Tag Archives: OKCupid

How do you #ShareIstria? You bring #Croatia to the #LILshow!

Regardless of our digital age or something far older, connections matter. The networks which beget those connections can foster REALLY-COOL-STUFF-HAPPENING!

I have been asked, a LOT, if I am Croatian, or if I have any Croatian blood. I have been asked why I care so much, why I love Croatia, why I would give up my American life to try and make a difference for her? I have been toldLiburnia “you don’t realise how Mediterranean you are”. It has been suggested that I ‘look’ like the pre-Illyrians race of the Liburnian people. The Poles are culturally and ethnically close to Croats – cousins, if you like. Although seven generations removed from ‘the old countries’ I am half Polish, with my typically American mash-up of French, English, Irish, Scots and German making up the balance of my heritage. None of this explains the deep grounding I feel for the Croatian people, the land itself, and of course the Adriatic, but it is resonant and to honour that resonance I must ‘do’.

We are, (speaking of myself in the 3rd person like I am royalty and certain friends will laugh so hard at this that they will spew their ice cold beverages at their computer screens!), while still ‘sort of’ sitting on the social media roman_painting_1marketing sidelines), very close to bringing a seemingly random online ‘content’ introduction into a real life connection, the net result producing a considerable marketing opportunity.

2013 October, OKCupid, a man shares a YouTube video with me.  I was captivated, I wasn’t the only one. The video went viral. Savvy use of social networks result in Sir Elton John offering his ‘patronage’ and the global fame and success that accompanies such. Females of all ages and gay men alike swoon. Straight men ‘get into it’ because they cover ACDC – brilliantly. In the midst of all of this I share ‘my’ discovery with my best girlfriend while drinking fantastically cold Martini’s and she suggests we make the ultimate road trip to fly to Istanbul to see their concert. (As sobriety is regained we quickly experienced a ‘level set’ having taken stock of the price of nearly last minute airline tickets.)

Fast forward, May 2015. My friend Ken and I are now contestants in @VisitIstra’s #ShareIstria contest as team #IstraKT. But we are more than that, we are also marketing people. Ken is particularly amazing at leveraging all that social media has to offer, while my niche is how a little research will generally net the strategic ‘sweet spot’ for just about anything, we both execute nearly flawlessly. We share a firm conviction of the ethos of #GiveMoreThanYouTake.

“Hey Ken, GUESS WHAT?!” (I can hear him moan on the other end of the phone before I even tell him “what”.) But, but, BUT – this would be GREAT! Logistics impossibilities and synergies aside Ken, just BELIEVE it will happen, he doubts, I never falter.

2cellos 3

Stjepan Hauser (left) and Luka Šulić (right) are 2Cellos

Rovinj-Croatia Dragan Todorović

Rovinj, Istra, Croatia sunset. Photo credit: Dragan Todorović

A faint percentage of you reading this will ‘know’ long before you have read this sentence that I have been writing of 2Cellos. For the rest of you, the weekly listeners of Carol McManus’ LinkedIn Lady Show that my friend Ken Herron co-hosts, you are about to learn how two classically trained musicians have turned their cellos into a generations-defying crossover sensation and it all started with a YouTube video (sort of). 2Cellos will be making an appearance on the 22 July #LILShow in support of their playing Rovinj Jazz Festival organised and hosted by Maistra, along with Maistra representatives and both will be talking about their use of social media to build their brands. OH. BUT. WAIT. THERE. IS. MORE. Something which will make everyone with a breathe of life in their bodies want to know where Rovinj is but also do everything humanly possible to be there the night of 24 July. I will, (kicking dirt figuratively), leave that to Ken and Carol.

If you are not yet familiar with Luka and Stjepan allow me the privilege of sharing a few video selections as an introduction – humour you can understand even without a command of language, energy that comes playing from an iconic cultural song Mesečina, their ACDC cover of Back in Black and my personal hymn Benedictus (which has repeatedly appeared on my journey of coming ‘home’ to Croatia with each step I have taken).

Networks offer opportunity, while building connections into relationships can be powerful catalysts for change. The Balkans still have a lot of healing to realise. There is still pain from the ex-Yugoslav War. There is still epic corruption that is generated from a society denied so much for so long that makes people do desperate things at the expense of the whole of society. But Croatia has an unparalleled beauty both physically and within the souls of her people, something so ancient and pure that your breath is taken from you at each example of it  – reverence, awe, being humbled all at once. Perhaps in offering this it is enough explanation at a visceral level of “why Croatia” until you experience her yourself.

