Posted in Inspirational

Broke a Nail, Made a Friend

Yesterday, when I was getting ready to go to the U2 concert, I broke a nail.  Gasp.  It sucked, but I had nail glue and pieced it back together so it looked kind of ok from far away.  I’d just gotten my nails done the day before, in a sort of beigy mocha colour for a change, so people have been looking at them more than usual and broken nails make people look like hobos, which is misleading as I have a permanent residence in the lower mainland.  So I knew I’d have to go in and get it fixed today, and today I had 3 meetings in different cities, so I didn’t have a lot of time…all of this added up to much annoyance on my part, culminating at the point where my group was walking out of BC place back to my car and me feeling that my expert glue job hadn’t held and now I really did have a hobo air about me.  Sigh.

So today after my third meeting I quickly ate lunch standing up and drove to my nail salon.  Fixing a nail is free, but it takes about 10-15 minutes when you can sit down and let them get to work.  How long that takes varies, because obviously no one makes appointments for breakages so you have to either call in the day you break one or just pop in and see if they can squeeze you in.  I’m a pop in girl myself.  So I went in there and was greeted with the usual ‘Bee-ahh-nahhh!’ from the ladies, and I held up my little ravaged finger as an explanation as to why I was visiting so early.  They told me they could get to me in a few minutes; they had two other customers in there, so I sat down on the little waiting couch so I could text my sister and watch a show about female orgasms.  It was pretty informative; they had a diagram.

When they were ready, I took my seat and they set about prying the remaining part of the mangled gel nail off of my thin withered little underneath real nail and re-doing it.  By the time they were re-applying the gel, the show had switched to plastic surgery.  Shows about plastic surgery shown to audiences of relaxed women always elicit the same response: loathing.  We hate the pressure we put on ourselves and each other to look a certain way.  We also hate that the often chosen self-inflicted penalty for not looking the ‘right way’ is sawing a hole into our thighs, jamming a tube in and sucking out what looks like a strawberry milkshake left in the sun.  As we were all groaning and wincing, I asked loudly “why can’t we just be happy with what we have, and take care of ourselves, and have that be good enough?”, to which the women in the nail salon replied “Yeah!”.  And then the lady next to me turned and started telling me about her 17 year old daughter, the current Miss White Rock, who is a great example of health And beauty.  She told me about the fundraising her daughter has been doing and the organizations she’s been partnering with.  Of course, this was a great intro to my job as a fundraiser.  The lady was interested in what we’re doing at WorldServe, especially about my youth fundraising kits and the importance of fundraising more and going over to these countries less.  We had a great talk, I gave her my card and she said she’d email me the info on the organizations she’d told me about.  I’m not sure if she will or not, but in the end that’s not what matters to me.  We connected over those 5 minutes in a real way, and we validated each others views and values.  In a world where most people are starving for connections, we found a way to have one, however small, in a little nail salon in White Rock.

All because I broke my stupid nail.

