Health

You Know So Much More Than You Think

"How many of you can tell the difference between the living and the dead?"

Dr. Judith Sedgeman, EdD posed this question to a room of soon-to-be doctors, and much to their dismay (and after much eye-rollage), she was adamant to get their opinion.

"Seriously, HOW many of you can tell the difference between the living and the dead?"

One student raises his hand, much to his chagrin... "No pulse, heart stops beating, lungs stop filling up with air..."

Dr. Sedgeman responds, "OK. How can you tell without touching them?"

Long pause in the room.

Another student takes a stab at the answer...

"There's no life"

Dr. Sedgeman: "That's what we're talking about. That energy that you know has left. The spiritual component of our existence."

*Let that sink in for a minute. Take your eyes away from your screen and breathe in that undeniable knowing.*

After hearing this simple yet incredibly powerful example to point to the spiritual nature of life and who we are, I got introspective. Stories of folks at the end of their lives, and experiences of my own, flooded my memory. Isn't it true that we're so often told from the ones we love before they are about to pass away, to live life to it's fullest? That their greatest regret is that they allowed fear to get in the way of endless amounts of opportunities, may it be in reference to their career, love, relationships, adventure, travel, finances and so on?

What comes up for me is that when we have a sense that we're at the end of our lives in our current skin suit, when we're in our final days, we naturally drop out of any and all insecure thinking. There is an element of pure surrender to the natural process we're experiencing and all that is left is the feeling of Oneness that exists between us all. We are 100% our spiritual selves. There's a feeling of not being able to see where 'I' or 'We' end and our surroundings, the energy behind life, begins. It becomes blatantly clear that any thinking that kept us from voicing our love for others or from going after our dreams or what kept us divided (ahem.. the current state of our country) was a complete waste of time, because it was just that... thinking that we believed. Though in the moment, the fearful and insecure thoughts looked really real and seemed to be warning signs that were logical, in the end we see that it was all self-made, it wasn't reality. That it was all BS. And who knows what 'could have been' should we have not paid attention to those thoughts.

One of many personal experiences that I've had that points to our spiritual nature is one that I'll never forget. The week I spent with my grandfather while he was passing was literally like watching a butterfly in transformation. When I first arrived to his home, he was still getting up from his bed with assistance, he could absolutely connect to who I was and speak a few words. As the days passed, his circulation slowed to his extremities and he slowly drifted away in his human self, but he stayed with us. Days went by and finally at 3 or 4 in the morning one morning, my mom called hospice. When the hospice nurse arrived, she took one look around the room and said, "Are you all here, all the time?!" She was referring to the room full of women that wouldn't leave his side - me, my mom, aunt, sisters, cousins, nieces... we all took turns caring for him, rubbing on his feet, sharing stories and laughter around him, eating cereal and making pot after pot of coffee to keep us going. It was my first experience where someone who represented science shown light on our spiritual nature. The nurse said, "You all are keeping him alive." My brain couldn't make sense of it, but I absolutely knew what she meant. His spiritual self, who he was beyond his skin suit, the energy that exists within and around us all, was keeping him connected and plugged in, it had nothing to do with his will power.

Thayer Douglass. My Grandpa.

Thayer Douglass. My Grandpa.

If you haven't already gotten the gist of the message I'm trying to portray to you, I'll make it very clear.

You can surrender to that knowing, to that Universal Mind, to that greater intelligence, RIGHT NOW.

How, you ask? Oh, I'm so glad you inquired.

You have a factory-installed, innate compass or rather, guide - that is like your own Mission Control center for your life. You don't have to go searching for it outside yourself, you don't need any tools to keep it tuned up and most importantly, you don't have to do anything to know it's there. All you have to do is follow it's inklings.

So what is it?

Your Wisdom. Your gut instinct.

It is 100% connected to the Universal Mind, the greater intelligence behind life. That is why every time you follow your gut, life unfolds without having to work at it. Even when your Wisdom guides you in a direction that looks risky, different, unknown, or you get insights into possibilities on your horizon that seem impossible - it takes courage to surrender to that knowing, but once you do, you begin to live a soul-centered experience of life that's immense. Hard conversations are had with more ease because you are coming from love and that love is felt by everyone involved. Leaps of faith feel supported and the risk isn't terrifying, it's thrilling. Breadcrumbs from the Universe are incredibly apparent and you begin to move in flow with the Oneness of it all.

Many folks have shared with me that what I'm saying makes sense, but are afraid they don't know the difference between their Wisdom and their thoughts. And to that, I answer... it's all in a feeling. Our Wisdom bubbles up one moment before our thoughts clobber the hell out of it with 'logic,' fear, judgement or insecurity. But guess what? No problem. You have a built-in alert system that tells you where the quality of your thinking is. And again, it's all in a feeling. If you are experiencing any feelings of angst, fear, anxiety, depression or physical symptoms of tight chest, sweaty pits and palms, upset belly, etc... all of these feelings and emotions are alerting you that you're believing your thinking that isn't true for you (and if you're thinking of an experience you've had in the past that you're determined is real like a break up or losing a job, it still isn't true for you, now. Why? The experience is in your past. It's important to appreciate it, but then leave it in the past and come back to the moment... it no longer supports who you are now which is why the thought of it makes you feel like shit). Conversely, if you are in any feeling related to joy, excitement, peace, contentment, happiness, love, etc... you are standing in your Wisdom. You are in flow and total alignment with Universal Mind.

Our feeling is the greatest gift. Like the bumps on the side of the freeway that warn you that you're moving out of your lane and you automatically correct your steering... the same is for your feeling in relation to your thinking. Heed it's warning and come back to what feels right. And if you're in a thought storm and feel all over the place and confused? Ask yourself OUT LOUD "What do I need to do now?" and your Wisdom, your gut instinct, will guide you loud and clear. And remember, you are always OK - even if you feel like your well-being has gone missing; You are actually standing in the middle of it, you're just distracted by your insecure thinking that you're believing. It will pass, I promise you. As a dear MFT friend so simply put it: It isn't my belief, it's my experience.

Back to the classroom with Judith Sedgeman:

"Where does that energy come from?" Dr. Sedgeman inquired of her students after them seeing what she was referring to about the spiritual component to life. She clarified that it wasn't a religious question, she wanted to know what they thought intellectually.

The class stayed quiet, they didn't know the answer.

She replied, "It's OK to not know things, and still take them as true."

Ahhhh... trust the feeling as fact, what a gift.

Here's to you, dear reader, and all of the courage that already resides within you to surrender to our Oneness, surrender to your knowing, surrender to your Wisdom and to live in the feeling of hindsight. I am so excited for you and all that is to come.

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

 

Food For Thought

Hallelujah, I have just completed Whole 30. Can we get a collective Amen?!

AMEN!!!

One more time for all the folks in the back!

AAAAAMEN!!

Woohoo! I DID IT!!

Woohoo! I DID IT!!

For those who aren't familiar with Whole 30, it is a diet plan (I hate the word diet, but there you go), that you stick to for 30 days (no sugar, alcohol, dairy, beans, carbs - essentially nothing that turns into sugar in your body), and along with weight loss and re-balancing gut health, the intention behind it is it to launch you into a lifestyle change with your food habits. I did it once before at the beginning of 2017 to get rid of some extra weight, which it did and I was so grateful for it. This time around I committed to it purely to re-balance my gut health. It didn't matter if I ate a giant salad, cooked veggies and protein, or a pile of fries or ice cream, my gut was bloating to make me look 7 months pregnant after every meal. All this to say that I feel great AND because life is my greatest teacher, I learned yet again that we always have choices to follow our Wisdom and not believe our made-up thinking, even when it comes to food.

But we always have choices on what to eat and not eat, Jessie, this is not new news!

I hear you! But this is a different conversation.

As I do for most of my days as best I can, I was noticing where my thinking was when I craved certain things I couldn't indulge in, when my mind was telling me I was hungry, or when I was grumpy and I would automatically think it was because of the restrictions of Whole 30. Just noticing. And what I came to realize for myself was that every single reaction in my mind that would kick up moldy, crappy, thought turds of urges, wants and needs, was that they were just that, thought turds. When I would have the thought "Ugh, I wish I could have a glass of wine with my dinner, I'm out with friends for god's sake!" I would notice it, or sense the upset feeling it gave me if that was the more obvious alert, and think to myself, "Do you really want the glass of wine? Or would you rather stick this thing through and get the benefits" and my Wisdom was loud and clear... skip the wine and stick this thing through. Immediate peace would wash over me, no will-power was needed, and I would continue to enjoy my experience instead of feeling like I was missing out. Another thought that would come through a lot was that I craved my favorite taco platter from the local taco truck, not just for the deliciousness that it is, but for the ease. Did I really want to feel the gut pain and bloat that I experience EVERY SINGLE TIME I eat that plate? Not at all. My resolve runs incredibly deep with not wanting to feel that way anymore, plus, it definitely wasn't Whole 30 compliant. So I asked myself, what do I really want? Wisdom: I want Mexican flavor and something quick. Great! Turkey meat lettuce tacos made at home will do the trick (and they were DELISH!)

