Your Hungry Soul

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This post goes out to all the people with thirsty hearts and hungry souls…(that includes me)

You’ve heard the saying, “Feed Your Soul,” I know I say it quite a bit myself because sometimes there are days when my soul is so hungry!  Hungry for what?  Something purposeful, meaningful, and inspirational.  Isn’t that what life is all about and why we’re here?

What makes you tick?  Lights you up from the inside out?  That’s what I’m talking about.

One of the greatest things I’ve learned after my divorce is how to stop the insanity and feed my soul.  Things I completely forgot about came back to me, like writing, listening to song lyrics, exercise, and walking beside a body of water.  Whenever I’m feeling blue, these are the things that swoop in and heal me in an inspiring way.  I also discovered new things like reading Paulo Coelho books that are so incredibly written.  He is one heck of a word wizard that’s for sure.  In case of an emergency, cookies are always good too, but not too many!

Then there are the tougher days.  Starvation sets in and no matter what you do, your soul never seems fed or satisfied.  Maybe it’s your job or a relationship that’s keeping you down and confused about your true desires and the search seems endless.   This is when creativity comes in very handy or talking it out with a trusted friend.  Feed your hungry soul and quench that thirsty heart of yours!  Just try to be around people who actually feed your soul and not eat it!  That completely defeats the purpose.

And just so you know, anything soul-sucking needs to go immediately.

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One of my favorite author’s and life coach, Danielle LaPorte says we should make goals with a soul.  In other words, strive for the things we desire that make us feel good.  Goals are great but are sometimes too much work if you’re not that interested in them.  Is your goal a should or a want?  Maybe we’re living our lives backward and inside out because if we put our desire ahead of our goal, it would probably be more achievable since we know it makes us feel good in the end.   Follow the pull, not the push.

Other times you have to let go and throw fate into the water and see what happens next.  However, sometimes, even water can’t wash away the pain, but when you’re hungry, you’ll do anything to feed it.  This can be a good sign because that might prompt you to discover a new hobby, change careers, meet an old friend, pray from the heart, or take a trip somewhere new and exciting.  We just want to connect with someone or something that makes us feel good.  What makes you happy?  When you find out, do that as much as possible.

When your soul is hungry, what is your go-to spiritual diet?  What do you crave?

Much Love,

Jen 🙂

P.S:  What better time of the year than to curl up with a book and get inspired 😉  “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at all online bookstores worldwide, pick up your copy today!! Have a great weekend everyone ❤

 

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Exercise (A-Z Challenge)

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After all that chocolate and baking you must be thinking how on earth can one eat like that all the time?  It’s exercise people; and it’s best stress buster around 🙂

In this day and age, health and fitness is on magazine covers, the news and on our phones.  It stares us in the face on a daily basis and people are still not willing to see it or how important it is.  I will admit I am a bit of a fitness freak but you don’t have to be.  It’s possible to walk just twenty minutes per day or take the stairs instead of the elevator all the time.  Sometimes I park my car far away from the mall doors as possible but also to find the best parking spot near the exit!  Always have a strategy 😉

The reasons and health benefits for doing exercise are endless and I would like to share with you how it has helped me.  For solo activities like walking or jogging, I can be outside in nature having a constant change of scenery as I move along in my flashy outfit.  I am plugged into my music and I see people I know along the way which is really fun.  The endorphins which are the “feel good hormones” are released when we exercise so if you leave home or work in a bad mood you will come back from your exercise in a good one.  This natural “high” feeling becomes addicting and I am an addict but in a healthy way!

My favorite fitness activities I do on a regular basis are Zumba and Piloxing.  Not only is it a dance party with friends but we are getting in awesome shape at the same time.  It’s literally impossible to go to these classes and not have a good time.  One of the biggest reasons I exercise is for my brain and as strange as that may sound, when I feel stressed or restless whether it’s mental exhaustion or emotional upset, I have to do something physical so my endorphins kick in and make my mood better.  If anything positive on the physical side happens to me, I call this a bonus.  It has literally pulled me out of tough times more than a thousand times.  What I aim to do is exercise 4 times a week minimum and depending on the stress that’s going on, sometimes it’s every day, whether it’s a 15 Km walk or jog or an hour shaking it off at Zumba or Piloxing, or on a rainy day a few laps at the indoor pool.  Plus it helps me sleep better, concentrate better and allows me to eat more…Yaayyy!!

There’s always something healing and inspiring about working as hard as you physically can in order to make you feel better emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  It’s that feeling of accomplishment that you did something for you and we don’t take care of ourselves that much but we should.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself because caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.  Since I am a helping professional in two careers, I need to do this more than ever.

I’m off to my Piloxing class now!  What are you doing for exercise?

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

What I Know For Sure…Now: A Letter To My 21-Year-Old-Self

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Okay seriously, life is full of lessons whether you want to learn from them or not.  When you do learn, you expand your personal growth and development and make necessary changes so they don’t happen again.  If you don’t learn the life lessons, they will keep happening over and over until you do.  They won’t go away on their own.  That’s just the way it is…sigh.

No matter what age you are, something happened to you that affected your life and how you reacted to it changed you.  It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.   But what if you could have a conversation with your younger self and give advice that would save you time and grief or give you confidence and perseverance in various areas of your life?  I know I’ve thought about this and I’d like to share what I know for sure… now.

Dear Jen,

You are 21 years young now and are studying very hard to become a nurse.  You have chosen a career path that is helpful and compassionate which aligns with who you are and your core values in life. Yes studying is hard, working in the hospital is hard but never give up because you are on the right path; you’ve got this.  Know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours, this is the beauty in nursing.

What if I told you when you graduate you will move to another country to work and travel?  Not just once but twice. Nursing can open many doors for you and later on there is another big opportunity coming up that you cannot say no to, in Qatar.

Don’t always expect to be acknowledged and appreciated for all the hard work you do, people are tired and busy in their own worlds but in your heart, just know you are doing your best and in the end, you will be rewarded by Him.  Know your own self-worth because if you think you are cheap, people will see and treat you as cheap. Try not to control every outcome, just relax and enjoy the ride because you have so much ahead of you, a world of experiences that will blow your mind!

Life Coaching is in your future which is another beautiful helping profession and by walking this path, you learn so much about yourself in the process and it’s an automatic win-win for you and your clients. You will be so inspired, you will really love this but it takes work to get it going.  Don’t give up.

Relationships are complicated but a very big part of your life Jen.  Friendships are to be treasured and respected by both sides otherwise, it’s not worth it.  Everywhere you go, you will meet new friends and connect well with them for life because of who you are.  You have many amazing friends who inspire you so hang on tight they are your rocks during your toughest moments.   Don’t forget to be there for them too and love them with all your heart.  Sadly, one of your closest friends will be diagnosed with cancer and cannot beat it.  However, having known her, changes your perspective on life for the better because you learn to appreciate the little things, slow down and look within yourself for answers to life’s complicated questions.  You have all the solutions inside you, just dig deep because they’re all there.  You feel a deep sense of gratitude for having known her and you miss her.

Family is another important part of your life and you need to show your appreciation for everything they do for you.  Nobody’s perfect and everyone is doing the best they can, just like you Jen.  Perfection is a dangerous thing and not even possible so let it go.  Imperfections are what make people beautiful including you.  It all depends on your perspective, try to look at them as your gifts.  Your entire family loves you unconditionally, you love them too and you get along with everyone.

Ah, romance, romance.  You have met some really nice guys that showed interest in you so far and you have been interested in some of them.   But Jen, you need to have more self-confidence you need to love yourself more.  Learn how to be assertive and stand up to the ones who don’t treat you right and hold hands with the ones who do.  Don’t get blindsided by flattery, take it for what it is which is sweet.  Not every guy will understand your kind heart but that’s ok, it’s not your job to convince him of it.  Never let the good guy get away, easier said than done.  Romantic involvement is complex and fleeting.  Don’t settle for someone, make sure your man adores you, protects you, makes time for you, has the same values as you, has your back on everything and knows how to use a hammer!  This will save you a ton of frustration…

What you really want is someone who makes you smile, is proud of you, supports you and inspires you, is emotionally there for you and treats you like his queen.  Not a man who drains you or takes advantage of your good nature or abandons you.  He will love you with his whole heart by making you his number one priority and not let his external environment control how he feels or acts around you.

