Browsing Tag

life coach

anti-bullying, Fatherhood, Guest Posts, Men, parenting

What Happens When a Guy Gets Bullied For Years? The Dadvocate.

February 5, 2015

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By Andy Malinski.

Oftentimes, men intimidate me.

I’ve spent a lot of time very uncomfortable around men. A group of women makes me feel much more at ease than a group of men. Why? The surface answer is that I’m not the typical guy. Although I enjoy a baseball or hockey game, I’m not a big sports fan and don’t follow any teams of any sport; I much prefer music and theater (and even when it comes to music, I’ll take Beethoven any day over any rap artist). I’ve taught my wife terms like valance and duvet and Mirepoix.

The deeper answer is that I’ve experienced some intense bullying in my 35 years and so my hope, through The Dadvocate, is to reach out to men and help establish healthy ways to express emotion and bond with wife and baby. Fearful about having a boy who might, someday, have to endure what I did in grade school, our midwife asked me, “Why wouldn’t the world want another you?” That’s a big motivator, right there, to do all I can for him, for my family, and to try and reach out to others with what I have experienced and learned from over my years.

Bullying started for me around 1st grade.  At that point it was the “fatso” name-calling on the playground.  When I was in 4th grade, I was out riding my bike one afternoon enjoying a beautiful New Hampshire afternoon when a group of bullies from school approached me.  They destroyed my bike, throwing pieces of it into the woods as I stood there, helpless, not knowing what to do.  Once they left, laughing, and were out of sight, I picked up all I could and made my way home, holding back my tears as long as I could, carrying a wheel and a seat, scared more about having to tell my parents that my bike was broken than I had been bullied.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

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Awe & Wonder, Beating Fear with a Stick, Guest Posts, healing

Do You Want To Be On The Lifeboat?

December 23, 2013

Do You Want to be on the Lifeboat? 

By Catherine Hummel.

Close your eyes.

Imagine you are on a plane. You are on your way to a vacation you have saved up for and have been looking forward to for several months. You have your drink, your favorite book and a blanket. You are so grateful for a break from your busy life. Your eyes begin to soften as you settle in to your seat for your long ride across the ocean.

Just as you are about to drift off the pilot comes on the loudspeaker.

He begins to notify all passengers that one of the engines has gone out.

You are over the Atlantic Ocean and he informs you that the last engine’s gas will not last longer than one more hour and you won’t make it across the ocean.

The plane will crash.

Your heart starts to speed up.

You start to sweat.

Your mind is racing.

Is this the end of my life?

He then proceeds to tell you that there is one lifeboat on this plane.

6 people will be able to survive and that is it. Others, once they hit the water despite having life jackets will die immediately.

6 people will survive and all passengers on the plane will have a chance to make their case for why they should be the ones to live. And all passengers will have a chance to vote.

Panic. I can’t breathe.

Do you want to be on the boat?

***

I was in a workshop two years ago where I sat through this guided visualization.

I had a few minutes before I stood up in front of 15-20 people and would have 90 seconds to make a case for why I should be picked to be on the plane. I was 24 years old. I was working at a non-profit in downtown Boston. My life was simple. I had made some great changes over the past two years, I had decided to stop drinking. I began taking steps to living the life I dreamed of but at this point I had really settled in to playing really, really small. I had already lived the chaos and I wanted to just get by, wasn’t that enough? Perhaps now it wasn’t. I had passions and dreams but was I doing anything about them? How often did I feel comfortable sharing my heart? How often was I experiencing tremendous joy and excitement about the life I was living? Was I too comfortable playing small? What was I living for? What was important to me? What did I have to offer the world, offer to life? Was I living my life like I wanted to live it??

I stood up. I felt small and insignificant. I felt ridiculous having to fight for my life in front of total strangers and yet I said I want to be on the boat. I don’t even remember consciously saying it. I barely remember what else I said. My voice shook, my hands were trembling, and yet in that moment my life flashed before my eyes.Catherine, do you want to live? What are you doing with your life? What if you were about to die and this was your last chance, would you choose it? In my 90 seconds I talked about what was important to me, I shared my dreams I had never shared with anyone before, that I wanted to help people, specifically help women connect with themselves and their hearts, I wanted to build communities, I wanted people to remember how precious life is and that it’s all a gift, help them connect with their own inner spark, for them to choose a life that they were happy about living. I told the group that I wanted a spot on the boat. I chose life.

