Are you buying into beliefs that serve you?


I’m so sorry for your loss.  Everything happens the way it’s meant to.  These, among others, are a couple of comments we have all heard along the way from well intended family and friends after we have experienced a loss.  Although we know it is well intended, these words don’t feel right coming in or going out.  Nothing can match the grief that we feel with any great loss or huge change in life.

So, if there are really no words to say at these difficult times in life, what are we to do?  I have been contemplating this question a lot lately.  How can we be there for our friends, family and ourselves more deeply and effectively?

This has made me think about how conditioned our culture is to believe we should all be happy 100% of the time.  I think it’s because of this underlying societal belief that we are so quick to want to get out of our own pain and rush our friends and family out of their own discomfort.

So, we offer words that come from a place of discomfort not wanting to see the person suffer and struggle.  As individuals, we reach for numbing agents to get rid of the discomfort.  These include but are not limited to:  over doing anything,  including keeping ourselves too busy, alcohol, eating, Netflix and social media.  In an attempt to get rid of the pain and discomfort, we drown ourselves temporarily with these artificial pleasures.  The issue comes when these buried feelings come up again and we keep numbing them out instead of feeling them.  Because we are all so convinced we should be happy and comfortable all of the time, we don’t allow the lower emotions that make up the entire human experience.  The result of this is that we get into serious debt, become overweight and unhealthy, become detached from our relationships, alcoholicism and the list goes on.

I have experienced this on a personal level a lot throughout my life.  I have been sold on this concept that we are supposed to be happy all of the time.  And because of this, I have been unable to be with friends who were really struggling, without trying to fix them or make them happy, leading to a shallower, less fulfilling relationship.  I have also numbed myself with being overly busy, social media. chasing the illusive perfect physique and overindulging in sugar along the way and this has taken me away from who I truly want to be and what I want to stand for.

What if I were to look at my life as a journey that is supposed to be part happy and part crappy and I accepted both fully?  Striving for joy and happiness in our lives is important and something we should all do, but at the same time it’s equally important to realize and accept that there will be moments of discomfort that require our ability to process the lower emotions.  If I fully acknowledge this ahead of time I will be better equipped to handle them when they arrive.  I wouldn’t have to self medicate when anger or sadness came to visit, because I would be expecting them to come along at some point, embracing the full spectrum of human emotions.

This is something I have been working on a lot for the past year or so.  I have realized I don’t want to be happy all of the time.  When I see suffering, I want to choose to be sad.  When my friends parent passes away, I want to hold the space for them and their grief.  I don’t want to rush myself or anyone out of these emotions, I want to allow them fully.

Embracing the idea that I am supposed to be happy all of the time has had way too many negative consequences in my life and I refuse to keep buying into this notion.  I want to have the full human experience.   I want to feel every emotion to the fullest as they come up in my life, allowing for the amazing high emotions and the uncomfortable lower ones.

What has been the effect of buying into this belief in your life?  You get to choose what you believe, my friends.  Make sure it supports your best version.


42 and Botox


I can’t tell you how many times over the past 5 to 7 years I have thought of getting, researched and asked opinions of people on their view of Botox.  There have been many times I have thought how nice it would be to look a little less aged and look like I did back when I was  30.  I have many friends who use the product and who LOVE it.

As I was reflecting most recently on turning 42 and aging, still contemplating getting BOTOX to smooth out the lines that have become part of the most recent “me,”  I thought about how much all of these lines tell the story of contrast in my life up to this point.  So, I thought it would be fitting to document my lines and flaws, in case I do in the future get Botox or any other cosmetic surgery.

The reasons why I have the lines I have up until my 42nd year are an effect of all of the joy and pain I’ve experienced throughout the years.   The horizontal lines on my forehead represent worry that I have experienced.  Worrying about my future, about the people I care about so much and if I am living my life in a way that will bring me pride when I look back many years from now,  if I am blessed to make it to a much older age.  I have smile lines, which represent all of the joy I have experienced thus far, most notably the addition of my two sons, and the times I’ve spent with friends and family being silly and laughing a whole lot.  I have some dark circles and puffiness due to the many sleepless nights, from the blessings my husband and I named Kai Patrick and Niko Elijah.  I have more lines than I would have if I’d lived in a lower altitude environment, due to more sun exposure although I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed the 300+ days of sunshine that Colorado has had to offer me the past 18 years.  Another cause of my forehead lines are from losing my best friend at 36 and my step dad at 58.  I don’t believe I have cried that much in my entire life but I wouldn’t want to ever go back and skip grieving for those precious lives if I  had to do it over again.

You see, without the pain, I wouldn’t know joy .  Without the loss, I wouldn’t appreciate what I have so much.  I firmly believe in the quote, “aging is a privilege denied to many.”  Do I want to try to hide the stories of my life that have accumulated on my face and body?  Or, do I want to wear them as a badge of honor of the precious time I have been given to experience the beautiful, joyful and painful moments that have made up this life?

Honestly, I have no idea if I will ever end up getting botox or any type of cosmetic surgery.  The bottom line is that I don’t think there is a right or a wrong decision in getting either one for that matter.

I do know that I am so thankful and blessed for my life.  For the lines I’ve been privileged to accumulate.  EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.  What do the lines and marks on your body reveal about you and your life stories?

Love every moment, friends.

Those aren't gray hairs . They're strands of glitter growing from my head.-2

Fight for Your Future

In the end I am the only one who can give my children a HAPPY MOTHER who loves life. - Janene Wolsey BaadsgaardJust yesterday, I was struggling with some old patterns.  I had started to go down the thought trail of I should be more, have more, be a better mother and after about a day of doing this, I just wanted to escape.  To not feel inadequate, to just feel free again.  I have been in this scenario many times, sometimes I just stay busy in an attempt to escape my brain.  More recently,  I have tried to listen to my thoughts and not engage…to feel the feelings and let it go.  I have never experienced what I did last night.  All of the sudden this little voice inside of me started to say, “stop it.  stop it.  I will not let the mother of my precious babies talk to herself in that way.  This will have a negative impact on the babies and THAT is not acceptable.  ”  Needless to say, it was a game changer for me.  I immediately recognized this old pattern for what it was, a rabbit hole of self sabotage of sorts and I replaced these thoughts with the question, what would the best version of Jen do in this moment, the one who is modeling how to live her best life for her kids and who is in the process of reaching all of her dreams?”

It has taken me quite some time to be able to process my thoughts and emotions in this empowering way.  I don’t succeed at it every time, however the more I work at this practice, the stronger it has become.

You see, there is always two parts of your brain at play.  Your amygdala and your prefrontal cortex.  Your amygdala will always take the safe path, the known path and typically the most comfortable, most well worn path.  This is the survival part of your brain, the part that looks to keep you alive at any cost, that will have you running for your cave when it thinks there may be any type of threat, albeit the most non threatening situation.  It was very useful when we were running from lions, but is usually not useful at all in today’s day in age, as it is always seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.    This part of your brain will keep you stuck in a holding pattern, preventing any forward movement in your life.

On the contrary, the prefrontal cortex is the executive functioning part of the brain, allowing us to resist the urge to go hide in our house forever, or to watch Hulu all day with our favorite junk food. It allows us make decisions ahead of time and set goals with the reasoning to follow through on them.

By knowing that these two parts of my brain are constantly at play, at times feeling a bit like a tug of war, I can decide ahead of time how I want to handle various situations.   My primitive brain (amygdala) will always come up with new potential threats because that is its’ job and I  know I will have an urge to hide, seek comfort and avoid pain at all costs. Without resisting these thoughts and by acknowledging them, I can stick with what I have already planned ahead of time to accomplish my desired outcomes.    In this case, my brain wanted me to forget about evolving and either keep  busy  or indulge in a comfort food so that I didn’t have to feel the emotions coming from the default thoughts.  In this situation and more often than not, it’s the same thought; that I am not good enough.

