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How To

Guest Posts, How To, writing

Finding the Hook.

October 15, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black

By Lisa McElroy.

It turns out that, when you’re writing your first novel, finding a hook is crazy hard. How can you capture a reader’s interest in the first few pages? How can you make her relate to your characters? How can you reel her in, keeping her on the line, guiding her expertly into your net, all the while making her think it was her own idea?

It was my own career teaching writing that brought me to question what I really knew about the process.

Since 2001 – for almost all of what I perceive to be my adult life – I’ve been instructing students on the art of legal writing. To teach first year law students to write is to teach communication, the kind that future lawyers need to develop to represent clients, help them solve their problems, convince courts to rule in their favor. Legal writing is highly structured, nearly formulaic in some instances. But as many legal scholars have discussed, it is also storytelling of a very high degree. A good attorney must find a way to tell a client’s story that draws the reader in, holds her interest, and – most importantly – evokes sympathy and understanding for the client’s plight.

It’s a lot like writing a novel – or a novella, at the very least.

Every fall, when a new crop of students sits down in my classroom, eager to learn, I realize for what seems like the first time that legal writing is, while natural to me, overwhelmingly difficult for students who do not know the lingo or the structure or the strategy that make up a simple memo to the file, a motion for summary judgment. The rules – and a certainty about when to break the rules – are all brand new, mysterious, seemingly ungraspable.

Continue Reading…

Gratitude, Guest Posts, How To, Inspiration

The Many Dangers of Complaining.

August 23, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Karen Salmansohn

Everybody talks about the importance of appreciation – how it’s such a big-time happiness booster. Truth be told, appreciation very much deserves all the attentive, flattering PR it receives!

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But today I’d like to discuss with you the dangers of appreciation’s extreme opposite: depreciation. First of all, let me state clearly that “depreciation” is not simply the absence of appreciation. It’s actually the presence of focusing on problems, flaws and disappointments. Some standard definitions of depreciation: to lessen the value of; to belittle; to represent as being of less merit. There are a lot of people out there who are depreciators – walking around, looking for things to complain about – even when they have many reasons to rejoice. They speak in sentences that begin with “but” or “if only” or “what if.” As a result, depreciators wind up devaluing a lot of good stuff they should be feeling quite giddy about! By decreasing the value of what’s around them – they decrease the love, joy and inner calm they feel in their lives.   Continue Reading…

And So It Is, How To, loss

No Such Thing As Right.

February 27, 2013

You think you know what is right but you don’t. There’s no such thing.

There is only I am feeling my way around in the dark here and this feels like the table and this feels like the light switch but you never know until you know. Sometimes it’s when you flip the switch and the light actually comes on. Sometimes it’s not for years and sometimes you never know.

On Sunday my husband was about to get on a plane to go to a funeral in St Louis when his cousin called him from St. Louis and said that they were now going to have the funeral in L.A. and there was no point anymore for him to come. My husband’s cousin died 2 weeks ago when he’d had a heart attack and then crashed the tow truck he was driving. His wife had been in St. Louis at the time where they live. She flew out to L.A. immediately, and tried, in her blubbering hysterics, to decide if they should ship the body back to St. Louis or keep it in L.A.. My husband asked me what I thought.

I never go visit my father at his cemetery. He is buried in a Jewish cemetery in Pennsauken, New Jersey and it makes me feel depressed and cold. His tombstone is near a family friend’s who died of ovarian cancer when I was 18 and also the four brothers I’d gone to elementary school with who died in a fire.

I used to have extreme guilt about not going until I got very clear that my father was absolutely not there under that headstone. My father and I chat a lot in our dead-father to alive-daughter way and lord knows I write about him enough. He’s right here. He definitely is not there.

He stopped being anywhere in this world when he died in 1983, in fact. I can’t say what’s beyond but I can tell you that his physical body stopped breathing and that he know longer existed as a walking talking Melvin David Pastiloff. I can tell you that 100% for certain.

When Robert asked me what I thought I told him that it was a very personal choice but that I didn’t see the point of shipping the body as it wasn’t him anymore. The body has nothing to do with him at this point. But who am I to say? He told me that the wife would want to visit him at the cemetery once a week. (Naturally I felt a little guilty when I heard that being that I haven’t visited my father’s grave in years.) Once a week? That’s a lot. Okay, maybe she should ship the body. I don’t know.

There is no right with this, I said. There is only keep moving. Keep breathing.

So he was about to get on the plane and they called and said Don’t come and I went back and picked him back where I’d dropped him 2 hours earlier at LAX. They are having the funeral here in L.A. now. So much back and forth. No one could decide as if they were waiting for someone to come up with the right answer.

There is no right answer.

My mother didn’t let my sister and I go to our father’s funeral. She has no idea now why she made that choice. Someone probably told her that it was the right thing to do or that we would have nightmares. I have spent my whole life wishing I had gone so I could have heard the people tell stories about him and cry over him and wish him back into the world. I wanted to be there for his honoring.

Was it the right thing to do? There is no right thing. There is what gets done. There is you have to keep breathing and you have to do whatever you have to do to keep breathing.

Tomorrow I fly to Santa Fe to go to Ronan’s memorial.  (There is no right! There is no right I tell you!) I will miss the funeral of my husband’s cousin which will take place here in L.A. because I will be in Santa Fe at a baby’s memorial. There is nothing right about any of this.

I just keep moving around in the dark and hoping that sooner or later I find the switch for the light.

I imagine my father’s funeral as a dream-like painting and I am inside the painting.

It’s a colorful oil-based rendition of people in various stages of grief. My feet barely touch the floor in this painting. I am eight.

There are also people outside the painting, staring in.  They mill about, champagne and cheese in hand, commenting on us there inside the surreal painting of my father’s funeral.

We are still, those of us inside the painting. As if we are waiting for something.

We are waiting for something.

Someone outside the painting takes a charcoal pencil and shades our voices a color the sound of sand. The color of mute. We go quiet.

In my next painting my father’s face will be drawn closer to mine and his arm will touch my arm. And in this one he won’t even have to die. We won’t be at a funeral anymore.

Time will be un-stuck. It will move as we move. It will flow off the canvas and into the room of voyeurs searching for something, anything to talk about.

I can do that, you know. I can make it a painting come to life like that. I can create it over and over with brushstrokes and anecdotes because I wasn’t there and I will never have been there and there is no one that can say That was the right thing to do or That was the wrong thing to do.

There is no such thing.

There is no right.

There is only go and breathe and love and get up in the morning and take the next breath and the next and when someone tries to tell you that this or that is the right thing just look at them and keep breathing. Keep going.

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And So It Is, How To, Inspiration

The Best Things and The Worst Things.

February 25, 2013

The best and the worst things.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes they get muddled together and maybe some words switch places and then one day you don’t know which is the truer one? The best and the worst things of our lives sometimes so intertwined that the father dying gets confused with the doughnut and the baby being born becomes the ghost. The best and the worst things climbing the walls of your mind and some days the one that makes it out alive is a hybrid of all that ever was.

The best and the worst and the days in between.

Yesterday I asked my Facebook Tribe to fill in the blanks. Here’s what I wrote:

The best thing that someone has ever said to me was ______. The best thing I ever said to me was _______. The worst thing I ever said to me was _______. Be honest & brave. 

I forgive you. It’s going to be okay. I don’t want to be alive anymore.

When I grow up I want to be you. I am proud of my body. I suck at being a mother. 

You are an inspiration. You deserve everything life has to offer- you are good enough. You aren’t good enough to be loved.

Those were just a few of the responses.

How quickly we can end up in the very worst storm. How easy it is to get trapped on the very worst island. How familiar it is to be with the very worst things.

The very worst things for me have been things I have said to myself. The worst things that happened were the death of my father and the other losses and trauma I have suffered, but once you move through them (and you do!) you find the second best very worst things come from your own brain. Your own brain, that Godammned traitor! Your brain who you stood by all those years and helped through the loss of your father and the news that your nephew had a rare genetic disorder.

Your brain, which you thought was on your side but which turns out to take no sides at all.

The best things. How they cannot be trusted like the worst things. The worst things loom over them like a fat bully by a set of lockers. You think you can win? You can’t. I will always win. I am bigger and stronger the voice by the lockers will say as it reminds you of all the worst things that are possible. You are nothing. You are a mess. You are never going to finish. You deserve to die.

If you made a list of the best things and the worst things could you bear to look at it?

Would the You aren’t good enough get mixed up with I am proud of my body? Would you not know which one to trust? Oh, the very best things and the very worst things. Vying for space. Would the You are an inspiration shirk under the weight of I don’t want to be alive anymore if you hung them on your wall above the sofa?

This is what happens with life, I suppose. There is so so much. There is so much to being a person in the world and we have to choose what we hang on the wall above the sofa. We have to choose what makes our top ten and what we pass on to our children over breakfast.

