Carousel: Fancy Tiny House Regret, Celebrity Divorces, And Nicki Vs. Taylor

Yue Ning by Shao Jia for Numero China January 2013

And just like that, July is over. Boom! I hope you had a wonderful month, with plenty of adventures and romance (either with another person, or all by yourself!). There was so much great content published in July. Here are my favourites…

Conscious optimism vs. lazy, pseudo-spiritual optimism. Please make a choice.

Oh my goodness. This made me laugh. Dear people who live in fancy tiny houses, do you ever wake up wondering, “I’ve made a huge mistake?”

Here are 6 steps you can take to start healing from trauma right now.

The Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy, is not pretty.

The art of self-promotion: here are tips for getting your work discovered.

On trolls, vulnerability, and speaking your truth anyway. Sing it, Leonie!

Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here’s what they’re all about.

There’s an empty town in Sicily that is giving away free houses.

27 Funny, Random, And Bizarre Things People Have Bought Online While Drunk. Such obvious clickbait but it’s pretty funny.

Orange Is the New Black Is the Only TV Show That Understands Rape.

Lena Dunham on marriage, feminism, and equal rights.

Here’s how marketers are capitalising on pot’s new lady demographic.

Where’s the female stripper movie of my dreams? (Also: I saw Magic Mike XXL in Nebraska with my friend Angela. It was… amazing.)

John Waters gave a great speech and this is the video as well as some highlights if you don’t have time to watch it.

“Contemporary art’s job is to wreck what came before — is there a better job description than that to aspire to? … Go out in the world and fuck it up beautifully… Horrify us with new ideas. Outrage outdated critics. Use technology for transgression, not lazy social living… It’s your turn to cause trouble — but this time in the real world, and this time from the inside.”

Obama is going to visit a federal prison and VICE is going to make a documentary about it. It will make Obama the first US sitting president to visit a federal prison. Isn’t that messed up? Criminal justice reform is going to be a priority for his remaining time in office.

Big Biba was the shit.

Detroit is the new Brooklyn, according to some.

How come Twitter hasn’t changed in almost a decade? Maybe because no one who works there can really define what Twitter is.

Here’s how to maximise vacation happiness, and some stuff about how buying experiences makes us happier than possessions. Plus, planning your vacation in more detail (and further out) gives you more reason for happiness, too.

“When one buys an experience, they seem to be buying themselves a story as well,” said Dr. Amit Kumar, a social psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business who studies the relationship between money and happiness. “So one way vacations continue to provide hedonic benefits even after they’ve long since passed is because they live on in the stories we tell.”

People who are socially anxious might avoid more prestigious brands, because of sensitivity to social cues. Interesting stuff.

I turned off all notifications on my phone a few months ago, and it has helped me be so much more productive. New research has shown that just hearing your phone buzz hurts your productivity! Turn off your notifications! Save yourselves!

How do publicists handle celebrity divorce? This is amazing!

If you have a reality star who enjoys attention, you handle it very differently. You’ll stage photo ops. You’ll stage the paparazzi when they’re walking down the street looking very sad, wearing black. Even Princess Diana was not above this. She went to the most romantic building in the world, the Taj Mahal, and cried on a bench by herself in front of the press.

I went on a bit of a Maureen O’Connor binge after that celebrity divorce article. Here are some other goodies: how tarot became the trendiest party game, de-cluttering is the new juice cleanse (and equally annoying), and clique-stalking: Instagram’s greatest social pleasure.

Money, sex, and Las Vegas pool parties. On shaving, employment, discrimination, and wearing a bikini every single day.

Similarly: can you be a waitress and a feminist?

11 things I quit to get financially healthy.

If you talk to yourself, you’re not nuts. Actually, you’re a genius.

Amy Poehler fucking rules. The end. There is so much good stuff in this article about feminism, female friendship, and not apologising for where you’re at. HELL YES.

Female anger isn’t praised much in our culture, but it can be kind of exciting, I say. “It is exciting, isn’t it?” she says, her eyes lighting up. “It’s super-exciting to not care if you’re liked, and to watch someone’s face as they realise that. It’s fun defying expectations about me. It’s a nice secret weapon.”

What’s something wealthy people buy that poor people know nothing about? Fascinating.

Millionaires don’t use to do lists.

If you have Libra rising, this is how you should dress. Love!

