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Filtering by Tag: mental health

The stories we tell ourselves...

Jamieson Van Loan

Last week when I was in Charleston, I was chatting with a friend of mine and mid-sentence she stops me and goes “are you creating a story right now?” And I tried to justify my side of the conversation by explaining that I know the situation and person so well that I knew what was happening. And she goes, “Nope, sorry. That’s a full blown story you’ve created.” She completely shut me down. But I thought about it and had to agree. I was basing my future prediction on my past and what I think I know but the reality is we never no anything but the facts.

We innately create stories, majority fictional, based on past experiences in order to come to terms with our present and future situations, as a part of our inherent internal defense mechanism. If you seriously pay attention to your thoughts, you will realize that you are constantly doing this. These stories tend to feed into our anxieties and insecurities.

When someone doesn’t text you back, what are you thinking? When someone is late to meet you, where do your thoughts go? When your partner stays late at work multiple nights in a row, what do you imagine? When someone is silent in your presence? When someone doesn’t respond to your email? When someone doesn’t answer your phone call? When someone stops talking when you walk in a room? Or when you say something then assume someone took it the wrong way? When someone gives you a strange look? When your boss calls you into his/her office? We automatically jump to conclusions without taking into consideration the actual facts.

Or better yet, what about the narrative we create for ourselves? What limitations are we holding over our heads? I always tell myself I’m not athletic therefore running, CrossFit or any high intensity workout is just not my jam. But in reality, I am fit- I mean I can hold a freakin’ plank for more than six minutes (I just timed myself a couple weeks ago and to say I’m proud is an understatement, yee haw!). So why do I tell myself that I am not something that I actually am? When you say “I’m this sort of person” or “I can’t be XYZ” you are creating a personal narrative that is not necessarily true. This type of construct is limiting ourselves. You are putting yourself into a box and then living according to that. Realizing that our personal faux narratives exist can free us from becoming victims to limitations.

Our interpretations of current situations is typically based on our past. When we don’t truly heal from past traumas, their influence will always be an undercurrent in our present situation and our future choices. This makes us victims of our past. Do not be a victim to your past! Do your best to figure out your issues, work through them, heal from them, shift your perspective and move forward. Just because you feel ok about your past does not mean you’ve healed from it.

Since we are always creating these fabricated stories, how is this serving us?

And that’s the kicker, the stories we tell ourselves rarely serve us. They actually can be quite damaging. Our subconscious minds are trying to protect us by creating a story that will put up a wall between ourselves and the situation in question. They create more anxiety, more insecurity, more frustrations and lead to deeper rabbit holes. The story you are telling yourself serves no one but the ego inside.

Next time you find yourself creating a story, stop and ask yourself: what are the facts? What do I know to be 100% true? If all you know is that your text wasn’t responded to- stop there. That is it. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Accept your reality for what it is. 

This demands a level of self awareness beyond your norm. Even just calling the person who cut you off while driving a jerk is creating a story. A tiny story but still not reality. Do your best to recognize when you jump to conclusions or when your imagination begins to float on down to crazy town. Reel yourself back into the present, breath and focus on the facts. This will only serve you better. 

My advice is to do your best to not fill in the blanks in your head. Do not take what you have experienced and project that on others. Realize that we are complicated beings and the complicated mind is controlled by you. Assumptions serve no one. Most of all, be kind to yourself within your mind. That negative chatter is the worst story teller of all.

Be and live the truth,
Jamiesonxo

Learning curves

Jamieson Van Loan

You know when you're on the listening end of someone's problem and you sorta want to shake them and be like, HERE'S THE ISSUE AND HERE'S THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED. But we all have to go through the learning process on our terms. No one can coax us through the process, or present the lesson, without us having to trudge through the hardship. 

I initially started this rant on a completely different plane of thought. But life lessons kept popping up this week. There is that cliched (but completely relevant, hence the cliche) quote that basically says "when you stop asking why is this happening to you and replace it with what can you learn from it?" you can completely alter your perspective. And I couldn't agree more. Life will always have its difficult moments and decisions and it's what you draw from those moments that will aid in your evolution. 

As someone who is a sounding board for many friends, but also someone who reaches out to my tribes people for advice constantly, the question of what can I learn from this situation is always a topic of conversation. If this is not a continual subject in your world, I recommend making it one. It takes the natural instinct to complain into a completely different realm. Our complaints, our issues, become the foundation of learning. How can I process this situation in a way that isn't stressing me out, but is adding to my growth? 

And don't get me wrong, it is not easy to do this all the time. Sometimes we are stuck in shitty circumstances that makes us question our very purpose on this planet. We have all been through heartbreak and loss and massive regret and cruelty and pain. None of those situations or emotions beg us to find the silver lining. Once you get distance, healing and lessons typically prevail, but it isn't always so apparent. 

Our innate response to difficult situations is to put up our protective walls.  Our defenses go up. It is not our fault or our issue, but the other person, who is causing the grief, who is to blame. Our negative emotions and ego like to push against ownership and fault others. In the moment that your mind goes into that mode, that is when the reality check comes into play. Questioning the reality of your thoughts is key. We all over analyze, dramatize and do the "woe is me" dance when we want sympathy and understanding.  So stepping outside of your situation, as difficult as that can be, is so beneficial. How would a stranger, an unbiased human, interpret this incident? 

And if you can mentally distance yourself from the situation, can you push even farther and begin to see the lesson hidden among the suffering? This takes so much emotional intelligence and strength. It is no easy feat. 

But the quicker you can move through the "woe is me" phase into the growth phase, the happier you will be. 

I think one of the best gauges for tough situations is asking yourself the question, "will I care about this problem in a week from now, six months from now, a year from now?" How detrimental to my actual life is this? And if the answer is not at all OR the solution is completely out of your control, then let it go. Move through the emotions you need to, but let it go. Learn and move forward. 

That is a crucial component to dealing with tough issues, are you actually moving forward and through them? Or are you being stubborn? I know friends, and shoot, I've been there plenty of times, who are stubborn, or moreover, stagnant with their problems. They complain and get upset over and over again, which can be beneficial in the venting realm, but it's not facilitating to healing and moving past your problem. How many times can you complain about a circumstance before you take the leap to change it?

Typically taking the leap to change or learn from your issue is the more arduous path. And therefore, typically the path we choose last. I am urging you to choose it now. Be the person who acknowledges the negative situation and expends the least amount of emotional energy on it. Own your part of it, fix what you can, and then shut up and figure out the lesson.
Move forward.

If you are spending the valuable time you have on this planet, upset or stressed or complaining, you're on the wrong side of the tracks, my friend. Don't misread this- we will all be upset, stressed and will complain- but it is how you handle it and progress through it that matters most. Learn and grow- your future self will thank you.

Jamiesonxo

Don’t be in sales...

Jamieson Van Loan

I am not a salesperson. I never have been. I remember working for Bear Naked right when they got into the Norwalk Stew Leonard’s and having to demo granola for Kelly & Brendan. I was the worst! It brought out all my insecurities. In my mind, I felt so far removed from myself. Who was I to be selling this stuff? I couldn’t seem to find my true voice. I couldn't handle the rejections and rudeness. Fortunately, they had a great product and it sold itself...phew!

Since owning my restaurant in Costa Rica and now having Maikana, I’ve had to work on my selling skills. I’ve had to get comfortable with things that typically make me uncomfortable. From conference calls to business meetings to marketing myself- all things that used to make me want to run and hide, I’ve had to face head on. Still, when my phone rings, I want to hurl it across the room but I don’t. I’ve accepted that sometimes we have to feel uneasy in order to find the good stuff. This applies to all aspects of life.

I read this article about relationships and energies a few weeks ago and the line that stuck in my head is: 

“You are not a salesperson. It is not your job to convince someone to like you.”

