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You Never Know

I have been in a really contemplative place lately. I don’t know how better to describe it but I’m in major evaluation mode. I’m okay. I’m just thinking about a lot of things and working on a lot of things. This is a good thing.

I taught a yoga class this morning and during my closing message I asked my class that if they did nothing else during the course of the day to at least make an effort to be kind and to treat those they encounter with respect. My experience has been (especially recently) that you have absolutely no idea what is going on with other people. No idea. And you never know what the smallest act of kindness you show someone might do for them. And even if you don’t go out of your way to make a specific gesture, just be a good person who cares about/is aware of other people’s feelings.


The CRAZIEST thing about all of this is that I walked out of the yoga studio and greeted a friend of mine who was going in to take the next class. We started out with small talk and the next thing I knew her eyes were filling with tears and she ended up sharing a personal struggle that was weighing on her. And the even crazier thing is that I can totally relate to what she is going through and my heart aches for her. She said, “I don’t even know why I’m saying all of this right now,” but I told her I was so glad she did share.

Later in the day I was at the gym working out when I had another moment with a friend/member who is dealing with some major professional challenges. I could feel her stress and see her pain in her eyes. Twice in one day I had the opportunity to be there for people I care about who were trying so hard to keep it together but were on the verge of having their walls crumble.

Let me back up…what led me to even share the message to my yoga class was that I was treated with kindness last night that I could not even fathom and that I don’t think I even deserve. It’s the type of kindness that seriously gives you faith. Being a good person is a real and important thing that can make a huge different in so many people’s lives. It’s also the type of kindness that makes it really clear what kind of people you want in your life.

And today in photos.


Breakfast was a Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie from Carolina Smoothies after teaching yoga. I came home for lunch to meet the AC repair guy and I was THRILLED to receive news that it would only be $200 small part fix and I ask that everyone PLEASE pray that my entire unit does not need to be replaced this summer. I had salad and leftover pizza from last night for lunch. So yummy!


I took a little detour by Lululemon on my way back to work. Pretty sure my financial planner would not approve (especially given that we just met yesterday) but we have a new dress code at work where we have to wear Metro branded or Metro orange clothes and Lulu just happens to have our exact brand color in tons of styles right now so I picked up a power y, cool racer and flow y bra along with some new speed shorts.

And guess who finally picked up a weight today? This girl…to the tune of 5 sets of 20 barbell squats at 75#. I still want to yoga, yoga, yoga but unfortunately I need to work, work, work so I have to get in what I can. Y’all know I love squatting more than anything so it felt great!


Dinner tonight was a celebration of Sweet Tater Katie’s 28th birthday at Longboard’s. Chile lime tilapia bowl with rice, black beans, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, avocado and cojita cheese.

Bed time. I have an early PT client tomorrow. Please think about what I shared above. Please?

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • lora downie July 9, 2013, 10:52 pm

    Couldn’t agree more that kindness is critical! I would also add kindness to ourselves…
    I think we are so inclined to look for the negative or the ‘non-perfect’ parts of ourselves as challenges to change or continuously ‘improve’. But what if we were able to accept some things as they are and accept ourselves with love in this moment. This would mean much of the negative self-talk women struggle with would be diminished and we would be free to pursue the things we truly desire. Be kind to others, but first demonstrate kindness in and to ourselves.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:26 am

      lora – yes, being kind with ourselves is very important too. over the last couple of years i have really become more aware of the importance of self-care and the way we talk to ourselves and treat our bodies and minds.

      • Lauren K July 10, 2013, 9:25 am

        Agree with Iora! It’s kind of amazing how much calmer I am when I don’t stress over little things about myself. There is so much more time to be engaged in other aspects of life!

  • Amanda @Fitforgloryfoundbygrace July 9, 2013, 11:06 pm

    You’re takeaway message couldn’t be more than true. I had this experience with a teacher of mine and when I graduated and moved out to school I felt so compelled to write her a letter. Her acts of kindness in my life had happened to occur during one of the hardest times of my life and I felt truly guilty not telling her what it meant to me and how it kept my head up. It’s definitely something I need to work on myself! Wonderful post, as always!

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:27 am

      amanda – that was so thoughtful of you to write that letter and i’m sure that it meant so much to your teacher.

  • Courtney July 9, 2013, 11:18 pm

    So true. You never know what’s going on with people. I have been on both sides. Being active helps me to remain physically and emotionally healthy but recently I injured my knee and felt like my life was falling apart because I was getting so off track. Fortunately most people were patient with me, knowing I was struggling. It’s always good to be aware that people are dealing with their own struggles and respect that and do whatever you can to help, even if it’s just listening.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:29 am

      courtney – i’m so happy to hear that you had people supporting you in your time of need. i hope that your knee is getting better and that you’re getting back on track. i also use physical activity as a means to keep me balanced and happy so i understand how tough it is to have that taken away with you and to deal.

  • Lisa July 9, 2013, 11:45 pm

    So true and such an important message to spread. And this post is coming at a great time in my life. My good friend just passed away this past weekend and I’m pretty heart broken over it and kind of feel stuck because I’m having trouble moving past this. I almost feel this sense of not knowing who I am anymore, and it’s been really difficult. I’m hoping it gets easier with time, and I’m not more aware of basically everyone shares these same issues in different forms, it just doesn’t always come up in conversation. We’re all human – we all struggle. Kindness to others and ourselves is something I am very aware of and think it’s so important. I’ve only been reading very few blogs since this incident and lucky stars that I clicked on yours and got this post.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:34 am

      lisa – i am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. i can only imagine how heartbroken you are and it’s okay for you to be stuck on it right now. these things take time to process and you have to allow yourself to feel. it will get easier with time but you’ll also never forget. it’s now a part of you. these kinds of losses usually do bring up a lot of questioning and it might be something that takes you a while to get to a good place with. just allow people to support you and talk about what you are feeling when you are ready. sending you so much love.

  • grace July 9, 2013, 11:48 pm

    You are truly an amazing person. Thank you so much for just being there for me in the moment and being my rock.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:36 am

      i will do anything i can to support you with this new endeavor grace. xoxo

  • Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate July 10, 2013, 12:51 am

    It is so true that you can never know what others are going through or experiencing at any given point in time, make kindness SO important with every interaction. And here’s to hoping your AC holds up!

  • Rebecca P. July 10, 2013, 5:39 am

    This is definitely true but sometimes so hard to remember. I find people getting on my nerves a lot and always try to remind myself that they may be going through something in their life that is making them act a certain way. So I need to be less harsh on people and their actions. We all need to follow your message because kindness really is great!

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:38 am

      rebecca – this is definitely much easier said than done but it’s an attitude that can be cultivated with time. just becoming aware of your interactions with others and looking at your reactions can be eye opening. we’re all human and it’s normal to get annoyed, frustrated, etc with people but we can make small shifts that will add up to a big impact.

  • Amanda July 10, 2013, 6:42 am

    Everyone already commented on your kindness message, which I completely agree with and try to always remember. On a side note, keep your lululemon receipts… tax write-off. Sorry, that’s my frugal, cheap side screaming through this morning.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 7:48 am

      haha – thanks amanda! i do write off things i buy specifically for work since i wear this stuff all day, every day. 😉

  • Jenn @BeYOUatBeMe July 10, 2013, 7:17 am

    It is so true. I am always empathetic to others as we are all going through things and need support. Often times in the blog world, it appears as though bloggers have it all together, but in reality, I love the bloggers who share their struggles and show authenticity.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:39 am

      i agree that the blog world can be a bit of a mind game but one thing i have learned in life is that we are all flawed and dealing with our own stuff. thank you for reading and commenting.

  • Melinda July 10, 2013, 7:18 am

    It’s amazing what even the smallest act of kindness can really mean to someone. Just recently, one of my coworkers (whom I also consider a friend) was having a really rough patch with workload, health problems, and just overall stress. I stopped at a little coffee shop across the street from our office building to grab my morning coffee, when I noticed they had freshly baked blueberry bagels. I remember her saying that they were her favorite so in addition to my coffee, I got one for her. Something really small in the grand scheme of things, but when I gave it to her she was so surprised that anyone would do something so thoughtful and it really made her day. Sometimes people just need to know that others are thinking about them.

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:41 am

      melinda – that was such a nice thing to do for your co-worker. sometimes we get so stuck in our own struggles that it’s unbelievable to think that others would go out of their way to do something like that or are even thinking of you.

  • Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com July 10, 2013, 7:47 am

    Love this! So so true – one never knows whats going on in someone elses life so just being kind and not judging them is the best thing! Your post reminds me of a story circulating on FB :
    “A man got on a bus with three children. They must have been about 11, 7, and 5. All of them found seats. The children were noisy and boisterous. They insisted on shouting and jumping around the bus whenever it stopped, heedless of whom they elbowed or whose body they banged against or whose toes they stepped on. After about 5 minutes, everyone on board the bus was disgusted. Two old ladies who were sitting in the seat immediately ahead of the children were bearing the brunt of their misbehavior.
    The man accompanying the children seemed lost in some faraway world – unaware of both the children’s unacceptable behavior, and the disapproving looks and muttering of the passengers.
    Initially, the old ladies grumbled to each other about the father’s (they assumed he was the father of the children) lack of awareness at how badly his children were conducting themselves. When they found no response from him, they increased their volume, till, during a sudden lull, their penetrating tones were clearly heard by everyone on the bus, “Just look at that man! Can’t he do anything to control those monstrous children of his?”
    When the man didn’t twitch a muscle even at this, one of the old ladies tapped him smartly on the arm. He jumped. “Excuse me, Sir. Your children are making a nuisance of themselves. Can’t you do anything to subdue them?” she demanded.
    He looked at her a moment. “Ma’am, I’m so sorry. Their mother just died and we’re getting back home from the funeral. They don’t quite know what to make of it all, and I’m wondering how I’m going to raise them all by myself and hold down a job as well.”

    and this story:
    “A doctor entered the hospital in a hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call ASAP, changed his clothes & went directly to the surgery block. He found the boy’s father pacing in the hall waiting for the doctor. On seeing him, the dad yelled, “Why did you take all this time to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have any sense of responsibility?”
    The doctor smiled & said, “I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital & I came as fast as I could after receiving the call…… And now, I wish you’d calm down so that I can do my work”
    “Calm down?! What if your son was in this room right now, would you calm down? If your own son dies now what will you do??” said the father angrily.
    The doctor smiled again & replied: “I will say what Job said in the Holy Book, “From dust we came & to dust we return, blessed be the name of God.” Doctors cannot prolong lives. Go & intercede for your son, we will do our best by God’s grace.”
    “Giving advice when we’re not concerned is so easy,” murmured the father.
    The surgery took some hours after which the doctor came out happy,
    “Thank goodness! Your son is saved!” And without waiting for the father’s reply, he carried on his way running. “If you have any questions, ask the nurse!!”
    “Why is he so arrogant? He couldn’t wait a minute so that I could ask about my son’s state?” commented the father when seeing the nurse shortly after the doctor left.
    The nurse answered, tears coming down her face: “His son died yesterday in a road accident, he was in the burial when we called him for your son’s surgery. And now that he saved your son’s life, he left running to finish his son’s burial.”

    Sorry to have taken up so much space….but felt I needed to share these… I stumbled on your blog awhile back and I continue to come back becos of soulful posts like this one – thank you 🙂

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:42 am

      i’m so glad you did “take up the space” and share. thank you so much for taking the time!

  • Laura July 10, 2013, 7:58 am

    your blog is one of the few truly authentic and “real” ones out there. thank you for sharing posts like this. very inspiring. oh, what i would give to live in charlotte and take one of your yoga classes–i swear if you want another career change, counseling and therapy should be at the top of your list. you are truly inspiring.

    thank you for this–i needed it today. have a good day 🙂

    • Jen July 10, 2013, 8:22 am

      laura – thank you so much for the kind words and thank you so much for reading my blog. and i do want to find a way to incorporate speaking about my story/talking with others about theirs into what i do. i hope you have a good day too.

  • erin July 10, 2013, 8:56 am

    Jen–you are at such a pivotal moment in your life. You have had a rough go the last year or two, and readjusting your sails can be so difficult after heading in a particular direction for so long. Growing pains are just that–painful–but your life is evolving into something so beautiful. I feel honored to witness that on your blog. It very much reminds me of a huge transformation I went through in my mid-20s, which started from something beyond my control but helped put me exactly where I needed to be.

    Life is too short for negative energy and unkind thoughts, and I truly believe we get back what we put out in the universe. It takes less energy to be kind and unassuming of another person’s situation than it does to harbor negative thoughts or say cross words. And then our heart is left open, which is just a wonderful thing. Thanks for this message today.

  • Katie July 10, 2013, 9:37 am

    Absolutely could not have said it better. I am going through what seems to be a similar struggle with questioning where my life is going, what I want my future to look like, whether what’s currently in my life fits in that picture, etc. It’s exhausting, really, lol! I know from the outside I look like a normal working woman but I certainly don’t feel that way, so thank you for the reminder!!

  • Christina July 10, 2013, 9:39 am

    I love that quote you included, Jen! It’s so true. 2012 was a very rough year for my husband and I – my husband unexpectedly lost his job just 2 days before the birth of our first child. It was an incredibly emotional time for us on so many different levels, and we felt this overwhelming stress knowing that we had our beautiful daughter to support, but we were lacking our primary financial means to care for her. We didn’t share our situation with people for quite some time (we felt embarrassed….which in hindsight was so silly) but the little acts of kindness we were shown by friends, family, and neighbors meant more to us then they will EVER know. Even the small things, like leaving our newspaper on our front porch for us or bringing our trash cans to the curb on trash day felt like a little weight off our shoulders at a time when it felt like the world was pressing very heavily on us.

    Thanks for this post and your honesty!

  • Lauren July 10, 2013, 12:44 pm

    I definitely think this is the best way to live. You NEVER know what people are going through so any extra kindness, even in the smallest ways, is so important day-to-day. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Patti Smith July 10, 2013, 1:01 pm

    I try very hard to remember what you said even about people I don’t care very much for. I don’t understand the need to destroy others in order to make yourself feel better. We have this happening in our professional lives right now…the person who is being attacked is someone I truly dislike but the attack is so malicious and ongoing that it’s troubling at best. I worry about this pattern of behavior in our society where tearing each other up becomes a natural response to something we don’t like. Thanks for the reminder today 🙂

  • Tamara July 10, 2013, 3:13 pm

    I just adore this post!! I could not agree more. Loving kindness — to ourselves and to others — is kind of my main focus these days. Thank YOU!!!!! <3

  • Joy July 10, 2013, 3:31 pm

    I love this post, Jen.

    I’m so glad someone was so kind to you. For me it’s the random acts of kindness that mean the world to me. I’m a big believer in being kind all of the time, no matter the situation. Sometimes I falter on that because the world seems so go, go, go that people around me seem to treat each other not so kindly because of being in a rush. I wish I could say the rude people don’t bother me, but they do. But your words are very true…you never know what someone is going through so I will remember that next time I’m feeling not so kind.

  • Kelsey @ Fueling Strong July 10, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I love that quote. After seeing a friend go through an addiction problem, I realized that I was always too quick to judge others. I’ve taken a step back and realized that we all really do have struggles in our lives that God asks us to walk through.

  • Brittany@proteinandpumps July 10, 2013, 9:10 pm

    Beautiful post. Kindness is so important <3

  • Ashley July 12, 2013, 10:21 am

    That bowl looks amazing! I love the idea of throwing in all things yummy and eating them up! Lulumon is no friend of any financial planner… but hows a girl supposed to resist!?!?!

  • Lorena Sanchez January 14, 2015, 10:42 am

    Thank you for sharing, Jen. I think your blog is truly inspiring! Have a great day. Namaste <3

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