Tell Me Why…

Why

I see you running after the things that run from you
Tell me why you do that
Recalibrate, there is no need to chase the wrong person or thing

I hear you berating yourself as if it were a personal motivational speech
Tell me why you do that
Self-love and self-compassion are needed more than ever, please be kind to yourself

I see you running East expecting to see a sunset
Tell me why you do that
You’re running the wrong way, turn around; the sun sets in the West and you know that

I hear your lies and unapologetic excuses about things you’re not proud of
Tell me why you do that
Be courageous and take responsibility for your actions, the truth will set you free

I see you going back to the things that continually hurt you
Tell me why you do that
Wounds are meant to heal, not to stay open and continuously bleed

I hear you say you want a change and yet here you are in the same situation
Tell me why you do that
Make the decision to change and commit to that; don’t settle, know your worth

I see you doing the same thing over again, expecting a different outcome
Tell me why you do that
You know that one small shift can change everything…be brave

I hear you trying to convince yourself to stay in something you don’t want
Tell me why you do that
Be honest with yourself and with others, know what you want and say it

I see you holding on to the past for dear life and it only makes you miserable
Tell me why you do that
Let go of what hurts and release it to the Universe; the future is better and brighter

I hear you voicing your values yet they don’t match your behavior
Tell me why you do that
Are you sure they are your values or are they someone else’s beliefs

I see you trying to fit in because you want to belong
Tell me why you do that
Surround yourself with like-minded people, then you will belong

I hear you whispering to the crashing waves in the day and the suspended stars at night
Tell me why you do that
I hope they are listening to all your words and wishes

I see you putting your dreams on a shelf, tucked away for some other time
Tell me why you do that
You are meant to share your talent with the world, don’t worry what others may think

I hear you telling yourself not to say anything, to suppress your voice on matters
Tell me why you do that
Be courageous and use the voice you have; express your needs and wants

I see and hear you making choices out of fear and anxiety
Tell me why you do that
Make choices out of love, what fills your soul and makes you happy

I need to know the WHY behind what you say and do
Why is it important to you
Tell me why…

Dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

*I’ve always loved this song Why by Annie Lennox and it happens to go with this blog.  Have a beautiful weekend everyone and be happy 🙂

**Please be sure to check out my friend Danielle Lewis and subscribe to her podcast titled Mom’s Still Standing which is available on iTunes and Spotify.  It’s a wonderful and inspiring podcast that connects all mom’s trying to navigate life and motherhood ❤

***Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is still available at all online bookstores worldwide, iTunes, Google Play, Nook, Kindle, and at the FriesenPress bookstore.  Books are a great Christmas gift for the readers on your list 🙂 Thank you everyone xx

Practicing Self-Care…Like A Rockstar

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can practice more self-care while I continue to heal and learn from my divorce.   I don’t know about you, but when you find yourself on your own, the only person who can take care of you is you.  Self-care is not an option, a luxury, or some “woo-woo” thing.  It’s the real deal and necessary if you want to survive.  Self-care is for everyone who is living, breathing, and has a pulse; so yes, that means you.

It doesn’t mean spending a lot of money but instead, it’s about paying attention to your needs and what makes you feel good by putting yourself first.  This is not a selfish act, because if you plan on taking care of others such as your kids or loved ones, you need to take care of yourself first because it’s just like the oxygen mask theory on the plane.  When you have what you need, you have something to give.  Just as you recharge your iPhone, you need to recharge your life.

Take a time out for yourself.

Let go of the “disease to please” others.  Sometimes you need a wall, not a door or a bridge.  We need to get comfortable with disappointing others for our own health and well-being, knowing and expressing what works and doesn’t work for us. That’s self-respect and possibly another blog.

This blog a collective group effort to share thoughts, ideas, and ways that other people practice self-care so we can all learn from one another.  The response has been outstanding and fun by amazing men and women in all walks of life.  It’s an honor to write this blog, no names are mentioned except one who offered and is happy to do so.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who participated and contributed, I am eternally grateful and inspired!

So grab a snack, drink, and blanket, and curl up somewhere comfy because this blog will give you something to ponder for awhile.  Let’s see what these rockstars said in their own words about what self-care means to them!!

“Self-care for me is this very struggle I have at 7:28 am right now. How it takes me to scroll through social media to leave the bed and get going for the day. Somedays are like that. Somedays, it’s easier. I decide to wake up go for a run, shower, cook my breakfast and work is set in motion. Self-care is unfollowing that particular person who no longer provides any constructive drama to my life, who may be negative in a way. Self-care would be not always obliging to everyone’s notions and once in a while say fuck it and do what I need to do. Self-care would be sleeping until I am tired of sleeping, watching Netflix until the series gets over, giving in to 2 am burger cravings. Sometimes it’s heart over mind, sometimes mind over heart. Whatever helps me get through the day, frowning or laughing”

“I believe in taking days off every now and then to recharge and reset. If you do a repetitive job you have a greater chance of burnout. A three-day weekend can help”

“Making myself important”

“Taking a nice walk, with or without my little dog”

“The healing power of listening, making, and moving to music…3 part series”

“For me, self-care is all the little things we do on a daily basis to take care of us, the body, mind, and soul. As simple as brushing our teeth, taking a shower, drinking water, eating the right food and having a laugh”

“Self-care to me is when I purposefully check out mentally, remove all of the «titles» that define me on a daily basis (mom, wife, manager, sister, daughter, etc.) and do something that will make ME happy in that specific moment. It is when I am just me, in my essence, and listen to my needs”

“Being at one with nature. Walking the dog, biking, paddleboarding, just about anything outside that doesn’t include a phone or computer”

“By going to LIME”

“Going to read at the British café, drinking tea, going for walks and doing home spa nights. All things I do alone”

“Working a four day week, exercise, taking walks, eating well! I think we do a better job as we get older and come to terms with what things we should embrace and those to avoid. Also having school-aged children frees up some time I didn’t have before!”

“Long baths. Playing with my dog. Singing at the top of my lungs and dancing around the house”

“Surrounding myself with positive supportive people and monthly massage!”

“Reading an inspirational book by a certain local author:)”

“Love to sing at the top of my lungs in my car when alone. Lying in bed doing some breathing exercises. Play with my doggy”

“I do three things…..Xbox (fabulous escape from reality), needle felt and walk”

“Self-care for me is body, mind, and soul. Meditation is my biggest self-care go to! I am a certified crystal and energy healer so I tend to work with Crystal’s a lot”

“Hot tub + wine + a good book, gardening, walking my dog, long phone calls with my mom, and anything that gets me laughing. Oh! And kayaking!”

“Yoga, dragon boat, weight training, massages, pedicures”

“While I try to actually do something that sounds more cool or effortful, sometimes my self-care is simply snuggling up to watch a few episodes of my tv shows with a drink in-hand –> without the risk of being disturbed. I never skip that one”

“Learning new dance styles ( Right now learning Kizomba ) to exercise the brain. I go for an acupuncture session and a massage once a month. I try to make better choices for my diet as I am getting older. All of this is important to my self-care!”

“Some days it’s simply eating nourishing food and getting 8 hours of sleep. If I’m particularly stressed it involves things like yoga, meditation, deep breathing. Self-care means whatever I need at that moment to support my mind, body, and soul”

“Naps. Beach. Boundaries (in all areas of my life). Positive Affirmations. Netflix and chill”

“I’m really bad at it. But getting better. I have started running with a group of ladies who have never run before. Its great all starting at the begging together. Plus there is the talking afterward. I also do Zumba. My personal favorite though is I invite friends over once the kids are in bed and drink wine and chat. I am a social butterfly. If I don’t talk I go crazy!”

“Self-care for me is doing more things that I want to do, things that interest me, inspire me. Its also being more aware of my inner critical voice so that I am kinder to myself”

“Time for yoga and meditation rewires the brain and produces dopamine naturally – the feel-good hormone”

“Self-care for me is taking the time to meditate, spend time in nature or have a salt bath”

“I say “no”… a lot. I have learned that knowing my limits, and not over-committing is the best thing I can do for me. Also, massage & chiro. If my body isn’t functioning, it makes everything more difficult physically, emotionally and mentally”

“To me self-care is … Tuning out the “noise” and tuning into my divinity and creativity through meditative practice. This has many forms, including meditation, being in nature, yoga, and art”

“Combination of Reiki, nature, coffee shop chats and doing something creative”

“Mindfulness taught by the heart institute, a hot coffee, good book quiet time in my crappy garden, jack pine trail to feed the chickadees, and biggest (and toughest of all) saying no. Just no.”

“Participating in spiritual development through meditation, prayer, volunteering, being in nature, practicing yoga etc”

“Kickboxing, BJJ, tea and a good book”

“Yoga, pick up soccer and receiving craniosacral therapy!”

“Yoga once a week, biking a few times a week, reading, going for a daily walk and having a personal training”

“I run. It’s moving meditation for me”

“So happy you asked this. I need to do more of this. I go for a walk near the river or walk my dog”

“Volunteering. Putting others needs ahead of my own helps to center me”

“Giving attention and love to womb. Connecting to sexual energy and vitalizing body with tantric breathing techniques”

“So many things! I absolutely love what I do for a living, I work out 5 days a week, I meet up with people I adore for lunch often, I spend time with my teens, I volunteer my time and donate back into organizations I believe in, I do things that make me feel good! I feel very lucky to be at the place I am today!”

“Yoga, Saltastic, and sleep”

“Sunscreen – for my future self”

“Read. Garden. Lunch with Friends”

“ I do things that make me happy. Take time for exercise, go to the spa, indulge in my favorite food, sleep, take time for me, spend time with friends, spend time with my dog, cry (releases feel-good hormones and actually makes you feel better!). Basically, I do me”

“5 min facial & 10 min pedicure at home. Perfect for the busy momma’s”

“Hula hooping to my favorite tunes!  As a busy mama & entrepreneur, I love knowing that I can easily grab my hoop any time. Even as little as 5 min in my hoop can completely shift my energy & my headspace. It takes me out of my head, raises my vibrations, releases tension, relaxes muscles, lifts my heart… I feel like a new woman after being in my flow for a bit!”

“ I bought an infrared sauna for my house, why – because I’m worth it to have time to recharge myself through reading or music, or just enjoying the sweat”

“Taking quiet time to connect with my heart – last night that meant sitting in my little urban garden with chai tea taking in the scents of the flowers and the lush beauty of all things green”

“Gardening. Short story..Once upon a time, I told my children gardening was soothing to my soul. They were both very young, grade 1 or grade 2. One morning I was driving them to school, backed out of the driveway, and just stopped in front of the house and said to them “oh look at the garden”.  My daughter, who is 4 years younger than her older brother, said “What’s the big deal about the garden mom?”, and my son turned to her, and said: “Emerald, you know it is soothing to her soul”  Heart melt.”

“Daily morning meditation, practice and teach yoga, writing, listening and chanting my favorite mantras”

“Face masks, saying no and journaling”

“Morning run and exercise, good nutrition, regular sex, meeting with friends, weekly massage and acupuncture, Epsom salt baths. I live with chronic anxiety and depression. I’m am very aware of this and self-heal. I thank the people around me for keeping my mental health in check”

“I bake and share the reapings of it. I read my Bible and pray. I take my meds. I have friends”

“By taking one hour for myself when I wake up to follow this routine: 10 minutes of meditation; 10 minutes of reading; 10 minutes of visualization; 10 minutes of reciting positive affirmations; 10 minutes of exercise; and ten minutes of journaling. To me, self-care is about always meeting yourself at the level of consciousness at which you want other people to meet you.  It’s about not being afraid to set boundaries with others and treating yourself like a queen”

“I am now addicted to taking time for myself when I wake up. No one can rush me and my family knows and respects my Queendom”

“I find time to relax and treat myself – foot/hand spa with shellac pedicure/ manicure, bubble bath in bathtub with relaxing music, eat my favourite food, relax watch movies at home eating ice cream, popcorn and others while watching with your loved ones then take a nap Wow, nice life without any kids with me just me and my darling”

“I’ve learned to enjoy the little things each day. Like for instance I’m currently exhausted and have a ton of house/pets/business work to do today but I’m laying down writing this while my pet bird is semi-sleeping beside me giving me kisses. I prioritize sleep and I make sure every day I am contributing to some hobby of mine I enjoy to do like crafting, painting, hiking, knitting, writing”

“Swimming laps or calling a friend”

“Sipping wine in my high heels.  It feels great and you look good too!”

“Reiki, QiGong, strength training, lots of time in nature, dancing, bodywork, prayer, journaling, blogging, self-inquiry, therapy, keeping old friends across time and space, learning from teachers that I admire, doing Shadow work, and doing work that matters to me”

“Knitting can be so relaxing”

“Investing in myself; being more self-aware of my needs and how I can reach goals with a soul and be happy on my own”

“Walking away from relationships that are a one-way street.  Nobody deserves to be disrespected.  Allow yourself to heal, take a break from dating and date yourself instead”

“Watching Super Soul Sunday makes me feel inspired every week”

“By helping others who are in need”

“Nurturing friendships, spending time with my kids doing something fun and crazy like ziplining”

“Eliminating negativity from my life for my own mental and emotional health”

“Solo travel, or travel of any sort.  It fills my soul and I need this”

“For me, it’s taking time with people that are important to me that makes me feel good”

“Knowing when it’s time to walk away from a job/relationship for your own health and well-being. Hire a life coach and make the switch. I’m worth it”

“Meditation. Yoga. Exercise. Sleep”

“Knitting, sewing, aquafit, yoga, guitar playing, painting, gardening, walking”

“Walking somewhere new in nature and taking photos of everything beautiful”

“Writing, Zumba, PiYo and Salsa Dancing”

“Playing the drums, listening to music, playing football outside with my friends”

“Listening to music, playing video games and sports, spending time with friends”

“Self-care is made of the two most basic and simple words but the implementation of it is not that simple or that basic.  I say this because no one teaches us this.  No one tells us that we have to take care of ourselves first.  We’re always asked and expected to care for others and put others before us.  This distracts us from the fact that we gotta take care of ourselves first to take care of others.  So, we learn this simple thing the hard way and the tough way, by seeing ourselves injured and hurt mentally over and over again, till it struck us.  And then once we know this simple rule of self-care, we become a matured and wise person with each passing day.  We take decisions with confidence and are ready to face difficulties and tell NO when we don’t feel like saying YES for the sake of others. This is the change in our thinking and this is the change which we as a society needs; to make everyone feel at home with themselves.”  ~Darshith Badiyani, Bangalore, India, age 27

After reading so many loving thoughts and ideas, I hope you feel inspired to practice self-care…like a rockstar.  It just goes to show there are several ways of doing one thing, we just need to look within and make time for ourselves because we count too.  Many thanks again to everyone who contributed, you are all AWESOME!

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen
XO

 

PS:  If you are new here and would like to follow my blog, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner, enter your email and every time I post, the blogs will show up in your inbox so you can read it!  Welcome aboard!

My book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress online bookstore.

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

Finding Joy

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How do you find joy in your everyday life?  What are you passionate about or what lights you up from the inside out?

For me, joy is the result of practicing daily gratitude because when you focus on what you have, it changes your perspective and creates joy from within.  Joy is what gets you through difficult times, it turns on a light when you’re in the dark, it heals wounds and can make your soul sing.  Joy is contagious and can spread like wildfire if you allow it, we’re all connected so it’s better to spread positive vibes and emotions that lead us in the right direction.

