Welcome to this installment of The Wellness Universe’s ‘A Conversation With …’ interview series! We will feature interviews from some of our amazing WU World Changers so you can learn about who they are as a person, their profession, mission, and their why!’
Welcome to A Conversation with Jennifer Whitacre –
Empowerment Strategist, Trauma Specialist, and Podcaster.
The Wellness Universe directory is a resource and community filled with Change-Makers; we call WU World-Changers (Wellness Universe World-Changers). Today we want to introduce you to Jennifer Whitacre, Empowerment Strategist Extraordinaire!
Her mission is to teach her client’s skills to manage stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and other troublesome emotions. By learning these skills, her clients can minimize knee-jerk reactions, replacing them with more balanced responses.
1. Hello Jennifer, will you please tell us about yourself?
I’m a single mom, I have three black cats, and I live in Columbus, Ohio. For the past few years I’ve been in reset mode—I’ve been a bit of a hermit. I’ve been focusing on my own personal and professional development by taking classes, attending retreats, and really focusing on my own education and betterment. Over the past several months, I’ve slowly been coming out of my shell to experience life with a whole new mindset.
2. Jennifer, what is it that inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who don’t give up. It inspires me to see people succeed, overcome, and break the mold. Nature inspires me. I enjoy observing the critters that inhabit the ravine behind my house, and I sometimes catch myself sitting on the floor with my cats observing the hustle and bustle of my back yard.
3. Will you please tell us what you call yourself and explain what it is that you do?
I’m an Empowerment Strategist, and I help with generalized stress, anxiety, depression, and that perpetual feeling of unease and distress. My Empowerment Strategy Program is customized to the client with whom I am working, and the tools and techniques I use with one client may vary drastically from the ones I’ll use with another client.
4. How exactly does that help someone?
So many of our sabotaging behaviors, thought processes, personality traits, and little quirks fly under our radar because they’re so subtle. These are often normalized, accepted, even encouraged by mainstream culture. They’re also the same ways we sabotage ourselves. The work I do helps because it brings awareness to those subtleties that keep us stuck, spinning our wheels, feeling lost, and overwhelmed. With awareness, we can choose to change. Without awareness, we leave ourselves stuck in the pattern.
5. Why are you so passionate about your Empowerment Strategy Program?
I’m passionate about my Empowerment Strategy Program because I spent much of my life in a state of continuous stress, which led to overwhelm and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that held me back. I have sabotaged myself so much that I’ve become a bit of an expert at spotting the patterns. It’s easy to see our really big sabotaging behaviors; it’s not so easy to see the subtle ones. Addressing the big stuff helped but didn’t last long. I found myself back in the same pit every time. When I started to address the small, subtle behaviors, my life changed in a big way. It’s beyond fulfilling to see similar results in my clients. I know the experience of internal transformation, and it excites me to witness it happening to someone else.
6. Did any specific life experience prompt you to follow this path?
Yes, I grew up in a household where both of my parents were abusive, and in very different ways. As a trauma specialist, I am well-aware of the fact that our reactive patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior come from events in childhood that imprint trauma on our nervous systems. Because of my childhood experiences, what I considered normal behavior from other people, was dysfunctional and oftentimes abusive. I kept myself stuck in this cycle well into adulthood, mostly because I was unaware. Becoming aware of my patterns empowered me to change them and tweaking my little behaviors has had a massive impact on my internal state of being. I don’t suffer inside myself anymore.
7. How long have you been doing this?
To some extent, my whole life. I’ve always had some level of awareness that “things” just weren’t right in my life. I’ve always had a feeling of not belonging, not fitting-in, and not finding my tribe. Those were the seeds of my awareness. I’ve been consciously aware and working on myself for the past 12 years, and specifically learning and adding-in deep trauma work for the past 4-5 years.
8. Will you share a story of how you have made a difference in someone’s life?
Just this morning I had a new client in my office. This was only the second time we’ve met, and she shared several realizations and a-ha moments she’s had since last week. She said she’s connecting the dots, and that’s helping her make more sense of her life, which is already easing her feelings of anxiety. Remember, this was the at the beginning of our second session!
9. What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m taking small, consistent steps toward teaching, presenting, public speaking, and expanding my podcast. I’m going to present at SoulTreat in Sedona this fall, and I’m really excited about that! I’m also presenting in 2 online summits that will be released this summer. I don’t know how it’s all going to unfold, and I can’t wait to find out!
10. Thank you so much for sharing today, Jennifer! Do you have any final thoughts?
We are all looking for answers in life, and we seek outside of us for those answers. We’re looking for the perfect guru, the perfect therapist, the perfect mentor, friend, boss, or partner who will save the day. That’s not how it works! My sage advice is to direct your attention inside of yourself. When you direct your attention within and start to make changes there, that’s when the magic starts to happen. The change for which you yearn so desperately starts with YOU and withIN you.