As the exercise went on I noticed some things about the way many other people shared. All of us were nervous but many were ready to give up their life. Women talked about how their children needed them but didn’t talk about why they wanted to live for themselves. Men talked about their businesses and their work but not about what really mattered to them. Others younger than me shared about how they had so much life left to live and they too had dreams and goals and passions. Others who were over age 65 said they were ready to die. I found myself getting angry at the ones who were ready to give up. Why are you giving up? Why aren’t they fighting for their life? We are all equally valuable to this world and what kinds of people are we BEING in our day to day life? What really matters? It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t even matter what you do for a living, each person has something to offer the world. It’s not over til it’s over. I knew people in my life that had found true love at age 70. There are 80 year olds running marathons. There are people who live each day as if it is their last, Wait, am I doing that? Some people got up and even though they made a case, never once said “I want to be on the boat.” Others stood there speechless.

Then we had to vote.  I voted for the ones who said they wanted to be on the boat. Who clearly said it. It didn’t matter if they had good reason, they said they wanted it. I shared with the ones who were ready to give up how angry that made me, that I wanted them to see that they were worthy of life, that they had something to offer regardless of their age, and why were you so easily ready to give up? The martyrdom made me sick. I don’t want people to step aside, I want each person to claim their space, know their worth, equals. It didn’t matter how much money people made, what mattered is what kind of difference they were making in the world. I wanted the ones on the boat who were real. Who were confident in who they were. Who believed in service to others. Who knew life wasn’t just about being happy, ones who had overcome tremendous struggle, and were continuing to live their life in gratitude and with passion. I wanted the fighters on the boat, the ones with hope and desire, the ones who wanted to live.

Of course many people were in reaction to the exercise and treated it as such. Just an exercise. But for me it felt real. I began to ask – Am I living my life like I actually want to?  What about those dreams that I just expressed to complete strangers, why am I not trying to live them? Am I confident in who I am? Do I like who I am? Do I know I am inherently worthy and valuable? Do I show up in my life fully self expressed and free?

I challenge you to ask yourself those questions.

Forget how you would do the exercise- how are you doing your life right now?

Life is a gift. It’s given to us the day we were born. We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to work for it. It’s handed over and yet how many of us treat life that way?  Waking up in the morning do I act as if this day is a precious gift meant to be lived with kindness and grace? Am I deeply aware of the miracle that I am, that I was born worthy of all my hearts desires, and that my dreams are planted in my heart by spirit and I am strong enough to carry them out and make them real? Am I brave enough to handle when life doesn’t go my way? Do the people in my life know that I love them?

I created my coaching business after that weekend. I wanted to keep my spot on this planet. In this world. I wanted to help other women step up in their life, to know their worth, their passion, and their fire. To know their power and their value. I wanted others to be able to feel their desires, to know that they can handle both the light and the dark, that we were all given this life because we are strong enough to live it. Maybe up until this very moment you’ve been unhappy, you’ve been playing small, you’ve been afraid. Here’s the thing: every second is a chance to turn your life around. You don’t need to wait. This is what Second Chance Coaching was about It took one second for me to make the decision to do something different. To stop playing small. To stop criticizing myself. To pray to see what others see, the beauty within me, until I could see it myself. One second to believe I belong here, that I have a place in this world, and I am not ready to give up, no, I am not willing to give up.

That was 2 years ago when I sat in that workshop. Today I write this blog as a full-time women’s life coach and I have become a yoga teacher. I wanted to write this so I could remember. I could remember what it felt like when parts of me wanted to give up. When I thought life had become too bearable to live.  I want to remember the truth of who I am, of who we all are: unconditional love, infinite possibility, miracles. I want to remember the truth when I want to give up, when it gets too hard, when I don’t want to feel. I want to remember that I said YES to this, that I continue to say yes to this, my spot on the boat, my spot in this world, my life.

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Catherine Hummel is the gal who helps women who’ve lost their spark re-discover the magic within to fall in love with themselves and their life. At 26 years old she is a life coach, Reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, workshop and retreat facilitator, truth-telling machine and oh so very human. Her passion to help others transform their lives stems from her own experiences. At the age of 22 she hit rock bottom – lights out. As she rediscovered her own light and lit up her life, she found meaning in helping others do the same. She leads a monthly women’s circle titled “Sisters of the Heart” in Boston, MA, retreats in North Sandwich, NH and coaches women all over the country journey to their heart. 

 

Guest Posts, Manifestation Retreats, Travels

Why Bali?

December 1, 2012

Why Bali?

by Bianca Martorella, life coach.

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When I first learned about the trip, I was so excited to go. My friend (in order to protect the innocent, let’s just call her …) Sonia, initially told me about the Yoga retreat, led by Jennifer Pastiloff. We had just finished our coaching certification program with IPEC (Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. With some initial supportive coaching and a minimal down-payment a day later, I committed. The more I talked about it, one week soon turned into a month away from work and loved ones, as a sabbatical of sorts. In addition to the yoga, I also decided to volunteer at an orphanage. Also referred through friends and with much additional research, I signed up with Volunteering Solutions for a 2 week program in Bali. Fortunately, the timing coincided nicely with the retreat. Planning was easy and therefore meant to be.

As I started to talk more and more about my adventure, I was often asked why I was going. To be clear about my intentions, just in case you’re curious, I thought I would share them here …

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To immerse. One thing has become clear to me over the past few years, is that I love immersion experiences. Experiences that will challenge me to grow and learn. Experiences that are so far out of my comfort zone, that I have no choice but to embrace them. Although it may have always been the case for me, it first became clear through my experience at Landmark Education. For better or worse, the experience transformed my life and my way of being. Among many other things, I found a sense of courage and confidence – that again, may have always been there – but wasn’t realized until that time. Next, came running the NYC marathon which took months of focus and training to run 26.2 miles through my beloved city. With that, I realized my humility and ability to commit. And most recently, IPEC, a coaching certification program. Throughout the course, I learned to embrace people fully, love openly and to be vulnerable. A tall order for this type-A, tough and feisty New York’er. Regardless of the experience, there are always lessons to learn when you immerse yourself in something new and different. You never know what it will be …

To give back. This is an obvious one. Life in the big city can get pretty selfish sometimes. I have done some volunteering in the past, but not like this. I always thought about it, but never really had the courage until now. This would be an opportunity to give my full time, attention and focus on to others. Time to not care about myself, what I am wearing, how my hair looks, or if my toes are perfectly pedicured. This would be an opportunity to embrace, support and love others selflessly.

To love and nurture. If there is one that I’ve learned over the years is that there are many sources of love that can be experienced and expressed … first and foremost the love that comes from within. I was never really sure if having children was in the cards for me. I have always wanted a family and children to love on, but I’m 36 – rounding the corner to 37 – and up until recently, very single. I do of course believe it’s still possible and I will never give up on wanting a family of my own, however, this is an opportunity to explore the lover and nurturer from within. A chance to embrace that side of me that seldom gets to be expressed in this ‘cut-throat world’.

To embrace spirituality. I’m no expert … but from what I know … Bali is dominantly Hindu, and being home to thousands of temples and holy shrines, is a spiritual place. The Balinese embrace tradition, are constantly praying, believe in karma and focus their whole existence on worshiping their ancestors through rituals and offerings. Families stick together through thick and thin – love, support and accept each other. Although I believe in God, I never truly embraced my religion and I want to define for myself what spirituality means to me. I want to embrace the act of prayer and really get what it’s like to give of yourself in blind faith.

To heal. There is nothing like a good stretch and some meditation to heal the mind, body and soul. After a few years of some hard running, I realized I needed to take a break. I need a form a exercise that has less impact on the body. Additionally, it’s great to be a able to take time everyday to focus on your health to kick off some new good habits into your daily routine back home.

So, there they are … without judgement and without needing to prove anything, those are my reasons.

