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Unsuck Your Breakup

This book is dedicated to you, the reader. It’s time to discover who you really are. We learn by reading, but we grow by doing. Growth is not something that automatically comes with age, it is a conscious decision. The end of this relationship can be the start of a new instant love affair—the one with yourself! The next time you find yourself amid an experience like this, remember that you are on the cusp of an opportunity to change and grow. The hard parts in your life are the key points in your journey of success and personal development. Use this “situation” as a catalyst to achieve the impossible, not to dull your sparkle and lose the luster for life. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Now let’s get to polishing that stone, yeah!?

The Pay it Forward Podcast While in pursuit of an editor for this very book, I thought I’d challenge myself a bit and launched a pay it forward project. I knew nothing about podcasting but thought I’d give it a go. Fast forward six to seven months and there are 70+ episodes for you to listen to. So please have a listen to the podcast if you feel you need additional resources, it can be found across the board wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. The podcast, like most other things, happened through doing. I first heard of Anchor, the platform that I use to distribute my podcast, through a Gary Vee vlog. He made it sound easy enough, so, I thought I’d give it a shot… and you know what? The next day I started a podcast. I launched an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@breakupstation) to get the message out there in one form or another. Find me across the medias and feel free to hop in on one of the many daily topics we discuss. Additionally, I designed and launched the breakupstation website. ( As you can see in my efforts of paying it forward, I designed a brand, created my vision, and I kept myself healthily distracted. So, I ask you… what will you do with your breakup?


Contents The Pay it Forward Podcast...........................................................................iii Contents.........................................................................................................iv The Aftermath................................................................................................. 1 Are You a Victim? Or Are You a Survivor?.................................................... 9 Denial............................................................................................................ 11 Anger.............................................................................................................13 Bargaining.....................................................................................................15 Depression.....................................................................................................17 Acceptance....................................................................................................18 Greater Things Are Ahead & I’m So Excited for You!................................. 21 Stop EX-pecting............................................................................................21 Take the #breakupchallenge..........................................................................22 How Do We Deal with All These Emotions?................................................23 Vibes & People.............................................................................................26 Get Away from Embarrassment & Failure....................................................28 All It Takes Is One Song to Bring Back a Thousand Memories...................30 Health & Hydration.......................................................................................32 Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Playground: Keep Occupied & Stay Active......................................................................37 Find A New Hobby/Trade.............................................................................37 Reading & Learning...................................................................................... 39 Getting Help..................................................................................................41 Give Yourself Some Positive Affirmations or a Mantra...............................42 Become a Spiritual Gangster........................................................................44 Do Something That Will Build Your Confidence ........................................ 45 Get a Haircut/Try on Some New Duds.........................................................47 Don’t Do Anything Too Hasty...................................................................... 48 Be Silly.........................................................................................................50 Take Your Life Back!.................................................................................... 53 Little Triggers...............................................................................................53 Find New Places........................................................................................... 53 Reclaiming & Reinventing........................................................................... 55 Images........................................................................................................... 57 “No Sex with the Ex”....................................................................................58 Trick the Subconscious & Get Your Mind Back...........................................61 Volunteer....................................................................................................... 61

Seek a Higher Power..................................................................................... 62 Treat Yourself................................................................................................63 Have Yourself a Party...................................................................................65 Just Write it Down........................................................................................66 Positive Imagery: Vision Boards, Collages & Screensavers........................69 Get to a Mirror.............................................................................................. 71 Work Towards Change & Changing Your Surroundings Will Do Exactly That..............................................................73 Finding a New Space.................................................................................... 73 Organize & Simplify..................................................................................... 76 Have a Yard Sale...........................................................................................77 Go Out & Make Some Friends..................................................................... 79 Advanced Step of Getting Over....................................................................80 Make a List...................................................................................................81 What About Dating & Relationships............................................................82 Where Can I Meet This Person?................................................................... 84 You Have All to Gain and Nothing to Lose.................................................. 88 If You Don’t Look After Yourself, Then Who Will?..................................... 88 Do Something Different................................................................................91 The “To-Do” List After a Breakup Recap.....................................................94 Keep Going & Growing!............................................................................ 100 Bonus Material............................................................................................104 Routines...................................................................................................... 104 Making a Playlist........................................................................................106 Need a Snack? Here Are Two Great Breakup Treats. Enjoy!..................... 112 Homemade Breakup Brittle........................................................................ 112 Holy Ex-amole............................................................................................ 114 Popular Breakup Movies............................................................................. 115 Additional Resources..................................................................................120 Books..........................................................................................................120 Apps to Meet People................................................................................... 122 Music Apps.................................................................................................123 Apps to Sell Stuff........................................................................................ 123 Back Cover.................................................................................................. 124


Charles Dickens began by pasting labels on blacking pots. The tragedy of his first love penetrated the depths of his soul, and converted him into one of the world’s truly great authors. That tragedy produced, first, David Copperfield, then a succession of other works that made this a richer and better world for all who read his books. Disappointment over love affairs generally has the effect of driving men to drink, and women to ruin; and this, because most people never learn the art of transmuting their strongest emotions into dreams of constructive nature. —Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

The Aftermath Let me guess—you’re lost, hurt, heartbroken, and likely feeling hopeless at times, right? No need to worry. I’ve got your back. All the problems, all the questions, and all the feels will be covered in this book. Push through the pain. Be proactive and try to finish this material as soon as you can (you can always come back and skim through it again later—in fact, I encourage it). This book will distract you from the obsessive thoughts everyone has after a breakup. I aim to talk to you like a friend, using a bit of personal experience to get you through this tough time. So, let’s keep this casual and candid but equipped with laser focus. This material will provide the resources you need to kick-start your life back into gear again. You may not be completely over what happened yet, but you’re taking the necessary first steps. And when you’re finished, you’ll have the blueprint and tools you need to piece your life back together. Going through a breakup is traumatic, few things in this world compare. You’re absolutely crushed. You feel like a shell of yourself stuck in some sort of out of body experience. After most breakups, you recover—it’s hard, but eventually your life goes back to normal and you move on. But then there are the big, life-changing breakups, the breakups that shake you to your core. The breakups that make you reexamine your life. If it’s guidance that you seek or you want change in your life, 1

then you’ve come to the right place. It’s as simple as this… we only change through doing. Change your thinking and change your life. Follow the steps provided and you’ll go from that crushed feeling in your stomach right now to crushing it every day in no time! Just please, trust in the process and that’s my promise to you. The healing process has commenced. Congratulations! I was in my early college years, coming out of my first serious relationship, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was green to the breakup game. I thought I was so in love; I thought I was going to marry this girl. During one of our 1000 breakups, I flew to Aruba just to surprise her on a family holiday to express my love, but this time it was for real. It wasn’t as easy as sending my cousin over to my kindergarten girlfriend with a Post-it that said, “You’re not my girlfriend anymore.” (She won’t let me live that down to this day—sorry Des!) Or even my very first imaginary girlfriend Gloria, whom my Uncle so brutally threw down the stairs and told me I’d better hurry to pick her up she’s dying. I was devastated for days, but I learned to get past the attempted homicide. But, as a young adult—if I could even call myself that—I remember telling my parents, “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like one of us has to die or move to the other side of the world. There is no other way.” They’d 2

laugh and say things like, “Time heals all wounds.” But time, what is time? I was a kid; I had all the time in the world. Now, approaching the middle stages of my life, fresh out of a broken engagement, I realize how valuable my time is and I have to make good use of it. I just gave six years of my time to someone else. It was time to take it back. Time to do all those things I said I would do, be all the things that I wanted to be. I’m not a kid anymore. Now, I fully realize that time is among the most precious commodities we have. Newly enlightened, I choose to spend it wisely! We do not get a refund on time wasted. What if I told you at some point, not too long ago, I was in a great place? I thought I had it all. A beautiful fiancée, marvelous house, cute puppy, success, youth— the world in the palm of my hand. I recall getting in bed at night and being so happy that I didn’t want to go to sleep because a dream couldn’t get much better. Reality superseded what any dream could have brought. My insides were tingling. For the first time in a long time, I felt my body glow from the inside out. I was floating around like a beaming white light. Fast forward to the present, sitting here in the heart of Central Park to write, and I view my life in a completely different light. Not only has my life changed, but my philosophy on it as well. And as far as my 3

“happiness”… it doesn’t have a cap. What I thought to be this whimsical, fantasy life, doesn’t hold a candle to the new life’s ass! No disrespect to my former life, but I’ve come to realize that our preconceived notions and ideas can be the very things that prevent us from being happy. If you think that your happiness or life should take a certain form or be a certain way, let me tell you now that you’ll never be happy. But also, let me assure you that letting go of those notions will open your life to opportunities and a level of happiness that you never could have imagined. It’s hard to explain the infinite unknown—or the power of its possibilities—you just have to have the courage to leap. The rest of it will find you. Of course, it will take time and hard work. But anything worth it always does. Now, don’t get me wrong, the beginning was tough. Anger, tears, and a whole mix of emotions—some days I felt like I couldn’t go on. That’s where you probably are right now. But you have to go on because now is the time to build character and help your new self emerge. And one day, the clouds will pass and you’ll gain clarity again. I started by taking baby steps. I learned to start saying “yes” to new things and experiences. I said “yes” to everything. Tried food I’ve never eaten, went places that I’ve never seen, and even dated outside of my “type.” There were no wrong answers and I had no time for indecision. The worst choice was no choice at all. So, what if I got it wrong, didn’t like it, or wasn’t for me. It was still contributing to my life experience. Still helping me build my new self. And like other facets of my life, 4

such as business, I’ve learned more from my failures than my successes. (But remember, just because you have failures, doesn’t mean YOU are a failure.) Embrace the unknown, and you’ll gain courage with every step. I learned to replace comfort zones with new experiences. Now, new is what drives me. I look forward to the future with hope and optimism. I don’t even take a second glance in my rearview. Quick question—how well can you drive looking in the rearview mirror? You’re focusing on what’s behind you as opposed to what lies ahead. No matter the speed, every millisecond puts the whizzing trees in the past. Please, close your eyes for a second. Imagine sitting in your favorite vehicle. Take a deep breath. Place your hands on the wheel, eyes on the double yellow line… that’s this moment. That’s the future. Focus on what’s to come, NOT what was. “There is something beautiful about having the chance to rewrite the future.” So, what happened? How did I get there? How did you get here? Where did the turn go so wrong? But what does that have to do with me? You may be asking yourself a few of these questions right now. The who, what, when, where and why are irrelevant. We’re talking about the aftermath, with tips on how to cope and deal. When all is said and done, you’ll be on the way to the best version of yourself. 5

(#livingyourbestlife like everyone else on Instagram.) How far you take it is up to you. While every relationship is uniquely different, the feelings, in the end, are generally the same. They suck! Breakups suck! Everyone thinks that they’re relationship is special, or their story is one of a kind. I’m sure they uniquely are, but no offense, we all go through it. You’ll see that you’re not alone. You’re not the first person to ever climb this mountain and you certainly won’t be the last. You’re not planting a flag on the moon, even though love feels like it’s from out of this world. Please allow me to be your Sherpa, and we will climb what feels like the Mount Everest of heartbreak together. I only hope using the resources given to you here, you’ll take away the pieces you need to become a stronger, better you! First off, I would like to say that I give you this guidance coming from the best place in my heart. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. (Shout out to Dr. Drake Ramoray!) This is a hands-on, how-to handbook with tips I used to climb my Mt. Everest. I only hope it helps you reach the top. If I can turn one light on, even if it’s in the basement, I’ve done my job. This is not impossible! You’re probably saying to yourself that there is no way you will be normal, find love, or be happy again. All the time you wasted, you’re too old, it was meant to be. You can’t see yourself without that person; the life you had; the plans you made; the love you shared; the little moments dancing in a daisy field that remain frozen in time. He, she, they completed me. 6

And let me just briefly stop you there. If you feel that someone completed you, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re wrong, they didn’t. Respectfully of course, please don’t kill the messenger, but this is a fact. All that you complete me BS is for the movies and unrealistic. You need to love, respect, understand, and appreciate yourself fully before you can even think about offering it to someone else. And even then, no one should ever “complete” you but enhance and enrich your life. Ask yourself. Were they a fountain or a drain? Did that person energize you? Or did you feel like you were wasting valuable resources? And I’m not talking about monetary. Did they push you? Make you want to be a better person? Inspire you? Support you? Were they a “teammate?” Who did the relationship revolve around mostly? Was is 50/50? Because that’s not even enough. It needs to be 100/100! Sit for a minute and think about that. Be honest… be brutally honest. I was just in your shoes yesterday, so I know exactly how you feel. Again, it hurts, I know, I’m sorry. We need to stop focusing on the pain. The more you focus on it, the more power you’re feeding it. Give it no attention and you’ll give it no power. There are two options here, or shall I say questions…


Are You a Victim? Or Are You a Survivor? Taking the initiative and having the emotional wherewithal to seek help proves that you’re on the right track. In fact, it is a testament to your survival skills. So, congratulations again! Now… where do we start? I suggest we focus on emotions. I’m not sure at which phase you currently find yourself, so you’ll have to assess that individually. If the breakup was fairly recent, my guesstimate is that you are experiencing one of the first stages. Let’s say it was a month or two ago, you could’ve pushed through the first few steps and not even realized it, or perhaps you are currently wavering between the two. But again, please sit with yourself for a moment and feel your emotions. (I know I’m asking for a lot of sitting and searching, but great change ALWAYS start from within.) What is the thought or question repeatedly trapped in your mind? “This can’t be happening.” “Why are they doing this to me?” “We belonged together.” “Nothing ever goes right for me.” “I thought we had something special.” “If I give them space, maybe they’ll realize how much they miss me.” “Maybe if I can get them to stop doing this or that it will work?” “What can I change about myself… about them?” “I feel rejected!” 9

“I HATE them!” “Why or how is this happening to me?” Once you land on one, take a second and think about how it makes you feel. If it is synonym or kin to one of the five phases that I’m about to explain, then that is most likely where you are. What state of mind is the most dominant? If certain thoughts and actions are still present, then what are they characteristics of? When I was first going through my breakup, someone told me that I should almost see it as a death. Initially, I thought that was a tad extreme, but I’ll admit the coping mechanism is comparable, so the analogy does fit. You cannot speed them up and you certainly cannot skip a step. They’ll happen naturally in their own time. So just chill. Some of you will move along faster than others and that is okay too, but there is NO getting around these phases. You couldn’t cheat them if you tried because they will catch up with you. So be true to yourself and embrace each one with awareness. The acronym (DABDA) for the five phases of feelings are as follows: D—Denial A—Anger B—Bargaining D—Depression A—Acceptance 10

Denial Denial is one of the most common defense mechanisms that we use, pretending that an uncomfortable thing is not happening. You simply refuse to acknowledge the current events. Denial is a form of repression, where stressful thoughts are banned from your memory. If I don’t think about it, then I won’t suffer the associated stress or have to deal with it. Or if I don’t address it, I’ll prevent it from actually happening. However, people engaging in denial can pay a high cost in terms of the psychic energy needed to maintain the denial state. You will be wreaking havoc to your insides with nervous energy, which could be a catalyst to a panic attack or break down. So, let’s get a handle on things and see to it that you don’t get there. This a tricky stage where you could be baited into toxic situations such as substance abuse, over-eating, fasting, deprivation and/or undernourishment. There will be nights and days of no sleep, and no food, which can happen at all or any of these stages, but this is a triggering stage. The thinking and overthinking has officially begun. You will find yourself sitting and reflecting for hours about you, them, the relationships, shortcomings and basically everything else under the sun. It is only natural to think about the great times or the beginning honeymoon stages of the relationship. That is unrealistic. You cannot filter your selective memory to only make you feel like shit. That is not fair, so please catch and stop yourself before this becomes a bad habit. This is not good for your self esteem. Don’t ask yourself, why do I do it? It’s 11

human nature, we all do it, but now that the conscious is aware, stop daydreaming about a shithead! Think about what didn’t work and what made you unhappy. Nobody is perfect and nothing lasts forever. Stop glorifying something not worthy of praise. You’ll say and feel things like: “I can’t believe what just happened or is happening! It wasn’t supposed to end this way; it wasn’t supposed to end at all!” It’s something that you’re not ready to deal with. You’ll reject and resist this alternate reality. You’re absolutely shell shocked, mind-blowingly numb to your core. “Is this even possible? How did we get here? But we loved each other so much! I feel so betrayed! How could they do this to me? Who was that person? There is no one else in the world that I should be with. That was the strongest connection I’ve had with anyone in my life. Who’s going to get the dog? Where am I going to live? What about my kids? What am I going to tell everybody? How I’m even going to survive? I was supposed to have this or that. It was all so perfect. This is simply not real.” And on and on it goes… the fear is kicking in and the amygdala is working in overdrive. Your body begins to physically reject it. It’s going to take a toll physically and mentally. You’ll put your body through a gamut of emotions—there’ll be blood, sweat, tears, vomit, and z’s (or a lack of it all). It sounds like a crime scene photo or something smack dab in the middle of a bad dream with no sense of waking up. But I’m here to change that. You’ll wake up, but on a deeper level! This is your breakup call! 12

