Once Upon a Time I had a dream… and then I had an existential crisis.

Isn’t that the way these things go? You leave your big corporate job with the even larger paycheck to build your dream wellness company. You design a gorgeous app, are approved as an Apple Developer, and then a maddening global pandemic throws your life and your dreams into a tailspin.

You fight with the death of your identity, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, the homeschooling of two very different children, investor decks, branding issues, turnover, the death of two pets, Covid itself, Covid hair loss, Covid heart palpitations, end up in surgery for your heart issues that were compounded by Covid, to wake up twenty pounds heavier in weight and in *stuff*… and then remember you were creating a wellness community.

And you were passionate about it.

And you knew it could change lives.

Because it already had.

 

I kept thinking back to the emails I received from people in the recovery community who had experienced the beta version of the app, “Your app changed my life.”

“You gave me a language I didn’t have before.”

“I feel hopeful.”

I knew I had to put all the stuff that hadn’t worked, that was the kindling of a fledgling startup, into a trash can like I was breaking up with a toxic ex-boyfriend and light that shit on fire. From that ash came the most beautiful phoenix.

Right as I was giving up, giving in, wishing I could move to Iceland, I was invited to build my beautiful wellness company under the gentle (and valuable) guidance of the UNLV Incubator powered by Howard Hughes (and sponsored by Blackstone’s Launchpad – la ti da).

God didn’t put this on my heart for so long and with such passion and resolve for it to turn to dust.

Welcome to Dear Liv.

She’s like your best friend who knows things and wants you to come along for the ride, but is super nurturing and always has the best advice. She’s already gone through the self help journey, and she’s that kind of evolved that is super humble, really down to earth and funny.

More than anything she stewards a community of individuals who really want to live better, healthier lives.

How does she work?

As you interact through the Dear Liv app, answer assessments and we learn more about you, Dear Liv finds the contact, connection, or best friend who can provide the best advice based on your core needs and supported by the pillars of wellness (emotional, financial, social, physical, environmental, occupational, intellectual and spiritual).

Yes, we have off-the-shelf content, but what you will notice is that over time – as we see how you interact with us and answer questions – you’ll receive content in your feed that is curated for what you are going through, value most in your life… or need the most help with as you begin a intimately curated wellness journey. You’ll be invited to the lunch table (Zoom calls) based on focus areas, as well as web and live events.

We aren’t creating content in a vacuum. We are creating a community based on what you need and who can best help you.

Our content is INCREDIBLE. Our wellness advisors and contributors have decades of hands-on experience in their fields and desire nothing more than to leave the world a little better than they found it. With that said, app development is expensive and we are trying to iterate and build newer and better as quickly as we can. Your positive reviews, word of mouth and feedback will get us there faster. If there’s something you don’t understand, feedback about functionality and how we can make the app better, email me directly at [email protected]

We are on Apple right now and as soon as we can make the move to Android we will. Promise.

We also have a super fun podcast so that I can nerd out with experts sitting at the intersection of science and spirituality.

I hope you love this community as much as we’ve loved building it. We have announcements coming soon about audio content to help you relax and sleep better, multiple live and web events in the works, and honestly… I just can’t wait to meet you. Thanks for your faith in this very spunky (hard headed) female-founded (and led) startup.

Xo,

J

Jeanette Schneider
Founder & CEO
Dear Liv

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.”

Originally published at thebump

“My role was to guide and build tools so our child would be a critical thinker, able to trust herself as opposed to buying into whatever was said by parents, society or culture.”

My parenting style was chosen for me. It was chosen on the days when my mother didn’t wake up from her drug- and alcohol-induced naps. It was chosen for me on the days when she was sober and mean. My decision to raise my child consciously was born of necessity. I did not want to continue a cycle of abuse and dependency.

My husband and I spent three years trying for a baby and in that time had the opportunity to discuss what kind of life we wanted to create for our child. As an atheist he asked me to construct any and all conversations around faith and belief systems because he didn’t want our child to be “cynical like Dad.” We were on the same page about mindset, confidence and friendships, and when our marriage ended several years later, we were always able to circle back to those conversations—our foundation—as we stepped into our roles as incredibly prepared co-parents. We have always been in lockstep when it comes to our daughter.

From the moment we talked about having a family, I thought of myself as my child’s life concierge. My role was to guide and build tools so our child would be a critical thinker, able to trust herself as opposed to buying into whatever was said by parents, society or culture. When we found out we were having a girl, I also announced she would be a feminist and there would be no dolls, toy vacuum cleaners or Tyco kitchens as gifts. That effort was rather short-lived. What they don’t tell you is that children come with their own opinions and preferences, and Disney Princesses were included in Olivia’s rider.

Olivia asked me once how it is that I’m such a great mom, and I explained “the pause.” Before I answer her questions or cries, I do two things. First, I imagine her in a future event and how the messaging or answer I provide her will serve her future self. My goal is to build her into a strong woman, friend, mother or partner, not manipulate, quiet, appease nor coddle. Second, I then imagine what I would’ve wanted from my parents in the same moment. This pause has created some exceptional conversations and learning moments for both of us.

Olivia knows my pause. She respects my pause, because she knows I’m being thoughtful, and now she is too. She takes her time making decisions and weighing options and possible outcomes. I’ve modeled critical thinking for her and offered her a chance to work through her own decisions with me.

Olivia is also talented at sharing her boundaries, something I was never able to do as a child. She very respectfully once told me, “Mama, it really embarrasses me when you call me by my nickname in front of the kids at school. Will you only do that in private?” I thanked her for sharing her boundary with me and then I honored it, which establishes me as a trustworthy adult in her life. I want to be the first person she calls when something hard happens in her life. While most adults think a child expressing boundaries is willful or defiant, it’s really adults’ discomfort that creates children who don’t know how to stand up for themselves at work, in relationships and life. They’re being told they’re not a whole person with thoughts and opinions about their own expectations, emotions and bodies.

When she was 5, Olivia came home from the Catholic school she was attending and asked, troubled, “Mama, is it true abortion is a sin?” I startled, not expecting to hit on such a deep issue at such a tender age. I took my pause, then asked, “How does it feel in your heart?” She thought about it for a few minutes, taking her own pause, before she answered, “What they told me doesn’t seem right to me. It hurts me.” I explained that the feeling in her heart was her belief. So began a very long-standing discussion around religion versus spirituality and the difference between what people tell you and what you know in your heart to be true.

This path I’ve been on with my daughter has caused me to dig deeper into the messaging we receive as children and its hold on our lives on a go-forward basis. This entire premise was the foundation of my first book, LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create My Future. I interviewed women about their beliefs and found there was a direct correlation between the way a mother viewed her own body and roles within the home and the daughter’s self talk. Dad’s views on women and the female body also seriously contributed to his daughter’s future relationships with men. So many shared their own issues with self-esteem, feelings of worth and whether they could receive love or if they even deserved it.

Not one person in their lives came out and told them they weren’t worthy or unlovable, but children soak up the actions, emotions and interactions of their environment. They take in the social, cultural, generation and religious programming they’re exposed to and carry it, line after line, to be relived over and over again until a brave parent sits up late at night with their partner and asks, “What kind of child do we want to raise? What kind of parent do I want to be?”

Start there. It’s a beautiful place to create a foundation. It offers a new paradigm and the opportunity to end cycles that no longer serve your storyline or family.

After 23 years in finance, Jeanette Schneider hung up her executive title and retired from a highly successful career to advocate for women and girls in life, love, the boardroom and the marketplace. She is now the President and CEO of LIV Media, as well as an author and speaker. Jeanette’s first book, LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Futurewas released September 2018, and in January 2019, Jeanette launched her podcast, Gold with Jeanette Schneider, which shares weekly episodes with wisdom, insights, and gold from industry experts living their best lives. Jeanette is also the founder of Lore Advocacy, a network of professional women whose goal is to inspire women to change the world through a gender lens of equality, self-actualization and the fearless shattering of glass ceilings. She lives in Las Vegas with the love of her life, her daughter Olivia, 7. Visit her website jeanetteschneider.com and connect with her on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider and on Twitter @msjwrites.