Running in the Rain: A New Solution to an Old Problem

This morning I woke up agitated from a dream that a couple who had pretended to be my friends were nonchalantly stealing my car right in front of me. That should have been stressful enough in and of itself, but the true atrocity of the dream was that while it was happening I was like, “Meh, whatever. That’s a bummer.” Then something like 12 or 15 hours passed before I even told anyone it had happened.

A quick Google search of dream interpretations shows it’s a very common theme associated with losing one’s drive. Our car represents our motivation to move forward in some area of life. This makes perfect sense to me.

Recently I have been primarily focused on editing draft two of my first actual real has-a-beginning / has-an-ending / has-a-point book. It’s exciting and I’ve made a lot of progress. But that’s not the only thing I have going on right now. I’m also about to attempt a 70.3 mile Iron Man with rules like if you don’t get out of the water in an hour and twenty minutes you don’t get to continue the race and you have therefore swam in that disgusting lake for nothing.

But here’s the thing. Every day I chant out loud I Am A #1 New York Times Bestselling Author! I have post-it notes in my car declaring this truth. I believe this. I want this so bad I am making it happen. It’s the most important thing to me and I will stop at nothing short of getting my book published and out into the world.

The opposite is true for the triathlon. I am not excited. I am scared. I whisper to myself There is very little chance of finishing in time. I hate running so much it’s going to be awful and it’s going to hurt. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m mad at my mom for cheering me on. Then I justify the anger because she just doesn’t understand how impossible it’s going to be and how awful I’m going to feel when I don’t complete it. This race is timed. When I don’t get out of the water fast enough I’m going to be forced to forfeit. I am going to fail.

The race is 24 days away. I’ve been going to the gym consistently but I’m not making enough progress to get to where I need to be.

I was so disjointed and annoyed when I woke up. Screw the people who stole my car but more importantly screw me for letting them take it. No more!

Today I am grateful to my subconscious for talking to me in my sleep. I am grateful for the internal shift. I am grateful I had the opportunity to take massive action. I heard the message loud and clear: “Do whatever you need to do to get your drive back! This matters!”

So I went to the YMCA and swam across the pool 88 times, the farthest I’ve ever swam. 88 X 25 yards = 2,200 yards = 1.2 miles. For the first time ever, I swam the length I’ll need to swim for the race and I did it with fifteen minutes to spare. Then I got changed and ran 8.5 miles in nonstop rain.

Any guesses as to how I felt throughout and afterwards?

Absa-fucking-fantastic!

Now the real key is to keep this momentum going, to repeat this action so many times it becomes my belief system: running in the rain feels good and it makes me happy 🙂

Keep the Signs Comin’!

There is much to be said for the idea that once you truly believe something it will become your reality; the universe will align with your thoughts and begin to move everything in the direction of your goal.

Since 2008 I have worried about what it would be like to see my ex again. He never spoke to me after I left. We had been together for seven years (mortgage, car, four pets, a place upstate) and within six months of my leaving he was married with a baby on the way. I tried many times to contact him to check in and catch up but he never responded. It became explicitly clear that he was not interested in staying in touch.

This has eaten away at me all these years for a hundred self-doubting reasons. But don’t forget – I have finally declared this the last year of life as I know it. The end of my single journey. The last page of this chapter. I decided to believe that it is all coming to a close in order for a new door to open to the best most exciting journey yet.

Enter the Universe.

Friends of mine from NYC asked me to help with a brand new show they’ve been workshopping, so for the past three weeks I’ve gone into the city every day to get paid to have a blast. On our second night of performance last week, guess who came to see our interactive show where the audience was a part of the action and there was no way to avoid anyone or anything?

Mmm hmmm!

At first when I found out he was coming my stomach did a little flip flop. But then it went back to normal really quickly and when I saw him the truth is I felt nothing. The third time he passed by me during the show he acknowledged me. He acted like himself (I got a stoner ‘Heeeeyyyy’ with a one armed bro hug) and I remembered why I left. End of story.

Eight years of worrying for…. nothing. But it doesn’t end there.

The last night of the show was followed by a cast/birthday party. I knew it was going to be a rager and if I stayed I’d get drunk and seriously regret it. I’ve been working so hard to exercise, eat well and stay focused and this was going to set me back. Except here’s the thing: I will never be drunk again. A drink here and there sure, but all night ragers? A thing of my past. This was a hugely final decision for me at UPW in March.

So what happened? I stuck to my conviction. I had two drinks after the show, spent twenty minutes circling the room giving thanks and appreciation and love for the amazing time I had, and then I got the fuck out of there and caught the last train home to Connecticut. It was not easy to do but it was a must and so I did it.

Do you think the universe struck again? FUCK YAH the universe struck again!

When I got on the train I made a beeline for a window seat in an empty three-seater row. As I sat down I noticed two very shiny pennies on that seat. I picked them up and for some inexplicable reason flipped them over in my hand and opened my palm. I looked at the dates printed on each one.

Why did I do this? Because the Universe needed me to see it! The one on the left said 2008. The one on the right said 2017.

Hells to the freakin’ yah! This latest phase of my life has been amazing. I have so much gratitude for the adventures I’ve been on and I don’t regret being single for one second. But I also can’t wait to see what’s next!!

A Poem For the Masses

A few months back I wrote a post about all the shit women hear day in and day out for the entirety of their lives about how they should look and how they should feel. I took the nineteen that I hear the most often myself and listed them as A Poem From the Masses, something other people wrote for me that I really had nothing to do with.

Since attending Tony Robbins’ seminar one of the most effective changes I’ve made has been switching up my iTunes playlist, especially when I’m at the gym. I never listened to my own music at the gym actually and now I can’t imagine not doing it. My workouts have improved tenfold as has my overall excitement for life.

Not all pop stars are created equal. There’s a mess of self-involved crap out there but there’s also a ton of talent that gets overlooked by folks who generally prefer NPR podcasts to anything upbeat and mainstream. (I’m pointing at myself here.) But as you can imagine, Tony is very specific about what he plays at his events. It’s not just a blurry mix of auto-tuned Pop-Tarts. These songs are strategically placed and, if you let them, they really get you thinking happy thoughts.

We all know the catchy choruses of most Top 40 songs, but have you slowed down to catch the golden nuggets in the verses?

Here I give you nineteen of my favorites. A Poem FOR the Masses, written to express how I see my place in the world and what I reach for on a daily basis, regardless of all the haters who I have really come to understand are indeed going to hate.

Don’t try to sing, just read. SO MUCH LOVE ❤

After a hurricane comes a rainbow
Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed: so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
This road leads where your heart is
It’s always been inside of you and now it’s time to let it through
Life will never be the same
There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are
Lose an inhibition, follow your intuition, free your inner soul and break away from tradition
Rejoice and love yourself today, ’cause baby you were born this way
You hear my voice, you hear that sound, like thunder gonna shake the ground
I went from zero to my own hero
I see the future, but live for the moment
I see this life like a swinging vine, swing my heart across the line
Seek it out and ye shall find
Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly
And I feel something so right by doing the “wrong” thing
Let’s break right out of these gilded cages
Let’s stop time and enjoy this moment
Celebrate cause that’s all I know
We’ll never let them change us

Pay attention to what you let into your ears and eyes. It will change your view of the world in a really beautiful way. Here’s a link to my new playlist. Enjoy!

Sweet New Rituals for Life

It’s quite possible that the most important thing I learned at the Tony Robbins seminar was this: I simply cannot jump up & down and raise the roof without smiling. And furthermore, jumping up & down and raising the roof while simultaneously being depressed/angry/ annoyed/frustrated/sad/upset/guilty/enter-any-negative-emotion-here-that-you-want… can be done by no one. It is impossible.

That probably sounds flippant. Really Jen, you spent $600 on a ticket and flew cross-country to pump your hands in the air?

Umm… Yah 🙂

I will drop hints of every nugget I learned from that gigantic force of nature to anyone who will listen every day for the rest of my life. And a lot of it is going to sound simple. The specifics of the actions we choose to make us happy are individual and somewhat irrelevant. It’s the strategy of waking up every day and doing them over and over and over to break old patterns, condition our minds and set new standards that matters.

I have a long list of new daily To Do’s but my morning ritual is by far my favorite. Immediately upon waking I’m priming myself for an amazing day with a breathing exercise similar to Kundalini Breath of Fire and ten minutes of gratitude meditation, followed immediately by a mini-dance party to Flo Rida’s Club Can’t Even Handle Me with hella roof raising.

I dare you to try it and tell me you can do it without laughing.

And that moment of laughing and happy and life is good – that’s called a Peak State. That’s where I want to live.

So much of what we eat and think brings us down or holds us at a steady low without us even noticing. We know the phrases “We are what we eat” and “What we think we become.” But how often do we attack our status quo with healthy food and healthy thoughts? And don’t we feel better every single time we do?

At the seminar I resolved to take the sugar out of my diet and sprinkle it into my life one happy gesture and thought at a time. So far it’s been the best decision of my life.

Last Year of This Life Indeed

I would like to tell you everything I learned at the Tony Robbins seminar I just returned from except that would be impossible. It would take me at least 50 hours (which is how long UPW is) and a lot of dance music, flashing lights and more hugs and high fives than you’ve probably received in your entire life. But even then it wouldn’t make enough sense to really stick. The words are out there, all of them. We’ve read them; we’ve heard them; we’ve pretended to understand them and put them to work on ourselves. But without the experience they don’t hold enough weight.

Tony Robbins is not a motivator. He is a strategist who relies on a system of total immersion to snap us out of negative patterns and set new ones. He teaches us how our brains and emotions work while giving us the strategies that will help us focus and change our thoughts.

I’m not a different person now. However I am the happiest, clearest, biggest version of myself that I’ve ever been. All I want is to keep moving forward from this height and to keep growing, never to sink back down to where I used to be.

For god’s sake people I walked over hot coals, six times hotter than any stove you’ve ever burnt yourself on, and I didn’t feel a thing! The concept of mind over matter has been stretched to a whole new level of meaning for me.

Some of the most helpful nuggets of wisdom I gleaned were about how the movies on repeat in our minds were shot by amateurs, tiny little six year old versions of us who had no real clue what they were witnessing. How many times have you told a toddler they can’t do something outrageously dangerous and they threw a fit, screaming about how much you hate them?

It’s perfectly fine that at three years old they can’t figure out that you’re keeping them safe because you love them. What’s not fine is when we’re still replaying those same videos in our heads thirty years later and we’re not even aware of it. There is a science to the fact that we all unconsciously hold ourselves back.

We rely on 2 million year old brains wired for survival and expect them to bring us happiness. That’s not possible without a working compound interest strategy that we grow with gratitude and positive reinforcement every single day. Seriously if we all approached ourselves like puppies at obedience class getting treats and love for everything we ever got right, we would all go A LOT farther in our lives.

We grow or we die. It’s up to us which one we choose. I can say with certainty that this is the last year of life as I’ve known it in a much bigger sense than when it started. I couldn’t give two shits about finding a boyfriend or a husband right now. I’ve got a book to finish and an Iron Man to train for!

Long distance hugs and high fives! ❤ ❤ ❤

Firewalker

So then what I did was I walked across hot coals in bare feet. And, as it turns out, this is how excited for life one looks after one does such a thing:

Day one was above and beyond anything I could have imagined. So much to tell you but I’ve been going non-stop for almost 17 hours. It is time for some much needed sleep.

LOVE & LIGHT ❤ ❤ ❤

UNLEASH THE POWER WITHIN