I See a Therapist, a Business Coach & a Psychic and I Don’t Think it’s Weird

4b5728eeb6dc9ca5ba6e45ed3494e398

(Alternate title for this post: I get by with a little help from my (psychic) friends.) 

Therapist. Business Coach. Psychic. I have one of each that I talk to regularly. That’s this week’s truth bomb. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 12.47.42 PM

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of therapy. I’ve written before about how seeing a therapist after my big breakup a few years ago was nothing short of life-changing. Talking to a professional has been great for sorting through messy emotions and has also helped tremendously when it comes to understanding and managing my anxiety disorder. The fact that I still see a therapist probably isn’t that surprising, but maybe the other two are.

Let’s break this down.

1. Therapist – Like I mentioned above, therapy is where it’s at. I make an appointment whenever I’m feeling stuck emotionally or have uncomfortable feelings that I need help processing. My therapist is great because she’s not afraid to tell me the things I don’t want to hear (but so desperately need to hear.) Therapy has also made me better at solving my own problems. I used to go every week, now I go every six months for a “tune-up.”

2. Business & Accountability Coach – When I started writing my book I hired an accountability coach to help keep me…well, accountable. I knew that if I was going to accomplish a huge goal like this, I needed someone with a no-BS approach to report back to. Over a year and a completed book later, she’s helped me turn my goal into a reality by being the perfect blend of virtual hand-holding and tough love. She’s now my go-to person whenever I need to talk through a creative project or a tricky work problem.

3. Psychic – My “psychic friend,” doesn’t own a crystal ball or a 1-800 number; she’s a normal, 30-something woman who lives in DC and just happens to be an intuitive. We connected through a mutual friend and have been speaking every 6-12 months ever since. I don’t go to her to have my future predicted, but rather, to get reassurance that my intuition is right about whatever is going on in my life. So, I pay her for comfort and peace of mind in times of uncertainty (and who doesn’t need that?)

(I also have a PR team that I just started working with. But, that’s a whole other post!)

Apparently, it takes a village to make me a healthy, productive human being.

It probably sounds like I’m really high maintenance, but here’s the thing: sometimes the healthiest, most productive thing you can do is admit that you need help with something, find that help and accept it. Whether that’s dealing with your feelings or doing PR for your business – we can’t be experts in everything, all the time.

Now enter Angel Morgan, a psychic and animal communicator. Angel connects to guides, guardians, angels, archangels and more. She also has the rare and uncanny ability to speak to animals as easily as she speaks with other spirits.

When Angel offered to give me a free reading, I was both intrigued and nervous. With the exception of the psychic friend from DC that I mentioned above, some of my previous experiences with psychics have been kind of creepy. However, within seconds of hearing Angel’s voice, I instantly felt comfortable and at home, like I was talking to an old friend.

When I asked Angel about her work, she told me what I had suspected all along about my previous experiences with psychics; that what people are usually looking for is confirmation of things they already know to be true. They want someone to tell them that their intuition is right.

I spoke to Angel for about half an hour. Although I won’t share everything she said (because it feels a bit like revealing your birthday wishes after blowing out the candles) here are a few things she was able to tell me during our reading.

IMG_5095

I have a black cat named Matilda and she is very bossy. When Angel started my reading, apparently Matilda’s spirit was the first to come through. In fact, Matilda insisted on speaking first. Angel said my cat runs the house & knows it (which, is kind of funny considering I always joke that Matilda is my “office manager.”) She also said that Matilda is really good for me energy wise. I mean, just look at her. How could she not be?

3a5ebef6e274d5bf407a352dd31ad4a0

I am very focused on my career right now and this is good. This is why I can’t seem to get my act together when it comes to dating. I want to date – sort of. Sometimes I feel like I should be dating. But when it comes down to it, I’d rather focus on my work right now. This explains why I signed up for Tinder months ago, but have yet to open the app and why I’m not using a service like jump4love.com dating site. (the photo above could be me, but isn’t me. It was found via In Honor of Design.)

Modern_Palm-_Springs_House_A_House_in_the_Hills-17_combined

She saw me living alone in my own apartment or condo. Take that Mom! I’m not going to live in your basement forever! (I think my Mom was most excited about this revelation.) And yes, this photo from A House in the Hills is pretty much my dream living space – hanging chair & all.

She also mentioned that she sensed a very strong male presence in my home. When she started describing what she saw, I knew exactly who she was talking about.

IMG_3263

She said some pretty interesting things about Joe the Intern. Namely, that I should keep him out of the love sector of my home (the farthest right hand corner) if I don’t want him to negatively affect my romantic relationships. Like Matilda, he has the tendency to take over. Yes, Joe’s reputation as a blocker precedes him.

cbcd0be8af14cce8bcd100d7302b1179

That I need to remember to breathe. And have fun. Lately, I’ve been noticing that I’ve been holding my breath a lot. Angel picked up on this. She said if I get more in touch with my breath, my work and creativity will flow more. She said that I could do with a bit more fun in my life (also true) and that taking up biking would be a good move for me (fitting, considering how much I loved my beach rides in LA.) (photo credit)

Overall, speaking to Angel was really great. She was friendly, relatable and upbeat. I felt very much at peace after our conversation, which is exactly what I was hoping to get out of the experience. If you’d like to speak to Angel, you can book an appointment here. She made it clear that she’s a “modern psychic” and does reading over the phone and/or Skype 🙂

Have you ever spoken to a psychic? What was your experience like?

How to Get Through a Breakup On a Budget

HOW TO GET THROUGH A BREAK-UP

(style me pretty

Breakups suck, no matter what. But, what if you’re not only heartbroken, but also just broke? If you’re dealing with some tough times while trying to maintain a budget this post is for you.

You’re probably wondering, “Um, Simone…why are you talking about personal finances today? Shouldn’t you be blogging about something sexier…like crazy dildos or something?!” Well, as I’ve learned over the past few years, part of living well is having a sense of control over your finances.

I’ve also learned that I’m very much an emotional spender. I’ll be on track with my budget and then bam, something will happen in my life (good or bad – my emotional spending is an equal opportunist) and suddenly I absolutely need that a new pair of shoes or dress whether it’s true or not (90% of the time it isn’t.)

This Treat Yo Self craving becomes especially strong following a breakup.

I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to the salon or the mall to splurge on something after I’ve broken up with someone. While I’ll never discount the feeling you get from a post-break up haircut (seriously, it’s the best), these kinds of splurges don’t always make sense when you’re trying to stay on budget.

When SA and I broke up, we’d just returned from an epic (albeit costly) trip to California. While I’d set aside money for the trip so I wouldn’t have to worry while I was there, when I came back I had to deal with credit card bills, business costs and invoices that needed to be sent out. It sucks when you feel bummed out from a break-up and broke.

This breakup was a turning point for me – in many ways. I am proud of is how I handled myself afterward. I didn’t go and drown myself in a pool of vodka & I actually managed to stay on budget. I forced myself to find other ways to make myself feel good that didn’t involve a hangover – financial or otherwise.

Although I feel like I’m “over the hump” when it comes to post-breakup impulsive behaviour, I still feel like this is important to talk about – especially since it’s the holidays & it can be hard to resist the ubiquitous message which is “spend, spend, spend” and “indulge, indulge, indulge.”

So, if you’re currently going through a breakup, here’s a few things that worked for me (and might work for you too.)

Spend time with friends.

Usually, when I break up with someone, I’ll plan an elaborate night out with friends, complete with lots of food, cocktails, wine & pricey cab rides. However, this time around I knew that indulging in this kind of blow-out affair was not only unrealistic, it also wouldn’t make me feel good. So, I decided to do something really low key with friends (happy hour at a local tapas place that was having a bunch of really amazing specials). At the end of the day, it isn’t about what you do, but who you surround yourself with.

I needed to talk. I needed to vent. I needed to share a glass of wine with good people. It’s important to do something with friends – even if it’s just sitting on someone’s couch, drinking cheap wine & watching the Muppets Christmas Carol. Being around the people you love helps. 

Have fun making things.

Another thing I’ve been reminded of recently is that I love making things. I always joke that when my love life is in the crapper, Joe the Intern gets all kinds of new DIY gear and gadgets (sidebar: you have no idea how much joy I got out of making him this tiny musketeer hat.) Whether you’re tackling a fun DIY project or being a weird adult that makes doll stuff, creating feels good. If you’re looking for inspiration, visit A Beautiful Mess – their site is chock full of fun, accessible DIY projects and inspiration.

Move your body.

Working out & getting sweaty has always been a great distraction/outlet for me. My gym membership is already paid for so why not take advantage of it? No gym membership?! Take a walk. Practice your ridiculous Drake-style dance moves in your bedroom. It’s free and will make you feel better. I promise. (Drake heals all wounds! Just kidding. Kind of. Not really.)

