FREE Guide: 3 Self-Care Tools to Make You Truly Shine:

I’m an Introvert. Here’s How I Learned to Be in My Power

I always used to be the quiet kid.  You know, the one that hardly ever said anything in class and was often referred to as “shy”.

Rarely would I ever raise my hand to participate.  It often produced too much anxiety to do so — and, I’ll admit, at 29 years old it still can from time to time.

I didn’t have many friends and I would often get teased by other kids for being so quiet and shy.

In grade school, I often saw it as if something was wrong with me.  Why was I not a social butterfly?  Why didn’t I like drawing attention to myself?  Why did I not have many friends?

After all, that’s how we are “supposed” to be in this society in order to be considered “normal”… so why couldn’t I just be that?

Despite getting older and going to college, feeling this pressure to be more social and extroverted didn’t go away.  In fact, it some ways, it got worse.

I got a roommate who was very extraverted and couldn’t understand why I’d want to sit in my room and read or write quietly for hours.  I’d get friends who would get mad over the fact that I would use text rather than call them.  I even got a supervisor from an internship who would hound me for not being “social” enough.

Rather than to accept my own personality traits and harness them, I found myself wanting to somehow prove people wrong.  In order to “show them” that I was capable of being outgoing and social, I found myself agreeing to do sales jobs when they came available.  I’d push myself to be more talkative and try to maintain many friendships.  I figured that, by doing so, I’d receive more acceptance and support from others.

But, at the end of the day… I only felt more distressed and unsupported. I often felt overwhelmed and drained because I was trying to please other people rather than myself.

After a few months of living overseas in South Korea a few years ago, things started to change.  Living as an expat forced me to really look inward and focus on myself.  It was at that point in my life where I realized that the only person who has the power to make me happy is myself.

Click to Tweet: The only person who has the power to make us happy is ourselves. @jenilyn8705

So I became unapologetic about texting rather than calling.

I became unapologetic about not being super-talkative in my work environments.

I became unapologetic about sitting at home reading rather than going to some social event with a lot of people.

And I let go of my desire to please others.  I stopped caring what other people thought or expected of me and I allowed myself to be who I truly was.

As a result, I started to develop an amazing relationship with myself.

By improving my relationship with myself I’ve managed to…

… improve my health.

… reduce stress.

… feel really truly happy.

And by developing an awesome relationship with myself, I started to find myself in work environments where people supported and accepted my introversion.  I found myself in relationships, both personal and professional, with people who accepted my introversion rather than to push me to be something different.

Because I started to accept and love myself exactly as I am on the inside, others started to reflect that on the outside.

AcceptLoveOurselvesOthers

Click to Tweet: When we love and accept ourselves, we give others permission to love and accept us as well. @jenilyn8705

Through loving and accepted myself exactly as I am, I’ve been able to finally feel stand in my own power and be in-tune with my true self.

Which, I suppose, someone who knew me as a kid would never expect.  How on earth can the shy and quiet girl ever stand in her power?

Well, ironically, she can… and it didn’t come from being super talkative, extroverted and outgoing as so many people have thought I “need” to be.  Rather, it’s been by fully loving and accepting myself the way I truly am and allowing my truth to be expressed, whether that pleases people or not.

What do you need to let go of so you can truly step into your power?  Share in the comments below!

The cart is still open for my 5-week course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine!  Click here to learn more.

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7 Ways to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine

Deep down in our core we know we are meant to shine. We know that we are meant to live lives of joy, happiness, and love. However, the problem is that there are many aspects of our lives that don’t support us in that.

We get caught up in the negativity, stress and pessimism of the world, which stresses us out and holds us back from being who we are truly meant to be.

But we don’t have to be stuck in this. We all have the power to transform our lives so we can truly be who we are and experience our true power in the world. Here are 7 ways to harness your energy so you can truly shine:

#1 – Free yourself of negativity

Are you around people who are often negative? Do you tend to often be negative about things?

Being negative lowers our energy. It is an aspect of our ego mind and, therefore, disconnects us from our true selves. So become aware of when negativity comes up in your life and when you notice it, stop and change the subject or exhale to bring yourself into the present moment.

#2 – Process fear by writing it out

When we’re experiencing thoughts of “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy” or “I don’t deserve this” it is our ego mind talking to prevent us from truly steeping into our true power. While we may want to immediately dismiss these thoughts and try to push them away, that can create more stress and strain within us.

So we need to be sure to process these thoughts by externalizing them somehow. A great way to do this is through journaling. By writing these thoughts and feelings on to paper, they become weaker. As a result, we are better able to then tune into our true inner voice.

So when you notice fear-based thoughts coming up, get out a journal and start free writing the thoughts. Don’t stop to think about the thoughts and feelings but just write it out. Do that until you feel complete. Afterwards you should feel calmer and more relaxed.

