Smiling woman holding a margaritaWelcome to Barefoot Jewel! I’m Julie and after many years of procrastinating, I am finally nurturing my writing instinct instead of ignoring it. I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

In 2011 I spontaneously quit the job I had thought I’d retire from, moved to Florida and my partner and I ended up unexpectedly starting a business taking care of pets, which was my dream job since I have always LOVED animals! Fast forward a number of years later, and 1st Rate Pet Services is still around and doing well!

Even though I love working with animals, the voice in my head keeps bugging me to write. I am tired of fighting with it, so have decided to overcome the fear I’ve had for decades and just start putting words out there for others to read. I have a zillion ideas, so now that I’m taking action, maybe they will all start coming to fruition!

In 2012 I signed up with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I received my Health Coaching Certificate in 2013. Now that our pet business is flowing without my constant nurturing, I have the time and a burning desire to start helping others by sharing what I learned through IIN and through my own journey.

I have always been interested in alternative therapies to “modern medicine.” Our lifestyles have so much to do with our health, or lack thereof, specifically our diet, stress levels, attitudes and our activities. As we get older, time becomes more valuable than money, and I was beginning to be very unhappy living a cubicle dweller’s life. As my eyes began to open, I realized that my life was flying by, I decided to stop waiting to live until retirement, and that was the moment I quit my job and started down this path.

Once I started my journey towards reconnecting with myself, it was hard at first to even know what I liked to do in “free” time since I hadn’t taken time for myself for so long. When I started thinking of putting myself out there as a writer and a coach, I hesitated for a very long time. I wondered “Who am I to try and help others, I struggle daily to help myself! I’m a work in progress, not some professional who can help others better themselves.”

Those doubts have sidetracked me for a long time. But that little voice inside me keeps nagging me to just do it, what’s the worst that can happen?  So here I am, doing it. I have a deep desire to help others learn to find their own happiness the way I am in the process of finding my own happiness. I haven’t “been there, done that, but I’m AM there doing that.

I can relate to struggle and doubt, I have my own every day. In 2000 I was diagnosed with major depression.  After the incident that had caused the episode was resolved, I tried to go off of medication, only to find that once the medication left my system, I was a complete wreck.  My doctor then determined that I had always had a mild case of depression throughout my entire life.  I’ve been on meds now for a long time, and while I am functional and feel better most of the time, I do still struggle with days (weeks sometimes) when I just really have to push myself to do what needs done, because I just don’t care. Sometimes I wonder why I’m bothering trying to do better and make these often uncomfortable changes. I get mad at myself for not just being happy in the status quo. Why can’t I just give myself some peace and be satisfied?

I can’t, because there is an insistent voice inside my head bugging me constantly to do this. That voice knows how much potential I have to do better, to be better and to help others do the same. A wildfire burning out of control starts with one tiny ember, and in the same way, a small perception shift and some minimal changes I make and share might inspire others to do the same.

If we all learn to believe and act and share, before long we will all be roaring forward on fire with positive changes….each of us growing our own special gifts and sharing them with others. As we grow and share we gain confidence and become more in tune with the universe and that small ember of change could end up fundamentally changing the perception in a household, a neighborhood, a town, a city, a state, a country and even the world!

When I allow myself to believe, I get stronger and the desire to change overcomes the fear of change. Forget Bill and Ted creating world peace with their music (remember that movie?)….World Peace is going to be created by a spark started by a tired woman with an irritating, insistent inner voice causing her to push aside the doubt and share sparks with other tired women who also have that voice inside their heads, causing each one to say WTF, cast doubt and inferiority aside and just start to listen and do instead of doubt!!!

I know there are others who feel the very same way. If we were all able to take time to do what we are called to do and use our natural talents, abilities and gifts, we would probably be a lot happier and therefore, healthier. As corny as it may sound, my ultimate lifetime goal is to leave this world having planted a seed of universal compassion and kindness that will be shared by others to grow and flourish to create eventual peace on Earth!