Tag Archives: mindset

My Love of Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Bust through the blocks”

“Overcome your fear”

“Live fearlessly”

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

You’re not good enough.

Oh go away.

Nobody is going to want to read that.

Leave me alone!

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

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

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

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!

You Don’t Have to “Figure Yourself Out” Before You Can Love Someone Else

I’ve seen this scenario multiple times.

Girl is having problems with relationship with guy. 

Girl goes to her friends for relationship advice… over… and over… and over again.

Girl’s friends eventually start saying, “Maybe you should spend some time just trying to figure yourself out right now instead of this relationship”.

I’ve been that friend and I’ve been that girl.  And while I think that it can be a helpful thing to do sometimes in certain situations, I really don’t think it’s an absolute must-do in all situations.

A while back I was listening to a talk by one of my teachers Marianne Williamson and it was the Q&A portion of the talk.  A man had come up and asked her a question about his current relationship problems.  He had been with this woman for a while now and they had a kid together but he couldn’t figure out how to work out the problems. 

He ended sharing his story by implying that he’s been thinking about leaving so he can “figure himself out”.

Now, I love Marianne because she can be very blunt at times.  She quickly responded, “Whoever said that you need to ‘figure yourself out’ before being in a relationship?!”  She then elaborated on why it isn’t a good idea to just leave so he can ‘figure himself out’.

While breaking away from the relationship to “figure yourself out” may sound like a good idea — it’s not going to really help the one thing you’d be trying to save: The relationship itself.  Why?  Because you’d be abandoning the other person as a result.  You’d essentially be choosing to end the relationship at that moment in order to “figure yourself out” and — frankly — you’re not really choosing to love the other person if you think it’d be anything otherwise.

Here’s a few realities about loving other people:

#1 – Love is a choice

It’s been a while since I’ve brought up this idea in an article, but I’ve always found that understanding this basic idea is crucial to having a happy, healthy and loving relationship.

Love isn’t a feeling, because feelings are ever changing and they come and go.  Rather, love is something that we choose to do.  It’s a mindset that we make the conscious effort to try and have every single day… that’s how we can create truly loving relationships.

#2 – To love someone means that you are choosing to grow together

To be in a relationship with someone means that the two of you are going to grow and evolve together.  Really, its the ultimate purpose of the relationship.  It’s about our own soul’s growth and evolution and how it evolves, grows, and learns with another.

To think that we can grow a lot while being completely on our own is pretty limited.  There are always more ideas, thoughts, and experiences that we are going to learn while in relationship with another human being.

#3 – It’s not about what we are getting but about what we are giving

One of the discrepancies that can come up in our relationships is our own thinking of what is is that we are “not getting” from the other person versus what we are, in fact, “giving”.  We may be stuck in a habit of thinking things like, “Well I’m not getting as much support as I’d like”, “I’m doing more of X than he is”, and so on. 

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is completely focused on the other person and what they are doing rather than ourselves.  Its shows a desire to want to control the other person, rather than to be accountable for ourselves and to fully stand in our own power.

I’ve said it before in many other articles and I’ll say it again: It’s all about the energy that we are bringing to our relationships that can really determine their success.  Are you in this relationship full of fear — scared of being vulnerable and fearful of rejection?  Or are you going into this relationship filled with love— peaceful, confident and with an open heart?

RelationshipSuccess

Click to Tweet: The energy that we are bringing to our relationships can really determine their success. via @jenilyn8705

There are many ways that we can shift our own energy from fear to love, but one of the ways is through meditation, which is why I’ve created my new meditation album Ignite Love from Within.  To learn more about my new album and to receive a free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love, click here.

Now — all of this being said — this doesn’t all mean that breaking up and spending some time being single shouldn’t be an option.  There are of course situations where ending the relationship may be necessary.  Maybe you’ve felt like the two of you have been growing apart or that you both have different dreams and goals in life. 

