Powerful Beyond Measure | MKE Year 3 Week 22

I know I can have whatever I want. In order to set aside my past habits and thought patterns – which have only proven to produce only what I do not want – I must first learn to visualize what I DO want.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Sadly, many people stop doing great work (either consciously or unconsciously) because they know they’re powerful beyond measure – and that’s a truth which often scares even the bravest among us. Marianne Williamson was right…it is out light, not our darkness which scares us the most.

It's who you think you're not that holds you back

before I can bring about change in my physical life, first, I need to learn how to count on myself. I’ll do the thing when push comes to shove…but I need to learn how to do it before I’m backed into a corner, or up against a deadline. I’ve proven my abilities…to earn income, keep a house in a nice, safe neighbourhood. Have kids who want for nothing. Be the best hockey-mom. etc. Even for myself, my ability to create is solid. Follow-up ability is haphazard. Doing something for myself…still struggling, big time. I’ll do it for anyone else,..just not used to making ‘me’ a priority.

Looking for the answers ‘outside’ your true self is nothing more than running from your own greatness. As I write this, I am overcome with guilt as I have been doing just that – running from my own greatness, keeping both my Good, and my Great, under wraps. Liken it to a wick-less firecracker – lying dormant until suddenly it is exposed to one tiny flame…except I’m stubborn so I needed a full-on cataclysmic event to ignite the firecracker inside me. Because honestly, Marianne Williamson had it right – it does scare me.

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of mindlessly regurgitated language. When speakers gravitate toward any one of these AWESOME (or similar) adjectives to describe the world around them, it’s time to visit the thesaurus for a few peppery alternatives. Selecting unique adjectives demonstrates more original thinking. The same holds true for my ‘fan club’…those who cheer me on towards my own greatness. I do not simply want a mindless claque (defined as: a band of people hired to applaud an act or persons), I want to inspire people; to move them at the core of who they truly are, to help steer their return to innocence.

With the help and encouragement through MKE, I’ve realized I cannot possibly serve other people unless I serve myself first. In order to realize my true purpose and live my calling, I first need to treat myself as my first project…I must love myself enough to put as much focus on me as I would on anyone else.

In my MKE18 LOVE blog, I repeated the known fact that with love all things are possible. If LOVE is all we need to do, then LOVE is also all we need to know. Therefore, by focusing on LOVE by helping others get what they want, it’s a Universal law that by default, we will also get everything we ever wanted. We don’t have to believe in Gravity to know its a thing…LOVE is the same way. All we have to do is trust in LOVE as much as we trust in gravity.

Be your own gravity.

Trust. It’s already inside you.

Love, Jen

The Incandescent Lightbulb Experiment | MKE Year 3 Week 20

Thomas Edison found 10,000 different ways to successfully fail at creating the incandescent lightbulb before one day he discovered the only right way. I wish Humanity still had that kind of resolve.

Think about this…

…what if Thomas Edison stopped after only 15 tries??

[Who knows, Humanity may have reverted back to knuckle dragging and grunting.]

Now imagine…

…what if you are to the world what Edison was to the lightbulb?!?

A good rule of thumb is this: whatever you default to when you’re procrastinating is a giant clue as to where your interests and passions lie. When you honour your true calling you’ll love what you do, and as a reward for your intelligence and resolve, you too will never work another day in your life!

[Interestingly enough, if I’m avoiding doing erroneous chores or things I dread such as filing my taxes or cleaning toilets, I turn to writing.]

If you knew you were making a difference and touching lives would you continue to sell yourself short and admit defeat so easily?

I’ve been consciously observing people for nearly two decades and realized that possessing the fortitude to sink our teeth into a project and stick with it until completion is a dying art. Resolve as a virtue has dwindled down to a barely discernible remnant of Edison’s commendable stick-to-it-attitude. More often than not, peoples’ default setting these days is to err on the side of caution. Many seek – and sadly find – acceptance within a depressing yet overly common tie…at one point or another they’ve all given up their hopes and dreams, currently settling for (or will soon settle for) a life of mediocrity.

Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity.

We tell ourselves stories that we wouldn’t have been good at it anyways, loser. It typically goes down something like this (strewn with self-loathing and cynicism):

