Wisdom

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

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

Wow.

I feel free again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What?!

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

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

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

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

All my love and see you again very soon~

XO, Jessie




Bamboozled Into Spirituality

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was bamboozled! But in the best of ways…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pure magic over LA on a very ordinary day…

Pure magic over LA on a very ordinary day…

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

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

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

What Are You Seeking?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

Mmhmmm.....

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

 

 

When Forgetfulness Leads To Insight!

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

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

Sit with that for a second...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What it feels like to see the magic...

What it feels like to see the magic...

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

I completely agree.

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

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

When Thought Gets In The Way Of Performance

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

The beautiful Getty

The beautiful Getty

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

*Here comes the point*

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

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

every. single. time.

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

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

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

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

You Know So Much More Than You Think

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

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

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

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

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

Long pause in the room.

Another student takes a stab at the answer...

"There's no life"

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

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

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

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

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

Thayer Douglass. My Grandpa.

Thayer Douglass. My Grandpa.

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

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

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

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

So what is it?

Your Wisdom. Your gut instinct.

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

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

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

Back to the classroom with Judith Sedgeman:

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

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

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

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

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

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

 

Sometimes We Just Need A Reminder...

Let me set the stage for you.

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

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

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

[Ring ring ring]

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

Me: "Hi! Is ___ there?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Babies...

Babies...

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

Mom: "What does your gut say?"

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

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

NAILED IT.

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

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

Now...

Go do more of that.

All my love and see you next week...

Jessie

 

 

 

Food For Thought

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

AMEN!!!

One more time for all the folks in the back!

AAAAAMEN!!

Woohoo! I DID IT!!

Woohoo! I DID IT!!

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

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

I hear you! But this is a different conversation.

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

Do you see what I'm getting at here?

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

Do you see how exhausting this is?

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

Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

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

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

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

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

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

What a gift. What freedom.

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

 

 

Life Is A Gift That May Take Courage To Unwrap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I could feel what she meant.

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

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

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

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

not one. more. moment.

All my love, see you next week~

Jessie

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

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

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

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

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

This is Leesa Zelken.. to a T

This is Leesa Zelken.. to a T

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

And so it began...

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

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

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

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

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

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

J: Did you have an investor?

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

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

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

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

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

J: Any crazy stories to share?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

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

One Of The Keys To Life...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Grandma Adell in all of her glory...

My Grandma Adell in all of her glory...

 

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

 

Honoring Wisdom Over Your Thought Turds

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

Why share this experience with you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All my love and see you next week~

Jessie

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

 

 

Taking The Leap! An Interview With Aida Bernal Of Spellbound Entertainment

"What I do isn't just help people get jobs, I'm helping people's dreams come true. That's something that I honor and take very seriously."

This from the mouth of the woman who my best friend and client of Aida, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, calls Mama Shark. The woman knows the entertainment business like the back of her hand (her experience in the industry is mind blowing), she's incredibly passionate about her work and her clients, and has a heart bigger than the size of Texas.

I first met Aida a few years back through Natalia when she joined Natalia's efforts to spearhead the industry in Hollywood. Natalia's intention was to eclipse the overtly sexualized stereotypical roles that the industry so quickly throws Mexican women in, which in regards to the culture of Hollywood, can unfortunately be no small feat. I remember being in awe of the team they had created; They were on a mission, hand-in-hand, to find roles that represented a strong and empowered Latina. With pitch after pitch, Aida was getting Natalia in rooms that took her talent and intention seriously. Cut to Natalia most recently wrapping season 5 as the first Latina superhero on television (or any other medium, for that matter) on Marvel's Agents of Shield, I would say this team has broken through a glass ceiling.

This is Aida. This is her mission for each and every one of her clients.

Photography by Cammy Kinney

Photography by Cammy Kinney

So how did Aida get to the point of Taking The Leap into becoming manager extraordinaire? "Since I was young, working at the cash register at my parents store, I knew I would have my own thing. I didn't know what exactly, but I had the feeling." I can detect a deep sense of appreciation she has towards her parents for modeling what it looked like to be an entrepreneur, having their own store on the historic Olvera Street in Los Angeles. The love they shared between each other and for their business started the fire, and as she grew older, she knew she wanted to work in entertainment and work with artists.

When her first entertainment job as a stylist's assistant got her to music video sets, her fire grew bigger and the vision started to narrow. Every single job that followed, she says, led her to where she is today (be prepared for this killer resume): Queen Latifah's music management company Flavor Unit/West Coast (this wet her taste buds for management), MCA Records (where she heard the advice of a lifetime from an A&R executive, "Look at this like college - you're getting paid to learn. When you leave here you'll know what you want and what you don't want"), then finally, several years at the production company for one of the superstars of our generation, Jennifer Lopez.

As I experienced myself, taking the leap from a regular job to work for yourself is a spiritual experience. After collecting information and insights, the wisdom bubbles up out of no where that it's time to leap, and for Aida, though she considered herself a linear person who would have things more planned out (SAME HERE), the insight smacked her upside the head in the shower one day that it was time to go and she had to listen. It was time for her to step two feet into her own company...

Aida: I had friends and acquaintances tell me I was crazy, but when you know, you know! If I can share one thing with the world that I learned from that process: We need to be better supporters of each other. If someone is telling you their ideas for a big move in their life, whether it be writing a cook book or going out on their own in business, it is your job as the listener to empower them instead of fueling the embers of fear. You don't know where they are in their process - you don't know where on the ladder they are. If they're further down the line and are grounded, then it may not matter, but if they're a baby chick beginning to hatch and you come at them with your 'logical' fearful thoughts, you've just crushed their spirit.

AMEN, sister! Speaking to Aida about her work now, you can feel every bit is coming from her guts. Her passion is immense and so inspiring.

Aida: I feel very blessed to be able to run my own company, work from my gut, my intuition, and though I've always done that in every entertainment job I've had, being on my own, there's no politics or bureaucracy between me and the client or potential client.

Jessie: You're able to run your business from your wisdom, no holds barred! The core of your business, the ground that you stand on, because you choose people from that heart connection, from that gut instinct, it's inevitable for everything to blossom - from your clients careers to your career as a manager/producer. I feel like you can see the potential in your clients before they can see it for themselves.

A: Yes! It's all about listening to their story, listening to their history. When they demonstrate their drive and passion for whatever it is they want to do, that's what makes me engage. Those are the kind of people I look to work with, the ones that inspire me. Not just because they're great actors, but because they're good people going after their dreams. It's really not that complicated, it's really quite simple.

J: Do you find yourself getting emotionally invested in your clients since you're so involved in the day to day of their dreams?

A: I can't manage at a distance. I've been told by industry and non-industry people that you shouldn't become too attached to your clients because this business is brutal, this business is ruthless - I didn't get into this business to have that mentality. I came into this business for the love of what I do and the passion for seeing something through from beginning to end.

J: I can see the connection here to your music days.

A: Yes, very similar to A&R (Artists and Repertoire) in the music business. They sign the band then see them all the way through. The recording, the marketing, the release of the album, the music video - there's all this process that happens before that act becomes what they become. For me with talent management, because I've done some developing (which a lot of reps don't want to do), I will meet with someone and when there's that spark on a human to human basis, and the cherry on top is that they happen to be brilliant artists, to me, that's what matters. You sign the human being behind the actor. For me, it's not just about these really talented people, it's about having a real, personal connection.

A: (cont'd) When it comes to the relationship, I'm the one that has to process the 'no' before I speak to my client. It can be difficult especially when it has nothing to do with my client. I have to make sure I'm in a place where I can deliver that info so it can be received well. There are times where I've had to deliver three 'no's' in one day, and that's just a fragment of my day (due to meetings, submissions, pitches, etc), but then there's times I get to deliver three 'yes's' - I have to be ready for all of it. I deal with the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Learning how to manage the lows is the real key because being an artist is one of the most vulnerable things you can be. I'm known to be protective of my clients because when you're putting your artistry out there, everyone is going to judge (especially in the age of social media), there's no way of getting around that. So it's so important that those of us who work with talent whether it's agents, managers, publicists, even attorneys - to have that in the back of our brain. Knowing when you need more heart and less business.

