Life In The Time Of Covid-19

“When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…”

If you write a blog and you’re reading this, you know we always write ahead. Just to beat the deadlines of our own publication. I’m a huge fan of planning and staying ahead of what I want to publish here. 

But tonight, I’m just going to write something for right now.

This is new to us. We’ve lived through 9/11. As terrible as that was 20 years ago, it happened to other people. It was an isolated incident that changed America forever. When I say ‘other people’ I mean the rest of the country watched in horror at the events that unfolded on TV that day, but we lost nearly 3,000 lives. (2,977 to be exact.)

We’d never seen anything like it. The worst attack on US soil in the short history of our country.

But today’s different. 

A virus that’s transmitted from person to person like a cold. We’ve all caught colds, had the flu, stomach viruses, etc.

But nothing like this. 

A virus so strong that it’s easily transmitted and passes between people. No animals are affected by this virus.

Just humans.

This is just a taste of how fragile our existence is on this planet.

I don’t know where this came from, but hopefully we’ll find out, and create a vaccine for it.

But for right now, we’re all behaving very well in the first few days of this quarantine.

 

I tell my stories here about all of my dating foibles and relationships on this blog. I’ve been a decent dad and a fun boyfriend, but when comes to domestic relationships, I’ve never been able to submit.

I appreciate all of the friend and fan support on here, but as I dish out all of the dating and relationship advice, I’ve found that very thing quite the quandary.

I give advice on what to do on a date and how to maintain your relationships.

I’m good at that. I like to write words and lyrics.

But words are hollow unless applied to deeds.

I’d like to believe that my words mean something, and maybe make a small difference in the lives of the people that take the time to read this blog everyday.

And for that, I’m grateful.

 

For the moment, I’m employed by a restaurant in this city. So is my daughter, Lorelei. We’re both in the hospitality industry.

I worked last week. It was business as usual. We were gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness was on the way. We should have made a bundle last weekend. A payday so big it would have covered the last two months of winter.

But none of that happened. No one came in. No crazy drunken crowds of people wearing green, or funny beads, or fighting, getting shitfaced for no reason, and throwing up in plastic hats at the curbside.

None of it.

Are they all so broken that they need to drink to the point of illness to celebrate the dissatisfaction and mediocrity of their lives here in Philly on a designated day?

Nothing happened.

 

Nah, something did indeed happen.

Covid-19.

 

Saturday I normally work from 2pm until at least 11pm. I came in at 5pm and was cut at 8:30pm. It was so slow that even being scheduled was a gift from the owner. When I got there, he told me I was off on Sunday. Normally, I work from 12:30pm to 10:30pm. But I was off. I haven’t had a Sunday off since August of 2019.

Monday I was scheduled to come in at 10:30am and work until 10:30pm. My typical Monday is a twelve hour day on my feet. I don’t mind. I like to work and be busy.

But by Sunday night, I was told not to come in until 4pm that day.

By 2pm I was told not to come in at all.

Off again.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now today… Friday.

Still off.

Why?

Because every restaurant in this city has been closed for the next 14 days because of what’s happened. I was on the phone with a friend when my daughter called and told me she wouldn’t have to go into work for the next two weeks.

I told her the same.

I’ve had my share of struggles financially in the past and also with employment. Many times by my own design.

But this was different.

Everyone in the entire industry was affected.

I think they told us two weeks so we wouldn’t lose our minds. But I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

Restaurants can only do pick up and take out. No one is allowed to hang out in any bar or restaurant in this city.

That leaves most places with scheduling one cook, a clerk to ring up and take out orders, and a delivery guy.

That’s it.

The rest of us are fucked.

Well, we’re all currently fucked.

One of my brokerage accounts is down over $7k. Bills and rent are due. So yea, if my little life is an example… then yea, we’re fucked. 

Forget me for a second. Think of the people that already have the virus.

How about the people that have it and don’t know it?

But are we?

Let me take a moment as the phicklephilly guy that you’ve been reading for the last 4 years to say a few things about this.

We’re all stuck at home and can’t go out. Income is either running out or is gone. I don’t expect to be paid anymore from my current employer. I think this could go on for awhile. But here’s what I’m thinking about, and I’m going to share it with you all.

If you have your health right now, embrace it and help others that need you.

I know that sounds a bit cliche, but hear me out…

Call or text all of your friends and loved ones today and through this weekend. Just check on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect and reconnect with everyone you know. It won’t be weird. Don’t make it weird. Just call and check on them. This is your perfect opportunity. Because for the first time in the history of this country, we are all experiencing the same thing. 

This is what we have in common right now.

Exactly the same thing.

The enemy is the virus. Not a man, or a country, or a race, or an idea, or a religion. This enemy doesn’t care about your race or your religious beliefs. A virus is a living entity that wants to take you over for the last time.

As a species we’ve been a scrappy lot. We’ve successfully moved to a spot that isn’t even in the food chain anymore because we’re so good at killing everything.

We are the best and the worst thing that Earth has ever known.

But we’ve made it ours and for now, Earth is where we’re hangin’.

This is an opportunity.

Right now you have your health.

Appreciate that.

Got laid off from your job? Cut your hours? Not allowed to come in because of the virus?

Use this opportunity to plan.

Humans have always been great planners. That’s how we beat everything else. Plan for the rest of your life. You’re alive now. What if you get it and you die?

Embrace this time. This forced quarantine. Think! What are you grateful for? Do you really like that job you’re currently not having to go to?

I’m a writer. I’m always planning the next few chapters in anything I’ve ever written here. 

When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…

After that…

After this.

This global pandemic. 

That is some scary shit. 

I’m actually surprised in the moment that I write this. The the films, Outbreak and Pandemic are very popular on Netflix. Oh, the irony of our own fate! I’ve always been a huge fan of Art imitates life, imitates art.

There’s no anarchy.

Not yet.

I’ve been off work for over 5 days now and I haven’t had this much free time in years.

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

It was elegant and beautiful.

We never do that.

We work in the industry and pass in the night, and crash here.

But for the first time in a very long time, we actually sat down as a family and broke bread together.

Lorelei made an amazing stromboli from scratch. She’s vegan, so she made it that way. But for the life of me I couldn’t tell, and it tasted so delicious, I went back for seconds!

That wouldn’t have happened if not for today’s circumstances.

Embrace that. Your partner. Your children. Your health. Yourself.

(ok… here we go)

You beat 250 million other sperm to get to here.

You were racing for your mom’s egg, and there were 249,999,999 dudes chasing you.

You got there FIRST.

You won.

Embrace and appreciate that. You’re partner, your children, your friends, your employer… everybody you’ve ever met got here the same way.

You’ve earned your right to be here on Earth today. 

 

Embrace what’s good in your life right now. We all have the same problems at different degrees in this life.

But in this moment… Today. You are reading this and I hope you’re okay. If my blog suddenly stops you’ll know Capt. Trips got me. (look it up!)

Be thankful everyday for your health.

Surround yourself with good people. (But no more than 10, okay? Just for now!)

Find something to do. If you’re home, find something to do with your free time. For a workforce that’s accustomed to working themselves too long and too hard, you may find this sudden stop a bit jarring.

Are you in love? Are you feeling loved? If you have it, embrace that. It’s the strongest force in the galaxy.

No love? Stop lying. Somebody’s worried about you right now. Give them a call. This is your opportunity to forget the past. All bets are off. You can call anyone, ex, old flame, enemy, frenemy…. reach out and just check on them.

I’m going to call and check on my landlord. Who knows, maybe my diplomatic charm will get her to slide me a free month during this crisis.

Think of all of the projects and other thing you’ve been saying you want to do. But you never have any time to do any of them because you’re always working, and when you have free time you need to rest from the life of work you don’t even really want.

Go clean your house. It’s Spring! Clean up. Get rid of stuff. Have fun. Take a nap. Have a drink. Smoke some grass. Call your mom.

Have something to look forward to. Remember what I said about planning? This is your opportunity to plan for the future.

The world is on pause right now.

(I wish the fucking Dow Jones was on pause right now!)

Take this time to do whatever you want. Lean into your free time.

My goal is to crack off 3 volumes of Crazy Dating Stories by the weekend. And I’m going to fucking do it.

All I do is cry about how I don’t have anytime to write because I work so many hours.

I have no excuse now.

And neither do you.

Do something. Anything. Try something new. Even if it’s you having the ability to be at home alone in the quiet of your own mind and just take a break.

Here’s your break from everything.

 

I’ve been walking the city. This is MY city. I’ve walked it’s streets. Drank it’s wine. Danced with it’s women. Taken my share of the money that’s available here. (In my jobs, you idiots!)

The city is deserted. Sure, there are some people and kids about. Folks out walking their dogs, but it’s different right now.

It’s like nothing any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

I’d like everyone that reads this today to contact just one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s not like you won’t have anything to say to them! We’re all experiencing the same thing right now as a species.

You can do it!

I’d like to see some comments about this idea and what you folks did.

I have a translator widget on this blog so no one has an excuse to not do it.

Contact someone, and write your results in the comments section.

Stay safe people.

 

“Don’t be the tree that falls and makes no sound.” – Phicklephilly

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

12 ‘Little’ Relationship Milestones That Are Actually A Big Deal

The big relationship moments — like the first date, meeting the parents, moving in together, getting engaged and getting married — seem to get all the attention. Sometimes the smaller (but still significant!) moments don’t nearly get the credit they deserve.

We asked people to reveal the “little” relationship milestones that were actually a big deal to them. Here’s what they said:

1. The first time they cry in front of you.

“My husband is a big guy. I nicknamed him ‘Bear’ because he’s so huge. But he’s also so mushy. When I was first leaving London (we were long-distance at the time), he started crying. It was so beautiful to see a man be so vulnerable with me. He cried basically the whole way to the airport and, from what I hear, the rest of the night. He is such a darling. Crying in front of your partner is a true moment of clarity. It shows you the levels this person feels and emotions they’re capable of.” ― Gigi Engle, sexologist and author of “All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life”

2. The first time you put up an Instagram pic together.

“This one was actually a massive one for me but probably extremely minuscule and even laughable to others. It was when we posted photos together on Instagram (aka #IGofficial). It was a little bigger of a deal for me since the 215,000 people who follow me didn’t even know I was in a relationship and that we had secretly been traveling together for about four months before I posted about it!” — Alyssa Ramos of “My Life’s a Travel Movie”

3. The first time they take you as a date to a work event.

“My husband, Amit, owns a performing arts company (AATMA Performing Arts) and works with kids as well. It was really special when he actually took me to meet all the kids and their parents. It was as if he was making it official that I’m his life partner. Especially being South Asian and identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community, that is a big and courageous move, which proved that we were really in this forever.” ― Aditya Madiraju, blogger

4. The first time you go on a trip together.

“The third date for my now-wife and me was a cruise, which felt like a real make-or-break situation for a new couple. Packing. Flying. Keeping track of passports and documents. Living in a small space together for a week. A bathroom with very little privacy. It went great, which boded really well for our future together. Four years and many cruises, resorts, flights, drives and hotels later, we are a great pair at home and on the road.” — Jenny Block, author of “Be That Unicorn: Find Your Magic. Live Your Truth. Share Your Shine”

5. The first time they refer to you as ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’ to their pet.

“My wife had a dog when we met. It had been a long time since I had a dog, and I forgot how much I missed having one. I instantly bonded with him and grew so attached to him. So the first time she referred to me as ‘Daddy’ to him instead of ‘Dan’ was huge to me. Up until that point, I wasn’t sure if I won her over yet, but after that day I was 100% sure.” — Dan Regan, comedian

6. The first time you reveal your kinks in the bedroom.

“While for some people it might be silly or weird, it felt really good to tell my partner that I’m submissive. Trying choking and bondage with him was incredibly healing and bonding for us. It’s helped our relationship grow in so many beautiful, sexy ways. He’s super wonderful and adventurous. Being able to explore your sexuality to its fullest in a relationship is pretty dang magical.” —Engle

7. The first time they proudly display your artwork.

“Once we moved in together, my wife hung up my illustrations around our apartment. She didn’t ask to, she just did it. It was such a big deal to me, more than she realizes.

I grew up poor, on and off food stamps and in small, cramped one-bedroom apartments shared with four family members and millions of cockroaches. When I lived with my abusive ex, that space didn’t really feel mine because of how tumultuous the relationship had been; everything felt more like a shared space and less like a home. I never truly had a space of my own.

When I came home one day and saw that she hung up my artwork, it was the first time I ever felt like I fit in anywhere and was truly loved. Something as simple as hanging up a picture told me, ‘You belong here.’” ― Tevy Khou, illustrator

8. The first time you meet each other’s friends.

“Sometimes that little act of meeting each other’s friends is more stressful than meeting each other’s family (especially so in many gay or LGBTQ relationships, where your friends may be your chosen family). That first brunch, that first time out with their group of friends to the karaoke bar — you want to make a good impression, seem relatable, friendly, act engaged, and, of course, you’ve got to make a good impression. Because it’s the friends who just might end up having the biggest impact on what happens in the relationship.” ― Adam Groffman of “Travels of Adam”

9. The first time you collaborate on a project.

“The ‘little’ milestone that comes to mind is when my (now) spouse and I collaborated on our first art project. I can’t remember what it was because we have made a ridiculous amount of art together in the seven years we’ve been a couple, but it was probably a GIF of our cat.

This milestone quickly led us to start an art and animation company together. We call the company YoMeryl as a reference to our first date and the discussion we had that night about how amazing Meryl Streep is and that she could literally be anywhere so it’s best to not shout her name too loudly.” ― Bronwyn Lundberg, artist at YoMeryl

10. The first time they open up to you emotionally.

“When my partner shared deeper parts of himself, it mattered to me because it meant he was opening up and learning to trust me. As a writer, I’m pretty open about a lot of things, and I’ve learned (and am still learning) that everyone is not able to access their feelings so easily, so I always appreciate the unraveling of layers in relationships.” — Renée Cherez, writer

11. The first time they say ‘I love you’ to your dog.

“One milestone was when I caught him saying ‘I love you’ to my little Pomeranian, Oscar, for the first time. The two of them tend to have a like/hate relationship because they both battle for my attention and affection, which my dog always wins, so hearing him say he loves Oscar was a huge milestone for us.” ― Ramos

12. The first time they see you perform on stage.

“Before I met my wife, some women I dated would say, ‘I thought you would be funnier’ (because I’m a comedian). I didn’t think I was supposed to perform while I’m eating jalapeño sliders at Applebees, but OK.

So when I met my wife, I was happy she never questioned my lack of stage performance when we were on a date. When she finally saw me on a stage, I thought this will either enhance our relationship or could be the beginning of the end. Luckily, she liked my set and is now my biggest fan and harshest critic, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Zoe – Chapter 2 – The Real Deal

So, I know I have been creating all of this drama at the salon with who’s going to be my number 1. I’ve done this my whole life. I could walk the mall with my friend Spinner, and we always had to choose our favorite girl that we saw that day.

That was 15 years ago, but I’ve always carried that with me. I’ve cut all of the bad drama agents from my life that have been so well documented in this blog. But at the salon I have always had a top 10, a top 5 and a number 1.

It’s silly I know, but when you have no drama or pain in your life you sometimes create little fun games for things to make the job you’re in more interesting.

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, you’ll know that I’m always searching for my number 1.

It means nothing, but it keeps my active mind amused. I’ve had so many, and they come and go for different reasons. (All ridiculous but fun)

Michelle once said I only pick my top 10 because they are the prettiest girls that come in the salon. (In the beginning, she was absolutely right) but now my little game is about attendance and attentiveness. Kita turned into something else, Delaney failed, and Anastasia, has hope.

But I think my new list will include just great people I really like and have fun talking to.

But I think about these things.

I no longer am sitting in a cubicle, wearing a silly suit and tie, and going to meetings. I no longer sell products and services that have zero value to unwitting clients. I offer real solutions to customers and make them happy.

It’s a brand new day to be out of the rat race and it is exciting.

Most people buy into the American dream and do what we all did. Go to college, become a debtor, (prisoner/slave) get an internship for little money. Pay back your student loans for decades. Work you’re ass off for some shitty company with shitty managers and be stressed out all of the time to earn a decent paycheck. All the while being exhausted working on your next relationship hoping you can find a good mate to marry, settle down with, and/or marry and have a kid with.

The American dream.

Total bullshit.

But… it’s what we’ve been taught, so that’s what we did, and continue to do.

That lie is still alive today.

I see today that many people don’t like to work.

Work is the foundation of human existence.

If you hate what you’re doing or the people you work with, quit. Go do something else. Everybody thinks they need to make a bunch of money.

We’ve all been taught that Louie Vitton bags, Coach bags and Mercedes Benz and a big house and everything else are signs of success. All lies.

None of it will make you happy in your heart.

I’ve had it all and none of it made me happy.

It’s all bullshit.

You know what’s important?

Your health.

Good people and/or family in your life.

Having something to do everyday that makes you happy and helps others.

To love and be loved. (Hard one)

Something to look forward to every day.

Forgive everyone. Why should you drink the poison hoping your enemies die? They don’t care. Let it go. No one should live rent free in your head.

Ever.

Life is too short.

Zoe is a lovely girl.

She’s smart, sweet and has a great sense of humor.

I am always playing my “Who’s my new number one game” with myself.

It’s fun, because I have no drama from any crazies in my life anymore but I enjoy picking the best of the best in every aspect of my life for fun.

