“Welcome Home,” The Crossroads of Joy, Transformation and Self Acceptance

Today’s episode is about Joy, Transformation and Self Acceptance, and it’s my first “Solocast!” I’ve really loved getting to know so many of you through this blog, and the journey of the past few months has been completely uplifting. As I’ve mentioned in passing on other episodes, I’ve had a list of people that I wanted to interview for years … and finding a home to interview them here, in a podcast format, has been just amazing. I hope you enjoy this podcast episode about “Welcome Home,” The Crossroads of Joy, Transformation and Self Acceptance.

Jump Start Your Joy Hostess Paula Jenkins on Joy Transformation and Self Acceptance

Joy is the platform here, but there’s so much more behind joy … and I think that’s why I love talking about it every week. I firmly believe that every person hits a stage in their life where they are challenged, either by physical, mental, emotional, monetary, creative challenges, each that have the potential to shake you to your core. In those hard times, you have a choice. You can choose to become engulfed in your circumstances, or you can choose to fight for joy, for love, for something that matters to you. To get there, you’ve got to accept yourself, right where you are. It takes embracing your shadow side, the scary parts, the stuff that you don’t want to look at or admit. Acceptance is a step, even simply accepting you want or need help is a step.

I’ve had my own dance with hard times. In this podcast I reference my 56 hour labor, followed by a C-section, at the birth of my son. This threw me for a curve that I didn’t expect. No birth class covers the “what happens when Plan A falls apart, Plan B becomes laughable, and Plan C wasn’t even written yet.” I’m sure you’ve been through this somewhere, somehow in your own life. There are times when even with the most thorough of planning, (and in the words of Pema Chodron), things fall apart.

It’s that moment, or those moments, when there’s not much left to hold on to, where you define who you are. Sure, it hurts, sure it sucks, sure, you can be as mad at the world, the universe, at God, as you’ve ever been. But that doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t further the cause. It doesn’t get you any closer to living or loving, or doing whatever it was you came here to do.  Mad is easy, and mad has it’s place, but it’s not a destination.

One of the things that kept me going in those moments was the quote by Meg Cabot, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear.” That and some amazing spiritual and personal stories that I will share at another time, later, when they are ready to be told.

In my case, I came out of that situation with PTSD. I could sense my own ability to deal with reality just outside my grasp. I could feel that I had to fight harder than I’d ever fought for anything in my life, just to get me back. And all the while I was trying so hard not to let the feelings that “I failed at this birth, I let myself down, my own body couldn’t do what it was supposed to do” take over. (And if you’re in that place, in any way, I want you to know that those things are just not true. Those are such painful thoughts. You’re OK, you are loved, you are cherished.)  Truly, I had to know my core, and chose to fight for joy. Joy wasn’t really within my reach, I knew that, but it was still out there. So I got curious, I started asking why. I found a really good therapist. None of that could have happened if I hadn’t accepted myself, where I was, accepted that at my core I knew I could fight and this was the time to dig deeper than I even knew I could.

I think each of us is wired for joy. We are wired to find our way back home. That’s what the story of this podcast ultimately is, that fight for joy, that pursuit of purpose, even when it’s hard, even when it seems nearly improbable. For joy, transformation, and self acceptance. We need these stories, and we need to know joy is possible.  Because it is.

In this podcast I talk about:

– the introduction I almost published as the first episode
– how Walter Capps inspired me as an undegrad at UC Santa Barbara, with his “Voices of a Stranger” class
– How Father Evan at San Damiano taught me about the theology of “Welcome Home”
– that Curiousity, Why, and Joy are all best friends
– Fear and Ego and how those two like to add wallpaper to change things
– the daisy chain of events that links so many life events together

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic on Amazon
Brennan Manning’s book, The Ragamuffin Gospel on Amazon
ACT in San Francisco
BATS Improv in San Francisco
Walter Capps of UCSB
Episode 1: Kathleen Davies
Episode 2: Aimee Eyvazzadeh
Episode 3: Matthew Wood
Episode 10: Molly Larkin
Episode 11: Amber & Brady Black


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24 thoughts on ““Welcome Home,” The Crossroads of Joy, Transformation and Self Acceptance”

  1. Pingback: Welcome Home: A Journey to Self Acceptance - Welcoming Spirit

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    The one thing they told us in my birthing class was to be prepared for anything. Sorry you had such a crazy experience. 56 hours…wow.

  3. My first baby’s birth was very traumatic as well. I’m a planner, and I had a plan. And it wasn’t in the plan for the plan to not work! In my mind, it was just going to go the way I wanted. I remember when I got pregnant with my second, every time I would start to think about labor and delivery, I would have a panic attack. It took a lot of prayer and memorizing the Bible to finally be able to have joy knowing that however he was born, it was God’s will.

  4. It’s so funny that you talk specifically about joy because our sermon was on that Sunday at church! So many people really struggle with finding joy during hard times, but everyone is capable. Love this!

  5. You poor thing I can’t imagine the pain that you must have been in hu, But you are right we must find joy even in the negative and that is definitely something I would like to improve on.

  6. Thank you, Logan – yes, I think finding joy or even hope during hard times is a challenge. A friend of mine, Kathleen (she’s episode 1), likes to talk about a God of faithful promises, and I believe that part of those faithful promises are that we will not be alone, abandoned, or forsaken. We may feel that we are at low points, and it might take a bit to really see the connection or to live into the challenge, but God is there, even in the really hard stuff. There’s more to my own story about those promises. I’ll share them sometime soon 🙂

  7. Jamie – I can totally relate to your story. I am also a planner, and at one point I even told my husband (before we were even at the hospital) – if for any reason, they have to take the baby, go with him. The baby should not be alone. I’m a grown woman and I’ll be fine, but I could not handle the thought of my son being all alone. I don’t think I will have another child, but I can totally relate to your anxiety over going in to labor again. Sending you lots of love!

  8. I’m glad to hear that therapy was able to help you. My PTSD is from sexual abuse and talk therapy was a nightmare, sadly ruined me ever going again. It’s a daily struggle but I’m trying to find whatever it is that will be my answer for joy.

  9. Thanks for starting your podcast! We all need to read and listen to more about joy in this world. Thanks for sharing your intimate story. I know that’s not easy.

  10. My first birthing experience didn’t go as planned at all. In a moment where the doctor was yelling (albeit yelling in a calm voice) for more help, I saw my husband get pushed out of the room as others rushed in, and I remember thinking – they never showed this in the movies we watched in lamaze class. The good news was my son and I both survived. When I was finally able to hold him – many hours after he was born. I was filled with joy.

  11. Ahhhh my labor and delivery was interesting. I wanted a c-section so bad! But my doctor was like nope. No reason for one. Then the day came for me to be enduced and yup… Ended up getting my c-section after a little scare lol…. Unfortunately it was an emergency one so ughhhh….. Swear things never go as planned when it comes to child birth.

  12. It’s so true, Jill. Your words remind me of the Wayne Dyer quote – “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 🙂

  13. It’s one of my favorites, for sure. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Pam 🙂 It’s funny, but it comes from the book, and later the movie, The Princess Diaries.

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