Whew! What an incredible human, and what an advocate to have on your side as an artist on this roller coaster of an industry. What I love most about Aida's story is that she has literally followed her wisdom her entire career. Through each endeavor, without hesitation, she did the work, managed the ups and downs and moved on to the next step when her insides prompted her to. Now, I'm sure she would agree that she's human and every twist and turn felt overwhelming at times, but in hindsight, she was being guided from the inside-out. As she said, she is very blessed to be able to run her own company. From my perspective, because of her bravery and surrender to the process, even if she wasn't fully aware of the magic at the time, is why she is where she is. And guess what? Whether you're in the industry or just trying to figure out your next step in life, know that you can have a journey like Aida's the moment you choose to. The answer is inside, just allow it to bubble and it'll smack you upside the head in the shower one day too, I guarantee it.

Aida wanted to share some parting advice for incoming artists:

Do everything you can to be the best artist you can be, {hone your craft} as a musician, painter, actor, etc because that is all YOU. {And YOU are who the world needs!} As SNL's Michael Che says (not verbatim), "Don't put your goals into something or someone (in my actors cases an example would be a hiring 'body' like a Network or studio), because it can be taken away. Make your goals ABILITY based." Tune out the noise, and keep going.

And finally, the gem she left me with in all of her Mama Shark glory...

"I color outside the lines, and so do all the people I work with. We are the disruptors, we have something to give to the world. I already know how talented my clients are, the rest of the world just needs to catch up."

May we all have an Aida in our corner.

All my love to you and see you next week,

Jessie

Spellbound Entertainment is a management and production company. You can see Aida's clients in Agents of Shield, Mayans MC (Sons of Anarchy spin-off), Narcos, Sense8 and more. The first film produced by Spellboud Entertainment called STARFISH is in post production. It's written/directed & produced by UK client Al White and also produced by Aldo Jovan.

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Taking The Leap! An Interview with Adrienne Borlongan of Wanderlust Creamery

Back when I was grinding away at my career as a professional dancer, I was working at a snazzy sushi restaurant in Brentwood, California, a posh suburb of Los Angeles that was home to every A-list actor and influential film producer in town. Tom Hanks called me Jess, I knew Leslie Mann & Judd Apatow's order by heart, Lupita Nyong'o was so stunning I could hardly look at her and Jim Carrey showed me hilarious home videos on his cell phone.. just to name (drop) a few. However, what had stuck with me the most after leaving that job was this lovely human being who was a genius behind the bar: she kept her cool when she needed ten more hands, would make up recipes for unique cocktails that would jet-set me to a beach in Mexico or a high rise in Hong Kong, and of course, was as kind as they come.

One day while working a slow lunch shift, we got to talking over these DELICIOUS macaroons that she had made and brought in to share. I'm telling you, when I get the chance to visit Paris, I guarantee you after my first bite into a Parisian macaroon I'll say to myself "Nope, Adrienne's are better!" Every taste took me to a different experience in my mind because her flavors, like her cocktails, were inspired by her travels and love for different cultures. The texture was perfect, like puffy clouds with a tender crunch as I took each bite, and the love she poured into them was palatable. She shared that she was a food science graduate from the same University I went to for Psychology (California State University, Northridge) and how she was inspired (she says obsessed) with the recipes of pastry chef Pierre Hermé, which is why I was snacking on these to-die-for treats. I was grateful I got to experience her macaroons and talent for mixology first hand but I had a sense the Universe had bigger plans for her.

Cut to a few years later where I've kept up with Adrienne via social media, and to my elated surprise, I witnessed her progressively share photos and updates of her opening her own artisanal ice cream shop. With flavors inspired by none other then the places she's traveled to, destinations she longs to visit and childhood memories, THIS (in my humble opinion) is where she's been headed and guided to her entire life. Alongside her partner JP, a former litigation attorney turned entrepreneur who would take the role of operations for the company, came Wanderlust Creamery (can we take a moment of silence for how apropos the name is?! Nailed it.) I now have words for the feeling I got while watching her life unfold for her. She had followed her wisdom, her gut instinct, her resolve to follow that instinct was so strong she didn't believe the opinions of her thoughts, and had taken the leap. What a risk, what bravery. But when you know, you know... and she surrendered to the feeling. And because of her surrender, I could feel where she was creating from, I could feel that this business was coming straight from her gut.

It was she who inspired this series that will unfold intermittently throughout my Monday Musings, being a spearhead for the spotlights of all the incredible women in my life whose stories will no doubt be of inspiration to you and an opportunity to see your reflection in these change makers that I'm so lucky to be witness to. So without further ado, with an unheralded three stores in three years in the LA area, as well as a permanent spot in the hip Downtown LA food market Smorgasburg LA, I introduce Adrienne and her experience of what it was like to Take The Leap...

Jessie: What was your first instinct/insight about Wanderlust Creamery? The very first thought that bubbled up from your gut that made you think, "I could do that, in fact, I SHOULD do that!"?

Adrienne: I was on an ice cream kick in late 2014. I’d eat at a lot of artisanal ice cream places and while I loved the quality of the products, I thought the flavors were so boring. On the other hand, I’d frequent more exotic places, where I’d love the flavors, but find the ice cream quality really bad. In November of 2014 I was shopping for a home ice cream maker to make my own “exotic, but good quality” ice cream. I did a lot of researching and found the Cadillac of home ice cream makers: a Lelo Musso Pola gelato machine. It was $1300 because it qualified as commercial kitchen equipment. To justify the purchase, I kind of told people it was “an investment because I planned to open a ice cream shop”. I never really had an intention of doing that really- I just wanted to spend $1300 on a hobby and not feel guilty about it. After a week with my new obsession, I made my 2015 New Year’s Resolution to take the leap and finally open a food business.

J: Did you have any doubts? How did you continue to march forward with your vision while having those doubts?

A: I’ve always had doubts. To this very day, I still have them. I remember the moment I signed the lease for our first store- just 5 months after buying that gelato machine. It was time to put my feet to the fire. During the business planning in the months leading up to that moment, there was always a chance to chicken out. But in signing the lease, I was making myself financially liable if the business failed. There was no turning back. I thought to myself, “Whether or not it works out, I NEED to know how this all ends. If it doesn’t work out, then I need to find out sooner than later so I can get on with my life, and do something else.” I was terrified, yet I also had this burning curiosity to see what would happen next- good or bad. I also remember feeling a sense of surrender as if I had pre-accepted any failure that would come. It hasn’t come yet. (<-- Can we get an AMEN!?!)

J: How long did you have a side hustle before going all in?

A: I kept my part time bartending gig at a nightclub because it was a really lucrative side hustle and the hours were really flexible. It wasn’t until the first Spring after Wanderlust opened that the volume really picked up and I devoted all my time to my business.

J: Did you encounter any issues?

A: So many! Our walk-in freezer broke the week after we opened our first location. We spent half a day pouring our entire stock of ice cream (melted) down the drain.

J: How did things begin to unfold for you? Did you set goals for yourself and the business? Or did things unfold without your even thinking about it?

A: While I do set goals for the business, a lot of the most amazing things have happened without me even thinking about it.

J: What was your first "Oh shit, it's happening & working!" moment?

A: Everyone (bankers, other restaurateurs & entrepreneurs) told us we wouldn’t see a single cent of profit within our first year, and most likely wouldn’t even break even for the first six months. After the very first month of being open, we did our financials and we surprisingly were able to pay all the bills and labor with a teeny amount to roll over for the next month. It wasn’t a huge success, but it definitely was not the failure we braced for. It was a definite “Oh shit” moment for us.

J: What does your gut instinct feel like to you? What does your body and mind feel like when making decisions from this place?

