Braving Uncertainty

20200409_060054

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

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

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

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

Be kind.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Easter and Passover from a distance.

Virtual Hugs ❤

Jen
XO

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

Empty Your Heart

20191123_194540

Empty your heart, dear one
Release all the blockages and pain
Tell me everything
I’m listening…

Untangle the pain and suffering
It’s interesting how messy things can get
How we keep packing one thing on top of another without realizing it
Unpack what you don’t need anymore

Years of accumulated emotions, unspoken words, lost opportunities, secrets, and guilt
They all hold us hostage and they are weighing you down my friend
You let it hurt, now let it go
Bleed it all out…

If you want to be free, learn the lessons
What is life trying to teach you right now
You may not know the answer yet, but in time you will
Dust off your heart and clean it up for new possibilities

Cracks from heartbreak are just that; cracks
You still have a pulse and blood pressure; you’re alive
Anything is possible…
Four chambers pump life into you every single day

Stop the decay and start the growth
Throw away the whip and wrap compassion around yourself instead
Slow down, listen to your heart and trust what it’s telling you
You can do this, you really can

Talk it out
Cry, scream, run, walk, dance, sing, write, draw, laugh
Do whatever it takes to empty your heart
Make space and fill it with love, compassion, peace, happiness, healing, gratitude, and forgiveness

Most of all, make room for those magical moments
For what is real, because that’s what life is all about
Open your eyes and relax
Listen…

A “yes” or a “no” can change one’s life forever
Remember that…
It’s not your previous life or relationship you miss, it’s the routine
Get out of your head

And empty your heart…

Much Love,

Jen

 

**This blog is dedicated to my dear friend Danielle Lewis in North Carolina who like all of us, is learning how to empty her heart each and every day and she is doing a lovely job!  Not only has she started her own healing journey, but she also created her own podcast called Mom’s Still Standing.  Please be sure to subscribe to it on iTunes or Spotify.  She even has me on there as a guest speaker!  I think we can all relate to emptying our hearts at one time or another and just like how we spring clean at home, we need to do the same thing with ourselves.  Have a great week everyone ❤

**Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is still available on all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU!  xx

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

Beautiful Destination

20190922_215851

I remember the day you went on a faraway vacation
As usual, you packed your bag last minute
Emotional baggage has always been your carry on, and it’s too heavy
You said you felt lost and needed to find yourself

After boarding the plane, you heard a song
The pain you were running from was now running after you
Affecting your heart, mind, body, and soul
You searched for a hypothetical bandaid to conceal a hypothetical bleeding wound

How inappropriate

After drying your eyes, you closed your eyes
And off to sleep, you went
I felt like a fly on the wall watching you from the outside in
Like a compassionate parent watching a suffering child

After arriving, the final destination was breathtakingly beautiful, just as you had hoped for and imagined
The warm sun made you smile
The beauty all around made you happy
The scents in the air woke your senses
I remember how grateful you were in that exact moment

Change is good

I begged you to please unpack your negative emotions from your heavy carry on
To take a break; you’re on vacation now
Put loneliness on a shelf and sadness in a drawer
Hang all your fears in a different closet and close the door
As they say; out of sight out of mind

Replace these emotions by packing peace, happiness, and love into your life instead
Be open to life’s possibilities and opportunities
Focus on the good and be grateful for everything you have
Time to practice self-compassion and self-care in such gorgeous surroundings

This vacation was exactly what you needed to push the reset button on your life
You deserve all the good things life has to offer, be patient
You realized the further you try to run away from it all
The closer it brought you home to yourself
Isn’t that interesting?

And what a beautiful destination for you to be in right now ❤
Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

****Hello everyone and thank you for reading my blog!  This picture was taken in the Himilayas, India 2016 at a retreat I visited when my divorce was finalized.  During that trip, I met friends, ate delicious food, listened to mesmerizing music, tried yoga, saw some breathtaking sights, and finally took some time for myself.  What an amazing healing experience that was for me.

It isn’t necessary to travel far each time, because even a change of scenery close by can make a world of difference in your mental and emotional health.  Travel taught me how to be more self-compassionate, which led me to self-care and eventually to self-love.  Writing has also been extremely helpful in my healing process and I feel so much better now.

How do you heal from something difficult?

****Copies of Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak are still available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU

~ Dare to live courageously…

Breaking Up With Myself

WWL_Cover (8)

Living in the past only keeps me stuck.  Now I am living in the moment and setting goals for the future so bye-bye past, and all the things that kept me stuck.  Thanks for ALL the life lessons.  You certainly taught me a lot.

I’m tired of societal views and what everyone thinks; what I should do, say, act, and be.  I am who I am, take it or leave it.  This is what keeps people small and I am not small.

The peanut gallery never stops chatting in my head so I need to find a mute or delete button.  I will no longer let these gremlins control how I think or act because I know I’m a good person who deserves good in return.  I will no longer doubt myself in my strengths and capabilities.  If I don’t know something, I’ll learn it.  The days of self-limiting beliefs are over.

I can honestly say  I’ve taken the time and effort to do everything in my human power to heal the pain in my heart and at this point, I did it.  I’m open to handing the steering wheel over to my heart now and letting it do the driving for me.  I trust you completely, it’s time to be vulnerable again and let love in.

Enough is enough with low self-confidence!  I think you know by now you are a brave soul who never gives up so take that with you and use it to increase your self-confidence.  You’ve got this.

How do you expect to get anything done if you make excuses or procrastinate about making a decision?  Having the ability to choose is a privilege and should be used to improve your life, not take it for granted.  Laziness is ok on a Sunday, but not on a regular basis.

Stop playing games of any sort with anyone. The only way to live your life fully is to be genuine and authentic.  Fitting in is the opposite of belonging.  You don’t need to fit in anywhere because when you are who you are, you find like-minded people and you naturally belong there with them.  No need to change who you are.  If you want to play a game, learn how to play poker or something.

All my life I have held honesty as one of my truest values in how I am with others and how I expect others to be with me.  Being honest with myself is something I have been working on, even more, when it comes to what I want in my new life.  At the same time, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to me so I can create something real and beautiful.  It’s time to truly stand in my own truth and have zero tolerance for dishonesty.

I continue to live by the saying “Whenever you judge someone else, you reveal an unhealed part of yourself.”  How true is that?  I will only use judgments as my own compass to lead me back to myself.

Life can be scary but that’s what makes it so exciting!  If we live under a rock our whole lives and let fear stop us from actually trying something, we will always be wondering “what if.”  I definitely don’t want to be saying that in the end or along the way, so I’m taking chances, despite being scared of what could happen and that’s what being vulnerable and courageous is all about.  I will no longer let fear get in my way of living my life.  These walls are coming down!

I may not have the best of everything but I am happy and grateful for what I do have.  Now that I practice gratitude on a daily basis, my life has changed for the better and I can see improvements.  Whining and complaining will only keep people stuck and I’m too busy being on the move.  I will never think of myself as unworthy or not enough.  I’m done.

It’s time to stop accepting bad behavior and mediocrity as normal.  I learned how to set a boundary so it’s time to walk the other way.  The last thing I need in my life right now is any toxic relationship after all the work I did for myself.  Once again, thanks for the life lessons.  I don’t have time for jealousy either, it is poison in any relationship.

Which mask or shield do you wear?  I’m not talking Game of Thrones here, I mean what are you hiding behind?  Your stories, your excuses?  Drop the armor and start connecting with people.  Stop playing the victim or rescuer, it’s so disempowering.

It’s your time to be who you truly are and if people don’t like it, that’s their problem.  The right people will show up when you show up and you don’t need everyone to like you.  Trying your best is always better than doing nothing.

So this is it. I’m getting out of my own way.  It’s officially over.  I’m breaking up with myself and kicking the old me out and letting peace, love, and happiness in.  Hasta la vista baby!

