Define Your Paradise!

Paradise can be subjective. What is bliss to one, can be a trigger to anxiety for another. So before you have hashtag#FOMO remember what drives YOU, motivates YOU, and allows YOU to sleep soundly every night!

I have had so many amazing adventures, interactions, and stumbles in this life that has brought me to the realization of what defines my happiness today. However, my path doesn’t equate your happiness. So before you even trigger yourself to being envious of another persons path or disappointed of the road you chose, remember that:
* You woke up on the right side of grass today
* Your happiness is defined by you, and not others IG posts
* This has the potential to be the greatest day of your life, so make it happen – #OWNIT!

Be the Captain of your ship and decide whether you like turbulent seas hashtag#business hashtag#path hashtag#interactions , or sailing in smooth waters. Regardless, you have decided your charted course and it was yours alone to sail with a smile on your face.

Blessings in abundance and gratitude my friends. #blessings #thingsjensays  #sailing

Hugs are Powerful

So on paper I should be living my best life.  However, the truth is I took a new turn and started a new adventure.  As with any adventure I am looking to find my place, my voice, and help define my value.  But things weren’t going as best as I wanted it to.  I began to doubt myself, began to wonder if I had value, began to allow a cancer of negatively to consume me.  I grew sad and frustrated and turned to those who knew me best in these situations.  I turned to old bosses and team members to help me talk it out to see how I can pivot to make this really the great adventure I knew I could. They all reminded me that this was not who I was, nor were they allowing me to even continue to think like this.

Then I ran into some old colleagues this weekend at a baby shower, in a 30 minute period I was recharged and felt loved again – a signal that I was missing that in my new structure.  I was able to use my words in kindness to explain my frustration and what I got as a universal response was a HUG.  Not a wimpy casual hug, like a strong, two hands, squeeze, pause, and then release kind of a hug.  The kind of hug that reminded me I was grounded in friendship, love, and a confidence from those around me (near and far) even when I doubt myself.  It felt magical.

So for the first time in almost 2 months I got up smiling, went to work and dealt with frustration – with a smile on my face, and had a really challenging and honest conversation (with that same smile).  Those hugs changed me.  They reminded me I come from great people who will have my back when the primrose party take a prickly turn.

My advice: Remember to recharge and surround yourself with those who believe in you, and squeeze 🙂

Make your list!

A good portion of us seem to have a list of simple behaviors we would like to incorporate into our daily lives, yet struggle with the execution. However, we do so well with Christmas shopping lists,and getting everyone else taken care of. So make yourself a list!

Start simple, make a daily to-do list. You can get into the habit and excitement of checking it off everyday. Make it doable; make coffee/tea, take shower, drink 64 oz of water (you can break that up in glasses), and check your social media. Then in a few days add on 10 min walk after dinner, morning meditation, eat vegetables with lunch, etc. After time your list can take on impactful meanings as you add on life projects around vacation, savings, and educational opportunities.

My list is made up on a poster board at home filled with post it notes and sectioned off into themes: health, education, relaxation, and family/household. Creating a list and eventually a roadmap has really helped me to manage the fire drills at work and life because I have a daily practice of prioritization.

My advice: Start seeing yourself as the Christmas gift you’ve been wanting. Make your list and start to incorporate better behaviors and activities for you to be a healthier and happier you.

Books to read: Eat that Frog, by Brian Tracy

Intentions are a great start to the day

A few years ago I began to practice early morning meditation with the purpose of settings positive intentions for my day. This practice changed my attitude immediately and helped me to begin my day intentionally.  

My intention are simple:

  • Thank you for today, yesterday and I pray I make it until tomorrow
  • That my words are from a place of partnership and growth
  • Thank you for my children and my home, and I wish for them to be successful in their endeavors
  • That I can solve the riddles that come my way
  • That i can help those on their journey passing through
  • Remind myself I am an abundance of love, happiness, health, and wealth

These intentions are great in reminding me to be a better human being, leader, and friend as I go through the day.

I do this with incense I get from a little store called the Sword and the Rose in San Francisco.  Even my Grandpa Joe has begun the practice in this new phase of his life.

My advice: Be intentional about how you want to interact for the day, and set yourself up for success by reinforcing best behaviors. Find a space and time to get yourself started on your own morning meditations.


Say Hello!

When I was a little girl, growing up in San Bruno, California, there was an older man who walked up and down El Camino Real with his dog.  The dog held a sign that said Good Morning or Hello. It was such a thrill to see him and say hello back. If you ask most of the kids who grew up in that part of town, we all would scramble to roll down our windows and yell good morning back.  He would always look at you – with eye contact – and wave. It brightened up the day and really felt so warm to see him. That childhood experience really drove home the awesome interaction of just saying hello.

It has been said that I make friends in an empty park.  Even when I am riding my bike to the train in the morning, I make an effort to acknowledge everyone walking past and say good morning.  It does catch some people off guard, but then their whole face brightens up and we have this human interaction of “goodness.” I may take it a step too far sometimes because I also greet and start conversations with people in the elevator too.

We are all so busy on our phones or thinking about issues, that sometimes we forget to be human.  Be the better human and start a connection with strangers, coworkers, and family members. Look them in the eye and greet them.  

This is also an attribute of one of my greatest mentors.  He was the leader of our Global Products division and had a forward thinking approach to leadership.  He didn’t even sit in an office, he sat on the aisle cube so that he was accessible to everyone when he was at his desk.  More importantly, he made eye contact and greeted everyone he walked by. Just like the older man from my youth, colleagues will pop up from their desk as he walks down the hall to greet him back and say hello.  It created an amazing atmosphere and to this day he is revered with such respect and dedication because of how incredibly friendly and approachable he was.

My advice: For a week, attempt to greet everyone you pass – make eye contact with and say hello!  You will start you day with a positive energy that is really amazing to project into the world.

Song to star your day: Now is the Start, by a Fine Frenzy



It’s ok, be upset!

Some days you need to be accountable to your feelings. If someone or something has frustrated you well then, be angry! Be upset! But after that, find an alternative route that doesn’t include them. Be faithful to yourself first without being vengeful, you need to focus on your abundance of life. Be happy! Acknowledge what you’ve learned, and focus on getting ahead.


Take a walk

Today I want you to intentionally go for a nice long walk. Get out into the fresh air, open up your lungs, take a deep breath and remember YOUR HEART IS BEATING FOR YOU. If you are like me today, and some things are out of your control and you happen to become effected by them, remember these are trivial things. Focus on the fact that your laughter is contagious, your smile feels good to show, and reflect on how you can be a better person tomorrow. But today, you are going to thank your heart for always beating for you and keeping you going.

Say Yes More Often

As many of you know, I have said “yes” to many things in my life that weren’t popular at the time. But boy did they turn out wonderful, and some came with amazing life lessons. A few of my “yes” moments, that were originally frowned upon were – getting married so young (and divorced just as fast), being a surrogate, changing jobs, going on a road trip with a new friend/stranger, adopting a dog from Alaska or getting pet chickens & bees.  All these things “Yes” moments are now part of story people tell about me and what most seem to like about me. Of course, some stories started off as something unhappy and the Yes was a way out!

For instance, when I decided to be a surrogate a little over a decade ago, it was met with some criticism and cruel comments from some very loving family members. But once the twins were born everyone cried at the loving site of a new family.  You see, of course ,I loved carrying a child and if you know me this is something I would do for another person.  But my real drive was trying to heal an unhappy me and the emotional baggage I carried from experiencing a divorce right after I had my own son.  Because our marriage was plagued with his infidelity and my insecurity, I was consumed with something other than my beautiful baby when I had him.  Being a surrogate was going to let me experience the happiness of pregnancy and the joyous moments associated with it.

What made that journey even more poignant, for me, was when the Grandmother of the twins sent me the most amazing Mother’s Day card. Her words in summary were around dreams coming true for her family and seeing her son becoming a father. There was more in it, but that is between Ada and myself.

Her card made me cry (HARD).  I was then able to see this experience and the amazing effect it would have on my family and their perception or opinion of what made a family. Now I have an extended family and “cousins” that have treated Davaughn and I just like family from day 1.

My advice: Get out of your comfort zone, stop looking for ways to say no and encourage yourself to say yes, even when it scares you. You will be happier for it and you will have some amazing adventures.Say Yes

Are you choosing the happy path?

Navigating each day can be an opportunity or a challenge. How can we start to program ourselves to see each day as an opportunity, to be the best us, and enjoy every moment?

My advice, start with the end in mind. If you start to envision where you want to go and acknowledge that you are meant to overcome challenges, in order to achieve your success, then you will start to see any obstacle as something you were meant to encounter and learn from.

There is the old saying about something being a “blessing in disguise” When you choose to look at unwelcome events as being a learning opportunity you start to acknowledge that you are in control of your happiness and manifesting your destiny to get to the end state that your mind’s eye envisioned.

So, take a minute and acknowledge yourself. You are meant to experience life, you are meant to be happy, you were meant to be here! Admit it, what was your blessing in disguise, and how happy are you that you got to experience it?