A: I feel like I get my “gut instinct” in moments of defeat or tiredness where I throw my hands up in the air and say “eh whatever”. At the end of a struggle in a stressful situation, I’ll just kind of resign myself to not caring as much, and then I’ll have an epiphany. (<-- What I always talk about, guys! The moment you stop trying to figure out a solution and you look the other way, the calm that comes with that surrender allows for the fresh, creative thinking to support your wisdom to come through!)

J: Do you have any visions of Wanderlust's next move or expansion? Any further dreams or are you going to continue to let it unfold?

A: I tell myself everyday that it could all go away, so I have zero expectations of what will come next. I do however have one tiny wish: to have a Wanderlust Creamery at LAX airport. (<-- Uh, yes please! A delicious and fresh treat after a long day of travel? Additionally reminding you of where you just came from or inspiring you for your next vacation?! No brainer!)

J: Any other comments you think people should know about you, your experience, or taking the leap?

A: Aren’t you eager to find out if the “hunch” you had all your life was true or not? Wouldn’t you like to know now so you can stop wasting your time?

Yes, Adrienne, YES!

Dear reader, it is my hope that you have taken in Adrienne's story and can see yourself in her reflection. Female or male, teen or retired - each and every one of you are meant for something great, your VOICE is meant to be heard. No matter the field, career or service that may be of interest to you. No time is ever lost - if you have a feeling within you to start something new or try something new; To go after that idea you had years ago or want to explore a part of yourself your thoughts made you believe you couldn't before, go for it. Start to have an imagination around it in your mind, buy some tools, take a class, or start with a conversation about it with someone you trust. Just putting it in your ether allows the Universe to recognize that you're going for it, and life will begin to open up for you. I know this to be true - from personal experience as well as what you've heard here from Adrienne and the many women I'll be sharing to come. This series is to show you what's possible - that you don't have to be a millionaire to make it happen, that you don't have to wait til "things line up" to take the leap; That when something feels right, then it is right. You just have to take the steps to raise your vibrations and get things in motion - the rest is surrender and trust.

Finally, I'll leave you with a piece of Adrienne's story that made my jaw drop, gave me chills all over and brought tears to my eyes, even though things like this shouldn't surprise me anymore. After Adrienne was receiving press over the success of her first location, a distant family member got in touch to congratulate her on following in her grandfather's footsteps. Having not known her grandfather because he passed away many years before she was born, she didn't know what he was referring to...

...Turns out he was a flavor chemist for Magnolia Ice Cream, and she had no idea.

The Universe works in mysterious ways - when you get out of your own way and follow the feeling within you - magic happens.

See you next week,

Jessie

PS - For more info on Wanderlust Creamery locations and more, you can check out their website >HERE< and follow them on Instagram >HERE<.

PPS - Their ice cream is of course, DELICIOUS.

Adrienne and I at the opening of Wanderlust Creamery's third location in Venice, CA.

Adrienne and I at the opening of Wanderlust Creamery's third location in Venice, CA.

 

 

 

Guilty As Charged!

I admit it. I'm guilty. Yep, happens to me all the time...

Hi, my name is Jessie, and I am an overthinker.

Is it the fact that I come from a family of therapists, so it's second nature to analyze the crap out of every little thing? (Which was quickly supported by my Psych education... Nervous? Stressed? Anxious? Dig in your past, you'll find the answers there... oh, bother). Is it because I'm an entrepreneur secretly stuck in the body of someone who wants a traditional 9-5? (I've tried that, so I know it isn't the answer, whew!)

Oh, it's because I'm human? Thank god... I can deal with that.

Since last weeks post (TRUST In The Timing), I've been made aware of the way I process life - lets just say that I don't do my introspection as introspectively as I thought I did - my husband Mike just the other day said, "Jesus, you have so many THOUGHTS!" which made me laugh all while giving me major insight. The insight was, here I am not getting emotionally hooked or triggered by my thinking (at least not a majority of the time), yet I still take the headline thoughts very seriously (particularly everything that comes up pertaining to my business). Do you understand what I mean? I do a great job of not getting tossed into a thought storm that I believe to be true which can result in anxiety and stress, but I still look at each thought with a magnified glass, as opposed to allowing them to pass effortlessly.

I hear ya, Pooh!

I hear ya, Pooh!

The understanding is about to go deeper.

See, the clearer I've become on the role of Thought in my understanding of the world around me: that we live through the lens of our thinking 100% of the time, and that our feelings come from our thoughts 100% of the time - the less I have been emotionally triggered by them. BUT now I have trained myself to grab a hold of a thought, try to make meaning out of it, try to see what the 'hidden message' is within it, then let it go back into the heavy stream of thoughts that flow when I'm done with it. Like catching a fish purely for the sport of the catch, then letting it go back into the water. Because I don't deal with anxiety any more like I did in the past, this new little trick of mine slipped under the radar until it was pointed out to me.

So if I'm not feeling anxious or getting emotionally triggered by this new trick of mine, what's the big deal? I'll tell ya: It keeps me distracted from my wisdom, therefore keeping me frozen instead of in motion. I find myself going around and around in my head some days about which move I should make next for my business: Who should I contact next? Should I start compiling all my writings for my book? Should I get back to my weekly or bi-weekly group meetings? Should I clarify a bunch of topics for guest pieces for online publications now? Or wait til I begin to reach out to them? And of course each idea comes with ten more ideas and guess what?! If I didn't stop to mull it all over and I just ACTED out of my wisdom, all of those things would be done within a day (and by the way, I know the answer is YES to all of the above). Of course I'm still productive, but it takes more effort to rise out of my brain and it's incredible how much time is lost to going around and around with it all. Am I grateful for my understanding of how Thought works so none of them are making me feel ill? ABSOLUTELY. But, I'm seeing now that there's yet another level deeper into the understanding, into the consistent peaceful abyss that exists for the taking - or should I say - for the being.

As per usual with lessons like these, when they show up in more of a brick-upside-the-head kind of way as opposed to a whisper kind of way, the Universe brought me the last piece of the puzzle via my mom and her recent insight that made me (and her) click into a deeper knowing of this thing called life. I am majorly paraphrasing, but it was something said by Sydney Banks, the wonderful human being who had the insight into the 3 Principles behind our human experience that my work is based in: Don't get caught up in the game of the thinking, just observe it. The game of the thinking. That is exactly what I needed to hear. Our thoughts are always at play, sometimes they're playing with knives during a storm, sometimes they're kicking a ball back and forth in the sunshine, but either way - observe the game, and keep honoring your wisdom. Life will continue to unfold for us when we get out of our own way with our thoughts - and what's even more magical? When we're not in our head, or rather, choosing to observe the game in our head instead of play it, we naturally come back to the moment and get to witness all of the little breadcrumbs from the Universe, allowing for the journey to be the fun part, not just the goal at the end of the journey. Wow, what a wonderful feeling.

Thank you for being on the journey with me~

All my love and see you next week,

Jessie

 

You Don't Have To Be 80 To Have Wisdom

I had a complete post written for today's Monday Musings, and my gut was nagging at me throughout the entire process that the timing wasn't right for what I had written.

What won't leave my mind is the powerful movement following Parkland. I am so incredibly proud and in awe of the students and the driving force for change within them, I can't help but reflect on how powerful, strong, and wise they are. What a gift to us all, what a wake up call for so many, to see in real time that you don't have to be 80 to have wisdom. It is truly within us, at all times, no matter your age. It is so incredibly inspiring to witness what tragedy can be turned into.

One of the Three Principles that I refer to here in different ways (without saying it directly) is Universal Mind, or the greater intelligence of all things. I often say this is your wisdom, your gut feeling; I also think of it as the power source as well as the lazy river that holds you up and guides you along in life. Universal Mind is truly the energy woven into the wisdom within and around us. My jaw was on the floor when I witnessed this so strongly watching Emma Gonzalez, a Senior and survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, giving her incredibly powerful speech to a gun control rally. She was a conduit to her wisdom, and oh how powerfully she trusted it. The strength I felt from her grounding, she was as mighty as the oldest Sequoias in the Sierra Nevada mountains. (Click here to watch if you haven't seen it yet).

Isn't it amazing how our most intense experiences, whether tragic or romantic, get us right to our wisdom? There's no time for erroneous thinking - we live in the moment, we say what we feel, we ACT. We DO. Every thought that comes up is straight from our wisdom, and there's nothing but trust and movement.

Let me remind you that it doesn't take a tragedy or the most sweeping love affair to get to this place.

It is there for you all the time, you just have to look in it's direction. When we experience something so intensely, we're often forced to surrender to those experiences, thus being in the moment. Living with an energy and vitality that others feel around you. Watch Emma, yes there is an immense amount of pain, but you can see the moments when she hurts because she has a memory flash across her mind from the tragedy, but she is standing in her wisdom. It takes my breath away and makes me feel so empowered for change, because SHE is so empowered for change.

Finally, I would love to share with you what I posted immediately following the tragedy. At the time I felt hopeless, shocked, in disbelief, and out of words. Then this is what bubbled up to share with the world...

It doesn't matter who you are, where you've come from, or what part of the world you live in - EVERY HUMAN BEING suffers from the stories in their head at some point or another - either consistently or in phases. Whether you believe a tragic incident or person from your past continues to ruin your life on a daily basis, or you're scared you're not being a good parent. From each perspective, the person trapped in their thoughts is riddled with anxiety because those thoughts make life look and feel really scary.

The difference between you and the person pulling the trigger of a gun, is that they BELIEVE their thought stories to be so real and overwhelming, that getting a gun and killing themselves and others will relieve them from those stories, swiftly and easily. Like removing the stinger after a bee sting.

If you're a stay at home mom who has gotten so low that you haven't washed your hair in over a week, or if you're an addict using drugs or alcohol to escape the movies you replay in your head.

That's why I'm here, doing what I do.

I would love to be able to reach every single person on this planet to make them understand that they don't have to take their thoughts so seriously - that they don't have to continue re-living past experiences that bring pain. Suffering will continue as long as we don't have the education about Thought.

My point? Mental health is a factor for mass shootings as much as it is a factor in living a peaceful life. But when you have easy access to something that can swiftly end what you believe is the cause to the suffering you're experiencing, using a gun will never be anything less than the solution to the illusory problem

Let's remove the easy access to the deadly machine that so seductively makes people believe it will quiet or end the thoughts that bring them suffering... because it won't. Ever.

It is amazing what we learn from our experiences in this skin suit, dealing with our human shit (sorry for the language, but 'stuff' just doesn't cut it). If you haven't heard it yet today, know that you are important, loved and so appreciated for who YOU are - YOUR wisdom. We need you for all that you are. Stop letting your thoughts get in the way of us experiencing your greatness. Take a page from Emma - if it wasn't for her, we may not be having the conversation that new regulations are a must, we may all still be feeling like I did right after it happened - hopeless.

If you would like to join me in pledging to vote for gun safety, or need more information on how you can be part of the movement in your area, click here to be taken to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Here's to you, and all of us ~

See you next week,

Jessie

The Feeling Behind Unity

Pride, overwhelming love, HOPE, justice, appreciation, contentment, JOY, awe, adoration, admiration, sadness, introspection, connecting devotion...

It is so hard to describe a feeling sometimes, especially when an experience is so overwhelming to my mind that all I can do is cry. That is exactly how I felt this past Saturday joining thousands of humans for the Women's March in Los Angeles, and the above adjectives are the best I can do right now (and it's been over 24 hours). The March was the second in it's history, but the first that I attended, and with every vulnerable bone in my body, I admit to you that the reason I didn't go to the first one was because...

I was scared.

I had been SO upset about the Presidential election results, I was so depleted and at a loss for words for the lack of emotional intelligence in my country, I felt blindsided. Politics aside, how could someone with no leadership skills, no kindness in his heart, no respect for women, and no experience (to say the least), be elected into the most 'honorable' seat in the White House? I was sick to my stomach and sobbed among coworkers - it was the first time in all my years that an election would shake me to my core.

Then the light came. The first ever Women's March was announced and I felt rejuvenated. I would be there, at my first ever protest, to stand with women from every cultural background, socioeconomic status, life experience and age to send the message that we are no longer standing down and absorbing the belief that we are not equal and voiceless. The day grew near, conversations were bubbling all around me with feelings of excitement, and all I was feeling was scared. What was happening? When the March was first announced I felt such an immense amount of hope and like I could be part of the solution, a part of history, a part of this huge cultural shift that I was bearing witness to...

My thoughts.

I look back now and as the day of the March was getting closer and closer, I was allowing and believing my thoughts over my wisdom. What if we all got attacked? What if I became claustrophobic? What if I didn't get down there early enough to meet up with people I knew? And so on and so on. These thoughts, when typed out, look so meager and easily dismissible, but especially that first one looked so real to me that it brought feelings of anxiety and stress that froze me. The day came and I just. couldn't. do it. My alarm went off and I snoozed it, but I was racked with sweat and an upset stomach because I was going against my wisdom. By the time I got up, I'm sure I still could've made it (it was still morning, of course), but my thoughts won yet again: Telling me there's no way I could get down there in time or even consider finding someone I knew (because god-forbid I do this on my own!), so I may as well stay home. I don't know about you, but what I've realized from my past behavior is that if I go against my wisdom, I end up wasting a significant amount of time (in this case, an entire day) ruminating in my head - creating thoughts upon thoughts - as to why I made the decision I did. Justifying (again, just thoughts). On this day I eventually told myself that it was in my best interest, and my own form of protest, to work on developing my program, What Moves You. What better way to show my solidarity then to continue to flush out my work that would eventually be teaching people to follow their wisdom and take their thoughts less seriously - my way of helping humanity to never make such an emotionally detached decision ever again. Well, here's what's so ironic - that's a pretty beautiful conclusion I had come to, but I couldn't even type a single word that day or research a single book, because I was going against my wisdom, and taking my scared thoughts VERY seriously.

Cut to a year later, just this past weekend, and there was a quick moment I didn't think I would be able to attend. My husband and I had plans to go out of town, but we didn't have to leave til noon since he had to work (the old thoughts were coming up a little bit too, but these days I make a concerted effort to trust my wisdom, so I let it go to see what would come up). Sure enough, the spiritual work was already in motion because I happened to reach out to my best friend about a completely different subject, and she wound up telling me she was getting downtown by 7am for the March. There it was, I felt so in line with my wisdom that there was no denying it. The next morning I shot out of bed and got myself out the door with my "THE FUTURE IS FEMALE" shirt on (gifted to me by the same friend, no surprise), and I was giddy like a 7 year old on Christmas morning. As I've been witnessing, when I continue to follow my wisdom on a moment-to-moment basis, the rest of the day unfolds in my favor. And of course on this day, it went seamlessly and beautifully, so much so that I felt short of breath from the love expounding from my body. As I walked the 15 blocks from my car to my friends, the images I witnessed made me cry (remember the experiences that are so overwhelming to my mind that make me cry? Now we're caught up...)

"It's better to show up, than to give up" - Bernie Sanders

"It's better to show up, than to give up" - Bernie Sanders

They tried to bury us - They didn't know we were seeds

They tried to bury us - They didn't know we were seeds

Feminism is not a female cause. It is a human one.

Feminism is not a female cause. It is a human one.

Twitter Rants Unite More People!

Twitter Rants Unite More People!

Above all else, I hope you see yourself in this story. I hope you can begin to recognize the moments in your life when your wisdom is moving you in a direction and your thoughts are the only thing stopping you. That you feel empowered enough from learning more about your thinking, that you choose your knowing. What I felt on Saturday was out of body, and that bliss is part of my life on a daily basis these days. I can only imagine what will happen as each day passes and the voice of my wisdom becomes louder than the voice of my thoughts, but know that this is absolutely possible for you too. What Moves You?

With all my love.

See you next week,

Jessie