True Self

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

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