Hi there, I'm Jen.  A life-long reader and writer, I love sharing the results of my research as well as the fruits of my own mindfulness journey.  Here at Modern Maenads, I've made it my mission to serve others as they cultivate authenticity and joy, crafting a life well lived and attempting to find that sweet spot between fulfilling responsibilities and finding personal fulfillment. 

Fun Facts:

#1: I'm a certified wellness educator and recovering high school English teacher

I study and read.  A lot.  I love finding patterns and connections.  I love studying health and wellness, getting into the nitty gritty of neuroscience, stress, and hormone health, and I love comparative mythology, mapping out hero's journeys and sharing the thrills of storytelling.  If I can find an analogy or story to explain a complex biological process, that's a great day!

 

#2: I'm a yoga lover in CA, originally from the East Coast

 

I wear a caftan and a Red Sox cap.  Eat kale and love Dunkin' Donuts.  I walked into my first yoga class in 1992, and asana and meditation have been tools I rely on ever since.  I've completed over 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).  I get on my mat most days, but the last few years I've become more interested in the other limbs of yoga, repatterining my nervous system, and taking my practice into my day to day life as a wife, mother, and caregiver.  

#3: Teaching is my service

Teaching is one of my favorite ways to be of service.  I've studied and taught glassblowing, trained foster parents, taught art history and studio art, developed literacy programs, taught film analysis, co-wrote a Biology textbook, and routinely take groups of Cub Scouts into the woods.  If I discover something new to learn, I want to study it in depth and share it.

#4: Laundry is my nemesis

My parents divorced when I was young and I became the "adult" in the house at 8 years old, taking care of my sister and trying to make meals and clean laundry happen.  Somehow I'm still trying to get the laundry done almost 40 years later.  It's easy to feel like Sisyphus rolling that rock up the hill day in and day out.  Caregiver fatigue is real, and I've taken that route down into the Underworld a few times.  My practice is my personal flotation device when life asks me to jump into the deep end of the caregiving pool.

#5: Baby steps for the win

Even with all that studying and practice, life is still imperfect.  But I love this wild ride and try to show up with as much love and awareness as I can muster.  Some days that's easier than others.  I'm a big believer in small changes, subtle shifts, and doing the best we can with what we're given each day. 

Get started now! Complimentary Bagua map printable and video tutorial HERE

It is all interconnected

 

It is truly holistic, our well-being is one ecosystem.  It's a web, a network of energy.  So instead of having to do all the things, you can shift just one area and it will ripple.  Those shifts can be infinitesimal, yet yield major benefits.

 

Where do we focus our efforts to get those ripples going? Research shows us that there are a few areas that have the greatest benefit for the most people, and we'll experiment with those.  But let's also make space for our intuition, for an emotional pull toward one strategy or another.  Let's align from our center.

  

Let's get clear on what is essential.  Develop the discernment to observe personal truth.  Let's practice listening and noticing.  Try new things and then pause to observe.  Observe our minds, bodies, and habitats as they shift, looking to see what is right for each of us.  

 

Modern Maenads are about making space for change.  Change with intention so that we might all be more present, passionate, and joyful.  Imagine the impact we would have, all of us showing up as our best selves.  Let's tune in and true up together.  Relaxed and radiant, aligned to shine.

MY TEACHERS

In many traditions it is customary to acknowledge the lineage of your teachers and I have been incredibly lucky to benefit from the wisdom of numerous guides. I spent 5 years studying comparative mythology with the incomparable Dr. Harvey Birenbaum, author of Myth and Mind, who taught me about how the symbols of mythology can transform us and who inspired me as a teacher, writer, and human being. He oversaw my research on Dionysis and Shiva, introduced me to Mwindo and Inanna, and motivated me to develop a growth mindset.  

 

I studied glassblowing with Mary White, who taught me the alchemy of turning liquid into solid, and idea into object. I had the pleasure of spending a semester studying creative writing with the brilliant Ursula LeGuin when she taught at SJSU as the 2000 Lurie author-in-residence.  

 

I've practiced yoga since 1992, taking my first class with Lars Caughlan, who also introduced me to meditation and mountaineering. I became certified to teach yoga in 2017 with Jenn Prugh, an inspirational creator, generous teacher, and masterful guide on the journey toward joy. I continued to study under her guidance, earning my 500 hour certification, focusing my studies on meditation. My feng shui certification was with Erica Sofrina, who introduced me to the five elements and the impact of our physical surroundings on our well being.  

 

I studied wellness, functional nutrition, and brain chemistry with the gracious Lisa Grace Byrne from Well Grounded Life, learning how make lasting, subtle and powerful shifts in my health and habits. I'm also grateful to Ayurvedic practitioner Jana Kilgore, who introduced me to Para Vak, taught me about the healing power of real food, and gave me a foundational understanding of Ayurveda, and to Yoga Therapist and author Dr. Timothy McCall​ for recognizing my power, giving me the opportunity to tell my story, and encouraging me to commit to the practices that freed my voice.  

 

Thank you.

I've spent most of my life studying change.  My B.A. is in Social Change and I earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership studying change within institutions and systems.  I love to travel for a change of scenery, and making art for the transformative process of creation, making one thing out of something else. For much of my life I've been on a quest for any answers to my biggest question: how to live my dream of helping myself and others flourish.  

I was the firstborn daughter of two addicts who met in a mental health hospital.  It was turbulent, so my truth learned to go underground.  I started taking care of others at the age of 8 and spent years alternately people-pleasing and avoiding. I've chased perfection and permission.  I've looked for ways to numb.  Many around me were deep in their own suffering or avoiding their suffering.  I wanted to find a way out and through.  I didn't just want to get out alive.  I wanted to believe that someone like me could thrive.

Enter a passion for mythology, modern science and the ancient wisdom traditions.  I've studied Feng Shui, yoga, meditation, neuroscience, holistic wellness, Ayurveda, and archetypal mythology. Basically anything that could help me access the guide within.  I've come to see the interconnectedness of these modalities and how a simple consistent shift in any one area of life can transform everything it touches.  

 

My life today would be unimaginable to my 8 year old self:  I've overcome health challenges, difficult relationships, and personal loss.  I've created a loving partnership and family. I've managed my anxiety and lost 100 pounds.  While my life is far from perfect, my truth has come back home.  I'm ready to serve others looking for ways to bring their truth home too.  

 

These practices are the gateways for me, the way back to my best self. There are hundreds of ways to tune in to yourself and align to your own truth.  I don't have all the answers, but share what has worked for me in the hope that you might find something that calls to you too.

Excited to support you on your journey!

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Together, we clear away the energy blockages in our homes to open up 

and expand. We true up our essential selves and new opportunities unfold, new circumstances manifest.

 

Empower yourself with the tools to create space for the true you.

In many traditions it is customary to acknowledge the lineage of your teachers and I have been incredibly blessed to benefit from the wisdom of numerous guides: 

 

My feng shui certification was with Erica Sofrina, founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui, who introduced me to the five elements and the impact of our physical surroundings on our well being.  She shared her belief that the traditions of feng shui could be adapted to support and enrich modern life, shaping the energy that nurtures us.  Feng shui was my first introduction to the art of manifestation.

 

I've practiced yoga since 1992, taking my first class with Lars Caughlan, who also introduced me to meditation and mountaineering. I became certified to teach yoga in 2017 with Jenn Prugh, an inspirational creator, generous teacher, and masterful guide on the journey toward joy.  I continued to study under her guidance, earning my 500 hour certification in 2019, focusing my studies on the neuroscience research substantiating the benefits of meditation.

