Tag Archives: release

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.

These 2 Steps in Forgiveness Will Help You Heal and Let Go For Good

Months back I was spending time with an old friend of mine.  We were hanging out with each other, catching up and just having an overall good time.

In the midst of spending time together, however, my friend had eventually said something that had really hurt me.  The words she said, the way she said it and the way she acted for the remainder of our time spent together left me offended, angry and sad.

In addition, as the night went on I had found that my old friend was following lifestyle choices that made me deeply concerned for her own well-being.

I had no idea what to say, how to say it, or even if I should say something.  And so, I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself for the duration of the time we spent together.

Days later when I was spending time with my boyfriend I told him everything.  What she said, what she was doing, and my own thoughts and feelings about the whole thing.

In response, he said, “Oh I’m sorry babe — that sucks”.

But some validation for my pain wasn’t enough for me to heal and let it go.  The pain still lingered.

I knew I needed to forgive, so I looked into my spiritual toolbox and pulled out prayer and meditation.  I started meditating and praying about it in asking for spirit to help me forgive.

I would do it for a few days and the second I felt some kind of “release” I thought I was “healed” so then I’d stop… only to find that a few days later those hurt feelings would arise again.

This cycle continued for weeks.  And since my hurt feelings were still there I’d talk to my boyfriend about it.  Words of “I can’t believe she said that” were on repeat.

And then one day in the midst of my boyfriend patiently listening to all of this, he eventually said, “Well, you can’t control her”.

I stopped and finally realized the cycle that I was really caught in:  I was caught up in a codependent cycle.

A very basic definition of codependency is when one tries to control another person in some way.  It can be seen through boundary violation either externally or internally.

This can come up externally in the wife of an alcoholic who wants her husband to stop drinking so badly that she tries to throw out all the alcohol in the house.  On the flip side, this can come up internally in a husband who doesn’t like his wife’s spending habits so he complains about her behavior all the time.  The first is a clear codependent behavior because there was an external action.  The second is not as obvious because it is internal, but the energy and feelings of wanting to control is still very present — and can still be felt by others.

Fortunately for me in this case, I wasn’t violating any boundaries externally, but the internal desire to control was certainly there — which was, truly, the reason for my deep struggle to let go and forgive.  I wasn’t fully recognizing the faults in my own behavior, so the prayer and meditation just wasn’t quite cutting it.

So how can we follow to forgive, heal, and let go for good?  Here are the two main steps:

#1 – You gotta recognize your own control patterns

Often when we’re struggling to forgive someone it’s because we wish that the other person would change in some way.  Maybe we want them to apologize to us, maybe we want them to reach out, or maybe we want them to change their lifestyle in some way so the relationship can “heal” and things can be back the way they used to be.

It doesn’t work like that.  People are not going to change on your terms.  They are going to change on their own terms.  And though it may be painful to watch sometimes, the most loving thing to do is to let go and allow the person to live, grow, and learn on their own.

PeopleChange

Click to Tweet: People are not going to change on your terms.  They are going to change on their own terms. via @jenilyn8705

#2 – Release it to spirit

Once we’ve been able to recognize our own control patterns, its effective to do some kind of prayer or meditation with the intention to forgive.  Maybe it’s a visualization meditation like my forgiveness meditation in my album Ignite Love from Within.  Or maybe it’s a simple prayer in saying something like:

Spirit of the highest truth and compassion, I’m struggling to forgive [Name] because of [situation].  I have recognized my wrongs in this.  I can see my desire to control and I know that it is no longer serving me or the relationship.  I surrender my control and my desire to forgive to you.  Heal [Name].  Heal me.  Thank you very much.  Amen.

You can tweek the words so that it most resonates with you, but doing some kind of act to surrender and release to spirit/the Universe in some way on a daily basis is what is going to help you truly heal and release your pain and resentments.

Take action now!

If you’re struggling to forgive someone right now, ask yourself: What is my control pattern in this situation?  How am I wanting to control the other person?  How am I controlling?  Share it in the comments below!

3 Tips for Self-Care Around the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us once again.  And though the holidays are often all about family gatherings, holiday parties, and taking part in all the various festivities to get in the “holiday spirit”, it’s important to remember that self-care is vital in these few months.

When the days are getting shorter and the days and nights getting colder, our bodies have a tendency to want to spend more time in rest.

Though we may forget with all the holiday hustle and bustle, winter is a time to reflect and recharge our batteries so we can be prepared to plant new seeds for the year ahead.  It’s a time to let go of the old, so that we can be open to the new that spring brings us. 

For this reason, it is vital to give ourselves enough time to rest during this season.  If not, we can quickly as easily find ourselves drained, exhausted, and, more than likely, sick on the couch with a bunch of kleenex.

So how can we adequately take care of ourselves this holiday season?  Here are 3 ways:

#1 – Hop on the “no train”

Though saying “no”, can be difficult for many of us (especially those of us who like to “please” people), it’s incredibly important to learn how to do if you’re going to take care of yourself.  You can’t really find time to rest and do all that you want to do if you’re saying yes to everyone else.