Start something new.

Breakups can leave us feeling like there’s a gap in our lives. Now’s the time to try something new! I didn’t realize how much I needed to add something new to my life until a friend invited me to help contribute to her new online magazine (more on that soon!) I’ve also decided I’m going to check out some of the free introductory classes at a yoga studio that just opened in my neighbourhood. Even if it means starting a new book or listening to a new podcast, curiosity doesn’t cost a thing.

Give things away.

You know what also feels good? Giving things away. In fact, as a minimalist, I actually get a lot more pleasure from giving things to other people than acquiring more things for myself. Do you really need a item that will forever remind you of that time you broke up with someone? I’m guessing no. Post-break up, I cleaned out my closet and donated a huge bag of stuff to a local women’s shelter. I also signed up to buy gifts for local homeless people (and you can too!) For a fraction of what I’d normally spend on booze & shoes that I don’t need, I can hopefully make a few people’s days a little brighter.

If you are going to splurge, put your money where it matters.

Unfortunately, sometimes no amount of quirky crafts exercise classes can quiet the urge to splurge. If you feel the need to make a big ticket purchase post-breakup, be mindful of what you’re splurging on and why. Is it something that will give you a confidence boost in the short term or improve your overall health long term? For example, adding another designer bag to your already bloated collection might not make you feel great in six months. Whereas, you’re probably not going to regret seeking out a dental clinic to finally get those dental bridges done or investing in chiropractic treatments.

Practice gratitude.

Sometimes all you need is a change in perspective. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by practicing gratitude. When I’m feeling really down in the dumps (and even when I’m not), I’ll make a list of five things I’m grateful for. I always feel better after this practice – because, when you see all of the good things you have going for you, it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself. Hopefully it will help you too. 

What’s helped you heal from a break-up? 

Dating Advice for Guys: 6 Tips For a Successful Date

joe header 2Hey dudes, Joe the Intern here. Some of you have been requesting more posts that feature dating advice for men. Unfortunately, I haven’t been going on many dates lately – my girlfriend Milly left me to go on what she describes as a “sexual walkabout” with Malibu Ken – I mean, I get it. He has a beach cabana and I live in a bachelor apartment located in a filing cabinet. So, lately I’ve just been having a lot of feelings and practicing my Krav Maga moves. Anyway, I brought in my friend Joshua Pompey to provide some dating tips for the dudes. You might remember him from his instalment of the Things I’d Tell My 20-year Old Self series. Take it away Joshua!

6 tips for a successful date

By Joshua Pompey

The day is finally here.  You somehow managed to meet a single, attractive, funny, and sane woman online, and now she has agreed to meet you in person.  What comes next?  Panic.  Sweat.  Heavy Breathing.  Once all of that passes, remember these 6 tips and you’ll have that second date planned in no time.

1.  Arrive Early

There’s an old saying in the military “If you’re on-time, you’re late.”  I’m not saying to arrive for your 8 PM dinner date at 5 PM and take advantage of happy hour(s), but planning to arrive 20 minutes early will ensure success.  Even if you lose 10 minutes because of traffic because you get lost, or because it takes a while to find a parking spot for your massive SUV, you’ll still have another 10 minutes to spare.  The last thing you want to do is keep her waiting.

2.  Dress Appropriately

Where are you going?  If the first date is at a park for a picnic, don’t wear a suit.  If you’re meeting at a fancy restaurant, leave the sandals at home next to your superman tie.  The best trick is to go to a department store, find a pretty saleswoman, and ask her for help.  Let her know you are going on a first date and chances are she will set you up nicely.  If you cannot afford to buy something new, make sure you’re comfortable in what you pick out of your closet.  A woman can tell a lot from a man by his clothes.

3.  Smile

Never underestimate the power of a smile.  There’s just something about this odd facial expression that helps people connect with each other.  From the very first time you meet and at times throughout the conversation you must always remember to smile.  A real smile will engage the entire face, the cheeks, and the eyes.  A fake smile will make it look like you’re holding in a fart.   So unless you’re lactose intolerant and out for ice cream with your sweetie, let her know you’re happy to be with by showing her your real smile.