Posted in Inspirational

My mission, should I choose to accept it…

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that Jesus died for my sins because he loves me and wants to spend eternity with me in Heaven. Not only that, but he loves my brothers and sister and parents and neighbours and school friends and grandparents and people on tv and everyone I ever meet and everyone I ever don’t meet who is has or will be alive, ever. Not only does he want to spend eternity with each and every one of us, he also wants us to lead great lives full of love and purpose. Not only that…but he CREATED us to live lives like that. I know this so inherently that…I do nothing with it. I wake up every morning and think about two things: first, coffee. Second, what am I going to wear? After that, I complete my daily ablutions and hop in the car to go to the office or a meeting. I work all day. And throughout the day, I think about the things I want to buy, the places I want to vacation to, the house I want to live in, the car I want to drive, the man I want to marry, the kids I want to have…and what I want to be wearing when I do all these things. Because, really…what else is there? Well, ok. I also think about the things I want to do to improve the world I live in. People are starving on the other side of the world and, I’m told, right here in our city. People live in countries where it’s not uncommon to disappear in the middle of the night and never be heard from again; because they were speaking out about the government. Women, men and children are living in abusive relationships. We have prostitution, drugs, human trafficking. And yes, throughout my day I think of these things that are going on in the world, and I want to help. I want to be a part of solving all of the things that cause the massive amounts of pain, which begets more pain. And then I pause. And ask myself why. Because if I didn’t know the first thing I talked about, which is that the creator of the entire universe and ALL the people in it loves ME, and every single other person, and wants this sick world to NOT be the only thing we experience…why would it matter? Why bother making a difference when we’re all going to die? Because we’re not. That’s the only reason I have. This is not it. So here’s the thing: What is this? Why are we here? Why are we suffering? Why am I lucky? What do I do now? I don’t know what your answers are…or if it matters enough for you to ask these questions. It matters to me. More than anything else, this matters to me. What am I doing here? During my regular day doing regular things, there’s another little part: the part where I know why I’m really here. This didn’t come from me…it’s too good for me. But it’s in me. This is the part that tells me that the stuff clouding up my brain doesn’t matter at all. It tells me that I, Brianna, am wonderfully made and have a purpose. That even though this life may hurt me like crazy sometimes, and delight me to no end at others, it’s just that: a life. It will end. And after that, eternity with my creator begins. But before that happens, there’s a job for me. I get to use my gifts to make strangers smile. To accidentally teach my Mom about purpose. To facilitate the learning of the gospel for rural Chinese people. To write blogs about what I’ve been through that help people with what they’ve been through. I get to hear people’s stories and cry with them. I get to help. All the time. I get the priviledge of being connected with other people that God has created, if I want to exercise it. And this great little part of me wants nothing more than to love God and to love people. My favourite part about this great little part of me is that I can grow it. I can live in it and I can focus on it…and it grows. And the possibility that I like to think about is that it can grow so big that it starts to take over the parts of me concerned with coffee and clothes and my future…it can grow so big that all I ever want to do is look up to where my creator is, and want nothing more than to do exactly what he would have me do…and then do it. I want that. More and more every day, I want that. To want nothing more than to live in God’s will. To live my whole life doing exactly what I was created for, and to know that nothing matters at ALL compared to loving God and living out my purpose in him; which is to love people. And it’s when I think of this possibility; the time in my day when I dream about having nothing else in my brain but serving my maker, that I’m the most happy. I live in the world. I am mortal, I am fallible, I am wrong most of the time. But I am also redeemed. Through none of my own doings, I have been redeemed by Christ. And the only thing that actually matters in my life is that I live like it. Simple? True.

Posted in Inspirational

The SECRET to starting your own Business

It’s true; I’ve owned several businesses.  I’ve had 5 websites, myriads of business cards designed and printed, I’ve registered names and gst numbers with the government, I’ve written 2 business plans, one qualifying my business for a $30,000 loan, my work has been in the newspaper and on TV, I’ve written articles, and have actually been recognised by someone because my picture in the newspaper ended up in her inspirational scrapbook.  And…I’ve never been rich.


When someone tells me they own their own business, I automatically assume he or she is poor until I see otherwise.  Why?  Because by and large, small business owners are all the same: Big dreams, small bank accounts.  You do not start a business to make a lot of money; that’s a recipe for failure we’ve all seen time and time again.  You start a business because you have a passion to do something better than everyone else who’s currently doing it…because you want to build a company YOUR way, obviously the RIGHT way…and most importantly: because it’s actually impossible for you to not do it.

In this light, asking a small business person if he or she is rich is like asking a parent if they’re rich because he or she has a baby.  It’s that funny.  Now, you can get rich off of your small business of course…this is sometimes the goal of the business owner, as I’m sure it’s sometimes the goal of certain parents.  And both are possible.  But something I have learned by watching is the people who make money are always the ones who absolutely LOVE what they do…and who subsequently don’t care about money beyond their basic needs.  I’m going to say it…and I know I’ll ruffle some feathers, here, but: all of those “realise your dreams of being rich” books, cd’s, emails etc…they don’t work.  Know why?  Because those are someone’s business.  They’re making money off your misguided notions of what small business IS.  Because if you were that dedicated to building your own business, you’d be doing all the stuff they tell you to already.  Because copying someone else’s system, unless it’s a franchise, is lame.  They’ve already done it.  How many notable people in the world do you know of  who got successful by following someone else’s recipe???

The very idea of copying a success story is as ludicrous as the idea of starting a business to make money.  They’re both ways to spend a lot of your money on something intangible and end up with nothing.  I do see value in duplicating successful habits, mantras and ideas on how to go about things…but that’s diferent.  Thinking a book or CD will show you how to be successful really IS too good to be true.

I watched Citizen Kane the other night, and if you don’t know the story about that movie take a minute to look it up; it’s fascinating.  What I got from watching the film itself as well as the film about the film and it’s repercussions on the star (Orson Welles) and the subject (Randolph Hearst), was this: Success takes dogged determination, BIG personality, and gall.  You don’t have to be the smartest, prettiest, or most talented person; you just have to believe in what you’re doing, then wake up every single morning with a single mind to do it.  People can be resistant to what you’re trying to do in the world, but they’ll eventually be worn down.  We are all basically lazy.  The trick then, is remind yourself constantly who you are and what you’re doing, and do it relentlessly.  Pretty simple for a secret, huh?

If you have enough conviction in what you’re doing, you’re unbeatable, unstoppable and incrushable.  So: DO you?

Posted in Inspirational

Is your drycleaner in love with you?

Since I was about 13, I had this idea to make up business cards with my name and phone number, with the catchphrase “ladies man, mans man, man about town” in cursive writing.  I have never made these cards because it would be misleading.  I am, in point of fact, a woman.  Not a man.  So while it’s a great concept, you can see the problem with it.

Nonetheless, I have always been and will always be a “woman about town”.  I like to make friends wherever I go!  I smile a lot.  I ask strangers weird questions like “what’s in the bag?  Is it a gift for your mom?”.  I comment on stuff, and make open ended replies to other people’s comments.  Every time I go out in White Rock I run into someone I know, and I like that.  It’s not because I’ve lived here my whole life either.  It’s because first, I’ve had like 30 jobs so if you’re reading this we’ve probably worked together at some point.  And second,  because I’m friendly. 

When I was married, I wasn’t like this.  I had friends, but was far less social than I am now.  I was married to a kind of wilful hermit.  Now, two and a half years after the split, he’s happy as pie to be the way he is.  And I’m just as happy to be the way I am.

I think a lot of people would like to be more friendly and outgoing…some people prefer solitude, and if that’s the case with you then God bless ya.  If, however, you’re yearning to be a man or woman about town and have not devised a plan yet to escape from your pesky shell of self-consciousness, then I have one question for you: WHY?

Here’s what you need to know: I don’t care WHO you are, WHAT you do or WHERE you’re from.  YOU are amazing.  There is something about you that is so special and so cool and deserves to be appreciated by as many people as you can access.  When you walk into a room, you need to GET this.  Every person in that room, even if they don’t know it yet, would be lucky to talk with you, to know you and to be your friend.  You’re not better than anyone, that’s not what I’m saying…but the absolute only difference between you and the people you perceive as better are GUTS.   And no human being doesn’t have to work at having guts.  So get some!

I remember when I started networking for my business.  I was 26, never been to business school, just starting out with no idea what I was doing, and terrified of going to a hotel and talking about it…especially in front of a crowd.  But our partner who was doing sales left, and I had no choice.  So I went.  I spoke.  Over and over.  I felt nauseous every time.  And then a funny thing happened…after a while of going to these functions, I started to realise that people liked me.  They didn’t know what I didn’t know about business.  They had no idea how nervous it all made me, they just…liked me.  So I started to relax.  And I got better at my business.  And I listened to them, and learned even more, until eventually, for some reason, I started getting requests to teach networking.  Because apparently all you really need to do is talk less, listen more and have a genuine interest in and appreciation for people.  Also compliment them and mean it.  If you think it, say it.  Don’t you like when people say nice things to you?

So yes, now I tell my drycleaner I love her.  And she loves me back.  Because at this point, it doesn’t make me feel embarassed to be efusive.  It makes my day actually.  And hopefully hers too.  I know that restraining order was just a token of affection…;) 


Posted in Inspirational

Broken little People

When I was 8 years old, my sister Layne was born.  She was tiny and she was pink…and I wanted to be a mommy and I loved that little girl.  I had two brothers; Tyler who was 6 at the time, and Nathan who was 3.  My Dad was a tile setter and he worked all the time.  We barely saw him then except for some nights and weekends.  My Mom stayed at home when each of us were little, and would go back to work when she was able to get daycare.  We lived in Vancouver, in a little house with the attic renovated to fit two slope-ceilinged bedrooms; one for the boys and one for the girls.  Every day we fought and we played, we ran down the streets barefoot and had adventures, we ate sandwiches for lunch that our Mom had made us, we took baths and cleaned up our toys.  My sister was the last baby born in the family, and I knew she needed me more than my brothers did.  At 8 years old, I knew the world was dangerous for little girls.  and I could prove it.

When I was 5 years old, my Mom worked at the stock exchange.  Tyler was 3, Nate wasn’t born yet, and it was the summertime.  We had a lot of neighbourhood friends who were around our age, and we would make forts in our backyard, play in random neighbourhood cars, and just hang out on front lawns.  My Mom had our aunt come and live in our house and be our nanny that summer.  I don’t remember her much.  I remember the neighbourhood kids more.

There was one kid in particular I remember.  His name was David.  He was quite a bit older, maybe 10 or 12, and he would come over a lot.  David liked me the best.  He would try to get Tyler to play with the other kids so he and I could be alone.  He would sit with me and tell me how pretty I was, how he was going to marry me, what car he was going to drive me around in, how we were going to be together forever…I liked David, he was my friend.  He taught me how to whittle popsicle sticks into shivs, how to make the best kind of fort…and I didn’t understand what he was doing when he told me to pull my pants down.    I knew I wanted him to be my friend, and if I didn’t do what he said he would go away.  So I did it.  David molested me, and I never told anyone.  It happened that whole summer, until I went back to school.  And the whole time, he would tell me how pretty I am, prettier than everybody else.  And because I had been told this my whole life, it made sense to me.  I was pretty.  And this is what happens when you’re pretty.

I forgot what happened that summer for years and years.  I didn’t know why I gained a massive amount of weight when I hit puberty, why I was incredibly depressed my whole adolescence.  Why I could barely even stay awake one year and my Mom had to get me tested for mono and a thyroid disorder before the doctor said “are you sure you’re not depressed???”  I didn’t get it until I read an article in a magazine about a woman who preferred being overweight because then, no one looked at her.  She felt safe.  Well, no one looked at me…and I was still miserable.  I was 16 when I read that article and remembered David.  16 when I was realized I was a sad statistic…I had had a feeling for all that time that I needed to be guarded, that the only person who could really take care of myself was me…but had never understood why.

I also had always felt unworthy.  Tainted.  Like garbage.  Honnestly, I still struggle with that.  I know I’m not garbage, I know that what happened was sick and wrong and not my fault…but it changes you when it happens so young.  It coloured my perception of myself.  How could I be loved, and precious…and have THIS happen?  No, it doesn’t make sense.  It has to be that I invited it.  I must be dirty.  And lastly: how I look made that happen.  When men like you, they do very bad things to you.  End of story.

At 19, I went to Bible College.  I had gone to get away from home, make some new friends, and have a year of fun.  One night in one of the first weeks I got there, I felt restless and went out to the big field to look at the stars and think.  And God talked to me.  He said “Brianna, you know it’s time to face this”…and I burst into tears.  I knew it.  I couldn’t walk around anymore being so damaged and so hurt and pretending I wasn’t.  The next day, I went to the counselling office and applied for a counselling grant from the school.  I got it.  I went to counselling every week that year for free…and it was a huge blessing.  Shannon and I discussed my need to be perfect and control everything…and that it was ok to be angry.  I was so, so incredibly angry!  At David for molesting me, at my parents for not being there, at God for letting it all happen to that little trusting girl who had no idea what kind of evil lurked just around the corner from her house.  Most of all, I was mad at myself for not dealing with this sooner, and not asking for help.  It was a great year, and I worked through a lot…still haven’t finished though.