When we’re saying “yes” to what everybody else wants from us, it isn’t very empowering.  In fact, it can make us feel like others are more in control of our lives than we are.  So if you see value in taking care of yourself, it’s incredibly important to start saying no to things you really don’t feel like doing.

#2 – Give yourself more time to just rest

The winter months are not the time to sign up for an extra evening paint class or to take part in that new book club.  The holiday season keeps us busy enough as it is.

So try to minimize extra activities so that you can maybe go to bed a little bit earlier or maybe sleep in a bit later.  Your body and immune system will thank you — trust me.

#3 – Reflect on this past year to create a better vision for the year ahead

As I stated earlier, winter is a time to reflect, release and recharge so I find it very important to give ourselves time to do that!  One way to do this is by journaling to reflect on experiences from this past year and creating resolutions for the New Year.

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Click to Tweet: Winter is a time to reflect, release and recharge so be sure to give yourself time to do that! via @jenilyn8705

For myself, something that I found very valuable in this process is Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Desire Map.  I used to be a very goal-oriented person, but I’ve found over time that one or two things happened when I’d make a goal: 1. I’d experience little to no enjoyment upon meeting the goal or 2. I lacked motivation to actually achieve the goal cause I just wasn’t really “feeling it”.

What I’ve liked so much about Danielle’s method is that she doesn’t have us focus on the goal itself, but the core desired feelings that we want to experience as a result of that goal.  It’s based on the idea that we don’t want to achieve the goal, but the feeling that can potentially come with it.

So if you’re interested, you can check out The Desire Map and see for yourself.  If not, I still encourage you to explore this for yourself and find your own unique way to give yourself time to reflect on what you’ve experienced this year and get a sense for what you want in the year ahead.  It’s vitally important in the growth and evolution in our mind, body and soul.

Take action now!

How can you start to find more time for you to rest and recharge this holiday season?  Share in the comments below!

5 Steps To Forgiveness

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

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

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

Here are the 5 steps to forgiveness:

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

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

#2 – Be willing to forgive.

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

#3 – Release it.

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

#4 – Trust that healing will occur.

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

#5 – Be open for healing.

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

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

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

CommitToForgiveness

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

Take action now!

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

3 Reasons Why Yoga Should Be a Part of Your Regular Self-Care Practice

Throughout my early 20s, I was practically a yoga-junkie. When I was going to school for my undergrad and I was working 36-38 hours a week, going to yoga class 3 times a week helped keep me sane and balanced. When I was student teaching, it was going to yoga that helped me not have too many emotional breakdowns.

When I wasn’t working, I went to yoga nearly every day – sometimes, admittedly, twice a day.

Despite being a yoga maniac for probably a good five years, my practice didn’t really sustain in the midst of my travels in East Asia. Just as I lost forgot much of my higher-level English vocabulary, I also lost my yoga-junkie self.

I’ve now just recently started really diving into my practice again. No “Oh maybe I’ll go once this week” kind of stuff, but like a really consistent practice to make it as part of my lifestyle again. After all, I’ve learned and gained quite a bit through yoga, so I think it deserves my attention again!

Now, as you may know, I’m not really one to give suggestions as if it’s a “one size fits all”. Realistically, we are all different. However, I do feel strongly inclined to say this one: Yoga is one of the best self-care practices you can do for yourself if you want to feel balanced in your mind, body, and spirit.

Of course, I don’t say this meaning that every teacher and every method will work for everyone, but rather that some type will. It can really transform your state of being and here’s why:

Yoga teaches you that you can always do more than what your mind thinks you can do.

That muscle will be complaining with that stretch and you’re mind will keep saying “No I can’t do it”, but then the magical thing happens: Somehow, you move farther.

This body-oriented lesson from yoga is a fantastic representation to for all the aspects in our life when we think we can’t go farther. Just when we think we can’t, we do. Yoga helps us to move forward with greater ease.

Yoga encourages you to release.

Let’s face it, we hold a lot of things in our body – mostly coming from toxins in our environment and old emotional baggage that we haven’t released. Though these types of things can certainly be released with regular exercise and movement, yoga is a bit unique because throughout the exercise you are focused completely on the breath and it involves a lot of stretching. This combination can really help us to really release what we need to and become realigned with our mind, body and spirit.

That all being said, in my experience, I have noticed (and I know this stems from the original yogis) that after yoga it is easier to meditate. The movement and motions help us to release all the extra “stuff” so we can know see things in a more peaceful light.

Stress relief.

Let’s face it, we are living in a society where most of us are in our minds going “go go go”. It’s hard for many of us to really sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment. Because yoga involves movement, it gives the mind something to get preoccupied about at first, but then once the end approaches it’s easier for the mind to just go “Thinking? Why think?”

Do you do yoga? What kind do you usually do? How do you think it helps you?

If you don’t do yoga, is there any reason why you haven’t? What kinds of mental blocks come up for you when you think about doing it?

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