Thursday, August 28, 2014

Share Your Authentic Self

Be yourself. If you water yourself down to please people, or to fit in or to not offend anyone, you lose the power, the passion, the freedom, and the joy of being uniquely You. It’s much easier to love yourself when you are being yourself.      - Author Unknown 
     I was up late one night finishing up some last minute touches on my last blog post, "Roadblocks? Get Over It!”, when I had another “aha moment”.  I was looking for the “right” picture to accompany my post (Based on my last post...we all know how I feel about being "right").  I didn’t find the picture that I was initially looking for but once I expanded my search...BINGO! I found the “right" picture of a road sign with multiple arrows with the "right way" labels for each arrow.  It was the glue that pulled the whole piece together and brought the focus to - There’s no wrong way when you stand with God.

      Ironically, it brought to focus, exactly what I have been shying away from - openly and explicitly talking about God.  I was thinking, yes all my friends and family know I am a Christian but I am sharing myself to the masses in this space.  Will people not be able to receive the message if I talk about God too much? Not everyone believes in God, so I don’t want to offend anyone. Will people feel like I am being to “holy rolly”? Will people judge me (Who is she to tell me about God? She doesn’t have it altogether herself). But with all of these negative thoughts floating in my mind…that night at that precise moment that I found that picture…the positive thought of "There’s no wrong way when you stand with God," boomed in my head so loud that it silenced all the negative thoughts.

     In that moment, I asked myself, “How can I be my authentic self without revealing the God in me whom I love so much?”  God is a huge part of what makes me - ME. He gives me life! He gives me strength! He gives me guidance! It’s not possible to share ME without sharing GOD. 

      My ultimate goal is to inspire others by sharing the twists, turns, ups, and downs of my life journey.  I want to speak my truth and let my authentic self shine. Yes, being authentic requires you to be vulnerable.  And being vulnerable is SCARY. But God does not give us a spirit of fear. I am world…Hi my name is Jamie and that Light you see is the God in me!

Sharing your authentic self is a key component to living on purpose.  Revealing your truth is beneficial to you and others.  What have you been holding back from others?  

As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
                                                                                                                            - Marianne Williamson
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roadblock? Get over it!

      Even though I had several email announcements leading up to the closure of a major road in my neighborhood, I was still annoyed, when headed towards my normal route to the mall and was met with the big “ROAD CLOSED NO THRU TRAFFIC” sign. Ugh…now I am forced to go a different, inconvenient way to get to my final destination!  And my annoyance grew stronger and stronger each time I left my house. Time to drop off/pick up my daughter to and from summer camp…ANNOYED. Time to go to the grocery store…ANNOYED. Time to go out to dinner…ANNOYED.  Every time I get in this car to go ANYWHERE ...ANNOYED!!! Then one day as I was approaching the road closure sign, yet annoyed again, my daughter says, “Geesh, you get so worked up.  It’s not that big of a deal.”  

      It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how much I was letting this road closure affect my mood. And she was right. It wasn’t a big deal. Realistically it only added about 5-7minutes onto my travel time. So why such a strong reaction!?! See, I often get caught up in what is the right way to do something.  And with errand running the "right" way is always the way that I perceive to be the most efficient.  So anything that makes me deviate from the "right" way really gets under my skin.

With a little help from my daughter, I learned a valuable life lesson.

Sometimes God places roadblocks in our way that we do not want to deal with, but we need to stay strong and find a new path and continue on this journey. - Author Unknown

      Roadblocks don't mean your finial destination is out of reach. It just means the current road you are traveling will not get you there. Let it go! Sometimes you have to go around some things but don't lose focus that there are several right ways to get to your final destination. The most frequently traveled or easiest route may not be God's will for you. Get over it!

