LOVE Tag: Jen Kraft
Jen Kraft, you have been LOVE tagged!
On a whim Jennifer Kraft bought a plane ticket to Dallas, TX. She had read Melody Moore’s piece in the book, Yoga and Body Image, and felt like she had to go. She told her husband, “I’m going to do this thing”, and so courage took hold and, well, SHE DID. She didn’t know that ‘this thing’ wasn’t just participation in Embody Love Movement’s Facilitator Training in 2015. No, no. That was just the beginning of the beginning. What ‘this thing’ eventually became was the co-founding of the Body Image Boutique – a healing space offering body positive programs and services to help women, men, and children connect with and accept their true selves.
Nestled in Saddle River, New Jersey – the Body Image Boutique was “the scariest thing” that Jen Kraft had ever done. When we spoke on the phone about her choosing to start a new business she acknowledged that it was tough. “There were many points of feeling completely overwhelmed. There is no hiding. There is so much vulnerability. Being open about the struggles I’ve had in my past…I’ve never been so vulnerable.”
Jen’s struggles are clearly those that have brought her to the right now, the here, the present. She was diagnosed with an eating disorder in college and has since recovered but acknowledged that the journey was far from simple. “I never felt like I was enough. It was always a struggle for me, my body image. Things would always be better ‘when’. The negative body image didn’t hold me back from living but it was always something that nagged me.” Through a recommendation, Jen found the vehicle that would initiate a new relationship with her body – the practice of yoga. “I realized in doing yoga that I was being helped mentally. It was changing the way that I thought.”
Jen and her co-founder, Melanie Struble, use yoga in their integrative health model at the Body Image Boutique. “We want this to be a one stop shop for feeling good in your body,” Jen states. They also offer therapy, reiki, ayurveda, meditation and other like-minded, soul-healing practices.
“The community has been very receptive”, Jen acknowledged. “People just want to feel good.” When asked how Jen feels about what she has created and the path that she has walked her words were precious, “When I take a step back and look at the bigger picture I love being a part of it all. I’m doing THIS. This is my dharma.”
Jen, we at Embody Love Movement, and certainly the people of New Jersey, are so grateful for your courage and willingness to follow your heart. You have been love-tagged.
Dr. Lara Pence, Executive Director of Embody Love Movement®