Affirmations

The Shame of Saying No

The Shame of Saying No

This blog has been created and called for by countless women that I coach, counsel, and chat with each and every day. I've been acutely aware of growing and deadly trend of the Shame of saying No. The reality is that this issue is magnified every day with the advent of social media.  

Many women are programmed that the "right"...

Shame

If you follow me at all on any social media, you will have noticed that I’ve spent a lot of time recently talking about shame. I think shame is currently very pervasive and active in our world today. I want to start with...

Living peacefully in the body you have

Living peacefully in the body you have

We reside in such a confusing world of complex paradigms. We talk about how self-love should be a priority. All the while sending very direct messages of body shame to anyone who...

Navigating the Holidays in an unwell body

Navigating the Holidays in an unwell body

If you have followed any of my blogs you are aware that I have been offered diagnoses for a variety of health conditions, including but not limited to...

The dark side of Entrepreneurship ~When depression sets in:

The dark side of Entrepreneurship       ~When depression sets in:

If life were a fairy tale, when you would have a dream or a goal, it would just magically come to fruition. But the reality is we are not in a fairy tale at all. I’ve been...

Finding Safety in your Physical Body

Finding Safety in your Physical Body

As a person that relates to the world with trauma brain, safety is always my number one priority. In the past, I would have even wagered to say that safety was my number one priority in every area. However...

To The Officer Who Pulled Me Over

To The Officer Who Pulled Me Over

Every day we hear horror stories about police brutality and police abusing their power. Here’s what I want you to know at the forefront of this story: my favorite uncle...

The Process of Trust

The Process of Trust

According to Webster’s dictionary, trust is defined as a belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. Is that your definition of trust?

Cultivating Joy

Cultivating Joy

January is typically a very stressful time of year for many people. There are various explanations for the stress. The reasons for the increase of stress include...

Feeding Your Soul

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  It’s the first day of 2016, and I am absolutely filled with love, confidence, joy and serenity. Is my life “perfect”? I’m sure to some outside observers it may appear that way. However, as I write this I am currently eliminating the second concussion I have had in the last three years, and I am slightly overwhelmed with scheduling issues. Here’s the difference between me last year and me this year. Last year, I would have spent time beating myself up with unhelpful thoughts such as, “Who falls in their own office and lets their 200 pound office chair give them a concussion” or “It’s just scheduling! It shouldn’t be that hard.” In the past, I was prone to be unnecessarily harsh on myself. But I made a substantial change in my life yesterday and it feels amazing!

 

I rang in most of New Years Eve by de-cluttering my house and eliminating things that I no longer need. Once that task was completed, I spent time releasing and forgiving anyone and everyone who had every upset, offended or hurt me in any way. Every…single…person! And it felt amazing! Which leads me to the most crucial question of this blog: What are you doing to feed your soul?

 

I have cleared a space of my own in my home. A space just for me! That no one else will be able to put stuff on or things in. A place that is my very own sacred place of healing, working, manifesting and appreciating. Many men have what is affectionately known as a “man cave.” I have even heard of certain mom’s having a “mom-cave,” but I am not going to get caught up in the title or the name of a space. My question to you is this: Do you have a sacred space in your home? In our current home, space is somewhat limited. Therefore my space is in the upstairs living room. I’m not at all bothered by this, because we have two living rooms. In our next home, I will have my own office there. You may be asking yourself why having a space is relevant or important. The answer is somewhat complex. On the surface it’s because it gives you ownership in the structure you reside in. On a deeper level, it attributes to you having a sacred place in which you can rejuvenate, relax and repair yourself. It allows you to have a space that encourages times to decompress, time to meditate, time to reflect and time to plan.

 

I am very invested in nurturing my soul, because it’s the most vital part of me. I would no more neglect this part of me than many people would neglect their child or pet. Therefore, I want to present you with a list of ways to feed your soul. Because you are worth it and you deserve it!

 

  1. Music: For as long as I can remember I have had a very eclectic taste in music. There was only one requirement for it: I had to be able to sing along. Sometimes, when I close my eyes and I am signing, I feel as though I am the only one left on the planet. It’s a beautiful and wonderful thing. I have said for as long as I can remember that music is the language of my soul.
  2. Nature: Have you ever just gone out in the middle of a forest, or in the middle of the woods, or even in the center of the beach and just felt as if nothing else in the world mattered? Or perhaps it feels as if nothing else exists. For me, I can achieve this simply by going outside and standing in the middle of the sunlight or the moonlight. It’s equally as freeing and soothing.
  3. Laugh…a lot: I’m not concerned with if you are watching a comedy or watching a talking squirrel on Youtube. Laughter is not only healthy and healing for your physical body, but also for you soul. Have you ever heard of laughter therapy? It’s an actual movement. Allow yourself to laugh and find the humor in things.
  4. Kindness: When is the last time that you picked some fresh flowers for yourself? When is the last time that you bought fresh flowers for yourself? Are you waiting for someone else to buy them for you? I am a huge lover of fresh flowers. Therefore, I have no issue buying them for myself.
  5. Write a love letter: Have you ever gotten a letter from someone you loved more than words could describe? Hopefully you love yourself so much that you fit into this category! Many years ago, I ran a women’s support group and it was a very powerful group. Periodically, I would have the women write letters to them self. This doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable, let me give you some direction. When I’m writing love letters to myself I do it in the form of an outside observer. As if I’m an invisible part of my daily life, only I have the added benefit of seeing my thoughts, actions, beliefs and feelings.
  6. Gratitude: I literally use gratitude in my life all day, every day. I am grateful for the wonderful and happy things as well as the less than amazingly stellar things. My experience with gratitude is it halves feelings and situations that are not amazingly wonderful and it multiplies situations that are. I use gratitude on every experience I encounter throughout the day.
  7. Imagination: I am very color oriented (I’m not fond of pale colors) and as such I play with what I see and what I feel. If my soul is feeling “off” or “a little down” I just pick a couple of colors and imagine my entire being filled to the brim with it and then overflowing. My favorite colors to do this with are pink and green because they are loving and healing colors.
  8. Meditation: Meditation, in it’s strictest definition is the ability to clear your mind of all thought. I do this regularly. I have found that just like forgiveness and releasing things, clearing my mind of all thoughts allows more room for positive and uplifting thoughts to occur. Let’s look at our minds like a garbage bin just for a moment. How many times is your bin over flowing? If we don’t ever empty it, where does all of it go? In my experience, our minds are not much different.

 

If you have other ways that you nurture and feed your soul, I’m so excited for you. If you have never entertained this concept, practice with some of these and shoot me an email. I would love to hear what changed for you as a result of doing some of this!

 

JennBoveeLCSW is a Spiritual Life Coach and Hypnotherapist. She offers in person and distance sessions to people all across the world. Learn more about Jenn here:www.JennBoveeLCSW.com

Why I'm the #1 Priority in My Life.

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I recently saw a Facebook post in which a woman talked about how she’s making her marriage work now. In this post, she talked about how her spouse is now her number one priority. Because this person didn’t ask for my opinion, I did not give it. I want to state for the record, that neither my husband nor my children are my number one priority! Nor will they ever be. Does this mean that I don’t love them? Absolutely not. Does this mean that I don’t value them? Of course not. Does this mean that I don’t support them? Clearly not.What exactly does this mean then?It means that I will always be the highest priority in my own life. I can already hear some of the outrage, as people are reading this. So let me answer a few questions now. No, this is not me being selfish or self-centered. This is me, taking care of me. Which is healthy and necessary! Here’s how I explain it to the clients in my office: When you are on the airplane, who does the flight attendant tell you to put the oxygen mask on first and why? The correct answer to this question is, “The flight attendant tells you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first because if something happens to you, what good are you to your child?” When I first moved in with my husband and kids, I knew all of this information. And yet….. Somehow….. I had made them a higher priority than myself. This wasn’t an intentional progression, but it still happened none the less. As a result of this, I had lost a piece of myself. I no longer was working out that the gym, I hadn’t gone to pain pottery in months, I hadn’t gone to a movie by myself in years, and getting a massage was absolutely unthinkable. Maybe you have some negative connotations with the word priority. How would this be different if I asked who the biggest cheerleader in your life was? It should be a concern that most of us are easily able to identify ourselves as our own worst enemy. That’s not the way it needs to be. If you put yourself first, you have more of yourself to give to others. If you are constantly drained from taking care of everyone else, there are no left overs. The other issue with that problem is that it doesn’t allow for time to refill your own cup. Even if you don’t want to use the words, “number one priority”, let’s agree that it’s a crucial move to go from your own worst enemy to your biggest cheerleader. Allow me to give you the steps to make this happen: 1. Gratitude: This more than likely seems like a “catch all” but it’s really not. Gratitude is a complete game changer. Trust me, when I began expressing gratitude about every flaw, every mistake and every imperfection…things changed massively. 2. Don’t sweat anything: I typically use the framework of “How important is this compared to my health or my sanity.” When compared on this type of a scale, very few things actually register as relevant. I literally apply this filter to every area of my life. Before I allow myself to get upset about a situation, I ask myself that question. If the answer is no, I made the decision to let it go.

3. Act as if: Whether you ascribe to the Fake it until you make it or the Law of Attraction, there’s a substantial amount of merit in the acting as if philosophy. It doesn’t really matter if you intellectually are ready to be the number one priority in your own life, or if you even emotionally understand it. What matters is that you are willing to act as if, because there is where the magic will happen. 4. Self-hypnosis: Let’s be honest, most of us have a lot of subconscious mind programming that includes messages like “If you are the number one priority that means you are selfish and you will end up a lone.” Not only is this absolutely inaccurate, but it’s not a healthy mindset. Therefore, I encourage all my clients to use hypnosis to create the behaviors and habits that they want to have. 5. Don’t instantly commit: Over twenty years ago, I watch an Oprah episode and they had a person on their talking about how to not overcommit. She suggested that before you commit to anything you use this phrase, “I need to check my calendar.” The person explained that this gives you the emotional distance to figure out if this is actually something you want to do or not. I have fully adapted this in my life. I no longer over commit myself and don’t instantly commit to anything or anyone. By using this process, it’s allowed me the distance to evaluate it I actually want to engage in the suggested activity. 6. Boundaries: I mean this in a very literal way. Boundaries have saved and changed my life! If I don’t want to do something I simply tell someone no… I don’t apologize and I don’t offer an excuse. Many of my clients struggle with the concept of no being a complete sentence. 7. Jenn’s golden rule: I encourage everyone I work with to treat themselves like they treat other people. So many people are unnecessarily hard on themselves, and treat other people with so much grace and love. How would your life be different if you treated yourself as well as you treat other people? If it would be substantial, please start that now. Do not wait. I believe that once you see your own worth and value, it becomes easier to make yourself the number one priority. My experience is that once I made myself the number one priority in my own life, everything else fell into place.

Jenn Bovee LCSW is a spiritual life coach and hypnotherapist. Jenn offers a variety of services to clients locally as well as globally. Learn more about here here: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com

Evicting my Abuser

Evicting my Abuser

Allow me to empower you to evict the biggest abuser in your life.