Namaste,

xoxo B

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by Madison Rosner

by Madison Rosner

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photo by Madison Rosner

photo by Madison Rosner

thank you Simplereminders.com

thank you Simplereminders.com

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To book a coaching session with Bianca please email binxmarto@yahoo.com. To read her blog click here.

Jen’s next week long retreat is in Maui with The Travel Yogi feb 16-22. Assisted by Sommer Dyer, daughter of Wayne Dyer. Click here to book.

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Frank Gjata of Blississippi. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

May 13, 2012

Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.

I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.

I first met Frank Gjata when someone who took my classes gave me an envelope filled with his beautiful Manifestation tattoos. Naturally, I was intrigued as to who this guy was. I started wearing the tattoos all the time. When Frank and I finally met in person it was if we had known each other our whole lives and we pretty much have talked 5 times a day since that first meeting.

He truly has become my family.

He is one of the most gifted and prolific minds I have ever come across.

He founded a site called Blississippi and I want you to stop what you are doing right now and have your mind blown. Here it is: Blississippi.com.

Right?!?

He also happens to be one of the most generous and big-hearted people I am lucky enough to know. Last weekend he joined me at my 6th Manifestation to Ojai and we had a blast. His answers below are thoughtful, humble, honest, funny and provocative. If you don’t have a little Frank in your life, you don’t know what you are missing.

Get Frank……

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?

Frank Gjata: Man, you ask good questions Jennifer. Don’t waste anytime do you? Just go for the goods right off the bat. Love it.

Okay…I’m most grateful for manifesting…letting go of trying to manifest anything….other than being my true self in the moment and living my bliss. As I do that, I naturally manifest lots of fun stuff, like getting to hang out with you Jennifer ;-).

Jennifer Pastiloff:  Love that answer!

What’s the greatest lesson that you have learned from being a coach?

Frank Gjata: I’ve learned that everyone has a deep desire to connect…that everyone is fully equipped to connect…and that it’s blissful and life-giving to connect. Did that connect with you? 😉

Frank giving a lecture at my May 2012 Ojai retreat. Photo by James Vincent Knowles.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Frank Gjata: God/the universe in all “its” infinite forms, including human ones. Every human qualifies here….and I mean everyone. I have this website called humangels.com that illustrates in a fun way how even the most challenging people can be our most blessed teachers…as they invite us (okay, challenge us;-) to be more of our true essence. I really believe…Everyone on earth is an angel. Sometimes, you just have to squint really hard to see their wings;-)

Now, speaking in more “practical” terms, a couple of my favorite human teachers are Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks of The Hendricks Institute. I’ve learned so much from these lovely, genius people. Check them out: Hendricks.com.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you share with us a bit about your journey? Leaving the corporate world of advertising to follow your heart and your bliss?

Frank Gjata: I really think of it more like I brought the corporate world of advertising with me rather than leave it behind. I believe every step of our journey prepares us perfectly for our next step. I loved working as a writer in advertising and it has come in very handy. (I feel a tangent coming here, bear with me;-) To me, good advertising at its essence is simply effective communication. Effective communication is a good thing. The “problem” lies in what we choose to effectively communicate. I found it frustrating that some very good communicators were working for some very “bad” companies and some very bad communicators were working for some very “good” companies.

That’s why I created “Advertising For A Better World” (AdvertisingForABetterWorld.com). My group ONLY works with like-minded companies focusing on bettering the world. It brings together very good communicators with very good companies. Are you with me Jennifer? Do you like that? 🙂

(note from Jen: I do! I do!)

It’s still in its infancy stage and has been hired mostly by me to work on my various projects, causes, services and a variety of “websites on a mission” that you can see on my new website: BLISSISSIPPI.com.

Click photo to “like” Blississippi on Facebook.

Frank Gjata: But I digress…

I know what you really meant with your question about leaving advertising. I just knew I had to uncover more of who I really was at my core and be that. Quite honestly, I really didn’t have much choice in the matter. I was being “called” as we ALL are. And if we don’t answer that call…that incessant ringing will drive us mad…in more ways than one.

