Fancy a Zen Career Change?

The lovely Helen, editor of Muddy Stilettos, Norfolk wrote a piece about us. Here it is so you don't miss out...

If you're looking for a career that is flexible, social, rewarding and a little bit ZEN - let me introduce you to the wonderful world of ZenMuma!

It seems like in our 40’s many women hit a bit of a career wall, start questioning what they want to do with the rest of their working lives. One of the wonderful things about having children is that it allows us to step of the career ladder briefly and reevaluate.

I’m not hanging up my writing pen just yet but I was sorely tempted after interviewing Jackie Heffer-Cooke owner of The Orange Grove Clinic, supreme Yogi and the women behind ‘ZenMuma’ a new local business offering training courses in Hypno-Birthing, pregnancy yoga, baby yoga and children’s yoga.

Where did it all begin?

Nearly 10 years ago and mum of a four year old, ZenMuma founder Jackie Heffer-Cooke fell pregnant with her second child, and decided she was going to be brave, leave her career in TV and do something completely different with her life.

She needed something which would fit around the children and create a better work/life balance. Does this ring any bells?

But what to do?

Drawn to using complementary health for her own ‘coping’ needs, and wanting to have a better second birth experience than the first, Jackie did a Hypno-birthing Training course.  Having already completed MTI Massage Training, it was at this point she asked herself “could she actually make a living from it?”

When she first set up as a pregnancy massage therapist and a Hypnobirthing practitioner she had no idea where to start but slowly came a business name and then all the marketing paraphernalia needed to promote a business.

One of the first Hypnobirthing practitioners and massage therapists specialising in pregnancy in Norwich, Jackie’s soon found this support was very much needed and in demand.

After her second child was born, Jackie added Baby yoga and Pregnancy Yoga to her portfolio with the aim of offering the pregnant women she was working with the opportunity to go on a more longer holistic parenting journey with her.

YogaBubs was launched and she quickly went from teaching one class a week to five classes a week around Norwich and Norfolk.

We all know it’s important for new mums to find a group of like-minded mums for support and a good old moan – it’s essential for survival!!

Going from being a working woman to a new mum is a massive change and although we love our new babies to bits, no-one prepares you for the long lonely days breastfeeding, the frustration singing wind the bobbin up on repeat or mashing up sweet potato only for it to be thrown on the floor!

Jackie stresses the importance of empathising, listening and providing a space to ‘hold’ mums for an hour or so, in a way that says – ‘we understand.’

Importantly, she has found her own parent pathway too. By helping others she is, of course, helping herself and leading a life where she dictates her working career, rather than the other way round.  She admits to not always being Zen but her years of training and daily practice are certainly helping her to move towards it.

Being self-employed can some days be tough, I know especially if you’re juggling a family. There are constant new ways of being visible that take up so much time and with success and financial reward comes marketing, accounts, newsletters and website maintenance, it really is a never-ending job!

But on the days when she’s tired or fed-up and contemplates a life working for someone else, Jackie remembers how her career enables her to pick the kids from school every day and take the school holidays off with them, which makes it all worthwhile. And I wholeheartedly concur!

The Birth of ZenMuma 

After nearly 10 years of teaching, Jackie recently launched her own specialist yoga and HypnoBirthing teacher training school.

Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, positive thinking and self-hypnosis have been around for thousands of years and when you begin to practise and let go of old destructive habits, Jackie believes life becomes lighter, easier and yes more Zen.

Zen and work – not two words I’d ever put together but when I listen to Jackie, I feel anything is possible this might just be the answer to lots of Muddy readers looking for career enlightenment.

Would you like to become a ZenMuma teacher?

You can choose from HypnoBirthing training, pregnancy yoga, baby yoga or children’s yoga teacher training. Courses are happening in Norwich (Jackie’s home), London, Brighton, Bath and Thailand (yes Thailand). You can choose to simply do the training and start-up yourself – there is a module in the training which assists you in ‘how to start your own business’ – or you can become a licensed teacher under the ZenMuma brand, nurtured by the ZenMuma family. This route gives you everything you need to start your business and in Jackie’s words “everything I wish I could have had when I started my own business”.