Live More Happy
Living Loving and Traveling the World
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My dear friend Jolie Dawn just featured me as an “Empowered, Sexy & Free” woman in her book re-launch.

It feels inauthentic when I look at it. I have not felt any of those things lately.

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How fitting though, that Jolie was one of the key people who pushed me to begin writing more openly and honestly so here I am, challenging myself to share myself and once again feel empowered & free.

Its been very hard to write lately.

I take that back.

Its been very hard to share lately.

Not only because I have been so busy with my new project, a renovation of a run down beach house in Baja into a vacation rental, but for many reasons.

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My spirit has felt broken.

I feel like I have suffered some serious losses lately. I lost my passion project business, Givebackpackers to a lovestruck, obsessive computer programmer that stole the company by creating a competing website with the same name, to force me to work with him. I’ve been harassed by this “friend” who wanted more than friendship for months now, causing me to fear for my safety and my security.  

I lost my boyfriend of a year because of his health issues and have felt like I am constantly defending our mutual decision to people who just don’t understand how “love just wasn’t enough.”

I lost a lot more money than I anticipated on this Mexico house, discovering everything from the floors, kitchen, windows to the plumbing and electrical needed to be completely replaced before even beginning to furnish.

And besides just money, I have lost time and faith, hiring people who stole from me, took advantage of my kindness and lacked the support of the neighborhood that I was expecting going into this project.

Watching my stepmom’s health struggle to return with more chemo than was expected while my best friend is going through the same heartbreak of watching her mom fight cancer has been emotionally exhausting.

I am living in a constant state of defending myself, picking myself back up and forcing a smile.

I’m a strong person because of everything that I have been through my whole life, parenting myself from the time I was 5 years old to starting a business in a recession after dropping out of college to traveling the world alone.

There’s so much I can face without fear but being on the defense all the time is exhausting.

I can play offense. It’s easy to be the one running down the field but much scarier to have someone running at you.

I’ve defended my choices and my business, my house and my freedom. I’ve even had to defend my writing.

I’ve been hurt by the things people have said to me and behind my back. I’ve been tired of defending who I am, what I have created and why.

I feel tired of defending and tired of being vulnerable. I want to shut it all down and hide away.

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I’m afraid of being rejected or hurt any more. I’m afraid I won’t be able to be strong through any more of it.

I’m a strong person but I am sensitive. I know that I do not have to defend myself to the people who matter. The ones that matter already know me and love and support me and the ones who I feel defensive to, do not matter.

I have held off for months on sharing my writing and my thoughts and these insane experiences. I have been biting my tongue to feel safe and supported. I have been seeking comfort and stability and ways to nurture myself.

I am writing and sharing this because I find strength in my honesty. I am not a fake person. I do not need to be adored by the masses and make everyone else feel comfortable at the expense of my own freedom.

So if you are reading this with anything but love, why are you reading?

If you are reading this with love and support in your heart, thank you. You are why I share.

 

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The more I see of the world the more I fall in love with it.

Each time I fall a little more in love with the places I see, the people I meet and the tastes and smells of someplace new.

To truly love something is to let it be as it is, without trying to keep it or change it.

How could I truly love the world if I said to it “I want to keep you all to myself. I want you to spin only for me. I want you to stay exactly as you are. I want you to be what I need you to be.”

How could the world ever do that for me?

How could someone ask that of anyone?

So I just continue to love the world exactly how it choses to be.

I will close these thoughts with my favorite Osho quote from a book I reference a lot, Love Freedom & Aloneness I think EVERYONE should read and my favorite travel video of all time.

Happy Travels.

-Lindsiana Jones

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The last post I wrote was about how I created a relationship I love. It was all 100% true and I am glad I posted it just in time.

This is a letter about how I ended that relationship about a week later.

As much as I wanted to turn inwards and deal with this privately, I know that I have invited so many of you reading this to join me on the journey of life and love we are ultimately all sharing. (I just choose to share mine a little more openly) With that comes great rewards and connection with people but it also comes with responsibilities, to myself, to the ones I care about (and write about) and to you, Reader, to be completely honest, vulnerable and open.

My most popular blog was about a terrible breakup I had that tore me apart. I learned so much from that experience and while I am still struggling with losing such a huge part of my life, I hope that this post can be just as popular, inspiring anyone to invite this same possibility into their life. (The hope for all my blog posts)

My love for Perry is real. From the minute we met I felt so at ease and comfortable with him. Everything was easy, no questions or doubts or struggles. We could talk for hours and laugh or sit in silence and watch the waves. We had adventures and enjoyed just relaxing. We talked about marriage and travels and never fought. We gave each other support and love but also space and trust to do what each of us needed to do in order to be our best selves.

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Right now, that includes going our own ways. It’s so hard to think about, I can’t believe it’s even true still but sometimes in life, love is not enough. The past few months we saw that each of us need different things in our lives right now to be the best we could be. We let each other go because we love each other that much.

