Pain Becomes The Cure

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Evening summer walks are my favorite because things are quieter, calm, and the sun is less intense.  I feel HAPPY.

As I walk down the street, I see a house and the address is DENIAL.  I suddenly feel a pain in my chest and rehearse those words in my head again out of nowhere.  “This can’t be happening, don’t worry about it.”  I think of what I lost and keep walking.

As I turn the corner onto the next street, I see another house and the address is BARGAINING.  I suddenly feel a lump in my throat and remember how desperate I was trying to hold on and make a deal.  “If you can just tell me how I can fix this, then everything will be ok.”  The loss feels heavy but I keep walking.

As I reach the cul-de-sac, I see another house and the address is ANGER.  I suddenly feel trapped with a pit in my stomach and all I want to do is scream at the heavens above me.  “How could you do this to me?”  Strangely enough, I feel a burst of energy and start running up the street, passing BARGAINING and DENIAL.  I ask myself, “What is going on here?”  I’m sure I look crazy to some.

As I run to the next street over, I see a lake at the end and I am drawn towards it.  There’s a house on the corner and the address is DEPRESSION.  I suddenly feel waves of sadness come over me and the tears start flowing and flowing.  “It’s not easy, I feel so alone…I lost everything.”  The loss feels huge and I am exhausted.  Then for some reason, I turn around and walk down the same street passing the other houses in no particular order and they each have a strange way of haunting me.  I don’t understand why or what is happening but I somehow keep walking.

Years and miles go by up and down these streets, passing house after house, experiencing feeling after feeling.  Over time I discovered a new street I was avoiding all along and started walking that way.  I see a house that catches my eye and the address is ACCEPTANCE.  I finally feel peace and happiness just standing there looking at it.  I think to myself how long it took to find it after years of walking, running, feeling, and forgiving.

Take a breath…

This blog is dedicated to anyone and everyone who has lost someone or something in their life.  One thing I know for sure is that grieving is different for everyone.  The stories of loss might be different, the order and length of grieving stages might be different, but the emotions are the same and that’s how we are all connected.  Don’t compare your inside to someone’s outside because you’ll always lose.  You will heal when you are ready, you are not on a schedule, but you have to keep going and ask for help.  Triggers can still happen but the only way out is through because one minute you’re happy and the next minute you are grieving one or more of the stages.

But in the end, the pain becomes the cure.  That I know for sure.

Take another breath…

You’re doing your best ❤

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

*I would like to give a shout out to one of my good friends and soul sister, Danielle Lewis because on Monday, October 21st, she is releasing her new podcast called “Mom’s Still Standing”  You can subscribe to her podcast on iTunes, she has some great guest speakers on it too 😉

I love this song Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves.  Have a beautiful weekend everyone ❤

*Copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU ❤

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

Breaking Up With Myself

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Living in the past only keeps me stuck.  Now I am living in the moment and setting goals for the future so bye-bye past, and all the things that kept me stuck.  Thanks for ALL the life lessons.  You certainly taught me a lot.

I’m tired of societal views and what everyone thinks; what I should do, say, act, and be.  I am who I am, take it or leave it.  This is what keeps people small and I am not small.

The peanut gallery never stops chatting in my head so I need to find a mute or delete button.  I will no longer let these gremlins control how I think or act because I know I’m a good person who deserves good in return.  I will no longer doubt myself in my strengths and capabilities.  If I don’t know something, I’ll learn it.  The days of self-limiting beliefs are over.

I can honestly say  I’ve taken the time and effort to do everything in my human power to heal the pain in my heart and at this point, I did it.  I’m open to handing the steering wheel over to my heart now and letting it do the driving for me.  I trust you completely, it’s time to be vulnerable again and let love in.

Enough is enough with low self-confidence!  I think you know by now you are a brave soul who never gives up so take that with you and use it to increase your self-confidence.  You’ve got this.

How do you expect to get anything done if you make excuses or procrastinate about making a decision?  Having the ability to choose is a privilege and should be used to improve your life, not take it for granted.  Laziness is ok on a Sunday, but not on a regular basis.

Stop playing games of any sort with anyone. The only way to live your life fully is to be genuine and authentic.  Fitting in is the opposite of belonging.  You don’t need to fit in anywhere because when you are who you are, you find like-minded people and you naturally belong there with them.  No need to change who you are.  If you want to play a game, learn how to play poker or something.

All my life I have held honesty as one of my truest values in how I am with others and how I expect others to be with me.  Being honest with myself is something I have been working on, even more, when it comes to what I want in my new life.  At the same time, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to me so I can create something real and beautiful.  It’s time to truly stand in my own truth and have zero tolerance for dishonesty.

I continue to live by the saying “Whenever you judge someone else, you reveal an unhealed part of yourself.”  How true is that?  I will only use judgments as my own compass to lead me back to myself.

Life can be scary but that’s what makes it so exciting!  If we live under a rock our whole lives and let fear stop us from actually trying something, we will always be wondering “what if.”  I definitely don’t want to be saying that in the end or along the way, so I’m taking chances, despite being scared of what could happen and that’s what being vulnerable and courageous is all about.  I will no longer let fear get in my way of living my life.  These walls are coming down!

I may not have the best of everything but I am happy and grateful for what I do have.  Now that I practice gratitude on a daily basis, my life has changed for the better and I can see improvements.  Whining and complaining will only keep people stuck and I’m too busy being on the move.  I will never think of myself as unworthy or not enough.  I’m done.

It’s time to stop accepting bad behavior and mediocrity as normal.  I learned how to set a boundary so it’s time to walk the other way.  The last thing I need in my life right now is any toxic relationship after all the work I did for myself.  Once again, thanks for the life lessons.  I don’t have time for jealousy either, it is poison in any relationship.

Which mask or shield do you wear?  I’m not talking Game of Thrones here, I mean what are you hiding behind?  Your stories, your excuses?  Drop the armor and start connecting with people.  Stop playing the victim or rescuer, it’s so disempowering.

It’s your time to be who you truly are and if people don’t like it, that’s their problem.  The right people will show up when you show up and you don’t need everyone to like you.  Trying your best is always better than doing nothing.

So this is it. I’m getting out of my own way.  It’s officially over.  I’m breaking up with myself and kicking the old me out and letting peace, love, and happiness in.  Hasta la vista baby!

Dare to live courageously…

Love ❤

Jen
XO

 

**Please take a moment to listen to this beautiful song called You Say By Lauren Daigle.  The lyrics go hand in hand with what is written here and the thoughts that go through our mind from time to time.  Remember to say good things and believe in yourself.  Life is too short and you are too precious.  It’s time to let go and break free.  Happy Sunday ❤

**Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is available at online bookstores worldwide.  May 2019 is the second anniversary of my book release and I am so grateful. All my love and gratitude ❤

Life Story Project: We Are All Living Our Own Project

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Inspiration can be found in so many corners of our lives and one of my favorite places that really touched my heart was on the television show Life Story Project.  The show was aired on “OWN:  The Oprah Winfrey Network” and then unfortunately was cancelled due to network issues.  Andrea Syrtash and Dale Curd were the two hosts on Life Story Project and when I saw it was discontinued last year, I decided to write to Andrea to express my love for the show and for her compassionate way of exploring and questioning people’s hearts and lives on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada about real life topics.  Andrea quickly responded to me and we connected instantly bringing us to a new found friendship where inspiration and support continues to live on.

Life Story Project is about people’s stories and how connection, courage and vulnerability bring us inspiration and promotes personal growth and development within ourselves.  This 4 minute sizzle reel video clip of Life Story Project perfectly describes what the show was all about and I cannot describe it any better than Andrea and Dale.  It’s actually something to be felt.  After watching the video, please read the interview I was able to have with Andrea where we dig deeper into the details of the show and how inspiration touched her heart and life as well.

JJ:  “Can you briefly describe the inspiration behind your show Life Story Project?”

AS:  “I was cast to co-host the show and didn’t create it; but my understanding is that the creators (Mitch and Dale) were inspired by the fact that everybody has a story and that we don’t generally take the time to find out about peoples’ experiences. Intimate conversations about life-changing moments took place on a couch placed in the middle of busy parts of the city. This was to remind the audience that life is happening all around us and everybody is experiencing something significant.”

JJ:  “What was it like calling out to people to come and sit on the famous purple couch and have a conversation?”

AS:  “I’m an extrovert, so it’s not tough for me to engage people in conversation! I did wonder if they’d be open to having an intimate conversation with the cameras rolling; but I think the fact that “OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network” was on our sign and the consent forms helped. Even if people didn’t immediately trust me or my co-host; I think they trusted her and her brand. My co-host and I got rejected a fair bit but I was still surprised that so many people agreed to be interviewed by us and were so open and honest during the recorded conversation.”

JJ:  “How did you choose your life topics to talk about?”

AS:  “Every episode had a contrasting theme (Triumph & Failure, First Moments and Last Moments, Love & Regret etc). The creators wanted to pick themes we all have running through our lives and show the highs and the lows.”

JJ:  “So many inspiring stories were told on your show by the people on the streets of Toronto, you must have felt that inspiration the same as your viewers did like myself.  What was it like hearing people be so emotionally vulnerable?”

AS:  “Hosting the show was uplifting, inspiring, draining and eye-opening. Viewers saw a small percentage of all the interviews I conducted over the 4-6-week shoot. We generally shot for over 8 hours in the blazing sun and sat down with each guest for anywhere from 10-45 minutes. The stories were incredible and I was in awe of how open, honest, vulnerable and real the people I spoke with were. They were wise and articulate and their experiences had a deep effect on me. I often found it tough to sleep after a full day of shooting as I’d review some of the extraordinary stories I heard! Many stuck with me and I still think of them today…”

JJ:  “Was there ever a strange incident that happened when you were trying to recruit people to sit on the couch and talk with you?”

AS:  “We decided that we never wanted to convince people to share something that they weren’t comfortable freely sharing. Both my co-host and I have this thing where people easily open up to us and we feel fortunate that people trust us this way; but sometimes we sensed that people shared more than they wanted to! I recall one incident in which a guest mentioned a very personal experience that she had never told anyone and I felt discomfort as she was describing it because I could tell she was uncomfortable. She returned to the set later that day and asked that we wouldn’t air her story. Of course we were happy to oblige. We didn’t want any participant to regret coming onto the couch for an interview…”

JJ:  “If you had to pick one inspiring story that you heard, which one would it be?”

AS:  “There were so so many inspiring stories. I think about a guest who was deaf and her parents didn’t teach her sign language so she had no way to communicate until she was about 4 years old. She talked about having a voice and not taking it for granted…which was pretty incredible to hear from someone who can’t hear herself speak out loud.  I think about the firefighter who almost died in a blaze (intentionally taking off his oxygen mask) because he felt like a failure and how now he teaches other men in service to be vulnerable heroes. I think about the woman who loved her husband so much that their code word for ‘I love you’ was ‘oodles’ and how after he tragically died of cancer in his 30s, she found a letter from him that said he wanted her to find someone who loved her half as much as he did. Honestly, there were moments of inspiration in every interview. It’s tough to pick one!”

JJ:  “What day of the week did you tape your show and how many hours did it take?”

AS:  “We taped the show every day of the week (as far as I recall)! I had days off since my co-host and I alternated days. The weekend interviews had a different pace than the weekday interviews since people are generally in a different head space during the busy work week…”

JJ:  “What were some of the Toronto locations you chose to film your show in?”

AS:  “The show was filmed all over the city in locations like The Beaches, Dundas Square, King Street West, The Distillery District, Centre Island and more…”

JJ:  “I am very sad that Life Story Project is no longer on the air, as are many fans.  Where they can go now to watch some clips?”

AS:  “I’m sad about it, too! I’ve heard that occasionally a re-run will air; but episodes aren’t available yet on-demand.  There are some clips on YouTube but not all of them.”

JJ:  “Do you see a possibility of making a similar show in the near future?”

AS:  “I enjoy connecting with real people in a truly unscripted way. Life Story Project was genuinely spontaneous. Even if the guests were briefly pre-interviewed; Dale and I never knew much before the guests sat down to have a conversation with us. I’d love to do more shows that explore human relationships and highlight peoples’ incredible stories.”

JJ:  “Andrea you are a relationships life coach, an author and guest speaker on many famous television shows.  What was it like co-hosting with Dale on the show?”

AS:  “While I hardly worked on set with Dale (we filmed on different days); I really enjoyed working with him on this show. He and I are like-minded and believe everybody’s story matters. One thing that you didn’t see, perhaps, is that Dale and I joke around a lot.  We can certainly get serious but we also don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

All of my gratitude to Andrea and everyone from Life Story Project for inspiring my life because in essence, we are all living our own life story project the very best we can. We are all connected, therefore never alone.

You can see more of Andrea’s work on her webpage http://www.andreasyrtash.com/

Love,

Jen
xo

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