Life

Break-Ups Hurt

Sometimes life has a way of pulling the rug from under your feet that leaves you…breathless.

A relationship in my life that I thought as fundamental, stable and thriving has just ended after a few confusing months.

The emotions that have been going through me during this process are endless.

A mix of sadness, fear, more sadness, regret, guilt, anger, jealousy, over-thinking, helplessness, frustration and more.

I’ve noticed these feelings seem heightened at night and in the mornings.

 

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I have had my fair share of complicated relationships in the past. I used to go from one long relationship to another.

Then I started dating, and it was quite disastrous.  I did the Tinder thing.

Then I finally decided to spend a whole year alone to understand I needed to respect and love myself  before anyone else.

I always thought that my ideal man was blonde, blue eyed, tall, a world traveler, older, and with a college degree.

Instead, I ended up falling in love with someone who is shorter than me (but so so handsome!), brown eyed, dark haired,  younger but more mature  and confident than any guy I’ve ever dated  and with the purest soul I’ve ever encountered.

With him I slowly stripped down all expectations of what I had decided I wanted and I arrived at a place of appreciation of this unexpected gift life had put on my path. I had to distinguish between what made ME happy versus what society thought was right for me. 

I found in him an unfazed, strong and honest companion. There were good hearted laughs, interesting conversation and an authentic, sweet connection that didn’t need to be explained.We have fun together with the simplest of things.

 

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The relationship began long distance all the way from California. This relationship defied everybody’s (including my) expectations and lasted for a year and a half of broken-up phone calls with bad reception, endless texts and a few fun trips in between.

Last year,I finally took the plunge and moved to Costa Rica during the rainy season. And it was hard. The relationship became strained. But there was never a doubt in my mind we would make it through it. Following that, there were ups and down, just like any other relationship. But it was all so new. Living together, and especially  living together in the jungle was something neither of us had done before.

And then things took a turn for the worse. Lack of communication, lack of respect, and just the daily grind making us forget about how special it all was. Making us forget about the big picture and what really matters.

In Italy, in California,  everyone is asking about him. Everybody I know loves him. And I do too.

 

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I am aware I can only control my feelings, my intentions and my behavior. Not his.

I am also aware that self- love is the biggest form of love.

I realize It takes courage and strength to keep believing in a relationship when the other person is doubting it.

I understand that most people I speak to in regards to this matter have an opinion about it, and it’s not always easy nor heathy for me to hear it.

I realize that loving someone sometimes means giving them space to thrive and experience on their own.

I realize that love evolves. The feeling of falling in love we have in the beginning  changes overtime and transforms.

I realize that sometimes overthinking leads to complete madness. Feeling is a much better way to go.

I realize that communication with another person is always confusing, especially in second languages. We think we are being clear, but the other person is most likely interpreting our message as something completely different.

I believe in being completely honest and transparent in what I feel and what I want. It is very important to voice one’s wants even if that means putting ego aside.

I realize that fear plays a big role. Fear of the unknown, the what-ifs- and thinking the worse.

I am aware that this process is making me evolve. I have had to evaluate some of my actions and behaviors and learn from my mistakes. I am learning to be vulnerable in the process, show when I am sad or hurt instead of get angry.

I realize as humans we hurt each other, purposefully or unconsciously. Only when we are able to surpass that hurt are we then able to find that below all the fights, the social media BS, the things said, there might still be something valuable.

I realize relationships happen by means of compatibility,  love,  timing, priorities  and a will to work on them.

I realize that break ups are hard and confusing and frustrating and sad and maddening and, and, and. AND, I know I will survive this and thrive even though it does not feel like it right now (and that’s not to minimize the current pain).

This moment calls for stepping back, releasing control over all the plans that I so carefully lined up, and letting the individual process unravel:   taking this time for me and making myself happy and healthy. Pressing the reset button. Taking a mental break.  Finding peace of mind. Getting away from everybody. Being selfish. When my heart will be fully happy and healed, I will be thinking very differently than now. At that point, my heart will just know.

 

Valentina Rose Yoga Break-up Hurts Hands in Prayer

Blog, Life

REFLECTION FROM A LIFE OF YOGA AND TRAVEL BETWEEN THE U.S. AND COSTA RICA

Today I am lucky to have endless possibilities. I can find jobs online, rent an apartment on Craigslist or Airbnb, hop on a flight, find my way in most cities with GPS and make a living anywhere on the globe.

Sounds easy. So, I just gotta choose, right? In the process of choosing and searching I have encountered many memorable moments, a few challenges, and most importantly, I’ve grown.

Valentina Rose Blog Yoga Travel Abroad In US and Costa Rica
Photo Credit: David Yaugo Photography

The Dilemma

The fact that I have not lived in a permanent place for the past three years is puzzling to my parents.  They consider it highly inappropriate for someone my age to go back and forth between the U.S. and Costa Rica for extended periods of time.  They say :”When are you going to grow up? Quit this silly yoga gig? When will you think about your 401K, settle down somewhere?”

Other people say:”Travel as much as you can. Now is the time. The experiences you gain from traveling are priceless.Don’t ever pull back from an opportunity, or pursuing further education just because you think it’s “too late.”

