i remember now

I told you in my last post that I’m temping in an office for the next three weeks. I wrote, “I’m actually excited to go back to an office environment to remind myself what it’s like.

Well, I remember now! IT SUCKS.

I mean, it’s fine. But it’s not my thing.

So far I’m doing a good job, staying focused and not allowing myself to feel like a fraud. I’m keeping in perspective that I’m more than someone’s assistant. It also helps that I know it’s only temporary, and that I have a full, colorful career on the outside.

But I also remember all too well when this corporate world was my every day and I didn’t always feel so hopeful. It makes me sad to think about the years I spent feeling trapped and unhappy.

So, why does it suck? Well, first of all I’m exhausted! After an hour working on a legal document I need three coffees and a hard smack in the face. The harsh lighting makes me feel grouchy, my commute this morning almost resulted in the death of everyone in my immediate vicinity, and the stupid printer jams all the time! It’s 2010! How is that still happening?!

I also can’t stand the fact that I’m always hungry, thirsty or really have to pee when I’m sitting at that desk. I can’t seem to strike a balance of physical contentment no matter what I do.

Still, I have had a few positive reminders that I’ll definitely take with me when these three weeks are over:

1. After lots of years of experience, I’m good at this type of job. I don’t like the work, but if I was so broke that I didn’t have another choice, I’ve got this skill set to fall back on.

2. Making it my business to do a good job no matter what task is in front of me is more fun (fun?) and easier than being pissed off and resentful. Taking notes instead of pretending I’ll remember everything helps too.

3. Getting older makes some things harder, but it makes a lot of things easier. I remember when I started my first-ever law firm job at age 23. I was terrified. Now I’m just amused.

4. If you’re not happy in your job you don’t have to work there. I’ve already passed so many people in the halls of the office who look a little dead inside. I want to slide them a note that says “Remember, you have options…”

things can shift in an instant – my interview with jordan reid

Jordan Reid is the cheerful, creative writer and television host behind the blog, Ramshackle Glam, a great site that offers everything from simple, yummy dinner ideas, to reviews of hot vacation spots, to how to’s for fixing up old furniture or making homemade pickles.

But the talented 29-year-old wasn’t always quite so fulfilled in her professional life. A couple years ago Jordan found herself unhappily employed at a law firm – it was a corporate job that left her feeling frustrated and uninspired. One day, after an irritating incident in the office landed a mess of obnoxious emails in her inbox, she’d finally had enough. So she quit! And she’s glad she did. (Click here to read Jordan’s post from August 2009 about the day she quit her job.)

The New York City native is known for more than just her current web and media presence. Jordan was also an original cast member on the fan-favorite “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” And she first emerged onto the blog scene via Non-Society.com, an often-criticized but popular “life-casting” site.

Jordan famously made the decision to leave Non-Society and strike out on her own when she began Ramshackle Glam earlier this year. After weathering the transition from one blog to another with grace and humility, hers remains one of my favorite sites. She writes with personality, heart and the refreshing ability to laugh at her own mistakes.

Had Jordan Reid not left a job that made her unhappy, Ramshackle Glam and all the other exciting aspects of Jordan’s new career may not exist today.

She graciously allowed me to ask her a few questions about quitting her job to pursue what makes her happy. Read on to learn what Jordan had to say about the risky decision she made, the people who supported her unconditionally, and her advice for anyone who wants to follow her lead.

Jordan, you were working at a law firm in NYC before you became a full time blogger and writer. You tell the story on your blog of the day you quit after some unpleasant emails from difficult coworkers made you realize you didn’t quite fit in. Do you think you felt out of place at that particular office or industry, or was it the corporate world in general that didn’t feel like the right fit?

Continue reading

they got us

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The story I (and the rest of the world) blogged yesterday about the disgruntled assistant named “Jenny” who quit dramatically her job via dry erase board – WAS A HOAX. Ugh.

The girl’s real name is Elyse Porterfield and she’s an actress who answered an ad posted by a guy who, along with his business partner, “just wanted to prove to myself that I had it in me.” Great. Apparently you do.

As embarrassed as we all might be for believing the story (238,000 Facebook users shared the link and 31,000 people tweeted about it), the success of this hoax proves that a whole lot of people really do daydream about quitting jobs that don’t fulfill them, and they’ll happily celebrate when somebody else has the courage to do so.

The JetBlue guy’s awesome story remains true, though! Phewf.

quit your job like a rock star – the dry erase board story

(Update! The following story is a hoax. As cool as it would be if it were true, it’s not. Boo! Hiss!! But you can still be inspired by the concept…right?)

Omg! This is so awesome. Fresh on the heels of the JetBlue flight attendant story, you’ve gotta check out the story and pics of a girl named Jenny who quit her job in a brilliant fashion yesterday morning.

When Jenny finally snapped after overhearing her boss make a sexual remark about her, Jenny dramatically quit by taking 33 pictures of herself holding dry erase boards which, all together, spelled out her farewell message – including a delicious reveal about how her nasty boss really spends all his company time. And then she emailed the pictures to the entire company!

Click here to see all 33 pictures and read her story.

I love it. Take your life back, Jenny. Good for you.

You guys, I think the universe is telling us it’s Quit Your Job Week. Is it your turn? 😉

how trusting unexpected inspiration changed my life

This cat paw close-up isn’t necessarily related to anything I’m about to say, but how cute is it??

Anyway, I wanted to share with y’all my latest article on Spring. Their theme this month is “inspiration.” Since the first piece I wrote on the topic was…inspired…by my decision to quit my job and pursue what makes me happier, I’ve figured I’d post the whole piece here too.

Incidentally, my next article about inspiration will go live on Spring this Thursday. Pretty sure I’m gonna write about Steven Slater. You’ve heard about this guy by now (or you live in a cave). He’s the JetBlue flight attendant who got bonked on the head by a piece of luggage right after being cussed out by a passenger and decided he’d had more than enough. Dude got on the loudspeaker, gave the entire plane a piece of his mind, grabbed a brew, inflated the big yellow escape hatch and slid down to his freedom! I love it. I’ll link to that article when it’s up.

In the meantime, here’s my latest piece:

How Trusting Unexpected Inspiration Changed My Life
(originally posted on Spring: Inspiration in Bloom)

Inspiration is anything that encourages, motivates and challenges you to take the next step. Whether the next step is in your career, your relationship, as an artist, a mother, a friend, inspiration is anything that genuinely makes you feel. What you do with it is up to you.

When I set out to quit my desk job as an assistant at a law firm a year and a half ago, I had no idea what I was going to do next. I knew I didn’t want to work in a corporate office anymore. I knew I hated waking up early just to commute an hour into the city to help someone else fulfill their professional goals and ambitions. I’d studied (and loved) acting in college, I liked to write, I liked to go for jogs, I liked animals, I wore clothes, I ate food – but I had no idea how to translate any of that into my Next Career. Nothing jumped out at me. I wasn’t, as it were, inspired. Continue reading

out of the fog

It’s been quiet around here because I’ve been a raving lunatic for the last four days. You just wouldn’t know it from the outside. I’m PMS-ing, if I’m gonna be honest. And I think I almost killed, like, three people. I’ve been insane. I’m finally coming out of it, able to see straight. I went for a run tonight, and did some yoga. I needed it.

Things are busy – June and July are going to be hectic months but I’m enjoying it. I’m learning more and more every day about being myself and staying true to what I want to be doing with my time and energy. It’s a constant balance, but I love the challenge.

Work-wise, I’m writing, baking, babysitting, doing sketch and improv comedy and I might start working the reception desk at a yoga studio one day a week. (Free yoga!!) It’s busy and nothing’s perfect, but I’m mostly loving it.

The other morning, I was walking to one of my two babysitting jobs – watching 8-month-old twins for a nearby family. I get to do that about once a week. (Thanks, Snowak, for the gig!) The little baby boys are adorable and a delight to spend time with and as I briskly walked to their house on the absolutely perfect summer morning, wearing my workout clothes and sipping iced coffee and staring down the next eight hours of uninterrupted time with cute babies, I felt…happy. Just one of those genuinely happy moments where you say thankyougodforthismoment. You know those.

So that’s good.

how to quit your job – 5 steps

If you want to quit your job, you are like a staggering number of people in America today. CBS News recently reported that only 45% of US workers find their jobs satisfying. And that’s lowest rate ever recorded in the 22 years they’ve been studying the issue.

If you aren’t happy at your job, why not take the plunge? Yes, there are risks. Yes, it can be scary. But quitting your job to pursue something that makes you happier and more fulfilled is never riskier and scarier than the alternative: remaining stuck a mindless cycle of dreading every day and complaining over a tub of ice cream or a bottle of wine every night.

I quit my job and lived to tell the tale. I worked as a grouchy office assistant for many boring years and it made me want to commit mass murder. I was the ugliest version of myself when I worked at that job. I was dismissive, short-tempered, difficult and I loved rolling my eyes behind people’s backs. (Okay, I still do that.)

Now, 7 months after quitting, I’m happier and more hopeful than I’ve been in years. I might even be a little smarter too. I’m not an expert, I’m just someone who’s been through it and come out thriving on the other side.

The list I’m about to share might seem simple. That’s on purpose. No matter what we may have been led to believe by maybe our parents, our culture, or our bank accounts, quitting your job is simple.

Scary? Risky? Non-traditional? Maybe.

Rocket science? Absolutely not.

Here’s how I did it:

1. Decide WHY. I knew I felt unhappy at my job, but I had to determine exactly why, or I wouldn’t know what I was aiming to fix.

Start by asking yourself why you don’t like the work you do. Is it the people? The atmosphere? The work itself? Is it you? Are you making the situation worse than it is?

Be honest and specific. Make sure you truly know why you want to quit.

2. Decide WHAT. What next? New office? Home office? New career entirely? New city? Decide what you want out of your new lifestyle. If you already know what you want to do – great! You’re well on your way.

For some people, deciding what’s next is the hardest part. Just remember, it doesn’t have to happen right away. Spend some time paying attention to details about yourself that you might not always consider. Like, do you like walking to work? Do you mind commuting? Do you want to work with people, or by yourself? Ask friends and family to tell you where they think your strengths lie. There’s information in those details. Take the time to figure it out.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do next when I set out to quit. I knew I wanted to work for myself, have more control over my own schedule, feel creative, productive and active. It took me about a year to mold that into a career direction. Once I quit my job, I ended up opening an online bakery, becoming a freelance writer and focusing more on my comedy career. And I’m still growing and changing all the time.

3. Decide WHEN. Give yourself a goal date. This helped me tremendously. When I was 27 years old I promised myself that I would quit my desk job by the time I turned 29. When that date rolled around a year and a half later, I briefly considered NOT quitting yet – maybe I could save more money, maybe it wasn’t the right time?

Ultimately, though, I knew I owed it to myself meet the deadline I’d set. When I really thought about it, a new reality was already within reach…so why not go for it? It was the right move. It got me out of a job that I could have stayed in my whole life.

What will it take to get to the next step? Classes? Networking with a new group of people? Delving deeper into a hobby to discover how you might be paid to do what you love? Determine what smaller steps you’ll need to take between now and then. Then set a deadline and commit to it.

4. Save money. From the moment you decide you want to quit your job – in fact, even if it’s just an inkling in the back of your mind – start saving money. Check out my article “10 ways to save for a desk job escape,” which I wrote a few weeks before I quit. Cut corners when you can and trust that you are building an essential nest egg to help fuel your journey outta the doldrums.

My savings was account one of the best things I did for myself. I was able to pull in new income shortly after my desk job ended, but I needed that savings to float me through a few tough months later on and to make ends meet along the way. I was really amazed at how far it took me.

5. Commit to yourself. This is the most important piece of advice I can give you. If you want to quit your job, only your commitment to doing so will make it possible. People who decide to change their lives actively change them, they don’t sit around waiting for it to happen. Lay the traps, write the plans, shake off the fear, bide your time – yes. But after that time is up, take action. There will definitely be days when it feels like a big mistake, the wrong decision, the path of most resistance. On those days, return to the WHY and the WHAT to strengthen your resolve.

You’ll never know what can be if you don’t follow your bliss. Go for it.

i quit my job today

I walked into her office after nervously pacing around my desk for ten minutes, and said, my voice shaking, “I’ve been here for two years this month. And I think it’s time for me to move on.”

She was incredibly nice about it, which surprised me. I told her I have to try to pursue work I’m passionate about. Before I have kids and a mortgage, I have to give myself this chance. We laughed about how much she wishes she didn’t have to come to work every day either, how she wants to be home with her daughter.

We’re all just people.

She said, I absolutely think you should do what makes you happy, follow your passion. She also said, If I thought you were making a huge mistake, I’d tell you. And I don’t want to see you go, I love having you here. But I know this isn’t the job for you. I know you’re not fulfilled by it. I’m happy for you.

It was so validating to hear her say those things. It was almost like a dream. I underestimated her, and I will let that be a lesson to me.

So, why did I do it today?