In the past, I have spoken about energies or vibrations needing to align for you and someone to click. This is completely true. Some people you vibe with and some you don't. 

But you know that feeling when you’re not clicking with someone and you can’t understand what YOU did wrong. It is so easy for us to question what we are doing wrong or how we can change in order to appeal to someone else. As an over-analyzer, I’ve definitely been here. Why doesn’t he or she like me? What can I do to make them like me? What is wrong with me?

Answer: not a damn thing.

You are exactly who and where you are meant to be. You are surrounded by the people who are the exact support characters you need at this moment. You are amazing, as is, and the only time you should ever change something about your character is if YOU want to better yourself, for only yourself. No one else. 

If someone doesn’t like you or understand you, that is their problem. Not yours. It is not your job to ever convince or persuade someone to like you. Ever. Never ever.

Do not be a salesperson.

I have been that person. The person who is malleable enough to fit in and can adapt to people and situations in order to stay inside the supposed box. I was young and thought that being who I was "supposed" to be was the right thing. I have since learned the opposite.

The effort needed to portray a different version of yourself is exhausting. And even when you've convinced yourself that this is who you are, eventually you will not be able to suppress your inner spirit. This goes back to what I've said before: let your freak flag fly. The people who rally around that flag are your tribe. 

 Sadly, I still see people my age and older trying to impress or behave in a manner contradictory to their true self so others accept them. When are these people going to be comfortable enough with their own character, their own ideas & beliefs, their own soul to give zero effs about who likes them or not? 

Life is too damn short to be a salesperson.

Taking ownership of your beautiful self and celebrating who you are, with people who do not want you to change a damn thing, is one of the greatest joys in life. Just being accepted for exactly who you are is a gift. Be grateful when it happens.  

Side note: asking people to change for you or assuming people should change for you is just as bad as not being accepted. I've heard countless stories of people saying "oh I thought he/she would change". Why, why would you ever think that? It's fantasy, not reality. 

I vow to never be a salesperson for my character. I vow to love and accept myself as is. Because who I was yesterday, who I am today and who I will be tomorrow are not the same people. And the wonderful humans who see the beautiful value in those genuine versions of myself are all I need in life.

Take the same vow: love who you truly are and never be a salesperson for your soul. 

Jamiesonxo 

The Power of Positive Thought

Jamieson Van Loan

Steve Jobs' “think different” campaign was beyond just a marketing strategy. He created a culture where thinking outside of the box was encouraged and fanciful ideas became reality. Besides the innovation side of this, the literal aspect is what made Steve Jobs a great leader. He chose to turn his thoughts into reality.

This idea that our thoughts can hold the immense power to create and to manipulate the universe around us is not novel. But it something that we tend to forget during our daily rituals.

Our thought paths are the derivative of our emotions. Our emotions in turn direct how we move and interact throughout our day. Therefore our thoughts are the basis for our general wholeness and mental well-being. If the thought groundwork we are laying leans towards the negative, our days tend to turn out that way. We are overwhelmed, stressed out, irritable, etc. If you wake up on the “right” side of the bed and your mental state gravitates towards the positive side, your days tend to be lighter and more at ease.

It is human nature to blame exterior influences on our moods and behavior. But how often do you look within to correct your circumstances? The power our thoughts can have over mood and behavior is extraordinary. It does not need to be reiterated how important the power of positive thinking is but I do think it does need be a daily reminder in our lives to ACTUALLY practice this.   
 
There are days (I’ve had about four this week alone) where my positive day hits a negative wall. My younger self would dwell and sink into the negativity. My current self chooses to meditate, to realize that what is currently happening is impermanent and therefore the anxiety that rises up inside of me is not worth the fluctuating situation. I have to constantly be aware of how my thoughts are shaping my reactions and to actively choose to not go down negative rabbit holes. It is not easy, but the more I do it, the more accessible it has become.

Try it. Force yourself to realize that what is happening is both these things 1) literally not the end of the world and 2) not going to exist or matter at some point.

