August 28, 2013

Inspired words about thoughts

I love the quote below from Eat Pray Love. Dale Carnegie distills it down, but I love Liz Gilbert's poetry as she describes how she will no longer harbor unhealthy thoughts. It moved me in a way I didn't understand at the time - cause I sure didn't understand how to change my thoughts. But it sent me seeking for a way to do it and now that I know how, it's one of my most favourite and most liberating tools that creates so much self love and the real ability to make your life into what you want.

If you're ready for that, please join me in September to Jump Start Your Life.

"So I’ve started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all day, monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: “I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore.” Every time a diminishing thought arises, I repeat the vow. I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. The first time I heard myself say this, my inner ear perked up at the word “harbor”, which is a noun as well as a verb. A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind – a little beat-up perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self (which is a young and volcanic island, yes, but fertile and promising). This island has been through some wars, it is true, but is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now – let the word go out across the seven seas – there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.

You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts – all these will be turned away. Likewise any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways – you may not come here anymore either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be carefully screened, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind – otherwise I shall turn you back toward the sea from whence you came. That is my mission, and it will never end." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

August 14, 2013

This course will change your life!

Really? Well, yes. Candice said it changed her life and Steph says it too in her story ...

"I would have to say that with Jessica's help and guidance through the exercises in Steering By Starlight, my life has changed for the better. I had many life goals I wanted to accomplish but I lacked the tools and focus to overcome the obstacles I believed were in my path. I had many fears and was holding on to bad truths I adopted at an early age. But through the many weeks of the course, I learned to rephrase my fears and create new truths; I learned to not let my lizard brain dictate my actions but to acknowledge it and move forward. More importantly, I learned new tools to forge new pathways into the life I wanted. The result is the fulfillment of a dream: I left my full-time corporate day job to study art and get my bachelor's degree. My journey is far from over but it's the beginning of a new life that I'm excited about. I'm so grateful for this course and the amazing support I've received. This will literally change your life!"

I feel very privileged to be the guide and witness to people making major life changes: goals being uncovered; previously dismissed dreams being revived; and changes that were seemingly incredibly scary and difficult turning out to be much simpler and easier to accomplish.

So I thought I'd give some examples of other shifts that participants have made:

- a job that felt like a dead-end but the only thing that would pay the rent ended with a severance package and acceptance into art school - go Steph!

- an uncomfortable & unpleasant living arrangement that felt like the only thing that was affordable was left for an expansive and "expensive" apartment with a plan of how to pay for it!

- a relationship with a family member was re-framed with clear boundaries that creates a sense of safety and freedom!

- a job that had once been a delight but had become stifling was left with well wishes and a clear plan to start a business that engages all the skills and interests of the new owner!

- a love relationship that had long been imagined as impossible became a reality with a person who came closer and closer into orbit as the belief that it WAS possible grew!

- a relationship with a colleague that had been intolerable became tolerable with the resetting of boundaries and the energy shift in beliefs about being a victim to being the leader!

- a long dreamed of trip that seemed completely out of reach became simple and easy with a few requests for help!

What would you like to change? Come Fire Up Your Life and make it happen!

August 10, 2013

Q & A about Steering By Starlight

My friend Aislinn is interested in joining this fall's Steering By Starlight course and she asked me a bunch of great questions about what it's like. She's kindly agreed to share our exchange for anyone who may be wondering the very same things. Thanks Aislinn!!

Aislinn: When does it start and what will our first meeting be like?

Jessica: The group will be 6 people max. That's how many people fit into my living room! The first week I ask people to introduce themselves and to share some of their hopes for what the course will do for them. Which leads directly to the first exercise in Chapter 1 of the book about identifying what you really want.

The course is structured to lead us through the Chapters of Steering By Starlight in 8 weeks. I lead the group through the exercises in the book to show how to make the shifts to both identifying and getting what you want in your life. The first time I read the book I was all - yeah, great, sure I get it - and I didn't do the exercises. But doing them is what makes it work!

It tends to get deep very quickly which is where the magic is, but you only share what feels comfortable for you.

Aislinn: Oooh! That sounds really exciting! I'm at a point in my life where I feel an exercise like that would be incredibly helpful and rewarding.

