Empowering others through podcast, coaching and yoga
JACKIE DECONTI, host of Elixir Podcast, founder of Madre & The Muse which offers Ayurvedic wellness consultations, and co-founder of terra sol sanctuary, sees the light in everything.
“I see the good. I always try to see the other person’s perspective. There are lessons to be learned from every interaction and we are all here to help each other,” she says.
As a self-proclaimed “lover of many things,” DeConti’s multifaceted passions can be traced back to her childhood. DeConti was born in Connecticut, grew up in South Florida, and moved to North Carolina to pursue a degree in education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Growing up, DeConti loved her grandfather’s garden and birdhouse. It was her connection to nature. She took piano lessons. She was a Girl Scout. She loved crafting, the theater, and singing.
“I remember spending days blasting Whitney Houston songs and singing along behind closed doors. My friend and I would walk down our street carrying our keyboards and performing. I played mini piano concerts for my dad,” she laughed. Music was, and still is, a big part of her life. DeConti and her guitarist-husband BRETT JOHNSON perform together throughout the Wilmington music scene.
Even starting her own business has roots in her childhood. DeConti’s entrepreneurial spirit first surfaced when she went door-to-door selling mulch to the neighbors at age seven. Yep, mulch!
Inspired by mentor KRISTIN COOPER-GULAK, DeConti achieved her yoga certification in 2010. She began to dabble with the interconnection of yoga and Ayurveda, an alternative medicine with roots in India. In March 2021, DeConti completed training for her Ayurvedic wellness coach certification from the Shakti School and started Madre & The Muse. DeConti says that holistic wellness appealed to her because of all of the interconnected nurturing and nourishing modalities. “Western medicine has a place, but there are ways to bring about healing with herbs, sunshine, exercise, yoga, and breathing. Befriending nature. This is subtle and powerful medicine,” she states.
The name for her Ayurveda business came easy for DeConti. “Madre is Mother Earth who provides. The Muse is all the things around us that spark inspiration and creativity like cooking, music, wildflowers, art. It’s the whole experience of doing and creating that is the destination that takes us back to our true self,” DeConti says.
DeConti’s clients complete intake forms that touch nearly every aspect of life including diet, sleep, and relationships. Together with her clients, DeConti outlines a journey plan that she says is not drastic, but one that mindfully creates little shifts in routine. Recommendations often include nutrition, daily habits, meditation, breathwork and movement practices, art journaling, and even just listening to music.
DeConti practices the feminine form of Ayurveda. “It is not necessarily prescriptive, but rather more experiential,” she explains. In addition to consultations, DeConti offers an Ayurvedic-infused yoga teacher training program. DeConti also offers small batch goods available at The Crafted Outpost in Wilmington.
In January 2020, DeConti embarked on a journey to share inspiration through stories in Elixir Podcast.
“An elixir can be something you take that makes you feel a certain way. Each episode of my podcast serves a purpose,” she says. “When people tell their stories and we just listen to each other, we create connections,” DeConti adds. Elixir Podcast listeners are both friends and strangers and vary from entrepreneurs to environmentalists.
DeConti’s podcast guests have been business owners, musicians, artists, and people who are in the process of creating and don’t yet know their endpoint. Nothing is scripted. “We just talk. I explore how each guest got to where they are. My hope is listeners can see themselves in something they hear during the podcast,” she says.
Just like Madre & The Muse, Elixir Podcast is collaborative with the intention to inspire. As is terra sol sanctuary, a yoga studio which DeConti co-founded with two friends, REBECCA NIAMTU and ALEXIS ABBATE, where she incorporated live music into her weekly yoga classes.
While she says it may seem cliché, DeConti suggests that everything you are looking for is already within. “Take time to tune your desires back into your life. Re-spark your muses. Notice moments when you are feeling really good and do more of that. Filling your cup, whatever that looks like for you, inspires others to do the same. We can all empower each other to thrive and to discover our unlimited potential,” she concludes.
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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