Jennifer Martin

Jennifer Martin celebrates eleven years at Dancing Rabbit with humility, peace, love, and joy.

Jennifer Martin celebrates eleven years at Dancing Rabbit with humility, peace, love, and joy.

Dancing Rabbit Member since 2005

Who am I?

I’m a single mother to three teenagers. A tremendous amount of joy and multitudes of life lessons have been shared between us in these twenty years.

I’m a partner to a woman who lives life as the best adventure on earth. She inspires me to trust that love is not about holding on, but setting free.

I’m a community co-creator at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage – home to hope for a sustainable world. I get to live my life in alignment with my values in life, work and play.

I’m a designer, a builder, an organizer, a facilitator, a permaculturalist, an environmentalist, an activist, a support and guide to those seeking transformation in their lives, a feminist, a compassionate soul, a seeker of the interconnectedness within everything.

I’m all this and more, as my life journey has been rich and varied, with many twists and turns, lessons and opportunities. I’ve come to the place where I feel blissful for each day, and I revel in the awesomeness of the life I have created. I gravitate always toward inspiration; I work joyfully, live easefully, connect deeply, and engage passionately.

Passion has always been a fundamental part of my life. So has drive. Passion and drive have served me well to help me carve out my unique life path with vigor and confidence. It’s easy for me to know what I want and to strike forward in trying to attain it. For many years, this combination of traits was interspersed with an innate desire to gain power in order to control the world around me. This resulted in many challenging relationships and unfulfilled experiences in my life, and was an almost constant source of consternation until I learned to ALLOW.

My learning to ALLOW was not an easy process. Looking back, I see journal entries from nearly a decade back wanting more peace and joy, yet not knowing how to invite it into my life. Those quiet moments of personal inquiry were drowned by what seemed like an unquenchable need to make the life I wanted. I resisted personal growth efforts, thinking of them as a waste of time given my clear vision for what I wanted – provided I could just get everyone around me on board. I saw myself as clear and committed, and envisioned others as the ones with personal issues.

An awakening was stimulated within me as a result of a sublime failure to manifest a vision that I’d poured my heart and soul into for many years. As I saw my dream falling away into oblivion, I finally was able to take a clear and honest look at the wasteland of damage that I had caused to myself and those around me in my wake. The damage was not limited to my work, but extended to my body, my family, romantic relationships,  friendships, and into community dynamics as well. Something obviously needed to change, and being the only commonality, all signs clearly pointed to me.

Fully humbled, I embarked on a transformational journey. I had no idea how to change or what I needed to do to create the change I sought; I only knew that change was necessary. Instinctively, I began journaling in earnest, and that insightful part of me who lay dormant in all the hustle and bustle of doing was finally able to speak. This time, I was ready to listen. I realized just how important peace, love, and joy were as guiding elements of my life, and how my desire for power and control ran in conflict to achieving peace, love and joy.

I ever so slowly learned to loosen my hold onto and finally let go of my grip on control and power in order to let these more joyful and loving elements take root in my life. It took a tremendous amount of work, and a year and a half of focused attention to reach the point where I felt that I had truly transformed my life. I stumbled along the way, blindly bruising myself and others around me in the process. I will forever be filled with gratitude that my family, sweetie, and community held on for the ride, bumpy and stumbling as it was along the way. I leaned on several mentors to help guide me, and aspired to head their advice. I even used the second half of a bachelor’s degree in Leadership as my personal transformational process, analyzing my leadership up to that point and learning to adapt my leadership style to match the vision that I had created for myself.  Throughout this harrowing journey, the most crucial elements that kept me going were that same passion and drive that had always fueled me – this time spotlighted on myself and my profound desire to change.

To say that I am an altogether different person than I was two years ago in some ways doesn’t quite resonate, yet in other ways is absolutely certain. Some of my values have stayed the same; I am still committed to living in harmony with nature. My sense of purpose still revolves around belonging. Passion and drive still support my being yet they now hold the energy of inspirational possibility and adventure. Strength has been replaced by trust, and order has been replaced by creativity. I am no longer seeking power over and control of. Instead, my focus is in creating deeply enriching relationships, and in creating peace, love, and joy in everything I do.

I found myself in multiple different phases throughout this transformational process and I recognize that there are more yet to come. While I know that I’m not yet finished with the aspiration of being who I want to be, I have made the fundamental journey. As a design/builder, I liken the process I have been on to that of building a house. First, I had to carefully tear down the house I’d been living in, saving the re-useable materials themselves for reuse. Then, slowly I re-built, starting with the foundation, then the framing, and then closing in the structure and adding systems that supported right livelihood. I now have a complete home to live in, and I’m decorating it with my true essence.

In the process of building this metaphorical house, I learned many things and made many changes, the most profound of which was learning to love myself. My mentor coach had been trying for years to tell me to love myself – a foreign concept that for so long had seemed preposterous to achieve. I remember the exact moment that I felt that fleeting moment of self love for the first time. The experience lasted only an instant, but it was the most beautiful and joyful feeling I’d ever experienced. I longed for it to return, begged, pleaded, and devised ways to try to get it back, yet it remained elusive for weeks before it returned of its own accord when I was not demanding it to. When that spark of self love did return, this time it stuck around longer, allowing me to really get a feel for it and know it was real. Though it left, the feeling of self love did return yet again, and more promptly, however it was another five months before I could access and call on the energy of self love. Now self love lives within me, and I have access to the divinity of its awesomeness at any moment.

The effect of having self love within has been profound. I am no longer besieged by having to get my love and acceptance from outside myself. This has allowed those around me, especially my children and my partner, to relax into themselves around me. By learning to accept and love myself, I was naturally able to expand this love and acceptance to them as well. This difference has fundamentally changed the way that I relate to all people. Though my loved ones see the difference in me clearly, I feel the difference most dramatically inside. I grew up with the knowledge of what humanity was (and is) doing to the planet, and I have been appalled and grief stricken as a result. My pain resulted in me distancing myself from the human race, seeing people as a blight on the planet. The consequence of this mindset meant a loss of love and compassion for myself and others, especially those who were not in my circle. When I finally was able to cultivate self love in an intentional and dedicated way, my relationship to humankind burst forth with loving energy like a wellspring. It was from this enlightened transformation that I was finally able to access all the compassion, empathy, and kindness that had been trapped inside. It is this energy that fuels the championing support I offer to coaching clients.

I want to be clear that my life is a process. I’m in no way resolved of all my issues. Life doesn’t work that way. What I have are resources within to address the challenges of life. And I work each day to cultivate and hone these resources so that I can be resilient in trying times. I don’t have it all figured out – for the past several months I have been noticing that the daily personal practice which was absolutely perfect for me a year ago now feels hollow and stale. I am in the midst of experiencing a transition of sorts as I endeavor to deepen my practice and support myself in the next phase of my growth. I still haven’t figured out how exactly to do this, and I am gently bumping around in the dark trying to find my way. The difference from a year ago is that I have kindness and compassion for myself alongside my intention to evolve as well as clarity from within about what needs to change.

Nor am I a picture-perfect example of allowance, peace, love, and joy. I still have moments of doubt, I still feel the gnawing of fear. I no longer try to repress them or allow them to dominate my life. Doubt and fear no longer rule my life, consciously or unconsciously. Their presence in my old life was what caused me to cling to control and seek power, to take responsibility beyond what was good for me, and to plunge ahead even when something deep inside of me said no. Instead of being pulled around by fear and doubt, I now notice and accept them as informants to help me identify my needs. From here, I have the opportunity to make clear and conscious decisions about how to respond from a place of my inner core, what I call my true essence. I almost always listen to this core – eventually. Until then, things can be a bit dicey, and I realize that it’s time once again to gain awareness of what’s going on within and return to allowing. I’m grateful for the spaciousness that I’ve created in my life to be able to prioritize dealing with these challenges as they come instead of pretending they don’t exist and allow them to bowl over me and others in the process.

As always, my journey toward peace, love, and joy continues and I find myself oh-so curious about what is next in my horizon. Until next time, I bid you ado and invite you to explore your own edges in the quest of your true essence.

with love,
Jennifer Martin
April 30, 2015, celebrating eleven years at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage