Who I am and what I have to say.

page pic

Hello! My name is Emma, and I write about personal growth in the context of healing from childhood trauma, including attachment and complex PTSD.

This page has some background about me personally so you can get to know me better.

Who is Emma?

Here are nine key facts about me to orient yourself:

  1. I live in Oregon, which is on the west coast of the US. I grew up here, on a farm in the woods.
  2. I have studied a lot of different methodologies and frameworks of mental and emotional healing and personal growth, but I don’t have any kind of certification and I don’t work with clients. I’m motivated by a need to heal my childhood trauma, liberate myself from mental suffering, and a desire to be in a perpetual state of expansion.
  3. My approach to spirituality is not about belief, it’s about utility. I use astrology because I’ve found it to be startling accurate. I use crystals because I feel a connection with them. I don’t have any explanation as to how either of these could work given our current scientific understanding of the Universe. But I don’t really need to. This could all be a simulation or a dream. I’m reality-agnostic and I use what works.
  4. I’m a semi-retired web designer and developer. I’ve always worked for myself, as I need a high degree of autonomy in my life. I’ve worked on developing passive income streams as soon as I started working–I really enjoy working but I don’t want to have to work.
  5. I’m constantly interested in new ideas and making connections between ideas, especially ones that don’t seem related to most people. I seek novelty, which can look like “shiny object syndrome”, but it’s a deep need for me to absorb novel stimuli and make sense of them. The result is that I have a broad and eclectic history of minor and major obsessions with different philosophies, systems, frameworks, hobbies, etc.
  6. I’m always looking for the best _____ and I like sharing my recommendations.
  7. In 2014, I married someone who was in prison, and was a prison wife for 7 years. It was an overwhelming, painful, and transformative experience that shattered my understanding of “America” and I’m still making sense of it. He is out now and we are healing and re-orienting.
  8. I have always been sensitive to suffering, especially feelings of alienation and loneliness and disconnection. I am drawn to the shadows of the mind, the heart, and the world.
  9. I am very aware of how different I am from other people, no matter where I am or who I am with. Over the years, it’s something I’ve struggled with learning to embrace as an asset and a gift and not a curse.

Here are nine random facts about me for funsies:

  1. I love stuffed animals and Disney movies. I never fully grew up and don’t plan to.
  2. I have three cats.
  3. I eat waaaay too much sugar and I don’t really care. I’ve tried to care, I’ve tried to stop, I have for various periods, and at the moment, I’m just enjoying my ice cream and cookies and jelly beans and trying to fit some vegetables in there sometimes.
  4. I’m bisexual.
  5. I’ve always been very smart, but I hated school. I love learning, but not in an institutional setting.
  6. One summer I rode my bike 1200 miles, from California to Oregon and back. Do not take this to mean I am sporty–I am not. I just wanted to do it. And I was young enough (20) that my body could handle that in a way it definitely couldn’t today!
  7. In the course of my life I’ve been both vegan and Paleo, which are pretty much polar opposites.
  8. I feel like I live in the Internet more than I live in my town.
  9. I hate talking on the phone. Text, in-person, or video is fine, but something about phone calls I just have an aversion to, romantic partners being the only exception.

Nine things I think deeply about:

  1. How to live in a painful world with a willing heart.
  2. How to heal trauma,  change dysfunctional patterns and create inner freedom.
  3. Pursuing a fully alive, awake, awesome life regardless of your circumstances.
  4. How to fiercely love yourself and become the unique contribution to human consciousness that you were born to be.
  5. Why humans suck at sharing power and resources and what we can do about it.
  6. Why the prison industrial complex is supremely fucked up (and a symptom of #5, because everything is connected).
  7. Musings on the nature of reality. What is really going on here anyway??
  8. How to optimize all the things i.e. find strategies and tools that are uniquely helpful for living an optimal life.
  9. Geopolitics, finance, politics, global risk…the big picture of humans living on this planet.

Anything else?
I’m an ENFP, 7w8 (I think?), and my top 5 strengths are Ideation, Strategy, Activation, Futuristic, and Relator. And if it means anything to you, I’m a Virgo Sun / Aries Moon / Sag rising, with 4 planets in Virgo in the 9th house, Leo North Node in the 8th house.

Who is Emma not?

I’m not a professional helper-person.

I have taken a number of trainings for coaches and therapists, but I did not complete any of them to the point of being certified. In my heart, I just love learning and figuring things out, but I don’t really want to work with people one-on-one, at least not at this point in my life.

I try to keep it real here and share things that worked for me. I’m not a self-help guru, I’m just a person who has been trying to figure out her life for awhile.

Why the name Joy Ninja?

Because you’ve got to cut through a lot of B.S. to be happy. And not just happy, but truly alive – joyous and free. Cultural B.S., family B.S., mental B.S., emotional B.S.. You’ve got to stay sharp.

To me, Joy Ninja basically means “spiritual warrior”, which to some is a contradiction in terms, but I see it as more as being about discipline or mental training to see through illusions, rather than doing battle…I’m a pacifist, and healing or integration is the opposite of fighting. But at the same time, our minds put up a hell of a fight sometimes in trying to convince us that threats are real and to employ defenses, and the discipline is realizing they aren’t and we don’t have to.

Phew! That was a lot. If you want to know anything else, you can contact me, or find me on Twitter or Facebook.