Perry has been bravely battling chronic pain from his professional cycling career and I have stood by him every day, supporting him in his fight to get better. There is no cure besides time and an intense therapy and rehab schedule, about 4 hours a day, that I can’t really help with. Its been such a struggle but a lesson in patience, compassion and acceptance. I learned more about my own ability to love unconditionally, support someone else in their challenges while still putting myself and my needs as a priority. It’s easy to make someone else your focus when you are in love. Its easy to lose yourself and put yourself on the back burner in order to be fully present for someone else.

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I wanted so badly to DO something to help Perry. I found specialists, read articles, supported him through his intense schedule of appointments and treatments but still ended up disappointed when there weren’t any significant signs of improvements.

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My desire for him to get better so we could finally start our lives together added to his stress and hindered his improvement. Planning trips, planning our future, it all was on indefinite hold and we felt like we were in limbo.

Meanwhile he has been working full time as CEO of Merritt Bookkeeping, I have been growing my projects and companies. Juggling travel, volunteer work and social life while also trying to manage my own stress, anxiety and health has been crazy.

It has been quite the balance and we have done it well. We have always come from a place of love and kindness with each other. We don’t keep secrets and we don’t lie or try to manipulate each other. We had an honest conversation months ago about travel and business and all the different things we have going on. We knew that our lives were on two different tracks but we love each other too much to quit.

One day it was just time to adjust, get on our own track and release the tether to each other. We released each other with love, friendship, support and ease. Just as it was when we met, and the 10 months we spent together, we loved each other with peace and an emotional maturity I didn’t ever think was possible.

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These are uncharted territories. How do you break up with someone you love and get along with? How do you tell your friends and family? How do you adjust?

I don’t know, except to follow my heart, be kind and honest and continue to send love and my healing energy his way, even while giving him the space he asked from me. (It’s too hard to be checking in and “keeping in touch” right now.) I understand and I think too many people use the excuse:

“I know you said you wanted space but I just…”

If someone asks for space and you love them, give them their damn space. That is love. You asking for their time anyways is saying you don’t care about them as much as you care about yourself and your own needs. I see this happening all around me with my friends and I am committed to still respecting and caring for Perry in whatever aspect he needs of me while taking care of myself.

This is the easiest breakup I have ever experienced and the hardest. We are nice to each other, take turns watching over the cat and he even changed my locks for me when I was out of town and needed help dealing with a stalker. (That’s another story and some absolute bullshit I don’t need right now!)

Perry and I share the same values and dreams for the future, but the present moment calls for us to be apart. Who knows what the future holds but for now, I’m just crying in my bed, holding my cat. 

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With Love,

Lindsay

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I love my relationship with Perry.

This is not a list of things I love about Perry. That list would be long and lovely but its important to understand the difference. 

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To love a person is so different than loving the relationship you are in with them. 

When you truly love a person, you appreciate them for all their flaws and quirks, whether they are here or there. As long as they are happy, you are happy. 

The relationship is the part I love that creates the memories, the milestones, the photos and road trips. A relationship is having a person who takes you away to the mountains for the weekend and is there when your car has to get towed home. The relationship is where we get attached. Its also where we get hurt, by our own expectation of what that relationship should look like or act. 

Most of us don’t have a clear picture of what we want in a relationship, but a lot of “don’t wants.”

There’s a saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” I think this is true in relationships too. We fall for someone because we think they are what we want or what we SHOULD want. Instead of shoulding on ourselves we should be very clear about what it is we want in a partner and how that feels. 

In the last week I had one friend say she feels best sleeping with her man every single night, while another girlfriend had an epiphany that maybe she didn’t ever want to live in the same house as her beloved. “Why does that have to be a thing?” she asked, totally serious. 

Why does it? Its a good question. We just assume that it’s the way it is and has to be because its been that way? I know a cute newlywed couple who live in two different parts of LA. (Probably because their commute to work was more stress than a first year of marriage?) Whatever works for you! 

That’s what I am saying. 

That’s what my love and I have been so gracefully figuring out over the last 10 months. What works for us? We moved to Mexico together on a whim after two months of dating. We had a blast. We moved back to San Diego and I traveled while he worked on his booming business. We love and support each other with ease, because we have created a relationship that works for us. We love to hear what the other one is up to but we don’t stress out if we don’t talk all day. We make fun plans together and apart. We keep our friendships we had and make new friends together. We allow each other space as well as support. Supportive space. We trust each other completely. 

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It was so nice when I was traveling, to call my man and hear his happy voice and an “I miss you” without guilt-trip undertones. 

He did miss me but he was happy because he knew I was happy and doing what I love. I miss him too and I wish I could have my man by my side for the adventures I go on, but I don’t look at it as “He isn’t meeting my needs” but “I’m so happy he is meeting his needs while I meet my own needs.”  I also deeply respect and value his commitment to his business, his business partner and his health.

I’ve traveled with, worked with and been in partnership with people who had little follow through on those things and its definitely a sexy quality to me. It even rubbed off on me in the best ways. I had planned to be in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen a few weeks ago for BPM Festival with some friends but felt like it was best to stay in San Diego and work on some very exciting projects. It would have been very hard for me in the past to turn down a trip but I felt confident my time was best spent in San Diego and it has paid off already. 

