December 24, 2014

i ain't no half-assed human

Oh how I needed to pull back and reassess.

I’m a wildly passionate woman who approaches much in life with gusto and enthusiasm. I don’t do anything halfway, and moderation doesn’t come to visit my vocabulary often. It’s been a blessing in so many ways and a curse in others.

I took to motherhood with all my life force. When I make a new friend, I give my all. I set out to make a difference in the world while firing on all cylinders. I started my business fueled by the intensity and deep rooted desire to make it so. Everything I do, I do with conviction until it is a full being experience. 

I’m insatiable. It use to piss me off, but I see now that my hunger is what has kept me going. When nothing can entirely satiate a person, they’re more likely to hunt for life’s spice and flavor until they can find that thing that fills them up. The pleasure is in the hunt!

I see opportunity everywhere. An opportunity for success, an opportunity to help, and opportunity to be of service, an opportunity to change a legacy, raise the bar and lead the way; an opportunity to listen, an opportunity to learn, to share and to grow.  There’s always something and someone new, and it’s exciting, and invigorating, and deeply, deeply satisfying to be able to feel such excitement so fiercely.

My downfall has been my resistance to the time allotment I was given. I don’t know how many years I’ll be blessed with. None of us know. But I do know that I harbor so much frustration over the fact that I have only been given, as we all have, 24 hours in a day. My time is my most valuable commodity and I guard it with my life, yet still give it away with all my heart when I feel called to do so..I wish I had the time to do everything that tugs at my soul, and I don’t! I wish I had the time to tend to it all with the thoroughness and tender that I know I’m capable of, but I can't under 24 hour conditions. 

I use to think that my biggest fear is that I would run out of time, but after some much needed introspection, I ripped the layers clean off, realizing my biggest fear is that I will leave this world having done a whole lot of nothing worth a damn.

I struggle with balance.

I’ve just realized that in spite of all the opportunity that I can so clearly see, I have not learned to identify whether it’s an opportunity for me, or if it would be an opportunity best suited for someone else.

Therein lays my challenge. I see possibility everywhere; my ability to focus on what’s possible in life has been my saving grace; a grace most have been robbed of over the years. I was taught never to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve whittled this particular challenge that I face down to that very belief wiring.

How dare I say no to life!

Right now marks the time where I've realized that I can still see possibility every where on this earth while knowing that being selective doesn’t mean I’m saying no to life’s possibilities. It just means that I’m saying yes to a life that’s tailored for me.  I highly doubt that my exuberant way of navigating my journey will ever change. But I don’t care to do anything that I can’t do with every ounce of my being.

With that knowingness, I had to acknowledge that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Although, my intentions are always for the best, I end up becoming a half-assed human who does half assed work in the world. I can’t live like that.


What a hugely freeing realization.      

December 16, 2014

celebrating success & daily brags— 'cause it's so much more fun than feeling like crap



I think it's important for a person to learn how to celebrate others' successes as if those successes were their very own...

Learning to feel genuinely happy for someone without letting the meaning of their success become our own story of self-perceived failure is critical to the health of our self-worth.


Did you know that the people who are usually the hardest on themselves when it comes to the way they interpret other people's triumphs, are the least likely to talk about their own? 



They just don't want to pave the way for others to feel poorly, so they keep a lid on their victory... 
As a result, they stifle and down play their own personal achievements; often not even taking the time to acknowledge they've even had a success to speak of! 

If we just started honoring everyone's stellar moments, we'd pretty much change the game by taking "fear of success" out at the knees! 


Have you had any success recently? 



Something that needs some sharing and celebrating? 



It can even be small...like say...



"Hey, I'm a stay at home mom of 3 and managed to have a shower today! Woohooo!!!" ;) 


My point is, we need to celebrate ourselves and each other more than we do!

Let me know about one of your recent wins in the comments below, because as Walt Whitman says:




 "If you done it, it ain't bragging" ;)









December 14, 2014

lusciousness is calling—men, women, sex, shaven legs & lightening up




What is empowerment coaching and what is The SWAT Institute all about?



Founder of this life coaching school, world renowned coach, and best selling author, Crystal Andrus hosts a LIVE no-holds barred call every Tuesday at 1PM EST that is opened to the public. 

Any woman who wishes to listen in as a fly on the wall, can. If you're feeling bold you can even get in there with your own question...ask her anything - creating healthy boundaries, facing your fears, overcoming self doubt, empowerment, creative financing, building courses, specific questions about the school... A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G! It's her time in the hot seat!

Usually you have to be registered for these free calls in order to access the replays, but (shhhhhh...) I thought I'd sneak you in through the back door so you could take a listen to last week's lusciously awesome call. 

Relationship question
turned full
 hour of saucy hotness! 

We're talking men, women, mo-jo, relationship dynamic, archetypes, sex, shaven legs, lightening up, self-care, and feelin' like a million bucks...

So, Get yourself cozy, settle in and enjoy the replay right HERE , right now, online. 

Want to access the other replays and get the call-in details every week? Sign up here and join in on the conversations. 






December 13, 2014

daily gratitude with a baditude—like pulling teeth


"Screw it! I don't want to feel grateful, I want to feel bitchy." 


Ever had those days? 

I had a rough go yesterday- it's affected today's mood à-la-bigtime.

Although experiences like that are far and few between, I literally felt like the recipient of everyone's passive aggressive behavior- like a bloody punching bag- it seemed to be the theme of the day. It's hard to get a grip on your feelings when it's coming from all angles... 

Ouch...
Ouch!.... 
OUCH! 
Dammit, Knock it off!!!!!!!

...and all you can think to yourself is, I don't deserve this!

Yesterday I was caught off guard. 

Today, I'm slightly on the defensive.

If it looks like it's coming my way, if it feels like it's coming my way or if it smells like it's coming my way, Oh, Hell-to-the-No. You'd better run! A tell tale sign that there's emotional residue that needs cleaning up and I should probably steer clear of people until I do that.   

I think what bothers me the most during days like yesterday is that I fall into Daughter Energy. Questions I start asking myself as I stomp my feet and have an inner tantrum; questions that sound a lot like...

Why should I put so much damn effort into how I affect others if they're not going to offer me the same sensitivity?

Why should I tread lightly? 

In what lifetime did I let them believe they were allowed to treat me like this? 

Why should I do all this work trying to improve my emotional state & mindset if everyone else is just going to abnegate personal accountability?! 

Why should I hold back from lashing out and lettin' 'em have it? 

Do they think they're the only ones who can muster some low blow potshots?    

Then I have to remind myself, that the reason I work on myself, is not about or for them, it's about and for me. And the reason I handled each situation with compassion, respect but also self-respect is because I have promised myself that I was going to start making empowered decisions in my life the way a woman would, and not a child. 

Sometimes, emotionally, I just don't want to make empowered decisions. Sometimes, it would feel more satisfying to tear some one down because they've hurt me. Sometimes, it would satisfy my anger, to stir up the drama and keep it going just to put people in their place in the most belittling way. But that would make me reactive and as a result, a slave to my feelings. I ain't no slave. 

I always know what the better approach is; what that looks like and what that sounds like. Yesterday, time and time again, I made empowered decisions in spite of how emotionally raw and disempowered I was feeling. Sometimes you go through the motions, because you know that when the dust settles, boundaries will have been enforced in a healthy way. 

Also because, today, even though I'm feeling out of sorts, even though I know that I have to dialog with myself over how I'm feeling, I get to have no regrets as to how I treated anyone. How we handle difficult people & experiences build our personalities.  

I can hold my head up knowing with certainty that I exercised personal control and accountability; understanding that emotions are flighty and temporary, and when they'll shift, and they will, I'll be left with feelings of self- appreciation, gratification, satisfaction and peace as opposed to guilt, shame and regret. Sometimes you fake it till you make it, because the age old saying isn't when you feel better you do better, it's when you know better, you do better


None the less, as hard as it was to write my Daily GratitudeTop 5... I did it anyways...because I know better. 




    

December 12, 2014

if you're stubbornly addicted to being a sourpuss, you're gonna need rehab


When I first tried my hand at keeping a gratitude journal, I wasn't exactly feeling exceptionally grateful for anything. I was probably the most miserable person I knew. I know this to be a fact, since I could hardly tolerate myself. 

In fact, every time I heard Oprah, or Marianne Williamson, or some New-Agey person swoon over the importance of feeling grateful, I'd become irritated and my internal dialogue was rather bleak to say the least...




But, I figured I'd give it a shot. At best it would be of benefit. At worst, I'd be able to prove them all wrong. (That should give you a solid indication as to where I was at within myself.) 

For a long time, I felt nothing! It was hard for me to come up with things I felt grateful for. Realistically I knew that there were many many aspects that I [quote] should [unquote] feel grateful for, but I couldn't remember what gratitude felt like or how I was to go about finding that feeling buried under all my moaning and griping.

