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 ❤

 

 

 

 

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Find A Way

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One of my favorite shows to watch is Super Soul Sunday because it’s all about inspiration.  I recently saw an interview with Oprah Winfrey and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad where Diana found the strength and courage both inside and outside of herself to swim from Cuba to Florida, not just once…but five times.  The first four attempts, she was unable to make it for various reasons but on her fifth try, at 64 years old, she finally reached her goal after swimming for 53 hours.  I was so moved by this and it made me wonder about my own determination when I want something bad enough that seems out of reach, outrageous, or something people might judge me on.  How did she make the decision to keep trying over and over despite the judgments and roadblocks?  How does the human spirit stay alive?  Diana said it was not only very important to her but it was also because of her mantra “Find A Way.”

How many times have we desired something so badly and when we really looked at it, only saw hurdles, walls or stop signs?  Even deeper, how many of those hurdles did you jump, or walls did you climb or stop signs did you ignore?  The driving force is inside of us, our passion for living, for making a difference, creating a legacy, standing up for ourselves, or setting a personal best record.  Whatever the reason behind it may be, the determination that’s driving us is not only our values and that it’s important to us, but our ability to find a way.  Every day I’m finding a way!

As documented in the first four attempts, Diana Nyad had to encounter severe weather conditions, high temperatures both in and out of the water, high waves and winds, jellyfish, sharks, and asthma.  Just like the person who doesn’t have much money, finds a way to eat, or the single mother who saves money to take a vacation with her kids, or the guy who works long hours but makes time for his girlfriend, they all find a way to get there.  No excuses.  Yes, life is hard but when there’s a will there’s a way and nothing can stand in the way, except us.  It doesn’t always mean you will get what you want, but be proud of the perseverance and determination you have to go after it.

Make a commitment to yourself, stay focused and learn the lessons while you’re at it.

This is the stuff that feeds our soul and heals our hearts because we accomplish something we weren’t sure would be possible.  The gremlins inside our heads are alive and well, and always chatting, not to mention the peanut gallery on the sidelines trying to stop us too.  Do what works for you, not them!  We need to learn how to train ourselves to listen to our intuition instead, that’s our internal muscle speaking!  Sure, it’s possible you might fail, but just know you are daring greatly while everyone else is sitting there watching you…on the sidelines!

None of that stopped Diana. She just found a way, her way and even wrote a book about it.

Consider this, it’s also possible you might succeed.   Wouldn’t that be great?!

If what you’re going after isn’t very important to you, it means you don’t value it very much and the possibility of achieving it is harder because the passion just isn’t there and it’s most likely a belief.  Perhaps what you desire will show up in other forms but we have to pay attention to the signs.  Sometimes walls that show up in our life are there to see how badly we want something and if we can scale it or not.  I call it a little test from the Universe and it’s always right.  Are a couple of big waves going to stop you?

Have you ever wanted something so badly and you did everything in your power to achieve it…. What happened?  Did you succeed?  Did you fail?  How did you react if you failed?  Did you try again?

Find what you love, and when you do what you love;  you will find a way.

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

**Starting in August, I will be writing a blog series called “Project Self” which is all about how we need to put ourselves first, and take good care of us so we can be healthy and attract healthy in return.  Topics will include self-love, self-respect, and so much more.  I recently wrote about self-care with input from others, and I am open to more topics and suggestions if you would like me to write about one.  Thank you for all your support and followings during these past 5 years here on WordPress.  It’s been a true gift and pleasure having you here with me ❤ ❤  I hope you are having a wonderful summer so far!

**If you are interested in my book, “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” please visit Amazon, FriesenPress, or any online bookstore worldwide.

All my gratitude ❤

Jen
XO

 

 

 

 

 

Hell’s Bureaucracy

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Welcome to Hell, everyone, let’s have some fun!  Today we are going in by the back door and listing all the possible ways to build an even worse Hell!  What could be better than renovating that disgusting place and creating more torture?  So pull up a wobbly chair with no cushion, have a warm beer with cold soup and here we go!

In order to identify values, sometimes we need to think backward.  What does that mean exactly?

If you don’t know what your values are, all it takes is a violation and you will instantly feel what is right or wrong in your books.

Values are who we are at our core; right now, not who we wish we were.  Values are what is important to us, they are the “why” to everything and drive our behavior.  For example, some values might be, respect, considerate, honest, hardworking, loving, etc.  They are one-word answers to who we are and how we live our lives.  You can always add more values to your life with different experiences but they don’t change because they’re innate.  Beliefs are the changers and the self-limiters but that’s not why we are here, let’s not go there.

