Becoming You

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve pondered over philosophical questions such as, “What is the meaning of life,” “What is my purpose,” “Who am I,” or “Am I the sum of my experiences?” Okay, so I didn’t ponder that last question until I was going through my initial 200-hour yoga teacher training program… but I have always thought about deeper matters of life (which kind of made me look weird in the eyes of my fellow classmates in preschool). I’ve been on a spiritual journey of Svadhyahya (Sanskrit for “self-study”) on a deeper level ever since I became a Christian in 1994, and I’ve come to realize that the more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know anything to its deepest level. One of the ways I progress in my journey is through Bible sermons.

Yesterday at church, we had the privilege of hearing a sermon from a guest speaker, Daren Overstreet, who is the Lead Evangelist of Seattle Church or Christ in Washington State. The title of his message was, “Eight Words for 2021” and the eight words were, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7). One of the points he made from his sermon — that grabbed my attention — was that, “what you fix your eyes on becomes you.”

My iPhone gives me a report of my phone usage, and yesterday, the breakdown was as follows:

  • Health & Fitness: 3h 9m
  • Social: 1h 28m
  • Productivity & Finance: 54m
  • Information & Reading: 38m
  • Travel: 26m
  • Utilities: 24m
  • Creativity: 15m
  • Shopping & Food: 1m
  • Entertainment: 2s

According to my report, the apps that I spent the most time using was Health & Fitness, and Information & Reading was only 38m; and just 20 minutes of that was reading my Bible. Not that spending time in Health & Fitness apps is wrong, but I really had to ask myself what my eyes are fixed on. What is becoming me?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders…”
Hebrews 12:1a

What is hindering you from becoming the Authentic You?

Several years back, my husband and I went to a festival in Grapevine, TX. I wanted to dress up a bit that day, so I decided to wear a pair of heels with my outfit. Everything was going well until we arrived at the event and realized that the nearby parking lots were full. I wasn’t too worried, since I was used to wearing heels for an extended period of time. But what I didn’t count on was the uphill walking we had to do after we parked the car. By the time we were done at the festival, we started heading back to the car… going downhill, with my heels on! I’m not sure if you’ve seen anyone walk downhill with heels on, but it’s not a pretty sight. Halfway into our walk back, I decided to take my shoes off and walk barefoot. So that day, the hinderance to walking comfortably was my choice in footwear. The smarter thing would have been to wear different shoes, but I did the next smart thing and eventually took my shoes off.

So often, we continue to hold onto things that hinder us from being the best version of ourselves even though throwing those hinderances off would lighten our burdens — all because we don’t want to put in the effort to let them go. It could be our attitudes about politics/current events, obsession to be right on social media, critical attitudes toward others… the list goes on and on.

At the end of the day, we all want to love and be loved. We all want to feel connected. We all want to live a life of freedom from addictions, bitterness, arrogance, and tension. So what will you do in order to become the most authentic YOU that you can be?


With Gratitude,
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Behind Procrastination

I can’t believe it. The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us. As I begin the second quarter of this year, I feel tempted to just coast through it because frankly, I’m tired. I feel like I was on hyper-fast mode from January to March, mainly because of a homeschool co-op that my daughter and I were a part of. When the co-op ended two weeks ago, I felt like running through an aisle dancing and singing! It’s been nice to actually get decent amount of sleep and not grade papers, edit articles (I was teaching a Journalism class to middle school and high school students), and drive almost 2 hours roundtrip weekly. I gave myself a week to relax and recover, but I found myself filling up my schedule, which made the goal of getting replenished a bit challenging. I think deep down inside, I knew all along that the reason why I was staying busy is because I didn’t want to get back to preparing for my podcast launch on May 4th. To put it bluntly, I was procrastinating.

“One of these days, is none of these days.”
H.G. Bohn

There are so many reasons behind why people procrastinate, such as fear of failure, fear of success, misplaced priorities, or just plain apathy. For me, it’s definitely fear of failure in regards to my podcasting. All the steps necessary to make a good podcast feels overwhelming. It’s not just about recording a segment or interviewing someone. It’s the fact that you’re committing to doing this on a regular basis. It’s also the fact that I have to put in the time to create good content that generates interest. As overwhelming as it is, I’m willing to commit and put in the work because this is all for God. Podcasting — just like writing and publishing a book — is not something that I desire to do for my own glory. I’m perfectly fine just teaching fitness, yoga and meditation classes, but God continues to put big dreams on my heart that I can’t shake off of my soul.

He has a way of giving us dreams that burn in our hearts until we accomplish them for His glory.

So now, I must continue to pray. I must continue to listen to His voice through His Word (The Bible), and messages (from nature, people, anything and everything). Lastly, I must put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing… all for God’s glory!

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

I pray that your week is productive and pleasing to God!

With Gratitude,
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Know Thyself

Have you ever met a person who just seems to have no self-awareness?  Of course, there are the obvious indications of behaviors that lack self-awareness, such as arrogance, obnoxiousness, and hypocrisy; but today, we’re going to look at three subtle forms of lacking self-awareness and how they may apply to anyone (including myself):


1. TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF TOO MUCH

I grew up as a performer.  I’ve been acting, singing, dancing and playing the piano since I was in Kindergarten.  Not that I was ever famous, but I’ve had my share of strangers coming up to me after performances to chat. I remember this one time where two ladies came up to me after I performed a song I wrote for a women’s event.  They were very generous with their compliments and asked me questions about my musical training and some general questions about my life.  I walked away from that conversation feeling great… until that evening.  I thought to myself, “I don’t know anything about those two wonderful ladies that I talked to today.”  I realized that I missed a great opportunity to know about their lives and a chance to learn from them (we can learn something from everyone we meet).  So, now I have a rule that I follow: When people ask me questions about myself (especially people that I meet for the first time), I make it a point to ask them questions as well.  I also make sure that I end my responses within 3 minutes.  Lastly, if I notice that the only voice I’ve been hearing for the past 5 minutes is my own, it’s time to wrap it up and ask others some questions about them.

“Proud fools talk too much…”
Proverbs 14:3a

2. NOT KNOWING THE RIGHT TIME OR THE PLACE

Oh boy.  This sums up my adolescent years.  I used to throw out my opinions to anyone and everyone, whether or not they asked for it.  I once talked about a cute boy at a memorial.  I wanted to hang out with my crush during lunch at school instead of being there for my friend whose dad was hospitalized. (My excuse was that she said she wanted to be alone, even though I knew she didn’t really want to be alone.)  I would bring up an inside joke to my friend, knowing well that the girl standing right by her was already feeling left out.  I was very immature as a young teen.  As I became a young adult (age 19 or 20), I was confronted (in a very loving way) by some great friends about my behavior and how it affected people.  When I stepped back and imagined watching myself acting this way, I was mortified!  I realized that what I did and said — good or bad — had a lasting affect on people.  From that point on, I decided that I was going to err on the side of consideration and not assume that “it’s no big deal.”

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Proverbs 18:21
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”
Galatians 5:22-23a

3. ENGAGING IN NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

This one may seem odd to be considered not having self-awareness; but when we engage in negative self-talk, we’re no longer aware of the truth about who we are.

The other day, I was struggling with feeling like I’m worth anybody’s friendship.  Having had  a Birthday recently, I’ve received countless birthday wishes on social media, numerous text messages, a few Birthday voice messages (including an annual birthday song by one of my dear friends, musician Marcus A. Johnson), and even friends who insisted on taking me out to lunch.  As the day approached for my lunch dates with my friends, I started to wonder why they’re friends with me.  I thought to myself, “What do I really bring to the friendship?  They are such loving people who care about everyone. That’s probably why they consider me their friend.”  This thought began a downward spiral, down a rabbit hole of negative self-talk.  About 5 minutes into it (a lot of thoughts can occur in 5 minutes), I took a step back and assessed myself.  I became aware of who I am in Christ once again.  According to John 1:12, I am a child of God.  According to Romans 8:1, I am not condemned (therefore, I should not condemn myself).  According to Ephesians 2:10, I am God’s handiwork, created in Jesus to do good.  And according to1 Thessalonians 1:4, I am loved by God and have been chosen by Him.


Self-awareness isn’t just nurturing to our souls; it’s essential for our spiritual survival.  Without being aware of who we are in Christ, we can not be aware of our true selves as children of God. 

May we all walk in self-awareness on the road to our individual authenticity.

 

With Gratitude,
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My Day is Ruined!

It was just like other Sunday mornings where I’m trying to grab all my stuff to get into the car quickly so that my family and I can make it to church on time. The very last thing I do is to fill up my tumbler with hot water for my roasted dandelion tea (I stopped drinking caffeinated drinks, so dandelion tea has become my go-to drink in the mornings). After getting settled in the car, I took a sip of my drink and realized that IT WAS LUKEWARM!!! Actually, it was more on the cooler side than lukewarm. I immediately thought to myself, “Ugh! Now my day is ruined! Why wasn’t the water in the electric kettle hot?” But two seconds after my initial thought, I laughed at myself. I mean, how weak of a person am I that I’m going to let a lukewarm drink ruin my entire day? I visualized comparing the size of the cup next to the size of my day. 16 oz. to 24 hours. 16. oz. to 1,440 minutes. 16. oz. to 86,400 seconds! Is my life so insignificant that I’m going to let a 16 oz. beverage dictate an entire day?  How about you?  Do you allow one thing/person/situation “ruin” the rest of your day?

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
1 Corinthians 10:4 

Sometimes the “strongholds” we feel seem so much greater in significance or power.  Maybe you took a sip of your coffee/tea and noticed that it was the wrong temperature.  Maybe you received a text from a friend that left you feeling upset, annoyed or angry.  Or maybe you got cut off on the road and the other driver had the audacity to honk at you, yell at you or even give you a “hand gesture of disapproval.”  Maybe you felt wronged or disrespected.  Whatever the thing, person, or situation it may be, I invite you to ask yourself why you’re willing to give away your time, energy, and even your power over to something or someone.

One time, I was driving to an appointment and I started slowing down so that I can make sure I would not miss the driveway to the house.  Because it was a single lane road (going one way and another lane going the other way), the convertible behind me had to slow down… and he did NOT like that.  He decided to speed up and quickly drive around me.  As he cut me off, he gave me that famous three-finger salute and then peeled off.  At first, I got annoyed, but shortly afterwards, I prayed for him to make it home safely and that if he’s having a bad day, God would bring about a sense of peace in his heart.  I was amazed at how quickly I was able to let go of letting that ruin the rest of my day. 

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”
Matthew 5:44
“A man’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.”
Proverbs 19:11 

So as we go into a new week, I encourage you to live a life of great significance… and a life that’s bigger than a 16 oz. hot beverage.


With Gratitude,
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Humanity in the Eye of the Storm

I’m a frequent visitor of Wikipedia.  I also donate to the Wikimedia Foundation Inc., which is the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia.  I will explain why I mention Wikipedia after the following Disclaimer 😆:

DISCLAIMER:
Because of my financial situation (my wellness business took a big hit due to the pandemic), I have to be selective of which non-profits I donate to, but I make sure I donate a portion of my income to the causes that I strongly believe in.
(Please do not contact me to ask for donations at this time.  Thank you.🙏)

Did you know that the recent winter storm from a couple of weeks ago already has a page on Wikipedia?  It’s titled, February 13–17, 2021 North American winter storm.”  According to this article, the winter storm — unofficially known as “Winter Storm Uri” (I call it SNOVID-21) — affected many states across the U.S., with Texas experiencing the worst of it.  (I’m bringing it for a landing here now…)  Being that I live in North Texas, I was part of the millions of Texans that experienced rolling power outages, no WiFi, spotty cell reception, several days of below freezing temperature, frozen pipes, and other related situations that come with living in a state that was not built to handle such freezing weather. 

But in the midst of it all, I had some great realizations about myself and my community.

I woke up on Monday morning to a very cold house.  My face felt frozen, so I immediately buried my face under the thick blanket that was over me.  My husband walked in shortly afterward to tell me about the power outages and that our heater was acting up.  The next several days consisted of us having to manually turn the heater back on every time the power came back on (which resulted in a couple of sleepless nights as my husband and I took turns staying up to reset the heater throughout the night).  Because we had power for about 45 minutes on and 90 minutes off, we would take every “power-on” opportunities to boil water, cook meals (thank God for our Instant Pot!), and recharge our cell phones (mainly to use as flashlights).  I also took advantage of daylight to finish reading my January book, and I even started reading my February book (My goal is to read one book every month). It was a very uncomfortable week and consistently wearing four layers of clothes, but it was also a week of slowing down and detoxing from electronics.

I was reminded that electronics can distract me — more than I realize — from completing tasks and accomplishing goals.

I also saw some amazing hearts of service come out of many people. I had neighbors clearing snow off of people’s driveways (including the driveway of an elderly couple), some risking their safety by driving through multiple cities (in the snow) to collect warm clothes for those in shelters, and hosting friends and family who lost power completely.  I saw post after post from people on NextDoor, Facebook and Instagram, offering whatever resources they had to anyone that may be in need.  This reminded me of what the First Century Christians did in Acts 2:44-45:

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…”

It was a week I will never forget.  My heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones due to the Winter Storm as well as those still recovering from the damages that the freezing temperatures left behind.  But in the middle of tragedies and losses, I’m grateful and proud to be a part of a community that bands together and looks out for each other.

When things get tough, may we all step up to extend our love and service to those in need.

 

With Gratitude,
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Things I Learned From My Bestfriends – Pt. 2

“Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy,
for good friends are like the anointing oil
that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence.”
Proverbs 27:9

Last week, I started the four-part series on my best friends and the things I learned from each of them.  This week, I will continue the series by telling you about the best friends I had in my 20’s and 30’s.  I became a baptized Christian as a sophomore in college, so my social circle changed from people that I partied with and went to clubs with, to people who shared the same spiritual goals as me. Instead of filling my insecure heart with momentary pleasures, I filled my time with going to church, devotionals, studying the Bible with people, and hanging out with some amazing people who taught me the love of Christ.

I met F.E. through the girl that invited me to church.  I asked F.E. and a few other girls to study the Bible with me, to teach me what it meant to live a life of a disciple of Christ (aka Christian). The more open I became with F.E. and others about the “good, bad and the ugly” about myself, the more loved I felt by them because they accepted me and cared about me in spite of all the ungodly things I have done.  They also shared openly about their struggles which made me feel even more loved by them.  Even though all the girls that studied the Bible with me were amazing, F.E. and I just bonded in such a natural, sister-like way. She and I became the kind of friends that felt completely secure and safe with each other because there was no judgement, and there was nothing we didn’t talk about.  One of the many things I learned from her was that you can be cool and fabulous while living a life with spiritual boundaries and biblical convictions.  We remained best friends until she moved back to New York, which is where she was originally from.

I met my next two best friends, S.S. and T.R. when I was volunteering as a “Teen Ministry Worker” at my church’s Youth and Family Ministry.  They were both teenagers, so at first, our friendship was more of a Mentor-Mentee relationship, but once they graduated from high school, our friendships transformed into best friendships. S.S. and I spent a lot of time going to the beach, hanging out at the mall, and studying the Bible with people… and T.R. and I enjoyed going to concerts, and other live performances together as well as having late-night (and early morning) talks.  I was in both of their weddings (and they were in mine).  Life took us in different directions shortly after that, but one thing I learned from S.S. is to work hard to achieve goals, and from T.R., I learned the importance of a family bond. (She and her sisters — and their husbands — are still very close to their parents in distance and in heart.)

Once my husband and I entered the stage of being new parents, I went through a really tough time with post-partum depression and the loss of my dad to cancer.  It was also when we moved from California to Texas, so I struggled to connect with people on a spiritual level.  I met T.W. shortly after moving to Texas, and I told her that she was going to be my new best friend.  She was in the Singles Ministry at the church that I was now a part of (which is a sister-church to the one I attended in California), and I was encouraged to have someone in my life that made as much of an effort to spend time with me as I did.  (I found that a lot of my married friends were not as available to hang out as much as my single friend T.W. was.)  One of my favorite memories with T.W. was taking a girls’ trip to California together (along with another one of my single friends in Texas).  I loved introducing them to California and taking them to some of my favorite spots.  I’m so grateful I got to be in her life during her engagement, wedding, and the birth of her twin babies!  One thing I learned from my friendship with T.W. is loyalty.  T.W. is such a gentle soul with immense amount of loyalty to her friends, and that is exactly why God put her in my life when I was going through a hard time spiritually.

For most of my 30’s, I missed having the kind of friendships I did back in college and in my single days.  By the time I entered my 40’s, I convinced myself of the theory that I didn’t need those types of best friendships anymore because my husband was my best friend — he has been my best friend since 2000 — but I still missed having the kind of best friends that other ladies seemed to still have in their lives… and then I met her.  I met my next best friend in my early 40’s, and she proved my theory wrong!  You’ll get to meet her in my blog next week. 😉 

Also, if any of my guy best friends from the past are reading this and wondering why you have not been mentioned… I am dedicating an entire blog to you guys in Part 4 of my best friends series!  💜

 

With Gratitude,
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Missing a Streak

I’m not sure when the word Streak became a term to describe how many consecutive days you’ve been on a particular app (in high school, “streaking” meant something completely different), but I’ve become pretty obsessed with my Streak on the Bible App.  Even though I don’t always use the Bible app for my quiet times, I log into it daily to look up certain scriptures or to follow along during sermons.  It’s a very useful app, and I enjoy logging in daily to keep my Streak growing; but sometimes I forget to log in for a couple of days if I’m reading a spiritual book (these days, I’m reading more than one at a time).  This happened to me recently, and I got so annoyed that I missed a day, which resulted in losing my streak of triple digits!  “Hmm, that was an interesting reaction,” I thought to myself.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts about Enneagrams lately.  Enneagram is a personality typing system, which is based on patterns of the way people perceive their environment and manage their emotions.  One of the common topic in these podcasts are the Why’s behind our actions, thoughts and feelings.  So with this recent reaction to losing my Bible app streak, I asked myself why it annoyed me and why it was so important to me that I keep up my streak.  It didn’t take long for God to reveal my heart behind my annoyance:  I was fixated on the quantity instead of the quality.  I felt a sense of accomplishment whenever I saw my Streak number go up even if I didn’t remember the scriptures that I read on the app.  Ouch!  This was very convicting to me!

Having a triple-digit (or more) Streak is not a reflection of an authentic discipleship.  My husband never uses a Bible app because he likes to have a physical Bible in his hands, which means even if he had the Bible app on his phone, his Streak number would always be at “1 Day”; but he is honestly one of the most genuine and authentic disciple of Christ that I know.  It is very common to see him reading his Bible and a spiritual book.  He goes on a couple of prayer walks every day.  He’s not someone with tons of “free time” either: He works full-time for a very big corporation, is finishing up his MBA degree, AND we lead a small group in our church.  He doesn’t do these things to increase his Streak or to validate his worth; He does it because he loves God and has a genuine relationship with our Father in Heaven.  His motivation is not public recognition but rather a recognition of his need for God.

It is important to do heart-checks on a regular basis because our flesh-nature easily loses sight of our authenticity in Christ.  According to James 1:23-25, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”  This ability to discern and examine ourselves will allow us to grow in our spiritual depth and authenticity in Christ… and in return, our souls will be refreshed.

“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul.”
Proverbs 3:21-22a

Let us all strive to live lives of biblical and spiritual authenticity and not allow an app (or anything/anyone) to determine the progress of our journey with Christ. 🙏

With Gratitude,
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It Can’t Be Summer All Year-Long (A Season for Everything)

I take a picture of Laguna Beach from this angle every time I visit!

I love the summers in Southern California.  Even though I love Texas and have been a Texan for over 11 years combined (2005-2015, and 2010-present), I will always choose summers in California.  There’s something magical about driving along Pacific Coast Highway, passing a beautiful beach after another beautiful beach… My favorite beach by far is Laguna Beach.  Whenever I’m there, I stare out into the ocean wishing that the moment, the day and the summer would last forever… 

BUT IT ALWAYS COME TO AN END.

In Ecclesiastes 3, the author (most commonly believed to be King Solomon) states that there’s a season for everything under the sun:

“For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”


Now getting into my personal life… 

In 2016, God put on my heart to write a book and to start a podcast to encourage and inspire Christians in an “outside-the-box” type of way.  After doubting myself — so ultimately, doubting God — for three years, I finally obeyed his command to write a book on Biblical Meditation.  I rode the high of being a published author by doing a book tour from October 2019 to March of last year… until COVID-19 shut everything down.  Since then, I’ve been trying to write a new book, but God kept on telling me that my next “thing” was to be a podcast.  I told God that I didn’t think I was the one to do that.  The thought of launching a podcast terrified me; but because it terrified me, I knew I needed to do it for God’s glory.  So I started getting really excited about taking that leap of faith and entering the world of podcasting.  I got myself on a schedule and a plan to launch on March 2 of this year… AND THEN EVERYTHING CAME TO A SCREECHING HALT.

Let’s rewind a bit:  I have homeschooled my daughter since she was in 2nd grade (she’s now a high school junior), and this year, we joined a homeschool co-op where one of the parents from each homeschool family is required to either teach, assist, set up or clean up.  This semester, I’m teaching a Print Journalism class to 7th-12th graders, and I’m creating the weekly homeschool newsletter.  Last week was our first week back from break, and it was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a while!  To make the long story short, I realized that until this semester of homeschool co-op is over, my life is going to be mostly about homeschooling and a little bit about teaching my virtual classes… which means NO PODCAST LAUNCH ON MARCH 2.  Initially, I fought the inevitable.  I tried to re-evaluated my schedule to see what I can move around to make room for the podcast prep work.  I looked everywhere to see if God snuck in a couple of extra hours (in addition to the 24 hours that He’s given me), but I couldn’t find the 25th and 26th hours. 😭  So after many failed attempts at resistance and trying to make it happen, I surrendered to God’s new podcast launch date for me: May 4th.  Once I “let go and let God,” I felt a sense of peace come over me, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the week without feeling overwhelmed.

The season I’m currently in is a homeschool educator who teaches virtual classes.  And just like any season, it won’t last forever… so I better enjoy the beauty of this season, and then I will enjoy the beauty of the next season in my life.

 

With Gratitude,
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Lessons Learned from First Week of 2021

Alright folks, we’re now in Week Two of 2021.  How are you doing?  Some of you may have crushed the first week of sticking with your resolutions, but there may be some others that have already “fallen off the wagon” with some of their goals.

For me, I had a decent week.  As you may remember from my blog last week, I set physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and professional goals for the new year.  I bought foods that are recommended for my metabolic and blood type, and I’ve taken on the challenge of creating meals only using the foods on my list. (I pretend that I’m a contestant in an episode of Chopped, except I don’t give myself a time limit.  That would stress me out too much!)  After just one week of eating according to my metabolic and blood type, I feel less bloated and never hungry!  In regards to emotional goal of being more vulnerable, I spent time with a friend — in her backyard, 6 ft. apart and with masks on — and we shared our hearts and lives with each other.  There were some tears shed on both sides, and I felt so much closer to her as I left her house.  I feel blessed that God gave us that time to bond as sisters in Christ and as bestfriends in the making.  Now for the areas I didn’t do too well… 

I sort of slacked off on my reading of all THREE BOOKS!  I knew as I committed to reading these books that I needed to really stay on top of my reading; however, I did get behind… but only by a few pages in each book.  I’ve decided to reset my mental goal by holding off on finishing “Individualist (60 Day Enneagram Devotional): Growing As An Enneagram 4” until I’m done reading one of the two other books that I’m reading.

THE BEAUTY OF SETTING GOALS IS THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS STOP, REASSESS, AND RESET.

I didn’t do so well in my professional goal either.  I allowed my daily tasks and getting ready for second semester of homeschooling to distract me from working on the next steps to launching my podcast.  I justified it by telling myself that I was actually 10 days ahead of my scheduled tasks… but you know where that type of thinking got the rabbit in the story, The Tortoise and The Hare.  No bueno. I’m still technically a couple of days ahead, so I need to make sure I stay on task from here on out.

Spiritually though, I feel that I’ve been working on “getting over myself” daily.  I’ve started a 15-minute Yoga Flow series where I’m recording myself teaching a short yoga flow everyday and posting it for my paying clients to access daily.  Before the pandemic, I refused to create yoga videos because I hated the way I looked in videos.  But since I’ve been teaching virtually for over 10 months, I’m having to get over myself being insecure, body-conscious, and just overall appearance-conscious.  I’m enjoying creating these daily videos for people because this isn’t about me; this is about helping people take small (15-minute) steps toward moving more, increasing range of motion/movement, and introducing Yoga to those who may be new to it.

I feel pretty good about how I spent the first week of 2021.  There’s room for improvement, but I’m glad I don’t have to be guilt-ridden for not doing everything perfectly.  I’m only human, and I can be grateful for this fact.  I want to encourage you with this:

1.  WE’RE NOT BOUND BY DEATH TO ANY OF OUR PERSONAL RESOLUTIONS!
2.  LIFE SHOULD BE LIVED WITH SOME FLEXIBILITY.
3.  IF YOU HAD A NOT-SO-GREAT FIRST WEEK OF THE YEAR, IT’S OKAY; YOU GET TO START OVER EVERY MORNING.

 

I hope you have a wonderful week, filled with victories and flexibility!

With Gratitude,
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Hello 2021!

Happy New Year!  More than other New Year’s Day, 2021 seems to have brought more emphasis and excitement to many people.  Although no one is blind to the fact that COVID-19 remains to be the culprit of this global pandemic that we’re still in, it seems that most people are hopeful and optimistic about what this year will bring.  With this renewed hope, setting New Year’s Resolutions seems appropriate.  Through the years, my resolutions always included physical, emotional, mental, professional and spiritual goals… and this year is no different.


PHYSICAL GOAL:  TO GET TO MY OPTIMAL WEIGHT AND SIZE!

On January 1, I reached out to a health & wellness coach (and a very good friend of mine) named Vickie Griffith.  she is the creator of The Vickie G Method which is a individualized customized program of eating, exercising and wellness plan according to one’s metabolic type.  I have seen the results of her program in her clients for many years, so my husband and I signed up for her program.  My husband has the challenge of high metabolism (he has to work out to not lose weight) and I have the opposite challenge (especially since hitting my 40’s).  I will be writing about my journey in my future blogs, so stay tuned!  If you’re interested in finding out more about her program, you can contact her through her website (click here).  Tell her I sent you!  😉


EMOTIONAL GOAL:  TO BE MORE VULNERABLE!

Urrgh.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to be vulnerable.  I’m really great at being open with what I’m thinking and feeling, but when it comes to that, “Here’s my heart; would you like to hold it?” kind of vulnerability, there’s a part of me that wants to reach for my place of stoicism.  When I was in my 30’s, I went to a therapist after my dad died of cancer.  During one of the sessions, I was telling her about a painful childhood memory.  After I finished talking, she asked me why I was smiling while I was telling her something that was so painful to me.  She said my words did not match my emotional expression.  So for the next two months, we talked a lot about my emotional disconnect.  The things we go through shape us, but they do not have to define us.  Since that time, I’ve been working on being more emotionally connected to my memories and expressing more empathy toward others.  It’s something I have to force myself to do.  In fact, it was beyond scary for me to write with such vulnerability in my book, “BE STILL: The Power of Biblical Meditation.”  This area of my life is a work in progress, so this continues to be one of my New Year’s Resolutions every year.


MENTAL GOAL:  READ ONE BOOK EVERY MONTH!

I have always loved reading.  I learned how to read at age 4, and the first novel I read was Gulliver’s Travels in Korean at age 6.  After I moved to the U.S. when I was 9, I learned English words by reading the dictionary and proper grammar through 80’s love songs (that’s when song lyrics were grammatically correct😄); but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a tendency to reach for magazines or articles online due to time constraints.  Once podcasts became popular, I found myself listening to podcasts more and reading books much less.  My goal this year is to read one book each month.  I have two bookshelves in my home studio filled with books: Books on Bible devotionals, Christian living, health, nutrition, wellness, neuroscience, Yoga, meditation, etc.  I’ve only read about half of my collection, so I have more than plenty to read this year.  Currently, I’m reading “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson with a friend, “God’s Perfect Plan for Imperfect People” by Tom Jones with the DFW Church, and “Individualist (60 Day Enneagram Devotional): Growing As An Enneagram 4” by myself.  After I finish these books, I am planning on reading just one book per month.


PROFESSIONAL AND SPIRITUAL GOAL:  GET OVER MYSELF!

I’m a dreamer.  I like to dream big… but those big dreams also terrify me!  Before I wrote my book, I second-guessed myself and really struggled to get started.  It took me a couple of years after God put on my heart to write my book, to actually write it.  Well, this next dream is no different:  God put it on my heart to start a podcast about living in step with the Spirit around the same time He told me to write a book.  But because of my insecurities (same insecurities I mention in my book), I kept finding reasons why I shouldn’t start a podcast.  But God made it very clear to me late last year that I needed to GET OVER MYSELF because this isn’t about me, it’s about inspiring other Christians to move past spiritual stuckness and funk that we all go through from time to time… and glorify God in the process.  So I’m doing it!  I’ll be launching my podcast on March 2, 2021!  I’m nervous and excited, so please pray for me!  I’m sure I will be dedicating more than a few blogs to my journey in launching a podcast… so stay tuned!


“Pray as if it depends on God, and work as if it depends on you.”
Mark Batterson, “The Circle Maker”

 

With Gratitude,
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