(Podcast) Jessica Jade Batista: Overcoming a Negative Mindset + "Self Care" Real Talk
Our latest podcast is now LIVE courtesy of a few mimosas with Wellness Entrepreneur - our new homie and big little sis in our heads - JESSICA JADE.
Jessica tells her story of HEALING from the debilitating effects of an autoimmune disease, which led her to starting a thriving wellness coaching biz and a "Made in Harlem" organic skincare line; Sunkiss Organics. She shares tools for BATTLING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS and what SELF CARE should really mean (spoiler alert - it ain't all facemasks).
If you're passionate about supporting women owned/black owned small businesses, PLEASE join us in contributing to her fundraiser which will help grow her line to get into stores like Wholefoods!!
We're getting used to this podcast thing. Aye.
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Hey I'm Leanna and I'm Leah we're the founders of Planfully, an online marketplace to find and book multicultural event pros. And this is our Open House, a podcast that highlights event experts and changemakers on a mission to transform the communities around them.
On this episode were inviting you in to meet wellness coach and organic skincare artisan, Jessica Jade Batista. She's sharing what self care should really mean, how to slay easefully, and tips for overcoming habitual negative thoughts.
JESSICA’S HEALTH + CAREER STORY
Jessica: So before I got into the wellness space I actually wanted to work in filmmaking. I wanted to be a showrunner like Shonda Rhimes - a writer and producer for television shows. I actually went to school for it, for like, a year. I worked on different sets and television shows, a lot of indie films. I was doing a lot of the production work, which could easily be a 14-hour day. So I did that for about a year and it was really exhausting. I loved every second of it. I was really good at it. Not to toot my own horn, but I was, because I'm a pretty resourceful. So I loved it. I really had a passion for it, but I realized that my definition of success is having time and the freedom to do the things that I love outside. I want to have a great career, that obviously means being successful to me but it also, it's more so can I travel when I want to travel. If I want to go spend the weekend with my mom, can I do that. And I couldn't do it. And it's also very sporadic work. For me, I needed a little bit more stability, so I decided to be an entrepreneur.
Leah: Umm so... didn't mean to laugh but...
Jessica: I know right, I need more stability so I'm gonna be an entrepreneur now. I know, it's just how the cookie crumbled.
Leah: But you know I'll say to that point of choosing entrepreneurship. There's a difference between being self-employed and being an entrepreneur. And a lot of people don't realize that when you do something that's totally dependent on you, you're truly self-employed. When you're doing something that leverages other resources,
other people's time then you're an entrepreneur. Because then the business isn't dependent on your efforts solely.
Jessica: Right, that's a very good point.
Leah: So you're still good.
Jessica: I'm trying to be. Yeah so I was working at a hospital for four years and then I did the film work for a year. And then before I even started film work, I got really sick I was constantly throwing up, taking days off work. I felt awful.
Leah: And it just like came out of nowhere?
Jessica: Well, it was symptoms that I had before, but they were exasperated. And I didn't really know why. Because you know when you're in college you're like, "oh maybe I'm drinking too much beer."
Jessica: Right. Okay, let's be serious here. Maybe it's all the pizza that I had last night and Chinese. But after college I was cooking on my own meals. I was exercising. I was being hella healthy, but for some reason the conditions that I lived with really my entire life were exasperated to a point where... maybe because I had to had to be at work, and I couldn't just lay in bed all day. And I realized why, what is going on. So because I worked at a hospital, I threatened my doctor.
Jessica: Yeah I was a legit threat. He was a Puerto Rican guy. I'm Puerto Rican Dominican. He knew my crazy. I'm about to be in your office every 2 weeks. I've made my appointments for 3 months. And I kept my word. I went to his office for 2 months straight until he actually figure out what was wrong with me. I realized that I had to be an advocate for myself. And I'm a very outspoken person, but a lot of people aren't like me. And it was a privilege also at the same time, because I worked at a hospital, I had great insurance. And so we figured out I had Celiac's disease, which is an autoimmune disease where your body just cannot digest wheat, rye, barley and this protein called gluten. And it's something that you live with your whole life. The crazy thing is a lot of people have Celiac's disease, but they don't know it. And yes, the stomach aches suck. The throwing up sucks. The diarrhea sucks. But what sucks most is not realizing that in 10-15 years you can have reproductive issues. That it's linked to dementia. That you can get osteoporosis at like 35.
Leanna: But it's good to know what the issue.
Leah: What the root cause is, yeah.
