Tag Archives: joy

7 Beliefs Worth Having

The original version of this article was originally shared on Elephant Journal.

In many spiritual circles, the idea our belief systems can hinder our growth and healing is quite common.

Though things like religious or political beliefs can easily be recognized, there are many internal beliefs that we have that many of us are not consciously aware of.  Many of us have beliefs like:

I will never be good enough.

I’ll never find a partner right for me.

I’m not pretty enough.

Bad things always happen to me.

People are ridiculous.

I shouldn’t pay for a massage because its too expensive.

Through this process of recognizing our limiting beliefs in order to heal them and let them go, it can be easy for one to fall into the idea that there are no beliefs that are worth having.

Well, I think there is a little problem with this.

There’s a reason we had those beliefs to begin with: Our beliefs give us a foundation. They help us to be grounded in the world.   They can provide us with a solid foundation to build, grow and heal from.

When we push ourselves to have no beliefs at all, then we may find ourselves confused and off balance.

Here are seven non-limiting beliefs to provide you with a solid foundation for your own self and spiritual development:

#1 – Everything in the world is constantly evolving

Nothing ever stays the same in this world. Just as the seasons change, so do people, places, and things. We cannot stop it or control it, but rather move with the flow of this natural evolution.

#2 – Nothing in this world is absolute

People die, relationships end, and we discover that what we thought works actually causes more problems than it solves. The universe will change and adjust as we do. It is conscious and has a “mind” of its own. Just when we think we know something, the universe shifts to prove nothing that we think to be true is absolute.

#3 – The world is filled with endless possibilities for creation

Simply, if we believe that anything is possible then nothing actually is impossible. If we believe nothing is impossible, then we create the mindset needed to create the seemingly impossible.

#4 – We are always supported

Completely taking away the possible religious or spiritual beliefs and putting them aside, if we believe that the universe will always support us then it releases any fear we may have of doing something.  If we believe that we can jump and something is there to catch us, then it makes it easier for us to jump.

AlwaysSupported

Click to Tweet: You are always supported. via @jenilyn8705

#5 – We deserve the life of our dreams

If we believe that we deserve everything that we’ve ever dreamed of then we hold no limitations on actually making that a reality.

#6 – We are happiness, joy, and love

If we believe that we and everyone in this world at the deepest core of their being is happiness, joy, and love already then we allow that to not only emerge within us but in others as well.

#7 – Heaven is a place on earth

Yes I know this probably sounds super cheesy, but its a belief worth having. When we believe heaven is already right here on earth right now then we can actually create and make it seen to more people.

What are some beliefs that you think are worth having?  Share them below!

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.

YourPower_Banner

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!

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“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

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!

Why Buying Stuff Isn’t Going to Make You Happy — and What Will

I used to be in credit card debt…

… and that’s really hard for me to admit to because I had always been diligent about budgeting and money stuff prior to getting into debt.

Fortunately now it’s long gone, but I’ve since been focusing more of my energy into budgeting, my spending habits and reflecting on my money blocks.

In the process I realized that I had been spending money quite carelessly.  Spending it on things that I didn’t really need — or I thought I needed, but it wasn’t giving me what I want.

After I reflected on how I spent plenty of time and money on various things without necessarily having that good of results, I started to realize:  It’s not necessarily the product or service itself that I’m really wanting from this, but an energy that could potentially come with it.

… and I was failing. 

I was failing to get that energy that I wanted from the product or service.  So I kept wanting more.  I kept buying more stuff — more products and more services — thinking that buying something, at some point, could magically get me exactly want I wanted.

But it never did…. and it never could.

Why?  Because, for some reason, I thought the purchase was enough.  I had this thought in my mind (as many of us do) that if I buy that product or service that I’m going to magically and instantaneously feel better.

But it doesn’t work that way.

In fact, by believing that’s all I had to do I was setting myself up for failure.  ‘Cause we can’t just buy something and then experience the energy of happiness, love, and joy that we’re craving to experience.  Rather, we have to do things for ourselves in order to open ourselves to that kind of energy. 