Let’s get back to Hell…

All relationships are based on values whether it’s at work, with friends, family, love or yourself.  Values define why that particular relationship is important to us and if they hold the same values we do.

If you aren’t sure what your values are then you will have a great time in Hell because this is where the clash happens and all the possibilities are negative, not to mention torturous!  So let’s make a list of what Hell might look like in a relationship or at work:

Disrespect, discourage, dishonesty, ignored, stealing, lying, humiliation, harassment; just to name a few.  How do you like living in Hell so far?  Do any of these words rub you the wrong way?  If that’s a yes, keep on reading little devil…

Try answering these questions; “What are some of the best forms of self-torture?” Or, “In the ideal Hell, people would never….”  Or even, “In the ideal Hell, people would always try to…”

Feeling hot yet?  How’s that warm beer?  Are the flames getting a little too close for comfort down there?  Good!  Let’s flip this Hell right now.

Disrespect becomes respect, discourage becomes empower, dishonesty becomes honesty, ignored becomes appreciated, stealing becomes sharing, lying becomes trust, humiliation becomes pride, harassment becomes justice.  Starting to feel better, more like home?  I would hope these bold words resonate more with you than the Hell words do.  Would these words be important in your relationships or at work?  Why?  Once you answer the “why” then you have defined your values.  I’m sure you have more words in there… keep making your list!

What title would you give to your new world now that you’ve flipped it on its head?  You get to decide.

Now flip those three questions around in a positive way and answer them with your new title; “What are some of the best forms of self-care?” Or, “In the ideal (title) people would never…” Or even, “In the ideal (title), people would always try to…”

Sometimes going in from the back door isn’t a bad thing after all.  To know what we want, we need to define what we don’t want and to know who we are, we need to know who we are not.  What we can tolerate.  Plain and simple.

Thanks for playing Hell’s Bureaucracy, I hope you had fun and it helped.  A cold beer would be nice right about now 😉

 

Much Love ❤

Jen 🙂

 

**Believe it or not, this is a life coaching tool to help people identify their values so they can improve their relationships in their personal and/or professional lives.  It works well, I’ve even used it on myself!  If you are interested in having a life coaching session with me, please send me an email at jgreen7984@gmail.com

 

**If you are new to my blog or a treasured reader/follower, please be sure to check out my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” by Jennifer Green.  Available at all online bookstores worldwide or FriesenPress online bookstore.

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Transformation Is A Beautiful Thing

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Inspiration can be found in many corners of our life and in the lives of others.  Life is in motion at all times and if we stop and pay attention, that’s when we notice inspiring moments, people, places, and things.  Personally, one of the greatest things I love to see is how someone can transform themselves from being in a negative state to becoming their own superhero.  It’s not about winning a popularity contest but about being the best version of yourself after struggling with something so difficult for so long and coming out of it beautifully.

When I think about transformation, I think of metaphors because what metaphors can do is open our mind to a new perspective and deeper understanding of the potential transformation.  It’s like a window or a doorway we can move through and find ways to relate it to our situation.

‘Meta’ means over and beyond and in transformation, it is over and beyond reality.  My favorite metaphor of all is the caterpillar becoming a butterfly through the power of metamorphosis because one step over and beyond the caterpillar, the butterfly emerges.  In life when we try to step beyond a belief, behavior, fear or circumstance, a metaphor can transform a person ‘s perspective and trigger their values which allow them to step into joy in their life.

For example, a person who has a fear of public speaking may be struggling inside this cocoon for some time but wants to overcome it through transformation.  Just the mere thought of having to get up and speak to a few or many people can start the heart palpitations and make someone freeze right in their tracks because of stage fright.  This person’s main goal is to avoid public speaking and social events at all costs, mainly because they are shy.  The struggle is within their own mind and trying to silence the  negative voice.

I was speaking with a friend recently and he said not only can shyness get in the way but add a language barrier on top of everything and you’ve got yourself a fearful scenario.  I can only imagine how hard and uncomfortable that must feel to be around people you can’t connect with.  He gave an example where his workplace required them to do impromptu group speeches in front of everyone and his first instinct was to run and hide but since he wanted to transform his fear into something more comfortable, he remembered the first lesson from the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

Be Proactive.

In this lesson, Covey talks about taking responsibility for your own life and stresses the importance of focusing your time and energy on the things you have control over in life.  In a matter of minutes, my friend took this lesson and applied it to his own life right before facing one of the most fearful things; public speaking.  He changed his self-talk from negative to positive saying “Don’t freeze, focus on the audience instead of your own awkwardness, think of how you would want to see a speaker, put yourself in the shoes of the audience and see yourself from their perspective so you can transform your fear into something you love.  Imagine yourself being courageous even if you think you aren’t.  Be yourself, no stress or pressure, you are surrounded by friends.  Learn to laugh at yourself, life is too serious, be imperfect so people can connect, enjoy yourself and live outside your comfort zone.”

He stood up and managed to convince himself of everything he said and faced his fear by talking about his imperfections by making jokes with the audience.  People were laughing with him, and it gave a soaring boost to his self-confidence which made him continue even more.  He felt both shocked and happy with himself that day because it was a life changing moment, a real transformation where he struggled so long with negative self-talk but in the end after all that hard work, he emerged beautifully like a butterfly.  What a perfect example of going over and beyond his reality and honoring the value of courage.

More times than not, we struggle in our minds and hearts about who we are and about how we want other people to see us. We wrestle with worthiness and shame all at the same time when really we all belong together and we are more similar than we are different.

When I asked him how he felt about that day he said “It changed my outlook towards socializing, facing fears, being vulnerable, handling pressure situations and making friends in general.  And every victory I have had since that day, I attribute to this one act of mine where I overcame myself.  And, needless to say, making friends has been not as difficult as I feared since that day.  I survived.”

Bravo my friend for daring to live courageously, keep rockin’ the shark fin 😉

Transformation is a beautiful thing.

“How does one become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”  ~Trina Paulus

 

Much Love ❤
Jen

To The Daughter I Never Had

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~ This post goes out to those who have suffered a miscarriage, or knows someone who has.  Often times when this happens, it’s the child that gives birth to the mother.  Thank you for reading…

 ❤

Welcome beautiful little Georgia to your new world of Divine Love
I promise to support, guide, mentor and motivate you
Appreciate, protect and respect you for who you are

I’ll give you the inside scoop of what I know about guys, love and heartbreak
But with a positive perspective of course
Boys and men can be hard to understand and sometimes shy
Give them a chance they can also be sweet, loving and inspiring
We’re all fighting some type of internal dragon, be patient

Strive to belong instead of fitting in with the crowd
Be proud of your body image, perfection doesn’t exist
Our imperfections make us beautiful, remember this always
Wear sunscreen to look forever young
Eat whatever you want but remember to exercise
This way you will never need to diet and that’s a very good thing

Love yourself first and enough to walk away from people or situations that hurt you
Learn how to practice self-compassion and self-appreciation
When the world withholds these two things, trust me it will sometimes
You need to learn how to fill in the blanks yourself
Daily gratitude creates perspective and joy

Be daring, courageous and awesome like your mom…LOL
Don’t be a princess, be a Queen and let someone treat you like one
Being a Queen has its perks
Have a sense of humor but remember to laugh at yourself too

Find your passion in creativity and let it flow
Maybe you will like writing as much as I do
Find your groove, I support you all the way

Listen to your female intuition because it’s right
Don’t be a doormat for people to walk all over you
Give unconditional love while setting personal boundaries
People will compete with you so get yourself ready for that

Music and books are a great way to feed your soul
I hope you take it all in because you are going to love them
Learning a musical instrument is a beautiful thing
Inspiration can be found all around you so keep one eye and ear open at all times

You need to travel beyond your own backyard, the world is waiting for you
Travel with friends, family and solo like I did
Solo travel is a great way to discover new places and yourself

School is very important, try your best at all times
Respect your teachers, they are there to help; not give you a hard time
Peer pressure can be tough to deal with, please come and talk to me about this
We will work through it together

Friends will come and go and you will learn who is true during tough times
They will stay by your side no matter what
Take the high road whenever possible
I want you to know you’re so worth it

Money is important but it isn’t everything so use it wisely
Don’t be a slave to it
Hire a career coach when you are young to help in choosing your right path
Strive for happiness first and success will follow you
Know what your values are and live by them accordingly

Your Mr. Right should not be selfish with you, find a conversationalist
They are interesting and funny which makes life grand
Make sure you are his priority and that he keeps his word
Quality time and communication are what counts
Whether you have children or not, I’m with you

Feel all your emotions
If you are anything like me, that won’t be much of a problem
It’s okay to cry; you will feel much better afterwards
Dealing with disappointment is a tough one, I’m still learning how myself
Try to find the silver lining in tough situations, this is a gift if you can

Life is a journey and a roller coaster at times
I hope you can enjoy the ride either way
So dance in the rain, sing in the car and love with your whole heart
To the daughter I never had…
You’re amazing and I love you ❤

 

**This blog was inspired by the song Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles when I was sitting in a restaurant during my trip in Bhubaneswar, India recently and I am including the version by Jamie Foxx who played Ray in the movie.  Enjoy…

Much Love,

Jen
xo

Everyone Is A Genius

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“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When students are sailing into University taking courses they’re not sure about quite yet, it’s a little daunting to say the least.  They are expected to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives and then work in that field happily ever after.  Wheww!!!  If that’s not enough stress and pressure then I don’t know what is.

I was in this boat before and it was really hard trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  I completed my first year at University taking random courses with no direction.  Kind of like a fly in a sand storm.  At the end of that year I realized I didn’t want to waste any more time or money on something I knew nothing about so I took two years off and worked full time so I could think about it.  Later I went back to school became a nurse and the rest is history.

To all my University friends and young career hunters and warriors, I feel for you.  However…if you can take a step back and dig really deep to know who you truly are and find out what you’re made of, you will be more prepared to take the right path for you.

Two big reasons people go into the wrong field is because their parents told them to or because of the money it will bring after they graduate.  These might be good reasons short term but eventually you will get bored, guaranteed.

Let me ask you this; would you rather be happy or successful?

Most people say successful.  Does success bring happiness?  Especially if you are working in an area where you make good money but you don’t enjoy what you do?  How many years can you work and live like that?  You might work so hard at being that amazing surgeon but if it conflicts with your values, you are like the fish trying to climb a tree.  Fish do much better in the water therefore maybe you need to change your environment.  Do what you were born to do, what you are good at doing, what comes naturally and puts a smile on your face.   It’s not that you aren’t good enough you just need to find your tribe.  When you are happy, success follows you.

There was a study conducted at Harvard University a few years ago called the Happiness Project.  5000 graduates from Harvard University set out to conquer the world with their new degrees in hand.  All were extremely intelligent and became successful in their careers.   A year after their graduation the question of happiness was asked; “Are you happy now that you are successful?”  Do you know what the percentage of those 5000 students were happy?

A sad 3%.  That’s it.

Why?  They chose paths based on statistics, not their values.  They were good at what they did but it somehow clashed with who they were as a person.  If you are a social person both personally and professionally, then sitting behind a desk all day gets pretty boring no matter how much you make.  By choosing a profession that is social it fits who you are and chances of staying in it long term are higher.

In career coaching there is an awesome tool that helps fill the gap of what’s missing.  It’s called the Success Strategy.  Ultimately when you’re doing what you love, aren’t you happy?  Isn’t that success right there?

Every day you need to focus on four key areas in your life in order to have a balance of success and happiness.   It doesn’t have to be a long exercise but each day needs to have these four ingredients.

The first is Legacy.  What are your long term results or plans?  What do you want to be known for?  What are you leaving behind for others?

The second is Creativity.  Let it blossom every day.  Being creative is found in anything and everything.  Many of us are bloggers here and this is one creative way of many.  Let your inner child out.

The third is Results and Achievement.  This can include professional, family and personal areas.  Get something done in one of these areas every day to feel productive.

The fourth is Shining Moments.  It’s the time where you stop and smell the roses, pause for a moment, enjoy and share them.

Where are you on the scale of 1 to 10?  Which areas need improvements?  What are you missing?  Why is that?

You might be a successful person bringing in results and achievements every day, have several shining moments and creating a legacy for yourself, but something is missing; your creativity.  Sadly creativity takes a back seat when we are busy planning our lives.  Maybe you used to play the electric guitar back in the day and one weekend you decide to pick it up and start playing again.  There’s that creativity vibe back, you feel fulfilled because you were able to find it elsewhere and still maintain your work and other areas of happiness and success.  Now all four areas are complete and so are you.  Yeah!!

Go out and find your passion based on who you are.  Don’t let someone else tell you because even though their intentions are good, they’re not you

If you’re a fish, swim.  If you’re a bird, fly.  And so on.  Not only that, practice the four key areas of success and happiness each day to find even more fulfillment.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors whether that’s in University or out in the working world.

And remember….Everyone is a genius.

Thanks Albert Einstein…

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Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

#WhatTheHeckIsLifeCoaching??

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This is a common question I hear from people who have never experienced a life coaching session and with good reason.  Everyone knows what psychology is but not everyone knows what life coaching is all about.  I thought I would write a blog to help hack into this world for you.  🙂

Life coaching is about helping you achieve a desired goal and finding the inspiration and motivation to get you from the present moment to the future.  Think of an athlete you follow, he or she has a coach right?  Imagine if they didn’t.  Where would they be?  Coaches motivate, help keep you on track, strive for better and keep you accountable using different techniques and tools.  Life coaching is no different except there are no push ups involved, unless this is your desired goal.  😉

I would like to give an example of a coaching call using some key questions I ask that can get the wheels in your mind turning and possibly burning.  😉   So let’s get cracking!

“What is the one goal you would love to achieve in your life right now?  In other words, what do you want more of in your life?  Fill in the blank; “I want _______________”

“What if time and money weren’t an issue for you, what would you like to have or do?”

The first few questions represent stating what you want in your life.  The power to dream big.  Many people have never been asked this question before and have a hard time pinning something down because they think they don’t have the right to ask for what they want.  If you are like this, rest assured you are not alone.  You do have the right to be happy and be free to go after what you want.  Give this question some real thought and state your awesome goal.

“Why is that goal important to you?”

“What is the deeper meaning of having this for you?”

“What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?”

Ahhh.. the “Why” and legacy question, my favorites of all.  This is where your values come into play and the reasons you give as to why you want to achieve something are coming from your heart.  It’s where we keep our values close to who we are because our values define us.  It’s important to know your values in life because they guide your behavior.  Plus if you realize this goal is not very important to you, chances are you will never achieve it.  Pssst…choose something important!

“On a scale of 1 -10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being you’ve got it, where would you say you are on the scale in reaching this goal right now?”

“What does that number represent or look like?  You fill in the blank; “the number ____ represents __________”

“Where would you ultimately like to be on that scale?”

Scaling your goal is very useful because it allows you to see where you are now and where you want to be in the future.  It’s measureable.  You can track your progress by doing this several times and it also produces motivation and inspiration within to keep you moving forward.

“What are some capabilities and abilities that you already have and can use to reach your goal?”

“What are some of your transferrable skills?”

“How would you and your friends and family describe you?”

“What are some capabilities and abilities that you still need to be able to reach your goal?”

These questions pin point the skills and abilities you already have to get you there and what you still need which is important to know because you need to look at it from all angles.   The majority of people when they list their have’s and needs, the have’s list usually wins.  Therefore, you have more going for you than you even realized.

“Imagine it’s six months from now and you have successfully reached your goal.  What does that look and feel like?”

“If you could take one small action step that could bring you closer to your goal, what would that be?”

Ok here’s the fun part.  Now that you know what you have to do and need to do, the question is HOW do you do it?  This is where the rubber hits the road for most people.  They put the brakes on and don’t move because of fear.  Go back to the why is that important to you question again and get inspired.

You gotta walk the talk.

Make sure when you choose a small action step it is specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and timely.  In other words, make it easy.  Action steps start out small and you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just need to take the first step.  Every step counts in reaching your goal and remember, that one small step can shift everything!

“What else can you do?”

“What else?”

Dig deep and keep asking this question over and over….you get the point.

“How will you hold yourself accountable for doing the action steps you stated?”

Ask a friend or co-worker to check up on you to make sure you did what you said you would do.

“What could possibly stand in your way in being able to reach this goal?”

Usually it’s us.  If you have the determination to get it done, nothing can stand in your way.

“When will you take this action step?”

Make sure you set a specific date and mark it down somewhere.  Otherwise if you say you will do it later or sometime this month, guess what will happen?  Nada, zip, nothing.

“Where will you be working to reach your goal?”

Sometimes people will be at their current workplace, maybe at home or anywhere really.  It depends on the goal.  State it and write it down.  You’re doing great!

After answering these questions you can go back to your scale and see where you are on the line now.  Even if you have only moved 0.5 up on the scale, it counts as evidence and a step forward.  Celebrate!  You are moving in the right direction and are closer to your goal already!

Feeling motivated yet?

Now your life coach holds you accountable for your action steps and will be checking on you to see if you have completed what you said you would do.  Each weekly session is a review of the last and involves making more plans for the future.  This is how you move forward by tracking progress with your pen and paper or computer.  Usually a number of sessions are necessary to get the results you want.

After you happily reach your goal and are living the dream, your notes are available to you from all the work we did together and you can look back at how far you’ve come since that day you had this idea in mind.  Years later, you can review it again and again and be proud of yourself for all your answers, hard work, determination, perseverance and motivation.  You did it!

You are amazing!

#AndThat’sLifeCoachingWithJennifer

Lots of 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