"question everything" // feature interview: Jen Morris

What happens when you dare to question the so-called "truths" that shaped you? What if you discover an inner knowing that challenges the status quo . . . and sets you free?

Jen Morris is willing to shake things up to embrace wholehearted living, even when that means having enough humility and grace to go back to where she began (more on this in a minute!). When you realize what's right for you, the way suddenly comes clear.

That's not to say your journey will be easy--probably won't be--but you'll feel truer, more fulfilled, more wildly alive in this aching and wonderful world.

 
JenCollage.jpg
 

As a writer, teacher, and mama in Auckland, New Zealand, Jen loves questioning the status quo. Widely known for her vibrant creative journaling practice, Jen has recently made big bold strides toward living more in alignment with her deepest truths. Just recently, she's dramatically downsized, built a tiny home, rebranded her business--and then, even since our interview, decided to go "back to [her] old name which fit perfectly all along." 

Don't you love that? I do! So much is said in those few words. As a fellow indiepreneur and creative person, I cheer on anyone brave enough to make bold moves when your gut knows they're right. And yes, sometimes that means stepping BACK where you came from!

In that same vein, I'm glad to announce that Jen's interview is the last one called Truth Tribe. As I explained here, I've realized that I may have been causing harm using that word, and TPS is all about healing, not hurting. So on we go--beginning with our next issue, Truth Tribe interviews will become Soul Rise Stories. Same fiercely honest and deeply felt conversations. Thanks for continuing to journey with us.

Question everything. One of the best messages I've taken away from Jen's interview. Questioning--fearlessly, with full courage--will either confirm and validate you're already on the right path . . . or you'll guide your sweetly stumbling feet where you need to go. Life-changing, this concept!

  creative journaling by Jen Morris

creative journaling by Jen Morris

What joy to welcome Jen to our feature interview series. Read her full interview here and enjoy excerpts below.  

One of Jen's most unconventional choices is to drastically downsize, then build and live in a tiny home with her partner, Carl, and their just-becoming-toddler, Baxter.

I asked Jen how living in a tiny home has shifted her perspective. In part, she answered,

I’m [. . . ] loving tiny house living because of the way it brings us closer together as a family. I can be cooking dinner and also spending time with my fiance and son in the living room (because it’s only a few feet away!). My son sleeps with us in the loft so he’s always nearby and I’m there for him, which I love. And in the evenings when Carl and I spend time “apart” we are often close together physically, but deeply immersed in our own activities (like reading, journaling, editing
music, gaming, etc.). I like that.
— Jen Morris, feature interview, The Phoenix Soul: Wholehearted Living

Jen and I became first-time mamas within a few months of each other, sometimes sending one another support across the globe. I'm especially interested in learning how fellow artist-mamas make space for their artistry in their new lives, and how parenting affects and shifts their creative expression. Here's part of what Jen had to say: 

My energy, time, and attention are so limited now that I need to be very intentional on how I spend my “spare” time away from being mama. In a way, even though I’m more sleep-deprived than I’ve ever been and always running on empty, I’m also more clear and purposeful than ever (in my work, as well as motherhood). I’ve also found I’m a lot less likely to second-guess myself and over-analyze everything in my work. I’m more certain and confident in what matters to me now.
— Jen Morris, feature interview, TPS: Wholehearted Living
 
  artwork by Jen Morris

artwork by Jen Morris

 

We talked about so many more deliciously soul-filling topics, like her creative journaling practice (how it helps and heals her every day), Jen's upcoming books, her blossoming presence on Patreon (be sure to check out her writing group!), and what encouragement she offers to those of us seeking satisfaction in more unconventional life. You can find the rest of this goodness (along with her gorgeous imagery) in Wholehearted Living, our current issue of The Phoenix Soul digital magazine.

Phoenix soul, what questions will you dare to ask in your own life? What unconventional choice might you make in order to embrace wholehearted living?

Remember, you can start small and simple . . . something right in front of you, every day. Perhaps you'll take a different way to work tomorrow. What if you finally take that ukulele lesson or try that recipe you pinned months ago? What if you risked having real conversation with someone, revealing your hopes and dreams? Wholehearted living can be right here . . . right now.

We celebrate you, phoenix. In all your messy glory.

with love & respect,
Amanda
your fellow phoenix