We are switching gears on the podcast and entering our next theme all around self-care. This particular group of interviews is a mix of the many different ways to take care of someone very important in your life: YOU! Paula Jenkins returns to the show to kick off the series with a conversation about how to bring more joy into our lives.
Fittingly, Paula is on a mission to spread more joy in the world. She is a podcast producer and certified life coach, and the author of Jump Start Your Joy: Heart-Centered Ways to Find Joy in the Messy Middle.
- What Paula means when she talks about, “finding joy in the messy middle.” (7:15)
- How following joy changed Paula’s life completely, after getting a diagnosis of post partum PTSD (12:28)
- What it looks like when someone chooses joy (20:29)
- Paula describes what it’s like being a trained labyrinth facilitator (what?!) (35:23)
- The different types of joy, including “Bed in a Bag” versions of joy and what they have to teach us (25:30)
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!
Paula Jenkins is on a mission to spread more joy in the world. She is a podcast producer and certified life coach, and the author of Jump Start Your Joy: Heart-Centered Ways to Find Joy in the Messy Middle. She is also the host of the Jump Start Your Joy ® podcast, which launched in 2015. When she’s not podcasting, she can be found watching sci-fi, playing video games, or reading. Paula holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School, and was a project manager in digital marketing for 20 years. She lives in California with her husband, and son and their friendly rescue chihuahua-mix named Chewie. You can follow all of her adventures at JumpStartYourJoy.com.
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Taking the moment just that even like little bit of time where you're like, look at that joy and like really letting yourself feel it. So often we see that we think oh, that's coo, and then we move on. But there's something so magical that happens when we let ourselves have that moment. The other side of the bad in the bag version of joy is that we schedule those things in we anticipate them we look forward to them, we save for them. Scheduling it in gives you that thing to look forward to and I think that's half the part of the joy piece to
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 471 with guest Paula Jenkins.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you're here. Happy fall. At least if you're listening to this sort of in real time, it's fall. It's one of my favorite seasons. I love not sweating my ass off. I mean, there's that. That's one of the main reasons I like fall. I used to really love summer until I got older and I got a little curvier and just sweatier, I guess. I just can't tolerate the heat. Now that I'm in my late 40s as much as I used to be able to but I absolutely love this season. I love pumpkins. I love Halloween. I love the weather. I love wearing jeans and sweaters and plaid. In fact, on Saturday, just few days ago, my daughter and I went to the Oddities and Curiosities Expo. We drove all the way up to Richmond, Virginia. They do have one in Charlotte, which is much closer to us, but it's not for another. I don't know seven months or so and we couldn't wait. Have you been there? Do you know of this? I'll drop a link in the show notes. I have no affiliation to them. And if you like spooky, weird things, that is your expo. It was very crowded. That is my only complaint. Another thing that I don't have a whole lot of tolerance for like I used to. But I love spooky, weird, odd things, and I'm redoing…I think I told you guys yes I did. Because Aisling Interiors is helping me shout out shout out to that sponsor of the show. redo my living room and it's going to have that more of that theme because I've always loved it. I love art with ravens on it and skulls and just weird odd things.
All right. So today we are switching gears. We're switching gears and we're moving into the self-care theme on the podcast. This particular group of interviews is sort of a mash up of different ways we can take care of yourself. And I know that's really kind of the theme of the Make Some Noise Podcast, formerly Your Kickass Life. It really is about taking care of ourselves. So it's not going to be that much of a of a deviation to what you're used to. Today I have someone on the show whom I absolutely adore Polly Jenkins is so funny, and I know you're going to love her. She's been on the show previously, but it's been a hot minute. And I'm going to tell her about you in just a second.
But before we do, I wanted to remind you that if you work for a company that puts on events and conferences and trainings and things like that, and you're looking for a keynoter who talks about resilience, and also confidence, self-confidence, and also corporate wellness. I know that sounds so boring. That sounds super boring. But I have a keynote that I love giving all around the concept of how do we stay present for our lives? How do we avoid constantly running away from our emotions, from our problems, from our challenges. How do we do that? It becomes a problem and it definitely bleeds into our work. And give me a shout. AndreaOwen.com/speaking or you can email us support@AndreaOwen.com and we can hear more about your event and see if I might be a good fit.
Alrighty then. For those of you that don't know our guest today, you're in for a treat. Let me tell you about her. Paula Jenkins is on a mission to spread more joy in the world. She is a podcast producer and certified life coach and the author of Jumpstart Your Joy: Heart-Centered Ways to Find Joy in the Messy Middle. She's also the host of the Jumpstart Your Joy Podcast, which launched in 2015. And when she's not podcasting, she can be found watching sci fi, playing video games or reading. Paula holds a Master of Arts and religion from a Yale Divinity School and was a project manager in digital marketing for 20 years. She lives in California with her husband and son in their friendly rescue chihuahua mix named Chewie. So without further ado, here is Paula.
Paula Jenkins is back on the show.
Hey, Andrea, how are you?
I love that you start with a giggle because we have been, we have been not being our professional selves and giggling before we jumped in which I'm gonna ask you some fun questions at the end. But I'm gonna save that for a little while. And I do want to ask you about something that you've been talking about a lot on your podcast, as well as you recently wrote a book about it. And it's what you call finding joy in the messy middle. So let's start there. Tell us about that.
Well, I mean, so the last year, I think as we kind of aptly described it has there's been a lot of bullshit. And that's kind of putting, you
I know. I said like, that's a scientific term that we need to just adopt.
Yes, yes. So much bullshit. Also defined, you know, and I'm not the first one for sure to talk about the messy middle as a term. I know, Brené, brown, and some others mentioned it. But it's really also a very apt description of what we've been through. Like we're so far from what the horizon of the end of 2019. And while, I mean, while we're recording this, of course, people are getting vaccinations and things are in the, you know, the rates are better with a pandemic, but we also can't really see what's on the end horizon. So, I mean, if we get kind of biblical about this, my backgrounds, religious studies, it's kind of fun to see it as, you know, this is the wilderness that they talk about. You know, when Moses took the people out, they couldn't still see Egypt, which they'd been living in. And, and, you know, they were leaving, but they also weren't yet to the promised land. And so we're out there, we're like, you know, the food's not great, we're complaining about the leadership. I mean, it really is, strangely an apt description of where we're at. And so the thing there is not to continue on the religious piece of it, but like how… We're going to be here we are here. And we've been here. So how do we find joy now, instead of instead of pushing it out into the horizon? Because we don't know when that will show up and it would really… I don't think any of us want to just be joyless until whatever this.
And when this whole start things started for us. And you know, so lets take it back to March 2020. Did you have a sort of prediction of how long this would last? Like, what team were you on?
Oh, that is such a great question. Well, I mean, I think as we… So my son's in elementary school and I think as we saw it closing down, I think I was in that mindset of like, ooh, I think you guys are kind of under estimating this two week thing. Like, yeah, if it's that bad, how could we ever be talking about for about two weeks? So I've been very much of the mindset that, you know, we follow science. We, you know, wwhatever the data is saying is to me real. And so I think, you know, we've probably been more on the restrictive mask wearing side of this than other people have if that if that kind of answers your question. Yeah,
Yeah. Well, I had a friend who was and maybe it was just like the first couple of weeks were at the onset, you know, when they started closing schools. And she thought it was going to be wrapped up in two or three weeks. And I didn’t. So at that time I was doing googling and so, which was not great, I was in a dark place. But one of the things I was I was reading about was the Spanish flu, and how long it lasted. And granted, that was 100 years ago, a lot has changed since then. But viruses haven't really changed. And I knew we had come a long way with vaccines and things like that. But I was buckling up for two years. And to be honest with you, I felt like that was helpful for me to get comfortable. And like you were saying, like, kay, this is going to be messy for a while so what do I need to do to take care of myself and my family and my community?
For sure. And as you're saying that I'm remembering a moment, I made the very bad decision, I mean, in hindsight of about March 12, so right before everything was shutting down. After school, I took my son to Costco. And I realized the minute we got out of the car, and I saw the line around the parking lot… I mean, we still needed some supplies, because I'm like, you know, we weren't running for the TP but like, we needed stuff. So but I realized, okay, this is way beyond what my own brain could have comprehended. And I even said to him, I'm so sorry, I don't know that I should have brought you here. Like, it was that kind of the onset and the realization like, yeah, this is gonna be a long time. This isn't just for a minute. And then obviously unfolded, I think we all started to realize, well, this is kind of a defining principle for every one that's alive right here and during this time. Like, this isn't something that's just going to be glancing at your watch that five minutes… This is not gonna go away soon. We are where we are and we can we can be serious about the severity of the issue, but we can also find ways to navigate joy and some, some sense of wellness and self care and all of that out here because I think the mental health side of it is also a really big deal. And this isolation is so new to us. And I mean, I even found myself going back to like, how did they do this? Like, you know, families that were settlers and in Minnesota for the winter. Like how do they actually get through a winter without… What did they do all day? Yeah. Who knows? Played a lot of fiddle…
I have so many questions about that, Paula, like, how did they give birth? Like how? There's so many questions. Anyway, that's probably for another guest. But…
I don't know but that seems awful.
