South Australian shoreline, the experience evoked deep and indescribable feelings within.

I knew God that day.

More on elephants from OneTribe:

“Elephants hold significant meaning in many cultures and symbols of these majestic creatures have been depicted in mythology and religion for thousands of years. There are many meanings and interpretations behind elephant symbols, which are particularly significant in Indian and Asian faiths, including Hinduism and Buddhism.”

The elephant is associated with Buddha and the Indian deity Ganesh. Generally, the universal meaning of the elephant symbolizes strength and power. This meaning refers to both the body and the mind, and many Feng Shui practitioners believe that elephants also represent prosperity, good luck, and success.

My very superstitious girlfriend instructed me to keep my elephant to the left of my front door with his cute ele-butt facing inward to attract wealth.

Hinduism & Elephants tells us:

“The elephant is a very powerful and significant symbol in the Hindu faith as one of their favorite gods, Ganesha, is depicted in the form of an elephant. Ganesha is thought to be the remover of obstacles, as well as the god of luck, protection and fortune.”

Does it work?

Well now, using an ornamental elephant to attract abundance wasn’t necessarily cemented in my belief-system, but hey, I am nothing if not open-minded — who was I to question ancient symbolisms, legends and philosophy passed down by the likes Hindu Gods?

I did as I was told.

My gorgeous white elephant still claims a prime position in my home and honestly, my space is brimming with positive Ju-Ju and abundance in many forms — an enriched life isn’t just about financial abundance.

Take note of this quote from financial advisor, Suze Orman:

“Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.”

Though, I do continue to work hard at keeping my mindset balanced in positive personal-power, as well as putting in the action and maintaining focus on the endgame — my deepest desires in life.

Next, we’re talking about…

The Penny

Finding coins on the street is usually considered a sign of good fortune.

Apparently, the Chinese folk consider finding coins and money in general signifies good luck. Due to this belief, many people consider coins as their good luck charms and believe that they bring them luck in various life situations.

Then there’s this:

“See a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck.”

You know this phrase from the film Grease, right?

Me too.

In fact, I still recite those words to my children when they get excited about finding a coin on the street. I tell them that it’s good luck.

Interestingly, the original version of this phrase was actually, “see a pin and pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck”.

Did you know that? It was a reference to a pagan ritual in which a pin could be used in a good luck spell.

The myth was that a dropped pin might have been used in such a spell and would provide good luck to the person who finds it.

Does it work?

It depends on how you look at it.

Wayne Dyer said it best:

“Every time I pick up a coin from the street, I view it as a symbol of the abundance God sends into my life and feel gratitude. Never do I ask ‘why only a penny’?”

Which flows this conversation into….

The Most Powerful Money Charm

Money charms, weird superstitions and ancient beliefs on attracting money can be a fascinating topic to explore — especially the part about delving into the rich history and thought behind the mythology and folklore where the notions originated.

I think people will always need to draw on some type of belief system in order to help keep the faith when it comes to attracting wealth and abundance in their lives, but no talisman will be so powerful as the mindset we choose to adopt.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey says:

“An abundance mentality springs from internal security, not from external rankings, comparisons, opinions, possessions, or associations.”

And there it is — the most powerful wealth-attracting charm at your disposal is your ability to adopt an abundance mindset and then back it up with action — the hard work behind your passions.

Cultivating mindfulness is what makes all the difference between creating a mindset of scarcity or abundance if you want to bring richer experiences into your world.

After all, according to Oprah Winfrey:

“If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.”

Maybe that’s the secret behind every money charm — the fact that they give their possessor the tools to help shift their perspective to an abundance mindset.

Whatever works, right?


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium


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life, Love and Connection, mindset, relationships, Romance, sexuality

A Sensual Man is Like a Piece of Art

The creative expression of love


I’ll never forget the night when sharing a few drinks with mates at a friend’s place, a much older guy took me aside to let me know that if there was ever a time when I wanted to discover what it felt like to make love to a real man, all I’d have to do is say the word.

He followed up by painting a picture of the long and leisurely hours he would spend making me feel so good, that I would swear off boys forever. He was in his forties; I was about sixteen.

Shocker?

The move was unexpected. Some might even say it was inappropriate. Ha. That’s life, dear friend. People have a way of throwing us a seriously strange loop from time to time. Best get used to it.

Speaking of loops, it wasn’t as if I was putting out “flirty” come-hither-signals his way or anything.

No.

Lord, no.

In fact, by sixteen, I had already adopted a guarded attitude around men in the way that I was very conscious of how males perceived me and of my actions.

FYI: That happens to a girl when she encounters more than her fair share of unwanted male attention, and probably the reason why women often become intolerant and jaded by “sleazy” left-field pick-up lines and unexpected propositions from total strangers.

And yeah, these kind of pick-up artistry tactics were around way before neggingcat theory and strawberry fields became a thing. Like a prehistoric disposition ingrained in human behavior.

Best get used to that, too.

Anyhow, dealing with such an explicit offer from a much older man wasn’t on my “how-to” list of things to handle. It went a bit like this:

Panic. Button.

Help arrived with the appearance of a girlfriend, who happened to interrupt just as he was describing the way he wanted to flick his tongue against my lips. And I don’t mean the ones connected to my mouth.

The strangest thing about it was that once I recovered from the unexpected moment, I couldn’t help but ponder his very scandalous and very sexy offer.

He was right in that the quality of sex coming my way was, by all means primal and immature. Mostly, my carnal knowledge thus far had consisted of horny, rough finger play sessions, teeth where they shouldn’t be and cringe-worthy sucking. All of which preceded a main course of … erm … hard and fast shagging. It was a far cry from the exquisitely-put cunnilingus he had so artfully described.

Sensuality wasn’t a part of my world.

As you can imagine, the only sensual, slow burning passion that had made it anywhere near my all-you-can-eat, long and leisurely sex table arrived within private sexual fantasies and the occasional raunchy flick like Sea of Love.

Ah, Pacino…

I’m uncertain if it’s just that I’m a sucker for the dark, brooding sexy type, or if that Pacino’s killer screen presence totally blinded me — but damn, that man is like the pinnacle of sensuality in my book.

You saw the way he looked at Penelope Ann Miller in Carlito’s Way, right?

Mmm …. where was I?

The truth was that back then I didn’t yet know the touch of a man who really knew how to seduce, pleasure and handle a woman.

AKA: a sensual man.

Yeah, I may have been young and shy — perhaps even a little timid, and I was nowhere near the sexually-actualized woman that I am today, but I knew enough to know a sensual, sexually confident man when I saw one — even if I didn’t how to be the lover he had envisioned me to be.

Thankfully, things are different now.

The years have given me experience enough to know the kind of lover I want and need in my life. I am now a woman who knows how to handle a man in and out of the bedroom, and I understand my body in an intimate way. Which means that I can express exactly what I want in the bedroom to my significant other.

In other words, I’ve grown confident in expressing my sexuality in my relationships.

Pamela Madsen from HuffPost:

“A sexually confident woman is someone who actively pursues erotic and sensual pleasures. She’s not dependant on her partner for the expression of her sexuality, she enjoys touching her own body, and she’s not afraid to explore the world of sexual fantasy.”

Now, that sounds like a woman who celebrates her femininity and is fully expressed in her sexuality. It also sounds like the place where every woman should aspire to be.

Naturally, this type of woman is going to require a man who can hold his own beside her. Someone who understands who he is and what he wants out of life, and who is, like her, in touch with his sexual power and sensuality.

With that in mind, let’s get onto framing that art detailing what a sensual man looks like.

He has…

Artwork Like Creativity

There are no “ifs” or “buts” about it — creativity is just straight-up sexy and an extremely sensual quality for a man to possess.

Right? A creative man is driven by passion and deep desire, and tends to allow his heart and soul to lead the way over pure logic. He has a colorful flare for life with the ability to tap into and connect with his spirit and imagination.

When a creative man brings those qualities into focus on the woman he loves, his love is then charged with passion — pure, sensual magic.

From Noteable Life:

“One thing all artists and creative souls have in common is an insatiable passion — and a desire to express that passion. They tend to put their entire heart and soul into the task at hand — whether we’re creating a painting, writing the lyrics to a song, or in bed with friends, lovers, and significant others.”

A sensual man has artwork like creativity because creativity, imagination and passion are the fire crucible elements of deep love.

Artwork Like Sexual Confidence

Sexual confidence in a man is like a love-channel toward sexual expression and power.

It’s a distinct and intoxicating quality in a man which smells like all of life-force energy, sexual spirit and deep fusion. When a woman gets a whiff of a sexually confident man, she knows he will have no problem handling her most sensual desires.

Another thing to consider about sexual confidence is that our energies do speak volumes way before we even utter a word to someone. It’s like a personal vibration.

Take the example from the story I mentioned earlier. I knew exactly what was on that older man’s mind and that he could deliver in the bedroom just by being around him — he oozed sexual confidence.

A sexually confident man lets a woman know that he is amazing in bed and that he is open to sexual exploration — and honestly, it is a deliciously positive energy that will impact her beyond anything he could ever say out loud.

A sensual man has artwork like sexual confidence because he understands that deep sex with the woman he loves is pure energy healing in its most sacred form.

Artwork Like Eyes

Of all our facial features, our eyes are the most revealing.

Oh, sweet, sensual soul!

When a man knows how to hold his woman with his stare, he actually conveys deeper meaning through his eyes which lets her know that he holds space for and is fully present with her.

It’s like the secret, intimate and intense look he saves just for her, and it is as sensual as hell. A woman can’t ever get enough of such a look from the man she loves.

More about the eyes from Every Day Health:

“When compared with an attractive face, voice, or body odor, a large, dilated pupil is associated with the most attractiveness in both sexes. That’s because when people are aroused, that black circle in the middle of the eye enlarges. Both men and women find this arousal sign attractive, even if only subconsciously.”

A sensual man has artwork like eyes because he knows to “see” his woman is to acknowledge, know, love and connect with her in full presence — like soul syrup for two.

Artwork Like Humor

A man who is touch with his sensuality is someone who is honest, funny and playful without being childish. Yes, humor can be sensual because laughing together is creating positive feel-good vibes between the two of you.

Laughing with your mate is plain uplifting, while at the same time, it strengthens communication and meaningful bonding — not to mention that connected humor really is soul nourishing.

Psychology Today: “A good sense of humor is one of the most desirable traits in a mate, especially in the early stages of dating. Women are particularly interested in a man with a sense of humor, or more specifically, someone that will make them laugh.”

And while we’re on the subject…

Great communication is like adding a dose of sensuality in your love language in that when intentionally achieved on all levels — verbally, soulfully, spiritually and sexually — as well as taking non-verbal cues from your lover, is when great communication has the ability to transcend the relationship to higher states of “being” together.

Think of it in terms of releasing the “genie in a bottle” between you and your lady-lover. It’s that profound in a relationship.

Only good things can unfold from there, because reaching that beautiful level of communication is the ultimate space existing in the realm of love and connection.

A little more about communicating:

A good communicator is someone who is able to not only think, speak and engage in all types of conversation — from witty banter to deep, meaningful discussions — but he is also able to listen to and practice hearing his woman.

A sensual man has artwork like humor and communication because he possesses attributes like self-awareness, integrity, kindness and empathy, and he knows that to fully connect with his woman is to express himself from his authentic heart.

Artwork Like Love

The expression of love is sensual in nature by default — especially when expressed with a full heart, compassion and much attentiveness.

No other emotion can elicit the depth of sensual, erotic feelings as pure love.

A sensual man is in touch with emotional intimacy and he’s not afraid to take the journey into higher states of love with his special woman. In fact, he invites change and personal transformation through love and connection.

I love how Chris Bales describes it when he said:

“There are cornerstones of a man’s development; sexual understanding and implementation is a huge part of the greater whole. Really learning how to be with a woman’s body and soul is a true art form which requires deep listening and a commitment to presence.”

A sensual man is artwork like love because he understands that to love is to be present with love. He is a man who is in touch with his masculinity, yet cherishes and fully respects the sacred gifts discovered in his woman’s femininity; and he will charge forward in love wholeheartedly — the artwork of a sensual man.


Originally published by P.S I love You on Medium

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