Jessica Semaan has a way with words. So much so, that the gift of her poetry serves as a vessel to both heal herself from complex trauma, and also provide space for others to do the same. Today, she speaks with Lisa about the inspiration that came from burn out, the gift of connecting to our grief and pain, her Passion Co. movement, and her latest book Child of the Moon.
- Jessica experienced a diverse upbringing, growing up in Lebanon. These contradictory experiences greatly shape her creative expression.
- One of Jessica’s biggest loves is cooking, which she inherited from her grandmother. She makes Lebanese dishes and modifies the traditional recipes to make them a little healthier and gluten-free.
- Passion Co. started out as a side project, with Jessica interviewing 100 people on what it was like to truly follow their passion. Two of the biggest takeaways she got from her interviews was that many people start small with making space for their passion. It is not always drastic. Also, it takes support (both of those around you, and usually monetary) and privilege to live in your passion full-time.
- Jessica held Shine Events for people to showcase their passion, and then a conference in 2015. While the events were a major success, she experienced extreme burnout after and both her body and mind were willing her to stop and rest.
- Depression and burnout is very much both a mental and physical condition. Jessica experienced somatic responses to her shame and grief. During this time the only thing she could do was tap into her own emotions and create poetry.
- In healing her own PTSD and trauma, Jessica creates the space for others to heal themselves. She is on her way to becoming a therapist and understands so much of our early childhood is linked with how we develop as adults.
- Jessica believes that much of the violence we experience in our own society comes from people not dealing with their own pain, suffering, and trauma correctly.
- Jessica reads an excerpt from one of her poems, entitled “Not Everyone Will Like You.”
- Jessica’s new book Child of the Moon comes from her realization that she wasn’t parented, and she has been dealing with the trauma that comes with that discovery.
“Juxtaposition is what births creativity.”
“Make space to express your deepest desire.”
“When the burnout happened, poetry started pouring out of me. It was the only thing I could do.”
“I allow myself to grieve everything.”
“A lot of what I don’t consciously remember has had the biggest impact.”
Three Life Lessons:
- Learn to tolerate difficult emotions, so you can really see people.
- Question the system and even make your own version.
- Aging is awesome. Welcome it.
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