Tripping Over Your Soul

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The power of words can either lift you up or crash you down.

When they lift you up, it might spark a reflection on how to do things differently, cope better or it could inspire you to do some good in this world, love more, to help someone out or even yourself.  Music lyrics are a great example of how healing words can be.

When words crash you down, they can traumatize, change your life, make you fall to your knees with a haunting cry, and be embedded in your heart, mind, and soul forever.  They can reshape you in a twisted kind of way.

This requires some serious healing.

Not only does this apply to the words we hear from others but to the words, we hear from ourselves.  We really are our own worst critics and it’s time to stop these chatty gremlins from taking over our souls, tripping us up and stealing our joy.

What is your soul?  Based on what I know, which is only my opinion, the soul is the place that never dies inside of us, it’s what carries us through this life, lights us up when we are in the dark, promotes personal growth and development and drives us to make changes based on our past mistakes.  We learn from them because our soul is our life and it is always talking to us through connections with others.  Every connection is meant to help us grow; yes the good ones along with the tough ones.

I recently saw my good friend Judith and we had more inspiring conversations over Thai food.  We talked about when you try to heal from something, it’s like tripping over your soul.  I thought that was a great line because it’s almost like learning how to walk again after an accident.  You’re a bit worried, shaky, not going in a straight line, hanging onto things along the way that maybe you shouldn’t.  You fall, get up, try again and keep going forward.  The trick is not to get in your own way.  It takes practice and courage to do this while all along you think you’re not ready and you are fearful of what lies ahead.  Basically, it shakes your confidence in everything but your soul is the motivator that pushes you to try again because it only wants what’s best for you.  The healing journey is a process and in that process, you will trip, stub your toe, and fall, from time to time, but trust in it.  All of this is normal, and what matters is getting up and showing up.  Always remember, even if you are crawling, you are still moving.

Just remember to move forward and it will all work out when you can accept what happened.

Finding your new path means getting out of your own way, tripping over your soul from time to time and that’s ok.

Much Love ❤

Jen

**I hope you are all doing well, my apologies for not blogging as regularly as I have changed jobs recently but things are great.  If you would like to find copies of my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak”, it is available at online bookstores worldwide 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful 2018 so far ❤

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Let Go or Be Dragged

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As we move closer to the end of 2017, it’s a wonderful time to become more reflective of what happened, ask ourselves what we desire in 2018 and determine what’s important to us and why.  I recently did this exercise with my wonderful friend Basak.

For me, it’s been a year of ups and downs, and at the same time, I’ve learned so much about myself in the process like how to apply some additional coping mechanisms to decrease stress.  How to surrender and let go has been BIG on my agenda.  Letting go of who and what’s not right for me is a constant learning experience and I know I’m not alone.

One thing I am grateful for this year is how well our co-parenting scenario is going.  Especially for the sake of my kids because we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got in our new normal and that’s a huge relief for everyone.

The dating world is another story, I am still learning how to recognize red flags more, and let go of those clever wolves in sheep clothing.  Dating has been both good and not so good but I refuse to let that drag me down and around.

Just like Richard Branson says; “If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.”  It’s better to let someone walk away from you than all over you.  Just let them go one way, and you go the other way.

I learned how to park my brain and engage my spirit by being grateful for everything I have both internally and externally.  I crave inspiring things and people in my life.  It’s what’s on the inside that matters most to me.

Let’s be honest, life is complex and our emotions even more so when you are being dragged.  This can be painful like when you’re swinging on those monkey bars and hanging on so darn tight.

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We can’t move forward if we are always looking backward.  Sounds simple but it’s true.  Try driving a car while always looking in your rearview mirror.  I’ll make sure I’m off the road that day!

Stop trying to fit in and go where you belong.  That’s where you can be your true self and feel comfortable with who you really are.  Find your tribe, let go of bad vibes and people that drag you down.  Lean into support instead.

I learned to stop hanging on for the sake of other people’s feelings.  This is the most disrespectful thing you can do to yourself.  There’s a saying; “There’s no need to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”  So let go before you get burned.

Forgive yourself for making mistakes, you’re only human just like everyone else.  This will bring you peace.

Above everything, love yourself with every cell in your human body by being self-compassionate.

As author Mark Nepo says “Maybe there’s a better life plan for you that you don’t know about.  Hope for good, allow for even better.”

There will be times in your life when you don’t know why something is happening.  Create your own closure if you can’t obtain it from the source.  Instead of trying to find a happy ending, why not try and create a new beginning?

I learned it is physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausting to hang onto something that is dragging you around, especially for so long.  Listen to your body and intuition.

