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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Happy First Birthday WWL!

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Happy 1st Birthday to Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak!!!

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Well, here we are, exactly one year later after my book release and I am SO amazed at the positive response!!  Each day teaches me the power of words, the power of positivity, the power of friends and family, the power of love and courage, the power of resilience and determination, the power of empowerment, the power of moving forward; even if you are crawling you are still moving.  The power of taking action, the power of reframing your situation so that it serves you, the power of self-awareness, self-care, self-respect, self-love, self-compassion, and ultimately, the power of forgiveness which is the toughest lesson of all, but I am living proof it can begin with the right attitude.

Judging others, blaming or being a victim is the easy way out and keeps you stuck. Taking responsibility for your own life is why we are all here and sets you free.  It’s been a process of lessons learned and to this day I am learning even more while making mistakes but this means I am evolving as a person and I am extremely grateful for the amazing friends I have.  My kids have seen me through thick and thin and I could have never done this without you guys, I love you from the bottom of my heart ❤  All my gratitude to you both!!

Today is giveaway day and I’ll be contacting 2 lucky winners with love and gratitude ❤ Thank you to everyone for all your huge support, and never forget…

~ Dare to live courageously…

Love Always ❤

Jen
XO

** Copies are available for purchase at all online bookstores worldwide and at the FriesenPress Bookstore.  Thank you 🙂

Feel It To Heal It

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I used to take the back door of my mind to get inside myself
Logic and endless mind games used to play with me there
Some days I would win, other days I would lose
I always felt like something was missing, but what?

One day I realized I wasn’t walking the right way
So I tried the front door, through my heart instead
That’s where I felt all the emotions and where I really started to live
That’s where I learned so many life lessons, at the heart of being present

You can run but you can’t hide
That’s how the heart works so it can be healed
Embrace, forgive and love yourself so more doors can open in your life
Feel those emotions, all of them

Of course, it will be painful;
But would you rather have short-term pain or long-term suffering?
Sadness is inevitable, but that’s what opens doors and knocks down walls
Better to be temporarily sad than numbing all emotions, good and bad
Bitterness and resentment only keeps people stuck and I wasn’t one of them

As I started to feel all my emotions
I started the grieving process
I felt my heart open wide and began the healing process from the inside out
My mind calmed down and I let my heart take over, trusting this process

I lost count of how many times I fell down
But what I can tell you is that I got back up every single time
Yes it was hard and I have scars to prove it but that didn’t stop me
My focus was on feeling better and to do this was through personal growth and development
Not through avoidance or distraction
For the record, I still fall down these days because I am still learning and that’s ok

With an open door policy and smaller walls to climb
I allowed my support system into my heart
Some days they took over when I couldn’t do it for myself
Gratitude is a small word for such a huge act of love
Each stage of grief was a wild emotional roller coaster ride, but a necessary one

Three years later, I am a new woman
I am not the same person who used to take the back door through my mind
Now I choose to open the front door of my heart with ownership, responsibility, and happiness
All this because I found the courage and chose to feel it to heal it ❤

You can too…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

 

**P.S:  All my gratitude to everyone who has read or is reading my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” It warms my heart to hear such wonderful feedback, especially when it helps another person who is going through any loss.  We are all connected and you’re not alone.  To pick up a copy of your own, please visit your favorite online bookstore worldwide or my publisher’s website FriesenPress for several available versions.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone ❤

XO

 

 

 

Tripping Over Your Soul

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The power of words can either lift you up or crash you down.

When they lift you up, it might spark a reflection on how to do things differently, cope better or it could inspire you to do some good in this world, love more, to help someone out or even yourself.  Music lyrics are a great example of how healing words can be.

When words crash you down, they can traumatize, change your life, make you fall to your knees with a haunting cry, and be embedded in your heart, mind, and soul forever.  They can reshape you in a twisted kind of way.

This requires some serious healing.

Not only does this apply to the words we hear from others but to the words, we hear from ourselves.  We really are our own worst critics and it’s time to stop these chatty gremlins from taking over our souls, tripping us up and stealing our joy.

What is your soul?  Based on what I know, which is only my opinion, the soul is the place that never dies inside of us, it’s what carries us through this life, lights us up when we are in the dark, promotes personal growth and development and drives us to make changes based on our past mistakes.  We learn from them because our soul is our life and it is always talking to us through connections with others.  Every connection is meant to help us grow; yes the good ones along with the tough ones.

I recently saw my good friend Judith and we had more inspiring conversations over Thai food.  We talked about when you try to heal from something, it’s like tripping over your soul.  I thought that was a great line because it’s almost like learning how to walk again after an accident.  You’re a bit worried, shaky, not going in a straight line, hanging onto things along the way that maybe you shouldn’t.  You fall, get up, try again and keep going forward.  The trick is not to get in your own way.  It takes practice and courage to do this while all along you think you’re not ready and you are fearful of what lies ahead.  Basically, it shakes your confidence in everything but your soul is the motivator that pushes you to try again because it only wants what’s best for you.  The healing journey is a process and in that process, you will trip, stub your toe, and fall, from time to time, but trust in it.  All of this is normal, and what matters is getting up and showing up.  Always remember, even if you are crawling, you are still moving.

Just remember to move forward and it will all work out when you can accept what happened.

Finding your new path means getting out of your own way, tripping over your soul from time to time and that’s ok.

Much Love ❤

Jen

**I hope you are all doing well, my apologies for not blogging as regularly as I have changed jobs recently but things are great.  If you would like to find copies of my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak”, it is available at online bookstores worldwide 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful 2018 so far ❤

These Times They Are A Changin’

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Some of the major benefits of living in Canada are the changes in season.  Like many fellow Canadians, the weather is on our minds 24/7 and we talk about it any chance we can get, like standing in the elevator with strangers, talking to our neighbors, or even at the grocery checkout while stocking up on pop and Doritos.

What I have come to realize is that our spiritual connection to Mother Nature is linked to many of life’s answers right in our own backyard.  The four seasons in Canada are different but temporary, just like our emotions or life situations.  They happen whether we want them to or not and every year they can seem easier or more difficult, it depends on your perspective.  How we react to them is what counts.  Even the cold or rainy season eventually comes to an end and that’s when warm sunny days are here again.  The opposite is also true.

Nothing lasts forever; everything is temporary.

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You would think that with all this change and adjustment to change, we would be pretty darn good at it by now, but are we?  Why is it that we resist change so much when it could be viewed as something beautiful with many possibilities and opportunities instead?  Fear of the unknown is very controlling and can make our imagination run wild with unrealistic thoughts and beliefs that we end up standing in our own way.  Even worse if we make decisions based on imaginary thoughts without the facts, that’s just careless.

We create our own roadblocks.

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I for one, am not a fan of winter and every October when I see the beautiful colored maple leaves falling from the trees, I know the snow is right around the corner in November and can last for 6 months onward.  Instead of complaining about it, I need to see the opportunities it can bring like going cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or sipping something interesting beside a warm cozy fire.  Winter in itself is another spiritual connection because, after a difficult snowstorm, things look beautiful again because change has taken place.  It’s another reminder for me to go with the flow…in the snow.

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Being grateful for what I have has changed my perspective on life quite a bit.  Even though I lost so much through a divorce, I believe it has made me a better person in the end because I took my own responsibilities and made the necessary changes that were in dire need to be changed, for me and my kids.  This is not an easy process nor am I finished with it yet but I am focusing my attention on what I have so I can have more of it.  I am liking this changing game because I’m growing and learning more about myself.

There’s no point in resisting change because let’s face it, no matter what, these times they are a-changin’

Much Love and Happy Thanksgiving,

Jen ❤

**All photos are my own taken in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

PS:  Thank you to everyone for all your support with my book Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak.  Things are going very well!   I really enjoyed the book launch, book signings, interaction with people and their book reviews!  If you are interested in leaving a review, please feel free to comment here or send me an email at jgreenwinningwhilelosing@gmail.com

I will add it to my website or you can also write a review at Goodreads or the online bookstore where you purchased it.  Copies are available at all online bookstores worldwide.

If you missed the TV episode of my interview on How To Heal From Divorce, you can watch it on the Facebook page Rogers tv Ottawa, Cable 22.  We are a group of women discussing healing and coping techniques so people don’t feel so alone.

All my gratitude to you,

Dare to live courageously…

 

 

 

Golden

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Golden ~by Ruth B

The fire used to burn
All the words used to hurt
But you’re not like us
You are different
I couldn’t see that that was a compliment
Cause the last thing I want now is to be you

And the flames don’t feel as hot as they used to
Burn, burn, burn,
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold, can’t you tell?

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold, can’t you tell?

Cause I’m not weak,
I’m not broken,
I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze, I’m no silver,
You’ll be thinking damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in,
I, I am golden
I, I am golden

You tried so hard to break me down
Like a fire-breathing dragon,
But I guess I took your crown

You pushed for me to change for you
But I’m so glad that I stayed true to who I am
Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold, can’t you tell?
Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken
I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold

I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze, I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes, you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden

The fire that you tried to burn me with
It made me who I am
All the things you said I couldn’t do
Guess what, yes I can

The fire that you tried to burn me with
It made me who I am
All the things you said I couldn’t do
Guess what, yes I can

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken
I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze, I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes, you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden
Golden, gold
I, I am golden, golden, golden.

Golden is one of my favorite songs that inspires me in so many ways.  It makes me think of my book which is about how I survived and coped through my separation and divorce in a positive way while trying to work as a single mother, pick up all the pieces and wear a smile through it all while dying inside.  I didn’t let this control me, I took control myself.

The book release date is March 2017 at this point and I will keep you posted as it gets closer.  This book is for anyone who’s had to live through heartbreak but came out golden because of it.  Don’t let someone push you around, you’re worth way more than that type of treatment and deserve real love.  Sometimes we don’t realize our courage, strength, and resilience until we’re in it and I think we’re all much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

You deserve a pat on the back and so much more…

Much love and gratitude to you 🙂

Jen
xo

Dare To Live Courageously

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I’ve always admired the strength and courage in others and recently with myself.  I think we are all more courageous than we even realize or admit to and it’s time we shared our thoughts and experiences to support, inspire, and empower one another.  My blog is called Courage Coach so it only makes sense to write a blog about it.  I have to say, I really enjoyed receiving each and every answer from all who contributed and I wanted to keep it anonymous, however, one of my friends decided to add his name to his quote so you will see that in there 😉 (I also weaved my answers into the blog).

There’s enough negativity out there in this world and let’s face it, shit happens.  However, if you can pick yourself up off the floor and turn things around for yourself in a courageous way, then you’ve got this.  We’ve all been there which makes us more connected to each other.  Learn to drown out the gremlins in your head and those who judge you because until they have walked a day in your shoes, they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.  So here we go, let’s see what all of you had to say about what courage means to you.

“For me, courage means……..”

To stand up for what you believe in

Facing your fears, no matter how miserable you feel, no matter how much you want to escape the situation.  But standing up for yourself even when all the cells in your body don’t want to

Accepting the fact as it is…it’s the ability to do something that frightens me the most

Having the guts to follow and do the things, be it anything.  Heart over mind or anything else

A seven letter word I have no inkling about!

Facing your darkest emotional fear

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point

All courage takes is one last positive thought to cancel out the one hundred negative thoughts before it

Taking action despite the fear, not ignoring it

The only survival tool for life.  Without courage, the world will kick your ass

The hidden natural ability provided by God to overcome the odds

Walking up to your ex and introducing yourself to his girlfriend

Ziplining with your kids

Ziplining with your mom

Riding roller coasters that scare the living daylights out of you, just to please your kids, friends or family.  Or even better, your girlfriend or boyfriend…

Forgiving someone, forgiving yourself

Sitting in the Dr’s office waiting for test results

Announcing your illness to everyone, especially your loved ones

Going for surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments

Admitting you screwed up, taking responsibility for it and truly apologizing to the person

Traveling by yourself and eating in restaurants by yourself

Writing your heart out in blogs or whatever

Writing a book and putting it out there

Telling your friends and family you are gay, hoping they will still accept and love you

Going to a dance without a date

Saying “I love you” or saying “I like you”

Asking someone out, not knowing the outcome

Admitting you had an affair

Leaving a stable job, changing careers and going for something you love to do

Moving to a new country or city away from your family

Changing your behavior so you can improve the relationships around you

Despite having a racing heart and wobbly knees, and fear the size of an elephant, courage is getting up from your seat and doing what your heart desires

Following your dreams and persevering despite what other people might think

Starting your own business and trusting in the process

Putting yourself out there with online dating.  Going out on dates again

Confronting a bully who takes pictures of other women on the bus without them knowing by taking a picture of them while threatening them you will put it up all over the station telling everyone about them if they don’t stop

Doing what you think you can’t do

Reporting a fraud but the person doing a fraud is someone you know

Trying to have a baby with IVF even though your family is against it

Giving up a baby for adoption

Getting a divorce

Telling your kids you and your partner are getting a divorce

Leaving an abusive relationship

Attending an event where your ex and his/her family are all there

Public speaking

Telling your parents you failed an exam in school

Courage means…me.  I am courage embodied.  Every day, big or small…I show courage in how I live.  Living with an anxiety disorder makes me realize “I am courage.”

Courage is confidence

Going back to school many years after you graduated

The cowardly dog!

Courage is something that comes out of love…like a soldier’s courage comes from his love for his nation

Asserting yourself!

Courage is when you have nothing to lose but so much to attain

When I don’t care what others think

When I am only there for myself

When I will move one step forward than I was a second ago

Courage is when we are not even

Telling my wife I got fired from my job

To agree to disagree and remain friends

To say how you feel about someone or something

To give your opinion even though everyone might disagree with you

Dance like nobody’s watchin’, sing a song or play a musical instrument on stage

Taking care of yourself by going on a diet and exercising

Saying “No”, setting a personal boundary

Wearing a bikini whether you’re a top model or not

To propose to the one you love

Courage is to get married

Courage is to be single

Being scared shitless but not letting that stop you

Trying out for a local sports team but not making it.  Being ok with that

Trying something new and adventurous like parachuting or bungee jumping

Cutting your hair short

Courage is to take a leap of faith

Rolling up your sleeves no matter how difficult the passage is and to keep loving life

Facing the things you would rather run away from.  Like saying sorry for something you did or accepting an apology from someone who did something to hurt you.  It’s doing the right thing, even though it can be scary.  It’s backing down from an argument because nobody was going to win that one anyway.  It’s realizing the person you thought was perfect isn’t perfect after all, but trusting and maintaining a relationship with them anyways.  It can be something that seems small…wearing that dress and telling yourself you are beautiful, even though you put on 10 lbs this year.  It can be something huge…putting yourself on the line…physically or emotionally, especially when you don’t see the short-term benefit…but you know that someone, somewhere, sometime, might benefit from what you had the courage to do or say.

Not giving up…Even though you would sometimes because the challenges are difficult and you can’t really do anything about it

Standing out from the crowd, not being a trend follower

Stepping out of that comfort zone!!

Following your dreams and desires

Choosing what must be done over what is easier to be done

An act or state of absolute freedom.  Freedom where one is solely motivated by his/her innermost core, irrespective of the nature of the result, reaction or consequence

Fear is always found in courage.  That’s why it feels so good after you do something courageous because you conquered your fear

Courage is when there’s no other way ahead and all we can do is move ahead, be stronger, be confident, and face the consequences.  It is one of the rare feelings which has no cons.  Being courageous can never make one unhappy.  So if you aim to become happy, be courageous  ~ Darshith Badiyani

This was a super fun blog to put together because it was a large group effort 😀  All my gratitude to everyone for sharing your courageous thoughts with all of us ❤

I hope you feel inspired, dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

Waking Up Without Ever Having Gone To Sleep

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Self-help and personal growth and development are one of the most popular genres of books, music, videos, and movies these days and people are searching for inspiration in everything because they live with a feeling that something is missing in their life.  I know I’ve had my fair share of days where I don’t feel aligned with who I really am and there was a time when I wasn’t living my most authentic life either.  When you suppress the real you and live for somebody else, essentially it is a betrayal of yourself and that really hurts.

We often hear the phrase “live an authentic life.”  What does that really mean?  How do you know you are living an authentic life and how do you know if you’re not?  The best place to start is by defining your core values.  What makes you who you are?  If you were to describe yourself in 10 words, what would they be?  These are your values, they come from your heart and they drive your behavior.  On the other hand, a belief is something with the word “because” in it, such as “I believe ____ because _______ .”  These are not who you truly are because they are usually imposed on you from somebody else like a parent, teacher, or society which can end up being self-limiting and disempowering.  Values are never self-limiting, they expand and empower you.

For example, let’s say you value creativity because you are into music, writing, painting or whatever the case may be.  You might be a high profile professional and feel like something is missing in your life and you’re right, there is.  It’s your authentic self that’s being suppressed because the outside world might be screaming “don’t do that, it’s a waste of time, put your efforts into your work/family instead.”  It might even be your gremlin inside your own mind saying “who do you think you are, pursuing something like this?”

Sound familiar?  Yep.  Been there done that.

