Healing and liberation
with kimothy joy
Curious to explore how creativity can liberate your feminine genius?
On today’s podcast I’m talking with the luminous Kimothy Joy, an artist, author, activist, and speaker devoted to celebrating and liberating feminine genius.
Kimothy creates illustrations made with joy to spark social change, inspiring thought and action through her creative expressions.
Her story shows us that when we take time to connect to those deeper parts of ourselves and find what makes us come alive, creativity and inspiration can flow through and positively impact those around us.
Listen in as she shares her story of creativity and how she created her Focus Pocus journaling method, and the power of community, support, collaboration, letting others stories inspire you, how her unique method can support your connection to yourself, your focus, and creating the life you desire.
Listen below, or tune in via: Apple Podcasts,Stitcher or Spotify.
Complete transcript below.
In this episode you'll discover
and much more!
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION ON THIS EPISODE AND MORE IN MY FREE FACEBOOK GROUP, FIND YOUR FEMININE FIRE HERE.
Kimothy Joy started a daily painting practice almost a decade ago to heal after a break up. This practice became a way to study and honor women’s words and wisdom, including her own. Her personal herstory project and portrait series became the bestselling book That’s What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women.
From her ongoing journey of reclaiming her feminine power, she shares mindfulness practices to unlock your own wisdom and creative expression through books, journals, and workshops.
Kimothy believes in the power of sisterhood to heal our world and unleash our potential. She hosts regular women’s circles, leads women’s retreats, offers 1-on-1 sistership sessions, and has an online community.
Check out her new journal HERE and join her 90 day journaling community.
Want more support from Amanda? Schedule a confidential 1-1 call with Amanda here.
In this 45 min call, we’re going to identify your #1 block to pleasure, why it’s showing up in the way it is, and what to do to turn it around.
After doing this work for almost a decade, I can quickly identify the patterns holding you back, and show you the steps to change it.
Permission to reach out even if it feels scary. Permission to reach out even if you aren’t even sure you want to do this work. Permission to reach out to explore if this is right for you, no strings or pushy sales tactics here.
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EPISODE 256: Kimothy Joy
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Amanda Testa: Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa. I am a sex, love, and relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex, love, and relationships, and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome!
Hey, what’s up? It’s Amanda! If you're enjoying this pod, and you know you are ready to say yes to more pleasure, and you are just wanting to know, “How the hell do I do it,” well, you are in luck because as of now, we have spots available in The Pleasure Foundation which is my pleasure membership where twice a month you get an amazing practice that teaches you how to drop into your body, to become more connected to yourself, and to learn the art of sacred self-care. So, if this is something you're interested in, go to www.amandatesta.com/tpf (as in The Pleasure Foundation) and we will see you there!
Amanda Testa: Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast.
I am your host, Amanda Testa, and if you are curious to explore how creativity can liberate your feminine genius, you're gonna love today’s episode. Today, I’m talking with the luminous Kimothy Joy. She’s an artist, an author, an activist, and speaker devoted to celebrating and liberating feminine genius. She creates illustrations made with joy to spark social change, inspiring thought and action, as well as she has an amazing journaling practice that she’s cultivated and created called Focus Pocus, and she has a new journal coming out. So many amazing things that she’s up to in the world, and I’m so excited to talk with you today, Kimothy! Thank you for being here.
Kimothy Joy: Thank you, Amanda! Thank you for the beautiful introduction. It’s so fun to be here with you. I’ve been looking forward to this.
Amanda Testa: Yes, and for those listening who are learning about you and all the magic that you're doing in the world. I’d love if you would share a little bit about your story of what led you to be so passionate about creativity and the work that you do.
Kimothy Joy: Hmm, yeah, I can try to paraphrase. [Laugh] Let’s see. Where do we begin?
Amanda Testa: Right? It’s a long journey, but you can shorten it.
Kimothy Joy: “Tell me about your life. How’d you get here?” Oh, man, okay.
Amanda Testa: Yeah!
Kimothy Joy: Well, yeah, it’s been quite the journey. It’s been very personal, and I’m definitely one of those people where I feel called to share what helps me, and I just get excited about it. When something works and clicks and it is so transformative, I’m like, “Oh, I can't wait to tell a friend. I can't wait to put it out there.” So, that’s been -- it’s just who I am, and I would say that, as a kid, I was always really creatively expressive, as most of us are. We’re really uninhibited and just say what we mean and say what we need. And I know not all situations are like that, but usually we were pretty expressive, and I was that kid. I was always drawing and dancing and singing and painting. Since I was a toddler, there are photos of me just on the floor with all my art stuff, getting lost in my imagination and in books. So, I think what we love to do in childhood is such a powerful indicator of where we can start to explore our creative expression in adulthood and look at where we might be blocked. So, that’s pretty much been my path in a nutshell.
