Joy Studio - Jody's story

I would love to hear your story! What are the experiences that shaped who you are today?

Years of self-loathing led me to marry the wrong person in the UK. I self-medicated to mask my pain and unhappiness until I found out I was pregnant. I believe my son is my saviour as I wouldn’t have stopped the self-destruction if it wasn’t for him. I separated from my husband and after a custody battle returned to NZ with my son to be with my family.

I’ve spent many years healing and rebuilding myself, regaining confidence and self-belief. My son has been my motivator. He suffers from anxiety which manifests as anger and violence, not always but usually directed at me. I have learnt to model the behaviours I wish to see, to love myself in order for him to learn to love and respect himself.

I have now accepted that his challenges are not my fault and that I raised him the best I could with the tools I had. I have learnt so much about mental health, resilience and what it means to be me, apologetically authentically me!

Tell about the time in your life when you felt the most powerful?

Deciding to leave my husband while living 10,000 miles from home with no immediate family support. More recently changing my surname back to my maiden name. It was so empowering to reclaim MY name.

What is your inner attribute that you like the most?

My strength and resilience. Every time I am knocked down it amazes me where I find the strength to get back up again, and again, and again!

What words of wisdom, based on your personal experience, would you like to share with others who struggle to see their own worth?

The housework, dishes, chores can wait – without guilt take that half hour, have that bath, take that walk, call your girlfriend – you are so worth it!

Are you at ease with your own body and age?

I loved being 26 and then stopped counting……40 was the first real birthday celebration since. I’ve celebrated each birthday post 40 and look forward to the next one. I love my wrinkles, I have earned every single one of them and wear them with pride 🙂
I’ve watched my Mum suffer with pain for most of her adult life so I don’t cope well with losing mobility, through injury or age.

What would you try to do if you felt that you couldn’t fail?

Have more children. It is the only remaining sadness I have from my failed marriage.

Research shows that women want to know that the work they do is significant, meaningful and embodies their highest potential. What do you think?

I feel that I won’t leave or do enough in this lifetime. I think many women share this feeling.

Who are the women that you find inspiring and have influenced you in some way?

My 5x Great grandmother was the first European settler to give birth in Petone. She arrived in a foreign country and gave birth during extremely uncertain times. Shortly after her son was born her husband drowned and she was left to fend for herself. Not easy for a woman in 1840!
I am blessed to have amazing girlfriends who are forever educating, growing and evolving themselves and women around them, they live and model a judgement free life and have opened my mind and heart to a higher purpose.

When was the last time you invested in yourself? What do you do to let your hair down?

This evening’s meditation session. I dedicate 20 mins twice a day to my practice and know I am a better human for doing so.

My regular zoom call with my school girlfriends is a great way to let my hair down and laugh, reminiscing of school days and enjoying in each other’s adulting stories.

Why are beautiful photos important for you right now?

I have started a new chapter in my life and allowed myself to find love again after many, many years on my own. He constantly tells me how beautiful I am – I’d like to see what he sees.

Editor’s note :

I could tell by how Jody spoke about her son how much she loved him. It seemed she would go to any lengths to help him – a fiercely protective and intensely loyal mother. Underneath her quiet demeanour, I could sense there was a strong, independent woman who perhaps didn’t see her own strength, beauty and gentleness. Hopefully, the photo session and the photos will help her see that and reinforce that in her mind.

You are a remarkable woman, Jody. Truly a woman who is her own shero. You just need to remind yourself you are one, all the time 😊

Much love. ♥