We sat down with one of Australia’s most respected authors and speakers in the health and wellbeing world, Jennifer Jefferies! Jennifer is a self-titled psychedelic hippie committed to leaving the world a better state. She is a philanthropist who loves breaking new ground. After burning out in her twenties, Jen reinvented herself as a naturopath and aromatherapist specialising in getting people out of survival mode and preventing burnout in the workplace. She has published 14 books including the #1 book on Intuitive Aromatherapy in the world. In this interview, Jennifer shares with you her personal empowerment story and why she thinks International Women’s Day is so important…
Perfect Potion: To start, can you tell us a little about yourself and your ‘personal why’ in life?
Jennifer Jefferies: I am a corporate hippie who is driven to leave the world a better place. My proudest achievement in life is… Four years ago I set up www.theqfoundation.org.au where I help kids in poverty to have a better life and hope through education. We currently have 57 kids in our care in Thailand and our first ones completing apprenticeships in April. These are kids who would never be in school without our help.
Perfect Potion: What led you to become involved in the kind of work you do? Was it something that was always on the cards for you?
Jennifer Jefferies: I joined the regular army at 17 as a driver instructor and after a three-year stint there I entered the pharmacy industry. It was the 1980s. Greed is good and all of that and I came into natural therapies after burning out in the pharmacy industry. I studied naturopathy and then aromatherapy with Salvatore Battaglia and did ten years in clinic and then was very frustrated not being able to help as many people as I wanted to; being limited by seeing 40-50 patients a week. So I brain dumped what I was telling my patients and that became 14 books over the years. For the last 17 years, I have traveled the world speaking on preventing burnout in the workplace and also aromatherapy.
Perfect Potion: What does empowerment mean to you? Particularly in terms of female empowerment?
Jennifer Jefferies: I take a stand for helping women to find and use their voices. I grew up in the generation where girls are “seen and not heard”. I get excited seeing the young women today who have not had that and they are so assertive and feel empowered to be strong in themselves. To me, empowerment is simply being able to bring all of you to this lifetime. Holding nothing back and feeling safe to do so.
Perfect Potion: Why do you feel International Women’s Day is important?
Jennifer Jefferies: We need to show younger women what is possible in life. For me, as a child Wonder Woman was my role model. I never had a role model in the women who were in my family. I want all women to have positive role models in life. I am deeply passionate about having other women understand the role of women over the years; particularly the Suffragettes. We would never have had what we do today without their pure courage.
Perfect Potion: Who is your number one female icon?
Jennifer Jefferies: Wonder Woman all the way AND the Suffragettes
Perfect Potion: Do you have a favourite quote about female empowerment?
Jennifer Jefferies: The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world. I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled the more I gain. Susan B Anthony (Suffragette)
Perfect Potion: You’re one of the key presenters at our Aromatherapy and the Feminine Spirit International Women’s Day Masterclass, can you share a little bit about what people can expect from your presentation?
Jennifer Jefferies: We are emotional beings and using essential oils just for physical uses means we miss out on so much of their talents. I love sharing how and why essential oils help us tap into our natural instincts to really use essential oils to their full potential
Perfect Potion: You’re the creator of the INCREDIBLE and much-loved Aromatherapy Insight Cards, can you tell us a little bit about them?
Jennifer Jefferies: The Insight cards came about through dealing with patients in clinic where I found in consultation they were unable to express what stress was influencing their health. They were so in it they could not see it. So I wanted a tool to help access what was going on for them emotionally. So I worked with Intuitive artist Karen Osborn to create the Insight system that has been taught all around the world for the last 19 years.
Perfect Potion: You’ve spoken before about the value in living the role of the ‘crone’, can you share a bit about this with us?
Jennifer Jefferies: When my mum was turning 50, I sent her a card saying congrats on being the Crone and she was mortified. She felt I meant, as most western people think, a silly old woman. I do lots of work in Asia and the post-menopausal woman “crone” is highly revered and respected. That’s lost in our western culture and we don’t value the incredible life experience of our wise women. I am passionate about redefining what it is to be a post-menopausal woman in the western world. For me, at 57, I feel like I am just starting the coolest part of my life. I want other women to stand proud in their “wise woman” time of life.
Perfect Potion: And of course, we have to ask… what’s your favourite Perfect Potion product or favourite essential oil?