Life Journey

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Year of YES: What Does It Mean

Published February 17, 2016 by Jasmine

In my previous post I stated that I decided 2016 was going to be my #yearofYES, but what does that really mean?

The #yearofYES is not about saying YES to everything that anyone asks me to do. In fact, sometimes it actually means saying no. #yearofYES is about me saying YES to things that I have let fear hold me back from, saying YES to becoming the best version of myself, saying YES to things that challenge me and force me to step out of my comfort zone, and saying NO to things that no longer serve me or add value to my life.

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YES…to figuring out what is going on with my body and my heath. I have a few medical issues that I am trying to get to the bottom of (extreme fatigue, weight gain, low thyroid, high cortisol, and low iron stores), and hopefully figuring those things out will make a drastic difference in how I feel.

YES…to being in the best shape of my life by the end of 2016.

YES…to wearing dresses! In the last 20 years I have probably worn a dress two or three times. I don’t like how they look on me, but that is going to change.

YES…to being comfortable in my own skin and wearing a swimsuit with confidence.

YES…to eating to fuel my body rather than eating to feel good.

YES…to walking by faith, not by sight.

YES…to no longer feeling sick and tired.

YES…to living rather than just going through the motions.

YES…to creating memories that will last a lifetime.

YES…to being a leader.

YES…to completing my first marathon.

YES…to financial freedom.

YES…to  loving myself.

YES…to changing lives.

YES…to achieving greatness.

YES…to living my purpose while pursuing my passion.

YES…to surrounding myself with people who are going to lift me higher.

YES…to defining my own path.

YES…to determining what success looks like to me.

YES…to collecting experiences, not things.

YES…to believing in myself.

YES…to building my days around what is important to me.

YES…to focusing on faith, not fear.

YES…to living a life I love.

YES…to failing forward.

YES…to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

YES…to always believing that something wonderful is going to happen.

My biggest YES this year was saying YES to coaching!! I can’t wait to tell you all about it because I am so excited!!

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Year of YES: The Background

Published February 16, 2016 by Jasmine

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Have you ever just known that you were meant to do something big, but you just couldn’t quite figure out what? That has basically been the story of my life for the last 10 years. I graduated from law school 10 years ago in May (I honestly can’t believe it was that long ago), but I am not practicing. You may be thinking why in the world did she even go to law school then? Great question! I went to law school because I love public speaking, and I wanted to be in court. You see I didn’t know any lawyers, so all I knew was what I saw on TV. The reality is that you are rarely in court getting to speak like I wanted to, as trials are few and far between. My passion for speaking was sparked back when I was eleven and I came across a book by Les Brown. I fell in love with the book and personal development, and I wanted to be a motivational speaker. That passion for personal development has never left. I used to have my mom take me to the library just so that I could look for more books. Today I am the proud owner of over 400 books! The library and bookstore are definitely my happy places.

At the end of 2013, I was asked to step in and run a professional fiduciary company through a wind-down process. Long story short, the owner admitted to stealing from clients and the company could no longer get bonded, so it need to wind-down. So 2014 was a pretty stressful year facilitating the transfer of over 100 clients to new fiduciaries all while keeping the company running smoothly and ensuring all of the client’s needs were being met. In the midst of this mess, my dad died somewhat unexpectedly. When all was said and done in November of 2014 I was left trying to figure out what’s next. It was also the first time I had to breathe and process everything that had happened that year.

I spent the first half of 2015 in self-reflection really trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing with my life. What was my purpose? I knew I was supposed to be doing something that was so much bigger than myself, but I still just didn’t know what that was. I knew that I didn’t want to be in corporate America. I knew that I really wanted flexibility and freedom in my schedule. I knew that I really didn’t want to work for someone else. I knew that I wanted to leave my mark on this world, and make a difference in other people’s lives. I knew that I wanted to speak, and be a voice for those who might need to hear what I have to share. I also knew that I had massive student loan debt. Quite honestly, I just felt stuck. I prayed, I read, I prayed some more, and I just continued being me. I really tried to have faith that my path would be revealed to me.

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When you feel stuck, it is kind of hard to move. Late 2015 I knew that it was time to start moving and making changes…to my attitude, my gratitude, my faith, my health, and my fitness. You know what they say…nothing changes until you do!

It was probably in November that I decided 2016 was going to be my #yearofYES! Stay tuned this week to find out what the heck that means!!

