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Whatever makes you love more, go towards it.

When you move towards the good, you can’t keep love to yourself, you can’t hold it in, afraid. And it never shrinks but always grows.

Whatever makes you love more, go towards it.

Whatever makes you break out into the biggest smile when you see babies and puppies, go towards it.

Whatever makes you laugh randomly when you’re driving in your car alone, go towards it.

Whatever makes you smile at strangers, go towards it.

Whatever makes you write, sing and play, go towards it.

Whatever makes you daydream.

Whatever makes you fall in love.

Whatever makes you risk and know that even if you lose, you’ve won.

Go towards it.

When you move towards the good, you can’t keep love to yourself, you can’t hold it in, afraid. And it never shrinks but always grows. There’s always more, so much more and the need to give it.

Featured

I’m Not Pretending to be Happy for Social Media

Here’s what I have to say to you who isn’t happy but you still want to post your pictures that “seem” happy. Do it.

I’m not pretending to be happy for social media. Sometimes, there’s no way around it, you just have to wait for your life to play out.

Let’s say you’re in Europe on a birthday trip, and your boyfriend takes a stroll to La Sagrada de Familia and has an epiphany. Well, the epiphany is that he wants to break up with you on day 4 of 15 of your trip.

Are you going to stop taking pictures and not eat churros with chocolate sauce? No, you’re not. He doesn’t look at you or want to touch you but are you going to stop doing your makeup? No. You decide it’s a good time to finally shave your legs and keep it moving.

Cheers? We made it.

I don’t pretend to be happy for social media. I do however, sometimes pretend to be happy for myself. It’s called survival.

So here’s what I have to say to you who isn’t happy but you still want to post your pictures that “seem” happy.

1. Do it. You are documenting your life and writing your story the best way you know how. It isn’t your responsibility to control how the reader interprets everything. If any of my friends thought a proposal was coming because we took smiling photos near the Eiffel Tower, I challenge them to be more discerning readers. There were omissions, metaphors, foreshadowing and dramatic irony all over my story if you chose to see it.

2. It’s still nice to have evidence for the life you lived. As long as you’re being honest with yourself, why not? Just remember, you are the artist. Frame your truth.

The photo above is from the day after we broke up; New Years Day. I was miserable. But I knew this would one day be a blessing I would look back on and thank God for. I didn’t know when or how long it would take but I knew. This photo is my thank you to God and it’s now my profile photo because it was my gift of starting over.

You’ll look back on some photos and see the sadness in your smile, too. You are not documenting a lie because you kept smiling even when it hurt. If anything, you are documenting a vulnerable, beautiful truth. This is life.

In front of the magic wishing fountain in Barcelona. I made an old wish that returned to me in my darkest time, giving me light.

3. Somedays even when everything sucks, you will realize that you are still capable of being happy and that’s something to hold onto, tell about, post, insta-story or shout from the rooftops. It’s a magical super power that you can sometimes tap into and thank goodness for those days that give us the strength to keep going.

Smiling at the thought of Ramen after a day long hangover.

What do you think about posting on social media when you’re going through a tough time that hasn’t quite run its course?

Why I Don’t Have Any Secrets

If I tell you something and I ask you not to tell, it’s because I would prefer if you didn’t. But I always assume you will.

I don’t have any secrets.

If I tell you something and I ask you not to tell, it’s because I would prefer if you didn’t. Because even if it’s not a “secret,” I’m not going around telling everyone. But I always assume you will. It was never a secret, it was my attempt to bond with you.

According to Psychology Today, there is a science to disclosing personal information. For me, it says hey, I don’t know if I can trust you but I want to. I want you to see me fully, not just what’s on the surface or on my Facebook Timeline or what I’m doing now to make money. And I want to see you, too and I want to know you fully and for you to feel comfortable sharing with me.

“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.” -Brene Brown

I recently told someone something and asked them not say anything about it. The next day at dinner, I knew they had told because I was asked by their confidant, “Soooooo, are you dating?” Nope, not yet. “Well if you are make sure they’re not…” The sentence was unfinished followed by giggles.

If I were a secret keeper, I would’ve been devastated. How could they? Now everyone will know.

When you don’t have secrets, you don’t have to walk around with the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can tell someone, or you can douse it in your own empathy and say, this makes me more human. I am alive.

I am free. 

