I'm Jen. Thank you so much for being here with me.
From the time I was a child, I had big plans with my life.
A home filled with love.
A sweet husband to love and love me right back.
A family of my own to grow with and experience life.
These were the dreams that comforted 13-year-old me when I was taken away from my family and put into foster care. From there, I went on to live in several different homes, with each one having its own set of rules and ways of being in the world. My desire to create the kind of life I dreamed of only intensified. I realized at a very young age that if I wanted something for myself, it was up to me to make it happen.
For most of my young twenties, I carried this energizing optimism and faith for my future with me. I went on to college and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from Augustana College. I lived abroad for a year in Spain. I was in a stable, loving relationship with my high-school sweetheart. On the outside, I appeared happy.
But on the inside, I was struggling.
Suddenly, it was in my control to really get out there and create the kind of life I knew deep down I deserved. But did I really deserve it? A negative whisper began to emerge within me and it sounded like every critical voice I had encountered in my years of foster care.
The voice became louder and louder over time and would not stop analyzing and judging my every move.
[This right here my friends is called our inner critic. You know your inner critic? That voice that is relentless in the pursuit of perfection. It wants you to be your absolute best, and does so by telling you that you are never enough.]
I made the mistake of believing this voice during what was supposed to be a happy time in my life. I went on to get my Master's Degree in Administrative Leadership at Roosevelt University and was teaching full time and really loving the work I did as an educator. But on the inside, I was overwhelmed by all the constant distress of my thoughts.
To cope with it all, I began numbing my feelings. I was always on the lookout for addictive behaviors throughout my life, avoiding drugs and alcohol, because addiction was a big part of why I was taken away from my family. And yet, it crept into my life disguised by the one thing we all need to survive: food.
Fortunately, just as quick as the eating disorder started I knew I wanted it to end. I got help immediately. I saw a therapist, went to a treatment center, and participated in recovery groups. My journey was not a quick one, but I eventually landed on the other side of recovery and learned new tools and behaviors to navigate life, especially with my thoughts.
After experiencing complete recovery, I started to reconnect with my inner dreamer. I thought more freely about the kind of woman I want to be, and the kind of life I want to create. More importantly, I reconnected with that part of me who believed in me more than anyone.
I sunk into that place of knowing how deeply worthy I was of love- my own love.
My mission into self-care and self-love was born. I took a huge leap of faith and left a career I liked for a career I loved. I started my own coaching practice in 2014 and believe now more than ever before that we are all worthy of creating the lives we want for ourselves. We have to make a commitment to ourselves that our dreams are worth pursuing. When we create a daily practice for self-care, when we tend to ourselves regularly, and when we see that taking care of ourselves is the most important thing we can do, everything around us that we pour our love and energy to will also thrive more fully.
To get where you really want to be in this life, it all starts with loving on you, first & foremost.
Thanks for being here with me. I welcome you to hang with me over at my other online home, Instagram. And while you are here, I also invite you to become part of my tribe of vibrant women who are committed to taking care of themselves so they can take care of business.