Giving back & expanding my reach

Getting the juices flowing. I’ve just secured a new gig… I’m going to be a weekly contributor to a very VERY very important non-profit! I’m over the moon excited. It’s going to allow me to stay in the recovery space in a productive way. Rather than blabber on about things happening in my world, I get to help others share their story. Or more broadly, share more formalised blog-style snippets of various stages of domestic violence (and recovery). I’ve not been given writing assignments in quite some time. This will be a challenge that I’m embracing with an open heart.

Spit-firing ideas to get my juices flowing. Let me know if you want to hear about anything specific…

  • Skills learned through domestic violence
  • Benefits of breaking the silence
  • What to expect when sh*t hits the fan
  • Are police really equipped to help
  • When the walls start caving in
  • Self care 30-day challenge
  • Redefining family
  • The Universe thinks I’m a badass; I need a nap
  • Can I just be an adult next week
  • Plot Twists & Curve Balls
  • Recovery: falling in love with calm
  • Fleas, Flying Monkeys & Surveillance Cameras

I think I’m a professional at titles. I fondly remember doing 6 word stories to get comfortable with being vulnerable. Vulnerability has not always been a safe place. Sharing what scares me resulted in predators trying to harm me. Sharing what I love resulted in predators trying to destroy things that brought me joy. Sharing the identities of my inner circle resulted in learning truth on who is living in their integrity.

Historically, my perfectionist side has attracted some pretty unhealthy people. My humble side makes them think I’m incompetent. My previous low self-esteem allowed them into my space. Once they recognised my inner strength, they sought to destroy. Sharing snippets of the knuckleheads I used to entertain was healing. If anything to hold myself accountable for growth. It never seemed toxic when I kept quiet. I was far too busy making excuses for unethical behaviour. It was only once I started writing things down that I began to see the flaws in my own character. No more are the days where I make excuses for others. And this new gig is going to take my continued healing (growth) to another level!!!

I’m super excited about this upcoming chapter!

Health spot check (Nov 2017): words to build. words to break.

The journey continues…

Normal is Overrated. Aspire for Magical.

Sometimes I have to admit my definition of normal is anything but, well, normal. Especially in context of what is considered easy.

Last week, I had the great pleasure to speak to a handful of people that are further along in their (group fitness) instructor journey than I am. They teach on the upside of 20-25 classes/week. At first, I thought they were bananas. I teach HIIT (cardio/strength) and cannot imagine teaching 20-25 hours/week of this format.

Mind you, I do the workout with my students. I completed MORE than this during Ironman training… but multi discipline training is multi discipline. This is straight cardio/strength…

“Jess, you are an INSTRUCTOR. INSTRUCTOR. INSTRUCT your students. You don’t have to do the workout with them.”

“Yeah but… part of my joy is telling people that I get paid to work out. hahahaha”

*face palm*

It occurred to me I was selling myself short. I am currently teaching 10 classes/week. I could easily increase to 20-25 classes/week. It might take time to create an ideal schedule but it is possible. Anything is possible.

Let’s be honest. Anything is possible.

Current situation: my days are spent hustling between teaching class, coaching clients, walking dogs… and meal prep. I’m back in grind mode so relaxing to enjoy a meal in my armchair whilst watching the world turn through a large picture window is not always possible. Instead, I have been enjoying my meals at Union Station, in the locker room of one of my 9 gyms… or simply in one of my favourite lounges. I have quiet places sprinkled all over the city.

I’m blessed because I get to catch sunrise over the lake a few times a week.

I’m blessed because my students think I’m hilarious. I’ve heard a few comment on my perkiness and most appreciate my eagerness to workout with them whilst gentle correcting form and keeping the intensity level up.

I’m convinced the Universe is conspiring to help me. My home has not been peaceful for a few months. The more I think about it, the more I can appreciate that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

If my house was peaceful, I would not have been incentivized to leave it. I’d be fluffing around, most likely dancing in my kitchen and creating the most magical meals on a daily basis. Grind mode (my current mode) requires me to schedule me time. Sacred space where no one is allowed access to me.

