Live More Happy
Living Loving and Traveling the World

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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 



With Love,



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!”


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.) 

old couple

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.) 

Perry Paolini Lindsay hawley relationships love

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. 


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! 


lantern festival travel lover wanderlust adventure explore

In 31 days I have seen nine countries and each time I have left a bit of my heart behind.

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Every time the plane lifts off the runway, my heart feels heavy, like a piece of me is still somewhere far off in the distance in the streets, jungles and beaches I have learned to love.

travel wanderlust love adventure explore world lover

With two weeks left on this trip, I am sad to see this adventure end, but excited for what is ahead for our company, Givebackpackers and my future travel plans.

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Traveling like this is a lesson in loving unconditionally and without attachment. Like a romance, you enter a foreign place with an idea of what you want, but are given so much more through excitement, mystery, adventure and also, the challenges. You throw yourself into the culture, wander the streets lost and open to discoveries of yourself and the city.

travel adventure wanderlust

Like a new lover, you clumsily learn your way around, marvel at the beauty of the new sights and allow your breath to be taken, unexpectedly. Your heart expands as you learn the pain in their history, feeling compassion and inspired by their resilience.

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Although you know it will not last, you spend each day with your new place, soaking it all up and wanting to learn as much as you can before parting ways. Your time together is short but you make it as sweet as possible, loving without knowing when you will visit again and leaving without holding on. 

lake como italy italia travel wanderlust adventure  Like with all love, you cannot keep it or own but the memories and the photos.

cambodia angkor wat travel adventure explore wanderlust traveler lover

Travel is my lover.

September 27, 2014

I’ve had a lot of bad days. We all have. Contrary to what our facebook profiles might reflect, life is hard and sometimes it knocks us down so hard, no status or instagram filter can even begin to express how we feel.

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I scroll back through social media history, my timelines, messages and photos and see so many amazing memories, adventures, trips and friends, its hard to even believe the pain I have gone through the last year. You probably wouldn’t believe it by looking at my profiles or blog either. Here’s the truth, without shame or fear of what you might think, because the ugly parts are just as important.

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A year ago today, September 27th, 2013, my heart broke. I think it cracked right down the middle.

As I was flipping through photos on my boyfriends ipad, in our beautiful house by the beach, that together, we made a home, my stomach dropped as I saw photos of girls I recognized, models he had shot for his clients’ photoshoots the last few months, but they weren’t from any photoshoot. There were dozens of  photos of different girls, shameless selfies, photos of him in our bed he had definitely never sent me.  Even screenshots of naked pics from Snapchat. (Yeah, you think its a safe route, ladies?)

Even writing about it now makes me shake and feel sick.

I was in disbelief. I completely lost my mind that day, and while he was giving his Oscar worthy performance to prove his love for me and his “commitment to living a life of integrity,”

Live More Happy cheating breakup heartbreak photographer David Manning Photographers  DMP photography San Diego Red Photobooth American Idol Morgan Leigh Boberg Band cheater

I was getting all the details from the girls who I easily identified and were already fed up with his lies and manipulation.

One girl told me she felt terrible when she realized he “still” had a girlfriend and ended things with him after months of dating. He continued to pursue her until the day I caught him. She said he had convinced her we were done, that I had moved out but my stuff was still there. (He forgot to mention I was also paying rent.)

Live More Happy cheating breakup heartbreak photographer David Manning Photographers  DMP photography San Diego Red Photobooth American Idol Morgan Leigh Boberg Band cheater

She sent me the letters he sent her with the same things he told me, showed me cards and photos of coffee and flowers he delivered her while I was away, working.

She even told me the day he had flown to Vegas to surprise me, picked out an engagement ring and even discussed the story we would tell our grandkids about “this day,” he had woken up in her bed.

Live More Happy cheating breakup heartbreak photographer David Manning Photographers  DMP photography San Diego American Idol Morgan Leigh Boberg Band cheater

From the day he surprised me in Vegas to take me ring shopping. I was so fooled.

Devastated is a word that is commonly misused, but I think it is fitting to describe how I felt.

