Introduction to -Jennifer Haston Says

My hope is that when reading my blog you are able to get a sense of who I am, but for those wondering here are the Cliff notes.

I am a 36 year old woman who is actively seeking opportunities to help people follow their dreams. It is a lofty goal but I have always aimed high. My heritage is Irish-French which means that I have a hot temper and a romantic heart. I am from New Orleans but do not like spicy foods. I love all kinds of music from ABBA to ZZ Top and will listen to anything once to try it out. I especially love 1980’s rock, and care not who knows it. 


I have lived in Austin, Texas for over 15 years and while I don’t consider myself a Texan, its definitely home to me and my husband. I do not own a pair of boots, but have several hats.

I am a wife. 

I am a friend, aunt, and cousin,

I am a personal coach and a motivational speaker.

I am a singer, actor and director.

In the last year, my husband and I have been on the paleo diet and lost over 100 pounds, (him 65, me 55) (if interested in more information on that) see this website

I have been starting to help my husband cook some of those recipes but not full time cooking as yet. In truth, he is better at it than I am and I am humble enough to admit it.

I believe in God but won’t beat you over the head with my spiritual self. I was raised Catholic and my current denomination like my life, is “in process”.  I like to read, talk, and watch movies. I like having coffee or tea to socialize. I love my phone but I abhor the text messaging that is rampant in our culture. I honestly think it is ending the art of conversation as we know it. As I highly prize conversation, this troubles me.

My politics, well that is still developing. I am ashamed to admit I still have a lot to learn before I can comment or more specifically write about the political climate in which we live. I always say when learning, “be a sponge” and that is what I am actively engaged in at the moment.

My husband is the love of my life and we work very hard at our marriage and I value it highly.

I am opinionated and passionate and have no patience for people who settle for less than the best of what life has to offer. 

It is my hope to inspire at least one person per day to stretch beyond their comfort zone.

My goal is to inspire millions to do that, but one step at a time. 🙂

Maybe I can help YOU, reach out to me here if I can:

Make a difference. Right where you are…

Friends, I have to tell you I am extremely passionate about making a difference and helping others realize their dreams and if you are reading this, chances are you are one of three types of people.

1. Friend of mine who reads my blog because you have been asked to. (thanks!)

2. Someone who I gave a card to and you are checking out the blog address on the back (thanks)

3. Someone who is searching for “motivation and advice” and so my blog comes up in your search as something you should read (thanks!)

For whatever reason, you have been directed to my blog, my podium and soapbox for all things I am passionate about and the list is legion.

However, back to you, my gentle reader who is the reason I write. I was recently lucky enough to be exposed to a wonderful podcast all about making a difference right where you are which I think is a wonderful notion. I can’t speak for anyone else but I can tell you I often say to myself, “well, when I am (speaking professionally) (have more experience) (have my masters) (have my new position) (FILL IN THE BLANK with your perfect state of being) I will have such wonderful things to say on that topic and I can’t wait to help people” well the truth is I have everything I need to help people (if they need it) right now. All I have to do is listen and make myself available to be there for someone who needs help. It sounds simple because it is.

The truth is, that you have opportunities every day to help people. I am not talking about money, but occasionally 20.00 can make a real difference to someone struggling. You can offer to spend time reading to someone who can’t read, you can listen to someone who desperately needs to talk, you can just sit there silently and smile as they vent because that might be what they need.

You can be there in many ways for other people, all you have to do is look around. I have recently started asking successful people their best practices for how they got there and the thing that continues to come up is a generous spirit and a loving heart.

Here is the podcast from my friend, Tammy Helfrich who has inspired many people and continues to do so daily. She has interviews with people like Jon Acuff and many others.

I leave you with this question. Are you waiting to help people? Why?

Stop Worrying. Its interest on a debt that never comes due….

I subscribe to a service called “Thoughts Become Things. Choose the good ones. Technically its called (Notes from the Universe) and what I love about this site is that occasionally because of goals I input into the website way back when “getting out of debt” or more specifically, “have financial harmony including balance” I get a message that has a specific message that is addressed to me, Jennifer and asks how that goal is going. I have recommended this website to many people because to me, its a B-12 shot of positivity for my day and there are days when the nugget of wisdom really hits home. Today was such a day.

The things that mystify you, Jennifer, need not worry you.

It’s a kind of mental check-up, and I like it. This tag line at the bottom of today’s message really spoke to me and I decided to blog about it because I tell people all the the time not to worry and to focus their energy on what you CAN do instead of worrying about what is to come or not to come yet I often do not take my own advice. Le sigh

Take me for example, I spent the better part of last week and weekend worrying about a confrontation with a really close friend and when the topic actually came up, it was no big deal. The reality was that when I dealt with it (duh) it was already solved but the information had not been imparted yet. I find that people deal better with issues if you have already worked on it and present the problem with a proposed answer, this is true in business and true in friendship.

So do yourself a favor, worry less and take action more. Think about it!

Wave it forward, will ya?

I was driving home in rush-hour tonight and navigating the methodical stop and go flow of traffic and despite numerous allowances by me to other drivers,  (6) I received not one wave of courtesy. I do not expect a wave every time, but usually on a typical day I can count on one or two. Not one. This put me into a foul mood. I have no rational reason to be upset, those other drivers very well could have been unaware of the driving benevolence I bestowed… but come one.. not ONE?

I know that the opinions on this vary greatly but since this is my blog I will go ahead and put mine forth here and now. Its pretty simple. When in doubt of whether a wave is needed, wave.

I have a theory that the world would be a nicer place if we all waved at each other in traffic when a favor is done for you. I know it seems like a small thing and quite the far-fetched theory but stick with me. If you pay it forward, by buying someone’s cofffe in the drive thru behind you (try it sometime, its tons of fun and not too much moola) you don’t do that in the hopes that someone else will do it for you, you do it because its a random act of kindness and it makes you feel good and likely makes someone else feel good and before you know it we have a ripple effect of everyone in the world being nice to each other and people smiling instead of frowning.

Now its acknowledged that traffic is unpleasant and sitting in it mind-numbingly dull and the tendency toward quick tempers being riled is high. So, the next time you are in traffic and you need to “get over” even if you think you have plenty of room and the driver behind you didn’t “really need to go out of their way to let you in” wave it forward, will ya?

What are some things that get you steaming mad?

What do you do to cool off?

What is your prferred method 5 miles over, 5 miles under or just at the speed limit?

Auditioning for “The Voice”

Auditions for “The Voice” are being held today and since my audition time was at 7 am I thought it would be a good idea to wake up early so my vocal cords were warm and ready to go by 7.. HA! I didn’t even get to sing till 11…  In any case, I got there to stand in line at 6:00 and they opened the doors and the line started to move and everyone got excited. I met this lovely mother and daughter in line and they were so obviously there for each other. From Missouri, they had to get plane tickets and hotel reservations, and in stark contrast, I had to get in my car.

The last time I auditioned, I remember being nervous and while I had a book, I didn’t read it, I was just so keyed up with the excitment in the room and listening to people talk about their song and their musical training and other auditions and just soaking it all in and we moved from room, to room to room (there were at least 10 when it was all said and done) at least this time there were only 4 stages. I ran into no one I knew which was surprising since in Austin, you usually do. This time I spent a lot of my time encouraging other people and talking to them about where they were from and more about what made them come audition. The stories were varied and very interesting and I have to say this is the first time I have been at an audition ( and I have been on a LOT) that I thoroughly enjoyed the environment and the “hopeful” buzz in the air of everyone after the same goal. I actually met one of the guys in my group who did a great song by Sinatra and actually said before he sang “I’m living my dream and so excited to be here” and it was charming and apparently the judges loved his singing and his personality becuase he advanced (good luck Bruce if you are reading this)  That kind of synergy is hard to come by so I am going to make a mental note to treasure it the next time I am at an audition and treat it for the gift that it is. While I feel I sang well, I was not what they were looking for…………………..this year.

