Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Malloy.
Jennifer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve worked in senior living marketing since 2006. I started taking my health seriously in 2011, switched to a vegan diet shortly thereafter, and in 2015, I completed a yoga teacher training. In 2016, I left a high-level career in corporate America, and in 2017, I completed a senior adult yoga teacher training. I am currently working towards my 500-hour yoga certification.
My personal blog is mostly about living a vegan lifestyle, the practice of yoga and also having the courage to leave the “safety” of corporate America. I post my own recipes and tips on eating vegan and plant-based a few times each month.
All of these experiences have led me to understand the value of health. In my years in senior living, I would see elders every week who was wheelchair bound, or lonely, or mentally not fit, or who couldn’t bend over to tie their shoes. As a society, we’ve turned our back on our elders. We put them in homes, and we don’t listen to them, and we don’t value what they have to offer. I currently teach yoga to seniors throughout Fort Worth, both in their homes, my home, and in studios. One thing I have found over and over is if you began taking care of yourself as a young adult, you’ll be in much better health throughout your life. It’s never too late to take control of your health, but by all means, the earlier you start, the better you’ll be.
My work these days consists of teaching yoga, mostly to senior adults. I run a vegan cooking blog (Wayfaring Vegan) and develop marketing strategies for senior-related industries (Craft & Communicate). I believe that any form of movement is better than nothing, but what I love about yoga is that it prepares us for the activities of daily living. We do poses that help us bend over, and reach in our back seats, and open jars, and get up from the floor. We’re using our own body weight in gentle ways to strengthen ourselves, and in addition, the breath control and awareness create more space and more mental capacity. It might not be for everyone, but I fully believe it’s the best regimen for living long, healthy lives.
Has it been a smooth road?
Hell no. 🙂
Being an entrepreneur means constantly analyzing yourself and your why. It means getting to the bottom of who you are and what you want in life. You can’t follow trends and you can’t compare yourself with others, and you can’t get on a bandwagon just because everyone else is. You will want to do all of these things.
I quit corporate America at 35 after climbing ladders and proving myself and forcing my body into business suits for way too many damn years. Everything I did was for ego and for achievement. Yoga is the opposite of this – and even in yoga, you’ll want to learn headstands and handstands and ridiculous arm balances. You have to leave your ego at the door. And, you have to realize that everybody is different.
Working with seniors has taught me that life goes by so damn fast. That what we think, we need (big homes, international vacations, beach bodies, etc., etc., etc.) does not matter. You have to drill down to what it is that you want and who it is that you are – and you have to keep that in check, constantly.
My struggles were all over the map: financial, personal tragedies, ego, lack of structure, confusion… and I can’t say I don’t still face these every day. I want to make the world a better place. I don’t want to live a life of greed or power and I don’t want to surround myself with people who only care about themselves and their own gain. I also don’t rely on the “love and light” bullshit – you have to work hard. You can’t just wish your way into a job or meditate your best life. You have to do the work. And the work is effing hard.
Almost daily, I go back to this quote by Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” So, be damn careful who you’re spending your time with. For me, at 37, I’ve had to make a lot of hard decisions based on this. I left my corporate job because of this, I’ve since left a lot of other gigs based on this, and I encourage everyone to be very careful about who they surround themselves with.
As an entrepreneur, it is imperative that you find mentors and other entrepreneurs. It is also imperative that you trust your gut, always, with you who you let in your inner circle. The advice you need is within, first and foremost.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Wayfaring Vegan – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am most proud of helping seniors to live better lives. Many of my clients have less pain and more happiness. To provide value in a senior’s life is my proudest moment.
I make vegan foods, I write a blog and I teach yoga, I also run a marketing company.
Who have you been inspired by?
Seniors you have never heard of – Dorothy who volunteered at Parkland Hospital and not at the wealthy hospital because she wanted to help people in need. Myrna who gave shots to little black boys in Mississippi in the 60s on the roof of her car because there was no other way for them to get vaccinated. Jackie who learned to paint at the age of 68, and whose work was featured in galleries in Granbury. My mom, Carol, who has dedicated her life as a teacher in Dallas to make sure kids understand that there’s more than one way to come up with the correct answer and they don’t have to fit into one little shape in order to succeed.
These women are not in fashion or entertainment blogs and they’re not in the news and their names are not Hillary or Michelle or Oprah and they are certainly not named, Melania. These women are the everyday women in our society who work daily and quietly and effortlessly to make it a better place.
- Website: wayfaringvegan.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @wayfaring_vegan
- Facebook: Wayfaring Vegan