Navigating the Holidays Without the Stress

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Traditionally, I’m one of those neurotic people who is done with my Christmas shopping long before now. Historically, I’ve already written out the recipes for Thanksgiving dinner and begun strategically cleaning my house. There are many reasons why this year is different. If I wanted to live in denial, I could say that I am just “staying in the present moment” now. However, that is a fairly simplistic response compared to where I’m at.It is currently 9 days before Thanksgiving. Society, as a whole has felt an increase of stress, pressure, and exhaustion in the last month or so. The reasons for the increase of stress are as multi-faceted as the solutions typically presented. The list I am about to share with you are the ways that I have safely navigated eliminating the Holiday stress. Feel free to apply any, all or a couple of the suggestions below: 1. Say No: I suspect that part of the reason so many people are over extended is because they don’t know how (or are not comfortable) saying no. Let me be perfectly clear, you don’t owe anyone an explanation today. I advise people that NO, is a complete sentence. 2. Down Time: I typically schedule two half days for me to get “stuff” done. I dedicate one of those days to things like: reading, journaling, blogging, taking long baths, watching shows I don’t normally watch or doing whatever my heart desires. I’m a firm believer in doing this stuff, even if you only have an hour to spare. 3. Gratitude: I literally include gratitude in every area of my life. From having a headache, to getting stuck behind a slow moving vehicle to receiving a bill in the mail. Gratitude is literally a game changer for me. My experience is when using gratitude for negative situations; it can cut the pain felt in response to them in half. While using gratitude with positive situations doubles the joy experienced with them. 4. Written Lists: I’m a huge person for lists; the reality is that most of my lists are in my head. However, when I put the list down in black and white, it instantly shifts the list to become more manageable. One of my initial “go to’s” when I experience any amount of stress, is to write out everything that I want to accomplish. The process of writing them down, allows you to eliminate the stress associated with what you need to get done. 5. Do 1 Thing: This is the mantra that keeps me motivated and productive. The way it works is, before you do anything you want to do, you accomplish one thing off of your to do list. For example: before I eat dinner, I do one thing; before I take a bath, I do one thing; before I got to bed, I do one thing. I’m sure it sounds so simple, but the reality is once you get going the momentum can be enough to catapult you to complete the list before you realize it. 6. Take Nothing Personally: Let’s be honest for a moment, even the healthiest and most well intentioned family members can say hurtful or silly things. If we can make a decision to commit to the habit of taking nothing personally, can you imagine how much freer and happier your life will be? 7. Limit Your Contact: Every human being alive has a limit, whether or not they are aware of it. If there’s anyone surrounding you during the holidays that are any amount of toxic, please limit your contact with them. My rule of thumb is if I don’t feel good around them, I don’t spend a lot of time around them. 8. Ask For Help: I have met so many people who view asking for help as a personal failure. I strongly disagree with this philosophy. My personal belief system is that we were not meant to live life on this earth isolated, therefore it’s healthy for us to ask for help. I encourage people to ask for help with the big things, the little things and everything in between. 9. Focus on the Meaning: No matter what the occasion, I encourage people to focus on what it means to them, personally. Not what our current culture has created it to be, but rather what they desire it to be about. If you view yourself as the author of the story of your own life, how would you describe the meaning of each particular holiday? 10. Set Yourself up for Success: How this applies will be different from person to person. For some people this will consist of having realistic expectations, for others this will include buying food for the holiday get together instead of making if from scratch. Allow yourself to succeed by treating yourself well, and creating an attitude of love, grace and encouragement towards yourself.

I would like to offer a challenge to every person who comes into contact with this blog. I would like to challenge you to do something kind and loving towards yourself every day from now until January 15th. I encourage you to think about the ramifications of treating yourself well and loving yourself. My experience is once this occurs everything is possible.

Jenn Bovee is a spiritual life coach and psychotherapist. She offers in person sessions as well as distance sessions. Learn more about Jenn at: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com