Some of my friends have settled now. They have kids. They no longer go to Burning Man, they don’t book vacations on a whim. Some of my friends have responsibilities, real stressful jobs that they need to be accountable for. They look at me with a hint of jealousy.

So why is my life so different? Am I just not getting the memo? Am I affected by the Peter Pan syndrome and don’t want to grow up?

Valentina Rose Blog Yoga Travel Abroad In US and Costa Rica Oensive
Photo Credit: David Yaugo Photography

 

The Responsible Thing To Do

Sometimes I wonder if I should quit my precarious yoga wages and get a grown-up job at Google.  One where I wear a formal -and slightly sexy- outfit for the interview and spend hours on a resume and cover letter.  Finally get some health benefit like an adult.

But what’s not what I want!

I have goals of building my yoga career and pursuing more travel. The only thing is, not living in one place has been translating into precarious financial means.  You see, in this world, in my parent’s eyes, and hell, in mine too, money is success. If you have money, you have something to show for it.

And now that I’m young, it’s okay, that I live out of my car. It’s fun, that I crash with friends. But at what point does it become a little pathetic?

The one thing that keeps me going is the conviction that hard work and hassle always lead somewhere.

But sometimes this conviction gets blown out of proportion from my catholic background.

I hear voices in my head that say: don’t enjoy things excessively, don’t ask for more. You don’t have the funds to live a life jet setting around.  Don’t dream too big, be content, says my mother.

Does that mean I should just settle in one place? Go on vacation once a year like everyone else, deal with cold weather, put away savings,  finally buy a Vitamix? All the Lululemon pants I desire?

But then I think no. The hell with that. I’d trade all the Anthropologie items for the freedom to travel.  If there’s anything the U.S. has taught me, is that anything is possible. There are people who create jobs building apps for dating. There are people that build a career out of selling yoga pants.  If you can think it, you can make it happen.

I CAN study pre-law and then switch gears to become a successful yoga instructor. I CAN be good at any job I choose while traveling. I CAN work in Costa Rica at my dream place.  I CAN sell out international yoga retreats. I CAN have it all, just not all at once.

Because in my case, it’s either stability in a more ordinary life, or uncertainty and freedom.

 

Valentina Rose Blog Yoga Travel Abroad In US and Costa Rica
Photo Credit: David Yaugo

 

Growing

Meanwhile, I’ve made progress mitigating these two extremes.

I wanted to live everywhere; Israel, Argentina, Belize, Mexico, Arizona, France, Croatia. I thought: “Visiting a place for one week doesn’t do it for me. I need to live in it to really experience it.”

Then I realized that traveling all the time was exhausting. So I started narrowing down my destinations. I’ve sized-down my expectations and I started making lists of priorities.

I reflected about what I need and want. I realized that despite my craving for travel, I thrive on routine and  stable relationships. But when I have those, I get antsy.

I look at Instagram and see pictures of Miami, Hawaii, Joshua Tree, and the grass all of a sudden becomes SO green on that side. I get restless and want to throw my stuff out the window, reach for my passport and book the first flight somewhere.

But I’ve realized that travel and stability can both be achieved if I only spend longer times in my chosen destinations. And if I keep going back to places where I already have connections.

Who said it’s not possible?

 I learned not to give social media too much weight. I realized that Miami, Tulum, Sedona aren’t better than San Francisco,just different, and not necessarily easier.

Two years ago I didn’t pay my credit card. Now I’m paying it every month. Two years ago I wanted to live everywhere. Now I want to live in Costa Rica and the U.S. That’s progress. My mom doesn’t believe me, but it is.

I have faith in myself, in my abilities and that everything is going to work out. So I keep on moving, experiencing, and every month miraculously making my credit card payments.

 

Valentina Rose Blog Yoga Travel Abroad In US and Costa Rica Goodbye
Photo Credit: David Yaugo Photography
Valentin Rose Blog Nutriton Tips Yoga Costa Rica
Life

Nutrition Confessions From a Glutton

I never thought this would happen, but here I am writing a blog post on nutrition as per request by my Instafriend Black Bird Chronicles. I am a huge fan of hers.

To start, I am not gluten-free, I am not dairy free, I am not vegetarian, nor vegan.

 

Valentin Rose Blog Nutriton Tips Yoga Costa Rica
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hokklo

 

My Nutrition Stance:

  • I believe in a healthy, wholesome diet that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel.
  • Many times when we go out of our way to find alternatives we end up ingesting too much of another food category.
  • Everything in moderation is the key to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
  • Strict regimens often hinder sustainable eating habits and frequently don’t allow us to choose appropriately on a daily basis.
  • Being in touch with our own bodies and thinking smartly and informatively about nutrition will always ring truer than following a fad.
  • It’s still important to respect other people’s way of eating, whatever that might encompass.

That being said, upbringing also has a lot do with diet.

Comfort foods, (mine is Parmigiano Reggiano), style of cooking (Mediterranean), culture, (Italian) and familiar spices (oregano!) all play a huge role.

 

All photos taken by me and can be found in my Instagram feed. Click here for more.
 

 Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

Breakfast

I am usually pretty careful with that I eat first thing in the morning because If I start my day with something heavy I am much more likely to continue on eating in that fashion.

So I’ll have a light breakfast, then plan all my workouts back to back in the middle of the day and then eat a giant meal while watching Family Guy (which is my favorite meal routine EVER).

Choices are:

Just fruit- pear,  peach, or some strawberries, papaya, cantaloupe.

A green smoothie- One type of fruit, spinach or kale, coconut water, and some cashew/almond milk.

Oatmeal- I love oatmeal! My parents think it’s food for pigs.

Plain yogurt with banana, honey and almond butter.

Piece of bread with almond butter and strawberry jam

Scone, croissant, pizza, cake, Nutella with bread, chocolate.

 

Breakfast Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

Yogurt and Fruit Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

Oatmeal Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

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Lunch

I’ve started making these big plates that combine a bunch of veggies, lettuce, cheese and an egg or prosciutto.

Ingredients can range from steamed broccoli, sauteed string beans, baked eggplant, baked Brussels sprouts, sautéed zucchini, shredded carrots, apples, olives, avocado, lentils, quinoa, tomatoes, anything that looks good, and then I’ll fry an egg, slap it on top, or prosciutto on the side, and add a ton of goat cheese or feta cheese.

If I need more substance I’ll make Pasta alla Norma, which is pasta with eggplant and tomato, or pasta with shrimp and zucchini.

Sometimes i’ll have a tamale with beans in it, or I’ll make polenta and bake it until it’s crunchy and golden.

I’ll also sprinkle spoonfuls of hummus or roast potatoes, crackers, bread or tortillas in my lunch platters.

 

 

Lunch Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

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Snack

I don’t believe in snacking constantly- I prefer bigger and more substantial meals,  but after lunch I often need a sweet pick-me-up.

Strictly – milk – chocolate

Frozen cappuccino.

“Healthy” dessert”- I blend a few pieces of frozen banana, some bittersweet cocoa powder, cashew cream, a splash of cinnamon, a handful of almonds.

If not, I opt for a chocolate milk shake ( can be very addicting).

Crepes with Nutella, gelato, brownies, cake, cookies are all fair game.

 

Crepe with Nutella Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

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Dinner

I usually keep dinner simple because by nighttime I’m too lazy to cook.

I’ll have some soup.

If I’m hungry I’ll usually have meat or fish. I only read meat, pork and fish.

My favorite meats are pork chop, pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, ground beef in any form. For fish I get something that is easy to make, like Tilapia. I always buy wild fish and grass fed meat.

For vegetables I love leafy greens because they take no time to cook.

When I’m feeling more productive I’ll make pizza from scratch, and put goat cheese on top, mushrooms, olives and arugula or gorgonzola, pears and walnuts.

On a special occasion I’ll  treat myself to home made butter nut squash gnocchi with sage, quiche, or a BaconLettuceTomato sandwich.

 

Pizza Gorgonzola e Noci Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog

 

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Drinks

I drink water like a camel. Literally, I cannot go anywhere without my water bottle otherwise I freak out.

I used to drink a lot of orange juice, but I stopped because  it was making me eat less fruit. So now I keep it as a special treat.

I like to drink fizzy water, especially Perrier. Sorry Stefano. My cousin is indignant that I prefer the french fizzy water brand over the italian San Pellegrino.

Home-made ice tea. (and I love this!) I make my own Mango or Roobois ice tea in glass jars that I slowly brew in the sun and then refrigerate.

I barely drink alcohol. Sometimes I go weeks without drinking and other times I drink when I go out. My favorite drinks are rose’ wine, Prosecco and Champagne. I won’t turn down a light beer (Blue Moon is my favorite) and I also enjoy cocktails from time to time.

 

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The Takeaway

I believe your body instinctually knows what is good for you to eat.

We all have dietary weirdnesses and those need to be respected within reason.

For example, I can’t eat garlic, onion and peppers. Even though all those things are widely known as health foods, my stomach cannot take them.

Some days I know I can get away with eating french fries, some days I can tell my stomach is too delicate for them. Same with sweets. Some days I really need them, some days I know I need to cut it out.

It’s best not to restrict from an eating experience just because we’ve labelled ourselves a certain way.

And treat food as a delicious experience that can enhance our daily lives and nurture and support us.

 

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How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Ewa and Valentina Yoga Instructors
Life, Yoga Retreats

5 Ways to Go Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

Going on the Happy New You! Yoga Retreat was exhilarating, eventful, fun-filled, exciting, relaxing, insightful  and overall a splendid way to change our routines, step away from patterns and enter a new way of life.

 

But how do we go back to our normal lives after experiencing such bliss, you ask?

 

All photos by Jonathan Hokklo

 

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Ewa and Valentina Yoga Instructors

 

Some of us are returning to cold weather climates, most of us are returning to work, to duties, to things to do, problem solving, and sleeping less.

 

Here are five ways to maintain healthy habits even after you return from your yoga retreat.

 

1.Create Structure and Consistency In Your Life

 

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Studio Temple

 

During the yoga retreat we went by a pretty structured schedule, with our 7am yoga class, followed by breakfast, the 10am yoga class, followed by lunch and then some rest before the last yoga class of the day.

 

While your real life schedule is almost guaranteed to not look like that, you can still ensure to have routines.

 

Give yourself plenty of time to wake up and ease into your day before heading out the door. 

