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Beating Fear with a Stick, Birthday

Bucket List

December 3, 2011

I know.

Bucket List sounds like that movie. The one a few years ago with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman that you probably saw on an airplane. And it has connotations of dying.

But that’s not what I am talking about here.

At least not for me.

This post is a LIFE LETTER. A LIFE LIST. A I-am-living-this-year-and-every-year-as-if-it-is-my-last-list.

My father died at 38 years old when I was 8.

It sucked. It sill sucks. Still makes me sad but I manage to get through it by writing and laughing and teaching and doing yoga and letting myself experience what I need to daily without judgement.

Naturally, even though it was on a subconscious level,  I assumed people died at 38. I don’t think I was aware I even had this belief. But, on a cellular level, somewhere deep in the most Jennifer parts of Jennifer, I simply vanished after 37 years of age. In my imagination. I could not, for the “life” of me, visualize a future for myself.

It gave me anxiety to think about.

I have never been much of a planner. This will come as a surprise to those that know me these days, as every day is booked and I have to plan out even a year in advance for most things. I definitely didn’t get delivered from the Stork in this fashion.

Planning scared the bejesus out of me especially when it came to the future. My future.

When we are children our world revolves around us little people. It should be that way. When my father died, on some level I thought it was my fault. I was 8. It’s what we do. Just as some kids think it is their fault when their parents divorce. It’s common. It’s expected when you’re a young whippersnapper to be the center of the Universe. You are.

It’s also common to form your inherent beliefs of yourself and the world at that young age. This is fine and good, except when it isn’t.

Case in point: your father dies at age 38 and you assume that is when life ends in general.

And here I am, Dear Manifesters, about to turn 37. I’ve made it pretty far, I’d say.

So this year, the year between 37 and 38 is to be filled with life. Since my father’s life ended at 38, I am going to enter my 38th year with the most BAM and the most LIFE.

Here is my letter.

Dear Age 37,

I am very excited to meet you! I can hardly wait.

I didn’t think I would be. For a long time, up until recently even, I would lie about my age. Mainly because I was an actor, and well, that is what actors do. But I think I also lied because I was scared about getting older. My dad never got to get older, so I falsely assumed that was to be my lot in life too.

Things have changed for me in the last few years and somewhere along the way I have lost that fear. My life has gotten better and better, and in fact, you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to my 20’s. Not that you offered. I’m just saying. I am happy here. Now.

This next year will be very powerful and I just wanted to let you know I am glad you are here. I already love you very much. 

We are going to travel around the world together. We are writing a book. We are going on Good Morning America. We are teaching workshops all over the world. We are laughing more than we ever thought possible. We are thinking about having a baby soon. We will probably wait until 38 gets there though. So don’t go starting any rumors.

I know your cousins “Ages 17-31” don’t think I liked them very much because of the way I treated them. I doubt you will ever see them again, but if you do, could you apologize for me? I don’t want to go back and tell them myself, but I truly am sorry I didn’t appreciate them as I appreciate you.

You Dear 37, look so much better than I imagined you to look. I am really proud of you.

Anyway, we have 10 days until you arrive but i just wanted you to know that you are very welcome in these parts.

Oh, and one last thing. Buckle your seatbelt. It’s going to be one helluva ride! See you on December 12th!

Love, me xo 

So my “Bucket List” isn’t a list of things I will do before I kick the bucket. It is a list of things I do before I turn 38 when my dad passed and I mistakenly assumed, as child, that life ended. I am living this year as a testament to my father. As a loving memory and a G-damn party in his honor. He may not have gotten past 38 but I am making it up for him. Daily.

Watch out world.

PS, All I want for my birthday is for you to buy a Manifestation t-shirt. All money is going to charity! I am committed to finding a cure for Prader Willi Syndrome and Tay Sachs. Here is the link. Help me have a happy birthday by giving back. 


Daily Manifestation Challenge, Manifestation Retreats, Mindwebs

Who Would I Be If Nobody Told Me Who I Was? The I Am Question. Daily Manifestation Challenge.

October 14, 2011

What a powerful question! Who would I be if nobody told me who I was? 

I first heard Wayne Dyer ask the question at one of his conferences. Who would you be be if nobody told you who you were? in his shorts and cute little flip-flops. Holy Sweet Baby Moses, I don’t know the answer. I don’t know who I’d be. 

At that time the question blew me right out my seat. I came back fully inhabited as somebody else.

You mean I get to decide who I am? I get to say who I am in the world rather than simply letting someone tell me? What the what?

For a long time I let the people around me dictate who I was. Sure, I was dealing with depression but the constant reminder that I should smile more, that I was so sad all the time actually had the effect of keeping me in that space. Eww. So I decided that was who I was. Sad and depressed. Woe is me Jen P. And that was that about that.

I also have a severe hearing problem and before people knew that fact they would think I was an airhead, someone who was eternally checked out. You kind of start to believe it after a while. I’m just a dingbat. Enough people tell you what and who you are and what do you know? You start to decide it’s the truth! You start to accept that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Ain’t so! You get to decide as many times as you like just who you are. I was a waitress kind of pretending to be an actress and now I am a yoga teacher and a writer. Not pretending.

And guess what else? I decided that I am not an airhead, I simply CAN’T HEAR!

Despite what the world told me about who I was and my character I chose differently.

I just love that Einstein quote above. It makes me feel sad for someone so close to me who was abused and believed that they were worthless for a very long time.

As I said in my poem “How To Make A Life” you get to decide over and over, as many times as you like, as many times as your socks, just who you are.

I lead an exercise in my workshops and retreats where I have people finish the sentence I am _____.

You cannot finish the sentence with: I am fat, I am broke, I am tired , hungry, bored etc.

It has to be something powerful. Something that you truly believe you are despite all the buts and ifs. If you’ve thought of yourself as ” just a mom” for years (and I know many who have thought themselves that even though the “just” makes me cringe), especially if you have done that, this exercise is profound.

You are the one making the rules.

You get to finish your I am-ness with whatever you like.

Why not? You are the creator of your world.

So here’s who I am. At least today: I am a healer. I am a writer. I am inspired. I am inspiring. I am powerful.

My exercise in the workshop is a bit harder. You say it aloud and then pick someone in the room and tell them your I am-ness before you look in their eyes for 3 minutes straight, without saying a word. It’s no joke! Some people weep. Some laugh. Some want to crawl out of their skin and beat the sh*t out of me.

But all know that the person looking in their eyes sees them exactly as who they said they were.

I am.

Who are you?

Be brave.

I dare you.

Today’s Challenge is the question: Who Would You be if Nobody Told You who you were? YOu can add your response below in comments. I encourage you to finish the sentence I am ________. Fill it in with something powerful and inspiring.