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Welcome to Flight #2015

Published January 13, 2015 by Jasmine

We are prepared to take off into the New Year. Please make sure your Attitude and Blessings are secured and locked in, in the upright position. All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt, and discouragement should be put away. Should we lose altitude under pressure, during the flight, reach up and grab a Prayer! Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith. Once your Faith is activated you can assist other passengers. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight. The captain has cleared us for takeoff – Destination – GREATNESS!!

2014 Was The Warm Up…2015 Is Game Time

Published December 31, 2014 by Jasmine

It has been awhile since I lasted posted on this blog, and it has probably been the most challenging year of my life (and the worst summer). I’ve always been an open book, and shared my journey…it’s time to play catch up. Full disclosure: I have completely fallen off the fitness track, and it’s finally time to get back to focusing on me.

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In the spring of 2013 I was approached and asked to come work for a professional fiduciary. It was a hard decision to make because I was going to be taking a huge pay cut, but at the time I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted my career to take so I decided to take a leap of faith and accept the position. At the time, little did I know what I had in store for me over the next year.  I was set to start in July of 2013. About a week before starting I was told that it was discovered that there was alleged fraud by the owner, and asked if I still wanted to start not knowing the status of my job or the company. I had already committed, and decided if nothing else, it would be a learning experience (especially from the non-legal side of things). For those who don’t know what a professional fiduciary is we provided services to those who needed a guardian, a conservator, a Social Security Representative Payee, and/or a VA Legal Custodian.  Due to the allegations and inability to get bonded, the company had to close. I was asked in December to step up and run the company through the wind-down. I hadn’t even been with the company for six months, and when asked I had no interest in running the company. I reluctantly said yes because if I didn’t they would have had to bring in a third party who knew nothing about the business or our clients, and I figured I would have to do as much work or more just getting them up to speed. This undertaking has nearly consumed my life since last December. It has been challenging, trying, rewarding, maddening, crazy, and every day it is something new. I have learned so much, and have met so many great people. I just really hope that I have made all the individuals who I have worked with through this transition proud. It’s been nothing short of a challenge…with no training. This chapter finally ended on October 24, and it was bittersweet. I wouldn’t have made it through without my good friend Tracee. I love you lady!!

Around the same time I was asked to run the company, I met a man that I just had a natural connection with. We were like instant best friends, and things were just natural and easy between us. He liked and accepted me for me. After two months of hanging out nearly every other day, we made it official. This was a big deal for me. I had finally opened myself up to trusting and being in a relationship. I hadn’t been in a relationship for years, and I don’t take dating casually. As you can probably tell I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am an emotional person. At this point in my life I just didn’t want to get emotionally invested in anyone that I couldn’t potentially see “forever” with.  In the past I had met so many men who had lied and cheated. I had finally found someone that I never doubted, and never in a million years did I think he would lie or cheat. We always had so much fun together, and hung out all the time but in the back of my head I always felt something was missing.  As much as I loved our time together I always kind of questioned whether I could see myself marrying him if it came to that; and that doubt bothered me because he was like my very best friend.  Well fast forward five months to June 3. He told me he had gotten hurt and work and was probably going to go to the ER. Well I couldn’t get in touch with him so I went to his house to make sure he was okay, and he was in bed with someone else. I was dumbfounded, like a deer in headlights. I just couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. As much as it hurt I knew that I was meant to see that because it was the answer to my doubts. I do believe that God brought the two of us into each other’s lives for a reason. I don’t hate him. I have forgiven him. It’s just really hard because I finally trusted again. I know God has someone out there who is my perfect match, and this experience was just a test.