Yeah, I was really creative, and then I think just slowly into adolescence, and as I aged, as it tends to happen, especially in our Western culture, we’re layered with so many mixed messages and conditioning and programming and all of that from church, school. It comes in all directions, especially as women, right? And so, as that happened, I think that I started to shapeshift and contort and be less and less of myself, probably starting in high school, middle school, that age, and it’s so common. And then I got to a point, there were just some major life events that felt like crises, you know? When I was in my twenties, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in my early twenties, and that was a really obviously difficult and transformative chapter in my life, right?
And I also got married around that same time. And so, there were these big events that served as catalysts and really rocked my world. She ended up passing away when I was 25. But in those moments when those events occurred, I just had this epiphany. I think I was about 27, still grieving her death. I was married at that point, and I had this realization that I didn't know who I was. I felt so lost, and I hear this story from so many women, you know? In adulthood and of all ages, too. It doesn't even matter. But that happened, for me, at around 27, and I was like, “I don't even know if I want to be married. I don't know who I am. I don't know what I like. What is this all about? Who have I been living for? My mom’s gone,” and I actually realized I was living a lot of her dreams and goals and there was some codependency there to untangle.
But it was such a painful realization and a sense of emptiness, and I had to change my world. I just felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I got a divorce, changed up my career, went through a season of pretty self-destructive behaviors and vices, and, for a few years, just exploring and trying to discover who I was. But I didn't know how to do that in a healthy way.
I’m 38 now, for context, but in my early thirties, it started changing and shifting and art helped me shift, and returning to a daily creative practice, and it’s not like I planned this out. It just happened because nothing else felt good like drinking, going out, being in different relationships. Nothing else seemed to satisfy that yearning, and I started watercolor painting every single day. It was just a daily practice. Around 30 after a breakup, and I started doing it with friends, and I did it solo, and I just sat down, and it was my devotional practice just because it felt so good. My soul needed it, and I felt like, “Oh, there I am! I’m returning. That young girl. Things feel possible again. I can hear my inner thoughts, my truths, what I like.” It was just so beautiful.
So, that was when -- I would say tactile creativity, like creating with my hands, because before that I did graphic design and photography and more business-oriented creativity, but it just felt so good just to work with my hands again and put a paintbrush to paper and just play without any desired outcome, just for the sheer enjoyment and the pleasure which is your world, Amanda - pleasure. So, I’ve also been on this reclamation of, “Ooh, what feels good? What brings me pleasure and joy?” And so, yeah, the daily painting practice opened my back up, and since then, the last few years, it’s turned into more of a mindfulness practice.
I’ve been kind of broadening my devotional practice, and journaling has been such a big part of that, as well as painting, and then a huge component of my, I would say, feminine awakening and return home to myself was also studying the lives of other women and researching, giving myself a re-education of women’s HERstory, like the stuff I never learned in school. That was a huge part of my daily practice. I would paint their words, their portraits. I was reading so many books. I was spending time alone, and it turned into a portrait series of a bunch of women throughout history (I like to say HERstory), and the world, and it brought me back to life because I saw myself in them and their stories. I saw their genius, and then I could see my own. They were mirrors for me, and then that turned into a book in a very synchronistic, aligned way, which is how I know when I’m in the divine flow, and I started also realizing how magical the world can be when you are in that sweet spot in your feminine intelligence and surrendering to it and showing up for it. I got a book agent, and my work took off online, and I was like, “Really? Okay! Okay, people are really feeling something here.”
But I realized it was because I was feeling so much when I was making the art, you know? I was like crying, and sometimes I would have whiskey, and I was just doing my thing. It was a whole ritual, and I know people could feel that, and I had such a, ahh, like a deep reverence and adoration for all these women I got to learn about. It was so beautiful.
And so, that became my first book which was published in 2018 by Harper Wave called That’s What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women, and it’s 50 watercolor portraits of women and a short bio and just enough to make you want to just deep dive into their memoirs and biographies and all of that cheesiness. So, that study of our true HERstory is also a big part of my passion and my work.
Amanda Testa: I love that so much. First of all, I just want to thank you for sharing your journey. I know that’s an abbreviated version, but still. Just through all you’ve been through. I’m sorry for losing your mom at such an early age. That’s so challenging, and my dad died of early onset Alzheimer’s, so I can relate to how hard it is to lose a parent when you're young. And also that feeling of the time comes in life where you’ve done all the things you're supposed to do, and you're like, “What the hell am I doing this for?”