To live an authentic life we need to learn more about ourselves by spending time alone and asking some tough questions that we need to know the answer to.  If we don’t ask, we’ll never know, right?  Living authentically is in constant motion which means it’s always shifting and evolving so you can find what’s real and then have the courage to live that way, despite all the judgments and criticism.  Every time you look within yourself, a little more authenticity is revealed and your challenge is to find your power in a disempowering environment.  Nobody said it would be easy but what’s even harder is ignoring your authentic self for the rest of your life.  We need to let go of the fears of what other people might think of us if we decide to show our authenticity and instead we can choose to love ourselves unconditionally.

Fear always feels bad, insists on certainty and needs everything whereas love always feels good, accepts uncertainty and needs nothing.  The more we can live with an open mind and open heart on a daily basis, the more authentic our lives will be.

The beauty of living authentically is the waking up without ever having gone to sleep.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

Transformation Is A Beautiful Thing

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Inspiration can be found in many corners of our life and in the lives of others.  Life is in motion at all times and if we stop and pay attention, that’s when we notice inspiring moments, people, places, and things.  Personally, one of the greatest things I love to see is how someone can transform themselves from being in a negative state to becoming their own superhero.  It’s not about winning a popularity contest but about being the best version of yourself after struggling with something so difficult for so long and coming out of it beautifully.

When I think about transformation, I think of metaphors because what metaphors can do is open our mind to a new perspective and deeper understanding of the potential transformation.  It’s like a window or a doorway we can move through and find ways to relate it to our situation.

‘Meta’ means over and beyond and in transformation, it is over and beyond reality.  My favorite metaphor of all is the caterpillar becoming a butterfly through the power of metamorphosis because one step over and beyond the caterpillar, the butterfly emerges.  In life when we try to step beyond a belief, behavior, fear or circumstance, a metaphor can transform a person ‘s perspective and trigger their values which allow them to step into joy in their life.

For example, a person who has a fear of public speaking may be struggling inside this cocoon for some time but wants to overcome it through transformation.  Just the mere thought of having to get up and speak to a few or many people can start the heart palpitations and make someone freeze right in their tracks because of stage fright.  This person’s main goal is to avoid public speaking and social events at all costs, mainly because they are shy.  The struggle is within their own mind and trying to silence the  negative voice.

I was speaking with a friend recently and he said not only can shyness get in the way but add a language barrier on top of everything and you’ve got yourself a fearful scenario.  I can only imagine how hard and uncomfortable that must feel to be around people you can’t connect with.  He gave an example where his workplace required them to do impromptu group speeches in front of everyone and his first instinct was to run and hide but since he wanted to transform his fear into something more comfortable, he remembered the first lesson from the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

Be Proactive.

In this lesson, Covey talks about taking responsibility for your own life and stresses the importance of focusing your time and energy on the things you have control over in life.  In a matter of minutes, my friend took this lesson and applied it to his own life right before facing one of the most fearful things; public speaking.  He changed his self-talk from negative to positive saying “Don’t freeze, focus on the audience instead of your own awkwardness, think of how you would want to see a speaker, put yourself in the shoes of the audience and see yourself from their perspective so you can transform your fear into something you love.  Imagine yourself being courageous even if you think you aren’t.  Be yourself, no stress or pressure, you are surrounded by friends.  Learn to laugh at yourself, life is too serious, be imperfect so people can connect, enjoy yourself and live outside your comfort zone.”

He stood up and managed to convince himself of everything he said and faced his fear by talking about his imperfections by making jokes with the audience.  People were laughing with him, and it gave a soaring boost to his self-confidence which made him continue even more.  He felt both shocked and happy with himself that day because it was a life changing moment, a real transformation where he struggled so long with negative self-talk but in the end after all that hard work, he emerged beautifully like a butterfly.  What a perfect example of going over and beyond his reality and honoring the value of courage.

More times than not, we struggle in our minds and hearts about who we are and about how we want other people to see us. We wrestle with worthiness and shame all at the same time when really we all belong together and we are more similar than we are different.

When I asked him how he felt about that day he said “It changed my outlook towards socializing, facing fears, being vulnerable, handling pressure situations and making friends in general.  And every victory I have had since that day, I attribute to this one act of mine where I overcame myself.  And, needless to say, making friends has been not as difficult as I feared since that day.  I survived.”

Bravo my friend for daring to live courageously, keep rockin’ the shark fin 😉

Transformation is a beautiful thing.

“How does one become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”  ~Trina Paulus

 

Much Love ❤
Jen