Wisdom Within Our Children

Wisdom Within Our Children

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Chinese Proverb

My son came home from summer camp this week and complained about another boy in the group. It was the same conversation we had every day when I picked him up.

After dinner, we went for a walk and he brought up the little boy at summer camp again. I asked him to tell me something nice about this boy. He thought about it for a moment and told me that he was kind to a girl who was sad. After a few moments, he added a few more things to the ‘nice list’.

I asked him how it felt for him when he talked about the things that were wrong with this boy, and alternatively how it felt when he talked about the things on the nice list. He told me it felt better when he thought about the nice list. I explained that was his inner wisdom guiding him, showing him that focusing on the good things was much better than focusing on the bad. There is so much information in a feeling, not just for children but for all human beings.

We all have this wisdom. Some call it intuition, some call it a gut feeling or reaction, a sixth sense, or their guardian angel. It’s a gentle nudge (and at times not so gentle). It is our innate wisdom guiding us, like a lighthouse. Shining the light to guide us to wisdom. When we get quiet, that wisdom speaks to us, guides us. It’s a fabulous thing to teach our children. It’s a fabulous thing for all of us to understand. 

Have you ever felt that gentle nudge? Often we will try and rationalize away the wisdom. But just like my son, the right decision came with a good feeling.

As a parent I want him to learn about this wisdom now, to tap into it and listen to it as he goes through his life. Particularly as he approaches the teenage years when he will be faced with many challenging decisions. I don’t want to give my son a fish, I want to teach him how to fish.

Thought Bomb Moment: is there a conversation you have had with your kids where you could have pointed them to their wisdom? It’s never too late. Keep talking to them, keep listening to them. Keep pointing them to the lighthouse within. Our innate wisdom is always with us. Maybe there is an opportunity for you to listen to that gentle nudge. It’s never too late.

Be well. Be present. Be You.

Much love,

Jessie-Lynn

The Cost of Expectations

The Cost of Expectations

Unmet expectations are the root cause of so much conflict, disappointment, anger, and the reason for failed relationships – both personally and professionally. I have seen this with business leaders, parents, couples, and individuals I work with. What sort of expectations do you have of your partner, your children, your friends, your employees, your employer…yourself? Maybe you aren’t even aware of your expectations, but as humans we all have them.

Expectations quickly become problems when we hold ourselves, and others, to them without a clear understanding of what those expectations are, and both a clear understanding and agreement of all parties involved. I call this the expectation box.

Much conflict and broken relationships could be mended with the management of expectations, both of others as well as ourselves. 

“Expectations feed frustration. It’s an unhealthy attachment to people, things and outcomes we wish we could control, but don’t.”  Steve Maraboli

The reality of life is that we see the world through our own filter. No two filters are the same, there is a layer of personal thought and experience in between our personal lens and reality. No-one is immune from this.

When we understand the power of our own lens, and that our thoughts about how someone should be, think, or act is based on our own personal thinking life becomes easier. We are the creators of our individual reality. Expecting others to see life through our lens is setting ourselves up for disappointment and conflict.

This might be hard to hear, but you can’t change someone with your expectations. When we drop the expectation box and replace it with connected conversations and realistic expectations relationships become so much more real.

When we accept others for who they truly are, we also are more likely to show up in a more genuine way. Accepting people for who they are – embracing who we are.

It’s empowering to take responsibility for our own lives, our own choices and give those around us the opportunity to do the same. This is where life becomes fun, challenging, playful, frustrating. We are the creators of our own reality.

I love when my clients see this. Parent-child relationships, couples, personal and professional relationships all benefit when they stop trying to ‘change’ the other person, ditch the assumptions that the other person should know what they are thinking, expecting, etc. It also diminishes the notion of blame or responsibility on others.  

What about you? Do you have an expectation box – with yourself, with your partner, with your children, friends, etc? Are you comfortable having a conversation with them about what you expect, a clear understanding of what that entails and agreement on their part?

The reality is that conflict, frustration, anger, hurt, etc. could be drastically minimized if we exchanged our expectations for an actual agreement. An agreement creates clarity, a common ground, and understanding of expectations. 

Thought Bomb Moment: Think of a person or relationship that is causing you to feel unsettled, angry, judged, wronged, etc., ask yourself, what’s in your expectation box? Do you think the other party clearly understands your expectations? Are they in agreement? If not, maybe it’s time to ditch the box. Trust me, life flows so much easier when we let go of the box.

Alternatively, you can take your expectations and turn them into agreements. This is a fabulous way of taking relationships to a deeper level, one based on clarity, a common understanding, and agreement. The conflict, hurt, anger, and resentment will be replaced by clarity and a commonplace to move forward from.

Be well. Be present. Be you.

Much love,

Jessie-Lynn

Be You Campaign Has Launched!

Be You Campaign Has Launched!

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Anne Lamotte

I am thrilled to launch the BE YOU CAMPAIGN. It’s your time to shine! The first step in this journey is 1,000,000 connected conversations. You read that right – 1,000,000 connected conversations. 

Be You is a mental health and wellbeing global initiative to inspire women, children, and youth to connect with, embrace and be proud of who they are. To create a safe space to awaken, inspire and embrace the potential, and innate resilience that lies within.  

Be You is about being willing to dance with life and let it lead. It’s about showing up just as you are. No labels, no judgments, putting faith before fear. When we let go and give ourselves permission to live, without fear, without judgment we embrace the beauty of life, the beauty of knowing we are born with an innate resilience and wellbeing.  

There are three elements to Be You.

The first is about education – making conversations about mental health and wellbeing part of our daily practice. Making it normal to say I’m not okay, I’m overwhelmed, I’m sad, I’m lonely. Doing so takes away the stigma, and replaces it with a permission to live, to be who we are, knowing that thoughts and feelings ebb and flow, they are not static. They are part of life. It’s about understanding how human experience works. 

The second element is about letting go – of fear, of judgment (of ourselves and others), of attachment, of expectations, of labels, and in letting go we give ourselves permission to be who we are. We are more able to cultivate a kindness to ourselves and to those around us. It’s about making being human more acceptable.

The third element is about cultivating connection, with ourselves and others. Connection is at the heart of all relationships, whether personal or professional. Whether you are a parent, friend, business owner, teacher, doctor, politician…the foundation of living a life well lived lies with connection. 

 The Be You Campaign is the first step for creating a global community. One that embraces the three elements of the Be You platform.

What is 1,000,000 connected conversations? It’s a challenge, to highlight the humanness of being human and about cultivating connection. Life is busy, and more often than not we rely on technology and social media to connect. While that has many benefits, it also comes at a cost.

Our children, our friends and family members, colleagues and the elderly are feeling less connected, more lonely, depressed, anxious and isolated. This campaign is about cultivating connection, embracing potential, and recognizing resilience.

How? Through connection and conversations. The challenge is to reach 1,000,000 people through connected conversations. Making it okay for people to say “I’m not okay”, giving people a platform to be who they are, creating a safe space for people to awaken to their own potential and resilience.

Join me as we create, cultivate and awaken as a community where the only requirement is to show up – just as you are.

Signing up was the first step. You will receive a follow-up email with some suggestions on how to start this journey. Maybe you have ideas or suggestions. Join our community on Facebook. It’s a safe space to share, ask questions and connect.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeYou1000000/

I look forward to being on this journey with you.

Much love,

Jessie-Lynn

Be You

Be You

When you dance with the Universe, let it lead”. Jessie-Lynn MacDonald

I’m completely thrilled to announce the official launch of BE YOU.

What is Be You? It’s about being willing to dance with life and let it lead. It’s about showing up just as you are. No labels, no judgments, putting faith before fear. When we let go and give ourselves permission to live, without fear, without judgment we embrace the beauty of life, the beauty of knowing we are born with an innate resilience and wellbeing.  

It’s about education – making conversations about mental health and wellbeing part of our daily practice. Making it normal to say I’m not okay, I’m overwhelmed, I’m sad, I’m lonely. Doing so takes away the stigma, and replaces it with a permission to live, to be who we are, knowing that thoughts and feelings ebb and flow, they are not static. They are part of life.  

It’s about letting go – of fear, of judgment (of ourselves and others), of attachment, of expectations, of labels, and in letting go we give ourselves permission to be who we are. We are more able to cultivate a kindness to ourselves and to those around us. It’s about making being human more acceptable.

It’s about connected conversations. Conversations are the foundation for beautiful relationships, with ourselves and with others.  

Be You was created from the desire and commitment to highlight our innate mental health and well-being. It’s about making emotional hygiene part of daily conversation and practice. Be You is about awakening, educating and inspiring women, children, and youth to embrace who they are – just as they are. It’s about cultivating connection, embracing potential, and recognizing resilience. Join me as we create, cultivate and awaken as a community where the only requirement is to show up – just as you are.

 Mission:

Be You is a mental health and wellbeing global initiative to inspire women, children, and youth to connect with, embrace and be proud of who they are. To create a safe space to awaken, inspire and embrace the potential, and innate resilience that lies within.  

Vision:

To inspire women, children, and youth to awaken and embrace the greatness within and encourage them to show up in the world just as they are. To let go of the controls and dance with life, to stop turning away from their true selves, looking for validation, love, acceptance, and security from other people and things (drugs, alcohol, social media likes,etc.) and to point them in the direction of their innate mental health and wellbeing – to inspire them be the best version of themselves.

Be You – Children  

One of the most valuable things we can teach our children is to point them to the mental health, innate resilience and well-being they were born with that it with them throughout their lives – their Super YOU Power.

Be You – Youth

You are as perfect and whole as anyone else. Love, acceptance, validation, etc. can’t be found in others, friends, social media likes, etc. They are never found outside of yourself, if you look for them outside of yourself the solutions will be temporary. The only place you will find them is within yourself. Resilience, well-being, love, and hope are always with you.

  • You are not broken
  • You are never lacking anything
  • You are not your thoughts or feelings. They are temporary and cannot hurt you.

Be You – Women

It’s about taking a journey, peeling back the layers, tapping into the wisdom that gives us permission to take off the armour, the masks we wear when we subscribe to the thinking that I am not loved, loveable, worthy, beautiful, successful therefore I have to be someone else – look different, feel different in order to be who I truly am.

It’s about tapping into our inner wisdom, embracing the gift of life. Knowing that just as life ebbs and flows, so does our thinking. When we lean in flow and let go of the need to control the uncontrollable life becomes easier, lighter, we stress less and play more.

Perfect Just as You Are

Perfect Just as You Are

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…
It doesn’t matter if I’m short or tall…
It only matters who I am inside…
Blue eyes, brown eyes, black or green…
What makes me most beautiful cannot be seen…
When you look at me, don’t judge me by my parts…
The most beautiful thing about me is my heart.”

I absolutely LOVE working with children and teens, their beautiful minds and big hearts warm my soul. This past month I have been working with a teenager who came to me heartbroken, feeling (and I quote) “worthless, stupid, ugly, and will never be popular.”

Hearing a child talk this way makes my stomach churn in a million different directions. It’s not a new story. I’ve heard it with many other young (and older) clients. The story doesn’t discriminate by gender, age, skin colour, what a person looks like or social status.

It took a couple of meetings for this beautiful soul to share more of her story with me – none of which I will share here. Suffice it to say her story contains characters who are mean, who bully, a family that works really hard to provide, but are ‘busy’ and a young girl with a lot of time to figure life out on her own.

She has until recently, been filling that time on the internet, on Snapchat, on Instagram and watching Riverdale and a few other shows that seem popular with teenagers.

She like many other young adults, had been using these venues as a platform to gauge her popularity, to gain acceptance from her peers, as a learning tool on how to engage, how to dress, what is the ‘in’ thing to do and as a source of validation of her self-worth and her place in this world. The problem was it was making her feel horrible.

Her parents thought I could ‘fix’ her. When I told them there was nothing to fix they were skeptical. I asked them to give us time.

During our conversations, I asked her why she continued to engage when she was having such intense negative feelings. Her response was “because everyone else is doing it.” My initial reaction was to get her to see how unhealthy it was to keep doing something that felt wrong, that made her feel bad and make bad choices. That the opinion of others didn’t define who she was.

I wanted to tell her that she wasn’t broken, there was nothing to fix, what a bright, caring and loving person she was, but it wasn’t the time. I knew that wouldn’t help her at that moment. I had to let go of my own agenda, my own beliefs and listen. Really listen, and just listen.

Thought Bomb Moment: When we listen, we give our children the space to explore, to look deep within themselves and the stories they have come to accept as truth, we also give them the opportunity to work through their own feelings. Doing so helps them realize their own resilience and well-being.

We shared some beautiful conversations about how human experience works and where our feelings come from. I love that kids get this so quickly. It’s an easy mistake to believe that the number of followers or likes a post gets on social media reflects something more meaningful, or that self-worth, love, and acceptance come from an experience, other people, money, etc. In reality, none of this is true.

Everyone is born whole and complete. There is only one of you in this entire Universe. You are unique and one of a kind. There is no person or experience that can take away from your innate resilience, your significance. All the feelings of love, self-worth, and validation come from within. The only requirement is a heartbeat.

We spent time uncovering who she was at this point in her life, what brought her good feelings and what thoughts were behind the feelings she was having…there is so much information in the feeling!

She really blossomed during our time together. I was so honoured to receive a lovely drawing from her today. She sent me a beautiful picture of a heart with the words “I am a heartbeat, I am love, I am me and that is beautiful. I am perfect just as I am.”

Some parents think as our children grow that they need us less. I would argue that they need us more. Our children are growing up in a much different world with the internet and social media. Helping our children understand that they will never find validation, love, acceptance, etc. from an external source (friends, alcohol, drugs, etc) and encourage them to look inward changes everything.

When they understand that all the answers they need are within themselves, within the feelings (a built-in GPS) – they are much more likely to trust their inner wisdom, to look inward for solutions, and to go through the ebb and flow of life with grace and love.

With this in mind, I invite you to connect with your kids, listen to them. Have beautiful conversations about social media, friendships, their feelings, and more importantly, their innate resilience and wholeness, their beautiful space in this Universe.

Be well. Be present. Be you.

Much love,

Jessie-Lynn

Pin It on Pinterest