Be Your Own Mirror

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To all my Zumba friends, this one’s for you ❤

2016 has been an eventful year for me because I wrote my first book and continued to heal from my traumatic divorce like a rock star.  In March 2017, my book will be released and more healing will occur which I am dually grateful for and excited about.

Recently, I was at one of my Zumba classes, and a song came on that brought me back to the good old 80’s and inspired me to write this blog.  The song was Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson and in it, he is sending the message that in order to make a change in this world you need to look at yourself first and take a look in the mirror.  We are living in a world where we tend to play the blame game over and over again and are so afraid of taking any responsibility for our own actions.  Not only does this get you to nowhere land but it stunts your personal growth and development big time.

In order to move forward in life and learn from our mistakes, we need to stop complaining and depending on other people to make changes for us.  We need to take a look in the mirror at ourselves and make the changes from within that we want to see because that’s where it all begins.  Imagine if only half of the world’s population could do this and how much fighting could end and how much peace could be gained.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to what’s happening to people less fortunate than us and so much more work to look within ourselves, but in the end, it’s also more rewarding long-term to be your own mirror.

Another song that ties in with this one is also by Michael Jackson and it’s called Heal The World.  This is a cry for help for those in need and since it’s the Christmas season, what better time to do this.  Everyone has their issues and situations they’re dealing with and healing from, and all it takes is a little compassion and an open heart to help someone thrive.  Even though we might live in different countries around the world, we are still connected and want the same things out of life which are love, connection, and peace.  If we could only realize we’re all in this life together, we could really heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race.

My best wishes and love to each and every one of you in 2017 and thank you so much for your support all this time, I am extremely grateful for YOU.

Enjoy the music, be your own mirror and heal the world ❤

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

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Quote Challenge – Day 2

Hi Everyone!  I’m really excited about being nominated for another quote challenge and this time it’s by a very young, sweet blogger from England named Molly.  Her writings are not only entertaining but also based on real life topics and she’s also a great photographer.  I really liked her post 50 things to know about me.  She has a lot in common with many of you because she’s a Game of Thrones fan, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan and Harry Potter enthusiast!  It’s a joy to read her writings please check out her site.

For today’s quote, I am dedicating this story to a very special WordPress friend of mine in India who has just gone through a very difficult and stressful time with her mom being sick.  Unfortunately, her mom lost the battle but not without a serious fight, not without unbreakable support and not without undying love.  Dealing with dying forces us to look at our own life review and to understand what it means to face death and embrace living.  For those of us who are left behind we can call on our own support systems and wisdom to promote our own healing.  When we are strong in numbers, we become unbreakable.  Bhavya Mishra, this one’s for you honey ❤

 

One Stick, Two Stick:  The Way of the Old African Kings

An old man is dying.  He calls his people to his side.  He gives a short, sturdy stick to each of his many offspring, wives and relatives.  “Break the stick,” he instructs them.  With some effort, they all snap their sticks in half.

“This is how it is when a soul is alone and without anyone.  They can be easily broken.”

The old man next gives each of his kin another stick, and says, “This is how I would like you to live after I pass.  Tie your sticks together in bundles of twos and threes.”  He waits quietly as his family ties the sticks together.  There are many bundles some of two sticks some of three sticks.  “Now break these bundles in half.”

No one can break the sticks when there are two or more in a bundle.  The old man smiles.  “We are strong when we stand with another soul.  When we are with others, we cannot be broken.”

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Bhavya, all my sympathies to you and your family my love, please know you are not alone in your grieving and that we are forming bundles with you always ❤

 

So Much Love and Peace To You,

Jen
xo

Tuning In To the Voice Within

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When there’s too much noise around you, that cute quiet voice within goes unnoticed.

I read an interesting and quirky article written by life coach Martha Beck and wanted to give my take on it for all of you.

We have two voices that try to talk to us which are the logical ones such as parents, teachers, society and the other voice which is the wise primordial self.  It’s hard to choose between the two most of the time because of our impressions of them.

