Jump Start Your Joy

Jump Start Your Joy is a podcast by Paula Jenkins, a life coach, project manager, joy enthusiast and podcast consultant living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired by the quote “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day (Henri Nouwen),” this lively show looks at the inspiration, intention, and action that lead to joy in the every day. The show is a mix of solocasts and interviews with entrepreneurs, rock stars, authors, actors, life coaches and other game changers. Whether choosing joy seems to be an improbably choice, or the most difficult one they’ve ever made, guests share how it has made a difference in their lives, the world, and other peoples lives. As a multi-passionate, Paula’s leverages a deep appreciation of Star Wars, self help books, religious studies, boy bands and 90s movies to create a show that has spunk, humor, and a lot of aha moments along the way.
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Now displaying: May, 2018
May 29, 2018

This week I’m so excited to have Doña Bumgarner on the show as part of the Friendpreneur Series. This series highlights conversations I have with friends, who are also entrepreneurs, and we dish the behind the scenes realities of starting a business, and what it looks like in real life.

Doña Bumgarner is the powerhouse behind the “Nurtured Mama” blog, the voice of the “Nurturing Habit” podcast, and an amazing coach. Doña is a dear friend who I met through coaching. She and I share so much in common - we are both project managers, both coaches, both podcasters, and both moms to first graders. I really loved getting to talk to her about her journey and where she’s at. We also talk about her experience in my “Jump Start Your Podcast” class, which is where she got her start for her show, which is in its second season.

Why you need to listen:
There’s a lot of becoming an entrepreneur that’s about highlighting your strengths, and leaning in to what you already know and what you’re an expert at. The thing is, there’s a lot of “noise” out there that will tell you there’s a certain way to do things. A certain way to market yourself, a way to be a coach, what a coaching practice looks like, and what it means to be big or to have “made it.”

There’s so much noise, in fact, that it can be easy to second guess what you know. Or to make busy work for oneself trying to fit that mold. Even when you KNOW marketing, you KNOW how to run a project, and you are a darn good SME “subject matter expert” in many fields. The doubt or the noise or both will throw you for a loop and make you think maybe there’s a different or better way than the one you’d naturally follow.

Here’s why you need to listen to this episode
Dona’s doing a couple of things that are very different than what all that noise might want you to do. First, she’s looking at ways to layer in her project manager background with her coach training, and creating something brand new with the marriage of these two specialities.

Second, she’s actively working on creating structure in her day to mindfully do LESS with her time. You read that right. She’s using time management and prioritization to make room to do less, and to ditch the busy work. This allows her the space to breathe, to be, to spend time with family.

The project manager in me really loves this, both that she’s leveraging what she knows and is so good at (creating structure in chaos, a la project management) and creating something new with it with her more recently acquired skill set, putting a “why” behind the structure. She’s focusing on structure to leave more room for the other things that matter in her life.

In this episode, Doña Bumgarner and I talk about:

  • Her journey to becoming a coach
  • Her experience with having breast cancer and being a survivor
  • How society places worth on women being able to “do it all,” and how judgements (internal and external) arise when doing it all is not sustainable (and it never is)
  • Time Management, and how it’s generally the pursuit of getting it all done (but doesn’t need to be)
  • Doña’s goal of teaching productivity so people can focus on doing less (instead of more)
  • Who Doña loves to work with in coaching, and how getting unstuck makes all the difference
  • Podcasting! And her approach to seasons; doing one season on grief and the next on self care
  • Dona’s approach to maintaining a podcast, by doing bi-weekly episodes and setting a time limit on how much time she spends on each episode
  • Healing emotional scars of the past
  • The crossroads of productivity and self care
  • Her 3 thoughts on jump starting your joy: look to the past for clues on where you are headed in the future, allow the shift to happen, get help if you need it to process change, and create structure to make space for the things you want to do

Nurturing Habit: Doña Bumgarner’s Podcast Website
Nurtured Mama: Doña Bumgarner’s Coaching Website and Blog
Overwhelmed by Brigitte Schulte on Amazon
Get to Work Book by Elise Blaha

May 22, 2018

Kerri Powers is a singer, songwriter, and musician, and she has just released her latest album, Starseeds. I’m so honored and delighted to have her on the show this week to talk about her creative process, about getting honest and telling your truest story, and about how music is a connecting force.

It was a real treat getting to speak with Kerri, who is as soulful as the blues music that she writes and loves. What I love about Kerri is her deeply intuitive nature. She’s “present” like no one I’ve ever met, truly in the moment with you, and speaks her heart.

Kerri opens up about her love of blues, sharing that it resonates with her soulfully. I can relate to this, as part of the mission of the show is to talk about what happens when someone chooses joy, even in the most improbable and difficult times in their lives. There’s a deep truth we each can find when we “go there,” into the dark, into the hard stuff, and see what’s waiting. Kerri gets this too, sharing that “there’s a lot of beauty in darkness and joy that comes from it. We have to hit rock bottom to find true joy.”

Starseeds by Kerri Powers is a beautiful album that has a hauntingly gorgeous sound to it. I heard bits of Patty Griffin (When it Don’t Come Easy). They are songs that (as I say in the interview) I can “fall into” - they are deep and wide in meaning and in musicality. Her voice is a balm and her lyrics speak to things I can relate to on a soulful level. My favorites on the album are “Somewhere on the Vine,” and “Free Bird Flying.”

Inspiration: Connecting from an honest and authentic place.

Much of what Kerri shares about her creative process, which is one of my favorite things to ask about when speaking with musicians, artists and entertainers, is that she strives to connect from an honest place. “If songs are written from an honest place, they connect,” she says, “Don’t shut things out. If it’s your truth, it will touch people in the right way. Work through the uncomfortable feelings.”

Her wisdom here is something each of us can take to heart. So many of my clients are drawn to work that is vulnerable in some way, whether it be podcasting or writing, or leading at work. Stepping into a role that is more visible is always going to be more vulnerable.

The key is that you have to work through the uncomfortable feelings to get to that place of connection. While in the beginning, it might not feel like any one is watching / noticing / listening, you will connect. You will find your right people. Kerri shares that when that happens with a song, it’s almost as if you are reflecting a person’s truths back to them, or sometimes, transporting the person to another place that feels like home.

Kerri talks about writing the song “Free Bird Flying,” which is about her mother. As a visual artist, she sees vignettes of moments as she writes the music. She told me that she wrote this song in two phases, knowing that after she wrote the first two verses that the work needed to rest. Then, in France, the song came back to her and she wrote the last verse. It’s a gorgeous song, that I’ll play at the end of the episode.

In this episode, Kerri Powers and I talk about:

  • Her earliest sparks of joy in music, art, and seeing things in color
  • Playing harmonica with her mom, and winning talent shows as a child
  • Her love of the blues, which she says resonate with her soulfully
  • The darkness that can lead to great joy
  • That writing and honoring the creative process from an honest place create connection
  • Her love of performing live, and the energy and connection that come from that
  • Her writing process, which she lets unfold over time for each song
  • Advice for those starting out as a songwriter
  • Why it’s important to work throught the uncomfortable feelings
  • The resistance she’s met along the way, of people not fully understanding her drive and need to do the work she does
  • Her thoughts on jumpstarting joy - participating in art, music, and culture, practicing gratitude, and practicing unconditional love

Kerri Powers’ album, Starseeds on Amazon
Kerri Powers’ website
Kerri Powers on Facebook
Kerri Powers on Twitter

May 15, 2018

This week on the show, I’m joined by Emilie Wapnick, Jamie Ridler, and Melissa Dinwiddie for a roundtable on being a multi-passionate person. As a multi-passionate, or multi-potentialite (or scanner, or renaissance soul), we can relate to having lots of different interests and not wanting to narrow our work or creativity down to focus to just one thing. This roundtable focuses on the unique challenges of putting structure and planning around the creativity and myriad of interests that each of us have. It’s a great discussion!

This episode is airing this week in honor of the Multi-passionate Must Haves bundle, which is on sale from May 15-17, 2018. It includes 17 amazing courses, programs, and resources specially created for multipotentialites, like you. If you bought all of these goodies separately, you would pay $1585, but you can snag it all for just $97 during this sale.

Here’s why you need to listen to this episode:
I know that from working with a lot of creative people, many of whom identify as a multi-passionate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. From having a hard time narrowing down the next thing to focus on, to feeling anxious about picking one thing (when it feels like it means you’re saying no to the other things), it can be hard to put structure around the multi-passionate brain, and reign in all of those great ideas.

This week, four experts talk about creating structure that works for you, so that you can create and complete projects that align with your many passions. We talk about focusing on taking action, and not getting stuck before you start work, which in turn and enables you to work past the overwhelm, and get moving. By putting some simple structure in place, it means you have more room to play, to explore, and to bring some of your many ideas to life.

In this episode, Melissa Dinwiddie, Jamie Ridler, Emilie Wapnick and I talk about:

  • Being a Multi-passionate, and working with having more than just one passion you want to focus on
  • Our earliest sparks of Joy:
    • Emilie: making things
    • Jamie: concocting things, dancing, and improv
    • Melissa: dancing, playing with animals, operas
  • The challenges of being a multipassionate: finding balance, while still maintaining variety
  • The offerings we each have in the Multi-passionate Must Haves bundle:
    • Emilie: 5 interviews from her book, “How to be Everything”
    • Melissa: Erase the Chaos, how to work through your mile long to do list, and provide yourself with more space and ease
    • Jamie: Planning Day, her most popular product, which provides form, structure and freedom around your multi-passionate and creative interests
  • Why Multipassionates often stop doing something before it’s what is considered traditionally “finished” - we often get what we need out of the interest, and are done when we’re done
  • What we do when we’re faced with a long list of things we want to try or do, and worry we’ll lose track of the ideas
  • How to jumpstart your joy:
    • Jamie: dance, photography, eating without distraction
    • Melissa: doodling, gratitude, generosity
    • Emilie: singing karaoke, swimming in a natural body of water, the ritual of coffee
    • Paula: singing made up songs, cuddling puppies, wearing sparkly shoes

How to Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick on Amazon
Emilie Wapnick’s website, Puttylike
Melissa Dinwiddie’s website
Jamie Ridler’s website
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott on Amazon
Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher on Amazon

May 8, 2018

This week on the show, I’m thrilled to have Lindsay Ambrose and Natalie Sager joining me to talk about their new book, Peaceful Mamas: The Mind, Body, and Baby Connection. The two joined together to write this book after meeting at a conference in Chicago, and bonding together over their love of Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning. Seeing how it could be tweaked, evolved, and applied to the transition around motherhood, AND seeing their like-minded approach to being moms, the two came together to create this new and unique offering for parents.


Why you need to listen:
Natalie, Lindsay and I dish a ton of very actionable and useable ideas for moms and parents. From both the mindset shift that we all encountered upon becoming parents, to other practical things, like how we go about setting a routine, and how we’ve helped growing children process their own emotions.

This is especially poignant for me as I’d struggled with a morning routine quite a bit when my son was younger. There was something about the transition between getting up, to getting out the door to daycare that was very painful, as my son is a “dawdler.” (he takes FOREVER and gets easily distracted). Now that he’s 7, we have it down to a science (and he understands the routines, thanks to a great visual checklist we posted on the refrigerator.

My favorite part of our discussion was when Lindsay brought up the idea of “plan tight, but hang loose” as a way of approaching parenting. As a project manager, of course I love a good plan. The reality of becoming a parent is that the plans don’t always come together as expected, and so often there’s improvisation and humor required as life throws some unexpected curves at you.

Like that time you discover the backup shorts you’d packed for your son for a day at the beach are last year’s size, and do not fit. At all. And of course, this discovery happens when he is wet, sandy, very cold, and you’re about to get into the car for a two hour drive home. In that case, a stop by Target was the solution as we headed out of town.

The trick is finding peace in the moments. Or, if overwhelm hits (and it does hit), finding ways to slow down, reset, and come back to a situation with a fresh perspective. It’s all in the mindset, and I loved getting to talk about some of the realities of motherhood with Natalie and Lindsay.

In this episode Natalie Sager, Lindsay Ambrose and I talk about:

  • How they met in Chicago over a shared interest in Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning
  • Their own new spin on how to bring more peace into your day as a Mama
  • What MAMAHH stands for: Mindfulness, Affirmations, Movement, Abundance, Health and Heart and how this can be put into action in your own life
  • Tapping into little moments that will help to restore and rejuvenate you
  • Finding the wisdom in your own heart, and focusing on that as a mother
  • The “surrender” of parenthood
  • What happens when you let go of the outcome needing to be a certain way as a parent
  • Learning to trust that little voice inside you (your intuition) as a mother
  • The RAIN method for approaching things: Recognize, Accept, Inquiry, Nurture / Kindness - and how this plays into mindfulness
  • “Dealing” with the emotions and feelings children have
  • Jumpstarting Joy for Lindsay: filling yourself up first, being more present and getting out of her head, and using her imagination
  • Jumpstarting Joy for Natalie: setting intentions, releasing worries, and getting back to gratitude

[bctt tweet= “Take tiny moments to restore and rejuvenate.” @peacefulmamas @ambroselinds @modhippiemama #podcast #mindfulness #peacefulmamas #happymom]

Website for the Peaceful Mamas community
Natalie Sager’s website at The Modern Hippie Mama
Lindsay Ambrose’s website at Everyday EveryMom
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod on Amazon

May 1, 2018

Kate Swoboda is joining me today to celebrate the release of her brand new book, The Courage Habit: How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life. Kate (who is also known as Kate Courageous) is a life coach, the founder of Courageous Living Coach Certification, and Your Courageous Life. And, I’ve had the pleasure of working with her previously as a mentor in her coaching certification program.

Kate’s work has been multifaceted around courage and fear, and her path to becoming a published author is inspiring. After having her book proposal accepted, she came to the realization that she wanted to go deeper on the questions of how we develop courage, and what holds us back from acting courageously. She asked her publisher if she could change up the focus of the book (they said yes!) and she created a book that brings in neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and other fields to develop the framework for The Courage Habit.

In this episode, Kate Swoboda and I talk about:

  • Her new book, The Courage Habit
  •  Her road to becoming a published author, along with her advice to anyone wishing to get a book published (keep trying)
  • How she proposed a new angle on the book, after the proposal was accepted
  • How to start practicing courage based behaviors and get “unstuck”
  • Experiencing fear, and practicing mindfulness to recognize that you’re experiencing fear, while also stepping back to observe your own “stress responses”
  • The Inner Critic, and the ways that the Inner Critic counteracts courage:
    o Perfectionism
    o People Pleasing
    o Sabotage
    o Pessimism
  • That we need to work with (instead of against) the Inner Critic, by meeting him/her with unconditional love and acceptance
  • The role of community in developing courage
  • The question of “what if courage could be easy.”

The Courage Habit: How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life by Kate Swoboda on Amazon
Courageous Living Coach Certification - CLCC
Kate Swoboda’s site: Your Courageous Life

Kate Swoboda on past Jump Start Your Joy episodes:
Kate Swoboda on “Courage as a Path to Healing (Episode 8, Season 1)
The Crossroads of Courage and Creating Habits with guest Kate Courageous (Episode 80, Season 2)
Season Two Finale: A Roundtable on Joy, Finding Inspiration, and Self Care in Difficult Times (Episode 101, Season 2)