This does not detract from the pain of loss or the realities of a harsh world. There are moments in life that alter us and our mental states forever. I acknowledge that. But during the moments of being broken open is where we find the most growth.

So here is the thing, if Steve Jobs can literally take the thoughts in his brain and turn them into tangible success, why aren’t we all doing that? What is holding us back? Is it the fear of failure? Rejection? Fear, doubt and rejection are the repellents of life’s abundance. You need to squash those nasties in their tracks.   

How can we use the power of our positive thoughts and harness them into reality?

Stripping away the negatives and focusing and keeping the faith in what you truly want and deserve in life is the first step. Being hyper aware of your goals and following through mentally and with action is the next step. It requires vigilance and conviction. Stay positive, even when you find no reason to. Do not quit on yourself.

Remember this: we are the creators of our universe. You have a choice in who you spend your time with, you have a choice in how you interact with the world, you have a choice in your career, where you live, how you self-care, how you self- love, what makes you happy, etc. These choices all begin and end in your mind so be wary of how you wield that power. Use it to create a more beautiful and happy world around you.

Namaste xo

Are you absorbing life’s lessons?

Jamieson Van Loan

There is a quote I posted on social media that said “anything that annoys you is teaching you patience. Anyone who abandons you is teaching you to stand up on your own two feet. Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion. Anything that has power over you is teaching you how to take your power back. Anything you hate is teaching you unconditional love. Anything you fear is teaching you courage to overcome your fear. Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go."

The evolved within us knows all this. The question is: are we actually paying attention to it? Are we being cognizant of the signs and lessons around us?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting someone who completely changed my mindset in life. It is strange when you’re actively pursuing a certain mindset and someone can automatically spark that shift within you. It feels like the universe is speaking to you. This person was in my life for a blink of a moment, but they made me realize how much I was truly lacking. I had forgotten about this momentous person inside of me who valued laughter, joy and fun. It was not that my life did not include those imperatives; it was that I was prioritizing my work over everything else. I prioritize work over my sleep, over my friends, over my social life, over my family, over honestly, all the things that matter the most at the end of the day. To look back on my past post about “what would you do if today was your last day on earth”- I was spending mine working. If I was hit by a bus later today, would my last thoughts be about not emailing that person back or regretting that I hadn’t spent more time with the important factors in my life. I am going to assume the latter.

It is not always easy to be hyper aware of the lessons in life. We are in such a tight hamster wheel of precision and routine that when there are moments of fluster or aggravation, we tend to just follow the emotions. But when we step back and realize that those moments that deter our constant are truly there to push us in a forward motion, we actually grow. My most literal and daily attribute to this is how I am constantly getting stuck behind the slowest drivers. Now most humans would be ok with this, but I am not one of those humans. I tend to be in a rush and wondering why the person in front of me is going eight miles slower than the speed limit, which is actually 15 miles slower than the rest of society. Through deep breathes and self-awareness, I realize that this person is really here to teach me to be patient and that life is not a constant state of rushing (albeit I am normally missing a train to nyc at this point). It has made me grow, evolve.

Every single time I am bothered by someone else’s influence in my life, I take deep breaths and ask myself, “what are they here to teach me?”

There has yet to be an answer that has not rung true for all aspects of my life. I am so grateful to the person who reminded me that fun and laughter is crucial to my purest existence. I am so grateful to the slow drivers for reminding me of my need for patience. I am so grateful to all the people who have made me explore my inner self in order to happen upon some beautiful discovery.

Remember this:
Without exploration, there is no discovery.

My takeaway this week is that we need to be grateful for the people who force us outside of our comfort zones. The people who rile us up or upset us or anger us or frustrate us, they are the people who compel us to hone our reactions and delve deeper into our personas. Be grateful for all of it. These encounters, although not always positive, create a crater of experience that can only be filled with wisdom.

To give of yourself...

Jamieson Van Loan

I am a giver. Of all things. I give completely to my friends and family. I share openly and candidly about my life. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I listen wholeheartedly and give good (hopefully!) advice. I would give the shirt off my back to a stranger if it would enhance their day. I find joy in being available to help others and would bend over backwards for the people in my tribe.

Being a giver is a part of my essence. It feeds my soul. Cooking for people is an extension of this. I am at my happiest when I bring joy to other people’s lives. What I did not realize is that being a giver in life is not always positive. It means I’m not great with taking.

It has taken me years to truly accept compliments. I cannot ever put myself before others. I'd sacrifice my own needs to fulfill theirs. I am not good at asking for help. I find it difficult to accept gifts from others. My automatic mental response is what can I do for them in return? Just this past year has been the first time I’ve ever accepted friends buying me lunch or dinner, without my need to plan my immediate reciprocation.

More importantly, it means I am not good when people don’t give back. When I give my all, I expect a version in return.

This is where the lessons begin.

No one ever needs to meet you where you stand. Ever. Remember that next time you’re feeling hurt by someone. They do not need to understand your thought process or reach out to you as much as you do to them. They are following their own heart and mind. You cannot fault someone for not caring in the same capacity that you do. This does not mean the person doesn’t care; it only shows distinctions in our mode of export.

Is it amazing when they do? Yes. Completely. But seeking anger for someone not sharing your views and/or characteristics solely hurts you. 

For those of you like myself, there is a rare moment when the people we care and give to are unsure of where they stand in our lives. For those of you unlike myself, I would vouch that vulnerability is not at your core and you express your love (giving is at its essence an expression of love) for someone in variety of ways but you are not shouting it from the proverbial mountaintop. 

The problems arise when a giver and, for lack of a better term, a taker cannot figure out how to frame their relationship. It is not easy. I’ve had and still have plenty of takers in my life. My job is not to fault them for not aligning with my practices but to show them love without the prerequisite of reciprocation. Being self aware enough to understand that I am choosing to give with zero expectations of mutuality is no easy feat. It requires serious mental work.

My initial (and immature) thought process was “how can people not think exactly how I do?” I spend majority of my life checking in with loved ones and making sure my tribe is happy and if they aren’t, what can I do to improve that? Isn’t this the BEST way to be?!

The answer is: no, nay, nah. 

This is just the best way for me to be. It is my authentic self. I cannot judge others for not being or thinking the way I do.

How often does this question creep into your head: what were they thinking?! Or why didn't they do XYZ? 

Stop yourself right there. There is nothing to be gained by going down this rabbit hole. It is a judgment zone and only creates a negative mental state. 

To stave away from this state you have to constantly remind yourself that your choices are yours and yours alone. If you choose to give your all to another, that is only on you and there is no guarantee for reciprocation. 

If we could all be aware of our differences and respect them, even if we do no agree with them, we would all benefit.

Regardless if you are a giver or taker, life is about acknowledging said differences and accepting them as a part of the whole.

And please, for the sake of all stop saying things like "well I did this, therefore I expected.." Stop expecting. You are only hurting yourself. 

To be open enough to give of yourself is a beautiful thing but to be smart enough to take and really accept what the universe happily hands over is an awakening. 

Be the balance. Be a giver and a taker. 

The yin & the yang of it

Jamieson Van Loan

A couple nights ago, I saw a musical called Waitress. When the movie first came out, I remember renting it from the Darien library and the second it ended, I restarted it. I was drawn to it. The story is about a woman, a waitress, whose life has not gone the way she expected and even with all the wrong turns she finds the strength to stand strong and change her path.

Besides the obvious beauty of the story line, I have always felt a connection to this idea that life may not always be cracked up to what it’s supposed to be but we are all a-ok. If we all took stock of our lives, how often are we in awe of how perfect it’s turning out?

I will speak for myself and say, rarely is my life turning out as I thought it would. And the shocking part of this is that I would not change one damn part of it. I’ve had glimpses of the perfection. I’ve lived many chapters of complete happiness and as much as I loved those moments and am grateful for them, there was no room for growth.

