Mindfulness: the cure to “seen zoned”

I was talking to a good friend who’s in a blossoming yet struggling relationship, and one of the challenges she’s facing is one we’ve all probably faced:

SEEN ZONED.

Verb, past tense. When you see that someone has read a message but they haven’t responded. There are many degrees of being seen zoned, depending on such factors as:

  • time (this boy hasn’t responded in a day/afternoon/hour/minute!!!)
  • other social media activities (omg this boy is like totally posting stories but hasn’t responded to my dm so like why is he ignoring meeeeee)
  • your own busyness/state of mind (gurl, i’m out at the club so i ain’t even noticing VS GURL I’M HOME ALL DAY AND THIS BOY ISN’T RESPONDINGGGGG)

No matter which flavor of seen zone you have regrettably tasted, it is not a pleasant experience. It adds to anxiety, stress, and just plain old overthinking. So what’s the solution? Well from the recipient’s standpoint, it’s easier said than done: DON’T OVERTHINK. Who knows what’s going on with the other person. We have no control over them at the end of the day, so why stress about it?

But that’s actually not the reason for this post. The solution I want to talk about is MINDFULNESS, and this is actually more for the person causing the “seen zoning,” ie the person who read/saw the message but didn’t respond. In a nutshell, DON’T READ YOUR MESSAGES IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO RESPOND. Don’t check your emails constantly throughout the day like a bad habit, only to be too busy to respond properly at the time (which leads to an inbox full of “read” but “starred” messages lol). Wait for the moment when you can focus, read, and respond to the message. BE FUCKING PRESENT. Stop multitasking and focus on the task at hand. If you don’t have time to respond, just ignore it for the time being and come back to it when you can. THE WORLDS NOT GONNA END IF YOU DON’T OPEN THAT TEXT. The more we can practice these simple habits of mindfulness, the more clarity we can create in our interactions with others.

Namaste y’all!

#mindfulness #socialmedia

 

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I have really bad FOMO (fear of missing out)

Not in the way that I immediately think of, like a typical millennial on Instagram following the stories of his friends instead of enjoying the present moment. I have fomo caused by too much thinking. I overthink my decisions and all the dominoes that will fall because of what I set in motion. I doubt my actions to the point that I can’t perform them with full conviction. And maybe worst of all, I tend to regret my decisions and think: what would it be like if I chose a different path?

“Man, I should’ve sat on that side of the bus…the views of the Ganga are so much better on that side!”

“Guhhh I should’ve ordered X instead of Y (known as futterneid or “food envy” in Deutsch).”

“How would my life be different if I didn’t quit my pastry chef job and move across the country for an ex?”

Enlightenment is the simple realization that everything is as it should be. Everything happens for a reason. We humans are so myopic that we cannot see where the ripples we make end, and often those ripples have some positive impact on a shore somewhere further in our own life or even in someone else’s life. So stop overthinking, stop wavering, stop regretting, and stop fomo-ing. Everything is as it should be.

#adventuresinme #lessonsfromindia #onlyhuman

A view of the Himalayas, taken on the same bus ride that I wrote this. The mountains must have given me some of their wisdom and perspective 🧘🏻‍♂️

On a more practical/personal note, how do I prevent these fluctuations of my mind in these situations? Before, during, and after my decisions?

1. It’s good to consider the repercussions of my actions and the people who will feel them. But the way I overthink is a far cry from consideration. At the end of the day I need to listen to my gut and the voice within, for it is this voice that is the Divine within all of us. This Consciousness can do us no wrong, so we should place our complete trust and faith in it.

2. Once we believe in this higher power within, all hesitation in our actions fades and gives way to conviction. This conviction gives us the strength to take that leap of faith, no matter how many doubts hold us back.

3. Armed with this faith and conviction, there is no more regret. I may not see it now, but the decision I made was made for a reason.

This is a story all about how my life got flip turned upside down. Pt 1: the beginning.

As I hung out in some modified headstand with my feet resting on a foldable chair, my mind wandered to my yoga journey: the beginning, how far I’ve come, and where I’m heading next.

Let’s begin even before yoga entered my life: I was a fat kid. I hated gym. I spent recess begrudgingly playing (American) football with my friends and avoiding the ball like the plague, or more comfortably, chatting with the gurls on the swings or the playground (#gayforeshadowing). The point is, I never found my voice to express myself physically…until the Wii Fit entered my life.

Did I mention I’m a huge fucking nerd? So it should come as no surprise that in the summer after freshman year of college, I was introduced to the world of yoga by way of a video game. Yes, the poses were very simple (and not even connected via flow), but the seed was planted. I was incepted.

Over the next 9 years, yoga would play a minor, but recurring role in my life. In phases where I was actually mindful of my physical self, yoga became a way to tone, sweat, and stretch my body. Whether it was in my room watching my favorite 30 minute “Yoga Sculpt with Maura Barklay” vid, a free class in downtown Vancouver’s Lululemon store, or on the banks of the Delaware River in Philly on the Race Street Pier, yoga was the one physical exercise that I could actually get into.

Ok that’s enough for now, I’ll finish this post over another cocktail another time. Next up: how far I’ve come.

Namaste y’all!

P.S. I’ve always wanted to start a blog post with that song lolllllll

Why do I travel?

This is something I’ve struggled with over the past year –

Do I travel to escape? What am I escaping from?

Do I travel to check off some nebulous list? Will checking these things off really make me happy?

After much reflection (and three beers), here is a (working) list I’ve come up with:

  1. To create new memories with people I know and love.
    1. Nothing revitalizes and challenges a stagnant relationship like putting it in a new, uncomfortable context.
  2. To meet new people or re-meet old not-so-new people.
    1. Storytime: an “acquaintance” I “met” in LA (we chatted in the parking lot for 5 minutes after an SUP yoga sesh, then communicated via Insta for the next few months) invited me to meet up in DGTE, PH. OMG did I have reservations about this trip (so many unknowns! who is this girl! where will we stay! etc!) but it was one of the best weekends of my life, and I walked away with a new lifelong friendship (Moana, you know who you are 😉
  3. Increase compassion.
    1. New experiences, aka putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, are not only fun and exciting but also burst your little bubble and show you that there is more than one path in this journey called life. Whether it’s donning a pair of heels, exploring the largest dumpsite in the Philippines, or whatever my next chapter may bring, these experiences connect me to others and make me more human.

Namaste bitches.

P.S. be patient with me as I navigate this thing called blogging/wordpress 🙂

I’m a barbie boy…

We’ve all heard the phrase “throw some shrimp on the barbie” (which is incorrect, because shrimp are actually called prawns here), but why does one of the biggest Aussie stereotypes revolve around the Australian barbecue?

It’s because they’re everywhere here.  During orientation week, there were barbies everywhere serving free food and heaps of people waiting to get some hamburgers and snags (sausages, which are particularly good here) on white bread (no hot dog buns or hamburger buns here).  Of course no barbie food is complete without a smattering of tomato sauce (that’s ketchup for you Amuricans…our tomato sauce is their tomato paste…and I’m still trying to figure out what our tomato paste is in OZ).  And curiously the hardware for barbies is more often a flat top than a grill with grates and charcoal.

We had a barbie in the courtyard the other night for Arni’s birthday.  Along with the snags, steaks, chicken breasts, and kebabs (pronounced the way its spelled, NOT “kebobs”) that Arni brought, I made some kangaroo steaks with mango salsa.  Yum.

My 11th floor U.S.A. crew (plus Kah Ngee) enjoying the food.  For once, WE were the obnoxious people in the courtyard 😛

Can’t wait for another barbie!!

Bourdain Hunt #1: Queen Vic Market…

No Reservations is my absolute favorite show on the Travel Channel.  The premise of the show is Anthony Bourdain, a New York City chef who’s seen the good and the bad of the restaurant industry, travels around the world to eat the best that each country or city has to offer and tries to understand what makes up their food culture.  He’s also a chain smoker and a borderline alcoholic, which makes the show very entertaining.

Naturally, when I go to a new city I watch the episode of that city and follow his food trail.  When I was in Chicago last summer, for example, we hit up Hot Doug’s and Avec and both can’t be missed if you’re in the city.

But I digress.  Bourdain’s tour of Australia starts and ends here in Melbourne, the food capital of the country.  (Did that have anything to do with my decision to study here?  Maybe.)  The first No Reservations destination I visited was the Queen Victoria Market, just a 15 minute walk from my apartment.

Known as Queen Vic by the locals, the market spans several blocks and includes an indoor butcher/fish monger stall area, a deli section with wines, coffees, cheeses, meats, and bakeries, an outdoor produce section, and a huge flea market area complete with souvenirs, no-brand clothes, and more food.

There are also “foodie tours” where you can sample some of the offerings in the deli section, pictured above.

My first trip was during a weekday, so it wasn’t as busy.  But around closing time the vendors will do anything to get rid of their goods for the day: the produce stalls will sell huge bags of slightly worn fruits and veg for just a dollar, and the meat and seafood are heavily discounted.

Luckily I was able to catch the last night of the Summer Night Market (yes, summer is just ending here). Same venue, just with live music, more food stalls, and as you can see, heaps and heaps more people.  I reckon there were so many there because it was the last night.

For dinner I had a Shiraz Sangria (my favorite red) and basically a “tourist plate”: a kangaroo burger, grilled crocodile tail, and emu sausage.  The burger was excellent, though I can’t wait to try roo straight up (we’re throwing a birthday barbie tonight so I plan to grill off some steaks).  Croc was okay, but nothing special.  And the emu…well it was kinda stinky.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to hit up more Bourdain spots and make another trip to the Queen Vic.

Tim Tams: God’s gift to Australia…

I love Tim Tams.  So do all Americans.  Every American I’ve met is pretty much addicted to Tim Tams.

According to Wikipedia, a Tim Tam is “composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate.”  Think of them as Australia’s answer to the Oreo.  But there’s heaps more flavors than Oreos: mint, hazelnut, honeycomb, dark chocolate, black forest…

Yes, they’re that good.  Which leads me to my next point…I gave up Tim Tams for lent.   All my friends think I’m seriously crazy, but luckily I’ll still be here after lent is over.  Also I was able to pull a little stunt called the Tim Tam Slam before I decided to give them up.

Here’s the original:

And here’s our attempt:

I’ve heard you can find them in U.S. because my sister did the TTS there, but I have no idea where to find them.  But I suggest you start looking.