This One’s For You Dad

David Kessler, author, and grieving expert published many books on grief and loss. He talks about the new step called Finding Meaning and asks:

“Is it possible to find light in the dark?
Is it possible to be the light in the dark?
Is it possible to find meaning in trauma, death, loss?
When you can accept what happened, that’s when you can find meaning
And that’s when you find light in the dark
Meaning is not in the death, trauma, or loss, it’s in us and what we do with it
Gratitude is about the person, not the trauma, death, loss.”

Ever since my dad passed, it’s strange, I feel like a little girl all over again, but with pain, sadness, and so much vulnerability.  Some people understand but others not so much.  Grief takes time and everyone is different

My inner child is listening carefully to how I speak to myself.  I need kindness and compassion, I am still very fragile

I’ll always remember sitting around your bed that day, breathing the same air as you, what a privilege

There was this transfer of pain in that silent collapse, from you to me

You looked so calm and peaceful on the outside

The heavens changed that day and so did my world

You got your open door to your next spiritual journey

Now I watch for omens like cardinals, feathers, songs, and numbers, hoping it’s you reassuring me you’re ok

I want to take all your advice and use it in my personal and professional life

“Be confident, don’t convince anyone of your worth if they are too blind to see it, give and expect respect, care for others, tell the truth, and when you love, include yourself in that equation”

You said, “If you find yourself thinking you’re asking for too much from someone, maybe you should ask yourself if you’re asking the wrong person.”

Like Joni Mitchell’s song Both Sides Now, I’ve looked at life/love from both sides now

You said I used to ask a million questions, this is true and I still have many more

I lit a candle for you today dad, and remembered all the great memories through the tears

In my mind, I captured a collection of moments, sealed them in clear glass jars, and carefully lined them on a special shelf I can see from my bed

I imagine tying a navy blue silk ribbon around each one, that reminds me of the days you wore ties when I was a little girl

Whenever I want to visit those memories and moments, the clear glass makes it possible

I’m on my own journey of finding meaning…

My wish for you is to take a shot at the moon, take a trip to the sun

Paint the sky with your fingertips at sunrise and sunset

Why not add some sparkle in the night sky on your journey

I want to feel your presence in nature, thunderstorms, the wind

Even snowstorms like the one we had the day you departed…

You said that was a good omen

Thank you for giving me what you could as a dad, for re-introducing me to the love of writing, for attending my track and field meets for over 13 years, a swimming pool, learning how to water ski, playing piano, always listening, and for just being you

Maybe one of these days I’ll learn to acquire a taste for a good scotch or gin like you did

Then again, let’s see…

If that day ever happens, I’ll sip it at sunset on the water with you, listening to Both Sides Now

This one’s for you dad…cheers…

Love you ❤

Jen
XO

*On Friday, February 4th, 2022, my dad passed away from prostate cancer. He qualified for the MAID procedure which he had and passed peacefully. As a nurse, this was something medical to watch and as a daughter, it was so painful to watch. One of my favorite quotes is this; “We have two lives and the second one begins when we realize we only have one.” ~ Confucius

Thank you for reading ❤

Lessons And Truth Set Me Free

“He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there.  He who blames no one has arrived. ~ Chinese Proverb

In my book, “Winning While Losing: The Upside of Heartbreak” I talk about a coin having not only two sides, but three.  Heads, tails, and the edge.  The two sides represent two different points of view from two people opposing each other; heads and tails.  However, the edge represents the truth, facts, or reality behind a situation that is often avoided, overlooked, or hidden.  On the edge of truth or reality, are the reasons that run deeper than both points of view.  Therefore, the possibility of gaining a new perspective is there to consider, but only when you have an open mind and heart, is when you can own your behaviors and the role you played in the relationship.  I’m talking about accountability and responsibility.  We are no longer insecure toddlers saying, “not me!” Or at least we shouldn’t be.  After all, it’s the truth on that skinny little edge that will set you free, if you dare to go there.

Lessons Learned in 2021:

Do you know what’s interesting?  You can’t invite something or someone new in your heart until you create the space for it.  To do that means doing the work to heal from your past over a good amount of time, then letting it go for good

Stuffing the past inside never works; it causes toxic emotional constipation and that’s not fair to the next person involved because it always comes out later as an emotional explosion.  Who wants that?

Be wise enough to know how important self-love and self-respect are and they will guide you on what to do to heal

If someone tries to play mind games, create doubts, have sneaky conversations, or show inconsistencies, RUN! Kenny Rogers was right all along

Continue setting boundaries.  They protect your mind, heart, body, and soul.  If someone gets angry with your boundaries, then all the more reason to have them

If you ever notice a man using you for your money, get out ASAP.  That’s just pathetic, unattractive, and downright scary!  Never be a sugar mama

Always remember, when words don’t match actions and they twist it to blame you, that’s called manipulation

When people are not accountable, that’s called gaslighting

When someone labels others crazy or mental, that’s called projection which means they are describing themselves, not the other person

Manipulation + Gaslighting + Projection = Narcissistic Abuse

It’s not wise to play with fire, it only takes one tiny match to burn the whole thing down.  Unless you don’t care

The ones who give the impression of nothing, tells you everything

You have to learn when your part is over in someone’s story

This chapter is called MAKE ROOM

Relationships are not always meant to be forever, they are here for a reason, a season, and to teach us many lessons.  Learn the lessons

Know what you need and want and go for it

Trust the Universe, it knows more than you realize…

Take your power back and live an empowering life

Some of the best advice I ever heard was this, “If she’s told you what she has been through, don’t put her through that again. If you do put her through it, you are selfish and not listening.”

Take note that some people are open books, and some people are illiterate

The wound is not your fault, but the healing is your responsibility

Don’t curse my scars when all they ever tried to do was heal me

Evaluate your scars and heal from the inside out

Mistakes are forgivable, patterns are not

Conversations in relationships need to have a resolution or compromise.  Anger and aggression are toxic and ruin everything

Thriving in conflict is extremely unhealthy and toxic to anyone’s well-being

People let go when they are tired and they will no longer risk letting go of themselves

I am not required to set myself on fire to keep other people warm

I will not lose me to keep you

Effort and honesty are EVERYTHING…

There is nothing worse than self-betrayal.  Listen to your intuition, it’s always right

Don’t trust everything you see, even salt looks like sugar; be very discerning.  Ask questions

Every damn brick they try to throw at you, use it to stand on and use your voice

Never let them silence you or control you in any way shape or form

Be fearless and face the storm, lean in

Speak the truth, be courageous, set boundaries, give lots of self-care and self-love

I know my worth and I am honoring my spirit every single day

Own emotions, process them, and let them go.  The path to true happiness

Get up and out of your comfy zone

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you know now

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself

Loyalty and honesty are never too much to ask for in a relationship, it’s normal

Burning a bridge isn’t always a bad thing, you can never go back to what hurt you

Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t. Show some self-respect.

Anger taught me how to be calm

Aggression taught me how to speak up

Cruelty taught me self-kindness

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a serious red flag

When the past is still in the present, that’s another serious red flag

Unkind words about the past = a connection is still present and they won’t let go of the past, another serious red flag

Many red flags do not mean you are at a carnival, pay attention, they are dealbreakers

Look for green flags instead

Incessant whining, complaining, blaming is like living with a dysfunctional four-year-old that is stuck on repeat. No thanks.

Victim mentality is a lack of self-awareness which is annoying

When you are self-aware, you make the necessary changes in your life to move forward

Life is short

Nobody’s perfect

Setting healthy boundaries is self-protection and necessary in any relationship

Judging others reveals unhealed parts of yourself

It’s not my job to convince anyone to love me

You choose the behavior, you choose the consequences.  That’s it.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time

You can’t be disrespectful and expect respect in return

Ignoring my intuition is self-betrayal; never again.

My inner peace is non-negotiable

The price you pay to avoid something will always be higher than the price you pay to face it head-on

Living in the past = living in denial.  No chance for the present or future to come in.  If you don’t let the past die, it won’t let you live today which translates to cheated opportunities and missed relationships

Flat out lying or lying by omission is the same destructive pinch that breaks trust

Hearing what someone says and seeing how they behave are two different things.  Focus on the latter

Be accountable for your own shit, turn inward

Avoidance is for cowards

Entitlement and laziness are MAJOR turn-offs

It takes a strong person to ask for help.  Be strong

The pain never leaves us, we have to leave the pain.  Not everyone is capable of making this effort, even though it is necessary for any healthy relationship

The girl who takes care of everyone needs to be taken care of too. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you ever again

Besides, in a world where you can be anything, be kind

If it doesn’t feed your soul, then it’s time to go

Out with the old, in with the new, let it all go…

Onward and upward…

Amazing people are appearing and re-appearing in my life and my heart is so full of love and happiness ❤

Life is grand…

And just like the edge of the coin, the lessons and truth have set me free…

Thank you 2021!!!

The best is yet to come, let’s pop some champagne! ❤ Cheers ❤

** Hi everyone, how’s your October been?  I am happy to say things are going GREAT for me and I am getting ready to write another book!  Stay tuned and I appreciate the kindness and encouragement you’ve shown me all along.  Have a listen to Adele’s new song Easy On Me and have a fantastic week! 🙂

Love,

Jen xx

Tell Me Why…

Why

I see you running after the things that run from you
Tell me why you do that
Recalibrate, there is no need to chase the wrong person or thing

I hear you berating yourself as if it were a personal motivational speech
Tell me why you do that
Self-love and self-compassion are needed more than ever, please be kind to yourself

I see you running East expecting to see a sunset
Tell me why you do that
You’re running the wrong way, turn around; the sun sets in the West and you know that

I hear your lies and unapologetic excuses about things you’re not proud of
Tell me why you do that
Be courageous and take responsibility for your actions, the truth will set you free

I see you going back to the things that continually hurt you
Tell me why you do that
Wounds are meant to heal, not to stay open and continuously bleed

I hear you say you want a change and yet here you are in the same situation
Tell me why you do that
Make the decision to change and commit to that; don’t settle, know your worth

I see you doing the same thing over again, expecting a different outcome
Tell me why you do that
You know that one small shift can change everything…be brave

I hear you trying to convince yourself to stay in something you don’t want
Tell me why you do that
Be honest with yourself and with others, know what you want and say it

I see you holding on to the past for dear life and it only makes you miserable
Tell me why you do that
Let go of what hurts and release it to the Universe; the future is better and brighter

I hear you voicing your values yet they don’t match your behavior
Tell me why you do that
Are you sure they are your values or are they someone else’s beliefs

I see you trying to fit in because you want to belong
Tell me why you do that
Surround yourself with like-minded people, then you will belong

I hear you whispering to the crashing waves in the day and the suspended stars at night
Tell me why you do that
I hope they are listening to all your words and wishes

I see you putting your dreams on a shelf, tucked away for some other time
Tell me why you do that
You are meant to share your talent with the world, don’t worry what others may think

I hear you telling yourself not to say anything, to suppress your voice on matters
Tell me why you do that
Be courageous and use the voice you have; express your needs and wants

I see and hear you making choices out of fear and anxiety
Tell me why you do that
Make choices out of love, what fills your soul and makes you happy

I need to know the WHY behind what you say and do
Why is it important to you
Tell me why…

Dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

*I’ve always loved this song Why by Annie Lennox and it happens to go with this blog.  Have a beautiful weekend everyone and be happy 🙂

**Please be sure to check out my friend Danielle Lewis and subscribe to her podcast titled Mom’s Still Standing which is available on iTunes and Spotify.  It’s a wonderful and inspiring podcast that connects all mom’s trying to navigate life and motherhood ❤

***Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak is still available at all online bookstores worldwide, iTunes, Google Play, Nook, Kindle, and at the FriesenPress bookstore.  Books are a great Christmas gift for the readers on your list 🙂 Thank you everyone xx

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 ❤

You Be The Judge…In Your Own Life

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“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

How interesting that people from the outside looking in are like experts on how those who are struggling should live their lives.  It’s one thing to give helpful advice so they can move forward but to sit back, criticize, and judge is absolutely ridiculous.

Why?

One reason is that they aren’t walking in your stylish shoes (which probably don’t fit them anyway) so they don’t know how to saunter like you.  Secondly, people don’t really know who they are as an individual; their wants, needs, or values, so how can they know an outsider so well and tell them what to do? Thirdly, it shames people into thinking they’re not good enough and living in shame for 30 seconds or 30 years is painful.

The theory of having two sides to a coin, meaning two sides to a story is another narrow-minded way to think because technically, there are three sides to a coin, head (one perspective), tails (the other perspective), and the edge (the truth).  Furthermore, there are many layers to each side that run deep which means more reasons and perspectives on each side, therefore, not so cut-and-dry.  When someone judges you based on this theory of two sides to a story, they are judging out of their own insecurities and revealing unhealed parts of themselves.  Therefore, it’s not about you, it’s about them and saying these types of things make them feel better and you feel worse.  What they do know is only a version of the truth which is not much, and maybe only partially true.

For those of you who are being judged in silence by people who never dare to have an actual conversation with you, I can completely empathize.  What I know is this; when you do something wrong, admit it to the person involved and apologize for it.  As for the additional peanut gallery who may or may not hide but continues to judge you, let them go.  If you tried something new and it didn’t work out, admit it and move on.  It’s fine to fail at something, as long as you gave it your all and learned from your mistakes.  Not everyone is going to marry, have kids, be rich, drive a BMW, or have their dream job, but here’s the thing… You can decide what’s best for you in the end.  Always remember, nobody is living a perfect life.

These days judgment is everywhere from how we parent, work, our lifestyles, health choices, interests, relationships, vacations, cars, houses, and all the way down to what kind of underwear we buy, how we take a selfie, and which haircut we get.

Seriously??  Suddenly the phrase “mind your own business” comes to mind.

We are all on the same journey in life and we are all on different paths to get there.  That’s ok.

You can’t control what other people say or do but you can control how you react to it.  Instead of judging others and what they are doing, focus on yourself and you be the judge…in your own life.

Be the man (or woman) in the arena, and dare greatly.

Much Love ❤

Jen

**P.S.  For those of you who bought and read my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” I am extremely grateful for your huge love and support.  I hope you enjoyed it and if you’re interested in leaving a book review on my website, please let me know and I will happily arrange it for you.  Have a wonderful week! XO

 

 

 

 

Living On The Edge

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As many of you are aware and for those who are new here, my first book is about to be released sometime this month.  Needless to say, I am very excited about it and can’t wait to share it with all of you!  My book is about how I coped during my divorce and most difficult time of my life while trying to keep a positive outlook, how I found healthy ways of surviving and the life lessons I learned along the way.

Life’s challenges can help us see both sides of the coin and recently, through a friend, I discovered there’s a third side as well which is the edge.  In this sense, each side can represent each person’s point of view, their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of what happened.  On the other hand, the edge is considered the sacred space or truth of who you really are at your core.  It’s a detachment from either side, a neutral zone, an understanding, place of forgiveness, a new perspective and even a place of acceptance of what is.

The edge is enlightenment for yourself.  It’s your own truth.

When you stand and live on the edge you are without judgment of another person and you’re not being one-sided.  When choosing the middle path, you choose to be open-minded with an open heart.  You’re able to see both sides clearly and feel free while doing so.

The third side of the coin can equal balance because you are no longer leaning to one side.  Instead, when you stand balanced on the edge, it creates inner peace and happiness for yourself and when you feel ready to let go of the right of being right, that’s when your soul grows and you learn the life lessons you were meant to learn.  Maybe it’s possible that both sides are right?  Consider this, on the edge of reality, are the motivations that run deeper than both points of view.

The edge is the place where I wrote my book from while I reflected on where I went wrong in my life, what I learned along the way and found ways to see the silver linings.  It’s scary living on the edge because it requires both courage and vulnerability to admit you were wrong at times and that nobody is perfect.  At the same time, it’s the place that sets you free and is very healing.

I’m living proof of that.

For the past month, I have been living on the edge in India again, visiting my awesome friends and I attended two exciting weddings there.  I will have a new blog saga coming up titled This Is India 2017 and I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you.

Be safe, stay blessed and try living on the edge.

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen
xo

Where Does Trust Start?

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How many times have you heard or caught yourself saying “I can’t trust that person” or “I’ll never be able to trust anyone ever again.”  Relationships of all kinds require the element of trust in order to be real and successful.  However, trust is often a sliding scale and where you land on it can vary with each day, person or situation.  We usually know where trust ends which is a betrayal of some sort but have you ever wondered the opposite?

Where does trust start?

“I always knew that George was hiding money from me, but I didn’t listen to myself.  Now that we are getting divorced, he’s not being honest with me about his money situation.  I trusted  him, instead of me and now I’m left with nothing.”

This person didn’t listen to themselves and put their trust in someone else which sadly ended in betrayal.   People talk about listening to their gut feelings which are our intuition and inner messages trying to tell us something.  If and when we put our trust in others, instead of in ourselves, that’s when we give away our power to someone else and set ourselves up for being used and betrayed.  It’s also when we point the finger and blame them and not us.  In the case of a betrayal, both sides play a role in the breakdown but when it comes to trust, it all begins with you.

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How often have you heard and felt your intuition telling you what is true or untrue and instead you ignored it, only to regret it after the fact?  A voice might say “You’re still with that person- why didn’t you leave?”  Author Caroline Myss says this is a betrayal to yourself and it hurts the most because deep down you know what to do but if you don’t trust yourself to do the right thing, your life begins to harm you.  That voice often speaks the truth we don’t want to hear but it doesn’t turn off.  When you start to pay attention by trusting your inner knowing, your trust issues with other people will slowly be resolved and it will be harder for them to betray you.

Going back to the original question of where does trust start?  It’s ironic because trust has nothing to do with the other person initially, but has everything to do with you, and once you can begin to trust yourself, you will be able to trust others and form strong, lasting and loving relationships.

Start trusting yourself first.

Self-trust + Self-love = Trusting, Loving Relationships with Others ❤

 

Much Love ❤

 

Jen
xo

How To Say “No” With Grace and Love

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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