Say NO to Hesitation & Fear

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I tend to struggle a great deal with tackling various tasks, life adventures, or projects out of fear of failing. Who will join me in just going for it? What do we have to lose anyway? Take this note into the weekend, let it sit and simmer on your brain, and let’s all start next week off in full slay mode. Happy Friday!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! Single? Taken? Don’t give an EFF about today? Who cares! In our opinion, every day should be treated like Valentine’s Day – whatever this day means to you. Check out an older post of mine The Other 364 for more on that topic.

If you are single and are feeling bummed about not having a significant other, please be kind to yourself today. This Hallmark-generated holiday shouldn’t be solely about celebrating your romantic relationships, so tend to your other relationships and people that are currently in your life.  

Grab dinner with the girls. Enjoy a guys night or some bro time. Go see a movie or schedule a movie marathon for the weekend. Let’s be real here – we can’t be having slumber parties on a Thursday night. We are grown-ass working adults. If for some reason you can have mid-week slumber parties, I’m jealous.

What do S and I have planned you ask? We’ll be making some low-carb calzones and enjoying red wine berry spritzers! I’m actually pretty excited about it. We’ve been better about getting out and exploring romantic spots of Indianapolis, but a night in is always the height of excellence for us.

Enjoy the day, everyone!

J

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3 Things I’m Obsessing Over

Hello! It’s been a minute huh? We’ve been pretty busy here at Gays in the Life headquarters, but I had to pop in and share 3 things I’m currently obsessing over:

 

 

marie kondo

First. Marie Kondo and her Netflix show Tidying Up flew into our lives and completely turned it upside down. I’ve always been great at going through my closet and donating items I no longer needed, but the Marie and her KonMari method helped us take this process to the next level. S and I quickly dove into every closet, cabinet, and drawer and ended up completely reorganizing our condo. We feel light these days! And it’s all thanks to Marie Kondo.

 

Becoming MO

Second. Michelle Obama’s November 2018 release, Becoming, absolutely stole my heart. I enjoyed the book via Audible and loved every second of every hour of Michelle’s voice in my ears. Getting to learn about the little girl who became the social and political force that is Michelle Obama lifted my spirit and felt like a giant hug. She shared wisdom, love, and an honest perspective of what it’s like in her shoes. Being an African-American male, it didn’t take much for me to connect to this book. Michelle shared struggles and triumphs that all black people experience. The better part of this point, however, is that the stories shared can resonate with any reader with a heart and an open mind.

 

Troye Sivan

Last. Troye Sivan’s Bloom is contagious. The Australian singer’s second studio album was released August 2018, but have only just now hit my earbuds. I can’t share how many times I’ve let this album play on repeat on commutes, during gym sessions, or cleaning sprees, but the number is pretty damned high. My favorite song is the title track, Bloom, and my second favorite is What A Heavenly Way to Die – so beautiful and moody, that one. Give Bloom a spin if you haven’t already! You won’t be disappointed.

Some of My Daily Tools

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Just a few items that helped me start my day today. After a shower and quick cold-water rinse of the face, I dug into some of my fave daily tools:

– Now Solutions apricot oil for a flawless glow. Yes gentlemen… you too can glow. Skincare is essential.

– Murray’s pomade (mixed with coconut oil) to lay down the frizz.  My hair is crazy, crazy I tell you! Even at this short length. A good brush comes in handy for my hair type.

– Wilma Schumann collagen eye patches (before apricot oil is applied)

– Bath and Body works Bourbon Shea Butter Body Cream. Don’t sleep on these body creams, gentlemen.

– Burberry London cologne, because, duh. Burberry is my favorite!

– A good trimmer to touch up the beard and hairline in between haircuts

Life’s Candle: Interlude

The flame meets room temperature wax and their controlled chaos is stirred. One solid and unwavering, and the other performing a fiery dance with breezy spontaneity.  Together they are resilient and unmatched in the levels of patience they’ve achieved. The past couple of months, the cylindrical glass home they inhabit had been restless with ambition – proving to be a real test as the rewards of hard work presented themselves. Together they’d burned a shortcut into shared destiny’s plan for success and the journey was exhausting. Each night they’re thankful for well-deserved rest. Wax hardens from it’s tired liquid state, as the flame becomes one with the night’s air. Both the wax and the flame enjoy smokey relaxation before sleep – a vacation from life’s heavy rotation. There’ll come a day we don’t have to burn towards our goals so fiercely. Sit back and relax will just come another day.

Meditative Monday Mindfulness – 11.5.18

Good morning, readers!

 

I’m super proud of myself. Wanna know why? I managed to get to bed at a decent hour, after doing homework and things for the podcast, woke up at 4:30 a.m., and got my ass to the pool for open swim. I know, I know, 4:30 a.m. is crazy early, but I desperately need to be back on a regular workout schedule.

After about thirty-five minutes of swimming this morning, I spent a good fifteen minutes in the dry sauna.  I really enjoy the heat of a sauna, especially after a workout. Your muscles get a nice, relaxing blast of heat and the restorative benefits are pretty great. The feeling in the dry sauna reminds of me a hot yoga session – except you aren’t doing a series of poses. I like to sit with myself, in silence, and roll my neck and shoulders gently as I enter meditative thought.

I’m not particularly social in the mornings, so it’s a bonus that by the time I get to the sauna, that I’m the only one there. This makes it easy to meditate. I closed my eyes and let the thoughts flow. In two weeks, I will be thirty-two years old. The past few years have been very formative for me as a young professional and young man. I feel like when you enter your thirties, you truly enter your adulthood. I decided this morning that as I push forward with any personal goals, projects, or career moves, that I need to keep it light. It’s amazing, the amount of pressure you can put on yourself without realizing the true weight it exerts.

I spent the majority of my fifteen minutes in the 120-degree heat processing how I accomplish this: Take baby steps and go forth with confidence. Not putting too much pressure on myself if something proves to be more difficult than planned. Being as supportive as I can be to everyone supporting me. And remembering to be patient. What is meant to be, will be.

I plan on starting every Monday this way, so I can keep myself on track throughout the week. It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy, maybe sharing these little blurbs will help some of you remain centered and focused too.

 

Have a great Monday, everyone, and a gorgeous week 🙂

 

“Why we Broke up”

The ebbs and flows of life can be such a whirlwind at times. Adventure and massive success in relationships, while exciting and inspiring, can threaten the connection; the spark that started it all.

Mark and Ethan are a couple that has found huge success with both their YouTube channels. The energy that flows between the two of them is infectious and they shoot absolutely amazing content for their channels.

We’ve followed them on numerous explorations around the world, family visits to the lake house, and my personal favorite, a little town called Bloomington – Go Hoosiers!

I wanted to write a little note about one of Mark and Ethan’s more recent videos, “Why we Broke up.” The title alone shook me. I quaked, honey. These two can’t possibly be separating!

False alarm. There’d be no breakup, but the two did share why Ethan had recently moved into his own apartment, five minutes away from Mark in LA. Some words the two shared hit me like a speeding truck:

Ethan: “We need to re-evaluate how we’re doing individually, because everything was just so habitually together.”

Mark: “Something that you had said, and that will always stick with me is that ‘you want to appreciate my love.’ There are days that I don’t appreciate him, and I don’t want that to be a thing. I just don’t want that to happen.”

This couple has shared so many good times through their lenses and YouTube channels with us. What we as the viewers forget is that these are real people, in real relationships.

It’s amazing that these two have been able to build their platforms together, but what happens when your relationship and business blends too well? Mark and Ethan explained how they need to focus back in on how they’re doing individually, and what a word this is.

Ethan goes on to quote RuPaul.. “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Obviously, I don’t know these guys from Adam, but I get what they’re saying. You need time to focus on you; to take care of you. Without a strong sense of self-love in place, you won’t be able share that with the ones you love.  

I’ve talked before on Gays in the Life about making time for each other and not forgetting to take care of the relationship. A big part of that is taking care of number one so you can continue to be that support system for whoever it is on the receiving end of your love.

I want to thank Mark and Ethan for taking a moment to share these thoughts with us, and to remind us that relationships are work. The highs can be really high, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be low lows.

Put in the work, people! And don’t be afraid to face and enter the shadows – It’s the only way you’ll find that light in the end.