Wisdom

Dear Diary

Dear diary,

My first big publication came out last week - a feature in Goop called “11 Professionals Helping People Find More Satisfying, Successful Careers” to be exact. I have been waiting for this feature to come out for nearly a year now and I’ve learned so much along the way that I wanted to write down the two big takeaways so I don’t forget them…

PATIENCE, young grasshopper.

You truly cannot move at a faster pace than the greater intelligence behind life. TRULY. Every step of the way, IS the way. A few months back, I found myself absolutely exhausted of my running script around this Goop article - thoughts of questioning when I thought it would come out, hopes that it would be a gamechanger for my business, fears that I was holding too high of expectations - and it dawned on me, “Jessie! There is nothing holding you back in life… ever! Your thoughts are making you feel like things should be happening faster or life would look different if only things would be happening when you think they should, but beyond your thinking there is the flow of life that you can trust… stop spinning about it, it will come out when it’s supposed to… enjoy what’s happening now.” It’s amazing when you think you know something deep down then you get smacked upside the head with an aha that takes you deeper. And guess what happened once I saw this, yet again, for myself? It felt like I was pulled back at warp speed into observation mode of the unfoldings of the last year anticipating Goop’s release and of course, I could see how all of my experiences, my insights and realizations, HAD to happen BEFORE the article came out. If it was released when I was originally expecting it to, I wouldn’t have been ready. I would have managed because we always rise to the occasion, but it holds so much more impact and I’m so much more peaceful, now. Takeaway? I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again… LIVE IN THE FEELING OF HINDSIGHT.

FOREBODING JOY IS A REAL THING.

Shoutout to Brene Brown for this heads up! The day Goop came out I was so excited I could hardly get out of bed fast enough. If the evening before (when I got the official YES IT’S COMING OUT TOMORROW!) was any kind of indication of my mood, the big release day was going to feel like my first visit to Disneyland mixed with Christmas eve as a youngin, the moment I turned around to my husband on bended knee, college graduation day and my wedding day all wrapped up into one. I went to the computer before the Goop newsletter was sent out, carefully typed in g-o-o-p dot c-o-m, scrolled down the homepage with baited breath and BOOM!!! There it was… the perfectly curated intro to the article, scroll scroll scroll, then…. my face. In one of the top online magazines on the internet. Cue excited feelings aaaandd….. nothing. What took the excitement’s place?! Everything that I would have never thought would be flying through my mind. Fears, worries, stress. ALL made up. Brene Brown says, “Our actual experiences of joy—those intense feelings of deep spiritual connection and pleasure—seize us in a very vulnerable way” and boyyyy was she right! To be completely honest, I have brushed by this feeling before but it’s never sat with me the way it did the day of the release. All day I felt like I was walking a tightrope of extreme joy and gratitude, then my foot would occasionally slip into doom and gloom. Luckily, with what I know to be true about my mind, I was able to witness it all and consistently stay in the moment because I so desperately didn’t want to miss any of it by being distracted by the nonsense trying to run the show upstairs (shoutout to the hubs for stepping in as a sideline coach!). All of this to say, I am incredibly grateful I was able to witness myself in the experience because it was the first time that JOY churned up fear in a real way for me. Staying out of the muck of my mind while chaos is going on around me?! I can ride that wave til the cows come home, but this was a new one for me. The takeaway? FEARFUL THOUGHTS ARE TRULY NONSENSICAL AND THERE IS NEVER A GOOD TIME TO ENTERTAIN THEM.

With that, I will leave you for today, dear diary. Moving forward, let’s remember that you’ll be learning new things every day for the rest of your life and you don’t know anything til the moment that you know everything.

XO,

Jessie

Be Your Own Spiritual Activist

“Maybe it’s the ultimate act of self-love to be a spiritual activist FOR YOURSELF…”

This bubbled up the other day as I started out on a long overdue and much needed walk for fresh air. The Southern California rain had been encouraging a very introverted and introspective mood that was frankly quite low to begin with due to my hormones raging from switching up my birth control after 15 years. I had been really in my head about my next moves for work; What’s on the back burner, what’s ahead of me and brainstorming what I could do to move things forward. My thinking went from creative, exploratory, exciting to DOOM AND GLOOM. Isn’t it amazing how Thought can do that? One minute you’re in the middle of playing around in your thoughts as if you have every color of Play Doh and you’re curiously putting different sculptures together, breaking them apart, smooshing them into new shapes. Then all of a sudden the Play Doh weighs more, the beautiful bright colors are no longer and the dough isn’t pliable. You look down at a pile of rocks that are multiplying with each rock feeling really real, really heavy and really significant - aka DOOM AND GLOOM.

With my hormonal low mood, I already felt like I had a thick layer of green gas hanging around me 24/7 that I was fully aware I was looking at life through. I reminded myself on multiple occasions, even when I didn’t sense the green gas as much, to not take my gnarly thoughts seriously. My spiritual self had my human self’s back, so to speak. But who knows what happened on this particular day, the thought storm of Play Doh turned rocks was too heavy to handle. I reached into the ol’ goody bag of tools I have for these moments, also known as the only tool I have for these moments, and I asked myself OUT LOUD, “What do I need to do right now?” Wisdom always knocks with the answer and I was moved to go outside for a walk, and as always, it was exactly what I needed.

After getting outside, my perspective naturally came back and I could see where my thoughts went to hell without me noticing. You may already be a step ahead of me, but it was the moment I started to fall into the ol’ trap of needing to figure out things to do to move me forward faster in my work - whatever that even means. I say that because my own expectations and timelines are all made up, so who am I comparing myself to should I figure out something that would move me along faster? My own expectations? That again, are made up? I remembered all of this then AHA! What I know to be true, what is best for my well-being, is to TRUST the greater intelligence of life. TRUST that Universal Mind, the ever-flowing energy that is around me and within me, that my Wisdom is tapped into, will continue to nudge me forward via my gut instinct and when I heed it’s direction, everything unfolds EXACTLY the way it’s supposed to - beyond any of my wildest hopes or expectations. With my re-gained perspective came that delicious feeling of peace washing over me then there she was…

“Maybe it’s the ultimate act of self-love to be a spiritual activist FOR YOURSELF…”

It was so clear. To stay in the drivers seat of my thoughts, to remind myself that I can’t trust or believe the things going through my mind because my feelings coming from those thoughts were going to make me feel scared, anxious, fearful or just plain yucky - especially when I’m already in a low mood (from the hormones, but generally also from hunger, lack of sleep, hard day, etc etc) - is being an activist for my spiritual health to continue leading a soul-centered life. Like I said earlier, acting accordingly to what I know to be true about what’s going on in my mind when I feel like shit (aka nonsense that shouldn’t be paid attention to) is merely my spiritual self having my human self’s back. It’s like seeing the traffic on the freeway coming to a screeching halt from a distance so you make a quick decision to exit and take side streets to your destination.

So I say do it. Take the exit before the three car pile up. Be your own spiritual activist for a soul-centered life.

It’s the ultimate act in self-love. If you’ve ever been unsure how to have self-love, this is it, folks. Honoring what you know to be true, that Universal Mind HAS YOU, and it isn’t some airy-fairy, luck of the draw look at life. That it’s 100% my experience, as I’m sure you’ve experienced as well, that when you follow those inner nudges - your KNOWING inside - life flows and unfolds in a manner that can’t be described. Things always work out. So speak up for yourself! Talk to those very real looking thoughts and tell them you don’t want to believe them anymore and fall back into the lazy river of life that’s already flowing and pulling you forward!

Lastly, after having this insight I approached a staircase I needed to climb. I looked up at how many stairs there were and how steep they were, I took a deep breath in with my eyes closed, then with my first step on the first stair my inner voice, my Wisdom, said “Slow and steady.” I felt a zing of energy go from my toes through the crown of my head. I knew it meant much more than just climbing the stairs in front of me. I lifted my head in full gratitude with tears in my eyes and said, “Thank you.”

Here’s to you and your spiritual activism for your soul-centered life…

Here’s to us.

All my love,

Jessie

Here's To Your Roller Coaster

Have you ever noticed that as a culture when we refer to riding a roller coaster at a theme park, the perspective or feeling we get from it is FUN. Maybe we aren’t personally big fans of roller coasters, but we know the intention behind the experience is to be thrilled, get an adrenaline rush, feel accomplished and revved up to go for another spin when it’s over.

But when we’re asked by our friends and loved ones how life has been when we’re catching up, if we reply with, “life has been a roller coaster!” the intention behind it and the feeling we share is that it’s been kind of rough. Of course we’re referring to the highs and lows we’ve been experiencing, but we initially get a sense that, in general, we’ve been feeling the suck. Today, I share with you a short story that takes back the meaning of roller coaster when we refer to our adventurous lives.

Because that is what life is, pure adventure.

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If that sounds a bit too sugar coated for you, let me remind you: The deeper we are grounded in the perspective that we are ALWAYS OK, that we are standing in the middle of our well-being 100% of the time and the only thing that keeps us from feeling it is Thought. When we find ourselves in the pits, we may be hypnotized by it momentarily (or not so momentarily), but we can trust that eventually we will naturally shift into more of an observer of our own thinking as opposed to believing we’re messed up, life is falling apart, or everything is going to hell in a handbasket. So our experiences - good and bad - can then just be part of the whole adventure.

Is it really possible to be in the driver’s seat of our experience when we’re feeling shitty? YES! Read on…

The other night, I found myself really exhausted at the end of a long day. I had been in my thoughts about a big project that’s on the move, so I was more than done with myself. As I was driving home, sitting in traffic, the wave of exhaustion and being tired of staying in my thoughts made me cry - it was a good release. I got home, I was alone for the evening so I plopped in front of the TV and ate my dinner. Moments later I felt the sadness coming towards me again, but this time I had to pause the TV to give full attention to what felt like a force running full steam ahead right at me. I knew I couldn’t see it’s face for what it was because it was moving too fast then it hit me and I wept. Full on. I was looking at what was around me and thinking how a book on my coffee table that I’ve been loving didn’t look appealing anymore. I thought about my clients, my future success… I questioned everything. All within a matter of moments and I kept weeping.

Shortly after these few moments of grave sadness passed through me, it was as if I could see clearly again. I thought to myself, “My God! You are weeping as if someone died!” I asked myself out loud, “Am I going to be OK?” And of course, my Wisdom inside of me nodded with an ever so knowing, YES. And within a few breaths, perspective came back to me. I was calm, I remembered all that I knew, then I was moved to take a shower so I took it. I headed to bed after this whirlwind experience that felt incredibly spiritual - though it was painful, I couldn’t help but find it awe-inspiring. I was so grateful for the understanding I have of how our mind works. Even though my insecurity level was quite high, my consciousness stayed quite high also. In the old days when I would experience this type of force of insecure thinking, I would believe it meant something about me, about my life. I would get tossed into an anxiety attack and it would take a few days of analyzing where it came from to gain some relief. This time around, even though those same insecure thoughts flowed through and I had to hold ground… I did just that. I held my ground and rode the wave of sadness. I witnessed myself. I let the gnarly wave of Thought energy kick everything up in my mind and I reminded myself that it was exactly that. It wasn’t real, and it would be gone soon… however painful and uncomfortable, I sat in the experience and reminded myself what I knew.

When I spoke with my husband the next day about it all, he clarified an incredible perspective on the whole experience in a way that I loved. I knew what it was that I was experiencing (Thought), but I couldn’t stop reveling at how intense it was.

“It’s the adventure of living life” he said.

Beautiful. Simple. Ordinary.

That’s exactly it, my love. It’s the adventure of living life. The roller coaster. There’s no need to make sense of it. There’s no need to judge it. It’s just part of the ever evolving experience of being a spiritual being having a human experience on this planet. And it’s in those moments that we learn, we grow, we’re reminded of what we know and what we don’t know; they keep us on our toes and provide texture and color to our lives.

I will continue to be amazed… here’s to your roller coaster.

All my love and see you again very soon~

XO, Jessie


Trying To Solve A Problem From The Same Line Of Thinking That Created It

Wow.

I feel free again.

Again?! Where did I lose my freedom, you ask?

Well, I never lost it, but for the last month, I have been so incredibly hyper aware of my thinking. Instead of incredibly let’s go with, annoyingly, hyper aware of my thinking. I’ve been tossed in thought storm after thought storm about my work, where it’s going, what I’m doing to move it forward. I have been craving more. And what’s worse? I haven’t been able to define what that more is. Have you experienced that before? It’s usually the precursor experience to a big change which is exciting, but wow it can be a mess of chaos in my head. I have been in my own little Jessie jail because my awareness that I’m gripped and not enjoying the shift has been irritating me and keeping me stuck in a feeling that wasn’t bad but uncomfortable, like a backseat driver that you’re on a 7 hour journey with. I know that I’m caught up in my own tizzy, my own made-up whirlwind. I know it has nothing to do with anything because no matter how tossed up in my thinking I am, I am fully aware that Divine Mind - the greater intelligence of all things - Universe - has me. No matter how cross-eyed I get, it really doesn’t matter. There is a flow that is moving me forward and tossing me breadcrumbs to give me evidence of it - but even with the breadcrumbs that I’ve seen and this knowing about flow, I have been frozen by my thinking in my down time, trying to ‘figure things out’.

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So how did I get back to the feeling of freedom again? How did my thinking walls come crashing down?

I’m so glad you asked because my understanding isn’t actually the answer, it’s quite the opposite.

Knowing what goes on inside of my operating system had actually made me stubbornly determined to get out of this feeling of confusion - how to get to the next level with my work and business - by trying to play volleyball with my thoughts and WIN. Like I was trying to trick the system. Does that make sense? I’ve been strong-arming my thoughts to the ground to triumphantly make space for my Wisdom (ahem, I failed… it doesn’t work that way). See, the beauty of this understanding is, once you know what your thoughts are, you aren’t pulled into them emotionally in the same kind of way ever again. Yes I have felt gripped, annoyed, confused, irritated as of late… but I never felt pulled under water. I haven’t once felt yucky inside, no anxiety or depression - the moment I’ve sat in front of a client or friend or even just being out in the world, my annoying thinking would wash away because that’s it’s nature and I let it. But that’s why it didn’t dawn on me what I was doing to myself. None of my stubborn thought wrestling had resulted in traditional alerts in my body because my understanding of what Thought is had made me still feel content (to a point). Whenever I was previously stuck in my thoughts I would get a tight chest, yucky belly, I’d get super hot and sweaty, but this time I was just sitting around frozen with my thinking face on (the permanent crevasse between my eyebrows has grown deeper by the day).

So what is actually happening when I do all of that wrestling? Just more thinking!!! Here’s what I witnessed in myself: I have been so determined to get through this little phase inside-out, that when my Wisdom came through one day to meditate, I actually said to myself, “No, that’s outside-in, I don’t need to DO something to get through this, my understanding will get me through this!” Oh my god - more thinking that told my Wisdom (which was informing me what to do next, from the inside-out!) to eff off and I believed it (face-palm).

And guess what? The moment I finally said, “Fine! I’ll go sit on the balcony for a few minutes!” BAM! It instantly came through my Wisdom to join a workout class…

What?!

Yes. You heard me right. Join a workout class then everything will become clear about what to do next with my business. And guess what? I haven’t even stepped foot in a class yet but my vision is clearing up again. When I heard that from within, I did some research on what classes sounded exciting - that in itself filled me with joy. From there it came through to get back to meditating in the morning, so I did that first thing this morning. And guess what? I’m sure you guessed it.. more inner promptings! During meditation, it came through to journal again. So I picked up my journal and when I started writing, my vision for the coming months and year spilled out of me, exactly what I’ve been searching for. Then guess what? After having that vision fall out of me, my eyes came off the page and my mouth dropped. I realized that all the opportunities that are swirling around me right now, that have previously brought me a glimmer of insight that they were somehow connected but I couldn’t understand how (that was all part of my frozen thinking), are all absolutely in line with the vision that plopped out of me. Furthermore, I could see how Wisdom that came through me for clients in recent sessions, was also Wisdom that I needed to hear for myself… it’s as if all the pieces to the puzzle fell in place. But again, that’s the beauty of knowing that we’re being pulled forward even when we are distracted by our thinking - it’s just so much more fun to be able to witness it as it’s actually unfolding.

We are an incredible species, us humans, don’t you agree? It’s like our spiritual selves hang back in these scenarios, sipping a Mai Thai, enjoying the view, and thinking to themselves, “They’ll get it together soon.” Then we see one thing and our whole perspective shifts and we’re back in alignment, seeing the magic unfold. What an incredible feeling to know that even when we feel tight, stuck, or challenged, it’s all going to release soon and that blip of time where you felt like you were being dragged through a keyhole backwards was just a period of growth, yet again. None of it is bad or wrong, it just is.

It feels wonderful to be back with you, thank you for allowing me the space to go into a proverbial hole and contemplate my navel. I’ve been missing writing and it feels great to be broken wide open again, I’m so grateful.

I hope you have a wonderful week and if you haven’t already, have so much fun hitting the poles to VOTE if you’re in the States! I personally, cannot wait.

All my love and see you again very soon~

XO, Jessie




Lose The Thoughts... Keep The Feeling

Let me ask you this…

Have you ever found yourself in a routine of doing something, whether that be a daily or weekly task or even a tradition with family, and you eventually find yourself feeling like you have to push hard or lift some serious mental weights to make it happen? Maybe it’s going to the gym, your morning meditation, the order in which you do your morning routine or it’s the cookies you always bring to the Christmas party?

Any of these things became a routine in your life, an expectation you placed on your own head, because at SOME point they brought you peace, joy, excitement… a full heart. Then one day, it feels hard, it’s not as fulfilling… but because at one point it was the thing that felt like a game-changer in your life or it was something that brought you and those around you a ton of love, it feels blasphemous to let it go.

Are you with me?

I was just having this discussion with a dear friend who has been getting deeper and deeper into the understanding of how our minds work. Understanding how we operate. Understanding that real change and peace comes from following our own Wisdom, our gut instinct, and that we don’t have to believe our thinking 100% of the time. That real change comes from understanding that when we take action and make decisions from the inside-out we are not lost - it’s when we look for things on the outside to make our insides feel better that we feel more lost than ever.

Apologies… long winded side bar.

Back to my friend.

He had gotten in a routine of journaling and meditating every morning as tools to ease his anxiety (pre learning about this understanding). These tools are absolutely beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with him having them in his life, but with this new understanding, he started to find himself waking up with less and less anxiety yet he felt he had to do his routine, even though it was becoming uninspired - even though he wasn’t necessarily motivated to do them anymore. Once he saw it for himself that it was just a thought in his head that he had to do these things to start his day off on the right foot, he dropped the journaling and found himself newly inspired for his meditation. And who knows! The journaling will more than likely reappear in his life at some point, maybe it already has since we talked, but seeing it clearly that there is much more benefit to his well-being and energy if he journals and meditates when he’s moved to, was a game-changer!

I have brought all of this up to share that I have come across this ‘I have to’ feeling with this beautiful, cathartic, love-filled blog that I share with you. Over the last several weeks as I’ve gotten busier and busier in my days, I’ve felt frustrated, drained and overwhelmed with getting my article out on a Monday (even if it’s 11:59pm, god willing). Something that started out as a way to get deeper into my own understanding and share my story so you all could benefit from the journey and insights I was having, has become a subject of stressful thinking in my mind. Have the last few blogs been in vein? Absolutely not. However, I have had to find ways to strike a match to light the candle within me to be inspired and motivated to stay on this timeline I set up for myself!

SO! In staying in line with what I teach, I am doing for myself exactly what I tell everyone else to live by. After this week, my blog features will be coming to you when it hits me in the gut to share a new revelation or an insight that has taken me deeper. Not only will I be re-inspired, you will feel that inspiration seeping through the screen as well. My writings may very well still be delivered to you on a Monday, because that’s the funny thing about removing an expectation thought, the routine may not change but since there’s nothing on it anymore, the inspiration is back in flow. However, it may come to you on a different day, I may skip a week or you may receive two in one week instead! My inner fire has already been re-ignited and I’m so incredibly grateful you have been here, and ARE here, to witness my journey.

Lastly, I had thought to myself, “But Jessie, it’s called MONDAY Musings! What are you gonna do, just look like a weirdo that sends out a Monday Musings blog on a Saturday?!” And then it hit me… I made up the title, so I can very well change it ;)

How is THAT for a metaphor about EVERYTHING we see in life as fixed, when truly, EVERYTHING is fluid…

All my love and see you on the next Musings release.

XOXO,

Jessie

Bamboozled Into Spirituality

Hi, I’m Jessie, and I was tricked into being a spiritual person.

Does that sound harsh? I don’t mean it to. I was recently reflecting on my journey to where I am now, what I know to be true about how our mind works and the spiritual component to life that is undeniable, and I was in awe of how I’ve gotten here.

I was at a party Saturday night and in sharing about what I do with a new acquaintance, I shared that I am a spiritual teacher with a Behavioral Mastery practice. They were intrigued… I was intrigued!

“How did I get here?” I thought to myself later with a smile on my face. I grew up in a family who was very open to any and all beliefs that helped people get through life, but we were not religious by any stretch of the imagination. There was no negative talk about spirituality - in fact, anytime we’d get into deep conversations about religion, what my parents always pointed to was how religion had become a form of power and control for many cultures (including within the states), by mistelling the story of a wonderful man who gave a sense of peace and health to those around him, and that the spiritual component was a positive aspect that could help others feel connected to something greater than them so they didn’t feel alone… and who could argue with that?

For the longest time, even up through my twenties, any word that reminded me of religion or God would leave a bad taste in my mouth. I would immediately shut down in my mind - there was no convincing me of something positive that could come from it. BUT you want to hear something crazy?! Two things that completely contradict the first statement of this paragraph. One, my dad would play gospel music from time to time (specifically, Andrae Crouch) and I couldn’t help but dance and sing at the top of my lungs, the feeling it brought me was incredible. Two, I would get the weirdest pull to watch a Sunday morning sermon on tv every now and again (I would inevitably switch it after twenty minutes because the religious angle would take over any nice feeling that I had), but still! Interesting, to say the least! I was intrigued by something bigger without realizing it!

So how did I get here? How did I go from feeling icky saying anything about spirituality to calling myself a spiritual teacher?

I was bamboozled! But in the best of ways…

Throughout my entire life I have looked to my mind for answers. I have been overly analytical since I can remember. Any feeling I had, I analyzed it. Any feelings other people were dealing with? Analyze. Relationships going sour around me? Analyze. Going into adulthood, especially as a performer, any feelings of insecurity (aka MASSIVE insecurity) would baffle me because I loved every element of being a performer. I would analyze myself into the ground (which tended to lead me to the toilet - hello, anxiety!) as to WHY I felt insecure, WHY I had fear, WHY I couldn’t handle myself. And you know what?! I always took on the challenge. It was painful, I suffered so much on the inside, but I was fueled by the discovery, I was fueled by that feeling of release I would feel when I’d uncovered the nugget of old memories or self talk that I perceived as the thing that made me feel awful. And yet (or shall I say, inevitably), the suffering would continue to come back - maybe in a different costume, so I thought I was dealing with a new issue, but it was constant, never ending work.

So one day I changed my outsides by changing my career, thinking that would be the end to all suffering - and of course, it wasn’t. Things got so bad for me that my body started to protect itself from my constant internal struggle. I gained weight, my lymph nodes blew up to the size of golf balls and I was so incredibly unhappy. Any and all tools and management tactics were out the window. I had analyzed myself into a corner and my brain was just frozen with a habitual loop of unhappiness on repeat. Until one day I had an insight. The most beautiful insight that single-handedly changed my life. I was in the shower, I was riddled with so much anxiety that I had a hard time breathing and yet I was past any emotional release like crying. And BAM! It bubbled up. No one was in the shower with me, yet I was reacting as if I had emails in my face and co-workers yelling over me (which they never did in real life anyhow). And it dawned on me that what I was feeling was everything going on in my mind, not what was going on around me! For the first time in months I felt a shift inside me that brought more relief than any over-analyzing result I had ever come to before. If I could see it so clearly in this one moment, I could potentially start seeing my thinking for what it was in ALL the moments of my life!

How does this all connect back to spirituality, you ask?

After that fateful day, I was on a mission to unfold an understanding of the mind set forth by Sydney Banks and his work called the 3 Principles (when I shared my insight with my mom she excitedly proclaimed, “That sounds a lot like the 3 Principles!” so on I went). Syd would refer to the principles as spiritual principles, but they looked so logical to me and fed my intellect in such a way that I bypassed the whole spiritual part and took the literal understanding of how our minds work more to heart. One of the 3 Principles is the principle of Mind, also known as Universal Mind or Divine Mind. This was the most spiritual-esque looking one to me, but it made sense. The greater intelligence of all things that moves through us, around us and connects us; A little beyond my intellect at that time, but the examples he would use would make sense to me and the feeling it brought was immense. One example he used was when we get a cut on our arm, without any effort on our part, our body sends all healing elements to the cut to heal it. Of course there’s science behind what goes to the cut, but what is the actual force behind those elements to get it there? We don’t tell our body “Hey, body! I just got a cut, send red blood cells and new tissue to that gash on my arm!” of course not! That’s the energy of Mind.