The Magic of Words

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I am an English speaking person, by birth person. Given that context you would think that I would have been easily able to master the magic of using the correct words to achieve my goals. If you have ever read any of my blogs you will notice that typically I start off with the dictionary definition. I do this because, I want to make sure everyone is on the same page about the context of the word I am using. However, I have looked up the words I’m going to cover in this blog up and I don’t see them described this way in the dictionary. Let me ask you a question. What is your response when your boss has given you so many tasks that no human alive could achieve them in the desired time frame, and your boss gives you another one? The average person is not going to argue with this, they instead are going to pacify the person demanding things from them. The response becomes, “I will try”. Let’s take this another direction. A person whom you have a relationship with (father, mother, sibling, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, ect) gives you an assignment. Something that they need done, but you have no desire or plan to actually achieve. What’s your typical response? For most people, their response becomes “I will try”. How long do you think it’s possible to use the word ty before it becomes an internal cop out? I cannot tell you how many adults I work with, who when I am teaching them new skills, they will say “I tried” or “I am trying”. There’s a complete lack of commitment when we use the word try. When I used to facilitate groups and I would hear someone use the word try, I would toss them a box of tissues. I would ask them to demonstrate what trying looks like. Inevitably, they would pick up the box of tissues, I would then instruct them that they had done it wrong. I simply wanted them to show me what trying looks like, not succeeding. At which point they would become confused. Trying indicates an absolute lack of commitment. In my experience there is no trying, you either do it or you do not do it.

Another word that is commonly mis-used is just. Even as I look at the definition of the word it doesn’t match how most of us use this word. The typical context I hear this word used in is: “I’m just going to” or “I just need to” or even “I just”. Can we really think of a bigger excuse maker? It seems to be a catalyst for denying either our responsibility or our commitment. I suspect that for most people these justifications come from a lack of boundaries or a sense of being overwhelmed. My recommendation is for us to purify our language and increase our accountability.

I was taught many years ago that commitment was a big deal. I desired to be a person of my word. Therefor I keep my commitment today unless I have a valid (and urgent) reason to not be able to keep that commitment. In the book of Matthew of the Bible, we are told to let our yes be yes and our no be no. How much clearer do we need to receive this message?

Below is a list of ways to remove the excuses from your language, increase your accountability, and enhance the magic of your words. These are how I have eliminated the negative and self-sabotaging words from my vocabulary:

  1. Understand our words have power: Whether we ascribe to the Law of Attraction or Self Fulfilling Prophecy the results are the same: Whatever we think, feel, believe, speak, or imagine to be true…we are creating that as a reality. For some people this may be a terrifying realization. For others, it will be wickedly empowering. Once we understand the absolute power of the spoken (or thought of) words we can begin creating our reality.
  2. Don’t commit initially: Many years ago I began implementing a philosophy in which I would not agree to do anything right when asked. In fact my standard answer became, “I need to check my schedule”. This allowed me some time and distance from the potential obligation to sort out if it was something I wanted to do, if it was something I would be best served by doing, or if it was something I was interested in. It allowed me an avenue for detachment without being overly concerned with hurting the other person.
  3. Clarity Meditations: Literally this can take less than a minute. I am a big believer in keeping things simple. The way I do this is by breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I focus on how the air feels coming in and out. Once I have done that for a few seconds I focus on breathing in all the good things (peace, love, joy, clarity, harmony, creativity) and I exhale all of the troublesome things (doubt, fear, insecurity, worry, anxiety). Recently I facilitated a client experiencing this phenomenon and she was instantly hooked. And the shift it created took less than 57 seconds to occur.
  4. Write it down: I love electronic technology. But after getting confused or near misses to deadlines, I went back old school. I have surrendered to the need to have written accountability. This allows me to stay focused, accountable, and accurate. I can also see (with a quick glance to my calendar) how I am doing with the balance I desire in my life. I also really value setting my intentions the night before. I would encourage everyone to spend some time before bed writing down a list of 3 – 6 things you want to accomplish the next day.
  5. Affirmations: At the end of the day, affirmations are simply statements of intent. This reminds me of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. In this book he talks about using the power of your word to speak in the direction of truth and love. How can it get any better than that? If you are new to affirmations, keep it simple. The goal here is to speak your intention as though it has already happened.

Every single word in the human language has meaning. Remember if your words are not assisting you in creating the reality you desire, than they are hurting you. If you wonder if the word you are using has any negative ties to it, go to the dictionary. Many times we have altered the original use or context of a word to mean what fits our motives.

Jenn Bovee, LCSW is a spiritual life coach and psychotherapist. Jenn offers in person and distance life coaching sessions. You can learn more about her here: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com

9 Ways to Be Beyond a Survivor

9 Ways to Be Beyond a Survivor

I want to challenge everyone who has ever endured anything to let go of the label survivor. My challenge is to rise above survivor and move into being a thriver.

Time out!

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In the world of fair fighting this is a term to describe when both parties agree to not engage for a specified period of time. In the parenting world it’s where your child is not engaging with other people for a specified reason. However, for the purpose of this blog we are going to be looking at a different direction of the time out philosophy. When is the last time you took time out for you? I love working and staying busy, and this might be the first time in my life that I’m only working one job. However, working full time, being a wife, a mother for two bonus teenagers, and five pets leaves little time for me. I’m not trying to be dramatic here, simply realistic. By nature, of me being me, I am typically cognizant of those people in my environment and I work to make their lives better.

I’ve realized lately that while I absolutely love my life, my family, my job; I need to take time for myself. Time when I’m just focusing on filling my cup and not focused on anyone else. Can you imagine how much more recharged you would fill if you took time just for you, on a regular basis? I think that this would make you a better person and you would be able to be more present in all of your activities and relationships.

Because it has become first nature for most of us to take care of others, I would like to offer you some suggestions on how to take some time out for you:

  1. Set a timer: This seems like a ridiculous suggestion, but please read it all the way through. This is a great technique specifically for people who are time oriented. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Surely you can find 20 minutes a week to take some time out for you.
  2. Drop the guilt: Let’s be honest for a moment. Most of us are not motivated by guilt, so what purpose does it really serve. The only purpose I can find for guilt in my own life is to keep me stuck or paralyzed. Let’s agree to drop the guilt now, and replace it with complete acceptance.
  3. Ask for help: If this is a brand new concept for you, it might not be safe for you to just go out and spend time alone. Ask the person or people closest to you for help, motivation and accountability. What a phenomenal way to partner with those that you love.
  4. Just say no: While this might sound like a petty cliché, in reality is a very solid suggestion. No is a complete sentence. You do not owe anyone an explanation today. Let’s agree to give up the need to justify our decisions. Practice saying no to simple and easy things first, which will allow you to build up to saying no to the bigger things.
  5. Drop the struggle: One of my favorite sayings is that those things that we resist grow stronger, and those things we accept dissipate quicker. How much different do you think your life would be if you accepted your own need for a time out, and allowed it to happen.
  6. De-clutter:  I am, by nature, the exact opposite of a hoarder. Clutter, junk, and messes give me a certain level of anxiety. Can you imagine how much more welcoming and accepting you would feel of your needs if your home, vehicle, office and body were de-cluttered?   It’s an ongoing goal of mine, and while I’m not perfect at it, I can recognize the strides I’ve made.
  7. Claim it: If we go off of the foundation that we create our reality by our thoughts, how much more powerful are out words? I would encourage you to state that you are going to begin taking a time out for yourself. This seems like the natural foundation for allowing this type of activity.
  8. Eliminate the all or nothing: I’m not sure that there are any philosophies as damaging as the all or nothing mindset. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t need to be that you take a week in the middle of the jungle with no outside contact or no time for you at all. Why not start with small, measurable, achievable goals? Let’s set ourselves up for success versus failure.

 

I’m making the commitment to myself that I’m going to take three 30-minute time outs for myself the next week. What commitments are you willing to make for yourself? I think you are worth it! What’s stopping you?

JennBovee, LCSW is a spiritual life coach and psychotherapist. Jenn offers in person and distance life coaching sessions. Learn more about her here: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com

9 Keys to Protecting Yourself as an Empath

9 Keys to Protecting  Yourself as an Empath

Living life as an empath can be stressful and anxiety producing. Learn how to protect yourself without shutting off your abilities.