Paula Jenkins is a Joyful Living Coach, the host of the Jump Start Your Joy podcast as well as the creator of Jump Start Your Podcast (which was instrumental in having the Midlife Schmidlife Podcast launch). I can’t think of a better person or topic (living with more joy) to share in the first episode in the Midlife Toolbox Series.

Midlife Schmidlife Jump Starting Your Joy with Paula JenkinsIn this episode, Paula shares the story of the birth of her son, that was traumatic and less than the fairy tale version that we all feel that we will have. It was through this experience that led her realize that the hope of being the mom that she wanted to be was a guide to healing. Paula’s focus on focusing on seeking and choosing joy was a way to lead her through PTSD.

We talk about the ebb and flow of joy and stuffing our feelings when we label our emotions as “good” or “bad”. In reality stuffing your sadness and unhappiness also shuts off your ability to feel true happiness and joy. Accepting that emotions are neither good nor bad can help you experience the fullness of being human.

Paula shares the biggest misconceptions of being joyful and the stigma around it being a “childish” choice when in reality, choosing joy can often be the hardest choice in many situations. We talk about my concept what I call, “Light Stealers”. And I also get real about judging others who seem “too happy”. Have you ever been there?

Finding Your Balance

Paula guides her clients through what she calls the Five Rules of Self Guidance. These principals help you to find balance and discover your “inner landscape”. She emphasizes that these rules should come from a heart-centered space and they include:

  1. It’s your life – you get to choose to live your own dream.
  2. Accepting your current reality.
  3. A “no” is as blessed as a “yes”.
  4. Practice kindness and love to yourself and others. Not ready for self-love? Start with self-kindness.
  5. Self-care is a deep and loving act of self respect.

Paula goes more into this list in the podcast around time marker 22:30.

Paula is genuine, not only in sharing her own experiences but also in her desire for us to live in real joy. A quote that she says has inspired her is by Henri Nouwen, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Links From the Show

Connect with Paula

Make more courageous choices

Get Your Free Audio Book Download

The book that Paula mention is, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, by Brigid Shulte. You can get a free download over at when you sign up for a free 30-day trial of Audible.