I have never talked about this in a public forum.  I’m pretty aprehensive about publishing this actually.  First, because I don’t want it to seem like I’m sharing too much.  This isn’t a light subject, and I don’t speak of it lightly.  This is important, this is real for so many women…and although I’m pretty open, I have talked to very few people about this.  Probably because I don’t want to teint their vue of me, which brings me to my second reason for aprehension; I don’t want you to see me differently.  I’m the same Brianna you know, and I’ve been carrying this a long time.  The entire reason I’m writing this at all is simply this:  this is NOT something I should have to be ashamed of.  This is not something I should have to hide anymore.  Some things are private, yes.  I will never write about the intimate things that happened in my marriage, my friends private lives, or anything that is about another person that he or she may not want to be shared.  But this is me.  And I’m not alone.  There are so many of us (I know, I’ve talked to a lot of you) who have been changed by sexual abuse and don’t talk about it.  Because we’re ashamed.  Because there’s a stigma.  Because it’s not spoken of in polite conversation.  Well fuck that.  It happened, and it changed the person I became.  It changed how I see myself, and it changed my relationships with men.  And it wasn’t my fault.  I’m not garbage, I’m Brianna.  I’m still me, I’ve just been hurt.  And to stop feeling hurt, I need to stop feeling ashamed.  And so do you, if you’re in the same boat as me.

So there’s a happy ending!  Jesus loves me sooooo much, he cried when that happened.  Why does God let bad things happen to good people?  He doesn’t.  The world is bad, and we made it that way, and he aches when we’re hurt.  And he wants me to love him back, and take his free gift and come live with him in Heaven where I will feel more loved and safe and peaceful than I can possible understand, and it has taken me so so long to accept that this offer has been extended to a person as broken as me.  But it has.  We’re all broken…and we’re all so loved.  And God loves the man who hurt me so many years ago just as much as he loves me.  It’s weird…but that makes me feel better.  Jesus loves David too.  So much. 

In the end, I know I’m going to be ok…and my little sister, who I want to protect so badly is far away living her life.  And she’s going to be ok too, no matter what happens to her body.  No matter who tries to make her feel worthless, God has given her infinite worth already.  Accepting that, though it seems hard…is your free ticket home.

Posted in Inspirational

Dying for Community

Ever since I can remember, I have lived in an open house.  People have just felt welcome to pop in when they’re in the neighbourhood, come in for a chat, and then stay for dinner…and sometimes for days or weeks.  I loved my childhood, because so many different kinds of people were in my house all the time; people we met at Qwanoes summer camp who needed a place to stay for a week here and there, my Dad’s car friends, family from both sides, someone even set up a camper in our driveway once for a couple weeks.  As we grew up, our friends got their own licences and started to stop by, even if we weren’t there.  One friend of my brother’s would come into the house for dinner whenever he was around…rarely wearing a shirt.  He was THAT comfortable.

When Tyler died, a lot of that died with him…for a time.  We could barely be together as immediate family for awhile, much less exude a welcoming home for others.  I also married someone who did not grow up like that, and didn’t see the joy in having an open door policy.  I remember our first fight as a married couple involving my dream to let single moms stay for free in the basement of the house we’d own one day…and his horror at the very idea of that.  He wasn’t wrong, he was just very different from me.  I could never understand why a home full of laughter and chaos and kids playing and people just being together could EVER be a bad thing.  And I still can’t.

