In the spring of 2014, I spent a few weeks touring with the play Vanities, a comedy that follows three women’s lives through the 60s and 70s. What makes it different from other plays is that we actually get ready onstage, sitting at our vanities – while the audience files into their seats.
At the start of one performance, my co-stars and I were up there, primping our beehives and gluing on false eyelashes. I was so nervous, my hands were shaking, which made it hard to get my eyelashes even. I thought I might throw up.
We were supposed to be visiting each other’s vanities, borrowing makeup and gossiping, so I went over to her vanity. “How are you so calm?” I said. “I’m so nervous I could barf. Isn’t this stressful for you?”
The other day, someone posed to me the question: which is more important, courage or confidence?
At first, it sounded like a chicken-or-egg question, one of those deep philosophical things you’d ask a guru on a mountaintop. But in the past week, it gave way to some great conversations, and lots of personal exploration. And it turns out it has a really useful, practical application in my daily life.
Constantly, people tell me, “I wish I had more confidence.” That sentence is forever stopping people from doing things they really want to do. I know for me personal, it’s responsible for almost everything I ever procrastinate on.
During the Twitter chat last week, the group unanimously agreed that courage comes before confidence. And that made me think: maybe confidence is the wrong target. Maybe we should aim for courage instead.
As usual, when I’m mulling over a phenomenon like this one, I decided to try it out on myself.
I’ve been doing more live...
Last weekend, I went to a four-day certification course from Z Health about the neurology of fitness. Based on the topic, you’d think it was my cup of tea, right? I thought it would be, too – which is why I was so disappointed and frustrated when after the first day, I just wasn’t getting it.
I felt so dumb. I sat there throughout the presentations, listening, taking notes, trying to take it all in. But they might as well have been speaking ancient Greek. None of it landed for me. It was like everything went right over my head.
The same thing happened on Day 2. I can’t make it through two more days of this, I thought. Maybe I just shouldn’t come tomorrow.
Saturday morning, I woke up feeling grumpy and mean. My poor kids knew something was wrong as soon as I stumbled into the kitchen, and they scattered like mice to avoid me. Looking ahead to the next two days, all I felt was that awful sense of I’m not good enough for this....
This week, my mom celebrates her 85th birthday. In the last few weeks, as my sisters and I get ready for her big day, I’ve been realizing how much I love her, but I sometimes forget to take those moments to say so and really appreciate her. Isn’t it strange, how easy it is to forget to express your love to those closest to you?
So in honor of her, today, I’d like to share with you three things she taught me that changed my life. Here they are – The Top 3 Life Lessons from Gunvor Satra:
1. Let the spirit of adventure guide you.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom found a way to show us the world. She loves to travel, and anywhere on the globe was fair game. Once, we were actually debating between Turkey, the Baltic countries, and Peru. Most people don’t look at such a wide range of place at one time, but from her, I learned that anything is possible, and anywhere is worth seeing and learning about. (We ended up in Turkey...
For the past three years, I’ve been dealing with chronic pain in my left leg. I’ve had multiple MRIs; I’ve gone to dozens of doctors, specialists, therapists. Each one has found a possible culprit, but none of their treatments have worked.
As you might imagine, that’s been a huge stress for me. I’m an active person; I love moving and working out and trying new things. But with this leg pain, that’s getting harder and harder. And sometimes it feels less and less likely that it’ll ever go away.
Recently, I had what I think might be a breakthrough. It started with Z Health, a fitness system that looks at both performance and pain through the lens of neurology.
In class one day, the instructor said something that described me perfectly. “As times passes, the recovery rate of patients with chronic injury declines exponentially,” he said. “And that happens because they begin to belief nothing will work.”
Oh my god, I...
It’s February: the month where New Year’s Resolutions go to die.
I’m joking, of course. Hopefully yours are alive and well. But wherever you are in your journey, it’s a reality that change is hard. Often, we’re all gung ho at first, but then the daily grind sets in. We lose our enthusiasm, and we revert to our old ways.
Why is it so freaking hard to make a change?
Because our brains are like lawyers. They need evidence. And we’re crazy good at finding evidence of how “stuck” we are. We’re not so good at finding evidence of how powerful we are. Or that we’re capable of change.
I see this all the time around food and eating habits. Friends will order French fries, even when they’re trying to lose weight. They know there are healthier options, but choosing those options isn’t in line with their beliefs. “I’m not a person who orders wraps,” they believe, or “I just don’t like veggies....
A few weeks ago, my team and I sat down to talk about the upcoming Love Your Body event.
What does it mean, we asked, to actually love your body?
I’m very action-oriented, so I reframed the question as this: “What would you do differently if you truly loved your body?”
When it was Lauren’s turn to answer, she said only one word: “Everything.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Like what?”
“Just…everything,” she said. “How I carry myself, how I walk into a room. How and what I ate. What I did during the day. My relationships, for sure.”
As her list went on, I found myself nodding in sympathy. Honestly, when I thought about it, that would be my answer too. If I really, truly loved my body, it would change everything.
As some of you know, I struggled with anorexia for over a decade. I was so obsessed with making my body “perfect” that I almost destroyed it. My sister said to me once,...
Whether 2016 has been your best year yet, or whether you can’t wait to put it in the past, it’s not too late to bring it to a positive end.
Ask yourself – and more importantly, answer – these questions to help you shift your understanding of 2016. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just give stock answers. Write them down for added emphasis.
What’s one thing that you’ve accomplished that you’re really proud of this year? Why?
What’s one way you’ve grown in the past twelve months?
What did you do differently to create that growth?
Again, be specific. Don’t just write, “My family.” Instead, go deeper. What about your family? Who? Why?
This could be anybody – a romantic partner, a family member, an acquaintance, a...
Our family hosted Thanksgiving this year, which means a lot of the logistics fell to me – cooking, cleaning, shopping, meeting all possible dietary needs, and so on.
The Monday before, I found myself being especially stressed as Kaya and Ty were getting ready for school. I even stopped to jot down an idea for an appetizer, right as we were walking out the door.
“It’s gonna be okay, Mom,” Ty said. He and Kaya were waiting by the stairs. “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”
“I know, I know,” I said, “but I want it to be good. I want it to be really special for everyone.” And patiently, they waited as I wrote “roasted sweet potatoes” (I know, really original).
Finally we left. As we were crossing the street, out of the blue, Ty said, “You know? I don’t even know why the word perfect is in the dictionary. It doesn’t exist.”
Geez, my nine-year-old is so wise.
The other day my dog-walker, Pam, showed up at 1 o’clock instead of 3, like she usually does.
“Wow,” I said, “Sadie’ll be so glad to see you! Her walk this morning was pretty short.”
“I should get here early from now on,” Pam said, smiling. “I finally arranged it so that my walks are all in this area. My life is a hundred times easier. And actually, that’s thanks to you. Remember that talk we had, almost a year ago?”
I remembered. One day last year, she’d come in super-late – as in, later than usual – looking really stressed. Her dog-walking business was booming, but it was wearing her out. She had clients all over Manhattan, so every day she had to rush up and down the city to get to the next dog.
“You asked me what my bigger vision was,” she said now, “for what I wanted my business to be. And it was to have all the dogs in one area. That question completely changed my outlook.
Every morning for 10 days, you’ll get an email from me with a special (and short) activity that focuses on one important aspect of manifesting your true desires.
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