Tell Me Why…

Why

I see you running after the things that run from you
Tell me why you do that
Recalibrate, there is no need to chase the wrong person or thing

I hear you berating yourself as if it were a personal motivational speech
Tell me why you do that
Self-love and self-compassion are needed more than ever, please be kind to yourself

I see you running East expecting to see a sunset
Tell me why you do that
You’re running the wrong way, turn around; the sun sets in the West and you know that

I hear your lies and unapologetic excuses about things you’re not proud of
Tell me why you do that
Be courageous and take responsibility for your actions, the truth will set you free

I see you going back to the things that continually hurt you
Tell me why you do that
Wounds are meant to heal, not to stay open and continuously bleed

I hear you say you want a change and yet here you are in the same situation
Tell me why you do that
Make the decision to change and commit to that; don’t settle, know your worth

I see you doing the same thing over again, expecting a different outcome
Tell me why you do that
You know that one small shift can change everything…be brave

I hear you trying to convince yourself to stay in something you don’t want
Tell me why you do that
Be honest with yourself and with others, know what you want and say it

I see you holding on to the past for dear life and it only makes you miserable
Tell me why you do that
Let go of what hurts and release it to the Universe; the future is better and brighter

I hear you voicing your values yet they don’t match your behavior
Tell me why you do that
Are you sure they are your values or are they someone else’s beliefs

I see you trying to fit in because you want to belong
Tell me why you do that
Surround yourself with like-minded people, then you will belong

I hear you whispering to the crashing waves in the day and the suspended stars at night
Tell me why you do that
I hope they are listening to all your words and wishes

I see you putting your dreams on a shelf, tucked away for some other time
Tell me why you do that
You are meant to share your talent with the world, don’t worry what others may think

I hear you telling yourself not to say anything, to suppress your voice on matters
Tell me why you do that
Be courageous and use the voice you have; express your needs and wants

I see and hear you making choices out of fear and anxiety
Tell me why you do that
Make choices out of love, what fills your soul and makes you happy

I need to know the WHY behind what you say and do
Why is it important to you
Tell me why…

Dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

*I’ve always loved this song Why by Annie Lennox and it happens to go with this blog.  Have a beautiful weekend everyone and be happy 🙂

**Please be sure to check out my friend Danielle Lewis and subscribe to her podcast titled Mom’s Still Standing which is available on iTunes and Spotify.  It’s a wonderful and inspiring podcast that connects all mom’s trying to navigate life and motherhood ❤

***Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is still available at all online bookstores worldwide, iTunes, Google Play, Nook, Kindle, and at the FriesenPress bookstore.  Books are a great Christmas gift for the readers on your list 🙂 Thank you everyone xx

Pain Becomes The Cure

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Evening summer walks are my favorite because things are quieter, calm, and the sun is less intense.  I feel HAPPY.

As I walk down the street, I see a house and the address is DENIAL.  I suddenly feel a pain in my chest and rehearse those words in my head again out of nowhere.  “This can’t be happening, don’t worry about it.”  I think of what I lost and keep walking.

As I turn the corner onto the next street, I see another house and the address is BARGAINING.  I suddenly feel a lump in my throat and remember how desperate I was trying to hold on and make a deal.  “If you can just tell me how I can fix this, then everything will be ok.”  The loss feels heavy but I keep walking.

As I reach the cul-de-sac, I see another house and the address is ANGER.  I suddenly feel trapped with a pit in my stomach and all I want to do is scream at the heavens above me.  “How could you do this to me?”  Strangely enough, I feel a burst of energy and start running up the street, passing BARGAINING and DENIAL.  I ask myself, “What is going on here?”  I’m sure I look crazy to some.

As I run to the next street over, I see a lake at the end and I am drawn towards it.  There’s a house on the corner and the address is DEPRESSION.  I suddenly feel waves of sadness come over me and the tears start flowing and flowing.  “It’s not easy, I feel so alone…I lost everything.”  The loss feels huge and I am exhausted.  Then for some reason, I turn around and walk down the same street passing the other houses in no particular order and they each have a strange way of haunting me.  I don’t understand why or what is happening but I somehow keep walking.

Years and miles go by up and down these streets, passing house after house, experiencing feeling after feeling.  Over time I discovered a new street I was avoiding all along and started walking that way.  I see a house that catches my eye and the address is ACCEPTANCE.  I finally feel peace and happiness just standing there looking at it.  I think to myself how long it took to find it after years of walking, running, feeling, and forgiving.

Take a breath…

This blog is dedicated to anyone and everyone who has lost someone or something in their life.  One thing I know for sure is that grieving is different for everyone.  The stories of loss might be different, the order and length of grieving stages might be different, but the emotions are the same and that’s how we are all connected.  Don’t compare your inside to someone’s outside because you’ll always lose.  You will heal when you are ready, you are not on a schedule, but you have to keep going and ask for help.  Triggers can still happen but the only way out is through because one minute you’re happy and the next minute you are grieving one or more of the stages.

But in the end, the pain becomes the cure.  That I know for sure.

Take another breath…

You’re doing your best ❤

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

*I would like to give a shout out to one of my good friends and soul sister, Danielle Lewis because on Monday, October 21st, she is releasing her new podcast called “Mom’s Still Standing”  You can subscribe to her podcast on iTunes, she has some great guest speakers on it too 😉

I love this song Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves.  Have a beautiful weekend everyone ❤

*Copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU ❤

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

Beautiful Destination

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I remember the day you went on a faraway vacation
As usual, you packed your bag last minute
Emotional baggage has always been your carry on, and it’s too heavy
You said you felt lost and needed to find yourself

After boarding the plane, you heard a song
The pain you were running from was now running after you
Affecting your heart, mind, body, and soul
You searched for a hypothetical bandaid to conceal a hypothetical bleeding wound

How inappropriate

After drying your eyes, you closed your eyes
And off to sleep, you went
I felt like a fly on the wall watching you from the outside in
Like a compassionate parent watching a suffering child

After arriving, the final destination was breathtakingly beautiful, just as you had hoped for and imagined
The warm sun made you smile
The beauty all around made you happy
The scents in the air woke your senses
I remember how grateful you were in that exact moment

Change is good

I begged you to please unpack your negative emotions from your heavy carry on
To take a break; you’re on vacation now
Put loneliness on a shelf and sadness in a drawer
Hang all your fears in a different closet and close the door
As they say; out of sight out of mind

Replace these emotions by packing peace, happiness, and love into your life instead
Be open to life’s possibilities and opportunities
Focus on the good and be grateful for everything you have
Time to practice self-compassion and self-care in such gorgeous surroundings

This vacation was exactly what you needed to push the reset button on your life
You deserve all the good things life has to offer, be patient
You realized the further you try to run away from it all
The closer it brought you home to yourself
Isn’t that interesting?

And what a beautiful destination for you to be in right now ❤
Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

****Hello everyone and thank you for reading my blog!  This picture was taken in the Himilayas, India 2016 at a retreat I visited when my divorce was finalized.  During that trip, I met friends, ate delicious food, listened to mesmerizing music, tried yoga, saw some breathtaking sights, and finally took some time for myself.  What an amazing healing experience that was for me.

It isn’t necessary to travel far each time, because even a change of scenery close by can make a world of difference in your mental and emotional health.  Travel taught me how to be more self-compassionate, which led me to self-care and eventually to self-love.  Writing has also been extremely helpful in my healing process and I feel so much better now.

How do you heal from something difficult?

****Copies of Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak are still available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU

~ Dare to live courageously…

A Letter To Pain

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In the past, as some of you know, I wrote different letters to myself and recently, after reflecting on how far I’ve come, I think it’s time to write a letter to Pain.  Instead of blaming Pain for all the heartache it caused me over time, I’m going to look at Pain from a spiritual point of view and how it changed me into the woman I am today.

One thing I know for sure is that we always have a choice in our lives, for every decision that comes our way which makes us accountable for ourselves.  If things are decided for us, then we get to decide how to handle it.  What we decide becomes our new life path and leads us to exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we don’t know yet.  Even if it’s the second, third or hundredth time around.

Author Caroline Myss says there is no wrong path, we are all on the right path; but here’s the thing, we just might not be managing it very well.  We may have taken a detour along the way.  Therefore, in knowing we have a choice to get back on track and more aligned with who we really are; the path we are on always leads us home.  Back to ourselves and to our purpose.

 

Dear Pain,

Unfortunately, I know you well.  A little too well, actually.  I’ve seen you come and go throughout my life, sometimes disguised as pleasure, and I have to say, it is never easy or comfortable when you come to visit me.  Most of the time you appear without warning out of nowhere and end up making me feel scared, angry, disappointed, confused, upset, and hurt.  Your timing is incredible because it’s always inconvenient with my plans, forcing me to stop what I’m doing or take another detour.

However, these stops and detours have served a purpose while you were here.  All because of you, Pain, I found ways to handle you, heal you, and let you go.  There is no strength if there is no struggle and if there’s any silver lining to be found within you, Pain, this is it.  You’ve given my emotional muscles a real workout.

You see, Pain turned up the volume of the unworthy voices in my head and I believed them.  Pain knocked me down, but I fought to live.  Pain was my best teacher and worst nightmare all rolled into one.  I’ll never forget the lessons learned in the classroom outside the classroom.  Pain tried to make me fail but after a while, I passed the tests and received the blessing of insight.  Looking back, I see what needed to be learned and why.  So many rich meanings and a spiritual awakening occurred.

Pain, I can’t carry you around on my back anymore, you are too heavy and dark for me.  Not only do I need light, but I also need to feel light.  I finally realize Pain is a reverse role model of what not to do.

Here are some examples of what Pain brought me on the left, and on the right are some things Pain taught me:

Lies = Honesty

Mean = Kindness

Revenge = Walking Away

Selfish = Giving

Stealing = Generosity

Negative = Positive

Self-Righteous = Forgiving

Betrayal = Setting Boundaries

Quiet = Vocal

Closed Minded = Open-Minded

Ignoring Myself = Self-Care

Physical Symptoms = Exercise

Emotional Symptoms = Asking For Help

Holding On = Letting Go

Old Me = New Me

Thanks to you, Pain, I found new hobbies, interests, friends, work, perspective on life, parenting skills, awareness, and a new life.  Everything got better.  I even taught my kids how to handle you because unfortunately, they have seen you too.  Now I have more compassion, empathy, strength, understanding for others dealing with loss, suffering, and divorce.

Thanks again to you, I discovered the power of music, reading, writing, practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, accepting truths, and forgiveness is a gift I give to myself.

Writing is a big part of who I am, it leads me back to myself.  It is my life purpose, so much so that I wrote a book about you, Pain, and I still can’t believe it.  Don’t get too excited, just because I write about you doesn’t mean I like you.  I’m simply trying to understand and decode you for myself and others.  Happiness doesn’t come to me, it comes from me.  It is a choice and how I perceive life experiences.  Writing makes me happy.

You taught me the hard way to put the relationship with myself first, so I don’t put myself second with others.  I question what real love is, what do I want, need, from a meaningful relationship.  You showed me dealbreakers, pitfalls, narcissism, toxicity, and wove red flags in my face.  Now I ask more questions, and I’m careful with who I trust.  You’ve sent me difficult/selfish people, heartbreak, loss, tragic events, unfortunate circumstances to handle which taught me many things about myself and life.  Because of being cheated and deceived, I’ve become more vigilant and discerning.  Respect is a 2-way street, I  accept nothing less.  You certainly tested my patience and my ability to control my emotions.  Now I can see one of the reasons why you showed up was to protect me from other forms of pain.

At the moment,  I am practicing gratitude on a daily basis, my heart feels lighter, more peaceful.  I’m finished hiding behind you Pain, now I’m more obvious.  I found the courage to stand up and live my best life, imperfections and all.  What I’ve learned is this: if you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer.  If you focus on the lessons, you will continue to grow.  All because of you, Pain, I grew, learned, discovered, and even avoided you.  People came and went thanks to you.  I also apologize for being just like you at times, a royal pain in the A**!

The new me feels free, empowered, happy with myself,  and never gives up.  I can walk away from you, but with a grateful heart for all the life lessons.  I know I can’t live my life “Pain-free” but the next time you do arrive, I aim to be more prepared.

I never thought I would say this, but thank you Pain for showing up in my life, and for everything you’ve taught and brought me.   I’m exactly where I need to be in my life with my work, friends, family, love, and myself.  No experience goes unwasted, no mud, no lotus.  If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be me, right here, right now.

Dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

One of my favorite songs Never Give Up, by Sia is what I listen to while I go for my walks down by the river.  I love it, I hope you do too.

**Hello Everyone and Happy September!  Copies of Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak are still available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU ❤

Breaking Up With Myself

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Living in the past only keeps me stuck.  Now I am living in the moment and setting goals for the future so bye-bye past, and all the things that kept me stuck.  Thanks for ALL the life lessons.  You certainly taught me a lot.

I’m tired of societal views and what everyone thinks; what I should do, say, act, and be.  I am who I am, take it or leave it.  This is what keeps people small and I am not small.

The peanut gallery never stops chatting in my head so I need to find a mute or delete button.  I will no longer let these gremlins control how I think or act because I know I’m a good person who deserves good in return.  I will no longer doubt myself in my strengths and capabilities.  If I don’t know something, I’ll learn it.  The days of self-limiting beliefs are over.

I can honestly say  I’ve taken the time and effort to do everything in my human power to heal the pain in my heart and at this point, I did it.  I’m open to handing the steering wheel over to my heart now and letting it do the driving for me.  I trust you completely, it’s time to be vulnerable again and let love in.

Enough is enough with low self-confidence!  I think you know by now you are a brave soul who never gives up so take that with you and use it to increase your self-confidence.  You’ve got this.

How do you expect to get anything done if you make excuses or procrastinate about making a decision?  Having the ability to choose is a privilege and should be used to improve your life, not take it for granted.  Laziness is ok on a Sunday, but not on a regular basis.

Stop playing games of any sort with anyone. The only way to live your life fully is to be genuine and authentic.  Fitting in is the opposite of belonging.  You don’t need to fit in anywhere because when you are who you are, you find like-minded people and you naturally belong there with them.  No need to change who you are.  If you want to play a game, learn how to play poker or something.

All my life I have held honesty as one of my truest values in how I am with others and how I expect others to be with me.  Being honest with myself is something I have been working on, even more, when it comes to what I want in my new life.  At the same time, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to me so I can create something real and beautiful.  It’s time to truly stand in my own truth and have zero tolerance for dishonesty.

I continue to live by the saying “Whenever you judge someone else, you reveal an unhealed part of yourself.”  How true is that?  I will only use judgments as my own compass to lead me back to myself.

Life can be scary but that’s what makes it so exciting!  If we live under a rock our whole lives and let fear stop us from actually trying something, we will always be wondering “what if.”  I definitely don’t want to be saying that in the end or along the way, so I’m taking chances, despite being scared of what could happen and that’s what being vulnerable and courageous is all about.  I will no longer let fear get in my way of living my life.  These walls are coming down!

I may not have the best of everything but I am happy and grateful for what I do have.  Now that I practice gratitude on a daily basis, my life has changed for the better and I can see improvements.  Whining and complaining will only keep people stuck and I’m too busy being on the move.  I will never think of myself as unworthy or not enough.  I’m done.

It’s time to stop accepting bad behavior and mediocrity as normal.  I learned how to set a boundary so it’s time to walk the other way.  The last thing I need in my life right now is any toxic relationship after all the work I did for myself.  Once again, thanks for the life lessons.  I don’t have time for jealousy either, it is poison in any relationship.

Which mask or shield do you wear?  I’m not talking Game of Thrones here, I mean what are you hiding behind?  Your stories, your excuses?  Drop the armor and start connecting with people.  Stop playing the victim or rescuer, it’s so disempowering.

It’s your time to be who you truly are and if people don’t like it, that’s their problem.  The right people will show up when you show up and you don’t need everyone to like you.  Trying your best is always better than doing nothing.

So this is it. I’m getting out of my own way.  It’s officially over.  I’m breaking up with myself and kicking the old me out and letting peace, love, and happiness in.  Hasta la vista baby!

Dare to live courageously…

Love ❤

Jen
XO

 

**Please take a moment to listen to this beautiful song called You Say By Lauren Daigle.  The lyrics go hand in hand with what is written here and the thoughts that go through our mind from time to time.  Remember to say good things and believe in yourself.  Life is too short and you are too precious.  It’s time to let go and break free.  Happy Sunday ❤

**Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is available at online bookstores worldwide.  May 2019 is the second anniversary of my book release and I am so grateful. All my love and gratitude ❤

That Girl

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Sometimes I imagine…
I am living outside myself and looking back at who I am now

As I turn my head over my left shoulder,
I see a girl who is strong and brave
And then I see a girl who is sometimes alone and scared

I see a girl who is happy and smiling
And then I see a girl who is at times sad and tearful

I see a girl who is free and independent
And then I remember the girl who was stuck and felt trapped

I see a girl who knows herself more than ever because of practicing self-care, self-love, and forgiveness
I remember the girl who turned her back on herself and forgot who she was for so long

I see a girl who counts on herself to get things done with confidence
I sometimes see the girl who gets caught up in others broken promises and simultaneously finds a way to let go instead of feeling let down

I want to hug that girl and tell her in the most compassionate way that everything is going to be fine. Healing is never linear and triggers are everywhere. Some days are better than others and your friends and family love and support you.  Always remember this

I tell her, grieve so you can feel free to feel something else

Now I see a girl living her best life each day while dodging bullets and catching curveballs

I slowly look up at myself in the mirror and I see that girl and all the girls I know who experience the same things I do from time to time

We are a collective bunch of empowered women standing together with both our soft and sharp edges

I see a girl who wants the same thing we all want…love ❤

I remind her, the power of gratitude in your worst times can change your life into your best times

And she graciously smiles, knowing she’s THAT GIRL…

Love,

Jen
XO

 

**To all the women out there, I think we are THAT GIRL to some extent at one time or another.  Right now, my good friend Diane Loubert is making some pretty powerful positive changes in her life, and it’s such a privilege to be watching her turn the page and start a brand new chapter.  I’m really proud of her so I’m dedicating this blog to her.  Long live change my friend, you’ve got this!!

**Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is available at online bookstores worldwide.  Dare to live courageously…

**Just for the record, this blog also applies to men out there making positive changes as well.  Good for you guys… keep going 🙂

A Letter To My Future-Self

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It’s been over 3 years since I wrote the letter to my younger-self where I went back in time and gave my 21-year-old-self some advice on life.  I was attempting to erase any scars, blame, and grief; but as you know, you can’t change the past, but you can create the future.

This letter to my future-self is my next attempt in life, which is an exercise in self-love, a means of preserving and protecting what’s important today and into the future.

So let’s see what age 65 might look like…

 

Dear Future Jen,

Well… you are approaching that magical age of 65 years young, and it’s like all the things you’ve been aiming for are finally coming together.  What an amazing time to be living in Jen.  So many changes have happened in your exciting life and with every ending, there’s been a new beginning. You’ve had to endure some pretty major events in your life, but look at you, here you are; smiling ear to ear, despite all that.

Kids- Some of the greatest milestones after giving birth are seeing your kids graduate, seeing them get married and then seeing them have their first child.  By now, maybe you would have witnessed most of these accomplishments with Justin and Nathan.  They are amazing and intelligent kids, and you are truly blessed.  Continue to be loving and supportive of them so they can continue to be loving and supportive of you.  These kids are your two greatest accomplishments in your life Jen.  Remember to hold them close and show your love each and every day, just like you’ve done all along.  It was a tough road for everyone with the divorce you endured but don’t dwell on the past, you had so many valuable life lessons in there and that’s all that matters.  The relationship with you and their dad has improved with time, patience, and acceptance of what happened.  You are in a great space now and you have the best kids in the world. Be grateful for what you have.

Fears- You used to be afraid of public speaking, but you conquered that one a long time ago.  Now your fears are bigger than that and you manage to hide them well.  The two biggest fears you have are getting cancer and dying.  I think it’s safe to say you are not alone when you admit these, so good for you to be brave enough to say it because now your next step is to do something to keep yourself healthy.  Perhaps others will follow.

Health-Eating and Exercise – You’ve always been very conscientious about eating well and exercising.  There were a few times life was harder on you and you got off track but now you are back on and I’m so proud of you for making this a priority all these years.  Give your body energy by eating good food that fuels you so you can burn it off at the gym.  Also, continue to get enough sleep and take your vitamins.

Self-Care-One thing I can say about you Jen is that you still love getting your hair done!  I don’t think that will ever change and honestly, why should it, right?!  You will never let that gray hair show and that’s perfectly fine.  Remember to practice self-care because it’s important and makes you feel great.  Follow the pull, not the push. Keep it simple, self-care is how you take your power back young lady.

Saying No, Setting Boundaries- I certainly hope that by age 65 you learned how to say “No” and mean it.  And while you’re at it, set some boundaries for yourself.  The ’40s and ’50s are the trial years and you struggle here and there.  Just like I tried to tell you in your ‘20s, “No” is a complete sentence, my dear.  This is still true.  Never, ever settle and walk away from what doesn’t respect you.  You can detect a narcissist from miles away now, what a great skill to have!

Work-It’s been such an adventure at work for you Jen.  Who would have thought that being a nurse would lead to being an expert witness for malpractice cases, then entering the pharmaceutical industry? It has certainly been an exciting time in this regard and you don’t have any regrets.  The work relationships you made along each path have lasted a lifetime and what a gift that’s been for you.  The health care industry taught you a wealth of knowledge that you will never forget.  You chose a helping profession no matter which way you went and that’s because you are a compassionate person and it makes you happy.  You are someone who has always been patient-focused right from the get-go.  My only hope is there is someone like you who takes their work seriously and can care for you when it’s time.

Success/Failure-The best way I can describe success is because of failing at something.  This is where you learned so many life lessons and made the decision to build on them like crazy.  Good for you for having an open mind when new challenges came your way and you didn’t back down.  Failing is never fun or easy but as long as you get back up, you are succeeding.  You are also wise enough to know that being successful doesn’t make you happy, but being happy makes you successful.

Gratitude-As you know, gratitude brings you joy from within; even during the toughest moments of your life when things were falling apart, you managed to stay on track and find things you were grateful for. It’s during the worst times of your life, you need to practice gratitude because that’s what can change your perspective and shine a light in the dark. Continue to journal because it’s working.

Retirement-The time has come to complete your working years.  Congratulations girl, you did it!!  I hope you find a way to celebrate all your years of service in helping others.  Take a moment to pat yourself on the back because you deserve it.  Thanks to an entire team of financial planners and years of hard work!  What a fantastic feeling to be in this position right now.  Knowing you Jen, the only thing you are thinking about right now, is “Where can I travel to next and celebrate this amazing milestone in my life?”  Just remember to spend your money wisely…

Travel-There you go, I was right!  The world is your oyster now Jen, so get that travel app up and running! Time to start booking some trips since you’re still healthy and active.  I can see you traveling with your kids, friends and also some solo trips as you’ve done in the past.  You know people in so many countries, you can visit them as you go.  How exciting is that?  Pick some places you’ve always wanted to visit like New Zealand, Bora Bora and anywhere in South America. Get your passport and suitcase ready!

Relationships-Friends, Family-Another prize possession of yours is your circle of friends Jen.  You have been blessed with loving people in your life both near and far who truly care about you and you about them.  This alone is something huge to be grateful for.  If you are still fortunate enough to have your family and parents with you, remember to tell them you love them.  Spending good quality time with those you love is one of the most important things you can do in your life. Have those conversations you’ve been avoiding, now is the time to get it out.  Communication is key in all relationships and being able to say how you feel is where you begin, so speak up Jen.  Life is very short.  You value honesty, integrity, respect, loyalty, kindness, compassion and attention.  These values drive your behavior and it’s what you look for in others.  Keep going…

Love/Heartbreak-This is the one area of your life that’s never been an easy one for you, unfortunately.  I do hope that by the time you are 65 years young Jen, that you found that special someone whom you love and loves you right back with everything he’s got.  Someone who sees your worth and doesn’t take advantage of you but treats you right because you definitely deserve it.  He needs to take care of you because you will take care of him, that is for sure.  Even though you are a successful woman with all the freedom in the world, it would be nice to share time with someone who adores you in an authentic way.  At the same time, heartbreak has taught you many lessons and by now you know what you shouldn’t tolerate, so once again, don’t play their games and don’t settle, you’re better than that.  The next guy has to be pretty damn amazing and put some effort in, or forget about it.  You deserve a man who will pay attention to you and be there for you when you need it most.  You’ve endured enough emotional days in this area, it’s time for some fantastic days instead.  On the other hand, if the Universe has something else in mind for you to be on your own, then make the best of it and enjoy.  Keep practicing self-love, either way.

Emotional Rescue-If you had a dollar for every emotional roller-coaster you’ve been on since day one Jen, you could have retired a long time ago!  Ugh!!  Thanks to writing and exercising it helped you get out of your funk very well.  Remember this for the rest of your life because you never know how things will go and you really don’t want to look like the crazy one! You’ve come a long way with your “project-self” topics and now you can cope with life even better and take care of you the way you should.  With love and compassion. Keep writing, it is such a great healing tool emotionally.

Unfinished Business-At this point, I don’t know what your unfinished business will be, but if there is any, my advice to you is to complete it and cross it off that list of yours.  This is clutter in your life, that you don’t need, just deal with it and get it done.  You’ll feel much better afterward.

Hobbies/Interests- You wrote a book after your divorce and what an accomplishment that was both mentally and emotionally.  It’s almost like you creatively grieved it.  Kudos to you for doing this and another book is in your future as well.  The topics aren’t 100% clear quite yet but since writing is soul therapy for you, you have to do it.  Not only does it help you, but it also helps others that are in line with your values once again.  One of your latest hobbies is salsa dancing and my goodness, what a great time you’ve had, you are quite the dancing queen!  I think you need to do a girls getaway vacation in South America first!  Arriba!

Goals-Stop doing useless things, start doing new activities, continue doing your writing and travel.  Practice self-care.  Wear sunscreen.  Love with all your heart.  Repeat…

Hopes and Dreams-I hope you are living a life of peace, love, and happiness.  That you have finally stepped into who you truly are and you are owning your life, Jen. That you are surrounded by everyone who matters to you in your heart of hearts, and in your dreams.  In the end, it’s our close relationships that matter the most so take the time to cultivate them as best as you possibly can. I hope you and your kids are healthy and happy.

Advice-Live your life as authentically as humanly possible.  Not because of others expectations, but be brave and do it for you.  Work hard, but not too hard that you miss out on life, especially with your kids.  Always practice a work-life balance.  Be courageous and express how you feel to others.  Put the time and effort into your friendships and family.  Sometimes you need to break out of your comfort zone to be happy.  Feeling stuck in anything with anyone isn’t worth it.  Take the high road and apologize.  Don’t play the victim or rescuer, they are so unattractive.  Say I love you and mean it.  In the end, it’s all about relationships with your kids, family, friends, at work and with yourself.

Regrets-If you follow the advice above, you won’t have any regrets 🙂  Honestly, everything happens for a reason and leads you to the next best thing, so take the good with the bad, it’s ok.

Questions-Let me think about it, I’ll let you know in some years from now 😛

I will carefully store this letter to my future self in a time capsule for later use.  It will be interesting to read it years from now and see what rings true for me.  In the meantime, I will continue to live my best life and honor my relationships with all my heart.  After all, I’ve come this far, and there’s no turning back ❤

Your future looks bright, and you still have a long way to go…

 

Love Always ❤

Jen
XO

**Copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available at online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to you.  Dare to live courageously…

Project Self: Self-Love

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How many of us think self-love is selfish?  It’s a common misconception, and you’re not alone.  There are two ways to love yourself, one being in a toxic, narcissistic way where you don’t have any regard or empathy for others, which disconnects you from others and is not recommended.  The second is a nurturing, protective way of loving yourself that genuinely connects you with others.

While I was navigating a life crisis, my divorce, I suddenly found myself under the microscope.  I realized it was time to accept my imperfections, define my needs in a timely manner and reintroduce myself, to myself.  It’s during times of rumbling and wrestling with our story that turns on the bravery switch inside ourselves.  Instead of running and hiding, it took courage to stay, understand and learn from it, and since I was under the microscope, I had to examine myself.  To know yourself you need to spend time with yourself on the good and bad days.  Own it.  All of it.

That’s when the game changed for me.

All these tasks were not easy to do but needed to be done to be able to live my best life.

Imagine…

The best way I could achieve this was to start loving myself unconditionally in a caring, and kind way that protected me.  I had to realize I was enough and not worry about what other people thought.  To find my own happiness and stop pleasing others.

The first step was to stop beating myself up and start talking to my younger self, the child inside that was hurting and scared.  I used loving words instead of critical ones.  Self-compassion is a form of self-love because as soon as you start talking to yourself like you would with a good friend, and realize we are all human and make mistakes, then you can begin to relax, and get to know yourself for who you are, your values, and love yourself for it.

The second step was to define a need from a want.  For example, we all need food, water, clothing, and shelter.  These are requirements to live day to day.  A want is something that is extra, desired, not necessary but nice.  That list is extremely long for all of us.  When looking at our needs from a self-love perspective, what do you need to love yourself?  Boundaries are a good place to start, followed by self-compassion, and good self-care.  Owning your story instead of blaming others is also essential.

People treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves.  So if we don’t set boundaries with ourselves, then other people will think it’s ok to walk all over us.  The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you are going to tolerate.  This is also a form of self-respect which is another upcoming blog in this series.

It’s common to love many things outside ourselves like different foods, movies, cars, homes, careers, and more, but as soon as you hold up a mirror, what do you feel?  Disgust, fear, shame, guilt?  Or do you feel proud, grateful, accepting and happy?  Are you at the top of your love list, somewhere in the middle or didn’t realize you even had a spot on this list?

What do you practice? Fear or self-love?  Do you ask, “What will people think?”  or say “I am enough.”

What would it take for you to love yourself more?  Try to think of 3 ways you can practice more self-love in your own life.

Ways I found self-love:

*Rebuilding relationships workshop with Diane Valiquette.  This is one of the best workshops I’ve ever taken where she says the most rewarding and powerful relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.  It also sets the tone for all your future relationships with others.  That is the truth!

*Writing, reading books, exercising, eating well, listening to music, mindfulness, accepting my imperfections, self-forgiveness, spending quality time with friends and family and asking for help.

I’ve learned it’s best to ask for what you need instead of hoping someone will notice.  You are in charge of your own life and if you don’t speak up, then nobody will know what you’re thinking and you are to blame for not saying anything.  Plain and simple.  By asking for what you need means you love yourself enough to fill those needs.  If you are still not getting your needs met, after trying everything, that’s when you can walk away and say “This doesn’t work for me anymore.”  This in itself is an act of self-love.  Of course, it’s not easy because relationships aren’t easy, but your peace and happiness are worth it, therefore, take the time to practice self-love.  The more you love yourself, the less fear you will feel.

Since this re-introduction to myself, I am no longer the same person I was before, which is a good thing.  I am stronger and more courageous than ever, aware of my needs, and aware of what I can and will not tolerate in my life.  Self-love is an ongoing process and I am committed to it each and every day because it’s at the top of my list.

What about you? ❤

**Note to self:  “Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there”  ~ Rumi

 

Much Love and Self-Love ❤

Jen
XO

***I hope you are enjoying the “Project-Self” blog series so far.  Stay tuned for more…

***All my gratitude to everyone who bought, borrowed, read, reviewed, liked, and shared my book with others.  The feeling of joy is bursting out of me each day!  Pick up your copy of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” at online bookstores worldwide or at the FriesenPress online bookstore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Self: Self-Betrayal

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Welcome to August everyone!  I hope you’re having a wonderful summer spending time with those you love and time on your own.  As promised, I am starting a new blog series titled “Project-Self” which will include several topics related to how we can take better care of ourselves.  Sometimes when we are busy taking care of everyone else, we forget that we count too and if our tank is empty, how can we give to others or be at our best?

My intention is to keep these blogs positive and reflect on life.  Self-betrayal is a great way to start this series because how many times do we put ourselves last, or people please to control an outcome?  Every single relationship begins with us, whether that’s at work, with friends, family, lovers, kids and especially with ourselves.  If you want love, you need self-love, if you want to trust, you need self-trust first.  If you want to be true to yourself and your needs, you cannot betray yourself.  Finding happiness begins within yourself first and once you can feel it, even in the slightest way, you begin to radiate and attract it.

To know yourself, you need to spend time with yourself.

Author Caroline Myss talks about knowing what your life purpose is and how you can be true to who you are without it costing your power.  She says when you betray your own happiness for the sake of others and their feelings, you are betraying yourself and what’s inside of you.  Your intuition never shuts off and you feel that nagging knot in your stomach.  Sound familiar?  I know I’ve been there before.  That’s how you know you’re going off your path.  Self-betrayal is when you feel you have to negotiate your sense of integrity, and you compromise who you are as a person.

When you no longer betray yourself and put your happiness first, you no longer feel like it is costing you your power, psyche, soul, you’re not confused or drained like you are losing yourself.

Compromising within a relationship is different and necessary if you want it to work.  If the choice enhances your spirit, you made a compromise.  If the choice drained your spirit, you just betrayed yourself.

If you are in a relationship where you are pretending that everything is ok when it truly isn’t, you are betraying everything in your heart and you can feel it.  Is that fair to you?  To the people around you?

Are we ever on the wrong path?  Caroline Myss says no, you are always on the right path but sometimes, you are just not managing it well.  You are making choices that are harming you and that’s why it is hurting.  When your life path begins to harm you, you’ve taken a detour.

What I’ve learned is that blaming other people for our choices is the easy way out because they may have done something bad, but we allowed it to continue.  Everything starts with us and what we are willing to tolerate.

For example, someone may have betrayed you in the past, and maybe you think that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you when in fact the ultimate betrayal, is the betrayal to yourself.   When you sell yourself short of what you want or need, you always lose at a very high cost. Not only that, Caroline Myss says when you do betray yourself, you are no different than the people who harm you.  Wow…and ouch!  That to me is a double whammy and a huge wake-up call to make a change in how I manage myself. I honestly never thought of it this way but she is right.  If we want to be happy, we need to find what makes us happy and do that as often as possible with people who bring out our best.  We need to realize that the opposite of self-betrayal is self-trust and being loyal to us.  We all want healthy relationships but we need to get healthy ourselves so we attract that in return.

These are the reasons I decided to start with the topic of self-betrayal to bring awareness and show you do count, it is not selfish to take care of yourself, you can do this while maintaining relationships, and be kind to yourself because you are so worth it.

Here is a short video of Caroline Myss in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, talking about self-betrayal.

For those who are new here… Welcome!!  For those who are returning, Welcome Back!! If you are interested in my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” it is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress.

“Project-Self” to be continued…

 

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen

 

 

Find A Way

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One of my favorite shows to watch is Super Soul Sunday because it’s all about inspiration.  I recently saw an interview with Oprah Winfrey and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad where Diana found the strength and courage both inside and outside of herself to swim from Cuba to Florida, not just once…but five times.  The first four attempts, she was unable to make it for various reasons but on her fifth try, at 64 years old, she finally reached her goal after swimming for 53 hours.  I was so moved by this and it made me wonder about my own determination when I want something bad enough that seems out of reach, outrageous, or something people might judge me on.  How did she make the decision to keep trying over and over despite the judgments and roadblocks?  How does the human spirit stay alive?  Diana said it was not only very important to her but it was also because of her mantra “Find A Way.”

How many times have we desired something so badly and when we really looked at it, only saw hurdles, walls or stop signs?  Even deeper, how many of those hurdles did you jump, or walls did you climb or stop signs did you ignore?  The driving force is inside of us, our passion for living, for making a difference, creating a legacy, standing up for ourselves, or setting a personal best record.  Whatever the reason behind it may be, the determination that’s driving us is not only our values and that it’s important to us, but our ability to find a way.  Every day I’m finding a way!

As documented in the first four attempts, Diana Nyad had to encounter severe weather conditions, high temperatures both in and out of the water, high waves and winds, jellyfish, sharks, and asthma.  Just like the person who doesn’t have much money, finds a way to eat, or the single mother who saves money to take a vacation with her kids, or the guy who works long hours but makes time for his girlfriend, they all find a way to get there.  No excuses.  Yes, life is hard but when there’s a will there’s a way and nothing can stand in the way, except us.  It doesn’t always mean you will get what you want, but be proud of the perseverance and determination you have to go after it.

Make a commitment to yourself, stay focused and learn the lessons while you’re at it.

This is the stuff that feeds our soul and heals our hearts because we accomplish something we weren’t sure would be possible.  The gremlins inside our heads are alive and well, and always chatting, not to mention the peanut gallery on the sidelines trying to stop us too.  Do what works for you, not them!  We need to learn how to train ourselves to listen to our intuition instead, that’s our internal muscle speaking!  Sure, it’s possible you might fail, but just know you are daring greatly while everyone else is sitting there watching you…on the sidelines!

None of that stopped Diana. She just found a way, her way and even wrote a book about it.

Consider this, it’s also possible you might succeed.   Wouldn’t that be great?!

If what you’re going after isn’t very important to you, it means you don’t value it very much and the possibility of achieving it is harder because the passion just isn’t there and it’s most likely a belief.  Perhaps what you desire will show up in other forms but we have to pay attention to the signs.  Sometimes walls that show up in our life are there to see how badly we want something and if we can scale it or not.  I call it a little test from the Universe and it’s always right.  Are a couple of big waves going to stop you?

Have you ever wanted something so badly and you did everything in your power to achieve it…. What happened?  Did you succeed?  Did you fail?  How did you react if you failed?  Did you try again?

Find what you love, and when you do what you love;  you will find a way.

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

**Starting in August, I will be writing a blog series called “Project Self” which is all about how we need to put ourselves first, and take good care of us so we can be healthy and attract healthy in return.  Topics will include self-love, self-respect, and so much more.  I recently wrote about self-care with input from others, and I am open to more topics and suggestions if you would like me to write about one.  Thank you for all your support and followings during these past 5 years here on WordPress.  It’s been a true gift and pleasure having you here with me ❤ ❤  I hope you are having a wonderful summer so far!

**If you are interested in my book, “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” please visit Amazon, FriesenPress, or any online bookstore worldwide.

All my gratitude ❤

Jen
XO