So, nowadays, I’ve gotten pretty good at not arguing with what comes up for me and simply listen and follow. It’s one of my most important lessons really. I even created a tattoo for that: Listen. Follow.

One of the things I say often is that the best leaders are simply the best followers. Think about truly great leaders. Gandhi. Martin Luther King. Mother Teresa. They we’re just following their hearts…following what was being called from inside of them…not outside of them. If you’re gonna follow someone, follow a follower!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Conscious Ink. My obsession is your Manifestation Tattoos. Tell us about the story behind them and where can folks buy them?

Frank Gjata: You’re so sweet. You’ve been such a great supporter of Conscious Ink. Thank you.

At my retreat wearing our “Follow Your Bliss” Conscious Ink tats! Photo by James Vincent Knowles.

Well, as a coach and as a human, I’m always thinking of fun ways to help me and others stay on the path. I love these tattoo messages on a different levels. On a practical level, each tattoo empowers the wearer (and anyone who happens to see it) to stay true to their intentions.

But perhaps, on an even more fundamental level, these empowering words can seep deep within us and perhaps can organically shift us at a cellular level…well, at least, according to Dr. Emoto. He studied the impact of different types words on water finding that positive words like “love” turned frozen water crystals into beautiful patterns, where as negative words like “fear” turned the crystals into ugly irregular patterns. Well, if the energy of words can make such a profound impact on water, imagine the impact on our bodies, since we’re mostly made of water. This point was also illustrated in the powerful movie “What The Bleep Do We Know?”

Conscious Ink currently offers over 150 Manifestation Tattoos with a variety of empowering words, quotes and affirmations. It’s also just a lot of fun getting all tatted up. You can see all the different designs at: ConsciousInk.com

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?

Frank Gjata: I’m constantly humbled, inspired and often moved to tears…seeing (and feeling) that God is everywhere, in everything, in everyone, in every moment.

I’m also inspired by anyone being their true self…those who have overcome the fears and barriers that may have opposed that. In fact, I’ve devoted an entire website to these amazingly courageous and frank people called: LiveFrank.com. The site simply features a weekly video of a frank person making a bold contribution to our world. People can also sign up to receive the weekly video in the inbox for free. I’m sure I’ll soon be featuring you Jennifer. You’ve already impacted so many of us with your life, your work and, well, your frank sharing;-) It’s good to be frank, isn’t Jennifer? Thank you!

Jennifer Pastiloff: I teach many of my classes to the theme of gratitude. If you could say thank you right now to one person who would it be?

Frank Gjata: Hmm, one person, eh? The list is endless…okay, okay, let’s see, who comes up first is… the person reading this right now. Hi there. Thank you. Appreciate you hanging out here with Jennifer and I…who knows where our new connection will lead?!

Love these tats!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are some words you live by?

Frank Gjata: As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big believer of simply listening and following…to our truth within. We all say we want answers. Many people search and search….sometimes for their entire lives.

Yet, we all have the answers within us all the time. It’s just that sometimes we don’t like those answers. We argue with those answers. We distract ourselves from hearing those answers. And so, we make up answers that perhaps don’t feel as “scary” to us as the truth.

Of course, it’s only within our truth does our freedom lie. The truth will truly set us free…another good set of words.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Acknowledge is Power. You just gave me that tattoo. Share with us a bit about that idea.

Frank Gjata: Yes! The simple act of acknowledging is so very powerful. This has become the foundation of my work as a coach/facilitator. It’s based on connecting to our truth in the moment…no matter what it is. When we fully connect with our truth and follow it, it always leads to peace, love and freedom. Yes, always. Guaranteed.

Problem is, most of us never reach that blissful destination because often scary feelings pop up along the way…so we give up that idea real quick and turn the #%@! around. Fast. That’s sad…because it typically only takes a few minutes of facing, breathing and allowing… the storm (of feelings) to move through before the sun starts shining again.

The journey to peace and freedom starts with what I call, asking the “One” question: What’s your truth right now?