#3 – Feel happiness, joy, and love right now

Our ego mind tends to think that “If we get X, Y, Z, then I will be happy at some time in the future”. This is nothing but a distortion of the reality. The only place that we can experience feelings of happiness and joy is through the present moment.

So the key in finding happiness is by doing things right now to support you in feeling the way you want to feel. Do activities in your life to support those feelings of happiness. Does playing music bring you joy? Then play music. Does dancing bring you joy? Then dance.

#4 – Be appreciative for what you have

By being grateful, it takes us out of the negative thinking of our ego, and into a mindset of our true selves. It also brings us back into the present moment. So find things that you are grateful for in your day to day life — even in the aspects of your life you may not be so pleased about right now.

#5 – Steer clear of gossip

Gossip often tends to have a judgmental and critical energy behind it. It tends to focus on how someone is “bad” or “wrong” and how another person is “good”. This is merely a distortion from our ego and it drains us of our true power.

#6 – Live with the intention to serve others

At the core of our true selves, we know that we are meant to serve others because at our core we know that we are all intricately connected. When one person suffers, we all suffer. Our ego is what makes us think that it’s all about “me”.

ServeOthers

Click to Tweet: At our core, we know that we are meant to serve others because at our core we know that we are all intricately connected. @jenilyn8705

#7 – Create a morning routine

How we start our mornings sets the foundation for the rest of the day. So if we start our morning with chaos, then our day is going to be chaos.

So start your mornings with activities that bring you feelings of peace, joy and happiness. Maybe that is journaling with a cup of warm honey and lemon water. Maybe that involves taking a morning walk with your dog. Or maybe that involves reading an inspirational book.

Are you ready to truly shine? Check out my 5-week course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine.

I have a new free ebook called, 3 Self-Care Tools to Make You Truly Shine, grab your copy as my gift to you! 

Your Power Q&A

Since I opened the cart on Monday morning of my brand new course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine, I’ve received a few questions.

So to give you some extra clarity about what the course entails, here are answers to some of the questions I’ve received along with a few others that I thought you may want to know. 🙂

I’ve taken other courses before, how is this one different?

I like to integrate a lot of different ideas together, because, lets face it, I have a lot of interests and I like to tie a lot of different ideas and modalities together — I have studied holistic psychology and a 9 on the enneagram after all!  So, I include many spiritual principles along with things I’ve learned through my MA in counseling psychology as well.  What also makes this course particularly unique is that I really work on the internal and the external.  I dive deep into the mindset shifts needed to really step up into your full power.  I also take you through a full lifestyle-audit to help you tweak and change your lifestyle and habits so you can better support yourself in really truly shining in the world.

I want to participate, but I don’t think I’m going to have the time to go through all of the material.

This is just your ego coming up to prevent you from making any changes in your life.  I cover this in more depth in the very first week because I think it’s absolutely pivotal to understand if you want to transform your life.  This course is 5 weeks and each of the videos range from approximately 30 to 50 minutes in length.  Essentially, all the time you need is about 40 minutes on average each week and then a little bit of time to do the homework.  I created the course with the intention to prevent anyone from feeling overwhelmed with information because I know how busy we can get.  If you’re not sure if you can spare 40 minutes plus some time for homework each week then I have a question for you: Do you have time to feel like shit? Do you have time to feel miserable?  Do you have time to keep feeling stressed out and overwhelmed?  I didn’t think so.  You really truly deserve to truly shine in the world and live the life you’ve always dreamed up.

Can I access the material on my phone?

Yes!  The website that the course is housed on is compatible for mobile access, so you can access the material anytime, anywhere.  Except the worksheet PDF files for homework, of course.  Those you will want to either print off to use or create your own copy of them in a journal. 🙂

When will I receive the course material?

Immediately after sign-up you will be directed to register for the course.  After you register (I believe) you will get an e-mail to verify your e-mail address and then you can log-in to my courses website.  Once you register and log-in you will have immediate access to the Week 1 material.  You will receive Week 2 material 7 days later, and so on.  If you’ve already purchased my meditation album Ignite Love from Within, then the course should automatically be added to your current account.  So you can use the same log-in details with both.  As always, if you have any issues along the way then please contact me so I can help you. 🙂

I have a hearing disability, do you have a transcription of what you say in the videos?

Unfortunately, I’m unable to do that at this time.  Perhaps in the future when I release the course again.

How long will the cart be open?

The cart for Your Power will be open until mid-May, but I’m only offering the early-bird discount from now until Friday, April 15 at 11:59 PDT.  So if you want to save some money, you better jump on it now! 🙂

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Do you have any other questions that I haven’t yet answered about Your Power?  Contact me!

I Was Homeless for Two Weeks. This is What I Realized

It was summer 2010 and the end of my lease was quickly approaching for the college apartment I had been living in for a year.  We had to be completely moved out by Friday, but I had to be in the next state over, in Iowa, for a conference as a part of an internship by the Wednesday prior.

Despite my many attempts to find a new apartment to live in for the next chapter of my life, I wasn’t able to find one that was available at the right time.  I managed to get a new apartment lined up, but the problem was that it wouldn’t be available for move-in until another two weeks.

This meant I had two weeks of, essentially, no place to live. 

The weekend before my lease was up, family came by and took some of my bigger essentials for the time being — my recliner, bed, dressers, and so on to put into storage for a while.  However, I still had many other essentials that I needed for another few days before it was time for me to head out, which included many kitchen belongings to cook and eat, along with bath stuff .  You know, the “little stuff”.

So on the day before I had to be completely moved out of my apartment I started picking up all the “little stuff” into my car.  Clothes.  Towels.  Kitchenware.  Soaps.  Extra food and drinks.  All piled into my car to the maximum capacity that my car could hold.

And once I had it all packed up, I started driving to Iowa for the conference for a few days.  The next two weeks involved driving around the Midwest and meeting with friends old and new.

You’d think that maybe I’d feel stressed or overwhelmed knowing I didn’t have a place to live, but, instead, I felt liberated, powerful, and free.  In that moment I had let go of the need to have “security” in my life and, instead decided to live in the moment.  I felt like the world was at my fingertips and I could go wherever I wanted to and be whoever I wanted to be.

It was that experience that allowed me to realize that the world is not in control of my life — I am in control of my life.  Not apartment leases.  Not university requirements.  Not the boyfriend, family or whoever.  Just me. 

At that time in my life it was time for me to be looking for jobs and to start settling down, but during my two weeks of being homeless I realized that it wasn’t the right time for me.  It was not time for me to get a regular 40-hour a week salary job with benefits.  It was not time for me to get married, buy a house, or have 2.5 kids.

I was meant to do more than that.  

In fact, we are all mean to do more than just simply that.

It can be easy to get caught up in what society expects of us: the job, the relationship, the house.  We check the boxes off the list thinking that maybe if we do all these things that we’re expected to do, then it’s going to make us happy.  It’s going to give us security and, therefore, make us joyful by keeping society and others happy.

But the problem is that it doesn’t work that way.  We can’t just plan on pleasing everyone else and expect to be happy, fulfilled, energized, and joyful.

Why?  Because it’s not realistic. 

When we’re so focused on pleasing others in hopes to avoid being criticized or rejected, that’s when we ignore ourselves — and the most important relationship that we have in this world is the one that we have with ourselves.

By ignoring and repressing our feelings, intuition, and inner guidance, we become drained.  That’s when we get stressed out and overwhelmed.  We can then feel disconnected and as if we’ve “lost” ourselves.

But the fortunate thing is that we don’t have to live this way.

We can change.  We can become better.  We can step into our power and fully and completely shine we just have to be willing to do the work.

This is where I am so incredibly excited to introduce to you my brand new 5-week course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Fully Shine.  The course will help you transform you from the inside out so that you can create a solid foundation for you to fully step into your true power.

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This course is great for you if you’re ready to…

… step up

… restructure your lifestyle

… live a miraculous life

This course isn’t for you if…

… you don’t like to make commitments

… you’re not really sure what you want

… you’re not into personal growth, self-help, or spirituality

Upon taking the Your Power 5-week course you will:

  • Feel lighter, calmer, and more balanced
  • Learn how to focus your energy on things that truly serve you!
  • Experience a zest and love for life again!
  • Feel more in control and empowered in your life
  • Develop a solid foundation so that you can you can shine your light in the world

Learn more!

In the Your Power 5-week course, we will cover:

Week 1: How to Shift Your Mindset for Love and Miracles

  • How our internal focus can impact how we experience the world
  • What mindsets hinder our energy and which can manifest miracles

Week 2:  How to Restructure Your Lifestyle So You Can Thrive

  • How our lifestyle habits can be either draining or energizing
  • A lifestyle audit over 5 main areas of our lives

Week 3: How to Let Go of What’s Not Serving You

  • Letting go of habits that are not supporting us in our power
  • Shifting mindsets to improve our relationships

Week 4: How to Lovingly Care For Your Body

  • How what we eat effects our energy
  • Ways to find a diet that truly supports you

Week 5: How to Allow Yourself to Truly Shine

  • Tools for getting out of a "funk"
  • Key tools to fully step into our power and truly shine

In addition, you will receive two bonuses:

  • How to Let Gossip Out & Let Light In, featuring the founder of Lightworker Nation, Vicky auf der Maur
  • Two Kundalini Meditations to help you get out of a "funk" and find inner peace

With the Your Power 5-week course, you will receive:

  • 5 Video modules + 2 bonus videos totalling over 3 hours of material
  • 3 Guided meditations to help you harness your energy and truly shine
  • Worksheets to help you process the material and set practical intentions for yourself
  • 2 Group coaching calls
  • Access to my private members-only blog posts
  • Lifetime access!

This complete 5-week course is valued at $900

However, because I really want you to learn how to be in your power at an affordable price, I'm offering the complete Your Power, 5-week course for a Early-Bird discount of $20 off. So from now through Friday you can get the Your Power, 5-week course for only $227 .

Are you ready to harness your power?  Click below to purchase and get started!

Your Power, 5-week course

One Payment of $247

Early Bird Discount: Only $227!

get early bird access

** Early-bird discount valid until 11:59 PDT Friday, April 15th **


“Jennifer’s insightful, thought-provoking articles never fail to inspire. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to share her writing on Tiny Buddha, as I know it’s been helpful to readers!”

– Lori Deschene, Founder of TinyBuddha.com

“Jennifer is smart, intuitive and has a sharp ability to cut straight to what shifts needs to take place to live a more authentic and spirit-centered life.”

– Jackie Johansen, Writing Coach, California

6 Lessons I’ve Learned in Healing My Gut

This article has been featured on Elephant Journal.

Heartburn, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and headaches. Looking back on it now, it’s hard for me to imagine that that’s what my life was like just 2 years ago. Having low energy and having trouble sleeping each night because either the heartburn or indigestion I was having was so uncomfortable.

While I don’t think we ever get to a point where we are completely “healed” in that we’re able to go back to the old lifestyle that we had before we started our healing journey, I have managed to reach a very stable place.

In order to reach this stable place in my gut health, I had a lot of different lessons to learn — and not only from health professionals that supported me in this journey but also in learning to tune in to my own body to recognize what it wants and needs.

Here are 6 lessons I’ve learned in my journey of healing my gut:

#1 – Cutting out dairy and gluten alone may not to do magic, but it’s still worth doing

When my gut problems first started getting unmanageable, I had several people in my life come chiming in with how they started cutting out gluten and dairy from their diets and they were able to get rid of their heartburn, stop having acne breakouts, started feeling more energized, and so on.

So I started cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet for a few weeks — and eventually even a few months — and I didn’t notice any results at the time. I found myself frustrated and as if all my efforts to cut out these foods was a waste of time.

I didn’t realize it then, but I know now that while cutting out dairy and gluten is beneficial, it may not be the only thing that our bodies need to heal. Maybe you’d also need to cut out sugar or soy and eat more vegetables and less meat. It varies a lot depending on the individual.

#2 – Gluten is in a lot of processed foods

In the first week or two that I started cutting out gluten, I remember telling a friend who had suggested I eliminate gluten from my diet, “I’ve been doing it for two weeks and I’ve noticed no changes!”

He sat there and looked at me with a straight face and asked, “Have you been eating soy sauce?”

“Yes”, I replied.

“Have you been eating salad dressings?”

“Yes.”

“What about sauces?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Then you haven’t been cutting out gluten.”

It took me some time to do the research online and read all the labels at the grocery store, but eventually I figured out what to look for on the labels and get a sense for what products are typically going to have gluten in it and which isn’t.

Fortunately for me, I’m not celiac so I don’t have to be extra cautious about contamination or anything like that. However, if you’re doing an elimination diet to see what foods work for you and which don’t, you have to know if you’re consuming bits of gluten or not.

#3 – Ditch the gluten-free products

In my experience of trial and error, I’ve realized that consuming gluten free products are just has bad as consuming gluttonous products. Why? Because they’re still processed.

When I started eating mostly whole, natural foods by buying most all my food from the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s when I started to really notice shifts in my gut and overall health.

#4 – We need to rotate our probiotics and enzymes

After about 9 months of working with my acupuncturist, I noticed my digestion was feeling a bit sluggish. When I informed my acupuncturist of this, she immediately asked me, “How long have you been using your current probiotic?”

“Probably 6 months” I said.

“You should probably change it” she responded.

Currently I rotate between three different brands of probiotics and rotate different kinds of enzymes. Sometimes our bodies get used to the same formula and all it needs is something different to give it a little boost.

#5 – We need to be open to changing our diets as needed

When I was first introduced to the paleo diet through my boyfriend and his sister, I first thought it was the magical life-changing diet that I had been looking for all along. Whenever I ate paleo I felt amazing, had more energy, and my gut was in the greatest shape ever.

So last spring I went on the paleo diet and I stuck with it all through the summer. Then, November hit and the paleo diet was no longer working for me. I felt tired, started having bouts of constipation and diarrhea again, and having occasional indigestion.

