How helping domestic violence survivors helped me too.

I cannot tell you how good I felt after giving a speech to the wonderful, courageous, women of the local shelter.

I was asked to speak to them about my own story in hopes it would build their confidence in the fact that they can overcome the abuse they’ve been through. A friend of a friend saw one of my lives on Facebook and was moved to tell her friend who works at the shelter.

I was happy enough just knowing someone loved my Live in Facebook. I was ecstatic just knowing they thought it was good enough to share, but to be asked to speak to these women because they loved my message and really thought I could help them.. that meant the world to me. I was speechless and shocked.

I went and spoke to them a few weeks ago just to let them meet me and see what I was about. A few of them are very skittish around people in general and there’s one sweet, very young girl, that looks like she’s going to break at any moment and my heart broke for her because I’ve felt that way before and it’s a dark, hopeless, feeling.

I told them my story and then instead of talking about the program and all the things that people have talked to them about, several times over, I told them that I wanted to talk about them. I wanted to know their dreams, their goals, their wishes, their hopes, and their hearts.

I told them that they had immense power in them, even more than they could ever imagine. I told them that although they had been beaten down, told they were useless and not enough by the world and the people who hurt them, that I was there to tell them that they are worthy, they are enough, they are strong, resilient, capable, loved and wanted.

I told them not to worry about the world and their abusers, that they had not broken them, they did not steal the kindness from their hearts and that they would rise up in their own strength and take back their power. THEY would do that. They would take that power and use it to elevate their lives so high that they wouldn’t hear the hateful words that were said to them.

I told them that their aspirations to rise up and make their mark in the world WAS possible and that it was limitless as to how far they could go. I told them they were beautiful and they were needed in this world. That they had a purpose and as soon as they found that purpose, nothing else would matter.

I was so proud and so grateful that they asked me to do this. If I can make an impact on even just one of them, then me facing my fears and stepping out of my comfort zone was well worth it and I would do it again and again.

I will forever be grateful for that opportunity. It helped me to help them and I plan on keeping up with their progress and also helping the shelter to gather things that these ladies need. Most of them left their abusers with nothing at all, so I’m cleaning out my closet this week and donating to the shelter.

This journey of mine started out with me just wanting to help myself and it has turned into my purpose. This is what I was meant to do. I’ve always been a helper but to put myself out there in the world and tell everyone my long, sad, painful, story and I mean everything! There is nothing that people do not know about me and I always thought I would be judged, and I have been by a few, but they don’t matter. I thought people would pity me or just go quiet because they didn’t know what to say.

There were a few and still are, that have judged and gossiped about me but it doesn’t matter anymore because the only ones opinion that I care about is mine. Other people have not lived my life or walked in my shoes. Most people wouldn’t survive what I did. I now know how strong I am. I told them my journey to becoming fearlessly Authentic and that I was a work in progress and that my blog was called do it afraid because I’ve had to just jump out there with my heart pounding and my knees shaking and fear of failure and judgment but I did it and it was fear lying to me again. I told them that fear was a liar and to ignore it.

Before I let them go, we talked a good while and I gave them some tips and tricks and told them a few things that have helped me with all of this and they asked if they could contact me and of course, I said yes. I told them to call me anytime and that if there was something I could do, then I would be more than willing to help.

I have to say that this experience had touched me in a way that has helped me heal just a little more. I knew it would be an emotional thing to do, but the joy I felt in my heart from the looks on their faces is not something I will ever forget. I even got a smile from the young girl who looked like she was about to break. She told me thank you and THAT is why I’m doing what I do. I can’t even explain how my heart feels right now. I just know that I am going to be ok and so are they.

I hope..

I hope you’re happy. I hope you’re well. I hope you have everything that you need and want. I hope that if you’re not, then I hope you have the strength to hold on until the day comes that you can rise up and take back your power.

Yes.. we all have immense power in us to survive the worst of the worst, we have the power to endure things not meant to happen to us, we have the power to fight back against people and things that are toxic to us and we have the power to heal our hearts, minds, and spirits.

I always felt small and weak because of things that happened. I always believed what “they” said to me and about me. I always thought that I was doomed to a life of misery. I believed them when they said I was broken and a waste of life. I believed them so much, that I started telling myself these things. I can’t believe that I wasted so much of my life believing that nonsense.

I no longer listen to the toxic people who never even knew who I really was. I no longer have those toxic relationships in my life. I no longer tell myself negative, ugly things. The only thing wasted was me spending years believing those things and trying everything in my power to get them to love me.

