The search for belonging is, at its core, a search for self. And it’s a journey Jen Dorf is intimately familiar with.
Since childhood, she’s had a gift for seeing the light and potential in every person she meets. “I could talk to anyone from when I was a little girl. I felt this connection with people,” Jen shared. “I found myself being so curious about others, wanting to learn about everyone else’s story, and becoming this helper. I lost myself by focusing outward on everyone else and helping them heal. I saw beauty in everyone other than myself.”
It’s a story Jen knows many can relate to. And it’s her personal experience in overcoming those internal struggles that makes her so dedicated, as a WHEN Being Advisor, to assisting others who may feel lost, different, or alone on their life path.
For Jen, belonging isn’t simply about figuring out where you fit in the world, it means first finding peace inside yourself and recognizing all you need is within you waiting patiently to be expressed. “That’s the premise: returning home to yourself. I say,to your radiant self, because I see beauty and radiance in everyone.”
Jen’s return to her radiant self came with time and through working with a mentor, prioritizing self-care, and embracing mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion practices. By focusing on herself, she was able to own the story of her past, heal a medical condition, and go back to school. Helping others care for themselves and reclaim their inner light has been her passion ever since.
Jen began her personal coaching practice 11 years ago, becoming certified as a holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. From there, her work evolved to where she now focuses on helping clients shift their mindset in order to improve and enhance their well-being in mind, body, and spirit.
So, it felt like a natural fit, and no small coincidence, that a mutual connection introduced Jen to WHEN founder Randy Miller in early 2020. She loved the company’s mission and was impressed with Randy’s leadership and experience in the field as well as his vision to expand and be more than just another coaching company.
Completing professional training and joining the WHEN Advisor team in April of 2020, Jen now gets to combine her knowledge and the WHEN system to guide members in finding greater fulfillment in their lives.
In fact, among the reasons why Jen believes WHEN is a leader in the industry and serves its members so well is because they seek out and bring seasoned coaches like her on board. Each WHEN Advisor is highly skilled in providing guidance and techniques that align so well with the WHEN program.
Plus, she appreciates the amount of care WHEN takes in matching members to the best advisor for their needs. That component is a real differentiator in assisting others in the growing well-being space. “They know our strengths and who we will do best with,” she said. “I see that in every member I’m matched with. That means a lot to me.”
Jen also loves the science behind the WHEN system, and she knows from experience that it works. “A lot of thought has gone into each session, the science behind neuroplasticity, around how to change our brain and habit formation. I’ve done a lot of work in the realm of neuroscience and habit change, and that’s a big piece of the WHEN Being process.”
As a WHEN Advisor, Jen initially had to adjust to working with WHEN members by phone and online. But she quickly learned this methodology of communicating allows for impactful, open, and intimate consultations, where members feel heard and safe being vulnerable. The delivery of the ‘Find Your WHEN’ process results in wonderful outcomes.
“What I discovered was fascinating,” she explained. “I came to realize that when I was on the phone without seeing the member, I could close my eyes, settle in, and be more present than I ever imagined. I’m not typing. I’m not looking at my notes. I am closing my eyes for most of the time and feeling into it. I know nothing other than what the WHEN member questionnaire says. That, to me, is profound because we all have biases without even realizing it.”
This deep level of connection has led to some incredible transformations. Jen lights up sharing the successes she’s seen WHEN members achieve. One member Jen continues to work with has gone from “self-loathing to self-loving” on her journey of worthiness and weight loss. She’s been able to turn her ‘why’ into a ‘when’ in order to reach her goals.
”She has learned to prioritize self-care through this process. She discovered a whole new why behind her desire to shed those pounds, because she wants to lead a more meaningful, active, fulfilling life. She’s already 45 pounds in, and she said the weight won’t go back on. It’s non-negotiable. She’s doing the work, and it’s remarkable.”
Setting positive, powerful intentions is an integral part of the work WHEN Advisors do with WHEN members. Together, they use customized WHEN tools to craft mantras and personal statements that tie into overcoming a member’s challenges and support them in meeting their objectives.
Jen’s also a big fan of the WHEN 6 exercise: a simple, mindful, meditative practice members can use to stay grounded throughout the day. And Jen can personally vouch for the benefits of such a tool given meditation’s role in recovering her radiant self years ago.
“When I had three daughters, I wanted to be the perfect mom and the perfect wife. I was entrenched with endless doing, thinking that would prove I was enough and highly capable. I realized I wanted to model for my girls and be there for them. That’s when I started meditating, because I was overwhelmed all the time. I wanted to be present, show up, and be loving and patient for them. Meditation is what transformed it all.”
Jen knows it’s the process of turning inward that allows you to rediscover who you are, what lights you up, and what you really want in life. And she understands each person she works with is at a different place on that path. She truly appreciates that the WHEN program meets everyone exactly where they are and lets them move at their own pace.
“I love that it’s called the ‘Being’ program,” she said. “I have been saying for a decade we are human beings, not human doings. We need to learn how to be and savor where we are in this moment without judging ourselves, without needing to keep moving and proving ourselves. That we are doing enough.”
And WHEN you reach that level of self-acceptance, you return home to yourself and find out that’s exactly where you belonged all along.
WHEN Contributing Well-Being Writer