Finding the Fun Factor

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I’m so happy 2015 is coming to an end.  This year has been an emotional roller coaster ride in more ways than one and through it all, I had to find ways of having fun in order to cope with it like writing, Zumba and Yoga just to name a few.   Things got better as 2015 rolled on and now I’m ending it on a high note.  Yay!  🙂

Out of all the aspects in our lives, fun is often the one thing that’s put on the back burner for some reason.  Things like work, sports, education, family, friends, health and even spirituality are taken so seriously to the point where fun has no entry point.  Now where’s the fun in that?  There’s always room for fun and taking things a little lighter.  Life can be hard and heavy sometimes which only adds more stress to it all.

This Christmas I am challenging myself and all of you to find your fun factor.  What thrills you?  If you have snow where you are, build a fort and get a snowball fight going just like Buddy the Elf in this image!  If you are in a warm climate (lucky you…) then head to the beach and jump in the waves like a dolphin!   Whatever it is that you love doing for fun, do it as much as possible during the holidays.  Then try to see your difficult situation through a humorous lens instead of a serious one and see how much lighter you feel with a new perspective on it.  If you can laugh at it….you got it.  It no longer has you.

Dare to be different.

This January I am going to India to see some of my amazing blogging friends and I can’t wait to get there!  Seeing everyone will be so much fun and it will open my world to a whole new culture and perspective which will be inspiring and life changing.  Doesn’t this sound like fun?!  Looks like 2016 will be starting off in a really fun way.

The main message I would like to send is this; you all have the power within you to solve any problem you have.  It’s not your first rodeo dealing with problems.  You got through the last one so what tools did you use to make it through to the other side?  These same tools can be used again in your current situation but maybe in a different way now.  You just need to have an open mind and an open heart to stay solution focused and not problem focused.  Have some fun with it.

If you can see light in your darkness, love in your fear, the heaven in your hell, the silver lining in your cloud then you are off to the races my friends.  This is the perspective you need to focus on in order to move forward with any situation because what you focus your attention on, you get more of it.  Therefore, let your focus always be positive while dealing with the negative.  All the messy dirty work is happening in the negative but you need balance while doing that and that’s where a positive focus comes in.

I would like to thank everyone who is following me, liking my stuff, commenting and encouraging me, you guys are so amazing and because of you I get inspired!  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a bright Happy New Year for 2016.  And remember, we’re all in this together, we’re connected and on the same journey which is to find love, peace and happiness in life.  Let’s keep supporting one another and in the meantime, get out there and find your fun factor!

Keep smiling and keep writing!  🙂

Life is good…

Big Hugs and Love,

Jen
xoxoxo

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3 Day 3 Quote Challenge, Round 2 Last Day

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Hello!!  🙂  Last day of the 3 day quote challenge!  I have recently been nominated for the 3 quote 3 day challenge by one of my new friends and followers Gursimran Kaur and her blog titled Rum n Raisins.  Gursimran is a young aspiring blogger from India who wants to work for peace, become the most amazing lawyer, travel the world, follow her bliss and live her dream!  She is truly an inspiration, please feel free to check out her blog and follow her. 🙂

I am a huge quote person so this challenge is more about narrowing my thousands of choices down to three per day!  Today, I am sharing quotes by Paulo Coelho because I recently read a marathon of his books because of such great recommendations from a great friend 😉

 

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure”

 

“Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, live truly and forgive quickly”

 

“If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello”

 

I am nominating anyone and everyone to participate in this 3 day 3 quote challenge.  I look forward to reading more and adding them to my massive collection.  Thanks for all the reading, likes, comments and fun!

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

3 Day 3 Quote Challenge, Round 2

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Welcome to day two of the quote challenge!  I have recently been nominated for another 3 quote 3 day challenge by one of my new friends and followers Gursimran Kaur and her blog titled Rum n Raisins.  Just the name of her blog makes me think of rum raisin ice cream which makes me hungry!  Gursimran is a young aspiring blogger who wants to work for peace, become the most amazing lawyer, travel the world, follow her bliss and live her dream!  She is truly an inspiration, please feel free to check out her blog and follow her.