 

Make  tea/coffee, and take the first 10/20 minutes of your day for something that serves YOU. You may journal, read the news, check your personal emails, read your book, eat cookies, or even do social media. (yes, you are allowed). The point isn’t so much WHAT you do, but the fact that you are taking time for yourself as a small gift of self- indulgence before the daily grind begins. Do all these things preferably in silence.

 

Honor the new day with a good start, so that the rest of the day is already more likely to continue on that note.

 

Try not to rush but prepare for the tasks ahead so that you feel confident and ready to focus.

 

When you can be still and grounded from the inside, you will be able to carry that feeing with you no matter where you are or how much you travel.

 

2. Enforce Enough Sleep

 

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Pete the Chocolate Labrador

 

During the yoga retreat we all got lots of rest. Most of us went to bed early, and then got plenty of naps. No matter what your sleeping preferences are, you want to ensure and commit to getting enough sleep every night.

 

8 hours is good, 9 hours is ideal, 7 hours ok okay. Any less than that, especially when occurring several days in a row should be a warning that you need to slow down.

 

Sleep is incredibly important for a healthy functioning of our minds and body. When rested, we are able to function better, think more clearly and be more productive.

 

Most of the time late at night, we are procrastinating and not being productive. Decide on a bed time for each day and stick to it. 

 

3. Channel Your Healthy Chef

 

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga At the Dinner Table Healthy Farm to Table Eating

 

While we all indulged with the Blue Osa desserts and the second trips to the buffet, most of us felt lucky to be served fresh vegetables and fruit daily. Said ingredients were being incorporated in creative salads, soups, smoothies and other meals. While it takes time to prepare vegetables and cut up fruit, remember it doesn’t have to be intricate.

 

For breakfast, you can cut up a cantaloupe and eat the whole thing.

 

For lunch, you can slice a few tomatoes, add some olives, lettuce, feta cheese -optional 😉 good olive oil,  and you got yourself a delicious salad that takes less than 5 minutes to make.

 

For dinner you can cook a piece of fish in the pan and sauté some spinach.

Remember: less is more, and quality is usually preferable over quantity.

 

4. Establish Your Yoga practice, On And Off Your Mat

 

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Class with Ewa giving Adjustment

 

Whether you were already an avid practitioner or a minty beginner, take this opportunity of being back from your retreat to revise your yoga practice, how often you practice, where, with who and what types of yoga.

 

If you’re new to yoga, try out a few different studios before committing to one. If you already have a yoga studio membership you might feel inspired to try out different styles of classes.

 

Also don’t forget that “doing yoga” doesn’t limit itself to walking into a class and doing the postures.

 

Yoga, in an energetic and spiritual sense, is practiced daily in lots of other forms. A walk in nature for example is a great way to reconnect to your “prana”, your energy force, and rekindling with the elements, the sounds, spending alone time or just practicing sitting are forms of meditation as well.

 

Being mindful and self-reflective, becoming aware of your thought patterns, the way you speak and enacting kindness, IS a form of yoga.

 

5. Reflect On Your Social Behavior

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Cute Monkey on a Branch

 

When we travel we tend to become a lot more outgoing and open to socializing. That’s because we feel a bit more vulnerable, a bit more humble, and a bit more willing to talk to strangers.

 

In our daily lives however, we tend to go by the I-already-have-my life-I-already-have-my-friends-so-why-should-I-talk-to-you-when-I am-busy mode.

 

Truth is, there are never enough great people that can enrich our lives. And when you start to smile to people, greet them enthusiastically and strike conversations, door will open in ways that might surprise you 🙂

 

Life

When Rain Gets Loud (the Magic of Silence)

One of the things about tropical weather is rain. 

A loud, wet, all encompassing, end-of-the-world kind of rain. 

With loud thunder and lightning too. 

 
 

Photo credit: Charles Knox Photography
 

 
 

Once this kind of rain starts to hit, you have no choice but to retrieve to your shelter and wait. 

Sure, you can move around, perhaps cook or read a book, but that’s about it. 

The one thing that becomes really difficult is talk. Because you can’t hear a thing. 

So you want to communicate, say: “Oh by the way, today this happened” and then you want to say: “Look, I really think this shampoo works better than my old one” and then you want to exclaim: “I’m so hungry! What are we going to have for dinner?”

But instead you just don’t say anything, because talking under that rain would mean screaming really loud with few chances of getting heard anyways. 

 
 

  

 

But to your surprise, silence is okay. 

 

Even though you’re a chatter box at heart and definitely (always) have things to say, you resign to the fact that talking is just not an option at the moment. 

And you realize that everything somehow proceeds smoothly even without you saying anything at all. 

With you keeping your thoughts a little bit more hidden inside your head.  

Some people talk only when they have something important to say.  

Maybe I’ll become one of them after a few months in the tropical rain 😉
 

Valentina Rose- why people's judgment doesn't matter
Life

About Everyone Else’ s Opinions..And Why They Don’t Matter

The older I get the less I care about other people’s opinions.

I suppose that might be why my grandma calls everyone an asshole.

But jokes aside, this blog post is about both opinions the concrete ones, and the perceived ones too. Both the ones that make us cringe when they come across our face, and the ones  the majority I’d say) that we think are there, but maybe aren’t. The untold ones. 

