Jessica is a Registered Nurse, board certified Nurse Coach, & Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in holistic women’s health. Her passion for holistic healing began with her own health scare & the lack of support provided from Western medicine.
Today she helps women reveal the root cause to their reproductive disease & offers healing solutions beyond hormonal birth control. She combines her holistic nursing background with functional medicine & blends science with spirituality to create a unique & individualized path to healing.
“Our creativity sits in our womb. It’s also like our second brain. When we develop a connection to ourselves and can trust our intuition, our womb intuition, as well, we become powerful beings, and a force to be reckoned with.” ~Jessica Gonyo
Links mentioned in Episode 19
Nicole Vienneau 00:00
Welcome, everyone, to Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! My name is Nicole Vienneau. I’m your host and I’m also a Board-Certified Integrative Nurse Coach. And this podcast is all about talking to Integrative Nurse Coaches who are in ACTION! And today we get to speak with Jessica Gonyo. Jessica is a Registered Nurse, Board Certified Nurse Coach, and Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in holistic women’s health.
Her passion for holistic healing began with her own health scare and the lack of support provided from Western medicine. Today, she helps women reveal the root cause to their reproductive disease and offers healing solutions beyond hormonal birth control. She combines her holistic Nursing background with functional medicine and blends science with spirituality to create a unique and individualized path to healing.
Jessica believes that when we heal ourselves, we heal the future generations of women. She’s going to empower you to reclaim your health and wellness through developing a womb connection, deepening your spiritual relationship, nutritional guidance and healing ancestral trauma. Welcome, Jessica. We’re so excited you’re here with us.
Jessica Gonyo 01:27
Thank you for having me today, Nicole. I’m so excited to share my story about what I’m doing today with women and a little bit about the journey that brought me here today, and what brought me into the world of Nurse Coaching. And yeah, I’m looking forward to sharing my story.
Nicole Vienneau 01:48
Awesome! And we are excited to hear your story because I’m sure there are many women out there who will be able to connect to your story and to the services that you’re providing for women. So, we’ve got to take a step back, we’ve got to look at your history a little bit and just let us know what inspired you to become a Nurse.
Jessica Gonyo 02:08
There are a few pieces that inspired me to be a Nurse. I’ve always been passionate about health, nutrition, fitness, just wellness in general, and I knew that I implemented these practices in my daily life, and I wanted to share that with others. I wanted to educate the public at the time, how they, too, can heal themselves through certain lifestyle changes through nutrition.
And the big inspiration for me was witnessing my grandmother go through so many health challenges. Like an old mindset of all these fad diets. And a lot of what I know today was just really bad information for diabetics. And just was always on different diets, and her health was never really addressed holistically, and taking a big look at the picture of like what’s going on beyond just, you know, the foods that you’re consuming.
So, I just saw from a young age saw my grandmother and other women in my family struggle with their health. I just knew there had to be a better way. You know, as I learned that there was a better way, I wanted to be that example for others. And unfortunately, my grandma passed a couple years after I became a Nurse, so I didn’t get to have as big of an impact in her healing as I would have hoped.
But I did at least get to like give her some of my herbal natural remedies to her when she would be in the hospital. She got pretty sick her last two years of life, which was right when I became a Nurse. And, you know, my family was always very grateful for me offering these things and my grandma was just, you know, the biggest inspiration for me and wanting to do things different and better for others.
My other big inspiration for Nursing and healing has been my own personal health journey. For years, I struggled with different digestive ailments. I had horrible skin issues. I had really, really bad menstrual cycles in my 20s. And the door to holistic healing really opened for me when I was 21 years old.
Went and had an EGD, was told I had esophagitis gastritis duodenitis at 21 years old, and was told by this physician, “Oh, here’s some Prilosec, there’s nothing else, you know, there’s nothing else we can do. This isn’t related to your diet.” Because I had asked, “Do you think this could be from something I’m eating?” And, “Oh, no, no, no, just take this.”
And I knew in my gut at that time that something, some food, was affecting me. That experience, right there, was just one of many that opened the door to, you know, there’s a lot of natural remedies, herbal remedies, food, in fact, did play a huge role in why I had complete inflammation of my upper digestive system at 21 years old and probably had it going on for years because I had struggled for, you know, from the time I was a child.
Finally realizing that, not only is it nutrition, but I had been dealing just with some stress and anxiety, and finally having an “aha” moment that these digestive issues were related to my mental and emotional health. And that, right there, was probably the biggest “aha” for me, and really started me on a path of my own self-healing journey to really uncover what is beneath the surface of these physical symptoms that I’m experiencing.
So today, what I talk about with my clients is, you know, we talk about what else was going on when these symptoms started? How was your stress level? What are you doing to take care of yourself? So, just going through these in my own health journey has really helped deepen my self-awareness of why we experience different physical symptoms, different diseases, and helping people heal at a much deeper level than any simple medication could ever provide.
Nicole Vienneau 06:46
What a history you have, what a story that’s leading you to the work you’re doing today. You know, watching your grandmother go through her illness, and never really being helped for all of those years that she was alive and experiencing all of that. And then going through your own health journey as well, and being faced with, “Hey, there’s nothing you can do, just take this pill.”
But you recognizing, holy moly, there’s something more and having that connection to, yes, food does have an impact. Yes, my stress levels really do affect my health. And then taking steps to say, “Okay, this is how I can begin to heal myself.” And then moving forward, two steps further, is like, “Wow, now I can use this story to help other people.”
Because I’m sure there are many, many people who are listening that can relate to your story and to the journey of trying to find answers, because they’re not feeling their best. So, I think we need to know how you found Nurse Coaching, and then I know our listeners want to know what you’re doing with Nurse Coaching. I know our listeners are really excited to understand more.
Jessica Gonyo 08:05
How I found Nurse Coaching… I was working midnight shift my first job, of course, like so many Nurses. And living alone, I would be often awake in the middle of the night on my nights off, and I knew from the very beginning of starting my first Nursing job on a telemetry unit, that was not how I saw myself forever. I knew that there was more that I wanted to do.
I could immediately feel that, you know, I couldn’t provide the education and support that I truly desired. And because I just didn’t have the time to talk about the things people needed to hear and couldn’t provide the ongoing support that these patients need after discharge. So, on my nights off, I would often find myself searching the internet.
I found the Holistic Nurses Association, I would look up different jobs, and just kind of started being curious and seeing what was out there. You know, this was, gosh, over 10 years ago, and then, I say, a few years went on, I dabbled in health coaching through this MLM type company, and it just wasn’t in alignment with really my big vision.
And then I finally… I must have been searching and searching and searching again, thinking like there’s gotta be something in Nursing for health coaching, and finally stumbled upon INCA, the Integrative Nurse Coaches Academy, and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” I started reading everything and was like, “This is exactly what I’m looking for. Where has this been all these years?”
You know, I’m sure… I know that it was there years prior, and it was finally just my time to see it. I had reached a point, I was about six or seven years into my Nursing career, had been working ER for quite a few years, had done a travel assignment, and at the end of this travel assignment, I just knew I didn’t want to do that anymore. I needed to do what my heart always knew it wanted to do, and I found Nurse Coaching.
I showed my mom, I’m like, “Mom, look at this, this is like exactly what I’ve been talking about.” And thankful to my mother, she helped me enroll in the course, and supported me emotionally and a little financially. So, I am very grateful for that. I did the course at a time where we could meet in person, so I had the opportunity to go to Washington, to Harmony Hill. I just… I knew that that was gonna be a big change for me, but I didn’t know how impactful.
I think there were 10 of us, and it was just, I know I’m sure I cried when I was there, but it was just a big “aha”, a big weight off the shoulders to finally be in a circle of other Nurses who felt the same way that I did. So, I finally felt like I wasn’t alone in feeling so out of alignment with what I was doing as a Nurse.
Meeting these other Nurses who were like-minded, had also felt this, you know, deep sense of either burnout or just, they knew they weren’t doing what they thought they were gonna be doing as Nurses. So, to finally just not feel so alone in the way that I felt for so many years, which was, I wasn’t enjoying my job anymore, I was very burned out, stressed out. I think it was probably affecting me in like personal aspects of life, as well. My own health suffered.
