It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~

 

Living in NYC, I have seen some crazy and outrageous things. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see an ad in the subway that read, “Overcome Your Bikini Fears. Breast Augmentation Made In NY: $3,900,” or another ad from the same plastic surgery office that showed a picture of a woman looking sad, holding a pair of small tangerines in front of her breasts, and the same woman looking happy holding grapefruits, with the same caption, “Breast Augmentation Made in NY: $3,900.”

Still, I was surprised to see that this plastic surgery office would so overtly play into the insecurities of some women, basically implying, “You’re not good enough as you are; let me make you better.”

I understand that this office is simply trying to make a buck—a big buck, that is—but I couldn’t help but be aghast that this sort of message is allowed to be out there, to be seen on the train by many women, especially young women who might be wracked with poor self image already.

The truth is, I get it. I grew up wanting plastic surgery pretty much from third grade into my early twenties.

I was obsessed with looking in the mirror, poking around with my fingers trying to see the “better version” of my face, when it would be somehow reconstructed magically or surgically.

My nose was too flat, my eyes were not big enough or deep-set enough, and my jaw was not defined enough. To top it off, my legs were too short and torso too long. I was not a girl on a magazine cover.

It broke my heart that I felt ugly and plain, and that I wanted something different from what I was. I actually felt beautiful sometimes, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, it wasn’t a vision of beauty, as I understood it.

The vision of beauty was the girl in a Hollywood movie. The vision of beauty was the girl in a commercial. The vision of beauty had features that I didn’t possess.

I kept wishing that my facial and body features would magically change as I grew up, or that I would one day be able to have plastic surgery. But deep down, I knew that I didn’t want to change my physical appearances in order to feel good about myself.

Over time, through the transformational work I did in the past decade, I was able to dissolve self-hatred and the desire for plastic surgery, and give myself total acceptance for who I am.

Now I feel good in my own skin. I’ve learned that the old adage is true: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I had appreciated it as a concept for a long time, but now I get it and know that it’s true.

I used to wish that my face and body would change somehow, but in truth, what needed to change was the way I saw myself and how I felt about myself.

My hope is that every person feels beautiful and good in his or her own skin.

Beauty is not a monopoly that only belongs to Miss. Universe and the like. We are all beautiful in our own unique ways.

If you’re struggling with poor self image like I did, these tips may help.

1. Stop comparing.

My old boyfriend used to tell me that I was beautiful over and over like a broken record, though I didn’t believe him. He said this to me one time and it stayed with me: You can’t compare a rose to a lily; they’re both beautiful and they’re different.

I was constantly comparing myself to others, and I felt inferior because I didn’t measure up to the conventional ideas of beauty.

Since I stopped comparing, I realized that no part of my body is any less beautiful than someone else’s just because it’s shorter, longer, flatter, or bigger. When I stopped seeing with a specific set of beliefs and ideas, my “short” and “crooked” legs stopped being inferior.

You will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this and that when you compare yourself to others. You will always be “too something” when you play the comparison game. Know that you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Ideas of beauty differ and change all the time.

If you looked into different cultures at different times, you would see that people had (and still have) different ideas of beauty. Some like curvy, some like skinny, some like tall, and some like short.

A lot of times (or maybe all the time), the definition of beauty as we know it is just one person or group of people’s opinion. It’s just so happened that this opinion got popularized.

If you don’t fit their definition, does it mean you’re any less beautiful? Absolutely not. Don’t let the ever-changing opinions of others affect how you feel about yourself.

Take Megan Fox, for example. Some people think she’s the most gorgeous woman on the whole planet, and some quite the opposite. So, who’s right?

The better question to ask would be: Does it really matter? It really doesn’t matter what other people say or think. What matter is how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself.

3. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you thought were attractive became unattractive in your eyes, and people you thought were unattractive became attractive? I have many times.

When I was nineteen, I met a guy whom I thought was “ugly” at first sight. Then I fell madly in love with him two weeks later, and he became the most handsome guy in the whole wide world to me.

Conversely, I met another guy a few years later that I thought had the most gorgeous face. A few interactions later, his face lost all its appeal to me, as I found him to be rather obnoxious.

I’ve had so many of these experiences over the years, and I’ve realized that beauty entails more than just “pretty” features. Whenever I find something lovely about the person, whether it’s their kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness, their external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance. It’s not that the person changed—my perception did.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this to be true because I often experience this in my life.

When I go hiking, I try to observe things without preconceived notions or ideas. I sometimes stop and look at a fly perched on a leaf of a plant, and when I look at it without my preconceived notion (that it’s ugly or disgusting), I can see the exquisite beauty that it is.

Now, I know that you’re not a fly, but the same principle applies. When you remove the gunk—the gunk of beliefs and ideas—off your eyes, you start to see the magnificent beauty of who you are.

4. Change your thoughts.

Recently, when I was video recording myself, I felt rather disturbed by my appearance. I didn’t want to feel this way, but a barrage of negative self-talk dominated my head, and I wanted to just give up on the whole project.

I went for a walk, and when I came back—with a little more space within myself—I realized I had allowed myself to be taken over by the negative voices in my head. I was totally immersed in them.

Time, space, and a little bit of deep breathing helped me step back from my own drowning thoughts. Then I was able to embrace the other voices that also existed in my head, which were more affirming and kind. And I continued with my project.

How sad it would be if I allowed those negative voices to stop me from offering what I have to give: my knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, my love, and more? I would be withholding all of those things from people who might need and benefit from them.

If you find yourself in a similar situation where you’re feeling bad about how you look, take a moment to notice what you’re thinking. Step back and take a few deep breaths so you can observe your thoughts instead of being immersed in them.

And remember, you’re more than your skin. You, too, have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

5. Give yourself total acceptance.

I admit, even with all the realizations I had, there are times when I look at myself in the mirror with dismay.

Some of the old, familiar thoughts crop up in my head telling me how I’m plain and ugly. The difference now is that I catch myself falling into my old belief—that looking a certain way makes me undesirable and unlovable.

For most of us, this is the core of the issue: We believe that we would not be desirable, that we would not be loved, if we didn’t look “good.”

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find me undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

Ultimately, the deeper truth I had to find within myself was this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?

The answer was yes, I will love myself. I will not forsake me. I will not take my love away from me.

That’s the truth I needed for myself, and what I truly needed to feel beautiful and good in my own skin.

In those moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: good, ugly, bad, and all.

And that’s how I love myself when I’m too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny

Superando la distancia…

A veces al estar sólo en un país extranjero no puede invadir la nostalgia, las ganas de volver a casa, pero ¡ánimo! también es posible encontrar nuevos amigos, encontrar un trabajo que nos satisfaga y hasta formar una familia. Aquí un cachito de nosotros, relatos que esperamos te hagan sentir mejor, gozar un poquito de esa rica nostalgia pero después seguir adelante, hacia la dirección que tu decidas.IMG_6600

Not today…

I am a firm believer in true love. I do believe that there is someone out there for me who will eventually sweep me off my feet and make me wonder why I ever settled for anybody else. There is a man out there for me who I will celebrate countless anniversaries, Valentine’s Days, and birthdays with. There is a man who I will be able to get through any fight, long distance, or hardship with and know that nothing will ever change. There is a man out there who I will share an unbreakable bond with held together by the deep desires of love.

But, not today.
I don’t want someone who I “won’t be able to imagine my life without.” I don’t want someone to “have my whole heart.” I don’t want someone to be “my whole world,” or “my rock,” or “my better half.” I don’t want somebody who can understand me better than I can understand myself.
I want to feel whole. I want to be my own rock, my own anchor, my own soulmate. I want to understand myself better than anyone else can. I don’t want to look back and hate myself for altering my future for someone else when I know I wasn’t ready to.
That’s why I don’t want to find the man I will love forever today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after that.
For those who know me, you know that when I fall, I fall fast, and I fall hard. I am a hopeless romantic who wears my heart on my sleeve. I simply love the idea of being in love. I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t have some type of interest in a guy. I love having a “texting buddy,” I love feeling desired. I have gotten hurt a few times, but I always pick myself up and try to move on. But moving on is hard for me, simply because I love being in love. I’ve called guys my “better half,” and “my rock.” I’ve convinced myself that I couldn’t picture my life without them. I’m starting to realize now how that’s the last thing I want in my future relationship. Especially as a young woman in my early 20’s. Before I enter into any serious relationship, I need to feel like I’m complete. And I need to be able to feel complete, while completely alone. 

