Name: Hannah Jenkinson
Location: Los Angeles / Peru / New York / England (Grindleford) / Wherever my body is
Who: Spiritual Warrior, Knitwear Designer, Tea-Drinker, Chocolate-Eater, Artist, Drummer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Pisces.
Healing from: Expectations, the world I was brought up in, living with fear, the limitations my mind sometimes still believes in.
Favorite resource: Energyawareness.org
The last year has been the most internally transformational of my life – and probably one of the most difficult. From the outside it may look like the biggest mess so far:
- The break-up of a relationship I thought was going to be ‘IT’.
- A business that I felt was a complete failure.
- Living on the other side of the world from my family.
I have completely and utterly changed my life. But I am so grateful for every bit of struggle and pain for the opportunity to bring me closer to myself and to spirit. I feel more aligned with myself and my life than I ever have and I know I am on the right track. I can now finally look back with love and see that the breakdowns were the beginning of a new chapter of me getting closer to who I really am.
No one said that living a spiritual path was easy, quite the opposite. If you ask to be closer to your soul—or are presented with the “opportunity”—the things that aren’t supporting you will fall away and shake you up. I can now see that my journey was SO difficult because it felt like losing who I thought I should be; my unexamined identity was rooted in perceived expectations. Wouldn’t it be awful if I was 35 and single?! HAHAHA! said the Universe. Would it!? And of course it is actually the best thing ever!
I can now see that my journey was SO difficult because it felt like losing who I thought I should be.
If you find yourself in this place of loss, if life is not going as you planned in a major way, then here are some things that may help you find your way back:
GET OUT OF CRISIS
I found ways to get out of Crisis mode. I got a therapist, I got two therapists. I lay on the grass in my garden and stared at the sky. I cleared out my schedule so I had time to just do as I pleased (which was often nothing). I turned off my phone. I made sure I got exercise and rest and made being calm an absolute priority. The smallest things could overwhelm me and I got into the practice of feeling WHATEVER was coming up, and not moving until I had let the waves of emotion wash over and through me and felt a sense of grounding and peace. Sometimes this would lead to something else I needed to do—to eat, to meditate, to walk, to breathe some more. To stay present with my energy—that inner knowing that overrides emotional swings and conflicting thoughts—and follow what I needed to do. To get calm and not let my next movement be motivated by the discomfort of feeling, or the expectation of busy-ness, distraction or anything that ‘took the feeling away’ before it had worked its own way out in its own time. It all felt so crap and overwhelming I said to myself, I am not wasting any of this SHIT. I am using every negative feeling as a way to progress and learn – fuel for the fire, to spin straw into gold (and gold into magical sweaters!).
I am not wasting any of this SHIT. I am using every negative feeling as a way to progress and learn.
CHALLENGE YOUR BOUNDARIES
So much beauty came up when I started challenging the energies I could see were still holding me back. I was struggling with putting my creative work out into the world; I would work really hard but then not tell anyone about it. This was a problem in my business and life in general.
My dear friends were just opening a gallery so I had a show there. I thought this would bring great financial reward after putting myself out there so much; it didn’t. But it did bring a load of wonderful friends together for an amazing evening of connection and love. I was reminded that reward and gratification is so much more than just being financial.
I have done so many other amazing things too over the last year. I did an acting course to get comfortable with putting myself ‘out there’. I went on a Yoga and Wine retreat in Italy – just because! They are my favorite things (even though I couldn’t REALLY afford it). I did a Death Doula training to become familiar with my own and my loved one’s inevitable deaths – I don’t find this morbid in the slightest, and the more I pondered death, the more alive I felt.
I was reminded that reward and gratification is so much more than financial.
Do what scares you. Find out where your boundaries are and learn to lean on them a little bit more each day. You may find that the edge of your world that you are scared to push through is just a cardboard façade, and that the abyss actually gives way to flight and a deliciously soft landing in a new, more expansive world.
I will soon be embarking on a three-month trip to Peru to work directly with women who I will be making beautiful clothes with. This is challenging my beliefs and boundaries of what ‘home’ means, where my comfort lies in putting myself into new situations; an unknown foreign country where I don’t (yet) speak the language – eek! What I am letting go of, what is the unknown, I am moving towards. This is a big one and I am both terrified and excited.
BE PRESENT & FOLLOW YOUR ENERGY
If you ever say to yourself ‘I’ll deal with that later’, ‘now is not the time to be feeling like shit’, ‘I have too much work to do’, ‘I would rather watch Netflix’, ‘I would rather drink wine and eat great food’ then take a breath. Feel where the stress point is in your body and tune into it, listen for what you need to do next instead of numbing or avoiding it. Know that you are a healer and you can give yourself the exact medicine you need at any, and every, moment. NOW. There is no later. But there is a hand on your heart that says I love you and accept you just as you are RIGHT NOW.
Listen for what you need to do next instead of numbing or avoiding it.
Life is difficult and magical and we are not truly living until we can hold all the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ together and sit calmly together with it in the eye of the storm. I feel totally different to who I was a year ago. I feel the energy pulsing in my hands and the light streaming from my face. I feel the peace and excitement in my heart of being aligned with my path and the sheer joy of just being a human Right Now with all of its complexities.
I would love to have you on my journey with me.
You can follow Hannah Jenkinson on her burgeoning next chapter at HJKWomen.com and @HJKwomen.