December 19 • 06:37 AM

What's decorating your walls?

December 06, 2017
"The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses..."

That outstanding imagery of the truth came out of the pen of Jen Sincero. Writer, entrepreneur, and all around bad*#$, Jen also happens to be Italian-American and as such, for me particularly, is highly relatable.

I'm listening to Jen's second book on Audible. I listened to her first book that way as well, from my front row seat on the way outer edge of the other side of my comfort zone. I'd been teaching yoga as a neophyte instructor for three months. I had just graduated from teacher training at Clarkston Hot Yoga in my 59th year.

Like the Audible thing, the book was recommended to me by a much younger teacher—an amazingly gifted, intuitive and giving soul named Madalyn Parsch. As it turns out, Madalyn's mom knew me—or of me—because of my job here at the paper.

A small portion of the title of the book she recommends is not repeatable here, and by its very nature illustrates that it's geared toward a "younger" audience.

It's called "You are a Bad#$$—How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life." When I'm done listening to it—sometimes repeating chapters a few times to really drive the points home—I vow that the book should be required reading for everyone age 30 and up. That's when all the excuses really start to set in. That's when the self-doubt begins to take root. So I'm a little late to the game, but the timing is perfect. No more excuses. Time to walk out of the comfort zone, trust in the process, believe in myself and close the door on that familiar room that's papered with all of my favorite excuses.

And so I do, one foot in front of the other. Amazing things happen, not the least of which is the Peaceful Moon Yoga practice that I teach in Imlay City and at Seven Ponds Nature Center. It is an awesome life!

Less than a year later, I'm now listening to Jen's second book. The beginning of the title is the same, the rest of it deals with mastering the mindset of wealth.

Again, I'm being transformed. Like Jen, I grew up believing in the whole 'starving artist' concept. Why? Because that's what I was told. It was a loveable, noble story dotted with luminously gifted recluses and brilliant, misunderstood drunks—all dressed in black from head to toe, grousing about the sellouts and capitalists all around them.

Like Jen, I grew up in a family with bonds that transcend blood—where respect and rules reigned; where we learned that "money doesn't grow on trees," and other than that, the topic's best left undiscussed.

Being able to carve out a new 'relationship' with money, being more mindful of my own thoughts about it, are both gifts Jen has given me.

"Worrying is praying for stuff you don't want," she says.

"What comes out of your mouth comes into your life," Jen observes.

"Opportunity is in the eye of the beholder," she declares.

And I must raucously agree. None of this is rocket science, nor is it newly discovered or discussed information. But it is information that's hitting my brain in such a way that I'm hearing it on another level, reading to receive and act on the messages on a cellular level.

Why? Because taking the biggest leap out of the old comfort zone yet again has paid off in ways both tangible and intrinsic. Papering new walls with dreams rather than excuses is rejuvenating and fun, not to mention exciting and rewarding.

Don't wait. Do it now. Remember, what Jen says: "the walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses..."

Email Catherine at

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
  1. reply print email
    I relate!
    December 07, 2017 | 05:21 AM

    I just listened to Jens second book on audio and I just started her first! She is completely changing my life. Thank you for this well written article about a very important woman!

    erika Soerensen
Castle Creek
12 - 19 - 18
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