Your Hungry Soul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much Love,

Jen 🙂

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

 

Silver Is The New Gold

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Your boyfriend/girlfriend just broke up with you or maybe you didn’t get that job you were counting on.  These scenarios are major disappointments in life and if you focus on the negative outcome, you miss the gift of finding the silver lining and life lessons that are often hidden within the situation.

Imagine one of the most challenging situations you had to face and thought you were never going to get through it.  Perhaps it was one of these examples above or something even bigger where the devastation was so great you were immobilized for weeks or months.

Sound familiar?

In hindsight, were you able to see if any good came out of the experience?  What were the life lessons you learned from it?  In what ways did that experience give your life new meaning?

Now think of a challenge you are facing right now.  How might you see your challenge in a new light with a different perspective?  What are some positive possibilities that could come because of this challenge you are facing?

When devastation and disappointment strikes, it’s natural to go into victim mode for awhile.  The key to surviving this is actually having the key to escape that prison you’re in.  Success and failures are two sides of the same coin and sometimes in order to be successful, one needs to fail.  Failures are life’s greatest teachers and are road signs telling us that we’re going the wrong way and we need to look for a new direction.  These are known as the crossroads in our life which can be a great opportunity for a life review to see what we have, what we want and what we can live without.  With every review, things become a little clearer which means you become a little happier and successful in finding your right path.

Let’s suppose that job offer didn’t work out for you and something even better came along.  If you would have been offered that first job, the opportunity for accepting the right one would have been lost to someone else.  By being patient and accepting the right offer you are able to find the silver lining of being rejected in the first situation.

Heartbreak is another story and maybe the most complicated one of all to fully understand.  Even though reasons for why a break up happened are so greatly varied, the feelings and emotions that someone experiences are the same no matter what the situation.  Anger, sadness, grieving a loss are essential feelings to go through in order to make sense of the situation and move forward.  There are times when one person no longer feels the loving connection they once had as a couple and despite the efforts of trying to repair things, it becomes time for them to walk away.  In life, sometimes people can grow with you and other times people grow apart from you.  As hard as it may be to accept this fact, all of this aids in your own personal growth and development because if someone who isn’t right for you stays, then you miss out on meeting the person who is right.

Once free from an emotionally dead relationship, that’s when the process of self-discovery begins which is a beautiful thing because when you know more about who you are, your values, and what you represent then you will attract like-minded people into your life instead of settling.  You become more loving and self-compassionate which allows you to extend that love to others, making it more authentic because it becomes an opportunity to open up your heart and mind.  When you hit rock bottom in a relationship, the only way to go is up because painful endings are beautiful beginnings.  Therefore, learning the life lessons and finding the silver lining in heartbreak are the best things that could ever happen to you and this is worth celebrating.

The possibilities are endless when finding the silver lining in life’s challenges and your job is to find them because silver is the new gold and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

Wishing everyone a season of peace and joy this December.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all 🙂

P.S.  My book is due to be released at the end of March 2017 so I will keep you posted on that as well.  In it, I go through the silver linings I found and life lessons I learned which inspired me to write this post as well.

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

The Art of Grieving

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Whether we loved a family member, a relationship or a job, the loss is something to be acknowledged and the grieving process is absolutely necessary to be able to reach the other side.  The most famous author on grieving is Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Not only has she written books for the general public but they are textbooks for the medical profession and for those working in palliative care.

When it comes to grieving a loss, there are generally five stages that appear and re-appear without much warning.   They don’t always go in order and they can reappear out of order so it’s important to keep this in mind and know that it’s normal if they don’t follow a certain path.  Grieving is very personal and everyone handles it differently which is why it’s important to have a good support system to help you recover.  The reason we grieve is because we cared and loved which is reason enough to deal with the situation so we can move on in our lives in a healthy manner.

The first stage is Denial.  The person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, a relationship or a job could be in denial by feeling like they just can’t believe it.  They feel shock and numbness.  In the person who is dying, they could feel disbelief and may go about their life pretending that an illness does not exist.  In the person who has lost a relationship or a job, they may act like nothing is/was wrong.

The second stage is Anger.  This emotion can be directed at your loved one who is dying because they didn’t take better care of themselves or it could be directed at yourself that you didn’t take better care of them.  In the person who lost their job or a relationship, anger may be directed at how they were treated or mistreated.  Many thoughts and feelings of anger come up here and you question yourself incessantly.  However, anger is a necessary stage of the healing process because it gives us the drive and energy to move on.  Be willing to feel it, the more you do, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.  Because anger can be so consuming, having a good support system of friends and family around you is critical and if that is not enough, professional support is always available including support groups.

The third stage is Bargaining.  Before the loss it may seem like you will do anything to spare your loved one like “Please God, I will never be angry with my daughter again if you’ll just let her live.”  After a loss, bargaining might look like “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others, then I can wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream.”  Sometimes guilt is bargaining’s roommate.  We remain in the past trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt.  We ask ourselves the “what if” and “if only” questions in this stage but in reality, our loved one is truly gone.

The fourth stage is Depression.  This is where our attention moves from the past into the present.  Empty feelings are deeper than we could ever imagine.  It is not a mental illness it is an appropriate response to a great loss.  This is where people often withdraw from life and wonder “Why go on at all?”  Sadness blankets us and we cry more than we ever thought possible.  But perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once and awhile so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.  Tears don’t always have to win.  The positive side of this difficult stage is that depression can slow us down and allow us to take real stock of the loss.  It makes us rebuild ourselves from the ground up.  It clears the deck for growth by taking us to a deeper place in our soul that we would not normally explore.  It promotes you to the fifth stage.

Acceptance.  The ability to accept the permanent reality that your loved one, a relationship or job is physically gone.  It doesn’t mean this is okay or right, but you can just accept it.  You learn to live with it and readjust yourself and your roles.  Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad.  You may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives.  You re-invest in your friendships and relationships with others and with yourself.

I have grieved a loss many times in my life, I know the process is never easy or smooth.  It hurts and it feels long.  However, what I can tell you is that time is your best friend and you need to allow yourself off the hook for everything while you go through this transition and give yourself the time to do so.  It does get better with time, that I know for sure.  Sometimes we beat ourselves up on top of our loss which only makes us feel worse in the end.  By treating yourself with care and understanding rather than judgment, knowing you’re not alone and being mindful of your emotions, self-compassion is the light that casts out darkness in our minds.  Talk to yourself as if you are talking to a friend who is suffering.

The other side of pain is comfort, the other side of fear is love, the other side of unpleasant is beauty.  Keep moving forward and focus on the positive side because what we put our attention on, we get more of it.  In this case, focus on comfort, love, and beauty.   Just remember that if you falter, it’s okay, you are only human and know you can rise and try again when you are ready.  You can do it.

Loss, is very personal and so is the journey to recovery, it starts from within.  If we can embrace the grieving process instead of running away from it and be kind to ourselves when we feel at our worst, that is the beauty in the art of grieving.

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“New beginnings are also described as painful endings.”  ~ Lao Tzu

“People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

~ By Jennifer Juneau, Registered Nurse, Life Coach