Please follow our adventures on Twitter @Kenherron @TeresaFritschi @Commarglo (our new consulting agency) and especially with the hashtag #IstraKT (which we hope you will RT and share with reckless abandon). #WishYouWereHere

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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The shifting trajectory of kisses

“You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart.”
— Louise Erdrich

For the first time since 2005 I am dating again. No, I wasn’t in a long term relationship. No, I didn’t have a traumatic (or tragic) experience. And no, I don’t hate men. I have been on OKCupid for a bit shy of two years now. But in the last two weeks, finally being in Croatia after a year of deliberation, I have migrated from online and video Skype conversations to actually sitting with a man face-to-face over hot chocolate, over dinner, and going for walks.  I have kiss quotekissed all four of these men. Nine years is an awfully long time to have not done so, some I wanted much more with, with some, perhaps the kisses were actually too much to have shared.

This morning the (very loving) husband of a dear girlfriend, in the most subtle way imaginable, expressed his energetic protection for me. In my new life’s chapter, taking place far from practical intervention and rescue should such be necessary, David’s love is not the kind of love I am unaccustomed to having in my life; at first I was puzzled by why he would choose to Tweet the content and Cc me on such.  This dating thing is fraught with perils that every woman experiences, even when you are in a committed relationship rape happens. David’s genuine concern expressed for both myself and my best friend (as we were both mentioned in the Tweet and are both now actively dating again for the first time in many years) is soft focused and filled with light in a world with harsh realities. So David, I am sending you a huge hug, and a slightly insufficient thank you – message received.

Back to the dating thing.

In the last year a very wise man, and an equally wise woman, have both expressed the same thought about applying caution to sharing our physical space, and (any kind of) our energy with others. Every encounter with another (physically and energetically) leaves residue on the participants and in the domain of space inhabited, as such it’s incredibly important to understand this before sharing either with another. I suppose, if I am truly honest, protectingintentions myself from giving too much of myself away, harming another against their future or having the negative energies of others zap me has kept me from dating, and eventually becoming intimate, for so long. Because I noticed, boy-oh-boy have I noticed, how I have felt after each encounter with these four very different Croatian men. Not that it is all important but it is of merit to note that each of these men is at least 14 years younger than I am.

With the first man it was like ‘coming home’. Safe, protected, a sense of continuity that felt ancient, comfortable in both silence and in conversation, with him (and this is hard to explain) I kiss youfelt an extension of my greatest self, perhaps, because in many regards we are both rather unconventional. And when it came to expressions of passion, the kiss I will remember and draw energy from for the rest of my life seemed ripped from a romance novel. The second man to win my kisses had, by his own admission over the Thanksgiving dinner table, not kissed (or done anything else with) a woman in six years. There was considerable alcohol involved and some energetic ‘egging on’ because another man nearby was being dismissive of the former man’s rationale and (what I sensed) deep pain and his own admitted fear on behalf of his son. And so, initially I shared three, not passionate, kisses with him to remind him of the pleasure that can be had from such. He seem both confused, delighted and ‘warmed’ by this – eventually taking the initiative and seemed to enjoy himself to the point that he asked to have me spend the night with him. (um, no.) Man number three, one of my two dates yesterday, is exactly half my age – still a man in chronological years, and sufficiently so to have actively pursued a date with me. We had fun. Enjoyed amazing hot hot chocolatechocolate together on the Riva in Grad Trogir. He (easily) agreed to my request to rescue the remaining pomegranates on the tree in front of the abandoned house in Trogir in which I have fallen in love.  I now have a lovely bag full of these jewels which otherwise would have found themselves rotting on the ground as a result of yesterday’s Bura and todays’ rain storm.  He is very sweet, and earnest, but in many ways he really is too young in terms of life experience for this to be ‘anything’.  My second date yesterday is 18 years my junior, but sufficient experience to not feel any lacking. His candor and overt sexual interest in me was palpable from moment one.  He kissed me within 15 minutes of our meeting (and he was really very good at it). The best kiss of the evening took place against a 400 year old stone wall in a narrow alley of Seget Donji – his hands both cupping my face and then in my hair (where, as a great many terrific lovers know the nerve endings in our scalp make us particularly sensitive to erotic stimulation). His sexual energy is very much like that of Mickey Rourke in this scene from 9 1/2 weeks too dangerous to maintain one’s sanity and certainly not sustainable.