As I deepened my understanding over the last few years, and as I’ve shared with you over the last 10 months, belief after belief revealed itself to me as thought, judgements about myself or the ‘way things should be’ revealed themselves as thought, urges and habits revealed themselves as thought, the way I interacted with others and my relationships with them revealed themselves as thought, fears, expectations, anxieties… ALL revealed themselves to me as THOUGHT! And guess where all of this has left me?

If thought has fallen away (most of the time) and it isn’t what dictates my interactions with the world, how I manage to maintain my happiness or how I move forward in my business or relationships anymore, what’s left?

The overwhelming knowing that was HAS me is what IS me. Universal Mind. And with my very own GPS system to navigate Mind - my Wisdom. The more I have seen this for myself, the more I drop out of my thinking into the beautiful feeling of peace and Wisdom within me, the more I see life unfold in front of me. An example of something that would make me incredibly scared and impatient in the past: I now can trust the gaps of space in my business that in the past would give me the illusion of things drying up, but now, knowing that Universal Mind is driven and fueled by love just as we are, I know that that space is a gift, it’s meant to be, for creating, organizing, rejuvenating - whatever it is that I need to be filled up to continue to give back and teach. There’s a knowing and a trust that I never thought was possible. And guess what?! It allows me to continue to LIVE, even in the moments that could press me to go outside of myself to try to hurry things along. It doesn’t work. It’s all inside-out. And it’s all spiritual. Though I can share an expansive array of evidence from my life that proves this spiritual energy exists, you can’t see it - but you can feel it. Even now, if you’re uneasy with trusting a greater Wisdom via your own Wisdom, if you feel peaceful reading this, it’s because it’s a truth that your spiritual self already knows exists, it’s just waiting for you to turn off the tv upstairs and hold hands with it. It’s OK to not ‘know’ things and still trust them to be true.

Pure magic over LA on a very ordinary day…

Pure magic over LA on a very ordinary day…

Take it from me, the previously proclaimed non-spiritual optimist. The moment you drop out of your personal thinking mind and start opening yourself up to seeing things differently - seeing a deeper meaning to life’s ups and downs - Universal Mind will show you the most immense, connected, love-filled experience of life you could ever imagine. Moments are full, interactions are magical, and gratitude and love knows no bounds - and all without any thinking effort whatsoever.

Here’s to you and all the magic that you are~

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

What Are You Seeking?

No matter who you are, no matter what you do, where you are from, who you were raised by, what your circumstances were growing up; No matter your age, your relationship status, the color of your skin or the culture you're immersed in... WE ALL seek the same things.

Belonging, safety, love, peace, joy, purpose, happiness, success, health...

Can you take a wild guess as to where you find them or who you need in your life to achieve such graces?

You might've guessed it but I'll put it to you loud and clear...

You have them all, and then-some, within you, RIGHT NOW.

Prepping to write this, I sat for a few minutes with my eyes closed, my forehead relaxed and my tongue released from the roof of my mouth (I highly recommend doing this right now if you aren't already). I put on one of my favorite meditation tunes from my husband (Click here if you'd like it for yourself), and I imagined myself falling back... into myself. Does that make sense? I visualized myself literally falling backwards, or rather, floating backwards, into an abyss... into my Consciousness. The feeling that washed over me was pure peace and tranquility, then the tears came. Tears of immense gratitude for feeling all of those graces I mentioned above: Belonging, safety, love, peace, joy, purpose, happiness, success, health.

Now if I threw you for a little loop by saying consciousness, never fear,  I am here to share how I came to understanding it more clearly for myself. It has taken some chipping away at the overused version of the word that often times brings thoughts and feelings of hierarchy or someone achieving some level of understanding that you will never achieve. Divine Consciousness is purely our gift of awareness that resides within ALL of us, all the time. It is within this awareness that we can realize for ourselves that we have all of the answers to all of our life's qualms... answers to questions that each and every one of us has. As Sydney Banks says in his profound book that I refer to on a consistent basis for deepening my understanding of our experience of life, The Missing Link:

Mental health lies within the consciousness of all human beings, but it is shrouded and held prisoner by our own erroneous thoughts.

Side bar: Those thoughts are why our level of consciousness can go up and down throughout the day. When we're believing our stressful thinking {still happens to me, even if just for a moment - I'm human, too!}, our consciousness is in the ground because we're flailing around trying to find answers in those crappy thoughts as opposed to our wisdom, our gut instinct. When we are peaceful inside, in flow with our wisdom, we have a higher consciousness because we are aware that our knowing has us, and will continue to reveal answers as we need them. Ok, carry on with Syd...

This is why we must look past our contaminated thoughts to find the purity and wisdom that lies inside our own consciousness.

When the wise tell us to look within, they are directing us beyond intellectual analysis of personal thought, to a higher order of knowledge called wisdom.

Like the sun, your wisdom is always present beyond the clouds of your erroneous thoughts  Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Like the sun, your wisdom is always present beyond the clouds of your erroneous thoughts

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

When I fell back into myself in my brief meditation, those tears of gratitude were not only coming from the peace that washed over me from feeling the depth of truth that all which we seek lies within us; But from this place I felt expansive, a deep feeling of love that unleashed a flood of memories where I felt this same feeling because I was present and totally aware (conscious) of how pure the moment was. Nothing that was extraordinary, but absolutely ordinary: flashes of memories with my family sitting around the table with coffee or going on a bike ride, me at a tiny age in the back seat of my parent's car, collecting myself to head out on an exciting day trip adventure. My husband and I on a walk talking about our dreams, watching a sunset in Joshua Tree on vacation with my friends who are family, a moment where I sobbed in traffic because immense gratitude hit me so hard I couldn't contain myself, looking up at the stars during an outdoor summer concert...

Have you had these types of experiences? The kind where something hits you out of no where and you think to yourself how perfect a moment, an experience or a feeling is? And you're totally aware of it and grateful for it? You even say to yourself "I want to remember this forever."

In those moments, you were just completely aware of YOU - the brush and branches of any thinking that may have normally gotten in the way was gone, and you were experiencing YOURSELF in pure alignment form. It may have looked like it was the experience you were having that brought on all of those beautiful feelings, but you were truly just experiencing yourself, shining bright and effortless. The more you can realize for yourself that that IS you 100% of the time, even when you are distracted by your thinking, the more your thinking will stop distracting you. The feeling is so incredibly amazing that you'll naturally continue to make the effort to ignore your stressful thoughts. Like I've said many times before about this understanding: it feels like pure magic that no one told us we had.

Throughout your day, whenever you experience peace wash over you, even if it's just for a moment, pause to sit with it if you can or at the very least, just notice it. If you are reading this and thinking "There is no way I can have even a moment of what she is talking about - I work a stressful 9-5, I have kids, I have to make the meals, I barely even have time to take a crap in a peaceful state of mind." Well, to that I say, you are proving my point that we all innocently believe that the life that goes on outside of us is where we seek: Belonging, safety, love, peace, joy, purpose, happiness, success, health... But the truth is, when you are aware of what exists within you underneath the chaos of your mind, it makes no difference where you are, what you're doing or who you're interacting with - you can experience consistent, beautiful peace inside - because it's YOU; And nothing outside of yourself can take you away from YOU, only you can do that by continuing to believe your old script.

As a 15 year old client of mine said so clearly to me the other day when she had a huge insight into her anxiety, "OMG! It's like I'm choosing to get caught up in my own drama! My thoughts are my drama! They aren't real, they're just drama!"

Mmhmmm.....

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

 

 

When Forgetfulness Leads To Insight!

I had had a great insight into my experience of something earlier and after discussing it with my husband Mike, we both said, "That would make for a great Monday Musings!" So I sat at the computer, got curious and distracted by other things, and by the time I opened up my website to start typing (a couple hours later) I had forgotten what the peak AHA! insight was that I wanted to write about! I have since remembered the insight, but I wanted to share this mini story because it is the perfect lead-in for what I am about to share.

I'm sure you have experienced a similar forgetfulness like I shared above (hello, everyday!), you can relate to the idea that our mind is constantly washing away our thinking. Our forgetfulness points us to the fact that not one thought is ever fixed, so why is it that so many of us feel stuck, so often? Why is it that we can have the thought "I wonder what I should get for dinner?" or "I love this movie!" or "That's a cute shirt!" and not get gripped by it, but the moment we have an insecure, fearful or angry thought like "What if my presentation doesn't go well?" or "Do I look heavier then I did yesterday?" or the biggy and most common: "What if I'm not good enough?" we believe that those thoughts mean something about us?

Sit with that for a second...

"I wonder what I should get for dinner?" versus "What if I'm not good enough?"

Why does one thought feel like it implies so much more than the other?

Well, as human beings, we very innocently believe that the thought "What if I'm not good enough?" tells us something about who we are, or where we are in the psychology of our minds, because the experience is so heavy when we think it. It feels so incredibly real to us because every thought comes with a feeling, so the emotion that washes over you and the sensations you feel in your body when you have that thought make you feel tiny, insecure and incapable. But guess what?

"What if I'm not good enough?" is a thought, just like "I wonder what I should get for dinner?" Nothing more, nothing less.

But how could this be true, you ask? "What if I'm not good enough?" comes with a plethora of evidence from your own life, with experiences and memories that you can pull up to support the fact that you may not be good enough to accomplish what you're worried about! That's the thing... our thinking is produced by a neutral energy that uses us to pass through, and in using us, it pulls up our own life's experiences as opposed to Henry's down the street (Imagine how easy it would be to disregard any insecure thinking if it brought up pictures from Henry's life? We'd instantly feel empathetic for the guy and forget we were concerned about our own lives! Poor Henry, whoever he is). Does that make sense to you? It resides within us as we think it, but it is not of us. The more you see this for yourself, a space between you and what you're experiencing organically appears so you can allow the experience to pass through you without fearing it or judging it, naturally bringing you back to a neutral, peaceful state of mind.

The true nature of who we are is content and present in the moment. That's why any time we're anything but these things, our body alerts us via feelings and sensations that we're believing our thinking that's made-up and untrue for us, in that moment. We've been hijacked and we're believing the culprit... We're using the beautiful gift of Thought against us.

I love this metaphor: picture a snow globe. You pick it up and shake it like crazy in every direction, causing the snow to whip and whirl around inside the globe. What do you do when you want the snow to settle? Do you tell the snow what to do? Do you judge the way it's falling or whirling around? Of course not! You put it down or hold it still to allow the snow to gently fall to the bottom... the same goes for your thinking. I understand it's difficult when your thinking is making you feel uncomfortable (that's usually the point we start judging it and wondering what it means about us), but just like when you get a cut on your arm and your body sends everything needed to that cut to begin the healing process, if you don't DO anything to mess with your thinking (make sense of it, judge it, breathe life into it), it will settle. It will move through. It will pass. It will adjust itself. As much as you want to feel at peace and 'yourself' without your thinking, so does your mind.

Nothing within you is ever fixed, you are a whirling energy of change being held together by a skin suit. It is absolutely human to have expectations, beliefs, and values - but guess what?! Those are all fixed thoughts, so if anything challenges those things, you feel nuts inside and you won't even be able to see the challenging thought or experience for what it is because you're all wrapped up in what it isn't. Is it bad to have expectations, beliefs, and values? Well, expectations will kill ya.. but beliefs and values? Absolutely not. But the point I'm trying to make is that the more you are aware of what they ARE [thoughts], the more you can ebb and flow with what feels right in your Wisdom, your gut instinct, to then assess, act and experience life from the well of peace and contentment you are residing in under the distraction of the busyness in your mind.

The more I see all of this for myself, the more I realize how truly separate our spiritual selves are from our human selves, and the only thing that toggles us between the two is this magical gift of Thought. I'm literally giddy when I am in flow with my Wisdom and the Universe then I get tossed into my insecure human self. I'm serious, it literally makes me giggle because it's an incredible thing to see! I will forever have that duality of course, and I will forever have moments of being gripped by my thinking because I'm a human being! BUT the moment I remember what is going on and what it is that I'm experiencing when I'm gripped, is when the gratitude and joy kicks in that makes me so happy to be alive and have this understanding. The wealth of who I truly am: love, joy, peace, resilience, confidence.. comes shining through and connects me to the heart of life and others around me. It spills over in every direction and what unfolds for me from there feels like pure magic.

What it feels like to see the magic...

What it feels like to see the magic...

Lastly, I want to leave you with a nugget of wisdom from Mike. I often say that it takes courage to trust and surrender to all that we are and all that unfolds from that knowing, from our Wisdom, our Soul. Mike shared that it felt to him like that was actually the easy part. From his perspective, what takes courage is knocking down the walls of thought that have kept you from surrendering to all that you are and all that you truly know, in the first place.

I completely agree.

Here's to you and all the courage that resides in the wells of your being to choose a different perspective that will knock down those walls. I can't wait for you to see what life can be like once you do.

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

When Thought Gets In The Way Of Performance

It's Saturday night, the weather is a perfect SoCal temp of 75 with a breeze, the sky is so clear that the nearly full moon shown brighter than the lights below and Mike and I are at the stunning Getty Center museum to see Combo Chimbita, a Colombian rooted NY-based band that gives all the funk, soul and cumbia one could ever wish for on a date night out.

The beautiful Getty

The beautiful Getty

There were views of the city, drinks, dancing (so much dancing) from EVERY age you could think of (variety at it's best since the concert was at a museum), we were ALL having the time of our lives. Then all of a sudden I hear the fierce lead singer Carolina Oliveros say "I don't know what's going on" while she then turned around to stare at her guitar player. Being that Mike is a guitar player, we both knew what was up and were feeling for the guy. His pedal board lost a connection, a power cord came loose - something of that nature. Mike has had to deal with this mid-gig on a plethora of stages as well, but any time I've seen him experience it, he's like a magician. He tests all the possible problems, finds the glitch, and wails right back in time with the tune, merely moments later. The bigger point is, whoever Mike is performing with (especially lead singer Brian from Brian Buckley Band), they ALWAYS continue to sing or improvise, allowing Mike to get it together and the audience is none the wiser.

*Here comes the point*

Instead of allowing that process to happen, lead singer Carolina who had already announced her insecure thinking ("I don't know what's going on"), walked off stage and motioned to the band that they were done! After many minutes of the band talking to each other side stage, much to the chagrin of all who were in attendance, she came back to the stage to say they could not go on and thank you to everyone for coming. Granted, they may have had 20-30 minutes max left of the show, but that's not the point. I literally witnessed her become completely hypnotized by her insecure thinking, ESPECIALLY after having announced it to the world because it threw her into a horrible thought storm that made her nearly dizzy with stress, and off the stage she went. In that moment, I knew I couldn't save her because she had to come down from it all, but I desperately wanted to run after her and tell her what she had just experienced and that she didn't have to let it own her the way it did.

It doesn't matter if you're a performer or entertainer, you can relate to this experience if you've had to have a hard conversation with someone you had a bunch of nervous/insecure thinking about, you've had to deliver a speech at a wedding or give a presentation at work - all of these experiences are susceptible to overthinking in the moment and leading us to having flashes of insecure thoughts that make us blank-out. I used to experience it A LOT as a dancer - like, A LOT. I had SO much insecure thinking around doing well, being good enough, thoughts of being judged when I stood on the audition line, the works. It didn't matter how much I self-talked my way out of nausea, nearly EVERY audition was a mental war. And here's what's worse! I adore dancers and dancing with all of me, so I networked my way into tons of auditions - but do you think being invited to a tiny private audition for a replacement dancer for Beyonce (my dream job at the time), being run by a friend of mine, eased any of the insecure thinking? Nope! The bigger the stakes, the more love I had on an audition because of hopes/dreams/not letting friends down?! The worse the thought storm. In hindsight, each and every one of those opportunities were learning experiences to help the depth of my understanding now, but holy cow was it a painful fight...

every. single. time.

And here's the thing, just like I experienced as a dancer and what I witnessed on stage at the Getty, when we breathe life into that insecure thinking, when we give it value and make meaning out of it, we completely lose ourselves - our GREATNESS - to that thinking. We get lost in translation. We don't show up to the world, the performance, the presentation, the meeting, the conversation, as our true selves. Our light doesn't shine and we aren't able to connect to the heart of others because we aren't present, we're lost in our own reality upstairs that has nothing to do with the moment.

What would I suggest to the amazing and badass lead singer of Combo Chimbita? If you recognize that something is going off track, there's absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging it, but with the understanding that your mind is constantly bringing you new thought and that you can let it move through you, any opportunity to take a mere moment of pause and choosing to stay in the moment (maybe even saying to yourself 'stay in the moment') will naturally and effortlessly bring you fresh new ideas straight from your Wisdom that will keep you in flow and creative, in an instant. Like I was discussing with Mike, if she had taken that moment of pause (and I'm talking a quick deep breath in, breath out type of pause), amongst a myriad of other options, she could have come to the front of the stage and sang acapella with her Guacharaca. And guess what would have happened should she need to go totally rogue from her original set up and do that?! We as the audience would have been in complete awe. Her voice, her instrument, would have bled love and connection more than anything she had planned in her original set. And if you need an example for being tripped up in a meeting or presentation or speech? Taking that moment of pause can lead you to keeping things light - maybe sharing that you've had a brain fart - no matter the level of serious in the room, humor brings everyone to the present in an instant. Whatever it may be, those are the human moments we connect to - those are the moments that move us - those are the moments we remember.

So if you are a performer or an entertainer, a bridesmaid with a speech or you're concerned about a future meeting or conversation, KNOW that we always rise to the occasion when we're in flow with the moment. When we drop out of our thinking, even just momentarily, magic happens. The Universe has our back and our Wisdom drives the train.

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

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

 

Sometimes We Just Need A Reminder...

Let me set the stage for you.

I am 18 years old, I had just moved to Los Angeles, and a friend from work asks if I'd like to hang with him and some musician buddies after our shift is over. I oblige, and as I walk into his apartment, a guitar player I was ogling just two months previous when I was brand new to the city is sitting on the couch (cue stomach drop). When I had seen him play those months before, I watched him walk off the stage and into the arms of another girl, so I hadn't even attempted a conversation, though I was bummed she existed, nonethless. I'll never forget how we caught eyes as I walked into the apartment and were introduced. We made small talk with friends, then we took our conversation to the balcony and talked for hours. It was that getting to know each other tête-à-tête where you eat up every morsel of who the person is with pure excitement and hang on every word. I asked him about the girl from his show and much to my excitement, they had broken up - BUT - he was very clear, it had been a rough road for a few years with her and he was loving not being in a relationship (ugh, cue another stomach drop of a different kind). Then, much to my {additional} dismay, just as he shares his elation for no longer being in a relationship, she shows up to his apartment to 'talk.'

Cut to me in my 18 year old innocence, I had hardly dated back home because I was enamored with the dance studio and I was on an emotional roller coaster, poor thing. I was stunned to see her walk in, but I was grateful that his reaction was bereft of any iota of excitement to see her. We wrapped up the conversation and I tried to act cool as I slipped out of the apartment with my head in the clouds and my heart on the floor.

The following day my gut was on fire. I couldn't stop thinking about him and my instinct was to call him. My thoughts ran rampant trying to stop me: "He just got out of a relationship, Jessie! Hell, after last night, he may still be in one! You can't be the one to follow up the next day, YOU JUST MET HIM! Screw that, he's awesome - but is it lame to call? Shouldn't he be calling me? And by the way, he hasn't called YOU, so what does that say? Oh, wait, it's still morning, he's a musician, maybe he's still asleep. Nope, if he was into you, he would've called you by now!" As you can imagine, the hypnotic thought storm was real, but I persevered... "Screw it, call him - you never know where it will lead."

[Ring ring ring]

His roommate (my friend from work) answers... "Hello"

Me: "Hi! Is ___ there?"

Friend: "No, he's at the gym. Is this Jessie?!"

Me: "Oh, yeah, will you let him know I called?" (Cue the cringe)

Friend: "For sure... (Insert sarcastic joke about me calling him first). See you at work later"

Me: "Ok cool. See ya dude!" (Cue double cringe)

The guitar player calls back. My memory is a little dusty when it comes to the details of the next move, but what I do remember was having the exchange that we both knew the spark between us was blatantly obvious. He didn't want to jump into another relationship, not just for his sake, but mine too (melt). We agreed to start seeing each other now and again and every step of the way we would ask each other if we were cool with our pace and be completely honest if one of us wanted or needed to jump ship...

That guitar player is my husband, Mike. And 15 years later, I'm pretty sure we can say the rest is history.

Babies...

Babies...

Why this story, you ask? Because it dawned on me not long ago that this was one of my first experiences where my Wisdom was loud and clear and I had to battle my thinking to follow it. Not only was it a volleyball match between my thinker and my knower at the very beginning, but when we were getting really serious three months later? My gut was telling me that he could be the one I married, he could be the one I saw myself having kids with, and my thoughts were having a hay-day that I hadn't taken in the lay of the land enough. I had just turned 19 by this point, and I called my mom frantic that maybe I shouldn't be moving towards such a serious relationship without having more experience. I'll never forget our exchange after going around and around about my insecure thoughts (my mom was onto the Three Principles before she was even aware of them)...

Mom: "What does your gut say?"

Me: "That he's it, mom. Like I can really feel like he's my forever."

Mom: "Then why would you trade in a Mercedes for a hoopty?" (hoopty translates to a craptastic new boyfriend).

NAILED IT.

She got me grounded in my Wisdom and that was that. It was right all along, it just took courage (and a little push from mom) to follow it.

For today, whenever you read this, I would love for you to take note of a time that you've done this in your life. Where your gut was screaming and against all odds of your thoughts trying to make enough logic to deter you, you followed it. It can be anything. A job you took the leap for, or a job you chose to walk away from. Following your dreams for a career that seemed impossible, or going to a school where you didn't know anyone. Going back to school or having a kid. Leaving home when you did or leaving a relationship that was toxic. Absolutely anything, big or small - I guarantee you, no matter who you are, that you have at least one experience to glean from. Once you have that memory, sit with it. Think of the ripple effect of positive experiences that happened around that choice of following your Wisdom. Feel the warmth of joy and gratitude all through your chest, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Breathe it in for at least a few minutes. Remember what it felt like to follow your gut.

Now...

Go do more of that.

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

 

 

Life Is A Gift That May Take Courage To Unwrap

I recently received news that a family member close to someone I love dearly has been given a very tough medical diagnosis. Literally a moment before receiving the news, I had let out a big exhale from all the thought stressors of paying bills, money, the patience it takes to build a really thriving business (we're doing it, the benefits far outweigh the insecure thoughts, but hey.. we're human, too). I know it reads slightly petty to talk about bill stress after having heard such immense news, but that's exactly where the lesson lies. I had a flash...

It was a reminder from the Universe. Universal Mind. The Intelligence behind all things.

In that very moment of exhale I was reminded, with purpose, that what is really important is this life, this time, the love and connection we have to ourselves and to each other, the love that we stand in every day - our core, this moment that we're in - right now. I was hit with massive gratitude that myself and my family have our health, in this moment. That we can call and connect with each other, in this moment.

I reflected on the duality of knowing that your release is not far away, yet what a gift it is to be able to say and do and BE all that you are, and have always wanted to be, for yourself and your loved ones for the rest of your days. What a metaphor for us all to not wait until we're given the expiration date on our current skin suit to be our true selves and TRUST.

I've had many conversations come up lately with clients and family about the courage it takes to truly follow your Wisdom that is always with you, within you. I understand it, wholly. I've been there. It can take literally one thought shift to look at things differently, but as long as you believe the illusions that your thoughts are creating, it can take as long as you need to turn your back to the thinking that isn't real for you - it takes courage. It's a journey of unlearning. We have been told our entire lives that we need this, we need that - for a peaceful life. Even the idea of positive thinking and gratitude - it's been pitched to us that if we don't have those things then our lives will not be the greatest they could be - merely adding more stressful thinking when we feel like we don't have it or can't find it. Here lies the unlearning:

You are already standing in peace and wellbeing that brings forth gratitude, love, joy, contentment. It is intrinsic within you - a constant. It may look like we are on a rollercoaster of our wellbeing going missing from time to time, or even for long periods of time, but it is only our thought-created world within us that distracts us from our wellbeing that doesn't ever go anywhere.

For me, it took a solid year and a half to do the biggest chunk of unlearning to date, and that doesn't include when I first found the 3 Principles, the base to my work, a year before that. While I was studying the understanding behind our true nature and the way our minds work (and maybe this is you right now, with reading my articles), I was constantly left with a good feeling after reading the different books and watching videos of Syd Banks discussing our spiritual nature, yet I didn't have the wherewithal to see it for myself. I would still get incredibly gripped by my thinking - I was in a major career transition and the thought storms were immense. I had so much insecure thinking that I believed to be true that I thought I was the only person on this planet that this understanding was not going to apply to. And yet, I kept going, I kept reading, I kept studying - I couldn't put it down because in the midst of reading and listening, the truth behind the information left me in such a good feeling I knew I had to trust it. That was my Wisdom that was naturally giving me the courage to trust. It gave me hope even when I felt like 'I' had gone missing.

After all of my studying, truth be told, the insights began to roll in the moment I stopped thinking about it (how's that for a mind twist). From listening to leaders in the field of the 3 Principles, it occurred to me that up to a certain point, I had been using my intellect to try and understand it all - how we function and how we can listen to our Wisdom and trust it. It sounded right to me, but I was still analyzing it with my prideful student brain. In all my innocence, I thought I 'had it' because I understood that my feelings were coming from my thoughts, I understood that I look at life through the lens of my thinking in any varied moment, and I understood that the answers to all of my life's twists and turns laid deep within my belly of Wisdom. I understood it, but I hadn't yet realized it for myself (does this sound like you?) I had a moment with Syd's dear friend Elsie Spittle who told me that even in the moments of life looking difficult, she lives in the feeling of excitement of what the next moment or day can bring. With the nature of Thought, she can trust that her current feeling will pass when she lets it. She can trust that when she follows her Wisdom on a moment to moment basis, her goals and dreams will come TO her, and how it all unfolds is always beyond her imagination (and telling me these things tickled her so much she was giggling just sharing it with me, after 40+ years of living this way). I could feel what she meant...

I could feel what she meant.

It was now in my hands to be active in my experience and drop the studying. When I was conscious (aware) that I was being gripped by my thinking (at the time, a lot of that thinking was being worried about things 'working out' in my new career and everything that comes along with that), I would recognize what was happening, which would naturally allow it to pass. It honestly felt like magic. And the moment the gripping, insecure thinking passed, my Wisdom would bubble up and give me guidance and assurance in what to do next. Many months later, I can tell you purely from experience, that the voice of my insecure thoughts is not only quieter, but more rare. The positive thinking and gratitude that we're told we need to experience a more beautiful life? Yes, they make life so much more bright and colorful and rich! But they bubble up naturally and effortlessly without me having to work at it. I spend more of my time in a state of curiosity, excitement, joy, and peace. And what happens when we're peaceful inside? Our Wisdom becomes the louder voice, and when we follow it, life unfolds... just like Elsie said it would.

Sometimes I'm in awe of this state of being. Will thinking and emotions grip me in the coming days, months, years? Abso-friggin-lutely... because I'm human. But having the understanding of what's going on inside of me gives me the tools to not be afraid of what I'm experiencing, which in turn brings me peace even in moments where I can't see clearly.

The take-away today is not to step away from this article thinking you have to work hard at your awareness. Quite the opposite. I share my personal experience with you so you can see that the more you just notice where you are in your thinking, the more you'll naturally be guided from within and see life's little miracles (life hack: your body always tells you where you are in your thinking... and sometimes you'll notice it there first. If you feel yucky in any way possible... you're believing your thinking that isn't real for you). Let me also remind you of this:

You have all the courage you need to follow your inner compass and experience your life to it's fullest potential. The only thing that stops you from trusting it is your thinking that it is impossible for a feeling within you to be the truth. When in fact, it is. Myself among many others have surrendered to it, and life couldn't be more beautiful. Don't wait another moment to be your whole self...

not one. more. moment.

All my love, see you next week~

Jessie

Taking The Leap! An Interview With Leesa Zelken of Send In The Clowns

"It is more than a business for me: it is my calling and my life’s work."

Leesa Zelken, CEO (as she says, Clever Entertainment Organizer TM) of Send In The Clowns, is no less than a force to be reckoned with. Speaking to her about her company, where she started, what her process has been and what she provides for each and every joyous 'kid-centric' event - that she amplifies to the nth degree with beautiful, creative, fresh, unique, enchanting and sensational touches, no less - is like speaking to Mr. Rogers and what he set forth to create for children and learning.

I was lucky enough to work for this incredible woman several years ago as a party performer, and to this day, I proclaim her as being at the top of the list of best bosses anyone could ever work for. Not only did I get to create magic for children all over Los Angeles in the most beautiful costumes with the most epic props and games bringing her imagination to life, but she was incredibly supportive of my path (and still is to this day), extremely generous and always had my back. Needless to say, I can guarantee you each of her employees and performers could say the same about her, and because of that, we had her back with every twist and turn of a balloon animal and shake of a magic wand.

From epic celebrity celebrations to having me perform for children at a homeless shelter, Leesa's heart and creativity knows no bounds - read on for this magical human beings rise to being the leader in her field for 27 years, thus far...

This is Leesa Zelken.. to a T

This is Leesa Zelken.. to a T

After having moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to pursue a career in acting (and landing very notable co-star TV roles on shows such as Friends, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, to name a few), Leesa found herself performing for a friend's child's birthday party completely by chance and it landed her on what she calls the "party career trajectory." As the Universe always works, she was beginning to bubble on needing a career that could provide the 'rush' that she would get from acting and performance, as well as something that allowed for more control, not one of the highlight benefits of an acting career. "I donned a clown suit and performed a fun routine of activities I devised (...) I was the original “clowns are not scary" clown. It was a big hit, I was a natural, and extremely inspired and excited to find a perfect blend of performing and money making. I immediately saw this as an opportunity to start a business, came up with a catchy name, and learned the “tricks of the trade,” such as balloon making and face painting to get the ball rolling on these very basic beginnings of my business."

And so it began...

Jessie: What were the steps you took leading up to taking the leap into your business? How long was this period?

Leesa: In the beginning, I recognized that getting my name out there was the biggest goal. Keep in mind this was 1990/1991, long before social media existed. It was “old school” pound the pavement, pick up the phone approach. I knew I was onto something, but needed opportunities to create interest and word of mouth, which would lead to getting hired and getting paid…oh, yes, getting paid. So, along with my new balloon making and face painting skills (did I mention that I was a “natural” at those, too?) I reached out to local fair and festival coordinators, (was met with a few “no’s” but many welcoming “yes’s”) offering my services for free in exchange for being able to pass out my business card. Immediately, I booked jobs, created cash flow, and took the early steps to establishing my business.

J: When did you know it was time to take the leap full time into SITC? Had you set a specific date? Or did you follow a feeling?

L: Very quickly the interest in me, my business, and what I had to offer caught on. Clients were reaching out, along with their friends, and their friends. I was one of the few people offering services such as mine, and the demand was high. I was honing my “show” adding more services to it, and working non-stop weekend after weekend. I was good at what I did, but there was only one of me. It became very clear, very soon, that I needed to train and hire equally enthusiastic people to do what it was that I did, and this was probably the moment that my labor of love turned into a full time gig. (...) I didn’t follow a predictable path for starting a business. I had no business plan, no forethought into “starting something.” I just stumbled into what I did and learned literally everything I know and have expertise in by doing it day to day (...) Along the way, I learned some things about myself and life and others that added to my success: refrain from saying no to things that simply seem scary but say no to things that seem amiss (<--- Jumping in here to point out that Leesa has refrained from saying no when things seem simply scary because those are thoughts of her own making that are pointless to believe and could keep her frozen, as fearful thoughts do to so many! And saying no when things seem amiss? That's following her wisdom, her gut instinct, which is ALWAYS right. Carry on...), reach out to others for help and support, feast or famine is the way of business and both are necessary and good, have fun in whatever you do.

J: Did you ever have doubts or fears in the beginning?

L: In the beginning I was quite fearless. The quick success, easy money, and—I’ll say it again—“the control” were all exhilarating. I always felt like a rock star, either as a performer or as a party planner. I provided a service for people for a happy occasion and the vibe around what I did and what I offered was pretty positive. I always had cash flow, because of the way in which the operations of my business run, and there was always a confidence in making money and securing clients. In the more recent years, there has been more competition, more changes with social media, and more skepticism on the part of clients, due to financial constraints and just the changing nature of the world, and these things have me more doubtful and fearful as a business owner, at times.

J: Did you have an investor?

L: Nope. Nada. Never. No investor. I only pay for what I can afford when I can afford it. That has always been my approach. If you are running a business at a deficit you are running a business in fear-mode and clients feel that. I run my business in abundance, and that infuses my interactions with clients and staff. (<-- I love this. When we are moving through life in fear-mode that others feel? That is believing our thinking that makes us feel desperate and I can tell you with all of me that the Universe does not respond to desperate energy... ever. She's right on the money).

J: Do you ever have fears to this day? What do they feel like and how do you manage them? What makes you peaceful in these moments?

L: I am very lucky that for the past 27 years I have flourished in my business. I have an 18 year old daughter, headed to Barnard College at Columbia University, and I have been fortunate to run and grown a successful business for all these years, while partaking thoroughly in my “mom-life.” My business has brought me great peace and balance, when the craziness of parenting sets in, and my parenting of a daughter has been more robust because of the role model I have been for her, as I have devoted myself to my work that I love and from which I attain great pride and joy. I think that for me, having one without the other (parenting/business owning) might feel empty, but having both fulfills me in ways that allay all fears and allow for more peace.

J: How do you mentally manage the waves of business that are inevitable?

L: I get pro-active when things seem out of control. I think it is important to not wallow in the dips and bumps in business, but find outlets for revamping, refreshing, and reinventing. Plus, exercise is a great right brain/left brain “workout” and very rejuvenating when I need to step away from “all things party” and give myself a brain break or a kick-start. Thank you, Spin Class, and Pilates for providing great outlets to my work detours and plateaus! (<-- Also, what happens when we work out? We're left feeling more peaceful. When we're peaceful, we naturally make room for fresh, creative thinking to solve a problem, move us forward, or give us fun new ideas!)

J: Any crazy stories to share?

L: In the kiddie party business there is no shortage of crazy stories: like the time we were asked to deliver elephants to an event with just 3 days notice (the elephants were all booked up, but we did manage 2 camels, a giraffe, and a zebra), or the time that our Dorothy character showed up to an event missing one ruby slipper, but managed to find a pair 2 sizes too small on the wicked witch prop for temporary use (her feet, oy—her poor feet!), or the times (yes times) some of our party princesses had to pull off to the side of the FREEWAY with a broken down car in full princess ATTIRE!, and on and on…. Bottom Line: we have a CAN-DO attitude no matter what the “crazy."

J: Any advice for people who are considering taking the leap into their own business?

L: Well, since I didn’t “leap” but “sashayed”, I would probably recommend the latter. Seriously, just love what you do and the rest really does seem to follow. Dive in because of a passion you have, and stay true to your goals. Honor those around you who help you grow and lend support to your business, monetarily and otherwise. Act with integrity and believe in the fact that there is plenty to go around.

J: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

L: Yes. I most especially want to share this one aspect of my business that I never could have predicted, and something that specifically speaks to my relationship with you, Jessie. I have often said, over the years, “I am only as good as the people I have representing me”, and this adage has really been the cornerstone of my business success. I have been fortunate enough to gather and hire amazing staff, and colleagues to be a conduit to many of my clients. Business owners often talk about how “hiring” and “maintaining” great staff is the hardest part of managing a business. For me, this has never been the case. Not only have my staff over the years astounded me with their commitment, energy, and creativity, but many have become dear friends of mine, and of each other. I have seen these dear friends get married, have babies, and find other fulfilling businesses and careers, and many have remarked how SITC has influenced them in some way or another in these endeavors. Not only can I revel in the accomplishment of a great business with great clients, but moreover I can feel deep gratitude for the people of SITC who helped create this well-oiled party machine.

As Leesa said, Send In The Clowns has absolutely influenced me in braving the world of entrepreneurship, but not in the way you might think. Like the rest of my work and what I share with you all, the feeling Leesa left with me after graduating from her company is what stays with me to this day. Having a boss I admired and respected, standing in her purpose and seeing the strength and joy that came from that is what will always provide a touchstone example for me for the rest of my days. My dear colleagues Molly and Heather wholeheartedly agree and jumped at the opportunity to share their love for Leesa...

From Heather: "What I've always appreciated about Leesa, and found so inspiring, is how she puts her whole heart into each event we do. Whether it's a new client or a repeat, she puts all of herself into the creative effort to make sure each party is fun, flawless and unique for that family. There is never any question about how much she cares about her business and the care and effort that goes into each party."

From Molly: "One of my favorite things about working for Leesa was how appreciative she was about a job well done. You could tell she meant every word and it was incredibly motivating to feel so valued as a team member. I've worked in many industries and it has always stuck out to me how much Leesa recognized and made you feel appreciated for your work. I also loved/love how Leesa really enjoys creating and imagining party concepts from thin air. You can tell it brings her true creative joy and isn't just a job or career or company to her. It's genuine fulfillment and it's such a beautiful thing to see."

Finally, a true testament to what it is like to stand in your purpose and allow wisdom to continue to guide you and allow life to unfold in front of you. Leesa's final sentiment when talking about her beloved company: "I have nurtured it, cared for it, struggled with it, and honored it, much as a parent does with a child. Moreover, I have trusted Send In The Clowns to lead the way, growing and developing at just the right times, maturing and leading when called upon to do so, pausing and re-inventing when necessary."

Thank you, Leesa, for being one of my, and so many others, greatest teachers by standing in your purpose, following your wisdom, and letting life pull you forward. What a gift to us all!

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

Curious about all that Send In The Clowns has to offer? Check out their WEBSITE or INSTAGRAM

One Of The Keys To Life...

Really feel out this statement: Your emotions get in the way of every great thing in your life.

On first reading, does that feel true for you? Read it one more time: Your emotions get in the way of every great thing in your life.

Not so long ago I was putting some new thought into redefining what I do and how I explained my work to the world because I was finding my old descriptions were getting lost on people. Saying that life is actually an illusion and it's all being created on a moment to moment basis by your thinking, is quite meaningless to people when all they've asked is, "What do you do?" As I searched and bubbled on the question "Why me?" considering there are a million and one self-help gurus, therapists, healers, reiki masters, etc for people to choose from when feeling in the dumps or needing help to make change in their life - this is one of the lines that bubbled up:

Your emotions get in the way of every great thing in your life.

The more my intellect put that statement to task, it became more and more clear to me how true it was. I have absolutely experienced it in myself and I have definitely witnessed it in my friends and acquaintances around me. And I'm not talking about the beautiful, love-filled emotions that connect you to the heart of others and your surroundings, I'm talking about the emotions that fill with you with worry, fear - the emotions that make you feel guarded.

Think about how often an emotion is the thing that stops you from moving forward, from connecting, from risking, from being your ultimate self. Let's start off with the glaringly obvious moments where it stops us: Asking for a raise or promotion, a major audition, having difficult conversations with our partner, having difficult conversations with our children or family member, having difficult conversations with our friends, buying a house, moving out of our current living situation, taking the leap into a new career, socializing at a networking event... this list can go on and on. Then we can boil it down to the minutiae of our daily living when an emotion gets in the way: Seeing an old friend at the store unexpectedly (and most often, avoiding them), witnessing a stranger being emotional and not reaching out, adoring something about a stranger and not letting them know, eating a treat, NOT eating a treat, saying no to intimacy with your partner (this one hauls in a plethora of emotions that can get in the way: too tired, too overwhelmed, too much on the mind, too little time, putting it off... etc), getting out of the house to exercise, reaching out to a friend to catch up... seriously, this list can also go on and on.

For a lot of you out there, with most of your daily experiences, your emotions are holding you back from acting out of your wisdom.

Why?

Because with every thought, comes a feeling. To say it differently, you are feeling your thinking 100% of the time, not the experience in front of you. When it comes to moments where we have to risk, be vulnerable, connect without expectation - we jump right into fearful, insecure or judgemental thoughts, and guess what that does? Well, because feelings go right along with those fearful, insecure or judgemental thoughts, that thinking looks really real in that moment, and even though you've made it up, you believe it more than your wisdom that was about to take you into action.

Now, will your wisdom misguide you? No - never. Your gut instinct, your wisdom, is rooted in who you are before all of your thinking. On top of that, like a wave in the ocean, you are a part of a greater intelligence behind all things, a Universal Mind that is keeping you afloat even when you aren't paying attention. And who you are, who every single one of us IS at our core, is pure love, understanding, peace, joy, appreciation and gratitude. If you don't believe me, think of a time when you're most peaceful, joyful, or relaxed - got a picture in your mind?

Now check in with the feeling in your body... feels pretty good, right?

You just experienced in real time, a feeling that came from your thinking (and if you just plowed through reading this, go back and invite some beautiful experiences into your mind, I don't want you to miss out).

When you're in that peaceful place, that is what I call having a neutral mind, it's what you auto-correct to when you aren't being deceived and distracted by your thoughts. And when you're in neutral, wisdom has room to bubble up. By the way, sometimes our wisdom will tell us to hold back, don't go over there, don't make that call, don't talk to that person - but it's always for our highest good, guiding us down the path of least resistance EVEN in the face of life seemingly showing us bold resistance. Your internal experience does not depend on your surroundings or circumstances, you don't have to take my word for it, just listen to the feeling inside of you after reading this - your own wisdom will tell you.

So to bring this right-to-the-point lesson full-circle: Life is too beautiful, exhilarating, fulfilling, loving, moving...  for you to miss out on connection and being your true, ultimate self 24/7. Emotions will happen, thinking will grip you... you're human! My thinking still grips me! I just allow it to pass within moments these days as opposed to hours or days later, because if it doesn't feel good, it isn't true. When you allow that gripping, insecure thinking to pass, the feeling that fills you up - the warm and loving emotions - will change your life. And from there, you have the freedom to choose what is best for you, always. You have the tools to master your behavior because you aren't living in your own reality that no one around you is even privy to.

I will leave you with a quote from Sydney Banks, the beautiful human being who had the insight into how our minds truly work:

If people could learn to stop reacting to their experiences in life, we'd all be fine.

So simple. So true. Let that sink in. Re-read it. Realize it for yourself. To the extent that you understand that you don't have to take your experience or your thinking or feeling seriously, you are protected from being destabilized. You just observe it, and you're back to neutral.

So for this week, do me a favor and be a witness to your internal experience. That's it. Don't stress about doing anything about it or working at anything. Just witness it... that in itself is going to bring beautiful shifts in your experience of life. It will look a little more like this...

My Grandma Adell in all of her glory...

My Grandma Adell in all of her glory...

 

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

 

"You Are Not Alone"

"NO ESTÁN SOLOS!"

AGAIN!

"NO ESTÁN SOLOS!"

AGAIN!

"NO ESTÁN SOLOS!!!"

The feeling, in this moment, I am going to do my best to describe. What you've read above is the phrase my best friend and voice for healing, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, engaged in with the crowd of thousands at the Families Belong Together march this past Saturday. This was her rallying cry at the end of the most heart-to-heart, honest, and inspiring speech, translating to: "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!" for the families, single mothers and children being faced with more pain and suffering when they had dreamt of hope, change and belonging when arriving to the U.S. She spoke to the humanity in all of us, she spoke to the wisdom in all of us, she spoke to the hope in ALL of us; And in that moment, while I and thousands of others raised our voices to the ether in unity, with love coursing through us, I felt the Oneness.

Oneness?

Yes. I couldn't tell you where I began and where the world and people around me ended or vice versa. I've had experiences of this feeling before when I am in ultimate bliss and peace, but it was magnified times infinity. Of course my love and pride for what Natalia was so bravely speaking to, the fact that she was standing in her purpose, in wisdom, in flow, blew me away with gratitude. But additionally, to look around to see every walk of life, every ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic background, coming together for the same purpose - for humanity - created a whirlwind of electricity and light that swirled all around my insides and came pouring out of me and all around me. My awareness brought to life, yet again, that we are truly all coming from and functioning within the same energy, the only differences between us is our thinking. My heart, my chest and my belly all felt warm - tears streamed down my face. THIS is what we ALL are at our core - we are love and understanding in motion, our heart connection is inevitable, when we don't get in our own way.

When we don't get in our own way.

I share experiences every week to help identify and explain the energy of Thought as well as the content of your thinking and how you can move away from it. About your wisdom that comes from Universal Mind - the greater intelligence of ALL things that you can distinctly identify by that nagging feeling in your gut when wisdom is trying to tell you that YOU have the answer. About how your Consciousness goes up and down all day every day, depending on if you're aware and can observe where your internal experience is coming from. Need a reminder? Here's an example of higher Consciousness (awareness) "I'm feeling so anxious right now. What am I thinking about? Oh, next weeks meeting, and since I'm not there yet, I'm feeling anxious. Ok - let those thoughts go, I'm not there yet, wheww... " Result: back in a peaceful, neutral mind - back to the moment; Versus feeling anxious, reacting to that feeling by getting mesmerized by your thinking that created it and getting deeper and deeper into the whirlwind thought storm by having more thinking about the thinking that created the anxiety in the first place. This is the result of lower Consciousness because you're reactive to your internal experience as opposed to observing it (by the way, we're all human.... we ALL experience the roller coaster of Consciousness, don't stress).

Alllll of this to say that when I share these experiences, these observations, they're based in ordinary life occurrences that we can all relate to, but guess what? Having this understanding relates to politics as well. I have an intuitive notion that some of you just read the word 'politics' and the hair on the back of your neck stood straight up, no matter what side of the line you're on. Isn't that amazing? That is evidence, right there, of the power of thought. Just the word 'politics' can send you off into a hypnotic world of thinking and now you're having a different experience. Maybe it triggers fear that I'm going to launch into a political debate, maybe it triggers your fears of the state of our country, maybe it triggers your feeling the need to defend yourself because you're in support of the current administration - maybe you're feeling none of these things in this moment but you've experienced exactly what I'm talking about in other situations. But the reality is, just as we have the free will to change on a moment to moment basis depending on our thinking in that very moment, we have the free will to shuck and jive in the political climate. You may be thinking "That's impossible! My politics reflect my values and who I am!" Well, that's exactly it. So many folks get caught up in the thoughts of who they have identified themselves with/who they have labeled themselves as (or who their parents/families identified with, so they've adopted the same political affiliation), that they lose sight of what is happening in the moment in our country. They don't see what is unfolding, therefore they aren't given the opportunity to be curious about if what is unfolding is truly a reflection of what they value, or rather, what feels right to them. It truly does, like everything else in life, boil down to a feeling inside. If what you're trying to process about the state of our country doesn't feel right to you, then honor that feeling. Know that that is your personal alert system within you telling you that something isn't right, and it only takes one thought shift, to have a different experience.

If you are sensing by any stretch of the imagination that I'm trying to sway you a certain way politically, I'm not - and if you feel that way, you are looking at me through a lens of thinking that has nothing to do with me. Maybe I have stirred up something inside of you, and I would encourage you to get curious about it. What I AM saying though, is that I know with ALL of me that every single person on this planet is standing in the middle of mental health and stability, and that connection I felt so strongly at the march was the connection that exists between each and every one of us. We often miss the opportunity to feel it (both the connection to others AND our mental health and stability) because we're caught up in our mental chaos. That's it. We're at the movie theater but we're watching a different movie on our phone, missing all the action on the big screen. If anything that is unfolding in your community or the country is giving you a nagging feeling but you feel so identified by your political party that you're ignoring that feeling, know that your identity to your political party, like everything else, is just a thought. It is your right as a human being on this earth to honor your feeling first, and use your free will, to abandon that thought. It's much less lonely, it's much less divisive. And may I add some personal two cents? Where we are today has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican - it just doesn't. The core of every experience right now is our humanity being put through the ringer, period. I have chosen to let go of any previous experiences or judgements of everything having to do with a political label, because it has been proven to me, time and time again, that once a thought is released, humanity shines through - no matter what party you used to identify with, or plan to go back to, once this nonsense has passed.

To close, I would love to share a portion of Natalia's speech that speaks directly to the heart of every human being - our ESSENCE - nothing more.

"... I urge you all to continue participating. To take action as you are doing by being here today. Some day these children will read about this in the history books. They will read about how kind hearted strangers fought for their freedom and rights. They will know they were seen. They will know they were welcomed. They will know that they belong. They will in return do the same for others. THIS IS HOW WE HEAL HUMANITY!"

Pictures above of the Los Angeles Families Belong Together turnout, Natalia speaking, the biggest squeeze ever after she spoke, a snapshot with Natalia and Marianna Burelli, and the crew.

All my love, see you next week~

Jessie

 

Honoring Wisdom Over Your Thought Turds

A few years ago, my husband Mike and I had plans to hang out with our best and dear friends at their house. A casual mid-week evening catch-up that would serve as a boost to get through the rest of the week. I remember that I was in an absolute hole - a deep one. The kind that made everything look dark and impossible. I was in the midst of a major career change, but didn't have a vision of where I was headed yet, so I was often in a state of mental chaos. Mike kept saying to me, "Let's just cancel! They will completely understand!" but I knew in my gut that I wanted to see them - I didn't really know why because I was an absolute basket case and looked as such, but it didn't feel right to cancel. The whole way over I was complaining about my sadness and the circumstances in my life that I knew for sure was the reason for it. When we arrived at the house, I couldn't get out of the car - I was so incredibly upset, but I still wanted to see them. So being the wonderful human beings they are, they came out to the car and stood by my open window while I sobbed and told them everything that I thought was horrible about my life. I practically fell into a panic attack because my thoughts were being spun up a million miles an hour and I felt incredibly trapped because of it. After a good chunk of time of me going on and on and getting tons of love and arm squeezes from my besties, we headed back down the hill.

Why share this experience with you?

It was incredibly pivotal in my understanding of how my (our) experience of life is being created. Read on for more clarity...

As we drove away from our friends, I remember feeling a little embarrassed by my extremely upset state, which was odd because I had absolutely been vulnerable with them before and felt safe to do so. Looking back, as I mentioned earlier, I was beginning to get a glimpse into the notion that my thoughts were creating my experience. Though life looked really stressful at the time and everything I shared with them felt really real, it was the first time the flicker of insight that my feelings are always coming from my thoughts began to spearhead my consciousness (awareness). I remember recognizing that the suffering I was sharing with them was all in reaction to the swirling thoughts that were going through my mind in that moment, and not what was actually happening in front of me. It felt a little out of body, to be honest - I couldn't even judge myself for being crazy, because I could see for the first time why I couldn't stop going on and on: I was reacting to my thinking. My in the moment experience was my husband and two friends looking at me with incredible love and care and offering up their supportive advice, but what I was experiencing internally was thought after thought that brought me pain and suffering, so that is the experience I was living in - I was appreciative of their care, of course, but I completely missed out on the heart to heart connection that comes with being in the moment, which would have inevitably brought me peace.

It's incredible looking back on something like this and seeing in hindsight how wisdom is at work, even when we aren't aware of it. That the principle of Mind, the greater intelligence behind life that our wisdom and insights come from, always ALWAYS has us. If Mind is the ocean, we are a wave within it. Even through the chaos of my personal thinking, I was able to follow the feeling that my wisdom was making me privy to - a peaceful knowing inside that I needed to make that visit to my friends. I know now that I needed to unravel in front of a different audience to experience a bit of a shake up in my awareness. I had fallen apart like that with my husband and parents, of course, but this insight was never able to come through after speaking with them because I would stay in the spin in my head. It took having this different experience in front of my friends to make me see what was actually happening in that moment. You know when you get advice from someone over and over again, then you hear that same advice from a different person and you feel like you've heard it for the first time? It was a similar feeling to that!

If you're an avid reader of mine, you may be thinking, "But wait a minute - if our experience is coming from inside out, it shouldn't matter who you're talking to - how did that insight come through during such an intense thought storm with your friends and you claim it couldn't come through with your parents or Mike?"

Ugh, you guys are so smart - I'm SO GLAD YOU ASKED!

Having the different experience of my friends as opposed to Mike or my parents, naturally made me reflect on what had just happened with my melt down, therefore allowing a *moment* of internal peace during that inquiry! In that moment of peace, wisdom saw that the door to my intellect was open for a split second and it ran through just before I slammed it shut again to launch into more chaotic thinking. What an incredibly relieving realization, that our wisdom will take any opportunity to spearhead the storm in our mind, even when we aren't aware of what's going on.

This points to such a beautiful part of life that we all so innocently aren't aware of. We have a bottomless well of knowing, an internal tour guide if you will, that is ALWAYS directing us... nudging us along through life. But when we're gripped by our fearful thinking about ANYTHING, we believe our mind is trying to warn us about something that we should pay attention to. It isn't so. Those fearful thoughts are purely thought turds trying to clog up the well (sorry for the image, but you got it, I bet!) The more we're conscious (aware) of this process, the more we naturally check in with our wisdom and begin to ignore our thinking when it doesn't feel right. And when we do, we return to a peaceful state, naturally allowing our new, fresh ideas and guidance to bubble up from our wisdom, turd-free.

Sydney Banks, the wonderful human being who had the initial insight into this life-changing perspective, the 3 Principles, had this to say...

"Look in the mirror and you will find one of the wisest people on earth IF you can take your personal thoughts away."

You've got it all within you dear readers - every single answer you've been looking for. But I will continue to share every experience possible with you, so you can see your reflection in me.

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

Anthony Bourdain: A Tribute & A Wake Up Call

"He was an ambassador of the Soul"

It's true. My husband Mike hit the nail on the head when the tragic news of Anthony Bourdain ending his life flooded our social media feed.

Like many folks, Mike and I became fans of Anthony Bourdain during his "No Reservation" days - loving his raw, honest, sometimes rough (always tell-it-like-it-is), completely heart-connecting way of being. He opened our eyes to different cultures, he made us excited about the potential to follow his footsteps in our future travels, spotlighting completely pedestrian yet delicious diamond-in-the-rough places to eat. Screw the reviews from hoity toity know-it-all food critics, if the meal was delicious, that's all that mattered. Whether it be from street carts to a hut in the middle of the Amazon, dumpling houses to finding out what your neighbor is REALLY GOOD at making, connection was Bourdain's mission and food was his love language.

Observing the outpouring of love for this tower of a human being after his passing made me realize something pretty huge and profound about his purpose. He made each and every one of us feel like his friend, like we were the only ones getting in on these secret, divey, hole in the wall eateries all over the world. He opened our eyes to the politics, misgivings and misrepresentations of so many different cultures - and the way he showed us through his gift of revealing and honest conversation made us feel like we had a seat at the table or around the campfire; We were his personally invited company to each of his adventures. He asked the hard questions and because of his incredible deep listening skills, curiosity and open heart, humanity was revealed in every individual he was breaking bread with.

I don't think I will ever forget his recent venture to West Virginia for CNN's "Parts Unknown" that literally left me in tears. With judgements that I didn't even realize I had, until he unveiled his own and I saw my reflection in him, to witness the duality of this extremely open-hearted culture of kind human beings with staunch beliefs that would normally make the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up; Again, the conversations, the connection, his willingness to hear their perspectives and to share why his and my progressive world can't stomach them, was an art. When he asked why this previously very democratic state voted red for the most "city-slicker, anti working-man, 3x married president," they earnestly answered: because they didn't feel heard in the plight of coal-mining. They were told by the left that their jobs would be lost when most don't have anything but 7 generations of coal-mining history behind them with no higher education. Alternately, Bourdain ingeniously then asked, "Would you tell your kids to work in the mines?" and the response was a collective "NO" - he looked for the gap, so we could see the gap. The understanding and humanity was felt. These are good people who see the argument of the environmental problem with coal-mining but don't feel like they have any other way to turn, so with every last penny earned they will send their kids to college with the pride of a black-smudged dime.

This was the Bourdain we knew, the feeling we held for him when we brought him up over dinner with friends. His heart extending beyond himself to others, to have empathy, to see, feel and make US feel, that we are all one - in search of a delicious soul-hugging meal. As I was reminded by his dear friend Helen Rosner in her beautifully written tribute in the New Yorker, Bourdain was effortlessly honest with his audience about the shadows of his depression as well.

In a 2016 episode of “Parts Unknown,” set in Buenos Aires, he held an on-camera therapy session. “I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I’ll order an airport hamburger,” he says, lying on a leather couch. “It’s an insignificant thing, it’s a small thing, it’s a hamburger, but it’s not a good one. Suddenly, I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.”

I know what the beginning of this spiral feels like, as I'm sure you do. That triggering thought or that triggering experience that begins the thoughts that lead you to your habitual thinking that feels 6 feet deep. I don't care if you're experiencing depression for the first time, if you feel like you just deal with 'low days,' or if you find yourself under so many layers of chaotic thinking that you can't even remember how to breathe - any whirlwind in your mind that leads you to feel like the ground is literally no longer beneath you and that your inner compass won't stop spinning, can make you feel lost in the most profound of ways, I've been there.

To this day I can feel the flutter of those triggering thoughts arise, like when you feel like you're about to hiccup... Before I actually have the thought that can send me down a spiral or into a storm, I sense it first... like the hiccup. This is the energy of Thought - this is the gift of Thought - this is the principle of Thought - this is where the power of understanding Thought can change your life. When I read the news about Bourdain, I literally yelled "NO!" out loud, before fact checking the internet. I couldn't believe what I was reading. As soon as I saw that his death was confirmed, I was thrown into a complete and utter sadness that overwhelmed me for the rest of the day. Why? Because I wish I was there to speak with him, I wish he knew what I know.

What do we always say about people who are, or have considered, ending their life? They have suicidal thoughts... read that again... they have suicidal thoughts. As a culture, we are innocently calling out the issue without recognizing that the answer is right in front of us. The energy of Thought is transitory, it doesn't EVER stop, and the quality of our thinking goes up and down all day, every day. We, as humans, have the gift of turning that formless energy (that feeling that I sense when my depressive thoughts are on the horizon like the feeling of a hiccup), into FORM (pictures in our mind). It is literally the superpower of our personal thinking minds - WE are the thinkers, WE create those pictures. Imagine stepping outside and feeling a beautiful breeze surrounding you, and you reach out to grab the breeze then open your palm to reveal sand - like magic, you grabbed the formless but energetic air and turned it into something. That is what we do as thinkers. We take the energy of Thought and turn into the form of pictures in our mind.

By way of the principle of Consciousness (awareness), these pictures become VERY REAL to us because our feelings come from our thinking 100% OF THE TIME - no exception. It doesn't matter what your circumstances outside of you are, you are feeling your thinking every moment of every day. You are creating your outside reality by way of your inside thinking, and being aware of this, is the gift of Consciousness. So as you can imagine when you are in the middle of a thought storm, with so many thoughts that you can't even keep up with how fast they're firing in your mind, you feel like you can't breathe, you feel like you're not worthy, you feel like the love you receive from others isn't real, you feel like the world is closing in on you - that is your body telling you that you are believing your thinking that ISN'T REAL. It isn't true for you. Plain and simple. And when we are honoring ourselves, when we have the understanding that our thinking can be taken less seriously when it makes us feel like shit - those moments where we think we can't take it anymore and need to do something about it, we know we have the choice to sit it out. We choose to call a friend, a partner, a loved one, knowing that this current reality is not permanent. It will pass. Because it is an energy that is constantly shifting and will most definitely autocorrect to a neutral and peaceful state, with time. Or rather, the moment you choose to live a different reality.

I understand if this seems like I've over-simplified a state of being that seems much more complex - but it isn't. The difference between you being in a low mood this morning and naturally being lifted out of it versus Anthony Bourdain is the layers and layers of thinking that is being believed so that it doesn't feel like there's a way out. Spiritually, the more shitty thinking that is believed, the more habitual it is (and this can go on for YEARS), the emptier the self-love cup. When we've believed lies that we tell ourselves in our own little reality, we find evidence in our life to support it, then we feel justified in our thinking and our light shines a little less than it did before. And the smaller we feel, the lower our mood, the more we believe our thinking, the more we can't pull ourselves out if it. But it all starts with the above understanding. Simple but not easy sometimes, and I understand. I've been there. I haven't been to the end of my rope, but I've experienced the dizzyness that begins to make you feel like you're crazy and you can't cope. There is ALWAYS a voice inside that will tell you what to do instead, telling you what you need to come back to a peaceful place - this is your wisdom. It is with you all of the time. But it's like a quiet flute being played behind the band of the shitty thinking, and the band needs to be turned down to hear it.

The nature of energy is to flow. That's all Thought is. So maybe it'll take you talking out loud to your shitty thinking and saying "Oh, hello again," to put distance between you and the pictures. But having this understanding will at least give you the opportunity to see that you always have the freedom to choose your next thought; The freedom to choose your next action. You're not at will of the freeloading thought turds that are floating in the beautiful abyss that is your mind. Knowing that you have the power to create your own reality through the lens of whatever thinking you're believing at any moment in time, allows the triggering, depressive thinking to melt away. And just this awareness in itself will begin to shift your thinking, which shifts your feelings, which shifts your behaviors. It's an amazing experience.

When Bourdain passed, all of this information was swirling around my mind. I was desperate to write a post for social media, but I couldn't think of a way to concisely share my tribute along with my outrage for how many lives could be saved by knowing a simple understanding. If you're reading this and you've considered ending your life or still consider doing so now - please know that you have a purpose that is meant to be shared, and if you don't feel that right now, it's because the noise in your head is too loud to hear it. But it's there. It may take time to quiet the band upstairs, but like anything worth doing, the reward on the other side is living your life in your truest form while being able to help others understand themselves like you have learned from your own battle.

In closing, astronaut Scott Kelly's tribute to Bourdain took the words right out of my mouth...

"... I watched his show when I was in space. It made me feel more connected to the planet, it's people and cultures and made my time there more palatable. He inspired me to see the world up close."

Tony, thank you for conquering your battles as often as you did. Thank you for not allowing them to keep you from us, because what brings me peace is knowing that you knew on some gut level that you were touching lives and changing them for the better. How lucky are we that you won that battle as long as you did. I always had a feeling I'd meet you one day and give you the biggest hug as appreciation for all that you taught me...

Until we meet again...

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

Taking The Leap! An Interview With Valerie Mya Of On The Go Glow

"My decisions didn’t come from business textbooks, they fully came from my gut. The feeling was freeing, I just knew when things felt right."

This coming from the woman who has found herself CEO of an incredibly successful spray tanning business making everyday women and men feel like their most confidant selves, as well as A-list celebrities like Courtney Cox, Kristen Bell or best friend and Agents of Shield star Elizabeth Henstridge, get red carpet ready.

I met with Valerie Mya over lunch on a beautiful sunny day in Los Angeles, where it seemed the flowers and breeze knew we were getting to know each other for the first time. The patio was filled with a beautiful energy that most certainly reflected the light inside both of us that couldn't be more excited to share our histories. At the time, Valerie and I had met in a class and she had casually mentioned what she did for work. Little did I know till we had our lunch that this pixie-sized beauty was a badass boss. When she went on to share with me more about how she got to where she did, without any hesitation my wisdom jumped out of me and asked for this interview because she is an inspiration through and through. If you have ever had ANY hesitation to take the leap into a career, whether starting your own business or shifting gears into a new industry or company, and the only thing that holds you back is the idea that you don't have all your ducks in a row or know-how, read on for proof that passion, purpose and gut instinct is all you need.

Valerie Mya/Dana Patrick photography

Valerie Mya/Dana Patrick photography

Jessie: Did you know while you were growing up that you wanted to run your own business one day? If not, what did you have dreams of doing?
Valerie: As a kid/young adult I was never great at school. I had more of the creative brain - I was into dancing and acting. But the way schooling was set up didn’t really fit me, I almost failed high school. So no, I didn’t think owning my own business was a possibility. That was until I realized I was smart, I just had another way of learning (LOVE that!) Having this business has definitely helped me see myself in another light, and made me realize there are all different kinds of “smart.”
J: What was the moment that it hit you to start this business? What was the first insight and where were you?
V: As I mentioned earlier, I was into the performing arts, so when I moved from New York City to LA I needed a part time job in between the acting struggles. I worked at a few tanning salons as the main spray tan technician. I realized people requested me all the time; I didn’t really know then, but I believe I had a “thing” for making people feel comfortable - I loved making people feel good about themselves. Being a very independent type of person (I moved to NYC at age 14 on my own), I knew working for myself would be ideal. The idea of bringing this service to people just came to me (<--- WISDOM!), and I knew LA people love convenience, so I started it casually on the side not knowing if it was going to take off.
J: What did it FEEL like when you had that first gut pull?
V: People always say it’s so impressive to start a company but in a way, it always felt easy. I didn’t over think things and I just went with my gut with every decision I made. Listening to my gut made it feel as easy as brushing your teeth. Don’t get me wrong, the manual labor was hard and I had a lot of very long days/nights but when it came to making decisions, at the beginning and through out, it always felt easy.

Side note! Because Valerie didn't have pressure-filled thinking around needing to make this venture successful, she stayed out of her own way and was much more peaceful in allowing the steps to unfold in front of her and tap into her wisdom. This is absolutely possible for YOU, it just takes the simple understanding that your thoughts are the only thing getting in your way and making you believe you can't be successful. Carry on...

J: What were the first steps you took?
V: Because I started this business as kind of a side hobby at first, I started very basic. I got equipment, an email account and started spreading the word through word of mouth. After getting some routine clients under my belt I signed up for Yelp, and because I was the only company open 24/7, we were the only spray tan company to come up during late night searches. Yes, we really are open 24/7, you can get a spray tan at 2 in the morning (and yes, it happens). That really is what helped make On The Go Glow different than others and get the name out.
V (cont'd): I put in the blood sweat and tears at the beginning. From designing the website, to managing the phone calls, to spraying etc, I did it all. Being open 24/7 there was no “we are closed,” so whenever a spray came in, I stopped what I was doing and I showed up - I did that for about 3-4 years. I remember spraying from 8am to 9pm, sitting down to eat dinner and the phone ringing for another spray at 10pm. By that point I knew I needed to start hiring. (9 employees later, I think that was good idea!)
J: Did you ever have doubts at the beginning and do you ever have doubts or fears now? What makes you peaceful in those moments?

V: Honestly, at the beginning I didn’t have doubts, because it felt kind of like a small hobby. Don’t get me wrong though, once it took off and I realized “Wow, okay, this is a full blown business,” I had a moment of “Can I do this?” Like I mentioned before, school wasn’t my thing and I didn’t go to business school. But when the doubts hit me, I realized I was already doing it, I already owned a business, I just had to keep trusting myself and not over think anything. As for now? Sure! Doubts and fears always creep in. As the business grows, so many things have to change within the business, and the thought can creep up “Do I know what I am doing?” When I do have doubts and fears I always remember all the clients that keep coming back, all my employees that feel like family and who express loving working for OTGG. Everyone involved calms me and the proof of succeeding is all around me, within them and in what I have built. As scary as it can be, it’s also very exciting to see OTGG grow.

J: What do you feel your company does for people and what do you offer?

V: Whenever I hire someone I say the most important thing I care about (besides epic spray tans) is that the client feels 100% comfortable. I believe OTGG gives people a safe place to “bare it all” and look and feel amazing after. We see all walks of life and I really think we make sure everyone feels comfortable in their own skin. It's a boost of confidence that we spray - we love spreading self-love. We offer long lasting incredible spray tans that don't smell, we believe in using only healthy products on your body, so we have our own organic solution - and all in the comfort of someone’s home or hotel room (or anywhere really) 24/7. 

J: Have any crazy stories to share?

V: We have a lot of crazy stories! From those very late 2am calls, to getting so close with clients that we go through marriages, divorces, and deaths with them; Spray tanning someone with cancer and having her cry after because she said she hadn’t felt so good in a long time. I have a huge list of stories, that honestly has changed my life. I am currently writing a book that will have a bunch of funny and heart touching stories and explaining the amazing connection strangers can have while "baring it all."

What is becoming a theme of my interviews with these superstar Taking The Leap entrepreneurs, is that they didn't allow any momentary doubtful or fearful thinking get in the way of them and their unfolding reality. That's it. So if you're sensing a flicker of curiosity within you to explore something new whether in work, career or relationships, I encourage you to follow it, because your thoughts (and your feelings coming from those thoughts) are the only thing getting in your way.

To close, I'll leave you with two pieces of solid advice from Valerie...

I have noticed, this year, once I took the fear of “not having money" or “will the appointments keep getting booked” away, the company really took off again. Taking away the fear (Ahem... not believing those thoughts!) has allowed the business to really flourish. Just like at the beginning when I wasn’t over thinking it.

As for taking the leap?

Do it, take the leap. Know that it may be hard work and very scary at first, but it will be well worth it. Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, don’t do it (even if the business textbooks say to). I really didn’t follow any business plan I just went with what felt right. I had a lot of people telling me “you should do this - you should do that,” but most of the time I didn’t listen. Tune into yourself, listen and trust.

TUNE INTO YOURSELF, LISTEN AND TRUST. Amen, sister.

All my love, see you next week~

Jessie

An On The Go Glow technician can be booked in the Los Angeles or Las Vegas areas via their website at www.onthegoglowmobile.com

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Your Guide To Self-Love

Is there a difference between loving yourself and liking yourself?

I got this question in a text this morning from a best friend of mine who was curious about my opinion, and I had so many insights bubble up.

What I know for sure is that love is a constant. It isn't a state of mind or something that comes and goes - LOVE in and of itself is always there. The only reason we don't feel it now and again is because we are distracted by our self-critical mind. Picture sitting next to a beautiful flowing stream. It's so quiet all around that you can hear the bubbling of the water as it twists and turns around the pebbles and rocks. There's a rainbow-like hue just above the stream from the sun hitting the light mist that's hovering just above the water. And yet, you have your back turned to to this beautiful stream and you're analyzing the dark clouds you see off in the distance, wondering if they're headed in your direction. That stream of love is still there, even when you're looking away and giving more attention to your fearful thought storms, you're just momentarily (or not so momentarily) turned away from it - your awareness is shifted, but it's there, quietly bubbling along.

Unfortunately, as so many of us have experienced time and time again, we allow those self-critical thought storms to get in the way of loving OURSELVES... often. Maybe we can get to a peaceful enough place to turn sideways to the stream to see and feel love for others, or we momentarily dangle our feet in the stream, feeling full of love for an experience. But when it comes down to holding up a mirror to ourselves and being able to say, "I love every bit of what I see - my heart, my humor, my light.. my imperfections, my cracks and creases, my patience and my impatience - I'm in love with every bit of it." We often times put ourselves dead last on the love list. We are so quick to beat ourselves up, to judge ourselves for things we aren't doing correctly, for not understanding things quick enough or for our impatience and not trusting the flow of life! We get in the boxing ring with our intellect and try to outdo ourselves, with ourselves. When in reality, when we fill ourselves up first, when we follow the little nudge from inside (our wisdom), when we give ourselves GRACE - we immediately shift to a place of peace and understanding. As I said above, we auto-correct to our natural state of LOVE.

Energetically speaking, when we're in this state of peace, understanding, grace = LOVE, we are open to see the breadcrumbs from the Universe, we have room to accept more love - whether that be in the form of another human being, friendships, that promotion we've wanted, the job shift we've been eager for, or life just simply feeling easy - even in the face of circumstances that give the illusion of hardship. When we are in alignment with ourselves, we are in alignment with ALL - with Mind (greater intelligence of all things, the energy of all things), the Universe. Our self-love truly governs and is the root to all facets of our life.

Are you wondering how to have self-love? Logically it makes sense to you, but when you really think about it it sounds a little out there and not completely possible? Here's the thing, when you get in the drivers seat of your thinking - when you start to connect that your feelings come from your thinking 100% of the time, you'll know that when you feel off in your body, that is a warning sign from your bod to your intellect that you're believing your thoughts that aren't true - you have the opportunity and freedom to choose to observe your thoughts in that moment, instead of being triggered by them. You create an immediate distance between you and the chaos trying to wreak havoc in your mind, and that in itself will make you more peaceful. You are human, so sometimes you'll get sucked into the storm before you even recognize the moment of choice. But again, allowing yourself grace, seeing your thinking for what it is, will bring you back to that peaceful place and the moldy thinking will pass - it always does the moment it's diffused.

Next step would be to do something that you love to do that may even make you feel challenged. At least once a week, do this. It can't be going to the gym (even if you love it), or something that is career related - think of something you would love to do for YOURSELF, something that may have piqued your interest before, but you always stop yourself with "logical" thoughts. I guarantee you it will bubble up immediately if you ask yourself "What would be a fun thing to do for myself once a week" - catch it, don't let your thoughts tell you it's nuts or that you don't have time or money. A pottery class? Horseback riding? Boxing? Setting goals for longer walks or runs? Crochet? Music lesson? Swimming? Roller skating? Dancing? Cooking? Baking? The feeling of accomplishment and joy that will beam from your insides will create a shift IMMEDIATELY. The peace, the joy, the calm, the light that is created, opens up the information highway inside of you that will allow you to walk the blueprint of your life that is already drawn - and boy is it exciting and wonderful.

Are you hanging in there with me? Here's the thing, as I say to my clients and in every workshop or talk I give, allow this information to flow through you, just drink it in. Just reading all of this is naturally opening up your understanding of it all. The insights are already at work. It's hard for us as human beings to not conceptualize, intellectualize and therapize ourselves into oblivion. But again, that's just more thoughts about our thoughts that create stress and anxiety. Just don't go there, ok?

Lastly, as my friend asked, is liking ourselves the same as loving ourselves? For a moment I thought, "well surely we can have a moment amongst loving ourselves where we don't like ourselves." But the reality is, at our core, when we have love for ourselves, in the moments where we might think it's ok to not like ourselves, we're purely just off course of our wisdom and believing our thinking. For example, this same friend and I were texting a few days ago and in response to something sweet we were talking about I wrote back #METOO. In the moment I wrote it, I got a little funny feeling in my belly - it didn't feel right - 'Me, too' would have sufficed, but I sent it anyway. That funny feeling in my belly was my wisdom saying to not do it (the #METOO movement is very important to me, so it was a bummer to diminutize it). I went against myself, therefore not coming from a place of love and full circle: not liking myself. Did I beat myself up for it? No. I just thought "that was a bummer" and left it. But it bubbled up every once in a while for the rest of the day, so I finally text my friend back in the evening and said, "I wish I would've just said 'Me, too!'" We had a laugh because in the big picture we both knew I wasn't being a turd about the movement, I was doing the best with my thinking in that moment which told me 'oh, it's kind of clever' when my gut felt off, but I appreciated her listening nonetheless.

So is there a difference between loving yourself and liking yourself? It feels to me, in this moment, that they are mutually exclusive. As my friend so insightfully said to my response to her "Love is the foundation to the building and like is what can be built on top" - exactly. And it's all flowing, moment to moment. The more we swim in the self-love stream, the deeper our resolve to care for ourselves first before we beat ourselves up.

Get in that stream dear friends, lap it up. It's always there, even if you aren't looking at it, but life's too short to just be aware of it's presence as opposed to enjoying every possible joy-full moment that you could be playing around in all of it's sparkling, rainbow-hued glory.

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie