Tie The Knot

Today, April 28th 2015, is a day that we will remember forever.

Barrett wears Owl Printed Royal Blue Bow Tie from Tie The Knot

Barrett wears Owl Printed Royal Blue Bow Tie from Tie The Knot

Today is a monumental day for History, for Love, for Human Rights.

Today is the day that we forever remember that LOVE is LOVE regardless if it is between a man and a man, a woman and a woman, or a man and a woman.

Today, I could not be prouder to be a part of Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mitika's amazing organization Tie The Knot. These two gentlemen pushed to have this civil right amended, and have done so with grace, class style.

Today is the day that will forever mark the fact that no one can tell you who your soulmate is, or the fact that you get to spend your life officially tied to one another.

Positive vibes all day long! You believe it, it becomes it.

For more information head over to: http://tietheknot.org and become a part of the discussion! 

Posted on April 28, 2015 .
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What's Love?

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What is it? What does it mean? How do we define it? How do we understand it?

Love is the single thing that connects all of us as human beings. It is the reason we fight. The reason we cry. The reason we smile. The reason we work, eat and create a life. We survive to live, but we live to love.

Love is such a fickle thing. A chemical reaction to someone’s actions towards you. A glimpse, a smile, a gaze caught at the perfect moment.

In an instance someone can go from being a complete stranger to someone you want around you all the time. Your heart and brain interconnecting, talking, feeling as one. An unfathomable fondness created through pheromones and a soul’s desire to share everything.

The saying, “You haven’t lived until you have loved,” is something I did not understand in the least bit until I felt love for the first time. Love changes your life, it changes your perceptions, it changes you.

Falling in love makes everything different.

You do not simply see, but rather you see beyond. Colors not only become brighter, but happier in such a magnetic way that you cannot help but to smile with the goofiest of grins.

You do not only hear, but rather hear more. Music is amplified in harmonious ways that sounds as if Venus, the goddess of love herself, is stroking her harp for you and only you. Sounds that once carried annoyance take on melodies that make you dance rather than walk.

You do not solely smell, bur rather breathe in beyond. Smells are seductively sharpened, and the scent of your love triggers synaptic connections that make your heart feel fuller than you ever could have imagined.

You do not purely taste, but rather perceive flavors as if a virgin to food. Your tongue becomes more sensitive to tastes, and everything is more lush and more exotic than cold water on the hottest of days.

You do not simply feel touch, but rather experience a tingling sensation that is otherworldly. To say that your skin takes on another level of sensitivity and eagerness to be felt does not do justice to the effects your love has on your sense of touch. A hug, a kiss, a caress all become gifts from the heavens that euphorically erupt one cell at a time in an explosion of pleasure.

Falling in love, staying in love and being in love take your brain on a journey of every emotion you could ever feel. You long for longings. You desire desires. You feel feelings. You constantly straddle a line between insane and sane, and you love every second of it in ways you cannot explain.

We become other versions of ourselves. Softer, gentler, easier. Words take on new meanings, our actions hold more weight, selfishness dissipates. You no longer think of just you, but of two.

To love with all your heart is to let go of everything that scares you. You are forced to face your insecurities, and allow yourself to be more naked than nudity permits. Vulnerable. Exposed. Bare. Open to love, but also open to the harshest of heartaches.

If you love correctly, which is never actually correct, than you have nowhere to hide. You give, you learn to take, you evolve, you change, you hold your dependence but become a creation that is symbiotic with ebb and flow.

When you experience love, you are giving into a metamorphosis of yourself forever. You will never be the same. You will never feel the same. You will never think the same all because love was gifted to you. A priceless, invaluable, precious piece of life.

If you are so lucky as to find yourself in love, remember that it is something to hold onto with all your might. You’ve been granted an experience beyond this world, beyond our knowledge, beyond human comprehension. Know you will never understand it. Know you will never be able to experience this specific love ever again. Know that all is not lost if you loose this love, but know that to have love is so incredibly special that you must never take it for granted.

Love is imperfect, love is unfair, love is ever changing, but that is the beauty of love.

Take chances, take risks, do things you thought you may never do, and beyond anything else, love with all of your heart for if you do the rewards will be far greater than any tangible riches you could ever imagine.

To love is to be, and to be is freedom. Find your freedom in the realm of love. 

Please let me know what you think, and want to hear about in the comments below!

Posted on January 5, 2015 .
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Demons of Perfection

We all have them.

Some are big, some are small, but no matter what the size, they are very real.

We tell our peers and ourselves a series of lies to try and convince everyone, including ourselves, that we are in fact fine. However, we are not.

We avoid them, hide from them and mask them with different feelings, substances and any other tactics we can think of employing. We run circles around ourselves, ruin relationships and force ourselves into craziness because we are afraid.

Afraid to look at that person in the mirror, and say I am not who society wants me to be. I am not who I have been taught I am supposed to be. I am not me for me.

Whether it is your weight, your sexuality, issues with your parents, or whatever it is that you beat yourself up for deep down inside, know that you are not perfect. You will never be perfect. You are not supposed to be perfect.

But you will be ok.

Perfection is an idea that we’ve been fed to make us want more, push harder and look for greatness. However, when you allow the idea of perfection to consume you, you drown your own happiness in a black sea that has no bottom.

Taking that first real-long-hard look at yourself in the mirror, and saying I am (insert demon) is the first step to allowing yourself to be truly happy, allowing yourself to heal, allowing yourself to be your truest you.

The day you admit that you are gay, have problems with your weight, have an eating disorder, have problems with your mom or dad, or whatever else the case may be, is the day you get to start a new chapter. It is the day you show the world your authentically-imperfect-beautiful-bright colors.

This day will be the scariest day of your life because it is the day you tell the world, ”I am not who you think I am!”

You may lose friends, you may lose a job, you may lose a lot, but what you gain in return is your life, and nothing is more valuable than that.

A lot of people think that the day they openly admit to what has been holding them back is the day that everything gets better, but the truth is this is the real beginning of your journey. This is the day the real work starts.

“Coming out” is giving in to yourself in a sincere way, but it does not mean you have dealt with your problems, your demons, your anxieties. It is simply the first step in a lifetime journey of understanding yourself.

Too many people avoid doing the work because it is hard, tiring and scary. You have to address serious things that have occurred in your life, and come to terms with relationships, events and people that have mistreated you, and sometimes in ways you did not even realize. Painful does not begin to explain the emotions you will feel, but as you continue to work on yourself the pain dissipates, and the light shines through.

Your demons do not have the right to stay with you forever, nor should they. Give yourself the greatest gift you can, and work on you. You work on so many other things, so why not put the time in for your greatest creation, yourself.

Lots of Love,

Barrett

Posted on December 18, 2014 .
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FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Fear of missing out.

Photos By @StephWesterman  | Style Details Below

Photos By @StephWesterman  | Style Details Below

Do we inherently feel this, or are we forced to feel alone by the world we live in? Can we miss out on not just one night, but many nights, and feel like we haven’t lost out on our chances of love?

FOMO by definition, as according to the all knowing Wikipedia, is a “form of social anxiety, whereby one is compulsively concerned that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event” if they do not attend.

FOMO was something funny I first told my friends about, back when I lived in LA. It was a concept that a lot of my friends identified with, had not heard and quickly made the rounds in my circle of friends.

I know I did not invent this word. However, I remember hearing it for the first time many years ago, and instantly identifying with it, as I had been the kid, who growing up was left out of many Friday night hangouts, parties and play-dates.

When you are developing and clearly being left out, you acquire an array of mind contortions that you are not good enough. Not good enough to be someone’s friend, not cool enough to be invited to the party, not enough of really any positive adjective to be at any desirable happening. 

You grow up lacking buoyancy, lacking confidence, lacking sureness. You know you are not a bad person, but you do not know how amazing you truly are.

Then one day you get the phone call. You are invited to “the party,” and you know you have to employ every ounce of effort to make sure you are in fact there.

You are finally given your chance to fit in.

Finally!

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You jump over hurdles, rush around and force yourself to make it to the pregame, to the bar, to the after-party, to the after-after-party. You lose sleep. You drink more than you probably should or want to. You constantly look tired, your skin is a mess and you are bloated, but “hey people like you!”

You are fun, and they now see that.

This cycle of destruction continues on for months, years, and sometimes, forever.

You have nights when all you want to do is stay in, but you know if you do, all you will be thinking about is the amazing time you are missing out on, with the amazing people you NEVER get to see. So, you force yourself to go out.

Again, and again, and again.

Then one day you tell yourself you really need a break, so you do the unthinkable and stay in. You let yourself relax, breathe, recover. You make yourself dinner, read, chill. Then you whip out your phone, and start looking through your endless social media accounts only to see all your bestest friends out and about without you.

Panic takes over.

FOMO kicks in.

You see them all looking amazing, having so much fun and at the craziest party. You feel disappointed that you did not go out, you have a moment of regret, and you try to tear yourself away from your phone, but you cannot stop guilting yourself into shame for being so lame.

Eventually you fall asleep.

Morning comes, and you arise from your sorrowful slumber. Something feels different. You wake up feeling less sluggish, less rundown, less like death. You realize you actually feel pretty great, and that you are okay with the fact that you may have missed out on an “epic” night.

What is happening?

Slowly, but surely you realize that you really did not miss out on anything, and those friends that you never get to see are actually people you can see any night that there is a party.

Your crazy has been kicked. Your maturity has kicked in. Growth is in play.

You allow yourself more nights in, less nights out and more time to just be. You still want to be social, and you are, but just in different ways. You don’t lose your fun; however, you begin to discover it through new avenues, new friends, new notions.

FOMO is something we all go through as humans. We all have a basic desire to be a part of a collective. We are programmed to want to be in a community, a group, a family. We yearn for people to share things with, and it truly is a beautiful thing.

However, what you learn as you mature, is that FOMO is something that creeps up on you in an immediate and anxious way, but when you let yourself process exactly what it is that you are missing out on, you begin to understand that you are in fact not missing out on anything because you are living your life in a different truth, moment, presence.

Once the time has come and gone, you will realize you missed just another night like all the ones you have had before. Nothing crazy happened, no one out of the ordinary showed up, and if in fact either of these do take a turn for the exciting, and you were not there, you understand it is not the end of the world.

What is truly even more motivating is that you are not missing out on the next day. The “fun” of being wasted, intoxicated, fucked-up forces you into an unhealthier state the next day, and you end up missing out on a lot more.

You miss out on sleep. You miss out on productivity. You miss out on being with yourself. You miss out on being clear, hydrated and focused.

And what for?

Parties? People? Popularity?

As I have grown older I have realized I do not suffer from FOMO nearly as much as I used to. Yes, I will admit there are still moments that I see a group of friends together, and think, “I wish I had been invited to that,” or “I should have just rallied,” But I also recognize the gifts I give myself by not chasing an unrealistic and never-ending dream of fun.

I’ve processed my own FOMO for what it really is. The going out, the partying, the late nights are all ways to fill voids for the emptiness felt, and many of us would rather mask it then deal with it.

I have allowed myself the crazy nights, and I will allow for more to come, but I have recognized what it is that I am really scared of missing out on, and its love, acceptance, adoration.

FOMO has been replaced by FOML. Fear of missing love.

I know I do not have a fear of missing out, but rather I yearn for something substantial. For companionship. For someone to not have FOMO with me, but rather be in the moment with me. For someone to not chase the dream, but live in it with me. For someone who rather lose out on an extra hour of “fun,” so that they we can fall asleep next to each other. Drunk or sober. Early or late. Sunrise or sunset.

I have a fear of missing out, and I am honest about it. I am scared to miss out on cuddling, kissing, passion. I am terrified to miss the closeness, the tenderness, the love.

FOMO is simply another fear that as you conquer it, you realize there was nothing to fear at all. Maybe the same is true for FOML. Maybe the things we are scared to miss out on are already there. Maybe we have all the love we need in ourselves, just waiting to be tapped into.

Fear of missing out, fear of missing love, fear of anything is just our younger, more insecure selves telling us we still are not enough. We will never escape that nerdy kid with glasses, braces and a bowl cut that we once were, so rather than chasing the “fun,” we sit with our twelve-year-old self and love him or her like no other.

When we do, it seems the universe sends someone our way that wants nothing more than to help us quiet our fears, remind us of our amazingness, and show us the love we have been searching for.

Lots of Love,

Barrett

Let me know what makes you feel FOMO, scared, or stressed. I am sure we all can relate, and it feels so amazing to just get it out.

Photography: Stephanie Westerman @stephwesterman

Outfit: Levi's Vintage Jean Vest, Uniqlo Black Denim Pants, Gap White Oxford, Johnston & Murphy Shoes.

Posted on November 17, 2014 .
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What Break-Ups Really Do To Us

An ending. A conclusion. A forever no more.

Are they really the end, or are they the beginning to understanding more and more of what we want and need?

Break-ups are never easy. They are not the actual closure to your feelings and thoughts towards your ex. Break-ups are the point in time when we must deal with our own feelings, our own sadness, our own ideas of love and what we want.

Tears are shed. Honest conversations with ourselves are had. Waves of happy to ok to completely heartbroken flow in the most elegant and eerie ways, and crash like the harshest of surfs.

From your keys to a subway stop to waking up alone, everything reminds you of the person you shared so much with.

Music sounds somber. Colors lose a slight bit of brightness. Touch is completely removed. Food is less exciting. Smells only remind you more of the person you no longer call yours.

This thing called a break-up is made even harder when one person has not done anything immensely wrong. It is simply a difference of the minds, of the hearts, of the souls. A love tank empty, a heart broken, an intertwined spirit unraveled.

There are many different scenarios that lead to break ups, but one thing is certain the love does not just disappear. You may do the breaking up, or you may be the one broken up with, but if the love was real, neither side of this lackluster coin feels like “winning.”

You shared couches, meals, memories. You became each other’s best friend, confidant, partner. You enhanced each other’s comfort, ease, understanding. You started to build a life, introduced family, talked about the future. This person was not your everything, but rather the missing piece.

Then things changed.

The thoughtfulness, the acts of love, the communication all got lost in translation, or simply never arrived. You start to feel the exact opposite of how this person originally made you feel. Your happiness fades. Your eyes tire from tears. You know this simply is not working.

You’ve tried different ways to make yourself heard. You’ve made changes. You’ve done work.

You’ve given hints. You’ve been explicit. You’ve done it all.

It would be made easier if someone had done something awful, but the truth is nothing makes this easier. Anger only masks the pain and sadness that eventually comes. You wish things had been different, but wishing only makes wishes. Actions had not been employed, and you are left with a heavy heart, not a heart-happy one.

You think back to the times it was magic, and it only makes it sadder.

You could be immature and negative, but it gets you no where, so you choose to honor the love you had, respect the time you spent together, and think of a future when maybe, just maybe, you and your ex can be friends.

Break-ups are not the end, nor are they the beginning. They are simply a time in your life that you must allow yourself to be present with some of your deepest feelings; feelings that surround your own happiness and ultimate life.

We must understand that if there was true love present then we were gifted one of the greatest pleasures of life.

We are not to speak poorly, focus on the bad times and leave that time in our lives in a box. We are meant to take the things we learned from that person, and cherish them, so that we may continue to grow. We shall plant a seed deep inside of us with that person’s name so that a tree of knowledge can grow from the things we learned. We must honor the relationship, the good times, the love, so that we may ultimately honor ourselves.

Break-ups suck, but what sucks more is hating someone you once loved.

Allow time to takes its course. Allow for breathing room to be felt. Allow for the universe to direct your destiny.

Keep your chin up buttercup. It will all be ok. Give it time, and remember you have a beautiful life.

Lots of Love,

Barrett

I would love to hear from you. What have you learned from your past loves? Where did you path go from your break-ups? What did you find out about yourself?

To follow more from Barrett check out:

Posted on November 10, 2014 .
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faveMen Magazine Interview

Hey guys!

I had such a lovely time answering these questions and taking these pictures for my faveMEN Cover Story that I wanted to share both with you all! Hope you all enjoy it!

FM: Where to begin? There’s so much our readers want to know about you and certainly can’t cover it all in 10 questions. But I’ll start by asking about your swimming career.  You dedicated over a decade of your life to swimming.  What kept you swimming for so long and can you share one thing that you took from swimming that has remained in your life?

BP: Well, we can try to fit in as much as we can in 10 questions. I am excited to share my answers with you and your readers, and feel honored that you guys are even remotely interested in me and my life.

Swimming was the first thing I can vividly remember falling in love with at first sight. It was the summer of ’97, and my family went to an outdoor public pool to escape the summer heat. We ended up staying at the pool right up until it was time for a swim meet to begin. My family stuck around to watch some of the meet, and I was instantly in love. The next day, my father took me to the best swim team in town for tryouts, and I was ready to go.

My love for swimming stayed with me until the day I decided to quit because it was time to focus on building a career in college. The escape it offered me is what really kept me going. There was something about diving into the water, and having just you and your thoughts that was beyond therapeutic for me. I’ve always felt extremely at home in water, and swimming gave me multiple outlets to thrive.

I had a natural ability when it came to competitive swimming, and I quickly rose amongst the ranks. By the time I was 14, I was swimming with the 18 year olds, and not only swimming, but beating them at meets. I loved to prove to people that I was a force to be reckoned with, and that not everything is as it seems.

It was that idea coupled with a sportsman competitiveness that has stuck with my character throughout my life. I love proving to people that I am not always who they expect me to be, and that if you work hard enough, anything is possible.

FM: Was training for swimming the beginning of your passion for fitness?

BP: Swimming is definitely where my passion for fitness began. The beauty behind it is that I never once thought of swimming as anything other than something I loved. It was not till I was older, and in college that I realized swimming had been “exercise,” and gifted me with my physique. 

I still strangely think of swimming as something to do to relax, wind down, or escape. There have been plenty of days when I ran, lifted weights for an hour and a half, and then went and swam a couple thousand yards to wind down.

I am a Pisces, which makes me a fish, so the water will always be my peaceful place.

FM: We’ll stay on fitness for one more question.  If you can share one tip with our readers who want to achieve a lean physique, what would it be and how do you stay motivated?

BP: One tip to achieving a lean physique is to truly employ some form of cardio. It sounds obvious that I would suggest swimming, but it truly is the only exercise that employs every muscle in your body, when done correctly. It also does not hurt that it is low impact, and used for recovery when injured.

When it comes to motivation, I always suggest to have realistic goals, and to be kind to yourself in your journey. While you may be trying to achieve something physically, you must remember that your mind is your ultimate weapon, and if you tell yourself you can do something, eventually you will be able to do whatever it is.

FM: Can you tell us about your website Artisan and King, how it got started and why?

BP: This topic is what really lights me up these days.

Artisan and King, or A&K, as Bianca, my co-creator and I call it, came to fruition because we both had a passion for style. We met the first day of college, and instantly clicked. 9 years later, we still talk every week, multiple times, and wanted to work on something we loved together.

We’ve been those friends that unintentionally keep trading cities, the second one of us moves to New York, the other one moves to Los Angeles. The website was meant for us to stay in touch, create, and fill what we saw as an open void in the style world of a guy and girl team.

However, when I moved back to New York City, I lost the passion I had for style and fashion. I was going through what I call my quarter life crisis. I ended my long term and long distance relationship, quit my career, moved cross country, and to top it off shaved my head for the first time. I really went for it.

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I found it impossible to focus on superficial things like fashion, and I was dealing with a lot of emotions, so I went to one of my oldest passions, which was writing. I’ve kept a journal since I was 12, and this was my open forum to speak from my soul.

From there I told Bianca I was sorry that I could not pursue our original intention, but had something else I wanted to share. Thus, my contribution to A&K was born.

FM: Your blog posts are very inspiring and our readers are big fans of you and your values.  You’re very open and honest about dating advice. What inspires you to share some of your experiences and sharing tips on this subject?

BP: I was not always someone who was very open. My sensitivity got me bullied through my formative years, but when I got to college, I realized that holding things in does not serve anyone any good. Ever since then I have been the first of my friends to share when things are feeling good or bad, which creates trust, and opens people up to sharing their feelings as well.

When it came time to write about my life, dating was just another piece to the puzzle, and I knew there would be others who felt the same way, but were simply not talking about it. So, in typical Barrett fashion I spoke up.

I know there are many men and women, who feel as if they are not heard, or represented, and all lot of magazines give silly advice. I speak from my heart, my experiences, and my real desire to find true love. I do not commend games, and I do not think there are rules to finding your perfect mate, but I do think that there are truths we must tell ourselves, and patterns that must end.

Ultimately, I think my genuineness is what has resonated with my audience, who I feel so lucky to share with.

FM: One would have to be from another planet not to admit that your good looks and physique are eye-catching.  How do you does this affect you out there in the dating world?

BP: I appreciate the compliment, and still get slightly embarrassed by those kinds of statements. I’ve said this before, but in my head I will forever be the nerdy 9th grader, who has braces, glasses, and a blonde bowl cut. I was not popular, and no one was romantically interested in me until I got to college. However, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am not that 9th grader anymore.

When it comes to dating, I think I face the same hardships everyone does. I worry that I might not be enough of something for someone, or too much of something else. It has been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs when it comes to dating. I think for some people, I am looked at as a conquest, and for others completely unobtainable, when in fact they probably would have stood a fair shot.

Social media, and my different careers, some of which require me to be in my underwear, have also made some people believe that I am one way or another, but what I try to remind people is that it is part of my job. I love being in my underwear, and I grew up in a speedo as a swimmer, but I am mostly covered up in clothes, and a giant dork.

There are a lot of judgments placed upon me before I get to know a lot of people, but I also think that’s true for everyone. I just know that once people actually talk to me in a genuine, intimate forum, they usually end up saying, “You are not how I expected you to be,” and we have a really nice conversation.

FM: Let’s talk for a second about modeling. When we type in your name in the Google images search, an amazing array of images flood the page.  How did modeling begin for you and what has been the most interesting/unique shoot you have done so far?

BP: As you may have noticed most of my life did not really “start” until I got to college, which I should mention was in NYC at NYU.

The same is true for modeling. My friends told me I should, they submitted pictures to agencies, and the next thing I knew I was being signed by a NYC agency. Cut to today, and its been a solid amount of years that modeling has been in my life.

The most interesting shoot I have done so far would have to be when I was shooting a video for Britney Spear’s Femme Fatale World Tour. The entire day I was naked, except for a slight cover over my “junk,” and every thirty minutes sprayed down with shimmer and oil. I then had to stand on a column that spun while holding Greek god like poses. The video ended up being super cool, and it played behind Britney Spears during the song “Drop Dead Beautiful,” which is definitely something not everyone gets to say they’ve done.

Modeling has definitely been an interesting part of my life, and I am grateful to have the opportunities I have had because of it, but most of it is truly not as glamorous as people tend to think. Only a small fraction of models live off of just modeling, and when people ask about getting into it, I always say go to school and do it when you have the time.

FM: Apart from modeling, you have also appeared in some film work. Can you tell us about that experience and will you be doing more?

BP: I had originally moved to LA to pursue an acting career as most young hopefuls do. During my three years in LA, I was lucky enough to be taken under the wings of some great people, and I ended up getting to be in Magic Mike, True Blood, and a few other really cool projects with some really big celebs. However, my heart was just not completely in it, and the industry wore on me, so I moved back to NYC to rediscover myself, my passions, my goals.

Acting, like modeling, is painted as a much more glamorous picture. Yes, once you make it, everything is amazing, but getting there is a hard path, and takes a huge toll on a person’s psyche.

As far as doing more acting, I never say never, but for now it is not a main focus of mine. If the right project was to present itself than that would be something worth considering, but more than anything I want to spread my message of light and positivity. The dream would be to have my own talk show.

FM: Travel, my favorite subject and something you enjoy as well.  What is it about travel that you enjoy the most, besides visiting beautiful or interesting places? And what has been your favorite place you’ve visited so far?

BP: What draws me into travel is the fact that you get to experience an entirely different world than what you know and live in. My first time out of the country was to Paris, France. I did a semester abroad in Paris, and got to travel all over Europe while I lived there. It opened my eyes to so many things, but more than anything I remember finding the old history and culture to be so beautiful and romantic.

America is extremely young when we are compared to most of the world, and while I am proud to be someone who has an American passport, I think there are a lot of things we do that are not the best, and it was not till I got to travel that I began to understand this concept.

I think formal education is extremely important, and if you have a way to get a degree, I think you must take that opportunity and run with it, but there is something about experiencing other places firsthand that teaches you more than any book could.

FM: What’s next for Barrett Pall, what can we expect to see in the near future?

BP: What’s next?! Honestly, right now I look at my life and see endless possibilities. I am currently really focusing on my writing, and promoting what I call a heart-happy life. I see taking my website to a whole other level, and becoming somewhat of a life coach for all different types of people. My dream would be to have my own column in a major publication like Time, GQ, Men’s Health, something that really let my voice be heard. I would also love to have a career like Oprah. I know those are the ultimate shoes to fill, but someone has to do it, and I would love the opportunity.

There are definitely big things in the works, so continue to follow along. All I know is that this adventure started with a dream, a passion, a desire, and now my hard work and persistence is beginning to pay off. I have always been a soundboard for my friends, and have been happy to give my own perspective on things, which has always been to find the positive. I feel blessed that anyone would want to listen to what I have to say, so as long as there is one person out there that is being positively affected, I am going to keep sharing my journey, my life, my heart.


  


Posted on November 7, 2014 .
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The Biggest Mistakes Our Generation is Making

In today’s society we are constantly so plugged-in that we forget that there is such a thing as being too plugged in.

Majority of our connecting is done through some sort of device, which is even further exemplified, by the fact that I can put this out there, and anyone anywhere can read it.

The world has limitless possibilities now, but are we ready for them?

We are able to be more informed, connected and educated, but we are losing something through our saturated connectivity. We are becoming heavily reliant on mediums and new channels to send our messages that we are simplifying our means of communicating in an extreme way.

When do we stop swiping to the left, and start looking to the left? What happens when we no longer have our phones as our armor? Are we even the same person when it comes time to remove the texting, and trade it in for person-to-person talking?

We use one-word answers to explain who we are, where we are from, what we like and how we are feeling. We are losing the ability to express ourselves in person-to-person communication when there is not something to “hide” behind.

Our cellphones have become the answer to so many of life’s problems. We are able to find our friends with a simple dropped pin. We can talk to anyone anywhere. We can even buy everything we will ever need, find a person to date, and complete work emails all on the go. If cellphones had been what they are today, the 90’s show, Seinfeld, would have never had any plots, as it was mostly about the characters not being to find one another, which was, and still is entertaining.

Today, we are continuously so tapped into something that we lose our surroundings. We are plugged-in all the time, but to our own little world. We are obsessed with what others are doing, but not the people right next to us. We sit at dinner parties covered in a glow of cellphone usage. We let “Mr. or Mrs. Right” walk right past us because we are swiping left and right. We are not calling our friends to say, “hello,” because we think we know what is going on in their lives through a series of pictures.

We are losing real communication in exchange for a false sense of connection.

We need to stop being so focused on the cyber world, and start becoming present in the “real world.” We need to lose our desire for “ false-connections,” so that we become more approachable, and ultimately find real connections. We need to understand being present does not include looking at our mobile devices. We need to start being more self-aware about the amount of usage we are giving our electronics.

Personally, I have taken this all to heart for some time now, and have made changes in my own life, so that love, friendship and real relationships can become present in my life. I’ve made it of chief importance to see my friends, to find career opportunities that allow me to have more human interaction, and not be a part of the ever growing dating app world.

Below are 8 things that I would recommend trying out, so that you too, may find a real sense of connection, a greater appreciation of being present and an overall happier life. Some of these ideas seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many of us forget to implement these ideas.

             1.    Stop Looking at Your Phone

Obviously, I do not mean all together. Our phones make our lives a million times easier, but with that ease we are paying a huge price. We waste so much time gazing into the lives of others on social media that we forget we have our own lives to live, our own dreams to make come true, our own love stories to write.

When you stop looking down, you start looking up. This is the greatest literal and metaphorical change you can make to your life. When you are looking at your phone, you allowing a magical world to pass you by, and closing yourself off from endless opportunities. Look up, look left, look right. Hell, look anywhere besides down, all you will ever see is your phone and feet.

You will start to see many possibilities, people, and places you glanced over before in new ways.

2.    Make Your Phone Your Friend Not Your Foe

If you are going to spend time on Facebook, Instagram and all these other social media sites, they should be used as tools for inspiration, not harmful venues for you to feel insignificant, envious or jealous. Follow people that make you want to chase your dreams, provide motivation and act as examples.

Sign up for newsletters or email notifications about what is happening in the world. Allow yourself the opportunity to become a more informed individual, so that you do not get stuck harping on unimportant and trivial things like what celebrities are fighting today.

3.    Unplug Your Headphones

We use our headphones as conscious and subconscious signifiers that we do not want to be approached, spoken to, or interacted with. I would agree there are times this is a necessary action; I for one, like my time to be my time when I am at the gym. However, the problem arises when we are always closed off from others by plugging in our headphones.

By removing your headphones here and there, you are allowing yourself to be more approachable, or even, gasp, approached. You are giving others an indirect message that you are open to real communication. You are allowing yourself to be even more present in your life. You are allowing for vocal interaction to be a thing.

4.    Smile

It is something that is so simple and easy to do, but something many of us do not do. We frown, implement “resting-bitch face,” or do anything but smile. When you smile, you look welcoming, inviting and approachable.

Smiling for one minute can literally change your entire mood. It makes you laugh at yourself, and you forget why you were doing anything other then smiling, and being happy. Smiling helps release stress, boosts your immune system and is a universal sign of happiness.

Who wouldn’t want any of those things?

5.    Stop Talking About the Things You Want to Do and Do Them

By putting down your phone, you are allowing your time to be taken up by things that mean something to you, rather than simply “wasting” time. Many of us use our phones as ways to distract us from what is actually going on.

Being fully present in the moment is something that this generation has a hard time doing. We do not know how to simply wait for our friend or date to show up without playing on our phones. We do not know how to ask for help when we may need it. We think we see everyone else having it all together, so we should too.

I know so many people, who have big ideas and dreams, but are afraid to go after them because they are scared. The people who have fulfilled their dreams have taken risks and reaped the rewards. They are the one’s that you are staring at on social media, and  think, “I wish I had that person’s life.”

6.    Stop Hiding Behind Your Phone 

When I was single and dating, I tried everything from Tindr to Facebook to meet guys, and it worked. I met a lot of dudes! We would connect through some form of texting, have nice conversations, and get to a place where we both wanted to go on an actual date. Crazy, I know!

I would be so pumped to meet this guy, who came across sweet, confident and cool, but the second we meet in person, Mr. Perfect became Mr. Boring, Mr. Quiet, or Mr. No Personality. I literally would think, “Was that even you, who I was talking to?”

We have become so used to having something to guard us from rejection that many of us end up with two personalities. One persona, who is probably more like the real us without any thought of judgment, and the other persona being one that is defensive and scared. I am all for someone having confidence, but that confidence should be there when you are standing eye to eye with one another, not just typing words.

7.    Stop Using Dating Apps

I’ve said this once, I’ll say it a thousand times; if you are looking for a real connection, chances are, you are not going to find one by swiping through countless men or women.

I know there is the exception to every rule, but if you are on number 100 of first dates than its time to retire the app, and start going out into the real world, putting yourself at risk to be rejected, and walking up to real people you find attractive for one reason or another.

I deleted all my dating apps a long long time ago, and made myself say hi to guys I was interested in. It was scary, some flat out gave me the cold shoulder, but with each guy I walked up to it became easier and easier to say hi.

I also do not think I would have necessarily liked specific guys I ended up liking in person had I first come across them online. There is a certain energy that can be felt when you first see someone you are attracted to in person that will never be obtainable through a screen.

8.    Stop Going for Instant Gratification

We are literally able to do just about anything through the Internet, our phones, or whatever electronic you favor. We are presented with many opportunities because of our connectedness, but the problem is, we do not always give ourselves time to think. We act fastidiously because we can, not because we should. We give in to sudden urges and play mind-games with ourselves later, when it should be the reverse.

We are not looking out for number one, ourselves, as best as we should because we “can do now, and think later.” We need to remember that all actions, good and bad, come with some sort of consequence. Just because something sounds like a good idea at the time does not mean it is.

Rebel Wilson says it the best in Pitch Perfect, “I sometimes have a feeling I can do crystal meth, but than I think, ‘mmmm, , better not.’”

Ultimately, I do not think our generation is doing everything wrong. So many of us are using a number of these tools to better the world. We are making tremendous advances in technology, medicine, and an array of other areas, but we need to remember that everything that we think is helping us, can also be harmful in some way.

Too much oxygen will suffocate you; too much water will drown you; too many vegetables will still make you overweight. Yes, these are extremes, but they are examples of how moderation is necessary, of how we need to be aware of what we are doing to ourselves, of how we need to look beyond our phones.

I by no means am saying throw your phone out, or never look at it again, but I am saying that you would be surprised at how much beauty, joy, and life you miss everyday while looking down.

Be aware. Be approachable. Be present.

I hope my words have resonated with you, and have started a conversation with yourself. 

Sincerly,

Barrett

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and questions below. I love feedback, and hearing about your journeys. They inspire my own life, and make this ride feel all the more blessed!

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Posted on October 21, 2014 .
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Coming Out: I Am A Man

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Dear You,

I’ve always been scared of the word man, today I take that word and own it!

I guess that I should start with the fact that I am an anomaly. A person that has never fit into one category, one group, one complete anything.  Parts of me fit here, fit there, but nothing has fit everywhere. It is something that I have learned to enjoy, as I am able to fuse into many situations and be rather comfortable. However, never completely belonging, being somewhat of an outsider, can be taxing. I’ve always felt the need to explain myself, to have others understand me because I feel as humans we are so complex that to make a snap decision is unfair. I’ve lived unfairly for a long time, and I pride myself on not letting that be who I am.

With that said, I want to tell you something. It is something many of you know. It is something that the people closest and dearest to me have known for a long time, but still something I want to share.

I am gay.

Just writing it, even though it is something I haven’t hidden and have come to terms with sends a rush of adrenaline through my body. A metaphorical last bit of chip on my shoulder disintegrates, that last 5 pound weight is lifted from what was holding me down, a lightness has washed over me. I am free.

This minute detail in the complexity of who I am ultimately means nothing to me, but so much at the same time.

As far back as I can remember this trivial fraction of who I am has haunted me because I was in fact gay, but did not know it for myself. Sure, looking back at life and how I loved Barbie, my best friends were girls and I was sensitive could all be “tell-tale signs,” but why? Why did you care what I liked? Why did you care who I played with? Why did you care I was sensitive? Why did you care that I was gay?

I think what is so hard for me is that I probably would’ve come out much sooner, but being labeled the gay kid, when you in fact, do not identify with who that person is supposed to be, is so hard on one’s psyche. You fight so hard against something that you don’t even have a problem with, but just do not connect with that it becomes a constant struggle. Had all the people I had pushing this on me, just let me be me, I would’ve been able to figure out things so much quicker, and without a sense of fear, pressure and hardness.

It is not anyone’s job to tell someone else who he or she is supposed to be. It was not your job to tell me who I am. Who I am supposed to be. Who I am going to be. That is my job. My journey to take. My life to unfold.

I know that this is something that everyone deals with to some extent, gay or straight, but the amount of focus I was subjected to on a daily basis from people I would call my peers, but were rather bullies unable to figure themselves out, was so daunting and constant that I cannot feel as if I was constantly under a magnifying glass. Those people who had their own issues to deal with, but were too cowardly to look them in the eye and focus on themselves, so turned their attention on someone who was an easy target. A happy kid, who had a lot going for him, me. It wasn’t just kids either, it was parents, teachers, strangers. I was happy just being me, I didn’t know exactly who I was, nor do I now, but I continue to be happy, “gay” if you will because I learned valuable life lessons so early on. 

At the age of six I watched my mother, my hero, fight for each day of her life. She was stricken with an illness that I to this day do not understand, but know it was life altering. When you see someone you love slowly die, you realize very quickly that time is precious and you must enjoy every minute of life. This life-changing event will forever stay with me, and continue to remind me that I will not live a life that just goes through the motions, but to live a life that is full, whole, happy and loving. Luckily, I can say I still have my mom 19 years later. It hasn’t been without ups and downs, but nonetheless she is still here and fighting.

I share this story with you because it truly was “that moment in life” that acts as a foundation of who we are to become. It is the oldest, most vivid memory I have, and physiologist will say it is the traumatic life event that leads to my hopes and fears, dreams and ambitious, problems and neurosis. I like to think that I have been very in touch with my own emotions and feelings, and that I have used this event as a way to understand myself and adjust to the world. I understand it, I process it, and I use it to move forwards rather than harp and feel victimized.

Moving forwards and going back to “officially” coming out because in today’s society if it isn’t done via social media, is it even official? I want to explain how deciding to write this open coming out letter isn’t to serve my own purpose, but rather the person who happens to read this and understands what life is like for himself, herself or that kid they don’t get.

It is not about being comfortable with others, it is about being comfortable with yourself, which only gets harder the more people try to tell you who you are. In the multiple times I’ve come out to different friends or groups of people, I’ve always went into the situation knowing that in the end, these people would not have a problem with it, but would probably love me even more because they finally got to see my true self. I knew that the people I chose to have in my life were to put it simply, good people. They were and are people that loved me for me, who let me be me, who saw nothing but Barrett. All the hang-ups and stresses were my own insecurities wrecking havoc on me from years of verbal abuse from those bullies, not my friends, not my family. I also know that I unlike so many, am blessed and lucky because this is not the case for so many beautiful people. For that I thank my friends and family for being the amazing angels they are.

It is also easy to finally say all this because I have had the chance to live in New York City, where being an individual is praised. I have lived in Los Angeles where I had time to leave all that I knew, and focus on finding out who I really was. I have given myself multiple explorations and adventures to find more and more vignettes that comprise who I am as a whole. Each step of the way has been scary, different and sparked something new in me, but it has been important; and I have tried to appreciate every moment as best as I can to understand that I will never be in this specific place in my life again. I may end up somewhere similar, but never an exact replica of each moment.

I have learned that I don’t fit in, and I never will. I have learned it’s the best thing in the world to stand out in a crowd. To be that light in darkness. I have also learned that you will never be able to please everyone, so if you can please yourself than let that light shine as bright as that fiery mass in the sky.

I’ve also learned what I think so many LGBT people have a hard time learning in the beginning, there is not just one specific idea of what it means to be gay. Everyone feels the need to put everything into a box, a category, a specific. What I have found is that there will always be many intricate facets that collaborate to create the unique being that is me. A stereotype is something that we use to make sense of the world, but I do not think in my case it serves me as much positive as it does negative because in the end I am still my own man.

I think the way so many gay men refer to each other as “her” or “she” is funny and playful, but I also think it is destructive. I am someone that looks at being gay as a piece of me. I do not want it to define my existence, my life. I will allow it to be present as it is part of me, but I do not want to live in a bubble that is all things gay. I think it is amazing that there are neighborhoods dedicated to gay communities. It is an environment of comfort for so many, who probably had never felt such comfort before. It is a place to be one version of yourself and not worry about making anyone else feel uncomfortable. But to close yourself off from things because there is no gay undertone is dangerous, and in my opinion, leads to a different kind of hazard. A false sense of real.

My friends and I joke that being gay is “cool.” What I really think we mean is that it is finally not the deviant, the monster. Yes, gays are popping up everywhere and times are changing. Things like the new TV show Looking, the marriages performed at the Grammys, and the daily celebrity coming out all exemplify how being gay is becoming just another “normal” in our abnormal world. However, I think it is important to recognize the fact that there is still so much progress to be made, and so many obstacles to overcome as a world. Gay still equates to bad or wrong in so many places here and abroad. Its hard sometimes to fathom this as I am someone who has lived in a liberal metropolis for almost 10 years, but it is still very real for so many gay brothers and sisters.

Being gay is an ever-confusing concept to not just straight people, but to gays as well. I think that so many of us suffer from daddy issues, mommy issues, both or none. I definitely have both. We are in the same constant search for love as everyone else. We confuse sex with love, love with sex. We are looking to fill an empty void in us, sometimes more so because for so long we couldn’t figure out why people looked at us differently. We use hook-up apps to fulfill basic needs, and then call ourselves sluts.  We use dating apps to try and fill deeper needs, and then are left feeling like there is no one out there for us. We go on first dates, which sometimes lead to a second, or nothing at all. We go to bars to see and be seen. We hang out with our friends to remind us that we have people we love and equalize us back out. “We” in the end are just living day to day like everyone else. Yes, there are some differences, but in general there are far fewer between straight people and LGBT people than most would realize.

I have met many people recently, who have asked me to promise them that I will never change. Never become jaded to the world around me. Never loose my desire to find love, my ability to be open and honest, and my pursuit to be as me as possible. I promise.

To the person who reads this and goes I’ve heard all this before, I say great! I by no means think I am saying something that hasn’t been said before. I am simply sharing my story, my thoughts, my struggles. The slogan, “it gets better,” is beyond true. I joke that coming out was the best thing I ever did for my personal and professional life, but to be honest it is true. There is an amazing network of LGBT people who run so many things that once you are ready to join, will be waiting for you with open arms. Not only does it get better, it gets fucking amazing.

Since “accepting myself” and coming out I have met some of the most amazing people, experienced real love, saw the world with a new sense of beauty and darkness. Some things affect me more, while other things affect me less. Overall, since coming out I have become a man. A real man.

I hope something I have written resonates with you. I am going to continue to share my life, my journey and my struggles with you. I feel it is important to have a voice, and use it whenever possible. If I can help just one person feel more like him or herself than I feel all this will have been worth it.

All my love,

Barrett 

I originally wrote this open letter 10 months ago, and it was amazing to see the support, love and humanity people expressed. By sharing my own story, I was able to set myself free, and look to the future with an evolved sense of light and love. 

I felt it was important to share this extremely personal piece once again, as October 11th marked National Coming Out Day, and I had never officially taken part in this ceremonial date. 

I hope my words still bring a greater sense of understanding, emotion and above all else, love.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and questions below. I love feedback, and hearing about your journeys. They inspire my own life, and make this ride feel all the more blessed!

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Posted on October 13, 2014 .
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Sober October

A test of my mind and body, coupled with a fun and greater social idea below.

Challenge. Cleanse. Restart.

After some contemplation, I have decided that I am going to do Sober October as a way to truly allow myself to focus, cleanse my body of toxins, and be as sharp as possible over the next 30 days.

I am the first to admit that I am no angel, and love to have a good time. However, I have not allowed my body to naturally reset in a long time. I have gone weekends and weeks without poisoning my body with toxins, but I cannot truly remember the last time I took a full month to let my body just be. I think it is time.

I generally do not drink during the week, partially because I do not have the time, but the weekend has always been my excuse to let myself “unwind,” and take part in what has become synonymous with “fun” in many societies. 

Alcohol has been the marker for celebrations since the dawn of time. Drinking to be merry is encouraged in many religions and cultures, and I personally do not find it to be a bad thing. However, what disheartens me somewhat, is that drinking, or rather drinking in excess has become the social norm, but it shouldn't have to be.

I am, by no means, saying that any drink I ever drank was done against my own will, but I have always questioned why it is that we need to alter our state of mind with alcohol and other chemicals to make other people, places and activities more fun. We should be able to enjoy our time wherever we are without external forces.

Thus, I am challenging myself to a month of sobriety.

Nothing, but some good ole fashion fun with some soda water. I have recently gotten really into the bubbles.

I have decided to share this experiment publicly, so that I have a little more accountability put out into the universe. I am also sharing my personal challenge, so that maybe you too decide to have a clearer, cleaner, less crazy month.

Drinking is such an easy answer to fun and being social. I want to see what else I can come up with. What other activities are there to engage in? Who have I not seen because I was too preoccupied with getting wasted with a certain group of people? What career opportunities did I miss out on because I was looking to be stupid? How different will my life be with an extra hour or two, on days I would’ve been sleeping off the booze from last night?

Part of my career and life’s work has been dedicated to being the healthiest I can be, so a challenge like this makes sense. Not to mention there are some really great added bonuses:

1.     I will be saving so much money! Dolla dolla bill ya’ll.

2.     My body is going to look sick! No bloating over here.

3.     Hangovers won’t even be a thought in my weekend activities. Why yes the clock says 8AM, and it’s a Saturday!

4.     Productivity will be at an all time high. Go go gadget go!

5.     My skin is going to be on point from the amount of water I am going to consume. I woke up like this, flawless!

6.     My clearer mind won’t be as affected as the weather inevitably starts to change. S.A.D. is a real thing, and I always feel so bummed out as it gets colder. Yes, fall in NYC is amazing, but it is still pointing to one thing…Winter!

7.     Sleep is going to be even more amazing. Not part rejuvenating, part get the good nectar out of my body.

8.     The money I will be saving can go towards meaningful things. Not something I pee out in an hour, and then every 10 minutes after because I broke the seal.

9.     My relationships will be stronger. Alcohol and other toxins change our perceptions, judgments and way of communicating. Foot to mouth disease, “Be gone!”

10. I really think I am going to have a happier, healthier, heart-happier month.

I still plan on going out, dancing and having fun, but it will be with a different M.O.

The end of Sober October will be Halloween, and what a perfect night to celebrate the end of a month’s challenge. A night to truly take part in debauchery, party with ghosts and ghouls, and look my best in whatever costume I choose to spook the night with.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a disease that affects 1 in 8 woman, and while there have been strides in our understanding of the disease, there still is much progress to be made. Please check yourself, and encourage others to do the same! Ladies play with your boobies, fellas play with your balls, and in all seriousness make sure everything is ok!

If you would like to join me in my month long challenge for sobriety, but are slightly skeptical, or know you have functions that are going to make it extremely difficult than why not turn your drinking into a good cause. For every drink you have, pledge to donate a certain amount of money towards Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. It’s hard to feel bad about breaking your challenge, while supporting an important issue.

By clicking on the picture below, you can take part in a different kind of challenge, and feel less guilty about that drink you told yourself you were not going to have, but decided to anyways.

An interesting month is in store. I know it will definitely be no bore. It is only a month long test. With the result equaling you at your best!

Much Love

Barrett

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and questions below. I love feedback, and hearing about your journeys. They inspire my own life, and make this ride feel all the more blessed!

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Posted on October 1, 2014 .
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The Power of No

At first thought, the word no is an undesirable term. It is by definition a negative.

No is a word that many of us have a hard time saying. It's a word we don't like to use, and a word we don't like to hear. It's a rejection, a denial, a dismissal.

However, if we look at the word no in a different context than simply what it stands for, the word no becomes an invaluable life lesson, a driving force, and a simple saying to teach us what it means to be a part of society.

What if the word no was actually the best thing you could ever hear? What if “no” became something that was easy to say? What if the word “no” was used as a tool, and not something to make us quit? What if “no” was a positive?

Throughout my life I have been told “no” more times than I can count. To be honest, I've almost always heard no. Sure this word has been disguised in other ways, but ultimately I was being told "no."

“You are too short. You are not smart enough. You are not handsome enough. You do not have enough experience." And on and on it goes. As these short, yet stinging phrases show, no was never technically present in any of these denials, but what I was really being told was “no.”

No grew on me in terrible ways for a long time. I rejected myself, my appearance, my brains, my thoughts, my experiences.

I wasn't good enough for anything I wanted to do. I didn't deserve the dreams I had. The only way I was going to have any kind of success was to take on someone else’s dreams, and do things the way everyone else said I should. I should change everything about myself, and start building a career in an entirely different field.

To complicate things even more, and make life all the more ironic, I had the hardest time saying the very word I kept hearing, “no.”

While I should've been a pro at saying no because of the amount of times I had heard it, no was something that scared the shit out of me to say.

I lacked the confidence to believe in myself, my worth, my talents, and so I became a “yes” person. I did things I didn't want to do. I took on too much. I hung out with people I knew weren't on the same positive path as me.

I didn't value myself, my time, my feelings, and in return those around me didn't either.

Then one day something clicked in me.

No was not something I would allow my life to be defined by, but rather, an obstacle to climb over, give the middle finger too, and move on to the next step on my uphill ascent. No would be a driving factor to why I would one day reach my dreams, have everything I ever wanted, and help others understand along the way.

“No” is something that we must learn to hear, accept, and move on.

No cannot be the reason why we quit, stop trying, or throw away our dreams.

We must learn to use no as a reason to get creative, a driving force to finding a solution, a simple two letter word to help us better understand what is the actual problem standing in the way of hearing, "Yes!”

Furthermore, when you understand that you do deserve everything you dream of, you begin to build confidence within yourself that makes hearing no, seem less of a big deal, and saying it to others even easier.

When you believe you have the right to hear yes, people around you start noticing, and believing it too. Much like love, confidence is something we must have in ourselves before anyone else will have it in us.

If you do think you are too short than you will be too short. If you do think you are not smart enough than you will be not smart enough. If you believe you are not attractive enough then you will be not attractive enough.

But here is the thing, who are you not “enough” for? Are you not “enough” for those people telling you “no?” Maybe, but guess what, you are enough for yourself, so start telling yourself that. Start telling yourself, “Yes!”

If we went through our entire life always hearing yes, we wouldn't be real people. We wouldn't understand life lessons, we wouldn't have empathy or compassion, and we wouldn't have a larger understanding of why the world operates the way it does.

Sure, hearing the word yes would be a lot easier, but it wouldn't teach us anything. To make matters of “yes” worse, there will come the day that the word no is finally presented to us, and we would not know how to handle it.

Our emotions would be amplified, understanding how to move forward would be that much more difficult, and we would be thrown back multiple steps because the valuable lessons of no were never learned.

No is scary. No is rejection. No is your fear. No is your chance to challenge yourself. No is a precious factor on your journey to your most exhilarating dreams.

No is yes disguised in an abstract way.

Take the challenge. Don't give up. Keep allowing yourself to hear no, but never accept it as the final answer.

For all you know, the last no you heard could be the last no you will ever hear, and a world of yes is waiting to greet you just around the corner.

I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment about whatever below! 

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Posted on September 25, 2014 .
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Why We Must Be Vulnerable

Being vulnerable sounds like something that is easy to do, or at least should be.

We share our lives through a series of social media channels on the daily, but when it comes down to it, we truly have more walls up then if these mediums did not exist.

Stressing about how we look for our selfies, getting the angle just right, and filtering our life into small squares. We take every thought into consideration with what picture we post, the caption that goes along with it, and how it fits into our profile as a whole.

We poke people, swipe right, and count the minutes we wait to text people back.

We are afraid to be anything but perfect. Afraid to show emotions. Afraid to make smiles in our pictures. Afraid to have imperfections. In today’s highly critical word, where we overexpose ourselves, it makes sense. We have fronts up all the time. A suit of armor is metaphorically worn. Protection is amplified and implemented.

But why?

Why not show our hearts, our emotions, our souls? Why not take a chance, and look a little “dumb?”  Why not do something that scares us? Why not be sublimely  “us.” Why not be naked?

Being vulnerable can be perceived as being weak. However, to show your human, is to show the world your true beauty.

I learned a long time ago that when you share your story, your feelings, your deepest fears, you give yourself power, and remove it from the rest of the world. You learn that your greatest strengths come from the things that scare you the most.

There will be events that occur in your life, or things about you that you try to hide because you are afraid of them, embarrassed by them, or ashamed of them. These things do not define you, they do not get to hold you back, and they do not sit playing for the world to see.

Let them go, share them with the world, or write them down on paper and burn them in fire.

Let yourself have peace, let yourself have love, let yourself have every feeling that exists. The more you feel, the more you’ll see the world around you is sincerely miraculous. 

Being vulnerable is scary, but living a life that does not allow you to be your truest self is even scarier. Whether you realize it today, or in fifty years, you will see the second you give in to yourself, your life will unfold in every way you wish.

Feel free to share what makes you feel vulnerable in the comments. No one will know who you are, and it will feel good to just get those feelings out.

Do it, I dare you.

Please feel free to share anything you like on this site. Help us start a revolution of people who live life, not simply exist. 

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Posted on September 22, 2014 .
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Being Specific: What do you want?

When your life lacks specificity, you lack the path to your ultimate dreams.

What do you want? What do you really want? If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

Life is full of wants, desires, needs. We constantly say we want this or that. Need, have to have, or will die without item, person or thing X.

 The truth is you probably already have everything you need. Basic survival necessities. The things to keep you alive and safe: food, water, shelter.

However, when we look beyond the things we truly must have in order to exist, is where life gets tricky.

Take a moment, and examine your life. Carefully consider the things you truly need versus the things you may want. I am willing to wager that most of us have everything we need, which is a blessing within itself.

Now taking this notion one step forward, I ask you to contemplate all the things you want: job, relationship, friends, family, social life, etc. Writing it down may even help you get the list out of your head in a clearer manner.

Again, I ask you to carefully inspect your life. Contemplate the things you have actually said you want aloud, or asked for in your dreams and prayers. How have you asked for these things? What were the words you used to ask for them?

I imagine some of these wants sound like: 

“I wish I had more money.”

“I just want someone who loves me.”

“I want a job that I do not hate.”

“I wish I was more beautiful.”

“I hope that I get to travel.”

 Sound about right?

 These general ideas were things I used to say all the time, and then one day something clicked. All these hopes, wishes and wants were being answered and met. The problem was I was not receiving the answers in the magnitude I had wanted because I was not being specific in how I approached asking for these things. I did not verbalize or contextualize the exact ways I had wanted these notions to come to fruition. My language lacked logistics. The energy I put out was still wishy-washy. There was still doubt, a lack of confidence, and an air of negativity in all that I wanted.

 Finding a penny on the street, meant I technically had MORE money. Having a friend that loves me, meant I had SOMEONE who loves me. Having a job I did not love, but did not hate, meant I had a job I DID NOT HATE. Maturing into my looks, and allowing my personality to blossom, meant I was becoming MORE beautiful. Traveling to Long Island from New York City, meant I was TRAVELING.

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 We truly do get everything we ask for, maybe not to the level of grandeur we had dreamt up, but rather, in some other basic form. The problem is we see a picture but are too general, vague, unspecific. We lack specificity, and then get frustrated with ourselves, lives, the world around us.

 How would you expect to leave from your home airport, and arrive at another specific city, anywhere in the world, if you didn't know where you wanted to go? The same is true for life, goals, dreams, the bigger picture at large.

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 Our general ideas are going to lead us to a semi-developed life, but not enough to pave a path for a perfectly clear picture. We must learn to meditate on what it is that we truly want, desire, need to possess, in order to the live life we are meant to live.

A week ago, I had the privilege of meeting a good friend’s good friend, in the gloriousness of Central Park's Sheep’s Meadow. An effortlessly cool blonde decked out in Elton John shades, and an outfit straight out of a 90's pop star’s wardrobe. She approached our already set up blanket with a smile, and undeniable positive energy.

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Introductions were had, and conversation quickly became more personal, something I love. My new friend started talking about the type of guy, life and friends she wanted. All had an air of comfort and ease, something we all desire, but something “hot-blonde” did not have. She finished talking about all she wanted, and I instantly knew this girl deeper than I think she may currently know herself.

I was not necessarily this “girl,” but this person. Someone in search of change, depth, renewal.

Listening to her talk, I could immediately see what was lacking for her. She wasn't being specific enough. She was vocalizing vagueness in her wants. Her life was an idea. She had yet to let the universe know her specifics, and so she continued to get everything she asked for, but not how she had hoped. She lacked details, essentials, particular.

Unfortunately, this is something most of us do because it is easier to cultivate blurred images of nebulousness than crisp, clean, detailed visualizations of our lives.

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While specificity is a fundamental aspect of figuring out our journeys and destinations, we must remember to look at all that comes our way with perspective, and fully developed ideas in mind.

Yes, you may find a partner that fits a certain physical mold, but does he or she actually fulfill all that you will need to live a happy, loving, emotional life? Does that job that fits a certain salary expectation, allow you to be happy, wake up and go to bed without unnecessary stresses? Does having the body you’ve always wanted outwardly, mean you are risking your health and internal love? These are the scales of life that we must weight, and as we mature it is easier to see how one side should be higher than the other. 

The question, “Where do you see yourself in a year, five years, ten years?” is an extremely difficult question to answer, when we do not know what it is that we ultimately want. We do not know what we are willing to sacrifice, fight for, or loose along the way, which again is part of the process. However, when you begin to examine the details of your life that you dislike and like, you are able to better construct a well-built walkway, bridge, or path to the destination of your highest achievements and goals, visions and dreams, love and lightness.

We must look deep within, be undeniably honest with ourselves, and ask what is it that I not only want, but specifically want. Until then we are stuck on a treadmill without an off button, a plane without a destination, a painter not sure what he is painting.

Love yourself with each constructive step you take. Be gentle with yourself with wrong turns you may make. Be positive in your language, loose vagueness, and most importantly be specific.

Yes, you can!

Much Love,

Barrett

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Posted on September 14, 2014 .
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Never Forget: 9.11.01

It was thirteen years ago to this day that our world was forever changed. What it meant to be a New Yorker, American, human-being took on a different meaning, and we were left with the type of memory that never leaves us.

We were reminded that the freedoms we have in the USA shouldn't be taken for granted. We were reminded that we aren't invincible. We were reminded what many people, in my places have to experience daily. We were reminded that there still is so much evil in the world. We were reminded that we are stronger united than broken into factions, fractions or pieces.

I'll never forget the day it happened. I'll never forget where I sat. I'll never forget the teacher’s name that made the announcement as to what had happened.

I was in the eight grade, and had just started as a new student. My family had moved into a new house, in a new school district, and I didn’t know anyone. It was maybe not more than four days into the first week of school, and I sat shyly in my sixth period, theatre arts class, alone. The room was eerily normal. Students were chatting, the bell rang, and then Mrs. Kelso said she had an announcement to make.

Blackout.

My heart dropped, my eyes began to water, I internally panicked.  Frustration, anger and sadness grew larger and larger inside me as the “bad kids” in my grade, who were also in my class, started laughing. It may have been a defense mechanism. It may have been their idea of rebellion. I don't know what it was, but it was inappropriate to me.

I didn't know what to do. Cry?  It was the last thing I wanted to do in front of these people I barely knew, and I was already an easy target. I held myself together, by not doing anything.

Blackout.

My class was then informed we had the option to go talk to the guidance counselors, but I sat frozen in my chair and in my thoughts.  An inner lump building and building.

My father had worked in the city, and I never knew where exactly he was, so my mind prepared for the worst. My heart beat faster and faster. I glazed over.

“Barrett,” Mrs. Kelso said. I looked up, and she let me know I was called down to go home. A wave of release washed over me. Only my father drove, and parents were picking up their kids early once everyone knew what had happened.

I grabbed my backpack, and took off for the exit like no ones business. I passed the guidance counselors office, and just saw kids crying everywhere. I held it in. I held it together. I held myself.

I got into my father’s car, where my mother, brother and sister sat, and just let it all out.

I cried for hours that day. I remember seeing smoke from where we lived on Long Island. I remember just thinking how lucky I was that I had both my parents, while so many people lost not one, but both of their parents in that catastrophic event.

It is incredible how vivid this day is. I remember so much detail. I remember so many thoughts I had. I remember it like it was yesterday.

It is crazy how so many days just simply pass by in our lives, and we can barely recall things from a few days ago, yet days this like will forever stick themselves so presently in our beings.

As a born New Yorker, I hold this day quite closer to me than many. I personally know families that lost loved ones. I grew up, and lived a few blocks away from where it all happened. I have been back to Ground Zero every year since those buildings fell. It doesn’t matter what city I live in, what is going on in the world, or how I have gotten back. I have always made sure to be in New York on this day. Some might think that is crazy, to me it is the only place to be on today.

As the universe would have it, I got caught off guard today, and forgot what tomorrow was. I, like so many people, had a busy day, in which my thoughts were taken over by work, errands and life.

However, my roommate came home early, and I had decided that a fitness day outside was better spent than inside a gym pumping weights. I looked at her, and asked if she would like to join me, she accepted, and we went off to a place I commonly go to be in the elements and get my sweat on.

We ran to our destination, a pier along the Hudson, and caught our breath. Took a picture, and then realized what our backdrop possessed.

Two magnificent lights shot up into the sky, and I was humbled. The universe brought me to exactly where I was meant to be, at exactly the time I was supposed to be there.

An hour of working out went by. It was an hour of bonding with some friends, an of being outside, an hour of feeling the presence of what happened thirteen years ago.

At the end of that hour, I looked up into the sky, into those lights and was taken back to being a shy, scared and heartbroken thirteen year old. I was reminded why I am so proud to be a New Yorker, an American, a person blessed to live the life I do.

I will never forget this day. I will of course mourn for those who were lost, but more importantly, I will continue to feel grateful for the life I have the freedom to live because of the men and women, who fight for this everyday.

I think today, more so than many other days, should serve as a reminder for how blessed we are: lucky to be alive, lucky to get to do the things we do, lucky to love the people we love, lucky for everything thing.

In memory of all that were lost, taken and disappeared that day. My heart, my love, my respects go out to everyone, who were in the Twin Towers, or were in some way affected by this inhumane act.

Blessed. Grateful. Appreciative.


Posted on September 11, 2014 .
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Heart-Happy: That Full Heart Feeling

What is heart-happy?

Have you ever felt so alive, you felt like your heart was going to explode with life? Have you ever been so taken by the beauty surrounding you, you felt like you were living life in technicolor? Have you ever been standing in a breeze, and felt like the universe was watching out for you?

The day it all started. The Merecat Campground. The beginning.

The day it all started. The Merecat Campground. The beginning.

That is heart-happy.

To be heart-happy is to feel sublimely lucky that you are where you are, doing what you are doing, existing as you are.

This is a feeling I first had almost one year ago to the day. I had just decided to quit my life, my then boyfriend, my job and LA; and was invited to go for a long Labor Day Weekend up to Big Sur. I always feel most alive while in nature, and jumped at the chance to visit one of the world's  "50 most beautiful places." 

Big Sur, CA. Julia Feiffer Campground. 

Big Sur, CA. Julia Feiffer Campground. 

The 5-hour drive up from LA was an epic sharing between friends I considered close, and even closer once we arrived. We talked about our pasts, presents, futures. Our hopes, dreams, fears. We were honest, real, raw.

The trip, the people, the weather, everything was truly set up to be the perfect goodbye and hello. Departure and arrival. Ending and beginning.

The crew that helped me find my heart-happy. Minus a very important "Maeven." 

The crew that helped me find my heart-happy. Minus a very important "Maeven." 

We woke up early and went to bed late. We enjoyed each other’s presences without any of the outside world. We journeyed through the most lush forest. We adventured along the gold coast. We lived in the purest of ways.

It was as heart-happy as I had ever felt, and I even took moments to say it aloud when instances of beauty washed so intensely over me. Trees danced. Creatures sang. Mother nature celebrated.

Life was delicious, and I was free to just eat it up. It was a feeling that I knew I had to keep with me. A feeling I would remind myself about. A feeling I would continue to have.

Taking the most natural shower imaginable.

Taking the most natural shower imaginable.

After a year of first understanding heart-happy, I have been having more and more occurrences, in which I can do nothing but smile and think, “heart-happy.” 

It is an enchanted array of emotions that cannot ever be identically duplicated, but felt in a new and familiar way. It is something that lives inside all of us, and is brought out through our purest of pleasures.

Travel. Friends. Love.

Artisan, Hood-Hippie, Simba.

Artisan, Hood-Hippie, Simba.

Heart-happy for me is what the meaning of life is all about. It is our innocence emerged, our dreams come to fruition, our heart singing its grandest song.

May you be so lucky to find your own heart-happy, and when you do, soak it in. Baste in its manifestation. Then let it go, so that you may find it again.

Heart-happy.

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Posted on September 8, 2014 .
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The Power Of Breathing

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Taking five deep breaths is the easiest way to change your mood.

While breathing is a necessary function and an instinctive action, I constantly find myself holding my breath. I literally have moments when I have to remind myself to breathe because I am so caught up in my thoughts. I get lost in the rabbit hole of one thing to the next, and so on and so forth.

My normal breathing tends to be shallow and half-full. I would wager that my breathing technique is the result of three broken noses, thus a deviated septum, and years of swimming, which required holding one’s breath. I know that my breathing is something I have to work on, as it conditions the rest of my body for a specific state.

There is a reason why all exercises put such emphasis on breathing. Why activities like yoga require you to find your breath, and why smokers calm down with every exhale they acquire.

Breathing feels good.

By full engaging your inhales and exhales, you allow yourself to feel a wave of calm, a better understanding of the world around you, and a unique peace. It is the easiest way to truly feel, be present, have a moment of gratitude.

Big belly, full chest and light as a feather.

During my years in acting class, my teachers would constantly say breathe into the moment, and at the time I do not think I fully understood what they meant, but as I have moved into different chapters of my life, focused breathing has become an important element of my being.

I have had many moments when I have understood the power of breathing, but I was reminded of its grandeur walking home on a beautiful Labor Day evening. Feeling entirely present and gliding home on the streets of New York City with a glorious summer breeze blowing and a night glow surrounding myself, I allowed the universe to have its way with me. I gave in. I breathed in all my blessings.

I breathed in the good, I exhaled the bad. I breathed in the beauty, exhaled the ugly. I breathed in my wants, desires and dreams, I exhaled my doubts, fears and objections. I looked up, saw the sky and smiled.

I gifted myself with a moment of 100 percent presence. I drank in the blessed euphoric feeling I was presented with. I lived my dreams. I was completely heart happy.

Remembering that your life is just as magical is what will take you to whatever next step you are trying to get to. Breathe in the life you want, breathe in the love you have, breathe it all in.

You will see that as you breathe, all your troubles tend to melt away and solutions present themselves.

Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. And let the white light that makes you uniquely you glow for all to see.

Enjoy.

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Why Change Is Necessary In Relationships

When you care for someone deeply things change.

Philbrook Farms. White Mountains, NH.

You change. They change. You change together.

As two mature individuals, in a relationship, you understand that there has to be a give and a take. You learn this in all relationships: lovers, friends, family, coworkers, teammates, truly the list is endless.

We must understand that in order to make things work; we cannot expect everything we do to be right, correct, the best.

Hike up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.

As an individual, you are able to do everything your way, but when you consciously decide to include someone else in your world, you must learn to soften, understand, be open. You cannot be closed off, guarded, unwilling to look at life events from different perspectives. Snap judgments hinder your ultimate understanding. It is imperative to take a step back, breathe and let things marinate in order to be perfectly communicated.

Growth, development, evolution are how we have survived all these years as a human race. We did not just stick to what we knew, what we saw, what we believed. We admittedly looked for new ways to go about things, and this is exactly how we must behave when faced with other people.

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire

The way you function, may not be the way someone you love functions. The way you go about your day, may be different than the way your closest friends go about their day. The way you love may be different than they way the person you love loves. This does not mean that one of you is more correct; it just means you are different. You must understand the meaning of specific actions based off of people’s personalities, and an open medium of communication.

However, this does not excuse bad behavior. Rather, it should be the beginning place of where you build your foundation, so that years down the road, you are able to simply look at the person and know what they are thinking.

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire

As we mature, search for our partner, and evolve in general it is important to remember that we will not be the same person we were a day ago, a year ago, two years ago, or 10 years ago.  Frustrations, arguments and disagreements are usually caused through misunderstandings and poor communication. If we can effectively, truly say what we mean in a clear and articulate way, we will not only save our relationships, but ourselves in return.

We live. We experience. We learn. We build relationships. We loose some. We keep others for a lifetime. We change

The boys in front of Mr. Philbrook's true Americana hunting cabin.

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The Next Best Thing

 

Why is it that we don’t want to be happy?

In today’s super impersonal world of dating we struggle to make real connections. Connections that create more than a like, a poke, a follow. We search, stalk and swipe through countless people basing all of our judgments off of extremely superficial entities.

We’ve decided we are attracted to, but already over someone because of something we read, saw through a screen or inferred based off of a profile.

The truth is all of this is damaging our authenticity and thought process.

Within the past few days, I have had multiple friends open up to me about the people they are dating. Its been the same confession, they like these guys, but don’t feel that it is genuinely a good fit because of “aesthetic reasons,” a deeper lust, or primal sexual desires are not as intense.

I understand that these feelings are valid anxieties, especially in the beginning of a relationship. However, the truth is, these friends have also been looking elsewhere. They’ve allowed other perspective people to cloud their judgment of really amazing guys, who they were beyond excited about in the beginning. They’ve kept their dating apps open, thus keeping their dating options open. A seeming harmless occurrence, but with endless destructive power.

These apps, which I have spoken about before, create an endless world of hotties, who curate themselves to be “exactly what you are looking for.” It is not even just the dating apps anymore; even instagram and facebook act as a log of potential suitors. We see an infinite pool of people we are physically attracted to on the daily.

These sexy 2D people are just that though, a flat version of what they want to put out. They vacation in exotic places. They hang out with desirable people. They eat the finest of foods. They live in the most luxurious homes. They appear as if they are the fairytale waiting for you to join them, and they very well could be. However, I would wager these images of perfection are not your dreams come to true.

Here is something I want all of you to remember as you swim through this endless abyss.

There will be a million guys, who are hot, and there will be a million after you get each one. It’s an endless cycle that if you really want a relationship, you have to decide to stop because it will be forever.

I get it. We all meet guys that for all intensive purposes are not our types, but when you meet the one guy, who is so good to you that your heart cannot help, but to have so much emotion for him, you do not deny that. When this guy, who may not be the hottest, is sweet, kind, smart and has a good job, and who likes YOU and is nice to YOU, you hold onto him. These qualities are the things that are important when you have a family one-day. These are the things you remember, when you think about how you will one-day have to look at someone with the idea of forever in mind because we will all be old one-day.

If you are lucky enough to meet one of these rare guys, understand that they do not come around often.

You have to hold onto them because if you don’t, someone else will see how amazing their soul is, and you will look back and say what if.

Do not be stupid and fall for someone purely because he is hot. Be stupid and fall for the guy that likes YOU, and treats YOU amazing. This guy doesn’t play games because when he sees you happy, he is happy.

He is the one that will be there for you when things get rough. He is the one that will be there for you, when the unfortunate and inevitable day comes that you loose a parent. He is the one that will be there for you on a lazy Sunday. He is the one that will call you, not text you because he just wanted to hear your annoying voice.

Be smarter than the rest. See where your relationship goes with this guy. Give him parts of you, you are scared to give to anyone. He will do the same. You will realize that as time moves on he will be the hottest man, not boy, you have ever seen. Your attraction will build in a mature way, and you will find sex only gets better because it’s love that you have built a foundation on, not lust, which always dies.

There will always be another guy to talk to, but that’s the thing, its just talking. There is no love. No emotions. No substance. You can be jealous that other friends might have sex with some hot guy, but that friend will eventually be jealous of you, when you’ve built a life with someone, not just a continuous emptiness.

Do bot be fooled. Fairytales exist, but not the way the movies make them out to be. All those actors that you base these ideas off of, play roles on screen that muddy our judgments because in real life, they all end up divorced and alone.

Make your own fairytale, and let Hollywood cast movie stars to play you in the movie adaptation of your own real amazing life.

Be crazy. Be wild. Be everything, and go for the good guy, who might not be a ten in your book because he will treat you like a ten forever. If you are smart enough to hold onto this guy, he will be the twelve that you never even knew existed.

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Date wise, and may the odds be forever in your favor.

Posted on August 13, 2014 .
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The Future of Sweet Dreams

Your eyes are closed. You take a deep breath. You rest your head down. You slumber. You dream.

There is nothing like waking up from an amazing night’s sleep. Your body and mind are well rested, relaxed, ready to go. You are able to think clearly throughout the day, productivity and precision are fully engaged. You are able to activate and focus your mind at its highest potential. Your body is reactive and looser. You are at ease.

We all know sleep is extremely important, but how many of us actually get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep a night? I am going to guess very little of us.

I know if you are anything like me, there are a million things to get done, and 8-9 hours of sleep usually is not an option. However, this trend of “under sleeping” is doing us much more harm than we may realize.

Thus, I propose, it is time you really thought about the time you aren’t “thinking.” It is time to think about how you sleep. How you wake up. How you fall into that dream world.

I did just this, and decided to make some very grown up changes. The results have been beyond spectacular.

I recently got a brand new Simmons ComforPedic iQ Mattress, I know it sounds fancy, and it kind of is. This was something of an adult move, as I have a hard time allowing myself to indulge, but I found myself going to bed and not getting a full night’s sleep in forever. I tend to think a lot before bed; combine a restless mind with a pretty old mattress, sensitive lower back and biological clock that is off whack, and you have a recipe for some seriously shitty sleep.

I knew I was doing myself a disservice, so following the path of making positive changes, I changed my mattress. I know you are probably thinking, “Barrett, how the hell did changing your mattress, change you?” Well, to be honest, I provided myself with a greater potential for better sleep, which in effect allowed me to be a better Barrett while awake.

I have to say that this new mattress is wild. It shows up with directions to push a button for two minutes while you lay on the bed. The mattress then begins to acclimate to your body and room, and you can physically see this thing moving and breathing. It is seriously crazy.

I was so excited to sleep on my mattress because it has this awesome technology that basically allows your body to reach its ultimate comfort level without thinking. The mattress is doing the work for you, thus allowing your mind, body and soul to reach a delicious peacefulness that I have not had in a long time.

Since I have enjoyed the future of sleeping, I have felt true changes in my life.

I have been able to fall asleep faster. I do not find myself tossing and turning. I kind of melt away, and find myself waking up with greater ease. I still do not want to get out of my bed, but that is because I am so comfortable.

I truly wake up feeling rejuvenated, reset, revitalized. I am able to go about my day with a greater focus because my body and brain have been able to refresh over night. With a boost in my energy, there has been a cyclic occurrence, in which I have been able to workout harder because my muscles are more rested. Furthermore, by getting better rest, I am allowing my body to better recover, and aiding in the prevention of possible injuries, relieving stress on my back and finding a general overall comfort.

Taking this whole talk on sleep one step further, I have had some of the most vivid dreams recently. Being able to dream is such a gift because it is the world, where some of the most amazing ideas arise. Being able to think beyond, imagine bigger and create new ideas. In my opinion, this is an even grander gift.

Sleep is truly one of the greatest aids you can give yourself. In a world where everything is nonstop, it is incredibly important to allow yourself the ultimate decompression. By giving yourself just a few extra minutes or hours of sleep, you will truly change your life.

May the slumber be with you! Sweat Dreams!

If you would like more information or to ask questions please follow me and my journey:

 

For more information on the ComforPedic iQ check out: http://www.beautyrest.com/comforpedic-cpiq

Also check out this video to see how not getting enough sleep with affect your appearance:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/chantelhouston/this-is-what-sleep-deprivation-does-to-you

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The Good Guy

Are you a good guy? Do you follow a moral code of respect and dignified maturity?

Are you proud of the person you have become?

Here's the guy that you should not be afraid to be, have your daughter date, or watch your brother marry. (And no I am not talking about myself. This is an idea, a practice, a ultimate version of yourself.)

Good guys cry. Good guys comb their hair. Good guys say thank you. And good guys have integrity.

A true good guy goes through his day recognizing his blessings in life and shows kindness to strangers. He takes time out of his day to notice the beauty in the simple and mundane. He loses two seconds out of his own day to help a woman with a stroller go down a flight of stairs. He asks the cashier, “How is your day?” with a smile. He acknowledges the janitor at work with a friendly, “Hello.”

He knows that by being his true self, a good guy, his day will only be better.

Gratitude and appreciation lead to an overall feeling of wholeness. A sense of true masculinity, rather than a façade of macho presents itself. A smile easily emerges because a light shines inside. 

A good guy doesn’t feel obligated to prove himself because his actions speak for themselves.

He stands for something more than himself. He not only roots for the underdog, but helps in the underdog’s success. He's a figure of example, straying from the pack to follow his own beliefs.

A good guy acknowledges his own faults. He shows emotions in public and expresses himself articulately with elegant language.  He thinks before he speaks and acts. He grasps his own luck, which is an accumulation of going after what he wants with one hundred percent effort.

A good guy values his body. He recognizes that this is his only vessel while here on earth.

A good guy knows that moderation is key. Yet, understands that allowing yourself to indulge is healthy. A good guy showers, dresses well, and grooms to present his best self. Hair products, lotions, and vitamins facilitate a preservation of himself.

He's not afraid to be the different, the black sheep, the lone.

He knows when he doesn't agree with something and holds firm. However, he also knows when to back down and compromise. He is open to others from all walks of life. He doesn’t judge because he knows everyone has a story to tell.

A good guy stands with his head held high. Hugs his friends hello and good bye. Says, "I love you" frequently and baste in the presence.

He is a gentleman with manners, dignity and grace.

Being a good guy isn't an idea or an ideal, it's a lifestyle consciously chosen with maturity and pride. A good guy knows he's a good guy, but never thinks about it because it's the only way he knows.

A good guy is more than.

For all things Good Guy and true inspiration check out  http://goodguyswag.com

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Happy travels, and may the odds be forever in your favor.

Posted on July 29, 2014 .
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