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  • Kim Meninger

What if Trauma is a Gift?

Updated: May 12, 2023

What if Trauma is a Gift?

Welcome to the Impostor Syndrome Files! Today, Kim is joined by Jennifer Kauffman who shares her powerful story of overcoming trauma, including surviving the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, and how it has changed her life. As a result of these horrific events, Jennifer realized that there were pieces missing from her life that she hadn’t noticed previously. She would not wish for anyone to go through the same trauma, but she recognizes that with trauma came an opportunity to reflect more consciously on her values and goals. Stay tuned to this amazing episode to learn more about how Jennifer came to view trauma as a gift.

Forgiveness leads to acceptance and power:

Understanding what’s within and not within your control will help you cope with trauma and all the emotions that accompany it. Knowing that you cannot control what has already happened can be difficult to accept, but what’s more difficult is navigating current events without a sense of control over your emotions and actions. Jennifer shares that not having the drive to control everything has helped her find peace in her own mind.

Taking the first step:

Jennifer shares that it’s important to recognize that you don’t have to have everything figured out. Just take the first step and everything will unfold from there. It’s important to know where you want to go, but everything starts with the decision to make the journey. Jennifer also shared how she allowed her intuition to override her logical brain to free herself from physical and emotional limitations that had been holding her back.

About Jennifer Kauffman:

Despite her life’s many successes and accomplishments, Jennifer has always been in search of more: more peace, more love, more joy, more money, more passion, and more fulfillment. She is a bestselling author, award-winning results coach, inspirational speaker, Executive Producer of Emmy award-winning films, and trauma survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Her heart’s desire is to inspire impossible transformation in those who truly want to live a life they love—a life where they rise up and thrive!


Outline of the episode:

[01:46] About Jennifer Kauffman and her advocacy [06:14] The journey through the trauma [16:16] Identifying what you can control [21:24] How logic sometimes limit possibilities [30:50] Sharing the story for a bigger purpose [33:21] How personal experiences define the story [36:29] Why it’s important to just take the first step

And many more!


Connect with Jennifer:

To learn more about Jennifer, her books, and other transformational work, go to:

To access her transformational film, go directly to:


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Kim Meninger Welcome, Jennifer, thank you so much for being here today, I can’t wait to have this conversation with you. Before we jump in, I’d love to invite you to tell us a little bit more about yourself.

Jennifer Kauffman Well, thank you for having me, Kim, thanks for including me on your show. I love the topic, the impostor syndrome. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. So I am a recovering corporate executive. I started out in the finance and investment world where I spent about 15 years. I left there because I was completely burnt out and started my own company focusing on business coaching and business consulting for small and mid-sized companies. I still own and operate that company today.

Fast forward 2013, I came off in 2012, I came off my best year in business, all of my clients had record-breaking years, including myself. So I decided to take a couple of months off just to enjoy life. I then ended up going to the Boston Marathon for the very first time. I’m born and raised in the Boston area. A very dear friend of mine asked me to go because she doesn’t know her way around the city. And I do. So I went for the very first time, I was standing 15 feet from the first of two explosions, and life as I knew it was over. And my world was completely shattered. Now, here is the blessing in this nine years later, almost nine years later that I can share with you. I did not see that as a blessing at the time. Let’s be very clear. And I would never wish that upon anyone. But here’s the thing. I was actually hiding behind a facade. Up until that point, a facade of looking good. A facade of, hey, my world looks great. I’ve had all these successes, and I have all these achievements. But on the inside, I was miserable and unhappy and unfulfilled in a large part of my life. And it’s because I had a lot of trauma as a child, as you know, I had a lot of traumatic experiences through childhood and young adulthood. And because I didn’t know how to process that and how to deal with that. I basically was trying to run from it my whole life. But here’s the thing, I couldn’t outrun it. And the irony is, it took me being at a marathon to stop me dead in my tracks, have to heal those parts of myself. It took years to do that to be very clear. But now, I don’t live behind a facade. I don’t, I don’t sit there and try to make things look good when they’re not necessarily. You know, like when I went through being sexually assaulted at the age of 11. I was, my life was threatened, my family’s life was threatened. I took that seriously. Now I’m not afraid anymore, right, I’ve had to deal with all of that trauma to heal from it, and recognize that that experience as horrific as it was, made me who I am today. And now I can be an advocate. Now I can help other people that have gone through similar situations. So, so really the whole, the whole piece here is like, we have to stop pretending to be something that we’re not. And just be who we are. And when we allow ourselves to be who we are including the parts of ourselves, and the parts of our lives that we don’t like, or wish were different, we can, we can’t change that, it is what it is. All we can do is accept it, learn from it, and find the wisdom and the gifts from it. Now, this is something that the bombings taught me that I didn’t know before, was to actually look for the good that came from these very traumatic experiences. It sounds really harsh, to say, but it’s the truth. I can say that those experiences were horrific. And that is the truth. And I can also say now that they’ve turned out to be the greatest blessings and gifts of my life, because they’ve taught me things that I didn’t know before. Most importantly, they taught me to come home to myself, all of me that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t need to hide behind any, any of that. It just is.

Kim Meninger Wow, wow. See, you have an incredible story. And I want to try to break it down a little bit because you’re talking about this very traumatic experience. And you know, I was, I live in the greater Boston area, I was home with my three-year-old son that day, I’ll never forget that day, as long as I live and I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you. And so I want you to help me understand how you got from that day, to where you are today. What did that journey look like?

Jennifer Kauffman Great question. Actually, we documented it in a film called There’s Got to Be More to Life, which just released before Christmas. So you can get more details. And There’s Got to Be More to Life. But the short version is this: year one was learning to rise above my terror and my fear. As somebody who was a very outgoing person before that experience happened, I literally retreated. And my world got very, very small. I had a lot of physical and emotional, mental issues that happen as a result of that. And so year one was learning to rise above my terror and fear and to actually heal some of my physical injuries. Year two was learning to rise above my rage. So here’s the truth. The truth is, I silently would contemplate what I would do if I ever came in front of those two young men. And I frankly, would contemplate how I would take them with my own bare hands, take their lives. And I remember one day as you, as you know, growing up in the Boston area, we, we, we drive as Bostonians, we cut people off. It’s just kind of what we do. Don’t take it personally, it’s just you know, this, you know, the city it’s just got all these one-way streets and all this stuff. And people that aren’t familiar with it don’t know how to drive. So we’re constantly like, you know, maneuvering. But this one particular day, I had been, I had left a survivor’s group meeting that was being held in one of the local hospitals in Boston. And when I left the parking garage, somebody cut me off. Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about it. But I got so outraged that I literally had road rage, and I went chasing after this person. Fortunately, they made the light, and I didn’t. So I had to come to a screeching halt. And at that light, I went all of the rage that I was experienced in those seconds, maybe a minute or two before turned into tears. Who is this person? Who is this person and I realized that there was a terrorist that was living inside of me. And if I acted on my rage, I’d be no different than the two young men that placed the bombs that day. So year two, was learning to rise above my rage and how I did that was learning to forgive. Forgiving the unforgivable, forgiving the fact that my whole, whole world, my family’s world was completely shattered from that experience. In my community, let’s be clear, not just me, those that were, that were there that day, those that live nearby that I mean, literally everybody was impacted by that, not just me. And so it took me several months to get to the place where I could actually forgive. And how I got there was, here’s what was happening when I was dealing with these rageful bouts, I felt like I was out of control. And every time I would have them, I would have a setback in my healing, I’d have a setback physically. And I real and then that meant that, frankly, that made me more mad. I can’t even be mad. And I was like, okay, you know, the same thinking that went into this is not going to be what’s going to get me out of the situation. So it’s like, there’s got to be another way. And so I started to have more compassion for myself when I would get in those moments. And I would ask myself, what can I do in this moment, that would be really nourishing, and loving. Because really, that’s what I was looking for is just to like someone to wrap their hands around me and say, it’s going to be okay. You’re going to get through this. And even though I had people in my life that did that, I didn’t know how to do that. I needed to be able to tell myself that I had to become my very best friend. And so fast forward, I got to a place where I could forgive those two young men, and I did so in court, actually. And when I chose to give my victim impact statement in court and I, the very last paragraph was a six-page statement. The very last paragraph was despite all, all of, you know, that you did to myself, my family, my community, the world at large. I choose to forgive you and your brother for what you did. And in that moment, Johar Zarnaev, the surviving bomber. Actually, he and I shared eye contact for just a brief moment. He hadn’t made eye contact with anyone over the course of the months of the, of the trial. And in that moment, I had this overwhelming amount of peace. And for the first time in two years, I actually had compassion for that young man. I had nothing but rage and hatred towards him before that. But in that moment, I had compassion. And I had overwhelming peace that came over me. And what happened next was my healing exponentially soared. I physically got better, quicker. I was like my, my anger and rage started to dissolve. And that was just like an amazing thing. And then year three, was really just stepping into, like life again, right, I started to reemerge and get back into the world again, albeit small. And then there was something that was like, you know, nudging me. I was like, I kept asking myself, what’s it going to take to come full circle from this experience. Now, I was a spectator in 2013, I wasn’t there running, spectator, I have no desire to run a marathon. And what happened was, I kept getting an order to come full circle, I would actually physically need to run the marathon. Not something I wanted to do candidly. But I had a desire to come full circle, greater than my, my lack of desire to run. So a dear friend of mine from high school, actually decided that she would do it with me. And in April 17 to April and April 2017 we went and embarked on doing the marathon and I crossed that finish line. Here’s what I didn’t know that my family and closest friends would be in the very same spot that I was in four years prior. So when I came down, down Boylston Street and I’m approaching that line. I have a whole new memory. I have my family and my closest friends cheering me on. And so now when I think about the marathon, I think about that. I don’t think about the horrible things that I witnessed and saw for years before and so that’s how again, that’s just a very you know, quick synopsis. There’s more to it in the film. But I will say one other thing. One of my meditation teachers and I had been doing meditation for years prior to the actual bombings that took place. And one of my meditations teacher said to me, it was probably six or eight months after the bombings took place. She said, one day you’ll see this as the greatest gift, that … Who says that to someone? But I had respect for this woman, I had trust for this woman. I had been doing meditation with her for several years. I knew she wouldn’t say something like that to hurt me. So she planted a seed that day, even though it was hard to accept, she planted a seed. And over time, I kind of went on this treasure hunt, frankly. And it was this treasure hunt of what if I were to ask myself what good came from this? In the beginning, I got nothing but what bad came from it. But over time, I started to see wow. I said, complete strangers do the most loving things, they would write notes to us. Wishing us well, saying prayers for us. People from different parts of the US came together and made quilts for all of the those that were injured in, and the families that lost loved ones. Who does that? Extraordinary people do that. So I started to see that even when bad things happen there are really good people out there that want to do good things. And one other thing I will say is that once I forgave those two young men over time, I got curious as to who does something like that. So I started looking into their background. And I read that they grew up in a country. I believe it was Kazakhstan, but don’t quote me on that. But they grew up in a war-torn country where bombs were dropped on them periodically as kids. I can’t imagine what that’s like, because I didn’t grow up like that. But now I had an inkling of why they did what they did. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t take it away. But what I’ve learned is that unresolved or unhealed trauma leads to hate, leads to rage. And, and if we act out on it, that’s when we start harming other people. And if we can understand this, maybe we’ll actually take a different course and pivot, and how we can heal as a society as a nation as a world.

Kim Meninger Wow. Oh, my goodness, Jennifer, there is so much in what you just said. And I want to, I want to share a few of the key themes that came up for me when you were talking about forgiveness. And you’ve mentioned this a couple of times, too, this idea of accepting, however horrific the reality of the situation that we’re in, because we can’t change that. It’s, what happened was out of your control, what was in your control was the, the power to, to forgive, to do what was most empowering to you, so that you could heal and move on. And I think that’s such an important message for everyone. Regardless, I mean, we’ve, no one gets out of this life unscathed. Some I think of as having capital T trauma, like you’re describing, some have lower case trauma of just general life, things that we, we bump up against that, that harm us. And this idea of really focusing on what’s within your control seems really, really powerful to me. And I’m curious if you have additional thoughts on that, that you’d like to share?

Jennifer Kauffman Absolutely. First and foremost, every person on the planet has experienced trauma of one shape or form. I personally don’t view it as capital T and lower t. Our experiences are likely different. However, on the other side of the actual experience that created the traumatic experience, we all go through this, like why did this happen to me? I don’t understand, what am I missing? Right, which I’ve come to understand is more a victim mentality. And when the more we ask those questions, they’re actually disempowering, and then we lose control. Do you understand because it’s like, we think like we could have controlled the situation. And, and therefore we lose our power. Where we can pivot is like, okay, it happened. How do I choose to respond now? What can I learn from this? How can I improve my life? Now I will say this, each traumatic experience that I’ve had, and I’ve had a major one in each of the decades of my life, I hope to God, I never have to go through any more candidly, but I have, each one put me closer on my path and my purpose. And the bombings actually put me directly on my path. And my purpose, and I now, I now feel the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt. I experienced peace and bliss, even in the midst of a pandemic. Because I, because I recognize I have the power within me, and how I choose to respond. And I’m not afraid of what goes on. All I can do is take care of me in this moment. And remind myself in this moment, all is well. Things happen. We can’t control that things happen, but we can control how we respond. And that is in our power, one empowers us, it doesn’t mean we don’t experience fear, it doesn’t mean that we don’t experience struggles. But here’s what I’ve come to understand. And this took me almost 50 years to get. And I would ask myself, What if trauma is a gift? And what if trauma is like the manure that you put on a seed to make it grow? What if it’s the very thing that’s meant to shape you and mold you to becoming the person you are meant to be, and to serve whatever purpose you’re intended to, to fulfill here, while you’re on this planet? We all have our unique genius within us. But we often don’t allow it to emerge and come out. Because we’re scared. We’re taught that, okay, you know, a lot of people at least I was raised like, Okay, you gotta go, you gotta go work for someone else, because it’s the safe thing to do. It’s all about being safe and secure. And I get that, right, my parents experienced hardship growing up. So for them, it was important that their kids have safety and security. Well, here’s the thing. I was successful in the corporate world, but I wasn’t fulfilled. I didn’t start to feel fulfilled, candidly, I mean, I had moments of it throughout my career, but I now feel like I am on my divine purpose. I never went to film school, I never in a million years thought I would be producing transformational films that would make a difference in the world. And yet, here I am today, I went to school, for economics and accounting in business. Right. But as life would have it, I would go on after this experience, I would write about it. Because I want to help people. Basically, shave off years of suffering, because we don’t need to suffer. And I want to teach people that we can go from surviving to thriving, no matter what we’ve been through. And I pray that most people don’t experience some of the trauma I have, which is why I feel called to share this stuff. It’s not about me and my story. It’s just, but my story will show you how I went from barely surviving to thriving. And if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Kim Meninger So one thing that I want to ask you about in the context of what you just shared is the power of intuition. Because you mentioned that you are intuitive. And I think a lot of times we get, for lack of a better term, we’re limited by logic, think something’s possible because you’ve, we’ve seen other people do it or we haven’t seen or we don’t think it’s possible for us for whatever reason, there’s limiting beliefs attached to what we see as possible and impossible for ourselves. And you mentioned never having wanted to run a marathon and then this inspiration to close that circle and run that marathon. You mentioned never expecting to be a filmmaker. I can imagine how there would have been any number of opportunities for your logical brain to kick in and say, that’s crazy. I could never do that. I don’t have the skills. I don’t have the, the expertise. There’s other people out there that are better than I am at that. How did you get past those, those natural barriers that we put in front of ourselves to be able to get to this place?

Jennifer Kauffman By the way, all that you just said I experienced were exactly the thoughts that went through my head. But here’s the thing, our intuition, so I didn’t like, it just popped in. Right? It just popped in, it actually how this happened. I had been, I had literally like, what’s it going to take to come full circle? I’ve been praying and meditating on that. And I was, I had just started working out with a trainer to rebuild my strength because I had lost all my strength and my, a lot of my mobility. And so I was doing a quick warm-up on a stationary bike. There’s a woman, what are the chances of this, there’s a woman running on the treadmill in front of me. And the back of her shirt said, I finished, can you? And then I heard this, you need to actually do the marathon. I was like, I’ll do anything else but that. But it was no, it was like that was it. And I literally resisted that. I resisted that. I kicked and screamed around that. And then I realized that was my higher intuition telling me. And so in how I knew it, there was a feeling and there was sometimes for me, I will challenge things. So for example, because I’m a survivor, I do get, the Boston Athletic Association has gifted us each year with two complimentary bibs, one that we can gift and one that we need to use, if we want to do the marathon. And I had already said no to it. So I’m having this internal dialogue with myself like, seriously, no, I can’t do that. I’m not, I’m not physically capable of doing that. At this stage, all of these things were there. And I was like, you know, and I’m like wrestling internally. I was like, okay, if I’m really meant to do this, show me a sign. So I reached out to the Boston Athletic Association and said, Hey, I had already said no to this. But just out of curiosity, is it possible? They said, Oh, absolutely. Crap. Candidly. And then the next thing that happened was I went to the bookstore, and I bought every book I could find on training to do a marathon. I went home later that day, I opened up the book. That’s not going to work. Put that aside, open up the next book, that’s not going to work. I couldn’t do any of the recommended trainings that they had in each of these books that I had purchased. And I cried. I cried. And then a friend of mine, another survivor, said, Hey, let me introduce you to Jack Fultz. Jack Fultz won the Boston Marathon back in the early 70s. And he now trains runners to complete marathons. And he actually took on helping some of the injured survivors, and who went and ran the race back in 2014, and 15. So she made an introduction, I met with Jack and Jack created a very specialized plan, because I couldn’t run at the stage. And might keep in mind, the objective was to cross the finish line not to run it entirely. That was not it, it was just to finish. But what I, what happened was, my logical brain told me I was crazy, there’s no way I could do it, repeatedly. But I had this feeling inside. And I listened to that feeling, which was my intuition telling me that this is what I needed to do. But my brain, that almost the entire five and a half months that I trained, had doubt. Didn’t think we could do it. But something just kept nudging me forward. So, so it’s, to me, it’s, it’s less about the thought. It’s beyond the mind. And it’s like, how does it make you feel like I knew, even though I didn’t want to do it, I knew in my heart doing this was going to set me free. And I can’t quite articulate that other than there was just this inner knowing. But it’s beyond the mind, chatter and thought, and it’s it’s outside of what, you know, especially in New England, you know, we’re from this area, we are highly intelligent people. And that’s not to say that there aren’t intelligent people all over the world. That’s not what I’m saying. But we don’t tend to be highly intuitive. Like we don’t tap into our intuition. We all have intuitive abilities. Let’s be very clear about that. But being raised in this kind of environment, we’re not taught to tap into that more. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m speaking out to be able to break that so people can start to tap into that because once you do, there’s a higher level of intelligence that is at our disposal. And we literally can go from survival mode, if you will. Survival mode into the striving mode. And it’s beyond what your mind can conceive.

Kim Meninger Do you feel like you had to do the pre-work that you described of the year one and year two work to hear that? Do you feel like, there’s stuff that needs to be cleared before you can even hear that voice?

Jennifer Kauffman I’m gonna liken it to a radio station. Okay, so say you want to go find your favorite song, and you’re changing the dials for those of us, you know, okay, you could just be flipping it on your, your, you know, your iTunes right now. But you’ve got to get rid of the static. We’re all energy beings. And when we have unresolved trauma, there’s static in the field, so to speak. So the only way I can liken it is and we don’t know that necessarily. But I did, I had to go through that, those layers of healing to be able to discern my intuition at a greater level, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t always there. But it was kind of like trying to hone in on that, on that station that has a lot of static on it. Right? I’m like, am I hearing that correctly? Am I discerning that correctly, right. And so, as you clear out some of that leftover debris, if you will, from your energy, energy body, it makes it, it makes it easier to tune in. And to get the messages that we all have access to, we all have it. But it also requires slowing down. So for me, meditation is one of the ways that I quiet my brain. So before I did meditation, my brain was super active. And I call it monkey brain, it was just constantly then. And now that I meditate, it actually quiets my brain, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have that chatter and stuff. But the more that I meditate and quiet it, that also allows me to access that intuition on a greater level, and with greater consistency. But it also requires slowing down, and also requires being in the now moment. We live in a very fast-paced society. And this is where I feel one of the blessings of COVID. And I want to be very clear, I know COVID has been very traumatic for a lot of people, including people in my own family. And it’s forced us to slow down as a culture and a society, it’s forced us to look at what’s most important in our lives. Now, whether or not we’ve pivoted and made changes, that’s up to each individual person. But that slowing down gives us the ability to become more aware of what matters to us. And then from there, it’s about to have the courage, to have the courage to take that leap of faith in whatever direction you’re being guided to. And not like, listen, when I got the nudge to do this film, I was like, this is ridiculous. I don’t know how to do that. But Wayne Dyer, one of my spiritual mentors, once said, do not leave this world with your music still inside of you. And I realized that if I can save one person’s life and make one person’s life better, by sharing my story, then that’s what I’m supposed to do. So I did that through books. And now I do it through film. All because that is my purpose is to help improve someone else’s life. And I just choose to do that through, through books, through film, and through teaching courses. And we all have that ability, all of us.

Kim Meninger And what I’m, I’m going to make an assumption here, but I want to, I want to get your thoughts on this. When you are coming from a place of purpose, when you truly believe that what you are doing is coming from a place that’s bigger than you that’s of service, you’re not spending all of your time thinking about exactly what you say and how you say it. And whether you’re smart enough to be in the room or, you know, all of those niggling little thoughts that get in our way and keep us from showing up as our most powerful selves.

Jennifer Kauffman And I would say that’s the very reason why because that, that’s still there. It happens. It comes up from time to time for me candidly, and I’m like, okay, but right. Right, I’m, I’m on this mission to improve someone else’s life. And so my legacy is to be vulnerable and open. Now you have to know even though I’m an outgoing person, I’m actually a very private person. The fact that I actually, I’m showing my story and sharing my truth in a very public way, I only do it to help someone else. If I focus it on me, and all of that, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t do it. But I’m reminded of, you know, when I get messages from people that I was about to take my life until I saw your film. And then I watched your film, and I got inspired. And I realize that, oh, my gosh, I don’t have to take my life. I can pivot, I can change and I can have a better life. And I literally have gotten these messages. A 14-year-old who had been badly beaten as a kid, right? Comes in watches, watches the film, and all of a sudden, like, has like this aha moment. Like, I don’t have to be a prisoner to this. I wish I frankly, I wish, I wish, you know, more kids could watch this. And they can actually because we don’t, we took the, the, the bombing scene out, and we did something different with it. And so that just about anybody can watch it. Because if these if, if people, kids that have gone through trauma can get this at a young age, they don’t have to go through years and years and years of like I did, you know, of having to find myself and find who I really am and who I’m, who I’m, you know, and how I can be of service in a bigger way.

Kim Meninger Can you speak to the spectrum of opportunities we have to show up from a place of purpose and service because I want people to realize that it doesn’t have to be at the level that you’re describing, right? You have a very unique, tragic experience that shaped you. And I’m sure there are a lot of other people thinking, but what do I have? What’s my purpose? I’m just living this ordinary life. Maybe I’m, you know, feeling like a cog in a corporate wheel. How can I live a life of purpose without perhaps having some of the elements of your story?

Jennifer Kauffman Absolutely. Let’s be clear, some of us are meant to do, you know, these big things, and that, that, that lights me up. Other people are just meant to do like, I’ll tell you, like, I have a friend who left the corporate world to pursue her passion for basically dogs, right. She loves dogs. So she, she now like, does dog walking dog sitting, dog stuff and all that. And she is the most lit up she, she can be. But she’s also serving people that you know, are going on vacation or they, they work, you know full time and they need someone to come take care of, they have a trusted person. Right? So she’s in her element. So it’s like in she’s like, this isn’t about comparing, right? It’s not about comparing, but she is in her zone. She’s loving life. And she’s, she’s of service to others in her community. That’s one example. Right? I have another, I have another friend who has this passion for music, right. And she’s actually connected to the film. And we just decided, we co-wrote a song together and she wrote her very first song, then she went in singing it for this film. And she is like, so lit up. But now she wants to start looking at other ways she can get more involved in music. I don’t know what that looks like, I don’t know where she’s gonna go from this, but, but like something ignited inside of her during the making of this film, that we didn’t plan for that, we didn’t, we didn’t plan on that that just happened in the making of the film. It was like, You know what, we want to like write some songs that are very specific to the story that are upbeat, and you know, that are different. And then we ended up co-writing a song together. And then I don’t have the vocal talent. She went and sang it. And then we recorded it. When the studios were, were locked down because of COVID, she recorded it in her closet, sent it off to you know, a master in Nashville. We got it recorded in 10 days. Wow. That’s the beauty of stepping into this like, uncertainty unknown place. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s like, it reminds me of being like a little kid. You know, when you go to the playground, you don’t know who you’re going to meet and all of a sudden you’re playing with someone on the swings or in the playground. Like, it’s that we can live that kind of life. It’s exciting. It’s like this magic carpet ride. You never know what these gonna bring. Like I didn’t, I didn’t know you until we just met. Right? Right. We’re having this conversation. We’re having this real conversation. I feel a connection to you. I don’t know where it’s gonna go from here. But it, like every day is like this, like magical unfolding. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t have challenges, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have certain things that happen but there’s also this like was utopia’s what I call it? That can happen too. It’s magical.

Kim Meninger I love the way you frame that because I think you’re absolutely right. And this ties back to what I was hearing you say when you were talking about looking for the gifts and the treasure hunt. I think we work, we find what we look for. And yes, looking for the reason why something won’t work, we will find it. But if we have that attitude of what would make this possible, we put ourselves in a situation where we are open. And I just I want to get your thoughts on that. Because I think that’s so…

Jennifer Kauffman Let me tell you, let me tell you a secret, which really isn’t a secret, but it is a secret. When we take all you have to do is take one step. A lot of us here in the northeast, particularly, are taught at a very young age that we have to plan everything out. Right. And what I have now learned is that now, there’s nothing wrong with planning, let’s be clear about that. But when you get an idea, all there is to do is take the very first step, one step. And when you take that one step, the next step will unfold. Either the right person or people will show up to help you on that next phase, where you might get the funding to start your own business. Who knows what it is. But by taking the one step, and then having the courage to take the next step. So when I so I, when this whole thing happened, I was my intuition told me in the hospital that I would need to learn how to heal naturally, I had no prior knowledge how to do that. Zero, I don’t have a medical background. But there was something about that message that I took seriously. And so the first step I took was I discharged myself against the doctors and nurses wishes in order. And I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I released myself in the care of a family member. And then the next day, I got, I needed to reach out to a psychiatrist,` psychologist that I had worked with 10, 12 years prior when my dad passed away unexpectedly. And she just so happened, she wasn’t taking any patients, but she cleared her schedule to help me. Right. And then I got a friend reached out and said, Hey, I’ve got someone who can help you deal with your spinal injuries stuff and help you regain your ability to walk again. So every time I took a step, I was basically telling the universe, I’m open to receive the next step. And then you just have to have the courage to do that. And then when you start to do that, it’s like learning how to walk, right? So think about it like a kid, you know, a baby, that’s learning how to walk. Do you tell the kid that’s just learning to stand up, you know, you know, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Because you might, you know, but no, you’re encouraging them. Now that of course, they’re gonna fall from time to time. That’s what this experience is like. Right? You don’t just one day just go from crawling to running. That’s not how it works. But you stumble and you find yourself, you know, blah, blah, and you get scared you’re like, but what if it doesn’t work out? But what if it does? And that’s what I had to tell myself. But what if it does?

Kim Meninger Yeah, that is, I love the analogy, too. I think that’s such a great image of the child learning to walk. We never discourage a child from learning to walk, even though we know they’re gonna fall, even though we know it’s not gonna, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride for them. Right? Wow. Oh, my goodness, Jennifer, I could be here all day. I know you have a book and you’ve got this amazing film and you’ve got other things on the horizon. Where can we find out more about you? What can… we’re going to put links in the show notes. What, what do you want us to follow up with you on?

Jennifer Kauffman Okay, so there’s two places you can go. If you want to learn more about the bestselling books that I have. In some of the other films that I’ve produced in this current one, you can go to my website, If you actually are inspired to watch the film, so the film right now we’re doing this big run-up until the marathon, the Boston Marathon coming up on April 18. For everybody that purchases a ticket to watch the film, we’re actually giving $2 back to a veterans cause to save more veterans’ lives. We want to eradicate the fact that on average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. We want to put a stop to it. So we’re actually funding a nonprofit organization called Operation Shockwave. So if you’re interested in wanting to save lives, register to watch the film, and we’re going to gift $2 of every film, ticket price back to this organization. In addition to that, for those that take action immediately, we’re gifting a couple of things for free. One is a thriving ebook. So we have an ebook that talks about the early stages of thriving. Later on, we’re going to be offering a course, probably in the spring or early summer. But for now, we’ve got this free ebook. And in addition to that, we are giving away a, what we call a syncope meditation. For those that are on the go or don’t, you know, they think they can’t do meditation, we’ve designed a product called Syncope, and it’s on receiving. So it’s about 11-minute guided meditation that we’re gifting for free. It’s with built-in with sound technology to allow you to go deeper. But you can do it every day, a couple of times a day, all with the intention of receiving if you want to receive more love in your life, receive more abundance in your life, receive more joy in your life, you get to set the intention. But these are just tools that we’re giving away now to help empower people and to help people rise up and live their best life.

Kim Meninger Wow, thank you so much. And for anyone who’s interested, the links will be in the show notes. And really what an inspiration you are Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing your story today.

Jennifer Kauffman Thank you for having me, Kim. It’s been a pleasure being with you today.

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