What Type of Friend-Maker Are You?

A few days ago, I read this fascinating article: An Ivy League Professor Says There Are Only Three Types of Friendships We Make.

Basically, the results of the study they conducted deduced that we all structure our social connections in one of three ways. We are either:

Tight-Knitters – You have one close group of friends, who all know each other.

Compartmentalizers – You have different groups of friends, who help you with different needs (like work related advice or gossip seshs about dating).


Samplers – You tend to have one-on-one friendships, rather than a group of friends.

I’m definitely a sampler. But I hate that name! It makes it seem like I’m testing out different types of people or ordering a sampler tapas place at a Spanish restaurant.

The truth is, I just like to have depth of connection and I find that in one-on-one interactions. The article mentions that samplers can feel socially isolated at points, and I absolutely have felt that. It’s hard to feel like your friends don’t know each other and there’s also such a great sense of community in a group of friends. I remember watching the TV show “How I Met Your Mother” and feeling down that I didn’t have a group like there.

So. Which type of friend maker are you?

Aceso Calm Supplement Review (A relaxing hemp drink)

When I come home from work, it’s hard to relax. And not because work is particularly stressful, because it’s not. At all. I research media information and then enter that data into an online database. I’m lucky my job isn’t stressful. Because it gives me time/mental space to write. Here’s the thing though. I’m stressed after work – because I know I should be working on my writing. But I also want a social life and I need to take care of life things – groceries, cleaning, etc. So it’s this mental debate between what I should do and what I want to do and I don’t know where to begin. I feel restless. Can anyone relate to that feeling?

So, I’m always looking for new ways to relax. And about two months ago, I stumbled upon a review for a product called Aceso Calm, a non-sedative relaxation formula made out of hemp and their naturally occurring constituents, cannabinoids. Aceso Calm comes in two forms – powder packets or spray for your mouth. While you may hear the word ‘cannabinoids’ and think illegal, this is a completely natural and legal product.

I knew I’d have to try it, considering my main forms of relaxation are the limited wine and TV (ha!). I thought I should expand my repertoire in a natural way. I don’t smoke pot, but I liked the idea of a legal supplement that could potentially relax me. I emailed the kind folks at Aceso and asked for a sample to review for our site. So read on for my review!


The Verdict:

So, after a long plane ride and being stressed about the upcoming holidays, I decided to try one of my powder packet samples. And if you’ve ever taken those Emergen-C things when you feel a cold coming on, these packets are kinda like that. You put one into 4-6 oz of water and let the yellow powder dissolve. It’s $10 for a pack of 5.

It tastes a little like lavender, so that was nice. It didn’t taste overly sugary or sweet, so that was also good. I drank a cup of the supplement and waited. After about a half hour or so, I felt a little more relaxed. I didn’t feel super blissed out or anything. But I did feel subtly and gently relaxed. While I expected a more intense feeling, this was still nice. Aceso also makes a spray, so I wondered if perhaps that form is more potent.

After getting some answers about the product from the hemp product manager at Aceso, Kurt Forstmann, the gentle effects I experienced made more sense. Here’s what Kurt wrote:

How does the spray differ from the packets that you put in water? Is one product stronger than the other?

The spray is generally stronger, containing 7.5mg of active cannabinoids versus the powder which contains 5.0mg of active cannabinoids. Also, as discussed before, the route of administration also dictates outcome. Since the spray is absorbed in the oral mucosa (under the tongue) it penetrates the brain-blood barrier rapidly and has a fast acting effect. While the powder is ingested into the GI which takes time before cells absorb the active and customers begin to notice an outcome.

How would you recommend someone use the Aceso Calm product? As needed or more on a daily basis like a vitamin?

It can be used both ways. Our sprays, since they’re applied like a homeopathic tincture (under the tongue, let sit for 90 seconds, then swallow) are good for “knock down” use or as-needed, such as when you need to calm down, ie stress attack, sleep issues, etc…  Our powders are designed more as a daily use regimen, as the route of absorption is thru the GI and it takes longer for the actives to become absorbed by the body and take effect. However, we have heard of customers that experience an immediate outcome when using the powder.

Would I use it again? I think I would use the spray but I probably wouldn’t buy the powder, because I’d like a stronger effect quicker.

Check out all of Aceso’s products here.

That Funny Horrible Feeling In Your Thirties

I know I’m not supposed to write this- I’ve been on an extreme fast from negative information that’ll get me down lately. The negativity has been hard to avoid, but I’ve fastidiously stayed away from news sources and Facebook for the last 3 days. So I don’t really want to contribute to the negative information. I don’t really want to rant here. And I definitely don’t want to fight with anyone. But I’m writing. Something about it.

The other night was awful. Tuesday night. November 8th. It was a shocker that filled me with dread and terror. And disbelief. It’s hard to forget that moment of total disbelief.  I couldn’t really sleep Wednesday night, even though I went through my stages of grief during the day- anger, denial, bargaining, acceptance?- and felt on and off better and talked to good people and went for a nice run and meditated for a lot of the day and listened to some of my favorite positive sources like Esther Hicks talks. I read wonderful, helpful articles like It’s Going To Be Okay by Tim Urban of Wait But Why. I attempted to understand the almost 50 percent of Americans who don’t see things the way I do- well, don’t see this outcome the way I do. In reality, there are definitely way more than 50 percent of Americans who don’t see things the way I do. But I’d always felt like that was okay because it didn’t affect me. This does.

What can I do? I don’t know exactly. I attempt even harder to have compassion for everyone. To find anything I can that is good. I continue to seek goodness where it may be- which I know, deep down, is all over. And to do this, right now I know I must stay centered. Even if I have to close my eyes to do so. Right now, anyway.

I read an article once by Danielle LaPorte, where she was writing about how she went to India to meet the Dalai Lama. Right before she got some monks were brutally murdered…by other monks. It was just an awful tragedy- horrible. She was shaken by it and offered the Dalai Lama her condolences when she got there. What she wrote about his reply and how she felt about it still sticks with me. I think of it now:

“Ah, yes, thank you for your thoughts,” he said. “This is why we practice, for times like these when compassion is so necessary.” He didn’t nod in mutual disdain. He didn’t show any drama. He was soft and…practical.

This is why we practice.

For times like these.

You don’t need to forgive until you need to forgive. You don’t need nerves of steel until you need nerves of steel. You don’t need to call on your reserves of compassion, or fortitude, or faith until you’ve used up everything else.

When we’re healthy and happy we make sure to dance, we hit the court, we pick up the phone to check in, we drop by with something in hand…

We keep standing up to make our art even when we could be predictable pedestrians.

Because the day will most certainly come…that you will be struck down or ground down by life. It can come in tiny tearing heartbreaks five times a day, just walking through your neighborhood. It could come in the name of tragedy that could only happen once in a lifetime.

And you will need to withdraw the insights that you put into your heart’s escrow. And you will need to call on your people— the unseen and the ones right in front of you — to help you meet the day.

You will be interrupted.

You will be called on to expand. 

You will be asked who you are and why you are here.”

So I look for the insights in my hearts escrow. I continue to search for answers. I continue to not know. I continue to hold compassion. And, every day, I continue to practice.



Are You Working In A ‘Shadow Career’?

Have you heard the term ‘shadow career’? I hadn’t until I started reading Ed Pressfield’s book “Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work.” This is how Pressfield explains the idea of a shadow career:

“Sometimes when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow career instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. It’s shape is similar, it’s contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us”

So I guess a few examples would be:

  • someone who wants to write movies, but instead pursues development of other people’s work
  • someone who wants to run for office and instead is a campaign manager for someone else’s political career

Pressfield says that if you’re in a shadow career, you’re hiding from yourself and can’t fully actualize or be fulfilled. If you have a passion or project you keep denying from yourself because you’re working for a job that eats up all of your time, you’re probably in a shadow career.


I like this idea of ‘shadow careers’ but I think there’s a fine line between a ‘shadow career’ and a ‘day job’ to pay the rent. I work in the entertainment industry when I know I want to write for TV and film, but I can’t just quit and write all day. Or, is that just what I tell myself to avoid putting in eight hours of writing work? Pressfield might suggest I work for one year, scrimp and save and then take 6 months off to solely write all day. That’s similar to what he did – and how he “turned pro.”A film professor of mine in graduate school gave me similar advice. He said to take a day job and try and write on nights and weekends, but if after 2 years, I hadn’t made significant progress in my writing, I should quit and just focus on writing. But uh…that still doesn’t address the money/how to live issue.

It’s an interesting book. I was originally turned onto Pressfield’s work by fellow writers who love his motivational book “The War of Art.” It’s all about pushing through the resistance of creation to actually get work complete. It’s a pretty fantastic book, and very inspiring to those of us who need a kick in the butt to get writing done. Or anything, really.

So, do you think you could be stuck in a shadow career?

How to Find the Right Temperature In Your Thirties

New Orleans always finds me in deep thought. I’ve written about this place before. There’s just something about this city that puts me in a deep space of introspection and rawness. Perhaps it’s the old south feel of the city, or the voodoo that’s still practiced as a religion here and there and around the corners of Louisiana. It could be the fact that New Orleans feels full of history and dancing, boozy ghosts (or at least I always like to think of them as dancing and boozy because scary ghosts scare me and are not invited into my space or my blog.)

I was in the shower tonight after a day of work in New Orleans and the water turned freezing cold. Then I turned the nozzle completely the other direction and the water got hot for a second and then cold again. Then I turned the nozzle up north and everything got colder but then burning. I looked closer through my contact lens-less vision at the nozzle and realized that the hot and cold signs were broken and spinning- or actually, they were on a spinning circle that wasn’t stuck to the wall. So knowing which direction was hot and which way was cold was a matter of feeling things out. And to make matters harder, the nozzle would spin infinitely in both directions, turning the water off and then on again without hitting any kind of foreseeable end point.

Eventually I let the nozzle go at the burning hot temperature I liked, and kept things that way, but I started wondering about all of us finding the temperatures we like in life. Perhaps we’ll  be told what direction to go, and try to follow that, but it won’t feel right. Eventually, looking closer through blurry vision, we can realize that something is off. Then we might follow an opposite directional indicator and just as soon realize that way is broken too. We may give up at this point, but if we just feel things out a little more, we might be close to finding what works for us…without shutting the whole thing down.Or, even more amazingly, we’ll continue beyond shutting it all down.

Because if you try long enough, you’ll shut things all down and turn them back on again numerous times before you get to where you want to be.

Just some deep Louisiana thought for the night. Hope it helps you keep on feeling things out.



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