I grew up reading way too many fairytales. I played with with Barbie and Ken. I watched monitored children's film and television so much so that I was always a child that thought life was going to be grand. I saw Cinderella get the Prince, Sleeping Beauty wake up and Rapunzel let down her hair and be saved.
My life as a child was not always "Ideal". My parents fought until they finally divorced. I rarely was able to get my way with my strict and over-bearing parents and I was teased and bullied as a young child. I realize the bullies were un-monitored and neglected latch-key children who sniffed out cared for and over-parented children. I was in accidents, injured, violated, lost jobs, and even had near death experiences. I am considered a "wounded healer". But, I never gave up on my dreams that a very handsome "prince" would ride up on a white horse, scoop me up and take me away to a grand life with a magical lifestyle. Guess What? I was correct, but he was in a Blue Mercedes and he cannot even ride a horse.
I finally did find my ideal partner, an ideal career, an ideal home and ideal friends and lifestyle. It was difficult to achieve, it did not come easily, but with hard work, an understanding of what I value most in life, healing from traumatic events in my life, discipline and hard work, a good amount of contemplation or lucid dreaming I arrived safe and sound, and usually without worry or concern, into a wonderful life.
I had a vivid imagination as a child. I also wanted to be an actress. My mom told me the first sentence I uttered was "I want to be a movie star." I dreamed of far away places and romantic love and white picket fences. I was the consummate optimist. The glass was always full to the brim, no matter what my everyday circumstances were. My life was always going to be what I dreamed of. Don't get me wrong I had days of doom and gloom and heave hoe sadness, but I would always come to the clearing on the path and realize that life was good, people are good and life is good. I believe that is why my life did turn out ideal. Despite very shaky parts, that normally would have caved an average human being into the pit of the earth, I thrived.
Martin Seligman http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/?gclid=CIi6woKMgbkCFUmi4AodmnAAgA wrote books called "Learned Optimism" and "Authentic Happiness" which I highly recommend. His ideas that even a downright irritating pessimist will be able to turn their negative and narrow outlook on life into a wide stream of HAPPY are from outstanding evidenced based research. This guy Seligman has been the leading researcher in the world on What Makes us HAPPY for over 40 years. I also have created techniques that really do work too, just not as profound or researched. Go smile at yourself in the mirror, think of your most embarrassing moment that makes you chuckle, read some funny jokes on-line and laugh out loud, loudly. Hang with people that uplift rather then demean you!
Seligman believes what makes us authentically happy are five key things.
1. Perceived Well Being- even if you're not well you see yourself as okay and that you are well inside and out. It is a "nobody can rain on my parade feeling, even when it is pouring" your good feelings are impenetrable.
2. Good Relationships with Family and Friends. That doesn't mean every friend you've ever had or all family members but friends and family you are having a good time with and that you can relate to.
3. A Spiritual, Cosmic or Understanding Belief or Path. It can be anything that floats your boat, but that you believe in something, rather than a "I don't know what I believe??" state of confusion and blankness or a "where am I from?" or "what is this thing called life?" state of being.
4. A group or job or organization or neighborhood belongingness or regular recognition of you as a person. This is that regular "Hi how are you Bob?" experience on a regular basis.
5. A good relationship with a partner or having a partner that is supportive, there for you, unconditional regard, and who loves and cares for you unconditionally. This is probably the most difficult thing to get in life, but yes it does matter. Stating that you "NEVER" want to get involved with someone again will result in unhappiness.
So does positive thinking help? Seligman says YES positive thinking helps you find, organize and keep the life that you always dreamed of. I say YES too that positivity and vision create your ideal lifestyle. Get started on the five objectives above and see if you can experience some "Authentic Happiness" to you, which may bring you closer to your ideal lifestyle.
I think some other key elements for a happy and fulfilled life are having an organized space to live and work in, a home that is aesthetically pleasing and decorated, in such a way that you want to go and be at home more than any other place. Also what make us happy and fulfilled is a career that you truly love and where you can earn enough money to create the type of life you want to live and do the things you love to do in life, a good sex life even if it is with yourself, a diet of healthy food, organized pantry, organized kitchen, organized bedrooms, organized bathroom, organized garage, organized life, organized parenting, organized everything and socialization with fun, uplifting and positive friends and family.
Marla Stone is a retired LCSW Social Worker/ Therapist who is currently a Professional Organizer, Décor and Feng Shui Specialist, Lifestyle Coach, Business Coach, Public Speaker, Author, Actress, Poet and Songwriter at http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com Call Marla for a free 30 minute phone consultation at 949-709-7000 and find out how to get your self closer to an ideal lifestyle.
After retiring, as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in April 2010, I was ecstatic for the first four months. Let's face it, listening to people's crisis, tumult and sad tales for 18 years took a toll on me Don't get me wrong doing Jungian Dream Analysis, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was fun and interesting and most of all helping people gain clarity and solace was rewarding. The first thing I did was take a well deserved break, but then what to do next? The only thing I had done prior to Social Work was acting.
I loved acting. I acted on stage since I was 9 years old and was in every play in Elementary school, Junior High, High School and College. I loved theater, the classics, avant garde, improv and writing scripts, but most of all I dreamt of being a famous movie star since I could talk. I had the acting bug seriously, seriously. I was possessed with being an actress and quit the State School I was attending to consider moving to Hollywood and start auditioning for a professional career. Prior to moving my parents insisted I finish up some General Education at Pasadena City College. I took a Shakespeare Literature Course and met Martin Sheen's brother Joe Estevez. We did a scene from a Midsummer Night's Dream together and Joe encouraged me to follow my dream and move to Hollywood and so I did. I lived in Hollywood from 19-23 years old.
The world of Hollywood was a pretty harsh place during the early 80's but I was persistent. I took lessons from the best Stella Adler and Uta Hagen and I did a few, very few silly movies. Noone took me seriously, seriously. It was hard no matter how hard I hit the pavement. You really had to be the daughter, or niece of so and so to make it at the time. I was talented, attractive, in great shape and to no avail. I also had some pretty scary experiences, so after 4 years I moved back home and went straight through to get a Master's Degree in Social Work. If I couldn't help myself I would help others.
After retirement I remembered my sweet and small and insignificant career as a young actress and was watching a movie one night called Venice Venice by Henry Jaglom. I had never seen such a magical, touching, in touch movie that touched me so deeply. I cried and laughed and cried and laughed I don't know how many times. I had never in my life felt so attracted and drawn to a film. It inspired me to want to act again. I felt a welling surge of desire that I had not felt since my youthful desire to be an actress. I also had never written to a production compnay, but I had to because I didn't think I could live without more of Rainbow Film's Henry Jaglom's work. So I found the website http://www.rainbowfilms.com and wrote an email stating how much I loved Venice Venice. Henry responded and we became friends. Henry even cast me in his film The M Word which will come out in late 2013. I also did commercials, infomercials, a play in Newport Beach and some student films. It was so fun! I realized that I could just slip easily back into acting, but something ached from inside about helping people. I still wanted to help people, not just myself.
I started I-Deal-Lifestyle a Professional Organizer business in Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego offering organizer services, home organizing, office organizer systems, business organizer services, Feng Shui, Interior Design and Lifestyle Coaching. The past two and a half years I have helped hundreds of people organizer their lives. We organize paper, kitchens, closets, garages, storage units, help move people, we help people who hoard, collect and acquire way too much. We help people downsize, upsize, relocate, re-evaluate their values in order to see what they want to keep in their lives, provide life coaching, business coaching and mental health advocacy and consulting. I even spoke publicly for three major conferences this last couple of years on cures and remedies for hoarding challenges. I have become a Hoarding and Cluttering Expert with new and innovative techniques to stop hoarding behaviors permanently. Acting went on the back burner, but the dream, desire and determination is still there.
I am now positioning the company to run without me full time so I can get back into the acting more. I cannot let the idea of acting go. The theater haunts me to return. The call of the new and improved film industry call my name ....Marla Stone..... Marla are you organizing your life too?
Marla Stone is a Professional Organizer in Irvine, Orange County California. She specializes in organizing people's lives from the outside in and the inside out. Her areas of expertise are organizing hoarding clean-ups, coaching people with hoarding, helping them figure out what they truly value in life and learn how to protect their stuff, interventions for people with ADD, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Grief and Loss, Chronic Pain, Physical Challenges and or Chronic Mental and Physical Health Challenges organize their lives.
Marla can be reached at 949-709-7000 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.
Marla also owns www.organizersnow.com
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of