In the “Your Family Village” Podcast, Val Hemminger shares the values she learned from being raised by the Hemminger family, helping to make the world a better place by sharing her parents’ legacy.
Today, I am chatting with Jennifer Pereira. Jennifer helps women, entrepreneurs and others recognize and reach their highest expression of themselves in life, business, and relationships. Her special cocktail is spirituality mixed with Practical business knowledge.
She works with women combining ancient wisdom, cutting edge neuroscience, to create practical solutions to life and business. She combines the significant power of science and Woo to allow women to create and be in the best version of themselves as to how they show up in their lives, their business, and how they reach financial abundance.
Jennifer is not only a coach for entrepreneurs but puts her creativity and own spirituality on deck by creating and selling digital products whose very titles spark deep interest in those of us who are wanting to connect deeply within and to be in great service.
Jennifer’s work is about heart lead living.
On transforming and revolutionizing our lives after separation, Jennifer’s piece of advice:
This is the time for a woman to step into herself more than she ever has.
There’s no cookie-cutter answer since everyone’s path is different, whether it be spirituality, separation, or divorce. Connect to your body, intuition, and self. We’re still on the same journey, but it’s the constant becoming of who am I being now and how does that change for me?
Jennifer and I also talk about “running on an empty tank”. Our bodies are so important to our health not just physically, but mentally. In today’s day and age, we are so disassociated with what our body is telling us and what it needs. This can lead to severe anxiety, or in my personal case, plantar fasciitis.
One of the most interesting things that Jennifer and I spoke about was 5D. What is 5D you ask? It’s the 5th dimension. Considering that we live in the 3rd dimension, bringing our mind, body, and spirit to the 5th dimension really encourages a life-changing experience.
You can find Jennifer at www.themodernwoo.com and connect with her on social media:
Well, let’s start with a Definition:
- A female being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people.
- Often Goddess A female being believed to be the source of life and being and worshiped as the principal deity in various religions used
- An image of a female supernatural being; an idol.
- Someone that is worshiped or idealized.
- A woman of great beauty or grace.
If you are a Mom, have been a wife, have been someone’s significant other. You ARE a Golden Goddess. If you have wisdom, you are a golden goddess. If you have felt pain, you are a golden goddess. If you have transformed pain, you are a golden goddess.
You are a Golden Goddess: A woman whose presence is felt whenever she enters a room. One who exudes traits of strength, understanding, intelligence, empathy to beings on earth, as well has a very strong will.
Golden Goddesses are revolutionizing our lives because we are changing our lives fundamentally and completely to fun, abundance, love, and connection. From my home to yours.
Here is what else. Us Golden Goddesses remain perfectly imperfectly human.
So, I don’t know about you, but I am kind of sick and tired of the story where the heroine has struggle, then falls down, gets their butt kicked, and then whoa, she has transformed into this beautiful, amazing, perfect, hot, sexy, slim, heroine, who has a hot guy with ginormous body parts worshiping her every move.
Fuck! What do the rest of us mere mortals do?
I don’t know about you, but I am embracing the Golden Goddess in me anyways.
Fuck this perfect shit. I get to be a Golden Goddess while I remain profoundly imperfect. So do you.
Are you, like me, still imperfect? Do you do your best, but don’t always arrive?
Do you fall down? Say the wrong thing? Get lazy? Forget to be your best self because you are tired, overwhelmed, or just plain fed up sometimes?
Maybe you, like me, are not nearly as skinny as you planned. Maybe you have not always gotten it right in terms of the way you parent your kids. Maybe you do not always get it right with the people you work with. Maybe you didn’t get it right in your marriage.
Yeah, me too.
But guess what?! We get to be Golden Goddesses anyway. Your life is a story. My life is a story. And it is still being written my dear Golden Goddess friend.
And even though many parts of our stories do not yet have the fairy tale ending, this does not mean we cannot live lives of stratospheric happiness, joy, connection, and abundance.
A Golden Goddess says, I may be imperfect still, l and my life may be imperfect still, but I am choosing to do my best. I am choosing transformation.
I already know what it is like to work hard. I already know what it is to care so very deeply about those around me. I already know how to organize the many things that life demands of me. Now, I am going to put those amazing skills, those amazing qualities to creating the best life I can. I am going to do it for me and I am going to do it for those I love.
I am a Golden Goddess and this means that I embrace strength, understanding, intelligence, empathy and that I have a strong will.
I am a woman who has wisdom and experience. I may have a sense of humour. I don’t take myself too seriously at least most of the time.
And just because I am “mature” does not mean that life is over. I have a ton more to give. I have many chapters left in my story. This life story can include whatever I want it to be.
You have many chapters left in your life too, my dear goddess friend.
We are Golden Goddesses and our quest is for life transformation. We are revolutionizing our lives to fun, abundance, love, and connection.
I, like you, want all the things in life. I want the stress of my financial life to abate. I want my loved ones to succeed, be loved, and be connected to others. I want those I love to live free of fear.
I also want to live in peace. I also want to live free of crushing stress. I also want to be loved. I also want to be connected to others.
In so many ways I, like you, have not yet arrived.
And yet, I have arrived. Totally and completely.
Despite my life not looking exactly the way I expected or wanted it to, I am choosing beauty, love, abundance, and my own inner power.
In a matter of months, doing this choosing over and over again has transformed my life and circumstances.
Like you and other Goddess heroines, I have gone through the crushing pain part, the crushing fear part, and the losing part. I have even done the profound realization part.
I am the heroine of my story, and it started some months ago. I had a life of tremendous struggle and I did not realize that I just had to change my attention to appreciate the abundance in which I live.
I invite you to do the same.
Here are the facts:
While I used to believe that life was supposed to go somewhat smoothly after a person reached adulthood, I have suffered way more than I imagined possible.
And this is what I know. Despite the above, I still get to be a Golden Goddess. Who says?! I do.
Who says you get to be a Golden Goddess?! You do. We do. We are in this together.
A Golden Goddess remains imperfect, and she is beautiful in her imperfection.
I am a Golden Goddess and despite all of the struggle, I am mostly, almost always these days, so happy.
I am so tremendously totally happy and joyful that I can’t even believe it.
I live a life of beauty, love, connection, belonging, and joy.
My experiment has worked. I changed my world by changing the way I see it. I am inviting you to do the same.
Here is how Richard Dotts, a manifestation guru says it:
“Know that the Universe always delivers to you whatever you ask for, without judgment, and there is no need to “prove” your deservingness or worthiness in any way. You can want something simply just for the sake of wanting it, because your wanting of something does not deprive another from his or her share! You are already worthy of all the good there is, and if something does not come to you, it is not because you’re not asking hard enough—but because you are unknowingly blocking it from coming to you.”
So, as a Golden Goddess, know that your good is yours for the asking. Know that you deserve happiness, love, connection, and abundance, just because you are, my dear friend a Golden Goddess.
I had spent more than a decade waiting for relief to come to me. I wanted relief from my financial stress. I have waited for my husband to love me again. I have waited for me to deal with my addiction issues. I have waited and waited for that magical bullet to appear and turn it all around. Well, no magic bullet suddenly appeared because it has been here the whole time. I just had to see what was right in front of me.
I just had to open my eyes, heart and mind to see it. And feel it. And just be.
Are you still wondering if you are a Golden Goddess? Take the Golden Goddess Quiz below:
- Are you a woman who has experienced love, and pain:
- Are you someone who wants to (even though you may not imagine it possible just now) who wants to transform your life
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are, my dear friend, A Golden Goddess.
Anna is a first-person advocate for Co-Parenting in Harmony and a true believer in having an outstanding blended family lifestyle. As founder of Co-Parenting in Harmony, Anna is on a mission to restore well-being that often rips divorced and blended families apart.
Anna is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner specialising in Co-Parenting. She’s passionate about guiding and helping divorced parents as well as bonus (step) parents discover and develop workable solutions so that the entire family thrives. Anna interrupts old beliefs, patterns of emotions and habits preventing parents from taking action to uncover and achieve the result they truly deserve in their new family lifestyle.
Anna is also a Certified ThataHealing Practitioner, Certified Facilitator and Parent Educator, Motivational Speaker and 2x International Bestselling author of Co-Parenting in Harmony series books. Recent book Co-parenting in Harmony: Creating A Ripple Effect, How Simple Acts of Kindness Transform The Future of Your Entire Family. Anna is a contributor to HuffPost and Thrive Global.
In our interview, Anna chats about her experience with divorce as a teenager. Since it wasn’t as common at the time, she experienced a tough battle between her mother and father, typical of how we traditionally think of divorce with everything split in the middle. It affected her self esteem, her confidence, and she didn’t know any better. But when it came her time to co-parent, she said no to the luggages back and forth and created two real homes for her son.
Anna says that the rocky parts of divorce “shakes us. It de-stabilizes us, our self confidence, that we failed” But really, it’s not about failure. She says “it’s a learning experience and forces us to look at our selves and ask ourselves why”.
“What’s the best thing that could happen if we go separate ways?”
On working with Anna, she helps divorced parents transition into their new role of co-parents. She teaches her clients how to raise children together in 2 separate homes, they still need to communicate, respect each other, respect each other’s private lives, and what needs to be communicated.
The common goal is “to raise beautiful, healthy kids, so you can both go to their wedding”.
From my home to yours,
How You Can Get Through the Muck Faster to Revolutionizing Our Lives:
Are you a Golden Goddess? I know I am.
A woman whose presence is felt whenever she enters a room. One who exudes traits of strength, understanding, intelligence, empathy, as well as a very strong will.
Who gave me the authority to call me a Golden Goddess? I did.
Who can give you the authority to call yourself a Golden Goddess? You can.
Join me in my self-appointed quest of being a golden goddess and in my quest for absolute and total life transformation. We are revolutionizing our lives because we are changing them fundamentally and completely to fun, abundance, love, and connection.
Maybe you are going through a divorce.
Maybe you are through it.
NO matter what, don’t you want something more? Are you tired of life kicking your ass? I know I have been.
I also know I am now seeing the fruit of what has been a strategic plan to make my life better, more joyful, and way more financially solid. I want to share these strategies with you so you can transform your life too.