Kimothy Joy: [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Because I don't even know if I’m happy. I don't know what I’m doing. I think so many women experience that, and that’s why I think it’s so important to talk about because you're not alone if that’s you. It’s so common, you know, because we just follow all these rules that are put in place in us from our culture, and it’s not, oftentimes, allowing us to be who we really are and express who we really are, and I love how -- I just think that, too, just being inspired by other amazing humans and their stories and how you needing to take from someone when you weren't there, and you can find all this inspiration and the HERstory and using that to inspire others, it just gives me chills to think about that web of connection. It really does.
Kimothy Joy: Mm-hmm. It’s so amazing!
Amanda Testa: I love that.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah, let’s give gratitude. Woo!
Amanda Testa: Yes!
Kimothy Joy: Well, yeah, it’s because we are so interconnected and we are sacred mirrors for one another, and when someone rises into their genius and their potential and overcomes so much, that journey, you know, we see ourselves in that, and it motivates us. It’s like hydration for our soul. We’re like, “Oh, my gosh! If that was possible for her against all odds,” and she found her truth, you know, she was able to not be swayed by external influences and oppression -- there’s so much that the women in my book face, but, yeah, it just revived me. I was like, “Oh, my gosh! Okay, what’s possible for me in my life, then, if I really tap into my power, my potential, and believe in myself? What could happen here?”
So, it happened in parallel. The journey of painting and writing and sharing their stories, I felt my own power rising with my creative expression, and I have, yeah, like all those women to thank and the women around me, too (friends and peers). I’m just like, “Whoa, what is possible for us?” So…
Amanda Testa: Yeah, and I love, too, (you know, you mentioned this earlier) that you're basically just sharing what’s working for you and how it’s so resonant to those around you are the people who are finding you online or wherever the places are, are finding your books and just kind of how I think that’s another powerful thing that we get to do is we get to share what supports us so that others can benefit. And I also love that, you know, you mentioned your daily art practice and creativity, and how it’s been such a path to lead you back to yourself.
And so, I’m wondering if you are open to sharing a little bit more about your journals and kind of what led you to create Focus Pocus.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: -- the whole system.
Kimothy Joy: Thank you.
Amanda Testa: I love that name. It’s so good.
Kimothy Joy: Oh, just like -- ah, I love it, too. It’s so playful because it’s like I feel like I have been on this more spiritual quest in the last few years, and, for me, it just feels good to return to that childlike innocence, and it doesn't have to be so serious and heavy.
Although, real stuff comes up, right? It's not like a bypassing but when you can bring levity to it and grace and a little play, it just makes it easier to navigate and heal and enjoy the process. It doesn't have to be this serious thing all the time.
So, that name just captured it. The whole series kind of looks like my doodles from middle school, and I love that that’s just what came out and felt true. It’s just so playful. So, yeah, I have this journal that’s coming out next week actually which is why I was like, “I get to talk to you right before it comes out!” Yeah, the Focus Pocus 90-day guided journal comes out on Tuesday, March 7th, and it’ll be on Amazon and wherever books are sold, and I’m so excited about that.
So, that’s the deep-dive journal. That is essentially my daily journaling practice that I’ve been doing for years, and it’s so cool to be able to share that with everybody. I also have a weekly planner that has a mindfulness intention check in and then a day-to-day calendar and some other things. But yes, this daily journaling practice began when I think I just had my daughter, Luca. So, that was in 2018 when my book came out. I had Luca, like, two weeks later. It was wild. A book baby, and my one and only daughter, my child arrived, and just such a whirlwind. So much joy and intensity and all of it, entering motherhood, and it was really hard, that transition, becoming a mom. And I had to have some type of anchor because the daily painting practice just felt like didn't fit into my schedule as easily as before. You know, I didn't have hours to just get lost in painting. It just didn't work where I could get up at nine or ten or whenever and start painting and devote myself to that.
So, things shifted, and so, I developed this practice that became that anchor for me and that constant in that way to check in, and it was so grounding and so amazing, and it also became a little bit of experimenting with reality and my consciousness and intentions and how powerful my focus is, and I would just play with that, too.
So, the daily practice takes about 15/20 minutes. You know, sometimes I go really slow. It’s just go at your own pace, but it’s a series of about, I think, ten journaling prompts. Yeah, it was years of just fine-tuning these prompts based on a lot of tried-and-true mindfulness techniques that I explored on my own, but I feel like I distilled the heavy hitters that I knew positive psychology validated (you know, the heavy hitters like gratitude). You know, name your gratitude, bless your blessings every day, and that’ll shift your mindset.
So, things like that, I was like, “I need structure. I don't want to just sit down and do freeform journaling. I need something that lets me check in and focus on the good right now because being a mom’s really intense.”
And so, I designed it to really be this grounding structure that gives a little more framework, and I like to settle into that. It feels really good, and then it also allows me to dip into all these techniques like gratitude. There’s self-love in there because I really wanted to practice that. There’s body appreciation. In this journey, I’ve realized how disembodied we’ve become or have been. I think we’re returning to that state of embodiment and working on our healing and trauma, but I wanted to just reconnect with my body in a new way. And then there’s also a prompt about reframing thoughts and naming what is, like oh, just attunement to my needs. “Oh, I’m a hot mess today. Okay, great. Okay, but maybe I need to rest. Maybe I need some water, a nap,” you know?
It’s just these things that I wasn’t attuning to myself for so many years. So yeah, it’s those little check-ins like that, and then there’s also, we get into, on the second portion of the journaling, manifesting and kind of listening into the deeper desires, like, “Okay, where am I being guided and called to? What’s wanting to come through, through me?” I believe we’re in this co-creative dance with the universe or a higher power, a higher self, whatever you want to call it. But it’s not all about manifesting in a vacuum and law of attraction, “I’m gonna get this car,” or whatever. That’s great. Things are great. Material possessions are fine.
But for me, the journal is about listening to that higher power and an inner power and being in that dance of just knowing where we’re being called to and knowing our desires. So, that’s in there, and there’s a visualization technique because then you can kind of drop into the feeling of it, like, “Okay, I’m being called to have more adventure and fun and play.”
Usually, when I say manifesting, I’m really thinking about a feeling I want to experience, an emotion like, “I just need adventure and play,” so then I visualize that. And then the practice ends with writing out an intention for the day (a focus), and taking one inspired action. So, it just felt like a way to claim time for myself, then form my needs, and to know how I’m feeling, what I want, where I’m going. Take one small step, and, yeah, I’ve been doing it for years, and so much cool stuff has happened from it. It’s so fun because, ultimately, it is reality testing and playing with our focus and how the world responds to that, how other people respond to where we’re at, what we’re focused on.
Amanda Testa: That’s so true. Oh, my goodness.
Kimothy Joy: It’s such a long explanation, Amanda. Sorry!
Amanda Testa: No, but I think it’s important because you’ve got a lot of big things in there, and I think just making that time for yourself (that anchor time for yourself) is so key, right?
Because we, so often, are just floating through life, not paying any attention. We’re so disconnected from ourselves. And so, when you can have that time to drop in, it is so key. And I think the great thing about having a journal like yours is because I know for myself, I’ve gone through phases where I love journaling, I hate journaling, I don't want to do it, I do want to do it. So, it’s really nice when you can sit down and have a guided practice, right? So, you just show up and answer the questions to the best of your ability that day. And sometimes things are gonna flow, and sometimes you might have one-word answers, and you did it, and you can just pat yourself on the back, right?
Kimothy Joy: Exactly. Exactly.
Amanda Testa: But I think it’s so helpful. I think it can be such a great tool for people that want something but are like, “Ugh, I just don't even know what to write,” or, “I don't like my own handwriting,” or whatever it is, right? Just coming up with a fun way to make it doable.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And it is really, for me -- my intention for making it, well, you know, it worked for me, and so, I had to share. I mean, it more than worked, right? it was transformative, and I was like, “I have to get this out there and share it with more people.”
But my intention is to -- it’s an offering to help people return to themselves and to feel connected, ultimately, and I do think a lot of our suffering in the world and pain and anxiety and mental health stuff comes from just this feeling of deep disconnection from our true selves and one another and the earth and a higher power, you know? So I’m like it’s all about connection and carving out that time, and we’re infiltrated with so much noise and distraction, and we really need to be intentional about taking our focus back, you know? I don't like to jump on my phone and social media first thing in the morning. There are all these practices that I’ve realized really affect my mental state and my mood, and this is the tool that can be a guide if you're looking for that. Yeah, I want to reclaim a little bit of your focus and attention even if it’s for 20 minutes that you could go scroll on Instagram. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Right. I mean, twenty minutes is huge, right?
Kimothy Joy: Right.
Amanda Testa: Five minutes is huge. Whatever you have. Just giving --
Kimothy Joy: -- five minutes!
Amanda Testa: -- yourself that, and I think like you say, too, especially for people that are really busy or parents, it can be really hard.
My kiddo’s older now. So, they're ten which is great because they're a little more understanding of boundaries because I remember when she was really little, I’d always be like, “Well, I’m gonna get up early,” and then their internal alarm goes off. They're like, “Oh, mom’s up, and I need to get up!”
Kimothy Joy: [Laughs] Exactly.
Amanda Testa: And all the things, right? So, it can be hard. So, it’s finding those little moments because, yeah, I mean, I think after my daughter was born as well, having the huge just like, “What the hell is happening?” It’s such a huge transition. Most of us are not prepared.
Kimothy Joy: No.
Amanda Testa: Let’s just say.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: And just, like, what to expect and how big of a transition it is, right? So, finding those little ways to really stay connected to yourself are like life blood.
Kimothy Joy: Yes, I know. When you were talking, I just imagine myself on the choppy seas in an ocean of motherhood. It was like a life raft, like, “Who am I? It’s shifting! My identity’s shifting through this whole journey of motherhood”
But, you know, those little anchors, those check-ins, those practices are everything.
Amanda Testa: Because you shared some of the amazing things that have happened. Are you open to sharing maybe a couple of stories?
Kimothy Joy: I would love to. I’ll share two that come to mind. The actual journal calendar all about the series Focus Pocus -- when I first began, I did it in a notepad, experimenting with all these prompts and seeing how I felt in my body, like, you know, okay, if I was in anxiety, I’d shift into a state of gratitude, and then I’d kind of empty out how I’m feeling. So, there’s a process of clearing, and then once I felt clear and steady and peaceful, then I would get into, like, ooh, creation mode, like, “Okay, I cleared some space out, got it all out on the page. Now, what do I want to invite in to kind of replace that --,” not replace that but open up to. So, I look at it as clearing is the first part and then creating is the second part. But I would do that in a notebook.
And then I pitched it to my publisher. I was like, “Hey, I’m doing this practice, and it’s so rich and helpful,” and that’s not something they do, so I just started printing these tear-away notepads, like with a printer I got, just a big bulk order just to try it out and gave them out to all my friends and was selling them online in my shop. And so, I got it out there. I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna make it. I’m gonna share this in my own way even if I can't get a publisher to do it.” So, I did that. I took the inspired action, right? And as I was doing the daily focus, I kept focusing and intending on getting this out to the broader public as a published piece, as whatever it wanted to be. I wasn't very specific, but I did see the cover, which I’m so visual! I can see the book cover before it happens, and I kept seeing what it would look like (like visualizing that when it was in its final published form and when it was in bookstores), and this is so cool.
And I didn't cling to it, that I was like, “Oh, this would be so fun.” I was really playful and loose with it which is the best type of manifesting energy. You don't want to be too clingy. You're like, “Ooh, that’d be fun,” and don't micromanage the universe, you know? Let it come in if it’s aligned and if it’s meant for you, but it was always coming up for me. I was like I really want to get this out.
So, I got an email from this other publisher who I’d never worked with (Andrews McMeel) out of the blue, maybe two years ago, and they were like, “Hey, we saw this Focus Pocus notepad in your shop. We found your work on Instagram. I’m a senior editor at Andrews McMeel. We’re one of the largest calendar/journal publishers and distributors, and we’d love to talk to you. Have you thought about publishing this as a series?” And I was like, “Yes, I’ve been looking for you!” I didn't know who to email. I didn't know who to contact. I didn't have any connections, and it landed in my inbox.
It was their idea, and the collaboration was just so wonderful. They saw the vision right away, approached me about it, and the way that it unfolded was just like, “Boom!” God wink or goddess wink. I was like, “Okay, all right, so this is one of the most fun manifestations in my hands.” Just how this came to be, and it wasn't me forcing or trying to make it happen, which I think is that indicator that you're in that feminine intelligence and you're letting things flow and come to you. You're just making space for it and being in that day-dreamy state, and doing what you can but not overextending yourself, and feeling worthy of it, and that’s what starts to come in if it’s meant for you. So, it just felt so juicy, and it’s so fun, and yeah. Amazing how that happened.
Another thing that happens and will come up from time to time is someone will reflect back to me the intention I wrote out that day, and they don't even know because I don't share my journal or wasn't sharing the notepad, but I would have a friend -- there was one time my focus for the day was, “Everything I do turns to gold.”
I was really like, “Okay, you've got this! It always works out. Believe in yourself,” and that was my focus I wrote out. And she repeated it verbatim for me that day. She was giving me a pep talk, my dear friend Sue (shoutout to Sue). She said, “Kimothy, everything you do turns to gold. Trust yourself. You've got this. If you're coming from the heart, you can't get it wrong. Everything you do turns to gold,” and I was like, “Sue. Did you know I’m looking at my journal here, and this is exactly what I wrote.”
Amanda Testa: Oh, that’s awesome.
Kimothy Joy: And then you're over here reflecting to me, and it’s not like she says that all the time, so we were just laughing. We were just so, ah, delighted by that. And so, that kind of synchronicity starts to come up again and again in little ways, not exactly like that, but it’s happening for people who’ve been using it as well, and I love those stories. I think, for me, it just affirms and validates that our dreams and desires are being heard. We’re being listened to. We are supported.
We are guided and that we can trust ourselves, we can trust the universe, when we’re coming from our truth and our heart, maybe not the mental ego trying to make things happen, which is a struggle. It’s hard --
Amanda Testa: Right, right.
Kimothy Joy: -- to shift into the heart space and let things flow, but that’s where the magic’s at. It’s real.
Amanda Testa: Ah, that’s amazing. I love that so much because, you know, I think just even hearing that message that you can trust yourself is so hard for so many. And so, having those reminders or just getting those little encouragements, like, “Yes, you can,” and having the evidence to support that, right? That is so huge.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah, it is, and it’s a practice. It’s like working on a muscle, and I think that’s what journaling or any kind of mindfulness ritual will do. When you're sitting with yourself, and you're observing what’s happening, and you're understanding the power of your focus and your intention, and then the action. You have to show up for it, obviously, and take steps in that direction, but you start to realize how powerful you really are.
Amanda Testa: Yeah. It’s so true. I mean --
Kimothy Joy: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: -- I’m always blown away because I think -- with me, it’s always the practice of pleasure, which is encompassing a lot of different things, right?
Kimothy Joy: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: But it’s like having that consistent practice is the key. It’s like showing up for it on the regular because that’s the beautiful thing about a practice. It’s gonna look different everyday no matter what it is you're doing.
Kimothy Joy: Right.
Amanda Testa: If it’s art, if it’s journaling, whatever it is, it’s just showing up for it and making that commitment with yourself because over time that does help to build your self-trust because you are showing up for yourself.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah, you're like, “I am that worthy that I am worth taking the time, maybe first thing in the morning, telling everybody, “This is my sacred ritual, my time for myself,” and it does build that confidence and that self-love and respect.
It’s like a respect, and it’s also like, “Wow, I’m that type of person that makes that time for myself. Oh, wow. I do put my needs, my priorities, my desires, my pleasure first. It’s a priority for me,” and that changes the relationship with Self. You're like, “Oh, who do I think I am? Yeah! Yeah! Who am I?” [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Yeah! I feel, too, the people around you do start to honor that when you honor it.
Kimothy Joy: Right. Mm-hmm.
Amanda Testa: Right? Because it is hard to set boundaries with kids or family or whoever’s around, but you just have to be unapologetic about it sometimes, and it’s not like you need all the time in the world, right? You can let your kid -- set up a little play something for them or maybe let them watch a show. Whatever it is. Whatever you have to do to get the little bit of time that you need so that you can feel like a better version of you, so you can face all the challenges with a little more presence, right?
Kimothy Joy: Yeah, it is like a conditioning and a training for yourself and for other people, and, you know, it can be bumpy, and people can not appreciate your boundaries. It could be triggering for them, but it is a practice, and then I think people around you start to realize how much it fills you up and how much it brings to you, and then that affects them. And then they're like, “Okay, great. Yeah, you take your time because you're a better person when you have your time.” [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Ah, well, I’m wondering, too, if there’s any -- I feel like I could just keep talking to you forever because I just love the wisdom that’s bubbling up, but I’m wondering, too, if there was maybe a question that I didn't ask or maybe another topic that you just want to touch on or share about while we still -- yeah.
Kimothy Joy: Oh, I would love to. So, I just finished my second book baby. So, I have the journal series, calendars. Those are with a different publisher, so the first book, That’s What She Said, I mentioned, that was out in 2018. And so, 2023, here we are! I finished my second book. It took several years. [Laughs] I finished it in January. Yeah, just a month ago about.
Amanda Testa: Congratulations!
Kimothy Joy: And I’m so excited! Thank you. It’s out in November. They sped up the production process because the whole team at Harper Wave was like, “We need to get this out ASAP, like right away. This book is so right on time.” And it’s called Extraordinary Wing Women: True Stories of Life-Altering, World-Changing Sisterhood, and this is like a huge chapter for me of the last, probably, five years, I think, since becoming a mother. Having a beautiful mother’s blessing, having so many kind, genuinely supportive women swoop in and help me navigate motherhood, it just cracked me open to the way I’m in relationship, not only with myself, but with other women. So, that’s opened up a whole new realm and became this book and has been a major reclamation of my life, too. Just restoring my relationship with other women and healing. There are so many wounds there I had to navigate with the death of my mom and our complicated relationship -- beautiful and complicated, as they tend to be.
But the power of sisterhood is real, and it’s such a part of our story and our healing and where we’re going, and I’m seeing it happen everywhere. You know, I’m involved in so many different women’s circles here in Maine and online, and I have been, and I’m seeing them happen all over, and it’s like people are hearing the call to come together again. So, it’s to not only connect with ourselves but also one another. To tap into that feminine intelligence within ourselves, to heal, to rise together in our power because we’re mirrors for one another, and we need each other. I need my friend Sue reminding me, “Everything you do turns to gold.” That mirroring and support is everything, and I wouldn't have been able to do what I’ve done without those women in my life. And so, I’m celebrating it and writing about it. I can't wait for the book to come out. It was such a fun journey to deep dive into these stories. Many of them I’ve never heard before, and they're just astounding and so inspiring and moving, and I just hope that they are added fuel to this movement of women coming together --
Amanda Testa: Yes!
Kimothy Joy: -- and realizing that it’s safe to do that and to lean on one another.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Kimothy Joy: Not to compete, you know? All those things that we might have been taught when we were younger.
Amanda Testa: Yes. I love that so much.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: It’s the collaboration and the support. It’s so huge. And, like you say, there’s a journey there sometimes, right? We have a lot of shadow around relationships with other women or sisterhood or siblinghood or whatever. It can be so hard. But it’s so worth it to do the work around it because, on the other side, it’s amazing.
Kimothy Joy: It’s amazing. It feels like a part of Self that we come home to.
Amanda Testa: Yes!
Kimothy Joy: You know? It’s wonderful, and it makes life way more fun and easy and enjoyable when you cultivate that rich sisterhood, that circle.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Kimothy Joy: And it’s not easy. It’s a journey. There’s a lot of stuff to navigate and move through, and that came up in the writing of the book and in my own personal journey, and it’s so, so worthwhile. So worthwhile.
Amanda Testa: Because even, like you say, it can be easy to, I think (and I hear this from people a lot, too) it can be easy to just see things out there on social media or whatever and just assume, “Oh, this person has the best life,” or, “Oh, who am I when everybody’s doing this?” But it’s really realizing that we are all connected in some way, and so, when you can see someone and maybe noticing triggering things come up, it’s kind of just noticing what is it about that person that’s triggering me? What is it about it that’s making me feel jealous or angry or whatever it is, envious, whatever it is. And then you can kind of notice what is that quality and feel into what about myself am I maybe lacking in that quality or how can I invite more of that into myself? Or maybe saying, “You know what? If they have it, I have the capability to have it, too, so what do I want to do?” I think, oftentimes, when there are people that are maybe intimidating to you, it’s always a great thing to reach out to them. I mean, I can't even tell you how many amazing friends I’ve made because I’m like, “Hmm, I need to figure out why I’m feeling whatever this is about this person,” and then we become best friends.
Kimothy Joy: That’s so great!
Amanda Testa: Right?
Kimothy Joy: I love that pivot. Yeah! I mean, it’s such great self-awareness in just being able to step back and be like, “Okay, I’m feeling these emotions. Oh, wow.” You know, for the longest time, I felt this kind of strong aversion to women who were really bold and outspoken. I can remember when I was younger because I wanted that, and I didn't feel like I could say how I felt. I was pretending and hiding, and looking back, I realize I was always just like, “Ugh, she’s so annoying! Who does she think she is? But she seems so free, those girls.” I was like, “They're so free in their expression!” Now I get why I felt that way, but you're so right. Those can be cues to show us where maybe we’re blocked in some way, where we can be a little more free.
Also, I was gonna say with sexual expression, women who are really in their sensuality and their sensual expression, I felt that way when I was younger, too, like, ahh, such an aversion. And I can see now that I just desperately wanted to express that part of myself in a healthy way, and I didn't know how, and I’m still figuring that part out, too. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Kimothy Joy: But now I’m not jealous about it. I’m like, “Oh, you do you! I love that. That scares the shit out of me, but I love you for that. That expression is great!” [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Yes! Well, I mean, and I think, too, because we have so much internalized misogyny and all the things that we’ve been taught: “That’s not how a good girl behaves,” or, “That’s not what a good woman does.” And so, the rule-following parts of us are like, “Well, that person’s not following the rules, and then you're like, “But that’s kind of a feeling that I want,” or whatever it is, however it comes out. It’s so true, right?
Kimothy Joy: Yeah, absolutely.
Amanda Testa: Oh, man. And I think, too, it helps you to have compassion for your own experience and everyone else because we’re all in the same waters of the culture that we’re in. And so, it’s like how do we navigate it and try to make it better?
Kimothy Joy: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: Right?
Kimothy Joy: Yeah. Yeah.