I experimented with different things in my diet for about a month or so and eventually I realized that my body wanted less meat, more veggies, and grains, like rice and quinoa, again. So through the winter months I stuck with a gluten-free “flexitarian” diet, where I only had meat once a week and it was exactly what my body needed.

BodiesChange

Click to Tweet: Just as the seasons change, so do our bodies. We need to be open and receptive to what our bodies are asking from us. via @jenilyn8705

Just as the seasons change, so do our bodies. So we need to be open and receptive to what our bodies are asking from us. Which leads me to what was, perhaps, my biggest lesson of all:

#6 – Our minds and emotions impact our gut health

The more we are stuck in our own heads, then the more our gut is likely going to suffer — and not merely due to neglect, but due to the fact that we are not tracking our own internal experience.

It’s important to be mindful and to check in with how we are feeling in our bodies throughout the day. Doing so helps us to get out of our “monkey mind”, as the Buddhists call it, and back into our present moment experience.

When I started really tuning into my body, I started to notice some interesting things. I noticed that whenever someone would cut me off while driving on the freeway, I would get a fluttery feeling in my stomach. I would notice what situations would raise my heart rate and which would cause neck tension.

By tuning into my body periodically throughout the day, I was then able to take care of myself in those moments. I then knew that I was holding my breath and that I needed to exhale. I knew that I needed to take a few conscious breaths to get re-balanced and centered.

In implementing a mindfulness practice, that’s when I learned the most valuable lesson of them all: How to care for myself.

What lessons has your body taught you?  Share it in the comments below!

Letting Go of What You Think Should Happen

A couple months ago I wrote a book proposal.

It was an assignment as a part of a publishing and promotion class that I started taking in January.  Late last year I enrolled in the class with the intention to get a solid outline for a book and to start writing it.

So I looked through notes of the few ideas I had jotted down over the few months prior and came up with an idea.  I created an outline for myself and made up a book proposal to complete my first big assignment for the class.

I knew the book proposal wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough for now.  I thought it was pretty good idea and based on a subject that I knew a lot about already. 

So when I started working with my business and writing coach in February, we started talking about about book writing.  The discussion of the coaching session led me to think a few days later, Maybe I’ll get started writing this.  After all, I have some free time that has opened up that I didn’t have before.  Why not just jump in now?

So I plop down in front of my computer, reference the outline that I made for myself and started diving into writing Chapter 1 as I outlined it.

… and it was the most dreadful experience ever.

With every sentence I felt like I was trying to pull teeth to get the words out.  I’d take moments to stop and walk around and then I’d think to myself Come on Jen… you know this material.  It’s not like it’s something you don’t know.  Just get what you know out on paper.

And so I’d sit back down and start writing again.  Gradually and very very slowly.

Over an hour goes by and I go to check my word count.  It reads 523.  You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me, I think to myself, I write articles on my site every single week that have a minimum of 800 words in less than an hour and with this it’s taking me over hour just to get 500 words?

At that moments I stopped, pulled away, and looked at it all for a second.  Do I even want to write this?

The answer was a very quick no. 

I did not want to write a book with the kind of focus that I made it out to be.  Because I was planning on writing it with that particular focus, it was, to me, incredibly boring and dull.  I wasn’t going to have fun writing it that way, so I knew that I had to take the material and repackage it in a way so I could actually enjoy the writing process.

So when my next coaching session came around, my coach asked me about the progress with the book.  I explained what I had realized in the process and that I wanted to put it to the side for the time being.  She completely understood and we started talking about other potential projects to get started on.

I shared with her a few ideas that I came up with spontaneously in the last few months and we set goals for times to get certain parts of the projects done.

… and I actually did it.

Working on the projects have been incredibly enjoyable and I have actually found myself more energized, excited and inspired.  I’ve been able to get into the “flow” with my creativity in these projects and never once have I found myself dreading that I’d have to sit in front of my computer to get the work done.

And I completely loved the process.

A Course in Miracles talks about making vs creating.  When we’re in a place of making we are completely in our ego.  We’re focused on what it is that we think we need to do or be doing.  When we’re truly creating, it’s coming from a love mindset. Its when our true selves are able to be expressed and we allow that natural flow of our own inner truth to pour out of us.

Now, to be clear, with these two terms the Course isn’t talking about creating by being creative.  Like, by writing or doing an art project.  Rather, the Course is referring to a way of being.  It’s referring to a mindset that we are holding on to the the energy that we have behind that mindset.

Many of us are caught up in the “making things happen” kind of mindset. We push ourselves and try to force things to happen.  There’s a lot of tension and a lot of trying to control and manipulate things in a way to force them to happen.  There isn’t a level of trust there.

To get into a truly creating kind of mindset we have to be willing to let go. We have to surrender a little bit and trust in the process.  We have to trust that while something may not make sense right away, that it is going to all come together someway, somehow.

Click to Tweet: We have to trust that while something may not make sense right away, that it is going to all come together. @jenilyn8705 

When I was working on my book proposal I had a certain idea on how things “needed” to be and I was trying to force it to happen.  Through the process, I was able to realize that to work on it right now in that way it is not the right time.  I had to surrender and let it go.  And through the process of surrendering, I was able to allow other projects to come to fruition. 

That is true co-creation.  It is when we are able to surrender what we think needs to happen just enough so that what is truly meant to happen for us is allowed to flow through us naturally and effortlessly.

CoCreation

How are you holding onto things based on how you think they need to happen?  What do you need to let go of so you can allow what is in your highest good to be manifested?  Share it in the comments below!

My Love of Fear

Yoga was finished and it was time to get to work.  I sit down at my desk to begin.

You’ve been procrastinating all day, a voice in my mind says, You should already have this done by now!

I can feel the tension in my neck crawling down my back.  My breath is shallow.

I take a deep breath and stretch my arms over my head thinking, believing and hoping that will release the tension.

I feel a little better, so I put my arms down and start to focus on work.

You haven’t done shit today, the voice continues, you woke up, ate breakfast, did yoga and that’s it.  You’re pathetic.

I then open the document of my project and start getting to work.

This shit is terrible.  What makes you think that’s good enough?  Work harder!

I look back over what I had written down.  Rereading it from the top.  Maybe if I word it this way it could be better somehow?  Or maybe I can add a little bit more here.

Nobody is going to like that shit.  It’s not good enough.  You’re not good enough.

My neck became even more tense and I suddenly found myself debilitated.  Completely unable to work.  Completely unable to focus.

I get up to walk around feeling “off” and not sure what more I needed to do to get past this critical inner voice that’s loaded in fear.  I did yoga, I meditated, I’ve moved around like a billion frigging times already… what more needs to happen to kick this thing?

I stop trying to fight it so I make myself a smoothie and pop in my earbuds to listen to a lecture by my mentor Gabby Bernstein.  I had heard this lecture several times before but maybe, someway, somehow I was going to hear something that would help me get out of this funk.

A half hour later and the first recorded lecture was over.

See now you just wasted another 30 minutes when you could be working, the voice says.

Oh just shut up already, I think back to it as my neck tenses up and I hit the play button on the next 30 minute talk.

She’s not even talking about what you’re dealing with right now, the voice says.

This time I ignore it and continue to keep listening to the talk.

About mid-way through the talk Gabby mentioned that before she does a talk she will say a prayer asking for the highest spirit of truth and compassion to speak through her talk.  She said that in doing this, it helps her get out of her fear-based ego and back into love.

Upon hearing that, I quickly say that prayer for myself in my mind.  I start to notice my neck muscles starting to relax, my jaw not quite as tight, and I feel much more calm and centered.

I paused the talk and then I had a thought, Jen, you were trying to fight the block.  You were trying to fight the fear, but that doesn’t work because you were fighting fear with fear in your mind.  You can’t push fear away.  Fear can only truly dissipate when you love it, because love is what heals.

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Click to Tweet: Fear can only truly dissipate when you love it because love is what heals @jenilyn8705 

There are so many times where coaches, writers, and teachers talk about how we need to be fearless.

“Bust through the blocks”

“Overcome your fear”

“Live fearlessly”

On the surface the words can seem to be implying that fear is bad and that we must abolish it.  However, by holding onto the idea that we have to abolish fear in itself can make us even more stuck.  It can create a war of fear-based dialogue inside our minds.

You’re not good enough.

Oh go away.

Nobody is going to want to read that.

Leave me alone!

What we need to do instead is to recognize the fear-based thoughts and give it love.  Notice the thought and let it be.  Don’t attach to it or respond.  Just let it be. 

If it comes up again wanting more attention, just give it some love.  Pray for it.  Tell it that you love it. 

After all, those thoughts are just wounded parts of you and, just like you do, they deserve a lot of love and care.

11 Signs of a Truly Authentic Person

In the last week or two, the topic of authenticity has been coming up in my life.  The discussion of authenticity came up a couple times in a class and then it came up again during a therapy session.  This led me to sit back and ask myself: What actually constitutes a truly authentic person?

Upon deeper introspection, I came to the conclusion that becoming authentic is a lifetime — and beyond —  process.  It’s like peeling an onion and over time as we grow, heal, and love ourselves more and more, we become more of who we truly are.

There can be moments when we are truly expressing our authentic selves and then there are moments that trigger our inner wounds.   We then find ourselves acting in a way that’s out of alignment with our own inner truth and, instead, acting as a reaction to our wounds being reactivated.

So as I said before, it’s a lifelong process, but this doesn’t mean that it’s something we shouldn’t aspire to.  Just because it may take time and practice to do a headstand in a yoga class, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother doing the work so you can eventually do it with ease.

