Silver Is The New Gold

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Your boyfriend/girlfriend just broke up with you or maybe you didn’t get that job you were counting on.  These scenarios are major disappointments in life and if you focus on the negative outcome, you miss the gift of finding the silver lining and life lessons that are often hidden within the situation.

Imagine one of the most challenging situations you had to face and thought you were never going to get through it.  Perhaps it was one of these examples above or something even bigger where the devastation was so great you were immobilized for weeks or months.

Sound familiar?

In hindsight, were you able to see if any good came out of the experience?  What were the life lessons you learned from it?  In what ways did that experience give your life new meaning?

Now think of a challenge you are facing right now.  How might you see your challenge in a new light with a different perspective?  What are some positive possibilities that could come because of this challenge you are facing?

When devastation and disappointment strikes, it’s natural to go into victim mode for awhile.  The key to surviving this is actually having the key to escape that prison you’re in.  Success and failures are two sides of the same coin and sometimes in order to be successful, one needs to fail.  Failures are life’s greatest teachers and are road signs telling us that we’re going the wrong way and we need to look for a new direction.  These are known as the crossroads in our life which can be a great opportunity for a life review to see what we have, what we want and what we can live without.  With every review, things become a little clearer which means you become a little happier and successful in finding your right path.

Let’s suppose that job offer didn’t work out for you and something even better came along.  If you would have been offered that first job, the opportunity for accepting the right one would have been lost to someone else.  By being patient and accepting the right offer you are able to find the silver lining of being rejected in the first situation.

Heartbreak is another story and maybe the most complicated one of all to fully understand.  Even though reasons for why a break up happened are so greatly varied, the feelings and emotions that someone experiences are the same no matter what the situation.  Anger, sadness, grieving a loss are essential feelings to go through in order to make sense of the situation and move forward.  There are times when one person no longer feels the loving connection they once had as a couple and despite the efforts of trying to repair things, it becomes time for them to walk away.  In life, sometimes people can grow with you and other times people grow apart from you.  As hard as it may be to accept this fact, all of this aids in your own personal growth and development because if someone who isn’t right for you stays, then you miss out on meeting the person who is right.

Once free from an emotionally dead relationship, that’s when the process of self-discovery begins which is a beautiful thing because when you know more about who you are, your values, and what you represent then you will attract like-minded people into your life instead of settling.  You become more loving and self-compassionate which allows you to extend that love to others, making it more authentic because it becomes an opportunity to open up your heart and mind.  When you hit rock bottom in a relationship, the only way to go is up because painful endings are beautiful beginnings.  Therefore, learning the life lessons and finding the silver lining in heartbreak are the best things that could ever happen to you and this is worth celebrating.

The possibilities are endless when finding the silver lining in life’s challenges and your job is to find them because silver is the new gold and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

Wishing everyone a season of peace and joy this December.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all 🙂

P.S.  My book is due to be released at the end of March 2017 so I will keep you posted on that as well.  In it, I go through the silver linings I found and life lessons I learned which inspired me to write this post as well.

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

Waking Up Without Ever Having Gone To Sleep

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Self-help and personal growth and development are one of the most popular genres of books, music, videos, and movies these days and people are searching for inspiration in everything because they live with a feeling that something is missing in their life.  I know I’ve had my fair share of days where I don’t feel aligned with who I really am and there was a time when I wasn’t living my most authentic life either.  When you suppress the real you and live for somebody else, essentially it is a betrayal of yourself and that really hurts.

We often hear the phrase “live an authentic life.”  What does that really mean?  How do you know you are living an authentic life and how do you know if you’re not?  The best place to start is by defining your core values.  What makes you who you are?  If you were to describe yourself in 10 words, what would they be?  These are your values, they come from your heart and they drive your behavior.  On the other hand, a belief is something with the word “because” in it, such as “I believe ____ because _______ .”  These are not who you truly are because they are usually imposed on you from somebody else like a parent, teacher, or society which can end up being self-limiting and disempowering.  Values are never self-limiting, they expand and empower you.

For example, let’s say you value creativity because you are into music, writing, painting or whatever the case may be.  You might be a high profile professional and feel like something is missing in your life and you’re right, there is.  It’s your authentic self that’s being suppressed because the outside world might be screaming “don’t do that, it’s a waste of time, put your efforts into your work/family instead.”  It might even be your gremlin inside your own mind saying “who do you think you are, pursuing something like this?”

Sound familiar?  Yep.  Been there done that.

To live an authentic life we need to learn more about ourselves by spending time alone and asking some tough questions that we need to know the answer to.  If we don’t ask, we’ll never know, right?  Living authentically is in constant motion which means it’s always shifting and evolving so you can find what’s real and then have the courage to live that way, despite all the judgments and criticism.  Every time you look within yourself, a little more authenticity is revealed and your challenge is to find your power in a disempowering environment.  Nobody said it would be easy but what’s even harder is ignoring your authentic self for the rest of your life.  We need to let go of the fears of what other people might think of us if we decide to show our authenticity and instead we can choose to love ourselves unconditionally.

Fear always feels bad, insists on certainty and needs everything whereas love always feels good, accepts uncertainty and needs nothing.  The more we can live with an open mind and open heart on a daily basis, the more authentic our lives will be.

The beauty of living authentically is the waking up without ever having gone to sleep.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

Your “Absolute No” List

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To Do Lists/Honey Do Lists – You know the ones, they’re a mile long and related to things needing to be done around the house by you or your honey.  These lists remind us of what needs our attention and as you cross something off, you should try to resist adding something in its place otherwise the list never goes down in size and you don’t feel a sense of accomplishment; you feel drained.  On the other hand, To Do Lists can be something you look forward to doing in the future with someone 😀

Goals I want to achieve lists – Run a marathon, lose 10 pounds, get a promotion, etc.  These lists can be great motivators and are good to have around where you can see them.  Think of action steps when you see these goals because it’s one thing to know what you want to achieve and it’s another thing to actually do it.

Things I want to buy list – This list ranges from anything practical to anything frivolous.  Sometimes all you need is a new mattress for your bed and other times you want a new car.  It’s good to dream but stay within your means and don’t go over budget.  You may go one step further and ask yourself “Is this a need or a want?”  By answering this question it can either make you run to the cash to pay for it or walk away.

Absolute Yes List – What are the things you absolutely must have in your life?  What inspires you?  Think about your top priorities in the areas of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual sides of your life.  Also, look at relationships, work, children, family, leisure activities, community service, and so on.  List as many as possible and circle your top 10.  Keep that list visible and close by so you can see it each day as a reminder.

 

***FLIP***

 

The above lists are the most common ones we see and hear people talking about whereas the following lists below are rarely considered and it’s time we do consider them because they can help prioritize what is important to you and give you some space and clarity in your life.

It’s all in the flip.

Stop Doing List – What can you seriously live without?  Maybe stop buying junk food every time you go to the grocery store.  Stop gossiping, stop dealing with difficult situations alone, stop reading books that don’t grab your attention, stop being a martyr and going to work when you’re sick.   Stop saying Yes when you want to say No.

Goals I have achieved so far list – What have you already accomplished?   This is a great motivator and reminder of accomplishing more if you want to.  You feel proud of yourself for having the perseverance and determination to do so.

Things I have and feel grateful for – As you reflect on the things you have in your life you realize you have more than you thought.  Being grateful gives a new perspective on life and how you can find gratitude each day.  By not only celebrating the big moments or achievements, you can be grateful for the little things like the sunny day you planned that picnic and it didn’t rain or be grateful you made it through that exercise class without fainting!  When you feel grateful you create joy from within and during the times when life is beating you up, this is the time when you need to practice gratitude the most.

Absolute No List – What activities do you no longer do or want to do, what/who drains you, which relationships do you need to remove, what frustrates you?  What will you no longer tolerate?  Pay attention to how you feel in your body such as tightness in your chest, butterflies in your stomach, or headaches.  For example, if you feel stress and resentment at every Christmas gathering because you’re the one always putting on the big spread, maybe it’s time to hand it over to someone else to do.

Here is a sneak peak of what’s on my “Absolute No” List:

I no longer…

Put myself last

Live with drama or accept it in my life

Watch the news, it’s too upsetting

Compromise my needs to keep peace with anyone

Stay quiet when I want to speak up

Buy things unless I need them

Invest time in relationships that are not aligned with who I am

 

It’s time we start living life and not rushing through it.  We need to use our time wisely by removing some things in our life rather than reorganizing and reshuffling it.  Removing gives more time and space and allows you to slow down.  Reclaim your life.

It’s time to put ourselves first and practice self-care techniques instead of keeping the peace at any cost and continuing the legacy of deprivation and resentment.   Self-care is not selfish, it’s essential.  When you are happy you radiate that to others and they feel it and when you are full of love and energy, you have that much more to give.

Your Challenge:  Complete these lists on your own and see where you stand and what is achievable in your own life.  By closely examining your absolute no list, it may be a real eye-opener for you but quantity is rarely better than quality and we all strive for a better quality of life.  It’s a wonderful way of getting to know yourself better and promoting some personal growth and development.

What’s on your “Absolute No” List?

 

Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

 

Transformation Is A Beautiful Thing

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Inspiration can be found in many corners of our life and in the lives of others.  Life is in motion at all times and if we stop and pay attention, that’s when we notice inspiring moments, people, places, and things.  Personally, one of the greatest things I love to see is how someone can transform themselves from being in a negative state to becoming their own superhero.  It’s not about winning a popularity contest but about being the best version of yourself after struggling with something so difficult for so long and coming out of it beautifully.

When I think about transformation, I think of metaphors because what metaphors can do is open our mind to a new perspective and deeper understanding of the potential transformation.  It’s like a window or a doorway we can move through and find ways to relate it to our situation.

‘Meta’ means over and beyond and in transformation, it is over and beyond reality.  My favorite metaphor of all is the caterpillar becoming a butterfly through the power of metamorphosis because one step over and beyond the caterpillar, the butterfly emerges.  In life when we try to step beyond a belief, behavior, fear or circumstance, a metaphor can transform a person ‘s perspective and trigger their values which allow them to step into joy in their life.

For example, a person who has a fear of public speaking may be struggling inside this cocoon for some time but wants to overcome it through transformation.  Just the mere thought of having to get up and speak to a few or many people can start the heart palpitations and make someone freeze right in their tracks because of stage fright.  This person’s main goal is to avoid public speaking and social events at all costs, mainly because they are shy.  The struggle is within their own mind and trying to silence the  negative voice.

I was speaking with a friend recently and he said not only can shyness get in the way but add a language barrier on top of everything and you’ve got yourself a fearful scenario.  I can only imagine how hard and uncomfortable that must feel to be around people you can’t connect with.  He gave an example where his workplace required them to do impromptu group speeches in front of everyone and his first instinct was to run and hide but since he wanted to transform his fear into something more comfortable, he remembered the first lesson from the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

Be Proactive.

In this lesson, Covey talks about taking responsibility for your own life and stresses the importance of focusing your time and energy on the things you have control over in life.  In a matter of minutes, my friend took this lesson and applied it to his own life right before facing one of the most fearful things; public speaking.  He changed his self-talk from negative to positive saying “Don’t freeze, focus on the audience instead of your own awkwardness, think of how you would want to see a speaker, put yourself in the shoes of the audience and see yourself from their perspective so you can transform your fear into something you love.  Imagine yourself being courageous even if you think you aren’t.  Be yourself, no stress or pressure, you are surrounded by friends.  Learn to laugh at yourself, life is too serious, be imperfect so people can connect, enjoy yourself and live outside your comfort zone.”

He stood up and managed to convince himself of everything he said and faced his fear by talking about his imperfections by making jokes with the audience.  People were laughing with him, and it gave a soaring boost to his self-confidence which made him continue even more.  He felt both shocked and happy with himself that day because it was a life changing moment, a real transformation where he struggled so long with negative self-talk but in the end after all that hard work, he emerged beautifully like a butterfly.  What a perfect example of going over and beyond his reality and honoring the value of courage.

More times than not, we struggle in our minds and hearts about who we are and about how we want other people to see us. We wrestle with worthiness and shame all at the same time when really we all belong together and we are more similar than we are different.

When I asked him how he felt about that day he said “It changed my outlook towards socializing, facing fears, being vulnerable, handling pressure situations and making friends in general.  And every victory I have had since that day, I attribute to this one act of mine where I overcame myself.  And, needless to say, making friends has been not as difficult as I feared since that day.  I survived.”

Bravo my friend for daring to live courageously, keep rockin’ the shark fin 😉

Transformation is a beautiful thing.

“How does one become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”  ~Trina Paulus

 

Much Love ❤
Jen

If I Would Have Listened

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This blog is dedicated to an amazing friend of mine, Basak Yanar, PhD.  She’s been there for me through many of my trials and tribulations, has a heart of gold, words of an angel and can crack the code on human behavior.  Please check her incredible published work.  If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here on WordPress writing today so Basak, this one’s for you beautiful lady.  All my love,

“If I would have listened to the nasty gremlins in my head
I never would have taken a step back from my work to analyze what I wanted to do

If I would have listened to the doubts that creep in at night and tell me I’m not good enough
I never would have had the courage to hire a life coach, YOU.

If I would have listened to the persistent gremlins in my head about my imperfections in writing
I never would have started a blog on WordPress

If I would have listened to the insecurities that my initial blog traffic was low
I never would have continued posting anything here and given up

If I would have listened to the people who doubted creativity and its importance in my life
I would have given up on soul searching, creating my life and blogging

If I would have listened to people telling me healing is found in a pharmacy
I would have never realized the healing properties that writing has for one’s soul

If I would have listened to people telling me blogging relationships are not real
I would have never pursued solidifying my connections and friendships with all of you

If I would have listened to people judging me for my circumstances
I would have never stood up to them for myself and my family

If I would have listened to people who betrayed me and took their love away
I would have never discovered my personal determination and perseverance

If I would have listened to the unhealthy relationships around me
I never would have discovered what healthy could look like

If I would have listened to my doubts that I deserve love and belonging
I never would have hit reset and started with loving myself first

If I would have listened to people who tried to take advantage of me
I would have never developed the skill of being investigative and protecting my rights

If I would have listened to my mind tell me that I should stay home to recover from heartbreak
I would have never followed my heart by gifting myself the gift of travel to heal instead

If I would have listened to the fears about traveling solo to India
I never would have visited such a beautiful country and met my Indian blogging friends in person

If I would have listened to my negative emotions
I never would have discovered what the positive ones were

If I would have listened to selfishness and greed
I never would have discovered the beauty of gratitude and kindness

If I would have listened to the people who made me question my self-worth
I never would have stumbled upon the amazing works of Brené Brown

If I would have listened to those gremlins again that I should do this or that
I never would have followed my intuition and stepped into my wants for the first time in my life”

Basak, thank you for all your love, support and encouragement in my own personal growth and development, I’m so glad I finally listened to me.

 

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

 

 

Tony Robbins: The “Why Guy”

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If you aren’t familiar with famous life coach Tony Robbins, allow me to introduce him to you.  He’s not a motivational speaker, he’s the “why guy.”  Why do we do the things we do?  What drives us?  What are your belief systems that prevent you from living a full life?  What does it take to get something done?  Some people just don’t have a strategy; they’re lost.  It’s not that they aren’t trying to achieve their goal, it’s just they’re moving in the wrong direction.  It’s like running east looking for a sunset and not being able to find it.

That person gets an A for effort but what they really need is a map.

It’s the weekend so time to relax, grab a coffee, sit back and take 20 minutes to listen to this why guy with the raspy fast talking voice and see what he has to say about how emotion is the driving force behind what we do.

*Warning…he does swear every now and then, but I will hold him accountable for that…

Have a great weekend,

Jen 🙂

#WhatTheHeckIsLifeCoaching??