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I often find myself asking:

Is this where I should be in my life according to everyone else, given my age?

Is my career choice respectable enough in the eye of others?

Am I making enough money for everyone to see/judge?

Does everyone else see me as a loony because of my lifestyle choices?

The list goes on.

So why are we so worried about what other people MIGHT think? Sure, a certain level of comparison among others is normal. A good dose of self-reflection is healthy too. But it’s when we let outside voices take over that we find ourselves in a down spiral of endless doubt.

I always remember this great childhood metaphor which represents this situation:

A man, his son and their donkey loaded with supplies were walking on the way home.

People saw them and said :”That’s so stupid, why wouldn’t they use the donkey to carry themselves as well. That’s what donkeys are for.”

So the father put the son on top of the donkey and kept walking.

People said” Why would this man only put his son up on the donkey and walk himself? The kid is young and has more energy, so the old man should be the one being carried.”

So the father took the son off the donkey and got on the donkey himself.

People said” Can you believe how selfish this man is? Taking the easy ride and making his poor son walk”

So the father sat himself AND his son on the donkey with all the supplies.

People said :” Have you seen that cruel man? He’s overloading the poor animal!’

So the father got himself and his son off the donkey, took the supplies off the animal and carried them on his own back.

People laughed and said” Look at him! He has a donkey but instead he’s doing all the work!”

Moral of the story: no matter what you do, people will always judge. We judge ourselves very harshly too, when others aren’t even thinking of it.

Gina the Donkey from the donkey metaphor about why people's judgments don't matter because people will always judge
The best donkey of all, Gina. She is not worried about your opinion.

The solution is to turn inwards. Like yoga teaches us in many ways, we need to develop a certain understanding of ourselves, our own needs, wants, reactions and priorities that will allow us to, simply put, be more focused on ourselves rather than others. It’s a simple concept yet a very powerful one. Ounce we can do that, we are able to take judgments (whether they are internal or external) lightly, AKA not personally.

Often times I see students in a public yoga class making the class all about other people around them. They are looking around doubt fully because they are lost, they are shy, they are unsure if they understood well and they don’t want to make a “mistake”.

The truth is, life is like a public yoga class. You’re in it with a lot of people around you but at the end of the day you’re in it with yourself, and only you can figure yourself out. It’s a gift and a privilege to be in this deep long lasting relationship with ourselves.

So no matter how hard we look at our neighbors, or wonder what they really think of us, we will eventually have to turn the gaze inwards to really see what’s up.

And once we start the process of going deep within ourselves, (read: not everyone else)  we will be so occupied that we won’t even notice the voices coming from outside.

Valentina Rose Marin County Yoga Blog
Blog, Life

Five Ways to Live a Drama-Free Life

Do you know that peaceful feeling you get from being around someone who is calm and isn’t bothered by a thing? Who doesn’t sweat the small stuff?

I love me some drama-free people. People who don’t take themselves too seriously, stay calm, don’t freak out, who speak less, reflect more, and use some good ol’ common sense. If you know what I’m taking about, You have experienced the drama free-zone.

“So how do I become a drama-free person you ask?”

Well first, you  have to understand what drama is. If you are overreacting, getting agitated at everything and talking about it way too much then and you’re caught in the drama zone. If people around you are doing the same and you happen to be on the other end, listening, having to intervene  and even participating actively, you have also made it to the drama zone.  And generally speaking you feel yourself getting tense, anxious, bothered and resentful? Only to realize that the whole situation is pointless and could have easily been avoided??  That’s drama right there.

Drama can be caused by ourselves directly or by people we choose to let into our lives.

And now ask yourself: Are you going to fuel that surge of drama, or are you going to let it plummet onto its death bed?

if you choose the second, or at lest know deep inside yourself that it was the right answer, you are ready for this blog post.

Here are some basic tips on how to live a drama free life, rather filled with quality time, solid  people, self worth,  peace of mind and zen-like sleep.

Valentina Rose Marin County Yoga Blog
Photo Credit: David Yaugo http://yaugo.com

1. Don’t gossip

For as much as discussing other people’s lives can be gratifying in the short term, you know you always feel crappy after you said it. And it didn’t do any good. Actually you might have just spread a rumor. And it’s going to be twisted, taken out of context, and before you know it you’re talking sh** about someone you actually consider a friend.

Instead, when you hold back the “Oh my gosh you know what so-and-so did???!!” you are going to feel so much better about yourself, so much more mature and yes, even superior, because you are not lowering yourself to the standards of someone who needs to talk about others to enrich their own lives.

2. Don’t make it a big deal

It’s the half-empty or half full glass attitude. It you tell yourself it’s not a big deal, it won’t be. But if you make a big fuss, then I guarantee you it will be. For example, today you got a parking ticket. Yes, it could potentially be enough to put you in a bad mood and start an avalanche of negative self-predicament. Which in turn will give you license to say you had “a bad day” and lick your wounds in sorrow at home.  Instead, just say, “It’s not  a big deal, it’s only a parking ticket” and  pay it right away (or contest it 😉  and move on, drama free. After all, it could have ben worse! Remember: you have the power to DECIDE that that parking ticket isn’t ruining your day. You just won’t let it, because it’s mind over matter situation.

