Connect to gratitude — With every challenge there is a potential silver lining. Seeing the silver lining to a problem can feel hard when you’re in a storm. That’s why dropping into gratitude during chaotic times can lift you up and support you. You need to fill up your positivity reservoir so you don’t feel down and depleted.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Junie Moon.
Junie Moon, The Love Coach, teaches women in midlife how to magnetize their ideal partner and experience Next Level Love. Using her unique heart-centered dating strategies, coupled with some powerful mindset tools that helped her magnetize the love of her own life, women learn to embrace this precious stage of life with confidence, playfulness and ease.
Junie’s an award-winning international speaker, #1 Amazon Best-selling author of Loving the Whole Package: Shed the Shame and Live Life Out Loud, director/producer of the film Shed the Shame, host of the podcast Midlife Love Out Loud and a Certified Shadow Work® Facilitator. Find her at CoachJunieMoon.com
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
If you asked people from my past, “Was Junie happy?” they would have said, ”Of course!”. They saw a happy, positive woman who always had a smile on her face. From the outside, it seemed like I had it all. What they didn’t know that inside, I suffered.
My marriage was very stressful. I walked on eggshells to avoid conflict. I was afraid of my husband’s temper and I wanted to keep the peace. If you looked up people pleasing in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of me there.
To get through the difficult times, I ate a ton of food. It was my way of soothing myself. After hitting 200 pounds, I knew something was really wrong. Diets hadn’t worked. Will power waxed and waned. I struggled.
I thought I had a food problem but then discovered I had a conditioning problem.
Life had been in session and I had picked up a bunch of negative beliefs. These thoughts affected my self-esteem and how I showed up in relationships.
Once I hit rock bottom, hating myself, feeling ugly and unloved, the real healing began.
In my search for relief and answers, I was so blessed to find a body of work called Shadow Work®. My eyes were opened to why I was feeling so low and why I had the painful patterns. Because Shadow Work is transformational, I was able to break through the painful patterns and heal. My marriage didn’t last but I went on to call in a very wonderful partner, lose the excess weight and keep off the weight.
I know how painful it can be to not live a life fully expressed; a life where I felt broken and unlovable. Now I am loving myself, feel whole and I’m living life out loud.
That’s why I do the work I do, so I can help other women to do the same.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
I had a client who came to me in her early 50’s wanting a lifetime partner, let’s call her Mary for the sake of confidentiality. Her whole life she attracted men that were not her match. I have a feeling many women in midlife can relate to that. She would get involved and then sabotage the relationship. She couldn’t understand why she had this painful pattern and was giving up hope in ever finding love. Then she hired me to help her break this painful pattern once and for all.
We started uncovering the reasons Mary was in a vicious cycle and then she did the transformational work I offer. Soon out of the gate she had a huge breakthrough. Huge breakthroughs happen in Shadow Work® because it is not surface level work, we dive deeply into the subconscious to get to the root of patterns and behaviors.
Two weeks later, Mary was at a party and connected to a man she had known for years. This time it was different. Before, she wasn’t interested in him. She was attracted to men that were emotionally immature and unable to show up for her. She didn’t see him as a potential match because he was different. This time around, because she had shifted her patterns and beliefs, she saw him with new eyes and he saw her as well. They started to date and have been together for 2 years. This summer, they are to be wed.
This story is a great reminder that it’s never too late for love. It’s never too late to change painful patterns. Healing is possible, no matter what the age. And when we commit to healing, the universe will conspire to make your dreams come true. Ultimately, when we decide we want different results and commit to take a good look at our blocks, subconscious patterns and behaviors, we can heal and live the life we dream of.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
What makes my company stand out is it’s commitment to women in midlife finding love within so they can find Next Level Love. Let’s be honest, dating and aging are riddled with stereotypes and limiting societal beliefs.
Midlife is the best, juiciest, exciting age to date. Women in midlife are more clear on who they are and what they want and don’t want.
My work lies in undoing a lifetime of heart guarding and unpacking the baggage that comes along with being a human in this world.
I’m a fierce stand for the women I work with — and all women in midlife who are struggling to find love. Because I have walked through my own fire of transformation and live a life out loud, the special sauce in my company is my sincere belief that every woman is entitled and capable to live their life full out — and on their terms. I bring my loving, bold, transparent, and deep commitment to helping others have a life they too love.
When the world shut down due to Co-vid, I thought of the women who were dealing with the pandemic alone. Single women in midlife, many who are empty-nesters, sitting home alone while the world was in panic, an up-roar, fear, and I put a free event together for them. I had over 800 women sign up to attend, which is so telling of how women in midlife are looking for support.
Women from all over the world came together to share their experiences and to love each other up. It was amazing!
People say I have a huge heart. I do. I care. I’m grateful that my special sauce comes from my boldness and big-heartedness!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My special person is ALisa Starkweather. She introduced me to Shadow Work®. It was through Shadow Work that I was able to reclaim the joy in my life and do the work I do today.
I remember taking a class with ALisa back in 2006. She blew my mind. She created a safe container for transformational work that was like nothing I had experienced before. I saw people shift in powerful ways.
I wanted to know more. I asked her, “What is this work?” She said, shadow work. That was it. I followed her, studied with her and trained to be a shadow work facilitator and coach because of her.. ALisa was a beautiful role model to me and I am deeply grateful for her.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
To me, resilience is the ability to face adversity and rise up from the flames like a Phoenix. For some, the fire gets too hot and the flames consume them. They give up. They don’t believe they have the power to change anything and become victims to life’s circumstances.
For the resilient ones, they learn they can dance with the flames and face their fear. Just like the reframe of the acronym of F.E.A.R.- Face Everything And Rise.
Resilient people don’t give up. They rise. Many reach out to others for support. Others educate themselves to know what next steps they can take to move forward.
Bottom line, people who are resilient bounce back. They have the ability to thrive even when life throws life’s curveballs and they learn from the curveballs. They are not at the mercy of life and that they are able to embrace “what is” instead of fighting it.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
I see courage as the ability to move forward in spite of fear. It takes courage to stay the course and not let the fear run one’s life. When someone has the courage to take bold steps, they can experience the resilience of moving past the fear and thriving.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
When I think of resilience, the first person who comes to mind is Nelson Mandela. He served 27-years in prison and when released became the president of West Africa. This is a man that did not give up. He didn’t let his circumstances beat him down. He remained dedicated to fighting for equality and rose from the flames of oppression.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
After leaving my 20-year marriage, I was told how hard it would be to find a great man to share my life with. I heard so many horror stories from friends telling me that all the good guys were taken and it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
I was also told to lower my standards, if I indeed wanted a great partner. I listened to them, but I didn’t believe them. After doing my own Shadow Work® to unpack the baggage I acquired through the years, and learning top notch dating strategies, I called in my divine right partner. Now I help other women to do the same. It is not only possible to find great love, it doesn’t have to be so hard.
If someone had told me while I was in my struggling marriage and the pain I was in after my marriage ended, that I would be a Love Coach for women in midlife, I would have thought they were crazy. I would have thought it was impossible. Yet, here I am years later, happy, healthy and whole with a love centered business that I’m proud of.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
At the age of 16, my son decided to get his GED and move out. I gave him my blessing. It seemed like the best move for him. He went on to be a successful young man.
What I didn’t know was he would cut me out of his life. It’s been 9 years since I saw him last. It’s a long painful story and heartbreaking on so many levels. At first I was in disbelief. It took a toll on my health and many days I felt deep sorrow. I don’t wish this pain on anyone, because it’s so sad to not have my son with me. I did learn a lot about my strength and ability to rise up.
Over time, I healed and just like a broken bone, I became stronger because of it. I learned that I had to surrender to what I couldn’t control and that my life is valuable and not to be squandered .I did the healing work necessary to move forward and build a magnificent life filled with people who I adore and a career that I love.
I was resilient for sure. I now know that I have a choice on how I live my life and that I do not have to be a victim to my past. I love my son and wish him the greatest of lives. I can stand proudly knowing that I brought up an independent, strong kid who can thrive on his own and I too can have an amazing life.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I was 14 when my dad died. I was devastated. He was my rock. I felt so alone. It was hard times for me as I was being bullied at school and didn’t have a lot of friends. When he died, I felt like I died too.
I remember being in my bedroom curled up in a fetal position on my sheepskin rug, crying, wondering how I would survive without him.
Well, I not only survived, I thrived. It took a while, but after losing my dad I knew life is to be cherished, tomorrow isn’t promised and to love deeply. I looked at the blessing I had in having my dad and his love for all those years and I kept his love close to my heart.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
Step 1- Connect to gratitude — With every challenge there is a potential silver lining. Seeing the silver lining to a problem can feel hard when you’re in a storm. That’s why dropping into gratitude during chaotic times can lift you up and support you. You need to fill up your positivity reservoir so you don’t feel down and depleted.
I have a dear friend who is recovering from Co-vid. When I see him it is heartbreaking. He’s been hospitalized for 9-months. This virus has taken a huge toll on his life and his family. I could choose to focus on his pain or I can tap into the gratitude of having him in my life all these years. I choose to focus on the gifts. Because I lean into gratitude, I am able to be more light-hearted when I see him. I could let this drag me down but I choose to rise up. For him and for me.
Step 2- Dream — Having hope goes a long way when faced with adversity. When you can latch onto a new North Star, a special vision of the future, you can feel inspired to move forward and create a different scenario that will fill your heart. Even if you have to fake it until you make it, imagining something new to call into your life will support you in your resiliency.
I remember when I left my husband of 20 years. I was scared to start over and be alone. I wanted a new partner but didn’t know if I’d find someone special that could meet me soul to soul. I was ready for a new relationship, but I had a lot of negative chatter running in my head that had me doubting myself and sabotaging my dating endeavors.
This led me to dig deeper into the healing work. I needed to get clear about my next steps and how I wanted my new love chapter to look. I hired a love mentor, read a bunch of dating and self-help books that supported my clarity and got my confidence back. I got back out there.
It was a healing journey that helped me dream again. Just like when I was a little girl when I thought everything was possible, I remembered that I still create my own destiny. My heart opened to all the possibilities of love and I had the dating success I desired.
Taking the time to focus on the King I wanted to call in, and knowing what I wanted in a man helped me find an amazing partner. Because of my healing journey, and my success in finding my partner, I knew I wanted to support women in their dream of love at any age. So I went on to create a special step-by-step process helping others to call in their one. I became a sought after love coach shining the light on the love path for others who want new and better.
Dreaming of what is possible, and getting clear brings us closer to the outcome we crave. Dreaming helps us rise up.
Step 3. Get support:
We are not meant to do this journey alone. After years of living on this planet, we get conditioned to believe certain things about ourselves, and this limits us. These beliefs create patterns of behavior that sabotage our goals. Behaviors like overeating for comfort, overworking to prove our worth, underachieving because we believe we are not good enough, are some common patterns I see so often.
Without the support of an objective trained professional, we remain stuck in these painful patterns. We have blindspots that cause us so much grief and keep us stuck.
When I was a kid, I was bullied. Because I was mocked on a regular basis, I didn’t believe I was worthy of love. I developed a nasty inner critic that had me sabotaging everything from my career to my relationships. I thought something was wrong with me. I walked on eggshells afraid to speak my truth and be seen.
Finally, I was tired of the old story. I knew that if I didn’t get support and committed to what I wanted, I would be stuck in the same old pain and same old patterns.
Support is crucial because we can’t see our blind spots. So I worked with a professional shadow work coach, I broke through my limiting beliefs and reclaimed my confidence. Now I have a life that is truly beyond my wildest dreams.
Step 4. Empty the past baggage
If we want true freedom, we must empty the heavy baggage we carry. What I share with my clients often is that nothing is wrong with you. We have all accumulated a ton of negative beliefs. All the experiences in our life have shaped us into who we are today. It shaped how we show up in relationships and the world.
The great thing is that we have a choice. We can accept that this is as good as it’s going to get or we can empty out the baggage and choose differently. We can let go of what is not our truth and see it for the conditioning that it is.
As a young child I was told I was weird. I didn’t fit in with the kids at school. It was hard feeling left out and alone. I took on the belief that no one would like me for me. Because it was such a painful experience I became very cautious with how I showed up in life. I stayed under the radar and didn’t express myself comfortably.
This affected my relationships. I wanted to be loved but taking the risk of sharing my opinion or taking a bold stand for something that mattered to me was not on the table. I remained invisible.
After feeling the weight of the past in my 200 pound body and the weight of feeling like damaged goods, I unpacked my baggage and unplugged myself from the old story that something was wrong with me. I want to say that again — nothing was wrong with me. I was protecting myself the best I could, and so are the women struggling with their own baggage. I’m far from perfect but I am able to relax now and be myself. I’m not afraid to be seen. I am proud of who I am and I am not afraid to stand out.
Step 5. Practice self love:
Everyday I look in the mirror and send a loving smile to myself. I fill up my cup with words of affirmations and take great care of my body, mind and spirit. Because I love myself, I am able to face life head on and enjoy my life.
After years of overeating, hating my body, playing it small and staying under the radar, I learned that self-love is the best love with or without a partner. Self love is a blessing to all. Once I healed the old wounds that had me feeling unloved, I took back my power and can now love myself and others more deeply. Self hatred lowers our resilience.. Loving ourselves is the path to a resilient fulfilling life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to create a LOVEOLUTION. We are taught to play it small and not stand out. We are taught to fit in, do the “right thing” and “should” on ourselves because of all the conditioning. What if teaching children self-love was mandatory? Can you imagine what our world would be like if it was required to learn self-care, self-love and healthy communication? I see the world being a much more peaceful, healthy place to live. Don’t you?
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
I’d LOVE to have tea with Oprah. When I think of a person who embodies resilience and dedication to living life out loud, she is my (s)hero.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can find me at CoachJunieMoon.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!