In this encore episode I’m sharing a conversation with Jen Setterfield of Vancouver Island, Canada. Jen has such a gentle nature and kind thoughtful way of understanding the world, as well as some very unique life experiences.

Jen is a woman in the second half of her life who has spent the first half finding out who she is. She came to Canada, from Yellow Springs, Ohio in her blond and blue -eyed birth mother’s womb. Jen’s birth mother was 16 and her birth father was African American during a time when race relations were fraught.

She was born in Ottawa in 1960 and adopted at two months old to an English couple who already had adopted two mixed race boys. Although she spent a lot of her youth wanting to be a boy, she would describe herself as a country girl and athlete.

Her adoptive mother raised beef cattle as a principle means of raising her 5 adoptive children as a single mother.

Jen played many sports through out High School and spent two seasons on the University of Alabama track team (javelin thrower).

Throughout her twenties, she worked many jobs to support her athletic training and wanted to put her years of physical training toward a career, but, although she was in great physical shape, she was considered too short to be the first female Firefighter in Vancouver.

This prompted a return to her family farm south of Ottawa in 1991, where she ended up finding and meeting her birth parents in 1993.

During this time she met her wife and began a 24 year career as a cabinet maker (or millworker). Three years ago the death of her wife, preceded by her adoptive mother’s death the month before created an abrupt change in her life.

With her body inflamed from grief and many years of physical work, she began a healing journey and major life reflection. She’s noticed a move to being more feminine as she ages and feel like her masculine side is more balanced. In this time of non-binary gender identity, she sees herself as both male and female, a balanced human.

Jen has recently discovered the transformative healing power of writing and creative body movement. As a lesson from watching her adoptive mother age, and how solitude is not always healthy, she’s more recently focused on connections.

Her current semi-retirement job as a shuttle driver at a Ford dealership has given her a platform to connect with a wide variety of people, as well as means of developing her intuition while leaving enough energy to creatively write and dance.

Jen’s hope is to share lessons from my life experience and conduct herself in a peaceful and loving way.

Things we chatted about in this episode:

  • the fairytale The Handless Maiden
  • relationship with body
  • relationship with creativity