There is no way off this roller coaster, so buckle up for the ride. Anger A completely normal emotion, anger is a feeling in response to fear or to being hurt. The feeling is not the problem, the problem is the anger-related behavior or reactions stemming from the feeling. Anger is used as a protective mechanism to cover up fear, hurt or sadness. You’ll feel extreme forms of anger and frustration. Possibly even to the point of hatred. And not just towards the person who “wronged” you. It could be reflected on every person and thing you encounter. You’ll be very short-tempered and tend to snap, taking out your misplaced feelings on people around you who don’t deserve it. Don’t walk around like a prickly little porcupine creating hostile situations for no reason. It isn’t even about that person or that moment. It is the subconscious taking over. The real reason you’re so sad is the “thing” that is making you act this way. Become aware of these situations. Don’t let this become a version of you or a new habit you’ve picked up, because then it becomes comfortable and part of you for good. Stop and take a deep breath, even if it is just one. In fact, take a nice deep breath right now, or 3! Inhale.1...2...3...4... Exhale. 4...3...2...1...) It is going to be okay. Learn to take it easy and catch yourself before it happens so you can avoid these instances and not have another argument on your hands that you can do without. 13

Become aware of how you react to things. What do you say, how do you act? Recognizing those little moments where you’re aware enough to realize what is happening, will prove to you that you’re making progress and on your way. #growth. The key here is to find peace and pull out of the anger state. ***The Aha Moment***. One afternoon my family got together for a typical macaroni and meatball Sunday feast. My younger sister arrived late for dinner. Unknowingly, we ate all the meatballs. So, she came in about 4–4:30. Now on a Sunday, Italian Americans eat at 2–2:30, maybe 3… TOPS. And that’s usually after a morning of football and meatball heroes. Anyhow, my sister comes in and she’s flipping mad that there were no meatballs left. (Again, sorry Ali it was unintentional. But back to the moral of the story…) Feeling terrible about it, my siblings and I went to talk with her and apologize, that’s when we learned something very interesting. It wasn’t about the meatballs. Now was it rude of us, yes, but it was completely unintentional. After speaking with her we learned that it was not about the meatballs. The night before she had a rather rough going on her hospital floor. She is a cardiac nurse, so the stress level is high—real high—but we came to find out that this was no normal night. A patient charged at her and tried to attack her. So yes, while the meatballs didn’t help, it 14

wasn’t the root of the problem. So, for your first piece of homework, reflect and check the anger meter. Make sure it’s not about the meatballs. Get a hold on that “thing” in your mind. Don’t live and relive the replay in your mind with your thoughts. Don’t carry “it” for any longer than you have to. Learn to put it down and let it go. Bargaining This process is an internal struggle to reconcile competing needs and goals between yourself and the relationship/them. Bargaining for love can be considered the same thing as compromising. However, the difference between regular compromising and bargaining is simple— compromise usually results in a win-win for both parties involved in the situation, while bargaining typically is more lopsided. This type of bargaining for love is a bad thing because it wreaks havoc on your self-esteem. Whatever self-esteem you had at the beginning of this situation you’ll certainly lose by the end of it because all your actions deteriorate whatever value you have for yourself. People with very low self-esteem can find themselves in this situation. Since they don’t think that they deserve or can get someone capable of respecting them and loving them as one should, they settle for whatever they can get. (By working together, we will increase your #selfawareness and #self-love by working on your #selfesteem, #self-worth, and #self-image which will make your #self-respect go off the charts.) “What can I do to 15

change the situation? With me? With her? With him? How can I make this better? What can I do to repair this? Are there any compromises that I’m willing to make to stay in this situation? Just so I can get back to that familiar, comfortable, “good” feeling.” Which by-the-way is a false sense of security that you’re addicted to and don’t even realize. I must reinforce that your secure, happy place was not a true feeling or emotion but a mere cluster of habitual, ritualistic tendencies. (AKA—comfort zone.) Now, I’m not saying they didn’t love you or vice-versa. You found great comfort in certain things and you might even be addicted to those false feelings, maybe even to that person. That is not a good reason or foundation for any sound relationship. Do not make any compromises with yourself. If things do not feel right, then that is your answer. Learn to trust your gut, it knows what’s up. If you want certain things, and they’re not capable of giving it to you, how will you ever be truly satisfied? Do not give into exceptions and do not give into compromises! If something is a “deal-breaker” then don’t force it, the answer is clear. Do not turn a blind eye to anything that doesn’t make you happy or upsets you. Let’s live in a perfect world for a second, and I want you to be as honest as you are realistic. Say you guys get back together. Imagine this fantasy life… don’t you think the same problem that tore you apart will resurface again later? What are you going to do? Not address it or attempt to work on it? Are you going to deny it and act 16

like it never happened? You’ll be putting a band-aid on a bullet hole. The temporary happiness will soon be washed away by regret, resentment, and disappointment. Don’t give in to any sudden urges or compromises in moments of irrational weakness. Put the phone down! Toughen up buttercup and stay strong. Depression During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness, angry outbursts, irritability or frustration—even over small matters. Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, eating, hobbies or sports. Be prepared for not feeling good, feeling sluggish, not having an interest in many things, if anything at all. You’ll begin to build walls and block people out. Your physical appearance and upkeep will diminish. You’ll be tempted to “let yourself go.” You’ll have a hard time sleeping and/or eating. This is another tricky over-indulgence or abuse phase and it’s likely to happen as a coping mechanism or a false sense of comfort. You’ll feel like the world is too big and that time cannot go on. This isn’t mentioned to scare you or deepen anxiety. It’s just a friendly heads up so you’re prepared and can get out ahead of it. The bright side—with this, like all the other phases—time will pass, and you’ll heal even if you don’t do a thing. So, in a sense, I guess my parents 17

were right when they said, “Time heals all wounds.” But time will go by a lot slower and, by doing nothing, you’ll have nothing to show for yourself. May I suggest that speaking to someone will be of assistance? There is nothing to feel ashamed about. It doesn’t even have to immediately be a doctor or professional of any kind. Get out of your head. Sometimes it just feels good to let it out. Blow off some steam and hear yourself talk. Listen to the words you speak. Doing this simple task will automatically make you more aware. And once you’re awakened, you’ll catch yourself saying certain things that you don’t like or that have negative connotations. Once you accomplish this, then you’re literally growing beyond yourself. Open up to a close friend or relative who has shared in a similar experience— get a breakup mentor. Acceptance Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’ve to forgive, ignore, go into denial, or excuse what has happened. Acceptance means that you’re at a place where you can recognize what has happened, process it without denying what has happened, and are at a stronger place than before. Most importantly allowing you to live on in peace. You aren’t likely to embrace acceptance until you experience the above stages at some point. It’ll be a lot of two steps forward, three steps back for a bit, but after 18

wavering back and forth through all the emotions, you’ll settle on the last phase. Acceptance! “Acceptance” is a process in and of itself. This is where you can start looking into the future. The clouds have shifted and you can see a break in the sky. The sun is peeking out. For you “can see clearly now as the rain is gone.” You’ll begin to see your NEW self emerge, and it will all begin to come into focus. Big strides were made to get here and bigger strides are ahead. You know where you’ve been, and you know where you’re going. Even if you don’t, you know it isn’t back in that direction, but to a better, happier place. You’re ready for life again. You may have moments of doubt, thinking that you’re depressed. These are just bad moments, not a state of mind. Affirm to yourself… it isn’t a bad day, just a bad moment. Or it isn’t a bad life, just a bad day. Push through it. Say it over and over if you have to. You were just depressed and sad for so long, stay on course. Be grateful for where you are and the progress that you’ve made. There’s so much more to go and look forward to. You can put down this book right now and not do another thing One thing is for certain… Father Time is undefeated, and he stops for no one. He will force-feed you time no matter what you do, and you’ll heal whether you’re trying or not. But put a little elbow grease in it, have fun with it, go out and make it happen. Wouldn’t you like to feel empowered and in control? 19

“Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.”—Tony Robbins. This is about breaking through, waking up, and changing your life. It’s rare that people ever “change” in life. It normally takes a traumatic experience, the very same dilemma you’ve been blessed with. So, use it as fuel, make this situation the catalyst of change. I’m not going to hand-hold you through crying on the couch! I want you to dig deep at times, push yourself and try NEW things. Do things that downright frighten you. Please remember that life starts between the ears and outside of comfort zones. Stick with me if you want to learn how to ease those hard times and learn how to relieve some of the pressure.


Greater Things Are Ahead & I’m So Excited for You! Stop EX-pecting If you find yourself in limbo, still looking back at your old life, you need to stop. There’s no need to look in that direction because you aren’t headed that way. Stop reading their horoscope, stalking them on social media, and certainly no more practice hacking into their email. Don’t keep thinking that they’re going to call, so you don’t make plans to make sure you’re free when they do or hoping that you’re going to bump into them in the street. Some will go as far as dressing up all the time in hopes of seeing their ex. This is way too exhausting for me and a waste of time and energy. Don’t dress for your ex. If you want to look good for you, that is one thing, I won’t disagree with that. Actually, I’m all for that. Remember, if you look good you will feel good. Yes, it is as simple as that! Put forth a little extra effort because if it is a change that you seek, that’s the bare minimum. But again, do not dress up, in hopes of seeing them. So, they can realize they miss you and how good you look, blah, blah, blah. This is a waste of your time, and it is counterproductive. I want to see you move forward and keep taking steps in the North direction. They now live on the Southside of town and it takes too much effort to even visit. This means keeping as much distance between you and them as possible. No phone calls, emails, texts, 21

drunken texts, even smoke signals; they are all off the table. You must resist temptation and not give in to the weak moments of wondering if they still care about you. No matter how lonely or horny you feel at the time. (DETOX. DETOX. DETOX.) The healing process is just going to take longer and seem much harder. Because let me remind you that it will not be as bad as your mind makes it. Your state of mind is only temporary, this is NOT a permanent thing. Take the #breakupchallenge This challenge can be as small or as life changing as you like. Perhaps you’d like to start by planting a mustard seed of faith and slowly work your way up; or maybe you would like to go “all in� take on a real challenge, like learning a new language or transforming your body. There is no need to feel overwhelmed or pressured, if you need it to be, this task can be as simple as finishing a book or completing a jigsaw puzzle. Make, create, or do something during this transition. Make a change, take the challenge, and have something to show for yourself. And the beauty is, you can do this again and again, as many times as you like. You can completely reinvent yourself, challenge after challenge. Some days will be harder than others. Some will seem impossible, but all will be well and good. On those days you must dig deep. You have to muster the 22

courage and motivation to move on from somewhere. It could be as small and insignificant as you like. Or it can be a BIG thing. What moves you? What is going to push you off the couch? Could it be a picture of your mom or little brother? An image of your “new” self that you hold so vividly in your mind? A favorite song, that new outfit, a better beach body? Something has to move you. You have to find something within that’s going to motivate you. Find the intangible why and the universe will yield to you more than you could ever imagine. It grows bigger with every passing day. Not the best motivator, but perhaps you’re so full of anger and hate that getting in your feelings about your ex can drive you over the top. So, like a mantra, you should have that go-to “motivator” that gets you up off the couch without fail. There’s so much that you haven’t done yet! Get up and go get ’em! The world is waiting for you to join the party of life. If you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. How Do We Deal with All These Emotions? Don’t be too overwhelmed with the foreground I’ve just paved out for you because we’re going to take this one step at a time. But what are some tips? You must keep your mind occupied! That must be square one. Your mind will run away on all sorts of hypothetical adventures and hallucinations. The “I wonder what they are doing right now,” and checking your phone for an email, text, or phone call every five minutes will be relentless and beat you into submission if you let it. The bad thoughts are 23

going to come in what seems like increments of five and the good thoughts will drip from the faucet one at a time. This will cause your thinking to spiral out of control and result in a panic attack if you let it, so you have to keep your mind occupied. And how do you do that? “You must stay in the NOW!”—Eckhart Tolle. If you find yourself sitting alone and on the verge of bad thoughts or feeling, stop them dead in their tracks. Feel the chair you sit in, the glass you’re drinking from, the surroundings that you find yourself in. Take a deep breath and appreciate this moment. I know it’ll be hard but stay in the moment. Grip your phone case and feel the texture of it. What does it feel like? What is it made of? What would you do to improve it or how can you make it better? Focus on what’s in front of you because that is exactly where you are. You’re not where your mind is projecting you in its slideshow. I learned a valuable tip from a book that I read not too long ago. It suggested scanning the room for an object or person that gives you the strongest sense of pleasure. Focus your thoughts on this item for thirty seconds. This process will train your brain to stay in the now. There’s also a grounding exercise you can use: Look around you. Identify + name: 5 things you see 4 things you feel 24

3 things you hear 2 things you smell 1 thing you taste (The tasting part is optional. Momma always said be careful what you put in your mouth.)

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” —Lao Tzu Stay in the now, be with what is right in front of you. There must be an escape or a go-to in these moments of doubt. It can be an activity such as taking a few minutes to meditate and breath, recite an affirmation, read, run, swim, shop, journal, draw, doodle, color, learn to knit a scarf if you have to! You must find something that will distract your mind and get you away from these thoughts. Master your mind, master your life. Listen to a song, watch a YouTube video or something that makes you laugh. Everyone loves a good joke, who is the jokester in your life? Who will make you smile? Who will be a healthy distraction for you and bring you joy? The people in our personal lives can be undervalued assets not fully utilized during this time. Which brings me to my next suggestion… #goodvibesonly! 25

Vibes & People Keep good people and vibes around you as frequently as you can. This could be friends, roommates, colleagues, family, siblings, a yoga partner. Anyone that feeds your energy. Someone that when you think of them, automatically makes you smile. Those are the kind of people that you need to be around. My older sister Tina and her best friend Missy were my pillars of strength. (I’m eternally grateful and love you ladies for that!) But I encourage you to get resourceful and creative, utilize the people in your circle from priests to friends of a friend. For me, it was a great distractor and chances are you’ll gain some insight that you didn’t have before. There’s the possibility that these lending ears will reach a point where they’ll get sick of hearing you speak about it—but as Carrie Bradshaw said, “It is also understood that you have the right to complain about this as long as you like—or apparently until they tell you they are sick of hearing about all of your stories.” But I found venting almost therapeutic. It must have something to do with hearing yourself say certain things out-loud to beat it into your subconscious. Or perhaps you’re now awakened, and just realize something you haven’t before. There could have been “deal breakers” or priorities that didn’t align. Red flags that you’d ignored for too long. Opening up can help you discover things that may surprise you. But talking things through can bring you to that aha moment. You’ll pause and it’ll feel like something just clicked on. It is like instant clarity. And should you ever 26

find one of these moments, save that bullet for later should you need to push yourself a little further. But back to our so-called “complaining,” in the middle of my venting, my older sister once told me, “Yeah, I remember the time, yeah I remember the story! Why don’t you go and get some new stories!?” And I did just that. I went out and I got myself some new stories. It was slow going at first, but I eventually found my footing. Just keep putting yourself out there, be vulnerable, and give off good vibes. The key here is to put yourself out there and, yes, most certainly even when you don’t feel like. That’s the exact moment you should put yourself out there, so we can break this cycle, this funk, this mold of the old self! In doing this you’ll attract good vibes and you’ll just want to keep absorbing them until you’re operating at a maximum vibration. There must have been moments in life when you felt like everything was going your way, just right, or you were “in the zone!” This works exactly like that. Building on the vibes you put out there, the universe will fall at your feet, and the magic starts to happen. But now you ask, “What do I do when people aren’t around? What do I do when I’m idle, in between plans, or by myself?” That can be taken care of in a bunch of different ways. I’ll suggest a few exercises and you can pick and choose what you wish. You may adopt one, or possibly a couple. In time, you may come up with a few of your own, even learning to excel at them, or making them part of your everyday routine. 27

Sticking with routines helps keep me grounded, focused, and organized. It is so much a part of “me” now, that when I don’t get a chance to complete my rituals, I feel a bit off. Especially my nighttime rituals. I find that the mood I go to sleep in normally sets the tone for the next day. I’ve included a breakdown of my rituals in the back of the book—feel free to use them as a guide to building your own! Before, I never had routines. I guess I wasn’t taking my life seriously enough. I really didn’t do much besides baths and reading. So, all the growth, change, rituals, habits are contributing to the big picture. And I’m #workingonme every day leaving no stone unturned. It’s the small things that we do consistently that will add up to the big things later. Give it a shot, it will change your life. In fact, if you do this for 30 days straight, you won’t even recognize yourself. Six months of hard-core focus and alignment can put you five years ahead in life. Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire. You have what it takes to become the best you can be. Don’t ever doubt yourself. Harness your power and exceed your expectations. Get Away from Embarrassment & Failure This is extremely important for you to understand. You know the people that gossip about failure? The people that aren’t doing shit with their lives, so they criticize and talk about yours! They’re the ones who are scared to take a risk in love, business, or life in general. They’re the ones who “settle down,” often compromising their own 28

goals, morals, ethics, dreams, and ambitions because they want to keep up with the Joneses. Whatever the reason is! It’s not your life and yours is not theirs. You’re not a failure and you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Again, in life… I’ve learned more from my failures than my successes. And the 2.0 version from my educational “failure” was twice as sweet! This is just another chapter of your life—if that. Make it no more than a minor speed bump. Don’t let it break you, use it to help make you. In life, it is not the experience that happens to us, but the response to it, that will define us. Everybody has problems to worry about and we should all do just that. As a child, my grandmother once told me. “If everyone threw their problems in a pile, everybody would go back and pick up their own problems.” So, just know that as you’re going through this, people are still going through their own trip. Don’t be concerned with what they think about your problem or how they’ll see you. They’ll find something else to talk about tomorrow and have their own problems to worry about, I promise. I hope this doesn’t, but one of the first things that will likely come to mind is, “What am I going to tell everybody?” This is only natural. You aren’t in this world to live up to anybody’s expectations but your own. So, I hope you live the ME FIRST life. But if you don’t, this is the perfect time to change all that. If there are any other toxic people in your life, this might be the perfect time to shake them as well. The people in your life that truly care about you will be there. They will be the ones who don’t 29

get caught up in the minutia and minor details unless you offer them. They just care about you and your well-being. I’m sure there will be plenty of lending ears but avoid the people who want to collect all the juicy details just so they have the inside scoop when it comes to gossiping later. If you didn’t know already, people talk, it’s human nature, we all do. I too can be guilty of this at times, but I’m aware of it and I work towards catching myself and not making it so. But let me clearly state this again… There is nothing to be embarrassed about and this most certainly does not make you a failure at anything! All It Takes Is One Song to Bring Back a Thousand Memories One of the first things that I did post-breakup was make a playlist. I suggest all new songs! NO songs that you shared as a couple. May I even suggest artists known for writing about breakups such as Adele, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston, Alanis Morissette, Gloria Gaynor, Phil Collins or any other artist that just makes you feel good? One of my favorites would have to be my girl T-Swift. (She was one of the many muses that inspired me to write this book when I was on the mend. Who better can turn heartache into and #1 hit again and again!? Maybe Adele, but I’ve got nothing but love for you ladies.) Your playlist should transport you 30

to your “happy place.” Some songs will make you feel empowered and full of hope, even at times when you’re not. Other songs will become addicting, and you’ll find it on repeat twenty times in a row. If it makes you feel good, play it 100x’s in a row, I don’t care if it’s working! A playlist is entertainment that doesn’t have to necessarily engage all your focus. You can use it at work, the gym, cooking, getting dressed, walking the dog, doing mindless chores at home, or even during your commute. Making the playlist and listening to music is a solid, healthy distraction. You can do it through your iTunes or on your smartphone. Nowadays there are numerous options available or streaming apps that you can download, such as Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio and so many others. I even went as far as making separate playlists for when I was cooking or just for the gym, each with a completely different compilation of songs, with the occasional breakup track sprinkled in. And this leads me to our next step. Join a gym or start to take care of your body. Invest in your health. Start to go for a nice 20–30 minute walk a few times a week or when you begin to feel down. Just get out and take in some fresh air, get the juices flowing and endorphins shifting into gear. Listen to your new playlist and take in your surroundings. If you need some inspiration to get you started, turn to the back of the book to see a few of my favorites. 31

Health & Hydration Khloe Kardashian says, “The best revenge is a good body.” And yes, I’m a 30+ something-year-old, heterosexual man, but isn’t it true! This step even works double time. First off, it’s a healthy and great distraction for you mentally. Secondly, you’ll have the rewards, and benefits of a new physique. Focusing on whatever exercise you’re doing, even if it as simple as taking a walk, is all you need to stay in the moment. It will feel great, taking in the beautiful outdoors, smelling the fresh air, finding eminent silence even throughout all the chaos of a busy Manhattan street. (Oh, the Great Outdoors.) You may even learn to enjoy breaking a sweat and gradually build on that. I’ve experienced runners high on numerous occasions and it almost feels like a euphoric drug induced state. This is great for anxiety. I remember telling myself, better to hit the ground in steps, then to hit my mind in thoughts and thumps! Not into the gym you say? Perhaps you should do light calisthenics in the morning/evening, yoga, Zumba, swimming, biking, kayaking, dancing, boxing, Pilates, karate class, or mediation, just to name a few healthy activities. Again, invest in your health, whether it be a half-hour a day or just buying better groceries. #lifehack—buy more items located on the perimeter of the store and stick to where the lights and refrigeration is; these items are fresher and have a shorter shelf life. Buy and eat more superfoods such as almonds, avocado, 32

berries, broccoli, cinnamon, eggs, garlic, green tea, lemon, spinach, salmon—just to name a few. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, all are found on the perimeter of the store. Take a cooking class and learn how to start eating healthier and start drinking more water, both of which will reflect well on your body. Chances are that you’ll be an emotional mess which means that you’re most likely neglecting your daily consumption of H2O. You must not make it so. If you’ve been crying your eyes out all week, your body will be weak. You must drink water. If plain water isn’t your thing, drink coconut water, Gatorade, pickle juice, anything with electrolytes. If you would like an occasional indulgence like having a glass of juice, lemonade, iced tea, chocolate milk, even a nice glass of wine, have at it. But be sure that you’re drinking your fair share of water. And I would most certainly suggest giving your diet a shot as well. During the first few weeks, you’ll go from not eating at all to binge eating ice cream and chocolate cake out of depression. Don’t do that. (Some will say the only upside to a bad breakup is the weight loss… but of course, there is the yang where there could be weight gain.) It may not seem like it now, but this is your rebirth. Why not make this a renaissance period? Plant the seeds now and reap the harvest later. You’ll be grateful that you got a jump-start on your diet when you look back. With all this extra time you may learn to cook new, healthy dishes. 33

Find new flavors, experiment with a few recommended recipes. Again, it is fine to splurge every once in a while and dig into some comfort food. Maybe your ex hated Chinese or tacos? Guess what? Have Taco Tuesday’s, or Friday Chinese take-out. Treat yourself and take back even the smallest things that use to bring you joy. I recall the first time I ordered Chinese food after my breakup. My ex hated it, so we rarely ate it if ever. But on that day, it never tasted so sweet. And in the back of my sick and twisted mind, it was like hand feeding her every greasy bite. “Don’t judge me Monkey!” But seriously, you’re going to do it at least three times a day, so why not? Be mindful, get creative and make it fun. And again, please don’t deprive yourself of drinking water. Make it a conscious effort. Set a timer on your phone if you have to. Your body will thank you! On the 2-0s get your H2O. I have an alarm that goes off every hour on my phone. Starting at 12:20 PM to 9:20 PM. This all started way back when I was first going through my breakup. One day I became aware of how poor my water intake was. I was worried about every other little detail in my life that I completely neglected something as simple as drinking water. So, I began by drinking a glass of water every hour, just to make sure I was consuming my daily water requirement. If that sounds too hard, please start 34

with a few chugs every hour, but start a routine and it will become natural and part of the big machine. If you want to chug a liter every few hours you can do that too. Do what works for you. This little trick works great for me and my phone still goes off to this very day.


Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Playground: Keep Occupied & Stay Active Find A New Hobby/Trade Can you recall a time where you said, “I’m going to do that”? There are so many things that we say we want to do or try, but we curb them for everyday life. Things like learning a new language, hiking that mountain, taking a photography class, signing up for that adult camp you read about in Time-Out New York, and on and on it goes. Well, you’ve just been awarded more time, so what are you waiting for? Are you saying that you couldn’t carve out an hour or two a day or a week for yourself? What is it going to take you away from? The newest episode of the Bachelorette, an hour of social trolling, a few rounds of Fortnite or poker? This could be a healthy and constructive way to occupy your mind and maybe even walk away with a new trade or a new business. Why not take this time and learn something new or something you always wanted to try? May I suggest an art class? Get started with something as simple as painting, or a coloring book, with pencils, markers, even crayons? They have adult coloring books now on the trend. Personally, those helped me. I even went as far as enrolling in New York State Real Estate School for shits and giggles. I did so much in my last relationship that I not only lost myself, but I lost a lot of time; time that I put into taking care of the other person, doing household chores, taking care of the 37

dog, even as far as driving my ex to and from work! By eliminating that task alone, I picked up an extra two hours a day. That equates to an extra ten hours a week. But with only 168 hours in a week, that means I dedicated 16.8% of my time to maintaining a FREE Uber account. Of course, you want to take care of your partner and look after them, but it becomes unhealthy when you start compromising your own life and time. And it is found in the little things like that when you begin to slip away from yourself. Now, I hope you can see why it was so easy for me to complete the 75-hour salesperson course and pass the school and state exams in under two months. One of my more recent crazes has been books on body language. I find it so interesting and simply can’t get enough. I wish I learned about this stuff years ago. Not that it makes it any easier understanding women, but it helps “pick up” their signals. (And fellas a quick sidebar… do not think for a second you “picked her up.” She probably gave you at least three signals to let you know that SHE was interested in YOU. We can all be Neanderthals from time to time, this is just a fact check. They pick us up. As soon as you walked in, she knew your shoe size, height, approximate age, and financial status. Believe that. A woman is Colombo when it comes to investigating.) Anyhow, do what works for you. If a little bell goes off in your head or brings you a tingle in your tummy, why not do it? My advice is to use this newfound time wisely. Follow the little voice in your head. Stop turning it 38

off. And instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try saying, “it’s not a priority.” And see how that feels, because let’s be honest, if we want something bad enough, we find the time. Reading & Learning Okay so maybe going to real estate school isn’t for you. Maybe you should take a few night classes or enroll in a continuing ed. class. I did that too. After completing the real estate course, I still craved knowledge and self-improvement. Always intrigued by coding, I began to teach myself some basic HTML & CSS, using the unlimited resources of the internet, but I even went as far as taking a Ruby on Rails class at NYU. It doesn’t have to be as intense as a coding class, because I’ll be the first to admit… that wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. But I pushed through it and completed it to the end. And I’m proud of myself for that. Now, will I be coding the next Instagram or Snapchat, not likely. But I have the ambition and thirst to start something great of my own. But anyhow, start with a newspaper or headlines. It can even be as simple as reading or expanding your knowledge in a certain field. Hats off for reading this, you are on the right path. This whole process is about growth. Growth doesn’t happen on its own. You have to go out and make it happen. Why not contribute a little brain food? Find a topic that you enjoy and pick-up a best seller 39

on the subject, even a magazine will suffice, or expand your thinking and read something you never would. Get the creative juices flowing upstairs. I became a voracious reader, knocking out books in a week or two. I read a lot, probably more than I have in my entire life. I found great comfort in self-help, spiritual, and improvement books. In the back of the back I list a few books that I think will bring you some real insight and others may even spark a change. It’s important to work on you and make the improvements. Of course, it takes hard work and a little persistence, but anything truly worth it… ALWAYS DOES!! Take this time of crisis and turn it into an opportunity for change. Make it so you will not be the same person a year from now. Make it so your ex won’t even recognize you. A few months after my breakup, I made the foolish mistake of meeting up with my ex. But, in hindsight it wasn’t a mistake at all. She hadn’t changed much, if any, and was still up to her old tricks. Having some time to reflect, I realized her game and how she played it. Where was her personal growth? What was she up to the past few months? It was then I realized #growth is optional. It doesn’t automatically come with time. I saw and heard all I needed to give me closure, reassert myself, and push further into my new life. Anyhow, when I met her, she asked if I was getting professional help. Lol. Could you imagine? Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it was obvious that I’d made noticeable strides in that short 40

period. (And the best part, I was only getting started.) “You look and sound so good… did you get help”? I must admit, I felt great after hearing those words and I attribute a good part of that success to the reading I did in addition to other tips I’ll give to you in this book. Getting Help I would totally suggest seeking additional guidance at any of the stages where you feel that you’re beginning to need a bit more attention to detail. Truth be told, I didn’t see anyone professionally. It was suggested to me by a dear family member, and they even offered their therapist. If you open up to a close family member or friend, I’m confident someone will know someone, and that’s normally a good reference. But please feel free to ask around and do a little digging yourself. Again, the resources made available to you to on the internet expand far and wide. But beware, the last thing that you should do is self-diagnose using the web or self-medicate upon the recommendation of a friend. If your intention is to get well, seek professional help and do the heavy lifting for the “load” will be lighter later. All the other quick fixes are just temporary distractions and don’t accomplish any true healing or growth. I had a great support system of friends and family that I would see frequently enough that it was all the help I needed to talk things out and see them through. It took a lot of hard work, awareness, and willingness to change. The only person that I spoke to outside of family and friends was a priest from my church, who, ironically 41

transferred right smack in the middle of my early transformation. So that forced me to get more resourceful and centered fast. You too must learn to become more adaptable and resourceful in your own life. Get creative, reach out to friends new and old, college roommates, former classmates, neighbors, and ex-coworkers. Scroll through that old address book or contact list on your phone. Someone will be happy to listen and even happier to help but try and find someone who has gone through a similar situation before. I’m confident that once the word gets around about your situation, somebody in your life might even suggest someone they know. It could be a friend of a friend. A soft connection or acquaintance will do just fine. But again, get a breakup mentor. I would be more than happy to see you through it personally. And later down the road, we can sing Adele together. I sit here now waiting for your arrival with open arms. “Hello, from the other side.” Give Yourself Some Positive Affirmations or a Mantra As I expressed earlier, positive thoughts will be a lot more elusive than negative ones. When you find yourself in moments of doubt, it’s always good to have a positive affirmation to resort to. I was shuffling around quite a few at the peak of my worry and I still use some of them to this day. A few I made up, others I found in books, and random ones were forwarded to me by family and 42

friends. I would even suggest making up your own. Have a simple “go-to” saying in the times that you feel stuck. Keep it light and simple in the beat of forwardthinking. Stay away from words like, can’t—don’t—won’t. You want to take control and become a yes person, but at the same time develop the backbone to say no. Stop saying yes to all the shit you hate. A firm and confident individual is what we’re chasing, certainly not a weak, timid, and indecisive one. The point is to become your own private cheerleader. Become aware of all the self-negativity. In fact, you won’t change your life until you change the way you think about and talk to yourself. This is square one. You’re so many things, please take a few minutes right now and write down ten of your strongest attributes. If your selfesteem is at an all-time low, solicit someone close to offer their thoughts. We can all use a little perspective and constructive criticism. In all seriousness I want YOU to go deep and ask yourself, what are your strengths? Remind yourself how wonderful and blessed you are. Remind yourself that things aren’t as bad as they seem and how truly remarkably unique you are. Nothing lasts forever, not even the best of times, so remember that this too shall pass. Stop worrying. 95% of the shit you’re worrying about is never going to happen or doesn’t matter. There is no sense in worrying because, if you think about it, if by some small chance it happens, you’re just putting yourself through the dilemma twice. So, stay in the light, do not sway, do not wander. 43

