Today we continue our interview series. A series in which I introduce you to some very special people…individuals who work equally hard at their craft and at living an intentional life. Someone new each month, sharing thoughts on creativity and discussing current work dear to his/her heart. Each individual who joins us will also generously offer some sort of giveaway. It could be a handmade item, a spot in a workshop, a collection of stones or crystals…anything that’s connected to the feature artist’s work and life. Their gift to you is of their choosing. This series will, I hope, create space to explore what creativity looks like to different people; I hope it will also create space to spread a little love through the gifts of our guests.
I have gotten to know the gentle nature of our guest today, Jen Trulson, on Instagram and have had the pleasure of her thoughtful presence in one of my online classes. She’s soulful and kind and genuine, and I’m so happy to have her joining us today. I think you’ll enjoy her perspective on things and will enjoy getting to know her. Let’s dive right in…
What does creativity mean to you?
I really had to think about this. I know what creativity feels like but to explore what it means to me, I let my mind wander to find the words. Creativity to me means I’m in the flow—whether physically, mentally, emotionally. Creativity for me means I’m connected to what I want to do and what wants to be done versus what I should do. It feels expansive and full of possibility. It means I’m in my own lane yet connected to our oneness, and I’m accessing the magic and mystery that is life. When I’m connected to creative energy I show up differently. I show up with an ‘anything is possible’ mindset, I am surprised by everyday ordinary and extraordinary happenings, and I’m in a state of curiosity and wonder. (which my family loves because I am responsive vs reactive, I feel more playful too)
Do you weave creativity through your days?
I want and hope to, as much as possible. Life is cycles and rhythm, ebbs and flows so while I want to feel this way all the time, I don’t. I get stuck in challenging times, shoulds and routines. The minute I’m aware I’m stuck or on auto pilot… I invite creativity back when I’m ready. Life is a constant invitation to me.
I’d love if you could share your professional work with us. What is your life work and how did you move into this particularly tender work?
I feel like I’m in a transition with my work (service) right now. I really just want to be a compassionate presence for people… to help them accept and love themselves where they are in life, and inspire them to connect with what’s most meaningful. What that’s looking like right now is working with those wishing to explore and honor meaningful living, grief and death.
My dad died from cancer on his 38th birthday when I was 17. He wasn’t afraid to die. He was my first example of not being afraid of death. My husband and I lost our first son, Calvin, in May 1994. He was born still when I was 7 months pregnant. I’ve never experienced such deep grief. My paternal gram also had passed away in her 70’s. She had a stomach aneurysm and chose to forego treatment. She had a strong faith relationship and also was a beautiful example of not being afraid of dying. I have always felt a comfort with death, and have developed a comfort with grief over the years.
We celebrate birth differently than death. Our western culture has a complicated relationship with death. When we learn to welcome death we welcome life. I like asking “How do you feel about death and dying?” For example, my answer at this moment is… ‘It feels mysterious and unknown. I want to honor death, just like I do my life. I want to connect with the magic of each day, creating meaning and feeling purpose-filled, not just waiting to die. I want to be fully present to it, spending time with the people I cherish. I want to laugh and love. I want to scream and cry. I want to have the hard conversations and tell people what they’ve meant to me. I want to laugh and be silly and be with the tears when they come. I want to wake up surprised and grateful, for another day of moments and memories. I want to be an example of dying a good death.’ Then reread my response as if the question is… “How do you feel about life?” Some people say, how you view death is how you view life. I haven’t done enough work in the field to know this to be true for everyone but it certainly is true for me. Death has much to teach us about living. I want to help change our relationship to death which in turn changes our relationship with life, as Mary Oliver says… your one wild and precious life.
Do you have any rituals surrounding your work?
I absolutely love rituals. For work, I typically light a candle when I do my work as well as say a prayer/blessing. When I’m done I will blow out the candle giving thanks.
I’m all about simple and sacred, yet my daily rituals and practices are more in depth and consist of silence, meditation, prayer, pulling cards, journaling. I love structure but am a rebel against routine.
Are there particular relationships in your life (to people, to nature perhaps) that inspire you to create?
Nature is a direct link to creativity for me. When I’m feeling stuck if I can coax myself outdoors in rainy Seattle, I immediately feel myself open to creativity. Movement is another relationship. I had the honor of meeting Annie of Primal Vinyasa this summer and she changed my relationship with movement and my body. I still don’t exercise on a regular basis but I move, differently.
And people… oh goodness, the beautiful souls that show up on my feed in Instagram. When I want to feel inspired I open Instagram. Pictures, words, happy sigh.
You have a very exciting product that’s just been released. Will you tell us about that?
Oh Michelle, I’m so excited about this. I just received the 2 boxes of my Sacred Invitation Deck. A 48-card deck on my 48th year here on earth. Each card an invitation to help you slow down, go inward, honor what’s sacred, and live a more meaningful life. I’m currently blessing the decks and infusing them with reiki energy before they find their way into the homes, hands and hearts they are meant for. I’ll be sending the first batch of orders Monday, November 20th!
When we look at life as a sacred invitation we find guidance and meaning everywhere. This deck gives you a booster to start seeing the magic and mystery each day offers.
I love to empower people to listen and trust their own guidance. There is a one-page insert but no companion book, yet. My hope is this inspires you to connect with your own divine wisdom. The companion book has been started but it was keeping me from releasing the deck. Once it is birthed, I will send an e-copy to all who own the deck and offer a hard copy for purchase.
What quote is your current mantra?
In a gentle way you can shake the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Yes! To go along with the Sacred Invitation Deck, I’m working on a Sacred Invitation Podcast. I’ll be doing a short 5 to 15-minute episode for each of the cards. I can’t wait to share some guidance, grace and wisdom around each card.
Now some lighter questions…
What did you eat for breakfast?
Coffee, that counts right?! It was one of those mornings. When I finally did eat something it was a few bites of a NuGo bar… they are my fave!
What was your favorite thing that you did last week?
Started Earth Medicine School 3 with Pixie Lighthorse, she helps me see things differently and I have a deep love for learning.
What music are you digging lately?
My Watershed Festival playlist on Spotify. Waterhsed was the first music festival I’ve ever attended and my husband and I already blocked out the dates for next year! We’re hooked.
Are you currently reading a book? If so, what is it?
Anam Cara : A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue. It’s magic.
If you close your eyes right now, what word comes to mind?
Honored, grateful. So deeply grateful.
And now for the giveaway…
Jen is generously giving a Sacred Invitation Deck (value $38 US/$53 Int’l) as her giveaway. Awesome, yes? Yes! If you’d like to read more about the deck, you can click right here.
To enter the giveaway, here’s what you need to do:
Leave a comment below. You can simply say hello, you can write something in response to this conversation with Jen…whatever you like. Comments will close at midnight PST on Monday, November 20, 2017. The randomly-selected winner will be announced here in this post on Tuesday, October 21. Comments are now closed.
…And the winner is…Kym! (email coming your way, Kym) Thanks to all of you who joined in this conversation and entered the giveaway. Many of you shared tender stories…Jen and I thank you for opening your hearts. xo
Thank you, Jen, for being here with us.
Sending a little love your way, m
Slowing down and living a more meaningful life. Sacred Guide. Walking with those wanting to honor and explore meaningful living, grief, death.
For the long version…
Instagram (my favorite!)