Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 61: Duality & Creation with Sylvester McNutt III

Sylvester McNutt believes in the beauty of duality, and allowing all aspects of self to be accepted and explored. Sylvester is the Best-Selling Author of 8 books, Inspirational Speaker, YouTube, and Podcaster who explores ideas around healing, self-love and finding yourself.

Today Sylvester and I dig into the concept of duality, and have a deep, beautiful conversation about the birth and life of an author and creator. He shares his story of how he found his vulnerability, and his voice, in the pages of his notebooks. We talked about the importance of authenticity online and the advice he is often asked for by his readers. 

You can find him on Instagram @sylvestermcnutt or online at www.sylvestermcnutt.net.

Today Gold is brought to you by LIV Media and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Through mindfulness and accountability offerings – including meditation, breath work, intentional living routines, challenges, and lifestyle coaching – the new LIV app will provide you with the tools, community and support you need to live your very best life, leveling up in every aspect.

LIV meets you where you are and grows with you.

For a limited time LIV is available for free for Apple iOS users. Download LIV today!

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 58: Go Play! with Barbara Butler

Barbara Butler believes we all need to play more, kids and adults alike! Through play and immersion in nature we are able to quiet the noise in our minds. Children use play to build their own social structures, problem resolution skills, and it offers them a social, emotional and physical outlet.

She is the founder & CEO of Barbara Butler Artist-Builder Inc. She has been designing & building extraordinary custom treehouses and play structures for children for over 30 years, both residential & commercial, within the United States and internationally.

Barbara’s mom wanted her to be a lawyer, but she loved working with her hands. School breaks were spent working for her brothers learning bricklaying and construction. After graduate school, she gave up on the idea of getting a real job and moved to San Francisco to be an artist. She started painting, then building decks, then landed her first play structure job working for Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry/Be Happy”). That was all it took for her passion to be realized.

Today Barbara and I talk about the importance of play and imagination in children’s lives, why we need to join them, and we dig into some of the lessons she learned as a woman in a male dominated industry. 

I loved Barbara’s encouragement to play and “lollygag.” We all need the reminder to get out of our heads.

You can find Barbara at www.barbarabutler.com

Today Gold is brought to you by LIV Media and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Through mindfulness and accountability offerings – including meditation, breath work, intentional living routines, challenges, and lifestyle coaching – the new LIV app will provide you with the tools, community and support you need to live your very best life, leveling up in every aspect.

LIV meets you where you are and grows with you.

For a limited time LIV is available for free for Apple iOS users. Download LIV today!

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 49: Your Temple: Sexual Health with Dr. Christina Madison

Dr. Christina Madison refers to herself as the Dr. Ruth of Pharmacy. She believes sexual health is your overall health, and wants to reduce the stigma and shame surrounding the conversation of sex. She stresses the importance of open and honest communication, not only with your sexual partner but also with your physician.  

Dr. Madison is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice with Roseman University of Health Sciences (RU). She completed a pharmacy practice residency at the New Mexico VA Health Care System in 2005, has been a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist (BCACP) since 2011, has been credentialed with the Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVP) since 2013, and was elected Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (FCCP) in 2018. She maintains two active practice site with Huntridge Family Clinic, which focuses on the LGTBQ community and is one of the largest providers of HIV prevention and gender affirming care services in the State of Nevada as well as Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN) where she offers immunization and communicable disease care. Dr. Madison is an immunizing pharmacist and has been a trainer of student pharmacists, community/hospital pharmacists since 2008 in both Nevada and Utah. She actively participates in both state and national pharmacy and healthcare organizations to facilitate awareness of healthcare policy, education, and advocacy. Her research interests include the HIV prevention and treatment, Pharmacy Based Immunization Delivery, Women’s Health, Sexually Transmitted Infections, LGTBQ Health, and Gender Affirming Care. 

