Turning Pain into Power

Every time life threw a challenge at her, Jean Wilbert dealt with positivity and courage. She lived through unpleasant situations for many years and was able to turn pain into power. Locals know her as an embodiment of physical and mental empowerment.

“Whatever I’ve learned in life is the fuel that propels me forward,” the Argyle-based yoga therapist summed up the life lessons she’s learned so far.

From working as a hairdresser for almost three decades to teaching yoga as a yoga therapist, Jean always lived by a motto – serving others.

“I started with cutting hair, and that always felt right. Making people feel beautiful was so rewarding. Teaching Yoga is giving to the community, building a community, and making connections,” she shared. “When I lead a group of students through the gifts of inspiration and wisdom, I know I am in the right place, doing the right thing.” 

In 1998, Jean was running her own hair salon. One usual day she was complaining to a client that her back and feet hurt and was stressed out being recently divorced. “The lady suggested I find yoga in hopes that it would help my physical issues and find some peace. That’s when my yoga journey began,” Jean recalls. “I found a local studio and instantly fell in love with it. I couldn’t explain why I loved it back then; I just did. I knew as the years went on, I would teach yoga.” 

She’s been teaching yoga for 15 years now. Adding a feather in her cap, Jean Zarcone Wilbert has officially become an author after she came up with a book named Under the Dryer. The book, as she says, is about a single mom raising three kids and just surviving. The book tells her life story and is funny, sad, insightful, and downright unbelievable.

Jean also talked about the challenges she faced as a writer. “The biggest, one and always, was this enemy: fear. Fear crippled me. I was holding onto this book for fear someone might not like it,”  she opened her heart out.

With no background knowledge about publishing a book, Jean figured out the process just by Google Search. A few of her students helped her a lot along the way. “I went to 99 designs to get a book cover, and that was an easy, fun experience,” she remarked.

To no surprise, Under the Dryer is well received by the community, and readers are posting positive reviews and selfies with the book.

“I feel the readers will relate to the struggles and love the tales of tenacity and community. There will also be a whole lot of laughter. It is a story of the emotional pitfalls of building a business as a young single mother. It is fictional, but the stories are all true,” she added.

Being a single mom, it took a lot for Jean to raise three kids, care for herself, and gather the courage to chase her dreams. Many times it’s assumed that single moms can’t be successful, empowering, and happy. Jean not only defies this notion but has proved it wrong. “We can be that and more with confidence and a support system,” she said.

Jean is grateful for all those known and unknown people who helped her through her journey. Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour is one incident that she considers changed her life. A woman in the event shared about yoga philosophy, which fascinated Jean so much. She loved the positive energy that flowed throughout the event. “Speaker after speaker, inspiring us or sharing their personal stories of how they broke through the barriers that created greatness in their lives. Oprah did, too,” she recalls.

Each participant was given a workbook. They were given time to do a test on themselves. Oprah encouraged them to find out what was holding each one back from doing what they needed to do. “After all the work, she had us write down what we wanted to accomplish this decade that we put off this last decade. I wrote that I wanted to finish the book that I started over a decade and create a women’s group,” Jean said. “I vowed to do that. I started a women’s group next month and started writing again next month.”

Podcaster and author Jean Wilbert believes the willingness to do hard things in life is all we need. “Attitude is everything. An attitude is a feeling, a mood, and an action. Get your attitude right, and success will follow,” is her message to all mothers out there.

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