Monday, April 14, 2014

Keep Your Ears Open: Kids are Some of the Greatest Teachers

For the last couple of months or so, I have been hearing, "She copies everything I do! I can't stand it, mommy. Please make her stop, pleassse" from both my daughters. I have heard it a time or two on the playground as well and a few distant memories seem to spring to my mind from my own childhood as I listen to their squabbles.

Imitation is a form of flattery, right?

Hmmmm, so I thought, I would try to have them reframe their words. I asked them to use the word, inspire instead of copy. So when someone copies you, that means, they are inspired by you, they look up to you, and admire the light in you. It's been really cool to see them both experience a miracle as their perceptions have changed from one of fear to love, as a Course in Miracles teaches us. And for most of time, it has been effective.

Last night, I got called out.

My oldest was having a hard time falling asleep last night. So I went into her room to chat and find out why her mind wasn't letting her body rest.

She was telling me, she gets really annoyed when people copy her and today was pretty rough for her, especially. I brought up the old reframing speech and she just wasn't buying it.

"Mommy, there is a difference between copying and inspiring! What you say is not always true. Sometimes people copy me to get more attention than me or do better than me or try to make themselves look better than me so THAT IS NOT INSPIRING!!! I can feel the difference. When I feel like I have inspired someone, then I have helped them."

Come on! Did she just say that?

I just looked at her with starry eyes and thought, "hold onto that wisdom baby, don't let the world take it away from you. Keep it locked up in your heart and guard it. But for now, I will hold (verrry tightly), the key."

What she was describing to me was: INTENTION.

What is your intention when you emulate someone? Are looking to one-up them? Or are you seeing the light in them is a reflection of the light in you? One is a choice from the ego-based mind and the other is a choice from love, from the heart. We are all connected. We are all deserving of success, freedom, abundance and so forth. There is ENOUGH for everyone.

When you admire parts of another person, it's just a mirror of what's possible for you. The key is to be inspired but let your authentic unique traits shine through and be proud of them. Be SO proud of your originality because that is what people are drawn to. If someone is copying you and their intention is pure, consider yourself a marvelous teacher, bettering other's lives. If they are copying you for the sake of competing against you, keep doing you. Do you and do it well. The Universe created you to bring forth your special and unique talents. Brush it off. We can't control how other people behave. Send them love and light and stay on your path.

When you see that others have been inspired by you, can you see that you make the world a better place just by being you? Pretty magical, right?

Stay true to you and the Universe will rise up to meet you.

Love and Light,

Monday, April 7, 2014

WAKE UP!!!- My Messy Beautiful

"Wake up! Wake up, Jensy. Its time to WAAAAKKKKKE up!" My two least favorite words in the dictionary. Put together. In a sentence. Ever. Anyone who knows me, and, even as a little girl, knows you don't wake me up. I get up on my own time and that's just how it is. Friends and family have stories of me swinging punches as I awaken from my groggy stupor. Yeah, not pretty.

That went on for thirty years. HA! YES, 30! Not only did I dislike being woken up but I was "asleep" to life from ages 20-30. I was asleep at the provebial wheel of life with food addiction and overexercising and anorexia.

Ironically, my favorite word in the dictionary is Awakening. I even wrote a book about it.

Now how is it that I can like and dislike a word at the same time? Or how is it that I can like and dislike exercise at the same dang time? And how is it that I can enjoy parenting one day and not the other? Same goes for marriage? Or bananas? You know what I'm talking about, you know, those days when its mushy and brown in areas, and soft or simply you would rather eating spoonfulls of peanut butter in the doorway of the pantry...or is that just ME??

I'll tell you why. Because that's just how life is! OHHH the irony of life. It can be painful and exhilarating. It can be exciting and scary at the exact same moment! OH, I see, that's what the Chinese were talking about when they say yin and yang!

Now I get it... I THINK.

According to Wikipedia, "Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (instead of opposing) forces interacting to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation."

They meant light cannot exist with dark. That up has to have a down. Or a high has to have a low. It just complementary. It just is.

What goes up must come down. A dang seesaw! Nothing is static. It waxes and wanes. Life bends then straightens.

On September 19, 2005, I "woke up" (sort of). After being told to, wake up, thousands of times by friends, husband, family, God, which I met with resistance EVERY SINGLE TIME, I started to AWAKEN to life. I gave birth to my first baby girl.

