Bold choices= Bold life 08/31/2011
When was the last time you made a bold, crazy, silly-hard choice?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because the older I get, the more and more I realize how important our habits are- from how you feel when you wake up in the morning to how you pick your nose (heheh)-these habits define your life. That being said, I’ve always known that the way you think- the “thought habits” that you create- are of utmost importance. I’ve realized recently that even your choice habits are of the utmost importance as well.
I’ve never really identified myself as being a bold decision maker. But when I look back on my life... I see that one of the tenants I have always been governed by is that I want growth in myself and that has required a lot of bold choices on my part.
I grew up in North Carolina, but chose to go to school in Providence, Rhode Island, this teeny town I had never heard of, because I really liked my campus tour and something in my gut just told me to go. Those first 6 months were some of the hardest months of my life. I didn’t know anyone and when you’re 18, not knowing anyone means you don’t know yourself because up until that time you defined yourself by the people around you way more than who you actually were (if you were a normal teenager). I can’t even explain the pain/frustration/awkwardness and disaster that I was for those first 6 months. Then... a small shift in my world started to happen... and 4 years later, I had had amazing roles in tons of plays, I was an orientation leader FOR the school, graduated with extremely high grades and had made friends for life. One of the greatest things to come out of this painful experience was that I developed my life long attribute (one of my best i think:) to be able to talk to anyone about anything anywhere. In those first 6 awkward months I had to step out of my comfort zone and approach strangers and feel comfortable asking them who they were and what they did. So because of this initially painful experience, I created my means of communication that i think has served me brilliantly over the last years. i made a bold f*cking choice to go to college light years away from home, and it paid off.
If you make bold choices a lot, life gives you bold results. if you make bland, apathetic and boring choices, life gives you bland, apathetic and boring results. The second, the second, you start to settle for less than what you deserve, in your job, in health, in happiness, in anything... life follows. It gives you less. The second you make the choice, the bold choice to do something scary, life changing, crazy, awesome, silly, life follows. Whenever I have made choices in my life that seemed downright paralyzing, the world has appeared with the net. These bold choices define you as an individual. They speak to the world in ways that you can’t always see.
Where in your life can you make a bold, life changing decision?
Whats holding you back?
One of my favorite quotes in the entire world is this one by anais nin: and the day came when the risk to remain tight inside a bud, was more painful that the risk it took to bloom. Since I read this quote years ago, it has become my marker for success. Growth and choices are always, always, always going to be hard and are going to require strength that you didn’t think you possessed. But here’s the thing. We all want growth in our life right? We all want expansion on some level- of who we are and what we are capable of. And the thing is, in our naivety- we assume that growth will be fun. You think growth and you see TREES and BABIES and new jobs and EXCITEMENT! But not all growth is like that. But then, you come out the other side. And you realize, because of that choice you made- the far away I-dont-know-a-soul college, the totally random move to San Francisco or the new company you’re starting... the world literally and truly has EXPANDED for you.
What choice can you make today, that can help your world e x p a n d?
So effing grateful for my ankle ligaments 07/25/2011
Recently, on the way to run a 5K, a wonderful- incredibly-in-shape-friend of mine broke her ankle. No, she didn’t fall down the stairs or twist it or trip over something, she stepped the wrong way and needless to say, we were NOT participants in the monthly Sunset and Suds 5K run (yes, you read correctly, on the way to the 5K, talk about rough luck right?).
Aside from the normal things one thinks about when sitting in the emergency room for 5 hours…. I started to think about my lack of serious disasters recently. It’s been over a solid YEAR that anything objectively BAD has happened to ME. Of course, things haven’t always been perfect but overall things have been just roses. And you know what? I haven’t been remotely thankful enough.
I feel like my life has always gone like this: cycles of bad things- and I mean BAD things- followed by cycles of amazingness... and what if… what IF…bad things seemed a little less bad because we nourished the good things a little more? Something in my life is bound to happen to take me out of commission somehow… whether it’s being sick, hurt, late for a meeting, etc.; there is ALWAYS something that comes up in life that’s an inconvenience... and I started wondering… what if during the awesome times… the brilliant times… the i-am-so-blessed- times… I had cultivated so much effing gratitude that once the shit times came along…I naturally diverted to being thankful for something (even if it was ultra hard)? What if I was 99% of the time already prepared to look on the bright side?
Small example from my life: 2 weeks ago I moved from a really AWFUL living situation to a really GREAT living situation but when I moved into this new place, things weren’t perfect. I was having a crazy day and my old housing situation was stressful (i.e. possibly not getting back my deposit) and my new place wasn’t how I wanted it and I was feeling overwhelmed about a few things… but you know what? Even though I was feeling all of this superficial craziness, deep down, I was so, so, so, deeply happy. I had been dying to live in this apartment for months and finally getting there was like a freaking dream come true; I had so much gratitude for this apartment that quite frankly nothing was going to ruin it for me.
We are all going to have annoying/awful bumps in the road. Maybe the key is becoming so grateful- so excited for the great bumps (finally moving into your dream apartment in the NYC) that we create a snowball of happiness that is virtually impossible to squash?