Now I am not saying I do all of these things all of the time. I am not suggesting that you do so either. The last thing we need is something else to feel guilty about that we don’t have time for. This is not about adding more jobs to your already busy plate. I am suggesting, however, that being strategic about how we spend our days can and will improve the our lives tremendously.
Personally, I do some of the items on this list, every day, and other things on this list, not as often. This list is to inspire you to your good. Do some of what is on this list consistently and I PROMISE, your life is going to shift for the better.
1. We have a gratitude practice:
I write down three different things each day that I am profoundly grateful for. For example, today I am grateful for the feeling of relief I feel as a result of my refinance going through. I am grateful for transitioning from feeling grief to happiness as I walked in the forest today. I am also grateful, so very grateful, for the professional support and guidance I get from my therapist.
We also stay in gratitude. As an example, I was at a long meeting and very frustrating meeting the other day. By the time it ended I was feeling exhausted and irritated. I was also hungry and very much wanting to get home. When I left the meeting I could not find my car and then discovered it had been towed (the street I parked on which I parked it legally turned into a “no parking or stopping” area of the street after 4 pm. My meeting went until 6:00 pm. In my car was the entire file for my client and I had a court application the next morning. The Val Hemminger of the past would have lost her mind with frustration and stress. The current Val Hemminger was grateful that I had the money for a taxi, that there was dinner waiting for me at home along with my roommate and my wonderful daughter, and that I had the resources to pay the fine and tow charge so I could get the car out before court the next morning.
2. We watch our diet and I don’t mean food:
Nope. I am not talking about food. Most of us would not dream of (at least we try not to) treat our bodies like garbage disposals for toxic food. We get what eating fast food, hydrogenated oils, processed garbage does for our bodies. Well, what about the shows you watch? What about the news you consume? What about the people who hang out? What about the things you read? If it is not high vibration, don’t dump it into your mind and soul.
3. We recognize the tremendous power of our spoken word:
Remember how in Harry Potter, if they shouted a spell with their wands in hand, it created a very tangible result? Like “expelliarmus” caused someone else’s wand to fly out of their hand. Well, us mere mortals don’t even need a wand in our hands. Think about it. If you say hateful things, you live in a world of hate. If you say judgmental things, you live in a world of judgment. If you say loving things, you live in a world of love. Your word is your wand.
4. We hire a well-recommended coach or therapist, one who has a reputation for working with their clients to transform their lives, not one that that allows you to stay in a victim mentality.
Remember how Woody Allen characters would be on their shrink’s couch once per week for like, forever. I don’t mean like that. I mean someone who will work with you and allow you to see new possibility and be in new possibility.
5. We have a spiritual practice:
That practice can be any of a lot of things. My spiritual practice right now includes a forgiveness practice, a prayer of gratitude I put out to the greater universe, it sometimes includes meditation, listening to relaxing and identity-shifting hypnosis audio, and three times per day reviewing my planned list of manifestations as found in a book called It Works by RJH. It is about knowing we are not all alone on this great big universe and it is not all about us.
6. We practice tuning into the divine frequency of the universe:
We now know that the Law of Attraction is true science, not just some weird fantastical theory. Stay with me here. It is no longer woo woo to know that we can tap into the essence of what some people call God, but I prefer to call the universe or the quantum field. Some call it the Tao. You know what I mean. Have you ever have that feeling of well-being warm you up from the inside? Well that my goddess friend, is the feeling of universal love and the divine frequency of the universe.
7. When stressed the F*CK out or feeling so very very sad, we move our attention:
What I mean by this if you are upset by something, instead of perseverating about it and going around and around and around and feeling worse and worse and worse (which actually makes it worse), feel it, allow it to pass through you and then instead of going back to it over and over and over again, move your attention. For example, as I write this I have been profoundly and deeply involved in attempting to finalize a mortgage that will have life changing results for me. The process has been challenging with respect to my soon to be ex-husband. Very challenging. So, it has been easy for me to flip to my anger and frustration at him. Then I remember, move my attention. I actually use high-vibration audio books and podcasts to help me move my attention. I cannot listen to *The Complete Works of Florence Scovel Shinn and remain in a stressed out mood.
8. We take time for self-care:
It is a priority. Now, let me be clear about self-care. There is a difference between mindless self-indulgence and self-care. Self-care is not only supposed to feel good in the moment, it is about looking after your body and soul. Not that I haven’t done it, but Binge-ing on Netflix is self-indulgence, not self-care. For me, self-care is walking in the woods. Self-care is stopping in at my favorite brunch place to have a late breakfast when I am done court early. It is about getting my acupuncture treatment. Think about what self-care is for you and do that, at least some of it, all the time.
9. We create our own “Family Village.”
Loneliness in our westernized culture is an epidemic. In order for us to thrive, be happy, and healthy, we need to connect with others. Connecting online is not enough. The research shows that we actually need to spend time in the company of other human beings. When around other beings we biochemically change in a way that a Facebook connection does not. Golden Goddesses create our own family village by connecting with those we already live with and love. We also create extended families and villages based upon more tha our biological connections. We are strategic about implementing the structures (like arranging furniture, where we live etc.) and habits (bookclubs, coffee dates, etc.) to create human relationship and connection.
10. We have a forgiveness practice:
It reduces our resentment of others. It reduces our resentment of ourselves. My forgiveness practice is counterintuitive to many. But it works. It works well and has a profoundly amazing impact on my life. It starts with me asking for the forgiveness of others for the pain I caused them. Learn more about the forgiveness practice I have learned through the Dr. and Master Sha Love, Peace and Harmony Movement.
11. We Build Our Moat of Safety and Well-Being:
Shawn Achor is a Harvard Professor. He is a happiness researcher. In his book, Big Potential, he talks about how it is important to build a moat around our safety and well-being. Putting it another way, to use a Harry Potter reference, he says it is important to defend against the dark arts. What does this mean for us golden goddesses? It means that if our ex is toxic, abusive, or just plain nasty, we should protect ourselves from them. If we have kids, keep our communications with them to email. The point is, if he is going to hurt you when you have a conversation with him , then don’t let him hurt you. Nobody says you have to converse with him. Same same for other relationships that do not inspire you. If you have someone in your life who consistently drains you or leaves you feeling sad, insulted, or in a funk, you may want to consider dumping (I know harsh) them out of your life.
12. We live life in service:
Humans are meant to be in service. We are meant to be kind and to help others and to do something all the time that makes mother earth and her inhabitants a better place. This does not mean that you have to spend four hours per week volunteering in a soup kitchen if that is something that does not inspire you. Also maybe you have so much on your plate this is not in the cards. But what about grabbing the homeless guy a sandwich and a coffee and giving him eye contact and a smile when giving it to him? What about telling a friend how much you care for them, even if it makes you feel awkward to say so? What about taking the time to read a story to your niece or nephew? Or playing a game of cards with your child? How about inviting a neighbor for dinner?
13. We connect with nature:
Seeing and being in the abundance of nature.
14. We recognize the power of our identity
and we learn to have the power to change it.
And two bonus ones for those of us not divorced yet:
1.We get legal advice.
Even if you don’t want to fight, you should know what you are entitled to. You should know what your kids are entitled to. You should learn all about your obligations. Your legal advice should not come from the internet. It should not come from your bestie who went through a divorce last year
2. If we hire a lawyer, we get a well-recommended one who has a track record for resolving their cases rather than just going to court.
Some people like the idea of hiring a “pit bull lawyer” to go after their ex. They get a lot of satisfaction seeing their ex sweat and suffer. So, even if your ex was a complete bastard, forget it, wanting him or her to suffer is gross. It is a dumb idea. Also, ask yourself, at what cost. In my experience, judges who wh*** Judges are rarely impressed with lawyers who pound the table and cause conflict.
Today, I talk with Emilie Clarke about her unusual but effective way to deal with debilitating anxiety.
Emilie Clarke was the Radio announcer for 10 years at a top 40 radio station.
She “had it all.” She had the husband, the nice car, the great job, the great house etc. and yet, she felt so terribly empty.
Everything came crashing down when she started having anxiety attacks that left her feeling deeply ashamed and embarrassed. She also could not figure out why someone who “had it all” could have such a problem. Of course, she had not realized that she obsessing over her social media following, spending her days accomplishing task after task with a to-do list as long as her arm, and how she rarely, if ever slowed down. She said she tried to control everyone and everything in her life and despite a “perfect” picture on the outside, everything in her life felt like a mess.
Now, some years later, Emilie is joyfully divorced (but has a BF she adores), has chosen to be happy, all day, all the time. She is a spiritual guide and anxiety coach that helps women heal their anxiety.
Emilie says she is profoundly grateful for her anxiety because what she saw as a terrible thing sparked and inspired a new focus for her life, her career, and her overall purpose of being on this planet. She says she has gone from feeling angst all day to freedom.
Because of her experiences, she has created the Love Your Anxiety Podcast.
Emile sought the help of her own Family Village of people when she needed it. She shares that when she was at her lowest, she sought help. She not only sought help from a really great therapist, she also leaned into having support from family and friends.
She says that human beings are stronger when we are together.
Emilie’s life has transformed from one of feeling unsafe, potentially not good enough, potentially not loveable enough, to knowing that everything is always going to be alright. She says her crown chakra has opened and now she lives her life in an intuitive way. She is connected to herself in a way she never imagined possible.
Her anxiety, about which she originally felt such shame, has given her huge gifts. She says in her work with clients she asks what their anxiety is telling them. She says that rather than seeing our anxiety as something that causes us pain, or struggle, but instead as a teacher. Emilie goes even further to say that you might as well love your anxiety and see it as a gift of learning because “spiritual law says it will not leave you until you love it.”
Here are the books that Emilie refers to during our interview:
From my home to yours,
You want to be happy right? But life is not that simple is it? Maybe you have financial stress like I have. Maybe you are going through a divorce, like I am. Maybe you still can’t lose the weight you have always wanted to lose. Hello! Maybe you feel lonely and isolated sometimes. Maybe, like me, you have crushing work stress.Like me, me, you may have been thinking that you have so many circumstances causing you to feel bummed out. You think, well, maybe if my circumstances could change, I could finally be happy.