So, in conclusion, I am so thankful for my prefrontal cortex for coming up with the most recent statement, ” I will not allow the mother of my babies to talk to herself this way…this will have a negative impact on my babies and that is NOT acceptable.”   So all of my moms and dads out there, the next time your default setting comes up and starts to convince you that you are not good enough or how you should just numb out because of these insane thoughts that our primitive brains like to come up with, come up with a new thought.  One that will empower you to be the Mom or Dad you want to be.  Don’t be bullied by the part of your brain that would rather numb out (numbing out is over doing anything; alcohol, screen time including social media, sports, shopping, eating, staying too busy) in an attempt to stay safe.  Decide who you want to be and follow through on it.   Fight for your dreams and your most important asset and our future; your babies.

A Hidden Gem

Exhibit iPhone Blog Graphic-2Wondering why you are not successful or perpetually giving up?  Look no further than “calendaring.”   I’m not sure how many of you have attempted to plan your time, so that you could accomplish more, or create more of what you want in your life.  The majority of people end up like myself in the past,  defaulting to the most common behaviors that suck up most of our time.  These include but are not limited to: saying yes to things that you don’t really want to do, checking your email, procrastinating by binge watching Netflix, multitasking, being a perfectionist, putting out fires, social media and poor planning.

Some of the most successful individuals recommend the tool of calendaring to achieve goals.   We all know how much we would benefit from planning ahead of time, executing on those plans and honoring our words.  Then, why is it so difficult for some of us?

Well, until you figure out what your default settings are, you will keep repeating these patterns.  Let me tell you about my experience with calendaring.  The first time I attempted to do it, I lasted about a week and then decided it wasn’t for me.    I recently picked this tool back up, about 6 six weeks ago, to try out again and have not stopped ever since.  The first few days of calendaring were practically torture.  I felt like I was hustling to beat the clock and telling myself that I would never continue this new focus, because I didn’t have what it took (aka not good enough), nor did I have the time (scarcity mentality).

Once I realized the space I was coming from it stopped me in my tracks.  I was able to course correct at that point.  Knowing that my default setting has always been I’m not good enough and I have never had enough time, money or anything for that matter.  I had uncovered this long before this experience; however,  I truly felt the effects of how it was playing out in my life when I focused on using this new tool.  Once I had this realization I decided to adopt the thoughts; I am capable, I can do amazing things and that I would be a badass and master this invaluable tool.  Coming from this new place of abundance, it allowed me to have “FUN” seeing what I could create once I set my goals, placed them on the calendar and honored my word and followed through.  In the past six weeks, I have accomplished so much and have had so much fun throughout the process.  This is a tool that I will implement for the rest of my life.

So, my challenge to you is to decide on what’s most important to you.  Your top 3 most important things need to be scheduled first; family time, work and your must do’s.  Then figure out a goal you want to focus on, figure out the steps that it will take to achieve that goal and then place them on the calendar.  Now,  get to work , honor your word and follow through .  If you have resistance, looking deeper into the resistance is one of the most valuable lessons you could gain.  Ask yourself, what am I telling myself?  Write that down.  That is your hurdle.  All of the thoughts and ideas that keep coming up telling you it won’t work ARE the way to accomplish it.  THAT is your hidden gem.  It is there to reveal to you what your default setting is.  What are your most common reasons, that stop you in your attempts to reach your goals?

Are you coming from a scarcity mentality that was similar to my default setting?  You can create an abundant mentality that will allow you to have fun working towards your goals and REALLY enjoy your life.  The bottom line is that yes, calendaring is extremely effective in terms of getting what you want done and reaching your goals.  More importantly however,  it’s about the process of showing you that whatever reasons come up that make you want to quit or leave you feeling uninspired, are the same reasons that get in the way of reaching all of your goals.  

As I have said in previous videos, the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.  When you gain this awareness, you truly have the keys to the kingdom, friends.

I DARE you to take this calendaring challenge.  Once you become aware of those default settings that are holding you back,  you have the option to change them!

I’d love to hear about your results.  Let’s THRIVE, friends!

Let IT Go

Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.