If we want to feel things like happiness and love in our lives, we’re not going to get it by just “buying stuff”.  Rather, we have to do the internal work on ourselves.

We live in a world where we all have a tendency to want instant gratification.  We’re upset when our computer is slow, our phone doesn’t have a signal, or when our Netflix movie just isn’t streaming right.

We’ve become impatient… and not only with things, but with ourselves as well.

And it doesn’t work, because it isn’t realistic.

Sure, we can do simple and short activities to help ourselves that can make drastic shifts and changes in our being, but it’s not that we can totally bypass it and still get results.

We have to do our own inner work in order to create lasting positive changes.  So what are some easy, simple, and very affordable ways that we can do that?  Here are 3:

#1 – Meditation

I used to hate meditation, but with time, practice and experience I’ve come to really realize the transformation that can come by having a daily meditation practice.  Meditation helps us quiet, as Buddhists like to say, our “monkey mind”, so, in other words, our worries, fears, anxieties, and other inner blocks.  By quieting down these internal stressors, it is then easier for us to open up to feelings of happiness, love, and peace.

It doesn’t matter if you do Transcendental Meditation (TM), Kundalini meditation, guided visualizations, a movement-focused kind of meditation, or whatever, you will be able to reap benefits with a regular daily practice. 

So “shop around” and try out different kinds to get a better sense of what will work best for you right now.  You can get started today with my guided visualization meditation Healing Blocks to Love for free.  Plus, when you sign up to get a copy you’ll also eventually receive one of my movement-focused meditations to try out and also learn more about my meditation album Ignite Love from Within: Meditations for Creating Relationships and a Life Filled with Love. 

#2 – Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is like a blend of neuroscience and acupressure.  The process involves tapping points on the body while making statements about your past trauma, anxiety, fear, stress, or internal block.

You can get started with EFT by finding a therapist or practitioner that is certified to teach it.  You can also learn more by picking up a copy of The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.  There are also plenty of YouTube videos out there with people teaching how to go through the points for whatever ailment you’d like to tap on.

#3 – Prayer

Regardless of your religious/spiritual beliefs, prayer can be a very beneficial tool to help heal us from our own internal blocks.  After all, there is a reason that prayer is used in 12-step meetings!

So start a daily practice of asking the Universe, Spirit, the Divine, God or whatever to help you release you from whatever it is that you are struggling with internally. 

If you’re struggling with credit card debt you may say a prayer like, “Spirit of the highest truth and compassion, I surrender my debts to you.  Please help me to purchase only what is in my highest good and in the highest good of all”.  One of my new favorite books on prayer is Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata.  So if you’re looking for some inspiration or guidance on prayer, check it out.

In closing, the path of trying to find happiness in “buying stuff” can be a long, difficult and very stressful journey, so remember this:  What you desire to experience or feel in this world already exists within you. You just have to put forth the effort to get out of your own way to allow the change to occur.  And with time, effort, and practice, the results will be nothing short of miraculous.

DesireExistsWithin

What you desire to experience or feel in this world already exists within you. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Out of the 3 things I listed above — meditation, EFT, and prayer — what are you going to start doing today?  Share it in the comments below!

Why Goal Setting Doesn’t Work — and Here’s What I’m Doing Instead

I’ve always been a pretty goal oriented person.

When I was about 16, I remember writing bucket lists and a list of “Things I want to do before I’m 30”.

Even when the month or two before I was planning to move to South Korea to teach, I was writing lists to lay out my plans as to what I was going to do while there and once I got back.  I had it all planned out that I was going to teach for a year, come back home, start my Masters to go into some special education and then be working full time and married by about 28.

Clearly, that didn’t happen.

In fact, it’s not even close.

I’m not living back in Illinois, I don’t have a masters in special education, I’m not full time teaching, and I’m most certainly not married.

And you know what?  The idea that I could’ve actually planned where I’d want to be after living abroad is completely ludicrous! 

There is no way that I could’ve accurately planned my life out post-Korea.  In order for that to work, I would’ve had to experienced nothing that was even remotely life-changing during my time living and traveling overseas.

But yet, many of us still set goals in this same old fashioned way.  We make New Years Resolutions to plan everything that we want to do that year.  We make lists of things we want to do and achieve by a certain age.  We make bucket lists of things we want to do in our life time.

But how often do we actually follow through with our goals?  And, more importantly, how often do we feel fulfilled and happy when doing and achieving things on our lists?

More often than not, achieving our goal doesn’t really give that much satisfaction.  We earn our degree only to now be freaking out over finding a job.  We take a vacation out to the Grand Canyon only to now be planning our next trip.  We pay off our debt only to now be completely focused on saving to buy a new car.

We’re so busy focused on doing the next thing on our list, that we don’t give ourselves much time to really sit back and enjoy. 

So I’ve recently ditched my old way of goal setting and have started a totally new method that I’ve been finding to be so much more effective.  I’ve actually found myself feeling more in the flow, more joyful, and much less stressed and overwhelmed.

Here’s what I’m doing in a step-by-step guide so that you can start doing the same:

#1 – Make the one and only goal to feel happiness and joy.

Make things super simple for yourself: Make your main goal to feel happiness and joy in your life.  Everything else that you do can be byproduct of being happy or an influence to experiencing more happiness and joy. 

If something doesn’t quite produce happiness and, instead, creates a lot of stress or pressure then it’s time to reflect on it.  Ask yourself:  Is it possible that I can be happy and joyful when doing this?  If so, then focus on changing your mindset.  If not, then it’s time to look at your other options.

#2 – Try to focus on more short-term goals.

I think one of the biggest mistakes we can do when goal setting is trying to plan out 3, 5, and even 10 years in advance.  How can we even know what place we will be in by that time?  A lot of things can happen between now and then. 

Plus, focusing that far in advance only takes us more out of the present moment.  It puts us in the mindset that “eventually, someday, I’ll be happy” when, truly, we can all experience happiness right here, right now.  In fact, its the only time we can find happiness is in the present moment. 

HappinessPresentMoment

Click to Tweet: Happiness can’t be found in the past or the future.  It can only be experienced in the present moment. via @jenilyn8705

So if you’re going to set a goal to do something, focus on things that you’d like to do in the next few weeks, months, and up to maybe a couple years (and for planning years in advance I mean: When making a big purchase and needing think about where you’ll be then).  Anything more than that is just going to be a waste because, more than likely, it’s going to be changed over and over and over again.  Save yourself the time and energy and just focus on what you can do now.

#3 – When setting a goal, ask yourself: Does this feel like I’ll find happiness and joy out of this or am I “pushing it”?

Simply: Don’t set a goal because you think you “should”.  Be honest with yourself.  Be true to you! 

I can assure you that you’ll have a hard time really experiencing happiness if you’re constantly worried about keeping other people and society happy.  So do what you love and what lights you up.  Life’s just simply too short to be focused on trying to live someone else’s life.

Take action now!

For this week, go out into the world with your main goal to be happy and joyful.  Carry joy with you wherever you go.  If you find yourself in a situation where it’s challenging, ask yourself: What good things am I gaining from this experience?  What am I grateful for?  How can I bring happiness and joy into this maybe not-so-great environment? 

Then report back here and let me know your experiences! 🙂

3 Essential Mindset Shifts to Living a Life You Love

Lately I’ve been on a kick in learning all about manifestation and happiness.  Reading books, listening to lectures, hearing about various meditations to try, and so on.

The motivation to really learn about all this has been coming from this deep inner frustration about one thing in my life.  So many other areas of my life I’ve been able to shift and make better, but in one area, for some reason, I’ve continued to feel stuck in this cycle that I’ve been unable to bust out of.

So, I figured, learning more about manifestation and achieving happiness in life would be beneficial.  In this process, I’ve come to several profound lessons where I have been able to feel some drastic shifts very quick.  So here are 3 essential mindset shifts that I think can really help us all live a life we love:

#1 – Realize that it’s not (and never has been) about where you are, but how you view it.

