Project Self: Self-Love

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How many of us think self-love is selfish?  It’s a common misconception, and you’re not alone.  There are two ways to love yourself, one being in a toxic, narcissistic way where you don’t have any regard or empathy for others, which disconnects you from others and is not recommended.  The second is a nurturing, protective way of loving yourself that genuinely connects you with others.

While I was navigating a life crisis, my divorce, I suddenly found myself under the microscope.  I realized it was time to accept my imperfections, define my needs in a timely manner and reintroduce myself, to myself.  It’s during times of rumbling and wrestling with our story that turns on the bravery switch inside ourselves.  Instead of running and hiding, it took courage to stay, understand and learn from it, and since I was under the microscope, I had to examine myself.  To know yourself you need to spend time with yourself on the good and bad days.  Own it.  All of it.

That’s when the game changed for me.

All these tasks were not easy to do but needed to be done to be able to live my best life.

Imagine…

The best way I could achieve this was to start loving myself unconditionally in a caring, and kind way that protected me.  I had to realize I was enough and not worry about what other people thought.  To find my own happiness and stop pleasing others.

The first step was to stop beating myself up and start talking to my younger self, the child inside that was hurting and scared.  I used loving words instead of critical ones.  Self-compassion is a form of self-love because as soon as you start talking to yourself like you would with a good friend, and realize we are all human and make mistakes, then you can begin to relax, and get to know yourself for who you are, your values, and love yourself for it.

The second step was to define a need from a want.  For example, we all need food, water, clothing, and shelter.  These are requirements to live day to day.  A want is something that is extra, desired, not necessary but nice.  That list is extremely long for all of us.  When looking at our needs from a self-love perspective, what do you need to love yourself?  Boundaries are a good place to start, followed by self-compassion, and good self-care.  Owning your story instead of blaming others is also essential.

People treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves.  So if we don’t set boundaries with ourselves, then other people will think it’s ok to walk all over us.  The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you are going to tolerate.  This is also a form of self-respect which is another upcoming blog in this series.

It’s common to love many things outside ourselves like different foods, movies, cars, homes, careers, and more, but as soon as you hold up a mirror, what do you feel?  Disgust, fear, shame, guilt?  Or do you feel proud, grateful, accepting and happy?  Are you at the top of your love list, somewhere in the middle or didn’t realize you even had a spot on this list?

What do you practice? Fear or self-love?  Do you ask, “What will people think?”  or say “I am enough.”

What would it take for you to love yourself more?  Try to think of 3 ways you can practice more self-love in your own life.

Ways I found self-love:

*Rebuilding relationships workshop with Diane Valiquette.  This is one of the best workshops I’ve ever taken where she says the most rewarding and powerful relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.  It also sets the tone for all your future relationships with others.  That is the truth!

*Writing, reading books, exercising, eating well, listening to music, mindfulness, accepting my imperfections, self-forgiveness, spending quality time with friends and family and asking for help.

I’ve learned it’s best to ask for what you need instead of hoping someone will notice.  You are in charge of your own life and if you don’t speak up, then nobody will know what you’re thinking and you are to blame for not saying anything.  Plain and simple.  By asking for what you need means you love yourself enough to fill those needs.  If you are still not getting your needs met, after trying everything, that’s when you can walk away and say “This doesn’t work for me anymore.”  This in itself is an act of self-love.  Of course, it’s not easy because relationships aren’t easy, but your peace and happiness are worth it, therefore, take the time to practice self-love.  The more you love yourself, the less fear you will feel.

Since this re-introduction to myself, I am no longer the same person I was before, which is a good thing.  I am stronger and more courageous than ever, aware of my needs, and aware of what I can and will not tolerate in my life.  Self-love is an ongoing process and I am committed to it each and every day because it’s at the top of my list.

What about you? ❤

**Note to self:  “Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there”  ~ Rumi

 

Much Love and Self-Love ❤

Jen
XO

***I hope you are enjoying the “Project-Self” blog series so far.  Stay tuned for more…

***All my gratitude to everyone who bought, borrowed, read, reviewed, liked, and shared my book with others.  The feeling of joy is bursting out of me each day!  Pick up your copy of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” at online bookstores worldwide or at the FriesenPress online bookstore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 ❤

 

 

 

 

Practicing Self-Care…Like A Rockstar

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can practice more self-care while I continue to heal and learn from my divorce.   I don’t know about you, but when you find yourself on your own, the only person who can take care of you is you.  Self-care is not an option, a luxury, or some “woo-woo” thing.  It’s the real deal and necessary if you want to survive.  Self-care is for everyone who is living, breathing, and has a pulse; so yes, that means you.

It doesn’t mean spending a lot of money but instead, it’s about paying attention to your needs and what makes you feel good by putting yourself first.  This is not a selfish act, because if you plan on taking care of others such as your kids or loved ones, you need to take care of yourself first because it’s just like the oxygen mask theory on the plane.  When you have what you need, you have something to give.  Just as you recharge your iPhone, you need to recharge your life.

Take a time out for yourself.

Let go of the “disease to please” others.  Sometimes you need a wall, not a door or a bridge.  We need to get comfortable with disappointing others for our own health and well-being, knowing and expressing what works and doesn’t work for us. That’s self-respect and possibly another blog.

This blog a collective group effort to share thoughts, ideas, and ways that other people practice self-care so we can all learn from one another.  The response has been outstanding and fun by amazing men and women in all walks of life.  It’s an honor to write this blog, no names are mentioned except one who offered and is happy to do so.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who participated and contributed, I am eternally grateful and inspired!

So grab a snack, drink, and blanket, and curl up somewhere comfy because this blog will give you something to ponder for awhile.  Let’s see what these rockstars said in their own words about what self-care means to them!!

“Self-care for me is this very struggle I have at 7:28 am right now. How it takes me to scroll through social media to leave the bed and get going for the day. Somedays are like that. Somedays, it’s easier. I decide to wake up go for a run, shower, cook my breakfast and work is set in motion. Self-care is unfollowing that particular person who no longer provides any constructive drama to my life, who may be negative in a way. Self-care would be not always obliging to everyone’s notions and once in a while say fuck it and do what I need to do. Self-care would be sleeping until I am tired of sleeping, watching Netflix until the series gets over, giving in to 2 am burger cravings. Sometimes it’s heart over mind, sometimes mind over heart. Whatever helps me get through the day, frowning or laughing”

“I believe in taking days off every now and then to recharge and reset. If you do a repetitive job you have a greater chance of burnout. A three-day weekend can help”

“Making myself important”

“Taking a nice walk, with or without my little dog”

“The healing power of listening, making, and moving to music…3 part series”

“For me, self-care is all the little things we do on a daily basis to take care of us, the body, mind, and soul. As simple as brushing our teeth, taking a shower, drinking water, eating the right food and having a laugh”

“Self-care to me is when I purposefully check out mentally, remove all of the «titles» that define me on a daily basis (mom, wife, manager, sister, daughter, etc.) and do something that will make ME happy in that specific moment. It is when I am just me, in my essence, and listen to my needs”

“Being at one with nature. Walking the dog, biking, paddleboarding, just about anything outside that doesn’t include a phone or computer”

“By going to LIME”

“Going to read at the British café, drinking tea, going for walks and doing home spa nights. All things I do alone”

“Working a four day week, exercise, taking walks, eating well! I think we do a better job as we get older and come to terms with what things we should embrace and those to avoid. Also having school-aged children frees up some time I didn’t have before!”

“Long baths. Playing with my dog. Singing at the top of my lungs and dancing around the house”

“Surrounding myself with positive supportive people and monthly massage!”

