37. (S2E1) Your Comeback After the Fall with Jenny Vaz

My guest, Jenny Vaz, and I are talking about picking yourself up after you’ve been knocked down. And Jenny managed to bring herself back from a very dark place.

New years and new seasons are often the times people look to revise and improve on who they are. It’s easy to keep yourself busy with all kinds of distractions – your job, family, travel adventures – to give you the illusion of being fine. Eventually though, things will unravel, you’ll fall out of the boat and into a storm churned ocean, as Jenny says, and you’ll have to figure out how to survive and hopefully get to a point of thriving. Change is constant. How are you going to manage through it?

After 20 years of life in the I.T. fast lane, Jenny Vaz felt ready to run her own business as a career coach in Sydney. She fell headlong into a dark tunnel instead and stayed there for six months. Broke, broken-hearted and isolated, she battled her past traumas and own worst thoughts in that time.

Through that experience, she developed a mindset of “Just 1% Better” for each waking day. Since then, she has gone on to create a successful coaching business to help people to heal from their trauma & overcome their fears to run successful businesses and live the lives they signed up for.

Jenny is now on a mission to share what 1% Better a day looks like, starting with the most foundational: self-care. Self-care that doesn’t cost you energy or money.

Jenny’s hype song is Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out. Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/track/0ew27xRdxSexrWbODuLfeE?si=pXigZOxySLiN6pd-GPRUww&nd=1

Website: https://www.jennyvaz.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennyvaz/

For community and camaraderie, Come join us in the Fine is a 4-Letter Word Facebook group.

Get a PDF with all the key takeaways from all the Season 1 episodes at ZenRabbit.com/2021takeaways

Transcript
Lori Saitz:

Hello and welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word My guest today is Jenny Vaz. I'm so happy to have you on my show as a guest today, Jenny, welcome.

Jenny Vaz:

How are you? Thanks for having me on the show. I'm so excited to be here. And hello everyone watching or listening?

Lori Saitz:

Yes. From from downunder your calling right?

Jenny Vaz:

Yeah, it's. It's up at this hour as I call it. Yeah, it's 70 and where I am so yeah. Yeah. How's the how's the weather on your side?

Lori Saitz:

So your eyes all you're all bright, bright eyed,

Jenny Vaz:

bright? Yeah,

Lori Saitz:

it's a it's a beautiful fall day.

Jenny Vaz:

Yeah, we coming into spring or at least I think it looks like spring but springs kind of got the memo. And she went, I'm out. In summers here in sped?

Lori Saitz:

Yeah, so I like to start off all of my conversations with the question, what were the values and beliefs that were instilled in you as you were growing up, that then affected some of the decisions you made as a young adult, or all the way into adulthood? Not necessarily just young adult?

Jenny Vaz:

Three can think of three family, education, religion, faith. So yeah, family comes first. family honor, you do everything to take care of the family, making sure that everybody's okay. That was what was distilled into me, instilled into me the other was education can go wrong, can miss out. must strive hard, must work hard, so you can get a really good job. Don't screw it up. That was the other important one. Don't screw up the opportunity to study. Okay. And, and then of course, the faith. Got to keep the faith. The Yeah, growing up with a family that's Catholic, born and raised Catholic, multi generational Catholics. So there was pretty much instilled in us, I still remember praying the rosary on my knees, and I was the only one doing it. Mom and dad, the boys didn't have to do it. I've got three older brothers. So they had a different set of standards by that time. But yeah, you know, these were the three. Why didn't they have? Because they were boys. And so they got a different set of rules. You know, boys will be boys can control them, but you better not Peter. Okay. And my, my brothers and I we are okay. All right. And then so that. Now when I was nine, they were in there. They were 18 and above. So they got a they were already in adult life. Oh, wow. That by that time? Yeah. That was still a kid. Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

Yeah. So are those values? Did they serve you? Well? Do you still still subscribe to them? Tell me more about how that turned out? Yeah,

Jenny Vaz:

I mean, when it comes to education, for me, learning learning is a perpetual quest. I will constantly seek out information. I constantly have a thirst. I want to understand things that I don't even want to don't even need to understand. Except maybe quantum physics because but I tried it not for me. But yeah, you know, I'm curious about the human mind, I'm curious about where we are in the main frontiers of science, the human mind, the universe, the oceans, the environment, we, I have this belief that as far as we go, we will only know 2% of everything that we can understand. And there's still another 98% that we will never understand. Not in our lifetimes, maybe. But we will always just be at 2% and I'm quite happy. Just learning about as much as I can with that bandwidth. And yeah, for me, education. Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

Okay, does that does that alternately? Does that alternately give you the sense that you never know enough?

Jenny Vaz:

Um, it keeps me humble. That's what it does. And that's where the faith comes in. And I tell this to people I know and I care about, we we make all our decisions based on the 2% everything that's humanly possible is the 2%. And everything that is in the faith sphere is in the 98%. That is what we are trusting. That is what we are surrendering. Yeah. Believing that it kind of gets taken care of the cosmos. believe in the power of the universe. We have a god spiritual God that you believe in. That's the idea. percent. So for me, it takes the pressure off me trying to be perfect. And keeps me open to what’s possible out there.

Lori Saitz:

Okay, Yeah, interesting that you said you're not, you don't understand quantum physics because a lot of that part is quantum physics. Some of the, you know, a lot of the understanding that people are coming to is through quantum physics in that tied together with that spiritual realm.

Jenny Vaz:

I learned something new today. So thank you for adding to it.

Lori Saitz:

Yeah, so So tell me the stories of what, you know how your life progressed as you got older. Because there was at one point, obviously, the show was called Fine is a 4-Letter Word. At some point, your life got to a place where everything was fine. But it really wasn't fine.

Jenny Vaz:

Yeah, I'm fine, for me was really the best way that I could mask how things were not fine. how things were really fucked up for me. And find was a way of saying, I think I'm on a life raft. I like to believe among life raft, but actually, I'm drowning. I'm drowning. And so every day I woke up,

Lori Saitz:

did you know you're drowning? I know. Or where were you? Like, so sometimes people say they're fine, because they don't know that they're not fine. Did you know you weren't fine.

Jenny Vaz:

I had. So in my early 20s hours, I was focused on the career, getting a job coming out of university, getting a job, and taking care of the family, just making sure I could do all of that. So there was no real time to focus on when I was fine or not, it was just get on with it. In my 30s, I would say it was let's go and have the best adventure life can give us so that we can make up for the fact that we are not fine. So it that that gave her a drive to live in different parts of the world. My work took me in many places, six different countries. And now he Australia. And I have had I've traveled everywhere possible, nearly possible before COVID. So yeah, so I had great distractions, to give me this illusion of being fine. And it was only when, about three years ago, and I hit that wall. And I realized how, how much of an illusion it was really? Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

What was what was it that was there a specific moment that you realize that or was it a sequence of events that led you to that understanding?

Jenny Vaz:

To me, fortunately, it was, it was the unraveling of a gift layers by layer. So imagine you have this gift that's packaged with layers of wrapping paper. So the layers came off slowly. And I think the way I was living my life was so incongruent to how I needed to be that eventually the whole thing just fell apart. In short, me what exactly was going on? The the kicker was three years ago, when when I lost someone whom I thought I would be with forever, and I finally met someone who understood me. And that didn't work out. And I was very lost and confused over that. Then eventually, it was the family the relationship with the family started to sour really badly. It was all really bad. And then it just took another turn. And then it became the job because they say it's good things come in threes.

Lori Saitz:

Right,

Jenny Vaz:

and I had that trifecta.

Lori Saitz:

Oh, I've heard good things and bad things come in threes. If

Jenny Vaz:

you asked me a few years ago, I would have said bad things come in threes. Now I'm like, You know what, actually, they can be good too. Once you give yourself a chance to breathe.

Lori Saitz:

Yeah, it's really about their perspective, right? So in the moment, it seemed like it was something terrible. And then maybe when you get a little distance from it, you see it from a different perspective and see the gift or the opportunity that came within that. Yeah.

Jenny Vaz:

When When you fall out of the life raft, you're in deep water, it's quite difficult to be grateful to be in deep water with the storm in the sea churning you and tossing you about. And when you don't know how to swim, or you haven't sharks, right, and you haven't quite learned how to swim, and you don't know where you are, you can't see land. So it's hard to be hard to have gratitude to know that you're alive and thank God your life, you're like, No, you can't you're thinking about survival at that point. It's survival.

Lori Saitz:

Right? Right. What were some of the tools that you were able to grab on to, to get back onto that life raft or to find your way to land?

Jenny Vaz:

Yeah. By that point in my life, I had left my job as well. So I had fallen into this place where I save I had unconsciously decided to completely abandon myself. I threw myself off the life raft, wittingly or unwittingly. And being out there in the water, as much as it was about survival, it was really aware, please, I had no hope. I really felt hopeless. There was no way I was going to come out of the state that I had put myself in, it was so dire in your in the reason I say this is because I'm one of those people who I'm the source of strength for everybody else. I was at that point, I was everyone's pillar. And I was never given the opportunity or the space to say I need a pillar. I need a source of strength. And so coming out and realizing I didn't have I thought I had the support structures to help me to get out of that turbulent sea. I didn't. And I learned that I had to do it by myself. You see, you know, we hear this all the time. The only one who can rescue you is you. Baldr I learned that the hard way. I remember the days Lori I would be in bed, and I couldn't get out of it. You know that game the kids play lava, or even adults play. The floor is lava, and you got to jump off.

Lori Saitz:

I don't know that game.

Jenny Vaz:

You catch these videos and you say this. What are we jumping off? Someone says the floor is lava. Everyone has to jump off the floor and land on something else.

Lori Saitz:

Okay, okay.

Jenny Vaz:

And that's what it felt like for me except it wasn't again, I couldn't get out of bed. I I would stay in my pajamas for a series of days. If I was lucky. If I brushed my hair, brushed my teeth couldn't eat. And I know that the only thing that kept me going, were these CrossFit athletes. And I would watch them on Instagram. And one of them her name is Katrina Davíðsdóttir. I think she's from Iceland, and she's a CrossFit athlete. She's super buff super strong. And every time she posted a workout video she would be smiling so radiantly. And that would fill my heart. Say, Oh, okay. And that would be enough to keep me going. Because most days it often felt like maybe today's the day I ended up I make that final decision. That was how every single minute weather week are asleep. That's how I felt. In the daytime when I was awake, I would watch her videos. And I watch another athletes videos. They were working at the gym. They're sweating. superfit, and that would be enough some days I'll feel like oh, maybe today's the day I can get out a bit maybe today I'll go for a walk. Maybe today I'll eat. No, today had to stay in bed again. And almost every day felt like that. Some days I would get a bit better I did put on my gym clothes. But I did not go out just a little marginally better. And eventually, the way of being became just 1% just 1% Any that's all just 1% better. And it's okay whether you're in bed. It's okay. If you've made it out the door. All of that is my 1% better. And then all this time I still didn't feel hopeful about myself. situation still felt very dire. But just holding on to this face of whatever 1% Better meant, or could mean, kept me going. And eventually I came out

Lori Saitz:

Where did that? So, I there's like a little bit of a delay here. So where did that 1%? Let me just focus on the 1% better. Where did that come from?

Jenny Vaz:

I have no idea. I what I do know, is that in, in when I was, prior to all of that, in the last 18 years of my life, everything was less just push a bit more push a bit more. And it was that ethos was also about 1%. What more can I do with 1%? It was the goal given me the driver in me get results accomplish, achieve. And it suddenly became the survival tactic. When, when I was in those dire months of my life, so it was an interesting switch in application, the previous 1% It would get me you know, if that's the reason I had this most amazing life, traveling and living in different parts of the world. I was shameless in what I went for. Nothing could stop me tell me no. And I'll prove you why I should have it.

Lori Saitz:

Yeah, love it. Love it.

Jenny Vaz:

Being in this new way of 1% better just meant that I could, I was actually holding myself safe. That was the best that I could do. In the worst period of my life. Being in open water, and struggling and telling yourself you are safe. In that moment, it's missing. Okay, I'm still alive. I'm still breathing. I can catch my breath. We know, we know now when the next wave is coming. When the next storm has come and just catch a breath. That was it 1%?

Lori Saitz:

How long? How long were you in that place? And then what was it that finally got you to take the steps out the door? Because I know when we talked before. This are in our pre show inner talk. You said eventually. And obviously you're here now you've gotten dressed. You're getting on here talking to me, you're you're running your life again? How did that how did tell me about the progression and how you got to where you are now

Jenny Vaz:

one of the reasons I left my job was because I wanted to go into my business full time as a coach, as a life coach. And I thought, Okay, I'm really, you know, I've got all these years of experience, I can do this. And I worked for a company called Gartner where they teach C level executives to make really great decisions about their business. So I've got, I've got the know how, and I talk to these guys on a regular basis, I know what I'm doing. And I jump out into the open ocean and say, Oh, crap, life doesn't prepare you for this. Nothing prepares you for this. And I remember telling you, it felt like I was just walking away with all the knowledge in the world. And again, only the 2% that I could apply into my new reality. That was what I was, I think that was the biggest shocker. I made the worst financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical decisions possible, because I was so not ready for the transition. And as a result, I stayed in this suspended ocean for about six months. And coming out of the ocean. I worked with a coach as well to help me with the emotional aspect of it. And I think that was one of the most important pieces. But we only got to like a third of the work, to be honest. But at least the groundwork has been done where we got through the trauma, the healing of the trauma that I was been holding on to. But coming out of that I still had to figure out who I was. I mean, who are we without our trauma. And we've lived our lives through one lens. Interesting question our lives through one lens, or one identity. Who do you become when you're no longer that person?

Lori Saitz:

As you know, I'm reading a book. I'm reading Joe Dispenza his book right now on becoming supernatural. And in it he talks about how we are addicted to whatever it is addicted to the drama, or as you're saying addicted to the trauma, addicted to worrying, addicted to whatever it is that we are addicted to and don't even realize we just plug into that every single day. And live our lives the same way today as we did yesterday because we just keep plugging into that same dynamic and

Jenny Vaz:

I was very attracted to chaos. That was my flavor. So anything to do with chaos, even at work, they would throw me into chaotic situations because I can go in and Alright, let's let's get this shit done. That was my superhero strength.

Lori Saitz:

You be the hero, right?

Jenny Vaz:

And after all of that, after I did the emotional healing, I saw calm for the first time in my life, and I went, What the fuck do I do with this? I do not do well in calm. That's not serve me calm is not my jam. I cannot be calm. This is unusual. What do I do? And I started, like, maybe I need to find chaos again. Where can I get chaos? Because that was the old way was the only way I knew how to do it. You know, we like you said we are addicted. We are addicted because it's familiar. It's comfortable. It's comfortable.

Lori Saitz:

Right? Right. It is familiar and comfortable. It doesn't serve us necessarily but it's familiar and comfortable. It might not even actually be comfortable. It's just familiar.

Jenny Vaz:

And when I say it's comfortable, it's if you've been sitting in a swamp for very long time. And you've given up trying to fight being in a swamp. If you're just going to hang out in the swamp. Then even if you see green grass, right,

Lori Saitz:

right. best analogies.

Jenny Vaz:

Even if you see green grass, you're like No my swamp’s good. I'll stay in here. Look at my skin that's glistening. Yeah. This is yes. Right. Yes. My lifestyle.

Lori Saitz:

What do you get from your swamp? Yeah, yeah. And so now you you've adjusted to the calm and built built your business built your life on based on that moving forward,

Jenny Vaz:

right? It feels phenomenal. You know, when I finally came out of that darkness, everyday became the ethos of 1%. Better, that was all I was focused on. And the foundation of it is still the foundation that supports my life right now that very first, then those next six months, your comeback is way more important than the fall. How you come back. That's what I've learned. Yes, my comeback was so effective, because all I did was 1% Jenny, just 1%, just 1%. And if it meant 1% looked like staying in bed because I need to have a good old cry. Because what the fuck do I do with this calm. Or staying in bed meant that I still didn't have my faith. I still didn't have my beliefs. I didn’t have my hope. I didn't know what I was going to do. But I knew that just 1% I'm going to take care of myself. Everyone's talking about self care today. Boyd COVID teaches about how not to have self care. You know, before COVID We were going for massages, our holidays, the spa, the shopping the eating, there was self care. But COVID told us you know, you need to figure this out again. Try again. Self Care became

Lori Saitz:

self care means something different than just getting massages and to end spending money on yourself.

Jenny Vaz:

Self Care became it’s okay to cry. It's okay to fall apart. Yes, it's okay to have a bad day. We all have them. We normalize. You know, self care normalizes the experience that we have as humans. That's what it did for me. Right? This is my human condition. This is how I experienced my emotions, my world. And my self care, my version of self care just normalized that for me, and I still do that today. I don't spend the whole day crying now it's maybe one minute, once a week. And sometimes some days.

Lori Saitz:

Yeah, allowing yourself to have those emotions and those experiences actly.

Jenny Vaz:

And from 1% becomes 10% Better, becomes 30% better in, in one year, if you just did 1% in 365. But if there were days you had 1020 I remember I have a journal where I was recording everything. And in there, I still do my journal. And it's the reason is because it's kept me alive. You know, these are the things that I care about. I wrote down today I cried, I allowed myself to cry. Yes, today I went for a walk all the 1% that I did. It was to recognize,

Lori Saitz:

I love that you just said that you wrote in your journal today, I allowed myself to cry. That's so powerful.

Jenny Vaz:

The, the thing that I missed was missed out before was allowing myself to just be me. I could never find that space. When I was going after my goals. And I was living this great life. I didn't allow myself to be me. I was hiding the real me. Now I take care of her more like the most precious thing I have. She's the most important person in my life.

Lori Saitz:

Yeah. Are there other techniques? Or are things that you do? So you journal? Are there other things that you do to take care of yourself as well? Are you now doing CrossFit? What were you inspired by the all those CrossFitters?

Jenny Vaz:

Part of me my hip is going we should do Spartan? I'm not there yet.

Lori Saitz:

Okay, I had to ask

Jenny Vaz:

me working out is important. But these days, what I'm doing is I do a lot of walks. So I live by the ocean. And it's great to just go out and stretch your legs smell that salty air sit in the sun, as the weather warms up. And or, you know, your feet touch grass. Even that in itself is soothing. And there are days where I'm not ready for that. The best thing I can do is decompress in bed. All I do is I lay down for 10-15 minutes, I don't even have to cry. I don't have to force anything on myself. Just go ahhh. And that's enough. One of the things that I learned these last few years is telling myself my feelings, My thoughts are okay, they are safe with me. I don't need to judge or shame. I've stopped judging and shaming myself. And even when I catch myself doing that, I'll be like, No, we decided we're not going to deflect that anymore.

Lori Saitz:

We decided we're not going to do that anymore. I that is another you just keep dropping all this powerful stuff. But making that decision because that decision is that first point like you have to decide, before anything else happens. You decided that 1% Better was going to be the goal. You decided to let yourself be okay with crying or staying in bed all day, if that's what you needed to do. It's that decision point

Jenny Vaz:

in what amuses me is people say oh, is because you're single is because you don't have children. So you have that luxury. Right? You you live on your own. So you have all this luxury that you can decide these things. I can't. And that breaks my heart because we've we've been programmed, socially programmed to believe that we cannot make these decisions because of these obligations that we have. And that's how I used to live my life. And now I have an acute awareness of how much more power you have in making such decisions. But if you don't recognize that you need to make such a decision, then everyone else is going to make the decision for you.

Lori Saitz:

Yes, thank you for sharing that. That important point of it all. Yeah.

Jenny Vaz:

We have our obligations, we have work, we have children, these things happen. This is life, we have illness in the family. This is life. It's gonna keep coming at us 800 miles an hour with curveballs and whatnot. In that moment, we can keep driving forward with our eyes closed, with our eyes wide open. Or driving by looking in the rearview mirror. Some of us keep looking back into the past. But you and I know and anyone who drives knows, or even just walking on the street, you need to keep looking forward. Keep looking around. You need to be active and present in the moment. And that requires making these decisions saying, I'm not safe to be driving right now I need to pull over. I need to just take care of whatever it is that's going on. Right? The same principle applies.

Lori Saitz:

This has been so enlightening. This conversation. Thank you so much. Now, before we go, I have to ask what is your hype song? What's the song that you listen to? When you need an extra boost of energy? When you finally get yourself out the door to go for a walk? Maybe okay? Or when you feel like dancing when you make the decision to dance? What is the song you live? All right,

Jenny Vaz:

I'm gonna sing in slightly off key, but who the fuck cares? It's from the Lovely Lady Diana Ross in the song.

Lori Saitz:

You're gonna sing it for us.

Jenny Vaz:

Now I'm coming out. I want the world to know. Gotta let it show. I'm coming

Lori Saitz:

that was a fantastic rendition. Thanks,

Jenny Vaz:

nada. It's an honor. So yeah, that's my that's my theme song right now.

Lori Saitz:

Beautiful. Now, if people want to get in touch with you, people who listen to this podcast, want to get in touch with you and continue a conversation with you. ask you questions, how can they reach you?

Jenny Vaz:

Check out my work at JennyVaz.com That's why we where you find out what I'm up to when you find out more about what's happening with 1% better. My focus is to make the world 1% better every day. So if you want to get on that bandwagon, check out the site. If you want to get in touch to see how else you can make your life 1% Better. drop me an email Jenny at JennyVaz.com and I'll respond to you.

Lori Saitz:

Beautiful, we'll put links for that in the show notes as well. So we'll make it really easy. Thank you so much for joining me today. Jenny on Fine is a 4-Letter Word.

Jenny Vaz:

Thanks for having me. Lori

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