  • With a fits-and-starts approach, we ‘trysomething a few times putting in minimal efforts, not willing to commit the time to mastering our craft – yet are flabbergasted when these mystical half-assed efforts don’t bring us overnight success. Must be the industries fault.
  • Our belief and desire in the project – and in ourself – dissipates at an alarming rate, and in the wake of the proverbial ‘throwing in of the towel’ our friends and family write us off as a failure – hurling ‘I-told-you-so’ insults behind our backs and to our face (is one really worse than the other??).
  • This one-two punch is quickly and surely followed by a looming loss of confidence in ourselves; leading to a deep-rooted belief that we are indeed a failure. Who am I to have a better life. I don’t deserve it. 
  • Blinded by our own neurosis, we begin feverishly shifting our energies from betterment into self-loathing; beating ourselves up both emotionally and subconsciously. Perhaps even physically. What a stupid idea. Certainly won’t be trying that ever again. 
  • The torment deepens as we avoid working on ourselves, focusing instead on imaginary grandeur to substantiate how ‘busy’ we are. Ignoring our misplaced priorities in order to poke fun at the ridiculousness of ever having thought stepping out of our box was a viable option in the first place. Honestly, I should be more realistic. This is as good as it gets for me.
  • Enter various forms of self-sabotage [This is not an action plan, nor an escape, it is a cry for help] such as (over eating, over thinking, over drinking, partying, staying up too late, negative self-talk etc.). All in a wayward attempt to camouflage the underlying issue – that we simply don’t LOVE ourselves enough to persevere.
    • Instead, we justify our failures by convincing ourselves that it’s okay to give up on our dreams. *Enter random excuse of how the actions (or inaction) of someone else has doomed your life for all eternity [eye roll]*.
  • Crawling into a pit of despair – your only goal in life is to hide out wearing your fat pants and binge watch Schitt’s Creek on Netflix with the necessities: a comfy blanket, a bag of coke bottle candies and a big bowl of yesterday’s popcorn. Nothing like diving in to whatever crisis the Media has fabricated for us to drown our own sorrows. Anything to take the spotlight off our own misery and despair.
    • Netflix binging is a sure-fire gateway – always ending in an awkward and uncomfortable sofa-snooze-fest [complete with drool, most probably].
    • Following this Euphoria, you are rudely awakened by a sharp, unpleasant and equally predictable jolt as you are once again reunited with the fact that you have a body. Dazed and confused, you question if it’s even humanly possible to unfold yourself from the bizarre position and begin to gain certainty that you’ll likely have to accept that you shall indeed remain in this pretzel-like form for the rest of all time.
    • These nonsensical thoughts are derailed by more nonsense as you question *like, legit* if your head is still attached to our body because you can’t tell given the bizarre angle of your neck. That’s great. Just great.
  • The next day hits you like a tonne of bricks! Yet you remain ignorant to the factors that continue to land you in this same.exact.situation.
    • An unending orchestra of random, snarky remarks rattle around among the brain fog…Somewhere in all that chaos and drama you manage to justify actual jealousy of sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, and ponder your exempt status as it relates to the sign in the fridge that reads ‘Don’t eat this – it is not your food’ – surely it can’t apply to you – after all, you didn’t have time to pack a lunch.
  • You spend the rest of the day a slave to the unruly headache plaguing your existence.
    • You’re basically a Zombie by the time you *finally* get home. Instead of having a nice family dinner and helping kids with their homework, you grab drive thru and float in and out of consciousness while the kids eat in front of the TV and stuff sandwiches into the VCR.  You muster every ounce of strength you’ve got left and crawl into bed at 7:42pm with your clothes still on because you’ve lost your will to give a shit.

We make excuses and play the blame game to avoid the necessary self-work that must inherently be present prior to changing our circumstance.

Don’t let the giants of fear and failure stare down at you and cause paralysis. Crush your fear. Don’t let your fear crush you.

Subconsciously these excuses begin (or continue) to berate our self-worth – feelings of inadequacy consume us, and our internal self-dialogue convinces us we simply didn’t deserve happiness.

Here are a few examples – some of which may seem (all too?) familiar:

…if we applied for a new position – we justify how it wouldn’t have been a good fit because of *enter random employee’s name and identify their annoying habit*…

…if we applied with a new company – we sell ourselves some nonsense about it being a farther drive and then all of a sudden we’re super relieved about all the extra time we won’t have to spend in traffic…

…if we had ventured into Network Marketing – we chalk it up to the industry being no good; and because those things don’t work anyways…

 

At the end of the day, we cannot escape the harsh reality that we didn’t really ‘try’ that hard at all. We kicked a can around a few times – taking a few steps forward – usually followed by a uncomfortable and immediate retreat back into our comfort zone.

It’s as if our ambition has been squelched…taking our creative intelligence and work ethic along with it.

Comfort zones aren’t usually very comfortable. Comfort now ensures long-term discomfort. Whereas discomfort now yields long-term comfort. Ironically.

Armed with these powerful reminders, we can now shift our focus to a handful of delightful truths that are naturally weighted in our favor when we honour the Laws of the Universe:

1. You can’t develop balance while you’re already balanced… balance is actually developed while you’re falling. Therefore, failure makes us stronger – it teaches us how to develop balance.

Try standing like a Flamingo … you can’t get into that pose until you’re balanced, and you can’t hold that pose unless you’re balanced. One of those strange but true Universal Laws.

2. Cheer everyone on. All the time. Regardless.

Have you ever noticed how many times a baby falls down while attempting to walk? They fall down all the time, but they always get back up again. Falling makes them stronger too!

P&G nailed it with this Olympics video – watch these babies learning to walk

We don’t deem toddlers a failure when they fall ten thousand times while learning to walk. We don’t demean them for how many falls it took before they got it. We don’t laugh at them for trying again. No, that would make us savages.

Since we can muster joy and support for a child, why can’t we find within us the compassion and empathy to do exactly the same thing for a friend or co-worker, or better still, for ourselves?

Heck, we practically throw them a parade – cheering happy thoughts of love and support from the sidelines. Showering them with praise and accolades – assuring them they can do it because we believe they can! And when they finally reach our outstretched arms we love all over them with lots and lots of kisses, naturally!

It is completely normal to applaud the walkers for their resolve and ambition. Yet we are cynical and unsupportive of any adult who exhibits those same traits? Where does that excitement go? How do our cheers turn so quickly into daggers? We are like crabs in a bucket. Shame on us as a civilization. Don’t be that ‘friend’. Rise above it and be the light in someone’s life.

3. Proceed with caution when telling yourself stories. We must think happy thoughts.

This applies to the stories you tell other people about yourself, as well as what you say silently to yourself.

4. It is acceptable necessary to quit feeling bad, silly or guilty for pouring yourself into two, or five (or even 30) different ideas with the intention of moving your life forward.

You probably don’t beat yourself up about having multiple pairs of shoes, right?? Of course not, that would be ridiculous! So why do we think less of ourselves if we try out a bunch of different interests; pursue various hobbies; and/or bust it at a day job while building a #sidehustle in our down time??

4.1. Keep trying until you find the right fit. Like shoes:

In general, us ladies have at least a few pairs of flats (casual/work/on the town versions – in a variety of colors), flip flops (…c’mon they take up like zero space in the closet so three pairs really only counts as 1 actual pair of shoes!), high heels and pumps, ankle boots – flat and high heeled versions, slippers, winter boots (not to be confused with the walking-the-dogs-in-the-winter’ boots) and at least one slightly bedazzled pair – maybe even with a kitten heel.  You’re almost weird if you don’t.

For the guys out there, you’ve probably got brown work shoes and black ones too, a comfy pair of flips, the comfy slip-ons that you’re not allowed to wear in public (reserved for cutting the grass and late-night milk runs), converse – in a few colors because they’re cool, at least one pair of presentable running shoes, maybe even some cowboy boots shit kickers, maybe even a pair of shower shoes – if you’re into that kind of thing.

5. We know from Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ that it takes approximately 10,000 hours to become a master at anything.

In regards to personal development and becoming your best and brightest self, you don’t need to invest all the hours in one place. Similarly, you don’t need to work at the same task, in the same chair, for the same company for 20 consecutive years to develop work experience.

You only need to put in the time and keep learning. Keep practicing. Keep failing forward. Focus on activity, not results.

Whether your current endeavour is your first, fifth or seventeenth attempt to secure your own legacy, I applaud you for pursuing your own greatness and getting your Edison on!

You are enough. The world needs YOU to shine!

Watch one of my favourite movie clips: Facing The Giants | Death Crawl Scene

Let’s go do good things. Together.

Love, Jen

What’s Love Got To Do With It? | MKE Year 3 Week 18

My kids and I love watching good movies and listening to good music – so by natural extension, randomly dropping one-liners is kind of our thing. For instance, instead of simply announcing ‘Dinner’s ready…’, I’ll say ‘Oh, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine…dinner’s ready’.

Oh sweet child of mine...

Mega Mind is one of our favourites, and the line ‘…and I love you, random citizen’ speaks to so much more than just a giggle from movie night…it epitomizes my mindset and is a major contributing factor to my ‘sunshine and rainbows’ world.

While my kids were growing up, my parenting style was based largely upon my understanding of unconditional love. And truthfully, having this core belief as the lodestone of my parental compass is a huge part of why they survived teenage hood 😉

Ancient-+How+does+a+Compass+work

I learned very early on that it was necessary to have a strong moral compass to keep me on the straight and narrow, in life, but also in parenting.

As a leader – which as parents we are – I strived to do my best to lead by example. Mostly because it’s the right thing to do, but also because everybody knows people won’t do what you say, they’ll do what you do.

Beginning with the end in mind I knew that unconditional love was the key. Having a long-term vision to foster independence and empathy in my kids helped me see past whatever the current struggle was. Keeping things in perspective allowed me to ‘pick my battles’ as they say…

By no means have I been awarded a medal as the Worlds’ Best Mom [though I am pretty sure it’s in the mail], however, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way that helped keep me focused.

Well rounded, magnetic humans was the end-goal, so it was equally important that they become self-directed thinkers. Deep down I knew it would click for them. Eventually.

Some of the lessons included:

Show them how to always give their best and highest effort by always giving my best and highest effort.

Redirect your best self into a positive experience-based teacher –  you’ll be setting a contagious example at the same time.

Rather than lecture about priorities and responsibilities, instil within them morals and values.

Find the good in everything.

We all live in the house, therefore, it’s everyone’s privilege to pitch in around the house.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Avoid drama by not expending negative energy into being all pissed off about this, that, or the other thing. *”Life is too shorts.” RIP Jaydon Summerfeldt*

Get done what needs to be done, calmly, and from a place of love. This will energize you, rather than drain you while having so many things on your to-do list.

Don’t cut them slack only to hold it over their heads or use it as leverage.

Don’t keep tabs or tally who owes who what because you did some thing on their behalf.

Stick to it – it’s 100% worth it!!

Acceptable: I would like, or may I please have. Not Acceptable: I want.

Above all else, Love unconditionally. Even when you don’t want to or think you can’t.

It is good to be me, and I am very blessed and highly favoured because I have decided to make the best of everything and because I choose to feel the best in everyone.

Well done is better than well said

During a recent performance review at work, my boss was explaining a 5-point self-assessment and made it very clear that he NEVER awards feedback in the Always column. As we approached the part about my attitude, he lifted his head said:

‘I know I literally just said I don’t hand out ‘Always’ ratings…however upon reviewing the attitude and presence you consistently bring to the office, anything less would have been an injustice to you. Well done.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.20.47 AM

Sara said to me the other day that her understanding of unconditional love meant doing something for somebody even if she didn’t want to, and doing it before she would do something else for herself in its place.

I explained to her that the true meaning of unconditional love, in fact, is loving someone regardless of what they do; without an agenda or caveat, and for no other reason than because they are who they are and you are who you are.

