Live Inspired: with Jane Popova

Jane Popova
@foodieforcrohnies


Tell us about yourself and what you're passionate about.

Gosh! Where to even begin. Hi there! You may know me as @foodieforcrohnies or just a girl you've never met. But just like you, I'm finding my footing in this world and big city that runs a mile a minute. I’m Jane but friends call me Janie, so you can too! I'm a social media wizard, creator, designer, baker, writer, media planning assistant with PRH and a wellness blogger living with IBD. My hope is to inspire others to lead a fulfilling life that they truly love while honing in on gratitude, simplicity, mindset shifts, self-love and self-care, as I believe those are the key components of living out our most authentic, magical lives. 

I believe in not settling for a lesser story than you were created for, that in order to live the fullness of our lives we need to express the fullness of our gifts. If we were born to create, then we should courageously create. I'm passionate about empowering others to evoke the fire that burns inside of them, to use it to fuel their own passions in life and find a deeper meaning to who they are as an individual in this world. Encouraging others to enjoy the journey that they are currently on because it serves a purpose in following their own dreams. 

This recently led me to follow one of my lifelong dreams - creating clothing designs with a meaningful purpose that will inspire others. I wanted to create something people to wear proudly with no shame. This apparel line, shopfoodieforcrohnies.com was created with the intention of wearing invisible illnesses on our sleeves, visibly and proudly. Because we all are warriors, day in and day out. Each day we fight battles in our minds and bodies. So why not wear something as beautiful as you are, to the rest of the world. It took me years to accept my diagnosis. And it took me even more years to realize that the only way we can move forward, change, grow and heal - through anything, is first through acceptance. Accepting what has happened and not allowing it to consume you entirely. Instead, finding purpose behind it. Through love, radiance and positivity, overcoming our toughest battles stands behind each design. With each purchase, 10% of the proceeds are donated to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.

​By now you know my name. You know my creative side. But what sparked my passions and changed my life, was getting diagnosed with and battling Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease ever since I was 17. Simply put, there are no good or bad days, just better days. It's a constant uphill battle and you feel like you're on a constant roller-coaster, emotionally AND physically. Each day is a surprise and a fight at war with my body and mind. This illness has been both a blessing and a curse. It has introduced me to such an incredibly caring and supportive community, that accepts all of me... my experiences, battles, scars, triumphs, defeats, good moments and awful moments. It has also shaped me into the woman I am today. Today, I am strong, beautiful, smarter, wiser, and more compassionate. I am learning more and more about diet, health, my illness, my body, and my mind. The growth is never ending and I'm constantly evolving. That constant evolving growth has empowered me to continue shedding layers of myself to reveal my utmost vulnerability with others at all times. 

I’d like to end this with a few of my favorites: sunsets, indie/alternative music, dancing to my vinyl’s, fall (well september-december), books, poetry, exploring new towns and coffee shops, chai lattes, little knick knacks and nice stationary, oversized merch and loungewear, baking and cooking, fashion, interior decorating, tacos, donuts and toasts. I would love nothing more than to connect with you, you can reach me over at @foodieforcrohnies or @designedby.janie!


What's your mantra? 

“Everything Happens for a Reason” … this is by far my favorite mantra, that I even got it tattooed on me in latin ‘omnia causa fiunt’. Everything happens for a reason. What has happened, happened for a reason. And everything that is happening, is all happening for a reason. Throughout life there have been many moments where I thought to myself, “this is the end,” “I don’t know where to go from here,” “Why me?” 

Yet, everything I have been through, had to happen to progress me forward. It had to happen the exact way that it did in order to shape me into who I am, today. It taught me the most valuable lessons. It showed me how I could persevere through all of the negativity and challenges. 

We may never know the reason as to why something is happening to us or our loved ones. Sometimes it’s unexplainable. Or sometimes it will take us years, months or maybe just a few moments to realize what that exact reason was. 