Amanda Testa: And teach the next generation something different.
Kimothy Joy: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Well, we live it, and we do our best, you know --
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Kimothy Joy: -- to model it with one another, and I think connect and gather in more authentic vulnerable ways to make it safe to say how we feel and express ourselves and not pretend and not feel separated and in competition. I think that’s the step. The next step is gathering and having these conversations. Your podcast, this is the work. Yeah, this is it. Having the dialogues.
Amanda Testa: And the practices to come back to yourself so you can rejuvenate to step out again and find the people doing the good work that you can collaborate with and all of those things.
Kimothy Joy: Yes, yes.
Amanda Testa: Yay!
Kimothy Joy: All of it. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Well, I’m wondering -- those people listening who want to connect with you more, how can they connect with you? What offerings do you have going on that you can connect with people through? Just share a little bit more about how people can connect with you.
Kimothy Joy: Yeah, sure. So, they can connect with me on my website. Most of my info is there, and that’s www.kimothyjoy.com. And then I also share most of my artwork or contemplations, musings, play, all of that, over on Instagram @kimothy.joy. That’s my handle. And then, yeah, current offerings right now, I’m in just Focus Pocus mode, and I’m excited about the journal coming out March 7th, and I’m really excited about facilitating an online journaling community that starts March 20th. So, if you want to grab a journal, and you don't want to do it alone -- I mean, it is a very individual, inward practice, but if you want some accountability buddies and gentle encouragement, and you want a group setting on every moon, we’re gonna be doing moon ritual calls.
It’s not going to be like an intense commitment. That’s the last thing I want to do is add more emails to your inbox or more calls to your schedule. So, my friend Britt (Britt’s co-facilitating it), we’ve been really mindful about how we structure this container. I think it’s just enough to give people a boost to where they feel really supported in the 90-day container, and they can make the most of it, and they can get excited, and when bumps in the road come up, I feel like I’ve been through so many of those, and I have collected/gleaned insights on how to navigate those when you are doing deep reflection every day, so those insights will be shared in a weekly email for the 90 days, just every Monday, like a short little insight to provide a little energy boost of encouragement. And then, yeah, the moon calls are gonna be so potent.
We’ll do meditation and a guided journaling practice together, and you can just drop in for an hour, make that time for yourself. It’s every new moon, every full moon, for three months, and just we’re going all in for our dreams and desires and saying yes to ourselves and coming back home to ourselves, and we’re gonna do it together.
Amanda Testa: I love that! That’s so awesome.
Kimothy Joy: So, sign up for the mailing list if you want info on that! I’m still building that out as we speak. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Yes, will that be on your website when it’s ready?
Kimothy Joy: Yeah. Yes, it will be on the website when I’m ready. When it’s ready, I’ll send out an update. So, just sign up to the mailing list www.kimothyjoy.com, and I’ll send out an email!
Amanda Testa: Yay! Well, I’m so excited for you and all of this beautiful work that you're creating, and thank you for inspiring me. I love the beauty of all of the things that you put out, too. It’s funny. I just realized when I was looking through your website, and I was familiar with the book, but I was like you know what I realized is that years ago, I bought one of these pictures at Perfect Petal for a friend.
Kimothy Joy: Oh, you did?
Amanda Testa: I thought, “Well, wait a minute! That was Kimothy!”
Kimothy Joy: Yeah!
Amanda Testa: I was like, “This is a full-circle moment!” I love it. That’s so cool.
Kimothy Joy: I love those moments. That is so cool. I love Perfect Petal, that shop in Denver. Oh, my gosh. They were so supportive in the beginning. I love them. That’s so great.
Amanda Testa: So good. Well, thank you so much for being here. I will share, for everyone listening, in the show notes where you can connect with Kimothy and get the journal and join in for the 90-day journaling community, and, yes, thank you again and appreciate you.
Kimothy Joy: Thank you so much, Amanda. I appreciate you and all the work you do and who you are and thank you. I feel honored to share. Thanks for letting me go all out --
Amanda Testa: Of course!
Kimothy Joy: -- and share everything today. It felt really good.
Amanda Testa: Yeah. Thank you to all of you listening, and maybe just tuning into what was one gem that you received from this episode and just letting that simmer on your heart. Thank you for tuning in.
Kimothy Joy: Thank you!
Amanda Testa: Maybe sharing with a friend that you think would love it as well. All right, we will see you again soon.
Thank you for listening to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast! If you loved this episode, please go ahead and forward it right now to someone who you know would love it, and if you’ve not yet had a chance to leave us a rave review on Apple Podcasts, please make sure you rate and review if you enjoyed the podcast as well as make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week!
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