I'm Jen - a white, cisgendered, straight-identifying, American-born woman with a history of Christian and conservative influences. My lived experience is one of solid economic security and educational privilege. All of this shaped the lens through which I viewed life for the majority of my adult years - and it created a comfortable echo chamber where “my existing views were neatly reinforced and alternative ideas were rarely considered…”
This no longer works for me.
I decided to pursue meaningful work, passion projects, and relationships that would serve as "antidotes to the echo chamber." This podcast is part of that work. Rather than put people in stereotypical boxes - I want to grow more curious and open minded. This means listening deeply to another person’s story, especially those who differ from me. It means challenging my old paradigms and assumptions.
I pursue this on a public platform because I want to contribute to this mindset shift in our culture. My guests and I believe that our recorded conversations may spur more of us toward healthy, candid conversations, and deep LISTENING with and for the people in our lives (especially those whom we don’t know or understand yet).
Thanks for being a part of this vision!
Make something pretty out of this mess
I decided to converse with one of my besties, Christina Fichera, to unpack the past year and some difficult stuff that we both are processing. We approach the conversation from varied perspectives given our lives are so different; Christina is in her 30’s and I am in my 50’s. I’ve been married twice and have adult kids and didn’t build a career until the last five years. Christina hasn’t married or had kids yet, and built a significant career over the past two decades.
We share a newfound understanding that beauty can coexist with pain and end up processing our recent challenges through that lens.
We also agree that normalizing discussions around struggle can be incredibly useful - but simultaneously wrestle with the belief that talking about this stuff might come too close to “airing our dirty laundry.”
The fear of sharing our emotions and exposing our personal journey with others is delicate. Like many, we wonder how we will be perceived when we divulge setbacks - will it affect our career or relationships?
Does our candor make us appear less competent despite being damn good at what we do?
Do our stories present an appearance of weakness or instability that can limit opportunities?
Have we learned discernment around when to share and with who?
Join the conversation.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
We refer to the following books; The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
We mention the We Can Do Hard Things podcast.
I reference a body of work and platform called TBM in this episode - this resource has played a vital role in my personal healing journey; relieving a huge amount of mental load and unnecessary burdens. Here are links and a discount code for you too! Enter this coupon code for 15% discount: JEN
Rewriting the stories we tell and the ones we were told
The stories we believe shape our lives; even the ones we discard influence us. But what about the stories we boldly decide to rewrite?
This past year, I decided that many of my personal narratives were not serving me — they were even harmful at points. Ronna Detrick and I uncover the root of some of our personal stories and how they've influenced us, whether they emerge from sacred spiritual texts, mythology, history, or stories passed down through family. Story is our collective language and it has greater influence on us than we might realize. Investigating long-held tales and revising them where appropriate can be powerful.
“…What if I saw myself as a woman who has lived a million lives…who has made [tough] decisions in her past and has had hard things happen?
And, what if I saw a woman who has endured and persevered - who is brilliant - who can step into a conversation and hold her own - who has plenty to say and sees herself worthy of that conversation…” Ronna Detrick
No matter who you are - imagine this way of being in the world. We are reexamining the stories we tell and have been told.
I am back and a bit more REAL..Jen goes from crickets to full-disclosure
Where has Jen been? A planned 8-week hiatus turned into a 6-month pause, by necessity...I have been processing a lot of personal stuff and the conversations are getting even more REAL. In this first episode back, I am unpacking one of the most difficult seasons of my life and getting more honest with myself and all of you. I invite dear friend and coach, Emily Nascimento, to join me in a discussion that hopefully encourages others who need permission, as I did, to:
a. take a break where necessary and get the care they need
b. normalize conversations about personal struggle and mental health
c. be true to themselves when making really difficult life decisions
REAL sex education (part 2 with hubby)
We wade into deeper waters with our grown up version of the sex talk we never got as kids. Allison’s husband joins us to bring his very REAL perspective. Check out the last episode if you missed it. Bottom line, like many, I am slowly dismantling old ways of being and the belief systems that do not serve me nor my relationships! My guest, Allison Carver, has gone before me - doing this work in her own world and now guiding others on a similar path. Our candid conversation only gets better with Ian in the mix - revealing his viewpoint on sex, relationship, and the stuff some of our partners may be thinking and feeling.
REAL sex education (part 1)
Yep, we are going there. A real conversation about sex without common misconceptions and shame. I have been pretty disconnected from my body much of my life and am slowly dismantling old ways of being and the belief systems that do not serve me. My guest, Allison Carver, has gone before me - doing this work in her own life and now guiding others on a similar path. We blow up culturally approved narratives and discuss taboos that only keep us confused and unfulfilled. The bottom line, many of us have been kept in the dark with regard to our bodies and the power of the feminine operating at its fullest and most engaged.
Loved the podcast and illumined conversation. Can’t wait to hear the next evolution with Ian. 🙏🏻
Listen for REAL
REAL: Relational, Engaging, Authentic, Living