I had formed a habit (and a bad one at that) of constantly seeing the negative side of every situation and completely bypassing the good parts. 

All I could do at that time, was jot down what I knew I should feel grateful for, even if I wasn't feeling it. For the first little while I had to use my logic as opposed to my feelings.  

What I realized as the time passed and as I, almost robotically, kept journaling, was that I was forcing myself to change the way I was perceiving...well...just about everything. I was shifting my focus.  

The process was literally retraining my brain on a daily basis; eventually I found myself going about my day and taking little mental notes for my next journal entry. I started looking for the positives. I started looking at things, people, situations and experiences and wondering how I could transform what I was assessing into something more positive. Eventually, I was actually able to see the silver lining in just about anything without making it into something it was not. 

So, really, I still wasn't feeling all that grateful yet, but I was definitely becoming a more positive person with a much healthier mindset. I was becoming a much happier person.   

It's not to say that the crappy aspects of life didn't stand out as obviously crappy, but I had taught myself to notice something other than just the crappy aspects. Don't get me wrong, there are still some situations that suck, hardcore. 
I doubt anyone is ever grateful that they broke their ankle, you know? HA! But maybe the next day they'll notice they're feeling quite content to just be able to spend a day on the couch taking part in a Netflix movie marathon! Who knows! 

It's kind of like #4 on from my #DailyGratitude tweet with @5THINGSaDAY for today: My Heating Bill...




Bills...Blech!

I don't particularly enjoy paying my heating bill. I'd rather hang onto that money, but I really am grateful that our home has heat and that we have the money to be able to pay for it. Paying up is much better than the consequences of...well... not paying up...especially here in Quebec since it's very Burr Baby Burrr right now! 

I'm grateful for the heat, so essentially, I'm rootin' tootin' grateful for the bloody bill as well *grinds teeth* 

Is there anything that you don't particularly enjoy but are still very grateful for?

                     


       






December 11, 2014

#DailyGratitude with @5THINGSaDAY on twitter—making it's way to my blog


Have you followed  on Twitter yet?

Not that I want to should on you, but you really should, just sayin'

She's encouraged her followers to tweet 5 things they're feeling grateful for everyday. Of course you know, I just really heart that so hard!

I took part in it today and I'm thinking I may take part in it everyday, actually...why not? 




I usually do some gratitude writing in a journal everyday- it would just be a transfer of platforms. It's become something of a habit for me at this point. Might be fun!

December 10, 2014

conquer your inbox and you can conquer the world






Once upon a Time...

I log in to check my emails. I see 835 of them, unread of course; 750 of which I know I will probably never be read. I become overwhelmed and log right the hell back out, running away from the game of 'find the needle in the haystack.' (Also known as, find the emails you need to read, should read, have to read, amidst the masses) Thanks to overwhelm, I never get to those messages and secretly wish everyone would just leave me the hell alone.  


I've had to suit up for battle against a few things that were constantly threatening to take over my life on many occasions--piles of laundry, images and documents saved on my hard drive, papers and papers and more papers brought home from school. It's not like it's exactly difficult to get overrun by details now-a-days; but the crap-shoot part is that the details add up and become one giant blob of chaos whose direct translation is: Congratulations! This is your frenetic life!  

For anyone who feels constantly surrounded by clutter, on and offline, the stress can become unbearable. For anyone thinking of starting a home based business, the mere idea can be debilitating when you think of just how chaotic everything already feels and how much of your attention everything else requires just as it is. Running a business from home requires organization and structured schedules. Unfortunately, I'm not a naturally organized person and I detest inflexible schedules. 

Instead, I've had to implement systems that are quick and easy to use for the everyday mundane stuff so that it stays outta my way and off my mind! I'm quick thinking and creative by nature, but along with that trait comes disarray and disorganization. I have a tendency to be messy and flighty. I thought that every once in a while I'd share little tid-bits as to how I set myself up to operate in an organized and structured way without feeling bound by a suffocating routine. (Also The Oatmeal's My Email is a Monster post inspired me to write about this right after I got up off the ground from ROTFL)

I'm a strategist; strategies are what I do best.

I started my life's clean up process with my email inbox! 

Taking back the reigning power over your inbox is more freeing than you would think. 

Sounds stupid, but it's true!  
                  
I pulled my hair out on many occasions trying to figure this out, so now, you don't have to!  

I've managed to break it down into a few easy, but more importantly, pragmatic & time efficient steps.  




                                   ADMIT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

                                                   Like so... 

   "Hi. My name is Jen and I'm an email sign-up listaholic."

I habitually signed up to too many mailing lists,which was why I had repeatedly gotten myself into this predicament.  




                                                                             THE QUICK PURGE


Once upon a time...

I signed up to receive my daily horoscope. As it turned out, that's exactly what I received. 

Multiple. 

Daily. 
Plus promotional emails. 
Urgh...

Life Path Horoscope- Love Horoscope-Career Horoscope-

Money Horoscope-Relationship Horoscope. And in case you don't have enough horoscopes, how'd you like to buy some more horoscopes?!

6 separate emails, and then some...


Everyday.


Same sender.


*le sigh*


I got bombarded daily by some folks in particular. Because of that, I knew who they were from memory and you probably know yours as well. 

Use this to your advantage.

Type that sender's name into your email search bar. Everything in your inbox from that sender will show up. Check mark all of them & send them to the trash. Immediately.

Do this for every sender you can quickly think of off the top of your head.

I assure you this will save time in the clean up process since it saves you from having to scan through each sender while they're all mixed together. It should in all probability cut your inbox emails down by 25% right off the bat in under 5 minutes.

BooYah! You win!


Once that's done, go to your inbox.

For time management purposes, find your way to the page with the oldest emails you've received. You're working your way from the oldest to your most recent.
  

If your inbox was as bad as mine, instead of checking off the emails you wish to delete one by one, you'll want click the checkmark all box first and then uncheck the ones you'd like to keep....for now.  

You're not opening any emails yet; you're simply going by judgement based on the sender and the subject. Trust your gut. If it looks like it needs attention of some kind, if you suspect it's important, if it peeks your interest, or if you're sure it requires action on your part, uncheck it.

Send the remaining checked emails to the trash.

BuhBye!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat on every page until all you're left with is what you felt requires your attention. This took me less than 10 minutes.  


If you are making rapid decisions, you won't be left with a whole lot. By this point I was down from 835 emails to perhaps, 80 of them.  

Moving along. 




                                          USE YOUR R.A.F.T
                                     READ-ACT-FILE-TRASH

Create 3 new Labels (Files) for your menu that will show up under the "Inbox, Starred, Important, Sent & Drafts." tabs. 

1) Read 
2) Act
3) File




Open each remaining email and make a quick decision:

Does this require Reading?
Does this require Action?
Does this need to be kept & Filed
Does this go straight to the Trash?

Send each one off to it's designated location.

At this point you should have nothing left in your inbox. 

WooHoo! 

(Side Note: This is the system I use everyday. I give myself a scheduled time slot to read, respond or act upon what comes in throughout the day. I will check my emails multiple times a day, and if a message doesn't require my immediate attention, I put them into the appropriate files as "unread" until it's 'email time'. That's right! You've gotta show it who's boss!)




                                        FACE THE MUSIC


                                 It's time to read all the things & do all the things! 
                         
                                           Go into your Read & Act Files.
                                                Proceed to Read & Act.

                                         Once they're read... in the garbage. 
                                  Once you've taken action...in the garbage. 

If there are messages that will be ongoing, you can star or flag them. Otherwise, you can also create a new file labeled "Pending." It's a good place to nest messages that are now requiring someone else to act upon.  





TAKE OUT THE TRASH



Delete your spam box and then click the "Empty Trashcan" button.  

That's it!

5.5 Seconds later, your entire email is totally clean! 

Do you feel clearer?

Yeeeaaaah baby!

But wait...

There's more.

Keeping it clean is a whole other ball game. 



                                                            THE BREAK UP

                                                           "IT'S NOT YOU... IT'S ME"


For the next few days, as the emails pour in, commit to becoming an unsubscribing fiend.

Daily minimum: 5 unsubscriptions. (I did about 10 a day)

When to Unsubscribe:

• If you can't remember why you signed up for their emails.

• If you have no idea who they are.

• If you know that you never open a certain sender's emails.

• When following them on social media & other platforms will suffice. 

• When you do not need to know that Pinterest thinks they've found pins you'll like, since you have a pinning problem as well. 

• If some company, person or brand drowns you in daily emails.

• When you're on social media often enough that you don't require email notifications letting you know that you have social media notifications (This is a matter of adjusting your settings directly from your social media profiles, rather than unsubscribing, but it was worth the mention) 


By law, a sender must have an unsubscribe option. 90% of the time, it takes 2 seconds although I have come across some that like to make the process exceptionally complicated. *grinds teeth* (This typically fuels my desire to unsubscribe even more.) 

Saying no to email opt-ins isn't anything personal to the sender. Now-a-days, there is so much fantastic information and so many fascinating people out there; most of us want to make sure we're staying on top of it all. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves buried under it all instead of on top of it all.  

Next Step is key...




     STOP SUBSCRIBING TO JUST ANYTHING!





   One must have subscription standards. 

Here are mine:

    
• They have to be interesting enough in email for me to want to open
• They are passionate people who really resonate with me
• They offer freebies and mind blowing discounts on a regular basis
• They're fun
•They stand out
•They're emails are unique
• They don't bombard my inbox
• I can't overdose on them


I've been subscribed to Crystal Andrus & The SWAT Institute for about 4 years now. (I'm now a student with this school) Still, this sender gets 2 thumbs up for being kind to my inbox! (Plus they offer interesting & free teleseminars on a regular basis with some pretty stellar guests. Not to mention she does gift giveaways at the end of each call. Next call coming up is called "Humbled to Healed" with Crystal Andrus & Sonia Choquette on December 16th.)   

I've also been subscribed to Danielle Laporte's #TruthBombs for just as long. I must admit, they're by far my favorite daily emails. It's like a little daily post it note! Short, simple, straight to the point and they literally makes me smile! 



Another one of my favorites is Robin Sharma. Getting one of his emails feels like Christmas morning;they really are far and few between. There's just something about this man's genius, and truth be told I have somewhat of an internet crush on him. 

Those are the senders I could never bring myself to break up with. 


So with that said, whose emails would you never part with?




December 07, 2014

10 tasks the soul is relentlessly committed to




1. Wearing authenticity. Shamelessly. Relentlessly.

We simply can't do what we're intended to do here, if we're not going at it as ourselves, no matter how posh the mask. 


2. Making Nice with human nature. Compassionately. Relentlessly.

Oh, how tempting the chase of day in- day out perpetual bliss is-  how sadly disappointed we become with our human experience in the hunt. Let yourself get right with your humanity and all that comes with it. Halos are not dry clean only- they're built to withstand getting good and dirty...often.   


3.Letting the mind divorce its mediocrity. Rebelliously. Relentlessly.

Decline the incessant invites to partake in collaborative mediocrity. Nothing eventful or necessary has ever happened at that party.   


4. Observing Excellence. Curiously. Relentlessly.

Shall we recognize the difference between feeling inspired and being impressed? One is the spirit at work, the other is the inner-workings of the mind. One can propel you forward while the other may bury you in personal dissatisfaction. Take your cue from those whose excellence inspires rather than impresses.   


5. Practicing Pleasure. Passionately. Relentlessly.

     Soulful is NOT all things serious but all things sensual. Soulful dances with fluidity. Soulful radiates via earthly pleasures that awaken and nourish. Prioritize pleasure and make it a sacred daily practice. See life, smell life, feel life, taste life and hear life on your quest for a joyful life.  


6. Redefining Realistic. Purposefully. Relentlessly.

Walt Whitman once said that whatever satisfies the soul is truth. We want what we want. But do we know why we hold onto certain dreams so fiercely? It's time to be a little more realistic. Dreams are the footprints that guide us to our deep rooted needs and desires. Set the alarm, and don't you dare touch that snooze button! Wake up from your dreams and turn them into your life's legacy. 
       

7. Putting Fear on the Do Not Call List. Courageously. Relentlessly.
    
     Fear will never abuse it's power unless you give it the permission to stalk you. Don't let it's call stop you in your tracks. Just because it has your number, doesn't mean it has the right to interrupt you.    


8. Indulging in Self-Care. Inherently. Relentlessly.

    Having a self to care for is a sacred honor. Always. Enough said.   


9. Saying No in the name of love. Unabashedly. Relentlessly.

Make no mistake- the Soul is very clear on what sucks. The brain is what's sorely confused. Get your brain on board. If what's presented to you will not serve a greater good to all involved, including you, then an unapologetic No is the most loving answer you could give to the situation. 

10Letting the heart break open. Vulnerably. Relentlessly.

Be wildly visible- there is nothing so scary, so freeing & so refreshing than letting the world see you as you are. You can't escape that someone who's waiting to pick apart your vulnerability- if they're denying their own, they'll reject vulnerability from all sources. Life is a no holds barred opportunity. Don't spend it trying to shackle and bind the very aspects that innately exist in all of us. Show up for your life in all your vulnerable glory!