Haters gonna Hate

Recently I was listening to a Being Boss podcast and the founder of A Practical Wedding was talking about a group that has formed on the web just to “hate” on her. That’s literally all their purpose for existence. Now, I have been the victim of haters. We all have. But, I don’t think many of us have been in a place where a whole group of people took out a site just for the purpose of hating on us.

The girls interviewing her on the podcast asked how it felt to be talked about regularly on the web by a group of strangers. She was so positive. So up beat and “bright side up.” I had to share this with you. She doesn’t actually read any of their comments. Her team does. They do it for one reason: These “haters” help her and her team out. Yep, they actually are using these haters to help make her and her business APW better. They find any editing errors, inconsistencies, and even stats! Yes, stats that she was trying to figure out, and the hater group had them posted for all to see.

We all make mistakes. There is usually someone out there ready to point them out.  The haters are at the ready to find all the failures of her and APW. We know from How to Fail that failure is feedback. Instead of bumming out that they made an error they simply thank these “copy editors” fix the error and move on. Ok, so maybe they do not actually go into their hate forums and say “thank you” but in their awesome APW offices they say it and most importantly they move on. They don’t stress about it.


They are winning at the hating game. We all can win the hating game without having to engage one teeny weeny bit.

  1. What is the trash talk actually saying: I used to work retail and people would often want to call my boss to complain about me.  I could worry; no one wants their boss called. Except, wait! Why were they complaining? Because I wouldn’t let them return someone after the cut off. They wore, used and abused a purse and a year later would want their money back and I said no. I just let them complain. They were basically telling my boss I was great at my job.
  2. Is the trash talk in line with your goal? If they are trash talking how your clothes look, or who are are dating, and you love your clothes and enjoy your mate then remember: you are rubber, they are glue. Your journey is about reaching your dreams.  Let them trash. It’s all just projections about how they are feeling about themselves. You just happen to be the target. Let it all go in one ear, out the other. You can read more about projections here.
  3. Are they they opposite of “yes men”: we have all seen celebrities rise and fall and we think if only they had someone who told them “no.” Well, just like celebrities we all need someone in our life to be the opposite side. Sure, we are freaking amazing, but sometimes an idea isn’t as good as it could be. Haters can be that needed devil’s advocate. Listen to their trash and use it to make your diamond idea sparkle even more. If they see a hole in your plan that you didn’t all the better. You can patch it even before it leaks.

Haters are always gonna hate. You’ll probably never be able to win them over. So don’t even worry about it. Just ask yourself what they are so fussy about. Can you use it to help you soar? No? Then toss it back like a bad fish and throw your line out a little further. APW uses it to fix or create content. Their haters give them a good idea if they are hitting their target audience. If the hate doesn’t help the cause then they ignore it all together. Let them eat their hate. You’ve got too much to good stuff coming your way!


xx~LL

Ways I’m trying to quash my jealousy. 

Jealousy is an interesting feeling. It comes up suddenly and inspires all sorts of feelings: rage, disappointment, loneliness, insecurity, to mention a few. Jealousy is the really frustrated and angry feeling of desire or need for what someone else has. According to Psychology Today “jealousy can strike…when a third party threat to a valued relationship is perceived…”

Now, I don’t get jealous easily. Sure I’ve felt my share of envy: wanting a certain role now, or a new flute in high school, wanting the drive others have to make their careers work.  I am envious of many people, but very rarely jealous.  And although similar, they’re far from the same thing.  Lately, I’ve been suffering tremendously, painful jealousy.  One of my friends seems to spend so much time with another friend and it drives me crazy, nee insane. Al, my friend, seems to continually post on social media every time they hang out. They see each other multiple times a week. They’ve been on vacations together.  And with it in my face constantly, I find that I’m actually doubly jealous because I want a friend like that, and I want to be that to my friend.  I want that, but for some reason can’t have it.  And I don’t know why.


Jealousy is not a fun way to feel. It’s anger and neediness all rolled into one. According to Psychology Today, it’s a survival skill that arises when a relationship feels threatened.  And I guess that is where I am. It’s an odd feeling–I rarely feel threatened.  But for some reason, this friendship I do. I just can’t be all the things that this other friend is to Al.  And I don’t know why. Which makes me seem inferior and unworthy, which makes me jealous and depressed. And the cycle doesn’t stop.

Relationships are chemical. All relationships. Romantic or platonic, although we’re more forgiving in the platonic kind. However this chemical attraction is what keeps the relationship going. We have to work hard on all relationships. We have to come forward, or in my case, let others come forward and take ownership of the relationship as well.  When one person doesn’t seem to put forward as much as the other, it’s frustrating. And it gets worse when they put, what seems to be more effort, towards another person.

I’m jealous because I want to be everything, but I can’t. I want to be as important to Al as he is to me….and I want to believe I am, but for some reason I don’t trust the fact. I don’t expect any of my friends to solely focus on me. That would be narcissistic and boring. But at the same time, I’m jealous that my friend seems to spend a lot of time with another one of his friends.

In a conversation tonight with my friend Dee, a nail was hit on the head. Dee tossed the painful realization at me that I’m seeking to fill a void in my life and seeking to fill it with people who aren’t correctly suited to do so. Instead I need to find the strength within myself to be complete, and not wait around for my friend Al to come dashing to my side–because that has never happened, and probably won’t.


As I’m writing this, I’m babysitting and watching the end of Big Hero 6–the kiddos started it before they went to bed and it’s running in the background. And I do love this movie.  Sorry to ruin it for you, but in one of the final scenes Beta Max says to Hiro–who doesn’t want to leave him– “I will always be with you.”

The Universe always sends the message we need, doesn’t it??

Trust.  Trust is the antidote to jealousy.


I have to trust my friendship.  It is important.  My friend Al does make time for me and is happy to see me, but for some reason I forget that the moment I see a picture on social media.  I have to create a strong talisman against this jealousy. So what am I doing to make this better?

  1. Breathe.  Yeah… this is ALWAYS my first step–but its important to do.
  2. Get it out physically.  DON’T HURT ANYONE, but a nice jog or a hearty physical workout always helps get the emotions out of my body.
  3. Block social media.  I took a break from my friend.  I hid him for a couple of weeks.  If I want to text or call or email, I do.  But I’m taking a social media hiatus until I can handle it again.  (After all, social media isn’t real life.  Its what people want you to see.)
  4. Journal.  And blog.  And talk to friends.  Get it out–otherwise it festers.
  5. Rational conversation.  When I’m ready, I’m going to have a rational, unemotional conversation with my friend–I actually have had this conversation with him a few times.  Every time he always hugs me, tells me I’m silly because he loves spending time with me.
  6. Know your pressure points.  Like in step one, I know that social media pics and posts push me over the edge.  You can’t avoid the pressure points forever, but know when you are about to steer into a situation that might set you off, either mentally arm yourself, or know you’re about to snap, and try to restrain your feelings.

I would like to make clear that I’M NOT a psychologist or psychiatrist.  However I do know people, and I am trying to learn my own mind.  Jealousy is not an easy emotion to deal with, and I certainly haven’t mastered or overcome it yet.  I would love to discuss this with any of you!  Please leave comments or suggestions!!

–Clare

How to create more time in your day

There are few guarantees in life. But, the amount of time in a day, days in a week and months in a year are pretty much always the same. There are always 7 days in a week with 24 hours each day and 60 minutes in each hour. If you find yourself wishing you had more time in your day, then here we go!

Grab a piece of paper or print out a blank calendar.

First, sharpie in “sleep.” Sleep is incredibly important. It creates better productivity and is not optional. Ariana Huffington‘s latest book has 50+ pages of source notes to prove this.  Sharpie in bed times and wake-ups. Set a “sleep” alarm just like you set an “awake” alarm. Have it go off 30 minutes before so you begin to prepare for your rest.

Second, sharpie in your actual work hours. I have hours I teach, and hours I do my office work.

Third, sharpie in your “you” time. Note that this isn’t 3rd because I think it’s low on the totem pole of importance. Its only third because many of you don’t have flexibility in your work schedules.


Then add any and all the other commitments you have.  Kids, date night, book clubs, etc.

Grab a calculator. How many hours are you giving away to other things not your goals or desires?

That whole saying “actions speak louder than words” applies here! If you wish you were working out more, then you should commit more time in your calendar to that desire. No, you cannot take away from sleep. But, maybe you could not stay late at work two days a week and get moving. You may have a desire to spend more time with friends but you don’t want to miss out on something else. Invite your friend along. This will give you double accountability too.


The point is not to make you feel like you have to fill up every minute of every day. It’s more about having you get honest with where you are wasting precious minutes on things that are not in line with your desires and goals. I am often asked to meet someone for coffee. But, I really don’t have extra coffee time in my day. So, I try to invite them on a run, yoga or to another friends art opening. Then I can literally double dip on the minutes in my day. Wait!? Did I just create “more time?”

Lastly, I set an alarm in my calendar to look over the week ahead. Is there a client who is out? Did a meeting cancel? Do I have “extra” time this week? If so I take a look at the projects I want to get done, the list of things I wish I had time for and I plug them in. Or, I save that extra time to Netflix and chill. Because sometimes that’s perfect for hitting the desires of life.

Let us know what you find out about yourself in the comments here. Did you find “extra”  time in your schedule?

xx~LL

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Six Tips on Avoiding Singledom Despiration

“Mawidge. A bwessed awangement that bwings us togever todayy”…a very often quoted moment from A Princess Bride. Always cracks me up, but today, its making me wonder….Why isn’t it my time yet?

So, folks, I’m having an issue…well, it’s ongoing, so maybe it’s more of a subscription. “Oh dear god, when will the right man come along so I can have a partner in life, and get married?”  Sadly, this is such a common thought these days for many of us.  We think it as if our lives aren’t complete, or can’t begin until we are partnered.

Social media isn’t making it any easier, because it’s in our face immediately when people are experiencing joyful times. Friends who are getting married and having babies and getting new cats: I’m so happy for you. I’m jealous of you. My heart flips from joy to ache in about three seconds of reading your post or seeing your pictures. I’m flip-flopping from one way of dating to the next, this month is Tinder; last month was minor bar hopping.  Its not like I’m not trying.
The weird thing is, I’m feeling mildly desperate–yup, I’ll admit the desperation. I’m a strong, driven, beautiful woman. With tomorrow being my 37th birthday, I’m not feeling my biological clock tick. Instead I have this anticipation of my expiration date approaching–and there really is a difference. Its a need to start something, instead of needing to create offspring.  So, disclaimer: I’m not one of those who NEEDS to have kids. It’s a possibility, but not a burning desire. However, I’ve lived almost half my life now–that is assuming I’ll live into my 80s as most of my grandparents did, and the thought creeps in from time to time that it might be too late.  In my current sanity, and also my current “research” via my online profile tell me that it’s never too late. My mother was remarried at 36. My father remarried at 40 and at 51. Matches are out there.  But lately this sense of “too late” is in my brain.

But what is “too late”?  Really?  Medically, its not super safe to have kids after 45… but adoption is always a possibility.  I know friends who have gotten married for the first time in their 40s and 50s…  I know many people who are single and fabulous.  So, this encroaching deadline to get married and have kids, this feeling that the parade might have passed me by–it doesn’t mean shit.  Its all in my head.

I thought about this for a bit, and came up with a few thoughts about “life starting” and why it feels like we’re waiting for a partner before that happens.  These thoughts might be helpful to you, too.

  1. Life has already started.  Move forward, or sit and watch it go by, its your choice.  But I’m much more like Tris in the Divergent series–I’m gonna jump on that train–its scary, but its better then staying where I’m sitting.
  2. Your life is your life.  There may be rules.  There may be an order.  Yours may or may not follow exactly along the path of everyone else’s… If it was supposed to, we would all get the same education, we would all have the same job, we would all have the same thoughts.  You are different, and that’s ok.
  3. Embrace the difference.  Love who you are.  Be the best you that you can be.  Figure out yourself.  Love that about you.  You are an ever changing, evolving entity.  That is a beautiful thing.
  4. Know you have choices.  If you really really really really wanted to, you could have the thing you think you most desire.  But for some reason you’re choosing something else that is more important.  Like, I could have a family and a house–but those weren’t my focus.   Being an actress was.  So I chose that.  I gave that my focus.  I’m proud of that.
  5. Maybe what you most desire isn’t really what you most desire.  I thought about the house and the car and the husband and the babies.  But the sparkle of the theater just kept distracting me, and the rest got put on the back burner.  I REALLY want to be here, in New York, acting.  But it took me a little while to see that.  I thought I needed to be like “everyone else” and go the family route first.  But after a few years, I went the career direction on the Life board game first.  There are many gloomy days.  But there are more happy days.
  6. Focus on what makes you happy.  Without hurting others, what would you do if there were no limits?  Why aren’t you pursuing that?  Seriously–go!!  Now!

So here’s the thing… we’re rounding the corner once again into wedding and baby seasons… and no matter where you are on the scale of relationships and babies and generally being happy, the truth is, your life is the accumulation of all of the choices you have made.  I chose to be an actress.  I chose to move to New York.  I chose a hard career in an insane city.  I don’t have babies or a partner, but I have an AMAZING Urban Family.  I am a nanny to a young man who will never forget me.  I am an auntie to some adorable doggies.  I am an Urban Sister to some of the most amazing, talented, giving people.  And I am in a city that always has something intriguing to distract and divert attention.  There are so many reasons I’m just “not there;” just not on the same track as everyone else.  The irony is that currently I work for an event planner–so my life is filled with weddings!

Congratulations to all of my family and friends across the globe who have been getting married and having babies!  I really am so happy and proud for you. Really and truly.

For those of you who aren’t–listen, its just not time yet, or its not the plan for you.  If you need a little pick me up or a little help in the “everyone is getting married BUT me and I don’t know how to handle it” department, I wrote a blog on that last year.

Know that its all going to be ok.  Focus on what makes you happy.  Life is messy and full of choices, but its also great and silly and fun.  Ultimately, its all going to work out.  I promise.

–Clare

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Six ways to find your inner strength

You know what is amazing? Strength. And even more amazing than the strength itself is finding it unexpectedly inside you.
Lesley and I have been “live blogging” our goal reports to you weekly. We were inspired to do this because we were commended by a few readers when we announced we met a goal, and we thought that it might be a fun journey for you to take with us…because although the achieving is great–the journey is always…interesting. Also, posting publicly our goals is not only a follow-able journey, but it keeps us honest and on top of things we deem important. Things we need to work on to make ourselves stronger.
One of mine is fitness. I believe I wrote in my original post in January that my fitness goal is to find something I stick with and will make a habit of, as I am one of those who will work out for a bit doing one thing and will get bored and will just stop doing it. I want something I can practice regularly and keep doing.


Among the three things that seem to have stuck are Sun Salutations. I started just doing 4-5 every morning. This in itself was a struggle for a few reasons:

I’m out of shape and my upper body strength sucks

I’ve never been good at Downward Facing Dog

I LOVE waking up slowly: having a cup of coffee and just sitting for an hour or more in the morning.

If I’m working, I set my alarm until the last possible moment I can so I get all the sleep I want.
This was the beauty of sun salutations. A few can take as little or as long as I want. If I want to, I can do them quickly while my coffee is brewing and they don’t take any of my precious “Me” morning time, or my getting ready for work. Contrarily, if I want a more intense workout, I can stretch longer and deeper.


Now, any of you who have taken yoga know that Sun Salutations can take on many forms, with different poses in between. I generally have a plank pose in the middle of mine (prayer pose, down into a bend, lunge one leg back then the other to meet and go into plank, then lower down before pushing up into cobra or up dog, then push back into down dog, then waddle my way forward into half bend, then up into prayer pose. Repeat).
Back in college I took a few semesters of yoga, and I remember being extremely proud of my pectorals (aka, I had perky boobs and they were even better with strong muscles underneath-hey, I never said I wasn’t vain!) and loved yoga because of this. I also loved yoga because I could do it. I’m tall and strong, but wasn’t physically fit. And I loved that I could do yoga, be challenged, and was getting stronger without too much sweat or pain.
I chose to dive back into yoga this year, at least minimally because it works with my schedule and I can be the master of my own workout. I can go at my own pace–whatever that is that morning. And I can work as hard as I want to.


Again, my goal this year was to find something I would stick with. An addition to walking my 3 mile average that I walk daily in NYC. Something a little extra that I would want to do and can keep up with regularly. Losing weight and health and gaining muscle, blah blah are great–but my ultimate goal is to find something I’ll stick to. Something I won’t cringe at doing. Something I’ll just DO. So my body doesn’t go into rigarmortis before I die.
And it’s working. I’m doing 5-8 sun salutations in the morning. I aim for 8, but if I’m not feeling it when I first start, I do what I can and come back to them later. When I first started doing them, my body was like: “GURRRRRL. What do you think you’re doing?!?” But this morning, I found myself holding plank for 10 seconds each time without shaking arms, and holding down dog without wanting to cry–something that even at the peak of my previous yoga tenure, seemed to happen regularly. In other words, this morning I found myself stronger.
After only practicing a minimal amount daily, I’ve gained strength. My practice is maybe 10 minutes. I don’t really push myself. I don’t strain or hurt. Which is good because a lot of times I’ve stopped whatever workout because it hurts or I’m tired. And then I get out of the habit.

This may not be a surprise to a lot of you, but the secrets to getting stronger are:

1. Do something you can do regularly if not daily. If you can fit it in your schedule, you’ll keep doing it. Gretchen Rubin says in her book about habits is that it is easier to keep doing a habit then it is to not do it. So to quote the famous Nike ad campaign: just do it.

2. Find accountability–I think what gets me through the hump is that I blog about my progress weekly. I know people will read or will ask and therefore I am more willing to commit and stay accountable.

3. Make it convenient–I do my yoga in my living room while the coffee is brewing. Practice instead of staring at the percolation process pushes me to do it and get through it. I also like the challenge and the blood pumping!


4. Go at your pace–I know I like to feel successful about working out, so I start low and when I get confident I add more. I started with 5 sun salutations every day. I’ve added three more, and spend more time in each pose. Some days I add push-ups or add a Warrior or Triangle pose. When I feel good, I want to keep going. You could be the opposite–and that is fine. Do that. Go your own pace. No one else’s.

5. Know your goal. Maybe this should be first, but know what you want out of your pursuit. I would love to be skinny, but I know that “thin” isn’t a strong enough motivator for me. There are just too many amazing things to eat and too many things I would rather do than exercise. Therefore a “health” or anti-stagnant goal is great for me. Know what you really want so you can know what your focus is.

6. Don’t expect results or be upset if they don’t come right away–results will come, don’t get me wrong. But it might come in different forms. I lose weight in the three places I feel fattest in, last. And it never fails that I always feel larger/fatter within 3-5 weeks of working out. It just happens. Part of it is because I’m looking more closely. Part of it is because I’m expecting my body to lose weight. When I don’t expect my body to do things, it shows me results. Like being stronger.


Knowing these things will help you focus on creating and sticking with a habit that will eventually grant you the strength you slowly will work up to. You’ll get there!

–Clare

5 Ways to Jump Over Life’s Hurdles

Today, I went to tap class and at the end of it I felt like a total idiot and I wanted to cry. There was a simple step I just couldn’t do. The teacher even stopped class and slowed the step down to a beginner pace. I just couldn’t get it. And I should know better. It’s an easy step. A freaking Waltz Clog with an extra shuffle! Ugh. And my normal shiny, bright, Pollyanna self just can’t get over the berating. So…here we are.
After walking a few saddened blocks post-class, I stopped in Starbucks to get myself a treat to cheer up–it’s a simple dance step. I’m in line thinking: I know I’ll get it. I know my learning curve with dance and I know it takes me longer than some. But the straight “A” student in me ALWAYS gets frustrated when I can’t do something–let alone something that I used to be able to do or that I’ve already struggled with and overcome.

But life isn’t like that. Once you get over a hurdle, if you forget about it or let it lapse, that hurdle will come back around and trip you. You’ll trip hard. On your face. In the mud. In front of important people–it never fails.

In reality, my brain is embarrassed and very angry at my feet for not retaining the information–because my brain has it. My feet, however are not so quick to remember.

So my lovely teacher, has now stopped class so I can pick up the step–that isn’t hard, it’s just a challenge. And somehow after picking up so many steps and changes, my feet are just done and don’t want to participate. And I’m upset by this.

Ugh. These crippling adult thoughts. “I should be able to do better because I have done this before.” “I’m smarter and more talented than this.” “I’ve been doing harder things than this, why is this difficult.”


Well–from the outside you look in and say: Clare, it’s ok. Just practice. Your body is out of shape. This was your 4th tap class in 7 years. Life will go on. No one is mad at you or thinks less of you for this moment.

But I’m still down.

And I’m at Starbucks. And as the Universe would have it, I’m not the only one struggling today. A blind lady walks in before me. She’s not too much older than me, but she keeps bumping into things. And there is confusion for her as to where the line is and if the barista taking orders is really talking to her. She finally places her order and heads over to the pickup bar. I order and make the move to the pickup bar as well. The barista behind the machine is struggling, too. He is on an island of espresso–making all the drinks on his own, and it seems like his first time alone making the orders. And in the mass produced individuality that is Starbucks, it’s not an easy task. Or it is easy after you find the rhythm, or the steps.

My lovely new blind friend’s order is finished and she cannot see the cup, so I gently guide her hand to it. And the barista gets some help too, getting another barista to help him fill orders. My drink came. I grabbed it and was on my way.All three of us, the blind woman, the barista, and me are just having a moment. Struggling through. But when shown other people’s hurdles, I realized my hurdle today comes in many forms and visits often.


Today’s lessons:

1. Believe in yourself. Know that you are smart enough, good enough, strong enough to get it/figure it out/live through it easier next time.

2. Forgive yourself. If you lose the skill, it is a new combination of skills, in a new place, or new speed–it won’t be perfect.
3. Practice. Even if you were perfect once, unless you keep up the practice, you’ll lose the skill.

4. Ask for help. I have moments where I’m better and worse at this. There are people who are more experienced, who can see, who can help. Let them. It’s ok to take a couple extra minutes now so you don’t keep struggling later.

5. Don’t be upset at help. Most of the time the people assisting you are doing it to help YOU. So, try not to snap at them in the moment. And make sure to say thank you at the end–a thank you goes a long way.
The struggle IS real. But it’s also something that you can overcome. The barista is probably making coffee faster after it becoming more mechanical, the blind woman can probably navigate the same Starbucks store a little easier now that she knows the layout, and I can do the step now that I’ve stopped thinking about it.


Remember, hurdles are just hurdles. You run at it with all you can and jump. Sometimes you get over it and sometimes you have to practice, ask for help, give yourself time to adjust. You’ll get there. I believe in you.

Clare

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7 Ways to Get Through Professional Loss

Within ten days, I lost a gig making a nice pile of money, and I lost a role that I thought was mine.  It was a rough week–two separate losses that I was not expecting but had planned on. I could have gone into a very dark corner and stayed there for a bit; weeks; months. I could have taken both inward and beaten myself up; berated myself with asking: why?

Truthfully, I feel mildly like a child complaining that “its not fair” what happened to me.  I’m frustrated that things didn’t go my way.  But after crying over one, and stamping my feet over the other, I came to the conclusion:  these things weren’t meant to happen for me.  I took a deep breath, released my frustrations and moved on.


Seriously, this overwhelming sense of calm came over me both times, and I realized that no matter how much I wanted these situations to happen, no matter how much I wanted this role and this job, no matter how big they were in my brain, neither one is meant to be mine.  Neither one is meant for me.  My time is to be spent elsewhere.  The thought that  I’m not meant to be (for you Hamilton fans) “in the room where it happens” is frustrating because I had been planning on both of these activities for a few months, plans were made around them. Obviously, I was not living in the moment and counting my chickens before they hatched. But, to quote Robert Blake, sometimes “the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.”  Or maybe they weren’t the “best” plans.


Part of the reason I felt release from these disappointments go because although I wanted both situations to be in my favor, it truly feels like neither is the right direction for me to move in.  I cried about not getting the role–I wanted it; I had been talking to one of the producers for about a year and a half about playing this role and was over the moon when I was asked to audition for the role. And I suffered panic and confusion for about an hour over the gig–I wasn’t able to work because I was short a qualification and I sent emails back and forth trying to figure out how to rectify the lack. Neither, although both I want terribly, are the way I’m supposed to travel in my life.


Its an interesting feeling, because once I came to terms with both of these adjustments in my life, I feel better.  I don’t feel bitter or angry.  I’m not trying to bargain to get back what I feel I’ve lost.  I’m not crying anymore–I did over the role for about three hours, but I’m a highly emotional being… it makes me a great actress.  I’m at peace.

How did I get there–actually I didn’t know.  Loss of something is hard. Loss of something you know is yours, is even harder. But as I wrote this blog, I realized, these were my steps:

  1. Be Upset.  Seriously.  When I found out, I called my mother, who told me it was ok to cry about my loss.  But I could cry about it that day, and then I had to move on.  I was given the permission to be upset, and a time limit for my grief.  Now, I realize this time limit thing doesn’t always work for everyone, but it really helped me.  I cried it out and was done.
  2. Breathe.  This is usually my step one, but you need to get the bad stuff out before you can take the good in.  Deep breaths help you remember that you’re still alive; that you’re still able to do many things.  True this didn’t work out.  True you wanted it.  But you’re still breathing.  Hear Viola Davis tell you: you is kind, you is smart, you is important.
  3. Take a minute.  Its ok to just chill out and just go through the motions of your days for a bit.  Get back to a stasis and an unheightened state of emotions.
  4. Tell yourself you’re going to be ok.  Keep telling yourself this.  There is some reason you’re not supposed to be headed down that path–and whatever it is, I’m sure its a good reason. 
  5. Look forward.  This step might come a few days or weeks after loss, FYI.  What can you do next?   What is the next step?  What is it that you needed out of the situation that you didn’t get?  (One of mine was money, the other was getting to fulfill a dream.  So for me–What other ways can I make money and what are other dreams, or other ways I can complete this dream?)  Is this the right direction, or should you head in a different one?
  6. Look backward.  Wait on this step until you’re emotionally clear–note you’re not allowed to beat yourself up with this step–its introspection only.  Was there anything you could have done differently?  Was there anything you can still do?  (Also make sure you’re not pathetic about it.  Needy and pathetic won’t get you far.)  Chances are you couldn’t have done anything differently–but note ways you could be more concise in the future.
  7. Make a new plan.  Do you want to head in the same direction?  Do you want to try a completely different goal?  For me, I’ll always keep auditioning–that part will come around again.  For the money, I’m realizing I’ll be alright with out the extra income, and I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with my finances with out the extra padding.

When faced with loss, you have to keep living.  You have to keep going.  Don’t let loss cripple you.  Take time to mourn, of course, but don’t let it be the anchor around your neck. Sometimes loss makes us refocus.  Sometimes loss saves us from ourselves.  Don’t harp on the past–instead take this lesson and move forward.  We only have control over the present.  Make it count.

Good luck!

–Clare

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5 Ways I’m Curbing My Workaholic Nature

I just realized, I’m a mild workaholic. I might even be a full-fledged workaholic… I have two main jobs. Well three…. I am an actress. I am an event planner’s assistant and I nanny. And then I have this blog, and I write and I do a bunch of other part time joby thingys. Ok, not just three.  So… the realization came just now as I was texting the mom I nanny for—Munchkin has today off of school, but she released me until the afternoon. My immediate response was to text my event planner to see if I could help her out with extra work.

And then it hit me. I’m a workaholic. I was up til 1:30 last night working. I was up at 7am to go to work yesterday. I work throughout the weekends. I am in constant contact with both bosses. Not to mention with the acting career I’m continually looking for auditions and classes to attend, and trying to network like crazy. In my down time, I go see shows—even though I enjoy them, its kind of part of my job to be up on what is out there and going on in the community…. Smoke is figuratively coming out of my ears as I’m typing this.

I’m a workaholic.

Question, what is the difference between someone who is passionate and loves their job and a workaholic? Its quite a fine line. I would tell you that I’m the passionate one, but sometimes, I truly feel the need, its almost an addiction to work.


I’ve been working since I was 13 doing babysitting, and my first real, on the books job, was when I was 17. My dad wouldn’t let me have a real job, I had to beg for one. This should have been a clue. Another clue was that in high school I wanted to be a part of EVERYTHING. I was the only person to graduate in my class in all four honor societies. I was in band, drama, newspaper, Spanish Club, competition forensics and debate. I wanted to take more art, and choir, and be in Student Government, but I couldn’t fit it in. I was actually disappointed that I couldn’t do more.

A day has 24 hours, and I usually spend 6-8 of those sleeping, but I swear sometimes I can squeeze 25 or even 26 hours out of a day. I don’t know how I do this other than telling myself that I can.


Then I find myself in crazy situations where I’ve booked myself solid for days, without a moment to eat, or pee, or breathe. Other times, like a few weeks ago, I go INSANE when I don’t have enough to do. I need constant activities, and in some light, entertainment. I can watch TV or a movie—although movies are hard… that is a lot of commitment to sitting for that long. And I live in NYC, I’d rather go see a play! But in these down times, I get super introspective and berate myself that I’m not doing enough. (Clare, seriously?!? By who’s standards?)This is the downside of the workaholic/passionate person lifestyle: feeling like I’m either doing way too much, or not even close to enough. That and not enough time for friends. I either have too much time or not enough.

I get overwhelmed by all the plays I haven’t seen, or books I haven’t read, or podcasts I haven’t listened to. Let alone the friends I haven’t seen in months who live less than 20 blocks from me. Let alone the things I need to do like cleaning my room! (Seriously, the stack of papers is STILL sitting there from September.)

I’m trying to make myself slow down. Here are my solutions—but please share yours in the comments!

  1. Carry a pen and paper, ALWAYS. It always seems like I think of blog ideas, or things I need to do, or calls I need to make when I’m on the subway, in the shower, or in down dog. NONE of these is a great place to get a mental reminder. I carry paper and jot it down, and then like my Lists Blog—I cross it off when I’m finished.
  2. I’m trying to spend more time IN down dog, the subway, or the shower. Ok, not literally, but I’m trying to give my brain more neutral time. The reason I remember things when I’m in those situations is because I shut my thoughts down temporarily, and those important things pop out.   Spending more time with my brain in neutral will help me refocus and remember. 
  3. LL talked about scheduling her life around the things she wanted to do in her Get Out of Your Own Way Blog and how she made it like an appointment in her life—which some things should be. I’m trying to actually schedule in my down time and a little bit of exercise time as well. (For those of you reading the Goals posts… you know I’m struggling with this!) By actually making myself take time to sit and do nothing, I’m letting my mind know it doesn’t always have to do. I’m also letting it rest. I can function on little sleep. I CAN’T function on little rest. My brain is very cloudy.
  4. This one is hard, but I’m trying to do no electronics 30 minutes before bed, as the light affects your ability to fall asleep http://legacy.kgw.com/story/news/investigations/2014/04/14/doctor-cell-phones-hurt-sleep-quality/12584984/#
  5. The exception to this is that I fall asleep to podcasts—this is great because it makes my brain shut off and listen to the podcast speakers—which are interesting but lull me to sleep, because I’m focused on those, not on the thoughts bouncing around in my brain.

I never thought I would be a woman who makes work come first. But I’m single with no kids (I think this is only partially to my busy lifestyle choices and my work ethic). I don’t think that I’m missing anything in my life, per se however, I do admire and feel a tinge of jealousy for those friends who seem to have more down time in their life or get to do more fun things like travel or hang with friends more.

This is going to take baby steps, especially since my first reaction today to my little bit of time off was to work more and my SECOND was to write a blog about it. Old habits are hard to break. I think I’ll go watch an episode of Castle now.

–Clare

 

Focus on what you have

Life is amazing! No, I am not joking. I am dead serious. We are often asked “How are you?” Or, “How are things?” I find that people are regularly surprised that I with enthusiasm (even when tired) say that “I’m Great” or, “I’m amazing.” Why do I think they are surprised? Well, they look at me like I’m lying. They respond questioningly with “Really?”

No, this blog is not about how amazing I am. Or why can’t people just take what you tell them for what it is. This blog is about focusing on what you have already in your life. Why? Because if you do your life will feel more amazing to you.


Last year I wrote how to deal with a barrage of green grass.  If you haven’t read it go ahead and check it out. It’ll help with what I am about to tell you. If you focus on what you have already. More will come your way. You don’t have to take my word for it. If you want someone with more clout check out The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.

In his book (which we are reading for our book club so grab a copy and join us) he talks about the things that successful people regularly do. One is be grateful. Be grateful for what you already have.

I know, this sounds all new agey and yoga like. But, please stick with me here. It is so easy to get caught up in what we do not have. What we think we need. But, what if you instead just took an inventory of what you already have.


I am the first person to beat myself up. I know I just said my life is amazing and I meant it. But, in my personal work and workouts I can be the biggest judge.  I don’t need that little devil on my shoulder, I am perfectly capable of being right inside my head telling myself every little mistake I made. However, after reading this section about being grateful by focusing on all the things you already have, my mind went down a journey into realizing all the strength I already have. Yes, I want more. But, what if I just focused on what I rocked. Only focused on that. Sure, I have to do the exercises and tasks that are hard for me. But, what if I came at them with the same strength and enthusiasm I use on other tasks and exercises? What then? Well, they will probably be easier to at least get through.

I’ve brought Strength Finders  up before. They have a wonderful test and book that helps you figure out your top 5 strengths and how to use those to be the best version of yourself. Again, it’s so easy for us to focus on the things we don’t have. We wish we had more time, money, education, experience, etc. Strength Finders would say you focus on your strengths not your weaknesses and you will have more success. Meaning: Focus on what you already are capable of (have) and more will come. If you focus on the strength and abilities you don’t have or you think you don’t have you’ll be where you are or worse. You’ll feel further behind…stuck. Like your treading water. That’s exhausting!


I’m focusing on taking five minutes each morning to be thankful for what I have that day ahead of me. If I feel a little judgey devil in my head I am going to turn my grateful music on louder and listen to the sounds of focusing on what I have.

Want more in your life? Try this:

  1. Set aside time each day (preferably morning) to write or say what you are grateful for.
  2. When you feel a “I wish” “I need” “if only I had…” Stop. Call a friend or family member and just tell them Thank you for being awesome.
  3. You have all that you need to get to where you are wanting to be.  If you’re reading this you have at least something that connect to the internet. That’s more than lots of people have.
  4. Starve the Devil. He/She feeds off you focusing on what you don’t have. Starve him by thinking about all that you do have.

Is there more I want in this world? Heck yes! YAAS!!! I want so much awesome stuff. But, the truth is if I only look at that list, that picture it will soon feel like a mirage. Like something so far off in the distance that I am not getting any closer to it. Keep my eyes on what is in front of me right now and one day that mirage will be this awesome reality.

Go be Grateful my readers, Focus on your have’s!

xx~LL

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2016 Goals update #11 LL

Happiness! Yes, I wish I could just write that and you could see the updates…but since I can’t here you go:

Health: It’s time to get real adult. I must get a doctor. Calling this week

Personal: 3rd book of 12 done and 4th book is in the pipeline. I love reading. Can’t believe I ever stopped reading so much before this year.

JobLove: Get 2 more workshops on the books. Film 2 more for this month.

Happy Happy

xx~LL