I have been in a season of letting go for a while now.  It seems appropriate that it has ramped up more recently, right in the middle of the fall season.  The leaves are doing the very same thing and in a very short amount of time we will be beginning a new year.    Nothing feels better than starting fresh and being lighter than ever before.

Although I have been on a path of minimalism for the past year at the very least, the desire for this simplistic way of living continues to feel SO liberating, refreshing and fitting for where I am at in my life.

I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts (check it out ASAP, she is the best of the best), The Life Coaching School with Brooke Castillo, episode # 184, titled “Organize your Mind.”   In the podcast, she mentions the idea of organizing and getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve you, including relationships, material stuff and any beliefs or stories dominating your mind.

I love this approach so much because I want to maximize my time doing the things that matter most for this very short time that I am here.  The more “stuff” I have in my life wether it be material, emotional or anything else that exists that doesn’t support my best self, creates a barrier to me being fully present and well.

If it’s material, I have to take care of it, because as far as I am concerned what takes up physical space in your environment, takes up space in your mind as well.  Cluttered environment = cluttered mind.

Let’s take a look at the relationships that no longer support you to be your best self. Are there relationships that you hold onto because of history or you don’t want to disappoint the other person?  In all reality, if you realize that the relationship is not beneficial and supporting your/their best self, the other person will experience incongruence in your energy vs. how you show up and it will result in inauthenticity.  Consequently, it will be a relationship that feels off and perhaps forced, undermining both of you.

How about any grudges or people you haven’t forgiven?  Many people don’t realize how big of a block this can be to living a fully realized life.  Maybe it’s time you let go of a grudge or an offense…  You after all, are choosing to be stuck in the past, because of a hurt that you are holding onto.  Do you have to resume a relationship with this individual?  Absolutely not.   Do you want your power back, aka keys to your kingdom?  Let go of that grudge, and while you are at it, forgive yourself, let yourself off the hook.

Are there people that you talk to regularly that it’s more out of habit than from a place of desire and intention?  Choose wisely.

How about stories that you claim to be “true” that are holding you or the people around you down?  We forget that we have a say in our thought world, we have a choice in wether or not we accept them or let them go.  Do your thoughts and stories support your dreams and your best self?  Do they support your inner circles’ best?

How about those emotions?  Which ones do you gravitate towards and feel all too often? We also have a say in this matter.  Are you indulging in self defeat, one of my default emotions that I have to be aware of consistently,  or are you intentionally creating positive emotions?

My experience is that the human mind operates out of survival and tends to gravitate toward the lower emotions if not directed otherwise.  Life is too short to let your dreams and best version of yourself be undermined by these lower emotions.

And so, this year I am letting go of many things, not limited to: anything I don’t cherish or use in my house, any relationships that aren’t serving me or the other person to create more good in this world, any habits that distract me from fulfilling my hearts desire,  the need to be perfect and many other thoughts, emotions and beliefs that are holding me back from rising to the very best that I can be.

It’s the perfect time to let go.  So, my friends, what are you choosing to let go?

Is what you are committed to holding you back?


You are committed to exactly how your life looks at this very moment, as am I.  Many of the commitments that are present may be ones that you are completely unaware of, yet they are driving your life and shaping how it looks on a day-to-day basis.  Going unrecognized, these commitments can side swipe your life, dreams, and desires and leave you unfulfilled.


It’ s so important for me to reevaluate frequently to make sure I am on the path that supports my dreams and the life I want.  If I don’t (just like anyone else), before I know it, I’m left feeling unfulfilled, due to an old commitment that has resurfaced.  A couple of my historical commitments that resurface and don’t serve me, are: I don’t have enough time and the grass is always greener.  The “not having enough time” commitment robs me of enjoying my life because I’m always feeling pressure and rushed.  Whatever I focus on expands, so if I’m focused on never having enough time, I will settle for less than what is possible for my life.   It makes me feel like quitting before I start and positions me to be defeated.  The “grass is always greener” commitment is an old one that creeps up and is quite similar to not having enough time.  In thinking that the grass is always greener, I think, I would be happier if I had this, looked like this, lived there instead.  It’s a completely powerless position, one that doesn’t allow me to enjoy the present moment.


The struggle you are facingis a test to seeif you are trulycommitted tothe life you saYyou want


You see, my most important commitment is to live a life dedicated to my faith and spirituality, my family and friends, health and wellness and making a contribution to the world.  However,  my old commitments and my most important ones cannot coexist, it’s either one or the other.


Over the past 17 years of working one-on-one with individuals, as a personal trainer and coach, I have seen some very common commitments emerge.  The following are just a few examples of some that I have seen, ones that have robbed my clients of the best results and their dreams.  These include, but are not limited to: turning goals and commitments into obligations instead of owning the decision to make healthy lifestyle changes, they in turn feel like they have a monkey on their back, as they have 101 obligations. These include, “I should eat healthy, I shouldn’t eat this, I should have exercised.”  This turns commitments into attachment and sucks the inspiration and life out of the goal and dream.  This is the one of the best ways to kill your goals and despise any commitments that were once an exciting possibility in your life.  This is self sabotage at its finest expression.


More common ones are “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired.”  Many of the people who have the “I’m too busy” commitment, myself included at times, are simply letting their lives run them, not operating from what their most important priorities are and are usually stuck in a victim mentality.  “I’m too tired” is another common one that leaves us feeling defeated before we get started.


Are any of these expressions or ways of being familiar to you?  What are the commitments that are holding you back from living the life of your dreams?  Until these undeclared commitments  are exposed they will destroy any chance of you achieving the life of your dreams.  I invite you to expose them and stop giving them oxygen.

Love Every Picture

We were at home the other day when my 4 year old son says, “Mommy, can you take a picture of me?”  So, I snapped a picture with an old digital camera that we had given him a while back.  He proceeded to say, “let me see the picture mommy,” looked at it and said, “It’s so cute, it’s beautiful,” while grinning from ear to ear.


This got me thinking about how many times I’ve heard myself or others say, oh no, that’s a horrible picture, do not post that, or delete it.  I know that so many times these words have come out of my mouth, all in the name of wanting to look better.


I have no doubt that we all start out as my son did, in awe of the picture itself and viewing them as so cute, coming from the most innocent place.  However, somewhere along the line that changes, as we see our role models or people around us criticize themselves about how displeased they are with how they look in or outside of a picture.  Society has influenced our beliefs and convinced many of us that beauty looks a certain way, and if we don’t measure up, we don’t look good and God forbid post a picture on social media or anywhere for others to see.


One particular set of pictures that reminds me of how powerful this stigma has been in my life is a set of pictures that were taken with my best friends, Tarah Long and the late, Jennifer O’Brien Leach, while she was in her last stages of life.  We had some special photos taken of us, that captured some very special moments of us laughing and crying together, photos that we will treasure for years to come.  The moments that we spent together having these pictures taken were priceless and so amazing.  The photographer, Tiffany Noles, captured our friendship so very well.


Much to my surprise however,  when I reviewed these pictures a few days later, all I could think about was how bad I looked in them, not focusing on the incredible moments we spent together.  This moment was pivotal in changing my perspective of pictures that are taken of me.  It made me incredibly sad to think that this had always been my focus up to that point in my life.  Especially since the occasion of these pictures, taken with my friends, was one of the last moments we would all spend together.  Because of this incident, nowadays my gut instinct might be initially critical, but I always go back to one thought: that, no matter what picture it is, it is an amazing one because my heart and other hearts are beating, it’s a representation of my life and the moments I want to treasure with my loved ones.


My challenge to you my friends, is to adopt my son’s perspective when you look at pictures of yourself.  Because EVERY picture that is taken of you in which your heart is beating IS a beautiful one.

Are you focused on what you want or the weeds?