Yeah, I found Nurse Coaching at a time when I was at a very low in my career. When I found the Nurse Coaching course and met a group of like-minded women, my passion for why I became a Nurse was completely renewed. I found joy and excitement in it again, I could see the future of myself as a Nurse, where prior to this, truly, I almost wanted nothing to do with it.
I was almost ashamed to be a Nurse because I was not providing the healing that people truly need. I wasn’t able to provide the support that I really feel people need. And through the Nurse Coaching program, I was inspired again, it was like this fire lit up inside of me, I came back from my, I think it was five days at Harmony Hill, just so excited to share about what I’m doing with the world. I really haven’t lost that excitement; it’s only gotten deeper.
Nicole Vienneau 13:11
This is how passionate and how much love and purpose you may feel because of the journey that you’ve gone through. And I believe that this experience and this emotion that you’re sharing with us is just that connection to the deep work that you’re doing.
Jessica Gonyo 13:32
Yeah, it truly has been life changing, not only professionally, but personally, as well. I had already been on a bit of a healing journey and implementing more self-care practices in my life prior to the program. Going through it just helped me kind of learn, even deeper, why it’s so important, not only as a person, as a caretaker, as a mother, as a woman, but you know, prioritizing our own health and self-care first is… there’s just nothing more important to that.
You cannot, as any of those individuals I’ve just listed, and mother is what’s most relevant to me today, you cannot care for others in the way that they deserve if you don’t prioritize your own health and self-care first. And that’s one of the big things, you know, the Nurse Coaching program teaches. It’s helped me continue to find ways to prioritize my health so I can be the example, so I can care for my family and my small children and be a care provider for others, as well.
Nicole Vienneau 14:50
Thank you so much for just opening up to the vulnerability and being honest and sharing your heart with us.
Jessica Gonyo 14:59
Yeah, it’s really like having your heart just ripped wide open. One of the other memorable things I learned in the program was, you know, you can only go as deep with others as deep as you’ve gone with yourself. You know, who I was as a Nurse Coach back in 2017 when I did the program, I would have finished, I think, in 2018, is very different from who I am today.
In that time frame, I have become a mother of two small children, I have even done another wild thing and become an off grid homesteader with my husband. It’s just a lot of change in a short time and the Nurse Coaching journey has just really helped me deepen my connection to myself, and, you know, really figure out what it is I want in life and what I see doing with my own career as Nursing, and just the future of Nursing and healing as a whole.
We’re in such odd times now, and there’s a lot of healing that can happen in different ways. And, you know, I think people are seeking support in more natural minded ways and wanting to do things more holistically.
So, I just feel now is such a great time to explore the field of Nurse Coaching, because there’s so much we can do to prevent disease and to prevent people from even stepping foot in the emergency department. The people who are going to make an impact with keeping these patients from getting to that door are Nurse Coaches.
Nicole Vienneau 16:44
I know that there are so many people who are going to relate to exactly what you’re talking about. And here’s you making, you know, making a move in your life, you took the chance, I mean, you stepped forward and you knew that what you were doing is just not enough for you.
So, through your journey into Nurse Coaching, through your life journey, as well, paired with Nurse Coaching now, what is it that you do to stay connected to yourself and what you want in your life?
Jessica Gonyo 17:16
That is an ever-evolving journey. When I began my journey to Nurse Coaching, I was a single woman, my self-care practices looked very different than what they do today as a married woman of a two-year-old and a nine-month-old. So today, I always try to make sure I have like a morning routine tonic that I make almost every morning. The big connection to myself that I’m practicing right now has been through tending to my garden.
I have loved working with herbs for years. I found herbs when I was experiencing my GI symptoms. And it wasn’t until recently that I was able to do a little more than just purchase a tincture or a tea at a store, and I’ve been able to, you know, tend to these things, some of them from seed, and water them and watch them grow. And it’s really been just really nurturing for me to, you know, put energy into something.
And it’s also been a really nice, creative outlet as a mother because it is incredibly challenging to make time for yourself as a mother. But there are ways to create the time. As a Nurse, if you’re not taking the time to tend to your own needs, you’re not going to be as open and as calm and able to provide care as if you were not tending to yourself and probably might be a little anxious and angry and not able to hold space for your patients in the way that they deserve.
So, really just spending time nurturing my land has helped me stay connected to my own body because watering Mother Earth is essentially like watering the mama energy in me. Yeah, just spending a lot of time in nature has been very healing for me because, once upon a time, I could do yoga at leisure or drop into a meditation whenever I pleased or curl up with a book or a journal, but that just isn’t reality with two small children.
So, whatever your life looks like there are always going to be different ways to stay connected to yourself, and it doesn’t always have to be this big, grand thing, it can be just a simple, let me take a moment and breathe or step away by myself. So yeah, those are just a couple of the things that I’m doing to stay grounded and connected.
The other big thing I will share is community, staying connected with other like-minded individuals who are doing similar things, so that I can just continue to hold my big vision and be supported in a like-minded community.
Nicole Vienneau 20:37
Wonderful. Thank you for those tips and tools. And yeah, being a mom of two small children is different than being a single person, and how you would incorporate self-care or things that allow you to stay connected to yourself.
I can’t help but notice behind you, and for our listeners, I am looking behind Jessica, because we’re on video together, and she’s got what looks like a singing bowl. You’ve got some crystals; you’ve got some stones. Can you tell us a little bit about some of that?
Jessica Gonyo 21:12
Yeah, I am broadcasting from my newish office. My journey over the last couple of years has gone from living in an RV on a vacant piece of land to building a small home, trying to work out of my bedroom, purchasing another piece of land with a building, that’s where I am right now, and it is still in the works. I haven’t had any space, for about three years now, until about a month ago.
So, I have some sage and palo santo, a dear friend made this beautiful… it’s clay pieces of the moon cycle. And maybe in a little bit we’ll talk about why the moon cycle is important to me and what I do and share. Yeah, it’s just my little self-care alter. It has taken a lot of time and patience to be able to sit in this executive office chair, but I have stayed patient even though it’s been very difficult at times, and things are finally coming together.
I’m actually even broadcasting to you from a not brand new but brand new to me, desktop computer. I was in need of a new computer and my cousin said she had an extra desktop and was willing to give it to me. I just said okay! Thank you!
A lot of patience and trust in a journey to become a Nurse Coach and an entrepreneur.
Nicole Vienneau 22:57
Patience and trust. So, I’m wondering, now that you’ve mentioned moon cycle, and our listeners would love to know what you are doing with Deer Mountain Wellness, what does your business look like? What is happening there?
Jessica Gonyo 23:15
Deer Mountain Wellness: the origin of the name is it’s the name of the mountain that I live on. My vision for Deer Mountain Wellness is helping women heal holistically, helping women access their own innate wisdom and ability to heal. Trying to reframe, also, how we talk about things like menstruation, trying to support and empower women in the birth world.
Just using my Nursing background, a little bit of functional medicine background, my knowledge of science and spirituality, to create a way to help these women heal whatever ailments, and specifically reproductive issues, they may be experiencing.
I just really became passionate about this work because I always trusted that my body will know exactly what it needs to do if I ever were to become pregnant, and I have since. And I just always felt I never felt in alignment with things like birth control. I just thought why would I alter something my body is designed to do? Why would I alter a natural cycle throughout my 23 years of having periods?
Deer Mountain Wellness, a couple years ago, I started holding women’s circles. That was really the first thing I started doing and that was before Deer Mountain Wellness was even in existence. I just knew I needed to bring women together. I had journaled about it for a couple years prior; I had no idea what exactly it was going to look like. Finally, somewhere, I had heard that a woman’s circle existed. I had never attended one, but I’m like, that’s exactly what I need to do.
And I decided to hold one in my home, I had just a small condo at the time. I had about a group of 10 women come to my house, we all sat in a circle, we all shared stories, and that was just really the first time I got to witness the power of myself as a leader, the power of coming together and community, and the power and healing potential of just listening and learning from other people’s stories.
Sitting in circle is an opportunity to be vulnerable and to be heard, to be heard on things that you think you might be experiencing alone. But what I’ve witnessed in every circle I’ve since held over the last four years, even in a circle as small as like six, you’re never alone. Somebody in that circle has always, every single time, experienced something that you have gone through, as well. It’s just a great way to connect and heal.
In addition to that, I am currently providing one-on-one offerings, working intimately with clients. And I have a course that I will be launching soon called Wise Womban Activation, helping women connect to themselves to help them realize their healing potential. Who I’m speaking to is more-so women at the pre-consumptive stage who really maybe wants to take priority of her health and make sure she’s in her optimal state.
And maybe she desires to work through some personal issues that she’s been experiencing, that she doesn’t want to pass on to her children. So, working through like ancestral trauma, things we inherit in different lifetimes from our mothers and grandmothers, is one thing I really like to teach and speak on and just bring more awareness to, because if you haven’t heard this before, when your mother was in your grandmother’s womb, you are an egg in her ovary.
So, everything that your grandmother experienced during her life and her pregnancy, you were also in your mother’s womb, and you experienced that, too. So, maybe she had a traumatic experience, a stressful pregnancy, a stressful labor, you experienced all those things. And as I’ve taught more women about this, it’s really brought awareness to maybe why you have certain patterns and behaviors in your life today.
They’re not something that you learned in this lifetime, it’s something that generations of women before you have experienced, and you are still experiencing it and feel it as your own. But when you begin to see that it’s not your own, it’s bigger than just you, you can really begin to heal and to change the future generations.
Nicole Vienneau 28:23
Sometimes we feel like it’s just us. It’s just because of the things we’re doing today. We’re unable, maybe, to conceive, or maybe you’re having such severe menstrual cramping, or whatever it could be, and we think it’s just something that’s because of us, like today, but what you’re saying is that this can go back further. Ancestral is how you described it.
It’s so fascinating to recognize that because it does open up more possibility when you realize, oh my gosh, it’s not just because of me. This could be what my mom experienced, this could be what my grandmother experienced, this could be what my grandmother’s mother experienced. And that’s become part of me now.
Jessica Gonyo 29:05
Yeah, as I’ve taught this to many women in different settings, whether it be a women’s circle, workshops, or just one-on-one work, it’s just really brought a light to, oh my gosh, like my mother did experience this in her pregnancy. Like one woman was able to recognize that the way her mother felt in her pregnancy transferred into ways that she felt in her life today.
Nicole Vienneau 29:28
I link this back to when you were saying that there is a cause, there is a cause for an illness or a symptom that we experience. And when we can go back and discover the cause, then we can start to heal, and then we can start to move forward, instead of just being stuck like we are jumping up and down in one spot. Instead, we could see, oh, this could be connected to why I’m feeling the way I am and now I can work on that and help begin my healing journey.
Jessica Gonyo 30:03
A lot of symptoms originate from simply just a disconnection from femininity. Not embracing our cyclical nature, not embracing the fact that we are going to bleed each month. And instead of embracing it, we often fight against it, we’re embarrassed about it, we’re ashamed about it, we hide it. And we’ve been programmed to think that way for a very long time.
So many women, as their cycle approaches, it’s perceived as an inconvenience, and this disconnect is what often causes a lot of the disease, a lot of the pain. There are, sure, like physiological reasons why maybe a woman can’t conceive, but there also could be an energetic reason, you know, maybe you have an energetic blockage, maybe you’re holding some stagnant energy from a traumatic past sexual encounter with a partner.
Anytime a person enters your space, that person’s energy stays with you. There’s so much more that lies beneath what we’re experiencing if we really even know to take the time to think about what was it like when we had our first period? How did that make you feel? Were you embarrassed? Or were you supported? In some cultures, that stage of life is celebrated, there are big celebrations.
I feel in our culture, we don’t do that. I know, me personally, I felt like I was embarrassed and needed to hide it. And many conversations I’ve had with women, they too feel that way, as well. And with some of the women I’ve worked with, kind of reframing how they think, when it’s, okay, it’s time for my menstrual cycle to arrive, I am going to embrace this, I’m going to rest.
This is a time when we are meant to rest. And for a lot of women, and especially Nurses, it is very difficult to just be and to take time to rest. But we are all cyclical beings, we go through different energy cycles every month, just like the moon, which is why I have that moon. And another name for a menstrual cycle is a moon cycle.
As women, we go through these different cycles, our energy waxes and wanes throughout the month, and we are not, you know, meant to be super productive 100% of the time. And our menstrual cycle is intended to be that time to rest, the time to go inward, time to access your inner wise woman. It’s said that, you know, you can have like a deepened connection to self when you’re bleeding, as well.
So, if you are a bleeding woman still listening to this, I invite you to really assess, you know, how do you perceive your own cycle? Do you think it’s an inconvenience? You know, are you embarrassed or ashamed by this? And if you do feel that way, do you also experience things like menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding? So, I invite you, if you don’t already, to if you know when it’s going to arrive, schedule time to rest. Don’t do anything. If you have an appointment, cancel or reschedule.
Nicole Vienneau 33:41
I love that concept. Why not? And I wanted to point out to our listeners the spelling of the Wise Womban Activation course because it’s spelled W-O-M-B-A-N.
Jessica Gonyo 33:58
The course is just, to simply put it, just teaching you to access your own inner wise woman. We all have a wise woman in us, we all have wisdom in us, but we either don’t know how to connect to it, we’ve never been taught how to connect to it, we just don’t know that we even can, so I just want to teach women to take the time to pause and connect to this wisdom that lives within all of us, that lives within our womb space.
Our creativity sits in our womb. It’s also like our second brain. When we develop a connection to ourselves and can trust our intuition, our womb intuition, as well, we become pretty powerful beings, might be a force to be reckoned with. You too can become a wise woman. And what’s been most relevant for me, through developing my own womb connection, is how my births have happened.
I chose to have home births with my children. And during my first pregnancy, I was still working at the bedside, and whenever I would share what my plan was — because, you know, patients and co-workers always asked with a growing belly — and I would share that, I was just always met with a lot of fear, a lot of doubt, a lot of people sharing, you know, their own negative stories.
Because I had spent time before my pregnancy really connecting to my truth, and knowing that I have the answers, my body knows what to do, I was able to navigate all of this fear and doubt. I know pregnant woman, just for whatever reason, are often subjected to a lot of unsolicited advice, a lot of bad advice, in my personal opinion.
And they are just given a lot of doubt and fear. I think if all women knew how to connect to their womb and to connect to their self, and to fully and completely trust themselves, we would see a big shift in the birthing world. We’d have a lot more women trusting in their power and not giving it away and thinking somebody else is going to deliver their baby when you, as a woman, are 150% completely capable of safely delivering your baby on your own.
I am very blessed that I had the opportunity to have two home births under the care of Certified Professional midwives, but I was able to, you know, reach for my baby’s head on my own and birth in positions that I desired, not positions that I was told to be in.
It was just very empowering, and also affirming, to why I was on this pursuit of womb health, developing womb connections. And going through my own births has just really affirmed and deepened my connection to my own womb and my connection to my purpose for why I want to share this work with others, why it’s so important to develop a connection to yourself and to trust yourself as a woman.
Nicole Vienneau 37:41
Absolutely. The power… connect to the power within you.
Jessica, how can we find you if we’re looking for you and the amazing work that you’re doing?
Jessica Gonyo 37:52
Well, there are a couple of ways you can stay connected to me. You can find me on Instagram at @deermountainwellness, you can head over to my website, www.deermountainwellness.com. Mountain is spelled out in its entirety.
I also have a wonderful Facebook group called Wise Womban Wellness. It’s a great place to be and feel supported in community. Every Wednesday, I am holding Wise Womban Wednesdays and having guest speakers share their expertise. DM me, email me, you can find all the information on my website.
Nicole Vienneau 38:32
Awesome. We will have all of these links in our show notes so people could just access you from there. And we are so thankful for all of the wisdom, all of the power that you’re sharing with us and that you continue to share with the world.
Jessica Gonyo 38:48
Thank you so much for having me. This was just incredible to share my story. I hope you’re inspired and know that this opportunity can be for you, too, if you are also curious about Nurse Coaching.
Have you ever heard the expression…. “Listen with your heart”? [...]