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On Friday, July 8th, at The Westin Bayshore hotel in downtown Vancouver, Simply Beautiful and Evalina Beauty will be presenting the Bloom Inspiration Summit. Bloom features an extraordinary lineup of brilliant women speakers—including an intimate conversation with award-winning Canadian entertainer and bestselling author Jann Arden.
Topics will include everything from grief to joy, sleep to intimacy, home organization and how to reach your potential, plus much more.
This week, we’re catching up with some of the speakers to learn more about what they’ll be discussing at the event.
After the death of her son Lewiston, Jessica Janzen channelled her heartache into living life the way she had always dreamed of. Along with being a mom and wife, Jessica is also a keynote speaker, author, coach and co-founder of The Love for Lewiston Foundation—which was started in honour of her son to carry on his legacy. But behind all the titles is someone who just wants to help you unlock your potential and strive to become the best person you can be.
We recently chatted with Jessica about loss and how to bring joy to your life, regardless of what you are walking through…
RJ: What are your recommendations to help women get unstuck in their lives?
JJ: I think the biggest thing is, is that we have to get out of our own heads. It sounds really simple, so I’ll break it down. We’re usually stuck in a thought or circumstance, and often we can’t change the circumstances, but we can change the perspective that we have and our response to it.
When I’m stuck and I’m really frustrated with whatever’s been dealt my way, I love to sit in the pity party. Then I think: How do I shift this? What’s a new thought I can believe that will move me to where I want to be? And often what I’ll do is look at the result that I actually want—which will feel impossible in the moment—but you have to picture yourself being that person, and when you start to visualize it, ask yourself: What are the actions I need to take to get there?
I say this when I’m on stage, and people think I’m crazy—the circumstance I dealt with when my son died—I now choose to think of this as the best thing that ever happened to me. And I ask the audience, “How many of you think I’m crazy?” and everyone will raise their hand. But the thought of me saying that losing my son was the worst thing that ever happened to me makes me want to stay in my bed, it makes me want to keep the blinds drawn, it doesn’t make me want to connect or do anything with my pain. So when I say that losing my son was the best, and it happened to me, it makes me feel empowered, it makes me feel joyful, because I see the work that we’ve done, and I’m that much more powerful when I show up with that feeling rather than sitting in the shit. We never get to choose what happens to us. But we get to choose the response. And that’s the powerful piece.
RJ: You talk about embracing chaos. Why is this important and what are your tips on how to do this?
JJ: This is one of my favourite sayings—burgers and fries, nobody dies. I will freak out about all the things that overwhelm me, and I allow that moment when I need it. But then I go back to thinking: we’re gonna figure it out. And the reason why I know I’m gonna figure it out is because of burgers and fries, nobody dies. It’s the reality check I do for myself to ask if this is a life-or-death decision. I’m not conducting open-heart surgery, this is everyday life and we can figure it out. I’m human, and I’m going to drop the ball sometimes but I don’t beat myself up over it. I know that I’m doing the best I can with what I have, and when I have my own damn back, then I find peace. Having that shift helps me not freak out about the details, which is often where we sit and waste energy.
RJ: You have experienced devastating grief and loss, yet you encourage women to seek joy in their lives. After two challenging years of this pandemic, many of us need to find that joy again. What are some suggestions to help us discover more joy in our day-to-day lives?
JJ: Stop sitting in the shit. That’s the choice we get. How do you want to spend your life? For me, I want a legacy. I want people to be like, “Wow, she just did it. Even when life was hard, even when her son was dying. I didn’t want to walk into a room and be like, ‘Oh, God, this is the worst moment ever.'”
People walked into our room and were like, ‘Your kid’s dying and you’re having a dance party?!’ I said. “Yeah, because this is all we’ve got.” I can’t change a lot of stuff. But I can ensure that I’ll use what time I have to be joyful.
Would I have preferred to be on a beach in Hawaii? One thousand percent! But that’s not what I was gifted. It comes back to what you want out of life. If you want more joyful moments, they’re out there. Sometimes you get to experience them, but sometimes you have to create them. And that’s the choice. I choose to create them.
So look at what you can do with where you’re at, and the joy will start to show up in the smallest of things. For me, it’s as simple as appreciating fresh, clean, bed sheets. Who doesn’t love getting into bed when your bedding is freshly washed. I think when you just start to see these small things as big blessings, then you’ll start to notice them more. I choose to look at joy more often than the problem, because I don’t like sitting in a problem. It just gives me more problems.
RJ: What if you want to do the hard work and become the best version of yourself, but are struggling to find the motivation. How do we find the motivation to create our best life?
JJ: By being around people who are already doing it. If you want more more joy, want these opportunities, hang out with people who are already doing it. Get involved, volunteer at the event, buy tickets, take the risks. For example, I didn’t have a group of girlfriends that were in business doing what I was doing, so I found women who inspired me and then brought value to them, and I just kept showing up. Support people who are doing the things that you want to do, because there’s room for us all. The more you surround yourself with those people, the better the results are.
RJ: Who or what inspires you every day?JJ: I would say my husband. I know that sounds cliché, but my husband survived a drug overdose and almost lost everything. He was $90,000 in debt, addicted to cocaine, and I see how he shows up and how hard he’s worked. None of what he has now has come easy, and it still doesn’t come easy. I’m inspired because if he can change then why can’t I?
I would also say the community of business women that I’ve been able to get plugged into. They inspire me, because I see them being mamas, I see them running businesses, I see them giving back and showing up and using what they have for good. And I just love being around people that have that belief.
RJ: What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?
JJ: I feel like I’m taking all the risks and failure isn’t an option. If it doesn’t work, I wouldn’t call that failure, I’m learning and redirecting.
RJ: Describe your passion/what you promote/live by in three words.JJ: Let’s fucking go.
RJ: What lights your fire?JJ: My business mentor who has been a friend and a mentor for over 15 years. He saw something in me and gave me this advice: dream big, go anywhere, do anything. So I try to live by that.
I can dream insanely big and believe it’s possible to make the dream happen. Like finding the cure for the disease that my son died from, building a wing of the hospital, or getting newborn screening. Applying those few words to everyday life has helped me to keep my eyes focused.
I think to summarize, I’ve had really great people who have always encouraged me. If you want something great to happen, find people who will believe it’s possible so that when you sometimes lose that belief, they’ll hold it for you and keep you on track.
Want to hear more from Jessica? Get your tickets to the Bloom Inspirational Summit here.