I’ve often referenced The Eisenhower Matrix when discussing being a good friend, brother, sister, daughter, son etc. to illustrate the difference between Urgent and Important, and how it will often vary depending on who you’re talking to, based on their life experiences.

In this particular instance, Sara was faced with a challenge that was urgent to her friend and while it was important, it wasn’t urgent in her eyes, yet she allowed their-urgency to become her-urgency. As she described the situation in retrospect, the resentment was evident in her voice yet she dismissed her feelings with a shoulder shrug by saying “It’s a good thing I love him unconditionally”.

She wasn’t acting from a place of love, she was acting from a place of guilt. Unconditional love has nothing to do with making yourself available on a whim, or sacrificing your own priorities because someone else can’t get their own ducks in a row.

 

Urgent vs important - TheEisenhowerMatrix-1024x683

In my profession, we hear one saying all the time, so imagine my delight when Sara quoted it back to me at the end of our conversation…asking how it related to her challenge.

you'll never get what you want...PNG

This doesn’t only mean grandiose gestures such as donating a kidney or building homes on a Tsunami-devastated island…helping other people get what they want can even mean helping them achieve 5-extra-minutes-of-sleep or saving the day by bringing a roll of TP to the helpless, stranded person at the end of the hall.

The implementation of unconditional love comes in many forms…including, for instance…doing the dishes.

Have you ever assigned ‘dish duty’ to someone…

yet the sink magically remains full of dirty dishes?

Frustrating, right!?

Doesn’t have to be.

When you do the dishes for somebody else because they didn’t do it, you’re not doing it from a place of love, rather from a place of anger – begrudgingly sacrificing your time [and sanity] because some ass-hat didn’t do the dishes – again. There’s a difference between doing something for someone else in a selfless manner, and being a sucker.

This forces you into second place as far as your own priorities are concerned, and the inconvenience you feel is usually preceded with – or followed very quickly by – feelings of resentment, frustration and/or disappointment.

The toxicity resulting from negative emotions consumes your heart and your mind, torturing you as it resonates throughout your entire being, eventually becoming part of the energy around you, and therefore by extension, the energy or vibe of your home.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s highly unlikely that the dish-ditcher (*cough, cough, Michael*) will leap off the couch when they hear the commotion in the kitchen and race in to take over, apologies in tow. Unconditional love means loving the dish-ditchers even when they don’t do the dishes. They might not appreciate it, but the Universe does if you do it with love.

It’s not about doing the dishes for somebody because they didn’t; it’s about doing the dishes so you they can do something else.

Fundamentally, these two things are the same, at the end of the day, choosing to act with love rather than anger can sometimes mean that

– – you’re the one doing the dishes – –

…yet the feelings, thoughts and emotions you choose to associate with that particular action can’t help but manifest themselves into their physical equivalent in the form of energy, which will – without fail -reverberate throughout your life.

For better or worse.

Therefore, it’s really about doing the dishes so you can do something other than bitch about the dishes not being done.

When you act from a place of love, you set yourself free and everything becomes easier. Subconsciously, we inflict so much unnecessary pain and suffering onto ourselves and those around us. Day after day, these seemingly inconsequential decisions shape our world – stories we tell ourselves about how much we have to do, or why the kids are ungrateful, or how life has stacked the odds against us. By telling ourselves these stories – we concede to a tough life, allowing these tiny battles chip away at our souls – slowly but surely turning what is and should be a dream life, into a real-life horror story.

Simple changes to how you perceive situations…the stories you tell yourself regarding how you feel about your experiences, can and will have a dramatic impact on your life for the better.

It’s not about what did or didn’t happen.

It’s about the feeling you associated to what did or didn’t happen.

Your kids are watching. If you throw a fit about doing the dishes, what sane person would expect them not to throw a fit as well? You know that they say about Monkey’s…

Monkey See. Monkey Do.PNG

Acting from a place of servant leadership does not mean you are an actual servant in the Cinderella sense of the word, but rather, it means doing what you do, and doing it with love, regardless. Doing the dishes with love doesn’t mean you love doing the dishes.

When putting love first – even if it means doing the dishes yourself – you act from a place of love; you create the time and space in your schedule so that they can do other things, and your payback is 100-fold…this act of selfless love actually makes time and space in your heart, also!!

Giving without the expectation of reciprocity is very freeing. It’s rare that the Universe will return your efforts to you in the same form.

Instead, maybe the person ahead of you in the drive-thru will pay for your coffee.

Or smile from the next car as you wait at the light.

Or someone will hold the door open for you.

Or shovel your snow.

Or simply say Hi.

Now don’t get me wrong, you may be doing a lot of dishes in the 18+ years that they live at home, but I promise you it’s all worth it when you overhear them talking to someone about acting from a place of love, or when they act selflessly by helping someone else, or that glorious day when you come home and the dishes are actually done, and they even have a glass of wine ready for you because they recognize and appreciate that you had a long day!!

Helping other people with seemingly inconsequential tasks so they can do other things means you are opening your heart to love and by extension, it opens their heart to love as well.

Love is all that is real.

And with love all things are possible.

My wish for you my friends, is that you keep your sinks clear of dirty dishes and your hearts open to the possibility of love in all that you do. I promise you this – you’ll be glad you did!!

Love,

Jen

 

The Hedgehog Concept | MKE Year 3 Week 15

The Hedgehog Concept

When you take care of the most important activity first, it’s amazing how easy it is to find time to do all the other stuff…the little things that are such time-gobblers.

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Isaiah Berlin explored the fundamental distinction that exists between those who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things (foxes) and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system (hedgehogs).”

We must ask ourselves two questions…

Q1 | What am I pretending not to know?

and

Q2 | What would the person that I intend to become do next?

You know those videos that illustrate the importance of scheduling the big things in your life first, trying to visually prove that when you schedule the big stuff first, magically it all fits in?  So for this BLOG, I’m jumping past the cleverly illustrated examples of how so many people start backwards…

…and fast-forwarding instead, to illustrating the importance of scheduling – and doing – the big things first, such as making family, faith and income producing activities the priority *imagine tennis balls being put into a tennis ball sleeve*…

Secondly, a visual explanation of how it makes so much more sense to follow the most important activity with the supporting or background details *now imagine pouring rice into the sleeve and watch it fill in the space between the tennis balls*…

Next, and time permitting, allow time for the ‘other’ stuff – the minutia – such as cleaning the house, scrolling your social media feed, updating your phone, organizing cupboards etc. *imagine sand being poured into the sleeve, wiggling its way in between the tennis balls and the rice*…

As a reward for working smarter, not harder, we can then add the ‘fruits of life’ as my friend Mark J. puts it…the fun stuff, the ‘us-time’ or ‘me-time’ that we crave *finally, imagine pouring water into the sleeve…over top of the tennis balls, the rice and the sand.*

Now, stand back and marvel at how beautifully it all fits in…So why then, do we all tend to fill our days with the sand first…???

i-never-lose-either-i-win-or-i-learn

On too many occasions, I’ve looked at my business as a reflection of myself – only to become frustrated at the fact that I’m not making the income I’d like to make, or more accurately…need to make. I get down on myself for not doing the simple tasks…the most important tasks, rather than filling my days with ‘busy work’…all the useless, time consuming, non income-producing activities, and for what? …for nothing except the ability to have an excuse to fall back on for my lack of progress in business.

It’s far easier to trick ourselves into believing we’re actually working…when in fact we are just pushing piles of stuff around on our desks, rarely accomplishing anything of value or importance.

Justifying the avoidance factor in business…and to an extent, in every day life as well, introspection has taught me that if I fear doing the activity that will bring me success – let’s say it’s telling people about my product/service despite KNOWING that I understand my product/service – upon analyzing said avoidance on a deeper level, I’ve realized that I don’t actually have a fear of sharing my business, but rather a fear of being rejected…a fear of people not taking my advice, a fear of putting myself out there and being shot down.

So this is what happens when we concentrate – the truth reveals itself. And it does truly set you free. If you’ll allow it – embrace it rather than reject it.

The avoidance on my part is not whether they do or don’t elect to become a customer, rather for some silly and strange reason, I place extreme personal success or failure based on if they deem my advice worthy or not. I’ve equated them not buying my product/service with them not valuing my opinion – instantly, I become reclusive and my desire to be recognized for creative expression gets all bent out of shape and so I simply stop asking because then I can’t possibly be rejected. Ridiculous, I know.  This is nothing but fear, and everybody knows that nothing more than F.E.A.R. is simply False Evidence Appearing Real.  

I was re-reading How to Win Friends and Influence Others yesterday and read a quote by Benjamin Franklin…

“I will speak ill of no man, and speak all the good I know of everybody.”

It takes self-control to be understanding and forgiving. Along this #LifeChanging journey of self-discovery, I began implementing the 7-day Mental Diet, making a habit of not judging others – which has helped me realize that when I was previously jumping to conclusions about people or situations, I was merely avoiding doing that very same work on myself.

When you can face your fears – which is often [sadly] ourselves – and overcome them, it is then that we discover our greatness on the other side!

I’ve begun recognizing my own self-sabotaging behaviours, and was recently introduced to a powerful resource, a book called Get off your But! by Sean Stephenson.

From the Inside Flap (via Amazon.ca):

“This book will show you how to move beyond your limitations and begin to experience and share your gifts at the highest level.. . . Read this book in its entirety, follow the lessons closely, and watch as your life transforms into a masterpiece filled with an abundance of bliss, passion, and gratitude.” —From the Foreword by Anthony Robbins

In addition to presenting Sean Stephenson’s unbelievable life story, Get Off Your “But,” offers anyone who needs to conquer fears and insecurities a hands-on guide for overcoming the forces of negativity and self-sabotage. Sean—a successful psychotherapist—shows what it takes to overcome the big bumps in the road, eliminate excuses, end insecurities, and ultimately stand up for happiness and success in life. As Sean explains, anyone can fall victim to the “Buts”:

  • “But” Fears (But what if I fail . . .)
  • “But” Insecurities (But I’m not good enough . . .)
  • “But” Excuses (But there’s no time . . .)

Get Off Your “But” offers a practical guide for putting fear behind you and building the inner resources to become self-confident at work and at home. It’s time to get off your “but” and start leading the life you dream.

