Be Your Own Mirror

man_in_the_mirror_by_atarial-d4h789m

To all my Zumba friends, this one’s for you ❤

2016 has been an eventful year for me because I wrote my first book and continued to heal from my traumatic divorce like a rock star.  In March 2017, my book will be released and more healing will occur which I am dually grateful for and excited about.

Recently, I was at one of my Zumba classes, and a song came on that brought me back to the good old 80’s and inspired me to write this blog.  The song was Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson and in it, he is sending the message that in order to make a change in this world you need to look at yourself first and take a look in the mirror.  We are living in a world where we tend to play the blame game over and over again and are so afraid of taking any responsibility for our own actions.  Not only does this get you to nowhere land but it stunts your personal growth and development big time.

In order to move forward in life and learn from our mistakes, we need to stop complaining and depending on other people to make changes for us.  We need to take a look in the mirror at ourselves and make the changes from within that we want to see because that’s where it all begins.  Imagine if only half of the world’s population could do this and how much fighting could end and how much peace could be gained.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to what’s happening to people less fortunate than us and so much more work to look within ourselves, but in the end, it’s also more rewarding long-term to be your own mirror.

Another song that ties in with this one is also by Michael Jackson and it’s called Heal The World.  This is a cry for help for those in need and since it’s the Christmas season, what better time to do this.  Everyone has their issues and situations they’re dealing with and healing from, and all it takes is a little compassion and an open heart to help someone thrive.  Even though we might live in different countries around the world, we are still connected and want the same things out of life which are love, connection, and peace.  If we could only realize we’re all in this life together, we could really heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race.

My best wishes and love to each and every one of you in 2017 and thank you so much for your support all this time, I am extremely grateful for YOU.

Enjoy the music, be your own mirror and heal the world ❤

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

Genuinely Interested or Just Curious?

eUU1dqH5LZzpo0QO0EU5qK8YKW

I recently met with one of my friends and we were talking about this exact topic because there are times in every stage of life when somebody is questioning what we do.  Whether it’s how we wear our hair to how we raise our children and even how we express our creativity.

Effective communication whether it’s with loved ones or complete strangers should be out of respect.  Respect for why they do the things they do and don’t do and respect for privacy.  Some questions should never even be asked like “When are you going to start a family?”  This is not only a personal question it strikes a chord with some so deep because maybe they tried to have a baby and it’s not happening yet or maybe they are in the middle of a fertility treatment they don’t want to reveal and shouldn’t have to.

Relationships are another hot topic people like to dive into with a list of questions at their fingertips.   “Have you started dating” or “When are you going to get engaged?”  Perhaps that person isn’t ready to date yet because of a previous fall out in their life or for someone else getting engaged is not that simple due to family issues.  But people pursue and keep asking more.

Raising children is probably the biggest one of all because since there are so many stages they go through, it’s difficult not to compare with other families.  But here’s the thing.  Books are a great guide they are not the Bible.  Every child develops differently at different rates and as long as the Dr is happy with their progress and the family home is a happy one, that’s all that matters.  Some children develop slower than others because of a health issue and when someone questions their progress by comparing it to a child without health issues, is that even fair?

When faced with these types of situations in our life we need to ask ourselves some questions first.  Is this person genuinely interested in my life or are they just curious, or plain old nosy?  What is the motivation behind their questioning?  Are they trying to make small talk?  Will I ever see this person again even though I’m sitting beside them on a plane for the next 5 hours?  You do not need to divulge your personal life to anyone unless you feel comfortable doing so.  There’s no need to answer that question if you feel they are just being curious.  People who are genuinely interested in what you have to say are the ones who won’t judge you.  They’re with you and in it for the long haul.  Sure advice might be given but you can take it or leave it, in the end, it’s your decision anyway so don’t let it bother you.

As far as being creative, we all have it, we’re all artists in some way shape or form.  Some of us just use it more than others and nobody’s perfect.  There’s no need to start a rally to get people on your side.  Enjoy what you do and love every minute of it.

If you feel like shaving your head or chopping your hair short then by all means go right ahead.  It’s time for people to put the judgmental magnifying lens down and start trusting people that they have the ability to make good decisions on their own.  Just because they aren’t doing things the way you are doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

And if you don’t believe me, are you genuinely interested or just curious?

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

This Girl Can

This post goes out to all the girls who think they can.  You can get rid of that stress, you can push yourself to the limit, you can do anything you set your eyes on doing, you can live well and look amazing!  It’s mind over matter girls and you’ve got this…that fire inside you is there for a reason so get moving and get inspired because you’re worth it!!!!  Let’s go Zumba lovers!  😉

Love you,

Jen
xo

Smile In Your Liver

“Smile in your liver” ~ Ketut Leyir
From the movie Eat Pray Love ~ by Elizabeth Gilbert

I saw the movie Eat Pray Love when it first came out in 2010 and I thought it was interesting and great.  At the time I was more obsessed with the travel destinations of Italy, India and Indonesia in the movie and the basic story line of how a woman left an unhappy marriage and started over.  Having watched this movie again years later with some changes in my own life made me pay very close attention to Julia Roberts’ role and I was listening to the words of precious Ketut like he was sitting in my living room talking to me.  He is so amazing, I wish I had my own medicine man.  For the record, I am still obsessed with the travel destinations…

“You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clear away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver.”

