One of the missions of Wellness 50 Plus is to give inspiration to people 50 plus looking to make a life change. One of the ways to do this is to spotlight people who have made that leap and discuss how they got there. In this case, our focus is on the inspirational Janet Dunn, a former employee of New Life Hiking Spa, who will soon be an ordained Interfaith Minister!
Background in Yoga and at New Life Hiking Spa
Janet has been studying and teaching yoga for fifty years! She started in 1972 when she found a yoga and meditation class at the local community college. Over 30 years later, she was hired as a yoga instructor at New Life Hiking Spa in 2003 and returned every season until 2013. In addition to yoga, she taught meditation, Feng Shui, and took the guests on hikes and nature walks.
During her time at New Life, Janet graduated from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition in 2007 and then began teaching cooking, nutrition, and health classes. In 2012, she completed her certification in life coaching through Martha Beck’s Coaching School and offered health and life coaching to guests during the remainder of her time at New Life Hiking Spa.
A New Start After New Life
After her time in Vermont, she moved back to Pennsylvania to start another life for herself. She taught healthy living and cooking classes, coached clients, and taught many classes in yoga. After her divorce in 2017, Janet moved to New York State and then back to Vermont in 2020. Janet is offering various retreats in Vermont with the next one scheduled this fall. In addition to retreats, Janet has a thriving business officiating weddings and ceremonies, as well as life coaching for health and peace of mind.
A New Calling
Janet fully believes that the choices she has made to have meditation and yoga practice in her life have shaped who she is today. She is aware and takes time with decisions that will impact her life. From education to career choices, they have all had a common thread. However, as a life-long lover of learning, last year she decided to take on another immense quest, to become an interfaith minister. Janet is currently in seminary school through One Spirit in Manhattan, New York. In addition to giving more spiritual insight to her ceremonies and retreats, she reports it has stretched her thinking, stretched her heart, and has brought her to a place of forgiveness, acceptance, and love.
Janet goes on to say, “I am better for all the challenges, hard work, and heartache. I feel that I am in the place I am meant to be and every day I speak words of gratitude. I have had great training, wonderful teachers, and so many experiences that helped my growth. I look forward to each and every day.”
Janet’s calling as a life cycle celebrant supports people’s rites of passage and brings them to a place of appreciation and trust. Celebrating the steps in life, the big and small ones, and even the sad ones like divorce helps people to heal and find solace. The process of taking time to have ceremonies is profound, and what follows is forgiveness and love. Janet’s ceremonies help people to grieve the losses and embrace the joys to live a full and rich life.
Clarity in Nature
Another passion of Janet’s is nature. She spends a lot of time hiking and walking in the woods. “The woods is where I hear God more clearly. I feel this is where I commune with God the best. I have learned to really listen to my soul in the quiet of the forest, sitting on my meditation pillow, or just being quiet with myself”, reflected Janet. She also believes that it is vitally important to have a tribe of people that listen, share, and pray together.
Advice to those 50+
Her advice to people over fifty looking to make a life change is, “Get quiet with yourself, find a dear person to help guide you, and/or a life coach that really listens and supports you.” Janet believes there are many ways to get to your soul delight but the main objective is to trust the process. She firmly trusts that in the quiet one can get the answers and find what really lights them up and brings them joy. Lilias Folan said years ago, “The joy is in the journey.” Janet’s ceremonies, coaching, and retreats can help others on the “fifty plus” journey be more exciting, creative, and fulfilling.
Get in Touch with Janet
Her next retreat for women will be held outside of Wells, Vermont, September 9-11, 2022. The retreat titled, “Finding Your Sacred Self” is co-facilitated with Cate LaBarre, a certified Brene Brown Life Coach. Janet’s websites can be found at https://ceremoniesbyjanetdunn.com/ and https://weddingsbyjanetdunn.com/. She can also be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.