 

I studied wellness, functional nutrition, and brain chemistry with the gracious Lisa Grace Byrne from Well Grounded Life, learning how make lasting, subtle and powerful shifts in my health and habits.  I'm also grateful to Ayurvedic practitioner Jana Kilgore, who introduced me to Para Vak, taught me about the healing power of real food, and gave me a foundational understanding of Ayurveda, and to Yoga Therapist and author Dr. Timothy McCall​ for recognizing my power, giving me the opportunity to tell my story, and encouraging me to commit to the practices that freed my voice.  

I spent 5 years studying comparative mythology with the incomparable Dr. Harvey Birenbaum, author of Myth and Mind, who taught me about how the symbols of mythology can transform us and who inspired me as a teacher, writer, and human being. He oversaw my research on Dionysis and Shiva, introduced me to Mwindo and Inanna, and motivated me to develop a growth mindset through study and reflection on the Hero's Journey.  

For their wisdom and generosity, I am deeply grateful.

Modern Maenads transform the landscape and create space for ourselves, our sisterhood and friends, partners, parents,

daughters and sons.

They are thirsty for us.  

They hunger for us to show up full of valor

crowned in all of our splendor.

 

We recast the spell,

exchanging those paradigms

that would keep us small

for a narrative that reveals 

our connection to spirit.

 

We pause and listen.

We celebrate the stories of

the archetypal feminine: reclaiming our presence, power, beauty + grace.  

We claim our luminous birth right.

 

The tools of transformation and transcendence are simple, yet profound:

living life as a spiritual practice.

Taking the yoga off the mat,

meditation off the cushion.

Making our presence a form of prayer,

our homes an affirmation of intention.

Owning our radiance

as an act of creative power

an assertion of our love and service. 

ESSENCE

freedom

transformation

dismantle

celebrate

power

frenzy

liberation

rapture

THE MAENADS

Dismantling and deconstructing that which no longer serves, 

creating spaciousness and freedom from restriction,

dancing all night long, 

celebrating the cycle of transformation

EXPLORE

dance

music

celebratory food

space clearing

starry skies

bonfires

wide open spaces

bright lipstick

Little you might have grown up coloring outside the lines, running barefoot outside, dreaming up adventures.  Perhaps you were sensitive and perceptive, as well as strong, noticing everything around you.  Maybe you read voraciously, danced passionately, followed the paths of planets with your telescope intently.  You were precocious and smart, and maybe a little bit unruly.  With a tender heart and a powerful imagination.

At some point your earth covered bare feet were no longer appropriate, your strength unladylike.  You might have heard that you were too smart for your own good, too bold or too sensitive, too much of some things and not nearly enough of others.  It would be better to color inside the lines, to reign in that imagination.    

 

with a set of rules which required you to less of who you truly are.  You've tried to fold yourself into the "right" shape,

  

In a world inundated with the mechanized and virtual, authenticity is a tangible breath of fresh air.  It's spring after a long winter.  There's a reason it's become a buzz words in recent years.  It invigorates and enlivens what feels superficial or stuck.  Authenticity is genuine, trustworthy.  Like love and the velveteen rabbit, authenticity makes us real.

A woman who knows her own truth and enjoys the nuances of her identity and experience is powerful + beautiful.  While society might benefit from us chasing the latest glittering image or running away from our own shadows, a woman in touch with her essence has a vivifying effect.  She makes things possible.  She cannot be reduced to the sum of her parts.  She is transformed and transformative.    

Mythologist Joseph Campbell asked "is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity?" to which we say NAH girl, not today.

  • We're reaching for more than just a two dimensional experience of life.  This is our journey, we're up for the adventure of going off the proscribed path if it's aligned to our truth.  

 

  • We're tracking the magic of feeling connected to ourselves, to our strength, vitality + passion so that we trust in ourselves, in our ability to process all the blessings, challenges, and opportunities for growth that appear.

  • We're showing up for a more nuanced vision of what it means to be human, to be female.  If there's a hero with a thousand faces, then there has to be more than one version of feminine excellence.  

 

  • We're applying that inspiration everywhere.  Here's to a more comprehensive vision of health + wellness, beauty + strength.  

 

  • We're here to bless each other and the planet.  The world needs us: powerfully vulnerable women, loudly bold women, quietly potent women, women able to show up mighty + wild. 

 

As Nancer Ballard wrote, "The heroine’s final goal is not to defeat or dismiss vulnerability, or failure, or sadness, or pain, or self, or others. Their goal is to integrate and value all these as necessary and valuable aspects of the human experience." 

Drawing inspiration from ancient and contemporary tales of mothers, maidens + crones, we'll explore a variety of female archetypes.  We'll consider the elements of each archetype and the gifts each hold.  

 

We'll hone our ability to listen and discern.  Where might we benefit from integrating aspects of an archetype and where might we let go?

 

This is a 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet.  A banquet.  Enjoy exploring all the possibilities.

Hello! I'm Jen.

I've had a passion for mythology since my third grade introduction to Athena, leaping out of Zeus' skull fully formed and armored.  I was a girl playing on the boys' teams, running barefoot, who always had a plan.  Athena spoke to my heart.  I've studied mythology for years, and still love being on the lookout for archetypes.  Haley Joel Osment's character may see dead people, but I see patterns + motifs + connections.  

I studied mythology formally with Dr. Harvey Birenbaum, author of Myth and Mind, for 5 years as a graduate student, and upon receiving my teaching credential, I taught World Mythology and the Hero's Journey framework to Bay Area high school students.  My interests in patterns and archetypes lead me to study feng shui (certified in), wellness education (certified in), and yoga and meditation (certified in 2017 and 2019).  My love of archetypes has also influenced my work as an artist and art teacher.  I'm fascinated with how we as humans create meaning and beauty in even the most austere of environments, inspired by our strength + resilience + capacity for joy.

 

Like most of us, I've found myself deep in the Underworld, suffering.  I've lost touch with the vibrant + wild of myself. Been buried alive in the mundane aspects of life as a partner and parent.  I've also been above the clouds, floating, content.  Experienced moments of delight and creativity.  Life is a BOTH/AND proposition. As yoga teacher/trainer Noell Clark has said, "gratitude and sadness can live in the same house".  It's a non-linear roller coaster ride. Who knows when the next loop de loop might come?  What we do get to choose is how we show up, and the stories and mindset we create and access.  I want to show up fierce + tender, honest, inspired + loving.  

Recognizing patterns in my own story has transformed how I view my life and how I then create the next chapter. From the ways I cope with stress and grief, love and happiness, and even the way I add beauty to my life at home and out in the world, learning to see the patterns differently has brought me a more meaningful experience of my life.  This is my passion: teaching how I see the web of a story, and how I use the experience of that story to create meaning.  It's one part analysis + one part adventure, 100% magic!

I'm a freelance writer and live in San Jose CA with my partner, 2 sons, and a rescue black lab-border collie mix. We spend a few months each summer on the East Coast visiting family, swimming, kayaking, hiking and fishing. I'm an extroverted introvert, a Myers-Briggs INFP, born on the Pisces-Aries cusp, in the year of the Water Ox, a Type 9 on the Enneagram.  I love my people, yoga, and phò.

Modern Maenads create space, 

transforming the energy and patterns

of thoughts, actions, and things,

making room for the sacred self in the everyday

for more presence, purpose and joy

through meditation, wellness practices, and feng shui

Making modern life more meaningful,

AUTHENTIC

+ JOYFUL

 

celebrating

the wild + inspiring

archetypes of feminine

STRENGTH, BEAUTY

WISDOM + POWER

 

Your Feng Shui journey starts now!

Subscribe and receive 

a complimentary video tutorial and

a printable full-color bagua map   

 

Quick and Simple:

*How to read and lay a bagua map

*Common bagua map

challenges and solutions

*How to customize the bagua map

to the shape of your space 

*Easy enhancements to make today  

What is a 

Modern Maenad?

Maenads were a mythological sisterhood, a circle of women dedicated to the Greek god Dionysus

(whose worship is often associated with Shiva).

They roamed the landscape, uprooting trees and old paradigms, celebrating the cycle of transformation,

dismantling and deconstructing that which no longer served, creating spaciousness and freedom from restriction.

Modern Maenads combine the best practices from modern science and the ancient wisdom traditions to transform restrictive energy and patterns.

We true up our 

with our essential selves to create integrated well-being. We do the archetypal dance of destruction and creation,

metabolizing the old and birthing the new.

We balance the mundane with the inspired, creating new paradigms and pathways, aligned to shine.

Mind + Body + Home

Your Mind

Steady and connected to spirit, fully present to create and manifest your singular vision

Your Health

Relaxed and vibrant, filled with vitality, with the margin to give and receive abundance, love and joy

Your Home

Uniquely arranged to shift energy into reality, support your intentions, and hold space for your purpose

Together we

look for the imprints left by unconscious beliefs and thought patterns

discern the mental and material habits that have created these imprints

work with what we find compassionately and methodically

get comfortable in discomfort

clear the physical space

set intentions 

Yoga with Adrienne

Feng Shui is really the art of creating a home for the spirit.  making space for the true you.  Revitalizing the connection between you and the environment, you and your truth, you and the witness self, between you and your life force/prana/qi, connecting to the flow of energy between us and our environment.  Getting in touch with your personal power and the inner creatrix.  Looking for samskaras, for patterns that block our light and creating new opportunities to shine.b

I am worthy

I am enough

I am loved

I am free

I've spent most of my life studying change.  My B.A. is in Social Change and I earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership studying change within institutions and systems.  I love to travel for a change of scenery, and making art for the transformative process of creation, making one thing out of something else. For much of my life I've been on a quest for any answers to my biggest question: how to live my dream of helping myself and others flourish.  

I was the firstborn daughter of two addicts who met in a mental health hospital.  It was turbulent, so my truth learned to go underground.  I started taking care of others at the age of 8 and spent years alternately people-pleasing and avoiding. I've chased perfection and permission.  I've looked for ways to numb.  Many around me were deep in their own suffering or avoiding their suffering.  I wanted to find a way out and through.  I didn't just want to get out alive.  I wanted to believe that someone like me could thrive.

Enter a passion for mythology, modern science and the ancient wisdom traditions.  I've studied Feng Shui, yoga, meditation, neuroscience, holistic wellness, Ayurveda, and archetypal mythology. Basically anything that could help me access the guide within.  I've come to see the interconnectedness of these modalities and how a simple consistent shift in any one area of life can transform everything it touches.  

 

My life today would be unimaginable to my 8 year old self:  I've overcome health challenges, difficult relationships, and personal loss.  I've created a loving partnership and family. I've managed my anxiety and lost 100 pounds.  While my life is far from perfect, my truth has come back home.  I'm ready to serve others looking for ways to bring their truth home too.  

 

These practices are the gateways for me, the way back to my best self. There are hundreds of ways to tune in to yourself and align to your own truth.  I don't have all the answers, but share what has worked for me in the hope that you might find something that calls to you too.

Excited to support you on your journey!

"What is your inside is your outside,

And what you see on the outside,

You see revealed on the inside."

-- The Thunder, Perfect Mind 4:30-31

Play that Funky Music

Dancing is optional but 100% recommended, play a favorite song to get lifted

Reach Out

Give a hug.  Hold on for at least 30 seconds to get the mood-boost.  Hug a friend, partner, parent, child, pet, trees.  

3-Part Breath

An easy pranayama technique: inhale slowly in 3 parts, belly first, then ribs expanding, chest filling last.  Exhale slowly in reverse: chest, ribs, belly

Find Upside Down

Get fresh blood flow to the brain:  a simple forward fold, downward facing dog, or handstand changes your perspective 

Prayer and Chanting

Fill

Get Fresh

Fill

Remember Love

Who is easy to love?

Place a hand on your heart and reflect on someone who you love effortlessly.  A few minutes remembering and savoring creates a quick shift 

Eat the Real Thing

Eat something that grew in the sun and got onto your plate without very many steps in between.  

Favs are avocado + cilantro wrapped in a lettuce leaf, sliced apple with almond butter, 

fresh beet-kale-lemon juice

Add Color

So many ways to boost the color in our lives: wear a favorite color (socks count!), add it as a screensaver, close your eyes and visualize your color

Notice Inspiration

There is inspiration everywhere.  Look to the sky, a co-worker's style,  

Make Some Noise

Quick shift a room's energy: clap loudly around the perimeter of a space clockwise.  

Wash hands afterwards

Take a Bath

Even 5 minutes outdoors can shift and lift.  Can't get outside?  Look out a window or photos of the great outdoors

Drink Deeply

Get hydrated!  Take a 5 minute break to pause and notice the sensations of drinking a tall glass

Walk

Even 5 minutes outdoors can shift and lift.  Can't get outside?  Look out a window or photos of the great outdoors

Clear Horizons

Make your bed, clear off a counter, organize your desk.  

Clear a horizontal surface and create a sense of spaciousness + visual margin

Be Scentational

Essential oils, fresh fruit, flowers, and spices all use the olfactory nerve to tap into the parasympathetic system

Practice Kindness

Even 5 minutes outdoors can shift and lift.  Can't get outside?  Look out a window or photos of the great outdoors

Honor Recess

Even 5 minutes outdoors can shift and lift.  Can't get outside?  Look out a window or photos of the great outdoors

Private Feng Shui Consultations

I'm thrilled that you're considering working together to observe and heal the energy patterns in your home or business, to soften the impact of any challenges, and to align your space to your highest purpose and vision for your life, relationships, health and work.  It is an intimate process, allowing someone into our spaces to share our truth, to point out where our successes and challenges are.  I am deeply honored by your trust in the process.

All of us have a story of where we've been up to this point.  For some of us, we're ready to fine tune and optimize our environment to support and nourish ourselves as we move along an uplifting trajectory.  We might work on allowing ourselves more.  Receiving more prosperity, recognition, love and joy, while 

transforming any sense of fear or judgement.

 

For others, we are emerging from a dark night of the soul and our environments carry the energy of our challenges and sorrows.  We're ready to wake up stagnant chi and figure out where our spaces may be undermining our well-being.  We're ready to heal the energetic health of our homes and return to our truth.  

 

I have lived in both places.  In each, there might be some shame or concern about how energy has manifested.  Wherever you are in your journey, I am here to support you with non-judgmental awareness and a wealth of compassion and understanding.    

 

Our work together is private and all of my suggestions are an invitation.  Our homes and businesses must respect and reflect ourselves, our preferences, passions and aesthetics.  Allow me to show you options, and empower you to choose that which calls to your heart.

It's easy to get and stay stuck.

 

We've all been there:

tired and overwhelmed,

cranky with the cluttered home and the over-stuffed calendar, 

living in the suburbs of ourselves rather than from our very center. 

 

Doing the same old thing, yet wishing for a different result.

It's time to disrupt the patterns and create some breathing space.  

Time for more vitality and steadiness,

for the room to give and receive abundance, love, and joy.

Let's put up the no vacancy sign and move back to center.

 

It's time to break free and step into your best life.

Love that feeling after savasana?

Wish you could bring that om home?

That delicious connection to your best and truest self?

Unified with spirit, deeply at ease in your authenticity,

rested and radiant,

simultaneously grounded and free

Then you leave the mat and "real life" re-emerges

As you start rushing from refresh to re-engage, you wonder:

where did all that powerful connection and clarity go?

Treasured collections:

National Park stamps,

classic books, and BIG earrings

Favorite mischief makers:

My boys 

Thankful for:

Mural hunting, karate lessons, hot buttered popcorn + movies with my Star Wars-obsessed crew

Sweetness herself:

Izzy

Healthiest habit:

practicing yoga since 1992,

certified to teach since 2017

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© 2020 by Jennifer Walthers

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