I loved him and was not ring shopping and building a life and home together because I enjoy playing pretend. I was in it for real and I was in deep. I loved so hard that it hurt me and my individuality. I gave up parts of myself and my life that I loved because I wanted to sacrifice to show I cared. I lost a lot of who I was and it has taken me a year to regain a lot of it back.

I threw myself into work. I “picked myself back up” instantly because I didn’t want people to think I was weak. I wanted to get back to being happy because, well, I am Miss “Live More Happy.” I didn’t want to be depressed over someone who didn’t value and respect me.

A week later I was giving a talk to 100 entrepreneur women about overcoming obstacles at Inner Goddess Unleashed, and the following weekend I was hosting a fundraiser and coordinating 25 volunteers on a trip to Mexico to visit Door of Faith Orphanage.

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I put my happy face on and got into “do” mode, so that I could avoid “being.” Just being me, being still, being here, meant I had to feel the pain and face the reality. No matter what I did, where I flew off to, I could not escape what I felt inside.

I kept my heart completely guarded. I decided men were of no interest and the ones I did spend time with were distractions, remaining completely unattached and closed off to anyone that could mean anything.

I joked that I built a wall of smart, beautiful and inspiring women around me, but it is true. The kindness, patience, support and love that has poured out of my friends on to me has been the most beautiful acts of friendship I have ever seen.

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Because of this situation, I now feel more connected and loved than ever before in my life. You ladies tolerated me at my worst and loved me even harder. I’m crying for the first time while writing this because of how deeply you have touched my heart.

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In a very “The Other Woman” kind of way, I even have bonded with several of the other girls he was seeing. We have chosen kindness and to support each other, looking past the negative common denominator and have become honest friends over our other common interests. (Let’s face it, he has excellent taste in women.) I had to learn to remove my own insecurity, jealousy and anger and feel empathy for their hurt and frustration as well. (Happy Anniversary to you too, ladies. I love you.)

I have learned more about compassion and self love this past year than in 25 years of being alive. I had to have my heart and trust completely broken. I have shared more about myself, become more vulnerable with the people I know and with people I don’t. I’ve had people I’ve never met reach out to love and support me, tell me they knew how I felt.

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I have attended the School of Inner Beauty, created my own sisterhood retreat centered around community service and purpose, and recently joined the Free Your Voice coaching group where I am stepping outside my comfort zone even further to express my heart through song. I am even shifting my blog from a “database of events and causes” to my personal story with my first person voice to share my journey through the struggle to live more happy. I realized I have been hiding a lot of who I am and by sharing more of myself, my “weakness” and my heartache, I have become closer and more connected to people I never knew were even listening.

I’m certainly closer to myself, and in fact, got engaged to me during a wonderful heARTists way workshop hosted by Debbie Lichter and Jess Johnson.

engagement ring

Thank YOU for being apart of it. Thank you for reading this and weather you can relate or just think I am crazy, thank you for being here and now, sharing with me in my moment of truth and honesty, regardless of how scared it makes me.

There you have it, my ugly truth. It has been the best year and the worst year, but as much as I used to wish I could go back and somehow change everything, I wouldn’t.


One of those girls I discovered in that ipad is still with him, and they just publicly celebrated their year anniversary in July. If they are proud enough to share it, so am I! ;)Live More Happy cheating breakup heartbreak Red photobooth photographer David Manning Photographers  DMP photography San Diego American Idol Morgan Leigh Boberg Band cheater

Live More Happy cheating breakup heartbreak photographer David Manning Photographers  DMP Red photobooth photography San Diego American Idol Morgan Leigh Boberg Band


Well, if the rest is history, here I am! ;)

I am proud to celebrate my year anniversary with myself, my true, honest self, today, September 27, 2014.

