Relationship coach offers deeper appreciation for heart

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, February 8, 2006


Jenica Ashlie reflects on love, family and the feminine heart over a cup of dark roast coffee. Photo by Warren Harbeck

She was at the counter placing her order when I entered Cochrane Coffee Traders. She glanced up, made eye contact with me, and it was mug at first sight. Sip by sip, word by word, she was about to make my day – Valentine's Day, that is, with a deeper appreciation for heart and family.

Coffee companion Leo Peters, Alberta Mentor Foundation for Youth volunteer in Cochrane, had arranged the meeting because he thought this woman might have something important to contribute to this week's column.

He was right.

Jenica Ashlie is all about love; her motto: "Conscious relationships 'Start with Heart.'"

She is passionate about rediscovering true intimacy, and her target audience at the moment is women with families.

The Calgary author and speaker with over 25 years experience as a relationship coach wasted no time getting to the point. "Sex has been pushed so much in our face that we've forgotten about the subtleties of connection," she said.

For Jenica, this connection "starts with yourself and your Creator." It's about "the soul's desire," she said.

That desire is not just about "a deep, heart-felt connection" with one's partner. It's a lifestyle that embraces the entire home.

"If we don't have peace in the home," she asked, "how are we going to have peace in the world?"

Heart for one's children is essential for having peace in the home.

Many are caught up in the "hurried-woman syndrome," she said, what with careers and social life to tend to. But if mother's not there in the home, how can she hope to feed the children's spirit? In an age when it's so easy to opt for fast-food restaurants, there is a real danger that the children are "getting soul-less food without any real sense of their mother's love," she warned.

"You're better off making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the kids than spending money for take-out or time for fancy meals."

Jenica's message is unambiguous: "It's the intention behind what you're doing for your loved ones that matters." Failure here results in higher stress and increased vulnerability to poor health and damaged relationships.

She drew a lesson from our coffee mugs. "If the cup is full, there's no room to put more in," she said. So it is with life: "Until you open your heart, nothing is going to come in – there's no room to let anything come in."

It's all about opening the heart. "Giving love is easy for women," she said, "but receiving love is much harder. But unless we can receive love, we'll have nothing to give."

The intimacy of connection – with one's children as well as with one's partner – is about surrender, she said, "surrendering to something larger than yourself, not as giving up, but letting in."

Jenica has detailed her views in a new book, Your Feminine Heart: A New Era of Love, to be released Feb. 12.

About the book Jenica said: "Nothing is more powerful than feminine energy – nothing! This is the power that can help to heal a sick child, nurture a distressed friend, or make a strong man weep from his heart being opened. This is the one great gift that the world has been neglecting – and what we need to save the world."

She will also be speaking the evening of Feb. 16 at Calgary's Glenbow Museum from a more romantic perspective: "Looking for Love in All the Right Places."

For Jenica, the "right places" are not pubs and parties, but the depths of one's heart.

© 2006 Warren Harbeck

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