Logical voice is named Fang and is very business-like, well dressed, organized and on top of everything.  He’s very opinionated carries a Blackberry and has an impressive resumé.  The wise voice is named Buddy who wears shorts and a tank top with a butterfly tattoo on his back.  Buddy has a great smile and will hug you when you feel down.  Buddy’s resume is brief and has doodle art of squirrels on the side.

Who would you listen to?

When people say they want to find their “inner voice” it’s usually because they’re already listening to a loud, logical and convincing one; Fang.  But does it lead to fulfillment?  There’s another wise voice knocking that wants you to be happy, Buddy.  Fang thinks Buddy is weird but you really want to trust Buddy anyway.  You feel something in common with Buddy but you just can’t put your finger on it.

Voices of social conditioning manifests itself as a stream of thoughts in the head where wisdom often shows up as emotions or physical sensations in the body.  Ever had that gut feeling?  That’s Buddy trying to get your attention.  When something is wrong for you, you’ll feel constriction like knots in your body.  The wise choice unties those knots and makes you feel comfortable and light again.

Fang on the other hand is creating fear shouting “I’m right, do it my way or else!” or “You will fail” or “You don’t deserve it!”  Meanwhile there sits smiling Buddy nice and calm and relaxed taking deep breaths just waiting for you to join him.  Once you join him you are quiet and still and can finally tune in.  Wisdom is stronger than fear but only when you choose it.

Maybe you could tell Fang; “Yes I am worthy of this and if I fail the world won’t end and I’ll try something else.”  Fang will be upset for sure but with every choice like this your wisdom grows stronger and you can begin to ignore Fang so you can get out and play with Buddy.  He seems so interesting anyway.

Here’s your homework:

Think of a difficult decision or situation you are in right now that’s been keeping you up at night 😉  Ask yourself these three questions.

  1. What would calm do now?
  2. What would peace do now?
  3. What would relaxation do now?

This not only helps to open your mind but most of all your heart in order to find solutions.  The more often you ask these questions the more energy you feel which is your own wisdom.  When you feel the tension loosening up then you know you are on the right path heading in the right direction; the wise one.

And that’s what your inner Buddy would do.

By tuning in to your voice within, you not only choose wisdom as your advisor, you make this way of choosing your new way of life.

Happy Valentine’s Day Every Buddy  ❤

 

Much Love As Always,

Jen
xo

 

 

 

This Is India – Part 3

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January 10th– 13th, 2016, The Sattva Spa and Wellness Retreat, Rishikesh, India

Here we go again back to the airport!  I flew from Bhubaneswar to Delhi and then Dehra Dun so I could reach The Sattva which was going to be my safe haven and place to let go of stress.  But first, let’s go back to the airport…

After checking in I loaded my luggage onto the belt and watched the numbers climb like my scale at home.  Before they could tell me it’s over, I said it first.  They directed me to the location to pay for my excess baggage which I did and suddenly I was having flashbacks of math class which gave me heart palpitations 😛  I couldn’t even imagine what the end bill would be after all the airports I’ll be going through.  I was not allowed to check my bags all the way to Dehra Dun, they made me get my luggage in Delhi and do the entire process and payments again there too.

That’s where things got weird.

At Delhi there was a kind young man who tried to help me decrease my excess baggage weight by shifting some things into an extra bag I had.  He quickly unzipped my flashy colorful suitcase, I burst out laughing and turned 50 shades of red because I completely forgot about things in that suitcase…ahem…unmentionables and my bathroom bags were flying around and getting stuffed in a bag by a complete stranger.  I thought men were shy here?  Apparently not everyone.  His intentions were good trying to save me money and at this point I didn’t care what he saw, I was on the same mission he was.  Then I thought, wow, this is India.  I thanked him, paid him some Rupees and I was off like the wind to security.  Yes you guessed it, another line up of ladies and gents and I watched my water bottle sail on through to the other side.  My goodness, this is India!

Being a female foreigner solo traveler, I have many strikes against me as far as being a target or having several people gazing at me and I mean long gazing.  I just carry on and do my thing 😀

After arriving in Dehra Dun it was dark outside and I had a driver waiting for me from the retreat.  It was another 1.5 hour drive to get there and the roads were twisty, unguarded and full of fallen rocks.  Monkeys also lined the roads and they were just hanging out watching the cars go by, honking their horns of course.

The staff at The Sattva were very welcoming and offered me supper right away in my room with some Masala Chai.  Yum!  The temperature was cooler, at night it was +3 C and in the day around +16 C.  After going to bed early and having a great sleep, I woke up in the morning and opened the curtains to see my view.  I thought I was in paradise and I suddenly felt very peaceful.

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The package I took was called The Rasa and it included yoga and meditation each day, 3 vegetarian meals per day, 2 spa treatments per day every day (that’s right) and many other perks.  I really enjoyed the yoga and Ayurvedic treatments which consisted of full body massage and scrub, hot oil local treatments, hot oil hair treatments, head massage and foot massage.  After every treatment I would lay in the steam room and then take a shower after.  This is definitely India.

I wrote in my diary that is pictured at the beginning which was a gift from my dad for Christmas.  Each day I have been keeping track of my goings on as well as my thoughts and feelings.  This was a great place to let the stress go away and never return again.  I was completely on my own during this time and I had the chance to reflect on what I want and what I don’t want in my life.  There’s a quote I wrote awhile back and lately I’ve been looking at it daily to help remind me how to be strong.

“Sometimes you have to give up on people.  Not because you don’t care but because they don’t.  A person’s actions will tell you everything you need to know.  Love yourself enough to say goodbye to those who don’t make time for you or know how to love you back.  Let go of what hurts, even if it hurts to let go.”  ~ Jennifer Juneau

Unfortunately, I received some sad news during this time and the mom of my very close blogging friend Bhavya became sick and needed to be in hospital.  This meant Bhavya had to fly home to her mom and be with her which was completely understandable.  Both of us were sad that we couldn’t meet because we had been texting daily about this visit for months.  I urged her to go and we would keep in contact which we did and still do.  Her nickname is chicwithmessybun and her blog site is called Pages From My Diary.  Please check her out she is such an amazing girl.  We will see each other soon honey bun, I miss you.  Xoxo

I was able to juggle things around with my flights and itinerary and I decided to go back to Bhubaneswar to see some temples that I didn’t have time to see before.  I told Darshith I was coming back and he was happy to hear that so we planned to meet again at some point during my second unexpected visit.

I felt completely rejuvenated and relaxed after being at The Sattva.  I met other single women who were guests there from USA, Italy, Peru and Mexico and we would usually see each other over breakfast outside by the pool.  The staff were so helpful and respectful because they would allow you to roam around on your own schedule and just connect with nature again.  I read my book Brida quite a bit and did some journaling to clear my mind.  I was so happy I had this added in the middle of my trip because it was exactly what I needed for my mind, body and soul.  Here is a picture of my yoga instructor who had the nicest voice and was really great in teaching me new yoga moves.  The other picture is the adorable spa girl who did all my treatments and put me in a trans.  She has the best fingers and hands in the entire world and I am forever grateful to her.  I highly recommend this beautiful spot if you get the chance to go.

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Time to endure another adventurous rocky road drive back to the airport with my excess baggage, water bottle and peace of mind.

Stay tuned for part 4 out of 6….coming soon….

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

Hallelujah

I love this song and this video and just felt like sharing it with all of you.  The beautiful Canadian Tenors perform the legendary Leonard Cohen version of Hallelujah on the Oprah Show.  Another beautiful Canadian surprise, Celine Dion pops up during their performance and makes their dreams come true, it’s so cute you have to see it!

This song makes your heart want to cry and smile all at the same time because it’s about the hardships of love.  The movie Shrek used this song when Ogre experienced what it was like to feel brokenhearted over his Princess Fiona and both parents and kids around the world witnessed these emotions.

I thought about this song during different times of my life and I’ve used it when something new begins because it brings joy and you can’t help but say Hallelujah!  On the other hand, when something ends and its been a long road, the stress of having it over also makes you want to say Hallelujah!  Therefore all Hallelujah’s have equal value and for me, this song represents peace, either way.

I hope you can take 5:14 minutes today and enjoy listening and feeling the emotion in this piece while relating to your own life and your own Hallelujah’s.  Have a great day!  ❤

Love Always,

Jen
xo

Surfing Anyone…??

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Jon Kabat-Zinn founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Boston, Mass. teaches the use of mindfulness meditation as a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, and pain.  He has also published many books and audio recordings on mindfulness, one of my personal favorites being “Full Catastrophe Living”

The reason I am writing this blog is because I love his quote in the above photo and wanted to share it with you.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Life is like the ocean it’s big, calm, rough at times, warm, cold and sometimes blue.  Let’s face it we’ve had our fair share of waves and situations come crashing down on us whether we expected them or not.  However, in those exact moments we have two choices.  Run or surf.

If you choose to run, the waves won’t stop they will actually follow you and maybe pull you under.  You may think you’re doing the right thing but it won’t last for very long.  The running goes on and on and you become more exhausted, depleted, and scared, you feel as though you can’t catch your breath.  Those waves just keep on comin’.

If you choose to surf, then the world is your oyster.  Now you have the ability to face the waves with an amazing attitude and a new added skill.  When you surf, you are living in the moment and you are in control of yourself, not the waves.  You feel on top of the world and it’s easier to go with the flow than against it.  You take the waves in stride and what felt scary at first is now something exciting.  You understand the rhythm of the ocean and can time the big waves that may catch you off guard.  Don’t be afraid just get back on your surf board and try again.  You feel so brave and proud of how you are handling things and you should be!  People on the shoreline are looking at you wishing they could surf like you do and you know it.  This makes you smile from within and even gives you peace while riding that wave.

So who are you, a runner or a surfer?  I’m a surfer girl. 🙂

Much Love,

Jen
xo

Smile In Your Liver

“Smile in your liver” ~ Ketut Leyir
From the movie Eat Pray Love ~ by Elizabeth Gilbert

I saw the movie Eat Pray Love when it first came out in 2010 and I thought it was interesting and great.  At the time I was more obsessed with the travel destinations of Italy, India and Indonesia in the movie and the basic story line of how a woman left an unhappy marriage and started over.  Having watched this movie again years later with some changes in my own life made me pay very close attention to Julia Roberts’ role and I was listening to the words of precious Ketut like he was sitting in my living room talking to me.  He is so amazing, I wish I had my own medicine man.  For the record, I am still obsessed with the travel destinations…

“You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clear away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver.”

Before we try and understand what adorable Ketut is trying to say, let’s review the roles of our liver first and try to understand the meaning behind his quote; “Smile in your liver.”

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines.  The liver also has the ability to regenerate itself if injured or surgically excised.  It is located on the upper right side of your body.

Maybe what Ketut is really saying is smiling in your liver essentially means going deep within yourself to be happy from the inside out.  Smiling in your liver filters the negativity coming from your gut feelings and prevents these negative feelings from passing throughout the body.  A smile has the ability to dissolve anger and resentment and metabolizes negative emotions while assisting in the decision making process.  A smile is also known for removing blockages so that one can forgive, accept and feel kindness flowing.  As it does so, a smile triggers endorphin production the “feel good” hormones that end up back in your belly making you feel at peace.  Your mind is calm and the smile you wear on your beautiful face is radiant; just like your liver.  If your smile is lost or cut off by someone or something, it is not lost forever and can be transformed again.  A smile is always right.

You could say it’s about striking a balance in your life and maintaining your personal power.  Yoga and meditation can help to slow down the monkey mind and when combined with deep breathing and smiling, your body feels more energized and peaceful.  I am currently on this learning journey and yoga is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my smiling liver.  Life gets pretty busy and crazy sometimes and we run to keep up with it.

But is that the right thing we should be doing?

Should we pick up the pace a little bit and run even faster?

I don’t think so.

Personally, when life gets that overwhelmingly crazy, the best thing we can do is the opposite – slow down.  Seems counterintuitive, right?  Well here’s the thing.  Not only does slowing down allow us to catch our breath, we can begin to see clearly and we can feel what our body is telling us ie: our gut feelings.  Gut feelings never lie and we should pay more attention to them because often times they can guide us in the direction that is most right for us or even re-direct us away from something that is harmful to us.  You become more mindful of what you really need.  If you don’t slow down and keep running that monkey mind marathon, you will never be able to hear what your life is trying to tell you, or get your attention to pay attention.  Stay grounded, slow down and silence your mind because you either control your mind or it controls you.  It’s that simple and your liver will thank you for it by smiling deep within yourself.  Now I just need to decide when I am going on my next trip!

SMILE IN YOUR LIVER!  🙂 

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Much Love,

Jennifer

Light A Candle Instead Of Cursing The Darkness

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We are all victims of circumstance but we have a choice of remaining in victim mode or stepping out of it and living our life.  Sometimes we can see trouble coming and other times it catches us right off guard sending us into a downward spiral but either way, we need to decide if we want to be happy or not.  Initially, it’s natural to feel great disappointment, hurt and grief but it’s not healthy to live there permanently.

Things happen, I’ve seen trouble coming and it has also knocked me off my feet, leaving my head swirling and my heart broken.  However, I cannot and will not let that define me.  When I read this quote, it was like I heard music and corks popping out of champagne bottles!

 To me, darkness represents being deeply disappointed, the hard times, handling tough emotions, the struggle, the pain and even change.  Everyone defines it differently depending on what they’re going through.  When you think about it, if you try to navigate through the dark without any light, it’s very difficult to see where you’re going or what is right in front of you.  You might bump into things, trip over something or even worse, stub your toe which only causes more pain.  The other thing about darkness is that it seems to hide us well.  Maybe people like the dark for that reason alone.  They don’t want any help so they don’t want to be seen.  The question comes when that same person endlessly criticizes or complains about their situation but doesn’t do anything to make it better; cursing the darkness.  Or maybe they just want to be found by someone, be seen, heard and understood.   After all, we all crave connection.

The simple act of shedding some light on the subject can change the entire space where darkness lives.  You can see what and who is around you, what is ahead of you and that feeling of being on edge is less.  It’s a more comforting, positive response, a new perspective.  Igniting a spark inside you is an action step in moving forward because you are no longer thinking about making it better or wishing for it, you are making the effort and doing it.  Lighting a candle could mean reading positive daily affirmations, finding activities that bring you joy and doing them as much as possible, practicing gratitude even in the dark moment, trying to find the hidden life lesson inside your situation or reaching out to your support system to help you and accepting their help.  It can also mean stop denying and start feeling the pain because the only way out of it is through it.  When you decide to do this, your mind shifts from controlling to allowing and your body shifts from stress to peace.  It doesn’t magically disappear but it certainly becomes more manageable.  Having an open mind and an open heart changes a negative into a positive with an intention to do so.  Darkness is a wonderful teacher that helps us grow through personal development because without darkness there can’t be light.

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All of our life’s tragedies big or small have their time and space for darkness.  Just keep in mind that at some point, you will need to turn on a light to be able to see clearly instead of wishing it wasn’t so dark.  It’s time to live in the joy zone.

Much love,

Jennifer Juneau

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