These days, I’m living at home again…and my family is getting back to living in community slowly but surely.  This month, I have finally felt ok to start thinking about moving out on my own again.  I hadn’t felt that way for the past year…but now, I’m starting to have the desire to be on my own, and have my own space in the world.  And I have never lived completely on my own; not really.  I’m excited for that step…BUT.  What about community?  I alternate between wanting the pristine fortress of solitude that I know I can easily create, and the very basic home that welcomes all of my friends, family, and any other person God sees fit to introduce into my life.  The part of me that wants a new pair of shoes everyday wants the high-end condo that sits in the high tower so I can look down at the world below…the part of me that desires communion with God wants to create a place of community for everyone in desperate need of it.  And these days, that’s everyone.

I don’t think that most of us know it, but we’re cutting eachother out of our lives, and it’s killing us.  We’re lonely.  We’re alone.  The funny thing is…we’re united in that feeling.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community.  I feel called to create that place of community so that you can experience it, too.

I think I just decided againt the highrise condo 😉

Posted in Inspirational

I am a Sucky Captain

I like to be in charge. It’s not a big secret. I’m the first born, I’m loud, and I step up when something needs to get done. I take pride in being able to fix stuff on my own. What I like about being this way is that I’m a better person for figuring problems out before I ask anyone for anything.  It’s stretched my brain in ways that it wouldn’t have stretched had I immediately gone to someone else for help.  What I don’t like about it is: everything else.

We live in a culture that values the self above all else; we strive to be independant, self-serving, and lack a sense of community that other cultures have.  We don’t need God.  Why would we?  We have jobs, and dreams and goals and hobbies and so much stuff that we can’t even keep it all in our own homes, so we rent out spaces to house things that we cannot and will not use, but if we ever have an ounce of free time, we know we’ll go running over and fill it all up with activities.

So here’s me: single, no kids, working.  I make money, I pay my bills, I have friends, I do activites and I have a lot of stuff.  I really, really have no idea who God wants me to be or what he wants me to do.  How could I?  Have I left him any space to move in my life?  Any at all?  Not really, no.  Because I’m busy!  Because my time is all taken up with working, and being so worried about money that I can’t eat food or sleep, and socialising with people half in an affort to feel better, and half to show them that “Yes!  I’m fine!”, and volunteering, because I feel so incredibly guilty for being me that if I’m not actively contributing to the lives of the less fortunate, I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror.  I am a Christian, I believe in a benevolent God who loves us more than anyone else ever could, who forgives us when we ask and who wants to live in communion with each and every last one of us.  BUT.  I don’t believe I count in the list of human beings he loves.

Why not?  What’s the difference between me and every other person who has ever been created?  The truth is; absolutely nothing.  I understand on an intellectual level that Jesus loves and died for me.  But for the life of me…I can’t feel it.  And I know why that is too.  I know that Satan has me so convinced that I’m unworthy that I exist in a space void of my creator most of the time.  And it’s killing me.

And so I know this…what now?  Fortunately, I truly believe that being cognisant of your spiritual state is halfway to getting better.  Because I know this now, I have to ask: who can fix it?  I can’t live like this when I’ve just admitted to myself and all of you that I’m a liar.  Everything is not fine if I don’t feel forgiven and can’t hear God speak most of the time.  So this is the only thing that can happen: God has to fix this…and I have to let him.  It’s so simple and yet…this may be the hardest thing I ever do.  EVER.

I was woken up last night by dogs barking and neighbours yelling, and I couldn’t get back to sleep.  I’m worried.  I don’t know what’s going to happen next with my job, with my life.  And I’m tired.  I am so so tired of feeling like I have to fix circumstances.  I have not done a good job so far…someone else needs to take over.  So as I layed in bed worrying, I heard a still small voice say “pray”.  I started to pray.  I heard it again say “on your knees”…so I got out of bed and kneeled at the foot of it.  But just before I did, I glanced out the glass door to the deck and saw the most beautiful full moon I’d ever seen….like it was for me.  Like maybe, I am worth more than I feel like I am.  So I knelt, and I prayed.  And that was the answer I needed.

I am committing this year to listen to God and direct all of my thoughts, words and actions wherever he leads.  And I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I have considered everything from ending up homeless to winning the Pullitzer Prize…but it really doesn’t matter.  Whatever happens, I am going to live my life in a different way.  I’m going to mess up lots, I’m going to experience pain, I know I’m going to get frustrated…but I’m going to let God take the wheel.  That involves a lot of submission on my part, and I don’t even like that word…but it’s what needs to happen.

What does that mean, practically?  It means I have to ask him…a lot.  It means I have to know the Bible better, and look up constantly.  It means I have to get rid of some of the stuff in my life that’s weighing me down.  It means prayer.  All the time.

This is where I’m at right now.  I’m hoping you’ll tell me where you are.


Posted in Inspirational

Givin’ it away for FREE

He’s Just Not That Into You.  The Rules.  Date…Or Soulmate?  Women read books, watch TV shows, and talk to each other incessantly about our relationships with men.  If we spent the same amount of time in school as we do obsessing over how to be in relationships, we’d all be doctors by the time we’re 30.  So why then, WHY are we not smarter?  Why do we waste time with men who don’t care about us, don’t think about us, and don’t spend even a fraction of the time we do making sure we’re making the right choices?  Why do we ignore the good men in favour of the bad men?  And the biggest question: why do we give these men our bodies???

I am not pointing a finger, not at all.  On the contrary, I’ve been guilty of  all of these crimes myself.  I have subscribed, albeit briefly, to the Sex and the City attitude of “sex is just sex”…and it hurt me more than I can easily explain.  I thought it was a physical act, and I wasn’t sharing my soul…I was faced with how wrong I was when the relationship was really over and I realized how little our physical relationship mattered to him.  I had been holding out the faint hope deep deep down that if we were physical, someday he would appreciate, love and want me forever.  But he never did.  And he never would have, no matter what I had done.  And so someday, I will find the man who wants all of me forever…and all of me is no longer there to give him.  It’s sad. 

There is nothing that I have that has any eternal value on this earth except my soul…and so far I’ve been giving it away for free.  Why does sex = soul for women?  Because letting another person into our bodies is a big deal, even if we have learned to pretend it isn’t.  Sex is intimate, and intimacy involves trust.  To trust another person, you have to open yourself up enough to be vulnerable…the act of being naked with someone and as close as two human beings can possibly be has as much to do with your soul as it does your body.  We can’t seperate the two even if we try.

If you knew you had something this valuable, would you give it away to someone who didn’t even really want it?  Of course you wouldn’t.

Think of it this way: if you saw someone standing on the street corner with a Birkin Bag that had a “free” sign on it, what would you think?  Most people would automatically assume that something was wrong with it and steer clear.  It’s a very sought-after bag, this is common knowledge; to give it away would be lunacy and therefore it must be fake or damaged or a trick.   Now, take the same bag, market it properly and price it ridiculously high?  You have people waiting years to buy it.  It has value.  It’s not something everyone can have…it’s a BIRKIN BAG.

So yes, YOU are a Birkin Bag.  You’re valuable, and you are worth the wait.  Sex is a great thing when shared with someone who loves you enough to commit to you, to wait, and to stay when life gets rough.  If we can all shift our mindset on this, we can spend less money on relationship books…and get our names on the list for real Birkin Bags.

Who’s with me???

Posted in Inspirational, Manners

How to make a Decision

I have encountered a bit of this lately; friends of mine deciding whether or not they should go on that vacation, buy that house…marry that guy.  I used to have trouble making decisions too, until I ended up getting divorced, and concluding that there was obviously something wrong with my decision-making capabilities.  For over a year, I put all of my major decisions to a vote of my close friends and family.  It worked out pretty well…I did get tired of my entire life being up for debate ALL of the TIME, but I have to say the results were no worse than what I’d chosen for myself.  Now I have a 3 step process to deciding anything big, and I think that applying this would help anyone’s decision making process much easier.  Here it is:

1-Enlist the help of trusted friends…to pray.  I ask people to pray for me all the time.  If it’s important to me, I have no shame in asking, and if you do, think of it this way: would you ever think less of a friend of yours for asking you to pray for them in a difficult situation?  If you would, you’re a bad friend.  Sorry to be blunt.  And if they mock you for asking…guess what?  Better to know what kind of friend they are sooner rather than later.

2-Do your homework.  Good things come to those who are prepared.  So ask experts, google stuff, go to the library…do whatever you have to to learn as much as you can about what you are making a decision on.  If it’s buying a house, research what the surrounding area has been zoned for and ask 3 different realtors about their predictions about future property values.  If it’s about dating, ask mutual friends etc.  This is not a weird or obsessive thing to do…this is called homework, and it’s even more important out of school.

3-Trust your Gut.  At the end of the day, this is your life and your decision and whatever you decide has to feel right for you.  So even if the first two steps look all clear, if it doesn’t feel right it’s a no-go.  You need to be able to picture yourself in the proposed scenario and have a nice, easy, peaceful feeling when you think about it.  If you don’t…be wary.  This could very well be the trick answer; like on multiple choice tests where two of the provided answers are clearly false, one is the right answer, and one is so close to the right answer that it makes you second-guess what you know to be true.  Don’t fall for the trick answer!  Try it out in your head, “live” in your new decision for a bit before it’s made…if you experience anything but complete bliss, you’re either not ready or this is the wrong choice.

Making a decision needn’t be any more complicated than these 3 steps.  A lot of the time the deliberation we experience is not actually indecision, but avoidance of knowing an answer that we don’t like; an unpleasant breakup or the reality that we really don’t need to make a large purchase right now.  If this is the case, simply skip the steps (you’ve actually already done them in your head), and proceed directly to honnesty with yourself.    Honnesty…that’s a whole other blog right there…

Posted in Inspirational

Who we influence

I took my parents 2 dogs plus my old dog we’re looking after for the week for a walk tonight. It was…difficult. Not only have they all been trained to NOT use leashes, (I enforced the leash rule…I’m not crazy), but they’re all heading in different directions the whole time. My arms got sore from reigning them in. They’re so interested in what’s around them, they can’t help but run to whatever they see. So I thought I should look around too…at the houses with their warm looking interiors, views of the ocean and bmw’s in the driveway. From the outside, all those people in all those houses look like they’re living the dream. Are they? I imagine them leaving their perfect homes in the morning to go off to their perfect jobs, making lots of money and influencing people, then coming home at the end of the day to their picture-perfect families, snifters of port and khakhi pants. Ok…maybe I have my idea of the people living in these houses mixed up with a Martha Stewart Living spread. The funny thing is…this is my street. I live in one of these houses. Does someone else walk their dogs down this same street and picture what my life is like?
I don’t know if anyone thinks about this like I do while walking their dogs, but what I do know for sure is that people are watching me. I know it when someone comments on who I brought to a party that took place months ago…I know it when I bump into someone I haven’t seen since high school and she asks how the garage sale went that I advertised on facebook…I know it when I become close to someone and they finally tell me what they thought of me when we first met. I’m relatively conscious that people are watching what I do, how I react, and who I become. I forget it too easily sometimes, and behave in ways that I probably wouldn’t if someone were standing in front of me.
My question, and my point, is this: Do you know people are watching you? It only stands to reason, we’re social beings, connected to those around us. We watch each other, we judge each other, we idolize each other. You are watching the people around you…so who’s watching you? What does he or she see?
Is your life as great as it looks to people looking at it from a distance? Is it better? Do you roll with whatever life brings you or do you use challenges as a reason to complain? Do you listen to people and learn from your mistakes, or have your friends stopped bothering to tell you anything because you never seem to change? Are you living what you believe, or are you just exisitng?
Here’s my challenge for anyone reading this: think about who you watch. Think about who inspires you, who challenges you, who you want to be more like someday…and tell that person. Tell him or her what you see, and how it affects you. Don’t let embarassment, shyness, or that ugly little voice that tells you this doesn’t matter stop you. Think about who you’re watching and why, and call/text/email that person today. How would it affect you if someone were to tell you that you inspire them? It would change you. Think about this…forward someone this note, and give him or her that gift right now.
Who knows what’ll stop you tomorrow?