Browsing Tag

success

Dear Life., Guest Posts

Dear Life: Awfully Successful or Dirt Cheap Happy?

March 28, 2015

Welcome to Dear Life: An Unconventional Advice Column.

Your questions get sent to various authors from around the world to answer (and please keep sending because I have like 567 writers that want to answer your burning questions. Click here to submit a letter or email dearlife@jenniferpastiloff.com.) Different writers offer their input when it comes to navigating through life’s messiness. We are “making messy okay.” Today’s letter is answered by

Send us your questions because there loads of crazy authors waiting to answer ‘em. Just kidding, they aren’t crazy.

Well okay, maybe a little. Aren’t we all? xo, Jen Pastiloff, Crazy Beauty Hunter. ps, I will see you in Princeton and Philly in a couple weeks! Philly is sold out but NJ has 5 spots. I am so excited that so many of you are coming to my summer Tuscany retreat. We are almost at wait list so book soon if you want to join!

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. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that's it! Summer or Fall 2015. It is LIFE CHANGING!

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. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that’s it! Summer or Fall 2015. It is LIFE CHANGING!

 

Dear Life,

I’m 24 years old, moved away approx. 4500 km from home in Southern Ontario to now Edmonton Alberta when I was 19 years old. I’m confident to say most the important parts of life that are taught in young adolescent years were experienced all on my own such as managing bills, budgets, savings, work, career, education, debt, travel, vehicles, rent, and every other responsibility under the sun because I had to, I had nobody, it was sink or swim for me. As well as trying out first hand how to eliminate negativity in my life, keeping my priorities straight, staying on track and knowing who and who not to trust in my life; I have taught myself with no direct coaching.

I see this as a self-reward, an accomplishment, and independence. I don’t need anyone else to be proud of me, because I’m proud of myself. I work hard for all the things I have. I’m graduated with my Business Management Diploma, have several years experience in related fields, and worked for well-known companies in an industry that runs this whole world. I love my determination, my drive, and my goals. I have pushed myself to the limit, and I’m not done. Nowhere near done…but I feel as though I’m heading in the wrong direction, or that I have to keep trying for something bigger and better. But what exactly am I after? I don’t know.

I feel I have followed the same path everyone else takes, and that’s the path to unhappiness. Like I’m working hard for myself to be happier tomorrow than I am today…everyday. The stress of wanting to be more successful, make more money, knocking tasks off my never ending to-do list, being on time, paying my dues, which are all involved with living your life (which I’d say I was always pretty good at)… is exhausting, and stresses me out until finally a little birdie comes and tells me everything is going to be okay, money and success is just an illusion and you shouldn’t think that that’s going to make you happy tomorrow.

So I begin to worry less about everything I used to take so seriously, the things that have got me to where I am today, and I start appreciating what I have now, the people in my life, and start being and acting like a whole new person with a whole new positive outlook on life that’s free of the world’s everyday bullshit for lack of better words. A person who values life, a better person in my opinion. A person who doesn’t freak out when their cell-phone bill isn’t paid off, or when the Wi-Fi turns off or one of those people who take out my anger on other people for shit your soul doesn’t need–which I do. My determination, and my drive to keep stabilized and to move forward diminishes, and my goals are less significant to the point where even my body loves me more for it and everyone notices as well. But it only lasts monetarily till the point where I realize there’s no premium gas in my 2013 BMW.

The stresses of life brings me down, the need to be ahead brings me down, the race brings me down, realizing life isn’t about material things and money brings me down, not having material things and money brings me down, not knowing what I want or where I’m going brings me down, and reflecting on it all brings me down. Not to a state of depression, but a dangerous state of not caring about anything, and making decisions my “on-track” self would slap me for, such as careless BUT… Free Soul decisions and free soul attitude as though I’m escaping, and only then do I feel like this is what life’s supposed to be like. Happy everyday. I’m depressed only when reality settles it’s sickness back into my veins. Viciously.

I’m young still, I have endless options, I don’t have kids, I don’t have pets, my relationships with men are always on my sleeve because I’m unpredictable, I don’t even know what I’m doing sometimes, and most the time the biggest decisions that I make are last minute and as a result. And I love it. Spontaneous, a not well-liked attribute by those who have ever gotten too close to me, they know only of me leaving and creating chapters in my life, I don’t think the know what it’s like to have a burning desire to change life’s routine. And they definitely don’t know what the consequences are.

I feel my path can go one of two ways.. awfully successful, or dirt cheap happy. I would love to figure out a way to balance the two to a perfect equilibrium.

Signed, Awfully Successful or Dirt Cheap Happy?

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Dear Life., Guest Posts, Relationships

Dear Life: I Am Afraid I Will Lose Everything.

January 3, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88

Welcome to Dear Life: An Unconventional Advice Column.

Your questions get sent to various authors from around the world to answer (and please keep sending because I have like 567 writers that want to answer your burning questions. Click here to submit a letter or email dearlife@jenniferpastiloff.com.) Different writers offer their input when it comes to navigating through life’s messiness. We are “making messy okay.” Today’s letter is answered by my dear friend Suzy Vitello, whose latest book, The Empress Chronicles,  just came out! Send us your questions because there loads of crazy authors waiting to answer ‘em. Just kidding, they aren’t crazy.

