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Filtering by Tag: evolution

Keeping it comfy...

Jamieson Van Loan

The holiday season always seems to be a time of reflection. A time where we ponder where this year has gone and what has brought us to this current space we occupy. Recently someone asked me about my life plans, for lack of a better term. At my age, I get the typical questions "do you want to get married" "do you want kids" etc. And I have my generic response "hopefully, one day" (although hope is a four letter word for me but that's another rant). 

Normally, I put zero thought into this line of questioning. Curiosity is a natural human condition. Whether it be the holiday reflection or the past few weeks of my life, but this time I really thought about these questions and my answer. 

Here is my conclusion: 

This is me. I am 36. I am single. I have no kids. I do not own a home. I have never been married. I have chosen this life. I have had opportunities for all of those things but I chose this life. Do I want kids? Yes. Do I want a husband? Meh.
JK, a life partner may be cool. Marriage? I could take it or leave it. 

I have never been the girl with ambitions to wed and have the white picket fence with 1.5 kids and a labrador. If this is you- kudos- you know what you want.

For me, I wanted adventure. I wanted to travel. I wanted experiences. I wanted stories to tell. I wanted to witness cultures. I wanted to meet new humans. I still want these things. My desire for experience has not been satiated. 

I realized that what feeds my soul the most are the things that exist outside of the normal comfort zone. What I mean by "normal comfort zone" is the ideals that society imposes on us and that majority of people desire and obtain. And these are all beautiful things to desire: a family, a home, a partner- it is what life is about. It is just not what my life is about. 

I have an irrational fear of routine. I quit a catering job once because if I had to make 300 more Vietnamese spring rolls, I was gonna chop my arm off. I couldn't bear showing up to work every day and doing the exact same thing over and over again. The monotony was killing my soul. One aspect I love about being an entrepreneur is that I never know where my day is going to take me. I am constantly being forced to do things that make me uncomfortable. I live in a state of dis-ease with work and I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Comfort zones are the spaces where habits and rituals exist and where stress, anxiety and fear are at their lowest. It is where most people enjoy spending their lives. And why wouldn't you? Less stress and anxiety is what we all want. 

But for me, I need to be in a constant state of evolution. I need to be forced to exist outside of the settled spaces and experience the discomfort. I need to experience the unknown. For its in this realm of discomfort that growth occurs. 

There is a term called optimal anxiety. Essentially, it is the favored level of anxiety that you can handle while still being productive. Everyone has a different level and I tend to have a higher threshold. It is not that I crave stress and anxiety, but I do tend to thrive in those situations. 

When you're in your comfort zone, you're safe and secure. But there is no expansion. You are not pushing your limits. This to me is not an option. I need to be thrust into the unknown and challenge what I think to be true. 

And this is what I learned about myself this week. I crave challenges. I want the difficult puzzles that need to be viewed from all angles to be solved. I feel the most happy when I am not settling for the status quo. I need the grueling moments so I can examine myself and find my growth. 

And this year has been nothing except growth for me. It has been my most difficult and most rewarding year yet. I am at the happiest I have ever been and yet I had the most painful beginning. How can this be? 

It is because my challenging situation forced me to break down a barrier. I had no choice but to move outside of my comfort zone. Once the boundary had been knocked down, I was able to expand. I am so grateful to have gone through it. The personal evolution has been immeasurable. 

This brings me to my entire point. I may not have babies and a husband and a white picket fence. And I may never have those things but my life is filled with love. The amount of love that is showered on me every day and that I have the honor of sharing with people is infinite. I can't tell you how many times a day I say "I love you" to people. How lucky am I? 

So next time someone asks me what my life plans are, here is my answer:
To be loved and share love. 

xo

Love hard today.

Jamieson Van Loan

A reoccurring theme in my life lately is loss. I could give you a laundry list of these impactful losses but that is not my focus today. I discuss loss and grieving a lot with friends and family. I am a person who benefits from open ears and generous minds. Some like to keep personal thoughts close to their heart, but I like to explore and learn from others. 

We all deal with loss constantly. Sometimes it is as trivial as losing an earring and sometimes it's a loss that rips your heart and soul apart. The old adage that what does not kill you, makes you stronger could not ring truer during these tribulations. 

I have learned a great deal of lessons during the past few months but here are some that have stuck out for me.

1) We do not truly own anything in this world. This Buddhist idea of impermanence is something that I grapple with. From our relationships to material items, nothing is permanent. Everything will evolve. If you can wrap your head around how temporary every aspect of your life is, you not only appreciate more, but it can sometimes soften the blow of a loss. 

2) With loss comes growth. If you do not take the time to dive deeply into your self during a major loss, you will lose much more than you started with. Grief is not only a time to reflect on the past, but a period to do a full life scan. And not a surface scan but to get to levels that help you recognize what has REALLY brought you to this very moment and how you can move forward as the best version of yourself.

