Hello from an airplane once again PP tribe. I am headed to Philly and Princeton to do some workshops and am excited that so many of you have registered!! Just above the clouds in Minneapolis and it’s quiet. There’s nothing but white noise (besides the never-ending ringing in my head from my tinnitus), so I thought I’d write to you about asking for what you want, since so many of you have written to me on that topic. I realize, as I am flying to the east coast for the sixt time this winter, that I very much asked for this – what I am doing now in my life, and… here it is. Does it look exactly like I thought it would look?
Um… hell no.
There’s a saying that says, You don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s probably a meme on the interwebs if you want to go ahead and Google it.
I try and live by that. But I am still human (thus the subtitle of my workshop: On Being Human) and I still feel rejected when I get a ‘no’.
If I stopped at every no, if I crumpled at every I don’t think so, Jen, I would be in a heap on the floor crying about having to work as a waitress in a job I despised. As I have written about copiously here on PP, I spent thirteen years as a waitress while pursuing a career as an actress. And by “pursuing” I mean refilling ketchup bottles at the restaurant in West Hollywood and hoping that someone would “discover” me. It took a loooooong time to be able to recognize what I wanted, and then go for it. But, now, after years of failing and then picking up myself back again I try and do (mostly) what I want in life, and I do this by asking for what I want.
Here’s what to remember when you ask for what you want:
- You may ask for something and the answer may very well (and quite often is) a resounding NO. That’s okay. I ask for what I want a lot and I get met with a lot of no’s. But I also get a lot of yeses. The world keeps spinning. I keep asking. There’s an expression that goes something like: One bad day doesn’t make a bad life. One no doesn’t mean a lifetime of no’s.
- You have to know what you want. But you can change your mind. Isn’t that the part of the deal that we forget? I can wake up tomorrow and say, “I don’t want to teach yoga anymore.” I get to say that if I choose to. It’s my life. But then I have to start asking myself: Well, what do I want then? And then be willing to be with the answers. And the answer might be: I have no idea what I want. Guess what? That’s okay. Keep asking. Keep looking. Ask for clarity.
- You are worth it. Tattoo that on your brain. Seriously. The world starts to respond when we believe that about ourselves. It doesn’t always look like we thought it would but shifts begin to take place when we start to realize and acknowledge our self-worth.
- Getting told no does not mean you suck. I recently finished my book proposal only to realize that it didn’t work—my agent asked me to redo it. The same day I got a rejection letter for what I thought was the best essay I had ever written. Guess what? I better take a few minutes, allow myself to be disappointed, then buck up and get writing. If we believed that we sucked every time that someone told us no, we’d never write books or cook meatballs or go on dates or have babies.
- Being scared of asking for what we want is pretty much par for the course. Do it anyway. I think it is much scarier to be say, ninety years old, looking back and saying, I lived my life in fear. I wanted to write a book and I was too scared to ask for it, or whatever it was that we were afraid to ask for from life. My friend, author Gayle Brandeis says, “Fear is just an interesting sensation. You don’t need to give it more power than that.”
So, having said all that, what do YOU want? Post below. Have the courage to really ask for it. To say it out loud. To write it here for this gorgeous community of like-minded folks. You may not get it – that’s life. But you may damn well get it. Why not ask? What have you got to lose? What’s the worst that can happen?
Better yet, as my friend Diana Vitarelli always says:
I like that better. Post your Asks below. Walk into the fear. Head on, baby. Head on!
See you at my Tuscany retreat! This is my very favorite retreat in the world. Sign up soon because both (summer and fall) only have a few spots each left. I am so excited that so many of you are coming! It’s a beautiful experience. Life changing!! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All info here.
Jen leads retreats that are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this post to understand. Check out manifestationyoga.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (NJ, Seattle, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, NYC & London are next). She leads an annual invite only retreat to Tuscany. She is the founder of the popular The Manifest-Station website. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at BeautyHunting.com.
Photo by Joe Longo.