A storytelling podcast, largely about overcoming adversity and trauma, and developing mental health resilience.
Here, I chat with folks who have really been through it. They have experienced trauma, adversity, or the plain old societal projection that is telling us who and what we should be in this life. This has led them to ask the existential question, but who do I want to be? It is my hope that you will find these stories inspiring and that they will broaden the lens through which you see what may be possible for your very own life.
Stay tuned for season 2.
S01 E016 Jesse Barnard on Addiction, Abandonment and Recovery
Collectively, we are in a time of distress. We are tired, burned out even, and trying to get through an impossible time with an inconclusive end date. One year into the global pandemic, stories of the impact on our mental health is surfacing while we all try to do our part in this thing called covid. Many have turned to wine'd down culture and self medicating. And yet, many have also turned to using this time to commit to sobriety. Jesse's story is about the latter. It is a story of distress during childhood, feelings of abandonment, finding community in unconventional and often judged places, and his ultimate journey to recovery. Here's a bit about Jesse's story in his own words. Tune in to his episode to hear it all, from start to finish. Trigger Warning: Discussion of substance misuse and active addiction 'I grew up in a Christian home with a loving family who did everything for me. But that doesn’t stop the disease of addiction. Growing up in a world where I didn’t feel seen was scary. I felt there were walls around me that seemed to allow things in but never out. As time went on, I felt like I was suffocating. When my body felt like it couldn’t take what was going on in my head any longer, I found opiates to numb the pain. This new drug gave me a sense of light and comfort within my dark, lonely walls. Once the substance hit, my mind felt free. Years went on with no hesitation of my self prescribing ways. I was 18 years old when I was introduced to IV use. As soon as the needle hit my vein, the drugs rushed in and my body sat still. It felt like the seas were rising and the clouds were falling all for me. When I turned 20 I decided to move to Vancouver BC. At this time I had no idea but I was already in full addict mode. I couldn’t control my obsessive behaviours. Without even knowing where I was headed I ended up at Hastings and Main. This is where I would find my peace, my people. It may be hard for others to understand, but this was my community. And trusting in other addicts saved my life. I was lost there for 6 suffocating years in the grip of that places’ strength. It was an ultimatum from my mom, plus a knowing that I couldn’t continue to survive the way I was going that spurred the decision to move back to Ontario. I got back together with the same girl who made my walls crumble down at 15. We truly believed we needed each other. Both damaged and in desperate need of love, we clung on tight. We ended up getting married and divorced within a year. I needed to get honest with myself. I finally asked for help and checked into treatment. I accepted my fate. The times where I felt the suffocation of those walls growing higher and denser all seemed like a bad dream. I decided to start letting people in to help me move through the uncomfortable feelings. The more honest I became with myself, the more of a connection I felt. Believing in a higher power was essential in my recovery. I’ve grown to love the person I am. They say we come into the program with no self worth and in time get it back. For me, walking away from something I loved so much but able to see clearly that it was destroying my spirt was the greatest gift I could have given myself. The more I bring gratitude and acceptance into my life the more I am connected to a power greater than me.' You can connect with Jesse via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.barnard.16 Or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
S01 E014 Sherrice Kirby on Coping through Creativity
The real challenges of growing up homesteading. Her husband's battle with cancer. How motherhood changed her. Her art as the muse through which she's coped these past few years. And lot's of good real talk, busting the b******t of being sold your own dream by influencers on social media and within your community. This conversation has all of that and then some. And it's very powerful. We laugh, we cry, we joke and we get really real. Sherrice was recently featured and a part of the Canadian women's book project pursuit: 365. Most of her spare time right now is spent in her art studio. Her work is emerging and collectors around the world are taking notice. In the interview we talk about her husband’s cancer remission, and sadly that battle is being fought again. They are facing this as a united and strong family. Sherrice is a wise woman. She is a Business & Lifestyle Strategist, Writer & Artist. Mostly a fabulous wife & mother, she is dedicated to connecting creators with soulful strategies for their businesses and lives. Sherrice has mentored women in business and life through her signature programs Manifesto & Mapping, greatlife design mastermind & Greatlife Retreat. She is always looking for the contradiction, the truth and the willingness to be with all of it. You can connect with Sherrice on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studiosherrice/ Check out her art on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/692555881198512 or her website: https://www.studiosherrice.com/
S01 E013 Atarah Valentine on Mental Health, Music and Manifestation
Mental health advocacy: a theme near and dear to my heart, and the foundation, really, of this podcast. And this week's episode is with a guest who contributes so much time to mental health advocacy; through his music, his spare time on social media, and the work he does at a coach with To Be Magnetic. This episode walks the listener through Atarah's life journey. We talk about the adversity he faced in childhood, and the resulting trauma. We talk about his incredible music career, with a pitstop in fashion school and as a designer. And then we talk about his most recent challenges with mental health, leading him through the shadow to the other side where he now finds himself doing great work in the world to support others. All this after having hit many rock bottoms, and ultimately finding the tools to pull himself up and through, now sharing that road to well-being with others. You can find Atarah on IG @atarahvalentine His music on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4hbjqhUp1vrybHxlf8kg1I?si=7_HlHs8XRmayRT-1pZmG9Q and if you'd like to work with him, on the TBM coaching page: https://tobemagnetic.com/coaching-with-atarah
