Jennifer Young: “Getting outdoors”

Getting outdoors: life, wisdom, answers, healing and joy is in nature. Something magical happens every time I step outside. Even if it’s just to sit on my balcony to have my morning coffee. The trees, plants, birds, air, help us connect to something bigger than ourselves and get us out of our head and help […]

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Getting outdoors: life, wisdom, answers, healing and joy is in nature. Something magical happens every time I step outside. Even if it’s just to sit on my balcony to have my morning coffee. The trees, plants, birds, air, help us connect to something bigger than ourselves and get us out of our head and help us reconnect.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Young.

Jennifer Jane Young is an Intuitive Business Adviser who facilitates growth, flow, and transformation for heart-centered, impact-driven entrepreneurs & businesses. She thrives in helping women & businesses define what matters most, identify where they are stuck or misaligned, and finds hidden potential and opportunities for growth and transformation. Her clients are visionaries with big hearts and passionate dreams to create positive change in the world. Her work is guided by intuition and anchored in strategy & practicality. She mentors her clients through her own constant journey of transformation, which in her opinion, is the foundation of intuitive entrepreneurship. Merging her strong intuitive right brain with her highly practical left brain, she’s an asset to your growth and a solid partner in your success! Jennifer is an advocate for animal rescue work & empowering women who are disempowered and suppressed in a patriarchal environment. She is the host of the Injoy Living Podcast, previously known as The Art Of Making Things Happen Podcast. This nurturing Cancerian has saved herself from a long lineage of abuse and hardship and is now living a peaceful and successful life in Canada with her two dogs.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

My childhood was confusing and scary. I experienced a lot of suffering which followed me into my teenage years, turning into severe anxiety and aggressive behaviors. Up until I was about 25 I felt very unsafe and lost as if I would never find my place in this world. I constantly felt like a square peg in a round hole.

Through high school I was quite disruptive; either failing my classes, being kicked out of class, falling asleep on my desk or forging my mom’s signature on letters to get out of class for fake doctor’s appointments. I would have been described by society as a “bad” kid but I was simply trying to break free from what I was being told I “should” be doing and trying to find my own path of freedom which was so loudly calling me inside.

I thrived in classes and in environments where I would be treated like an adult and be given freedom. I would struggle when I was not acknowledged and restrictions were placed in front of me. My art class with my teacher who felt like a coach and my geography class with my teacher who made us feel like a friend is where I was excited to be each week.

This became a recurring theme in my life as I became a young adult and struggled with any job I had or schooling I did. Being boxed into something that was manufactured by someone else just did not work. I began to find my way when I left my career as an Early Childhood Educator to become a Yoga Teacher. This is where my entrepreneurial journey began.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My grandfather was a key mentor in life. He inspired me deeply because of the great things he achieved and the life he created for himself. Coming from a poor family where he and his brothers needed to work at a young age, he quickly saw that he needed to be the creator of a better life.

He started his own company at 17 years old and founded Dominion Steel in Montreal, Quebec and created huge success for himself. He built the first metro car, some of the first skidoos and that system that used to let people buy newspapers when they would put a coin in a machine in the street.

He was my first example of Business Leadership & Innovation. Because of his wealth he built himself a beautiful home on a private domain in the country and was able to retire at 40 years old.

Oprah was another key mentor in my life. She became the example of a successful, kind and empowered woman for me. Her intuitive leadership never ceases to inspire me and her resilience is something I strive for every day. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the teachings of mama Oprah.

My past Yoga Teacher Sandra Burelli is the one who helped me see the path that I needed to take. In my young adult years, I began practicing yoga to help me with my anxiety and my anger. Every time I would step into my yoga class I felt at home, as if I had finally found my people…my purpose. Sandra became a huge inspiration to me because I saw in her something I wanted to become. An entrepreneur. A mentor. A teacher. A leader. When I was being led by her I felt strong, peaceful and capable of anything I yearned for. This is when I started to see clearly and believe that I could do something outside of and much bigger than what I was taught I could do. Meeting her was a key pivoting moment that led me to the life I’m living now.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Hands down my mom. No matter how scary my decisions were to her, she ALWAYS supported them whether that was emotionally or financially. When I decided to drop a stable career and launch myself into entrepreneurship with no plan, she had my back. When I decided to leave a toxic 12-year relationship, pack up my laptop and my dog and move to Mexico with a man I fell in love with, she had my back. When I had a nervous breakdown in Mexico and had to pull myself out of a relationship with a narcissist to save myself, she flew to Mexico in a flash and had my back. My mom has always been my rock and my biggest cheerleader. She didn’t always understand my intuition, but she always trusted and supported me in following it.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

My most interesting mistake I would say is when I was in my previous 12-year relationship, letting my partner at times convince me that I needed to give up what I was doing and go out to get a “real job” and live a “real life”.

Sometimes I look back and imagine what my life would look like if I would have given up on my dreams or ignored my intuition and it scares me to death. I feel darkness and contraction when I imagine that scenario.

The lesson for myself and the one I teach my clients is to NEVER doubt your intuition. You are the only one who has the answers. No one else, not even an amazing coach has better wisdom than the one you have inside. I’d now much prefer to at least try acting on my intuition, even if it doesn’t always turn out like I had imagined or turns into a messy process, than not even give myself a chance. The signature, timeless quote that I created when I started my entrepreneurial journey (and that will stay with me until the end) is:

The actions you are not willing to take, or the decisions you are not willing to make, are the ones that will change your life. — Jennifer Jane Young

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka. This book made a huge impact on me. Sarah is an architect who ended up writing a book on how to create a simple yet meaningful life for yourself. Her book empowered me to become the architect of my most purposeful and simple life. Her lessons still impact my work today. I believe entrepreneurs are intuitive architects building visions and creating impact with their architecture every single day. That to me sounds like a life worth living and the one I want to wake up to every day. What gets me out of bed in the morning is the knowing that I get to be part of creating these visions and impact with the beautiful entrepreneurs I get to work with.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!”

― Hunter S. Thompson

I’ve never been interested in living a small, safe life. I’ve always pushed myself out of my comfort zone and try to embrace the beauty and messiness that is my life.

Last year particularly I learned to really embrace this quote when I was picking myself up in pieces after a nervous breakdown and pulling myself out of a psychologically abusive relationship in Mexico. The breakdown was excruciating. The healing was long, scary and painful. Do I regret listening to my gut and starting a life over in Mexico? Not one bit.

These last 5 years of my life (4 in Mexico and 1 of deep healing) have probably been the most profound and expansive. I had to experience the breakdown so I could access my breakthrough. I could not have risen to where I am today without it. Intuition is not always convenient but it’s always calling us forward to a reason and that is, for our next level of growth.

I believe that it’s when we can embrace the full spectrum of the human experience that we can then experience the most expansive life. As Glennon Doyle so often reminds us “We can do hard things”.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m currently working on re-launching my podcast and writing my book (both called Finding your Flow) These are my two bigger impact projects. Sharing my lessons and messages is central to my existence. These will be my two channels to continue supporting in a bigger way, entrepreneurs, leaders, creatives and intuitives in leading a life of purpose, joy and impact. I want to see entrepreneurs rise and thrive and I want my story, my lessons and teachings to do just that.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Getting outdoors: life, wisdom, answers, healing and joy is in nature. Something magical happens every time I step outside. Even if it’s just to sit on my balcony to have my morning coffee. The trees, plants, birds, air, help us connect to something bigger than ourselves and get us out of our head and help us reconnect.

One of my most important practices each day, is going for my morning walk with my dogs. Seeing their excitement as I grab their leash reminds me that yes, going outside is where all the joy is. This earth we are living on is so inspiring and when I’m out there, I feel like everything is aligned.

Alone time: I can’t stress this enough. We NEED to be alone with ourselves on a regular basis. It’s an intimate practice that not enough people embrace. So many people are actually anxious and uncomfortable being alone. I LOVE it. This is when we can access our most potent wisdom and intuition. We need this time alone in order to live an aligned life.

Every morning. I have a moment that I call my Coffee Meditation. When I get up, I make my warm drink and sit quietly and mindfully with my dogs cuddled next to me. I start with 20 minutes of focused TM meditation and then I flow into whatever is inspiring me. I give myself generally 3–4 hours each morning to myself before engaging in work.

Coaching/Therapy/Mentorship: I always have a coach, therapist, intuitive guide by my side. I think having someone you trust to hold space for your healing, transformation and next level of growth is essential to living an expansive life (especially for entrepreneurs).

Sometimes I’m working with more than one at once and other times I have just one core person supporting me. This is a gift I offer myself on a regular basis now. It’s just part of my life, like brushing my teeth. I’m currently working with a somatic therapist and an intuitive mentor.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I really love the simplicity of Transcendental Meditation. I do this every morning, as soon as I wake up with a warm drink in hand. I fall into a deep space inside of myself that I can’t access as easily at other moments.

I also love Yin Yoga or Yoga Nidra. Anything that allows me to sink deep into my soul is a go to for me.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

I recently started a clean eating lifestyle and one thing that is encouraged is to start the day with a warm cup of lemon water. This helps cleanse the liver and detox the body. I LOVE it. With all of the trauma and emotional challenges we go through in a lifetime, our poor liver gets damaged and exhausted. Anger is stored in the liver as well so I think just taking time to help this powerful and essential organ to heal each day is a beautiful practice.

Yoga. Being a retired Yoga therapist I can’t help but remember how important this practice is for our physical health. That said, like everyone, I struggle with keeping a consistent practice but I try to integrate small things during the day to keep my body moving. What happens in our body through a Yoga practice is absolutely incredible. We move blood, lymph and oxygen which keeps our mobile mobile, our immune system strong, our mind calm and so much more. When I’m feeling like dirt and I do even just a few minutes of yoga, I can feel my whole body restoring.

Walking. I crave walking probably more than anything. It’s simple, it’s easy and it doesn’t require anything special. It’s also one of the most balanced and efficient ways of staying healthy. It’s also a bonding time for me and my dogs. Currently my favourite walking activity is driving up to my family farmhouse, letting the dogs off leash and walking for hours through the trails in the woods. When I’m out there I feel aligned and whole and the dogs are in complete heaven.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I have mixed feelings about this. I do believe that what we put into our body will reflect the quality of life we have and impact we can make. I’m actually on a clear skin eating journey right now which has forced me to cut out all the things that have been part of my life for so long. Dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol and coffee. What’s left right? LOL For the first 3 weeks I was so angry. I felt like all of my joy had been taken away from me. It also helped me see what I was leaning on in an unhealthy way and by integrating this new lifestyle I’ve been able to heal my body in so many ways. I no longer feel like I have a codependent relationship with food. That said I also believe that we just need to relax and enjoy what we desire sometimes. So when I’m invited for dinner, I just eat what is served with pure joy. When I’m craving my favourite pizza, I order it.

I think what keeps people from making these changes is the fear of breaking a habit, the overwhelm that comes with creating a new one and the idea that they are losing something by making those changes. Everything is about balance. I also KNOW that a lot of what we put into our bodies are bandaids for healing that needs to be done. I think that the fear or removing the thing that covers up your suffering is one of the main reasons people hesitate to make these changes.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Telling the truth: emotional wellbeing comes from the freedom you feel when you are truthful and transparent with yourself and with others. This also means showing up truthfully as who you truly are instead of what you think others want you to be. This has been a long hard lesson for me. Having experienced a lot of emotional turbulence throughout family hurdles, I quickly learned to be the peacekeeper and adapt who/how I was to keep the energy smooth and avoid conflict. I was doing this until recently in my last relationship in Mexico. I was putting in so much effort to be the ideal person my partner wanted me to be, until I stopped. That is when things started to crumble. It’s a funny thing when you start to honour who you are and what you need and desire. A lot of people resist accepting that new version of you. Conflict arises. People walk away. It’s sort of the best thing in the world because by showing up truthfully, you end up Konmarie’ing your life.

Breathing: we really underestimate the power of the breath and how it can literally solve most of our problems right there in the moment. Our problems are most often in our minds. In stress we perceive coming in the future or from past resentments. Breathing creates presence, immediately. It activates our parasympathetic nervous system, slows down our circulation and calms the brain chemistry. When all this happens we can settle, restore and gain clarity again. When I was going through my nervous breakdown in 2019 I was experiencing anxiety non-stop all day long. From the moment I would open my eyes in the morning until I went to sleep at night, anxiety was shooting through my body like electrical shocks. The sensations were nearly unbearable. I had never experienced anxiety to this degree. One day, through the intensity, I decided to settle myself into a restorative yoga posture. I propped my body up, put on a guided meditation and let my yoga accessories and the floor hold me while I tried to take deep breaths into my tense and terrified body. Each new breath relaxed a new part of my body until I fell into one of the deepest states of relaxation I have ever experienced. Every single anxious, scary, tense sensation was gone. I felt at ease, calm and healed. My breath did that. It was incredible. Although the sensations did creep back in, I continued this practice daily and it was a huge part of my healing journey.

Writing: putting pen to paper creates a powerful emotional release. It gets whatever is stuck and churning in our heads moving out of us. It’s such a wonderful way to process the human experience and to release the excess brain chemistry/emotions so we can get to the bottom of what really matters and access clarity. I have two notepads by my side at all times. One for personal/spiritual/emotional writing. I use this one to help process any trauma, fears, dreams, visions, anxiety. This is my intimate nook with myself where I can say all that needs to be said without any filter. The second is my business notepad. This one stays by my side when I work to write down notes from my client calls and ideas or insights that come through during the day for my next level of expansion.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

We just all need to smile more and not take life so seriously. We relax when we smile. We shine when we smile. We heal ourselves and others when we smile.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Connecting to source: I think it’s important to remember that this life we are living is so much bigger than our small little selves. That we are held and guided by a power that is infinite and loving. When I connect to that I feel limitless expansion and possibilities ahead. When I live life with my little self in my little mind I feel contracted and often discouraged. One of my ways of creating this connection is through intuitive card readings (tarot, oracle, angel). Card readings have been an important anchoring tool in my life for a very long time. I’ll pull them when I’m struggling, when I can’t quite decipher my intuition or when I need confirmation related to something I’m feeling inside. At the beginning of every year I also do a yearly spread for myself and often do a weekly spread on Mondays before I start my work week.

Kindness & compassion: something deeply impactful and nourishing happens on an energetic level when we are kind and compassionate with others (and with ourself). More kindness and compassion could literally change the world we are living in right now and very quickly. When I was living in Mexico I felt a lot of anger towards the situation with street dogs. I was constantly furious about the state of the dogs and how their owners treated and cared for them. I began to feel resentful towards the people living around me and it started to really take over my piece of mind. When I stopped looking at the issue with anger and blame and started to find ways to give back to rescues and amazing people who WERE doing great work for this cause I was able to find more peace inside and actually make more of a difference. I rescued several dogs while in Mexico and supported many organizations that I love and who are doing fabulous work. Through these acts of kindness and compassion I was also able to learn a lot about the Mexican culture and how unsupported the people are there in so many ways. It helped me find compassion and remember that they were doing their best with the resource and knowledge they had.

Meditation: as I mentioned above, when I meditate I fall deep into my soul and am able to connect to a part of myself that I can’t usually access. This space is where my intuition lies and where I can find peace and clarity for whatever is needed in that moment. It helps me be present and stop wanting to be somewhere else. I love those first few minutes when I start to slide into this space.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Answer to question #8: Getting outdoors: life, wisdom, answers, healing and joy is in nature. Something magical happens every time I step outside. Even if it’s just to sit on my balcony to have my morning coffee. The trees, plants, birds, air, help us connect to something bigger than ourselves and get us out of our head and help us reconnect.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would start a movement to demystify and encourage healing for everyone. I would want healing resources, teachings and support to be accessible to anyone who needs it. We come onto this earth with a purpose. A path that has been paved for us, filled with hurdles to help us grow into the fullest expression of ourselves. What often keeps people from their fullest expansion, from accessing joy and success is the pain and trauma they are living with that hasn’t been processed. All of our life experiences (even the most challenging ones) are compost for our future. When we learn to process and then channel those learnings into something purposeful we can not only live an extremely fulfilling life but we can also deeply impact others around us. We need more healing in this world. That is the movement I would start.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

There are two people I would feel so honoured to sit down with for a meal.

The first is mama Oprah. She has been such an inspiration to me since I was a young teenager and she is still my #1 mentor when it comes to choosing how I live my life and making aligned choices so that I can fulfill my purpose and create more and more impact in the world. A deep, connected conversation with Oprah would be life changing and could greatly impact me stepping into even more of my fullest expression. And I would love nothing more to share my deepest gratitudes with her for her braveness and continually showing up authentically and fully as herself and for her purpose.

The second is (I’ll call him) papa Branson. Richard Branson has been my business mentor for the last 11 years. I live and breathe his entrepreneurial and life philosophy and constantly refer to him when I’m leading and supporting teams in businesses. He is a beautiful, intuitive leader who wears his heart on his sleeve. As I’m building my team right now, I’m constantly thinking of his words of wisdom and how he values and believes in caring for his team, knowing that if he just does that really well, the rest of the business will take care of itself. For me Richard Branson is not only a beautiful representation of an amazing leader but also of an amazing husband, father and grandfather. He is the change to patriarchy. He is the male figure I often needed in my life and didn’t have.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My website

Clubhouse @ jenniferjane

Instagram @ jennifer.jane.young

Twitter @ jennjaneyoung

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