“Reading an inspirational book by a certain local author:)”

“Love to sing at the top of my lungs in my car when alone. Lying in bed doing some breathing exercises. Play with my doggy”

“I do three things…..Xbox (fabulous escape from reality), needle felt and walk”

“Self-care for me is body, mind, and soul. Meditation is my biggest self-care go to! I am a certified crystal and energy healer so I tend to work with Crystal’s a lot”

“Hot tub + wine + a good book, gardening, walking my dog, long phone calls with my mom, and anything that gets me laughing. Oh! And kayaking!”

“Yoga, dragon boat, weight training, massages, pedicures”

“While I try to actually do something that sounds more cool or effortful, sometimes my self-care is simply snuggling up to watch a few episodes of my tv shows with a drink in-hand –> without the risk of being disturbed. I never skip that one”

“Learning new dance styles ( Right now learning Kizomba ) to exercise the brain. I go for an acupuncture session and a massage once a month. I try to make better choices for my diet as I am getting older. All of this is important to my self-care!”

“Some days it’s simply eating nourishing food and getting 8 hours of sleep. If I’m particularly stressed it involves things like yoga, meditation, deep breathing. Self-care means whatever I need at that moment to support my mind, body, and soul”

“Naps. Beach. Boundaries (in all areas of my life). Positive Affirmations. Netflix and chill”

“I’m really bad at it. But getting better. I have started running with a group of ladies who have never run before. Its great all starting at the begging together. Plus there is the talking afterward. I also do Zumba. My personal favorite though is I invite friends over once the kids are in bed and drink wine and chat. I am a social butterfly. If I don’t talk I go crazy!”

“Self-care for me is doing more things that I want to do, things that interest me, inspire me. Its also being more aware of my inner critical voice so that I am kinder to myself”

“Time for yoga and meditation rewires the brain and produces dopamine naturally – the feel-good hormone”

“Self-care for me is taking the time to meditate, spend time in nature or have a salt bath”

“I say “no”… a lot. I have learned that knowing my limits, and not over-committing is the best thing I can do for me. Also, massage & chiro. If my body isn’t functioning, it makes everything more difficult physically, emotionally and mentally”

“To me self-care is … Tuning out the “noise” and tuning into my divinity and creativity through meditative practice. This has many forms, including meditation, being in nature, yoga, and art”

“Combination of Reiki, nature, coffee shop chats and doing something creative”

“Mindfulness taught by the heart institute, a hot coffee, good book quiet time in my crappy garden, jack pine trail to feed the chickadees, and biggest (and toughest of all) saying no. Just no.”

“Participating in spiritual development through meditation, prayer, volunteering, being in nature, practicing yoga etc”

“Kickboxing, BJJ, tea and a good book”

“Yoga, pick up soccer and receiving craniosacral therapy!”

“Yoga once a week, biking a few times a week, reading, going for a daily walk and having a personal training”

“I run. It’s moving meditation for me”

“So happy you asked this. I need to do more of this. I go for a walk near the river or walk my dog”

“Volunteering. Putting others needs ahead of my own helps to center me”

“Giving attention and love to womb. Connecting to sexual energy and vitalizing body with tantric breathing techniques”

“So many things! I absolutely love what I do for a living, I work out 5 days a week, I meet up with people I adore for lunch often, I spend time with my teens, I volunteer my time and donate back into organizations I believe in, I do things that make me feel good! I feel very lucky to be at the place I am today!”

“Yoga, Saltastic, and sleep”

“Sunscreen – for my future self”

“Read. Garden. Lunch with Friends”

“ I do things that make me happy. Take time for exercise, go to the spa, indulge in my favorite food, sleep, take time for me, spend time with friends, spend time with my dog, cry (releases feel-good hormones and actually makes you feel better!). Basically, I do me”

“5 min facial & 10 min pedicure at home. Perfect for the busy momma’s”

“Hula hooping to my favorite tunes!  As a busy mama & entrepreneur, I love knowing that I can easily grab my hoop any time. Even as little as 5 min in my hoop can completely shift my energy & my headspace. It takes me out of my head, raises my vibrations, releases tension, relaxes muscles, lifts my heart… I feel like a new woman after being in my flow for a bit!”

