…Lastly, and this can be taken the wrong way, but bear with me. I don’t believe I deserve anything. I don’t deserve a nice house, success or love. I am entitled to nothing. Too many people think they deserve so much. I can see their entitlement holding them back from joy, love, and success. I can see people getting annoyed or frustrated because they think they deserve better. This absolutely doesn’t mean I think people deserve bad things. No one should be abused, be in a bad relationship, stay in a dead end job that makes them unhappy, or settle for our government’s corruption because at least its better than a 3rd world country. It means we have to work for our goals. I am in an environment where people constantly want success without too much work. They want the dream relationship and dream job and amazing friends without the work. They look at and compare themselves to other people you achieved “the dream” without working as hard or as long as others, but that is not normal. We have to work for everything. Working is normal. Working is life and every day is a gift. We are not entitled to this day. Every joy and every bit of success in my life is something I chose and went after and that fills me with excitement.
Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, unchallenged, and have nothing to look forward to? It doesn’t have to be that way. One idea that I always advise my clients is to “Get Out of your mind and connect with your spirit”. Get into your body. No I don’t mean to spend hours at the gym- you can spend their the whole afternoon and still be in your mind. I talk about doing activities that get you completely in your body. For me it is Zumba. The second I think of something else during the class, I lose a step. THAT IS WHY I made myself a Zumba instructor. It is not for money, not even for my body, but mostly for my soul! I am in Zumba meditation 7 hrs a week!!!!
As a part of our series interviewing experts on how to live a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa Valiente, San Diego’s #1 Personal Stylist and creator of V-Style, the first and longest standing fashion blog in America’s finest city. V-Style is said to be among the best shopping blogs available today.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve told the story of how I couldn’t afford a website in 2007, so my friend Andrea Kane demanded I start a blog. I’ve also talked often about working as a costumer on TV shows for the first years of my career before moving to personal styling. So, today I’d like to talk about my brother Dominic. He and I ended up in the same college in the year 2000. My degree was initially in Communications, while his was in Film. He asked me to costume design and act in his public access TV show Hang Time On The Monkey. I realized pretty quickly this is the work for me, so I changed my degree to Film my second year of college. Dominic was also responsible for getting me my initial interview with Stu Segal Productions back in 2005. I don’t’ believe I would have followed this career path if it weren’t for that ridiculous public access show.
What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?
Every day is a choice. Even when you are trapped taking care of others, or have an ailment. We choose how we can handle that situation. I think understanding we have a choice creates a more purposeful lifestyle. Also, time is a commodity not to be wasted. People talk about killing time, or wasting time. Take advantage of those opportunities; make them special, peaceful, productive or meditative.
Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?
I used to be too involved in a shallow lifestyle that left me feeling empty. So I broke up with my boyfriend and basically everyone I knew and started over. It was the worst time of my life, but it was worth every moment of pain. I rebuilt who I was, my community and what excited me. It was the best thing I had ever done.
The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?
There is a large disparity between rich and poor that grows everyday. Our culture is also all about “me”, not about building a community. America’s idea of masculinity is also a problem that breeds rape culture and depression.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
In my job I fight body negativity everyday in both men and women. As for goodness in the world, I recently put all my efforts into swinging the 49th district left. I am delighted to report, we won.
What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
My ravenous thirst for life is accomplished in five ways actually. One, I’m a positive pessimist — I always prepare for the worst, so when it happens I am ready and it feels normal versus earth shattering. And when the worst doesn’t happen, which is far more common, it is a delightful surprise.
Two, I follow the joy — if staying present is where the joy is, that’s where I am. If now isn’t so great, I look forward to the joy there, and if the joy isn’t now or in front of me, I relish in past joys. Three, I take pleasure in the little things like sunshine, soft fabrics, an organized schedule, a clean shoe closet, a fresh glass of wine, a good joke and so on.
The fourth reason I am so joyful is just by knowing myself. Too many people commit to things that they don’t like or aren’t prepared for certain events because they don’t know themselves well enough to say no or anticipate their needs. I am fully aware of all my needs. For example, I schedule my hangovers. I never plan appointments, workouts or meetings the day after a night out with friends. I also always have my carry-on bag packed with everything I need for a comfortable flight. I can’t socialize heavily two days in a row so I make sure I don’t agree to social engagements two days in a row. It seems so small, but it makes everyday so much more delightful.
Lastly, and this can be taken the wrong way, but bear with me. I don’t believe I deserve anything. I don’t deserve a nice house, success or love. I am entitled to nothing. Too many people think they deserve so much. I can see their entitlement holding them back from joy, love, and success. I can see people getting annoyed or frustrated because they think they deserve better. This absolutely doesn’t mean I think people deserve bad things. No one should be abused, be in a bad relationship, stay in a dead end job that makes them unhappy, or settle for our government’s corruption because at least its better than a 3rd world country. It means we have to work for our goals. I am in an environment where people constantly want success without too much work. They want the dream relationship and dream job and amazing friends without the work. They look at and compare themselves to other people you achieved “the dream” without working as hard or as long as others, but that is not normal. We have to work for everything. Working is normal. Working is life and every day is a gift. We are not entitled to this day. Every joy and every bit of success in my life is something I chose and went after and that fills me with excitement.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?
My favorite book is Tiny Beautiful Thing, Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. It inspires and grounds you. I think every single person in American should read it. I have gifted it to everyone I love. One of my friends read it while struggling with a newborn and breast-feeding. She said it kept her from breaking down into self-pity and gave her a better perspective on her situation.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This not so much a life lesson, as it is a life wish, “May your first lover be amazing so you’ll never settle for less, and may your first job be terrible so you always appreciate what you have.”
It’s about being good to yourself without being entitled. It’s a careful balancing act we must master if we want to be happy. You must fight for the best, but don’t waste too much time on distress and shock if you don’t get what you want.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’ve invested in my mom’s new company, Napa Valley Wine Tours by Gwendolyn. Not only is she the owner, but also the operator of each private tour that she tailors to her guests’ desires. Does this help people? I like to think so! At the very least, I am helping my mom and the business is already taking off. She is damn good and everyone is raving. I am also already gearing up for the next series of elections to swing our government as left as possible in its current state. I will also be traveling a ton in 2019 for my blog, V-Style.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Oh my gosh, there is so much I would like to inspire. I would love to end hate, fight ignorance, and shrink greed. I want everyone to have access to quality healthcare. My head is spinning with what I want for everyone, but I am drawn to the idea of communication and I am reminded of my mom when I was young. She would always ask me, “Who loves you, baby?” And I would sit there and list off who loved me and she would always ask for more people and more people who loved me. I’d like to do something similar with our society. Whenever you hate someone, whenever you’re angry with a person or stranger, ask the question, “What do we agree on?” or “How are we similar?” and don’t stop. Just keep listing all the similarities. I want everyone to get to know the people they hate. Visit with them, travel, and ask the question, “How are we similar?” As you can imagine, I see a lot of anger on Facebook. I’m not friends with openly racist or sexist people, so I don’t see their anger. Instead I see the hate towards racists. I see comments like, “People who voted for Trump are not my friend.” “If you’re okay with this, you’re horrible.” None of that helps. It makes it worse. Pushing people away and isolating groups makes everyone more hateful. The studies show this. I’m all about solutions, and anger is not the solution. Action is the solution. Communication is the solution. Those same people that vehemently hate Trump are the same people that don’t show up when I invite them to actions or events to create change. I don’t spend more than a moment being disappointed to them. I’d rather spend my time fixing the real problem instead of fixating on its symptoms.
About The Author:
Dr. Marina Kostina is a life and business fulfillment coach. She uses research and energy work to help professional women find their purpose and turn it into a profitable business. Dr. Kostina incorporates innovative marketing strategies and the creation of engaging, lucrative online courses to scale their businesses. As a result they enjoy what she describes as a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic. Her book “Find the G-Spot of Your Soul” is available January 2018. Download a free gift from Dr. Kostina- an MP3 Meditation Album “Find The G –Spot Of Your Soul” and get unstuck.