Addicted to Simplicity

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“Smother your addiction to chaos with an even greater desire for peace and simplicity.” – Danielle LaPorte 

There was a time I couldn’t get enough.  Enough friends, enough food, enough to drink, enough money, enough attention, enough love.

I constantly wondered what everyone thought of me. I sought after the next date, the next drink, the next thrill.  What was right in front of me was never sufficient; I wondered what was next.  What would tomorrow bring?  The grass was always greener, no matter what seemed to be on the other side.

I was addicted to anything that was different from the state I was currently in- mentally and physically.  Then, one day running from myself stopped working: it was time to stand still.  Instead of changing things, it was time to accept life on life’s terms.

The problem wasn’t the amount I was consuming, the objects I possessed, where I lived, how much money I made, the people in my life or any other outside factors; the problem was me.  I wasn’t enough for myself, therefore nothing would be able to fill my own void.  I wondered why I wasn’t attracting positive people and why chaos continued to follow me.

Until I could accept peace and where I was at that very moment- no matter the situation- outside matters would not make me or break me.

It has taken a lot of hard work, meditation and even battling (and accepting) loneliness to get to a place where I could begin purging people, places and things that were bad for my health or personal growth.  All of the “extras” that no longer serve me have been let go of; but it has been a process.  I have had to let go of negative people, thoughts and actions to begin to create a place of peace for myself- both in my mind and in my home.  Today I no longer waste my energy on trying to make people happy, but instead do things to recharge my soul.  As I begin to feel more complete, I am more capable of lending to helping hand to another, whether it be through volunteering, being a listening ear or telling my story.

Whatever tomorrow brings, I am open- but today, I am enough.

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Choosing Love Over Fear

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Lately I have noticed a reoccurring theme: choosing love over fear. From our nation’s political divide to simple acts of kindness, I have thought a lot about the power of love in everyday life.

Throughout this past winter I have done an immense amount of reflection; after a very intense 2016, I have taken many steps to “clean house” mentally, physically and spiritually. This season has been particularly different from winters in the past; I have viewed the world in a much different way, which has been an interesting challenge with our current political state and the uncertainty that comes with it.

It makes me nervous when I think about what the USA could become; polluted, hateful, segregated and greedy. While I feel a bit sheltered in the liberal, intellectual hub that is Boston (previously NYC and San Francisco), I am aware that much of this nation is fearful of people who are different than they are. The current administration seems to be doing everything in their power to create is a country of division, not diversity- which is not a country I personally would like to live in. As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so eloquently stated:

“We see diversity as a source of strength, not a weakness. Our country is strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them. Every single day, we need to choose hope over fear. Diversity over division. The nearly 7.5 people we collectively serve are better than the cynics and pessimists think they are. People want their problems solved, not exploited.”

 

Prime Minister Trudeau’s message rang true to me, giving me encouragement and hope for a more accepting, loving world. A wonderful example of people coming together was brought to my attention today when I read about a group who raised $60,000 (as of this morning) to help with the repairs of a vandalized cemetery in St. Louis; this act of kindness is exactly the type of effort that brings inspiration and hope to the world. The most encouraging part of this story?

The group raising the money were Muslim activists to help repair the Jewish cemetery.

From ABC News“The fundraisers for the “Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery” campaign said they launched the campaign in an effort to “send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities” and to condemn “hate, desecration, and violence.”

The campaign said the proceeds would go directly to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, and that any additional funds leftover after the cost of restoration would “assist other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide.”

It is absolutely beautiful to see that there is love all around us, no matter what our race or our religion. I believe in finding similarities in one another, not just the differences. I believe in helping people, not greed; I believe in quality, not quantity. I believe in holding out a helping hand, not living a life based on self-serving. The nation that I hope for is a nation of acceptance and love. When we all do better, we all do better; instead of placing blame or exploiting fear-mongering, I hope for a society who seeks a solution.

If you open your eyes to live a life of love over fear, it is amazing to see the miracles that begin to occur. While we may not be able to change the world, each small act of kindness will contribute to a more caring society. Let’s try to focus on solutions, love, and doing the best to be a little bit better each day.

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Doing my part to bring attention to causes I care about. 

A Saturday in Boston

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It finally feels like Spring is around the corner! It has been a beautiful New England weekend; birds are chirping, the sun is out and the snow is melting.

Since it was so lovely outside, I went on a little excursion yesterday to explore the city. I did a little thrift shopping in Davis Square, grabbed a coffee and took the train to Kendall / MIT to walk along the Charles River. I decided to head across the bridge for some views and new angles of Boston and Cambridge.

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Longfellow Bridge

Walking south across the bridge is picture-perfect with its views of Beacon Hill, the Back Bay and Cambridge. It’s an easy .3 mile stroll (1,767 feet) and great for running, biking, walking and photo opportunities.

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Beacon Hill

After making it across the Longfellow Bridge I approached Beacon Hill, a beautiful neighborhood with historic brick homes on steep hills, old lamp posts and true New England feel. I walked along the Charles Street shopping district and window shopped, admiring the boutiques, architecture and historic charm.

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Boston Common / Public Garden

Charles Street ends right at the entrance of Boston Common, which was the first public park in the United States. It’s beautiful during the winter, with a frozen-over pond where swan boats float during summer months. I can’t wait for warm days in the park!

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Newbury Street / Back Bay

In every city I have lived, there’s always that one street the captures my heart; from its Victorian-style buildings to its upscale shops, Newbury Street reminds me of the other neighborhoods I love (San Francisco’s Union and Chestnut Streets, Chicago’s Armitage Ave in Lincoln Park, New York’s Greenwich Village) and flock to for its shopping, cafes and architecture. My favorite shops on Newbury are Tiffany’s (window shopping only, for now!), Kate Spade, Nordstrom Rack and Alex and Ani.

Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been much more motivated to go on weekend adventures, get outside and finally learn new areas of the city. I put in over six miles yesterday, and it feels great to finally get back on track and out of the winter hibernation funk!

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