That shitty apartment your living in?  That toxic work environment?  That friend or family member that’s driving you crazy?  Sure, it makes things more challenging…

… but it shouldn’t be preventing you from experiencing happiness.

This was one of my first realizations upon moving to Korea and it’s taken quite a while for it to fully sink in:

It’s not about where you are in life, but about what you’re doing with what you have right now.

DoWithWhatYouHave_edited-1

Click to Tweet: It’s not about where you are in life, but about what you’re doing with what you have right now. via @jenilyn8705

If you’re pessimistic and bitter, then of course you’re going to be unhappy.  And sure, you can go ahead and start dating someone else or move out of the country, but nothing is going to change unless you do.  You’ll continue to carry those inner negative feelings everywhere you go until you decide, “Hey, I don’t want to feel that way anymore!”  So change your perspective.

#2 – Gratitude connects you to your soul. 

Always focusing on what we don’t have in life is very draining and keeps our minds locked into this state of fear and lack.  No miracles can emerge out of this if because it makes us blind from seeing the real opportunities that we have available.  It causes us to be trying to swim against the tide rather than to float along with it and trust.

So take some time each day in meditation to stop and connect to what you are grateful for.  Identify one thing — and it doesn’t have to be complicated.  This may be a person in your life, the fact that you have steady income, a pet, or the place you are living.  It could even be something super simple like the fact that the sun came up today or that there are birds chirping outside your window.

In meditation, visualize that person, place or thing that you are grateful for in your mind’s eye and then allow yourself to really feel the gratitude.  The shifts really happen from feeling, because it takes us out of our mind and into our hearts.  So be sure to really tune into that feeling and, overtime, you’ll begin to notice some definite shifts in your life.

#3 – Feel the way you want to feel right now rather than wait for something in your life to change.

A story I came across fairly recently was of a woman who had had a baby and was living on government assistance because her and her husband could barely afford basic cost of living.  Her husband ended up taking a job working at a place like UPS several states away because they were desperate for any money at all.

In her story she said that, while this situation didn’t appear so great on the outside on the inside she felt really truly happy.  She was enjoying life and really truly grateful for where she was at.  As a result, within just a few months she started a new work endeavor and ended up earning enough money in her new work that her husband was able to quit his job and move back with family.

The main lesson?  To start feeling what you want to feel “someday in the future” right now.

When I first heard this story my mind initially went to a fear-based thought of, “But if I feel all that joy and happiness right now, then maybe I won’t really do any actions to make changes in my life.  I’ll just be happy and stagnant”.

Clearly, this thought is really just a bunch of bullshit.

Because the second I decided to start feeling the way I’d like to feel “someday” I found myself feeling strong and confident in making decisions.  I started to feel more in-tune with my own intuition so I more clearly knew which direction I needed to take for myself.

So be grateful and choose to feel those feelings of happiness, joy, love, or whatever it is that you’d like to feel “someday” today, then simply be open for miracles.

Take action now!

Close your eyes and ask yourself: How would I like to feel “someday”?  Connect with that feeling in this present moment, then describe that feeling 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!

5 Ways to Have a Radiant Valentine’s Day When Single

For the single person, Valentine’s Day can be a much-dreaded holiday.  Rather than to be reminded of love when we see all of the hearts and flowers, we may find ourselves succumbed to memories of heartbreak and loss.

We can find ourselves dreading the holiday year after year because it is merely a reminder of the one thing that we wish we did have but we don’t have.

But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a day of painful reminders.  Whether you are single, married, engaged, or have just gone through a breakup or divorce it is possible to have a love-filled Valentine’s Day filled with joy and happiness.  Here are 5 ways:

#1 – Be grateful for where you are.

Did you break-off your engagement because you realized he wasn’t “the one”?  Did your last boyfriend breakup with you, but you’ve since realized it’s for the best because he wasn’t going to support you in all your endeavors anyway?  Have you been able to live abroad or travel because you have been single?