Now I tell myself that I am good and worthy. I am enough! I am an asset to this world! I am loved and needed, but most of all.. I truly love myself, flaws and all and all those toxic people and ugly things I was told are what made me who I am. I am strong. I do have power in me to change my world and hopefully the world around me.

I have people all around me that are down and out and blaming 2020 for their misery and I get that. I do. A lot of people have suffered loss of family members, jobs are gone, businesses lost, and just general craziness and stress. I have learned that no matter what’s going on, we must rise to the occasion and draw on that strength and our faith in ourselves and in humanity. Life is hard. It’s painful. It’s not fair and it’s going to paralyze you with fear if you let it.

Life is also beautiful and full of love. Take those hard, painful things and turn them into something that you can use to change your life. We are all special and unique. We were made to be a light to the world. We all have gifts. Some are big, powerful gifts and some are small, but they are all equally important to the world. Everyone matters in this world. You matter. You are enough. You are loved, wanted, and needed. If you believe nothing.. believe this.

I thought that there would never be people in my life that would be so supportive, positive and encouraging, to me. I had a few wonderful people that kept me here in this world, but the noise of the toxic people was so loud that I couldn’t hear the goodness of the others. I finally got tired enough of all the misery and I said “no more”… no more misery, no more feeling dead inside, no more listening to that voice in my head telling me I’m no good.

So here’s the thing.. stop listening to those people and those voices. Stop allowing toxic people and things hold you back from a beautiful life, and love yourself so much, that it drowns out anything that is not serving your purpose. Walk away from negativity. Walk away from toxicity. Walk away from anything that makes you feel bad, unloved, worthless, or hurt.

RUN as fast as you can towards the dreams you have. RUN as fast as you can towards the love that you need, even if it’s just yourself. RUN as fast as you can towards anything that is going to make your life shine like a bright light to the world. We are not guaranteed to live a long life, we are not guaranteed ANYTHING in this life.. that is why we must grab every opportunity to really live and to be a light to others because the more we give to others, the brighter our light will shine!

Times are hard and crazy right now and the world does not care about how we feel. The world is not going to help us solve our problems or feel better. We must always love ourselves enough to do the right thing For ourselves. We can have the best people in the world around us, but we still need to have the kind of self love that allows us to be our most authentic selves no matter what is going on. We need to have so much love for ourselves that we don’t allow other people or things get in the way of our peace. Without peace, it’s just chaos and with chaos comes self-doubt, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lack of boundaries.

So the next time that you have these types of feelings, sit back and reflect on what is exactly making you feel this way? The other person or situation, or have you allowed those things to bring you there? Those things can only hurt you if you allow them to. Don’t let them disturb your peace, don’t let them make you feel less than and don’t let them break the barriers of your boundaries.

I truly believe that we were all meant for greatness. We were made to be happy and fearless. We were made to be a light to the world and to love and help eachother. We need to build eachother up, not tear eachother down. We’re all different. We’re all in this together on this earth and we should work together, not against eachother. Go out and be kind to those who need it, reach out your hand and help someone up, give a compliment to a random stranger, you never know what people are going through. They may look fine on the outside but dying on the inside because of family issues, an abusive partner or parent, they may have lost someone they love, or they may just feel lonely and forgotten. I know that for years there were actually people who hated me because they thought I lived some kind of fairy tale life and it could not have been further from the truth, I just kept a smile on my face and acted like life was a dream come true.

That is my thought for today, I was inspired by a friend who inspires me everyday and I felt a calling to say this. I love you guys and I want you to be as happy and content as I do now! It’s the best feeling ever and I owe this year to that…It was a Blessing in Disguise.

This is my Hope for you!

Always~

Jackie

Do you have the courage to make your life a Blessing?

Do you like who you are? Are you happy with your life? Are there things you want to try but have doubts as to whether you can do them? Do you believe that you are a blessing to the world?

I get it. I was not happy with myself or my life and for a long time, I really thought that someone like me could never do what I’m doing now because I was broken.

I see so many people who have given up and think that they too, are defective and broken and it’s so sad to see that because I know how that feels. It feels like hopelessness. Have you ever felt hopeless? It makes you feel empty and dark. It makes you think that nothing good is ever going to come your way. It makes you want to give up.

I would always see all these sucessful people who seemed to just be so positive and strong and I would think that they were born that way or just lucky or blessed. Not every one can be like that, right? Their lives are just great from birth to death?

I’ve since learned that no one is perfect and even though it seems that they just sail through life getting all the lucky breaks, the best jobs, always seeming to be happy no matter what, that is an illusion. We all have problems. We’ve all had things happen to us and everyone goes through periods of self doubt and low self-esteem.

