Ted Talk Friday: The toxic female gaze

I love the entertaining intro to this talk–cracks me up every time! This talk resonates with me; how many times have you looked up to find someone staring at you and automatically felt judged based on how you look? Watch the talk to learn more about the origin off where that might come from and why.

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Do you think this is more prevalent in females? Do you often feel others looking at you and feel like it’s a toxic gaze?

Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

I’ve had When Breath Becomes Air on my list for about three years. I’ve often prioritized other books or put off reading it because I knew it would be heavy and difficult. Luckily it was our book club pick for this month and I am so glad I finally read it.

This book was written by a Stanford neurosurgeon diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. He describes his life, philosophy, and reflections on practicing medicine and dying. Yes, it was incredibly sad, but it was so much more than sad. I stayed up two hours past my usual bedtime reading this–caught up in a journey even when I already knew the ending.

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The writing was so beautiful; the thoughts so insightful and grounding. His reflections made me think about my own mortality and facing death of those we love. He lived his life so fully with a dedication to his goals & values. His book is a testament to this and will continue to impact the world long after his passing.

I went to an Emory alumni dinner this past weekend, and one alum brought her husband who happened to be a neurosurgeon at Stanford. Since I just finished the book and wanted to create conversation, I brought up that I had just finished the book. To my surprise, the neurosurgeon had actually worked with Paul Kalanithi and knew him well. I was slightly shocked at how nonchalantly I had brought it up; I immediately apologized. He stopped me and said that he was glad that the book was having such a broad impact–the best possible outcome for such a tragedy.

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It also reminded me that Paul was not a mythical figure, but a real person who died only a few short years ago. His legacy lives on not only through his book, but also through the hundreds of physicians, nurses, patients, and friends with whom he interacted. A few days after finishing the book, I was listening to NPR One and a Modern Love podcast episode came on (also an essay–“When a Couch is More Than a Couch”)…it was all about a woman who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at 39. It was deeply engaging; and the twist at the end connected back to the book. Definitely give it a listen!

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Ted Talk Friday: Beyond Labels: Bridging Differences Through Storytelling

My wonderful, brilliant friend Kate recommended this talk to me during our most recent chat. I loved the overarching narrative that guides this talk by Not Baum. Her message is one that is crucial during a time of such division, especially within the US. I hope you enjoy!

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Do you struggle to understand the perspective of others? When was the last time you listened to the story of someone you disagreed with?

#CABE SF: A weekend as an extroverted introvert

This weekend was jam-packed with social fun! If you know me, you know this sounds a bit strange…I am a deeply extroverted introvert.

*What does this mean?*

It means I love being around people, but get my energy and feel recharged through alone time–learn more about this in the book Quiet by Susan Cain. I spent both of my days meeting new people and catching up with old friend.

Saturday: I met a new friend for coffee and talked on the phone for over two hours. Yes, two. This is what happens when some of your best friends live hundreds of miles away.

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With plenty of snacks of course

Sunday: I started the day at an amazing event hosted by California Bloggers.

Look at the crazy line to get in:

Huge thanks to my friend Pauline from Sweatpink for hooking me up with the event! I met up with a few other Sweatpink ladies there (Sara and Melissa) , but also had the chance to meet some inspiring female bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Dee Gautham of @squats_and_samosas started the day with her amazing journey from unhappy project manager to entrepreneur living her dream without sacrificing quality of life. She emphasized the importance of vulnerability, which really resonated with me as I try to share both my bad and good days equally.

Danetha Doe of Money & Mimosas  talked about financial independence and how to grow your own personal business (or side hustle).

Danetha broke down her talk into the “5 P’s” for entrepreneurs:

1) know your why/purpose

2) people-getting clear on who is in your community..find your tribe

3) pricing-know what your packages are; how are you helping brands? what are your specific talents you can put a price tag on?

4) positioning- even if you have 2k followers, that doesn’t matter…it’s all about communicating to brands & letting brand know you can help them get to their goals

5) pitching yourself-brag about yourself (yes, brag!), you have skills & a unique message to share..be very clear with companies & business owners; provide a one pager vs. deck based on the conversation…and do your research!

Misha Skova of Skova talked about her development as a person and how the changes in her life have changed her brand. Having a family shifted her brand and she discussed the importance of going with that flow, while still maintaining the vision.

And last but not least the amazing lady behind @girlandthebay, Mandy Ansari. Mandy is an instagram goddess and instantly made me feel comfortable–like she was a friend. She provided her top ten tips for Instagram:

1. Know who you are—being authentic self is so important

2. Find your audience-keep to what they (and you) are interested in

3. Teach yourself how to do something—stay intellectually curious and learn about ads, design, Lynda/YouTube skills–the internet provides endless opportunities for learning

4. There’s an app for that!-look for apps that are great for photo editing to up your photo game

5. Be original (duh?)

6. Be professional-always respond to emails, be courteous, and outsource via upwork if necessary

7. Good things take time & patience; it took Mandy 7 years to grow her account

8. Invest in yourself- try Khan academy, General Assembly, skillshare.com…there are so many resources out there and you are worth the time and money

9. Stay honest

10. Tap it back-respond to everyone & share the love

Plus we got tons of adorable goodies in our gift bags thanks to the amazing sponsors!

