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

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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

Life Coaching (A to Z Challenge)

One of the things I do aside from being a nurse is life coaching.  The transition from nursing to life coaching is a natural one because they are both helping professions and as a nurse I’ve had to wear a coaching hat at times (figuratively speaking) 😉

For today’s post I thought I would be brave and try out a vlog about what life coaching is all about instead of writing about it.  Please bear with me, I hope you enjoy it and I welcome your thoughts or feedback on it 😀

Enjoy ❤

 

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

If I Would Have Listened

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This blog is dedicated to an amazing friend of mine, Basak Yanar, PhD.  She’s been there for me through many of my trials and tribulations, has a heart of gold, words of an angel and can crack the code on human behavior.  Please check her incredible published work.  If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here on WordPress writing today so Basak, this one’s for you beautiful lady.  All my love,

“If I would have listened to the nasty gremlins in my head
I never would have taken a step back from my work to analyze what I wanted to do

If I would have listened to the doubts that creep in at night and tell me I’m not good enough
I never would have had the courage to hire a life coach, YOU.

If I would have listened to the persistent gremlins in my head about my imperfections in writing
I never would have started a blog on WordPress

If I would have listened to the insecurities that my initial blog traffic was low
I never would have continued posting anything here and given up

If I would have listened to the people who doubted creativity and its importance in my life
I would have given up on soul searching, creating my life and blogging

If I would have listened to people telling me healing is found in a pharmacy
I would have never realized the healing properties that writing has for one’s soul

If I would have listened to people telling me blogging relationships are not real
I would have never pursued solidifying my connections and friendships with all of you

If I would have listened to people judging me for my circumstances
I would have never stood up to them for myself and my family

If I would have listened to people who betrayed me and took their love away
I would have never discovered my personal determination and perseverance

If I would have listened to the unhealthy relationships around me
I never would have discovered what healthy could look like

If I would have listened to my doubts that I deserve love and belonging
I never would have hit reset and started with loving myself first

If I would have listened to people who tried to take advantage of me
I would have never developed the skill of being investigative and protecting my rights

If I would have listened to my mind tell me that I should stay home to recover from heartbreak
I would have never followed my heart by gifting myself the gift of travel to heal instead

If I would have listened to the fears about traveling solo to India
I never would have visited such a beautiful country and met my Indian blogging friends in person

If I would have listened to my negative emotions
I never would have discovered what the positive ones were

If I would have listened to selfishness and greed
I never would have discovered the beauty of gratitude and kindness

If I would have listened to the people who made me question my self-worth
I never would have stumbled upon the amazing works of Brené Brown

If I would have listened to those gremlins again that I should do this or that
I never would have followed my intuition and stepped into my wants for the first time in my life”

Basak, thank you for all your love, support and encouragement in my own personal growth and development, I’m so glad I finally listened to me.

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

#WhatTheHeckIsLifeCoaching??

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This is a common question I hear from people who have never experienced a life coaching session and with good reason.  Everyone knows what psychology is but not everyone knows what life coaching is all about.  I thought I would write a blog to help hack into this world for you.  🙂

Life coaching is about helping you achieve a desired goal and finding the inspiration and motivation to get you from the present moment to the future.  Think of an athlete you follow, he or she has a coach right?  Imagine if they didn’t.  Where would they be?  Coaches motivate, help keep you on track, strive for better and keep you accountable using different techniques and tools.  Life coaching is no different except there are no push ups involved, unless this is your desired goal.  😉

I would like to give an example of a coaching call using some key questions I ask that can get the wheels in your mind turning and possibly burning.  😉   So let’s get cracking!

“What is the one goal you would love to achieve in your life right now?  In other words, what do you want more of in your life?  Fill in the blank; “I want _______________”

“What if time and money weren’t an issue for you, what would you like to have or do?”

The first few questions represent stating what you want in your life.  The power to dream big.  Many people have never been asked this question before and have a hard time pinning something down because they think they don’t have the right to ask for what they want.  If you are like this, rest assured you are not alone.  You do have the right to be happy and be free to go after what you want.  Give this question some real thought and state your awesome goal.

“Why is that goal important to you?”

“What is the deeper meaning of having this for you?”

“What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?”

Ahhh.. the “Why” and legacy question, my favorites of all.  This is where your values come into play and the reasons you give as to why you want to achieve something are coming from your heart.  It’s where we keep our values close to who we are because our values define us.  It’s important to know your values in life because they guide your behavior.  Plus if you realize this goal is not very important to you, chances are you will never achieve it.  Pssst…choose something important!

“On a scale of 1 -10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being you’ve got it, where would you say you are on the scale in reaching this goal right now?”

“What does that number represent or look like?  You fill in the blank; “the number ____ represents __________”

“Where would you ultimately like to be on that scale?”

Scaling your goal is very useful because it allows you to see where you are now and where you want to be in the future.  It’s measureable.  You can track your progress by doing this several times and it also produces motivation and inspiration within to keep you moving forward.

“What are some capabilities and abilities that you already have and can use to reach your goal?”