The fact is..the people we think are perfectly happy and have all the luck are the ones who have fallen down and pulled themselves back up and taken the action to go further, to never give up, to sacrifice in order to become the person they need to be in order to have the life they want. They work their asses off, they are exhausted, they fail, they lose everything but still get back up and they fight their way back to the top.

I want to do that. I am well on my way. I took a long, reflective, look at myself and decided that I was tired of my own crap. Yes, I had bad things happen, I went through a lot as a child. I’ve been hurt, I’ve been picked on and bullied and I have believed all the lies that other people have told me and the ones I’ve told myself. But when you get tired enough of the way your life is, you’ll either lay down and quit or you’ll get up and do something!

Are you doing something to change your life? Do you want to? I do and I am. I’m working so hard to just be myself, unashamedly, authentically, and genuinely. When I started this, everyone thought that I was just going through a phase and they were supportive..until I went even further than I ever have and I stood up and told them that this is who I am and this is what I expect. I have boundaries now and I expect for them to be respected. I don’t get upset at everything that comes my way and I don’t fear everything anymore.

Oh I have fears… I just choose to ignore them and do it anyway. I’m running as fast as I can towards that life that I know I can have. I’m focused so hard on that life, that I can only see the successful outcome that I’m working towards.

I took what I love doing and I’m putting it out there in hopes that I can help someone. I’m not thinking about how many followers I’m going to get. I’m not thinking about whether people like me or not. I’m not looking to write my blog the same way everyone else does and I’m not writing everything that all the other people are writing.

I’m putting my feelings and my thoughts on here the same way as if I were telling you in person. I have so much drive to get up everyday and reach out to whoever needs a friend to help them see the blessing that they are!

I haven’t mastered everything that I need to, but that’s ok. I am a work in progress and I’ll always be a work in progress because I will always strive to be better than the day before. I’m not afraid of failing, I consider failure to be a lesson that I can only learn from. When you take fear and doubts out of your head and replace it with confidence and belief in yourself, you are limitless in what you can achieve.

There will come a time when you look back at all the hardships you’ve been though and they’ll seem like someone else’s hurts. It won’t hurt anymore and when that happens, you will be so fulfilled and whole, that nothing will ever stop you from doing what you know you were made for.

I had this moment a few weeks ago when I was in a zoom meeting with my group and I was telling someone else that her day would come. I realized after I said that IT DIDN’T HURT ANYMORE, that I had a breakthrough in myself. I can look back on the ugly stuff and it doesn’t hurt me the way that is has before. I’ll never forget it, but I know now that none of what was done to me or said to me, had anything to do with me. I have grown and evolved and I no longer feel ashamed or guilty…I feel free and genuinely at peace. That is the best feeling in the world and I want everyone to feel that way.

When that day comes for you, you’ll know everything is going to be ok and all your pain and fears will go away and it will be replaced with peace, confidence, and a belief in yourself that will bring you and your story to a place of pure joy. The kind of joy that makes you jump out of bed every morning and gives you the courage to change the world!

People tell me all the time that I can’t change the whole world and maybe I can’t but I can change the world around me and that causes the ripple effect. That ripple can go as far as you can imagine because each person you touch in a positive way will send out that same ripple.

I truly believe that if we start the changes and self improvements in ourselves first, it’s easier to improve other relationships. Changing your perspective, or mindset, is the first place to begin for that.

I started really looking at my way of thinking and I had a horrible mindset. It was full of doubt and negativity, I told myself that I had no value to give to anyone. I would just shut down completely because I was just stuck and miserable. I had to get fed up and tired of the life that I was living and I made a decision that would lead me to the most wonderful place I have ever been!

I read everything I could find on mindset and I read it until I knew every single word. I put action to everything that it said to do and within a week, my mind was calmer than it had ever been. I’ve always been laid back and pretty content, but I was content with a miserable existence because I had no idea how to change anything. I didn’t think I could change anything.

The more action that I put into changing my way of thinking, the lighter I felt and then one day I was talking to a friend and giving her a pep talk and trying to build her up and I went through a whole speech and when I was done, she just looked at me and smiled. I was looking at her curious to know why she was cheezing it so big and all she said was, “There she is”. I had no idea what she meant and then she told me that I was lost in that speech because she could feel the emotions coming from me and it made her want to go out and do something magnificent!!

What? I was stunned and told her she was crazy, but the more I wrote in my journal and online, the more people would say the same thing and I still have a hard time accepting all the compliments, but really? Me? Inspiring? I still have work to do. I am and will always be a work in progress, but I will tell you now that you must believe in yourself, wholeheartedly and completely or you’ll never change your perspective.

Once you’ve mastered your mindset, you’ll have the tools to go even further in your personal growth. What do you want to do? Who do you want to become? What have you dreamed of that you thought you would never be able to accomplish? Take that newfound mindset and find your purpose. Find that thing that makes your heart smile when you think about it. Find out what makes you excited to get up everyday and go out into the world.

Never let anyone dictate who you are and what you can do! Those are their limitations. You are in charge of your thoughts and feelings and it is up to you to find your purpose and to take that journey. Only you can walk that walk. They can walk with you, but they can’t do it for you.

Adding meditation to your daily routine and a gratitude journal will help you focus more on the positive and to reset and relax your mind. We all have gifts and we all have a purpose. Look at what brings you joy and start with that. Leave the doubters and naysayers behind and just focus on you and what you are trying to achieve and you’ll find your way to what makes you happy and whole.

Remember that you are the one in charge of your thoughts and feelings. You are the one who will go on to fulfill your purpose and live the life that you choose, so leave the other’s thought’s, words, and doubts behind. All that matters is what you think of yourself and what dreams and goals you are running to. Go out and make it all happen! You can do it! I have all the faith in the world in you and you should too!! Do you believe that you are a blessing to this world? Do you have the courage to be a blessing?

Having the courage to do scary things at times feels as though we are jumping out of an airplane. You heart flip flops, you’re breathing faster, maybe your palms are sweaty? That’ OK. Those are normal reactions to fear. Being courageous is not something you feel, although you can, but it’s a decision to do something afraid. I’ve been there a million times and I still get scared, but I remember that my story and my gifts are meant to be used to help others and that is more important than my fears. Have faith sweetness…you were born to be a blessing. We all were. So take a deep breath, let it go, and take that courage inside of you and change the world around you! I believe in you and so should you!

Pity Parties: Why do we do this?

I’ve been sick for the last four days and could hardly get up because all I did was sleep! I haven’t been this sick in awhile and it really stressed me out. I had work to do, writing to do, house to clean, and people to feed!! And then I had a big old pity party! What??

What the heck is going on? Why am I feeling low and negative? I haven’t done anything wrong and no one is complaining, but the minute I start feeling better, I feel guilty! What? I was sick! I felt like death! I had pneumonia for Gods sake! I wasn’t lallygagging around the pool eating bon-bons!! I was hurting and feverish and coughing a lot! Why do we do this?

Is it because we think we are super women who have to do everything perfectly? We have to make tons of money while running a business, raising children, who by the way have to be perfect, smart, and can play everything perfectly, we have perfectly clean and organized homes, we are perfect wives/ girlfriends to our husbands / boyfriends, and of course, we have to look perfect.. right??

Absolutely not!! If that were true, I would be a huge failure! I look like a hot mess most of the time, I get so busy that I forget to feed my husband dinner or even ask him to do it, my laundry is never all done, I don’t make much money, and my house has that lived in look to it. I forget important things I need to do because I’m ADHD and just the squirrels in my yard alone are enough to throw me off! I forget what I’m doing while I’m doing it and forget all that being smart and organized!!

Stop! Right now! We are good enough just because we are good enough. There isn’t any contest and there are no judges, just judgy, competitive, can’t mind their own business, people who make us feel like that! But guess what?? They only make us feel that way because we allow them to. It’s up to us, as to what we feel and what we do with our lives. Live your own life and forget the rest. We have to live with ourselves and we are in control of how we live and how we feel.

So this is my advice today. No more pity parties! If we have a bad day, then have that bad day. Just don’t unpack and live there. If you don’t feel like cooking or cleaning or whatever it is that you’re just not feeling today.. that’s ok. You do you and whatever that is.. it’s ok! Love yourself and be kind to yourself. You deserve it!

Why you need to set boundaries~

It is so important to have personal boundaries set in place and to also make sure you are consistent in enforcing them. Boundaries are essential because they set the tone for how other people treat you.

Boundaries that you set for yourself are important because, by holding yourself accountable and enforcing them, you are taking your peace back and you are telling others that you do not like what they are doing to you and that you will not accept that anymore. Personal boundaries that you set for yourself can be about your health and what you are eating or whether you are exercising. It can be about not spending too much money, you can set a budget and stick to it, you can say no to being busy ALL the time and practicing good self-care, and it can help you to stay within the boundaries that you have set for yourself.

Most people learn about boundaries by watching those around them or someone taught them about setting boundaries. I had none. I was always just doing whatever people wanted. I was always hiding from the world because it seemed like I was just someone to control, abuse or manipulate, and that was like the living dead. I had no joy, no dreams, and no goals. I figured that I was going to die young anyway…all I had to do was wait.

Luckily, for me, I had a few precious people in my life. My mother was my everything. I never doubted her love for me, she worked really hard as a single mom with four kids and I was the one who stressed her the most because of all my health issues. She never made me feel like a burden. Never. She was the one who taught me to stand up and speak my mind. To use my voice. So as I got older, I started to set a few boundaries but I was not consistent and would end up right back where I was. That went on for years..right up until two years ago.

It’s important to establish boundaries with other people, right from the start, so that they know exactly what you will and will not accept in their behavior. For example, a friend or neighbor needs your help with something and you tell them that you already have plans to study for a really important test and they keep calling and texting over and over again and they ARE NOT respecting your boundaries. They are trying to bother you so much that you’ll give in, like you used to. This time, though, you aren’t backing down and it’s causing friction and animosity between the two of you.

When someone constantly crosses your boundaries, they need to know that there are consequences and you WILL enforce them. You don’t have to get angry and yell or be threatening to them, you just have to calmly tell them that if they don’t respect your wishes, then they’ll have to leave or if it’s a chronic problem for them, then you may have to walk away. You need to have a plan of action for when these things happen and it’s imperative that you are consistent and stand your ground.

Boundaries can be physical or emotional and can range from having not enough boundaries or having so many that life is super complicated. Having a healthy set of boundaries are somewhere in between those two. Healthy boudaries are those that we set upon ourselves to ensure that our mental and emotional health are where we need them to be.. and that is steady and stable.

When our boundaries are stable and healthy, we are able to stand our ground with people who try to cross that line. We are able to show ohers that this is who we are and what we will accept from them as far as behavior goes. It’s also a confidence builder in that we feel better when our wishes are respected and we are treated the way that we ask for. We all deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. If there are people in your life tht repeatedly cross those lines and refuse to show you the respect that you ask for, then it might be time to walk away from that situation.

I always give people a warning before I cut them off completely and that is giving them way more than they gave me, but I am a nurturer and a peacekeeper and this is the first time in my life that I’ve really set and enforced my boundaries and that is GOLD to me! I have learned to love and respect myself enough to stop letting people bully me or guilt trip me into letting them walk all over me. It is not wrong to put your peace and your life first. We must love ouselves enough to do that and to live our lives in a way that we are growing and evolving into who and what we want to be and who and what we will accept into that life of peace and growth.

Never give up your peace for another person who has no respect for you or your boundaries. Stick to your guns and stand tall. You are worthy of that respect and you deserve that peace. You deserve to have all the good things in life! Until next time, stay peaceful and strong!

~always, J.

How I came to be Fearlesly Authentic~

When I first started on this journey into personal growth, I had no idea that my life would change so much. I just knew that I had to make a change or I was going to literally drown in my misery.

It all began when I started looking into personal growth. The more I read, the more I wanted to change my life. I didn’t want to lurk through life, staying in my safety zone. I wanted to burst out of my own skin and become the person I wanted to be.

The only problem with that is that I was afraid of what people would say about me. Hardly anyone knew my history and no one knew everything because it was just too hard to deal with. I had so many bad memories of people who had bullied me, hurt me in some way, and all the people who just pretended to love me until they didn’t need me anymore. I just kept everything to myself and pretended to be the happy go lucky girl that everyone knew me to be, but that was exhausting and after doing that for so long, it was just too much. Kind of like a slow leak in your tires. It’s slowly going down and then it blows out on the highway? You ever feel like that? I have and it’s pure misery.

It took me a long time and a lot of working my way up to it, but I made the decision, with some help of really good people encouraging me, I was going to tell my story and hopefully, I can help others who were in the same predicament. Telling my story was the scariest, most nerve-wracking, thing I’ve ever done and it was nothing like I thought it would be…it was better and because of such great, loving, positive people backing me up..my whole world changed for the better.

My life has completely changed. I don’t even see things the same way. I don’t feel the same way. I feel free and happy and It was the best thing I ever did.

Now, my words and my actions are aligned together and I have nothing but complete, genuine, honesty, and openness in everything I do. I feel like a brand new person and I’ve had such a fantastic response from everyone that it makes me feel like I can do anything.

When your thinking, your words, and your actions are all aligned, it makes life so much better and easier. I’m not saying it’s easy to deal with your fears and insecurities, I’m saying that you just need to make the decision to let go of those things and live a life that makes you feel fulfilled. Just decide and then go from there. I know that just making a decision to do this is not easy..I’ve been keeping my secrets for 52 years…it took many years of living with that and going through all that I have, to get to here. What I am saying is, don’t wait too long, don’t keep living that way, you are meant for so much more and once you release the crap..your life will change and be so much better and you’ll wonder why you waited so long!

I want everyone in the world who is afraid to show themselves to feel the way I do. There’s nothing more freeing than unloading all of your baggage, for anyone to see, and walking away from it feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted from your shoulders. That weight that you carry around with you affects everything you do..everything you speak, and everything you feel. Wouldn’t you love to have all those negative things turn into positive, happy things?

Life is meant to be lived with grace and love and that is my hope for everything I am doing. To be able to help as many people as I can and be Fearlessly Authentic in every way possible and to make it safe for them to do that too.

Go out and show the world who you are. There will be naysayers, but there will also be a tribe of warriors there for you, cheering you on. The world needs more of you.

How starting a morning routine changed my whole day!

I’m am not a morning person. I never have been. It seems like I drag around all day and the minute it gets dark, I wake up and I’m full of energy. That’s when I am most creative and it’s also quiet and I have no distractions.

When I started in this journey, everyone kept saying that I needed a morning routine. I thought I already had one. I’m a pretty routine kinda girl and I do so much better when I have a routine. But.. apparently, I needed more of a routine, one that would set the mood of the day. So, I started watching and reading about it and I told myself that I would do this and see what happens. I have to admit, this morning routine has been great! Here’s how it goes for me!

I get up everyday at the same time.

I’m not out in the workforce right now, but I still get up between 6-7 am everyday. The reason for this is to build a habit. When we do things repeatedly, they become habits and before we know it, we don’t even have to think about it and we’re doing it. It also gives you a good start on my daily timeline of getting all the things done that I need for the day.

The first thing I do upon waking.

I always make my bed after waking. It just makes sense to me because when you make your bed, it feels like the room is a bit neater and you’ve accomplished something, though it’s a small gesture, it feels big. Now.. there are days that I don’t make it right away and that’s ok. When you are chronically ill and have pain every moment of every day, sometimes you just don’t have the “want to” to make it. We are not perfect human beings and we all have our moments. I do get it done though at least 5 out of 7 days a week.. those other two days are left out on my high pain days.

I take a cold shower every morning.

Crazy, I know! But.. that shower, as shocking as it is, wakes me up fast, and according to the Wim Hoff method..Increased circulation is one of the top reasons he recommends cold showers, is because as cold water hits your body and external limbs, it constricts circulation on the surface of your body. This causes blood in your deeper tissues to circulate at faster rates to maintain ideal body temperature. Sounds great huh? It takes a bit of getting used to but it’s been a great addition to my morning routine.

Breakfast comes next.

Because I have to take some of my meds on an empty stomach, I usually have a large glass of water until enough time has passed in order to eat. I usually have coffee in the porch with my husband while I work on my to do list for the day. I try to eat healthy for breakfast, but I am a terrible creature of habit and eggs are my go to for breakfast. I’ll eat oatmeal or yogurt with fruit at times, but I love my eggs and they are good for my thyroid eye disease too. I’m still working on the healthy breakfast. Maybe a post about that in the future!

My Gratitude Journal

Everyday, I write at least three things in my gratitude journal. I’ve been journaling since my early teens and it helped me so much to be able to get everything out of my head and it taught me a lot about writing too.

I have several journals that I write in..the first is always my gratitude journal, the seconed one is my idea journal, and the third one is for those days that creep up on me and all those feelings of not being good enough or self-doubt just come rushing in because I’ve had a moment or two of doubting myself or someone has said something or done something to bring up all the old junk.

When I write in my journal, first thing in the morning, it helps to set the tone for my day. It makes me think of what I’m grateful for all day and when you think that way all day, it becomes habit and you are even more grateful for all that you have.

Meditation

Meditation is something I’ve began doing just in the last year and I have to say, even though I was skeptical at first, it has proven to be a huge help to my mental health and well being. I do this as my last morning ritual because it relaxes me and helps to set the tone for my day. I get to a quiet place and I get comfortable. It’s best to use headphones, so that you can hear only whatever music you are listening to. I then clear my mind, as much as I can, and I just listen to the soothing music ( I listen to classical music or some yoga or binural beats from youtube) and I just let all the stress and busy thinking go and allow myself to just be. I do this for about 15-20m minutes and then I’m ready to dive into work!

