Women’s Empowerment Coach and Transformational Author, Jan Deelstra is the author of Blessings in the Mire: A True Story of Miracles & Recollections; Escaping the Chrysalis: Introduction to Gestalt Techniques for Self-Esteem Transformation; Shadows Attached: Mad Woman Poetry; Chasing Rabbits & I Am…: The Art of Attainment; Inspiring Words For Reflection; The Flying Game and coming soon, Infinite Pie. Her life’s calling is helping others find their wings, connecting everyday life to spirituality.
What does being an Everyday Goddess mean to you?
Being an Everyday Goddess means to courageously follow my authentic calling as a transformational author and women’s empowerment coach, consciously leading by example while supporting others’ unfolding wings. It carries a responsibility of being continuously in the awakening process, of honing self-awareness, and of continuing to evolve even in the grip of those who would love to hold captive, the status quo. It implies a constant connection to Mother Earth and to the Universal Source of Creation, and it necessitates an aura of expansion, compassion, cooperation, nonjudment and support for all others, and receptivity to the allowance of energy circulation, while remaining true to my ‘self’. It means embracing the ‘whole’ of beingness –learning to step fully into the light, and to love every facet of who I am as I encourage others to do the same.
At what age did you awaken to the presence of the Divine Feminine and would you describe it as a sudden awakening or a gentle unfolding?
Although my mother was in and out of my life by the time I was around the age of five or six, she was highly intuitive and taught me to be in touch with my intuition, so the seeds to my awakening to the presence of the Divine Feminine, if not innate via DNA, were planted early. But the sprouts were severed following the death of my brother/best friend in 1977. He was 22, and I was 24. His birth was 2 years and 2 days after mine, and we grew up close. He died of what the Medical Examiner determined to be, “unknown, natural causes.” He died in his sleep, like an infant succumbs to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In this case, it was SADS –Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, something that occurs not infrequently. To lose a close loved-one, confidant, and the one sibling who had been with me through the dark and the light, was unforgiveable. With no reason for such profound loss, I abandoned all belief in a higher power and disowned my former spirituality. “If there was a God or Higher Power,” I reasoned, “my brother would not have been taken for ‘no reason’.” My slate of beliefs was wiped clean with one fast swipe by the hand of Death. And as blessings are known to surface and blossom from seeds of despair, it was the place where I began to question everything, and to learn so much about my spirit and spirituality. It was my ‘ground zero.’ And it was the foundation for all I am today.
What roles in your life had to transform in order for you to live authentically?
Because my father died suddenly when I was only 18 months old, leaving my mother pregnant and with three children she was ill-equipped to support, my childhood was a duct taped tapestry of fragments pieced together from slivers of several foster homes. I was a child of the fifties, with no consistent male role model outside of black and white television programs where “Father Knows Best.” Having no father, I learned to be ultra-aware of how others operated and take what I could get from a soup of examples. In the end, I let go of a lot of traditional patriarchal values and beliefs in order to learn to own my voice, and to trust myself, as indeed, I quickly learned that I was the only one I could consistently depend on. I was shy, awkward, and terribly curious about life, so I had to learn to own my small voice, and to own my power. That strength came in handy when I became a Teamster truck driver in order to support my three young children following a divorce when I was twenty-three. Somehow I kept my feminine spirit even as I learned to change tires on semi-tractors, and double-clutch the big rigs, and mastered ‘heavy-highway’ equipment. I had to learn to trust myself explicitly when traditional male truckers and their curious and/or insecure loves and wives showed up to take a look at this ‘Mother Trucker’ –this woman who had dared infiltrate the status quo. The bigger truth was that I wasn’t there to get a man. I was there because I had three youngsters to feed, and working in a traditional role as truck driver was the only way I could figure –having no education, how to support my babies on my own. But I consciously clung to my feminine principles throughout the evolution of owning my power, even when laboring physically in the ‘good-old-boy’ arena.
What have been some of the greatest inner gifts you’ve experienced since stepping into your feminine power?
I am so blessed and lucky! Stepping into my feminine power gave me the inspiration to forgive –myself included, and the courage to trust myself, first and foremost to have my own best answers. It gave me the pluck to drive trucks, to open my first business, to return to school, to teach assertiveness training and self-sufficiency skills, to become a gestalt group facilitator for women while working for the Department of Human Services, to write a dozen self-development books, and to ultimately step into the divine light as a women’s empowerment coach. Most profoundly, stepping into my feminine power was the sacred force which got me through the darkest tunnel as I entered and came out on the other side of the death of my son; it is this divine feminine source which resides within, that allows me to find the blessings in the mire of any event, regardless of how nefarious. It is the force and source of self-forgiveness, and of the emerging growth of my wings.
Can you share some of your favorite sacred feminine rituals?
My divine feminine toolkit overflows with goddess rituals! From being practiced in the ancient energy art of Feng Shui –which I apply to every area of my environments including my bookshelves, to reading goddess and angel tarot, to living my life by the moon cycles, to writing the books, to smudging, and to keeping the journals, sacred feminine rituals are woven through my life. My mother was a card reader, but only for herself. It never seemed odd to me to communicate with loved ones who have passed over, or to read the messages of the cards before starting out on my day, or to celebrate the seasons and give offering in gratitude. Whether burning healing incense or freeing the energy in a prosperity candle, decorating my various altars with intention, casting spells, clearing spaces, or setting new moon goals, goddess rituals are an integral part of my life that is carried down the line through my daughter and granddaughters.
Is there a particular Goddess that you are intimately drawn to and why?
Although I feel a kinship with the Buddhist Goddess Kuan Shih Yin, best known as Quan Yin, Goddess of Mercy and Companion, and with Rhiannon (whom my granddaughter is named after) I am mostly drawn to the divine goddess essence. In 1994 I opened Ruby Luna’s Angel Emporium, a small gift shop dedicated to all things goddess and angelic. Books, statues, table-top, wall-art, jewelry, gossamer clothing, music and meditation, ritual wares, and oh-so-much-more were offered; the goddess energy was palpable in that store. Everyday Goddesses gathered from around the globe to practice rituals, share secrets and wares, and to bask in the goddess energies. I was the neighborhood “Angel Lady” to those who didn't yet realize that I was, and still am, a practicing goddess.
Is there a personal message that you would like to share with women?
My life calling is to share a personal message with women, and that is, you have one purpose while on this Earth: That is to learn to love every facet of who you are. This self-love and forgiveness radiates outward into the ethers and feeds the Universe a serving of divine love that returns to feed and heal the globe and her inhabitants. It is the transformational empowering message that is woven into all my books, in my online courses, in the live group gatherings, and in all of my various levels of women’s empowerment coaching services. Forgive yourself daily. You are worthy. Shine your brilliant light. ♥
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