Picture this…

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A guy is on the ground being dragged behind a horse and is hanging onto the reins for dear life.  The horse goes about his business every day, eating, galloping, doing number one and two, but the guy will not let go despite knowing it doesn’t feel good, smell good, or look good, he’s just hangin’ on to hang on!  The horse gallops and jumps in all kinds of weather and there’s that guy, still hangin’ on through the air, mud, and tall grass.  From an outsiders point of view, what do you see here?  What do you think of him as he gets dragged right in front of you?  Are you screaming inside your head saying “OMG just let go!”  This guy doesn’t realize he has a choice; to be courageous and do something about it.  Excuses like being in “limbo” don’t cut it but making a decision certainly does.

Remember those scissors?

Life situations are very similar.  We hang onto something dear to us that we can’t accept has already left and we end up being dragged.  Or we let go but keep running back to the same problem in the first place, even though we know it’s not right for us.  This destroys our self-respect, dignity, and self-worth.  It’s poison to our brain and once we realize we are sick and tired of being dragged, only then can we finally let go.

If someone or something is running away from you, let go because that means it wasn’t meant for you anyway.   It was there for a reason, but now it’s over, so time to move onto something much bigger and better.

Being dragged by someone or something blocks the Universe from letting the light and good enter our lives.  However, once you let go, you create an open space that’s always been there but now the blockage is gone and something better can arrive in its place.

Back to the horse scenario, learn how to let go of the reins, get up, dust yourself off, and don’t get dragged anymore.  Run your own race and stay in your own lane where you belong.  I’m sure that horse is tired of dragging you around anyway!

From what I’ve learned, when you do let go, you attract what’s right for you in return.

So here’s to less drama in 2018 and continuing to learn more about how to let go of what’s not meant for us so we can choose the path to true happiness.  Why?  Because we’re so darn worth it!

Let go or be dragged.  You always have a choice.

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“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck” ~ Dalai Lama

Enjoy your holidays, much love and gratitude to you ❤

Jen
XO

PS:  My book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at all online bookstores worldwide.  Dare to live courageously…

 

 

 

The Struggle Is Real

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Some days I wake up energized and ready to take on the world
Other days I feel like hiding under the covers and don’t have the motivation to do anything

Some days I am flying high with excitement because my book is doing great
Other days I don’t feel like talking about it because I just want to forget all the bad stuff

Some days I feel so connected to people and I am in a beautiful state of flow
Other days I feel very disconnected from everyone and can’t understand why

Some days I have so much confidence I surprise my old self
Other days I feel like I doubt any decision I make, no matter how logical it is

Some days I feel like the emotional roller coaster has finally ended
Other days I feel like I am screaming at the top of my lungs but nobody can hear me

Some days I just need to cry
Other days I just need to cry some more

Some days I feel like I am healed from the trauma I have been through
Other days I wonder when this will ever end

Some days I see simple acts of kindness with strangers I meet through my work
Other days I see anger and aggression leaking through social media and other sites

Some days I am compassionate with myself and I realize it’s ok to struggle in life.  Just like the butterfly needs to flap its wings against the cocoon from the inside out so its wings will be strong when it is released into the world.

The only way out is through and every experience leads to the next; nothing is wasted.  I have the ability to make good choices with positive people and that’s what I am trying to do.

Some days I feel like I’ve got this struggle under control
Other days I admit, the struggle is real…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

** As confusing as it may sound, every healing journey takes on a life of its own.  Nothing makes sense but you have to live like it does.

If you are healing from something right now, just know you are not alone and you are going to fly one day too.   In the meantime, I am reading a book called “In The Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant and this is exactly where I’m at in my life.

My meantime…figuring things out so this might take a while.

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Living On The Edge

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As many of you are aware and for those who are new here, my first book is about to be released sometime this month.  Needless to say, I am very excited about it and can’t wait to share it with all of you!  My book is about how I coped during my divorce and most difficult time of my life while trying to keep a positive outlook, how I found healthy ways of surviving and the life lessons I learned along the way.

Life’s challenges can help us see both sides of the coin and recently, through a friend, I discovered there’s a third side as well which is the edge.  In this sense, each side can represent each person’s point of view, their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of what happened.  On the other hand, the edge is considered the sacred space or truth of who you really are at your core.  It’s a detachment from either side, a neutral zone, an understanding, place of forgiveness, a new perspective and even a place of acceptance of what is.

The edge is enlightenment for yourself.  It’s your own truth.

When you stand and live on the edge you are without judgment of another person and you’re not being one-sided.  When choosing the middle path, you choose to be open-minded with an open heart.  You’re able to see both sides clearly and feel free while doing so.

The third side of the coin can equal balance because you are no longer leaning to one side.  Instead, when you stand balanced on the edge, it creates inner peace and happiness for yourself and when you feel ready to let go of the right of being right, that’s when your soul grows and you learn the life lessons you were meant to learn.  Maybe it’s possible that both sides are right?  Consider this, on the edge of reality, are the motivations that run deeper than both points of view.

The edge is the place where I wrote my book from while I reflected on where I went wrong in my life, what I learned along the way and found ways to see the silver linings.  It’s scary living on the edge because it requires both courage and vulnerability to admit you were wrong at times and that nobody is perfect.  At the same time, it’s the place that sets you free and is very healing.

I’m living proof of that.

For the past month, I have been living on the edge in India again, visiting my awesome friends and I attended two exciting weddings there.  I will have a new blog saga coming up titled This Is India 2017 and I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you.

Be safe, stay blessed and try living on the edge.

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen
xo

Finding Joy

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How do you find joy in your everyday life?  What are you passionate about or what lights you up from the inside out?

For me, joy is the result of practicing daily gratitude because when you focus on what you have, it changes your perspective and creates joy from within.  Joy is what gets you through difficult times, it turns on a light when you’re in the dark, it heals wounds and can make your soul sing.  Joy is contagious and can spread like wildfire if you allow it, we’re all connected so it’s better to spread positive vibes and emotions that lead us in the right direction.

In today’s busy world, stress and anxiety are topping the charts of workplace absence and prescription medications.  It’s not overly surprising because the faster the world turns, the faster we run and when we’re running, we’re not paying attention to what’s around us.  It’s only when we slow down to catch our breath and notice the little things in the moment; that’s when we are able to find our joy.

Here are a few ways you can begin the search for joy in your everyday life.

  1. Play with children. They are innocent creatures who love to laugh and goof around
  2. Let your inner child out too. Just like the picture above, we all have that little girl or boy inside of us, waiting to get out again so get silly and let loose
  3. Learn something new such as a language, recipe, or sport
  4. Explore nature. It is the most beautiful and imperfect thing on earth
  5. Travel somewhere new and exciting. Do this solo or with someone you like
  6. Surround yourself with animals. They have the most unconditional love to share with you
  7. Be romantic. This allows you to use your creativity and can find joy in two places at once
  8. Spread random acts of kindness to strangers. The appreciation they feel will come back to you tenfold
  9. Play a musical instrument or put some music on. This is soul food and can be very healing
  10. Sing a song no matter what your voice sounds like. Remember that inner child?
  11. Read a great book or see a movie you’ve been waiting for
  12. Helping others creates huge amounts of joy from within
  13. Wake up those endorphins in your body because they will definitely make you feel better
  14. Meditate or practice mindfulness. Enjoy the silence for a change
  15. Write something, anything. Keep it private or make it public it’s your choice but keep it positive and inspiring
  16. Dance in the rain and get soaked. If this doesn’t make you feel like a kid, I don’t know what will
  17. Be like a cat and take a nap. Time to feel rejuvenated again
  18. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Not only is it live entertainment, it’s free and it’s beautiful
  19. Take a hot bath or get a massage
  20. Eat your favorite desserts like cupcakes or something with chocolate
  21. Spend quality time with friends and laugh so much it hurts

Sometimes the best way to find joy is to surrender to what is.  By surrendering, you are opening your heart and mind to the infinite possibilities of what life can offer you.  It’s not about giving up, it’s about letting go, and the benefit to letting go is finding joy.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

It’s All About Perspectives

If we compare meeting people to reading a book, when we do meet them it is somewhere within the chapters of their life and never at the beginning of that book.  And just like reading, it’s hard to understand the complete story when you only arrived in the middle.  Therefore, it’s important to take the time not to judge and instead ask questions so you can understand where they are coming from and what makes them who they are today.

What makes a person who they are is due to their history and circumstances but most of all, how they reacted and handled them.  We all go through many transitions in life just like the seasons and the changes in weather conditions.  Being Canadian and having 4 seasons to adjust to every few months makes me a person who can also adjust to life and the trials and tribulations that come my way.  At least that’s what I aim to be like.

One season might be tougher than the last but it doesn’t define you and it’s all about perspectives.

This inspiring video is about perspectives and I wanted to share it with you.  I really hope you take the 4 minutes to watch it so you become inspired too.

Happy Sunday everyone,

Much Love ❤

Jen

Everyone Is A Genius

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“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When students are sailing into University taking courses they’re not sure about quite yet, it’s a little daunting to say the least.  They are expected to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives and then work in that field happily ever after.  Wheww!!!  If that’s not enough stress and pressure then I don’t know what is.

I was in this boat before and it was really hard trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  I completed my first year at University taking random courses with no direction.  Kind of like a fly in a sand storm.  At the end of that year I realized I didn’t want to waste any more time or money on something I knew nothing about so I took two years off and worked full time so I could think about it.  Later I went back to school became a nurse and the rest is history.

To all my University friends and young career hunters and warriors, I feel for you.  However…if you can take a step back and dig really deep to know who you truly are and find out what you’re made of, you will be more prepared to take the right path for you.

Two big reasons people go into the wrong field is because their parents told them to or because of the money it will bring after they graduate.  These might be good reasons short term but eventually you will get bored, guaranteed.

Let me ask you this; would you rather be happy or successful?

Most people say successful.  Does success bring happiness?  Especially if you are working in an area where you make good money but you don’t enjoy what you do?  How many years can you work and live like that?  You might work so hard at being that amazing surgeon but if it conflicts with your values, you are like the fish trying to climb a tree.  Fish do much better in the water therefore maybe you need to change your environment.  Do what you were born to do, what you are good at doing, what comes naturally and puts a smile on your face.   It’s not that you aren’t good enough you just need to find your tribe.  When you are happy, success follows you.

There was a study conducted at Harvard University a few years ago called the Happiness Project.  5000 graduates from Harvard University set out to conquer the world with their new degrees in hand.  All were extremely intelligent and became successful in their careers.   A year after their graduation the question of happiness was asked; “Are you happy now that you are successful?”  Do you know what the percentage of those 5000 students were happy?

A sad 3%.  That’s it.

Why?  They chose paths based on statistics, not their values.  They were good at what they did but it somehow clashed with who they were as a person.  If you are a social person both personally and professionally, then sitting behind a desk all day gets pretty boring no matter how much you make.  By choosing a profession that is social it fits who you are and chances of staying in it long term are higher.

In career coaching there is an awesome tool that helps fill the gap of what’s missing.  It’s called the Success Strategy.  Ultimately when you’re doing what you love, aren’t you happy?  Isn’t that success right there?

Every day you need to focus on four key areas in your life in order to have a balance of success and happiness.   It doesn’t have to be a long exercise but each day needs to have these four ingredients.

The first is Legacy.  What are your long term results or plans?  What do you want to be known for?  What are you leaving behind for others?

The second is Creativity.  Let it blossom every day.  Being creative is found in anything and everything.  Many of us are bloggers here and this is one creative way of many.  Let your inner child out.

The third is Results and Achievement.  This can include professional, family and personal areas.  Get something done in one of these areas every day to feel productive.

The fourth is Shining Moments.  It’s the time where you stop and smell the roses, pause for a moment, enjoy and share them.

Where are you on the scale of 1 to 10?  Which areas need improvements?  What are you missing?  Why is that?

You might be a successful person bringing in results and achievements every day, have several shining moments and creating a legacy for yourself, but something is missing; your creativity.  Sadly creativity takes a back seat when we are busy planning our lives.  Maybe you used to play the electric guitar back in the day and one weekend you decide to pick it up and start playing again.  There’s that creativity vibe back, you feel fulfilled because you were able to find it elsewhere and still maintain your work and other areas of happiness and success.  Now all four areas are complete and so are you.  Yeah!!

Go out and find your passion based on who you are.  Don’t let someone else tell you because even though their intentions are good, they’re not you

If you’re a fish, swim.  If you’re a bird, fly.  And so on.  Not only that, practice the four key areas of success and happiness each day to find even more fulfillment.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors whether that’s in University or out in the working world.

And remember….Everyone is a genius.

Thanks Albert Einstein…

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Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

Hallelujah

I love this song and this video and just felt like sharing it with all of you.  The beautiful Canadian Tenors perform the legendary Leonard Cohen version of Hallelujah on the Oprah Show.  Another beautiful Canadian surprise, Celine Dion pops up during their performance and makes their dreams come true, it’s so cute you have to see it!

This song makes your heart want to cry and smile all at the same time because it’s about the hardships of love.  The movie Shrek used this song when Ogre experienced what it was like to feel brokenhearted over his Princess Fiona and both parents and kids around the world witnessed these emotions.