I hope this has helped you in some way. It really is one of the best things I’ve done in a long time and it helps me so much to just let go of the junk and start my day with peace and a clear mind. Until next time..

Always, J~

Being Bullied Changed Who I Was!

Hey you guys! I really wanted to just write a quick post about bullying. This is Bullying Prevention Month and I really want to try to make everyone aware of it and if you know about this already, then just a reminder.

Our children, especially, are at risk of being bullied at school and we have to do everything in our power to keep them safe from bullies and to also educate them on bullying.

It’s harder on the kids because they aren’t emotionally prepared for this, heck..I don’t know anyone, any age, that is prepared for this, but we need to make sure that they know that it’s safe to tell an adult about being bullied and to be aware of the bully at all times, in other words, help them to know that if they see their bully, turn around and go the other way or have someone with them at times they may see this person.

For anyone who is being bullied, don’t hide or be embarrassed about it. You haven’t done anything wrong and this won’t stop until you take action and tell someone who has some authority. If THAT person won’t help, then go to another one and keep going until someone helps you.

I was bullied in school because I was different and the kids that did it thought it was so funny to embarrass and humiliate me everyday. When I was 8 years old, I had a stroke and missed most of the school year, and they wanted me to just start fresh on the next year, but I wanted to go back so bad. Imagine being traumatized from all the doctors, hospitals, tests, therapy, and not being able to run and play like you used to, and you go back to school, so proud and so excited and the first thing they do is call you names and laugh and point at you???

I.WAS.DEVASTATED. I was quiet anyway, but there were a few kids who would play with me. After my stroke..NO ONE would even look at me unless they were laughing at me. I think that was when I broke. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t cry. I didn’t even tell anyone because at that time, we were still living with my alcoholic dad, so no..I just went home and pretended everything was fine because my mom had been through enough and I didn’t want to add more to it.

I have children of my own now and thank goodness for that! They kept me grounded and have brought me more joy than anything ever has. I taught them about bullies and also about kindness. Luckily, they chose kindness and even went so far as to stand up for their friends at times and I thank God everyday for that.

I know that alot of people these days are hesitent to get involved in a situation like this but that is exactly what we need to do, as long as it is not a dangerous situation. If you see this going on and can’t get involved, at least call someone who can help. Our children are the future of this planet and we need to make sure that they are safe and also educated on the destruction that can happen when bullied. I am passionate about stopping bullies from doing what they do and I am also passionate about teaching tolerance, kindness, and empathy, to our children and the first thing that we, as parents, can do, is set an example.

I am now happy and thriving in a way that I never have. I have changed my mindset and am healing my heart and soul for good. I’ll never go back to that pit again and I am forever grateful for the people in my life that have made it possible for me to even get up everyday and live the life that I’ve dreamed of living for so long.

Being bullied made me withdraw from having new friends, it made me want to disappear. It made me insecure and distrustful of everyone, it made me not know how to accept compliments, and it made me think that I was not good enough to love because I was flawed.

I carried that with me my whole life. Oh sure, I looked like I had confidence, but inside, I always felt like I was just not enough. Having feelings like that made me a people pleaser and although I do love helping everyone I meet, I went above and beyond to make people happy and in the process, I lost myself.

It wasn’t until last year that I decided that I had enough of that and I started the slow, painful process of really looking inward and deciding that I WAS good enough and that I didn’t want to be that way anymore. I am a work in progress, but oh what progress I’ve made! My love of helping people is still there, but it’s done out of love for myself and for those that I help. That is my wish for everyone..to love yourself completely and to never have to deal with someone bullying you.

Bullying is about control and when you stand up to them and make it known that you will not allow them to destroy you, you take that control away from them. I hope this helps in some way and that you never have to go through what I did.

How a Gratitude Journal can change your life!

Have you ever tried journaling? Did you like it? I’ve been doing it since I was about 10, I guess. I have always loved writing and reading too. It gives you an outlet to get all of your feelings down on paper or even if you’re just keeping notes or little tidbits about your favorite person or favorite things that you love so much.

I still journal to this day, but I never thought about deliberately writing things down that I’m grateful for. Sure, I wrote down things that I was grateful for but in a way that it was incorporated into whatever subject I was writing about.

After I got a little older and started having the anxiety and depression, everyone started telling me that I was negative and grumpy and that my attitude was bad. I mostly just ignored them and kept on doing my thing.

I had a teacher in high school that was the most wonderful human being I had ever met. She knew most of my history with my health and the other family issues that I had going on and she would talk to me every day about how I could be anything I wanted and that I was smart and shouldn’t let outside influences affect me negatively.

She told me to start writing down everything I am grateful for every night when I went to bed. She said that I should do this for a month and then tell her what I thought at the end of the month. I told her I would and started the next day.

At the end of the month, I was really suprised at how much better I felt. I wasn’t grumpy and depressed, I was happy and humming all the time. That’s how I knew something had changed…I always hummed when I was happy.

I kept doing that and still do it today. That was my saving Grace. Now I want to tell everyone all about it. I want them to be able to feel that calm and contented feeling.

How does this work?

A gratitude journal is just for you and you only, unless you want to share it. It doesn’t have to have long, drawn out paragraph in it, unless you have a lot to say, it doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be about anything except your thoughts and feelings.

When should I do this?

You can write in your journal anytime you want. If it’s easiest in the mornings, do it then as a part of your morning routine. If before bedtime is good, then find a quiet spot that you know you won’t have any distractions, settle in with your journal, and write until your heart is content. It can be long and reflective or it can be just a few lines.

When you are ready to do this, go and buy you a journal that you just love everything about it. Get some good pens and markers and even stickers, if you like being creative.

Set your intentions for writing in your journal everyday and hold yourself accountable. If you do this, you’ll be more likely to follow through.

Why Gratitude journals are good for you.

This is a crazy time that we are living in and sometimes, we forget about all the good because we are focused on all of the scary or negative things going on around us.

By journaling your gratitude everyday, it brings positivity into your mind everyday. Being grateful and writing that down everyday has been shown to make you feel happier, reduce anxiety, and helps relieve depression.

I hope this has helped you better understand gratitude journaling and I hope it brings you the same joy that it has brought me for so many years.

“You are the most valuable investment you’ll ever make”

Fear is an Illusion

We’ve all dealt with fear at some point in our lives and that’s a normal reaction to something scary happening in our lives, but irrational fears are liars. Sometimes we think about things so much, that we turn them into huge problems that we just can’t deal with.

Fear paralyzes us when we let it. I spent most of my life being afraid of everything. Some of those things I should have been afraid of, but some of those things were just all blown up in my head and once you get fear of everything in your head, it’s hard to get it out.

Acceptance is important

The first thing to do when fear has taken over your life is to simply accept it. You can’t ignore it because it will just grow and grow and eventually, it will turn into anger and hatred for whatever you are fearing or even towards yourself. Once you accept it, you’ll feel that sigh of relief because you now realize what it is you are feeling and you’re being honest with yourself.

Fear will limit us in what we want to do.

The fears that we do not deal with will limit us in everything we do. They will grow and grow until you are paralyzed and stuck in a very emotional situation. Don’t let fear keep you in the dark. Confront that fear and let it go.

Don’t be a victim to fear!

Don’t let fear turn you into a victim. You are not a victim, you are the victor!! By learning how to change the way you see the thing that you fear, you can control how you see fear. Once you can control it, you’ll be able to see that, most of the time, it’s just an overblown idea in your head.

Change how you see fear!

You can transform your thoughts into one of confidence and fearlessness by changing your mindset and saying positive affirmations. The way we speak about things and to ourselves has a huge impact on how we think and feel.

Challenge yourself to step out into fear!

Challenge youself to step out of that fear and to step up to that fear. Most of the time that I was afraid of something, I would just push through it, say my affirmations, and talk to myself about how I CAN do this and when I did..it was not scary at all. It was my brain telling me I was afraid. You’ll feel more confident and proud of yourself and your self-esteem will soar!

Practice mindfulness!

Practice mindfulness. I like to get in a comfortable place that is quiet and with no distractions and I take slow, deep, breaths, and I clear my mind of all negativity. I then replace those thoughts with positive affirmations. This has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and improves attention and memory.

We were meant to live a life of peace, love, and abundance and if you stay scared , you’ll never be able to have the life that you dream about. Start taking care of yourself, be mindful of your thoughts, step out of that comfort zone and see that you can face your fears with confidence.

Step out of the illusion of fear. Fear will lie to you and it will paralyze you until there is nothing left.

Here are just a few of my favorite affirmations:

  1. I breathe in confidence and I exhale fear.
  2. I am shifting my focus from the things I fear to everything I am grateful for.
  3. Fear is only a feeling, it cannot hold me back.
  4. I am brave, fearless, bold, and strong.
  5. Fear is a liar.
  6. Fear is temporary, Regret is forever.
  7. I am stronger than my fears.

I hope this has helped you and if you need more support, please feel free to reach out to me if you don’t have someone to turn to.

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