Filling Your Heart with Values

Core Values

When I took my training in becoming a life coach a few years ago, my favorite Module was on our values.  When we talk about values, there is an emotional connection making them extra special because values converge and define us, they are who we are at our core.   Anyone who knows me well knows that emotional connection is huge and is a core value in my life.  I am not after the external materialistic things, I value what’s within.  Values are one word such as compassionate, respect, determined and have a strong tonal emphasis, they cannot be changed but you can add more to who you are over time and through experience.  Values drive our choices in all life areas.

As a coach, when I ask my clients about a goal they would like to achieve in their life, it is a privilege for me to be beside them hearing their stories and offering them a helping hand.  People amaze me all the time with their determination, resilience and love for life.  They want to better themselves the same way an athlete wants to better themselves with the assistance of a coach.  Some clients say they want more peace in their life and others want a loving relationship.  After stating their goal in a positive way, my next question is key “why is that important to you?”  This is the most beautiful WHY question because it’s all about values.  Answers are from the heart because that’s where values live, even the heart is somewhat shaped like a V.  Values represent love.  Love of self and love of others.  If something is not that important to you in reaching a goal, you won’t be able to answer the “why.”  In other words, you don’t value it that much.

How do you know what your values are and are you truly living out your values?

Perhaps you value sharing in your family life but you live making selfish decisions.  This is most likely not your value but a belief that you should share because that’s what families do with each other.  Therefore sharing is not about who you are and there is a conflict between your values and beliefs.  On the other hand, if compassion is your value and you live your life helping others then you know and respect one of your values and live it out authentically.  Principles are the manner in which you carry out your values.  Therefore principles drive your behavior.  They are like an unwritten law that acts as a compass when you get lost because you can always refer back to them.  Beliefs can diverge us and are stories with the word “because” in it.  They are something we tell ourselves such as “I believe I should act this way because….”  The good news is that beliefs can be changed if they are self-limiting or imposed on us by someone else like a parent, ex, etc.

In love relationships, we look for the things we have in common with someone, their likes, dislikes and the list goes on.  You may have many likes and things in common with someone but maybe you don’t share the same values in different areas such as career, friends, love, or children.  Over time this could be one of the reasons why the relationship may not have worked out because after the honeymoon of likes is over, reality of who this person is and what is important to them shows up.  It’s their values, the matters of the heart that speak up.  If your values clash, chances are your relationship may clash eventually too.  Think of it this way, imagine the most mismatched couple you know who hardly has anything in common with the other person, the cliché opposites attract comes up a lot, and yet they are happy and have been together forever.  Why is that?  It’s because they share the same values, the heart of the matter is the same.

If you don’t know what your values are yet, I encourage you to take your time and find out what they are so you can live an inspiring and authentic life you deserve.  One exercise that may be helpful is to imagine it’s your 80th birthday party and all your friends, followers and family are there giving a toast about you.  What would you like them to say about you that rings true to your life?  Answers are one word such as inspiring, loyal, caring, etc.  Ask yourself the million dollar question “why is that important to me?” It is crucial to know the answer.  Once you know what they are, use your principles to live out your values and do it with passion and grace.  You can drill down even deeper and on a scale of 1 – 10, scale each value on how true you are living them and strive to do better.  Out of that list, what are your top three values?

Most of all, find that special person who shares your same values and fills your heart with even more values knowing that anything is possible.

If you are interested in hiring me as your coach, I am happy to be with you.  Values guaranteed.  We can begin with a 30 minute free session.

Much love,

Jennifer Juneau
Jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com

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The Power of Vulnerability: Brene Brown

If you are not familiar with Brene Brown’s work, allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite speaker’s on earth.  She is a researcher, a storyteller and a Texan according to her Twitter account. When we live with vulnerability, we live with our whole hearts which creates a beautiful feeling of happiness. This 20 minute TED talk is so inspiring I highly recommend you take the time to watch it because in the end, we are all enough.

Mindfulness: The Journey Within

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Mindfulness:  the art of being in the present moment, noticing what is in front of you without judgment, complete awareness with all your senses, quiet time. It’s an opportunity to pay attention to the little moments with intention.  In essence, it’s replacing stress with peace.

People often say “you only live once.”  Maybe they feel this justifies their actions.  I’ve even caught myself saying this and here’s another one “life’s too short.”  Does this mean we can go around doing whatever we want and not pay attention because we get one shot and there’s no time left to do it?  “Might as well do it now because this might be our only chance” is something I heard as I was walking through a park this week.

But here’s the thing, when you think about it, we don’t live once.

We die once.

We live many moments in time which translates into many chances over many hours per day, weeks, months and years.  Time is not running out, maybe it’s us?  Where are we running to?  I think we are running around in circles and end up chasing our tail getting us nowhere.  The famous rat race.  Maybe it’s time to slow things down a bit.  The moment when you think you have no more time is the moment when you have to step back and become a mindful observer instead of a participant.

Breathe…..

Your breath will anchor you into your awareness so you can begin to see what is actually happening around you and within you.  Get in touch with your intuition because it’s trying to tell you something.  One thing I’ve learned about intuition is that it’s always right.

You will never be able to run away from yourself or your problems but if you slow down and acknowledge them without judgment and with mindfulness, it’s possible to return to your true self and create positive changes in your life.  This can be a tough and painful process but often an essential one to become more centered, more present.  When I feel stressed I know I need to be more present in my life.  When I am mindful of what I am feeling, I am able to transform that stress and be more grateful which increases my happiness.  It’s definitely worth a try, you have nothing to lose.