But after all of the girls that have come through here, Zoe has been consistent.

I’ll tell you why she’s the apex of this little exercise.

Zoe comes in on a consistent basis.

She’s always sweet and fun to be around.

I’ve upsold her to the premium package and she deserves it.

She listens to my stories and genuinely loves them.

She laughs at all of my jokes.

She always asks what’s going on with me and wants to hear any new crazy stories I have.

No one else cares what’s going on with this Leo.

She’s a beautiful, sweet woman, that is as attractive as her wonderful disposition and personality.

I decided that after all of this time she went from Top 10, to Top 5 to Number 1.

We both know it’s all a silly game, but it holds a certain weight.

Zoe, has been going to Temple University for two years and working as a server at a local watering hole. But recently she got an internship at a corporation that works with government, politics and non profits.

I’m proud of her and she’s making her way.

I decided that i wanted to do something for her, because I consider her a part of our businesses’ core family. (Even Achilles likes her, so that’s good, because he’s a curmudgeon)

When she would come in I would greet her as Top 5.

Zoe giggled (Love her giggle) and would be happy she was special.

Then I greeted her as Top 3.

Finally, after all of the failings of all of my other candidates, I decided that sweet Zoe should be my number 1.

It’s a meaningless title, but it means something to me. (And hopefully to her, because she’s clearly my favorite.)

Zoe is actually flattered (I think) by the title and I really mean it because she’s just so darn nice.)

I embrace this and decide to do what I’ve always done for my Number 1’s (Even though they haven’t deserved it, but again it’s all about me) I get Zoe her favorite tanning lotion. We don’t even carry it anymore but I need to get the best for my Number 1.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

31 Happiness Quotes From Buddha That Will Change Your Life

I LOVED RESEARCHING THIS POST!!! HAPPY 2020!!!!

As one of the greatest minds of our time, Buddha is viewed by many as the embodiment of true wisdom, joy, and positivity. In Buddha’s teachings, we learn to be happy in life despite whatever suffering we experience.

While life won’t always be filled with happy moments, we can find a way to see the positive through it all. Read on for 31 of our favorite happiness quotes inspired by Buddha.

1. Don’t focus on the past, do not daydream about the future; think about the present moment.

It can be hard to let go of our past failures, but in doing so we will be able to focus entirely on the present. The same is true for the future—while we should set our goals for a better future, we must center all our energy on today.

2. Your mind is everything. Protect your mind and your thoughts—what you think about, you will become.

Many of us go through the day letting our thoughts go unchecked. While it’s important to let our minds wander at times, we also must exercise intentionality in what we choose to think about.

3. Joy is the companion of a pure mind. Focus on pure thoughts and happiness will find you.

This happiness quote inspires us to clear our minds. When our thoughts are pure, happiness and joy aren’t far behind.

4. Only you can save you—no one else.

When we go through difficult times in life, it is natural to search for someone to give us a way out. The truth is that whatever we go through, only we can save ourselves. We have to be strong enough to keep going.

5. In life, your greatest mistakes are not starting and not following through.

This happiness quote shows us that our mistakes are just lessons to learn in life. The only real mistakes are choosing to quit or not starting in the first place.

6. An undisciplined mind leads to confusion. If we can train our minds, our thoughts will become obedient to us.

Our minds naturally want to wander—we have to discipline ourselves to change the way we think.

7. In life, we must be virtuous, wise, and of right mind. The purer we live, the more we enjoy life.

We are all born with a purpose. This happiness quote reminds us what really matters in life.

8. Many of us spend a lifetime searching for something. Stop looking long enough to realize that what you are searching for is already within you.

Many of us are searching for direction in life without realizing that we have the answer within ourselves. This happiness quote shows us that we have the ability to create our own destiny and we must trust and follow our inner desires to reach our destination.

9. Peace is found on the inside; it cannot come from an outside source.

Oftentimes, society will encourage us to do more, buy more, or be more to find happiness. This happiness quote teaches that true peace can only be found within.

10. Doing something good for another person will also have a positive impact on you.

The power of goodness is that it acts as a beacon of light for all that are exposed to it. When we do something good for someone else, we are shining that same light of positivity on ourselves.

11. Few people in life have the maturity to truly be a companion to you. Instead of searching for a partner in the wrong person, choose to walk through these moments alone.

We all long for companionship in life, but oftentimes, our greatest adventures and challenges must be experienced alone.

12. Compassion is the world’s greatest strength.

This happiness quote teaches us the truth to inner strength: we must be compassionate to others.

