Dare to Disagree

I was not raised to see disagreement as anything to be afraid of.  In my experience, conflict or argument doesn’t have to be a barrier to a positive, close or loving relationship.  In fact, I think learning how to disagree, how to raise concerns and address conflict are some of the most valuable skills we can establish in our lives – for work, for personal relationships, and more.

If you know deep down that someone wants what is best for you, disagreement should never be able to shake that foundation. If there is a pre-established respect and love in a relationship, there is nothing scary about conflicting viewpoints or challenging ideas.

My father and I are both incredibly stubborn. When I was a teenager, we would go head to head in heated “conversations” that would inevitably escalate in true Italian style. Yet underneath it all, knowing that we were family and loved each other meant that there was an inherent inability to take things personally, which usually meant conflicts burned out as quickly as they started. There was something powerful about this – the freedom to disagree or get upset without fearing loss of love – which allowed for emotions to be expressed in an honest, non-threatening way, without building up resentment. It also made room for honest reflection on what was said, once the dust settled.

Over the years this ability to allow others the space to express their opinions (or emotions) and to reflect on the value of what is said rather than taking things personally has been invaluable to me. After all, how are we supposed to learn and grow if we don’t hear opposing points of view? How is it possible to be creative if we only surround ourselves with people who allow us to stay in our comfort zone? How deep can a relationship go if conflicts, desires and opinions are pushed under the rug, or shrouded in silence?

It’s not always easy to hear things that we don’t want to hear. It’s not easy to be called out for decisions that we make in the workplace, or to be challenged by someone close to us.  But it’s important to remember that it’s just as difficult to tell someone you respect that you think they’re making a mistake, to be upset with someone you care about or to question their actions. Yet more often than not, don’t we do this out of love?

Chaos, Organized

I am partial to the beauty of recurring patterns, organized chaos, geometric shapes, thoughtful clutter, complimentary colors, intentional placement, visually pleasing, balanced design, & controlled randomness.

hirshhorn

 Snapshots from a museum

 

In the Know | #2

InTheKnow2




 

A weekly roundup of interesting, inspiring and beautiful things that I’ve stumbled upon recently.


Listen:  An Interview with Helen Fisher: On Love, Sex & Attachment
In this recent episode from one of my favorite podcasts, On Being,  Krista Tippet speaks with Helen Fisher, an anthropologist of sex and relationships. I love the free-flowing form of these conversations, covering a lot of ground from family, dating, marriage, men and women, choice, attachment, and of course, the nature of love.

Read:  The Cheaters Guide to Love by Junot Diaz 
Poignant and wonderfully well written short story originally published in The New Yorker circa 2012. Also found in Diaz’ book This is How You Lose Her.

Watch:  Holi
Slow motion video capturing the color and beauty of the Hindu celebration of Holi. This celebration of spring and love features music, dancing and brightly colored powder that is playfully thrown onto one another, transforming skin, hair and clothing into an abstract rainbow of color.

Eat:  Shortbread from Scratchbread (Bed Stuy, Brooklyn)
I didn’t know that it was possible to love a food more than I love the grits at Scratchbread, or even that it was possible for me to crave something as mundane as shortbread. But no! This sweet, dense, moist (hate that word but gotta use it) shortbread has converted me. As a self appointed connoisseur of baked goods, trust me on this one.

Explore: The Arnold House Catskills, NY
There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the Catskills, and a smattering of hipster-friendly, instagram-worthy B&B’s that have opened in the past couple years. The Arnold House is particularly winter friendly with it’s cozy tavern, spa offerings, and even hosts cooking classes in the kitchen. Consider this my next getaway destination.

Get Away

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


View from a train


Working from my computer, it feels like I’m always “on”.  Constantly feeling the buzz of text messages, seeing the blinking light of another alert, another email. Missed calls, status updates, filling people in on when I’m available, filling my schedule to meet various demands.

Being so connected, so open, makes me feel overly exposed and available.

Sometimes it’s nice to get away, to escape, to unplug, and to have a little adventure all alone. Not for Facebook, not for Instagram, not for friends, or family, or to have a story to share.

Just for me.

In the Know | #1

Monday Motivation1


A roundup of a few things that are exciting and inspiring me of late.


Listen:  Iris – “I’ll Wait For You”
Stumbled upon this upbeat gem of a song, the debut single from Iris, which is laced with early 2000’s pop nostalgia and is reminiscent of one of my musical guilty pleasures, Kylie Minogue. (P.S. this Spanish-born, Montreal based beauty is also a drummer! Badass.)

Read: The Bootstrappers Bible by Seth Godin
This free, downloadable book from Seth Godin’s website is a must read for any entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur. I love love love the way he thinks and his work inspires me like no other.

Watch: Sergei Polunin, “Take Me to Church” by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle
As powerful and beautiful as the song.

Eat:  Carrot Ginger Sweet-Potato Soup
I made this on Valentines Day, as the first course of  a 3-course meal that I served for a couple girlfriends. Healthy, creamy (without dairy!) and spicy, this is the perfect winter soup.

Explore: This Cabin-Themed Pop Up Bar on top of The McKittrick Hotel, NYC
Make your way through a forest of pine trees to cozy up in this Scottish themed winter cabin bar on top of the McKittrick Hotel. As with Sleep No More, the decor is perfectly over the top (including bunkbeds and a tent filled with fox skins) and you’re encouraged to explore. It’s like playing make believe… with a hot toddy.