Alloway New Jersey Karen ~ Self love coaching contest winner

“Jenn Roth, of Gaia Dawn Studios has changed my life. I never could have done this alone. I now carry the tools to remind myself daily I am enough and it has put me present in my marriage, my friendships and my life. I have so much value that I spent years not being able to enjoy. Freedom is priceless. Her guidance set me free.” ~Karen Avis

A few months ago I launched a self-love coaching contest. I asked women to send me a message letting me know what they would do if they weren’t afraid. I had brave women write words of vulnerability to me and I was blown away by their courage. I had the difficult decision of choosing one winner and Karen’s entry truly spoke to me.

We met in person and I took a few photos documenting where she was and how she was feeling in that moment. She wanted to hide herself away and that’s exactly what we captured. We spent 6 weeks in coaching delving into her past and how to heal the traumatic wounds she was carrying. And we celebrated her newfound self-love and confidence with a triumphant photo shoot filled with laughter and joy.

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This is what Karen had to say about her experience…

“ Jenn Roth, of Gaia Dawn Studios has changed my life. Let me give a short background. I had emotional baggage, and not a small purse size…like BAGGAGE!!!!! The kind that clouds your thinking and confuses your self-judgment. I believed things of myself that had been instilled in my head for years and years growing up. I wasn’t good enough…would never be good enough…wasn’t worthy of accomplishments…didn’t have any self-worth.

Oh I tried. I tried to put on a pretty dress and do my hair and go out on the town feeling good. But, ladies,  back me up if you can relate, we all know this is not how it went down. I would have an angry fashion show in my bedroom, trying on everything in my closet. This would lead to sweating, a HUGE mess, crying, and ultimately an argument with my husband who was desperately trying to convince me I looked beautiful. But you know what? I didn’t hear him. I NEVER heard him. It didn’t matter how many different ways he tried to convince me I was amazing and beautiful, his words were just words…Clearly he was lying. I had been taught that those kinds of words didn’t pertain to me. Period. What I saw when I looked in the mirror was awful. I hated everything I saw. I would choose to stay home instead of subject myself to going out somewhere new where people would have to see me.

And one day, I saw Jenn Roth’s post on Facebook. It was about self-love and why are you lacking? And, people, I’m telling you, the moons must have aligned. You see, I never spoke of my trauma…never spoke of my feelings of self-hate.  I was wildly ashamed of my body. I was never going to be good enough physically. I was sure people judged me everywhere I went. But, I started typing an email and I kept typing that email for two weeks until one night I mustered up all my guts and hit SEND. It was finally time. Jenn said in her contest that she wanted to gift a deserving woman the skills needed to love herself. And at 41, damnit, it was time for me to try.

Next came six weeks of WORK, and I mean it when I say work. It was hard. And I cried. And I had to confess things out loud that I had refused to talk about for 35 years. I had to journal things out and biggest of all I had to face all of this with my husband. It wasn’t fair all these years that he didn’t quite understand where all of my insecurities were coming from. That I wasn’t just some narcissistic female who thought “she was fat, like omg.” No, he deserved to know how deep rooted all of this self-hate was. And after intensive work with Jenn, that was it. I had the most amazing conversation with him and it was like finally turning the light on after muddling around in the dark for so long. I felt relieved and validated and exhausted. 

Jenn helped me to face my ghosts head on. Jenn taught me how to lift myself up even when things get hard. Jenn taught me that I AM worthy and most importantly I AM ENOUGH. I am a damn good woman. I am worth so much more than my insecurities. I am not only kind, generous and love to laugh, but I am physically beautiful and strong and so deserving to walk with my head held high. I deserve that for myself. And all of those toxic words that have held me captive for so long were turned to ashes In the wind. Those words no longer take up space in my mind. No way. Jenn has literally changed my life. I will be forever grateful for her wisdom, compassion, patience and grace. 

Jenn, I am free of all that baggage because of you. I never believed that day would come and I urge all others who are feeling they aren't worthy or enough to get in touch with you. I never could have done this alone. I now carry the tools to remind myself daily I am enough and it has put me present in my marriage, my friendships, and my life. I have so much value that I spent years not being able to enjoy. Freedom is priceless. Your guidance set me free. “

I am so humbled and grateful for this testament. Karen impacted me just as much as I impacted her. She gave me the ability to trust in myself and to speak my truth. She gave me the opportunity to tap into my gifts and deliver them in a way that I never thought I was capable of doing. She gifted me with a trust and open heart like I have never experienced and I will cherish this woman and the incredible bond that we share for the rest of my life…

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