a crazy, calm, spaz with a "peppery" passion for life

I can’t wait to hear more from and about you! In the meantime, a bit about me. Hi, I’m J.J. McClain, a bit of a feisty soul who thrives on truth-telling and real conversations, justice and discipline. I am easily excitable (which is one of the reasons I want to literally jump through the rooftops in excitement that you’re here right now), passionate woman who loves to help people, to impact lives and the world, to remind others of just how incredible and capable they are. A survivor of “stuff” and a rule follower who loves love. Loving myself. Loving others. Loving God. Loving life. 

To be honest, it has taken me a lot of years to find my “thing” – my niche, some may call it – the exact reason I am here … and, in turn, the reason you are here. Professionally, I have been a marketing executive, a consultant, a non-profit manager, a health and fitness junkie. And, through it all, a wife and momma. have learned that the ways I have handled life can also be used and taught to help others, as I continue to grow and help myself. The things I have always done by nature to survive and thrive and now better defined through Psychology and Science as … Mindfulness.
 
I am, by title, a certified yoga teacher and mindfulness coach. By definition, I help people increase their self-awareness, self-compassion and self-love through mindfulness, yoga and coaching. I assist people in obtaining their optimal well-being by focusing on five key fields of health – spiritual, financial, mental, emotional and physical. I coach as I try to live my own life – with grace and a genuine heart. Every person’s desired outcome is unique – there is no “one way”, there is only an individual journey for each person. And that is what I do. That is who I am. 

About me

I think if you polled 100 of my closest friends, I would not be alone in saying I am a strange combination of crazy spaz and calm. And I have learned to embrace it – embrace me – all of me. I have lived a life full of ups and downs and have chosen to see the bright side of both. I ground myself in a greater sense of appreciation for all that I am. I have learned to be truly present in my life at any given moment. To listen to my heart and to my body; to train my mind to look for learning opportunities and openness and contentment. All providing a greater sense of calm, clarity, self-love, and appreciation. And I can help YOU do the same.

Hearing about me would be nothing without also hearing about my family! My husband, Ty, is a driven, self-made success story; pretty much a perfectionist; athletically gifted; handsome, well-dressed Fortune 500 Company V.P. He is a health worrier and a financial warrior (yes - one with an “o”, one with an “a”) – which allows and drives us to live an essentially debt free, modest life in the Midwest. We’ve been together for over 20 years and we somehow make all of this blend with my more “life will work out;” “we’ve got this (no matter what “this” is)”; “life is an adventure;” “all we need is love” mentality. We’re both Type A personalities, driven by goals and rules, but tend to take a different approach to it all.

We started a family relatively quickly in our relationship, leading to the heart-wrenching loss of our first. Pretty far along in our pregnancy, God had a greater plan for our little girl which, as hard as it was, was not with us on Earth. A few years later another little girl entered our world - Miss Tyra. A “life is black and white” grinder with a heart of gold who doesn’t sway much from the rules. When her “walls” come down, she loves deeply. Watching her develop into a young adult of her own is fascinating.

The “caboose” to our bunch, Tyce, tends to believe in more of a rule “grey area.” He is ornery, but to date, his good heart outweighs his orneriness. He is well-spoken and engages in conversations with people of all ages and walks of life. He loves all things sports and I do believe is his dad is his true hero.

In life, we all mess up - a lot - and we don’t have so many things figured out. But, overall, we love BIG, work hard, and try our best. Jesus is our foundation and a huge part of who we are as a family and the guide in nearly all we do.

Family

“Hey, we should do lunch sometime,” said in an oddly comfortable, charming tone out of a crazy cute side grin. I was in my mid-20’s. You can still say “mid” for 26, right!? Let’s go with yes! Ok, so I was in my mid-20’s, attending a high school girls’ basketball game supporting a friend’s daughter. I spotted a childhood friend of my sister as a coach on the away team’s bench. BUT, he wasn’t just a childhood friend, he was “Ty McClain!” – (yes, with an exclamation point) her middle school boyfriend (which, thank God lasted only a couple of skates around the old roller rink and maybe an awkward middle-school-like kiss). He was part of her circle of friends all through middle/high school. He had been, in some capacity, around almost my entire young life (because I was the annoying 6-year younger baby sister who my sister let tag along with the “big kids” because she was good to me like that).  

Now at a random basketball game, standing in a gym and creating small talk, we discovered we often worked in the same small town (me, doing marketing consulting for various health organizations and him, a financial advisor at a bank). When it was time for his team to load the bus, he began walking out of the gym (with his forever imbedded in my head “McClain Stroll,” looking back…saying THE line…“Hey, we should do lunch sometime….” 

I assured myself it was just some random offer from an old family friend. Yet, something about it felt a little more intriguing. So, I did what any girl would do….got the up-to-date scoop on this dude!! What was up with “now Ty McClain” (versus circa 1986 “Class Cutest”)? This actually meant having my people CALL his people (like on a landline phone) because there was no such thing as Facebook stalking or social media searches at the time (yes, I am old…this actually used to be a thing!). He had followed up pretty quickly on that lunch offer (although he tries to deny it he was equally as intrigued). And my “prying” found him to still be a decent guy. So, as you can guess, I took that coach up on his lunch offer.

That lunch led to a “drop by” my apartment…and then another…and then another…and then, one day, he just never left. We suddenly had a house...a dog…and an “us” that I never wanted to go away (well, most days).
 
A few years later, the two of us became three…then four…living life by five. Five fields of health– physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and financial – and making intentional choices within each. Some days not quite as in sync as others, but all days at the top of our priority list. (Oh, and we also got married in that mix of children, but I will save that story for another day). 
 

OUR “PEPPERY” STORY

The “pepper” portion to our story? Well, that began when our kids were younger and we were on vacation. Our children were clearly starting to develop our Type A personalities (intense, agenda and goal driven, not much wiggle room for just going with the flow…all good characteristics for success…but slightly terrifying when seen, to somewhat of an extreme, in our young children). Concerned, I said something to Ty about it…he replied with another great, life-changing “one liner” that then became both our ongoing family joke AND mantra…”babe, you can’t mix a habanero and a jalapeno and get mild!” I belly laughed and knew he was so spot on! Although, at that moment, I did vow to channel more of my “inner chill” vibes to set an example for our children that life CAN just go with the flow at times (which is a version of me that still, to this day, can be super annoying for Ty...we’re always a work in progress).  

The rest, well, we’re just trying to figure it out…one “peppery” day at a time...one “field” at a time! 
 
WRAP -UP?? 
 
There it is…Our Story...or at least how it all began. Please drop me an email so we can hear more about yours. OH! And do share what kind of pepper you are. I kinda admire you mild yellow peppers! My husband clearly designated me the habanero in his scenario - fair :)! 
 
Keep on peppering on - one mindful moment at a time,

-j.j.