Jeneration J: Self Love Youth Symposium: Self-Love is Always in Style: Embracing Healthy Relationships

Reflecting on Self-Love and Shaping a Brighter Future with Jenessee

I recently had the profound and humbling honor of delivering a keynote speech at the annual Jeneration J: Self Love Youth Symposium, an event hosted by Jenesse, a remarkable non-profit organization dedicated to domestic violence intervention and based in Los Angeles.  Jeneration J is the organization’s youth program, a centralized virtual support system that provides a comprehensive dating violence intervention and prevention resource center exclusively for young people. Central to their mission is to create the next generation of healthy relationships, with their focus on empowering middle school and high school-aged students, with a strong commitment to fostering emotional health and well-being. 

The theme of my talk wasSelf-Love is Always in Style: Embracing Healthy Relationships,” a message that resonates deeply with both Shaping Freedom and Jenessee’s missions. The core of our discussion revolved around the transformative power of self-love, the importance of breaking free from dysfunctional family patterns, and the vital role of establishing healthy boundaries and identifying one’s values. 

I’m writing today to spread the word about the work of this phenomenal organization and to share the message relayed in my keynote discussion:

The Essence of Self-Love

I opened the conversation by emphasizing that self-love is the foundation upon which we build our understanding of what we deserve in relationships. Creating our unique world of love for ourselves sets the standard for how we allow others to treat us and what kind of relationships we choose to cultivate. By nurturing our worth, we put ourselves into the seat of Power to create a path that is in personal alignment and in more joy.  

Here, I asked them to consider how their family’s expectations may be shaping their view of success, happiness, and relationships.

Building a Legacy of Healthy Relationships

We explored the impact of family dynamics on our relationship patterns. Meaning, we are oftentimes living what we witnessed – the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly behaviors that take us away from how we really want to live.  We then discussed how making intentional choices can help us break free from harmful cycles.  I really wanted them to hear that each courageous and vulnerable step toward healing is a step towards creating a new, healthy legacy—a journey that begins with improving our relationship with ourselves.

Here, I asked them to identify any patterns in their own family that they may want to bring forward, to leave behind, or to transcend. 

Living According to Our Values

Here, I led them through an interactive exercise where I invited them to identify their core values, emphasizing how aligning our decisions and lives with these values ensures that we have an ongoing and active practice of self-care through personal authenticity.  Living true to our values brings more joy into our lives and relationships, guiding us toward a future where our lives not only shine but also illuminate the path for others.

I then asked them to consider what their non-negotiables are in their different relationships and how those align with their values. We talked about these from the perspective of authenticity versus anyone being right or wrong. Meaning, our values are what they are as are the values of others.  It is up to each of us to ensure that we are, especially in our most intimate friendships and relationships, committed to choosing from the empowered position of knowing who we are and what we want to experience.

Establishing Healthy Boundaries

We discussed setting healthy boundaries as a testament to how much we value our peace and well-being. Healthy boundaries are the physical manifestation of our relationship with ourselves and of our self-love and self-respect. They help us to be clear with ourselves and with others what we want to experience with them.  Our values coupled with healthy boundaries serve as essential tools in living a life of authenticity, joy, and inner peace.

I challenged the audience to each take accountability for their ability to set clear boundaries and for creating healthy ways to stand by them. 

A Commitment to Emotional Health

The work that the Jenesse Center is doing with young people in LA is nothing short of inspiring. Their commitment to emotional health and preventing domestic violence is impactful and creates a safer, healthier future for all.  It was a humbling and deep honor to share a message of hope, empowerment, and the importance of self-care and healthy relationships with the young people they serve.

As we each continue on our own journeys of personal growth and relationship building, I invite you to carry within you the lessons of self-love, the power of choice, and the importance of living in alignment with your deepest values. I am, personally, standing on the belief that we each have the power to commit to a lifestyle where self-love and self-respect guides our choices, how we approach relationships, and the legacy we choose to create. 

Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you. Let’s continue to support each other in our collective journey towards freedom, emotional health, and relationships that allow us to shine.

If you are seeking a fresh perspective and start to 2024, I invite you to register for my upcoming online workshop!

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