If that’s the case, it isn’t a time to end things “for a while” to “figure yourself out”.  Rather, it’s a just a time to just end it — as that would be the most loving thing to do for both yourself and the other person no matter how painful it may be.

Ultimately, remember this: “Figuring yourself out” is, realistically, a lifelong journey and it is totally and completely unrealistic to think that you’d be able to do it in a few months or years.  We figure ourselves out by living, by being in relationships with others, and by striving to bring love into our lives.

So take the risk and dive in to your relationships.  After all, the only way we can really learn is with time, effort, and practice.

Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

This article is by Ali Katz from AtoZenMeditation.com

We all make a very big deal about being grateful on Thanksgiving, as we should. We have the day off, we are surrounded by loved ones, and we are enjoying a delicious meal together. Sounds pretty good to me! But what happens when the holiday is over?

Practicing gratitude enriches our lives in many ways all year long, like making us more humble, more content, less judgmental, more encouraging, less of a gossip, and it even makes us healthier by boosting our immune system.

When we practice gratitude we are putting our attention on positive things in our life, which makes them feel bigger than our problems. There is nothing too big or too small to feel grateful for. I think there is a misconception that practicing gratitude is only for the big, profound things in life like our health and a roof over our heads. Those are for sure things to be grateful for, and I am every day, but gratitude can extend to every part of your life as well. Goals made at a game, good grades, your favorite foods, a great book, or maybe an upcoming family vacation are wonderful things to express gratitude for.

PracticeGratitude

Click to Tweet: When we’re grateful we’re putting our attention on positive things, which makes them feel bigger than problems. @AliKatz76 @jenilyn8705

There are many simple ways to bring gratitude into your every day:

Open your eyes and say thank you

I try to remember to make my first words of the day “thank you.” When I open my eyes I silently give thanks for another opportunity to put my best foot forward and live my very best life.

Keep a simple gratitude journal

I suggest people keep a small pad next to their toothbrush and when you brush your teeth in the morning and evening, write down one thing you are grateful for.

If you don’t like to write, put a sticky note on your mirror that says “gratitude” and whenever you look at it think of something you are grateful for.

Have a family gratitude journal

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is when everyone goes around the table and says what they are thankful for. It is such a special, bonding experience to share as a family. So why not do it more? Place a small journal on your dining table, and at family meals record what everyone is grateful for that day. Include the big things and the little things!

Put a reminder on your phone

As important as gratitude is to me, I need to be reminded to pause during my busy day for a gratitude break. Every day at 3 pm a reminder goes off on my phone that says “gratitude is my attitude.” I stop what I am doing, take a few long, deep breaths and think of something I am grateful for.

Shift your perspective

Even in the midst of trying times I think about what I am learning and how this experience is helping me to grow as a person. Doing this turns many challenges into wins.

Make a stress/gratitude list

When I am feeling overwhelmed I often take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle creating two columns. One side is for stress and the other gratitude. I begin by making a list of everything I am stressed about. Valid or ridiculous, I include it all. When I am finished I then move to the gratitude side and write two things I am grateful for for each item on the stress side. So if I am stressed about ten things, I will write 20 that I am grateful for.

This does two things. The first is that it acknowledges our stress. We don’t want to pretend it isn’t there or sweep it under the rug. It is important to admit how we are feeling in the moment. But then we have an beautiful visual to see that even though we have stress in our lives, we have so much more to be grateful for.

I believe that the more we practice gratitude, the more the Universe gives us to be grateful for, so get started today!

Ali Katz is a self-care coach for women, a meditation expert and author of the best-selling book “Hot Mess to Mindful Mom.” Visit her at www.atozenmeditation.com and be sure to grab her 8 best tips for sleep!

3 Realities About Relationship Problems

Relationship problems are hardly anything that we want to experience in our relationships, but they are an inevitable part of spending time with another person.

Here are 3 realities I’ve come to realize about relationship problems:

#1 – When you choose to date or marry someone, you’re not necessarily choosing the person.  Rather, you’re choosing the problems that you want to deal with that emerges in your relationship with that person.

Let’s face it: When we’re in a relationship problems are inevitable.  No matter how hard we try we simply just can’t avoid them. 

When we’re with one person the problems may be much more challenging and difficult than with another person — but it doesn’t meant that there aren’t any.  It’s simply the byproduct of being in a relationship.

Dr John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Method Couples Therapy, states that 69% of the problems that we deal with in our relationships are never solved.  What determines whether the couple stays together or not relies on whether both people are able to accommodate and accept the traits and characteristics of their partner that irritate them.

Seeing that statistic can be pretty disheartening, but it can also be empowering, because it shows the importance of taking personal responsibility.  We have the power to control our own behavior, actions and reactions.  And we have a choice as to how we want to behave and even if we want to be in a relationship with a person with that one trait that drives you crazy.

Which leads me to my next point…

#2 – You can’t change someone who doesn’t have a problem with their own actions.

I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ve heard someone say, “You can’t change a man”.  I know I’ve heard it many times — and boy do I know a lot of people (myself included) who have tried.

To love someone means to accept them for who they truly are — flaws and all.  Even if they do forget to take out the trash.  Even if they are habitually late for dinner.  Even if they may have hobbies you have no interest in whatsoever. 

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Click to Tweet: To love someone means to accept them for who they truly are — flaws and all. via @jenilyn8705

Nobody’s perfect and it’s impossible for anyone to actually be perfect.  And, realistically, why would you want to be with someone who is?  There’s no growth and learning that comes out of that.

When we tend to have the desire to want to “change” our partner, it stems from this inner desire to control the other person.  It’s rooted in the thinking that “they” need to change and not ourselves.

This is a distorted belief that stems from our ego (fear-based mind), which blocks us from truly experiencing real genuine love.

So be willing to recognize your own desires to control or change your partner and set the intention to let it go whenever it comes up.

#3 – What you think you need from others, isn’t really what you really need.

In relationships, there are a lot of things that we may “think” we need from our partner: To always keep the sink clear of dishes, to always have the garbage out on time, or to even get a goodnight kiss every night before bed.

While having these kind of needs are certainly valid and real, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we do, in fact, need them from our partner.

Whenever I think about needs, I always think of that old Sex and the City quote, “That’s the funny thing about needs.  Sometimes when you get them met, you don’t need them anymore”.  And that can be oh-so-true.  So I sit back and wonder, if we realize we don’t need it anymore after they are met then did we really need them at all?  Was it even worth arguing about?

One of my absolute favorite teachers, Marianne Williamson, states that our neediness in relationships don’t come from what we are not receiving from the relationship.  Rather, it stems from what we are not allowing ourselves to receive from God.

Now, whether you like to use the term “God” or not is up to you — sometimes I like to say spirit, the Universe, the Divine,  etc. but regardless of the term it all boils down to the same thing: Our own inner disconnection from pure divine love.

We think that we need our partner to do a better job at reducing clutter out of the house, but really it is our own inner disconnection from divine love that is causing our distress.  When we are disconnected from spirit, we are stuck in the distortions of our ego.  When we’re stuck in our ego, then nothing can quite be right.  We have a tendency to always be finding something wrong or that needs improvement.

By getting connected internally to pure divine love, it helps to accept our partner for who they truly are.  It helps us to be more at peace within ourselves.  It helps us to ignite the love that we possess deep within our own beings so that we can share it with the people around us.

This is why I’ve created Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love in order to help you get reconnected with Divine love so that you can shine light and love from the inside out and share it with others around you.  As my gift to you, I’m giving away a meditation from the album called “Healing Blocks to Love” so that you can get started today to ignite love from within you!  Click here to get started.

Finding Blessings When Everything Comes Crashing Down

About mid-way through the year last year, I felt like my life was suddenly crashing down.