In today’s busy world, stress and anxiety are topping the charts of workplace absence and prescription medications.  It’s not overly surprising because the faster the world turns, the faster we run and when we’re running, we’re not paying attention to what’s around us.  It’s only when we slow down to catch our breath and notice the little things in the moment; that’s when we are able to find our joy.

Here are a few ways you can begin the search for joy in your everyday life.

  1. Play with children. They are innocent creatures who love to laugh and goof around
  2. Let your inner child out too. Just like the picture above, we all have that little girl or boy inside of us, waiting to get out again so get silly and let loose
  3. Learn something new such as a language, recipe, or sport
  4. Explore nature. It is the most beautiful and imperfect thing on earth
  5. Travel somewhere new and exciting. Do this solo or with someone you like
  6. Surround yourself with animals. They have the most unconditional love to share with you
  7. Be romantic. This allows you to use your creativity and can find joy in two places at once
  8. Spread random acts of kindness to strangers. The appreciation they feel will come back to you tenfold
  9. Play a musical instrument or put some music on. This is soul food and can be very healing
  10. Sing a song no matter what your voice sounds like. Remember that inner child?
  11. Read a great book or see a movie you’ve been waiting for
  12. Helping others creates huge amounts of joy from within
  13. Wake up those endorphins in your body because they will definitely make you feel better
  14. Meditate or practice mindfulness. Enjoy the silence for a change
  15. Write something, anything. Keep it private or make it public it’s your choice but keep it positive and inspiring
  16. Dance in the rain and get soaked. If this doesn’t make you feel like a kid, I don’t know what will
  17. Be like a cat and take a nap. Time to feel rejuvenated again
  18. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Not only is it live entertainment, it’s free and it’s beautiful
  19. Take a hot bath or get a massage
  20. Eat your favorite desserts like cupcakes or something with chocolate
  21. Spend quality time with friends and laugh so much it hurts

Sometimes the best way to find joy is to surrender to what is.  By surrendering, you are opening your heart and mind to the infinite possibilities of what life can offer you.  It’s not about giving up, it’s about letting go, and the benefit to letting go is finding joy.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

It’s All About Perspectives

If we compare meeting people to reading a book, when we do meet them it is somewhere within the chapters of their life and never at the beginning of that book.  And just like reading, it’s hard to understand the complete story when you only arrived in the middle.  Therefore, it’s important to take the time not to judge and instead ask questions so you can understand where they are coming from and what makes them who they are today.

What makes a person who they are is due to their history and circumstances but most of all, how they reacted and handled them.  We all go through many transitions in life just like the seasons and the changes in weather conditions.  Being Canadian and having 4 seasons to adjust to every few months makes me a person who can also adjust to life and the trials and tribulations that come my way.  At least that’s what I aim to be like.

One season might be tougher than the last but it doesn’t define you and it’s all about perspectives.

This inspiring video is about perspectives and I wanted to share it with you.  I really hope you take the 4 minutes to watch it so you become inspired too.

Happy Sunday everyone,

Much Love ❤

Jen

Music (A to Z Challenge)

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I am a HUGE music lover and I can’t imagine my life without it.  Some days I need the music and other days I need the lyrics.  I read this statement on a Facebook post and it really resonated with me.   The thing about music is that it’s universal, it connects us emotionally and spiritually and it’s the best soul food available around the world.

As a child I learned how to play the piano and took lessons for 8 years which gave me an appreciation of classical music and to this day I still enjoy it but only in certain situations.  When I was studying in school it helped me focus and retain more information because music works the right brain while academics work the left brain.  Therefore, if we are studying in silence we’re using half our brain (left side) but when you add classical music, you are adding your right brain which means your entire brain is working together in equalized harmony and you retain more of what you’re reading.  Now I listen to classical music when I am trying to mentally prepare for something stressful like a big meeting.   Olympic athletes are known to listen to classical music to focus before performing.  My favorite classical piece is Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.

My tastes have changed over the years and I have to say I like a little bit of everything except heavy metal.  Sorry!  I love to exercise as many of you know and I always need to have upbeat music because it’s motivating and gives me energy, all my troubles fade away.   Even if I am cooking or cleaning, my music needs to be on loud because it makes the time pass and it’s more fun that way.  Anything by Pitbull gets me moving and lately I’ve been listening to Alright and love it, especially singing it in the car 😛  Other upbeat songs are the ones I dance to at Zumba!

On the slower side of music, that’s when I need the lyrics and some songs are so inspirational I could listen to them on repeat for hours on end.  My playlist consists of hundreds of songs so choosing one is hard but if I had to pick one inspiring song it would be Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.  The meaning of this song can be interpreted many ways and for me it’s about reflection.  Joni Mitchell uses clouds for her analogy and how as a child you saw both life and love as something light, positive and creative.  As an adult, she describes the dark, negative perspective about how clouds got in the way with life and love.  It’s hard to understand everything about life and love but due to past experiences you see them differently and overall there are no regrets, only memories.  Essentially, the song is about how we look at life and love from both sides now, two sides of the coin.  What I like about the lyrics are the possibilities of perspectives and even though you may lose at something in life or love, you gain the life and love lessons which are both important and beautiful.

Life goes on, and so does my music.  Play, repeat.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone 🙂

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

Finding the Fun Factor

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I’m so happy 2015 is coming to an end.  This year has been an emotional roller coaster ride in more ways than one and through it all, I had to find ways of having fun in order to cope with it like writing, Zumba and Yoga just to name a few.   Things got better as 2015 rolled on and now I’m ending it on a high note.  Yay!  🙂

Out of all the aspects in our lives, fun is often the one thing that’s put on the back burner for some reason.  Things like work, sports, education, family, friends, health and even spirituality are taken so seriously to the point where fun has no entry point.  Now where’s the fun in that?  There’s always room for fun and taking things a little lighter.  Life can be hard and heavy sometimes which only adds more stress to it all.

This Christmas I am challenging myself and all of you to find your fun factor.  What thrills you?  If you have snow where you are, build a fort and get a snowball fight going just like Buddy the Elf in this image!  If you are in a warm climate (lucky you…) then head to the beach and jump in the waves like a dolphin!   Whatever it is that you love doing for fun, do it as much as possible during the holidays.  Then try to see your difficult situation through a humorous lens instead of a serious one and see how much lighter you feel with a new perspective on it.  If you can laugh at it….you got it.  It no longer has you.

Dare to be different.

This January I am going to India to see some of my amazing blogging friends and I can’t wait to get there!  Seeing everyone will be so much fun and it will open my world to a whole new culture and perspective which will be inspiring and life changing.  Doesn’t this sound like fun?!  Looks like 2016 will be starting off in a really fun way.

The main message I would like to send is this; you all have the power within you to solve any problem you have.  It’s not your first rodeo dealing with problems.  You got through the last one so what tools did you use to make it through to the other side?  These same tools can be used again in your current situation but maybe in a different way now.  You just need to have an open mind and an open heart to stay solution focused and not problem focused.  Have some fun with it.

If you can see light in your darkness, love in your fear, the heaven in your hell, the silver lining in your cloud then you are off to the races my friends.  This is the perspective you need to focus on in order to move forward with any situation because what you focus your attention on, you get more of it.  Therefore, let your focus always be positive while dealing with the negative.  All the messy dirty work is happening in the negative but you need balance while doing that and that’s where a positive focus comes in.

I would like to thank everyone who is following me, liking my stuff, commenting and encouraging me, you guys are so amazing and because of you I get inspired!  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a bright Happy New Year for 2016.  And remember, we’re all in this together, we’re connected and on the same journey which is to find love, peace and happiness in life.  Let’s keep supporting one another and in the meantime, get out there and find your fun factor!

Keep smiling and keep writing!  🙂

Life is good…

Big Hugs and Love,

Jen
xoxoxo