Car Free & Care Free

I don't hate driving, but I HATE driving in the city. There's very few things that make my blood boil; I don't mind lines at the grocery store, if somewhere is too crowded I'll happily leave, if someone is late, I am patient, but if somebody cuts me off, tailgates me, speeds up to stop lights or forgets to signal smoke starts coming out of my ears! - So, I eliminated driving. No more car payments, no more looking for parking, no insurance to deal with, just a man with a bicycle and I couldn't be happier.

The downside to not having a car (and it's a major one) is not being able to escape the city. I can't just pop up the coast to Big Sur or take a trip out into the desert - this can be extremely frustrating, especially when I need some much cherished alone time. 

SO! My point is.....I've found ways to escape without a car. Sometimes it's just a hike up Griffith Park, other times I go and meditate in the cemetery on a weekday (there's nobody there but there ARE peacocks) and when I need a little more adventure, I've found some campsites I can get to with a couple of bus transfers and a good old fashioned hike. The one pictured above is the Musch campground in Topanga State Park. It's a simple hike-in campground, usually pretty empty and surrounded by some awesome views and hikes. Stay tuned for a video of my public transit adventure to Musch campground. If it works out, expect me in a city near you to find all the best carless campsites and getaways!   

Contrary Action

Why is it so hard to do things that you know are good for you? Showing yourself love almost always makes you feel better, calmer, and stronger....but our instincts tell us that we're either too lazy, too self-obsessed or don't deserve it. Often it's the simplest things that boost our spirits; eating well, taking a break from our phones, meditating, writing in a journal, or going for a hike. 

 

The past 3 weeks I've been stuck in a whirlwind between travel, being sick, and work. I've made excuses EVERY day about how busy I am and how I don't have time for self love. Finally today, I broke the cycle, took contrary action, and went for a long hike, meditated at the top of a hill, listened to a podcast and took photos. It wasn't a perfect morning but it was the reset I needed! The real question is, what can I do for myself tomorrow? Or will I fall back into the cycle of excuses? 

 

Sweet Potato Shakshuka

Maybe not the prettiest meal I've ever made, but I just wrapped on set directing a 25 person crew with a 6am call time and my appetite is HUGE! Had some midday brunch inspiration! 

I boiled a sweet potato for 10 minutes until soft enough to cut while I diced up tomatoes, garlic and onions (keeping the tomatoes separate). Then I added the tomatoes and a gang of olive oil to a saute pan until it was saucy, added salt and pepper and put on low.

I cut the sweet potato (I only used half) into little half inch pieces of various sizes and along with some more oil turned the flame up and threw them on with the now tomato sauce! Once the started browning I added the minced garlic and onions. 

I gave it about 5 minutes to start getting crispy, I shuffled all the contents of the pan over to one side and cracked 3 eggs right on top; 2 would probably be fine. I added salt, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon and covered for 3-4 minutes without peaking! I then removed the pan from the heat, let sit for a minute before uncovering it, and then slid the whole mess onto a plate. Add Hot Sauce to taste! BOOM! 

 

     

LOVE GAMES

The older I get, and the more times I try, the harder it gets to fall in love. I can't think of a better reason to trudge through this life than LOVE (maybe food) - but it's complicated; the more energy you exert towards work, health, socializing, and personal time - the harder it is to let someone love you and to reciprocate it.

Here are some things I keep in mind when trying to grow love. (you're either growing or you're not)

1. How can I love better? Not "what do I need to do to get what I feel like I deserve from the other person." It's easy to confuse doing things for a result and doing things because you care. Everyday ask yourself "What can I do to be a better partner?" 

2. Be patient. Love takes time. It's tempting to just throw your life away for someone else and get obsessed, make their priorities your priorities; but they fell in love with who you are, not with themselves. Stay focused on your personal goals and share your life with someone, don't give your life to them.

3. Pause. Not everything that happens in a relationship is because of you or even about you. When you worry or stress or get frustrated with love or your lover's behavior, pause. Maybe this has nothing to do with you. Most likely we're projecting our worries onto a very small situation and blowing it out of proportion. Pause, think about the possibilities, and ask respectful questions if you can't just let it pass.

4. Say What You Mean. I can't stress this enough. If you're in a relationship with someone, there's no time for games. Don't read a text and not respond right away to prove a point. Be honest, be open, establish boundaries and talk about your love - don't just assume it'll all work out.    

5. LOVE BIG. Go hard or go home, if you want something, work for it. Tell them how you feel, and ask yourself "What can I do to LOVE you the best that I can."