Dear Manifesters, I am so honored to bring Karen Salmansohn, one of my greatest inspirations and muses to the Manifestation Q&A. 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.
By now, you have all seen Karen’s posters (NotSalmon) on my blog or my Facebook page. As is Christy Turington, our last guest, and myself, Karen is also a contributor for the incredible Positively Positive website. i decided a few months ago to surround myself with people who inspire me and make me want to write more, dance more, sing more and love more. Her posters and words make me feel good. They make me want to get up on my desk and do a little jig. Sometimes I do just that.
Karen has a generous spirit and a ” I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously” attitude which I admire. That is one of my favorite qualities in a person, to be sure. Her joy and humore shines through in all her posters and her books.
I am also in love with her story. She was very high up in the advertising world and left it all to follow her bliss. Truly, a woman after my own heart.
Please read the following post and fall in love with my friend Karen Salmansohn. It is impossible not to. She is simply irresistible. Yea, like the song.
I have also included links to her books because you will want one.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you the most proud to have manifested in your life?
Karen Salmansohn: I am most proud of my now 16 month old son – my miracle child – as I’m a late in life mom. My son is the kindest and happiest child – always smiling. Already at 16 months, it’s obvious he’s a milk bottle “half full” kinda guy! 🙂 Truly. Someone in my building came up to me the other day and said, “Your son is doing the building a public service. He’s always smiling that big happy smile – and waving hello to everyone – making everyone who sees him so very happy. He always makes my day.” My son truly has the most beautiful spirit.
And I also have great appreciation for being able to do my passion of writing and designing books and posters which help empower people to live their most fulfilling lives – my brand of what I call “self help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self help.”
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are your favorite top 5 NotSalmon posters?(include pics.)
Karen Salmansohn: These 5…
Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson have you learned from your son?
Karen Salmansohn: I’ve become aware of how closely linked curiosity and happiness are. My son is always so curious about everything he sees, hears, tastes, touches – and this curiosity keeps him in a constant state of delight and appreciation.
I’ve been reminded how the best way to stop negative thinking is not merely by stopping it. You also have to swap it. You have to do what I call a “stop and swap.” What I mean by this: If my son is crying over something – like how I won’t let him play with my laptop – I can’t simply tell my son, “No you can’t play with mommy’s laptop.” I have to offer him something new to play with – so he can refocus his mind away from the laptop. Without swapping in something new, my son will naturally keep returning to his negative thoughts about how he’s upset he can’t play with my laptop. But as soon as I give my son a fun toy to play with, his mind is refocused and not thinking about my laptop at all. Ditto with us adults. If we’re stuck in a negative mindset – thinking about regrets, worries, fears, resentments – it’s not enough just to tell ourselves we have to stop these negative thoughts. If we don’t have something new to think about in replacement, we will keep going back to them. Hence we have to swap these negative thoughts for positive ones. We adults also have to do a stop and swap – and trade in our negative thoughts for a positive thoughts to latch onto. This is one of the many reasons why I’m a big believer in writing gratitude lists. When you’re having a negative thought, you can stop it and swap it for something you’ve written on your gratitude list – and immediately refocus your attentions onto something which will make you feel happier.
Jennifer Pastiloff: How was NotSalmon born? I believe I read that you came from an advertising background. I am inspired daily by you, and so are all my readers, and we would love to know how you manifested this dream into what it is today?
Karen Salmansohn: Yes, I used to be in advertising – but I always wanted to be a writer. I was a senior VP and creative director at the age of 27 – and I won a CLIO my first year in the business. I worked with the big guy agencies like J. Walter Thompson, Young and Rubicam and McCann-Erickson. I kept threatening to quit to write books, and my parents would say, “How can you quit now – when you’re doing so well?” But the truth is, if I were doing lousy, I probably would have stayed to prove something to myself. But I figured if I could do well at something I didn’t like so much, I’d do far better at something I was passionate about – and I was passionate about books. And so I quit and didn’t tell my parents for a few weeks. I just didn’t want them to keep talking me out of quitting. I developed what I call “Mr Magoo Vision.” You remember how the near blind Mr Magoo cartoon character never noticed all the cars honking as he crossed the street? He focused on MUST GET TO OTHER SIDE OF STREET. That was me when I left advertising. I stayed focused on MUST GET PUBLISHED and tried not to notice all the honking naysayers. To keep my intentions strong, every time I passed a book store I’d head to the shelf where all the authors who’s last names began with “S” were. I envisioned my book on the shelf next to them. I was excited to see I’d be in good company. My last name in Salmansohn. I’d be a neighbor to Salinger. My first published book was a novel – which I sold to St. Martin’s Press to be book – and then got optioned by Miramax to be a movie starring Marissa Tomei. I wrote the screenplay – but alas it was never greenlit to be filmed. But you never know… 🙂
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most inspired by? Where does the daily source of inspiration for your posters come from?
Karen Salmansohn: A lot of what I write is inspired from my own life – the challenges I’m dealing with – and trying to gain insight about. I love writing. I’ve been writing in journals since I was 12 years old – and for me writing has always been cathartic and therapeutic. For me a journal is like a Ouija board. I sit down in front of it with no clues as to what I’m going to be writing, then start writing, until then suddenly I realize, “Ohhhhh, so that’s what I’m thinking.” Basically, I not only write about what I know – I write about what I didn’t know that I knew until I started to write! I’m joking – but I’m serious.
As far as my posters, I started to design them each morning after my son was born, because I no longer had the time and concentration to write pages of concentrated thoughts with a baby in the house. I now had diaper changes and Mickey Mouse Hot Diggety Dog dances to do. I found it was easier to start designing a poster – be interrupted by my little dude – then return to finish this poster – than it was to start/stop/start/stop writing cohesive paragraphs of thought. And so I started to create these posters in replacement for my morning writings.
When I’m designing my posters, I usually have Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse playing on the TV in the background as I work. Sometimes I wonder if the playful creativity and music from these terrific shows is somehow contributing to my creative process. I also take breaks in designing a morning poster to play with my son – and perhaps this loosens up my creative thinking.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What do you do when you feel stuck?
Karen Salmansohn: I meet a friend. I read a book. I see a movie. I drink too much coffee. I look at videos on youtube. I go for a walk. I dance with my son to all kinds of music. I drink too much coffee. I play on Facebook. I re-organize my closets. I drink too much coffee.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you up to now? Is there another book on the way? Where can we find more of Not Salmon?
Karen Salmansohn: I love writing and designing books – and am excited to have a new one coming out next year called INSTANT HAPPY – published by the same pub house as my best selling HOW TO BE HAPPY DAMMIT. The mission for this book is to create an instant peptalk for people dealing with challenging times – in the same way my BOUNCE BACK BOOK offered support.
I’m also psyched to now be offering new ebooks on my site — like my newly released BUSINESS LESSONS OF A SWIMMING COCKTAIL WAITRESS and PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME. Plus I’m excited about my new shop at my site – which offers a line of goods which inspire people to feel and do good – like inspiring, tees, totes, clocks, coffee mugs, etc. (I’m drinking coffee out of my NICE GUYS ARE THE SEXIEST coffee mug right now!) Plus, my website presently offers all kinds of FREEBIE screensavers and ecards – which I’ll be continuing to be updating.
Basically, I invite everyone to come visit my site notsalmon.com to find more stuff – and find out more about my stuff. 🙂
Jennifer Pastiloff: My favorite things in a person are a sense of humor and gratitude. You possess both, obviously. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?
Karen Salmansohn: Well, first – love to thank you for all your kind comments – and inviting me to come play with you and be on your wonderful site! I think you’re terrific – and am thankful that the wacky world of social media connected us.Next up, I’d thank coffee – for making finding time to do everything I need to do in a day possible. Next up I’d thank my wonderful and supportive partner Howard – my human caffeine. 🙂