Braving Uncertainty

20200409_060054

The world has changed drastically and fast.  We hit the brakes and went from 100mph to 0mph in a very short amount of time.  COVID-19 has officially hit the worldwide pause button, but despite this crisis, positive things are happening in the world every day and I want to write about what’s real, what matters, what’s on my mind and in my heart.

First of all, let’s recognize this elephant in the room as a grieving process so we can feel the feelings and move forward.  We all just suffered a loss of control and normalcy worldwide.  As we know, when a tragedy or loss happens, denial is first.  People think it isn’t real and carry on as usual.  Bargaining is next and that’s when people make little deals on the side to try and keep things as normal as possible.  Anger moves in and takes over like a storm while sadness and fear hide in the corner waiting to be seen.  As the news is announced to us all day every day, acceptance may or may not be reached.  This is real and isn’t going away unless we all do our part; the sooner the better.  Once we do accept this is happening, we can start creating a new normal, and a new normal is where creativity and ingenuity lives.

For many of us, living rooms have been turned into gyms, dining rooms into workspaces, and kitchens into restaurants.  Social distancing, travel restrictions, working from home, kids are home without school/daycare, grocery shopping and cleaning protocols, washing hands, and bingeing Netflix more than usual are just a few ways we’ve all had to adjust to our new lives.  Not only that, cabin fever has taken on a whole other meaning for so many of us!  Now is the time to get creative and learn a new skill or hobby.  Let’s face it, using the excuse that you don’t have time won’t work for anyone right now.  Virtual meetings, coffee dates, dinner dates, cooking classes, walks, yoga, meditation, games, happy hour, wine tours, dances, book clubs, and tea parties are just a few virtual events I’ve taken part in and I have to say, it’s been fun, given the circumstances we’re in.  Now more than ever, what we need to get through this, is connection but in a virtual setting for now.  Not only that, but we also need kindness, courage, love, patience, compassion, and understanding.

I am concerned about people living in domestic violence and unhappy marriages who are forced to self isolate together, children, single parents, single people, the sick and vulnerable, the invincibles, the unemployed, and those who long to be together but can’t right now.  It’s difficult being apart from the ones you love and on the other hand, it’s difficult being with the ones you don’t love.  Reach out to the people in your life as a support and to get support to help combat loneliness.  Excluding people is never a good idea and even more so now.

Be kind.

Uncertainty means being vulnerable and being vulnerable is scary to so many of us.  It can bring out the best and worst in all of us.  Now that uncertainty is being forced upon us, we have no choice but to lean into it and spread hope instead of fear.  It’s in times like these when we need to have faith and trust ourselves things will work out again soon.  Believing that whatever happens, we will find a way out of it. It’s not like our lives were 100% certain before, right?  We still survived and thrived.

In my experience when it comes to uncertainty, one way to turn that around is by practicing gratitude in a mindful space.  Take your soul for a ride and think about all the wonderful things you already have.  This is what creates happiness from within and is long-lasting.  Perhaps one of the silver linings is the fact we all had to slow down and when that happens, we have time to reflect on our needs and wants.  What and who is important to us and why.  As it turns out, we don’t need much; but we do need each other.  It’s time to relax and take one day at a time, find some light in the dark.  Try not to make the uncertain certain.  For me, connecting by video with coworkers, friends, family, and loved ones has been a lifesaver to make the best of a difficult situation.  Thank goodness we live in a high tech world now.

I truly believe when things calm down,  things will be different but in a good and positive way.  We all have time to think about the future and our goals right now.  Let’s see what happens next and hold onto hope.

All my gratitude to every single frontline worker out there in all the essential services, and a special shout out to my friends in hospitals.  My heart truly goes out to all of you and I can’t imagine how you must feel right now.  I see you and I hear you.  Additionally, thank you to everyone who is doing their part.  We’re all braving this uncertainty together and it will get better soon, we’ve got this.

Please enjoy the beautiful song Imagine by John Lennon and be safe and healthy everyone 🙂

Happy Easter and Passover from a distance.

Virtual Hugs ❤

Jen
XO

**Wondering which book to read next?  Copies of Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak are still available in all formats on iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, and online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU!

Go With The Flow

20170824_091309

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not at all.

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

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

Bingo.

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

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

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

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

Sometimes, yes.  I’m still learning.

How do you go with the flow?

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

e8daa2d5a4fdf1bdf85de69408d05711--being-used-quotes-let-it-go-quotes

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

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

Thank you all again, and dare to live courageously…

XOXO

Don’t Fall Asleep At The Wheel

7697854018f37aa2f1e2o

After reading this title, you might think this blog is about your soon-to-be-16 year-old-son getting his driver’s license; but it’s not.

That’s another story.

Instead, this blog is about relationships and believe me, I’m not an expert in this field but I will speak from my experience and what I’ve learned, not only about love relationships but also about relationships we have with our friends and family, work and with ourselves.  The real expert in talking about relationships is my friend Andrea Syrtash who is a relationships author and columnist who has written for Oprah and Glamour magazine, and I give many credits to her for opening my eyes on this vital topic.

Andrea has taught me that the first question I should ask is “Does this person bring out my best?”  If the answer is no, then there is either work to be done or you need to re-evaluate whether it’s worth keeping in your life.  Not every relationship is forever and some are even toxic.  As situations change, people change along with them which is why a re-evaluation every now and then couldn’t hurt and should be done.

An example of a toxic relationship is being with someone who is submissive and enjoys putting you down, they are a control freak.  A toxic person will target your fears and feed on them whereas a loving person will sense your fears and try to soothe them.  In order for a toxic relationship to change and improve, the toxic person needs to realize they need to take their hands off the wheel and be nice by giving up control for awhile and letting someone else drive because they are not the only one on the road, nor are they the best driver either.

There is nothing worse than a backseat driver.

Relationships take a huge amount of effort on both sides to make them work, whether that’s with friends and family, work, love or ourselves.  Over time, it’s common to see people become lazy or complacent in their relationships and this is where it becomes dangerous because people stop paying attention, they get tired and eventually fall asleep at the wheel.  The other person ends up feeling left out and even at risk of being taken for a ride.  The end result  could either be a close call where something major wakes them up just in time, or it could end up being a car crash where everyone gets hurt and some may not survive.

Imagine if both sides are falling asleep at the wheel!  Let’s not even go there!

Out of all the relationship types listed here, the relationship with ourselves seems to suffer the most because we say we’re too busy to join the gym, no time to eat, other commitments come first and so on.  In order for the other relationships to work well, this is the one relationship that should be tended to first because when you feel good, you want to be good and do good.  All of your relationships benefit from the fact that you are taking care of yourself and are paying attention to how you feel so that you have the energy and desire to feed the others.

So how do we stay awake and motivated in all our relationships?  Coffee is always good and some prefer Red Bull but what you really need is to ask that important question from time to time “Does this person bring out my best?”  This also includes you, do you bring out your best?  Learn to appreciate, nurture and care, take an honest look to see if it’s time to adjust your speed, to hold on or let go of the wheel.  Pay attention to details because you don’t want to miss anything, or run somebody over.  Keep your eyes on the road, and whatever you do, don’t fall asleep at the wheel.

You could risk losing everything 😉

 

Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

 

 

 

 

It’s Finally Over

12039748_759554864173115_3192760744522198879_n

Her view was mostly of his back
He was far too busy to notice, especially her
When  pointed out, he walked away from her
Communication was his weakest link
The emotional abandonment was suffocating and humiliating for her
Being ignored was the worst empty feeling of all
She felt alone and excluded,  yet she was with him
The sting of emotional betrayal was overwhelming and nauseating
How could this be happening after everything she gave him
Gone was her independence and confidence during those years
Sadly her efforts to impress went unnoticed
Yet somehow he still benefited from the results
Her head hurt from banging it against the wall
Begging for his attention
She felt she didn’t exist and unimportant, at least with him
Schedules, impressions, ego were his priorities
Invitations elsewhere were taken with pleasure
Decided and enjoyed, leaving her behind
She felt she didn’t have a choice which took away her voice

Until one day a job opportunity came for her in a faraway land
An opportunity not just for her but for the family
To be treated like a queen and highly rewarded for all her hard work
He encouraged her to pursue this adventure
The spotlight had shifted from him to her
It was finally her turn to do more, have more
The law of divine compensation was at play
However, seething jealousy swept in
Robbed her of this happiness, this chance of a lifetime
What did he do?
He backed out, refusing this opportunity for himself
Advised her to go alone
His world was far too important to leave behind and support her in this quest
These foolish games were killing her and them
She was so tired of feeling alone
Betrayal came in many forms and shattered her heart one crack at a time
His jealousy and control were building daily over her

That’s when everything changed…
She realized this was not about her but all about him
Like all the other times he abandoned her

And then…. it happened, the day after Valentine’s

A hurling punch of ultimate betrayal slapped her across the face with brute force
Causing physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual harm to her body and soul
He took away Everything from her world
Her cracked heart was broken, bleeding and wailing
The invisible crown she wore fell, and crashed into a wall
Jewels she collected over the years shattered into a million pieces
Lifelessly falling to the floor,  she tried to pick them one by one
Screaming, reaching and crying a river of tears
Every act of control on his part felt like she was being strangled tighter and tighter
He was kicking her while she was down; the pain was excruciating
She was unable to get off this emotional roller coaster ride
And it was sucking the life out of her
Her world was rapidly spinning out of control into a downward tornado spiral
She knew this was the end but failed to realize
It was also her new beginning…

Gradually, she picked herself off the floor
Had no idea she was in the driver’s seat
She could finally break free and live her life the way it was intended
With people who care and make time for her in their busy schedule
And don’t take advantage of her good nature
Friends and family gathered round, carried her when she couldn’t walk
Resisted sleep all night until sunrise; stayed and talked with her
Buried the darkness when she needed the light
Spoke for her when she couldn’t speak
Listened when she finally found her voice and the words
Dried her tears when they wouldn’t stop flowing
Made her laugh and smile to cut through the pain
Encouraged her to shake and pound it out through exercise
Books, quotes and songs repaired her soul one phrase at a time
Hugs and virtual hugs meant everything to her
Friends and family became her strength, her lifeline, her everything
Standing by her side through every mind controlling appointment and conversation
Taking her shopping and moving her into her new palace
Helping to re-attach the shining jewels to her invisible crown
And wearing it like a boss knowing she’s worth it, dammit
While carrying on courageously and not missing a beat in her life
Rising strong like a hero and not a poor victim
Pouring out her emotions and detoxifying her soul through writing
Connecting with more friends around the world that inspire and support her
Skype, Hangouts, texts and social media bring friends who are far, close to her heart
She doesn’t feel alone or ignored anymore, she is smiling
Her heart and mind are open, she can breathe again

Finally she disembarks this wild emotional roller coaster ride
Thanking her guardian angels for riding along side with her
This girl is on fire now and has her strength back and more
She walks into the appointment with her pen in hand
Signs the document that changes her life forever and for the better
Her inked signature says it all loud and clear
It’s finally over.
And this time…
She walks away with her back to him for the very first time
And rocks it

DSC00657

** A special thanks to Darshith for letting me borrow his awesome idea of adding music to my blog 😉 **Thank you** 🙂 Since this post has a before and after, I chose two songs; Foolish Games by Jewel and Brand New Me by Alicia Keys.  Thank you for reading and listening, I know it was long but I just had to get it all out, turn my back, close the door, walk away and move on.  Enjoy the music…Life is beautiful.  We’re all human.

Love, Thanks and Hugs to You,

Jennifer
xo