Politics: How to Circumvent the “Us vs. Them” Mindset

Midterms. The word brings up immediate panic as visions of large pots of coffee and all night study sessions dance through my head. But in this case, we aren't talking about school. We're talking about something much more daunting. Government.

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Yes, this November marks a major election as 35 seats in the Senate and all 435 seats in The House of Representatives are up for grabs. This also serves as a type of midterm exam for the current administration. If the people like what's happening then the Republicans stay in control. If they don't, we may see a Democratic shift in power.

What concerns me most is that our government, and therefore our whole society, has adopted an "Us Vs. Them" mentality. Democrats only vote for bills proposed by Democrats. Republicans only vote for bills proposed by Republicans. Pretty soon they'll be Mean Girl-ing the new kid in the cafeteria and solving disagreements with wet willies in the bathroom. What happened to an individual mind actually listening, weighing the pros and cons, and voting on behalf of their constituents?

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After watching night after night of CNN, which more often resembles The Jersey Shore than news programming, I'm not really surprised that in every day society, and especially on social media, the general public is spouting off hate quicker than a spurned baby momma can take down her guy on Maury Povich.

But here's an idea: Let's be BETTER than our government. Let's be the change we want to see in the world. The next time we are faced with one of these situations, why don't we try something different.


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Can You #TreatYoself Too Much?

There's a new hashtag on Instagram. #TreatYoself. First, I reread that about four different times to make sure it wasn't, in fact, TREAT YOURSELF. Nope, apparently, I'm just not cool enough to drop the U. Millennials. Sigh.

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In this day and age of #yolo, (You Only Live Once for those of you Millennial acronym impaired) have we actually gone too far with the treating ourselves? How much is good self care and how much is irresponsibly draining our bank accounts?

The first thing I noticed when I visited the #treatyoself page on Instagram were a lot of pictures of food. Truffle fries, donuts, and chocolate stuffed pancakes, oh my! Wait. Where were those chocolate stuffed pancakes from? Because they looked BOMB. I think a little decadent food every now and then is a great way to treat yourself. I can tell you that a good night of music and cooking at home with a good bottle of wine and fresh produce is one of the BEST things I can do to treat myself. The problem for me is knowing when to draw the line. Because it may be "treating myself" to buy that $70 bottle of wine I've always wanted to try, but will it still be treating myself if I can't pay rent at the end of the month?

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I also wanted to explore other ways that I could treat myself. Like I said, I saw a lot of pictures of food on that Instagram page. I also saw a lot of travel pics. But what are a couple simple ways that I can treat myself in day to day life?

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What I Learned On Date Night

It’s Friday night. Led Zeppelin radio is playing through my nifty Beats Pill+. My boyfriend has asked me out on a private dinner date where he is cooking me a short rib dinner, and I don’t have to help AT ALL. Perfection. Until we do that annoying things couples do. We pick a fight over a pan.

Him: “Is this pan oven proof?”

Me: Yeah.

Him: OK.

Me: I think so. I mean, I don’t know. I’ve never actually put it in the oven, but...

Him: So. NO.

Me: STOP YELLING AT ME!!!!

OK. There might have been a little more to it than that. But you know how these things go. Maybe I called him an impatient jerk. Maybe he said I was acting crazy. And quite possibly I then stomped out of the room. Either way, there was intense annoyance over a PAN.

Dynamics of a relationship are always interesting to me. You’re usually not arguing over the thing you’re actually arguing over. And we all develop this little thing called selective hearing. One person says, “Hey, can you turn that music down?” And the other person comes back with, “Stop controlling my life!!!!!” And while this seems like an exaggeration, I guarantee this has happened somewhere. Sadly, I think most relationship fights start over assumptions. Most fights with friends also start over assumptions.  Though I’m waaaay less likely to take it personally when my friend teases me about my sensitivity. If my boyfriend does, there is a full on cry fest over our sushi diner. (I’m chagrined to admit this may have actually happened.)

So how do we navigate relationships?

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Hugging: Sweet or Scary?

When I ask you how you feel about hugs, what do you say?

“Omg I LOVE hugs!”

Lies. People don’t love hugs. I mean we DO hugs. Obviously I hug my mom and Dad goodbye or I’ll hug a friend I haven’t seen in awhile. But these last about 1.5 seconds. And I NEVER hug the random guy I meet at a job interview. Or at Subway ordering a foot long. I’m not trying to get abducted. Or worse, have him smell my after gym B.O.

So I was blown away when I attended National Hugging Day at Agape International Spiritual Center  yesterday, and was told that in order to feel the full effect of a hug it must last for over TWENTY SECONDS. It’s hard for me to wait the twenty seconds I put my coffee into the microwave after pouring too much almond milk in it. You want me to hug a stranger for 21 seconds?!?

Share the Self Love

This post is different today! I was reading a couple blogs by my peers (See. I do know that on the path of enlightenment EVERYTHING can't just be about me.)  and I stumbled on a page by louisablog  that was not only well written and informative, but also contained a prayer that resonated so deeply with me that I had to share. (Especially since just yesterday I was exploring how to restructure prayer!)

I hope this prayer awakens your own self love (cellulite thighs included) and inspires you to share that love today. And so it is!

SELF LOVE PRAYER