13. Happiness cannot be discovered. It is always there—we must learn how to see it.

We can’t FIND happiness. Happiness is the path we walk along in this journey of life.

14. Our anger is a punishment we give to ourselves.

Many people choose to become angry and remain that way without realizing that it is this very emotion that is destroying them. If happiness is your goal, you cannot let anger overtake your mind.

15. To truly live and exist in power, we must live without fear.

Fear can be our greatest setback or it can be a lesson in the secret to success: when we move beyond our fear, we are able to accomplish whatever we set our minds to.

16. Pain is a guarantee in life, but suffering is a choice.

In life, we are guaranteed to experience painful moments. However, we don’t have to linger in that pain.

We can move on from the suffering by letting go of these painful feelings.

17. We can use a single candle to light other candles. Sharing this flame doesn’t decrease the light of the other candle. Such is the case with happiness.

Joy and happiness are meant to be shared. When we invite others to experience these happy moments with us, we are increasing this joy within others.

18. When we transform our minds and purify our thoughts, we are cleansing our lives of wrongdoing as well.

Though transforming the mind is a lifelong process, the more we align our minds with pure and positive things, the less negativity will remain.

19. Don’t try to control anyone else—you should only seek to control yourself.

We should never aim to be in control of someone else’s thoughts, emotions, or actions. We must strive to gain control of ourselves.

20. If you are seeking Enlightenment, you must first control your mind.

The more we can control our minds, the closer we will get to Enlightenment. At that point, wisdom will be second nature to us.

21. Leading a wise life allows one to spend every moment intentionally. Leading such a life leaves no man or woman afraid of anything—even death.

We all die. Though we all have various beliefs regarding what happens after death, those of us that live our lives intentionally have nothing to fear—we will know our time on earth was spent wisely.

22. These three things will always come out: the moon, the sun, and the truth.

Just like the moon and the sun, the truth will always find a way to shine through. If you truly take this happiness quote to heart, you must make a commitment to always telling the truth.

23. Our lives are made of little moments. One perfect moment will change a day, another perfect day will change a life. One life may change the world.

Never underestimate the power of one day. Each day has its own potential and may be the day that changes your life forever.

24. The words we speak matter. We influence others to do evil or good based on our words alone.

We must remember to choose our words carefully. Even if we have no ill intentions in mind, others will always interpret our words in one way or another.

25. Hate is not snuffed out by more hate. To bring light to the dark, you have to shine something bright.

We can’t stop hate with hate. Only love can bring about positive change in our lives and the lives of others.

26. Each new morning is an opportunity to start fresh.

Each day, we have the opportunity to begin again. Whatever may have happened yesterday is in the past—today is what matters.

Discover the wisdom of Buddha.

27. We all are connected and have some influence over each other. Nothing exists in a vacuum.

This quote reminds us that no matter how alone we may feel at times, we are never truly alone in life.

28. Evil is always a choice. We are never lured to evil by anyone other than ourselves.

At times, we can be our own worst enemy. Though we may believe another person is to blame for our lack of happiness in life, the truth is that we are in control of our feelings and thoughts.

29. Our thoughts are powerful. Negative thinking can hurt us more than we know.

Buddha was a champion for positive thinking. The more we think about something, the more it affects us. With negative thinking, we invite negativity into our lives.

30. A foolish friend is no friend at all. It’s better to be alone than to befriend a fool.

Going through life alone can seem scary. Though you won’t be alone forever, taking the time to be by yourself is better than finding companionship with individuals that have negative qualities.

31. The words we say and the opinions we have don’t matter nearly as much as the actions we take.

We can say all the good things in the world, but if we only speak without taking action, our words will be nothing more than that.

Final Thoughts on Buddha’s Happiness Quotes

Buddha knew a thing or two about focusing on positive thoughts and retraining the mind. If you’ve been searching for happiness, the Buddha’s teaching can help you on your journey.

Keep each happiness quote in mind as you work to cleanse your mind and life of negativity. In your quest for happiness, remember that it’s about finding joy in the journey, not the destination.

 

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The Scientific Reason Why People Make Bad Decisions When They Fall In Love

“Drunk in love” is a very real thing!

Falling in love and being in a healthy relationship is something most of us want to experience in our lives.

When we fall in love, it’s as if the world stops and life as we know it has just shifted, changed, and improved. We are suddenly enchanted, a better version of ourselves.

Everything suddenly feels different, better, and alive.

In a relationship, especially a brand new one, all we want to do is be with our partner. Nothing is more important than cultivating our growing new reality: us.