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This is a common question I hear from people who have never experienced a life coaching session and with good reason.  Everyone knows what psychology is but not everyone knows what life coaching is all about.  I thought I would write a blog to help hack into this world for you.  🙂

Life coaching is about helping you achieve a desired goal and finding the inspiration and motivation to get you from the present moment to the future.  Think of an athlete you follow, he or she has a coach right?  Imagine if they didn’t.  Where would they be?  Coaches motivate, help keep you on track, strive for better and keep you accountable using different techniques and tools.  Life coaching is no different except there are no push ups involved, unless this is your desired goal.  😉

I would like to give an example of a coaching call using some key questions I ask that can get the wheels in your mind turning and possibly burning.  😉   So let’s get cracking!

“What is the one goal you would love to achieve in your life right now?  In other words, what do you want more of in your life?  Fill in the blank; “I want _______________”

“What if time and money weren’t an issue for you, what would you like to have or do?”

The first few questions represent stating what you want in your life.  The power to dream big.  Many people have never been asked this question before and have a hard time pinning something down because they think they don’t have the right to ask for what they want.  If you are like this, rest assured you are not alone.  You do have the right to be happy and be free to go after what you want.  Give this question some real thought and state your awesome goal.

“Why is that goal important to you?”

“What is the deeper meaning of having this for you?”

“What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?”

Ahhh.. the “Why” and legacy question, my favorites of all.  This is where your values come into play and the reasons you give as to why you want to achieve something are coming from your heart.  It’s where we keep our values close to who we are because our values define us.  It’s important to know your values in life because they guide your behavior.  Plus if you realize this goal is not very important to you, chances are you will never achieve it.  Pssst…choose something important!

“On a scale of 1 -10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being you’ve got it, where would you say you are on the scale in reaching this goal right now?”

“What does that number represent or look like?  You fill in the blank; “the number ____ represents __________”

“Where would you ultimately like to be on that scale?”

Scaling your goal is very useful because it allows you to see where you are now and where you want to be in the future.  It’s measureable.  You can track your progress by doing this several times and it also produces motivation and inspiration within to keep you moving forward.

“What are some capabilities and abilities that you already have and can use to reach your goal?”

“What are some of your transferrable skills?”

“How would you and your friends and family describe you?”

“What are some capabilities and abilities that you still need to be able to reach your goal?”

These questions pin point the skills and abilities you already have to get you there and what you still need which is important to know because you need to look at it from all angles.   The majority of people when they list their have’s and needs, the have’s list usually wins.  Therefore, you have more going for you than you even realized.

“Imagine it’s six months from now and you have successfully reached your goal.  What does that look and feel like?”

“If you could take one small action step that could bring you closer to your goal, what would that be?”

Ok here’s the fun part.  Now that you know what you have to do and need to do, the question is HOW do you do it?  This is where the rubber hits the road for most people.  They put the brakes on and don’t move because of fear.  Go back to the why is that important to you question again and get inspired.

You gotta walk the talk.

Make sure when you choose a small action step it is specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and timely.  In other words, make it easy.  Action steps start out small and you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just need to take the first step.  Every step counts in reaching your goal and remember, that one small step can shift everything!

“What else can you do?”

“What else?”

Dig deep and keep asking this question over and over….you get the point.

“How will you hold yourself accountable for doing the action steps you stated?”

Ask a friend or co-worker to check up on you to make sure you did what you said you would do.

“What could possibly stand in your way in being able to reach this goal?”

Usually it’s us.  If you have the determination to get it done, nothing can stand in your way.

“When will you take this action step?”

Make sure you set a specific date and mark it down somewhere.  Otherwise if you say you will do it later or sometime this month, guess what will happen?  Nada, zip, nothing.

“Where will you be working to reach your goal?”

Sometimes people will be at their current workplace, maybe at home or anywhere really.  It depends on the goal.  State it and write it down.  You’re doing great!

After answering these questions you can go back to your scale and see where you are on the line now.  Even if you have only moved 0.5 up on the scale, it counts as evidence and a step forward.  Celebrate!  You are moving in the right direction and are closer to your goal already!

Feeling motivated yet?

Now your life coach holds you accountable for your action steps and will be checking on you to see if you have completed what you said you would do.  Each weekly session is a review of the last and involves making more plans for the future.  This is how you move forward by tracking progress with your pen and paper or computer.  Usually a number of sessions are necessary to get the results you want.

After you happily reach your goal and are living the dream, your notes are available to you from all the work we did together and you can look back at how far you’ve come since that day you had this idea in mind.  Years later, you can review it again and again and be proud of yourself for all your answers, hard work, determination, perseverance and motivation.  You did it!

You are amazing!

#AndThat’sLifeCoachingWithJennifer

Lots of love  ❤

Jen
xo

The Gift of Forgiveness

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What is forgiveness?   It is making a deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you.  It takes a strong person to say “I’m sorry” and an even stronger person to forgive.  Forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees them from their own anger and deeply held negative feelings. It empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.  In essence, it’s about giving up the hope that the past could be any different and accept that something happened.

The opposite of forgiveness is revenge.  This negative emotion is never sweet and can literally tear you apart.  If you get revenge on the person who harmed you, they may no longer suffer depending on the revenge but either way, it will have a direct impact on your life where you will only suffer more.   Some people say the best revenge is just moving on and let karma do the rest.  What are your thoughts on that?

Confusion about forgiveness is when we think about forgiving someone who has harmed us, we believe we are saying to that person it’s okay what they did and we’re letting them off the hook or giving up our control. This isn’t true and it’s not about accepting bad behavior.  We might even see ourselves as a doormat.  When you forgive, you do not wear rose-colored glasses or deny the seriousness of what happened to you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.  Maybe some of you reading this blog have felt this way and I have to admit I did for a long time too.

Forgiveness comes in its own time and shouldn’t be rushed so if you are struggling with forgiveness then it’s not the right time and that’s okay.  When you do feel ready to forgive, try to recognize the causes that led that person to act as they did and this can help facilitate the process of forgiveness.  I am currently on my own journey of forgiveness and I understand how difficult it can be, you are not alone.

Why should we forgive?  Here are a few things I have discovered about forgiveness.

  • It makes us happier
  • Improves our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health
  • Sustains relationships worth saving
  • Self-esteem, confidence and self-worth return at a higher level
  • If we don’t transform our pain, we transmit it to those around us
  • When you forgive you don’t change the past, you change your future by rising above what happened. It’s life changing for the better
  • Sets you free from that person and their negativity, you take your power back

How do we forgive someone who has harmed us deeply?  This is where the rubber fails to hit the road.

  • Accept and process your anger even though it’s difficult, be patient
  • Acknowledge your revenge fantasies, they are just that
  • Forgive yourself it’s crucial to your healing
  • Try to see a common humanity between you and the person you are trying to forgive
  • See them with a compassionate eye. They’re only human just like you
  • Realize the cure for pain and suffering is where personal growth and development can arise. This is usually a time where you might see the silver lining in your situation
  • Forgetting about it and pretending it did not happen is not forgiveness

In the beginning, it’s really hard and it takes so much strength to forgive.  To change the world, we need to change our mind.  Hanging onto these negative emotions ends up hurting us in the end.  When you don’t forgive, you keep that wound open and you inflict more pain on yourself which isn’t healing for you at all.

Forgive them even if they aren’t sorry and even if you never get that apology.  I know…that’s a tough one.

When we struggle with being right or being happy, we are still struggling with forgiveness and that’s okay.  We need to discover how to get out of our own way and stop holding ourselves hostage because we end up blocking the flow of happiness in our life.  After all, on the other side of forgiveness is a personal freedom which is amazingly beautiful.

Forgiveness happens when we stop holding a grudge and let go of our right to resentment for being mistreated. It doesn’t mean we stop protecting ourselves but it does mean we let go of emotional retaliation which only hurts us in the long run. Carrying around revenge in your heart will only weigh you down in negativity. It takes more strength to be able to forgive but what you resist can persist and that is no way to go through life carrying around this unnecessary baggage. Say it for yourself and move on, you are actually giving yourself a gift of peace by doing this.

True forgiveness is a gift to ourselves, the other person doesn’t need to be present or even know we have forgiven them because forgiveness takes place in our minds and in our bodies.  We do it for ourselves so we can be at peace and live our best life, free from negativity.  By letting go of the past and surrendering to what is, you create the process of emptying your mind. The only way to stop the vicious cycle of reacting to pain by causing more pain is to step out of the system by taking a step back.

Most importantly, we need to allow our hearts fill with compassion and learn how to forgive ourselves.  This might be more difficult than forgiving another human being because we are so hard on ourselves.   Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  Your best teacher is your last mistake so it’s important to learn from it so it is not repeated in your life and then move on.  Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake.  Try and be self-compassionate.

Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.  Trust yourself and forgive them.

I wish you all the very best on your journey of giving yourself the gift of forgiveness.

“By owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.  And when we own the story, then we can write the ending.”  ~ Brené Brown

 Much Love,

Jennifer Juneau

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The Inner Game of Tennis – Love vs. Fear

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Dealing with change and finding the positive silver lining hidden within our experiences are tough life lessons to be learned.  It sounds pretty straight forward but when you are really in it, it takes every ounce of energy and focus to actually do it.  Easier said than done right?  Sometimes it feels like these life lessons and difficult decisions are being launched like tennis balls out of a cannon one after the other with no break in between to catch our breath while we use our racquet as a shield.

From what I have seen with many people, myself included, letting go or surrendering to what is can be the hardest life lesson to swallow because it’s scary and unknown.   Should I stay or should I go?  Should I control the situation or just accept it as it is? Will I choose to be a victim or a victor?  We fight to hang on and we fight to let go.  It’s that constant back and forth rally in our minds that keeps the Wimbledon inner game of tennis alive.

Is letting go giving up?  Not at all, it’s actually quite the opposite.

Caroline Myss wrote something that shook me to my core when I read it and I will share it with you.  When someone says “I want to get out of this circumstance, but I’m too afraid.”  She is betraying everything in her heart.  She’s making choices that are harming her and that’s why she’s hurting.  Her intuition is trying to tell her that.   When your life begins to harm you, know that you have taken a detour from your true path.  You are no different from the people who hurt you.  People know when they have betrayed themselves because the little voice inside says “You’re still with that person; why didn’t you leave?”  Your intuition speaks the truth that you don’t want to hear.  It also says “You’ve done everything you can so it’s time to let go and surrender.”

Wow.  “I am no different from the people who hurt me.”  That was a huge light bulb moment and reading that was enough to make me want to let go.  It’s bad enough that someone or something is hurting you and by ignoring your own heart, you are hurting yourself on top of it.  Double punishment hurts.  I love Caroline Myss and her perspectives.

It’s been a tough match so far, that inner game of tennis is almost finished and silence is everywhere.  What will your next move be?  Time to focus, your opponent Fear is about to serve.

What a perfect opportunity to discover a new and unexpected strategy in your game.  By releasing someone so they can be where they need to be, do what they want to do and be with whomever they want is actually an act of love and courage on your part.  Trust and respect yourself and let them go.  Let them be the destructive one, you be the kind one.   In that exact moment, you become more peaceful and free and you create the much needed space in your life for bigger and better things to come flowing in.  It leads you to the next.  Ah, finally the silver lining; acceptance and happiness.  And the crowd goes wild…

We all have our “stuff” we are dealing with but that doesn’t mean we can’t find our joy along the way.  Even a caged bird can find something to sing about.  And when you do find the courage to surrender to change and let go, you will fly like a free bird and think “why didn’t I do this sooner?”  Not only that, the tennis balls will stop flying at you and you will have victoriously won the match.

Congratulations…Love always wins.  At least at this game.

Tennis anyone?

“The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart.”  ~ Gary Zukav

 

Much love,

Jennifer