Below are 5 key points why acknowledging our truth is so powerful:

1. ANY TRUTH taps into the source of ALL TRUTH.

2. There is universal desire for truth and wholeness.

3. Our body wants to be healed. Our soul wants to be free.

4. Waves of energy change as they are observed.

5. When we acknowledge our truth…NO MATTER WHAT IT IS…we are actually practicing unconditional love and acceptance.

You can read more about these 5 key points here: acknowledgeispower.com/how-this-works.php

 

 

Jennifer Pastiloff: Let’s get naked Frank. My Naked Guru. What is this? ( Love the this by the way!)

Frank Gjata: Let’s do! Naked is good. All kind of naked. “My Naked Guru” is about uncovering our true selves. I (and my naked guests) send out a short personally-written text message at a random time to wake people up in the moment…at a time when they’ve perhaps lost touch with their true selves. I’m looking forward to having you on as a naked texter. It’s fun. It’s free to sign up: MyNakedGuru.com

Jennifer Pastiloff: You seem to be dabbling in so many exciting things and endeavors with your different companies and websites and coaching. What is the key to managing all you do and staying focused?

Frank Gjata: Lol.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Ha! me too.

What is one message you would pass on right now to someone looking to manifest their best selves?

Frank Gjata: Following our bliss IS the destination.

(Put your bliss FIRST and everything will flow from there.)

Jennifer Pastiloff: What brings you the most joy? Your joy list….

Frank Gjata: Oh man, great question. I talk a lot about this…about the power and the necessity (yes, necessity) of living our bliss….on a daily basis.

This was the inspiration for launching blississippi.com. I speak about why living our bliss is so vital for each of us and the world. You can find a brief article I wrote about that here: http://frankgjata.com/bliss-join

My personal bliss day:

–Quiet morning with a cup of coffee (I’m not so enlightened to

drink tea yet. Maybe someday;-) I meditate, write, contemplate.

–Connecting to myself, others, clients, spirit and my blissful friends

throughout the day. (My dear friend, Adele Swan, is a longtime

favorite. You, too, Jennifer, are starting to grow on me;-)

–“Working” on my various projects.

–Having fun/laughing with my awesome daughter.

–Yoga (or surfing when the water is warm;-).

–Making love

–Laughing

Jennifer Pastiloff: How did you come to be a life coach? Did you feel as if it was your dharma, all along?

Frank Gjata: I didn’t set out to be a “life coach” (and yet I did). This is just another great example of the “listening and following” thing I speak so much of.

A few years ago, I knew there was more of me to be revealed. So I just started exploring, reading a lot and attending conferences etc. I continued to listen and follow…and that landed me graciously at The Hendricks Institute: www.Hendricks.com. This is where I received much of my coaching training.

And yes, to answer your second question, I do feel it was my dharma all along.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who are 5 people on your dream team to be wearing your Manifestation tattoos?

Frank Gjata: Hmm…I honestly get a kick out of seeing everybody wearing the tats. But, let’s see, my dream tat team…hmm…

Jim Carrey

Alanis Morissette

Bono

It would be pretty cool to see Obama sportin’ a couple tats.

How could I leave out Oprah?

And why not your favorite, Wayne Dyer? I love the space he’s in right now…and who he’s hangin’ with lately, Anita Moorjani. Love her. I know you love her, too. But for the other peeps out there that may not be aware of her yet, check her out at: www.AnitaMoorjani.com. Her experience will change yours.

Okay, that turned into 7 dream tatters.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When is the last time you’ve laughed at yourself?

Frank Gjata: A couple minutes ago to one of your questions above:-)

I have to say one of the coolest things that I experience now is that laughter has become my automatic default response to practically everything. Broken plate: Laugh. An argument: Laugh. Get humbled: Laugh. Admittedly, a passerby may think that’s nuts. But even that’s funny!

I know, you too, are a big fan of humor and laughter. I honestly believe that it will be humor and levity that will save the world. Humor is literally disarming. And couldn’t our world use a bit more disarming?

Jennifer Pastiloff: Connection. You and I have talked at length about this. What does connection mean to you?

Frank Gjata: Yes. Connection is where it’s at. When we connect to our true selves, we feel fully alive. We tap into source of one and all…and feel our connection to one and all.

Plus, connecting is a bargain. When we connect to ourselves, we automatically connect with spirit and others. And it works that way all the way around. I call it the best three-fer deal on the planet.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s up next for Frank Gjata?

