Raised by her mom and first-generation Polish American grandfather, Jeni grew up on a blackberry farm in rural Arkansas with her younger sister. She is the first family member to complete college and pursue her dreams of helping others through a health and wellness profession and more recently her writing career.
While her husband worked, Jeni raised three children; home-schooled; cared for foster children; tutored; oversaw the care of her 92 year old grandmother; volunteered with Civil Air Patrol; and continued helping people in health and wellness transformation. She loved the idea of raising a close, strong family and continuing to help others.
SOMETIMES PEOPLE NEED HELP
In the middle of her busy life, her health was suffering with migraines, chronic fatigue, and concentration issues. “MY BODY WAS SCREAMING AT ME, ” she said. Doctors did not have an answer. Then a domestic event that required authority involvement occurred. “It was VERY SCARY AND TRAUMATIC FOR ME AND MY DAUGHTER. I was so dismayed. I knew how difficult this decision and process would be, but I felt that if I did not make this decision to change my situation that things WOULD ONLY ESCALATE,” she remembers.
Despite the her sudden life change, she knew that she was not alone. She eventually relocated with the support of her mom; sold the house; took on the family debt; found a wonderful job in the health, wellness, and fitness field; and began rebuilding her life.
During this time, she hunkered down and organized her mind, her purpose, and her vision. She used her experience to write a children’s book, Kind Words: The Glue That Helps Keep Us Together, to work through the grief and provide a purpose for her experiences. She wrote poems. She hiked a lot. Despite the duress that her children also went through, she tried to encourage them to believe that IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT WHEN MEAN OR BAD THINGS HAPPEN. SOMETIMES PEOPLE NEED HELP.
“It was especially IMPORTANT TO SHOW MY CHILDREN HOW TO CREATE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, CONFIDENTLY SET BOUNDARIES, AND STEP AWAY FROM UNHEALTHY OR UNSAFE SITUATIONS WHEN NEEDED,” she states.
In the meantime, as her family dynamics changed, her responsibility to her grandmother did not. Jeni relentlessly ADVOCATED for her grandmother as she began her journey from owning her own home to transitioning into assisted living and then into long-term nursing care and finally joining her husband and son in heaven. “This experience was… well, there is no simple way to say it….difficult. She was funny and flirty to the very end. She graduated a month before her 97th birthday,” Jeni recalls.
What an experience ending a long-term marriage, parenting three children, starting a new life, and supporting her grandmother through the stages of dementia at the SAME TIME. “What I realized was how strong I am and how DETERMINED I can be when I stand up for what is right and important. I also realized how lonely it is to be strong and focused through such adversity. That is when I knew that my incredible experiences would be useful to others, ” she states. So began the path of purposefully developing a space to help YOUNG PEOPLE and THEIR ADULTS through life’s tough moments.
She has since authored a children’s book, created an empowering speaking platform on mental and emotional health, and become even more passionate about helping young people and their adults create healthy relationships. She not only sees and continue to see brokenness in our families and communities, but has first hand knowledge of those experiences.
She is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach with a Masters Degree in Health Science Community Health Education, a certified Personal Training and Exercise Instruction from the American College of Sports Medicine, and certified with the National Commission of Health Education. Her memberships and continued education include IDEA Health and Fitness Association; International Council on Active Aging; WellCoaches Incorporated; International Critical Incident Stress Foundation; FEMA courses; Civil Air Patrol Emergency Service training; and courses in C-PTSD, PTSD, meditation, energy healing, breath work, grief, family violence, suicide prevention and intervention, and attachment disorder courses.
Many people of all ages and stages have crossed my path in my health and wellness career over the past 20 years. My community health education career began overseeing crisis management programs in the community and military populations specifically family and relationship violence. Leading court-ordered parenting and anger management classes, directing alcohol and drug prevention and intervention programs for college students, and managing wellness, weight management, and fitness programming for seniors are some of the many opportunities that have led me to assist with improving the lives of others. My ability to connect with others has empowered countless people to REGAIN THEIR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH.
My client and friend, Jim, lost over 100 pounds and lives life with a new zest despite chronic disease diagnosis. He contributes his success to the tools he learned from our coaching sessions. A young woman named Yvonne who spent several sessions with me now has adjusted to her new life after a stroke, found a NEW LIFE PURPOSE speaking publicly about her experience, and is INSPIRING OTHERS. Another dear client, Terry, courageously shared with me her experiences with loving her mom with Alzheimer’s (a heartfelt journey in and of itself) and supporting her transgender daughter create a new life. All of these wonderful people are facing various “life events” and all are thriving because of the education, empowerment, and inspiration they receive from our connection and time together in my coaching services. No matter how young or old a person is in age or life experience, the message is the same:
You are not alone. If something bad has happened to you, it is not our fault.
You are loved. You are worthy. You are valued.
And together we can connect and create a healthy and kind community improving our mental health and family function living the life we deserve.
I am committed to helping determined people, young in age or young in heart, catch their breath, connect, communicate, and collaborate within themselves and others creating calm, healthy, kind, and safe relationships and communities. Over the years, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoke in front of countless groups from all walks of life- military, professional, medical, social services, religious groups, and community service members- who have experienced tough events in their career, in their family, or in their personal life. And now…. we have more stimulus and cautionary situations than ever before and need to not only prepare for such adversity but have the life skills to move forward with tough topics, tough transitions, and tough events. Only together can we improve our connections, our mental health, our family dynamics, our communities.
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