It is one of my heart’s desires to encourage women to be all that they can be. Life is tough and many times, we make it harder on ourselves than we need to. We are made to be amazing beings! And while we ARE amazing – we are far from perfect. Life is all about embracing our imperfections and making them beautiful. Those beautiful imperfections are what defines you. It is in those imperfections that we are called to share and create beauty with others. Just like a smooth marble has beauty, so does a rough and callused oyster shell. An oyster shell is made to withstand a rough and tumble life and in return, a beautiful pearl is created.
Today, I get to share an amazing woman I just met recently! I knew when I met her that she was going to be a good person to have in my tribe. Jennifer has been through a lot of junk and seeing how she has and is continuing to come out on the other side is nothing short of amazing! Knowing and appreciating who she is the key to her path of happiness and it’s clear to me that even in the future struggles she will face, as we all do, she is going to be just fine 🙂 Read on and see how Jennifer has created the beautiful “pearl” that she is. The main takeaway from Jennifer’s interview for me “letting everything flow freely. – living in an engaged life with engaged relationships, but not attached to them.” I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT because it is so true!
- Tell me a little about yourself? What you do for a living? Family? Passions?
I am a single mom of three beautiful kids, an intuitive massage therapist, a Zumba instructor and Young Living Essential oils distributor who is passionate about connecting with others in a compassionate healing way. I’ve been on a bumpy but enlightening journey of self-awareness and spiritual awakening which has been extremely painful yet deeply enriching. I love reading, dancing, listening to music, all of my jobs, eating out at restaurants, the sunshine, storms, sitting around a table or a fire with friends, and snuggling with my children.
- What is the best thing a woman can do in the midst of suffering?
The best thing a woman can do in the midst of suffering is to remind herself of Truth… no matter what: she is infinitely loved, she is eternally safe, and she cannot make mistakes. Operating from this place of complete self-compassion and acceptance allows her to move THROUGH the suffering and not get stuck IN the suffering. Because ultimately in the eternal scheme of things, you are an eternal being in temporal body and you are going to be okay.
- What are some practical ways that you build your happiness that can help other women do the same?
I build my happiness by first reminding myself that I am solely responsible for building this happiness, and then next setting my intention and focus on the eternal. Everything but love and soul is temporary so I can just enjoy the moment and then let it pass with anticipation of the next. Letting life flow through me, and not holding on so tightly to the temporal allows me the freedom to experience life and happiness without the pain that often comes with attachment.
- Name one person that impacted your life? How and why?
My mom has been one of the most influential women in my life. She can relate to so much of the pain and suffering that I have been through and her empathy and wisdom have given me the strength and courage to keep pushing through tough experiences with grace and compassion. She is honest, loving, giving, selfless, wise, honorable, intelligent, and hard-working. She always tells me what I need to hear instead of what I want to hear and gives me perspective when I can’t see outside of myself. She holds me to a high standard because she sees me and knows me and believes that I am not only capable but powerful. She doesn’t judge me or criticize me… she always offers grace.
- Tell me about a challenging time in your life – how did you overcome it? What did you learn? Mistakes that impacted your life?
My son was recently diagnosed with depression which is very difficult for me because I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and I can relate to how he feels. He and I are so much alike…He is deeply emotional, sensitive, introverted, sweet, loving, and wears his heart on his sleeve. His depression is most likely caused by the trauma from his father and my divorce 4 years ago and having to watch me go through those years in survival mode. I can easily swing from feeling guilt for being depressed to feeling anger at his father for putting us in this situation. My first response is to project onto my son and assume that I know how he feels just because I suffer from depression too. But I have to remind myself that he is his own person and that his experience is completely different than mine, his trauma is different than mine, his environment is different than mine was… and while I can relate to feeling alone, depressed, exhausted, desperate, angry, sad and hopeless, I know that he is safe and loved. I can use my experience to meet him where he is at, hold his hand, and walk with him through this experience assuring him that he is loved and surrounded by people who want the best for him. My depressed instinct wants to hide away with him, away from the cruel and dark world and take him somewhere I can make sure no harm comes to him but I’ve learned to step out of that and stand by him, encouraging him and empowering him to face the anxiety, fear, and overwhelm. I also have to check myself when it comes to my son’s relationship with his father so as not to cause distance but to encourage connection. I have to separate my own pain, grief, loss and hurt caused by ex-husband from my son’s experience with his father. He needs his father and as long as his father wants to be in his life and trying to be a positive influence I have to completely take myself out of the equation and remind myself that their relationship has nothing to do with me. It has helped me tremendously in my healing journey to walk through this time with him and learn about myself, my inner self, who needs the same loving attention from me.
- What gives your life meaning and how do you keep that focus?
My purpose in life is to connect my deepest part of me (my soul) with my humanity in order to use my awakened human form to cultivate intimate relationships through connecting to and engaging with others in love. This purpose is the common thread running through my relationship with my children, my clients, my family, and my friends. I’m a seeker of wisdom and truth and this characteristic keeps me growing and holds me to my purpose.
- What personal prisons have you built out of fear that you fight on a daily basis? How do you keep that from hindering your focus?
Because of experiencing trauma from an early age into my adult years I’ve developed a lot of coping mechanisms that have become prisons. Self-preservation is instinctual and strong when you’re constantly in survival mode. Fear is pervasive and the ego thrives on it. I grew up with several detrimental false beliefs that kept me prisoner to fear:
- That I am unlovable
- That I’m not worthy of love
- That I’m incompetent and will never be enough.
But now, I remind myself daily of my Truth, I remind myself of how far I’ve come, I hold space for self-compassion and grace and I set an intention of gratitude. I keep my heart and mind open for perspective shifts and I seek wise counsel. Self-awareness is key to breaking through the prison walls of fear and knowing who I am and WHOSE I am are my footing.
- How do you know when to continue holding on versus letting go? This could be in relation to past things or current things.
Honestly, my intention is to not hold on to ANYTHING anymore… to let everything flow freely. I want to live engaged in life and relationships yet unattached to them. Living with a practice of gratitude allows me to live in the moment and appreciate what I have yet allow for things/people to pass through as I flow through life. This is a “practice” and I still struggle with it but being grateful gives me the chance to recognize the opportunity to let go of anything that doesn’t bring out the best in me and/or let it evolve me into the best version of myself. If I can find one thing to be grateful for in a situation, I can facilitate a perspective shift towards allowing myself to see every situation as an opportunity for growth. So whether something stays or goes, ultimately I’m still okay.
- How and where do you find inspiration? What creative outlets do you encourage your own inspiration?
I find most of my inspiration from reading books and articles or from my very wise girlfriends and our deep enriching conversations. When I’m feeling expressive or creative I flow with the written word or sometimes I’ll draw or paint… but mostly I write. My favorite channels to inspire are through the power of touch or through intimate deep on-on-one conversation. Being an intuitive massage therapist allows me the opportunity to connect with people’s energy in a spiritually and physically uplifting way. Being a careful listener, a calm spirit and a clear communicator allows me to hold space that feels safe for others to be vulnerable and transparent in, which can both be very freeing frames of mind. I feel inspiring when I am able to uplift, encourage, and offer a safe space for people to freely be themselves.
- Define success versus happiness in your own words.
Success to me is being actively engaged in encouraging and inspiring the success of OTHERS. If I know I’m tapped into the infinite energy of love and allowing it to flow through me to others in whatever capacity I’m using (touch, writing, speaking, teaching, sharing…) than I am experiencing success. Happiness is experienced when I’m actively engaging with MYSELF in a loving encouraging way. To me: Success is external and extrinsically induced, Happiness is internal and intrinsically cultivated.
- What are your favorite 3 books? Why?
I don’t know if I can pick just THREE favorite books!!! But if I HAVE to limit it to three fiction and three nonfiction I’d say:
- Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
- Diana, Herself: an allegory of awakening by Martha Beck
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Each of these books were fundamental in processing my spiritual and emotional healing because I could directly connect with the main characters and their journeys. Connecting with the characters allowed perspective shifts in my mind that freed me from a lot of my false beliefs and mental prisons of fear while inspiring hope in some of the very darkest times of my life.
- The Untethered Soul: the journey beyond yourself by Micheal A Singer
- A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Each of these books expanded and opened my heart and mind and allowed them to get on the same page so that I could heal, grow, and evolve into a stronger, wiser, more resilient, whole soul. They were supremely profound and inspiring, and gave me guidance in restructuring my belief systems that would set me up for spiritual, emotional and mental prosperity and abundance regardless of my external circumstances.
- What is your favorite quote?
“as above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.”
~ Hermes Trismegistus
Again, thank you Jennifer for agreeing to share your Pearls of Wisdom! Thank you for allowing us to step into your life and learn how to embrace beauty in our imperfections.