It does. It seems really hard. Well, you were talking about this before the pandemic, right? Like you were super interested in the messy middle and writing the book and talking about this. And I'm curious, was there something that happened that drew you specifically to the topic?
Of the messy middle?
Well, yeah, I mean, I think it's super interesting to me, from a couple of different angles. Like, way back in grad school, I kind of loved this thing of the wilderness. And of course, also Brené, brown talks about it now as well. But like this idea that we go through phases of life, where things are not easy. And instead of pushing away the hardness, or, you know, leaning towards good vibes only or whatever, that wasn't a thing back when I was in grad school, but like, how do we own that and how do we accept and we don't have to embrace it or love it, but how do we accept the fullness of the human experience? Can I go a little more biblical on you on this one?
Sure. I love a good metaphor, no matter what it pertains to.
Well, and some this may be controversial, even but the my actual favorite line from the Bible is, and it's very sad, and I'm not making light of it. But here's the moment when Jesus cries out on the cross, and He says, ‘Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?’ And that, oh, my gosh. I feel like in that moment, here's my interpretation of it, he has seen every good thing, every bad thing, every good and evil, of the entire human race, and it hurts. And it says in that moment, and sure, it's also a great metaphor for any of us listening, like to have the fullness of the human experience, we have to accept and feel all of the things.
And so that's, that's where this I think total interest came. And of course, then I was dealt my own moment where I, after the birth of my son, it was a really horrifically long labor of 56 hours, which then led to a C-section. Yeah, and then diagnosed with postpartum PTSD. And so in that, I felt like, there was a moment in there where I felt this immense amount of overwhelm and this place where, how do I get through this? Like, I could not even get in touch with my own joy or like this sense of happiness that I had, and how can I be so disconnected from what I really had sensed was my true, you know, that's my source. That's I'm a naturally very bubbly person. So it was very, very strange and very weird. And I wouldn't got therapy.
I was gonna say like, and forgive me for being so candid, I don't mean to be flippant, but that sounds a lot like depression.
It is very similar. Yeah. And in truth, I kind of I tried to figure out what is this? And I actually got, I got accepted or I could have been admitted into a day program, which does mean you go in for the day and for postpartum depression and outpatient. Yeah. And I was like, this doesn't seem quite right. And it comes into that space of really trusting your intuition and saying, ooh, yeah, but I think there's something more here and some of that, just to get into like, kind of the psychology of it, as I understand it, was more around like, I had a lot of ongoing kind of thoughts that I couldn't shake. I couldn't get rid of the fewest very specific images during the birth process. And I also had this very irrational fear that something very bad was about to happen. Like, and those are all marks, as I understand it, of PTSD as opposed to depression. I mean, I think I probably had both.
Okay, well, let me stop me for a second. So I understand the chronology. So it was that happening after the birth of your child or this was happening during the pandemic?
So that happened… Yeah, that was like 10 years ago during the birth.
Okay, gotcha. I can relate. And I wonder, and maybe you know, a little bit more about this than I do is, so I had severe postpartum anxiety after the birth of my first child, my son, and I had this fear, I remember standing in my bedroom, crying and telling my mom, she had come into town to help me like for the first couple of weeks after he was born, and telling her and I was whispering, and I was crying and whispering and telling her that someone was coming to steal my son. And I was paranoid. And I remember the look on her face.You know, you have a look, your parent your, your parents might give you or someone that you care about gives you where then suddenly you're tuned in to just how far off the deep end you fall in, are worried about yourself. That's what happened. And, and from what I understand that that is not that uncommon. And it can lead to postpartum psychosis. But those were just not okay. And our hormones are all a mess. And we need support and help.
Right. Yes, it's so true. And I think, one, and I'm so sorry that you also went through it. Like that's so it's so scary. And I think maybe, as moms, we don't talk about it, because of course, you know, even after the fact there was, you know, some well-meaning person, but that said, well, at least he's healthy. And I'm like, rdon't at least me.
Like I cannot tell you how many times I heard that it felt so just irrelevant as a human.
So true. Yeah. And I do totally relate to that moment of, whoa. This isn't… I realized that I wasn't in a space that was very healthy. But I think there was an… It may have been around that moment where somebody said, well, yeah, we will accept you into this program. And it was like, whoa. Like, I remember sitting in one of those counselor's offices and just thinking, no, I'm really here like this. I mean, mentally like this is you said yes, to a fairly intensive program for me. And yet, I'm also not because it was afraid. I didn't think it was right. But I just didn't, I didn't know that. And she even said, I don't know if this is an exact fit for you. But there was that moment, I was like, oh, crap, like, okay, now it's time to really buckle down, and not in a hustle way, right? But like, I gotta find myself a way to be well after this, because this is this, this could be it. I mean, truly, like, I kind of saw the edge. Okay, this might be an area where people could truly lose track of what's real and what's not. And that way, oh, my god, terrifying. Just terrifying.
Yeah, and it's, I mean, I don't know if I've gone in depth about that in another podcast episode or not. I think I might have mentioned that it was around that same time that I couldn't drive anymore because I was having panic attacks in the car, mostly just on the freeway. So it very much felt like that scene in the movie Clueless where she gets on the freeway, and they start screaming. It was like that, but it was real life. And it was not as funny as it was in their convertible. But it was… I think I didn't realize how common it was and I do feel like it would be so much more comforting and helpful and supportive for other women to talk about this, especially, more specifically, I should say, for postpartum mothers who deal with this.
Yeah, I totally agree and be intense. And I know…
Okay, so instead of instead of the inpatient treatment center, you went to therapy you said.
So yeah, I went to therapy. So I've since been certified as a life coach so I kind of like have a look back like oh, yeah, now I get what that was but so we she did tapping is one of the primary things that like helped me get through it. And it was one of those… I mean, thank God. I think it really did help like I would have been. And it was one of those things where she's like, well, let's try this. And I kind of probably gave her that look of like, yeah, right. Like…
Tap on my forehead.
Yeah. And then like to think about…
For people that don't know, it's EFT tapping. It's called…What does it stand for again? Extra…
I'm not gonna get it right.
It's escaping me right now. But I'll remember.
But yeah, and I think it really really helped. And it really gave me the framework to realize that I am, you know, it'll sound a little cliche, but I'm okay. My child's okay. That there's a space in here and where yes, you. I mean, it was helpful to recognize that I've been through a very traumatic event, you know, gives me permission to like, own that. And it was really interesting, because at the time, she even said, like, more people need to talk about this. And it is my hope, she said, that someday you'll find a way to share this with other people. So it's always a little bit meta to talk about it because I, I feel like it was part of the journey that she foresaw. And it's also kind of then, you know, it gave a framework for I think, feeling more joy on the other side. And it also became the nugget that eventually started my own show, which was, how do we find joy or what happens when we have to fight really hard for our joy and what does it look like when people choose joy. Because I feel like that's kind of what that was, in that moment. Like, whatever my own happiness was, it was reaching out to me and saying, hey, I want to reconnect, like, kind of like, from a spiritual source kind of way. Like, hey, come back, you know, we've lost connection come back. And, and so if you like, joy does reach out to us. And the show really became about that kind of nugget of a moment, which is how do people say yes to joy in a really hard time or difficult situation and how does that change everything for them? And it's really kind of, you know, it seems antithetical, maybe sometimes, because you just want to numb out or whatever. But, you know, there's some good reason to numb out and take a break. I totally advocate that.
Everybody does it. It has its place. Yeah.
But that's the heart of it. And so I feel like joy is really serious business.
I like that joy is really serious business. It gets sounds counterintuitive, is the word that I'm looking for. But I also want to circle back, EFT Emotional Freedom Technique.
Thank you. Yes.
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You've almost kind of come full circle from that moment, you know, a decade ago. And I know that you talk about a couple of different kinds of joys in your book. So can you tell us about the bed in a bag versions of joy? I love a good bed in a bag.
Well it is kind of exactly like that. So yeah, I mean, I think there's joys that we all recognize. And those are the ones that… And generally, they might be the simpler ones, like you recognize, like a flower is beautiful. You can see in the moment that maybe, and I mean, just as we're reflecting through life, like you can see that like maybe any one of life's big events, like a marriage or graduation or whatever, you know, these are all joyous times. And we can also feel happiness just on our own, when we're out on a walk or whatever, like, it doesn't have to be a big deal. And those are the ones that we recognize, and that we talk about. And then there's these really other magical ones. And I want to be super clear, I am not judging that these are good or bad, or anything like that. It just struck me that during the pandemic, there were all of these things that we could no longer do. And I kind of started thinking about him as the bed in the bag that we find a target. And so it's like Disneyland, it's like a it's a movie, you know, we go on a cruise and, and everything about these events are chock full of like, over the top, sometimes happiness. And they are like, you know, it's a pay to play situation generally to you know you're going to go reserve your cruise, you're going to go, you're going to dance with the New Kids on the Block, or maybe that's just me, that's just you. And you're gonna have, you're gonna love, you know, love that shit out of that week or whatever. And the thing that I've noticed, I mean, it became really apparent that these kinds of things exist, and that name kind of became fun for me was that we also kind of just leave them in their bag. Meaning there's not a lot of integration. You know, I go on the cruise and then, you know, I might tell some stories when I get back, but I'm not integrating, you know, it'd be hard to integrate dancing on the lido deck with 3000 people. But I'm not integrating maybe even some of the values or qualities that I loved about that. When I come back. I just go back to real life.
And I think bed in a bag version of joy could also be a retreat. It's a different mindset. But it's like, it's really hard to integrate those things when we come back. And I've done retreat leadership for a long time. And also noticed that integration or reentry was a big deal there. Like, how do we bring these things that we learned into our lives in real life. That's what the bed in a bag version of joy is. And I read during the pandemic, what I've found is that it's really, it's fun to think back about those things cuz I think they give us a really lovely way to, you know, re-ignite some of the joy that we felt before we were also very isolated. And I found that when I think about them, I can also figure out some of the things that I feel like are missing from them and then I could be like, ooh, I really loved going to Disneyland. And then I'd circle back with myself and be like, okay, I can't do it. But what about it? Why did I love it? Hmm. I love that I can eat gluten free food all over the place. I love that I felt pampered and cared for. I loved that, you know, there's that sense of adventure and excitement and getting…
There’s just such a magical feeling in the air there.
Yeah. And you know, you can't put it is yeah. And you can't totally recreate it for sure. But I think you can, you know, then stock the pantry with the gluten free foods and, you know, find a way to maybe go on an adventure, drive around your neighborhood and find something new to see. Like, I think there were ways that I was seeing that I can't do this now, but the bed and the bag version of joy was teaching me other things that I could bring into my life that maybe were missing.
I love that story. And that metaphor, and it reminds me of I never thought of it this way, but how I do that is and this might be because I am a highly auditory person. I also have auditory processing disorder and that means that I have an extremely hard time pushing out background noises. So it sounds like they're all happening at the same… It's hard to explain but anyone who struggles to like work at coffee shops or where or when you were in class, and there's people whispering next to you and you want to murder them because you can't hear the teacher. That's me. And so I also and I also process more slowly. So if someone gives me directions that are like more than four steps like you lost me at the second step. I need more time. But I find joy in certain songs that bring me back to whatever joy I was experiencing. So when I hear that song that play is at the tea cups ride at Disneyland, like that one. Yes. That song like, I feel like I'm six years old again, and just so much joy, and nostalgia. This is super interesting.
So from what I understand, nostalgia is not categorized as an emotion, but more so an experience, but it falls under the same umbrella. And there are certain people who feel the experience of nostalgia more so than others. And the hand raised, I'm one of those people. And so for me, it's, you know, I hear Fantasy by Mariah Carey, and I'm instantly transported back to the 90s when I was going out to clubs with Carmen and Shelby, and that was our jam. I think every girl group has like their jam. Yeah, that was ours. And I hear the opening… I just, I mean, I get goosebumps, even just thinking about it. And I always screenshot it and text it to them. And I will stop whatever I'm doing and start dancing. And it would be it would be nice if Mariah Carey and New Kids on the Block, were there to dance with me. I have my dog to dance with him in the kitchen. But anyway, say that because I think there might be some people who can relate.
So totally true. And I am going to look up the auditory processing thing because that sounds like me too.
Yeah. Okay, so let me say more about it, because you're probably not the only one who is more curious about it. So sensory processing disorder, is where I first learned about it. And so my son was diagnosed with that when he was five. And the therapist recommended that I read the book, The Out of Sync Child. And so for people listening, the most common sensory thing that we hear, mostly with children, but it happens in adults too, is when they can't stand the feeling of their socks, and they throw fits about tags being in their shirts and their pants and things like that. And some people have a harder time they either are oversensitive or under sensitive. So they're their sensory seeking or sensory avoiding and so people who struggle with tags and socks, their sensory avoiding when it the tactile stuff. Some people it's taste. So this is why some people really struggle with certain textures and refuse to eat certain foods because of the texture. And it's it can be all five senses. And some people…you can also be under and over for different senses. So like my son, for instance, he is overstimulated with smell and sight like especially bright lights, but he sensory seeking and other senses anyway. So for me, it's just sound. I struggle a little bit with texture, but it's not out of the ordinary. It's just I don't like overripe bananas but like who does? Not that big of a deal. It doesn't affect my life. But the auditory stuff 100% affects my life. I can't, I can't work in certain places. If someone is like tapping ugh. I just like, it makes me feel like I want to a rip my skin off and then beat the other person to death with it. It sounds violent.
No, I could totally relate to that. And come into play in like living in a small house with, you know, my whole family. And yeah, it's yeah, that's so true.
What started in fifth grade, my, my teacher, who I loved, he was so great znd he would play classical music when we would take tests. And because he had read some study that's like, helpful for me. And I could not concentrate, and it was affecting my grades. And I was so embarrassed to tell him because I felt like something was wrong with me. And I can't even remember what ended up happening. But I cried when I read The Out of Sync Child, because I'm, I'm highlighting, you know, bullet points that my son struggles with. And then I saw so much of myself and felt so I'm like, oh my god, this is a thing. So anyway, I highly encourage people to get that book and even just Google auditory processing disorder or sensory processing disorder.
That yes, I will. And I have to say that the song for me at Disneyland is Buzz Lightyear and there's something about the music and that is the dark ride and I feel it's like the opposite of the oh my gosh, that's so irritating. I want to slap somebody it's like this is so good. I want to slap somebody like oh, you're that excited I got really like that one gets me so yeah, I even like…
I took like six years of Spanish. Can you tell but whatever that the on repeat that they say when you're getting in the roller coaster just the sound of that makes me happy. Yeah, like oh my god, we're about we're about to get on a ride.
That's right. Yeah, well and to that same point. I mean, another thing that I noticed it was kind of a phase was I was listening on YouTube. If you look up background music loops for Disneyland if you are like, oh my gosh, I wish I could get more into this. People out of the goodness of their own hearts have put together full background loops for every area of the parks. And I like I can be whisked away, especially maybe if you have those really strong memories of like, when I hear this music, I feel like I'm there. And so for a while I was full on listening to background music loops of, you know, whatever area I wanted to, it's great. It's so fun.
I can have music on now as an adult I can write with, but it has to be instrumental. It can't be… I can't have lyrics because I'm too distracted by words. But now, yeah, I do like that. So I'm gonna have to look that up. That is so amazing. So we went off on a tangent, we're back.
I want to ask you… I did not know this about you the last time that we talked, but what is a trained labyrinth facilitator?
Oh, my goodness, yes. So labyrinths, if you're familiar, are different than a maze, if you are not. So a labyrinth is a, what we call a single circuit, loop or path into the center. You cannot get tricked or go the wrong way. But it gets used as a walking meditation for people who are not familiar with them. And they've been around for centuries, millennia even. And you find them in all sorts of different religious practices. So you know, in back in Greek times, back in Baltic times, Native Americans in the US have it. They all look a little bit different but the idea is the same, that you are walking a path to the center. And so in December of this last year, which is why we wouldn't have talked about it before, but I took the Vertiditas Labyrinth facilitator training to kind of like understand, what are they, you know, what's like the purpose of them, and how I might use them in other ways besides like, how you're just walking the labyrinth myself, which I have done at every stage of my adult life. And I always feel like I…it's like a walking meditation. And I feel like I get so much out of the process itself that I really wanted to bring that into, you know, my life in a different way. So that's so yeah.
So are you planning on, I know, it's fairly recent that you've, you've gotten this, are you planning on taking like groups of people like retreats to go on these labyrinth walks?
Yeah, yeah. So for the last few years, for quite a while I've been affiliated with a retreat center here near me and they have a labyrinth. And so when I got trained, I was like so, you guys need a facilitator. And they were like, wow, we do. So I'm hopeful that that's something I get to do. And then I'm also working with a camp this summer. This is so revolutionary, in my opinion, they are able to open using physical distancing, and all that. But they also they're like, we need a mindfulness program. And I told him about the labyrinth as well. And so I'm working with them to like develop a program for the campers and the counselors.
Yeah, like, it's like how do these things. But it's like so cool. And I feel like it is I mean, kind of tie back to the messy middle is. The labyrinth itself really gives us a way especially if people feel like meditating is difficult for them. Because I think a lot of people are like, no, don't please make me sit in silence. That seems painful. And if you go out and physically walk a labyrinth, and you can find them there's a world labyrinth locator. You can look that up online. You can find one.
World labyrinth locator. Right course there is. Yeah, while you're there, get yourself a bed in a bag. And they're on sale. They were on sale this week. I love all the things that I learned by interviewing interesting people. That's amazing. Yeah.
Well, I want to circle back to the serious conversation about your postpartum PTSD. So I recently learned that someone very very close to me that I love very much has had medical trauma, and I had never heard that term before but it made so much sense when this particular it was a naturopath doctor that told me about it. And it sounds like that's what happened to you you know when you had postpartum PTSD and I'm curious if you wouldn't mind sharing what are some of the things that your therapist walked you through and facilitated with you if it was beyond the EFT tapping or anything like that that has helped you come as far as you have over the last 10 years because I think that the reason I bring up the medical trauma thing is because I think it goes beyond you know people who've had difficult Labor's which I know is common. But people who might have had, you know, scary hospital stays or sudden surgeries that they had to have or just not so great experience at a hospital.
Well, I don't know if some of this is so much stuff that my therapist offered, but I can I can surely kind of reflect on the things that were helpful to me. I mean, I think if you've been through it, it's always okay to ask or have a loved one asked for the records. Because in my experience that was a really long time in hospital and I wasn't even…it became very fuzzy at points, like what actually happened, you know, when did we move from this was a decision to this was a decision. Well, it did not. I mean, I want to be careful in saying, like, go ask for your medical records, because it probably won't give you all of the answers. But it did fill in some gaps for me about what had happened. And so it might be helpful if you have a loved one that could help you navigate that space to ask about it. I mean, it just may offer some insights.
And in tandem with that, I would say, share, it seems so scary to share what you're feeling, or what you're going through. But if you know if it's a partner or a spouse, if it's you know, a friend or a loved one, find someone that you trust, and that you know, will hold the space for you and not just say, oh, at least right? We talked about that earlier. But find someone that will listen. And if somebody gives you the at least answer then move on to somebody else, because you need to find the person that's going to hear you and that's going to… Don’t throw in the towel yet. And then I think some of the other things were just acknowledging that yeah, this is, this is a real thing that happened because I think some sometimes it's very tempting to push it aside and not give it the, you know, the weights or the time that it needs meaning weightiness, or time that it needs. And I would say fight for the right person. Sounds like fight for the right to party.
I'm just kidding. Fight for the right person to help you through it. Because like I said, you know, I got admitted into a program that I just in my gut, like, you know, even a doctor friend of mine talks about how so often we know what we need in our gut, but we don't follow it because someone in the medical profession tells us like, oh, you need this. And you're like, I don't think that's right. So trust your gut and go to the right person. Because I think that makes healing, you know, makes it happen quicker. Somebody's going to help you who you know, gets you. And that's super helpful.
And then I think the other pieces are Julia Samuel, who is a psychotherapist that deals with grief and death. She talks about and I had her on the show at one point about how like scheduling in time for joy. Like the other side of it is like, allow yourself to feel something that isn't the hard part, from time to time, and just let it be. Like you know, watch a movie that made you laugh before. I know when I did. This is another really funny one. I know I did that. And I found myself watching The Princess Diaries which one will do. And I found the best quote in that moment that like kind of was like a turning point, which is courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the decision to do something beyond fear. And I was like, oh, like, you know, this is a Disney film. But it was like, oh my gosh, like that's what I'm doing. Thank you Meg Cabot. So yeah, I felt seen and heard there by the Princess Diaries.
And, yeah, and I also think movement. So there's also you could look into Peter Levine and I think it's his seminal work about trauma. But like really knowing that like, allowing yourself to move, and looking into kind of the space. It's really interesting, because when he talks about it, about trauma that's stuck in the body. It's really this idea that you if you were an animal, you would have had the options to fight or flight or freeze. So what happens when we get trauma in our own bodies as humans is we are stuck in probably freeze and we never got to resolve it. And so sometimes even just like envisioning, like, get out in the yard, envision that you're punching something, you know, or just go through it. Like, I don't know, I did a lot of angry stomping, which seems so silly, but I was like, so much better. Like really letting your body work through some of it is also super helpful.
Yeah, I love all of that. It makes me think of recently so I'm big on the small moments of joy. You know, people asked me that and I'm like, it's when I'm sitting in the dining room table with my family and either my husband or one of my two kids laughs and seeing their faces or just having them tell me about their day just these small things that bring me so much joy and I don't jump over them like I sink into them. Sometimes they're like, why are you staring at me? It's because of that. And so I got I got so irritated with my husband, because he had bought my our daughter…. We decided to get her she's an artist and it was like this tracing thing that was really neat on Amazon and we were going to give it to her when her she's going to this new charter school and they were moving locations and she was super nervous about it. We're like, why don't we give it to her like on the first day to you know, as like a little we're proud of you gift. You can you can do it. And he gave it to her Are when I wasn't there.Yeah. And I saw her using it. And I was like, when did when did Daddy get that for you? And she's like, oh, he gave it to me yesterday, and I marched over to my husband. And I'm like, you know what I'm like, hey, I wanted to be there. And he kind of didn't get it at first. And I'm like, it's like Christmas morning. You know, like, when like, this is the reason we buy too many gifts for our children. I could never… Before I had children, I was like, I cannot understand why parents spoil their, their children. Now I understand why, because it's seeing the joy on their face makes me so incredibly happy. I cannot get that from anywhere else. And so I mean, that's kind of a lie, I could get joy in other places. But it's sort of, you know, an easy and easy, expensive way to do it. But I felt kind of cheated a little bit. And it just it when you were saying all that it reminded me off these little moments that I look forward to that I know we're gonna bring me joy. It's like my own version of Disneyland. Yes,
Yes I love that very much. And I think that there's like a, there's two sides of that coin too, which is like, taking the like taking the moment, just that even like little bit of time where you're like, oh, look at that joy, and like really letting yourself feel it. Because I think so often, I mean, Christmas morning might be a little bit different, but like, so often, we see that we think, oh, that's cool. And then we move on. But there's something so magical that happens when we let ourselves have that moment.
And I think there's also the thing that happens like, the other side of the bed in the bag version of joy is that we schedule those things in, we anticipate them, we look forward to them, we save for them. And yet, we wonder why it's like such a special event. Well, some of that is all of that. And so if you can, right now scheduled time into, you know, whatever, I don't know what that's gonna be for somebody but like, you know, have a Zoom call with a friend or go have a socially distanced walk with your friend and their dog and your dog like, scheduling it in gives you that thing to look forward to. And I think that's half the part of the joy piece too.
100%. Paula Jenkins, you are such a joy to have on this show. Pun intended. Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you so very much for having me.
And I want to also mention your book, Jumpstart your Joy: Heart-Centered Ways to Find Joy in the Messy Middle. That link will be on the show notes. And I know you're at JumpstartYourJoy.com and that's what your show is called as well. But where else do you want people to go to learn more about you and what you have to offer?
Well, thank you so much. Well, yeah, my brand new site about me being a podcast producer, is at PaulaKenkins.com and so you could go there to find a free course to set up a mission statement for your own podcast if you wanted to.
I didn't know that I have so many people that asked me about podcast, you know, how do I start my own and I have a couple of resources, but I will definitely send them your way as well. So that's awesome. Thank you so much.
I want to thank all the listeners for being here with us today. And I just am so grateful for them and for their time because I know how valuable our time is. And remember everyone it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place by everyone.
Hi there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media. And a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want, be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm gonna do that right now. It would be the absolute best and mean the world to me. If you reviewed and subscribed to this show, Make Some Noise Podcast on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow. And that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always reshare those and give you a quick thank you DM and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned. Tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following. Whatever it is, I appreciate so much you're sharing about this show