“ I bought an infrared sauna for my house, why – because I’m worth it to have time to recharge myself through reading or music, or just enjoying the sweat”

“Taking quiet time to connect with my heart – last night that meant sitting in my little urban garden with chai tea taking in the scents of the flowers and the lush beauty of all things green”

“Gardening. Short story..Once upon a time, I told my children gardening was soothing to my soul. They were both very young, grade 1 or grade 2. One morning I was driving them to school, backed out of the driveway, and just stopped in front of the house and said to them “oh look at the garden”.  My daughter, who is 4 years younger than her older brother, said “What’s the big deal about the garden mom?”, and my son turned to her, and said: “Emerald, you know it is soothing to her soul”  Heart melt.”

“Daily morning meditation, practice and teach yoga, writing, listening and chanting my favorite mantras”

“Face masks, saying no and journaling”

“Morning run and exercise, good nutrition, regular sex, meeting with friends, weekly massage and acupuncture, Epsom salt baths. I live with chronic anxiety and depression. I’m am very aware of this and self-heal. I thank the people around me for keeping my mental health in check”

“I bake and share the reapings of it. I read my Bible and pray. I take my meds. I have friends”

“By taking one hour for myself when I wake up to follow this routine: 10 minutes of meditation; 10 minutes of reading; 10 minutes of visualization; 10 minutes of reciting positive affirmations; 10 minutes of exercise; and ten minutes of journaling. To me, self-care is about always meeting yourself at the level of consciousness at which you want other people to meet you.  It’s about not being afraid to set boundaries with others and treating yourself like a queen”

“I am now addicted to taking time for myself when I wake up. No one can rush me and my family knows and respects my Queendom”

“I find time to relax and treat myself – foot/hand spa with shellac pedicure/ manicure, bubble bath in bathtub with relaxing music, eat my favourite food, relax watch movies at home eating ice cream, popcorn and others while watching with your loved ones then take a nap Wow, nice life without any kids with me just me and my darling”

“I’ve learned to enjoy the little things each day. Like for instance I’m currently exhausted and have a ton of house/pets/business work to do today but I’m laying down writing this while my pet bird is semi-sleeping beside me giving me kisses. I prioritize sleep and I make sure every day I am contributing to some hobby of mine I enjoy to do like crafting, painting, hiking, knitting, writing”

“Swimming laps or calling a friend”

“Sipping wine in my high heels.  It feels great and you look good too!”

“Reiki, QiGong, strength training, lots of time in nature, dancing, bodywork, prayer, journaling, blogging, self-inquiry, therapy, keeping old friends across time and space, learning from teachers that I admire, doing Shadow work, and doing work that matters to me”

“Knitting can be so relaxing”

“Investing in myself; being more self-aware of my needs and how I can reach goals with a soul and be happy on my own”

“Walking away from relationships that are a one-way street.  Nobody deserves to be disrespected.  Allow yourself to heal, take a break from dating and date yourself instead”

“Watching Super Soul Sunday makes me feel inspired every week”

“By helping others who are in need”

“Nurturing friendships, spending time with my kids doing something fun and crazy like ziplining”

“Eliminating negativity from my life for my own mental and emotional health”

“Solo travel, or travel of any sort.  It fills my soul and I need this”

“For me, it’s taking time with people that are important to me that makes me feel good”

“Knowing when it’s time to walk away from a job/relationship for your own health and well-being. Hire a life coach and make the switch. I’m worth it”

“Meditation. Yoga. Exercise. Sleep”

“Knitting, sewing, aquafit, yoga, guitar playing, painting, gardening, walking”

“Walking somewhere new in nature and taking photos of everything beautiful”

“Writing, Zumba, PiYo and Salsa Dancing”