But, whatever the reason is - we shouldn’t focus entirely on that one reason. We have to let go of the obsession of finding that reason, to go with the flow, let things be the way they are. Not everything is within our control and that is completely alright.

Life has a funny way of clearing things up for ourselves because, omnia causa fiunt.

 

Favorite book (current or all time)? 

Why did you have to do me like this!? This is a tough question since I absolutely LOVE to read! If I had to choose a favorite, I would have to choose the one book that I always turn back to. That would be 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently by Angel and Marc Chernoff. This book resonated with me in almost every aspect of my life. It is filled with daily affirmations, reminders, inspiration, thoughts, ideas and tricks that are all amazing, useful tools to lead a more fulfilling, positive everyday life. It became a morning routine of mine to reread and mark up certain sections to keep me focused, motivated and inspired with my own personal goals.

 

How do you live inspired? 

You are able to change - yourself, your wants, needs, goals, job, relationships and life. It is all entirely up to you and within you. 

About a year ago, I was at my lowest point emotionally. A mixture of health issues, on the brink of walking out on my job, relationship problems and well, self-hatred. I would project my pain and hurt onto others… in the worst way possible. I would get easily irritated and angry, at almost anything. I held a toxic relationship with my own self. I valued possessions and places over the simple moments and things in life. I felt hopeless, lost, frustrated, unworthy and angry. 

Almost every single day.

Grief changes you. Chronic illness changes you. Anxiety changes you. Heartbreak changes you. Loss changes you. Heck, a global pandemic and election year changes you. 

But, the most beautiful transformations happen once we take our power back. Once we realize that what we always wanted from others, was right there inside of us. Waiting for us to discover it all along. I admire my growth each and every single day now. Even on my worst days. Because if it weren’t for me, I would have remained the exact same. I decided that enough was enough. As painful as the work was, it was completely worth it… because through that work I started to peel off all the dead layers away to uncover my truest self. The person I dreamed of being.

Living inspired is deciding each day that you are in control of your thoughts and your own life. You have the choice each day to make it the way you want it to be, all while giving yourself grace through the fluctuating emotions and feelings you go through with each passing day. By diving into self-help, personal development, memoirs and biography books to inspire you to create a change within yourself and around you. Listening to inspiring and powerful podcasts. Taking time to slow down and become one with your breath, during meditation, yoga, or daily mindfulness. Nourishing your body with wholesome foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and still having fun! What we choose to consume is important, all the way from the food that we eat, the products we put on our skin, the words we speak to ourselves and others, the movies and shows we choose to watch, the music we tune into, the people we choose to follow on social media, the thoughts we choose to keep or toss away, it all matters. 

The greatest part of this growth journey has been shedding those angry parts of me. The short-fused parts of me. The ugly, the shame, the guilt. And that others are able to notice those changes in me. But most importantly, the peace I feel within myself.

This is only the beginning and this year has been one of the most difficult ones to date - but it also was filled with many lessons, soul searching and remarkable growth. Do that extremely hard, deep inner-work and celebrate each step in your journey. All of the good and all of the bad. It’s all worth it. You are worth it.

 

What is one tip or advice you would give our community to help them live an inspired life? 

No matter what, always be true to you. Never change to fit a certain mold or to please anyone else but yourself. Once you stop trying to fit every single mold you think you should be or try to live up to every single expectation society or you’ve placed on yourself, you then discover your truest self. The more in-tuned you get with yourself, the more your vibrations will change, attracting exactly what is meant for you and you, only.

It’s okay to not want the things you’re supposed to want. It’s okay to have a completely different idea of fun than everyone around you. It’s okay to want to have a different lifestyle, a different identity and different hobbies than everyone around you. It’s okay to have different values, different outlooks and a different way of being. It’s more than okay to be considered different.

Never follow the crowd. Keep standing out. What is meant for you will always be for you. Just continue to be your most authentic and genuine self. Do the things that bring you joy. Chase after your own happiness and dreams. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Consume only the things that will continue to propel you forward into a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.

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