An inspiring and humorous thought leader, Jane Enright speaks to audiences seeking answers for their grief, stress, loss, depression, anxiety, stagnation, indecision, sadness, and more. From top executives to stay-at-home moms, she is helping audiences throughout North America land “butter side up.” Visit her at www.janeenrightauthor.com or on Instagram @janeenright20
Girly Book Club: How did you come up with the title for your book? Butter Side Up?
Jane Enright: LOL! Along with my sense of humour, I am known for my little ism’s–sayings and analogies that I often use to describe situations. Butter Side Up™ is one such example. I often say to friends and family “I hope you land butter-side up on that one!”
The title also speaks to the tumbling toast theory as a metaphor for change. In the blink of an eye, the unexpected can happen. Your life can suddenly be toast–butter-side down, full of icky stuff you don’t want anywhere near you. Conversely, you can land butter-side up with possibilities you could never have imagined. I saw the tumbling toast theory as a great analogy to introduce the topic of unplanned change in a light hearted way that people can relate to.
GBC: You describe your book as “Edutainment for soul” can you elaborate?
JE: I am the first one to tell you I am an ordinary person who has survived some extraordinary life-changing experiences. My life has not always been super awesome. Some of my experiences, many beyond my control, were super awful–pushing me to limits I did not know were possible. This included enduring three uncontrollable events and losing everything in the span of twelve months. Throughout it all I was able to look at the lighter side of life and understand that embracing change, trying to stay positive, and having faith were going to make the difference between having a super rotten life and a super awesome one.
That being said, Butter Side Up is a hybrid of memoir and self-help. I try to inspire and encourage readers with a healthy dose of humour along the way by not only telling them my story, but showing them how I successfully traversed catastrophic change and turned my life around.
GBC: What inspired you to write your book?
JE: I believe everything happens for a reason. For years I was a strategic planner helping businesses successfully navigate the unexpected when suddenly tragedy struck in my own life- not once but three times. I realized I had skills and first hand experience others did not have. I also encountered many people who said they wanted to know my secret to getting through everything.
Essentially there were many hints of encouragement along the way that I could not ignore and a genuine desire to share my know-how with others. After some noodling and listening to my intuition I decided to take the plunge and share my story via Butter Side Up.
GBC: Who should read it?
JE: Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life is for anyone looking for inspiration and know-how about how to make lemonade when life hands you lemons. A true story that readers can relate to with practical strategies and takeaways to successfully navigate the unexpected and stay positive during uncertain times.
GBC: You had a terrible year (that’s an understatement) but what is the take away from all the unexpected misery?
JE: Stuff with four letters ending in a T happens to all of us – it’s how you handle it that matters.
The first step towards successfully navigating change of any kind, especially rapid unplanned change (like a pandemic), is acceptance. This does not mean you need to be happy about how a pandemic mucked up your life. This means we need to try and accept change is happening, rather than resist or deny it. Acceptance helps us reduce the emotionality of the situation (fear, anxiety, sadness), and encourages our minds to shift to the more positive end of the spectrum.
While it is not realistic to expect you can be positive all the time, positive thinking does give us an extreme advantage during times of extreme stress. Looking at life with gratitude helps us respond to the ups and downs of life, rather than react to them. In turn, this supports us to move forward, not backward, while change plays out. When this happens we become more flexible and open to change and are better equipped to find clarity of thought and solutions when we need them.
Unplanned change can bring with it hard sad stuff. It can also bring strength, hope, resilience and open doors to possibilities we never thought possible. In other words, the unexpected can bring unexpected blessings too.
GBC: If you had a magic wand what would you go back and change (if anything?)
JE: I would never wish any of the events during my most terrible year on anyone- they were all hard, sad, tragic, and traumatic in their own way. Not only for me, but for the people woven into the storyline of my life. However, if these events did not happen, I would not be having the experiences I am today such as becoming a writer, author, and the joy this brings me. Out of something bad came something good.
GBC: What is your opinion on change?
JE: There are two types of change, planned and unplanned, and most people don’t like the unexpected kind. This is because as humans we are hardwired for routine– we fear the unexpected and what comes next. The reality is that life puts us all through change. Some would say life is change.
The pandemic is a sound example of this. COVID is unplanned change on steroids. It is also a reminder to all of us that change that can change its mind anytime. Now more than ever we need to do everything possible and use every resource in the toolkit to land butter-side up, not butter-side down. It is important to keep perspective and remember life is what we create. Positive thoughts have a good effect on us. They can support us to become happier and healthier and add value to our entire lives, especially while all this upheaval plays out.
In that spirit, I have included strategies in my OMG takeaway section in Butter Side Up and on my website mysuperawesomelife.com, and Goodreads to help support readers and followers during the days, weeks, months, and years to come. In the end I think it is important to have faith and believe that everything will work out. That you can make your ideas happen and land butter-side up in the game of life—even during a pandemic.
GBC: You’re very honest throughout your book; was that difficult?
JE: No and yes.
No, because I am a very straight forward person and believe in being authentic and truthful. This includes being honest about the feelings I experienced, the situations I was thrown into, and choices I was forced to make.
Yes, in the sense that at the heart of it, I am a very private person. I understood sharing my story to help others meant I would need to reveal details of my life that may not be fully understood by my audience. I am gradually getting used to having a more public profile and sharing myself as well as my story with readers.
GBC: Tell us a bit about you as a human.
JE: To begin with, I could probably have fun in a paper bag! I am a very playful person always up for a bit of fun who doesn’t take herself too seriously. I also believe in taking a light hearted approach to life and the power of humour to help manage and get through challenging times. Living a balanced life is important to me. As I get older I appreciate the relationship between Body, Mind, and Spirit. As a result I try to maintain a healthy relationship between all three of these elements so I can live my best life.
GBC: What are you doing if you’re not writing?
JE: I am a very active person. Spending time with my family and friends virtually, and in person when we can, brings me joy. I love the outdoors, travelling, cooking, and being active. I am an avid downhill skier, enjoy cycling, going to the beach, and practicing yoga. I have also taken up golf which I am enjoying more than I ever thought I would.
GBC: Name your favourite bookshop in the world.
JE: Munroe’s in Victoria BC
GBC: Physical book, e-book, or audiobook? – and why.
JE: Physical for sure. I love the look and feel of a book– the cover, words, layout, and displaying the title on my bookshelf afterwards to remind me how I felt when I read the book. When I write I will often reference a favourite quote or passage to describe a situation. Therefore I also enjoy having a physical copy to review and reference.
GBC: What was your favourite book as a child?
JE: I was an avid reader from an early age. In fact, my mother told me I was teaching myself to read at 18 months. She worked shifts as a nurse and needed to sleep. I never wanted to sleep so she put books in my crib to help me entertain myself.
As a child I loved the antics of Curious George. As a teen I read every Nancy Drew book in the collection. I also read the newspaper every night; especially the advice from Ann Landers and Dear Abby. I was fascinated that people would share their personal stories. Perhaps this was my introduction to memoir???
GBC: We’re always on the hunt for our next great read. Recommend us a book to add to our TBR pile!
JE: That is a tough one because there are so many. I am currently reading A Shark In The House by Dorris Heffron. Not only is Dorris a wonderful friend, she is a fabulous writer and mentor to me. Dorris blends fiction with real-life indigenous issues- I am learning so much!
Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life was a life changer for me, as was Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul. Girly Girls might also enjoy The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. It is a poignant true story of a mother and son filled with priceless book recommendations that are discussed as the story unfolds.
To find out more about Jane please visit here website: https://www.janeenrightauthor.com/