Entries from November 2012

The Fire Starter Sessions: The All-About-You Interview

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I think the title of the worksheet just about says it all, and what it doesn’t say the questions do. This started off as a difficult exercise, but as the weeks went on and I started being nicer to myself it became easier, and more inspiring, and then downright exciting. 

You will always be too much of something for someone.

1. What do you know to be true, unquestionably beyond doubt, certain with every cell of your being, completely, passionately, righteously certain?
That my parents and family love me. That my friends like me and I’m starting to understand why. I believe in not taking peoples’ choices away from them… I believe in safe sex, smart decision making and having fun. I believe that there is beauty in the tasks and chores that people call the everyday. I believe in the ocean and in this system we call nature. I believe in simple beauty. I believe in love though I want to claim realism so that I don’t get hurt when it doesn’t happen as frequently as I want it to. I believe in no regrets but also taking time to think things through from time to time. I believe in enjoying this one life and not getting caught in a job or a relationship or a cycle that isn’t healthy or fruitful. I believe in so many things.

2. What was the dumbest thing you used to believe in? What changed your mind?
That I was ugly and dumb. I can’t prove that I am or am not either. There are people that would agree or disagree either way. Good grades could prove to some I am smart, but other life decisions could have people thinking I wasn’t so smart.
It’s all a matter of perception and choice. Some of the seemingly smartest people make very dumb decisions and never enjoy life. Some of the most beautiful people (named in our society) aren’t content and don’t believe what the masses are saying.
There are still days I feel incredibly dumb and there are days where I look in the mirror and wonder how I could ever have thought myself to be ugly. But it’s not permanent, these feelings and assumptions. It’s not important if I am smart or dumb, what’s important to me is I live this life and don’t let it pass me by like I have before, that I appreciate and work toward new things and learn… and if I’m really lucky…find someone who will love me as I love them… what else? It’s important that I find a way to support myself and follow my passions. That doesn’t necessarily take smarts, it takes courage and drive.

3. What do you know the most about?
Probably myself. I don’t feel like I know more than a common amount about anything else.

4. Why do you do what you do?
Why do I read? Because I like stories, I like learning about people and different kinds of situations and relationships. I like happy endings. I do read stories that don’t have happy endings, but sometimes I do need them.
I write this blog because it feels right, because I like creating these posts, I like putting pictures up… is that self important? Vain? I really don’t know, I struggle with that thought a lot. But then I also really enjoy others blogs and don’t think them vain at all. Documenting our lives, telling stories, we’ve been doing it as a species for years, clearly not this down to the moment, but cave drawings, home videos. They are a fantastic thing, especially for people like me who likes to find beauty in the everyday.

5. One word: breakthrough. What comes to mind?
Breaking through a brick wall. A moment of brilliant inspiration. I use to think I needed an epiphany, just one and I would work through everything and be on the track to brilliance but it kept not happening. I would read books and like what they said and told myself to remember these things when life felt hard but something would happen and I would need another book.
Recently I found this book (this exact one) and I decided that it would just have to stick, I would read it over and over again. And I did buy another one, and it was similar but it made me think about a different aspect of my life, and for some reason things started to stick, but it wasn’t at all once… and it still isn’t brilliant and I’m not owning at everything but my life is pretty darn decent and I’m appreciating what I have and taking time to figure out what I want. Can a breakthrough be getting through a brick wall with a spoon, tiny bits at a time over years?

6. What has been one of your most memorable experiences in your career?
Daphne Loves Derby. I use to work at an all ages venue. At that venue I booked local shows. One day I went on a hunch and answered a girl that wanted to get a band from out of state to play. I took a chance and it ended up going really well. The capacity of the venue was a little over 500 and we sold around 300. Later the band got an agent for shows and the agent tried to get them to go to a different venue but they insisted they go with mine, because I had booked them before.
I feel a little strange keeping that as my greatest achievement… things went down at the venue and I didn’t feel right about it and then there was juggling another job and full credits at school… excuses really, things to distract from the feelings I had there but it’s still not something I want to go into, at least not on a blog.
But anyway, regardless of what happened later hearing that they sold that many tickets was such a great moment in my life. I was so amazed.

7. What global policy, credo, practice, or law would you like to decree?
Don’t say sorry unless you really mean it.

8. What experience tested your mettle but made you a better person?
I’m not sure I’ve had one yet. Moving to Portland, moving back from Portland, living back at home at an age I feel is unacceptable.
Learning that the guy I dated for two months had been doing heroin the whole time we were together. It’s not like I was around it but it took many, many months, maybe even a year or so for me not to feel absolutely horrible about myself in the whole thing.
Getting hit with a serious bout of anxiety and depression during my last year and a half of college (probably because it was the last year and a half of college) and finding ways to work with it and then finding ways to work through it after, getting on medication and most recently getting off of it… and it’s going great. I guess that would test a person’s mettle. I’ll take it as an example!

9. Finish the sentence: “It’s a good day when…”
It’s a good day when I’ve woken up refreshed, had a healthy and light breakfast, had some time to read and write… when I’ve spent time with friends participating in good conversation, walking around town, taking pictures and enjoying simplicity.
It’s a good day when I’ve done something to feel accomplished, when I’ve felt wanted or needed. When I’ve felt usefull.
It’s a good day when I’ve laughed until I’ve cried, when I’ve made a new friend that I instantly connect with or I’ve found a new favorite place.
It’s a good day when I wake up and the sun is shining and I have a place to go that I’m excited about, or when I wake up and it’s raining and I get to stay in bed a little longer.

10. When was the last time you thought, “Yes! That person has so got it going on!”?
Reading certain blogs, like Life as an Artispreneur. Definitely. She’s honest and upfront in her blog and I love it.

11. What question in your life has had the biggest impact on you?
What am I going to do with my life that will support me? That question stops me in my tracks, makes me cry at night, gives me anxiety attacks…
I’m not as scared right now, I’ve managed to find a way to support myself working three jobs… three part time jobs, I’m not breaking my back here. But there is definitely a “what’s next” in the back of my mind… what do I WANT to be next more specifically, because I finally feel like I have control, like I make choices everyday and I’m mostly happy with the outcome of those choices. Like I can do this… I can figure it out. The basics are set, I can do them… so what’s next?

12. What are you positively addicted to?
After looking up the definition and criteria for positive addiction I have come to the conclusion that I do not have one. Maybe reading. Reading is the only thing I can think of that I don’t badger myself about, can do by myself, usually feel good about, and spend 30 minutes to an hour on a day.
Photography, learning new things, self help blogs and books… meeting new, awesome people. Getting into good conversations.

13. What is the best advice you were ever given in terms of business?
You can want anything as long as you are willing to give enough for it.

14. What’s the most common life advice that you give to your friends?
use a condom.
talk it out.
if it’s worth it, you’ll make time for it.

15. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word devotion?
Love, adoration… never giving up, loyalty.

16. What are you most interested in?
Not being a pathetic loser. The crossed out answer… that’s how I am during those dark days (months). Right now I can’t imagine feeling that way about myself but I’m not so cocky that I think it could never happen again. Nonetheless, I feel a lot better about myself today and I can answer this a little more fully.
I am interested in making people feel good, but not temporarily. Like, teaching them something that makes their life a little easier on the hard days. I am interested in reading and learning and photography. Capturing moments, taking it in.

17. What are you incredibly grateful for?
The ocean, my family, the fact that molecules came together and made me, pretty nail polish, the feeling of cotton, a warm blanket on a cool night, cuddles, emotions (even the not so good ones), my eyes to see with, my brain to take it all in with, my friends, my mind, clean water to drink, being able to see the ocean for my lunch break 3 days a week, having a job (or three), food, specifically french toast right now I wish I had some, a body that works and is for the most part healthy, living in a place where I can express myself without fear of death or torture… I’m thankful for my cat and dog and the nutty things they do. I’m grateful for a good song that sends chills down my spin, or one that just makes me want to dance…
I’m grateful for a lot. I have a lot to be grateful for. I am very blessed.

18. What’s your form of service to the world?
If only I knew. I really, really want to know.


The Fire Starter Sessions and all included worksheets were written and created by Danielle LaPorte

52 photos in 52 weeks: week 47

Thursday, November 29, 2012

week 47: Started off with a sickness but definitely got better. Some walks, some puppy love and a Thanksgiving feast.


The Fire Starter Sessions – The Stop-Doing List

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How’s this for a rationalization? It just doesn’t feel right.

I wanted to dance for joy when I read those two lines. For absolute joy because I’ve spent my life explaining myself and rationalizing to others as well as myself. And sometimes, many times, I couldn’t put the feelings into words, I just knew something wasn’t right, that there was a real reason, a real block, for not moving forward. But without facts and logic to back it up there was disbelief and attempts to stick things out or really get to know a person that my gut had already decided wasn’t good. No more. I’ll be civil if it’s absolutely necessary, but if I meet someone and get that feeling, it’s done. If I start a job and it just doesn’t feel right, it’s on to the next, no matter the paycheck or the way it will look on the resume.

Look back on your year and get very clear about what sucked. What didn’t work, got mired in resentment, felt onerous, weight you deadly down?

– Spending money I didn’t have
– Loan from a family member (this isn’t a lack of appreciation, it’s acknowledging the problems that came with the loan)
– Staying too long in a place because of fears
– a dude
What will you stop doing? Effective immediately?
What I have stopped since the first reading of this book:
– I have stopped using my credit card 
– I have stopped making myself miserable about how I look, how I act, what I do… and where I am at
– I have stopped giving away my power
– I have stopped caring about aforementioned dude
– I have stopped what was wrong with me, because I’ve stopping thinking there is something wrong
Moving forward:
– I will stop making excuses to not exercise
– I will stop cutting down my hope
– I will stop taking good moments for granted
– I will stop raining on my own parade
– I will stop checking instagram and facebook obsessively… no really

The Fire Starter Sessions and all included worksheets were written and created by Danielle LaPorte

The Fire Starter Sessions: What Business Are You Really In?

Friday, November 23, 2012

When you feel an idea comin’ on, excuse yourself. Pull over to the side of the road. Get lost in the creative flow. Be late. Barge in.

What would someone pay you $100/hour to tell/teach/inform them about?
This one is really difficult for me, I am not sure what people would pay me that much for. I use to get paid $20 a hour and I knew she was being generous. This is not to say I don’t do good work, or that I don’t work hard, I definitely do, I just don’t know what I would get paid $100 an hour doing.
I can throw out some guesses…
– organizing their house and then their life
– how to better communicate with a friend, family member, etc

What are you repeatedly telling/showing/explaining to your clients? What do they want more of from you? What are they always asking for?
Clients and people around me are two different things. My clients aren’t mine at this time. They are there for my boss or the place I work in.
So with that in mind, what do I find myself explaining to people, what are they always asking for?
– answers to proper wording
– advice about what to do about a friend or family member or other relationships,
– questions about books

What do you know about? What’s your knowledge base? What do you know that other people don’t?
I have a hard time figuring out what I know that other people don’t know. Things that I know don’t seem so out of the ordinary and often times I’m surprised when someone doesn’t know something I am talking to them about. I’m still trying to figure that out.

How does your service/offering/product make people feel? What problem does it solve, or what state does it create?
Again, I’m still not sure.

What’s your message? (Everyone has a message.) What do you stand for?
I stand for self confidence, I stand for self esteem… for feeling good about one self. Mostly because it’s been a rocky road for me and I see other people and wonder why they don’t like what they are. It’s a strange thing self perception…
I don’t stand for excessive cockiness though. Fine lines and such.

What is the vehicle for your knowledge?
Word of mouth? I don’t think I’m ready for this worksheet yet.

Who wants what you’ve got? (values + lifestyle, and “types” of people)

Who needs what you’ve got? (Even though they may not know it yet.)

I am at a loss for most, if not all, of these questions. I don’t have a service that provides something different than anyone else yet. I serve food in an expensive movie theater. I smile and say nice things, I joke and such and then bring them the bill. I try not to interrupt their together time. But as far as providing a service that someone would pay $100/hour for I’m stumped.

I explain to my clients how the system works at my job, but that wouldn’t be something transferable.

What do I know that others don’t? A little bit of this and maybe a little bit of that. I have random bits of knowledge acquired through google during random conversations, but is there something bigger than that? I’m just trying to read and experience life and figure it all out myself.

For the most part I try to make people feel good. I like to make people laugh. Maybe more than making people laugh I like people to think that I’m funny. Because if they were laughing because I did something stupid (aka at me instead of with me) then I wouldn’t like it very much at all. I control when and how I get laughed at.

Vehicle: word of mouth, blog, twitter, facebook.

Who wants what I’ve got? For a price? I’m not sure… for free? friends.


The Fire Starter Sessions and all included worksheets were written and created by Danielle LaPorte

Oh So Grateful

Friday, November 23, 2012

Last year about this time I was laying in bed, stomach full, reading Mockingjay from cover to cover. This year I’m watching the dad’s house, watching season three of The OC writing this post on things I’m grateful for. There are so many things, little things, big things, basic and not… I’m thankful for the way the wind blows sometimes (part hippie?) and the color of the changing leaves… great tasting food, even mediocre tasting food.
I’m grateful for a lot, but here’s a little list anyway.

I’m grateful for:
– the food that was on the table and is on the table day after day
– the texts I was able to send and the texts that were sent to me
– family
– my health
– my dog, even if he is licking incessantly
– books and reading and shows like The OC
– my jobs… especially because I didn’t have to work them
– leggings as pants… because dinner was a lot more comfortable that way
– sweatpants after that
– the people I’ve me through this blog… person? Brandi…looking at you!
– my friends, my lovely, amazing, patient, understanding and full of hope friends… they’ve been with me through a lot… so, so much

Today was great, the rest of the year will be great and I have such high hopes for the future. That’s definitely a different place than I was last year. That’s a huge thing to be grateful for in and of itself.


Development by Brandi Bernoskie + Morgan Woroner