Dare To Live Courageously

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

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

“For me, courage means……..”

To stand up for what you believe in

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

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

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

A seven letter word I have no inkling about!

Facing your darkest emotional fear

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

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

Taking action despite the fear, not ignoring it

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

The hidden natural ability provided by God to overcome the odds

Walking up to your ex and introducing yourself to his girlfriend

Ziplining with your kids

Ziplining with your mom

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

Forgiving someone, forgiving yourself

Sitting in the Dr’s office waiting for test results

Announcing your illness to everyone, especially your loved ones

Going for surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments

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

Traveling by yourself and eating in restaurants by yourself

Writing your heart out in blogs or whatever

Writing a book and putting it out there

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

Going to a dance without a date

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

Asking someone out, not knowing the outcome

Admitting you had an affair

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

Moving to a new country or city away from your family

Changing your behavior so you can improve the relationships around you

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

Following your dreams and persevering despite what other people might think

Starting your own business and trusting in the process

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

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

Doing what you think you can’t do

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

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

Giving up a baby for adoption

Getting a divorce

Telling your kids you and your partner are getting a divorce

Leaving an abusive relationship

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

Public speaking

Telling your parents you failed an exam in school

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

Courage is confidence

Going back to school many years after you graduated

The cowardly dog!

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

Asserting yourself!

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

When I don’t care what others think

When I am only there for myself

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

Courage is when we are not even

Telling my wife I got fired from my job

To agree to disagree and remain friends

To say how you feel about someone or something

To give your opinion even though everyone might disagree with you

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

Taking care of yourself by going on a diet and exercising

Saying “No”, setting a personal boundary

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

To propose to the one you love

Courage is to get married

Courage is to be single

Being scared shitless but not letting that stop you

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

Trying something new and adventurous like parachuting or bungee jumping

Cutting your hair short

Courage is to take a leap of faith

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

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

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

Standing out from the crowd, not being a trend follower

Stepping out of that comfort zone!!

Following your dreams and desires

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you feel inspired, dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

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Waking Up Without Ever Having Gone To Sleep

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

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

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

Sound familiar?  Yep.  Been there done that.

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

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

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

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

Transformation Is A Beautiful Thing

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

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

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

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

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

Be Proactive.

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

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

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

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

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

Transformation is a beautiful thing.

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

 

Much Love ❤
Jen

Cheers to Three Years…

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Hey, it’s my three-year blogging anniversary today, June 18th, 2016!!  I wanted to honor this day and write something special so let’s take a short trip back in time, shall we?

Three years ago, one of my closest friends encouraged me to create this blog because she had one too.  She’s a life coach and one of my biggest cheerleaders and motivators in my life and even though I was months away from becoming a life coach myself, I had reservations about starting this blog before I obtained that status.  However, she encouraged me to just begin blogging and not worry about perfection.  She said, “If you wait for a perfect time, that time never comes, begin it now.”  So I did and Courage Coach was born.  I had no idea what I wanted to write about, so one of my first posts was about courage itself which represented what I am all about and to show I walk the talk.  After one post I felt like I had writer’s block already so for my second post I put up a photo of nature I took because I found it inspiring 😉

In that first year, I became a coach and used to blog once a month, finding topics related to life coaching and areas that interested me.  I refined my tabs and my About Me page almost 50 times because I wanted to create this reading and writing space for two reasons.  To market my life coaching business and to connect with people worldwide by writing on topics we all deal with in a positive light such as health and wellness goals, loss, how to forgive, and much more.

During my second year, I was blogging frequently because I felt more confident and I was fully into life coaching.  The more I wrote about life the more I discovered myself in the process, I was falling in love with writing all over again and was starting to meet many people worldwide who connected with my words.  My friend was right that in order to connect with people we shouldn’t worry about being perfect because when we’re willing to show up and be seen and allow ourselves to be imperfect, that’s where beauty is found and where connection lives.

