ACTUALLY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JEN LE MARINEL
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JEN LE MARINEL – A FREE SPIRIT, WILD ADVENTURER, COACH, TRAINER & WILD GUIDE.
It’s August – which means that Team Actually is on holiday. But we thought this might be a great opportunity for you to get to know some awesome members of the Actually community a little better! So welcome to our new August feature ‘A Day in the Life of…’ an Actually person!
This week we are delving into the life of the incredible Jen Le Marinel – a free spirit, wild adventurer, coach, trainer and wild guide.
Hi, I’m Jen, and I spend half my life in a tent in the woods!
Ok, so that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s not far off! I’m a free spirit, wild adventurer, coach, trainer and wild guide, and I’m passionate about helping women business leaders reconnect with who they truly are, through reconnecting with the wild and their inner Wild Woman.
I don’t really have a “typical” day, but I suppose my work falls into four main types of activity: working with clients online, business admin/promo/planning, preparing for my wild retreats (sorting kit, food etc) and actually running the retreats (which themselves can vary hugely depending on which retreat it is!). It’s a far cry from my former 9-5(+) corporate days! My next retreat isn’t until the end of September, so my current focus is looking ahead to 2023. I’m busy promoting my yearlong BeWild programme, having discovery calls with interested women and planning next year’s diary so I can fit in all the retreats I want to run!
Having a retreat-based business can make it challenging to have a regular routine. In high retreat season I might be working 7 days straight preparing for and running a retreat out in the wild, then a couple of days off, then into another retreat, fireside VIP day, or working with clients online. Other times are much quieter, for example over December and January I slow down. My energy is much lower in the winter months, and not many people want to be out camping in winter!
When not on retreat I do aim for as much of a routine as I can, and I try to “batch” similar activities together. For example, I limit my coaching days to two days a week so I can be in a coaching headspace for a whole day, and do admin on other days, as I’m not so good at switching quickly between different tasks and energies! I also try to have an online coworking day with two dear business buddies at least once a month, as self-employment can be lonely!
If I’m at home, my morning routine starts the night before, with a rough plan of what needs to get done the following day. My phone switches off at 9:30pm so I have some screen-free time before bed, then stays off until after my cup of tea and morning pages, which I love to do curled up in bed or sitting on my window seat with the window wide open and the sun on my face, listening to the birdsong. I love early mornings and being up for sunrise…but it really doesn’t happen that often. I’m just not an early riser! I’ve stopped beating myself up about it though and instead shape my day accordingly. I don’t start work until 10am at the earliest, often later in the winter, because I just need more sleep. I let myself be guided by my body, what it needs, and where I am in my cycle. It was SO refreshing when I realised I didn’t have to stick to a 9-5 routine anymore!
If I were to change anything about my day it would probably be doing less of the desk-based admin stuff, and more of the outside-in-the-wild stuff. There’s only so much admin or desk-based/online work I can do before I get itchy feet, so I try to get out in the wild as much as I can. It might be for a walk, practising my bushcraft skills, foraging, swimming in the lake (my latest favourite) or taking myself off on a mini-adventure – I’ll often head to the woods to spend the night in my hammock! It took me a while though to realise that this IS my work, just as much as working with clients and doing admin is. My forays into the wild – whether for 5 minutes or 5 days – often form the backbone of my social media, and the space, grounding and connection this wild time gives me enables me to hold a more powerful, grounded space for my clients.
A retreat day is my favourite day though! I love the daily rhythm of retreats. Whoever’s on breakfast gets the fire going and make us all hot water and breakfast. My assistant and I check in with each other and go over the (approximate, weather-and-group-dependent) plan for the day. Then we have daily village routines, which always include movement, songs and check ins. The activities we get up to during the day will vary, but for me it’s about holding space for every woman to feel safe to explore her edges, try something new, and learn about herself. I’ll lead a mixture of group and solo activities that range from bushcraft – working with fire, knives and natural materials – to hiking out on the moors, to mindfulness and reflection practices and, depending on the time of year, some seasonal celebrations and rituals. Of course, there are also camp tasks which we all get involved with, such as collecting water, tending the fire and chopping wood. Mealtimes are a real community focus; they are a highlight of my days. We gather around the fire, eating delicious organic, hearty food, lovingly prepared by some of the group, cooked over the campfire. The evenings descend into songs, stories and games, or just gentle chatter against a backdrop of crackling flames. It’s times like this that I can’t believe this is my job!!
I’m so grateful to Sara. I really don’t think I’d be where I am now without her. I took a brave (and brilliant) decision to join one of Sara’s VIP programmes a couple of years ago and it really helped me grow my business – and believe that I could do it! Sara has so much wisdom and shares it so generously that it is a delight to be part of her Facebook group, and even now I always learn something new from her!
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JEN LE MARINEL
A massive thank you to Jen for allowing us to have an insight into your day!
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