Imagine this for a moment: You are making eggs. You think, or maybe you even speak I suck at being a mother and your child gets his or her plate and takes less eggs than you would like (they never eat enough!) and they hear you (because that’s what kids do whether you speak it aloud or not) and now your very worst thing is hanging above the sofa and everyone knows it and sees it and stands around it like it is really there. When it’s not. It’s in the eggs and it’s in the air and your child will never acknowledge he or she heard you but they will swallow runny yolks and wonder why you suck at being a mother and maybe they will look for signs of such suckiness. Maybe they will prove to you that you suck at being a mother since that’s what’s hanging over the sofa. And then your very worst thing becomes the truth and most valued object in the house and people come over and sit on the sofa and try not look up at what you have hung above their heads.

Okay, that won’t happen. I hope not, at least. But it is so easy, isn’t it?

All the years I hated myself. I thought I was a monster. My very worst thing is all I spoke and so the monster lived with me. We shared a space and I fed it or starved it and it reminded me how ugly and fat I was and I showed people as often as I could. I am disgusting the monster/me would say to them.

My algorithms were off.

Algorithms are essential to the way computers process data. As it is with us.

What, you think you are that different than a computer? I know I’m not. Input, output, send, delete, process, store. All of it. The same.

I have filed things in the wrong places and then when I went to look for them I couldn’t find what I was looking for so I took what I could find and hung it above my sofa. Right there on the wall.

This is how the dictionary defines algorithms: a procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation.

I hate math. I went to a therapist as child because of my math phobia but I am going to break it down for you in my math-phobic way.

The greatest divisor is our minds. How we process it. It messes up the very best things and the worst things and muddles them in such a way that it becomes finite. That’s that. That’s the truth. That’s just the way it is. Forever and ever and ever.

Repetition of an operation. Well, that’s life for you, isn’t it? This wheel keeps on turning. You keep going around and around and repeating the same things. People are born. They die. They say things. Things happen or they don’t. You keep hanging things on the wall above the sofa.

I am looking for a system that organizes itself but I am not sure that will ever happen. I think I need to keep manually separating the very best things with the very worst and the beauty from the garbage.

Euclid was the ancient Greek man who invented the algorithm and geometry as we know it. His name literally translates into Good Glory. I like that. I get that he was all into numbers and stuff, but, I think there was something more. I think perhaps he was teaching us in his way about how to live in the very best way with the very best things in all our good glory.

May you live in all your good glory and keep reminding yourself the best things. Over and over.

~~~~

xo jen

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Delight, How To, Inspiration

A 14 Year Old’s Adaptation of “Jens Rules To Live By”

June 5, 2012

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Jen Pastiloff

My friend is a teacher and they read my blog in his class. That, in itself, is enough to make me weep with joy and disbelief, but, what is more impressive is the picture below. A 14 year old (who shall remain nameless as promised) created her own Rules after she read mine. 

I will post mine first then hers.

Hers are better.

#Humbled!

Jen’s “Rules” To Live By:

1. Be Kind.

2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to YOU.

3. Write poems, even if only in your head.

4. Sing out loud, even if badly.

5. Dance, even with no rhythm.

6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal.

7. Find things to be in awe of.

8. Be grateful for what you have right now.

9. Watch Modern Family, read Wayne Dyer, and end every complaint with “But I’m so blessed!”

10. Duh, do yoga.

11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.

12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.

13.Take more pictures.

14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing.

15. Thank the Universe in advance.

Awesome 14 Year Old’s Adaptation:

Guest Posts, How To, Inspiration

Breathe Free! Journey to Becoming Smoke-Free

June 4, 2012

My sister Rachel, who I am so very proud of, just got published on the fab MindBodyGreen. Couldn’t be happier! Her article is about her journey to being smoke-free. She hasn’t lit up in 3 whole months after years and years of being a smoker. I am so happy! Please take a moment and read the post and comment to support her.

My Journey to Breathing Freely

By Rachel Pastiloff

I don’t know if it was the wrinkles in my face. Or maybe it was the smell on my clothes. Or maybe, just maybe, it was that I am 34 years old now, only 4 years younger than my dad when he died. He smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day. No I didn’t smoke that many. But smoking any cigarettes is hurtful to your body.

I am in the midst of yoga teacher training right now and we are studying the yoga sutras. There is one that stuck with me like bubble gum that I couldn’t get out of my hair. {AHIMSA; NON-VIOLENCE} How can you practice non-violence towards yourself when you smoke? Every time you have a cigarette you are quietly assaulting your body…..

Click here to finish reading and to comment to support her.

Click photo of rachel to read MindBodyGreen post

PS, she is a yoga teacher now in Atlanta and will be assisting my October 19-21 Manifestation Yoga® Retreat to Ojai. Sign up here.

How To

7 Steps To Love Your Life And Really Mean It.

June 3, 2012

My latest is up on MindBodyGreen!

So how do you get to the point where you truly love your life?

Here are some ideas that have helped me and my students:

1. Make a Joy List. I do this in many of my yoga classes and ask my students to post it somewhere where they can see it. Look at that joy list as often as you can and try to get into the feelings of the things you wrote on it. For example, a Sunday cuddle, a warm fire and a book you can’t put down, a kiss, a nice glass of red, a child’s pose. Whatever it is, see if you can connect to that ‘feel good feeling’. Pretty soon you will notice you don’t need the list as much because it will be tattoed on your heart so at a momet’s notice you can reach in and borrow some joy or give some away.

Click here to read the rest/and add your own step to the list!

 

Share the MindBodyGreen article by copying this the follwing and tweeting it for a chance to win a Manifestation t-shirt.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5012/7-Steps-to-Love-Your-Life-And-Really-Mean-It.html @manifestyogajen @mindbodygreen #Ilovemylife

Guest Posts, How To, Inspiration, manifesting

Epiphany on Vision Boards. Guest Post by Elise Ballard.

May 23, 2012

Elise Ballard’s inspirational book. Click to order through Amazon.

The following post is by my soul sister Elise Ballard. I met Elise in NYC where we attended Oprah’s LifeClass together. Elise and I both write for Positively Positive and she happens to be the author of one of my favorite books, Epiphany! We met in NYC and have been connected ever since. It was meant to be, there is no doubt about that. This morning, during a phone chat, Elise shared with me that she had created vision boards and put exactly what she had wanted on them. And you know what? She got those very things. Look at the photo of the book above, folks. That book is a result of a seed in her imagination first, and then yes, a load of hard work. 

The theme in class this week is imagination and the mantra is ” I am already there” so our phone call felt so timely. As does our friendship. (Also, stay tuned because Elise and I are hosting a Twitter contest where you can win a spot at my October Manifestation retreat and a copy of her signed book!)

She shared with me the following post she wrote 2 years ago and I knew I had to share.  You all know my love of the vision board. We even do them at my retreats and workshops. I hope you are as inspired by her post and her success as I am. And yes, she will be featured soon in The Manifestation Q&A Series.

Elise and I at Radio City Music Hall in NYC with Oprah

For All Those Vision Board Doubting Thomas’s by Elise Ballard.

elise-ballard

I never put much credence in Vision Boards (this is a link to a great article about them) but I kept hearing how amazing things were happening for friends of mine and reading about them so I thought, “What the hey – I need all the help I can get at this point.” It was September 2009 and I had been working for almost an entire year developing this project, writing the book proposal and creating and launching my site. We were about to submit to publishers and I had no idea what would become of me. (I suppose I still don’t but at least I have the book release to look forward to and it will definitely live in the world now – back then, it was completely unknown what would happen.) So I did a Vision Board and put images of things on a piece of poster board that I desired or wanted to happen, just as my friends and Martha Beck instructed me to do . WITHIN DAYS, things started materializing…it was wild! And within a month, I had a book deal for Epiphany with a major publisher (Random House) who wanted the book to be exactly the way I’d always envisioned it and for the exact advance I knew I had to get to make it happen.

Check this out: (Note: These are not great photos ahead, but I think they’re decent enough that you’ll be able to see what I’m saying. And I don’t know why my mock up Epiphany Book Cover is torn, but again, you’ll get the gist.)

This is what I typed/mocked up put up on my Vision Board last Sept.

And this is what the cover of the galley of my book looks like that is going out to press and to my contributors:

IT’S THE SAME FONT AND PRETTY MUCH THE EXACT SAME BLUE AND ORIGINAL TITLE.

THE LESSON LEARNED: Don’t be so impatient and such a worry-wart, silly grasshopper, things eventually come around. (And VISION BOARDS work!)

I’ve probably done about 3-4 Vision Boards throughout the past year and things always happen from them. I always recommend at least trying VISION BOARDS – even if it’s just to see what happens…Why not? Encourage the magical aspects of life – it makes it all that much more exciting and fun.

Here is another great post Elise shared about vision boards a few days ago.

Here is Elise’s TED talk. Talk about inspiration!

About Elise Ballard

Elise Ballard is the author of Epiphany! a book of inspirational stories, aha moments and exclusive interviews from Random House Publishing.

Follow Elise on Twitter

Follow Elise on Facebook.

Buy the book Epiphany! by Elise Ballard.

How To

2nd Rule For Life: Have a Sense of Humor.

April 18, 2012

My 2nd post went up on the fantastic MindBodyGreen. I am so thrilled to be a regular writer for them now. Click here.

The other day I posted my ‘15 Rules to Live By‘ and my first rule: Be Kind. Each post in this series will discuss each of one of the following rules.
1. Be Kind.
2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to YOU.
3. Write poems, even if only in your head.
4. Sing out loud, even if badly.
5. Dance, even with no rhythm.
6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal.
7. Find things to be in awe of.
8. Be grateful for what you have right now.
9. Watch Modern Family, read Wayne Dyer, and end every complaint with “But I’m so blessed!”
10. Duh, do yoga.
11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.
12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.
13.Take more pictures.
14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing.
15. Thank the Universe in advance.
Number Two. Sense of Humor. Especially When It Comes to Yourself.
My most well known rule in my yoga classes is: If you Fall, You Must Laugh.
I take this rule very seriously, folks.
I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t take your yoga practice seriously, or your job or anything else that is important to you. But, you should never ever take yourself seriously.
Why? Well, for one, it is boring.
It’s extremely dull to be around folks who don’t have a sense of humor, who can’t laugh at themselves.
Click here to read the rest of the article on MindBodyGreen. And yes, I talk about the whole mooning story from Mexico. 

How To, Inspiration

15 Rules To Live By. Debut Post on MindBodyGreen.

April 15, 2012

I am thrilled to now be a regular contributor to MindBodyGreen.

My first post went up yesterday which was titled 15 Rules To Live By.

My friend Karen Salmansohn made me this poster to go with the article.

Click here to read the full post on MindBodyGreen and as always, feel free to comment.

Each post will delve into one of my 15 rules.

1. Be Kind.
2. Have a sense of humor especially when it comes to YOU.
3. Write poems, even if only in your head.
4. Sing out loud, even if badly.
5. Dance, even with no rhythm.
6. If you don’t have anything nice to say… you know the deal.
7. Find things to be in awe of.
8. Be grateful for what you have right now.
9. Watch Modern Family, read Wayne Dyer, and end every complaint with “But I’m so blessed!”
10. Duh, do yoga.
11. Don’t worry. Everyone on Facebook seems like they have happier and funner lives. They don’t.
12. Tell someone you love that you love them. Right now.
13.Take more pictures.
14. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing.
15. Thank the Universe in advance.

Guest Posts, How To, Inspiration

The First Day Of The Rest of Your Life. Guest Post by Erin Telford.

March 9, 2012

Today’s guest post is by New York acupuncturist, herbalist and writer Erin Telford. I highly recommend you checking her out next time you are in NYC if you do not already live there. 

I love the name of her company: Radiant Heart Acupuncture. I have truly been living my life with a radiant heart lately, and her post today, reminded me of what has already been lying dormant inside of me. Inside of all of us. 

As I write my book “I Am-ness” ( due out in 2013) I read posts like these and am reminded why I am called to write that book. She talks about becoming an agent of change in your own life.

I love that. Agent of Change indeed!

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”  ~  Martha Graham (revolutionary modern dancer & choreographer)

How do those words feel to you?  Wow?  Hopeful?  Comforting?  Inspiring? 

Give them a minute to sink in.  Like really sink in.  They are big words and they hold one of the most important messages you may ever receive.

There is only one you.  ONLY ONE.

Your soul’s expression is shining and shimmering like sunlight skipping over an ocean.  It’s hanging out just waiting for you to give it a portal, a venue, a vintage typewriter, a ridiculously expensive pen, a string to pluck, a giant power desk to sit at, a dance floor, a strong throaty voice.

It’s 2012 and this year is not meant to be taken lightly.  We are sitting on a literal goldmine of personal alchemy right now.  If this was ever a year to make a major shift, this is the one.  The opportunity to burn through old karma and invite major transformation is absolutely available.  The atmosphere is charged with unprecedented ways to silence the internal critic and quiet the anxiety that has kept you in a holding pattern.

So in real world terms, when I’m talking about a ‘holding pattern’, I’m talking about “that thing”.  You know the one.  The thing that keeps you from just walking out of the-office-you-can’t-stand-going-to and moving towards your weird, seemingly impossible, brilliant career idea.  The thing that keeps you from going to the gym.  The thing that keeps you on Facebook until 2am so you are sleep deprived and depressed the next day.  The thing that keeps you in a relationship that’s not helping you thrive. The thing that makes you stop yourself before you tell someone how you feel.

These holding patterns are all about fear and anxiety about the unknown.  Uncertainty is VERY uncomfortable.  Trying a new lifestyle on for size can feel terrifying.   I get it.  I would consider myself a big risk taker but I am right there with you on this wild ride.  My vow to you is to support you in whatever way I possibly can on this journey.  Because we can’t stay in these holding patterns anymore.  They aren’t helping us.  They are worn out, tired, outdated expressions of ourselves.

It’s time to put on the big girl panties and step into our new shoes.  Our power-FULL shoes.  You know what your “thing” is.  You know you are tired of it.  Shake it off.  Slough off the old skin.  Detach from the old.  Radiate.  It can truly be that simple.  Baby steps are absolutely allowed.  This is life long learning.  Initiating is the key.  Just begin with grace.

The energetic tension that exists can feel uncomfortable.  This is good.  Lean into it. 

Work with it.  It’s a bit of a pressure cooker but this is how change begins.  You need to be sick enough of the old habits to form new ones.  Comfort is not a container for growth.  Think of it this way-the more discomfort you feel, the more you are growing and stretching those boundaries.

Step #1 Calls for radical self-honesty.

How will you step out of a rut if you don’t recognize the one you are currently in?  Take a peek at those areas of your life that aren’t flowing.

Where is the dis-ease?  Where is the struggle?  Get really clear with yourself about what you want and where you want to go.  Then get real with yourself, maybe even a little brutal, about what’s holding you back.  If you can identify those two pieces, you are on the road to becoming an agent of change in your own life.

I wish you-my fellow spirit in this life-joy and abundance in all its beautiful forms and fortitude for your soul’s journey!

Erin Telford

Erin Telford, MSTOM, L.Ac.

Radiant Heart Acupuncture PC
Licensed Acupuncturist | Certified Herbalist
radiantheartacupuncture.com | Phone: 646.266.4019
214 W. 29th Street, Suite 901 | NY, NY 10001

Follow Erin on Twitter!

Erin Telford holds a Masters of Science degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City-a rigorous four-year program that included acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, Western disease diagnosis, and treatment of over 300 patients. She is a licensed acupuncturist, board certified herbalist and is trained in Constitutional Facial Acupuncture RenewalTM. She has a private practice at the Classical Wellness Center as well as a practice at Yin & Tonic Acupuncture, a clinic focused on women’s health and infertility.

Erin believes in the powerful healing dynamic between patient and practitioner and the body’s innate ability to move towards balance. She uses a blend of traditional Chinese Medicine and 5 Element techniques to gently bring patients into harmony within their body, mind and spirit. Erin believes her role as a practitioner is to nourish life and relieve suffering of the body as well as the heart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)

Daily Manifestation Challenge, How To

You Could Be Happy. The Weekend DMC.

November 26, 2011

The Weekend DMC.

You Could Be Happy. 

I play this song all the time in my yoga classes. It’s by by friends in the band Snow Patrol, who incidentally make me very happy. (Remember last year they donated a guitar signed by all the band members for my GAMEYoga.org fundraiser? For no other reason than just to be nice!)

I think this song is just a beautiful reminder of those 4 magic words: You Could Be Happy.

(Yes, you!)

I dare you.

This weekend’s DMC is about being happy.

In every moment there is a choice.

To be happy or not. And here’s the deal. For those of  you that feel that you don’t deserve to be happy, for whatever reason, I am here to tell you: That is BS. You do! You deserve be happy. 

And you shall.

And so it is.

How?

By doing things that make you happy. By doing things and being with people that make you feel good.

Are you ready for the ride?

In the comment section below please list all the things that make you happy.

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” Wayne Dyer of course.

And again by him: You cannot get sad enough to make another person happy.

So go on. Get happy and tell us how you got there.

Happiness is the way, Manifesters.

The only way.

Manifest Your Life,

One Laugh at a Time,

Jen (@manifestyogajen on twitter)

PS, My list is long but would start like this….

My happy list: skyping with nephews, watching movies with my husband, having a nice glass of red, a big belly laugh, Modern Family, Snow Patrol, Annie Carpenter’s yoga Class, dancing, when my yoga classes sing and dance, sleeping in, teaching the kinds with special needs yoga, writing, this blog, The Good Wife, getting letters in the mail, giving gifts, photographs, hats, bright sneakers, massages, candles and fireplaces, and on and on.

Your turn.

Guest Posts, How To, Inspiration

Keep It Simple! Guest Post by Author Alissa Finerman.

November 14, 2011

This is such a special treat, my Dear Manifesters! Alissa Finerman, the renowned author and life/business coach has written a special post just for us. You can catch her this Saturday November 19th at 5 pm in Santa Monica at the Yoga Collective as we lead our workshop “Manifesting Your Top 1%”. There are still a couple spots available. You can register here.

Enjoy this article. I know I did!

Keep it Simple by Alissa Finerman

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

~ ALBERT EINSTEIN

 

Sometimes life can be overwhelming with all the choices we have to make. So I like to keep things simple. And I find that keeping it simple is a great recipe for success.

 

I believe that deep down everyone wants to improve and lead his or her best life. Seems easy enough, but often challenging to implement because you need clarity and the courage to take action.

 

Here’s my recipe for success by keeping it SIMPLE…feel free to add on to make these rituals your OWN.

 

S:         Define SUCCESS

We all want success but are you clear on what success means to you? To do so, it’s much more effective to focus on YOUR top 1% rather than on THE top 1%. Living your best life is dependent on doing what brings you energy, makes you feel alive and connected, and leaves you feeling fulfilled. It’s not dependent on your status, role, $$’s, or education as society likes to have us believe.

A client recently shared the following…

“I recommend if you have a dream follow it as soon as you can! I stepped into the French Culinary Institute this morning for my class after having 4 hours of sleep due to work and it didn’t matter, my heart was racing and I felt alive!!!”

Success is doing what makes you feel alive! Take the time to continually redefine what success means to you.

I:         IMAGINE your ideal outcome.

I like to encourage people to think in terms of the ideal outcome. This starts with your imagination. If you want to start a business, become a yoga teacher, or buy a house, train your mind to see all the possibilities by creating an inspiring vision for what you want. Then you can work backwards to see how your vision translates into reality. However, if you start dreaming and immediately let obstacles throw you off course, you create a less than ideal outcome.

The work is to have the courage to think without obstacles rather than let your mind be clouded by everything that can go wrong or the challenges that could show up. People who create think about what can be rather than why something can’t be done. You can train yourself to do the same.

M:         Create a winning MINDSET

We all have a story. Many of us believe our story defines us, but what really defines us is how we interpret the story or facts and choose to move forward.

 

According to the National Science Foundation, our brains produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day. Ninety-five percent of these thoughts are repeated daily.

 

Your thoughts become your beliefs, which, in turn, become your mindset.  Your mindset governs your actions, which lead to your results. In short, if you have a mindset that limits your potential, then you will likely accept limited results in your life.

 

Start becoming aware of the words you use on a consistent basis and how often you tell yourself: can vs. can’t or impossible vs. possible.

 

Is your mindset costing you success or helping you excel?

P:         PRIORITIZE What’s Important To You

Making something a priority is different than simply saying something is important.

I have lots of clients who think it’s important to make time for the gym or make themselves a priority but that doesn’t mean they do it. I start every coaching workshop by having people tell me their “wins.” Wins are anything that make you feel proud and give you the feeling of “I did it.” The consistent theme that emerges as to why the wins are accomplished is simple –people make them a priority. So if you want time to read to your kids, have a better relationship with your parents, go to sleep earlier, take a vacation, or take a photography class, make it a priority and you will see different results.

L:         LAUGH often

I learned this one from my favorite yoga teacher, Jen Pastiloff. One of the things that I love about her class is her ability to make us laugh so we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We all know that tree pose or crow is serious stuff, but who really cares if you fall out of a pose? The truth — I do! But seriously, laughing opens up your heart and brings good energy into your life. Would you prefer to surround yourself with people who are laughing and fun to be around or Debbie downers? It’s your choice!

E:      Bring EXCITEMENT into your life

Everyone can use a little excitement in his or her life and the easiest way to do this is to pursue a goal that is truly exciting rather than something you should do. How do you want to invest your time and energy? All the brilliant innovators get 24 hours in a day – the only difference is how you decide to use them.

You will naturally be more motivated and resilient when you fill your day with projects/a purpose/goals that are exciting to you.

TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: Although life can be complicated, we always have the choice to keep it SIMPLE. To achieve this you need to know what’s most important to you and then focus on your top priorities.  The process starts by gaining clarity on how you define success and then practicing your rituals consistently.

 

Alissa is a Professional Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of “Living in Your Top 1%: Nine Essential Rituals to Achieve Your Ultimate Life Goals” available on Amazon.com. She works with individuals and organizations to help them think bigger, redefine what’s possible, and get results.  Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. To learn more about coaching with Alissa and to take the Living in Your Top 1% quiz, please visit www.AlissaFinerman.com or www.facebook.com/alissafinermantop1.

 

Daily Manifestation Challenge, How To

Help! I’m Stuck! The DMC

November 12, 2011

What do you do when you feel stuck?

Seriously, what do you do when you are stuck like that guy in the picture?

You know, you feel like you are plastered to a wall and some chick in a red beret is just staring at you?

I will tell you what I do.

What? You don’t think I get stuck ever?

(Hold on while I LOL.)

Sometimes I get so stuck that I feel as if I have taught the same yoga class 678 times. At least.

Sometimes I feel so stuck that it seems my car could drive itself, it doesn’t even need me because it’s been to the same places so many times.

Sometimes I feel as if I have made the same mistakes over and over that I must be insane because only crazies keep doing the same things over and over and expecting different results, right?

Sometimes my thoughts feel very very stuck. Like Elmers. Like gum on a shoe. Like they are on a merry-go-round that ceased me merry a long time ago. They simply just go round and round.

And round.

There’s many days (fewer and father between lately) where I feel stuck. Where I feel down. Where I feel blue. Uninspired. Bored. Lazy.

You know. The gamut.

I did a scientific experiment that involved a lot of stuff, and here is what I found works best to get me unstuck and back to my Manifesting Self.

1. Laugh. I watch shows that makes me laugh (hint hint: Modern Family.) I hang out with funny people. I play with babies. I read funny books. I make dumb jokes. I sing out loud. When I laugh I feel the most “me” and it is from that space that I can move forward and get unstuck. From that place I can create. From that place I can take myself less seriously.

2. Hang out with people who inspire me. See earlier Daily Manifestation Challenge called “Who You Hanging With?” Who inspires you? Are you surrounding yourself with these people. Make a list in the comment section below. And, if you aren’t hanging with them yet, I suggest you make a date. It’s kind of a no-brainer but when you hang with people that excite and inspire you, it rubs off on you! It’s like a rope that they throw down the hole to pull you out of that ditch you are stuck in.

3. Make vision boards. They don’t even have to be proper Vision boards (like there is even a such thing as a “proper” vision board) but something where you are visualizing your desires and dreams and the things you want to manifest into your life. Visualization is key! Can you visualize yourself being unstuck? This is a profound question. If the answer is no my advice is to keep trying. Keep practicing. Repeat this mantra: I can manifest anything I put my attention on.

(Ahem. What are you putting your attention on anyway?)

4. Take a class. This weekend I am taking a class purely by chance My friend Juliet offered me a ticket to a wine and cheese class. Yes, I know. It had my name all over it. But you know what? It made me realize how much I love learning and miss being in school or taking class. Keep learning and studying always. Forever.

5. Do yoga. Or something. Anything! I am a yoga teacher, so yea, I do the yoga. But do whatever. Hike! Walk on the beach! Get connected to nature. Go watch the sun set or rise. Something that gives you a connection to something outside of yourself. Get your blood pumping and your adrenaline going. I notice I get majorly depressed when I am stagnant too long and yet the longer I am stagnant the harder it is to get motivated. Catch 22? Why, yes! But most of life is. Get used to it.

5. Do things that make you feel good.To quote my own poem, “How To Make A Life”

Let your joy be contagious and spread through

Your home, your job, your children.

Let it spread through the world

Like a virus so that when you forget it,

Every so often, you’ll catch it from someone else.

Whatever brings you joy, do it. Be it taking a bubble bath, curling in bed with a good book, cracking open a nice bottle of Cab, buying a nice smelling candle, painting, calling your friends in New Jersey, playing with your toddler, yoga. Whatever it is, just do it.

I want to coin that phrase “Just Do It” but I swear I have heard it somewhere before?

Today’s DMC is about being stuck and getting un-stuck. In the comment section below, list your experiences with being stuck. List what you do to get out or what you would like to do next time. List ideas you may have. Hey, I need them as much as you do, Dear Manifesters!

Being a creative and free spirit, it is easy to feel restless and bored. And blue. And yes, sometimes uninspired.  I am always looking for ways to keep blossoming and to keep my ideas fresh. I really don’t like feeling this a whole lot:

Keep on manifesting your life,

One laugh a time,

ManifestYogaJen