Braving Uncertainty

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

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

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

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

Be kind.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Easter and Passover from a distance.

Virtual Hugs ❤

Jen
XO

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

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

Project Self: Self-Discovery

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

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

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

What does self-discovery mean to you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

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

All my gratitude to you ❤