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

 

 

 

 

 

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Baking (A-Z Challenge)

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One of my favorite things to do is bake desserts.  Eating them is even better but let’s stick to baking since B is the letter of the day.  By age 5 I was in the kitchen helping my mom with baking and I’ve loved it ever since because it’s one of my many creative outlets that I need.

Many people think baking is hard but the way I look at it is that if you can read, you can bake.  Same goes for cooking 😛  The recipes are laid out simply step by step that all you need to do is to follow along.  Baking is chemistry using precise measurements for some things and not so precise for others.  One tip when putting it in the oven, if the recipe says bake for 12-15 minutes, always set your timer and start at the first number so in this case, 12 and check on your little treasure.  If it’s not done go up minute by minute and keep checking so it doesn’t burn.  Don’t start a new project at this time you’ll forget what’s in the oven 😉

Usually my go to items are cakes, pies, cookies, squares, muffins, breads, pastries, you name it, starting with B.  Brownies, Blondies, Blueberry Muffins, Bourbon Pecan Pie,  Butterscotch Bars, Bagatelle and so much more.

The busiest time for baking is at Christmas where my entire kitchen is turned upside down and clouds of flour and icing sugar are everywhere among mountains of candy and chocolate. There’s one baking rule and that’s to have my music on so I can sing and dance but usually it’s loud because I need to hear it over my mixer!

What baked goods do you like to eat?  Chances are I’ve baked it 😀

And ate it 😉

#ImSoHungryNow

 

PS:  WordPress is not co-operating with me at the moment, I can reply to your comments on my blog but when I comment on your blog, it lands in your spam folder so please check there until I get this resolved somehow 😛  Thank you so much and welcome to Day 2 Master Chefs!!

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

A-to-Z Challenge

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The month of April is around the corner and is special for us bloggers because it’s the Ultimate Blogging Challenge called the #A-to-ZChallenge.com  I am participating in this event along with many of my WordPress friends and today is the theme reveal.  For me the theme is NO THEME 😛

Starting April 1st, each day except for Sundays are represented by a letter from the alphabet.  Instead of following a particular theme, I will write about whatever inspires me on a daily basis because I have a wide variety of interests, loves and even dislikes 😉

I know hard to believe right?

Get ready for some interesting stuff heading your way on April 1st beginning with the letter A 🙂

See you then,

 

Much Love,

Jen ❤

If I Would Have Listened

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This blog is dedicated to an amazing friend of mine, Basak Yanar, PhD.  She’s been there for me through many of my trials and tribulations, has a heart of gold, words of an angel and can crack the code on human behavior.  Please check her incredible published work.  If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here on WordPress writing today so Basak, this one’s for you beautiful lady.  All my love,

“If I would have listened to the nasty gremlins in my head
I never would have taken a step back from my work to analyze what I wanted to do

If I would have listened to the doubts that creep in at night and tell me I’m not good enough
I never would have had the courage to hire a life coach, YOU.

If I would have listened to the persistent gremlins in my head about my imperfections in writing
I never would have started a blog on WordPress

If I would have listened to the insecurities that my initial blog traffic was low
I never would have continued posting anything here and given up

If I would have listened to the people who doubted creativity and its importance in my life
I would have given up on soul searching, creating my life and blogging

If I would have listened to people telling me healing is found in a pharmacy
I would have never realized the healing properties that writing has for one’s soul

If I would have listened to people telling me blogging relationships are not real
I would have never pursued solidifying my connections and friendships with all of you

If I would have listened to people judging me for my circumstances
I would have never stood up to them for myself and my family

If I would have listened to people who betrayed me and took their love away
I would have never discovered my personal determination and perseverance

If I would have listened to the unhealthy relationships around me
I never would have discovered what healthy could look like

If I would have listened to my doubts that I deserve love and belonging
I never would have hit reset and started with loving myself first

If I would have listened to people who tried to take advantage of me
I would have never developed the skill of being investigative and protecting my rights

If I would have listened to my mind tell me that I should stay home to recover from heartbreak
I would have never followed my heart by gifting myself the gift of travel to heal instead

If I would have listened to the fears about traveling solo to India
I never would have visited such a beautiful country and met my Indian blogging friends in person

If I would have listened to my negative emotions
I never would have discovered what the positive ones were

If I would have listened to selfishness and greed
I never would have discovered the beauty of gratitude and kindness

If I would have listened to the people who made me question my self-worth
I never would have stumbled upon the amazing works of Brené Brown

If I would have listened to those gremlins again that I should do this or that
I never would have followed my intuition and stepped into my wants for the first time in my life”

Basak, thank you for all your love, support and encouragement in my own personal growth and development, I’m so glad I finally listened to me.

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

 

All My Gratitude

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I know I’ve been on a roll lately with my This Is India mini-series and I just wanted to thank everyone within and outside of WordPress for their love, support, kindness, likes, comments and friendship.  You guys are amazing!  Thank you for joining me on my healing journey through India by following me and reading all my blog posts, it was a way for me to get my story out.  I really enjoyed reading the comments every day and answering them with a smile or laughing right out loud!

All my gratitude to everyone in India for making my experience so memorable, Piyusha, Shambhavi, Chandrajit, Darshith, Binay, Bhavya, Neerja, Dinesh and Srinath.  You are all in my heart.

I have made even more WP friends in India because of this mini-series so it looks like my water bottle and I will have to make another trip one day to more cities and hilarious airports.  In the meantime, if you would like to connect more with me and see how crazy my life really is, join me on:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

All My Gratitude To YOU From Around The World,

Jenny ❤
xo

Finally, my friend Michelle reminded me about this song by Canadian artist Alanis Morrisette titled Thank You and it’s about taking time off, letting go, forgiving, being vulnerable, exposing your true self courageously and thanking all the consequences that happened to you.  It’s a true story of her career and her time off in India, while thanking India for the healing.  How appropriate, connected, relevant and amazing.

Thank you India

This Is India 2016-Part 1

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India has always been on my list of places to travel to but I never dreamed I would be going there so soon and for the reasons I did.

Last year was bittersweet for me and in a way, a blessing in disguise.  I became single and heartbroken in one realm and an emotional writer in the other.  I discovered when your heart cracks open that’s when the light gets in and compassion can easily flow through your veins and arteries.  I began to blog about my experience and the things I was dealing with in my life.  As it turned out, many others around the world connected with my thoughts and feelings.  My biggest fan base are from beautiful India and so wise in their words, thoughts and feelings.   I felt drawn to them and our hearts instantly connected.

When I felt better I made the decision to give the gift of travel to myself for everything I had been through in 2015 and connect even more with my blogging friends from WordPress in India and in person.  I made a reservation at a spa retreat there and booked the flights to see my friends in January 2016, as a solo traveler.

Welcome to This Is India 2016.

January 1st, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. EST – Canada

My friends Marie-Claude and Sam came to pick me and my 3 suitcases up and drove me to the airport for my 6 p.m. flight from Ottawa to Toronto to Delhi, India.  We had just received 30 cm of snow here and it was cold, -15 C and all I could think about were palm trees!  The flight from Ottawa to Toronto was uneventful and then I had to mentally prepare myself for the 14 hour flight from Toronto to Delhi.  I had many things to help me survive like books, music, in flight movies, my eye mask, and of course the food on the plane which consisted of 3 meals and snacks!

January 2nd, 2016 at 8:55 p.m. Delhi, India GMT

After 11, 965 km, I finally landed in Delhi and I was tired but so excited!  I was hoping my luggage made it which it did.  Wheeww!!!  I had arranged a hotel shuttle service to pick me up and luckily they didn’t forget about me.  I bought an India SIM card for my cell phone at the airport and switched it immediately so I could be on that plan and connect with everyone right away.  I love technology!  After clearing customs and security I went outside and found my driver to the hotel holding a sign with my name on it.  Driving in India is a blog in itself.  Let’s just say I thought New York City cabs were scary, this was something totally different that I will explain as I go along.  Just to give you an idea, there is a middle line down the road but after that, there are no lanes and horns never stop honking.  For some reason though, accidents rarely happen and traffic seems to self-align in every case.  I was amazed to say the least and then I thought hey this is India.  After checking into the Holiday Inn near the airport I went to my room and crashed on the bed.  I was grateful for making it here by myself and navigating to my hotel in one piece.  Then I slept for 10 hours!

January 3rd – 6th – Delhi, India

One thing I noticed since my arrival is that almost everyone working in the hotel is male.  I know this might seem like an odd observation and comment but it’s because in Canada it’s a real mix.  The hostess at the restaurant was the only girl I saw.  Even the housekeeping staff were men!  The second day I was there I heard a doorbell at my hotel room???  Outside my door was a young boy who worked at the hotel asking if I had any laundry to be done.  I was amazed at this adorable gesture and my thoughts again were hey, this is India.

After recovering from jet lag it was time to get outside and explore the city so I took a cab to Connaught Place and met my first blogging friend Piyusha!!  We clicked right away, laughed and talked a lot while drinking coffee in a Starbucks!  Shambhavi met up with us after and all three of us were great friends immediately.  Time to do some shopping!  I have to say Piyusha is definitely the Queen of shopping, especially when it comes to bargaining with the merchants!  She will not accept any bad deal and I was eternally grateful to be shopping with her being a foreigner and all!  I never laughed so much and it was so great to see her in action.  Shambhavi is a very good shopper too and knows a lot about the history of Indian traditions and festivals and I learned so much as we toured around Delhi.  We all piled into an auto-rickshaw and it was time to get some awesome street food at Dilli Haat!  We ate Aloo Ki Tikki, Gol Gappas with aloo channa masala, sweet chutney and spicy water, Chicken Manchurian with noodles.  YUM!  We exchanged cards, gifts, hugs at the end and we felt so good about our meetup.  Just as a side note, everyone calls me Jenny in India…so cute 🙂

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I met another fellow blogger and friend Chandrajit and we had supper while talking about life and blogs.  He is a very caring person who has a big heart reserved for a special person and it’s great to be able to help support him in this.  Many bloggers write about life, love, loss, gain or whatever thoughts cross their mind which is the beauty in blogging.  He remembered my birthday from December and bought me a cake which was really nice of him.

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I had hoped to meet up with Kriti and Darshith in Delhi but the timing didn’t work out unfortunately.  I had plans to meet Darshith next so that was okay after all, not to worry 😉  I wish I could have met you Kriti!!

Delhi was a vibrant city to explore the temperature was around +19 C.  Great for a Canadian girl in January!  Some days it’s hard to see because of the smog and that’s because of the population.  The new driving rule in Delhi is the odd/even schedule so depending on what number your licence plate ends with is the day you are allowed to drive your car.  Again, this is India.

So far so good seeing Delhi these first few days.  I was treated like a celebrity in the hotel restaurant because being a female solo traveler people are chatty and ask a lot of questions.  Some brought me free food and things to try without me even asking for it which was very nice of them.  People in India have the biggest hearts and I love it.  Now I’m off to the Delhi airport again to make my next tour on the East Coast in Bhubaneswar!  The staff at the airport will get to know me well with all my future connections!  Maybe they will be saying “there’s that Canadian girl again..”

Stay tuned and to be continued….

Much Love,

Jenny 😉

 

 

The Beauty of Solo Travel

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How brave are you?  Have you ever dreamed of taking off and traveling to a new and exciting place?

Alone???

I’m here to tell you that it’s possible and I did it.  I just got back from a solo travel trip to India for 3 weeks and I would do it again in a heartbeat ❤

There are many benefits to traveling solo and I’d like to share what I found with you.

  1. It’s empowering. You gain self-confidence very quickly and your world opens up even more, literally.  Not only that your common sense becomes greater
  2. TIME. You have it all to yourself and it’s what everyone dreams about having more of.  There is no need to share an agenda, you can sleep, eat and do what you want when and where you want.  You also have the time to reflect on your life and discover things about yourself you never even knew.  It’s a great time for personal growth and development
  3. Teaches you patience and flexibility in unexpected situations and you become more accepting of others and their way of living. Your mind and heart opens up to the Universe
  4. Your problem-solving skills will sharpen even more. Getting around town becomes a fun challenge on your own and suddenly you are listening to your intuition more, I also became more spiritual
  5. You gain a new perspective on life and become grateful for everything you have
  6. You love those around you even more
  7. You begin to lower your expectations of how things should be and learn to go with the flow more. Your positive energy attracts positive people
  8. I found people to be very approachable with me and I was to them. I was being treated like I was some kind of celebrity for the first time!  I received many freebie things like food along the way, great conversations, advice of what to see in the area.  Very friendly people are out there, you just need to flash a nice smile sometimes 😉
  9. You gain respect and admiration from those around you for your courage and if you have kids, you are setting a good example for them because they see that anything is possible if you want it bad enough
  10. You make wonderful memories with wonderful people around the world and nobody can take this experience of a lifetime away from you

There will always be some people who will try to deter you from traveling solo but you have to remember they are projecting their fears on you.  Some said “you are a single woman” (yes), “it’s going to be dangerous” (how do they know), “you should go with someone, not alone” (that defeats the entire purpose of solo travel).  My response, I booked my tickets, packed my bags excessively and boarded the 14 hour flight from Toronto, Canada to Delhi, India on January 1st, 2016.  What a great day and way to kick off 2016!

For me, this was a trip of healing for personal reasons and it was to see my close blogging friends that I have a strong connection with in person who are all over India.  Piyusha, Shambhavi, Bhavya, Darshith, Neerja, Dinesh, Chandrajit, Srinath, Kriti and many others I couldn’t meet were the many reasons I had to go.  I felt like the Universe aligned and brought me to WordPress so I could write my thoughts and feelings out there and attract such amazing people into my life.  Then it was so generous to give me this opportunity to travel and meet everyone in person, making our connections stronger than ever.  I am so grateful and if I can say one thing, I will say this; listen to your wants, not everyone else’s around you because it’s your life, not theirs.  At the end of the day, you need to live it.

How was it?

Amazing, inspiring, life changing, delicious, fun and a must for everyone to do once in their lifetime.  India is a beautiful place to go and heal your soul because it’s a spiritual and peaceful place but at the same time a chaotic one that not only changes your mind but also your perspective on life for the better.  This was my way of pushing the “reset button” or “refresh button” on my life so I could come back home and continue to help others and myself in a healthier way.

One of the most beautiful things I learned from life is that in order to find yourself, you need to lose yourself first.  And sometimes in the middle of nowhere is where you end up finding yourself, for me it was in India.  By listening to your intuition it will give you answers but in order to hear it you need to get quiet and alone because it’s only a whisper inside you.  Reflecting on this will guide you in the best possible direction that is right for you and that’s called soul speak, which is the beauty of solo travel.

So much love to everyone in India, thank you for the visits and memories and because of WordPress this was made possible.  I’d like to change the name to WorldPress, FriendPress, LovePress, FunPress, DreamPress, InspirationPress, I think you get the idea….

Much love to you,

Jenny
xo