He must know his own core values and who he truly is on the inside otherwise he is a chameleon adjusting to every external environment, not a man.

If you are looking for a chameleon, go to Costa Rica.

Make sure he never interrupts you or puts you down in front of other people; he should be singing your praises instead.  You are a fine catch young lady and never forget that!  😉

You put everyone’s needs ahead of your own and deep down, you want your needs met too and why not?  People pleasing and putting yourself last is killing you without you even realizing it.  You need to take better care of yourself so you have the ability to take care of others.  Everywhere you go you are a caretaker.  Learn to set some boundaries for yourself otherwise people will walk all over you as if you were a doormat.  “No” is a complete sentence, remember that my love.  And whatever you do, don’t let the opinions of others influence you to the point of doing nothing.  You’re better than that.

Be very mindful of selfish people and narcissists in your life.  They are your biggest threat because they give subtle red flags and are very good at charming you.  Take off those rose colored glasses so you can actually see the color red.  They are only interested in themselves so don’t kid yourself into thinking they have something to offer you.  They are takers and you are a giver so you are vulnerable in this situation.  Be very, very careful.

I know you can’t see it now but your heart of gold will fall in love with one man and two children over the years.  Unfortunately heartbreak is in your future but this tragedy has its silver lining.  You experience two sides of the same coin but you are a trooper, a real warrior.  Facing these various betrayals are the biggest stressors you will go through but it’s not what happens to us in life that determines who we are, it’s how we cope and react to it that counts and you have excellent coping skills.  Like grace under fire. You are not a victim so don’t play that role, ever.  You might feel like you are all alone in this but you’re not.  You are stronger than you realize and you have God in your corner.  This is a time for self-compassion and practicing self-care, finally.  You have put this off long enough Jen so time to pay attention to yourself.  It’s self-discovery time.  Be a good example for your kids because they are always watching and taking notes.  Learn the lessons here and don’t worry so much, everything is going to be okay.

You really need a vacation, you should plan one.

Writing blogs for you is a positive emotional outlet and an incredibly important way of dealing with stress because getting your emotions out on paper or a screen is cathartic.  A wonderful healing tool for all.  Not only are you helping yourself but also helping others by letting them know we are all in this together, nobody is alone.  An amazing world of bloggers is out there and each person has something beautiful to offer, appreciate each and every one of them from your heart because they are probably fighting a battle of their own you know nothing about.  You learn to write your way out of this betrayal and when writing the story of your life Jen, don’t let anyone else hold the pen, own it.  You get to write your own ending.  On the other side of this fear is freedom so hang in there, you’re doing great.  You are finding your inner voice and are finally starting to use it.  Better late than never girl!

Exercise has always been a priority in your life but during this time you must keep moving more than ever.  The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits are endless.  Exercise helps to get the negative energy out, clear your mind, release those endorphins and make you feel empowered again.  You meet more friends along the way who support you and you can’t imagine your life without them because they are just so fun to be with!  You learn new activities like Zumba and PiYo which you even become addicted to!

As you make your way through the pain with your kids, your vision becomes clearer and you slowly get your strength back, thanks to your family and friends here and all around the world.  Connection has empowered you to stand up for what you believe in and fight for your rights my little warrior.  You are getting to know and love yourself more and more each and every day, the butterfly is emerging.  One of the greatest lessons you can learn is to practice gratitude, forgiveness and surrender.  These are the silver linings in the dark clouds.  You will make it to the other side Jen, you are almost there so don’t give up now.  Music and lyrics inspire you and give you energy.  There’s one song that’s about standing for something and getting stronger which is exactly what you need right now.  You need to stand for you.  Share this song with your amazing friends and in the meantime…ROAR!