Being mindful doesn’t mean doing it all day sitting cross-legged.  It’s found in life’s little moments.

For example, we could be more mindful of what is happening like tasting our food, being present when spending time with children, going to sleep and the list goes on.  Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep at night so I tried the mindfulness exercise and put my attention on my present moment lying in bed, feeling the sheets on me, how much I love my pillow, how cozy and warm I was under the covers.  I began to relax.  It was incredible how all the swirling thoughts began to calm down almost like a storm blowing over.  I had redirected my energy and brought on change with a simple thought process and a new focus.

In a matter of minutes, I fell asleep.  Wow…

What are some of your mindfulness exercises, stories, examples?

Here is an amazing short video of how kids explain how they calm down using mindfulness and just a little bit of glitter.  Just Breathe

Jennifer Juneau
Registered Nurse, Life Coach
jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com

The Art of Grieving

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Whether we loved a family member, a relationship or a job, the loss is something to be acknowledged and the grieving process is absolutely necessary to be able to reach the other side.  The most famous author on grieving is Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Not only has she written books for the general public but they are textbooks for the medical profession and for those working in palliative care.

When it comes to grieving a loss, there are generally five stages that appear and re-appear without much warning.   They don’t always go in order and they can reappear out of order so it’s important to keep this in mind and know that it’s normal if they don’t follow a certain path.  Grieving is very personal and everyone handles it differently which is why it’s important to have a good support system to help you recover.  The reason we grieve is because we cared and loved which is reason enough to deal with the situation so we can move on in our lives in a healthy manner.

The first stage is Denial.  The person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, a relationship or a job could be in denial by feeling like they just can’t believe it.  They feel shock and numbness.  In the person who is dying, they could feel disbelief and may go about their life pretending that an illness does not exist.  In the person who has lost a relationship or a job, they may act like nothing is/was wrong.

The second stage is Anger.  This emotion can be directed at your loved one who is dying because they didn’t take better care of themselves or it could be directed at yourself that you didn’t take better care of them.  In the person who lost their job or a relationship, anger may be directed at how they were treated or mistreated.  Many thoughts and feelings of anger come up here and you question yourself incessantly.  However, anger is a necessary stage of the healing process because it gives us the drive and energy to move on.  Be willing to feel it, the more you do, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.  Because anger can be so consuming, having a good support system of friends and family around you is critical and if that is not enough, professional support is always available including support groups.

The third stage is Bargaining.  Before the loss it may seem like you will do anything to spare your loved one like “Please God, I will never be angry with my daughter again if you’ll just let her live.”  After a loss, bargaining might look like “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others, then I can wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream.”  Sometimes guilt is bargaining’s roommate.  We remain in the past trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt.  We ask ourselves the “what if” and “if only” questions in this stage but in reality, our loved one is truly gone.

The fourth stage is Depression.  This is where our attention moves from the past into the present.  Empty feelings are deeper than we could ever imagine.  It is not a mental illness it is an appropriate response to a great loss.  This is where people often withdraw from life and wonder “Why go on at all?”  Sadness blankets us and we cry more than we ever thought possible.  But perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once and awhile so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.  Tears don’t always have to win.  The positive side of this difficult stage is that depression can slow us down and allow us to take real stock of the loss.  It makes us rebuild ourselves from the ground up.  It clears the deck for growth by taking us to a deeper place in our soul that we would not normally explore.  It promotes you to the fifth stage.

Acceptance.  The ability to accept the permanent reality that your loved one, a relationship or job is physically gone.  It doesn’t mean this is okay or right, but you can just accept it.  You learn to live with it and readjust yourself and your roles.  Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad.  You may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives.  You re-invest in your friendships and relationships with others and with yourself.

I have grieved a loss many times in my life, I know the process is never easy or smooth.  It hurts and it feels long.  However, what I can tell you is that time is your best friend and you need to allow yourself off the hook for everything while you go through this transition and give yourself the time to do so.  It does get better with time, that I know for sure.  Sometimes we beat ourselves up on top of our loss which only makes us feel worse in the end.  By treating yourself with care and understanding rather than judgment, knowing you’re not alone and being mindful of your emotions, self-compassion is the light that casts out darkness in our minds.  Talk to yourself as if you are talking to a friend who is suffering.

The other side of pain is comfort, the other side of fear is love, the other side of unpleasant is beauty.  Keep moving forward and focus on the positive side because what we put our attention on, we get more of it.  In this case, focus on comfort, love, and beauty.   Just remember that if you falter, it’s okay, you are only human and know you can rise and try again when you are ready.  You can do it.

Loss, is very personal and so is the journey to recovery, it starts from within.  If we can embrace the grieving process instead of running away from it and be kind to ourselves when we feel at our worst, that is the beauty in the art of grieving.

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“New beginnings are also described as painful endings.”  ~ Lao Tzu

“People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

~ By Jennifer Juneau, Registered Nurse, Life Coach

Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. ~ Louie Schwartzberg

For many people, art is something that is comforting and inspiring.  When we have an open mind and an open heart, many possibilities exist and we are able to find solutions to our problems.  Nature is all around us and is forever beautiful.  Without even realizing it, we can often find the answers to our questions right outside our door.  We just need to embrace gratitude.

I invite you to take ten minutes to watch this TED Talk video by Louie Schwartzberg which is a beautiful expression of nature unfolding live right before your eyes.  I’m sure you will be grateful you did.  Happy Spring!    ~ J.J.