Project Self: Self-Discovery

20180410_062421

“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 ❤

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Your Hungry Soul

Feed_Your_Soul_031

This post goes out to all the people with thirsty hearts and hungry souls…(that includes me)

You’ve heard the saying, “Feed Your Soul,” I know I say it quite a bit myself because sometimes there are days when my soul is so hungry!  Hungry for what?  Something purposeful, meaningful, and inspirational.  Isn’t that what life is all about and why we’re here?

What makes you tick?  Lights you up from the inside out?  That’s what I’m talking about.

One of the greatest things I’ve learned after my divorce is how to stop the insanity and feed my soul.  Things I completely forgot about came back to me, like writing, listening to song lyrics, exercise, and walking beside a body of water.  Whenever I’m feeling blue, these are the things that swoop in and heal me in an inspiring way.  I also discovered new things like reading Paulo Coelho books that are so incredibly written.  He is one heck of a word wizard that’s for sure.  In case of an emergency, cookies are always good too, but not too many!

Then there are the tougher days.  Starvation sets in and no matter what you do, your soul never seems fed or satisfied.  Maybe it’s your job or a relationship that’s keeping you down and confused about your true desires and the search seems endless.   This is when creativity comes in very handy or talking it out with a trusted friend.  Feed your hungry soul and quench that thirsty heart of yours!  Just try to be around people who actually feed your soul and not eat it!  That completely defeats the purpose.

And just so you know, anything soul-sucking needs to go immediately.

117821-Starve-Your-Ego-Feed-Your-Soul

One of my favorite author’s and life coach, Danielle LaPorte says we should make goals with a soul.  In other words, strive for the things we desire that make us feel good.  Goals are great but are sometimes too much work if you’re not that interested in them.  Is your goal a should or a want?  Maybe we’re living our lives backward and inside out because if we put our desire ahead of our goal, it would probably be more achievable since we know it makes us feel good in the end.   Follow the pull, not the push.

Other times you have to let go and throw fate into the water and see what happens next.  However, sometimes, even water can’t wash away the pain, but when you’re hungry, you’ll do anything to feed it.  This can be a good sign because that might prompt you to discover a new hobby, change careers, meet an old friend, pray from the heart, or take a trip somewhere new and exciting.  We just want to connect with someone or something that makes us feel good.  What makes you happy?  When you find out, do that as much as possible.

When your soul is hungry, what is your go-to spiritual diet?  What do you crave?

Much Love,

Jen 🙂

P.S:  What better time of the year than to curl up with a book and get inspired 😉  “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at all online bookstores worldwide, pick up your copy today!! Have a great weekend everyone ❤

 

Even The Caged Bird Sings

caged_bird_sings

I feel your pain and struggles.  I know what it’s like to be imprisoned in your own mind and heart.  Some days the walls are so high to climb, you just want to give up.  I’ve been there in that exact same spot and all I can say is that you need to let it all out.  Express yourself whatever way you know how to do it, but do it from your deepest core.  It’s the only way out where you can find some answers and freedom.

Whether you’re a bird in a cage that is physical, mental, or emotional, there’s always an escape route and that’s by expressing your pain through your creativity.  We are all artists and creative, some just choose to use it more than others.  Find out what fills you up from the inside out and do that as much as humanly possible.  When the caged bird sings, she’s asking for help, saying a prayer, crying her emotions out to the world.  Some days she’s singing because she’s happy and that’s what connects her to the world and when we feel connected, it feels pretty damn good, right?  It’s possible to find the positives within the negatives and feel free even though you are trapped inside your head.  Start by getting out of your own way, close your eyes, and look with your heart instead.  How do you want to feel?  Let that be your measuring stick and your guide.

Feeling stuck on how to be creative?  Here are some suggestions; sing, dance, make videos, write, draw, paint, sculpt, dramatic arts, play a musical instrument, photography, beauty techniques, hair design, fashion, cooking, baking, scrapbooking, interior decorating, renovating, party planning, building, sports, sewing, knitting, gardening, landscaping and the list goes on.  What did you like to do when you were in grade 3?  That’s always a good starting point.