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Book reviews, as per Amazon.ca:

  • “Sean is an amazing person with an important message.”
    —President Bill Clinton
  • “Sean Stephenson is the Yoda of personal development, with less pointy ears.”
    —Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • “As we struggle with inertia to become the best that we can be, Sean Stephenson’s book informs and inspires us to stand up and keep moving forward. Thank you, Sean, for your life, your work, and your abundant sharing.”
    —Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One Minute Manager
  • “Sean Stephenson is a hero to me. When you read his book, he will be a hero to you as well. His moving stories about himself and others who have found the gifts in their pain will teach you so much about courage and, just as important, you will learn how to build your own sense of confidence when it comes to health, career, relationships, and more. Do yourself a favor read this book! ”
    —Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., author, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Embracing Uncertainty
  • your-speed-doesnt-matter-forward-is-forward-turtle

A [True] LOVE Story | MKE Year 3 Week 6

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Would it be alright with you if I share a personal story?

It takes place on an enchanted island and as with all great LOVE stories, there are dragons, and best friends who giggle until it hurts … but most of all, it’s about falling in LOVE! And everybody knows that LOVE lets us see ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

But first, a little back of the story…

Cute dragonLooking back on my life before MKE, it was as though I had spent my previous 11,111 days on this planet on auto-pilot. I hadn’t yet clued in that I had been trapped in survival-mode; a prison of my own making. The Dragons keeping close watch to ensure my subconscious shackles were secure [sadly, I am the Dragon].

You see, back then, me and my life-goals…we weren’t that tight. I’d done a pretty good job of repeatedly proving that the life I was living wasn’t getting me anywhere other than exactly where I already was. My current trajectory wasn’t going to help me reach my hopes and dreams, mostly because I didn’t even have a clear understanding of what those hopes and dreams were in the first place.

Where’s the disconnect?

As kids, we embrace valiant dreams and celebrate the grandeur of dreaming big…of becoming Astronauts, or Presidents, or Rocket Scientists – living our own truths with adventurous delight from inside Macaroni Spaceships that we’re certain will transport us to the Moon every day after school. Yet somewhere along the way, we abandon our innocence and lose sight of our innate greatness. We grow older, but we forget to actually live. We take on the weight of societal expectations; abandoning our backyard dreams for some version of ‘Keeping up with Joneses’…

Life was blah. Work was blah. Friendships were hard because life was blah. You get it. Sad. Perhaps even pathetic. Boring for sure.

Without warning or apology, the unremarkable days

morphed into unremarkable nights,

which morphed back into more unremarkable days.

And slowly…

…the days became weeks

…the weeks became months

… and the months became years

until the years themselves faded into a

c o m p l a c e n t   b l u r   o f   m  e  d  i  o  c  r  i  t  y.

What had I been doing with my life??

When did I become comfortable with stagnation?

Why did I stop believing I deserved more?

Did I have any confidence left…or was I drained out of my through the ever-losing battle that exists when raising teenagers?

Until this one time, in 2015 – it hit me: If I could believe in Santa for like 10-years, why couldn’t I believe in myself for 5-minutes? And so began my journey back towards myself…

Introspection led me to a friend who aimed me towards becoming a self-directed thinker, and in late Spring 2015, we embarked on a 13-day adventure-of-a-lifetime together to Kaua’i, Hawaii.

Arriving a few days before the start of the business conference, I kicked off my flip flops, grabbed my Maui Jim’s and a good book, and headed for the beach…my only agenda: to spend time taking in the wonderment and beauty of Hawaii [it had been an unusually cold and long winter in Calgary, Canada…by the way, when people in Calgary use the term ‘pearly whites’ we aren’t referring to our teeth – but rather our legs … nearly transparent and pale as a ghost from being hidden beneath layers of clothing -24/7 while trying to prevent hypothermia]…but forgive me, I digress…

Turns out, the Master Key Experience Live Event was wrapping up, and as luck would have it, some of the residual ‘awe’ – in my opinion: the essence of the event – rubbed off on me and that’s when everything changed. True story!!

As the conference began, I consciously set aside my past experiences, my bias, and what I thought I already knew, and committed to participating with an open heart and an open mind, and to simply let the event do its thing. Trusting and believing that some of the magic and energy I felt radiating from people who had attended the Master Key Master Mind Alliance Live Event, would also extend into the course I was taking, seeing as the same hosts were facilitating both events…and man, was I ever in for a treat!!

Attending conference by day, and exploring the island by night changed my life. For the first time in a very long time I remembered who I was. A clarity descended upon me as I observed – silently, and with complete childlike wonder, as the true Jen lurched herself to the foreground from deep down inside me where I had been, quite accidentally, keeping her captive. I discovered more about myself in 2-weeks than I had during my previous 34 trips around the sun.

I was able to understand more clearly, and to my astonishment, effortlessly. Up until that very moment, everything had been a struggle. This re-introduction to my true and purest self annihilated the introverted, reserved, hesitant versions of self that I cloaked myself in while trying to ‘fit in’ with society. The clarity simultaneously silenced my fears of the unknown, yet was successful at reassuring me that everything was going to be alright. Better than alright actually. I was finally free.

I fell in love with the person I’m meant to be…

Calm, yet bursting with excitement

Surrendered, yet in complete control

Responsible, yet free-spirited

Daring and brave, yet grounded and realistic

Humble, yet confident

Sweet, yet strong

And as I shed my many false cloaks and embraced the true me…I noticed that I became one with the wonder of Hawaii with this group of spectacular human beings; and for this I feel very blessed and highly favoured.

