Thankful Thursday

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


We are thankful for second chances–its interesting that today is National Kiss and Make Up Day and its also National Second Hand Wardrobe Day, National Banana SPLIT Day and National Whiskey Sour Day–maybe the “national board” whomever they may be know something we don’t… because they want you to give a second chance to clothes and the ones you love by sharing a banana split–all after having a Whiskey Sour?  Ok its a stretch–but to finish up our National Holiday theme this month, we thought it was interesting that four things that could be connected were crammed together all on the same calendar date.

We are thankful for knowing that love exists.  We hope you see that you are loved as much as you deserve!

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

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

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Thankful Thursday

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


We are thankful for chocolate chip cookies!  Its National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!  Not only are the cookies themselves delicious, they’re a lot like life… you have a lot of cookie and a few chips–or a few really sweet yummy moments, but its worth it to eat the whole cookie!!  Here is a link to a FAVORITE Nestle Toll House recipe!!

We are thankful for furbabies!!  LL has two and they make her world a better place.  The love you get from a furbaby is unlike any other!  If you don’t have one, or can’t adopt one of your own–check around with your local adoption agencies–they would love to have volunteers to walk or even just love on their furbabies!!

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

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

Thankful Thursday

Inspired by one of Clare’s friends who posts what she is thankful for daily, we want to inspire you!

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


We are thankful for love.  It truly conquers all.  Everyone deserves it.  Everyone can give it.  It is hard to understand but easy to feel.  It grows as you give it.  The more you give love, the more you receive.

We are thankful for support.  In these insane times, it is lovely to have a shoulder to lean on, no matter if its across the globe, or just next door. #weareorlando #pride

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

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

Your Greatest Mistake?

What was it? What mistake was your greatest? The biggest, best mistake ever?!

As you may know from some previous blogs I am a podcast lover. I really enjoy listening.  Mostly I listen to other authors podcasts.  I wish I had more time to read but I don’t… so, I listen to their podcasts and then if I find myself say YAAS!!! High fiving the air, I buy their books.

On a recent podcast I heard the interviewer ask the author: what was your greatest mistake? What was you best mistake?  As someone who lives without regrets I have to admit I was caught off guard.  I didn’t understand why anyone would want to think of their lives and highlighting mistakes. But, then I got to thinking about all of my “mistakes.”  I thought about the stupid boys I dated.  The jobs I have had.  Not saying yes to some experience,  or saying no to someone.  Then I thought about where I am today.  I realized I had some great mistakes.  I have had some of the best mistakes ever–I am so happy I have had them.

Let me explain, I believe everything happens for a reason.  Not that anyone of us deserves bad things to happen, but that sometimes things that feel bad, seem bad, or just are bad are part of our path to greatness.


When I left my ex, it sucked.  I felt terrible for hurting him. I struggled financially, emotionally.  I questioned for a bit whether or not it was the right decision.  In the healing process I thought about the “Red Flags” of our relationship. I didn’t want to repeat my past.  I realized that had I said no to one of the dates in the beginning, had I dated others had I stopped things when my gut said to.  We probably wouldn’t have made it 5 years. We wouldn’t have probably made it past a few months.

But, if I hadn’t dated him I would not have learned what I know now about myself.  I wouldn’t have written my first book most likely.  I wouldn’t have known what I need out of a relationship. I wouldn’t have been prepared to meet the man I was meant to marry.

So, one of my greatest mistakes were all the bad dates I went on that got me here today.   Had I not had all those I would never have realized true love, true romance, true teamwork and true partnership.   Who would think that thousands of bad dates, and a perfect-on-paper relationship would lead to a happy marriage to someone else, a book, and many other successes, including this blog?!?

You may be sitting here, reading this and saying “Lesley! I am in a huge issue now. This could be the biggest mistake of my life. It doesn’t feel good. ” Like I said before, it didn’t feel good after all the bad dates. I truly wish I could go back to my twenty something self and tell her “this is going to suck at the end. But there will be a pot of partnership gold at then end of the storm.” Oh, how I wish! Sadly, readers, we don’t get that. We can’t take our future selves to our present selves and tell them “Everything will be ok.”


We can trust, though. Trust ourselves. Trust the Universe. Today prepares us for tomorrow, next year and fifty plus years from now. If you are feeling like you are in the worst mistake ever and you don’t know what to do. Here are some tips for you:

  • Don’t make any decisions right away. Get your breath back to normal.
  • Tell yourself how much you Love yourself, trust yourself and want and deserve nothing but the best for yourself.
  • Remind yourself you are being molded for the future. You are growing. Growth spurts don’t feel great while they are happening. But when you’re “taller” you can see the bigger picture.

  • Journal. Write and write and write. The first half will be your brain the second half will be God.
  • Get grounded! Lay on the ground. Put heavy blankets on top of you. Eat heavy foods (yes, I am saying to eat heavy foods) warm and heavy foods. Drink hot fluids. You need to feel whole and warm and soothed.
  • Just Keep Swimming. It’ll all make sense one day. That day isn’t today. Lucky you, you don’t have to have the answers now.

This brings me back to the beginning, what was your greatest, best mistake? Share them with us and our readers. The beauty about life is we are not alone. Your story can help so many others grow!

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!

I Said Yes 

I’m Engaged!!! Yes, it’s true!  And when it happened, I was shocked beyond belief. I literally had no idea it was coming. I of course could not wait to tell my family and friends. Then it was time to write about it. Right? I mean I have to share this with our readers. I want to share this with you. The world! But why? Why did I want or feel the need to share my engagement news with you? I’m not someone who shares news to fluff my own feathers. I certainly don’t want my good news to make anyone feel less than.  So why share it? Well, the simple answer is I have always shared experiences from my life.

More importantly though I am sharing this with you because just 2 years before the proposal I was leaving a relationship after 5 years. One that did not end in a proposal. I thought I would be single for some time and maybe someday I would find the man I would spend my life with. Or maybe I wouldn’t but at least I would be rocking my bliss. Well while rocking my bliss and following my dreams and goals. While being me I met him.  I wasn’t looking I wasn’t expecting and then this happened. “Will you Marry me?” I was laying in a tent in Joshua Tree State park. I had slept the day away in the tent (we camp, the air mattress is a Serta and 18″high. Its a dream). I woke up to my Love laying next to me and looking into my eyes. He was so handsome and there was so much magic in his eyes I asked “What are you thinking about?” And he proposed…Right there. In the tent. My mind literally thought a million things at once. All I could say was “Are you serious?” Poor thing.  The look on his face when I said that!!  He responded with “Yes.” (Said more like yeah-that’s-why-I’m-asking-you.)  In reply I said “Yes!” While in the back of my head I was wondering if he planned to propose. Then he pulled out a box from his hiking shorts. We had never discussed what ring I would want. Only my dear friend Eric and the designer knew. I never wanted to pressure him. We talked about marriage being in our future. I believe in the beauty of organic growth. So, I figured I would tell him about my dream ring when the time was right.  He pulled out THE RING! Not just any ring but The ring that I wanted. The one he had NO idea about. I squealed “Are you kidding me?” Needless to say I was shocked. Stunned. In 30 seconds I went from a girlfriend to a Fiance. I went from thinking about future work projects and trips, to thinking about walking down the aisle towards the Man I love.


We kissed and then we went for a walk. We passed 18 people at the camp fire, and I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming still in my nap or if this was real. I am getting married and not just to anyone. To my Best Friend. There are plenty of people out there (Clare and I included) giving you advice on dating, life and You. It can be hard to hear all the advice. There is also a lot of crap advice out there. Don’t even get me started on the blogs I came across that of questions I should ask him before we get married (written by a 20 something single-never-been-married author). You have so many messages coming at you on how to “get someone.” I am sharing this exciting news in my life because I want for you to someday have your exciting news to share with us. I want to celebrate your joy. Maybe your joy is marriage but maybe it’s finally being comfortable in your own skin. When you are ready take a moment and:

  • Discover what your Happy Ever After Is
  • Care less about what others think and Care more about how you feel
  • Be you, Your Whole Self
  • Be open to learning new things and meeting new people
  • Have so much fun, laugh a lot

I cannot promise much, (as I am not the keeper of the Universe) but I can say one thing. If you are truly being you, having fun and working towards your Joy and not someone else’s you will find your happy ever after. I met him through a new friendship. He was not “my type.” He did not call me the next day (actually we didn’t even exchange numbers). He broke up with me two times before we ever dated. In less than a year we were engaged. This fall we will be married. I’m over 30.  I took some major “risks” to follow my dreams. I took some leaps of faith to stay true to myself when those around me thought I was crazy. I had to stay on my truth path. That path is what brought him into my world. That path is what attracted him to me. That path is leading me down the aisle to the Man I cannot wait to spend the rest of my days with.

I know that everyday is not blissful. There will be highs and lows but there will be lots of love and support. Go, picture the life you want to live, ignore the negative voices, try something new and have fun while doing it. Share your dreams with Clare and I! We would love to hear them. Today, go say Yes to YOU.

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!

Kissing IS Personal

One of my first memories of the tale of my Love and I was our first kiss. Oddly, I don’t tell this detail I’m about to share with you often. In fact, when I tell our story I see this scene in my head but I gloss over the detail, or shorten our first night into a sentence or two. “We had an amazing night, I knew he and I were perfect for each other just Not right now. I left without giving him my number and he didn’t ask.” Then I go into the next headlines.
The truth is that our first night getting to know each other was/is truly special. We talked for hours at Sassafras, a saloon in Hollywood. We actually shared our breakups (both of us just barely 6 months out of serious relationships). Shared our life goals and our Strength Finders results. Ok, so we are also kind of nerdy. My point in telling you this is, before there was even the potential of another encounter we got intimate. Vulnerable. We shared honest details about ourselves.

Then he ASKED if he could kiss me.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were standing there face to face. Of course I wanted him to. Of course I was hoping. Then he asked!

Now, I’m trying to think back of all the kisses I have had. As you know from my post “First Kiss” that one didn’t. I know my ex didn’t and I’m pretty sure those I kissed during “Duty Dating” didn’t.  Not that they should have or needed to ask. Body language can also imply that one is ready and open to kissing.

However, in this moment he asked me. When my entire insides screamed YES!   I knew this was different. It wasn’t just my physical being but much deeper than that.  I responded with “I was hoping you would.” Not so much a spoiler alert since we are together. But, yes we stood there and kissed and…well our families read this so….

My favorite movie, if I haven’t told you already, is Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. When I say favorite I mean FAVVVVVORITE!!!! I can quote it from the opening to the closing credits. Aside from the great and soon to be blogged about “What’s your Dream? Hey Sista What’s your dream?” or the scene where she walks back on to Rodeo and says “You work on commission right? Big Mistake! Big!  Huge.” Shoves her bags up in the air at the snooty sales women. I am sure I’ll write about that too. Today’s blog is about Getting Personal.  When Richard Gere’s character and her are discussing what she will and will not do for money. She’ll do anything. But she won’t kiss on the lips. Too Personal.

Is Kissing too Personal?

I have written about Your Best Sex and  Sex with Friends. If you haven’t read those. Click the links and do read. It’s important you know that I am not a prude. I am not here to say that you shouldn’t get close, personal, intimate, sexy. Quite the opposite. I want all of that and more for you.

Today, on the phone with my Love I said “I cannot wait until you’re not sick; I miss kissing you.” He has the flu; I teach Pilates so I cannot get sick. He knows that if I get sick, it halts my income. But back to kissing.  He said: “I know two days ago I was thinking if it was possible to have sex without kissing.”

Aside from the weirdness of that remark. Also, how anyone with the flu could possibly perform is a question I do not have the answer to. I proclaimed No Kissing is the best part. Ok, well almost the best part. But it’s one if not THE most important part. It’s like Julia Roberts’ character says: it’s too personal.

Maybe this is TMI, but I love kissing. When I see him at Trader Joe’s waling down the isle toward me, I can be taken up in the moment, and we actually kiss like couples do in a romantic scene in the movies. I guess low cost organic food packages for individuals gets me romantic. Or more likely than not we just enjoy being that personal; that intimate.

Kissing is very important!   Before you do the deed, I think it’s pretty important to enjoy kissing the other person. You can learn a lot about someone by the way they kiss you. If you’re present and aware of what you like and need you will probably be better prepared to make the decision of whether or not you want to take it to the next step. P.S. I am not sure what the next base is anymore. Somewhere in between the generations, first and third, or second base just became a blur of tastes or preferences. But kissing should be first. You should like it and want more of it.

If you’re single, please take the time to get to know someone, enjoy kissing them. Do not rush this step and end up in a relationship that doesn’t have kissing you enjoy.

In a relationship…when’s the last time you truly kissed your partner? I’m not talking about the kisses because it’s part of the routine. I’m talking the kisses where time stands still. The kiss where your surroundings blur, are forgotten, the Trader Joe’s aisles disappear, and it’s just you and your mate. Those don’t have to be special occasion. In fact, I’d argue they shouldn’t be special occasion.

But,  you have to want it. You have to make the point to do it. The next time you kiss, be present. Be intimate. Let yourself enjoy your partner. Even if it’s in the TJs aisle.

So, before you can have Sex with Friends, Your Best Sex or even a third, fourth or future date: get personal. Get kissed!  And if you like it, have seconds!

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!

Sex With Friends

I have promised in the past that I would explain how you can “hook up” with a friend and not “ruin” the friendship.
Finally I’m delivering…

First, is it possible to date, make out with, or sleep with a friend and not “ruin” the friendship? Sure! Anything is possible. Do I recommend getting skin close to all your friends? No. But the reality is: you probably will, and I want you armed with the tools to enjoy it before, during, and after.

A few disclaimers:
1) just because you “hook up” with someone, a friend, stranger, or date does not a relationship or commitment make.
2) if you “fall” for every person you flirt, kiss, text or sext (I have opinions on this stay tuned on my sexting blog another day) then diving into your pool of friends is not the best idea. In fact I would tell you absolutely not. You’re not able to handle it.
3) if the lack of communication from someone you sends you to the fridge, bar, or any other binge…you’re not ready (for dating of any kind, and definitely not dating a friend).
4) if you don’t have all the self love we coach/talk about here at Live ClareLesley…you’re not ready.

If you fall into the “not ready” category this doesn’t mean you have to hide in a closet. I don’t want to make a hermit-nun out of you. Quite the opposite, actually. But your focus shouldn’t be on dating anyone, especially your friends. Your focus should be self love, self respect, self growth. When you’re the person you want to be, then go enjoy the fruits of your labor. If that means hooking up with a friend, cool.  You will have our glowing permission. Get yourself to be your WHOLE self first. Then another Whole self will find you. It may even be a friend.

Ok, now that the disclaimers are out of the way lets get dirty, in a friendly way.

Why are friends with benefits a good idea? Think about it! You pick your friends based on things in common. You spend time together, talk about things you like, don’t like, want in life…sounds a lot like dating to me.

There’s nothing awkward about a friendship, no games being played it’s easy-peasy, my dears. So, it makes sense if you and a friend find your way into each others arms. In fact, in most of my coaching on relationships my clients wish they could find a partner they are best friends with. Again, why not dip into the friend pool?…you want your partner to be your friend. Your friendship foundation is already set. Try the dating thing. It might just be the door to a fantastic relationship.

Can you just be friends with benefits? Sure!  Again, anything is possible and it really depends on the two (or more in some cases…my sweet friend, you know who you are) parties involved. Again, you must be able to get past all four disclaimers above and you must truly know and love who you are. The other parties have to also be the same. It won’t work if one of you is a rock star in the self growth category and the other is starving for love, attention, and a partner.

Remember sleeping with a friend does not a partner make. Just because you and your friend cross that clothing barrier bridge, doesn’t mean you are an item. It means you slept with your friend. That actually is worth repeating! Anyone and I mean ANYONE that you kiss, sleep with does NOT a Relationship make. 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.

So, How do you start? Well one of you has to make a move, start the conversation. Is the thought of making a move freaking you out? Then, you’re not ready for this. In my past dates with friends, it’s not so black and white. The line from planning, to hang out as friends and going “out” is blurred. In fact, looking back I can’t say at the time I knew we were “crossing the barrier.” It was more like, I hoped we might.

The Comedian: He was more of an acquaintance. We would see each other out with other friends. The two of us were connected via the benefits of twitter and Facebook but we had not exchanged digits. We had lots of things in common. Eventually, he reached out to me personally. He heard I was single and we took our fringe friendship to a direct one. Texts became more frequent a date was planned and a dinner an kiss were enjoyed. There were no fireworks. We had a great time. We have hung out since even. Celebrate the successes we’ve achieved individually. We are closer friends now because we tried to take it to the next level.

Those of you who understand this, are ready for the dating world and even the dating-your-friend-pool world. Just because we didn’t fall madly for each other, does not mean we can’t be friends still. None of those things changed.

The Yogi: I do not recommend you fall for your Yoga, Pilates, Personal Trainer, EVER! If things get weird you will be the one to find a new teacher. They have their classes, their schedule set. In my case as a Pilates Instructor I know many other instructors so me dating a Yogi friend…well I have plenty of them. We had been friends for some time. Our clients and surrounding acquaintances often overlapped. Finding out we both were single at the same time, we set up a time. Again, no definite plans for the long term, but there were hopes. Wishes do come true. We had a great date, awesome convo, and an enjoyable night. We even wanted to go out again. But timing is everything. In the end we went back to being friends. We still are. We both have found wonderful happiness in other relationships. Turns out, now both of us  are dating someone we were friends with before.

My Love: We were introduced by a mutual friend. We had the best time together. We talked for hours. Then because timing is everything. We did nothing. Over the course of the next 4 months we spoke, even hung out once. We got to know each other. Then logistics in our lives made it easier to hang out. So we did every week. We talk about our pasts, past relationships, breakups, desires and dreams. Then we decided to give it a go! Best decision EVER. Dating one of my friends means I always have someone to talk to about ANYTHING. No games. Just love, kindness and respect.

What do each of these scenarios have in common?
1) COMMUNICATION.  In person, or over the phone. The good, old fashioned conversations. Between each other, not other people.
2) NO BIG DEALS.  We didn’t make a big deal about the event, we didn’t get lots of people involved. We just did our thing.
3) WE ARE STILL FRIENDS.  Friendships don’t end because you kiss. They end for other reasons. See “Growing out of Friends

Each of you reading this will have a different experience. I am not going to sit here and tell you go slow, go fast, do this, or don’t do that. Nope. You have to choose your own adventure. I won’t be there every step of the way. All I can tell you is what I have already: you must be your whole self before you date anyone. Especially your friend.

Have a friend crush? AWESOME maybe that’s the love of your life waiting for you to be ready to give it a go.  As someone who has their best friend as their partner, I will give you my blessing.  Every time.

Self Love first, Date second, and always Live ClareLesley

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!

Valentines Survival: did you make it?

This week, Clare posted about Valentine’s Survival.  What did you end up doing to celebrate Valentines/Galentines/Palentines? We want to know!! REALLY!

One of Clare’s passions is cooking. On the 12th she hung out with the soulmate and they made a delicious dinner together. Then Clare made fudge on the 13th with another bestie. See the sweet video here.

On the 14th Lesley and her boyfriend did couples yoga, went on a romantic hike, and went off the grid–shutting down their phones and all devices– and spent the time with each other. Spending time together was more important than exchanging presents:

Clare and a bestie went to dinner on the 14th, saw The Last Five Years, and afterwards met composer Jason Robert Brown.

At LiveClareLesley we made our experiences surrounding Valentine’s what we personally wanted and needed. We survived Valentines, by sharing love with the people we care about. What did you do? Please share below, or Tweet and Facebook your photos and experiences and tag us, and don’t forget to add #liveclarelesley

–Love LL and Clare

Valentine’s Survival

I wrote this January 10th and while starting thought: I’m writing, ugh, a Valentine’s Blog. (We’re trying to get ahead so we can spend more time editing the book…yes, its coming. Get excited. Stay tuned!) Just to think about Valentines so far in advance makes me take deep breaths, and requires me to relax my shoulders.

I’ve been single every Valentine’s Day of my adult life. The rational part of my brain says, “its just another day.” The anti-greeting-card-gal thinks, “there are 364 perfectly other good days of the year to say ‘I love you’ so why are you all doing it today?” The 10-year old inside urges me to buy the kiddie valentines and give them to my friends when I see them. I’ve spent a few sad Valentine’s Days feeling sorry for myself for being single, but I refuse to do that anymore. Instead, I choose to give and observe, love and caring instead. I know it sounds cheesy, and I’m still fantastically single, so I totally understand if this statement makes you cringe. Nevertheless, here is my recipe for a sorrow-free or at least a sorrow-less greeting-card-holiday.

1) Screw the red and pink hearts/flowers/balloons! Unless you like it all… then share it, respectfully! Reach out to those closest to you: Mom, dad, best friend, lover, child, roommate, pet, music teacher, bus driver, barista, writing partner. Tell them in some way you appreciate them. Feel free to make a monetary gesture if you feel it necessary, but love is best exchanged in heartfelt words.

2) Make your own damn plans. If you have a significant other or not, if you have friends, children, pets—if this is your holiday, go make your own plans. How do you want to spend the evening? With strangers at a bar? With friends around your own home cooked meal? Serving a meal to the homeless? With family members cuddled on the couch to watch a silly movie? Drinking a bottle of wine while on the phone with your mom who has a similar bottle of wine at her house? Don’t wait around to be picked—no one EVER liked being the last one picked in kickball at recess… screw that feeling. Do what will make you feel the happiest on this day. Plan it early, plan it late. Answer this question now without thinking: What will make you the happiest? Do that.

3) Don’t put so much damn pressure on your plans. I cannot begin to tell you how many Friend-en-tines parties I’ve thrown or attended, or even just made dinner plans, and put so much pressure on them that they were doomed from the beginning. This holiday should be about appreciation of relationships you share. Its been 6 weeks since our last major holiday to get together… relax and remember that you enjoy the people in your life. Spend the evening with people that make you laugh, food that makes you happy, and go places you won’t feel lonely.  Keep the day free of expectations!

4) Be prepared. If you throw a party, there might be a crier. There will probably be a few engagement announcements the following day. You might or might not get laid. Someone might give you a heartfelt something, making you realize that if they were picking kickball teams, you wouldn’t be last.  If any or all of these happen, take deep breaths and roll with it. February 15 is a day away. All will go back to normal tomorrow.

Valentine’s Day isn’t my holiday. Some years I get into it, and others I don’t. I’ve found that the best, and most memorable (or least memorable, depending on your perspective) Valentine’s were low key and spent with people who love me. I am so incredibly grateful to have so many incredible friends, most who would drop everything when I’m in need, to text me and tell me they’re available in 5 minutes. Just kidding—most would drop everything and run to me in a heartbeat.  (I love you all so much, and am infinitely thankful we’ve found each other.)

In every tribe there is a gatherer, a shaman, a group leader, a healer, the mama. I’m that person, in most circumstances. The hard part of that is not the being needed, instead it’s the asking for help and love when I need it. When I’m truly hurting, it hurts even more to ask for love. I’m telling you this because I understand the depths of despair and loneliness that holidays bring. I also understand that once I get over myself, and just ask for care that I want or need, it is given. Immediately. Wholeheartedly. Without hesitation. Don’t be afraid to ask for love.  Especially on Valentine’s Day.

I found my soul mate at the end of last year. Its kind of ridiculous, because its nothing like I would have assumed or expected. Its not storybook, or text book, and there isn’t going to be a traditional happy ending with us riding off into the sunset to a picket fence and kids and dogs… which I’m actually joyful about. It’s actually less pressure to know that someone who makes me immeasurably happy, and a better person just by standing near me, isn’t someone I have to be romantic with, but that I can just love and appreciate for everything he is. I’ve always known love comes in different forms, shapes, colors, and speeds. I appreciate and try my best to adequately reciprocate any love that comes toward me. That is the ultimate challenge, and goal: to simply love and be loved in return. Love might not be in your life in the picture perfect vision you seek, but I’ll bet you that you receive more love than you realize. I believe that love, like matter, cannot be created or destroyed, but it instead changes forms. I believe that all the love you want or need comes at you at any given time, it just might not all be from one direction, or from the direction you would prefer. But like my handsome soul mate is for me, love will be there for you, when wanted and needed.

So, my dear ones, as the cardboard hearts, flowers, and balloons flood your visions this Friday (and probably all weekend), remember that love begets love. The more you open your heart and share, the more you’ll find in return. I KNOW it sounds new agey, and dumb… but its true. Spend the day with someone you appreciate, and will appreciate you. If you can’t find a human, find an animal; find a view; find a park. Breathe it all in and know you are loved. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.

LOTS OF LOVE from both LL and I!!  Go, Love ClareLesley!

–Clare

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Opportunities

There is a huge theme in the dating world:  Meeting the elusive “One” that you’re meant to spend your life with.  Here is the truth I believe in: Everyone gets a shot, a chance, an opportunity to be with anyone they meet. DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES AT THIS PAGE! Hear me out:

Recently a letter went around Facebook from “Your Future Mate”. If you haven’t read it, here is the link:    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5195511 The letter states why “The One” hasn’t found you yet and sites examples like: They are with the wrong one now; they are still hanging on to what they “think” they want; they are not ready for you yet.

That last one might be my more favorite one. It’s also part of my point. Everyday we meet people. We are set up on dates, we swipe right on Tinder (or maybe it’s left or a double tap? I’ve never used it) or search Facebook and other web pages for a connection. We go on dates and make up excuses as to why it “didn’t work:” “They were great but not what I am looking for.” “Too busy” or “just out of a relationship” and or “Not ready for a relationship.”

Well guess what? If we are not our best selves at the time, if we are not “ready” to be vulnerable and let someone into our world. The connection is missed, at least for now. Maybe even for good.  Sometimes, these connections revisit you later in life. Like my most recent “revisit.”

When I was a freshman in college, I was in lust with a junior. He was the Resident Advisor of my friend’s floor in our dorm, and I just had to have him. I would find any reason to go to my friend’s floor during “visiting hours.” I about died when he showed up at my dorm one night. He had to like me back, right? One night around 2am, I walked past the offices below the dorms. There he was. My crush.  Working on a paper. He saw me, got up and met me at the door to chat. I stood there willing with my mind, talking with my eyes, hoping against hope that he would invite me into that office. I know I am aware that had he invited me in, we just would have had sex and we most likely would not have dated. However, in my 18-year-old mind, sex at that moment would be amazing. We liked each other, but we were in a place where we could be caught (Christian school…so definitely not something looked highly upon). Also happened to be the office of the Resident Director (his boss) and the person who makes RA’s enforce the no sex policy (obviously, that made it more enticing).

Instead, none of that happened. No invite, no kissing, no passionate on-top-of-a-desk in an office of the very person who could have kicked us out of school sex. Life went on, semesters passed, and he married another girl.

Then, last week thanks to the wonders of the internet, he found me. Added me as a friend and then called me. Yes, it was lovely to catch up, reminisce. But, when he eluded to us hanging out, hooking up etc…I sat there and knew in my gut the answer was no. In my heart the answer was: No, too bad we didn’t do it 10 years ago. My head’s answer was: he missed his chance.  Back then, he totally could have had me. But, the opportunity passed us (well mostly him).

So, what does my trip down memory lane mean for you? Simple, really. In order for you to be with your true counter-part three things need to happen: you need to know who you are, what you want, and why you need it. Who you are.  What you want.  Why you need it.  When you do, when the opportunity presents itself 1) you will recognize it 2) you will be your best, loved and respected self.  And that amazing person who is right for you will be excited to be part of your life.  If you don’t know these three things, the opportunity will occur anyway, but you will not be ready.  You may miss this chance to be with someone who is equal to your BEST self.

Stop wondering where the “good” ones are.  Instead, start LOVING yourself.  Figure out who you are.  Make yourself the best version of you that you can be. Stop second-guessing yourself and FIND yourself instead.  Currently you might feel like you are missing opportunities.  You probably are because you are not being you.  If you are yourself, these won’t seem like missed opportunities because you’ll know how to field them. When you know who you are, and are your best self, you could meet your partner in crime tomorrow.  It could be something as simple as loving yourself today and going for a latte leads to meeting the right person.

What would that be like to attract exactly what you want and deserve?  Guess what, it’s not a unicorn. “The One” exists but you have to be ready to strike when the iron is hot—which means making sure you’re in the best place to receive it.  We here at Live ClareLesley are going to continually repeat this until you are so tired of hearing it that you’re putting it in to practice: live your life and be the best version of yourself instead of actively seeking out another person to complete you.  “The One” will be a complimentary entity of you, not complete you (sorry, Jerry Maguire).  So, are you ready?

LL