There You Are…

I gazed up at the stars last night and asked; “How many soulmates are reunited in the sky and
shining down on us?”
You answered; “All of them, they are connected for life. You meet your soulmate when you find
your soul. Their light and the moon inspire us to carry on”

At sunrise, the world felt so alive, I could feel its heartbeat
Birds happily singing and sharing playlists in springtime
It’s lilac season now, the smell and color of pure joy and happiness
Our heartfelt conversations last for hours and hours…
While each fragile heart has so much to say and share
Especially when it comes to nature and each other
After all, timing is everything in nature, and with love

Rainfall, one of the most bittersweet sounds of both sadness and romance
The day I almost lost you, the skies opened up and cried endlessly, but I cried for you even
more…
How many silver linings are in these clouds?
These silver linings are a blessing and often overlooked in life, as is the blue sky in nature

One Friday afternoon, you spread the blanket under a swaying willow tree surrounded by a
canopy of greenery above and soft green grass below
How beautiful was that?
This special memory will remain cherished in my mind and heart forever

One evening, we painted sunsets at the beach with hues of pink, orange, yellow, and purple
Waves gently curled themselves on the shore the same way your fingers curl around mine
I still get butterflies when you take my hand in yours
These butterflies are a sign of transformation, a change for the better
As we sit and watch the sparkling sun dance across the lake and feel calm

I remember when you surprised me with a romantic dinner on a mountain top
It was as if we were in heaven yet there we were on earth
I felt the wind brush through my hair the same way you do with your fingers, I love that so much
You opened your heart carefully like a dahlia blooming in late July
Sharing windows of opportunity inviting love inside like sunshine, I wish it will stay forever
Every living, breathing thing grows, evolves, changes, blooms with patience, and needs to be taken
care of, and loved

Time passes quickly and how I wish it would stand still; just for a moment
As I look at you I realize how connected we are to nature, life, and each other
If I ever miss you, all I have to do is step outside, look up at the stars suspended deep in the midnight blue sky, and there you are…

Much Love,

Jennifer ❤

Taken Off and Safely Landed

My daughter’s first solo trip

As my stomach rolls with the woozy feeling one feels during turbulence, it’s important to point out that I’m not actually the one on a flight, my daughter is. Determined to travel alone and gain confidence and independence, my 21-year-old has embarked on her first solo travel trip. 

This has been a few years in the making. 4 years ago she left for a high school trip that would set her burgeoning anxiety disorder aflame. That trip had her believing that not only would she never travel again, but that she would also never eat in a restaurant nor be able to calm the constant turmoil in her mind and body. 

A lot has happened in those 4 years, tears, fears, and a slow resolve to not only challenge her anxiety but to make peace with it. A lifelong companion that she could take along for the ride but ride she would indeed!

Our relationship changed a lot through those years too. I felt a revisit to the days of her younger years when she needed me far more mentally to lean on and physically to be near.  It was challenging for both of us considering I had my own challenges to deal with. We sort of fell into this symbiotic “there for one another”, struggle buddies if you will. And that became our new normal. 

But slowly and with massive amounts of courage, counseling, and education, my daughter has incrementally opened her world wider and wider. This leaves me with where I am today…proud yes, but also knowing I have to make yet another mental shift. Much like the one I had to make 4 years ago but with a 180 twist. The comfort I felt being her support system is no longer needed in those extreme ways. My mental pivot now must be to recognize that she’s on her way in the best possible way a parent can want for their child. To see her no longer as the fragile person struggling who “needs” me, but the brave, strong woman she has become. If I am being really honest, I feel a tinge of being left behind. Being that she is an only child, our bond has been particularly intense. I know this is what you wish for as a parent. A child who grows into themselves fully, independent, and capable. Especially after how arduous the past years were. 

As I sit and watch the flight tracker app of her plane, I know she has taken off and I have landed safely.

Love,

M ❤ 

**This blog was written by one of my close friends for her brave daughter ❤ Well done everyone ❤

This One’s For You Dad

David Kessler, author, and grieving expert published many books on grief and loss. He talks about the new step called Finding Meaning and asks:

“Is it possible to find light in the dark?
Is it possible to be the light in the dark?
Is it possible to find meaning in trauma, death, loss?
When you can accept what happened, that’s when you can find meaning
And that’s when you find light in the dark
Meaning is not in the death, trauma, or loss, it’s in us and what we do with it
Gratitude is about the person, not the trauma, death, loss.”

Ever since my dad passed, it’s strange, I feel like a little girl all over again, but with pain, sadness, and so much vulnerability.  Some people understand but others not so much.  Grief takes time and everyone is different

My inner child is listening carefully to how I speak to myself.  I need kindness and compassion, I am still very fragile

I’ll always remember sitting around your bed that day, breathing the same air as you, what a privilege

There was this transfer of pain in that silent collapse, from you to me

You looked so calm and peaceful on the outside

The heavens changed that day and so did my world

You got your open door to your next spiritual journey

Now I watch for omens like cardinals, feathers, songs, and numbers, hoping it’s you reassuring me you’re ok

I want to take all your advice and use it in my personal and professional life

“Be confident, don’t convince anyone of your worth if they are too blind to see it, give and expect respect, care for others, tell the truth, and when you love, include yourself in that equation”

You said, “If you find yourself thinking you’re asking for too much from someone, maybe you should ask yourself if you’re asking the wrong person.”

Like Joni Mitchell’s song Both Sides Now, I’ve looked at life/love from both sides now

You said I used to ask a million questions, this is true and I still have many more

I lit a candle for you today dad, and remembered all the great memories through the tears

In my mind, I captured a collection of moments, sealed them in clear glass jars, and carefully lined them on a special shelf I can see from my bed

I imagine tying a navy blue silk ribbon around each one, that reminds me of the days you wore ties when I was a little girl

Whenever I want to visit those memories and moments, the clear glass makes it possible

I’m on my own journey of finding meaning…

My wish for you is to take a shot at the moon, take a trip to the sun

Paint the sky with your fingertips at sunrise and sunset

Why not add some sparkle in the night sky on your journey

I want to feel your presence in nature, thunderstorms, the wind

Even snowstorms like the one we had the day you departed…

You said that was a good omen

Thank you for giving me what you could as a dad, for re-introducing me to the love of writing, for attending my track and field meets for over 13 years, a swimming pool, learning how to water ski, playing piano, always listening, and for just being you

Maybe one of these days I’ll learn to acquire a taste for a good scotch or gin like you did

Then again, let’s see…

If that day ever happens, I’ll sip it at sunset on the water with you, listening to Both Sides Now

This one’s for you dad…cheers…

Love you ❤

Jen
XO

*On Friday, February 4th, 2022, my dad passed away from prostate cancer. He qualified for the MAID procedure which he had and passed peacefully. As a nurse, this was something medical to watch and as a daughter, it was so painful to watch. One of my favorite quotes is this; “We have two lives and the second one begins when we realize we only have one.” ~ Confucius

Thank you for reading ❤

Lessons And Truth Set Me Free

“He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there.  He who blames no one has arrived. ~ Chinese Proverb

In my book, “Winning While Losing: The Upside of Heartbreak” I talk about a coin having not only two sides, but three.  Heads, tails, and the edge.  The two sides represent two different points of view from two people opposing each other; heads and tails.  However, the edge represents the truth, facts, or reality behind a situation that is often avoided, overlooked, or hidden.  On the edge of truth or reality, are the reasons that run deeper than both points of view.  Therefore, the possibility of gaining a new perspective is there to consider, but only when you have an open mind and heart, is when you can own your behaviors and the role you played in the relationship.  I’m talking about accountability and responsibility.  We are no longer insecure toddlers saying, “not me!” Or at least we shouldn’t be.  After all, it’s the truth on that skinny little edge that will set you free, if you dare to go there.

Lessons Learned in 2021:

Do you know what’s interesting?  You can’t invite something or someone new in your heart until you create the space for it.  To do that means doing the work to heal from your past over a good amount of time, then letting it go for good

Stuffing the past inside never works; it causes toxic emotional constipation and that’s not fair to the next person involved because it always comes out later as an emotional explosion.  Who wants that?

Be wise enough to know how important self-love and self-respect are and they will guide you on what to do to heal

If someone tries to play mind games, create doubts, have sneaky conversations, or show inconsistencies, RUN! Kenny Rogers was right all along

Continue setting boundaries.  They protect your mind, heart, body, and soul.  If someone gets angry with your boundaries, then all the more reason to have them

If you ever notice a man using you for your money, get out ASAP.  That’s just pathetic, unattractive, and downright scary!  Never be a sugar mama

Always remember, when words don’t match actions and they twist it to blame you, that’s called manipulation

When people are not accountable, that’s called gaslighting

When someone labels others crazy or mental, that’s called projection which means they are describing themselves, not the other person

Manipulation + Gaslighting + Projection = Narcissistic Abuse

It’s not wise to play with fire, it only takes one tiny match to burn the whole thing down.  Unless you don’t care

The ones who give the impression of nothing, tells you everything

You have to learn when your part is over in someone’s story

This chapter is called MAKE ROOM

Relationships are not always meant to be forever, they are here for a reason, a season, and to teach us many lessons.  Learn the lessons

Know what you need and want and go for it

Trust the Universe, it knows more than you realize…

Take your power back and live an empowering life

Some of the best advice I ever heard was this, “If she’s told you what she has been through, don’t put her through that again. If you do put her through it, you are selfish and not listening.”

Take note that some people are open books, and some people are illiterate

The wound is not your fault, but the healing is your responsibility

Don’t curse my scars when all they ever tried to do was heal me

Evaluate your scars and heal from the inside out

Mistakes are forgivable, patterns are not

Conversations in relationships need to have a resolution or compromise.  Anger and aggression are toxic and ruin everything

Thriving in conflict is extremely unhealthy and toxic to anyone’s well-being

People let go when they are tired and they will no longer risk letting go of themselves

I am not required to set myself on fire to keep other people warm

I will not lose me to keep you

Effort and honesty are EVERYTHING…

There is nothing worse than self-betrayal.  Listen to your intuition, it’s always right

Don’t trust everything you see, even salt looks like sugar; be very discerning.  Ask questions

Every damn brick they try to throw at you, use it to stand on and use your voice

Never let them silence you or control you in any way shape or form

Be fearless and face the storm, lean in

Speak the truth, be courageous, set boundaries, give lots of self-care and self-love

I know my worth and I am honoring my spirit every single day

Own emotions, process them, and let them go.  The path to true happiness

Get up and out of your comfy zone

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you know now

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself

Loyalty and honesty are never too much to ask for in a relationship, it’s normal

Burning a bridge isn’t always a bad thing, you can never go back to what hurt you

Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t. Show some self-respect.

Anger taught me how to be calm

Aggression taught me how to speak up

Cruelty taught me self-kindness

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a serious red flag

When the past is still in the present, that’s another serious red flag

Unkind words about the past = a connection is still present and they won’t let go of the past, another serious red flag

Many red flags do not mean you are at a carnival, pay attention, they are dealbreakers

Look for green flags instead

Incessant whining, complaining, blaming is like living with a dysfunctional four-year-old that is stuck on repeat. No thanks.

Victim mentality is a lack of self-awareness which is annoying

When you are self-aware, you make the necessary changes in your life to move forward

Life is short

Nobody’s perfect

Setting healthy boundaries is self-protection and necessary in any relationship

Judging others reveals unhealed parts of yourself

It’s not my job to convince anyone to love me

You choose the behavior, you choose the consequences.  That’s it.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time

You can’t be disrespectful and expect respect in return

Ignoring my intuition is self-betrayal; never again.

My inner peace is non-negotiable

The price you pay to avoid something will always be higher than the price you pay to face it head-on

Living in the past = living in denial.  No chance for the present or future to come in.  If you don’t let the past die, it won’t let you live today which translates to cheated opportunities and missed relationships

Flat out lying or lying by omission is the same destructive pinch that breaks trust

Hearing what someone says and seeing how they behave are two different things.  Focus on the latter

Be accountable for your own shit, turn inward

Avoidance is for cowards

Entitlement and laziness are MAJOR turn-offs

It takes a strong person to ask for help.  Be strong

The pain never leaves us, we have to leave the pain.  Not everyone is capable of making this effort, even though it is necessary for any healthy relationship

The girl who takes care of everyone needs to be taken care of too. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you ever again

Besides, in a world where you can be anything, be kind

If it doesn’t feed your soul, then it’s time to go

Out with the old, in with the new, let it all go…

Onward and upward…

Amazing people are appearing and re-appearing in my life and my heart is so full of love and happiness ❤

Life is grand…

And just like the edge of the coin, the lessons and truth have set me free…

Thank you 2021!!!

The best is yet to come, let’s pop some champagne! ❤ Cheers ❤

** Hi everyone, how’s your October been?  I am happy to say things are going GREAT for me and I am getting ready to write another book!  Stay tuned and I appreciate the kindness and encouragement you’ve shown me all along.  Have a listen to Adele’s new song Easy On Me and have a fantastic week! 🙂

Love,

Jen xx

From Sea To Sky…

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It’s 4 a.m and the waves of the blue sea are subtly heard crashing against the shoreline

Sleeping is nearly impossible at this hour

Each morning sunrise, colors run into each other

Like my inner strength unexpectedly does to me

Some days are brighter and others seem to fade

Clouds contain feelings and prayers the same way they hold the rain

It’s strange how not being able to let out any feelings and wanting to remove them at the same time can hold me, hostage

All I can do is breathe, let it all go and see what stays

White clouds turn dark and thunder pounds to the beat of my heart

I feel so fragile right now…

Emotions come pouring out with the downpour of rain, washing my fears away

I realize you broke my heart but opened my eyes

I am somehow grateful for all this pain and grief

Suddenly, the sun comes out behind the same clouds that blocked it

It shines a light on everything, including me

Everything makes sense now

I feel the wind, wrapping around my shoulders, and running through my hair

As if a Higher Power brushes all the toxicity away

It’s a new start now, I can’t lose me to keep you

As time goes on, sunsets are a reminder to lay it all down once and for all

Healing is not linear and I believe this to be true

At night, the waves of the blue sea subtly crash against the shoreline again

I look up and ask the moon and stars for yet another miracle

That’s what people do when needing guidance

I realize you are like the moon and stars, loved and out of reach

However, I trust the force that guides them also guides me too

Now it’s time to close my eyes to old ends

And open my heart to new beginnings

From sea to sky…

 

 “For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen; a gaseous nebula must collapse.  So collapse.  Crumble.  This is not your destruction.  This is your birth” ~ Zoe Skylar

This blog is dedicated to one of my close friends, Caroline Gilbert who is going through a difficult time but she is a strong woman who can get through this.  We have all been heartbroken before so you are not alone my friend.  One day you will wake up and be in a new place of peace and calm.  Where everything feels right.  For now, be at peace with where you’ve been and know that you are being guided to something even better.  Please have a listen to the song Fragile by Sting and have a great weekend ❤

Much Love,

Jen ❤
XO

Tuning In To the Voice Within

my-intuition-told-me

When there’s too much noise around you, that cute quiet voice within goes unnoticed.

I read an interesting and quirky article written by life coach Martha Beck and wanted to give my take on it for all of you.

We have two voices that try to talk to us which are the logical ones such as parents, teachers, society and the other voice which is the wise primordial self.  It’s hard to choose between the two most of the time because of our impressions of them.

Logical voice is named Fang and is very business-like, well dressed, organized and on top of everything.  He’s very opinionated carries a Blackberry and has an impressive resumé.  The wise voice is named Buddy who wears shorts and a tank top with a butterfly tattoo on his back.  Buddy has a great smile and will hug you when you feel down.  Buddy’s resume is brief and has doodle art of squirrels on the side.

Who would you listen to?

When people say they want to find their “inner voice” it’s usually because they’re already listening to a loud, logical and convincing one; Fang.  But does it lead to fulfillment?  There’s another wise voice knocking that wants you to be happy, Buddy.  Fang thinks Buddy is weird but you really want to trust Buddy anyway.  You feel something in common with Buddy but you just can’t put your finger on it.

Voices of social conditioning manifests itself as a stream of thoughts in the head where wisdom often shows up as emotions or physical sensations in the body.  Ever had that gut feeling?  That’s Buddy trying to get your attention.  When something is wrong for you, you’ll feel constriction like knots in your body.  The wise choice unties those knots and makes you feel comfortable and light again.

Fang on the other hand is creating fear shouting “I’m right, do it my way or else!” or “You will fail” or “You don’t deserve it!”  Meanwhile there sits smiling Buddy nice and calm and relaxed taking deep breaths just waiting for you to join him.  Once you join him you are quiet and still and can finally tune in.  Wisdom is stronger than fear but only when you choose it.

Maybe you could tell Fang; “Yes I am worthy of this and if I fail the world won’t end and I’ll try something else.”  Fang will be upset for sure but with every choice like this your wisdom grows stronger and you can begin to ignore Fang so you can get out and play with Buddy.  He seems so interesting anyway.

Here’s your homework:

Think of a difficult decision or situation you are in right now that’s been keeping you up at night 😉  Ask yourself these three questions.

  1. What would calm do now?
  2. What would peace do now?
  3. What would relaxation do now?

This not only helps to open your mind but most of all your heart in order to find solutions.  The more often you ask these questions the more energy you feel which is your own wisdom.  When you feel the tension loosening up then you know you are on the right path heading in the right direction; the wise one.

And that’s what your inner Buddy would do.

By tuning in to your voice within, you not only choose wisdom as your advisor, you make this way of choosing your new way of life.

Happy Valentine’s Day Every Buddy  ❤

 

Much Love As Always,

Jen
xo

 

 

 

Smile In Your Liver

“Smile in your liver” ~ Ketut Leyir
From the movie Eat Pray Love ~ by Elizabeth Gilbert

I saw the movie Eat Pray Love when it first came out in 2010 and I thought it was interesting and great.  At the time I was more obsessed with the travel destinations of Italy, India and Indonesia in the movie and the basic story line of how a woman left an unhappy marriage and started over.  Having watched this movie again years later with some changes in my own life made me pay very close attention to Julia Roberts’ role and I was listening to the words of precious Ketut like he was sitting in my living room talking to me.  He is so amazing, I wish I had my own medicine man.  For the record, I am still obsessed with the travel destinations…

“You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clear away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver.”

