Cheers to Three Years…

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Hey, it’s my three-year blogging anniversary today, June 18th, 2016!!  I wanted to honor this day and write something special so let’s take a short trip back in time, shall we?

Three years ago, one of my closest friends encouraged me to create this blog because she had one too.  She’s a life coach and one of my biggest cheerleaders and motivators in my life and even though I was months away from becoming a life coach myself, I had reservations about starting this blog before I obtained that status.  However, she encouraged me to just begin blogging and not worry about perfection.  She said, “If you wait for a perfect time, that time never comes, begin it now.”  So I did and Courage Coach was born.  I had no idea what I wanted to write about, so one of my first posts was about courage itself which represented what I am all about and to show I walk the talk.  After one post I felt like I had writer’s block already so for my second post I put up a photo of nature I took because I found it inspiring 😉

In that first year, I became a coach and used to blog once a month, finding topics related to life coaching and areas that interested me.  I refined my tabs and my About Me page almost 50 times because I wanted to create this reading and writing space for two reasons.  To market my life coaching business and to connect with people worldwide by writing on topics we all deal with in a positive light such as health and wellness goals, loss, how to forgive, and much more.

During my second year, I was blogging frequently because I felt more confident and I was fully into life coaching.  The more I wrote about life the more I discovered myself in the process, I was falling in love with writing all over again and was starting to meet many people worldwide who connected with my words.  My friend was right that in order to connect with people we shouldn’t worry about being perfect because when we’re willing to show up and be seen and allow ourselves to be imperfect, that’s where beauty is found and where connection lives.

This past year proved to be the most devastating and exceptional year of all.  2015 started out with a huge betrayal to me and despite this, I had to continue life coaching and inspire people even though I didn’t feel inspired myself at times.  I am also a nurse taking care of other people and there were days I could barely take care of myself.  It was the biggest personal internal war I ever fought aside from the fact of being abandoned on my own with two kids.  Waves of emotion were drowning me and I had to find a way out so I turned to writing because it’s what I love to do and it literally saved me.

I wrote about quotes and topics I was dealing with to heal myself and after doing so, people were connecting with me even more because it was written with emotion and it was cathartic for me.  I wrote my heart out and cried my eyes out and wrote in a way that was inspiring instead of venting and every time I did this, I felt a little better so I could continue living my new life as “normally” as possible while focusing on the positives I had.  The more I focused on what I had, the more I received in return.  Therefore, on one hand I was being abandoned by one person and on the other I was connecting with hundreds of others.  Connection always wins.

My greatest surprise was making several friends in India who went from WordPress followers to Facebook friends and finally a trip to India to meet some of them in person who are a huge part of my life now.  After blogging about my trip, my India following has increased dramatically and I love my nickname, the “daughter of India.”  One day I’ll have to come back and meet everyone 🙂

In 2016 I did my first #A-Z Challenge which was so much fun and I had to write every day except Sundays.  I met, even more, people who inspire me.  The beauty of finding inspiration and life coaching is that it’s like a magic mirror.  What you see in me, I also see in you.

One of my favorite things to do is to go through the WordPress reader and get caught up with everyone’s blogs and vlogs to see what’s inspiring you, read what’s on your mind and know that you’re okay.  I have learned so much from everyone I am following! Commenting on blogs and reading comments is fun too, this always puts a smile on my face 😀

What I know for sure, is this blog represents life coaching, my writing, a worldwide community, friendships, family and 954 followers to date.  Most of all, this blog represents me; a courageous woman who overcame adversity through writing.  Ironically, I chose the right name for my blog after all.  My job is to inspire you to be courageous and live your life to the fullest.

I am eternally grateful to be connected with ALL of you, it’s been quite a blogging journey with your love and support, I feel inspired and motivated to keep writing more and because of that, I’m writing a book on how I managed to get through this betrayal and what I learned along the way, I’ll let you know when it’s finished.  My life is better now, many thanks to all of you.

Keep blogging and keep going people.  We’re all in this together.

