First + Foremost [the podcast] is finally here!

Today, I'm over here happy dancing because First + Foremost, the podcast is finally here!

My whole intention behind creating this podcast is to help you take care of yourself, first and foremost. Over the years, I have used the words "first and foremost" to describe self-care. When thinking of a name for the podcast, my cousin Rachel pointed this out to me, and we both knew in an instant that this is what the podcast should be called (as well as the upcoming program that launches this November... stay tuned!)

The first 4 episodes are now live for you my friend, and I couldn't be more excited to share them:

In the very first teaser episode, I tell you all about First + Foremost and what you can expect on each episode. 

In episode 1, I share my top 5 tips for sharing your stories on social media. This episode is especially for those of you who crave more connection, more authenticity, and more vulnerability as you post on social media.

In episode 2, Beth Racine, my life coach and dear friend, comes on to discuss how to overcome pain after the unthinkable happens in a relationship. 

In episode 3, I share some practical tools for those of you finding yourself saying, "I feel so overwhelmed right now!"

And finally, in episode 4, Kirsten Wilson, founder and creator of the Hello Day Planner joins me as we chat about pushing past fear and self-doubt to create the thing you crave.

There is so, so, so much more to come, but for now, I hope you enjoy these mini episodes all made with love and intention to help you take the very best care of you. In the meantime, be sure to stay in the know when new episodes are released. You can subscribe in iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher. Just search for "First Foremost" or my name, "Jen Wille" and you will find it!

Sending you all the love.

Warmly yours,

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3 Tips to Push Past Fear

Fear.

It is the thing that oftentimes stops us in our tracks and keeps us from being where we want to be. It is the thing that feels suffocating at times, telling us we are not good enough. It is the thing that keeps us right where we are at, with the threat of never finding our true potential.

That is, if we keep on listening to it… 

What if today is the day you decide to stop letting fear lead you? What if you decide today to start paying attention to when fear shows up and instead push past it and go after what you want most?

Are you ready? Okay, let's get to it. 

1.  Create a mantra/ affirmation/ badassery reminder that you are amazing.
The next time you hear fear talking to you, come equipped to talk back (kindly of course!) with an empowering, fear-conquering, confidence-boosting statement to stop fear in its tracks. Try something like, "I take chances because I am worthy of knowing the reward."

2.  Ask yourself this critical question: what will your life be like if you keep listening to fear?
This question right here is the one that always reminds me that I will stay exactly where I am if I keep listening to my fear. I want to go places, thank you very much! How about you? Where do YOU want to go in YOUR life? What will happen if you keep listening to fear?

3.  Remind yourself that everyone, every single person, starts somewhere. Including you.
If you find that a lot of your fear is rooted in self-doubt, likely from comparing yourself to others, or not feeling good enough, remind yourself that every single person started somewhere where they once were at the very beginning. It takes a series of baby steps to push past fear and put ourselves out there to get where we really want to be. We all start somewhere. The key word, is start.

Pssst.. Was this note helpful today? If you want more, and are into all things self-love and self-care, let's get you on my email list, love! Think: weekly nudges and inspo, that are short and sweet and sent with love, delivered straight to your inbox. You can get in, right here!

5 Signs You Need A Time-Out

Recently I wrote about the signals our bodies give us when we are falling out of alignment and veering off balance in our lives. For each of us, those signs might look slightly different. However, one thing I have noticed with the many women I work with is that there are a few common tell-tale signs that signal to us it is time to slow down and pay attention. The same way we might give a child a time-out, we can think of giving ourselves a much-needed, loving break.

Knowing these top 5 signals for a grown-up gal time-out are crucial to avoiding burn out.

1.  You are cranky as ever. That’s right. In the words of Beyonce, Ring the Alarm babe because you are Cranky with a capital C. When you find yourself snapping back for no particular reason, or offering up a short and sassy response, give yourself full on permission to excuse yourself for a little break.  

2.  You are tired. When you are struggling to get anything done, or even get out of bed, the time-out needed here is really in form of rest. How can you embed some more sleep, a nap, or even just some intermittent 1-3 minute breaks throughout the day to chill out and quiet your mind? Can you get outside and get some fresh air daily? What about your diet? Are you fueling your body properly to feel energized and refreshed? Considering these questions will help combat exhaustion when you see and feel it.

3.  You are on auto-pilot. When you find yourself going through the motions, first I want to celebrate the fact that you are noticing yourself going through the motions. That, my friend is a sign of presence, of you being aware of the moment, which is exactly what you are NOT accustomed to doing when you are on auto-pilot. Your grown-up gal time-out can be in the form of mindfulness. Challenge yourself to pay attention and notice what you do as you do it moving forward, even as you do it like clock-work.

4.  You are prioritizing work. When work is number one, when it comes before anything else, before your friends and family, even before you, consider this a red flag that it is time for some major realignment, and I’m not talking about visiting the chiropractor. Nothing comes before taking care of you. Period. When you notice that you are spending all of your time on work, and that it feels absolutely unimaginable, frightening even, to consider taking time away, it is abundantly clear that you are in need of a major time-out girl. Do it. I promise it is not as scary as you think.

5.  You are skipping out on your self-care. This one takes me back to the basics of my intention for writing this note to you in the first place. We are talking about the signals and cues you might notice for when you are in need of a time-out—when you fall off balance, when you feel out of alignment, and when you are veering from your feel-good things. You might skip a workout one day, that turns into two days, then three. You might have constant headaches because you can’t remember the last time you took a sip of water. You might say you feel “overwhelmed” because you truthfully haven’t given yourself the gift of time in ages to actually reflect on where you are at and how you are feeling. These are your cues my friend that it is time for a break. 

Now my challenge to you, is the next time you notice these signals, how will you respond? Will you keep pushing through and aiming for productivity? Or will you listen and respond to what you are needing and give yourself a time-out?

Pssst.. Was this note helpful today? If you want more, and are into all things self-love and self-care, let's get you on my email list, love! Think: weekly nudges and inspo, that are short and sweet and sent with love, delivered straight to your inbox. You can get in, right here!

 

What My Puppy is Teaching Me About Self-Care

I am somebody who knows a thing or two about self-care. 

I start my day slowly, even if it means I have to wake up a few extra minutes.

I make some coffee. I journal, get my mindset right for the day and write out my daily intentions. I move my body, shower, and eat a healthy breakfast.

And yet, somehow when little Migo entered our lives, that whole self-care thing went out the window.

I wake up, brush his teeth, and take him outside for a potty break.

I play with him for a few minutes. Give him water. Feed him. Put him in his crate and then try to get to work. Key word, try. Having his little puppy eyes stare at me while writing has proven to be quite the challenge. Since I was not slowing down to tend to myself first, the moment I had any time to get to work, I found that I was skipping over my most important self-care things and trying to be “productive” instead.  Items on my to-do list took priority, so things like journaling, showering (yep, I admit it!), exercising, etc. were not happening.

And then it hit me. I was not practicing what I know to be true: We must take care of ourselves first and foremost.

So after a few days of neglecting my own self-care for my little Migo, I decided I would have him wait in his crate a few extra minutes in the morning while I tended to me. (Sound selfish to you? Check this out.)

I can see how easy it is to want to skip over our most important things when we have something or someone else in our lives we love dearly and want to care for. My puppy is very much teaching me this right now. But I also know that I am a happier human being, a happier dog mom, a happier wife to my husband, and a happier coach to my clients, when I show up from a place of treating myself well.

Whether you are a mama, a caregiver, or a dog mom like me, I hope you remember to fill your cup first, to put on your own air mask, and tend to yourself like you would a child, or in my case, a sweet little pup. 

5 Steps to Holding Space with Your People

Holding space with someone is one of the most important gifts we can give to the people we love and care about when they are experiencing profound loss, pain, or suffering.

And yet, so many times we fail to do this.

We turn to our inner fixers. We try to jump in and “save” the person in our efforts to comfort them while offering up our lackluster solutions.

What I am learning through the work I do with my coaching clients is that people just want a safe space to unravel, to reveal what scares them, and to share what gets in their way.  Simply meeting them right where they are at, with no effort to try to fix or change their situation, is the most supportive thing we can do.

I have experienced this first hand within my friendships as well.

I can think of a recent time in my life where I felt fear over a health situation that presented itself with many unknowns. I really wanted to talk to a friend about it.

The friend I chose to share it with was someone I have always felt immense safety to be vulnerable. She is somebody who truly listens and offers an empathetic, warm and trusting space to be me, even when my emotions are messy and are all over the place.

Think about it. You are not going to share your fears, your pain, your soul, with someone who does not really listen. If you find yourself repeating the thing that is already very hard to discuss, or find that your vulnerability is met with unwanted solutions,

Oftentimes when someone jumps in to their inner fixer mode, it is usually because they themselves are feeling very uncomfortable. Naturally, the desire to take away the pain triggers them into fixing mode. However, for people who hold space, they understand that while the moment is uncomfortable, it is real, and it deserves to be let out.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation where someone is vulnerably coming to you, remember these essential steps in holding space:

1.   Notice their vulnerability as a sign of their trust with you. Celebrate this fact in your mind for a moment, and really take stock of how important it is that you show up right now in this moment fully for your friend.

2.   Remember this is not about you. As uncomfortable as it might be that someone you love and care about is completely unraveling before you, remember step #1. By them coming to, it is a sign of their trust in you. They need some major love and compassion right now. Be there for them.

3.   Offer your comforting ear and really listen. Hear their pains. Hear that worries. Hear their sadness. Whatever is coming up through their physical state or words, just simply notice it. Be in the space with your friend.

4.   When they are completely done speaking, say things like:  

  • “I hate that you are going through this right now.”
  •  “You are loved more than you know.”
  •  “I am here with you.”
  •  Nothing at all. (Yep, sometimes just being there, offering a hug, and sitting through the silence is absolutely everything.)

5.   Ask how you can help. Do not do this until the very end of holding space. Remember, holding space is about really being with your friend in the moment they are needing you most where you are the listener and they are free to be. Sometimes we resort to the statement “let me know what you need” when we find out someone is going through a tough time. We can do better than that.  Ask your friend specifically what you can do or how you can support them. And more likely than not, the safe space you provide with your friend will be the very thing they want and need most from you.