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

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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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Get IN my way!

I cannot tell you how frustrated it makes me when and obstacle gets in my way. You know what I mean. You are your journey. Your way to work or just trying to tackle your errands. The car in front of you is going to slow. The trains are not running (I’ve heard this is an issue where trains are…). To do task A you have to do a new task. A boomerang task presents itself. It can feel like you’re on an uphill battle with rollerskates on.

Well, tie those laces tight, grab what ever tools you can and climb that mountain! Seriously, where there is adversity, there is a way for you to come out stronger and at the finish line designed just for you.

Scratching your head? Think I’m crazy? Yeah, I know it sounds crazy. Why oh why should you think that pounding on a wall will create a door? Simple, if the path is paved then it’s great for site seeing, understanding and learning but it’s not the path to your success. It’s the path to someone else’s.

I have felt that I often “landed” where I am. That I lept and a net caught me. The truth is I went to College where I did, because a roadblock to Hawaii presented itself. I literally had no other choices. It was go to the private University my friend suggested or stay local and go to junior college. Because I grew up not wanting to be the star of Credence Clearwater Revival’s music hit. I took out massive loans and got the heck out of Lodi.

While in College I needed a job. 9/11 happened the day I was supposed to go and apply for jobs. No one was hiring in the weeks that followed. Then it was holidays and again roadblocks. I couldn’t get a seasonal job as I went home for the holidays. So, I had to wait until January to get a job. I lived off my savings and as soon as school was back I was out applying for jobs. I dropped off 15 applications one of them was put in the hands of our own dear Clare. I got one call. One interview. Those 14 applications, those little roadblocks where directing me in the path that the only job offer I received was the only job I was to receive.

That job introduced me to my dear best friend Clare. I worked my way up in the company and became the manager. I hired an assistant manager who introduced me to pilates. That job took me through college and all the way to LA. Pilates in LA introduced me to Raine, LuluLemon where I was an ambassador. Being a Pilates instructor took me to Boulder, CO where because I was an ambassador I was introduced to Devon. Devon introduced me to my Husband. Who knew that first seemingly devastating roadblock would actually put me on the path to my absolute partner in crime.

Think about the last “No” you got. The last time something didn’t go your way. Then think about what happened because of it. Was it really as bad as you thought?

It sucked to not live in Hawaii. It felt bad that not one other store wanted me a very experienced 18 year old to work for them. But, in the near future awesome things happened. College in So Cal was amazing. My best friend Steph and I would never have met. My dear professor Karen and now great friend was an amazing gift. It was pretty easy to forget the roadblock once I took control of my options.

So, how can you see the positive in a roadblock? How can you take on the uphill battle with a smile on your face? Well, here’s my tips for loving the things in your way:

  1. Take the roadblock in! Sure, you’re going to want to push, scream, cry, yell and cuss like crazy. Do it. Then accept the roadblock. Give it a name. Listen to what it has to tell you.
  2. Take action with your roadblock. If you feel stuck or just do nothing you’ll feel worse. You’ll feel like the roadblock is on top of you. But, stand up next to your block, hold it’s hand and take those first few steps on the new journey towards your goal.
  3. Smile and Listen each step along the way. The “detour” can seem long and windy. But, smile and listen for what you’re supposed to learn, take in or take on.
  4. Look back and download. Don’t look back with your nose held so high you can’t see where you came from. You look back with satisfaction and strength. You made it. What worked? What great things did your roadblock give you? Write them down. Next time you meet a new obstacle will seem easier and you’ll welcome it faster.

So, what roadblocks have you been fighting. Trying to move. Complaining about. What roadblocks can you accept and move forward?

I broke my leg in August of 2014. I was basically sidelined. On crutches. I felt like my world had crashed. Because of my injury I had to get creative. It forced me to make changes in my life. Changes I hadn’t realized I was hoping to make but kept pushing off. After I ditched my crutches I kept those changes. I am so thankful I broke my leg!

Let the obstacles begin!

xx~LL

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6 steps to NOT achieve perfection. 

Perfection–We continually strive for it, reach for it, hope for it, sacrifice for it, and sometimes even die still in pursuit of perfection.

It’s one of those words that has a definition, but everyone defines perfection in a different, personal way. Everyone strives for a bar, for that ever dangling carrot–but why? If perfection is a continually receding horizon, why do we chase after it?

Maybe we continually search for it because we had it for a short while, and it felt so good and we felt so complete. Not because it’s expected or the bar set by others, but because we know the possibility of what we can be.
I’m not saying that we should stop striving for perfection, instead we shouldn’t let it cripple us.


LL and I just read and did our first Book Club podcast on Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert–in a section of the book she talks about writing and rewriting her book The Shape of All Things, and how there is a flaw in it, but that if she went back and fixed it, the entire book would change. So she just left it. The book wasn’t perfect, but she would hope in her next project she would achieve something better. She didn’t let it stop her from publishing. Liz Gilbert didn’t let perfection cripple her.

Perfection is irritating because it is so illusive, and once achieved its fleeting. It is either only a moment, or once your own personal perfection is achieved, people look at you and ask what you’re doing next–so a new goal with a new level of perfection is set. My dad models trains. He has had several different layouts–to his defense, he has lived in several different houses. But he continues to build and paint and model…and then after a few years, reconstructs. He achieved an end, and it was perfect or not, but either way he got bored with it and rebuilt. It’s like the pursuit of the perfect train layout is more important–and in a way it is. Dad continues to hone his hobby. His painting skills and details keep getting better, because he is learning new skills or he is finding better products to make perfection.


This scenario makes me wonder if we actually like chasing perfection. We set a goal to reach so we have a reason to keep doing something. We want to become better, have better results. But more importantly we want to fill our lives with something in between the goal setting and the goal achieving. Reaching the goal is great because once there, we realize that we could reach the goal, so we enjoy our moment of perfection and then realize we are capable, or we like the feeling of perfect, and we set another goal.


I work for an event planner and my goal is always to have a “perfect” event. Although, honestly I don’t know what that means. I guess I mean “smoothly run and enjoyed by guests.” Which, in the 11 months I’ve been on the job seems to be the general consensus after each event. However, I always want to do better the next time. I want to have a better script to run by. I want to have more answers to more questions, in case they arise. No matter how perfect an event goes, I want to be better at running them.
This is part of my personality. I do the same thing in acting. When I perform a show, I’m rarely satisfied. Sometimes I when I’m really upset with a performance, I don’t hear the applause at the end, and I feel like I’ve failed. This used to be crippling. I used to think that I couldn’t go do something else until I got this project correct, or figured out everything that didn’t work. But that was stupid–it kept me from continuing my actual growth that I got by DOING.
Life is the pursuit of perfection. No…wait. Life is the pursuit of HAPPINESS. Perfection doesn’t always equate to happiness. So why are we all constantly struggling for perfection?!? Trying to reach a goal is one thing; being perfect is another.

Going back to Liz Gilbert–she just continued through her book and put it out in the world. I do each play, each performance as best I can in the moment and move on to the next. The work, the passion, the filler to get to the goal is the good part, the life, the achievement.
Here are some steps to let go of your need to be perfect:
1) Breathe. Yeah. This is my go to step one, but a really good deep cleansing breath is healing and will assist in refocusing.
2) Ask yourself if you’re trying to achieve a better you or perfection. If it’s perfection, you’ll never get there. Tell yourself perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a myth. Let go of your need to be perfect.
3) Focus on the steps to achieve the goal–how can you do each one brilliantly or to the best of your ability now. With the knowledge you currently have. With the abilities you currently have. With the time and resources you currently have.

4) Research. What did you do differently last time that worked? What didn’t work? If this is your first time, ask around or Google! What products are out there that can help you do better/grow more/ get more done? Knowledge is power. It allows you to face any challenge better. The more you know, the better.
5) Fail. One of my FAVORITE quotes is Samuel Beckett: Ever Tried? Ever Failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

In other words, we get so much out of failure. We understand what can’t be, what isn’t right, what doesn’t work so much better when we fail than when we succeed. Thomas Edison…blah blah, 10,000 tries to make a light bulb, blah blah. Yeah, I’ve heard that one ad nauseam as well. But there is a reason for that: it’s true.
6) Give up the the need to be perfect. Life is messy. Dive into it. Realize perfection isn’t what matters. Because it’s fleeting. Because it’s an ever receding horizon. Because it doesn’t matter.

At the end, there may be a ribbon or trophy or certificate to award your achievements, but those things don’t matter. It’s who you’ve become that matters. Beautiful, snowflake, imperfect you.

Clare

Date your Jeans

It’s always been hard for me to see my friends sad about dating. Either they are sad because no one in particular is calling, no one is calling at all, the one they really want to call isn’t calling, or the wrong one is calling them…it’s a tough battle. On one hand dating can be so fun. On the other dating can become mundane, tiring and like digging a ditch. When have you dug “enough?”

First, I would like to say that if you are not having fun dating STOP! Take a break. Fill your calendar with things that feed your soul. Spend time with friends who make you laugh. Go dancing, workout, hit the spa. Spend time alone. Love being alone. Seriously, find a way to love your freedom. Then, get back out there and date. You’ll probably be asked out along your journey of loving the single life. People are always attracted to someone whose living fancy free.


Second, remind yourself that you are not dating to settle. You’re not looking to say “yeah this one will do.” When you are shopping for furniture a couch or chair “will do.” You don’t want to say “yeah, it’s ok, it’s nice.” My dear readers wall paper is nice! Yes, I have said that before and I will say it again. You get one life. Don’t spend it with wall paper. Spend it being your whole awesome self. Doing the things you love. Your first dates with a new person should feel as exciting as finding the perfect jeans. Not the ones that are too tight, or stretch out into shapes that don’t match yours. No, I’m talking that perfect pair of jeans that no matter dirty or clean they just feel wonderful. If you don’t know what I am talking about, stop dating. Go jeans shopping. Try them all on! The bell bottoms and high waist ones too. Go to vintage shops, go to bloomingdales. Seriously find the perfect pair. The jeans that make you stand taller. When you have those jeans then get back out their. You now know what you’re looking for in your partner. Someone who excites you so much you can’t wait to put them on.


Already have these jeans then go put them on and then make a date with your friends. Do not talk about dating at all. Talk about life, dreams, trips desires and see how much lighter you feel. Enjoy talking about the positive in your life. Then you can go back out on dates.

Because if you are not happy in your life, if you are not happy in your jeans, then every date, even a good one will feel bleh.


Lastly, if you are not freaking excited about the thought of them calling or texting you then let it go. Don’t wallow over a bad date you don’t care about. Who cares if the person you only liked a little doesn’t call. That’s a bullet dodged, my friends. I know you want to have a partner in crime. But, you should really want that partner. Don’t waste your time with jeans that don’t fit. Donate them. They are perfect fit for someone else. And that’s a great thing!

Enjoy your perfect jeans, readers.


xx~LL

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2016 Goals update #1 Clare

My relationship with money:

Ugh. My friend Grace has offered to be my financial coach for the year. For January I’m writing every purchase and outgoing amount of $$ down. Already I’m a kid who doesn’t want to go to school about this. I’m not liking what I see. Telling myself that Future Clare is very happy to be debt free.

Finding a workout regimine I can stick to:
I went to my friend Michael’s spin class. My first spin class ever. Stay tuned for that blog…I still can’t tell you an answer if I actually liked it or not. It’s not a daily or weekly thing for me.  Maybe monthly.  But I am inspired to try out new classes or workouts that I hadn’t previously thought that I would like.

Publishing my book:
I found a graphics person for my novel cover and set her to work. Still trying to get help through GoFund Me. Have done a lot of research on self publishers.

Overall I’m feeling hopeful and still feeling abuzz about my goals!

 

 

 

2016 Goals Plan–Clare

First, I think that LL is MUCH better at this than I am like I stated in my Goals Blog at the end of last year.  I’m GREAT at seeing something, wanting it, and working to achieve it.  I’m TERRIBLE at looking at things I want to change and keeping up the maintenance.  That being stated, there are SEVERAL things in my life that I’ve been ignoring or waving away for years.

LL inspired me in 2015 with her goals–we do that on occasion, inspire each other–and so here I am with my fresh list (well with my list of a couple of new and a couple of repeats/continuances).

In 2015, I decided to focus on my relationship with myself and to focus on making myself a more complete person, instead of continually dating or trying to date people that just weren’t interesting enough.  This one will continue in 2016.

Also for 2015, I started swimming–I have now moved and am not in walking distance of a pool, but with three different besties who’s jobs are in fitness, living with two dancers, and having several gym bunny friends, its my goal this year to find a continual workout habit–one that I like enough and will do daily or at least the recommended 3-4 times a week (so if you have suggestions, I’m open on this one.)  I want something with little commitment (so no memberships, or high cost), something that is fun or doesn’t feel like exercise–I live RIGHT across the street from Central Park, so I love walking in the park, just not when its 20 degrees outside. I ALREADY walk to the next subway station as a general guideline when I can, and I’m trying to remember to do plies or stretches while making coffee…

Next, I’m publishing my novel this year.  For more info, read my blog on it or the Facebook page!

I’m going to get better at cleaning.  I’m a clean person, but I keep stuff.  I need to be better about organizing the stuff and tossing what no longer serves me.  (I don’t need 8 dingy t-shirts when I have 10 perfectly good ones. I don’t need to keep all receipts, all the time, etc.)  Send me your organizing ideas or write them in the comments!

And now for my big one:  I have a HORRIBLE relationship with money.  HORRIBLE.  Part of it is that I’m in a moment that I’m not living paycheck to paycheck… but I’m spending like I have Park Avenue money… Interestingly enough, I don’t like asking for the amount of money I’m worth–I’m getting better–go read that blog!  But if you have any good money relationship advice, I’ll happily listen.

What are your goals for 2016?

–Clare

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How to NOT make Resolutions

So, I don’t make resolutions. If you read last year’s New Years blog, you know this about me already: I refuse. I will not buy into the hype. I will not go to the gym more, diet a certain way,  doing this or that just because its January 2016. You, Hallmark, Oprah, and others cannot make me.


However, I do use the roll over to a new year to take a look back at what I have been doing. Reflect on what I like, don’t like, need, don’t need, want and don’t want. I set goals based on my desires. Then I share these thoughts with Clare, my Husband and anyone else I feel needs to be in the know. Maybe it’ll even be you!

Last year my theme was to Love the Skin I’m In. I kicked that off with a 30 day yoga challenge. I did do 30 days of Yoga. I did go through the year enjoying who I am more. This goal for 2015 started because I caught myself not loving how I looked. Instead of berating myself, I took time to get into the present moment. What was I avoiding by berating myself. What tasks, to do’s or feelings was I avoiding by hating on myself?

Instead of wishing I were taller, thinner, tanner, or anything else outwardly physical: I moved. I moved my thoughts or my body or both at the same time! I stopped expecting things to just “happen.” Instead, I did things that would lead to what I wanted to happen.

Let me give you an example. As 2014 ended I really did not feel myself. I was just recovering from a broken leg that sidelined me for a month. No walking for a month. The body I was in didn’t feel like mine. I wasn’t super stoked. But as I mentioned in my 2015 start I did my yoga 30 days in a row. I also gave myself a challenge. A Pilates Education opportunity auditions only one time a year. I had 10 months to get stronger than before my injury. I made a commitment to do just that. I committed to at minimum 3 Pilates sessions a week. So, after my yoga challenge, I moved into a routine that I could keep up with regularly. When I felt my mind get upset about something I couldn’t do that I felt I should be able to do I made myself take a deep breath. Then I thought about it backwards. Much like I do goals. I looked at the problem: I can’t do ____. What would be the step below or before? What would be the step below that? What would come before that and so on and so on until I got to something I knew I could do. I worked my way backwards through the problem until I found something I could accomplish. Then I would follow this new map. You know what? It worked! 10 months into 2015 I found myself getting married and auditioning for 1 of 12 spots in the program I set out to audition for.


I left my audition knowing I did the best I could. I had the most amazing wedding and not once did I look at myself and wish anything looked differently.

I acheived my goals of 2015 and so much more and I didn’t have to resolve to do anything!  And I do believe all of this started with my goal to love myself, inside and out.


So, my dear reader how can you skip the resolutions and just win 2016? Think about what you wish you had, think about what you constantly complain about. For example, if you wish you had a new car then write down the new car, the cost and all the details. Then work backwards. What would you have to do to get yourself to be able to go to the lot? What would you have to do to get to the spot before the lot spot? Keep going backwards until you are at the present moment reading this post. Take your bullet point map and fill in any other sub bullet points if needed. Maybe you need to make more money? Or get a new job. Write in the steps to complete the major bullet point. It may take you more than 2016 it may take you less! Time doesn’t matter. It’s your desire, it can take as long as you want or need.

If you complain about something a lot like how you look, for example, or being single, or your job. Take that topic. Reverse it. Instead of I am tired of my job. Write My New Amazing Job is ____. Then just like you did above write the steps to go from point A (you today) to point Z (your amazing goal to___). Again, this isn’t always going to be a 12 month map. It could easily be 3 months or even 3 years.

My roadmap for 2016 actually goes way beyond 2016’s calendar in some areas. It’s shorter than the calendar in others. I desire to live life more fierce and fabulously. My roadmap and thoughts will filter through that. There will be detours. It’s the game of life. Detours are not always bad by the way. Nowhere in my 2015 goals did I write “get married” (I wasn’t even engaged) or quit salary and be my own boss. Both happened and both were awesome!!

Grab your feelings, your dreams and a piece of paper and pencil (it’s easier to erase as needed) and map it out! Maybe you could even meet Oprah!

Happy New Years and happy mapping! And stay tuned to this blog in the upcoming weeks (maybe even follow or subscribe so you don’t miss ANYTHING)–we’re going to have some fun posts and a big announcement soon!!

xx~LL

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!

101 pieces of advice

We started out this blog, 99 posts ago (a whole year and a half ago), because we are told we give good advice and are always asked for it. Self-proclaimed, self-help junkies—we love and absorb ideas, knowledge and advice. We both love to expand the mind, quest for happy living, and search for analysis and reasoning in human behavior. Here are our 101 favorites from our blog, and from a few of our favorite bloggers (note that if you want to read more, just click the link at the end of each quote!):

  1. “OWN being in transition.”  Transitions
  2. “Help yourself out. Sort through all the issues in a simple and effective way: Make a list.”  Regain Control of your life- Make a list!
  3. “Things, life, kisses, don’t always happen the way you dream or plan.” First Kisses
  4. “Change needs to happen. Not all of it is drastic. Sometimes little change is good. It keeps you on your toes.” Patterns vs Change
  5. “You already know the answers.”  Breaking up was RIGHT to Do
  6. “It’s completely OK to know what you want but not want it now.” Don’t want it now
  7. “You really don’t need to keep things. Really.”  5 things I have learned from Moving
  8. It doesn’t matter where you lay your head, as long as you have a place to lay it.5 things I have learned from Moving
  9.  Be vulnerable. Take a breath. Ask for what you need. “ 5 things I have learned from Moving
  10. “… remember to breathe through the painful moments and just keep moving forward. If nothing else, you’ll figure it out as you go.” 5 things I have learned from Moving
  11. “Like any good relationship, a good friendship brings out the best in ourselves.  If you’re not seeing your best, you’re not in the right relationship anymore.” Growing out of Friends
  12. “Its time we make connecting in real life a trend again!”  Eye to Eye
  13. “Cut out the excess chatter and find that peace within.” Text-a-Bitch
  14. “It’s tough out there but don’t try giving advice that 1) wasn’t asked for 2) puts your friend in a place that makes her second guess herself 3) that isn’t leading to a positive feeling towards oneself.” No more projections please
  15. “‘No’ is a full sentence.” The Olsen Twins said that.  Basically…life’s too short to do anything you don’t want to do, or anything that makes you uncomfortable. You always have a choice.–Honestly Libby’s Blog
  16. “A flirt is really just a compliment of you being alive and in this spot at this moment.” Flirting: A How To Guide 16332829367_ddb088af60_k
  17. As cliché as it sounds, love will happen when you least expect it… The most important thing to do is make sure you are living a full life. Fill your days and nights with the things you love, your passions, your family, your friends. Don’t wait for love to happen.–This That and The Other Thang’s Blog
  18. “…. do it with bells on—figuratively that is.” Duty Dating
  19. “Statistics are like a bikini – what they show is interesting but the important stuff is covered up! In a world where we rely heavily on data, it’s people who are at the heart of what really matters and numbers can paint a very different picture, whether good or bad.”– Aloada Bobbins’s Blog
  20. “We all have our lists of wants and needs in a mate. If you don’t experience it in the flesh how do you know its something that is a deal maker or breaker.” Duty Dating
  21. Treat dating as a hobby. If you’re too busy with life, or not having fun, stop. Don’t stop your life, just do it in your spare time. First, dating should never be your number one priority.”  Duty Dating
  22. “Whatever happens, we are responsible for our own happiness and success.”– Lessons From My Daughter’s Blog
  23. “Truth sometimes hurts, but lies are ultimately more painful. Let’s stop lying to each other and make this a more truthful world.” Lying: is it really worth it?1438336432_0904c3f0be_o
  24. “..not every date will be someone you want to date again. It’s nice to set boundaries until the date becomes the partner.” Whats in a Name? 
  25. “Maybe you want to be distracted by a 6 out of 7, but 7’s and 7 Plusses do exist, and are out there for the finding.” Move On From a “No”
  26. “If you want it and are willing to work for it, you can make it happen!  “It” can be anything.”–Lessons From My Daughter’s Blog
  27. “The thing about callings is that once you’re called you have to answer!” Leap of Faith
  28. “Chances of winning the lottery are increased significantly by actually buying a ticket.”–Suzie Speaks’ Blog
  29. “If you want to buy fancy undies, or fancy wine, or have a fancy shave: do.” Am I an Amy
  30. “It’s wonderful if they call, it’s great if they take you out, but if you’re not being introduced to friends or other people in their lives after a month or so, there is a reason.” Professing
  31. “…forgiveness isn’t letting down the protection walls. Its more of the mental version of just releasing unneeded tension and relaxing your shoulders.”  How to Apologize to Yourself
  32. “Only tell others things that you wouldn’t mind the rest of the world knowing unless they have consistently proven that they are trustworthy.”–Suzie Speaks’ Blog
  33. “…acting like a queen means watching and kicking lots of jester’s to the curb but one day your king—do not settle for a prince!—will show up.” RESPECT
  34. “You can change anything in your present.  You can take steps to cure your own unhappiness.” Stick Your Neck Out
  35. “Sex one time or multiple times does not a mate make. If you’re having sex to land a mate…” The Best Sex
  36. “My advice for you is dream big.  Work that dream backwards until you have something “small” to work with.” Climbing the Career LadderSONY DSC
  37. “…moving and doing creates options.”  Round Peg Square Hole
  38. “…the excuse “he/she is not my type” is out the window. If you’re single and alone, its obvious your type hasn’t exactly gotten you a home run. So, try on a different pair of ‘jeans’.” Because He ASKED
  39. “If something makes you want to scream, it’s the absolute wrong answer. Step back. Put the item down.”  Holiday Sanity
  40. “Desire: the sexy Live ClareLesley way to prepare you for a positive path for your future! It’s the Fuck Yes way to set your “goals”. If you don’t desire the outcome, it’s a Fuck No!” Desire
  41. “Happiness is ALWAYS just a perspective.” Happiness
  42. “Sudden change of who you are shouldn’t happen just because the calendar changed, but instead because you want to become a better, upgraded version of your current self.”  New Year, Same You: Upgraded
  43. “Once you start sneaking in the time to create, you’ll start making time for yourself to create.” Competitive Progress
  44. “Get off that “woe is me” train! Grab you happy side up ticket and drink a glass of Self Love.” In Your Social Face
  45. Make your own damn plans.”  Valentines Survival
  46. “Shed those red flag preventing glasses and see your own wants, desires, happiness.”  Red Flags
  47. “Don’t make yourself smaller for a mistake.” Stop Saying I’m Sorry
  48. “ANYONE that you kiss, sleep with does NOT a Relationship make.” Sex with Friends
  49. “Remember, the right one isn’t “out there” but instead is inside of you.”  How to be Single
  50. “You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Isn’t that Amazing?” Climbing the Career Ladder
  51. “We decide when we want something to be done, and we arbitrarily pick dates and times and abilities that we think we should be able to do.” New Year: Same You. Upgraded
  52. “Remember, breathing is the opposite of nerves—if there is plenty of good warm breath in your stomach, there aren’t room for butterflies!”  Nerves: Squish Those Butterflies
  53. “You rest, you rust! Seriously. When I think about rust I remember this old wheelbarrow out in the back yard where I grew up. Do you really want to become and old wheelbarrow?”  Love the Skin You’re In
  54. “…dating should be fun. It should be treated as a hobby. No one freaks out about or overthinks yarn, book club, or collecting stamps.” Dating:  Straightforward From the Beginning
  55. “Texting does not a relationship make.” No Waiting Dating
  56. “Get your face out of your phone. Actually talk to people, see what happens.” Crying wolf on social media
  57. “Sometimes we set goals and then we grow out of them. Luckily we write goals on paper, not in stone.” How To Stop Avoiding Your Goals
  58. “How do you fight the distortion?  Fight it with truth. Get down to the nitty gritty. Get naked.  Find a full length mirror you trust, and take it all off.” Love Your Skin Now
  59. “It’s nice that someone is contacting you. Wallpaper is nice my friends; your relationship should not be just nice.”  Texting is not a relationship
  60. “If you don’t eventually demand your worth, people will think you’re worthless, or worse, take advantage of you.” What Is Your Worth?
  61. “Sometimes the dream we have had in our head since childhood isn’t the one we really want to achieve.” 5 questions to help you focus your dreams
  62. “You are a beautiful snowflake, and you travel however you want to.” Age–Does It Really Matter? 11445631923_df52846c49_o
  63. “Be ok with changing your timeline.” Are you in a trough of sorrow?
  64. “It is great to be altruistic, but you have to take care of yourself if you are going to be any good to anyone else.” Rest IS good for you
  65. “Just like a stockbroker doesn’t put all his money in one companies stock. Don’t out all your stock in dating online. Keep yourself available to meet people multiple ways.” 5 ways to change up your dating game
  66. “I will survive my crisis. You will survive yours.” How to survive your own personal hell
  67. “Your life shouldn’t be supporting your business; your business should be supporting your life.” 5 steps for getting out of your own way
  68. “Even if you walked the same path, at the same speed as another person, you would have a completely different experience. If you open up your eyes and have no expectations, you’ll have enjoyed the journey much more; you see more, experience more, gain more.” Age–Does It Really Matter?
  69. “Slowly progress into the schedule you need to hit the goals you have.” Love the Skin You’re In
  70. “What do you really want? Re-tailor your life to that dream!” 5 questions to help you focus your dreams
  71. “Go, picture the life you want to live, ignore the negative voices, try something new and have fun while doing it.” I Said Yes
  72. “Understand you are not on a timeline/time crunch/expiration.” 8 tips to survive your friends wedding announcements
  73. “Be careful what you say: your brain is listening.” Be careful the things you say: Your brain is listening
  74. “Love the person, leave the label off, and let your expectations and demands on a relationship fall away.” Labels are for Soup, Not People
  75. “You will not die from rejection.  The odds are better than any other form of gambling.” Just Ask Already
  76. “Build your business around your lifestyle not the lifestyle around your business.” 5 Steps to get out of your own way
  77. “You are never “too” anything… so stop thinking that way!!” Why the word “Too” is just an excuse
  78. “That is the first thing you have to understand and realize is that all “single” means is that you’re not in a pair.  It doesn’t mean that you’ll always be–unless you choose it.” How To Be Single
  79. Wouldn’t you rather be your own original story? Knockoffs and remakes are rarely as exciting as the original.” How to deal with a barrage of green grass 2680294816_e710a43d3b_b
  80. “Partners take time. Just like friendships take time. They deserve to take time. Like a fine wine, tea or beer…fermentation is a good thing.” Sex with Friends
  81. “Focus on yourself. In this time that you’re waiting, think about things to do for yourself, or that you need to accomplish.” 6 Ways to Stop Your Waiting Anxiety
  82. “Stay Hydrated. Drink in lots of self love, big picture thinking and how this storm will prepare you for the future.”  5 tips to beat the heat of life
  83. “Don’t value the actual money more than you value time.” What is your WORTH
  84. “Don’t create realities that aren’t really happening.” Make like a Blondie Song and Call Me
  85. “Breathing may be difficult, but you’re the only one who can control that. So it is up to you to keep breathing and keep moving on.”  How to Survive Your Own Personal Hell
  86. “You are in control of your life and your thoughts. Remember you have choices.”  5 tips to beat the heat of life
  87. “Maybe you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll fail. No matter what you’ll try something new and you’ll learn something.” How writing a novel made me a better person
  88. “The thing is, you’re never alone in your crap.”  What to do when Shit Happens
  89. “Forget about “you only live once.” You only die once, and its getting closer every day.”  How to Face your Big Fears
  90. “Change it up! If freestyle isn’t working there are other strokes out there. The important thing is to take action. You’ll feel more in control of your situation.” Just Keep Swimming
  91. “Remember the beginning is always slow, but you have to just slog through it. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get there eventually.”  How writing a novel made me a better person
  92. “Take a look around you. Say a general thank you to the positives in your life.”  The Power of Thank You
  93. “Let’s stop being virtual recluses!  Go forth and have conversation.” Make Like a Blondie Song and Call Me
  94. “Being yourself, having fun and making eye contact are all things that attract someone to you and your personality.” Could your next date be at the grocery store?
  95. “Sitting around complaining about it and doing nothing to change it seems pretty silly don’t you think?  Unless you do something to change your situation, nothing will change.”  How to Let It Go2512983749_ee38b41e0d_b
  96. “By creating a new schedule for yourself the bad stuff won’t seem so bad because you are living the lifestyle you desire.”  5 Steps to Getting Out of Your Own Way
  97. Make mistakes. Make choices. Take chances.How to Listen to Life Lessons
  98. “I understood that I would be even more unhappy and unfulfilled in my life, which would actually be worse than the possibility of failure and the humiliation.”  How to Face Your Big Fears
  99. Being kind only takes a moment of time, but it will earn you moments, hours, and years.–Clare
  100. The true definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. You can be the luckiest person in the world if you want to be.–LL
  101. Go out and be great.  Or at least enjoy the ride!–LCL

