Just do it.

Last week was hands down the busiest week of 2012 for me: 40+ hours of work jumping back and forth between two stores, Being Extraordinary dinner and class, a baseball game, hosted book club, chaperoned a Fun Run around downtown Chicago, yoga, crossfit, shopping and dinners to host a good friend in town for the week, a 30th birthday partaay, brunch Sunday Funday, and topped it off hosting a happy hour for my lulu loves and more. Woof.

Needless to say, I’m exhausted. I’m worn out. I need a weekend to recover from my weekend, but it’s already Monday night and we’re full steam ahead into the next week jam packed week.

A friend sent me a pep talk from Danielle LaPorte (one of my most favorite bloggers ever) that I’d like to share with you, as it’s kept me motivated, kept me in my zone and kept me up to something. I hope it does the same for you (:

the grand pep talk: decide to rise (refer to this when in doubt, or sick & tired)

I’m all for mental health days. And gentleness. And I think the world should take the month of December off. And for the love of God, a 4 day work week would revolutionize the collective human spirit and thusly, healthcare. But this pep talk isn’t about taking it easy, this is about another form of self care: doing whatever it takes.

Just got dumped? Lace up your runners and move your body.
 Under the weather? Go in to work any way, wearing your favorite sweater. 
Up to your earrings in deadlines? Go cheer on your friend. Show up at the bake sale. Call your mother.
 Crying before show time? Put some tea bags on your eyes. Say a prayer. Enter stage left.


Push. Turn up the volume. Go hard. Go harder. 
Re-prioritize your aches and pains. 
Infuse your sensitivities with courage. 
Tell fear to fuck right the fuck off. 
Devote to Done.

There are soul-justified reasons to cancel. There are times to just stop. This isn’t one of them. Keep going. Show up. Full on. Full tilt. Full out. Decide to be one of those people who pull it off.

Do what you say you’re going to do.Don’t let us down. Decide to rise. Why decide to rise? Not for the reasons you might think. In fact, these are the reasons that will make you sick and tired.

Do not rise out of obligation. Do not rise because of feared consequences. Do not rise because you think being tough makes you smarter (it doesn’t).

Decide to rise because you want to expand — your being, your life, your possibilities. Decide to rise because super powers are meant to be activated and applied in everyday life. Decide to rise to explore your place in the universe.

On the other side of deciding to rise is illumination, ecstasy, insight. And the angel of your strength is there waiting, smiling, applauding, with a goblet of endorphins for you. Drink up.

When you transcend circumstances you get special privileges. You get evidence that you are indeed amazing, and irrefutable proof that what your heart and mind choose is what matters. And you get the deep knowing that life wants you to win.

Decide to rise. Lean in. Listen up. Closely.
It’s your soul speaking and she says, 
Get UP! I need you. I want you. I am you. Choose me.

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sharing = scary = good

So I’m starting this post off with an admonition: I’ve been super inauthentic with my blog. I’ve been scurred. Scared to write my next blog post, scared to share what’s really going on with me. Scared of what it means to get really vulnerable, scared to share because what if it’s not worth it? What will people think of me? Why will they even want to read this? The list of self-doubting tag lines racing through my mind had me paralyzed.

Then I looked at my 10 year vision, where I have a monetized blog that’s helping to fund my non-profit and realized that I better getsta steppin’.

These past 3 months have been epic for me. A tipping point along my journey of transformation, self exploration, and redefinition. The rebirth of Shenna Jean if you will. I’ve been busy flipping over every little rock of my being and closely examining what my beliefs and visions are to see if my behaviors are in line with that. My health & fitness, my spiritual life, my career, my family relationships, my friendships…nothing is safe from my scrutiny.

However, in this process, I’ve realized that I’ve completely guarded myself. I’ve come to this awareness that I’m holding myself back, which is so un-Shenna Jean that it’s a little scary. Scratch that, a lot scary. Usually I’m full on out there in the world. My friend MB recently pointed out that I am currently not out there at all.

Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about asking out a guy I’m interested in, now it’s been over 3 months. Usually you can’t get me to shut up, I’m constantly “sharing.” In fact it’s one of my overused strengths. Now I go immediately to “what is new with you?” to avoid opening up to everything that’s changing in my life. Yikes bikes, who have I become?

I used to hate butterflies and enforced a strict no butterfly policy in all areas of my life, but now I’m beginning to see the beauty in them.

Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. If you don’t take the time to distinguish what it is you want out of life and who you want to be in life, there is no possible way that you’ll ever achieve your dreams. In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll let someone else decide what “success” looks like for you. (I just threw up in my mouth a tiny bit at the thought.)

Some times we need to go hide in our own little cocoon to take some time to figure things out, but that doesn’t mean I need to loose myself completely in the process.

Last night at my Being Extraordinary class (heck yes I’m taking a class on being extraordinary) we explored the idea that you aren’t fully alive and transformed if you aren’t sharing yourself, your experiences, and your transformations with others. You can transform in your head all you want to, but until you start sharing yourself, letting people know what you’re up to, enrolling them in the new possibilities you’re creating for yourself then it’s all for nothing.

What’s the worst that could happen? Do I really care what you think of me anyway? (It’s taken a while, but I no longer give a sh*t.)

Bottom line: it’s time for me to get back to being full on out there in the world and sharing all the dirty deets.

So here we go, as promised: My 10 year vision, complete with 10, 5 & 1 year goals in health, career and personal. #onethingadaythatscaresyou

Focus like whoa.

Bumping tune I’m currently listening to that fits the theme of this post perfectly: “Houdini” by Foster the People.

I’ve always been aware that “focus” is something I could use some more in a few areas of my life, but now I can say that I’m fully present to the fact that it’s no longer a negotiable. If I’m going to get it done in life, I’ve got to keep my eyes on nothing but my prize. This shift lead me to the realization that while I’ve said for a while now that I really “want” to blog, and I acknowledge that I’ve made some big strides the past year or so, but now it’s time to shit or get off the pot. My blog needs some focus, a direction and I’ve finally figured it out.

I’m creating the possibility of shennajeanwashere being a vehicle for my growth, through my authenticity of what’s really going on with me, sharing my experiences and learnings and inviting anyone who wants to get in on the fun to jump on board. My intention is to get naked, shake things up, knock things loose, create the life of my dreams and this will be an outlet for my voice and thoughts as I plunge headfirst into my adventure.

So the intention of this post is to let you know I’m going to be switching things up over here. Things will look different and it will be badass I promise. Time to dominate the court. Upcoming posts to look forward to:
-Shenna Jean’s 10 year vision (I know I never thought I’d live to see the day either!)
-Acknowledge somebody yo!
-Are you listening over here or over there?
-Attached vs. Committed
-My Naked Interview
-On the court

Flashmobs Rock

It just dawned on me that I never shared the final product of our flashmob on Michigan Ave! Without further ado, I present Chicago’s Sexiest Flashmob brought to you by lululemon athletica rush & 900 and friends! Yeaaaaa I workout. (That chocolate m&m has nothing on us.)

Chitown Chopper Ride

This is what a super badass skyline looks like from inside a helicopter.

I don’t think there is anything better in life than scratching something off your Bucket List, #amiright? The anticipation, the excitement, the out of the ordinary to-do on your daily list…I wish I could scratch adventure list items off everyday. (maybe I should look into that.)
Chicago has about a bazillion tours you can take in order to check out the city, but the helicopter tour by far takes the cake. Here is a sampling of my photos from a birds eye view of the city. Shout out to T-Dub for co-piloting this adventure, Rotorzen Helicoptors for legitimately piloting the operation, and Living Social for making it affordable.

Go Sox Go!

Bear down Chicago Bears!

Chicago River gettin' rowdy

Coming atcha from the Eastside

A new take on my favorite pier

Wouldn't be a complete tour without a little LSD.

Gold Coast's finest

The Hancock up close and personal

Do you see the blue water tower in the center of the pic? That's my crib!

2 birds with one stone: Bulls & Blackhawks looking good this year!

It will always be the Sears.

Everyone looks great in super awkward head gear.

T-Dub wears it much better.

T-Dub, SJ and the Brown Bullet

Bumpin’ Tunes

In no particular order, here are 5 albums that rocked my world in 2011.

1. Common “The Dreamer, the Believer.” Ok, I lied. In particular order, this is no. 1, a must listen. While always known as a thought provoking lyricist and poet, Common takes it to a whole new level this go around. I mean, who else has Maya Angelou on their opening track? She also backs his new book, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” which I’m obvi pretty pumped for. (Review of that bad boy forthcoming) Theme of this album: Dare to dream and watch what happens. *Sold. Not to mention, the album art is the perfect visual depiction of how b’d my m feels while listening.

2. The Black Keys “El Camino” Whoasauce, these brothers are so badass. Have been for a while and they definitely do not disappoint with their latest album. By far my fave rock album of the year. I’m still really interested in putting together a flashmob with this guy’s moves. Lmk if you’re down…

3. Foster the People “Torches” If you’re looking for a straight up jammin’ album, look no further my friends. Every song that made the cut is a toe tapper with great lyrics. It’s the kind of album that makes you want to dance around in front of your mirror rockin’ out. (yea, you know I did!) Super sad I was late to the party on the show in Chicago (ON MY BIRTHDAY NONETHELESS)…which means I also missed out on the Do-Good Bus. SUPER sad face ): Fingers crossed they bring it back on their upcoming tour.

4. The Roots “Undun”  The ol’ roots crew has dropped another winner. Usually every other album is a “eh”, but I’m a fan of this character themed record backing up “How I Got Over” (which was pretty awesome). I’m also a sucker for piano based instrumentals of all kinds, so my seal of loving approval has been stamped on “Undun” Also, loving this graphically depicted breakdown of the record from The Fader.

5. Adele “21” I’d have to discount my own music taste if I didn’t include this one. Homegirl is legit, and I swear this has nothing to do with my obsession of English accents. It may have something to do with my affection for pianos.  A youthful old soul with a magical voicebox that reaches deep inside and stirs up some emotions you didn’t even know existed. I think they call that soul shaking and that pretty much sums her up.

6. Gramatik “Streetbangerz Vol. 1 & 2” I lied again, 6 albums that rocked my world. I already did a post on this one, check it out here. And don’t be fooled by the thug life title, I know senior citizens who love this guy.

2012 can’t wait to see whatcha got!