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Is gratitude the same thing as giving up?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are having an amazing day with your loved ones.  I’m gathered in Cleveland with Jonathan’s extended family. There are four babies under two in the family right now so we are having a great time.  It’s been amazing to have four generations under one roof.

Today is a great day to talk about gratitude and to be honest with you, I used to think gratitude, and gratitude practices, were the same thing as giving up and living a complacent life.  I just wasn’t into it.

I was WAAAY more into dreaming big, manifesting and thinking about all of the love, prosperity and adventures I wanted to experience in the future.  Why waste my time in the here and now when things didn’t seem all that great?

Well, here’s what went down… because I was only focused on what I wanted, I felt like I didn’t have what I needed.  I felt like I needed to have a bigger house, a smaller butt, a larger wardrobe, more clients in order to be happy.  This kept me in a constant state of hustle, anxiety and lack.  Not fun.

When my anxiety was at its peak, and I was wracking my brain to understand how I could manifest MORE, FASTER – I called my most trusted, spiritually minded friends for advice.

All of their answers were the same: Gratitude.

Ugh.  Fine.

So I decided to sit on my bedroom floor and list off in my mind all the things I was grateful for: having a roof over my head (even though it wasn’t the 4 bedroom Victorian I wanted, I just moved into my dream home; check out my new dining room pictured above), having a body that worked (even though I wasn’t a size 4), Jonathan, being able to pay our bills, living in a beautiful city, having great friends, being part of an incredibly loving and fun family, etc., etc.  After just 5 minutes of rattling off this mental list, I felt a completely foreign and incredible feeling come over me…

Relief that I had everything I needed.  I felt a sense of deep relaxation and space to just be.  The rush and the anxiety to go out and get all these things I thought I needed to be happy, went away in that moment.

The biggest aha for me after I started actively listing what I was grateful for. is that you can be grateful that you have what you need, and still work towards what you want.   In fact, creating, manifesting and hustling for what you want is a lot more fun when you are intimately aware that you have everything you need.  Knowing you have what you need makes us feel safe, grounded and less anxious so our creative energy can flow.

So here’s what I want you to do:

1.     Write, or verbally recite a list of things you are grateful for.  Don’t forget the little things we take for granted.

2.     Bask in the relief that you have everything you need.

3.     Make a list of all the things you want, that would add fun and sparkle to your life.

In the comments below, I want to know how you felt after making your gratitude list, tell me how your needs are currently being met, and what you want for your future that you’re excited about.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to hear from you.

Love,

Sarah

P.S. I’m also grateful for the community of women here and I want to share with you one of my favorite programs for coaches. I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for business coaching and I sense that some of you may have the feeling that you could be an amazing coach, but wish you had more confidence, more tools, more practice or more of an online presence before pursuing your dreams. It has been so wonderful for me to be a featured Celebrity Mentor in my friend, Jeannine Yoder’s Mentor Masterclass. If you’re feeling called, check it out here.

 

 

Does heading home for Thanksgiving give you anxiety?

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It’s that time of year where we sit around the table with family and friends, reflect on what we feel grateful for, and share a massive meal literally filling our tummies with gratitude (or at least that’s how I know Kavita, today’s Blog Babysitter and I see it!)

But when it comes to our relationships with our parents, step parents, and extended family, does this time of year also fill you with anxiety?

If you’re single you might be dreading having to spend another Thanksgiving without someone by your side and having to hear comments like, “Are you dating anyone? Oh, I am so surprised – you’re a catch!”

Or you might be dreading having to hear your mom make a comment about your outfit or dad make some off-color comment to your husband or kids.

My dear friend, Kavita Patel is here to share her secrets for surviving the holidays and how to overcome the anxiety you may be feeling leading up to them.

From Kavita:

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Here’s what I want you to know.

The way we relate to our parents is critical to so much in our lives, especially when it comes to love.

If there is something about your love life that is leaving you feeling confused, unfulfilled, or frustrated, the root to that discontent is because of how you felt loved and saw love when you were younger by your parents or stepparents.

And the holidays can definitely trigger those experiences. It is the common thread between all of us. Even if you love this time of year, and love spending time with family, there is something we all dread when it comes to interacting with our parents.

If in your love life right now you are afraid of settling in some way, afraid you will never find the right person, afraid of picking the wrong partner, or feeling pretty misunderstood and alone in your relationship, then these fears are rooted in some experience around love you had when you were younger with your parents.

Getting clarity.

To help you with this, Sarah asked me to share my Love Type Quiz that will help you really understand and FEEL what I mean and what we can do to build stronger relationships with our parents, and hence the other people in our lives that we love.

I will quickly share the 4 Types with you now but you can click here to download the entire quiz and further explanations to help you dig deeper.

Breaking this down:

1.   The first question you can ask yourself to determine your type is: “How connected do you feel to your mom and dad? Be honest with yourself.

This can be a difficult question so really get honest with how you feel. Recognize that it might be an answer that is difficult to admit.

If you are adopted and never really knew your parents, or never knew your mom and or dad, then reflect on your male and female role models while growing up.

Are you the “The Nurturer”?
If you’re a nurturer you likely had a great relationship with mom but a not so great relationship with dad.

With men, you are typically the giver, always going “above and beyond”, but sometimes to a fault without even realizing it. You want to be taken care of, but find yourself with men who feel like they take more than they give, or don’t give equally. Mothering men is also a characteristic of The Nurturer.

Are you “The Doubter”?
If you’re in a place where you’re not really connected with either of your parents and you feel pretty distant with both of them, you’re likely a bit of a doubter.

There is a way that you think it’s always really difficult to be in a relationship so what’s the point? You believe most relationships just lead to heartbreak.

If you’re in a relationship, you likely haven’t fully let the man you’re with in, or find small ways to doubt, even if these feelings are never expressed.

Are you “The Fixer”?
The fixer is when you have a great relationship with your dad and you have him up on a pedestal, and your relationship with your mom is not as close.

What you have the tendency to do is see a man in front of you and you see all his untapped potential. Then you turn him into a project. You try to fix him. You try to change him.

This is like pushing him or challenging him to be a better version of himself – but when he’s not asking for help. This causes the men you’re with to not feel loved and accepted 100%.

Are you “The Idealist”?
As the idealizer, you have a great relationship with your mom and your dad. They’re likely still together.

In your mind, relationships have a high bar. There is a way they need to look perfect and if they don’t then the man just isn’t right.

If you’re single, you may be on a first date and you’re trying to figure out if he’s the one or not. You’re not really giving yourself space to get to know the person and understand him and reveal who you are.

If you’re in a relationship, you may feel an intense amount of strain the minute something goes wrong with the man you’re with. You may put a ton of pressure on yourself (and him) to reach certain milestones or “check marks” in your relationship.

2.   Know that no Type is better than the other.

Everyone’s got blocks to love from when they were younger.

It’s not about one being better or another being harder to change. This exercise is about releasing the blocks you have by balancing out your relationships with your parents.

You allow yourself to see love differently, break patterns, and deepen your connections to yourself and others.

3.   What do you do once you have identified your closest type?

I’d like to share a bit of my story as an example.

Over 15 years, my husband Hemal and I have gone from break-up to make-up to marriage, then close to divorce in the first 2 years.

It brings tears to my eyes as I write this because the kind of love we share now is so profound; 4 years ago I couldn’t even imagine this kind of love was possible.

But I used to be “The Fixer”. I was constantly trying to get Hemal to change. I wanted him to be more social, more cultured, more religious.

Almost everyday we were in some sort of argument because of that.

In my subconscious, I had my Dad up on a pedestal.

If someone were to ask me about my relationship with my Dad I would have a glowing review. Of course I knew he had flaws, but overall I really admired him.

So in my relationship with Hemal, he was constantly being compared to my Dad. And guess what? My dad was social, spiritual, and cultured.

Now I love my Mom very much, and when I was growing up my relationship with her would sometimes get difficult. But when I realized my relationship with my parents was causing all this strain with Hemal, I started to try to really understand my Mom.

I saw how difficult at times it was for her to handle my Dad and why. What she had experienced in her childhood caused her to react with my Dad in certain ways. I didn’t get that until I asked her questions about it.

When I could see both my Mom and Dad on equal ground, and as humans with flaws, that is when my relationship with Hemal completely and naturally transformed.

Now it’s your turn.

My parents are still together, but it doesn’t matter if yours were divorced when you were young, were never together, or you never knew one parent.

There is a way they are playing a role in your love life right now and it is important to start to make those connections. Also, I gave you an example of me being in a relationship, but this all holds true if you are also single.

Getting curious on Thanksgiving.

What I would like you to do while you are with your family, is GET CURIOUS.

Ask Mom, Dad, step parents, and grandparents questions about their past. Stories of how they were raised. About how they felt when they were children.

Use the free Love Types Quiz I’m providing for you here to help out.

We often operate like we know it ALL when it comes to understanding our families. Truth is we know very little and we ASSUME a lot.

I know there have been lots of ways you have been deeply hurt, disappointed, misunderstood, and even felt completely unloved by your family, so feeling grateful for them can be hard.

But you wouldn’t exist without them.

I want you to be on a mission to FEEL their love in the way they are trying to express it, and often the gap between KNOWING and FEELING our families love is HUGE. The only bridge is understanding and compassion.