*** UPDATE: To read HIS side of the story for an interesting perspective, visit his site***

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Oh, and HelloAmanda, you were right. ;)

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How can a simple sweet question have so much pressure behind it? I have always loved Valentines day, or any holiday or any day really that was different and fun. Who doesn’t like wearing green and drinking green beer on St. Patricks, regardless of if you are Irish or even know why we celebrate it so enthusiastically here in America? Just like “Spirit Days”  in high school, these unofficial, cultural holidays should be fun and just another reason to celebrate life. So why is there so much negativity these days around Valentines Day?

I remember when every kid in class got a Valentine, there were heart shaped cookies and candies involved and maybe you spent an whopping 15 minutes on a handmade card for that special someone you hoped noticed your extra effort. Now, if you don’t have a romantic evening of roses, champagne, fancy dinner reservations and some jewelry in the mix somewhere you are supposed to feel bitter or unloved.


I can understand someone who is legitimately heartbroken over a lost love or recent romantic disappointment but why so much Anti Valentines energy going around?

People should realize that the pressure comes from those evil marketing campaigns meant to make you feel like if you aren’t buying or being bought what they are selling, you aren’t in the club this year.

I would like to take a stand and remind people that LOVE is not just meant for romance or for one person. Love begins with yourself and once you realize that, you will not need flowers or a box of chocolates to feel validated, you can fully enjoy roses or a box of chocolates courtesy of the person who loves you most, YOU.

In addition to being our own Valentine, look around at ALL the potential Valentines you have all around you. The past few years I have enjoyed dressing in ridiculous pink outfits and passing out heart suckers to anyone I came in contact with through out the day, clients, people at the gas station, post office, friends and neighbors. I have found I felt happier and more full of love than if I was spending the day with only one special person.

This past year I wanted to extend the bottomless love I have been experiencing lately with some of my neighbors who really need love. I coordinated with another inspiring community leader, Nadav Wilf,  Founder of Discover SD and CEO of ENLTD, a “for purpose” lifestyle network and a dear true friend to me and our friend Francine to become “Project Cupid.” We went through Downtown San Diego passing out Valentines candy, Starbucks coffee, water bottles, cupcakes and lunch bags with an assortment of supplies like hand sanitizer, chapstick, gloves and tooth brushes.

We heard incredible stories of struggle, illness, families coming together or falling apart but most of all, gratitude. Everyone was polite, gracious, honest and in generally good spirits. If the group split up and I offered someone something they would say “No thank you, your friend already came by.”  I was shocked. In all the hours I have spent passing free stuff out for promotions I have never experienced as much unselfish, grateful and polite behavior as I did this Valentines day. As Nadav’s account described:

“ I was really taken aback by how polite, thankful, but most of all how present they were. Each person had a story and genuine caring for one another and I felt really connected to them. It reinforced the notion that we are all one. We all want the same things out of life and in one way or another, we are all at times lost in our path to attaining love and happiness.”

As I sat on the train, writing this and reflecting on Love, a young man sat next to me and began reading over my shoulder. He asked what I was doing and I told him about my blog. He then pulled it up on his iphone and began asking me all about my travels and questions unrelated to my blog as well. At first I was giving short answers and trying to continue my flow of writing but he continued to interrupt me and I refrained from feeling annoyed but still didn’t want to lose my concentration. He then asked if the words inscribed on the inside of my forearm were a tattoo. I stopped and looked at my arm, the fresh ink I just got yesterday and the raised words “What Would Love Do?”

Here I am writing a blog about giving kindness and love to anyone and everyone and I was missing this opportunity to connect with the person next to me. We spent the next 15 minutes discussing his goals in life and how we both love our Grandmas and want to be there for them as much as possible. He got off at Fullerton to go visit his Grandma and help around the house and I was almost sad to see him go. I am confident in my decision to put those words permanently on the most visible part of my body to me. I always said I would never go above my ankles and joked I would probably end up with “socks” instead of “sleeves” but this has already made a positive impact on my life and will forever remind me to Be Love. Besides being one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, it is in Jason Mraz’s handwriting from the love note he wrote me at Sundance. Now that’s what I call Love.


(Jason and Toca sing a capella at the show I saw at Spreckles in San Diego in November)

Happy Valentines day. Love to you. Every day.

First, Be Love. Its easy.

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