In a previous article “Your Power As A woman,” we mentioned that today more than ever women are connecting with one another. They are helping to answer questions, support and motivate each other. Today we’d like to introduce you to just such a woman. Jessica Lebrun, a wife and mother of two beautiful children. In addition to her love of fitness and writing, Jessica is working extremely hard to help encourager others.
She is Co-Founder of Moxie Girl Fitness and a blogger at On Moxie & Motherhood. What is Moxie and Motherhood? You ask. “Moxie & Motherhood was created out of the desire to encourage other women in all areas of life.” Jessica told NXTFOCUS. “Moxie is a force of character, determination, or nerve.” She said. “A person full of energy, courage, or determination.” She added. “The perfect combo of grit, grace, vigor, pep, boldness and nerve. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.”
Jessica Lebrun is speaking from a place of intimate knowledge and experience. As a child she was raised by a mother battling severe depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This was compounded as Jessica’s mother lost two siblings and her mother to suicide. All of this before Jessica was ten years old. Jessica told us that there were, “awesome” days in her home as a child. She adds that, “Other days I was afraid to come home from school because I might find that she, (Jessica’s mother) had taken her life.”
As Jessica matured and became a mother herself she became closer to her own mother on a, “new level.” Jessica’s mother fell in love with her grandchildren. On April 14, 2017, Good Friday, Jessica received an email from her mother. In it her mother discussed their planned Easter picnic that Sunday. Two hours later, Jessica’s mother had taken her own life.
“Somehow, I thought she had just gotten better.” she admits. “Unfortunately, she had just gotten better at hiding it. She was afraid to be a burden to anyone else, so she didn’t share when she was really struggling.”
We asked Jessica Lebrun how her experience strengthened her and how she uses her experience to help others?
“For a long while after losing my mother I struggled.” she said. Jessica had developed the belief that she no longer had anything to offer other women. “I went from feeling like I was literally made to encourage and inspire others, to feeling like there was absolutely nothing inspiring or encouraging about me.” Jessica felt that she would never be the same. An internal battle ensued as she fought back against her own thoughts.
She finally realized that it was true. That she would never be the same. “That didn’t mean I had to be ruined.” She said. “I could be better.” She realized that this chapter in her story could not be rewritten. So she did what any woman with moxie would do. She found a way to use her experience for good. She reasoned that, “If I was going to have to work through this I could do it transparently and openly.” Jessica set out to reach others in similar situations. She’d let them know that they were not alone. “I have a new found strength now and also a new level of humility.” She said and added, “It helps me when I am working with women who have really been through some tough things. They’re not alone, and neither am I, we can be better together.”
“I believe all women possess moxie whether they have realized it yet or not”
We asked Jessica Lebrun what she saw as one of the biggest hurdles for women today?
“Self doubt. She said. “I talk to women on a daily basis about their struggles, hopes, goals and dreams. The number one thing that holds them all back is the self doubt.” She admits that it is still true of herself at times. It is something she is constantly working against.
There was an additional seminal moment for Jessica that changed her life. “Having my first child.” She said. “Having been a foster parent of a newborn baby prior, I naively thought that I knew exactly how this motherhood thing worked. It was going to be the happiest time of my life. And then, it wasn’t. It was totally different going through postpartum emotions and struggles.” Jessica admits. “ It took me almost a year to realize that I could do something about it.” She said. “I started on accident really.”
She began exercising in her living room 25 minutes per day. “My goal was to lose the baby weight. I thought that would make me happier.” Before she lost the weight however she gained something so much more. “Self confidence and a new found belief in myself. An outlet for my stress, strength, energy, and more.” She said. “It, (exercise) transformed all of the other aspects of my life, and then my body.”
Importance of exercise
If you follow Jessica Lebrun on Instagram you know first hand how important physical fitness is to her. What you may not know is that she used to cringe at the thought of exercise. “Now I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through the toughest times of my life without it”. She said. “It’s hard to explain in words the internal changes that happen when you exercise regularly. Endorphins really do make people happy. More than that, sticking to an exercise routine makes me more focused, more confident and more energetic.” Jessica said that exercise has helped her handle all that life throws at her.
Jessica refers to herself as pretty simple. “As cliché as it may sound.” She said. “I just want to be a good person. A good person isn’t perfect, and they don’t pretend to be. I can definitely work with that. When I fail I want to learn. When I am wrong I want to make it right. I never want to stop learning, and I always want to try to be a positive light.” She is motivated by her desire to connect with and help as many women as she can. “I love how we can reach women all over the world and have this “community” to encourage each other.”
We are not alone
With respect to the future needs, happiness and success for women, Jessica had this to say, ”We are going to need a lot of moxie, that’s for sure! We need to learn to focus more on self-care so we can be the best version of ourselves.” She feels it’s vital for women to lessen how much they compare themselves with others. Instead she says to practice comparing oneself to the person we were yesterday. “It could go a long way in terms of our overall happiness and success.”
Jessica has been blessed to have experienced life overseas as a child. Today she says, “I get to connect with and get to know women from all over the place. One thing that stands out to me is that all of these women tend to feel so alone in their struggles. I think it would benefit them to know, we are all so much more alike than we tend to think. We may have different styles, talk differently, live differently, but at the core of it we all need, want, and struggle with the same things. We are definitely not alone.
To join The Moxie Crew, simply reachout to Jessica or her sister and Co-Founder, Heather at www.onmoxieandmotherhood.com.
Jessica’s top 5 books?
#The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
#The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
#The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
#Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden