Interview: Part 3

 What would your advice be for women who would like to attract men into their lives and have great relationships, but are currently struggling to do that?

Attracting men into your life may seem impossible sometimes because you look around and think 1. All the good men have been taken: There are still great men out there but just like women aren’t all alike, men aren’t all alike either. Everyone wants something a little different. 2. Do any men even live in my city? Yes, men are in your city, you just might need to spread your circle a little. 3. Is there something wrong with me? There probably isn’t something wrong with you, but you know what you want, you just haven’t found it yet. Through conversations with men, there are a few things that they do (for the most part) all find the most attractive in women.

First, be yourself. In the movie The Ugly Truth Katherine Heigl spends a majority of the movie being, what she is told, the “right” kinda woman to attract her hot physician neighbor, Colin. It works, and Colin likes her but she has added hair extensions and squelched her Type A personality to become some “loosey-goosey all caution to the wind” kinda woman. And of course in the end, it’s too much for her to keep up with, she is miserable, and she breaks it off with Colin. In saying all of that, conforming to what you think a man “expects” and losing yourself will not work out in what you want long term. It’s a lie, it’s exhausting, and it’s just not you.

Confidence. It’s what I hear over and over from men. Since I am not one, I don’t know what they see and what makes a confident woman stand out from one who is not, but they love it. LOVE IT.

Put yourself out there. Get on a dating website, pick up one of the many dating apps out there and just explore! Don’t be afraid to meet new people. A rule I always stood by is if a guy had the courage to ask me out, I give him a shot. People can surprise you and who knows where one date with someone can take you. Something I hear a lot of is “he’s not my type” but has “your type” worked for you so far? You just may want a little something different but you haven’t figured it out yet. Be open to possibilities.

Most importantly, enjoy the season of life that you are in right now. It may not be where you envisioned yourself, but it’s where you are right now. Live for yourself and enjoy having your time be your time. Find new activities, try something new, pick up a hobby…be content (which is far easier said than done). There are things you are able to do now that you could not do with a boyfriend, fiancé, spouse, or children so take the opportunity to live your life without obligation to someone else and it will help prepare you for that time when you are sharing your life with someone else.

 

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a group of eight 10th graders down the Chattahoochee. We spent the morning cleaning along the river bed where we found items including embroidered suitcases, motorized cars, and Smirnoff Ice bottles discarded. That afternoon, we put on the orange life jackets and got in our raft. Considering my last rafting trip was down 12 foot waterfalls on The Nile, the only danger I faced were the teenagers who wanted to push me overboard. And they did…along with hitting me in the back of the head with a football. But what a river system!

-The US has 3.5 million miles of river, and the Chattahoochee is 436 of those.

-Chattahoochee is an Indian (Native American, for clarification) that means “river of painted rocks”. Our raft got stuck on many of those painted rocks.

-Once our Hoochie flows to our Southern neighbors of Florida, the name changes to Apalachicola. In the Indian language, that means “gators wear jean shorts”

-The upper Chattahoochee basin provides metro Atlanta with 70% of our drinking water. The upper basin does not include what runs around 285.-To follow that, 250 million gallons of sewage water are dumped into Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee each day.

-Along the river, one can see several species of birds, turtles, and the Virginia Opossum. I don’t know if that is the same kind of opossum we find along the street.

-Where is the southern most point to find trout? Yes, that is right, the Chattahoochee.

-E. coli is not just at White Water. The count at Paces Ferry is 938 (much higher than a few miles north where it is 699). If you don’t know Atlanta, Paces Ferry is the local rafting spot. Good thing the ferocious rapids didn’t knock any water in my mouth.
-My favorite river that is beastly, The Nile, is over 4,000 miles long. It is also awesome
-The Nile has a rapid called the G-Spot, but they just dried it up.
Now that you know these facts, start taking care of your local water systems since it is also your local source of fresh water.

Interview: Part 2.5

  1. You mentioned the constant negative reinforcement by media and society on how they greatly influence our thoughts and perception about beauty and looks. Some women have told us that they have so much negative chatter in their minds that they are simply unable to make a positive change. For every positive step they take, they tend to have be pushed 10 steps back by their inner critic and negativity. How can women detoxify the negativity in their mind and from external sources and make continuous progress to enhance their self worth and value?

Constantly receiving the negative reinforcement by media and society has been devastating on women attempting to gain self worth and confidence. We can’t even begin to understand how many times a day we are exposed to unrealistic figures, lives, and standards of living. Not only that, the words magazines choose to put on their covers even sinks you farther into believing what you are doing isn’t good enough. Your sex isn’t up to par, your clothes are out of style, and your abs aren’t flat enough. Who is setting these standards? I am not really certain who they are, but they aren’t realistic. How do we even begin to step back and remove ourselves from something that is so deeply ingrained in our culture?

Facebook, it’s the highlight reel of your friend’s lives (and maybe yours too). A status will always say something really awesome that‘s going on, “Gone to Hawaii with the love of my life for 10 days. See ya!” It’s never anything like, “Got dumped. Again. Crying in my bathtub with a bottle of wine and chocolate.” What we see on Facebook is exactly what that person wants us to see, so when your life doesn’t match up to theirs it’s because you are only seeing one side. Just remember highlight reel.

Pinterest it’s all the most wonderful things in the world on one website. This takes the idea of Facebook one step further by not only letting you put your life on the board but taking other people’s lives and pinning it on your board. But, that is where the problem lies, it is an illusion. We are slowly buying into the DIY projects that Sally Sue can whip up together in what looks like 5 minutes and takes the rest of us 5 hours. Or the wedding planning pins that are supposed to be on a budget, but you’re wondering what budget they followed. It is like real life Barbies we are trying to compete with. And by the end of it you are defeated and sinking into a hole of what you have and who you are never being enough.

The list of social media goes on and on into Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr…the list is endless and none of it will help you get any closer to accepting who you are. If you find that you notice yourself having more negative feelings after being on any of these sites, I would encourage you first to make a graph and put a scale of 1-10 on your mood and each time before you look at one of these sites mark where your mood is and then again after you have been on the website. If you find you constantly feeling worse it may not be a bad idea to delete your account(s). There are other ways to stay up to date with loved ones without knowing their every move.

  • You are enough. Wake up every morning and say it.–even when you don’t believe it.
  • Put pictures up of real women you admire—your mom, sisters, Kelly Osborn…whoever it might be that makes you feel good about who you are and what you have to offer.
  • If you like encouraging quotes, put them up in your car, on your mirror, next to your bed, wherever you look.
  • Certain people may be triggers, know who they are and figure out if you need to limit your time with them or stop following them on social media.
  • Have conversations with people. Real conversations about things that really matter to you.
  • You are not alone in this battle.

I’ve said it before, comparison is the thief of joy and if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, we are robbing ourselves of the most precious gift life has to offer—a life of contentment and joy in who we are and what we have to offer.

 

The Mask of the Fumanchu

What happens when you give one hundred and fifty 14 year olds 45 cans of shaving cream? Possibilities are endless…you black out, you play with them, you eat it, you smell like shaving cream for a week, and the list continues. That is what happened last night, some may call it a lapse in judgement, but in the end its just big, fun, and messy. So next time you’re shaving, think about what else you could be doing with that white creamy foam.

-The average shave will trim away somewhere between 20,000-25,000 hairs from a man’s face.
-Shaving cream tastes bad and stings when it gets in your eyes.
-November is National Beard Growing Month. There are 35 types of beards.
-The Pharaohs of Egypt liked a good shave every now and then with their gold and silver razors. It is said shaving was a fetish of theirs.
-Only about 30% of men who shave use an electric device to shave.
– Men take note: If you wet shave, it’s as good as using an exfoliating product because the process removes dead skin cells promoting healthier skin.
-It is believed that caveman used clams and shark teeth to shave with in the Stone Age.
-Nearly 70% of American women prefer a clean-shaven man. That includes myself
-Some archeologists think that warriors shaved their heads before battles so opponents didn’t have any hair to pull…and didn’t allow for scalping, maybe?
-Percent of men who shave once a day? 90%
-Men spend about 5 months of their lives shaving = 20,000 individual shaves. I bet it is more for women, but no website wanted to help me out.

Interview: Part 2

A common complaint that we hear from our women subscribers is “where are all the good men?” Some of them seem frustrated, lost, confused and have even lost hope that they can find a decent man to share their life with. While part of this could be attributed to past relationship disappointments and hurts, some attribute their lack of success with their own feeling of self-worth and physical appearance. Even when they find a man that they are attracted to and they really like, the lack of self belief along with their inner skeptic tends to drive the man away from them. How can women overcome this negative mindset and lack of belief that they would ever be able to find a decent man for themselves? What are some things that they can do to improve their self worth so that they truly believe that they deserve a quality man rather than feeling unworthy when they happen to meet one?

We deserve the best and should not have to settle, but unfortunately we believe the lies we see all around us. Everyday we are inundated with images of thin, tan, perfectly toned hotties and we believe we are supposed to somehow look like her. It is everywhere and we can’t get away from it. So what happens, we see these images enough and we start to think that is what everyone looks like. Then we start to look at our own selves and notice that we aren’t as young, pretty, rich, skinny, and our hair isn’t as shiny. We are falling in the trap. We see more, we fall farther. It’s a cycle and the only way out of the trap is to change our pattern of thinking and our ideas of who culture tells us we are.

Stop looking at others and turn your eyes on yourself. You have a lot to offer but until you believe you are worth it and change your outlook you won’t believe you are good enough and neither will the kind of man you want to attract. What are you good at? What do you enjoying doing? What are your values? What do you like about yourself? Know who you are and what you want because if you don’t then it doesn’t allow you to set the bar for the kind of man you want to meet.

If many of the women we see in media everyday had true self worth, they wouldn’t be all over the media. What we see everyday dictates what the norm is. We let culture tell us what it means to be beautiful. The problem is, is limits the idea of beautiful to a thin and narrow road. Celebrate what makes you who you are. Just like we all have different taste in men, men have different taste in women. Find your worth not in what society tells us to but in what makes you feel alive. Our true self worth comes from our identity. Once we can find our identity that allows us to know who we are, increase our self worth, boost confidence, and give us a reality check that we are worth it.

Women are constantly falling into a trap because we don’t believe in who we are and that we are good enough for a great man. When the truth is we are absolutely good enough for a man, especially a well deserving one.

 

It’s the EYE of the Tiger

Eyes are important. I have learned that the last two weeks while suffering from some allergic reaction in my eye lids that I picked up while riding in the back of a truck across the country of Uganda. The doctor said I must have been around a lot of dust. As a matter of fact, I came home covered in an orange tint each day from the dust. So I have been sporting my glasses the last two weeks which I have grown quite fond of. In the spirit of my spectacles I’ve decided to dazzle you with EYE facts.

-The largest eyeball in the whole Earth is on the Giant Squid and is 18 inches across. Picture a beachball. Then imagine the squid chasing you in the depths.
-An ostrich may lay the biggest egg of all the birds, but it’s eye is only 2 inches across and weighs more than it’s brain.
-An ant has two eyes, and each of those is composed of many smaller eyes
-A worm has no eyes at all, and that is why you find them dried up on the pavement
-A chameleon’s eyes can look in different directions at the same time. Little cockeyed.
-Guinea pigs are born with fur and with their eyes open. Amniotic fluid in the eyeballs! YIKES
-Babies cry but don’t produce tears until 1-3 months after birth.
-Each of our eyelashes has a life span of approximately five months
-The eye muscles are the most active muscles in the body
-A blink of the eye lasts 1/10 of a second
-A frog uses its eyes to help push food down its’ throat.

Watch out! The yellow ones don’t stop!

Spring Break as an adult is even better than being a child. It gives me the freedom to take excursions to places like DC, NYC, and Sea Island. I think the worst decision I have made to date was paying $26 for a stupid bike taxi that didn’t even get me to where I needed to go. Not to mention, my life was in danger as he weaved in and out of traffic then cut a bus off. I got better at hailing yellow taxis after that.
-The bike taxi (Rickshaw) was invented to transport a ministers invalid wife. I almost became an invalid.
-According to the planetarium I visited, the Moon was created in a month.
-On average, during a 12 hour shift a taxi driver will cover 180 miles.
-Chinatown is the largest Chinese enclave in the Western Hemisphere.
-Cabs are the color yellow because a study was done that yellow is the easiest color to spot.
-There is a $200 fine for taxi drivers found using their cell phones while driving.
-There are 8,968 benches in Central Parks. There are also $2 hotdogs that make a good breakfast.
-Average fair for a taxi passenger is $6.  My average was probably $15. Leading to the reason I would walk 70 blocks each day.
-There are 102 floors in the Empire State Building. Cousin John and I only made it to 86 in the drizzle and fog.
-From 1789-1790, NYC was the US capitol. That didn’t last very long.
-Broadways official name is Highway 9 and is one of the world’s longest streets at 150 miles. And the most congested part of that is probably at Times Square with all the solo picture takers.

Interview Series: Part 1

Over the next several weeks I will share a series of interview questions I was asked regarding relationships for a relationship blog. I have spread them out so it’s not a lot of information all at once and you can absorb one before moving on to the next. They are also short enough so you can still read in those brief moments you have waiting in line at the bank, for a train, or waiting on that chronically late friend at Starbucks. I’ll go ahead and give you the first one so you have an idea what you’re waiting for 🙂

A common complaint that we hear from our women subscribers is “where are all the good men?” Some of them seem frustrated, lost, confused and have even lost hope that they can find a decent man to share their life with. While part of this could be attributed to past relationship disappointments and hurts, some attribute their lack of success with their own feeling of self-worth and physical appearance. Even when they find a man that they are attracted to and they really like, the lack of self belief along with their inner skeptic tends to drive the man away from them. How can women overcome this negative mindset and lack of belief that they would ever be able to find a decent man for themselves? What are some things that they can do to improve their self worth so that they truly believe that they deserve a quality man rather than feeling unworthy when they happen to meet one?

We deserve the best and should not have to settle, but unfortunately we believe the lies we see all around us. Everyday we are inundated with images of thin, tan, perfectly toned hotties and we believe we are supposed to somehow look like her. It is everywhere and we can’t get away from it. So what happens, we see these images enough and we start to think that is what everyone looks like. Then we start to look at our own selves and notice that we aren’t as young, pretty, rich, skinny, and our hair isn’t as shiny. We are falling in the trap. We see more, we fall farther. It’s a cycle and the only way out of the trap is to change our pattern of thinking and our ideas of who culture tells us we are.

Stop looking at others and turn your eyes on yourself. You have a lot to offer but until you believe you are worth it and change your outlook you won’t believe you are good enough and neither will the kind of man you want to attract. What are you good at? What do you enjoying doing? What are your values? What do you like about yourself? Know who you are and what you want because if you don’t then it doesn’t allow you to set the bar for the kind of man you want to meet.

If many of the women we see in media everyday had true self worth, they wouldn’t be all over the media. What we see everyday dictates what the norm is. We let culture tell us what it means to be beautiful. The problem is, is limits the idea of beautiful to a thin and narrow road. Celebrate what makes you who you are. Just like we all have different taste in men, men have different taste in women. Find your worth not in what society tells us to but in what makes you feel alive. Our true self worth comes from our identity. Once we can find our identity that allows us to know who we are, increase our self worth, boost confidence, and give us a reality check that we are worth it.

Women are constantly falling into a trap because we don’t believe in who we are and that we are good enough for a great man. When the truth is we are absolutely good enough for a man, especially a well deserving one.

