Geek Wisdom

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I had never read Lord of the Rings before I saw the movie. From the moment it began I was in awe. I sat mesmerized for an hour until my 7 year got sick and I left to do a half fast vom clean up. I made in back in time to see this scene between Gandalf and Frodo.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

His words made me cry for a long time after the movie was over. To me it was Gandalf answering a question that I had long been asking. It was up to me to decide what to do with the time that was given. And I did decide. My decisions were not always the right ones and may have been a little out of control, but nonetheless I did something with my time. And here I am.

Life is good.  Just need to find that happy medium between taking control and going with the flow.

The Day I Met My Mom Princess Leia

We went to the Vancouver Fan Expo specifically to meet my idol Carrie Fisher.  I was a very lonely, awkward preteen and spent most of my free time lying in bed daydreaming about having adventures in a galaxy far, far away with my mom, Princess Leia. I had rehearsed for over two decades telling her how much she had meant to me during that time and  I continued to rehearse in my head for the three hours I stood in line waiting for her to sign my  copy of her book Wishful Drinking.  She has always been very candid about her bi-polar and addictions and I have always admired her ability to not pussyfoot around so called “sensitive issues”.  I love how she owns her shit. As a thanks I had made her  some Buff Beads  and three people away from her I still had no idea how I would manage to fit everything I had to say to her into 30 seconds.  With my husband holding me up I walked up to her trembling and holding back tears.  She was beautiful and I wanted to hug her.  I mumbled off my words of adoration and the part she played in my childhood as my fictional mom.  She asked my age and if she could even be my  mom. She did some quick math and she would have been young, but absolutely she could have been my mom and then she signed my book:

To Jessica Love from her true mother.

For Jessica
Love from her true mother.

I told her that I had a blog and I wrote about self-love, self-talk and shame resilience. I explained that I had created Buff Beads to keep aware of my self-talk and  I asked if I could give her some.  She said “I really could use these” and put them around her fingers.  I left that day high just at the reception I had received from Carrie. It didn’t matter if my beads got forgotten and left behind at the table, she would be seeing a thousand fans just like me.  I was so completely satisfied with the moment that she took my beads and also kind of adopted me.  The next day at the photo op I was excited, but not nearly as emotional.  I full on had no expectations she would remember me and  was just excited to have a picture with her.  There were three people ahead of us when we walked into view of her and her French Bulldog Gary. David asked me which side I wanted to be on, I said whatever side of God Jesus was on.  Gary was on the right side, so I took the left.  With all the coolness of a limp noodle I walked up to her, said hello and then in a high pitched emotional whisper I squeaked “You’re wearing my beads. You’re wearing my beads.” I could not believe it. I hadn’t even allowed the thought to enter my mind that she would be. Carrie said “I’ve been wearing them all night.” The seconds after that were kind of a blur, I remember seeing the girl behind the camera I think she told me to smile needlessly, I said thank you in a breathless sob and Carrie said “You’re welcome” and I walked out.

Meeting my childhood idol this weekend. Can you guess who it is? #keepittogetherjess

A photo posted by Advice Over Pie (@adviceoverpie) on

The person who had influenced my life the most and who I most wanted to wear the beads I had created a year ago was wearing them on her own accord. Carrie Fisher had gone back to her hotel the night before, with my beads and then friggin’ put them on and wore them all day, through the Q & A, through the autograph session and through the photo op. This is the only affirmation I will ever need. My idol, my fantasy “true” mom, heard my message of self-love and appreciated it.  And I have proof.

Princess Leia is wearing my Buff Beads!

 The Buff Beads that I gave to Carrie and that she wore can be found on the Buff Beads store.

What Do You Have To Gain?

Courage

 

It’s mind blowing to me how I continuously over complicate my life. I’ve been digging in my psyche for years trying to draw out any piece of evidence that will reveal to me the cure to being afraid of judgement.  I’ve traced through my childhood with a fine tooth comb, read books, meditated and watched video’s searching for something or someone to say it differently than the others so that I could understand. The answer was so simple and I felt so silly. I am constantly being reminded that the best way to find an answer is to quit looking for it.  The resolution always comes from within.

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Looking back, it’s amazing the opportunities I passed up because I was too scared of what people would think. Recently, while psyching myself up to do some networking  I said defiantly, “What do I got to lose?”. I’ve said that to myself numerous times in an attempt to gain courage, but for some reason  this time the question didn’t go away.

What DID I have to lose?

For the most part,  besides rejection, looking overly ambitious or being told my writing is crap, I really had nothing to lose. I allowed my imagination to create liberties and go wild. I came up with many fabulous and not so fabulous opportunities that could arise only if  I put my fear of judgment aside. The painful thought of perhaps missing out on those opportunities greatly outweighed any thought of a briefly bruised ego.

Is it easier for you to gain the loss or to lose the gain?

Generally, the possibility for great things is endless and any fear of loss boils down to being afraid of looking like an ass on the dance floor. Which for many, including me, may be worth the loss that’s why if sometimes the gain doesn’t outweigh the pain of humiliation, that’s okay. Because God knows I still a have a ways to go before you catch me singing karaoke publicly or on stage acting in a play.  As my husband says “Baby steps,  my darling.”, so I will start by writing scary emails and soul bearing blog posts.

Guest Writer: Make A Habit

This weeks guest writer is my very good friend Vicky Jensen. In one yearr she lost an incredible 100lbs, which she attributes to her hard work and her ability to set and meet her individual goals. You can follow her on twitter @Vickerama

We all know that goal setting is good. We have heard it our whole lives.”Set goals!” “Where do you want to be in 5 years?” “What are your goals in life?” The concept isn’t new and it is definitely not unique. Goals keep you focused, they propel you forward, they hold you accountable. We can all agree – goals are important. Goals get stuff done.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Tony Robbins

There’s one thing I need to make clear though about goals. Goals aren’t visions. A vision is NOT a goal. A vision by definition is a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination. A vision is the where you want to go, the what you want to see, the what you want to have, the how you want to feel. Your vision is about your destination. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, envisioning is step number two.

2 – Begin with the End in Mind. Envision what you want in the future so that you know concretely what to make a reality.

But, goals are your path. Goals answer the questions – When? How? How much? Goals are the steps we need to take to achieve our vision. It’s the daily goal making and goal achieving that create the path to where we want to end up.

It’s so easy to set goals that look something like this –

I’m going to lose 50 pounds.Goal Setting

I’m going to get a better job.

I’m going to clean my house.

Those actually seem pretty great and quite reasonable. This is the deal though – you can’t wake up the next morning and lose 50 pounds. It’s impossible. Waking up the next morning and thinking “I’m going to get a new job today!” is daunting. A goal needs to be as specific and as simple as possible. Tomorrow I’m going to eat 1500 calories or tomorrow I’m going to drink 8 glasses of water. Tomorrow I’m going to send out 5 resumes. Tomorrow I’m going to clean out the fridge. I actually learned the skill of goal setting quite young. From kindergarten to 7th grade I went to a private school where the work we did was independent and self-directed. At the end of every day we had to “set our goals” for the next day. This basically meant we had to write down how many pages we intended to complete in each of our workbooks so when the next day came around we had our plan for the day. This taught me that:

1. Completing goals feels good. It’s satisfying. Checking off something you accomplished that day feels freaking good no matter how small.

2. You have to set your own goals. A teacher didn’t swoop in to tell me what I needed to do the next day. I decided what I wanted to do. Completing a task because someone else tells you to do it or suggests you should isn’t a goal. That becomes THEIR idea for your life – not yours. Goals are 100% self-directed and self-fulfilled.

3. Goals HAVE to be realistic. When learning to set goals as a kid I would often think oh ya, I will totally do ten pages in a workbook tomorrow only to learn the next day that it just wasn’t going to happen. You probably won’t run forty-five minutes straight your first day running whether or not you set that as your goal. Try two minutes. Baby steps.

4. It has to be a HABIT. Every day when I get to work I decide what I want to get done that day – even if NOTHING else gets done besides that. I do it now without even thinking about it. Some people like to write lists or notes. Do what works for you but do it daily.

I recently lost over one hundred pounds. I’m not “there” yet but I have a vision of who I want to be, how I want to look and more importantly how I want to feel. This vision is great and good and it is exactly what I need but I can’t stop at the vision. My vision needs to inspire me to take action. Looking back at the year it took me to lose the majority of that weight, I realize it was a compilation of goal setting and goal completing that got me there. The times I decided I was going to go for a long walk the next day and I actually went for that long walk the next day. The goal of “I’m going to lose 100 pounds” is too vague. It’s huge and it’s not tangible. But what I could do was go for that walk.

The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself. – Bo Bennett

 

Written by Vicky Jensen

I Was a Movie Star Drywaller

 

 

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We hear rags to riches stories all the time. They seem to always start at the extreme end of poverty and end on the complete opposite side where the person is driving a Mercedes. There are many Dream Big stories coming true that aren’t as noticeable and are much more believable. I did not grow up desolate poor and my Audi Q5 is still sitting snug as a bug on my vision board, but that isn’t the point of my story. In a world where we are stuck in awful jobs, relationships, and financially instability, there is an abundance of hopelessness, dreaming kills that hopelessness. By consistently imagining yourself at the next level you will notice that the environment around you will start to change. What is happening is the standards you had for yourself have improved and what was once “good enough” is no longer.  Thinking of doing something I don’t want to do makes me feel as if my soul is dragging behind my body. Often the need to provide for our family outweighs the soul’s pain, and for many years my body went into survival mode and my soul begrudgingly followed. Survival mode is very lonely and I have never been a stranger to loneliness. As a child for six years I went to a private Christian school where we were left alone in cubicles for five hours a day to do our work. Any turning or talking would be met with demerits which could eventually lead to the dreaded strap and probably hell. Near every day I would come home crying and begging to be put into public school, but parents always try and do what they feel is right for their children, and I was made to go the next day. I found no relief at home as we lived out in the middle of nowhere on a hobby farm, and with my parents always busy, the only way of getting anywhere was to bike ten miles into town. I ached for companionship that was not my younger brothers and sisters.

I found relief from the solitude by lying in bed and daydreaming. My vivid imagination brought me to places I had only seen in movies. I had all sorts of adventures. I visited the dark reaches of space where Princess Leia was my mom. I lleaexplored tunnels to a land before time, and I traveled through England with Robin of Loxley stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. The common theme to all my daydreams was that I was important and people wanted to be around me. With no other mental escape, I would sink into these worlds daily to ease my boredom and loneliness. The need to daydream slowed as I got older and I eventually stopped when I was told that I had made the decision to be a mom and that’s all I was to do. The late great Lou Tice once said

“When I stopped dreaming, I stopped growing.”

For ten years I chose not to dream as it wasn’t realistic and completely useless. I had no idea that eventually going back to dreaming would save my mental well being on more than one occasions.

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My time as my dad’s drywall assistant seven years ago wasn’t all bad, but nonetheless the bad memories outweigh the good. The majority of the time I was dirty covered in drywall mud and dust and driving a big orange short box pickup truck. My lesson to be learned those days was humility and boy was I humbled. The work was mentally exhausting and labor intensive, as my dad pushed me as hard as he would my brothers, if not harder. My job mostly was to clean up left over drywall scrap littered throughout massive houses. I was almost always alone and it would take me hours to haul armfuls of scrap up and down flights of stairs. The job consumed my life as every day I dreaded the next. The only thing I had to look forward to in life was I had been asked to play a part in an Independent Film. The thought of my big break kept me going and when the time came, it was the closest thing to being treated like a movie star that I had ever been. It was everything that I wanted to be, everything I wanted to do. I did not want the weekend to end, but it did and the very next day I went back to my unglamorous life of dirty clothes, filthy surroundings and labor intensive work. My soul was crushed and as I walked around
the drywall strewn house, I cried. I would tell others my story of how important I was made to feel over the weekend and how well I did, but there are few that know the feeling of living their dream. Those that do know don’t understand how it must feel to have it stripped away, save for Cinderella.

Being home and off work brought no solace as the loneliness and mental exhaustion followed me there. Unlike some feelings such as jealously and hurt that are gradually watered down with life, the memory of loneliness stays with us and we always remember how lonely we were at times in our lives. At this time, with the taste of my dream life still in my mouth, I stood alone in a cold, damp shell of a house, dazed. I was covered from last week’s drywall mud, my hair up in a dirty hat, wearing a small amount of mascara to keep the bit of femininity I had. Scraps of drywall littered the ground around me and the dread of the three hours ahead of me was overwhelming. I was devastatingly lonely. So, as a thirty something year old adult, I sunk back into the memories of the time I had lived my dream.

My story took off on its own, and like a wild fire it grew. I befriended celebrities, I won Oscars, dined in Paris, starred in movies, wrote novels, took trips with my kids and designed my dream house. I was lost in my imagination and forgot where I was and what I was doing. Before I knew it, the house was scrapped. Daydreaming again awakened in me a childlike whimsy and I saw things unfold that I never thought would happen. When I ignored my current circumstances and imagined greater, I began to make changes unconsciously that would create a ripple effect that eventually got me here to where I am today. I have never stopped dreaming since.vision board

I now print my dreams and desires and place them on a cork board. My vision board has cruises, shoes, office chairs and desks, beach houses, designer dresses and an itinerary of my dream trip to New Zealand and Paris. We are all extremely visual, so when the image in our head does not match our reality it causes tension and discomfort in us, and then subconsciously we put into action steps to change the outer picture in order to match the inner one. Nearly every day for years, I have looked at a picture of an office on a beach overlooking the ocean. This picture to me signifies having a job I love with the freedom to travel and do it from anywhere in the world. I never imagined when I pinned it there five years ago how close I would be to my dream job today. Besides looking at the picture and imagining the feeling of being there on that beach, I have done nothing consciously to make that happen, yet here I am today doing what I love to do and potentially having an opportunity to write from the comforts of the beach. Mr. Rogers once asked us if we ever grew anything in the garden of our mind. What do you want? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? If you plant your dream and nurture it, it will grow.

All meaningful and lasting change starts from the inside. –Lou Tice

“Our brain can’t tell much difference between visualization and actual events.”

 

I really felt I needed to update this post…

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How to Make Your Wishes Come True

In 1996 my dad took me, my 4 siblings and my son to Disneyland. It was right before Christmas break and the park was dead. My brothers and sisters and I had such an amazing time running from ride to ride. To this day I can say that was near one of the most joyous occasions I have ever had and I have spent thousands of dollars trying to recreate it. Since 1996 I have been to Disneyland 6 more times. I have gone with kids and I have gone without kids and no matter what I come out of it let down, pissy and broke. This morning my husband texts me at 11:11 telling me to make a wish. Normally sequential numbers remind me to give thanks, but this time I immediately had this split second flash image of my husband and I in a big beautiful yard with a beautiful house behind us. I have no idea what this place was or where, but the feeling of peace and joy was overwhelming and I wanted it. I didn’t care where it was, I just wanted that feeling. This gave an idea, instead of wishing so badly to recreate that one time in Disneyland, what if I just wished to feel that amount of joy again with my siblings. Instead of wishing and praying and hoping to go to Waikiki again so that I can feel again how peaceful it was to lie on and beach and listen to the waves, what if asked to feel that peace again? What would it be like to feel that peace monthly, weekly, daily? Along with the experiences, we are also after the feelings they create. The awe and wonder of the Sistine Chapel. The calm and relaxing feeling of walking the beaches of Fiji. The comfort and secure feeling of having a million dollars in the bank. If we focus more  on the feelings instead of the event that created them, we will find that everyday life presents us with opportunities to feel like that. The awe and wonder of a crazy sunset. The calm and peacefulness of a quiet spring morning. The comfort and security and joy of a much needed and unexpected bonus cheque.

I still want to go to Disneyland, Waikiki and who wouldn’t love to have a million dollars in the bank, but until all that happens it’s comforting and exciting to discover that we can potentially have those feelings every day.  We rob ourselves of those feelings cause we think we shouldn’t feel them. That the event isn’t worthy of such joy, peace, comfort etc…cause it happens all the time and it’s not Disneyland.   The saying “Finding joy in little things” can apply to all positive fantastic emotions.  We just need to recognize the moments when they arise and allow ourselves to just FEEEEL them.