Woman Wednesday: Jennifer R.


Q and A with Jennifer R., Perth, Australia, born in Munich, Germany

“Your mess becomes your message and will actually gift you that deeper meaning and purpose you’ve been searching for!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My whole life, I have been passionate about finding an answer to: What makes our life truly beautiful? How can I have the most fun and enjoy myself? It wasn’t until later as I matured that I added: While contributing in a meaningful way and leaving behind a legacy I feel proud of? And the desire to want to live a beautiful life in every aspect has taken me for the most incredible journey! 

Today, in my work, I am most passionate about raising the feminine energy…the energy of love, passion, joy, and compassion. To support women to know, love, and trust themselves more so that they can speak with authenticity, passion, and power about what matters to them most! That we can heal ourselves and build bridges in our relationships…be it romantic, family, friends, business, or our communities. It’s communication, creativity, and relationships I’m really the most passionate about…they are the key to everything we want!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: It’s a surreal experience to belong to a culture and history where half of me tried to eliminate the other half and understanding that I would have been sent off to a concentration camp because of what religion and “bloodline” my Nan belonged to, had I only lived a few years earlier. So, I grew up with that knowledge, yet experiencing a life that was the complete opposite. My family isn’t perfect (I mean whose is?!), but there’s nothing I am more grateful for, as I was blessed with a home and family full of love, laughter, and where we always took care of one another and stuck together. 

So, although I didn’t grow up religious and I didn’t come across my “spiritual” path much later in life, looking back, I realize that the foundation of my faith as I would call it today, was set long before I ever had the words to describe it. I am not blind to the most horrific acts of hate humans can do to one another…but I also know that beneath it all, love is the only truth, and that when we are open and willing to forgive, beauty and love is the creative force that has no match. I have also always been passionate about traveling and meeting new people, as we always traveled from the day I was born, as our families were spread across so many countries. 

I believe that openness and feeling of love and security within my home gave me the foundation for my passionate, creative nature and desire to connect with people from all backgrounds and walks of life! I love people, and it’s connecting with people and from my relationships that I have learned the most! I left home very young to live in the UK and later traveled to South East Asia by myself and then ended up in Australia where I built my first seven-figure business and have been allowed to call home for almost 10 years now. As I looked back on all the decisions I made and how I ended up where I am, I realized that I have followed my passions and intuition, even when it didn’t make that much sense or I didn’t know exactly where it would take me. The times I have struggled and suffered the most have been times where I have let my fears rule and lost that intuitive nature within myself. 


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: The most valuable lesson I could share with anyone is to truly trust that life, the universe, God…whatever term sits well with you, really has your back! We all have a unique path in our life. You are unique and gifted and there are things you can do that no one else can or will. I was blessed to be very successful in business and financially when I was only 26 years old. Equally, the more successful I became, the more insecure and fearful I became. Before I was 30, I ventured into some of the darkest places I have been, feeling so disconnected from myself and absolutely miserable. I felt so guilty and helpless, even though on the outside [it appeared] I had it all…yet, on the inside, I felt so lost and sad. But that really became the turning point in my life where I realized: The key to a beautiful life, full of purpose and meaning…can only be found within!

So, I reconnected back to my intuition, that really has guided me all my life and dedicated myself to make myself feel beautiful and powerful from within! To have the confidence to speak about the things I really want to say and do the things I truly want to do, no longer being a prisoner to my own insecurities. And the irony of it all is that today, the foundation of my beautiful life rests on those dark and challenging times. All the bad hands I thought I had been dealt were really blessings in disguise, so my greatest piece of wisdom I can share with anyone is: You are YOU for a reason!
There is nothing more important than knowing, loving, and trusting yourself! Have the courage to follow your passions and dreams as your beauty is your power! The difficult and challenging times aren’t always what they seem, as your mess becomes your message and will actually gift you that deeper meaning and purpose you’ve been searching for!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I have made it my creative work and business to raise feminine energy in the world and create spaces where women can reconnect to themselves to feel more beautiful and powerful and have the confidence to speak and express their truth…yet…I would no call myself a feminist. Like so many words, it’s so heavily loaded with connotations and means so many things to so many different people, that I prefer not to restrict myself by being put in a box. One of the main tools I use and teach is the seven feminine archetypes and the reason I love it so much as it helps us see how what is right for one woman is not right for the other. That doesn’t make one right the other wrong, they simply have different dominant archetypes and different paths to walk.

For me personally, feminism is about raising awareness of the feminine energy, to recover the feminine wisdom that has been lost in thousands of years in patriarchal rule and for us women to feel beautiful, powerful, and confident to express our truth once again. It is about understanding and honoring the masculine energy as our counterbalancing part, so we can evolve into having relationships in all shapes and forms that allow us to move forward as a human species. For me, feminism is about forgiveness and building bridges, not looking to attack and seek revenge. For me, feminism is truly an inward journey, where the outward world is simply offering us opportunities to reflect back to us how far we’ve come and what more still can be done.


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Woman Wednesday: Mecyll

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Mecyll, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

“My family struggled financially so much that we reached the point where we had to mix rice with used oil, soy sauce, or salt just to have a flavor. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we varied what “flavoring” would we add to the rice. It was a hard life. Buying a kilo of rice and a can of milk for the family were already big hurdles for my parents. At the time, I didn’t have enough notebooks for the next school year. As someone under constant pressure to be a straight-A student to please my parents, I had to get notebooks.” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: First of all, I love to create. A crazy one—I’m someone who loves to challenge the status quo. I think I was born to make something unique, creative, and unusual. These depict my works, whether writing fiction (I write stories on Wattpad), making notebooks, or creating other forms of art like painting. If you saw one of my works, you could instantly say, “Oh, I haven’t seen such a notebook, travelers’ notebook, or planner!” I guess this is where my talent can be seen.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I always feel different from peers I hang out with. Ever since I was a kid, I had been distraught by the fact that I couldn’t relate to others that easily. If needed, I have to consciously change my character to not isolate myself from other people. At times, it becomes too much to bear.

At a young age, I felt anxious, controlled, self-loathing, and depressed in an extreme way. Given the financial crisis my family faced at the time in the Philippines, I grew up in a hostile environment. And showing my feelings about it was unacceptable.

Introverted, I don’t necessarily feel shy or whatever, but I often find myself in an awkward situation, looking to escape/withdraw from other people. I find interacting with a crowd draining, especially if I have to meet them many times a week, for example.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

As a result, I turn to art. I love to learn new things I find interesting. Notebook making, for example.

Because of my inability to express my emotions socially, I express them through creativity. A creative outburst, if you will. Fourteen years ago [in the Philippines], my family struggled financially so much that we reached the point where we had to mix rice with used oil, soy sauce, or salt just to have a flavor. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we varied what “flavoring” would we add to the rice. It was a hard life. Buying a kilo of rice and a can of milk for the family were already big hurdles for my parents.

 

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At the time, I didn’t have enough notebooks for the next school year. As someone under constant pressure to be a straight-A student to please my parents, I had to get notebooks. Otherwise, I’d be doomed. I was 12 years old.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

At that age, I felt like I didn’t want to burden my parents anymore by asking for some pennies for a few notebooks, including the cheap ones. It felt worse when I happened to visit my cousins, who had boxes filled with nice new notebooks. I told myself, “This is how comfortable they are that they could easily buy them whenever they want to.” I know I wasn’t. My parents couldn’t afford them.

Looking at my younger sister who relied on me a lot, I chose to suppress the negative emotions built up and became stronger for her. I had to do something so we wouldn’t bother our parents—who were already in an absolute financial obstacle. So, I reached out to my aunt.

I shared my sentiments with her, who lived with us on weekdays. In turn, she shared her skills of binding with me. That was the first time I was able to bind my old notebooks, recycling my old spring notebooks for reference and binding the remaining blank pages together to make a new notebook. That was my way of life for years, until I finished high school.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

Fast forward to the present, I didn’t expect that the skills I learned from her would eventually become appreciated by others. As I explored the world of notebooks more, I discovered that I could also create travelers’ notebooks and other types of journals in my own version. Although I feel anxious every time I show them online through Etsy and Facebook groups, they applaud each piece I make, which is unexpected for me.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Being different is great when you fully accept it in your heart. Of course, you long for social interaction and want to belong to a group of people; however, if it would compromise your character, your true self, for the sake of it, it’s not good.

I learned it the hard way. I had a lot of excuses to deny who I truly am, which lead to my inner demise. Even at present, I am in constant agony in every aspect of my life because of trying to be someone others want me to be. I beat myself spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally just to get out of the black hole inside me.

These are outcomes of trying so hard to make an identity that society finds acceptable. Rather than embracing myself, I chose otherwise, which was wrong. When you feel different, keep in mind that your uniqueness is special. From there, you can express yourself in art uniquely as well. In a way that is only you.

 

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Instead of loathing yourself for being so different—even in your marriage—show how unique you are in your own way. So as a word of advice, it’s best to embrace who you really are rather than trying to change yourself for the sake of satisfying the crave of social life. Be the real you.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

Many people praise my notebooks because they’ve never seen anything like them before. Some are willing to pay the high price to get them. Again, this business is an outcome of reflecting on the worst circumstance of my life in a deeper way. In my early years, I could have played a lot with other kids and enjoyed life in my teens. I didn’t. I wasn’t able to do it as part of a sacrifice to be the overachiever of the family. But look where it has brought me.

The pain got me here. The pain of economic distress and the pain of being unable to connect with other people easily brought me to where I am now.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: I grew up in an Asian family, so I have a different view of how feminism is for me. So, I am not sure how this works for Western culture or for others in other parts of the world who might be reading this blog.

Where I grew up in a part of the Philippines, we have this stigma in which women aren’t able to express themselves completely. Our country might be rapidly progressing; however, not so much for our culture. Even in our own homes, the issue of inequality among women exists today.

I remember my mother wasn’t able to have a career or do things she enjoyed when she was younger because my father prevented it. She had to be a mother, not a single woman. There were expectations that she could no longer do the same things she used to enjoy because she had to take on the new role marriage cast upon her.

Where I grew up, only the men had the right to show how angry they would get or how pissed they were that they could lash out without warning. There, only the men have the right to do whatever they want. A woman, on the other hand, has to keep her emotional turmoil to herself and resolve it on her own. I’ve seen my mother and my aunt (who taught me binding) on the verge of a breakdown many times, but they managed to keep going with suppressed emotional turmoil. While doing so, they had to do their roles our society had assigned to them.

I guess we’re all familiar with a high percentage of women suffering from different eating disorders, self-harm, and other destructive ways than men. Why am I so familiar with it? You might be asking. This is because I, too, am suffering from these. For more than 10 years, I suffer from an eating disorder and have problems with my emotional regulation. By acknowledging suppression, it became a way to become stronger.

 

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For me, women have to urge themselves to stand for what they think is right for themselves. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married or widowed. We can’t just fight our emotional battles alone and in a dangerous way. We’ve got to love ourselves as much as we can and be equal with men in enjoying what we want to enjoy. In my case, it’s my notebook-making that saved me. Otherwise, I would have succumbed to deeper negativity and worthless life. A life without direction.
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Disregard what other people say. As my sister told me this morning, “Keep yourself first.” I guess this is what feminism is all about. It’s not about the gender, it’s about the message we’ve got to share to the world.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

I’d love to connect with you! 

 

 

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