So here are the 11 signs of a truly authentic person:

#1 – They recognize the emptiness in material things

They’re not out buying Gucci with the hope that it will make them happy.  While they may enjoy material things, they don’t see it as “If I just have this one item, then I’ll be happy”.  They also don’t rate other people based on the material items that they have or don’t have because they know it doesn’t hold much meaning.

#2 – They recognize that experiences make their lives richer

They’re aware of how life experiences create more meaning and richness in our lives.  They are open to explore and learn, both externally and internally.

#3 – They truly listen to others

They don’t listen in order to respond.  Nor do they listen to others while being distracted by their phone, the TV or whatever else may be a distraction.  They’re able to be fully present with another person.  They’re able to listen to others with a genuine interest and care for the other person.

#4 – They express their true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically

They don’t say things that they don’t truly mean.  They don’t do things that they don’t really want to do.  They are able to share their own unique thoughts, feelings and views without fear of other’s opinions.

#5 – They’re not out to please people

They know that by living their lives to please others all the time disconnects them from their own inner experience.  The know the importance of being aware, acknowledging, and expressing their own unique thoughts, feelings and views to the world.  They know that by expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world.

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Click to Tweet: Authentic people know that expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world. via @jenilyn8705

#6 – They see value in giving love to others

They see value in giving love and kindness indiscriminately.  They understand that we are all connected and are willing to give others a helping hand.  They know that by helping others, they are helping themselves.  They allow and encourage others to express their own truth with love and acceptance as well.

#7 – They love themselves

They see themselves as a person of value who deserves love, kindness and support.  They provide themselves with adequate care to support their own health and well-being.

#8 – They are willing to see and acknowledge their own faults

They are aware they we are all wounded and may have various prejudices.  They don’t judge others for their own prejudices, but rather see it as a part of the person’s own inner wounding that has yet to be healed.  They know that there are aspects of themselves that they don’t like either, and they’re willing to swallow their ego and acknowledge those parts regardless. 

#9 – They understand that we are all unique — and that’s okay!

They know that not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time.  They are accepting of differing views and opinions.  They don’t label themselves as “right” and another person as “wrong” or visa versa.

#10 – They take responsibility for their lives

They don’t blame other people for what happens to them in their lives.  They take personal responsibility for how they’re actions created a certain outcome.  They are willing to look at how they influenced each and every situation and act accordingly.

#11 – They’re connected to their own inner guide

They’ve been able to clear their minds of the constant mind chatter in order to hear an inner voice that is greater than them.  They are able to act in accordance to their inner guidance with trust and faith, despite not having external validation.

Take action now!

Out of the list above, are any of these 11 signs of authenticity harder for you to do than others?  Do some come a little more “natural” to you?  How do you struggle to be authentic in your relationships and life?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

This Super Simple Tool Will Help You Calm Down and Get Balanced — Instantly!

You wake up in the morning to realize your alarm didn’t go off.  Rushing to get ready in the morning, you run up to your car only to dump your coffee on the ground. To make matters worse, you then find yourself stuck in traffic longer than usual due to an accident. 

When our lives are this chaotic and busy, it’s easily to get super stressed out and feel completely out of balance.

But I have great news…

Despite these outer circumstances, you don’t have to feel this way!

It is possible to live a joyful, fulfilling, miraculous life where you can feel calm, balanced, and peaceful.

And the secret doesn’t come in the form of some magic pill.  Despite how much the pharmaceutical companies and medical industry may want us to believe, it certainly doesn’t come from taking Xanax, Prozac, or Klonopin. 

In fact, it’s much easier, sustainable, and a heck of a lot more cost effective than taking a pill.

Want to know this super simple tool?

Breathing — yep, you read that right!  It’s breathing.

How the heck is that going to do anything? I can hear you say.

Well, allow me to explain.

Often when we get stressed and overwhelmed we tend to either breath improperly, hold our breath, or stop breathing entirely.  We start taking shallow breaths through our upper chest rather than through our diaphragm. 

This is a normal and natural response to stress.  When something stressful happens, our sympathetic nervous system gets activated.  Our heart rate than goes up, our muscles become tense, we breath improperly, and so on.  When we have this reaction, it is commonly referred to as the fight or flight response — so we’ve recognized we may be in danger, so we become activated to decide whether we should fight or flight.

Our fight or flight response is not a bad thing.  In fact, we need it for our survival in case we get into dangerous situations.  We needed it back in the day when we lived in the wild and needed to be concerned about getting attacked by bears, wolves, or whatever.

However, the problem in today’s modern world is that our fight or flight response becomes activated in situations where everything is, in fact, okay.  It may get activated due to simply being impatient with morning traffic.  It may get activated due to overly thinking about about financial issues.  It becomes an issue when we don’t just choose to either fight or flight and then let it go, but, rather, hold on to it.