My relationship inspires me to be better. 

He shares his favorite meditations and podcasts with me. He sends me articles about mindfulness and managing stress. He cooks me healthy meals and reminds me how much I love yoga and surfing. He doesn’t ever tell me “I dont want a wife that does this” or “Thats not what someone in a relationship does” like a ex of mine used to always say. Perry pushes me to be the best version of myself, not the best version of what he wants. 

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Those are all things he does, because he loves me and because we are in a healthy relationship. Its been eye opening for me to understand that those are different than who he is as a person. To love someone is to love them without expectation but I love the relationship and now I have the expectation that he is going to continue to share his insights with me, to motivate me and support me. That is my expectation on the relationship and if that were to change I would be sad but could I still love the person without attachment or disappointment that he wasn’t acting like I want? 

That is the goal and the key to having a happy relationship for life. 

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A few months ago I went through a visualization of ending my relationship with Perry. I wanted to feel it, to experience it emotionally and imagine my life without him. I was so depressed and cried and already missed him, but I knew that I could survive without him and take with me the great lessons we have taught each other and love him from afar, if I needed to. I could let him go because I love him without the traditional, clingy, attachment kind of “love” we are taught to think is normal. He is not my everything. he is wonderful but I am a whole person without him by my side. I have my own business and friends and hobbies. It feels good to be so in love without the anxiety. I could not have reached this state of bliss, ease and happiness with a partner without the hard lessons learned in the past and a lot of meditation and journaling about what kind of relationship I wanted. 

Now I have it and I wish it for everyone in the world. Whatever that looks like. 

Love to you. 

Lindsay 

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I jolted awake at 4am this morning with a million things racing through my mind and no chance of going back to sleep. So I do what any insomniac might do and troll craigslist for treasures. 

Craigslist Ad: “I have too many globes and my wife just kicked 4 of them out of the house. I have the three pictured plus a globe of The Moon – pretty cool. They are $20 each/firm with no volume discount. Preference to anyone that wants more than 1. Thanks again.”

Lindsay’s 5am email: “Hi! I am very interested in your globes, including the one of the moon. My boyfriend made me clear out a LOT of my stuff since we just moved in together so I feel your pain. I do not have a globe though and definitely need a few…  I will love them as much as you! Thanks!”

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I say “made me” but really, I was happy to see it all go. When we drove away from our house with a Uhaul full of crap to give away, I felt a thousand pounds lighter. It felt really freeing and made this all very real. 

We’re moving in together. 

Now this isn’t a crazy thing to happen now days. Its happening more and more with us, crazy millennials. Co-habitating before marriage. Its better for our budget especially since we’re already having so many damn sleepovers anyways.  Its a great way to “test out” our mate to see if they are the real deal. You get to know all their dirty little secrets whether its old hummus under their bed, or his old “sexy” home videos. You learn if you can juggle responsibility together. You see what kind of team you are when it really matters. You find out if you can even tolerate the person in large doses. 

Its much different than being on a vacation or trip. While I also require that while vetting any of my potential partners, there is still an eventual end date on any trip. Moving in together means there’s really only two possible outcomes. 

1. You can heart wrenchingly pack up, dividing belongings and co-purchases, super charged with emotion as you wonder what to do with the thousands of photos and feel like your heart is being torn from your chest while you are roasted over a pit of lava. 

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2. You see it through, with all the good and the bad, sometimes not even speaking or sleeping in the same room. Maybe you add a couple more young, messy roommates, and totally mess up the vibe you both worked so hard to create until they leave again and then one of you dies. Thus, leaving the other to possibly wake up to your cold corpse and have to arrange your funeral and then live alone and wait for your turn or go back into the DATING SCENE. (Worse than death in my opinion.) 

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So yes, I’m saying, either way, we are doomed at this point. 

I’m not saying it isn’t worth it. I’m saying either way we are doomed in life and love. There is no easy way out. If you chose to truly love, you chose to put your heart and your life, in someone else’s hands. You have to be all in or it doesn’t work. 

Confession: I have never gone all in before. Sure, I was living with my ex, I was ring shopping and wedding scheming and playing house but it was to make him happy because his happiness made me happy. Now was this self sacrificing and in some ways, disingenuous? Maybe.

In the past I had been too selfish. I wanted to keep too much of my life separate, keeping relationships private, off social media. I wanted to “maintain my brand” and my image. A big part of me was just scared. I was scared if it didn’t work out that I would feel the fiery heartache of removing that person from my life, embarrassed, explaining to people over and over, or, gasp….changing my Facebook status to single, OH MY! 

I was so angry after my ex cheated because I had felt like I had let him into my life. I was his biggest supporter, helped his business and brought him into mine. We loved each others families and had dreamed of our own. 

But I wasn’t always all in. For the first year I rolled my eyes or teased him anytime he brought up marriage. I told him it was over rated and put down his fairy tale dreams because of my own troubled family history. I held my ground on issues that didn’t matter to me as much as I thought. I kept my own Carrie Bradshaw apartment as (a pretty sweet Airbnb side business) but also a “just in case” backup plan. 