Always remember, your focus determines your reality.George Lucas

I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life when it seems there has been one too many painful things causing hurt to myself or those I love.  Many people claim that these events come in 3’s and I’m not sure if I’d say that, but they seem to come together.  Whether it be a death, an illness, a lost job or world events, it seems as though these things pile up at times, leaving me feeling a bit lower than my usual self and feeling powerless.  This is how it’s felt for me lately.


Although I don’t go through these periods too often, when I do, it’s critical that I have a “pull myself out of the weeds” game plan.  I love the quote by Abraham Hicks that states, “The situation isn’t the reason I feel this way, my focus is the reason I feel this way.”    I like to remind myself of this frequently when I am going through a time like this.


My initial step in my “pulling myself out of the weeds” game plan is addressing the emotion behind what is happening.  I am a firm believer in naming and processing an emotion, I think there is nothing more important for emotional, physical and mental health, than processing an emotion.  Left unprocessed, emotions will drive my actions  and reside in my mind and body, manifesting in an undesired manner at one point or another.  Bottom line, you can’t bury an emotion.


That being said, once I’ve named and processed an emotion, which doesn’t have to take very long, I then decide what it is I want to feel and create instead.  Two of my most desired emotions to embody are love and joy.  So, I shift my focus once I’ve dealt with the lower emotion and start asking myself, what actions can I take to bring more love and joy in my life?  One of my immediate goto’s in creating these two emotions is a practice of gratitude.  Making sure I start my day naming and focusing on at least five things I am most grateful for in my life.  Another one, is looking around me for people who could use a pick me up; a little extra love, an extra hand.  Nothing shifts my focus more than helping others to feel better.  The last thing that is crucial is making sure I am surrounding myself with positive people, positive music, positive messages and positive everything.  To sustain a positive, higher vibration, it’s important to select a support system that promotes a positive focus.  (As discussed in my previous blog: who is getting the best of you?)


I can reflect on so many individuals throughout history that have been in horrible situations and have risen above to create a massive shift in the world, by simply training their mind to focus on what they want to be present and to create in their life.  Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, are just a few that come to mind.


Out of extremely uncomfortable and horrible circumstances, these people rose strong and changed history.  Each one of these individuals were once in their own set of weeds and one decision changed everything for all of us because they decided to focus on what they wanted to create.  How inspiring is that?  If they had focused on the weeds, so many pivotal events and shifts in our world would not have taken place.


So, I leave you with this question, we are all human and can easily fall into our own set of weeds.  What is your “pull yourself out of the weeds game plan?”  There are two paths you can take, to stay focused on the weeds, also known as staying stuck, or get into action and move through the weeds, changing your entire focus and creating some amazing possibilities.  What if you are meant to be the next “history changer” and you are too hung up on your weeds?  We are all one decision away from an entirely different life. Which are you going to choose?When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.Wayne Dyer

Who is getting the best of you?

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.Jim Rohn

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn.  This quote rocked my world a few years back.  I had never examined my life in a way to determine which relationships were serving my best self and my vision.

You see, I come from a place of people pleasing, one which acceptance meant everything.  This also meant that I stayed in relationships that were not the best for either party, all in the name of acceptance.  However, this was an inauthentic way of being in relationship with the people around me, it was out of my own need for acceptance, that I had never given myself.  If a relationship is going to serve me in being my best, and the other person in turn, it’s a win-win.

One of my favorite teachers, Lisa Nichols, talks about having two rooms of people you surround yourself with in life.  One room is filled with people that you can help, teach and help to achieve their goals and the other is one who have far surpassed your own goals, almost out of your league.  The latter room, is the room that will help you reach for uncomfortable goals, one in which your silence is most valuable, because what they say will help you grow immensely.  I love this point she makes, because we can always be contributing to others and growing in this place.

And so, now I regularly assess who I spend my time with.  Asking myself, is this relationship supporting my best self and supporting the other person to be there best?

The fact that we become who we spend the most time with is so pivotal to our lives.  Do they share the same values?  Are they led by their spirit or their wound?  Are they a positive influence on my life?  Are their dreams big?  We all go through tough times, when we aren’t on point, but in general, I want to make sure these individuals align with my vision.  I want to be able to go to any one of them when I’m feeling a bit lost and be able to gain their insight, knowing it’s on point, because we share the same values and they support me attaining my vision.

This quote and the awareness training that I have taken part of, created a whole new set of questions in my life.  Such as, is the music I’m listening to supporting my vision?  Are the books I read and the movies I watch supporting my best self?  Are the minutes of my day used to create infrastructure to help me achieve my dreams?

Our time and energy are so precious and these questions are some of the most important that you can ask yourself, in my opinion.  So my friends,  are the five people you spend the most time with building you up and supporting your best self?   Is the time you spend focused on giving you the support you need to succeed greatly?  Is what you consume media wise giving you more life or weighing you down?



Just the other day my son, who is almost 5 years old, said, “you guys hurt my feelings.”  I replied by saying, “I’d like to talk about that.”  He said, “well, only I can hurt my feelings.”  And I said, “wouldn’t you rather choose to feel something different?”  He closed the conversation by saying, “yes, to have fun.”

I am not telling you this story to toot my own horn about my parenting skills.  In all honesty, I’m not sure he entirely understands the concept behind the conversation, and I fall short as a parent on a daily basis.

It took me at least 35 years to actually understand and embody this principle.  Even still, I have to remind myself of it quite often.   That noone else can make me feel or do anything.

I have heard so many phrases throughout my lifetime such as: I can’t exercise or eat any different than I am now, I don’t have time.  Or she hurt my feelings so much, I won’t be able to forgive her.  Let’s break these statements down.  I can’t exercise or eat any different than I am now, I don’t have time might as well be rephrased as I choose to place other things above my  health.  She hurt my feelings so much and I won’t be able to forgive her, simply means that this person is choosing to hold onto the the hurt, because essentially no one can hurt us unless we decide we are going to be hurt.  And as we all know, unforgiveness only really hurts the person that is not forgiving and is holding onto the pain.  We have all said statements like these and we will continue to relinquish our power if we keep saying and believing them.

As most of you know, the society that we live in most often portrays individuals blaming others for their difficulties, blaming others for their own choices that ended up giving them results contrary to what they want in their life.

There are so many situations that point to the lack of responsibility and “victim mentality” that is so dominant in our society.  One incident that comes to mind, among the many cases in which people have sued because of their choice that gave them unwanted results, is the lawsuit involving Nutella. Long story short, a class action lawsuit was settled over the company’s claims to being a healthy spread, and the judge favored with a parent who claimed she was tricked into believing Nutella was, in fact, good for her children.  Subsequently, Nutella doled out a total of 3.05 million in this lawsuit.  This is just one of many cases out there in which the individuals didn’t assume responsibility for their choices.

I can think of so many times in my life when I’ve used other people or situations in my life as a reason not to take 100% responsibility for the results I was getting.  In my opinion, it’s almost second nature, it’s an easy way out.  To base how much effort I put into a relationship on how much effort the other person is putting in.  To wait for a sign from God that ensures that I am making the right decision.  To see how people around me react before putting both feet into my business or other interests.  To make my family an excuse as to why I don’t have time to succeed in friendships, in business and any other area.  These reasons leave me powerless by not taking full responsibilty to create the life I want.

This path is the easiest way out, but also the path with less meaning and less fulfillment.  To me, to own every inch of my space, creating my life exactly how I want from the inside out, without depending on the outside world to validate or contribute is true success and a representation of what it means to go “all in.”

No-one can be the cause of our thoughts, feelings or actions, and that, when I think about it, is so liberating.  We get to decide what we will make everything, that is said and done, mean.

So, my friends, I encourage you to join me on this quest of creating a space for yourself to soar, based on a foundation on which we own all of our power, by being aware of the thoughts, emotions and choices we are creating.  A journey where failure is just a lesson and a stepping stone to our greatest dreams and desires.

I leave you with this question, in what area of your life are you giving your power away by blaming someone or using a situation as an excuse for not taking 100% responsibility for your results?   How could  you chose to view everything that happens in your life in an empowering way?