How to Let It Go

I am lucky to work with people on a daily basis. Actually an hourly basis. I hear their joys, wows, and the dreaded “I can’t…” I don’t mind a good mental download. Sometimes you just have to unload.  But, how many times have you had the dame complaint? How many times have you complained about that today or this week?  Even worse or even how many years have you had the same complaint?

I have caught myself playing the complaint game, many times. Woe-ing over what is happening with a certain person, place, or thing.  Acting as if it is all happening to me, personally. That I have no control over any of it.  But, then the Universe, or Clare, or my Husband knock some good loving sense into me.  They help me see the big picture, or the other side to the story.  With this new adjusted view, I actually have to let go of said complaint and own my role in the situation.  When I step back I see that I have to then control my control-ables.

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I know, I just made that seem easy-peasy.  Truth… it’s not so easy to let go over the issue that is bothering you.  For example, a friend of mine years ago and I both worked together. He would complain on the daily and sometimes find me a few times in one day to complain about his job.  First, it was too easy, then too boring.  Then his company wanted him to do things he was uncomfortable with or he didn’t feel was in his job description.  Next, he would complain the job was suffocating him.  For months I had to listen to his complaining.  Until, one day I didn’t.

I grabbed his shoulders in a loving way.  Looked him in the eye and said: “This isn’t the only job in the world. If it’s not lighting your fire then go, find a job that does. But for heavens sake, and my ears, do not let another negative thing about your job come out of your mouth. You do not have to do this job.”

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He was shocked.  I was too.  It was the first time I took someone and was so direct; I could have lost our friendship all together.  Or worse, been head butted!Of course after this harsh reality check, I hugged him and told him I loved him no matter what. But, he is the only one who can make himself happy.  No job would.


You are the only one who can make you happy. 


A week later he had made a decision to leave the job.  It’s been 3 years since his decision and, I have to say, he looks happier with every year.  His last day he almost floated out to his car.  Did I miss working with my friend on the daily?  Yes.  But did I really miss the friend he was when he was working with me?  NOPE!  Our friendship is even better now.  He took ownership over his own life. He went on a path truer to him and his goals.

You can too!  I know you think it’s too late, too much money, or you’re too invested in the path you are on.  Go read Clare’s Blog on her feelings about the usage of the word “too.”  But seriously, we are living longer and longer these days.  Don’t you want to?  It’s been proven more times than Google has pages, that happier people live longer and healthier lives.  If you’re unhappy ask yourself why.  Then take changes to turn that frown upside down.

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If you’re job is causing you stress, angst, displeasure:

  • What exactly is the stressor?
  • Can you pinpoint it?  Narrow it down to one or two or three things.
  • If its your commute then you don’t need to change your job.  Change the commute or how you spend time commuting.
  • If it’s your co-deskmate ask you boss to switch your desk, or invest in the top of the line headphones and rock on (or not but let people think you are).
  • Boss…what about your boss? Is it how they talk to you? How they treat you? Or just that you have a boss?  If it’s how they talk to you go to HR. Or have a meeting with them, and politely express how they are making you feel. Bosses can often change too. If you just don’t like working for a boss then take the steps to work for yourself!

If the stress is coming from a relationship with a friend, family member, or significant other, figure out:

  • Is it how they treat you?  Just be straight up.  Tell them: When you say or do this _______ it makes me feel like this______.  If they don’t get it, understand what you’re saying, or refuse to change, then you can remove yourself from the situation for a time period.
  • Is it how they treat themselves.  Tell them!  Seriously, people put themselves down all the time and it can be so hard to stand next to that. What kind of friend are we if we don’t help them see how awesome they are!

Maybe it’s your home, apartment or car:

  • What exactly is it about your abode that you don’t like?  If you really sit down and think about it, maybe a new rug or lamp will fix the inside.  Or a quick search online you might find your perfect haven.  If the problem is larger, work out what you might need to do to fix your frustration with your living situation.   Sitting around complaining about it and doing nothing to change it seems pretty silly don’t you think?  Unless you do something to change your situation, nothing will change.

If something is bothering you, or you hear yourself on repeat, figure out exactly what is the bother. Narrow it down. Then, ask yourself if it’s something you can fix or if you need to make a get away plan.  You are (or should be) the conductor of your train. Take back the control. Stop relinquishing it by blaming another person, place or thing. Go and do!

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I am currently taking steps to rid a complaint from my life. The moment I made my game plan the moment a felt a huge weight off my shoulders and have found excess time in my busy schedule. I want that for each of you. Please feel free to share your experiences with Clare and me, either in the comments, or email us.  We’d love to help you rid that woe.

Xx~LL

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Photo Credits: Alan Cleaver (stress eraser), Bernard Goldbach (eggs), !unite (strongman).

How to Listen to Life Lessons

I’m of a very strong belief that life not only deals out lessons, but it deals out the same lesson until it is learned.  Sometimes these aren’t revealed as lessons or repeat until we get the smack down at the end where we’ve found out we’ve failed. Again. For the umpteenth time. Well, I shouldn’t say failed because no one is giving out letter grades for living life… I should say returned a result that was less than positive and definitely NOT the one I was hoping for.

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Of all of the life lessons, it seems as if its the romance lessons that are continually repeated for me. I’m often attracted to the good looking, who flirt with me and seem interested, but for some reason, lack the desire to seek me out. So, I become the pursuer. Which, generally I hate. I’m a strong, confident woman, yes. But I don’t need to be strong, and generally am strong when it’s called for, but given the chance, I’d happily take the shotgun/ride along seat. That is not to say that I’m not willing to go 50/50 or that I want flowers and doors opened for me. I’m just saying that when it comes to the pursuit, it seems with these guys I keep finding, its up to me to make moves. Which drives me crazy from both the action and analyzation standpoints.

I’m currently in a situation where I am so very attracted to a gentleman who is my age, my height, is incredibly handsome but doesn’t always know it, and most importantly makes me laugh. We tend to ebb and flow into each other’s lives. And as of late we flow.  I’d like to tell you that my sensible head was winning for a bit–convincing my heart that he just likes the attempt—not even the chase, but just the attempt. Because I’m either REALLY obtuse or he never makes a move. So once again, I find myself in a position of adoration and in a holding pattern. I could reach out. I could ask him out–we are in the feminist age and women have equal rights. I could even hide behind text or social media. I’m sure you’re saying: just go for it Clare. I’ll tell you why I don’t. I feel that I’m worth being pursued. I’ve done my share of pursuit in other situations/relationships AND with this exact one. A lot. A little. A hint. A big message (yeah… I wrote it in the sand. The guy I liked at the time saw. Did nothing.) Often I wake myself up with thoughts and mull them over while trying to get back to sleep. I kept thinking that I just need to cut it off; be in charge; get up and walk away.  But, to learn a lesson you must be in a situation.  (And yes, I’ve already tried the walking away lesson with this exact guy. I’m back here again.)

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As I said, I am continually thrown this similar relationship situation and lesson. Apparently, I’m not learning my lesson because it is a repetitious one. It truly is driving me crazy because I don’t know if I should be more or less active in it’s progression each time. Every new rotation, I question my actions (or lack of actions) more and more. Like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, I seem to be getting it wrong, and am forced to relive it until I’ve figured it all out. I disprove the saying #yolo (you only live once), because I live this situation over and over and over.

Life lessons and their annoying repetition are frustrating. Especially when you have no control over what is in store, or how fast something is to be taking. Here at LiveClareLesley we are frequently reminding you to go out and do things. Better yourself. Occupy yourself. Make friends. Celebrate friends. Learn new things. While you’re doing this, the thing you’re focusing on will sort itself out. Not one to shirk my own advice—well, actually Lesley won’t let me shirk my own advice. So. I’ve started going out once a week and make it my job to meet new people. Whether this is the lesson I’m to learn, who knows. That will sort itself out eventually. Or maybe, I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will be Groundhog Day. Again. The important thing is to know that “this time I need to get it right” is NOT the right mindset. Instead when you find yourself in a similar situation over and over, take a deep breath and buckle that seat belt and get ready to learn. Make mistakes. Make choices. Take chances. My favorite scene in Groundhog Day is toward the end when Bill Murray has the perfect timing and is everywhere to save everyone and be everything for everybody… and it still doesn’t end up well. With these life lessons that are being repeated, even if it is with different people, keep trying things. Sometimes patience is the answer, but I’ve found that taking action is a much better route.


Make mistakes. Make choices. Take chances.


Update: since I wrote the above, I’ve gone out now, twice to a bar… with no luck, but I’ve had some fun conversations with people. I also got up the nerve and texted the man of my pursuit and flat out made my intentions clear. He took a day to text back and gave me an unclear answer. After deliberating over it for much longer than I should have, I’ve decided to walk away completely. This man, who I’ve known for almost three years, isn’t really worth even being my friend. Honestly, I don’t know if this is the answer to the life lesson or not. However, I’m standing up for myself. As Lesley told me in a pep talk phone call—once you see what you’re worth and demand that others see it, you’ll get what you really deserve. It might not be the exact lesson I’m supposed to learn, however knowing your own worth and demanding it is always a good lesson to learn and practice. It’s a difficult one to swallow, but it really is worth the work.

–Clare

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Just Keep Swimming 

Dori, in Finding Nemo, has the catchphrase: Just keep swimming. This might be one of my favorite go to’s when things don’t go as planned.  We all make plans, host parties, go on interviews, auditions and recently for me planning my wedding.  You know how it goes. You make a plan, envision how it will go. Then____ happens.  So, you have to go back to the drawing board.  This moment of everything falling apart is where you learn a lot about yourself; you can dig your feet in and stick tightly to your vision, or you open your mind up and see what options come your way.


This moment of everything falling apart is where you learn a lot about yourself.


Losing my wedding venue with an entire wedding planned down to everything was a SHOCK.  Actually, shock is a vast understatement.  But, I had to keep swimming. Each day that passed seemed to fly as my finger and I struggled and hustled to find a new venue for our quickly approaching wedding day.  Sure, we could email possible venues, but during a busy work week we both were not able to do all the footwork that it takes to find a venue, especially not with only a five weeks to go. The situation was more dire and filled with pressure anytime went on people who thought they were asking simple honest question “so, where’s the wedding?” Just made the situation feel more dire. I mean we were 5 weeks out and no venue in sight with a couple hundred people looking to celebrate. Huge pressure kept mounting.

What do I do? I just kept swimming! I smiled. I made a joke about the whole thing. We’ve got a wedding and no where to go–I would respond as chipper as I could muster.  It helped me get though the day.

Now, with a new venue on the books we are back in action. Working out the details and updating original plans. It’s going to be better than originally planned.

Swimming Tips:

1) Take a deep breaths. In fact take many. You’ll need them to keep you calm, strong and heading towards the destination.

2) Stay positive! Smile if you have to even if it’s hard. Smile harder. The simple action will help your mind feel more positive. There is a light and you will reach it. Just smile.

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3) Take in all your surroundings. Swimming is not the same as putting your head in the sand. There’s lots to see and gets ideas from. Movement begets change–so if you get out there and look at all the possibilities, you will see that you’re not stuck.

4) Change it up! If freestyle isn’t working there are other strokes out there. The important thing is to take action. You’ll feel more in control of your situation.

So, I swam for four days. Made fun jokes along the way and was welcomed by so many great ideas from friends and even friends of friends. We have our venue and it’s turning out to be the best thing that could have happened.

Swim on and Smile my dears!

Xx~LL 

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