in this moment

in this moment

In this moment I know that I am so much stronger than I ever have given myself credit for
In this moment  my heart is broken, but it won't be broken forever
In this moment I know that I need to get back to moving my body
In this moment the page is calling and now is the time to begin writing my book
In this moment I know that I have an amazing support system that I am beyond grateful for
In this moment I have a safe space to land
In this moment I know that I must choose love, always
In this moment I have to be tender with myself
In this moment I know that I must allow space to heal
In this moment I cannot forget about laughter and joy
In this moment I know that there is so much goodness
In this moment I must lean in, open up, and share my voice
In this moment I know that I will never get back today so I must choose to live it

Where are you, in this moment?

{In this moment ... is a prompt from my free Heart Notes class that I am closing out the year with}

turning heart break into heart opening

heart break

Two years ago my mom passed.  It all happened so quickly and was very unexpected.  Since that moment I have been in a dark place.  It wasn't until recently that I realized how deeply I have fallen into this darkness.  So deep that I have lost my way.  

In this moment my heart has been shattered into a million pieces and can see for the first time how that darkness has taken over me.  You would think with the passing of my mom that I would learn to appreciate every day, that I would understand how life is short, and we never know when it is going to end.  But rather than appreciate the moments I was consumed with all the things she would be missing.  So consumed that I began to miss the little moments that were happening in my day to day life and I began to take this life I am living for granted.  Things began to slip away as I dug myself deeper and deeper into my hole.   

But as I stand here now with my heart broken I see how precious life truly is.  How we never know what is going to happen next.  We can think we have it all planned out and then a curve ball is thrown our way and everything changes in an instant.  

My heart break has lead to a heart opening.  As I have been navigating this new direction and trying to find my way in this new world I am unsure of where I am going or how I am going to get there.  But one thing I do know for certain is that I cannot waste this time.  I can't live in the sadness of what I have lost.  I can't be afraid of what my future holds.  I have to be grateful for all that was and be ok with what can no longer be.  

With my heart wide open I am inviting others in.  Letting them see the pieces of me that I have kept safely tucked away for far to long.  I am showing up and sharing who I am and how I feel.  I am choosing to break through the wall that I have been hiding behind for far to long.  

My life isn't perfect.  There are things I need to work on.  I have my highs and lows.  But we as human beings all have these things.  It is once we start unearthing these layers that we begin to see we are more alike than we are different.  We begin to learn that we are never truly alone in this world.  There are people who are willing to reach out, grab your hand, and pick you up when you feel you cannot do it yourself.  There are people willing to listen to your heartbreak, give you a hug, and let you know that they are here for you.  

And so I step forward into this new life.  The one I didn't think I would be living in.  This unknown territory.  I am unsure what the future holds for me.  But I trust that it will be beautiful, filled with love, grace, gratitude, and kindness.  I believe wholeheartedly that what you put out into the world comes back to you.  And so I am putting out love, lots of love.  

I am also opening up my heart and sharing my voice.  Because life truly is to short for us to not to.  And even though it is not always easy living with a protective wall up is so much harder than living with your heart wide open.  

And so this heartbreak has lead to a heart opening and for that I am eternally grateful.

share your heart

heart opening

The world will open up to you, when you open up to it.  It takes courage to speak from the heart.  It takes strength to share your story.  But it is needed in this world.  Yes, it is!  What you have to say matters.  The stories you hold, the love you share, the way you show up ... all of it matters.  

It has taken me time to learn these lessons.  A lot more time than I care to admit.  I can put pen to paper easily.   But ask me to speak these words and I struggle.  Afraid of what others will think if I open my heart.  Afraid of judgment.  Afraid of not being understood.  

Yet I have recently stood in the face of fear.  Showing up exactly as I am.  And I was embraced and held.  I was seen.  I brought something to the table and showed up so much stronger than  I ever thought I was.  I never thought I was the one brining something to the table, but I am.  And you are to!  

You, exactly as you are is a gift to this world.  What you share with those around you is important.  You must continue to show up.  You bring a unique perspective.  When you share your stories you encourage others to share as well.  Do not be fearful of showing others who you are.  It is necessary and so very needed.  

I have struggled for far to long with showing up in this world.  Thinking I was meant to be invisible.  But no one is ever meant to not be seen.  Know this and feel it deeply inside you.  I see now how my thoughts, feelings, and opinions matter.  I see how I have a way of teaching others just by being me.  This my friends, is powerful.  When we understand that our presence alone effects those around us we show up in the world with much more intention.  We do not take for granted the time we have and we respect the energy we give out.  

When you walk into a room you bring a certain energy with you.  Others feel this and it effect their energy as well.  What do you want others to feel from you?  How do you want to show up?  

I encourage you to examine the way you show up in the world.  To notice the energy you carry with you when you enter your home or office.  See how this energy effects those around you.  Be conscious of the strength your energy holds.  See how you can shift it into a positive feeling.  


Heart Notes.png

Looking to close out the year with others?  Individuals are gathering in the classroom to savor and learn from all that has been.  Together let's take the time to sink deep into the moments, celebrate the successes, and let go of the hardships. Let's clear space to boldly step into 2018 with a wide open heart.

I invite you to close out the year together through a FREE offering that invites you to slow down and reflect.  Join us HERE

you are a divine human being

grateful

Take time to give thanks for who you are
And all you have created in your life
You are stronger than you realize
Braver than you know
And perfect the way you are
You bring a unique gift to this world that no one else has
Know this
And stand in your own light
Continue to reach for your dreams
Celebrate your successes
And push yourself to keep on growing
Give thanks for everything that surrounds you
And know that you have the power to create your own destiny
Trust your path
Even when it doesn't seem clear
Or feel like the direction you should be traveling
Believe in yourself
Always
You are a divine human being
Never forget this

braving the darkness blues

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Here on the east coast we have fallen behind with the clock.  We gained an hour of sleep but I feel as if I have lost my way.  The time change in the fall is always hard for me.  I know the cold is coming and leaving work in the dark fills me with the blues.  All I want to do is  curl up in bed.  It is this time of year I know I need to push myself harder than I usually do to stay active and motivated. 

There is much beauty in the world.  The leaves change to vibrate yellows and reds.  The sunset lights up the sky.  The morning darkness provides a moment of quiet reflection as I ease into the day.  Even through the cold I need to push myself out the door.  Fresh air fills my lungs with hope and wakes me up to the world.  

I know that this is a hard time for me and so I need to lean in deep and ask for help from others.  I need to let them know when I am struggling and not allow myself to fall down the rabbit hole.  When I talk about it I feel much better and it doesn't feel so hard.  I need to be more vocal.  

It has ben a while since I have spent hours in the coffee shop writing.  The fall and winter months are the perfect time for me to get back to this.  I miss those moments of collective togetherness hand in hand with solitude.  It is time for me to get back to the page and spill open.  Maybe, just maybe the book that is living and breathing inside me will begin to take shape.  

It is time for me to embrace this darkness.  To give it space to breathe inside me.  For when we stand in the darkness the light becomes that much more beautiful.  One of the reasons I love living in NJ is I get to experience all four of the seasons.  It brings an opportunity for me to reflect as I shift into the change in the weather.   

And so we begin, another shift.  Another moment to begin again.  

How do you handle these transitions?  Do you have any tools in your toolbox that help get you through?  Together let's brave the blues.

moving beyond

acadia national park

Making your way through this journey called life can feel hard at times.  There are moments of pure joy and elation and other times when you feel as if you cannot pick yourself up the floor.  And then there are those moments when you are floating in the space between.  Blindly going through life.  Moving from one thing to the next without truly feeling or experiencing it.  

How do we move deeper into the moment?

Each day I wake up and follow my morning routine.  I drive the same way to work.  Go in and out of the same doors.  See the same people and have similar conversations.  Every Monday we ask what the other has done over the weekend.  Every Friday we talk about what we are going to do with our time away from the office.  I eat a lot of the same meals.  Go to bed around the same time.  

I feel as if I am living my life on autopilot.  

How can I break this cycle?  Do I need a monumental change or can small things shake it up?  I want to feel this life more deeply.  Be present in the moment and take in experiences and interactions I am having.  I do not want to just have a conversation with you about the weather.  I want to get to know you more deeply and I also want you to get to know me.  

We have to be willing to show up and share our stories.  Letting your guard down invites others in.  When you show up and allow yourself to be seen you give others the permission to do the same.  This is where connection blooms.  This is what takes us off autopilot.  

You don't have to move to a new place to experience new things.  You my just have to take a new route home.  There is a world out there right around your block that you have never experienced.  Go ahead and explore it.  What is there might change you.  You never know until you give it at try.

We get comfortable in life.  We know what to expect.  We know where to go.  But in order to grow and develop we have to move past that comfort.  We have to do something that scares us.  It is going beyond this fear that forever changes us.  

What one thing can you do today to take you out of your routine.  To push you to connect with someone new, nature, yourself?  How can you challenge yourself to go beyond?  

This is your one wild and precious life. Live it wide open.  Explore.  Grow.  Expand. 

it's more than the marathon

nyc marathon_cheering

The NYC Marathon holds a special place in my heart for so many reasons.  There is a history with my family that I am forever grateful for.  It started long before I showed up to the starting line.  In fact it started with my aunt and uncle, years ago, and the tradition has carried on. 

I am grateful for all the marathon has brought me:

  • Connection with my family
  • Inspiration to push myself further than I ever thought I could
  • Electric energy running through me -- as a spectator and a runner
  • Feeling like NYC was my city
  • Pride for humanity and watching people come together
  • Watching all walks of life making it happen
  • Learning that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I was
  • Meeting like minded souls
  • Hours on the road
  • Cheers from strangers
  • A freedom that I never felt before
  • Pushing through really hard times
  • Watching the sunrise
  • Feeling that first rush of cold air hit my lungs
  • Running together
  • Running alone
  • Hearing the cheers from family and friends
  • One foot in front of the other
  • The feeling of pure joy and elation crossing the finish line

This list could go on and on.  The marathon has brought more to my life than I ever have imagined.  I am grateful for the strength in my legs, carrying me through not only 26.2 miles but the endless amount of training.  I am grateful for the hills I struggled up for they made me stronger.  I am grateful for my courage to say yes.  And grateful for everyone who supported me along the way.  

jennifer belthoff nyc marathon

The marathon is a solo journey.  For it is only you who puts one foot in front of the other and crosses the finish line.  Yet, you are never ever alone and you can't go at it by yourself.  You need the support of those around you to push you when you feel like you don't have the strength to go on.  I am grateful for that support.  

Live big.  Go after your dreams.  Know you can do anything you put your mind to.  I never thought I would or could run a marathon.  And yet I did.  One foot in front of the other.  One step at a time.  And somehow it all comes together and happens.  

the world is waiting for you

Right outside your window is a world filled with possibility
It invites you to come out and play
To explore and discover
It wants you to navigate your own path
Unearth what lights you up
It is waiting for you to say yes
It is ready for you to show up
It wants you to claim what you truly desire
But it won't hand it all over to you
You must step forward
Take the risk
Put in the hard work
You must push yourself forward
Use your voice
Speak with strength and courage
And find your own way
Deep inside your heart knows what it desires
Listen closely and hear what it has to say
Be willing to risk
Be willing to look foolish
Be willing to fail
Face the fear of the unknown
And go for it
You never know where you will end up
But you always have to try to get to where you want to go
The world is waiting for you
You have precious gifts that only you offer
Go ahead and share them

love notes fairy secret note

love notes fairy

Each month I host the Love Notes Fairy Project.  It is one of the most favorite things I do because it is wrapped up in pure magic.  Strangers come together to send snail mail love to those who need it most.  Without expecting anything in return they take time to reach out, let someone know they aren't alone, and open up their heart to share love.  

Magic indeed!  

I am grateful for the community that continues to grow, and for the way they show up.  They understand the power of words and the human need for connection.  They know that as human beings we all go through the same common emotions.  We may not be in the same exact situation, but we have felt the same feelings.  And so we reach out a hand, a hug, a word.  And we connect.  

Last week was a long and crazy week for me.  Life in some ways has been flipped around and I am learning how to show up.  I know I need to live with courage and in doing so it may cause a bit of discomfort.  But I need to step into that discomfort and claim my own voice.  

I need to rise up and allow myself to be seen.  

I arrived home from work on Friday completely deflated.  My heart heavy, my soul tired.  But a surprise was waiting for me.  A note from a secret fairy from Canada letting me know that I am not alone and that the way I show up in this world matters.  This single note flipped my emotions and filled me with so much love and happiness.  

It is truly amazing how one little card changed my day.  It reminded me of how important it is for me to keep showing up.  Keep hosting the Love Notes Project.  Keep putting myself out there.  Because even if we cannot see the effect we have on the world it is a ripple and it is changing things in positive ways.  

What you say to others matters.  What words of kindness can you share with someone you know?  A simple hello, thank you, or I appreciate you goes a long way.  Take a moment today to reach out to someone and let them know how much they mean to you.  It will make there day!  

seeking out where you belong

When you are quiet and still, where does you heart tell you were to go?  If you listened deeply and trusted your gut, what is the next step you would take?  Why do you continue to stand still?

You travel the same exact roads every single day.  Going in the same doors, seeing the same people, having similar conversations.  There is a new season to stand in, but everything feels like a carbon copy of the previous day.  You are traveling blindly through life.  Wanting to experience the full expanse the universe has to offer, but feeling stagnant in where you are.  Are you tied down to this particular location.  What is holding you back from taking the leap?  What is keeping you here?  

These four walls seem small.  You want to EXPLORE, EXPAND, BECOME.  How do you do that when everything feels the same? 

You long to be near water, in a small bicycle friendly community.  Where you can walk or ride you bike to work.  Where people gather on front porches, say hello to one another, and enjoy deep conversation.   You want to feel a part of something.  Have a place where individuals gather.  You want to be integrated into the community.  How do you get to this magical place your heart desires?  How do you navigate your way into the deep unknown?

Love, compassion, kindness, exploration, community, nature, fresh air, a soft spot to land, friendship, laughter, grace, health, wealth, smiles, support.  The space you dream of encompasses all of this and more.  How do you unearth it?

How do you find where you belong?

sacred moments

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I crave moments over possessions.  Tiny pockets of time where connection runs deep.  My heart opens up and a lasting memory is created.  This is more important to me than fancy shoes or an expensive vacation.  The best moments occur through a shared experience.  

Randomly finding a beautiful spot along side of a pond and spending all day there chatting and laughing.  

Coffee talk chats

Long walks

Getting lost in the woods

These precious moments fill my heart.  It is what gives purpose and meaning to my life.  Yes, nice things are well, nice.  But for me they are not a necessity.  I need the basics for survival.  Not the fanciest car, biggest house, or most expensive piece of jewelry.  

"I'm just searching for moments"  (One Week)

I crave living simply.  Letting go of material things.  Carving out time for adventure.  Taking a chance to connect.  Pushing myself out my comfort zone.  

I want to sit side by side and hear what is in your heart.  I want to hold hands, hug deeply, see you as you are.  I want to spend time together and learn all about your story.  As human beings we need one another.  We crave connection.  We aren't meant to go at it alone.  

So join me for a walk. Tell me what it is that lights you up.  What is your favorite memory? What do you hope to achieve?  How can we connect more deeply?  Together lets create sacred moments of love and joy.  

love notes

One simple letter sent through the mail can change someone's day
Yes, just a few words on a postcard
Can bring a ray of sunshine
It takes you just a moment to share your heart
And when you open up
You invite others in
What a precious gift our words are

A few years ago I started the Love Notes Postcard Project.  A three week postcard exchange where individuals are partnered up to send postcards to one another based off of the weekly writing prompt.  I started this project because I longed to connect with others and knew if I was feeling this longing others must be feeling it as well.  I put the call out there, inviting others to join me and they did.  

Here we are, a few years later and individuals from all over the world have participated.  Friendships have developed.  Hearts have opened up. Love has spread.  It is truly incredible what has happened because of words traveling through the mail. 

The next round of Love Notes begins on October 8th and I hope that you will join us.  

3 writing prompts + 3 postcards = 3 weeks of snail mail fun!

Whose day can you brighten with your beautiful words?  

you will be ok

you'll be ok

You will be ok
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other
Know that you have the inner strength to find your way
You may feel lost
But your heart will guide you
Take a moment to get quiet
Listen deeply
Do not fear the answers you are hearing
Lean into them
Trust your gut
You are strong enough to navigate your own path
Reach out your hand to others
Invite them in
Let them know they aren't alone
You can accomplish so much more together
Yes, there is uncertainty in this moment
But that will not last forever
Live bravely
Show your confidence
Do not be afraid to fail
You will pick up the pieces
You will find your way
You will be ok

mixed up

choices

Remember when it was easy
When you didn't even have to think about the next step you were going to take
When it all made sense
The world was in perfect harmony
And you played your part
Everything seemed right
Now here you are
With it all turned upside down
And you aren't sure where to even step next
Your heart torn to shreds
Your soul shattered into pieces
How did you ever end up here
Is it possible to get back to where you were
When it was simple
When life just flowed
When it didn't feel so hard
How did you get here
When did this shift occur
What choice do you make next

seek out the love from within

heart rock

Love is all around
When you open your heart up to it
But first you must start with you
Yes, you
Clear your over scheduled calendar
Take time to nourish your soul
Carve out space to do what you truly want to do
No need to be on anyone else's timeline but your own
This is your one wild and precious life
How are you going to live it?
Where are you going to go?
Who are you going to invite along for the journey?
You do not have to carry all your baggage
You do not have to take everyone with you
Be true to yourself, always
Listen to the voice that speaks from deep within
It is your heart whispering your inner desires
Do not fear the unknown path
You can find your way through any uncharted waters
You are the one holding the pen
You can write your own epic ending
And choose to begin again, anytime you want
Today is the first day of the rest of your life
What next step will you take?

the other side of the mountain

nature

And just like that your world shifted.  You didn't even realize it was happening yet you were the one putting in the hard work to make it so.  You carved out your own destiny.  This is what you've been dreaming of.  What you've been planning and scheming for.  You knew it wasn't going to happen overnight.  You knew you had to keep showing up.  And so you did.  One foot in front of the other.  Leaning in deep.  Following the conversations of your heart.  Never giving up on yourself.  

And here you are.  Standing on the other side of the mountain on the verge of that monumental shift.  Everything feels the same.  Yet it also feels different.  You are not the person you were when you began this journey.  You have grown leaps and bounds.  You have fallen down more times than you can count.  And yet, you have picked yourself back up again.  You stand with your shoulders back.  Your head held high.  You know that your scars are proof of where you have been and what you have overcome and so you do not hide them.  It hasn't all been sunshine.  There are many days when you were standing in the dark alone.  

And yet you found your way.  To this moment.  You created this.  You pushed yourself past your comfort zone and took time to listen to your heart.  You made mistakes, lots of them.  Yet you also made incredible decisions that propelled you forward.  You know that there is an ebb and flow to life and you allowed yourself to flow through and not fight the current.  

If only you could see how far you have come.  If only you could see yourself through my eyes.  You are a beacon of light and hope.  You nurture others, tending to their hearts, encouraging them to step forward.  You bring with you grace and gratitude.  You open up your heart and invite others in.  Challenges drive you.  You rise up.  Time and time again you rise up.  

And here you are.  In this moment.  Ready for whatever is next.  Your heart is open.  Your smile is wide.  You have arrived.  Yet you also know there is more work to be done and so you step forward.  

encounters with beauty

natures beauty

Do not forget where you came from
How you have been tended to along the way
Your roots run deep
Many people have become intertwined within you
The brief encounters
Fleeting moments
A smile shared with a strange
Deep conversations held around the fire of life
Side splitting laughter
A long embrace
A friendly hello
All of these moments leave a mark
They help to guide us along on our journey
Do not forget that you are where you are today
Because of where you stood yesterday
Each interaction cracks us open a little bit more
Connects us to the earth
And brings us deeper to knowing ourselves
Give thanks to those who have held your hand
Reached out to you
Listened when you hurt
And giggled with you in the rain
Life is beautiful when shared with each other

 

Written in 2011

stand tall and take the risk

take the risk

It was a single moment where nothing changed, yet my entire world shifted.  Yes one single moment can do that.  One single unexpected moment.  Where you simply show up.  You have no grand expectations, hopes or desires.  You are doing what you know needs to be done.  In fact you are mustering up the courage to get it done.  

And then it happens.  A friendly hello, one single smile.  And life as you knew is changed forever. What next step do you take when you don't know where you are going but know you have to go somewhere?  What micro movement helps you figure it out?  What path leads you closest to what your heart desires?

You want to risk it all.  Because this is life, and if you never try you never know.  You have always lived life as a risk taker.  Jumping into the uncharted waters.  There have been times you almost drowned, but you always have found your way back to the top.  You are a stronger swimmer now than you ever were before.  Confident in your strokes.  Ready to jump in head first.  

You understand the enormity of the choices you make.  You know that you are the one carving your own path.  What if you take the risk and it is exactly what your heart desired?  What if you take the risk and it was nothing like you expected?  This is the beauty of risk taking.  The great unknown that lies before you.  You must trust your own heart before you take the leap.  You must be willing to fail.  

And so you risk.  You leap.  You say yes because that is what your heart is calling.  And you end up right here.  Some moments it feels like exactly where you are supposed to be and other times you aren't sure where you even are.  This is life.  An ebb and flow of emotion.  It pushes you to your limits and reminds you of how far you have come.  You must be willing to go all in, always.  You must be willing to let go of expectations and trust that you will end up exactly where you were meant to be.  

So take the leap.  Risk the fall.  And see how high you can fly.  

be your own best friend

Why is it that we can be so much kinder to others than we are to ourselves?

If your friend arrived at your door with her heart broken you would invite her in, give her a comfy place to sit, and make her a glass of tea.  You would give her space to tell her story.  You would be a shoulder to lean on.  You would sit besides her and let her know that you are there.  You wouldn't rush her to get back up.  You would give her a place to rest and be.

Yet when you arrive at your own door with your heart in your hands you knock yourself over.  With a large list of expectations you push yourself to get back up sooner than you are ready.  You are demanding on yourself never giving yourself time to heal and rest.  Yet this is exactly what your mind and body need.  

You need to treat yourself like you would your best friend.  Be kind, tender, loving.  Allow yourself space to feel all the feels.  Do not try to rush through to the next emotion, just be where you are, and be ok with that.  Pour yourself a cup of tea.  Crawl into bed.  Do whatever it is that makes you happy.  Feed our soul with love.  

You deserve to shower yourself with kindness. Do you not hold back.  Feel the love and be the kind of friend you want to have.  

share kindness

Share kindness, always
Not only with those around you
But with yourself
It is easier to be kind to others
But you deserve love
You deserve to not be so hard on yourself
Grant yourself space to breathe
To be
To show up without judgement or criticism
I know
It's not easy
But it is what your soul needs
Do not feel foolish when you shower yourself with love
Open up the water and let it all pour out
Take time to look at yourself in the mirror
And love the person looking back at you
Remember how far you have traveled
Recognize how hard you try
You my dear are so much stronger than you know
Feel your strength
Breath in your beauty
Know that you are following your own path
Fill your soul with kindness
Infuse it in your heart
Remember, you are deeply loved
Be kind to yourself

{Inspired by the second prompt for the Love Notes Postcard Project}