Here’s an excerpt from something I wrote yesterday:

The paperwork piles up and I stare off into space pretending it doesn’t matter. I am distracted by my own boredom every thirty seconds. I am completely unchallenged. Even if I were doing something “interesting” here, I’m not sure I’d be able to stand it. It makes me wonder if I have A.D.D. or a bad work ethic. In reality, I just don’t belong here.

There was no big moment, no final straw that led to this decision. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I wrote a long annoying blog entry draft last week about whether or not I should quit now or quit in January (after we get a small holiday bonus). I reread it after I wrote it and I knew I couldn’t post it. Because I was just sick of hearing myself talk about it. I thought, This is not the kind of problem I want to have. This is not going to help anyone else on their journey. This is just spinning wheels. This is avoiding taking a risk. This is a waste of my time. I’m not wasting any more time. I’m going to pursue work I’m passionate about and that’s all there is to it. No amount of waiting-until- January is going to improve my life.

That’s basically the long and the short of it. I don’t hate this job so much that I would be devastated by another four months of it. In fact, in many ways, another four months would be substantially easier. But there’s no reason to avoid the inevitable. I’ve made the choice, I’ve laid the foundation. It’s time to take action. Waiting until January would have been a stall tactic.

My friend Blue quit her table-waiting job last month and she’s given herself the next 30 days to pursue work she’s passionate about. That specific phrase, “to pursue work I’m passionate about,” has gotten stuck in my head since she started talking about it. I like it because it’s broad enough to include anything that I love, but specific enough to paint the right picture. I quit my job today with that phrase in my mind. (Blue posted three blog entries in the days following her last day as a waitress. And reading them all together was another thing that helped me click into why I should do this now and not wait around. You can find them here, here and here.)

Practically speaking? I don’t have a specific plan. Whoa! I know. It’s a new way of thinking for me, but I’m trying it on for size.

I dropped out of college when I was 20 because I was a mess in every conceivable fashion. I got back into college when I was 22 and I graduated a year later, when I was 23. It was a huge accomplishment that I finished my degree despite all the obstacles. But when I graduated, my situation was still very different from that of my classmates. I was already working full time, and had been for years. I was already paying my own rent and living alone. And I’d already been through what felt like a lifetime of adult experiences, stuff that no one else I knew had been through at my age. So when school ended for me I didn’t have that “world is my oyster” feeling I imagined people had when they graduated college. My post-college plans had already been decided for me by the bad choices I’d made years before, the mistakes I was still cleaning up, the money I owed, the valley of depression and weight gain out of which I was just barely finishing my climb.

Now I am unburdened by my past mistakes, financially, emotionally and physically, and I’m standing at the beginning of what’s possible, with a clean slate and so many options in front of me. The world finally is my oyster.

My last day here will be sometime during the last week of September middle of October. I have a little bit of money saved up (not much, though!!) so once I leave this job, I’m going to pursue work I’m passionate about and practice trusting that the money will come. I’m not going to focus too heavily on my bank account (and what’s in it or not in it). I am a responsible person and my bills will get paid. It’s a bit unorthodox, this way of thinking. It’s certainly new to me and it might sound like madness to the more practical of you, but this is the perfect time for me to try it on for size.

I am, however, going to set some specific goals, goals related to freelancing writing, blogging, the bakery, and using the value that is my weight loss expertise to help other people. And after those goals are set, I’m going to see what happens. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as it unfolds.

One afternoon last summer, Kevin and I were swimming at the local pool. I had been at this job for almost a year at the time. I knew I wasn’t ready to quit any time soon, I knew I had to plan and prepare and lay some foundation for myself first. And I also didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do once I did quit. I just knew it wasn’t my destiny to work in an office. We stared up at the blue summer sky and splashed our feet in the water, and I said to Kevin, “No matter what I end up doing, no matter what direction I choose, my only commitment to myself is that I will quit this job before I turn 29. That’s a year and a half from now. So I have plenty of time to figure it out.”

I turn 29 in two months. Here we go.

You might also like these related posts:

how i’m feeling: the day after

10 ways to save for a desk job escape

change: good or bad?

follow the path

life is too short to skip dessert

how we’ve changed

13 things i’ve learned so far

13 things I’ve learned so far

Picture 170

I’ve been keeping this log of my journey to leave my desk job and do what I love for over 7 months now. That’s not a very long time, but a lot has happened since I began writing in January. I have yet to actually quit my job, though I’m growing closer every day. I have, however, waded through a long list of potential new careers and taken several big steps toward starting my own business (a bakery!) with a good friend. I’ve also written something about the process almost every day.

I don’t think I’d be making these strides if I wasn’t sharing the experience with all of you as I go. Writing about what I hope to accomplish, what I have already accomplished, and how I’m inspired by your accomplishments has given me the accountability necessary to turn my hopes and plans into reality. And this blog has opened up conversations and friendships in my day-to-day life that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

Seven years ago, when I was 21, I set out on a different kind of journey. It was a journey to lose 115 pounds, climb out of my chronic depression, and turn myself around from the homeless, jobless, college dropout I’d become. I’d just been dumped by an abusive, codependent, toxic boyfriend and I was at my rock bottom. It was an isolated and dark time for me, during which I had no choice but to face my situation alone and own up to the world I’d created for myself. I realized that only I could improve my circumstances. No one else. I didn’t have a blog then, nor did I have the incredible system of support and inspiration I have today. But I did have, even when things were at their very worst, a belief in myself, however small, that I was capable of achieving what seemed impossible.

I ultimately succeeded, slowly but surely, in changing every aspect of my situation for the better. And that personal victory confirmed for me that we all possess the ability to do what we put our minds to. It’s a simple, universal concept which endures because it’s true.

Empowered by my own return to grace, so to speak, I’ve since maintained the belief that I can do anything I decide to do, and I’ve used that conviction to fuel this new journey of mine. But I still have plenty to learn. So far, I’ve discovered (and written about) a handful of things in the last 7 months that have helped me form an exciting perspective on this new journey. I believe that these things apply to any journey to follow your bliss, whatever that might mean for you. So I want to share them.

I present to you:

13 Things I’ve Learned So Far On My Journey to Follow My Bliss

Each link takes you to the original post I wrote when I learned that particular lesson.

1.) Follow the path. Unless you are certain that you want to accomplish something really specific, like to become an American-Airlines-pilot-based-out-of-Denver-who-only-flies-weekdays, or a pilates-instructor-who-lives-in-Boston-and-teaches-women-in-their-40’s, the best way to follow your bliss is to follow the path as it presents itself to you. Decide what you hope for, what you dream of, but don’t be beholden to one way of getting there or one way it will look when you do. Be open to *not* knowing, and then put one foot in front of the other. You might not be able to see very far ahead, but all those single steps eventually add up to a whole journey. Be willing to trust in that.

2.) Happiness is not circumstantial. Sometimes people who find themselves in dire, desperate circumstances still have a positive, joyful outlook. And sometimes people who live what might seem like a perfect life, complete with success, fortune, family and opportunity are some of the most negative, unpleasant people around. You are the only person who decides what you value and how you feel about it. And you are the only person who can know if you’re waiting for something external to make you feel happy. When whatever it is finally comes along, will your world fall suddenly into place? Probably not. Practice happiness now. Few, if any, are the circumstances that are really going to change your outlook.

3.) Talk to yourself like you’d talk to your best friend. When you’re working toward something you dream of, judging yourself harshly can be one of the most treacherous obstacles in your path. For whatever reason, so many of us are experts on how to put ourselves down, while we lack the basic ability to be kind and compassionate to ourselves. But when our best friends are struggling or striving, we talk to them lovingly and patiently in order to help them along. Why should we not give ourselves the same respect? Children who are put down have an infinitely harder time succeeding than children who are lifted up. It’s no different for adults, so be nice to yourself first and always. You’re only human.

4.) You are built to adapt. Sometimes the journey to follow your bliss, whatever that might mean for you, finds you working a job you hate, or dealing with a problem that’s hard to face. And that’s all part of it. You have the right to decide how necessary that unpleasant stuff is – do you have to deal with it, or could you walk away from it? But if you’ve made the choice to stick around and muscle through it, know that you, as a human being, are naturally capable of adapting to things pretty quickly. That can be a blessing or a curse. It can mean you end up stuck in a situation that you tolerate for a lot longer than you mean to, or conversely, that you don’t mind working an odd job to make ends meet while you’re making bigger plans. Use to your advantage your innate ability to adapt to change, while still being mindful of whether or not it’s time to move on.

5.) Courage is essential. If you want something more, something different, if you’re hoping to achieve things you dream of achieving, you have to be willing to be courageous. And if you don’t feel courageous, fake it until you do.

6.) The struggle is part of the dream. This was a piece of wisdom imparted to me by my good friend and fellow improviser Phil Wells when I was having a string of bad days early on in the baking biz. His advice made me realize that someday I will look back on the struggles fondly, as times when I was learning and growing. The hard parts might not be pleasant in the moment, but when I remember that they’re all part of this colorful journey, I’m more willing to smile while I push through them. Plus, I’ll probably have some great stories to share when I’m a grandma.

7.) Practice moderation, not obsession. I had to learn to do this with exercise, because being obsessive about it was clouding up my focus. I firmly believe in exercise as a way to keep myself happy and healthy, but when my new endeavors started to take up lots of room in my schedule, I missed some workouts. And then I freaked out about it. Ultimately, I decided to get over myself and trust that I can be healthy in lots of ways – going for a run five times a week doesn’t always have to be one of them. Too much of anything that’s usually considered “healthy” – keeping a focused schedule, keeping a clean house, going to the gym, eating veggies, communicating your relationship woes to your partner – can tip the scales toward unhealthy if you don’t practice them in moderation. You will exhaust yourself and your body if you don’t let yourself off the hook. As you seek out your bliss, even if you are committed to working your butt off to get there, spend time doing what’s easy, relaxing and low-maintenance sometimes too. It will fuel you the rest of the time.

8.) Put it out there. And don’t be afraid to tell the whole story. This one isn’t for everyone, but for those of us who don’t mind sharing details about ourselves with others, it’s helpful to be open and honest with other people about your quest. You don’t have to have a blog to do so – the simple act of communicating your situation honestly to the people you can trust (“I want to move to another city.” Or, “I am trying to get out of a bad relationship.” Or, “I want to quit my office job.” Or, “I want to be a movie star.”) can open up conversations and opportunities you may have never had otherwise. People tend to respond warmly to someone who is forthcoming about their goals and dreams and it can be a strength-building experience to hear yourself saying the words out loud to another person. Plus, you never know what you’ll uncover.

9.) There are teachers everywhere. This is an idea that has been reinforced for me by doing the payday and guest book segments on this blog. When you begin to follow your bliss, you realize there are people and ideas everywhere that seem to support your efforts. You’ll read quotes in the newspaper, overhear a conversation, or see a movie trailer that all seem to have everything to do with exactly what you’re searching for. It’s not that they weren’t there before, it’s that you’re paying a different kind of attention now. All of the people, places and experiences in your life have something to teach you on this journey. If you are willing to let yourself be taught, even about stuff you think you already know, you’ll start to see almost everything as an opportunity to learn.

10.) Anything can be work. If your journey to follow your bliss is career related, this applies to you. No matter how much you love something, if it becomes your job, it becomes a job. Even if you’re thrilled to spend your time on it, there will be days when you don’t wanna. It doesn’t mean you love it any less and it doesn’t mean you’re broken. Work is work. It’s hard, it’s rewarding, and if you enjoy what you do for work, you are lucky and blessed. Keep in mind that if you turn your passion into your career, it will change, even slightly, how you feel about that passion, for better or worse.

11.) Time will pass no matter what you do with it. God willing, you will wake up one day ten years from now, just like you woke up today. Only you can control whether or not that morning will look like this morning did. If you want something about your current situation to change, if you want to seek out what makes you happiest, you might as well start now. Because time waits for no one.

12.) Everything is a process. I don’t have an earlier blog entry to link to this. I was doing my Yoga Download session on Saturday and the woman on the podcast said, “Yoga is a process. Know this.” And it struck me as being true for everything, really. A relationship, a weight loss effort, a career, parenthood, childhood, learning to swim, learning to ride a bike, learning to articulate your needs, being a runner, being a world-champion ping-pong player – they are all processes. And the very nature of a process is that it contains periods of new growth, periods of setbacks and periods of no movement at all. It is a moving forward and a moving backward. And I realized that so many of us, myself included, tend to become upset with ourselves during the points in these life processes when there are setbacks or when growth is not happening constantly. And that is such a waste of precious energy and focus. Because there are SUPPOSED to be periods where growth is not happening constantly. That’s part of it, that’s how a process works. It’s the time when our bodies and brains are rewiring themselves, making the unfamiliar familiar, making the familiar habitual. If those periods of no-movement didn’t occur we wouldn’t actually learn or grow at all. So we’d be better off choosing to revel in the “setbacks” and the times without “forward” motion, because they actually indicate progress. And without them, we’d never improve.

13.) You can be anything. You can do anything, go anywhere, live any life. There are no limits but the ones you choose.