4.  Shut Up and Listen.

Speak to a seasoned sales-person and ask them the best tactic for making a sale.  They will tell you “Listening to the customer’s needs.”  The same can be true for personal relationships and when the product you are selling is yourself.  A woman who feels she can open up to a man because he truly listens to her is going to become more interested and comfortable at a much quicker pace.  Spewing out stories of how you and your buddies “Got so wasted” or receipting lines from every episode of Entourage is probably not going to keep her interested in you.  Listening is a skill not owned by many.  Master it and you will be ahead of the curve.

5.  Treat Others Nicely

When she sees how nice you are to the waiter, to the cab driver, to the other couple who you held the door for, she will notice you more.  She is an extension of you, and when others thank you and recognize you as a gentleman, she will feel part of that recognition.

6.  Always Pay, But Do It The Right Way

Let’s be honest – the man pays.  Women will tell you that they are equal (which they are) and can also pay.  The right thing to do, the chivalrous thing to do, and the impressive thing to do is to pay for your woman during a date.  Let her offer to pay at which time you can politely thank her and say “It’s my pleasure.”

The first date can be a nerve-tingling experience, one surely to leave you hot under the collar.  If you follow these 6 tips for success not only will you impress your woman but you’ll leave her asking for more by the time the night is over.  And if not, there’s always that pretty saleswoman at the department store!


joshua circle

Joshua has successfully been helping online daters find love since 2009. For more great dating advice from Joshua, visit jpompey.com, or click here now for a free article on how to write a great online dating opener.

On Dating, Intuition and Being Brave

b4161f451f20fdba72ab60aba64059bc

One of my favourite parts of my job is when readers email me with questions. I don’t always feel qualified to answer them (after all, I always joke that this blog is basically the blind leading the blind – except when it comes to sex toys. I actually know quite a bit about those.) However, the email below, which was sent to me by a reader that I also consider a friend, hit really close to home. It was one of those, “Yup. Girl, I have been there” moments. Because of this, I thought it would be a really good one to answer on the blog –

“Simone – I can’t bring myself to date yet! How do you bounce back from all the whack situations and disappointments? What is your mindset when you date? How do you know when to walk away? I feel like I’ve lost faith and trust in myself for misjudging the last two situations…I always try to make things work or give it more time “to see.”

 I also have this belief that my anxiety and any flaw in me has to be fixed before I can truly attract the love I want and be the partner that I envision. This is a really good mind trick to never date again! In short: gearing up to get back out there but terrified.” 

Ok, so a few things –

First of all, if you’re not ready to date – that’s totally OK. I feel like we live in a culture where everyone is constantly being encouraged to date, pair off and be together – something that just isn’t always realistic, fair or even healthy. We’re fed the message that if we’re not dating, in a relationship or trying to find one, that there’s something wrong with us – something that inevitably needs fixing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes hearts just need time to heal. Being alone can help facilitate this. If not dating feels like the most authentic and right thing for you right now; follow your intuition. However long you need, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a breather.

The truth is, although this blog covers a lot of my life, there are also a lot of things that you don’t see. It may seem like I’m always dating up a storm; immediately climbing back atop of the proverbial horse every time I get knocked down, however this isn’t always the case. Over the past three years I’ve taken several lengthly hiatuses from dating and sex. It just doesn’t always read this way because more often than not, I don’t always write about my experiences in real time.

With that said, this wasn’t always the case. While writing my book, which involved digging through the romantic wreckage of my past, I realized there were so many times that I flung myself, head-first into various relationships with very little regard for my own self-preservation. I practiced what I like to call “emotional cliff-diving.” I wanted to feel and experience things, and didn’t really think through consequences. I was brave to a fault. I had some good experiences but also lots of really, really bad ones.

Although a lot of good writing material came from these experiences, I wouldn’t recommend emotional cliff diving to anyone (well, at least anyone over the age of 23.) With that said, here’s what I’ve learned now that I’m older and a tiny bit wiser: dating is always going to make you feel somewhat vulnerable. The only way you can avoid vulnerability is by closing yourself off emotionally from other people – which doesn’t work if your goal is to meet someone. You have to be brave. Once I decided that I wanted to start dating again, I realized that the only way I was going to get through it was by becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

View Post

Guys, We Need to Talk About Your Online Dating Photos

After a weird December and calling it quits with my younger man friend, I decided to get back on the ol’ online dating horse and give OkCupid yet another shot. Since reentering the world of online dating, I’ve been on a few dates with nice people, been matched with someone I dated 15 years ago and had one guy ask me if I’d be interested in “sexually dominating him.” (When I politely delcined he got really offended and sent me a message that said “INTERESTING THAT YOU DON’T RESPOND TO ANY OF MY OTHER MESSAGES BUT RESPOND TO THIS ONE SO YOU CAN REJECT ME.”) So, in other words – just your average month on the beat.

