The Power of Change: An Interview with Jeri Downey

Every Saturday we get the chance to share one of our community members with our community on Instagram, but we love sharing the full interviews on our blog. This interview was with one of our community members, Jeri. In her interview, she talks about going to grad school, moving to a new city, and how to deal with change.

1. Where can we find you on your mat?

These days at home. I love practicing on my outside patio but now with the weather changing, I like to practice in my bedroom. I have this big window with these beautiful trees outside and it’s a nice spot! I miss the in-studio but I am in full-time school and full-time work so it’s just easier now. I also feel as a medical professional a responsibility to social distance a little more!

2. What is a challenge that has really helped you grow?

Grad school has been incredibly challenging. In my head, I thought it would be easier than my undergrad because of the base of knowledge I already have. But I was wrong :). Grad school is pushing me to think differently, study differently, learn in a different way and re-humble me. I like when I am reminded that I still have a lot to learn and that there is always something new to learn. I feel like it’s good when things don’t go your way or how you expected for these moments to learn something new and adapt.

3. Where do you feel most at home?

Is it bad if I say, at home? Haha! I have really worked and made some changes to make my apartment very feminine, earthy, and comfortable. I have bought a lot of indoor plants this year, a new couch, soft blankets and colors. I love being in my apartment and my space, snuggling with my dog!

4. What is one thing you’ve learned on your mat at Ignite?

My first yoga class in Dayton ever was with Justina about 8 years ago and I was hooked. I originally came to mat during a time of high anxiety, depression and panic. I had done yoga before in Denver and loved it and decided I needed to return to it when I moved back home to Dayton. My mat has taught me patience, trust the process, and follow your intuition. Yoga and the community gave me the confidence to completely turn my life around. I quit my job, I went to nursing school and now I’ve been a nurse for over three years and working on my graduate degree. While yoga is a physical practice it’s also helped me mentally and emotionally work through a lot, it’s very therapeutic and I am always thankful for my mat and the ability to practice.

5. What’s been your greatest adventure?

My life! I love looking back at where I started and where I am now and all the things I have done. I love the twists and turns and connecting all those dots good and bad and seeing how it got me to my current place and where it’s taking me. In 2009 I moved out to Denver, I was there for 3 years and it helped start my professional career, I used to sell radio advertising. That helped transition me back to Dayton which in turn helped me to go back to school and change careers, my nursing career has given me a ton of opportunities. I did travel nursing for a year and went to Washington and Virginia and Columbus. There has been a ton of growth and change through all of this and it is a great adventure just to live!

6. Where else are you lighting it up these days?

Well I feel limited in this but I am really working on school and work right now. Focusing on my professional aspect of life and setting the foundation for my future. I love being a nurse, I love taking care of and hopefully bringing comfort to others.

7. What is something you aspire to do in life?

I am a big daydreamer and I am always envisioning my future and what I want it to look like. I aspire to do a lot of traveling when I finish grad school, I would love to have a camper one day and drive around the country with my dog and see all the national parks. I aspire to finish grad school and work as a nurse practitioner.

8. Is there anything else about yourself you would like to share?

I love my dog! Like I am obsessed with him, if you follow me on social media ya know, he’s been the greatest addition to my family! He’s so sweet and funny, full of personality and snuggles. His name is James (after a character in Harry Potter, also big nerd over HP) and he is a 3 year old Golden Retriever. He loves to travel with me and we love to hike and swim!

9. What is one thing you know to be true?

One thing I know to be true is that change is constant. I once read that “Change is constant and your ability to navigate it determines your happiness.” I am very resistant to change and always struggle with it, this year was especially challenging. Learning to navigate Coronavirus and closures, changes at work, cancelled trips, etc it was not easy. The first few months were incredibly challenging. I always seem to re find myself though and remember my strength and push forward. Now that we are past the initial shock of the year, I am at acceptance that I can’t control what will happen, and that is going to work out.JANUARY 20, 2021COMMENT

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