Jennifer Joy

Master Fearless Living Coach | Life Purpose Palm Reader

You are a Creator.

You don’t need to know more, do more, or be more. You only need to create.

Hi, I’m Jennifer Joy

Yep. That’s my real name! 

And for a long time I only felt Joy-ful when I was performing. I was a creative kid who kept getting the same message over and over: Performing is a nice “hobby,” but I need to stay grounded in the real world. Those outside messages meant that I put my creativity on the sidelines and got to work doing what I was supposed to do. Buh-bye, joy!

I made a lot of people happy in the process, and I thought that would make me happy, too. I got straight A’s in school. I got scholarships and went to a great university. My parents were thrilled. But I felt stressed, overwhelmed, disconnected, and frustrated, because I wasn’t being true to myself.

So where did all of this people pleasing begin?

Flash back to the mid-1970s. I was seven years old when my parents divorced. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I became the second parent in the household. I helped my mom with child care and cooking. I kept track of how much we spent on groceries and what would be covered by our food stamps. When my mom went back to school, I quizzed her so she’d be ready for her exams.

I made sure things ran smoothly so that my mom could focus on getting us off of welfare. I took care of whatever came up, making it look easy so that I didn’t add any more burdens to the household. I didn’t want anyone to worry.

I was the ultimate “good girl” — an over-achieving, perfectionist, people pleaser — which can look really good from the outside. But on the inside it really sucks. All of my feelings and desires, my passions and joy, got stuffed away. I pushed myself harder and harder, never asking for help and never ever letting anyone see the part of me that was struggling or hurting.

I tried to be everything to everyone while ignoring my own needs. The result was that I was nothing to myself.

Becoming the ultimate “good girl”

At seven-years-old I helped run our single-parent household, trying to make everyone happy and comfortable.
At seven-years-old I helped run our single-parent household, trying to make everyone happy and comfortable.

Smiling, but I felt dead inside

In my 30s I'm exhausted, sick, and depressed. My dirty little secret is that I am in deep burn out. See? There's no spark in my eyes.
In my 30s I’m exhausted, sick, and depressed. My dirty little secret is that I am in deep burn out. See? There’s no spark in my eyes.

Flash forward and I’m in my mid-30s. I’ve been married to the love of my life for ten years and we have a young daughter. I own  a dance studio (yes, somehow that happened in spite of myself). And I was studying to become a Certified Fearless Living Coach. We were traveling to all the places that I’d dreamed of seeing when I was a little girl wearing thrift store clothes.

From the outside it looked like I’d made it, but the “good girl” was still in charge. She kept pushing me to do more and be more. But for the first time ever, I didn’t have the energy to do what I had to do, and my health was beginning to suffer. Even so, I was able to get pregnant when we decided to expand our family.

 That first pregnancy, however,  ended in a miscarriage, leaving me even more drained physically. Emotionally, I shoved the feelings away … the sadness, the loss, the unanswered questions, and unfulfilled hopes.

I soldiered on and immediately got pregnant with my daughter. Instead of feeling blessed, I was a nervous wreck the entire pregnancy, waiting for something bad to happen. But happily, she was born full term and healthy. 

As a new mom, I experienced the sleepless nights that come with a newborn. But soon a few years passed, and I kept waiting for my energy to come back. Not only was I exhausted, but I was sick with colds and various infections most of the time. 

My dirty little secret was that I could barely get out of the bed and was taking two naps per day. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was such a loser. I kept hiding behind my “perfect” mask, going through the motions, and taking care of business. 

What was wrong with me? I should’ve been having the time of my life, but I was numb to it all. I had a smile on my face because that’s what people expected of me. It’s what I expected of myself. But I was dead inside. I didn’t know who I was or what I should do, aside from making sure everyone around me was happy. 

It was a complete and utter soul burn out, and I was finally desperate enough to ask for help. 

Things came to a head when we traveled to Lake Como in Italy. My husband had a business conference, so for the first few days I was on my own, taking care of a three-year-old in a foreign country. I needed to be sharp! Then, we were headed to Venice and Tuscany to vacation as a family. 

I didn’t want to drag myself through another trip where I felt detached and despondent. Forget about joy, I just wanted to feel decent again! So on the red-eye flight to Italy, in a tiny airplane seat with my child on my lap, I sent up a prayer …

“Please, God, I can’t do this anymore. Please help me to just be good enough and to feel good enough.”

In that moment I had a vision of Christ. (Yes, Jesus himself! And keep in mind that I’d never seen Him before. And I don’t have a particularly religious background, either.) Jesus took my head in his lap and stroked my hair, just as I’d been doing to my daughter.

He said, “You are enough. Be yourself. Do your best. That’s ALL you have to do.”

Grace flooded my body. For the first time ever, I felt the JOY that was at the center of my being, and the joy that is at the center of your being. I felt the joy that connects us all, flowing from me to my daughter, to my husband, and to every other person on that plane. I felt the joy that connects me to my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and all the generations that had come before and all the generations that are to come.

The divine message that landed in my heart at 36,000 feet

My family in Venice in front of our lodging, The Palazzo Schiavoni. I am still physically exhausted, but mentally I am at peace and full of Grace.
My family in Venice in front of our lodging, The Palazzo Schiavoni. I am still physically exhausted, but mentally I am at peace and full of Grace.

My soul wanted this life

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Sometimes it takes a while for the physical level to catch up to spiritual awareness. I had run my body ragged for years, playing a game it couldn’t win. I got an infection in Italy that sent me to a specialist. I spent the next 18 months on antibiotics to regain a baseline of health. Then I headed to a Naturopath to find out what was the underlying issue with my energy.

I was diagnosed with fairly advanced Adrenal Fatigue (borderline Stage 4),  likely caused by a combination of my people-pleasing/perfectionist personality combined with a severe gluten intolerance. I spent the next 12 months on a strict diet to reduce the stress in my body — eating natural foods, with no sugar, eggs, or gluten. I went through a series of detoxifications designed to help heal my body.

Through it all, I practiced accepting all facets of myself, the parts that are creative and bright and the parts that are tired and foggy. And I learned that I only need to be my best in any moment. That’s all I have to do, because on that airplane I had received a gift of absolute knowing — in every cell — that being myself was my soul’s mission in life.
 
My spirit came to this earth to experience what it’s like to be human, and what it’s like to be Jennifer Joy. It chose to be born into my body (Adrenal Fatigue and all), my personality, and my family. My soul wanted THIS life, not another one. And it wants to experience all of me, not just the fun parts. (Actually to the soul it’s ALL fun!) 

Because when we experience the life we came to live, and feel all there is to feel in this lifetime, we connect to the joy that truly is at core of our being — the joy of being who we are, alive and human with a divine Spark that is in all of us.

My Being was ignited on that airplane ride. And I want everyone to experience the miracle of knowing that we are enough, without having to do a ton of work for ourselves or for everyone else. We don’t have to prove anything or chase after joy and success.

All we have to do is be ourselves.

If you’re feeling like me in the plane, going through the motions, pretending, people pleasing, not fully present, wasting your life, and robbing the world of your passion, then we need to talk!
Click here to schedule a Spark Strategy Session.

Ignited, and always enough

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