Play: It All Starts with Yes!

it all starts wtih saying yesIt starts with saying yes.

Yes to jumping on the trampoline even though everything jiggles.

Yes to the zip line even though the harness accentuates all the “wrong” places.

Yes to putting on a suit and going for that swim. Even though our self-talk is telling us that we are a beached whale.

Yes to shooting hoops even though our belly adds a new element.

Yes to thinking it might be okay to stop thinking about how “fat” we are.

Yes to thinking it might not matter what shape our body is or how much weight we have gained since high school.

Yes to letting ourselves go for 60 seconds without reminding ourselves of how lazy we must be for “letting ourself get here.”

Yes to walking into an event excited about meeting new people instead of standing in a way that best camouflages our upper arms.

Yes to being okay that a whole day has gone by without thinking about the number on our clothing tag.

Yes to chatting and laughing with our girlfriend as we thoroughly enjoy every last bit of pasta on our plate.

Yes to being excited that we hadn’t realized we never even thought about it.

It all starts with yes, it seems.

Before we know it playing is natural again. Saying yes without considering how our ass/belly/arms/thighs will look is our default.

Before we know it, we are LIVING again, or maybe for the first time.

Before we know it we realize that the people classifying our legs as thunder thighs are not our people anyway.

Before we know it we realize how many minutes, hours, years, and decades we have WASTED not saying yes.

Before we know it, we commit to breaking this cycle. So that our daughters never have to waste a minute not saying yes.

So that our sons see what women look like. That we move and jiggle and eat and laugh and play.

So that our sons see that we are people.

Saying yes may not be easy at first. It might be really uncomfortable, in fact.

It’s worth it though. I promise, it’s worth it.

Thank you for reading! Share Pondering Jen on:

Got Moxie?

Sometimes you sit in your car wondering if you should go in. You’re late. You know nobody. You’ve never been to an event with this group. You’re sure you’ll *not* go in. But before you turn the car back on to leave you decide to use a text-a-friend.

You can either text the friend who will tell you it’s too late to go in and affirm your reasons for leaving, or you text someone else. Who you text right then is a choice.

Then you are sitting in the event and hear not only an inspiring comedian, but realize you are surrounded by a hundred women who get it. For the first time -maybe ever- but certainly since this shift.

And they talk about Oprah. Positively. They cheer her. And they say fuck. And an attorney gets up to talk about how improving life for women means improving Colorado- and she puts her money and time into achieving it. And the speakers mess up their words and don’t apologize. They just keep going.

Moxie 1

And when the event is over and you drive around the city for a while blasting P!NK, you realize that even though life’s taken a different path it’s never too late to write your own ending.

Moxie 2

Thank you for reading! Share Pondering Jen on:

This Year My Focus is Healing

I don’t make New Years Resolutions. Each year I choose a word- something to keep in my mind that will improve my life. In the past I’ve chosen words like fun, community, and travel. This year the word I’ve chosen is kind.

In my quest to recover from being a people pleaser I’ve lost some of my kindness. I’m okay with that. It needed to happen so I could learn to be authentic. But it’s time to keep it in my mind again.

This year, in addition to my word, I have a focus. It sounds kind of corny or desperate or something, but it is neither of those things. The focus I have for 2018 is healing.

focus is healing

I think we all have stuff we haven’t healed from. I’ve come to understand the importance of healing in creating the life I want.

I have an anxiety disorder. I’ve dealt with it my whole life. I never took the time or steps to heal from the trauma that’s caused. I’ve never practiced healing from my traumatic pregnancy/cancer diagnosis with Owen 10 years ago or from job loss, or from a having a partner who had to travel so much with two babies at home, or from our move cross-country or from lost friendships or smear campaigns. I haven’t taken the time or actions that are necessary to heal from these things. I haven’t ignored these realities, I just haven’t taken the steps to heal. Without healing, how can I really move forward?

Having an anxiety disorder and choosing to focus on healing this year does not make me weak. Not dealing with them does.

I have watched friends like TaraAngie, and Jennifer share their journeys publicly. Watching their journeys has had a significant impact on my life. Their journeys have changed me, challenged me, and encouraged me to learn about self compassion.

Sharing something this personal is way out of my comfort zone. But I know the gift I was given by the three women above who chose to share their journeys, so this year I’ll share some of mine. I’ve been told appropriately sharing helps with healing too.

I’m evaluating where I spend my time, which endeavors I continue, and what things bring me peace and joy. I’m taking up new hobbies and bringing back some of my favorites- like reading, writing, and listening to music. I’m moving past my anxiety to connect with people because that fills my soul most of all.

It sounds cheesy, I know. It’s also real.

I know what I’ve achieved in my life before healing. It’s fun to imagine what I’ll achieve after ❤️

Any resources or insights you are willing to share are welcome! Here’s to a year of kindness and healing!

Thank you for reading! Share Pondering Jen on:

Turning 40? I’m Not Glum Because I am Finally Turning 40!

We should celebrate the wisdom, growth, and experiences that we gain each year. I am not dreading turning 40, I am finally turning 40!

Do you ever have those moments when you look in the mirror and do not  recognize the person looking back at you? I had one the other day. I have had them before, and they usually scare me. The person in the mirror looks older, unfamiliar. The woman who stares back at me is somebody I do not know.

The other day though, it was different. As I stood at the bathroom counter drying my hair, I knew exactly who was standing there in front of me. I had been getting to know her for a couple of years, intentionally. I had been paying attention to what she thinks, what she believes.  I had started listening to her, instead of everybody else.

finally turning 40This has uncovered a confidence in me that I had not before had- one that allows me to chat with abandon, and worry less about whether my stomach is properly disguised. It permits me to move through life as myself.  This is different. It is beautiful and authentic. It has been a transformation.

Turning 40 is a Gift

As I found my eyes in the mirror on a random Thursday morning, I realized; this year I turn forty. Forty. It is an age dreaded by many, it seems- at least according to party decor and magazine headlines. For me though, it is an age that has finally come; one that means confidence and self assurance, a time to be celebrated for its self knowledge.

My life has transformed; from anxiety ridden aplogizer to authentic embracer of life. My body is transforming from lethargic, difficult to move and aging, to energetic and healing.

I reflected on this as I moved the brush through my hair, and the realization was undeniable; I am entering my 40th year happier and healthier than I have ever been. In my whole life. I suspect that many of us are, or would be if we were not told to expect otherwise.

This is not the end of a transformation, rather I have prepped and fueled my body and mind for what comes next- for all the  thought, beauty, exploration, and acceptance that turning 40 brings. Now I am ready to receive it, to embrace it, to celebrate it.

I am not dreading turning forty. I am finally turning forty

Thank you for reading! Share Pondering Jen on: