Take Yourself Off the Hook

QUESTION FOR THE SELF-ESTEEM DR. FROM SHELLEY: “Dr. Jewel I’m in my 50’s now and I feel like a failure. I feel like many opportunities for love, money, career advancement and my weight image have passed me by. I feel stuck, lonely and embarrassed when I see what other people around me have accomplished. I was recently laid off my job and too ashamed to tell my family and friends about my fears and financial struggles. I even missed going to our family reunion to avoid the questions and judgment. Just to get out of the bed each day is a struggle.  Thank you so much for your web site and the weekly newsletters you send out. I have been saving them for years but now I need to know how to start applying what you write about. I’m sorry I missed your recent speaking engagement in Atlanta but this heavy depression has me on lock down. Did you record your message?”

JEWEL DIAMOND TAYLOR’S RESPONSE: Thank you Shelley for writing me. No, my recent Atlanta message was not recorded. Based on the feedback from my audience, I believe you would have been inspired and blessed to pull yourself out of this pit. We all make mistakes, fail, procrastinate, make the wrong turn, miss golden opportunities and make wrong decisions at some point. We all go through a painful time of reassessing our lives and realizing we were either misinformed, uninspired, in denial, busy helping others, lazy, disconnected from the right people, scattered our time, love and money on the wrong things or wrong people, hoping someone would come along and save us or do what needed to be done for us.
downward spiral of emotions     If you internalize, obsess and judge yourself based on a failed marriage, being single, your bank account, your education, your dress size, your past of missed opportunities or social/economic status, you will never grow out of your negative self-evaluating patterns, self-loathing and down spiraling emotions.

You will only grow out of this from desperation or inspiration. Unfortunately, most people are not motivated by pleasure but their painful circumstances.      Your message sounds like your pain is motivating you to seek help. It’s time to take yourself off the hook. You gain nothing by being angry with yourself, resentful, depressed, critical or defeated.  The opposite of beating yourself up is practicing self-care, compassion and self-motivation. I promise you…you are not alone. Shame is a powerful stronghold, but this chain can be broken. You have new choices and new steps you can take. I pray you TAKE YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK.off the hook

Read inspirational/motivational books like mine and other authors. Declare that you will encourage yourself.  Your worth is not just measured by what you own or accomplished or your marital status.  You are worthy in God’s sight. You can still leave your mark. You can still touch lives and find inner peace.  You can still move forward, not on a broken road, but a blessed road of faith, action, courage, purpose, humility and love.  If you can’t get excited and motivated about your own goal…enlist to help, assist, volunteer and share your experiences, time and talents as a dream pusher for a person/organization you believe in. Open your windows, listen to some upbeat music, make your gratitude list, nurture new relationships, make an appointment with me for some awesome, life changing, effective and healing coaching/counseling.  I know how it feels to grieve in your heart for people and opportunities lost.   Shake out your garment of despair that’s been hanging on that hook. Put on a garment of praise.  The book of Isaiah says to those who grieve in Zion that God will give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  Thank God for His grace and mercy which as brought you this far.  You are still here.

morgan freeman

As Morgan Freeman’s character says in the movie Shawshank Redemption,“Get busy living or get busy dying…..there ain’t nothing in between.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Stay in the light.”                ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor, http://www.DoNotGiveUp.net, 323.964.1736, e-mail me Jewel@DoNotGiveUp.net

Are you dying on the inside?



I have known of a couple of people who told me clearly they had a “near-death” experiences. This phenomena is usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or very close to death.  They speak clearly about how they felt and what they saw.  They report feeling a sense of peace, well-being, painlessness, positive emotions and a sense of removal from the world.

But I also know of people who have had “near-life” experiences.  They came close to experiencing joy, passion, new beginnings, love, vibrancy and optimism.

Instead of doing…they are distracted, dreaming and focusing on disappointments.  Instead of living and acting on their spiritual impulse to create…their courage dies,  their faith dies, their trust dies and their confidence dies.  Depression and pain can numb you and place you in an emotional coma or paralysis of analysis.

Indictments, hurt, abandonment, rejection or jealousy from your past can cripple you and you eventually flat line emotionally…no joy, no dreams, no confidence, no purpose, no worth and no faith.Emotional and Spiritual CPR

One of the ways to breathe life into your dreams and purpose is to surround yourself with people who are fully alive.   Build your faith and sense of worth by dealing with any sense of shame, guilt or fears.

Arrest the thief called procrastination.  Get out of any comfort zone of defeat, a rut or what’s the use attitude.  Don’t just stick your toe in the water.  Jump in!  The water will be cold and startling at first.  But the longer you stay in, the more your body will adjust.  Become super-intentional with your thoughts, emotions and actions to be resilient and proactive after any season of challenges, loss, setbacks or pain.   Open up your lungs and breath.  Open up your mind and believe again.  Open up your journals and inspirational books.   Give yourself spiritual and emotional CPR before you flatline.   Life is calling you.  Life is a gift. Endure it, embrace it, enjoy it, excel it and exhale all the hurt so you can inhale all of God’s power.

Speak Up for Your Life

During my son’s battle with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer (lungs, heart, bone, skin, liver), he was specific about limiting visitors. Even though many friends and relatives wanted to visit him, he kept saying, “Mom I’m in a battle for my life and I only need positive energy and hope around me. I don’t want sadness or a pity-party. I don’t have the energy to answer questions.”

JJ was so focused and, at times, I thought he was being a little too harsh not receiving family members who loved him. He really lived out my motto and book title “The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing…The Main Thing.

Sadly, my son did not survive and passed away September 1, surrounded by family and friends. The lesson I wish to share, which is not new, but very significant in my thoughts in this season of grief and mystery is…
We are all in a battle for either; our lives, dreams, goals, sanity, jobs, housing, family, health, finances, faith and salvation. We must guard our hearts and have physical and emotional boundaries to protect ourselves from people who can drain, discourage or distract us. People may think you are being too harsh. People may not understand your focus and fight. One of the many legacies my son John has left me … is to never be afraid to speak up for what is important to you. It’s your life. ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor. www.DoNotGiveUp.net

Leap of Faith

Recently I attended a meeting learning information that could change my life and my business. On the way to the meeting I heard old voices of sabotage, procrastination and fear speaking…e.g. “The traffic is too much, turn around…If I’m late, I should call and say I will come next time…I’m tired and I should have stayed home…This information is over my head, I’m too old to start something new. blah blah.” After hearing the passionate speaker I felt butterflies in my stomach. I felt a combination of excitement and fear. I felt overwhelmed and I felt hope.

I am sharing this experience with you because I know what it feels like to be out of your comfort zone. I push, inspire and motivate others as a Life Coach, but when it happens to me, I too, feel a mixed bag of emotions. Why does this happen? Our brains are wired for the familiar. Our brain likes to conserve energy so it seeks routine. I am seeking growth and change but my brain likes the loop of assumptions, fear and behaviors that have accumulated over time because of my focus and repetitive thoughts, feelings and actions.

Here’s an example. If you take the same route home from work every day, after a while your brain doesn’t have to think. You get home on auto pilot. If you take a new route, your mind needs to use energy to be alert for danger, new streets, new turns, new traffic signals, new sights along the way. Now your brain is on hyper-alert instead of auto-pilot. This happens when we change jobs, relationships, grocery stores, restaurants, classes, etc. Too often we slip into auto-pilot and miss red flags, miss opportunities for growth and miss the adventure and possibilities life offers.

If you want to change your life, change your behavior and choices.   We are creatures of habit.  Whatever you focus on and repeat… becomes a feedback loop in your brain. If you focus on fear and repeat limiting behavior…your brain develops a routine and familiar loop of assumptions and feelings. If you focus on success, growth and possibilities…your brain will develop a routine and familiar loop of assumptions and feelings. As a man/woman thinketh…so is he/she.

You were born to be and experience more than where you are now! Life has so many more things for you to see, touch, smell, taste, feel, enjoy, share, learn, hear, overcome and accomplish. I invite you to take more leaps of faith with me and silence your inner critic. Be reminded of the words found in 2 Timothy 1:7…”For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

I will be teaching more on this topic “Train Your Brain for Success” on a tele-conference call Saturday, Dec 1 and Saturday, Dec. 8. ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor

enjoy this brief 2 minute video clip about taking leaps of faith

You Have 2 Brains – Which one are you listening to?

Did you know your body has two (2) brains?  I was reminded of this medical revelation from an experience I had 20 years ago.  I was invited to inspire women living with HIV/Aids but I was the one who left encouraged after my brief encounter and hug from a sightless man who was there as one of the social workers.  I will always remember what this blind man said to me after finishing my keynote speech at a large health conference on a Tuesday in Southern California.  This sightless man stood patiently in my long book signing line to tell me something that has remained with me for 20 years.  When I doubt my purpose or ask God if I should stick with my passion when times are difficult or the speaking invitations come in slow… I remember what he said.  When I question my decision to quit my human resources job with a pay check every week to become self-employed…I remember what he said to me.  He did not see the dress I was wearing.    He did not see my performance of sign language to a Yolanda Adam’s song “Never Give Up.”  He did not see my handouts.   He did not see all the things I prepared to visually inspire and educate my audience.  He didn’t see all the external things that I took so much time planning for or worrying what other people saw or thought about me (e.g. how I looked, how I stood, what I was wearing, my printed handouts, my hair, my jewelry, my shoes, my nails, etc.)  This sightless man standing alone without any assistance but his cane said to me, “Thank you Jewel for following your golden gut.  You have touched my spirit.  I felt your energy and I am encouraged to go on.”  WOW!!  My golden gut!

Dr. Gershon, coined the term “second brain” in 1996.  He is one of many researchers who studies brain-gut connections.  The brain controls behavior. Butterflies in your stomach (gut) rise when the brain sends a message of anxiety to the gut, which sends messages back to the brain that it’s unhappy. But the gut has been referred to as your second brain.  Your gut is where you have feelings of being; guided, warned, nervous, sad, happy, in love, or depressed.  Your stomach (gut) dictates your mood and appetite.  Your gut feelings give you warnings and sometimes you may regretfully ignore what your gut (instincts) are telling you.  Your brain and “golden gut” are connected and communicate. My golden gut feeling (instincts, emotions, true north, God’s voice) guided me to quit my job and start my public speaking career in 1984.  Sometimes I question my decision.  But for the most part I’m glad I listened to my golden gut.  That sightless man saw in me the invisible.  He helped me to remember my “why” I wanted to make a difference.  I wanted the freedom of developing my own future.  I wanted to impact people’s lives in a positive way.  I wanted to express what God had revealed to me about love, faith, courage, wisdom, healing, self-esteem, resiliency, perseverance and purpose.  I had no mentors, no web site, no clue and no money but I began following my gut.

I consulted my first brain for logic and set a goal when I should begin my new golden career.  My first brain (mental) calls it risk taking.

My second brain (emotions) calls it a leap of faith.   My first brain wanted a plan.  My first brain was full of doubt and fear.  My second brain was full of excitement and gave me courage.  My second brain compelled me to follow my dream and my heart.   If you only listen to the logic in your first brain, the fear and rational thinking may paralyze you.  If you only listen to your second brain (emotions) without consulting your first brain (logic), you may impulsively make decisions you will soon regret.

What is your “golden gut” saying to you?  I hope you are inspired to discover the golden treasures and life purpose God has for you by listening to your second brain…your golden gut.  Pray that God will guide you to find your hidden golden treasures (Proverbs 2:4) ~ by Jewel Diamond Taylor


One step at a time – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Are you climbing a mountain to overcome debt, family drama, health/weight issues, building your business/ministry or seeking a job?  Are you climbing a mountain of success to; make more money, save your marriage, finish college, save your home, achieve your dream, build your business/ministry or taking steps to break an addiction, temper or depression?

God will supply all my needs.  Phil. 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given us in Christ Jesus.

Remember it’s not always the big steps or the height of your mountain that can stop you, it’s the little things that frustrate you.  If you are easily irritated or distracted by people, this can stop you.  If you lose your patience in the process, this can stop you.  If you become easily frustrated with following through, details or coping with unexpected “shifts” in life, this can stop you.  Because the people around you may think differently, act differently or respond differently to situations, do you lose your cool over petty things or things you have no control over?  If the inevitable glitches, setbacks and daily demands of life easily besets you…you will never reach the top of your mountain.

Assess your stress.  Are you delegating tasks to others so you can lessen your stress?  Are you being pulled in many different directions trying to please everybody?  Are you a people pleaser being stretched by the drama and demands from the people in your life? Are your children, co-workers, friends, boss or mate getting on your last nerve?  I believe emotional or physical pain serves to inform you.  It is a signal that you need to pay attention.   Check your mindset.  Shake off anything that can distract and discourage you.  The road up the rough side of the mountain is never smooth.  Shift happens.  Be sure to wear your faith walking shoes.  Keep your mountain climbing back pack gear full of things necessary to survive the journey.  Don’t turn back.  Don’t give up.  Don’t let the little things become big stumbling blocks.  Keep on reaching until you reach your higher ground. Reflect on this quotation by Robert Service, “It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”  Amen to that statement because so often it is the little things that steal our joy!

“As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that, “Wherever you go, there you are. One of the mistakes many of us make is that we feel sorry for ourselves, or for others, thinking that life should be fair, or that someday it will be. It’s not and it won’t. When we make this mistake we tend to spend a lot of time wallowing and/or complaining about what’s wrong with life. “It’s not fair,” we complain, not realizing that, perhaps, it was never intended to be.  If we would just slow down, happiness would catch up to us.” ― Richard CarlsonDon’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (#Don’tSweatTheSmallStuff)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.  Keep your guard up. You`re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It`s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on faith. The suffering won`t last forever. It won`t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ- eternal and glorious plans they are! – will have you put together and on your feet for good.  He gets the last word.  1 Peter 5:9 (Message Bible)

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow waery, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)