A little info on Meditation

www.jenniferhester.comThe new trend we all here about is not so trendy after all. Meditation has been around for thousands of years tracking back to the Hindus in 1500 BC. You can check out more info on the history of meditation here.

Meditation has at times received a bad name due to Christians being led to believe that if we get still and begin to meditate that we will be invaded by evil spirits. Actually we are told in the bible to meditate on God’s word. Go here to check out where meditation is encouraged in the bible.

For me I have tried off and on to get quiet and meditate. I have some ADD so I can be all over the place in my mind when given the chance. Does anyone know that feeling? However I have continued to persist in my challenge to meditate because I love the scientific data that is backing up the benefits of meditation and I want in on some of these benefits. I mean who doesn’t need better attention, immune function, positive emotions, self-control, and peace. For more info on the benefits look here.

I tried a couple different apps on my phone and the one that I am now using that seems to be fitting for me is Headspace. You can read more about it here. I’m not an affiliate for Headspace but I am loving what I’m getting from this app and so I wanted to share it with my readers. I have come to look forward to my meditation as it used to be a chore that I did not care for. I mostly look forward to the sense of peace that I have when I’m done. It is definitely valuable for anyone wanting to enhance their self-awareness as well.

I would love to hear any feedback you have on the app if you try it. Also if you would like to talk about mediation one on one I would be glad to chat with you. Just shoot me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com No matter what you decide be sure to go out and share your AWESOMENESS with the world today!!

Understanding your character strengths.

In the last post we talked about character strengths and gave you a link to use to find your strengths. If you missed that and want to take the character strengths test, click here. Okay, so now that you know your strengths, what are you supposed to do with them? Good question.

Our top five strengths our known as our signature strengths. When we are able to use these strengths this is when we feel our happiest. As you look through your list of strengths, pick one of the top five first, and remember a story about when you used that strength.

Try to remember as many specific details as you can about the story. What you did, who was involved, how did you feel? Pull out as many details that feel important as possible. Then write about the story as you remember it and reflect on what you think the story says about you. You can use bullet points with the major events if you don’t want to write it all out. The important step is the reflection and getting the major points written down.

After you have finished, pick another strength and repeat the process. Try to do at least three of these but you can do as many as you like.

The writing doesn’t have to be punctuated or neat, just recall the events and reflect on it, really feeling the emotions involved.

Do you have a particular goal or situation that you are working on? If so, how could you use these strengths in a new way to help accomplish your goal?

What could you do today to use your strengths to bring more pleasure into your life right now? Write down whatever comes to mind.

If you have strengths that are lower down your list, but would like to strengthen them, think of ways you could use your current strengths to do that.

We all have strengths that make us the beautiful humans that we are, but we don’t always know what they are or how to use them. I would love to help you discover your strengths and work to incorporate them more into your day to day activities.

If you would like a free one hour Positive Psychology Life Coaching session, just send me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com and we can get it scheduled.

Aware is Freedom and I believe this is one of the most beautiful gifts that we can give ourselves. I’m sending you all my best and look forward to our journey together.

Character strengths? What the heck are they?

If I asked you what your character strengths were would you be able to tell me? If you answered YES, that’s awesome. If you answered no, then I have good news for you. We can change that today.

Character strengths are the core of who we are as humans. These are our positive, core characteristics.

Character strengths are the creation of Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson, they along with 55 social scientists studied world religions, philosophy and psychology for 3 years before agreeing to the 24 character strengths and 6 virtues that we have now.

Character strengths are the backbone of Positive Psychology, which is the study of happiness and flourishing. They discovered that when we work, live, play in our character strengths that is when we are happiest. It’s hard to know how to construct this happiness without understanding our character strengths.

I believe with all my heart and being that Awareness is Freedom. This is one more way to that freedom. Finding, exploring, and utilizing this new awareness can be life changing if applied in your life. Living in our top 5 signature strengths is where we are our happiest. Why would we not want to live in those?

I’m telling you all of this to share with you that today you can take the VIA Institute Characters Strengths test and find out your character strengths and it’s absolutely FREE. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, so set aside some time and enjoy the process.

You can use my link below to take the test. If you would like to discuss your character strengths to gain a better understanding on how to use them more in your life, send me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com and I would love to work with you. Also, please share any  feedback on how you liked what you discover. Also, also, please feel free to share my link with anyone you like to help others find their strengths. Sending you guys all my best!!

Click here to watch the video on character strengths  (This is really a GREAT video). Click here to start the test.