To be continued in another 20 years….

And this is what I know for sure….now.

Love,

Jen
xo

LIME: Lifestyle Improvements Made Easy

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For those of you who are already fitness experts, I’m sure you can relate to the time when you first started working out and how energized you felt after.   For the rest who are contemplating starting or have only just begun, let me tell you….it can be very motivating and addicting in a really great way!

I never thought I would hear myself say those words because ever since I graduated high school years ago, my sporting days kind of ended there.  I managed to stay in okay shape because of the career I chose working as a nurse and running all over the place for the past 19 years, but it wasn’t enough.  Allow me to explain why.

The last thing I wanted to do with my aching legs after running around all day was to go and do more physical activity.  My couch was looking so good after every shift and it welcomed me with open arms, literally.  Laying there felt good and my body was so relaxed.  However, my mind could not stop racing and sometimes as a nurse emotions cannot turn off that easily either.  Any helping professional can understand where I am coming from.  People who take care of others seem to have a hard time taking care of themselves or putting themselves first.

Things began to change when I took a step back from nursing and decided to become a Health and Wellness Life Coach which I know is another helping profession but it not only helps others, it helped me a great deal too.  Now I work in both fields and I love it.  My favorite quote is “Put your oxygen mask on first, caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.”  It’s the oxygen mask theory from the flights we’ve all been on.  It’s the same rule in life and no, it’s not selfish.

I made a decision that I wanted to feel healthier by eating well and exercising at least three days a week.  I love walking and I love music.  Luckily I found my old iPod with so many songs I completely forgot about, I charged it, laced up my shoes and went outside in nature.  I thought I would walk for maybe half an hour but because of the music, I went further and walked one full hour seeing flowers bloom in spring, a heron bird with her nest and even a deer crossing my path.  All just steps away from my big comfy couch.  The feelings I had after being outside and walking to all my favorite songs was so motivating and fun, I suddenly realized what a calm mind I had and how happy I was!   Not only was I doing my body a favor physically, but I finally understood why people love exercise so much.  It also keeps your mind and emotions healthy too.  It makes sense why some people who seriously do not need to work out are doing it for other reasons.   I managed to walk ten kilometers a day four times a week until the snow came.  It was official, I was addicted to my exercise routine, I felt great, lost weight and I was so much happier.  Who knew?  Prior to the unforgiving Canadian winter, I became proactive in seeking out a fitness centre that I could go to during the freezing cold months.  In the Ottawa/Gatineau region there is an amazing place called Lime Fitness which stands for Lifestyle Improvement Made Easy.   Not only is the name perfect but so is the team that runs it.  Maggie, Gina, Sylvie and Kelly are four incredible women who run this energizing business and practice what they preach by either running or attending the class right along with us.  The positive energy that is constantly exchanged in each and every class is outstanding and contagious.  Smiles, laughter, encouragement and support make it feel like a family having one big party!  Their mission is simple, “To help you achieve your greater good so that you can live your life unlimited.”  To me, that’s fantastic and was exactly what I was looking for, not to mention the music is very motivating and fun!  They offer classes such as Zumba, PiYo, Cardioboxing, Bellyfit, Kettlebells and one called Insanity!  Each class will bust your stress, lift your mood and make you dance like nobody’s watchin’!  Anyone can join, there is no competition and yes everyone including me is uncoordinated when they try their first Zumba class but who cares?  You will get the hang of it.  Nobody is looking at you because they are too busy looking at themselves and we’re all in our own invisible bubble so not to worry.  You will have so much fun you won’t notice it’s been an hour, this I know for sure.  It’s been five months since I joined, I met new people, I do three classes a week and I can honestly say the staff at LIME have definitely contributed to my lifestyle improvements made easy.   I’m motivated and addicted in a really great way because I put my oxygen mask on first so now I am able to take care of others more effectively.   Thank you LIME!!

I encourage you to visit their website, grab a friend and take them along to Lime Fitness…..you will both be truly amazed!  See you there!

http://limelifestyle.com/

Jennifer Juneau
Jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com