Do you see what I'm getting at here?

Most of us have a ton of thinking around food. We're forced to make decisions about it multiple times a day, in every state of mind and every mood we fluctuate in and out of. We have habits that we believe are what we need to stick to, but more than likely we made that decision on a day when we made choices about what to eat, and we felt great as a result, so therefore we decided that's what our body ALWAYS needs. We heard from a fitness guru or a health guru or a fad that we can't have this, that, or the other thing, and even if the fad passes or the guru comes out saying that they have the new found key to ultimate health, that old thought is now ingrained in us so we don't sway from it, no matter how it actually makes us feel. And let's not forget the labels! Vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, raw foodist, high fat low cal, no fat high carb... the list goes on and on.

Do you see how exhausting this is?

What keeps unfolding for me is that the more we have restrictions, habits we have to stick to, labels we have to uphold, the more thinking we have around the 'not having' or the 'not doing,' therefore creating a hell of a lot of internal pressure because we're forcing ourselves to stick to something that isn't necessarily right for us, ALL THE TIME. Think about it - let's say you have decided that you must have three meals per day at 8am, Noon and 6pm with snacks in between. At 3pm, you don't have your snack because you're overwhelmed with work. You now have thinking around the fact that you didn't have your snack, you're in a low mood on your way home because of it, therefore you grab chow mein because you deserve it (hello, low mood), and you eat the whole thing because you didn't eat your snack at 3pm anyhow. You feel like shit, bloated, feeling bad about it - but you're justified. What if you weren't even hungry at 3? What if all of that thinking just led you to this big greasy meal purely because of your thoughts that had nothing to do with hunger or what your body needed or didn't need?

Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

If our thinking is always flowing, if our state of mind and mood is ever-changing, if our bodies are constantly processing things differently due to stress, hormones, increased or decreased exercise, etc - wouldn't it make sense to go with the flow of what our Wisdom tells us our bodies need, as opposed to having any calculated, judgemental or rigid thinking around food? I've seen recently through social media that 'intuitive eating' is becoming a thing and there's already people nay-saying it - why? Because they don't understand the way their mind works and how to connect to their Wisdom. They've used it as an excuse to eat more crap because they think they're following their intuition to a more balanced experience of food, when rather, they're kicking up thoughts that lead to urges and bad habits as opposed to listening deep down to what their body really needs.

Now, am I proclaiming that if you are a vegetarian, you should stop being a vegetarian?! Absolutely not. If you have figured out that your body functions optimally when not eating meat, that's listening to your Wisdom. What I AM saying though, is that if in ten years you have a hit in your Wisdom that a meatball would do your body good, listen to it, don't judge it, just BE. Same for sweets or anything else that isn't a 'good-for-you' choice. The balance will naturally come the more we listen to what our Wisdom says we need and actually act on it (easier said then done, I understand, but totally worth it to observe). Our thinking doesn't have a hay-day when we continually make decisions out of our gut instinct (like everything I talk about!)

If your mood naturally balances itself without effort when you don't grip your thinking, if your brain's chemicals naturally balance themselves when you don't grip your thinking consistently (this is true, yet a whole other subject), if Universal Mind/Greater intelligence/Universe is always guiding you and pulling you forward for your highest good (hot tip: that's where your Wisdom comes from) - then food and eating falls within that same category of trusting what your Wisdom guides you to and you will naturally stay balanced. Does it mean you'd never have a bowl of ice cream again? Nope. No more chow mein? No again. My favorite taco plate? Nope! Again, balance is the key word here - when you aren't deciding from your intellect, your gut will lead you to the fun things, too. This also goes for food you previously decided you didn't like! (I'm looking at you vegetable haters). Who knows where your thoughts were when you tried broccoli for the first time - and when a friend forced you to eat it several years later, you already had thinking around how you knew you weren't going to like it. If thoughts are the gatekeeper to our experience, do you think you were going to fall in love with broccoli with all that distaste already floating around your head? Exactly. And lastly, should you make a food choice out of an urge or out of a reaction to your thoughts, that is OK too. Like anything else, knowing where you are on the map of being in alignment with your Wisdom/Universe versus succumbing to your thoughts is where the internal peace and health lies.

Again, knowing where you are on the map, and simply observing it, is where your peace exists.