I was guarded and I didn’t really let him in. Maybe it was my intuition. Maybe my walls were too high. Either way, when I moved back into my backup plan apartment, I took a long hard look at myself and realized I had made myself right. What you fear, you create.

Time to change. 

Now I could write another novel about how easy things with my new love have been, how we share the same views and values and spiritual practices but I wont bore you. ;) 

What I will say is that it feels so easy and it is a stress free love. (Which is ironic for two business owners with anxiety.) 

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I feel like this is a real shot at true love, loyalty and equal partnership so I had to make the choice to grow out of my comfort zone. I have to be fearless. Either I am getting my heart ripped out or I am getting my heart ripped out, but I know that theres always lessons to learn and life goes on. (Unless I die first.) 

So I cleared out half of my collections (clutter) and artifacts (things left by half a decade of old roommates and guests) and made space in my home, my heart, my life, for my love. 

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We are keeping his place in North PB as an Airbnb rental (its too sweet of a gig not to) and not as a back up plan (lets be real, his king size bed and massive bean bag are never getting back out of here.) Its an end of an era, the JediLounge is no longer a youth hostel, a travelers pit stop, but a real home. Time to settle in. Here goes everything! 

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patient n tough

One of my favorite Rolling Stones songs goes:

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes you find,

You get what you need”

I try to let this be my motto for life. It seems that we don’t often get what we want but life has a funny way of dishing out exactly what we need. The most painful and difficult situations have led me to be the strong, independent and resilient woman I am today. I don’t take back any of the struggle.

However recently I have been feeling like I’ve got more than my fair share. What is it I am needing right now? Is it God, the Universe, Fate? Who is testing my limits to love deeper and forgive greater?

Earlier this summer my birth mother, Kim, who I haven’t seen much in the last 20 years, came back in to my life, with the familiar promise of sobriety and wanting another chance.

I had just written a post about mother’s day, the pain she had caused me my entire life and how I had become better because of it. I had learned to take care of myself and to heal the deepest wounds. Now I was being faced with the challenge of putting my forgiveness and unconditional love to the test.  I reluctantly took her to lunch.

She was sober and going to AA meetings, seeing doctors and actively looking for work and housing, by using the computer at the public library. I debated on weather or not I was even going to answer her text message when she said she was back in San Diego for doctors appointments but I knew that I had never really made an effort to try to help her. Maybe this was my chance to really give her the forgiveness and love she needed through action. She had no one else. Every other good bridge was burned and the others had very ugly trolls under them.

I could see how hard she was trying and so I took the time to drive her to appointments instead of her taking the bus. I got her a phone so she could leave her number on job applications and lent her the laptop I had bought for my little brother to start his sophomore year of high school with. I set her up with profiles on sites like care.com, handy.com and couch surfer, helping her with her first ever email account and even let her stay at one of my Airbnb rentals during the busiest time of the summer.

I figured if I was going to give her any of my help I was going to give 100%. Because even if it didn’t work out, I know I tried my best. I gave everything I could.

Then she went missing.

She didn’t answer any of my calls on the phone I bought her. She stopped emailing me updates and my brother hadn’t heard from her either. For a month. I was actually worried something might have happened to her, or that she was just high in a van somewhere.

She resurfaced last week, bloodied and broke, no computer or phone, but some crazy story about being robbed by homeless people. It didn’t matter what she said. She could have said she was kidnapped by ninjas.

I am mad at myself for knowing it was going to happen that way. I am sad for my brother, who was trying to defend her crazy story and insisting it was okay, hoping to keep me from being upset.

I hadn’t even told him I had bought him the computer because I wanted it to be a surprise. I never want to disappoint him like she always does.

It didn’t matter. She had “lost” the computer AND told him about it. Double damnit.

My good deeds totally blew up in my face again and I have no choice but to pretend like it is all okay. I don’t want Kellen to be any more in the middle of the crappy situation and I know that being mad will do nothing to change anything. It never has and never will.

Biggest lesson in all of this, I guess.

At the same time I got a call from my dad. “Sue has breast cancer.”

WHAT? 

How is this possible? Sue is the healthiest person I know. Since the time she and my dad started dating about 15 years ago I could remember her eating organic and only buying all natural products. She does yoga and meditates every day. 

I feel so guilty saying this, but I was expecting my birth mom to get sick already. I’m surprised she has made it this far. How could Sue be the one getting sick? Its Kim who deserves it. Kim has been poisoning herself for decades. She abandoned me when I was 5 because she couldn’t stop getting fucked up.

When my brother was younger I would explain to him about her disease. I said “Some people’s moms get sick with cancer, our mom is sick with addiction”

Damn, now I’ve got both.

Sue loves me and taught me about thrift shopping, crafting and conscious living. Sue got me my first marketing consulting job with a non profit she worked with. Sue was there for me even when I was a total asshole. She put up with me and my dad’s bickering and taught us to be more patient and kind to each other. Sue has mothered me into the woman I am today. 

