Meet Jill Catherine
Meet the Muse: Jill Catherine ~ artist, speaker, consultant, force of nature
Sunrise! My most favorite time of the day is sunrise. It is when I feel most at peace within myself and within the world. And I love witnessing it with my morning cup of coffee.
What did you dream about when you were 8?
Being a professional athlete and going to the Olympics.
What do you dream about now?
Love, peace, happiness and how I can express it. My dreams for how I can express it now include dancing, drumming, speaking, performing, writing, and teaching.
What matters most to you?
Being, not doing, but being … being the love and peace that I’ve been seeking outside myself. Embodying what I continue to learn, seek, and share. I believe what matters most is best expressed through the words of Maya Angelou when she said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
What do you tell young people to do?
Go for it, even when they don’t know how. To trust their nature; their own natural way to be and move through the world. And, to make the next best decision that feels right to them, as opposed to stressing and worrying about the future.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’ve been told my whole life it’s my smile.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being able to listen to and follow my heart, even when I don’t know how; even when the cost is painful to bare and everyone is telling me otherwise. In terms of the outside world, I think my greatest physical achievement has been starting a non-profit cultural dance and drum organization, and then rehabilitating a dilapidated building into a vibrant dance and drum center without having any money secured when we signed the lease.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Love … Loving others, connecting with others, supporting others, and loving life.
What is your motto?
Follow your heart.
Let’s dive deep:
What is holding you back from living the life you want?
I am living the life I want, but what often gets in the way is fear. Fear of not being enough on every level.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fears are: (1) I am not enough. (2) My life won’t matter. (3) I’ll never experience true love that can stand the test of time.
What has been your greatest life lesson?
Living and learning what it means to love unconditionally, both within myself and with others. Healing from an eating disorder that nearly took my life required me to not only understand this, but integrate it and practice it in my own life. Healing from a divorce took it to another level, which I am still learning today.
What breaks your heart for others?
Oppression. The ways in which others oppress themselves due to self-doubt, shame, and judgment, and the ways in which others oppress others due to fear, ignorance, pain, and prejudice.
How do you break your own heart?
By oppressing myself with self-doubt, shame, and judgment.
If you had the world stage for one moment, what would your message be?
Loving ourselves and others is the greatest gift, strength, and opportunity we have in this world while being alive. It’s easy to fear, hate, and build walls. It takes courage and strength to love and open up. There is nothing we need to do, say, achieve, or be in order to feel love, receive love, or be loved. We are whole and complete exactly as we are, today. Everything we have ever wanted or needed is available to us right now, inside our hearts. There are no rules or limitations, just the ones we agree to within ourselves. This is it. This is our life. What are we waiting for?
Tell us a bit about your work:
My work today can be best categorized as an artist, speaker, and consultant; all of which connect back to the heart. Through my dance and drum performances/classes/workshops, to the public talks that I give, and to the communications consulting projects I agree to, they are all heart-centered and designed to move us from the inside out. My artistry centers around personal and global peacemaking, empowerment, love of self and body, and the understanding of our body as an instrument to be of purpose, service, and expression in the world. My speaking centers around inspiring and educating others on topics including eating disorders, body image, women’s issues, finding purpose, and life’s big questions. My consulting work spans the field of communications and centers around compassionate communications, leading me to work on a variety of creative projects including digital media and documentary, organizational re-structuring, departmental re-visioning, strategic communications, grant writing, and more.
What project are you working on now?
I’m working on a book. It’s a labor of love, for sure, but I’m so thankful to be doing it.
What is your “why” behind it?
I have two whys. (1) All of our stories have the power to heal and help others. There is a place, space, and purpose for all of them. Sharing my story in a book format (as opposed to just my speaking) enables me to potentially offer love, support and encouragement to others who I may not otherwise be able to reach. However, it’s important for me to articulate this “why” isn’t about “my” story, per say, or “me.” It’s more about “the” story, and how we can see our selves and our lives through others stories. (2) Every time after I give a talk, at least one person comes up to me and says, “I wish my daughter, son, mother, friend, etc … was here and heard what you said. I think it would have really resonated with them.” This response has been a significant force in me committing to this book project.
What should people know about your work?
There are many people in the world who can dance beautifully, drum powerfully, speak profoundly, and deliver excellent communication results. What’s true to my work in all these areas is that I focus whole-heartedly on providing a finished product that not only meets the practical needs of my clients, but hopefully exceeds them. I also do not and can not separate me, my spirit, from the work itself, which means, what I am able to offer and produce is filled with great heart, compassion, purpose, meaning-making, and thoughtfulness. For those who value these characteristics, this is what makes the difference in what I’m able to offer.
How can we support you and your work?
By knowing I’m here to be of service. By letting others know I’m here to be of service. By thinking of me for your next event or project, if you feel my work and forms of expression resonate with what you’re hoping to experience or accomplish.
How do you balance work and play?
I fortunately have created a life where my work is a huge source of my play, and my play a huge source of my work. For me to produce what I hope to and intend to for my clients, keeping the spirit of “play” throughout the process is critical. When I’m feeling imbalanced though, I will just unplug from it all, watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk/run, take a nap, call a friend … just shake it up, let it all go, and be in the moment.
Share your inspiration with us:
When and where are you most inspired?
Nature is my greatest source of inspiration. I make choices each day to connect with nature. Mornings are when I feel most inspired. Also, travel helps me to feel inspired, which is why I do it so often.
If you could inspire one change in yourself, what would it be?
That I would stay in the present moment, all the time.
If you could inspire one change in the world, what would it be?
That every human being would see that they are connected to everyone else; that they are the same as the other; that there is no difference; that we truly are all one.
Where do you look for inspiration in your daily life?
In the little things, the simple things … More importantly for me is not where I’m looking for it, but that I AM looking for it. Inspiration is everywhere, in any moment, if I’m looking for it, wanting to be inspired, asking for it. Inspiration then presents itself to me in the most random of ways.
Who inspires you?
Everyone does. Everyone I meet inspires me through some way, shape or form because each person has a unique framework of the world and how they’re moving through it. If we’re able to put our judgment down, we can find inspiration in all of us.
Want to share a quote or a poem or a song lyric that inspires you?
This quote is a favorite of mine more so as a daily reminder because my personality, which can be very goal-oriented and results driven, needs to be reminded that process is just as important as product.
“We don’t meditate to become good meditators. We meditate to become more awake in our lives.” – Pema Chodron.
Thanks for the inspiration. xo,muse
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