Remember Post Secret? If you haven’t heard of it, I would definitely check it out for some secrets from around the world. Here are a few I liked from their site.

Did you know you can comment here anonymously? Leave a secret, if you’d like!

Why You Shouldn’t Get Into Essential Oils

The number one reason you should not even think about getting into essential oils is because you don’t want to become the crazy oil person. You know the person.

1. The number one reason you should not even think about getting into essential oils is because you don’t want to become the crazy oil person. You know the person. They have an oil for EVERYTHING and want to solve all of your problems. You didn’t even ask. But you take their free samples anyway and love them but think it’s just a lucky fluke.

Crazaaaay oil ladyyyy.

2. You’ll discover it isn’t a lucky fluke. There is an oil for almost everything. That will blow your mind and shake your world. You just weren’t ready for it. It’s like meeting your soulmate and thinking, “Is this really happening to me? How? Why? What did I do to deserve it?” It’s weird for this to happen with inanimate bottles of oil and a diffuser. Stay far away from them.

💘💗💕BAE💕💗💘

3. You’re going to look at everything in your home with new eyes. Chemicals. Chemicals EVERYWHERE. Make it stop. Toothpaste, body wash, gigantic Yankee Candles. Pepto: why are you so pink? Dawn: why are you so blue? Laundry detergent, who invented your synthetic smell and how did it become popular? Oh, and why are you so blue? It’s freaky. It doesn’t go away until you fix it.

4. Did I mention crazy oil person? You’re going to want to tell everyone about them because they’ve changed your life big time. You had no problem telling people about your favorite Netflix show, where you got your perfect high waist jeans (okay, no one is telling that- someone pleeeease tell me!), or about that thingy you got on Amazon that really worked.

But for some reason when it comes to oils, you’ll feel so conflicted at first. Like erggh, uggh I love them SOOO much but nooooo. Must. Not. Be. Crazy. Oil. Person. But what kind of person would I be if I found the answers and I didn’t share?

Hellur, it’s me crazy oil lady again!

Oh, even worse, unlike other products you recommend to your friends, you’ll get rewarded with a direct deposit into your checking account for sharing. The guilt. The horror. It wears off when you use it to budget for buying products that you already use in your home.

5. If you enjoy going to the store and wandering the pharmacy, skincare or cleaning aisles. If you love researching green products and trying to figure out if they’re really green, don’t get into essential oils. They get delivered right to your door and when you go with Young Living, you KNOW they own their own farms and don’t use any toxic or synthetic chemicals. You’ll save money because everything is super concentrated and can be diluted or you can choose to make your own stuff with simple ingredients. If you like a challenge, oils are way too easy an answer.

I took tea to a whole new level.

So yep, stay normal.

If you do want to come to the weird side, use my link below to get your desert mist diffuser starter kit. The best way to go because it runs for 10 hours and comes with sooo many oils. Worth every penny.

https://yl.pe/9jyv

Or if you want to talk to me first because you have questions or want to learn how to get money back on your kit, free shipping and a $10 credit to your account for a future order…

Send me a message or reach out through my contact page. I’m a crazy oil lady. You know I’m waiting on the edge of my seat to talk to you. Seriously. But I promise I’m not too crazy. In fact, on a scale of essential oil mellowness, I’m a stress away, lavender blend with a hint of orange & patchouli.

Sincerely, love, love, love,

Kris

laviepatchouli@gmail.com

Oh yeah, and if you know where to get the best high waisted jeans, please leave me a comment. I’ve been wanting some for ages.

holy, pomegranate! kale salad

This is probably the worse recipe ever written but it leaves room for artistic expression. Also, my inspiration came from looking up fall kale salad pictures on Pinterest and following my intuition to make my own based on what sounded good. And from my 6 months of experience working at a healthy restaurant. Feel free to make it your own and switch out ingredients that sound better to you, like apples, or avocados, or cherries. Be free!

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Juicy, exploding pomegranates are what make this so yummy, to me. Also, once you try lacinato kale in a salad, you’ll never go back to curly kale again. If you don’t use lacinato, I can’t make any promises it’ll be to die for. It’s crunchy, firm, and holds these ingredients really well.

Also, my mom is afraid to try stuff like this and she said it was “pretty good.” I will post a pretty picture when I make this again. Thanks for reading!

Lazy Time: 30 minutes or less | Overachiever Time: 1 hour or more

Serves: A feast for 8 healthy people who love kale or 3 people who love kale and 4 that eat two forkfuls to be nice and one who hates kale but never tried it. This recipe is also enough for if you want leftovers for three days.

Ingredients:

Lacinato Kale (2 bunches)

Brussel Sprouts (11 large balls)

Butternut Squash (1 cup chopped)

Almonds (or a huge handful of your fav nut)

Dried Cranberries (handful)

Pomegranate Seeds (1/2 cup)

Plain Goat Cheese (the more the better!)

Champagne Dressing (to your taste)

Step One: Prep Ingredients

Lacinato Kale:

  1. Wash
  2. Peel leaves away from stem (throw out stems)
  3. Dry super well with a clean kitchen towel or napkin (this avoids a soggy salad)
  4. On a cutting board bunch up kale into your hand and cut into thin strips

Butternut Squash:

  1. Peel and cut into small cubes
  2. Or be lazy like me and buy pre-cut.

Brussel Sprouts:

  1. Rinse
  2. Cut into thin shreds or into pieces. It kinda falls apart on it’s own.

Pomegranate:

  1. Google how to dissect a pomegranate because I still haven’t mastered the patience.
  2. Be lazy like me and buy pre-dissected pomegranates.

Champagne Dressing:

  1. Google how to make a yummy, homemade one. I love making dressings and one day I’ll try this one but today is not the day.
  2. Use your intuition to pick a good one from the dressing aisle. I chose a pretty one with gold foil on the lid. Like champagne! How cute, right? Branding gets me every time.

Step 2: Make the magic happen

  1. Put all of your squash and half of your brussels to roast on a pan. Drizzle with olive oil, light salt and pepper and move around until everything is coated. Bake this at around 350 degrees until you smell the aromas or everything looks well crisped or even just kinda crisped. Appx. 15-20 min. Take out and let cool for however long you want.
  2. Combine your kale and the other half of your raw brussels in a very large bowl and mix it all up so they become one.
  3. Now add in every other ingredient and mix them all up, too. Crumble the goat cheese as best you can with a fork. It gets messy.
  4. Put as much or as little dressing as you like. I know you’ll put the perfect amount.

Note: If you want to eat for leftovers, just keep all the ingredients separate except the dry Brussels and kale until you’re ready to eat. This salad tastes yummy the next day but if you add dressing it will be very soggy by the middle of the next day.

Give While The Giving Is Good

Everyone’s not always easy to hug and sometimes I don’t even feel huggable myself. And yet there’s always a little voice that says hug anyway.

The other day before I went into the grocery store, I smiled at the man in his Santa hat, ringing a golden bell and told myself that when I came out I would put money in the Salvation Army red kettle.

But by the time I came out, the man was gone and I had an epiphany. I can’t wait to give. At least not when I feel called to; when I get a feeling in my heart that says give now, smile at a stranger, apologize, call a friend who is grieving.

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I try to hug my family at least twice a day. Once when I first see them and again before the last time I’ll see them that day. If I hug each person, I meet my 8 hug a day minimum. That’s one of the reasons why I do it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like what I get out of it. Hugging is pretty cool because you can’t give one without getting one back. It feels so good to hug people.

Everyone’s not always easy to hug and sometimes I don’t even feel huggable myself. And yet there’s always a little voice that says hug anyway. Do it now. I’m going to start listening to that little voice more often. I know for certain that bliss is impossible without hugs, without giving.

I Will Never Stop Exercising Again

“No, you can’t see love,” she said. “Because it doesn’t exist.” I hated that and a lot of other things she said. Like that you have to sleep around a lot before anyone is ever going to want you.

This Halloween I went to an interactive musical called ‘Never Sleep Alone’ specially designed to get audience members laid after the show. It sounded like my worst nightmare but a good friend invited me and I really like her so I went. I also like an adventure.

I hated it from the beginning. Dr. Schiller, the sex advice expert, started off by saying love didn’t exist. “Can you see love?” The audience shouted out the answer she wanted to hear. I sat there in my modest burglar costume with my mouth open thinking, what am I doing here?

“No, you can’t see love,” she said. “Because it doesn’t exist.” I hated that and a lot of other things she said. Like that you have to sleep around a lot before anyone is ever going to want you.

 

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But who wouldn’t want this?

 

When I have such strong reactions, I wonder why. Because it’s one thing to disagree but I was disgusted by her philosophies. I was thinking evil thoughts. Weeks after Halloween, I realized that even though Dr. Schiller said some crazy things, some of things she said were true. Like that if you want to get laid, you have to exercise.

It took a scandalous Halloween party but I figured out another piece of the bliss puzzle. Not exercise, although it’s been proven that people who exercise are happier, but that in order to achieve bliss, I must be willing to change.

Before last week, I wanted to keep doing the same things and get different results but that doesn’t make sense. So now I’m trying different things; like exercising. Baby steps.

Have you ever realized that you needed to change something, anything? What was it? Any advice on other things I can try? I would appreciate your feedback!

Practicing Wholehearted Commitment

People who commit in relationships are more likely to reap other benefits in life than those who approach them with a carefree attitude.

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I never realized how bad I am at commitment. I have become the kind of person who keeps things in boxes after moving in because something tells me I won’t be there for long. I mentally prepare for everything to change in an instant and it’s becoming exhausting.

In yoga on Monday night, the instructor floated around the classroom bossing us around in the best way to be bossed around. “Either point or flex your toes,” he commanded us, his voice just firm enough, like the perfect veggie burger. “Whatever you do, decide and commit to it.”

While in pigeon pose, which was painful for me because I haven’t done yoga or exercised in over a year, he knelt down and massaged my back and shoulders for about five seconds. In that moment I fully committed to the sensation of being touched. I was thankful. It was bliss.

This led me to another piece of the puzzle. Bliss requires full commitment to the moment.

The photo above is from when I participated in a #sgyyogaanywhere Instagram challenge in 2013. I did not complete it. The beautiful girl next to me is Boots, my cat, who I cared for and loved for three years before leaving her with my grandma. Today I will write a letter to forgive myself.

 

According to this article, people who commit in relationships are more likely to reap other benefits in life than those who approach them with a carefree attitude. It says commitment is a skill and it takes practice and intentional effort. Starting today, I begin my practice in commitment; not just in relationships but in everything I do. I want to get really good at it, so I’m going to take specific action.

Here’s what I’ll do:

1. Create rituals. I love rituals and I want to incorporate them into my life more. I remember when we had breakfast for dinner Tuesdays growing up. It was my favorite and it was so fun and comforting to have pancakes and waffles to look forward to at nighttime. Crazy. By having a ritual for the things I love, I will begin seeing commitment in a positive light instead of being afraid of it.

2. Decide with my whole heart. When I decide to commit to something, I will do so fully. I will make sure it’s something that I know for sure I want from the beginning instead of making half-hearted promises. I will ask myself if I am ready to give my whole heart and if the answer is no, I will let it go. But when the answer is yes, I’m all in.

3. Make a list of why I commit. There will be days when I want to give up. But if I remember why I committed in the first place, it will make everything so much easier. In moments of weakness or fear I can go back to the list and it’ll be right there on the page; my heart and my reasons.

How do you decide to commit to something? Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I Love Dreaming Impossible Things

Most people that move to New York set goals. They want to be discovered as actresses, musicians, or models, they want to write the next Great American Novel. I moved to this amazing city twice without setting a single goal.

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Most people that move to New York set goals. They want to be discovered as actresses, musicians, or models, they want to write the next Great American Novel. I moved to this amazing city twice without setting a single goal. I moved here for the simple fact that I love this place like crazy. I’m just happy to be here.

I’m not goal oriented at all, I’m vision-oriented and that’s why sometimes on paper I feel like a big loser. Usually I don’t mind this and even secretly like that I’m not constantly chasing after something. But every January I pick a word of the year and I don’t know what I was thinking this year but I chose “success.”

I’m not worried because I’m an optimist and I can easily twist this year into a success story even though I slept on my cousin’s grandma’s recliner for a month, got laid off of my job as a barista and will be moving back in with my parents pretty soon. Three words: It’s an adventure.

But, I don’t plan on twisting it because there is still a month and a half left of 2015. I can still achieve success.

I’m the farthest thing from a realist but even I know that it is impossible to be in a perpetual state of bliss. I don’t care. I’m going to try anyway because I love dreaming impossible things.

 

1. They make even the little things in life way more fun. When I worked at the coffee shop, business was slow but I would still set crazy sales goals and try to sell as many pastries as possible. Every time I sold our most expensive item, the bacon, egg and cheese on a house made bun, I’d get so excited and run to the kitchen to tell Mimi, the pastry chef.

2. They allow me to surrender. I know I have to do my part and take direct action but I also know that I can’t accomplish impossible things all on my own. I think I might almost be a grownup now because I have surrendered so much that I ask my dad for advice these days.

3. They never make me feel like a loser. I never feel pressure to achieve impossible things. I’m exploring what could happen if I try something that seems out of my reach. Whether I achieve it or not, the pleasure comes from the fun of dreaming and exploring, which sometimes leads to an even better dream.

4. It feels good to know the impossible is possible. I have dreamed impossible things that have come true. Like getting into a sold out Modest Mouse concert with my friend Jennifer. When impossible dreams come true, that’s just the best ever.

What do you think about dreaming impossible dreams? I would love to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Kris

Welcome to Write to Bliss

Thank you for being here with me on this journey to find, understand and consistently sustain bliss through conscious journaling.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for being here with me on this journey to find, understand and consistently sustain bliss through conscious journaling.

If I could tell you one thing about me, it’s that I’m over the moon happy to be alive in my body today. There are a few things I still want to do, a lot of people I want to love on some more while I’m still a human, but if I went to bed tonight and didn’t wake up, I know my soul would be at peace.

Is this bliss? I don’t know. But if I’m already living in bliss, I’d like to know some more about it before I die. I’d like to savor it.

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At the lake in Georgia on one of the happiest days of my life.

My life is not always so blissful but I’m a writer, and everyday I turn it into a story that I really enjoy telling. One that I would enjoy reading on a cloud in heaven with a hot chocolate and buttery croissant. In heaven I am not allergic to dairy!

The story I like to tell is this: A shy girl grew in Brooklyn in the late eighties to parents who were madly in love. That’s how I imagine it anyway. They were young, my mama still in high school. I’m the first born and I get my optimism from them. My mama likes to look on the bright side; she calls all four of her unplanned babies, “miracles.”

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In the middle of my mom and dad. We love the Yankees, thanks to my daddy.

One day when we’re all pretty grown up already, packed in the CRV for a road trip, my dad says, “I remember when Kristina was born and we had the blue bomber.” Blue bomber = a piece of junk car. “We didn’t know what we were going to do or how we were going to make it. But look at us now.” He taught me to not live in worry, that everything works out and to enjoy the moment.

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My family this summer in New Orleans visiting my sister.

We lived all over the place while I was growing up. Nebraska, the place I call my hometown, Illinois and Georgia. I made my way back to Brooklyn, the city where I was born, two years ago and that’s where I live and dream today. I pray that the next place my bliss journey takes me is to my forever home.

These days I’m making cappuccinos, nannying, pursuing my MFA in poetry and working on this dreamy project that I love so much already. I don’t try to create an illusion about my life but I do focus on the good.

My Bliss Hypothesis

My favorite sensory description of bliss is when I wake up slowly from a deep sleep and my feet are warm and buzzing, like I most definitely just finished flying in my dreams. Another favorite is when the moon is full on an early blue evening, the autumn trees are raining yellow on the parkway near my apartment and I wander past an avenue named after the place I’ve always wanted to live, New York. It’s the sensation I get when I feel immediately conscious of where I am and utterly happy to be here.

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In front of my apartment which was really in New Jersey 🙂

I suspect bliss will look and feel different for everyone. I also predict that there will be a lot of similarities. That’s where this goal comes in: to create a community of people who are dedicated to the delicious word: bliss. Mmmm.

What you’ll find here:

Write to Bliss Journey: A three week writing course to find bliss.

Inspiration/Writing Prompts: Weekly bliss filled messages to sustain that good feeling.

Research: It is my intent to dig deep, learn as much as possible about bliss and share what I find with you.

Community: I hope we’ll start many conversations here and learn from each other. I’ve also created a closed Facebook group where we can share and discuss.

I’d love to hear from you…

Your feedback is so appreciated. If a blog post speaks to you, I’d love to know about it. If you ever want to begin a discussion in the comments, please do! If you’d like to email me, add me on Facebook or Instagram, that would make me so happy. If there’s something you would like to see in this space, just let me know! Thank you again for being here.

Sincerely,

Kris