Lessons in life are learned or better yet, forced upon us, in the shadows of life. We expand in the darkness. We cannot know the beauty of happy without going through the struggle. 

I was once told that I’m too complicated of a person. Sadly, I believed them. That the chaos of my shadows and light were overwhelming. It took a long time to dig myself out of that gaslit generalization. I had to live through an unexpected dark period of my life to grasp that the depths of my persona are beautiful layers of experience and emotion. The idea of trading that chaotic beauty for a simple shallow existence is now laughable to me.
Now.
But I had to trudge through the raw dark space to truly appreciate the light and goodness inside of me. The dichotomy of those two worlds exist within me. I appreciate the light and layers because the dark lives there also. One cannot exist without the other.

Our lives are transient. Remember that when we are in perfect moments of our lives, there will be an equal moment of sadness and struggle. And that is ok. It is necessary. But we move through both states and come out stronger and more powerful because of it. Your chaos is a beautiful thing.

There is a song in Waitress called "She Used To Be Mine" that I’ve always loved and one line in it is “she is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie”. That is all of us. We are all a jumble of experiences walking around just trying to make real connections. 

Needless to say, if Waitress is on your to-do list, get on it. The premise is moving and real. It is a reminder that the doldrums of life are met, equally, with joy.

Oprah's Hell

Jamieson Van Loan

I once heard in an Oprah podcast that her idea of hell is being shown everything that you could have done in your life had you only tried. Think about this for a moment. Every time you were like "eh, maybe this isn't for me" or "nah, I don't want to attempt that" or just said "nope, no chance", you may have added something to your list of Oprah's vision of hell. What paths could have opened or been altered had you tried at something you were unsure about? Something you quit too early? Or felt too scared to pursue? What would be on your list? 

A lot of people tend to be in awe of the fact that I am an entrepreneur. To the more risk averse types, I am an anomaly. To me, it seems completely normal to forge my own path and create a life of passion and joy. I honestly could not imagine a life where I was not doing this. Is it terrifying? Constantly. Do I feel unsure all the time? Duh. Am I questioning what the heck I am doing with my life? Yes, but doesn't everyone? But do I feel alive and happy? YES!!!

I can say that I am now at a point in my life, due to many circumstances outside of my control (yet another life lesson), that I now say YES to most anything. I do not let life pass me by and I do not add things to my "if I had only tried" list. I take risks. I am constantly trying to shed the skin of what I SHOULD be and how I SHOULD act (who dictates these things anyway?!). I am actively working on being my own true self. I am letting my freak flag fly and I am letting go of the notion that I should care what others think about that. It is none of my damn business! I spent years being boxed into what was expected of me and worried about how I appear to the outside world. Now, excuse my French, I give ZERO f*cks. I am enough. As is. 

Life is too short to be controlled by the external world. It is too short to not give everything your all. It is too short to create regrets. That is essentially what Oprah is saying. Are you living a life where you are creating regrets? 

And if you are, how are you going to change that?
Start today. Time is finite. Tackle the life you truly want head on. Take more risks. Do not be swayed by outside influences. Be more purely you. And most importantly, regret nothing. 

~
 

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Jamieson Van Loan

Let's define ego for a minute. In a broad sense, it is your self image or the way you view yourself. On a deeper level, your ego is the impetus for all mental pain, fear and resistance. It is the defense mechanism of the persona, the place where we judge, define and analyze the world and others, in order to create a safe haven or a protective barrier inside ourselves. 

To simplify this, imagine that you're walking down the street and someone yells "you're ugly". The very first thing that kicks into gear is your ego. Wait, I am not ugly, who is this jackass, you get upset. This person has challenged your self image. They have unleashed the beast. Except that in reality, your looks haven't changed and you are not ugly. All that has happened is that your ego has been bruised. But it has set the emotional ball rolling.

