reclaiming yourself and your purpose in life

Going natural

When saying, ‘go natural’ there are a multitude of thoughts that enter.  We could be talking food, clothing, and even living off the land.  In this case, I am referring to my hair.  My high school boyfriend found my first gray hair when I was just 17.  Twenty years later (it sounds like a long time, but really went fast), I had been dying my hair for a few years because I didn’t want to look that old.  I guess between my genes and having four babies, whatever produces hair color, was phasing out pretty quickly!  I felt like I looked ancient.  It didn’t make me feel good about myself so I began with highlighting, then that wasn’t even enough.

I was also caught up in the ‘young look’ culture that was so popular at the time.  (maybe still is)  Even with my hair colored, I wanted it to look as natural as possible.  Some part of me didn’t like the thought of hiding my true self, which is what it felt like I was doing at times.  I think I had a really good reason though, don’t you?  35 is too young to look like a Grandma!  I was hiding a lot of other ways as well (tell ya later).

First grandchild. I’m still coloring my hair.

Well, now I am a Grandma and another twenty plus years has slipped by.  Six months after my first granddaughter was born I began the process of allowing my hair to grow out naturally.  Even though it was short (and my hairdresser helped with reverse highlighting to keep it from looking like I had a giant stripe down the middle of my head), it still took six months to grow out.  I had encouragement from Liana Chaouli, a couturieur from Los Angeles, who believed in me.  Through her tutoring I have braved this step.  She doesn’t necessarily encourage everyone to do this, but for me it was a reclaiming of a part of myself.  I had tried to be too young for too long and needed to step into being mature.  It’s not that I wasn’t mature.  I am a quiet, reserved person, so I don’t come off as being immature.  I guess it’s hard to describe – even to myself!  My very first step in this process was to respect and love myself enough to take action and DO SOMETHING!  I continue on this path, even after seven years.

It’s been almost a year since I started the growing-out or is it growing-up process.  It involves taking even more responsibility for my personal growth; stepping up to take charge when the situation warranted rather than stepping back and waiting for others to.  It involves learning new things (like technology) even if I’m not comfortable with it.  I even joined Toastmaster’s so that I could grow in giving through speaking.  And all because of the color of my hair?  Well, not totally.  As I said before, I’ve been on this path for over seven years: reclaiming health, reducing my size, regaining confidence, and working on myself in many ways so I can be fully who God has called me to be and to help others with this path.  It is my purpose to help people see their own bright light and manifest it greater every day.

I have lightened up in more ways than just my hair.  I guess that’s just the finishing touch so that what’s inside can truly shine.  I see clearer inside myself now.  I see others gifts clearer as well, and then help them see the magnificence in themselves that only they have.  Each one of us is so unique.  Ever wonder why God made us that way?   God is so multi-faceted that He needs each of us living our light fully to show the splendor that He is.  Just as nature shows His splendor, so do we.  I encourage you to live your brilliance today.

Here is the picture of me with my white hair.  When she shot this picture I was actively thinking about listening to and helping my clients to bring out their light.  I am all in and excited to help you.  Leave a comment and tell me what you have been hiding that you want to show again.

She is so precious in her new owl hat and leg warmers with the cute boots! 

They are both so precious to me and I wanted to share their sweetness with you.  Really take a few minutes and look in their little faces.  Absorb how that makes you feel.   Take a nice slow breath.  Relax.  Unload the distractions and just set them aside for a moment.  Connect with the part of you that makes you feel like these little faces.

Yes, what you see there is also in you.  That’s why you can feel it. 

I just want you to enjoy that for a moment.

Much has happened in the last year or so that has forever changed my life.  These two special little people rate at the top.  They have made me a grandma and it’s a very special name for me. I even changed my hair, and that’s a topic for another blog…

The other ways my life has changed has to do with my journey to continue to be able to be the best I can (never-ending, I admit).  The reason I push myself to do this is to be in service to those who want to have God play a bigger part in their life and to really shine as He has intended for us to do.   I know what it’s done for my life so far, and how profoundly it can play out in yours.  We cannot really shine if we are stressed and overloaded with life’s cares.  At least I was able to distract you for a moment with these sweet pictures.

My point here is that you do have this within you, whenever you stop to focus on it. 

If nothing else, you can begin to love that part of you.  Giving ourselves love and respect are the basic stepping stones to improving our lives.  Here’s a baby step:  A very simple thing to do (right now and today) is to find a saying or verse that reminds you of how really wonderful you are  and want to be, (whether you believe it right now, or not!).  Make it short so you can remember it.  You might even have one already!  If you need to, write it on a post-it note and carry it with you so you see it often.  We all need reminders!  You need to remember EVERY MOMENT what a wonderful person you are that God made.  Just like these little ones, inside you is your very own purity, beauty and light that is a reflection of God.  My mission is to have you see your own light, then bring it out ever stronger.  Isn’t that God’s wish for our lives as well?  Think of the babies and your ‘saying’ and be a light in this world today.  Contact me to learn more:  dream@light-r-u.com

She is always attentive and learning, and look at the tenderness!

Isn’t it nice when everyone wins SOMETHING?  You feel like a winner.  The very first thing that I want you to remember is that you are a special person and to love yourself for that.  For those who entered the Tall Trainer Summer Challenge, this is an explanation of  your gifts from Light-r-u, LLC – just for applying to the contest!

Secondly, I am very excited to be able to offer you, not only a half hour of coaching (*gift #1) to help you get launched, overcome obstacles and keep your motivation burning bright (which I have found to be a challenge in itself), but also giving you some insights to help strengthen your mental muscles.

What do you think keeps you going when your physical body gets fatigued?  Determination, motivation, drive, purpose…  This link will give you insights to help enable you to believe in yourself more – we can all use some of that!   Here’s the sign up for this “Believing Bootcamp” series that is absolutely fr** (*gift #2): Go to http://www.light-r-u.com/makeover_thankyou.html

Also check out this link for an amazing interactive Group Dreamcoach(r) course that will help you enlarge your vision of yourself and your future.  If you are really serious about changing the direction you have been heading and find the positive, new and wonderful you that lies just beneath the surface, this course is exactly what you’ve been looking for.  It can not only help you with your weight loss goals as you do bootcamp, or any exercise program, but also any life goal/dream you may have.  Once you’ve achieved the weight goal you may say, “What’s next?”  Why think small?  God has a larger vision for us and He really wants us to know it and live it.  We are all different and unique for His purpose and we each have special gifts that we are uniquely qualified to give.  I would love to help you find and activate yours!  Click here for more information.

I will be calling you very soon to set up a convenient time to chat and help you on your journey during that half hour.  There is absolutely no obligation implied with this call.  I sincerely desire to give of my abilities to help you move forward with yours.  I encourage you to continue to stand in your integrity and take steps forward to your dreams.

If you have found value in this, or think you know of someone who might, please send this on to them.  You will help me to help others.

See You Lighter!!

Jacqui Biernat (I am also the TallTrainer’s/ Jeremy’s mom)

Making the Best Decision

Wouldn’t you like to know that you’ve made the best decision, especially when it comes to the really big decisions we have to make in our lives?  How can we know?  We have some great tools we can use and one is called the 10-10-10 rule.  Glamour Magazine called it “the best decision making tool ever”!  Suzy Welch initially came up with it.  Not only does this tool help you decide what is best, but it does so in a way that helps you explain your decision to your family, friends or whoever else may be affected by it.

We make so many, many decisions over the course of a single day without much thought or care.  The answers are obvious to us and instinctive.  We have built habits that support these decisions.  Do I walk, bicycle or take the car for local errands?  Do I eat the leftovers or leave them for the next meal?  Do I wash my dishes immediately or leave them for the end of the day?  Do I send a letter, e-mail or call?  We have specific reasons why we do things the way we do.  Some we have built good habits for and some not.  But these are the ones that are easy for us because they are our habits and are not challenging our values in some way.  The difficult decisions come when our values are in conflict with one another.  Our perspective of the situation highlights our values.

In the situation of Marie, who works at a full time challenging job and is a single-mother of 3 children, a last minute crisis at work can be quite challenging.  She has been working late pretty consistently lately and so promised the kids and the babysitter that tonight would be special and she’d be home on time.  That is when the crisis erupts during the last half hour at work that would mean an extra hour or so on the job.  Of course, you say!  Isn’t that what always happens?  This is a tough decision.  Some people utilize the following steps unconsciously and quickly.  See if you do.  Using the values based decision making tool, then the 10-10-10 rule:

  1. Look at all the facts objectively.
  2. Evaluate the possibilities based on your values.  (here, one conflict is keeping your word to the children and sitter vs. showing commitment at work)
    • Ask others for input for a different view of the situation – there may be things you overlook or can view differently.
    • Consider the age/ maturity/ reasoning ability of the children/people involved – will the children imprint that Mom doesn’t keep promises if they are very young? – or are they old or aware enough to understand that they are loved no matter what and that they will be taken care of regardless of what time Mom gets home?  Is the babysitter flexible and what are his/her needs?
    • Will the boss respect you for taking a stand to be with your family or could it possibly affect keeping your job or future advancement?
  3. Put together specific plans for each scenario (staying at work vs. leaving on time) and think them through.  (Try to picture unintended consequences as well.)
  4. Evaluate the plans based on the 10-10-10 rule.
    • What are the consequences in 10 seconds?
    • What are the consequences in 10 months?
    • What are the consequences in 10 years?

Once you have taken a deep breath and slowed down enough to think through your possibilities and evaluated the plans based on the 10-10-10 rule, it should be obvious to you what the best choice is to fit with your overall dream for your life.  You can also ask yourself several more final evaluation questions before going “live” with your decision.

  1. Is my decision loving to myself and others?
  2. Will my decision move me closer to my dream?
  3. Is it ethical?

Know that at this time you only have the information at hand and do not have the advantage of hind-sight.  Pay attention to the signals in your body as well.  How does it make you feel when you say you are staying work?  How does it make you feel when you say you are leaving to spend quality time with your children?  Our bodies are sometimes our “other brain” and we need to take into consideration how it feels.  Do the “gut check”.

If you don’t presently have a dream you are working toward, aren’t sure of the values that rule your actions, and would like to discover your own truths and have a solid purpose for going forward…you may want to consider the DREAMCOACH® program.  It will give you that solidarity you are looking for and possibly a great dream to look forward to, learning the steps to achieving it.  July begins the next 5 session group coaching course that you won’t want to miss.  Click here for more details.

So, what do you think Marie would do?  From the information we have, we cannot make the right decision for Marie, because there are too many unknowns for us.  Only Marie really knows.  That is the way it will be for you too.  Innately, you will know what is best for you, once you take the time to fully think it through.  God bless you in your decision making.  Call me when you need more help or if you’d like to find your dream and your motivation.

To all my friends – those I’ve met and those I haven’t:  If you have looked at my blog before, you may understand that I was not born yesterday.   Many people my age won’t even attempt to use the computer unless they have to learn for work, so I consider myself a moderately enlightened one.  For some reason, even though I had the log-in information, I had the dickens of a time trying to log-in to the admin side of word press to get my message out.  I have attempted to log-in many times over this past year.  I persevered this time!    I am here.

To what do I attribute that perseverance?  I KNOW that I have a message to give to the world and that there are people out there who need to hear it.   I know that there are other people who were hurting like I was, who are lost, sidelined, and feel isolated and not belonging to the rest of the world.  Take heart.  I will be posting insights and encouragement.  Take a peek every once in a while.  It’s safe.  The most critical key that I discovered is to love myself and value myself, even when I don’t even feel like I like myself.  It is more than just the words you tell yourself and involves the feelings you associate with those words.  Some small steps to take right now…

1)  Tell yourself some of the wonderful things that you do.  Write them down even – helps more!

2)  DO something that makes you feel good.  Pay attention to that feeling.

3)  Allow yourself to feel good.  Take a peek out.  Remember what it is like for the next time you need it.

Love and value yourself today.

Like you, I am a human being filled with joys, fears,
frustrations, and hopes. And, like you, I want to be
understood, accepted, and appreciated.
— Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura

I understand, I accept and appreciate you.

See You Lighter!

Jacqui Biernat

Cubbies finished!

Pantry painting done!

I am sooooo excited!  This is a huge step for me.  This project has waited 18 years – and it’s finally done.  I love the floor.  I can see it again!  (It was always full of stuff).  I finished most of the painting Wednesday, because I wanted it done so my daughter could see it when she got home after spending the week with a friend’s family on vacation.  The comment that I got, besides it looking great is, “It’s green.”  She said it and so did my son’s friend!  Well, it is, what can I say?

I finished the remainder of the wallpaper stripping, then painting on Friday.  I am so thrilled – the wallpaper is off the walls, the walls are repainted with some paint I’d had left-over from some apartments we have, so I didn’t even have to go out and buy it (so what if it’s green- it’s at least cheery).  I did have to buy a roller cover though and a new shelf unit that I put together just yesterday (Sunday).  I started sorting the stuff to put back in on Saturday, so that was my chore for the weekend – to put it all back together.  It’s done and I’m very happy.  It is a closet.  It’s got stuff in it, but now I can get to it without tripping over all the crap that was on the floor that I didn’t have a place for!  It makes me feel so good.  Here’s more pictures with stuff back in…

fully operational, neat and organized

the second shelf-cubby unit that I put together myself!