Today Dr. Madison and I dig deep into the world of sexual health. We discuss the vital need for self advocacy, education, and awareness to make your sexual encounters as safe as possible, the options available for STD testing, prevention, and treatment, and the importance of full disclosure with your partners. 

Let’s dig in. 

Thank you so much for joining me today! I love Dr. Madison’s reminder that our body is our temple, and to treat it as such. By advocating for our own sexual health, we can feel confident and empowered to make safer choices and to have honest, open conversation with partners. 

Connect with Dr. Madison:

Website: ThePublicHealthPharmacist.com

Instagram: @ThePublicHealthPharmacist

Facebook: @ThePublicHealthPharmacist

Twitter: @PublicHealthRx

As always, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and don’t forget to share with your friends. I’m always interested in content that uplifts, so if you have things you’d like to hear about, please share them with me in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider or Twitter @msjwrites.

Today Gold is brought to you by LIV Media and I couldn’t be more thrilled. 

LIV is an app that will launch Christmas 2019. I have partnered with a team previously of Disney/Pixar who wants so deeply to use tech for good.. and we’re using tech for great. 

Through mindfulness and accountability offerings – including meditation, breath work, intentional living routines, challenges, and lifestyle coaching – LIV will provide you with the tools, community and support you need to live your very best life, leveling up in every aspect. 

LIV meets you where you are and grows with you.

I have a special VIP experience built out and planned for my Gold listeners. You guys have been on this journey with me so I can’t wait to introduce you to my baby. Don’t forget – Gold listeners will receive a free 30 day VIP experience. That means access to all of the bells and whistles by using code GOLDVIP at loveisviral.com. Join the movement.

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

Walk Me Home

I am coming face to face with my own mortality.

When you are twenty you think you will live forever. Forty seems a million years away.

When you are in your thirties you are in blind denial, but have started looking into eye creams and may just be flirting with Botox.

When you turn forty you become a little reflective. Some people have full-scale meltdowns on sailboats off the coast of Miami, but then realize nothing really shifted that day after pep talks and tequila, so own it sister.

Then you start noticing some funny little changes. I’m not talking about the gray hairs, the lines, or the mammogram forms that ask, “Are you STILL having your period?” like a real passive aggressive jerk.

No, I’m talking about how you don’t process alcohol as well as you did when you were toasting your badassery and future plans. The way you are still tired when you wake up. That left knee that clicks in yoga poses.

But, I drink green juice! I work out at least 4 times a week! I take care of myself!

Yes, but genetics, time, and all those delicious splurges have caught up and some doctor sits down, after asking if you are STILL having your period (isn’t this a fifties thing?), and tells you that you are not immortal. That decisions you make today are going to decide some important outcomes. Like how long you live. Like the pill box he may be suggesting you buy. Like, whether you spend the balance of your life in good health or narrowly avoiding your own demise.

“We can keep driving 10 miles over the speed limit, or we put on the cruise control and avoid a heart attack in a couple years. It’s your call.”

So, my call is to stop. Stop and breathe and realize I am immortal. To accept the inevitable. I cannot stop aging, but I can do it consciously. One day I will die, but I’d really like for it to be after I’ve seen my own grandchildren and spoiled the ever living hell out of them… and then sent them back to Liv’s house.

I have a lot of say in my outcome, so I’m setting the cruise control, which looks a lot like greens, grains and self control. It means reading the packages instead of throwing them in the cart because I’m in a hurry. It means cooking my meals at home. It means breaking up with my twin flame, sugar. Our connection is #nextlevel, but I’ve told him I’ll see him in our next life. Seriously. That’s my relationship with sugar. I can feel him even when he’s not with me. We have lived many lives together. God, I miss him right now.

We can’t stop our eventuality. When we’re little we want to be big. When we’re big, we want to be legendary. In the middle of all of that we want love, to be seen, to be happy, to be successful, to know that we matter and our life has purpose.

And one day, we’re reminded of our simplicity. That we’re cells and a soul that will one day be a memory, and as Ram Dass said so eloquently, “We’re all just walking each other home.”

Gold With Jeanette Schneider Episode 30: Crisis of Faith: Where Resonance Meets Spirituality with Rabbi Jacob Rupp

Rabbi Jacob Rupp is the most woke Orthodox Rabbi I’ve ever met and this conversation is next level amazing. We talk about the fundamental need to ask yourself what it is you want in life, to understand what excites you, and why you should follow your own heart, not the guidelines man provides. He also reminds us that many times religious concept has been lost behind the human and to go back to the fundamentals, not the one who has framed it for you.

We walk through the unwinding of belief systems, turning them from parent-formed to a personal relationship with your Higher Power, be that God, Universe, Allah, etc. Rabbi Rupp reminds us that God desires a broken heart and is bigger than petty human emotions. Then he quotes Tupac.

Rabbi Jacob Rupp grew up in a spiritually ambiguous home with a loving, but highly dysfunctional dynamic, and a desire to help others. He realized he wanted to become a spiritual teacher before he truly understood Judaism.

Rabbi Jacob Rupp is a rabbi, coach, syndicated columnist, podcast host of Lift Your Legacy, speaker, and business strategist. He helps clients achieve clarity on goals and strategies, become honest and forgiving with themselves and others, and live more spiritually connected lives. He does one-on-one performance and marriage counseling, group coaching, and is a keynote speaker. Rupp draws from the gamut of cutting edge business, relationship, and leadership strategy and roots them in ancient Jewish tradition.

Rabbi Rupp has been happily married for over a decade, has four children, lost over 100 lbs., and built his own business, Lift Your Legacy. He helps those who are driven and spiritually seeking to obtain access to the tools they need to live purpose-driven lives. He also started and grew a social media marketing platform, focusing on helping workers who wish to identify and create alternative income streams and communicate their messages out to a wider audience through the medium of podcasting.

Rabbi Rupp holds two BA’s, one from the University of California, San Diego and the other from Ohr LaGolah Hertz Institute for International Teacher Training, and was ordained by the former head rabbinic judge in Jerusalem. He is an avid reader and is continually engaged in the study of Torah, leadership, psychology and related fields.

I LOVE this conversation and reminder that sometimes the way we understand the world around us, faith and path, is through a very narrow lens. Get clear on what you want in life and be open to what comes next.

As always, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and don’t forget to share with your friends. I’m always interested in content that uplifts, so if you have things you’d like to hear about, please share them with me in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider or Twitter @msjwrites.

If you want some help moving toward that intentional life, join me every week on my intention journey. I’m inviting you. Totally free. From my heart to your inbox. Sign up for my #girltribe at jeanetteschneider.com and before you even wake up on Monday mornings there will be a huge dose of motivation waiting for you. Yes, I will wake you up on Monday morning with intention setting prompts and give you some tips as to what is setting my soul on fire. On Fridays I’m going to remind you to let go, recharge, and love yourself up with some self care prompts to get present in your down time. Intentional living is where it’s at, y’all!

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 13: Women and Security with CIA Counterterrorism Expert Gina Bennett

Gina Bennett takes the scare out of national security and approaches it as a woman and mother. She talks resiliency, how women experience personal security differently from men and the importance of including girls in our conversations about security. 

Gina is a member of the CIA’s Senior Analytic Service, and long-standing member of the Senior Analytic Service currently on assignment as the Senior Counterterorrism Advisor in the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning in the National Counterterrorism Center. She is a seasoned counterterrorism specialist who authored the earliest warnings of some of today’s terrorism trends, including the 1993 report that warned of the growing danger of Osama Bin Laden and the extremist movement he was fomenting. We talk about her shift into national security and what I’m calling her sixth sense when it comes to the insightfulness of her work over decades.

Gina was featured in the 2015 Showtime documentary, Spymasters, the HBO documentary, Manhunt, and in the PBS documentary, Makers: Women Who Make America in their episode on women in war for her role as a trailblazing woman in the counterterrorism field. She has been featured in the cover story of Newsweek’s issue on “Women in CIA” in 2016 and in a previous Newsweek article for her role as a female pioneer in the targeting; and in a variety of media for her book, National Security Mom. 

Gina teaches ethics in intelligence as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University in the Security Studies Program of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and at the George Washington University in the International Policy and Practice program at the Elliot School of International Affairs. She is also a founding board member of Girl Security, an educational program to familiarize elementary-to-high school girls in national and international security issues. She is a single mom of five children. 

I love Gina’s advocacy for women, her argument that we cannot allow fear to change the way we behave and the importance of women’s voices in security based on our personal experiences and perspectives.

As always, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and don’t forget to share with your friends. I’m always interested in content that uplifts, so if you have things you’d like to hear about, please share them with me in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider or Twitter @msjwrites.

My new book LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future. Get into the work with me. LORE is available now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.

Living intentionally is where its at, and if you are anything like me, you get out of bed and reach for your phone. I’d love to say that I do yoga first thing, but let’s be honest, I open my eyes to news and I’m ready to counter that with my own weekly intention journey. I’m inviting you. Totally free. From my heart to your inbox. Sign up for my love notes at jeanetteschneider.com and before you even wake up on Monday mornings there will be a huge dose of motivation waiting for you. Yes, I will wake you up on Monday morning with intention setting prompts and give you some tips as to what is setting my soul on fire. On Fridays I’m going to remind you to let go, recharge, and love yourself up with some self care prompts to get present in your down time.

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

New Years Tears: Grieving the Old Stories While Welcoming The New

BethanyPaige-4195

I have New Year’s tears.

I didn’t expect them.

December 31st represented the end of my career in finance. It was the job I started when I was 18, making $7.35/hour. It was the mentors and the five year plans and the rejections and the assertions and the decisions. It was the people who told a poor girl from the violent neighborhood who had seen too much bad that she’d never get to more than customer service and shift differential. Who then congratulated her when she became a Senior Vice President and managed billions of dollars. The girl who barely made ends meet and lived off of cans of corn and potato flakes from the scratch and dent store who just facilitated the largest single gift the Girl Scouts have ever received in their history. A new camp for generations of girls to learn how to be the girl she never thought she could be, but the girl she had to become, because you can’t go back once you leave. You keep going.

I’ve been going since the day I learned what happened to the women in my neighborhood if they didn’t get out.

That girl died on December 31st.

I officially changed my title on Linked In to represent the life I am creating out of purpose as opposed to fear. I am so grateful for the company that raised me, the bosses that led me, the mentors who changed me. I am thankful to them for parenting a girl from the worst part of town who had no direction. A girl with a need to survive and never go back. A girl who turned that into a beautiful life.

A girl who is now harnessing those years of experience, drive, and success to make a difference for the ones who come next.

On her terms.

 

Just Start

BethanyPaige-4175

It’s 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon as I write. I’m still in pajamas and wondering what the hell I’ve accomplished today.

A lot actually.

My book is coming out next month and Dear God, I had no idea what was involved in all of that promotion/marketing/distribution/weaving miracles part. I thought writing the book would be the hard part. I had no idea that figuring out how to get books from printer to people would consume so much of my time.

I had no idea that at some point in my life I would have to accept credit cards.

But, this post isn’t about me.

It is about you.

It’s about the two women who asked me to dig into my soul and give them a little advice this lovely Saturday. They are both on the verge of their new lives and in the recon stage. The part where your old life is pushing you and your new life is pulling you and you start to lean toward the new life because it smells like baby powder and star dust. It feels like warm water and bath salts, like a cool breeze and green grass under your feet. Like fields of lavender brushing against your legs and it wants you to become so bad that you can’t help but put your finger near the socket.

They are taking the steps toward their purpose. The leap toward their destiny. The leaning in that requires new people to show up in your life and take your hand, this way sister, I’ve got you.

They asked some form or variance of the same question about my path, “what did you do?”

I think most people expect me to provide a list or bullet points. As if I have the formula. I guess I do. My answer? I started.

Just start.

When I published my first LORE blog and threw a launch party I had no idea what the ever living hell I was doing. I knew my intention. Ish. It was in grays and cloudy blues, but I gave it room to take shape and form itself, to become brighter, more crystalline as it toddled and learned to eat solids. Curious eyes arrived at that launch party, wondering. I figured if I celebrated it – it had to become something.

When I announced my Love Letters project I only had a handful from women who wanted to share the things they wish they would’ve known when they were girls. I knew that if people loved them as much as I did then more would arrive. They did. Quickly.

When I started interviewing women on camera I had no idea what eyes would view their stories, but that the pure heart and soul showing up on the screen would take your breath away. I have a Letter of Intent for a show that may or may not become. I give room for it to become or to fall apart because I never set my heart on any part or storyline. I allow my project to grow into herself and I love her unconditionally.

When I wrote my book I didn’t know if it should be memoir, anthology or workbook. As the stories began to weave a pattern, a backbone, it became clear it shouldn’t be any of the above and I cannot wait for you to see it. It is beautiful. Not because it is my book, but because it is blessed with so many women’s intention and story that it is far bigger than me. It has its own energy, it’s own path and I’m simply astonished when I hold it in my hands.

9781982201562_FQA.indd

When I began sharing my project with women I had no idea it would form a #girltribe, which is feeling more like a #girlgang these days. They are warriors who want to see the stories I’ve been gifted and intention created shared with the world. I didn’t know it would result in eight speaking engagements within one month of release.

I didn’t know anything, no expectations, no certainties, but I also live and breathe comfortably in this space, this in-between. It is a beautiful place of creation. You never know what will happen, but you can’t hide behind spreadsheets and what ifs. You can’t leave the life you were meant to create drafted in pencil, hiding in daydreams, in limbo wishing to become.

You can’t mourn a life you were never brave enough to birth.

There comes a time that you have to move from self-help books, podcasts, journals and day dreams to action.

You must take action every single day.

Move it forward just a little bit, whether it is an email, a question, a research project, a book to educate you on your new (enter dream here).

Activity begets activity.

Your new life is waiting. Breathing. Wanting to root into you.

Just start.

Xo

J

**LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future drops August 20th. If you’d like to pre-order a copy you can do so at https://lore-media.myshopify.com and it will be delivered to you the week of August 20, 2018**

Meghan Markle v #meangirls

Meghan_Markle_visits_Northern_Ireland_-_2018_(41014635181)

I didn’t mean to watch the Royal Wedding. I was in a hotel room in Florida and woke up before my alarm clock. I laid there, wishing myself back to sleep, but Instagram called. I followed the arrival of the guests and then finally sighed and clicked on the TV, I can’t be the only one awake who isn’t watching it.

I didn’t get caught up like others. I didn’t cry. I don’t know them. I’m always happy to see people in love, but my interest wasn’t seated in their romance.

No, I was more aware of the tone of the ceremony. It was one of marked diversity and inclusion. It asked the world to move from lines to love. It was purposeful and resolute. There was deep symbolism and meaning. Every moment was perfectly orchestrated. I saw two people who not only love one another, but who also recognize they are offered a global platform.

They said the things they needed to say without saying a word.

I was coming off a bit of a the world is changing kind of high. I had just watched Prince Charles reach out to Meghan’s mother, escorting her away from the alter as they supported their children by witnessing their marriage. This man, who will become King, also honored their family by walking Meghan down the aisle toward his son.

In those moments they were simply parents. Nothing more. Nothing less.

These are the moments that make me believe in people again. That make me fully aware that there is more good than bad, more hope than fear, more love than hate.

Until a bunch of women began posting comparisons of Meghan, a woman who just did what would have been considered impossible even a decade ago, to both Kate and Diana. Her dress was torn apart, her hair discussed in great detail and concerns over her minimal makeup were shared. Shared so that other women would join the discussion in a group-hating circle that would then be made socially acceptable by their complicity. Especially when toxicity begins with a compliment, “Don’t get me wrong, she’s amazing, but…”

They call this the Oreo Effect. Start with the good, say something terrible, and end with the good, so that the person eating your particular trans fat (or what they call constructive criticism in Corporate America) feel better about something negative.

If you ever start a sentence, “Let me start by saying…” or “I don’t mean to be a bitch, but…” check yourself.

Women have been programmed to take each other out. We are asked to compete with one another for jobs, security, mates, survival. We compare ourselves and others to feel better about what we consider our own shortcomings. At some point in time we believed we were unworthy in all matter of ways. I could go on for at least three more paragraphs about misogyny, the patriarchy, advertising and social influence, but you get the picture. This unworthiness, this competition, has become a hum in our veins, a social and cultural bias that has been coded into our DNA, and we don’t even know when we are doing it.

Start recognizing when you are doing it. Consciously monitor your internal talk. Do you judge others? How does seeing another achieve make you feel? If you aren’t happy for them, why? If you have to find something wrong, why? Recognize you’ve been triggered, send them a blessing, good for them, and dig in to why you are having a hard time saying something kind. I guarantee it has to do with you, your internal talk, your insecurities, and what you subconsciously consider failure or unworthiness.

Check your influence. Do you feel the need to share your negative thoughts with others so they agree with you or find you flip or funny? To feel right in your opinions? Justified? That’s you, girl. You need their approval. Why? Unless you are truly trying to build a band of #meangirls to yes you to death and tell you you’re pretty, recognize that negativity begets negativity. You don’t need it and you don’t need to attract it. You want good people in your life? Be good people.

I have such hope for women. I know in my bones that the world I’m leaving my daughter will be so much better and because of women I personally know or am reading about in the news. Women who are alive during my child’s adolescence. Women who are using their voices, their influence and their intelligence to change conversations.

Women like Meghan Markle who just told the entire world that she is here to make change and has the Royals in tow.

She wasn’t wearing a wedding dress, loves.

It was a cape.

You Are Precious — Letter to My Younger Self by Kim Fredrickson

Kim Age 5

It is wonderful to hear from women who believe in using their words and stories to help others. I was recently contacted by Kim Fredrickson, a licensed marriage and family therapist, with a beautiful story and a desire to spread her message of self-compassion. Kim dug in and below you will find the newest Love Letter to grace LORE. I am delighted to include her voice.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kim Fredrickson –

KimVPCBestOrigsmall

Dear Kimmy,

You are a precious little girl. You have such a bright future ahead of you. You are likable, delightful and have a very kind heart. You are smart, hard-working and a very good friend.

You have many wonderful experiences ahead of you, enjoying life and making an impact on your world. You also have some hard times ahead, just like we all do. I’d like to encourage you to spend your time and energy on things that matter and will help you on the road ahead.

Have Fun!

Enjoy life. Do things that you enjoy, energize you and give your life. Try new things, seek out new experiences, and enjoy each day to the fullest!

Draw Close to God

God loves you and will be by your side no matter what. He created you uniquely, and He is so proud of you. Take time to get to learn about Him in the Bible, and through prayer. No matter what happens in your life, you can draw near to Him. He will help you and never leave you, no matter what.

Cultivate Your Friendships

Your friends will be a second family to you, and they will be your lifeline through thick and thin. You will have many fun and meaningful experiences with them, that will fill your heart over your lifetime. You will have struggles and misunderstandings with some friends which is normal. Do all you can to talk things through, and apologize for your part of the problem. If you feel repeatedly harmed by a friend, despite trying to work things out, you may need to say goodbye to that friendship. This is normal. Some friendships are for a season, and some for a lifetime.

Work Hard

You are very bright, and catch on quickly. Work hard at school and your future jobs. The sky is the limit for you. There will be times you will feel like a challenge is too big for you. It isn’t. Take it one piece at a time, and you will grow and succeed. The world needs what you have to offer. God has given you abilities, a compassionate heart, and a message that He wants you to share.

Work Through Your Emotions

You will go through difficult times, and have many confusing emotions. This is normal. Seek help to process your emotions, regulate them, and learn to soothe yourself when you are distressed. These skills will help you make wise decisions and stay connected to yourself. Friends, books and counselors can be great resources to help you work through the normal emotions of life. Don’t hesitate to get help when you need it.

Face into Conflict

It can be scary and difficult to deal with conflict. That’s normal. The reality is that every relationship, job and friendship will have conflicts. Learn what you think, feel and need, and share with others in ways that don’t harm you or the other person. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable during these conversations. You can work through conflict most of the time. Learn to negotiate, and stand up for yourself. You don’t deserve abuse, and can remove yourself from situations and relationships that are harming you.

Grieve Well

You may be surprised to find out that grief can be your best friend. It is God’s answer to processing loss, pain, and disappointment. You may be afraid of these intense feelings and can’t believe they are good. I know. But they are. God is an expert at grief and transitions, and He completely understands. He doesn’t expect you to have your grief processed within a certain amount of time. He is faithful to love us through difficult times.

Being able to grieve throughout your life will be a big part of getting through difficult times. Grieving difficult times will help you feel the emotions, adjust to reality, and eventually adjust to your new normal. Even with times of loss, there are still wonderful times to come.

Learn How to Forgive

Life is full of well-meaning imperfect people who will hurt you, and whom you will hurt. Work through the pain of what has happened, grieve what you are going through and seek comfort and help as needed. Learn how to forgive yourself and others. Lack of forgiveness will keep you stuck in the past and will keep you imprisoned in your pain. You’ll need to learn to forgive yourself too. It’s normal to make mistakes and hurt others and yourself in the process. You can be a good friend to yourself by forgiving yourself for being human.

Be Your Own Best Friend

The way you treat yourself has more impact on you than any other relationship in your life. Learn how to treat yourself with kindness, as you would a dear friend. Don’t allow an inner critic to be your companion. Learn how to acknowledge your mistakes without beating yourself up. Listen to your instincts and speak out about things that are important to you.

In conclusion, you are a delight! You are a precious creation with so much of life ahead of you. I know you, I know what you are made of, and I know your kind and tender heart. I hold you close to my heart, and encourage you to hold you close to yourself too.

Love Always,

Kim

Kim Fredrickson is a licensed marriage and family therapist of thirty-plus years. She loves to teach others about the power of self-compassion from a faith perspective. Kim believes that learning to advocate for yourself with kindness and compassion, just as you would for a good friend, makes living life a little easier. She is the author of Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend and Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children. She recently retired from her counseling practice when diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal lung disease that developed as a rare complication from the chemotherapy and radiation she received for breast cancer.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, she decided to write Give Your Kids a Break as a way to have a positive influence in the lives of her adult children and their future grandchildren. Kim wanted to help them with the challenges of parenting, when the time came. She knew she wouldn’t be around to hold her grandbabies, and help her children raise them in person. Originally it was only going to be for them. As Kim wrote, she thought others might benefit as well, so decided to self-publish it.

Kim has been married to her husband, Dave for thirty-nine years and they have two grown children. Learn more and read her blog at http://www.kimfredrickson.com She also writes a weekly patient column for Pulmonary Fibrosis News, Just Breathe…Compassionate Help for the PF Journey. Thousands of patients and their loved ones read her column all over the world.

You can find Kim on IG @kimfredrickson, Twitter @kimfredrickson, or Facebook