Jess: I can honestly say that every person who has taken the course, and really done the work has made incredible changes in their lives that have surprised the hell out of me! In a good way of course!

Aislinn: Of course! That is VERY inspiring and interesting to hear :). Is it sometimes people you know and sometimes perfect strangers?

Jess: Yep. I didn't advertise my first group as I only invited people I knew. Several old friends and a few newer acquaintances. They were my batter testers!

Aislinn: Haha, spoon lickers!

Jess: But my second and third groups included several people I didn't know. Both groups did Part 2 also, which comes next. And now that I have two groups of alums several of them have asked me to do a Part 3. The group becomes an incredible problem solving resource and a huge support to continue to move goals forward. So that's happening too!

Aislinn: A very good sign of happy and satisfied participants! And you seem like you would be a very capable tour-guide through an experience like this. Do you enjoy it? (silly question, I think ...)

Jess: I love it. I was trained as a group facilitator in university and taught Women's Studies 101. And then I spent 15 years teaching people how to dance together. Which is all about relationships, letting people know it's ok to be beginners again, and showing up with the belief that they can do something they often think they can't. I'm always right about that one! This is where my mojo really shines. And the book has almost everything in it that I have seen change lives. It changed mine! The few things that are missing, I add in along the way.

It's funny, I only recently threw out all my materials from those first classes I taught. It's been over 20 years after-all. But I still cannot part with the final reflections that my students gave me - they were so full of wonder and gratitude at how much they'd changed and grown. And they are a direct connection to the work I do now. Which ultimately is about consciousness raising and self-understanding.

Aislinn: You are an entirely fascinating woman, Jessica Jenkins.

Jess: I can't deny it ;)

Aislinn: Please save me a spot, I'm most definitely interested!

Jess: Ok, see you soon, and thank you for the beautiful questions!

Click here if you want to know what Aislinn thought after taking the course.

August 09, 2013

Jump Start Your Life with me in September!!

I can't believe it's back to school time but the good news about that is my 8-week, life changing Jump Start Your Life course is starting again the third week of September!!

If you're tired of how your life has been going, wanting to make some changes but not sure how, or looking for the deeper meaning in your life this 8 week course will explore how to create more happiness, give you new tools to make change, and clarify your deep desires.

This is what Candice had to say about her experience from last year's session:

"I can say that this course exceeded my expectations by 100%. I didn't know what to expect actually, but I sure didn't know it would change my life. Jessica is a fantastic facilitator, teacher, and contributor, and in the group setting it wasn't so scary. The women in the group helped each other to see we all have fears, we are are all on our own journey and yet we are all connected. It's a beautiful life we can have and this class can help you get to the magic, to your true self , and on the path that is meant just for you. I could go on and on, but you can only decide for yourself. So Go'awn. Try it. I bet you'll like it. :) xo"

Click on over to find all the details or drop me a note if you'd like to connect to talk about it: jessica (at) jessica jenkins (dot) ca

August 08, 2013

Happiness Tips in NOW Magazine!!

NOW Magazine has a condensed version of my top 5 tips for creating more happiness in your life!

Here's the whole list:

1. Create a gratitude practice out of anything that feels easy and joyful: like regular thanks at meals; send lots of thank you cards; create a gratitude journal; blog regularly about what you're grateful for; create a gratitude Pintrest board. Doing this opens you up to noticing what is going right in the world, what's beautiful in the small and large things around you which creates a feeling of abundance and calm.

2. Drop judgement. Notice when you are judging yourself and others unkindly. Then stop and think of something kind instead. Judgement just gets in the way of happiness.

3. Ask yourself what you really really want: yes you - ask yourself! Do I really want those shoes, or do I want to feel more love in my life? Do I really want that cookie or do I want to go for a walk? Do I really want to do that thing you asked me to do, or do I want to say no? Ask, and when you get a good honest answer - do that!

4. Have more fun experiences! Yes, more fun!

5. Mind your own business. As in, really mind it, care for it. Look after yourself, be grateful to yourself, be kinder to yourself, ask yourself what you want, and give yourself what you want. Meet your own needs. And stay out of other people's business. Their opinions about you are none of your business and your opinions about them are none of your business (see #2). Their thoughts, feelings, and actions are not about you.

Happiness is always there inside you!