Make Like a Blondie Song and Call Me! 

It really bothers me that I can’t remember phone numbers. It’s a seemingly silly worry because of the multiple-device-world we now live in, because even if one device fails, the phone numbers are saved somewhere else in a backup or cloud. I used to know so many numbers by heart. I would actually call people. There aren’t many people I actually talk to on the phone anymore. And I’ve found that I prefer to email or text strangers. However, I miss actually talking to my friends and family.


I never thought I would say it, but I miss talking on the phone. 


Sunday mornings are one of my favorite moments of the week. I wake up, make my coffee and settle in to my sofa with my phone and a TV episode I’m not super invested in. Around 1pm I start checking my phone, sometimes even turning on the ringer. Why? I have a weekly phone date that I’m always excited to have.  No matter what I try to make myself available for the call.  If I happen to be working, I still try to take the call.   If I’m out at brunch or off with friends, I sometimes postpone the call by an hour.  Sometimes this call is five minutes other days it’s an hour. No matter the length, I look forward to it and I love it.

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I’ve always known I’m a conversationalist. But I didn’t realize how much talking on the phone–having a real, untyped conversation–makes me feel so good.   There is something about hearing a voice.  It makes me feel like I’m a real person.  there are several articles that talk about research that oxytocin, “the love hormone” is released when hearing someone’s voice.  Whether you want to believe Cosmopolitan Magazine or The Royal Society Publishing there is evidence that a phone call is better for you than texting.  So much of my day to day is about typing or text.  I write, I read, I text, I email.  It seems like black and white (with blue or green bubbles around the text) has become my norm.  I love that we have so many ways to communicate and connect with people, but I also feel like sometimes we hide via this textual conversation.

Now, I know not everyone is a talker.  And I know that I’m definitely a person who loves to talk and who loves to keep contact with friends and family.  But even if you’re not a huge conversationalist, it really is good for you– Mental Health UK says that “friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health” and talking to your friends and family cultivates friendship.  So… pick up the phone–its good for you.

Here are some tips and guidelines:

1) If it will take more than 3 texts from each side, just pick up the phone and call. Seriously. It’s so much easier to just discuss it. Also things are lost in translation in text.

2) If you’re looking for an opinion and need a discussion, call.  I often don’t like my crude beginnings in solid form. I am an idea person and prefer not to have the beginning ideas down in text until they’re final. Maybe I’ve watched too many cop shows where it was incriminating evidence, but I don’t like the un-finessed out in the world.

3) If you can’t remember the person’s voice, call. One of my best friends has this amazing voice and I just like to hear it. I confess, I’ll call just to hear it. It feels like a guilty pleasure, but it truly makes my day better.

4) If you’re only typing emojis back and forth: call.  I promise its better.

5) If you find yourself frustrated: call. Take a deep breath first, then call. Really–it’s ok. I’ve found that continuing to text or email just exacerbates the problem. Unless you’re hearing the other person’s tone, you’re not sure if what they’re really saying. Don’t create realities that aren’t really happening.


Don’t create realities that aren’t really happening.


With all of the different ways to call, there are so many reasons TO call.

1) No time to hang? Have a Skype date! Friend wants to go for drinks but lives across the country? Have Facetime Happy Hour!

2) Plan phone calls on a lunch break or on your way home.  Sometimes I’ll get out of the subway a stop or two early, and talk and walk!

3) Want to hear someone’s voice but only have five minutes? Call and tell them you only have five min!  Five minutes of hearing someone’s voice is soooooooo much better than texting.

Let’s stop being virtual recluses!  Go forth and have conversation. (Also, you might want to read this texting posture alert!)

–Clare

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5 tips to beat the Heat of Life

Alright, I know you all don’t live in LA, but I’m sure you can relate to this.  There are those days or weeks where it feels like the wind and chill will never return.  The sun goes down and the temperature took a stand and decided not to go down with it.  When we think of storms in our lives, we often relate them to hurricanes, El Ninos, or other wet and windy moments.  Recently, Clare shared her experience and thoughts on weathering a storm. As we know storms do blow on through eventually. Often leaving behind fresh air or at least a rainbow.

