Jeannie Bruenning Author

Welcome

Welcome to my new home on the inter-web! It’s like moving from an apartment to a real house.

The Jeep is gone – not in real life, heavens no! Just the images. The jeep will be around for a long time. It does need new tires however. They’re starting to look like old Converse gym shoes, the ones that look great on top but have no traction. Every time I climb into my Jeeper I picture myself at 70, 80 even 90 swing my right leg in and pulling myself up. By that time it will be less about the jeep and more about, “Look what I can still do!!”

I’m using my full name now. No more jeanniegb. I wonder if that’s a sign that I’m more comfortable with who I am and not afraid to put  my name on it. But it could be that the names are almost equal in size and make a classy logo for the header. There are too many n’s in my name. My signature is a J followed by a bunch of humps, a B followed by a bunch of humps and is finished off with the tail of the g.

The brilliant designers at A+B|Photo+Design made this for me. It’s almost done. Feel free to take a tour. The road map is to your right. The only room that isn’t finished is “Available Books.”

Which has made me think about those books I’ve written in the past 9 years. Me, writing books!! All my english teachers would shake their heads in disbelief. Mom taught us to speak properly, which is a good thing cause I never understood any of the “rules of the english language”. I can tell you what a noun and a verb are, but that’s about all. And anyway, all we need to know is what it was and what it did, right?

Back to books…”What’s your favorite?” I get asked. That’s like asking “Who is your favorite kid?” The answer to both those questions changes regularly…

Mr Hobbins was the first and I love him (the book and character) dearly.

Your Wagon is a Saggin’ is all about emotions.

Lessons Learned in Retail Management is a tribute to my life in that world.

Memoir of Beatrice Miller makes me laugh just thinking about her and her crazy aunt, but mostly about the ways they get rid of people.

The Plan is my true love. Telling my favorite stories from the Bible as they layout in my mind. The Captive, A Story of Fear and Forgiveness (2018) is the sequel, and I may love it the best.

Living Unstuck, finding your joy is hot off the presses. It’s a game changer. It’s a life changers. I can say this because I’ve tested it’s contents and it has changed my life in ways I never dreamed possible.

So thanks for visiting my new home and allowing me to share some of my favorite things with you. Come back often. I hope you find warmth and comfort here. Next time bring a friend and maybe we can share a glass of wine while we watch the sun setting over the ocean. Cheers!

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Hey Mom, I’m Just Like You!

My mom and I share a common trait. It is refer to as white coat syndrome. This is when you go to the doctor and the people in white coats, which really doesn’t exist anymore, takes your blood pressure and everyone get concerned because you are a few seconds away from a stroke or perhaps even your death.

Last week I had a follow-up appointment to make sure my pneumonia was all gone. I had put this off since there isn’t any sign it’s still around. However, I did have soreness by my rib cage and I wanted someone else to tell me that I had bruised a rib during one of the thousand coughing spells I lived through and that it wasn’t something more serious. The soreness had grown to a pain over the past few days and was poking me in the side, which prompted me to make the appointment.

After arriving 10 minutes early, filling out minimal paperwork, I sat down to wait for my name. Breathe, I kept repeating to myself. Relax. The door opened and I was invited to enter. Once through the open door I was directed to the scale which clearly said being sick the months of November and December had taken it’s toll.

“You can sit here,” she instructed.

“It’s going to be high,” I instructed. “It always is when you take it.”

She put the cuff on and the air began to fill. The machine stopped as if taking another breath and kept going. The pressure was enormous and I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head.

“Is it going to stop?” she said quietly. I laughed, closing my eyelids to hold them in.

It finally did and I waited as the pressure slowly released. “Wow.” she said.

“How high it is?” I asked.

“200 / 100,” she replied.

“Wow! It’s never been that high.” I think 200 / 100 is close to death… glad I lived!

Five minutes later she took it again and it had dropped, not to the You’re one healthy chick! level, but it did drop.

“I’ll take it again after you see the doctor,” she said. I was a little concerned they wouldn’t let me leave until it was safe.

The doctor entered, pulled over a small cart and spread my file out. He check my heart, my lungs and all was well. Then he felt my ribs. “You’ve injured them,” he confirmed. “It will take a while to heal.” I nodded and smiled.

“Your blood pressure is high,” he said.

“It’s really high!” I said “But it does that in the office.” I explained that I have had times where I had been borderline but with diet and exercise I had brought it down to safe levels. “I’d like to try again before you put me on medication.”

“Make an appointment in 6 weeks,” he instructed in his doctorly tone. “Take your blood pressure 3 times a day and record it.”

“I will I promised.” Three times, I thought, I’ve never had to take it three times.

Just before I left, they checked one more time, it had dropped again.

I left defeated. “I’ve been here before, why am I here again. When am I going to figure out the importance of diet and exercise. I fell asleep dreading the next day and starting yet another time, a diet.

In the morning the light had made a difference, as it usually does. This is the first time in my life that I don’t have to change my lifestyle cause it’s too stressful! I thought. I’ve eliminated all of that and I think I’ve learn to keep it at bay. This is now a new lifestyle that I will have until I die. (I’m planning on 40 more fun filled years!)

Fast forward one week. Right eating, daily exercise and all readings are well within the safe zone and going down.

I’ve had a few reminders and discoveries since that doctors appointment.

Two weeks prior Jeff and I were reading about one of our favorite actresses who had lost 100+ pounds. She simply said, “There is no magic pill. You have to eat right and walk more.”

I was reminded that one week prior I had asked God to help me with diet since I couldn’t seem to find the key. He always answers pray and sometimes (most of the time) it’s in very creative and humorous ways.

The soreness in my ribs that forced me to the doctor in the first place almost vanished the next day. If we listen, our bodies find ways to get our attention when something is wrong. For me it was as if it was poking me in the side, telling me to make an appointment. Not that my rib was an issue but it brought me to a place that shined a light on a real problem.

What so amazes me is that well before I knew there was an issue, the solution was making it’s self know. I love how life works when we listen.

Eating right and daily exercising is no long something I have to remember to do, it’s what I do. It’s not because my life is stressful. It’s not because I’m not disciplined. It’s simply because my Mom, who turns 90 this year, and I share a few common traits…

Excited about a new venture – check out LIVING UNSTUCK. 

Living Unstuck

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Streams

I’ve been thinking (and talking) a lot about inner tubes in the past few months. It’s an image that we use in the book Living Unstuck and it’s an image that has etched itself into my brain.

The idea of living life as if we are resting on an inner tube and gently floating through life is a great image but what does it really represent? What is the inner tube and where do I find the stream? This is the very discussion I had with myself last weekend.

These are the answers that my smarter-self had to offer:

The inner tube is our life. The image I have is a large, oversized, black inner tube. It’s an inner tube for one, such as our lives are. We interact, get connected, we get involved, but at the end of the day, we have been given, are responsible for, and live ONE life.

The stream is the current we choose to propel our inner tubes. There are a million streams! There are streams named anger, jealousy, and resentment. I think these streams carry a lot of sickness and disease and when we choose to float down them we are at risk of contamination. There are streams known as, self-doubt, insecurity, and self-centeredness. There are streams of instant gratification, striving for success, and prosperity. If you can think it, there’s a stream for it.

We are all currently floating down a stream in our inner tubes of life. We can try and pass the blame onto someone else for putting us in our stream, but if we are honest, we are all in the stream of our own choosing.

I don’t know about you but these words have suddenly messed up the lovely image I had in my head a few moments ago of an oversized black inner tube allowing the current to take me through life.

So what can we do when life suddenly sweeps us away and we find ourselves in a stream of yuckiness?

That’s easy! We simply stand up, pick up our tube, and go back to the gentle stream. We set our tube in the cool water and careful get on board. We breathe deeply as we release the yuckiness we’ve carried with us and once again begin to learn to trust the stream.

The more I think about life as an inner tube, the more I fall in love with the idea of it.

Feb Release

Visit: livingunstuck.us to order an autographed copy from our first printing. Order before Jan 28th.

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Sand Dollars

There is a large glass vase that sits on my fireplace. It has the words Lest You Forget etched into it. It’s meant to be a marker, a way of remembering.

