Answering the call of your purpose with Janet McGeever
Full transcript of call
Luanne: Okay and we are live. So welcome everybody to Answering the Call of Your Purpose, this is Luanne Mareen and welcome to Janet McGeever. Hello Janet!
Janet: Hi Luanne. Thank you for having me!
Luanne: I’m so honored I know there was a it was a bit tricky getting in here because you’re so busy and you’ve got lots on and everything but I’m really honored and we’ve got lots to chat about today but first, I just want to remind everybody that I created this podcast just to inspire people to get on Purpose, to first we’ve got to find it and then embody it, and embrace it and express it and my guess that I invite, I feel that they’re doing it, they’ve done it, and it always hasn’t been an easy road. So hopefully this will inspire you and I’ve got the beautiful Janet McGeever and she is the co-author I’ve got your book here, “Sex and Menopause” great! I haven’t read all of it yet but it’s one of my definitely go-to’s and Janet just jumped in here, tell us about you. What are you doing?
Janet: Okay great thank you. Basically I’m a psychotherapist and I have been for about 20 years and so I’ve been in the field of therapy for that amount of time before that for a longer period of time as someone receiving therapy so it’s kind of been part of my life for quite some time even since my late 20’s. I specialize in menopause and intimacy and just helping women in midlife and beyond and any woman who’s approaching this time of their life and couples to connect more deeply in their intimate relationships. So it’s not definitely I mean, I’ve worked with couples from their early 20s all the way through to their 70s but at the moment where my work has led, has been in that especially after writing that book “Menopause and Intimacy”.
Luanne: I know the work that you put into that because we’ve kind of been friends for a few years now and I love it and I love your website. So it’s Janet McGeever.com we’ll put all the links down below is “Make love Your Priority”. I’ll be a priority. Helping you connect more deeply within your intimate relationship. So what kind of led you to that work?
Janet: A long and winding road! When I think back on femininity, health and well-being of women it’s all been part of my life for a very long time and even my mother, like she had, sought out a natural childbirth doctor in Brisbane back in the 60s late 50s 60s and she was doing yoga when I was 15. You know I remember that and she took me to Dr. Blackmore for naturopathic stuff in my teens and I remember at 23 she gave me a book, (what was it?) a womanhood or something, a roller and just I remember devouring the information about health and well-being and being a woman and so and then becoming pregnant to my first child and having that baby and having it not go well and to experience what that was like and then to have a home birth when everything did go really well. And I think during those times of navigating a sexual relationship and a long-term relationship and then after childbirth especially in my 30s, I just found that especially that birth, because it was such a natural birth where I felt like I just was kind of just so in tune with myself and it felt like making love to birth my second baby, to tell the truth and it’s like, I just couldn’t go back to fast hard friction style sex after that my body just but I couldn’t understand why and it just kind of became devastating because I felt like I just couldn’t live up to what I thought a woman should be and what I was seeing around and what society was kind of saying that a woman should be, we should always be ever ready. I just wasn’t finding that. So just that devastation of that confusion inside. I mean I can feel it in my solar plexus right now, and when I work with women and couples, I just have so much empathy because I see this disparity right between the male sex drive and then the woman’s changing body and it changes over our lives with everything that that we go through and it’s just not understood enough.
And so to start to discover this work of Diana Richardson’s slow sex and more conscious lovemaking and being more aware and bringing more presence to every moment almost in how you come into the sexual exchange and intimacy, just it changed my whole thinking. I was 41 when I came across so that’s 20 years now her word, when I first heard about it and by the time I was 48, I was over in Switzerland experiencing her beautiful making love retreat with a new partner and that’s when everything really changed. I just got… I think well of hearing her work when I was 41, I felt like I could start to see that there was something different, I didn’t have to be like a man, I didn’t have to make love like a man, I could start to come inwards with that and so that changed me. But actually experiencing the work and experiencing that with a partner was just literally life-changing and it’s changed so much of me and helped me just I guess, come more into me as a woman because I think that this is a devastation for women to find that their bodies are changing and they don’t know what to do about it.
I was speaking to a woman recently who said, “I went through breast cancer and losing my libido and having a dry vagina and my body changing was way worse than going through breast cancer” and I thought, “Wow!”
