"Certified Life Coach, Blogger, and Spreader of Joy"
Jenny Ryan is presently working on an e-book called: “It’s Hard to Meditate When the Cat’s on Your Head”.
I haven’t asked, but I expect that the e-book will be - seriously - about meditating AND - hilariously - about cats and other pesky distractions.
Jenny does that - combines funny and factual, deep issues with a joyful sense of humor.
Her new blog showcases her sense of joyfulness - covering such topics as: division of labor in a marriage (A Tale of Two Spouses), what goes on with our bodies - and fear related to this (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell), as well as cat-related observations (one of which is called: Jenny’s First Law of Feline Dynamics).
Here’s how Jenny answered the Square-Peg People interview questions:
How do you see yourself as a Square-Peg?
Whatever environment I’m in, school or age peers, I have never gone the way the general mass consensus went. I tried to be invisible - but it didn’t work.
...some kind of physical/genetic/personality thing that I can’t NOT stand out.
I don’t fit in anyone’s boxes.
What has been the hardest for you as a Square-Peg?
When I was 13 I moved from a suburb of Washington, D.C. - in Va. - to Charlotte, N.C. - the South!
I went from a small, religious school - where my mother taught - to a larger, private (not church-affilitated) school...
Jenny said that, in her old, smaller school:
I was a big fish in a little pond.
Everyone liked me. I was into achieving...
But at her bigger, new school:
...I was the opposite of “them” in every way.
I had no accent, didn’t know the popular 1985 culture, didn’t know about fashion, didn’t drink.
I felt like I was on a microscope slide - and everything I did was transmitted to all classmates.
Everyday I thought I would die.
Jenny described how she coped with her worst Square-Peg experience:
...I decided: I’ll give you something to notice!
I stood up for my religious beliefs and my personal integrity.
I didn’t drink and was vocal about it; and I stood up for kids who couldn’t stand up for themselves.
...I decided to fake confidence. I would cough or yawn to clear myself then look people in the eyes. I pretended to walk with confidence.
She chose to display her talent as a pianist:
...I was the accompanist for everything, that saved me. No one else did that.
And she did a very radical, Square-Peg-inspiring, thing - she created a Square-Hole world for herself and others in her school. Jenny explained:
...at lunch all the kids who weren’t accepted would sit at my table.
I didn’t exclude anyone.
She also used humor and her ability to tell a story. Jenny said that other high schoolers:
turned to me to sum up the situation...
to turn events into stories - funny stories.
Jenny has continued to build on the foundation of observation - seeing things differently - and questioning that she established as a young girl at a new school in the South.
How do you maintain your Square-Pegness in a round-hole world?
Jenny said that she asks:
“How else can I see this?” about what she observes.
I keep an open connection to my creativity.
...find a funny way to look at things - and find something to say about it and engage.
She says that:
Because of the way I see the world people like to be around me.
...and also: I know what it’s like to be sad.
Because of suffering from...Depression for many years, I go out of the way to find ways for people to feel good.
What Square-Peg trait are you most proud of?
Courage - I face things...generally. I look at things and let them be what they are, more and more...
Jenny uses the phrase “more and more” when talking about change. She says the phrase was passed to her from one of her coaches - a grace-full, space-making phrase, which allows you to change - rather than forcing it...
I practice relaxing my judgments and stories - that takes the charge off things.
Jenny’s humor energizes her writing and coaching.
My blog comes from...seeing the world in new ways and telling stories.
I can say alot of stuff because I say it funny - say it out of being in touch with who I am.
I show people how they can see things in a different way...tell the truth and inspire others.
...give permission to be who they are. I tell the truth in a way that people listen to...
I can vouch for that, as Jenny is a coach that I’ve gone to when I’ve been stuck and in need of grace.
When I asked Jenny to describe how she writes humor (which is HARD to do!) she said:
I’m in tune to how things sound, it’s how I’m wired.
It’s a process thing. I process things aurally - because of being a pianist . Truthfully, I have intuitive hits - they appear in my brain.
She also mentioned the attraction principle:
...because I am looking for funny it’s there.
So what can a Square-Peg-Person learn from Jenny Ryan?
There are alternate ways to see every situation - you just have to look.
It takes courage to face things, but when you do you can make a difference. You can create a Square-Hole for yourself and others.
Be on the lookout for humor - it can open your eyes to the possibilities noted above. Angeles Arrien (in The Second Half of Life) writes: “The comedian Victor Borge said that laughter was the shortest distance between two people. Laughter lightens our burdens, releases our attachments, and restores balance.”
Humor opens doors to connection and change. Yes? Jenny Ryan has many facets: She’s a coach, Spanish tutor, cat lover, collector of 8-syllable words and a joyous, funny woman.
You can read about her coaching services, check out her funny blog and find out how to contact her here.
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