Be grateful that you are now free of these things that were weighing you down and the opportunities you have had because of your single-ness.  You’re free, so be thankful for it!

#2 – Celebrate your single-ness!

Though every breakup is emotionally painful, the truth is that the person we are truly meant to be with is so much better for us then our ex.  There’s something so much better on it’s way — and that is worth celebrating for!

So go out with some friends for dinner.  Go dancing.  Do some karaoke.  If you’re not in the mood to go out, then plan on having a movie night at home or do something crafty.  Find some way to celebrate because there are so many reasons to!

#3 – Shower yourself with loving gifts.

Buy yourself some flowers and chocolates.  Buy yourself that stuffed bear with a heart that you wish someone would buy for you.  Get yourself a Valentine’s Day card and write a loving note to yourself in it pointing out all the things you love about yourself.  After all, the most important relationship we can ever have is the one that we have with ourselves, so be sure to give yourself some love!

#4 – Create some love in your life.

Though many of us tend to see love as something that we must “seek” or “find” out in the world, the reality is that we ourselves have the power to create the love that we desire for ourselves.  Love is all around us, so it isn’t necessarily something that we must “find”, rather, it is something that we must chose to open ourselves to.

LoveFindOpenSelfTo

Click to Tweet: Love is not something we need to “find” – it’s something we must choose to open ourselves to. via @jenilyn8705

So how can we open ourselves to love?  Savor the present moment.  Stop and look at what is around you right here in this very moment.  Open yourself to seeing the love in the trees, birds, and sky.  Open yourself to seeing the love in each sunset.  Open yourself to feeling and experiencing the love that exists in life itself.

#5 – Give some love too!

One of the best ways to experience more joy and love in your life is to give back to others.  Do you know of a friend who is currently going through a rough patch?  Be sure to send them a Valentine’s Day card with a flower.  See a homeless person on the street?  Give them some cash or food.  When we do loving actions towards others, it helps bring more love in our own hearts.

What will you be doing this Valentine’s Day to celebrate?  Share your plans with me in the comments below!

How to Be Happy When Other People are Draining You

I’ve always been a pretty sensitive person.

I’m one of those people where if someone I’m living with comes home upset or stressed I’ll know it the second they walk in the door — even if I never even saw them.  If the people I’m coming to visit are upset or depressed, I will know the second I walk in the door.  If someone around me expressing their stress verbally (even if it’s not at all directed at me), my body feels all shaken and it’s very challenging for me to focus on any task.

To top that off, with some people I can find myself so incredibly in-touch with their being, that I’ve found myself describing and explaining their emotions and experience as if it is my own.  As a result, I’ve really puzzled some friends through the years doing this cause they just couldn’t understand how on earth I could know so much about this other person’s experience without the person even openly sharing it with me.

Needless to say, being so sensitive isn’t a very easy thing to deal with.  In order to cope, it’s been a process of really learning how to set boundaries and put forth the effort to really focus on my own thoughts, feelings, and overall experience.

That was the ultimate problem after all — I was so in touch with other people’s stuff that I had absolutely no idea what my stuff was.  I was constantly blending in and getting really in-tune with others in order to best accommodate and make things better for them.

In that regard, it really is both a blessing and a curse.  It’s a blessing to know what people need in order to help support them and grow.  However, it’s a curse in that, in doing so, it’s a challenge to ever really know what one needs and truly take care of yourself.

And so, in the last few years my primary focus has been to focus on establishing boundaries in relationships and focusing primarily on my own experience.

This has worked fairly well, but the problem has been that I have still found myself overwhelmed and uber sensitive.  In fact, in some ways, probably even more sensitive than before.  It was then that I realized:

We can’t find inner peace and be in-tune with ourselves when we are pushing ourselves to ignore everybody else’s energies.

We have to remember to acknowledge and recognize what we have picked up, then take action to help ourselves.

Whether we realize it or not, we are always being affected by the energies of those around us.  You know that cranky customer you dealt with at work the other day?  His crankiness affected you.  You know that lady who started arguing with you in the comments section on an article on the Huffington Post?  She affected your energy.  You know that family member that “dumped” all their problems on you the other day?  They affected your energy.

All of these energies I mentioned above are lower-level energies.  When we allow ourselves to really become attached to that lower-level energy, it can really drag us down.  It can make us stressed, grumpy, cranky and a little less pleasant when you’re standing in line at Starbucks.

On the flip side, there are higher-level energies as well.  Like that customer who gave you an extra big tip or that person on the street who gave you a big smile and genuinely said “I have a great day”.  If we let these energies in, it can lift us up and really brighten our day.  It can make us less stressed, irritated, and worried.

It’s important to check in with yourself every day in every moment and interaction in order to notice if the energy is lifting you up or dragging you down.  If it’s lifting you up, then fan-freaking-tastic!  However, if you notice that it’s dragging you down then it’s time to take some action to protect yourself.

The following are a few things that you can do to help protect yourself from other people’s low-energies:

Make the effort to be around more positive people.

Are you constantly around people that complain about life all the time?  Are you constantly around people who are aggravated, worried, or stressed out about something?  If so, then you may want to create a little bit of distance in order to take care of yourself and give yourself some time to replenish yourself with higher energy.  You may also want to reach out to new people or groups that are generally more uplifting and inspirational.  People that energize you and bring fun and joy into your life.

That being said, another thing to consider is the TV, movies, and music that you are watching.  Does anything that you watch or listen to feel a bit harsh?  Does it feel like it drains you rather than energizes you?  If it does, then you may want to stop watching to these shows or listening to that music.  I know for me, certain hip-hop and rap is definitely on my big “no-no” list, along with horror films (at this point) and even a number of action films.

Also ask yourself how online or smartphone games or activities affect you.  Personally, I even find myself being drained when playing games on my phone at times.  I definitely can’t do any Candy Crush or Words with Friends for any long period of time without it draining me.

Take time every day to connect to your inner power.

A wonderful meditation that you can do is to breath while visualizing white light coming down through the top of your head with each inhale and then exhaling out through your heart.  As you breath, the white light begins to create a bubble of protection around you that expands more and more.

Doing a meditation like this can help us get re-centered and heighten our own energy.  If you feel like you need to really protect yourself from other people’s “stuff”, then you may also want to visualize mirrors being added to the bubble around you.  This way, anything that someone expresses to you get shined right back at them.

Make the conscious effort to focus on the positive.

You can do this through positive affirmations (like saying statements like “I am powerful”, “I have all that I need with me right now” or “I am love”) or by simply just focusing on creating positive thoughts throughout our day.  So whenever a thought of “I don’t have enough money” comes up, exchange it with a thought of gratitude like “I have enough money to have a water supply, clothes and food”.  Looking for all the positive things and focusing on that can help raise our energy so then we are less affected by other people’s lower-energy “stuff”.

Express positivity!

This may be a bit challenging to do at first if you’re stressed out or down in the dumps, but simply just go about your day with the intention to make everyone’s day a bit brighter.  Compliment that lady with the neat necklace at the grocery store.  Smile brightly at the store clerk, ask them how they are doing, and wish them a pleasant day.  Be open to chatting with people in the elevator.  Find and be open to ways to help make everyone else’s day a bit brighter.  It’s really just the little things, but the more you do it, the more you raise your own energy as well as those you cross paths with.

These are just a few tips right now, but the list can just go on and on.  Ultimately remember this: The power of your experience lies with you.  The more you focus on raising your own energy, then the better it will be.  The less you will be affected by other people’s “not so great” stuff and the more you will create and attract more positive things into your life.

PowerOfExperience

Take action to raise your energy right now!

List, at the very least, 10 things that you are grateful for in your life right now.  Truthfully, we should all be able to list thousands but I’ll make it a bit easy for you today. 😉

Create a More Joyful Life with This Super Simple Technique

 We all want a more joyful life.  But, more often then not, it can feel like an impossible task to achieve.

There always seems to be something in the way… a troubling relationship, the lack of financial security, feeling unsupported, a feeling as if you’re just wandering through life and unable to find your true life’s purpose that will make you feel fulfilled and overwhelmed with joy.

While all of these things are certainly valid concerns and issues to have, we often make these things worse than what they really are.  Having the issue is one thing but holding on to the issue for days, weeks, and months on end while wishing that one day something is going to magically shift and make it disappear is something totally different.

The irony is that, often times, the real problem isn’t what we proclaim is our issue at all.  Instead, the real issue is the fact that we spend too much energy focusing on the problem and not enough energy in actually finding things to be joyful and happy about.

We dwell about the failure of our past relationship and spend hours, days, and weeks replaying the past events in our mind in hopes that somehow that will magically make things better.

We dwell on our financial struggles rather than taking action and some potential risk in order to improve it.

We waste our time thinking about how we don’t feel fulfilled and wondering what our life’s purpose is but we fail to take any sort of action steps in order to give ourselves even the slightest chance in actually discovering what will truly satisfy our heart’s desire.

In a strange kind of way, we are addicted to suffering.  It’s as if there’s a part of us that likes the fact that we have problems.  A part that likes to have something to complain and whine about.

Author Eckhart Tolle of The Power Now and A New Earth, along with Buddhism and other philosophies, would describe this other part of us as the ego.  The part within our mind that is fear-based and likes to keep us in a state of suffering, rather than a state of true genuine fulfillment through our soul and inner spirit.

The ego is the very thing that prevents us from really truly living in and focusing on the present moment.  It distracts us by either living in a place with our nostalgic feelings of the past or hopes that one day things will all work out and become better in the future.

This is a huge discrepancy because by focusing most of our time in the past and future, we prevent ourselves from doing the absolute most important thing: To act in the present so that we can create happiness, joy, and fulfillment in our lives right now.

Not 5 years ago or back in high school.  Not next week or 10 years from now.  None of that jibberish.  Rather is to take control of your life right now so that a life filled with love, joy, and fulfillment in all aspects of our life — relationally, professionally, and personally.

So how can we start taking action today in order to create more joy in our lives right now?

The key here is to place all of your focus on the present moment.  So this is what I want you to do…

Stop thinking about all these other things that might be going through your mind as you are reading this.  Stop thinking about all the things you have yet to do today.  Stop thinking about your failed relationship.  Stop thinking about your financial concerns.

Instead, just stop and focus on every single word that you are reading right now.  Put your full attention into focusing on each individual word as they come up fully and completely.

Take a moment right now to bring that focus to an object in front of or around you.  A cup, a plant, a chair, or whatever.  Stop and focus completely on that one thing.  Do not think about anything else.

If a thought comes up about anything else, simply acknowledge it and let it go.  Resist attaching to it and allowing it to consume you and your energy.

Now look to something else in the room.  Place all of your focus on that one thing.  Look at that one thing with 100% of your attention.

Tell yourself, “This is life right here, right now.”  Ultimately, there is nothing else that exists in this world other than now.  Nothing happens in the past.  Nothing happens in the future.  Everything comes out of this very present moment and everything can only come out of this present moment.

Carry on with this idea and activity for the rest of your day.  Whenever you catch yourself dwelling on a relationship problem, financial concern, work issue, or general life problem stop and draw your focus completely on the present.

With time, effort and practice it will become easier to be fully engaged in the present moment so that you can live a life of genuine happiness, joy, and love.

Joyful Life

Take action now!

Choose one activity that you must do today and do it with the intention of being completely focused and engaged in the present moment while doing it.  This can be while doing the dishes, going for a run, doing yoga, writing a paper or article, talking with a friend or colleague, or whatever.

Just draw your attention completely on the present moment during the activity.  With greater time and practice you’ll eventually realize just how much more joyful life is.  You’ll also gradually begin to feel like so much more can be done in smaller periods of time with less effort on your part.

Do this every day with this one activity for one week and make a note to yourself in a journal of your progress.  Share your progress at the end of this week below.  OR share your experience of intense focus of the present moment that you did while reading the article in the comments below!