S01 E012 Nyk Danu: The Unlikely Yogi on Trauma, Hard Knocks and Punk Rock
Even if you're not a yoga teacher, or even in the arena of being a yoga person, this episode has about a thousand excellent mental health journey takeaways. If you grew up in a dysfunctional household, this one is for you. If you identify with having experienced childhood trauma, this one's for you. If you wound up in a relationship that eerily reminded you of one of your parents from the for-mentioned childhood, this one's for you. If you identify as a misfit, underdog, rebel or introvert, this one's for you. And if you're a yoga person, this one's also for you. Nyk Danu Is a Yoga therapist, Yin Yoga teacher trainer and Business Mentor for Yoga Teachers. She lives in the enchanted city of Victoria on magical Vancouver island, where she teaches Yoga to Misfits; GenXer’s (and sometimes Y) who are not human pretzels. The Underdogs, Rebels, Introverts, Geeks and Bookworms. When Nyk is not teaching Yoga, You’ll find her expanding her personal tattoo collection, walking by the ocean, or curled up at home watching Star Trek or immersed in a book. Trigger Warning: discussion of domestic violence, childhood abuse and substance misuse You can connect with Nyk on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nykdanuyoga/ & find her latest offerings: https://nykdanu.com/students/yoga/victoria-class-schedule/ https://nykdanu.com/teachers/yin-yoga-teacher-training/
S01 E011 Natalie Rousseau on Healing Being Non-Linear and Finding Her Way Home
If you're part of the wellness world, including communities that practice things like yoga, meditation, and breath work, then you likely have come across your fair share of 'spiritual bypass.' This being the idea that if you just 'think positive,' you will transform your life and heal all of your inner shadow stuff. In this conversation with Natalie, we call b******t. As Natalie shares her story of a difficult upbringing, including parental mental health challenges and serious addiction, alongside separation from her extended family, she speaks candidly about her healing process. She connects with the idea of life being a long journey home; a non linear process of insight and integration that is never ending. She shares how she certainly would never think that all the challenges of her life are behind her or that she is somehow "healed" of her pain, but that she is deeply invested in the process of learning how to live with a sense of connected ease and joy. This has informed her work as an educator and storyteller. Her career began with teaching yoga, a source from which she was able to find many tools for her own healing journey. She speaks to the reasons she has stepped back from teaching yoga full time, and into a role of greater community facilitation through programs like her upcoming 13 Moons Circle. And the part I enjoyed nodding along with the most was that we certainly cannot bypass past pain and trauma with positive thinking, or even rely per se on the tools that have worked in the past. It takes an on-going commitment to show up with humility and willingness to dive deep. All the better if you have a good community to have the real, gritty conversations with. You can connect with Natalie via the links below: https://www.natalierousseau.com/ https://www.instagram.com/natalierousseau108/ Or join her upcoming year long course 13 Moons: https://courses.natalierousseau.com/p/thirteen-moons-circle (this one starts on March 21st) Resources for Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Training https://www.yogaoutreach.com/training-2 http://ajnayoga.ca/advancedprogram/
S01 E010 Justin Barnard on Depression, Spirituality, Surrender and Ayahuasca
If you've been hanging out in the wellness forums of the internet at all the past few years, you may have noticed that the popularity of plant medicine is on the rise. And with it, sometimes, a concern around these 'journeys' being facilitated in a safe and supportive way. We go there in this episode. Justin is someone who grew up in a small Ontario town and experienced challenges in growing up, from bullying to mental health struggles, and self harm for a period of time. After moving to Vancouver, he made up for lost small town time. Namely by getting the adolescent partying out of his system that he had been missing. And then, he found himself drawn to another path. Always a musician, drums being his first love and instrument of choice, he found himself enthralled in curiosity around the use of psychedelics. For fun at first, to be sure, but then increasingly so as a means by which to heal his struggles with depression. This conversation is important because Justin shares his journey with the ever-growing-in-popularity amongst the wellness scene Ayahuasca, and p erhaps most importantly speaks to taking the decision to partake very seriously. We talk about the preparation, intent and integration of going down this road with good support. And, that it's really not for everybody. We chat about Justin's healing journey through his own mental health struggles, his work as a massage practitioner and ceremonialist, and his recent journey into fatherhood. Also! Justin is the great talent behind this podcast's tunes. You can connect with Justin via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justinvolution/ https://www.instagram.com/medicine.massage/
Take a listen to truth. Curated conversations with real people speaking about life in all its challenges & beauty.
A much needed addition!
A refreshing podcast that shares people's challenges, triumphs, and discoveries through life. Jen creates a lovely supportive, calm yet engaging setting to connect us with each person's tale. Thanks Jen!
Every journey is a new learning experience
Jen has the most soothing voice. Every interview she conducts has me reeling with emotion. I find myself gasping out loud, laughing, tearing up and often completely resonating and feeling a little less lonely. They’re all different stories and I get to learn something new each time I listen! I have my world opened up with this podcast!