OMG it’s hot in here!!!

www.jenniferhester.com

www.jenniferhester.com

For some time now I have wanted to try Yoga. I bought a DVD and tried at home but just couldn’t seem to get into it. I am not one who lives a life of structure and rigid schedules. I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person and with my ADD, I get easily bored with routines. I have been active most of my life with some kind of physical exercise but over the last couple of years I have neglected this. My body is beginning to show my lack of focus in this area. Ugh!!! It is definitely easier to stay in shape than to get back into shape. As I continue to age I know that it’s of utmost importance for me to do something that helps me to keep my strength, flexibility, and sense of balance. My laying on the couch is not accomplishing any of this for me. I also know that doing something on my own was not going to work. I am much more committed when I am accountable with other people.

I still wanted to try Yoga due to its great benefits of focus, strengthening, and flexibility, but I knew I was going to have to go outside of my house to make a commitment that I would stay with. I discovered Hot Yoga. This is where you do yoga in a studio that is 101 degrees. I am cold natured so I despise being cold. For me, the hotter the better, so Hot Yoga caught my attention. The first day I went to class I thought I was going to melt. I looked around and swore no one else was drowning in perspiration like I was. Yet I seemed to enjoy it. It makes me feel like I am really working out hard!!!! A little deception is sometimes a good thing. I have been through a half dozen classes and am still enjoying the process. I consider myself a life long learner and this is just one more aspect of the learning process. The people at the studio are kind and compassionate to us beginners and continue to reinforce the idea that this is a journey. As long as I am on this earth I want to be doing something for my body to continue to stay healthy and productive. Today, my journey has taken me to Hot Yoga and I am enjoying the process. This is an activity that is more gentle on my body, yet will build strength and flexibility. It is also great for calming the mind and helps us to focus on the present.

I hope that you have an activity that is continuing to build your body up and your self-esteem. We talk on this blog mostly about building up our minds, but our bodies are just as important. If you would like to discuss different ways to get active and get your body moving send me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com I would love to talk with you about fun ways to get active. We can even discuss how my Hot Yoga is going. Until next time, go out and show the world your AWESOME side.

 

Merry Christmas!!!

From my family to yours, we are wishing everyone a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Merry Christmas from the Hester's!!!

Merry Christmas from the Hester’s!!!

Reactions.

“It’s not men’s acts which disturb us, but our reactions to them. Take these away, and anger goes. No wrong act of another can bring shame on you.”  ~Marcus Aurelius

This is a great quote. Our reactions to difficult or painful situations shine a great light onto our real selves. Our reactions come from deep within. When I say deep within, I mean “deep within.”

We can all put on a smile and act like the world is grand and we have no issues, but when things start to go wrong, our reactions will be the truth as to whether we have peace, love, wisdom and maturity on the inside. We will also see that sometimes we fail, but even our reaction to that failure can speak volumes about us.

When we do fail, and most of us will, how do we handle that failure? Do we acknowledge the failure and apologize? Do we realize that we failed and take steps to learn and grow from that failure? Or do we brush it off and tell ourselves that we were right at screaming at our child or spouse?

Learning and growing is a part of life, so is failure. How we react to failure is a sign of growth or yet again another failure.

When we react to situations in a not so idea fashion, take the time to admit the failure, apologize if you offended someone, learn from it and move on.

Reactions are tough. How we react to life is a habit. We can learn new habits and make our reactions more positive. If you struggle with a bad reaction habit, I would love to work with you to create new habits. Send me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com and we can start a new reaction process for you.

Make sure to show the world how AWESOME you are this week.

Blessings,

Jenny

How do you approach problems?

I have a tendency to approach problems like a bull in a china shop. By the time I am done with an issue it seems that it’s bigger than when I started. I do this because I have a tendency to be a control freak. You can see the reason for control issues in this article I did for the Good Men Project here.

A better way to approach problems are with some subtlety. The reason we need to be subtle when we approach problems is so that we can gather needed information. I have gone into situations with half the information that I needed and completely screwed the situation up. Slow down and gather as much information as you can about the situation then do some more investigation. You may find that it is not actually what it seems to be.

Slowing down also allows time for the situation to work itself out. I have found that more times than not, if I back away, pray about what’s going on and let it work itself out, it all comes together better than I had expected.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with an issue that I can’t see the answers because I am too focused on the problem. It’s like the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Once I back away, clear my head, look at other solutions, slow down, pray awhile, educate myself, and ask myself “Why?” a couple hundred times, I get much more clear.

Asking myself “Why?” has been one of my biggest blessings. Why do I feel this way? Why am I so obsessed with finding a solution? These answers will start to open my eyes to things I had not looked at before. It truly is a great way to increase our self-awareness. It also helps us to slow down and let nature take its course on many things that we are not supposed to be involved in anyway.

This week, when a situation arises, and one will arise, instead of making a hasty judgment, slow down and back off for a while and see what happens. I would love to hear how things turn out for you. Leave a comment for me or shoot me an email at jenny@jenniferhester.com

Have a great week!!