What do you want to do that you are scared to do? I invite you to do it! Everyone is scared of something but sometimes that which we are the most scared to do is the thing we are called to do. Think about it.. and let me know how its going! – I am excited to hear about your dream!!!

Meet yourself where you are… Mental Check-up!

I had occasion to spend some time catching up with a good friend yesterday and we were talking about career plans and dreams we are currently chasing and it occurred to me its

time to check in…

Intentions- Less tv. More Books–

Netflix is still tv but I have cut my tv watching in half!

1. Spend more time in person. Less Facebook.

Still struggling with this, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I want to know what’s going on with my friends who I don’t see everyday but then there are the people who post all day long because they are excited ( I have been guilty of this) and want to share with the world, but I sincerely believe Facebook is hindering our ability to really and truly connect with people.. an emoticon is nice but its not the same thing as a real smile shared over coffee. I have been doing my best to find a happy balance.. Its a work in progress

2. Read 10 books, I have read 7. Some good, some just fun!

3. Give 10 effective speeches, I have given 7. I feel myself getting better each time or more accurately, finding things to make me better the next time up.

4. Lose 50 pounds. I have actually lost 50 but the new goal  is 100 and I am finding that challenging (last week represents an almost total lack of adherence to the paleo diet and I gained the 7 pounds to prove it. My husband and I discussed it and the truth is that we both needed a break, we have been RELIGIOUS for 7 months so it was time to fail and fail with gusto. For example, I didn’t just eat one cookie from the breakroom on the 4th of July, I ate 4. I didn’t just have half a breakfast taco, I had 2.

Yep, you read that right, time to fail. I feel much better this week and we have both rededicated our efforts to our health. But we both agree that this was a needed departure because you can’t do something that radical to your diet and not have a breakdown somewhere so last week for the breakdown, this week for the resurgence of dedication and devotion to the goal of great health.. Here’s to you!

What are you doing today? What are you doing this week? How about this month? Let me know how I can encourage you!

50 blog posts, 10 minutes a day and something simple

This is my 50th blog post and I have been honestly struggling with what to write. I had a few ideas earlier this week regarding patriotism and the history of our country. I thought about posting details about my complete lack of adherence to paleo this week and the gaining of 7 pounds that came with it but realized because nothing felt strong enough it was not time to write.

I do my best to write once a week, usually Tuesday because it let’s more of the weekend set in and according to some statistics I have studied, Tuesday afternoon is a prime time for bloggers and blog watchers to read posts…

I decided none of those things mattered and therefore didn’t post. 

I realized I was trying to come up with something meaningful or profound but in truth it wasn’t until tonight that I was inspired to take pen to paper or the modern version, finger to key…

It was only after watching a Ted Talk ( I am so very fond of them, and plan to give one in the future) about taking 10 minutes a day to “recalibrate your brain” by doing nothing. I mean literally nothing. No email, no phone, no television, no radio and just let your brain have thoughts without judgement. Previous to this the only experience I have had with meditation is that its my favourite part of any yoga class because at that point I am relaxed enough to let my brain rest or more recently watching Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love” struggle to meditate and quiet her mind for more than a minute.

You are likely thinking you need incense and the ability to pose like a champion gymnast but you don’t. I sat in my recliner, and set my timer for 10 minutes. I closed my eyes and started breathing. I will not lie to you and say it was easy. I found myself distracted by everything, the hum of the air conditioner, the sounds outside, the itch that suddenly made itself known on the back of my knee, wondering what time it was and trying to suss out exactly how much longer I had before I was done. I then thought about what Andy Puddicombe said, when was the last time you took to do nothing and I literally can not remember and considering that your brain is responsible for so much and processes so much, my poor brain needs a break so I shook it all off and just focused on my breathing and then all these ideas started to come to me and I let them just happen, no judgement and just let them flit by like colorful, but undeveloped film and then my timer sounded and I realized exactly what I wanted to write about.  

Here’s a hint, I had this idea to post a blog while I was meditating, not before and this is only after 10 minutes, I wonder what could happen when I do it 10 minutes a day for a month? What could it do for you, think about it….

Here is the Ted Talk referenced below