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Can You Choose To Fall In Love With Anyone?

Opening up our hearts and the desire to fall in love – this is a choice. But can you choose to fall in love with anyone? There are times when we were plunged deep in an ocean, drowning, struggling, wiggling and finally making our way up to the surface to gasp for air.  We build an armor and have hesitations about trust and falling in love. Can you choose to fall in love? Yes Can you choose who to fall in love with? Maybe Can you choose somebody to be the right person for you? No. Especially long term? Hell no. (Unless you’re ok with being delusional) Years ago, I was with an unhealthy man, who turned out to be narcissistic and emotionally abusive. No matter how much I nurtured him and the relationship. No matter how much patience and belief I wanted him to be the right person for me, the fact of the matter was he wasn’t. We argued all the time. Our values were not aligned. And it’s easy to confuse chemistry and a few checked boxes as “compatibility”. But with time, the reality came. I picked up this lesson the hard way: No matter how bad you want it, you can’t choose to make someone right for you. If you find yourself feeling more hurt than appreciated, feeling more suffering than happy, arguing more than happy times…that is incompatibility. And no matter how much you mend and look into each others eyes and hearts, you can’t make that person right for you. A healthy relationship builds on a foundation of compatibility, shared values, commitment. There will be many struggles outside of the relationship, so if the foundation between the two of you is not solid, how are you going to take on what’s outside? I know of couples who are in love with each other but shouldn’t be together. There’s control, violence and abuse in the relationship, which the partners, mistaken that ”struggle” is needed to deepen a relationship. It’s not. Some people use “gratitude” to mask (mediocrity) for the little they think they deserve. Choose to fall in love with someone because s/he is right for you. Choose the character […]

The Power of Feedback

When I was in my early 20’s, my sister and then-best friend did a ”self-centered intervention” with me. Basically, called me out specifically for things I did: leaving them in conversation or leaving them behind when I saw a cute boy. Mistakes. I was, you know, young and immature. I didn’t realized how my actions affected people as much. When I heard that feedback, at first I was hurt. But then I took a look at myself and realize that they were right. From then on, I really paid attention, be sure to include people, be more mindful and most importantly, worked hard on increasing my self-awareness. Earlier this week, my sister gave me the biggest compliment when we skyped, “You know, you’re the only person I know who is good at receiving feedback. The only person.” I don’t think I’m the only person but this was super flattering to me. In my 20’s, the biggest compliment for me would be about my smarts or my humor. Now…compliments about my ability to grow and take things maturely…it’s really important to me. I’m so proud that my husband is AMAZING at receiving feedback and growing. I think feedback is one of the most powerful tools of evolving. Sometimes, it sucks to hear it but boy, can you really grow from it. When I get feedback, instead of getting defensive, I ask myself? – Looking deep within…is this true? – What can i own? What isn’t mine (projections)? – How can i grow from this? Of course, I’m human, so I do feel hurt at times, sometimes defensive, sometimes snappy (Felix sees this especially when I’m hangry). But learning to put my ego aside, share my honesty and receive feedback is the best skills I have in my toolbag to evolve.

What you need to know about traveling in Italy

Traveling tips that you probably won’t read in the books. Travel is one of my greatest passions. I recently embarked on a 3 week adventure, traveling alone through Italy first for 10 days then onwards to Eastern Europe and Tokyo. Thanks to the Priceline Glitch, I was able to book a flight from NYC > Milan, then Budapest > Tokyo for only $230.00 total – that’s including tax! I know, a steal. So many of my friends got on the same deal, have been asking me for tips and recommendations since I took my trip earlier. I had two themes for this adventure: Castles & Food. So without further ado, here are my tips about traveling in the amazing Italy that you need to know. Italy is very historical so it has lots of cobblestones so bring comfortable walking shoes and luggages that has good wheels. Packing: Pack clothing that you can layer (think capsule wardrobe) and pack your walking shoes! Keep your valuables in your carry-on in case the airline loses your luggage (happened to me on my way to Iceland last year). Pack at least 1 credit card and your debit card for emergencies. Have copies of your passport and ID. Always carry a packet of tissue and anti-bacterial with you. Sign up for GLOBAL ENTRY for fast entry back into the U.S. and for TSA-PRE check (skip the lines for only $100 fee for 5 whole years!) Wifi: Most places have wifi so you should be fine if your phone doesn’t have international data. Just make sure you load up all the info you need before your next destination, just in case. You can also purchase a SIM card that’s specific to Italy that you can make phone calls and have internet connection. Language: Just like with any foreign country, learn the basic phrases like “Hello” (Ciao), “Thank you” (Grasi), “Excuse me” (Scusi) “Where?” (Dova). It’s a great opening. A great free iPhone app is iTranslate! This was my best friend when traveling. Please do learn the language so you’re not that lame Westerner that goes around speaking English, expecting being in people’s countries and for them to understand you. […]

INC.com feature: Lean Dating workshop

Feeling thankful for Laura Montini from Inc.com’s writeup of my Lean Dating workshop in San Francisco.  I love doing workshops and it was such a fun time! Below is her article: Love Lessons from the Lean Dating Method If Silicon Valley engineers and executives can use the Lean Startup method to build companies, why not apply it to finding the right mate? “Lean” refers to the Lean Startup method, popularized by author Eric Ries. The approach basically involves testing and validating hypotheses in the name of improvement. So, too, can you execute this in your love life, according to Tran. “What if your dating experiences were just lessons in feedback? Putting emotion aside, what if everything you experience in your love life were just data points, feedback on how you can be better in your next date?” Tran posed. Lots of people already practice this, King said. For example, online daters do a form of A/B testing when they experiment with different profile pictures or different ways of describing themselves on an online dating site. Tran said that in her clients’ cases, most of their dating problems don’t stem from the product (i.e. themselves) but rather their hypotheses. In one case she asked a client why he thought his love life was lacking, and he said it was because he was a bad conversationalist. So Tran told him to conduct an experiment: go square dancing and talk to 10 new people. If only 20 percent seem into it, then the hypothesis was probably right, and he should work on his communication skills. But if his experiment proved him wrong, well, that’s good feedback to have, and next time he can have a conversation without psyching himself out. In case you were wondering, the lesson was a valuable one for this programming square dancer; it turns out, more data proved his hypothesis wrong. After opening up and California-twirling with several women, he found they liked him–they really liked him.   Original source: Love Lessons from the Lean Dating Method  

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