 

I bless the rains down in Africa

I have always wanted to disappear (like Alexander Supertramp without the ending) and that’s kinda what I did three weeks ago. I went to rural Uganda (East Africa) with 13 other people for two weeks with no electricity, running water, or anything ” ‘merican”. Our group spent 3 days training YoungLife leaders, 8 days living in a village, then the last few rafting The Nile. We kept a running list of “Ugandanisms” and I would like to share my favorites so you can stay up to date on Uganda, the Motherland. (It’s long but it can count for the last two Fridays)

I knew I was in Uganda because…

1. Your circa 1968 van breaks down and the guys have to get out and push/run along side the van to get it into “town”. Later, the axle breaks in half. May be time to put the van into the classic car museum.
2. When you feel like you are in a high-speed chase while driving down a one-lane dirt road with a big IZUZU truck tailing you only to pass you on the right with a 6-inch margin. Safety first.
3. You take a big bucket of water to the outhouse to wash down anything that may not have made it into the big hole
4. The police come to your New Years celebration not because of a noise ordinance (those don’t exist) but because they want to join the fun. And they continue to stop by every night
5. When your trip leader doesn’t want to be called by his name anymore but insists on being called “Daddy”
6. Shower time (a basin) is a community affair with all the village children watching.
7. When you start blending in with the Africans because of the dirt caking your face after truck rides. And your hair sticks up making you look like a lion.
8. You are greeted at a Young Life club with 50 people swamping the truck and then getting hoisted into the air in a parade through town
9. When you try to go to the bathroom but the only semi private place is next to a feeding hog and people are still able to watch (and they do). You go anyway.
10. Picking your nose at any time is acceptable. And brown boogers are normal..
11. You are able to differentiate each rooster’s cock-a-doodle from the chicken coop starting at 4:30 a.m. each morning.
12. You go to the well to collect water and all the women laugh at you while you try to put the 70 pound bucket on your head
13. It is not against the law to ride 20 deep in the bed of a truck meant for two
14. You don’t look twice when you see someone walking down the street carrying an AK-47.
15. You always carry a headlamp and toilet paper
16. When they say 30 minutes, it usually means at least an hour, but probably 3 hours—it’s called “Africa Time”
17. When the taxi horn is used 61 times within 5 minutes to warn pedestrians of the approaching vehicle. As if the cloud of dust stirring up isn’t enough.
18. When your raft flips over a class 5 rapid and you find yourself scattered across the monstrous river Nile in whirlpools without any sense of direction.
19. When you feel accomplished after you look at the 12 foot waterfall you just dropped down
20. When it hails for the second time in 11 years on the river and you have to get in the water to protect yourself against the gumball size pellets.
21. The first time you have the option to shower in two weeks you opt not to because the river put you though a freaking washing machine

Another Yuck, Resentment

Yuck, resentment. That’s not a word you want to describe you or your partner in a relationship. Not to mention, those are pretty intense feelings to have towards someone you are intimately involved with. Do you feel locked into a relationship you don’t want to be in? Or do you feel like you’re in it because that was the best option at the time and now you don’t know how to get out? And is the resentment something you can work through or not? All million dollar questions and ones you want to take a close look at and figure out where to go from here.

First, what is the resentment stemming from? Was someone unfaithful? Or one thing led to another and now you have a child together and getting married was better than raising a child alone? Is there an addiction? Is there abuse? Or, you’re just not certain, you just really resent this person right now? Pin down whatever this reason is. If it is a case of your safety, find a way out immediately. Talk to someone. If it’s not a question of safety, why is this causing you so much anger towards your partner? And remember, this is in your control, only you can change the current state of things. Holding onto resentment will not only affect your relationship with this person, but everyone else as well because resentment is that powerful.

Is the resentment something you have communicated at all or is it silent resentment? Talk about it. Nothing will be resolved as long as no one is working towards a resolution. Or maybe it is something you both acknowledge but don’t talk about it. That’s a poison and will only grow stronger.

Can you and do you want to work through this? If you do want to work through it, I suggest professional help because it will only get worse and resentment is so strong it can tear you down. If you aren’t willing to work through it, do something about it. There is no sense in living this way because it is stealing your well being. Make a change because this is your life and you control how you handle it.