Sustainable Halo

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. – Chinese Proverb

Thanksgiving Day Reflections November 26, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 4:21 pm

Hello, lovelies!

I completed my fast and have spent the last couple of days working food back into my system so I would be able to eat a meal of gratitude today with my two beautiful boys and my great friend Lauren.  As she continues her journey from Calistoga to San Diego, I am filled with excitement and joy.  The boys have been playing and sparring and crying and all the stuff little toddlers do.  I am grateful.

I decided to take a drive with them to pick up a few last minute menu requirements and chose to veer off my path a bit to get a gauge on the island on Thanksgiving.  We blasted inspirational Christmas music and gloried in the beautiful and joyful day.  There were a lot of sporty couples strolling, running and lounging on benches as they soaked up the warm sunny day.  A lot of teenagers were out and about on their beach cruisers, surely plotting how they would get away from their parents to hang with their buddies.  Maybe I was a bit like them, trying to explore my boundaries.  One man stood out.

I have seen him occasionally the past week walking around with a small piece of luggage that he pulls behind him.  He has a bright light but I could see it in his heavy shoulders and settled way that he was hurting.  Finally, today, I stopped the car.  I pulled over.  Graham said, “Church!”  I thought of how appropriate his intuition was.  I said, “Yes, honey, I need to do little something for God.”  I walked over to him and asked him if he was okay and if he had something warm for the holiday.  He said, “No.  My heart is heavy.”  My eyes welled up because he was so demure and composed.  I hugged him tight and told him that if he needed a place to celebrate the holiday he was welcome.  His pride stepped in and he explained that he was hoping to see his son.  I hugged him again and wished the best for the holiday.  He apologized as tears came and said he was worried he would wet me with his tears.  I said, “Those are blessed tears and I welcome them, sir.”  He stepped  back and asked my name, which I then shared.  He said, “I am going through a divorce and I am at the bottom.”  I said, “Then there is nowhere to go from here than up my brother.  Think about anything you might need and if I see you around, let me know.  You are welcome to have Thanksgiving with us.  God bless you.”  He thanked me and humbly walked away.

I got back in the car and wept.  I wept with sadness and joy all the same time.  I wept the whole way home and felt the gratitude that was in  me this day.  I have so many things to be grateful for today.  This man was but a reflection of me.  I saw the beauty in both of us and hopefully shared a spark of that with him.  I share with all of you, my friends, my family…thank you, thank you, thank you for listening.  Life is beautiful even when it is sad.  Life is beautiful.

Love and light,

Jess

 

The Impossible Dream September 27, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 11:12 am

We have all had our experiences with medical institutions and doctors. While I appreciate the importance of them I am much more appreciative of the explosion of alternative choices there are out there. I have never been comfortable going into a hospital or doctor’s office, few of us are, but it was the birth of my first son that really sent me spinning and on a journey of self exploration. I had been pushed into a c-section and was left feeling bitter that my Son and my Self had been cheated. It led me on a mission to make sure I gave myself the best chance of having a v-back, vaginal after c-section, and I did a lot of soul searching and physician research. I was able to position myself for success and had an entirely different experience the second time around. My second Son and I were able to enjoy the natural bonding of skin to skin and suckling immediately. Wow, what a difference.

This is what began an entirely new way of thinking for me. There was a wise woman in me somewhere saying, “Go with this. You are on the right track.” If I had followed my intuition the first time around things would have gone much differently. I would have stood up for myself and my baby. So I now know so much more and move through life with a lot more courage and confidence. When it comes to parenting my children I follow what my intuition tells me is right, not the spinning wheel of regurgitation in my mind.  I listen to my heart and my soul.  Do I still misstep? Of course. I keep moving forward.

I have learned to really allow the Divine Spirit to move through me and to make life much less about me. I have ceased my efforts to conform to a quick to fix and entitled society. I have the courage to just live my truth and to humbly be a part of a much larger interest. It has been a progress of steady, sometimes rapid and sometimes slow, growth. I KNOW that I am doing what is right for me and there is a lot to be said for that. I do not KNOW that what I am doing is in the best interest of others because it is so much bigger than me but I am filled with a satisfaction and believe that I am making a difference. I want so badly to make a difference. I want to see this world better: to see families come together, to see children respected, to see people love themselves, to see people viewing themselves as brothers and sisters instead of isolating themselves in their cocoon of modern convenience, to see people feed themselves whole and natural foods, to see them understand that they do have control over a large portion of their health and well being.

As I have continued my exploration of holistic health, which derives from hologram and means the whole or entire thing, I have increasingly gained courage and have found myself really stepping away from the programmed mindset Americans seem to be finding themselves in. My gratitude is infinite. When I began my research on Charlotte Gerson and eventually interviewed her I found myself drawn to her Institute, a historic home in downtown San Diego, and the wonderful women who work there. The have a big table lunch every day, serve the Gerson diet and generously offer those who inquire to join them. They have a library of books that they allowed me to sift through as I prepared for my interview with Charlotte. There was a photo album of her 87th birthday party and it held an insert from The Man From La Mancha (1972.)

“The Impossible Dream”

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear the unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one woman, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with her last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.

This really captures Charlotte and it is everything I want to be. If this can describe my life then I will be fulfilled. Let us all dream the impossible dream. We all have one and to not pursue it is very sad. But to pursue, in any way we can is the most beautiful thing.

Love and light,
Jess

 

Judgements August 20, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 11:04 pm

I had an epiphany the other day and it has been sitting with me, just waiting to come out into words.

I was on a beach walk with the boys and I was thinking about how much harm is done when we judge others. I am pretty aware of judgments when they occur in my mind, have gotten pretty good at identifying them and can usually prevent them from actually coming out of my mouth or staying put in my undercurrent of thoughts. I just wash them away because I know they do NO good. I have worked this around quite a bit and really thought that I was doing a good job with it. But just like with anything else, once you think you are getting something you will surely learn sooner or later that you are always growing and capable of opening up getting it even more.

Sometimes our eyes are opened to a new way of seeing an idea or basic tenet of our lives and it can be a gradual realization or a lightning bolt awakening.  This particular message was received in the form of a lightning bolt!  I cannot really describe how it happened but can say that during a stream of deep thought, in regards to judgements, the thought occurred to me all of the sudden.  Here it goes:  The deeper meaning, for me that day,  behind not judging lest ye be judged was that it is not just about judging others.  It is about the mind chatter of worry.  How often do we worry about what people think of us?  How they might view us?  How they might judge us?  How often do we let that shape the decisions we make?  We might even laugh it off but humor is not enough to wash away the damage of such fear.  I realized that most of my suffering these days is a result of an action I have taken or thought I have allowed to manifest that harbors judgmental fear:  actions and thoughts that allow my fear to dictate how I do something.  Heaven forbid I be judged on my parenting skills or my personal style or whether or not I am becoming a little too flaky with all of this soul searching and disconnection from the “soup” of dysfunction in the modern world.  I have had entirely way too much of that.  Its enough.  This does not mean that I will retreat to some desolate destination and shun the world.  It means that I will carry this with me every day as another strength that I have received from the divine source of all being.  I remain open and can say with all honesty that I very much look forward to deepening my understanding of my potential in this world.  Join me if you would like:)

Love and light,

Jess

 

Summer is in the Air! July 18, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations,Mind, Body and Spirit,Nature — Simple Jess @ 11:25 pm

Earlier this year I wrote a post titled Spring is in the Air. I wrote about a sad experience that I had in my Virginia house. In short, someone killed my praying mantis and it was devastating! When I wrote that post I was really mourning the loss of all of the plants, squirrels, birds, etc. that I was moving away from and hoping that they were taken good “green” care of after my departure to San Diego.

I was going into the unknown: moving my family to the other far side of this nation and leaving the safety net of familiarity. I would like to update those who care to know that I have received confirmation that its all good:) Prepare yourself for a bit of mushy and possibly flaky waxing on about what makes my heart swell.

I have my tomato plants growing in the hot summer sun up on our rooftop deck and this morning I went out to water them. It would have been so easy to miss, as is usual with a praying mantis, this very little creature resting neatly on a twisted vine of my plant. Upon closer inspection I noticed that it was missing one of its long hind legs, making me love him even more. I have immediately become protective of my new little friend and hope that he lives a happy life up on our deck.

As the sun was setting tonight, I wandered up there for one last look at it. It had moved to a new position and just sat there looking at me. There was no fuss when I bent in close for a good look. It was calm and collect. This is therapeutic to me. Why? I do not really know. I do know that I take great pleasure in the simple things in life and the presence of this creature is epic to me.

What do you find to be epic in the saga of your life? What speaks to your heart? Whatever it might be, give it some attention and love because I am sure that if you do that you will see it flower somewhere else in your life. I think that is why meditation is so great. It is an opportunity to focus in on nothing and let yourself flow with the simplicity of life. Tonight, I will go to my roof and meditate before bed. I think my little green friend will enjoy the company and I will nurture my spirit.