With that, I'm stoked to be getting closer to my Wisdom for my food choices moving forward and hope it inspires you, too. It's incredible how the journey and the deepening of this understanding never ends, no matter the subject or experience.

What a gift. What freedom.

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

 

 

In Sickness And In Health, You Always Have A Choice

I've been bubbling on what to share for today - I had a few ideas, good ones, but they were coming from my intellect. Experiences I have had lately that are great examples of being aware of the 3 principles in motion, but they aren't meant for today, my gut isn't sounding the alarm. Instead of pushing myself to sit in front of the computer, I stayed put, knowing my Wisdom would bubble up with something, even if it was in the eleventh hour.

And just like that, as Wisdom always does when you look the other way, it hit me...

I was sitting on the couch watching "The Great British Bake Off" on Netflix (the sweetest [no pun intended] show. I highly recommend it for winding down without having to commit to a storyline), and this massive insight hit me:

Our spiritual selves can be at peace even while our physical human selves, our bodies (or as I call them, skin suits) are experiencing physical changes or pain.

It takes a commitment to the observation of the interplay between the spiritual and physical since in the face of physical pain in our bodies, our thinking can run rampant. But if you can stay in a higher consciousness (awareness) of what is happening in your thinking, you will naturally be given the opportunity to stay in a peaceful, content (even joyful) inner experience. Think about pain or dis-ease in the body, of course you feel it, there's no way around it - every sensation: burning, pinching, prickling, tingling, nausea, etc. But as soon as you feel it, you have the free will to choose to continue breathing life into that pain by way of staying hypnotized by your fearful thinking around it OR you can be aware that you're experiencing physical pain (this is the observing of the interplay I was talking about at the top), and with the nature of how your mind works when you observe, a distance is created between you and the thinking around how much pain you're in, giving you the space to allow that thinking to pass which organically shifts your focus elsewhere.

WHOA.

The more I allow this to unfold, I'm brought back to the fact that our internal experience does not depend on our external circumstances; Therefore our physical pain would be in the same contention for outside experience, since our physical body is outside of our spiritual selves. Are you with me? (Hang in there, this next example will help make it more clear...)

For example, I have always struggled with a nauseated belly when I'm nervous. I was experiencing it the other day just before I left my house for a workshop that I was teaching. First, I was quickly aware that I was in my thinking about how the workshop would go, so my anxiety immediately dissipated when I said out loud, "Jess, you're not there yet which is why you feel anxious and nervous. You always rise to the occasion. Take one step at a time, come back to the moment." Realizing that I had become gripped by my thinking when I wasn't looking, then choosing to get in the driver's seat of my experience, naturally allowed the thinking and feeling to pass. However, because I had gotten so wound up momentarily, my stomach was still nauseated after I felt more peaceful, so my thinking, once released from my grip as far as the workshop, found it's way to focus on my upset stomach. As our minds work, it had a field day with my thoughts around my nausea and I quickly became hypnotized by it. I became even more nauseated as more and more insecure thinking was being created, and I even thought for a moment, "Should I just throw up so I can feel better?" But as soon as that thought swam through, I caught myself believing all of my made up nonsense and took the distance. I knew in that moment, that just like the nature of Thought, the nausea would pass if I didn't breathe life into my thinking around it. And sure enough, I was naturally shifted to focusing on other things and realized many minutes later that everything had left me and I was back in the moment. All of this happened within minutes, by the way, that's how quickly we can be overtaken, as well as how quickly we can catch ourselves and choose a different adventure.

You always have the choice when you observe where you are in your thinking...

You always have the choice when you observe where you are in your thinking...

Your well-being does not depend on your physical health.

Yet again, a moment of clarity that just came shining through. You can be managing anything from acute or chronic pain to terminal illness, and as much as you breathe life into the fearful or insecure thinking that swims around the physical attributes, because your feelings and emotions come from your thinking 100% of the time, you can choose to stay hypnotized by it or just be aware of what's happening, so it passes through you naturally. You cannot be destabilized from your well-being when you stay in observation and awareness. You are human, of course, so pain can absolutely take you by surprise, your thinking can run a 10k marathon before you catch it, or hell, you can suffer from your thinking around your physical pain just because you feel like it, that's the beauty of free will! But the difference between understanding how your mind and internal experience works versus being gripped by your chaotic mind because you don't know what's happening, is having the freedom to choose how you feel, inside. You are OK either way, because we are always OK (which brings peace in and of itself), but isn't it freeing knowing you don't have to stay gripped by an experience?

Ahhhhh....

All my love, see you next week~

Jessie