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Thanks to…

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Ted Talk Friday: The business benefits of doing good

I know a lot of skeptics say that you cannot run a successful business and also prioritize doing good. Woods delivers a convincing talk supported by numerous examples and hard data that is hard to argue with. She does a great job of bridging the awkward gap of social good and good business.

 

 

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Do you agree? Why do you think there’s a misconception that social good takes away from profit?

NYC Eats: foodie love on the East coast

I was on the road for about two weeks between business and spending time at home. I had the chance to spend a weekend in NYC visiting a dear friend from college, Zoe, and hanging out with an new friend I met through health blogging! My first meal on Friday was a HIT! We started our evening at Souen, and it was delicious. We split the sautéed mushrooms to start and I enjoyed a macrobiotic plate for my main. I loved that it included kabocha—my friend, Zoe, and I initially met because we both loved this squash (I’m 100% serious) and here we are 4 years later!

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For dessert, we enjoyed some of Hungry Root’s delicious black bean brownie batter–sooo delicious! My friend has been working for this amazing company for years so I was thrilled to try one of her creations 🙂

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We ate breakfast on the go before an amazing kickboxing class at Shadowboxing–one of my favorite workout classes to date! It had a great vibe—dark, music that was just loud enough (not too loud), challenging but without any judgement! It was intervals of boxing moves, strength conditioning, cardio, & bag work. Workout rating: 10/10

After getting all cleaned up, we enjoyed a later lunch at Hu Kitchen (it’s all over instagram and I kept hearing amazing things)…

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Next up was an extravagant dinner at The Little Beet Table. Almost everything on the menu sounded superb so we tried not to order everything…we started out with an arugula fennel salad. It wasn’t anything too exciting, but definitely tasted light and fresh.

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Now this dish stole the show; the beetroot tartare–black pepper-lemon yogurt, hazelnut, watercress, horseradish…an incredible combination of sweet, bitter, and tangy.

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My entree pick was the grilled cauliflower steak on a bed of green curry served up with maitake mushrooms, a salad of market herbs, apple & almond. I could have easily eaten an entire plate of the mushrooms! The other entree we ordered was the Atlantic salmon with daikon & carrot slaw, baby bok choy, coconut & turmeric; the curry sauce was quite spicy, but the combination was fantastic.   

Apparently the brussel sprouts are a must at the Little Beet Table so we ordered a side of those as well–they were delicious! A little on the oily side for my taste, but incredibly flavorful. Even a veggie hater would love these.

One of my last meals in the city was a great big kale & shaved brussel sprout salad with a bunch of roasted almonds, beets & orange.

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Do you prioritize good eats when you travel? Do you crave veggies when you’re on the go?

One thing you should always do

Now I’m the first to say I don’t know the answers and am certainly no font of wisdom, but there is one thing I do know. Always go to the funeral. Always. If it’s your friend’s grandmother, go. If it’s your great aunt who you hardly knew, go. If it’s a childhood friend, go.

Funerals are quite possibly one of the most devastating and beautiful events we can participate in. It’s the sadness of a spirit and life lost, but also a celebration of all the lives that person touched. The past eight months have been some of the most difficult I’ve had. Coping with the loss of a peer, a loved one, really took me down with full force. I’ve written about it at length here; writing so much has helped ease the pain. What really helped me most was showing up & being present for his memorial. Hugging his parents close, seeing old photos of us, sharing memories with friends.

I had the sad opportunity to attend a memorial service for a dear friend’s mother this past weekend. She died too young with so much fight in her–she embodied spunk. While I was not close to her, I love her son. He’s been a true friend for years. He’s shown up for me for all those years, and these times are when you need everyone you know to simply show up. Whether you send a card, give a hug, or lend an ear–it matters so much.

It’s not always easy to put on the black dress, grab the Kleenex, and go to the church or service, but it’s what’s right. My mom taught me this when I was in seventh grade and my friend’s grandmother passed away. She told me that I needed to go; that it mattered beyond what my 12 year old mind would imagine.

While I’ve been lucky enough to never have to suffer the loss of an immediate family member, that means I can’t know the difficulty that would accompany those moments. What I do know is that I want to be surrounded by love, support, and compassion.

Ted Talk Friday: The secret to living longer may be your social life

I have posted talks on this topic in the past, but I don’t think the importance of social interaction can be emphasized enough. Pinker doesn’t just talk about social connectedness, but she also compares social connectedness to the impact of other health factors. I hope you enjoy.

 

 

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Do you make the time to maintain relationships? Do you think you will be the happy or the grumpy old man? 😉