Welcome Home

“We are all just walking each other home” ~ Ram Dass

Dear Anxiety,

So, here we are, we meet again. You have this habit of showing up whenever things are going well and your goal is to disrupt that and throw me under the bus while watching…

You’ve managed to pull the trigger many times and have succeeded by setting my nervous system on fire and clouding my judgment over the years

Well, I have news for you Anxiety, you’re not a prison life sentence. Instead, you’re a key through a doorway and I get to decide where my life leads next

We’ve known each other for a long time and yet it’s only recently that I want to befriend you.  You’ve been there all along trying to protect me.  I’ve then recoiled from you thinking you are trying to hurt me

This has only made our relationship more fearful and stronger. I fear and ignore you and distract myself which makes you cry louder and stronger, like a child not being heard

I hear you now and I see you so I’m going to welcome you in instead of running from you or stiffening against you. 

Come, sit, and know that things are safe.  When I turn to you and sit with you, I know you will begin to calm and over time, you won’t need to scream so loud

We can coexist and I can live my life knowing you won’t hurt me

As the late and great Maya Angelou once said, “I know why the caged bird sings. A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

I have the key to the cage that Anxiety tries to wrap around me. Despite this cage, I can still find peace and happiness and sing my song too. I also have wings that allow me to escape that cage anytime

I’m tired of your overwhelming waves that wash over me out of the blue. I feel like I’m underwater in those unmanageable anxious moments

You increase my breathing and heart rate, right to the point of fainting while you just sit there and watch the entire downward spiral unfold…

You slowly creep in and send me into panic mode for no real reason and I become my own worst enemy. It’s not fair to me or to the ones I love

Thankfully, my amazing support system handles me with undying care and unconditional love. They are tired of you too Anxiety. Your persistence is annoying

I tell myself to meditate, sit down and slow down. Walk outside in nature, listen to music, write, or paint. With growth, there are going to be growing pains, please be patient…

Breathe…

I don’t need to figure out how to keep going at this high level of anxiety, I need to figure out how to calm my nervous system down

I can be self-compassionate when sitting with this feeling and get curious by asking, “Why is it here right now? What is Anxiety trying to teach me?”
Anxiety is not accurate
Anxiety serves no purpose in life
Anxiety can challenge relationships to the point of destruction for no real reasons
Anxiety shows up when things are going well
Anxiety is a royal pain in the ass

Be aware of anxiety, but don’t make it your lifestyle. Become more present. Cultivate calm because anxiety is contagious but so is calm. Therefore, when I heal myself, I heal others in the process

I’m falling in love with the process of becoming the very best version of myself. I need more time to do less

It’s a continuous work in progress to speak kindly to yourself because your inner child is listening and so is the Universe. Be careful what you put out there because it will come back to you

Be open to what’s next and stop worrying about how it will all play out. I’ve spent countless years metabolizing pain and anxiety, it’s time to let it all go, and stop gaslighting myself…

I’ve realized the peace I’ve been seeking for so long is not out there in the world. It’s inside of me. I’ve been searching for something familiar that I already had inside. That’s why I can’t find it out there. It’s almost like you’ve been looking for your keys and they’ve been in your pocket the whole time

Walk yourself back to who you truly are; your loving and imperfect self. It’s time to build a safe haven within and with the one you love

After all, you’re only human

It’s time for us to say goodbye, Anxiety. I definitely don’t need or want you in my life. You’ve caused me enough trouble, and you’re not welcome to live here anymore

I’m saying hello to a peaceful, true, and deep love instead, I’m finally safe…

Welcome home, Jen ❤

**This blog was written in collaboration with a dear friend of mine as if Anxiety was a person and is dedicated to anyone and everyone who experiences various degrees of anxiety at different times in their life.  Sometimes it’s deceiving that what we see on the outside is not what’s going on on the inside. Please know you are not alone and we can get through this together.  All my love to all of you.  Just like Bruno Mars, you can Count On Me

Love Always,

Jen ❤

**Copies of my book, “Winning While Losing: The Upside of Heartbreak” are still available on the publishing website FriesenPress. All my gratitude to all of you ❤

~ Dare To Live Courageously…

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

Let Go or Be Dragged

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As we move closer to the end of 2017, it’s a wonderful time to become more reflective of what happened, ask ourselves what we desire in 2018 and determine what’s important to us and why.  I recently did this exercise with my wonderful friend Basak.

For me, it’s been a year of ups and downs, and at the same time, I’ve learned so much about myself in the process like how to apply some additional coping mechanisms to decrease stress.  How to surrender and let go has been BIG on my agenda.  Letting go of who and what’s not right for me is a constant learning experience and I know I’m not alone.

One thing I am grateful for this year is how well our co-parenting scenario is going.  Especially for the sake of my kids because we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got in our new normal and that’s a huge relief for everyone.

The dating world is another story, I am still learning how to recognize red flags more, and let go of those clever wolves in sheep clothing.  Dating has been both good and not so good but I refuse to let that drag me down and around.

Just like Richard Branson says; “If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.”  It’s better to let someone walk away from you than all over you.  Just let them go one way, and you go the other way.

I learned how to park my brain and engage my spirit by being grateful for everything I have both internally and externally.  I crave inspiring things and people in my life.  It’s what’s on the inside that matters most to me.

Let’s be honest, life is complex and our emotions even more so when you are being dragged.  This can be painful like when you’re swinging on those monkey bars and hanging on so darn tight.

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We can’t move forward if we are always looking backward.  Sounds simple but it’s true.  Try driving a car while always looking in your rearview mirror.  I’ll make sure I’m off the road that day!

Stop trying to fit in and go where you belong.  That’s where you can be your true self and feel comfortable with who you really are.  Find your tribe, let go of bad vibes and people that drag you down.  Lean into support instead.

I learned to stop hanging on for the sake of other people’s feelings.  This is the most disrespectful thing you can do to yourself.  There’s a saying; “There’s no need to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”  So let go before you get burned.

Forgive yourself for making mistakes, you’re only human just like everyone else.  This will bring you peace.

Above everything, love yourself with every cell in your human body by being self-compassionate.

As author Mark Nepo says “Maybe there’s a better life plan for you that you don’t know about.  Hope for good, allow for even better.”

There will be times in your life when you don’t know why something is happening.  Create your own closure if you can’t obtain it from the source.  Instead of trying to find a happy ending, why not try and create a new beginning?

I learned it is physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausting to hang onto something that is dragging you around, especially for so long.  Listen to your body and intuition.

Picture this…

horse-dragged-in

A guy is on the ground being dragged behind a horse and is hanging onto the reins for dear life.  The horse goes about his business every day, eating, galloping, doing number one and two, but the guy will not let go despite knowing it doesn’t feel good, smell good, or look good, he’s just hangin’ on to hang on!  The horse gallops and jumps in all kinds of weather and there’s that guy, still hangin’ on through the air, mud, and tall grass.  From an outsiders point of view, what do you see here?  What do you think of him as he gets dragged right in front of you?  Are you screaming inside your head saying “OMG just let go!”  This guy doesn’t realize he has a choice; to be courageous and do something about it.  Excuses like being in “limbo” don’t cut it but making a decision certainly does.

Remember those scissors?

Life situations are very similar.  We hang onto something dear to us that we can’t accept has already left and we end up being dragged.  Or we let go but keep running back to the same problem in the first place, even though we know it’s not right for us.  This destroys our self-respect, dignity, and self-worth.  It’s poison to our brain and once we realize we are sick and tired of being dragged, only then can we finally let go.

If someone or something is running away from you, let go because that means it wasn’t meant for you anyway.   It was there for a reason, but now it’s over, so time to move onto something much bigger and better.

Being dragged by someone or something blocks the Universe from letting the light and good enter our lives.  However, once you let go, you create an open space that’s always been there but now the blockage is gone and something better can arrive in its place.

