Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs: Jen Mitchell of Solace Divorce Mediation
Meet Jen Mitchell of Solace Divorce Mediation (1111 Chicago Ave Ste 220, Oak Park), est 2010
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Residence: Berwyn, IL
All About Jen: I am an author, speaker, attorney, mediator, life coach, manifestor and creator of Solace Divorce Mediation.
I was born in Chicago and raised in the Northwest suburb of Hoffman Estates. In high school, I was a scholar and a national level competitive swimmer. Two weeks before starting college at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, I decided not to swim and instead spent my time working as a waitress and learning as much as I could about myself and life. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science in December of 1999. Instead of a starting a traditional corporate America job, I decided to travel and experience different cultures and people. In 2003, I ran my first marathon and began my legal studies at DePaul University College of Law, earning my Juris Doctorate in 2006.
In 2009, my husband Aaron and I bought a bungalow in Berwyn, where we live with our three kids, Harvey, Juniper and Hudson, and two cats, Willie and Cash. We moved to Berwyn because of the location—we were excited to be part of a community that attracts an array of artists! Aaron opened The Outtaspace in 2016 and I have served on a variety of boards, committees and groups in Berwyn. My hobbies include: hanging out at Outtaspace, swimming and sauna-ing at the PAV YMCA, and reading a ridiculous amount of inspirational books.
The Business Side: Early in my career, I enjoyed wearing a suit and going into the courtroom as a zealous advocate for my clients. I experienced my “awakening” after nine years of litigating and having three children in 39 months. When our youngest was about six months old, I realized that my role as a litigator in the family court system was destroying people and families and severely harming children. Every family law practitioner that I met at social events and seminars told me the same thing: “You cannot have a stand-alone mediation practice; litigation is the bread and butter of a family law practice.” I rejected that statement then and I continue to reject it now.
I enrolled in a Life-Coaching Certification Course to help me figure out what I wanted out of my life and career moving forward. Throughout the course I realized the tremendous value of incorporating my life coaching skills into my stand alone mediation practice. I bootstrapped and started practicing this new concept, which blossomed into the revolutionary process we use at Solace Divorce Mediation today.
Solace Divorce Mediation focuses on both the legal and the emotional aspects of divorce with a mission of helping people live extraordinary lives. We discuss the power of choice and gratitude, provide our clients with the skills and tools to emotionally process divorce and use it as a catalyst to change any aspect of their life that is not bringing them joy and energy – their job, where they live, relationships with self, friends, family and children, if applicable. We have formed partnerships with a variety of healers to provide our clients with resources to help them balance their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual self during divorce with a strong emphasis on self-care and self-actualization and reflection.
Describe yourself using 3 words and explain why you chose those words.
Grateful: I am extremely grateful for my life experiences and for all of the wonderfulness I have surrounding me. I practice mediation through the Healing Codes every day and focus on all of the things I am grateful for. Gratitude shifts the entire life experience from one of wanting to one of having and being thankful.
Innovative: Solace was created through innovation. I looked at the family court system and created a completely different way to view and experience the divorce process. My mind is always going, thinking of ways I can make the process even better. I love ideas and thinking of new ways of changing the status quo and shaking things up. Change is what keeps life beautiful!
Gladiator: I manifest my life, time-block my days and have a plan for what I want to happen each week, month and year. Tony Robbins is my jam and his teachings have been a huge catalyst for change in my life. If you haven’t watched “I’m Not Your Guru” on Netflix, you must. I’ve attended two events with my fellow Gladiators and recently returned from a five day, 14 hours-per-day intensive business mastery event –2,000 others attended!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by people who are living their life purpose and effecting positive change on others. It causes a ripple effect of positive change to communities and to the World. I’m inspired by action, passion and the shift in social consciousness to one of connection, love, compassion, and service.
Tell us something that people might not know about you.
I went for a run in December 1999, just before I was graduating from UW – Madison, and ended up at the Student Union. All of the colorful outdoor furniture was put away for the season, but there was a small chalkboard that read “live abroad after graduation.” I walked up to the second floor right then and there, had six countries to choose from, chose Ireland and signed all the necessary documents to move across the world. I went back to my apartment, called my parents to let them know my plan, packed everything up and three weeks later I was on a plane to Dublin, Ireland—with $600 in my pocket and without a job or a place to live. I found both in two days and ended up staying for two years. Ireland was the perfect landing place for me at that time in my life and I am still extremely grateful for the friends made and experiences had. Sláinte!!!
If you could collaborate with any person on a personal project, who would that be and why?
Aaron Mitchell, Melissa Kowalski, Norman Alexandroff and Rob Kowalski. The five of us are currently collaborating on a super exciting art initiative. The energy level is extremely elevated and we are all aligned in thought and mission.
What is your favorite Karaoke song and why?
“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman is my all-time favorite karaoke song and anytime song! It’s about a woman who knows what she wants, and does not falter from her dream. I love that the song ends with a major disappointment followed by the inspirational and freeing chorus , indicating that nothing will stop her, and she will (and did) achieve her outcome! It is my soul-lifting heart song, and it is magical.
What gets you through a rough day?
A trip to Happy Feet for an hour long ridiculously amazing massage, followed by a sauna and steam at the YMCA.
Join Jen and guest speaker Michael Schwartz for their talk, “Finding Your Life Purpose” on Saturday, April 14 at The Outtspace! The event is open to all.