08 Sep

Fear. Dreams. Opportunity.

Setting goals can sometimes feel like a chore and sometimes we will find everything else to do (procrastinate) so that we don’t have to actually set them.  Why we do this?  I could get into the psychology behind it but ultimately, many of us get comfortable in our discomfort and don’t want to disrupt the flow that’s not serving us well.  So we do nothing.

photo credit: Jasmina Photography

But let me ask you something.  How does it feel when you accomplish a goal?  Especially one that you had in the back of your mind but never really made a plan for it to happen?  That happened to me last year when I was asked to be a dancer in Dancing with the Easter Seals Stars.  Turns out that this event was like one of the highlights of my life.  I know, sounds dramatic, but it was an experience of a lifetime!

I have always been a fan of the TV show Dancing with the Stars and I ALWAYS felt like I wanted to be a dancer.  However, I will have to admit, gracefulness and Jen Slay are not words that are often put in the same sentence.  I remember a time when I was in highschool when I was walking through Centerspot (a place where all the grade 12s/Seniors hung out) and I just fell.  No reason.  I just fell.  I had tripped over my own feet.  I can still hear the laughter and screams of shock the seniors made towards me – a ninth grader.  I can actually laugh about it 25yrs later.  I remember another time – actually a multitude of times – where I will be walking with my boys and I will stumble.  No reason.  I just trip myself.  My eldest tells me I walk too fast but I’m a woman with a mission (most days) and have somewhere to be!  So, like I wrote, gracefulness is not a word to describe me.  But I would dream of being a dancer on this show.  Literally, I’d dream it and visualize it and feel it.  Then – IT HAPPENED.

One day I got a call from the organizer, Stace, of the Easter Seals fundraiser called Dancing with the Easter Seals Stars.  Easter Seals is a charity that works with physically disabled children to help them experience the joys of life that most of us able bodied people take for granted.  Here’s a link – check it out:  But back to the story.  Stace said “Jen, we think you’d make a fabulous dancer and a great addition to the cast for this event we’re putting on.”  Now, I can see why she’d say that.  I’m a great actress.  Most people THINK that I’m well poised and graceful.  Only my immediate family knows the truth.  Well, and now all of you!  But anyways,  I immediately started to laugh when Stace said this to me because I know that I stumble and fall with no provocation.  Then Stace, likely sensing my hesitation and hearing my laughter, said, “I’m serious”.   I stopped laughing.   I had to give this some thought.  It was one thing to know that I’m a little clumsy but a whole other thing to provide evidence to a group of people that I didn’t know that I am not as “poised” as I let on to be.  However, Stace is persistent – which is why she is good at what she does.  And I agreed to be part of the show!

Can I just say that this was the BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

For three months I was trained by a professional dancer.  I learned grace and poise.  I trained hard and developed a deeper appreciation for what I was capable of doing.  I learned to trust my coach.  I relearned that with a goal in mind, hard work, trust, and belief, ANYTHING is possible.   I became my own biggest fan because I was pretty damn proud of myself for pulling off a waltz and a Chacha – WITHOUT FALLING OR TRIPPING!  And when I danced, it was magical.  I’ve attached the link to the home video my son took of me dancing.  It was something that I will always treasure.

So you may be asking – What does any of this have to do with goals?

Well, here’s the thing.  I am committed to helping others while uplifting myself and providing individuals with tools and strategies to empower themselves.  That’s who I am.  It’s what I do.  But I want us all to remember a few things.  Setting goals is more than just figuring out what you want and creating a plan to make it happen.  It is also about being aware of the opportunities as they present themselves.  It is about taking a pause when situations come up to think about how the situation could further you along and potentially meet a goal/dream you have tucked away in your brain.  It is about dreaming.  My experience with Dancing with the Easter Seals Stars allowed me to help a worthy cause while fulfilling a dream that I had tucked away in the back of my brain.   It was a win-win.  But I almost missed it because my immediate reaction was to say no out of fear of looking silly.

What are you worried about/scared of/apprehensive about that is making you say no to opportunities that could potentially enrich your life in ways you can’t even imagine?  You may want to rethink your position and actually go for it.  It may change your life.

While you’re thinking, this blog is also to ask you to support this year’s Dancing with the Easter Seals Stars on September 29, 2017.  I will be there – not dancing though – but I’d love to spend the evening with you!  The poster is below.  Check it out and get your tickets today!  If you are not able to make it then please share the poster.  We want this to be the best year yet and we need your help to make that a reality.

If you have any trouble getting through for tickets let me know and I’ll hook you up with the organizer – Stace.  She’s great!  See you on the 29th!

Love and belief in you always,


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P.S. I wrote a book called Finesse Your Life – Mind, Body and Spirit AND the Finesse Your Life Journal is also available!  Check it out on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca!  Paperback and Kindle versions available.  For an autographed copy please go to the website under the “shop” tab.


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Dreaming Big Being Bold 3: Inspiring Stories From Visionaries, Trailblazers & Change Makers by [Morand, Paula, Craig, Victoria]

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  1. Curtis Cumbo
    September 8, 2017

    Hey Jen, Loved the blog! I enjoy following you! Keep up the good work and Much continued success 2 U!


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