No matter how long I stay away from online dating; the one thing that never changes are the photos. Oh, the photos. I can write a hundred of articles about the do’s and don’ts of online dating photos, and yet, truly terrible online dating photos prevail. I’m sure some of you are actually decent dudes (and that us ladies post our share of equally terrible pics), however you’re shooting yourself in the foot with all of these bizarre photos.

So, in an effort to remedy this problem, Joe the Intern and his friends have teamed up to provide 6 more photos that you need to delete from your online dating profileFYI, these are all modelled after actual photos I came across on OK Cupid, February 26th, between 7:42pm-9:05pm. 

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating PhotosHere’s something I like to call “Ok Cupid: Dead or Alive Edition.” Recently, I was matched with a guy whose only photo showed him sprawled limply over a bank of rocks, with a vacant, heavy lidded expression; his beer dangling limply from his hand. The photo was taken on the beach near where I grew up – an area I know well. The photo literally looks like he fell off a cliff and impaled himself on the rocky shore below. When I showed the photo to my friend, she leaned in then jolted back in surprise. “Is he OK, Simone?” she asked. FYI, this is not what you want women to say when they look through your online dating profile.

I get it – we live on the West Coast. The soulful, hanging out on the beach photo is about as ubiquitous as seasonal allergies – everyone and their dog has one or two. However, if you want to make these beach shots work in your favour, they can’t be awkward or look like something that a CSI team should be investigating.

Below, Trump has helped recreate another photo I stumbled across. The male subject in question was sprawled out on the beach, with his arm placed inexplicably behind his head in a way that looked like he had dislocated his elbow. His face was scrunched up in discomfort, while his armpit hair played centre stage. Once again, I have no idea why the person decided to include this photo, but there it was in all of it’s painfully uncomfortable glory. Awkwardness is contagious: if you look awkward, we feel awkward too.  So, if you’re going to include a “chill beach pic” make sure you actually look, well, chill and that you have good posture. (photo credit)

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating Photos

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating Photos

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating PhotosOnce again, most women are attracted to guys who look alive. We don’t want to see photos of you sleeping (?) on the couch, passed out on the floor or floating face down in a pool of water. You may think these shots are funny and whimsical, but to us, you just come across as lazy and not much fun. Along with some simple head shots, we like to see photos of you doing stuff that you’re into. Whether that’s brewing your own beer, hiking the Grand Canyon or playing hockey – almost anything is better than a photo that looks like a potential crime scene or something your friends took when they thought you were too drunk to notice. (photo credit)

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating PhotosSo, this photo is still happening. If you want to be taken seriously, keep in mind that no good can come from the shirt grab photo. Joe the Intern’s army buddy wants you to know that it looks just as ridiculous when you do it. (photo credit)

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating PhotosHey, you know what else I’m sick of seeing on OkCupid? Dead animals! To that dude who posted a photo of himself clasping the horns of a dead and bloodied elk – yes, I’m talking to you (and no, we won’t be going for coffee anytime soon.) You know what I find totally sexy? Photos of guys being nice to animals, not standing over their bloody carcasses. But you know, maybe that’s just me.

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating Photos

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating Photos

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating PhotosARMPIT HAIR. There’s entirely too much of it online. Yes, we all have arm-pit hair. However, if you’re trying to make a good first impression online, you might want to avoid posting photos where it’s prominently displayed. Sure maybe some women like this (maybe? possibly? I don’t know?) however, personally I’d prefer to not see your armpits in intimate detail until we actually know each other. What would be better: A nice photo of your face, sans armpit foliage. (photo credit)

Dating in Victoria BC:  Bad Online Dating PhotosThe other day I got matched with a family – at least that’s what can be assumed by the profile photo. The photo featured a man, a woman, two kids and a German Shepard. I assume that it’s the man’s profile, however considering he describes himself as “an easy going guy who loves long walks in the park” it could be the German Shepard. Who the heck knows. If these kinds of details are unclear, you’re doing it wrong. (photo credit)

So, to sum up:

-Alive is better than dead.

-A nice photo of your face > everything.

-Put your arms down.

The End.

{All photos taken by me, unless otherwise noted.}

What’s your online dating photo pet peeve?

Latest pins

Follow on Pinterest