We need markers in our life to help us remember. As young parents we forget what it was like to be a kid. As parents of teens we forget the stupid stuff we did that taught us life lessons. As mature adults we forget the mistakes made that allowed us to become mature adults.

When we first moved to California, I spent a lot of time collecting sand dollars, seventy to be exact. They weren’t just any sand dollars, they had to be perfect; no cracks or missing backs. I brought them home, wash them and let them bleach in the sun. Then, I carefully laid them in the jar. This jar and its 70 perfect sand dollars was a marker to me of life prior to California.

Two Fridays ago I had an nagging feeling all day that I had forgotten something. It wasn’t until evening when it dawned on me that exactly ten years ago on that day, I had flown into San Luis Obispo, CA for the first time. A decade, my mind immediately began recalling all that had happened in those ten years.

It wasn’t an easy decade by any stretch of the imagination. There was an enormous amount of change, health issues, loss of career, financial loss, and family tragedy. The images that filled my head were not of celebration but of pain. And then suddenly, there was the image of a large glass vase filled with sand dollars and it no longer marked life prior to California, rather our first decade here.

The next day we packed a small cooler, a shovel, and a large glass vase filled with dusty sand dollars and Jeff and I headed to the beach.

We parked and Jeff took the shovel and began digging a hole while I retrieved the cooler and poured two glasses of wine. When both tasks were complete, I pick up the glass vase and held it for a moment as if placing all the sadness I had been reminded of into it. I then carefully tipped it over and seventy, once perfect, sand dollars spilled out.

As the last of the dollars landed I couldn’t help but notice the perfect, white, brilliant ones that now laid on top of the pile. “And there it is,” I thought. “That’s the full circle.” Surrounded by faded, dusty and broken sand dollars were beautiful white perfect ones, so breathtaking that I had to stop myself from retrieving them.

I had been remembering the loss and had forgotten that it was only because of the loss that life is now more amazing and wonderful than I could have ever imagined…and I have a big imagination.

Jeff covered the hole and we toasted to the past, to lessons learned, and to all that lay ahead of us in 2018 and beyond.

…There is a large glass vase that sits on my fireplace. It has the words, Lest You Forget etched into it. It’s meant to be a marker, a way of remembering…it’s waiting to be filled.

 

BookCovers-White

Check out my new project:

Living Unstuck; finding your joy!

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Feeling or Fact

I heard him say, “I just can’t forgive myself. I feel so guilty…”

I’ve heard others say this very thing but on that day his words hit me in an odd way. What would cause someone to not accept forgiveness? Why would anyone want to hold on to the past that badly?

“I feel guilty…” I played it over and over. Then it dawned on me, maybe guilt isn’t an emotion. Maybe it’s just a simple fact.

There are two reason why we feel guilty. The first is that we are super sensitive, insecure, and feel like everything that goes wrong in the world, in our lives, and in the lives the people around us must be our fault. We have caused all the evil, bad luck, and devastation in the world and are resigned to carrying the guilt and responsibility until the day we die. To those I simply ask, “How’s that working for you?”

The second reason we feel guilty is that we are. We did something – that cause something – thus we are guilty. In this case, guilt isn’t an emotion, it’s a fact. We are guilty!

This should not be alarming to anyone since we are all guilty of something. Even God says we are all guilty. So why do we pretend we aren’t? Why do we prefer making this fact into a feeling and carry it through life with us?

Once we flip the switch from feeling guilty to admitting that our guilt as a fact, we are free to accept forgiveness. Whether that’s God’s forgiveness, the forgiveness of another, or forgiving ourselves. It can only be accepted when we admit we were wrong.

Guilt is a fact, not a feeling.

I’m quite sure a jury never came to the conclusion that the defendant felt guilty.

 

Check out my new project: Living Unstuck; finding your joy!

 

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Writer, Author and Coach. Jeannie started a publishing comapny in 2009 called A Silver Thread. Resides in a small beach town on the Central Coast of California and has a passion for people and stories. Click here to learn more.

New Release

LIVING UNSTUCK is a collection of lessons to navigate through the journey of finding joy and living a life unstuck. Released Feburary 1st. Learn more...

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