What if your “storm” feels like a heatwave. What if it feels like stagnant hot air. One where even when you run for cover you are only in a space that’s at best a few degrees cooler. You look around and you’re still feeling smothered.  Well, I’m here to say you’re not alone. These almost suffocating waves will pass eventually. But man! While you’re in (I’m very much in it) it just feels hot, unmovable and lifeless.


You’re not alone. These almost suffocating waves will pass eventually.


My heatwave started probably when summer started. Just like summer my wave eased on in. I didn’t wake up one day and plop there I was in this place of feeling stagnant. Nope, there were signs of the wave that was too come.  As it began I dealt with an internal dialogue. Projects began piling up. Deadlines were fast approaching. Inside I kept making excuses for why I was falling behind on things. Then when I ran out of excuses I started beating myself up.  I couldn’t help but think things like: Am I just crazy? Is it me? Look at all the half finished projects!  This dialogue would and could spin entirely out of control. That’s when the wave hits! Every step in any direction is effort and you find yourself not know which way is up. Your self doubt gets louder in the heat of it.

There’s a tipping point in the wave though. A moment where you can grow stronger because of it or sink down.   Here’s some tips for staying cool:

1) Eventually fall will arrive. You can either be ready to welcome it or be picking yourself up still when it arrives.

2) Stay Hydrated. Drink in lots of self love, big picture thinking and how this storm will prepare you for the future.

3) Cold showers. Snap you out of your head and into the present. When you get too much into analyzing you lose a sense of what happened and what you thought into happening.

4) Open a window. It’s like a fire drill. If the door is hot look for another path out!

5) Move early! Don’t let the heat or problems keep you from exercising. Just do that earlier. Taking on the day before the heat try’s to take you is the best way to stay on the offense.

To be honest, I’m still in my heatwave. Maybe by the time this publishes, LA and I will be entering fall. But, until then I will workout earlier, keep my eye on my future plans and celebrate any breeze that blows my way.

The late Dr Wayne Dyer said “Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done. It’s always your choice.”

You are in control of your life and your thoughts–see brain is listening. Remember you have choices. You can make them, or the heat can. Which will it be?

Stay cool my dears!

Xx~LL

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6 ways to stop your waiting anxiety

You’ve focused on something. You’ve put something at stake. But for some reason, the passion and drive you’ve thrown into the proverbial “ring” isn’t being rewarded. As my roommate Shana aptly put it—“we always want what we can’t have. We live for the chase, and indulge in the glimpses of possibility.   We get a taste and only hunger for more when the adrenaline sets in.” Why is this? Why does it feel like we are continually waiting?

According to an article called The Psychology of Waiting, “unoccupied time seems longer than occupied time” and  waiting solo seems longer than waiting with a group. Its lonely-waiting.  Its also rough not getting this kind of attention or what you want, especially when it is so important to you. No matter what it is, a date, a job, a person to text you back, an apartment, a performance contract, it is hard waiting endlessly.  Sadly, a watched pot never boils.

In this exact moment in time, I am waiting to get an important work call. A friend is waiting to hear back from a job interview (and texting me relentlessly about it). Another friend is waiting to hear from a date that she had to see if his feelings are as strong as hers (and I’m fielding her texts, too). Even more friends are waiting to hear back about auditions they had to see if they booked work. It seems like everyone I know is waiting on something. Waiting is the most aggravating thing in the world. I’m not Catholic, but purgatory seems much worse than any other option.


Waiting is the most aggravating thing in the world.


I usually find myself going stir crazy when I’m just waiting. I am not good at just sitting and doing nothing. The watched pot doesn’t boil, so you have to go off and do something else, and let the rest take care of itself. Eventually the rest of the world will catch up to you and come through for you, but until then, you just have to get through the waiting.

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How to get through this:

1)   No matter the situation you have to stop focusing on it. All of your attention on it will only make it seem bigger, more important, and more detrimental when you don’t get what you want. Also it makes the time drag by.

2)   Put your focus somewhere similar. If it’s a job you’re applying for, go send out more applications to other jobs. If it’s a text you’re waiting for, go put your energy towards another person; how long has it been since you called your parents? If it’s a living situation, go look at other places. Putting your energy into similar things, pulls energy toward you. Think of it as this: When kids are in the sandbox, everyone wants the pail so they can make castles, but if one kid decides he doesn’t want the pail anymore and then starts using the shovel and starts making his own pile of sand with the shovel, then the focus starts to be on the one who is making progress. Eventually, most will abandon the focus on the pail, leaving it up for grabs. They’re all still in the sandbox, they’re all still making sand castles, but the need for the pail is lifted, making it available.

3)   Realize the first step is that you have no control over other people and the way the world turns. You just don’t. Give it up to whatever diety you believe (or don’t believe) in. Know that you have no control, no matter how long you stare at your phone, or refresh your email, or watch the clock tick. You just don’t have control. And that’s ok. Just breathe. Life will go on either way.


You just don’t have control. And that’s ok. Just breathe. Life will go on either way.


4)   Don’t plan your life around it. Continue to live. Go out with friends, go to the gym, go plan a menu and go grocery shopping. Don’t sit and marathon tv shows!! Get moving! If you sit around just waiting for something to do, time drags, and you’ll continually think about how nothing is happening. Create movement. You’ll attract movement as well… so maybe if you get out and do things, what you’re waiting on will sense the movement and start moving, too.

5)   Focus on yourself. In this time that you’re waiting, think about things to do for yourself, or that you need to accomplish. Do you want to do a facemask? Reorganize your junk drawer? Make appointments for personal things? Go focus on you! If you make yourself important, and you view yourself that way, others will too! You will attract the energy. So go focus on yourself for a bit!

6)   Know that whatever is happening to halt the incoming has nothing to do with you. I mean it does because you want it, but there are other people and other factors in the world. There are other people and other factors in play. We just have to wait for other people to take care of their business or lives, and then get back to us. They might be reading over lots of applications, or working, or having their own crisis. Just because they’re not getting back to you doesn’t absolutely mean that they’re antagonizing you on purpose or need more from you. Just leave them be! They’ll get back to you when they can.

Desire is great; it drives us. Adrenaline powers us, but at the same time it can make life worse. If you’re not getting what you want, just keep moving forward. It might not be the right time for what you want. I’d love to keep writing… but my work call came in, because I focused on something else. So, I’ve got to go, but let us know what you’re secret to beating waiting is, below!

–Clare

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How to deal with the barrage of green grass

The Grass is so much greener on the other side. Isn’t it? Pictures other people post on Facebook showing how gloriously happy they are; the status updates. Everyone of your friends seem to shout to the rooftops and around the world how amazing their life is…well, can be.


But is it? Is it actually greener?


Before I get to deep into this post, let me just say that I am not green with envy at anyone at this moment. I hope not to be ever. Honestly…it’s way too much energy and time wasted. However, I realize that many people are learning to get through this very thing. For the people who are struggling with this issue of jealousy, you need to hear that what you see isn’t always better.

I remember growing up and being jealous of my best friends. They got cars from their parents before I did. They didn’t have to pay for them, either. Their allowances were more than mine. As a teenager I couldn’t think of anything worse in the world than having to ask for a ride. I had to get a job at 15 to have extra money so I could hang out at the mall, too.

So, let’s chat about this greener pasture you’re hung up on. Whose is it? What’s it look like to you? Why is it different than your own pasture? Or for you city folk, why is it better than your own balcony?

 

It’s easy with all the social media to constantly compare your grass (or balcony) to someone else’s. They post a picture of themselves at a gorgeous beach and it’s a Monday. You’re on your way into work and no beautiful beaches in site. Every person’s post is a potential comparison starter.

How do you deal with the barrage of green?

First, check yourself. Are you making choices in your life that are in line with your goals? Or someone else’s?

If it’s someone’s vacation you’re envying: plan your own. Even if it’s a stay-cation! After all their beach pictures could be stunning, but rarely does anyone pick up and go off to Aruba. They planned and treated themselves to a trip. You can do the same thing. That’s a choice.

If it’s weddings and babies you’re envying, remind yourself what it is you really want: a partner, best friend, and a family. You know deep down you want to marry the right person for you. Not just anyone…right?

Also, remember we don’t see the negative side from those exciting and very green pictures. That gorgeous beach picture isn’t showing the crappy hotel in the background or the credit card bill that is inching closer to the limit. People post their best selves, or what they think others want to see. The pictures showing a fantastic night out doesn’t show the evidence of the next morning. Check out Clare’s blog post on “over sharing” for tips on acceptable social media behavior.

It’s interesting looking back at my jealous years, and realizing how lucky I was. How all those experiences got me to where I am today. I had to work hard, and found how to value the things I had instead of wishing for what everyone else had.

Sometimes, because I am human, I find myself checking out others grass. If the hue of green seems to shine brighter I ask myself why? Is it because I want that exact grass? That exact grass means giving up parts of my current life. It means giving up my own grass. So, I remind myself that I live in California. It’s in a drought. There are more things in life worth having than green grass. Succulents are stunning too!


Wouldn’t you rather be your own original story? Knockoffs and remakes are rarely as exciting as the original.


Whose grass have you been envying? What is it about their grass that’s drawing your attention away from your own?

Xx~LL

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Why the word “too” is just an excuse (and one of Clare’s least favorite words)

Earlier this year, we published a blog on how I loathe, despise and abominate the word “sorry.  I go off on rants about it… feel free to ask any of my friends.  To go read that blog, click here.  Today I want to talk about my second least favorite word: Too.  As in more than needed or desired.

This is another way to say sorry, or is used as an excuse.  You’re too tall, too fat, too ugly, too smart, too loud, too pretty, too short, too manly, too effeminate, too busy, too tired, too much, too hard.  Well, boo hoo.  Too friggin’ bad.  You’re an adult.  Come to terms with the real reason that you think that whatever is standing in front of you isn’t good enough.  Stop making excuses.  If you use it in reference to yourself, stop apologizing for being you.


You were made to be who you are, and you are here for a reason.


So let’s go with the first one: be an adult and come to terms with the real reason.  Personally, I’m so sick of hearing people complain that others are “too” something.  I get it.  I’m a brassy, 6 foot tall woman that has a lot of education and a lot of life experience.  I’m a specific flavor, and I’m not for everyone’s consumption.  This is very apparent in the dating world.  I don’t understand why is it so hard when dating people to just say: “I’m just not interested in pursuing any kind of relationship with her/him”?  Its ok.  I’m a big girl (literally AND figuratively), most of us are grown ups in the world and can deal.  Deep down, even if we don’t want to admit it, we know that if I’m not right for you, you’re probably not right for me.  Its not me; its not you: its the pair of us together.  I’m not “too” anything and neither are you.  We’ve been this way since before we met, or have molded ourselves to be who we are as separate entities.  It really just as simple as we can now see each other up close and personal and what we want and our pictures aren’t the same.  I get it.  I’m a VanGogh, and you’re looking for something a bit more Renoir.  Its okay.  I promise.  If its not the right fit, I’m sure its for the best.  I appreciate when people try not to hurt the other person’s feelings, but that never works.  Just say that you’re not interested.  That is easy enough to understand.  Direct, even though painful, is really the best way to be.

That being said when you hear someone say that you’re “too” something, then know that they’re nicely trying to tell you that they’re not interested in pursuing whatever kind of relationship with you, be it romantic, platonic, or business.  Don’t get me wrong, its ok to be polite, but just don’t hang on it.  It’s not the right fit.  Be thankful and move on that someone didn’t try to shove your square peg into their round hole.

If you use the word “too” on some attribute of your own, do you realize that you’re apologizing for being yourself?  I’m too tall, or “I’m sorry I’m taller than most.”  My thighs are too fat.  “I’m sorry I don’t make enough time to exercise because I have other things I’d rather be doing.”  Why are you apologizing for being yourself?  Why are you making excuses for behavior you’re choosing?  It’s ridiculous.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain about something, when they aren’t taking actions to improve the situation.  Yup, I’m not a fan of my thighs.  I live in New York City, where on an average day I climb about 100 stairs.  I’ve been asking Lesley for years to give me a magical exercise to make them melt away.  But do I go to the gym regularly to strengthen and tone them, no.  Do I do the magical exercises Lesley has told me I should do?  Negatory.  Well, that takes away my license to complain about my thighs.

Using the word “too” is kind of the same thing.  It is an apology or an excuse to allow yourself to get away with things.  If you’re too tired to do things with your family, then you should figure out how to lighten your workload, your commute, or whatever personal things you’ve got going on.  Otherwise, people grow up and leave you behind.  If you’re too busy for a relationship, are you sure you’re just not ready for one?  Or maybe you’re enjoying your job, or being single, or whatever—and that’s ok.  Just look at the real trough and admit it!  If your clothes in your closet are uncomfortable and don’t fit, maybe you need to watch less TV, or become more active instead of being sad about it.  Or go out and and spend money on new clothes.  Those are the choices—figure out which is the best one for you, and stop saying you’re “too _____ (fill in the blank).”

Here is what I would love for you to do: Start listening to yourself.  When you use the word “too” what are you actually saying?  Maybe that you don’t want to do what needs to be done?  Maybe that you’re choosing something else?  Maybe that you’re just not compatible with the situation?  Why are any of these bad or negative?  You are what you are in that moment.  Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself, first and foremost.  If you don’t want to date that person: don’t.  If you don’t want to apply for a new job: don’t.  If you want to start your own blog: do.  If you want to go after that promotion: what is stopping you, nothing!


No really, NOTHING is stopping you.  Stop making excuses.


Secondly, make sure that you’re not just making an excuse to get away with something else or get away from something else.  When you stop making excuses, you’ll start making better choices.  “I’m too tired for my family”, becomes “I need to make the time I do have with them a bigger priority.”  “I’m too busy for a relationship” becomes “I’m ok with being single and focusing on myself and my career right now.”  “I’m too fat” becomes “I’m going to rearrange my habits and walk 1000 extra steps a day either at lunch time, or parking farther out, or walking to the next subway stop instead of using the close one.”

Stop using “too.” SERIOUSLY, it makes me cringe!!  Stop making excuses for yourself.  Stop being negative.  Turn it to a positive.

Side note: In one of my Psychology classes, I read that there was a study done where if you told someone a negative thing, they would believe it, and it was more likely to happen.  Instead, if you spun it positively, then the thing wouldn’t happen.  For instance, if you told a child “don’t run, you’ll fall down” then they probably will fall down, because they’re thinking of falling.  If, instead, you tell the child simply “be careful” they will, and chances of falling are less likely.

If you make something a positive by saying, right now I’m not my ideal weight, but I’ll work on it, instead of saying I’m too fat; or say I’m going to work on loving myself instead of saying I’m too busy for a relationship; or instead of too busy for my family, say I’m going to start making Thursday’s family dinner night, and everyone needs to be home by 6pm so we can spend time together, then these things will happen.  And you won’t be too anything, except, maybe too content.  Which is just silly.  I’d LOVE for that to be my only complaint in life.

Start listening to the way you talk.  Do you use “too” or “sorry” too much?  I’m sure you’ll find an over abundance of those two words.  Instead, turn things positive.  Stop apologizing and using excuses.  Start using “I’ll fix” or  “I will.”  Remember, your brain is listening!!  Be who you are.  I’m sure you’re wonderful, or at least have some wonderful qualities that you can form the rest of yourself around.  Go be, do, and live.  No more excuses.   You are never “too” anything… so stop thinking that way!!

–Clare

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