This past year proved to be the most devastating and exceptional year of all.  2015 started out with a huge betrayal to me and despite this, I had to continue life coaching and inspire people even though I didn’t feel inspired myself at times.  I am also a nurse taking care of other people and there were days I could barely take care of myself.  It was the biggest personal internal war I ever fought aside from the fact of being abandoned on my own with two kids.  Waves of emotion were drowning me and I had to find a way out so I turned to writing because it’s what I love to do and it literally saved me.

I wrote about quotes and topics I was dealing with to heal myself and after doing so, people were connecting with me even more because it was written with emotion and it was cathartic for me.  I wrote my heart out and cried my eyes out and wrote in a way that was inspiring instead of venting and every time I did this, I felt a little better so I could continue living my new life as “normally” as possible while focusing on the positives I had.  The more I focused on what I had, the more I received in return.  Therefore, on one hand I was being abandoned by one person and on the other I was connecting with hundreds of others.  Connection always wins.

My greatest surprise was making several friends in India who went from WordPress followers to Facebook friends and finally a trip to India to meet some of them in person who are a huge part of my life now.  After blogging about my trip, my India following has increased dramatically and I love my nickname, the “daughter of India.”  One day I’ll have to come back and meet everyone 🙂

In 2016 I did my first #A-Z Challenge which was so much fun and I had to write every day except Sundays.  I met, even more, people who inspire me.  The beauty of finding inspiration and life coaching is that it’s like a magic mirror.  What you see in me, I also see in you.

One of my favorite things to do is to go through the WordPress reader and get caught up with everyone’s blogs and vlogs to see what’s inspiring you, read what’s on your mind and know that you’re okay.  I have learned so much from everyone I am following! Commenting on blogs and reading comments is fun too, this always puts a smile on my face 😀

What I know for sure, is this blog represents life coaching, my writing, a worldwide community, friendships, family and 954 followers to date.  Most of all, this blog represents me; a courageous woman who overcame adversity through writing.  Ironically, I chose the right name for my blog after all.  My job is to inspire you to be courageous and live your life to the fullest.

I am eternally grateful to be connected with ALL of you, it’s been quite a blogging journey with your love and support, I feel inspired and motivated to keep writing more and because of that, I’m writing a book on how I managed to get through this betrayal and what I learned along the way, I’ll let you know when it’s finished.  My life is better now, many thanks to all of you.

Keep blogging and keep going people.  We’re all in this together.

Cheers to three years…

 

All my love ❤

Jen
xo

Two Sunshine Blogger Awards

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One morning I woke up to a very pleasant surprise to see that not one but two fellow bloggers had nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  It was such a great way to start my day with my morning coffee 🙂

First, I would like to say a big thank you to Vandana for thinking of me and nominating me for this awesome award!  If you haven’t checked her site Feelings and Freedom, please do because her posts are inspirational and she also writes Limericks such as Love, Passion and Imperfect.  Two things I have in common with Vandana are that we both love music and reading.

Second, I would like to say a huge thank you to Tookii from Australia for nominating me for this amazing award and she is the youngest blogger I’ve come across in WordPress!  She’s definitely under 10, adorable, on every social media site invented plus she has her own YouTube channel complete with vlogs!  You really need to follow her and check out her site Join The Cub.  She has posts from a kids point of view like great snacks for the car, night beach yoga and checking the chickens!