From time to time life is going to make us feel lonely, disappointed, upset, confused, and trapped.  However, despite all that, we need to remember who we truly are and if we don’t know, it’s time we did, because that’s what will help us deal with these tough times and get us through to the other side.  Even when life seems to put up walls around us, it’s possible to live fulfilling lives by using our creativity so it can set us free.

That’s why even the caged bird sings.

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

**I would like to say many thanks, appreciation, and gratitude to everyone for reading my blogs and my new book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak.”  It’s heartwarming to read all the feedback from you and to know it’s making a positive impact in the lives of others because that’s been my intention all along.  I have been and still am a caged bird at times but my writing allows me to express myself so I can heal, feel free, and move on with my life in a positive way ❤

If you would like to pick up a copy of my book, it’s available at all online bookstores worldwide, FriesenPress bookstore and in some physical bookstores such as; Michabou, Prospero Books, Caversham Booksellers, and Chapters Kanata.

On Saturday, August 12th, 2017, I will be hosting a book signing event for “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” at Chapters Kanata in Ottawa, from 11 am – 3 pm.  They are located in the Kanata Centrum Shopping Centre at 400 Earl Grey Drive, Kanata, Ontario K2T 1B9.  Signed paperback copies can be purchased for $20 +taxes.  Hope to see you there!

Many heartfelt thanks for all your love and support, dare to live courageously…

~ Jennifer Green
XO

Looking Back While Looking Ahead

13876251_1728195890775412_2137856446918557407_n

I read somewhere that you should never look back on things that happened but only look back to see how far you’ve come.  I would like to add that looking back can be a positive experience if your intention is to find the life lesson or silver lining hiding within the situation.

“No experience is wasted…everything in life is to grow you up.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

Looking back, it’s been one year ago today, October 27th, 2015 when I signed my divorce papers.  Since then I’ve done a lot of soul-searching, writing, learning, and personal growth and development.  The year 2015 was the most difficult time of my life and in 2016, I needed to make it one of the best years of my life.  Looking ahead, I just finished writing my first book which was cathartic.  My new start began with my trip to India in January 2016 and it was the best way to push the restart button on my new life.

I’ve definitely come a long way in a short amount of time.

I am currently in the editing phase with my publishing company and I am expecting to have my book released in early 2017 which I am crazy excited about!  It will be available everywhere online, more details on that to come later on.  I wanted to share this news and blog about it to let you know it’s coming and give you some background information at the same time.

This book is about how I dealt with my separation and divorce and how I overcame adversity by self-reflection and finding the silver lining in my crumbling life events.  It’s not a book of venting or blaming.  It’s about my journey to recovery, accepting my own responsibilities and how I kept a positive outlook and learned some life lessons while living through the most difficult time of my life.  For every chapter, I describe the before, during and after phase by including my reflections now and a blog I wrote on my website in real time with the real emotions of what I was going through in 2015 and 2016.  Therefore, these chapters are the real and personal stories behind the blogs I wrote, alongside my reflections now.

We all fall down in life and I admit I have fallen many times which is painful and hurts so much.  It’s normal to stay down for a while but eventually, you need to get back up and face reality.  This requires some action steps and commitment. But for some, this is where the rubber fails to hit the road.  They may know what they need to do but they can’t even begin to even try.  I know how hard that is because there were days I felt the same way, but I realized that by keeping an open mind and open heart I may fall again and what’s important is finding the strength to keep rising with an incredible support system.

If you’ve ever had a relationship end in a traumatic way and change your world or if you are in the middle of one right now, rest assured you are not alone, I can sympathize and empathize with you and I am by your side.   My intention is to let you know you’re not alone and you can get through it.

Even though every story or scenario might be different when it comes to any type of loss in life, the one thing we all share is our emotions and the grieving process we all go through. That’s how we’re all connected and if we can support one another during our most difficult times, this I know for sure is the best way to survive.

It definitely worked for me, I didn’t do this alone.

Once you have the support you need, you can begin the healing process by taking some responsibility for your own actions because let’s face it, it takes two people to make or break a relationship.  This might come as a surprise to some because when there is a breakup, one person may be more to blame than the other.  This might be true to some extent but the other person definitely plays a role in that relationship which led to its demise whether they want to own it or not.  Life is a journey of imperfections, and trials and tribulations.  Some days, weeks or years are better than others but let’s not forget we’re all human.

Not robots, not perfect and not superior.

I would like to share some words by author Brené Brown that helped carry me through some of my toughest times and I hope they help you too.

Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted

“There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise

With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look at it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.

We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.

We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.

Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home.
Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.”

I feel proud for sharing my story with all of you in my upcoming book and I appreciate all of your love and support.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

Cheers to Three Years…

happy-anniversary-cake-500x500

Hey, it’s my three-year blogging anniversary today, June 18th, 2016!!  I wanted to honor this day and write something special so let’s take a short trip back in time, shall we?

Three years ago, one of my closest friends encouraged me to create this blog because she had one too.  She’s a life coach and one of my biggest cheerleaders and motivators in my life and even though I was months away from becoming a life coach myself, I had reservations about starting this blog before I obtained that status.  However, she encouraged me to just begin blogging and not worry about perfection.  She said, “If you wait for a perfect time, that time never comes, begin it now.”  So I did and Courage Coach was born.  I had no idea what I wanted to write about, so one of my first posts was about courage itself which represented what I am all about and to show I walk the talk.  After one post I felt like I had writer’s block already so for my second post I put up a photo of nature I took because I found it inspiring 😉

In that first year, I became a coach and used to blog once a month, finding topics related to life coaching and areas that interested me.  I refined my tabs and my About Me page almost 50 times because I wanted to create this reading and writing space for two reasons.  To market my life coaching business and to connect with people worldwide by writing on topics we all deal with in a positive light such as health and wellness goals, loss, how to forgive, and much more.

During my second year, I was blogging frequently because I felt more confident and I was fully into life coaching.  The more I wrote about life the more I discovered myself in the process, I was falling in love with writing all over again and was starting to meet many people worldwide who connected with my words.  My friend was right that in order to connect with people we shouldn’t worry about being perfect because when we’re willing to show up and be seen and allow ourselves to be imperfect, that’s where beauty is found and where connection lives.

This past year proved to be the most devastating and exceptional year of all.  2015 started out with a huge betrayal to me and despite this, I had to continue life coaching and inspire people even though I didn’t feel inspired myself at times.  I am also a nurse taking care of other people and there were days I could barely take care of myself.  It was the biggest personal internal war I ever fought aside from the fact of being abandoned on my own with two kids.  Waves of emotion were drowning me and I had to find a way out so I turned to writing because it’s what I love to do and it literally saved me.

I wrote about quotes and topics I was dealing with to heal myself and after doing so, people were connecting with me even more because it was written with emotion and it was cathartic for me.  I wrote my heart out and cried my eyes out and wrote in a way that was inspiring instead of venting and every time I did this, I felt a little better so I could continue living my new life as “normally” as possible while focusing on the positives I had.  The more I focused on what I had, the more I received in return.  Therefore, on one hand I was being abandoned by one person and on the other I was connecting with hundreds of others.  Connection always wins.

My greatest surprise was making several friends in India who went from WordPress followers to Facebook friends and finally a trip to India to meet some of them in person who are a huge part of my life now.  After blogging about my trip, my India following has increased dramatically and I love my nickname, the “daughter of India.”  One day I’ll have to come back and meet everyone 🙂

In 2016 I did my first #A-Z Challenge which was so much fun and I had to write every day except Sundays.  I met, even more, people who inspire me.  The beauty of finding inspiration and life coaching is that it’s like a magic mirror.  What you see in me, I also see in you.

One of my favorite things to do is to go through the WordPress reader and get caught up with everyone’s blogs and vlogs to see what’s inspiring you, read what’s on your mind and know that you’re okay.  I have learned so much from everyone I am following! Commenting on blogs and reading comments is fun too, this always puts a smile on my face 😀

What I know for sure, is this blog represents life coaching, my writing, a worldwide community, friendships, family and 954 followers to date.  Most of all, this blog represents me; a courageous woman who overcame adversity through writing.  Ironically, I chose the right name for my blog after all.  My job is to inspire you to be courageous and live your life to the fullest.