Jessica: When he told me I had Celiac's Disease. I like celebrated. The reason I got into health coaching, into making skin care products because during that time I got a bout of eczema on my upper body that looked like leprosy. It looked like a disease in the Bible. It looked like something that's not real, like some biblical shit.
Leah: Game of Thrones.
Jessica: Yeah, yeah like I had Grayscale.
IMPORTANCE OF MINDSET
Leah: Well, fast forward you now incorporate mindset and it's a whole inside outside approach. How does mindset also affect how we're navigating like businesses, how we're navigating how we show up at work.
Leanna: Our health.
Jessica: Your mindset really does have everything to do with it. Just as I mentioned earlier if I didn't have the mindset of I'm going to figure out what's wrong with me, and my life isn't gonna be this shitty life that every time I eat my crap. If I didn't have a positive mindset during those times... I literally felt like I was dying sometimes, I probably would have just given up. And not pestered my doctor. And not been diligent about follow-ups to figure out what was actually wrong with me. And that translates into everything that you do in life. You know, we have to have like that this strong will to make yourself think positive thoughts. I listen to affirmations. I meditate. I record myself saying affirmations to myself. I find it so powerful to like write down an affirmation and record yourself and listen to yourself saying it.
Jessica: I literally will write down like I am a successful entrepreneur, I am talented, I'm a talented host, I'm a effective coach. You know, and it's all about the I AM. Not oh I want to be, I think I can be. No, you are. I am this thing. It's an active practice that you need to have. You're not just, not everyone is born as a positive thinker. I would say that I was born into a very negative family. And it's due to generational trauma and mental illness and all this stuff. So I wasn't born into a family that's all perky and happy and gung ho. They're great. Everything's amazing. You can do what you want. NO. And so I really have to work, you have to work on. Doing things like that have really helped me elevate my mindset when it comes to entrepreneurship, wellness, relationships, everything.
Leanna: It's probably the most useful skill to have and teach your children. Just because there are gonna be struggles. No matter how talented or naturally great you are. At some point in life you're gonna fail and it's about the ability to persevere and keep working through it.
WHAT YOU HELP PEOPLE WITH THE MOST THROUGH COACHING
Leah: That also goes to the growth mindset. Shoutout Carol Dweck. Changed my life. But yeah, it all starts in the mind. What would you say is the thing that you help people with the most through your coaching?
Jessica: So the funny thing is people always come to me for like a healthier diet or to lose weight. But we end up doing so much. The crux of everything is your diet and your exercise and that kind of thing, right. Because if your diet is shit - it doesn't matter if you exercise. If you exercise, know what I mean? However… yes, we always end up talking about mindset. That's the first thing that I start with because if your mind isn't right, you're not gonna do the workouts. You're not gonna change your diet. We end up talking a lot about relationships.
Leah: Are most of your clients male or female?
Jessica: They're mostly female but I work a lot of men.
Leah: I feel like women put so much into their relations with others; we just think so much about other people.
Jessica: We do.
Leah: In Bell Hooks' All About Love, something that was really revolutionary for me is that love when you think about it usually you start thinking about how that relates to you and someone else. She was like, "No, what about love with yourself?" And you have to start there.
Jessica: That is so key and I think what I find the most interesting thing is women really aren't the only ones that think that way. Women will talk about it more. Women are more open about that.
Leah: True, true, true.
Jessica: Men go through some shit.
Leanna: And they just box it up.
Jessica: They don't talk about it. Societal norms we say that they are not allowed to express their emotions from the day that they're like 6 or something.
THE DEFINITION OF SELF-CARE
Leah: Another thing I want to bring up is the term self-care. As a wellness coach, how often do you use that word? Do you?
Jessica: I use it all the time.
Leah: What does it meaaan?
Jessica: So, I know self-care has a stigma for sure. Especially nowadays. Everybody talks about mental health now. Everybody talks about self-care now. Everybody talks about self-love now. Mental health and self-love are more accepted than self-care, because people think self-care shallow. People go, 'oh it's a mani-pedi' right? Or I did that face mask girl.
Leah: Yeah. Face Mask Monday.
Jessica: That's not self-care. It could be sometimes that's what you need. Sometimes you just need a way to relax, and that's like the way in which you're going to relax, right. But self-care can be so much more, and it's all about how you define it for yourself. For me, self-care is doing everything that you don't want to do, but you know you need to do. So self-care to me is exercise. I'm a health coach. I don't love exercising, but I do it. Why? Because it's part of my self care practice. Why? Because exercising is going to help me care for my body, for myself. Drinking that green smoothie? Sometimes I don't want it. Yeah, but you know what? Those greens are gonna help fuel my body and give me energy for the rest of the day.