So, my next challenge will be my front hall.  Stay tuned!  Not only am I temp storage for my daughter’s furniture that is a gift from a relative (passed at 102!), and that I probably will have to hold onto for at least another month while she’s finishing her construction, but the front hall also has boxes from cleaning out my office six months ago.  so, what’s a few extra pieces of furniture going to matter?  I did one box a couple of weeks ago and it took me an hour and a half.  I have at least 7 boxes left.

I actually have a larger vision for my front hall and will be very excited to begin this project!  This hallway has had issues since we first moved into the house 23 years ago, but we haven’t wanted to tackle it with everyone in the house – HUGE job.  Once those boxes and other stuff get cleared out of the way, well, I’ll show you some pictures next time…

the high stuff that I use least often

the cubbies - perhaps a little more to do here with organization... but good in comparison!

Pantry Paint

The project is nearly complete.  I ran out of steam in removing the wallpaper from the ‘cubbies’  – so I have 4 cubbies left to go.  I had to see something happen, so I painted the ceiling and the walls today (all except for the 4 cubbies).  I promise that I’ll work on those tomorrow.  I have lightened up!  I’m smiling!  Here’s the pictures – even before the paint is dry so it looks shiny and you can tell the difference between where I rolled and where I cut-in with the brush.

Tomorrow, I also have to begin putting things BACK!!  (Besides finishing the cubbies).  🙂

Yes, it's light green - it's a pantry, not the living room!

View from doorway - paint's still wet

Cubby area that DID get painted

Well, I WAS believing to have it done by Wednesday, which is today.  It’s now 11:23 – no chance.  Like I said, finish getting the wallpaper off the rest of the cubbies and paint them, then begin bringing stuff back in and unloading my dining room – and tomorrow is another day!  so it didn’t get done today.  It’s not the end of the world and I obviously  under-estimated how long the wallpaper removal process would take.  IT IS GETTING DONE THIS WEEK!  I’m still okay.

I’ve finished 3 walls with just the cubby area to go – dreading that, so why did I leave it for last?  Don’t know.  Oh, well.  Tomorrow is another day and I kept going back to the job in between the other errands I had going on today.  I spent about 3 hours altogether today and am proud of myself!  I would like to get the cubby area cleared of wallpaper so I can begin painting tomorrow.  I’ll keep you posted.

This is hard work!  Not so much hard as in taking a lot of strength, but hard as in endurance mentally!  Stripping wallpaper – especially the really stuck-on kind that you have to use fabric softener in the water and wet the wall over and over and over, while the water runs down your arm (yuck!) , then scraping and scraping, rubbing with the sponge until finally it’s cleaned off…  I got two walls done with two more AND a cubby space to go – not looking forward to that cubby space.  Well, here’s the before and after of the section over the door and the second was removing it from a wall of masonry with brick under it – THAT was the toughest!

Before picture above doorway with cobwebs and wallpaper coming off

Pantry over doorway with wallpaper removed

Pantry wall with paper removed (taking hours)

Pantry Upper Shelf Mess

I’m just beginning the marathon of several days’ work.  It’s been years since I tackled this to this degree.  It may not seem like a whole lot to some, but to me it’s monstrous!  It’s stuff I haven’t wanted to tackle for years.  My daughter is on vacation with her best friend’s and her family and my husband is gone for the week as well.  Perfect opportunity.  I vacillated for half the day, then finally around 5 I decided to tackle it.  It’s now 9:30 and I’ve emptied the larger section of the pantry.  Everything is in my dining room!  What a mess.  And I have to leave it like that and go to bed.  Tomorrow I rip the wallpaper off the wall, clean it up and paint!  I’d like to get some trim around the ceiling too, but I’m terrible at pounding nails, so I may just buy it, paint it and have it ready to cut, so it would be a small job for a handy-man to cut to size and nail in place.  That’s the plan… just so you know.  Here are some pictures – pantry before:

Pantry Mess

Pantry cleared out! (mostly)

Upper Shelves Cleared Off!

Second pile of stuff in the dining room

Tomorrow comes stripping the wallpaper and painting it out.  Wish me luck!  I have to live with the messy dining room while this is happening…

See what I mean?  I am now fully committed!!!  No backing out now.  And tomorrow is another day for lightening my load.  I think I’ll read a bit from a romance novel to get my mind off this before I go to sleep!   I’ll keep you posted and put up new pictures tomorrow – hopefully I’ll get the wallpaper off and have it painted…?

Pantry stuff in my dining room