Jennie, you are an author, a yoga therapist and a spiritual coach - can you tell us how your career in wellness started and what brought you there, to begin with?
I have always been a seeker and have studied world religions and philosophies for over 30 years. Integrating the teachings of classical yoga, spiritual psychology and body-centred psychotherapy brought me to the work I currently do as a yoga therapist and spiritual coach.
My in-depth, personal application of these teachings began when I lost my second child at birth, was facing divorce, living in an unfamiliar region of the country without friends, and trying to be present for my 3-year-old son. I had to go inward, into my practice, to find the strength and tools to keep going forward with positivity.
This was also when I opened my yoga studio. I quickly saw that most of my students were also seeking deeper answers to the challenges of life. I wanted to share what I had learned and benefitted from so my yoga therapy practice evolved. For over two decades now I have helped people make meaning of their life experiences, heal from grief and find true soul-centred purpose. I deeply believe in our ability to choose proactive change and to grow throughout our lives into greater connectivity and wellness. It’s been a blessing to work with people of all ages, from 6-to 96 and from all walks of life, from doctors and lawyers to military officers and celebrities.
Regardless of where we are in our life journey, the practices of meditation and introspection can help us find greater peace and joy. This is what I love helping people experience.
Your book, Spark Change, is about inner growth and it introduces the idea of spiritual evolution - can you tell us more about that?
Personal spiritual evolution is, I believe, why we are here- to expand our awareness of self and life and Spirit- to recognize our inherent unity with it all. This takes the practice of looking beyond our self-interest and seeing how we are interconnected. As we evolve our consciousness in this way, we experience greater states of harmony and love and wellbeing.
To spark change in your life - you promote self-inquiry and reflection. What is your approach to stress management?
Self-inquiry and reflection are important components of stress management. If we just deflect and blame outer circumstances for why we feel unhappy, we won’t grow and we won’t create the opportunity for real positive change. As we become more introspective and accountable to all the circumstances in our lives, we take charge of how we respond and make choices for our wellbeing. It all starts with a willingness to see what part we play in the circumstances we are faced with and accountability for our responses to them.
What is self-care about for you and how does it translate into your life?
Self-care is the offering of time and space to myself to do the things that restore my body, mind and spirit and help me to be the best healthy and balanced version of myself. For me, this translates as the time each day for meditation and spiritual reading, time in nature surfing or hiking, time with friends and family and alone time to just be.
What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness means thinking of another person, seeking to understand them and recognizing what they most need. It means offering your help and compassion in every way you can each day to those around you.
Find out more about Jennie Lee here.