But if you feel that you are, just repeat your affirmations over and over until that moment passes. Sometimes I would find myself reciting mantras in the middle of washing dishes, cooking, or folding clothes, and I wasn’t upset at all. It was just becoming part of my new programming. Just to give you an example, one of my favorite go-tos is, “If God be for us, then who be against us!?” from The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Become a Spiritual Gangster There are a lot of ways to go about this and again, it will really depend on you. We’ll speak about seeking a higher power, but this is more about centering yourself. I strongly advise getting outside, with the fresh air and sunlight. Up! Off the couch, out of bed. Let’s go, common. You can do it. It can be as easy as morning meditation or a nice long hike. Pack a lunch or a few granola bars and hit the trails. Enjoy a snack or lunch at the top of an observatory. Zen practice can come in many forms. The key is to gain peace of mind. And it will also be good for the soul. Another great way to dial into your spiritual side is to get a gratitude journal or simply make an entry in your diary. Sit with yourself and be with your thoughts. It’s a rough time, I know, but it isn’t all that bad. Make a list of all that you’re grateful for in your life as it stands. It can be as simple as your breakfast, the weather outside, the color of your eyes, your dog or cat, your favorite sweatpants, evening plans, your family and friends, or 44

the ten minutes of peace you have to sit and write in the journal. Go deep within yourself, and the answers will find you. Meditation helped me a great deal. It was more of a hybrid between creative visualization and meditation. But I started with guided meditation upon the recommendation of a dear friend. I would just sit there, take some deep breaths, and gather the rhythm of my breath. Counting from one to ten on each inhale/exhale, once I reached ten, I would reset and start again. Some days it felt like I was standing on the intersection of thought street and worry avenue. The cars (thoughts) would pass me three or four at a time at 100mph. I would stop the thoughts immediately and just focus on the beaming ball of light that I saw in my mind or visualize the best version of myself. What was I wearing, what was I doing, where was I standing? Let go of any doubts or negativity and hold onto that vision. Better yet, think of nothing but the breath. You can talk to God or not at all it’s your call. You want to grow from the inside out. Feed your soul and your spirit. Take this time to make some real progress. Plant the seeds now, so you can reap the benefits throughout your life. Not that spiritual? There couldn’t be a better time to start. You don’t believe in anything? How about believing in yourself!? Do Something That Will Build Your Confidence It wasn’t long after my breakup when my older sister and her best friend suggested opening a LinkedIn account. Yes, I was taking this on as a renaissance year 45

and was even considering switching careers. (Something I would advise against but do some deep thinking. To each his own and I wish you nothing but the best should you chose otherwise.) I was scrambling for answers and what did I have to lose? So, I went ahead and did it. I must admit that it felt really good. I was able to put together a new resume and when I reflected on it, I was proud of myself for accomplishing so much at a young age. It was a great boost of confidence for me to see all the accolades before that relationship. Ironically, not that I’m judging because I appreciate each one the same, but the bigger accomplishments all happened before its inception. Let’s just say there was a bit of a dip or inactivity in my personal growth during that relationship. It was a testament to all the energy I was putting in figuring out how I could make their life easier. Perhaps this was another sign that I was losing myself and not giving my all to projects as I once had. Side Note: Maybe this sounds familiar because you were in a similar situation. Perhaps that is another #lifelesson given to you by this breakup. It’s never healthy to lose yourself or give up on your dreams; let that be a lesson going forward towards your next relationship. Do not sacrifice your ambitions and energies for someone else. Take care of yourself first. So, as I was working on myself physically, at the gym, I was also working on myself mentally with little power booster exercises like this. A resume or LinkedIn account is a complete freebie. It’s an innocent way of 46

marketing and bragging about yourself, without having to feel like a Shallow Hal. At the end of the day, you’ll say, “Wow, I’m really awesome. Look at all I’m capable of! Look at all I have accomplished. I rock!” I know this person is in there somewhere, I’m reading it with my own eyes Get a Haircut/Try on Some New Duds Another great part of your transformation would be to get a fresh hairstyle or treat yourself to some new clothes. Don’t have much money you say, then go to a thrift shop. Find a new tweak to your style, buy postbreakup clothes or accessories. My sister gave me a red beaded bracelet to wear with my watch. It looked great and the red was to ward off any evil spirits, so I liked it for multiple reasons. But from there it sprouted into an obsession. I buy beaded bracelets wherever I can find them. Street vendors, vacations, shops, malls, thrift shops, you name it, if they had beads, I was checking them out. I even went as far as starting to string my own beads for colors that I couldn’t find. It distracted me, I loved stacking them, wearing them and even making them. It was a simple accessory that I picked up out of nowhere and now it has become an identifier—or running joke, depending on the friend. #beadgang. I don’t and won’t even wear anything from my past life. I’ve given away or donated garbage bags full of clothes. I have two sweatshirts left from Pebble Beach 47

and Carmel and I rarely wear them. They’re just so comfortable and I love the colors. Truly, I don’t even like the feeling I get when I put them over my head or the thoughts they bring me. I should just throw them out… actually, excuse me for a second… I’m back! And yes, I literally just threw them away. Done! WOW! That felt great watching them hit the bottom of the trash can. I feel so empowered and light right now not to sound silly! Why the heck did I wait that long? Anyway, as I hope to show you this is all about gaining control of your mind. You must learn to control what’s going on between the ears because “the smallest voices can create the biggest problems.” You must power through and keep moving forward. Changing or tweaking your appearance in the slightest way will pay great dividends for your confidence and mental health. A new haircut, clothes, shoes, underwear, socks, bra, you name it. Gain and build your confidence! Have you ever heard the expression, “if you look good, you feel good”? Believe me when I tell you it’s true! It is so psychological. Do anything and everything that makes you feel good. #swag. Don’t Do Anything Too Hasty I would certainly advise against a tattoo, an extreme haircut, adopting a puppy, purchasing a new car, or any kind of large purchase for that matter. Hold off on any unnecessary major decisions of any kind in the name of transformation. At least until some of the smoke has cleared. Some things will make you feel good for sure, 48

but we are trying to go through this transformation with as little collateral damage as possible. Of course, an animal will cheer you up and brighten your days, but don’t be short-sighted. Stop and think about what a major responsibility it will be. It’s another type of long-term commitment. Your “after work plans” aren’t for as long with a puppy to feed and train. Frivolous weekend getaways will not be as easy anymore either—unless you take the little one with of course. But these are things for you to consider, to each his own. I’m not telling you how to live your life. These are just suggestions, with the hopes of leading you in the right direction. (And that goes for this entire book.) This animal is a responsibly that will fall completely on you, just be sure you have the energy and resources it will require. Ladies, I’m obviously not a woman, but playing the voice of reason, I’d certainly advise you against getting an extreme haircut like taking off seven inches of your hair. This will take a long time to grow back and is something you may regret deeply later. Fellas, this is not the time to shave your head or do anything drastic as well. Not everybody has a nice bald head. Try a new style, something that will not be too drastic and if in a few months or so, if you like it, keep it. Another major no-no would be getting a tattoo of any kind. I don’t care if you’re Lil’ Wayne. This will live with you forever. Why would you want to commemorate this EXperience on your body? Every time you look at it, you’ll be reminded of these feelings, which may not 49

take you to a good place. Leave it in the past because that is where it belongs. Don’t put it on your body, where you’re forced to carry it with you for the rest of your life. But hey, it’s your body; I’m just playing Devil’s advocate again. Be Silly It will take work to find and get happy, so in the meantime why not do something silly. Get yourself giggling, smiling, and laughing again. Dive in a pool with your clothes on; make balloon animals; sit on a bench and make up a conversation that two people are having sitting across from you; make slime; cut up an apple and piece it back together like a puzzle; organize a scavenger hunt; play Marry, Fuck, Kill with friends at a picnic. Have nieces and nephews? Hang out with them and act like a child. They will make you laugh, and smile, even force you to get silly. Make an emoticon or Bitmoji of your likeness, it is fun, and a silly distraction. If you’re sitting bored, alone, and looking to kill time, scroll through emojis on your phone and write/create some crafty wordplay, emoji-play, or even play with some of the filters and doctor a few photos. Make memes to post on Instagram. One of my personal favorite silly activities was coloring with pencils and markers. I mentioned this earlier. It is also scientifically proven to calm you down and make you happier. But throw yourself into life. Stop sitting on the sidelines and don’t become a spectator. Play practical jokes on the people you love or draw mustaches and sunglasses on magazine cover celebs. 50

I can sit in a park or on a bench and people watch for hours. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I admire their style, the way they walk, things they say, items they carry. Then I can completely wonder and get lost in my own head. “That poor woman, those shoes look like they hurt, that guy kind of looks just like my cousin but with a shaved head, what is that boy who looks like Miley Cyrus yelling about? Oh, wow look, that guy looks just like Mark Cuban… holy shit… that is Mark Cuban!” I even go as far as having a pretend conversation in my head about what the two people sitting across from me are saying to each other. I stare at people walking by wondering where they’re going, why they’re crying, what did they have for lunch, what’s their darkest secret, and on and on. Just more mindless, silly fun. Do things that make you laugh and bring you happiness no matter how simple. Don’t get so caught up in these wasted feelings that you forget to live life and enjoy all the beautiful simple moments in it.


Take Your Life Back! Little Triggers There will be little things that don’t make you feel good. Don’t run from them, you must acknowledge them on the spot. Don’t make yourself crazy, thinking about every detail. Take them as they come. If it is an object, thought, feeling, place, whatever it may be, become aware of the things that make you feel good or the things that do not. I like to call them triggers. If a triggering thought or idea comes into my head, I figure out why. Was it because a certain song is playing? Then change the station. If The Notebook is on TV, then change the channel. Don’t sit there and dwell on the thought. Stay present and in the now! Get off memory lane and out of that state. I realized that I couldn’t watch old shows that we shared or listen to music we played as we barbecued. Little by little, I slowly realized it was beyond that. Movies we watched, songs that we had share, places we would go, and it even got as simple as the soaps in the bathroom. Then I really got obsessed and began to replace everything in sight. Hair gel—bye-bye—cleaning products—see ya’ later—colognes—well I never liked the way you smelt anyway! Little by little, if I saw or felt something, I worked on replacing it or finding a new one. MY new one. I was shedding my skin like a snake. Find New Places Certainly, don’t go and fester on a park bench 53

somewhere that you guys would usually picnic. Find new places. Find yourself saying, yes to things that you would normally say, no to. Your favorite coffee shop, bar or spot in the park is off-limits. Let them have it. Find a new spot in the park or a new watering hole. Trade the coffee shop for a juice bar, tilt your axis. Try new things and explore new places. These feelings and experiences are unexplored and full of fresh life. Anything could happen at any time, please believe that. It could be a simple as going to a movie, bookstore or concert alone. Even on a grander scale, take a vacation. Go to a new destination, someplace you’ve never been. (Preferably sunny!) Can’t afford a vacation, hop in the car or on a train, go sit down by a beach and just be. Breath— Relax—Meditate. Enjoy the moment and learn to live in peace. Walk the boardwalk. Don’t have a car? Rent one and go for a long relaxing drive. Call a buddy or a friend and plan a getaway. Escape this reality and give yourself some healthy alone time to reflect on all that you have and are still going through. Give yourself something to look forward to in joy and excitement. I took numerous mental vacations whenever I could. I would park down by the beach; go to the golf range; take a drive with no destination in mind; sit in a bookstore and lose myself in a book; take a long bike ride or jog. I even drove halfway across the country from Texas to New York, flew as far as Malaysia, and after all that, I still found moments where I was searching for 54

myself. But after a while, you’ll learn you enjoy it. This whole process is a blessing in disguise. It’s easier to just roll over and dwell but you would have wasted that much more to right the ship. Don’t learn to live with pain that’ll only become comfortable over time. Why let a year or two pass? Heck, some even go a lifetime living in the past and ultimately that is who they become for good. It changes who they are and the person they could have become. The issue becomes their “identifier” and they begin to use it for every excuse under the sun without even realizing why they are doing it. The only thing you should fill your time with is new moments. New images. New experiences. You should even take a few snapshots with your phone, so you can go back and reflect on the feeling you had at that moment. Fill your mind and your Smartphone with nothing but new excursions and images of new life. Reclaiming & Reinventing Reinventing might be the easier of the two at first. You can ease into transitioning yourself in whichever, or however many ways you choose. The “taking back” of places and things, depends on your strength, so standing up to your fears is for you to assess. But if you have the heart and guts to go straight for the reclaiming of places and things, then more power to you. And even though I just mentioned not to frequent familiar places, this is more of a personal test. Everyone’s psychological threshold and barriers will vary. Courage comes after the fear. But sometimes that’s easier said than done depending on your 55

personal “limits.” But if you feel so inclined to push yourself, then please do. Go to that movie theatre, eat at that restaurant you would frequent twice a month, have a cup of joe at your favorite coffee shop, take back your Sunday brunch spot. Just be prepared if you bump into them. And if you should, remember that less is more. You don’t have to engage but be cordial. And don’t go in anticipation of seeing them. If that’s the case, you’re not permitted to go! That’s a hard NO! This exercise is about courage and empowerment, don’t try and get cute with me! In the end, you’ll only be fooling yourself, so be aware of the intention. Reinventing a new memory or piece of yourself can come from a mindless task or action and is endless. Not to sound cliché, but you can be anything that you put your mind to. But it WILL take action. You have to want it, truly want it! You’ll feel it in your core if you really want to make the changes. And that means following through, all the way through, even through the anxiety and inner voice tries to talk you out of it. Don’t even think about turning around, sitting in the parking lot debating if you should go in or not, or neglecting to RSVP, things like this aren’t permitted. Go to that class, have fun at that dinner you were invited to. Feeling too lazy? We don’t have time for lazy for that is the cousin of sorrow. The anxiety will only feed itself the more you wait, growing stronger with every passing second. So, drive to that beach on the other side of town, maybe on the other side of the state. 56

Reclaim, reinvent, and rediscover yourself among all that’s new and beautifully available to you. Keep on course and contribute to the master plan. Images With a lot of images being digital these days, it is hard to get rid of a lot of pictures. They’re everywhere in your real and viral life. Delete them off your computer’s hard drive and get them out of the cloud. Unfriend them on Facebook and Instagram. Change your relationship status and plan a bonfire party. Invite a few friends, grab some wine, and get some lighter fluid. Pictures, picture frames, teddy bears, and even that silly Santa hat that you purchased when you went to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. Burn it! Yes, it does have some negative connotations, but there is something about watching that stuff burn that will satisfy you in a weird and twisted way. I’m not saying go all Left Eye Lopez and burn the house down! But gather what you wish and toss it in a contained area outside such as a barrel or a hole. Have a nice, neat, and contained fire party. Get the extinguisher just in case! Collect all the memories, tangible goods of no true value and set them ablaze. And then there will be no more staring and crying into that photo. You won’t even have it to hold anymore. Mourn those feelings over the fire. Cry it out, move on and get over it. I’ll even send you the match. 57

Just do it! You’ll thank me later. ***“No way, I’m not doing that… psycho! He’s clearly out of his mind.”*** Okay, so you’re not there yet, maybe ever. That’s okay too. Soon enough you will be or you will be at a place of such peace and gratitude that you’ll not even give a shit about them or their belongings for that matter. But in the spirit of playing nice, let’s talk about the boxing ceremony. The two of you have gone back and forth about the “exchange” three or four times on the phone and it cannot be put off any longer. Carefully and delicately (optional), take their stuff and place it in a box to give to them. You can take your keepsakes and hand them over to a good friend for safekeeping if you’re not prepared to burn, sell, or donate. But getting back to the exchange, are you mentally prepared to see them again? If you have to even think twice about that, I suggest it should be done with a friend, or by a friend, if you can’t bear to see them. Or, let’s face it, if you’re worried that you’ll sleep with them, then NO! You are absolutely NOT permitted to go. “No Sex with the Ex” Meeting and completing challenges can be a tough task—I guess that’s why they call them challenges. More times than not, you must find the mental fortitude and persistence to see them through to completion. Let’s face it, it takes a lot of mental strength. So, in the spirit of mental training, I’d like to offer 58

you a second challenge besides creating something great mentioned in the #breakupchallenge. This is going to be the polar opposite, where you must learn to resist and tear down something else—the remnants and thoughts of your ex. There’s no more giving in to the charm, lies, deceit, or great sex. You are, from here on out, prohibited and put on notice. We’ve spoken about fixing our diets and addressing our health, but this is a different kind of cleanse. I’m prescribing you a 30-day detox, where you’ll start “detoxing” from the ex. There shall be absolutely no contact of any kind for 30 days. If you make it that far, you’ll officially be on the mend and well on your way to creating your “new” life. Think of it as an addiction. Would you want to ruin 30 days of hard work only to have it wiped away with a drunken kiss or booty call? You would have to start all over again, back at square one. While the pain will not be as bad as the initial breakup. You’ll still feel the aftershocks coupled with this new-found resentment you have for yourself because you gave into that moment of weakness. Does it make you a terrible person, a loser, a sucker? No, it happens to the best of us. But I’m here to see to it that doesn’t happen to you. Play at your own risk, you’ve been warned. And if it persists, you’re headed straight into relapse territory. WARNING… WARNING… WARNING…


Trick the Subconscious & Get Your Mind Back Volunteer A great way to also occupy your time and pay it forward is to volunteer. I’m sure there are youth groups, organizations, and elderly in your area who would appreciate your care. I personally gave my time to a youth group that met at my parish on Tuesday nights. We did simple things like make parfait, baked cupcakes, and even attended a local minor league baseball game. These are kids who need some guidance and a little help as well, so think of it as helping each other. Some come from broken homes and others can really use a positive role person in their lives, so why not become a role model. It might seem like a lot of pressure, but it will pay great dividends for your soul. If you continually give, you’ll continually have. Thinking that you’re helping these people would be wrong because you’ll realize that they are actually helping you. Thinking about getting an animal? Why not volunteer at an animal shelter? This could potentially be a two for one activity. An animal needs your care and you need their affection. Petting a dog or cat is one of the most in-the-moment things you can do, so it will certainly have great benefits. Pet the animal for 30 seconds and it will automatically keep you grounded and bring you joy. You can affect someone else’s life on a deeper level than you could never imagine. So, if you have the heart and the time, donate it to someone who needs it. I 61

can guarantee that they will certainly appreciate it. And besides the gratitude that you’ll receive, you might have a big impact, even make a few contacts, or perhaps find a new furry friend. Seek a Higher Power There are many religions and gods in this world. It doesn’t matter who or what you worship, but you must have faith in something. There is a greater power. (At least I want to believe that.) So, what if you haven’t “practiced” in a while. Why not start now? It was so long since the last time that I visited my church, that when I saw the priest he asked, “Where have you been that I haven’t seen you in so long, on Devil’s Island?” He was a witty old man, but those words resonated with me on a spiritual level. Because let’s be honest, I might not have lived on “Devil’s Island,” but I was certainly racking up the frequent flier miles. One day I found myself on the floor in my sunroom, crying my eyes out. I wasn’t even asking for answers at that time, but just begging God to please have mercy on me. I recall sitting there, rocking back and forth with my knees to my chest, repeating out loud, “Please just have mercy on me, Lord… please just have mercy on me. Just please have mercy on me and bring me peace.” Even the dog sensed my fear as he jumped all over my chest and licked my tears. And it may not have been immediate, but over the following weeks, I felt as if They had listened. The days didn’t start to feel as long or as stressful and I truly felt that moment was the tipping point 62

and I began to see the light. If you’re not into prayer, simply write God a letter asking for mercy or guidance through this rough patch. Or just sit and write aimlessly, having a conversation with God. It may sound strange, but the words that you hear in your head, is actually God talking back to you, so take notes and see what They have to say. Treat Yourself Take some special me time. For me, at first, it was the golf range. I would go down there for two to three hours. I’d hit buckets of balls, chip, pitch, and putt. It was something that I enjoyed before her, so there was no sense of reclaiming or reinventing old or new ways. Now, it might not be the golf range for you. That is for you to decide. It’s something that shouldn’t take very long, but if you have to sit and think about it for a minute, concentrate on what you loved to do before them. Perhaps you didn’t get around to it at all during the relationship due to the fact you were so far lost. Maybe it was a visit to the spa, massage, facial, shopping, surfing, painting, fishing, collaging, dancing, knitting, baking, cooking, jogging, movies, anything! What do you enjoy? For some people, it could be as simple as going to the gym or a mani-pedi. What did you love to do as a kid? Or an activity with your sibling or parent to build quality time? Make it comforting and familiar until you find your groove and then branch out. If you played a sport or participated in something during high school or college, why not start there? 63

Think back to your childhood. Grab a new pair of skates or call mom and ask her if she has that Tony Hawk skateboard. Dust off the old musical instrument and write a breakup song. Play a game of pickup basketball, dig out that old mitt, find a schoolyard wall and play catch all alone. These are all things that I’m sure we have done numerous times. Counting down and hitting the gamewinning shot or pitching in the bottom of the ninth. It will make you feel young and bring a happy release of endorphins. My point is, it doesn’t always have to cost you money. Treat yourself to your newfound time and do something that you’ve always enjoyed. This can be a mindless task such as watching a Netflix series that is all your own. Feel like staying in on Saturday and bingewatching TV? Why shouldn’t you? You’ve been hard at work on yourself, you deserve a little downtime. Make a day of it. Shower before, don’t shower at all, be as dirty or as clean as you like. Make it a cheat day and go all out. Pizza, ice cream, the works. Get in your most comfortable clothes and grab the remote grab some snacks and have a blast. There are so many great series available nowadays, it will come down to what genre you want to watch. There is a series or documentary for any #mood, so have fun with it. Learn to enjoy your own company and find a show or a movie that was never shared with anyone. Netflix & chill with yourself. 64

Have Yourself a Party Now I’m not saying go all Old School and have yourself a Mitch-A-Palooza. Even though, it is fashionable these days to have a “Divorce Party.” But that is totally up to you. Feeling like you should want to give it a go, have a bash! But call a few friends, get your best shoes, and re-release yourself back to the wild. Have no expectations, do not build up any pressure, you don’t even have to meet someone. This is just to get yourself mentally ready to start taking those baby steps of socializing post-breakup. Have fun, have a drink, and have a laugh. If someone comes up to you, all the better. Enjoy it, play around, flirt, engage in the banter. Again, do not put any unnecessary pressure on the outing. There are a few things I want you to focus on. Put on that playlist, hop in the bathroom, and get good looking. Sing, dance, work on your swagger, build up the confidence as you get dressed. Put on your Sunday’s best. The next step is easy. Say hello to the world. Let them know that you’re back and open for business. And lastly, please enjoy the experience. Have fun and enjoy the company you’re in. Don’t waste a precious moment, dwelling on the past, thinking of your ex, or wishing you were elsewhere. The remote control, smartphone, house clothes, and couch, will all be there waiting, I promise. Eat good food, have a nice drink, and if you’re approached by someone, relish in the moment. If someone is throwing you “sassable signals,” make a move. Feeling frisky and 65

extra-confident, give someone your number or maybe you’ll even be inclined to do the approaching. Let the world know you’re here and smile. The world will begin to smile back at you! Just Write it Down If you haven’t already, get a journal. You might not be into writing, but there is something beautiful about every blank piece of paper. You can make it anything you want; you don’t even have to write. Draw, doodle, scribble, clip and paste, ramble. Go on a rant, pour your emotions out. You’ll feel better. Sit and write, whenever and wherever you can. Just write to write without direction, just let it fly, even if you have nothing enlightening to say. Just ramble. At some point, there will be useful tidbits that will come out and you can go back and reflect on those emotions. I read that in a book years ago and use it in so many aspects of life. The book suggested that if you write aimlessly for ten to twenty minutes, you would reach parts of the subconscious and tap into the genius within. Try it! It will allow you to get to know more about your true feelings than the aware mind ever will. Write your ex a letter telling them what you really think of them and how you are so much better off. Don’t send it of course, no matter how tempting it may be. Just making a point, that it is a healthy way to vent. Research has shown that people who use a journal to 66

chart their emotions receive many of the same physical and psychological benefits as those who talk to a doctor, minister, or friend. If you cannot commit to ten or twenty minutes, then start with five. And if that seems like too much, start with a sentence… a word even! Just start the process, take a baby step, even if it seems so small that it is downright silly. And this doesn’t just pertain to your writing, THIS should be your philosophy throughout the whole process. Just take a step, even if it’s a baby one. When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Vallesse, may she rest in peace, told me something that I would carry through my adulthood. And it’s reasons like this, which truly make teachers our real superheroes. They can mold and influence lives, like almost a parent can. Anyhow, she told me, “If you are feeling mad, or sad about something, why not write it down? And if you’re still mad at the end you can crumble it up, and if not, at least you have something to show for it.” I had no idea that that tip given to 10-year-old me would still be a part of my life today. If it’s dated, you can go back and reflect to see where you were mentally at the time. Maybe some newfound clarity will come not too shortly after it was written when you go back and read it or it can be as you’re writing. Maybe a year later when you’re starting to see things differently, you’ll appreciate the steps you took to get there. You’ll be able to tap into the emotions that you felt not so long ago and be proud of the progress you’ve made. 67

So, as you can guess I have journals and entries from all phases of life. Some in a notebook, others on scrap paper, and even Post-its. I always carry a pen and paper. Call me old fashioned, but my sentiments are simple. A thought is only that, but when you write it down it becomes action. Add a little discipline and consistency, and you’ll see the thought becomes manifest. It’s a beautiful thing. I’ve done it time and time again in my life from businesses to recipe ideas. Please give it a shot and start writing things down. Anyhow, through all the 6 years I was with my ex, not one journal entry! Something that I so passionately loved to do. There were one or two entries that I found on an iPad, but that was from when she was sick with breast cancer and I was scrambling for answers but other than that, nothing! Not one entry about my relationship, my life, my feelings, my travels. In 6 years! Now you can clearly see because of the lack thereof, that this was another piece of myself that I lost along the way. I only noticed this because I went to one of my three favorite journals just to write and vent. I figured let me check, and that’s when I noticed… nothing! Then I quickly ran for the other two and to my surprise, empty. Amazing, I thought to myself, this stops here. I have to pick up the pen, again! And it is no coincidence, my older sister—who is a writer as well—gave me a brand, spanking new journal a few days later. Which is now my fourth favorite. So, I took that on my trip to Barcelona and made an entry almost every single day. Now, I look 68

back and reflect on the strides that I’ve made from the days of emotion poured onto that page. So again, proving invaluable is the power of the pen. Screw the sword. The pen is mightier than the sword, and even your Smartphone. Positive Imagery: Vision Boards, Collages & Screensavers This is your life, so cut out, paste, clip, sew, nail, paint, draw, do whatever you like. I can’t tell you what medium will speak to you. For me, I grabbed a bunch of old magazines, newspaper clippings, and anything of paper that I found of interest. I cut out things as simple as a single word, which to me had a stronger impact than some of the images I taped up. This is your life so why not get creative? Don’t ignore that inner voice. If something impacts you in a certain way, preserve it and post it. Using these images can help kick you into gear. If you surround yourself with things that you enjoy or aspire to, not only will you feel more joy, but it’s also much more likely to happen. Take a few minutes in the morning and night focusing on the board. I have one in the bedroom and office. Take a few minutes every day to meditate on desires as you look over the board. Set it up as a blueprint of what you want and what you seek. I can’t stress enough that you need to believe it and have a little faith that the universe will automatically manifest it. I’m sure you’ve 69

seen The Secret by now, but even if you haven’t, watch it. Ask… Believe… Receive… It is the intention behind the act. Now, we all have smartphones and tablets. You should change your screensaver. I was doing it as frequently as once a day. We check and use our phones a lot. Studies show that the average person spends up to five hours a day on their smartphone, checking it about 150 times a day. Really?!?! What I want to know is what else are we doing besides checking our phones? This is a whopping amount of time if you ask me. Almost about as many hours of sleep that we should get a night, we spend on our phones, amazing! Calls, emails, texts, posts, likes, music, media, memes, selfies, surfing, scrolling, trolling, and the machine rolls on. So, if you’re using it in bursts, or all the time, why not make the first image you see a positive one? It works similarly to vision boarding and creative visualization. My personal favorites would normally be an inspirational quote or motivator of some kind. I had my fair share of photos up there, such as cars, quotes, art, jokes, memes, buildings, destinations, goals, and of course beautiful women. I treated it like a visual slide show, burning images into my memory bank. As you can guess it was changed almost daily, unless it resonated, then I’d leave it for a while. It is easy to find one by simply using a Google 70

keyword search or taking a screenshot of one throughout your social media feeds. If you want to get creative, you can even make your own with all these photo editing apps available. I recall tapping on my home screen button randomly throughout the day just to read the quote of the day. I would feed my subconscious, feel it, believe it, and then learn a new one. Change your screen savers, it’s an undervalued piece of real estate in your life! Get to a Mirror All the suggested activities are certainly meant to distract you but if during any of them, a random thought or emotion should pop up, it’s best to try and address it. Feel that feeling and come to terms with it. The psyche is a tricky beast and the conscious mind will stuff down any bad feelings or experiences, opposed to dealing with them. It is our natural defense mechanisms kicking into gear. And that doesn’t mean that they will not surface because they will. And those consequences can be extreme and unexpected. So, as you’re working through this process, don’t overwhelm yourself. Everyone is different, but at any rate, your mind will tell you when you’re fully ready to embrace the feelings within. At the end of all this, you’ll want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and see a better, stronger version. You don’t want to look away from yourself, or worse, not be able to look yourself in the eye. So, get to a mirror occasionally and ask yourself a few of the hard questions. Don’t repress it. Work through it, it’s okay to cry. Just don’t be too scared to face it, 71

because sooner or later they will confront you on their own when you’re less ready. But when they do, if you visited that thought or emotion before, it will be that much easier to shrug off and keep it moving.


Work Towards Change & Changing Your Surroundings Will Do Exactly That Finding a New Space You need to surround yourself with good people and if you have a close enough friend or family member that is willing and able, do it. It can serve many uses. For me, it was like taking little mini-vacations. Have a sibling that you’re close with? Might be time to couch surf or get an aero-bed and crash with them for a week or so. You won’t be forced to sit in your apartment or house that you shared with your significant other. By changing your surroundings or environment, you’ll automatically change your mentality. And if you aren’t there, you won’t be forced to face the constant memories of them or where the fighting transpired. My ex-fiancé and I purchased a beautiful home in a very desirable neighborhood. I thought I was done, that life was on its way. It was a fine house and I was excited to make it a home. I envisioned raising my kids there. Ironically, it was only two doors down from my childhood best friend’s home, where he was starting his own family. I thought, we grew up together and now our children would be able to do the same. I even bought us walkietalkies. It had the makings of a true fairy tale. But to be honest, the more that I stayed in the home, the more I realized that I couldn’t. It was once my happy place. I used to love sitting by the fireplace writing. I loved cooking in my kitchen and hanging out in my 73

man cave in the basement. But it went from being full of happy vibes and good times to nothing but dark rooms and sadness. There were grey rain clouds in every room. I had to leave, I couldn’t even sleep in the king bed that we shared, as it seemed like I was swimming in an empty sea. And I just couldn’t escape the fights that we had during the end. Every corner was a memory of our demise. So, what did I do? I listed the house immediately and sold it with equity on the table. Sometimes you cannot put a price on happiness, and money isn’t nearly as important as my mental health. I can always make more money. But happiness can’t be bought. So, I packed a bag and I crashed at any place that would take me in. My brother, my sister, and even my mom’s house for a bit. After a while, I began to plan my vacation to visit my best friend, who lives in Barcelona and crashed with him for a month. Yes, I had to get my mind in check, but at least I wasn’t forced to do so in that house and that made me feel a lot better. It helped the process along easier, making it feel more like a transition than an ending. So, if you have someone close to you that you can ask such a huge favor, do it. And if they are ready, willing, and able, be grateful and jump on the opportunity. It can be a temporary situation such as a few days to a week, or it can stretch to as far as a few months. That is for you and them to decide given your current situation. One podcast listener wrote in and even had someone move in with them for a little bit. So good on you for getting creative and resourceful. We all have 74

different responsibilities and obligations, tailor-make any of these steps to suit your lifestyle. Get creative. I sold whatever I could, put the rest in storage, and bounced around from place to place until the closing sale of our home. After that, I began to look for a new place to live. This is where life began to get really exciting. You might be forced to sell, move, or stay where you are. But this step was a real coming of age one for me. This is where I literally went out and claimed my own space in the world to start this new life. I looked at apartments from Wall Street to Central Park, the West Side Highway to the East River and I didn’t get exhausted once. Normally, looking for apartments can be a tiring task, but not this time, not for me. The adrenaline in my body was on overdrive. I couldn’t see enough apartments. I visualized what my new life would be like in each space. I eventually settled on a clean and cozy one bedroom in midtown. It was perfect for the right now. After that, I carefully and methodically chose what objects and belongings were allowed into this rebirth. They were to have no bad vibes or evil juju. It was to be fresh, personalized, and pure. I didn’t want the thoughts or feelings from any foreign objects such as the sweatshirts that I mention. Think about how fun it will be to buy furniture, glasses, pots, pans, accessories, and chachkies. You can make it as color-coordinated or as picture perfect life as you like. If you can revamp your personal style, why not take it all the way to a room or a complete space? Go 75

to your local department store, purchase random pizza cutters, can openers and the like. Have a glass of wine and hop on Amazon to buy that area rug. Make it fun! This is exciting stuff. It shouldn’t even feel that hard. You are designing your life. Look back on your Pinterest. Did you save anything that you wanted or envisioned on your vision board collage? Make it tangible and watch it come alive. Make these dreams come true. Organize & Simplify What if you cannot physically move? Or you cannot find someone to move in with? Start working on the space where you are now. It can be as small as a bedroom. And the bedroom, is ground zero, as that is most likely where most of the “action” happened. So, at the very least, burn those sheets right now and go treat yourself to new ones. Look around, is there stuff that has just been there too long? Please don’t tell me that it has been there so long it accumulated a few pounds of dust on itself! Create a calm, peaceful, and welcoming space. You may not see it now, but once it is cleaned and organized you’ll feel better mentally and even sleep better. Think about yourself sitting exactly where you are right now, admiring your hard work, smelling the scented candle burn, and patting yourself on the back for a job well done. Do you see it? I’m imagining and wishing it for you right now. You should throw out those clothes that you haven’t worn in a year—we all have them, in fact, it is 76

proven that we wear 25% of our closet. Put on a fresh coat of paint, throw out that pile of magazines (or make a collage of what inspires you!), and dust the floorboards all the way to the corners of the floor. It is a great way to stay mindlessly focused. Put on that playlist and get to work. You won’t be forced to sit and stew on the same thoughts over and over. You’ll be grouping, cleaning, organizing, painting, whatever, having no time for worry. You can stay in the moment with whatever chore you find yourself doing, and in the back of your mind, you know you’re working towards new beginnings. It is a great way to stay mindlessly focused. Have a Yard Sale Chances are, you’ll be dividing some stuff between the two of you. Possibly even money, bank accounts, and assets. (Get a lawyer if it’s that sticky. But let’s not even get on that subject. Just know if it is that serious protect yourself and your interests ASAP.) If you should find yourself standing among the ruins of your former life, why not sell it all to fund that new apartment or vacation we spoke of? Or as I did, sell all the “old stuff” to purchase “new stuff.” If there’s anything that reminds you of them, sell it! If it isn’t worth anything monetarily, toss it! Or better yet pay it forward and donate it. Let someone else appreciate it. Have you ever heard the old saying, “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure?” No… no… no… I’m not talking about your ex. That’s not nice. They’re more like restaurant leftovers, you had the meal. Someone else 77

can appreciate my doggy bag. (Ooooo, burn. “Oh no he didn’t!?!?” Oh yes, I did.) It obviously wasn’t enough for you. Anyhow, give your “stuff” a second life. I’m sure there’s someone out there that would appreciate it. You’ll not only feel liberated, but it will bring you a sense of joy. A great weight will be lifted, you’ll walk a little taller and feel a little bit lighter. So, take some time to tag or toss some stuff. Might I even suggest selling some of the stuff online? It will be a good distraction, and again, you might even learn a new trade or stumble upon a new idea. Don’t ask me how or why, you just have to trust in my words that you’ll find your way. And if you stay productive and positive, it will be that much easier. The internet has come a long way from the days of just eBay and Craigslist. There are so many selling apps nowadays that the options are pretty much up to you, just check your app store for user suggestions. The “selling formats” are all pretty much the same. So, get on your phone and get busy. If you’re scared to sell your stuff online, at least look up the value so you are prepared for your yard sale and you don’t just give the stuff away. Remember, we’re trying to pay for a vacation, apartment, or that new whatever it is that you have your eye on, every dollar counts. You will feel refreshed and prepared for all the new things to come. 78

Go Out & Make Some Friends Forge new relationships. A friend in need is a friend indeed. You’ll have a great support system with existing friends, but let’s expand that a little bit. What if I told you that some of the best days of your life haven’t even happened yet? Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Now, imagine meeting someone in your future that will care more about you than someone from your past. Don’t base your happiness on any one person. Happiness starts with you. I’m telling you to get out there and start to heal. Make new friends, contacts, and acquaintances. There is plenty of room for growth during this Renaissance time. Find a muse, it can even be someone you don’t know personally. Get inspired, utilize people for your growth. See their strengths and differences. Let them inspire you, enlighten you, and even teach you a new way. Maybe they will offer sound advice or a lending ear. Share new experiences, try new things, and eat new food. Join a group, get on an app, and look for activities in your community. Make a running or work out buddy. Perhaps you can even meet someone at the gym in your new Zumba class. Do something of interest that you enjoy and they may appear in the middle of it all. Don’t be narrow-minded. Don’t get trapped in indecision. There is no room for the “hemming and hawing” of things. This is a time of growth and life experience. Look around you, whatever you need is right under your nose. Just be open to it, stay aware and alert. 79

Open up to all the things and people around you. You’ll be surprised by what you turn up with. Again, you’ll be operating on pure faith, but if you throw your heart over the bar, the body will follow. I challenge you right now to go out tomorrow and talk to a random stranger. It doesn’t have to be anyone of interest or a pick-up line. Just ask about the weather or the train schedule. Anything. I want you to start talking to more people and open up a little for me. Advanced Step of Getting Over This is an advanced step and clearly not recommended for the first few stages, it may even be impossible. For some, it takes longer than it would take for others, but I have to quote Wendy Williams, “The best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody!” Sex is certainly not the answer and may even seem unimaginable, but it can help. You’ll build up your confidence and realize that whoever your last was, is not the only person in this world. Too shy to go out by yourself, don’t want to seem too pushy with your friends, or don’t want everyone to know your business? No problem. As with everything else in life these days, there is an app for that. There are so many dating and hook-up apps at your disposal that you’re certain to find one. And it is becoming the new normal, so there is nothing weird about it at all. Honestly, the women I’ve met and “picked-up” organically, the old-fashioned way, are still to be found online. Just remember to be careful and use protection. I’m 80

not saying that it has to be a one-night stand, but if the shoe fits, try it on for size. Hey, it might even materialize into a relationship. Maybe it isn’t even the sex you need, but the companionship. Chances are you could meet someone who is feeling as “lonely” as you are now. Maybe they’re even coming out of a similar experience. You two can bond over cocktails while exchanging oneupper war stories of your past relationships, venting to and benefiting from each other. You’ll see that your love story isn’t the only one in the world. So, manicure downstairs, get a new outfit, rock that new hairstyle, utilize your new look, and the person you’re becoming and get out there! If you accompany life with a little action, the solution will find you. Have fun and be safe! Make a List Okay, you’re not quite there yet? No problem. Let’s begin with our thoughts, as most things do. Take a second and visualize your next victim. (Partner, I mean partner. So kidding!) What do you require of them? How will they look? How will they act? How do you want to be treated? What will they do differently? Do you want a headstrong career type, or a gym rat, perhaps? Call it into the universe. It is also a great way to look back on your ex and see all the things that were wrong with them, and how they weren’t that great in the first place. Look at it in a positive way of knowing exactly what you don’t want. Maybe they had a few good characteristics so let’s not discount them completely. But 81

consider this as a wish list. Declare what you want and let it be known. I made a list of pros and cons, likes and dislikes, when it came to my ex but I even made a wish list of what I wanted out of my new life beyond a partner. I wrote a few items on a small piece of paper and I carry it in my wallet. Every now and again, when I’m on the ferry or the train, I whip it out and read it to myself. I then, take a few minutes, close my eyes, meditate, and visualize on it. Take control of what you want in life and get a little more proactive. Don’t take whatever life gives you! Go out and get it, make it happen. Stop wishing! But before you do, make a blueprint. It will be so rewarding when you look back on it and recall the baby steps you first took when you called it into existence. What About Dating & Relationships Everybody is different. So how soon you date will be something that comes from the gut. Some will go as soon as a few weeks, others will take months and few, NEVER AGAIN. (MWHAHAHA…) Kidding, well at least I hope we’re kidding. A healthy time to date, in terms of our DABDA timetable would obviously be the acceptance phase. Image yourself now dating at any of the earlier steps and it would be grounds for a sitcom episode. Think about what a fun date you would be at the anger or the depression stages. You’d find yourself crying on their shoulder, blowing your nose into what was a freshly starched, but now tearsoaked, restaurant hankie. 82

I certainly wouldn’t advise just jumping into another relationship too soon either. You may not be ready physically or emotionally. The other person will only suffer or get cheated because you’re not being your true self. It’ll take a while to heal properly, so don’t force it. A rebound will be just that. It all depends on what you seek. Whatever you choose, please stay on course. But let’s get back on topic. So, you met someone, or you were set up with someone, whatever. Now what?! I’ll tell you what. You need to clean up, groom up, pull out your most confident outfit, accentuate your strengths and go be your amazing, natural self! Get appealing, gain your confidence, and get out there and do it right! Nothing is more attractive than a smile and confidence. This is the perfect time to take advantage of all the work that you put in. You could have been working out, reading, writing, have many new topics to share, purchased a new scent, got a new haircut, or any of the other things we spoke about. All those little things add up to big changes. Go introduce your new self to the world. Say, “Hello!” You might date a lot, you might date a little, but get out and date. It might even come and go with the frequency depending on how interested you are or your #mood. Again, please take your time getting there, but if it has been so long that someone even suggested it to you. Please get up and force yourself to date! There will be many different types of dates. There will be the— 82

What am I doing? You ARE NOT the same person in that profile picture. Get me out of here. Is this a date or an interrogation? Is this really the dating pool? #fml I don’t want to date; I just want to rip your clothes off. That was fun, maybe I’ll see them again. They’re cute for right now, maybe I’ll give this one a shot. Or even the pleasant surprise—I can see myself casually dating this person. I hope that you do find your next relationship through this process. Don’t allow these options to be so black and white. I’m just giving you examples of what to expect. Have some fun with it. Gather some tales to share with your sewing circle over cocktails. Learn to enjoy the dating process and take it slow. But don’t get addicted and become a serial dater, where you start dating with a grocery list of requests in mind. Do not feel obligated to rush into anything right away. If you do, you can find yourself smack dab in the middle of the notorious rebound relationship. And that will not end well either. You could end up pushing someone away who is perfect for you. Or you can have the heartache of dealing with another mini breakup in conjunction with healing from your last. So, take it slow. There is no room for 83

excess baggage on this trip. The person that is right for you will show up when you’re not looking. Where Can I Meet This Person? This is where I have to disagree with Ed Sheeran. At the bar might be where “he go,” but not where you go! I would advise being a little more open-minded then just a bar or local watering hole. It’s okay for some, maybe even a rebound or a fling thing, but I would think long and hard about what a bar will offer when it comes to terms of a relationship. It isn’t the greatest atmosphere to meet someone. Sharing stories over a few rounds, with a mixture of alcohol, chances are you’re meeting an inhibited person, who is only a shell of their true self. Or what I like to call an introduction to “their representative.” And if you do happen to meet someone at a bar, be sure to meet them sober next time so you can get to know more about the real them. It is becoming the new normal to NOT have to just meet someone in a bar. It was most likely the first place that you thought of, but you want more right? “Dry bars” are popping up more and more. It is certainly refreshing for a change and I’m not just talking about the coldpressed juice that is served. It’s a great source of good ole social fun with none of the hangover, making it great for singling mingling on a work/school night. I permit you to have as many mocktails as your heart desires. 84

But if drinks aren’t for you and fitness is more your speed, consider someone from the gym. If you decided to get fit, all the better. And you could possibly get a two for one deal. You get a new body, why not a new partner? Perhaps you two will even share some workouts, diet regiment or have fitness as a common bond. Have your eye on or fancy someone? Approach them. Maybe try the local coffee shop or diner counter. Take the initiative to go and be by yourself. You never know who might show up. It can also be as simple as sitting on your couch in your sweats. We have come a long way from poking and sliding into DMs and sadly those options are only a few years old. Modern-day society has us seeking instant gratification more than ever, and dating is certainly no different. All you’ll need is a cellphone and a few good pictures of yourself. (Call a good friend and have a photoshoot if you don’t have any. Walk around town, hit up a few different photo-friendly venues, maybe bring a change of shirt, jacket, or accessory to change it up a bit.) There are endless amounts of dating websites and apps made available to you. Open an account, and swipe away. At the least, it will be a confidence booster. At worst you make a pen pal. Some will be fun to admire, others will make you laugh, and the few will be plain rude. But hey at least you threw your hat in the ring. There are other great places to meet someone such as sightseeing, bookstores, coffee shops, museums, ballgames, concerts, parties, restaurants, supermarkets, 85

farmers markets, street fairs, parks, houses of worship, classes, and even work. Not the best place to kindle a romance, but crazier things have happened. Just get out there, hang out wherever there’s people, as I’m sure you can think of one right now off the top of your head. A better suggestion may be a place of substance, during an activity that you enjoy. Visit a popular destination spot, learn your city, and throw a line into the water. If you throw your line in the water often enough, you’re bound to catch a fish. You must be open to meeting someone. You cannot stay closed off to the world because you aren’t going to meet anyone like that. Ever dine alone? Perhaps it is time you get dressed up and take yourself out to eat! You can end up meeting someone there, or maybe the host or bartender will play matchmaker. Again, the point is to get out there and expose yourself to new and/or unusual situations.


You Have All to Gain and Nothing to Lose If You Don’t Look After Yourself, Then Who Will? Keep your guard up, but your chin higher. During the beginning stages of my breakup, I was reading Sun Tzu. Yes, The Art of War. But when the love is over, is it time for war? I haven’t suggested it before, but this is a great time to take a break from social media. Take this time not only to regroup and collect yourself, but I want you to beware what you share. If your ex is out for blood, they could be tracking you and collecting every detail. So do NOT feed them any additional ammunition. Block or unfriend them or any spies immediately. Document everything and prepare to build your case. You do not want to get blindsided. Yes, I may sound a bit extreme, but wouldn’t you rather be prepared than not? At this point, it is you or them. And your emotions might get the best of you, to the point that you cannot even think straight. So, I hope that I can help you work through that. It might be too late, but if it isn’t you should follow these instructions and prepare for war. So, what do I mean? Simply, protect yourself! (Again, lawyer up if it’s serious.) If you don’t live with your ex, then this step will be a little easier. I must admit it will get sticky when it comes to splitting bank accounts, selling a home, or anything of monetary value. There are things to be gathered and collected. Don’t be vicious about it. Besides finances, there are important items such 88

as credit cards, passports, animal paperwork, deeds, titles, bonds, computers, televisions, clothes, shoes, jewelry, pocketbooks, electronics, pots, pans, miscellaneous and the like. Also, be sure to collect your things with dignity and class. Whatever is of monetary value or significant importance should be placed in a safe. Just take what is yours or rightfully belongs to you. You could be mean and hide their passport, take designer goods such as purses, jewels, and other things you bought them, but those were gifts and that’s bad karma. I personally wasn’t concerned with any of that. Let them keep the parting gifts! Don’t hide, break or throw anything out either out of vengeance or spite. It is important to leave with the same class and dignity as you came in with. Now if you don’t live together, there may come a day when you exchange belongings. The day where you exchange boxes. That could be difficult emotionally, so if you’re not feeling up to it, send a family member, or go with someone you trust by your side. This will also help you from sleeping with them—I would even suggest sending all their stuff back to them in a box and leave it with the post office to deliver. Just seeing them again can kick up old feelings, and things could get dicey. Do not agree to meet for dinner or go for drinks at night. Definitely not drinks. Definitely not at night. And again, definitely not drinks at night!! This will only set the mood, lower inhibitions, and potentially lure you straight to a regretful decision, such as sleeping with them. Now 89

you’ve opened Pandora’s box filled with emotion. (That sounds like fun!) When I say look after yourself, it goes beyond material things. Your body really is your home, because wherever you go, you’re always at home with yourself. So, you must protect your feelings and emotions. Guard and protect yourself, this person, for whatever reason, doesn’t care about you as they once did so if you don’t look after yourself, then who will? But if it’s not too late and you’re still in the middle of the “end of days” make a list and take inventory of anything that is important or has any value to you. It can go beyond televisions and jewelry. It could be books or the collection of buttons you’ve been saving for years. But do not say that you don’t care because you may regret it later. Heck, as we said earlier take it and sell it for a better version. Ultimately you would like to upgrade your partner, so why not use the old to purchase the new? I bought all new clothes and things with the money from the old stuff sold online and at my yard sale. So, take an inventory of anything important to you and go get what is rightfully yours. If you don’t, then they will keep or toss it. If it is their stuff that you have—even if they say that they don’t care, you can have it—insist that they come and get it! But again, if they don’t want it for whatever reason, have a yard sale or sell whatever it is online and use that money to fund your new life. (Just get it in writing. Document everything when the gloves come off.) And again, please don’t say that you don’t care. You might feel 90

like that now, but you won’t later, and you don’t want to regret it. Don’t be foolish and make hasty decisions. Just remember that you’re leaving this situation with class and dignity. Make them look and feel foolish. They will have to live with it for the rest of their lives, whereas you’ll be able to live in peace. Again, this whole process is about moving on and learning to live in peace. Do Something Different Some people are afraid of change. The brain is preprogrammed to not like change because it is almost considered to be a threat. Change is uncertain. You must get outside of yourself and push through your comfort zones. Again, this is all about breaking through your comfort zones. Shake it up and make changes that will last the rest of your life. Whatever you’re doing, try the opposite. Tomorrow morning put the opposite shoe on first, walk on the opposite side of the street. Having tuna salad? Not today, guess what it’s egg or chicken. Mix it up, change your patterns, change your trajectory and change your life. Do things that you normally wouldn’t or are just downright scared to. Courage comes after the fear. People say, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I’ve applied these words numerous times in my life—they are a great tool, even when not coming out of a breakup. Perhaps you’ll pick-up a new habit, trade, 91

talent, or simply broaden your horizons and expand your thinking. But if you’re coming out of a breakup, it’s a great way to meet someone new. So how do you go about doing such? Put yourself out there and expose yourself to different things. See the world even if it is your local neighborhood or the next town over. I have the blessing of living in New York City, with so much at my fingertips: sitting in the center of Times Square, looking up at the New Year’s Eve ball, people watching for hours in Central Park. I just sit there—no phone, no music, nothing. I appreciate the chaos of cars, people, selfie clicks, illuminated billboards, solicitors, and languages of the world. But the options are endless no matter wherever you live. It’s your life, have fun with it, be spontaneous and unpredictable. It doesn’t have to make sense or have any rhyme or reason. Less thinking and more doing. Those basic, comfortable routines are where you will go stale, stunt your growth, and dull your sparkle. How can you find such activities? Well, that is the easy part, probably too easily at times. For starters, open the door and just leave without any destination in mind. Long are the days where you could only find a group meeting scouring the paper or on a local grocery store corkboard. But, technically you still can; there are still plenty of conventional ways that will work great. It is through friends, family, soft acquaintances, groups, gatherings, gym classes, school, 92

universities, houses of worship, local leagues, and papers. But there is nothing like word of mouth. I’m sure you’ve heard of something happening near you if you’d like to keep it local. There’s also plenty at your fingertips, as there is an app for just about anything these days. There are countless group meet up and dating/friend apps. These apps allow you to do something different or do something that you love with people who share a common interest. You can narrow searches down to interests or just make a selection using the location tab. And the options that will turn up will be bountiful, filled with opportunity. You can show up alone or have a friend tag along for support. You can bond over this experience together. (How blessed you are to now have this chance and do these things that you wouldn’t have otherwise.) Another helpful “do something different” trick that I learned to flip my mindset and be spontaneous was to book a hotel room. Some days the hotel would be a few blocks from my home or close to the local airport. There’s a special feeling about being in a hotel room, laying on the bed, ordering room service, watching a movie. Yes, I may only be a few short blocks from my apartment, but not mentally. In my mind, I was Macaulay Culkin lost in New York all by himself. I enjoyed staring out the window watching all the planes take off, envisioning my next vacation, or playing a game with myself “where was that plane headed.” It allowed me to clear my head, find some clarity and peace and just chill. Play pretend or as I would 93

call it “play-cation.” Take it to another level, go have a drink at the hotel bar and mingle. Be silly or play a game with yourself. Be an out of town stewardess or pilot only in town for the night. Have fun. If you keep doing the same things, how can you expect anything different? The “To-Do” List After a Breakup Recap Embrace the five phases of DABDA. You cannot speed them up and you certainly cannot skip a step. It is okay to feel the way you do. Embrace each stage with awareness. It is okay to cry, it is okay to stay in bed and sleep all day, but do not make it a nice little cozy, permanent place. Get to a mirror and look yourself in the eye. (And maybe get in the shower while you’re at it because you haven’t taken one in three days. Kidding, or hope I’m kidding.) Anyway, tell yourself how amazing, strong, and wonderful you are. You will get through this but take your time and work through each emotional phase with mental awareness. Stop seeking them on social media or through a third party. Go to all your social media sites and mute, block or unfriend. Stop expecting them to call. As a matter of fact, I would like you to set a timer on your phone for when you would receive a phone call. Only in the subject line, I want you to enter something funny or something to make 94

you laugh. I’m sure they weren’t perfect, so exaggerate that. i.e., “CALL from little hands” or “the man with more hair on his chest than his head… (and he has a small penis).” You get the point. Have fun and make yourself smile not cry. Do not think they’ll change or you can change them or that anything is going to be different. Keep good vibes and people around you. Couch surf and crash with whoever will let you have a sleepover. Or get some to stay with you. Build up your vibration. Get away from failure. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. This does not make you a failure at anything. You’ll love again. You aren’t broken. Learn to not give a shit. Examine some of the other relationships in your life. Demand more from your life and what is required in your next relationship. Don’t become a cliché. Find some new songs and make a playlist. It is a healthy distraction and it has uses across the board. Start to workout. Do yoga, join a class, break a sweat, go for a walk. Drink more water and get more sleep. Chances are you’ve been doing your fair share of crying recently, so you’re probably a little dehydrated. Do not neglect your water intake. You can even set a timer on your phone to drink a glass every hour. Find a new hobby, trade, or consider a class. Enroll in something that will enrich your life and enable you to grow. Discover a new talent or build on an existing one. Please get some kind of reading material. You can 95

download something on one of the many reading devices or tablets, but I would like you to head out to your local bookstore. It is a great way to get out for a bit, mingle, be around people. Get a coffee or a tea and browse around a section of interest. Don’t feel like reading a book, pick up a magazine. I’ll even take a tabloid at this point, just please get into that ritual of reading every day. Get yourself a mantra and a few positive affirmations. Retrain your brain. Take back control of your mind, work the grounding exercise. Build up your confidence. Touch up your resume. Work on your LinkedIn account. Look back at what an amazing and accomplished person you are. Do not give this person more credit than they deserve. They did not make you. You were fine before them, and you’re going to be fine after them. After doing something to build up your confidence, I want you to do something silly. Jump in the pool with your clothes on, hang out with kids, start memorizing jokes. Seek balance, this situation is not that serious. Get ready to laugh again. And you will. One day something will be so funny that you’ll have to laugh. There will be no holding it in if something is really funny. Identify your triggers. Places, songs, shows, movies, clothes, pictures, anything that reminds you of them needs to be handled. Have a purge party or box it up and give it to a friend. Give yourself something to look forward to. Plan a trip. A day trip in the next town over is just fine. Book 96

a hotel room by the airport. Watch a movie, order room service. Get out of that space but more importantly out of that mindset. Volunteer your time. Pay it forward and help someone you know. Or help someone you don’t, find a youth group, elderly, animal shelter. Treat yourself. What do you enjoy? Go for a manicure, take a bath, relax, and decompress, no matter how small. You deserve it. Consider finding a show. This is not to become a habit or a regular thing. Find a new show or documentary that is trigger free. Call your friends and rerelease yourself back into the wild. Get up and get out there, let the world know you’re open for business. The couch, remote, cellphone and pajamas will be waiting for you I promise. Learn to stay in the moment, flirt and have fun. Get a journal. Get out of your head. Draw, create, express yourself, get inspired. Get the juices flowing. Journaling is a great tool to relieve stress while bringing you clarity and reflection. And a few months later you can look back and see the progress you’ve made. Vision board and collage. Utilize powerful images and words. Obsess about the good stuff. Visualize this new life and watch it happen. It’s amazing. If you can move… MOVE! But if not, may I suggest some spring cleaning? Organize, simplify, and declutter your life. Clean, dust, and get a fresh gallon of paint. If you do not have your own place, work on your space or your bedroom. It’s a great way to stay mindlessly 97

focused, put a little elbow grease into it and work towards your new life. Advanced Step Alert—get over that certain someone by getting under someone new. When you’re ready, I want you to get back out there and have some fun. Some good ole safe sex. Use protection, but simply put… go get laid. Because let’s face it sex is fun! (but before you do, run through the DABDA phases and make sure you’re ready.) Call a friend over to touch up your “dating” resume. Get a bottle of wine, a few good pictures and set up a dating profile. If you were looking for a job, you would be sure that your resume is good and ready. Getting a date should be no different. Recruit some help and get your date on! Make a list of pros and cons. What did you like and not like about your ex? Write them a letter and let them know what you really think about them and their parents. What do you want from your next partner? What is important to you? Make a list and call it into the universe. If you keep attracting the same kind of shitty relationship perhaps it is time to demand more of them and for you. Stop glorifying this relationship. A broken, tainted, fruitless relationship. It ended because it was meant to end. Forgive and forget. Move on and get over it. The best revenge is to live well. You need to just get over it. Let it go. What are you holding onto? There is no magic recipe. This is the key to it all. Replace thoughts, 98

moments, and anything that is holding you back. How bad do you want to change? Do something different. Challenge yourself. Find something I didn’t mention. What works for you? Let’s share and help each other. Drop a DM, contact me, please share and tag your thoughts with the group.

Keep Going & Growing! We just ran through a whole bunch of different activities and emotions, please feel free to use them as you see fit. This really is not a step-by-step program, but rather designed to open your eyes, mind, and heart. Again, please feel free to tailor make this outline to suit your needs because we’re all different. You may not even be emotionally available and ready to let someone in at the current time and that is okay too. Take it at your pace and do not force anything. Because if you do, it will start fast and end even faster. If you don’t act with the best of intentions, you’ll get bit in the ass one way or another. I know that initially, it will all seem too overwhelming. Just please trust me that it will get better and easier over time. Take it one step, at a time, one day at a time. One thing you cannot do is speed up is time. No matter what step or phase you find yourself in, just know that you are a work in progress. Here I sit, almost a year and a half later, and I’m still working on myself. Of course, I have a bad day here and there, but the bad days become less and less frequent. I’m well over my last relationship, but I sometimes struggle with the new self, in the new life. I’m guilty of forcing things that will only take time and what do you think happens? Not much movement at all because it isn’t natural. I just say yes to everything that was offered or presented before me. I’ve done and seen a lot in the past year or two, and probably even forgot a few. But I just 100

keep going, and I keep saying yes, only with the best of intentions for myself. When I look back and reflect on all that I did, I even wow myself. Because let me reassure you, that you’re not the first person to have gone through this, and you won’t be last. It won’t be long before a family member or friend will be going through a similar situation and they look to you for advice. And then, when you’re standing on the other side, looking back at them, the light bulb will go off. You’ll impress yourself when you hear yourself talk, offering your own pearls of wisdom. You’ll be saying something like; “Hey I know it’s not easy, but it’s not the end of the world and time will heal all wounds.” Look at me, I’m walking, talking proof and I feel great about it! Congratulations. Side Note: I don’t want to sound cynical or heartless, so let me just throw out the far-out chance that you and your ex, stay or get back together. I can confidently sit here and write over a year and change later and say this is not the case for me. Not now, not ever. They say, “never say never,” but I just did. Let’s just say that you guys decide to give it a shot. Okay, fantastic. But did anything that I wrote ring true? At the minimum, I would like you to walk away with waking up. Of course, I wish you all the love and happiness in the world. But please, don’t go back to sleeping on your life. Try new 101

things, get back on course, and get back to you. Do not fall into the old comforting habits that you’re used to. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” —Albert Einstein Perhaps you can get your ex to try and do all the things that you wanted to. Maybe you get back to the early stages of new love. But don’t fall back into the same place you were. What will change? How will it be different? Don’t just settle for words and empty promises. Command action. You’re retraining your brain. Reshaping your life. Let them know that they’re welcome back on the train, but you’re going places. By the time you should even consider getting back together, you should have had ample time to work on your new self. You like the way it feels, don’t you? Yeah, I KNOW IT ROCKS! But before you consider even the thought of sitting with them and talking about why you should get back, be brave enough to speak about all the reasons why you broke up in the first place. Everything is on the table. It’s now or never. Whatever issues that you had individually or together must be spoken about or this relationship is going nowhere but a bunch of hot make up sex and wasted time. When considering all your options, be true to yourself. Just don’t get back with them because they have an irresistible crying face and you’re feeling a little horny. 102

Don’t be shortsighted! Think about what is important to you and be a little selfish. You want a better life, right? Then how are you going to get there? This will only come with change. So be unwavering on a few things and stick to your guns. Again, I only wish the very best for you and I know that behind closed doors, every relationship is different. So, if it does work out and you’re happy in your new life with them, congratulations. I hope you’re truly happy. But if not… Thumb Through This Book Again. Rinse & Repeat!


Bonus Material Routines Here’s a sample of my morning and nightly rituals that I feel keep me focused. Morning Routine: • Breakfast & coffee (well because, first, coffee…). • Read (read headlines of the day and what national day it is. I’ve been obsessed with all the national days America has. I swear it is just an excuse to buy or consume that product for the day. Side Note: I’d like to nominate a national day along with my readers so please send me your requests for national days and let’s get the party started. Besides that, I normally like to read 20–30 minutes of literature from my book of the month). • Write (I will journal about the potential of the day or jot down random thoughts or feelings, in addition to touching up my “to-do” list). • Meditate (20–30 minutes of guided meditation). • Workout (30 minutes light workout, run, swim, calisthenics). • Podcast (if I’m running, a daily podcast or micro series). • Shower (“cleanliness is next to godliness”). • Get dressed (#swag). • Start my day (what is the top priority on my to-do list and work my way down). 104

Nightly Routine: • Clean & tidy up my workspace/home. • Disconnect from the world and my phone at about 10:00 (all texts and correspondence can wait. It’s me time). • Make lemon water & honey or a hot cup of tea. • Burn some sacred wood &/or sage (in the bathroom or bedroom before I read). • Prepare a warm bath with lavender oil, Epsom salt, & bubble bath (maybe light a candle, maybe not). • Any grooming, trimming, shaving, brushing, moisturizing that needs to be done, the order depends on the task. • Journal—reflect on the highs and lows of the day. What worked and didn’t work. “To-do” list (What are tomorrow’s priorities?) • Meditate—the evening task is more of a multi- task. Not exactly sure if that’s very “zen-like” but it works for me, so please again, do what works for you. I submerge my whole body under the water with just my nose and lips breaching the surface, allowing me to stay under and meditate for a few minutes. I find this extremely relaxing and look forward to this very moment throughout the day. To me, it is the milestone of the day letting me know I survived another one and all things shall pass. 105

• Comfy clothes—lastly, I put on a soft t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants, and I’m ready for bed. • Pick out clothes—if I have an important day the next day, I sometimes lay out my clothes to save time and I enjoy getting dressed. • Read—sometimes I do this in bed (sometimes in the bath) because it helps me fall asleep faster. I try to limit my screen time at night, especially in bed. I want my body to know that it is time to wind down and relax. Not to remain so stimulated. Making a Playlist This list of songs will get you started, and keep you occupied. This is not a “top 100” countdown by any means, mainly because there are isn’t 100. You could be saying to yourself, “144 songs, that makes no sense.” But your breakup might not make sense, and sometimes life doesn’t make sense. That’s when you have to act and find your way as you go. So here they are in no order, and of course I could clearly list more than 144 breakup songs but do a little homework and find a few I didn’t mention. Discover a song that speaks to your story. Please be sure to tag and share your selection with the rest of the class. The songs provided below should cover any mood or breakup situation out there. Find a few that grab you and add them to the soundtrack of your life. 1. Irreplaceable—Beyoncé 2. Someone Like You—Adele 3. Fuck You—Cee Lo Green 106

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

Sorry—Justin Bieber I Will Survive—Gloria Gaynor Ex-Factor—Ms. Lauryn Hill Bad Blood—Taylor Swift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together— Taylor Swift I Knew You Were Trouble.—Taylor Swift Ex’s & Oh’s—Elle King Don’t Speak—No Doubt It’s Not Right But It’s Okay— Whitney Houston Somebody That I Used To Know—Gotye Cry Me a River—Justin Timberlake What Goes Around—Justin Timberlake Heartless—Kanye West I Want You Back—The Jackson 5 Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)— Phil Collins After The Love is Gone—Earth, Wind & Fire Carry On—fun. Don’t Wanna Fall in Love—Jane Child Bulletproof—La Roux Should’ve Been Us—Tori Kelly Ghost—Ella Henderson You Oughta Know—Alanis Morissette Nothing Compares to You—Sinead O’Connor Roses—OutKast The Scientist—Coldplay Part Of Me—Katy Perry 107

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57.

Love The Way You Lie—Eminem ft. Rihanna It Must Have Been Love—Roxette Maggie May—Rod Stewart Burn—Usher Alone Again (Naturally)—Gilbert O’Sullivan You’re so Vain—Carly Simon Here I Go Again—Whitesnake I Will Always Love You—Whitney Houston Apologize—Timbaland ft. OneRepublic Rolling in the Deep—Adele Hello—Adele Send My Love (To Your New Lover)—Adele Chasing Pavements—Adele Every Breath You Take—Police Friends—Justin Bieber & BloodPop® I’m Not In Love—10CC Believe—Cher Goodbye—Who Is Fancy Need You Now—Lady Antebellum Careless Whisper—Wham! Total Eclipse of the Heart—Bonnie Tyler Happier—Ed Sheeran The Sign—Ace of Base End of the Road—Boyz II Men We Belong Together—Mariah Carey Un-Break My Heart—Toni Braxton He Wasn’t Man Enough—Toni Braxton Breathe Again—Toni Braxton 108

58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right— Bob Dylan Stitches—Shawn Mendes Back to Black—Amy Winehouse Let Her Go—Passenger Stay With Me—Sam Smith New York—St. Vincent Happier—Ed Sheeran Fix You—Coldplay What About Us—P!nk Hope—The Chainsmokers ft. Winona Oak Single Ladies—Beyoncè Green Light—Lorde New Rules—Dua Lipa IDGAF—Dua Lipa Survivor—Destiny’s Child Angie—The Rolling Stones Train in Vain—The Clash Just a Friend—Biz Markie So What—P!nk So Sick—Ne-Yo If You Leave Me Now—Chicago Go Your Own Way—Fleetwood Mac Don’t Leave Me This Way—Thelma Houston Love Stinks—The J. Geils Band All of Me—John Legend Say Something—A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera 109

84. These Boots Made For Walkin’— Nancy Sinatra 85. Walk On By—Dionne Warwick 86. thank u, next—Ariana Grande 87. Call Out My Name—The Weeknd 88. Grenade—Bruno Mars 89. Killing Me Softly with His Song— Roberta Flack 90. Doo Wop (That Thing)—Ms. Lauryn Hill 91. I Fall Apart—Post Malone 92. The Breakup Song—The Greg Kihn Band 93. Before He Cheats—Carrie Underwood 94. Don’t Leave Me—Blackstreet 95. Heard It All Before—Sunshine Anderson 96. My Happy Ending—Avril Lavigne 97. Stay—Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko 98. In My Feelings—Drake 99. Again—Janet Jackson 100. With or Without You—U2 101. Wrecking Ball—Miley Cyrus 102. Dancing on My Own—Robyn 103. Torn—Natalie Imbruglia 104. I’m Not The Only One—Sam Smith 105. Marvin’s Room—Drake 106. Gives You Hell—The All-American Rejects 107. Thinkin Bout You—Frank Ocean 108. Easy—The Commodores 109. Breakup with your girlfriend— Ariana Grande 110

110. Dog Days Are Over— Florence + The Machine 111. Since U Been Gone—Kelly Clarkson 112. Don’t—Ed Sheeran 113. Without You—Mariah Carey 114. Wake Me Up—Avicii 115. Blow Me (One Last Kiss)—P!nk 116. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)— Green Day 117. Story of My Life—One Direction 118. Best of You—Foo Fighters 119. Pictures of You—The Cure 120. Ridin’ Solo—Jason Derulo 121. Wish I Didn’t Miss You—Angie Stone 122. I’m Still Standing—Elton John 123. Smile—Lily Allen 124. Tainted Love—Soft Cell 125. Bye Bye—*NSYNC 126. No Air—Jordan Sparks ft. Chris Brown 127. We Don’t Talk Anymore—Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez 128. Fighter—Christina Aguilera 129. Goodbye to You—Michelle Branch 130. Love Hurts—Nazareth 131. Million Reasons—Lady Gaga 132. The One That Got Away—Katy Perry 133. Elastic Heart—Sia 134. Company—Drake 111

135. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)— Kelly Clarkson 136. Song for the Dumped—Ben Folds Five 137. Big Girls Don’t Cry—Fergie 138. Take a Bow—Madonna 139. She Will Be Loved—Maroon 5 140. Harder to Breathe—Maroon 5 141. Ain’t No Sunshine—Bill Withers 142. Truth Hurts–Lizzo 143. 100 Bad Days–AJR 144. Sunflower–Post Malone & Swae Lee Need a Snack? Here Are Two Great Breakup Treats. Enjoy! Homemade Breakup Brittle A quick and easy recipe that not only makes a great gift but is decadent, delicious, and guaranteed to soon be a family favorite. This stuff is strangely addicting, so you’ve been warned. Ingredients: 1 sleeve of salted Saltine Crackers 1 cup of small pretzels (optional for an extra layer of salty, crunchy thickness) 1 cup salted butter 1 cup light brown sugar 1 cup milk chocolate chips 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ½ cup finely chopped pecans Sometimes I mix the semi-sweet chocolate chips with peanut butter chips to make a chocolate/peanut butter 112

brittle. Also delicious if you should care to give it go. Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. 3. Lay crackers evenly over foil, salted side up (and pretzels if you desire). 4. In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in the brown sugar, mixing evenly over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Once it’s mixed well, let it simmer for 2–3 more minutes. Be careful of the overflow. If it bubbles, turn down the flame and mix some more. 5. Remove from the heat and pour the caramel mixture evenly over the crackers (and pretzels). 6. Place in the oven for five minutes. Please be careful when removing from the oven as I’ve gotten burnt before. The caramel feels like liquid hot magma. Kinda what your heart feels like right now, I’m sure. (Kidding.) Don’t worry, you should know I’ve got your back by now. This has the antidote to a broken heart. Sugar & Love. 7. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Put the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds. (Same goes for the peanut butter chips if you should decide to make the mixed version.) 113


Use spatula or cake knife to spread the melted chocolate evenly. 9. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Cover with aluminum foil so that the foil doesn’t rest on the chocolate layer. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. 10. Break into pieces. 11. Share & enjoy. Or just enjoy and skip the sharing. Holy Ex-amole Who doesn’t love guacamole? It might be one of the easiest things on earth to prepare. Don’t be intimidated, it’s one step above a grilled cheese. This guacamole recipe is not only one of my favorite snacks to eat, but it’s another party favorite as well. It is so incredibly simple and ready to eat in 10 minutes. You can adjust the recipe to serve your pallet. For example, if you’d like a tangier guacamole, a few additional squeezes from the fresh lime should take care of that. If you like it spicy or would like to turn up the heat, add a jalapeno pepper or dash of hot sauce. Or if you’d like a fresher/herbier guac add a little extra cilantro. Now, the cilantro might not be for you. So, if you find yourself in the 14% of the population that doesn’t like it, please feel free to omit it completely. Cumin is actually one of my favorite ingredients to add but it’s not for everyone, so try it out first. Onions are also another matter of preference. Red onions are a bit milder yet a little meatier in texture. I tend to use a white or yellow onion 114

when making my guacamole for a more pungent taste but learn to play with the flavors and tweak the recipe to suit you. Ingredients: 3 ripe avocados (lightly squeeze the ends for a firm yet soft texture) ½ medium onion, finely diced 2 Roma tomatoes, diced 4–5 tbsp of cilantro (a good handful) 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced (optional) 1 lime, juiced 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp cumin (I use a tablespoon but make sure you like Cumin first) Instructions: 1. De-seed and cut up the avocados. 2. Add sliced and diced ingredients. 3. Combine in a large bowl. 4. Smash and mix. 5. Enjoy immediately, but best when chilled for an hour. But this recipe is so good that the batch is gone in an hour. (Don’t judge me!) Popular Breakup Movies So, whose name is the Netflix account in? If it’s you, this is a friendly reminder to change all your passwords immediately across the board. But if it’s they who holds the key to the mighty Oz of streaming, we all 115

call Netflix, enjoy it while you can. Or just pony up the $10 bucks so you don’t even have to read their name or allow them to see what you’re watching. (In which case they’ll log you out anyway.) One of my favorite go-to shows—that went hand and hand with my transformation—was Queer Eye. They embodied every aspect of life I was addressing and I respect each one of them for their talents and strengths. Thanks, you guys! P.S. Queens if you’ll have me, sign me up! It would be an honor and a privilege to have the Fab 5 sprinkle their magic all over my life. Work bitch! Anyway, back to business. If you’re looking to Netflix & chill with yourself, here is a brief list of classic breakup movies. 1. The Break-Up 2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall 3. Sex and the City 4. High Fidelity 5. 500 Days of Summer 6. Swingers 7. Bridget Jones’s Diary 8. It’s a Wonderful Life 9. Yes Man 10. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 11. Legally Blonde 12. Sweet Home Alabama 13. Fatal Attraction 14. Sliding Doors 15. Silver Linings Playbook 116

16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44.

Can’t Buy Me Love The Sweetest Thing He’s Just Not That Into You Perks of Being a Wallflower My Girl The Notebook Titanic The Wedding Singer How to Be Single Crazy, Stupid, Love. Great Expectations Kramer vs. Kramer The War of the Roses How Stella Got Her Groove Back Up John Tucker Must Die Forrest Gump Under the Tuscan Sun The Holiday 10 Things I Hate About You Vanilla Sky La Land Runaway Bride She-Devil When Harry Met Sally Sleepless in Seattle You’ve Got Mail 13 Going on 30 Fried Green Tomatoes 117

45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73.

Bridesmaids Dirty Dancing The Hangover Old School The Other Woman Hitch Thelma & Louise It’s Complicated Something’s Gotta Give Eat Pray Love Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist Lola Versus Down to You Beaches—water work alert Brooklyn My Super Ex-Girlfriend Girls Trip Four Weddings and a Funeral Chasing Amy My Best Friend’s Wedding Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The First Wives Club Blue Valentine Heathers Love Actually Intolerable Cruelty Begin Again Miss Congeniality The Ugly Truth 118

74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.

Celeste & Jesse Forever Frozen—any animation movie really Hall Pass The Heartbreak Kid Jerry Maguire Pretty Woman The Princess Bride Failure to Launch Chocolat Fight Club Kill Bill: Vol. I Juno Me Before You Friends with Benefits While You Were sleeping The Story of Us Jungle Fever 50 First Dates Closer The Vow Love Me If You Dare The Time Traveler’s Wife Walk of Shame The Proposal Meet the Parents A Perfect Murder Unfaithful


Additional Resources

Books - Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways To Keep The Little Things From Taking Over Your Life—Richard Carlson - The Power of Positive Thinking—Norman Vincent Peale - The Alchemist—Paulo Coelho - The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your— Deepak Chopra - The Magic of Thinking Big—David J. Schwartz PhD - See You at The Top—Zig Ziegler - The Seat of the Soul—Gary Zukav - The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment—Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose—Eckhart Tolle - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change— Stephen R. Covey - Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life—Shakti Gawain - How to Own Your Mind—Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich—Napoleon Hill


- The Definitive Book of Body Language: The Hidden Meaning Behind People’s Gestures and Expressions—Allan & Barbara Pease - Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!—Tony Robbins - One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way—Robert Maurer, Ph.D. - The Art of War—Sun Tzu - The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman—Timothy Ferriss - The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich— Timothy Ferriss - Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers—Tim Ferriss - How Successful People Grow: 15 Ways to Get Ahead in Life—John C. Maxwell - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life—Mark Manson - The 48 Laws of Power—Robert Greene - The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)— Don Miguel Ruiz - UnFu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life—Gary John Bishop 121

- The Buddha’s Way of Happiness: Healing Sorrow, Transforming Negative Emotion, and Finding Well-Being in the Present Moment—Thomas Bien Apps to Meet People Tinder—hook-up site, with moderate relationship potential. Bumble—higher relationship potential. OkCupid—moderate relationship potential. POF—less to moderate relationship potential. The League—pay to play app, fellas. Pony up. happn—it could? Match—also a pay to play with a higher chance of a relationship. Coffee Meets Bagel—I never liked my matches, TBH. 1 match a day. Hinge—no success for me, but that doesn’t you can’t find it. Zoosk—again, no luck but the app was fairly new at the time. Foursquare—nothing like meeting in person. Facebook—it’s not what you know, but who you know. Instagram—slide into that DM. LinkedIn—more about business, but I had a friend set me up through LinkedIn.


Music Apps Spotify Apple Music Pandora Slacker Radio TIDAL SoundCloud YouTube Music Google Play Music iTunes iHeartRadio Rhapsody Jango Apps to Sell Stuff eBay craigslist letgo Close5 Etsy OfferUp Poshmark


Back Cover. Unsuck Your Breakup is the type of “how-to” handbook we all wished we had while going through a breakup. This book will give you tricks, tips, and pointers to guide you through the emotional rollercoaster and show you how to rise from the ashes of your former relationship—creating a new, better you. Adinolfi writes from the heart, talking to readers like a friend … and like a friend he isn’t afraid to shoot with you straight. This isn’t your mama’s diary and you won’t be handled with kid gloves. So, sit down, settle in, and let’s unsuck your breakup!


“There is something beautiful about having the chance to rewrite the future.� Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et

Š copywright Adinolfi Studios 2019

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Unsuck Your Breakup Final  

Unsuck Your Breakup Final