Before we try and understand what adorable Ketut is trying to say, let’s review the roles of our liver first and try to understand the meaning behind his quote; “Smile in your liver.”

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines.  The liver also has the ability to regenerate itself if injured or surgically excised.  It is located on the upper right side of your body.

Maybe what Ketut is really saying is smiling in your liver essentially means going deep within yourself to be happy from the inside out.  Smiling in your liver filters the negativity coming from your gut feelings and prevents these negative feelings from passing throughout the body.  A smile has the ability to dissolve anger and resentment and metabolizes negative emotions while assisting in the decision making process.  A smile is also known for removing blockages so that one can forgive, accept and feel kindness flowing.  As it does so, a smile triggers endorphin production the “feel good” hormones that end up back in your belly making you feel at peace.  Your mind is calm and the smile you wear on your beautiful face is radiant; just like your liver.  If your smile is lost or cut off by someone or something, it is not lost forever and can be transformed again.  A smile is always right.

You could say it’s about striking a balance in your life and maintaining your personal power.  Yoga and meditation can help to slow down the monkey mind and when combined with deep breathing and smiling, your body feels more energized and peaceful.  I am currently on this learning journey and yoga is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my smiling liver.  Life gets pretty busy and crazy sometimes and we run to keep up with it.

But is that the right thing we should be doing?

Should we pick up the pace a little bit and run even faster?

I don’t think so.

Personally, when life gets that overwhelmingly crazy, the best thing we can do is the opposite – slow down.  Seems counterintuitive, right?  Well here’s the thing.  Not only does slowing down allow us to catch our breath, we can begin to see clearly and we can feel what our body is telling us ie: our gut feelings.  Gut feelings never lie and we should pay more attention to them because often times they can guide us in the direction that is most right for us or even re-direct us away from something that is harmful to us.  You become more mindful of what you really need.  If you don’t slow down and keep running that monkey mind marathon, you will never be able to hear what your life is trying to tell you, or get your attention to pay attention.  Stay grounded, slow down and silence your mind because you either control your mind or it controls you.  It’s that simple and your liver will thank you for it by smiling deep within yourself.  Now I just need to decide when I am going on my next trip!

SMILE IN YOUR LIVER!  🙂 

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Much Love,

Jennifer

BE THE SAILBOAT OR THE DUCK?

imagesCAEW51O2  Stress is a part of life and how you handle it on the inside can reflect how you look on the outside.  For the people who know me by now, you can see that I love analogies and for anyone new, welcome to my blog and my perspective on things!

Some people look so calm on the outside and yet they talk about how stressed they are.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe what they are saying is true but it’s because they are a duck.  Remember going to the park and feeding the ducks?  They would all gracefully swim on top of the water as if they were gliding effortlessly, or so it seemed.  Under water there was a whole different story going on.  Their little webbed feet were paddling so fast and furious to reach their destination as if their feet were on fire!  From a distance, we can’t see their feet so we think they are free from any stress whatsoever and that things come easily for them.  Just like the person who is stressed out and doesn’t show it.  On the outside, they are Mr. or Mrs. Calm but on the inside, they are stirring up a storm that only they know all too well.  Just like the duck’s feet, we cannot see what is on the inside or in the duck’s case, under water.  That is not to say that stress is not a good thing, it can be very motivating in certain circumstances, especially if you are in front of an audience giving a talk, you definitely want to be the duck.  It’s when stress turns bad and starts to affect you physically, that’s when you want to learn how to sail.

caribbean-sailing-september[1]  Watching sailboats is so beautiful and relaxing.  With the right amount of wind and catching the best angle for your sails, you are off to the race of feeling free.  By letting the wind carry you while you ride the waves in the water, trusting you are safe is like letting go of some control in your life, dealing with stress as it comes and knowing that you will be ok is freedom of stress.  Often times on the sailboat there is a lot happening on the outside that we can see in order to make the sailboat move like watching out for the boom!  It looks busy and to some stressful but in fact, it’s organized and well thought out, almost with anticipation of what might come next.  This is what I have found to be useful in dealing with stress, if you can organize your thoughts and beliefs, you will focus your intention on smooth sailing and therefore have a relaxing day on the water, watching the ducks bobbing by!  So toss out your anchor, enjoy the present moment and watch out for the guy on the sea doo!         -JJ