Valentina Rose Yoga Blog MArin County
Photo Credit: David Yaugo http://yaugo.com

3. Be reliable

As far as I’ve known, reliability never causes drama. Flakiness on the other hand does because it’s direspecuful and causes misunderstandings. There’s nothing more annoying than the person who can never commit to making plans.  (many of those in California by the way) “Let’s play it by ear..I might see you there, but not sure yet, let’s talk as that date gets closer and see how we feel, let’s go with the flow”

What flow? I’m busy, so are you, and unless we actually make plans we’re never going to get together, and I will eventually stop making time for you. So commit, be bold once in a while and pencil me into your calendar please. The friend who is never available to hang out except for when it’s convenient for them is lousy, so you owe it to yourself to get that person out of your life STAT.

Keep in mind that friendship is based on mutual efforts which include values such as reliability. If someone can’t be reliable enough to make time for you and stick to the plans then they are not your friend but are bound to bring a whole lotta dramaaaaa.

4. Tell it like it is

When you are faking it, everyone knows it. And eventually someone is going to call you out on it and it’s going to lead to a whole lot of drama. Don’t pretend you like my dress if you don’t. Just be smart and don’t say anything, or work up a little personality to say it in funny way that will make me not care. If something bothers you, say something right away. I know it’s hard, but the longer you wait, the more complicated it will become. And when issues aren’t discussed resentment builds and someone will blow up. So talk it out. Say it with a smile if you can. Do it kindly. You will feel so much lighter afterwards.

5. Avoid drama people

And lastly, you could be sitting here reading this post and thinking :”I’m good, I don’t do any of this stuff! I am a totally drama free person! But but….there is such a thing as not being drama yourself but making the fatal mistake of letting drama people into your life. (been there, done that) Which, you guessed it, causes more unnecessary drama.

You know that friend of yours who is permanently jobless, still crying over her ex who treated her like shit, and emotionally unstable, somewhat mysterious about parts of her life, but at the time kind of needy? She screams drama! And guess what? Drama attracts more drama. So you will invevitably be dragged into it. Because some people thrive in drama. But you hopefully don’t.

So stay away.  Don’t let them crash at your house. Don’t lend them stuff with the assumption that one day they will return the favor. Don’t listen to them for hours on the phone late at night while you should be going to sleep instead. Don’t even bother. Some people just don’t get it, will never fully appreciate it and one day, when you need something from them, they won’t show up for the occasion. Because if they were sensible people in the first place they would know better than rely on someone else so heavily.  

It’s always better to be alone and drama free than to hang around a bunch of drama queens.

✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏✏

Hope this helps! Go on and live your drama free life!

Do you have any other advice on living drama free?

I am very interested.

Drop me a line!

Santa Catalina Panama Yogiiza Beach Rock Summer
Life

Why I Quit Using Tinder

So I joined Tinder.

I didn’t really put that much effort in it, I mean, you are choosing people based on their appearance.

The few messages I got weren’t very exciting.

And then I matched with a person who seemed pretty cool.

Santa Catalina Panama Yogiiza Beach Rock Summer

He lived in my area, and just like me he was passionate about travel, the outdoors, the occasional year at Burning Man and an otherwise laid-back lifestyle.

We hung out twice, just as friends. Had great conversation, drank ice tea, talked about dangerous animals in Australia and watched Family Guy.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly and It was even hard not to get ahead of the game.

He disliked cold weather too and asked me to travel together. Does it get much better than that?

Then I left town to travel, and that’s when our relationship shifted to texting.

Texting was exciting and fun with lots of flirtation, checking in, sharing photos.

There was a lot of anticipation for my return, for the chance to get together and explore, hike, eat ribs, and have fun.

But as soon as I got back, text miscommunications began.

I could be wrong, but I think I was being a bit emotional and impulsive on my end because he was getting cold feet and not showing up for the occasion on his end. Clearly things weren’t running smoothly  for either of us in the context.

We exchanged a few nasty text messages , followed by longer, explanatory messages describing our resentment for each other which lead to further messages that indicated the end of our so-called “relationship”.

There was no more progressing in a great connection, and all because some of some stupid text messages.

I felt talking would solve what I perceived as a minor hiccup, but he was not willing to discuss over the phone.

In the end, I wanted to make amends, and he did not.

So that was the end.

I was pretty upset.

I mean, why bother with all the texting if you’re not going to stick it out?

Santa Catalina Panama Beach Rock Summer

And then I realized that through texting  I was able to convince myself he was everything I wanted, but really he wasn’t

Texting didn’t allow me to see his cowardliness and his inability to express emotions in real life. Because texting is easy, it’s fun, it’s light. It’s also superficial and shallow. All the texting and no talking however showed me his lack of communication skills. (Read more on texting here). Yes, I believe talking on the phone would have given me more perspective on his character.

So I had to separate the person I had created in my mind from the person he really was. Which in the end is someone I did not want to be with anyways.

Santa Catalina Panama Teeki Beach Rock Summer

I’ve had friends say to me:”Welcome to the online dating world, where you are meeting random people to see if you have a connection, and if you don’t, you simply walk away. It’s rare when it does work out, most of the time you don’t click with people and you move on.”

But once for me was enough.

So  I quit Tinder all together.

If you’re using it for something quick, it’s probably a good option.

But let’s assume I never joined Tinder.

I probably would have never even met this guy (and then I could have spared myself the hassle!). Or maybe I would have, and then we would have exchanged a few words, followed by phone numbers over time before we hung out as friends.

And then I would have gotten a chance to really know him.

But Tinder accelerated the whole process.

From the moment we met, we both knew we were there to date. We both knew we were attracted to each other. There was no guessing, no wondering, not a whole lot of thought behind it.

And within the first week, we were already discussing future travels.

In other words, we burned through so many stages of getting to know one another.

By the end of our stint, we were fighting like a couple on the verge of a break-up.

In fact, we did break up. And we hadn’t even kissed.

Sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?

So I learned my lesson.

I will meet people through real experiences. Through real interactions.  And rather than texting, I will pick up the phone and call.

What are your experiences with Tinder?

Did you have successful or frustrating interactions?

Drop me a comment!

Santa Catalina Panama Beach Rock Summer

Valentina Rose Costa Rica Osa Peninsula Just Be Yourself
Blog, Life

Unapologetically You

Growing  over time allows you to observe behaviors, patterns and tendencies that make you unique and special. I could sit here all day and tell  you about how I’m active, social bla bla..but let’s get to the details. What makes you interesting and memorable are the subtleties in your personality, your corks and quirks, not your overall traits that you would list on a gym waiver. The juicy stuff.  Let’s embrace those qualities that set us apart and make us unique, and find people in our lives who will laugh with us about those imperfections. And if people are laughing at you and not with you, let them laugh. At least they’ll have stories to tell 🙂

Valentina Rose Costa Rica Osa Peninsula Just Be Yourself

For example, I am super active. But I don’t like to walk.

As my close friends will testify, I will go to  great efforts to ensure I park my car as close as possible to the store/restaurant/post office. Even If I have to cirle around the parking lot a few times like a crocodile in a moat and stalk patrons who are about to enter their car. And give them the death stare while they apply lipstick and adjust their hair before getting out of MY parking spot.  So yes I run for miles in the woods and then I refuse to walk to Whole Foods. I love the comforts of my car and the U.S. driving culture and big parking lots. ‘MERICA!!!!

I consider myself a very social person, but I love to be alone.

And especially eat alone. Even though in the Italian culture eating alone is considered to be a sad and undesirable  occurrence, I’m so stoked when I  get to be home by myself and enjoy a meal  while watching an episode of Family Guy or America’s Next Top Model. That way I get to eat whatever I want, as much as I want to,  chew as loudly as I wish and not have to talk to anyone. Ha!

I can backpack through Central America  no problem. Move every week? Check. But a lot of people would still call me high maintenance.

I have to have my luxuries wherever I am. Like cozy blankets in the jungle and good smelling lotions while camping and painted toenails everywhere. And my toothbrush. That’s my ultimate must.  I need to brush my teeth after every meal. That’s why I carry a toothbrush and toohpaste with me at all times. I’ll brush my teeth in the airplane bathroom during turbulence if I have to.

One thing I hate most is being forced into group activities.

Do not try to force me into participating to a sharades game. HOLDING HANDS IN A CIRCLE? FORGET IT. Thanksgiving at your aunt’s? I will resent you for a long time. Don’t even think about making me participate in your billiard tournament. No. No. No. Don’t make me go around a circle and say stuff. Ever. I stand my ground. I really don’t believe into forcing people to do things.Or insisting. Good to know right?

My meat eating habits are something that confuses people a lot. I don’t eat birds.

Because I think they are disgusting. The usual reaction I get is: “But If you hate birds, wouldn’t you want to eat them?”. No. But I eat steak. And pork cutlets and tenderloin. Appalled face. “So you eat red meat but not chicken?” OH MY GOD! But I don’ eat lamb, boar, elk, buffalo either. And I don’t eat meat at Thai restaurants, Indian, or anything else but a steak house. But I like rabbit. And I don’t need to explain why. I’m sure the meat conversation is long and drawn-out for everyone who is vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian. But seriously, who cares.

I also cant’ stand garlic.

Yes, I know. How is it possible that I am italian and I don’t like garlic?? It’s a profanity! It’s like saying that you’re American and you don’t like the U.S. flag for God’s sake! All I can tell you is that if you want to be my friend you can’t eat garlic around me.

Hello Kitty.

That’s pretty self explanatory. I just love Hello Kitty so much. Did you know she’s 5 apples tall and weighs 3 apples?

Adam Hello Kitty
My friend Adam seeking approval on his next Hello Kitty purchase

Don’t feel pressured to act according to a preconceived notion of  your quality. Like: “I consider myself social, so I really should go to that New Year’s Eve Party even though I don’t feel like it.” Instead,you should think “I won’t go to that overly expensive/obnoxious NYE party and I’m not worried about it because I KNOW I will be social when I want to be.”

Once you know your preferences,  be proud of them. Don’t apologize or make up excuses.  Don’t say “Sorry  I can’t  play mini golf  because I’m tired and It’s too hot out and I’m broke and I’m really not that good at it…etc etc ”  NO. Just be you. Don’t play mini golf because you think it’s ridiculous and leave it at that.

You don’t owe it to anybody to be consistent in YOUR personality. Yes, you should be coherent in your actions and be consistent in how you communicate because otherwise it will be difficult to have successful relationships. But you don’t need to be rational and logical in your personality because you’re human and part of being human is to be  irrational and unexplained.  Consistency in your personality is as boring as the girl on the cover of Cosmopolitan who likes lemon drops, the beach, puppies and date nights.

 Not everyone is adventurous the same. Not everyone is independent the same. You could be adventurous but still be afraid of bugs and lizards and birds and bears (guilty). You could be independent but  have your mom ship you cookies and deodorant from Italy (also guilty).

Just be you, outside the box. Be unapologetically you, be bold and shine.

taken in Santa Catalina,Panama Playa Estero
Life

Pick up the Phone and Call: the Dangers of Texting

I am so tired of texting. Maybe I am getting old, but more than ever before texting feels to me like a bad habit to resort to when forming relationships and maintaining them.

I have had at least three different incidents with different people lately with whom I now have a strained or even broken relationship because of texting.

Antelope Canyon Arizona and why it's not okay to text
This picture was taken right around the time I was spending all day texting with someone who I don’t even speak to anymore

When it’s okay to text:

-you’re texting your mom to tell her you’re alive and made your flight

-any international update

-picture texts

-you are texting your co-worker to coordinate a time and place to meet for happy hour

– you are texting your close friends for a quick check in, a funny fact from the day or a joke

-and ok, sexting.

that’s it!

When it’s NOT okay to text:

-small talk

-the initial phases of dating

-conversations about what you believe in and why

-conversations about whether you want to have kids (yup, have done that!)

-telling a story

-asking for advice of any kind

-resolving already created misunderstandings

– resolving any kind of conflict

-figuring out in which direction your relationship is heading

taken in Santa Catalina,Panama Playa Estero
Here’s to real, face to face communication and eye contact

The bottom line is:

If you’re not ready and willing to say those things to someone’s face, you should never write them in a text.

You should’t be allowed to text, actually. You should be revoked the privilege.

It’s so easy to say things over text, while hiding behind the comfort of our phones. Things you would never in a million years have the balls to say to someone’s face? I have done that.

I have broken up relationships over text (so dumb), I have insulted people, and then begged for forgiveness, I have wasted too much time getting to know people. 

I am so done and tired of texting.

As a rule of thumb, you should never rely predominantly on texting to get to know someone. If you are not speaking to them on the phone at least, and not seeing them in person, texting alone is building a relationship made on false assumptions, insinuations and it is absolutely bound to backfire on you.

Example: I was texting with an acquaintance a few days ago: we are joking about stupid stuff, and while I was paying only half way attention because busy with other stuff, I all of a sudden got asked “you take a while to get jokes don’t you? You’re pretty slow uh? Did you go to a school for special kids when you were young?”

I did not find that funny. The person on the other end reassured me that it was just a joke and nothing more than that, and even apologized, but ever since there has been a certain awkwardness going on between us. (I also had refrained from telling him that I did not find his jokes very funny either)

The truth is, if that comment had been made in person, maybe I wouldn’t have thought about it twice, especially since I would have been able to put in context through tone of voice and facial expressions. But the truth is, that joke would have probably never been made in person. Because it is inappropriate.

The point is that texts lack context. They dont’s show the emotion of the person behind them neither the intention. And that’s why they should only be limited to an utilitarian application and not be the pillar of your relationship.

How many times when you were dating someone you have made judgements about their commitment to you based on their answering time, or them writing a good night text, and other stupid things like that which don’t matter AT ALL? “oh, he texted I miss you, so it must mean he cares”

Someone could be an excellent texter but at the same time be super dumb and assholish. Believe me, I’ve experienced it recently.

Or someone could be a bad texter, like my best friend Adam, who has 248 unread SMS on his phone on any given day, forgets to text back all the time, but calls when appropriate to check in and overall cares because he is a great friend. Just not a good texter.

Adam and I at Torrey Pines, San Diego, CA
That’s Adam. Somehow he makes it into a lot of my blog posts

So remember, texting is not an indication of real life AT ALL. In fact, it is not representative in any way.

In conclusion,DO NOT HIDE BEHIND YOUR PHONE. Stop being a pussy. If you care, you need to have a voice conversation. It is cowardly and not helpful in life to rely predominately on text and not push yourself out of your comfort zone to have real conversations. Yes, they can be awkward, but so are human interactions sometimes and such is life.

Heart Sunglasses just because

TRIVIA QUIZ:

You just created an awkward/unpleasant situation through texting, now what do you do??

A. keep texting until the issue is solved. Send long texts describing the way you feel so that the other person can really relate and get to the bottom of it. Maybe add a sad face emoji to convey the emotion

B. Just send a laughing emoji and hope the issue gets resolved on its own.

C. Block the person’s  number and never contact them again. And hope you never run into them at the grocery store.

D. Pick up the phone and call to have a normal, non-dramatic, conversation to clear the situation up in 5 minutes or less.

RIGHT ANSWER:

D. Pick up the phone and have the balls to have a conversation. If you can’t have a conversation about whatever is happening, you really can’t have a relationship  with that person. or anyone else for that matters.

If you answered anything else but D, good luck.