The sensation of being alive suddenly became completely intoxicating. It was as if I was experiencing everything for the very first time…

The kiss of the ocean breeze felt warmer as it sailed against my skin

The food tasted richer – I could sense the nourishment delivered throughout my body

Hugs from strangers reached right down into the forgotten depths of my being

Emotions resonated directly into my essence; into my soul

My brain was forging new neuro pathways – I could literally feel myself evolving

I could hear and feel the gears spinning as I turned my back to years of cement and revered in the delight of chipping away at it. It was as if a lifetime worth of passion, intense desires and enlightenment descended upon me in an instant, like a ray of sunshine bursting through the clouds on a rainy day. I grasped concepts as I never had before, as if the veil of confusion had been lifted and tossed aside.

Every cell in my body felt like it was on fire! As though I had been selected and blessed directly by the Gods, and was being escorted to my bliss on the wings of angels.

I felt so alive – wildly excited to learn and to grow and to evolve..I was not only willing to, but eager to let down my guards and allow my sun to shine brightly. Finally, I was able to just, be me.

LOVE lets us see ordinary things in an extraordinary way

The course that began the following September – the Master Key Experience – taught me that to find these answers I need do nothing more than SIT – to cut through the clutter, disperse the noise, and truly listen to the Beautiful Silence. It was better than having all the answers…I had connected with who I am and why I’m here, and I knew that I AM the answers…I didn’t need to ‘find’ them because they were already inside me.

And it was this life changing adventure that truly taught me about LOVE. Surrounded by like minded people, eager and willing to support me along my journey as they too progressed along their own. These were my people. Here, I felt was at home.

I discovered a few valuable life lessons that have literally changed my DNA; changing how I think, erasing old blueprints, opening my mind to the possibility of new possibilities:

  • That the LOVE for myself is the foundation for all other LOVE
  • That how I see the world changes when looking thru the lens of LOVE [empathy, compassion, understanding, tolerance, patience]
  • In order to be loved how I urned to be loved, I needed to first learn how to LOVE myself

Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure. I’d love to hear about your LOVE too!

Love,

Jen

Curious what moved me this time last year?

MKE6 | Because Science, that’s why!

STONEWALL | MKE Year 3 Week 4

Today I begin a new life.

I am building a stone wall as my protection.

I’ve accomplished so much and can see it and am so proud of myself.

My mental, moral and physical harmony is valuable and precious.

I can be what I will to be.

As a daily reminder to hold onto my greatness, I named my corporation The CRATOS Group – Cratos meaning ‘The Personification of Strength and Power’.

You know how you’re instructed before each flight to affix your oxygen mask before helping others on an airplane. The same holds true in life…in order to give your best and highest effort you have to fortify your mind to cancel out the noise; cancel out the opinions of others; cancel out the negative self talk; cancel out anything that isn’t serving you and your higher purpose.

What YOU do is all that matters.

My friend Jesse tells me all the time – always beating himself up – hard – about a bad decision he made in front of his young son…he continues ripping himself to shreds over 3-minutes from nearly a decade ago. He has been holding himself hostage by one bad decision, rather than forgiving himself and learning how to be come a better father, a stronger role-model and a better person overall. He didn’t learn from his mistakes – he fell victim to them.

We must fortify the stonewall in front of our own castle. In our own minds. First.

We need to build up our self belief, and that begins from within. We need to monitor what we are watching and what we listen to; we need to make a top 10 list of what we like about ourselves and read it out loud morning, noon and night; we need to surround ourselves with positive, supportive people. This will help us lay each brick the best it can possibly be laid.

We need not think about building an entire wall, rather fortifying only the portion in front of our own homes…which all begins in our own mind. Once we have mastered this, we can then join hands with our neighbours and build stronger friendships, stronger communities…and a stronger world.

Just like Marvel’s Nova Corps Fleet in the movie The Guardians of the Galaxy – how they unify and together, they become stronger.

I can be what I will to be. 

This scene from the movie Facing The Giants is one of my favourites…it reminds me that I am capable of more.

I know my calling is to help connect people to their inner love again. Help them reconnect with their innate greatness – infusing positive self talk strategies to gain self-belief and confidence to live on purpose. In order to help others I must first help myself do exactly the same.

I trust the universe to supply me with all necessary financial resources.

I trust myself to be open to every opportunity and to embrace change in order to put myself out there, in order to both attract, and be ready for, the next steps into my best self, and towards my best life.

I appreciate you joining me on this journey and would love to hear your feedback.

All my best,

Jen

See what moved me during last years’ course: Year 2 Week 4 | [audible gasp] 

Pockets of Time | MKE Year 3 Week 1

Hey…got a minute??

I’d like to talk about the seemingly inconsequential ‘Pockets of Time’ that make up our day. These bite-sized morsels of time can have an enormous impact on how we make our conscious decisions, which of course, then forms our habits. And everybody knows that ultimately, it is our habits that pave the way for the life we live. For better or for worse.

Let’s start by digging into what a ‘Pocket of Time’ actually is: any amount of time which makes up the in-between times…the time that fills the gaps. For instance:

  • Waiting for the bus, or in line, or for the photocopier…
  • After school before the kids come out
  • While your food spins in the microwave
  • When you’re put on hold during a phone call
  • During commercials
  • Listening to the radio in your vehicle
  • Or waiting for the traffic light to change, etc.

These small 20-180 second intervals allow us plenty of time to think ourselves into the life we want to live, or not – just as easily, we could do nothing at all…or worse…complain about all the things we don’t want, or we could log into the black hole that is our social accounts and get depressed about all the things we don’t have.

