Letter Of Gratitude: Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

I miss you. I miss you every day. I miss being able to call you [in tears] and not have to explain anything. I miss how you were able to force everyone to behave themselves. I miss the lens in which you viewed life. I miss feeling that everything was going to be OK because I knew you were always in my corner, without question. I miss that you were always there to answer my calls. I miss you making time for me each time I came home to visit. I miss telling you when someone upset me and your first reaction was either “naw, it’s not worth it” or “do you want me to give them a knuckle sandwich?!”

I miss hanging out at 1007. I miss having someone that believes wholeheartedly in my ability to get something done. I miss your soft approach to life and ability to make everyone laugh. I miss the afternoons that we could talk about anything from living overseas to just enjoying quiet time in one another’s presence. I miss your hugs. I miss your laugh.

I miss the Doc, Bob or one of the neighbors coming by and commenting how they already knew about the wonderful things I was doing overseas. I miss hiding cookies from Mark. I miss making the salad whilst you taught me how to make Italian chop suey. (your food was always on the salty side).

I miss having someone that understands it’s OK to use the same glass for an entire day because sometimes you NEED that taste of old coffee in the same mug.

I miss arguing about that $20 ‘gas money’ that you always insisted I accept from you.

I miss the jokes you would crack when people were locking horns.

I miss you. I miss you every day. I miss you even more during the holidays…

(Thank you for being such an amazing man. Thank you for being someone worthy of missing. Thank you for continuing to look after me and the rest of the family from upstairs).

I love you.

#Letterofgratitude #Family #Love

Letter of Gratitude: Ian

Dear Ian,

Have you ever noticed how there are certain people in your life that just wiggle their way into your heart? Sometimes you wish they would see you in a different light but you are just as happy to have them in your life? The ones who make you want to push a little bit more whilst also reminding you the importance of ‘smelling the flowers’?! The ones that start out with tips on investing in property and throw a curve ball with ATMs?! I’m always learning from you. I appreciate the fact you challenge my sometimes conventional thinking!

You are that person for me! I always look forward to hearing from you. I realise that our conversations usually highlight the best sides but then I remind myself that it’s not just the best sides, the unsaid words celebrate the hard work. It’s realising the hoops jumped through to get there. It’s the focus and determination that gives meaning to ‘work hard, play harder.’ Granted, sometimes I feel like I need to research things before talking to you!

I admire a lot of people but very few hold me to a higher standard than I already hold myself. Even fewer demand that I level up on a regular basis… Thank you for being that person in my life. Thank you for having the ability to call me out in a way that I don’t get my panties in a bunch. Thank you for laughing with me and fully understanding my magnetism to attract the special types of male suitors. The struggle is real. I’ve decided to just join a convent.

Thank you for being a Friend who asks for nothing more than my time. Thank you for leading with a heart center and being an overall amazing person!

I’m Super glad I ignored Bong so many years ago at Stormies. He said you were a questionable character. You’ve turned out to be my first and most treasured Friend since moving to Hong Kong!

From one hustler to another!

Smooches,
Jess

#LetterOfGratitude

Rambles: #MentalHealth

I’m very results driven and do my best to understand the other side. I typically don’t accept excuses. My life is simple – say you are going to do something and just get on with it. Set goals. Crush goals. Set bigger goals. Crush bigger goals. Repeat.

I love the dreamers but my tribe is the doers.

My definition of dreamers and doers has changed a bit over the years.

Classmate: I remember the first time I received a message from a high school classmate. She told me how much she admired me and said that years ago, she suffered from suicidal thoughts. I don’t remember many people from high school because I was very focused on getting good grades and a track scholarship. I was kind to everyone but didn’t really let people into my world. We met at a stoplight, I have a tendency to talk to people at stoplights, my habit to talk to strangers, pulled her out of her head and gave her hope. She eventually joined the track team, built her self confidence and is now happily married.

Friend: Over the years, I have cultivated a reputation of being Miss Sunshine. I receive messages from friends asking for help but rarely asking how I’m doing. Friends usually turn to me when they need a dose of tough love or positivity. I’ve helped people through breakups, career changes, divorce, drug addiction, pregnancy…the scary stuff. I used to get upset with the negativity but I remind myself that it’s actually a compliment. People are most vulnerable when things are going terribly wrong and I’m honoured that they chose me as a pillar of support. It’s my duty to help them out of their dark place… I’ve lost 2 friends in 20 years to suicide. I wish I recognised the warning signs to help them. The others, I usually encourage sports. Team or individual. Just get out and build your machine.

Family: 2013/2014 I helped my parents through their divorce. I would do anything for my parents. Change is hard. Change is hard(er) for people that should probably be grandparents. Divorce. Homeowners. Retirement. Finding purpose. Finding happiness. Learning independence. Those are some big ticket changes. Both are more active and in good places. They are even friendly and supportive of one another.

Personal: My dreamer chapter forced me to deal with my emotions (understand them rather than just experience them). It was a turning point. This is where I accepted that mental health is important to understand. This is where I fine tuned my already overactive intuition. I became sensitive to others. I was more aware. I experienced emotions in third person (like watching a volcano erupt or a giant wave crashing into a wall). Try Vipassana. Best.decision.ever. with increasing my self awareness and observing emotions.

I am drawn to help others. I’m still learning that not everyone is actually seeking help. I ask myself, what is the difference between being helpful, mentor, friend, confidant, rock, advisor, catalyst? Was I already Coaching or was I just being a human being? What are the stop points before hitting bottom? Can any of this be prevented?

So many questions… another wave of awareness. I have been surrounded by Project semicolon. I started noticing more people with the tattoo. I figured it was my turn to get the conversation started… For those who know, you are not alone. For those who don’t know, it’s symbolic of making the choice to continue when you could have stopped.

One of the biggest struggles for me is to set healthy boundaries. I sometimes forget that people need to vent and are not actually looking for solutions, dreamers vs doers. I ask people upfront what role they need me to play… Am I strong enough to deal with these people…? Reminder on self love. Always remember the importance of self love.

 

Heart Emoji -> Letters of Gratitude

Building Block: GRATITUDE

My life is riddled with sayings. A college roommate of mine once gifted me a book to consolidate my “Corvoisms”. Over the years, I have adopted some things from here and other things from there. My book contains all my experiments. What works for me. What doesn’t? What was a trend? What became a habit. What evolved. There is no right or wrong answer, I just found a system that works for me. That system is constantly evolving. It’s kind of AMAZING, to be honest!

I’m like an onion. I’m simple yet very complicated. I excel at being present so a lot of people think that I’m an open book. I’m actually very private. I’m selective about whom I allow into my world and I get very upset when people take that privilege for granted. My journey of writing a book is my challenge to open up a bit. Embrace what society calls “crazy” and share my secrets with the world.

I’m going to share a 10-year secret: how a heart emoji evolved into my letters of gratitude.

When I first moved to Asia, I left everything. My family, friends, and ex-boyfriend that I was still madly in love with. I was worried that my friends and family would forget about me so I was thinking of ways to stay connected. I opted for a heart emoji. Before bed, I would send a positive message to about 10-15 friends. The messages were on text, gchat or Facebook… The message was personalized with their name and a quick thinking of you plus emoji. Again, the purpose was to stay connected with people and SPREAD THE LOVE.

It’s very easy to get bogged down with the ‘busy’ of life. Sometimes I want to know how things are going and sometimes I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you. There is no expectation for a response. I’m happy with where I am in life and my only intention was to stay in touch and again, SPREAD THE LOVE.

I found over the years of this practice, a few things happened.

  • Some connections strengthened whilst others fell apart
  • My dad is right – platonic friendships are rare
  • People are addicted to the feeling you give them
  • Loyalty is conditional
  • Boundaries are important for well being
  • It’s OK to say ‘No’
  • My job is to put myself first

The first few years, I would wake up in the morning with a bunch of responses. It was great. An immediate wave of positive vibes and a sea of heart emojis. Every once in a while, I’d be greeted with a sob story or a request for a phone call. Sometimes a generic compliment that they are jealous of my ‘fantastic life’. Truth is, during these years, I was working 75hrs/week, being objectified on the regular and still had a huge amount of guilt for leaving the USA (read ‘deserting my family’).

The next few years, I noticed that responses were taking a bit longer. People started snapping at me with being phony or ingenuine. People opted to follow me on Facebook rather than have direct contact. People get busy. I get it. I used to get upset but then I changed my delivery, I started writing letters of gratitude. I was clumsy at first. I didn’t know what to write and feared how it was going to be accepted. Practice makes perfect.

Sometimes when I’m at a loss for words, I pick up my old habit and send out a heart emoji. OR my new form of a heart emoji is usually a GIF of Channing Tatum dancing. That one NEVER gets old. Responses are usually their favorite GIF…it’s pretty AMAZING. My heart feels full!

Empowering tip: See how your relationships evolve when you start this practice and people know you care!

Call to action: Re-connect with people. I challenge you to send simple messages to others. If you need inspiration, check out my letters of gratitude.

#LetterOfGratitude #Relationships #Gratitude #BuildingBlocks

Letter of Gratitude: Vicky

Dear Vicky,

Every week I send out a letter of gratitude. My letters are to someone who has helped me grow emotionally, spiritually or physically. Today I dedicate my letter to you.

A lot of my time is spent networking and getting involved with new things. It’s taken me some time to align my interests and talents. My newest journey in public speaking has been very entertaining! Sometimes I struggle to find females that I admire. Sometimes I struggle to find females that actually empower others. In case no one has told you recently, I would like to thank you. Thank you for being such a positive and open soul. Thank you for giving straight shooting insights on various topics. Thank you for opening the doors to the world of public speaking.

I laughed when you first mentioned that I remind you of a younger you. I laugh as I take that as a huge compliment. I have been working on handling situations with grace and sometimes I fail but mostly I get it right.

Thank you for being both, a female to admire and one that empowers others.

With love,
Jess

#LetterOfGratitude

I am.

Building Block: SELF-TALK

The past few weeks, I’ve been doing exercises to label myself. I start the morning by saying “I am” then list a bunch of words that I feel describe me. Today’s exercise went something like this – I am a Daughter. Coach. Motivator. Inspirer. Practitioner. Athlete. Friend. Social media guru. Website creator. Doer. Writer. Blogger. Collaborator. I Empower.

The word that keeps surfacing is EMPOWER. Some people use the term Inspire and others use the term, Coach. I have been inspiring people for years. I have mentored many and I have always challenged the norm. To be honest, I’m well aware of my shortcomings and I play my strengths. I have ups and downs just like everyone. One thing I excel at is setting and crushing goals. The question I frequently ask myself is CAN I TEACH IT?

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

I guess I have successfully manifested this thought as last night, my teacher appeared! I had the opportunity to discuss with a well-respected coach/friend of mine. She was teaching me a new technique called TRE. (Let me know if interested and I’ll connect you to the PRO, Michelle Beck). Post session, I was able to share thoughts on my journey of being an Empowerer. I have a new round of clients and I have noticed some differences. My friend made a very valid point on the importance of the WHY. This is something that I know. Something that is in my bones. Something so natural to me. I’ve been practicing for YEARS. One of my hashtags for Ironman was #WhyITri. Am I effectively teaching this to others? Is this why I subconsciously decline certain clients but accept others for one-on-one coaching? Have I asked this to potential clients or do I just make assumptions? I ask lots of questions during the trial session but have I specifically drilled in on the WHY?

Even with the most well-thought-out plan, it’s important to seek outside counsel. Sometimes I get caught up in the doing that I forget to continue to deconstruct, deconstruct, deconstruct. Fantastic reminder. Very grateful! Even the coach needs a coach! 🙂

For the next few weeks, I will add I AM A STUDENT. I AM A THINKER. I ASK WHY.

Empowering tip: Be sure the labels you give yourself bring you closer to achieving your goals!

Call to action: What are your labels?

#BuildingBlocks #SelfTalk #IAM #SelfLove

Letter of Gratitude: Robin

Dear Robin,

I hope this finds you well! I wanted to send you some positive energy and a friendly hello!

I also wanted to thank you. It was roughly a year ago that we had a discussion on how I might be able to jump into the philanthropic side of things.  🙂 I am working on a project with the BoP HUB. It’s essentially designing business to end poverty. I’m helping with corporate engagement. Very exciting work to bridge this gap. A colleague of mine was speaking with the guys at CrossRoads and we might have a simulation for our 2016 event.

Anyways, I just wanted to touch base and again, thank you for helping me fine tune how to align my skill set and interests!

Have a Beautiful day!

Thanks!

Warm regards,
Jess

#LetterOfGratitude

Letter of Gratitude: George

Georgie Porgie
Pudding and pie
I’m thrilled to be re-connected
And that’s no lie

Life is not colorful
When friends are a bore
That’s why I appreciate you
Even though you snore

It will be bittersweet
To meet the amazing Zoe
I’ll do my best so
She doesn’t say “no”

I need to somehow
Keep you in my life
I completely respect that
You will soon have a wife

But honestly Georgie Porgie
Thank you for being real
In case you didn’t know
You are kind of a big deal

You are very sweet
And I hope in 2015
We will once again
Have a chance to meet

***my poetry writing is a bit rusty but you get the idea… Hope it made you smile and brighten up your week. Thank you for coming back into my life. I’m grateful to have you as a friend!

Lots of love, always
Jess

#LetterOfGratitude

Letter of Gratitude: H

Dear H,

Honestly, has anyone ever told you ‘no’?

I had a wonderful time getting to know you, share a ridiculous excitement for food and explore Indonesia. You are by far the worst local ever… hahaha! I appreciate you fulfilling my request of being a driver, translator, and dining buddy. I had no intention to actually fall for you. You showed me kindness and awkwardness all in one swoop.

I loved our first date at the mangroves. You reminded me that I NEED to have nature in my life. Congested cities can be overwhelming without the balance. It was adorable that you told the gatekeeper that I was your wife… hopeful thinking? It was oddly comforting.

My expectations grew as your words got more serious. I’m sorry that I cut things short. Perhaps we could have lived happily ever after but you started showing similar signs of a Terrorist I once knew. I mean, you both went to Michigan, have a slightly perverted mind, ridiculously awkward sense of humor, and have HUGE discrepancies between your words and actions. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when you asked to take me to the airport – bailed – then decided to tell me you loved me. Perfect timing as I was just about to board my flight. You are intense. You are my favourite type of questionable decision. I’m not sure if you were genuine or just saying what you thought I needed to hear. Either way, the inconsistency is not my style. I’ve learned to friend-zone guys the moment I second guess their intention.

For what it’s worth, my heart says to call/message you but my head vamps that decision…

I feel blessed to have met you. I still think about you fondly and accept that you were a ‘reason.’ I extended my contract in Indonesia an extra month just to see where things went and you successfully showed me that it’s OK to love again. Perhaps you also taught me to only give 80%, rather than 100% – so thank you for that subtle reminder! Maybe one of these days I’ll allow someone to look after me, but until then, I need to keep my independence.

One of my favorite memories (I have heaps) is our date at the Monas, flying kites. I still cannot believe the shorty cut our string. I had a wonderful day flying a kite, sipping coconuts and checking out the National Museum (whilst stealing kisses in dodgy corners).

I miss you…more that you should know. And more than I should admit.

Lots of love,
J

#LetterOfGratitude #LoveLetter

Letter of Gratitude: C

Dear C,

You were my high school sweetheart. You were my first real love…perhaps puppy love, but still worth writing an unpublished letter or note of gratitude.

I sincerely hope that we always remain friends. Despite your constant need to be a pervert, I admire your ability of never taking life so seriously. I remember laughing so hard with you. I appreciate the countless strawberry milkshakes (with an extra chocolate cookie) and you always singing to me. I am still a fan of Jack Johnson because of you.

I remember being so upset with you when you told me I couldn’t attend your wedding. I was thinking, ‘why on Earth is this boy marrying a girl who clearly doesn’t trust him? How am I a threat and why can’t I attend the wedding?!’ I remember laughing so hard when you tried to explain that she never thought she could fill my shoes because apparently your family still kept a picture of us from senior prom on your mantle. I miss your family and hope to always keep them in my life, whether or not you and I are on speaking terms. Gosh, you like to push my buttons…

I appreciate your friendship over the years. Sometimes it takes a former lover to understand the words that you cannot say. Just knowing that you are there gives me great comfort. Thanks for being a friend.

Sincerely,

Pretty Lady

#LetterOfGratitude

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