Leanna: So it's not always about what you want to do, it's about what you need to do.
Jessica: And that's what the big misconception is. People have this idea that it's just the fun stuff. And it is the fun stuff, don't get me wrong. I love a mani-pedi more than anybody. But it's also going to therapy, having that tough conversation with your friend who continues to surpass your boundaries. It's about all of that. The nitty-gritty.
Leah: Agreed. Totally. Yeah, you recently did a post on Instagram as it relates to like the hustlers about slaying easefully. You said, "For you the definition of success is balance over hustle, ease over struggle, alignment over multitasking.” How can we slay easefully?
Jessica: I think that especially as women, we try to keep up with a patriarchal society. Men run on a 24-hour hormonal cycle where their like, their hormones go up and their hormones go down when they sleep. And they go up when they wake up and then they go down when they sleep. Our hormones are very different than men, right. So we go through four different phases in our hormones and some weeks we are ready to get it. Go go go go go. And some weeks we need lay down and sleep an extra hour so.
Leah: You know. I thought something was wrong with me, because they're weeks when I'm sooo tired.
Jessica: No honey, that is your body telling you what you need. And so I came up with this concept during a brunch at the beginning of the year with a friend Liana. And she said, "Girl you doing too much." That got me thinking. And I'm like, "wow I need to live more in alignment." As a coach that's what I try to teach my clients, but as an entrepreneur I am failing at living in alignment, right.
Leanna: What does alignment mean?
Jessica: It means finding something that you love to do and doing it easily. It shouldn't be that hard. Like everything in life is work, right. So I'm not saying that you're not gonna work at it - to make it better, to know more, to be not more knowledgeable. But it means doing it with ease. You shouldn't feel this panicky sense of desperation.
Leah: Because you're also putting that energy into what you're doing.
Jessica: Yes. So my tip to anyone who would like to slay easefully
Jessica: …is to focus on a thing. Not all the things. I'm not saying... like listen, I'm a coach. I'm a speaker. I have a skincare line. I do a lot of things. But sometimes I'm like, 'Alright, this month I'm gonna focus solely on my skincare line and how to make it the best skincare line I can. How am I gonna of up-level this?' Choose a thing, and put your all into it. And don't deviate. And I think women, in particular, like not just entrepreneurs - moms, wives, sisters, friends - like we want to do and be everything for everyone and be good at it, but it's an unfair amount of burden to put on yourself.
Leanna: And it's almost impossible.
Jessica: It is impossible. You can't do it without help. Surround yourself with who are interested in the work that you're doing and allow them to help you. You can't do it on your own. But you can do it. You just need help and you need to focus on one thing at a time.
IMPACT ON COMMUNITY
Leah: On the topic of surrounding yourself with the right people… you've amassed a bit of a following on Instagram. What's the impact that you hope to have on the people who are surrounding themselves with, your community?
Jessica: Honestly, my why for everything that I do is to empower women, right. And so my goal has always been how can I empower women to practice (yes) self-care and to embrace their feminine health. That's it. What can I do on this earth today that's gonna help women feel a little bit more emboldened, a little bit more self-confident to go for, you know, the green smoothie. To do that workout today. To, you know, switch over to organic skincare instead of, you know, whatever they're using. To, you know, tell their boyfriend I don't like when you do this or that. You know, you have to set boundaries. You have to try to live your healthiest life. What can I do?
Leanna: When did you come up with that or when did you see that mission?
Jessica: I hate to say this cause it sounds so fake, but it just came to me. I think after everything that I went through with Celiac, because my skin being a hot mess, and just seeing the relationships that the women in my family were having with themselves. I love the women in my family. They are some badass women. They're strong women. They're beautiful women. But they never allowed themselves to be vulnerable and to do something for themselves. They've always cared for their children. They cared for everyone but themselves. And I, what did I see? I saw sick women. Women who got ovarian cancer. Women who had cancer in their fallopian tubes. Women who would come home exhausted after working ten hours to help their kids with homework and never focused on themselves. My mom had cancer and I didn't know for like five years. I don't til five years later. She didn't tell us. Because she didn't want to be a burden on us. Can you imagine? Can you imagine going through chemo and like surgery?
Leah: On your own? I can't.
Jessica: And we weren't babies, we were in high school.
Leah: I can't even.
Jessica: You know what I mean? I was like 18, right. That question kind of gives me goose bumps because I think that that's where it all stems from. It's a combination of my own life experiences and how advocating for myself and focusing on my health allowed me to like up-level. Yeah, and how my family, the women in my family never did. And it's not because they don't want to, it's because they were never taught that it was okay to care for themselves. It's about everybody else. Like you can focus on yourself, and your family, and do all these things while being healthy. You can do that. But it starts with you. It's like Bell Hooks said, the way you love yourself is the way you love everybody else.
Leanna: I guess, I'm glad for the Instagram movement of self-care. Because if that's what it's gonna take for this generation to break that cycle then, so be it.
Leah: Cheers to self-care!
Jessica: Cheers to self-care man. Yes, care for yourself.
Leanna: So where can we find you? What's coming up? What's new? What's on the horizon?
Jessica: Everything that I do from the coaching, to the girl talk show, to the Sunkiss organic skincare line, can be found at Jessica Jade dot co. So what's coming on the horizon, is that I have a new campaign coming out on IndieGoGo. It's to raise 15 to 20 thousand dollars in capital to really up-level my brand. We did a total label redesign.
Leah: Your skin care.
Jessica: Yes, for my skin care line. It's organic. It's handcrafted in Harlem by me. I use recipes that my great-grandmother who's alive (thank God) in Puerto Rico and I, kind of, did together. Cause she would send me coconut oil from Puerto Rico.
Leah: Oh that's so nice.
Jessica: I know. She always send us coconut oil when we were kids. From coconuts on her farm. When I was actually going through eczema, I called her. When the steroid cream was just too much, and she gave me advice on like what to make to help my skin. And it worked. I still sell that balm. It's the floral balm. And it worked, it really did help me heal my skin. Because it started healing my skin before I even changed my diet. I actually took products to her this January when I went to Puerto Rico.
Leah: She must be so proud.
Jessica: Girl, don't. I'm about to cry. When I walked in the door, she looks at me. She's little just like me. I'm like, I think I'm her twin I don't know. Like we have the same body type - I got this big booty and like these round cheeks. And I walk in the door and she just starts crying and she says, "You're everything I thought you thought you would be."
Jessica: Do you know how I... like it literally makes me want to cry to this day because she was just so so sweet.
Leah: I have to add something into that on the topic of Nipsey Hussle. So he said when it comes to your mom and your grandma there's nothing material that you can do or give them that would ever make them happy. The only thing you can do is to make them proud of you.
Jessica: Oh God.
Leah: Literally there's no, no physical thing would ever please your parents.
Jessica: That's so sweet.
Leanna: It's so true.
Jessica: I could legitimately cry.
Leah: Awwwwww... I'm so sorry.
Jessica: No, it's fine… because it really. That's what happened like when I got there, you know. She was just so happy to see me and so proud of like what I do. And that meant a lot to me.
Leanna: Yeah, you're carrying on her legacy too. So it's beautiful.
Jessica: I know, she’s like, you're the only one who wants to talk to me about products. I'm like, I know right. She's actually coming this summer. She's packing her maleta, which is her suitcase.
Leah: She's packing already for a summer trip?
Jessica: Already, for the summer She's like, 'I'm leaving. I don't care what anybody says. I'm going to New York City to be with you guys. I hate it here. I'm bored.' And so she's just such a thug. She is a gangsta. I can't even explain my grandma Tayo. She's so funny. But anyway, she's great. She helped me with my skincare line. I showed her the products, she was like, 'oh my god, these are so good.'
Leah: Do you still use stuff from her farm like her coconut oil?
Jessica: Yeah, I haven't because she's getting older and it's like tough for her to like... she's okay now. Strong, but she still has her cane. And if I told her, she would be trying to climb up a damn coconut tree, 'cause she's a wild. She is wild, wild. But no, so I haven't been using it, but I've been talking to my uncles who live over there to see if there's some way that we can get the product here. But it's tricky because shipping. Yeah so we're trying to figure it out, but she's so excited for this campaign. I told her what I was trying to do and what I was raising the money for, which is a, sort of, organic certification, and sourcing products in bulk, and buying more manufacturing equipment so that I can make bigger batches. So she's excited. She can't wait to see me in action, because she has never been able to see that. But she's gonna be here this summer.
Leah: Yeah be part of it in real time.
Jessica: She's so excited for that. So it's just.. That's what's coming up… great grandma's coming, we're gonna make products together. It's gonna be great.
Thanks for listening to Planfully's Open House. Let us know what you think and subscribe. If you have any recommendations, questions, or need some event planning help, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we're on the gram at @planfully.events. Special thanks to the internets for teaching me how to start a podcast. This is Planfully, reminding you to celebrate life. Til next time!