Let me introduce you to Jacqueline Wener. My good friend and a freaking amazing holistic health practitioner.
If you don’t know already, I was dealing with frozen shoulder all summer. But instead of viewing it as an exclusively physical problem, I have tried to view it more holistically. This has definitely been partly because of Jacqueline’s influence.
She has taught me so much about listening to the wisdom of my body.
Jacqueline has an undergrad in psychology, a Master in Acupuncture, she’s a corporate coach, a Kundalini Yoga teacher, AND is almost finished her Master in Counselling.
She’s a mother of three gorgeous kids.
I just had to interview her for the blog because…well, she’s such a gorgeous human and I have seen her personal strength first hand. Her interview just warmed my heart so much!
So get ready for a treat!
TELL US WHAT A TYPICAL DAY IS LIKE BEING YOU!
Haha! There is nothing typical about my life. This past year alone has been the most tumultuous of my life, and really solidified the importance of my journey. As a newly single mom with three really active kids, chaos is a part of my everyday, and something I have come to accept as normal, because resisting just makes it grow.
I have learned how to manage my own energy in the presence of it though. I wake up every morning at 5:30 or 6:00am and spend 60-90 minutes doing Kundalini Yoga practice and meditation. I have a walk-in closet I have converted into a sacred space, and that time in the morning has become my heaven. My kids crawl into my bed and know now that if the door is closed mama’s busy, or they come in and curl into my lap or in their goofy way mimic me.
After my practice, life is full throttle, I get the kids up and ready for school (a dance party is included as part of our regular routine, poor neighbors), and we walk to school every morning rain or shine.
While they are in school I get groceries, prepare our meals, see clients, teach yoga, and work on some creative projects like workshops and such.
I pick the kids up from school most days and between swimming lessons, soccer, football, and scouts, we are busy almost every evening.
By the time we get home and everyone is fed and bathed, its story-time and bed. If I’m lucky enough not to fall asleep with my little darlings or monsters, I spend my evening connecting with a friend, reading a great book or watching a film.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT AN A-HA MOMENT YOU HAD THAT GAVE YOU INSIGHT ABOUT LIFE?
I went downstairs one night, about a month ago, after putting my kids to sleep and poured myself a glass of wine. I sat quietly for a while and then grabbed a piece of chocolate (not an unusual routine), I noticed some discomfort in my chest and as I sat there, I realized that I was self-medicating. The past year has been a very challenging one, and without conscious awareness I seemed to have managed through it by leaning on my glass of wine and chocolate like old friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I will always be a wine and chocolate lover, but I want to choose to have one or the other and enjoy them.
I decided to take a break from both, and in so doing recognized a restlessness, and some grief that I had been avoiding. My new practice has become, sitting with the discomfort, acknowledging it, and allowing it the space it needed to be let go of.
We avoid uncomfortable emotions by distracting ourselves with other things, but when we do so they respond much like a tantrumming child that just wants to be heard. If we stop and listen to our bodies, our emotions can move thru us, rather than take us over.
WHAT ASPECT OF YOUR SELF-DISCOVERY ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I am working on really honouring my physical body. I have come to know that my body is my very best teacher. It tells me when I am on track and in integrity with myself and it signals to me when I am not in alignment. Ideally, my practice looks like eating really cleanly, drinking tons of water, sleeping when I am tired and getting enough physical exercise. Sounds easy right? It’s not so. We live in a culture that encourages us to violate our physical bodies all the time. We pretend our sensations away because we have another agenda. But when we do this we are dishonouring ourselves. It feels like a really rebellious act to stop and listen to my own inner wisdom. It goes against the grain…
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE HELPING YOU WITH THIS LEARNING?
My Kundalini Yoga practice helps me tune into my body daily. It helps me to feel where there is tightness and obstruction in my body and reminds me to breathe into it. This practice also really helps me to connect my body with my emotions. Emotional pain or stuckness is often manifested in the physical body. Our bodies can help us to release emotions that our minds cannot even seem to make heads or tails of.
Community is also really helpful for me. Surrounding myself with people who are consciously working at living a healthy lifestyle, makes it easier. The power of a group of people behind me is encouraging and we all need encouragement.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU TOLD YOURSELF TO GET YOURSELF THROUGH YOUR DARKEST HOUR?
“The only person you have to go to bed with every night and wake up to every morning is yourself. So be true to you, listen carefully to that whisper that tells you what you need to do, and surrender to its wisdom. The rest of the world can judge if they choose to, but only you know what it means to be in integrity with your own truth. If you live in alignment with that voice then you live with Grace.”
WHAT HELPS YOU TO CREATE CALMNESS IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?
My morning practice gives me the structure I need to find peace throughout the rest of my day. It doesn’t matter if I have ninety minutes or if I have ten, doing something everyday sets the stage for how my day will unfold. I also find that laughter is one of the greatest ways to release tension and stress from the body. So having dance parties with my kids, singing, and playing outside keeps me peaceful on the inside.
A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO KNOW?
I have always wanted to take dance lessons. I turn forty at the end of the month and my gift to myself is salsa lessons.
“Let go, trust, surrender.”
ANY WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE READERS?
The greatest wisdom you have access to isn’t outside of you in the hands of the “experts”. It is inside of you and available to you always. Take care of your body and she will take care of you. You are the expert of you. Be quiet, listen. Your body is always communicating with you. Find the courage to pay heed to her messages. She will deliver you to your own truth. There is only one of you on this planet and the world is longing to see you. Look inside…listen deeply. Shhhhhhh.
If you would like to work with Jacqueline in counselling therapy or other holistic health practices,
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.