When our sympathetic nervous system gets activated due to some trigger and we don’t just feel the experience and let it go, that’s when we can feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and drained.  When we’ve spent out entire day ready to either fight or flight, it takes a lot of energy and can get pretty darn exhausting.

This is why breathing is so incredibly important.  Through the power of our breath, we can easily get ourselves out of a fight or flight mode and back into a normal level of function where we can feel calm and relaxed, think clearly, and, ultimately, experience happiness.  This is why I teach some kind of breath work or meditation to all of my coaching clients — because it is pivotal to creating a solid foundation so we can create lives filled with happiness, joy, and love.

So how exactly can we use breath to calm ourselves down and get balanced?  Here’s a super easy breathing technique to use:

Sit up with your back straight and place your hand on your abdomen.  When you breath in through your nose, make sure that your abdomen is expanding outward.  When you exhale, your abdomen should contract towards your spine.

Now, breathe in for three counts, and then exhale for six counts.  Do this cycle of breath a few times.

If you want to go deeper into this, breathe in for four counts and then exhale for eight counts.  Do this cycle of breath anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes.

This is a great breathing exercise to do because it helps calm down our variable heart rate, which will lead us to feeling much more calm, relaxed, and balanced in our mind and body.

In some cases, particularly individuals who have experienced past trauma, doing any kind of breath work can be triggering.  Old emotions of sadness, anger, and fear may come up.  If this happens, it’s important to reach out to a local psychotherapist to get support and care in processing these emotions.

Otherwise, practice this breathing exercise at least once a day for 30 days.  This super simple tool can easily help you create a solid foundation in creating a life of peace, balance, happiness, and joy.

This breathing exercise is one of the meditations I give in my meditation album Ignite Love from Within.  To learn more about my meditation album, click here.  To grab a copy of my free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love, click here.

Remember this: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace.

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Click to Tweet: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Do the breathing exercise that I shared in this article and, in the comments below, share with me what the experience was like for you.

5 Reasons Why You Need Boundaries in Your Relationships and Life

Have you been feeling drained, tired, stressed out, and exhausted?  Do you feel under appreciated, unseen, and unsupported?  If so, it may be that you need to learn how to set some boundaries in your life and relationships.

So why exactly do you need boundaries in your relationships and life?  Here are 5 reasons:

#1 – They give you a sense of self

When we don’t have boundaries in our lives it implies that we don’t have a solid sense of self.  We will tend to take on other people’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and values rather than to have our own.  This is commonly referred to as enmeshment.

When we are enmeshed with another person it means that there is no distinct boundary between you and another person.  There is very little sense as to where one person ends and the other begins.  One or both people will then have difficulty identifying their own unique individual experience and how it differs from the other person.

When this is present, it implies difficulty in differentiation from a parent in early childhood.  This doesn’t mean that it is “good” or “bad”, as it is quite common for most people to have experienced it at least somewhat in their development.

Being enmeshed can be very stressful, draining, and overwhelming.  Relationships can easily get “messy” and a person can feel like they have no control over themselves or anything in their lives.  As a result, a person’s natural tendency would then be to try to control other people, which is codependent.

Learning to recognize our own internal experience and then setting boundaries in a way that honors our internal experience, helps us solidify our sense of self with the external world.  It also helps create less stress and more balance in our relationships.

#2 – You are able to decide how you want to be treated by others

When we have boundaries we are able to effectively tell a bully that we will not tolerate their behavior.  We are able to leave a relationship that isn’t serving us in what we know is in our highest good.  When we have boundaries, we are able to enter into relationships that do support us in our own personal growth and healing.

#3 – You are able to make life decisions that serve and support you

When we have boundaries, we are able to say “no” to that job that is potentially wearing us out by working overtime for little pay.  We are able to say “yes” to taking new career path without getting locked into feelings of guilt or “what other people will think”. 

#4 – You are able to make choices that are better for your health and well-being

By having boundaries, we are also able to make better choices for our own health and well-being.  We are able to say “no” to smoking that cigarette or having a glass of wine and, instead, say “yes” to having some green juice and going to the gym.  We are more aware that we’re going to feel shitty after eating that brownie, so we’re able to turn away and eat something healthier.

#5 – You feel empowered

When set boundaries in our lives, we feel more connected with ourselves and more in control of our lives.  We are able to live for ourselves, rather than through this desire to please other people.  We are able to be in relationships that are healthy, balanced, and equal.  And we have the ability to create a life for ourselves that we’ve always dreamed of.

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Click to Tweet: When set boundaries, we are able to feel more connected with ourselves and more in control of our lives. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

How will learning to set boundaries in your life support you in creating a miraculous life for yourself?  Share it in the comments below!