Archive | March, 2007


26 Mar

Good morning!

I went to a wonderful reading last night of great new original work at WRITERS WORKING, and I am extra excited because I am going to be participating in this series and reading some of my writing there next month! If you are interested in attending please SAVE THE DATE – Sunday, April 29th at 7pm. Details to follow…

Have a supremely-fabulous week!

Lots of love!

Jen xoxoxo

What Are You Excited About Today?

19 Mar

I know. It’s Monday. And there’s a snow/ice/slush/mush mixture on the ground that is starting to turn dirty and gray. BUT. Since there was such a great response to last week’s email about being here and now and creating a kernel of excitment for yourself in every day, I thought I’d keep the theme going…

SO. If you’d like to share and brag about some of your time-tested or even brand-new hot-off-the-presses strategies for creating a kernel of excitement for yourself in your day, you can do so here! Who knows, you just might inspire someone else to try it!

Enjoy your day!

Lots of love!

Jen xoxoxo

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that here was in me an invincible spring.” – Albert Camus


14 Mar

“When you’re anticipating some future good, you’re preventing that good that is all around you from expressing through you…[Don’t] put life on the layaway plan and try to anticipate that it’s going to get good in the future.”
-Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith on Oprah “One Week Later: The Huge Reaction to The Secret


In first grade I had a pair of lavender Jordache jeans with dark purple stitching, The Great Bead Machine, and beautiful long hair. My class had a pet salamander and we planted lima beans in tiny containers and watched them grow. Reading was my favorite subject even though I wasn’t in the advanced reading group, and I also liked music, art, and tire swings. Life was good, just as it was.


In second grade my best friend moved to Japan, my remaining group of friends kicked me out of the interpretation of Annie we were going to perform which was my idea in the first place, my teacher got sick and was out for most of the year, my grandfather died, my parents got divorced, and I got lice several times resulting in a very short, very unflattering haircut. It was not a good year.


Thinking back, I believe that this may have been when I started the pattern of thinking: “If I can just get through this day/week/month/year, then maybe the next day/week/month/year will be better.”


In fifth grade I thought that my social life would surely take off in middle school. In sixth grade I thought that once I was in eighth grade and the oldest in the school, I would have more confidence. In eighth grade I was ousted from the popular group and I thought I would have more social opportunities once I got to high school. In ninth grade I remember locking myself in my room for days working on an Earth Science research paper, thinking that if I could just get really good grades and get into Princeton or Harvard, then I would be happy. In high school I lived for the weekends and school breaks – summer vacation, winter holiday, spring break, mid-winter recess – and the parties and adventures they would bring. Senior year I crossed off days on my calendar with big X’s counting down until college. My junior year of college I transferred, hoping for a better fit and more happiness. Senior year of college I couldn’t wait to graduate and start my life in New York. Living in New York pursuing acting and writing, I worked hard and sacrificed socializing more because I thought my life would truly begin once I had more recognition, success, money, a graduate degree, and/or a boyfriend, or at least a book deal lined up, and then I would have plenty of time for a well-rounded and balanced life.


Does any of this sound familiar?


The list goes on, but lately I have been realizing for the first time in my life that there is no “If I get (fill in the blank), then I’ll be happy.” It is actually a complete lie, and we all know it deep down. If it were true – that all we needed were money, success, and a mate to be happy – then that would mean that everyone who is rich, successful, and in a relationship would be deliriously happy, and we all know that this is not the case, and further know people who have a lot of the outside accoutrements and very little if any of the inner happiness.


In the past year, I have achieved many of my dreams, and some of my saddest and loneliest moments have been after achieving something I have spent years thinking would fulfill me and change everything, only to realize that I felt…exactly the same. But this is good news because it confirms that the power to be happy does not lie in outer circumstances and with other people, but within us.


There used to be a sign painted on the sidewalk down the street from where I live that said BE HERE NOW, and almost everyday I would be rushing somewhere completely lost in thought – either ahead in future or replaying the past – when I would catch a glimpse of these words, and I was always grateful for the reminder to stop and bring myself back to the present. This growing realization has made me mindful of standing still (here and now) and recognizing, appreciating, and enjoying all that is already in my life, and everything that I have already accomplished, rather than holding out all my happiness and self-congratulations for some future event or person, or possible bigger and better achievement.


This can be a challenging practice when we are conditioned to sacrifice now for future payoff. Feeling that what you have, where you are, and who you are – exactly as you are now – is good enough, can go against a lifetime of just “getting by” and “making it through,” hoping that some future event, acquisition, achievement, or person will one day validate you and make you happy. And this kind of thinking does serve a purpose to help anesthetize and comfort people during difficult times, but taken as a repetitive pattern over the long term, waiting for your life to begin at a future point (when really, just to state the obvious, it actually began on the day you were born), can limit the joy that you are open to experiencing in the present moment.


This time of year, it is so tempting to jump ahead in anticipation – it is almost Spring and in a few weeks, it will warmer, I will be able to wear flip-flops, I will be happier, and everything will be better! But instead, take some time to slow down and be present to and enjoy the transition, and each and every day, whether it be 70 degrees and spring-like, or revert back to the cold winter weather.


I recently read a wonderful Barbara Jordan quote about this subject in which she had stated: “I live a day at a time. Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I say: ‘What is my exciting thing for today?’ Then, I do the day. Don’t ask me about tomorrow.”


Speaking from past experience, it is easy to let many days – huge chunks of days even – slip by without having anything I was excited about for weeks at a time. But I realize that I can take responsibility for my days by being excited about something that already exists in my plan for the day, and if there is nothing there that already excites me, I can create something new to be excited about. This can be as simple as taking a spontaneous walk in the park, making the time to sit down for a cup of coffee at Starbucks and read a chapter from a good book instead of taking my coffee to go in a mad dash to somewhere else, or calling a friend I haven’t spoken to in awhile. So as winter transitions to spring, I encourage you to find and/or create something special, a kernel of excitement for yourself every single day , and then compassionately guide yourself back to the present moment to enjoy the heck out of it!


Have a truly exciting day!


Lots of love!


Jen xoxoxoxo


Copyright © 2007 by Jennifer Garam.  All rights reserved.





Looking For Some Fun Weekend Reading?

9 Mar

I have two brand new articles on DivineCaroline – check ’em out!

“Get The Wax”

“A Touchy Subject: Integrating Eroticism In Your Writing”

Also, a woman I went to college with writes for the site and has some wonderful articles posted! Her name is Emilie Rohrbach and you can find her articles here:


Jen xoxoxo