Well my friends, I have the answer to finding happiness and staying there, and I want to share it with you. I am inviting you to watch me change my world. I am going to show you how you can change your crappy circumstances to happy circumstances and how to do it immediately. While I used to believe that life was supposed to go somewhat smoothly after a person reached adulthood, I have suffered way more than I imagined possible. Of course I admit that my problems are first world problems. I have enough to eat, and shelter and all the basics.
I am single in my 50s, overweight, pretty much broke, facing extreme work stress, feeling fearful thoughts at times, and wishing my divorce process was finalized. I, like you, have wanted all the things. I have desperately wanted the stress of my financial life to abate. I want my loved ones to succeed, be loved, and be connected to others. I want those I love to live free of fear. I want to live in peace. I also want to live free of crushing stress. I also want to be loved. I also want to be connected to others. I want to have financial comfort. I want to be able to stop working so damn hard all the time. So, here is how I am turning my life around, and I am inviting you to not only watch me turn my life around, but to have you, do the same. Here is what I know. The thing about success is that you don’t find success and then be happy. Happy people find success.
So, here is how you turn your life around from crappy to happy. You choose happy now. Right now. This second. And if you slip into feeling not so happy, because you are choosing to focus on your circumstances at any given moment, you go back to the happiness.
You choose to focus on what makes you happy.
Ditch watching stressful shows, news programs and the like. Start filling your mind, heart, and being with stuff you enjoy, positive images, funny shows, things that delight you. Focus on being happy. Just like that. And focus on what make you happy. So, I have chosen to be happy right now. I am choosing to be happy and to enjoy all the little things in life even though the above noted circumstances have not yet changed. Even though the above-noted circumstances have not yet changed, who I am BE-ing has changed. I am happy right now, this second.
This is what I know. Where we put our attention is where things in our life manifest. What do I do that delights me and fill my life with that take nothing in terms of work or extra effort on my part? Stuff I can do right now?
- I walk in the woods
- I watch upbeat shows, never dark ones.
- I listen to audio books that make me feel good in my being.
- I practice gratitude every.
- I look people in the eye.
- I connect with others.
- I get so excited when I hear the sound of the abundant rain falling on the trees.
- I am blown away when I see a patch of sunlight, light up some ground or part of a leaf.
- I get so happy and excited when I see an act of kindness.
But mostly I choose to direct my attention to be happy. And if I start to wallow, as I sometimes do, I change my attention back to that happy place. Here is the thing. By the very act of viewing our world, we physically change our world. Science has proven this to be true. This goes much deeper than “The Secret.” It is not only about us creating abundance by seeing it in our mind’s eye. It is about us creating abundance by expecting it. More importantly, it is about creating abundance because we are already in the flow of abundance. By seeing what is abundant around us. Abundance, happiness, joy, satisfaction is not something that we are waiting for. We are not hoping or asking for an abundant future, but instead we recognize and truly see the abundance in which we live right now. That then manifests our abundance in the now and in our future.
It is what creates our happiness.
I have the same circumstances (except I no longer live with my husband) I did months ago, only now I am happy with them. Before, I felt deeply embroiled in struggle. I am so tremendously totally happy and joyful that I can’t even believe it. I live a life of beauty, love, connection, belonging, and joy. Sure, sometimes I slip into the dark as we all do, but I realize it is up to me to again choose the light. So, instead of focusing on being fatter than I want to be, broker than I want to be, and all of those frustrating things, I focus on all the abundance in which I live:
- I live close to the forest and I can go there almost every day and I love that so much;
- I love the rain, and it is winter, and I can often here the rain pouring upon our earth giving it richness and life;
- I am so very grateful for my amazing daughter who, even though only 15, seems to carry an amazing deep wisdom;
- I am so grateful for the upbringing had which included so much unconditional love;
- I am grateful for the home in which I live;
- I am grateful for how much I love my dog
And the list goes on and on and on.
So, it is that I choose love, joy, abundance, gratitude, and I change my attention when part of my mind tells me I should be stressed.
I am choosing happy. You can too.
Why not look to our world from the place of gratitude and happiness and watch it change. We can choose our happiness in any given moment. We can feed our minds, our souls, our relationships with happiness. How do you make yourself happy? How do you tune into the frequency of happy?
I would love to hear your story.
On the Story:
Do you ever feel you were meant to be more than you are? That you are meant to be more, contribute more, do more? Yes, me too.
So, you get how in our western literature, the hero or heroine, has an arrogance problem perhaps,or some other personal flaw, or some need for learning. Then they are smacked down hard, and go through some pretty intense pain. They then have a realization, reckoning of sorts with something greater than themselves which inspires them to have this amazing growth and comeback? They then come back stronger, and more powerful than ever? Their lives are refreshed and anew, and amazing and powerful.
Well, your life is a story. My life is a story.
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. In the beginning (I would say our childhood) we set up our hero (or heroine) and, then unexpected things are thrown at us. Those unexpected things cause us a great deal of heart ache, pain, angst. In essence, we feel buried in all the stress and trouble life has heaped on. But what if you ask what I had been asking. What if you have gone through the crushing pain part, the crushing fear part, and the losing part. You have even gone through the realization part, but still the pain is there. Well, that is what has happened with me so far. Pain, fear, losing, realization, and a new understanding. I have even done the profound realization part. Yet, here I am still me.
Do you ask yourself? What if I am the hero in my story who has not yet arrived?
So, let’s go.
Despite my circumstances not changing much lately, I am still so happy.
From my home to yours,
Today, I talk with Andrea Loewen about how she dug herself out of self-loathing to self-like and finally, to self-love.
So, what happens if you feel like nobody really likes you, or you are not a valuable person? What happens if you just can’t shake the feeling that people are only pretending to like you rather than actually like you.
Andrea Loewen felt just that way. She felt she was living life on the outside and excluded from the enjoyment everyone else felt until one day, things began to change.
In her book, to be released February 4, 2019, Feeling Better: A Field Guide to Liking Yourself, Andrea shares the concrete practices and habits she developed to teach her brain and heart that she is not, in fact, a useless and repugnant waste of space, but an awesome and wholly valuable person.
Amongst the methods she used to find ways to like herself, she found healing through a gratitude practice. The interesting thing is that her gratitude practice has a beautiful twist. Her gratitude practice not only included a list of three things to be grateful for each day, she also wrote down things that demonstrated her worth, whether that be a show of worth from other people (like people being happy to see her when running into her on the street), or also times when she was proud of how she was showing up in the world (something as small she says as showing up to work on time). She says she started small in terms of what she was able to find to value in herself and as the pages in her journal grew, her appreciation of herself grew at the same time.
She also talks about the role that making things with her hands, crafting, has inspired and fed her journey to self-like and self-love.
For more about Andrea and her products check out her website at: https://andrealoewen.com/
To pre-order Andrea’s book, visit: http://www.feelingbetterbook.com/
Andrea’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andreatheloewen
Andrea’s Instagram: @feelingbetterguide | https://www.instagram.com/feelingbetterguide/
From my home to yours,
Today I want to talk about why being broke, or almost broke can turn into happiness and human connection. So why can being almost broke can give us really good clues about how to be happy and how to have human connection?
Don’t want to read? Click to play the video or listen to the podcast!
Now, when I talk about being broke I’m talking about “first world” broke. So we can still feed ourselves and have a roof over our head, but we extra-curricular spending is quite limited after that.
Human beings are Social Creatures
You’ve heard me say this before: Human beings are social creatures. We’re actually happier when we have meaningful relationships. We’re actually happier when we hang out with people. We’re actually happier if we go to a concert and sit beside someone. Our bodies get “happy juice” aka endorphins that go into our bodies more than if we sit down and watch TV by ourselves, and it has a lot more than just the sound quality and visuals.
One thing that struck me a long time ago, is when I first purchased my house over eighteen years ago, I was pretty limited on cash. I literally moved in roommates, I had a suite upstairs, I had a long term roommate who actually helped me buy the house (thank you Jody!). I rented out my dining room and spare room as bedrooms – every square foot that I could rent out, I did. That was the only way that I could actually make it work financially, and it was a total struggle, but I LOVE this house (and I’m still here).
After that, a number of months after I bought the house, I met my husband and fell head over heels in love. It took a while (like a few months), but he eventually moved in after one of my roommates moved out. We still had another roommate here, and another in our separate suite upstairs where we literally kept the door open, we’d go up and down, and we’d have friends in both areas. So one of the things a friend said to him was “What? You’re moving in together? And she’s not getting rid of her roommates? What is that about?”
He was really critical of this. And the reason being because when you’ve launched into your permanent relationship or have achieved proper, good success, that we start to move away from that “student-y” model of living with others, living cooperatively and more into our own kind of “digs”.
I was on a super tight budget – $25 a day
I thought about this while I was traveling in Europe about 25 years ago. I was on this super tight budget – $25 a day. Because of my tight budget, I camped, I met people at the campground. I stayed in hostels and I met people at the hostels. What I didn’t have the money for was to stay at a fancy hotel all on my own with my own room, my own bathroom, my own shower facilities.
But what ended up happening, was I ended up having this rich, vibrant experience of my Europe trip because yes, seeing the Greek Pantheon was pretty awesome, and the Statue of David was really cool, but what I really remember when I carry on in my heart are the connections and relationships I made. Matter of fact, someone I met on the beach in Greece – she remains my friend to this day.
On the other hand, my cousin and her family went to Europe, and they spent a lot on their trip, they spent money on a tour, they stayed in these fancy hotels, they saw all the sights, but they didn’t really connect with other Europeans, they didn’t connect with other travelers. To me, I think, “What a waste is that?”
One of the things I’ve really tried to create in my life, is (and I’ve been quite bossy) is trying to get my other friends to move into my neighborhood, and to a certain extent, it’s really worked. I live literally a stone’s throw away from very important people in my life. So we get to do what we call the “neighborhood pop by” and we come in for a cup of tea, a hello, drop off a dog snack, you name it. The point is, I live very very closely to the people I care about.
I had a business/life coach once, and I was telling her this story about my neighborhood and how that’s important. Her reaction was that she was so jealous to hear that, and how she really wished that she had that in her life.
I’m friends with her on Facebook, and I noticed just recently that she’s doing quite well financially, and she’s built her family’s dream home. Let’s be clear. It’s a really nice house. And it’s huge, and what I see is that it’s in this suburban neighborhood, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but every drives their car everywhere. People can’t walk to the store because there’s no store to walk to, so there’s no opportunity to run into neighbors that way.
They have a big huge double garage whereas at our house, we park on the street so when we’re coming in and out of our car we’re saying “Hi” to Pete and Dora across the street , “Hi” to Mary next door, “Hi” to Neil over here. I doubt we’d have those little bits and pieces of connections if we had to drive 10 miles to our house, click our way into the garage, and close the garage door. How much engagement is that really?
What I see about my old business coach is that she has “made it” financially, and yet her structure about what “making it is” is getting that suburban, nuclear type home. Is that really what’s going to make her and her family happy? What happens when the kids move out after spending years of amassing all these things? Do you then go through the process of downsizing after that? I don’t know.
I think maybe, if we spent more time focusing more time on what was great about being a student, or great about not having a lot of money like when I bought my first home, or when I was a university student. As a university student, I lived with other people because I had to live with other people to make the finances work.
What I try to do now in my adult life, now that money is less of an issue in terms of making it all work, I still really gravitate towards living with other people. So in my family now we had Dana. Dana lived with us for 4.5 years and we’re still good friends. Now we have Jacques, my brother in law living in our spare room. So what we’ve done, again, is re-created our extended family even though it’s not a financial piece now, but it’s really about those human connections and how important they are for us.
Here’s the point:
I believe the nuclear family, the whole thing of “Oh we’re gonna have a mom, dad, and child or two, it will be functional for the next 20 years, then the kids will leave, then mom and dad are going to be alone” seems like a bit of a messed up model. If we lived more communally with people (and I’m not suggesting we pool our resources), but I think there’d be less pressure on the spousal relationship and there’s less pressure on the other relationships. From my experience even just having Jacques around makes things a little bit brighter and brings up the vibration in our home just a little bit more. Also, sometimes when we’re too tired to cook dinner or to deal with our daughter, sometimes he picks up the slack. Everything is a little easier and a little happier.
Going back to my European experience, I know that my experience in Europe would not have been nearly as rich if I had waited until I had more money and could afford a private hotel. The very fact that I was stuck and hanging out with other people made that experience so rich. And that’s what we can do in our lives even though we’re older and sometimes we might even want to think about as our kids get older and move out on their own. What’s wrong with having a roommate? Even if some people find that weird. Maybe it’s not the best experience in the world, but even little cups of tea or coffee is going to make things a little brighter.
From my home to yours,
For those of you who know me, I was adopted. I was a foster child to the Hemminger family. To my luck, they decided to keep me. It was because of this fluid definition that my parents had about family, that opened up their hearts to raise more than one child from infancy to leaving home that were not their biological children. That fluid definition of family is something that my siblings and I carry forward in our own lives still.
Today, I want to talk about how we as a culture can do our part to put divorce lawyers out of work (or at least a substantial part of what divorce lawyers fight about).
Don’t want to read? Click to play the video or listen to the podcast!
As a Divorce Lawyer
I’ve been working in this industry for over 20 years. When people divorce, they have a lot of things that they need to figure out. They have to figure out things like how to divide their assets, support issues, child support payables, spousal support payables, the list goes on.
*Side note: I actually really think it is a good idea to get a divorce lawyer to walk you through that kind of stuff. It’s actually a good use of their time, energy, efforts, and skills to ensure everyone walks away with what’s appropriate.
The thing is, a HUGE part of what divorce lawyers fight about is kids. In my law firm, one of our beliefs is that going court is really the last place you want to go to when it comes to children. What happens is parents literally hand over to a judge who has never met or spent time with them to make huge decisions about their kids. You’re probably thinking, “WHY would you do that?!” Well sometimes, at least in my practice, it is necessary because there are times when the parent just doesn’t have the capacity to execute the job of such parenting properly. Or sometimes, the parent might have personality disorder that really affects their ability to parent
the child well.
Now, when people separate, of course they are critical of their ex. If they weren’t critical of their ex, they’d probably still be together! However, most of the time, what most parents are able to do is realize that they know the other parent isn’t perfect, but they know they love their kid. They realize that they probably won’t get their child every Christmas, and they’ll have to share, but parents usually hold their noses and stumble through it. I can say in my law practice, of every one to three files we open a week in a family law matter, at least one of those files is involving children, and yet we only do a Supreme Court trial once or twice a year. This gives you an idea about how many parents settle.
That being said, what I’ve noticed is that we have a cultural problem about families or parents separating. What that problem has to do with is that people get married, we join two families together, everything is roses, and it all seems beautiful and wonderful. But then if the parties do end up separating, which happens a lot of the time, the two families (or at least one of the families) sees it like a piece of paper ripping in half – with each side of the family on a different side. What that does, is it creates an “other”. It creates tension, it creates “Now we’re at war with the other side”.
In the Hemminger family where I come from, people don’t do this. Unless safety is a concern, if someone is not safe for children, then that’s fine, that can’t happen. But for the most part, we know that if someone was in our family as a spouse, a long term partner, a parent of a child, and things just didn’t work out in that Mom and Dad relationship, that doesn’t mean we have to completely turn on the other person.
