Tag Archives: happiness

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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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.

TrulyAuthenticPeople

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!

5 Easy Morning Rituals That Will Reduce Stress and Overwhelm

In a world of 40-hour work weeks and traffic jams, mornings can be pretty hectic.  We may find ourselves rushing every morning to get to work or get kids to school.  We may even find ourselves doing our makeup in the car during rush hour because we’re just that rushed.

When we start our days with such a hectic and rushed routine, we’re making ourselves start our days stressed out and overwhelmed.  And, frankly, who really wants that?  So here are 5 easy morning rituals that will reduce stress and overwhelm:

#1 – Wake up at least 30-minutes earlier than you usually do

If you normally wake up about an hour before you need to be out the door, then maybe add on an extra half and hour.  If you normally wake up less than that, then you may want to try to add on more than a half hour.

Our weekdays can be pretty stressful as it is, so we certainly don’t want to make it more stressful for ourselves by rushing every single morning.  So try to give yourself some extra time in the morning so that you have more time to get ready and do more things for you and your own health and well-being.

And if you’re concerned about getting enough sleep, then be sure give yourself more time to at night to wind down and go to bed… it is possible!

#2 – Swap the coffee for a green smoothie

Many of us depend on coffee for our morning energy fix.  Though there can be a nice ritual around the process of brewing coffee, such as the smell of coffee beans or the flavor, coffee alone doesn’t give us the vitamins and minerals that our body really needs (and no, a morning bagel or donut doesn’t make it much better).  Eating leafy greens, fruits and veggies first thing in the morning is a much healthier option.

So grab your blender and make yourself a green smoothie.  If you’re in need of recipes, I’m currently obsessed with Kris Carr’s new book Crazy Sexy Juice for all my smoothie and juice recipes.  If you don’t want to get the book just yet, she also has a few recipes on her website.

#3 – Take a moment to really breathe some fresh air

There’s something magical about the crisp morning air that, once you stop and take a moment to appreciate it, can be extremely calming and grounding.  So before you rush out the door, take some time to open a window or step outside on to your porch and deck.  Take a few conscious breaths and allow yourself to take in and enjoy the beauty of the morning.

#4 – Write!

Our dream life is a world within us that we tend to neglect.  While we may remember a dream that was very charged for us for days later, most of the time we completely forget them.  This is unfortunate because our dreams are a bridge to our unconscious world.  When we take time to acknowledge our dreams, we allow ourselves to become more consciously aware of our thoughts, feelings and experiences that may have either repressed, forgotten about, or was never really aware of.

So upon waking, take a couple minutes to write down something that came up in your dreams.  It may be a lot of material or it may be only an image or two.  Even if you can’t write down anything about a dream, take a few minutes to free write about any thoughts that you have lingering in your mind upon waking.

Taking this time to write first thing in the morning, helps us to process our inner world.  By putting those thoughts, feelings and images out on to the paper we are making the internal experience less charged for ourselves.  Making this kind of activity a morning ritual, can be beneficial in reducing things like anxiety, depression, stress and so on in our waking lives over time.

#5 – Move your body

While those of us that are early-birds may morning jog to start our day, it doesn’t always work for everybody.  However, it is still highly beneficial to do some kind of movement first thing in the morning.

So take a few minutes to stretch and walk around.  If you’re a yogi, maybe you can do a few sun salutations.   If not, maybe you’d want to walk around your house or apartment before going to work.  Do whatever you feel called to do, but be sure to give yourself time move.

When it comes to your morning routine remember this: How we start our mornings sets the foundation for the rest of our day.  So if we start our mornings stressed and rushed, then we’re likely going to be stressed the rest of the day.  Remember to slow down, take a few breaths, and do things for you so that you can feel happier and healthier.

MorningRitualFoundation

Click to Tweet: How we start our mornings sets the foundation for the rest of our day. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Out of the rituals listed, which are you going to start doing for yourself this week?  Share it in the comments below!

10 Super Simple Self-Care Practices to Help You Live a Joyful Life

You wake up early in the morning to sit in traffic for an hour, work for about 8 hours, sit in traffic again for another hour or more to get home, cook dinner and then have just enough time to watch a TV show or two before you find yourself in bed and ready to do it all over again for another four days.

When we’re so much on the go-go-go, the last thing on our minds can be our own self-care and how we can find joy in our day to day lives. But, trust me, it’s much easier than you think. Here are 10 super simple self-care practices to help you live a joyful life:

#1 – Breathe!

So many of us get so stressed out over deadlines, places we have to be, and things that we have to do that we forget about how important it is to just breathe. When we’re stressed out, often our natural tendency is to hold our breaths or to breathe in through our chest.

So whenever you’re feeling strung out, turn your attention to the breath. Exhale. Breathe in through your diaphragm and breath out for a few counts. By consciously making deep breaths for a few minutes each day, you’ll be able to think with a more clear mind, be more resilient to stress, and feel much lighter overall.

#2 – Sing.

Who doesn’t like to jam out to one of their favorite songs? When you’re driving home from work, turn on one of your favorite songs and just start singing. And so what if people in the other cars around you see you! Clearly, they haven’t learned how to enjoy life nearly as much as you.

#3 – Dance.

You know the next best thing to singing your favorite tunes? Dancing to them! So when you get home, spend some time gettin’ your groove on. It’s not only good for a little exercise and to reduce stress, but it’s just flat out fun.

#4 – Meditate.

Have you ever had one of those days where your mind just can’t seem to “turn off”? It’s like the thoughts of your day just keep going on repeat in your mind and you just can’t get it to stop.

This is where the benefits of meditation comes in.

So every day spend a good 3-5 minutes just sitting and focusing only on your breath. If you want, you can also add in a mantra that you can say to yourself over and over again. A very basic one to do could be “so hum”.

If focusing on the breath or doing a mantra isn’t your cup of tea, you could also do a guided meditation or visualization as well. There are plenty of free ones online to try out. In fact, in case you haven’t already, you can get a free copy of my guided meditation for self and relationship healing. This is a great guided meditation to use to help send some love and healing for yourself and then send some love and healing to others in your life as well.

#5 – Eat natural foods.

When we’re running around busy all the time, the last thing our mind and body really needs is a Big Mac. We need to be mindful over what we are putting into our bodies so that we can be better able to tackle life’s challenges.

So try to eat more natural foods. Spend more time buying foods out of the produce section. Be sure to eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Drink more water and a little less coffee. Try to cut down on sweets and fatty foods. In making these little changes, you’ll have much more energy.

#6 – Be grateful.

Start keeping a gratitude list and every day identify at least one thing that you are grateful for. Once you have identified what it is that you are grateful for, then close your eyes and breathe. Visualize that person, place, or thing that you are grateful for. Visualize yourself sending that person, place or thing your love and appreciation.

#7 – Give someone a hug… or kiss.

When we give someone a hug (or a kiss) we get an instant boost of oxytocin in our brains, which is the brain chemical that creates feelings of pleasure, bonding, and intimacy. So give out some more hugs and it’ll make you and the other person feel better.

#8 – Play… literally.

When we’re so cooped up in our daily responsibilities of being an adult, we forget what it was like to be a kid and just play. Spend some time coloring or playing a game with a friend or with your partner. Dance in the rain. Play in the pool. And let go of the inner critical thoughts like, “I’m too old for this” and just do it. Just enjoy it and have fun!

JustPlay

Click to Tweet: Give yourself time every day to just play. You’ll reduce stress & bring a little more fun and joy into your life! via @jenilyn8705

#9 – Spend time outside.

For the majority of us that have desk jobs and sit in front of a computer every day, we don’t end up getting nearly as much time in the sun as we should be. So take some walks outside, spend time time regularly taking care of a garden, or simply just sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sun. You’ll feel much better!

#10 – Create something.

In comparison to past generations, we don’t really have that many hobbies. In previous generations, more of us took up things like knitting, cooking, drawing, playing music, dancing, painting, and so on. Today it seems that most of us have exchanged this for working more hours and spending more time mindlessly checking our cell phones and watching cable.

And, frankly, there’s not a lot of joy that can come out of that.

So find a little hobby and start doing it. Start writing. Start knitting. Start learning piano. And no, you don’t have to be perfect and no, you don’t have to work towards “going pro”. Just do it. Not for money. Not for anyone else. Just for you.

Take action now!

Out of this list, which of these are you going to do for yourself today? Share it in the comments below!

