Tag Archives: miracles

7 Ways to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine

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

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

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

#1 – Free yourself of negativity

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

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

#2 – Process fear by writing it out

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4 – Be appreciative for what you have

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

#5 – Steer clear of gossip

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

#6 – Live with the intention to serve others

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

ServeOthers

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

#7 – Create a morning routine

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

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

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

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

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!

Your Power, 5-week course

One Payment of $247

Early Bird Discount: Only $227!

get early bird access

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


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

– Lori Deschene, Founder of TinyBuddha.com

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

– Jackie Johansen, Writing Coach, California

Letting Go of What You Think Should Happen

A couple months ago I wrote a book proposal.

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

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

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

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

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

… and it was the most dreadful experience ever.

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

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

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

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

The answer was a very quick no. 

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

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

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

… and I actually did it.

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

And I completely loved the process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CoCreation

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

My Love of Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FearDissipate

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.

10 Self-Care Methods for Highly Sensitive People

Do you tend to feel overwhelmed by other people’s energy?  Do large crowds feel like too much to you?  Then you may be a highly sensitive person.

As a highly sensitive person, it’s incredibly important to learn how to set boundaries, protect your energy, and become a master of your own self-care.  Here are 10 self-care methods for highly sensitive people:

#1 – Set boundaries

In a relationship where the give-and-take never seems to be equal?  Are you around someone who consistently seems to try to get you wrapped up in their drama?  Is there someone in your life that makes critical remarks towards you?  Then set a boundary.

The boundary may be set by making a verbal statement or it may be by limiting or distancing yourself from the person.  Regardless of how you do it exactly, remember that its an important component in protecting your own energy.

#2 – Meditate daily

Meditation is an excellent tool to help increase emotional stability, happiness, and mental clarity.  You can meditate to a mantra, do visualizations or even a movement meditation.  Grab a free copy of my guided visualization meditation Healing Blocks to Love to learn more about my album Ignite Love from Within, which includes all these forms of meditations.

#3 – Do yoga

Do yoga at least twice a week in whatever form you prefer.  That could be hatha, vinyasa, kundalini, restoratives, yin, or whatever.  Regardless of the type of yoga, it is all going to help you release the energy or emotions that you’re holding onto in your muscles.

#4 – Spend time in nature

In our modern world of technology and sitting in an office most of the day, it’s not surprising to see why many of us can feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just down in the dumps — it’s not our natural way of living.

So get outside.  Go for a walk.  Walk in the grass barefoot.  Get some sunlight.  Smell the flowers.

#5 – Take a salt bath

Soaking in a bath of epsom salts for about 10 to 20 minutes will help you relax your muscles and restore your entire being.

#6 – Get massage, acupuncture, or Reiki

Schedule regular appointments for a body-work of your choosing.  It could be massage, reflexology, acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, or whatever. 

My only stipulation is that I encourage you to be mindful about who you work with.  You don’t want to work with somebody who drinks, does drugs, and doesn’t take their work seriously.  A careless practitioner can do a lot of damage — especially for a highly sensitive — so be sure that you get treatments from those who do their work well.

#7 – Eat clean

What I mean by this is eliminate (or at least minimize) processed foods and eat organic as much as you can to reduce consuming any pesticide residues.  I also encourage you to experiment to see what kind of diet works best for you and your body.  Maybe you feel best going vegan or vegetarian.  Or maybe you feel best going gluten free.  Or maybe you feel at your best cutting out grains all together with a paleo diet. 

No “one size fits all” for everyone all the time.  So experiment and try things out to see what gives you the most energy.

#8 – Journal at the end of the day

The reason many of us can feel so stressed out and overwhelmed with things is because we never really give ourselves time to process.  We never really let it all out in some way.

While talk therapy is beneficial, it is not the only way to do this.  Another way to help process all the stuff that’s going on in your life is to journal.  The simple act of just getting it all out on paper can be extremely therapeutic. 

A great practice to do put away some time in the eventing to just journal about your day.  If you’re not one to write, another option could be to draw or paint whatever you are feeling.

#9 – Breathe!

Did somebody just cut you off driving down the highway?  Breathe!  Someone come into the office all angry and stressed?  Breathe!  Can’t find your car keys?  Breathe!

When we bring it back to the breath, we are able to let it all go.

BreatheLetItGo

Click to Tweet: When we bring it back to the breath, we are able to let it all go. via @jenilyn8705

#10 – Spend time at the beach

If you’re remotely near a coast, take advantage of going to the beach.  The sand exfoliates your feet and gives you a little foot massage, the air is infused with uber-healthy ions and the sound of the ways is soothes the soul.  It’s the perfect combination to fully relax and recharge.

Take action now!

Out of the list above, which of the self-care methods are you going to plan on doing this week?  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 Lessons I’ve Learned from a Bad Breakup

It was December 26, 2011.

My bags were packed and I was ready to go.  I was sitting in my studio apartment waiting for him to text me to let me know he was here to drive me to the train station.

And I was the most nervous I had ever been in my life.

More nervous than when I got my first dorm room for college.

More nervous than taking my first 747 by myself to move halfway across the world.

More nervous than moving to a foreign country where I didn’t know any of the native language.

All because I knew that this was it.  It was officially over.

No more fights.  No more miscommunication.  No more apologies and making up over and over again.

The dust was settling and the chapter was coming to a close.

He picked me up, put my luggage in the trunk and drove me over to the train station.

As we rode over to the train station we mostly sat in silence.  What more was there to say?, I thought to myself, I had depleted my entire heart and soul trying to make this relationship work.  What could I even say at this point to make any of this better?

When we got to the train station he walked me into the station and walked with me all the way to the escalator that led to the boarding terminal.

At that point I completely broke down knowing that this was the last time I was ever going to see this person in my entire life.

I went through breakups before, but not where it completely ends with one person leaving the country.  So this situation was taking it to a whole new level for me.

We hugged and he said, “We’ll meet again someday”.

As I stood at the boarding terminal waiting for the train admiring Korea’s countryside with tears rolling down my cheeks, I knew in my head that it was over but in my heart I didn’t want to let it go.  I wanted a resolution.  I wanted to feel like there was some kind of actual “closure”.

I didn’t realize it then, but there are a few lessons that I know now that I didn’t know then…

#1 – We may never receive the closure we think we should get. 

Alright so you wrote a letter, sent a letter to him, tried to talk about it but he was totally avoidant about talking about any of his feelings, and so on but it still doesn’t feel like enough (I did all of these, by the way).

And you know why it doesn’t feel like enough?

Because deep down, secretly, we just want him to confess his love to us so then everything can work out and we can ride in the back of a carriage together into the sunset and live happily ever after.

It’s not realistic.  In fact, it’s totally insane.

Look, let’s be real here: When you were with him he showed you who he was.  He showed you his personality, his interests, and his quirks.  He was totally honest and upfront with you.  And, so, maybe he didn’t quite express his feelings to the degree that you wish he did, but there’s also another lesson you gotta remember…

#2 – We can’t force someone to change.

You can’t force a guy to express his feelings for you if he doesn’t want to.  Sure, maybe you got that sense that he has stronger feelings for you than what he’s willing to admit to (trust me, I know), but, honestly, if he’s not expressing it then he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. 

Now that could be because he doesn’t really feel comfortable expressing his feelings to you in particular for whatever reason.  Or, it could be that he just has his own issue that he has to work on when it comes to expressing his feelings.

Either way, the bottom line is that you can’t force someone to change or do something.  In fact, men are hardwired to pull away when they are being forced to do something.  So take a deep breath and let it go, ‘cause the only person that you have the power to change is yourself.

ChangeYourself

Click to Tweet: The only person that you have the power to change is yourself. via @jenilyn8705

#3 – When we feel complete and whole within ourselves, then we can create a real and lasting relationship.

When we experience any kind of “neediness” — a need for closure, a need for him to express his feelings, and so on — it’s not because we really “need” that from the other person, but because we ourselves are not feeling whole and complete within ourselves.  Why?  Because we are not connected to spirit — the Divine, God, the Universe or whatever you want to call it.  We are lacking in our own inner connection to divine unconditional love.

Now when I say this I don’t mean that every relationship is going to work just because you’re connecting to pure divine love within yourself — but it will help you see things more clearly. 

You better know when the relationship is no longer in your highest good so it’s time to walk away.  It’s easier to forgive and let go of past wounds because you’re allowing yourself to be guided by what is in your highest good.  And you are better able to create and maintain a relationship that has more balance and is filled with the real love that you truly desire.

This is why I’ve created Ignite Love from Within: Meditations for Creating Relationships and a Life Filled with Loveto help you connect to divine love deep within yourself so that you can start creating relationships filled with love.  You can start meditating today with a free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love.  Click here to get your copy!

Take action now!

What is one lesson that you have learned from a breakup?  Share it in the comments below!

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. 

AcceptanceLove

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.

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!