Cheers to three years…

 

All my love ❤

Jen
xo

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Zumba (A to Z Challenge)

Welcome to the last day of #TheA-ZChallenge, the letter Z!!  I thought I would end my challenge with a BANG by showing you a video of what Zumba® is all about!  Behind the camera is the wonderful Kelly Galbraith who did all the creative editing and leading the way is awesome Zumba® instructor Gina Adams!  I would like to give a big shout out to Catherine Horne-Lepine, Dulce Maria Arroyo, Bety Ramos, Josée Levesque, Julie Bertrand, Tee Beaudry, Skeena CL Salvas, Rébecca St-Amour and many more awesome participants at LIME Fitness Canada who came out to do this video.  A HUGE thank you to each and every one of you!!!

The history of Zumba® is amazing because in the mid 1990s, Columbian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez forgot his tape of aerobics music for a class he was teaching. He went to his car, listened to music – consisting of non-traditional salsa and merengue music – and improvised a class using this non-traditional aerobics music.   Zumba® was born!

So enough chit chat, let’s see the video 😛

 

And we’re done!!!

Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

You (A to Z Challenge)

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I love you so much
Your kind heart is like a bright, shining light
That paves the path of darkness in all of us

You have a way of making people feel comfortable
Especially in uncomfortable situations
You are a caring soul, a giving and helpful person

You have been through so much lately
Your wounds are still visible and hot to the touch
Despite all that, you’re healing and have come a long way, keep going

You’ve made some mistakes along the way, that’s how we learn
Realize and accept you are part of a common humanity that is imperfect
You can forgive yourself now for not knowing any better
Pieces of your soul have been shattered and scattered
People who care about you are collecting them
And rebuilding a new you, with you

You need to be gentle with yourself
It’s okay to cry or be emotional
This is how you heal from the inside out

It may take more time than you thought, once bitten, twice shy
Carve out some time for yourself so you can hear your soul speak
Be compassionate with yourself, we’re all in life this together

Your friends love you and want to see you happy
They may show their care and concern by giving you advice
You are never alone, you know what’s best for you

I appreciate you so much
You need to stop beating yourself up
Leave the insecurities behind, just breathe

You are beautiful and talented
You don’t need to criticize or judge
Listening to the inner critic only causes you unnecessary pain

You are imperfect and graceful
You are authentic and strong
You are fierce and vibrant

May you find the love you desire one day, you deserve it
May you find the one who truly cares about you unconditionally
May you find the path that is right for you

May you always remember these self-compassionate words
They are from me to you, Jennifer
Yes, YOU

 

**This is self-compassionate talk in a tough world sometimes.  It is positive talk that can heal your mind, body and soul.

Happy Friday ❤

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

 

Xiphoid Process (A to Z Challenge)

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The xiphoid process is the smallest and most inferior region of the sternum, or breastbone. At birth, it is a thin, roughly triangular region of cartilage that slowly ossifies into a bone and fuses with the body of the sternum. Clinically, the xiphoid process plays an important role as a bony anatomical landmark in the trunk and may be damaged by improperly administered Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

The xiphoid process is located inferior to the body of the sternum. The word xiphoid comes from the Greek word for “sword-shaped,” which describes its thin and pointed shape.

Developmentally, the xiphoid process begins as a structure made of hyaline cartilage at birth and childhood, slowly ossifying into a bony part of the sternum. In fact, the ossification of the xiphoid process is so slow that it often does not end until an individual reaches the age of 40.

The xiphoid process functions as a vital attachment point for several major muscles. It acts as one of several origins for the diaphragm muscle that forms the floor of the ribcage and performs the vital process of respiration. The xiphoid process also acts as an insertion for the rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis muscles that compress and flex the abdomen. During CPR, the xiphoid process may be used as a bony landmark to determine the location for administering chest compressions. It is extremely important that pressure is not exerted on the xiphoid process during chest compressions, as this can cause the xiphoid process to separate from the sternum, possibly puncturing the diaphragm or liver.

This concludes your biology lesson for today 😛

Be safe out there!