Choosing Happiness Doesn’t Mean You Should Settle

This past week I posted on my Instagram and Facebook the quote, “Happiness is a Choice”.

While I obviously agree with the idea that happiness is a choice, the post got me thinking about it a bit deeper and thinking about how others may interpret its meaning.

Yes, happiness is something we choose to do. We can get a new job, live in a new location, get new friends, and find a new partner but if we continue to stay in this state of mind of pessimism or negativity with beliefs like “I’m the victim” or “I’m not worthy” then, clearly, we’re not going to be very happy.

If we don’t make a conscious choice to be happy then we’re going to keep ourselves locked up in this cycle of self-defeating thoughts. So even if something really good and amazing does come into our lives then, chances are, it’s not going to last very long cause we’ll either A. Mess it up our relationship with our super awesome new boyfriend or B. Never really appreciate them by realizing how good they truly are for us.

It’s our own inner shifts that really determine the level of satisfaction and happiness that we experience in our external world.

But — let me be clear — just because happiness is an internal choice that we have to make, it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to settle.

Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we all need to settle for our less-than fulfilling job. Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t mean that we need to settle with our romantic partner that we don’t quite fully “gel” with for whatever reason. Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t mean that we should never pursue our inner desire to travel the world.

Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to settle for living a life that others expect us to live rather than how we, deep down in our core, truly want to live.

Yes, happiness is a choice but that doesn’t mean that we also need to repress our own inner truth in the process of doing so. Listen to that inner voice that is guiding and leading you to great things.

ListenToInnerVoice

Click to Tweet: Listen to that inner voice that is guiding and leading you to great things. via @jenilyn8705

Honor that inner guide fully and completely — but don’t expect that the action of breaking up with your boyfriend, quitting your job, or moving to another country is going to be the one thing that is going to completely transform your life. ‘Cause if you think it is, you’re going to be really disappointed.

… trust me. I know.

I did it 4 years ago when I decided that I was going to move half-way around the world to South Korea to teach English for a year. I was feeling very unfulfilled, out of place and as if I had lost myself somewhere along this path of becoming an adult.

I figured, well, maybe if I move out of the country and decide to just do “my own thing” that will be all I need to do to solve my problems.

“Ha!” the Universe said, “Oh silly, naive girl, you have so much more to learn…”

Oh boy was I wrong.

So very wrong.

The joke was on me.

I thought I was stressed, unfulfilled, and had relationship problems when I left the US, but within the first 4 months I started to experience even more stress, unfulfillment and relationship problems.

I found myself in the most challenging and emotionally damaging romantic relationship of my life.

It wasn’t until after that relationship ended that I gradually started to do the inner work. It was then that I really started to focus less on others and begin to really look at myself. It was then that I started to make self-care a priority.

It took me a while to fully realize that it’s the inner shifts that need to happen before I can really experience the outer shifts. But had I never gone. Had I never taken the leap of faith to hop on a plane an fly half way around the world by myself, would I have experienced the same inner shifts?

It’s very unlikely.

I never would’ve ran into the right people that would have guided me to the right books that would’ve never instilled in me the right ideas to cause such changes. And for that —regardless of how painful those relationships may have been — I am forever grateful.

After all, the lotus can’t bloom if there isn’t any mud.

Happiness is a choice that we have to make, but that doesn’t mean we need to settle. Trust the guidance of your intuition. Trust that sense you may feel to get out of that relationship, to move, or to quit that job. Of course, think ahead and plan effectively and rationally, but listen to it and trust it. Trust it even if everyone in your life doubts you or thinks it’s a bad idea because it is your choice and your inner truth — not theirs.

If we follow our inner guidance in faith and act with a willingness to learn, grow and experience change, a transformation will occur. The journey is hardly easy, but, at the end of the day, it’ll be nothing short of miraculous.

How I Manifested a Happy, Healthy and Loving Relationship

Just a few years back, I was in a very unhappy place.

I was heartbroken, lonely, unsupported, and wondered how and if I would ever be in a stable relationship that was healthy, happy, and filled with love.

That is, until I made some inner shifts.  Here’s how I managed to manifest a new relationship that is healthy, happy, and loving:

#1 – I got really comfortable with being alone.

I made it a goal to enhance my most important relationship of all: my relationship with myself.  I learned how to enjoy my own company, I learned how to better notice and regulate my own emotions, I learned what I need to do to make myself happy, and I became the master of my own self-care.

I discovered what I needed to do in order to best help me rather than others.  I have found that being more tuned-in with myself I am much better able to get my own needs met for myself, rather than to fall into my old habit of expecting others to meet my needs.

#2 – I acknowledged my old heartbreaks, gave myself time to heal, and let go.

I gave myself time and space to grieve over my heartbreaks.  I cried, I journaled, I talked about it in therapy.  I took time to honor my past relationships in the way that I felt guided to.  I didn’t repress my feelings or dwell on them to a point where I’d be depressed.  Nor did I push myself to “hurry up and forgive” or go into a rebound relationship.  I simply gave myself space to process it in a way that felt natural to me with the intention to gradually let it go and, eventually, forgive and heal completely.

#3 – I believed that I deserved a happy, healthy and loving relationship.

Many times after a breakup I would find myself in this place of “I won’t find anyone else”, “I won’t find anyone better” or “I’ll never find a stable and loving relationship”.  All of these thoughts are fear-based thoughts created by our ego — they are not true.

When I finally released these thoughts and truly believed in the deepest of my being that I truly deserved a healthy relationship that was filled with love, then my new relationship emerged.

#4 – When I knew I was ready, I was willing to ask for what I wanted and trusted it would happen.

When the time came that I felt as if I had become really comfortable with myself, I healed and forgave my past ex’s, and I truly believed I deserved a healthy and loving relationship, I asked for what I wanted.

In my mind I told myself and the universe, “I’m ready” a few times every day for about a month.  I wasn’t worried as to whether someone would come or not.  I wasn’t even concerned about the outcome.  I simply just said, “I’m open and ready” in trust and faith that something would happen.  In about a month, I was asked out on a date.

#5 – I let go of my “ideal”.

I let go of all these list of traits that I thought I wanted in a partner: To be from a certain area or have a certain heritage, to have a certain hair color or be a certain height, to have certain interests, to have X things in common, and so on.  By letting go of my “ideal” I opened myself up to greater possibilities. I was then able to fully see, accept, and appreciate my partner for who he truly is when we first started dating.

LetGoIdeal

When we let go of our “ideal” partner, we allow ourselves to fully see, accept and appreciate the person we are dating. via @jenilyn8705

#6 – I made the conscious effort to not put my partner up on a pedestal.

In the very beginning of our relationship I continuously made the intention to see him and I as equals rather than for us to put each other up on pedestals.  By making this effort and intention, I truly believe this has been a major factor in getting us to a place of happiness, love and stability that we are at now.

Now I’d love to hear from you!  In the comments below, share with me one inner shift that you believe you need to make in order to manifest a happy, healthy and loving relationship in your life.

Why We Struggle to Be Happy

I started therapy a little over a month ago.

I started going again for a few reasons:

1.  I was feeling kind of extra stressed over a few aspects in my life and I felt it’d be good to have a “sounding board”

2.  I found myself in a period where I’m wanting to look a little bit deeper at my own stuff.

3.  I’m required to have an X amount of therapy hours for my graduate program — PLUS this therapist that I found happens to be licensed, which means = I can earn hours towards my own MFT licensure.

Up until this past week, most of our sessions had been pretty “introductory” in nature.  You know, the classic story of “this is what my upbringing was like, this is my history, this is where I currently am in my life, etc. etc.” that can feel oh-so too often repeated if you’ve gone to therapy more than once or twice in your life.

Fortunately, this week happened to be the first session where some real therapy could actually start taking place.  And I was excited cause, frankly, I had felt like it was talking way too long to really get things going.

There was one problem though… I had nothing to talk about!  In the previous weeks I always came in stressed about something — something with work, something with school, something with roommates, something about my health, something about my relationship, and so on.  But this week everything was perfectly fine.  It was as if all problems either melted away or, there were problems, but I was generally apathetic or emotionally unaffected by it.

So what did I talk about?  Well, I did what do best at in therapy — I ramble.  I began talking about any random thing that had been going through in the past week.

As I rambled about whatever, my therapist would interject occasionally with a comment like, “So it looks like everything is going really great right now!” that was then followed up with comments like “That is so exciting!” and “That’s wonderful!”

You would think that with the way I was talking about everything I was excited, satisfied, and, well… happy.  But I wasn’t and, instead, whenever she made a comment like that I typically responded with something like, “Well yeah… except for this cough that I have.”

When the session was over and I was driving home I thought to myself, “Isn’t that funny?  She’s telling me how everything I’m saying looks wonderful and great and here I am trying to find things to be stressed about.”  It was something that I was completely unaware of!

And you know what?  We all do this!  Whenever life is actually “going right” we can find ourselves caught up in still trying to find and focus on the things that are “wrong”.

The reasons for this I see as kind of two-fold.

In one way, the reason that we find ourselves focusing on all the things that are “wrong” is because we are stuck in our habit of focusing on what is wrong.  If we are constantly focused on what isn’t good and what needs to change, then we train our brains to focus on the bad rather than to notice and enjoy what is good.

In another regard, we can also be struggling to truly accept what is good.  Our ego has us so caught-up in all of the problems and struggles that life presents to us that it is hard for us to truly see and enjoy the good.  It’s hard for us to really be positive because it’s almost like our ego has us “addicted” to the negative.

Regardless of the exact reasoning, it’s possible to get ourselves out of this focus on the negative and to really start being positive with just some conscious effort.  Here are some tips:

#1 Reflect every day by asking yourself the questions of…

How is everything in my life right now?  What is good?  What is “not-so-great”?  Am I really enjoying and being happy for the things that are good?

#2 Strive to find the good even in the “bad”.

Are you frustrated about your finances cause you’re barely making ends meet?  Then rather than get even more frustrated when a bill comes in, be joyful for it!  Are you frustrated that it’s snowing heavily outside so it takes even longer to drive home?  Be happy that you are in a place that has all 4 seasons!

#3 Be more positive!

Give the lady with a cute necklace standing in line behind you a compliment.  Smile at the people at the Post Office and ask them how there day is (despite the line being a bit too long).  Take the time to look at the sunrise or sunset and find the beauty in it.  Find the joy in the little things — and allow your inner joy to shine.

InnerJoy

Click to Tweet: Find the joy in the little things — and allow your inner joy to shine! via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

In the comments below, list at least 3 positive things that are happening in your life right now!

The Mindset Shift Required to Get What You Want in Life

For a few weeks I have noticed that a peer of mine was kind of going through a bit of a rough patch with her job.  She expressed her thoughts on being underpaid, given less hours than she thought she deserved, and, overall… well, just feeling downright undervalued.

As I heard this peer for her concerns many times towards me I began to notice other people in my life doing a similar things.  Someone expressing their frustrations to me about their phone company potentially overcharging them.  Another mad because of their roommate talking loudly on the phone late at night.  And then — on top of it all — I even saw myself frustrated over a couple things in my environment and expressing it to others as well.

When I sat back and reflected on the whole thing, I noticed that there was one common underlying thread amongst all of these situations: Each person was expressing their concerns, but not to people who could actually help them with the situation.  Nobody was being proactive in their stress and frustration.

Instead, everybody was doing the safest thing a person can ever do: Express their frustrations to people who can’t do anything about it.  Their friend.  Their partner.  Their family member.  When in reality the person needed to be talking to people who can help them and give them what they want: their boss, supervisor, cell phone company, roommate, or whoever.

We all get caught up in this way of being at some point or another during various periods of our lives.  We are stressed and frustrated about something and rather than confront the issue head-on with the people who can help us with the issue, we talk to everybody else in our lives about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong — sometimes we do need to process our experience with other people who aren’t involved.  However, the problem is that by talking with other people about the issue rather than those involved, it is very disempowering.  It’s almost as if the more people we express our frustrations with, then the more we drain our energy and the energy of those around us.

When we avoid confronting the issue head-on it’s like we are are subconsciously telling ourselves (and the universe), “I’m not powerful.  I’m not capable.  I’m not worthy.  My concerns, thoughts and feelings don’t matter, so I’m going to talk to many other people about it rather than confront the issue at the source so I can make changes in my life.”

Doing this makes us feel out of control, weak and powerless — the exact opposite of what we commonly desire.

So how can we get what we want in our lives?  What is the mindset shift that we have to make?

It is to consciously choose to take personal responsibility for ourselves in every single situation.

Taking personal responsibility involves acknowledging and accepting our own unique experience and acting accordingly to our experience.  To be willing to face the world head-on and say, “I am powerful and I deserve to have what I desire.”

IAmPowerful

Click to Tweet: I am powerful and I deserve to have what I desire @jenilyn8705.

So if we are unhappy at work, then we properly communicate to our boss or supervisor.  If we are unhappy with a contract that we have made with that company, then we properly communicate with that company.  If we are unhappy with a roommate, then we voice our concerns directly to that person.  Not to a co-worker or your neighbor who can’t do anything about your situation… but a clear communication with the people there is a problem with.

To take personal responsibility also involves making decisions that are in our best interests.  So if a certain job or relationship that we are in is no longer working despite our efforts at open communication, then we know that we always have the option to leave or do something different.

We all always have a choice.  We all always have decisions to make.  To know that we always have endless opportunities available to us is part of living truly empowered.

You are in control of your own life.  You always have been and always will be.  So what can you do today to feel like you are more in control of you life?  What can you do today to take more personal responsibility for your life?  Share it in the comments below!

The Secret to Being Happy in Any Relationship

I was a total chameleon in my relationships.

If someone else liked it, I liked it.  Anything they believed, I believed.  Any interest that they had, I would take that up myself.

To top that off, I was completely focused on other people’s experiences.  What they felt.  What they wanted.  What they thought.

It was all about nurturing them and taking care of them.  I had completely forgotten about me because I felt that I mattered less.  My feelings, thoughts, needs, and experiences were less valid and important than that of other peoples’.

The truth is, I had no idea who I was — or, more specifically, I was terrified of being myself. I was afraid to really allow my true self to be seen because I thought that by being myself I would be criticized and rejected.

I thought that if I made myself like them then they couldn’t possibly reject me and end the relationship.  I mean, why would anyone want to breakup with someone who makes them the center of their universe?  Why would a group of friends reject and criticize someone who is always putting everyone else’s needs first?

Needless to say, this method didn’t work too well.  I found myself heartbroken and disappointed over and over again.  I felt drained, unfulfilled, and as if I was giving too much.

I kept wanting more in my relationships.  I wanted something real.  I wanted to be deeply loved and supported while able to be my true self but I had no idea how to get that.

That is, until I came to realize one big life lesson:

That you can’t really have a happy and fulfilling relationship with anyone until you’ve created a happy and fulfilling relationship with yourself.

You have to learn to love you.  You have to learn to care for you.  You have to learn how to put your needs first before you can really genuinely give love to others.

FulfillingRelationshipWithYourself

So how can we begin to master the power of our self care so that we can start creating happy, loving and fulfilling relationships in our lives?

Become dedicated to your own self-awareness.

The absolute most vital component to taking care of yourself is to be aware of your own thoughts and feelings.  You have to learn how to be aware of and identify your own emotions.  It is also vital to be aware of your body and how it feels.  Do you feel exhausted or tired?  Are you feeling sad and depressed?

Self-awareness is a life-long journey, so there is no activity that you can do for an X amount of days and you have now become the “master” of self-awareness.  It’s just not realistic.  However, there is one super easy activity that you can start doing today that will help you take leaps in developing self awareness: Make it a regular habit to check-in with your body.  So throughout the day, periodically have “check in with your body” moments, especially during moments of stress.

Establish a self-care routine.

Having a routine for ourselves is more important for our personal well-being than we often realize.  I can definitely tell you from personal experience that during the days where I have steered very far away from my own self-care routine, you definitely don’t want to be around!

There is no one self-care routine that can fit for everyone, so it’s important to establish what kinds of things benefit you the most that this point in your life.  Do you feel a strong need to do yoga regularly each week?  Does starting your day with affirmations feel invigorating?  Does journaling before bed free emotionally soothing?  Does the rule of “no electronics” after 10 PM feel like it could help improve your sleep?

Create some morning and evening self-care practices for yourself and then make the commitment to yourself to sticking to that routine for at least 21 days.

Find moments throughout your day where your objective is to just “be”.

One of the best things I’ve personally discovered for caring for myself and reducing stress is to do something every day where, while doing it, my only goal is to just “be”.  No pushing to do things.  No thinking about all these other things that you should be doing.  Just simply being.

So what does this look like?  Lets say that for example every afternoon you regularly drink green tea.  As you drink this green tea during the afternoon, focus completely on the present moment.  Focus on the taste, the smell, the steam.  Allow yourself to really saturate the present moment and allow yourself to just be in the moment.

By doing these three things, over time you will find yourself with a greater sense of ease.  You’ll feel less stressed and be able to enter in to your relationships feeling completely re-charged and ready to share your own inner happiness and joy with the people around you.  Which, in turn, will make others feel better around you and enhance the joy and love that exists in your relationships.

Take action now!

What can you do for yourself in this very moment?  What can you do right now that will make you feel better?  Share it in the comments below, then go do it!

Transform Love Addiction into Pure Love

Ah, love.  It’s such a blissful feeling when you’ve found it.  The sound of birds singing sounds so much more peaceful.  Every day feel so much more brighter and happier.

You feel like you’ve been floating on cloud 9 and you don’t want anything to ever take you off of this wonderful high.

If you’ve ever experienced this early on in a relationship, then you know how great it is — and you probably wish you could just stay in that state all day every day for the rest of time.

And, really, I don’t blame you.  It’s a great feeling — believe me, I know — but there are also some problems that can come from it.

You see, when we experience these kind of highs early on in a relationship with someone and find ourselves in this blissful state of falling in love, many of us also find ourselves a bit addicted.

This love addiction comes from experiencing all these great highs and then wanting that feeling to stay there forever.  So we try to hang around with our love interest as much as possible so we can maintain that high.

We drop our own hobbies and interests, we stop hanging out with our friends, and we basically spend less time doing things for ourselves in order to spend more time with this person who we get such elated feelings from being around.  Pretty soon we find our love interest out doing things by themselves while we’re sitting at home waiting by the phone and going through their facebook profile photos for the 10th time that day.

It is at this point where it is safe to say that we have crossed over into codependent territory.  We are completely relying on our love interest to provide us with happiness.  We have lost our sense of self.

What we don’t realize, however, is that this is, in fact, a vital time.  It is a time where we can actually turn our love addiction into something remarkable: By expressing the love that we have found through our connection with another out into the world, we help make it better.

You see, when we have found love through a connection with another, it energizes us.  It gives us that extra “spark” of love and joy.  It is then that we must shift our perspective.  Our habitual response is to focus even more on our partner and rely on them to supply us with more of those feelings.  When what we should really be doing is shifting our mindset to: Look at all these wonderful and loving feelings that I’m experiencing, how can I express that love out into the world?  How can I help make other people feel and experience more love through my own inner love and joy?

Though there is no direct “this is what you must do” answer on how to express it, here are some suggestions:

Give something unexpected.

You see that homeless person on the street?  Give them a few dollars.  See someone at the coffee shop who looks like they could use a “pick me up”?  Give them a warm smile and ask them how they are doing.  Send out cards to loved ones.  Call or e-mail an old friend.  Give whatever your heart feels drawn to give.

Create!

Allow yourself to create something that you love.  Start writing.  Paint a picture.  Take pictures.  Grow plants.  Do some crafts.  Do something that you love to do that nourishes your soul.

Do something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done.

Have you always wanted to volunteer but you never have?  Have you always wanted to donate to a certain cause but you haven’t before?  Have you always wanted to travel somewhere but you never allowed yourself to?  Have you always wanted to do a speech but never let yourself do it?

This may not necessarily seem like your expressing your love into the world by doing things you’ve never done but have wanted to do.  However, the reality is that when we use the fuel of this love that we’ve gained through out connection with another and use it to fuel our own inner desires, we then help ourselves, our relationship, and all those around us.  We help all that is around us when we say yes to the calling that is within us.

LoveAddiction

Click to Tweet: We help all that is around us when we say yes to the calling that is within us. @jenilyn8705

That is how we shift into a place of pure and true unconditional love… and that is how we can really change the world and create lives filled with love.

Take action now!

Whether you are in a relationship now or not, think of at least one thing that you can do today that can help bring more love into the world and your own life.  What can you create?  What can you give to another?  What can you do that your heart calls you to do but you haven’t let yourself do it?  Share that one thing that you have identified in the comments below!