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158: Finding Wellness Thru Travel & Eastern Massage Therapies – with Jessica Van Antwerp

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She’s on a quest to empower and heal. 

Years ago, Jessica Van Antwerp was a typical college student searching for answers to life’s conundrums. 

Still figuring out what to do with her future, Jessica changed her major from business to philosophy (dad was not happy.) This one decision tells us so much about her – Jessica is a thinker. A critical thinker. A big thinker. Finding business school to be a bore, she fell in love with philosophy, which fit her like a glove, and those thinking skills she picked up would serve her well as an adult. She never stopped asking big questions and seeking truth. 

Jessica was an athlete in high school, and she was always interested in health and fitness. Over the years, she has lived on a vegetarian diet, but some severe health results (that she shares with Wade) brought her back to eating meat. 

If you struggle with addiction, be sure to tune in as Jessica talks about her seven-year daily addiction to weed. She has also leaned on alcohol and even nicotine at times during stressful periods. Today, those substances are far behind her. Still relatively young (late 30s), Jessica has overcome addictions, stress, and childhood trauma through two powerful physical and emotional therapy modes: traveling and massage. 

Today, Jessica is an entrepreneur whose business focuses on both travel and Asian massage therapy.

She is the owner and CEO of Integral Travel – a wellness retreat company that educates people on how to unlock the natural healing capacity of their bodies while connecting people around the globe. 

She draws on over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry. Her experiences with anxiety, weight, low self-esteem, and addiction are also huge contributors to her knowledge base today. 

Jessica is also a licensed massage therapist trained in several eastern schools of massage, including Shiatsu, Qigong, Thai Yoga Massage, and other energy modalities. 

Her story will grab you by the qi. Don’t miss this fantastic conversation between Jessica and our host, Wade Lightheart. You’ll learn a whole lot during this 80-minute journey.  

In this podcast, we cover:

  • Jessica and Wade geek out over the topic of philosophy
  • The childhood wounds Jessica discovered that were holding her back and how she overcame those traumatic memories
  • The various modes of massage Jessica practices and how they help people
  • Jessica’s profound spiritual moment 
  • Jessica’s transition from staunch atheist to belief in a “higher power” 
  • How Jessica overcame weed addiction
  • From low self-worth to self-love
  • What are Qigong and its ancient medicinal practices
  • Jessica’s nervous breakdown and how she found restoration

The answers lie within, not outside of you.

During the show, Jessica talks about when she first discovered a particular form of Qi gong called Sheng Zhen Gong, which means unconditional love. Here’s an excerpt: “I immediately felt its power. I went from feeling qi in the palms of my hands to feeling it in my entire body. And I felt my heart. It was like that scene from the Grinch, where his heart grows three times and busts out.”

“I felt this in my whole body, and I knew this was my medicine. I dove into the practice. Within a month, I was at a five-day meditation retreat with Master Li, the founder of Sheng Zhen. In China, he trained with a women’s martial arts team for over a decade. He’s a Kung Fu movie star. This guy knows what he’s doing in relation to energy. And so I practiced every day for six months before I felt normal. Meanwhile, very little had changed about my external circumstances.” 

“I think this is the key I want anyone listening to understand – sometimes there’s not a lot you can do about the stressors in your life. They are your responsibilities, your obligations. What you can do is change your relationship with them.” 

Gaining New Perspectives

You may already have a taste of the impact a retreat can provide – particularly a focused, organized retreat. As the CEO of Integral Travel, Jessica offers powerful wellness retreats. She says: “That’s sort of the pinnacle of what we offer during a multi-day experience, just immersing or exploring one’s inner terrain while the attendee is exploring an outer terrain that is unfamiliar.”

“The newness sheds new light and gives perspective on what you’re confronting and learning about yourself through the internal practices that we do – yoga, qi gong, meditation – how it takes you out of your day-to-day routine so you can look back and ask yourself, “Okay, what aspects of this are working for me, supporting my health, my vitality, making me feel good? What aspects of my daily life are not so good?” 

“What do I want to change? That’s the magic of going on a retreat – giving conscious attention to your life and yourself, as opposed to just going on vacation, feeding on activities.”

“A retreat is different. It’s about inner reflection for long-term change in your life.” 

Don’t feel ashamed if life seems overwhelming. Jessica has been there. She worked 90 hours per week at one point and had a nervous breakdown. With refreshing honesty and compassion, she shares the high and low points of her life. Dealing with addictions, emotional hurts, workaholism, and then the spiritual turning point that led to healing travels and life-altering rejuvenation through eastern meditation, yoga, and qi gong. 

Check out this episode – love is energy, and it can turn your life around.   

Episode Resources: 
Check out more about Jessica Van Antwerp & Integral Travel

Integral Travel YouTube Channel
Integral Travel on Instagram
Integral Travel on Facebook

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning. Good afternoon. And good evening. It's Wade T. Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the awesome health podcast. And today we're going to talk about the power of transformational travel and its regenerative potential. Plus a little bit about Kion, Kion, whatever you want to call that we'll get into it with our expert today, who is Jessica van Antwerp. She is the owner and CEO of integral travel, providing wellness, retreats, and education to teach people, how do you unlock the natural healing capacity of their bodies will connect them with others and the planet she draws on over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry, as well as the wisdom she's gaining through her personal struggles with it, anxiety, weight, low self-esteem and addiction. There's nothing more fulfilling to her than empowering people in their own wellbeing and helping them heal their hearts. Jessica, welcome to the show today. Thanks

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Ed. Nice to be here.

 Speaker 3: Well, Hey, you know we were just chatting before the podcast. You're up in smoky during the burn of 2021. We had this in 2020 out here in California. Now it seems to have spread around north America with what a lot of people don't understand is the lack of forestry management over a course of decades by well-meaning people who the media automatically assumes that fires are bad and evil and they certainly can cause damage to civilized environments and things like that. But they are a natural part of the cycle of how the people works. And our forest management system has been very myopic because it's been driven by mass hysteria, anxiety and stuff. And there's a lack of true identification. I learned this years ago when I was I was friends, I was coaching as CEO executive of the second largest forestry company in the world and who was a real conscientious individual.

 Speaker 3: And he was explaining the nuances of this. And there was a big dead forest that Alberta British Columbia area, that was a big problem that they didn't manage properly because of a variety of different reasons. And this is something that I think is related to some of the things that you do, and that is humanity has been on a pathway of industrialization and rapid technological innovation, which has kind of, yeah, SERP, the traditional methodologies and methods of how humans used to gather connect live. And increasingly we are seeing an incredible amount of mental health issues self-esteem issues and the correlation of behavior. That's less becoming of being a whole healthy, happy human, you know, whether it's addiction, whether it is overwork, whether it's under work, whether it's an overall sense of malaise, we're seeing this kind of go exponentially indirect proportion to the rise of technology. Can you give us a little bit about, of a background maybe of what we talked about in your bio about what your own journey, maybe in the dark side of, of the human condition and then how you've kind of brought yourself to the light, if you will, and are sharing that with others.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Yeah, absolutely. So I succumbed to all of the things that you just mentioned about overworking engaging in behaviors that are not supportive of our, our highest health and most vitality. I, it's kind of, you know, it's kind of been a long and winding journey. I was an athlete growing up, so I was always a fit, but wasn't, but I was always chubby. And, and looking back now, knowing what I know about nutrition, it was because you know, after our games, we just go over to the McDonald's and, you know, eat our post-game calories that didn't have any vitamins and minerals to help our bodies actually recover from, from the, the, the stress that we put them under, you know, doing what we were doing. I played volleyball. I was a swimmer, I played basketball. And so in college I became a vegetarian mostly because I learned about what the sickness that most animals in the mass meat industry are actually that they actually have before they're slaughtered and then packaged up and sent to the local grocery store.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And it just, it just really opened my eyes to the food chain essentially from, from the source to my mouth. So I stopped eating animals for about five years, but hadn't, hadn't been caught up with my nutritional knowledge of how to maintain a healthy iron levels primarily. And so I became severely anemic and I actually lost consciousness in public places twice. Which led to me being like, okay, I think I need to eat meat again, but it also spurred more of a deep dive into nutrition and, and the alternate sources of iron that one can replace animal products with, to maintain health, you know, being a vegetarian concurrently with that, I was sort of getting into, I was majoring in philosophy in college and really was taken by some of the Eastern philosophical ideas. And 

 Speaker 3: Quick question, quick interjection, cause I've a little bit of the secret philosopher. So who are your more influential, philosophical influences? Would you say that you're kind of exploring, cause it's kind of an ongoing thing, you kind of try different people on at different times and

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Absolutely. So I was really into contemporary philosophy, which actually is not really concerned. Did he explain that for people? What, what contemporary philosophy really that word contemporary actually refers to a time period. I'm the same way that modern and postmodern refer to a time period and like who was really leading the philosophical discussions during that time? So contemporary philosophy was like and, and continental philosophy was from the European continent primarily in like the seventies, eighties, even into the early nineties. And these were like the post postmodernism. And, and this is where it like really wraps back into Eastern philosophy. So it was all about identity. And how do how do you, how do you define something in a post post-modern era? So take, for example, like colonialism, like you have the Indian continent assess country being colonized by Britain's.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: So you have a generation of traditional Indians, then you have these Britain, British people coming in and influencing, mixing the culture. So the next generation that's coming up is neither fully Indian steeped in that tradition because they've been influenced by these British British influences. And so in, in this global world, this kind of one world economy that we have now there's all these like different points that people can pull from to, to create their own identity. Right. so it's, it's all about the web essentially. And that identity is not fixed, but it's it's this ever changing, ever evolving experience that we have of ourselves based on the things that we are exposed to. So some of my favorite philosophers to go back and answer your question were Sean boatyard from France Fuko leotard. So again, yeah, mostly from the the European country,

 Speaker 3: All, all the people that Jordan Peterson's critical of these days, I'm familiar with Jordan Peterson. Jordan is a Canadian psychologist that came to power with the 12 rules for life and 12 more rules or order of chaos or whatever. I think recently he came to fame. So we kind of, what's interesting is right now this, what you identified is this cross-pollination of cultures. Thanks to the interconnectivity of the web is getting people to challenge their beliefs in identities. And what's interesting is it gives rise to Philips soft circle discussions, which were kind of buried for a while. Like we like philosophy in the tech world was kind of like, it's a bunch of people humbling alone, but now we're at a philosophical. Yeah. And the sociological crisis, which, you know, whether it's migrations, whether it's government and policies where it is the apparent division that I think is the product of mass media, because that's what drives, you know, the amygdala response mechanism of a threat, it gets clicked Beatty.

 Speaker 3: And now we're at this melting pot of, you know, we have people from who grew up the last batch of the baby boomers who grew up in kind of the rapid industrialization and factorization or the industrial boom. And then we have the gen X-ers, I think, which you and I are probably in that category somewhere or something like that, which were in between the industrialists in the tech world. And then we've got millennials and below who have been integrated completely with tech and are looking at those people are like, what planet are you on? And we, and everybody's kind of inter fluidly mixing with their ideas and their values and their, and their, you know, their social media page and their webpage and, and the division, because normally there wasn't that kind of exposure to each other groups, historic, you know, we lived in your tribe and that person lived in their Trevor.

 Speaker 3: You lived in your town, but the web has just created this mosh pit. And it's, I think it's really driving a lot of anxiety for people which philosophers are trying to sort this out. And you, you bring up a great idea about identity and not to jump into your story. But I think I want to lay that on the table right now. The reason because we have these, this, this new shift of humanity, I just had a lady on the podcast yesterday who is using AI to predict blood sugar response, 33 hours in advance before you eat. That's how predictive the models are. Jeff Bezos company is ordering products before you do, because they can predict your behaviors. Facebook can tell the likes and dislikes of a 25 year old couples who've been married for 25 years better than the individual. Right. Right. Okay.

 Speaker 3: So now we're in there. So now, and then we have the rise of genetic manipulation. We have the rise of biotech, which is we're becoming kind of cyborgs and there's the whole thing, hilarity movement, and then some fusion, those, and then the old fashioned homosapien who won out voters as CRO Magnin's and [inaudible] and all that kind of, you know, you've all Noah Harari evolution, biology story. So how is all that going back to that, because I kind of jumped the gun here, but I want to get a hold of, cause I think you're going to be able to run with this in a great way. And that's why I wanted to kind of go there. What was happening for you in this situation that, that, that led you into this philosophical situation to kind of look at identity and yourself and, you know, kind of find the Eastern philosophy or

 Jessica Van Antwerp: That's a really great question. And one that I think, I don't think anyone's ever asked me and it sort of relates back to like childhood wounds, you know, and, and then that low self esteem piece, cause the childhood wounds are, you know, where my low self esteem came in. I had these sort of hot, cold relationships with my two, like PRI they're my two primary relationships, which were my brother and my best friend because my parents were divorced and they had joint custody of my brother and I. So we were back and forth between houses every two weeks. So we didn't have parental figures that were a constant in our lives. Right. My brother was my constant

 Speaker 3: Amicable, your parents or was it? Absolutely.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And this was before the age of, you know, co-parenting and amicable divorce. And my parents were incredible role models in that regard. And this was also before cell phones. So, you know, we had a different phone number at each of our houses, so my friends would know like, well, whose house are you at? Like which phone number do I call, you know,