I was at a mediation recently, and what I couldn’t figure out was why one of these parents was SO upset about his ex’s family. What really landed for me during this mediation was that this guy, when he became engaged to the mother of his child, he was part of a family. Part of something bigger. Part of a global situation that he found great meaning in. Then what happened when the relationship broke down with who he thought would be his wife, her family completely shut the door on his face, didn’t touch base with him, didn’t see how he was doing, etc. Now, I’m sure they have their own narrative on why that happened, but the thing is, these parties have now gone on, and have both spent a bunch of money on legal fees, and then finally go on to a mediation where they spent more money but at least have an in term agreement.
So instead of ending the relationship with positive thoughts on how his child is part of this other family, and how he really connected with his brother-in-law, and how his son will be in really good hands when they’re having a family gathering. Or how his ex’s mom is awesome and he knows she loves her grandkids to pieces, and although it hurts the relationship is over, he knows they’re going to do a good job with his kid. All he could see was that they were split now, and they had their troops and he had his troops, and they were going to go to war with each other.
What I think, as a culture, if we saw separation between parties more like “this family just looks different now, it’s gone through a transition”. How we look at everyone within that family or how they’re going to move forward might not be the way we expected, but it’s still going to move forward and we’re going to do what we can to see the good parts in others. Again when we’re talking about a child’s safety is a issue, of course we’re talking about something else.
I know some people who have recently separated from a long term relationship, and something one of the grandparents did, was made sure call the parent (who wasn’t their child) and told them that they are still part of their family, they still love them, and although things didn’t work out with their adult child, they are still in their hearts.
What do you think that would do if everybody did that? If everybody was able to open their hearts regardless of how things turned out? As divorce lawyers, I think, the most frustrating part of our job, a big part of what’s frustrating, a big part of the expense, a big part of what make divorce law seem so tense or difficult would simply lessen a little bit. And that would result in people keeping more money in their jeans rather than paying for their divorce lawyer (just sayin)!
That’s my suggestion about how to do your part to put divorce lawyers out of business: Embrace the other side, extend the olive branch.
“If you are committed, so be it”
Never ever compare yourself to others. Just like being committed to someone. Never ever compare your family to others, every family has its own unique way of living. It maybe be simple or not, happy or not,
contented with one another or not. Family is very important, knowing the consequence is unpredictable yet you must face towards the aisle that no matter how you win or loose, family is there to provide the inner most of you. They will never leave you no matter what, as long as you have the courage and patience.
From my home to yours,
If you’ve listened to much of my material before, you’ll know that what I talk about a lot is our ancestors and how humans biochemically change when we spend time with other humans. Sometimes, I get so busy that I forget to connect with the people I live with. I find that I’m too tired or overwhelmed.
Don’t want to read? Click to play the video or listen to the podcast!
We live in a busy digital world – glued to social media and immediately jumping on Facebook the second we get home. For me, I love my iPhone just as much, if not more than the next guy. So much so, that I can forget to connect with the people I live with, or I feel too tired or overwhelmed to interact with other humans.
The digital world and the progress that we have made as human beings are so good. But the thing is, our ancestors did a lot of things that provided so many benefits. If we could bring those strengths and benefits to our current world, a lot of us would be a lot healthier, a lot happier, would enjoy life more, and be able to contribute more.
For example, back in the olden days – let’s talk about when people started farming. When it was time to bring in the wheat, people gathered together to do the harvest. When a barn needed to be built, people gathered together to build the barn. Just the other day, I was at a friend’s house and she was getting a dock built. Now to get the dock built, with getting floats put on it, she needed a gathering of people to help lift up the dock. As I saw all these guys (yes, guys) raising up this heavy structure and working together, in reminded me of what our ancestors did only it was a barn as opposed to a dock to have social engagements on.
I want to do stuff with my hands
While I really crave hanging out with other people, I do find it really challenging to just sit there and sip tea; I want to be doing stuff with my hands. Recently, I’ve been going to a friend’s house and helping her go through old cupboards and drawers, and sort through knickknacks to help organize her home. Speaking for myself, it is much easier to do in someone else’s home rather than my own! I’ve found that I’ve gotten a lot of pleasure from this.
So, if you already have lots going on, one of the things to remember is that even if we just do a chore or something that “has to get done” with a friend, doing it together can be such a neat way of spending time together. In essence, you get the job done and, at the same time, you get that connection of hanging out with someone.
I was helping out a friend
I found that as I was cleaning up my friend’s kitchen drawers, I was actually visiting with another friend while I was doing it! I ended up going home later that night and thinking about how I was so satisfied and happy. It was because I accomplished something (I love accomplishing things). I ended up helping a friend out (“tick”, human beings love being in service). Then I also got to bond with a couple other friends who were also helping out that friend.
SO – that’s the whole idea! It’s such a neat thing to be able to spend time with other people. In our busy world, our digital world, we’re losing that ability of just hanging out and almost losing the skills of getting stuff done. That being said, what we do know, and what science proves (check out the book I read The Village Effect by Susan Pinker), is that it’s not just looking at someone eye to eye, or having a conversation with someone socially. It’s as simple as being in the presence of other human beings makes us happier. The chemicals in our bodies changes, and we have feel good hormones coursing through us.
Who would have thought it? We’re social creatures.