sustainability

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it’s not going to be what you want
until you allow it to become what you want it to be.
progress requires patience. Pace > race.
believe it or Not, I used to be much faster, in life.
Ive always been the same human, with significant gumption, and a whole lot of fire.
And while i still lead with heat, ease has overcome me in a way i sure admire --- Ive embraced the fact that life is a marathon, not a race
And it isn’t until we slow down, that we can recognize all that there is, what we have rather than what we don’t. Pre @boxandflow, i would wake up 5am just the same,
Sneakers on, 20 degree weather, to run sub 6 minute miles
Seeking to feel anything but my feelings.
So my exposed hands would numb so much that i wouldn’t feel anything at all
I used to move so fast to fill my time rather than fuel my life and then anxiously plan what was next,
without digging deeper into what i had started. And while it sure seems I move fast today, ive embraced pace over race more than ever--Because ive learned that progress takes patience.
It isn’t about how fast rather how long--how resilient, how strong.
Can you stay strong when things get tough. Can you hold on, with ease? Can you #flowthruthefight --- find lightness in times of angst. Can you just breathe?
Business is challenging. Love is challenging. Humans are challenging. Life is challenging.
But I believe that sustainability is the key to success.
The best brands didn’t build over night. it takes years to create a movement.
The best chefs aren’t born that way - they cook to hone their crafts-- to create recipes that take time to develop and evolve.
The most effective teachers practice for years, by teaching. Athletes, same — sure some people are born with natural skill but practice + perseverance win the race. Bestsellers don’t wake up and write a bestselling novel, they try and try again until something sticks. And while I don’t know quite perfectly from experience, I believe the best love grows greater over time. Passion is different. It’s delicious, no doubt -- but there is no pace in passion. It is hot. So hot. Until its not.
So you can light it up --- the idea, the business, the sex…
You can make it hot --- the business, the brand, the dating,
But can you keep it hot?
Sustainability is the key to success. Pace > race.
I’m in it to win it. My life, that is.
My business will build slowly. When I find real love, that will too. I’m not seeking the quick fix any longer. I want to build something that evolves, that inspires, that is so sticky, and delicious, that it lasts. And that, takes resilience, hard work + celebration, but i’m willing to #flowthruthefight to keep it hot, for a very long time. #workhard #livyoung

startup life

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I asked for what I wanted,
And it came with so much more - both blessing + burden
more than I bargained for and sometimes I just want a hug.
Want to talk about startup life? Owning your own business is
powerful, and painful — connected + isolated. #balance, perhaps?
My analogy for life, to flowthruthefight,
To ease thru transitions, thru the darkness we find light
But let me tell you —
Nothing about owning a business is easy,
Except that you own your time, and with it comes the burden of managing it properly.
At a job, at a desk, you can phone it in -
but when you work for yourself, your best work is your best self.
So often it feels I Say no more than yes,
And I much prefer yes.
My biggest lesson to date: everyone is your friend, as long as they’re paid.
The irony is - I opened this space fo find freedom in me, to share my message
Of balance, to give back what I get, thru hardwork, the physical + mental —
To livyoung, to let go, to be my best self.
My opportunity to take the risk, was personal — not opportunistic.
I want to change the world, how we see ourselves, to share a feeling,
and sure with risk, comes reward. So I opened box + flow 2 years ago,
And 3 months ago tore it open to add shinier things.
With it, my life feels under construction, ive torn myself open too— so it seems.
Polarizing you could say — to be so extreme, But thats what makes me, me.
And without darkness, there is no light, without fight there is no flow. without hardwork there is no celebration. The goal is finding balance within,
And since ive opened, ive found my light—
My self definition: I liv in color, I dance in my sleep,
but only because I relate much closer to darkness,
to struggle, to fight. So light thru darkness, my forever challenge.
And thru this transition, box + flow 2.0 x livyoung, im trying.
But sometimes it feels like I can’t get ahead. So I breathe, I move, I sweat, I flow.
The physical for me, Brings me back to balance within,
At least for a moment
Before the stress begins.
Because while no one said it was easy, im just wondering if it has to be this hard?
But that choice—is up to me. To switch my perspective, to #flowthruthefight.
progress requires patience. no challenge, no change.
i can do this.

forgiveness

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we cannot set goals until we forgive.
No mistakes, just lessons, from which to grow -- more resilient, less harsh, more heart, less ego--progressing forward, into said goals.
We cannot grow until we let go,
But there is a level to letting go, that is not often reached
Instead we bury things deep down
And expect them to go away-
But Freedom within comes from accepting who we are, And who we are comes with years of feelings + experiences, hurt, hopes, dreams, + fears—
That we hold onto, grip even, ruminate over questioning, “what if?”
we all have stories.
So what if
you forgive you?
For what you did or didn’t do,
for what was said, or wasn’t.
Can you forgive yourself? for the mistakes, the expectations, or otherwise.
And Can you forgive others? those who hurt you, harmed you Or let you down?
Where can you make space as the year ends + begins, to make peace with what was, what wasn’t — and rather, what is?
Me? I forgive myself -- for the self imposed doubt, my mental mess made within. I am sorry for ever thinking i wasn’t good enough or couldn’t be. I am sorry i have questioned my potential or my worth. Or allowing others to cloud my perception of self. I forgive myself for not ASKING FOR WHAT I WANT, for not speaking my mind, for not walking away sooner. I forgive myself for letting my ego overwhelm my heart, confusing lust for love, or job Résumé for actual qualification. I forgive myself for filling my body, time, life instead of fueling me forward, for physical, mental, spiritual manipulation leading to less than my best version of me.
I know what i want. I know who i am. I’m sorry i doubted that.
And I forgive myself in advance, should it happen again. It will. i am human.
I want to be a better version of me, (better boss, friend, sister, lover, daughter, human).
i want to feel more and sometimes feel less, do more, see more, share more, be more. For myself and others. More present in each moment to livfull without fear. Challenge myself and others to grow into better versions of ourselves. And i want to love who i am along the way, because self love brings shared love — energy is everything. But i know what i want, and moreso I know who i am—
my darkness too, my fight or which i will continue forgiving myself for, for years, actions + decisions that contributed to making me feel less than my all.
I forgive myself, from me, to me for not embracing all of me.
Because life without love, is no life at all. But love begins within.
Can you forgive?
That is the challenge. Then you go after the goals. #flowthruthefight
#workhard #livyoung

goals.

Ive learned more about myself than ive ever known-
In a way that feels like just enough for the moment and with hunger to learn more in the moments, days, months to come. We are alive, evolving, energetic, emotive creatures.
The love we have, is ours to give. So I give.
Ive learned that what I wanted, or rather, what my ego wanted, was not for me at all.
I have an enormous talent for fixation, hyper focus, to tie myself up in knots of wondering what if or why not, that can occupy my mind for months. that focus is what makes me both successful + unsuccessful.
My goal is to simplify.
All things I thought were for me, and weren’t. Were not.
all desires ego driven, my heart knew the way.
And as ive learned myself more, over time, i tolerate less + bounce back quicker.
I let it go easier. I bounce back. When I look at failed relationships, I end the year knowing — work or love - they were never right for the role, not enough for me — and in love, not right because he isn’t enough for himself. a lesson in itself, to carry thru the journey, — really though, the point of it all:
If you cannot love you, you cannot love another.
We are not here to fix or change, we are here to grow, evolve, share, to live.
My commitment for 2019 is to remain true to that —
To focus on what fuels me, my time, my body, my energy, my work, my love, my life —
And let go, of anything that fills me.
My commitment for 2019 is a recommitment to me -
Because how can I be anything for anyone, or anything, if I am not for myself?
And while this sounds high level, It doesn’t have to be.
simply put: It can be as simple as moving my body (not too much, or too little) in a way that makes me feel free, Abstaining from the 2nd or 3rd cocktail because it diminishes my light, avoiding food that only serves as instant gratification (candy particularly) … letting go of love that doesn’t serve me, as soon as it no longer feels good, pushing my comfort zone in business to continue taking risks and moving forward, making time to call family or to fly home more than sporadically,
Being for others.
Being for myself.
My commitment is to liv, not exist. Liv free, bold, loud, wild, delicious, sexy, sweaty ..
And to love as much as possible thru it all.
Life without love is no life at all—
But love of life begins with love of self,

Particularly the darkest parts of you.
You are free to be whoever you want,
You just can’t be anyone else,
So why not just love who you are?

It is a process to know yourself, a practice to love yourself,
And progress takes patience.
Lets commit to this, together. You In?
#workhard #livyoung.


50 First Dates VII

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Setups are weird but in a well- intentioned way. there is a sense of comfort in knowing that when set up, it is done so with care-- a vote of confidence that neither person is a serial killer or you might even hit it off. In other words, they involve an element of trust. So when my friend matt asked if he could introduce me to a man, i obliged regardless of matt + my dating history during a deep dark+ indecisive time of my life when i needed support. But Matt is great in business but can be kind of an asshole in love, which i should have referenced in regards to his matchmaking offer. But i was lonely and when opportunity presents itself, i say carpe diem.

Old habits + too much free time would have led me down a black hole googling prospects but i trusted Matt as middle man+ fussied up on friday night in leather pants, louboutins+ a positive perspective. Even if I was longing for darkness, deep sleep in soft sheets after a 60 hour work week. But i rallied out in the rain in hopes that my date may be the prince charming ive longed for.

That hope was short lived.
Exit my building, look left. + hushed my inner judgment.
but we eat with our eyes, and i lost my appetite.
My setup closer resembled a jockey than a cowboy, holding a golf umbrella twice his size with very small hands -- and possibly my same pant size—which could come in handy —
but there was zero possibility of me ever finding myself pantless in his presence.

Small but lovely, full of life + his love of it. but I like what I like and I like men with bigger hands than my own. One quick glance and I knew I could never picture myself naked next to him. Hard stop.
As the rain poured down and we scurried to our destination, i should have done him a favor and said not today, because in hindsight, i was wasting his time too as i walked, autopilot on, simply thinking about ripping off my leather pants + deep diving into a can of sardines on my couch.

But so it goes + i followed his huge heart’s desire set on a nostalgic new york night in the rain. A man on a mission to court me, with passion about his work, connection, saving lives, and finding love….a man who likes stories, and sweet potatoes, like me. And while it was clear that love would not be found in each other, we did find two bar stools windowside at blue ribbon brasserie. I hastily ordered a mezcal rocks to numb my feelings, or lack thereof, and did my best to be present. The only other option was just to bounce, but energy is everything and i felt adam’s radiating hope over me, grilled trout, fried chicken and life stories.

As the first sips of mezcal began lubricating my angst, i took a deep breath in + let go…physically + mentally, while cozying up cross legged on a bar stool at blue ribbon. Balancing + breathing in 800$ louboutins…with a fried chicken leg to the face, ceremoniously dipped in honey celebrating every juicy, dripping, sweet, salty, hot, crunchy bite. Leg to lips. Sinfully delicious. My personal mantra “messy is sexy” in full effect, cognizant that the crispy fried bird was the only thing nearing my mouth.

Adam graciously paid and gathered his golf umbrella to drop me off and i gave him the tightest hug goodbye, in hopes he finds a woman to love him as he deserves. But that drive to touch, the animal instinct we all possess, to go after what we want, was dormant and cannot be forced. I say so because ive forced so, long time dated a man whose touch made me quiver, body shut down + turned off. And have vowed since to be honest within, no matter how perfect he is on paper or otherwise.
animals eat with eyes first, hands second.
And winner winner chicken dinner was the only thing to be indulged in tonight.
Can chemistry grow? Perhaps.
But not today.

I stopped at a party en route home - ordered an amaro rocks digestif to settle any sense of self pity from hours spent out of bed, then grabbed a banana laffy taffy to fill my failure + cheer my spirit.
Filling.
Not fueling - my body, my time, my life.
See time is precious. And i value mine.
And i’m not looking to collect stories. Im looking to create love.
So when setting up, trust that you are being trusted with time, emotion, and TLC.
And in the spirit of time - particularly as the year ends,
How do you spend yours? Doing what? And with whom? Are you fueling or filling?
Your time. Your life. Choose wisely.

And when presented the choice, always choose the fried chicken.
#workhard #livyoung

doubt

Mirror selfies and self reflection - waking up to celebrate both life + feeling alive.
Because along this journey, of self discovery, i have a newfound self awareness, connected to others’ pleasure and pain. I hear laughter and feel happy or see sadness, self doubt and cry.

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i was running on the west side highway saturday, with pep in my step as i bounced buoyantly on the pavement, so aLIVe, until i saw a biker face down on the concrete, not moving, no life. Now, i didn't see him fall just the aftermath. and i went from LIVING to literally crying because i felt his pain.

This self awareness carried over me today as i snapped my morning selfie, in a token ex boyfriend’s tee, and then the tears returned,
I cried for us this morning. For all of us,
who at times, have lost belief in ourselves, questioned our confidence and enabled self doubt.
I cried for us, for letting outward opinions forward our insecurity. I cried for the experiences we’ve had, that resulted in our sacrifice of self love, that left us with feeling less than. That lack of self love which leaves us incapable to love one another.
I cried for us today. For all of us. In sadness and guilt that i am among us,
who at times has not loved Me enough to be loved at all.

And then i cried for you.
Because i acknowledge my dark side + commit to growing from it. I have embraced me as me, love me as i am, and continue to grow into my best self as my lightness offsets my harshness, and my #workhard is balanced by my love of celebration.
See this life is a journey, of learning and growing and living and loving. It never ends. There is no “there,” but i have found a place of comfort: with a healthy dose of ego + a whole lot of heart, and too many self hating ex boyfriend tees.

I cried for those among us who smear self hate, hidden behind a surfaced smile to mask self doubt because it will always seem easier to slap it on than to feel at all-- But to free yourself, you must face yourself:  see your flaws + embrace those too, to be Just As You are.
I cried for you today, because you can’t see you like we do,
brave + bold, strong + kind, so much more than you give yourself credit for.
I cried because we are better than this.
But it is a choice to turn off the noise, to find a better balance between critic + fan,
to embrace ourselves, dark and light.

But to do so, we must lead with love, for ourselves, from within,
because the only way to win this cruel game of judgement, comparison, and the resulting insecurity, is to Love ourselves and let us be loved.
To See ourselves to be seen.

I snapped a morning selfie, to see myself today in hope that
as we enter this holiday season, we find the gratitude, the grace, the gracefulness, to celebrate
all that we have, and all that we are.

Among family + fun, can we we find peace within to allow patience for others? Forget judging + comparing, rather focus on the energy we can control, that which we carry + share.
Let's choose kindness, free spirit and love - less fight, more fun.
Full - not empty. From within.
Love of self is what enables love of others.
And judgement of others is always a projection of self.


But sharing is caring, so I gladly give you my tears,
but i will share them whilst wearing your softest tees.
Grateful. #workhard #livyoung

self celebration

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Celebration to me is not a symbolic affair with tigers + extravagant trips...today.  
Rather it is little tokens of self love and shared love to take notice of all the hard work, The struggle, the time, to build a vision, rather to build the life i want to live.
Choose your life or let it choose you.  
Of course there are unforseen circumstances and curveballs along the way, but we can’t plan for that. And in choosing your life there will always be tradeoffs, no doubt --
But it doesn’t mean celebration is spared. Balance is the key: hard work is not only what you do physically, externally but also the work we put into ourselves to find self respect, self love, to be who we are. It is the work we put into seeing ourselves, so that we can share ourselves, our true selves, without the facade: what lights us up, challenges us, excites us, hurts?
We must be honest within, face ourselves to free ourselves ---and embrace who we are,  particularly our darkest sides. To celebrate you fully, you must first get to know you fully, all sides of you.
It is my goal to learn something new everyday. learning about others lets me learn about me, i connect to further connect within. I am committed to waking up and moving my body daily no matter the hour. I am committed to asking myself the tough questions, challenging myself mentally and emotionally, and opening my heart to vulnerability and even hurt sometimes.
And in all this effort, the ever challenging life ive chosen to build a business, a vision, a team -- and to build myself, I never lose sight of the balance i seek along the way.
Balance in big ways + small ways, but in my way, there is always a way to celebrate:

10 hours of sleep to reset + reconnect, to give my brain rest and my body recentering,
A hot toddy or cold beer surrounded by friends + filled with connected conversation.
A messy no bun burger, made messier as i maul it apart with my hands - tasting, feeling, experiencing my food.  
Cooking in quiet to hear the simmers and pops of my creations, then shared + enjoyed.
A call to my 90 year old grandma to share excitement of new loves or sadness of old ones
Dancing in the streets to hail a cab curbside as i go from one meeting to the next.
A splurge purchase of sexy stilettos i have no business buying.
Eye sex with strangers, ie sporadic eye contact street side, or even better, deep conversation with a cab driver who opens his heart for the brief 10 minutes we share. Seeing + being seen.
Bouts of deep belly laughs that often make onlookers watch in wonder. Hearing + being heard.
A banana laffy taffy, or two bought for a quarter at my favorite corner store.
Feeling + being felt. The best hug, indulgent sex, or just my own crisp sheets the encapsulate me, hold me up, hug me in, after a really long day.
No matter the celebration, it’s there -- i celebrate it.
it is what keeps me centered. connected. present.

Personally, I relate much more to my dark, rigid, hard work side. it is of no issue for me to wake up at 4am, run 5 miles in 25 degree weather before grinding out a 15 hour work day.
I find solace in working for hours in silence, lights off, writing, building, strategizing, alone with laser like efficiency + complete isolation, powering thru tasks or working thru self doubt,

which is why celebration is essential, in the simplest of things, particularly on days when i haven’t let love in, when my energy is heavy + work overwhelms play, when restless thoughts keep me awake, balance escapes and there is only hard work, no livyoung aka living.
Getting to know me, putting in work in myself has made me aware of my habits-- skills and flaws. Getting to know me has led me to face myself, particularly my darkside, and let love in, self love first, to then find a love that fills, continue to do work that inspires, and manage my mind + body to find ease yet always crave more.

Balance is a challenge all of us face, forever.
And to find balance, we must first know ourselves --
Celebrate who we are, rather than regret who we’re not.
This celebration of self, gratitude within, for all that we do + all that we are, allows us then to appreciate all else. Because what is hard work without celebration?
But to celebrate another, we must first celebrate ourselves -- all sides, dark + light.
TO love another we must first love ourselves.
It is hard work, to know yourself, and more so to love yourself.
So the question is, are you willing to look within to see, and be seen?
To love yourself you must know yourself. Are you willing to do the work?
#workhard #livyoung