 Speaker 3: Forget about just the, just the logistical issues years ago, 30 years ago.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Like, and now it's just one phone number, wherever you go. It doesn't matter if you're on the other side of the world, it's the same phone number, you know? But anyway, my, my, my brother and my best friend were, they were my best friend when no one else was around. And we had such a great time together and we could like totally let loose. But then as soon with both of them, as soon as anyone else would come around, they would just like turn on me and humiliate me and make me the butt of their jokes and reveal stuff. I had told them in confidence, you know, secrets and it just kind of, it, it was deeply wounding in that it, it sort of gave me the idea that a I wasn't lovable or that B this is what love is, is this hot and cold continual betrayal that then they draw you back in and then and then they reject you again.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And so it was just this like constant pain cycle. So, and there, and I was in a society in a culture and I grew up in Austin, Texas, where at least in my circle of friends where, you know, talking was like the way to express your love, except I'm a really sensitive person. And I, and I also think that there's truth in every, like the fact that you make a joke about it means that it crossed your mind in the first place. So I just was getting my feelings hurt all the time. And so I had originally gotten accepted to college as a, as a computer science major. I wanted to be a programmer and I was, I loved the logic behind it. And I had taken a couple of classes in high school. Then I decided I didn't want to sit in front of a computer all day.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: So I switched to be a business major and I wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps and like be an international business person flying around the world and making big deals between, you know, big companies. And then I start, I started college in the business program and it felt just like high school, like super competitive in a really unhealthy way where people were just catty and like talking behind each other's backs and and very clique-ish. And it just really it didn't feel right. And meanwhile, I had taken as an elective, a philosophy of religion course because I was really fascinated with the, the philosophy of religion and the debate about like, whether there is a God, I was actually staunchly atheist when I was in high school and very scientifically minded. Like you can't prove the existence of God, therefore he doesn't exist. You know, and I'm in this class, this philosophy of religion class just blew my mind wide open and was like, okay, yes, no one can prove the existence of God proved from like a logical, you know, scientific kind of perspective, but also no one can disprove the existence of God or prove that there is no God. So, so kind of an agnosticism is more of a sophisticated

 Speaker 3: Version of the quest for truth. That may be an an atheist is going. So if the atheist becomes absolutely honest with their inquiry, right? So from a scientific truth, the, the absence of observable phenomenon does not mean that the phenomenon itself doesn't exist, right? So there is a limitation within the testing of ice and there needs to be an applied honesty. And I think there's two types of atheists that I've come into contact with. There's the atheist who are frankly atheist because of the rejections of the limitations of their oftentimes early exposure to religion and religious philosophy and got those wounds. And for very well have become very jaded and negative towards those who pursue that as life. And then there's the rigorous hardcore scientists who may have no exposure indifferent, but saying, Hey, if we don't have defendable proof, it doesn't exist. And if you can get past the wounds and get into honesty with oneself, or in honesty with the limitations of our cognitive process, I think it's really great to say, okay, well, we can go to agnostic then let's, let's go a step further than that. Let's continue to hold that because what's interesting is my friends who are what I call honest, if it, for the, for lack of, I don't know if that's the right word, integrous, atheists have a high level of morality for the most part, oftentimes superior to that, of the staunch religious.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Right. Right. So I think it is important to distinguish, you know, when you say, when you're talking about people's childhood wounds from being in a church, I think it's important to distinguish the wounds of a religion versus the wounds of just a belief in God.

 Speaker 3: Could you, could you share that with us? I think that would be enlightening. I never expect the conversation you go to, but this is all

 Speaker 4: I know this is

 Jessica Van Antwerp: A docket, but you know, here we are the, the staunchness of religion, like every, the religions distinguish themselves by tenants, right. By a different ethos and and creeds and saying, these are the rules of this religion, and this is how you should live if you believe in this religion. And so and it, it, it I think it's, and I don't want to offend anybody here, but I think it's,

 Speaker 3: Here's the part that people don't understand about free speech. And that is the tenant of free speech means that you have the license to offend and the license to be offended, because if you take away free speech, right, then you

 Speaker 5: Remove

 Speaker 3: The quest for absolute truth, if that's even possible. And I think that's the consequence of that, right? So it's, I think,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: I think it gets in the way of open discussion, right? So like the choice could be offended as well as the choice to consciously offend sometimes puts a wall up between a productive and constructive conversation around the matter at hand. So I don't want to offend anyone, but I feel free to

 Speaker 3: The damage after. So I appreciate it. I appreciate the conscientiousness from which that's emerging and that you don't want to offend people, but invariably you will and Soviet. So,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Okay. So my thoughts is that that might offend people is that I, I think it's pretty arrogant to, to think that, you know, what God wants or how to interpret you know, God's wishes for us in this lifetime on this planet. And so to say, it's this specific set of rules and not that specific set of rules, that this is how God wants us to live. 

 Speaker 3: That's a good point. That brings up a good point because now you're talking about freedom versus tyrannical. So you're, you're talking about, you know, if I want to self-actualize as a human, which, which situation is the religious doctrine that's being propagated on a person tier radical in its, in its expression, or is it protective in its expression and who makes that decision? Right. Right. And what are the consequences if you choose one way or the other, and this is kind of what we're in the mix of right now, right now, because before you lived in this country were exposed to this religious views, this culture, this dietary habits, and much of those things have emerged from the environment you come from. Right.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And so this is, it does tie back into, you know, our initial conversation about identity, because in a lot of when you start to take the freedom to do this self inquiry and really ask yourself, how do I want to live with what ethos or CRE do I want to live? And maybe question the tenants that you were brought up under, then that's very threatening to the powers in that hierarchy of, you know, whatever religion it may be. So, so they don't, they don't like it. When you question the rules of the religion, they just want you to follow along and and sort of fall in line and obey. And so it limits your self-actualization as you say, in terms of like finding one's identity. And so that sort of constraint, again, to kind of bring it back full circle to that wounding by the creed of the religion, rather than by the spirituality or the belief in God. Okay.

 Speaker 3: So what you're doing is separating the institutional doctrines from the essence of what is essence versus the external appearance of, yeah.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And this is not to say that religion doesn't have a lot of great things for a lot of people and to help them like live better, but and be more ethical people, but there's also a big guilt factor in there can be, can be right. So again, to kind of like come off as a wonderful tangent, but to kind of link it back into the story I took this philosophy of religion course softened my stance, as we said to agnosticism because I was like, okay, I'm not going to be so arrogant to think that I know that there is no God. And, and then just decided I was, so I was so fascinated and engaged in this philosophy class business school was so boring. And, and by the way, very easy, I thought, so I was like, I'm going to change my I'm going to change my major to philosophy much to my father's chagrin. [inaudible]

 Speaker 4: I'm done with science dad. I think I'm going to be a philosopher

 Speaker 3: That really that's a tough sell. Yeah, exactly.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: It was like, what are you going to do with that? I'm like, I don't know, but it's interesting. It's fascinating.

 Speaker 3: There's an irony in this because historically the greatest thinkers of humanity were first philosophers first and then went into oftentimes other fields it's because they were, would be available, which is interesting.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: So I'm a philosopher for hire for anyone who needs a thinker I'm available. Let me know. But the, the ironic thing is I think that I got an amazing education being a philosophy major because I was taught how to think,

 Speaker 3: Not what you think right. Which is completely devoid of the world. Right now. There's very few thinking paradigms that are being taught to people, as opposed to the indoctrination of whatever political religion, corporate philosophy, you know, and, and people don't know how to take arguments apart or put arguments together. Right. Right.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And so it all again, to link back to that industrialization piece that you sort of started the show with is that philosophy is incredibly relevant right now because of the ethical conversation that I think is not being had, certainly not by the people who are running these big tech companies, you know, or maybe they are, but there's still, I feel like really not anticipating well, the consequences of what it is that they're creating. Like have you heard of mark Zuckerberg's new thing about the metaverse

 Speaker 3: That he just, he, oh

 Jessica Van Antwerp: My gosh. I wrote about it last week, but basically he wants to take our, our like pandemic existence of zoom meetings into more of a virtual reality and augmented reality setting. So that you, you actually, instead of, instead of a 2d, like screen with all your coworkers on it, in a zoom meeting, you put on you know, goggles of VR goggles. And, and then you can actually, you're actually in a meeting room in a meeting room with your colleagues instead of on the screen. And so, and you can hear people from your right. You can hear people from your left as if you were actually in the room. And he wants us to basically live our whole lives that way to like go to the gym. And except now, since we've turned our homes into gyms, we can work out from home, but he wants us to sort of like be in augmented virtual reality world all day, every day 

 Speaker 3: Which is so safe or out. But yeah, this has been predicted by advocates at the singularity and the matrix was a great movie for all our young folk who I was actually on my team the other day. And I was like, well, you know, it's kind of like the movies in the matrix and the, the, the younger people that might come here, like, what's the matrix. And I'm like, oh, but what's

 Speaker 4: Fascinating. Is that when we came out, the first one came out in 1999. Wow.

 Speaker 3: Oh yeah. Right. And what was interesting, I mean, that's like razor phones and flipped like that. That was cool, but it was very indicative. And what's interesting that philosophy fits very concurrently with the Bhagavad Gita. If you get into the second and third, particularly the, the philosophical aspects of the ancient Indian spiritual texts kind of costs Cora correlate within that movie. I can see the influence cause having studied that extensively and seeing the influence within that. And then there's also this kind of, you know, this AI driven monster in the, the, the, the thing between humanity. And then of course, what's fascinating. And this was confirmed by this AI tech person who was on her team yesterday, who I think has high ethics, who says that the singularity is inevitable. She believes, and that we actually won't know when we've merged with it.

 Speaker 3: Wow. And yeah, and she has a background in tech. She has a, she has a background in tech, in finance, in government and in private or public philanthropy, private and public philanthropy. And she's back into tech because she says probably market dynamics is what drives most successful proliferation. She's trying to help prediabetics and diabetics manage their blood sugar. But this brings up this topic is like here, we are trying to find health, trying to find our identity in a, in a, I think gender fluidity is one thing. And then yet at the same time, we've never been more tagged and bagged. If you will, with now we see the bio digital convergence that is coming out on government websites. We've got this whole vaccine agenda. That's moving forward with digital passports. We've got the world economic forum suggesting that we need to reimagine the world in the new economic process where we have, you know, bio digital, you know, biometrics, financial information, all put into one system, which is you toe the line, you get the credits, you don't tow the line, you get penalized for this.

 Speaker 3: And we're seeing this within social media algorithms. And of course the impact for the young folks who have grown up with completely immersed in tech, right? The digital world for them is kind of like me in the real world. Like that is their real world. And the real world for them is like me and you like, kind of coming into the digital world. Like it's like, it's, it's inverted. And I think a lot of people don't recognize that the, the significant variance in the world that we've grown up in between say baby boomers, like my parents who can barely run a cell phone to kids nowadays, who are integrated on iPads from the time they're two.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: I know my niece was like, knew how to like swipe and tap and what she was doing on a screen before she could walk probably practically, you know, it's, it's just crazy. And yeah. How do you find an identity in a digital world where you are on so many different platforms and you can create whatever identity you want, but it's not really, but it's more of a facade. It's the identity that you're choosing to show rather than the real you, you know,

 Speaker 3: Ramen in a sense,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Right. Oh man, it's just, it's my, this tied back to you. Cause this is the introduction

 Speaker 4: Into a story I've ever had on the show. My apologies.

 Speaker 3: But you know, when I, when I, when I discovered there's a fellow philosopher on the company, I'm like, I'm in, I'm going all in, forget everything else. That's good. Philosophers

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Are known for, you know, it was just going on and on and on and following this tangent and that tangent, this tangent. And if you like,

 Speaker 3: You got this crisis. Yeah. You got us, you broke from your traditional PR you know, kind of streamlined. You're like, I gotta get my philosophy figured out. I got some old moons going on here. I've gone from a former atheist to maybe an agnostic and then the next,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And I'm trying to figure out who I want to be. And so I actually decided that I needed to leave. Well, I had actually so, and then I even softened my stance from agnosticism even more because I had this amazing, like spiritual awakening experience that was like, okay, there is something. And it was, it was so mundane. The setting, you know, I was like, I was on a road trip driving from Texas to Yellowstone. I got a summer job in Yellowstone in between my junior and senior years of college. And I was driving up there and it was raining. And I was actually just north of Denver and the clouds were hanging really low. But over to the west, you could see where the clouds ended and you could see the continental divide on the other side of the clouds. And it was just like, glistening was still snow covered and like glowing in the sunshine.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And so I'm like driving 70 miles an hour on I 25. And I'm like, can barely keep my eyes on the road. Cause I want to look at this beautiful scene. And then at one point I turned back to face the, and in front of me and the sky, there was this just like opening in the clouds that just went from horizontal, just straight vertical. And there, the clouds were like this teal color that I had never seen before. And it was just this full body. Like almost like I could hear angels singing and I just started crying and I was like, okay, okay. Something is greater than me out there. There's something else. But again, I didn't deign to say like, I know what this being or energy or whatever wants or needs. So it was a big spiritual awakening that then spurred me to move to Colorado.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Which is why I chose Colorado. Cause it happened in Colorado after I graduated college. And that was in a conscious, a conscious decision to get out of that, you know, group of friends who decided that in order to show their love, they were going to make you feel like a piece of, you know, and she's like break you down and make fun of you. And, and I was like, I don't want to engage with people like that. So I, in order to define my identity again I left and I just totally reinvented myself in Colorado. And I yeah, dove deeper into my exploration of nutrition. And I was still a vegetarian at that time. Got deeper into Eastern philosophies. So that continental philosophy was, was kinda tying into the Eastern philosophies of like, you are not a fixed identity. It's always changing, ever moving it's the Dao the way.

 Speaker 4: Yeah.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And and then I, I was bartending and not like didn't have any responsibility, just really enjoying, like playing chess and being a philosopher was a bartender

 Speaker 3: One time too, after my soldier and as a doorman. So I fought my way to the bar and, you know, I think bartending, it's an under estimated view of life and you, you become a philosopher

 Speaker 4: If you're a yeah. And you also want to become a therapist, [inaudible]

 Jessica Van Antwerp: All their problems. You're like, we just met like, okay, well, not as part of my story. I I decided after four years of doing that, that I wanted to help people. I wanted to have more tangible skills to be able to help people because people were just spilling their guts to me and just pouring their hearts out. And I, and all I could do is just sort of like nod and be like, wow. Yeah. You know, that's part of the

 Speaker 3: Interesting aspect of alcohol, right? So it oftentimes remove inhibitions that someone is paralyzed to communicate their vulnerabilities. Right. So they don't have that, that, that defense mechanism gets limited from the alcohol. And outpours right. The, the, the, the stresses of the human condition, you know, Mars of the soul under the circumstances. And, you know, you either become as a bartender, you to become really jaded party animal, or you become an empathetic philosopher. That's what I find. And it's, it's fascinating to watch because you see people stripped down and often, you know, after midnight boy, you know, you get to see the base drive. So humanity pretty, pretty important.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Yeah. It can be kind of ugly and scary.

 Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Yeah. But I, meanwhile at this time of my life, I was also well, I wasn't struggling with addiction yet because I didn't even know that I was addicted, but I was addicted to weed. And so I was just smoking like all day, every day from, oh yeah. Up until like, it was the last day. It was the first thing I did when I woke up. And it was the last thing I did before I went to bed and it was just constant throughout the day. And well, I was a very high functioning stoner. Nobody knew that I,

 Speaker 3: I had a friend just like that. She'd be just stoned, permanently, currently. Yeah. Fairly functional.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: This went on for seven years of my life of which I don't really have a memory, you know, like friends be like, oh, do you remember that time? I'm like, Nope, sure. Don't but

 Speaker 3: Yeah, it is, isn't it, is it like, there is some interesting components to, oh, absolutely. Yeah. I didn't

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Have a lot of responsibilities. So it wasn't really an issue until I started to get older, like in my later twenties. And I was like, I don't want to be stoned all the time. But then I found that I didn't know how to not, I didn't know how to be sober and because I wasn't comfortable being sober. I wasn't comfortable with myself. And that had, that was like tied back into my childhood wounds of like, I'm not lovable, like whoever I opened myself up to and become emotionally vulnerable with, it's just going to turn around and hurt me. So smoking weed and being stoned all the time was my way. It was like a shield essentially. And in case like a smoke shield, like I can be physically present, get my foot social needs met, but not be fully mentally there and certainly not be emotionally available.

 Speaker 3: Do you think that, did you, do you think that softened maybe, you know, smoking pot was a way of, of, of snot softening, maybe the sensitivities that you had to what people said, things or something that let that kind of just stay even keeled during that time? So it was kinda like self-medication for unaddressed, maybe emotional traumas that were anchored in your nervous system. Yes.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: That's exactly what it was. And so it wasn't until again, I wanted to change my relationship and not be with the plant and not be under its influence all the time and actually be sober. Was there a moment just as a general thing is like, you know, it was like, this is a little crazy, like when you have a line item in your budget for, you know, specifically for your stuff like that keeps increasing,

 Speaker 3: Know what we need to, we need to cut back on food here,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Downsize my house and get more weed. Are these right now? So it was, it was sort of a gradual thing, but then, but then when I couldn't and you know, I'd say, okay, I'm not going to have smoke until X time or whatever, but then I find myself like with a bowl in my hand, in the lighter, in my hand, and, and then I'd be high, like before I even knew it. And I was like, I don't even want to be high. And he like right now, or anymore. And that I, I started to do more of a, an introspective inquiry of like, why, why, why am I doing this? And that's when I discovered my childhood wounds and discovered all this stuff now that I'm just like, oh yeah, it's because of this.

 Speaker 3: What did you do that, was there a process, the initiated that, or just you just self inquiry? Like, was it a group? Was it, was there anything that you were doing just, it was, this was a completely solo. Yeah. Yeah.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And it took years. I mean, it's not like it happened overnight or in a month. It took a couple years at least to come to the root of the issue and then a couple more years to actually like get over it. Where I was, I had to actually reconcile my wounding with the reality of the friend base that I had, which was super loving and loyal and kind and fun. And, and they were like the greatest friends and they gave me no reason to need to put up a shield or anything like that. So, so I was slowly able to unwind myself from it and cut back and cut back. And then there was a moment where I was like, okay, I'm going sober for the next year. And and I went 15 months, I went more than a year. And it was amazing.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And that was sort of the beginning of my, I feel like my more like, well, definitely the beginning of my self-love journey, you know, moving from low self esteem into a greater sense of self appreciation and self love and learning how to be present with people and in a, in a sober way and still have fun. And in fact, feel more alive and more joy. And so concurrently with this there's, I mean, there's, everybody's life story is so multi-dimensional, you know about 10 years ago, a little more than a little less than 10 years ago. Rather I, during this time when I was still smoking a lot, I I had the honor of becoming the director of business development for a wellness center here in Boulder. This is after I went to massage school, which is also part of the story of self healing, you know and getting a lot of those emotions kind of dredged up from the tissues of the body and so that they get them out.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Yeah. And and got a job immediately after graduating with a massage place and who happened to be run by my shiatsu teacher in school. And he was the guy who taught me Chico, and she'd gone for me, was like this magic portal. I think that just opened. It was it was I had always been fascinated by the concept of energy, but I always felt it was like a little subjective that like, how do I know that you, you know, whatever you're saying about the energy is really what's happening. But she gone enabled me to feel energy in the palms.

 Speaker 3: Right. Totally changes everything because now you're not operating from some, you know, Marvel, superhero, movie, movie, energy and product, whatever you want to call that. It's like, no, I actually feel the heat in my hands. I feel the energy flowing through my nervous system. I can, I can touch points on people and feel hot and cold or, you know, or pick up emotions. And we have this whole array of sensory information. That's not coming from our traditional senses,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: You know? And I think it's like kind of an esoteric topic to, in, in some people's minds, but really I I've been able to kind of like zoom out and be like, oh, all of these experiences that we've all had in our lives, right. We're all manifestations of energy. Like, I'm sure you've walked into a room and you have known, you've just interrupted two people arguing because you can just feel the tension in the air, right? Like even the expression, you could cut that tension with a knife. You've walked into a room and you, or a party. And you know, when two people are attracted to each other, or you have that experience from across the room of like being attracted to another person that is cheap that's energy, and she'd gone as the practice of, of the unconsciously manipulating the energy of your body to get things moving, or they're stuck to let them go out of your body and to make way for fresh, pure cheap.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: This is all about flow, right? Like you have a stagnant pond and you all sorts of algae and stem. And if you've ever done any like back country, hiking, people always tell you don't drink water from a still water source. You always cause it has bacteria in it. It'll make you sick. And that's, what's happening in this, in our bodies and the sedentary lifestyle that we have, you know, we're what, 70 something percent water our bodies. And if we have the sedentary lifestyle, no wonder we're manifesting disease. Cause there's all this stagnant stuff in our bodies.

 Speaker 3: Take one step further. If we look physics, we're mostly empty space. The concept of water is a bio chemical view. And so what people aren't realizing is biology is a look at kind of like a band of light on a rainbow we're in orange. But if you want to go to physics, you're into the photons and you're into the waves, which were mostly empty space. And even more

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Recently string theory, right? Like every physics says, and this does, I'm so glad you brought this up because this is what I, I use to kind of ground it in science. Cause I still have that science mind, you know, that she gone is not this super esoteric practice. It sounds exotic and foreign because it's a Chinese word, but really it means energy cultivation or energy exchange. And the, the basic concept is that we are just vibration and matter. Everything that the universe is made up of matter is energy vibrating at specific frequencies at specific magnitudes and, and a very and different, they come in different combinations. And that's what differentiates that the vibration of my shirt from the vibration of the microphone and the computer and my desk, you know, and so learning the practice that you're gong to consciously manipulate your own energetic frequency and create more space in your body for she to flow for fluids, to flow for everything to flow creates health creates the space for the energetic processes of your body to do their thing versus becoming super contract contracted and dense and sort of bracing yourself against life.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Like you feel like, you know, all of your obligations and responsibilities are kind of crushing you and you're just doing your best to kind of keep up that you're. And I see this in, in my massage practice all the time is that people have become so dense in their bodies. They don't know how to relax and that's preventing their bodies from operating at optimal function. Right. And so so she gong is the practice of energy cultivation of consciously letting go of that, which is stressing you out and opening up opening yourself to a different possibility to the wonders of the universe and the power of the universe. Like she is the force that moves the planets and its orbits. And this is the energy that you're calling into your body. Imagine the healing power that, that energy has, like you can heal from anything.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: You can reverse chronic disease with this practice. And you know, some other things you need to keep your body moving with some physical exercise, keep your heart healthy. Definitely have good nutrition on board. But for me, she goes to the foundation because, because it it's how I defeat stress and, and that kind of ties back into my story as well. So after I had, I had discovered she'd gone in the side of the school, it was amazing. It was mind blowing. I started practicing and then I became the director of business development for this massage place. We were opening up a new location in north Boulder and I started working like 90 hours a week to get this thing off the ground

 Speaker 3: Or of entrepreneurship do like drive you into the toilet. Yeah,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: I know. It's so ironic. And, and like opening a wellness center of all things, you know what I mean? Like it's one thing to be in tech and nothing health and wellness related. Okay. You guys should write

 Speaker 3: A book for wellness facilities of how to heal from your healing clinic.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Like I know so many acupuncturists who go into like really intense, like they want to get out of school as quickly as possible so they can start practicing. So they condense the four year program into three years, and then they graduate with adrenal fatigue. You know, like when they have to spend that fourth year just healing themselves before they feel well enough to be able to go into practice. So it's a similar concept, but different,

 Speaker 3: Maybe it cultivates empathy for the patient

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Exactly the league and understand what people are going through makes you a better practitioner. So I, meanwhile working 90 hours a week, totally lost track of all my own practices. I stopped doing yoga. I stopped exercising. I took I was drinking lots of coffee cause I was so tired then drinking beer at night to relax. And I wasn't, I had stopped smoking weed. So it wasn't stoned, which was good. But I started smoking cigarettes just to like have an excuse to step outside and get away from the computer for five minutes while I'm nailing this toxic air, you know? And 

 Speaker 3: It's a very interesting nootropic.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: I don't know much about it.

 Speaker 3: Yeah. So nicotine first and foremost, I think a lot of it will go on a little tangent there because I always looked at people, look at addiction from both, I think maybe a psychological component, but I always say that when the body is seeking something in, in a chemical outlet, there is both in an innate wisdom and innate consequence to that wisdom. And so that it is seeking out some of, of alleviation or celebration of something. And so in a highly cognitive load oftentimes caffeine is a stimulant that can injury you know, nor epinephrine and cortisol and these types of things. So it can get you going in a tire thing for performance. Although used excessively has problems nicotine, traditional native Keeling modality has definitive cognitive benefits. And one of the only drugs that upregulates, the more you take it, which is it's a fascinating, it's a fast, my friend Paul Chek uses nicotine extensively in Oregon, Yannick, nicotine, which he does in a vape bag as a cognitive enhancer with a bunch of herbs and essential oils. If you ever have a chance to smoke one of those bags with Paul, I highly recommend he's a cheat gong practice practitioner.

 Speaker 3: And we'd, as you were talking about was a way for you to manage unmanageable emotions because of its desensitizing factor that allowed you to maybe deal with, with conflictive emotions that you didn't have the tools for. So anytime that someone uses a drug per se, I always go, the, the drug is the best possible choice with that person to deal with the circumstances that are going on, but then may be the progenitor of a new set of problems, right? Which may lead you to a new set of discoveries. So, you know, so there's so much judgment around things. And what's fascinating is in the 1920s, Dr. Koch, who is a cancer researcher could win virtually everybody smoked, could find only two cases of lung cancer and the lung cancer rose exponentially in the 1950s when they went to the chemicals, possession of cigarettes. So for those who are listening that are smokers, we're not making judgment what I would say, smoke organic tobacco, or use it innovate machine.

 Speaker 3: Right. But then also recognize what is, what is the benefit that you feel that you get from smoking the smoke break, the stimulation of the nicotine from a cognitive focus part and, you know, the classic artist, smoking cigarettes, as he writes the next paragraph or sitting there while he contemplates, you know, the next painting or her with the nice sculpture or whatever, you know, that class well, there's something to that. And different chemical domination is going to give you more indication whether you would like that or not. Some people would have, and they throw up on the spot. Some people are like, Ooh, laser.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Right, right, right. And that kind of ties, it ties back into my story in terms of like what I was using it for, like, to me, the substance use is, is like almost a symptom and not the cause where it's like, what you're, it's the self-medication like what's, you're treating. And so if you can find another way to fill that same need or accomplish that same get to that same activation that the substance is providing you without the substance that that's like, that's some ninja, you know what I mean? Yes.

 Speaker 3: So how to actively engage without, without advocacy, advocacy or guilt, right. Is not an easy path. Right. You recognize the innate sense within ourselves and the drives from which the unconscious drives, which are, which are leading that behavior, which every behavior that we have is at some level trying to get us to some sort of equanimity or achievement or goal or the homeostasis, or, you know, if there's some kind of thing going on. Right,

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Right. And it's almost like the substances sort of like expand your inner map. Right. They show you what's possible that maybe you couldn't access on your own before. And then your task is to then learn how to access that same state without the substance. Right. That's what Ken Keesey and Tim Leary and all those dudes did with LSD. You know, they were trippin all the time, back in the sixties, but then they, all of them turned to transcendental meditation to reach the same mental states of connectivity and sort of oneness.

 Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. And I would say that rom Doss probably got it. And Timothy Larry kind of dropped, they were, most people don't realize that they were and folks,

 Speaker 4: And they were on the scene to make

 Speaker 3: The break beyond the drugs. Right. Where Tim, I think the damage, the collateral damage of his experimentation compromised him later in life. And so that, that's the question I think is always on my mind when engaged in the use of pharmaceutical integration or experimentation and the, the, the higher up the, the, the, the map, I use a reference guide for people to kind of navigate this. And you may be familiar. I don't know if you've ever read Dr. Hawkins map of consciousness. Brilliant illustration Eve is a 50 year psychiatrist that ran the largest psychiatric practice in history and had a massive spiritual experience after deep addiction and ultimately cultivated this map of consciousness of everything that's potential within the human condition goes from zero to a thousand, which is the next neutral chart. And categories is self view worldview, God view process, you know, the emotional state, beautiful illustration.

 Speaker 3: And what's fascinating. The further you kind of go up into, you know a more realized or expansive view of world, the both opportunity and consequence of decisions have exponential cascading effects. So for example, if you have, you know, a broke a guy living on the street, who's doing heroin, you know, and kind of joining out, and he's kind of an angry, frustrated kind of person, the impact to society is not that much. If the president of the United States sides to take up that process, the effects could, you know, be translated into complete annihilation of the world. Yeah.