3) You are not alone. Now we all know this, but sometimes it takes a lot of strength to reach out for help. Someone in your life can empathize and show compassion and light during your difficult periods. Trust me, my friends have forced me through days I wasn't sure I would survive. Find those compassionate people and love them hard. They will keep you going. They are the light at the end of a very dark and lonely tunnel. Return the favor: be the light for others.

4) Feel all the feelings. It is so important to not mask your emotions or run from them. It is ok to cry or yell or break down. Let it happen. Your mind needs the release. Do not avoid these feelings. It will come out in one form or another so let them. Pretending you are A-OK will not solve anything. Feelings fester. Liberate them.

If you know someone dealing with any fashion of a loss, reach out to them. Love them hard. They need it!

~

Our menu for next week is below and don't forget on Fridays you can use our discount code: FRIDAY5 for 5% off your order.

I hope you all have a healthy and beautiful weekend!
Jamieson xo

Birthday Reflections

Jamieson Van Loan

Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week. I am so grateful. Time is our most valuable asset and using yours to send me well wishes for the year ahead is greatly appreciated. Thank you! 

Birthdays are always a time of reflection and intention. For me, they are a time to reminisce on the past 365 days. To see what I've learned, how I've grown, how I've regressed and to forgive myself for any moments that weren't true to myself.

I have to be honest, I find my birthday to be a tough time of year. I have always been a very goal-oriented person and birthdays were always a reminder of what I hadn't accomplished yet, coupled with this underlying fear that I am running out of time to complete said goals. Every year I try to move away from this rigid structure of thinking but it's difficult for me. Don't get me wrong, I am not unaware of all the things I have accomplished and yes, I am proud of those. But the unfinished list tends to outweigh the accomplishments in my mind. This is part of my evolution. I am a work in progress. 

What are you internally working on? 

Whatever it is, keep at it! 

Our menu for next week is below. If you're ordering on Friday, don't forget your FRIDAY5 promo code. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 
Jamieson xo

Take the time

Jamieson Van Loan

I hope this email finds you well! Who's excited for 70s? I am, I am, I am! 

With beautiful weather coming (and going, ugh, Sunday is 40s again!) this is a reminder to everyone to practice your self care.

I have to own that I am the LAST person on earth who practices self care. I tend to put my work, my dog, my family, my friends, pretty much anything and everything, before myself. Granted, this makes me a giver and that is a beautiful thing to be.

But sometimes we need to practice taking. Taking time for ourselves and our sanity. I cannot tell you how many times I tell myself "tomorrow I will make time for my yoga practice" and I haven't hit my mat since February. Practicing self care is NOT something to put on the back burner. It means being selfish sometimes. It means letting go of the control in other aspects of your life and focusing just on yourself. Can you do that? Can you let go of your tight schedule and set aside time for yourself? 

And self care does not mean grandiose life changes. It means little things like setting aside five minutes to meditate, eating healthier, making better food choices, going for walk after dinner, turning off the tv and reading that book you've been meaning to read for ages.  Self care can be whatever you need it to be. It just needs to be about YOU and only you. 

I am making a vow to begin the self care process. I might not get to om every day but even putting the intentions to do so in the universe will begin the process. What intentions can you set today to work towards more self love? 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Jamieson xo

Not to burst anyone's champagnes bubbles...

Jamieson Van Loan

But vacation week is coming to an end! Eeks...enjoy the last two days before returning to reality. I hope you guys all have an amazing Easter weekend! I am off to a wonderful weekend in Boston with an actual lamb on a spit in the backyard. Holy moly! I know for some that's cruel and awful (to each his/her own) but for a chef- it's pretty darn cool! Greeks do it right!

The weather has finally changed. YES! What are you all doing to appreciate this beautiful turn of events? With each changing of the seasons, I like to reflect on what we are losing and what we have ahead to look forward to. Even though we all complained (me included) about the long winter and cold, grey skies, we really had it pretty easy this winter. We only had a few bad snow storms and not a ton to shovel. Thank goodness! I happen to be someone who dislikes the cold but loves the cozy nights in with a fire, hot cocoa, snuggles and Netflix. Yes please. Those days are behind us for a while.  We are giving up the slower comfort and quiet of winter.

And now we have the long warm summer days...filled with sand, sunshine, warm garden tomatoes and a little rosè. I have a complete appreciation of both seasons, but I will admit that I am much more of an outdoor, sunshine, sunsets on the beach kind of person. Ahead of us are the days of lots of outdoor activity, hot sweaty temperatures, swimming to cool off, outdoor eating, grilling, backyard gatherings...ooh I can't wait! We are exiting our hibernation stage into the active, energetic, sultry season.

This change of seasons reminds me that I have the constant ability to change. I can change my emotions, my opinions, my reactions, my stress level, my plans, my everything. The cliche that people never change or you can't teach an old dog new tricks-it's a big fat lie people! We are all capable of change.

How are you evolving this season?

Happy Easter everyone!
Jamieson xo