I promise you will start to see them differently and through the process the way YOU approach love and relationships will deeply and profoundly shift.

This is for YOU. You can do it.

Love,

Kavita

How giving up on my dreams landed me my dream home

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I’m writing to you today from my new living room.  Jonathan, Marshall and I moved into our new home on Friday, and we just have a few boxes left to unpack. If you’ve been around for a while, you how crazy I am about interior design, so setting up our home over the past five days has been such a blast.  I’m actually going to be sharing some shots of the process on Instagram and Facebook over the next week.  I’d love for you to see them and to be connected with you on social media. You can follow me here and here.  While we’re on the topic of social media, did you know I post tips, advice and give support on Facebook and Instagram every day?  If you need daily reminders to live more, want need support from me or an amazing community of women, Facebook and Instagram is where it’s at.

Anyway, what’s so crazy about us living here is that I gave up on this dream a long time ago.  Ever since we moved to San Francisco three and a half years ago, I was ready to buy a house.  I crave open space, a yard… laundry! I deeply desired a place I could paint, renovate and make my own.  Renting made me feel like a guest, and waking up to walls painted the wrong shade of white made my toes curl.

Typical manifestation practice says, “ask and you shall receive”.  Being realistic is irrelevant.  But every part of me knew that buying a house in San Francisco wasn’t in the cards right now (have you seen the prices!?).  Here’s what I did instead, I proclaimed my ideal to the Universe: A large 5 bedroom Victorian in a meadow with a swing tied to an oak tree in the front yard, guest house, open floor plan, wide planked wood floors, high ceilings, original molding, subway tile… and then I gave up on it.

Never gonna happen, I thought, and then the day after Jonathan and I tried to see if bunk beds (not pregnant, just an over planner) could fit into Marshall’s nursery (a.k.a. our bedroom closet) in anticipation of staying in our one bedroom for another three years, a friend of mine called me in August to say her downstairs neighbors were renting out their place.

From what she said over the phone, it didn’t seem right, odd layout, not enough bedrooms, but when it comes to real estate, I’m always game for a snoop.

When I walked in, I instantly knew it was our home. I could almost hear the walls saying, “You’re here! I’ve been waiting for you.”  The place needed a fair amount of work and some structural changes in order for it to work for us.  It’s a one bedroom with two dining rooms and an eat in kitchen. I imagine an older couple who never had kids built it in 1900 to support their addiction to cooking, eating and entertaining.  But when I asked if I could build some walls in one of the dining rooms to create two small bedrooms, our landlord was an easygoing “yes”.  In fact, he said we could practically do whatever we wanted to the place as long as we asked him first.

Now as I see my things in the space, swoon over our new customized cabinets and open shelving in the kitchen, and plan a dinner for my two dear friends who live on the block and have babies Marshall’s age (crazy right?), I am aware that this is the exact house I dreamt about, just in a slightly different form.  If I had been rigid about my dream, and not kept my eyes peeled for clues from the universe about what I actually needed, I would’ve missed moving into this place.  Our realized dreams don’t have to be exact to be perfect. In fact, the Universe usually has a better idea of what we need anyways.

I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been creating on Instagram and Facebook.  And, I want you to get clear about what you want, then throw it all to the wind, and just pay attention to what is showing up in your life that is probably better than what you thought you needed.  It could be the new love interest who makes you feel amazing but isn’t as tall as you wanted, or a job that doesn’t have the exact salary but a perfect opportunity for personal growth, or maybe it’s a home that you can’t buy but feels like you’ve lived there forever. Let us know on the blog.

Love,

Sarah

P.S. We’ve been working on the new SarahJenks.com! Make sure to sign up for updates so you can be the first to check out the new digs.

This video made me cry

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Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself from a few years ago and thought, “I look amazing! I can’t believe I thought I was fat.”  And you remember that time and how much pain you were in because of your body, and you wish you knew how beautiful you were?

And then you make the classic mistake and think: “I just need to get back to that weight and then I’ll be happy again.”

But guess what?  At some time, a few years from now, you are going to look at a picture of you RIGHT NOW and think, “I wish I knew how beautiful I was.”

Some future you is wishing, hoping for the body, the face, the thighs you have right now, and fantasizing about all the fun she’d have in this body.

I want you to take four minutes to watch this video.

After I watched this video, I realized that all of us eventually will wish we had enjoyed our body when we had the chance. To not hide, squeeze into Spanx or worry about what others think.

I don’t want you to run the risk of spending your whole life being uncomfortable in your body. How sad.  And losing weight isn’t the answer, it’s realizing how good you already have it.  It’s time to start living and enjoying your amazing body. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Love,

Sarah