Back to the horse scenario, learn how to let go of the reins, get up, dust yourself off, and don’t get dragged anymore.  Run your own race and stay in your own lane where you belong.  I’m sure that horse is tired of dragging you around anyway!

From what I’ve learned, when you do let go, you attract what’s right for you in return.

So here’s to less drama in 2018 and continuing to learn more about how to let go of what’s not meant for us so we can choose the path to true happiness.  Why?  Because we’re so darn worth it!

Let go or be dragged.  You always have a choice.

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“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck” ~ Dalai Lama

Enjoy your holidays, much love and gratitude to you ❤

Jen
XO

PS:  My book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at all online bookstores worldwide.  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

This Girl Can

This post goes out to all the girls who think they can.  You can get rid of that stress, you can push yourself to the limit, you can do anything you set your eyes on doing, you can live well and look amazing!  It’s mind over matter girls and you’ve got this…that fire inside you is there for a reason so get moving and get inspired because you’re worth it!!!!  Let’s go Zumba lovers!  😉

Love you,

Jen
xo

10 Ways To Set Your Life On Fire

fire

“It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”  ~ Elizabeth Kenny

  1. Housekeeping: That’s right, but not that kind of housekeeping.  What I am referring to is getting your mind, body and soul clean by re-organizing what is important to you and why.  Start making priority lists and discard the rest.  There’s nothing better than a good dusting to see what’s hiding underneath it all.  Keep your mind fresh and clean by keeping your thoughts positive.  Keep your body happy and healthy by exercising and getting rid of unwanted body fat!  Keep your soul revitalized by being true to yourself and not pretending to be someone you’re not.  Keep the fire burning by being authentic, not fake because fake fizzles out really fast.
  1. Hasta La Vista Baby: Say goodbye to narcissists and people who are not your true friends.  These types of people drain you and don’t have time for you so why hold onto them?  Respect yourself by knowing you are worthy and a joy to be around, it’s their loss if they can’t appreciate you.  If someone seriously wants to be a part of your life, they will seriously make an effort to be in it.  People who keep you hanging in silence for their own benefit need to be cut out immediately.  Not only is this selfish and hurtful, they aren’t worth it and life is too short.  Now you can start learning the words to #Alicia Keys song “This Girl Is on Fire!!” or any other song with the word #FIRE in it. Actions speak louder than words. 
  1. Connection: Say hello to the people who excite you and bring joy into your life!  People who make you laugh are definitely going to set your life on fire and fan your flames because not only are they fun to be around, laughter wakes up all the cells in your body, boosts your immune system and if done long enough, makes your face hurt in a good way.   Forget social media and get out of your house and off your phone!  Meet people face to face and start connecting with them on many different subjects.  You will walk away feeling content and grateful for knowing them.  Be kind to your friends and treat them right by making time for them.  If there is someone you have always wanted to talk to and haven’t yet, now’s the time to find the courage and “Just do it” like #Nike says.  Remember, this is an article on how to set your life on fire, not play it safe so get out there!
  1. New Hobby Anyone: Still trying to figure out how to use that epic camera you bought last year?  It’s time to take it out of the box and start snapping some shots!!!  Sign up for a photography class and make that commitment to learning something new outside your box!  By taking a new class you might find new friends and connect with people you never knew existed.  Whatever your hobby is, the point is to get started and try something NEW.  Not your usual hobby because new is what starts the spark and the spark is what starts the fire!
  1. Dance: What’s your favourite tune?  Whatever you love to listen to, get off the couch and turn up the music!  When music is played louder than usual, it can actually light you up from the inside out and bring back those loving feelings and memories.  Upbeat music causes this natural instinct to get your body moving and before you know it, you’re singing along and feeling great!  There is no way you can feel depressed when singing and dancing so it’s great to rekindle with the oldies but goodies or with the latest and greatest hits.  Remember high school?  You get to choose the music so tear up the dance floor and light your fire!
  1. Be Adventurous: Still longing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run that marathon, bungee jump off that cliff or get that wild haircut you always wanted?  If you are into that kind of risk taking then congratulations, you are living on the edge and your life is already on fire!  For the rest of us, adventurous can mean other things like zip lining, travelling or public speaking.  Yikes!  When you do something new, it’s exciting and it can have several positive side effects like bragging rights to all your friends and posting pictures of yourself everywhere.  You feel that sense of accomplishment for being courageous enough to do something outside your usual pattern of living and not procrastinating about it.  You know what they say, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  Do what scares you!
  1. Spice It Up: Whether it’s an old flame your current flame or a new flame, this is a great way to ignite the fire within.  Just pick one flame at a time!  Life gets busy and we tend to ignore our love life more than we should.  When was the last time you bought something spicy?  All flames are precious so be kind, respectful and take care not to get burned or end up burning the one you care about.  Whatever you do, don’t burn a bridge.  Try to keep the fire burning between you in order to keep things interesting and alive!
  1. Make a Career Move: Easier said than done I know.  People tend to stay where they are because it’s safe.  Life is not safe people.  It’s about risk taking and being happy so if you have something in mind like a dream to work somewhere new or try something different, I am here to tell you that it’s possible.  Maybe you are a secretary who is very artistic and would love to paint.  Begin it.  Maybe you’ve always dreamed of working in another country?  That is a sure way to set your life on fire with culture differences and being exposed to new ways of doing your usual job.  Start exploring what’s out there and talk to people who have already taken that leap through the ring of fire.
  1. Book a Vacation: When was the last time you went somewhere fun?  Do you tend to go to the same place with the same people?  Well, it’s time to kick things up a notch.  Grab your closest friend and book that trip you’ve always wanted to do!  At one point in your life, you have to hit Disney World.  One of the craziest ways to set your life on fire is by riding the roller coasters like Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Ride.  When you hop on, it takes off like a rocket at 57 miles an hour with the songs “Walk This Way” and “Dude Looks Like a Lady” blasting in your ears from the speakers in the headrest.  If you don’t see your life flash before your eyes at that point… you must be dead.

 10. Hire A Life Coach: I know, it sounds like a sales pitch which it is and it isn’t.  So here’s the thing.  Coaching isn’t for everyone but let me ask you this; what is having your life on track worth to you?  What is the value in knowing who you are, what your hidden interests are, what excites you and what you are capable of doing?  By setting goals and creating an achievable action plan, you will be on your way to building your own fire.  Not only will you have amazing results in your life, but you will also have fun along the way!  That is definitely worth it so come on, let’s light that fire together!  Please feel free to check out my website at: couragecoach.wordpress.com or contact me at Jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com

Follow me on #Twitter @fjj_juneau or like my Facebook page #Courage Coach.  See you there!

**Contact me at jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com

FIRE ~ by Judy Sorum Brown

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FIRE ~ by Judy Sorum Brown

What makes a fire burn

Is the space between the logs

A breathing space

Too much of a good thing,

Too many logs

Packed in too tight

Can douse the flames

Almost as surely

As a pail of water would

So building fires

Requires attention

To the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.

When we are

able to build

open spaces

in the same way

we have learned

to pile on the logs,

then we can come to see how

it is fuel, and absence of the fuel

together, that make fire possible.

We only

need to lay a log

lightly from time to time.

A fire

grows

simply because the space is there,

with openings

in which the flame

that knows just how it wants to burn

can find its way.

Welcome to December, the busiest month of the year for so many.  The thing I love about this poem by Judy Sorum Brown is that it illustrates the importance of spacing things out and being mindful by using the metaphor of a fire.  With all the shopping, Christmas parties and preparations, how do we manage to squeeze it all in? The key is by remembering our own health and wellness and spacing things out.  What gives you energy is the needed space within your work/ life balance.  Too many tasks packed into a tight schedule can be draining or even lead to burnout.  Create your schedule by paying attention to balancing the space between your personal time as much as to your work time.  You will actually stoke the fire of work/life balance and keep your own fire burning.  If you decide to build a fire during Christmas, keep this poem in mind and have a wonderful, peaceful holiday!     -JJ