What in your life are you taking for granted, right now, today? I’ve made gratitude lists every day since my friend’s accident and you can bet your ASS my ankle ligaments are something I’m smiling about. What are you immensely, dreamily thankful for today?
PS- Check out my new page Switch UP for more examples of gratitude in the face of f*cking annoying:)
(P.S. send my friend your love, she is fantastic and amazing and will be running in no time, but send her some good feet vibes just for the fun of it:)
When I was 8 or 9, I was a member of the Heritage Hills swimming team. Now, when I say member, I DO NOT mean member in the sense that I contributed to the team in a productive manner. By member I mean I practically drowned at each practice and was always in the last heats (?) for my age group at meets.
Here's how a typical practice went: We'd get to practice, the warm-up was yelled, and everyone in my lane would be off like a shot to compete against one another for the 250 or even 500m we had to do. I would start fast with them but by the second or third lap, I was flopping around unable to finish. I had "exercise induced asthma" back then (read: Jillyp wasn't that good at swimming) and of course this was used as my reason to get out of the pool, run to my mother complaining that I couldn't breathe ( I couldn't) and feel like a total loser. Swim team lasted two miserable years until I finally flopped my way to the spectator side of the sport.
The funny and annoying thing was that I was always ultra active and good at sports. As I've gotten older i've always been confused as to why I never succeeded at swimming and specifically why I couldn't breathe well.
This past January something happened that made all of this make sense- one of my most fantastic friends found out that she had won the lottery to run the NYC half marathon and asked me to run with her. Since I'm obsessed with all things fitness, I agreed, even though running 13 miles seemed like a moderate form of torture. The first 3 weeks of training started out exactly like when I used to swim; I started off like a shot, not giving my body- my specific body- time to warm up, and then I'd pewter out a mile or so in and the rest of my run would be fracking redonkulously miserable.
Realizing that my current way of doing things was not going to work, after about three or so weeks of training I started bringing some of my IntenSati principles into the mix; I started listening. So what if everyone I know can start up ultra fast and keep that pace going? Maybe that wont work for me. So I changed it up one day on the treadmill; I warmed up for 10 solid minutes. I didn't run, I s l o w e d into the work out. I ended up running for a solid hour that day, with no asthma, no shortness of breath... I found my pace.
By race day, even at the starting line with 5000 other runners zooming past me-reminiscent of my swim team years- I listened to my body for my pace. I ended up running 11 minute miles- even with stopping to use the bathroom twice and walking through each water station- without really feeling taxed and even though I finished with muscles more sore than they've ever been in my entire life- I felt amazing.
This is one of the prinicples that I think IntenSati has given me- while I push myself further than I think I can go- I constantly listen to my body and what it needs from me- I always find my pace.
I would love for you to come to IntenSati with me tomorrow night and find your pace as well:)
Recently, I was interviewing for a life changing job. Very big position, mucho dinero amigos, and way more responsibilities than my current position. I interviewed for a grand total of 7 hours (going back 2X) and met 6 different people. I was put through the ringer and loved every second of it because by the end, I felt like I was born to do it. And I ALMOST….was. They called on Friday to check my references and I spent the weekend fantasizing about my new life. I wrote my current supervisor a thank you note for agreeing to give me a reference (who was none too happy I was leaving), gave it to him... and by Monday morning there had been a "change of heart" and I was definitely, totally, completely and utterly NOT getting this job.
So that sucked. For about 2 hours I shuffled along Madison Ave, head down, completely lost. And then I snapped out of it. Because here’s the thing...
At the very beginning of this year, I sat down for dinner with my amazing man in a little Mexican restaurant and we talked about our goals for the year. My number 1 goal for 2011 was to create a small business online that generates passive income. Fast forward to two weeks ago; I had seriously ramped up my efforts for this project and was making serious headway when this new position popped up in all of its glory. Even though I became progressively more attracted to the position as the interview process went on, somewhere along the path of I’ll-be-good-at-this-no-I-wont-yes-I-will, I had some insights that were pretty powerful. I knew, deep down that if I didn’t get it, it would be because the "universe" knew the position wasn’t the best utilization of my talents and it really wanted me to focus on my small biz idea. I knew this. The second I heard that I wasn’t getting the job, a little voice in the back of my head said “I told you so”. And NOT in a you’re-not-good-enough-for-this way (not at all- I have no doubt that I would have kicked total tush) but in a This is not where you are supposed to be going right now and if it means I have to deny you something you really want and make you feel ultra stupid and embarrassed, then that’s what I’ll do. Because I have other plans for you. Love, The Universe.
Here's how this relates to IntenSati. The practice of IntenSati can mean different things but the two most important things that it has done for me has been that it has encouraged me 1. to listen to my intuition and 2. to always focus on that freaking silver lining no matter what the situation. For me IntenSati is about choosing a state of mind or attitude that supports my happiness and health. Seeing this possibly difficult disappointment as a gift is a perfect example of how I'm now able to see the positive side of once shi**y situations because of this practice.
Maybe it will do the same for you? Try it out! This month IntenSati with JillyP!