CREATE MORNING ZEN

LEARN TO LOVE YOUR MORNINGS

I love when my morning alarm rings at 5a.m.! It instantly reminds me that I am privileged to continue my journey another day. That has to be the best part of anybody’s day, right? Yet, I still talk to people who dread their morning routine. Well, there’s the first issue. Instead of calling it your ‘morning routine’ which sounds dull and mundane, let’s call it ‘Morning Zen’ Learn to embrace your morning zen by slowing down your mind and body and enjoying the best thing about your life- YOU!

SET YOUR ALARM 

timetimeBegin your morning zen the night before by setting your alarm 2 minutes earlier each day. After just a few weeks, you’ll have added an entire 30 minutes to your day! Then vow to get the phrase, “I don’t have enough time.” out of your vocabulary for good.

BREATHE IN BREATHE OUT

The alarm rings and your mind immediately starts racing thinking of your endless to-do list; walk the dog, feed the kids, send that email. Stop! Before you even open your eyes, take three really deep, focused breathes being aware of your inhales and exhales. This exercise will keep your body and mind in a calm state.

REACH FOR THE STARS

Stretch!Stand up and do a little stretching zen. Stand tall, clasp your hands above your head and inhale, stretch to the right, exhale. Reach for the stars, inhale, stretch to the left, exhale. Ahh, that feels good.

 

 

 

 

 

HYDRATE

Warm Lemon WaterWhen you awake, your body is the most dehydrated so before getting ready for your day, drink a big glass of warm, lemon water. The benefits are plenty. From hydrating your lymph system to flushing toxins from your body to clearing your skin, warm lemon water is the bees knees. If you have a hard time jumping on the idea of drinking warm water, start by re-hydrating your body with a glass of cool, filtered lemon water then gradually increase the temperature a little each day until it’s luke warm.

SMOOTH MOVE

greensmoothieShakes and smoothies are a fantastic way to get the good things in your body craves and will help jump start your good decision making all day long.

 

 

 

WORKIN’ ON YOUR FITNESS

FITMake a morning zen that you will continue to love. By having your morning fitness routine from Maralana ready to go, you’ll keep your health at the forefront of your life. Remember, without YOU- there is no need to be concerned with the rest of your day.

 

 

photo credit: socialmediamom.com

Coffee is for Closers! The Cost of Having a High Moral Compass in the Timeshare Business

Now, I’m not here to knock  the timeshare industry.  I know that some of the more reputable companies provide a great service for frequent vacationers.  Having access to unique destinations is well worth the travel fees if you love to explore our beautiful planet.   My son, Jaren, loves his job in  Timeshare sales.  He calls me often to tell me about the awesome families he gets to spend his day with, touring the property and how   he does, indeed, save them money on vacationing.  He also brags about his fellow co-salespeople and how much he believes in his company’s product- which is key.  Having a strong conviction about your life’s work is at the top of the list to creating your Dreamlife.

Having a high moral compass is a precious gift passed onto you by all the people who’ve raised you and befriended you in your For lifetime.

This is his 2nd resort company in the business.   In his last company, he witnessed blatantly unethical practices by managers and coworkers alike and it made him feel guilty and just plain bad about what he was selling and how he was told to sell it.   That’s called having a high moral compass.  I’m proud to say he’s since moved on to a more respected hotel chain in the world and it has made a positive difference in his day-to-day life.

vaca

For Jaren & Zach

compassHaving a high moral compass is a precious gift passed onto you by the people who’ve raised you and befriended you in your lifetime, the ones who took time to lift you up when you were heart-broken, the ones that forgave you when you asked to be forgiven, the people who lived morally, by example, every day because they knew you were watching,  people who prayed with you- and for you, got angry at you when they saw you straying from your true self, these are the people to whom you owe your life- the life you spend helping others, repeating words of wisdom that were spoken to you and passing on what you were incredibly fortunate enough see and learn by the best people you’ll ever know. You are a compilation of everyone who’s ever loved you, showed you any kindness, mercy or forgiveness. It is your God-given duty to pass this legacy forward to humanity every single day of your precious life.

How To Whiten Your Teeth With Compliments

You know that moment where you see something or hear something and suddenly it puts your life back in perspective? Well, this morning I had such a moment.

My awesome son-in-law Ty gave me an unexpected compliment. “You’ve helped us out so much, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for you & Byron (my husband)” To which I immediately replied, “I don’t think that’s true.”  I knew immediately those words felt bad. I should have acknowledged his gratitude right away.  What was I thinking dismissing his sincere compliment?!  I basically told him the gratitude he felt was unfounded. I’m pretty sure I’m going to Hell for that.

 This is totally unlike me. I always-always embrace every nice word someone says to me and use it to create a better version of myself. I’ve been in a funk lately, which is no excuse to dismiss someone’s feelings and I felt awful.

For example…

I must have heard that I have a beautiful smile at least once a week for a year and yet, when I looked in the mirror, I saw how my teeth were crooked and overlapped a bit. I could only focused on the flaws…so off to the dentist I went to get my teeth whitened. After taking a look at my teeth, the hygienist said that they did not need whitening and to save my money and that I had a beautiful smile.  I was shocked at the compliment! Surely she saw what I saw in the mirror- but I realized that she wasn’t looking at one or two teeth but my entire smile.

I looked again at my smile- they suddenly looked brighter and straighter. Why did I feel better leaving there with nothing being done?

Own It!  I take good care of my teeth, flossing, check-ups so everytime someone noticed the result, it made me feel like they noticed all my extra effort. 

Visualize It! Whenever someone said my smile was beautiful, I pictured my teeth getting stronger, whiter and straighter. It gave my smile power! I visualized the compliment rushing to my smile …..making it stronger, prettier overall.

 Accept it!  Take the very special gift of a compliment and open it- acknowledge the giver, keep it and remember it and know without a doubt that you’ve created it.

Acknowledging someone’s positive feedback about you makes them feel good.  So appreciate their sincerity.  Thank you for noticing the effort I put forth on my hair, writing, volunteering, or being there for kids if they need a little help. 

Those small moments of your days spent on a seemingly minute detail makes all the difference in creating your life and people will notice!  And by simply accepting a compliment, you give validation to what the person thinks, feels and says matters to you a great deal; making them feel good.  And feeling good is the whole point of connecting!

Believe my words- By gracefully accepting someone’s compliment, you are giving as much as you are getting.

Get Out Of My Vocabulary!

Three Words And A Phrase

That Are Holding You Back

From Getting What You Want

As we continue along our journey, we strive to be a better person, more enlightened and well-informed so that we can make better decisions that will inevitably have positive overall effect on our lives and  this world.

People often say to me, “Jennifer, you are so positive and upbeat all the time.” Umm, no. I have moments of pure frustration hence THIS post.  But I do practice self-awareness daily.

How do you begin to change your thoughts to produce more of what you want?  By realizing negative thoughts which come out as negative words that cause negative actions.   I’m going to teach you some fun ways to always speak in the positive.  Say goodbye to these words:

just

To me, just is a demeaning word that makes one feel less-than something or someone.

You are just a housewife, I am a doctor.
You are just a secretary, I am your boss.
You are just a astronaut, I am a physicist.

I loathe this word and all that it implies.  You are never just something.  You are always everything you want to be!  What’s even worse, is when you use just to describe something about yourself.

I’m just not smart enough to start my own business. 

Poppycock!

THERE ARE ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE:

You may only use just as an an adverb or to emphasize a point: That’s just awful! (referring to worm pie) in this case, just is used to emphasize that worms do not taste very good baked in a pie.

need2

This word is the hardest one to eliminate.  I still almost say it on occasion.  Here is a game I have created to eliminate these words:  When you start to say I ne.. STOP, THINK of what your want and START using positive action words.

NEGATIVE: I need a job today

POSITIVE:  I will email my friends to see if they know of any jobs.

NEGATIVE: I need to make more friends.

POSITIVE: I am going to join a networking group.

NEGATIVE: I need to get a haircut.

POSITIVE: Tomorrow, I will make an appointment with Bob to get a haircut.

I know this last one sounds silly because your hair will grow back and you will want to get another haircut so you’ll feel better about your appearance.  But you must eliminate the word all-together.

(Notice in my explanation, I did not use the word need. That word is gone!)

THINK ABOUT THIS

If I told you to write down everything you needed in life- not just material things, but everything and instead- instructed you to begin every sentence with I need- what would you have?  You would have created a list of lack. The things you do not have and that’s it.

Now write down the same things, except this time cross out the word need. use positive words like, I will create, I can find, I will email, I am good at making..

NEGATIVE: I need to loose weight.

POSITIVE: I will research gyms in my area tomorrow and join one.

You’ve changed your entire negative thought  process into a solution.  Instead of creating lack, you have created an abundance.  You have started the creative thought process  to get what you want.

the wisest words ever spoken by a puppet

the wisest words ever spoken by a puppet

TRY

This seemingly positive word of action is actually a lazy, negative word in disguise.  The word try is nothing more than a lazy promise. A weak link.  It is a negative word that means- don’t expect me to succeed, then you won’t be disappointedI don’t want to do it and I’m pretty sure I can’t won’t.

It’s a word used when somebody does not want to commit.  I will try to make it to the gym 3 times a week.   This is another excuse to not succeed and justify the effort, or lack thereof.

Take it!

Try To Take It

TRY TO  DO THIS WITH A $20 BILL

Grab a friend.  Take a $20 bill out of your pocket and hold it loosely between your fingers.  Now ask your friend to try to take the $20 out of your hand.  Do not tighten your grip.  Did he take it?  I’d bet yes.  EXACTLY!

He did not try to take the $20.  He did take the $20.  You cannot try to take it, you either will take it or you won’t.

Now take the $20  back and repeat again, “No, don’t take the $20, try to take it.”  Your friend will look puzzled- this is funny.  He will probably say that he did try to take it and succeeded.

Wrong! What he did was signal his brain to move his arm to move his hand to grasp the $20 bill and closed his fingers around it and pulled it backwards and held it in his hand.  He did all that to accomplish the task. He succeeded in the task.

What he did not do was try to take it.  Make Sense?

LET”S BE HONEST HERE

Say you are in sales and only took the job because you felt you had no other option.  When the boss asks you why you were last in sales this month, you have one of two choices.

1. Listen to his suggestions and put them into action and increase your sales

OR

2. Be honest and say, “I really don’t want to work here.  I will probably quit when I find something better that I like  more than this job.  Until then, I will be lazy and sulk.” In other words, You’ll try to do better.  They both mean  the same thing.

Do not ever try to do anything again. Make the decision to make it happen and you will be blown away by how many things you are now getting done.

Don't Forget ?

THE PHRASE THAT DOESN’T PAY

How many times do we tell someone not to forget something?  and how many times DO we actually forget things we were told not to?

The reason for this is because the subconscious mind is fooled by the negative words, and ignores them.  Negative words are like a hole- there is nothing there to process.  It simply will not retain the negative.  There many books and studies on this matter.

NEGATIVE: Don’t forget to pick up milk before you come home.

but what your subconscious hears is- forget to pick up milk

(the don’t is unheard by your subconscious mind)

POSITIVE: Honey, remember to pick up milk at the store before you come home.

I have found that by eliminating negative words and substituting positive action words instead, my thought process about a particular situation begins to change, immediately and I’m better able to come up with a solution to a problem on the spot instead of dwelling on the negative.  Now you try do it.

photo credit: sodahead.com, google.com/images, thepennyhoarder.com,

How To Save A Life

There was that one time that I helped save a life and that other time that I didn’t.

Depression Last week, through a series of events leading up to a phone call with my friend Jesse, I had the most terrifying experience of my life.  Jesse had taken a handful of pills right before I called and while I was on the phone with him, he collapsed.

There isn’t a word for the way I felt in that moment.  I remember I had no air and I couldn’t hear. I heard the police brake down his door shortly after I called them.  I could hear everything. I waited. I heard Jesse’s voice talking to the police and I breathed again. I’m happy to say he’s feeling way better and getting the help he needs to return to his healthy, happy self that we all know and love.

Then There Was That One Day

childhood crushI grew up with Ricky in the same neighborhood.  I knew he had a crush on me when he spent most of a day un-tangling my slinky that got stuck in a chained link fence at the playground.

But as we grew up, the cliques of middle school got in the way of our friendship.  He became just some boy I knew.  I watched from a distance as his life turned in a wrong direction with drugs and some bad decisions.

Eventually, I grew up and moved away. I only saw Ricky by happenstance when I’d go back home for a visit.  In those small moments, we’d catch up on the good parts of our lives, promise we’d see each other next time then hug and walk away.

Then there was that one day. It was the last day of my hometown visit.  Before heading back on the turnpike for the long 4 hour drive back to Harrisburg, I stopped at Em’s Subs, a hometown favorite.

I walked out of the shop and saw my puppy staring at me from the park across the street where a nice little old lady was holding her for me while I ran into Em’s.  For no reason, I looked right.  I saw Ricky walking away from me down the sidewalk.  I turned my body and started to call his name but then in a moment I’ll forever regret, I hesitated.

I looked over at my dog pulling slightly on her leash anxious for me to come over and get her.  I glanced back at Ricky.  Ugh, I was already 3 hours late leaving town and it was getting dark.

one little moments changes everything

one little moments changes everything

He was almost to the corner and I remember sighing and saying out-loud “I’ll catch him next time I’m home.”  and I ran across the street to my waggy-tailed puppy, thanked the little old lady and jogged to my car and drove away.

About 6 months had passed when I thought of Ricky again and decided to check in on him to tell him what I’d been discovering about the power positivity. I messaged his cousin and asked her if she had Ricky’s email.  This is what she messaged me back.

Jenn, I’m sorry to tell you this but Ricky committed suicide about 6 months ago. I thought you knew.

Alone With Our Choices

Alone With Our Choices

The overwhelming feeling of guilt I feel is awful.  Everyone tells me that I couldn’t have prevented his suicide by just talking to him that day- but they’re wrong.  Yes I would have.  How do I know? Because I felt it so strongly that I should call out to him. It was something that was supposed to happen but didn’t.  In that moment, I chose not to pay attention to my gut.  Instead, I rationalized it out.  It is the biggest fail of my life.

face of regret

How To Save A Life

Recognize. Have you noticed a change in someone?  Has your best friend changed into someone who has trouble functioning? Do you hardly recognize the person you used to know?

While I do believe that prevention of dangerous behaviors starts with the inner circle of family and close friends, reaching out to people is what makes us human.

Understand that nobody can write a manual on how to save a life.  We are as simple and complex as the universe.  We cannot prevent all the suicides and mass shootings of the world but by looking up from our cellphones into someones eyes and connecting with them, we may help recognize the pain and thereby prevent some of the tragedy.  There is no app for that and never will be.

And I’d have stayed up with you all night if I had known how to save a life.

All of the children in this powerful video have lost someone tragically.

How To Save A Life With LYRICS

Links For Life

If You See Something, Say Something.  A great video to help understand what you look for in everyday life to help keep our towns safe.

Profile of A Sociopath  A list of signs and personality traits common in sociopaths that  may be a danger to our society.

Stop Bullying!  This is just one of many great sites. It has information on what to look for- who is at risk and where to go for help to help someone stop hurting.

It Gets Better Project (itgetsbetter.org)  thousands of videos were created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

HelpGuide.org A great place to begin researching disorders and symptoms such as schizophrenia, PTSD, Stress, Grief, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Addictions and Abuse.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline makes it easy for everyone to talk and get in touch with help in their hometown.

Your Life Your Voice is another great place for people who think about suicide to share and connect with others in a way that may help them turn it around.

Post-partum Depression some moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. Rarely, an extreme form of postpartum depression known as postpartum psychosis develops after childbirth.

photo credits: yogilightbox.wordpress.com, http://www.examiner.com, sheknows.com, google images, me

Your Last 24 Hours Experiment

Sit still for 24 whole hours- not moving and staring at a wall. I bet that was the longest day of your life, huh?

Now imagine finding out that you will be gone forever in 24 hours.

Time couldn’t slow down enough. Would you spend your whole time being sad, crying and in denial OR in desperation trying to do the things that you always talk about- but never get around to doing?

Your Last 24 Hours Experiment

In either scenario- 24 hours will pass. That is certain.

Are you making excuses for why you won’t do something? I can’t do that because I’ll already be 40 next year.  Well, guess what? You’re going to be 40 next year if you do it or if you don’t.

Or, I can’t move to my dream-place because I have to save more money.  You know what? There is currency in your dream-place too.

The last 24 will come my friend.  Will you be fulfilled and excited by the life you chose to live or gut-wrenchingly disappointed in yourself that you settled?   Remember,  you won’t be able to turn the hour glass over when your time runs out.

This video may be the best six minutes you ever spend on the internet.

photo credit: angelwanderer.wordpress.com

Motivating The Motivators

I constantly read blogs on motivation and positive thinking.  I have notebooks full of clever sayings and famous quotes.  I listen to motivational cd’s in my car and can now recite them  word-for-word and I do.  When I’m driving I make sure to turn the volume way up and roll down my windows just in case the guy beside me at the red light needs a little motivation.

So you’d think that I’d be hopping out of bed at 4 a.m. already dressed in my workout gear and ready to tackle whatever comes my way.  Yeah, you’d think that, wouldn’t you?

Each morning, I wake up and lay there thinking about why I’m not jumping out of bed to tackle the world.  The more I think, the longer I lay there.  Until sometimes, I fall back asleep only to awake way later than I wanted to. Now I’m really upset with myself.  The days are shorter now giving me less time to be awesome.

Who Motivates the Motivators?

Yesterday was different.  I did wake up early thanks to a 5:50 a.m. wake up call from my daughter, who is in Kuwait serving, asking if I was up running yet.  After her motivating abet early speech, I was up with the rest of the overachievers of the world and it felt great!  That was the best run I’ve ever had.  Not the longest or the fastest, but the best. Because someone out there cares if I do it or not.

Think You Can’t Achieve It?


6 Ways To Get Motivated!

1. Move Something!

Sing. Dance. Talk. Create. Network. Get up and get out and start connecting with people who will inspire you in the creative process of your Dreamlife. Even if you’re not living in the place of your dreams  or have the job you want now, by getting your ideas and thought out to others, you will draw more positive people into your life who have similar ideas and interests as you.

2. Find Your Passion!

To be truly motivated you must have a passion.  Weather it’s getting back in to your best shape ever or living someplace special or creating change in your community, you must be completely passionate about it.  Only the passion of your cause will get you through the tough times.  And if you should become un-motivated, it only takes a spark to reconnect to what you love and refuel the fire within.

3. Create Dreams of Grandeur!

Create a detailed goal so big that when you achieve it, it will blow your mind! Everything that was ever built or created started with a single idea.  A thought in someone’s mind. Through sharing, researching and connecting, everything manifests.  A way will be made. Your ability to achieve your Dreams is no different from any great person in history who’s ever achieved theirs.

4. Make Time!

Dedicate time every single day doing something that fuels your passion.  Something that you enjoy.  Making a call for more information, cutting out pictures, writing a list of steps you must take.  “I don’t have time.”  is the most frustrating excuse.  Those who get what then want in life make time to do the things that bring them joy.

5. Be Brave!

There are people who will tell you you’re just a dreamer that you can’t possibly do that amazing thing you want to do.  Don’t call them back.  Instead call me.

If you are interested in something, trust me, there are other people who are also interested in it.  Find those people and expand your circle. Either virtual or in your community.  There are awesome people out there who’d love to listen and help point you in the right direction. However, there are also plenty of boring people who like the safety of routine. You, however, are not a boring routine.  Call someone who encourages your passion.

6. Make Choices That Benefit You

You  may not be able to completely disconnect with a negative family member or that friend you’ve known since you rode big-wheels together at the playground.  But you always have a choice to speak up and let them know how they make you feel.

As you grow and learn about yourself, you have the choice to add new friends to your circle by connecting with groups and individuals who are awesome!  Here are some key traits to look for when choosing new friends. Positive thinkers. Inspirational.  Kind. A good sense of humor. Smiley. Attentive.

Continue to grow your circle of friends to include people who motivate you.  You may end up realizing that you were the motivator they’ve been searching for too.