Three For Thursday – Ellen Contente


Always Say Yes

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ellen since, well, let’s just say a very long time ago, when she and my wife were college roommates. During that time, I’ve always been impressed by Ellen’s constant positivity. Whether facing adversity or in good times, my vision of Ellen is always with a smile on her face and a solution in mind. Ellen is the Founder of Heart-Centered Programs, a training and consulting business empowering people to live and work with more Passion, Purpose and Play™. Ellen is the author of “M&M’s; Motivational Musings to Live an Inspired Life,” co-author of “Rock Your Life,” creator of “Life is a Balancing Act,” and the one-woman show, “When Bad Blonde Happens to Good Brunette.” 

Ellen lives in LA with her husband, 19-year-old twins, and three cats.

Ellen’s Three For Thursday, which follow the theme of “Always Say Yes,” are set forth below.

Learning and Growing
I am a firm believer that you are never too old to learn something new. When I look back at my life, it’s in the last 10 to 11 years that I have grown the most. As a self-starter, I knew I could learn anything I set my mind to. When I started my own business in 2011, I realized that I am the CEO of my own life. And I get to do it my way!  I was nervous when I went to get my Masters in Spiritual Psychology. I thought I’d be the oldest student in the room, but it turned out that I was about the average age. But, here’s the thing. It actually wouldn’t have mattered if I were the oldest! I was simply excited to be around people who were eager to learn. My masters’ degree allowed me to do what I do today. I haven’t stopped learning since then. I have gone on to receive my Doctorate in Spiritual Studies and I’m currently exploring other disciplines. I am more energized about learning today than ever.  Who knows what I’ll say ‘yes’ to next!

One other key thing that I learned is that it’s okay to fail. There is no such thing as a mistake. Everything is a learning opportunity!

Loving and Maintaining Relationships
Whether it’s an old friend or an old boyfriend, I say yes to maintaining relationships. Just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean we stop loving that person. Every person with whom I’ve had a relationship has brought me something I’ve needed, or I’ve given him or her something they’ve needed. The key is to look at every relationship as valuable. Every relationship eventually ends, whether by choice or death, but every one is a beautiful journey. I believe that we should have deep gratitude for all of our relationships. They all teach us something about ourselves. And, of course, it’s also about the relationships with people who are currently in your life. What do you do to nurture these relationships and to be your best self every day? That’s the question I consistently ask of myself and others.  Be the love you want to receive!

Say Yes to Your Own Experience
We live in a world where everyone wants to share their experiences. We need to be willing to choose the experience we want without buying into someone else’s ideas about that experience, especially if those ideas are negative. I have had two personal experiences with this that are worth sharing.  When I turned 50 and started to go through menopause, everyone wanted to tell me how horrible it is. “Oh, you will gain weight, you will feel badly,” etc. Instead of accepting their experiences, I said, “this is what my experience will be. I am not going to gain weight, I am not going to feel badly.” The same thing happened earlier with IVF pregnancy. “Oh, you won’t get pregnant right away, it will be difficult,” and on and on. In both cases, things turned out positively!  I’m in the best shape of my life and I have beautiful twins! Our experience is based on our beliefs and that’s what we create. Don’t buy into the negativity of others!

One for The Road:  “Hit The Road”
Travel. I was 19 years old when I backpacked through Europe with Bob’s wife. I caught the ‘wanderlust’ bug!  There is so much to see in the world. So much to learn. While I’ve had the good fortune to travel abroad, you can ‘hit the road’ in your own backyard.  No matter where you live, there is something to see and do. Go for a walk in your own neighborhood and you will see something new. And you don’t need to spend a lot of money. I bought a book called ‘111 Places in LA That You Must Not Miss,’ and many are free. We have done dozens of those things and met a lot of cool people!  And, if someone offers you a free place to stay, just say yes!  That’s how I stayed in Japan, South Africa and Denmark!

How About You?
What are your Three For Thursday? I’m looking for people who are willing to share their life wisdom.  Please email me at if you’d like to be interviewed for a future Three For Thursday blog.