Love

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

My Excalibur Is My Strength As Much As It Is My Weakness

I totally stole the title of this article from my husband. But in all fairness, he was talking about me. And he's right.

What is my Excalibur? My entire life, no matter what I've been engaged in - school, my dance career, my career at the agency, and now my business - once I have a goal in my mind and I can see the big picture, I am full-out with my energy towards obtaining that big picture and I climb the ladder to get there hard and fast (at least that's the illusion that my mind creates). I constantly think about what I could be doing to strategically prove that I'm capable of more responsibility or being promoted or hired. But here's the thing, the deeper into this understanding I get with every day that passes by, I've observed myself creating an immense feeling of internal pressure because of all my thinking that gets created from this mindset. Because the reality is, it's just more thinking.

I have to be honest - I've recently been thrown off my own scent a bit. Meaning, I didn't realize I was creating this pressure! Several months ago, I had already recognized and appreciated that that pressure feeling was something I used as fuel in the past - when I felt totally spent I just excused it all by thinking "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" – if the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge, and I was that person! Proudly! It's such a natural second gear for many of us - it's our cultural norm, really. But what's incredible is that with this understanding of the mind, I had been observing my thinking, not getting triggered by it, so I no longer felt that pressure (I thought!). Until the other day I was so focused on big picture goals, I was staring off into space with a concerned look on my face and my husband Mike snapped me out of it. My internal pressure feeling had changed - it no longer brought feelings of anxiety and I still felt a sense of peace within, but it was a weight nonetheless...

I don't know about you, but I'd rather walk through my days looking and feeling like this...

Little Jess... sometime in the 80's

Little Jess... sometime in the 80's

I was heading towards this bigger realization last week, as I had had an AHA moment where I was feeling this pressure (without recognizing it as that yet). I just felt worn out, wishing more things were unfolding faster and my brain wanted to question the greater Universal intelligence that we all live within. If my wisdom knew what I was headed for, opportunity wise, if I could see it AND I could feel it, why did I feel so challenged? Why was life feeling 'difficult' and my patience wearing thin? Then the AHA - if the Universe is always working in our best interest (which it is), and our feelings come from our thinking 100% of the time (which they are), this worn out and impatient feeling I was living in was completely self-created and was an opportunity (more like a big ol' slap across the face from the Universe) for me to go inside and see it. What a lesson.

It always boils back down to the very basics of this understanding, and I will be the first to willingly raise my hand to say that being human means being seduced by my surroundings from time to time. But the reality is, it's simple. Always simple. As Elsie Spittle says in her new book, The Path to Contentment:

"Innate wisdom is a spiritual fact - it's not just an idea or concept. At the same time that wisdom is of spiritual essence, wisdom is also extremely practical. (...) Over time, as I began to see more about the inner workings of my mind, I could see wisdom come to life for me and guide me in my day to day living. It was a natural outcome of simply enjoying my life and not trying to figure everything out with my intellect.  I discovered that the more I lived in the present, the more wisdom was released from inside me so that it became my companion and help-mate."

I just had an insight. I've experienced this so clearly in my relationship with my husband, Mike. To this day, I trust and surrender to it's flow without ever getting my thinking in the way. When we met, he had just left a gnarly relationship of a few years and really didn't feel ready to jump back into something. We had spent three blissful hours talking right after we met, there was no denying we had found something special, so in classic Jessie form, I made the first call the day after that long conversation trying to force my way in. He knew we had something too, so we made the decision to literally check in with each other every day. Folks have asked me, "Weren't you guys nervous you'd check in one day and one of you would say you're not into it anymore? That would be heartbreaking!" And the reality is, yeah, that was a total possibility, but neither of us ever got into our thoughts about it. In hindsight, we were just trusting the feeling and we knew what we had felt really good and right. We didn't even call each other boyfriend and girlfriend for months, but it didn't matter. We just enjoyed the hell out of each and every moment, and each day kept leading to the next. Nearly 15 years later, I can't believe I'm just seeing this. Proof right under my nose that the more you enjoy life and follow your wisdom, that gut feeling, life will continue to unfold for you, every step of the way.

Sweet relief. I've come back home. Back to myself. Back to enjoying life and following my inner promptings of what to do next, then taking those steps when they come to me. The blueprint is already drawn, there's no need to use my intellect, my over-thinking and over-analyzing, to make me feel as though I'm doing more, accomplishing more or that I could be doing more and accomplishing more. Because the plain fact of the matter is, the more your intellect gets in your way in that matter, it can create the illusion that you're falling short because your head is 10 steps ahead in the blueprint, while wisdom is happily guiding you along at the pace you're meant to be at. Additionally, each step taken provides more information for the next. Something that our intellect could never 'figure out' for us, that's why the surrender to the feeling inside is so important.

My Excalibur is no longer my weakness, it just has a new responsibility - keep dreaming big, but slow down, follow my wisdom and enjoy the view. God that makes me excited, you?

All my love, see you next week!

Jessie

 

 

Here's To You, Peaceful Warrior

I have been on an incredible journey this week, with an awakening that is blossoming like a sea anemone when the tide begins to shift. I have had a unique relationship with this subject that has allowed me to be fully open like the anemone when it's tentacles are exposed in all of it's beauty, as well as shut down and in question of it, like when the anemone gets disturbed and completely closes up. Where am I now with it? Completely open, exposing all of it's beauty and vulnerability, in effortless flow with the sea.

What is the subject in question? Spirituality - And please for the love of all anemone's everywhere, keep reading, I promise not to bore you or go down any religious path (quite the opposite is true) - and coming from a woman who was raised without any specific religious or spiritual beliefs, you will more than likely see a small reflection of yourself whether you were raised with a religion or not.

As far as my previous religious/spiritual experience, I've had quite the hodgepodge to pull from. I've gone to an array of Christian Sunday services of different sects, Native American spiritual circles, a day of prayer in a Hindu temple, I camped on the side of a mountain for a week to explore deep meditation. When I was young, I had a curiosity for watching different types of sermons on Sunday morning TV, as well as rocked out to an LP of the inimitable Andrae Crouch while vacuuming my parent's living room.

Growing up there were conversations of Jesus being a great man who gave people belonging by telling his story, similar to so many other great leaders whether in religion or activism. It seemed to me that the folks writing down their stories were the one's that screwed up the feeling of it all. Heart, connection, love, understanding, belonging, a feeling that could be identified in music, dancing, paintings, ART - that is what was most important.

So why all of this backstory? Well frankly, I'm realizing as I type that I've been on quite the search my whole life for something that fits for me. I've always sensed there was something greater, it never felt right to think that we're these skin suits that walk around then get dumped in the earth when we're done grinding away our whole lives. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks this time last week.

I was with a dear mentor of mine who replied to me after asking about some blocks I've been feeling with my work: "You aren't accepting the spiritual."

WHAT?!

The 3 Principles behind our experience of life that is the base of my work is spiritual! I talk out my nose to you and my clients all day long about listening to your wisdom, to trust the Universe - if that ain't spiritual, I don't know what is!!!

But guess what? He was right.

The moment he said it and I got past my thought storm that spiraled from "he doesn't realize how far I've come....." there came the bricks. I could see and trust all of what I was saying for YOU, my readers and clients... but when it came to my life, I was still trying to teach the cooks in the kitchen how to make my food. In my meditations I had been having incredible experiences, insights deepening my resolve to continue this path of sharing my work no matter how difficult it seems (aka the reality of building a business, which really only looks difficult when in a bummer state of mind). But as soon as my eyes would open from meditation, the thoughts started flying and I couldn't completely release my grip on the blueprint of my life. I needed to know each step like the board game of LIFE in front of me. For you? For the people I see day-in and day-out? I was tapped in - I could see it - but I was too scared to completely surrender for myself.

Of course I'm human and will surely have to catch myself in all of my humanness in the future, but I've released my grip on my own innocent, getting-in-my-own-way experience of life. A veil has been lifted.  I can see all of the breadcrumbs from the Universe - the synchronicity and manifestations are so obvious that I almost have to look around to see if anyone else is noticing them too. And to add insult to injury (with the most positive of meaning behind that), just before this crack in my world exposed itself, I was drawn to pick up a book I've had on my bookshelf since my sophomore year of high school. It's the only book I read word for word back then, and I think it will be by my side for the rest of my life. As so eloquently written by Dan Millman in Way of the Peaceful Warrior, this perfectly sums up what I've always been seeking:

(A conversation between the Peaceful Warrior named Socrates and Dan, a college student in search)

"... you fear death and crave survival. You want Forever, you desire Eternity. In your deluded belief that you are this 'mind' or 'spirit' or 'soul,' you find the escape clause in your contract with mortality. Perhaps as 'mind' you can wing free of the body when it dies, hmm?"
"It's a thought," Dan said with a grin.
"That's exactly what it is, Dan - a thought - no more real than the shadow of a shadow. Consciousness is not in the the body; the body is in Consciousness. And you are that Consciousness - not the phantom mind that troubles you so. You are the body, but you are everything else, too. (...) Only the mind resists change. When you relax mindless into the body, you are happy and content and free, sensing no separation. Immortality is already yours, but not in the way you imagine or hope for. You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind - your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity - is all that ends at death. (...)"

Then the clincher...

"Words mean little unless you realize the truth of it yourself. And when you do, you'll be free at last."

So here's to you, Peaceful Warrior, I hope no matter where you lie on the spiritual spectrum, whether the only relationship you have to me is through reading my blogs or if I'm lucky enough to connect with you in person, I want nothing else in this life but for you to reach the peace of mind and freedom that comes with recognizing that our personal human thoughts are the only thing that get in the way of us being guided so effortlessly in this thing called life. Like the sea anemone, completely open, showing it's beautiful colors and swaying back and forth with every swish of the sea around her. And the beauty of it all...

...it was with me the whole time; In me, around me, of me..

...As it is within you, around you, and of you.

Thank you for reading such a meaningful post that comes straight from my heart to yours.

All my love,

Jessie
 

 

Wisdom & A Roller Skating Rink

When was the last time you followed your wisdom, your gut instinct, to do something you really wanted to do? Something fun, out of the box, and completely for yourself? It's tricky, I know, because often times we get the pull to do the new adventure, then our made up thoughts come in the picture and clobber it with 'logic' as to why you shouldn't do it: You don't have time, you don't have the money, you've never been there so what if something happens to you? Maybe you've never done it before so you make pictures of what your experience may be like, what you'll look like or what others will think.

Oy vey - thoughts are exhausting, am I right?!

Well let me tell you, more than just the immense amount of joy you'll be met with from following through with what your wisdom is nudging you to do, is the magic that you'll witness all around you - the beauty of life and how it unfolds, all because you followed your soul-pull.

I recently followed through on a soul-pull to go roller skating, and I'm telling you now, what I experienced ended up being far beyond the joy I could've ever imagined (though I had a feeling it was going to be pretty darn magical). I grew up roller skating, so my nostalgia was through the roof. From the woman at the admission window (who had blatantly been working there for decades) inquiring if I'd be paying 8 bucks for a skate ticket or 13 for a skate and rent - said with her perfectly frosty pink lipstick and a 'honey' with every interaction. To the 80's carpet, the disco balls and the smell of nacho cheese and feet... I was in heaven. I got there right at the beginning of Open Skate and the throwback tunes were already bumping and skaters of every age, cultural background and skill level were zooming, falling and timidly holding on to the carpet wall, simultaneously and blissfully - let me repeat, I was in heaven.

 

 

Moonlight Rollerway, Glendale, CA - aka: HEAVEN

Moonlight Rollerway, Glendale, CA - aka: HEAVEN

As I'm sure you can gather, my joy was through the roof. I went by myself and couldn't have had a better time bearing witness to everything going on around me: the sweet interactions between lovebirds, the care of a parent coaching their little one, the bliss of a senior skating circles around us all; And the gift of the quiet nature of skating itself, the space it allowed for me to reflect on my state of mind as I watched everything unfold around me.

So where's the lesson in it all, you ask? Well, I had a few bubble up for me. To begin, it is truly remarkable that when I listen inward, when I honor my wisdom and follow through with what it tells me, how any concerning thoughts about life simply melt away. When I am overwhelmed with joy and filled to the brim with that loving feeling, any concerning thinking that may normally plague me is either absent, or it moves through my head before I even have time to take it seriously. I can observe those thoughts passing through my head like the ticker tape at the bottom of a news cast, as opposed to a headline at the top of a newspaper. Additionally, when I'm in this joyful space, I am naturally and effortlessly brought to the moment. I become so open-hearted that I feel as though someone has cracked my chest open to reveal a glowing heart, and the feeling lasts as long as I choose to stay in it. And as you can imagine, when I'm not in my own world of thought, when I'm present and open-hearted, every interaction with the world around me is smooth, kind, understanding, effortless and even humorous. Can you think of a time, activity or vacation that makes you feel this way? How does remembering that thought make you feel? Isn't it amazing that just thinking about that wonderful experience brings you peace? And you're still sitting in the same spot, nothing has changed but your thinking (I'm looking back at you with a wink).

Speaking of life being more humorous when you're full of joy, I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear watching the kiddos in the rink. It was so wonderful to watch them fall over and over and over, and continue to get back up on their feet without a thought. Not only were they determined to be good at skating, but they effortlessly threw themselves into tricks and new moves without any hesitation. The ultimate lesson in following my wisdom being played out right in front of me.

As we age, we create so much thought around our experience - for example if we fall from skating, we create thinking that we're not good at it, so we stop. And not only do we stop, but we make up a story around that fall that lasts with us for the rest of our lives and affects decision making as long as we believe it. From that point forward, we will no longer skate because we 'always' fall - even though it was a one time experience. But who knows, maybe you had some fearful thinking in your head before you started skating that you may fall and embarrass yourself, so the fall is now evidence for that made up thinking (and heck, maybe you fell because of a tiny rock on the ground, or you turned around too quickly, or were human and lost your balance for a split second!) Isn't that incredible? It's amazing how many of us have created an entire world of thought around one experience, and that lasting thought (or thoughts) is then a cemented belief about ourselves, or that experience, for the rest of our lives. When really, it's a news headline thought that we've believed, and it's stopping us short from having new wonderful experiences because we have those lenses on anytime a similar opportunity comes up for us.

You see, as you may be beginning to understand, we live and experience our thinking, not the world around us. The more we can understand that, the more we aren't plagued by thoughts - we see them for what they are, let them pass, and come back to the moment. Life becomes more rich, full of color, peaceful and oh-so-enjoyable. Is there an activity or experience in life that you would like to have but the only thing that stops you is your thoughts about it? Are those thoughts true? Are they really true? How would you feel, and what would you do, if you didn't have those thoughts? It seems simple, because it is! With different thinking, we have different experiences of life.

Finally, with today being Martin Luther King, Jr. day, it feels fitting to share my final insight that brought tears to my eyes as I skated around this ol' skating rink. Humans want to connect. We want to help each other. We want to lift each other up when we fall, literally and figuratively. Without our prejudices, our judgements, our divisive and dividing thinking, we have the same goals of living a love and joy filled life - that's it, plain and simple. And guess what, if you take away that individual thinking, the individual reality we each live in, what are we? The same. We may be in different skin suits, but on the inside, we are totally and utterly the same. We are One. Seeing all of the people that came together to enjoy some skating on a simple Friday afternoon: From the two East Indian girls clinging to the walls and watching everyone take turns to give them pointers on how to skate better, to the African American mom helping her daughter skate and having every child gravitate towards her for help because her energy was SO welcoming. From the Caucasian senior citizen having a lovely lone skate willing to help anyone struggling around him, to the Armenian teenage couple that had the biggest smiles on their faces after he gave them pointers. Witnessing a new friendship evolve between the Asian group of twenty-somethings and the Mexican group of twenty-somethings in the matter of two hours. Every falling child and adult was lent a hand by another in the rink, every human being having the time of their lives and becoming fast friends with each other,  I couldn't have been more proud to be witness to the love that is real between us all. What a gift.

So with all of this, dear readers, I hope you begin to honor yourself and follow what your wisdom tells you when you listen inward. And for the love of god, take your made up thoughts a little less seriously! Doing so will begin to effortlessly shift your energy and your experience of life, and therefore the world around you, as we are living a life from the inside-out, always.

See you again next week.

XO,

Jessie

 

 

Staying in the Swill

Have you ever experienced staying in the swill? By staying in the swill I'm referring to that heavy feeling that you put on like a cloak day-in and day-out because you're trapped in your thoughts of worry, fear, or doubt. You try really hard to focus on things you're grateful for, or opportunities that lie ahead, but you generally end up back at square one, feeling like crap. You maybe even have moments that give you hope for a better feeling because you laugh at something, or a wonderful idea or memory passes through your mind; But the moment those positive thoughts cross through and they bring you peaceful feelings, the swill thoughts (or what I like to call, thought turds) pop into your head like the school marm who catches you laughing during a test...

"Don't you dare begin to feel at peace and relaxed, you have to focus on all the things you're worried about!"
schoolmarm.jpg

Well let me tell you, I have absolutely been experiencing this state of mind for the last week, and am feeling like I've finally emerged through the other side of the fire - a little scathed, and A LOT relieved...

 

Lauren Hurt Photography

Lauren Hurt Photography

So what in the world happened? Well, I had an experience over the holiday break that was pretty traumatic and put me in an immediate low mood. Like, permanent nausea, rash on my face (literally) type of low mood (my skin likes to make sure I know where I'm at in my state of mind, isn't that nice?!) And as I remind clients and students in my What Moves You community, when you're in a low mood, it can be difficult to see life clearly, to hear the positive intention behind what others are saying, or to even register the positive experiences in life that are happening all around you.

Why is that? It's quite simple actually. We are experiencing life through the lens of our thinking, every moment of every day. Even though it is quite seductive to think that life is happening TO us, or our feelings are coming from what's going on around us, we are in actuality ALWAYS having an inside-out experience; Looking at life THROUGH the lens of the thoughts swirling around in our heads, each and every moment. Being that I had had a traumatic experience, there were multiple things going on inside me:

  • For days following I was trying to make sense of what happened. Why did it happen? How could things have gone differently? And so on...
  • I was constantly trying to make sense of an upsetting situation that was over and I obviously couldn't time travel to change it, so I was in a perpetual funk. A low mood. A sadness.
  • Due to the funky low mood, even if I wasn't thinking about the specific experience, I was seeing life through those lenses - like a pair of glasses full of fingerprints and smudges. I couldn't see clearly; My state of mind was shot. So every little aspect of my life that I had a stressful thought about was amplified ten-fold.

How was I able to overcome the thoughts and therefore the funk? Number one, I had to remind myself that I'm human and it is OK to get swooped up into the negative thought storms once in a while; Surrendering to that understanding in itself began to auto-correct my state of mind. I began to appreciate and love myself for having had the experience, and that it was truly over and in the past. Every time I thought about it, I was making the choice to hit replay on that movie, so I finally made the choice to stop hitting replay.

You see, our feelings come from our thinking, not from the world around us. So every time I was hitting replay on that movie, even if just for a moment, stress and anxiety riddled my body. From there, if I thought about normal life stressors about my life or work while in that feeling, those stressors felt so incredibly real and huge and heavy, they seemed out of my control and I would freeze. I wanted to curl up in a ball and hide away from the world. Mind you, if I were in a positive state of mind, those life stressors would of course still cross my mind, but I would easily be able to let them pass or they would motivate me into action, therefore moving them through my mind without even trying.

Bottom line is, we are the thinkers. No one is climbing inside of our heads crafting our thoughts for us. We have a huge bandwidth for a massive variety of thoughts that we think all day, every day: the construct of who we are (I'm introverted, I'm funny, I'm sarcastic), judgements of ourselves or others, memories & experiences; To what we plan to eat later in the day or what pen we choose to pick up to write with, and EVERYTHING in between. We have so many thoughts crossing our minds at the speed of light, that we often can't keep up. But the more we have an understanding that we are the generators of all those thoughts, and we have the free will to pick and choose what to pay attention to OR we can just observe them flowing through our mind like a ticker tape at the bottom of our television screens, the more at peace we are. As Elsie Spittle so wisely said in her book, Nuggets of Wisdom...

Remember that the nature of Thought is pure energy, so it flows. Use thought wisely - let negative thoughts flow through your mind. Then your natural well-being will rise to the surface.

So dear reader, I hope this shines a little light on where your life experience is coming from, as well as some peace of mind that thought storms and low moods happen to each and every one of us. Having the understanding of where my feelings and funk were coming from, sure helped me to trust that I didn't have to be afraid of what was happening to me, and I knew it would all inevitably pass. But darn it, life can be hard, it will throw you punches, and it's OK to have to work it through sometimes.

See you again next week, XO ~   

Jessie