 Speaker 5: So, you know, you

 Speaker 3: Know what I mean, that the, the, the consequences of, of awareness and the choices are both they're, they're relative to the amount of power. One has, and power is relative to the state of awareness that one has, or certain circuits, certain circumstances. And so the old saying is with great power comes great responsibility and conversely you know, absolute power corrupts. Absolutely. So you have these two interesting components when, you know, the history of the world is, is basically, you know, people who acquired a tremendous amount of power and fell victim to it, and try to take over the world and were fought off by someone else who was trying to take over the world, you know? So I'm curious about your experimentation with these different you're, you're at the clinic, and now you've, you've gone from Qigong and yoga practice to smoking again and overworking from what you know it is, how did you fall into that? Because I think there's people that are listening to that might find that. And then did you transcend that? And if so, how so?

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Well, it was a, it was a gradual, it was a gradual thing. Like I was never completely sober. So even when I was doing she gong and yoga, I would go enjoy a beer at night. And so it wasn't like a total substitution thing where I just like, gave up doing she going in yoga and like turn to beer. And I, and I had me like socially smoked. I've never had an addictive relationship with nicotine. I feel very lucky in that way. Like I can, I haven't smoked in probably 10 a cigarette I'm probably 10 years. But but back when I was kind of a little more, again, like experimenting I could pick it up and put it down and not have any issues with it. So it was just, at that time, it was just one of those things that I was doing to get myself away from the computer. And so that was like, you know, what I needed. And so it was just sort of a gradual process of like becoming busier in my to-do list becoming longer and like, okay, well, I, I, I'm having trouble calming my mind or stilling my mind during yoga or during Shiva and practice. So I'll just let my mind keep going while I'm smoking or drinking. And I was not able to transcend it before hitting rock bottom. So I had a nervous breakdown and that's what it ultimately led to. And

 Speaker 3: How long did it to get the nervous breakdown?

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Not long. Six months, four months, somewhere between four and six months into this process of just like being overworked under arrested. It didn't take long. And I mean, I was also on the board of directors for a shiatsu program developing another training pro and advanced shots, a training program that was like 240 or 300 hours that I was then taking as a student at the wellness center. So it was all very like intermingling and and I was like in the shiatsu workshop and, you know, slash managing the wellness center, like when I just, I just, my boss was in the class with me. He was also in the shiatsu program. It was it's a very close community here in Boulder. Once you get into, you know, the health and wellness in particularly like bodywork training and specifically shiatsu. So there was just, I think it was something that he had said that just triggered me and I just lost it. And I had felt it coming on. I was getting more and more sensitive. Like people would say my name and I just felt like glass was shattering inside my body. Like I was just, I'm giving everything that I have. I have nothing else to give. What do you want from me? 

 Speaker 3: Feeling I've been there, I get it.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: It's not a good feeling, you know? And so I had this I had this breakdown and and then that day into the wellness center walks a gentleman who said, I'm here to talk to someone about teaching she in classes here. And and I was like, well, I'm the person you need to talk to. I have some experience that you gone. Why don't we go into the studio? You can show me this particular style that you teach. And he teaches a style called Shung gen gong, which is unconditional love Schengen means unconditional love. And, and I immediately felt its power. I went from feeling cheap in the palms of my hands to feeling it in my entire body. And I felt my heart. It was like that scene from the Grinch, whether it's heart grows three times and like bust out of it.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: I felt that in my whole body and I was like, this is my medicine. And I dove into that practice. I, within a month, I was at a five day meditation treat with master Legion foam, who is the founder of Sean, Jen. He was the women's China national shoe martial arts coach for over a decade, led them to like 50 something, individual gold medals. He's a Kung Fu star and Kung Fu movies in China. He was jet Lee's coach for awhile. So this guy knows what he's doing with relation to energy and she, and and I practice every day for six months before I felt normal. Meanwhile, very little had changed about my external circumstances. And I think this is the, this is the key that I really want. Anyone who's listening to understand is like, sometimes there's not a lot you can do about your stressors in your life, that there your responsibilities, your obligations of things that you have to do.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: But what you can do is change your relationship to them. So I went from feeling like the world was just crushing me, all of my obligations and responsibilities. I was drowning in to doing this practice of Shung gen gong and becoming bigger than my circumstances through merging with the universe through cultivating this energy, getting rid of anything stagnant in my body and calling in fresh, pure achieve. I was tapping into connecting with the infinite part of myself that exists and therefore the infinite part of everything. And all of a sudden I was bigger than my circumstances. And I could like look down at my to-do list and be like, oh yeah, no problem. You know? So that's the power of Chico and it helped me heal from this nervous breakdown. So, and that, and it's not the end of my story. My story continues.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: But those were, you know, I think we hit on all the points that you mentioned, like low self esteem childhood wounding, anxiety addiction and, and she'd gone for me has been the sort of panacea that has, has helped me defeat stress, which as, as you know, is the sort of silent killer, right? As a lot of people are coming to learn, like we can, we can take all the supplements we want and we can have the healthiest diet and exercise really well. But if your stress isn't under control, then your body isn't operating at its peak function, right? Your body isn't focused on healing. The, the cut that you sustained, like chopping veggies for your smoothie or whatever, like when you're in fight or flight mode, your body is focused on survival, right? Literally it changes the way your eyes focus, changes the way your blood flows in your body is focused on short-term survival and not long-term healing.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: And so dealing with your stress is, is the best thing you can do for your health. And it's hard because it's not as easy as just taking a pill in the morning. It'd be like, okay, check, got that done. It takes time. And it takes time to learn the practice or learn any practice. I mean, she going is what works for me, but different things work for different people. And it's, it's, yeah, it's a lot harder than just checking something off the to-do list. And I, I can tell you, there's been countless times, I've been at my cheek gong practice having a really hard time calling my mind or, or some emotional thing has been dredged up from the depths of my being. And I'm just like crying, grieving, whatever, or feeling the pain that I never felt before, but I'm still moving. I'm still doing my cheekbone practice, you know, still flowing with it. Cause that's, that's the flow. Cause you gotta let it out in order in order to heal from it. You can't just stuff it down. It's like your body

 Speaker 3: Brilliant. He said then. So I think that the first off, thank you for sharing the nuances of your particular story. I think there's a lot of people that will be able to relate to that. So I want to honor that, but let's switch gears into, now that you've had this experimental journey, we call life in your own hero's journey to come back to health and healing and kind of now, you know, the, the, I always say there's really four stages of the human condition. There is the victim or the, the, the, the person where the circumstances happens too. Right. And they kind of in, in that, if you're watching a movie, they're the people that get wheeled away in the ambulance or the fire depart, you don't really hear about them. Right, right. Other than if you, you know, you're in a victim support group or something, and then there's the villain, the person that took that wound that happened to them from being human and said, I'm going to get back at everybody through malevolence.

 Speaker 3: Right. Right. And then there's the hero that was a victim of some villain and found a way to transcend in defeat the villain or the aspects of villain and develop a new sense of wisdom around it. And so without the villain, the hero would not become a hero because he had to overcome, or she had to overcome this particular obstacle or this hurt, or this wound that's happening within themselves. And then finally the, the last stage of that journey is one becomes the mentor, the guide, the person who has been a victim, divvied it, the villain, whatever the villain may be and is now in a position to advise or provide insight to the victim who seeks to overcome the villain in their life, whether that is an internal or an external villain. And so it would seem to me that you've kind of arrived at the stage of mentorship or wisdom, like, you know, the, the, the wise person on the hill or the magician or whatever happens to be that always shows up in the story, the little guiding light, if you will, for other people, can you talk about your, what you're currently doing and how your experience has given you insight to people who may be suffering and struggling and TIFF to find this place of wellbeing within themselves?

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Absolutely. So I'm currently, as you mentioned in the very, very beginning of the show, I'm the CEO and owner of integral travel, which is oh at its peak is a wellness retreat company. That's sort of like the pinnacle of what we offer or multi-day experiences of just immersing into an exploration of one's inner terrain while on an experience or an adventure and exploring an outer terrain that's unfamiliar potentially exotic but just new because the newness provides I think it helps to shed light and give perspective on what you're confronting and learning about yourself through the internal practices that we do, yoga Chicone meditation and how it takes you out of your day to day routine so that you can sort of look back at that day to day routine and ask yourself, okay, what aspects of this are working for me, supporting my health, my vitality, making me feel really good, what aspects of my daily life are not so good?

 Jessica Van Antwerp: What do I want to change? And, and that's the magic of kind of going on retreat and, and giving conscious attention to your life and yourself, as opposed to just going on vacation, right. And then just feeding yourself with activities. A retreat is different. The retreat is about not inner reflection for w to the effect of change long-term change and your life for your betterment, whether it's physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. So, so we provide yeah, curated multi-day experiences and amazing locations around the world that always incorporate some nature time, which is incredibly healing in and of itself. And w treatments, massage, cranial, sacral, Reiki, treatments, sometimes astrology readings which can be fun and informative if you know, whether or not you believe in them with just little chats, like when we can get as, as personal or stay as sort of distant as, as people want.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: But one of the greatest gifts, I think that that the program has to offer is a space to just be, and to, to speak about whatever it is that's on your heart, or on your mind in a nonjudgmental space, without other people offering you advice or interrupting you that it's you know, one person speaks at a time shares their story. And inevitably that's the most valuable part of the retreat for a lot of people is just being heard for whatever it is that they're speaking about. So so yeah, our one, that's our wellness retreats again, are sort of the pinnacle of what we have to offer, but we offer education kind of at every level down to just daily practices. So I teach two online to go in classes of the Shogun gen style every week that are by donations. So there's no financial obligation. If you're stressed out, you need a break, you want to learn some skills that will help you on a daily basis to Nan, we have a suite of free meditations that are also available to help people relax anywhere from three to 14 minutes. They're not, you know, it's not, when people find all

 Speaker 3: This information, I like the people to kind of get like, they'll just, where do we go?

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Integral So integral is spelled I N T E G R a L You'll find the meditation's all free. You'll find the link to the online cheekbone class. There's also an intro that you go on course, if you want to learn more about sort of like the theory behind it and the science behind it you can sign up for that course. We're about to release a suite of cleanses from some amazing colleagues of mine, nutritionist, acupuncturist, chiropractors, and we have some videos on YouTube also on the integral travel channel that are just movements for a pain-free and healthy lifestyle stretches to ease your pain patterns, or just keep healthy spine and healthy joints. So we're, we're sort of offering everything that we incorporate into the retreats on an individual basis also. So if you're not ready to just jump from zero to 100 and to a multi-day retreat with us, then we have some other tools that you can start to incorporate and try out and just see how they affect your, your daily life beautifully

 Speaker 3: Said. And thank you for sharing that. We'll put all the notes and this in the show notes for those who skipped over, can't get it. So just click on the links and check out you know, your offerings, which are very generous by nature. And so what do you see for the future for yourself, the business, your life now that you're in this kind place of mentorship what's, what's expanding for you in your own personal journey, as opposed to just what's happening for what you're doing for other people.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: In my personal journey, I recently got married. I thank you. It's been two and a half months, and it's just, I mean, marriage itself was something that I didn't anticipate. I mean, I, I kind of always wanted, but I just didn't have much luck in the romantic realm. And and I met this man and he just is the most incredible, amazing, all inspiring, so full of life, man. And and so we got married and I'm finding within this, the safety of a truly loving relationship that I'm accessing even deeper layers of healing for myself and, and uncovering like all the patterns that I didn't even have any awareness of, you know, before this. And so it's offering even more healing and we have an amazing home in the mountains outside Boulder, Colorado, and we're doing house projects and expanding a business.

 Jessica Van Antwerp: You know, my, my private practice is going really well and growing and working one-on-one with people and that's historically been massage therapy. So I'm trying to sort of like bust out of that box of massage therapy and come into a more like well-rounded kind of coaching role with people because I have so many other tools and knowledge at hand, but I'm ultimately trying to grow integral travel and to be the, the full-time gig and and just be leading retreats and helping more than one person at a time. That's really the goal it's like, yeah,

 Speaker 3: Well, Jessica, you have outlined very much our own philosophy from what we call sick to superhuman the pathway to biological optimization, which involves a multifaceted approach from, you know exercise and nutrition, and ultimately leads you to a place of spiritual inquiry at its highest level. And, you know, this whole thing of the human existence is somewhat of a tragic comedy. In some ways it can be very dark and brooding and it can hit the highest pinnacles of it. And everyone's going to experience some variants within it. And before we move on to the next plane, whatever that might be I wish you well on your journey and as well, invite other people who have listened to this podcast and found some connection to you, your story, and how you've been able to transcend some challenges, I think is very valuable and appreciate you coming on the podcast. Thank

 Jessica Van Antwerp: For giving me the opportunity to share the story. I think it's from my own experience, being in the health and wellness industry, and like looking at people that I've admired over the years, you know, oftentimes it can seem so unattainable, you know, like, well, that person is just skinny and beautiful and in shape and just totally vibrant because she's always been that way, or he's always been that way, but that's not the case, you know? And so learning about the struggles that we've gone through to get to where we are and the tools that, that we've used to help us get to where we are, I think is really helpful and valuable for other people. So if I can do it, anyone can do

 Speaker 3: It. Absolutely. And I think Brendan Burchard said in one of his events that I attended to honor, the struggle, you know, to, to be human is to struggle and not struggling for the sake of struggling, but the struggle is worth the struggle for within the struggle comes the development of a deeper sense of awareness in humility, which is the pathway to freedom, to help and to healing. And so I want to honor that in you, and I want to invite all our listeners to check out your site. And more importantly, maybe try and retreat. Maybe if you're a little bit stressed out, you're a little bit pushed to the limit, or you're not following what you know you need to do. Maybe it's time to take a break, step back, activate your own energy, get your own chief flowing, maybe check out one of your retreats and enjoy this thing called the life because you can't stop it until it stops

 Jessica Van Antwerp: Surgery. Well said,

 Speaker 3: That's our message. Today. Folks, hope you enjoyed this edition of the BiOptimizers awesome health podcasts. You can like it, share it, give us your comments. We appreciate it all. And more importantly, thank you again, Jessica, for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed the show and we'll see you on the next one. Take care of lots of love.
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