The Identity Crisis

May 29, 2018

4 Comments

Several times this year (and lifetime) I’ve found myself in a funk. I head myself sharing with a friend, over a warm chai…

“I’m not sure if I’m depressed or if it’s just a phase I’m going through, but I feel apathetic about life right now”.

I’ve been through these phases before.
Where I’m so grateful for my life, and all that I have (there is SO much to be grateful for).

But something wasn’t quite right.

There was something within me that was… unsettled, unsure, unhappy and incomplete.

If felt like who I was was shifting.
The old didn’t seem to fit anymore.
But who I was becoming was totally unclear.


It’s that uncomfortable niggle when you realize you’re living as an old & outdated version of yourself.

The like ‘role’ you are playing is no longer authentic or true.

The awareness of this identity-shift (sometimes experienced as a crisis) is often uncomfortable AF.

Most of us want to shy away from this uncomfortable unknown.
Sliding into distraction… and away from the uncomfortable feelings.

My usual numbing, distracting & dis-embodying techniques usually look like:

+ Eating sugar

+ Getting super busy by putting my inner “Life Manager” role on overdrive

+ Trying to fix myself & fix the way I felt

We all have our own flavor & strategy to leave our body and feelings behind. In this masculine paced world getting busy, working hard and turning your attention to everything outside your deep-feeling-self is a typical go-to-solution.

Yet this dis-embodied approach to uncomfortable feelings never works.


So this time, as with every identity-crisis since my early 20’s, I decided to be curious…

To appreciate that these wild feelings we have as women are not a curse.

They are not a sign that we are erratic, or ‘too much’.
They are not a sign we are ‘doing something wrong’.
They are not a sign that there is something inherently ‘inadequate’ inside.

They are a blessing.
They are our compass and a super power.


Yet when we’re feeling emotions like shame, and guilt and hopelessness, it’s hard to find the blessing in the mess.

This year there’s also been a a lot of discussion and centering of oppression, inequity and social justice, at least in my circles.

I’ll be the first to admit that at times, part of me felt ashamed & guilty I was having my own “crisis” while being a person of such privilege.

But suffering is suffering, and ignoring/dishonoring my own bodies feelings doesn’t help me become a more compassionate, loving person.

There is a time to tend to our own garden and allow it to blossom.

There is also a time to reap the fruits of that work, and share it with our community.

The modern woman needs to master both.


My body – like your body – is so infinitely wise.

As I continued to feel her fully – and tried not to dissociate too much from the guilt, the confusion, the apathy, the shame, I began to get a sense that there was something significant shifting within me…

Especially, my body was showing me the part of my self, my identity that were ready to dissolve.


Dissolving an old, outdated identity is not an easy thing to do (at least it’s not usually easy the first few times we do it).

Most women find themselves stuck, half way between who they have been and where they desire to go.

Confused, but excited.
Frustrated, but ready.
Ripe, but unsure.

That was me.

Excited and afraid.
Ready and totally clueless.


This wasn’t my first time at the “identity crisis” party.

I’ve been through several rounds of this before during:

+ Transitioning careers from pharmacist to kinesiologist

+ Leaving a relationship of 7 years

+ Moving countries

+ Transitioning careers (again) from kinesiologist to embodiment coach

+ Establishing our School of Embodied Arts

+ Agreeing to be someone’s wife

+ Contemplating motherhood (maybe)…

And I’m not even 40 yet! These days we don’t wait until mid-life to have our mid-life-crisis!!

Modern women on a path of growth appear to have them ever few years!


I’ve learnt a LOT about dissolving old identities, and embracing and embodying new, more sincere aspects of ourselves over the years.

What I know for sure is that the transition is made more challenging by these 3 factors:

  1. You’re often unsure exactly what the new identity is (yet), so it’s a little hard to navigate there, into the ‘unknown new’
  2. Our survival mind perceives anything new as UNSAFE, so in many ways the possibility of this new self is triggering all kinds of fears and doubts in an attempt to keep you safe
  3. The old ways of thinking, operating, being & making decisions are strong HABITS that can feel so hard to break

What I also know for sure is:
You can’t turn back.

Once we realize the way we have been operating, the identity we have been living, is no longer true, sincere or authentic – we have no option to move forward into our next evolution.

We can’t go back.
We can’t ignore what we have realized.
We can’t be who we no longer are.
We can’t dishonor ourselves by pretending otherwise.


So what is a woman to do?

How do we shift our identity honestly?

How do we tend to our own garden efficiently, an then ready ourselves to share the fruits of our most authentic self with the world?

In my experience, both in my own life & coaching with clients, the most efficient way to make sure you FAIL is to rush forward and take action, without integrating your new identity into your body first.


Put another way.
In a world obsessed with moving forward and being productive.
So many of us feel the key to birthing our new identity is to make her manifest through our actions.

But without the internal somatic integration.
Our internal infrastructure is unsound.
We’re wobbly within ourselves.
And our resulting actions are less than full.

We’re hoping that by taking the right actions we’ll sure up our inner confidence.

But it doesn’t work that way.

A sincere woman fully inhabits her new self first, and then brings that energy to her actions.


If we are to shift the old & outdated self and sincerely live, breath and make decisions as our new emerging truth – then we must learn to inhabit her first.


To intimately experience our new, true self in our body, first.

To breath and move as her, inside ourselves.

To know her and fill her up from the inside.

And then to let that knowing move out into the world.

This is how embodied women upgrade.
Not through hard work and forcing change to happen out there.
But by embracing her within & embodying her first.

(And, as you probably already know, we women tend to upgrade more than once…. A woman on the path of growth will be invited to, again and again, upgrade and evolve who she is. So this is a skill set that’s worth getting sorted)


If you’re in the midst of dissolving old identity & embodying who you truly are you’re invited to join us for a live embodiment workshop next week with me (Jenna) where we’re working through the 6 key embodiment skills to dissolve old identity & sincerely embody who you truly are ready to be.

FREE 60min LIVE ONLINE WORKSHOP
Dissolving Old Identity
How to shift the old & outdated self & sincerely embody who you truly desire to be

CLICK HERE TO RSVP, DOWNLOAD THE WORKBOOK & RECEIVE THE REPLAYTEW-WEB1-Slider


The worlds needs more compassionate, feeling, feminine.
The world needs more embodied women.

Women who are empowered by their emotions
Women who embrace the power of their intrinsic sensual aliveness.

This is why so many of our old identities no longer fit.
And why modern women are awakening in droves to their true identity.


My own upgrade is (honestly) a world in progress. It feels like it constantly is. And I’m grateful for that. I’m a woman who’s so willing and ready to grow – it’s challenging by I love it. Later this week I’ll share with you the major realization I had after this phase of apathy, and the tools I used to shift it in my body.

For now, I’d love to hear from you?

1. Are you joining us for the live workshop – You can RSVP here

2. If you’re shifting identity right now what are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments below (I’d love to hear).

4 Comments on “The Identity Crisis”

  1. LOVE THIS! Thank you! Im in a phase like this right now <3 Struggling with the feeling of "I dont have the energy to deal with this right now. I do it later." And now Im stuck in this cycle of low energy and feeling sorry for myself… I know there is something new waiting for me but I can't reach it. My frustration makes me low

    • Lisa, I really feel you. It can feel really exhausting to muster the energy to create change, yet it’s also so draining living in the not-true way of being. I’m all about making the change the easy way, this is what we are discussing at the workshop next week if you’re called to join us (dets at http://www.jennaward.co/workshop).
      Sending you much support, Jenna x

  2. This came exactly at the right time and is SO good to hear!I’m in a phase like that, but didn’t really realize it; literally everything in my life is changing at the moment, and there is so much doubts and fears, and it’s sometimes very difficult for me to discern what is a real feeling of the body and heart and what is my unhealthy doubt-pattern and fear because it’s a little bit too much for my system. When there are too many “important” decisions to make, I can get lost in confusion about what is right and what not…
    Thank you for these words; to hear them is very healing, to hear that it is ok to be how I am at the moment, because it IS very challenging these phases… I’m looking forward to the workshop and all the inspirations to how to navigate through it

  3. Oh my god, Jenna. Thank you SO, so much for sharing & writing this. This is so on-point and I’m currently in my third-or-so (or who knows…) conscious identity shift, which now, thanks to embodiment practices and reawakening the inner body which I shyed away from, feels like I’m on the safe side of my true, evolving self. When the mind is one place, the body another, and consciousness moving—what a displaced situation & personal mindF to be! I definitely resonate with being in the place between who I was and who I’m growing to become, but since doing bodily awakening exercises again I’m glad to say I can feel I’m more towards the latter. But can’t wait for your workshop to gin this extra sense of support. Thank you so much again. It really does matter to move in the world as an embodied woman and I’m so grateful for this work you do. Xo

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