Too many women depend on men to make them happy, and I would be lying if I said I haven’t done that myself. At this point in my life, I don’t know how to be completely independent when I’m in a relationship. I know many girls who can be, but personally, I don’t know how.
I have dreams. I have plans that only involve myself. I’m at a pivotal point in my life where I get to decide where I go from here. I can travel, move across the country, and make stupid spontaneous decisions, just because I can. As of right now, there is nothing holding me back from where I want to take my life – well, having a bit more money may be nice, but, I’ll figure that one out eventually. I don’t want to find my true love yet. I’m not ready to settle and I’m not ready to alter my personal plans for someone else. The only thing I’m ready for is to discover where my life takes me post-grad. I’m ready to move across the country. I’m ready to make new and beautiful memories with people that I’ll meet along the way. But, I’m simply not ready to fall in love again.

As my college career is coming to a close and I’m starting to find out what I want for my life, I’m starting to realize that I never want to fall for a guy who I consider my “better half.” I don’t want a better half. I want to be whole. I want to consider myself and my happiness as more important than a relationship I will ever be involved with. Does this make me selfish? No. This makes me able to know that I can and will be happy alone, no matter how many heartbreaks will come my way.

Many people will marry their high school sweethearts, some of my friends included in that. And I love them for that. I think their relationships are healthy and I have loved watching them grow independently even though they have a significant other, and I admire them for that. There is nothing wrong with already finding the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with. You can still live a complete life with a boyfriend/girlfriend by your side at age 22. But, I know myself enough to know that I’m not at the point in my life where I can do that.

I want to imagine my own life. I want to be able to navigate through life’s exciting opportunities and devastating disappointments independently, and if and when a guy decides he wants to join me, I’ll still be able to have the peace of mind that I can do it alone. I will be able to imagine my life without him, because at that point I have already done it alone.
Many of you may read this and view me as a loner. Or maybe you’ll think I hate the idea of love. Believe what you wish, but neither of these assumptions are true. Like I said before, I can’t wait for the day I find my true love. I can’t wait to be able to look a guy in the eyes and say “I love you,” and know that it means “I love you forever.” I can’t wait for a guy to love me, challenge me, and support me every day for the rest of my life. That day will come, but I haven’t lived enough yet.

I’m 22. I have too many stupid decisions to make before I decide my fate. I have the rest of my life to find the guy who gives love a whole new meaning for me.
That day will come. Just not today.

9 Sure-fire Tips to Expand Your Mind!

Sit Back and Starve

Life is too short to be content with commonplace ideas and philosophies society bombards us with. What use is being called Homo sapiens, “the thinking man,” if we refrain from using every bit of time we have left to enhance our meditating faculties? So in the interest of the purely rational mind and for the sake of posterity, we have compiled a list of intellectual tasks and mental exercises you can perform to expand your mind:

1. Start reading serious books. — Stephen Hawking didn’t become Stephen Hawking by reading Spider-Man, and Ayn Rand didn’t come up with Objectivism by immersing herself in sleazy romance novels! Chuck out every non-serious, fun, and emotional book or reading material you have in your shelves and start collecting those leather-bound tome-like ones without any pictures. If the font is smaller than size 8, that’s a good sign you’re in the right direction. Burn…

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Hit the Brakes on the Relationship Talk

So you think it’s time to have The Talk. You like each other, and you want to know the deal. You want to know where things stand.
Don’t do it. In fact, delay that conversation as long as you possibly can, especially when you’ve just started dating. My rule of thumb is that you can and should get to know each other for 3 to 6 months before you’re going to start slapping down rules and regs. Because the first person to bring it up loses. 

The need to have The Talk may seem all mature and adult, but really, it’s just you scratching an insecure itch. You “need to know.” I counter with this: If you’re having a fun, great, sexy time, why oh why would you drop those dreaded words, “Where is this going?” It’s the relationship equivalent of walking into the middle of a great party, turning off the music, flipping on all the lights, and saying, “So, I just want to check. Is everyone having a good time?”
I did this a few weeks back. And I regret it and would never do it now. I had been seeing the guy a few weeks. He was a bit of a tough read, and I got insecure. I thought I’d help things along or feel better by asking, “So what is the deal, I mean, are we seeing other people, or…” It was a moment of weakness. Big mistake. The whole tenuous, if promising, thing collapsed on itself a short while later. And while that wasn’t the only reason, I sped it to its short and brutish end. Like driving into a wall at 60 mph.

