Jenny Powers - Empowered: The Woman's Guide to Following Your Heart
Jenny Powers is an author and a speaker, and her debut book “Empowered: The Woman’s Guide to Following Your Heart” was released earlier this year.
Jenny grew up in Medway, Massachusetts, and she has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Williams College. She’s worked as an actress, a director of sales and marketing, and an investment banker, and she’s spent much of her life traveling around the world, seeking to live the best life that she can live and fulfilling her passion for adventure, new experiences, and following her heart.
“Empowered: The Woman’s Guide to Following Your Heart” is the story of one woman’s journey to her greatest purpose in life. It chronicles a journey, though each experience can serve as an individual beacon of light for you to reflect on as you follow your own heart. It’s full of guiding truths that will help to show you the way, through the sunshine and through the rain. It’s a book that you can keep by your side, that you can depend upon, through all stages of your life. “Empowered: The Woman’s Guide to Following Your Heart” can be anything that you want it to be! Whatever it may be for you, Jenny’s hope is that it will always inspire you to believe in your journey, in your dreams, in your heart, and in yourself.
Today, Jenny leads empowerment workshops based on the principles she shares in her book. Drawing on the wisdom from her own experiences, Jenny helps women to embrace their bodies, minds, hearts and spirits through every chapter of their unique journey and to celebrate themselves in every way. I’m so excited for you all to learn more about Jenny, the work she’s doing and the messages she’s sharing with the world, and to connect and follow along!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
My name is Jenny Powers and I am anauthor and a speaker who grew up in Medway, Massachusetts. I am the author of the book Empowered: The Woman's Guide to Following Your Heart and I am now transitioning to a career as a motivational speaker, using the message of my book as a platform to inspire people worldwide. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Williams College and I have worked as an actress, a director of sales and marketing, and an investment banker. I have spent much of my life traveling around the world, seeking to live the best life that I can live and fulfilling my passion for adventure, for new experiences and for following my heart.
My book, Empowered: The Woman’s Guide to Following Your Heart, is the story of my journey to my greatest purpose in life. It is a book that someone can read cover to cover or pick up and read for a single dose of inspiration for their day. It chronicles my journey, though each experience can serve as an individual beacon of light for people to reflect on as they follow their own hearts. It is full of guiding truths that will help to show people the way, through the sunshine and the rain. It is a book that keeps people company, it is a book that they keep by their side, it is a book that they depend upon. Empowered: The Woman’s Guide to Following Your Heart can be anything that people want it to be. Whatever it is for them, I hope that it always inspires everyone to believe in their journey, in their dreams, in their heart and in themselves.
I also lead Empowerment Workshops based on the truths that I share in my book. In these Workshops, I share personal wisdom to help women to embrace their bodies, minds, hearts and spirits through every chapter of their unique journey and to celebrate themselves in every way. I use wisdom gleaned from my own journey to personal empowerment and share powerful insights from my book that enable people to connect to their own wisdom. These workshops help people to recognize their unique power and to unleash that power by strengthening their relationship with themselves. Through the use of Empowerment Tools that I have created, people are able to uncover their greatest happiness and live their most empowered life as a result of these workshops!
How did you get started?
The work of following my heart and sharing that message began when I was 24. I spontaneously left a very secure investment banking job and unexpectedly flew to Australia for two weeks, without a plan. I then proceeded to travel around the world for the next year, by myself. This experience changed my life, because for the first time, I decided to follow my heart. I went against the grain of what society would have expected me to do – to remain unhappy in a job because of the money and the stability – and I followed my heart and courageously left all of that behind. I continued traveling on my own for the next year without any guidance or set plan and relied upon myself to find my way. I lived moment to moment and I trusted myself in every moment to figure out what was best for me. I learned to live each day to the fullest and relied upon the intuition of my heart to find my way around the world. I have lived each and every day since then by following my heart. So the work of this book began years ago. And I truly believe that I am an expert in leading a life of following my heart in every moment, and I felt incredibly passionate about sharing my story with others in order to inspire them to follow their own hearts. I think that this is something that people rarely do. They live a life of what they think they "should" do, rather than following their hearts and living a life based on what they "want" to do. So my desire to share my story to inspire others to follow their hearts has been a passion of mine since that day many years ago when I left behind all expectations, and decided to follow my heart.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
As I say in the introduction of my book, I never really intended to write this book. I was in a relationship for a few of years in Los Angeles that ended very unexpectedly and the heartbreak of this breakup turned my world upside down. After this relationship ended, I truly realized how there are no guarantees in life and it reminded me that the current moment is all that we have. It opened my eyes to how fleeting experiences can be in life and made me never want to take a single moment for granted. A few months later, I was talking to my dad, and he said something that inspired me to make a big change. I was describing my life in LA and explaining that even though I had what appeared to be a great life from the outside, there was nothing in my life that fulfilled me. He then said “it sounds like what you’re doing doesn’t feel important to you.’ And the word important resonated so deeply. What I wanted most was to do something important with my life. So I left my very established life in LA and moved back in with my parents so that I could focus on learning what was important to me at that point in my life.
What I discovered was that dance was my greatest passion. I had started pole dancing in a dance studio six years earlier and the experience of this form of dance had opened my eyes to the power of my body and gave me the space and permission to express my sexuality in a way that I had never known. This experience changed my life. For years, I had struggled with my body image and this form of dance healed that pain so deeply that I realized that my greatest desire was to share this gift with other women. Millions of women struggle every day with how they feel about their own bodies and it felt important to me to help as many women as I could to feel the permission to accept and love their bodies, just as they are, in whatever shape or size they may be. I spent the next few months designing and creating classes inspired by a combination of pole dancing, pilates and yoga and taught these classes in studios close to where my parents lived outside of Boston. And though I found the classes to be helpful in empowering women to love their bodies and connect to their own power, I felt that there was an even deeper impact that I could have. A few months later, I was back visiting my friends in LA, and started talking about my classes and realized that the work that felt most important to me was the blog that I was writing on the website for my classes. In a very joking manner, I laughed that I was going to write a “blog book’ using my blog as the inspiration. The next day, I got on a flight home and before we had even taken off, I had copied my entire blog into a Word document and using this blog as a rough outline, I just started writing. I had no idea what I was doing and never in a million years thought that I would write a book. But the inspiration poured out of me. I wrote non-stop for the next six hours. And kept writing. And four months later, I had written my book. I hadn’t told a single person that I was writing a book, so the joy of sharing this overwhelming and very significant accomplishment felt incredible. I have never been as proud of anything in my life as I am of this book. To write it in four months and to do all of the work to self-publish this book is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. It required incredible and unwavering discipline, focus, commitment, faith and vision. But all of the work was completely worth it. This book is the most importantthing that I have done in my life thus far. I know in my heart and in my soul that sharing the message of this book is my purpose on this Earth.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
My biggest passion is inspiring people to believe in themselves. The truth in my book entitled Do What You Love speaks to this passion.
Do What You Love
“What do I love? I love inspiring women, including myself, to feel better about ourselves. This is what I love. This is where my joy is. Today was a huge step for me. I'm not sure how it will all unfold, but I do know that today, I walked the walk. I walked right through all of my fears and did what I love to do in spite of them. I don't know exactly how life works, but I do know that amazing things must come from doing that. In your life, always do what you love. If you do, you will always love what you do.”
Yes, I do feel like I am living my passion and my purpose. Each and every day, I go out in to the world with the goal of making the world a happier place, whether that is by inspiring one person or a million people to believe in themselves. Through sharing the message of my book and empowering everyone that I meet to follow their hearts, I am living out my greatest purpose.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
Inspiring others is the thing that makes me feel most alive. Seeing that look in someone’s eye when you have empowered them to feel better about themselves is the greatest feeling in the world. This connection is a priceless gift in my life. Spending time with my family and friends also brings me incredible joy and lights me up in a way that brings me such happiness. I also have a deep passion for traveling. The sense of adventure that travel brings always inspires me to remain curious and passionate about the world and fills my life with exciting new experiences.
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
Gratitude. Without question. It keeps my attention focused on all that I have, rather than allowing my mind to wander and focus on all that I don't have. Because I am so incredibly blessed, even on the days where it feels like I have nothing. Every single day, I make a list of 100 things to be grateful for. People think that I am crazy to do this, and I know that it sounds overwhelming, but I promise you that the longer that you make the list of things to be grateful for, the more things you will find and the easier and more rewarding the exercise is. I number 1-100 in a notebook and just start writing, with no filter. I have fun with it. When you have to come up with 100, you are grateful for EVERYTHING because you know that you need to be in order to get to #100. Things like "my eyelashes" or my "heartbeat" or "my pink pen" all of sudden come to mind and I will write down ANYTHING because I know that I have to get to 100 things. If you don't overthink it and just have fun with it and keep it silly and lighthearted, you will be amazed with the simple things that you write down. And when you are finished, you will have a list of 100 things, both big and small, that are amazing about your life, just as it is right now. To me, listing 100 things to be grateful for is the fastest way to connect to the joy in my life.
Another practice that helps me to live intentionally is to focus on giving. If I find myself stuck or feeling uninspired, I will fill my favorite backpack with copies of my book and go out into the world with the intention of giving, inspiring and empowering everyone that I meet. I have found that the simple practice of giving my book to anyone whose path I cross fulfills me in a way that makes me feel as I if I have contributed to the world in a positive way. If I can help to make even one person feel more empowered, then my day has been a success.
Finally, exercise, in particular dancing or running outside, always empowers me to feel grounded. Exercise enables me to connect to myself in an incredibly powerful way and it always inspires me to continue to follow my heart.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
She would think that I am incredibly brave. She would be inspired by the fact that I am still following my heart and that I'm walking through all of my fears to create the life of my dreams. I have never settled for anything less than what I want and she would love that I have been willing to do all of the work that a life of following your heart requires. It is not an easy life and it requires a great deal of strength, determination and resilience to stay the course. There have been many challenges, and she would admire that I have always found a way to survive them. She would appreciate that every time that I get knocked down, I always find a way to get back up. She would also love that I've had so much fun. My life has been full of passion, adventure, excitement and an incredible amount of unbridled joy. People always say that I have lived a million lives in one life because I have treated every day as an extraordinary gift. I have always remained committed to making the most of every single day. In my book, one of the guiding truths that my younger self would love the most is Live the Width: "This is how I'm building my life. I want to experience the width of my life, and not just the length. I want to experience every single thing that I can while I am on this Earth. It is what drives me and constantly fuels everything that I do. You live the width of your life by saying yes to every experience that intrigues you along the way. Live the width of your life. It is what gives the length meaning". My younger self would love that I have lived the width of my life and that I have said yes, to everything. Most importantly, she would be eternally grateful that I have never given up on her and her dreams. She is still my deepest source of inspiration. She guides me every single day. I will never give up her childlike joy and her sense of wonder about everything in the world.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
Follow your heart. Always.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to empower women everywhere to become our best selves. To awaken us to our own power so that we may live as the women that we are born to be. To free us from what we carry around as the caretakers of others so that we take the time to stop, breathe and reconnect to who we each are. To strengthen our relationship with ourselves so that we embrace our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our spirits, in everything we do. To build the tools that are necessary for us to be able to unleash the potential that is inside all of us so that we are each capable of doing amazing things. To grant us the space in this world where we can experience the freedom to feel, to express, to let it all out and to connect to our happiest selves. To honor and celebrate the brilliance, the passion, the fire and the joy of women, everywhere. To create the place on this Earth where extraordinary transformation happens so that we are all empowered to live our best lives.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here