Genie Kahn, M.A., MFT, Life Coach

805-452-9958 * Genieksb@aol.com

Mick Jagger famously proclaimed, "You can't always get what you want."

Clearly he had never heard of Life Coaching.

* * * * *

THE VERY BEST

                                                         
"It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." - W. Somerset Maugham

So, what are  you refusing to accept?

LIFE LESSONS

                                                       

45 Life Lessons written

by a 90-year old
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose Life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
(Source: reginabrett.com)

ONE MORE TIME

                                                       
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison

THOUGHTS

                                                       
I speak so much about learning to use your mind to work FOR you rather than AGAINST you. Perhaps TUT - Notes from the Universe says it best:

"What if happiness didn't have anything to do with what you had, where you've been, or who you were, and arose entirely from what you chose to think about...

And what if changing your thoughts, so that you could feel happier more often, would entirely change what you had, who you were, and where you're headed..."

10 WAYS TO PRIORITIZE YOUR LIFE

                                                     
This post is from Marc Chernoff at marcandangel.com They have lots of fabulously helpful lists.

This one is 10 Ways to Prioritize your life and YOUR TO-DO LISTS to feel happier and more fulfilled: Think on this for a bit. What are one or two things you can commit to today?

1.  One thing at a time, with full presence.

2.  Family and close friends are at the top.

3.  Focus on importance, not urgency.

4.  Keep your efforts aligned with your purpose.

5.  Play to your strengths and delegate when it makes sense.

6.  Socialize and share with peers.

7.  Give what you can, as you seek what you desire.

8.  Leave the past behind as you plan ahead.

9.  Commit to self-respect, regardless of the issue at hand.

10. Leave room to breathe.


POSSIBLE

                                                           

Author Richard Bach wrote that if you argue for your limitations, they're yours.
Stop saying and thinking what you believe you can't do, where you think you fall short, where it's not going to happen. Let all of that go. Please!

Wernher von Braun said it beautifully here: "I HAVE LEARNED TO USE THE WORD IMPOSSIBLE WITH THE GREATEST CAUTION."

SUCCESS

                                                         
"THE GREATEST GLORY IN LIVING LIES NOT IN NEVER FAILING, BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL." - Nelson Mandela

WINNERS

                                                       

Visualization is just so powerful. Try to spend a few minutes each day visualizing and imagining exactly what you want to have happen. After all:

"Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event." - Brian Tracy

READY

                                                     
 
I have heard repeatedly that "I'm just not ready..." not ready for class, not ready for my audition, not ready to make that call or send that e-mail. So here's a terrific quote from that incredible actor and musician, HUGH LAURIE:

"It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I'm about to go bungee jumping or something - I'm not. I'm not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any." 

So whatever it is you need to do, how about doing it now!!

THE CURE

                                                     
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."
- Dorothy Parker

NOW!!

                                                           
I know it can be seductive to worry about the future and to bemoan the past -- all the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" thoughts that can cascade through our busy brain.

This may be a good time to remind ourselves that, "THE PAST HAS NO POWER OVER THE PRESENT MOMENT." - Eckhart Tolle

So when you feel caught in the past or future, take a deep breath and bring yourself back to the here and now.


ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING


This may be the only thing we can control:
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes. - Viktor Frankl

FEELINGS

Abraham-Hicks Header Image
This is a great reminder to remain ever-vigilant of your
 feeling state. 

"What I think and feel and what I get are always a match. And 
so, if I want something different than what I've been 
getting, I have to, somehow, generate different feelings."
---Abraham-Hicks

FAITH IN YOURSELF

A couple of very important thoughts from one of the greats -- Sophia Loren

"Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent."

And here's a great one for those of you driving yourself crazy worrying about the ticking clock...
                                                               

SEIZE THE MOMENT!

                                                             
Hey everyone -- Remember to be bold. Be confident. Follow your dreams. And while you're at it:

"SET YOUR LIFE ON FIRE.

Seek Those Who Fan Your Flames" -- Rumi


JULIA ROBERTS SAYS:

                                                                   
"I had a director who in the middle of what I thought was a fine performance, started shouting, 'Stop! Stop'!
Put me out of my misery!" recalls Julia Roberts. "But then you have to decide who you are."
Hollywood Reporter, Actress Roundtable, Dec. 2013

BRYAN CRANSTON ON AUDITIONING

                                                                       

This is what Bryan Cranston had to say:

"The best advice for fellow actors is this: know what your job is...I was going into auditioning trying to get a job and that wasn't what I was supposed to be doing.

An actor is supposed to create a compelling interest in the character that serves the text, presented in the environment where your audition happens, and then you walk away. And that's it. Everything else is out of your control so don't even think of it. Don't focus on that. You're not going there to get a job. You're there to present what you do. You act. And there it is. Walk away. There is power in that. There is confidence in that. And it's also saying I can only do so much. And then the decision of who might get a job is so out of your control that when  you analyze it, it makes no sense to hold onto that.

That to me was a breakthrough. And once I adapted that philosophy, I never looked back. And I've never been busier in my life than once I grabbed onto that."


Please read this frequently as you go into pilot season. Breathe it in, embrace it, understand it, know it. 

It's worth repeating:  "YOU'RE NOT GOING THERE TO GET A JOB. YOU'RE GOING THERE TO PRESENT WHAT YOU DO. YOU ACT. AND THERE IT IS. WALK AWAY. THERE IS POWER IN THAT. THERE IS CONFIDENCE IN THAT. "

CAN YOU REMEMBER?

                                                             
I came across this quote which I found to be both thoughtful and provocative. See if this applies to you:

"CAN YOU REMEMBER WHO YOU WERE BEFORE THE WORLD TOLD YOU WHO YOU
SHOULD BE?"


THOUGHT FOR THE NEW YEAR

                                                                   

It's crucial that you stop comparing yourself to other people. Always remember that your job is to express your unique self. Please take a serious look at what the amazingly gifted dancer/choreographer Martha Graham had to say:

"THERE IS A VITALITY, A LIFE FORCE, AN ENERGY, A QUICKENING THAT IS TRANSLATED THROUGH YOU INTO ACTION, AND BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE OF YOU IN ALL OF TIME, THIS EXPRESSION IS UNIQUE. AND IF YOU BLOCK IT, IT WILL NEVER EXIST THROUGH ANY OTHER MEDIUM AND IT WILL BE LOST. THE WORLD WILL NOT HAVE IT.

IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS TO DETERMINE HOW GOOD IT IS NOR HOW VALUABLE NOR HOW IT COMPARES WITH OTHER EXPRESSIONS. IT IS YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP IT YOURS CLEARLY AND DIRECTLY, TO KEEP THE CHANNEL OPEN...YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOURSELF OPEN AND AWARE TO THE URGES THAT MOTIVATE YOU... NO ARTIST IS PLEASED. [THERE IS] NO SATISFACTION WHATEVER AT ANY TIME. THERE IS ONLY DIVINE DISSATISFACTION, A BLESSED UNREST THAT KEEPS US MARCHING AND MAKES US MORE ALIVE THAN THE OTHERS."

CHOICE

Such a powerful quote!

Since Castenda tells us the amount of work is the same, which do you choose?

How about investing in yourself by identifying strategies in order to move forward and keep your momentum going.  

SO, NOW WHAT?