I’ve also been on the other side, by the way, many times. I gently tried to back off this very conversation with partners because it felt like I was being asked to make a decision I wasn’t ready to make. I felt pressured to say what I think he wanted to hear, and if that’s your idea of honesty, well. It’s not. I’ve often found myself marking time FROM THIS TALK, wondering who would be the one to bail out first. Why create this pressure when you’re really trying to get to know someone? Keep it a little gray–a little mysterious. This is how you keep that intrigue alive.

Ask yourself this: Why do I need to ask? What do I really want to know? What do I hope to accomplish? And while I can’t purport to read your mind, I’ll assume you’re craving what most humans do: significance and security. You want to know what’s going on, not because you’re conducting an investigation, but because you want to assuage the nagging fear and be reassured that you are special. You already are–can’t you tell? Nothing is totally secure in love and life, and no one owes you a sense of security.

And if your reason is that you’re afraid he’ll meet someone else? He could meet someone else regardless. There’s always that risk. What would happen if you held off on the grand summit meeting and just enjoyed the person without worrying about how to categorize or title or otherwise claim him? You get the best of both of you–and your own privacy, too.
“But I want us to be honest with each other!”, you cry. You can and should be open and communicative, yes. And after a few months you really do want to get serious, and you want a committed relationship, then of course you owe it to yourself and him to discuss it. But then—not now.

When you do feel the urge to have a meta-conversation, tell him (or her) instead about how much fun you have with that person, how much they rock, how attracted you are to them–and welcome those comments from him. A few sincere words about how you feel about that person can go a long way to making you feel more secure and appreciated. Early on you want to nurture growth, connection—not start laying down the law.
And that why having The Talk too early is horrible because it starts with “I like you a lot” and ends with “and this is what I need you to do/not do, etc.” It legislates. It kills the fun. It says, “Ok, so shall we look at the fine print?” Unless you’re about to close on a house together or do something else that’s legally binding (like marriage), there’s nothing to be gained by this conversation when you’re just starting to create something real.

There will be plenty of time to make it quite clear what you want, and then, if he’s unwilling to provide that, you’ll know you have a decision to make.
Also: Don’t confuse honesty with security. You think that if you know more about what’s going on under the hood you’ll feel better, but that may not be the case. Do you really want to know he likes you a lot but is getting over a crush from last summer, or that his ex-girlfriend has been calling again? Does he want to know you’re sort of weaning off this other guy? No, no, and no. Not your biz, not his problem. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you keep choosing to spend time with and enjoy each other. It’s the actions that matter, not the definition of those actions. You don’t have to kick the tires every two seconds. Just drive.
Oh–and fuck your Facebook status. Honestly. If you’re making relationship decisions so you can click a box, I fear for your future. Because checking a box has driven more than one person into relationships–and marriages–that shouldn’t have happened. Labeling your life isn’t the same as living it.

By the way, he broke up with me.

This one is not about you

I know we won’t have time to talk in person, so you can read this on your own time. Wether you’re trying to ignore me or whatever, from now on. I assume you already don’t wanna be a friend and it’s okay. Also, if I said this stuff in person I would probably cry, like I always do.So well shit, I was really happy with you, because I actually had found someone who met my ridiculously high standards. Once we actually started talking and you showed me who you really were, and then I knew. I liked you. I liked who you were around me, the real you. I liked who you were when you let all your walls fall down and you opened up to me. It’s hard to find someone that you feel comfortable enough around to reveal the true you. Not the person you are to everyone else. Most people put barriers up..

   When we’re together all my walls fall down, ever barrier I’ve set up for myself shatters, and every lock on my heart breaks. So I let you in because you really are an amazing person. You were everything I wanted, funny, nice, cute, caring, you had feelings and you showed them, you were trustworthy, and you actually have goals in your life. You even are a good kid, you never got in trouble, you always are involved in school, and that’s good. I’m sure there are more reasons but that’s enough for now. You’ve seen me in my most vulnerable states and I hate that fact, but that’s how comfortable I am around you.
 The main reason I’m writing this text to you is to apologize. I feel like you don’t wanna talk to me never again, and it hurts so bad… Most of our relationship was good and I was happy most of the time. However, the last few days or so has been confusing. We were doing so well. You missed me, which meant a lot to me. 

