Encourage Yourself.

Wow… when life gets tough, where do YOU turn? Encourage is my word I chose to follow for April of 2022. ( It’s been a long April for me, and it’s only half way there.)

It’s been a tough one , this month, with the war in Ukraine, seeing all its devastation, and the people having to leave their country, I cannot imagine what that’s like – leaving all you have ever known, and having to uproot and move from your family to thrive again. As a contemplator by nature, I have found some of the news from this Ukraine war to be very moving, and at times I struggle trying to understand why someone could be so hard hearted towards a people who have done no wrong. On top of this, and a few other personal concerns during the month of April, have caused me to think about my family, my personhood, and my friendships in such a way that I have not considered before. I have been trying my best to be mindful.

What I keep coming back to, again and again is how mindfulness centers me, when situations in life are chaotic. I am a therapist, by profession, a mental health therapist – who has taken a long break from professional therapy, very intentionally – to do some healing myself. It has been the best decision for me, I am finding. I learned a lot about mindfulness, and I don’t think I have shared very much on this blog, about it. That may change significantly.

I have a very peaceful way of finding sleep, when I am a bit restless at night. I usually begin to imagine myself as a pebble, and I am skipping across a pond. Once I hit the water, (as a pebble), I imagine myself falling… and as I am falling , the waters surrounding me are multi-colored and beautiful , glistening and I just fall, until I find sleep. I am very present to what is happening around me as I fall – the colors, the sounds, and the ambiance. I may have to throw the pebble three or four times, but most often the first time, is the charm…and I am asleep. Just like that. It amazes me every single time how quickly I find sleep. I suggest you try it, if you have the same trouble, sometimes.

Mindfulness is how I stay encouraged, and to be honest, it can be quite the task. It takes time to cultivate, and develop the routine of it. So …I am recommending a really good book that’s helped me this month to stay focused. It’s called The Light Maker’s Manifesto – by Karen Walrond. Karen gives several interviews on the book of people who are activists in their own right – who just have a cause they live for, and they discuss a myriad of ways they remain faithful to their call and use mindful listening even, to stay present to the call. I LOVE THIS. In fact, I love everything about this book. Karen is someone I have been following on her blog ( http://www.chookooloonks.com ) for several years, and I have sincerely gleaned a lot about life, photography and living – for quite a few years.

The Lightmaker’s Manifesto – By Karen Walrond

In one section she speaks of how to maintain rhythm and how to take care of yourself in such a way that you thrive. And since “Rhythm” was my word last month, and I didn’t write about it, I thought I would share.

Essentially, she says five factors exist:

  1. Cultivation of spirituality by leading a meaningful lifestyle. (And yes, that’s why I write this blog – to assist everyone that reads , in noticing what’s meaningful in life and sticking to your purpose within.)
  2. Taking care of yourself physically, and tapping into the connection between your mind and body so important. Tapping into the realization & connection between why my body was not aligned with my physicality over this past year – has been so enlightening and freeing for me. ( Mind you – I couldn’t do this alone- it took a bit of counseling to determine what I had to awaken to and acknowledge , in my own soul. )
  3. Intentional intellectual stimulation. ( I love this because one of my “strengthfinders” characteristics is “intellectualization”. Sometimes perspective can be so freeing. It’s how we evolve. Grow. I love sharing with others and working on adjusting my mindset and gleaning from others’ mindsets.
  4. Nurturing meaningful and constructive relationships within, and with others. I love that she says ‘within’ – so important to love yourself fully before you can love others.
  5. And lastly, not being afraid of our emotions. Not denying or suppressing them. It s so interesting how being present in this day and age with so many distractions surrounding us, is what saves us.

So, I am quite thankful for this book, ( & finding resolve through it) after a long bout with Covid, wrestling with myself and my needs as a person in a midlife situation, being in counseling – taking a break from work, being a wife and a spiritual mother to many – and caretaker of my parents. It brought a lot into focus.

Stay encouraged,

Jenn

Identity Blockers

From my 2017 Retreat: “Diamonds”

I already know… one of my lifetime goals is to help women pursue purpose through deciding to love themselves, lead and leverage the playing ground by how they navigate the world before them. To live authentically, and experience Carpe’ diem! (Seize the day!)- via self expression, finding their voices and creating their own self-laws. Let me tell you… we cannot do this ideally with our identity suffering. There are many identity blockers that challenge us to think, behave and believe differently, every day of our lives. If we believe the things our minds tell us sometimes, then we will truly fail. And just because we have heard it a lot, doesn’t mean it’s actually true. In my dream, I desire to challenge women to be more of their ideal selves than who they really imagined themselves to be. I realized after working with so many women overtime – either through therapy, through small groups I’ve created for writing groups, book clubs, or mentoring groups that we all essentially desire to get to know ourselves, better when we are in the company of other women.

And better is good… because it helps us to stop and drive forward for our best selves. Just take time to notice and meditate on how you allow any of the identity blockers (above) to alter your course, in life. If you notice a few, ask yourself whats one way I can notice someone with the exact opposite ( of that identity blocker ) and ask them to share their story , or mentor me in some way, So I can learn that skill, too? I was just sharing with my mentoring group how I struggled a bit trying to determine what was right for me; as I began to wield my “two edged -one word. I chuckle within myself, because My ‘one word’ for 2020, has become a focus of intentional regard and expression as I reach for this new identity !

I am finding the more I, seek for meaning with my word, the more I get invigorated to say more. And then I smile, because ‘asking, seeking and knocking’ are all concepts to help us grow and evolve. They are all principles that help us to manifest and develop into our best selves.

Are you truly asking, seeking and knocking for opportunity? Because the promises attached to this saying says : If you “ask it shall be given unto you, seek you and you shall find, and knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. (Matt 7:7)

ASK: “to challenge , to inquire to be on the hunt for…

SEEK: this one means to answer, pursue, and track down.

KNOCK: Did you know to knock means to ask again? It also means to seek. ( haha!) Isn’t that interesting.. we are asked to ask and then ask again… and seek some more… (Never stop asking or seeking!) There’s EXTREME benefit in it. Pretty deep huh?

Manifesting you’re dreams is good, I suppose . Just be mindful to not always set out with an intention to show off your gifts. Begin with purpose, ride the wave… and then you will end up surfing into another plan, another opportunity and another way to manage your gifts with lots of supporters around you; asking : How can we be a part of this thriving community!?