Whether it’s staring at the microwave; mindlessly channel surfing; or listening to gossip on the radio show…none of those things are going to move you closer to your greatness.

However, can you imagine what you could do with that time if you choose to apply yourself, beginning by putting these pockets to use?! Instead of watching cat videos, you could choose to do a physical chore, such as:

  • Clean out the leftovers in the fridge
  • Wipe the front of the appliances
  • Refresh the dogs’ water bowls
  • Take out the garbage
  • Write a quick love note for someone
  • Straighten the shoes at the front door
  • Organize throw pillows on the sofa
  • Purge receipts from your wallet
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Sort the mail
  • Start writing a BLOG
  • Or simply … think a happy thought…

Your dreams are calling you...Decline or Accept

Once you can master the art of putting your physical body to better use, you might be ready to develop your emotional and mental self – this is the world within. Inside each of us is the unlimited potential to harness an unbelievable amount of thought power…yet, out of habit – or perhaps out of sheer laziness – we usually, and subconsciously dismiss the opportunity to do something productive or beneficial – simply by electing to do nothing.

In essence, we refuse to answer the call to our greatness.

It doesn’t take any extra effort to keep the house clean if you make a point to do so…instead of leaving your socks on the floor, just demand of yourself that you respect the house and your housemates and pick hem up when you get off the sofa, for instance. It seems inconsequential, yet truthfully, when you do tiny things to keep order in your life it saves you from having to find hours each week to clean the house. Same logic applies to your mental housekeeping since your exterior world is a direct reflection of your interior world.

Here’s what I know to be true…if you want to go on a vacation, holding a grudge over someone who went on one isn’t going to build you an airplane…you’ve got to get off your butt and start working! The same is true for your life. You’ve got to dream your dream into reality…become one with it…obsess about it [rather than about Candy Crush or Clash of Clans]. Put those pockets of time to better use. Your future depends on it.

I’m not saying you need to fill every second of every day – but if you take a personal inventory of how you behave during the pockets of time in your world, then you can begin to fill your pockets with intention and activities designed to propel you closer to your greatness!

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The good news and the bad news is it’s entirely up to you.

If you’re anything like me you spent a lot of time in your car…yeah, you could spend time listening to songs on the radio about the guy who lost his dog and/or broke his truck, but all the time I’ve been listening to the radio I’ve never heard any money come out of it!! Its never paid my mortgage or put food on my table…so instead, while I’m in the car I choose to listen to audio designed to help me become a self-directed thinker (sure, your kids might complain – but when they do, have them Google what Pitpulls’ Mom made him listen to):

  • Science of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill
  • The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
  • A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The countless hours I’ve spent with these icons as my silent partners; my guides; my mastermind alliance have supported me to new heights that I am enjoying today, and beyond. I am so thankful I didn’t mindlessly fall in line with the other sheeple and listen to the radio!!

It isn’t what I learned – it’s who I became as a result that has changed me the most and had the most lasting impact.

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says:

Complaining about being poor won’t bring you riches. Wishing for it isn’t enough, you’ve got to act yourself into riches. Wishing for riches may very well bring you temporary riches, but acting with LOVE in your heart will surely bring you riches for generations.

Autonomy and Legacy are important to me – so I made a promise to myself, and a commitment to my family to be that person who creates ‘old money’ for my family – for generations to come. I chose to put my pockets of time to use to create a better life for myself and my family – a future that creates riches for generations.

Today I begin a new life is a great mantra – adds love to your mindset. Repeat this in your Pockets of Time and witness how your life changes.

To be clear here, riches isn’t about money – ‘riches’ is about anything you hold dear to your heart. I realized I didn’t need to have rich Grandparents, or an old Uncle to leave me a ton of money in his will, or the proper blood lines.

Rather, by tapping into my innate potential and reprogramming my brain;

making better decisions about what to do with my time,

I confirmed to myself that I can become anything I want;

I can accomplish anything I set my mind to!

And you can too!!

You are Nature’s Greatest Miracle.

You have it within you to Persist Until You Succeed.

Now, armed with the knowledge that we can think ourselves into any life we want…I encourage you to be brave.

Go ahead and love yourself into riches, by posting a few affirmation cards on your bathroom mirror or inside the kitchen cupboards and see how what you think about changes.

Malcolm Gladwell concludes that one becomes an ‘Outlier’ [a master of their craft] with 10,000 hours of practice. Essentially, anyone can master anything by practicing for about 90-minutes per day, for 20 years…he calls this the ‘Tipping-Point’ of greatness.

The way I see it – the ‘Pockets of Time’ are the answer; a first step towards the mastery of 10,000.

We may feel short on time to impact change in our lives overnight, or in a week, or in a month…but can you imagine how different your life would be in 2-years or 5-years or 10-years if you were to simply redirect your mindless time into mindful time? The possibilities are endless. Try new things. Make new mistakes.

10,000 hours - how much have you put in?

Today is your day – your ground zero!! Human beings have the ‘God-like’ power to control our thoughts; and since “we become what we think about” as Earl Nightingale reminds us in the Strangest Secret, then it stands to reason we can visualize into reality any life which we can imagine.

Here’s to your next new mistake. I’d love to hear all about it.

Love,

Jen

**********

Check out what moved me during this week of the course during Year 2: MKE 1 | Disengaging Auto-Pilot

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