Reading Between The Lines

Us women are known to somewhat – how you say – “misread” situations.  When in a position or situation we tend to have an idea of what’s going on and run with that notion as we look for confirming beliefs, as opposed to seeing the full picture for what it is.  Case in point: We hear from a dude we may have once crushed on in the past, seemingly out of the blue and instead of thinking ‘He want’s me,’ we think ‘What does he want from me?’  We go on a date with a guy who – at the end of the date – doesn’t lean in for that anticipated first kiss and tell ourselves ‘He’s just not that into me,’ all whilst avoiding the very clear fact that your dinner date with him lasted four (or so) hours.  Or you might be single, spending all your days (and hours, and minutes) back and forth texting and emoticon sharing with another single guy, but since he never asks you out nor has he yet to initiate a plan, you assume he’s just messaging you to ‘Keep his options open,’ as opposed to maybe seeing that he’s just trying to get to know you before he makes that bold move.

Now I get it, it isn’t safe for us blonde, bronzed, babes to be optimistic if a situation clearly doesn’t call for it, but it is rather healthy to, not only perceive a situation in a level headed fashion, giving it the benefit of the doubt, but also be clear with our intentions and be confident enough to ask others about theirs, when feeling confused, uncertain or doubtful. Raise your hand for all the times you’ve left a date, only to dial up your bestie the second you walk in the door to try to decode what x, y and z meant on the date.  Intuitive though your best friend might be, she certainly is not in the head of the guy you were just with.  Ride the wave.  Feel him out.  Don’t analyze but instead grasp the situation with a big picture mentality.  If you reach a point where you generally feel confused or are aware that you might be on different pages, it’s better to read between the lines and – if you dare – ask him to be more clear.  If only we had a legend for what all those emoticon’s and looks, and endless banter really means; if only the matters when it comes to the opposite sex were that easy.

From my experience, like breeds like so if you start thinking the best of situations instead of the worst, if you start expecting good things instead of the bad, you’ve already done most of the work.  Reframe you dauntless darling, you.

– Jenny Jen

Photo Credit: Source.


New Beginnings

The start of a new month. The start of a new (Jewish) year. The start of a new journey.

I woke up this morning and smiled down at my phone when I saw the date: October 1st. I – like many of us – am someone who is ridiculously date-driven. I use dates as motivators, the 1st of the month being one to elicit a fresh start. Now being motivated is all well and good, but what’s better is when one takes action. September was a great month, the busiest in my writing career. This month alone, I landed the opportunity to contribute relationship articles to a handful of publications that I am so proud to be a part of, including: ELLE Canada, Canadian Living, Sympatico and SliceTV. But with the busyness that was September, not to mention a week long trip to the Caribbean, the things that truly make me whole seemed to no longer get my undivided. Instead, my lust for flirting with new recipes in the kitchen, hitting the mat to get my yoga on and all my other daily habits went untended.

This month my agenda is to engage in a love affair with the things that keep me keeping on:

– practice yoga five times a week
– try two new, healthy recipes a day
– read my book club book each day instead of rushing to get it in the night before (aka: day of)
– host a Thanksgiving dinner party for my closest friends
– blog daily
– add a cooking/baking/recipe section to my blog (like I’ve been saying I’ve wanted to do for a while now)

I am my utmost happiest when I am living well and taking care of myself. So long lavish three course dinners at restaurants night after night, au revoir eating unsatisfying, fuel-less foods a quirky cafes in which I write and hello preparing new, challenging meals (and treats) for myself and those I love (who might love me even more for using them as my guinea pigs to taste test my recipes).

At the end of the day, whether or not you possess the things you’ve always wanted, you will never truly be happy until you can feed yourself. Unless you can take time to be one-on-one with yourself, not lost in the distraction that is work, and work events and heading out with friends. I’m so excited for this journey. And I know if maybe I don’t get in my five classes a week, that that’s ok too. And maybe if I miss a blog post here and there because – either something came up – or I just didn’t get to it that day that that too is ok. But my hope is that this motivating feeling, which comes from a healthy place, will be one that will help me reconnect with myself. I look forward to sharing my recipes with you and hope I have somehow inspired you to hone in on what it is that you’re missing in your life, so that you can take action and inject life back into your stream. With living well comes attracting others and helping them too become the best they can be.

– Jenny Jen

You Stubborn Fuck

Many of us hold on to our ‘do not’s’ so hard at the expense of taking care of ourselves and our true needs. Call this ‘being set in our ways’, but essentially it’s called ‘being stubborn’.

Exhibit A: A friend see’s you’re down and invites you out to a hot new cocktail bar for a drink, ‘I planned on watching the premier of Gossip Girl, tonight,’ you exclaim. Or perhaps you say ‘I don’t go out on work nights’, or perhaps (fill in your excuse of choice). But whatever it is that holds you back from things (and let me tell you blondie, PVR will still allow you to watch said Gossip Girl epi), just because they put a dent in your set way of thinking or doing, isn’t an excuse to not be open to change. Why? Because they are within your control.

It’s as if we stick to our ways to prove to ourselves we can. ‘I practice yoga everyday,’ you gloat as you push other important things (and people) aside in order to get in your daily practice, oblivious to the neglected and how those things and people could benefit you equally to the time spent on the mat. We do this because we cling to what we tell ourselves in a ‘this is how I do’ kind of way. As if following through on what we told ourselves we would do gives us a sense of control. (Note: this is a false sense of control. Control would be taking care of ourselves and being open to change).

To this I say notice it and let it go. So what if you miss your daily yoga practice one day, or dare I say ‘two days’, in a row? Is that going to change who you are? Make you lesser of a person? And if you answered yes to those questions you stubborn princess you, then realize that it’s you passing these judgments and limiting yourself, not anyone else. So what if you have that second glass of red even though ‘you told yourself’ you wouldn only have one tonight?

We often make these little set promises and rules for ourselves to live by, and give ourselves a hell of a hard time when we don’t follow through with them. So what? No seriously, so what? If you change your mind and do something different than you originally told yourself, so be it. Get out of your head, let go your own expectations and regulations and stop holding yourself back for fear of letting yourself down.

This way of being also applies to how we are in our relationships. With each new partner, we often tend to act in the same predictable ways which we’ve taught ourselves. We often fail to change our steps, and instead fall prey to doing things like we always have, even if the person we are with is more important to us than the last one. Rough break. Ever split with a guy only for people to say ‘I told you so’, ‘he always does this’, ‘it’s his thing’ (despite the fact that you thought you were different, and things with the two of you were in no way comporable to his past situations). Yeah, exactly. By being stubborn and not breaking free from our set-in-stone, stubborn as fuck ways, we risk both our own fulfillment and our own development. We don’t give our loved ones the respect they deserve, even when they ask it of us, because we don’t know any better, our patterns too ingrained from the past. When will we all learn?

Shake off that stubborn nature. It isn’t attractive and won’t do your great self justice. Let go of how you think things ‘should’ be or what you’ve told yourself you ‘would’ do. These are only promises you’ve made to yourself in your own head. There is no truth or law that this is how you must behave. You’re not a failure if you change your mind or plan.

Good talk.

– Jenny Jen

Photo Credit: Source.