Luanne: No well I’ve actually, I mean and because I’m pairing menopausal now so it’s like I’m coming into so it’s so good to read the book and but I’ve had and my friends, they are the same and once had a hysterectomy, she just kind of had to and she’s going through the same thing and it’s really devastating. It’s changed her whole sex life with her husband and there’s pressure there and then her internal pressure there as well so yeah. There’s different avenues that we can can go down right rather than just the pills and all that kind of thing like chemicals and all that kind of thing which I think is so important but it is that right of passage all that time and that like, things change, our bodies change, and how we navigate that and when I started on and I loved your story about your mum. I didn’t start on this whole kind of spiritual journey or just didn’t know anything about tantric sex or anything until much later anyway and so we had the babies at hospital that so I didn’t know the options but there’s such good work out there that we can have options now that you did that and so that led you to the work you did today. And even when you’re just speaking to almost like “Oh god this is so yummy” it’s just like and I know for personally, I’ve forgotten a lot of that just recently with people with covid, the coding stuff and the situation we’re in and lifestyle and busyness. We forget so it’s so Important.
Janet: Yeah I think too the thing is that we have so much unconscious sexual conditioning and there’s unconscious male sexual conditioning, there’s unconscious female sexual conditioning, so our sexual conditioning is to please, is to be available, is to make sure that everything’s okay. We keep the peace, we serve, we do that. Male sexual conditioning is, I mean a lot of it is to reproduce and so that really is the driver so and I think the thing is what this work helped me see that it’s less about the personal even though I think when we push our agenda on someone that is very unloving but it is about how much this sexual conditioning is driving us, and this disparity between what is actually loving and what’s healthy. So I think in that way, we can kind of be forgiven and see it as something more universal and more… that’s the male conditioning and that’s the female conditioning rather than something personal.
But I just see how empowering this work is for couples when I mean I literally have women just sitting in my room here just to see you crying when I teach this part and men just going… “oh my god,”
Luanne: No one’s told us that. No one shared that, I didn’t go apart from your mum. You don’t mean like my mum she would never have shared that so and I have the daughter too so it’s like, “gosh! How can we teach them or just guide them?” Everyone’s got their own kind of purpose but well that leads me on to what do you believe your purpose is?
Janet: To love. It’s just about love that is it. I really feel like it’s about love and like on a personal level what are my barriers to love and on a professional level helping people to just unveil their barriers to love.
Luanne: When you really simplify I mean and I don’t need to bring hand analysis into this but school are you School of Love by the way?
Janet: I can’t I think you might have said that
Luanne: Yeah but a lot of people are in the School of Love right? 70% and to me the world is so big there’s so many people here because we need love, the world needs love, the planet we all do whatever school you’re in but it’s just interesting that we forget it is just about love. When you really simplify, but it’s deep work though isn’t it?
Janet: It is very deep and scary and vulnerable and hard but liberating and truthful and embracing and inspiring. I just think that this is for people who are yearning to connect. They are yearning for love. I mean when you think of how we’re brought up as children and how some get little love and I really think that what do you say that I was going to say cauldron you could say cauldron but the embrace of a relationship is the place where we can heal. It’s in relationships that we hurt and it’s in relationships that we can heal.
And if you’re not in a primary relationship then definitely I mean we’ve got relationships all around us but so it may not necessarily be with the person if you haven’t got someone but I just think that’s the opportunity and so love is really at the core of all my work and the thing is, the shadow side of that for me personally is that, I can give too much I can. I cannot have boundaries, I can sort of just drain myself, I can kind of look for the higher love at all times and sometimes not kind of see clearly that this person’s actually not being loving to me in my life or so for a very long time, I stayed in a long-term relationship that was not loving and well loving to a degree but just sort of was damaging really and that again, it’s I really think that, as we move forward to come to peace with those things and I really think, I mean forgiveness is a beautiful thing but really at the core of it, it’s forgiveness of ourselves that we end up in these certain situations.
Luanne: What do you think that we do? Because I’m so relate and I’m sure people who are watching you know this they really relate to. Why do you think we stay in relationships that are not right for us for so long? That’s a big question. I know it’s a big question. It shouldn’t be, is there more learning needed to do or is it just what do you feel?
Janet: I think for women, there is a degree of safety to be in a relationship actually for men too. There is a degree of safety. We want that cradle of safety, we want that cradle of connection and togetherness and even if it’s unhealthy, the discomfort of breaking out of that is sometimes just too big to bear until it gets to the point of absolutely unbearableness.
That’s what happened to me. I pretty much had a breakdown and I had it. I had a death in my family, my cousin died she had cancer I got very ill and then it just kind of went, I just kind of fell apart one day but so I do think that it is safety security for women, it’s well financial security and I don’t ever want to make that a wrong or bad thing because this again is our conditioning and our programming and we have all that time that we’re giving to nurturing children. So that makes me think, what else? And love, I mean I think there’s always a degree of love for the person even if it may be unhealthy to some degree. There is that love, so to sort of hold those things but in the end, you really have to ask what is loving for me? The question: what is loving on that day? What is loving for me? And think where do I want my life to be? Is this it? And the times when I’ve left relationships, it’s been it’s been like a leap into oblivion i have not known and it’s really a leap into yeah the unknown and and it’s kind of like a soul decision really in the end of well what… despite everything but I obviously did leave that one kicking and screaming that that long one where I had my children and everything like that.
