Elizabeth Gilbert

INSPIRING READING MATERIAL

Happy Friday, friends!  Yesterday on Facebook and Instagram (which by the way, if we're not social media friends, let's be!) I shared how grateful I am that so many of you are interested in my new fall workshops, The Soul Connection Series.  It's a very affirming feeling knowing that the work (I totally don't consider it work, but you know what I mean) I am doing is needed in my local community and beyond.  Whether you feel called to attend or not, my heart is full, and I feel so grateful for your support.

For me, part of self-care is reading material that inspires me.  Reading something that I enjoy not only relaxes me, but also brings me a sense of happiness knowing I am gaining further knowledge.  Win-win!  Today I am sharing some of my favorites, and why I enjoy them so much.  Most of which I have read more than once, too!  Haha!

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Whether you've read and/or follow A Course in Miracles or not, Williamson has a beautiful way of simply breaking ACIM down in a digestible way.  She shares her own story and how she got to where she is today, in such an honest and raw way, that it captures your attention and makes you really sink into what she is sharing.  Not to mention, the spiritual insight via text is so benefiting to wherever you are on your journey.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert's writing is so inspiring in this book.  It affirms that each and every one of us are creative and have something to share with the world.  In my opinion (and Gilbert's), there IS a difference between being creative and being artistic, and she breaks down a lot of that in Big Magic.  We all are creative, and we all have a gift to share.  Love that!

Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo

Funny story, when I went through spiritual practitioner training this book was one of the many books on our required reading list.  Before I started reading it, I wasn't very excited because I didn't care for another one of Nepo's books (which numbers show that I am probably the only person on the planet that didn't care for it, HA!).  Well, was I proved wrong with this one.  Nepo's insight into listening is so profound and deep, and the quotes and lessons he provides are great to use on a daily basis.  To this day, it is one of my favorite books, and I use it for reference a lot in my own practice.

You Can Heal You Life by Louise Hay

Growing up my mom and I lovingly (and jokingly) referred to Louise Hay as "Auntie Louise."  We referenced this book constantly, so much so that I think both my mom and I have had to replace our copies due to over-use.  Hay's opinion is that the mind and body are connected (which I completely agree with), and that illnesses arise because of emotional, mental, or spiritual reasons and thought processes (which I semi, but not completely agree with--that's a topic for another day).  My favorite part of this book is the affirmations near the end.  You all know I love my affirmations, so this is definitely a go-to for me. 

I hope these tips were helpful for you.  Have you read any of them?  What are some of your favorite books that bring you inspiration?

xo.  Jen

 

CREATIVITY, MAGIC, FEAR, & SELF-WORTH

IMG_0430Hi beauties!  I've mentioned a few times that I have been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and gosh do I love it.  I imagine that Ms. Gilbert talks an awful lot like she writes, which I absolutely love.  She's authentic and vulnerable and creative.  Which is exactly what the book is about: creative living beyond fear.  Doesn't that just sound magical? I wanted to share one of my favorite parts of the book thus far with you (don't worry, I'm not giving anything major away).  Gilbert writes about living creatively at any age, and shares a story about a close friend of hers.  Her friend excelled at and loved figure skating as a child, but stopped when she was an adolescent with fear of not being a champion, AKA not good enough. Gilbert says, "Ah, lovely adolescence--when the 'talented' are officially shunted off from the herd, thus putting the total burden of society's creative dreams on the thin shoulders of a few select souls, while condemning everyone else to live a more commonplace, inspiration-free existence!  What a system..."  While she says this with a hint of sarcastic humor, how true is this for so many?  Unfortunately, it was very true for me.  Thankfully, I finally exited that phase of low self-esteem and worthiness issues, but, just like most humans, I feel twinges of it occasionally.  The difference now is that I have the tools to deal with those feelings, and that's what I want to get into today.

WHERE THE DO FEELINGS OF UNWORTHINESS COME FROM?

Well, that's a pretty loaded question, and it is completely different for everyone.  In the spirit of transparency (and major vulnerability) I am going to share mine, because chances are someone will connect with it on some level.  Mine started when I was about 12.  I was uprooted out of my comfort zone, moved to a new town, started a new school, and was forced to meet new people.  In retrospect, I am very grateful for this (and absolutely do NOT blame my parents on any level), but at the time it sucked.  The middle-school years are when children are learning, growing, and figuring out who they are and how they fit into the world, and THEN hormones are thrown in on top of it.  I felt the need to shy away at what I was passionate about (and good at) in fear of what others would think about me.  I didn't speak up, in fact my voice was less heard.  On top of all that, my body was changing.  I have curves by nature (which I now love), but at that time it was just awkward.  As you can imagine, fear ran it's ugly little head and my worth started to diminish.  This basically went on for the next 13ish years...

HOW CAN WE TRANSFORM UNWORTHINESS TO KNOWING OUR WORTH?

I truly wish I could wave a magic wand and tell you that this can happen in seconds, but the truth is, it's a process.  A process that is different and deep for everyone.  Here are a few different ways that guided and assisted me on my own path:

  • Try to figure out the root of where these feelings are stemming from, and go from there.  Things that helped me along the process: journaling, talking to those close to me, finding a spiritual community that I connected with (this was HUGE for me), and practicing self-care.
  • Recognize your fears, and ask yourself why you are afraid.  There is no judgement in being fearful, but sometimes honoring why you are feeling that way is the first step in release.
  • Be gentle with yourself.  In my opinion, this is most important.  As a society we have such a tendency to want immediate gratification, that we tend to forget that life is a process.  Be gentle with yourself throughout the process.

As you can see, this book has sparked a lot of inspiration and creativity within me, and I highly recommend it.  I hope this post was helpful for you, and if there is any way that I can be of support to you, please reach out.  I'd love to chat!

xo.  Jen

 

WEEKEND RECAP #38 + POLL

Happy Monday, friends!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I spent time with my mom and aunt (and of course Greg, too), and we had a such a nice visit.  I love family-time! Before I jump into photos, I wanted to ask you all a very specific question....I love writing here M/W/F, and would appreciate any suggestions, as I love to keep the content inspirational and interesting.  I have a few ideas for the coming weeks, but would love your ideas, too!  Take a peek at the poll below, and give me your thoughts.  Thank you!  :)

[polldaddy poll=9294089]

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FullSizeRenderFriday evening Greg and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in Pasadena, Yahaira's.  They have the yummiest food.  Neither of us were too hungry, so we split an appetizer (their chips, salsa, and guac are sooooo good), and split an entree.  Perfect!

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FullSizeRender_2Saturday my mom and aunt arrived, and the four of us headed to the USC Pacific Asian Museum.  It was free museum day in LA County on Saturday, so it was a great time to visit. They have the prettiest courtyard and koi pond, too.

After the museum we walked across the street for lunch, where I had a delish warm roasted veggie salad.  Isn't their courtyard pretty, too?  So many lovely spots in Pasadena.

Saturday afternoon was spent sipping coffee and shopping with the girls (we dropped Greg off at home, HA!).  That evening we munched on apps and chatted.  Perfect day!

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IMG_0430One of my purchases from Saturday was the mug above.  I absolutely LOVE it!  We had zucchini burgers and cauliflower tots (both in the archives) for dinner, and afterwards I spent the evening reading in bed.  Perfect way to end the weekend!

What did you do over the weekend?  Give me deets!

xo.  Jen

 

5 FRIDAY FAVORITES: NUMBER 2

love-pen-bed-drinking-largeHappy Friday, friends!  Remember when a few weeks ago I shared my 5 Friday Favorites?  Well, I had a lot of fun doing it, so we're on to number two!  Again, these things I’ve been loving, what I’ve been reading, stuff I’ve been doing, etc.

  1. Feeling supported.  I love how supported I feel by Greg, my family and friends, and my community (both tangibly and virtually).  It's a wonderful feeling!
  2. This post on what home really means, by my dear friend Ashten at Just Go Left.
  3. I received Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert for Christmas, and I just started reading it.  It's funny, because normally when I read a book that I love (which I do), I read it as often as I can, and don't want to put it down.  What I am finding with this book is that I am putting it down often, writing notes and "a-ha's," and pondering a lot.  It's really good, and I highly recommend it!
  4. Waking up extra early in the morning to go on a walk with Charlie.  I make my coffee, put on our puffer vests (yes, we have matching puffer vests), and head out the door.  It's still dark when we leave, and by the time we come home, the sun is just coming out.  It's very magical.
  5. Vega!  This stuff is delicious, and I love the extra boost of protein and veggies I receive from it.  With the weather being chillier, I haven't been making smoothies, but I have been having oatmeal for breakfast, and adding a spoonful of this with some berries is SO GOOD.  Yum!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, and an awesome weekend!

xo.  Jen

P.S.  I now have one spot available for coaching in February, so if it something you are interested in exploring, I invite you to reach out for a consult.  xo.

MY 7 FAVORITE TED TALKS

affirmation 1Happy Wednesday, beauties!  How is your morning going?  Yesterday I shared this affirmation on Instagram (side note: you should follow me there, as I post inspiring messages, meal ideas, and more).  I love affirmations, and often times come up with them while I am meditating, or just throughout the my day.  This helps set my intention for the day, and I love repeating them as necessary.  Every so often I will be sharing them here, too.  :) tedAs much as I love affirmations, today I am going to be sharing some of my most favorite TED Talks with you.  Do you ever listen to TED Talks?  I find them incredibly inspiring and uplifting!  For those not familiar with TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design), they are a nonprofit organization that spreads ideas in the form of short (I think 20 minutes or less) talks. The speakers are well-versed in their topic, and range anywhere from authors to CEO's to engineers to athletes to school teachers, and everyone in between.

For your viewing and listening pleasure I compiled a list of My 7 Favorite TED Talks.  Take a peek below!

1. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

My favorite Ted Talk to date.  Brené is witty, courageous, and simply amazing.  She shares her own personal story of vulnerability, and her quest to share it with humanity.  So good! #fangirl

2. Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20

Whether you are a twenty-something or not, this is a great message on being present at any age.

3. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

I love Elizabeth Gilbert!  This is a very touching, and thought provoking talk.  Gilbert speaks about how we all have a genius within.

4. Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits

Amy is so inspirational!  She has such motivation and courage, and shares her wisdom of darkness and light in such a powerful way.

5. Susan Cain: The power of introverts

As an introvert myself, I connected deeply with Susan's words.  Her passion is evident as she shares the talents and traits that introverts possess.

6. Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

I remember this being one of the first Ted Talk's I ever watched.  I was blown away with Ken's humor, passion, and honesty.  What he shares is profound, and really makes you think.

7. Meaghan Ramsey: Why thinking you're ugly is bad for you

As a health coach and self-love advocate, I could not promote this talk enough!  Meaghan speaks candidly about the harmful impacts of negative thinking, and poor self-image.  This would be a great talk to share with everyone, especially young girls.

Do you have a favorite TED Talk?  Share with me!  I love to listen to new ones!

xo.  Jen