Be sure to tune in every week during the month of August, as I will be presenting my Summer Cancer Prevention series of articles, including an Interview with Charlotte Gerson, daughter and protege of renowned cancer healer Max Gerson, MD!

Love and light,
Jess

 

Finding Your Center July 15, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 11:09 am

Yesterday was one of those days.

It started early and kept banging away at me all day. I tried to turn things in a positive direction by taking the boys for a long walk along the ocean, at the Strand bike path. This is almost always a joy for all of us and I get my exercise in since my husband is deployed and cannot stay with them while I run.

My neighbor invited us to join them at an impromptu birthday picnic at the park at noon, (these are all new friends since we just moved here and I really wanted to attend,) just as we were heading out for our walk. I thought to myself that this would be great but not likely, since Peter would be ready for a nap when we returned. I shared this with her and passed along birthday wishes.

Just as we got out of the village and onto the bike path, Peter began screaming and I realized that he had tossed his pacifier, my crutch when we are out. I sang him some songs and he quieted down. He began talking to himself and I figured we were good to go. Then as we made it out even further, he started screaming. Then Graham started bucking himself back and forth in his seat and I knew we were in for difficult ride. Most of the bikers that passed us shared smiles of sympathy, which are nice and very much appreciated but just not enough to extinguish the fire in a mother’s chest when her kids are uncontrollably acting up.

I was able to calm Graham down and warn him that his behavior was not welcome but Peter was over the top and would not stop. Now, the positive in this is that it forced me to run home with jogger, which I had not felt like doing yesterday since I was in a funk. So I got more intense exercise than I would have. But it really just fueled the beginning of a brush fire day.

As my patience with my kids dwindled, my headache increased and and after receiving some sketchy news, all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and lick my wounds. This was impossible so I pushed on. I tried to use my skills at centering myself with imagery but turned to a bag of Newman O’s instead. My will was abandoning me and I just couldn’t wait for the kids to go to bed.

Once that became a reality, I was able to relax a bit but the tension and stress of the day were there to stay. I watched a movie, instead of cleaning up the house and downloaded my Changed Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao audio CD to my IPOD. My plan was to try the long walk again in the morning but listen to Dr. Wayne Dyer’s soothing voice and words of wisdom this time around. My will is strong and even though yesterday was the kind of day that sort of levels me, I prayed myself to sleep and asked for a simple morning of joy with myself and my kids. Hopefully, my kids will cooperate today, as they usually do.

I did not find my center yesterday but instead found myself spinning somewhere in the fray. I think we all do sometimes. Sometimes all we have is our will and when that fails us, just our faith.

If at first you do not succeed try, try again and know that I am out there trying too…along with many others. We are all one and today I send out a message of strong will and encouragement that if you are struggling with anything, DO NOT give up and for carrot’s sake give it your all. You are worth it: we are worth it.

Be sure to tune in every week during the month of August, as I will be presenting my Summer Cancer Prevention series of articles, including an interview with Charlotte Gerson, daughter and protege of renowned cancer healer Max Gerson, MD!

Love and light,
Jess

 

Home Office June 30, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 11:00 pm

I have been spending a good deal of time putting together my office and decorating it with all of my old stuff in a new way. Its turning out really charming and inspirational for my writing. I have a view of some beautiful palm trees, including a massive one in our front yard, which sway in the ocean breeze and create a simple calm around me. If I choose, I can walk out onto the rooftop deck and look out over my new neighborhood.

I watch the many beach cruisers that pass our house day and night. Or I sometimes catch a good tennis match at the local courts. We have not gone over to play yet because I cut my finger while moving things and it is still hurting and healing but we plan to stroll the boys over so they can watch us play and we can get some of our moving frustrations worked out. I remember on an episode of Sex and the City, Charlotte asserts that her father taught her every problem could be worked out with a good tennis match and I believe there is a bit of truth to that.

I find that when I have an issue with someone or something I navigate the ins and outs much easier with a bit of exercise. My aggression is let out, my confidence emerges and I let go of a lot of the negativity associated with the dilemma. It clears my head and prepares me to tackle anything. My creativity is also fostered when I exercise. I often come up with unique and creative ideas during a run when my mind is fluid and free of distractions.

This is the feeling that I am trying to create in my office while making it feel cozy and comfortable. Its been one of the more enjoyable areas of our new home to handle. I hope to come up with some writing that is worth reading!

