stories of transformation.
I knew upon leaving the Coast Guard I wanted to make creativity much more of a focus in my life.
I also knew that I had a habit of getting stymied by the demons of creativity, namely:
comparison, procrastination, and external validation. I did not want these aspects to be major stories in my creative outlets.
Jess provided me with full on support against all of these.
I learned how to recognize comparison. I re-learned the art of self-imposed deadlines and intentions. I finally felt free to create without worrying about who liked it.
With Jess' guidance, I felt more and more at ease with all my contradictions.
I used to feel I had to shave away parts of my story and self, divorce the sacred and mundane, divide the intellectual and spiritual, distance the fun from the socially-progressive parts of my creativity. Not so now.
Right now, I am finally at a place where I create and share whatever I want...
whether it be blog post or storytelling piece. There is no creative inclination I ignore or dismiss. I check in less on social media. I write regularly and for the first time in my life have a consistent morning ritual practice.
I've learned to let things happen. I was always under the impression that life was a Good Girl contest and she who tried the hardest won. I still very much believe in hard work, but I also believe in letting things happen and respecting the cycles of creativity. I trust my intuition and magic in a much more real way now.
Before working with Jess, I had been swirling through a rather chaotic couple of years of transitions (having radical double hip surgery, coming out, losing a loved one, leaving a long-term job).
Simultaneously, I was/am in a process of re-inventing myself and pursuing my deepest passions: music and dance.
At the start of my program, I had been taking beginner dance classes barely 6 months. My challenge is that I can tend to overwork and overwhelm myself. After my surgeries, I realized that those old habits of exhausting myself would wreak havoc on my body and might prevent me from ever fully healing. My biggest goal in joining the program was to find a way to navigate through these turbulent transitional times while still focusing my energy on my recovery and dance dreams.
I learned so much about the divine wisdom of women, it was really inspiring.
I received constant support and reminders to listen to my body, which has helped me with my recovery. I stayed on track with my professional goals, and made space for my dance training to increase. I learned some great new dance moves and new ways of improvising my own movement. The work has opened me up and introduced me to a world of dance that is filled with joy and love.
Jess has devised such a unique and awesome curriculum of topics that with each lesson, I felt like I was unlocking a new level of strength and/or new valuable tools that could apply to more aspects of my life than just dance.
The central themes I am taking away are: making space, and tuning into cycles. I learned how to be more connected to the physical/emotional/creative cycles of my self, and to sync up these energies with the cycles of the universe. I can also verify the effectiveness of the patented Dance Shuffle Solution, which has literally helped me dance into my answers MULTIPLE times (anything from having a long day and feeling dead to breaking through a music block and writing a whole song).
I would like to also share how positive and incredible it was to have the support and contact with an entire group of women who were all so lovely and inspiring. The community aspect made it really special for me.
Before working with Jess, I was living a life paved by others and I thought I would be living that way for the rest of my life. And yet, my Creative Self kept calling, yearning to come out.
It had been 10 years since I danced from my heart at the time I met Jess, and it seemed like such a distant memory.
I still can’t believe and yet I DO BELIEVE IT, within 9 months during my program with Jess...
I launched my work as a coach AND I choreographed 2 pieces that were near and dear to my heart and performed these two pieces in front of a supportive audience on two separate days.
I also created a Meetup group that meets every few weeks, where men and women can gather in person or virtually to express their souls through free movement dance. I loved the fact that I was able to meld my interests in spirituality with my love of dance. I never thought that would be possible for me, and yet it became so.
Most importantly, she helped me release so much of the pain and conditioning that blocked my creative flow...
and challenged me to connect deeper with my feelings and voice them through my art of dancing. I feel so much more connected to Who I Am and am a thousand times more clear in expressing my truth. The creative well was tapped open and will forever continue to flow.
When Jess and I first started working together I was a frustrated writer, a frustrated actress, a timid singer and a frantic creative with little time outside of my 9 to 5 to actually create. Put simply, I was pretty tightly wound and confused about which creative path I should travel in my limited free time.
Jess created an open space where I was allowed to speak candidly about my aspirations and my fears, and through this I was able to start clearing out all the mental clutter, and start creating again.
While working with Jess I started to develop a t-shirt business, East Marquette; I created a singing project for myself that I will also be filming and editing; and I sang in front of an audience at the showcase – conquering a fear that had confined and defined me for years. I'm also writing again and it's no longer a source of frustration. Furthermore, I've thrived from learning how to create opportunities for myself, rather than waiting for someone else's approval or validation.
Before starting the program with Jess, I couldn't produce work. I had fallen on some really hard times, and managed to make a small comeback.
I thought that I could bounce back on my own once all my primary needs were met again. But I couldn't.
I was carrying around remnants of all of the things I had been through that year and it was clogging up my creative channels. I couldn't clear them on my own; I needed help.
During the 6-months of working with Jess:
- I produced the first dance piece I had made in over a year.
- I launched a blog that I had been incubating for years.
- I quit coffee.
- I created a healthier creative process (vs. creative binging).
- I gained tools to work through artists block.
- I have creative time in my life every week now.
Jess has mastered the art of always knowing exactly what to say. She has unparalleled skills of connection and intimacy creation.
Jess has a humble and loving energy. From the beginning I knew that by working with this woman I was safe to explore all themes, topics, and memories that would come up. In the creative game that’s really half the battle, isn't it... Finding the right energy or environment to create in?
Repainting your walls, buying new incense and rearranging the furniture to nail the perfect ambiance for creation is all well and good...
But if you’re serious about evolving your craft, put the paint swatches down and send Jess an email.
I decided to participate in Jess’s coaching program because I found myself really struggling as I started to pursue photography more full-time.
I struggled with trusting myself and my unique voice and being secure enough in my work to really share that part of my creativity.
I really struggled with asking for compensation for the work I was doing out of fear of rejection. So I found myself doing photo shoots I wasn’t that into for practically free and felt very annoyed and resentful towards the people I was trying to “help out”.
Through the program Jess really helped me hone in, identify and embrace my creative voice and to share it even when I felt like people might not like my ideas. She helped me stand up for myself and actually ask for compensation.
Jess helped me to find more and more clarity in who I am as an artist, who I actually want to work for, and how setting personal and professional boundaries really benefits everyone.
My favorite parts of working with Jess are her beautiful, metaphor filled meditations and her movement and dance exercises that helped get me out of my head.
In my previous life as a professional dancer, everything started to feel so heavy, so serious.
From dealing with recurring injuries, to wondering if I would be able to make my rent, to dancing the way I thought I SHOULD dance rather than enjoying the way I WANTED to dance; I got so burned out to the point where I wouldn't even talk about dance for a year after I retired from performing.
Now I'm happy to say that I'm having FUN with dance again!
I have no idea where this exploration is going to lead and the beautiful thing is, I don't NEED it to lead anywhere, I can just ENJOY it! This is also something I learned from participating in this program.
Jess's program helped me get in touch with why I've chosen to move on from dance as I've known it in my life thus far and leap into the unknown.
It's because if I'm not enjoying myself, why do what I've done!? Now, I'm recreating my relationship with dance on MY terms and it's the most freeing thing in the world!