“What are some of your transferrable skills?”

“How would you and your friends and family describe you?”

“What are some capabilities and abilities that you still need to be able to reach your goal?”

These questions pin point the skills and abilities you already have to get you there and what you still need which is important to know because you need to look at it from all angles.   The majority of people when they list their have’s and needs, the have’s list usually wins.  Therefore, you have more going for you than you even realized.

“Imagine it’s six months from now and you have successfully reached your goal.  What does that look and feel like?”

“If you could take one small action step that could bring you closer to your goal, what would that be?”

Ok here’s the fun part.  Now that you know what you have to do and need to do, the question is HOW do you do it?  This is where the rubber hits the road for most people.  They put the brakes on and don’t move because of fear.  Go back to the why is that important to you question again and get inspired.

You gotta walk the talk.

Make sure when you choose a small action step it is specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and timely.  In other words, make it easy.  Action steps start out small and you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just need to take the first step.  Every step counts in reaching your goal and remember, that one small step can shift everything!

“What else can you do?”

“What else?”

Dig deep and keep asking this question over and over….you get the point.

“How will you hold yourself accountable for doing the action steps you stated?”

Ask a friend or co-worker to check up on you to make sure you did what you said you would do.

“What could possibly stand in your way in being able to reach this goal?”

Usually it’s us.  If you have the determination to get it done, nothing can stand in your way.

“When will you take this action step?”

Make sure you set a specific date and mark it down somewhere.  Otherwise if you say you will do it later or sometime this month, guess what will happen?  Nada, zip, nothing.

“Where will you be working to reach your goal?”

Sometimes people will be at their current workplace, maybe at home or anywhere really.  It depends on the goal.  State it and write it down.  You’re doing great!

After answering these questions you can go back to your scale and see where you are on the line now.  Even if you have only moved 0.5 up on the scale, it counts as evidence and a step forward.  Celebrate!  You are moving in the right direction and are closer to your goal already!

Feeling motivated yet?

Now your life coach holds you accountable for your action steps and will be checking on you to see if you have completed what you said you would do.  Each weekly session is a review of the last and involves making more plans for the future.  This is how you move forward by tracking progress with your pen and paper or computer.  Usually a number of sessions are necessary to get the results you want.

After you happily reach your goal and are living the dream, your notes are available to you from all the work we did together and you can look back at how far you’ve come since that day you had this idea in mind.  Years later, you can review it again and again and be proud of yourself for all your answers, hard work, determination, perseverance and motivation.  You did it!

You are amazing!

#AndThat’sLifeCoachingWithJennifer

Lots of love  ❤

Jen
xo

What I Know For Sure…Now: A Letter To My 21-Year-Old-Self

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Okay seriously, life is full of lessons whether you want to learn from them or not.  When you do learn, you expand your personal growth and development and make necessary changes so they don’t happen again.  If you don’t learn the life lessons, they will keep happening over and over until you do.  They won’t go away on their own.  That’s just the way it is…sigh.

No matter what age you are, something happened to you that affected your life and how you reacted to it changed you.  It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.   But what if you could have a conversation with your younger self and give advice that would save you time and grief or give you confidence and perseverance in various areas of your life?  I know I’ve thought about this and I’d like to share what I know for sure… now.

Dear Jen,

You are 21 years young now and are studying very hard to become a nurse.  You have chosen a career path that is helpful and compassionate which aligns with who you are and your core values in life. Yes studying is hard, working in the hospital is hard but never give up because you are on the right path; you’ve got this.  Know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours, this is the beauty in nursing.

What if I told you when you graduate you will move to another country to work and travel?  Not just once but twice. Nursing can open many doors for you and later on there is another big opportunity coming up that you cannot say no to, in Qatar.

Don’t always expect to be acknowledged and appreciated for all the hard work you do, people are tired and busy in their own worlds but in your heart, just know you are doing your best and in the end, you will be rewarded by Him.  Know your own self-worth because if you think you are cheap, people will see and treat you as cheap. Try not to control every outcome, just relax and enjoy the ride because you have so much ahead of you, a world of experiences that will blow your mind!

Life Coaching is in your future which is another beautiful helping profession and by walking this path, you learn so much about yourself in the process and it’s an automatic win-win for you and your clients. You will be so inspired, you will really love this but it takes work to get it going.  Don’t give up.

Relationships are complicated but a very big part of your life Jen.  Friendships are to be treasured and respected by both sides otherwise, it’s not worth it.  Everywhere you go, you will meet new friends and connect well with them for life because of who you are.  You have many amazing friends who inspire you so hang on tight they are your rocks during your toughest moments.   Don’t forget to be there for them too and love them with all your heart.  Sadly, one of your closest friends will be diagnosed with cancer and cannot beat it.  However, having known her, changes your perspective on life for the better because you learn to appreciate the little things, slow down and look within yourself for answers to life’s complicated questions.  You have all the solutions inside you, just dig deep because they’re all there.  You feel a deep sense of gratitude for having known her and you miss her.

Family is another important part of your life and you need to show your appreciation for everything they do for you.  Nobody’s perfect and everyone is doing the best they can, just like you Jen.  Perfection is a dangerous thing and not even possible so let it go.  Imperfections are what make people beautiful including you.  It all depends on your perspective, try to look at them as your gifts.  Your entire family loves you unconditionally, you love them too and you get along with everyone.

Ah, romance, romance.  You have met some really nice guys that showed interest in you so far and you have been interested in some of them.   But Jen, you need to have more self-confidence you need to love yourself more.  Learn how to be assertive and stand up to the ones who don’t treat you right and hold hands with the ones who do.  Don’t get blindsided by flattery, take it for what it is which is sweet.  Not every guy will understand your kind heart but that’s ok, it’s not your job to convince him of it.  Never let the good guy get away, easier said than done.  Romantic involvement is complex and fleeting.  Don’t settle for someone, make sure your man adores you, protects you, makes time for you, has the same values as you, has your back on everything and knows how to use a hammer!  This will save you a ton of frustration…

What you really want is someone who makes you smile, is proud of you, supports you and inspires you, is emotionally there for you and treats you like his queen.  Not a man who drains you or takes advantage of your good nature or abandons you.  He will love you with his whole heart by making you his number one priority and not let his external environment control how he feels or acts around you.

He must know his own core values and who he truly is on the inside otherwise he is a chameleon adjusting to every external environment, not a man.

If you are looking for a chameleon, go to Costa Rica.

Make sure he never interrupts you or puts you down in front of other people; he should be singing your praises instead.  You are a fine catch young lady and never forget that!  😉

You put everyone’s needs ahead of your own and deep down, you want your needs met too and why not?  People pleasing and putting yourself last is killing you without you even realizing it.  You need to take better care of yourself so you have the ability to take care of others.  Everywhere you go you are a caretaker.  Learn to set some boundaries for yourself otherwise people will walk all over you as if you were a doormat.  “No” is a complete sentence, remember that my love.  And whatever you do, don’t let the opinions of others influence you to the point of doing nothing.  You’re better than that.

Be very mindful of selfish people and narcissists in your life.  They are your biggest threat because they give subtle red flags and are very good at charming you.  Take off those rose colored glasses so you can actually see the color red.  They are only interested in themselves so don’t kid yourself into thinking they have something to offer you.  They are takers and you are a giver so you are vulnerable in this situation.  Be very, very careful.

I know you can’t see it now but your heart of gold will fall in love with one man and two children over the years.  Unfortunately heartbreak is in your future but this tragedy has its silver lining.  You experience two sides of the same coin but you are a trooper, a real warrior.  Facing these various betrayals are the biggest stressors you will go through but it’s not what happens to us in life that determines who we are, it’s how we cope and react to it that counts and you have excellent coping skills.  Like grace under fire. You are not a victim so don’t play that role, ever.  You might feel like you are all alone in this but you’re not.  You are stronger than you realize and you have God in your corner.  This is a time for self-compassion and practicing self-care, finally.  You have put this off long enough Jen so time to pay attention to yourself.  It’s self-discovery time.  Be a good example for your kids because they are always watching and taking notes.  Learn the lessons here and don’t worry so much, everything is going to be okay.

You really need a vacation, you should plan one.

Writing blogs for you is a positive emotional outlet and an incredibly important way of dealing with stress because getting your emotions out on paper or a screen is cathartic.  A wonderful healing tool for all.  Not only are you helping yourself but also helping others by letting them know we are all in this together, nobody is alone.  An amazing world of bloggers is out there and each person has something beautiful to offer, appreciate each and every one of them from your heart because they are probably fighting a battle of their own you know nothing about.  You learn to write your way out of this betrayal and when writing the story of your life Jen, don’t let anyone else hold the pen, own it.  You get to write your own ending.  On the other side of this fear is freedom so hang in there, you’re doing great.  You are finding your inner voice and are finally starting to use it.  Better late than never girl!

Exercise has always been a priority in your life but during this time you must keep moving more than ever.  The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits are endless.  Exercise helps to get the negative energy out, clear your mind, release those endorphins and make you feel empowered again.  You meet more friends along the way who support you and you can’t imagine your life without them because they are just so fun to be with!  You learn new activities like Zumba and PiYo which you even become addicted to!

As you make your way through the pain with your kids, your vision becomes clearer and you slowly get your strength back, thanks to your family and friends here and all around the world.  Connection has empowered you to stand up for what you believe in and fight for your rights my little warrior.  You are getting to know and love yourself more and more each and every day, the butterfly is emerging.  One of the greatest lessons you can learn is to practice gratitude, forgiveness and surrender.  These are the silver linings in the dark clouds.  You will make it to the other side Jen, you are almost there so don’t give up now.  Music and lyrics inspire you and give you energy.  There’s one song that’s about standing for something and getting stronger which is exactly what you need right now.  You need to stand for you.  Share this song with your amazing friends and in the meantime…ROAR!

To be continued in another 20 years….

And this is what I know for sure….now.

Love,

Jen
xo