Frank Gjata: I’m not sure…I’m excited to find out.

Thank you for having me Jennifer.

Connect with Frank on Facebook

Connect with Frank on Twitter

Read about our adventure at my last Manifestation Retreat in May. It’s called: A Delicious Pack of Weirdos. That should give you a clue.

The tattoos are amazing!

Frank captivates us at my retreat.

Q & A Series

Alissa Finerman: Living In Your Top 1%. The Manifestation Q&A Series.

February 10, 2012

Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.

 I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.

Today’s guest is life/business coach and author Alissa Finerman. Alissa has become a dear friend over this last year, and, in fact, we have done a couple of workshops together called “Manifesting Your Top 1%.” Alissa and her book “Living In Your Top 1%” helped me to get clear on my goals and really step into my power, allowing me to achieve so much in these last few months. Allowing me also to really define my own top 1% team. It’s exciting!

I highly recommend her book, Manifesters! 

She has done a guest post already on the Manifestation Station but I wanted you all to get to know my dear friend and mentor, so I asked her to join us in the Q&A Series. She fits right in, alongside such great minds as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Anita Moorjani and the lovely Christy Turlington.

Alissa is one of the most powerful and strong people I have come in contact with. To have her on your own top 1% team would be a dream come true. Now is your chance to get a glimpse into the mind of Alissa Finerman…..

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?

Alissa Finerman: In 2004, I visited one of my best friends who lived in Santa Monica, CA. I took a picture of the sun shining down on the ocean with the mountains in the background. I put that picture in a frame in my apt in NYC, where I was living at the time, and told myself that’s where I would live. Today, that picture is in my kitchen in Santa Monica, CA and amazingly enough — I see that view every single day!

Alissa holding up KIND bars, which everyone enjoyed at my Manifestation Retreat. Thank you KIND.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson that you have learned from being a life and business coach? from competing on the professional tennis tour? from writing a book?

Alissa Finerman I’ve learned different lessons from each of these experiences.

* Life/Business Coach: Once people shift their minds to believe in themselves, anything is possible.

* Professional Tennis Tour: I learned the importance of quieting my mind and focusing on one point at a time. That’s how tournaments and big matches are won and it’s how big things are accomplished in life. One step at a time.

* Writing a book: Writing a book was an incredible learning experience and process. I was outside my comfort zone during the entire process and had to depend on myself (although I did have a great team). At the end of the day, I had to step into the CEO role and make the decisions. And I proved to myself that I can successfully step outside my comfort zone and do it!

Alissa's book is a MUST READ.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you tell us a bit about your book?

Alissa Finerman: My book, Living in Your Top 1%, is a combination of motivation, inspiration, and practical how-to (think Tony Robbins meets Oprah). In the book, I break down the laws of success and show people that you can achieve personal greatness from any starting point. There is a process and I share nine rituals to help people create the life they want. I share insights from the best thinkers in the field with a collection of compelling stories, to help people of all ages reach their true potential. I also wanted to make people aware that your top 1% is different than the top 1% and we need to separate what society thinks we should do from what we actually want to do. One of the biggest thrills was having Marianne Williamson, a NY Times bestselling author, give me an endorsement to use on my book cover — I manifested that too! 🙂

Alissa and I at my Manifestation Retreat to Ojai where she was a special guest and a big hit!

Jennifer Pastiloff: I have a list of “rules”. See below. What would some of Alissa’s “rules” be?

Alissa Finerman 

1. Set aside the shoulds

2. Make yourself a priority

3. You have the right to say yes and no

4. Match your words and actions

5. Own your choices

6. Be consistent

7. Go after what’s important to you

8. Honor your non-negotiables

9. Define success and follow YOUR top 1%

10. Step into the CEO role of YOU INC.

Alissa speaking to some of my retreat participants. They loved her!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?

Alissa Finerman: I’m inspired when people find their passion and truly do what they love. It could be Anthony Robles, who won the NCAA wrestling championships with only one leg, or a teenager that I mentored who will be the first person in her family to go to college. I love when people shine and redefine their potential — that makes me really happy and inspires me.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I teach many of my classes to the theme of gratitude. If you could say thank you right now to one person who would it be?

