May 20, 2017

There's No Place Like Home

About 18-months ago, I took an unintentional hiatus from writing Delightfully Dishy. Life was busy, and I was in the process of taking both inventory and a hard look at where I was in my life -- and where I wanted to go.

Since then, I left my career in Corporate America to go out on my own in business. We made the decision to relocate back to Arizona after nearly 8-years of living in Brooklyn, I turned forty, and in the last few months, I finally took the leap and ventured into real estate -- something I wanted to do for nearly 20-years.

There was a point about 9-months ago, when it was as though my mind had come to the end of a very long road lined with millions of questions. I was done. I went into the silence. And for those who know me well, that is not a place I have always enjoyed. It was eerily quiet, and I found myself spending hours in it. I sincerely didn't know what the next step in my journey was, but more importantly, I had the confidence to say that. I explored the idea of being a housewife and stay-at-home mom. I explored returning to the safety and comfort of Corporate America. I considered it all, frankly ... and what kept coming up for me was, "Just be still. In time, you will know."

It's true. Over time, I knew.

Sometimes we spend so much of our lives going to the complete opposite end of where we started. Goodness knows I sure have! When I sat in those endless hours of contemplation and prayer, it became clear that what I have always wanted was not far from where I started. Yet somehow, my personality needed to explore all options in the meantime, perhaps as a way of proving a point to myself and to others that I had "thought it all through."

I knew when I felt zero need to explain it or justify it, that I had evolved into my next chapter. And, yes, it really was that simple. For all of the tears, questions, and unsettledness that had to be worked through in the process, when I kept true to not needing to have all the answers, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. And step by step, day by day, it became clear.

Had I stopped and waited until I had everything "figured out," I'd still be waiting. It's a trap, friends. We have to move, live, walk, journey -- sitting and waiting is how decades go by with our lives feeling unfulfilled. The flow of the journey brings us life. When in doubt, live. Questions are important, don't get me wrong, but waiting for something or someone before making a choice to live is a slippery slope. I can't help but quote Rilke - a quote that has been one of those golden nuggets of wisdom, especially in these last several months:
"I beg you ... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them, and the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even knowing it, live your way into the answer ..." - Rainer Maria Rilke
Let us live our way unapologetically. The answers will - and do - come.

November 12, 2015

Ticket to Ride

If you're looking to infuse more amazing energy in your life and work, I urge you to pickup The Energy Bus. In this international bestseller, Jon Gordon teaches us ten secrets to "fuel your life, work, and team with positive energy." I can promise you this: you will walk away with more than you can imagine. The best part? You can include children in the process by having them read The Energy Bus for Kids, helping them embrace the concept of being responsible for the energy every single one of us brings to the table. 

November 10, 2015

The Wellness Question

What does wellness mean to you? 

For the last several months, I've been exploring that very question. For me, it's all of the above ... but what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that it begins from the inside out.

December 20, 2013

Wishing You ...

Earlier this year, when preparing for our family's summer vacation, my daughter asked me to make a promise: "For the next two-weeks, Momma won't be elbows deep in work, the blog, schedules galore and commitments to keep. Momma promises to just relax."

Well, today is the last day of work and school for two-weeks, and I reaffirmed that promise to my girl again last night.

No matter where you are, who you're with, or what you're doing for the holidays, make sure to take a moment and remind yourself that every day, you change someone's life for the better. You matter. You are full of meaning. And you are worth some rest & relaxation. After all, it's time to stop and renew.

Looking forward to sharing all sorts of lovely things together in the New Year!

Happy Holidays,

xx JN

October 28, 2013

Seriously, Ladies?

In middle school, I was BFF’s with one of the popular girls starting in fifth grade, but by the time we got our periods, discovered boys, and started to have different interests, she emerged as a mean girl, and I was arbitrarily outcast. Simply put: I didn't make the cut. There was no room for me to be different and continue to exist in that circle. Joining an entirely new lunch table was nothing short of terrifying, and I was grateful to make new friends, helping ease that pit that lived in my gut every day as I left for school. 

I am amazed at how decades later, nothing has really changed. Put a group of women together, and the minute someone stands out as "different," she is bound to come out hurt, judged, ridiculed, picked on, ganged up on, talked about, teased, or scrutinized. Rarely do you find a group of women in complete and genuine support of one another. How sad is that?

When there are multiple women standing on the same landing, sharing similar aspirations, desires and ideals, there is this incredible sense of community and empowerment. But when one person shifts and takes a step in a different direction, quite possibly perceived as "ahead," look out. 

Seriously, ladies ... why does everything between us turn into such a competition? 

Although it is never easy to acknowledge - let alone admit - we have all been there. We've seen another woman move forward in an area of her life, and instead of applauding her, we find ourselves saddled with negative feelings. The truth is, those feelings are nothing more than an outward expression of our own insecurities.

When we put our cards out on the table, those insecurities stem from key, universal topics: body image, career, education, children, financial status, relationships, etc. Depending on where we stand with each topic - "Am I a success or failure at this; good or bad; worthy or unworthy?" - oftentimes determines how we treat the other women who come across our path.

Not only am I disheartened by this, but also exhausted from it. Nowhere in the rule book does it say that being mean, rude, snarky, smug, spiteful, arrogant, and/or critical are necessary when we watch someone achieve a goal, implement a change, or try something different. 

On the flip side, we must also remove from our thinking the idea that when we decide to make a different choice, act a different way, or explore a different direction, we have the right to flaunt it and shame those who aren't there yet. After all, the need to broadcast anything on our own accord is merely a cry for attention and validation. If the actions we take are motivated by proving something to ourselves, or to someone else, we are still functioning from a place of insecurity and unworthiness. That, too, will drive people away. 

Lesson learned: when humility and compassion are removed from either side of the "different" equation, people get hurt, and relationships suffer. 

What would the landscape look like if we chose to foster the good in each other, to validate each other’s worth, to acknowledge each other’s struggles, and to embrace each other's changes and differences? There is, in fact, room in this world for each of us. Let’s celebrate that fact! No matter where we are on our path, let's sit side-by-side and share a very important universal truth: we are in this together - maybe not on the same time schedule or with the same result - but in it together nonetheless. 

xx JN