Well okay, maybe a little. Aren’t we all? xo, Jen Pastiloff, Crazy Beauty Hunter. ps, I will see you in Vancouver in a couple weeks! My first workshop there! 

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Dear Life,

My mom died when I was 6 and my dad raised us. He did a great- okay, he did the best job, he could. I realize this has colored so much of my life- this loss.

I am a mother now of my own and I cannot imagine my kids being raised without me. But this letter really isn’t about that. (Or, maybe it is?)

My husband and I have recently split up.

I am struggling with the separation but ultimately know it is for the best. We haven’t been happy in a long time. My career on the other hand, is going swimmingly. I have just published my second book and started my own business a few years ago, which has really taken off!

The reason I am writing to you is I have recently had a few people who I have let into my private inner circle “copy” me. I let very few people in as it is. I am extremely private.

I do realize I sound like a child when I say that people copy me.

People say, “You should feel flattered.” But I don’t. I worked so hard to create the things I have created. I feel sort of betrayed by these friends. I know that no one can be me (at least this is what people tell me) but I feel angry and sad that people do this.

I know that this happens in life, and that the more successful we become it will KEEP happening.

Why do I feel threatened? How do I get over caring? Does it matter? I feel consumed. Dealing with a separation and raising my kids and now feeling like I have to fiercely protect what is mine.

Do I just not let people in? Do I become more guarded?  (I have 2 books out in the world, so please keep this anonymous.)

I know that people imitate but I didn’t expect it to be friends.

I am worried that because I lost my mom I feel that things will always be taken away from me. I want to let this anger and fear go but I feel betrayed and frustrated and alone.

Signed,
Afraid

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Guest Posts

There Is Room For All Of Us by Lindsey Mead.

June 24, 2013

There Is Room For All Of Us by Lindsey Mead.

One afternoon last week Grace was telling me about a conversation she had with a friend about being competitive.  They were discussing the pros and cons of that trait, and, Grace said, she told her friend, “Well, my mother is not competitive at all.”  I was equally taken aback, I think, by the fact that she had noticed that and that she’d offered it in a conversation with a friend.

This is true.  It’s also surprising to a lot of people.  But it’s absolutely true.  I’ve written before about my disinclination towards competition when it comes to sports and games.  And that remains true of me; I’m a total nightmare to play tennis or a board game with, since I just can’t get myself worked up about winning.

But what’s on my mind lately is competitiveness more generally.  We have all encountered people whose view of the world is predicated on an assumption that their success is linked to our failure.  The world that these people live in is a zero-sum one, in which there is a set amount of success; if we do well, that lessens their chances to do so.  So they have to be dismayed at our success, much as they try to hide it, because they fret it endangers their own.

I simply do not believe this.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me, as I get older, how firmly I believe that there is room for all of us.  Room for all of our success.  When a friend does well, that doesn’t mean I’m less likely to; in fact it enlarges the universe, and in no way detracts from me.  Success is not a zero-sum game.  It is the opposite.  I cannot adequately describe how deeply, and how fiercely, I believe this.

There is only one truly limited quantity in this life, one truly zero-sum thing, and that is our time.  I have written before about my belief that how we spend our time reflects what we value, shared my personal experience that drastically narrowing my life led to a startling, unexpected expansion.

That is simply not the case, in my opinion, with success.  This view allows me to entirely genuinely celebrate the accomplishments of friends and compatriots.  I do not feel lessened by their success.  I truly, honestly, do not.  There is room for all of us to blaze brightly, to shake the universe, to make our mark, to move people.

Once again, my ten year old daughter saw me better than I saw myself:  My mother is really not competitive.

And I’m not.

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Lindsey Mead is a mother and writer who lives outside of Boston with her husband and two children.  Her writing has been published and anthologized in a variety of print and online sources, including the Huffington Post, Literary Mama, Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career, and the Conflict of Modern Motherhood, the Princeton Alumni Weekly, and Brain, Child.  She blogs regularly at A Design So Vast and loves connecting with people on twitter and facebook.
Manifestation Workshops

Positively Positive & Other Positive & Holiday Weekend Vibrations.

May 25, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Dear Manifesters!

My latest just went up on Positively Positive and I would love to hear your comments. Please comment on actual Positively Positive post and not here. I will pick a commenter at random and give away a spot at my Manifestation Workshop June 2 in Santa Monica, too. Here is link. It is a very personal one to me and your support and love mean a tremendous amount to me. I read each and every one of your comments and take them to heart. I love hearing how you all define success. Also, feel free to share if inspired.

Click icon to read and/or comment on article.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/05/24/to-me-success-means-blank/

On a side note, I am teaching a very special candle-lit class this Sunday night at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica on 2nd St. I have never taught there and would appreciate the love if you are in town. 8 pm! Candles and deliciousness. If I continue on there, you will be able to see my classes live streamed.

Love you all. Keep manifesting your life, one laugh at a time, and as always, keep me posted on YOU!

Love, Jen

PS, a spot just opened for my Italy retreat July 2-9. Email me if you want to come. One word: MAGIC.

 

Inspiration

How Do You Define Success?

May 17, 2012

How Do You Define Success?

I was sitting on the couch with my husband a few nights ago and I looked over at him and asked him: Did you have any idea, when we started dating, that I’d be this successful?

My hand quickly shot over my mouth.

For so many reasons.

1) Dare I say out loud that I was successful? Let alone ‘this’ successful?

2) Was I even successful? I had never said that out loud. Or really, thought it, for that matter.

3) How can I be successful if I don’t have a lot of money?

I knew a blog post was being born.

He looked over at me and said: I knew you had potential.

He was being facetious. And yet, he wasn’t.

I was waitressing at The Newsroom Cafe, and had been for 13 years and suffering from depression and miserable when we started dating. Truly not the Jen I am today. She was in there, somewhere, buried under the layers of  black aprons, but it was deep under the dust of restaurant smells.

Here’s our story in a nutshell because, well, it isn’t the point. So I will abbreviate it.

We met 15 years ago.

My first love had just dumped me and I had a nervous breakdown, or close to it, while I was living in New York City. I relived my father dying like a big fat cliche and felt abandoned and scared and so I moved to California where my mom and sister had just moved a year prior. (By the way, we had moved there once before after my dad died when I was in the 4th grade and then moved back to NJ again when I was in 8th grade. In that time we lived in California, I made friends for life, starting acting and was even on Punky Brewster.) Moving back to NJ felt like a cruel joke to me at age 13 and 8th grade was borderline suicidal for me. Not a joke.

I got over it and fell in love.

Cutting back to the New York years: first love dumps me and I move back to California (mom and sister had moved back the year before for reasons I still do not know and I followed suit.) We were like the crazy Jewish traveling gypsy women who only traveled between LA and South Jersey.

My mom had this studio on Robertson Blvd in West Hollywood which she rented out to actors and acting teachers and movie makers and other Hollywood types. She called me and said she had a writer she’d wanted me to meet him and, that, oh yea, she was dating Neil Diamond.

Yes, Neil effing Diamond.

(I still have the Harley Davidson leather jacket he gave me for Hannukah that year.)

We met at Newsroom Cafe on Robertson near her studio. (Yes, the Newsroom I would go on to work at for 13 years.) We met and I looked older than I do now because I was so anorexic and pale, and Robert, the writer my mom wanted me to meet looked: nice.

He was nice. Which, for me, at 21, meant one thing: boring.

I started working at The Newsroom Cafe.  He sent me roses.

I didn’t know they were from him because I thought him far too shy and too nice to do such a bold thing so I was stumped as to who “the Robert” was who sent me roses to work.

He called and asked if I got said flowers.

Eeek! Yes I did get flowers and I just want to be friends, I said like the 21 year old I was.

(Did I really say that?)

For brevity sake I will cut to years later. About ten years.

I am still working at Newsroom. He comes in. I recognize him straight away. (I have a photographic memory. People would come in to the cafe to eat in 1999 and in 2005 I’d wait on them again and ask if they wanted the chicken pot pie again?)

He looks cute, I remember thinking, I’ll go over.

He says he remembers me but cannot remember my name.

Yea right.

I think he is lying about not remembering my name. ( I still think he was. He still denies. Although now, being married I see he has a horrible memory and he probably was NOT lying.)

Long story short, we went out for dinner, and after dinner, sitting in his car, I knew I was going to marry him.

True?

Yes. Very true.

I married him.

He tells me now that he waited for me all those years.

So yes, he saw potential.

But all those years I was stuck and depressed and we would have never made it. I had to go through what I went through and meet him again to fully blossom.

So here we are on our couch. In our apartment. Where we live. I have my hand over my mouth in shock because I actually said out loud that I am successful.

We are taught to not say that. Or that we are beautiful.

Aren’t we taught that? Even subconsciously?

What does success even mean?

I no longer wait tables. I am happy. I have fun. I am sitting on the sofa next to the man I love watching Modern Family. I get paid to do what I love.

I have only been teaching yoga and doing what I do for 3 years. Barely 3 years.

And here I am.

You are reading my blog.

Am I successful?

I am to me.

Is my nephew who has Prader Willi Syndrome and Autism successful even though his ‘milestones’ are different than other kids his age? (Answer: yes.)

Is my friend who does play after play successful even though she still has to have two waitressing jobs? (Answer: yes.)

Who or what measures success?

Does success mean money? (Answer: no.)

Are we supposed to acknowledge our own success? (Answer: Sure, why not.)

You see, my husband always believed in me. He did! From the moment he met me, when I was 21 and anorexic and lost and scared to now. He may not have remembered my name all those years later but he most certainly remembered who I was.

Even though I had forgotten.

He had an unwavering faith in me when I had no faith in myself. It took years to come back to him because I was not ready.

I am ready now.

I am ready for success.

And let me explain what I mean when I say success.

I mean love.

I am ready for love.

 

In the comment section below write down how you define success. Also feel free to add what you are ready for in your own life. Finish the sentence: To me success is ____________.

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