“Playing the drums, listening to music, playing football outside with my friends”

“Listening to music, playing video games and sports, spending time with friends”

“Self-care is made of the two most basic and simple words but the implementation of it is not that simple or that basic.  I say this because no one teaches us this.  No one tells us that we have to take care of ourselves first.  We’re always asked and expected to care for others and put others before us.  This distracts us from the fact that we gotta take care of ourselves first to take care of others.  So, we learn this simple thing the hard way and the tough way, by seeing ourselves injured and hurt mentally over and over again, till it struck us.  And then once we know this simple rule of self-care, we become a matured and wise person with each passing day.  We take decisions with confidence and are ready to face difficulties and tell NO when we don’t feel like saying YES for the sake of others. This is the change in our thinking and this is the change which we as a society needs; to make everyone feel at home with themselves.”  ~Darshith Badiyani, Bangalore, India, age 27

After reading so many loving thoughts and ideas, I hope you feel inspired to practice self-care…like a rockstar.  It just goes to show there are several ways of doing one thing, we just need to look within and make time for ourselves because we count too.  Many thanks again to everyone who contributed, you are all AWESOME!

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen
XO

 

PS:  If you are new here and would like to follow my blog, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner, enter your email and every time I post, the blogs will show up in your inbox so you can read it!  Welcome aboard!

My book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress online bookstore.

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

Happy First Birthday WWL!

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Happy 1st Birthday to Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak!!!

😀 😀 😀

Well, here we are, exactly one year later after my book release and I am SO amazed at the positive response!!  Each day teaches me the power of words, the power of positivity, the power of friends and family, the power of love and courage, the power of resilience and determination, the power of empowerment, the power of moving forward; even if you are crawling you are still moving.  The power of taking action, the power of reframing your situation so that it serves you, the power of self-awareness, self-care, self-respect, self-love, self-compassion, and ultimately, the power of forgiveness which is the toughest lesson of all, but I am living proof it can begin with the right attitude.

Judging others, blaming or being a victim is the easy way out and keeps you stuck. Taking responsibility for your own life is why we are all here and sets you free.  It’s been a process of lessons learned and to this day I am learning even more while making mistakes but this means I am evolving as a person and I am extremely grateful for the amazing friends I have.  My kids have seen me through thick and thin and I could have never done this without you guys, I love you from the bottom of my heart ❤  All my gratitude to you both!!

Today is giveaway day and I’ll be contacting 2 lucky winners with love and gratitude ❤ Thank you to everyone for all your huge support, and never forget…

~ Dare to live courageously…

Love Always ❤

Jen
XO

** Copies are available for purchase at all online bookstores worldwide and at the FriesenPress Bookstore.  Thank you 🙂

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

 

Nursing (A to Z Challenge)

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“Put your oxygen mask on first, caring for others requires taking care of yourself first”  ~ Jennifer Juneau, RN

It’s hard to believe it but I’ve been a nurse for 100 years!  Or at least it feels like it some days.

One of the reasons I wanted to become a nurse was because I care about people and I highly value compassion.  In the real world of nursing, time is a big factor in being able to give the proper amount to patients and I had to adjust to minimal time.  I also had to adjust to minimal bathroom breaks and skipping or scarfing down my lunch in 10 minutes flat.  Then it was my pager going off at all hours for emergencies and to this day that beep scares me 😛  Years later, I discovered the maximum benefits of having a massage and pedicure for my tired body and feet.

Florence Nightingale would be proud of me and my cold hands, warm heart 😉

Speaking from experience, nurses are not very good at taking care of themselves because they are too busy taking care of everyone else.  This is a true fault ask any nurse but I’ve learned my lesson and now I practice self-care.  Nurses are also the worst patients, ask any nurse or doctor for that matter.  I’ve been on the other side of that intravenous needle and let me tell you, it’s no party but I can empathize with my patients more because of it.

I’ve worked in three different specialties which have been very rewarding; the Operating room, Fertility In vitro fertilization and Women’s health.  Each area has its ups and downs just like life and I think being a nurse has made me who I am today.  I care deeply about people and nursing has allowed me to connect with them on so many different levels because nurses spend the most time with patients one on one.  I’ve sat with patients who cried then I went home and cried; after all, we’re human too.  Nursing is a great profession because we can promote and teach about health, prevent and treat disease and help people cope with illness and surgery.  It is an exciting high tech world with the equipment we use and sometimes we even show the doctors how to use it.  Those are fun but rare moments.  Patients are the best because they often give nurses hugs and even chocolate.  I love both so they always put a smile on my face 😀

I’m grateful for my nursing profession it’s been quite a journey so far.  I’m also grateful for all the patients, fellow nurses, doctors, managers, secretaries, cleaning staff and co-workers I’ve met along the way.  You are all amazing people!

Do you have any stories about nurses?  Be nice….

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

How To Say “No” With Grace and Love

Creating-Healthy-Boundaries

For many women and some men, just the thought of having to say “no” to someone or set a boundary can create the sweaty palms, a racing heart and feelings of shame.

I recently attended an event that a friend of mine created and I was honoured to be one of her guest speakers.  My topic was centered on how to take care of yourself while taking care of your business.  We always take care of our clients and colleagues only to find out later that we forgot to take care of ourselves along the way too.  Why do we do that?  Maybe we were just brought up that way, we don’t want to disappoint others because we know how bad it feels, or is it because we don’t have the right words to let someone down with grace and love?  On the other hand, is taking care of yourself before taking care of others a selfish act?  One thing I do know is that I’ve been there and I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I am a helping professional on two levels, a life coach and a nurse.  Saying “no” is usually not part of my vocabulary but over the years, I realized it can be and asking for help is a sign of strength, contrary to popular belief.  If you ignore your boundaries, you are headed for burnout.

In order to have a more well-balanced life, something’s gotta give.  Where do we draw that blurred line?  A great place to start is with the oxygen mask theory by putting your own oxygen mask on first because caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.  You can only give the oxygen in your tank so you must monitor it at all times so you have enough to give to others. It is about creating a healthy boundary for you.

Cheryl Richardson, a guest on the Oprah Show and author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care says “when we all care deeply for ourselves we naturally begin to care for others, our work, friends and family in a healthier, more effective way.  We tell the truth.  We make choices from love instead of guilt and obligation.”  My favourite chapter in her book is called “Let Me Disappoint You” which is about mastering the art of disappointing people, learning ways on how to manage their disappointment by not taking it personally and by setting some boundaries by saying “no” out of respect for ourselves.  Clearly, there will be times in your life where a “no” is inappropriate but when you have a real choice, consider your options before jumping in and saying “yes!”

So how do we end the madness?

*Buy some time…when someone asks a request of you take your time to give your response.  You could even say “I need to check with someone before I commit” (even if that someone is you).  Prepare the other person that you might not be able to commit upfront so they can consider other options if needed.

*Absolute yes or no…is this request something you absolutely need to do or not do?  When you use the word absolute, it changes the importance and urgency of the request just a tad which can be helpful in making a decision.

*Tell the truth with grace and love.  You can say “I feel bad about letting you down but I need to, my plate is full.”  Don’t leave the door open when you need a lock.  There is no need to over explain which is what most of us tend to do because we feel guilty.

One of the hardest things to do is say “no” to someone you care about and having to manage their disappointment.  However, what’s even harder is saying “yes” to someone you care about when you really want to say “no” then having to manage your anger and resentment towards them long term.  Think about what drains you and what replenishes you.  After all, this is your life and you are in charge of it.  Remember, you are not responsible for everyone’s happiness or sadness for that matter.  You are most responsible for your own.

Take good care of yourself…and live an authentic, meaningful life.

Much Grace and Love,

Jennifer