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

What Worked Well (A to Z Challenge)

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Remember the time when you were sitting in front of a teacher or in your boss’ office waiting to get feedback on something you did?  Those clammy hands, heart palpitations, nerves of steel?  Maybe not nerves of steel because when someone of authority gives you feedback, you hang on their every word.  And if those words are being executed in a negative fashion, you not only hear bad things but you feel them too.  So how do we give good feedback that’s motivating?

What Worked Well.

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Not the World Wide Web 😉

Let’s imagine you just finished a project that took months to assemble and now the feedback is ready to come in and you’re ready too.  Your boss says “I liked what you did overall, this is what worked well…” WWW.  These words of praise are easy and lovely to listen to and make us feel motivated to do even more with a smile across our face.  All the positives are listed here, so far so good.  Notice that emotions are not involved in good feedback it’s about what worked well.

Here comes the cruncher.  Thoughts like what did I do wrong start racing through your head.  Those gremlins are chatting up a storm in there saying you aren’t good enough.  The boss says “But here’s what I didn’t like about your work.”  Or “This part was all wrong, you didn’t do ABC.” Ouch, sounds harsh right?  This is a perfect example of a failure frame because it describes what’s wrong, the mistakes, faults, limitations and blame.  If emotions like jealousy are laced throughout then it becomes a venting session which pretty much ends the conversation.  This does nothing but de-motivate someone even if what is being said is true because it becomes personal instead of about feedback.  So how do we end the madness?

Enter EBI.  Even Better If….

It is possible to give positive feedback in a supportive way by saying things like “I notice the way you do your work and it would be even better if….”  Or “This part would have been even better if you did XYZ….”

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The feedback focuses on an outcome, a learning opportunity and how things happened.  By changing the words around this constructive criticism becomes motivating and the person doesn’t feel like a failure as in the previous example.

It’s all in the delivery of what worked well and even better if.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

Unconditional Love (A to Z Challenge)

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It’s wonderful to feel loved but profound to be understood.

Love is a beautiful thing but what’s even more beautiful is unconditional love.  It’s the kind of love that sets you free, it doesn’t depend on another person, situation, or romantic partner, and you can access it any time and in any circumstance.  You love and accept without judgment for who they are or whatever the situation may be.

This is the deepest and truest form of love and is the key to lasting joy and fulfillment in life.

What we fear is being unloved, unlovable, abandoned.  Perhaps for good reasons but when we can embrace who we are and love ourselves and others as they are, those fears begin to slowly fade away and we feel true unconditional love, therefore, joy.

There is so much love and light inside of us we don’t even realize it’s there.  Or maybe we do realize it but don’t know how to use it which makes it our deepest fear.

Let it shine, because with unconditional love, there is nothing to fear.

 

All my unconditional love ❤

 

Jen
xo

Travel (A to Z Challenge)

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My place is simple, modern and pretty plain Jane.  That’s because I prefer to save and spend my money on travel, not little things to put around these temporary walls.  I would rather make the time and create memories with my friends, family and even by myself to travel around and live my life through experiences rather than through a new rug for the floor.

The world is your oyster as they say, the entire planet is home. Staying in one city your whole life is like never leaving the bedroom.  Can you imagine?  I mean let’s get real guys.  There’s so much to see and do out there and you can get by on small amounts of spending if you plan well and do your homework.  Grab your passport and let’s go!

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a travel bug and a big believer in solo travel too.  I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many beautiful places in my life with others and yet there is so much more out there to discover.  After visiting 11 countries either with friends, family or solo, I have been bit by the travel bug.  My latest solo travel was to India while meeting many of my blogging friends and it is something I’ll never forget 🙂

One of the beautiful things about travel is that it takes your breath away and leave you speechless.  As one of the photos here says, it later turns you into a storyteller which is exactly what it did for me after I returned from India where I wrote 6 blogs on my experience.  What a beautiful way to end a trip and create even more memories.  Taking photos is also a big passion of mine and sorting through them when I get home is so much fun 🙂

So tell me in the comments section, where have you been, what is your favorite place that you visited or where have you always wanted to go?

You can always travel and visit me here in Canada 😛

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Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

 

 

Stakeholder Exercise

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In life coaching there are several tools and exercises that help people dig deep into finding more inspiration and motivation in their lives if that is what they want.  Coaches are on equal ground with people because they have the deep conversations that help find solutions and opportunities in a supportive and creative way and within a safe space.

My friend Darshith inspired me with his vlogs and today I will do my second one in the #A-Z Challenge for the letter S and it’s called the Stakeholder.  This exercise creates motivation to take action on a desired project while looking to the future and noticing all the people (stakeholders) who are contributing and benefiting.  This can be used personally and/or professionally.

Two things, I need to talk less and don’t judge my artwork 😛

Happy Friday!  Enjoy!

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

Reckoning, Rumble, Revolution

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If you are a Brené Brown fan like me, you will recognize these three words because they are in the title of her latest book called “Rising Strong.  The Reckoning.  The Rumble.  The Revolution.”  If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall.  This is a book about what it takes to get back up.  I love that.

Ah, the emotional adventures in life are the ones we didn’t see coming, the ones where we got hurt, disappointed, heartbroken.  It feels like our emotions just swallowed us whole and that’s an uncomfortable feeling for anyone, it’s where we fall.  However, uncomfortable means finding your courage to get back up and start over by recognizing and finding out where you are as of now, how did you get there and where do you want to go next.  It’s the emotional reckoning of finding the silver lining in a tough situation we’re facing and how we walk into our story.

Then comes the rumble and that’s where we own our story, it’s the middle part, the hardest and messiest part where all the work needs to be done in order to understand and learn what happened by being honest with ourselves.  This is where change begins at the heart of it all and this is where we learn more about ourselves.  We need to get real about the stories we’re telling ourselves because our mind believes what we tell it, therefore we need to keep it positive and honest.  The accumulation of all the imperfections we find in this mess is where we struggle to find our inner beauty which in turn leads to positive personal growth and development.  Sometimes the rumble can last longer than the others but that’s okay, you’re getting there.  The magic is in the mess.

The revolution is about the process when our rumble changes become a way of life and are integrated into how we live day to day and interact with others and ourselves.  Even small series of changes can change the world and how we engage with it.  We need to have open minds and hearts to be able to even start this process.  Some people around you might not like this stage because on the outside it might look confusing or even scary to some.  This is what transformation is all about which are possibilities and opportunities then carrying them out into the world to inspire others.  Respect and trust in the process because everything is unfolding exactly as it should be and this is where we rise strong.

“There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.” ~Brené Brown

“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness-even our wholeheartedness-actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.” ~Brené Brown

I have fallen, struggled and transformed through all the R’s a few times in my life.  Every time I do this I rise even stronger.  I am imperfect and damn proud of it.

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

Quotes (A to Z Challenge)

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For those who know me well, I am a quote fanatic!  The beauty of quotes is they give a powerful message with minimal words and they make you think or even change your perspective.  This can be very helpful if you are going through a tough time because by reading something related to your situation, it can create possibilities instead of keeping you stuck where you don’t want to be.  It’s all about inspiration and motivation 🙂

I have a quote section on my website if you haven’t visited it yet and today I will share some personal new favorites with you.

 

“The cure for pain is in the pain” ~ Rumi

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is show up” ~Brené Brown

“Begin to live as though your prayers have already been answered” ~Tony Robbins

“If you don’t have a vision you’re going to be stuck in what you know.  And the only thing you know is what you’ve already seen” ~Iyanla Vanzant

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others” ~Marianne Williamson

“The entire physical world is nothing more than our classroom and the challenge is for us to decide whether to make that choice that enhance our spirit or drain our power” ~Caroline Myss

“See the light in others and treat them as if that’s all you see” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

“Hide your craziness behind a beautiful smile” ~Paulo Coelho

“Emotional freedom comes from loving the parts of you that feel unlovable” ~Cheryl Richardson

“The way that other people judge me is none of my business” ~Martha Beck

“Life really does begin at forty.  Up until then, you are just doing research” ~Carl Jung

“You cannot find your soul with your mind, you must use your heart” ~Gary Zukav

“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss SLOWLY, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile” ~ Mark Twain

 

I hope these quotes fill your heart and soul with love the same way they do for me ❤

Have a wonderful day 🙂

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo