Batman, Wonder Woman, or Flash are all names that may come to mind when thinking about superheroes. There is, however, another character—often overlooked in the superhero universe, but endowed with just as much strength—that deserves to be added to the Justice League: the mother.
If superheroes are strong, smart and savvy individuals who are constantly fighting for their people, then moms check all the boxes. Even superheroes, however, need to pause once in a while to find inspiration and balance. But this is not always easy.
No need to fear, Dr. Catherine Jackson is here! Dr. J is a clinical psychologist, neurotherapist and speaker who seeks to “inspire others to live their best lives.” She will be joining InspireHER on Tuesday, January 26 to discuss parenting and self-love in Her SuperPowers virtual event. Dr. J, one of our Her Nexx Chapter Workshop Facilitatores, will be joined by Keisha Allen, InspireHER’s Founder, a woman of wonder with SuperPowers of her own!
The Psychologist and Superwoman
The phrase “be the change you wish to see in the world,” commonly credited to Mahatma Gandhi, often prompts the question, what does “being the change” really mean? For Dr. J, it was crystal clear. When she was in high school, she did not like how school personnel handled issues surrounding the students’ mental health. Knowing she could do better, she set out to “be a part of the change [she] wished to see in the mental health field.” She is now known as America’s #1 Brain Psychologist and has supported many with her platform Optimal Neuroholistic Services (ONS) and her non-profit organization Dr. J’s Holistic Health & Wellness, both of which aim to help people be their best selves. She is a part-time clinical psychologist, part-time superhero who continues to inspire generations of individuals from all walks of life with her words and wealth of knowledge (including her upcoming book The Couch Experience: A Guide to Good Therapy). At Her Nexx Chapter, Dr. J hosts Her Parenting Place, a space meant to support women in finding balance in their lives in a way that empowers them to nurture their individual identity while engaging in positive parenting.
Finding Balance as a Parent
Prioritizing your well-being while raising a child is, many will find, no easy feat. Dr. J’s advice for those struggling with balancing their own goals with parenting? Start small. “Start bringing more balance by making changes to minor things that are out of alignment in your life first,” she says. “Small balance-based achievements will lead to making space to bring about more balance in other areas.” She suggests, for instance, meditating, or starting the day with yoga practice, or perhaps organizing a desk or workspace. To those struggling with a lack of inspiration in this indubitably challenging season, she says “It’s perfectly ok. Many people felt a pressure to produce or do something great during this time. However, it is ok if you did not. None of us have lived through a pandemic before. So, awaking and giving the best you have to give daily, if that’s what you have the energy for, it’s absolutely ok.”
What does it mean, though, to “live a balanced life”? For Dr. J, it’s about considering all aspects of one’s life and making sure each area aligns. “You want your work to match up with the self-care you need and to work with your relationship and family demands, and so on,” she says. Balance in our own life provides us with the clarity needed to notice when others need our help, which is key in parenting.
The Self-Care Toolbox
“For me, having a toolbox or techniques has been beneficial so that when one thing loses its effectiveness for a while, I have others I can use,” Dr. J says. What’s in her toolbox? “Meditation, positive affirmations and prayer, keeping a routine and both spiritual and gratitude activities have truly helped me stay grounded during this season.” She has also sought solace in staying connected to friends and loved ones. Practicing self-love is crucial in our lives, not only for our benefit but for that of those around us.
For Dr. J, self-love comes in many forms. “The major ways I practice self-love is by setting and sticking to boundaries and saying no to things that are not beneficial to me or do not align with my life and mission,” she says. “I practice self-care by penciling myself in on my schedule as I do anything else.” In a time when productivity seems to trump almost everything else in society’s list of priorities, this is not only unusual but revolutionary.
Dr. J’s One Piece of Advice
If Dr. J could give just one piece of advice to others, it’d be to practice self-grace. “The same grace you freely give to others, be sure to also give to yourself. No one is perfect, so slowing down, reassessing goals and expectations and being open and flexible will go much further than beating yourself up for the things you aren’t able to get to.” There is power in letting go, in taking a moment to pause, in tending to our soul and self before we try to care for others. We must not belittle our place in the world at large. We are all here for a reason and we owe it to ourselves, every day, to make sure we are not merely existing but living.
Our Her Nexx Chapter Community invites you to join us where women are connecting with each other’s stories, exploring different experiences, and transforming ideas.
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