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Produce the Positive

There are good things all around us. We just have to train our minds to produce the positive!

Do you consider yourself a negative person in your day to day thinking? Positive thoughts can literally transform your world. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re someone who ignores or is blind to what is currently going on – rather, you acknowledge reality, process it and choose to move forward in a healthy and productive way! It takes practice, but it then becomes a lifestyle.

You weren’t created to be miserable and unhappy. You owe yourself the chance to see what this life has to offer through a positive lens! But, it starts with YOU… You got this!

-Jen

Breathe

 

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Compass Questions: WHAT do you want to do? WHY do you want to do it?

What and WhyOur life easily becomes robotic. For example, you may have a standard morning routine: Wake up, brush your teeth, hop in the shower, get ready for the day, make a cup of coffee (perhaps you put it in a to-go cup) and you’re off to work. And, I’m sure you folks who work afternoon or night shifts have your own routine, as well as stay-at-home parents…or as close to a “routine” as you can find with your children! 🙂

Morning routines are one thing – but, all too often, we allow ourselves to shift into auto pilot after that morning routine and we find ourselves living a life that we’re not completely aware of or in control of. We allow that routine – those actions – to gain control over us instead of us being in control of our actions.

Many times, when someone is lacking a sense of purpose, feeling empty or like there is a void in their life, it’s because they’ve stopped asking themselves two questions: “What do I want to do?” and “Why do I want to do it?”

We can ask ourselves these two questions with even the simplest of tasks in life or we can use those two questions for the larger commitments we have in life – the things that are occupying a great amount of our time and energy.

I, myself, find that “What do I want…” and “Why do I want…” serve as great compass questions to help me navigate through life. When I know my what and why, I feel purpose. I feel passion. I feel satisfied and confident.

Now, in many instances, we’re already committed to something – we already have a career or a family, etc… If that’s the case, maybe you can use these two questions in another form or as a sort of “pulse check.” You have a secure job, but still feel unfulfilled. Time for a pulse check – What do you want to do? Why do you want to do it? Perhaps you have a family. You realize you consistently put your children’s and husband’s happiness and desires over your own. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a very admirable and selfless thing; however, YOU absolutely matter – and in the long run, if you’re not healthy and happy, it will trickle into your family. You are a priority, too!

I realize the above examples very much ‘skim the surface’ and that life and each of our own personal journeys are way more complicated than that. But, I hope that gave you an idea or at least a starting point as to how you can begin to regain control and hop back into the pilot seat!

Remember: Our thoughts develop into actions. Our actions develop our reality. Our reality develops our sense of happiness and fulfillment.

What do you want to do? Why do you want to do it?

-Jen

 

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Talk to Strangers.

talkTake the time to talk with strangers! Take a step back from the craziness and busyness of every day life. There are so many moments to take in.

I walked into the Chiropractor’s office this weekend and there was an elderly man in the waiting room and a younger girl sitting there on her phone. I sat down, finished a text message and then picked up a magazine to read. After I leafed through the magazine, I laughed a little and said out loud, “Well I guess this magazine is a little old because I’m reading about making Christmas cookies.” The elderly man chuckled as I put the magazine back and he said, “Well, I could always read about Christmas cookies.” I laughed, too, and then while sitting back down I noticed his hat and embroidered on the side was the Bible verse “Isaiah 40:10.” The front of his hat said “No Fear Here” with the capital “E” having an American Flag print within it. I told him I liked his hat and the verse on it. Then, asked if he served – and sure enough, he served for 4 years in Vietnam! That one quick remark I made about the Christmas cookies followed by a compliment to his hat led to such an enlightening conversation. He said his heart is so happy to see how those who serve are treated today, because in his day, when he got home from serving, by the time they made it off the airplane to the airport lobby they were soaked with spit from protestors. He said that experience traumatized him more than what he experienced all 4 years serving. Wow. I then learned how he met his wife – when they were 13 years old! How he grew up in a group home and how he overcame 5 months in the hospital battling heart conditions in 2015. He also shared that Friday night he got a call from his granddaughter who lives in Oklahoma letting them know they were going to be great grandparents! You should have seen the joy in his face.

Let’s just say that was one of the most empowering ways to start the day.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 40:10

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When I Grow Up…

peer-pressure

When I was younger, I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t wait to get older so I won’t have to deal with peer pressure.”

Entering high school, like most kids, I encountered a lot of peer pressure. Prior to high school, your parents can do a fairly decent job at filtering what you’re exposed to; however, during the teenage years it becomes a bit more difficult. You cannot fully prepare your kids for all the different situations or people they may encounter. Sure, there are the more apparent conversations that happen such as “the birds and the bees” and “don’t do drugs,” but then there are the unpredictable circumstances where the only thing a parent can do is instill good values and morals in their children and hope that their children use those values and morals as armor during the battles they face.

I am not necessarily writing this post to share about peer pressures you face in high school. Rather, I want to stay focused on my opening thought: “I can’t wait to get older so I won’t have to deal with peer pressure.” This thought stemmed from the naive assumption that it gets easier to stand firm in your values and morals when you get older – the notion that adults don’t make fun of each other and that just because you’re an adult, all other adults will respect your beliefs and accept you for who you are.

I can’t fault my younger self for thinking this way, but now that I’ve reached the ‘older’ point in life that my younger self dreamed of, I have to chuckle. Let’s be honest, it is hard – if not harder – to stand firm in your values and morals in the “adult world.” The pressure to drink, do drugs, gossip, cheat, lie, etc…still surround you. That uncomfortable feeling still overcomes you when you try to avoid these things.

Peer pressure will never go away – no matter your age. Why? Because we will ALWAYS have peers – no matter your age.  Definition ofPeer” :: One that is of equal standing with another…One belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status.

So, I will leave you with this. I have 3 things that serve as my “armor” when I go to battle with peer pressure. I do have to give a shout-out to my amazing mom and dad, because these are 3 things they instilled in us since we were little. Parents – do not underestimate the power of your words and actions. It may takes months or years, but your kids do notice…and remember…and apply.

To suit up for a battle with peer pressure, I put on my: 

  1. Knowledge. I’ve found that dealing with peer pressure is A LOT easier when I know who I am. As you “grow up” you naturally learn more about who you are and the person you want to be. When you are unsure of who you are, you are easily swayed and ultimately never find your way because you are more than likely living your life according to others’ perspectives, values and morals rather than your own.
  2. Confidence. It’s OK to be afraid – fear is a natural reaction for us all. But, confidence in your values and morals is what helps you overcome the fear of being judged by others. When you are confident in a choice you’re making and, most importantly, the reasoning behind that choice, facing peer pressure is that much easier!
  3. Faith. I listed this last, but it is certainly not least. As a matter of fact, this is what ties everything together. Without my faith, I would be completely and utterly lost – my values and morals would consistently be changing and I would not be the person I am today. When facing peer pressure, my faith is what protects my heart. I know and am confident that I was made in His image…my Savior…my God…my Creator. He sees me as perfect, so there is no way mankind can make me feel less than what I know I am. God accepts my values and morals because they are His own! Boom.

I truly hope that sharing the ways I deal with peer pressure – knowing who I am, building upon my confidence, and strengthening my faith – have helped to encourage and inspire who needs it. Peer pressure exists everywhere in this world: in schools, the workplace, at home, even in public places where we encounter strangers day in and day out. You never know who you’re impacting when you choose to say “no” to peer pressure – when you choose to do right by your values and morals. You can be the spark that creates a fire of positive change in this world.

Keep pressing on!

-Jen