                                                                       
Okay. The networks have picked up their shows. Many of you are disappointed or just didn't have a great pilot season. Remember why you're in this business, actors. You love doing what you're doing. Hold onto that. "THE BURNING DESIRE TO BE OR DO SOMETHING GIVES US STAYING POWER - A REASON TO GET UP EVERY MORNING OR TO PICK OURSELVES UP AND START IN AGAIN AFTER A DISAPPOINTMENT." - Marsha Sinetar, author

BE YOURSELF

Please, please, please stop COMPARING yourself to other people. There is only one unique YOU! "ALWAYS BE A FIRST-RATE VERSION OF YOURSELF, INSTEAD OF
A SECOND-RATE VERSION OF SOMEBODY ELSE." 
- Judy Garland                                                            

RESENTMENT

Some of you actors aren't happy with pilot season. Feelings of "why her and not me?", "it's just not fair!", envy, anger, despair, etc. are popping up. Try to keep in mind that filling yourself with such thoughts and feelings are EXTREMELY TOXIC! I came across this quote and thought it was pure genius:
RESENTMENT IS LIKE TAKING POISON AND WAITING FOR THE OTHER PERSON TO DIE." 
-Malachy McCourt, Author
                                                                         
Rather profound, don't you think?

DISAPPOINTMENT

Notes author Marsha Sinetar tells us that a "burning desire to be or do something gives us staying power - a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappontment." 

STRESS

 This arrived in my in-box. I don't know who said it but I thought I'd pass it on to you.

While leading a stress management seminar, the leader confidently walked around the room holding a glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'.... She fooled them all...."How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a full smile and a twinkle in her eye.
Answers shouted out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on HOW LONG I HOLD IT. If I hold it for a  minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes. And that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night.... Pick them up tomorrow."

Pretty good advice, don't you think?

PERSPECTIVE

                                                                 
     Are you frustrated, tired, annoyed, exhausted, peaceful, happy? etc. etc. The good news is that YOU GET TO DECIDE how you want to perceive the events in your life. If things are challenging right now, are you going to get in bed with a quart of ice cream and pull the covers up over your head? Or are you going to take a couple of deep breaths, fling off the covers, pull your shoulders back and march onward? Winston Churchill may have said it best when he reminds us, "THE PESSIMIST SEES DIFFICULTY IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY. THE OPTIMIST SEES OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY DIFFICULTY." So who do you want to be?                    
                                                                                                           

KEEP PLUGGING AWAY!!!

                                                                       
The brilliant playwright Samuel Beckett reminds us to, "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." It's really just about RECOVERING FASTER. How about looking at it this way? "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another WITH NO LOSS OF ENTHUSIASM." - Winston Churchill
Isn't that an inspiring concept? So enthuse up everyone and keep on going!!!

BE COURAGEOUS!!

                                                                                                                                             
Clients will tell me that they are afraid of making that call, sending that e-mail, writing that screenplay because they are scared of REJECTION. Please consider and understand that fear is a natural part of your process. You just don't want to get stuck there. So take ACTION and do what you need to do since, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but RATHER THE JUDGMENT THAT SOMETHING ELSE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FEAR." - Ambrose Redmoon, writer

BE YOUR UNIQUE, MAGNIFICENT SELF!!!

                                                                         
I'm hearing some actor clients carry on and on about wanting to be WHO the casting director, producer, director wants you to be. HUH? Give it up, guys! First of all, how can you possibly know? Not to mention that second-guessing them is going to do you absolutely NO GOOD! No good at all! Why? Because you can't know. No you can't!! Really! There are no crystal balls with magic anwers. So just be YOU - Your beautiful, wonderful, talented self. Trust that self. Just dare to be who you are. Make the audition work for YOU!!! Go in and have fun!

THE AUDITION ROOM


                                                                 
When I start working with actor clients, I hear about your auditioning fears, anxieties, shakes, quakes and nausea. Please know this: THEY - the ones watching you in the big, bad, scary room - WANT YOU TO DO WELL! Yes they do! Really! I guarantee it! They have absolutely NO interest in falling on the floor laughing if you blow it. In particular, the Casting Director wants you to be fabulous. She doesn't want to receive death stares from the producers when no one fills the bill. She doesn't want to have to find more actors when she thought the ones she found were terrific to begin with. She doesn't want to look bad. Believe in yourself. Believe that ONLY YOU have what they are looking for. YOU are the answer. They need you. Oh yes they do! Believe it! Know it! Take it to the bank!

So now that you know that they want you to succeed, just forget about them. Have fun for YOU!!!! PLAY!!! Be your confident self and HAVE FUN IN THE ROOM!!! Yes, just be yourself. Look, you're getting an opportunity to do what you love - act! So enjoy the hell out of it. Love the process. BE FULLY PRESENT, HAVE FUN, REALLY LISTEN and LET GO!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! YES YOU CAN!!!

TODAY

In the preface of her extraordinary memoir, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor learned "that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire. That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move your forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you've closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you've done today."

Something to chew on. So what can you do today to move you towards your dream? Take a small step in the direction you want to go. Then you will have been successful today!

SAILING

Nice thought for 2013: 'WE ARE ALL INVENTORS, EACH SAILING OUT ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY, GUIDED EACH BY A PRIVATE CHART, OF WHICH THERE IS NO DUPLICATE. THE WORLD IS ALL GATES, ALL OPPORTUNITIES." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

TRAILBLAZER

                                                                 
I think what Emerson said is rather profound. Something to chew on over this Labor Day weekend:
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

SHINE

                                                                           
Meditate.
Live purely.
Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds!
Shine.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES


This quote of Michael Jordan's may say it best: "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it." 


                                                                                                                                                             

A GREAT EXERCISE

When you're feeling down, sluggish, apathetic, discouraged or anything else that's not a wonderful feeling, here's something you can do (courtesy Abraham-Hicks). They call it "mining the moment." Look for something that feels good.  Or appreciate or savor something in the moment. Take in some beauty or joy right here, right now. Just remember FAST - Feel good, Appreciate, Savor, Take in. You'll  be amazed by how quickly you can turn around the blahs!

BELIEF

" Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end up really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."
-Mahatma Gandhi
                                                                       

MOVING FORWARD

                                                                           
If you know what you want, and most of you do, then you need to go for it. And you know what that means for YOU. After all, "there is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela
How about doing one small thing every day that takes you in the direction of where you want to go.

A NEW DAY

                                                               
The day is done. No matter what happened you can start anew tomorrow:
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have
crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." 
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson

WATCHING

                               
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Frank Outlaw
                                           

The Climb

                                                                               
" Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment; and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey."  Harold V. Melchert

MAGIC

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

ABC'S

                                                                              
"SUCCESS IS THAT OLD ABC - ABILITY, BREAKS, AND COURAGE." - Charles Luckman
Awwww  shucks! Maybe I really am King of the Forest!
How about if every day (well, maybe not weekends) you do one small courageous act. Do you want to write?- then write something, anything! If you're an actor, are you working on your craft every day? Who do you need to contact? Are you watching your automatic negative thoughts? Are you believing them?  You know what a small piece of courage looks like for  you -- OK?

ENTHUSIASM!!!

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill
                                                                             

HORSE SENSE

"Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success." - Dale Carnegie                                                                          

PATIENCE

                                                                     
When you're planting a garden, you don't dig it up after one week to check things out and bemoan the lack of progress. You have to give it time, and water and love and perhaps most of all, patience. The same with your career. What steps you do you need to take? E-mails? Calls? Marketing strategy? Then one step at a time. "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." - Robert Louis Stevenson

OBSTACLES

Hey folks - Please keep this in mind when you wake up feeling blue: "Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to STERN RESOLVE. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind." - Leonardo Da Vinci

Attitude is Everything!

Did you have a disappointing pilot season? If so, are you pulling the covers up over your head, or are you committed to moving forward? Do you have a plan, specific goals, are you taking action? Remember, attitude is everything! "Some people dream of success.... while others wake up and work hard at it." - Author Unknown

MOVING FORWARD

"Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict."- William Ellery Channing

RAINBOWS

Dolly Parton reminds us that "if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."