 

Time Out! May 22, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 8:51 am

One never knows when a tragedy or disturbance of some kind will come along and wipe the slate clean for you, starting things over or at least calling for a time out.

These events can vary in severity; the intensity levels exist on a very broad spectrum of discomfort. Some happen quickly and end just as fast while others build up into a blowup which might go on for awhile. But when a difficult situation arises, we do not always know how we will react. We cannot gauge it by looking at how we typically live our lives because a response to an emergency brings out an awareness in us that we most often are not in touch with. Everything else melts away and you are left with that moment only. It brings everything into a different focus.

Most of us go along without worrying too much about what “might” happen and some of us push boundaries, exposing ourselves to the constant pressure of growth, diversity and renewal. Then there are those who paralyze themselves, not branching out into life for fear that they will hurt or uncomfortably expose themselves, maybe even lose someone they love. But, in the face of a challenge, we cannot always predict our reaction.

Whatever it is that sustains one’s degree of contentment during times that are strained or difficult is elusive. Some throw their entire faith into God or some other spiritual force. Others just live in a place of acceptance. Ultimately, the importance of sustaining one’s balance in life is unmatched and when facing strife, acceptance, confidence, curiosity, hope and growth are all necessities.

One of the most obvious opportunities for deep growth and clear messages of direction is when one becomes ill. Yesterday, I had an experience with illness that really shook me and sent me to a place in my mind that I have not visited in awhile. It was painful and scary but also enlightening.

I awoke and got the boys fed and dressed. My husband and I got ourselves ready to take him to work. We are sharing a car until we settle into our new community and that in itself has been a relationship builder. It takes a good dose of team work to manage that and I have to say that I am proud of how we have handled it thus far! This morning was like any other except for a feeling like I had a blister on my toe. This was not unusual since I get blisters on my feet often from running, so I payed little attention to it.

Now with my husband at work and getting myself and the kids settled back into the house. I decided to cut my son’s hair. I was feeling cold so we went onto the deck in the sunshine. It felt unusually warm and nice. When I stepped back inside my chill came right back and I noticed that my toe was really hurting me now when I put my weight on it. I took my youngest son upstairs for a nap and began to struggle with even the stairs. I was light-headed, short of breath, weak and sore all over. My mouth was really dry and I felt nauseous. I was not sure what to make of this.

I would describe myself as someone who handles pain well and takes a bit of pride in toughing out any kind of spell but I was pretty sure something was wrong. I called my husband, who had no car mind you, and he said I would have to drive to his work place so he could take me to the ER. Our sitter is on vacation and things were beginning to deteriorate pretty quickly. My only other choice was to call an ambulance but, again, the kids?

I managed to get us all in the car with food, drinks, diapers, you know, all the stuff! We took off and my lethargic state increased in intensity with every mile I drove. I resisted the urge to pull over because of that desire to control the situation, not panic and make it easier for everyone. Was this the best choice? I do not know. I just know that I got myself and the boys to my husband and we went straight to the ER.

They could not tell me exactly what had happened to me but they could not ignore my declining functions. There was a red line already working its way up my ankle so they quickly hooked me up on the IV for an aggressive antibiotic treatment. I tried to keep my cool and maintain a sense of humor throughout the experience but inside I was scared. Being a mother, one cannot help but first go to one of the darkest places in their mind. What is this and can it leave my children motherless?

I thought a lot about my family and how our upcoming transition has gotten us all a bit distracted. I was saddened at the thought of moving further away from some of our family members and suddenly felt pretty insecure. I laid there worrying a bit and also thinking, “Well, this is perfect timing. Isn’t it just the way of life to have something thrown at you when your plate is full.” I have been so busy making last minute plans with friends, getting ready for my final days in Virginia and preparing my family for the move that it seemed only natural that I was provided with a time out.

It gave me pause for reflection and a good dose of reality. We are never completely safe in our physical bodies so it is imperitive that we live each moment to the fullest. If you need a rest then rest! If you love someone then go tell them right now for no reason. If you haven’t spoken to someone for awhile and always regret it, give them a call! If it has been a long winter for you, go eat your lunch in the sunshine. Whatever it might be, just fully live the moment you are given and give it your complete attention.

My toe is okay and I have follow up treatment today but it was a realistic tap on the shoulder; a reminder of my mortality and that I sometimes need a time out. It gently nudged me to keep my halo spinning and growing sustainably; to keep dreaming and opening myself up to the possibility of this moment.

Love and light,
Jess