The UNCrushed Podcast #1: Jenny Gaither, Founder Movemeant Foundation

"I realized that the conversation of body positivity and feeling insecure in who you are wasn't a conversation publicly...and I realized that I wanted to start having those conversations publicly"

 
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The road that goes nowhere is a dangerous one. Jenny Gaither of Soul Cycle and The Movemeant Foundation aims to empower women to feel comfortable in their skin. Jenny tells how and why she helps others be aware of the fear that saying no creates. The stress it brings us, and how to overcome it with gusto. Have you checked in with yourself lately? Gaither gives us techniques that will help us find the work/life balance we all so desperately need. Join Jenny and James on this episode of the UNCrushed podcast.

Podcast Recording

Connect with Jenny at JennyGaither.com, on Instagram, Twitter and linkedin. Learn more about the Movemeant Foundation at MovemeantFoundation.org.


Get the UNCrushed Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share with your friends! You can connect with host James Buckley on Twitter and LinkedIn.


TIMESTAMPS

0:00 -  Intro to Jenny Gaither & the Movemeant Foundation

10:36 -  Why & how Jenny started the Movemeant Foundation

19:37 -  How Jenny helps others believe In themselves

25:17 -  How the fear of saying no hurts your mental well-being

34:30 -  Work-life balance, meditation, & self check-ins

40:42 -  Breathing life into positivity

45:54 -  Support systems & Jenny’s final message for the audience


FULL TRANSCRIPT

James Buckley:

What's up podcast nation? Thank you so much for joining us on the Uncrushed podcast. I am super, super excited for our guest today. We have the one and only incorrigible Jenny Gaither of the Movemeant Foundation and Soulcycle. She's just an incredible wealth of positivity and light in a world full of darkness. Jenny, introduce yourself to our audience.


Jenny Gaither:

Hi, my name is Jenny Gaither. I am the founder of Movemeant Foundation, which is a 501c3 that uses sports and fitness as a tool to empower women and girls to build self worth and confidence. I'm a master Soulcycle instructor and I am a health coach.


James Buckley:

Unreal. So tell me a little bit about each one of those organizations, why you joined them, what you get out of it, what other people get out of you being a part of it, and why you continue to do it.


Jenny Gaither:

Starting with Movemeant Foundation, I founded Movemeant because I grew up dancing. I was horrible at sports in terms of team sports, school sports, just had no hand eye coordination still to this day. I fell in love with dance and dance was always my positive outlet in so many respects. It was where I built community, it was where I felt connected to my body. It was a really healthy sort of mental release for me throughout high school into college. I studied dance in college and I actually moved to New York City to pursue dance as a professional career. But what was such a positive outlet for me also became a very sort of negative space because I was consumed in what I looked like. So it wasn't about my talent as a dancer, it was about you know looking skinny enough, being skinny enough to play a certain role. I was always the more muscular girl, so I was always lifting the women. And that sort of got to my head in that I never felt like I would be the best dancer if I wasn't a certain weight.


Jenny Gaither:

So I became fixated on that, spiraled into body image issues, eating disorders, depression, and inevitably me quitting dance all together and sort of just being lost in my early 20s trying to figure out who I was, who I wanted to be, and where I wanted to take my life next. And during that time, I was having a lot of conversations with women that I really looked up to because I was a personal trainer, I was teaching Pilates as sort of part-time hustles. And during that time, I was uncovering that a lot of women battle body image issues. A lot of women battled eating disorder issues. So I was like, wow, I'm not alone in this. And especially like these women that are higher me to train them in their beautiful lofts in Soho. You know women that were successful and gorgeous and smart and had these amazing families, just everything that I wanted in life, still struggled in the same capacity that I was in my early 20s.


Jenny Gaither:

And so that was very eye opening to me. And I realized that the conversation of body positivity and the conversation of feeling insecure in who you are wasn't a conversation publicly. These were all like sort of you know just one on one conversations I was having with clients. And so I realized that I wanted to start having those conversations publicly. I wanted to create a space and a platform for people to feel safe talking about the things that, you know, that seem sort of shameful, for me at least. I had a lot of shame, so I wasn't talking about my eating disorder publicly. I wasn't talking about the fact that I didn't have any self worth. So this sort of was a catalyst for starting my non-profit and creating a space for women to develop, you know, these really peer to peer natural conversations. And do something with them that helps take their insecurities and their lack of self worth to a place of, like, self worth and confidence and strength and power. And it just sort of kind of grew from there. So that's-


James Buckley:

That's fantastic.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah.


James Buckley:

Some people like they go through a traumatic experience that leads them to this epiphany of what they should be doing with their lives. Did you experience something similar where like this thing happened in your life and the switch in your mind just went off and you were like that's it, that's what I need to be doing with all [missing audio 000432]?


Jenny Gaither:

Definitely. I think it was a slow burn my entire childhood, into high school, into college, of oh we don't feel things, we don't talk about feelings, we don't talk about emotions. We stay busy and we rush and we ... that was my way of essentially like dealing with trauma and dealing with painful things from my childhood. And so it was sort of this ongoing spiral and snowball, I guess you can say, of just a lot of crap, a lot of pain, a lot of sadness, a lot of I would say depression that I wasn't openly honest about with myself. So it did end up just like kind of hitting me all at once, where I woke up one day and I was like how did I get here? How did, you know ... how have I been settling for this sort of feeling and relationship with myself for so long? And I think the end point was just finally hearing people's stories and finally recognizing that I could make a change in my life if I wanted to instead of playing victim and saying this is just what it is, which is what I told myself for so long is that life is just hard.


James Buckley:

Yeah.


Jenny Gaither:

It's, you know, my life is hard. Bad things happen to me. Like the pity parties, the victim. I realized I didn't have to play that role anymore.


James Buckley:

I feel like we all sort of have that moment in our lives where we stop blaming other external factors for our misguidance or our shortcomings. I know that this is a very personal subject for me because I know many women in my life that have suffered from low confidence, eating disorders. How much of this do you think ... and we can just go off script at this point. How much of this do you think is centered on the pressures that society puts on women to be something that, in a lot of cases, is just unattainable for some folks? Genetically speaking, not everyone can be that Adonis, right? Some folks are just normal people. But you have to be comfortable in your own skin. What kind of things do you do to make yourself feel comfortable in your own skin and get over that pressure that I think so many women and sometimes men even feel this pressure to look a certain way, be a certain way, dress a certain way. How do you take that step forward to say, "I'm okay with me."


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, I mean, that's I think still something that I'm figuring out and just in this day and age, it's just so hard with how much information we're receiving all the time, especially with social media and just how much you see into other people's lives. So then there's this constant comparison game. But it's just interesting and sort of ironic in that at some point, dance pulled me out of myself because I was so fixated on what I looked like to everyone else. But through movement for me now, which is why I started Movemeant Foundation, is the way in which I tap back into myself and I'm able to disconnect from everyone else. So for example, like, through a slow yoga class or going for a run, like, those are my outlets now that I use to get out of the everyday concern of what everyone else is doing. Hashtag phomo of like constantly feeling like you're going to miss out on something.


Jenny Gaither:

And to just get back to what's important. Movemeant has always got me back into perspective and sort of values and what I want and am I present in that. And I think like getting back to the present moment is so so key and you know if we're constantly living in fear that we're missing out or have missed out or of what's head and trying to always achieve goals, that's when it sort of builds up and can manifest into other forms of I think mental health issues.


James Buckley:

I think self abuse is kind of what I land on when it comes to that buildup, right? I think in a lot of cases, and this is just my experience talking, in a lot of cases I think we start out with this, "Oh you think I can stand to lose a few pounds." Or, "I could stand to dress a little better." Or, "I could stand to work out more often." And then it turns into, "I can't do enough of it, I can't seem to reach that I'm okay with me factor." As I mentioned earlier. When you talk to people in your communities that are doing business with you and learning from you and training with you, what are the things that they say to you when they come in before you start? What kind of evaluation do you give them for, okay, well let's see where you are. What are the goals? What kind of questions do you ask those people and do you they come up with like crazy things that are out of the park? How much of this is mental and how much of it is actually physical?


Jenny Gaither:

Right. I think like 99% is mental.


James Buckley:

Yeah, I had a feeling you'd say that.


Jenny Gaither:

It's just super interesting because the question that I think is the most valuable in terms of anything, really, is why. The why. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to be eating greens every day? Why do you want this job? Why do you need this relationship? It's the why. Like what are you ... what is the actual thing that you're going after and your reason for it? Because so much of the ego gets in the way of I think I need this, again, for self validation or validation from others. It's this perception of ourselves instead of what, again, our values are. And are we constantly living in line with those and what feels genuine to our gut?


James Buckley:

Yeah. So at what point do you see that ego go away?


Jenny Gaither:

It actually, once people are asked those harder questions and they become really honest, it's just a very honest conversation with yourself daily, I find that the people that I've worked with have, you know, it's happened almost over night where they're ... it's sort of like a reality check of like, you're right. And the pressure. I think people are waiting for permission and an opportunity to let go.


James Buckley:

Yeah.


Jenny Gaither:

We all put some much pressure and unrealistic expectations on ourselves in every sort of avenue of our lives, whether it's our career, family, personal relationships, and our bodies, that people are waiting for permission to let go and be like, "You're right. Do I need all of that or what is really important to me?" And what it boils down to, I think, is just having a really healthy relationship with yourself. Where, you know, it sounds like maybe hokie but where you love yourself. You don't wake up every day feeling anxious that you have to be something different or try to be something different.


James Buckley:

So this is where I dive a little personal into your life. What was the tipping point for you, where you finally realized that the goals that you were shooting for were unattainable and you needed to realign those with something that was a little more realistic. And something that could be achieved by being yourself. How does one find that line? And I'd like to hear your story about, number one, where did you draw that line and number two, did you surround yourself with others that were supportive? Or were you a solo act going forward, trying to build the Movemeant Foundation and talking to people on the streets? And I know a lot of businesses and a lot of nonprofits, especially, start out with groups of people that are extremely supportive of one person's vision and it means something to them personally. So tell me the story of the Movemeant Foundation and why it became what it is today.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah I definitely didn't ... for most of my life, I tried to do life alone. And that was what didn't work. And so when I moved to New York and I decided that sort of that turning point for me is that I was ... I woke up one day and I was like I'm sick and tired of feeling unhappy. And that's my responsibility. I'm not going to blame anyone else for that anymore. And that was a choice that I made. From there, organic conversations as a coach, as a Soulcycle instructor, started giving me more confidence in myself that I wasn't alone, that I didn't have to life alone, and that I could actually heal myself ... that would be an ongoing journey, and heal others as I do that. So as I built Movemeant Foundation, I was using the Soulcycle community, I was using the Lululemon community at the time. I became an investor of theirs so they were very supportive in helping me get Movemeant off the group.


James Buckley:

Shout out Lululemon.


Jenny Gaither:

And then my friends. My friends have always been ... I've had to weed out some along the way, for sure.


James Buckley:

You gotta drop that weight.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, but my friend circle has been like family throughout all of it. And so I'm forgetting the second part of your question.


James Buckley:

Yeah, what was the tipping point for you where you realized that this was something that you wanted to run with and build a foundation out of?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. So when I decided that I would ... that was my purpose is that I wanted to help women build self worth and confidence, I had to figure out how I could do that for myself. I can't heal anybody without first understanding how that process works.


James Buckley:

Amen sister. I've been saying for a long time that we can't help others until we can help ourselves.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah and it's much easier to be like, "Oh what do you need? How can I serve everyone else?" Because it's much harder to dive into your own stuff. And look-


James Buckley:

It's always easier to do this than it is to do this.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, and blame other people. It's the same thing. It's like whether you're helping or blaming, you're still projecting. So what do you need to do to self reflect and go through your own stuff first, because that is the most number one important thing in life is looking at yourself and really being honest about you know where you're struggling and what your challenges are. And not in a way that's like you're a horrible person, you need to be punished. And actually the opposite of acceptance and like loving acceptance and compassion.


James Buckley:

Taking care of yourself.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah exactly. So that was what I put into practice and that was not fun. But basically I have always been insecure of my stomach, so as a fitness professional, which no one really talks about, fitness professionals have insecurities, too. We are very insecure of our bodies and amplify that by teaching hundreds of people a week, sometimes thousands. It's a lot of pressure to look a certain way. And so as a Soulcycle instructor wearing a sports bra was not something that I felt comfortable doing.


James Buckley:

Sure.


Jenny Gaither:

Never been really secure in a bathing suit. So like I'm not going to wear a sports bra in front of a bunch of people. So that was my challenge. Like I started setting little challenges week to week of how can I push my comfort zone? How can I step out of the comfort zone and show myself that you're much bigger than a body, that this ... whatever this vessel that you're in is just like, you know, your container for so much more. So stop, like, stop holding yourself back because of what it just looks like.


James Buckley:

I love that.


Jenny Gaither:

So essentially I set this challenge of wearing a sports bra in a class. It was a Rhiana themed ride. I dressed up like Rhiana, I was obsessed with her at the time, and long story short I didn't wear the sports bra. I wore a jacket and never took the jacket off. And it was sort of this end point of like, wow, this is a Rhiana themed Soulcycle ride. No one's going to remember this and you're making a huge deal of it. Like this is something that's much bigger than you really want to admit. So essentially I, next class, was being honest and I was like, "I'm a fraud. I coach you guys week after week on how to be authentic, be true to yourself, listen to your heart, ignore the outside noise and I'm not doing that. And so I need your help." And it was that first time that I was very vocally honest to my community and then asked them for help. And so what that turned into was another ride following that where everyone wore their sports bra, so I wasn't alone. And then-


James Buckley:

Wow.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah and it was very moving because two women who are incredible that were on the Biggest Loser NBC's Biggest Loser, which was really hot at the time, they had just lost almost a hundred pounds each. So crazy, crazy weight-


James Buckley:

Big fan of the Biggest Loser.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah and so they were having a hard time self identifying in their new bodies. Weight loss is glamorized and it's not. They were, you know, they were like we have all these ... we have stretchy skin, stretch marks, scars. You know it's-


James Buckley:

Yeah because you can't drop all that weight in a couple days. It's not healthy.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah and then like who am I in this new body and how do I identify as this person?


James Buckley:

Right, the show doesn't help you with that part.


Jenny Gaither:

So yeah, so they were like we love this idea of this challenge. Can we put it as a Facebook national invite? And essentially what happened was I was like, "Ah, don't do that." That's like my biggest insecurity. Now it's like hundreds of thousands of people all over the world are joining us.


James Buckley:

Yeah. Can we show you to that world? Right?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, yeah, so it's like wherever you are, wear a sports bra on this day. And so it happened and we got hundreds of messages from people around the world-


James Buckley:

That's amazing.


Jenny Gaither:

... who had participated this one day and they were like, "What's next?" And so that was the turning point for me, like oh my gosh, people are hungry for permission to be comfortable in their own skin. That is a crazy thought but it is so real. And so how can I give people more permission and safety and community and opportunity to do that? So that's when-


James Buckley:

There you have it. If you need permission to feel comfortable in your own skin, reach out to Jenny and she will give it to you. I promise.


Jenny Gaither:

It sounds silly but-


James Buckley:

That's an amazing story. I'm so glad everybody kind of rallied around you to support your goals and your effort and sort of bring you out of your shell almost, right? Like I think ... so we talk a lot about imposter syndrome and I think it's such a cancer in the world today, because there's so much happening in business and in life. We feel like we have to be this thing. And then some day, if we try hard enough, we become that thing. And then we have to continue to be that thing and we feel like we're unworthy of that thing. I spoke with a gentleman yesterday that just felt unworthy of all this attention that he was getting. And I told him, man, you know, you really are worthy. We are all worthy of everything that comes our way. And the sooner we realize that, the easier life becomes.


James Buckley:

So to derail a little bit and sort of talk more about why you're here ... I know you're here to share your story, but we're building a community for Uncrushed for people that have been through something and want to share that story. What does Uncrushed mean to you?


Jenny Gaither:

Uncrushed. Unapologetically authentic. Just owning you, your story, and owning its importance. Because my story is just one of millions and billions and I'm honestly sick and tired of telling my story because it's ... I've heard it and I know it so well, but more people need to be sharing because the more we do that, it gives other people the opportunity to do the same. And it's just ... there's so much value in everything that we've been through and that's what creates who we are. And that's where our worthiness comes from. It's when I think of like that word worthiness and what that means and what this whole like platform that Uncrushed is, is like it's infinite. Like you are infinite. There's infinite possibilities to us, infinite depth to us, that we need to stop making it one dimensional or two dimensional.


Jenny Gaither:

Like we really need to be diving into what that looks like and so much of that is our experiences and what we've been through. And not looking at them as shameful or something that's like a horrible experience that we need to just put away and box up and never look at again. But looking at all of the resilience and the grit that is internal that got us through that and using that to like propel us forward and help others do the same.


James Buckley:

I agree. I feel the same way about Uncrushed. I think it's a great movement, if I may, right, for folks that have been through anything at all that they feel like they're attached to and makes them or stops them from becoming who they want to be. So tell me a story about somebody that had a mental blockage. And I know you've probably got a million people in mind when I say that. But I know, like you said, that the majority of overcoming an obstacle in your life or in business or just in general, is mental. So tell me a story about somebody that wanted to achieve a goal and didn't realize that it was mental. But once that epiphany came, you saw that change. You don't have to mention any names.


Jenny Gaither:

Once they realized it was mental? Thinking of a specific story. I don't know if I have ... I don't know ... what I want to say to that is that so much of what our capabilities are has to do with what we see. So you can't achieve it unless you can see it. So if I can see something in you, then you're going to be able to see it in yourself. It's like that amazing exchange. And so essentially that's what a coach does. That's what I do for people.


James Buckley:

You see what's in them.


Jenny Gaither:

I see what's in them and then they can eventually over time see that within themselves. And I think that goes for many teachers out there and parents and coaches. Like that's the privilege that you have as that role, as the role model, is showing someone what they can't necessarily see in themselves. And I think that that is also the beauty of like social media sometimes. I often ask my clients to look for expanders. I've heard this term, sort of a buzzword right now, in the wellness space. But it's actually really beneficial. And expander is somebody that does something who has the same background as you. So like whether they came from poverty or they had divorced parents or they were in debt or they lost their job, or whatever. They have a lot of similarities in terms of their background. And they've gotten to a place that you didn't even think was possible for yourself. So you see that in someone else so then you can replicate it. Or see that it's actually possible for yourself.


James Buckley:

I think that's incredible. I like how you said, "I see things in others so that they can see them in themselves." That's a dynamic that I never would have thought of for a coach. I always thought coaches ... I've had lots of coaches and lots of teachers in my time. And I always thought their job was to be an authority figure. And it's not until my adult years that I learned that coaches are really a support system. Somebody that you can lean on and they're going to build you up. They're going to show you what you're worth. So that's a great way to look at it. I see things in others so they can see them in themselves.


James Buckley:

When you are up there on the cycle, what does that feel like for you, now that you're over the hump of self confidence and now that you know who you are and what you want out of life? Do you project that, do you think, to the people that are out there cycling with you?


James Buckley:

You do?


Jenny Gaither:

Definitely. It's interesting. I think that I feel the most confident, I feel the most myself, and I feel the most powerful, when I am on the bike now or when I am-


James Buckley:

That's ironic that you feel that way now and looking back at it, it was a point of contention for you. I think that's incredible.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah.


James Buckley:

Truly overcoming it, right?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. It almost feels like a battery. Like you plug me in and I'm just like a charge of energy. Yeah.


James Buckley:

Yeah, that's awesome. So I tried cycling once. I dated a girl who ... beautiful girl, amazing, she was addicted to the cycling. And I thought to myself, "We'll spend some time together, I'll go cycling with you." Right? As a man, let me just tell you, for those of you that are out there watching this and listening to this, you're not ready. You think you're ready. You're not ready. You have to go in knowing that you're not ready. So I hit the cycle for about 30 minutes and I was really beat. Really beat. I mean, like, and he stopped for a second, the instructor guy, and then he said, "Okay we're going to take it up a notch." And I was like, "What?" And then it really went crazy. By the time it was all over, I could barely feel my legs. So my girlfriend at the time was very quick to say, "Well that means you did it right." I thought that was ... like the pain means it's going well. So how does that translate in your world?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. That's a great question. So when it comes to ... I love to equate the physical body and the mental body.


James Buckley:

Okay.


Jenny Gaither:

So I think they're so similar. So for example, after a coaching session with someone, I'll be like, "Just so you know, you might need a nap later." Or, like, "Tomorrow you might feel exhausted as if you ran a marathon." And it's the same. When you start exercising your mental energy, and you really dive into like trauma or things that are just challenging in the moment, present moment, it's exhausting. It feels like you take a cycling ... it just feels like you took a cycling class. So I always tell people, I'm like when we're working together that this process is just as physical as the physical process. Your mental brain and working it and working through all your stuff is just as consuming. And I also, you know, like to equate ... so if you bruise your arm or if you fell and broke your leg snowboarding, and you didn't go to the doctor, it's not going to heal properly, right? Or you're never going to function the same way as you did before unless you properly took care of it and got the right medical care.


Jenny Gaither:

Same with your emotional body and your mental body. It's like every day we are having bruises, our ego is being bruised, we're being hurt, we're being sometimes traumas are way more than others, but whatever the case may be, if you don't address those issues, essentially it's not healing properly. And it just, similar to your broken leg, it's slowing you down. It's holding you back. It's taking up space. It's consuming all of this energy.


James Buckley:

I agree 100% and you mention the ego there. How much do you think ego holds people back from the goals they're trying to achieve? It's ironic, right, that ego exists to pump us up and yet it holds us back so much. Uncrushed is about awareness but not just awareness for mental health but self awareness, a specific type of self awareness. Know thy self comes to mind, right? So I know as a cycle instructor, as a life coach, which essentially you are, how much ego do you have to climb through every day to get your point across to your clients?


Jenny Gaither:

Well I think the ego's really powerful and beneficial, as well.


James Buckley:

Sure.


Jenny Gaither:

I think it's a motivator.


James Buckley:

It is.


Jenny Gaither:

It gets you up and going and doing your stuff.


James Buckley:

I'm awesome.


Jenny Gaither:

I've always been crazy competitive and I used to think that was a bad thing and I don't anymore. I think if it's used in the right way ... it's similar to like all of our emotions, right? It's like people don't want to equate or affiliate with sadness or anger. Like they don't want that part of themselves but it's part of you, just like you have the emotion of happiness and joy. You have anger and sadness. They're all equal on playing fields. But it's like how you use them is what counts and that's the thing with the ego, to me, is that if you're using it in a way that is productive in terms of getting you in line, again, going back to what I said earlier, in terms of your values.


James Buckley:

Okay.


Jenny Gaither:

So I always look at, like, is this something that I actually want? Is this something in line with my why? Is this to impress someone? Is this to have an accolade on the, you know, just on the table top of like-


James Buckley:

Are you going for the gold medal?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, and maybe if that is what you really want, awesome. Like there's nothing wrong with that. But if it's not in line with what you really, truly deep down feel is part of your purpose or-


James Buckley:

How many people do you talk to everyday that struggle to find that deep down purpose?


Jenny Gaither:

A lot.


James Buckley:

I find that to be the biggest challenge for most people that I speak with is that when you say things like what's your why, what's your purpose, they typically haven't been able to articulate that yet. So you almost have to coach them through that part first before you can start anything else. I'm sure that there is a regiment or a program that you've designed to help people find their why. If not, do you have that? Is that something you've considered?


Jenny Gaither:

Yes.


James Buckley:

So tell us a little bit about how you help people find their purpose.


Jenny Gaither:

So it's interesting. When you say find your why, find your purpose, that is like ... those are heavy questions, right?


James Buckley:

They are.


Jenny Gaither:

That's very daunting.


James Buckley:

It is.


Jenny Gaither:

It almost makes you paralyzed and not move forward at all. So that's where it gets tricky. The what I do with my clients and what eventually gets them there is just the very small questions day to day. For example, one of my clients has a full time job as a teacher. She also, on the side, will be a contracted teacher on weekend. So just ... and she's trying to find her why. She's trying to find her purpose in life. She doesn't feel like she's fulfilling that in all sense of whatever that means to her. It feels a little disconnected. So it's just literally the simple question of, okay, well do you need those weekend like part-time hours that you're just filling space with? She's like, "I do, I do, I need the money, I need the money, I need the money. It's great. It's good to save." Okay. A few weeks later, she's like, "I'm burnt out, I'm burnt, I'm burnt out." Well why don't you think about cutting back on the weekends and just having your full-time job and just keeping your weekends free?


James Buckley:

Yeah.


Jenny Gaither:

Well what would I do with that time? And what it came down to is like her fear of not knowing what to do with time and just filling up time. So long story short, I worked with her to feel safe with just being in space and not having any plans, not knowing what to do with it, and being okay with like watching Netflix, relaxing. So many people are so afraid to relax because they feel as if that is a privilege or you're being lazy or they associate it with all these words and if it's a horrible thing to relax. And finding ... going back to what brings you joy and what brings you fulfillment can actually be your life's purpose. So for example, what ended up happening with her is that she became more comfortable with space, free time, because you can't ... if you are in fight or flight or if you're constantly on the go, how are you going to figure out what your purpose is? And obviously you have to pay your bills and keep your job and put food on the table. So you have to-


James Buckley:

All those things.


Jenny Gaither:

... you have to stay pretty active in your everyday life. But we do have time, if you want to make it.


James Buckley:

If we make the time.


Jenny Gaither:

Right. Exactly. So it's in those smaller, quieter moments that are scary, that the work comes in and that I have them, my clients, just be with what comes up. And it's interesting. So this specific client, she ended up being more comfortable with free time and in that free time, she actually realized that she loved her work. And she found purpose in her work but wasn't able to see that because she was just running around, trying to find fulfillment in all these other places instead of looking at where she could direct it in the spaces that she already had it.


James Buckley:

It's interesting that she found her passion for work in her free time. I think that's an interesting perspective there. I think it's one we don't really consider. We were going to talk about work life balance. So you are a master Soulcycle instructor and the founder of the Movemeant Foundation. How do you balance work and life to keep that stress level down and not let it overrun your world?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. I've been the queen of burn out, where I just go go go go go crash. Go go go go crash. So that's definitely something I'm learning, always learning.


James Buckley:

Okay.


Jenny Gaither:

But if you say yes to everything, there are consequences to that. And you know I think we live in a day and age where we do want to be a part of ... have our hands in everything and do you know all of the fun outside activities outside of work as well. And it just ... that comes with consequences and your body can only do so much. And so I've found that ritual routine day to day is so important to me and that has evolved and changed and I'm not very strict on the order or how much time everything I do is. But I definitely have a morning sort of ritual of sort of like a body scan, where I check in just what am I feeling that day, what does my body feel like, meditation, journaling. And just being in the quiet instead of on my phone first thing in the morning. So that's something that I implement every day. It doesn't have to be in that order. If I miss one thing, that's fine. It's not like super strict or regimented.


Jenny Gaither:

And then same with bedtime. It's like taking a moment to disconnect from your phone, put it on the other side of the room, ten minute meditation before bed, maybe a bubble bath. And it's just those little things that make all the difference in the world of checking in. Because that's ... if you're not checking in and if you don't have those moments to pause, you're not going to know where you're at. So you're going to constantly keep saying yes and that's when your cup and your plate is just like at capacity and that's-


James Buckley:

You become overwhelmed.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. And that's when you, you know, shit hits the fan.


James Buckley:

Yeah, I think that's when I check out. I think when I become overwhelmed, that's when my mind says, "You know what? Forget it. I'm not going to do any of it." And that's worse than being overwhelmed. You almost feel like you're letting somebody down in that moment. Mainly yourself, right?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, yeah. Or you can become resentful, too, of certain-


James Buckley:

Initiatives.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, that you-


James Buckley:

Right? I hate that, right?


Jenny Gaither:

Right. Or you don't want to do it, you're just ... you're tired, right? You just don't-


James Buckley:

No matter what it is, I just don't want to do it. I hate it. It doesn't matter what it is, yeah. I understand what you're saying.


Jenny Gaither:

Yes so-


James Buckley:

The resentfulness.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah exactly. So I think people put meditation on a pedestal where it becomes really inaccessible because it seems daunting and scary. But I like to just think of it as like a pause in the day to check in, because maybe I do need to say no to things that weekend because I need to rest more or whatever it is.


James Buckley:

I think it's important that people recognize what meditation is. I think we put labels on words like meditation. People think that you have to meditate by sitting on a fancy carpet in your living room or outside on a beach, folding your legs and om-ing. You know? And it just doesn't have to be that way. You can sit on your couch quietly and just listen to what your brain is telling you for a minute. And most of the time, in the silence you can find what's needed. And I think that's a part of it that I do really well in the morning. So for example, I don't sleep with my phone in my room. I sleep with it in the living room so that if it rings, I don't wake up to it. If somebody's calling me from Lithuania because it's, you know, 2 o'clock in the afternoon there but it's 4 AM my time, I don't hear that call, right? I let it go to voicemail.


James Buckley:

And then in the morning, I will typically not go straight to my phone. I have the coffee, I do the shower, I get dressed, I feel good, and then I pick my phone up and I start my day. So I think that there's this kind of overarching theme of meditation that people have a thought process on. And it's not real. It's perceived. THere's a lot of tools like meditation out there. A lot of self help books and things like that. What are some tools that you've used in your journey that have helped you get to the point where you are now?


Jenny Gaither:

My meditation, to your point, doesn't always look the same. So sometimes my meditation is walking to the train and I'm just really focusing on where my breath is. Or I'm on the train because I commute to work every day and I'm checking in. Or I'm listening to music and I'm dancing around. It just ... it's an exploration of self awareness in the physical mental and emotional form, to me. So that's how I've always checked in, whether I'm actually like physically moving my body or just like being still in some capacity throughout the day. So I'm always like doing little mental check ins.


James Buckley:

Mental check ins. All right tell me more about that.


Jenny Gaither:

Body awareness check ins. So basically you just start like at the top of your head and you scan down your body. And I usually start with breath. Like where is my breath? I have asthma and recently I've just been like ignoring the fact that I can't breathe very well and I think it's just the spring, change of season to summer, and anyways that is greatly impacting my entire day. It's like your breath, right?


James Buckley:

Yeah, imagine that. You need to breath.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. So the other day I was like, wow, why are you ignoring this? Like what else is in that?


James Buckley:

Yeah.


Jenny Gaither:

And so it turns out there's a lot of anxiety in that and just things that I hadn't been dealing with. But so, to my point, it's like checking in with your breath, full body scan of where your breath is, why are you holding it in, why is it tense, is it in your shoulders, in your neck, in your sternum. For me it's been stuck in my throat. And then also do the same with like your muscles. Like full body scan of like tension in your muscles. Where does it feel, in your neck, shoulders, palms, feet, legs. You can do the whole body. And then lastly like anything you want to release in that moment you don't need.


James Buckley:

Yeah.


Jenny Gaither:

Right? So so much of what I was talking about earlier and playing victim is like we get in habits and we get stuck in a lot of different ways of being and some of it can just be like complaining or always being sort of negative about just the tiniest of things and do we need to do that? And that's a choice and realizing that we're doing that and that we don't have to.


James Buckley:

I think we're wired negatively.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah.


James Buckley:

I think it's easier for us to see the negatives than it is the positives. So one of the things that I put out there for the world is that I don't see negativity. I literally just remove it from my life if it comes in contact with me. So any of the trolls, like I'm big on social media. I put a lot of stuff out there and I get trolls just like anybody else. They want to challenge me, right? So sometimes I feel this need to jump in and respond to a negative comment with positivity so that they can see what that looks like.


Jenny Gaither:

Yep, yeah.


James Buckley:

So I'll get somebody on that's like, "You don't know what you're talking about. You're way off, this is all wrong." And I'll be like, "Thank you so much for your perspective." That's it. Right? And you know that that negative person that put that out there is like, "Oh that's not the response I hoped for." Or, "Oh that's not the response I expected." I'm fine with what you didn't' expect, right? I see so much positive now as a result of just turning a blind eye to what's negative. And when I see negativity, I use that as an opportunity to be positive. And as a result, my life quality has increased ten fold. I see that you have a similar mentality. I love that. Tell me how that's changed everything about yourself and your life and people around you.


Jenny Gaither:

Well, what you explained was you were able to separate it, right? So that's what you're able to do. A lot of people can't do that and I couldn't do that for the longest time. So say you said something negatively about me on social media, I would internalize that and I would feel everything you said. The hurt, the pain, even though that wasn't mine, that was yours.


James Buckley:

Yeah.


Jenny Gaither:

So I think the first thing is not reacting, right? So much of what people do, we just live in a reactionary state. We're not listening to anyone, we're not even talking to anyone. We're talking at people, we're responding to people, it's angry, it's-


James Buckley:

Passionate.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. And it's explicit, it's not kind, it's not empathetic, it's not compassionate to anyone, including ourselves.


James Buckley:

Tonality is lost.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. So stop reacting, right? Take a moment to pause and if it does get to you, I'm a sensitive being so like a lot can come ... I've worked really, really hard to like build up some walls there and boundaries. But I still struggle with it sometimes because I'm just that sensitive. And to be like if that person hit me, right, with something negative, why am I believing it? What am I saying about myself because-


James Buckley:

What power am I giving it?


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, because if it does have power in me, it means I'm, to me, I'm taking full responsibility. It means I believe it or I haven't dealt with it.


James Buckley:

Breathing life into it.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah. Like I'm questioning it. And so what is it about myself that I don't trust or what is it I don't have yet in terms of worth then I need to, like, really look at. Instead of being angry with you because that's just your stuff and just leaving it there, right? So I think it's nice to just remind people that we all deal with the negativity of the world. And sometimes we can internalize that. But it's not what you're internalizing is your own self belief system. And so that's what you need to look at. You can't change the people around you but you can change how you think of yourself and the worth that you have. So if someone said something negatively about you and that you thought about it for weeks, that's telling you that you have some deeper belief system about yourself that's hitting that nerve, that you can choose to change.


James Buckley:

I would agree. I think that it's always a choice. We choose how to react, how to respond, and what type of response we throw out there. And when we choose, I think most people have this default to choose the negative. But the few of us that are out there that choose the positive, we tend to rise much faster to the occasion. We tend to be much more confident in the long run because we can approach that negativity with that same separation that you mentioned, where yours is not mine. Mine is mine. And I'm going to keep it.


James Buckley:

So everybody kind of has this life story, this group, right, of people around them that have helped them. Who are some people that never gave up on you, that always were able to be seen even at a distance, in your journey and never left your side, always there to hold on to you and say we support you?


Jenny Gaither:

Those people I call them my core four.


James Buckley:

Okay.


Jenny Gaither:

They're my ... I have a lot of really great friends that I feel lucky that have come into my life as an adult. But my core four is just my four girls that are my rocks. I'm not super close to my family and that was a really hard reality for me as an adult that family couldn't be what I wanted it to be, and accepting that, making peace with that. And then building that elsewhere. And so I've found people who were ready to do that and let me in as family. And they've just, you know ... I spend holidays with them. They're my lifelines. So.


James Buckley:

Shout out to you four. You guys have built a monster here. She's incredible. So Uncrushed is about a positive move in the right direction. What message do you have for people out there that are kind of going through something similar to what you went through, similar to what your clients go through? What's the banner message that Jenny has for the Uncrushed community on making it through what they feel to be one of the most trying times of their lives?


Jenny Gaither:

You can't do it alone. And I think we talk about that culturally a lot is that you're not alone. True. You're not alone. But you can't do it alone as well. So even if it's one person you trust that you can confide in, we get so stuck in our head and that's where we spiral. And we will continue to spiral there and in the release is having a conversation with someone. Just leaving it in the air, whether that be a therapist or a best friend or a-


James Buckley:

Core four.


Jenny Gaither:

Core four, a mentor. Honestly even if it's someone you don't know super well. I find that I'm like one of those people that can sit on a park bench and someone will come over and they'll just tell me their life story. Like I just-


James Buckley:

I feel the same way. I'm the same way.


Jenny Gaither:

I'm just ... I guess people feel comfortable telling me things even if they don't know me and it's great. And I'm just like, "Okay cool." And I don't take it on, they needed it, great. Everyone leaves happy. Like-


James Buckley:

We'll feel happy about it.


Jenny Gaither:

Yeah, like, talk to somebody. Just let it out.


James Buckley:

I used to be a cashier at a dollar store and I would say to people when they approached my cash registers, "How are you today?" And I never knew that that was an invitation to tell me your life story. But apparently some people just have that in them, where everyone wants to just blah. So I'd say, "How are you today?" And they'd be like, "My wife is being such a pain." And you're like, "Okay, tell me more about that thing I didn't ask about."


Jenny Gaither:

Exactly. It's much easier to tell a stranger all of your stuff than someone who knows you well. So.


James Buckley:

Sure is. Tell our audience how they can reach you, what to look for, and if they need you, what would be the best route to get in touch with you.


Jenny Gaither:

Great. You can reach me at JennyGaither.com. G-A-I-T-H-E-R. That's my website or @JennyGaither on Instagram and Twitter. Yeah, you can reach me ... you can reach out to me as a coach. You can reach out regarding Movemeant Foundation, Movemeant.org. Movemeant spelled with an A, M-O-V-E-M-E-A-N-T, to get involved in our organization. We're doing lots of initiatives globally, so if it's a larger community you're looking for, coaching, you want to ride in my class, I teach in New York.


James Buckley:

Well thanks so much again for coming on this show. I am James Buckley:. This has been an episode of Uncrushed. We look forward to everyone putting their comments, likings, sharing. Jenny's been a great guest so show your support for Jenny and reach out to her and thank her for all her insights.


Jenny Gaither:

Thank you so much.