Do people even still blog any more? I am feeling so out of touch with all the new apps and gadgets, I think the new thing is Vlogging - it's like video blogging and then there is this other thing Perisope? Is that right? Wait lemme look it up...
Good thing you aren't reading this in real time it's taken me ages to find it. So it's an app that let's you broadcast live video and let's followers comment in real time. These all seem like really cool things however I am a strictly behind the scenes kind of girl, so if you're looking for videos and live broadcasts about stuff, you will have to look elsewhere as I am old-school.
He Who Shall Not Be Named calls me a Luddite. I still read books on paper, Yo!
So speaking of books, one of my old time fave girlie-girl books is called Hope In a Jar by Beth Harbison.
Such a cute story that I think would make a great film but this isn't a book review post, I just stole the title because it fits in with my Virtue of the Month for December. Now might be a good time to mention that I am really sick, so I am at home hopped up on cold & flu medication and like that great Prince tune croons -- forgive me if I go astray.
Oh what the hell since we're here, lemme tell you about the book. I'll just give you the cliff notes off the back - A Hilarious touching novel about friendship, Love's Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of "Gee your hair smells terrific." Hope in a jar: We all need it.
If you're anywhere close in age to me, all of that stuff will ring nostalgic. Oh Sun-In, how orange you turned my tresses. The book is about these two best friends who had a fight in high school and now on the eve of their 20th high school reunion their paths once again cross and hijinx ensue. An amazingly fun beach or holiday read if you're looking for a laugh and some light entertainment.
As an aside, the cosmetics company Philosophy makes a moisturizer called Hope In A Jar, and yeah, I'm not too proud to admit that I tried it after reading the book.
Okay, best be getting on with the post I intended to write.
When the month of October dawned I was determined to make it awesome!
And baby it was! It was the month that I got to fly to New York my favorite city and I got to meet Tracy Anderson, my favorite trainer and hang out with some of the coolest women I have ever met in my life, talk about blessed. The virtue for October was Believe. It became apparent through circumstance and self-reflection that I hadn't really believed in myself so the Believe Jar was born. It worked such wonders in my life that I held it over for November you can check it out HERE. Now it's just a part of daily life. Can't get on with my day until I drop a note in the believe jar.
The fact is, believing in myself has made that much of an impact that it has become one of my ten personal commandments, or what I like to call the Shamandments.
I'll get there in a second, so stay with me here.
It's one thing to think up a monthly virtue or a behaviour that you'd like to cultivate and write it on the calendar for the month, but it's quite another thing altogether to really live it. Making that believe jar helped me to practice believing in myself in a physical way. I had to physically write down on a piece of paper (yep, Luddite) one thing that I believed about myself every day and add it to the jar. It's hard. If you've never done it I'd suggest trying it. I got my BFF's from the Metamorphosis Social Club (thanks for that Title Nat) Natalia and Sophie to try this with me and they struggled too. It's easy to pick ourselves apart and find fault with who we are, much harder to find nice things to say about ourselves. So, it is a practice I will continue. I will have to empty the jar now tho because it's stuffed to capacity.
It got me thinking about what other virtue I might like to practice in a physical way that would sew some light into my life... and Hope in a Jar was born. Plus what better time to be hoping or making wishes than at Christmastime?
I also think that hope and belief go hand in hand. For example you might believe that you have potential but what about success?
You can't fake your way into that. You can't say "I believe I am successful" if the standards by which you measure success (whatever they are) are not being met. But you can hope for success can't you? Hope is a very positive feeling and who couldn't benefit from more positive in their lives right?
So HOPE is my virtue for the month of December.
I feel the need to expound upon this concept a little further and tell you why I chose hope. I believe in the law of attraction - that what we think we become, what we believe we achieve etc. Using positive intention I've attracted a good many things into my life and the evidence of this work has never been more apparent in my life than with the believe jar. I believed myself into a writer's room on a TV show, which has been a long-standing goal for me for the past three or four years and I even made it a new years resolution for 2015. I'm in a room and could not be happier!
But if I may backtrack a little, year and years ago, my best friend Yania was single, had been through her share of rotten relationships and she'd just lost her dad. It was a tough time for her. She could have allowed herself to spiral downward into a very dark and lonely place, but instead she did the work that generated the life of her dreams. She started a journal called Hope for my Partner. In it, she started listing the things that she hoped her potential future mate would have. She hoped that he'd have a love of the outdoors, that his enjoyment of physical activity might spark her own, that he'd have sparkly eyes that crinkled at the corners when he smiled (I dunno if that was actually a hope) but the man she attracted, the guy who is now her husband and the father of her child has these remarkable blue eyes that transform his whole face when he smiles and yeah, he trained the Austrian snow board team - the guy is super sporty and outdoorsy.
The point is that it worked! Her "hopes for my partner" journal really worked. Yan if you're reading this, I hope I didn't bastardize the story too badly - can I have a pass on account of the cold meds??
So don't tell my Manager or my Agent this, but when I was looking for representation both in LA and here in Toronto - I did the same thing. Hopes for my Manager, Hopes for my Agent - I hoped that they'd love the work they did, hoped they'd see the potential in my voice and be eager to match that with other creative types etc. So you may have guessed I not only have reps but I love them! Like love love them! They rock. When I hear other people complain about how shitty their agent is, or how they don't do squat for them (hey I used to be that writer) I just say nope, I love my agent, she's the absolute best. Because she is as I hoped she would be - she's simply amazing.
So... Hope in a Jar this month anyone? Who's with me? Imagine what we ca dream up together. It's going to be fabulous. Let me start early by saying I hope I feel better by tomorrow so I can get back into the writer's room and not make anyone else sick! Yikes.
Hopes and beliefs, it's a pretty weak segue into the Shamandments but nevertheless that's what's next.
If you're a reader who's been with me for any length of time, you'll no doubt be familiar with the Shamandments from Mastering The Method - THIS is where they all started with Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project. They grew into more than five and revolved mostly around my workouts with the Method. But since then I have grown and evolved - like you do - and I thought it was high time to update those personal commandments.
There's this amazing quote by Steve Jobs that says:
"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
I just love that. But you need to think about it, you need to consider what your own heart says, what rules does it want you to live by so that you can be your most authentic self. I came up with some rules that suite me. Feel free to steal, use or borrow any of the following and make them your own, nobel reader.
The NEW Ten Shamanments
1) Be Shannon (This is Gretchen's golden rule, mine too with good reason, don't try to be somebody else you'll never find happiness there)
2) Find a reason every day to believe in myself
3) Write it down (that's the tricky part because it makes you actually have to put number two into practice)
4) Act the way I want to feel (I think this is also one of Gretchen's rules)
5) No being a hateful meanie to myself
6) Do my best and forget the rest (I think this dove-tails nicely with #1)
6) Make it my own. Whether it's my workout, my diet, my look or my life, personalize it to suit me and then I can own it)
7) Let love be the boss of me rather than fear
8) Set achievable goals. It's the first step to self improvement.
9) Remain humble no matter what your achievements or successes, simple living leads to higher thinking.
10) Feed the hunger in my belly, not in my head. (This is a holdover from the original rules, I kept it because I need to practice it daily. Emotional eating is a killer and we need to be vigilant.)
So that's it, that's all. Welcome to December (well nearly) I'm going back to bed. I do realize that this isn't my most eloquent or well-written post but you have my good intentions and all of my heart. Hope to see you again soon.