There’s a difference between “putting food on the table” and nourishing your life – it’s about attitude, not money.

Oh, fashion blogging.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve masturbated? Here are 24 people’s stories.

The Future Looks Bright: a Q&A with Caitlyn Jenner.

Yoko Ono’s mended cups are awesome and yes, you can buy them and drink your coffee out of them!

Sarah Jessica Parker sold her townhouse in the West Village and it is preeeeeeetty amazing, as you might imagine.

Places to take a date in NYC! Or just go for a romantic dinner. Or a #radicalselflovedate!

Science explains why we love assholes. Gosh.

What do we really need to know about the female orgasm? Here are some ideas. In other words, ladies, GET YOURS!

Eve Ensler on Bill Cosby: let the mythical daddy die. On that topic: I didn’t want to let black America down. Here are the stories of the 35 women who have come forward.

Blame the Princess: Chasing the Fairy-Tale Wedding. How depressing.

This doctor literally feels what you feel, because he has mirror touch synesthesia.

I love these tips. LOVE THEM. 28 stealworthy tips from the most productive people on the planet. And they’re not the usual tips, either.

Theory: Mutable Moons are when information comes to us easily. Fixed Moons are for grounding and firming a stance. Cardinal Moons are when you initiate. Yes!

If you have sparse eyebrows, you should definitely try this!

Here are some productivity tips Alex learned from her sexy chef boyfriend.

Trainwreck (which is SO funny and good) is a romantic comedy, but it’s actually a love letter to Amy’s sister.

Everything changes now… If you say so.

Bad days vs good days is not the same as hard vs easy.

When you get through the pain, this is what happens: Near-blinding radiance. OMG, yes.

Six months in: What Louise has learned from moving from London to Los Angeles. I adore Louise!

Yes, Nicki! Twitter defends Nicki Minaj after Taylor Swift feud. And then Kim Kardashian got involved. And Meek Mill tweeted that Drake doesn’t write his own raps! Aahaha! Dyingggggg.

God, yes. How hard are you trying, really?

Awww! 50 Happy Little Things Bob Ross Taught Me About The Joy Of Being Alive.

Here’s why Amy Schumer is an amazing feminist.

On Sandra Bland and the terrifying truth of being a Black American.

The strange phenomenon of skin orgasms. I have these ALL THE TIME. Now I know I’m not alone!

If a song follows the conventions too closely, it is bland and fails to capture our attention; if it breaks the patterns too much, it sounds like noise. But when composers straddle the boundary between the familiar and unfamiliar, playing with your expectations using unpredictable flourishes (like appoggiaturas or sweeping harmonic changes), they hit a sweet spot that pleasantly teases the brain, and this may produce a frisson.

Hmmm. Here are the penis beauty standards.

Here are three real life vampires talking about bloodlust and hunger… Wow.

Orange Is The New Black explored how faith and religion fails women in Season 3. And it was awesome.

 

 

 

Love always,

Photo of Yue Ning by Shao Jia for Numero China January 2013.

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Radical Self Love Letters

Where’s The Love? 5 Ways To Thrive During Venus Retrograde

The Heart Has Its Reasons

Venus is currently retrograde, and it has many of us walking around with a feeling of dread. You probably know about the havoc that can be wreaked by Mercury retrograde: when it strikes, all the things ruled by Mercury (like travel, communication and technology) seem to stop in their tracks.

Venus, on the other hand, rules love, art and beauty. It’s a wonderful planet, but the idea of all of those things getting messed up is enough to strike fear into the heart of the boldest babe!

This can be a weird time, for sure. You might find that old crushes or ex-lovers come out of the woodwork, that you have a series of lightbulb moments about your relationship or intimacy issues, or that you suddenly find yourself extremely intolerant of anything less than absolute beauty.

Of course, it’s not all bad news. Retrograde periods can be extremely positive if you know how to harness them. Whenever any planet goes retrograde, it’s the perfect time to reflect and reassess. Venus is retrograde until September 6th 2015, so take this next month to look at your patterns and behaviour as relates to love, sex, art and beauty.

Here are five ways to make the most of Venus retrograde…


Fantastic To Feel Beautiful Again

EVALUATE THE BEAUTY AROUND YOU

While you probably don’t want to go wild with big purchases or make any huge changes, this is a wonderful time to take a critical eye to the art and objects around you. What are you surrounding yourself with, and how does that make you feel? What are you wearing on a daily basis and how does that make you feel?