 

Recipient rules for the award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer 11 questions put forth by the nominator
  3. Nominate 11 people for the award
  4. Frame 11 questions for your nominees

 

My replies to the questions Vandana gave me:

  1. What do you enjoy more-reading or writing? To be honest I enjoy writing more, it’s a way for me to get my thoughts and feelings sorted out when I am not sure about something.  I do love reading though because it’s an escape from reality and into another world which is always good.
  2. Which is your all-time favorite book? I love the Alchemist because it’s about a boy who goes far and away to find his treasure then realizes that his treasure is actually within himself.  This book reminds me of life coaching very much and a good friend told me about it.
  3. What/Who is your inspiration for writing? I love inspirational writers such as Marianne Williamson, Martha Beck, Cheryl Richardson, Tony Robbins and Gary Zukav.  Some are life coaches and since I am too, I can connect with their words.
  4. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it? I just went zip lining for Mother’s Day this year and it was a 3.5 hour climb and zip lining time in the mountains.  I actually survived it and had a great time.  I was the only mom up there I can tell you that!
  5. What is your biggest regret in life, if any? Not knowing how to set boundaries for myself.  Now I know, I learned the hard way but at least I learned.
  6. If you were given a chance to fulfill two of your wishes, what would they be? I would wish for two more wishes so that I would have four.
  7. Do you like to cook? Yes I do and I am a big foodie.  I can cook and bake anything and I love it.
  8. Who is the most important person in your life? My two boys.
  9. Who is your favorite author? Paulo Coelho.  I love him and his books he is just an amazing and inspiring person with the most beautiful thoughts.  I connect with his writing very much.
  10. Do you believe in God? Yes I do.  I also believe He has a plan for all of us and that we are where we are supposed to be at all times.  We can’t see His plan but we can live it.
  11. Do you like to travel? Yes I love traveling.  I recently went to India this past January and had an amazing time, it was a healing and unforgettable experience and I also met 8 blogging friends while I was there!   Otherwise I travel with my kids everywhere.

 

My replies to the questions Tookii gave me:

  1. What was your favorite source of comfort growing up (pet, place, person, thing)? I would have to say it was my Scottish Terrier dog named Kiltae.  She was so calm and a really good family pet, we used to go for long walks together.
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory? Growing up we had a pool so spending the entire summer swimming and playing in the pool with my friends is my favorite childhood memory.  And eating watermelon after all that swimming 😀
  3. If you could give any one thing to the world what would it be? World Peace ❤
  4. The one piece of advice you would give to your younger self? “Have more self-confidence you are stronger than you think you are, you can do this.”
  5. What are you most likely to do while sitting by the fire on a rainy day? Read a really good book with a cup of hot chocolate and whipped cream!  Then fall asleep!
  6. Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles!!!!!!!  YUMM!  With syrup of course 😛
  7. Is 12 noon AM or PM? Very tricky question here….it depends I suppose.  I’ll say PM
  8. What was your favorite childhood activity? I always played sports and during my childhood I did track and field events.  I would try to run like the wind!
  9. Are you happy? Yes, now I am.
  10. Why? Why not?  Actually I always look for the life lesson in everything so in the end that makes me happy.  Everything happens for a reason Tookii, always remember this one 😉
  11. What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail? I would love to live and work in a different country every two years so I could explore the world as much as possible.  Maybe I will make it to Australia one day!

 

I would like to nominate:

Anyone who would like to participate and you can answer the same questions as above 🙂

Thank you again Vandana and Tookii for the nomination!!  You both inspire me very much ❤ ❤

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

Stakeholder Exercise

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In life coaching there are several tools and exercises that help people dig deep into finding more inspiration and motivation in their lives if that is what they want.  Coaches are on equal ground with people because they have the deep conversations that help find solutions and opportunities in a supportive and creative way and within a safe space.

My friend Darshith inspired me with his vlogs and today I will do my second one in the #A-Z Challenge for the letter S and it’s called the Stakeholder.  This exercise creates motivation to take action on a desired project while looking to the future and noticing all the people (stakeholders) who are contributing and benefiting.  This can be used personally and/or professionally.

Two things, I need to talk less and don’t judge my artwork 😛

Happy Friday!  Enjoy!

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

Quotes (A to Z Challenge)

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For those who know me well, I am a quote fanatic!  The beauty of quotes is they give a powerful message with minimal words and they make you think or even change your perspective.  This can be very helpful if you are going through a tough time because by reading something related to your situation, it can create possibilities instead of keeping you stuck where you don’t want to be.  It’s all about inspiration and motivation 🙂

I have a quote section on my website if you haven’t visited it yet and today I will share some personal new favorites with you.

 

“The cure for pain is in the pain” ~ Rumi

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is show up” ~Brené Brown

“Begin to live as though your prayers have already been answered” ~Tony Robbins

“If you don’t have a vision you’re going to be stuck in what you know.  And the only thing you know is what you’ve already seen” ~Iyanla Vanzant

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others” ~Marianne Williamson

“The entire physical world is nothing more than our classroom and the challenge is for us to decide whether to make that choice that enhance our spirit or drain our power” ~Caroline Myss

“See the light in others and treat them as if that’s all you see” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

“Hide your craziness behind a beautiful smile” ~Paulo Coelho

“Emotional freedom comes from loving the parts of you that feel unlovable” ~Cheryl Richardson

“The way that other people judge me is none of my business” ~Martha Beck

“Life really does begin at forty.  Up until then, you are just doing research” ~Carl Jung

“You cannot find your soul with your mind, you must use your heart” ~Gary Zukav

“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss SLOWLY, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile” ~ Mark Twain

 

I hope these quotes fill your heart and soul with love the same way they do for me ❤

Have a wonderful day 🙂

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

 

 

 

Alchemist (AtoZ Challenge)

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I am in love with this book “The Alchemist” and the author Paulo Coelho.   If you haven’t read it yet, you must.  One of my close friends suggested it to me and I am forever grateful that he did 😉

The story is full of life lessons, inspiration and beautiful wisdom for all.  It’s about a young shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from Spain to the deserts in Egypt in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.  During his journey he meets various characters like a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself a king and an alchemist who all seem to direct Santiago in the direction of his goal without knowing what that treasure even is.

“The Alchemist” is a story about searching for happiness on the outside world when really the journey and treasure takes place within our hearts.  You can travel the world or work in different companies searching for happiness but in the end, it’s wherever your heart is directing you, to your passions; that’s where you will find your treasure.  I found this book to give hope when wanting to transform a dream into a reality and how important it is to listen to our hearts, especially when it comes to love.  One of my favorite parts is when the alchemist tells Santiago that before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way, not because it is evil but so we can master the lessons as we move closer to the dream, just as the darkest hour of the night comes before the dawn.

The Alchemist reminds me of life coaching because there are many questions we ask ourselves about life and how to improve it.  We search for the answers externally when really all along the solutions are always within us.

Therefore, there’s an Alchemist in All of us ❤

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure” ~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Welcome to Day One of #TheA-ZChallenge everyone 🙂

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

This is India-Part 2

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January 6th – 10th, 2016 – Bhubaneswar, India

I’m at the Delhi airport two hours in advance for my flight to Bhubaneswar and apparently I’m not the only one!  The crowds are huge and I have no idea what’s ahead as far as line ups go.  The ticket counter told me when flying Domestic you are only allowed 15 kg for luggage weight.  This was bad news for me because of my own lack of research and I was allowed 25 kg when I flew International.  Therefore I paid big Rupees for my 18 kg excess baggage weight and not only that I had many connections ahead and my shopping spree had only just begun!

Then came the security lineup.  The one thing I am still amazed with is watching my full 2 litre water bottle glide on through security and make it to the other side without questioning!  In Canada and U.S. we are only allowed 100 ml to pass through since 9/11 happened.  Not there.  Also, when you walk through the scanner there’s the Ladies line and the Gents line.  All ladies go behind a closed curtain to get scanned and padded down while men are not.  In Canada everyone is out in the wide open all together but hey, this is India.  Delhi airport is the world’s number one airport and is also known as a silent airport which means there are no overhead announcements or last calls for boarding flights.  Therefore you hope and pray that your plane is waiting for you even though you are late because of the line ups!  I ran to my gate like a mad woman to board the plane and made it to my Air India flight to Bhubaneswar.  Finally I could relax…until I was seated in the plane and they announced there would be a delay in taking off because they were waiting for “engineering clearance.”  What???  I was just hoping to get there soon and in one piece.

