Nine ways to win at life

Advice. We all seek it until we don’t want it (which is when we actually need it). Its always changing too, both our needs of the advice and the actual advice. As we grow, or refuse to grow, the advice pool is always there. Here are some pieces of advice, that will help you win at life.

  • Worry. This is a must. Do it daily, because when you don’t worry, things don’t get done, or people get hurt, or life changing or threatening things happen. Worry fixes everything, and takes up very minimal brainwaves. So please, make sure to worry every day. Constantly, if possible.
  • Be Impatient. There is nothing that makes other people more happy to help you as when you are completely irrational and impatient—they know you have a schedule, and they know that you are the most important person/thing/happening in their life, so if you keep reminding them with your impatience, this will help you get what you need done.
  • Do everything at once. People who can’t do, multitask. If you try to do everything at once, you have the perfect excuse when you can’t finish anything. And if you get everything done while trying to do it at once, well, that is just a double win, now isn’t it?
  • Perfect perfection. Always focus on being the absolute best. Never settle for anything less. Ever. Never forgive yourself or others if perfection isn’t achieved daily.
  • Rudeness rules. Everyone else is so much less important than you are, and they just don’t understand your life, your needs or your time limits. So why not use rudeness, and pepper it with a LOT of sarcasm, so they understand who you are and will get out of your way so you can be that amazing person, and live your amazing life.
  • Focus on yourself. When you focus just on you, you understand yourself. You will always have to live with yourself, unlike everyone else. No one else has to live with you every day, so you’re the only one who knows what you need and when. Even if you don’t know. You can just sit there and focus on it and commiserate with yourself. Eventually everyone will realize that this is the best way to make yourself the best.
  • Throw everyone under the bus. Remember to get to number one, you have to get there first. If that means you have to pave the way with bodies, do it.
  • Know you’re perfect. Never try to learn anything new, make yourself better, understand others, grow, change, or delineate from your original self or plan. It only leads to destruction.
  • Never, ever, ever stop to breathe or take a moment. Woo-woo people who light candles and believe in things bigger than themselves take time to stop and breathe. You are on your way to winning at life, and your body does those things naturally, so why stop and take the time to do them?

If you’ve read this far, and stayed with me the entire way, I hope you are laughing. This was all sarcasm… To live a great life, do the OPPOSITE of all of these things. There is NO winning life. There is just LIVING life. Mistakes happen. We all get broken and bruised—but you just have to keep getting back up and trying again. Breathe. Be kind. Do the best you can. No one is perfect and we should STOP SEEKING perfection–it doesn’t exist.  Live your life for YOU, but don’t knock everyone down on your way. You’ll be much happier.

Xoxo–Clare

Take a Leap of Faith

I have fallen into most jobs I’ve ever had. My first job was at a very cute coffee shop near my high school. My mother mentioned it seemed like a great place to work after visiting there. Less than two weeks after our visit, I was hired. I don’t even remember interviewing.  My second job, my classmate put my name in for her job at a doctor’s office when she moved to Arizona. Two weeks later, I was a junior in high school and I had a new job making more than I did at the cafe with weekends off.  In college, I turned in applications at an upscale mall. One of those applications, I handed in to Clare, and the next day I interviewed with the manager. The next Monday I was working for the same boutique as Clare. We became good friends and even business partners.

I stayed at that store from 2002-2007 moving up from cashier to store manager at my original store, and was later transferred to another location 50 miles away to manage that one.  I was good at my job, but it wasn’t fulfilling.  I needed a change of scenery. In hindsight, I needed to change careers. I had already discovered Pilates but wasn’t listening to the voice inside my head telling me “go this way.”  Instead, I tried to “fix” things by doing the same job with a different backdrop. Hello Patterns and Change. I still needed to learn something here.

I thought moving cities, locations, new friends a new life was what I needed. I also thought I was waiting for the next promotion to be a regional manager. I kept thinking that if maybe if I just waited a little longer…I’m sure you may know what I mean here. For years, I thought I was “next” in line. In fact, even other managers in the company thought this. It never really occurred to me if I wanted to be “next” or if I just liked the idea of it.

Think back, or maybe think now! Are you in a job that you wanted or that you just got because it was the next step? Jobs are often like relationships and can “happen” to us if we are not present with our own wants and needs. If we are not clear on our goals then someone else will get clear on their goals for us. This was the case for me. While I was “figuring” out my early twenties I wasn’t clear with myself on my goals and I began working very hard for someone else.

While waiting I decided to start training as a Pilates instructor. I thought I would do it as a hobby. Something to keep me busy. As I mentioned back in my Orange County life I had already discovered Pilates. I freaking LOVED it! As an ex athlete, Pilates made me feel like I was back in training again. But this time instead of training for a race I was preparing my body for my own life. I loved how strong it made me feel and I also enjoyed how no matter my mood walking in I always walked out focused, present and invigorated. But, when I moved to LA I struggled to find a teacher I could jive with like I had back in the OC or afford. I went to a training mostly for my own self learning. I knew enough about the body (I went to college originally to become an Athletic Trainer, the dream was to work for the San Diego Chargers) I figured I would just teach myself. A girl on a budget I could save a lot teaching myself.

The thing about callings is that once you’re called you have to answer! If you don’t it’s like a phone that doesn’t stop ringing. You can ignore it, even try to silence it but the call list still shows it’s trying to get a hold of you. Try not answering see where it gets you.

I couldn’t though. I answered it! Except, I tried to conference call—I tried to do both, manage a store and start my Pilates Teaching business. What happened? Well after a couple months of working 7 days a week some days 6am to 8 or 9pm! I needed to hang up the old landline. I just didn’t know how.  My transition from my manager job to full time Pilates extraordinaire was a big deal for me. Many around me tried to give advice. Tried to tell me I cared too much. To just put in my notice and move on with my life. The thing is, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I was still caring too much about someone else’ goals for me. I was still not fully engaging in my calling. I was on the phone, but I was also talking to the person next to me. Eventually, I was forced to get f’ing on my call and hang up the other. Callings are like that. They are demanding. Selfish. And they should be. It is your calling—what you’re meant to do with your life.

I wish I could say that those on my other call were still part of my journey. They are not. That’s ok, as we all know when someone doesn’t join us on our journey we can take it personally. We shouldn’t though. Now, on my own journey I have worked hard to support those who have to take their own path. In fact, I get excited even through them a party! Today I will encourage anyone who wants it to follow their bliss as soon as they can. Why? Because I took a little too long to admit that I didn’t want to just keep getting promoted. Of course new titles are exciting, more money in my pocket. But, what did any of that matter if I was following someone else’s dream and not my own?

I will never say it’s easy. Actually, it’s probably easier to ignore the call then it is to hang up and answer the new one. I knew what was on the old line. My store manager job was a salaried job with commission. I knew exactly what the minimum I was going to make each month. Security is a big deal. I knew I had health insurance and vacation time. Leaving that for my bliss too a huge leap if faith. Faith in myself and the Universe.

That leap was the best jump I’ve ever had. I’m still flying high 6 years later. The thing is when you start following your bliss, when you answer your calling. You’re rewarded!

How do you answer your call?

Well, turn off all the noise. Yep! Put the distractions away, the apps, gossip magazines, the reality TV shows, your email. Sit still, go for a run or swim, grab a notebook. It’s time to hear what you’ve probably been avoiding. Change is scary, leaps come with fears, what if’s, how’s and unknowns. All those distractions keep you busy avoiding that nagging voice telling you you’re meant for something bigger!

You know deep inside your heart what that is. What if you had zero obstacles keeping you from your calling. Forget money and time and anything or one that is putting doubt in your mind. Take a step in the direction of your dream. It’ll pay off!

As I said it’s not always easy. But wouldn’t it be the greatest to wake up and be excited about what you have on your calendar that day? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have career love? To have Life/Work balance? (Yes, I wrote LIFE WORK balance.) wouldn’t it just be grand to live your dream, and not someone else’s? Leaving a consistent guaranteed paycheck for a “service job” where I’m paid only when I work was scary. I had and still have bills just like everyone else. I have student loans. I still had to make a certain amount. But, looking back and looking forward no regrets or worries interrupt my call. I am excited for what I know is coming ahead and for what I don’t.

LL

5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving

I’m an actress, so my chosen profession makes me a gypsy. I’m also a child of divorce who had parents in different states while growing up. That being said, I have never been good at moving. Through a chain of choices that may or may not have been the best, I’ve moved 4 times in 400 days. As a grown woman. With stuff. I’ve learned what is important and what is not, and mostly, I’ve learned what I’m made of and who my friends are.  I have learned several lessons through relocating myself, both about moving in general and about life.  Here they are:

 

 

1) You really don’t need to keep things. Really. I love my coffee mugs and my wine glasses. I collect them and they’re one of the things that make me happy. However, over the years people have given me glasses and cups—some I like and some I kept because they were a gift, and some got cracked along the way and I’ve kept them anyway. Because I thought I should. Well, there is no should in moving. It really is a do or don’t do. I got rid of half of my coffee mugs, because, well, there is really only me, and I drink out of the same mug for months at a time, and then move on to another one. I’ve kept ones that are special, and that I really like, but I’ve dialed my mug count from the 20s to 8. Because even on my worst week, I will remember to wash at least one mug. Same with wine glasses. I’m in New York City—the land of people meeting OUT. Why, because our apartments are tiny and no one wants to travel more than two trains or 10 stops if they can help it. So I’ve kept my favorite ones, and one of my mom’s favorites, because we drink a lot of wine when she visits. I’ve got a stack of “things to give away” that is about half the size of the boxes I’m actually moving to my new place. I will buy new things when I want them, and the things I’m giving away I was keeping because I was too lazy to deal with the emotion or the guilt about getting rid of something. Its only stuff. Possessions are chains and all that… I only believe that quote when its time to move. Possessions give me an ease of life. As a poor kid and an even more poor adult, I want to remain as comfortable as I can… but does that really involve 20 coffee mugs, 10 tank tops that I never wear anymore that I’ve had for more than 4 years and haven’t worn them in that long, 10 sets of Christmas lights when I haven’t put up a tree in two years, and a pair of fabulous heels that I got two years ago, but I have never worn because they hurt my feet? Nope. Control Alt Delete. Gone. The funny thing is I tossed them two days ago, and haven’t thought about them until writing this. I probably won’t think of any of it again after this moment.

This is part one of a five day post.  Come back tomorrow for part 2!

–Clare

What is “Live ClareLesley”?

First of all, how do you say it?

“ClareLesley” is intended to sound like “carelessly” (Get it?) It IS a clever conglomeration of our names, however it’s also the way that we think life should be lived.

 

You mean I should live carelessly?

In a way. Both Clare and Lesley are equal parts smart and fun, and both continually strive to find a balance between working hard and living well. Both have made many life choices that created strain and stress, and have not only lived through those undesirable days, months, years; but have learned how to live better, because of those moments. “Living ClareLesley” is meant to remind you to live each day with equal parts enlightenment and entertainment and to deal with the difficult times with grace and laughter.

 

How do I “Live ClareLesley?”

Such a great question—one that we’re continuing to explore and answer. And revisit. And revise. Breathing is the start; when you come up against any problem always breathe deeply. Understand that although there are bigger things happening in the world, the magnitude of life changing events in your world are important, but everything can be handled. Finding balance between the serious and the laughing moments of life are vital. To Live ClareLesley you need to jump in to the situations that are the hard ones, breathe through them, and come out on the other end. Life is for the living, so go out there and thrive, do, be. Don’t wallow in your mistakes, learn from them and move on. Most importantly: love and forgive. Both of these actions should be as much for and toward yourself it directed to others. In this fast paced, social media driven, smart phone connected, selfie world, take a moment to look around and live and laugh and treat yourself well; that is how to Live ClareLesley.