I am eternally grateful to be connected with ALL of you, it’s been quite a blogging journey with your love and support, I feel inspired and motivated to keep writing more and because of that, I’m writing a book on how I managed to get through this betrayal and what I learned along the way, I’ll let you know when it’s finished.  My life is better now, many thanks to all of you.

Keep blogging and keep going people.  We’re all in this together.

Cheers to three years…

 

All my love ❤

Jen
xo

Two Sunshine Blogger Awards

image-sunshine-blogger-award

One morning I woke up to a very pleasant surprise to see that not one but two fellow bloggers had nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  It was such a great way to start my day with my morning coffee 🙂

First, I would like to say a big thank you to Vandana for thinking of me and nominating me for this awesome award!  If you haven’t checked her site Feelings and Freedom, please do because her posts are inspirational and she also writes Limericks such as Love, Passion and Imperfect.  Two things I have in common with Vandana are that we both love music and reading.

Second, I would like to say a huge thank you to Tookii from Australia for nominating me for this amazing award and she is the youngest blogger I’ve come across in WordPress!  She’s definitely under 10, adorable, on every social media site invented plus she has her own YouTube channel complete with vlogs!  You really need to follow her and check out her site Join The Cub.  She has posts from a kids point of view like great snacks for the car, night beach yoga and checking the chickens!

 

Recipient rules for the award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer 11 questions put forth by the nominator
  3. Nominate 11 people for the award
  4. Frame 11 questions for your nominees

 

My replies to the questions Vandana gave me:

  1. What do you enjoy more-reading or writing? To be honest I enjoy writing more, it’s a way for me to get my thoughts and feelings sorted out when I am not sure about something.  I do love reading though because it’s an escape from reality and into another world which is always good.
  2. Which is your all-time favorite book? I love the Alchemist because it’s about a boy who goes far and away to find his treasure then realizes that his treasure is actually within himself.  This book reminds me of life coaching very much and a good friend told me about it.
  3. What/Who is your inspiration for writing? I love inspirational writers such as Marianne Williamson, Martha Beck, Cheryl Richardson, Tony Robbins and Gary Zukav.  Some are life coaches and since I am too, I can connect with their words.
  4. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it? I just went zip lining for Mother’s Day this year and it was a 3.5 hour climb and zip lining time in the mountains.  I actually survived it and had a great time.  I was the only mom up there I can tell you that!
  5. What is your biggest regret in life, if any? Not knowing how to set boundaries for myself.  Now I know, I learned the hard way but at least I learned.
  6. If you were given a chance to fulfill two of your wishes, what would they be? I would wish for two more wishes so that I would have four.
  7. Do you like to cook? Yes I do and I am a big foodie.  I can cook and bake anything and I love it.
  8. Who is the most important person in your life? My two boys.
  9. Who is your favorite author? Paulo Coelho.  I love him and his books he is just an amazing and inspiring person with the most beautiful thoughts.  I connect with his writing very much.
  10. Do you believe in God? Yes I do.  I also believe He has a plan for all of us and that we are where we are supposed to be at all times.  We can’t see His plan but we can live it.
  11. Do you like to travel? Yes I love traveling.  I recently went to India this past January and had an amazing time, it was a healing and unforgettable experience and I also met 8 blogging friends while I was there!   Otherwise I travel with my kids everywhere.

 

My replies to the questions Tookii gave me:

  1. What was your favorite source of comfort growing up (pet, place, person, thing)? I would have to say it was my Scottish Terrier dog named Kiltae.  She was so calm and a really good family pet, we used to go for long walks together.
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory? Growing up we had a pool so spending the entire summer swimming and playing in the pool with my friends is my favorite childhood memory.  And eating watermelon after all that swimming 😀
  3. If you could give any one thing to the world what would it be? World Peace ❤
  4. The one piece of advice you would give to your younger self? “Have more self-confidence you are stronger than you think you are, you can do this.”
  5. What are you most likely to do while sitting by the fire on a rainy day? Read a really good book with a cup of hot chocolate and whipped cream!  Then fall asleep!
  6. Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles!!!!!!!  YUMM!  With syrup of course 😛
  7. Is 12 noon AM or PM? Very tricky question here….it depends I suppose.  I’ll say PM
  8. What was your favorite childhood activity? I always played sports and during my childhood I did track and field events.  I would try to run like the wind!
  9. Are you happy? Yes, now I am.
  10. Why? Why not?  Actually I always look for the life lesson in everything so in the end that makes me happy.  Everything happens for a reason Tookii, always remember this one 😉
  11. What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail? I would love to live and work in a different country every two years so I could explore the world as much as possible.  Maybe I will make it to Australia one day!

 

I would like to nominate:

Anyone who would like to participate and you can answer the same questions as above 🙂

Thank you again Vandana and Tookii for the nomination!!  You both inspire me very much ❤ ❤

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

To The Daughter I Never Had

664ba0f96b97813f4f888552e60b8eb9

~ 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

If I Would Have Listened

Flowers-Photos-8-Cool-Wallpapers-HD

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

 

This Is India – Part 6

941040_10153849465839557_5983224730819678058_n

January 18th – 19th, 2016 – Delhi, India to Ottawa, Canada

After texting with NJ a few more goodbyes I was at the airport in Pune ready to do my last internal flight before heading home.  I was an expert at stuffing as much as possible into my carry-ons to avoid the excess baggage weight.   Meanwhile, at the Pune counter, another helpful young man insisted he try to pack more things into my carry-on!  Oh my goodness not again, those unmentionables 😛  Maybe this was a way for them to see what foreign girls carry in their suitcases!!  So here we go again…apparently he was able to get even more things into my carry-ons so in the end, I was grateful and embarrassed.  This Is India.  Same security water bottle story repeats itself in Pune except this time they want to see what’s in one of my carry-ons.  Oh wow, I have to unstuff this thing and search for a little statue I bought.  All my things were everywhere and then they wanted to see what was in my make-up bag.  The guy was funny because he held up my eyebrow plucker and asked me what this was used for, I was laughing so hard he started laughing too.  Why is the airport such an adventure for me?

On the plane I sat next to a little boy around 4 years old and his dad.  The boy was pretty chatty asking me questions like where am I going, am I all alone, touching my hair and smiling.  I entertained this little boy for about an hour and then the dad said his son rarely talks to anyone.  I was shocked and happy at the same time 🙂  For some reason kids open up to me, I don’t know why.  Then….. in the aisle over was his wife and I only realized that when I looked up and made eye contact with her.  She was not impressed with me having fun with her son and talking to her husband so I had to stop talking and entertaining.  Is This India?

The eagle landed in Delhi and I was meeting another blogging friend before heading home.  I had many hours to kill so it was nice to have a visit with one more person, Srinath Krishnamoorthy from Kerala, India.  Please visit his awesome blog SrinathKrishnamoorthy because not only is he a fellow blogger, he is a published author and his book is flying off shelves and running out at book fairs across India!  The title is “Hope We Never Meet Again” I am currently reading it right now and it’s a great page turner.  You can buy his book on sites like Amazon and FlipCart and I highly recommend reading it.  Very big thank you to Darshith for introducing me to Srinath’s blog months ago because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be meeting Srinath today.  Thanks Darshith 😀

DSC00879                 DSC00882

After getting my luggage and getting organized, I talked with Srinath on the phone to find out how we will recognize each other.  I said I’m the only foreign girl standing outside near gate 3 at domestic arrivals terminal 3 😉  Sure enough we found each other!  Srinath is a ball of energy with such inspiration when he talks.  He was at a Delhi Book Fair during the weekend and over 250 copies of his book sold out and he managed to save one just for me.  He gave me the book and personally signed my copy right there.  I was so thankful and happy to meet him and he said this is the first book which is leaving India to another country!  How amazing is that?  He also gave me several bookmarks that I could pass around to my friends and family which I am currently doing now 😀  We talked for almost two hours about life, quotes, tough times, writing, finding a publisher and I explained my reasons for coming and my personal history to him with tears of course.  Srinath is very understanding and also has a big heart just like all my other friends.  He said I need to write my story, get it out I can write a book about my experience and said it might be possible to co-author with him one day.  I was extremely interested and motivated when he said this and yes I still am Srinath!  I’m going to work on this and keep you posted for sure my friend.  Originally we were supposed to meet in Pune but couldn’t because of Srinath’s busy schedule with promoting his book but it worked out to meet in Delhi after all.  Srinath, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for meeting me at the airport and encouraging me to write my story which I will do.  It was an absolute pleasure talking with you and hearing your thoughts, feelings, insights and perspectives on life.  These are the types of conversations that I love because they connect us, we’re all dealing with something therefore we’re all connected.  We just need to show up.  This Is India.

It was time for me to check my luggage and Srinath had to go.  We said our goodbyes and again me being the emotional one, but by this point, it was ok and the people at Delhi airport were like family to me now since I’ve been there so many times in the past 3 weeks!  They knew me by now 😉

I went to the Air Canada ticket counter this time and checked my heavy suitcases in and when flying International with them, you are allowed 2 complimentary bags.  No more excess baggage and no more Rupees.  I watched my bags zoom across as I waved bye bye to them.  I saved my ticket stubs from most of my flights and had to take a pic to show you!  Here’s my famous luggage which is very flashy because I purposely bought something that would stand out so it wouldn’t get lost.  Mission accomplished on that one.

DSC00856              DSC00872

I went to eat at a restaurant and then texts and calls were coming in from my India friends wishing me bon voyage which was so sweet of them.  I stayed in touch until I got on the plane at 12:45 a.m. on January 19th.  I felt sad leaving them but so happy I was able to have this lifetime experience full of great, great memories.  I’ve been enjoying writing about this trip and I thank all my readers, followers new and old for joining me on this trip via WordPress.  Like Darshith said to me, if it wasn’t for WP I wouldn’t have had these friendships, experiences or this trip and he’s right.  WordPress has changed my life and it can also change yours in so many ways because so much is possible.  If you want something bad enough and there’s a wall facing you, jump over it, knock it down do whatever you need to do.  When there’s a will there’s a way.

I flew back to Canada connecting in Toronto and landing in Ottawa.  The temp was -30C and lots of snow was on the ground.  Big difference from Pune at +30 C just a few days ago.  My great friend Helene picked me up at the airport with a winter coat for me to put on for the ride home which was so nice of her.  Merci beaucoup Helene!!

I messaged everyone back in India that I made it home and it was freezing here.  This Is Canada.

IMG_20160121_122848                DSC00876

Some questions I’ve been asked by my friends and family since I’ve been back:

Q:  How was the food?
A:  Amazing, I loved it all even the spicy food

Q:  Did you get sick?
A:  Nope.

Q:  Did you have a culture shock, you must have had that?
A:  No I just went with the flow had an open mind and heart because hey This Is India.

Q:  How was the weather?
A:  Great!  Always between +18 C to +32 C depending on where I was (jealousy…) and no rain

Q:  How was it meeting your blogging friends?
A:  So inspiring and so much fun, they were my highlight that’s for sure

Q:  Were you able to meet ChicWithMessyBun?
A:  No unfortunately not, her mom became sick so we had to cancel.  Both of us were sad but understanding.  Next time we will have to meet.  Miss you Bhavya!

Q:  How was the Retreat?
A:  Awesome, I loved everything about it

Q:  Did you take lots of pictures?
A:  Yes, probably close to 500

Q:  Would you go back again?
A:  In a heartbeat.

So Srinath, in honor of your book, I Hope We DO Meet Again!  When I come back I’ll visit you in Kerala like you insisted and I hope I pronounce it right!!  That was so funny learning how to say it like a local with you.  This Is India.

 

Much Love,

Jenny ❤
xo

This Is India – Part 4

20160114_130610

January 13th– 15th, 2016 – Bhubaneswar, India (again..)

The Dehra Dun airport is the smallest one I’ve been in so far.  The same procedures happen as far as paying for excess baggage, going through security in the ladies line up, watching my 2 litre water bottle go through the scanner to be photographed again.   BUT….this time when my bottle reached the other side, a guard asked me to take a sip of the water in front of him.  My jaw hit the floor.  Now I was feeling more Canadian having someone being suspicious of my water bottle.  I twisted that cap off with a huge grin and gladly took a big sip.  He seemed to grin back at me and waved me off like I had passed the test.  Yayyy!!  This is India.  There seemed to be more foreigners like me in this airport because in Rishikesh it’s a big outdoor adventure town and people from all over the world go there to do things like bungee jumping, white water rafting and more.

When I arrived in Delhi I wanted a coffee so I went to the food court on the upper level.  What on earth did I see but a whole lot of pigeons flying and walking around in the food court!  For a moment I felt I was at the beach with the seagulls back home.  Here is a picture of Mr. Pigeon strutting his stuff in Delhi Airport.  This Is India.

20160115_141008 (2)

My connecting flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar was great and the thing about flying within India whether it’s a two hour flight or more, they feed you.  Not just peanuts in a mini bag, a hot meal with silverware and it’s included in the price of your flight.  This is India.  This also makes me very happy 😛

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to check into the Mayfair again because they were full, but I did stay at another great place called The Swosti Hotel.  The staff were great but nothing compares to the Mayfair.  I got in late so I wasn’t able to see Darshith that night but we were able to text so that was great.  He was working the next day anyway.

I woke up early the next morning and got ready to go out and be a tourist seeing temples and doing some more shopping, just to add more weight to my luggage!  The hotel hired an auto-rickshaw driver to stay with me for the day and be by my side while shopping.  Now I know how celebrities feel.  I have to admit I felt safe and nervous all at the same time but it was all good.  The driver was really nice and the first thing we did was go shopping.  It was a bit strange having someone watch and wait for me while I looked around in stores and he even pointed things out for me to buy!  Walking around with him produced many stares and gazes from people but there was nothing I could do.  After buying several things it was time to drive around in the chaos and see some temples.  After all, that’s what Bhubaneswar is famous for are their temples  🙂

20160114_112147        20160114_122819

20160114_122909        20160114_133131

20160114_123253

They were all very beautiful and peaceful.  I felt more spiritual and calm just being there, it was such a great feeling.  These were some of the reasons I chose to do this trip.  I found it interesting how serene I would feel while visiting the temples and then how chaotic I would feel getting back into the auto-rickshaw and the traffic!  This Is India.  Cows are considered Holy in India and they roam the streets in the traffic, I don’t know how they stay safe but they manage to do it thank goodness.  It’s really nice seeing them like this.

After a day of going around, I went back to the hotel to eat and rest.  When Darshith finished work he came by for another visit and we picked up our conversation where we left off and laughed and talked a lot which was so great.  It was nice having a second chance of meeting again but we only had that evening because I was leaving the next day already.  It was time to say good bye again and we all know how good I am at that!  Not.  This time I was actually better than the other time so I was slightly improving.

IMG-20160115-WA0001             IMG-20160115-WA0000

When I think about why I was in India, sometimes I have to pinch myself.  To get a new start and connect more with my blogging friends there.  Through blogging in WordPress you get to know people by how they think because it’s reflected in how they write.  Their thoughts and feelings dig deep inside you leaving a unique mark on you that’s just from them.  I have many of these connections and marks with all of you and I think it’s important to say that it’s a friendship kind of love because we understand and appreciate one another.  Being appreciated and understood are what we all crave and we can achieve that here.  Love is not always attainable; yes it’s wonderful to be loved but more profound to be understood.

The next day I am off to visit my lovely friend NJ and her hubby for a few days and I can’t wait 😀

I had a great time feeding my soul in Bhubaneswar again.

This Is India.

Stay tuned, to be continued in Pune….

Namaste,

Jenny
xo