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May 3, 2021

Jennifer Ballou is a retired US Army First Sergeant and Founder of A Joyful Life With Jennifer LLC.  Furthermore, her life coaching business focuses on helping women Veterans and military family members navigate life transitions while living a whole and joyful life. Also, Jennifer is also a speaker about, and true practitioner of, resilience and joy. In this episode Jennifer and I talk about how she overcame the death of her husband who was KIA while they were both deployed in Afghanistan. Finally, Jennifer shares how she allowed herself to be open to love again. Furthermore, she shares how she's taken the many transitions in her life and turned them into an opportunity to help others.


Episode Highlights:


  • Jennifer served in the Army for nearly 21 years as a Dental Specialist and retired in 2015.
  • She enlisted in the Army when she was 18.
  • Jennifer met her husband, Eddie, when they were stationed in Italy.
  • At one point, their deployments to Afghanistan overlapped a little bit.
  • On his last patrol, her husband stepped on an IED and initially lost his left leg.
  • Jennifer flew to the hospital but did not make it before her husband passed away.
  • He passed away on 24 June 2010 from loss of blood.
  • Consequently, in that moment everything she thought was important no longer was.
  • Jennifer escorted her husband's body back to the United States.
  • She needed to be there for her two children.
  • Another loss Jennifer had to navigate was not being able to finish the deployment with her unit.
  • Jennifer is grateful for all of the tremendous support she received.
  • Next Jennifer talks about how the loss has impacted her children.
  • Jennifer is remarried to an amazing man and they have a 2 year old daughter.
  • She has three children born in three different decades.
  • Next, Emily asks Jennifer how she moved onward after Eddie's untimely death.
  • Brene Brown's work influenced Jennifer to feel the pain that she had been putting to the side.
  • Ultimately, Jennifer found herself in a place, after a lot of hard inner work, where she started to feel good again.
  • Emily and Jennifer talk about the challenge of slowing down. The magic starts to happen when we slow down and stop living a go, go, go life.
  • In the military there's a lot of push energy.
  • Now Jennifer is learning how to slow down and be more in flow.
  • Finally, you'll know when you're ready to move onward. No one else can do it for you.
  • Just be there for others going through a tough time.
  • Her target client military veteran women and spouses.
  • Also, she has a virtual yoga studio.
  • Finally, the military community has a special bond.

Resources Mentioned: