Here’s My Truth…

_MG_3111I think at some point in life we all wonder if and when “it” will happen to us…whatever that may be; a perfect family, a significant other, some form of completion.

And I think at some point after we put in the work in my case; (years of therapy, self reflection, realization, a place of complacency/content) that we feel we’re deserving of this new addition to our life, that we’re finally deserving of our long lost missing puzzle piece, and at some point because we think, “its time we’ll take whatever the necessary steps are to acquire it.

We begin to question what we once knew to be our bible; we begin to question our own standards because we wonder if this entire time we’ve actually needed to change ourselves to some degree, to some capacity. We begin to sell ourselves short of who we know we’re capable of becoming, we allow someone or something to re-define our once very clear definition of self…simply because we want to prove a point to ourselves (but mainly to others) that we do in fact have it all together, that we can fix what was once broken, that we’re deserving, that we can overcome…that we’re worthy.

We put so much effort and so much validity in what others think that we often forget to think what we think. We allow someone else’s views or perspectives of us to dictate who we are, who we’re becoming, and what timing it should fall under.

Here’s my truth…I’ve been solo for a while, not able to commit, killing the (fitness biz) game on my own, and doing me. I’m used to the life I was somewhat forced to create, I’ve gotten very comfortable with the season that unexpectedly presented itself when I got divorced. I’ve been in hyper drive mode ever since…eye on the prize, not stopping to worry about anything or anyone else. I’ve made it my sole responsibility to rebuild, to begin again, to grow, to level up, to not concern myself with what’s next other than supporting myself, and continuing to build a successful business.

I’m great at coaching others…not so great at coaching myself (I outsource that).

I’m understanding with clients, I teach them that no one is 100%, 100% of the time, that in order to see change you have to work on yourself from the inside out, that it won’t happen overnight, and if it does it wont last…it’s fleeting.

What my past likes to remind me of is that I’m not so great at relationships…my marriage didn’t end up working (BIG learning lesson), I haven’t really fully been able to commit to someone wholeheartedly although (I tried really hard once or twice), but it just wasn’t there.

I recently found myself “ready” — ready to finally be in a relationship. It’s as if I opened up my eyes one morning and said “it’s time” and in that moment I expected things to shift, to move according to my new found plan, I wanted the guy for me and I wanted to give this whole dating thing a fair run.

Yet, as I expected one thing, life had a different plan for me. I met someone, and we hit it off. BIG time. The chemistry was there, the connection seemed real, and the potential was refreshing, and on paper it seemed that he could possibly be a candidate for my (next) future husband. (I have to laugh at myself for that one, but that’s often times how us ladies think – cray I know).

As I began to spend more time with this person I had yellow flags, that made me think, made me question what a healthy relationship was all about, if I had been doing it all wrong for years, if what I thought was the “right” path actually was…

I began to allow myself to become someone I knew I was never meant to be. Yet, I was proud because I allowed myself to relinquish some of the control I’ve been holding the reigns tightly to for some time now. I allowed myself to be vulnerable, I allowed myself to let someone in.

But during that period, I saw more and more yellow flags that were quickly turning red. Despite knowing that this person was not the person for me, I desperately wanted it to work…mainly because I felt like it was time. Everything else in my life was seemingly making sense, except for this one minor yet also major detail.

I started to pull my emotions inward when I’m so used to exuding them outward.

I started to speak less, and turn my voice down to be a little quieter so that I wouldn’t start conflict.

I allowed myself to internalize anxiety and completely shut down, despite knowing what I needed to start up again.

I allowed myself (for a brief period of time) to think that there was SO much wrong with me, more than I ever thought (despite having done some deep, deep work on myself).

I started to believe that being quiet was so much better than being loud.

I started to think that everything I stood for didn’t stand tall enough.

I started to believe that this was “normal.”

I started to believe that being a successful boss lady wasn’t what most guys wanted, that them talking down to me, attempting to control various aspects of my life, and making me feel less than who I know I truly am, was…well, normal.

While this didn’t go on for very long, it went on long enough. Long enough for me to question my beliefs. Long enough to allow me to feel that I wasn’t the boss b*tch I know I am, long enough to not feel entitled to speak up in fear of the repercussions.

Yet, there was still a part of me (being the fixer that I am) that believed I could make this work. That I could tackle those red flags, that this guy made all the sense on paper, that it wasn’t that big of a deal for me to no longer feel like myself…because after all no one else saw these red flags, no one else experienced the feelings that I kept to myself, no one saw what I knew to be true behind closed doors. What people knew was something completely different, and I thought to myself that that has to be the truth…

Well, that wasn’t the truth…shit hit the fan in a bad way, an uncomfortable way, a way that I’d prefer to never experience again.

I speak about this in hopes that it will enlighten someone else to share their story, it will allow someone to open up about uncomfortable feelings, it will give someone the open door to speak up.

The truth is; no one is you, and that is your power. No matter what you’ve gone through, or will go through at some point, remember you have a voice, a voice that needs and deserves to be heard. Not only for you, but also for others those aren’t ready to speak, to open up, to deal with the feelings of being uncomfortable.

We’ve all experienced situations where we don’t feel like ourselves, where we back off because we think we’re too much – I’m here to tell you that no matter what you’ll be too much for some, and not enough for others, but at the end of the day you have to be enough for yourself.

You have to know that you’re worthy, that when you feel “off” that when you choose to neglect the things that really matter to you, that you’re doing yourself a disservice. That your voice desperately needs and deserves to be heard.

I don’t have the answers to everything, but I do know that I wasn’t put on this earth to be quiet, not speak up, and for someone else to tell me who I am…and neither were you.

Jayel_Sig

 

But, how do you want to feel?

_MG_2670-2A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with my calendar in front of me scheduling my clients appointments for the upcoming week. Labor Day was in the next day or so, and I knew that scheduling in general had been “off” due to holidays, summer vacations, and well…life.

It’s something that happens to the best of us; we plan to do one thing and often find ourselves heading in a completely different direction. At the time I had found myself running into other women who were complaining that they we’re off of their A game, wanted to get back on track, needed to stop eating and drinking at picnics and bbq’s, and how they just wanted to feel better…

Being in the fitness industry for almost a decade now I can tell you that many peoples concerns when it comes to fitness often come from a place of wanting to look better, achieve some sort of aesthetic, or get in shape for an upcoming event. That’s great, but here’s the thing; we never truly allow ourselves to focus on how we want to feel. As a personal trainer I’ve seen it all, hell, I’ve been it all. I got into the field because I wanted to help others but what hooked me was the ability to change my body…over time I realized that the only real way to change my body and have lasting results was to focus on changing it from the inside out.

…I set my schedule and green tea aside and decided to put together an very uncommon fitness challenge. Lots of trainer do it come fall, but I wanted this one to be different. I wanted it to focus on the individual as a whole, and not just what their body was capable of doing, but their mind as well. So, in a few hours I began drafting what would eventually become my [Meaning Behind Movement] Challenge] for ALL women across the globe. To change the conversation from “How do I want to look?” To “How do I want to feel?” I was and am still blown away by the turn out, the ability for people to “just show up” and the incredible community engagement throughout women of all walks of life.

Yes, there is a large exercise component involved in my fitness challenge but there’s also a key component that we often forget, lose sight of, or overlook because we think “meh, that’s not really that important.” — false, it’s so important (in my opinion, more important than the physical exercises).

We’re close to rounding out our second week of the challenge and on day 7 we have a journal entry that makes us think about how we want to feel, about how we view our bodies, about how we’re going to begin to change the conversation when it comes to fitness, health, and our overall mindset.

For me, fitness originated from a place of wanting and needing change. Growing up, I was always skinny and often made fun because people thought I had an eating disorder, didn’t eat at all, or was trying to be as thin as possible. That was not the case, in fact I always had a hard time putting on weight and was never fully comfortable in my own skin (we all want something we can’t have).

I danced for eight years, began playing sports like field hockey, lacrosse, and track to learn more about my body and how I could get stronger. Throughout that process I not only became stronger on the outside, I felt stronger on the inside.

As life went on and I grew up, I saw my body change countless time through figure competitions, strength training, and rigorous exercise.

Fast forward a few years, I found myself heartbroken, going through a divorce, and feeling hopeless. I didn’t have much to fall back on as I had to leave my business that I had grown from the ground up back in a different country while coming back to the states to rebuild. It was during this time in my life that I knew my exterior alone wouldn’t cut it. It wouldn’t help me feel better. Looking in the mirror and weighing less or weighing more, having more defined muscles, or a prominent six-pack wouldn’t necessarily make me feel better, it would only make me look better, leaving a fleeting feeling as time would pass. It was during that time that I knew I needed to learn how to feel powerful, when I felt powerless. That I wanted to feel confident in my own skin. Confident enough to know that despite what my body looked like on the outside I knew how strong I was within.

Jayel_Sig

Vulnerability 101

Jayel_164

I suffer from perfectionism…

I want everything to be perfect, and I tend to have a preconceived notion of how things should play out. After my divorce was over, I made it my sole purpose to do everything on my own, to control as many uncomfortable situations as possible, and to help others (via personal training) along the way.

One MAJOR KEY that I forgot was that there’s no such thing as perfection, and it’s ok to ask for help. I’ve gotten so busy helping others that I never truly embrace time to help myself. As I preach how important the mental component is over the physical component, if not the most important, I forget to listen to how powerful my own words are and as a result have been neglecting that aspect–I always want people to think I’m “ok”, that they don’t have to worry about me, and can focus on themselves.

Everybody has a story, and this is mine… Right here, right now, and it’s subject to change– because that’s how evolution works. My story is mine, and it’s ok to change, to re-create, to re-write pages, to delete, to edit, and leave blank spaces.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been struggling; with life. The way it plays out, the way it doesn’t and this overwhelming sense of disconnect.

We’re living in a world were it’s seemingly so easy to “connect” to others yet we find ourselves (as least I do) lacking true connection that’s not from a handheld device, sent via text, and that isn’t the life we portray on social media.

Recently, I haven’t known how to put my feelings on paper, or how to articulate how I’m feeling, so I’ve hit the pause button, and by pausing, I’ve realized that it’s ok to to say “I need a break.”

Quite frankly, I’m burned the f*ck out!

When I made the commitment to myself that I’d always be “ok” it seemed fair, something I could manage (most of the time) and a new coping mechanism that I was willing to take on… not knowing if it was right or wrong.

Throughout the past couple of months, I’ve had a lot of personal family things happen. My step-dad being diagnosed with terminal cancer a little over a year ago, I’ve recently had to watch as he was admitted to the hospital for a month long procedure that made him weaker than a baby in hopes of him getting stronger, forcing him to immediately became co-depent. I’ve witnessed my mother try to take on the huge burden of becoming caretaker to someone that is ultimately supposed to be taking care of her. I’ve watched her struggle, and listen to her tell me “it’s going to be ok”, when in fact it may not be.

I’ve been struggling A LOT with keeping, balancing, and contributing to deep, meaningful relationships with people in real life while also being “ok” — I’ve had a hard time asking for help, asking for friends when I need them, and being there for others on a daily basis as I attempt to fill the shoes for them, that I struggle to fill myself.

I’ve been working on forgiving myself for having this need to constantly strive for perfection when I know damn well that doesn’t exist.

I’ve had the mentality of being able to do it all on my own; be successful, financially independent, not have people worry about my overall wellbeing, and perceive me as “killing the game.”

While at times that’s 100% who I am, I am not that person 100% of the time.

I have made the difficult decision to cut people out of my life that I thought were there for the lang haul simply because they weren’t feeding my soul the way they once did, and because it was the right thing for me to do, despite it not feeling that way. Throughout these past couple of months, I’ve been able to forgive others as I work on forgiving myself for all that I’m not, and everything they are.

But, the most valuable thing I’ve learned throughout these times of being confused AF, is that it is more than ok to ask for help. It’s ok to continuously reinvent yourself, it’s ok to not always be able to see the whole picture, but rather parts of it. I’ve learned that it’s ok to share your real story, the one that doesn’t quite make sense, the one where you’re struggling– because today, here in the now, that’s the story and there’s not sugar coating it. No, it’s not the story forever, but it is for right now, and whatever it is, whatever page you’re on, chapter, or sequel, it’s not the finale.

Life is too short to focus on how people perceive you, and your image all of the time. I’m human, and so are you…no matter what you’re going through, allow yourself to go through it and don’t be afraid of wherever it is you are, and wherever it may take you. Just know that it won’t last forever, there’s no such thing as that either.

#realtalk

Jayel_Sig

Beauty In The Breakdown–Four Years Later

JesicaTMP-14

Another year…another anniversary of me leaving a country I called home, a man I referred to as my husband, and the only adult life I had ever known.

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been four years already (time surely does fly when you’re working on rebuilding yourself, creating a life that’s worth living, and reassuring yourself at least one hundred times that you’re going to be ok).

Each year I’ve written a blog on this anniversary (the anniversary of leaving my husband). For now, it’s the one I hold closest to my heart…I can’t remember the exact date I got married, or the day I moved to Germany, but I will always remember the day I moved “home.” In the past, this particular blog has gotten thousands of views and I accredit that to the title of 1. Why Leaving My Husband Was the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done, and 2.Why Leaving My Husband Is Still the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done — Three Years Later Although it’s clearly a popular title and it intrigues people to read what is on my heart, I’ve decided to switch things up for my fourth year anniversary.

That was my story then, and it will always be a part of my ongoing journey throughout life, but as it remains that’s no longer my present, simply a chapter (a rather long chapter) that I’ll now refer to as “Beauty in the Breakdown.” It’s a story about who you thought you once were vs. who you choose to become.

Do you remember growing up and listening to your parents tell you that you could be anything you wanted? Well, that’s still true to some degree. But, we do grow up, we get hurt, we get knocked down, and as a result we become fearful and even more vulnerable. In today’s society there’s more people telling us what we can’t do, rather that what we can.

As I’ve grown up, and continue to do so I find that my truest form of beauty comes from reinvention and the ongoing choice to continuously re-write, re-create, and change my proposed purpose.

Throughout the past four years, my exterior has certainly changed but it’s more about my interior and how it’s made the most improvement. A year ago, I had a difficult time attending weddings of friends that I hold dear to me, a year before that I wasn’t always able to process my feelings an in turn did everything humanly possible to mask the pain; I worked out way too much, had one to many drinks (ok, four or five) too many drinks at the bar while out with friends, I sobbed in the middle of the day for no reason asking myself “why me?” There were days when I felt empowered, and days when I literally wanted to quit life. I remember sitting on the couch across from my therapist asking when I’d get mad instead of sad, wondering if the immense amount of pain and confusion I was feeling would ever subside or if I’d just have to accept the overwhelming feeling of anxiety forever. Although she wasn’t able to answer my question with utmost certainty, she told me that as time went on, I’d begin to heal in various ways.

As I write this years anniversary blog, I still wholeheartedly believe that leaving my husband was the best thing I’ve ever done, but this year I’ve also come to the realization that there’s SO much more ahead of me; more struggles, more failures, more setbacks, more heartache — and as a result those hurdles may in fact become the best thing I’ve ever done…

I firmly believe that leaving a situation that I was so unhappy in, that ate away at me both mentally and physically, and that didn’t fill up my tank the way it needed to be filled was the best choice at the time, despite it feeling like the most gut-wrenching one.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d be ok, I didn’t know if I’d make it out alive, and I didn’t know what life after divorce would look like for me…if anything. Well, it’s been four years and I’m here to tell you that I’m better than ok. Yes, I’m human and have my days (even months) where I’m not 100% clear where I’m going or what direction I should be heading in, but I’ve never been so sure of my purpose, or my ability to create this magical space, and continue to share my story, to allow someone, anyone to see that they’re not alone.

I was afraid of the unknown, of uncertainty, of judgement of not being enough for him before, or myself after.  I was afraid to share any piece of my story, but I’m so, so glad I did, and I do. Similar to fitness; I didn’t know what was real and what was fake. Yet through the process of self-acceptance and self exploration, I stopped believing the myths that leaving behind the title of Mrs. would somehow make me less than, when in fact it made me more than– more than I ever thought possible.

If you think about it, we’re all in this together. So thank you (yes you), for having my back, I appreciate it, and I’ll continue to have yours by sharing my truths no matter how uncomfortable it may make me, in hopes that it will comfort someone else’s pain.

Let’s cut the bullshit and be honest about ourselves and our stories because once we do, we realize that our stories are what make us human, they’re what connect us to one another on a greater scale, and allow us to see just a glimpse of our potential purpose in this great big world we call home.

Sometimes, the most beautiful form of creativity comes from suffering. For me, each beautiful piece of artwork was birthed by failure, defeat, heartache and loss.

Jayel_Sig

Dating Schmating

JesicaTMP-62We’ve all been there, in fact you may be there right now…

Thanks to my therapist I was reminded that we have a tendency to make up imaginary deadlines in our head of when things are supposed to happen and exactly how they’re supposed to play out–like being married by the age of 30, having kids by 35, buying a house before your best friend does, the list goes on… and we’ve been programmed to become fearful if those things aren’t going according to plan.

People ask me all the time if I’m dating, who I’m dating, or why I’m not dating.

Most of the time my answer is “yes”–myself. If I’m being completely transparent I’ve spent the last three years or so hiding behind my well structured walls that I refer to as “work”–my career can require a lot of  creative energy, and time, yet my definition of work can also be defined as the walls I’ve built so that I don’t have to seem vulnerable, have an excuse to not let anyone in, and can continue to build, both physically and metaphorically.

I believe in this day and age people are so quick to settle down, date for the heck of it, or not commit because there are so many options to choose from, and the grass is seemingly always greener on the other side. This is where I think we need to take a step back.

I’m not opposed to dating someone (not just anyone), but I thoroughly enjoy getting to know myself. I’m ok alone, and being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely, it simply means you have the ability to explore any and all possibilities. Whether that means falling madly in love with someone, picking up and moving to a new state to begin a new chapter, or adopting a new puppy- (personally) I’m open to it all (especially the puppy).

Us females tend to let guys play a HUGE role in how we view ourselves, and yes, I’m guilty of it too. We allow a simple text to change our entire day, or lack thereof make us go bat shit crazy. We’re ok with someone not responding to us, taking us for granted, or lacking any sort of substance because we don’t view ourselves as worthy, and in the back of our minds we’re panicking about imaginary timelines that truthfully don’t exist.

I am confident, sexy, and successful (yes I said it), and although I may not always feel those things, I know them to be true of my character, yet I often seek validation in those things from someone of the opposite sex. We allow them to define us, and make us feel more valuable, or worthy.

Let’s put a stop to that.

No matter where you are in your relationship, whether that be personal or with someone else I think it’s important that we remember it’s more fun to do life with someone and not for them. By sharing the foundation of who we are and being fully confident in doing so there should be nothing wrong with making ourselves a top priority. If your tank isn’t full, why do you think you’d be able to add premium fuel to someone else’s?

Jayel_Sig

 

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