Thank you!  Here is to hundreds more blogs, stories, and pieces of advice!

xoxo–Clare and LL

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!

Photo credits–all photos from Flikr Creative Commons: 100 (by Ash); lightbulb (by Beat Kung); Create (by Dana Bateman); Truth (by T); Snowflakes (by MayYeo); Dream Big (by Heidi); Ant Heart (by uditha wickramanayaka)

How writing a novel made me a better person

A lot of personal growth gurus tell you that when you’re trying to be something you tell yourself you are that something to help you achieve your goals. Mind over matter. Fake it until you make it.  Honestly, that’s how I finished a manuscript for a book.

The path to writing a novel has been an interesting one. I have always been a storyteller: I had friends put on versions of fairy tales in my backyard when we were little; I studied theater in high school and college; I was on the school newspapers as a writer, and loved to take creative writing classes. I could give you many more facts to support that I like to tell stories—but I think you get it. The thing is, I just am a storyteller. It has always come naturally, and I love it. I also don’t understand it, can’t explain it, and am not good at owning it. I’m an actress—a damn good one—but its taken me years to be able to say that with conviction. Part of it is that I’ve not had thousands of glittering fans following me, and praise from teachers and critics. Part of it is that my storytelling talent is just as much a part of me as my arm, or my teeth, or my brain—its just there, I have cultivated and kept up its strength, but I don’t know that its really mine to take credit for because I’ve always had it. A creative outlet also helps my survival, so in a way, its like me taking a compliment on breathing….thank you…?

Anyway… the novel I’ve written started as an outlet, a way to breathe. I had a relationship that was very jagged in the way it ended. I needed to figure out a way to deal with my feelings of it, so I started journaling. After a few weeks of hearing myself only complain both on paper and to anyone who would listen, I got so tired of it. My journaling morphed into my writing letters, which morphed into a fictional version of myself writing letters to someone else at the end of a relationship—I felt very Chekovian at the time. From these letters a plot started to emerge about how this woman felt so deeply, and loved this man so deeply, but his depression got in the way. I just felt compelled to keep writing. I wrote on the subway every time I could get the chance. I would write until I fell asleep each night. I would wake up and write while I was making coffee and a few times while brushing my teeth.  Elizabeth Gilbert talks on her website about her thoughts on writing.  I’ve also heard her quoted to say that she sits down and just slogs though the work. I just wrote whenever the muse called, or whenever I could. Liz says on her page: “Your job is only to write your heart out, and let destiny take care of the rest.”  I just kept writing.

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At this point it was all hand written, and I decided to sit down in front of the computer and see what happened… I had over 80 typed pages. WOW. By this time the muse had a hold of me, and I just kept writing. I started telling people that I was writing—and it was interesting, there were two reactions: 1) people were excited and couldn’t wait to read it, 2) people were inspired by me and were either going to start their own, or dust off the one they had already started and were going to work on their own.

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The more I told people, the more it became real. The more I became a writer. I sent pages off to friends who read it and couldn’t wait for more. I even started a Facebook page to keep myself honest and update everyone on the progress—because it became my main talking point.


The more I told people, the more it became real.


Life intervened and distracted me—truth be told, I don’t know if I was ready to complete a story then, I was sad, and the story needed a happy beginning. At some point LL and I sat down and decided to launch LiveClareLesley, first as a book, and then as a blog—and that took my writing down a different lane. I moved three times, and my storyteller was quelled by all of the theater I was performing. Then in June of this year I had a brainwave for a play. I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to start on the play until I had finished the novel.

And I did. I sat down, I slogged through it, and now I have a manuscript. I have done the research on self-publishing. I have a Facebook and a following. And now, I’m trying to get this sucker published with a GoFundMe campaign and donate if you can. Please go check it out and I will adore you if you like the book on Facebook, and post my GoFundMe on your own social media!

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But wait, there’s more! Ok, this blog wasn’t a commercial to help fund my book. Its about owning the talents you have and letting them come to the surface. I did not start out to write a novel, but I arrived at that. I’m proud of myself for continually sitting down to work on it and owning it. Here are some of my suggestions on how to get started:

  • If you feel the need to be creative and don’t know where to start, make a “bucket list” and a separate list of things that inspire you. What of those make you want to take action? Start to follow your inspirations and passions.
  • It sounds silly, but literally take a different route home—I always am happy when I do, because I see something or someone that I wouldn’t have normally.
  • Read. Nothing inspires me more than words and other stories.
  • Go see a play/movie/opera/concert. Get out and get some culture.
  • Just try something. If you feel inspired to write, just start writing. If you want to learn something new, sign up for a class. If you want to dance, go find a place to dance!
  • Remember the beginning is always slow, but you have to just slog through it. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get there eventually.
  • Tell your friends and family. Maybe they’ll want to join. Maybe they’ll support, or even better they’ll look at you like you’re crazy and ask why you’re doing it—which will reaffirm your desire to do it! They’ll also keep you honest, and remind you to keep doing it by asking you about your activity!

Maybe you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll fail. No matter what you’ll try something new and you’ll learn something. I’ve been a reader for as long as I could read. I appreciate books so much more now that I’ve been through the process of writing one. No matter what happens, I’m a better person for having started writing this novel. I’m a better storyteller.

Go visit my Facebook page for The Time Turner,  and visit, donate, and repost my GoFund Me!

–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!

Photo Credits:  Palo (writing on page), Go to the Eye (typewriter keys), Twentyfour Students (keyboard keys).  All photos are from Flikr Creative Commons.