Don’t hate me, but I think It isn’t fair to me that way and it leads me on. Just know that I will miss you and if you ever need me, like really need me, I’m only a text or a phone call away. Just know that I’ll always care about you and if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here.
I’m sorry for anytime I’ve ever hurt you. You were my first real love and I’m sorry it has to end in such a way where we will never talk again. I’m sorry if I was ever a bad girlfriend or annoyed you or texted you too much. I’m sorry if I missed you too much or wanted to see you too often.

 I want to thank you for a few things. Thank you for letting me love you and allowing me into your life for as long as you did. Thank you for loving me back and showing me that there are people who like me. Thank you for caring as much as you did and for listening to everything I complained/talked about. And thank you for sharing your secrets with me and letting me share mine with you. I would never share them with anyone.

This next part is lame but I’m going to quote a part of the letter that Noah wrote Allie in The Notebook.
   “I’m truly sorry for whatever it was that I have done to drive you away. I am sorry if it seemed I didn’t love you enough, but I can assure you that I loved you more than I have ever loved anyone or anything. I loved so much it hurt. Thank you for laying in the streets with me, thank you for being a bird, thank you for loving me as much as I loved you, thank you for teaching me about life and love and companionship. I want you to know that I am grateful for the person you are and the person you shaped me to be. In everything I do, I will think of you. And I hope you think of me too. Smile at what we had and smile at who you are. Live everyday to it’s fullest and be genuinely happy. That’s what I wish for you. Happiness.
I harbor no resentment towards you. I only have love and I wish the best things in the world for you. At the same time, I selfishly wish things could have ended on a different note. I am not bitter nor angry. I find no fault in the decision you made because I can only see beautiful things when I look at you and only think beautiful thoughts about you and for you.”
Forever, and always, love,

Me 

 I will always remember this view…

Single idiot.

La gente me pregunta mucho por qué estoy sola, como si fuera una carrera que elegí o una profesión a la que entré que no logran entender. “Así que ¿por qué estás sola?”, preguntan, esperando alguna respuesta lógica.
Lo que yo suelo decir es algo como “Bueno, en realidad no he encontrado a la persona correcta todavía”, y ellos asienten y agitan sus cabezas. Lo que realmente quiero decir es: “porque yo soy un gran estúpida idiota”.
IDIOTA. Esta no es una palabra común con la que la gente se describe a sí mismos. Mi madre se estremece al oírme usarla, pero no hay un sustituto. Soy una IDIOTA y es por eso que estoy sola. No estoy orgullosa ni feliz por eso, pero así es como es.

Pero, ¿qué significa ser una IDIOTA? ¿Qué significa cuando tu eres la que aleja a todo el mundo de ti? ¿Qué significa cuando eres tu quien destruye todas las posibilidades de tener algo bueno?. 

Tal vez estoy en la búsqueda de una perfecta relación para mí, alguien que sea igual de idiota que yo. O tal vez sólo me gusta estar sola y quizás soy así porque es más fácil de esa manera.

Después de pasar una cierta cantidad de tiempo a solas, se convierte en algo natural disfrutar de la soledad. La mayoría de las personas como yo son especialistas en el aislamiento y en la melancolía profunda. Pero mejor no nos pongamos emocionales aquí.
Digamos que en toda relación, siempre hay un idiota y un cobarde. El idiota es el encargado de arruinar los sueños y definitivamente el que se ve “menos afectado” por todos los problemas.
Ellos son los que pueden parecer distantes o poco comunicativos. No te dicen lo que quieres escuchar o hacen lo que quieres que hagan. Son personalidades exigentes y obstinadas y por lo general no tienen ninguna intención de cambiar a nadie. Antes de empezar a odiarnos, sólo sé que la mayoría idiotas no nacen siéndolo, (excepto unos pocos, y ustedes saben perfectamente quiénes son).

Muchos de nosotros nos convertimos en idiotas después de años de lágrimas. Sólo basta con un par de situaciones malas y al menos un corazón roto para convertir a cualquier buena persona en un gran idiota. Sin embargo, por alguna razón, los idiotas atraemos a buenas personas. Atraemos a las personas que quieren ayudarnos, que ven algo en nosotros y quieren aferrarse y tratar de llegar a conocernos.
Pero los idiotas siempre van a ser idiotas y tratar de cambiarlos, sólo va a hacer que te traten peor.