Music Monday: Shake It Off

I have a love/hate relationship with Taylor Swift. Part of me loves blasting her songs in the car and singing along to them at the top of my lungs, and the other half is begging her to stop dancing because it irks me- you’re a pop singer for a living, shouldn’t you know how to dance?!

But after her newest single Shake It Off dropped last month, I have to say that the hate has dissolved and I only love-love-love TSwift. In the song, she acknowledges that people make fun of her & that she has haters, but decides to not let their opinions stop her, and instead just brush them off and continue being true to herself. This is a lesson we could all benefit from learning, and I commend her for looking at what people are saying about her, not letting the negativity get her down, and owning her quirks.

Besides admiring the message behind Shake It Off, I must admit that is an undeniably catchy tune. It sounds amazing covered by English singer-songwriter Labrinith. His take on it makes me love the song (and Taylor) even more.

Which version do you prefer?

Inspired by, lately

Right now my sorority is going through the recruitment process. I love this time of year because I get to see my sisters more frequently than usual & connect with a bunch of new young women. Yesterday we had quite the kumbaya moment during the recruitment event. Sisters broke up into groups and were assigned a question to discuss with potential new members. My group’s question was “when was the last time you were inspired?” and all corniness inside, the discussions we had proved to be extremely energizing, uplifting, and, well….. inspiring.

The response that came up the most was Emma Watson’s speech on feminism.

A sorority is an organization that intends to be a support system that empowers women. Each and every one of my sisters is strong, beautiful, educated, and ambitious; you would think we would identify ourselves as feminists. Yet so many girls expressed how they always believed feminism to be “man-hating” and did not declare themselves supporters of feminism  until now. Emma Watson’s speech was important because she clarified what feminism truly is & stated that this a movement that all women & men should involve themselves in, because women gaining equal rights as men will benefit society as a whole.

emmawatsonquote

We came up with dozens of other things that have been inspiring us. Here are a few that stuck out to me:

  • the passing of a grandfather, because it helped realize what truly matters in life & appreciate all that you do have
  • the video editing in the film Requiem for a Dream
  • the friendship between two autistic brothers
  • the diversity at our school; how there are students from all corners of the world, and we have the opportunity to learn together in a classroom every day & collaborate using our different worldviews
  • our moms: how she’s a dance teacher and just got granted permission to put on a show for kids in the hospital; how she managed to get a degree while working full time; she quit smoking cold turkey; she went back to work as a lawyer now that the kids are away in college & she still got it and is kicking ass; she battled & survived breast cancer; she is a nurse in the ER and saves people’s lives & experiences miracles all the time; she is strong and takes care of all the people in her life even after experiencing incredible heartbreak & tragedy
  • our dads: launching a new business; being a good man that everyone wants to work with or be friends with; adopting a healthy lifestyle
  • natural beauty: moments when you look up from your phone ,and can’t help but stop and stare at the sky or water or flowers or whatever other kind of nature is around you
  • a childhood friend who came from nothing but works so hard that she got a full ride to NYU & recently had a beautifully-written article published by a major publication
  • moms/old ladies at the gym who motivate us to work out and take care of ourselves
  • breaking up with a highschool love, and practicing self-love & self-care to heal from the heartbreak

As we continued sharing what inspired us, we got inspired and were able to come up with more & more things. It felt so good to count our blessings and I left feeling happy and grateful. This is an exercise I’d like to try more often.

What’s inspiring you?

Music Monday: End of Summer Playlist

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(( Alex & I at Inbound last week, posing with ourselves ))

My good friend Alex over at The Hostess Post is that friend of mine who I turn to for great music. She’s from LA and worked at CBS radio station, KROQ-FM right out of college and really knows what’s up when it comes to current music. She moved back to Boston this summer and created an created an awesome end of summer playlist on 8tracks at the end of August that I am still playing religiously, whether that’s when I’m on the train to class, cleaning my room, or taking a walk. Give it a listen & spread the love if you like– I think you’ll enjoy!

Using Habits to be Productive

use habits to boost productivity

Creating good habits sets you up for success.

The way I see it, it’s like putting your car on the tracks at a car wash. Initially you have to accelerate to get the car moving & steer to line it up on the proper tracks, but once it’s there it’s all smooth sailing and it becomes essentially effortless.

Developing positive habits in your life is the same kind of thing. For example, if you’re trying to change the way you eat, it will probably be difficult and uncomfortable at first; you’ll need to break your cravings, consciously tell yourself when/what you can eat, and use self control to break the bad habits & create new, good ones. But once you have a new way of doing things and it becomes a routine, this is your new habit, and it’s equally as effortless as the bad habits once were.

When you set yourself up with good habits, you set yourself up for success. During highschool I was uber productive, and I credit it to the fact that I had a routine. My day progressed like this:

morning:

6am wake up // hop in shower // make coffee // do hair & make up // eat breakfast // get dressed (outfit was laid out the night before) // leave house at 7am

afternoon:

school 7:26am – 1:29pm // drive to the gym as soon as school lets out // drive home // do homework while family is still at work & school // hang out with friends, eat dinner, get lost on internetland, etc

night:

eat dinner with family // hang out with friends // be in bed by 10 (realistically this didn’t always happen, but it was the goal) to get 8 hours of sleep

This routine that I had every day set me up for success. Waking up and getting ready for class was easy and set me up for a successful day because I was on autopilot. Going to the gym wasn’t a hassle because it was unnegotiable– it was part of the routine & I never had to force myself to go. It was at the same time every day, and I naturally just flowed into the gym, to the same elliptical/treadmill, and the same spot on the mat in front of the mirror.

I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in an amazing place during high school and looking back, I can see it was because I had good habits. College has been tricky because the day-to-day is much less structured, but I’m working on developing a great routine for this semester that will set me up for success in all areas of my life.

I follow a variety of business/entrepreneurship blogs, and I see so many articles regarding habit and routine and how they play into success. Here’s a few if you’re interested in reading more on the topic:

  • 4 Things Really Productive People Do Every Day by Marie Forleo
  • 5 Morning Rituals To Keep You Productive All Day Long via Entrepreneur.com
  • How To Be Productive infographic made by Anna Vital

What are some of your habits that help you stay on track & reach your goals?

haters

I don’t think our ancestors would have predicted that in 2014, a day-to-day problem people deal with is internet haters.

If you follow me on instagram I’m sure you’re aware that I’m a big fan & follower of Rachel Brathen (aka yogagirl) as I’ve reposted some of her stuff & participated in her yoga girl challenge this summer.Rachel touches & inspires so many people through her work,photos, writing, and communications on social media. she is a lifestyle brand, so she often shares snippets from parts of her life that she loves.

Today she posted something on social media in defense of all the haters criticizing her for not caring for her dog because he’s skinny– some were just flat out hurtful and mean.

“I am so sick of bringing this subject up. I do once again because I simply can’t stand the comments on here about Ringo’s weight and I feel I have to say something or I’m going to explode. “FEED YOUR DOG YOU CRUEL FUCKING BITCH” is not something I feel ok seeing on my feed. I don’t care what people write on here most of the time. You can call me ugly, fat, say I’m a hypocrite, point out details about my life that you don’t agree with, say my skin is bad or my face looks wrinkly, I have cellulite, terrible taste in clothes, I’m stupid, dumb, a bimbo… Write me all of this. I don’t care. And these are things people write all the time, mind you. Sometimes I even get classier comments like “you’re a motherfucking whore” and even that does not bother me. Random people saying random shit feeling brave hiding behind a screen on the internet. Whatever. But I cannot shake this feeling right now. Write things about my baby and I feel VIOLATED. I want to yogi-kick you in the face. I get so angry. And then I get sad.

Ringo is an Italian Greyhound. Google the breed. Their most prominent feature is their ribcage which is huge so no matter how much we feed him HIS RIBS ARE ALWAYS SHOWING. He eats breakfast and dinner every day like every other loved dog with treats and snacks and cheese snuck from my dinner plate in between. There is no need to call PETA. We love him more than fucking anything in the whole world. FROM NOW ON EVERY SINGLE PERSON COMMENTING NEGATIVITY ON HERE WILL BE BLOCKED FOREVER. Even you “well meaning folks” who like to drop by just to write a line about how “yoga girl is so great but she REALLY should do more charity work” screw you all from now on. If you don’t fucking accept me the way I am ,100%, as is, you can get the hell off this account. I’m on a blocking spree so keep your hands in check if you want to stay in this community.

And yes I know this is not very “yoga” of me. But guess what. It’s very HUMAN of me to once in a blue moon lose my shit over people telling me how to live my life on the daily. I get sad, too. I feel, too. Most of you guys I fucking love so much I can’t even explain but some of you people just made me cry.

I’m tired.”

She knows how to express herself and you can sense her pain & frustration. Rachel obviously is not the only one getting hated on by internet trolls; there are so many people who are negatively affected by cyber bullying. And it needs to stop! Usually these issues are kept quiet and not spoken about, but opening up about it allows a dialogue to happen, which hopefully will lead to more people realizing that it’s an issue, and it’s not acceptable.

Gabrielle Bernstein was similarly affected, and she thought about it and created this insightful vlog discussing how to deal with internet haters.

Have you ever experienced internet haters? Do you have any opinions or comments on the issue of cyber bullying? Lemme know

in the comments below :)

Gwen in my Head

Am I the only one who thinks of songs that match whatever’s going on in my life? Gwen Stefani is barging into my mind lately, offering her songs as a soundtrack to my life. (What does this mean?!??!?)

Exhibit A:

The other day I came home from NYC and was greeted by three crazy pups: our old dawg Huckleberry (notice how he’s trampled by the younger ones in the video) + my sister’s two puppies, Lola & Leo.

I was eating my banana, minding my own business, when the dogs spotted me and suddenly came stampeding my way. Chaos + Banana– what song comes to mind?

If you guessed Bananas by Gwen Stefani, you are correct.

Exhibit B:

At the beginning of the month I quit my job hostessing at a restaurant in Boston to spend the remainder of summer at home in New Jersey, so now I’m broke A F. Is that a complaint? No. It just means that I have less money to spend & need to be more conscious of what I buy. Last summer I took a class called “Understanding Consumers” for my marketing major, and one of the assignments was to keep a consumer diary for two weeks, and then analyze the motivations behind our purchases to understand ourselves as consumers. What I learned is that I value experiences > possessions, and so much of my money goes to things I can do, rather than things I can possess. Right now since I have less money to spend than usual, it’s going to what I value more: experiences.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not keeping a mental list of all the items I would buy if I had a little bit more cash in my pocket. As the list accumulates, Gwen’s voice pops back into my head:

I’d probably get annoyed if it wasn’t Gwen. She’s a boss and her music pumps me up & puts a nice happy tone to whatever’s happening– even if it’s getting your banana attacked by puppies or being broke. Gwen can stay.

United’s Fly The Friendly Skies Campaign

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqAAQ0ZZMyw

My airline loyalty had been to JetBlue since I entered college & started flying solo, but that may be changing after I flew United Airlines with my family on our vacation to the Dominican Republic, and experienced the brand’s recently launched Fly the Friendly Skies Campaign. United truly lives up to its promises– the staff was exceedingly friendly, checked on us multiple times, had genuine smiles on their face. It wasn’t an act– it actually seemed like these were really positive people, and that this re-branding may be something that even HR plays a role in carrying out by paying closer attention to the people who are representing United & come in direct contact with customers.

My favorite part was the inflight safety video. Like many people, I usually ignore it and go right to my book or music or napping because it’s usually the same things I’ve been hearing my whole life. But this time, I was all eyes & ears because United created a refreshingly creative & entertaining video to dish out all of the usually mundane info. We only saw this version of the video on the flight back to the States; when it was over, my family members all turned to each other amongst the three rows we sat in, and exchanged positive comments of approval. It was a very pleasant experience and may even have me flying United again in the future.