"[My grandmother] split her meager retirement check with me to help me become a writer. She was my angel, the person I could always depend on... Because of her, I know that if you are lucky enough to have one person believe in you, you have made it."
-from Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman
Hello! My name is J. Nova Gump, and I'm looking for not just one person but a community of people to belive in me...
I’m a somatic coach, licensed massage therapist, and the owner of Terra Nova Somatic Arts. I am also a disabled, neurodivergent, multi-passionate artist and single parent of two beautiful children, ages 3.5 and 10.
About this Fundraiser:
I need your help to stay in business and keep helping the people who benefit from my unique somatic coaching services. I aim to raise at least $10,000, which will provide me with the financial resources I need to stay in the game.
Over the past year, I have worked hard to bring Terra Nova Somatic Arts to life. However, this year has thrown one curveball after another, causing me to diminish my resources more quickly and make less progress than I’d hoped. To make matters worse, I have struggled for years to thrive due to disabilities and trauma. Being a single mom doesn’t help, either!
Your contribution, no matter how small, will significantly impact my life, but even more so, you will help me spread that impact to the countless others I can serve through my business.
Please read on to learn about me, my story, and how you can help…
Where Will the $10,000 Go?
As I receive funds, they will be used to help with the following:
- Business expenses like marketing, operations, and equipment costs
- Reducing business and medical debt
- Hiring an ADHD-certified personal organizer to help me get more organized
- Covering monthly costs for housing, clothes, transportation, etc.
About Terra Nova Somatic Arts:
Terra Nova Somatic Arts was conceived just over a year ago after I was laid off from a full-time job that I thought would finally be the ticket to stability for me and my kids. I was given only a half day's notice of my termination, which shocked me at first, but then, I felt a massive weight lift off my shoulders. I was now free to follow my dreams of becoming a change-making coach and teacher! Luckily, I had some savings and resources that made me confident in my decision to take that leap.
I started a somatic coaching and education business because mind-body therapies have been hugely beneficial in my own healing process and the current need for people to heal from trauma and stress has only increased due to collective events like the global pandemic, climate crisis, and challenging political environments. So, I decided to turn my experience, expertise, and training in mind-body healing modalities into a way for hurting people to feel better.
In my business, I offer somatic education and coaching to stressed, traumatized, and burnt-out people who want to become more resilient and experience increased well-being in the face of life’s challenges. I teach information, tools, and practices that help my clients consciously release blocked trauma and stress while growing their ability to experience presence, joy, relaxation, and many other beneficial states.
My mission in both business and life is to make the world more wonderful. Why wonderful? Because "wonderful" is more fun and inspiring than “better.” Being full of wonder allows us to be curious, creative, and open to possibilities. We can then form insightful solutions to our problems and enjoy life more fully. I weave wonder every time I teach my clients somatic practices that grow their capacity for connection, empathy, forgiveness, and an increased presence. Every client who experiences these transformations has the potential to pass it on to the broader world and that is truly wonderful!
Testimonials from my clients:
"Nova's holistic approach is thoughtful, approachable, and powerful! After each session I felt enlightened with a new outlook on my struggles, and came away with brilliant, yet simple coping mechanisms to help me on my journey. I feel like I grew exponentially as a person and I cherish the nourishing insight I gained, it will forever live in my tookkit. I highly recommend working with Nova! My six weeks with her were honestly more transformative than a year of therapy." -Amy
"My work with Nova was invaluable. She helped me work through issues with her tools and techniques in a way I did not know was possible. She guided me using somatic techniques to map where in my body I was holding onto negative patterns and habits, so I could effortlessly let them go and recreate healthier coping mechanisms. It literally felt like magic; I'm still flabbergasted. I now feel a renewed connection with my body and emotions. I highly recommend working with Nova to help you move forward in an area of your life you're finding difficulties with." - Dea
The Sob Story (I kid, I kid… but it does kinda read like a sad country song):
Over the past 25 years, I have struggled to succeed under many circumstances beyond my control. In my 20s, I failed to create stability due to undiagnosed, untreated ADHD and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS (a connective tissue disorder that causes chronic fatigue, pain, gastrointestinal issues and more). Then in my 30s, I developed PTSD from experiencing over twenty different traumatic events, most occurring within the first 2.5 years of that decade. This left me disassociated and in a constant hyper-vigilant state of fight, flight, and freeze.
Before I fully understood how my diagnoses were impacting me, I constantly tried to “turn my life around” and "fix" myself. I felt ashamed of my inability to stay in one place, keep jobs, make money, build healthy relationships, avoid pain, and have sufficient energy for every day tasks. Because my conditions are invisible and were unknown by me and others, I was accused of being lazy, irresponsible, and a hypochondriac.
I frantically tried everything to be a better, more successful person. I went back to school, looked for better jobs, and took advantage of every resource that could help. I read self-help books, exercised as best I could (EDS makes it hard), and ate healthfully. I provided loving support to families as a nanny and trained as a massage therapist, doula, and coach with the hopes of building a satisfying career in service of others.
It wasn't until about eight years ago that I started understanding how being disabled and traumatized had impacted every aspect of my life. As I journeyed toward conscious healing, I uncovered my EDS, ADHD, and PTSD diagnoses, realizing there was nothing to be ashamed of. I wasn't broken and didn't need to fix myself. Instead, I needed to access support, resources, and accommodations to overcome the obstacles inherent in being a disabled and neurodivergent person.
I have since invested extraordinary time, energy, and money to heal and bring more functionality into my life. I can say with confidence that I have mostly healed from PTSD and am learning daily how to live better with ADHD and EDS. My healing journey, while not complete, has delivered me to a place where I am more grounded, focused, and centered than ever and for that I am grateful. Still, I’ve struggled to gain a foothold as I continue to experience chronic fatigue, pain, and ADHD levels of disorganization.
And to complicate things… (who want a simple life anyways?)
I became the mother of two wonderful children - one in my early 30s, the other in my late 30s. While my children were very much wanted, they were both unplanned. Both relationships in which they were conceived were massively unhealthy. In each case my partners and I crumbled beneath the weight of our shared traumas, which had been the primary source of our bonding, and our relationships ended much to my chagrin.
The fact that I ended up a single-mom two times over has been a source of great shame for me. I was never supposed to become “one of those people” - an idiotic moral failure. But now I am one of those people. For a long time, it was easy to beat myself up for ending up in these shoes. However, after learning that trauma effects one’s ability to make beneficial choices, I came to understand that I wasn’t in complete conscious control of my decisions in the height of my PTSD, even if I was fully responsible for the consequences. This new awareness has allowed me to find self-forgiveness for choosing to have children within unhealthy relationships. Now, I can take pride in being a single-mom.
If only pride could pay the rent…
Even though am proud to be my kid’s mom, I am shrinking beneath the weight of caring for them on my own. While both of my children’s fathers love them very much, neither of them have had the means or capacity to offer us much support. I do have some help from my parents, with whom my kids and I currently live, however, they are rapidly aging and can not afford to help us with housing for much longer.
We need to move out by next year so that my folks can sell their house and downsize to accommodate for their final years. For this reason, it is imperative that I create a stable, sustainable source of income that will allow me and my kids to move and afford all costs of living on our own within the next 7 months.
Unfortunately, I am still experiencing the aftershock of a life that has been very chaotic and ungrounded. My best efforts have not yet produced the financial stability that my family and I need. Being disabled makes day-to-day activities, work, and caring for my children more challenging than if I wasn't disabled. Despite this, I have been persistently and diligently doing everything in my power to lift us out of chronic poverty and into a sustainable way of life.
I started Terra Nova Somatic Arts with the hopes that I could create that sustainability. Working for myself allows me to develop manageable schedules around my parenting, energy levels, and ability to focus. It also affords me the highest possible potential to make a beneficial and transformative impact in the world.
I have been earnestly building my business this past year, and I am finally starting to see the fruits of my labor (celebrate!), but it’s not nearly enough. I have worked hard but cannot cover all my costs with my business's small revenue. During the past year, I have been thwarted at every turn by pandemic-related challenges, my disabilities, and terrible illnesses hitting my kids and me every 6-8 weeks the entire time. The illnesses have been the most destabilizing because they have caused me to lose so much time to work.
In which I come to accept that I cannot do this alone… (this is where you come in)
This fundraiser as part of the last-ditch effort to keep growing my business into the excellent support system for me, my kids, and my clients that I know it can become. I have taken part-time work in addition to working on my business to help cover my current expenses, but I won’t get my first pay check until the end of December and because I work for a school district, there is only half a month of work in December. If I don’t start making more money from my business soon, I will have to shut my doors and put my passion for teaching others the transformative powers of somatic healing on hold.
I fervently believe that Terra Nova Somatic Arts will become the world-changing, sustainable business I envision but I need more time to make that happen. Your generous donation will afford me that time.
But wait, there’s more!… (i.e. I have some BIG dreams and ideas)
When it comes down to it, $10,000 is only a drop in the bucket on my way to great success. In the long run, I will need far more money, connections, and resources to bring my entrepreneurial and culture-changing ideas to life. Getting funding for this fledgling version of Terra Nova Somatic Arts is just the beginning.
In the future, the experience, revenue, and resources I gain from my current business will help me to build an even more impactful business - a cooperative that aims to address the many social inequities and challenges experienced by low-income, single parents like myself. The goal is to stabilize families and communities by providing meaningful living wage jobs, job training, entrepreneurial incubation, coaching, and on-site childcare within a trauma-informed framework of creative and innovative social change. I also have an app idea that is currently in the research phase. The app aims to help people and families connect to build in-person support communities, thereby reducing loneliness, isolation, and overwhelm in vulnerable populations.
I can make these things happen given the right resources at the right time. Your contribution today will bring me closer to making my socially impactful ideas a reality in the future.
In conclusion… (thank you so much if you stayed with me this far, you are amazing!)
As I said above, I am a low-income, disabled, single parent. My internal and external resources have been hugely limited by life experiences and circumstances primarily outside my control. I have fought hard to get where I am today, and I am proud. But my fight is far from over. I have struggled for so long, and now it’s time for me to create absolute stability and prosperity for myself and my children, but I cannot do that without community support.
Please consider supporting me and my small business today. I promise that with your help, as I rise above my limitations, I will pay it forward far into the future. My heart is full of gratitude for any support you can offer. Thank you so much, and have a great day!
If you want to learn more about me and my business, you can do the following...
Visit my website - www.terranovasomatics.com
Book a FREE 30-Minute Somatic Coaching Session - https://calendly.com/terranovasomatics/free-30min-somatic-exploration-call
Join my email newsletter - http://www.terranovasomatics.com/subscribe/
Join my free Facebook group, Somatic Practices with Nova, where I lead weekly somatic practice sessions every Tuesday at 2 pm Pacific Time. www.facebook.com/groups/somaticpractices
Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn - @terranovasomatics