One thing is for certain, I need to recalibrate as I can tell that my trajectory has been influenced by the sharing of this tender intimacy in ways that are very uncomfortable to who I am. Like a hangover for my energy I have allowed myself to get swept up ‘in the moments’. Making up for lost time? Squandered resources? No, not either. I feel very much like the meme above about kisses being like drinking salt water. I can’t undo this, and some I most certainly would not change because in these experiences have offered me a greater cognition, and with such I come closer to completion. Still, a little discernment going forward would be a very good idea and a practical consideration worth embracing.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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My Croatian Dance Card

Dance card 1887Lace and ribbons and embroidery on dresses, feathers and ribbons in hair, delicate gloves on a woman’s hands holding a fan, and a Imagedance card on gilt ribbon with a pencil, oh, where did we stray from such pretty things? Okay, okay, okay – our lives are not a Jane Austen novel.  Mr. Darcy is highly unlikely to enter many of our lives with his estates complete with in-home sculpture gallery but, there are things about gentility that just are so…so, well, gracious.

In my 10 months on OKCupid there have been backhanded invitations – Francisco’s ‘come, meet me in Curacao and Bonaire for the week’ and Dominique’s plans to come to the States in conjunction with his work as a photojournalist and go on a week long road trip Imageacross the Great Lakes to Michigan and back, Roland bringing his kids for Christmas (until Roland in the Skype video didn’t vaguely resemble the Roland previously sent in JPEGs and, while not quite Cyrano de Bergerac it was seriously not the same man), and an invitation (sadly) by a married man to come to Egypt all expenses paid, well, you get the idea.

When did men stop being men? I mean courting and wooing and taking care of things that make a woman (even if she is like the 2014 version of Enjoil perfumes’ ad) feel like she is in competent, capable hands? And, least you misunderstand these questions as my maintaining a tether to the 1950s I can assure you I am a modestly feisty feminist.  But really, when did doing things for a woman cease being pleasurable for both parties? Is this the real reason that men know longer know who they are because the lines have become so blurred over something as simple as courtship?

About a week ago my “dance card” for Croatia got its first notation – a formal request for my company, and I am delighted.

“Prvic, Kapri, Murter, they are all wonderful, how you feel about taking a canoe around Kornati islands?”

ImageSea kayaking? YOU, my friend, have a partner any time!

“That would be fun”

I would love to – truly (even if you haven’t formally asked me yet)

“:) I am asking you now, would you come over here to this country, I will take you out the sea…”

Then, yes, I would be delighted. You are the first on my Croatian “dance card”

This follows with proposed fishing for our meal (pray do not make me gut the fish!), cooking them with sea stones ‘brodetto’, drinking cold sparkling Croatian wine, and eating freshly dug wild asparagus (presumably also grilled) brodetto. Knowing how intense the Mediterranean sun can be I mentioned the need for SPF 50 for my pasty white girl skin and he countered with Kantarion oil + olive oil (would an American man even know of such things unless he was gay?).  I think my years of sequestration from the sunlight are about to come to a crashing halt! You wouldn’t think that I’d be so genuinely excited about sea kayaking (or canoeing if such be the case).

Here’s the truth, relocating to anywhere (least of all a foreign country where you don’t speak the language VOLUNTARILY) at midlife is not for the faint of heart. Now add visa applications, supporting documentation such as a business plan and partners (I am blessed to have found truly amazing ones with complementary skills and work ethics who speak English faultlessly), selling a lifetimes worth of things (precious and not so), Imagehaving not a clue where I will live but clearly needing to find a place, arranging the transportation of the things I wouldn’t dream about parting with – yet knowing that their transit will be four to six weeks, and wondering “what am I going to sleep on”?, what do I pack to set up a modest household (with some achingly familiar talismans so I am not completely swamped emotionally)? And how fast can I make all of this happen? It might seem that I am worried about these things – I don’t worry, annoyingly, as friends who have known me for any length of time can testify – but the list of things requiring my attention grows longer with each day.