Alissa Finerman: I love your classes and the themes you choose. I’d have to say “thank you” to my mom, dad and brother for always believing in me during every stage of my journey (from leaving a successful Wall Street career, to moving to LA from NYC). They are incredibly consistent and I can always count on them, and for that I am deeply grateful.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is one message you would pass on right now to someone looking to manifest their best selves and their top 1%?

Alissa Finerman: Be kind to yourself and realize that success or finding your passion doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a process so enjoy it. You’re top 1% is ready for you and you CAN go from impossible to possible (it’s only 2 letters). Start to build a top 1% team and condition your mind to practice rituals that help you shine.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What brings you the most joy? Your joy list, as it were.

Alissa Finerman: Seeing other people shine and experience top 1% moments.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What can we expect Alissa Finerman to manifest in 2012?

Alissa Finerman: Wow, there’s so much to manifest! I will give my “Living in Your Top 1%” workshop all over the country, write for OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), have Oprah recommend my book as one of her favorites and have the book be in the Top 50 on Amazon, give a TED talk, work with at least three Fortune 500 companies as a speaker/coach, donate 5k to charity with proceeds from my book, have my own radio show featuring people who are inspiring others and making a difference in the world, and be in an amazing relationship! And much more!

Jennifer Pastiloff: Can you tell us a little about your journey. Giving up your 9-5 job to pursue your dreams…..

Alissa Finerman: I had a great life, good job, was living in NYC and making good money. There was only one problem — I wasn’t fulfilled or engaged in my job and I didn’t want to live in the cold weather. In 2007, I was finally honest with myself and realized that even though I had gone to business school to have a finance career — it wasn’t my path. It came to the point where I couldn’t go on one more day in a finance because I wasn’t passionate about that area. I left my investment job in 2007 and started on my journey as a Business/Life Coach and got my coaching credentials.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Why did you pick life coaching? When did you realize you had a gift for this?

Alissa Finerman: I’ve always been interested in motivation and why two people given the same resources excel to different levels. I started reading personal development books back in 2000 and have read hundreds of books and articles. I received my coaching credentials from New York University. As a coach, I get to inspire and be inspired by incredible people and that’s a true gift. I love what I do and it’s taken me a long time to say that. I’m grateful for that too!

Jennifer Pastiloff: I read somewhere you mentor young women. Can you tell us about that?

Alissa Finerman: When I worked on Wall Street, I didn’t feel like I was making a difference and that always bothered me. Last year, I set a goal to get involved with three non-profit organizations, Dress for Success, Step-up Women’s Network, and I gave a scholarship with proceeds from a book signing event I did to a great organization Exceeding Expectations. So I’ve had the privilege to make an impact with young women in these organizations and that’s very exciting for me. It’s important to me that every person has someone who believes in her and tells her she can not only dream but achieve great things too.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who are your greatest teachers?

Alissa Finerman: Marianne Williamson started me on my journey with her book, A Return to Love, and helped me open my heart and mind to a world outside of Wall Street. I learn everyday from my clients, yoga teachers (yes you), hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, and stories of people redefining possible.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is one quote you live by?

Alissa Finerman: Different quotes speak to me during different periods in my life, this quote speaks to me right now because I like to challenge myself to live in my stretch zone and reach higher…

“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Jennifer Pastiloff: Are you writing a 2nd book?

Alissa Finerman: Soon! One of my goals is to have an idea/theme for my next book clearly defined by the end of 2012!

Jennifer Pastiloff: How can we find more of Alissa Finerman?

Alissa Finerman: I have a monthly newsletter that people can sign up for on my website. They can also join my Facebook and Twitter pages to learn about upcoming workshops/events. And to learn more about coaching options, please visit www.AlissaFinerman.com

Website/newsletter: www.AlissaFinerman.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/alissafinermantop1

Twitter: @alissafinerman

Jen’s “rules”:

1. Be Kind.

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

3. Write poems, even if only in your head

4. Sing out loud, even if badly

5. Dance

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

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.