Selfishly Single

Let’s admit it.  There’s a lot of selfishness that comes with being single.  Your world is about you.  You aren’t preoccupied with kids and a partner. “Selfish” has a negative connotation, but in the single world, you can turn your selfish time into a very positive thing.  I want to explore your single years and how to take advantage of this selfish time.

If you are single and over the age of 35, “are you dating anyone?” is a question that tends to penetrate most of your social conversations.  That question is like nails on a chalkboard even though the inquiring party is innocent and likely coming from a caring place.  Sitting there and explaining your dating life gets real old, real quick.  Once you answer the question, it somehow spontaneously develops into you receiving dating advice that you didn’t ask for.  Secondly, the advice you are receiving sometimes does not align with who you are.  You probably don’t see most marriages as the type of relationship you want.  You would rather be single than engage in relationships that are status quo.  On the contrary, it hurts.  It’s not easy to go home alone, night after night and deal with the mind F*** of your own thoughts.  I personally think that this silence and period of time to deal with self is painful, but a blessing.  It is also your gateway to changing the nature of relationships and putting an end to the destructive relationship patterns that we as a society have come to allow.

Last year, I allowed the pain of being single to penetrate my life more than I am proud of.  I listened to other people way too much.  I allowed their opinions and advice to become my internal dialogue.  As a result, I felt less than, as if not being in a relationship made me less valuable of a woman.  I’m shaking my head as I write this, because that is a crazy thought!  It negates everything that I have accomplished and become in life, but that is what the mind F*** of being single can do.  After a while, I got tired of being obsessed by it.  I realized that the advice I was getting was not translating into dating success.  And even more importantly, I realized that I would never want to model myself after the majority of relationships that I was observing.  When I took a true inventory, there were only a few marriages that represented a co-committed relationship that I was looking for.  The rest were filled with deception, volatility, disrespect, addictions, and control.  Yes, all relationships have issues and no relationship is perfect, but how much are we challenging growth and co-commitment, versus settling in order to feel secure and avoid loneliness?  

This was my turning point.  I’ve been married before, and I understand the magnitude of what it means to have that bond.  Everything that your partner is and isn’t affects you.  Good marriages, even the few that I identified as possible models, have ups and downs.  The difference in these marriages versus others, came down to authenticity, truth and doing the work.  The manner in which these couples ended up together wasn’t pretty.  It involved other divorces, kids, career challenges and personal challenges that broke them open to be their true selves.  Not that these specific challenges  are required to become your authentic self, but as humans, we tend to delay this level of growth until life smacks us in the face.  I think we often praise the seemingly perfect relationships where man meets woman, man marries woman, man and woman have kids and post happy pics of life on Facebook.  Meanwhile, behind closed doors…it’s ”big little lies”.  I am not making this next statement to offend anyone who is married and in this situation, but I’m stating it so that other singles can appreciate the now.

Once you get married and especially once you have kids, the life you knew as yours is somewhat out the window.  You now have other people to consider in all of your life decisions.  And with that could come some regrets, unfulfilled dreams and desired alone time.  Marriage and kids also comes with immense joy and happiness.  But your unboundless single life is truly gone.  You only have this selfish alone time temporarily.  It takes just one look, one conversation, or one meeting to change your life forever.  When we are single, we can really take that for granted.  We don’t value our single selfishness as an opportunity to explore, grow, become amazing people and do the work that it takes to attract other co-committed individuals.  We go out, swipe left and right like maniacs, and ghost the most recent dating interest once we figure out that they aren’t the one.  So no offense, but what the heck do you expect once you get married?  If you are acting like that as a single person, what do you think you’re going to get once you get married?  Marriage surely doesn’t make those characteristics go away.  Moreover, marriage is guaranteed to be challenging at some point.  So if you show up as inauthentic, deceptive and unevolved, that will 100% become part of your marriage and what you expose your partner to.

The point is, you have a choice.  While you are single and selfish, I hope that you are encouraged to become the best self that you can possibly become.  I hope that you learn self-love, so that you can in turn love others in the manner that they deserve to be loved.  I hope you learn how to have uncomfortable conversations and how to speak your microscopic truth.  I hope you learn that you are human and imperfect and there is no fault in that.  I hope you learn how to communicate and reveal your imperfections so that you can experience vulnerable moments with your partner.  And more than anything, I hope you learn to love yourself to the point that settling never becomes an option.  Not in the pursuit of perfection, but in the pursuit of a co-committed relationship that is honest and equal to your greatness.  May you live your muse and attract your equal muse.

Rashanna Moss
CEO & Executive Visionary
Moderna Muse

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Truth in Love

Love opens our eyes to the truths within ourselves and in the world around us. Every relationship and expression of love is unique and dynamic, but there are a few really special gifts we can all receive through true, deep, honest love. In my own experience in dating, marriage, and now starting a family, I’ve come to know love as a catalyst for some of my biggest personal breakthroughs. When you start living those lessons as a result of the love you have for another, and your partner is doing the same, you know you’ve found real love. Love has inspired me to be brave and honest in my internal dialogue, and to strive to see new perspectives through every stage of life. Most importantly, it has reminded me that through love, there is always room for expansion, growth, and change for the better.

You might see your partner as your other half, but finding love does not necessarily make you whole. Understanding your inner voice and finding self-awareness takes constant effort and commitment, no matter what your relationship status says. It takes a lot of courage to look deep inside yourself, own up to your flaws, and overcome them. Love has encouraged me to be brave in acknowledging my own shortcomings - and grow from them. When my husband and I first started dating, we were euphoric over the amazing new thing that had sparked between the two of us. As I settled into our relationship and felt the power in our connection, I started to believe I had life and love all figured out. It was smooth and perfect and we were having the time of our lives. But eventually, my flaws surfaced - character flaws I had never addressed in the past, because no relationship had ever pushed me to do so. No relationship had ever been full of so much real love. This relationship was different. It was as if the universe knew we were meant to be together, but that I hadn’t yet done the internal work to hold up my end of the bargain. And that NEEDED to happen before we made a lifelong commitment. Through a series of mistakes, I was broken open and forced to see myself and some of my worst habits - being manipulative, defensive, and selfish, to name a few. I had been using these tendencies to get my way for years, way before we even started dating, and I was finally forced to look that ugliness right in the face and own up to it. My inner voice gave me the courage to stop ignoring this truth and face it head on. We gave our love light and space and air through this tough time. I sat in the pain of my flaws and worked through them. We pulled through and we became better people for ourselves and for each other.

These bouts of personal struggles are constants in life - you’re never done experiencing them, even though they might be on a smaller scale, the older and wiser you become. Those flaws I mentioned earlier didn’t just disappear with a little self work - they resurface in disagreements and tough conversations all the time! No matter how deeply or madly you fall in love, you will always have to put in effort to grow beyond your flaws and put your love for your partner before your pride. Love will never make you perfect, but it can give you the courage to be vulnerable and put in that effort. The desire for true love can inspire you to let the floodgates of your truth open up and overcome you. Because the payoff of being completely open with yourself and your partner is true, raw, honest love, uninhibited by the fronts you’ve put up between you and your truth.

On the lighter side of love, one of the most beautiful things it can reveal to you is a deeper understanding of what’s really important in life. I am six months pregnant, and day after day since we got this news, my husband and I are given the gift of perspective. This is the expansive power of love. As life progresses and the layers of complexity build up, love calls you to step outside of yourself and learn that your decisions are no longer just about you. There is both pressure and freedom in this. I now have the overwhelming responsibility of not only bringing a human life into the world, but also raising it to be a productive member of society - not to mention a thoughtful, kind, disciplined, intelligent, fun-loving, confident, successful, happy person… yeah, we want it all for our kids, don’t we?? Simultaneously, I feel a huge sense of liberation in my decision-making, because this little life is depending on me. It’s no longer just my husband and I calling the shots and making choices for the sole benefit of ourselves and our relationship. We now have this new human to think about, which actually eases the burden of making tough decisions. We get to follow our instincts toward what is right for our family, knowing that any judgment, fear, or uncertainty will just roll off of our backs, thanks to our love for our new little person. We’ve gained more perspective on what’s important: loving each other, loving our child, and being together. It’s really that simple; everything else is just details. When I feel overwhelmed by this massive life change we’re about to go through, I just come back to the simplicity of that love and trust. We’re going to be okay, as long as we put love before all else.

No matter where you stand this Valentine’s Day - single, married, lonely, or fulfilled - remember that love, in any of its forms, is the key ingredient to inspiration, growth, and perspective. Love is love. It is everywhere, and it is everything, and it’s always there between you and whoever you wish to share it with. No one’s love story is perfect or untouched by strife and struggle, and love is like that by design. It’s meant to challenge us and test our limits, only to show us what we’re capable of on the other side: pure, honest, heart-swelling love. Over and over again.

Shannon Pike
COO & Executive Brand Curator
Moderna Muse

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She's a B****

“She’s such a b****!”  You’ve heard the phrase, and you’ve likely said it yourself.  And you know what, maybe she is one.  But I would also venture to say that we use this phrase more than it’s deserved.  I’m not suggesting that we excuse being rude and callous, but I do think it’s important to examine when we use it and how we are interpreting the actions of others when we do. The motivation behind this examination is to gather in our strength and support it, rather than condemn it.  

A female who exudes confidence, displays strength, and speaks directly seems to be a lot to handle in our society.  Yet, these are the same traits that are praised in men.  Times are changing, especially with the current events, and it’s great to see this shift forming around us.  But as women, why has there ever been such a big disconnect and acceptance of labeling each other as the “B word”?  We share so many life experiences and challenges, that our tendency to  tear one another down is truly sad.  And the reality is, when you have committed to a goal and you have laser focus, your lack of time to accommodate others can catapult you to the b**** label.

The end of our 2018 #mindfulmuse challenge on social media has been all about commitment.  Commitment is part of the natural progression of working your plan.  It means that you stay the course of your vision, and in order to do so, some things have to be eliminated from your life.  There are 24hrs in a day, and how you spend them matters.  If you are committed to a new goal, spending your time the same way you used to spend it will not move you towards accomplishing that goal.  Maybe you shifted the way you eat, ramped up your workouts, and increased the amount of time you spend on productivity and sleep.  With those increases comes a decrease in social time, entertaining those who are negative influences in your life, and engaging in activities that don’t contribute to your goals.  Your plate is super full, and your commitment and focus comes with a huge price.  Your intentions are good and in alignment with your purpose in life, but know that it does cause issues. 

If you are the woman who walks tall, speaks directly and does not accommodate sub-par behaviors, you are very likely to be labeled as a b**** - simply because you are not accommodating or speaking in a manner that the opposite party desires.  If your intentions are pure and you are working to become the best version of yourself, I hope that you remain committed despite the possible labeling.  It is not your duty in life to play a role that someone else wants you to play.  The only role you need to play  is the one in your heart and soul.  Become it proudly and try not to get distracted by the labels.  

On the contrary...if you are that person who likes to assign the label, you might want to pause and look at yourself for a second.  Are you misinterpreting her actions and intentions?  Is this woman paving the way for you and other women with a dream?  Could you learn something from her and benefit from the same level of commitment?  I just want to challenge us as women to not only bond in the bad times, but to also bond and support each other during the grind.  Commitment takes a lot of work, perseverance and consistency.  It changes our relationships, but none of it is personal.  Make the space for others to create the life and environment needed to pursue their purpose so that the same can be done for you.  One nation, one musa at a time!     

Rashanna Moss
CEO & Executive Visionary
Moderna Muse

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