We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Levine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
To me, giving up isn’t an option. I don’t mean that in a “fight til the death” kind of way. Rather, if I have gotten to a place where what I’m doing just isn’t working, I look at what is driving me. I look beneath the actions and the goals, and I look into myself. What is my honest motivation right now? What am I fighting for? Is that something I want to continue to stand for, or is there another angle that allows for my vision to shift? These moments, of what might feel like failure, are really not failure to me. They are simply an opportunity to shift the vision to a place that is more aligned with who I am, and what I want to say. Almost as if the things that aren’t working are like little signals from the universe to check myself, and get re-aligned. So perhaps, it is always, reassess and continue. I believe I will keep doing this forever.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am an emotional embodiment coach. What that means is, I work with people 1-on-1 and in groups, on processing and healing their emotional world via their body. You know when you feel bad about yourself, and you get a pit in your stomach? The work I do is about feeling that pit, and learning how to let it process what it needs to process. Most of us are taught to hold in or stuff down our emotions. We are told to “get over it,” or to “suck it up.” Particularly for women, we often think we are being too dramatic or too sensitive, and we should just internalize it. The truth is, our emotions are physical processes. And, they are interconnected to our nervous system. Our nervous system’s job is to keep us alive, survival, so when we are short cutting, ignoring, and overpowering our emotions, we are limiting our body to continue to do its job: don’t die. And THAt, to me, is high stakes. In the last year of getting to work 1-on-1 with clients, I have seen people transform and heal chronic pain, I have seen eating disorders melt away and disappear, I have seen people heal old wounds from childhood or past relationships and create new beautiful ones within a matter of months. And I’m clear this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is possible. The emotional world, because it is linked to how we move, how we think, and how we LIVE, is so impactful. What I do has been an accumulation of years of movement, self-development, and healing, and is continually evolving. I grew up as a competitive gymnast, and then became a professional dancer. I had always battled with the way I looked, and I always felt insecure and insignificant. I always felt like I was in competition with myself, and I was never good enough. When I found yoga and started teaching it, I dove into a whole world of healing. Now I combine my understanding of the body through dance, yoga, fitness, and my experience in EVERY physical healing modality (PT, Chiro, Acupuncture, Reiki, Massage, Yoga Tune Up, Neuro-kinetic Therapy, you name it), with my studies of the nervous system and emotional healing (in things like Somatic Experiencing which is trauma healing, and Landmark which is mental development). What I’m particularly proud of, or what I think is special about this is that I embody all of these things myself. When I work with my clients, I am right there with them. I am not the master telling them how to do it right. I am simply a guide, a container, allowing them to hold themselves right where they are. And THAT is what I think is different, and needed. We need more spaces where we are allowed to be real with what is. With this beauty, of course comes challenge. The fact that I AM my business, I run into my own wounds that need healing, and that can be scary. But I let those moments help to direct my course. It is in this way that it’s all so perfect, because by “walking the walk,” I get to be REAL, and present in each moment. Now, I teach a few yoga classes a week, and I work 1-on-1 guiding my clients through emotional embodiment sessions. In addition, I am currently running an online course called, “Breaking Up With Your Inner Good Girl,” and am brainstorming what’s to come next.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To be honest, what I LOVE to do is move my body, rest, and eat delicious food. So, if I had a friend in town (Los Angeles) for a week, it would consist of yoga classes, laying by the pool or at the beach, and going to beautiful restaurants and bars. For instance, I might take them to a yoga class with my favorite teacher Ella Cojocaru at YogaWorks in Larchmont. Then we would stop at Groundworks for an espresso + tonic (my fave). I might go to a rooftop like Mama Shelter, or head to my pool in downtown LA. On a Friday I would take them to the Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood, where we could have a beautiful dinner on the rooftop, and then enjoy a late night show with Toledo (my favorite old-school singer with an INCREDIBLE band…who I also used to dance for). The underground artist performs in this tiny room at the dark and mysterious hotel, where the audience packs in, even sitting on the floor sometimes. The dancers roll around the room, climbing on the wall, the pole, the people. It makes for a sexy evening. On any other night I might go to a place like Zinque or Taste in West Hollywood. I think you get the picture: move, eat, soak up the goodness. This no doubt would include hours of laughter, lots of rest, and – because it’s me – deep revealing truths and breakthroughs. It is in these pleasurable moments that the wounds can surface and heal.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Almost a year ago, a friend of mine invited me to join her in a business mastermind group with 2 other women. These three women are sexual empowerment coaches, and I joined this group as I was beginning to shift my business from just teaching yoga (and other yoga-related things like retreats and teacher trainings), into emotional embodiment coaching. Getting to be on this call with 3 other powerful and embodied women each week, gave me a very special gift: PERMISSION. Every week I saw that they really listened to their truth when it came to navigating their business. And each week, we would coach each other and support each other in getting more and more connected to the SOUL of our businesses. And in that way, I allowed myself to sink into what it was that I really wanted to be doing and saying. During this year, I quit most of my “regular jobs” like teaching weekly yoga, I stopped dancing professionally, and I made many other shifts and changes to allow myself to settle into what was really calling to me. I would like to say thank you to these women, for holding space for me to figure out what it was I wanted, and for allowing themselves to listen to their own true voices, because it was in observing them that I found the permission I was needing.
Kabir Jordan Katz Mary Legassique