When I was in my twenties my birthday posts were sassy. I was going out, there’d be tequila shots, costume changes, and Sunday required very large sunglasses and a handful of Advil.
In my thirties, I’d had some life experience. I’d been married (and then divorced), welcomed my beautiful daughter, Olivia, and had lived a bit of life. I had an incredible career and traveled wherever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Then I left my career, became a startup entrepreneur, homeschooled through Covid, lost a few friends and loved ones, and grew an Oracle stripe of platinum hair that only my hairstylist, Eduardo, has seen up close and personal. I’ve lived a few lifetimes worth of life (can I get a credit on my account, please?) and am fully embracing all of the iterations of self that got me to where I am today. It is calmer here. Steadier.
Over the past few days I’ve created a list of 46 life lessons to commemorate my 46th year. I am curious to see how they change in the future, but this is what I’ve taken from all of those parts of me that converge upon you now.
My 46 Life Lessons
⭐️ Wear sunscreen 🧴
⭐️ Take responsibility and apologize when you are wrong (especially to your children).
⭐️ Everyone has trauma. Understand yours.
⭐️ Everyone has trauma. Offer Grace to those who are tripping through theirs.
⭐️ The quietest one wins.
⭐️ Tax advantaged accounts are magic. Max out your 401k and take the company match.
⭐️ Debt sucks, but sometimes it’s necessary. If it gets you an education, a home or a car it’s good debt. Don’t stress over it.
⭐️ Emergency savings keeps you out of debt.
⭐️ Heartbreak never gets easier.
⭐️ Sometimes you are the toxic one. It may take a karmic lesson or two decades to realize it. Time is the great equalizer.
⭐️ Your parents did the best they could. It’s your responsibility to forgive them and heal your damn self.
⭐️ Learn what gaslighting is and don’t do it. Don’t allow anyone to do it to you.
⭐️ You will face disappointment. It will come in all forms, sizes, and even from people you love. It will hurt. Do not allow it to make you bitter. Only allow it to make you wiser and more discerning.
⭐️ True friendship is a rare gift. Treasure it, nurture it and be present within it.
⭐️ Your relationships require your presence.
⭐️ Gifts will never outweigh experiences and quality time.
⭐️ Know the sound of your own ego. Learn when to put it in check.
⭐️ No is a complete sentence.
⭐️ When you overcommit you only rob yourself.
⭐️ Jesus loves you. Even when you suck. Especially when you suck.
⭐️ Establish a prayer life.
⭐️ Self-regulation is a gift you give yourself and your relationships.
⭐️ Talk to your kids about emotions.
⭐️ Guilt and shame have no room in healthy relationships.
⭐️ You will have to do hard things and make complicated decisions. These moments are building your internal mettle. They make you wise and soften you over time.
⭐️ Sometimes you will make bad decisions and hurt people. Accept responsibility early.
⭐️ We don’t blame in this house. It makes for defensive little people.
⭐️ Not everyone is entitled to your story or emotional energy. Know who is VIP and who is General Admission.
⭐️ Manage your triggers before they steal your happiness.
⭐️ You never know how your words and deeds impact people. One day, years later, you may learn that a small interaction changed a life. Make your interactions blessings.
⭐️ Expending goodness is an investment.
⭐️ Plan your week on Sunday nights. Start with time blocking the biggest items (and things that are revenue generating), your present moments with your family, your self care, then the things that can be moved into the next week if they must. Otherwise you’ll go crazy.
⭐️ Take more naps.
⭐️ You can be kind and have beautiful boundaries. Extremes are for the unhealed.
⭐️ Take trips. Experiencing other countries and cultures provides incredible perspective.
⭐️ Eat your veggies.
⭐️ Get your bloodwork done once a year.
⭐️ Move your body. It’s the container for your soul. Treat it well.
⭐️ Find God faster. Your faithfulness will make life so much better, your relationships so much deeper and provide a peace that makes absolutely no sense.
⭐️ When you feel like you are sad or lonely, give to someone else what you are searching for in that moment. A kind word, deed, or text sent from a place of compassion and understanding will give more to you than you can imagine.
⭐️ Music is medicine.
⭐️ Pay your taxes.
⭐️ Guilt and manipulation are not strategies. Don’t put your kids in therapy because you didn’t break bad generational habits.
⭐️ Goals are nothing but words on paper without action.
⭐️` Fail faster. Better. Turn your pivots into pirouettes.
⭐️`As soon as you’re conscious – and even before your eyes open – pray.
Jeanette Schneider is the founder and CEO of Dear Liv, an award-winning app on the Apple App Store, focused on wellness for the whole individual. Jeanette relied on her decades-long career in wealth management and finance, coupled with her fascination for self development, and partnered with therapists and thought leaders to make wellness accessible to all. Jeanette teaches the financial wellness content on Dear Liv.
Jeanette has been named a Woman to Watch by Vegas, Inc., honored as a Trailblazer by The Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, inducted into the Nevada Women’s Chamber Hall of Fame for Leadership and named a Visionary by IFAH for her work with Dear Liv. She is a published author, podcast host, and mother to the best person she knows, her daughter Olivia, 11.
You can find Jeanette on IG @ms.jeanetteschneider and @dearliv.app.
In this time of great uncertainty we are being faced with aspects of ourselves, our relationships and our fears that we’ve previously been able to avoid, ignore and explain away. We’ve numbed ourselves, gotten lost in our work, our HIIT classes, and the daily grind that kept us focused on anything other than what hurt. These facts and realizations are now directly in front of us and we have nowhere to hide, no distractions, no options other than to be fully present with ourselves.
This is an opportunity, but it doesn’t come without pain.
It is a hard thing to meet yourself fully and with open arms, but it is a beautiful time to get to know both your shadow and your light, and not for the purpose of shame or denouncement. No, for the purpose of self awareness.
True leaders must know both their weaknesses and their strengths to be effective. I argue that every human should know these things to arrive at the door of their next partnership, job or friendship fully aware of who they are, how they show up, what triggers them, what brings them joy, and resolute in what they will create from this space of forced evolution.
Who will you be when you leave your house again?
Will you rush for the distractions, or will you learn to sit still within your own presence, enamored with your own divinity and, in equal measure, the etchings on the glass of your life that make you flawed? Could you spend this time understanding and accepting yourself? Acceptance doesn’t mean that we languish within our survival tactics, our control dramas, or our fear, but that we see it cleary when it is happening and choose again.
We often make passive choices through our inaction and triggered behavior. We allow our automatic minds to take over, as opposed to observing our own behavior and choosing differently. Acceptance includes self-regulation, utilizing our tools to turn reactivity and blind behavior into productive choices.
We can do this by finding the way back to ourselves, and creating from a more aware vantage point.
1. Observe. Become actively aware of your thoughts and behavior as an observer. Do not assign anyone else responsibility for the way you feel, but instead name the emotion and ask yourself why you feel this way before you allow it to become a thought or an action. Utilize “I” sentences with yourself as opposed to “they” sentences. Blame is not a good look.
2. Be Curious. Think of the aspects of your personality as neutral, neither good nor bad. Your traits are simply part of the whole. Spend time reflecting on those you are not as proud of, and the aspects of yourself you may hide from others.
3. Take Responsibility. Take radical, active responsibility for the faults and flaws that you push into the back of your mind or try to ignore. Don’t allow for blame or excuses. Accept your responsibility for where things have gone wrong, resolutely.
4. Forgiveness. Actively forgive yourself for anything that has happened prior to this present moment. It no longer has to be a part of your story. You can choose each morning to remake your life and your relationships. You will simply choose better.
5. Find gratitude. Find reasons to be grateful for all of the traits that make you who you are and why they have served you in the past. Many times we will find that some of those traits we may have called negative have also kept us safe in troubled times and can many times be attributed to our need for survival and fight/flight.
We have been given a landmark opportunity to know ourselves without distraction. To offer ourselves grace for the happenings of our past, and to leave this situation with a new vantage point. This doesn’t have to be the time you create your new business, learn a new language or read a book.
But, as we are all alone with our thoughts, let’s take the time to restructure our relationship with them… and ourselves.
Sending so much love and healthy germ-free vibes to you and those you love.
We live in a culture that rewards the #grind, the long hours, and dedication to the pursuit of a material life. We have been enslaved by advertisers, social constructs and corporate greed and, depending on our family dynamics, we also have generational curses to unwind. We create stories in our heads about our worth, our relationships and compare ourselves, wondering, “what will they think?”
Good Lord, the pressure, y’all.
But, what if…
What if happiness and success isn’t really all that hard? What if it is easy and we, in our need to compare and prove ourselves based on constructed external forces, have made it hard?
This isn’t a trick question and I won’t drone on and on about the Law of Attraction or how you can manifest your millions and the perfect relationship. No, I’m simply asking:
Could we have this whole happiness thing wrong?
Therapists and neuroscientists say yes, and many of them are penning books to tell you all about it.
We now know that we can rewire our brains and recondition ourselves. We know habits lead us to goals. We know that we have so much power, but do we harness it constructively? Or is that also, “too hard?”
I argue that a new and intentional relationship with self, ie our brain, as well as the meanings we place on… well, anything, is not only totally within our control, but infuses more ease into all of the decisions, goals and troubles that create anxiety and dis-ease.
The first line of defense is to understand your triggers.
I recently recovered from COVID. While I was very fortunate (and grateful) to have mild symptoms, COVID arrived with its own fear and anxiety that seemed to be wound in the spikes we read about online. Whether it was the fever or the isolation, I spent quite a bit of time reminiscing. Ironically, my own fear of death, leaving my child motherless, and feeling as though I’d failed as a parent had absolutely been triggered by my positive diagnosis. But, that wasn’t all. This purview into the stance of a very triggered woman and mother created a bit of a deja vu that I wasn’t expecting. So many decisions I have made have been from the stance of a triggered person; deeply ashamed, fearful or anxious. I decided, during my isolation and reflection, that I didn’t want to live as a triggered person anymore. I did not want to visit that space again. I chose not to involve myself in any future decisions or interactions while I wondered if I was lovable or if I’d end up in life alone, whether I was successful or a fraud, if I was a good person or if the person across from me was just like my mother.
Do you know yourself well enough to recognize when you are responding from your triggers? Are you able to see when someone says something and the righteous anger you feel has more to do with an old belief, boyfriend or colleague than it truly has to do with them? When a choice to take a job or move has more to do with how you want to be seen than it does your life happiness?
Get to know who you are when you are acting from this space so you can suspend it when it arrives. Learn to observe the who and why of your stories instead. I guarantee you the choices you make when triggered are marred by old stories and are not always in your best interest.
Become the observer and learn to quiet the inner monologue by asking questions.
When you begin to ask yourself questions from the stance of observer, you move out of the fight/flight response into your logic center; your pre-frontal cortex. You begin to shift your brain chemistry out of survival mode. These questions may sound like, “What is this telling me? Is there a decision to be made? What emotions am I feeling right now?”
With this said, understand there is a difference between observation and rumination. Rumination will put you right back where you started if you begin to think of all the ways you’ve been wronged and regret or blame begins to surface. When you begin to identify with the emotions instead of observing them you move back into triggers instead of teaching yourself to understand them. One of the most effective ways to stay in this mode of observation and signal the feel good hormones (serotonin and oxytocin) is to start utilizing gratitude sentences. Gratitude is the cheapest and most effective pharmaceutical available.
Play the long game.
Get out of your way and stop tripping over your feet in the now. Instead learn to play the long game. Imagine your future self on a mountain top with a vision board. Conceptually you know you want to get to that person and fully realize the images of travel and dream homes cut out from magazines and lined in glitter and all they represent, but what habits has that version of yourself implemented each and every day to get to that space? It’s not truly about the material item on that board. It is about who you are becoming. Back into your habits by conceptualizing who that person is on the mountain top and what she does every day to bridge the gap between your vantage point and where her feet are firmly rooted. I promise you she changes out of her yoga pants and has cut down on the wine with dinner.
Pare down your choices and make them bite sized.
I have a very long list of things I would like to accomplish in 2021. If I stare at the list I become overwhelmed and that leads to paralysis. In order to make my goals feasible, I have to dedicate time and attention to them each week, but I have to keep them attainable so that I can trigger my reward center with a little dopamine when I cross them off.
To do this I have created pillars. These are items of focus that are the building blocks of my company. They hold the roof up. For me these pillars are content creation, strategy and monetization. My business cannot run without them. I know that I must spend time each week dedicated to these pillars. Each of the pillars have three primary activities I have to focus on each quarter. At the end of the quarter I review what’s been accomplished, throw myself some kind of little dopamine celebration and assign new goals for the next quarter. I have set myself up to be rewarded and remain focused and action-oriented.
Create rewards and accountability.
The top neuroscientists in the world share that you have to provide some dopamine hits (rewards) and get your ego involved in order to rewire your brain. Otherwise we’re just creating a new kind of grind. A great question to continue reflecting on throughout this process is: Who am I becoming? When you attach your identity to the woman on the mountaintop, you are more likely to remain on track and focused on your goals. This is one of those moments where our ego is working for us as opposed to creating havoc on our programming.
Additionally, your circle is a huge part of your success and the souls who surround you should feel more like a board of advisors as opposed to General Admission. These individuals should lift you up, hold you accountable and want to see you win. Find someone to offer you feedback and finesse as you create goals and quarterly plans. This positive (and chosen) peer pressure is intentional and co-creative.
Wellness and intentional living is a lifestyle. It is not a line item on your calendar or a glass of wine in a salt bath. It is in every relationship, interaction, and the way you organize your life. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it becomes second nature over time, through repetition and habit. All of the intentions and habits you put into place design your future self, clear the old and outdated neurons and build new synapses so that when you are on that mountaintop… the view is glorious.
Originally published at elitedaily
Bad days are inevitable, but here’s the thing: You always have the power to change how you view them, and how you respond to them. For me, writing my feelings out on paper has always helped tremendously in processing why I’m feeling the way that I am on those not so great days. And I’m not alone: According to at least one expert, learning how to feel better on a bad day can be as simple as getting out a pen and a piece of paper, and writing your damn heart out.
“We all have [bad days]: those days where nothing goes right or something goes incredibly wrong,” Jeanette Schneider, an accomplished speaker, panelist, and author of the book Lore: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future, tells Elite Daily in an email. “When I was in my 20s, I would call a girlfriend [and say] ‘Drinks, stat.’ I griped over wine, while she agreed with all the reasons I was right.” Sound familiar?
The thing is, though, according to Schneider, those moments of griping don’t exactly help you grow, nor do they teach you anything about how to actually handle a bad day when one does come your way.
“As I matured, took on more responsibility in work and in life, and surrounded myself with other strong and successful women, I realized we handled our bad days with far more intention,” the author explains. Over time, Schneider tells me, she learned how to turn to self-care on those bad days, and how to create something purposeful from the embers of her negative experiences — which is, ultimately, she says, what helped her grow.
“If you look at each bad day as a way to better know yourself and grow as a person, you curate your own lessons and don’t stay stuck in old offices, relationships, and ways of relating. Don’t get mad. Get intentional,” she explains.
In a world that tends to offer an overwhelming amount of self-help advice, Schneider tells me her favorite, tangible exercise to change the trajectory of a bad day, is one that literally anyone can do: writing a love letter to your younger self.
This is one of many exercises that Schneider writes about in her new book, Lore. Her insightful words encourage you to closely examine the stories that have shaped you, and challenge you to dissect what you’ve been led to believe about yourself — ultimately smashing any self-imposed limitations you might have to smithereens.
Again, this is meant to be a love letter to your past self. So yes, it might feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable at first to focus only on positive details about yourself — let alone your past self — and to shower yourself in unconditional love and adoration. But as far as Schneider is concerned, it really is an effective way to conquer bad vibes when your day is just not going your way. So get out that pen and paper, and just write, girl.
And if you’re still stuck in a rut after letting all the feels out on paper, Schneider shares a few more ways to turn a bad day around, so don’t give up just yet.
The author tells me that she believes moving your body is huge when it comes to elevating your mood. “Whether it is a walk, a run, or a yoga class, get the blood moving and the cortisol out of your system. Once you start to heal from the inside out you will be more clearheaded and able to get some perspective,” she explains.
Additionally, Schneider stresses the importance and value of getting quiet — rather than spouting off to a friend, that is. “[That friend] may help you process, but also may keep you in static anger for longer than is healthy,” she says.
Instead, she suggests, get quiet and announce your feelings to yourself. The author suggests mentally announcing things like: “I am angry. I am scared. I do not feel heard.” Be completely honest with yourself, she says.
And once you’ve had time to process how your feeling, Schneider says it’s not a bad idea to take a little time to express gratitude for what you love most about your life. “While the last thing you may imagine doing at the end of a bad day is finding things to be thankful for, it helps reset you,” Schneider tells Elite Daily. “Start small, and set the intention to eventually be able to thank the offending person or situation for teaching you something about yourself, your boundaries, or the changes you can make to live a bigger, badder, more purposeful life.”