We have never felt happier, more exhilarated, or more ourselves. We pinch ourselves to make sure it is real, and not a dream.

We are in love.

Falling in love, in some ways, feels like the ultimate “trust fall” game — trusting our partner enough to allow ourselves to fall, to let go. The falling is thrilling, but being held is intoxicating — so intoxicating that we don’t want to stand back up.

And this is where we might find ourselves forgetting (or at least setting aside) routines and habits that we know are good for us.

Nothing feels as important or fulfilling as being in love with our partner, and biologically speaking, this is by design, according to research by Helen Fisher and Lucy Brown.

Discarding other interests and goals allows us biologically to bond with our partner so strongly that we will stick with each other, and ideally create and raise offspring.

Anthropologically speaking, mating might be the most important thing we do to ensure our survival and that of our species.

So important is romantic love to our species’ survival, Fisher argues, that our brain allows us to put aside almost all other obligations and needs just long enough to ensure for this possibility: 18-24 months.

Floating along the current of this intoxicating new love can take us new and wonderful places, but it also can tempt us to put aside self-care and other responsibilities that are important to our happiness and well-being.

We put these things off, but it doesn’t work.

As we avoid important aspects of our life, we start to feel unsettled, irritable, even resentful — resentful at the very responsibilities themselves, that they somehow can’t be shared, or indefinitely ignored like we might wish they could.

And even anxious about how we will be able to balance the needs of the relationship against our own personal ones. It feels so good to be loved and taken care of that it can feel hard to take care of ourselves.

Love can do this — trick us into thinking we are done being responsible for our health and wellness. But without our health and wellness, our love and relationships will suffer too.

The key is to listen to that whispering anxiety telling you what you’ve let slide for too long.

You know where your life is tipping out of balance, and you know what you need to do.

Maybe it’s paying your bills, cutting your grass, or doing your laundry. Or maybe it’s buckling down on a work project you’ve been putting off or making time to see a friend or family member you’ve been neglecting.

Perhaps your target should be healthier food choices, and getting back to the gym a few mornings a week instead of cuddling in bed.

Creating boundaries that allow you to reclaim your individual needs allows you to be the healthiest person you can be, which in turn keeps your relationship strong and healthy.

It’s OK not to want to make room for the mundane chores of self-care, it might feel really hard and frustrating to get back on track.

But it’s also OK to push through and do it anyway.

Getting started might be hard, but tending to your needs will set you up to feel less anxiety and more balance, and in turn, strengthen your relationship.

Balance is the goal when it comes to translating romantic love into lasting love.

The love between two healthy individuals is what sets the stage for lasting love and healthy relationships — and the life partnership we so want.

 

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Wake Up and Kick Your Anxiety’s Ass With This Under-10-Minute Morning Routine

Mental health and well being is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of January.

We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.

When your mornings feel like this on a consistent basis, managing anxiety can feel like an uphill battle. My solution? Create a routine — and not just any routine, but one that’s specifically tailored to quell stress.

My morning routine has changed a little bit here and there over the years, but a few core things have stayed the same. Here are the pieces that I’ve put together that help the most with my anxiety management.

  • Step 0: Have a grab-n-go breakfast in the fridge. Surprise! This part of my morning takes place the night before. The aforementioned negative five minutes to cook breakfast is often all too true, despite my best efforts. Chia pudding, protein muffins, and overnight oats are some of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts to throw in my bag on the way to the train. One fewer thing to worry about!
  • Step 1: Use a better alarm. Like many of you, I used to have that science-lab mayday alarm (I think it’s literally called “Alarm” on iPhones) because I thought that would be the best way to kick me out of bed and ensure I’m on time to things. I realized the error of my ways — a gentle alarm that builds in volume and intuitively knows the right time (within a 10- to 30-minute window) to wake me up has actually made mornings so much less stressful and startling. I use Sleep Cycle, but there are similar apps you can try in the app store to find one that suits your style.
  • Step 2: *Don’t* check your emails! This one is still hard for me, but resist the urge to check your emails and messages right away. Give your brain a chance to wake up and focus on the present moment. Be still. Be calm. Absorb the silence around you and try to give yourself a chance to appreciate even a few moments of peace before you inundate yourself with obligations.
  • Step 3: Queue up the aromatherapy. I keep some essential oils by my bedside for my evening and morning routine. In the a.m., I opt for energizing, uplifting, happy scents like grapefruit, lemon, wild sweet orange, and sometimes geranium or peppermint.
  • Step 4: Meditate — even for two minutes. I tried creating a morning meditation routine of just 10 minutes a day. It sounds simple, right? Well . . . even that got away from me. Then I became stressed and anxious that I was failing on my anti-anxiety routine, and it all kind of spiraled. Sound familiar? I cut it down to two minutes. If you have more time, you can always tack on more, but two minutes was much more doable, and it has helped me feel like I’m more capable and empowered.

 

  • Step 5: Do your skincare routine. Like in my night time routine, I use washing (and exfoliating . . . and toning, serum-ing, moisturizing, etc.) my face as a form of meditation, self-care, and focus before I take on the rest of my day’s obligations. I think about nothing but the task at hand — and have the added bonus of making my skin look and feel great.
  • Step 6: Make the bed. Tidying up has become a part of my anti-anxiety routine, regardless of the time of day. One of my favorite trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp read an excerpt from Admiral William H. McRaven’s book, aptly titled Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life . . . And Maybe the World, and referenced that even if everything goes wrong in your day, at least you can say you made the bed. It might sound silly, but that really resonated with my anxious brain. So not only does this set you up for a clean, tidy, organized house (anxiety reducing!), but it also gives you a mini victory to focus on (anxiety reducing!). Hooray!

While this might look like a long list, it takes very little time. The two minutes of meditation, five minutes of skin care, and maybe one or two minutes of making the bed (because remember, steps 0, 1, 2, 3, and 6 take either zero time or 30 seconds) total up to less than 10 minutes total. That’s it! Carving out this small amount of time and space to take care of yourself first thing in the morning can lead to a happier day, better well-being, and a calmer, more peaceful life.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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What It Means If You Dream About Someone You Haven’t Seen In A While

It’s common to dream about people who are currently in your life. But once in a while, you might find yourself dreaming about someone you haven’t seen or even thought of in a long time. It can have you wondering, should you try to reconnect with them? Dreams can be interpreted in many different ways. But according to dream experts, dreaming about someone you haven’t talked to in years has less to do with the person you’re dreaming about, and more to do with yourself.

“The thing to remember about dreams is that everything and everyone in your dream represents some part of you or something that directly affects you,” professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells Bustle. “That being said, when you dream of a person you haven’t seen in forever, or a person you don’t deal with on a daily basis, or someone who doesn’t even actually exist, they will represent a part of your personality.”

Dreaming about other people can be a way for you to gain a better understanding of yourself and your behavior. If there’s something that needs to be worked through and addressed in your waking life, it might show up in your dream in some way. Many times, it will show up in the form of a person in your past or present.

How To Understand What Your Dream Is Trying To Tell You

When you dream about someone from your past, there may be something in your waking life that you need to work on.

Shutterstock

Many people will dream about old friends and classmates from all the way back in elementary school. It can be a little strange, especially if haven’t seen or heard from a particular person in years. If this is the case, think about the person that you once knew and the traits they have that stick out to you the most. According to Loewenberg, that outstanding quality or fault is a trait that you may have.

“There was a time when I kept dreaming about this kid named Jeff from third grade,” Loewenberg says. “I don’t remember his last name, but I do remember that he was the shyest person I’ve ever known. I realized, he would show up in my dreams when I wasn’t speaking up about something in real life, or when I wasn’t taking action on something I needed to. My subconscious was saying to me, ‘Well you may as well just be Jeff.'”

It doesn’t matter what the person is like now. They’re showing up in your dream as a way for you to pay attention to something important that needs to be addressed in your life at the moment.

You should also take note of how this person is acting in your dream. For instance, are they helping you, or are they angry and threatening? According to Loewenberg, their behavior in the dream will be directly connected to how a part of you is behaving in real life. “They’re showing you this behavior from a different perspective so you can better understand yourself,” she says.

People will randomly show up in your dreams for all kinds of different reasons. If you’re into astrology, Joy Strong, transformation life coach and professional dream analyst, tells Bustle that planetary retrogrades can stimulate subconscious thoughts from the past to reappear.

“It’s important to consider that just because someone shows up in your awareness does not dictate whether or not they should have a current role in your life,” Strong says. This is important to keep in mind if you find yourself dreaming about an ex you haven’t thought about in forever and you’re wondering if you should reach out.

Dreams have more to say about you than the people in it. So if you find yourself dreaming about anyone from your past or present, think about what they could represent in your own life. If they’re showing up in your dream, there’s something worth paying attention to.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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