Okay, okay, mm hmm. Hello to all of you Hearts rise up podcast listeners, Thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode. I'm carol chapman, your host for today on this podcast. We share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guests that we interview on the show. Our purpose is to inspire you to rise up to your best and highest self tap into your own inner wisdom and elevate your state of being your life and the world around you. It's that simple. So let's get right into today's episode. Our guest is J. Herman. J is a storyteller motivator, creative entrepreneur and brand consultant.
She has also been a marketing gal, a media producer and an award winning actress, model and a long list of other roles, truly a woman of remarkable talents and interests. J publishes a substack Weekly called Real Talk with the hashtag in front of it, which is a collection of motivational essays and curated personal development resources J welcome to the show. Thank you glad to be a part of it. It's so wonderful to have you with us. I must say I love the content of your blog because it really shows all of the many aspects of who you are and you know, all of the human elements of of us and I especially love the recent post that talked about debilitating fear and anxiety, much of which many of us experience from time to time. But what I thought was really interesting was how you referred to the embodiment of your fear and anxiety as almost like a person Lizzy.
I love that. Yeah, I think that's important. Um an important aspect that most people don't realize is that a lot of what we're afraid of or the things that we assume are, you know, overwhelming about our personality, Well, they're not real, we give them life. And so in that thinking, if we give those things life, well then we can make this personage and and kind of boss them around as opposed to having it the other way around. Yes. So it's almost a way of empowering ourselves, isn't it? Yes, it very much is. Well, I know that you've probably got lots of of stories that you could share as to how you've tackled things in your life and how you have risen to your best self. I'd love to just find a spot to just sort of jump in because you have such a fascinating background with all the different things that you've done. I'd love for you to just briefly share a little bit more about yourself. Well, it's interesting, one of the things that I don't do is spending spend a lot of time thinking about my past, even though, you know, I I write about things in the sense of what have I learned from events in my life.
So to answer your question something to focus on would be like my present, you know, relocating from florida to Washington Washington to florida going through surgery. Um you know, having a long distance marriage, basically. It's, it's what I'm dealing with right now. And so it's at the, it's at the forefront of um what I've been dealing with and you know, there's fear that comes up with that. There is, you know, um, am I doing the right thing? Um impostor syndrome? There's a whole lot of elements that have that has come up because of what I'm dealing with in my life right now. So how do you manage through that? What is the thing that helps you the most interestingly, it's something that's relatively new for me in the sense of um it used to be, I would say to myself, what's the worst that can happen when, you know, when I'm contemplating a new idea and a new thought or new movie, what's the worst that can happen?
And recently I had a follower on uh instagram say, you know, I really love that, you say that however I'm gonna, I'm gonna flip it and say, what's the best thing that could happen? And that has given me a completely different mindset? Well, yeah, what is the best thing that could happen if I did this thing and just that flip has made such a huge difference in how I'm approaching these new things in my life. Um just as an example, coming back to florida and not really having a plan other than I knew I needed to be back here? But then to be specific, well what does that mean, what do I, what do I need, where do I want to be? And there's a specific area in town that I absolutely positively adore and I knew that I wanted to be back in in this area and so I said to myself, what's the best thing that could happen to me if I unabashedly pursued getting back into that area of town and within two days of my saying that to myself, I was presented with an opportunity to move back into this area.
That again, like I said, I absolutely positively love so that that's shifting of mindset and putting um intention, not just, oh I want to, but really heart focused intention to what's the best thing that could happen, that's my new focus, that's that's my, my new, you know, inspirational personal mantra, so to speak, I love that. And so actually to your surprise, something that is really pretty simple to do can have remarkable results for us and you know, I think it would be interesting to, you know, understand a little bit more about your particular journey and um some of the things that you've learned along the way that you could share, that might help others in their challenges with just with everyday things around their mindset, oh my goodness, something that I have learned that could help others would be one, it's not about you, to be perfectly honest, I love that.
It's not all about you in that we are so consumed with what's happening in my life and we believe that other people feel the same way or they're thinking the same thing when in fact that other people are very much absorbed in their own lives as well. And so in that just really it's not about you, right? That has helped, that has helped me more than anything because I have O. C. D. And so because I'm prone to obsessive feelings and thoughts, I obsess about myself, I Obsess am I doing the right thing? I obsess, you know what will others think about this decision and it's a challenge for me to remember. It's not about me. So how have you managed to temper that over the years? Hmm. I don't say that, I I wouldn't say that I've mastered it. It's it is a daily conscious thought decision.
Mhm. You know, I don't, I just like alcoholism and other things that people battle, it's a daily conscious decision and I think that's another aspect to is that there is no one time fix, you know and most anything that we're battling there isn't like a fix it and forget it. It is really conscious decisions every single day about what type of people we want to be. Tell me a little bit more about your journey because you've done so many different things and oftentimes not everyone really knows what they're gonna do when they're just starting out in life. Um, I think it's, there's probably very few people that do, but you have such a very background. Tell us a little bit about how, how it just blossomed for you in different ways. It's my life has been a series of synchronicity events in that when I was a young woman, my, I was determined to go to law school and have a career in law enforcement and everything I did up until college was with that goal in mind.
Now granted as a child, I wanted to be an astronaut and then I wanted to be a mermaid and I wanted, you know, I wanted to do those frivolous things that kids, but you know, at some point when I determine I have these, you know, I have a gift for words and I have a gift for understanding people and how can I best use that to serve others. And for me, I enjoy the analytical detail mind of, of being in criminal justice and being in law enforcement and helping others. And so that was my goal. And so in graduating college, um, I was given an opportunity to um, applied to the FBI, but I knew that my chances of being accepted would be greater if I had military experience. So, and joining the military, it wasn't, you know, with the mindset of having a career in the military, it was to be a stepping stone so that I could become the next clarice from silence of the lambs, that's my goal.
I wanted to be a criminal profiler. And so I joined the military. I was a military police person. Um, working primarily, um, like I guess they're equivalent of military intelligence, undercover type style. But unfortunately I was physically assaulted when I was in the military. And that for me pretty much derailed my feeling that the law is fair and um, that mm hmm, needless to say, um, nearly ruined me emotionally. And it took a while for me to find myself again. And in doing that, I got married and found that I didn't have anything else because I had spent so much time, so many years focused on that one goal of having a career in law enforcement. I had nothing else. And so I went through this identity crisis.
Well, who am I what do I want to be when I grew up. And as a bored housewife trying to figure this out, I, we went to the bookstore and I was reading books and magazines and I stumbled across how to make jewelry And I thought if nothing else, I will have this hobby until I figure out what I want to do next. And I started making jewelry and giving it away as gifts to family. And ultimately, my friend said, um, we should pay you for this. And I thought, why would you pay me to give you a gift? And my husband at the time said, well why wouldn't you take money? Because then you can replenish your supplies. And I thought, okay, well, that makes sense. So I did. I started taking orders and using the money to replenish my supplies. My husband, who was just an amazing support and encouragement said, well why don't you go to some of these boutiques that are, you know, these local boutiques boutiques and see if they would be interested. And so again, still not feeling like I had an identity or that I had found myself from my fault, my calling.
I was embarrassed to go into the boutique and say, here I've made these things, are you interested in. So I um I lied. I told, I told the boutique owner that I was representing a new artist who was new to the area and that these were her designs, wow. And I don't know if that had an effect on, you know, the shop owner, but she bought everything that I had and made a request that I come back in two weeks with more stuff. And so lo and behold, that started my career as an entrepreneur as a designer and later as a marketer, because I then had to build a website, social media was just taking root. I had to learn how to be social and share what I was doing with others and photography. And so basically all of the foundations of being in marketing, I had to learn because now this was my business and that laid the groundwork for what would later become um an international jewelry design wholesale business that became the foundation of an online magazine, which then became the foundation of a media production company which put me in the audience of people who gave me opportunities to be on stage, which then started my, my acting career.
So yeah, all of those things kind of just fell in line and I couldn't have planned it. I had no idea that these things were in front of me. But as the opportunities presented themselves, I I said yes and you know, and at that time, what's the worst that could happen if I do this? And so with each opportunity, I just kind of stepped into it to see what would happen and what would come next? Well, I guess we have to consider the uses of adversity because oftentimes adversity can be, can create tremendous life lessons for us. That one adversity that you experience back in the military just really changed the course of your life and having known what you wanted to do for so long. And then for that to be just ripped apart, it must have been really, really tough. But it opened up a whole new network of opportunities for you that you probably wouldn't have explored otherwise.
Right? Well, that's, you know, to your point to be open, two changes to ebb and flow as things um present themselves because you just don't know where it will lead. And in my case I've been very fortunate that the new avenues that that became open to me led me to some really exciting opportunities. Yeah, there's there's really a lot to be said for the challenges that we go through in life that can be almost debilitating and just shatter our whole world and how we can see opportunities or that those, those can lead to opportunities for us to expand and grow and find, find more of what we're made of to seek out other things within ourselves because otherwise you you probably wouldn't have experienced or saw these other things about yourself. Well, I'll be honest, it's not that those weren't conscious decisions.
I didn't say, oh my God, this terrible thing happened to me. So let me let me examine how I can be a different person of course, you know, I don't think most people are in or that in touch with themselves and their experiences, especially when you're in the moment, but I can say And everything and that's one incident, no matter what, it's important to not allow bad things to define who we are, who we decide we want to become, right. So for me, I never wanted or never tried to make that my platform for life and make that my defining moment because that's I just, I don't believe that I think there are some things that were meant to do. Their their pathways that were meant to find. And if it wasn't that incident it would have been something else. Because I know that everything that I've done, I've has happened for a reason, right?
And I know that I've read in one of your blog posts, you refer to being highly sensitive introvert. Tell us a little bit more about that And how that has shaped your world with the things that you've had to deal with and then uh what you deal with today being highly sensitive. Well, I've been highly sensitive my entire life before I even knew what that meant. Um And now I understand being sensitive to energy, being sensitive to people, being sensitive to basically anything organic. Um And how that relates to being an introvert because I'm so sensitive to energy. I have many occasions where I need solitude because I just I get overwhelmed um overstimulated And it's a gift.
It's not something like oh my God, why am I this way? I wish I wasn't this way? No, I'm grateful because it gives me an inside look into situations and into people behavior more often. You know then I realized so how it affects me now is that I'm just more aware of it. You know, I wouldn't say that I've honed it so to speak. Because it's kind of just something that just is But I'm definitely more aware now than I was when I was younger. Mm hmm. Yeah. And it can make all the difference. Um as we move forward in life when we recognize that sometimes things that can appear to be challenges for us really can be our greatest gifts. Like you said, all depends on our perspective. And and also just knowing that you need to find the solitude when those heightened senses or activated is something where you have your very much in touch with who you are and how to manage through that.
So I would, I would say that you probably have an approach or some things that you do for self care. No, I'm perfectly honest. Um self care for me is being grateful in the moment. You know, as opposed to, oh, I need to set aside this day or this time and go do this thing and I don't have that luxury. And I think I don't know we, we take for granted that we have, we all have the equal amount of time, Right? And it's what we decide to do with it. And so for me, I know that I can take five minutes, 10 minutes or an hour as opposed to you know, putting something on my calendar looking forward to a day that may not come. But the five minutes that I'm aware that I choose to be aware right now. I have right now. So I can take those five minutes and be calm or focus on my breathing. You know, or you know, say a prayer of gratitude that to me is my version of self care and what I like to go out and get a massage and a pedicure on occasion.
Sure. But to me that's that's not the type of self care that is most restorative and most important to me. Well, I know that gratitude, there's a lot of research around gratitude and it has is one of the single most things that you can cultivate to foster more balance within the body. You know, mind, mind body spirit, basically it's a great medicine if you will for lack of a better term uh just by focusing on being grateful because you're focusing on all the things that you have in your life that you are grateful for versus the lack and also being grateful for the potential and possibility because for me that's the key to manifesting right to the law of attraction at least that is for me is that I give focus to what I believe I need and then I give focus to the gratitude and being thankful for having received it.
That energy to me is what attracts you know, whatever it is in the moment at least that's that's what feels right to me and that's what I've practice. Yeah. And where you know, attention goes, energy flows as we know and and that's all part of the law of attraction is being very clear in what you want and be very, very clear in what you appreciate in life and being very aware of what you're thinking and feeling something that's new for me, You know, I mentioned changing or shifting my mindset from what's the worst that could happen to, what's the best that can happen. And another thought that has blossomed from that is it occurred to me that with the law of attraction, you know, it isn't a matter of I'm going to focus on the thing and it's just going to come to me that's that's not how law of attraction works, at least for me that's not how the universe works, the universe responds to what we give it and and the universe is forward motion, right?
There's there's nothing that in the universe, when you think about science, that's at a standstill, it revolves around something which is movement, movement in and of itself. So for for me, and I'm still thinking this through, so it's not a complete realized theory. But it occurred to me that if our mindset if we're focused on where we lack the universe will revolve resolve around that, it's still movement, we're still giving it movement, but it's it's it's static, right? But if we're giving focus to what's in front something that we're our goals or aims and we're focused forward the universe responds and continues that motion, right? Isn't that gravity isn't that the definition of gravity, right? So I'm like I said, I'm still kind of toying with? How exactly I want to present that or word that, but that feels right to me that if I if I keep my mind and my heart focused on forward and gratitude and receiving.
Yes, that's what the universe will respond to as opposed to being fearful, being stagnant, being, you know, having doubt um focusing on lack. I don't I don't want that for my presence. So why would I attract or bring the universe to that? Does that make sense? Yes, it does. And I have a question, what was there ever a point in your life where you weren't focused that way? And what triggered the shift? I think I have always Ben or I've always thought this way, just perhaps not as deeply as I do now. So what advice might you have for someone else who is kind of caught in that that cycle of negativity as opposed to the the creative forward thinking thoughts and feelings of more positive type things?
How would someone move out of being in that negative spiral for lack of a better term and moving into a a more positive spiral. I think it's important to focus on what you truly desire, Make that your focus because the logistics of how you receive it, that's different, right? You can't you can't receive or you you can't attract what you can't see, so to speak and so that would be first and foremost, my advice is what do you really want, what is it that you really need? You know? Because most people, I think if you're in a negative and I've been there, oh my goodness, have I been they're focused on, you know, am I am I good enough? Am I right? Am I making the right decision? What will people think of this decision? Right. I've been there. But is that is that what I really want to focus on?
Or do I want to feel that a decision I've made is leading to a better outcome or or better potentiality for myself or for someone else or it's serving someone else, you know? And then what's the end game of that, what whatever all of that is, it's definitely something positive and it's not in the hear of the negative thoughts. So that to me would be first focus on what you want, what you need, that's positive out there and then how you get there, something different. Making that the mindset is a great way to start to get out of that negative spiral, right? And sometimes you don't even really know how you're going to get there. What you really need to know is just be very clear on where you're headed and what you what you want, what you truly desire and and if you're clear on that, then the how for lack of a better way of saying it will take care of itself because you're you're opening up to the universe to allow the manifestation process to happen in its own way.
Just just be clear on what you want. Exactly. And I think the next part to that is you have to write it down because our thoughts are fleeting and because they are fleeting, they're not solid and it makes it difficult for us to focus. But when you have of visual representation of what you want and what you want to manifest of what you're aiming for, that helps the your universe in your mind's eye to see that. It's not enough to just think about it. You have to write it down. It has to be something that you can see whether you post it on your refrigerator or you just keep it in a notebook doesn't matter. But it is something that you have to write down. And the other reason why that's important is because again, those are your thoughts are fleeting, negative thoughts creep enter our minds, but not necessarily when we write them because we're we have a filter, you know what I'm thinking?
I'm not good enough for what will people think? I can think that, but when I go to write down what it is I want or a goal or aim, I don't allow myself to write down those negative things, right? I think I think that's that's true of most of human nature, we wouldn't write down those negative things. We'll think it, but we won't write it. And so that would be the second part of know what you want. But then write it down mm hmm Because it solidifies it and it makes it more tangible because you can you can see it and you can you can almost feel it too because it's right there in front of you and you don't allow anything anything negative to creep in because you're crystal clear on that that positive direction that you that you want to go. I love that. And that's actually a big part of the idea of personal affirmation um homework with my clients is what what do you want to be true of yourself?
What do you what do you you know? Like I want to believe that I'm successful, right? And so I write that down. What do I want to believe of projects that I'm doing? And I want to believe that my projects are helpful. So whatever those statements are, pick 3 to 5 and you write them down and then take aspects of those things and create your personal affirmation statement. Mhm. Because again, that gives you that visual that you have to see. But then reciting it for yourself, especially on those in those moments where negativity creeps in um that's also extremely helpful. I think that's great advice. And I think it would be helpful to know really what's what's on the horizon for you now, as far as how you're approaching life and the things that you want to to achieve and the things that you desire, interestingly enough, I'm taking a step back.
I'm taking a step back to have a better focus of where I am and in that where I want to be because I've been caught in, no, I've been caught in trying to figure things out to such a degree that it's it's not allowed me to be present. And so I'm spending some time being being present. I've um taken a step back from social media. I've taken a step back from a lot of things, you know, newsletters and things I've been subscribed to because I want to give more focus to my, my present and where that where that will lead. Hmm, I think that that's great advice for for anyone that wants to really live more in the moment and if you want to take take a step back and reflect, because oftentimes most of us were just constantly going, going, going and we're just this energy cycle of activity where we're not really taking the time to step back and reflect on who we are, what's important to us, where we want to focus our energy and just as you were saying, just being the present, because when you're in the present, that's when you can have a little bit more clarity about how you're feeling your own feelings get in touch with your own feelings and go within to find that inner reflection or inner wisdom that makes you who you are and get you in touch with what's important to you.
Exactly. And, you know, the tagline for my blog is a midlife anti crisis. And to be perfectly honest, I may have to change that because midlife is a crisis. It's an identity crisis. You know, you're you're at a point where you're trying to figure out or be comfortable with who you are and what that means in the the few years that you have left. So in that whereas I also say midlife is an awakening to who you who you really are, but I think it's okay to embrace the crisis as opposed to it being something negative that you have to run from. I think, you know, being in being in crisis means you're alert to something that isn't quite right, something that needs to be balanced or something that needs to come back into focus or however you would want to phrase that.
So, I think that's also a big part of what I'm doing right now is I'm not running from the crisis, I'm okay to be present in that because these are very formula tive years, these last few years of what is the best thing that I can do to make a better impact for my family for for people I care about for the world globally. And so I don't think that's something that can or should be rushed and if that's a crisis, well then so be it? I'm embracing that Well, and I think that's true and a lot of things rather than to run from something or, or you know, ignore it or deny it, it's much more beneficial to embrace it and be with it and lean into it. You know, almost just lean into it and just like stare it in the face and be with it. Because oftentimes those things that it seems like they're the scariest really aren't when, when we, you know, look at them closely and that is the heart of being real, which is, you know, my theme for this year and beyond is to be real.
And a big part of that is face it claim it own it be with it. Um that's being real. Yes. And that's what's, what real talk is all about two is right. That's exactly right. Yes. Oh, I love it. This has been a great conversation. You've had so many nuggets of inspiration and wisdom and I just want to get into just a few more fun and interesting things about you. If you'll indulge me, of course, I'm just gonna just kind of rapid fire here a few questions and actually maybe more than a few questions, but it'll be fun anyway, so if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be a palm tree? Oh, why is that? I love palm trees. I love where you find palm trees. I think, um, there, there's a lot more going inside than people think And the wildlife that's attracted. We get wild green parrots are attracted to parliamentary. So yeah, it's a, it's a very more versatile tree than people imagine.
I love that. And so if you were a bird or an animal, what would you be if I were a bird or animal? What would I be something in the cat family. Big cat of sorts. Maybe a jaguar, mysterious. I love that. Your, what's your favorite color? Yellow, nice and bright, cheery. I love that favorite scent. My favorite. Hmm. I would, I'd have to say I'm in tune with that too. I love love lavender and your favorite drink. My favorite drink, alcoholic or mm hmm. Pineapple juice. Pineapple juice. Yes. Love it. And do you have a favorite book? A favorite book? I do not. What about a favorite movie? Oh my gosh, that was, that's a tough one. There are so many anything that is a sci fi action. Any Star Wars Star trek marvel. Oh, I love that. I'll go watch any of that with you.
I used to be a Trekkie fan all the way back to the 60s. For sure. What helps you feel grounded and centered breathing? Taking deep breaths. I, because I'm usually on the go and thinking about something obsessing about something. I tend to take shallow breaths, which I think something that most people do. So taking a few moments to, you know, take those deep breaths so that really helps me. Yeah, I have this book right now that a friend loaned to me called The Science of breath that it's a small short read, but I'm dying to get into it. But yeah, I couldn't agree more. And just lastly advice that you have for others to rise up to their best and highest self advice for others to rise up to their best and highest self. Hmm there's so much I could say. No acceptance.
Be accepting of yourself of others, of situations, good and bad and be grateful. I think that's great advice and I think that's a great way to end our conversation today and before we close, where can people learn more about you jay? You can always find me through J Herman dot com. J A H E R M A N N dot com or on instagram on twitter, which I like to give shoutouts there. So that's J Herman on twitter and J underscore Herman on instagram awesome. Well, we'll make sure that we put all of that info in the show notes and I just want to thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure having you on the show. You shared quite a bit of helpful pointers and insights and I think our listeners will be very inspired with much of what if not all of what you've shared with us today.
Thank you so much. Well, it's been my pleasure. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. All right. All the best. And I hope at some point in the future we can bring you back on and we'll get to get a taste of some of the other things that you have done in life and the additional wisdom that you'll be able to share with us. I would love that. Thank you. Thank you. Wait, don't go yet. Stay with us just a bit longer before you go. We hope today's show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We also hope that it inspired you to unleash your own inner power and to rise up to your best and loving heart centered highest self. Just a few things before we go. We'd be so grateful if you'd leave us a review on Itunes. Because those reviews are so important to our show and we'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others, particularly those episodes that are your favorite. And we'd love it if you let us know what tips and strategies you use to rise up to your highest self.
You can reach out to us at www dot hearts rise up dot com or you can email us at Hello at Hart's Rise up dot com. Well, that's it for now. Until next time. Keep rising up and may love and happiness always be in your heart. Bye for now, Exactly, mm hmm.