Before we try and understand what adorable Ketut is trying to say, let’s review the roles of our liver first and try to understand the meaning behind his quote; “Smile in your liver.”

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines.  The liver also has the ability to regenerate itself if injured or surgically excised.  It is located on the upper right side of your body.

Maybe what Ketut is really saying is smiling in your liver essentially means going deep within yourself to be happy from the inside out.  Smiling in your liver filters the negativity coming from your gut feelings and prevents these negative feelings from passing throughout the body.  A smile has the ability to dissolve anger and resentment and metabolizes negative emotions while assisting in the decision making process.  A smile is also known for removing blockages so that one can forgive, accept and feel kindness flowing.  As it does so, a smile triggers endorphin production the “feel good” hormones that end up back in your belly making you feel at peace.  Your mind is calm and the smile you wear on your beautiful face is radiant; just like your liver.  If your smile is lost or cut off by someone or something, it is not lost forever and can be transformed again.  A smile is always right.

You could say it’s about striking a balance in your life and maintaining your personal power.  Yoga and meditation can help to slow down the monkey mind and when combined with deep breathing and smiling, your body feels more energized and peaceful.  I am currently on this learning journey and yoga is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my smiling liver.  Life gets pretty busy and crazy sometimes and we run to keep up with it.

But is that the right thing we should be doing?

Should we pick up the pace a little bit and run even faster?

I don’t think so.

Personally, when life gets that overwhelmingly crazy, the best thing we can do is the opposite – slow down.  Seems counterintuitive, right?  Well here’s the thing.  Not only does slowing down allow us to catch our breath, we can begin to see clearly and we can feel what our body is telling us ie: our gut feelings.  Gut feelings never lie and we should pay more attention to them because often times they can guide us in the direction that is most right for us or even re-direct us away from something that is harmful to us.  You become more mindful of what you really need.  If you don’t slow down and keep running that monkey mind marathon, you will never be able to hear what your life is trying to tell you, or get your attention to pay attention.  Stay grounded, slow down and silence your mind because you either control your mind or it controls you.  It’s that simple and your liver will thank you for it by smiling deep within yourself.  Now I just need to decide when I am going on my next trip!

SMILE IN YOUR LIVER!  🙂 

DSC00343 (2)          DSC00362 (2)

Much Love,

Jennifer

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

Mindfulness: The Journey Within

mindfulness300

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

LIME: Lifestyle Improvements Made Easy

Lime Fitness Logo

For those of you who are already fitness experts, I’m sure you can relate to the time when you first started working out and how energized you felt after.   For the rest who are contemplating starting or have only just begun, let me tell you….it can be very motivating and addicting in a really great way!

I never thought I would hear myself say those words because ever since I graduated high school years ago, my sporting days kind of ended there.  I managed to stay in okay shape because of the career I chose working as a nurse and running all over the place for the past 19 years, but it wasn’t enough.  Allow me to explain why.

The last thing I wanted to do with my aching legs after running around all day was to go and do more physical activity.  My couch was looking so good after every shift and it welcomed me with open arms, literally.  Laying there felt good and my body was so relaxed.  However, my mind could not stop racing and sometimes as a nurse emotions cannot turn off that easily either.  Any helping professional can understand where I am coming from.  People who take care of others seem to have a hard time taking care of themselves or putting themselves first.

Things began to change when I took a step back from nursing and decided to become a Health and Wellness Life Coach which I know is another helping profession but it not only helps others, it helped me a great deal too.  Now I work in both fields and I love it.  My favorite quote is “Put your oxygen mask on first, caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.”  It’s the oxygen mask theory from the flights we’ve all been on.  It’s the same rule in life and no, it’s not selfish.

I made a decision that I wanted to feel healthier by eating well and exercising at least three days a week.  I love walking and I love music.  Luckily I found my old iPod with so many songs I completely forgot about, I charged it, laced up my shoes and went outside in nature.  I thought I would walk for maybe half an hour but because of the music, I went further and walked one full hour seeing flowers bloom in spring, a heron bird with her nest and even a deer crossing my path.  All just steps away from my big comfy couch.  The feelings I had after being outside and walking to all my favorite songs was so motivating and fun, I suddenly realized what a calm mind I had and how happy I was!   Not only was I doing my body a favor physically, but I finally understood why people love exercise so much.  It also keeps your mind and emotions healthy too.  It makes sense why some people who seriously do not need to work out are doing it for other reasons.   I managed to walk ten kilometers a day four times a week until the snow came.  It was official, I was addicted to my exercise routine, I felt great, lost weight and I was so much happier.  Who knew?  Prior to the unforgiving Canadian winter, I became proactive in seeking out a fitness centre that I could go to during the freezing cold months.  In the Ottawa/Gatineau region there is an amazing place called Lime Fitness which stands for Lifestyle Improvement Made Easy.   Not only is the name perfect but so is the team that runs it.  Maggie, Gina, Sylvie and Kelly are four incredible women who run this energizing business and practice what they preach by either running or attending the class right along with us.  The positive energy that is constantly exchanged in each and every class is outstanding and contagious.  Smiles, laughter, encouragement and support make it feel like a family having one big party!  Their mission is simple, “To help you achieve your greater good so that you can live your life unlimited.”  To me, that’s fantastic and was exactly what I was looking for, not to mention the music is very motivating and fun!  They offer classes such as Zumba, PiYo, Cardioboxing, Bellyfit, Kettlebells and one called Insanity!  Each class will bust your stress, lift your mood and make you dance like nobody’s watchin’!  Anyone can join, there is no competition and yes everyone including me is uncoordinated when they try their first Zumba class but who cares?  You will get the hang of it.  Nobody is looking at you because they are too busy looking at themselves and we’re all in our own invisible bubble so not to worry.  You will have so much fun you won’t notice it’s been an hour, this I know for sure.  It’s been five months since I joined, I met new people, I do three classes a week and I can honestly say the staff at LIME have definitely contributed to my lifestyle improvements made easy.   I’m motivated and addicted in a really great way because I put my oxygen mask on first so now I am able to take care of others more effectively.   Thank you LIME!!

I encourage you to visit their website, grab a friend and take them along to Lime Fitness…..you will both be truly amazed!  See you there!

http://limelifestyle.com/

Jennifer Juneau
Jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com

 

FIRE ~ by Judy Sorum Brown

fire 1[1]

FIRE ~ by Judy Sorum Brown

What makes a fire burn

Is the space between the logs

A breathing space

Too much of a good thing,

Too many logs

Packed in too tight

Can douse the flames

Almost as surely

As a pail of water would

So building fires

Requires attention

To the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.

When we are

able to build

open spaces

in the same way

we have learned

to pile on the logs,

then we can come to see how

it is fuel, and absence of the fuel

together, that make fire possible.

We only

need to lay a log

lightly from time to time.

A fire

grows

simply because the space is there,

with openings

in which the flame

that knows just how it wants to burn

can find its way.

Welcome to December, the busiest month of the year for so many.  The thing I love about this poem by Judy Sorum Brown is that it illustrates the importance of spacing things out and being mindful by using the metaphor of a fire.  With all the shopping, Christmas parties and preparations, how do we manage to squeeze it all in? The key is by remembering our own health and wellness and spacing things out.  What gives you energy is the needed space within your work/ life balance.  Too many tasks packed into a tight schedule can be draining or even lead to burnout.  Create your schedule by paying attention to balancing the space between your personal time as much as to your work time.  You will actually stoke the fire of work/life balance and keep your own fire burning.  If you decide to build a fire during Christmas, keep this poem in mind and have a wonderful, peaceful holiday!     -JJ

BE THE SAILBOAT OR THE DUCK?

imagesCAEW51O2  Stress is a part of life and how you handle it on the inside can reflect how you look on the outside.  For the people who know me by now, you can see that I love analogies and for anyone new, welcome to my blog and my perspective on things!

Some people look so calm on the outside and yet they talk about how stressed they are.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe what they are saying is true but it’s because they are a duck.  Remember going to the park and feeding the ducks?  They would all gracefully swim on top of the water as if they were gliding effortlessly, or so it seemed.  Under water there was a whole different story going on.  Their little webbed feet were paddling so fast and furious to reach their destination as if their feet were on fire!  From a distance, we can’t see their feet so we think they are free from any stress whatsoever and that things come easily for them.  Just like the person who is stressed out and doesn’t show it.  On the outside, they are Mr. or Mrs. Calm but on the inside, they are stirring up a storm that only they know all too well.  Just like the duck’s feet, we cannot see what is on the inside or in the duck’s case, under water.  That is not to say that stress is not a good thing, it can be very motivating in certain circumstances, especially if you are in front of an audience giving a talk, you definitely want to be the duck.  It’s when stress turns bad and starts to affect you physically, that’s when you want to learn how to sail.

caribbean-sailing-september[1]  Watching sailboats is so beautiful and relaxing.  With the right amount of wind and catching the best angle for your sails, you are off to the race of feeling free.  By letting the wind carry you while you ride the waves in the water, trusting you are safe is like letting go of some control in your life, dealing with stress as it comes and knowing that you will be ok is freedom of stress.  Often times on the sailboat there is a lot happening on the outside that we can see in order to make the sailboat move like watching out for the boom!  It looks busy and to some stressful but in fact, it’s organized and well thought out, almost with anticipation of what might come next.  This is what I have found to be useful in dealing with stress, if you can organize your thoughts and beliefs, you will focus your intention on smooth sailing and therefore have a relaxing day on the water, watching the ducks bobbing by!  So toss out your anchor, enjoy the present moment and watch out for the guy on the sea doo!         -JJ