Feel It To Heal It

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I used to take the back door of my mind to get inside myself
Logic and endless mind games used to play with me there
Some days I would win, other days I would lose
I always felt like something was missing, but what?

One day I realized I wasn’t walking the right way
So I tried the front door, through my heart instead
That’s where I felt all the emotions and where I really started to live
That’s where I learned so many life lessons, at the heart of being present

You can run but you can’t hide
That’s how the heart works so it can be healed
Embrace, forgive and love yourself so more doors can open in your life
Feel those emotions, all of them

Of course, it will be painful;
But would you rather have short-term pain or long-term suffering?
Sadness is inevitable, but that’s what opens doors and knocks down walls
Better to be temporarily sad than numbing all emotions, good and bad
Bitterness and resentment only keeps people stuck and I wasn’t one of them

As I started to feel all my emotions
I started the grieving process
I felt my heart open wide and began the healing process from the inside out
My mind calmed down and I let my heart take over, trusting this process

I lost count of how many times I fell down
But what I can tell you is that I got back up every single time
Yes it was hard and I have scars to prove it but that didn’t stop me
My focus was on feeling better and to do this was through personal growth and development
Not through avoidance or distraction
For the record, I still fall down these days because I am still learning and that’s ok

With an open door policy and smaller walls to climb
I allowed my support system into my heart
Some days they took over when I couldn’t do it for myself
Gratitude is a small word for such a huge act of love
Each stage of grief was a wild emotional roller coaster ride, but a necessary one

Three years later, I am a new woman
I am not the same person who used to take the back door through my mind
Now I choose to open the front door of my heart with ownership, responsibility, and happiness
All this because I found the courage and chose to feel it to heal it ❤

You can too…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

 

**P.S:  All my gratitude to everyone who has read or is reading my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” It warms my heart to hear such wonderful feedback, especially when it helps another person who is going through any loss.  We are all connected and you’re not alone.  To pick up a copy of your own, please visit your favorite online bookstore worldwide or my publisher’s website FriesenPress for several available versions.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone ❤

XO

 

 

 

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Waking Up Without Ever Having Gone To Sleep

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Self-help and personal growth and development are one of the most popular genres of books, music, videos, and movies these days and people are searching for inspiration in everything because they live with a feeling that something is missing in their life.  I know I’ve had my fair share of days where I don’t feel aligned with who I really am and there was a time when I wasn’t living my most authentic life either.  When you suppress the real you and live for somebody else, essentially it is a betrayal of yourself and that really hurts.

We often hear the phrase “live an authentic life.”  What does that really mean?  How do you know you are living an authentic life and how do you know if you’re not?  The best place to start is by defining your core values.  What makes you who you are?  If you were to describe yourself in 10 words, what would they be?  These are your values, they come from your heart and they drive your behavior.  On the other hand, a belief is something with the word “because” in it, such as “I believe ____ because _______ .”  These are not who you truly are because they are usually imposed on you from somebody else like a parent, teacher, or society which can end up being self-limiting and disempowering.  Values are never self-limiting, they expand and empower you.

For example, let’s say you value creativity because you are into music, writing, painting or whatever the case may be.  You might be a high profile professional and feel like something is missing in your life and you’re right, there is.  It’s your authentic self that’s being suppressed because the outside world might be screaming “don’t do that, it’s a waste of time, put your efforts into your work/family instead.”  It might even be your gremlin inside your own mind saying “who do you think you are, pursuing something like this?”

Sound familiar?  Yep.  Been there done that.

To live an authentic life we need to learn more about ourselves by spending time alone and asking some tough questions that we need to know the answer to.  If we don’t ask, we’ll never know, right?  Living authentically is in constant motion which means it’s always shifting and evolving so you can find what’s real and then have the courage to live that way, despite all the judgments and criticism.  Every time you look within yourself, a little more authenticity is revealed and your challenge is to find your power in a disempowering environment.  Nobody said it would be easy but what’s even harder is ignoring your authentic self for the rest of your life.  We need to let go of the fears of what other people might think of us if we decide to show our authenticity and instead we can choose to love ourselves unconditionally.

Fear always feels bad, insists on certainty and needs everything whereas love always feels good, accepts uncertainty and needs nothing.  The more we can live with an open mind and open heart on a daily basis, the more authentic our lives will be.

The beauty of living authentically is the waking up without ever having gone to sleep.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

Your “Absolute No” List

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To Do Lists/Honey Do Lists – You know the ones, they’re a mile long and related to things needing to be done around the house by you or your honey.  These lists remind us of what needs our attention and as you cross something off, you should try to resist adding something in its place otherwise the list never goes down in size and you don’t feel a sense of accomplishment; you feel drained.  On the other hand, To Do Lists can be something you look forward to doing in the future with someone 😀

Goals I want to achieve lists – Run a marathon, lose 10 pounds, get a promotion, etc.  These lists can be great motivators and are good to have around where you can see them.  Think of action steps when you see these goals because it’s one thing to know what you want to achieve and it’s another thing to actually do it.

Things I want to buy list – This list ranges from anything practical to anything frivolous.  Sometimes all you need is a new mattress for your bed and other times you want a new car.  It’s good to dream but stay within your means and don’t go over budget.  You may go one step further and ask yourself “Is this a need or a want?”  By answering this question it can either make you run to the cash to pay for it or walk away.

Absolute Yes List – What are the things you absolutely must have in your life?  What inspires you?  Think about your top priorities in the areas of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual sides of your life.  Also, look at relationships, work, children, family, leisure activities, community service, and so on.  List as many as possible and circle your top 10.  Keep that list visible and close by so you can see it each day as a reminder.

 

***FLIP***

 

The above lists are the most common ones we see and hear people talking about whereas the following lists below are rarely considered and it’s time we do consider them because they can help prioritize what is important to you and give you some space and clarity in your life.

It’s all in the flip.

Stop Doing List – What can you seriously live without?  Maybe stop buying junk food every time you go to the grocery store.  Stop gossiping, stop dealing with difficult situations alone, stop reading books that don’t grab your attention, stop being a martyr and going to work when you’re sick.   Stop saying Yes when you want to say No.

Goals I have achieved so far list – What have you already accomplished?   This is a great motivator and reminder of accomplishing more if you want to.  You feel proud of yourself for having the perseverance and determination to do so.

Things I have and feel grateful for – As you reflect on the things you have in your life you realize you have more than you thought.  Being grateful gives a new perspective on life and how you can find gratitude each day.  By not only celebrating the big moments or achievements, you can be grateful for the little things like the sunny day you planned that picnic and it didn’t rain or be grateful you made it through that exercise class without fainting!  When you feel grateful you create joy from within and during the times when life is beating you up, this is the time when you need to practice gratitude the most.

Absolute No List – What activities do you no longer do or want to do, what/who drains you, which relationships do you need to remove, what frustrates you?  What will you no longer tolerate?  Pay attention to how you feel in your body such as tightness in your chest, butterflies in your stomach, or headaches.  For example, if you feel stress and resentment at every Christmas gathering because you’re the one always putting on the big spread, maybe it’s time to hand it over to someone else to do.

Here is a sneak peak of what’s on my “Absolute No” List:

I no longer…

Put myself last

Live with drama or accept it in my life

Watch the news, it’s too upsetting

Compromise my needs to keep peace with anyone

Stay quiet when I want to speak up

Buy things unless I need them

Invest time in relationships that are not aligned with who I am

 

It’s time we start living life and not rushing through it.  We need to use our time wisely by removing some things in our life rather than reorganizing and reshuffling it.  Removing gives more time and space and allows you to slow down.  Reclaim your life.

It’s time to put ourselves first and practice self-care techniques instead of keeping the peace at any cost and continuing the legacy of deprivation and resentment.   Self-care is not selfish, it’s essential.  When you are happy you radiate that to others and they feel it and when you are full of love and energy, you have that much more to give.

Your Challenge:  Complete these lists on your own and see where you stand and what is achievable in your own life.  By closely examining your absolute no list, it may be a real eye-opener for you but quantity is rarely better than quality and we all strive for a better quality of life.  It’s a wonderful way of getting to know yourself better and promoting some personal growth and development.

What’s on your “Absolute No” List?

 

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

 

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

The Gift of Forgiveness

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What is forgiveness?   It is making a deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you.  It takes a strong person to say “I’m sorry” and an even stronger person to forgive.  Forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees them from their own anger and deeply held negative feelings. It empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.  In essence, it’s about giving up the hope that the past could be any different and accept that something happened.

The opposite of forgiveness is revenge.  This negative emotion is never sweet and can literally tear you apart.  If you get revenge on the person who harmed you, they may no longer suffer depending on the revenge but either way, it will have a direct impact on your life where you will only suffer more.   Some people say the best revenge is just moving on and let karma do the rest.  What are your thoughts on that?

Confusion about forgiveness is when we think about forgiving someone who has harmed us, we believe we are saying to that person it’s okay what they did and we’re letting them off the hook or giving up our control. This isn’t true and it’s not about accepting bad behavior.  We might even see ourselves as a doormat.  When you forgive, you do not wear rose-colored glasses or deny the seriousness of what happened to you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.  Maybe some of you reading this blog have felt this way and I have to admit I did for a long time too.

Forgiveness comes in its own time and shouldn’t be rushed so if you are struggling with forgiveness then it’s not the right time and that’s okay.  When you do feel ready to forgive, try to recognize the causes that led that person to act as they did and this can help facilitate the process of forgiveness.  I am currently on my own journey of forgiveness and I understand how difficult it can be, you are not alone.

Why should we forgive?  Here are a few things I have discovered about forgiveness.

  • It makes us happier
  • Improves our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health
  • Sustains relationships worth saving
  • Self-esteem, confidence and self-worth return at a higher level
  • If we don’t transform our pain, we transmit it to those around us
  • When you forgive you don’t change the past, you change your future by rising above what happened. It’s life changing for the better
  • Sets you free from that person and their negativity, you take your power back

How do we forgive someone who has harmed us deeply?  This is where the rubber fails to hit the road.

  • Accept and process your anger even though it’s difficult, be patient
  • Acknowledge your revenge fantasies, they are just that
  • Forgive yourself it’s crucial to your healing
  • Try to see a common humanity between you and the person you are trying to forgive
  • See them with a compassionate eye. They’re only human just like you
  • Realize the cure for pain and suffering is where personal growth and development can arise. This is usually a time where you might see the silver lining in your situation
  • Forgetting about it and pretending it did not happen is not forgiveness

In the beginning, it’s really hard and it takes so much strength to forgive.  To change the world, we need to change our mind.  Hanging onto these negative emotions ends up hurting us in the end.  When you don’t forgive, you keep that wound open and you inflict more pain on yourself which isn’t healing for you at all.

Forgive them even if they aren’t sorry and even if you never get that apology.  I know…that’s a tough one.

When we struggle with being right or being happy, we are still struggling with forgiveness and that’s okay.  We need to discover how to get out of our own way and stop holding ourselves hostage because we end up blocking the flow of happiness in our life.  After all, on the other side of forgiveness is a personal freedom which is amazingly beautiful.

Forgiveness happens when we stop holding a grudge and let go of our right to resentment for being mistreated. It doesn’t mean we stop protecting ourselves but it does mean we let go of emotional retaliation which only hurts us in the long run. Carrying around revenge in your heart will only weigh you down in negativity. It takes more strength to be able to forgive but what you resist can persist and that is no way to go through life carrying around this unnecessary baggage. Say it for yourself and move on, you are actually giving yourself a gift of peace by doing this.

True forgiveness is a gift to ourselves, the other person doesn’t need to be present or even know we have forgiven them because forgiveness takes place in our minds and in our bodies.  We do it for ourselves so we can be at peace and live our best life, free from negativity.  By letting go of the past and surrendering to what is, you create the process of emptying your mind. The only way to stop the vicious cycle of reacting to pain by causing more pain is to step out of the system by taking a step back.

Most importantly, we need to allow our hearts fill with compassion and learn how to forgive ourselves.  This might be more difficult than forgiving another human being because we are so hard on ourselves.   Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  Your best teacher is your last mistake so it’s important to learn from it so it is not repeated in your life and then move on.  Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake.  Try and be self-compassionate.

Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.  Trust yourself and forgive them.

I wish you all the very best on your journey of giving yourself the gift of forgiveness.

“By owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.  And when we own the story, then we can write the ending.”  ~ Brené Brown

 Much Love,

Jennifer Juneau

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