Generally speaking, I admit , I am not the most practical person. The things I give priority to sometimes will make a person stare in disbelief (no cell phone, no landline by example) but to function at life you must have a tick list, even a mental one, and acknowledge and deal with interdependencies, and do things which have to be done, some sooner than others while some apparently (through others’ lens’) such as decorating the yet unknown environment of my new life (which even as I write this I know reads as ridiculous) less so.  But Maxim (he spent 15 years in the States, his real name is Mladen) came to know how nuts Americans can be about this kind of “stuff” that a proper Dalmatian would never waste their energy over – his familiarity with my culture has become a Imagewelcome buffer to his.  If I ask a question he has a solution without overtly ‘fixing’ anything while he liaises within his community and network to secure answers for me – like finding a really good tapetar to build a tufted ottoman for me to sleep on (and, yes, I used the proceeds from eBay sales of my other things to already purchase a length of blue mohair velvet woven in Italy the same shade of the deepest blue of the Adriatic) while I wait for my bed to arrive in my shipping container (something that can double as a bed for guests when they come to visit).  I never thought I, of all people, would admit that I rather like that a man would step into to do these things to help me.

Maybe that is the real reason I need to move to a country where I don’t speak the language; a yet un-learned life lesson. I am finding it is really something to be utterly vulnerable, it forces me to trust and give over power to other people, to not be so independent and ‘cat-like’ as a former boyfriend once chided me in anger (over not needing anyone, just like a cat, least of all him).

That I can attach escapism for my overworked brain to an old-fashioned and proper invitation to go on a date, it is a welcome haven. Just randomly thinking about exploring my new home, a country kornatiadorned with a jeweled necklace of blinding pearl white, emerald green, lapis and azure, with the scent of sea salt and pine and cooking those fresh-from-the-sea fish on stones with a man who, regardless of whether we have some amazing romantic connection, is being a wonderful friend to me before I arrive makes me pause – and breathe.

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Love, as a journey – guest blog for Last Minute Travel Club

Kiss 1940sCo-published, as guest blog for Last Minute Travel’s Blog.

I recently received an email from my friend Ken at Last Minute Travel and LMT Club – “Would you like to be our #TravelTweetChat guest for this week, the topic is travel and romance…” to which I replied, “Yes, I’d love to!”

11 months of meeting (all kinds of) men through OKCupid, years of thinking (and writing) about ‘happy endings’ as well as the promise of new beginnings, passion, intimacy, tenderness, romance, words to convey longing, reuniting, and love, exploring the world (largely alone) – maybe he wasn’t so far off with his subsequent words of “We need an expert on love and travel, that’s you!”

So to help you plan your Valentine’s Day travels, it’s time to roll up my sleeves!

Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu, made in France, c.1475. This is an example of a cordiform (heart-shaped) manuscript. It contains 44 love songs by composers such as Dufay, Ockeghem, Binchois, and Busnois.

The romantic love (rather than relationships for political expedience or strategic alliance) as most of Western society understands it can be directly traced to the courtly love of 12th century France. The troubadours and their lyrical love poetry sung to the accompaniment of a lyre or lute, in nearly every instance this courtly love was directed toward a presumed married, virtuous and unattainable woman (an aristocrat surely and written of as a goddess on earth). The words were always of her being pined for by a younger man.  If he was sufficiently eloquent (and physically compelling) she might deign to take him as her lover – a grand passion, erotic love, in French called fin’amour (discreetly conducted even if everyone knew) and, you should know, it was always HER CHOICE to call him to court or to her bedroom. 

So let our journey of love begin in France – but fast forward to Paris in the 20th Century Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor - 1969 (42nd)and the scandalous affair that would be publicly condemned by the Vatican, result in two marriages but also two divorces of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

I have loved every experience I have have ever had in Paris – every single drop of the joie de vivre, the taste of Bellini’s and (multiple bottles of) Veuve Clicquot in Harry’s (American) Bar as well as the the Bar at the Hôtel Lancaster, where Liz and Dick would take over two of the eight floors of the hotel when they were in town, the exquisitely appreciative men whose words tried to seduce me into their arms whilst I simply climbed the stairs of Sacré-Cœur, the forgiving effect which my décolletage ensconced in a black lace bra made by Lise-Charmel peeking out from a Chanel jacket had while breathlessly repeating “Je me regrette, Je M’excuse, Je vous prie de bien vouloir m’excuser” in arriving to Palais Garnier et de l’Opéra bastille , alors!, late.  I have never stayed at the exquisite Shangri-La Paris  mais oui, j’ai eu le coup a foudre!

The journey of love doesn’t require grandiosity – I know, I know, it’s lovely but romance can mean just as much when traveling in a late model van.  Skating on the Fond Pond in Boston Common? Followed by a dinner of lobster fra diavolo at The Daily Catch in the North End and cannoli at Caffe Paradiso is perfect in a settled-into-our-relationship-let’s-just-be-kind-of-way. And if you aren’t “in love” or not in a romantic relationship is fenwaythere a better city in America for sharing with a best friend of either sex? I  think not! I mean, Ray Kinsella and Terence Mann sitting in Fenway Park? Are you really going to tell me that their ‘bro-mance’ didn’t make you want to plan your own road trip to Kenmore Square to find your own Field of Dreams?

blue cave

The Blue Cave (Modra špilja) is located at the Balun Cove on the eastern side of the island Biševo

I am falling utterly, ridiculously, in love with the people and country of Croatia. Like two of the other countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire I have visited (Austria and Hungary) this horseshoe shaped country is a compelling mix of people who truly appreciate living, who are, as the French would say, bien dans sa peau (comfortable in one’s own skin), an epicurean and oenophile dreamscape made real – found in Istria (adjoins Italy’s Province of Trieste) where Roman emperors regarded the wines amongst the best their empire had to offer, running south and east along the clear beautiful waters of the Adriatic with its 1000 plus islands of the Dalmatian Coast and onto the music festivals and lifestyles of the rich and famous of Dubrovnik in high season and back to Zagreb – the land and the descendants of Bronze Age inhabitants are proving worthy of my heart.  If you can handle the F-bombs of Anthony Bourdain, see his reaction to the food, the wine and his experience from a year ago which aired in March 2013 and I hope you will take up my challenge to see world class musicians Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser as 2Cellos (oh gawd, you have to hear them play!) – just a sampling, to whet your wanderlust.

Helene Berman straw hat

Helene Berman straw hat

There is, of course, a short, definitive list of romantic things that should accompany you as journey toward love (even if you decide to stay-cation)  – Neuhaus chocolates, J & E Atkinson I Coloniali hand cream, (as previously mentioned) Veuve Clicquot, a gorgeous straw hat (protection from peering eyes and the sun, a little mysterious and a bit of serious attitude to carry off), a white dress – not a wedding gown – that manages to convey ‘woman’ at the same time it is visually soft, massages, manicures and pedicures for two to make hand holding, kissing, spooning and love-making more tactically voluptuous (and yes, guys you can do peonies_5this without getting all metro-sexual), a bouquet of unusual flowers (oh, plueze not roses) such as mixed bunch featuring white peonies and stock; if you are reading this in NYC try my girlfriend Hannah Ling’s Gardenia Organic  or if in Stockholm try Jemima Nylund’s Norr Mälarstrand Blommor  (order REALLY early).

In closing, whether your version of love is Muse or Il DivoNi vous sans moi, ni moi sans vous, (Neither you without me, neither I without you) – Happy Valentine’s Day wishes no matter where you travel with your sweetheart!

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Namaste, I just woke from a ‘dream catch’

A neighbor used to comment repeatedly his wonder that there didn’t seem to be any delay in ‘once I got an idea in my head’ and my acting on it – sometimes this was over things that to me seemed a ‘no brainer’ (what would keep me from ‘doing’ anything so banal as what I was acting upon?).  Three days ago a young Croatian woman I met through a Linkedin professional group less than a week ago expressed astonishment over how fast my brain engaged from thought to action.  My dearest and longest held girlfriend Doris, 78, immigrated from post WWII Germany in her teens, knows me and how my brain works perhaps better than anyone on the planet even expressed her astonishment when reading my post entitled Living in Holocene, Days Like These the obscure nature of the individual bands perplexed her and so she asked.  As I was talking her through the breadcrumbs, I confess the whole struck even me as incongruent as recounted though it seemed seamlessly logical during the process of writing, but I am very happy with the finished piece which hopefully provokes thoughtfulness – and joy!

