This one may ruffle some feathers but I think it's important we start looking past the headlines and start looking into ourselves. Would love to know what you think!
Hey you! Yeah, you.
I think it's time for a reminder...
You are not a slave to mom and dad’s ideas of what is acceptable.
You are not a slave to the feelings of unworthiness caused by the fluctuations on your scale or the changes you see in the mirror.
You are not a slave to the education or lack thereof that you’ve received.
You are not a slave to ‘the work you’ve already put in’ if it’s making you unhappy.
You are not a slave to your uncomfortable money story.
You are not a slave to up-leveling with every purchase.
You are not a slave to the constant creation of instagrammable moments.
You are not a slave to the story in your head of what it ‘should’ look like by now.
You are not a slave to a glass of wine, joint, or cigarette to feel at ease.
You are not a slave to the way other people perceive you.
You are not a slave to the lifestyle you’ve created.
You are not a slave to the justifications people think you owe them for your choices.
You are not a slave to ‘making the relationship work’ if it isn’t.
You are not a slave to the hit of dopamine your phone offers with every ‘like’ or text message.
You are not a slave to the friendships ‘you’ve had forever’ if they don't help you grow.
You are not a slave to lame conversation or mediocre food.
You are not a slave to who you were even 5 minutes ago and finally...
You are not a slave to the mistakes you've made, the people you've hurt, or to the opportunities you've missed. It's time to move on.
Yeah, you, my dear glorious and perfectly imperfect human... You my friend, are not a slave to any of it.
Every second you breathe is a second you choose who runs the show.
Why don't you do us both a favor and cut that shit out then will you?
You'll thank me later.
p.s. If you were looking for a sign, this is it. ;)
(Even though I couldn't be farther away from Peru if I tried, I chose Marcha del Chullachaqui as the song for this post because it sounds like what it feels like to ride my motorcycle through the rice fields all day. It sounds and feels like a delicious summer day doesn't it?)
So, 3 days till my birthday on the 3rd month of 2017 and I’m turning 33. In celebration of that and considering the fact that by my age Jesus had already changed humanity, I felt compelled to take stock of these past 396 months to see what I’ve learned from them and to share those lessons with you.
After all, Jesus left some pretty big shoes for us to fill and I, for one, am aware I fall painfully short on the accomplishment front by comparison. But then again don't we all except for maybe Elon Musk?
After some deliberate thought, I came up with 33 lessons. To be sincere, I'm not sure if any of these is going to be life changing for you but I do know that one or two of these may resonate and make you think about things a little differently... if at least for a short while. So enjoy, have a laugh, and by all means comment if the spirit moves you.
-Jenniffer's 33 at 33-
- The best investment you can make is in a good mattress and comfortable pillows.
Failure is a mindset. If you frame a situation as a problem rather than an opportunity, you’re limiting what you can create from it. You’ve limited your scope and therefore your possible ‘solutions’.
People are in your life for the amount of time that you’re supposed to teach each other things. If they leave, it’s because you’ve reached the end of your mutual learning or because the lesson they’re meant to teach you will come from your separation.
It’s not about feeling better, It’s about getting better at feeling. The pursuit of happiness for the sake of happiness is very noble but will leave you disappointed if you make happiness the destination and fail to understand that the enjoyment of life lies in the journey.
Be proactive about your personal development when times are good. Waiting for a crisis to change shit is unnecessarily traumatic.
Travel is by far the best education. It offers lessons in context, humility, and freedom.
The least selfish thing that you can do to improve your relationships with others is to keep the focus on you. Worry about what you're bringing to the table and make sure that it is worthy of what you expect in return.
There is no greater personal development project than starting a business….especially on your own.
Anywhere you go, there you are. You can run from everything except yourself so you may as well get to know the person who'll be with you for the rest of your life and learn to like them.
Just because you CAN deal with something doesn’t mean you HAVE to. Remember, you have a limited amount of energy to use every day.
Some people are better to love… from afar. That doesn't mean you don't love them.
When you travel, do support the local economy. Uber and McDonald's don’t need your vacation money and they also prevent you from having an authentic experience.
For a relationship to shift only one person needs to do so. Have things gotten cyclical? Change the approach or your perspective and watch the magic unfold.
Stuff is overrated. (and a pain in the ass if you're a roaming gypsy like yours truly)
Nobody will ever understand you the way you can understand yourself. And even that’s hard. So if you want someone to truly ‘get you,’ get to work. If you're reading this you probably have a couple decades to catch up on.
The cure for anxiety lies in the breath. Yes, even if it means doing it at work, in the bathroom stall by yourself for ten minutes.
As far as creating change is concerned, where you spend your money is far more impactful than what you post on Facebook... Even if you post 50 times about it.
You’re good enough. Duh.
You can 'think' something to death but it isn’t until you actually 'do' it that you'll know if it’s the right thing for you. Unless it can kill you, do it. Just fucking do it.
What you resist persists. Sometimes the best way out of an uncomfortable emotion is through it.
Making someone else responsible for your happiness is unfair to both of you—to them for the unnecessary pressure caused by your expectations and to you because they’ll never measure up to what you have in mind…because, you know, they don’t live there.
Oftentimes even the worst case scenario is still figureoutable and less scary than how it seems initially.
Good advice and validation aren’t the same thing. One you seek with no conditions looking for a fresh perspective, the other you seek because you’re not grounded in your truth. When you approach someone, be honest about what you're asking for.
Sometimes hearing what you don’t want to hear is exactly what you need so learn to listen with humility. Listen to understand and not to respond right away. People will surprise you if you allow them to.
As you evolve, the people you keep close will too.
Get naked. Often. Study yourself. Your body is a miracle. You should accept that and treat it as such. Plus, the more naked you get, the more comfortable you'll be in your skin. The more comfortable you are in your skin, the better sex you'll have. (sorry mom)
Don’t let anybody ‘should’ on you. Now repeat that line quickly and out loud... I'm gonna go out here on a limb and say that the first sentence you read is way worse than the second. (Parents of infants please feel free to step in here and agree with me)
A tired body can't heal a troubled mind. Take some time to eat and rest. What ever it is it can wait.
Wanna know how self-aware you are? Pay attention to how much you judge others.
If you don’t have a clear sense of self, someone will decide who you are for you... and it will make you miserable.
Money is a transfer of energy. Nothing more, nothing less. To make it and be happy you can’t worship it or fear it. You must, however, respect it.
There is nothing wrong with having material desires. Just understand that anything that you want on the material front is symbolic of a deeper need of yours and that it's a need you can source without having to become a prisoner of your stuff.
If nothing else, kindness.
There you have it folks! Hope this proved useful or at least entertaining. Have a wonderful day and don't forget that regardless of what it may feel like sometimes in your life, you're in the driver's seat and change is possible.
***I'm currently in Bali so for this post's song I couldn't help but pick the song I've had on repeat all week every time we get in the car to go somewhere.... Tim Aminov's One Lone Survivor (Geju Remix). Enjoy!***
Looking at my newsfeed I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people I know can’t wait for 2016 to be over. 2016 was the year we lost Bowie, elected Trump, and allowed Aleppo. The world it seems, has gone mad.
To make matters worse, as soon as I started thinking about writing this piece, I went online briefly and read that George Michael, and with him it seems like the music itself, died. Not going to lie, the frustration mounted and I doubted whether to continue.
Being the silver linings enthusiast that I am though, I couldn’t just accept the idea that 2016 was just the worst year ever. In my mind, nothing is ever really ‘the worst’. To think so means you’re lacking in either perspective or imagination…
So, after some serious thought I’d like to share with you three reasons, other than all the positive stuff that happened this year (yes, there were positive things) why I’m actually happy that 2016 happened. With them, my aim is to offer you a different perspective and hopefully give you some hope for the future.
Reason #1: Energy. (This one is a bit technical but bear with me) In physics, the law of energetic conservation states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.
In essence, life can be boiled down to a continuous and cyclical exchange of energy between already existing particles. For this exchange to be possible there are two types of energetic reactions: anabolic and catabolic.
Anabolic reactions build larger compounds and molecules from smaller ones. To do this, they consume energy. Catabolic reactions, on the other hand, break down molecules and release energy by breaking down complex molecules to simpler compounds.
Simply put, what anabolic reactions create and grow, catabolic ones disassemble and destroy.
Worth noting? If the law of energetic conservation holds true, then it is the energy released during catabolic reactions that enables anabolic ones to happen because they require energy. Without one we cannot have the other.
For example, by now we know that for your body to function correctly it must be in a constant state of cellular regeneration. This means that cells have to be perpetually dying to create room for new ones to fill their place. If they don’t, mutations or conditions like cancer often develop. The end result? Death and destruction at a higher level (organs, organ systems, bodies).
Because we usually associate growth as being good and death as being bad, it’s easy to fall into the trap of unfairly judging anabolic energy as positive/desirable and catabolic energy as negative/undesirable. Understanding the science behind it helps us realize that it’s wrong to do so.
So what would happen if we looked at today’s current events under this lens? What if all the crap that happened this year is simply a much needed catabolic reaction to create space for new growth? What if our current way of living, spending, and being has simply run its course? Could it be possible that it’s time to create room for a new way? Our belief systems change as our values do. If anything, what’s happening right now is a great excuse to take a look at what those values are and if we need to re-evaluate their importance.
After all, we co-created this mess we’re in whether we want to admit it or not. The silver lining? That takes me to my second point:
Reason #2: Distance. We live in an era where boredom rarely exists. We have access to entertainment 24/7 through our many devices and are constantly bombarded with information packaged cleverly to feed our growing information addiction. We compulsively use our phones to fill our time because being bored is not an option when you can escape your reality and step into the lives of others through the simple click of a button.