Dare to live courageously…

Love ❤

Jen
XO

 

**Please take a moment to listen to this beautiful song called You Say By Lauren Daigle.  The lyrics go hand in hand with what is written here and the thoughts that go through our mind from time to time.  Remember to say good things and believe in yourself.  Life is too short and you are too precious.  It’s time to let go and break free.  Happy Sunday ❤

**Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is available at online bookstores worldwide.  May 2019 is the second anniversary of my book release and I am so grateful. All my love and gratitude ❤

A Letter To My Future-Self

20190205_193338

It’s been over 3 years since I wrote the letter to my younger-self where I went back in time and gave my 21-year-old-self some advice on life.  I was attempting to erase any scars, blame, and grief; but as you know, you can’t change the past, but you can create the future.

This letter to my future-self is my next attempt in life, which is an exercise in self-love, a means of preserving and protecting what’s important today and into the future.

So let’s see what age 65 might look like…

 

Dear Future Jen,

Well… you are approaching that magical age of 65 years young, and it’s like all the things you’ve been aiming for are finally coming together.  What an amazing time to be living in Jen.  So many changes have happened in your exciting life and with every ending, there’s been a new beginning. You’ve had to endure some pretty major events in your life, but look at you, here you are; smiling ear to ear, despite all that.

Kids- Some of the greatest milestones after giving birth are seeing your kids graduate, seeing them get married and then seeing them have their first child.  By now, maybe you would have witnessed most of these accomplishments with Justin and Nathan.  They are amazing and intelligent kids, and you are truly blessed.  Continue to be loving and supportive of them so they can continue to be loving and supportive of you.  These kids are your two greatest accomplishments in your life Jen.  Remember to hold them close and show your love each and every day, just like you’ve done all along.  It was a tough road for everyone with the divorce you endured but don’t dwell on the past, you had so many valuable life lessons in there and that’s all that matters.  The relationship with you and their dad has improved with time, patience, and acceptance of what happened.  You are in a great space now and you have the best kids in the world. Be grateful for what you have.

Fears- You used to be afraid of public speaking, but you conquered that one a long time ago.  Now your fears are bigger than that and you manage to hide them well.  The two biggest fears you have are getting cancer and dying.  I think it’s safe to say you are not alone when you admit these, so good for you to be brave enough to say it because now your next step is to do something to keep yourself healthy.  Perhaps others will follow.

Health-Eating and Exercise – You’ve always been very conscientious about eating well and exercising.  There were a few times life was harder on you and you got off track but now you are back on and I’m so proud of you for making this a priority all these years.  Give your body energy by eating good food that fuels you so you can burn it off at the gym.  Also, continue to get enough sleep and take your vitamins.

Self-Care-One thing I can say about you Jen is that you still love getting your hair done!  I don’t think that will ever change and honestly, why should it, right?!  You will never let that gray hair show and that’s perfectly fine.  Remember to practice self-care because it’s important and makes you feel great.  Follow the pull, not the push. Keep it simple, self-care is how you take your power back young lady.

Saying No, Setting Boundaries- I certainly hope that by age 65 you learned how to say “No” and mean it.  And while you’re at it, set some boundaries for yourself.  The ’40s and ’50s are the trial years and you struggle here and there.  Just like I tried to tell you in your ‘20s, “No” is a complete sentence, my dear.  This is still true.  Never, ever settle and walk away from what doesn’t respect you.  You can detect a narcissist from miles away now, what a great skill to have!

Work-It’s been such an adventure at work for you Jen.  Who would have thought that being a nurse would lead to being an expert witness for malpractice cases, then entering the pharmaceutical industry? It has certainly been an exciting time in this regard and you don’t have any regrets.  The work relationships you made along each path have lasted a lifetime and what a gift that’s been for you.  The health care industry taught you a wealth of knowledge that you will never forget.  You chose a helping profession no matter which way you went and that’s because you are a compassionate person and it makes you happy.  You are someone who has always been patient-focused right from the get-go.  My only hope is there is someone like you who takes their work seriously and can care for you when it’s time.

Success/Failure-The best way I can describe success is because of failing at something.  This is where you learned so many life lessons and made the decision to build on them like crazy.  Good for you for having an open mind when new challenges came your way and you didn’t back down.  Failing is never fun or easy but as long as you get back up, you are succeeding.  You are also wise enough to know that being successful doesn’t make you happy, but being happy makes you successful.

