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Guest Posts, How To, Surviving

Becoming Wonder Woman

April 28, 2021
wonder

by Kayla Delk

Step 1: Backstory

My parents got divorced. I was five. I don’t remember much of it, but I do remember Sunday nights at my dad’s house.

I sat in a mustard yellow recliner in the corner of our living room; my little brother was on the green couch across from me, and my dad would be in the kitchen mixing some popcorn and Cheetos for us. The walls were empty except for the TV and bookshelf encasing my dad’s collection of figurines—samurai holding different fighting stances—from when he lived in Japan.

My brother would excitedly rub his feet back and forth across the corduroy fabric, punch a fist to the sky, and shout “Woman Woman!” Dad entered just in time to keep me from losing my cool. “It’s Wonder Woman.” I told him every time.

On Sunday nights, my dad would rent movies from Netflix, back when they would actually send DVDs to your door, and we would all sit in the living room to have a movie night. For a year straight, I picked out the original Wonder Woman series with Lynda Carter. Every Sunday night, I was criss-cross apple sauce, eyes glued to the TV, imagining what it would be like to be her.

Step 2: Play Pretend

My brother and I spent our afternoons playing superheroes in the backyard. I, of course, picked Wonder Woman; she was a princess and a warrior and the strongest one at that. It only made sense. Zander chose The Flash, and together we saved the world.

Battles consisted of climbing the concrete divider by the garage and jumping off with some haphazard flying kick. My brother running down the hill to fight the villain with his super speed, while I’m at the top swinging my Lasso of Truth. If the timing was right, there was wind in my hair while we flew my invisible jet across the ocean. Nothing could stop our dynamic duo.

Step 3: Doubt Yourself and Become Insecure

My dad got remarried, and my older stepbrother didn’t think I looked enough like Wonder Woman to play her in the backyard. Instead, we switched to the Marvel Universe. I could be Jubilee from X-men, or we could play Harry Potter, and I would be Cho Chang.

“It’s the blue eyes,” he said shrugging his shoulders, “you don’t have blue eyes.”

No, my almond eyes were a little too brown to play Wonder Woman, my skin a little too tan, and I, as a whole, a little too Asian.

“Well, can I still have the Lasso of Truth, that’s kind of magic?”

“No, but you can have a wand.” He picked up a stick and threw it at me.

Step 4: Have a Keepsake as a Gentle Reminder of Who You Want to Be

Ten years may not seem too old for Chuck E. Cheese, but it felt like it. Zander was turning eight, and he wanted his party there. While he played on the obstacle course with his friends, my dad and I used the majority of our time on the kiddie version of a slot machine (you put a token in it at the top and watch as it’s pushed onto a mound of extra tokens, hopefully knocking some off in the process. The more tokens knocked off, the more tickets you get). I never did very well, but it was fun.

As the party was coming to an end, we huddled around the ticket counter. It was the most exciting part by far. Dad always got the most tickets, from ski ball probably, but in the end, we would put everyone’s together in a big pool and split them up evenly. To be honest, we never had enough tickets to get any of the big prizes, so there we stood. Eyes wide, faces pressed against the glass counter trying to figure out which plastic toy we would pick this time. Zander, a bouncy ball. Me, a slap bracelet. Back to Zander, farting putty. Me, a ring-pop. Zander, a sticky hand. Me, a Wonder Woman keychain.

Step 5: Have a Secret Identity

We were assigned a partner project in my eighth grade English class: create a radio show based in the 50’s. My partner Savannah and I spent a week putting together playlists of Elvis and B.B. King. As the radio show hosts, we also had to have names from the time. Mine was Diana Prince.

Savannah didn’t ask where I got the idea for my stage name. She wasn’t really into superheroes, but I thought myself very clever.

Step 6: Make a Comeback

I worked at our local theater throughout high school. It was my junior year when the new Wonder Woman movie came out. I stood at the table in the middle of the lobby tearing tickets and directing customers to the right room. Behind me was a ten-foot cardboard cut-out of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

I was flattered when the old men I ripped tickets for told me I looked like her.

Step 7: Understand Why an Island Full of Women Thrived Without Men

I was in the driver’s seat of my 2004 gold Ford Focus. The boy with curly brown hair and glasses that I kinda-sorta dated sat in my passenger seat. We’re parked in a lot by the lake, looking at the moon. He showed me music I wasn’t cool enough for and told me about his dreams of one day disappearing. I said I hoped he didn’t. For a while, we sat in silence. He made a note of my keychain, the colors faded from spending six years in one of my dresser drawers, and I told him I got it in elementary school.

He gave me a surprised “Hmph.”

“I figured you were just a bandwagon fan.”

Step 8: A Villain Emerges

Senior year of high school I found myself waking up in panic attacks from nightmares. Sometimes I was being held down and taken by an intruder. Sometimes I had to protect my sisters from being raped, but the dreams always ended the same way.

I wasn’t strong enough.

I spent the rest of the year learning how to fight. I started kickboxing four times a week. Feeling my knuckles hit the bag awakened an anger in me I didn’t know I had. Watching my sparring partner stumble back from my foot against their chest left me wanting more.

The class was doing drill rounds. Each person straddles a punching bag on the floor and goes at it for one-minute intervals. It was meant to burn you out, and it did. Haunted by my dreams, I poured my built-up rage into the bag until all that was left was fear—the fear of not being enough, enough to protect myself, enough to protect my family. I found myself exhausted and crying.

Step 9: Self Realization

My freshman year of college I lived alone in an apartment. My mom tried to leave me with a machete, but I told her it was against the rules to have any weapons on campus. Instead, I found a new gym with a new combat class to help me keep training. An extra seven pounds of muscle made the dreams stop, but the newfound empowerment told me to keep going. I decided to become an instructor.

For the next two months, I spent three hours a day in the gym perfecting my form. I punched faster, kicked higher; my body ached with every movement, tearing the muscles only to build them back stronger. I wielded more power than I had ever known.

It was time. I was nervous. For the last portion of the certification, I had to teach a class by myself to prove I was good enough. My coach asked who I wanted to be when I was leading the group on stage.

“Wonder Woman.”

Kayla Delk is a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her poetry has been published in The Sequoya Review. We are honored to be the first to publish Kayla’s work as an essayist.   

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sentilles book stranger care

Sarah Sentilles is a writer, teacher, critical theorist, scholar of religion, and author of many books, including Draw Your Weapons, which won the 2018 PEN Award for Creative Nonfiction.  Her most recent book, Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours, is the moving story of what one woman learned from fostering a newborn—about injustice, about making mistakes, about how to better love and protect people beyond our immediate kin. Sarah’s writing is lyrical and powerful and she ventures into spaces that make us uncomfortable as she speaks for the most vulnerable among us. This is a book not to be missed.

Pre-order a copy of Stranger Care to get exclusive free access to a one-hour generative writing workshop with Sarah, via Zoom on May 25th at 7pm Eastern time. If you register for the workshop and can’t attend, a recording of the event will be available. More details here.

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Anti-racist resources, because silence is not an option

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Click here for all things Jen

Guest Posts, How To, writing

Finding the Hook.

October 15, 2014

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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.

right-wrong

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.

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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.

https://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.
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