Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can You Surrender Your Swag for Seven Days?

 Wishing on Stars for Japan.

Tragedy is heart-breaking. It makes you feel helpless, hopeless, sad, confused. frustrated, worried, and scared. Most importantly, it puts your life into perspective. A perspective, which doesn't always last as long as it should. There is the initial epiphany, after the disaster strikes, but can you makes this realization last? When we are not immediately affected, why is it so easy to let go of new-found perspectives?What really matters? Do you effectively put yourself and your priorities into perspective? Do you truly challenge yourself to live the life you desire? I propose to you a seven day challenge of pushing yourself to a new personal limit or giving up something, anything, which you feel you need,which in reality you don't. For example, if you are someone who can't go out in public without makeup -- I challenge you to do this. Men are always telling me that they prefer natural beauty. That they are after a girl who looks good when she wakes up in the morning.  Rapper Drake is always singing hooks like, "just because your simple doesn't mean you lose your appeal"/"sweatpants chillin' with no makeup on/ That's when your the prettiest/ I hope that you don't take it wrong"--is there truth in this? All that shit you put on your face, all that stuff you wear, which you think defines you, gives you style, gives you voice, makes you look good -- really isn't doing or giving you much or is it just apart of your swag? (By the unlikely chance that you are unsure of what the word swag could mean please find a useful definition here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=swag)

Looking good is in the interest of most people, but sometimes it is good to strip yourself of the things you think you need in order to realize that you don't actually need any concrete, physical thing in order to be happy. Life isn't about the trivial, the material or the vain --  but we make it that way. For most, it is so easy to slouch into your comfort zones of fortune and fabulous. To rock out with your hip posses in all black, skinny jeans and lace. Or in some cases, all label everything. It is so much easier to squeal and boast about your upcoming vacation or new pair of boots to your "friends" on facebook/twitter because life is suppose to go on? Yes, but what's the negative in challenging ourselves to give up something we feel we can't? Or pushing ourselves to reach for something we don't think we have the confidence to obtain?

 It doesn't have to be make-up, it could be leaving a cell phone at home, canceling a wax or nail appointment or cutting yourself off from shopping ANYTHING that you use or do to make yourself feel good (anything that would be a considered a privilege to a given lifestyles.) As I know many will not oblige, it simply might be an interesting experiment to test one's securities and see if they can survive with the bare necessities.
 Texting can be a social crutch just like shopping can serve as a form of addiction, and it might be tough to do, but it will be telling in the least. The test will say a lot about you, even if your like, "fuck that, there is no way I am going out without make-up." That's fine, you'll quickly learn that you are highly vain person who doesn't believe in their own natural abilities/beauties/personal qualities :p

The Star Signs and Their Swag:

Aries (March 21-April 19): Your not one to ever project a look that isn't fabulous and flattering. You like to look good, but Aries is ruled by the planet Mars (Mars is the ancient god of war), which is why many Aries are capable of living in the essence of 'survival of the fittest.'Meaning that all they acquire is their natural zest and talents to excel in life. They are not likely to be self-disciplined, they take charge and exert their ability to take control in a crisis. If they use make up, they do so in a tasteful manner. If they buy clothes it usually not as impulsive or productive as others signs, but achieved in a methodical, often calculated manner. Mind you, Aries girl and boy both enjoy having a good time and therefore possess a flare for fashion, vintage shopping, or outfit creating. They may have a thing for costumes or 'out there' attires that others can't pull off with confidence or laughter. Therefore the Aries challenge is to calm down a bit--relax you overly determined ram. Stop with the self pressure and figure out what it feels to breath in the moment. Aries is useless to others if they aren't in a good self position so when making new goals for yourself please focus on how you can change your  personal outlook and approach to life. You won't find joy in controlling others to do what you desire unhappily. Trust that things will work out, even without your ram headed push to pull forward and ahead of everyone in the game. Travel light. Stop trying to plan out the future so much, just let life take you, if you let it take you, it will, and you might end up pleasantly surprised.
Scorpio (October 24-November 21): The Scorpio swag is on the low key, but if portrayed accurately, it is very telling of the mysterious Scorpio ways. The Scorpio will be an individual, even if they are wearing what everyone else is. Though they pull off the sexy card perfectly, often without much effort,  all water sign have a tendencies to be caught in the mirror (water is far more mutable element, and weaker in fighting nature, water signs tend to be hard on themself.) For Scorpio the challenge should be of an emotional nature. Saying everything she/he wants to say. You realize seven thousand people don't know they ticked you off  or that you are still mad at them because you never said anything? Time to make resolutions, Scorpio!The challenge can also be met by taking the time to let someone in a bit closer without certain restrictions, which prevent relationships from taking flight in the way that they should. Scorpio, as often as you've read it, expresses insane amounts of trust issues, which is why they often move so slowly with their partners or why they contemplate the future in a negative lenses. They just "don't know" but they want to know, and allowing themself to deal with what's on their minds, without the fear, without the hold back could really prove to be prosperous. For scandalous Scorpio perhaps they could try to leave their pants on for a night and stop using sex as a way of dealing with your true emotional complexity.
Leo (July 23-August 22): I think the Leo lady would like to be crowned queen of the swag, while Leo guy is extremely different and generally a lot more low key. Don't get me wrong, both sexes in this sign like to look good, but Leo woman will pay the price, take that drive,  and max out her credit card in order to get what she wants. Simply because Leo woman always gets what she wants (in some shape or regard), even if there is a price to be paid in the aftermath, her dreams are usually big, paramount, growing/ever-changing over time. Just like she might have many lovers, "great love", flings etc. until she eventually find the one. She won't sit well alone, and will often always have a male partner to entertain her in some form. Leo guy is sure of himself too but, in a much more modest way (he doesn't need you, you need him). There are certainly the "look at me" center of attention male types, but the need to be swagged out isn't as president because Leo guy feels he looks good just as he is. He in his natural form is the definition of sway. This is likely also because Leo guy is cheap, but you'll love how he's always capable of keeping steady loot in the bank (even if he doesn't spend it on you). For Leo,  the challenge is 1) figuring out what you really love/want to be and stick to it 2) to do something really nice for others. You may think you do a lot for others, and your heart is huge, but hiding behind in the shadow of your loyal friends, or career hopping is only going to drive you loco in the end. Help others in order to find out what makes you the happiest because you know keeping yourself happy is the key component to a lovely Leo living. Don't always feel the need to outshine the ones you love -- being the best doesn't mean lying to yourself or others for the sake of your ego.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) : Swag is either obtained in two ways here, either you are the frugal archer who will brag about what they consider to be "the best deal ever": two pairs of shoes for $40 bucks, a dress for $9.99, whatever. While some Sag's will hide their desires for the finer things by exercising their cheap thrills, there will be the opposite types who will refrain from purchasing until they eventually SPLURGE on really expensive Versace jeans and Gucci loafers. In this case, the Sag will spend when they are on a impulsive high, but will still keep a mental note about this frivolous spending. The challenge here isn't really to tighten up, but to loosen up (loosen up the purse strings). Sag always has more money than they think they do, and especially has more than they let on. This might be the time to dip into those savings and donate some money to Japan. If your so self involved and you don't see this as your personal priority, I dare you to do something productive, impulsive and enjoyable for yourself, but try, if you can, to include others in this. If your thirsty for a new adventure, don't calculate every penny in your head. It is crucial for you to enjoy your life a bit more without this fear of the future -- life is happening RIGHT NOW it is time to sit back, shut up, and enjoy the ride. Throw away the receipt. If you take your gf/bf out for an expensive dinner/date DON'T rub it in. Do it because you want to NOT because you expect credit for it of any kind. That's tacky.
 Capricorn (December 22-January 19): You may not admit it, but there is a part of you that likes the better things in life. You want to be proper, conventional, with a seal of stamp approval. You like to be classy. Wild milk goats might play with this concept but inventing their own form of class, but either way, Capricorn does set or create a standard to their impeccable lifestyle. Even if you are a hippy, chronic pot smoking Capricorn, your still the boss of your hip house and there are certain principals that you set because you are undeniably in control. The challenge here is to lower your life expectation. Try to open your mind to things you normally would scrunch your nose at. Go out to a club and make yourself stay longer than 50 minutes. Leave your house. Wear color. Wear print. Date someone outside of your comfort zone. Do something you want/need to even if you think others will judge, object or scrutinize. You need to reorganize the boundaries of your preconceived life -- go beyond the bridge that is blocking you. Cry. Tell someone a secret about yourself. Embarrass yourself. Force yourself to do something you would never do, even if this means joining an online dating site or taking a belly dancing class. Get out of the house. Get off your computer, and get off the coach. Take those chances but don't have expectations for them and if things don't work out the way you'd like them to, don't stop. Pushing yourself more and more will only lead to other opportunities for happiness.
 Aquarius: (January 20-Febuary 18) Your swag is one of a kind. You probably have some weird clothing fetish for hats, scarfs, sunglasses, fur etc. Even if you dress more mainstream, you likely put yourself together in a way that gives you a sense of flare. You like what you like and can pull off a lot of different things, which others admire but don't dare try. Simply, they don't have your swag. The only real problem is that you are such a yo-yo, everything, including your swag, changes with your state of emotional flux. Aquarius can be the one to literally wear or express their feelings through their fashions. This is because AQ will often hide their true intentions from others. They have emotions, but they deal with them on a very private level and will only let you in if they present you will the magic key. This in itself is a daily challenge. YOU THINK TOO MUCH. It's time to take the brain out of the equation. You love adventure, you love the opposite sex, but you think too much. You are attracted to pretty things, but as they say, the hotter a person is, the crazier they come. You have to go in blind. You, especially express the role of the loner. Not to say you don't have friends, you might rarely be alone your so popular and admired, but you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. You are not as you seem. Don't save your true feelings for your best friend who "promises not to tell." Shoot straight. Challenge yourself to embrace emotional vulnerability and challenge yourself to stick to something you start. Fuck fear in the face -- you don't need it. Don't be hard on yourself -- just be you, unplugged, people will applaud.
Taurus (April 20-May 20): Swag is built into the grains of sand, which construct your sandcastle mansion. You define yourself through materials, and likely don't have shame in it: give me more. Though stubborn Taurus won't admit anything that their pride can't bite. Pride is big in this sign and if you test it you will see the bitch of it. This pride is also entangled in Taurus's swag: designer clothing, nice shoes, shopping addictions, commercialized vacations, nice cars, gourmet food. The love of the luxury is found predominantly in both Taurus men and women. For example, Taurus guy is often into "his toys", the latest phone, the best computer, a nice fucking car. While Taurus girl is often like a princess, she gets her nails did, her hair did, and her shopping light is always on, even if she's not buying. Taurus is very pragmatic, so they will often "mull over" purchases, even for long periods of time, but in the end, they get what they want. They obtain, it's just what they do. Taurus can't help but be drawn to the finer things in life. The challenge here is to pull away from self pamper and shopping for seven days. Hide your credit cards. Block your favorite online shopping sights. Realize you have heaps of clothes, some which might even still have the price tags on, and it is okay to wear the same outfit more than once. If this is too painful, use your imagination and try to layer or accessorize your clothes in a way that allows you to create a new look without paying for it. Taurus is the money sign. They love money. They will work their asses off for coin. This desire is immaculate but could be redirected to something, which may seem unheard of to Taurus, like, Volunteer work? Maybe? No?! Yeah, I didn't think so...
Gemini (May 21-June 20) : If Taurus is the most material sign, Gemini is the most vain. She's not the type to rule out plastic surgery, just as he's more of a chic than he is a dude. In fact, his guy friends likely make fun of him because he likes to shop just as much as his sister. The Gemini dude usually has just as many hair products as his girlfriend, if not more. They are pro moisturizer, trendy hair cut, and fake tan. Gems are prone to detail and therefore can't help but be caught in the mirror plucking away at those unwanted hairs. He might wax his chest, or straighten his hair and deny it, but there is a very strong feminine energy here. Gem girls get along really well with males, while Gem boys get along really well with females. The challenge here is to stray away from the vain. You should go out "looking like shit", only to find its all in your head. People find you naturally attractive, but your own social insecurities prevent you from knowing this. In part it is a self fulfilling prophecy, in which you believe your swag, and aesthetic efforts make you look good. You can still be that pregnant woman dressed to the nine, walking in heels, but for seven days I challenge you to focus on other aspects of life. Read a book. Put down the shitty tabloid. Wear less makeup. Dress it down. Shop less. Challenge yourself not to make vain judgments on others  because not everything is calculated on appearances.There is a bitch that lives in every Gem, who can't always help but make fun of those they perceive as beneath their sweet swag and style. Open your heart, and don't close your mind -- see where this takes you, even if it is wildly uncomfortable, and you want to bitch about it (these words are meant to be taken in vain as Gemini may never accept the challenge.)
 Virgo (August 23-September 22) : Your swag is sweet but down to earth. You have great taste but you don't shop without practicality, and you don't over do it because you genuinely admire natural beauty. You are the type to have the same top in three colors (likely dark/neutral tones.)You don't want to stand out with your style in a loud way, you want to look good, but in a sly, chic, sexy way that incorporates basic colors and still manages to attract eyes. Your swag is simple, but some in cases, of a high quality or expensive taste. Classy not trashy.You'll take the best if you can get it easily, but that's rarely an option. Virgo is picky. They want the best, and are highly critical of everything, which is why they rarely make a "buy in." This poker expression is to be viewed in the sense that Virgo will not invest in anything or anyone unless they see a valid reason. Critical thinkers by nature, the Virgo isn't one to break from their mold of what they consider to be ideal. The challenge here is to EXPRESS LOVE oppose to criticism (and to do it sober). Yes, your cynical, witty, intelligent banter is what people love about you, but they also want to be/feel admired by you. Tell the people in your life that you love them. Try to force yourself into oppositional thinking. Instead of reverting back to your safe haven of sarcastic humor -- you can switch back to it in seven days. I know your not really one to be changed on whim, but the challenge is to show your sweet side to someone, you know it it hiding in there somewhere. No one is judging you or thinking your "uncool", it is only programmed into your own head, which is usually out to get you.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): Your swag can get a bit messy. If your a Cancer dude, you might think you have style, but likely it is a bit messy. Not to say you can't dress well, but just to say that every Cancer has a "I don't give a fuck" side in which they plop their hair on the top of their head or in a dirty baseball cap, throw on some sweats and roll. Don't get it confused when you see him/her looking like a million bucks on a special occasion because this does occur. Swag in this case is often quite moody, but the key to a Cancer's swag is comfort. They don't like to be pushed out of their comfort, which might mean, "she doesn't wear pants" or "she doesn't wear dresses." He might never be without his shorts, even in winter because he finds them cozy and just won't budge. Girls here likely don't have the most expensive taste but, love to decorate their fashions with accessories. Cancer knows how to make it look like they spent a lot. They are crafty with their swag. The challenge here isn't necessarily to surrender the swag, but to surrender the need to protect others. Cancer might exert protection on others in order to take away from their own emotional short comings -- don't hide behind another person, or a relationship for comfort. Do something for yourself, something you normally never would, maybe something you always longed for, and do it big. Don't be afraid to let others in on how your are feeling -- people want to know.
 Libra (September 23-October 23): You love your swag, even if your broke you got swag, even if you are sick you got swag, and everybody knows it. You define what it means to have your own swag, the "you can't touch this" kind of style, which others compliment you on the regular. Even dudes in this sign generally, but not always have a sense of style. He just might be the kind of boyfriend who encourages shopping dates. She's a fashionista, and usually has her own personal style, which is so annoyingly well pull together it makes you green with envy. She set trends. He intimates with style.The challenge here is to direct the focus off of the swag onto your personal life. There is likely someone in your life who is looking for a clue from you -- surprise them by making up your mind in advance. Focus your fleeting attention. Or even better, be the one to get the ball rolling by making a PLAN. Yes, a real plan, something that does not requires the use of the word maybe. In fact, you are challenged to eliminate the word "maybe" from your vocabulary. Though not possible, especially for a Libra, I hereby dare you to try.
Pisces (February 19-March 20): You don't have a lot of money, or if you do, you are likely shit with it but, you'll spare what you got for the sake of your swag. Pisces is highly creative so her style is usually put together in an untouchable way-- Pisces knows how to personalize an outfit. She might also be the type to dress for male attention; knowing that she has certain curves which she should show off. Regardless of her tactics, Pisces girl will usually have a feminine energy to her style. Pisces guy, like the fish in the sea, varies, either he is a total low-key slacker type, or "he actually knows how to dress for a guy." As swagged out as a fish might get, Pisces is often careless about how they live their lives, usually retracting into their own world where they become completely elusive to the other. The challenge here is the opposite of others signs, in that instead of giving up control, Pisces needs to find some. I challenge Pisces to set a life goal (big or small) and stick to it. Whether this means going running for 20 minutes every other day or getting stuff done on time, it is essential that you search for some form of organization. This will be difficult for some fish. The challenge here could also be to cut back on an addiction, whether that be solo drinking on a Tuesday night, chain smoking or engaging in various, meaningless sexual liaisons -- it is really imperative to trace these addictive behaviors and see if you can make any grounds for change. This is all preaching, true, but even so Pisces won't be one to act on these changes, (however they might be the one giving you excellent advise on how to change your life.) They might agree, they might talk a lot of talk, but in truth they will be hypocritical at the game. Excellent at dishing it out, but horrible at taking it in. Try a dose of your own compassionate medicine for once and see where it gets you, but no, really, FORCE yourself to try!
When tragedy strikes, people tend to get a bit preachy, so I apologize in advance for the preachy "challenge yourself" crap horoscopes. Really, if anything, tragedy teaches us to enjoy life while we can. The future isn't necessarily in our hands -- we live on earth, and earth will determine the fate of our natural environment, and ultimately our lives. No matter what personal goals we set, or what we want, anything can change on a dime. In an eye blink, your life could end at any moment, so if there is something you want to do or something you want to change, do it now, this is the time, the only thing that you have for certain is this moment, so relish it. If you want some candy -- eat it. If you like someone -- tell them. Don't waste your time torturing yourself with pains of the past. The Look ahead to a greener pasture of good things to come, and the positive spirit within yourself, which is going to carry you there.

Please visit this site if your are in a position to donate money to help Japan, give blood or volunteer: 
   Peace and love.

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