Gratitude-As you know, gratitude brings you joy from within; even during the toughest moments of your life when things were falling apart, you managed to stay on track and find things you were grateful for. It’s during the worst times of your life, you need to practice gratitude because that’s what can change your perspective and shine a light in the dark. Continue to journal because it’s working.

Retirement-The time has come to complete your working years.  Congratulations girl, you did it!!  I hope you find a way to celebrate all your years of service in helping others.  Take a moment to pat yourself on the back because you deserve it.  Thanks to an entire team of financial planners and years of hard work!  What a fantastic feeling to be in this position right now.  Knowing you Jen, the only thing you are thinking about right now, is “Where can I travel to next and celebrate this amazing milestone in my life?”  Just remember to spend your money wisely…

Travel-There you go, I was right!  The world is your oyster now Jen, so get that travel app up and running! Time to start booking some trips since you’re still healthy and active.  I can see you traveling with your kids, friends and also some solo trips as you’ve done in the past.  You know people in so many countries, you can visit them as you go.  How exciting is that?  Pick some places you’ve always wanted to visit like New Zealand, Bora Bora and anywhere in South America. Get your passport and suitcase ready!

Relationships-Friends, Family-Another prize possession of yours is your circle of friends Jen.  You have been blessed with loving people in your life both near and far who truly care about you and you about them.  This alone is something huge to be grateful for.  If you are still fortunate enough to have your family and parents with you, remember to tell them you love them.  Spending good quality time with those you love is one of the most important things you can do in your life. Have those conversations you’ve been avoiding, now is the time to get it out.  Communication is key in all relationships and being able to say how you feel is where you begin, so speak up Jen.  Life is very short.  You value honesty, integrity, respect, loyalty, kindness, compassion and attention.  These values drive your behavior and it’s what you look for in others.  Keep going…

Love/Heartbreak-This is the one area of your life that’s never been an easy one for you, unfortunately.  I do hope that by the time you are 65 years young Jen, that you found that special someone whom you love and loves you right back with everything he’s got.  Someone who sees your worth and doesn’t take advantage of you but treats you right because you definitely deserve it.  He needs to take care of you because you will take care of him, that is for sure.  Even though you are a successful woman with all the freedom in the world, it would be nice to share time with someone who adores you in an authentic way.  At the same time, heartbreak has taught you many lessons and by now you know what you shouldn’t tolerate, so once again, don’t play their games and don’t settle, you’re better than that.  The next guy has to be pretty damn amazing and put some effort in, or forget about it.  You deserve a man who will pay attention to you and be there for you when you need it most.  You’ve endured enough emotional days in this area, it’s time for some fantastic days instead.  On the other hand, if the Universe has something else in mind for you to be on your own, then make the best of it and enjoy.  Keep practicing self-love, either way.

Emotional Rescue-If you had a dollar for every emotional roller-coaster you’ve been on since day one Jen, you could have retired a long time ago!  Ugh!!  Thanks to writing and exercising it helped you get out of your funk very well.  Remember this for the rest of your life because you never know how things will go and you really don’t want to look like the crazy one! You’ve come a long way with your “project-self” topics and now you can cope with life even better and take care of you the way you should.  With love and compassion. Keep writing, it is such a great healing tool emotionally.

Unfinished Business-At this point, I don’t know what your unfinished business will be, but if there is any, my advice to you is to complete it and cross it off that list of yours.  This is clutter in your life, that you don’t need, just deal with it and get it done.  You’ll feel much better afterward.

Hobbies/Interests- You wrote a book after your divorce and what an accomplishment that was both mentally and emotionally.  It’s almost like you creatively grieved it.  Kudos to you for doing this and another book is in your future as well.  The topics aren’t 100% clear quite yet but since writing is soul therapy for you, you have to do it.  Not only does it help you, but it also helps others that are in line with your values once again.  One of your latest hobbies is salsa dancing and my goodness, what a great time you’ve had, you are quite the dancing queen!  I think you need to do a girls getaway vacation in South America first!  Arriba!

Goals-Stop doing useless things, start doing new activities, continue doing your writing and travel.  Practice self-care.  Wear sunscreen.  Love with all your heart.  Repeat…

Hopes and Dreams-I hope you are living a life of peace, love, and happiness.  That you have finally stepped into who you truly are and you are owning your life, Jen. That you are surrounded by everyone who matters to you in your heart of hearts, and in your dreams.  In the end, it’s our close relationships that matter the most so take the time to cultivate them as best as you possibly can. I hope you and your kids are healthy and happy.

Advice-Live your life as authentically as humanly possible.  Not because of others expectations, but be brave and do it for you.  Work hard, but not too hard that you miss out on life, especially with your kids.  Always practice a work-life balance.  Be courageous and express how you feel to others.  Put the time and effort into your friendships and family.  Sometimes you need to break out of your comfort zone to be happy.  Feeling stuck in anything with anyone isn’t worth it.  Take the high road and apologize.  Don’t play the victim or rescuer, they are so unattractive.  Say I love you and mean it.  In the end, it’s all about relationships with your kids, family, friends, at work and with yourself.

Regrets-If you follow the advice above, you won’t have any regrets 🙂  Honestly, everything happens for a reason and leads you to the next best thing, so take the good with the bad, it’s ok.

Questions-Let me think about it, I’ll let you know in some years from now 😛

I will carefully store this letter to my future self in a time capsule for later use.  It will be interesting to read it years from now and see what rings true for me.  In the meantime, I will continue to live my best life and honor my relationships with all my heart.  After all, I’ve come this far, and there’s no turning back ❤

Your future looks bright, and you still have a long way to go…

 

Love Always ❤

Jen
XO

**Copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available at online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to you.  Dare to live courageously…

Project Self: Self-Discovery

20180410_062421

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”  ~Rumi

Just when you thought you were drowning, you were actually learning how to swim.  Just when you thought you were falling, you were actually learning how to fly.  Just when you thought something was ending, something new was beginning.

Sometimes in the midst of struggle and challenge is when you see what you are made of, how you survive and where the greatest lessons of all are found.  When you are in the moment it can be pretty darn hard to see it this way, but speaking from experience, I know this to be true.

What does self-discovery mean to you?

In my own life, I’ve come to define self-discovery as many things but it all starts with taking the time for YOU.  Such as going on a journey within, by yourself and for yourself.  Becoming aware of your character and true potential, your wants, and needs, likes and dislikes.  Knowing your values, setting boundaries and what you can tolerate in different life situations.  Accepting everything about who you truly are, especially the imperfections.  It’s about ownership of where you went wrong, learning life lessons, forgiveness of others and especially of yourself.  It’s about finding your purpose; we all have one.  In a way, self-discovery is also self-awareness.

When you know yourself, you are empowered.  When you accept yourself, you are invincible.

The opposite of self-discovery is denial.  Denying who you are to others and to yourself.

Many don’t know who they are or what they want, but somehow give unsolicited advice to others on how to live their lives or they tell lies.  Unfortunately, this never ends well.

The photo above in this blog describes self-discovery so well.  Sometimes we need to let go and peel away the layers that no longer serve us to get down to the good stuff of who we really are, who we were meant to be.  If we want others to know who we are, we need to know ourselves first.  How can we expect others to figure us out when we haven’t even tried to do that with ourselves?  So how do we do it?

I’m not an expert, but one way I did it was through writing and journaling.  To be able to do this, you need to be on your own without any distractions.  Another way I went on my self-discovery journey was through solo travel.  When you are traveling on your own, you depend on yourself 100% and you quickly find out how to trust your instincts and who you are.  Thirdly, there is an amazing questionnaire designed by Patrick Betdavid that you can download and fill out on your own one quiet Sunday afternoon in your happy place.  It might be at the beach, the cottage, or wherever you feel most comfortable.  Be honest as you do this because that’s the right answer.  Yes, it takes time but that’s what it takes.  You’ll come out of it a new and improved person and how awesome is that?

When you decide to go on the journey of self-discovery, the benefits are positively endless and amazing, such as bringing more happiness, fulfillment, freedom, and opportunities into your life.  It can be a bumpy road but it’s definitely a road worth exploring simply because you’re worth it!

This is the purpose of the Project-Self blogs, like this one, Self-Betrayal, and Self-Care.  To raise awareness in ourselves because everything starts and ends with US!  It’s easy to blame others but that only keeps people stuck.  If we want to evolve in life, then we need to take responsibility for ourselves in what we say and do.

Let’s be kind to ourselves, stop beating ourselves up…we are enough.

I invite you on your own journey of self-discovery…happy travels 🙂

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

**Copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available at online bookstores worldwide and at the FriesenPress Bookstore.

All my gratitude to you ❤

 

 

 

 

Project Self: Self-Betrayal

tumblr_nefpbnuziI1so87rwo1_400

Welcome to August everyone!  I hope you’re having a wonderful summer spending time with those you love and time on your own.  As promised, I am starting a new blog series titled “Project-Self” which will include several topics related to how we can take better care of ourselves.  Sometimes when we are busy taking care of everyone else, we forget that we count too and if our tank is empty, how can we give to others or be at our best?

My intention is to keep these blogs positive and reflect on life.  Self-betrayal is a great way to start this series because how many times do we put ourselves last, or people please to control an outcome?  Every single relationship begins with us, whether that’s at work, with friends, family, lovers, kids and especially with ourselves.  If you want love, you need self-love, if you want to trust, you need self-trust first.  If you want to be true to yourself and your needs, you cannot betray yourself.  Finding happiness begins within yourself first and once you can feel it, even in the slightest way, you begin to radiate and attract it.

To know yourself, you need to spend time with yourself.

Author Caroline Myss talks about knowing what your life purpose is and how you can be true to who you are without it costing your power.  She says when you betray your own happiness for the sake of others and their feelings, you are betraying yourself and what’s inside of you.  Your intuition never shuts off and you feel that nagging knot in your stomach.  Sound familiar?  I know I’ve been there before.  That’s how you know you’re going off your path.  Self-betrayal is when you feel you have to negotiate your sense of integrity, and you compromise who you are as a person.

When you no longer betray yourself and put your happiness first, you no longer feel like it is costing you your power, psyche, soul, you’re not confused or drained like you are losing yourself.

Compromising within a relationship is different and necessary if you want it to work.  If the choice enhances your spirit, you made a compromise.  If the choice drained your spirit, you just betrayed yourself.

If you are in a relationship where you are pretending that everything is ok when it truly isn’t, you are betraying everything in your heart and you can feel it.  Is that fair to you?  To the people around you?

Are we ever on the wrong path?  Caroline Myss says no, you are always on the right path but sometimes, you are just not managing it well.  You are making choices that are harming you and that’s why it is hurting.  When your life path begins to harm you, you’ve taken a detour.

What I’ve learned is that blaming other people for our choices is the easy way out because they may have done something bad, but we allowed it to continue.  Everything starts with us and what we are willing to tolerate.

For example, someone may have betrayed you in the past, and maybe you think that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you when in fact the ultimate betrayal, is the betrayal to yourself.   When you sell yourself short of what you want or need, you always lose at a very high cost. Not only that, Caroline Myss says when you do betray yourself, you are no different than the people who harm you.  Wow…and ouch!  That to me is a double whammy and a huge wake-up call to make a change in how I manage myself. I honestly never thought of it this way but she is right.  If we want to be happy, we need to find what makes us happy and do that as often as possible with people who bring out our best.  We need to realize that the opposite of self-betrayal is self-trust and being loyal to us.  We all want healthy relationships but we need to get healthy ourselves so we attract that in return.

These are the reasons I decided to start with the topic of self-betrayal to bring awareness and show you do count, it is not selfish to take care of yourself, you can do this while maintaining relationships, and be kind to yourself because you are so worth it.

Here is a short video of Caroline Myss in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, talking about self-betrayal.

For those who are new here… Welcome!!  For those who are returning, Welcome Back!! If you are interested in my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” it is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress.

“Project-Self” to be continued…

 

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen

 

 

Feel It To Heal It

20180408_065710

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

 

 

 

Let Go or Be Dragged

c33304259a7c80f6e4d6a891ec4567cb--love-life-real-life

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.

c69b8cd5ddd5da4bfb789083e93a55b7

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.

c33304259a7c80f6e4d6a891ec4567cb--love-life-real-life

“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…

 

 

 

This Is India 2017-Part Three

 

IMG-20170219-WA0029

February 11th – 13th, 2017-Pune, India

Why does 3 a.m. come up so fast?  My alarm went off telling me it was time to wake up and get to the Hyderabad airport so I could fly to Pune, India and see my friend Neerja.  We had planned to meet at the airport and go back to her place in time for breakfast which is exactly what we did.  When I saw Neerja at the airport, we gave big hugs to each other and started chatting immediately!  It’s just in our nature ❤

After catching a cab and arriving at Neerja’s place, I felt very relaxed, it felt so good to be in someone’s home and it was familiar to me since I was there last year.  I saw Dinesh, Neerja’s husband again and all three of us enjoyed chatting, laughing, and eating together.  I can’t even describe the feeling of happiness I felt and still have when I think about being with them because we all get along so well.  For breakfast, Neerja made Paneer sandwiches with coffee and it was soooooo good!! 🙂

My energy reserves were running low by noon and I couldn’t believe I had to take another nap!  I felt like a cat that was never recovering from jet lag because of all the excitement happening.  When I woke up it was time for lunch and I was spoiled again with some amazing rajma and rice, made my MasterChef Neerja!  We all took it easy that day and spent time visiting which was really amazing and just what we needed.  I was very happy we didn’t have to go anywhere big that day, but we did take a walk outside near Neerja’s place and sat in a nice park while some kids played in the playground.  After that, we came inside to relax and eat some more!  For supper, we had stuffed green eggplant with chapatis.  I have never had such amazing vegetarian food before and I regret not taking pictures of these creations but I think I was too tired and hungry to think about my phone.

Speaking of my phone, I was searching for a SIM card this time and the rules had changed which made it harder for anyone to buy one unless you could prove your residency there because of the demonetization with the Indian rupee.  Luckily, Dinesh had an extra SIM card that I could use and it worked on my phone!  Hallelujah!!!  Now I could finally use the Ola app to book cabs everyone was talking about! 😛

On Sunday, we woke up and had poha for breakfast which was new to me and delicious.  Later on, we had dal fry and rice for lunch.  That day, we had planned a bloggers meet up at a nearby Starbucks.  Prior to me arriving, we arranged for this to happen with anyone who lived in Pune to meet us there at 3 pm.  Nitin and Vipul came to meet us and we all had coffee, chatted and got to know each other in person since we knew each other from blogging.  It’s a really amazing experience to meet people in person that you only know from the online world.  We managed to get a picture of all 4 of us even though it’s so dark!  The lighting in Starbucks needs some adjusting.  Either that or I need a new phone which is highly possible! 😛

20170212_193122

After having some great conversations, it was time to head home and this time, I rode on the back of Neerja’s motorcycle which was really fun!!  What a nice change from the cabs! ❤  You look awesome NJ! 😀

20170212_145320

After arriving back home, we stayed in the garden area of Neerja’s place and took some pictures of us together.  It was a very nice setting and we had so much fun taking them.  After the photos, Neerja was back to work in her kitchen and I took notes on everything she had made that weekend.  I wanted to make so many things for my kids when I got home because they love Indian food too.  For supper, all 3 of us had matar paneer and chapatis which were so great!  Also, during the weekend, I was able to have Neerja’s famous Chai her entire family raves about, so once again I was spoiled!   I’m getting hungry just writing about everything!

20170212_181358

IMG-20170219-WA0027

The weekend went by so fast and on Monday it was already time for me to head back to Mumbai and catch the train to Alleppey!

Thank you so much Neerja and Dinesh for an amazing weekend of great conversations, laughter, food and fun, you are both outstanding friends, and I loved spending time with you guys! 😀

Much Love ❤

Jen