I often hear from friends or newbies to yoga that they can't keep up with others in class, they can't do handstands or hold downward dog. And so they quit or say yoga isn't for me. And maybe it isn't but not for those reasons. The ego will tell you that you don't need to feel inferior in a class, you don't need some hippy workout, you've got that injury from a decade ago, you're better than this, etc. This resistance to trying or growing or learning is the ego. Your ego will tell you to quit a challenging situation in order to protect your self image. All your excuses in life are ego driven. It would like to keep you in your safe and pretty little (*small*) box for the rest of your life. 

The irony is that the ego really is just trying to keep you safe and secure. The ego wants to protect you from pain, hurt, shame, rejection, criticism, discomfort, risk, fear, sadness, challenges, failure, etc. But where would any of us be in life in life if we did not overcome adversities? If we didn't take risks? The quote that "life happens outside of your comfort zone" really means that growth and living happens outside your ego. 

This is where the need to check yourself comes into play. Is this reality or my ego talking? And if your answer is ego, stop yourself from going down that treacherous and slippery rabbit hole. Constantly checking your world for reality-based assessments versus ego driven fantasies is the key to begin liberating yourself from this beast. 

Coming to terms with the fact that there is a major gap between reality and ego is a very difficult challenge. The two are often so intertwined that we see them as one in the same. It will not be easy but stick with it. It will only serve you better to become hyper aware of the resistance your ego has to true growth and real, not perceived, happiness. 

Above all try not to not feed the beast. The ego thrives off of judgments of others, comparison to others, fear and expectations. Stop these in their tracks. Move beyond them and I promise you will begin to find a liberating release. 
 

Be ego free my friend, 
Jamieson xo

Love is all we need.

Jamieson Van Loan

As promised, I am going to chat a little bit about my trip to Mexico. There were so many layers of adventure and experience during those eight days that it's difficult to know where to begin. 

But I will say this, my biggest takeaway from this wonderful trip is that the greatest joy we can experience is to be loved and to share love. 

I have been struggling a lot lately with my thoughts surrounding love. How can this magnificent emotion be a constant source of pain in my life as of late? How can I refocus my energy to enjoy love?  

The vulnerability of allowing another person access to the most sensitive part of our being is not easy for some. It can be quite difficult for most. For others, like myself, it is effortless and simple. For those who know me, I love deeply and easily.

When I vibe with a new human and we can understand each other on a deep molecular level, I love him or her. Instantly. I have made so many beautiful friends in my life because of this connection, this ability to share love freely and openly. For some, love has to unearth itself after time and questions and experience. Love is earned.

How ever you choose to give it, love is successful if your vibrations or frequencies align. It is why some people you meet and in an instant you know you're meant to spend time with them and some people you meet and just go, meh. The energy or vibration you are putting out in the universe aligns with others on the same frequency or wavelength. This is how we judge compatibility within all relationships.

The people you sync up with are a part of your tribe. 

On this trip to Mexico, I realized how much my ability to be open attracts people towards me. I made friends from the minute I got off the plane to the minute I left. I will say, traveling solo forces you outside of the societal induced comfort zone. It requires much more vulnerability than traveling as Noah intended. If you get the chance in life to travel solo, do it. It changes you for the better. 

During my stay in Tulum, I met with a shaman who performed an energy cleanse & massage on me. As out there as that may sound, it is the same premise as acupuncture and clearing blockages in order to help blood, or in this case, energy flow more freely. The shaman's cleanse was so powerful that I cried. I laughed. I was in pain. I felt joy. It moved me through highs and lows.

My biggest lesson learned during this cleanse is that we are all born to love. To receive love and to share that beautiful energy. From early on we are conditioned and altered by experiences to shift this sole desire to love. Finding our way back to this simple notion is a constant evolution. The shaman hugged me and said "you are unconditional love and this love is meant to be shared". Those words have played on repeat in my head since then. My goal in this world is to share love, whether through my food, listening, giving, supporting, etc. This applies to all of us. We are meant to spread love and be open to receiving it.

