Up In The Air… A Reflection

And even now when I’m inside Your hand, help me not to go frightful again. Don’t let me forsake sacrifice. Jesus, You be lifted high.

Ironically, as I typed that last lyric and truthfully a declaration, the pilot decided that we were going to descend as if we were Disney’s “Tower of Terror”. My butt lifted off the seat for a nanosecond, but ever the weirdo, while everyone screamed, a bright grin appeared on my face. It’s a miracle that I didn’t scream “woohoo”. If you are wondering, where I’m at, I’m airborne.

As I sit on what feels like the longest plane ride ever, I meditate on a couple of things that I am working through. Never in my wildest dreams, would I have thought that I would be as vocal as I am about seeing a counselor, regularly. Yet more and more, I notice, that I want to share about it and not just because I think it’s wonderfully improved my life but because I believe it could impact other’s lives as well. Whether it’s cultural or generational, many of us struggle with the idea of seeking outside help but no man is an island and we cannot do it on our own. Seeking help doesn’t make us weaker, on the contrary, it strengthens us to be stronger, more capable human beings. Think of the mind and mental health, as you would think of your core. Go to any gym trainer and they will explain the importance of strengthening your core to prevent injury during exercise. Well the same can be said about your mind, we must work on our weaknesses, address the issues, and strengthen the wobbly bits in order to prevent injury against self or against others.

You may think, well I would never hurt myself physically and that may be true, I feel the same. And yet I hurt myself emotionally, in the way that I speak to myself. I heard someone say, “speak to yourself, the way that you would speak to a friend.” Would you allow anyone to speak to your friends the way you speak to yourself? Yeah, I wouldn’t either.

I had the opportunity to attend a Communicator Workshop last night and they asked us to remember the most impactful message we had ever heard. My mind immediately went to a message that I heard at my local church, over 5 years ago. The preacher, Joel Timothy Houston, spoke about tender hearts and the mark they leave on our lives. He share about how he and his friends had stolen frozen hearts from the science lab and the Australian heat thawed them and so they decided to throw them around the hallways and weeks later, there were still bits of “thawed heart” laying around. This was an animal heart by the way. Animal activists, please don’t get upset with me, I was not their lab teacher. I remember sitting down for that message twice and thinking about how wonderfully he spoke about us having such tender hearts that they would impact those around us for generations to come. Something stirred inside me, and although this was not said by JTH, I remember coming to this thought “hard hearts leave a scar”. It was a simple thought but it marked my life so drastically and it’s marking my life furthermore now. And as I sit here, I think about how my hard heart could hurt and potentially scar others if I don’t work on it. That thought alone, well, it’s enough to keep me on track of the challenging road that is, becoming a better version of myself.

Working on myself has made me more aware of my responses. I finally understand that my responses say more about my internal state of being than what is being said to me. It is my choice to be offended and so I must practice instant forgiveness. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. And if you’re thinking, well that’s just not in my nature… It’s not in mine either. It’s something that I must be intentional about, something that I must work on, constantly. My best friend is great at this, and she knew that for a while I wasn’t as good as she was and so she’d apologize profusely every time she was merely human. Now when she apologizes, I have to ask “what for?” or try to figure it out because it feels unmerited. I’m not an expert, I’ve not achieved perfection, I still get offended at times but it’s less and less every time. Here’s what I have:

1. How I react to other’s words says more about me then it does about them. So when I get upset, angry, sad, hurt, or all of the above, I must ask myself, where is this stemming from? Is it a past hurt? An unsolved issue with the person who is speaking?

2. It is my choice to be offended, and furthermore, it is my choice to remain offended. And that is not a choice that I want to make so I choose to remain un-offended. That’s a choice that I must make daily, hourly, gosh sometime by the minute. Ha!

3. When in doubt, assume the best. When someone speaks, can I run through the day they’ve gone through? What if it hasn’t been their day, their week, their month, or even their year. You know? Or what if they have a lot on their mind? Now some people are just not kind. I wanted to say “jerks” but I’m working on being kinder! Well, that’s on them. Don’t let someone’s unkind words be what ruins your day.

Written last Wednesday, as I flew from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. I am not an expert and I’m merely sharing from my experiences.

Xo,

GenCeci

Fridays at Coney Island

There really is nothing like SUMMER. The days are longer, the people are happier, and minus the B.O. one encounters on the subway, life is perfect. The best part of Summer is definitely the beach and Coney Island has tons to offer this Summer. Coney Island Brewery is hosting Friday Fireworks every week until the end of August and they are spectacular. I don’t know what it is but there is something about Nathan’s that makes my 85% vegan self crave a hot dog. So if you are still trying to figure out what to do this Friday, here is my encouragement, head to the beach, take a dip in the ocean, grab a bite to eat, and sit back for the firework show!

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Happy Friday!

Xo,

Gen

Nothing Like Summer in New York

Late nights illuminated by fire flies, early morning yoga classes and all the fruit one can eat? That’s my kind of summer! Whereas most people travel during this time, there is no place I’d rather be. Once winter hits? Catch me if you can! Ha!

There is something so magical about summers in New York. I always say that I fall in love with NY every summer and breakup every winter 😂

Below are my favorite summer activities:

1. A day at Brighton Beach 🏝

If you can make it to the Hamptons, do it! You won’t be disappointed but if you don’t get the invite, head on over to Brighton Beach! It’s clean, it’s beautiful, it’s a lot of fun and you can walk to Coney Island if you feel so inclined 😉 Bring something to lay on, some snacks, something to read, but more importantly come ready to enjoy yourself!

2. A day at Governor’s Island!

I have two words for you! Hammocks Everywhere! If you want to chill on hammocks? Gov Island is the place for you! If you want to try something amazing from a food truck? Gov Island is the place for you! If you want the best views of NYC? Gov Island is for you! Bring your bike or rent one there, have a picnic with friends, cuddle with your love on the hammocks. Whatever you do, you will surely have a blast at this beautiful island that’s all of 5 minutes away from Battery Park. Find more info on how to get there HERE.

3. Movie Series at The Intrepid

The Intrepid has to be one of my favorite museums. Perhaps it’s because it’s the first museum that I went to when I first came to the US. Perhaps it’s just because it’s awesome. During the summer season, they become even more amazing by hosting movie nights and there really is nothing like it. If you are in the area, you have 4 weeks left to check it out. Bring a blanket, food and non-alcolholic drinks, and kick back to watch a movie on a boat, under the stars, in the greatest city in the world. Check out the schedule for what movies are coming up next.

4. Friday Nights at The MoMa

On Friday Nights, UNIQLO sponsors Free Friday Nights. That’s right, you can head over to The MoMa for free! It’s open from 4pm to 8pm. Check out all of the exhibits and get an amazing selfie or two. My only advise is don’t bring a backpack, you’ll be forced to wear it on the front and that’s just not a cute look.

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5. A day at Central Park

Whether you are going on a hike, biking or running along the path, having a picnic at Sheep’s Meadow, checking out the zoo, a concert, or riding a row boat at the Loeb Boathouse. The possibilities are endless. If you do decide to go rowing, remember to bring cash as they do not accept any other form of payment. Bitcoin not allowed, for now.

What do you like to do during summer? Always looking for new ideas!

Xo,

Gen