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As many of you know I also lost my dad in August. Him and I were never close as he was an alcoholic my entire life, but he was still my dad. I don’t know if the fact that we weren’t close makes his passing harder or easier. He wasn’t close to my siblings either. We never knew what it was like to have a father/child relationship because the alcohol was always most important. If you didn’t know he was an alcoholic, you probably would have never known because he was very high functioning. My dad could drink 24-36 cans of beer in a day, no problem. Even after being told nearly five years ago that he had the beginning of cirrhosis of the liver, he just kept drinking. Things really started going downhill in January of 2013. At that time he ended up in the hospital with respiratory failure, kidney failure and liver failure. After three months between the hospital and transitional care center, he finally made it back home. At that time he was told he probably only had three to five years. He kept drinking. My dad has always been very jealous of the relationship I have with my mom because he wanted my mom all to himself. Because of that jealousy and insecurity he was often very mean to me…all with his words. It was very toxic.  Although my mom and I took the brunt of his toxicity we weren’t the only ones…he was this way with my siblings, and he alienated his brothers and his mother. Just weeks after the end of my relationship, my dad never stood on his own again. He went to the hospital at the beginning of July, and didn’t come home until the day before his 60th birthday in August when he went on hospice. His organs were just shutting down, and there was nothing that could be done. We didn’t know when he went to the hospital in July it was the beginning of the end. He passed away two weeks after going on hospice, and it happened much faster than any of us expected.  I don’t think he realized he was dying, which could be a blessing or a curse. He was terrified of dying so maybe it was a good thing if he didn’t know, but on the flip side I think there were so many things left unsaid. My mom has really been taking care of him this last year and a half, and he never thanked her.  The whole thing is just really sad for all of us. For my sisters and I, he was the one man in our life who was supposed to love us unconditionally and we never experienced that. He was the one who was supposed to show us girls what to look for in a man, and he was supposed to show my brothers what kind of man they should aspire to be. None of us ever saw what a healthy relationship looked like, but he did teach me everything I would never want to find in a man.  He was never happy here, and we know he is now in a better place and hopefully he is happy. One day we will find peace in all of this, and I hope that his brothers and my grandma can do the same.

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In October I went to Vegas for the first time for my brother’s wedding, and it was so much fun. I absolutely loved the atmosphere, and all the cool hotels, shops, and casinos. I didn’t want to leave when it was time to go. Definitely looking forward to going back, and checking out all of the hotels and casinos at my own pace. Also thinking about possibly doing the Rock & Roll Half-Marathon out there in November!

Vegas WeddingBlonde KardashiansThroughout the summer and fall I was tentatively training for the Monster Dash Half-Marathon at the end of October. I wasn’t consistent at all with training or working out, often missing weeks at at time, but decided to register anyways. I even convinced my mom to do it with me, and she hadn’t been training! This was her first half-marathon. She is faster than me, but stuck with me throughout the entire race. It was my slowest race yet, but I finished. Half a mile into the race I thought I was done as I was having severe shin pain. I was able to slowly and gently push through, and the pain eventually subsided. Finishing this race probably meant more to me than any other race (except my first) because I did it with my mom, and it was really a metaphor for every obstacle I had faced this year, and just like each of those obstacles I made it through to the other side. I feel bad that my mom didn’t run her first half-marathon at her pace, but so grateful that she stuck with me. Love you mom!!

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November was a rough month for me. After the company I was running closed, it was time for me to figure out what was next. The logical step would have been to practice law, and that is what I thought I would do. The more I thought about it though I realized that practicing law full-time just wasn’t for me…it wasn’t fulfilling enough. I was really struggling with what my passion was, and my purpose in life. I want to be passionate about my work, and wake excited about what I get to do everyday. So I spent a lot of time reading, and thinking about what I was passionate about. I thought back to why I went to law school, and it was because I wanted to be in court SPEAKING! I thought back to why I started selling lia sophia, and part of it was the jewelry, but again it was because I got to be out SPEAKING! I remembered that I have been an avid reader since I was very young. Even at the young age of 12 I was already reading motivational, business, and self-help books. I wanted to be the one out speaking and motivating others to have a better life. So after much thinking and introspection I realized what I already knew…that my passions were reading, learning, educating others, and speaking. These are things I love to do even if I never made money doing them. I think that because I went to law school intending to practice it just always felt like that was what I was supposed to do, and if I didn’t , I would be a failure. The problem was that I was so focused on what others expected and thought I should be doing that I never really took the time to see if it made me happy, if it was what I passionate about. So I am happy to say that I am in the process of redefining my career, my definition of success, my website, and my brand. It is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Stay tuned for more details, and a new website!

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This has been an emotional, life changing year. I am ready for a new year, and fresh start. I am ready to find Jasmine again. I am ready to get rid of all the emotional baggage that I have been holding onto. I am ready to love me, and one day be loved. It’s time to get back in track because I have GREATNESS within me, and grand plans for 2015!

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Week One of #OperationVegas (and Monster Dash)

Published September 8, 2014 by Jasmine

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I started #OperationVegas last Tuesday in preparation for my trip to Vegas for my brother’s wedding. The training is also for the Monster Dash Half-Marathon at the end of October which for the time being is secondary to Vegas!!

My fitness goals for #OperationVegas were to do a minimum of five miles on my running days which my plan calls for three days a week; ten miles on the bike on the other four days of the week, and three days of weightlifting on my non-running days. My health goals for #OperationVegas are to track my calories, make sure to take my vitamins and supplements, drink more water,  and keep the sugar in my diet (natural or otherwise) to 40 grams or less per day.

After just a week even though I don’t look like a million dollars yet, I feel like a million dollars and am so proud of myself. In the last week I have done the following: 22 miles of running/walking (climbed 1385 feet) ; 30 miles of biking (climbed 10,973 feet); and three one hour weight lifting sessions (squats, deadlifts, and calf raises in each session). I have tracked my calories, drank more water, taken my vitamins/supplements everyday, and I have limited my sugar to 200 grams over the past seven days which means I ate 80 grams less than my goal!!

In the last seven days I have lost 2.8 pounds!! Based on my calories intake, calorie burn, and sugar reduction I thought I would have lost another .50 pound. However, I think I know what happened, and to some this will sound counter-intuitive. I don’t think I ate enough calories for all of the working out I did which is crazy. I went from feeling like I was constantly eating to now feeling like I have to force myself to eat and not eating enough calories. Part of the reason for this is that most of my calories used to come from sugary junk food. Now that I cut out sugar it’s hard to get in all those calories because my palette is still adjusting to the newer non-junk food!  I won’t focus solely on the weight loss because I know that so many of the physical changes will not be reflected on the scale, and you can never measure or weigh how STRONG one feels!

I am excited for Vegas, but I honestly can’t wait for the Monster Dash to see how all of this training pays off. I’m finally feeling healthy, strong, and on the right track. I’m still having some lingering right shin pain which I was dealing with for the last two years, but I really believe the cross-training and weight-training might eliminate the issue.

Every day I remind myself “Jasmine, you can quit anytime” and my response is “Not today!”  Stay tuned to see where I am at next week!!

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Memoirs of a Girl Interrupted

Published May 25, 2013 by Jasmine

I came across something I wrote to myself a few years back, and felt compelled to share it. I have been lacking motivation in so many areas of my life since last fall. Things are slowly falling back into place, but I am nowhere near where I want to be, nor where I thought I would be in my life. It was only fitting that I came across this tonight because I needed the reminder.

“Always remember there are only two kinds of people in this world–the realists and the dreamers. The realists know where they are going. The dreamers have already been there. The timing will never be perfect for me to pursue my dream, so I might as well start now. If I don’t, then next year I’ll be a year older and not a step closer to it. Love what I do, or don’t do it. Don’t make a choice of any kind, whether in career or life, just because it pleases others or it ranks high on someone else’s scale of achievement…make the choice to do something because it engages my heart as well as my mind. Make the choice because it engages all of me. Success is doing the best I can with what I have wherever I start in life. God will help me be all I can be, but He will never help me to be someone else. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can’t measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they’ll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within me is limitless and largely untapped…when I think of limits, I create them. Give myself a clear vision that I may know where to stand and what to stand for. What I need is vision that is so big that it is compelling, not only to others, but to me. If it’s not compelling, I won’t have the motivation to stay the course. Both vision and strategy are important, but there is a priority to them. Vision always comes first. Always. If I have a clear vision, I’ll eventually attract the right strategy. If I don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save me. Being specific doesn’t necessarily mean having every little detail thought out before I move forward. The would be a mistake. The big idea needs to be clear. The rest unfolds as I move forward, and I make adjustments as I go. Dreams are kind of like children–they need time to mature before we burden them with too lofty expectations. Dreams are to be pursued, not just achieved. Who I am is more important than what I do. The goal is to bring what I do in alignment with who I am, so I don’t end up being someone I don’t want to be. Progress takes many attempts.”

Time for the next attempt…maybe this time I will get it right.

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It’s Time To Open My Package

Published November 18, 2012 by Jasmine

Yes, I am gifted, and it is time to open my package…2013 is going to by MY year. I thought this year was going to be MY year, but it turned out to be my year to learn patience, persistence, and resiliency.  I have spent this year learning what I need to stop doing and what I need to start doing to be successful in my career, personal life, and in running! And here all this time I thought I had things figured out!

I’m not saying this to be arrogant, but I have always felt destined to do great things with my life. So it’s time to open that gift, and to start making some changes so that I never miss a chance to be fabulous!

1) I have decided to reluctantly back off my goal of working out 300 out of 365 days. I have completed this before so I know it is possible. When I originally made this goal I wasn’t injured. I have basically been sidelined from cardio since the end of August. For those of you who I am not friends with on social media, I finally did go to the chiropractor to find out why my shins were in so much pain every time I tried running. It turned out my soleus and anterior tibialis were wound up about as tight as they could get in BOTH legs. The muscles were so tight they were starting to pull the fascia away from the bone, and I was on the verge of developing compartment syndrome (this explains why I was so loud and my feet were slamming into the ground when running). I was told to do no cardio, including swimming, as I needed to stay away from anything that worked my calves or included repetitive motion. I could continue with strength training (except calf raises), and yoga as long as there was no pain. So in order to get the workouts in, I have primarily been strength training. The problem with this is I have also been dealing with a right shoulder injury since the end of August.

I feel like by continuing to push myself to get the workouts in I am neglecting the rehab I should be doing to get better, and at the same time probably exacerbating the problems by working out. One of the biggest reasons I have been pressing on is that I am in my sisters wedding in January, and really wanted to lose some weight before then. Finally this morning I realized that I need to have a more long-term approach. This wedding is going to happen, and I will be in it whether I lose weight or not. A more pressing issue is my long-term health and well being. I want to be able to run and race in 2013. I want to get full range of motion back in my shoulder so I can start swimming, and preparing for my first triathlon.

So although I feel like a bit of a failure for walking away from this goal (because there are things like core work I could do everyday) I feel like it is the right thing to do for now. It doesn’t mean I am going to quit working out altogether, I’m just not going to force something for the sake of a number!  More than anything I want to get healthy, injury-free, and come back with a vengeance in 2013!! If any PT’s are reading this I am welcome to any stretching/rehab suggestions!

2) Career-wise it is finally my time! I was offered an associate position at firm last Friday. I am ecstatic, and actually started crying when they made me the offer. My two passions have always been criminal law and estate planning. I always thought I would have to choose one or the other, but I don’t! I will be developing a criminal defense practice for the firm, and I get to do estate planning and probate work. Truly the best of both worlds! I will be living the dream come December 3! When you love what you do, you will never “work” another day in your life.

I graduated from law school, and was sworn in as an attorney in 2006. If someone would have told me back then that it would take me six years to find a permanent job I would have laughed, cried, and quite possibly given up on being a practicing attorney. Luckily, no one told me that. I believe that everything happens for a reason, in its own place and time. I truly believe that this position was meant for me. I have been collecting rejection letters like people collect stamps, and every now and then I would start to doubt and wonder what I was supposed to be doing with my life. In October I had worked on a short project, and got to talking about my interests with another attorney I was working with. She told me that I needed to contact this particular firm because she knew they were looking to build a criminal defense practice, and were also looking for someone to eventually take over an estate planning practice. I honestly thought she was joking because those were the two areas I focused on in law school. I emailed one of the partners to ask if they were still looking. She called me! They were still looking, and she wanted to set up a time for me to come in. I met with them on a Monday, was called that Wednesday to set up a second meeting, and met with them a second time that Friday and was offered the position at the end of the meeting! It was surreal, and still kind of is since I haven’t started yet. God knew what he was doing with this one. It took six years because six years ago this firm wasn’t ready to branch out into criminal defense, and they already had an estate planning attorney.

I am very excited to be taking this next step in my journey! I have my work cut out for me, but because I truly believe that this is where I am meant to be, I know everything will work out. If you or anyone you know is in need of a will, power of attorney, healthcare directive, or need help with a DWI/traffic offense/or any criminal matter please keep me in mind.

3) Now that I no longer have the stress of building my own practice/looking for a job I am going to jump back into selling and accessorizing amazing women with my lia sophia jewelry! I miss getting invited into the homes of some really awesome women, sharing my story, sharing the jewelry, meeting new women, and just having an all around good time! If you want to have a fun girls night in filled with games, drinks, snacks, jewelry, and ME let me know. I would be honored to share my love of jewelry with you!

I have a few other things on my agenda for next year…

  • Running my first 10k
  • Setting a half-marathon PR
  • Running my first marathon
  • Completing my first triathlon

Until then I am going to rest, rehab, and work hard on myself and my career! There will definitely be no looking back!