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The ABRIDGED Full Story

About Jen

I have so many tools and so much experience with people of all ages and backgrounds and much of it I developed over the course of my life time through trial and error. I worked hard to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, colleague, teacher, and citizen I could be.

Ask anyone who knows me and they might say I have it all figured out...at least that's what it looked like on the surface most of my life. Of course there were the usual ups and downs of life, but I graduated from high school with decent grades, went to Kwantlen, then UBC. Powered through to get my B.A with a major in English, then my B.Ed, then my PB+15 in teaching Math and Science. Bought a house. Started a family. Raised two kids into adulthood. Actually enjoyed their teen years. Saw them off to college and to a job across the country.

My body was giving me so many signs

- the first indication that I was not living an aligned life.

Image by Florian Schmetz

My PERFECTIONISTIC, PEOPLE PLEASING, HUSTLE story started very early in my life and only got more intense once I had kids. To feel like I was a good mom and employee, I coached, volunteered as manager many times, was a board member on a couple boards, and even became president on one board for a few years all so my kids were supported in pursuing their activities - lacrosse, skating, gymnastics, dance, hockey, swimming, baseball, triathlon, basketball. I shuttled kids around, was involved in their education, and helped out on school field trips. As a family we did all the things families SHOULD do. We camped, tried Disneyland a couple times,  travelled for sports, hosted family dinners, large group BBQs, birthday parties, and holiday events. Because I knew I could handle the pressure, I even spoke at my daughter's graduation on behalf of the parents which was way out of my comfort zone, but it certainly created a memory for my daughter and her peers. My husband and I did all we could to afford it all which included selling our cars to make ends meet at one time. We wanted our kids to feel they mattered and that they were well looked after and supported.

My health started to waiver

Suspension Bridge

As an educator, my PERFECTIONISTIC, PEOPLE PLEASING, HUSTLE was off the charts! Aside from managing my own class, I was the tech support teacher for all staff members and students, coached basketball and track, coordinated great field trips, and made sure to support my students in handling the hiccups that arose as hiccups do in school even if it meant missing my coffee or lunch breaks. It was my goal to make sure every kid felt they belonged in my class and that their unique super power was realized, shared and celebrated. I wanted my students to see me as someone whom they could rely on to help them navigate any aspect of their school life and if this meant forgetting to drink water and take bathroom breaks then that's what I did. I vowed to make sure all kids could look back on their grade 5 year with Ms Wilson positively and that people would see that I put our youth first!

My health challenges grew

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Eventually, my PERFECTIONISTIC, PEOPLE PLEASING, HUSTLE had impacted my health so much that I thought I needed a change, so I applied for a job at the district level thinking that I could learn something new, have a bit more flexibility with my schedule, and perhaps see an improvement in my health. It was really fun to get out there to support other teachers, to teach STEM to 150 students, and to try to create some content around the new curriculum. I attended many fascinating conferences, and coordinated and ran various professional development experiences for our K-7 teachers. I spent a lot time with very dedicated educators and felt I could have a really positive impact if I HUSTLED just a bit more. When it was time to move on, a great teaching opportunity presented itself; one that would get me one step closer to becoming an administrator where I could really make a difference. This job would look great on my resume and all I would have to do next was get my masters degree. That's all I had to do...

AND then MY HEALTH situation snapped

Every fibre of my being screamed, "NOOOOO!" My body's reaction to this new job opportunity was so loud and clear that I heard myself say to my new principal, "No, I can't. I won't be able to do the job that I would expect of myself and that's not fair to anyone."  WHO SAID THAT!? Not me?! Was this not the job that I had dreamed of way back at the start of my career? Turning this down is such a big mistake.

"What am I doing?!"

But it felt so right.

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Despite medical interventions, my daily health experiences had gotten so much worse that I was forced to take a medical leave to figure out what was going on. My declining health was the massive NUDGE I needed to turn down a different path.

 

During this leave that I was free to explore a different path and one that had always intrigued me - a more functional, holistic approach to healing.

 

I started with a naturopath whose directives reset my system. Then I was able to look up to see where I should go next and which eventually led me to my first experience with life coaching. Blown away by the power of my first session, I finally felt like there was a different way forward; a way that wasn't fraught with hustling, overthinking, sleeplessness, exhaustion, agitation, people pleasing, and illness. I discovered I was more powerful than I realized, that I truly was the creator of all my experiences, and that I could change them whenever I wanted. 

My health started trending Upwards

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As I opened up to working with a life coach, I discovered the avenues available through this new way of being. I met a whole group of like-minded people also doing their own inner healing work. Listening to their stories gave me hope and inspired me to change the course of my career permanently. The prospect was very scary because it broke from the secure, "correct" trajectory one's life "should" go -  very scary!

And I left teaching!!

Much to the shock of EVERYONE and with the unwavering support of my husband, I left the job that I had spent my entire life training for and it was THE BEST DECISION  which landed at just the right time for me to enrol in the FIT Life Method Academy's Coaching and Mentorship certification.

 

The move into life coaching has been so good for my mental, emotional, and physical health and I love where it has led me. At any other time in my life, I would have disregarded this opportunity, deleted it from my inbox without a glance. This time, the invite came just when I needed it - my mind was open, I had a willingness to shift my experiences, and I was ready to start identifying and breaking through the obstacles that held me on that singularly-focused, unhealthy HUSTLE-till-you-can't-anymore-career trajectory.

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I see my life as an ongoing series of personal learning opportunities and, most days, I am ready for the learning. I love it when I can learn with ease AND I can appreciate the learning that happens during those times when I am resistant and choose the struggle.  

I am also thankful that I chose to become a Life Coach and Mentor because now I am in a place where I can be of service to others and I can show up for my family and friends fully open and as a vulnerable learner.

 

Upon reflection, I now recognize that I experienced those setbacks and left teaching so that I could live my new purpose which is to support others like me before they get hit as hard as I did. 

I welcomed good health into my life

AND

I now choose to be the hero in my own story.

I enjoy helping others be the hero in theirs. 

I choose.

Now, when I feel I need a boost, I reread my story to remind myself where I was and how far I have come. 

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