I thought about this song during different times of my life and I’ve used it when something new begins because it brings joy and you can’t help but say Hallelujah!  On the other hand, when something ends and its been a long road, the stress of having it over also makes you want to say Hallelujah!  Therefore all Hallelujah’s have equal value and for me, this song represents peace, either way.

I hope you can take 5:14 minutes today and enjoy listening and feeling the emotion in this piece while relating to your own life and your own Hallelujah’s.  Have a great day!  ❤

Love Always,

Jen
xo

The Upside of Regret

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Ah…Regret!  They say that in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.  Personally I believe this to be true but that doesn’t mean we won’t come face to face with regret on things we do choose.  In Palliative Care, the one thing patients talk about the most are regrets related to love.  Just like our friend Paulo Coelho in the above photo says, we need to live our lives now, not later.

Say what you need to say.  There’s even a song about that by John Mayer.  😉

Are you familiar with the saying hindsight is 20/20?  It’s that retrospect moment, when you look back on something you can clearly see what you should have done…only thing is, it’s done.  Like dating the wrong person or getting a really bad haircut.  Ouch..regret.  If you’ve ever made a bad decision, regret has been your roommate.  Not like Sheldon’s roommate agreement from the Big Bang Theory but more like a difficult companion that can make you both tougher and more sensitive all at the same time.  You get to decide if your toughness looks like unending bitterness or if your sensitivity looks like a kindness so deep it heals every wound it touches.  Do you want regret to be your arch enemy or your best friend because ultimately, it’s you who decides.

Even though the past cannot be changed, the way you tell the stories about it can be.

For instance, remunerating the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s will keep you stuck in the past and also in denial.  Something happened, yes it was horrible but it happened.  Instead, try to find the life lesson that’s hidden in there because there’s always one waiting to be found which is why we’re here to learn from it.  Take a positive spin on it and see what happens.

Regret is a mixture of two emotions, sadness and anger.  Sometimes these emotions can be overwhelming so one thing you can do is this.  Write two columns with the headings Sadness and Anger at the top.  Under each heading, answer this question as many times as possible:   “I am _______ about __________”   This is the messy hard part but remember, the only way out of painful emotions is through them.  Keep writing until you can’t write anymore.

It’s time to grieve what you lost.  This is essential because if you don’t, it will come back twice as hard the next time around on the next situation.  The moment when you see someone gaining what you regretted losing is when you know you’ve finished grieving. Bravo my friend.

Now it’s time to look ahead to the future and pave a way to making better decisions.  Life will bring us to a crossroads more than once and maybe what we need to do is to lean into love and not fear.  Ask yourself “What would thrill me more?” rather than “What will keep my fears at bay?”  But some might say the love path is anxiety provoking and scary.

Maybe…but here’s the thing.

This is the moment you can call on regret, not as a burden but as a motivator that reminds you not to make choices that make you feel awful in retrospect.  This is the upside of regret.  If you’ve done all the above steps and realized everything based on love is worth doing, then go ahead, because life is about to take you on an adventurous ride of happiness.

And I bet you won’t regret it.  ❤

Much Love,

Jen
xo

Surfing Anyone…??

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Jon Kabat-Zinn founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Boston, Mass. teaches the use of mindfulness meditation as a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, and pain.  He has also published many books and audio recordings on mindfulness, one of my personal favorites being “Full Catastrophe Living”

The reason I am writing this blog is because I love his quote in the above photo and wanted to share it with you.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Life is like the ocean it’s big, calm, rough at times, warm, cold and sometimes blue.  Let’s face it we’ve had our fair share of waves and situations come crashing down on us whether we expected them or not.  However, in those exact moments we have two choices.  Run or surf.

If you choose to run, the waves won’t stop they will actually follow you and maybe pull you under.  You may think you’re doing the right thing but it won’t last for very long.  The running goes on and on and you become more exhausted, depleted, and scared, you feel as though you can’t catch your breath.  Those waves just keep on comin’.

If you choose to surf, then the world is your oyster.  Now you have the ability to face the waves with an amazing attitude and a new added skill.  When you surf, you are living in the moment and you are in control of yourself, not the waves.  You feel on top of the world and it’s easier to go with the flow than against it.  You take the waves in stride and what felt scary at first is now something exciting.  You understand the rhythm of the ocean and can time the big waves that may catch you off guard.  Don’t be afraid just get back on your surf board and try again.  You feel so brave and proud of how you are handling things and you should be!  People on the shoreline are looking at you wishing they could surf like you do and you know it.  This makes you smile from within and even gives you peace while riding that wave.

So who are you, a runner or a surfer?  I’m a surfer girl. 🙂

Much Love,

Jen
xo