Empowering YOU

What’s your scale saying to you?

Oh good! You’re back! 
I was hoping I could entice you to step on me again today! 
You’re staring at me. So many self-judgments racing through your mind, I see.
Thoughts of self-disgust threaten your self-worth. I cannot help but giggle as you strip down so as to influence the number I render.
It’s so easy to toy with your emotions.
Yesterday you were gleeful with the number I showed you. Today, your inner frustration spills out of your mouth as you curse at me.
Oh how I love the way I control so much of your life.  Your thoughts about yourself, your mood, the exercise you do and even the food you eat are controlled by me. The power is addictive! 
I toy with you like a puppet on the string. If I raise the number by so much as a half a pound, your face makes your thoughts transparent. 
WAIT. What are doing? 
Put me back. I don’t like the dark cupboard. I NEED to be in full view every time you enter the room. 
How will you know what you weigh? What you’re worth today? How will you track your progress without me? 
You NEED me. I keep you honest. Remember?             
This cannot be happening. You can’t be serious!
I thought we were close. We had a great relationship. 
And now, I will only see you once a week at most?
Okay, fine. Shove me away. But, just know that I am disappointed in you. Your relationship with gravity is determined by ME.
WHO will you pay attention to now?
What did you say?   You’ll to listen to the way your CLOTHES FIT?
You’re MORE than a number on a scale? 
You have got to be kidding me! This is MADNESS!! I am the best indication of you as a person!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
NOTE to THE READER: Perhaps, it’s time to rethink your relationship with your scale. 😉 
You are far more than a number on a scale!
Empower YOU





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Growing in the Dark


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It’s Not a Priority

Okay, bear with me…I am still stuck on the whole “I don’t have time” thing.

I keep noticing that I literally race through life – from one task, appointment, meeting, event to another. I complain that I don’t have time to take a warm bath, a walk in the woods, to read a good book and the list goes on. But now, I hear myself saying it and I flinch a little. Why don’t I have time?

Like so many people, my life is crazy busy. But if I am honest, I have more control over how I use it than I allow myself to believe. I love reading. But let’s face it, at night when I am exhausted I allow myself to scroll through Facebook with very little attantion the length of time I do it. I am also known for having to get “just one more” email sent. I seem to have two extremes: I might scurry around like a frantic little task master or I might deaden my brain cells by googling the most useless crap – does the fact that the Bachelor just broke up with his fiance REALLY matter in my life? Not if I am telling myself that I would like to have time to read, write, play a sport, learn a language, build a better relationship with my husband or kids….(insert your bucket list items here).

Perhaps, I just need to choose my language more honestly – I need to put mychoices in a more clear context:

  1. Getting updated n the Bachelor’s love life is a priority.

2. Spending time with my husband and working on our marriage is a priority.

I know, its only 5 minutes. But, spending 5 minutes chatting with my husband matches my priorities and gets me closer to my goal of creating a successful marriage. I feel more at peace with myself when I attend to what I value. Mindless celebrity creeping doesn’t have the same effect.

I get to choose how I use my time. What are your thoughts? Am I the only one who complains about lacking time to live life according to my values and goals?



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I Don’t Have Time!

Take a peek into my inner thoughts on any given day…

My mouth: “I don’t have time to do something for me!”

Stern voice in my head: “Rephrase please: You choose not to have time.”

My mouth: “You don’t understand! I DON’T have time!”

Stern voice: “Okay, believe what you will, and go on being miserable.”


I catch myself saying it more often than I care to admit! What if the stern voice makes a good point? I make choices with my time. A dear friend is batting terminal cancer. I would never dare to complain to her that I lack time!

I think we as humans (me included) are fooling ourselves when we say we don’t have time. Now, I realize that that there are circumstances and times in life when events out of our control take over and consume our time.

On any given day, what do you trade your time for? I mean the tiny pockets of time…5 – 10 minutes here and there? If I was to watch a replay of my day on video, would I be able to identify times where I chose to use time to:

Surf the internet

Scroll through Facebook

Chat with a co- worker about how much I have to do

Scramble at the last minute, searching for items I have put somewhere without thinking

Complain to someone about lack of money, resources and so on

Play a game on Facebook…remember Farmville?

Press the snooze button, roll over and go back to sleep

Watch a few hours of TV

Nothing is inherently wrong with any of these activities. But, I need to take responsibility for how I use my time.  I cannot tell myself that I do not have time to make healthy meals, exercise, pray, meditate or take a walk, if I choose to give time to activities that will not serve or build me. Perhaps, I could work to manage my activities rather than manage my time.

Warm wishes,


manage activities

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I Ran Away from Home!

Do you ever just need to escape? Refill a very empty reservoir? Nurture yourself, for a change?

Most of the year I am content to take mini escapes – to carve an hour out for myself. But three years ago I discovered that I needed something more. I needed to really disconnect so that I could reconnect. I needed to do something totally different. Something that challenged me and yet, refueled me. And I found it.

The Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York offers me more tranquility and inner peace than any other place I have ever been. Yes, at first the thought of visiting a Monastery of Trappist monks and immersing myself in a silent retreat was slightly terrifying. At the same time, I was intrigued and felt a ‘pull.’

Words cannot express how deeply grateful I am that I allowed myself to be pulled. My yearly one week experience of silence, reading, writing and walking interspersed with the tranquil rhythm of the monastery has filled me in ways that are indescribable. I love how my visit to the Abbey slows everything  down – time, movement, eating, my thoughts. Rather than race from one task to the next I get a chance to tune into my stomach, my mind, my body, and respond to the quiet nudge from within. Space opens, my heart opens, my mind opens and I feel peaceful. In this place I can finally release my monkey mind and quiet myself.

People have asked me what I do when I am at the Abbey. Personally, I like to read spiritual books, journal, work on my writing, pray, walk on the trails, and just follow the nudges of my spirit. No plans, just being.

Although there is no obligation to do so, I have found that my favourite part of my visits is participating in the Liturgy of the Hours. Rooted in both Jewish and Christian traditions, this ‘prayer of the people’ is sung by the monks at regular intervals during the day and night. The steady and calm rhythm of their voices and the peace filled devotion these men exude is honestly the best medicine for a tired and worn out spirit.

I crave silence. It is becoming so much more apparent to me every year that passes. I am irritated by idle chatter, interruptions to a creative flow, or to focus on a task. Even at home I notice that I am irritated by a poverty of silence. TV’ music, neighbours children and sirens steal my peace. The endless tasks that stare at me day in and day out keep me captive too. Even my mind is loud at home. Thoughts, worries, plans, errands clutter my mind and by bed time I have trouble shutting it off.  I feel as if my spirit just begs to be set free.

I invite you to find a place that offers refreshment for your spirit. We cannot give what we Dodinskydo not have. Our needs as caregivers are important. Take care of yourself. Your family needs you.

Warm wishes,

Jenn  😛

For more information….

The Abbey of the Genesee       

 Abbey Retreats


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Invest in YOU, Empower Two


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Tired of Being Tired?

Are you tired of being tired? Do you have goals that you never seem to achieve? Do you give more of yourself than you are able to replenish? Taking care of others, especially those we love, quickly depletes us. Too often we put our needs last and end up exhausted, burnt out and unhappy. We need to refuel! But how? We try to eat healthy and stay active but our results are disappointing!

Good news! The nutritional superfoods and support offered by Isagenix have the potential to change your life. The nutrition packed power foods provide the perfect fuel we need to be able to take excellent care of our bodies and mind so we can keep giving the best of ourselves to those we love.

How would it affect those you love if you were able to lose weight, increase your energy, improve your focus and achieve the goals most important to you?

I am excited to talk to you and learn about what goals you want to achieve. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury. We simply cannot continue to give what we don’t have. Let’s get started on taking care of YOU!

Here’s to a healthier and energized YOU!


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Refuelling in the Last Stretch

The end of school looms close – but not close enough. Exhaustion permeates every classroom and staff room. Summer taunts us with warm sunny days and yet we remain trapped in school. I can hear my American friends giggling.

Every year, educators and students alike, in all parts of the world, must persist till the final bell rings. For twenty-five years I too have found myself with a diminished sense of humour, reduced patience and increased anxiety over what needs to be done in the time left. Will I ever learn?

Refueling our bodies and minds seem to be considered a luxury for many of us. Too many times I catch myself trying to, “push through exhaustion and stress because I will relax when the holidays arrive.” Can you relate?

The problem is that we end up so tired and overwhelmed that we don’t enjoy the homestretch to the summer holidays. Students wear on each other’s nerves, educators lose their cool as the “to do” list multiplies like bunnies!

Do any of the following sound familiar? I don’t have time to get a massage, go to the gym or go to bed early. I cannot afford to enjoy a walk at lunch time. There is no time and I am too wiped out to teach relaxation and meditation to my students.I just need to get through this week and then I will….

If so, it is critical that you adjust your mindset as this is the only thing you can control.

1. Exercise and stretch. Even a walk at lunch will release endorphins that help give you a feeling of peacefulness. Further, it gives you time to clear your mind of all worries. You will be doing something for yourself, and no one else.

2. Approach your To Do list with an attitude of accomplishing 2 to 3 important tasks today. Doing so, mentally relieves the pressure valve and reduces stress hormones…and you will most likely get more done!Refuel end of year

3. Use funny videos or stories in your classroom at least once a day. Laughter really is the best medicine! (It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, boosts your immune system, releases feel good hormones (endorphins) and so much more. You and your students NEED to laugh everyday!!

4. Catch your negative thinking and turn it around. This too shall pass. I will do what I can and be content with that. I allow myself to recharge rather than running on empty. I do one thing at a time. I celebrate the growth of each student and myself.

5. Fuel your body with healthy nutrition. Raw veggies, fruits, water and protein will feed your body what it needs to stay happy, focused and healthy during the last few weeks of school. As tempting as sugars and starches are, they will only serve to deplete you of the nutrition you needs most. This is NOT the time to skip breakfast, snacks and meals or to load up on caffeine. End the race healthy and ready to relax instead of being ill.

This is hardly exhaustive but, hopefully, it will trigger something inside each of us who works in education. We need to allow ourselves to recharge in small increments so that we are able to enjoy the last leg of the journey.

Be well. Take care of yourself!

Jenn  🙂




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