It started off with being notified that I needed to find a new place to live after I had just moved 3 months prior.  This followed with bad news about a chronic health issue that I had been dealing with.  In addition, when it came around to be “that time of the month” my PMS was at the absolute worst that it had ever been in my entire life.  All I wanted to do was lay around curled up in a ball for an entire week.  This all then concluded with a notice that I had been let go by my part-time job.

Needless to say, I panicked.  I freaked out. I was overwhelmed with anger that all these things had to be happening to me all at once. I had a complete emotional and mental breakdown.

I felt like my body was breaking down.  I felt like my entire being was breaking down.  The only thing I could do — or even have the physical energy to do — was to cry.

… and that’s what I did.  I cried.  I cried a freaking lot.  And I did something else too — I stopped trying.

I stopped looking on craigslist for apartments and jobs.  I stopped debating on what actions to take.  I stopped pushing myself to do all these things in hopes to find a solution to all my problems.

Instead, I just did what I could.  I let go and decided to go with the flow.  I stopped trying and pushing myself and decided to surrender and take care of myself.

StopPushingLetGo

Click to Tweet: When your stressed cause everything is falling apart, stop pushing yourself to “figure it out” and just let go. via @jenilyn8705

It was then that I allowed myself to really relax and enjoy all of the incredible blessings that I had experienced around that same time, such as:

… having an astounding result to a TinyBuddha article of mine that I never would have expected!

… making new friends who are also life coaches or entrepreneurs.

… celebrating my amazing boyfriend’s birthday.

… moving forward in my relationship by both of us exchanging our first “I love yous” 🙂

… finding out that my parents were coming to visit me the next month.

… a childhood friend finally having her baby.

… having the time (and living in an area) where I had the opportunity attend group meetings for extra support.

… and so much more!

Often times when we find ourselves in a period of our lives where everything seems to have been uprooted and we have everything but security, we find ourselves all stressed out and caught up with feelings of anxiety and anger over what happened to us.  We find ourselves so caught up in these emotions that we completely overlook all the wonderful little blessings that are going on around us at the same exact time.  We can find ourselves so incredibly focused on all the “bad” that is happening that we cut ourselves off from seeing the “good”.

So what should we do during these moments of high-stress when it feels like everything in our lives is crashing down?

Breathe.

Often times when we are super stressed out, we completely forget about the most essential thing that keeps us alive and healthy: Breathe.  So stop and take a moment to take some deep breaths.  Take a very deep inhale and allow your exhale to be longer than your inhale.

This technique of breathing where we do a longer exhale than our inhale is a great technique to help calm down the body and help us relax.  I have personally used it on the nights where I’m having trouble sleeping to help me dose off peacefully and it has worked wonders.

Take time for yourself.

When we’re super stressed because all of our plans seem to not be working out, we tend to get so focused on fixing all of our problems and life challenges that we have forgotten the most essential aspect for our growth and progress: Our own personal well-being.

So give yourself a 1 or 2 hour break to simply do “nothing”.  For for a walk.  Take a warm bath.  Read a book simply for the joy of it.  Cry… cry a lot.  Eat and really savor a nutritious meal.  Watch reruns of your favorite TV comedy.  Focus on you and what you truly need for the health and well-being of your own mind, body, and spirit.

Reflect on your blessings.

Moments before you go to bed, get out a journal and make a list of all of the blessings in your life.  Is it a blessing that you have a certain amount of money in your checking account?  Is it a blessing that you have a friend or partner to support you during this difficult time?  Is it a blessing that you have made new friends recently?

Write down a list of all the blessings that come to you.  After you finish writing them down, go through each one and say out loud to yourself, “I am grateful for _______” in order to really acknowledge to yourself and to the universe that you are thankful for all these current blessings in your life.

Take action now!

What are some of the blessings in your life?  Share them in the comments below!