Jump Start Your Joy

Jump Start Your Joy is a podcast by Paula Jenkins, a transformative life coach, retreat leader, and speaker living in the San Francisco Bay Area. The show focuses on the many ways that people follow their dreams, and look for joy in their every day lives. Paula hand picks guests with inspirational stories; people who have intentionally and mindfully decided to follow a path that brings them joy. We talk about how adversity can bring out one's strengths, how acceptance precedes growth, and how curiosity about one's life and the world around them often leads to finding one's greatest joys. A mix of humor, life coaching, and genuine love of people lead to the quirky and fun style of this podcast.
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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

Apr 10, 2018

As an illustrator, designer, and artist, Mandy returned to drawing after a fairly long absence. What I’ve noticed about people who have a grasp on joy is that they often are actively making space to do the things they love in their lives. They take the time to listen to what their heart is saying to them, and they are open to the nudges that they get from the universe along the way.


In the last month, I’ve been talking a lot about this - and  I’m calling “Practicing the vibration of joy.” In a nutshell, it means that joy is more than a simple choice, but it’s also a choice that you must take action on to really feel the benefits of the emotion of joy. Simply put, you’ve got to DO something joyful in order to then feel the emotion of joy, and so, I’ve been looking at ways that people have made an intentional point of actively following joy. Mandy Ford and her work really stood out for me, and so this week I’m re-sharing the interview with her (that originally aired in Season 2 as episode 97).



I started putting this all together after speaking to Fred LeBlanc, in episode 125. He made it a point to get curious about what was missing from his life, when he noticed that he was not feeling connected and joyful. He then made an active and purposeful choice to find his way back to joy. I see a ton of similarities in his approach and the way Mandy found her way back to drawing.

I love how Mandy has said yes to this inspiration, and following the many nudges she’s gotten from God and the universe along the way. As she says about that moment that she returned to drawing, “my soul knows something that it isn’t ready to tell me yet.” I know you’re going to be delighted and inspired by Mandy.


In this look back episode (which was originally episode 97), Mandy Ford and I talk about:

- how she loved collecting rocks as a child, along with  Lisa Frank stickers and all things “Poochie”

- how working at a Earlham College (a Quaker seminary) has changed her life and shaped her drawing

- that her journey of taking a writing class brought her back to her love of drawing

- how she got a licensing deal just four months after she returned to drawing

- how she approaches the creative process

- her work with Illustrated Faith, creating scrapbooking kits

- her tips for Instagram and finding a community there

- the work she's most proud of to date (spoiler: it's being a mom to her twin boys)

- what harmony looks like for Mandy, in her life

- her thoughts on jump starting your joy - taking time to look up and notice the world around you, being kind, and giving freely to people



Mandy Ford's Website

Mandy Ford's Instagram feed

Mandy Ford's "Create Your Own Crazy Doodle" class on Skillshare

Jessica Swift's website (including the link to her Pattern Camp)

Jul 1, 2017

This week, I’m thrilled to be sharing what I like to call a look back episode, highlighting a favorite past guest. Early in Season One I had the pleasure of catching up with Matt Wood, who is the voice of General Grievous and R0-GR of Star Wars, and the senior sound editor at Skywalker Sound. I love this story of how he got the role of Grievous, and what’s even more special is that Matt and I went to grade school, middle school, and high school together. And, he offers some amazing thoughts on how he sees life, based on his observations on sound theory.

Matt has worked on The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and the upcoming film, The Last Jedi. 

Learn more about this episode at


Apr 11, 2017

Jewelry Designer and Entrepreneur Kris Nations joins host Paula Jenkins in this look back episode to share about how she has found time in her life to balance the priorities of having a family and starting and running a business.

Dec 1, 2016

In this flashback episode, Amber and Brady Black of the art site Serious Creatures join host Paula Jenkins to discuss their work as educational directors of Home of Hope Lebanon, where they teach abandoned and abused, and refugee children. 

Oct 18, 2016

Russell Hurst joins host Paula Jenkins to talk about his Star Wars in the Yard Instagram account, toy photography, his work at a news station, and how he brings joy to people every day on taking photos and telling stories on Instagram. 

Aug 9, 2016

Kris Nations, jewelry designer and small business owner, joins host Paula Jenkins to talk about her inspiration in starting Kris Nations in 2004, and shares what it's like to work with her sister, and what has changed in her business over the years.

May 17, 2016

Mayi Carles joins host Paula Jenkins to talk about her Life is Messy Planners, about being Multi-Passionate, and about the Multi-Passionate Must-Haves bundle sale. Plus, how to organize your creative mind, and thoughts on being a working mom.

Apr 12, 2016

Mary MacCarthy of Glorious Hugs joins Paula Jenkins to talk about entrepreneurship, and her mission on creating gift care packages for senior citizens. We also speak about connection, and finding joy in your life.

Nov 18, 2015

Amber and Brady Black are a married couple currently living in Beirut, Lebanon, and they are a true inspiration. Having grown up and met, in the United States, they decided to move to the Middle East to teach. The first five years abroad were not easy, and Amber found herself fighting depression, which she courageously shares about in our interview. After some discussion, they decided that they needed to leave the gulf region. In a series of synchronous events, a friend of a friend  mentioned that there was an opening at "Home Of Hope" in Beirut, which is a home for abandoned and abused children in Lebanon. Amber and Brady went for a visit, and knew in their hearts that they had to teach there.

Brady had been interested in art in his younger years, and returned to it when things had gotten hard; in drawing whimsical art for a friend who wanted note cards to put in her children's lunches, something magical was born. Brady realized he had an outlet for his creativity, and it tapped into the imagination of the children and parents that saw it. When more requests came for note cards, Amber and Brady realized they had the beginnings of a business, one that brought joy to them and others, brought more purpose them as a couple, and helped Amber feel a sense of belonging and connection as she came out of her depression.

Joy and love is the through-line for Amber and Brady's work at Home of Hope, Lebanon, as well. They work with children who have been abandoned, abused, that are refugees, who have been on the streets, some have been involved in prostitution. At the Home, Amber and Brady teach the children, but it becomes so clear in the interview, they also meet each of these children right where they are, provide a consistent presence in their lives, and love them.

I adored getting to know Amber and Brady - they are funny, passionate, open, and so dedicated to both Serious Creatures and Home of Hope. I loved hearing about how Brady's passion for drawing and imagination truly changed their lives, and how both of them said "yes" to starting a business when the idea presented itself. And, I loved hearing about how much they love working with the kids in Beirut. I know you'll enjoy getting to know them, too.

In this interview we talk about:
- How Amber and Brady met at college, and have "been married every since"
- What it was like to move to Oman from Texas
- How Amber faced depression when she moved to Oman, and how she felt culturally isolated
- How art, imagination, and hope changed their lives, and started a company
- How Serious Creatures got it's name (hint: there's some Harry Potter magic involved!)
- The way they were introduced to Home of Hope
- What it's like to teach children of various ages and various levels of educational background
- How they strike a balance of taking care of themselves while working with children from difficult backgrounds
- Their kickstarter with Serious Creatures (Serious Starters)
- What it was like for Brady to see children reacting to his art for the first time
- What's next for them and Serious Creatures


Serious Creatures Website
Serious Creatures sign up page to learn about their after Thanksgiving sale
Serious Creatures Instagram
Serious Creatures Kickstarter
Home of Hope Lebanon Facebook page

The post Episode 11: Hope, Love, and Serious Creatures with Amber and Brady Black appeared first on Jump Start Your Joy.