Greetings, I'm Jera.
I am single mom to one loving little boy who is creative, energetic and the life of every party!
I have a 7-to-6 job in fundraising (let’s be honest already — the 9-to-5 mantra is a farce and it totally disregards prep time, kid-wrangling and commuting).
My work is both meaningful and fulfilling, but it requires tons of meeting, frequent travel, evening events and weekend activities. For my household, that entails a lot of child care coordination, guilt about being away from my son and — well — exhaustion.
I'm co-parenting with my son's father who lives 400 miles away and as a single homeowner, all of the leaks and creaks are on me to figure out.
Plus, I’m engaged in my church, my child's school and professional organizations.
This easily translates to being busy, busy, busy and tired!
At the end of 2019, I was just that: tired. I hit an emotional brick wall. Managing separate personal and work calendars on my computer and phone wasn't working. The alerts and notifications were driving me crazy. Add to that the draining effect of actually moving through the day — sometimes forgetting to eat, not drinking enough water and feeling like there was no time for exercise. I was regularly fighting through bouts of depression while still digging deep to be “present and pleasant” for everyone else.
From the outside looking in, the answer to my problem was simple. Just stop saying yes to stuff and do less, right?
But saying “no” didn’t seem possible.
For whatever reason, I started to feel obligated to being on call for people around me. I couldn't even tell you how I got to that space because I felt like I used to have it together. I had totally lost parts of myself. I wasn’t in tune with my own interests anymore. I couldn’t think beyond a few days or one week, so setting/pursuing life goals was out of the question.
Something had to give...
I knew I couldn’t sort through all of my emotions alone, so I sought support. I went to counseling and worked through (well... I'm still working through) my anxiety around saying "no.”
Soul work isn’t easy. It requires vulnerability, honesty and daily effort. Even with counseling, I needed help staying true to my commitment to freedom from emotional (self-)neglect. Like many people, I have proclaimed a commitment to self-care before, but it got away from me.
This time, I wasn't looking back -- only forward.
So what could help? How could I make truly make self-care a daily priority?
As a visual learner and someone who often feels the urge to capture my thoughts on paper, I started searching for useful planners and journals; yet, none of them sufficed. I have always been a planner person, but the ones out there didn't have the built-in reminders or prompts that I needed.
That's when it came to me: "Can't I create what I'm looking for?" ... and with that thought, The Daily Manifesto was born.
I envisioned a combined planner and journal that centered on a comprehensive model of wellness. This concept was developed organically to fill a personal void, but having been empowered by what I learned in the process, I soon realized that The Daily Manifesto was more than any old product.
I saw it growing into a supportive community that is filled with creative and caring people that are walking together along their reflective journeys and sharing tools along the way.