My resolve today.

I have no idea anymore. Yeah, I honestly have no idea what’s going on or what’s going to happen next; I would say that none of us do. But you know what… that is Ok, I am at peace with it because it is outside of my control. If there is a choice between stress or peace, I’m going to choose peace every time. I’ve also read that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so naturally I will choose Him any day of the week. Before this all started, I was reading my way through a book in the Bible called Proverbs. It’s filled with short phrases full of wisdom and I am always up for getting some extra wisdom in my life. I would encourage you even if you don’t like the Bible or Christianity that these words are still good – it’s worth a look 🙂

There is one line that is standing out for me at lot at the moment; you can see shadows of its influence in my previous post.

Today I am holding onto kindness for my fellow man. I have no idea any more, but I will still be kind. I may cry, I may feel sad, I may feel uncertain, but I will still be kind. When people are scared they react in all sorts of ways, but I can still choose to be kind. I am determined to carry myself with kindness and be like ‘honey’ for those I engage with. May people walk away (more accurately ‘turn off their phones’) from their interactions with me soothed and stronger.

Today I am holding onto kindness for myself. When the kids are driving me crazy, when I feel weak and weighed down… I will be kind. I will give myself space to feel and move through the emotions. I will allow for growth in its many stages and forms. I will make self-compassion my companion.

I will share kind words to sweeten souls and give health to bodies – This is my resolve today. What is yours?

Love Jess xxoo

Letting go and holding on

As countries continue to go into lockdown and people’s livelihoods are disappearing, it is a season of uncertainty for us all. I was speaking with a friend in the USA this weekend (via Instagram) and he said he was “trying to hold on and let go at the same time”. What wise words for us all to apply to our lives.

Letting go:

All of us will have things that we need to let go of at the moment and some of them are so very, very hard to do. They might be wedding plans, long awaited holidays, jobs and careers, personal dreams, new businesses, studying, fitness plans, financial goals… I honestly can’t name them all. There are so many ‘things’ that COVID-19 has impacted and we have all been impacted in one way or another. So today, why don’t you give yourself permission to mourn the things you need to let go of – mourn the things that can no longer be.

I suggest you allocate 20-30 minutes to write down the dreams/goals/plans in your life that are not longer possible and really be honest with how you feeling. Allow yourself to actually feel disappointed, angry, frustrated, depressed, sad or whatever. After that timing however, let’s do some letting go. If we are going to keep going, it’ll be easier if we aren’t holding onto things that are no longer a reality. The world has changed for the foreseeable future and it’s time for us to be resilient. You can do this; you can rise and rise again. You can let go of those hopes and dream and put others in their place. I will be doing the same. Our new dreams may look very different and not as ‘glamorous’ for a while, but having dreams/plans to look forward to is important for us all. Take a moment… let go with me. It is hard and almost unbelievable, but we are in this together. You are not alone; everyone will be faced with changes. Let them go dear friend. Even if you have tears in your eyes, take a moment to mourn and let them go.

Holding on:

As we are doing our ‘letting go’ now is also a time to ‘hold on’ more than ever before. Hold on to relationships, hold onto hope, hold onto self-compassion and hold on faith or beliefs. Hold on to the idea that you will survive this. Hold on dear heart. I will be honest and say that I have moments during the day when I think ‘Is this really happening?’ I feel sadness as I look at the lives lost, the virus spreading, people without work, nations shutting down – it is the reality of what is happening. But I don’t stay in that place. Instead I hold onto my faith in God and my belief in the extraordinary ingenuity and endurance of the human race.

Today I am holding onto the people I love, messaging them words of hope or sending them funny memes to lighten their day. I am being more intentional about my connections, not necessarily in quantity but in quality. I am also treasuring and being mindful of the the moments I find joy and sharing them with others. Today I am holding onto hope, hope for a cure, hope for a breakthrough and good news. Today I am holding onto self-compassion and realising that sometimes I will feel strong, while other times weak and that is ok. Lastly, I am holding onto my personal faith. Faith in a God who cares for us, who hears us, who has empowered us and loves us without measure.

What are you holding onto today? Just like our letting go exercise, why don’t you write them down and spend some time focusing on the things that are your strength today? When you feel down, remind yourself of what you are holding onto.

As things around the world continue to unfold, we will be letting go and holding on at the same time. Both are equally important particularly in moments of such rapid of change. Take a breath, take a moment, you are doing so well.

Love Jess xxoo

PS – I’ve been spending time on a live dance party on Instagram by DJ dnice (click on his name for link to his profile). Although I know nothing about him, he plays great music and it’s honestly a lot of fun having a virtual party with about 100k people. Things really go off when he does a hat change 🙂

What’s your prayer?

Back in 2013 Tim and I sat down and wrote out a prayer for our family. While we were overseas we prayed this almost every day to align our hearts with The Father. It remains displayed on our kitchen cupboard to this day. This morning, I was praying over the line “We choose peace over stress” (see below) and it got me thinking about all of you as we face the global pandemic of Corona Virus (COVID-19) together. Taking a moment to stop and reset our thoughts is so important during times like these.

If you are a person of faith, what are your prayers at the moment? If the idea of ‘the divine’ is not something you adhere too, what truths are you holding onto and speaking over your life at the moment?

Greenwood Family Prayer

Here we are Jesus, the ones you love. Remind us that heaven is here right now.

We know Your favour follows us today. Thank you for watching over us. We want to stay in your presence all day long. 

We trust in You with all our hearts and we won’t depend on our own strength or intellect. We seek Your will in all we do, and ask that You will show us which path to take. We thank you for Your favour in all our plans. Show us the best way to do things so they get done quickly and easily. We choose peace over stress, because we know You have the best plan for this day.

Speak to us, we are listening for your clear, gentle voice. Speak through visions and pictures, songs and signs, nature and our five senses. Show us how You see us and those around us. We’re on the lookout for divine connections today. We want to meet unexpected people in unexpected places. Help us to see and love people the way You do. Every person is so precious to You.

Thank You for loving us so much that You include us in your dreams. May your dreams come alive in us; work through us and in us. We want to walk with you and see You accomplish many signs, wonders and miracles in our lives. Thank you for sending your angels to help. We want to work with them to do whatever You ask. 

We know that you provide all we need. We give you our finances today. Help us make wise decisions as we use what You give us. We also thank you for full health today. You make our bodies, emotions and spirits strong. Your angels are a shield of protection around us, so we can do all You have asked us to do. We will not fear when bad things happen, because You are with us.

Your joy is our strength. We laugh with You today. Thank you for helping us find fun and silly moments together. We know You are always good.

We choose to live with your word in our hearts and find our rest in You. If we make a mistake, we run to you Jesus. Forgive us and let your love wash over us.

Thank you for preparing our hearts Jesus. As we go about our everyday lives whether asleep or awake, we know You are changing our hearts for what’s to come. We are open to You. We access Your nature, Your perspective, Your heart and Your love.

We want to fall more in love with You as You use us today. Amen. 

Love Jess xxoo

Dear Anxious Heart

Dear Anxious Heart,

I speak peace over you right now
Peace over the fears and thoughts that keep you up at night
Peace over the worries that weigh your heart down.

I speak peace over you right now
Peace over your body and your breathing
Peace over tension in your shoulders and the tightness in your chest.

I speak peace over you right now
I have known the bondage of anxiety
And I know the sweet freedom of peace
So, I will speak it over you just as it was released over me.

I know that your mind is crowded with thoughts right now and you want to chase them all down, but we both know that it’s not possible because you can’t hold onto them long enough. Take a breath and sit with me in this moment, sit with me and bring your uncomfortable feelings; I am not afraid of them, you are safe here. I will not tell you to ‘get over it’ or ‘just stop thinking about it’ and I’ll mentally punch anyone in the head who says those words to you 😉 I understand that it’s not that easy – I’ve got you.

I don’t know your situation, but I will tell you what I know… I know that it’s possible to break out of this mental prison. It’s possible to come out the other side (it really is), however I also know it’s hard for you to believe that right now. I have personally worked for years on my thoughts, fight/flight reactions, breaking down lies and perfectionism while failing, trying again, failing, trying again and again. It is hard work, but it can be done. Maybe I will write more about this one day (ok I will, just for you), but for today, you need to be seen in this moment and told that you can and will survive this. Go read the beginning bit again, change is coming your way. Sit with it today. Sit with it. We’ll talk more later ok?

Love Jess xxoo

Be ‘the person’ for someone

Disclaimer: For this blog I mention influential women in my life. Countless men have also influenced and empowered me, but today I focus on the females who have led the way. Quite frankly my dears, you are breathtaking.

This quote is really challenging me right now, causing me to do a lot of reflection on the past and present. I’m asking myself questions about who has influenced me in the past, what do I need to hear from others in my current season (who do I need now) and who am I encouraging on their journey?

By looking back through my relationships in years gone by and noticing who has helped me, I’m sure most people wouldn’t even be aware of their impact. I think of women named Joelle, Lauren, Sarah (x 3), Rose, Jenny, Lorna, Amanda, Tash, Nat, Lara, Liz (x2), women who I looked up to and admired for different reasons. Through them I learned so much about positive: mental health, sexuality, playfulness, intelligence, strength, endurance, perspective, self-discovery and intimacy with God. Each of them in their own way has allowed me to accept myself a little more and not shut off parts that I thought were unacceptable. I owe them thanks for living their lives authentically. I still need you and I honestly can’t express my thanks adequately for the way you have shared your lives with me (either up close or from afar).

I know that as I have and continue to be been positively influenced, I would hope that others are encouraged or inspired by how I navigate my life and my own battles and frustrations. For those behind me in life’s journey I honestly find it harder to articulate what I would like to share. There are so many things to say, so many fears to diffuse and lies to pull down, but I know you will be defeat them too. If I could share a few thoughts, I would look at you with sincere eyes and tell you that…

You are probably doing better than you think.
I know it’s hard sometimes, but honey, in my eyes,
you are wonderful just as you are in this moment.
The growth and victories will come in time.
All you have to be by the age of (X) is yourself
and that’s all that is required.
And don’t worry about getting older, it’s actually really great.

The quote below by Atticus Poetry wonderfully encapsulates my personal approach to Wellness Coaching (my paid profession) as well as how I like to mentor others. It speaks about creating space for people to be their authentic selves, because when we are our true selves that’s when growth takes place. Am I the type of person others feel safe to be themselves around? Do they know that I will love them where they are at, not where they ‘should’ be. Do I give people permission to be a work in progress; both a masterpiece and a mess at the same time?

One of the things I value most in relationships is authenticity. I believe that without authenticity we are all just living in the shadows, putting filters over our true selves and leaving us and others disappointed with reality. Of course I’m not saying that we should live our lives into a microphone sharing our every thought, however I would advocate sharing your victories when you feel you can. It’s so important that you do, because you have wisdom to share and there may be someone who desperately needs it right now.

Isn’t it empowering to realise that you can give other people comfort in their journey because of how you have navigated yours? Your journey could be the answer for someone else who is struggling in theirs. Emphasis on your journey. Not my journey, not that ‘super-star’ sibling you have or big-time success story from school or even that 50 km running, blonde haired, perfectly sculpted influencer you follow (God bless them too though)… but your unique journey. Be ‘the person’ for someone else that you needed by being authentically you.

Love Jess xxoo