     The funny thing is since writing this post, the road closed sign is long gone and the road is open again.  I am happy that I get those extra minutes back when running my day-to-day errands.  But I am even more grateful for the life lesson that it taught can't go wrong when you stand with GOD :-)

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

5 Simple Ways To Boost Your Gratitude

      Cleaning out the garage, I stumbled upon these deck of cards that a friend sent me as a gift probably 6 years ago. It's something how everything is about timing.  At the time, I wasn’t ready to receive the information.  My mind was closed to anything that seemed “self-helpy”.  My husband and I joke now at how I went from a “no self help book policy" to now I can’t go too long without having some kind of self help book in arms reach (Currently, I am reading The Me Project by Kathi Lipp)

      The current card that caught my attention is Appreciate Everything and Everyone:  Look upon every experience you’ve ever had, and everyone who’s ever played any role in your life, as having been sent to you for your benefit. In this universe, which was created by a divine, organizing intelligence, there are simply NO accidents. - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

       I realize now that it was no accident 8 years ago when I received my rejection letter from Temple University’s Doctorate program in Urban Education.  I was devastated.  It was one of the very few times in my life that I felt like I FAILED! I was crushed.  I read the letter over and over again.  I was in total disbelief.  Did they really just tell me, “No!?!”  No was just not a word I was used to hearing.

      Fast forward…And I have learned to appreciate that particular “no".  God had another plan for me and a Doctorate degree was not a part of it. The financial burden of pursuing a Doctorate degree at that time would have made transitioning to a Stay-at-Home Mom later much more difficult and caused a strain on the marriage with an already reluctant-to-the-idea husband.  So today, I can say I am grateful for the "no" and I am learning to see the blessings behind other "no’s” that come up in my life.  If gratitude has not become a habit in your life, it can be hard. But you can increase your gratitude.

Here are 5 simple ways you can boost your gratitude in the midst of things seemingly not going your way:

1. REFLECT - At the end of each day spend some time thinking about 3 things you are thankful for that day. Reflecting on the positive takes the attention away from all the things that went wrong in your day which will increase your gratitude.

2. READ -  Surround yourself by others' grateful thoughts.  I just finished reading, The Gratitude Journal by Russ Terry. Reading the reasons why other people are thankful sparks thoughts of gratitude in you too.

3. WRITE - A simple thank you note goes a long way.  It increases gratefulness in you and the receiver.  Plus to the receiver, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.  Whenever I stumble across an old thank you note, I feel that sense of gratitude again as if it was the first time I read it.

4. VISUALIZE - Place visual cues in places you frequent to remind you to be grateful. I’m not sure where I heard this but I have it posted on my bathroom mirror, “Gratitude is a muscle you have to exercise. What am I grateful for today?"

5. GO PUBLIC - Let others know why you are grateful. Have you noticed the Facebook Challenge where people have to list 3 reasons they are thankful for 7 days? It’s a great example of going public.  Writing out why you’re thankful increases your gratitude and it helps increase the reader’s gratitude as well.

     We all can strive to have an attitude of gratitude as a way of life and learn to appreciate everything and everyone.  Try implementing one of the simple ways to boost your gratitude and comment on how it has changed your gratitude level in your life.  Also comment with any other ways that you know to increase gratitude.  Let’s make this journey together :-)

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's Official

"There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. 
It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive” - Oprah Winfrey   

     It’s official…June 2015 I will be a new graduate from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching!  I realize my journey to become a Life Coach began many years ago.  It started with a small seed (gift) that was planted within me before I even heard the words Life Coach, let alone know what a Life Coach was.  Over the years, my life experiences have been developing, growing and maturing my God-given gifts to prepare me for this moment.  And finally, it is time.  

     It is time to use my gifts to be a catalyst in helping others discover their passion and purpose.  Being happily married for the last 15 years, an educator in various capacities over the last 13 years, and a parent of a soon to be teen and a toddler coupled with my strong spiritual foundation have prepared me to embark on this next phase of my life -  becoming a Certified Professional Coach.  The right time is NOW!

     What are you ready to take action on right now?  Take the first step of living the life of your dreams…what’s stopping you? Over the course of my program I will learn how to:
  • Identify your dreams
  • Recognize what's blocking your fulfillment
  • Take action on specific steps to make the life of your dreams a reality. 
     I am fully committed to living my best life.  Follow me on Twitter (@jswain1908)  and of course my new blog ( as I document my own self discoveries while becoming a life coach in hopes that sharing my experiences will inspire you to live your best live too :-)

Find out more about life coaching at

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