I am a huge quote person so this challenge is more about narrowing my thousands of choices down to three per day! For today, I will be sharing quotes on perseverance by Thich Nhat Hanh who is such a comforting person for me.  So here we go again…

 

“No mud, no lotus”

 

“People have a hard time of letting go of their suffering.  Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar”

 

“To love our enemy is impossible.  The moment we understand our enemy, we feel compassion towards him or her and he or she is no longer our enemy”

 

 

I am changing the nomination rules to anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in this 3 day 3 quote challenge.  I look forward to reading more and adding them to my massive collection.  Hope you all had an amazing weekend.

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

3 Day 3 Quote Challenge Round 2

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I have recently been nominated for another 3 quote 3 day challenge by one of my new friends and followers Gursimran Kaur and her blog titled Rum n Raisins http://gursimrankaur16.com/  Just the name of her blog makes me think of rum raisin ice cream which makes me hungry! 🙂 Gursimran is a young aspiring blogger who wants to work for peace, become the most amazing lawyer, travel the world, follow her bliss and live her dream!  She is truly an inspiration, please feel free to check out her blog and follow her.

I am a huge quote person so this challenge is more about narrowing my thousands of choices down to three per day! For today, I will be sharing quotes by Rumi who is an inspiration to me.  So here we go.

 

“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there”

 

“Listen with ears of tolerance, See through eyes of compassion, Speak with the language of love”

 

“I am yours.  Don’t give myself back to me”

 

I am changing the nomination rules to anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in this 3 day 3 quote challenge.  I look forward to reading more and adding them to my massive collection.  😉

 

Much Love,

 

Jen
xo

Dedication To Future Mothers

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She’s a beautiful, caring woman
Supportive friends, family and husband surround her
She’s popular in her work and is loved by all
And like many women, she is longing to have a baby
But is unable to do so naturally; she feels alone
She dreams of babies, sees them everywhere she goes
Reminders are everywhere
Special occasions are difficult especially Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
Friends become pregnant and she celebrates this with them
While she goes home to pray that she will be fortunate like them one day
Every passing month is a roller coaster trying, waiting, disappointment
This doesn’t stop her, it motivates her to keep going
Years of intense fertility treatments go by
And this woman is still standing strong
Yet at the same time, cries herself to sleep at night
Visualizing that tiny face she longs for
People make comments which come across as unsupportive
Behind that smile are layers of pain that nobody understands
It’s a lot to endure over the years when she gives her all every single time
Often in silence with bruises on her body and heart
And no explanation as to why it isn’t happening yet
Everyone is dealing with something difficult
But this is unbearable some days
With every negative test, hope still exists
Her perseverance and determination pull her through to try again
Nothing can stop her
In chasing her dream of becoming a mother
Miracles happen every day
Here’s hoping and praying your miracle comes sooner than later
You are absolutely amazing…

 

“When you’re going through hell, keep going” ~Winston Churchill

 

**Note:  This blog is dedicated to all the friends, patients, and women I’ve known and cared for who try so hard to conceive a baby through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  It’s a scary path these women take, they are Bravehearts through and through and I am always amazed at their perseverance and determination in chasing after their dream of becoming a future mother.  At all costs.

Bravo to all of you and your significant others who stand by your side.

So Much Love,

Jen
xo

Self-Compassion vs. Self-Esteem

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I have a question for you.

Do you think it’s better to have high self-esteem or be more self-compassionate?

For years high self-esteem was seen as the ultimate marker of wellbeing, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  However, high self-esteem is an external global evaluation of your self-worth and potential problems with high self-esteem are not if you have it, but how you get it.

Author Kristin Neff PhD of “Self-Compassion, Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind” explains the differences, common confusions and benefits between the two concepts beautifully.

In order to have high self-esteem there is a need to feel special and above average. Nobody wants to hear they are average at something they do. I’m sure if somebody told you that you are an average worker, you would be hurt. This is completely normal I would not want to hear that I am an average nurse either. However, if everyone has to feel special and above average at the same time, that doesn’t work because somebody has to fall down so that someone can move up the high self-esteem ladder.  It’s the need to feel better than others and people achieve this by social comparison, narcissism, bullying and prejudice. Having a healthy high self-esteem is good but the problem is when it becomes contingent on your own self-worth which can lead to inevitable feelings of inadequacy and depression.

Self-compassion on the other hand, is within you all the time so when self-esteem deserts you, self-compassion is always there to catch you.  Compassion is relational therefore self-compassion is how we relate to ourselves and we need to do this in a kinder way.

For example, self-criticism is self-compassion’s arch enemy and here’s how our minds play out when something bad happens; “How could I be so stupid liking him/her, I knew I should not have pursued but I did anyway and failed miserably, way to go.  I’m so alone nobody has ever felt like this before, I’m sure I’m the only person on this planet who’s ever made such a big mistake like this.  I can’t believe how sad and angry I feel right now with myself.  I’m never falling in love ever again.”

Sound familiar?  Does this type of talk motivate you?  Not really.  We would never talk to our friend this way if they were suffering so why do we do it to ourselves?  How do we end the madness?

Self-Compassion.

*Self-Kindness vs. Self-Judgment: talk to yourself with care and understanding like you would treat a good friend rather than with harsh judgment.  Change your internal dialogue into something positive.

*Common Humanity vs. Isolation: see your own experience as part of a larger human experience not isolating or abnormal. Recognizing that life is not perfect and neither are we.

*Mindfulness vs. Over-Identification: allows us to be with painful feelings and emotions as they are. Avoid extremes of suppressing or running away from these painful feelings. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way and let self-compassion take over and heal you from the inside out.

Let’s take the previous example and change the inner dialogue from self-critical to self-compassionate.  “It’s okay things didn’t work out for you and him/her.  Life is full of uncertainty and you are a kind hearted person who deserves someone better.  I know it’s hard right now but this is a good time to take care of you.  Everyone goes through something similar when it comes to love and heartbreak, you’re definitely not alone and nobody’s perfect.  We all have our own stories to tell.  Feeling sad or angry is good because it means you are dealing with the grief and you will recover faster.  Let these emotions come and then let them go.  They don’t define you you’re bigger than they are.  Believe in love again and let things unfold as they should, you’re going to be just fine.”

Doesn’t this sound more comforting and motivating?  This is how we would comfort a friend, we deserve the same treatment too.

Common confusions with self-compassion are beliefs that it is weak, complacent and passive when in fact it can be a strong, powerful force for change in an emotionally supportive environment.  Other confusions are that self-compassion is self-indulgent but what it really wants is long term health not short term pleasure.  There’s the belief that self-compassion will undermine motivation, however most people believe self-criticism is an effective motivator but motivation with self-criticism comes from the fear of being worthless.  On the other hand, motivation with self-compassion comes from the desire for health and well-being.

Self-compassion offers the same benefits as self-esteem but without the pitfalls.  You will have fewer social comparisons, have more stability in your self-worth and not be associated with narcissism.

Furthermore, self-compassion is linked to motivation in the sense where people have a greater desire to learn and grow, try again when they fail, healthy living behaviors, effective coping and resilience skills, have caring relationships with others, able to forgive and have empathy, take greater responsibility for their mistakes and the ability to apologize.

Self-compassion helps to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, rumination, perfectionism, shame and a negative self-body image.  On the other side of the coin, it increases life satisfaction, happiness, connectedness, love, self-confidence, optimism, emotional resilience, curiosity and gratitude.

Therefore, when you make mistakes or fall short of your expectations, you can throw away that rawhide whip and instead throw a cozy blanket of compassion around your shoulders.  You will be more motivated to learn, grow and make the much-needed changes in your life, while having more clarity to see where you are now and where you would like to go next.  You’ll have the security needed to go after what you really want as well as the support and encouragement necessary to fulfill your dreams.

To answer my own question, I choose self-compassion because it’s available to me 24/7 and can lead to a healthier high self-esteem.

What about you?

Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes, Day 3

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Here we are at day 3 already, time flies when we’re having fun!  Today’s theme is “We’re All In This Together.”  My friend and fellow blogger Anand at “Blabberwockying” has nominated me for this challenge.  Anand is a caring and compassionate person who not only leaves uplifting comments, his response time at answering is like lightning speed!  (It’s a good thing Anand and I am smiling every time) 🙂 Please feel free to visit his site and follow him.  Today I am writing some of my most favorite quotes that are closest to my heart.  Enjoy….

 

Challenge Rules:

  • Post three consecutive days.
  • You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  • Challenge three different bloggers per day.

 

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  ~ Einstein

 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly…”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

“Our deepest fear is no that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  ~Marianne Williamson

 

My nominees today are:

https://aadhira.wordpress.com/

https://arashna47.wordpress.com/

http://middleme.net/

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes, Day 2

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Welcome to Day 2 of Quotes with Jen  🙂  My friend and fellow blogger Anand at “Blabberwockying” has nominated me for this challenge.  Anand helps to organize Poetry Corner with 6 word entries each week with bloggers from around the world.  In the end these phrases create a beautiful poem which is very creative and fun to read.  Please feel free to visit his site and follow him.  Thank you Anand for this challenge.  Today I feel like using some humor so these are the quotes I am submitting, I hope you like them.

Challenge Rules:

  • Post three consecutive days.
  • You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  • Challenge three different bloggers per day.

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My nominees today are:

https://ametalk.wordpress.com/

https://poemhobby.wordpress.com/

https://anarmchairperfectionist.wordpress.com/

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

3 Days, 3 Quotes, Day 1

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My friend and fellow blogger Anand at “Blabberwockying” has nominated me for this quote challenge.  Anand is a soft hearted person who writes many inspiring blogs and always signs off in his comments by saying Love and Light.  It’s so nice!  Please feel free to visit his site and follow him. Thank you Anand for this challenge 🙂

Challenge Rules:

  • Post three consecutive days.
  • You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  • Challenge three different bloggers per day.

 

Ego says “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”  Spirit says “Find your inner peace and then everything will fall into place.”  ~ Marianne Williamson

“To become a butterfly, you must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar” ~ Trina Paulus

“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast and limitless.  You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.” ~ Pema Chodron

 

My nominees today are:

https://darshith0000.wordpress.com/quotes-for-life/

https://shadowsinmidnight.wordpress.com/

https://chicwithmessybun.wordpress.com/

Much Love,

Jen
xo

Once a captive, now I’m free!

Anand is one of my fellow blogging friends from India who asks us to send in a 6 word phrase each week and he compiles them while creating this amazing poem from people all over the world. None of us know what the other person is writing but it always turns out so amazing! If you would like to check out his blog it is https://blabberwockying.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/once-a-captive-now-im-free/comment-page-1/#comment-9551
Thanks Anand! Love and Light ❤ 🙂

absolutely ridiculous!

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Once a captive, now I’m free. 

Snow, doubts, smile, heart, horse, fun! 

Hold on; for one more day. 

No time to waste in formalities 

Sun and wind, burn and free! 

Be grateful, be thankful, be contented. 

I woke up to live life! 

Try to understand and love everyone. 

Words dancing at the dozen: halved 

Every night she dreams of travelling 

Lost love, too late for discovery. 

I wait for Wade to wave 

Hope they enjoy the perfect life 

He sulked alone until they conceded. 

These feelings I keep to myself 

Togetherness leads to actual mutual bonding 

I wish I could stop worrying 

Will it be longer or shorter? 

They knew there was no option 

Let us slay all negative notions

Loud as a fair dare darling!

No silence for my busy brain

And then, she was set free! 

Notes:

  • This is a group event. 23 entries were included this week. 
  • Entries are sent to my…

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