So, why does  bad stuff happen to good people? 

I guess because we can handle it. Sue has been the most positive and action oriented person I have ever seen, dealing with a couple aggressive cancerous tumors. She continues to inspire me with her grace and the outlook she is keeping on this situation. 

Her strength gives me strength to handle these lemons that are constantly being thrown. 

Meanwhile, Kim is battling addiction and mental illness that I think is her fault. I am mad and I feel so sad for her. She has allowed her life to go down a path that is so empty, lonely and sick.

I can’t do anything else for her but love her and forgive her.

I can do something for Sue.

I have put together a fundraising campaign, like the many I have done in the past, to help my parents with the incredible medical bills that are racking up just this month. With the low dose chemo treatment and nutrition therapy that Sue needs, medical bills this month are close to $23,000. Insurance doesn’t cover it and their park ranger pensions don’t cover much either.

Fundraising to help my parents is the least I can do to help repay them a tiny bit for the endless love and support they have shown me all these years. Sue did not have to step up to be there for me the way she did but she did it with true unconditional love and I am sad to get the opportunity to show her gratitude this way, but hey,

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes you find,

You get what you need”

To learn more about Sue Pelley’s cancer treatment watch the video below or visit our GoFundMe page. Thank you.

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Writing has been my greatest tool for understanding myself better.

It has been a therapy when the thoughts and words are swirling in my head, repeating themselves over and over, out of my control. Until I put the pen to paper or begin to type, I feel as if the words have control over me. My thoughts run away from me and writing them down is the only way to take the control back.

Writing makes me feel free. It also makes me feel naked.

The last few months I really challenged myself to be more open, more vulnerable. When my friends learn of my stories they have often said I need to write a book. I’ve always cringed at the idea.

“Maybe if I write it in a pen name! I don’t want random people to know my past or my secrets!”

The last nine months I have found the courage to share some of my most personal battles and the response has been incredible. Thousands of “random people” have read about my struggles as an entrepreneur, shared in my journey to overcome my greatest heartbreak and cried with me when sharing their own stories. Random people have become close friends.

When I hit publish on the first real scary blog post about my cheating ex last September, I held my breath. A huge part of me didn’t want anyone to read it. I knew it was an ugly truth and sad. It was something I needed to face in order to be set free from it. It was the first time a blog post I had written on my personal site had seen over a thousand views.

(My ex has since written his side of the story, and I feel like its only fair to share the other side. As he puts it, “its pretty dang cute.”)

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After writing about my mother’s addictions and my lifelong battle with anxiety last month, I was overwhelmed with support and love. People I had never met, people who I have only been connected to online, reached out to say they knew what I was feeling and they were looking for the same relief and peace. My hypnotherapist received 8 new clients from my post and besides being glad to help my amazing friend Kristyn grow her practice, I am in awe of how many people took proactive action to find their happiness.

My little blog post did that. Wow. Powerful stuff.

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Checking my google analytics after a scary blog post gives me heart palpitations. Most people are excited when 2,000 people visit their site. I feel exposed.

Turning hundreds of random people into real connections based on shared human experience is a life changing experience and scary as hell.

I’m not writing this to brag but to give myself the courage and recognition I need to continue to write. So many crazy things have happened and are happening to me all the time and if I can share a little bit of my insight, who knows how many people will find the tiniest bit of wisdom or inspiration to make changes in their life for the better.

own your story

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I’ve dealt with anxiety as long as I can remember.
As a child I was a nail biting, thumb sucking little ball of energy who carried my teddy bear, Mr. Kamunka, with me everywhere I went. Growing up an only child of an alcoholic mother meant finding comfort in any way possible. My parents divorced when I was three, thankfully, because hiding in a closet from the fighting is still one of my first memories.

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I remember so many nights as a small child not knowing where my mom was or what kind of mood she would be in when she got home. Would she be sweet and wake me up with a surprise or would she be sick or would she be angry, looking for someone to take it out on? Often times she was just crying and sad and needed someone to listen to her. I was always all of those for her.
My childhood was a roller coaster and while she eventually gave up all parental responsibility to my dad, she still would show up randomly, outside our house, when she was needing someone to vent to. The neighbors didn’t appreciate it and I didn’t either. I never felt safe or secure. She would show up wasted or high to my school or soccer games and pick fights with anyone who said something to her. Once she locked me in a bathroom because I embarrassed her in front of the McDonalds clerk who she was probably trying to flirt with for free food during our first time together in months.
As a teenager, I desperately tried to connect with her during her sober stints, spending summers in Las Vegas with her and her new baby, my amazing little half-brother, Kellen. (I say “half” to explain the paternal difference, although he is very much my full brother by heart!)

IMG_3144 I wanted to be close with them but watching her put him through the same roller coaster and often times worse situations, was something that tortured my heart and made me angry beyond belief. I was experiencing panic attacks in school and doctors put me on xanax and ativan at 16 to keep my anxiety under control.
I eventually cut her out completely and focused on the things I could control in my life and vowed to never be weak like her. I pushed myself to start my own career and be reliable to the people I cared about. I kept everything under control, quit all medications at 18 and began treating my anxiety herbally. I learned that self discipline was key. I became very hard on myself when I made mistakes because I never wanted to be anything like my mother.

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Feature in LILY+JASPER when I was 23

I did my best to pick up the motherly slack she left with my brother, who like me, ended up bouncing around with his father and father’s family most his childhood. I resented her for not being there for him, for leaving me with the hole to fill but it motivated me to be better for him and to show him what the possibilities are when you work through the darkness.

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All of this has been like a shadow in the beautiful life I have created for myself. As a child I didn’t share it because cruel kids made fun of me. As a teen I didn’t want to seem weird or different. As an adult I didn’t want to share my story because I didn’t want anyone’s pity or to be defined by it. “Wow, you have come so far considering…” YUCK.
I worked harder to make the stories less powerful over me, yet the anxiety never subsided.working hard

I had to heal the root of the problem and I set out to forgive and set myself free. I went to workshops, personal development seminars, I wrote closure letters, I read books and joined support groups. I surrounded myself with positive people and created a community. I found myself no longer hating her, but feeling sorry for her that she was not a part of my life. I had created such amazing things and people around me but she was unable to share it with me.

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EvoRoom community in San Diego

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Full Circle Venice Beach community center

My brother and I became closer than ever and have had the most honest  talks about addiction and mental illness. I have been able to share the wisdom and the knowledge I earned on my own, with him. He knows I am always here for him no matter what and most importantly, I know it too.baby brother
Almost two years ago I saw her walking down the street in my neighborhood in San Diego and I pulled over and got out to talk to her. She was so high and angry and incoherent I couldn’t have a conversation like I had hoped but I gave her a hug and drove off, with sadness and love in my heart. I didn’t hate her. I wanted her to find peace, like I had.

A few months later, while planning what I thought was my next chapter in life, marriage and my own family, I learned my soon-to-be-fiancee had been having an affair, and my world came to a screeching halt. I had been betrayed and abandoned again. I wasn’t safe in my own home I had created with him and I could not trust him or myself. I felt all the same wounds open back up deeper than before.

What was wrong with me that the people I love and trust most, treat me like I’m disposable?

Then the anxiety came back and the nightmares began to get worse. I felt like I was starting all over and then some. I was determined to heal as quickly as possible, to get back to the peace I had felt before learning the truth about him. I went to women’s groups, energy healers, seminars, workshops, tropical getaways and still, no matter how packed my schedule was with positive productivity, I could not shake the anxiety and nightmares.

yoga lindsayI would replay scenarios and lies he told me over and over in my head. I couldn’t stop trying to “solve the case” even months after I had “moved on.” Desperate for answers, sitting on a beach in Bali, staring off into the gorgeous sea and feeling anxious in paradise again, I searched for alternative therapy in San Diego. I was going to give it a try as soon as I got back. I couldn’t deal with another beautiful morning wasted, waking up in paradise, from a nightmare, about some douche bag thousands of miles away. ( Apparently, spending years dealing with a sociopath can cause PTSD. )

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Luckily, a trusted friend recommended her closest friend, Kristyn, a hypnotherapist in San Diego and I booked four sessions right away. I went into each session with a very open mind and willingness to absorb my own insights and to heal. I was ready to release and forgive and feel peace in my heart. I finally finished all four within a few months but the improvement was apparent in the first few weeks.

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The nightmares stopped, my nail biting subsided to where I was able to quit getting fake nails and finally wear my natural nails with out shame.

healthy nailsBoth of my businesses took off in a really big way and I suddenly was not angry at my ex anymore. I found my old blackberry full of messages and photos from our first year together and I was not sad or angry, but nostalgic for a happy time in my life and I felt excited for what was ahead and having that kind of happiness again, but for real this time. I was finally free and even my best friends said they could see a difference in me.

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I’ve been able to take my meditation practice to a new level. Before working with Kristyn I could never quiet my thoughts, especially before bed. Now I put on a guided meditation almost every night and morning and can find myself at peace. Even the one time I dreamed about my ex since our sessions, instead of there being a altercation or argument, I just kept on walking past our house. I just kept on walking. It felt good to wake up from that one. I had found the release I needed.

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As I sit on another beach in paradise, writing this, I am grateful for the difficult people and the pain they caused because I have learned to over come the struggle and abandonment and feelings that I am not lovable. I have learned to forgive and find peace in my heart. Without drugs, with out alcohol, without sex or shopping or any other crutches. (although I admit I have a travel problem, hee hee) I have found the healing I needed right inside myself. Its been there all along and its up to me to keep it.

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Suffering from a broken heart, anxiety, depression or just lost in life?

My favorite books: Love, Freedom & Aloneness by OSHO, Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci, & A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

My Love, Life & Self Expression Coach: Jess Johnson

My Hypnotherapist: Kristyn Caetano

Connect with your community! Get involved, give back and donate your time to those that need it. Nothing makes me feel better than helping others.

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Relationships seem to be the most complicated part of being human, yet it is the most important thing we have. As I caught up with my first love last night, sharing funny memories and reflections on who were were 9 years ago, so young but so full of happiness and dreams, I thought about how at one point, our hearts were so broken over each other it was hard to eat or sleep or dream of going on without each other. Yet there we were last night, laughing together and being truly there for one another and I was genuinely so happy to hear he is happy and in love. My love for him has changed but still remains, the kind of true love that has no attachment but an appreciation for the person as they are.

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A few days ago I learned my second real love and longest relationship of almost 3 years, is going through a really tough time. My heart hurts for his struggle and I pray his happiness and strength every day, while also grateful we still can connect and I can be a person of support and unconditional love for him. He has always been that for me and while I wasn’t always deserving of that love and support from him, he gives it to me, unfaltering.

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While my third and most impactful love and I don’t speak and definitely don’t have the kind of friendly relationship I have with all my other exes, I am so grateful for all the lessons he taught me. For once, I allowed myself to be swept off my feet into the fairy tale he created for us. He taught me photography skills and got me into building websites. (He even helped me turn LiveMoreHappy.com into a reality) He made me believe in happily ever after, gave me the dream of having a family, something I didn’t believe in before. He showed me that the worst possible thing I could imagine would not destroy me, but create growth and opportunity in my life I couldn’t have believed possible. Last week I found my old blackberry full of photos of our first year together and instead of being sad or angry, I was filled with happiness and gratitude for the memories of total joy. (I had deleted ALL photos off my hard drive in a fit of rage, so recovering these over a year later was an even more of pleasant surprise.) I find myself in a new place, not angry at him for the lies and deceit, but happy he has found someone who is a much better fit for his fairy tale life than me and excited for when I get that happy ending with a real prince charming. I’m grateful for the lessons and happy memories and new skills that have catapulted me further into who I am today.
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The last man I was with showed me compassion and patience for my broken heart and reminded me of how I deserve to be treated. Even though we are not meant to be together as lovers, we are still close friends and continue to support each other in our dreams, passions and goals. (He just sent me the new logo for Live More Happy that we designed together!)
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I have shared my story of heart break and my struggle to over come the betrayal, however I want to share the other side, the stories of positive transition from lovers to friends. A romantic relationship does not have to end as “someone I used to know.” It takes patience, compassion and maturity but these relationships can transform and be positive parts of our lives.

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We can get so bitter with our own disappointment in how our expectations didn’t work out. If we can view heartbreak with a positive light and not focus on the hurt, we can be grateful for the growth we experienced during the relationship even after it is over. If we are lucky, we end up with lifelong friends who know us at our best and worst and still love and appreciate us for all our beautiful and ugly parts. I am so grateful to have exceptional exes like mine. And if any future ex boyfriends are reading this, I hope this goes for you too. ;)

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Last Sunday I participated in a sacred Hindu water ceremony at a set of temples on a bluff over looking the ocean in Sanur, Bali, with a healer named Bunda who took myself and my three travel companions on a day long prayer and intention setting ceremony that involved bathing in a river that flows into the ocean, being splashed by high priests with holy water and entering a cave filled with a golden Buddha and praying for whatever it is we were in need of.

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I prayed for forgiveness and peace of mind. It has been something I have struggled with my whole life and while I am a loving person I am not easily forgiving. I have always struggled with letting go of past wounds and my personal mission on this trip was a search for a relief and some release from my tight grip on painful memories.

After the 5 hours of ceremony, Bunda explained that to show our commitment to what we are asking for, we must pick a day, Monday or Thursday to fast for seven weeks, starting at 5am until 7am, absolutely nothing to eat or drink. At 7pm you must shower, pray for what you want and then only eat white rice. I accepted this challenge as a sign of commitment to myself and Mondays will be my day of deep thought, prayer and emotional self love while fasting. 

As I write I am enjoying my 7:30pm bowl of rice, the first thing I have eaten since I went to bed at 1am (with a bag of my favorite Mexican tostitos) Today I woke up at Las Rocas Resort, my favorite Mexico destination just 30 minutes south of San Diego, on a cliff over looking the ocean, surrounded by friends who accompanied me yesterday to the Door of Faith Orphanage to volunteer and bring some Navidad cheer.

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I skipped the free breakfast Las Rocas gave our group (breakfast is my favorite meal and Las Rocas has great desayuno!) and skipped the fish taco and ceviche lunch as well as ignored the tostilocos and churros in the border line on the way back. I could say that it was torture but in every craving I found strength and in every desire for instant gratification I felt a commitment to getting what I want, inner peace.

I also realized that there are billions of people in the world, including children living all around me, who face this kind of hunger and longing every day, and not by choice. My awareness was so much higher and I felt so much more compassion for them all day today.

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My bowl of plain white rice tastes so amazing to me because I went without. I am so grateful to be eating it because I have been living with hunger all day. I am so much more grateful for the ability to eat when I’m hungry and eat the best food. I am grateful I only know hunger by choice.

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Burning man has been over for a few weeks now and our newsfeed is flooded with strange pictures of dusty characters with bug eyed goggles and status updates about the magic of the playa.

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Burning man was an incredible experience full of surprise and adventure around every corner.

Burning Man Did Not Change My Life.

I have heard, like many of you, that Burning Man is “Life Changing” and being the thrill seeking, life expanding, adventure junkie I am, I had to see for myself what all the hype was about.

I saw the most amazing costumes and theatrics, art and technology explode out of no where in the middle of the desert, with no other purpose, other than to enjoy the moment. That is the true magic behind burning man.

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With a lifetime of events and parties already under my belt it would take quite a bit to “blow my mind” so the first day during my first burn, I was surprised to find myself speechless. I was an observer of the radical and my mind simply flooded with thoughts and ideas and all I wanted to do was write about it.

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My marketing mind searched for a reason WHY all of this energy, time and money was dumped into this. There was no branding, no sponsors or even signs of what or where anything was going on. I felt like I was in an alternate universe where time and days no longer mattered and it was just about staying hydrated, sleeping a few hours at a time but waking up before sunrise to make it to the best parties. Everything was dirty and everyone shared without a care of germs or disease. Its like everyone felt immune as long as we were on the playa. We were all one big happy family.

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Parties were stopped for “moop” collecting and although I am always collecting trash in nature, I was delighted in seeing all the “cool kids” suddenly give a shit too.

Then I realized WHY Burning Man is so unique and special. Its the only place in the world I have ever been where everyone acted like friends, everyone respected their environment and everyone wanted to have a good time while finding any way to make everyone around them have a good time too.

The social norm called for it. It was still the peer “pressure” of wanting to be accepted into the community, of not being the odd one left out. Radical Inclusion, they call it. Everyone is IN.

(As long as you follow the Burning Man ethos!)

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As I was waiting for my luggage at the Reno airport, a healthy, safe, 4 feet from the carousel,  (so I could see when my bag was coming but not block anyone else,) I was excited for all the fun and cool people I was about to meet, some of which were standing all around me, embarking on the same long journey “Home.” No ones eyes met mine, no one hugged me or even smiled at me. Then, one obvious “Burner” shoved himself and his large luggage cart right in between me and the comfortable distance I was leaving between the carousel.

So what is the difference between Burning Man and the Reno Airport? Its certainly not the people. It is the social pressure. No one expects you to be loving, giving, considerate and friendly at the airport.

I am. I love making friends, smiling at strangers, at TSA agents and helping people with their luggage. I do not need to go wear my underwear in the desert to feel the joy and freedom of being self expressed and happy to help others. I can be that way every day and everywhere if I chose, and so can you.

Burning man is a place where this reality is actualized, where humans agree to create a happy world of peace and unity. Its possible, but only if we make it cool.

Burning man did not change my life because this is my life. I’m hoping its yours too.

Love, “Flamingo”

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Happy International Happiness Day!

What have you done to celebrate today? Why not celebrate EVERYDAY?  You deserve it.

In honor of this Happy Holiday I want to share some of my favorite tips to Living More Happy.

1. Get Outside

  • Its easy to go through our days from home, car, work, car, home and only stepping outside to move between each place. How often do we sit outside and enjoy the world around us? Even in less than desirable weather, there is something to be said for breathing in fresh air after a rain or snow, even if for a minute.
  • If you’re as lucky as us San Diegans, you should be taking your lunch, phone calls, even business meetings outside! I have been having my meetings on Mission Bay or the PB boardwalk for a walk or under a tree somewhere. Walking barefoot across grass or sand does wonders for the soul. Try it and maybe even get brave and do a cartwheel!

2. Get Grateful

  • Make a list of all the things in your life you are happy for and put it somewhere you will always see. I keep mine on the inside of my medicine cabinet and read it twice a day while brushing my teeth.
  • My new favorite happy habit is saying thanks before each meal. Weather it is in prayer form, Buddhist blessing or just an exclamation of “Wow I am so grateful to have this meal I am about to enjoy” raises the vibrations of your food and creates a much more aware and gracious attitude about eating, not just mindlessly stuffing our faces. ;)
  • Tell someone everyday how grateful you are for them. Shoot a quick text or email or pic up the phone and call! It will definitely make their day and remind you of how lucky you are to have them and cherish them.

3. Be Proactive About Your Happiness!

Its not easy to just BE Happy. It takes practice and persistence. Set yourself up for success by creating positive reminders like Happy messages to yourself in the form of post-it notes, alarms on your phone, smiley face keychains, whatever it is that reminds you to smile.

Here are my favorite Happy Practices:

  • Instead of going to bed to TV or silence, I turn on binaural beats, ambient music that helps me with my relaxation, mediation and actually has positive impacts on your brain! Click here for my favorite bed time tune. You can also use binaural beats to energize you in the morning, focus throughout the day or meditate!
  • I also just signed up for a Meditation Vacation, a week long program through Happier, an app that helps you log happy moments in life making you more grateful and overall happier! Sign up here to join and get happier or just download the app HAPPIER.
There are SO many more things you can do to Live More Happy so be sure to join the Happy Family for more tips and sweet tricks and remember…..

 

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