Luanne: You were clicking in screaming like not wanting to go?
Janet: You were not wanting to, so you just want to keep the children. You want to keep the family together there’s all of this and I think that’s very valid as well
Luanne: And when those scales to me it feels like when the scales just get too unbalanced, it’s like I’m out. It has to be done for both of you, not just exactly for me or for that. So then you said love is your purpose then and one of my questions is how did you answer the call of your Purpose? So how have you answered the call of Love?
Janet: I don’t think it was anything unconscious where I went, “oh I’m gonna” it was just an unfolding and I mean in a way, I think I’ve only just come to that. I mean even just you asking the question. Well I feel like that is it and when I look back, I mean even when I think of I’m gonna get emotional now. Things in my life like parenting my children and my son where there’s been kind of some difficult times and people can say, I don’t know why you keep giving or why you keep you know? I’m just like, “No. Open more like love more.” It was love that took that, brought me through all of that and the love of my friends and everyone. so um and so to say that there, he’s going great now which is really wonderful but I just think that it’s just, I don’t know if it’s that conscious to tell the truth?
Luanne: Yeah no, I get it but well then another question is why do you think it’s so important to do your Purpose work?
Janet: I think it’s really important because then what’s the meaning of life if you’re not doing something that really is meaningful to you? And to feel I mean, I feel inspired by what I do. I feel inspired not what I do but I feel inspired by the work. I feel inspired by my clients, I feel inspired by Diana Richardson and stuff and how that’s really inspired me and I really think, I heard something years ago by what’s her name? D’Martini? Can’t remember his first name but he said something that really hit me. Said if you know the word “inspire” is to in spirit and yes to be in spirit. and I feel like I am in spirit, in your work is something that is meaningful and he said if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, it’s not your life work and I have to say this when I think about this, when I feel about what I do, it brings it. I become emotional. I think it doesn’t matter what you do whether you are an artist and you inspire through beauty or you inspire through beauty and interiors or photography or people make comedians, make people laugh or inspiration through writing or poetry… these things move people. And I think that’s what we’re here for is to help people come to themselves and to inspire and to me that’s the driving force.
Luanne: Oh I love that! and I think it was John D’Martini right?
Luanne: He’s got it every now and again I’ll pop and watch some things, that’s gold! It’s just such a great remembering. So, knowing your Purpose is one thing like actually knowing what it is but then like what else do you think we need to do like some people say, “well you know your purpose you have to know your values” so they align with your Purpose or you have to do other work. What’s one of your practices or what else could you say that would support your Purpose?
Janet: Well I have been doing journey work for 20 years so that’s kind of deep emotional process work so when something really sticks for me, I get a friend and we do a swap and so I find that really helpful. I have supervisors that I see my supervisor all the time for my work. I’m not adverse to going and getting support and counseling.
Luanne: Yeah me either
Janet: I just think how can you not? You need support. I don’t understand people who don’t go to see anybody. I really don’t because I think we internalize things or we just brush over things and I think that things just come up then and read their head and body work and I love craniosacral. It really opens me into the field beyond myself and beyond my personality. It opens me into that larger field that brings me to stillness. So any of those things I think are really important and I guess the thing that I’ve found really hard and (oh god I feel vulnerable again speaking about it) is to have to put myself out there in business, in this current climate of exposure, and showing myself in… I mean I don’t have a lot on YouTube to do that
Luanne: And the funny thing is, you’ve got a TikTok right? You’ve got a TikTok and you can go in. I love your TikTok and I’m thinking wow and I didn’t even realize you did it until I went oh my gosh but I get that like so many people do have that fear and it’s so important so that we can find you right? That’s what makes me show up
Janet: Exactly! I know you’re amazing oh my god
Luanne: I have my times. I kind of go do it and then I’m like and I think you’re right when it’s that word “inspiration”. When I’m got off a call with the coaching client, I’m like “yeah let’s do this” and then I’m into it again but I can… but it is vulnerable
Janet: And I think the thing is that like for me what I notice is there’s a feeling of going out okay I’ve got to do this, I go out and then I find I’ve got to just come in and just regroup here and to really honor that and to not make that wrong or bad and so that’s been a big stretch and a big growth point for me to the point where sometimes, I mean recently, I’ve kind of wanted to really go back in again but I’ve become a bit immune to seeing myself there or whatever that there’s an immunity, that kind of comes on but in my vulnerable moments, it’s still a challenge. And because my work is so personal and for people to relate to me, I do share quite personally. Well it’s just how I am actually, I guess an open book but it can be quite vulnerable. So that’s the edge too.
Luanne: Well I love that “the edge” but I love how you say we’re out and then we have to come and like is that do you feel that’s the feminine way?
Janet: Well I think that what can happen is that we can get overstimulated. There’s an over stimulation in that environment and when I look back on, when I look at the work that I teach, it’s about too much stimulation, creates too much; too much excitement. There’s too much of this, there’s too much energy going out and so it’s about containment. It’s about bringing it back in again and when I’m more contained, I can fill myself up more. I can regroup, I can become more still and there’s an amplification of the energy that is in here rather than always being expelled outwards. And so that is draining to just be out and so it’s the containment and the same with sexual energy; containment of sexual energy. So that it can start to kind of recirculate through our own bodies and nourish us rather than always expelling outwards.
Luanne: Yes I love that! I love seeing other people when they’re doing posts and sharing things. I’m like, “oh my gosh can I do that?” Can I go that far? And then sometimes it’s draining because it’s too much. It’s like they can stop now but that’s our choice. We can click off or whatever but it’s like I celebrate them for doing that but I’ve got to remember that for me so it’s like keeping that for ourselves.
So, one question. Who is one of your favorite people that you’ve worked with and why? Like your clients that you’ve helped or a story…
Janet: I thought you were meaning like a coach or something?
Luanne: No no no. I actually need to rethink that but no. Somebody that you just got inspired and you’ve probably got many that’s just a great story…
Janet: I do. Couples. They’ve gone for 10 years or a long period of time with not making marvel and then just to have them in my room here, or at the retreats, it’s just over and over. I just see the same kind of thing and that just relief on their faces and the tears that welled up and or recently working with clients one-on-one who’ve just had terrible abuse and things like that and just feeling so humbled. So I can’t think of some specific ones but there really are. I think it’s people who are just really willing to show up, willing to be there, willing to kind of be vulnerable. I guess willing to look at themselves and how they’ve been. So I’m really loving working with couples at the moment. I do this 6-week immersion, one-on-one with them and I’m gonna take it into online because I just feel like it’s a pity to not have this broader to be shared more but of course you don’t get that intimate just in the room here. I am just loving seeing the transformation over that time and it doesn’t take much and that’s what I love. It’s just a shift in awareness and a new perspective.
Luanne: I love it, oh beautiful! So just tell us, I could speak with you for hours and I will be because I’m coming to you very soon! I mean, I’m just already feeling just the beautiful space that it’s going to be and it is a love act for me to come and enjoy that. I’m so used to just carrying on and like you just give giving like, oh hold on, it’s different now I’m in my 51 years like just change that up a little bit. Do something for you. Where can we find you then? So what’s the best places to find you and I know you’ve got a beautiful opt-in for us!
Janet: So the opt-in is why women closed down on my website janetmcgeever.com. There’s also makinglabretreat.com.au which is where the 6-day retreat is but you can get to that through my janetmcgeever.com website. Also Instagram and Facebook. My facebook business page is there as well so there’s a few places.
Luanne: We’ll put all the links below as well for you. So then on ending, I’ve always just like to end up with something a little bit weird. I don’t know if it’s weird. Some people are totally into this but tell us something that nobody knows about you. And I know you’re such an open book anyway, but just anything at all.
Janet: Well, I had a screen printing business for 13 years.
Luanne: Wow! I did not know that!
Janet: Yeah I was an art teacher and then when I had my first boy, I started a screen printing business and that went on screen printing and clothing wholesale business and also a retail business in CBD, in Brisbane called Exotic of a Women’s Boutique that had hands. So art has always been kind of art and creativity and that and it’s funny when I look back, that was from when I was 28 to I think 32. It was all about femininity, it was all about helping women be more feminine. All I could see were these big shoulder pads in the 80s. It’s like, “how cool oh my god”
Luanne: They’re trying to square us up and now it makes sense right? Whenever we’re doing the treats or whenever I see you at events like, you just look beautiful and feminine and just this beautiful feminine power! So oh love it! Is there anything you want to close on today?
Janet: Look I guess make love our priority. We brought that up at the beginning so that’s all I can think of is that’s what we’re here for. I can’t think of anything else.
Luanne: No, that’s beautiful! We went full circle! Yes make love our priority, if we all just had that in our mind today in this act and this whatever we’re doing next. Alright beautiful. Well thank you so much Janet
Janet: You’re so welcome. Thank you
Luanne: And you can grab her book you can find that on your website as well. Until our next call! Alright, bye everyone!
Janet: Thanks Luanne. See you later. Bye
Grab Janet’s “Why Women Close Down” PDF from https://janetmcgeever.com/
You can find out more about Janet at https://makingloveretreat.com.au/