Tag Archives: faith

It’s Not Up to You to “Figure it All Out”

It always seems that when a chapter of my life is soon coming to a close that it’s easy and natural for me to get caught up in the whole thinking of: What am I going to do next in my life?

It happened when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree.  It happened when I chose to not renew my teaching contract while I was living in Korea.  And it has started happening again recently upon knowing that, in less than a year, I’ll have my Master’s degree.

The thought patterns have often gone something like this:

Where I am going to live?

If I want to move, where should I potentially move to?

What kind of work could I find there?

Should I do X or Y kind of work?

If I do X kind of work, will the salary be enough to pay bills?

What if I need a new car?

Etc. etc. etc.

The questions could go on and on forever.

While finishing a chapter in our lives can be very exciting — the end of a degree program, a job, or a relationship — it can also bring up a lot of stuff.

When a chapter of our lives ends, we then find ourselves at a crossroad.  So I turn right or left?  So I take A or B?  Or, should I not choose any of those and turn around and go right back where I was?

We now find ourselves in un-charted territory.  It’s new.  It’s unfamiliar.  We haven’t been through it before nor do we know where this new journey might take us.

And, due to the unfamiliarly, it can be pretty darn anxiety-provoking.  We fear that something will go wrong and we won’t be able to make ends meet.  We worry that we may take the job and then absolutely hate it — or the career path entirely flops for us.

As a result of this fear that, somehow, everything is going to go completely wrong, we decide that, maybe, we can just plan everything.

So we create to-do lists.  We set goals.  We create our vision boards for a dreams for the future and we make our 10-year plan.

But you know what happens then?  And I can vouch that this has happened to me every single time that I have tried to set any kind of long-term goal.

Life happens.  And the goals completely change.

Why?  Because it’s not up to me. It’s up to a power so much greater than me.

When we’re caught up in fear and worry, we start to over-analyze everything, and we try to plan and control everything in our lives, then that’s the voice of our ego, our monkey mind, our fear-based mind.

Our ego mind is limited.  It makes us see the world and the universe with lack and it believes that we are not supported.  And it drains our energy, our life-force, our power.  According to A Course in Miracles, the presence of fear is a sign that you are relying in your own strength.

So when we are in fear, worry, and stress because we’re pushing ourselves to figure out what we need to do next in our lives, all it does it create more stress, more worry, and more fear.

In the grand scheme of things, it makes us unhappy.  It keeps us in a place of suffering because it keeps us completely disconnected from our inner guidance and our true selves.  It makes us believe that we are not supported and that we only have ourselves to rely on to “figure it all out”.

But you know what?  You don’t have to figure it all out.  In fact, you’re one and only job is to let it all go.  Release the fear.  Release the worry.  Release the anxiety.  Then give those fears to a power greater than you — in whatever way you like to call it, whether that be Source, the Universe, the Divine, God or whatever.  Give it to a power greater than you and trust and know that you are supported.

FearGiveSupported

Click to Tweet: When you are fearful, give it to a power greater than you and trust and know that you are supported. @jenilyn8705 

Then once you do that, be still.  Quiet the mind.  Breathe.  Meditate.  Allow the beauty of the present moment to wash over you. Feel your body sitting.  Feel the air around you.  Hear the sounds around you in this moment.

Notice your inner mind chatter.  Observe it, but don’t attach to it.  Recognize it as fear and only fear, as the thoughts are not of your higher self, but wounded parts of yourself.  Love them and let them pass.

Continue to breathe.

And then slowly and gradually, the mind chatter will subside.  It may not completely go away, but it will become quieter.  In the stillness of the moment, trust that guidance for your next right action is coming.  It may come in the form of a thought, a feeling, a sensation, or maybe even through something in your external world, like through a friend, family member, co-worker, e-mail, magazine or whatever.

Regardless, be open and receptive.  Exhale and remember: It’s not up to you to figure it all out.

Need Guidance? Ask the Universe for a Sign

Earlier this year I was caught up in the midst of apartment hunting. 

Though looking for a new place to live can certainly be exciting, trying to find a place to rent in the San Francisco Bay Area is hardly an enjoyable process.

For a good month or so, I was apartment hunting as if it were my full-time job.  Waking up each morning to call and e-mail places listed on Craigslist, followed my aggressively visiting open houses in order to send in applications to any good apartments with the right price ASAP.

It was a lot of work and very exhausting.  After putting in some applications that fell through and visiting some apartments that were definitely not a place I’d want to live, I found myself getting really discouraged.  I wondered if I’ll ever find a place to live that is “just right”.  I wondered if I should give up and stick with my current not-so-great living situation.

Around that same time, I watched a mentor of mine give a local talk.  In that talk she spoke about her process of house hunting and the challenges she went through.  In her own period of discouragement, she asked a friend for guidance. 

Her friend told her to ask the universe for a sign.  To ask for something to emerge in her life to help show her and guide her in her process of house hunting.  In her case, she chose for that sign to be an owl.

And so in the process of house hunting, she looked for owls and, ultimately, seeing owls helped guide her to the right place to purchase.

Hearing this, I sat down and contemplated what my sign could be.  After meditating on it for a bit, I chose the dove.

So, starting that very day I found myself looking around for doves at every apartment I looked at.  If there were no doves to be seen, I found myself up and ready to head out the door to look someplace else.

After several days of seeing no doves, I went to see one apartment with my boyfriend.  As we walked around the apartment complex waiting for the lady at the front desk to get back from lunch, my boyfriend said, “Oh hey look at those doves!” 

I turned my head and sure enough there was a dove in a tree nearby.  My boyfriend had no idea about the whole dove thing — he probably would’ve thought I was nuts at the time — but, irregardless, knowing that there were some doves around made me a little more optimistic about this whole apartment hunting thing.

Despite seeing doves at this particular apartment complex, the landlord never showed up for our scheduled appointment.  I was very disappointed due to the good deal it would have been, but the landlord’s lack of organization gave enough of a bad vibe to put that apartment on my definite “no” list. 

So the hunt continued…

A week or so later as I was visiting apartments I felt like I was getting towards the end of my hunt.  I had put forth so much energy in searching that I wasn’t sure if I had much more energy to keep looking.  But, that day I continued to search in hopes that something will stick.

So I drove up to the apartment complex and went into the office to discuss the apartments available.  We went up and checked out an apartment and as we were walking back someone said, “Hey look — there’s a dove!” 

I turned my head to look but, unfortunately, I didn’t see it.  It had already flown away.

That’s the funny thing about signs — even though we’ve asked for them, we don’t always see them.  Signs from the universe don’t just come through our own individual sight, but it also comes through others.  They can come through based on what other people saw or a statement that someone said.

Though we can ask for signs for guidance, signs aren’t always as clear as we’d like them to be.  Sometimes we see that dove or owl in a place that we are not meant to be.  Or the place that we are meant to be at don’t have any doves or owls in them.

When we ask the universe for a sign, the guidance that comes through with it isn’t as plain as: sign = “yes” and no sign = “no”.  It’s more complicated than that.

To receive clear universal guidance, there has to be an element of faith.  We have to be willing to trust that we are supported and that we are being guided.  We have to be willing to let go of any fear that is hindering us from seeing our opportunities clearly.

To release fear and to be open to the possibilities is to be open to love. 

By being open to love, we give ourselves the ability to receive clear guidance internally.  We are then able to get an intuitive sense of what feels like the right direction to take and what isn’t.

ClearGuidance

Click to Tweet: When we release our fear and open up to a mindset of love, we give ourselves the ability to receive clear guidance. via @jenilyn8705

If we are willing to release our fear then we are able to receive clear intuitive guidance in a way that it doesn’t matter if the dove shows up or not.  We’re able to simply trust and know which is the right choice.

So if you’re in need of guidance, ask for a sign, set the intention to release your fears and then trust that you will be guided.  Then all you have to do is go through the motions.  Take action and have faith that it will work out.

As for me… I saw no other doves until the day I drove up with my car filled up with my plants and a U-Haul on the way.  I sat in the office to get apartment keys and go over signing the lease. 

As I sat in the office, I looked over to the deck of my new apartment.  There were two doves sitting on the deck railing.  I smiled… realizing they were there all along — I just had to open my eyes to see them.

4 Things to Remember When You Want to Get Married, But It’s Not Happening

Back when I was in my early to mid-20s I was worried and concerned about getting married, but every attempt to create a stable, loving, and committed relationship turned into an utter failure.

Based on what I’ve learned, here are 4 things to remember when you want to get married, but it’s not happening:

#1 – You gotta focus on making yourself happy.

Be your own best friend.  Learn how to love your life whether there is a guy in your life or not.  The more joyful and loving that you are when alone with yourself, the better because others are going to recognize that energy that you are putting out. 

And trust me — being joyful, happy, and loving is a lot more attractive then being depressed, self-conscious, and anxious.  Just imagine what it’d be like going on a date with someone who is really depressed, self conscious and anxious.  Would you want to go out with them again?  Enough said.

#2 – Know that you deserve and are capable of having a loving relationship. 

We can be happy and joyful in our lives and with ourselves all we want, but if we don’t think that we deserve and are capable of having a loving and joyful relationship that can turn into a successful marriage then it’s not going to happen.  We have to really truly know and believe that we are worthy.

Doing this doesn’t have to be super complicated.  It can happen at any given moment that you choose to fully admit to yourself and the universe what it is that you truly desire and you choose to fully know you are worthy.  And, as a result, the universe can respond very quickly.

I know this very well from experience.  A few years ago I was traveling in Japan after spending several months suffering with the aftermath from a breakup.  I was working on being happy by myself but nothing new came along because I didn’t really believe I was ready for a new relationship.  I deeply believed that I’d screw any new relationship up.  I didn’t trust myself.

While walking around the Golden Pavillion (Kinkai-ju) in Kyoto I saw a section where you could buy candles for various different things and light them for a prayer.  These were all in English so I felt inclined to light one.  At first I rationalized and started telling myself to do one for world peace but my eyes kept going back to one that was for finding love. 

In that moment, finally admitted to myself and the universe my true desire and I knew that I deserved it.  I lit the candle and left — forgetting about it.

Later that day, upon trying to get to the airport, a storm came through that caused me to miss my flight.  I ended up meeting a man in this this stressful situation who helped me with language translations.   This man I ended up having a stable relationship with for about a year.

Which leads me to my next point…

#3 – Always be open to possibilities.

When we have this very specific picture of what it is that we want then we are not going to be open for all of the creative possibilities.  We may overlook or not even allow ourselves to see what is right in front of us. 

It’s okay to have some standards of what you want: Like someone who is honest, loyal, caring, and so on.  But if we’re going so far as to being very particular about how someone looks, their job, or where they grew up then we may be blocking ourselves from being with who we are truly mean to be with.

Also, I think it’s very important to remember that when I say “be open to possibilities” it’s not about letting go of the desire completely.  It’s not about shifting your thoughts in a way to be forcing yourself to be thinking, “I don’t want to get married” because that doesn’t leave you open to the potential of marriage ever.  It’s like going up to the universe and saying “I’m closing up shop” and the universe is thinking, “But, wait, I had all these customers lined up for you.  What gives?”

The key is to learn how to get into a neutral space of “I am happy and love my life no matter what happens”.  It’s about letting go of any concern or worry about the outcome and being open for all creative possibilities. That creates the foundation for a real change (or miracle) to occur, internally and, ultimately, externally.

FoundationForChange

Click to Tweet: When we let go of concerns about the outcome, we open ourselves to receive all the creative possibilities. via @jenilyn8705

#4 – Have faith. 

Trust that what is going to happen will happen.  Not all of us are meant to get married or have children by a certain age.   It’s also true that not all of us are meant to only be married once.  Things happen — it’s just the way life works out sometimes.

So trust and have faith that what comes to you is what is in your highest good.  You have you own individual lessons to learn in this life that is totally unique to you.  Nobody else shares those same specific lessons that you need to learn with you.  So trust, have faith, and follow the flow of your own intuition and inner guidance.

Take action now!

Let’s do #1: What can you start doing today to help yourself love your life more?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Reflections from My Weekend in NYC with Gabrielle Bernstein

Last weekend I went to New York City for the very first time to attend Gabrielle Bernstein’s second Spirit Junkie Masterclass Level 1.

I heard of Gabby’s masterclass when she first started it last year, but I told myself “Eh not this year” because I had already done Marie Forleo’s B-School that year and I just didn’t have the money to go.

When this new year started, I hadn’t even thought of it until I went to one of Gabby’s talks this past February in San Francisco. It was during that talk that she casually mentioned her masterclass in response to someone’s question. When I heard it, I felt a strong pull to sign up this year. Something in my heart, some little voice kept coming up and saying “go”.

I didn’t know how I’d get there at the time, but I knew I had to go so I just trusted and figured “if it’s meant to happen, some things will fall into place so that it can happen”.

Lesson #1: When you’re truly following your inner guidance and in-line with where you are truly meant to be, then things will fall into place naturally.

We don’t have to push it or try to force it to happen. It flows easily and effortlessly.

So there are a few things that happened…

For starters, around the time of that talk I was hired for as a counselor at a job where I could get hours as part of earning my masters degree in counseling psychology. And — unlike most people who are trying to get their hours in prior to graduation — I managed to get hired for a paid position. So more income? Check!

The next month I started doing the work to file my taxes. After adding in all of my income, deductions, etc. etc. etc. it turned out that I somehow managed to get a pretty darn good tax refund (probably the best I’ve had in my life… ever). So a decent sized check with more money that didn’t involve me doing any extra work? Check!

Then, to top it all off, in those next few months I had an increase in the amount of coaching clients. Woo hoo! Check!

So, because I managed to somehow get this extra amount of money that I wasn’t necessarily planning on I then flew from coast to coast to New York City (for the very first time) to attend Gabby’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass.

Overall, the class was nothing short of, simply, remarkable and there are not very many words that I can use to fully describe it. In fact, everyone that has asked me so far how the masterclass was, I have such a hard time trying to explain it. Words really just don’t do it any justice… honestly.

Anyway — at the masterclass, I was able to meet many different people (mostly women, with a few guys) from all around the world.

After the Saturday I was so excited about being in NYC that I decided I was going to go all about the city and explore and see as much as I possibly could.

After Sunday (our last day), on the other hand, I actually found myself overcome by this feeling of sadness. Though I visited with several ladies at the class and even afterwards at the hotel, I was overcome by this feeling of being alone and supported.

Lesson #2: Just because you think you may have healed something fully because the issue no longer exists in our current life, it doesn’t mean that it is completely 100% healed.

The wound may still be lingering deep within our psyche, where it may be unconscious to us most of the time.

I didn’t realize it as it was happening but in hindsight I realized that these emotions were perfectly correlated to a few dreams I had in the past few months. In the last few months I had some dreams come up where I was younger and back in school and feeling very left out and unsupported by classmates.

I wasn’t sure why this was coming up or what it meant at the time, but my sudden feeling of sadness and feeling unsupported after the class made me realize that these emotions came from that unconscious part of myself. It seemed that these wounds, that were buried deep into the unconscious of my psyche and only came up in my dreams occasionally, had now completely surfaced in my conscious mind.

And boy did they hit hard.

So what did I do? Well, I did the best thing and, really, only thing I could do…

I felt them. Fully and completely.

Lesson #3: In order to heal it, you have to really let yourself feel it.

As Gabby’s coach, Rha Goddess who gave a keynote at the masterclass says, “Feeling a feeling for 90 second can transform it”. So I let myself really feel it. After all, I didn’t cry during the masterclass at all, which was a little odd cause it seemed that everybody cried at some point or another. So I gave myself the time and space at this time to really feel it.

After I gave myself to really feel and process those feelings alone in my hotel room, it seemed that something cracked open. I started writing in this new notebook that I brought. In the process of writing, it appeared that something completely new was coming out on the page.

What emerged on the page was new, unique, and… the true message of all my work at its very core. My inner guide that I was not fully connected with completely emerged on that page. And it gave me all I needed to know about where to focus in my teaching, coaching, and writing.

I felt energized, aligned and oh-so-excited to start sharing this message with others.

Which leads me to my last and final lesson…

Lesson #4: When you are able to recognize your fear as only fear and you let yourself really feel that fear, your true self begins to shine.

TrueSelfShine

Click to Tweet: When you are able to recognize your fear as only fear & you let yourself feel that fear, your true self begins to shine. via @jenilyn8705

Let yourself really feel it, my friends — and I mean really feel it. Recognize the fear, feel it, and then allow your true self to emerge… it’s waiting.

Much love,

Jennifer

5 Steps To Forgiveness

Forgiveness.  It is one of those things that can sound so challenging and difficult to do, yet not doing it can be detrimental our growth and overall well-being.  When we don’t forgive and hold on to bitter resentments, we can find ourselves feeling stressed, miserable, angry, or sad for years after an event happened.

Maybe it’s that ex boyfriend who seemed to always take more from you then give.  Or maybe it’s that friend who rarely told the truth.  Or — maybe — the person you’re struggling to forgive is yourself — for doing something that hurt someone else.

Regardless of who it is that we need to forgive, the act of forgiving is equally beneficial.  When we forgive, we free ourselves and others from the binds of pain and hurt and open ourselves to true healing and love.  Through the power of forgiveness, we open ourselves to the a new way of being, which allows us to attract and create more loving relationships in our lives.

Here are the 5 steps to forgiveness:

#1 – Identify why you have been struggling to forgive.

Have you been making yourself the victim?  Have you been putting the other person up on a pedestal?  Have you been putting yourself down?  Have you been putting yourself up on a pedestal?  Have you been feeling guilty for the things that had happened in a past relationship?  Have you been blaming the other person?

#2 – Be willing to forgive.

Though we often see forgiveness as a challenging task to do, the reality is that, really, the most important thing that we need to do is to be willing to forgive.  When there is a willingness for a change to occur then it is much more likely to happen.  If we are holding on to our past hurts and unwilling to forgive for whatever reason, then we will continue to find ourselves stuck in a place of suffering.

#3 – Release it.

Once you have identified why you struggle to forgive and have a willingness to forgive, the only thing you have to do is to simply let it go — just like that popular song from “Frozen”.  Release it to the universe.

#4 – Trust that healing will occur.

Once we release it, we may find ourselves going into a bit of a panic in our minds.  We may start having thoughts of “What if this doesn’t work?” “How is this going to work?” or “But I don’t feel any different!”  These are merely fear-based thoughts created from our ego, which is the cause of our struggle to experience happiness, joy and love to begin with.  So trust and have faith that a shift will happen.

#5 – Be open for healing.

Once we are in a place of trusting that a shift in our perception will happen, we must be open to receive.  What I mean by this is to be an observer.  Pay close attention to the things that come up for you in your day to day life.  Make note of the people you see, the things that people say, the songs you hear on the radio, the ideas that pop up in your mind, how you feel emotionally throughout your day and so on.  By being an observer of ourselves and our own experience, we are able to be aware when healing does occur.

So if you are in place where you need to forgive someone or yourself, go through these steps.  These guidelines are not meant to be a “do it one time only and everything changes”.  Rather, it’s something that we may need to do every day or a couple times a day for several days or a week or so before we can begin to notice ourselves feeling lighter, happier, and more free.

Be committed to this process of forgiveness. It is by being committed that we will be able to truly forgive and create relationships and a life filled with love.

CommitToForgiveness

Click to Tweet: Being committed to practicing forgiveness is key to creating relationships and a life filled with love. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

In the comments below, we’re going to do Step #1.  So, share why you have been struggling to forgive either someone or yourself.

How to Know If Your Intuition is Telling You “Yes” or “No”

Intuition.  It’s that subtle vibe, that gut feeling, that little voice that helps to guide us through life so that we, hopefully, find ourselves in the place where we can function at our highest good.  It can help us to avoid jobs that we hate, stressful relationships, car accidents, unhelpful doctors, and to even avoid buying things that we simply don’t need.

For some of us, trusting our intuition is relatively easy while for others it is much more difficult.  Yet, regardless of where we are on the spectrum, we have all struggled in trusting our intuition at some point or another.

And it always seems harder to know what our intuition is telling us when a very crucial decision needs to be made — that life-changing job offer, the big move across the country or to another country, or to take that next step in your relationship.

The reason why it is so difficult to know what our intuition is telling us when we have such critical decisions is because there’s a lot more fear involved.  We have more anxiety about making the wrong decision — and our minds can tend to go on overdrive to the point that we overanalyze and can become paralyzed in making the decision.

But, regardless of how crucial the the decision is — regardless of how much fear and worry you have in the decision — your intuition is still there giving you subtle signs over what you should do.

So how can you know?  Here’s some tips:

 

Now, in case you can’t or didn’t watch the video here’s a recap:

The key in really know what your intuition is telling you is to tone down your thinking mind.  Slow down, draw you attention from your mind and draw your attention more into the body.

So now when you think of one the options that you have, notice how you feel in your body when you think about it.  Do you feel constricted?  Suffocated?  Limited?  Frustrated?  Irritated?  Closed-off?  If so, then you’re intuition is telling you a big NO.

Now, if you think of one of your options and you feel expanded, excited, opened, limitless, joyful, and happy — then your intuition is telling you a big YES.

These differences can be very subtle so if we continue to second guess ourselves then it’s likely that it will be harder and harder to know what our intuition is telling us.

So I’m going to tell you one of the things that many of my teachers growing up always told me whenever it was time to take a multiple choice test:  Never erase the first guess to your answer unless you are absolutely sure that it is wrong.  Because the majority of the time, our first guess is going to be the right one.

Here’s the reason I’m telling you this: Because from what I’ve learned in my own personal experience, 9 times out of 10 my very initial split second thought, feeling, or reaction is my intuition shining through.  Intuition hardly ever (actually, probably closer to never) emerges after analyzing it for 3 days.

Intuition emerges in that split second — and it can pass so fast that sometimes it’s hard to catch it.  It shines through in a moment where there is no fearful thought there to block it.

Share your own personal story about following your intuition!

And so, in the comments below I want you to share a time where you followed your intuition?  What was the outcome?  How was your experience?  Did you trust it right away or did you debate it for a while?

OR you can share a time when you didn’t follow your intuition?  What was the outcome?  What was more challenging about it?  How did you feel?