Celebrating National Love Your Feet Day

HA!  This one made me laugh… Its also National Thrift Shop Day, but the feet thing… I’ll admit it: at first I thought “EW!  Why a whole day to celebrate feet?!?”  And I’m not even squeamish  about feet… but then I thought–you know, some people love feet, and some people can’t stand to look at or even think about feet…

This made me liken this thought to that about weight –I’ve been dealing with weight issues my entire life, but I like to eat, and coming from German and Norwegian stock–I’m f*cked.  So, I gave in and bought fat shorts–if you missed that goals blog, you can laugh with me here!

I then went to write a blog about just enjoying the things you enjoy.  For me, its coffee.  But ultimately, its not just about loving your feet–its loving your whole self for exactly who you are in this moment, you beautiful snowflake!  Revisit one of my all time favorites about loving the skin you’re in right now.

Clare

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Life is too short for bad coffee

If you’ve been reading my goals posts, you’ll know that I’m struggling with my brain not liking my waist–I mean I’m human, so who among us does like our bodies more than three days in a row?

So I’m sitting here this morning, a lovely sunny summer Sunday in NYC, and enjoying my coffee.  There is nowhere I have to be today, I do have a few obligations (phone calls), and errands, but nowhere I have to be.  And I’m taking a lovely sip of my French pressed coffee and as I swallow, I’m realizing for the first time in weeks, I’m actually enjoying my coffee.  Its warmth, its nuttyness, its robust but creamy taste; as the warm and and the caffeine hit my system, I’m slowly awakening into, and becoming a part of the world again.  I’m drinking it out of one of my seven favorite mugs–If you’re an original follower you might remember that I’ve moved six times in three years–so I’ve dwindled down my coffee mug collection, so I have exactly the number of cups (that I LOVE) for the number of days in the week.  I’m drinking out of this beautiful oversized bone china tea cup–I can’t get away from working for three years in a fine china shop–all of my dishes HAVE to be quality!  I’d decided to enjoy my coffee and read a little (my roommate loaned me her copy of Warrior Goddess Training to assist my brain realignment with my body issues) as the sun and the breeze stream into my NYC apartment, and the coffee is bringing me into life and bliss, I’m realizing: this cup of coffee is amazing, and life is too short to drink crappy coffee.


Let me back up a little, and bring you to the pinnacle of why this realization is important.  For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been trying to drink alternative coffee.  As in, I like my coffee lightish and sweetish.  I don’t need it to taste like a Werther’s Original, but I don’t need to suck on coffee grounds, either.  The easy way to deal with this is to buy those presweetened flavored creamers.  Which have a lot of sugar.  I’ve been drinking these for years…. but I decided that a good way to cut my sugar intake was to take the flavored cream out of my life.  So I did.  I tried almond milk.  I tried unsweetened almond milk.  I tried cashew milk.  I tried sugar alternatives.  I tried just milk.  I was so unhappy–I tried to make alternative coffee work… but it just wasn’t the same.  Yeah, yeah, first world problems, I totally know… but its a fine line, isn’t it–the difference between taking care of one’s self well, and what we’ve deemed as a first world problem.  I mean, its one thing to complain about creamer when,  I realize, there are people starving in some countries, and I sit here and complain about finding a creamer that tastes good, but won’t add five pounds to my waist whenever I have a serving.  But this is about me taking care of myself.  Which is also a fine line.  When do we treat ourselves well, or when do we “take care of ourselves”.  


I’ve never been starving–I’ve had an extremely low or a negative amount in my bank account many times.  I’ve lived off of, and stretched food because of poor choices.  However, I also have gone the other direction and found myself eating just to try to make myself happy (aka have been extremely overweight because I was eating because I was depressed).

I’m not the most regimented of people–diets just don’t work for me… I find I become very irritable (aka an extreme bitch) and they never have anywhere close to the results I want (my stomach isn’t much flatter, and my thighs didn’t shrink).  However, I am good at moderation–I’ll happily have a handful of chips and stop.  Or one serving of ice cream.  I’ll have the yummy treat, but then be done.

As I get older, I’m seeing my metabolism slow.  I’m witnessing that 10 extra pounds of happiness each decade.  I’m probably more healthy than I’ve ever been, as living in New York makes me move and climb and walk much more than I’ve ever done in my life.  And yes, I actually go back and re-read my own blog on loving the skin I’m in now every three months or so.  But the voices in my head, will loudly remind me that I’m not as skinny as I could and hope to be.  Most of the time, I can tell those voices that I’m beautiful no matter what size I am.  Like Warrior Goddess Training, and other books like it I’ve read, tell me that its the size in the person not the size OF the person that matters.  In other words, confidence is what is beautiful/sexy/attractive.  Shape and size are all just perspective.


So back to my coffee–I’m reminded to return from my tangents to the original thought that started this blog because I just got myself a refill.  My mom was in town visiting me last week, and I bought flavored creamer for her–as I was finishing out my round of caramel flavored almond milk–still not a winner.  This delicious Hazelnut International Delight creamer was left over… and so coming from a “don’t waste food” home, I’m drinking it.  And for the first time in weeks, I’m enjoying the coffee.  The interesting thing is that it was too sweet and creamy on the first sip, so I watered it down with milk–and ultimately making it a little healthier.  A little.

Maybe my enjoyment comes from the fact that I’m drinking something I really like. Maybe my enjoyment comes from the fact that two weeks ago, I threw up my arms, went out and bought fat shorts and decided not to give a fuck about my weight.  Maybe the realization comes from the conversation I had with my roommate last night about “overweight” being the line of discomfort that you cross, and not the size of your clothing.  Maybe it comes from the price of happiness is worth wearing a size larger shorts this summer (and the understanding that the last two summers I was doing a lot of hiking and walking for my jobs, so I was more active albeit a smaller waist size). Maybe its something entirely different.  But this morning, in my one size larger shorts, I’m enjoying this cup of coffee and not caring about anything else.  And that’s the point of living, isn’t it–to deal with the ups and downs, and to enjoy and revel in as many moments of goodness as you can.

I’m going to finish this cup of coffee.  Let me know what you like to enjoy and revel in!

–Clare

 

 

 

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!

Ways I’m trying to quash my jealousy. 

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Trust.  Trust is the antidote to jealousy.


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

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

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

–Clare

How to create more time in your day

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

xx~LL

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Six ways to find your inner strength

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


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

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

I’ve never been good at Downward Facing Dog

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

–Clare

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

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!

Focus on what you have

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

Want more in your life? Try this:

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

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

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

xx~LL

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7 Secrets for Patience

I’ve heard it said many times that we are Human Doings, not Human Beings…which explains our lack of patience: we continually seek to do, not to be. Living in the moment is one of the most difficult tasks we have as thinking, thriving humans. But it is one of the most important.

I just saw one of those memes that said: Worry means you’re living in the past, Anxiety means you’re living in the future. Calm means you’re living in the moment. Really, patience is letting go of that anxiety and worry and focusing on the things that need your attention now. 

Patience is one of those essences that I seem to continually strive for, but am seen as someone who has a lot of. Truth is, it’s all about perspective and distraction. I feel like 1/8 of my life is sitting and waiting. So I’ve become good at entertaining myself, which to the outside observer makes me seem good at being patient. Truth be told, like a magician, it’s all about slight of hand to yourself.


Here are my secrets:
1) Resign yourself to it. Give in. Patience has to happen. Waiting will occur. Breathe. Shrug your shoulders. Give over the power and control to whatever deity you choose and say it in your most believable Ice Cube: Bye, Felicia.

2) Now that you’ve told whatever you’re waiting for, bye for now, focus on something else. I’m sure there are a million options to you sitting and staring at the situation to change. Go work on a hobby, go learn a new skill, go call friends/return emails/catch up, clean your home, read/write/watch TV, bake, sleep, basically turn your back on your waiting game and put all your focus elsewhere.

For example–I’m currently waiting to hear about an audition. It’s a very important one. A dream role. But I know I cannot show up and do my best work until someone else says they are available. This made me obnoxiously anxious for a few weeks–inside and out. I’d told a few people about it, and they are continually checking in with me, the one trying to wait patiently in the waiting room of my brain–which has no smooth jazz Muzak to soothe me.
3) Come to terms with, or realize, or acknowledge that for whatever reason, whatever deity or power doesn’t want this in your life right now. You can also say: whatever, FAIT. (I spelled it right. “Fuck All, I’m Tired.” F-A-I-T.)

This is kinda step one as well, but really, to be good at patience you have to hear that voice and constantly tell it to hush. That you’re busy in the moment, but you’re ready when the time comes. It’s just not the time yet.

4) Remind yourself that you’ve been patient before, you can definitely do it again. As Kimmy Schmidt said down in the bunker when turning the crank: I can do anything for 10 seconds. And when that 10 seconds is up I’ll do another 10. (As in: she survived the last amount of time, she can survive the next allotment).

5) Other than reminding yourself that you’re capable, don’t compare yourself to anyone else or even previous versions of yourself. Stories and myths of waiters like Job, Penelope, and even Sisyphus come to my mind a lot when I need to be patient–by the way if you need to go look up those references, go for it. I can wait!

Good you’re back–these are stories. Myths. If they did happen, their timeline and life is totally different from yours. Your timeline is even different from yours in the past. The last time I went to the DMV it was delightful, even though I waited for over 90 min.  It was agony the time before that, and I probably was the same or less time, but I set myself up to wait.  Which brings me to secret 6:

6) Prepare to wait.  Set yourself up to be patient.  To the DMV, I brought a snack, water, a fully charged phone and a book. I prepared to wait. I settled in and was actually annoyed when my number was called. Ha! I ALWAYS take a book to the post office these days–I know its going to be a wait, so I get ready for it.  Auditions ALWAYS have waiting.  I’ve just learned to keep a snack, a book, and a charger on me at all times–because you never know when you’ll have to be patient.

7) Don’t give whatever it is, the satisfaction when it finally arrives. Just pretend it’s a normal thing on a normal day. This will help your mindset and balance in the scope of the world next time you have to be patient.


Like anything else, patience takes practice, ESPECIALLY in our instant society. I now live for the ellipsis on text message to go away–I want my friends to finish their texts to me!!! But, time is a good thing. Living in the moment is a good thing. Patience is a good thing. Practice. Breathe. Bring yourself into this moment. The next one will come soon enough, a whatever you’re waiting for.

One of my favorite quotes from Rumi starts: Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…

Good luck!

–Clare

Why your bi weekly paycheck is holding you back

Until now I always have known when I am getting paid. Since I was 15 years old I have been getting paid every other Friday. I remember my first pay check and being so excited. It was all my money! Well, and all those other people who were taking their piece of the pie. But, what was left over was mine!

I like a good oldest child did what was expected of me. I put some in savings and then I went shopping! I quickly learned that I would need to ration it out more if I wanted the paycheck to last more than the weekend. However, I was 15. There was going to be a roof over my head, food on my table and a little extra from my folks just because. Eventually I got better at spreading out my little coffee shop pay check.


Then as many of you readers know I went into retail where again I was getting a small check each week but enough for a college student to have some sort of life. After several promotions however, I got salaried! Yep, guaranteed money. No matter how much I worked I at least knew how much money I was making. There are upsides and downsides to both. However, it was so freeing to not worry if I would get “enough” hours at work. I knew what my pay would be and could budget accordingly.

Now, different then most salary jobs I also had commission bonus. So, if I wanted more (which who doesn’t) I just had to sell more. Or have my staff sell more! I was able to quickly get out of college debt, move into my own apartment. I could get a car on my own. I had a lot more freedom.


But, I wanted more.

See, it’s very secure knowing how much you are going to make no matter what. In fact it’s almost too secure. Like comfy secure.

There is no real fire under your arse. Sick or not that paycheck will magically appear in my bank account. Every other Friday will balloon my account. Unless something unexpected happens, I’m good.

It’s so comfy that it can be hard to get away from. Like a couch that’s too soft and deep, it can be hard to get out of. Like a drug it can be hard to walk away from. Every paycheck is a hit!


If you have a dream, a desire beyond your current job; if that dream or desire is you working for yourself, I can tell you that your bi-weekly paycheck is going to be one thing, one big thing that holds you back!

Why? Because it’s pretty hard to leave. It’s hard to go out on your own, not knowing how much you’ll make. You may make more money in the beginning but then…when is the next deposit? You might have to start off making nothing…when will the next hit come? Slowly, if you left the check it may seem like it’s calling you back. If you haven’t left the check…well you get my point.

I have not been living off my own paychecks for 3 months when this posts. Is it scary HECK YES! My account is more full than ever but I am scared to spend it. However, don’t worry. I am working out where the money needs to go next to grow my business further. There are weeks where no new money comes in. Weeks where I make a months worth in a day. It’s an ebb and flow. A entrepreneurial roller coaster. But, it’s my roller coaster. All mine.


If you want to work for you. If you are trying to get out of the addiction from your current “comfortable” paycheck. Try this:

Whats your bare minimum budget?

What can you get rid of entirely?

Do you have at least 6 months living expenses saved up?

Do you have a plan for how your desire will bring you money?

Can you start your desired business in the wee hours before work and the evening hours after?

Can you get your business off and running before you go cold turkey?

We are about to read “The Power of Broke” for our LCL Book Club. I must say dear readers there is so much power in not having a guaranteed income. You get creative. You don’t throw money at things. You get down and dirty with your business and really figure it all out.


You may go cold turkey, you may slowly wean yourself off. But, either way remember that going back to a job or staying at a job for a biweekly hit will only get your a biweekly hit.

xx~LL

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