In general, our brains are fascinating and I don’t know about yours but mine sometimes seems DSCN9982like the rubber band ball I am ‘making’ for my nephew – held together by the laws of physics yet far from being uniform in its design or apparently coherent in the way I process information.

I am reading three (very different) books right now – Jack Cashill’s Ron Brown’s Body, Marilyn Yalom’s How The French Invented Love and Mark Sundeen’s The Man Who Quit Money – the eclectic nature of my choices may help explain how my brain connects Imagedisparate information. In any case two ‘seemingly’ unrelated touch points whacked me upside the head in the middle of a dream state last night – the long since read writings of Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (where the hero leaves, and ultimately returns from, the human experience to explore him – or her – self in an epic state of mythology) and a ‘chance’ encounter with a man on OKC who my normal experience would never find occasion to meet.

The gentleman and I each have ‘overly long’ profiles – rather like transparent user manuals to guide potential partners our way or scare them off – an exception in our sound bite world. His highly functioning brain was fascinating to glimpse at, the scope of his influence on our global society might have been intimidating, it was immediately apparent to me we would never be romantically involved, but what struck me was the potential for ‘information to exchange for higher purpose benefit’. I wasn’t sure what, or how or when I would understand the randomness of ‘the message’ but I was certain that one of us (both of us?) had something of importance to convey to the other.

Sundeen’s writing included Campbell’s words,

“A blunder, apparently the merest chance – reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood.”

So, in the middle of the night as my mind flitted about in the ephemeral I was ‘guided’ to the reason of this encounter.

I am a receptor of energy, its powerful impact can level me if negative and exalt and elevate me when positive, but like every human being (and in truth I believe in the shaman guides that animals also have the capability) we are conduits for messages. These float around in the atmosphere – ideas of pure genius, inspiration, clarity, opportunities for personal growth, reverence and yes, the possibility of attaining enlightenment and at-one-ment or slipping into an abyss of pain – all simply waiting to be plucked and acted upon.

For the sake of his privacy I am not going to use his real name (yes, he really is that much of a global influencer) and I am omitting a handful of words that would point any curious reader toward him, but I will share what I was compelled to get up out of bed in the middle of the night to share with him. (Edited for clarity.)

Me: Just woke from a ‘dream catch’ that is clearly meant to be conveyed to you — it’s only important that I share, not that you respond to me. 

ImageThat genius energy which floats around in the atmosphere waiting to be plucked and developed? The shaman experience you had – the gifts you have with [omitted] – the connection between neuroscience and empathy – the Dalai Lama’s comment about how in teaching 8 year olds to meditate and in doing so a cessation of all war in two generations could be realised – and, of course – following messages. The point is humankind’s cycle of evolution out of our physical realm into the more natural, higher place we came from must return, the state of at-one-ment can be fostered by you and your gifts with [omitted] . My message was very clear – you are to bring about the return to light. 

He responded: Thank you for acting as a conduit. Give me some time to process this.

Me: Namaste. None of us get a choice about being a conduit, only acting on the information.

And that is REALLY my point, acting. I understand that in our hyper-connected world we are assaulted with terabytes of information daily, our processing skills can only run so long before overheating and melting our hard-drives, establishing filters to ensure system stability at once with expansion is a necessary but finely honed skill set. Our society instills reluctance into conveying messages ‘randomly’ – we don’t wish to offend, anger or be perceived as a nut-case, Mitchbut those are human traits and not those of our essential being.  Oh, yes, and how ego holds onto false gods and our own thoughts often create a different set of barriers to reception of messages that have larger benefit.  While we need to filter information to make it salient I don’t inherently believe that discernment related to conveying messages is a good thing – as in everything else in life the risk is often worth the reward – some people will ‘get it’ and some won’t. We don’t get a choice about being a conduit, only whether we act on sharing.

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my print or ebook from Amazon, please click on the cover art of my book, ebook also available through Barnes & Noble and Lulu, thank you! 

Sorry, I am busy living

On Facebook this last week:

“Is it just me or is anyone else out there tired of hearing about “blood flow” while trying to watch football?” to which I commented: “Well, um, the language is synergistic to the male view of ‘sport’ so it’s not incongruous but the NFL and its ad department doesn’t seem to factor in that women do watch baseball, football and so forth and appealing to that market segment MIGHT result in more sex without the need of “little blue pills”!”

The American culture is driven by enhancing performance (and healthy men who don’t have an issue with ED seem not to understand this is a drug that has serious consequences if they use it), as well as bigger breasts and smaller bodies, a society obsessed with getting to wherever faster in the biggest car (namely its original price tag), displaying net worth capable of feeding entire villages in third world nations for months and yet, still, never ever being satisfied. In this, the contrast offered by the Croatian concept of pomalo has resonance for me.

ImageI first read about pomalo in a National Geographic Traveler article by Paul Kvinta in 2011 – and from my perspective, pomalo seems to offer the perfect balance between productivity and living.  I have a folder filled with articles from magazines with interesting places to visit (yes, a folder, not a special Pinterest board and not a folder on my computer).  Within the folder, for many years, has been an article about UNESCO World Heritage site Plitvice Lakes (Croatia, smaller than the state of West Virginia can boast of seven extraordinary UNESCO sites and I, who can feel the energy of things ancient, am being pulled eastward to stand in a state of reverence amidst great cultural significance). I had not thought much lately about either the Plitvice Lakes or Mr. Kvinta’s journey along the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic until this week – when I met Marijan through OKCupid. Marijan like Jure Kvinta, (Paul’s “cousin”), seriously understands the art of living, a cellular level of being that strikes me as being uniquely Slavic, that, if I am honest, leaves the French and their joie de vivre in the dust and makes my fellow Americans appear rather pathetic in our obsessions!

It is touching in the extreme to be able to express the widest range of my emotions and thoughts and words and have a man not cringe at the sight of tears, or change the subject to diffuse them, with whom our a common sense of humor can bridge vastly different cultural backgrounds and, some might say, chronological ages, a deep understanding of universal energy – recognizing the high frequency vibrational nature of our beings and that in putting more out “there” it will be replenished in the extreme for the giving. Most intoxicating to date is the re-introduction of pomalo – the actual living of life which is given priority. He doesn’t live to work, but works to have (enough) to live, fully. The time he makes for reading my words (and his understanding that my blog posts serve as a kind of user manual for dealing with me, the very first man to so understand!) as well as the time he spends teaching me about his country and letting me come to know him is a blessed sanctuary.

Least your perception of Croatia and its people be one of a laxity about more practical matters – theirs is a society rich in innovation, think Nikola Tesla – yes, the scientist whose name is now an electric car marque, as well as considerable commercial success with global brands such as Red Bull and Maglite.  (Marijan has informed me that Viagra is increasingly being marketed within Croatia; soon, it seems, no couple will be content to take their time with lovemaking in their more senior years!)

I am a firm believer in listening to my messages – something rather vague that is perhaps best captured (at least in spirit) to “the sly wind blew in from the north” in the movie ChocolatChocolat with Juliette Binoche.  Like Binoche’s character Vianne Rocher I have been gypsy-like (in my more recent past less so, but my wanderlust has been itching painfully without direction for a considerable length of time).  I haven’t been comfortable with my being exclusively American rather than a global citizen for many years, but with my personal equivalent of that “wind from the north”, I am gaining clarity around the twisty-turn road that is my journey and I am pretty sure the philosophy of pomalo has a dominate role in my future.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Available through Lulu, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

When words fail us

ImageEarlier this week my dear girlfriend Jennifer posted this (at right)  from Word Porn on her Facebook wall and I responded with “Thus my use of tears.” There was a lot of intellectual prowess offered in subsequent comments and a couple from strategic consultant and author Eric Best, who wrote:

“The inability to express a feeling should not be confused with what might be the inability to have the feeling. […]  Yes, and too much speech can leave us emotionless.”

rainIt’s pouring out right now, those heavy drops of rain that give rise to unspoken meaning – something we feel rather than what we can adequately express.  And as my brain fires into seemingly disconnected segues on a regular basis, those raindrops made me think of a couple of other conversations I have had this week – language is a funny thing.

As many of you reading my blog have come to know I am a marketing communications professional and an author, parlaying my love of words into chronicling the next incarnation of myself and in finding a deeply romantic and spiritually aligned love through OKCupid.  Three days ago I was having simultaneous conversations (sadly in English as I do not have command of each of their native tongues) with five men – one each in Northern Ireland, Croatia, Sweden, Italy and a Frenchman presumed in Barcelona but in fact in Biarritz named Michel.

Michel wrote:

“I would have certainly many things to talk about with you, and most probably we would not fight. BUT there is a very important restriction, and you shall never forget it: we speak in your language, which you play perfectly well, and on my side, i am a clumsy and basic user. This may potentially give birth to many deep misunderstandings. So please, keep prudent and lower your impetuous fire. ;-)” […]  It is not concerned by the words themselves, but by the unconscious meaning we give them when we are emotional. I want to say something, but you hear another thing. Of course this is not for such sentences as “your eggs are boiled”, but when emotions are overwhelming.”

To which point, I responded with the fact that I was embracing a refresher course in French and my goal was to be able to think and dream as a French woman, and, for the second time in a week:

“I did understand your point about the nuances of lingua franca, colloquial meaning, thinking in a language is quite different than speaking or writing it. When emotions are overwhelming tears always work for me!”

Which brings me to Marijan, living on an island within a breathtaking archipelago off the marijan's townDalmatian coast in the Adriatic, who only wishes to speak in “the language of love.” We all know that love has a variety manifestations, I will confine this post to just two meanings – the first sweeping, swooning and romantic in nature and the second being Divine, spiritual, compassionate, holistic and enlightened (as previously stated I am seeking to merge these into one lover).  Marijan refers to the second in the context of ‘dealing with me’ and the rest of humanity but in sharing our connectedness in context of the latter, in exposing me to the culture of his country in video music hyperlinks, a stronger woman would have difficulty not to mix the two types of love and their meanings (I am not strong and sometimes, unintentionally, he makes me swoon). My initial impressions of Marijan is that he is a combination of Croatian Yoda, Jean-Louis “Jack” Kérouac and the Dalai Lama but he reminds me of Louis de Bernières’ Corelli’s Mandolin and Nicholas Cage’s character in the 2001 film of the same title. It is the scope of Marijan’s love of life and living, the energy he gives away, that he feels and responds to, the depth of his thoughts as he expresses them that cause your breath to catch and your heart to resonant with white light energy, in other words Divine love.

This is precisely what my dear girlfriend Hilal and I were just bantering about over some of my recent posts when she emailed me from her home in Istanbul:

“Reading this post and the one before, I had a feeling that you have great love of the One and for the One say it Almighty, say it Benevolent, God or Allah. This is great but you are mistaken this love with the type of love of and love for a human/a lover. Love of the One is unlimited and unconditional whereas the love of a lover is limited and sooner or later conditional.”

And my response:

“In this my dearest we can disagree – all love, regardless of its manifestation in our lives, originates from Divine love.  Sometimes that love is transient (only to teach us a lesson that the Divine wishes us to understand) but it is all from Divine (in my humble opinion).”

And then her reply:

“You put it nicely what I was trying to say: “all love, regardless of its manifestation in our lives, originates from Divine love.” No doubt about this and I think we agree on this. What, I don’t agree with you is the topic of manifestation of Divine love in our lives bit: You were writing about manifestation of Divine love with humans- friends, husband or lover-s etc. Whereas, what I think, for divine love to manifest, we don’t need husband or lovers because we emanate this pure love wherever we go or with whomever we are. So, I feel that manifestation of the Divine love to one individual in a relationship because of my choice (i.e. falling in love w/someone, or getting married) is limiting the unlimited Divine love. I don’t need to get married, have kids, lover etc to be able to manifest the Divine love. OK, getting married does not mean that I am limiting the manifestation of Divine love, either but how can I say, I feel that it is our ego- to have the ownership of loved ones, my husband, my kids etc.  I think now I am confusing myself as I cannot write clearly. We need to Skype so you can interrupt and ask clarifications. My point comes from an assumption that manifestation of this UNLIMITED and UNCONDITIONAL love, the Divine love in a relationship, meaning on human beings, who are limited and conditional doesn’t match together. It is like disrespecting the Divine love and mistaken its manifestation with the love I feel for a person.” Tree

It isn’t for lack of tools online to translate words from language to language, but the colloquial understanding, the harmonic resonance of our souls, the interpretation of words and emotions based upon our unique perspectives that is both inherent nature and circumstantial nurture that is something else, more elevated and nuanced.  I believe that active listening, which doesn’t limit us to hearing but includes the use of our heart, can finish sentences when words fail us.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency through PayPal via livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Available through Lulu, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!