Talk about messy and beautiful. Painful and Exhilarating. The birth was messy - an emergency c- section due to a contraction that never stopped (Medical lingo: tetanic contraction). And beautiful, because the child was gorgeous and safe and perfect. I brought her home in a messy anxious state. I had read that What to Expect When You Are Expecting book(so I was SET AND READY! Right? Um. No.). The nursery was perfect, pink and pretty. The bassinet was shiny and new. All picture perfect, all except me. It was GO time and I was TERRIFIED. I wanted to run away and hide because now I had to face that life could be beautiful.

Well I stayed scared and relapsed with anorexia that I had suffered with for almost a decade.

Remember how I hate the words, "Wake up!?" 15 months after my first daughter was born, another sweet baby girl comes along. Yeah, Universe, I think I am getting the picture. You are handwriting an invitation to me from my kids that says, "WAKE UP MOMMY! YOU ARE MY MOMMY. YOU ARE GOOD AND WHOLE AND PERFECT JUST AS YOU ARE.I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOMMY, THIS IS ABOUT US NOW. AND I LOVE BEING WITH YOU.LET'S ENJOY THIS RIDE TOGETHER.COME ON, WHADDYA SAY?"

As an anorexic, my inner dialogue told me I was worthless, ugly, stupid, and my life was ALL MESSY and NO BEAUTIFUL. But my heart started to hear a different message. A more encouraging, compassionate, empowering message.

My girls awakened me to ME. I chose to step into full recovery because this was for US. The Universe handpicked these girls and sent me on my way to recovery and Awakening. Life could be beautiful. It was possible.

Recovery was the messisest mess of all messes. It's still messy but not as much. But it happens to be the most BEAUTIFULEST MESS I have ever experienced in my life. I am so dang grateful for the pain, the nights on the bathroom floor, the tears that could fill an ocean. The mess has become my message.

You see, the messy and the beautiful, are gifts the Universe grants us to awaken us to who we really are. That's all life is. It's a day to day being. Some days life brings you to your knees and you just want to stay in bed, shut the blinds, and tune out all the noise. Moreover, another day could be a three year old knees deep in finger paint, in his nose, on your walls, and on your newly upholstered chair. Yet, yields a finished masterpiece of you and him walking in a field of flowers (as he says)that melts your heart and burns your throat as you are on your way to the ugly cry from love and gratitude. (and ALSO from the damage done to your favorite chair in the whole world.)

Some days, I go to bed and think I am the world's worst mother. I snapped. I fed them leftover chili three days in a row. Or I made the world's worst dinner. I know it. They know it. The dog knows it. But I still make them eat it because I spent two hours thawing, chopping, sauteeing, baking, and rereading the same recipe a trillion times just to make sure I had the measurements right. Mind you, also, during those two hours I have weaved in solving division problems, taking TWO barbies and a DOZEN legoes out of the dog's mouth, had a 10 minute Church session with the girls about how to share and how to be kind and say nice things. And then I think, "did I put the second egg in the mix?" Oh, here, well you guys, here's my messy beautiful dinner handmade by your messy, beautiful mom.

Life doesn't look like a Pinterest board or the mom with the Halloween sweater (that she sewed herself) and the halloween cookies made from scratch that resembles bats, witches, pumpkins all carefully crafted from marshmallow decorated to perfection. Still, I am not against any of that, because I am MAJORLY obsessed with Halloween. The point is, it reminds us that life can be beautiful and that's her beautiful expression (and secretly you know there has gotta be a mess in there somewhere. Right? Please.:)

Or life could look like this: when you are about to put your daughter to bed and you'd rather tuck into a DVR'd Jimmy Fallon episode but instead you have this conversation in her stuffed animal mess of a bed that goes something like this:

Me: "Hey sweetie, I am really sorry I snapped and got mad and yelled and then went up to my room. Will you forgive me?"

Daughter: Mommy, you're so silly. I have ALREADY FORGIVEN YOU."

Yep. Messy and Beautiful all in a span of a few hours. Welcome to Parenting. Welcome to Life.


In Love and Light,

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Become an Affirmation Aficionado and Your Biggest Fan

You have heard me talk about Louise Hay before. I adore her and am so grateful for her books and wisdom because it led me to paths of Awakening and to publish my first book with her company. She is the Queen of Affirmations and says, "“Every thought we think is creating our future. ”

You remember Stuart Smalley, the famous fictional character from Saturday Night Live, known for his famous line, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me." The skits were hysterical and were a hit for years. It's so freeing to make light of ourselves, right?

But, affirmations may get a bad rap. Yes, it can sound extremely hokey but what's the alternative? Criticizing? That will just get you more of what you don't WANT! You can't talk yourself into self-acceptance by thinking negative thoughts. You have to accept yourself today, as you are.

If you are engaging in negative self talk on the daily, saying things like, "I'm not worthy, I'm broke, I'm ugly and fat and lonely.", the Universe will grant you those very things. It will match your vibration. Now I know you have heard that vibration banter in spiritual circles and it can sound confusing so let me explain to you what that means.

When you are saying negative things to yourself or worse, declaring them to others, there is great feeling behind those words. Your body, your mind, and your soul feels every fiber of that affirmation and will grant you more conicidences, occurrences and serendipities to affirm what you are feeling.

Recently, I heard Gabby Bernstein talking about ways to snap yourself out of going down a dark negative thought pattern. Wear a bracelet, rubber band, and/or hair tie on your wrist. When you notice you are saying negative things about yourself, snap the band, acknowlegde the thought, and replace it with a new, more positive, healthy thought. Come up with your own positive mantra specifically for you. Some examples might be:

I am happy.
I love and accept myself in this moment.
I am doing the best I can where I am.
I am safe.
All is well.

You may think you are BS'ing yourself because, you really don't feel that way. I totally get that. You know the saying, "fake it til you make it." Well, this is where you gotta insert faith and keep going. At the core of who you are, your soul, is already all of these things. Truly. You were made from love. There has been layers of limiting beliefs that have stuck with you or told to you by the world and others. Not one bit of it is true, you have chosen to engage the monkey mind (ego) and not the heart (soul, Universe).

Whenever you start something new, it can feel uncomfortable and scary, right? Let's take starting a new exercise's way hard at first. Your body has to adjust to the new regimen thrown its way. Your muscles are really sore the first few weeks as they adapt to the new resistantance and movement. You don't release weight right away. But as you make exercise a daily commitment, the soreness eases, physical strength and health develops and fluidity arises. You are in the flow and you are workin' it.

Well, its the same as building your mental muscles. You gotta work them before they can get strong.

Try this for thirty days... really commit to affirming that you are spectacular because you are!

Be your biggest fan! If you won't, who will?

I wanna hear some of your affirmations. What lifts you from a funky zone?

Love & Light,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Surrender, Stillness, and Showing Up

I remember riding the school bus every morning to school. I can sometimes still here Mrs. Shoch honking her bus horn in the direction of our garage so my sisters and I could come running out on any given morning. The bus community was filled with the cool kids sitting in the back seats, the bad kid(s) sitting in the front seats, and me somewhere sitting in between not knowing really where I fit in. This seemed to be an idea that stayed with me most of my childhood.

As a mother of two, the whole idea of fitting in seems to be a waste of time. When you allow yourself to be who you are, you find your tribe. You find your inner circle and your like minded comrades. But who are you really? Our purpose is to extend love, be love, and open our hearts with compassion. When you are a kid, you ARE being love. You love what you love unapologetically until...that one day someone tells "you shouldn't love that, its not cool, or fun, or right,etc." Some stay on their Paths and others do as their wise elders tell them and do as they are told.

Fitting in is living inauthentic life. It feels so good to be who you are.

I love Howard Stern. I could listen to him all day. Do you think he fits in? Do you think by me telling you that, I fit in? I was always afraid to admit that I "heart" him for fear of people thinking I'm obscene, negative, naughty, or rude. The guy is a trip. He makes me laugh so hard tears roll down my face as I driving to pick my kids up from school. He's charming, witty, full of opinions, doing the best he can in his personal life, and living his dream despite the criticism. He goes to a psychiatrist three times a week and practices Transcendental Meditation. All nudity and sexual hijinks aside, he's a pretty decent guy. Sex sells and the guy gets that. Society made the rules, not Howard.

Like Howard, I felt like I never fit in. I wanted to sit with the cool kids so bad. I wanted to be liked so I became a chameleon changing my colors for whomever I was around.

We can feel lost sometimes in a new job, new role (like mom, wife, stepmom, divorce, single parent,etc.) new neighborhood, new environment (like a party, off to college) and think where do I fit in? Check this out, you can find your way in a new space, being unapologetically you.

1. Surrender. Let go of the steering wheel and let The Divine take over. Doesn't that feel so good to let go of the control? Just saying the words "I surrender" just frees up so much space and tension. You do everything you can with what you have, where you are, and by being who you are. And then, surrender the rest to the Universe.

2. Stillness. Pick a time of the day that works best for you and ask yourself the same question St. Francis of Assisi asked God, “What will You have me do today, God?” Secondly, in that moment of stillness, he would thank God for giving him that very ability to serve others. Another prayer that works well is a prayer from A Course in Miracles, that says,

What would You have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?

Tune in for the answers. Stay still long enough to hear them. Its a guaranteed downloadable to-do list straight from the Universe.

3. Show up. Write down the answers and take action. We get sidetracked with social media, bringing up old habits and news, future tripping, our vices, etc. 90% of everything is showing up. Just show up. Don't think about it, just get there and take it moment to moment.

By following these steps, you find your community and more importantly, you will be co`creating with the Universe just by being the beloved being of the Light It created you to be.

As always, let me know your thoughts below in the comments. Have you let go of control?

Love and Light,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Spiritual Guide to Overcoming a Fear of Flying

I am not the greatest flyer. Since I was a little girl, I would not go on roller coasters. I was the girl riding the carousel for the fifteenth time while the others I was with were experiencing thrills and fun with drops and twists on the roller coasters at the amusement park. Needless to say, flying hasn't been so good either.

I realize though if I want to experience all of God's goodies in life and to see the fruits of Mother Earth's labor, I need to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. So I face the fear of flying, which this fear can overlap most of our fears, as its a fear of the unknown and a fear of death.

Since reading Anita Moorjani's book, Dying to be Me, where she chronicles her near death experience (NDE) while suffering with cancer, my fear of death has changed. She "died" on a hospital bed from complications with cancer. But, as she details in her book, the moment when she passed away she experienced total bliss, a love, peace, and an intense feeling of warmth, a lightness, all with no fear whatsoever. It just sounds so amazing! Ms. Moorjani has lived to tell about her experience and it has brought millions of people comfort and peace as they navigate their lives.

So last week, I boarded a plane to Arizona armed with many tools from my spiritual toolbox. Here are my tips on how to navigate your way as you leave on a jet plane:

1. Face your fear. When we admit our fears, we take our control back and send the ego to the corner. As we embrace the fear, we bring light and love to the higher self and in the owning we refuse to let it tell us how to run our life. By facing your fears, you take back control.

2. Be present. The anticipation is the worst part. Weeks prior to my flights, I think about what could happen. Then, as I sit at the gate, I think about how much I don't want to get on that plane. In these instances, I center back in and remember to stay present in the moment. I am not on the plane yet, so worrying about it is a waste of time. So I do things that soothe me in the present moment - like loving on my kids, husband, dog, playing games, writing, hanging out with girlfriends. At the airport, I people watch aaannd to my husband's dismay, everyone is a friend so I engage in chit chat with strangers, as I find you can learn something from everyone. That's just the hungry student in me! Find what works for you to center back into the present moment. Focus on what is right in front of you. Let the future-tripping go. Enjoy what is going on in the Now.

3. Say prayers for the pilots and attendants serving the flight. As I board the plane, I touch the jet and imagine a white light surrounding it. I say a prayer to my guardian angels to keep the plane safe and carry it gently to its destination with ease. As I pass the pilot, I send him my prayers as this is his livelihood and what he enjoys doing as his career. I say hello and smile to all the flight attendants servicing our flight. I also pray for every person on the flight. I send them love and light that they get tot their destinations safely.

4. Stay distracted before the plane takes off. When I get to my seat, I get out a book or listen to music or chat with my travel partner about what we are gonna see and do. This gets me excited.

5. Prepare for takeoff. Deepak Chopra is the man! Chopra has a technique you can use as you are experiencing fear. He says, recall a time in your life where you felt overwhelming joy. This could be the birth of your child, getting the job you wanted, your wedding day. Visualize in your minds eye that feeling and let it consume your body. As the plane takes off, it is moving fairly quickly. Experience that exhilaration as you sail into the skies and match it with that mental recess you just visualized. Hold the thought and the feeling of love and happiness as you soar mentally and physically. This works like a charm!

6. Travel with crystals, sacred momentos, lucky charms and/or pictures. I wear a long necklace that has a stone of Archangel Ariel on it. She is the "lion of God" and is the angel of protection. I hold it with my thumb and forefinger and feel peace by her presence. Bring something with you that you love, which you brings joy and peace to your heart.

7. Breathe. When we are experiencing anxiety, we forget to breathe. As you inhale, fill the belly up and out, hold for three, and exhale as you draw your belly back towards you spine. This will instantly snap you back and calm your nerves.

8. Meditate with Mantras and Affirmations. As you are practicing your breathing, repeat mantras to yourself. You can use this one here or come up with one on your own. I used this last week: "I am safe. I am calm. All is well. I am exactly where I need to be. I look forward to all the joyous experiences that await me."

9. Enjoy the flight. For the most part, most flights are fairly smooth. Sit back and watch a movie. Read a book you are dying to get lost in. Look out the window and revel in the Universe's glory and vastness of Mother Earth. Turbulence may occur, you may feel a bump or two, but just as when you drive in your car and experience bumps, planes do too. It's the experience of any mode of transportation.

10. As the plane prepares for landing, use the same steps (4-7)listed above.

11. When the wheels touch down, celebrate! You are about to open yourself up to whole new set of experiences. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, you are about to take part in an exciting adventure! Traveling allows you to experience new things: new cultures, new scenery, new flavors, new relationships, rejuvenation, and cool adventures! Carpe diem! And you did it, you faced the fear and DID IT ANYWAY! WINNING!

I wanna hear your thoughts on traveling. Could you use these steps to face other fears? What works for you? Let me know in the comments. We can all learn from your voice and experiences!

Love and Light,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Recovery is a Journey Back to the Soul

My latest essay is up on Cameron Diaz's website, Our Body Book. Her book is all about becoming yourself with recipes, workouts and good old fashion wisdom. Love her energy and spirit! Check it out!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Theresa Roth

Happy March! Happy Monday! Today I want to introduce you to another Wide Awake Woman. Meet Theresa Roth.

Theresa is the creative mind and creator behind SuperLoveTees. I am personally a big fan of Theresa's as I own two (and more to come) of her super soft, super inspirational tees. I love the fabric so much and the message behind each one. I found her site on Instagram and was immediately sold!! I am very inspired by her dedication to her life's work and her entrepreneurial skills. She has a heart of gold and a eye of amazing design to match!

1. Theresa, tell us about you:

My name is Theresa Roth and I am the owner and designer of SuperLoveTees. I have so much fun with it, and feel divinely led to create these inspiring tees and ship them around the World. It's a lot of hard work, but it feels like play most of the time. The positive energy of designing the graphics, and mixing the paints and hand screening each peace carries me along and then comes back to me when I see pics of our customers wearing and loving their tees.

2. Why did you start your own t-shirt business?

I started my t-shirt business with the intention to spread love and good vibes all around the world. My secondary reason was to be able to create a business that allowed me to quit my full time job, which I did in January 2014.

3. Was there ever a time in your life where you felt stuck and what did you do to pull yourself out? What was your wide awake moment?

I wouldn’t say that being stuck or feeling stuck is one of my sticky points. I have had a time where I felt like I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. Fortunately, I’ve come to learn that those feeling are temporary and if I’m present with the feelings, they always seem to give way to clear skies.

4. How do you deal with stress?

The day-to-day life of SuperLoveTees can be stressful. The reality of selling products that I make by hand is a lot of work. When I’m feeling stressed, the easiest way for me to let go of the stress is to look at what I’m doing and acknowledge that I’m doing the very best that I can do in any given moment.

5. How do you go from thinking with your heart rather than your head?

That all starts with intention and knowing that everything I do is a result of my heart filled intention to spread love. When times get tricky and/or my brain interferes with this process, I realize that I don’t need to have all of the answers right now and that everything is working for me, not against me.

6. What are some of your favorite quotes?

“Let go, be guided, expect miracles” (by Gabby Bernstein). Also, from A Course In Miracles, there is a mantra that soothes my soul: “love is all there is.”

7. What message can you leave us with today to carry us through the week?

One powerful message that I like to impart to people that ask me how to start their own business is to start where you are. Whether that means figuring out what your dream is or chasing the dream that you have already identified, start where you are and every day make progress towards achieving that dream. Over time you will be amazed at how far baby steps can take you.

She really is living a life leading with her heart -- it is so beautiful and inspiring.

And get this, guys... She is offering all Your Wide Awakening readers a 15% discount off ALL orders ALL MONTH LONG! That's right - the Discount Code WIDEAWAKE15 expires on March 30,2014! You gotta check out these shirts and sweatshirts! They are made of the highest quality fabrics and made with a whole lotta heart and soul. Check out to look around and place your order!

Love and Light,