Needless to say, our ability to reflect has been compromised by our constant pursuit of external stimuli. By constantly focusing outwardly, we have largely ignored our own internal GPS.
But hey, this isn’t a sermon on how we allowed Putin or Rupert Murdoch and his media buddies to collectively screw us. Our brains are, after all, a muscle. It just so happens that to our detriment, the information most easily accessible happens to be stuff that is highly entertaining but not very useful.
We have in essence been going to the entertainment gym for the last 15 years and because of it, we didn’t realize just how bad things have been progressively getting in our country and the world around us.
Because of this perfectly normal human tendency to follow the path of least resistance, personal growth tends to be cyclical in nature as well and the cycle usually looks a bit like this: We’re happy —> it hits the fan —> we take a step back and try to make sense of what happened —> as we gather our thoughts we realize a couple of important things that inform our choices in the future—> we make different choices —> we move on with a new level of self-awareness and grow from the experience —> we’re happy again. If we’re doing it right, as we get older, we also get better at making some of that sweet proverbial lemonade.
As a coach it’s not by coincidence that most of my clients come to me after having some sort of a crisis or when they find themselves at an important crossroads in their lives usually caused by external factors—the relationship, the job, the accident, the death in the family. You see, when things are good we rarely take the time to reflect on why that is. Why would we? We’re too busy smelling the roses and enjoying the ride!
2016 was the moment we were rudely awakened, forced to think, and get some distance. We’re now awake and aware. There’s no turning back. We simply cannot become unconscious of what we learned this year and that’s a good thing. That leads me to my third and final point…
Reason #3: Clarity. It’s very hard to solve a problem you haven’t defined. 2016 leaves us with a pretty clear to do list for 2017. Black Lives Matter, Brock Turner, Trump, Aleppo and Standing Rock among others forced us to look in the mirror for the first time in a long time and to realize we have some serious issues to work out as a nation. 2016 gave us the map. What we do with it now, is up to us now so I propose that we take a coaching approach to 2017.
It’s time to begin that process of reflection, healing, and purpose-driven action that will enable us to move forward with a renewed sense of hope and unparalleled vigor. It’s time to stop pointing fingers and assume the responsibility that we all have in this. And hey, if this didn't inspire you enough, just keep in mind we still have Betty White. ;)
**(I picked I've Got To Go On Without You by Shirley Brown because she sings about moving on better than most and I've been on a soul and blues binge for a week now. Enjoy!)**
As a coach the question that I get asked most often regarding what I do is how it differs from therapy. While I strongly believe that just about anybody can benefit from both, in an effort to make life easier for coaches everywhere and to appease any fears that working with me implies horizontal couch time, deep psychoanalysis, and a missing PhD, I offer you my two cents on the matter.
The way I understand it, there are two distinct differences between therapy and coaching.
The Focus: Therapy sessions are designed to get to the bottom of why you are the way you are and why you make the decisions that you do by looking for things in your past that have influenced you in a deep and meaningful way. Most people go to therapy because they have things to heal and a deep desire to understand themselves and their past better in hopes that it will help them decipher what do do with their present and future.
In coaching, the past is acknowledged and validated as the primary source of data points in your present ‘story’ but is never acknowledged as the full picture. I put the word story in quotes because if we look at it from a detached perspective, our past is just that—a compilation of experiences, characters, and plot lines that have determined the way we see and relate to ourselves and the world around us.
What if we were to arbitrarily decide to divorce ourselves from our ‘story’ and start writing one that is more aligned with with what we truly want without the limiting beliefs and judgments from our past? What if understanding that the ‘why’ of the past is less important than the ‘who’ you want to be tomorrow and the development of an actionable plan for ‘how’ and ‘when’ to get there? Therein lies the meat and potatoes of the coaching conversation.
The second major difference between therapy and coaching lies in the relationship between therapist / coach and client.
The Relationship: The cool part of coaching for me is the partnership component you enjoy as co-creator with your client. Unlike with therapy, where the therapist is clearly regarded as the knowledge authority in the room, coaches don’t give a diagnosis or advice for a client to consider. We are trained to ask the right questions to structure your inner dialogue in a way that serves you and the goals you are trying to accomplish. That’s it. We have no agenda and no answers, you do.
With that said, you may be asking yourself what exactly it is that we accomplish with all that poking around and no advice giving. Well, for starters we help you get aligned with what you feel is your innermost truth. That's a huge breakthrough all on its own in my experience... We then help you change your 'story' to one that allows you to relate to yourself and the world from a standpoint of possibility and empowerment. Once that's done, we put you back in the driver’s seat and hold you accountable for what you say you are going to do to ensure that you get to your desired destination. We support you along the way and once you’ve finally accomplished your goal or reached your target, we let you go and say Namasme. ;)