Perhaps if I’m grinding towards 20-25 classes then it’s time I get super intentional about my time. After all, being a coach, I need to walk my walk and lead by example…

A few weeks ago, I aspired to have 8 classes on a weekly basis. Now, my new normal will be 20.

I just created a new norm. Nothing about my life is normal. That is exactly what makes it magical.

The journey continues…

6 Lessons Learned: Breaking My Silence

Breaking the silence on abuse is not always possible. It can be very dangerous. Depending on the type of abuse and the emotional stability (or lack thereof) of the abuser, it can lead to murder. That said, I have found great comfort in a few truths…


I would rather people think I’m “crazy” and remain alive than be “normal” and in a casket. The truth is, being a speaker of truth comes with its share of naysayers. To me, naysayers are useful. They offer content to start another conversation and an opportunity to practice compassion towards unhealed people. This is also a fantastic opportunity to practice self-care and remind yourself that others will sometimes paint you as a villain to justify their treatment towards you. Ignore reputation and try your best to focus on character.


I feel things at a very deep level. Publicly sharing dreams (or situations) does not make sense but I did it. Starting a series on Facebook called CONVERSATIONS did not make sense but I did it. Removing my sunny disposition filter did not make sense but I did it. Why? Because it felt like the right thing to do. Sure enough, most of the things I have leaned into have resulted in feeling better about myself. It’s not my intention to embarrass anyone, it’s a way to hold myself accountable. It’s not my intention to threaten others, it’s a way to protect myself. I’m very strategic when it comes to protecting my wellness. I wish I could offer a one size fits all formula but I cannot. I can only share what has worked for me. Leaning into intuition is scary but going through the darkness is how one cultivates light.



My housemate spent a month testing my boundaries. As I held my boundary, their behaviour escalated to a point of a smear campaign where they admitted to contacting my family. They know I’m a survivor of gun violence and they know my family does not value my life. Their end goal was to convince me to move out. As much as I would love to believe others have my best interest in mind, it’s simply not true. The best way to deal with predators is to understand what is happening. Rationally. Identify triggers and understand when in an emotional state. Ground and take things one thing at a time. Is my safety at risk? Yes, then take steps to protect myself. If no, then process the emotions as they surface. This is NOT easy work. Also, try to identify the type of predator. Knowledge is power and the priority is to always remain safe. For this example, if I’m dealing with a narcissist, peace will be restored and they will redirect their attention to an easier target. If I’m dealing with a psychopath, then their destructive retaliatory behaviour will continue. If I’m dealing with a sociopath, then things will escalate and my physical safety will be at risk. It’s important to understand what type of predator you are dealing with and take measures to protect yourself.


Processing trauma at ground zero and dealing with people with unethical behaviour forced me to get fluent with personality disorders, local laws, criminal laws, housing laws, domestic violence support groups, lawyers, police officers and even spend time at City Hall and at the State’s Attorney’s Office. On a lighter note, dealing with unethical people has also helped me find my tribe (people willing to stand with me when I feel defeated), expand my businesses; dog care clients are aware of my recovery journey and when I told them about the recent smear campaign, they vamped up referrals resulting in new clients. My coaching business is next level as I’ve been able to create a few new coaching programmes based on experience. People are amazing.


I am overdue for a 10-day vipassana sit. Embracing the consequences of breaking my silence has taught me the importance of returning to my breath. For nearly two decades, deep breathing was automatic. I am a trained sprinter and Ironman athlete. My favourite drug is running. It’s virtually impossible to escape my breath during a long run. Taking a year off from sports and cultivating a new tool (writing) to navigate my emotions was humbling and empowering. Whether I’m running or writing, the common thread is returning to my breath. Meditation also helps restore my inner balance. As long as I can find my breath, anything is possible.


Everyone dies but not everyone truly lives. I continue to live my life with love and compassion. I continue to relish in the simple pleasures and honour both myself and those I allow into my space. I firmly believe the soul is having a human experience. As long as I continue to stay in my lane, I know I’m protected and, Universally loved.

The journey continues…

Only as sick as the secrets we keep

December has not always been a peaceful month in my world. Yes, it’s my birthday but it’s also when people try to hurt me. It’s when my brother plays games to be seen. It’s when my father fails at managing his emotions. It’s when my mother has her dark days. December has been a perfect storm with fingers pointing at me.

I’ve been working extremely hard to shift how I feel about December. It’s a cloudy month when I’m not sure about most things. I tend to pull back from social events. I sneak into my shell. I shut out the world with intention to listen to my heart. If anything, so I can remind myself of it’s strong beat.

Last year, December was a month I celebrated my birthday three times. The actual day I was born and then the two times someone tried to kill me. Those days are now known as my rebirth days.


This year, December was just December. It did not carry the same weight as last year. I made sure to have quiet time to stay connected with my emotions. Feel the feels. I’m a huge fan of distractions. Anything so I didn’t have to feel the heavy feelings. And the more I tucked those emotions to the deepest place of my soul, the more disharmony I experienced in my external world.

December is a month to honour myself. My wellness. My existence. I’ve released a bunch of tears. I’ve sat in silence. I’ve made some phenomenal food. I’ve hugged dogs. I’ve also hugged humans. My heart has been shattered – I’m not pointing fingers at anyone because my focus isn’t on the fault, rather, my focus is on the responsibility… to heal. And with healing… it’s acknowledging truth.

My truth is still difficult to digest. I love differently than my family. They gave me tools to use my voice and stand up for myself. They taught me to never settle for “less than”. They taught me that it doesn’t matter who is against me as long as I believe in myself. These rules applied to everyone outside the family… And so breaking cycles has been hard.

I continue to light a candle and ask the angels to look after my mother. I miss her very much. Sometimes, I think I’m getting in my own way and I should just hop on a train to visit. And then I remind myself trains go both ways. There is nothing stopping my family from visiting me. And allegedly, my housemate told my family where I live so… now they know. It’s a waiting game. My group fitness schedule has been posted online for a few months so in all honesty, it’s not difficult to find me.

I’ve been waiting for over 500 days. My phone doesn’t ring. My email box is still empty. My father might still be reading my blog. There was a time he verbalised he knows I’m ok because I continue to write. That is his truth. The last time my blog views spiked, I still went into survival mode. I disengaged from my normal posting to simply observe. I was vigilant to squeaky wheels. And then I stopped myself. There is nothing to fear. I’ve aired ALL MY DIRTY laundry on the internet. Sure, people might try to use my blog against me to prove “mental instability” but who cares. I’ve shared over a million words for my recovery journey. I’ve shared emotions, heavy emotions, as I came to terms that others wanted to end my life. I’ve shared my deepest and darkest fears with the world because I simply didn’t know who to trust.

Do I regret sharing the pain in my heart?

If given the choice to do it all again, I would in a heartbeat. Why? Because we are only as sick as the secrets we keep. I have ZERO secrets.



Today I fell into an old habit. Shopping therapy. I needed a 2020 diary and ended up with two pairs of shoes, a vest, workout shirts, socks and some caramel / nut candies. It’s December and I have a pimple on my face. It’s a sign of poor eating. Why? Sadness. And the fact I bought what i bought supports it. When mom and I shop, when undecided, just get both. I don’t need two pairs of shoes but… It’s December and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Every year with exception to 2014, whilst I lived in Asia, I was home during the last two weeks of December. Last week and this week are the weeks I would be sipping hot chocolate with my mother. Laughing with her. Playing in the snow. Cooking up a storm. Grocery shopping. Watching movies. And then bringing in the new year. I feel a great loss right now. I miss her.

Trains go both ways. I am living less than 40 miles from my mother. It’s been 500+ days. They have not caused trouble… does my heart hurt more with silence or with being treated as if my life doesn’t matter? Does it matter how they value me? I used to think it mattered but I’m coming to terms that it really doesn’t.

It’s taken me some time to clear out their noise and listen to my heart. My life is filled with love. As much as I would love to invite them into my world, I’m not sure they would accept the invitation. But does it matter?

Trains go both ways.

My journey continues…

Emotional Wellness Spot-check (August 2017)


Empower Myself through Self Care Practices

As the decade comes to a close, I cannot help but think about all the progress I’ve made personally, professionally and spiritually. About 500 days ago, I made a promise to myself. The promise was to make Chicago home. Turn a city of pain into my new playground. Create a life filled with love. Hold people accountable for less than behaviour… in my presence. About 500 days ago, I made a promise to myself to BE MY OWN HERO.

Part of the year was dedicated to developing new self care practices. These practices are constantly expanding.


Each day, I would dedicate a song to myself. Usually sharing the song on IG Stories. Sometimes the songs were symbolic of how I was feeling. Sometimes I couldn’t find words so just flowed through song. Sometimes, the songs were personal declarations to simply keep going. Song dedications helped me articulate the emotion that was stirring within…


Food is love. Food is fuel. Food is an event in my world. Specifically breakfast. I have made some of the most ridiculous breakfasts. On occasion, I’ll share my feast with others but for the most part, a colourful plate was my way to say I LOVE YOU to my body. My go-to is sweet potato hash. I have this down to a science.


Being a PR professional, a writer and somewhat of a self proclaimed entertainer… silence is in fact GOLDEN. I picked up this habit during meditation retreats. Observing 10 days of noble silence is not always possible but making sure that part of my day is silent has been so enormously beneficial for my overall wellbeing. Granted, there are times where I have a full head and a sharp tongue, and it’s catching myself in those moments that I exercise self-control. I allow the emotions to fly out just as quickly as they flew in.


Physical fitness. I took a year away from training. It’s very easy for me to self regulate through sports. It’s super easy for me to process just about any emotion/feeling through sport. Sports have a few aspects like breathing and mind-body coordination that brings me into the present moment. I’ve actually grown quite fond of swimming. Running used to be my favourite “drug” but I often find myself trying to find a pool to crank out a few laps.


Having my entire trust system compromised and not really knowing who has my best interest in mind was a challenge. I know my international tribe. I know my tribe in Asia but I needed to weed out the unhealthy and cultivate the healing in Chicago. Sometimes, unhealthy people snuck under my radar but for the most part, it’s taken me about 18 months, to find my tribe. The ironic part is that I’ve only been able to identify other healing people by trusting the process. Making myself vulnerable. Sharing the pain in my heart and asking others to simply hold space for me to be. At first, there were a lot of people that dismissed my emotions. But after a while, those people disappeared and created space for others worthy of my trust and love. Learning how to ask for help and receive love has been one of my most challenging and rewarding forms of self care.


How can I forget writing?! When I cannot figure something out. When I need to feel the feels to do the things. When I’m unable to shut down my mind or observe the body. When my ego takes over and I am convinced I NEED to share my two cents. Writing has been a dear friend. Granted, some people have used my words (and my healing journey) against me but for the most part, people tell me I’ve inspired them in some way. I guess writing has been a two-fer. Good for me and good for others. Writing has allowed me to hold myself accountable… especially my series called CONVERSATIONS (focused on what happens when I implement healthy boundaries with unhealthy people).

Puppy Love

I’ve been doing a series on social media called puppy love. It’s basically me hanging out with all my puppy dog clients. Sometimes we walk. Other times we go to the park. I get the occasional leg hump. Generally speaking, I’m greeted with kisses and tail wags so intense that their puppy dog body is wagging just as fiercely as their tail. It’s so incredibly cute (and heart warming). Dogs do not judge. They simply love that you showed up. They keep me in the present moment. I’ve grown so fond of this form of self care that I created a regular hustle out of it. Within a year, I went from cleaning up after a housemate’s blue haired doberman brothers to having regular (paying) clients. Some clients are walks and others are for staycations. Life is so much better with a puppy.

I’m not sure what 2020 has in store for me. All I know is as I continue to honour myself, I witness the relationships around me improving. When I first moved to Chicago, it was difficult for me to find people able to articulate a goal or share a dream. Currently, my inner circle speaks my language. They have 3-5 and 7 year goals. They have a clear idea of what they are working towards and more importantly, they have an incredible sense of self. Their life is filled with love because they are love. My community in Chicago is finally starting to resemble my tribe in Asia… and my international family.

The journey continues…


Birthdays, holidays and essentially anything that brings joy to your world are the first areas of target for unconscious people to cause harm. For me, when someone is trying to harm me, they attempt to disrupt my birthday, holidays, food, puppies or sleep. To be fair, most things excite me so it can be a challenge to disrupt me. For the most part, I’m able to remind myself that unconscious people are just adults with the emotional capacity of a 10 year old. Seems judgemental but it’s simply an inconvenient truth. Emotionally balanced people do not try to harm others. Ever.

Acknowledging this inconvenient truth whilst not obsessing (or manifesting) can sometimes be a challenge. Sometimes I get upset about the injustice. Sometimes my ego takes over and I’m tempted to clap back. I’ve found that jumping offline and into the real world to be tremendously balancing. Making sure that I’m getting enough sleep, deep breathing and of course paying attention to cravings. My body craves certain things when it’s adjusting or dealing with certain emotions.

Last week, I turned 25… with 11 years of experience. The actual day was relatively peaceful. There were a few waves but nothing unexpected. Beautiful opportunities to practice detachment. Beautiful opportunities to practice self love. Beautiful opportunities to quantify my personal growth through trauma.

Picking up a new group fitness class. Detach.

My mother called. Detach.

A dear friend on a road trip took me for dinner. Detach.

My inner circle held space for me. Detach.

A client offered me a birthday gift. Detach.

A new client requested additional services. Detach.

My housemates allowed me a front row seat to their processing. Detach.

Reflecting on the week, 2 nights of active dreams. Souls connecting in the spiritual world. Profound messages. Strong connections. Detach.

Detach and observe. Not the same as dissociate. Detach. Detach from the desire of a specific outcome. Being ok with whatever needs to happen. Accepting all truths that are shared. Not feeling any sort of way. Accepting what is. Meeting everyone where they are. Having extreme compassion and reminding myself that everyone is doing the best they can. Reminding myself to encompass my higher self (and speak to the higher self of others) as much as possible. When feeling the need to defend myself, speak softly to my heart with “I’m with you. It’s ok. We are ok. Everything is ok. Breathe.” Connecting with my Guardian Angels and simply smiling. Knowing without question that I’m surrounded by love because I am love.

Technology can be a powerful tool whilst also being a super highway for a rabbit hole of self-destruction.

Below is a video I created. A few minutes after an emotional release. A release that was needed to hold space for my higher self. A beautiful moment. Honouring where I am and how far I have come. Acknowledging that I’ve done a lot of work. A lot. There is still work to be done.

Birthday Message on LinkedIn

I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.

The journey continues…


Looking back: 10-year challenge

A bunch of my friends have been talking about a 10-year challenge. I was not going to participate but thought, ok, why not… this should be interesting. There is a massive difference in 10 years. Massive. 2009 vs 2019. So many things have shifted… or shall I say, so many truths have finally been revealed (and processed). Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 2.49.25 PM

About a week ago on Facebook, I shared the following 10-year challenge. By society standards, there is no rhyme or reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. By my standards, I’m leaning into my intuition. Sometimes, I trigger myself on facebook and offer an emotional purge (open processing) on facebook and sometimes, I’ll trigger myself on facebook and then share my purge (open processing) via blog. When I don’t feel like open processing, I’ll simply sit with my emotions (observe the body and master the mind… thank you, Vipassana).

Feel the feels and then do the things.

But to be honest, most of my blog writing is untriggered. Generally speaking, blog sharing is first thing in the morning. It’s catching myself in that space between sleeping and being awake. This is my sweet spot of an unconscious space. Where my heart speaks and reveals where I need to continue my work to love myself just a bit more.

Since it’s December, I’m honouring this exact moment. I’m trying not to view people as healthy or unhealthy. Predatory or non-predatory. I think that it’s much simplier than that. Some people are driven by ego and others by heart. Unfortunately, some people lack tools for productive processing. Friends used to poke fun at me for not being tolerant and now they laugh because certain behaviours are simply no longer entertained. The reality is, the more I love myself, the less I allow others to greet me with anything less than love, respect and grace. I’m on the fence with enjoying the word GRACE or DIGNITY.

When living in Singapore, my community was filled with goal crushing super achievers. People so busy working on themselves; interactions were grounded in love and support. Moving to the USA, had a learning curve. It’s taken me about a year to find similar spirited people. My community is {finally} starting to be filled with goal crushing super achievers. People so busy working on themselves; interactions are once again grounded in love and support.

As for the people not offering love and support, I’m finally in a space to acknowledge everyone processes stress differently. Whether it’s traumatic stress or chronic stress, I’ve accepted a large majority of people struggle with stress management. Experiencing so many people hurting both themselves and others is one of the main reasons WHY I developed a coaching programme specifically dedicated to teaching others how to navigate stress with an end goal of essentially minimising stress. As with all things, one must do the work before teaching it to others.

My name is Jessica Corvo. I moved to ground zero of my trauma to see what happens. I’ve been living in the same city as people that have tried to kill me. Through the healing process, I’ve launched a few hustles and continue to cultivate a community of super achievers. My main social media guilty pleasure is a series called HEALTHY BOUNDARIES where I use real experiences to teach my community about healthy boundaries whilst holding myself accountable (and my growth journey). I would not have been able to build this muscle if I was still living in Singapore. It’s only by living in a new environment where I have been able to experience another build from scratch, first hand, so I can teach (empower) others.

My journey continues. Another stress management tool developed. Another way to empower others and help them achieve their wellness goals.

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Life is so incredibly magical.

#BeYourOwnHero #Resilience #Trauma #Recovery #EmotionalAbuse #DomesticViolence #StressManagement #HealthCoach #Coach #DoTheWork

Meeting People where they are…

Upgrades are happening in so many ways. Causing me to pause and simply relish in the moment. Gosh, the last few years have been a challenge. A heart-wrenching… soul-crushing… challenge. Some days felt like I was pushing a car uphill and other times, it felt like I was being pushed off a cliff. Finding the middle ground was.not.easy.

My international family has been creeping out in mysterious ways. Reminding me of their presence. Asking if I’ve accomplished what I was intending to accomplish. Dropping links for flights back to Asia. Complimenting my work… and asking when I’m going to get back to play. My community is very funny. And supportive. And over the last few weeks, the main concept that I realised I missed the most is how I was constantly learning from people in my community. To be part of my family, it was essential to do a deep dive into something completely foreign to me. I’m a self-proclaimed professional dabbler so finding something that I haven’t experienced can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. No arrogance, just truth that I have a curious mind and a short attention span for doing things on repeat.

As all the pieces come together, I’m stable in most aspects of my world. Steady build mode. Confident with my group fitness. Finally hitting that sweet spot of a devilish grin to my class with ‘ohhh yeah, this is my FAVOURITE move’ as we do a choreographed push-up challenge or side kicks that challenge both stability AND endurance. The sweet spot where your body acknowledges it’s build time. Sweat is fat crying. All toxic things are released. Adrenaline is pumping. Endorphins make an appearance. And before I know it, the entire class is looking at me with a look of ‘I’m glad I showed up’ and a dash of ‘I’m going to crush this workout’. Corporate powerhouses applying their mental tenacity to physical fitness. Life is so good!

My coaching business took a few month breather. I pulled back on clients so I had time for a course and do a bit of a reset. The aspect of me that I get complimented on most is my energy… and so I needed to reset to see what type of coaching course I wanted to focus on for this next chapter.

Resilience. Emotional Resilience. From quarter mile sprinter to 12-hour Ironman finisher. From climbing corporate ladders to creating a purpose driven life. From being people pleaser to Be Your Own Hero. So many coaching programmes. Based on experience. Sharing what I know. Sharing what I lived. Sharing what I have brought into this world. Resilience on so many levels. Having a full heart and calm mind and a cheeky soul. Without the cheeky soul, I would not have experienced nearly as much as I have thus far. Truly blessed.

The best part… my international family knows. They knew before I knew. They never once questioned my sanity or my ability to crush this current goal, emotional resilience. Journey to Peace… Knowing that I would struggle with quantifying success. Do I feel good? Yes! Do I still miss my family? HECK YES!! Am I at peace?! I think so. Each day, I get closer. I’m still coming to terms with everything. I’m finally to a point where I know that my family loves me in their own way. Generational trauma is not easy. I started with justifying behaviour. They are who they are. I processed anger. Resentment. Fear. Betrayal. and all sorts of things… to build a foundation where I could cultivate peace. Love. Understanding. Forgiveness. First forgiveness to self for not holding space for me. For forgetting to put on my oxygen mask before helping others. It still feels strange to put myself first. It feels selfish. It feels lumpy. But each day it gets easier. NO is a complete sentence. I’m in a situation where I get to practice this… and hold space for truth. For years, I laughed whilst saying NO to others. I would say NO and take a deep breath. What was to follow was either a truth that they are living up to their potential (and my standards) or a truth that I was in Jess world and saw magic in others before they saw it in themselves… sometimes resulting in a growing pain. Both truths are OK. This is the joy of life. To meet people where they are…

The journey continues…

#Resilience #Trauma #Recovery #SelfCare #EmotionalAbuse #DomesticViolence #OneDayAtATime #JourneyToPeace

Thanksgiving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. Without question. It’s been my favourite for as long as I can remember. Making stuffing the night before. Waking up early to prepare the rest of the meal. Grazing throughout the day.

During the years when I was living overseas, it was always a big question… to come home for Thanksgiving or not. My parents wanted me home for Christmas, I preferred Thanksgiving. Reflecting back, it didn’t really matter which holiday but it did.

My favourite holiday is Thanksgiving. My favourite Thanksgiving is from 2009.

Ten years ago was the last time I was able to sit at a table with my two heroes. My grandfathers. I was based in Singapore. Grandpa Corvo was going through chemo treatments. His health was declining. I circled the globe 5 times that year. Weekend trips for the ones I love most. There wasn’t anything I didn’t do or offer my family. I always showed up. Always.

Last year, was essentially the first Thanksgiving after breaking my silence about Domestic Violence. Go figure, also the first Thanksgiving without anyone from my biological family. My heart stings to acknowledge this truth. A truth that domestic violence is a lose-lose situation. You have the choice to suffer in silence with those that hurt you or you suffer in truth with knowing they don’t know how to love you in an authentic way.

I have healthy relationships all over the world. Some lasting over a decade. I’m finally in a space where I’m connecting and attracting healthy, growth mindset people. As my mind slips into a space to acknowledge the ones that have shown up; And continue to show up. I acknowledge that everyone has their story, my tribe is filled with those that have come out or still going through their dark days. My tribe loves. They love hard.

This year, I honour that as much as I miss my biological family, I’ve been embraced by others. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. Invitations have come with “please do not bring anything other than yourself” or “Jess, we love you. A seat will be waiting for you in case you change your mind” or “what does your day of love/self care look like”.

Two years ago, I didn’t know what was happening. Last year, my voice shook. This year, I’m mastering the art of being. Simply being. And allowing others into my space at my pace. My pace.

Food and love. Gosh, Thanksgiving is such a magical holiday. To those dealing with domestic violence or some sort of trauma… family is NOT family. Family is love, loyalty, respect. It’s always your choice. Always.

Gobble until you wobble. With people you love and who also love you.

You are worth fighting for. Never forget that. You are worth absolute magic and unquestionable love.

The journey continues…

#Resilience #EmotionalAbuse #Recovery #Thanksgiving #Friendsgiving #SelfCare #HealthyBoundaries #OneDayAtTime

Planting Roots. Holding Space. Being Seen.

Allowing myself time to digest all the magic that took place last month. October is Domestic Violence awareness month. Throughout the month, I published a series on Linkedin to simply have a conversation. I shared my tips on how I was (and continue) to crush goals (create magic) in public whilst dealing with domestic violence behind closed doors. How do I maintain my sanity? How do I continue to love? Do I actually trust others? What are my evolving self-care practices? So much was shared throughout the month. I had survivors breaking their silence. YES! I created a space where survivors felt safe enough to share their story within my video series. How awesome is that? Honestly.

The first video was the only one where I need to set the tone and expectations for rules of engagement. I did so by embracing the sarcasm of a troll by asking about their way of coping with DV. They blocked me. I hope they have since found a place to heal. I passed my test.

MY videos (collectively) had over 20,000 views. That’s such a blessing. Very humbled that my videos literally reached to various corners of the world. As a matter of fact, I was able to launch another coaching programme a few days ago. So many people commented on my energy. Maintaining a calmness or even a lighthearted nature whilst talking about domestic violence (oftentimes sharing snippets of personal trauma) with a smile. Perhaps that’s a sign of continued growth. Acceptance. Surrender. Trust. Flow. Letting go. I’m not sure which part of the journey I’m at but so many good things cropped up and out throughout the month.

Last night, I received a (well-timed) phone call from a kindred soul. Our paths crossed when I was on a roadtrip. I was driving from Chicago to Florida and then back up the east coast. I found myself somewhere in the Carolinas. There was a hurricane approaching. Hurricane Michael. The Universe is funny, that’s the name of my biological brother. Last year I was still running… The time with my friend was special. We met at a recovery meeting. At a church. Overwhelmed with pain and feeling a wave consuming me. It was my turn to share. A flow of emotions poured out. I don’t remember what the topic was but I blurted out a flow of words: being tired of trying not to take up space. Being invisible. I was tired of being invisible. I was tired of swallowing my emotions so others felt comfortable. I was tired of having a hurting heart. I was tired of looking after others that didn’t care about me. I was over it on so many levels and didn’t know what to do. I was overwhelmed. THIS was my break the silence moment. My moment. Enough was enough. Somewhere within my sharing, this soul found me and invited me into her space: to visit a community center. We had a beautiful chat. She’s a mother putting herself together and questioning if she was a good mother. I’m a daughter putting myself together and questioning if I am a good daughter. Kindred souls that needed to see one another at that exact moment. Humbling. This is the soul that called me last night. Just over a year. A spot check. To say hello. Both further along in our respective journey. Continuing to reach out to the Universe for new ways to live. To love. To laugh. To feel safe. And the reminder… the Universal reminder to simply be. To take up space.

My friend didn’t realise that was the message (and reminder) that I needed to hear. This is the Universe at work. Last year, I was still running (or driving) away from my problems. I was avoiding them. They continued to manifest because I was refusing to learn the lesson. The lesson is still a bit foggy. I know that unhealthy people exist. I know that manipulators exist. Heck, I even accept that people try to hurt me because my optimism can be a bit much (for others). The last few months have been incredibly magical. I’ve been back in a routine of looking after my health. Food and dog walking continue to be my top two ways to love myself. Food allows me to feed my body and my soul! Dog walking allows me to rejoice in my heart space and be in the present moment. And because, well, puppy love.

Chicago is starting to feel like home. I’m still cultivating my local tribe. My national and international tribe continue to remind me of their presence. I’ve officially been in Chicago for just over a year. 460+ days since seeing my mommabear. 400+ days since setting the intention to make Chicago home. Home is where you are loved. I stopped running and in the process to plant roots.

I forgive all those that have tried to cause me harm. I know they act out ignorance and unhealed wounds. An interesting reminder to not take anything personal, especially predatory behaviour. Attacks still feel personal but deep down, I know it’s really not. To observe. To understand that resistance is ego. To simply forgive. To be grateful for the opportunities to test my loyalty to my peace. To set (and hold) healthy boundaries. No more self-betrayal. Continuing to do the work.

Ahhhh! I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. The journey continues…

#Resilience #SelfCare #Love #Ground Zero #TraumaRecovery #Family #EmotionalAbuse #Recovery #OneDayAtATime #BeYourOwnHero #Equanimity #FoodIsLove

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