Take some time to sit down in silence and conjure an image in your head of how you’d like your home to feel, how you’d like to dress, and what colours you’d love to surround yourself with. Once you have some mental pictures that make you smile from ear to ear, it’s time to make some changes! Go through your closet and do a big purge. Take down the photos that don’t make you feel good. Get rid of the things that you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful.

I did this myself the other day. A few hours spent hanging pictures, rearranging the art above my desk, and taping up photographs felt great and infused my space with a whole lot of fresh, positive energy.


FEELINGS

GET SOME THERAPY

If you’re currently experiencing some holy shiz, wake up and smell the coffee-type moments about your personal psychology, trust me when I say that you are not the only one. You might be realising some poignant truths about your intimate relationships, or have come face-to-face with just how shallow you can really be. Ouch! Or maybe it’s just that you’ve finally decided, once and for all, that you deserve an amazing orgasm every time you have sex. (Hip hip hooray!)

No matter what you’re dealing with, sometimes the issues are just too multi-layered and complex to tackle alone. Having someone to guide you through the process can be immensely helpful (and can also keep you accountable and on-track).

You can choose your own therapy, of course, but I’m a huge fan of EFT (tapping) for resolving pretty much any issue you can think of, and working with a certified practitioner can help you massively. I love and recommend Nancy Morris and Annie Siegel!


Trust Yourself

CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

This can be a tumultuous time, and you may feel like you’re buckled into an emotional rollercoaster! The best thing you can do with those feelings is turn them into something positive. Since Venus rules art and beauty, why not pick up the paintbrush? Write that poem, paint that portrait, or simply go for a walk with your camera. You never know what you’ll stumble upon!

If you find yourself going through old photo albums and reminiscing, you’re right on track with Venus retrograde! Why not take some of those old memories and use them as the jumping-off point for a whole new form of expression?

Of course, it’s a good time to make art that relates to past loves, too. For inspiration, see Everyone I Have Ever Slept With and My Bed by Tracey Emin, Unsent by Alanis Morissette, and No Time For Love by Chloe Sevigny.


The Kiss Was Beautiful

GET REALLY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AND DO NOT WANT

No matter whether you’re in a relationship or not, it’s essential to know what you’re looking for in a partner. Love is a gamble, of course, but some people are good for us and enhance our lives, while others simply aren’t and don’t.

For example, if you want to start an animal rescue but your long-term girlfriend has a terrible dander allergy and hates being around furry creatures, that’s going to present problems. Ditto if you want to get healthy and start running marathons, but your lover prefers deep-fried Oreos and dozing on the couch!

Here’s an exercise from The AstroTwins…

Grab a notebook and draw three columns on a page. In the first, jot down the names of all your significant crushes, love affairs, hookups and relationships—even if they were technically one-night stands or utterly unacknowledged secret obsessions. In the other two columns write down “What I Adore About You” and “What I Abhor About You.” This illuminating exercise can bring some white light insights about qualities you are attracted to and the common curses that drive you crazy. — The AstroTwins

What is it that turns you on and what is it that turns you off? What have you historically been attracted to, and why didn’t that work? Once you know the answers and they’re clear in your mind, it will make it so much easier to pick a partner who really makes you happy.


heart-led-neon-sign

DIVE HEADFIRST INTO A RADICAL SELF LOVE AFFAIR

It’s always a good time to start loving yourself but Venus retrograde is a particularly powerful and auspicious time to break negative old habits and radically upgrade your self-care routines.

As Louise Hay says, “Remember, you’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Spoil yourself! Choose a bit of hedonism over so-called practicality. Skip work and go to an art gallery, turn off your phone and go out on a radical self love date, or go to a spa for an afternoon of bliss. If you have a copy of Radical Self Love, buy a notebook and start doing the homework! Buy yourself a big bunch of lavender roses and give yourself at least one orgasm every day. In the immortal words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?!”

Meow,

For additional reading, check out How To Survive Venus Retrograde With Your Love Life Intact from the AstroTwins, and Mystic Medusa’s Illustrated Guide To Venus Retrograde if you’re a member, which you should be, and you can join up right here.

Neon signs by Tracey Emin and anonymous.

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Attend Our Last Class And Get Blogcademy Online For Free!

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This September marks the end of our live Blogcademy classes. Kat, Shauna and I are stuck into producing brand new projects — books, magazines and courses (among others!) — and we want to give them our full attention. Three years, over 1000 students, and a dozen cities later, it’s time to move onto other things. The Blogcademy has been an incredible ride, but you’ve gotta know when to shift your focus. For us, that time has come!

In September, we’re teaching our two final classes: San Francisco on September 12th and 13th, and New York City on September 19th and 20th. If you want to learn how to grow your blog, this is the place to be!

Of course, we’re going out with a bang… Which means we have a very special offer for you. This week, anyone who books into our SF or NY classes will also receive access to The Blogcademy Online, the digital version of our courses, worth $497, for FREE!

Blogcademy Online was filmed last year in London, and it’s the perfect way to refresh your memory of what you learned in class! With access forever, you can watch and re-watch the lessons as much as you like. You’ll also receive a bundle of extra homework, prompts and worksheets to keep you on track!

To qualify for the deal you need to book into either the San Francisco or New York workshop this week, before midnight on Sunday 2nd August. That’s it! We’ll send you access to the course after the live workshop.

You can find out all about the class and what we teach over on our dedicated website, and as always, if you have any questions before you book, just drop us a message and Kat will get right back to you.

Love forever,

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“Whatever Forever”: On The Inherent Unsexiness Of Playing It Cool

The Inherent Unsexiness Of Playing It Cool

One afternoon, I sat on a kitchen counter in NYC, swinging my legs as I talked on the phone with one of my most devastating crushes. He had been in town the weekend before, and I had avoided him because he’d said something to me that I didn’t like. He was mad about the fact that I had sidestepped him. I was playing it cool, pretending to be above it, acting like I didn’t really, really like him.

But what he said to me during that phone-call stuck with me forever.

“Don’t act cool with me,” he said. “I just want you to be real. Be messy and embarrassing and tell me the truth. Be your twelve year old self, and I’ll be my twelve year old self, and it’ll be great.”

I’ve never forgotten that, and in some ways, it has become one of my guiding principles.

I know how tempting it is to play it cool, keep one foot out the door, not really say how you feel. To be coy and unavailable, to be afraid that if you brought your full enthusiasm to something, the fear of failure would be too great. That to bring your whole self would intimidate other people and scare them away.

But I also know that holding back your true feelings is just another form of playing small, not allowing your light to blaze through the sky. It’s a way of minimising who you are, of shrinking yourself down to be safe and obliging, of living for other people instead of yourself.

Truthbomb_31


No more wasting of time.

If you like her, tell her! If you want that job, ask for it! If you want to do something, start! Don’t withdraw; don’t hold back; don’t procrastinate. Give it all, especially when it makes your stomach flip.

The sexiest, most enticing, awesome thing on the planet is a person who is fully engaged with life. Get closer, get involved. Be curious, be enthusiastic. Soak it all up! Otherwise, you live a half-life, cowed by fear, marred with self-doubt, consumed by worry. The best way to love your life is throw yourself into it with gusto, right now.

The real pleasure begins when you admit what you don’t know; when you make mistakes; when you say, “I’m new at this: show me what you know!” It’s in having the confidence to take the stance of a beginner, and not being embarrassed about it.

Allow yourself to become alive with joy. Drop the pretenses and artifice. Show us who you really are. Tell us your dreams so we can help you make them come true. Let joy radiate through everything you do. Bring your energy and life-force to every interaction. Don’t be afraid of who you are.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” — e. e. cummings

Get it!

Photo from the Ruby lookbook and truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte.

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A Super-Feel-Good Playlist For The Summer

Ruby-Rose-Wallpaper-01

As many of you know, in my wildest fantasies, I am a superstar DJ. Or a music producer. Or something that requires wearing headphones for a large portion of the day.

I’ve been working on a playlist of songs that I’m loving right now. I started it in the Spring, and now it’s almost 10 hours long. It is all stuff that makes me feel good, and that I hope will make you feel good too.

Press shuffle. Turn it up. And enjoy…

Queen of living room dance parties,

P.S. Was this post just an excuse to share a photo of Ruby Rose, who is almost certainly the most beautiful person on the planet? Yes, maybe.

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