Goals 2016–Clare #28

Finance–Eeek…. I’ll admit I’ve let this one slide… and its funny, because I didn’t really realize it until a couple of friends asked me about it.  Sigh.

Fitness–I don’t know how it is where you are, but in NYC its 95+++ degrees… its TOASTY.  My morning sun salutations are a struggle, but I’m determined to keep it up.

Organization–I tackled the back of my door today–which is a lot of hanging bras, sweatshirts and hidden things… I got rid of a handful of things–off to the goodwill I go!

Book–I’ve been formatting and looking for a copy editor to help me out, as mine have fallen off.

Agent–auditions are starting to pick up… I feel like fall might be a good season for me!!

Thankful Thursday

Each week we encourage you to tune in, join the discussion and pass on your own thankful thoughts!


We are thankful for winter snows!  At least in 90+++ degree weather in the summer!  We hope you’re having a great summer!

We are thankful for clean water–water is so good, isn’t it?!?  We hope you’re blessed with drinkable water, AND refreshing water!  (Clare, if you didn’t know is addicted to seltzer water, and is INCREDIBLY thankful for bubbly water!!)

Comment below with what you’re thankful for, and post on social media with #thankfulthursday #liveclarelesley

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

Life is too short for bad coffee

If you’ve been reading my goals posts, you’ll know that I’m struggling with my brain not liking my waist–I mean I’m human, so who among us does like our bodies more than three days in a row?

So I’m sitting here this morning, a lovely sunny summer Sunday in NYC, and enjoying my coffee.  There is nowhere I have to be today, I do have a few obligations (phone calls), and errands, but nowhere I have to be.  And I’m taking a lovely sip of my French pressed coffee and as I swallow, I’m realizing for the first time in weeks, I’m actually enjoying my coffee.  Its warmth, its nuttyness, its robust but creamy taste; as the warm and and the caffeine hit my system, I’m slowly awakening into, and becoming a part of the world again.  I’m drinking it out of one of my seven favorite mugs–If you’re an original follower you might remember that I’ve moved six times in three years–so I’ve dwindled down my coffee mug collection, so I have exactly the number of cups (that I LOVE) for the number of days in the week.  I’m drinking out of this beautiful oversized bone china tea cup–I can’t get away from working for three years in a fine china shop–all of my dishes HAVE to be quality!  I’d decided to enjoy my coffee and read a little (my roommate loaned me her copy of Warrior Goddess Training to assist my brain realignment with my body issues) as the sun and the breeze stream into my NYC apartment, and the coffee is bringing me into life and bliss, I’m realizing: this cup of coffee is amazing, and life is too short to drink crappy coffee.


Let me back up a little, and bring you to the pinnacle of why this realization is important.  For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been trying to drink alternative coffee.  As in, I like my coffee lightish and sweetish.  I don’t need it to taste like a Werther’s Original, but I don’t need to suck on coffee grounds, either.  The easy way to deal with this is to buy those presweetened flavored creamers.  Which have a lot of sugar.  I’ve been drinking these for years…. but I decided that a good way to cut my sugar intake was to take the flavored cream out of my life.  So I did.  I tried almond milk.  I tried unsweetened almond milk.  I tried cashew milk.  I tried sugar alternatives.  I tried just milk.  I was so unhappy–I tried to make alternative coffee work… but it just wasn’t the same.  Yeah, yeah, first world problems, I totally know… but its a fine line, isn’t it–the difference between taking care of one’s self well, and what we’ve deemed as a first world problem.  I mean, its one thing to complain about creamer when,  I realize, there are people starving in some countries, and I sit here and complain about finding a creamer that tastes good, but won’t add five pounds to my waist whenever I have a serving.  But this is about me taking care of myself.  Which is also a fine line.  When do we treat ourselves well, or when do we “take care of ourselves”.  


I’ve never been starving–I’ve had an extremely low or a negative amount in my bank account many times.  I’ve lived off of, and stretched food because of poor choices.  However, I also have gone the other direction and found myself eating just to try to make myself happy (aka have been extremely overweight because I was eating because I was depressed).

I’m not the most regimented of people–diets just don’t work for me… I find I become very irritable (aka an extreme bitch) and they never have anywhere close to the results I want (my stomach isn’t much flatter, and my thighs didn’t shrink).  However, I am good at moderation–I’ll happily have a handful of chips and stop.  Or one serving of ice cream.  I’ll have the yummy treat, but then be done.

As I get older, I’m seeing my metabolism slow.  I’m witnessing that 10 extra pounds of happiness each decade.  I’m probably more healthy than I’ve ever been, as living in New York makes me move and climb and walk much more than I’ve ever done in my life.  And yes, I actually go back and re-read my own blog on loving the skin I’m in now every three months or so.  But the voices in my head, will loudly remind me that I’m not as skinny as I could and hope to be.  Most of the time, I can tell those voices that I’m beautiful no matter what size I am.  Like Warrior Goddess Training, and other books like it I’ve read, tell me that its the size in the person not the size OF the person that matters.  In other words, confidence is what is beautiful/sexy/attractive.  Shape and size are all just perspective.


So back to my coffee–I’m reminded to return from my tangents to the original thought that started this blog because I just got myself a refill.  My mom was in town visiting me last week, and I bought flavored creamer for her–as I was finishing out my round of caramel flavored almond milk–still not a winner.  This delicious Hazelnut International Delight creamer was left over… and so coming from a “don’t waste food” home, I’m drinking it.  And for the first time in weeks, I’m enjoying the coffee.  The interesting thing is that it was too sweet and creamy on the first sip, so I watered it down with milk–and ultimately making it a little healthier.  A little.

Maybe my enjoyment comes from the fact that I’m drinking something I really like. Maybe my enjoyment comes from the fact that two weeks ago, I threw up my arms, went out and bought fat shorts and decided not to give a fuck about my weight.  Maybe the realization comes from the conversation I had with my roommate last night about “overweight” being the line of discomfort that you cross, and not the size of your clothing.  Maybe it comes from the price of happiness is worth wearing a size larger shorts this summer (and the understanding that the last two summers I was doing a lot of hiking and walking for my jobs, so I was more active albeit a smaller waist size). Maybe its something entirely different.  But this morning, in my one size larger shorts, I’m enjoying this cup of coffee and not caring about anything else.  And that’s the point of living, isn’t it–to deal with the ups and downs, and to enjoy and revel in as many moments of goodness as you can.

I’m going to finish this cup of coffee.  Let me know what you like to enjoy and revel in!

–Clare

 

 

 

2016 Goals–Lesley #28

This is a big week. HUGE week. A week I have been waiting for since May but probably since I started having stomach issues in 2007. Not that I am excited to do what I have to do. This week I have 2 procedures with my stomach. I am told I will have the results after I wake up.

One of my goals for this year was to have a loving relationship with my stomach. I know a strange goal but after 8ish years of avoiding foods and trying out different theories I have thrown myself into the search. This is the year I find out what in the heck is the problem.

So, this Wednesday is a big day. I am nervous. I actually do not want to go through with it. Sounds terrible. But, I am hoping that they find something. Finding something would mean we can make a plan and move on.

No pressure right?! I hope to finally be able to move on to other goals for this year and my health next week.

That’s all the update for now. I have decided this week is just to focus on preparing for the test. Sometimes you just have to focus on one thing.

Wish me luck!

xx~LL

Perfect for someone

This morning while running around UCLA I was listening to this weeks episode of the “Being Boss” podcast.  They were interviewing artist Brenda Mangalore about her transition from working in the corporate world as a web designer to living as an artist. An artist who gets paid to do what she loves. She would pray that she wouldn’t have to go into work each day. One day this made her wonder. Why do I not want to go to work? It’s a perfectly good job. Great job really. That’s when she realized that this perfectly good job was perfectly good for someone else but not her.

Perfection is very attractive. We tend to all be striving to do something or multiple things perfectly. It’s easy to want to be the best. Perfection is a bright shiny object. It’s like a moth to a flame. But we usually fall for perfection on paper. Because as we know “Perfect” just doesn’t exist.

This all got me thinking. I remember setting my goals about 5ish years ago. I had some great goals about work that I wanted and can now look back and see I have achieved. But some of my personal and health goals. Well they were perfectly good goals. Goals many people would have understood and even supported me on or joined in with me. But, they didn’t really light my fire. I actually kept postponing them, making excuses of why I shouldn’t do them. Which got me wondering…why someone who loves achieving goals is literally shoving goals in a corner. Oh, because these goals were perfectly good for someone but not for me.

Here are a couple of other “perfect” journeys:

Perfect Job: As you know if you have been reading our blog for awhile I have twice left salaried jobs for something else. Something my heart was yearning for. Something bigger than what I was doing. Both times I was expecting people to be as excited as I was for this next adventure. What I found when I told people I was quitting my job was shock, concern and worry. Most people said “Are you sure?” There were only a couple people who were supportive in a way that didn’t feel like they were waiting for the bottom to drop. I even felt like some people thought I would change my mind. Both jobs on paper were pretty awesome. Decent work schedules, good pay, room for growth and the ability to lead others. But both had run their course. Both jobs were perfect for someone else but not for me.

Perfect Mate: Just like in my jobs situation when I left my ex I had more people as me “if I was sure?” Plenty of people reminding me I could always go back. Most people just didn’t understand how I could leave a relationship that was “working.” My ex was a lot of things that many people would want. He has even recently married. He was perfect on paper, a great person but just not the right mate for me.

I think it’s important for us all to take time to do inventory in our lives and see where we are keeping things because they are perfect on paper or because they are “perfect” for you.

Do you wake up and dreading doing something you used to love?

Do you find yourself wishing you would wake up sick so you don’t have to work?

Do you sometimes wish your significant other would break up with you?

Are you making excuses for not doing something you say you want?

It’s not easy to give up with “perfect on paper” situation. But, what if you could? What would it take to give it up? Do you have to save up money, take a class or classes, move somewhere? Vision your life doing what’s right for you instead of doing what’s right for someone else. Then take that leap of faith! I promise from our end you’ll get lots of high-fives.

I left that perfect job and perfect mate and am thousands times happier. Life would have been fine if I stayed. Life is so much fuller because I did me. I through out that perfect paper and just trusted my vision. It’s so worth it.

I highly recommend listening to the full podcast episode. It’s always incredible to hear how someone went from the 9-5 job to rocking their bliss. We all have our own journey. I’ll repeat that, we all have our own journey. Enjoy yours!

xx~LL

I have been spending the last 4 days with my Mom! She is visiting LA and we have been enjoying some quality time together. Weekends like this is when I really have to trust my work/life blend. There is a balancing act when ever anyone visits. I’m happy to say that this blend is working. It’s all about planning. Just like goal setting is all about planning.

This week I’m doing a lot of evaluation. Where is everything heading? Is that the direction I want still? How will what I am doing today affect what I want for 2017?

Personal: The podcast I do with my husband is 5 weeks in and doing great. It’s so fun to have something to do together.

Financial: We are on track. It’s a new track but it’s working. Sometimes you just have to re-work the plan.

Business: My reach is expanding! It’s really incredible to hear the feedback from those reading my business blogs and interacting on social media.

Ok, back to visiting with Mom! Hope you are finding a nice way to blend life and work this week. xx~LL IMG_8605

Goals Update 2016 #27 LL

Goals #26–Clare 2016

Goals!!! Every time I write one of these, I love and hate it.  Its exciting to watch my own progress–I do go back and read my posts at the end of each month…. and I’m cheering myself on.

I’m keeping it slow and steady, y’all… which is the way to go.  To keep up with the goals, I think you have to find a good pacing and keep up with it.

My mom was here, and I slacked off a little, but we walked a lot more than I think I usually do, and we went to the beach.  But I’m back in my sun salutation morning routine, and cruising along with that.

I feel like my finance stuff went out the window, but my support group for that has kind of dried up.  I need to find some more financially saavy friends.

Book–I’m looking for a copy editor–anyone want the gig?  Seriously.  I’ll pay you in love, and possibly cookies.  Message me below!

Acting–I start working for NYMF next week–I’m super excited.  I’m not acting, but I’m working the festival.  I feel good about this.  I love theater so much, I’m happy being around it.  And I’m in talks with a couple of groups in the city about upcoming roles.

Organizing–I took a box to goodwill finally.  I need to put away all of my skinny shorts… I pulled them out of the drawer, because I got tired of running into them…

See you next week!

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday

Each week we encourage you to tune in, join the discussion and pass on your own thankful thoughts!


We are thankful for support–with crazy lives that keep us both constantly going, we are not only thankful for each other, but our extensive friends and family who are always there with a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on.

We are thankful for the strength to say “no.”  LL wrote a blog a while back about No being a muscle.  Its a good reminder that even little daily things might not be as important as you think–and saying no isn’t as easy as it should be sometimes.

 

Comment below with what you’re thankful for, and post on social media with #thankfulthursday #liveclarelesley

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

7 Life Habits I Learned in Acting Class

I look back fondly, and with a spoonful of laughter at one of my first required classes I took for my acting degree. My school called it “Voice and Movement,” but every acting program has a similar class. Before they’ll allow you to tackle text (or scripts), you have to learn how to effectively use your instrument (your body) and how to be kind to yourself. As a “kid” in her early 20s, I’ll admit I scoffed at some of the things we did. I called the class “kindergarten for actors” which I still do. And I still chuckle to myself at people lying on the floor doing “Dying Cockroach.” (Lay on your back. Put your arms and legs in the air and “tremor” or shake your arms and legs, while vocalizing (moaning out loud). It’s very silly looking, but it does help you relax your body and help yourself get a good deep breath.)

While we did many silly things, walked around the room with different parts of our body leading, said poems or tongue twisters while on all fours pretending to be animals, and other things that seemed silly then and now, but I’m sure helped embed technique into my soul. But the basics of acting, and life, really, were retaught to me in that class. I try to do these things daily, but sometimes they don’t happen–and honestly, my “bad days” are the ones I didn’t prep for. I’m not saying: do all of these things daily and everyday will be perfect. I’m just saying that if you go into every day “warmed up” you’ll have a much better chance at dealing with any crisis that arises.
1. Breathe— if you regularly read my posts, you’ll see a theme. I probably honed breathing in college, because it is the best way to conquer nerves, but my mother has been preaching deep breaths to me from day one. A good deep breath relaxes and centers you. It’s great to support your speaking voice. When I’m nervous, I think of my breath as those little scrubbing bubble dudes for my stomach butterflies and nerves; breath goes in and scrubs the stomach releasing the butterflies, who get caught in the bubbles and are released with an out breath. Laying flat on the floor and taking a deep breath in is also magical. It allows anything that you’re holding, to just release out. I should write a whole blog on breath and breathing…stay tuned!

2. Stretching–warm up that body. If you’ve been following my goals blog, I’ve been doing at least 4 Sun Salutations every morning. We did lots of yoga and Pilates when I was in Voice and Movement. Stretching was highly encouraged: every morning, before shows, and always at the start of class. Even if you’re just reaching high up to the sky and then down to your toes a few times and then twisting at the waist a little back and forth. Do your stretching after you’ve moved around a little. As in, pee, wash your face, put the kettle or coffee on and then stretch. I have truly gotten to the point where I miss stretching. I have a couple of jobs that require me to be very physical, and I make sure that I do some extra stretching on those days. I really can tell the difference.

3. Vocalizing–Everyone should make a little bit of noise upon waking up. Your vocal chords are a muscle, too! They need stretching. Do a gentle hum while making coffee or in the shower–the best place!! Just five minutes of gentle vocalization first thing in the morning–more if you want–will help. You’ll find you’ll clear your throat much less, you’ll be able to talk for longer and louder, and not be so vocally tired at the end of the day. Stretching your lips and face are good too. It’s ok. Make the funny noises and faces–no one is watching. (And if they are, charge admission!)

4. Use different tactics–one of my favorite exercises in class was using a technique created by Michael Chekhov–who has several technique books if you’re interested. One day my teacher walked in and while we were stretching and warming up, she wrote the following words on the board:

  • push
  • pull
  • lift
  • drag
  • penetrate
  • throw
  • cut
  • collect

The activity was to say our prepared monologue for the class that sat in a circle around us and during the monologue the teacher would shout out one of these words. We were to physically or vocally engage in the action without stopping our monologue. At first this was hard, but I now do it with any text I work on. This activity requires you to stop your already focused mind into doing something different.  It makes you change the idea that you’re working with and head in a different direction.  Switching up a tactic will do two things: give you a different perspective, and get you out of your rut.

When you are doing the same thing over and over, you get the same or similar results. When you do the same thing with a different tactic, even if it’s only inside you, there will be a shift or change. As I’m not one for drudgery or repeating the same things over and over and over the same way, I love using different tactics in life. Right now, I’m unhappy with my weight. On any given day I can push myself to eat more veggies, pull myself to work out more, and lift my spirits by telling myself that is only temporary. If I was only pushing myself, I’d give up.

5. Leave it outside–theater people are dramatic. Very dramatic. We were told that any time we had any emotional pull in our lives that it was to be left outside the door so for the 90 minutes we were in class, we had to focus on class, and not the emotional pull of our lives. This one was surprisingly easy–and I had a lot of drama back then, or what seemed like a lot of drama. We were to come in with open minds and hearts so we could do good work. This might not necessarily work for those of you who are at a desk for 8 hours, but giving yourself time limits for emotions is a good way to control them. Allow yourself to only be emotional on bathroom breaks. Or lunch time. Or only with specific people at designated times.  A coffee run can be a great kvetch session.  Again, it’s not for all people, but taking control of your emotions by allowing them at specific times is something I found very helpful to focus on other things. #savethedramaforyomama

6. Show up–first rule of my class was, sick or not, sad or happy, tired or awake, we were to show up for acting class.   This was required for two reasons, other than the “you should attend class” rule.  First–we all have a partner or someone we depend on.  If I couldn’t work, my partner would suffer my absence as well as me.  Sometimes if I wasn’t physically able to do my scene, just sitting and reading the script with my partner would make all the difference.

Second–most of the time showing up makes you feel better.  We were told that if we just showed up to class that we would get credit. If we were feeling too crummy to participate, we could just watch. If we were feeling death-warmed-up, we were dismissed. Most of the time, I felt better for just going. And twice I was allowed to leave without being counted absent. Maybe it’s only me, but perfect attendance feels pretty darn awesome.

7. Judge kindly–yourself or the work and creativity of others. We were told we should critique others work. It helps us see what we liked and didn’t like, and what works and doesn’t work.  Although you shouldn’t judge, critically looking at the work of others will help you understand the work.

Inversely, it also taught us how to take a critique or compliment. HOWEVER, when we were critiquing, if it was a negative–we were to use “I wish…” So instead of saying “you should have known your lines better” we were to say “I wish you would have been more familiar with the text.” Instead of “wow, you were over dramatic at one point” we would say “I wish you would have taken it down a notch in the middle, because everything on one note was grating.” Anything negatively can be said constructively. I find I get more results with everyone in my life if I ask or reply in a positive way.

It’s amazing that a class I took when I was 19-20 years old has rippled it’s way through my life. Little changes, little adjustments in your life and attitude make so much difference. Try some of these for a week or two. They really don’t take a lot of effort. Make a new habit and see how you feel!

–Clare

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

Goals #26 Lesley 2016

Wow, last week flew by! The combo of a Holiday Monday and extra exciting news kept me busier than ever. During these buys weeks I am so glad I have reminders and my goals where I can see them.

Health: I am a few weeks out of another test to figure out what is happening. So, I am sticking to my no sugar diet and most of the time life is pretty good. I am excited for the end of the month to hopefully get results that will allow me to finally cross this stomach thing off my list!

My workouts and training for the work are going great. I have them all sharpie’d in each week. I have never felt so strong in my life!

Personal: Brad and I took the last weekend to be with each other and our dogs. Our puppy Bayon is so well trained for a 4 month old. This week my Mother is visiting and so we are doing extra extra stuff this week so we can enjoy her visit.

Financial: Money in and Money out. But, Bills mean business. So, another week of working the plan!

Business: I am launching something big! Fingers crossed it pans out. I’ll keep you posted. My hubby and I also launched our podcast and this week it’s episode 4. When you’re an entrepreneur it’s always about watching the pots and when one boils being ready. Here’s to a few boiling at the same time!

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!