Try it today, welcome any and all circumstances with love. Not stress, not impatience, not anger, not sadness, not judgment- just pure love. It WILL change your life.

I could go on and on but you need to order your Maikana food! Experience my love through my healthy food that fuels your body. 

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jamieson xo

Are you a giver or a taker?

Jamieson Van Loan

This past week I posted an image on my personal instagram that said "some people will only love you as much as they can use you. Their loyalty ends where the benefits stop." I got an insane amount of responses to this, mostly high five emojis and "so true".  

I had posted this because I understand this unease with unbalanced relationships. There are people that you can give and give and give to and never receive anything back. There are also people who do use you to fulfill a void in their life and then drop you once it's filled. That being said I do not think those humans are aware that they are doing this. No one actively seeks to use someone. The question is why do we let it happen? Why do we allow ourselves to be used?

Part of me thinks it is this desire to "change" someone. That if I give enough, eventually they will realize how amazing I am and give back. Part of me thinks for certain people, being the giver in any relationship is a part of their genetic coding (me!). And the other part is that we don't value ourselves enough to demand a balance. 

This is where the work comes in. We need to know our worth and demand the respect it deserves, in any and all relationships. This is not limited to intimate relationships but across the board with friendships, family and work. 

Reading this quote really made me reevaluate relationships in my life. Am I the one always putting in the work? Or am I the one sitting back on my laurels and benefiting without giving? Either way, it stops here and now!

Who is with me?

I hope you all have a beautiful (dry!) Memorial day weekend! Please take time to acknowledge all the beautiful souls that we have lost in the armed services.

Maikana is closed on Monday but we will see you Tuesday!

Jamieson xo

Quiet Successes

Jamieson Van Loan

How is your week going? I will say that this strange weather from snow storms to rainy and cold to sunshine (and cold) to possible snow again this weekend has made me feel sorta sluggish and once again, unmotivated. I'm ready for a new season mother nature! 

This type of slothful haze has forced me to really dig deep for my daily incentives. We all have to get through our days- from driving kids around to meetings to laundry to all sorts of responsibilities. These are the mundane must-dos every day. I like to call these the quiet successes.

Quiet Successes can be as little (in my case HUGE) as having time for a (not rushed) shower, getting a workout class in, making one meal a day super healthy, actually finishing the laundry (does it ever end?), not forgetting that one item at the grocery store- whatever it is, it deserves a mental cheer! Celebrate ticking those things off your to-do list, as silly as they are. These are your quiet successes- that no one appreciates but YOU!

Our menu for next week is below. Try to add some healthy fuel to your body this upcoming week. With bad weather typically comes bad eating habits. Do your best!

Have a great weekend guys! 
Jamieson xo

Hello everyone!

Jamieson Van Loan

I hope everyone enjoyed our LAST nor'easter. I am giving mother nature two weeks to get her stuff together and bring on a real spring. I need some 60 degree weather days stat! 

Does anyone else feel like the weather is in direct correlation with their emotions? Don't get me wrong, I am not like crying all day when it snows or anything but when the sky is grey and overcast- I feel more tired and less motivated. Even with cold weather, if the sun is shining. I am more apt to go outside and tick off things on my to-do list. Lately with the more dreary days, I have felt a major lack of motivation. Like writing this email blast is a struggle.

BUT this is when I turn to my breathe work (right now I am breathing in 5 second inhales & exhales) and my mindfulness. I try to stay focused on what I can actually get done and don't beat myself for the things I can't. I look to friends and family for encouragement and I get through the dang dreary days. What do you do to stay mentally healthy on tough days? 

It's extremely important to have a system in place to fall back on when your mind is not in the greatest space. We all worry about our physical health but mental health is just as important. Maikana can solve the healthy food part but what are you doing to keep the noggin positive? 

Enjoy your day! Stay sane. Pray for sunshine. 

Jamieson xo