Our culture sends us mixed messages around relationships.

On the one hand, we’ve been taught to expect them to be a constant series of peaks—of excitement, of climax (of orgasm, even)—and if that’s not the reality of our situation, we get bored fast.

On the flip side, we’ve been brainwashed to believe that relationships have to be difficult or challenging—fraught with arguments or bitter resentment.

But neither of these reflects the reality—that relationships, like anything else, take practice. And that we need to be willing to work through the mundane and find the joy in the space between our peak experiences.

And that’s what I teach—either through one-on-one coaching over the phone or in-person during one of my equine experiential learning retreats here in Asheville, North Carolina.

I feel as though I’ve been a relationship coach my entire life.

Growing up, I was always the go-to person for friends and family when it came to dishing out relationship advice. And nowadays I never get tired of listening to clients talk about their problems. (Honestly? I could talk about relationships all day long.)

But I’ve also always been a horse person. I think I came out of the womb ready to have horses in my life.

This work combines two of my greatest passions.

I don’t see myself as a horse trainer OR a “people trainer”, for that matter—I’m more of a life facilitator. My goal is to help you to create your own reality—one that fills you up on a daily basis.

My relationship with Seth

Image by Jesse Kitt Photography

Image by Jesse Kitt Photography

I’m lucky enough to be married not only to my best friend, confidant and soul mate, but also the inspiration for my life’s work as a relationship coach—who also happens to be one of the most extraordinary human beings I’ve ever met.

I met Seth in ‘93 and we dabbled in a summer romance in my junior year at high school, before we parted ways when he went off to college. After several twists and turns—which took me from Texas to Boston and then here, to Asheville—we reunited for good back in 2006.

But what sounds like the outline for a Harlequin romance was at one point anything BUT. Without going into details, let’s just say we’ve had to overcome a whole lot over the years.

Ultimately though? We discovered that, when we were in alignment with ourselves, everything else fell into place.

Fast forward to today and every day that we’re together keeps getting better and better.

Seth truly inspires me to be the best person I can be and I’m honored to call him my husband.

 

My relationship with Jove

If we’re connected on social media, you probably already know that my beloved friend and teacher – my horse Jove – died in February 2016. To honor his memory and the ways he helped change people’s lives, I am writing a 12-part blog series called Lessons from Jove. I would love to hear how it resonates with you. Please also feel free to share with anyone you think may benefit from reading the series.


 

Jana and Jove

Jana Kellam and Jove

I’ve always been horse crazy. But despite doing the whole riding thing when I was younger, horses fell by the wayside when I entered my teens.

For one, I was focused on rebelling against my urban-hippy upbringing. And two, I was forced to choose between riding and dance at the performing arts school I attended.

But my love for horses never went away. And it was my husband Seth who, in his infinite wisdom, reunited me with my first love—buying me riding lessons as a birthday present one year.

I’ll never forget walking into the barn soon after that, taking a deeeeep breath and thinking, “I’m home.”

Left mostly to his own devices in a sandy pasture in Savannah, Georgia, Jove was a high-strung thoroughbred with so much energy he was ready to burst out of his skin.

Seth and I traveled down to meet him on Valentine’s Day one year—and as soon as I saw him, it was like the angels started singing. He was the most beautiful horse I’d ever seen.

We brought him home, but no matter what I tried he wasn’t interested in having a relationship with me. Instead, every time I’d go into his pasture he’d walk away from me.

I was at my wit’s end and didn’t know what else I could do. I’d read every book going, gotten different advice from different people—you name it.

It was around this time that I stumbled across Barbara Alexander for the first time and her work at Epona Ridge in Asheville—just twenty minutes down the road from me. Barbara wound up tutoring me through Reiki levels one and two, before mentoring me through her advanced level training in equine facilitated experiential learning.

The work that I did there changed my whole life—and ultimately improved ALL of my relationships. I finally realized that, instead of looking outside myself for answers, I simply needed to look inside.

As soon as I started tuning into how Jove was feeling on a deeper level, it was like he’d come alive for me. He became a different horse.

Today, I offer virtual one-on-one relationship coaching and equine experiential retreats. Click here for more information or feel free to contact me directly.