I was on my way to visit my great friend Darshith who is a fellow WordPress blogger and writes about inspirational and motivational subjects and sometimes “random thoughts” as he puts it. He also includes song picks at the end of his blogs which is really fun to see his choice and then listen to it.  Check out his site Smiles Here and Smiles There.  His comment section is the best because it’s not just comments, sometimes its conversations and that’s what connects people and it’s how I got to know this funny and very kind person.

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I made it safe and sound and checked into The Mayfair Hotel and Resort; a beautiful place complete with 7 restaurants, a pool, tennis court and many more amenities.  The staff at this hotel were amazing, very friendly and would always make the sign of Namaste.  I really enjoyed my time there playing tennis, sitting by the pool, reading, eating in all the restaurants and chatting it up with the staff.  The temperature was +30 C and I was in heaven after leaving freezing temps back home.  When Darshith finished work we would catch up over supper laughing and talking about anything and everything but mostly about blogs we liked and followed.   It’s so much fun being able to talk in person seeing each other’s mannerisms, smiles and hearing the laughs.  Darshith also brought his friend Binay to visit one time and he’s a fellow WordPress blogger his site is The Green Coder, plus he’s a member of The Blind Ride group.  It was great to meet you too Binay.  One thing we all have in common is that we LOVE chocolate 😉

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On the Saturday we had a full day to go and explore around the area and we went to visit the famous Konark Temple and a beach on the Bay of Bengal.  We hired a cab from the hotel which meant the driver was ours for the day for a specific rate.  As we explored, the driver would wait and when we were ready to move on he would take us there.  It was another Adventurous drive and we had time to talk a lot because the ride was 1.5 hours to get there.  When we reached Konark Temple we walked the grounds which were very beautiful and peaceful.  Darshith previously wrote two blogs called The Blind Ride about this very place and it felt surreal being at the spot I had only read about.  We captured several pics and then it was off to lunch at a nearby restaurant where we ate outside.  We had Paneer butter masala, rice, dal, vegetable curry mix and papad.  I love Indian food so much I was having the time of my life and my belly was super happy!  Many people are vegetarian in India and I enjoyed eating like this during my trip even though I’m a non-vegetarian.  After lunch we headed to the beach and I brought my bathing suit in my bag but when we got there, nobody was wearing a bathing suit!  Everyone was fully clothed so I didn’t change into mine because hey, this is India.  I went in the water anyway and we clicked many pics that afternoon.  There were some shops set up nearby and I was able to witness Darshith shopping and making deals with the merchants like Piyusha did in Delhi!  It was great to watch and I was thankful I was with him for this part.

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After we got back we exchanged gifts and Darshith bought me a gorgeous vest with the help of his sisters which was so sweet.  This was very nice because it was a group effort and I really appreciated that so much.  Thanks to all 3 of you, I love it!  The final thing was saying goodbye, I think I’m the worst person when it comes to goodbyes, they’re not my thing with anyone.  I’m much better with hellos 😛

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I really enjoyed my time in Bhubaneswar at the Mayfair and the generous Indian hospitality surrounded in nature.  Darshith, my time with you was Awesome, thank you very, very much for being my tour guide and entertaining this Canadian girl, it was great to get to know you more in person.   You were so welcoming and I felt so peaceful.   After all, this is India.

Now you have to come to Canada Darshith!

My next stop is at the spa and retreat in Rishikesh but first I have three airports to get through in Bhubaneswar, Delhi and Dehra Dun along with my giant water bottle and excess baggage 😀

This is India 2016

Stay tuned for part 3/6, to be continued….

Much Love,

Jenny ❤
xo

 

 

 

The Beauty of Solo Travel

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How brave are you?  Have you ever dreamed of taking off and traveling to a new and exciting place?

Alone???

I’m here to tell you that it’s possible and I did it.  I just got back from a solo travel trip to India for 3 weeks and I would do it again in a heartbeat ❤

There are many benefits to traveling solo and I’d like to share what I found with you.

  1. It’s empowering. You gain self-confidence very quickly and your world opens up even more, literally.  Not only that your common sense becomes greater
  2. TIME. You have it all to yourself and it’s what everyone dreams about having more of.  There is no need to share an agenda, you can sleep, eat and do what you want when and where you want.  You also have the time to reflect on your life and discover things about yourself you never even knew.  It’s a great time for personal growth and development
  3. Teaches you patience and flexibility in unexpected situations and you become more accepting of others and their way of living. Your mind and heart opens up to the Universe
  4. Your problem-solving skills will sharpen even more. Getting around town becomes a fun challenge on your own and suddenly you are listening to your intuition more, I also became more spiritual
  5. You gain a new perspective on life and become grateful for everything you have
  6. You love those around you even more
  7. You begin to lower your expectations of how things should be and learn to go with the flow more. Your positive energy attracts positive people
  8. I found people to be very approachable with me and I was to them. I was being treated like I was some kind of celebrity for the first time!  I received many freebie things like food along the way, great conversations, advice of what to see in the area.  Very friendly people are out there, you just need to flash a nice smile sometimes 😉
  9. You gain respect and admiration from those around you for your courage and if you have kids, you are setting a good example for them because they see that anything is possible if you want it bad enough
  10. You make wonderful memories with wonderful people around the world and nobody can take this experience of a lifetime away from you

There will always be some people who will try to deter you from traveling solo but you have to remember they are projecting their fears on you.  Some said “you are a single woman” (yes), “it’s going to be dangerous” (how do they know), “you should go with someone, not alone” (that defeats the entire purpose of solo travel).  My response, I booked my tickets, packed my bags excessively and boarded the 14 hour flight from Toronto, Canada to Delhi, India on January 1st, 2016.  What a great day and way to kick off 2016!

For me, this was a trip of healing for personal reasons and it was to see my close blogging friends that I have a strong connection with in person who are all over India.  Piyusha, Shambhavi, Bhavya, Darshith, Neerja, Dinesh, Chandrajit, Srinath, Kriti and many others I couldn’t meet were the many reasons I had to go.  I felt like the Universe aligned and brought me to WordPress so I could write my thoughts and feelings out there and attract such amazing people into my life.  Then it was so generous to give me this opportunity to travel and meet everyone in person, making our connections stronger than ever.  I am so grateful and if I can say one thing, I will say this; listen to your wants, not everyone else’s around you because it’s your life, not theirs.  At the end of the day, you need to live it.

How was it?

Amazing, inspiring, life changing, delicious, fun and a must for everyone to do once in their lifetime.  India is a beautiful place to go and heal your soul because it’s a spiritual and peaceful place but at the same time a chaotic one that not only changes your mind but also your perspective on life for the better.  This was my way of pushing the “reset button” or “refresh button” on my life so I could come back home and continue to help others and myself in a healthier way.

One of the most beautiful things I learned from life is that in order to find yourself, you need to lose yourself first.  And sometimes in the middle of nowhere is where you end up finding yourself, for me it was in India.  By listening to your intuition it will give you answers but in order to hear it you need to get quiet and alone because it’s only a whisper inside you.  Reflecting on this will guide you in the best possible direction that is right for you and that’s called soul speak, which is the beauty of solo travel.

So much love to everyone in India, thank you for the visits and memories and because of WordPress this was made possible.  I’d like to change the name to WorldPress, FriendPress, LovePress, FunPress, DreamPress, InspirationPress, I think you get the idea….

Much love to you,

Jenny
xo