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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Go With The Flow

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Have you ever tried to control a situation where you don’t have any control?  Did it feel good?  Did you succeed?  What I’ve learned is the harder I try to control a situation like this, the more exhausted I feel and I lose in more ways than one.  People tend to say “go with the flow” but what does that really mean?

I’m writing this blog on the shoreline of my favorite beach.

I’m watching the whitecap waves ascending and descending, just like my emotions on my tough days or tough moments that still appear out of nowhere.

My hot tears hit the hot sand and I realize they are made of water that also flows, sometimes uncontrollably.  I’m grateful I’m wearing sunglasses.

Water has become a very significant symbol in my life that represents emotion, flow, life, surrendering and letting go.  It’s about being in the moment, following the pull, not the push.

Imagine you are standing in a river and walking against the current.  Water is pushing you around, and you are forcing the water in return.  You realize you are resisting and walking in the wrong direction which is difficult. Everything feels heavy.

Now imagine turning around, where one small shift changes everything.  The river current is pulling you in the right direction, you are no longer fighting it and you are even letting go while being in the moment.  It carries you and you are going with the flow.  The current catches you, and you feel so much lighter and relaxed.

Does this mean you are a prisoner to the water and have no choice as to where you are going?

Not at all.

You can turn left, right, go straight or even take a break if you want to.  Just keep going in the right direction and let go a little bit so the current can carry you and have some fun with it.  Look down and see how clear that water is?  What else do you see and notice?  How does it feel to be so free?

Recently, I realized I need to go with the flow more in certain areas of my life.  Lower my expectations, don’t try to control the outcome, live in the moment and enjoy it.  One of my close friends Judith who is a life coach and a great one I might add, asked me if there was ever a time where I did something big in my life, was vulnerable, felt like I was going with the flow, didn’t attach an outcome to it and did it anyway?  Guess what I answered….”Yes, when I wrote my book.  I had no idea how it would turn out, I just did it, enjoyed the process and hoped people would like it.”

Bingo.

It’s the same in other areas of life where it’s important to trust in the process, go with the flow, and believe things will work out the way they are supposed to.  Stop fighting it and embrace it instead.  I admit I get my hopes up very high, very fast and trying to bring myself down to a low starting level is very hard.  But what’s even harder is living with constant disappointment that things didn’t go the way I expected them to.  Especially when it comes to relationships.

That’s where the waves come into play.  The highs and lows are so unpredictable and can carry you away into good and not so good times; just like love, emotions, and life.  Rather than crashing into the waves, ride them instead, it’s okay. It’s unrealistic to think you need to be happy all the time so when sadness or anger comes along, think of it as a wave and ride it out because it will pass and flatten out eventually.

As I sit here and look out at the turquoise water and watch these waves, I somehow feel at peace because of their sound washing against the shore, and how great they look rolling in, while the birds sing overhead. I see my kids playing in these waves, having a great time, going with the flow.  I now realize we are all connected to nature, and many of life’s answers are out there if we pay attention to them.

I am happy to say I’ve been making some progress in going with the flow and I still have work to do, but it feels much better, very freeing, and less stressful.  Dare I say…Fun??

Sometimes, yes.  I’m still learning.

How do you go with the flow?

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

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P.S:  I would like to thank you ALL for your support and love through the promotion of my book which is going very well.  For those who have read it and even took the time to review it, I am honored and so grateful.  On Saturday, September 9th, from Noon to 4 pm, I will be doing another book signing at Chapters Gloucester in the Ottawa area.  If you would like to stop by, say hi, and pick up a signed copy of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” it would be great to see you!

Copies and different versions are available on all online bookstores worldwide.

Thank you all again, and dare to live courageously…

XOXO

What I Know For Sure…Now: A Letter To My 21-Year-Old-Self

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Okay seriously, life is full of lessons whether you want to learn from them or not.  When you do learn, you expand your personal growth and development and make necessary changes so they don’t happen again.  If you don’t learn the life lessons, they will keep happening over and over until you do.  They won’t go away on their own.  That’s just the way it is…sigh.

No matter what age you are, something happened to you that affected your life and how you reacted to it changed you.  It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.   But what if you could have a conversation with your younger self and give advice that would save you time and grief or give you confidence and perseverance in various areas of your life?  I know I’ve thought about this and I’d like to share what I know for sure… now.

Dear Jen,

You are 21 years young now and are studying very hard to become a nurse.  You have chosen a career path that is helpful and compassionate which aligns with who you are and your core values in life. Yes studying is hard, working in the hospital is hard but never give up because you are on the right path; you’ve got this.  Know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours, this is the beauty in nursing.

What if I told you when you graduate you will move to another country to work and travel?  Not just once but twice. Nursing can open many doors for you and later on there is another big opportunity coming up that you cannot say no to, in Qatar.

Don’t always expect to be acknowledged and appreciated for all the hard work you do, people are tired and busy in their own worlds but in your heart, just know you are doing your best and in the end, you will be rewarded by Him.  Know your own self-worth because if you think you are cheap, people will see and treat you as cheap. Try not to control every outcome, just relax and enjoy the ride because you have so much ahead of you, a world of experiences that will blow your mind!

Life Coaching is in your future which is another beautiful helping profession and by walking this path, you learn so much about yourself in the process and it’s an automatic win-win for you and your clients. You will be so inspired, you will really love this but it takes work to get it going.  Don’t give up.

Relationships are complicated but a very big part of your life Jen.  Friendships are to be treasured and respected by both sides otherwise, it’s not worth it.  Everywhere you go, you will meet new friends and connect well with them for life because of who you are.  You have many amazing friends who inspire you so hang on tight they are your rocks during your toughest moments.   Don’t forget to be there for them too and love them with all your heart.  Sadly, one of your closest friends will be diagnosed with cancer and cannot beat it.  However, having known her, changes your perspective on life for the better because you learn to appreciate the little things, slow down and look within yourself for answers to life’s complicated questions.  You have all the solutions inside you, just dig deep because they’re all there.  You feel a deep sense of gratitude for having known her and you miss her.

Family is another important part of your life and you need to show your appreciation for everything they do for you.  Nobody’s perfect and everyone is doing the best they can, just like you Jen.  Perfection is a dangerous thing and not even possible so let it go.  Imperfections are what make people beautiful including you.  It all depends on your perspective, try to look at them as your gifts.  Your entire family loves you unconditionally, you love them too and you get along with everyone.

Ah, romance, romance.  You have met some really nice guys that showed interest in you so far and you have been interested in some of them.   But Jen, you need to have more self-confidence you need to love yourself more.  Learn how to be assertive and stand up to the ones who don’t treat you right and hold hands with the ones who do.  Don’t get blindsided by flattery, take it for what it is which is sweet.  Not every guy will understand your kind heart but that’s ok, it’s not your job to convince him of it.  Never let the good guy get away, easier said than done.  Romantic involvement is complex and fleeting.  Don’t settle for someone, make sure your man adores you, protects you, makes time for you, has the same values as you, has your back on everything and knows how to use a hammer!  This will save you a ton of frustration…

What you really want is someone who makes you smile, is proud of you, supports you and inspires you, is emotionally there for you and treats you like his queen.  Not a man who drains you or takes advantage of your good nature or abandons you.  He will love you with his whole heart by making you his number one priority and not let his external environment control how he feels or acts around you.

He must know his own core values and who he truly is on the inside otherwise he is a chameleon adjusting to every external environment, not a man.

If you are looking for a chameleon, go to Costa Rica.

Make sure he never interrupts you or puts you down in front of other people; he should be singing your praises instead.  You are a fine catch young lady and never forget that!  😉

You put everyone’s needs ahead of your own and deep down, you want your needs met too and why not?  People pleasing and putting yourself last is killing you without you even realizing it.  You need to take better care of yourself so you have the ability to take care of others.  Everywhere you go you are a caretaker.  Learn to set some boundaries for yourself otherwise people will walk all over you as if you were a doormat.  “No” is a complete sentence, remember that my love.  And whatever you do, don’t let the opinions of others influence you to the point of doing nothing.  You’re better than that.

Be very mindful of selfish people and narcissists in your life.  They are your biggest threat because they give subtle red flags and are very good at charming you.  Take off those rose colored glasses so you can actually see the color red.  They are only interested in themselves so don’t kid yourself into thinking they have something to offer you.  They are takers and you are a giver so you are vulnerable in this situation.  Be very, very careful.

I know you can’t see it now but your heart of gold will fall in love with one man and two children over the years.  Unfortunately heartbreak is in your future but this tragedy has its silver lining.  You experience two sides of the same coin but you are a trooper, a real warrior.  Facing these various betrayals are the biggest stressors you will go through but it’s not what happens to us in life that determines who we are, it’s how we cope and react to it that counts and you have excellent coping skills.  Like grace under fire. You are not a victim so don’t play that role, ever.  You might feel like you are all alone in this but you’re not.  You are stronger than you realize and you have God in your corner.  This is a time for self-compassion and practicing self-care, finally.  You have put this off long enough Jen so time to pay attention to yourself.  It’s self-discovery time.  Be a good example for your kids because they are always watching and taking notes.  Learn the lessons here and don’t worry so much, everything is going to be okay.

You really need a vacation, you should plan one.

Writing blogs for you is a positive emotional outlet and an incredibly important way of dealing with stress because getting your emotions out on paper or a screen is cathartic.  A wonderful healing tool for all.  Not only are you helping yourself but also helping others by letting them know we are all in this together, nobody is alone.  An amazing world of bloggers is out there and each person has something beautiful to offer, appreciate each and every one of them from your heart because they are probably fighting a battle of their own you know nothing about.  You learn to write your way out of this betrayal and when writing the story of your life Jen, don’t let anyone else hold the pen, own it.  You get to write your own ending.  On the other side of this fear is freedom so hang in there, you’re doing great.  You are finding your inner voice and are finally starting to use it.  Better late than never girl!

Exercise has always been a priority in your life but during this time you must keep moving more than ever.  The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits are endless.  Exercise helps to get the negative energy out, clear your mind, release those endorphins and make you feel empowered again.  You meet more friends along the way who support you and you can’t imagine your life without them because they are just so fun to be with!  You learn new activities like Zumba and PiYo which you even become addicted to!

As you make your way through the pain with your kids, your vision becomes clearer and you slowly get your strength back, thanks to your family and friends here and all around the world.  Connection has empowered you to stand up for what you believe in and fight for your rights my little warrior.  You are getting to know and love yourself more and more each and every day, the butterfly is emerging.  One of the greatest lessons you can learn is to practice gratitude, forgiveness and surrender.  These are the silver linings in the dark clouds.  You will make it to the other side Jen, you are almost there so don’t give up now.  Music and lyrics inspire you and give you energy.  There’s one song that’s about standing for something and getting stronger which is exactly what you need right now.  You need to stand for you.  Share this song with your amazing friends and in the meantime…ROAR!

To be continued in another 20 years….

And this is what I know for sure….now.

Love,

Jen
xo