Where we start

These last few weeks have been intensely life changing.

So many moments in which I felt my spirit grow.

So many times I knew that my soul was basking in light, and drinking it all in.

I have forged a new pathway for my journey.

A pathway that leads to life I want  to live.

It has been hectic and intense time, filled with frustration, tears, smiles and joy.

It has been exhilarating and exhausting.  

It has been true and honest. It feels completely right.

To begin, I got great news.

The biopsy results came back. Everything is ok.

Deep sigh of relief.

and with that came a new outlook.

The fear put me in a β€˜new space’.

A space of gratitude and joy for the moments I take for granted.

The deblitating fear was a a blessing.

A blessing  and a reminder to see my life as an ever-changing tapestry of joyful moments
and to allow myself to grateful for all I have been given.

I also was able to achieve a dream of mine.

We were given the amazing opportunity to move into my grandparents home.

A home I have loved forever.

A home that holds so many of my memories.

Not only is this now my grandparents home and the home my mother and uncles were raised in, but is also becomes our home.
I get to share the honor of calling this space ‘ours’.

This is the home that we will grow in.

The home that will nurture my family.

These walls hold the our stories.

The love that was made here by my family.

All of us have roots here.

Memories here.

This house holds deep within in it the giggles and play of children,
my mother and her brothers, 
myself, my sisters and my cousins, 
as we would have ran down the halls in joy.

Loving and laughing.

Basking in the happiness of our innocence and contentment.

I feel this as I see my kids laugh and play here.

Content and whole.

Innocent and  joyful in way that only children can be.

My children know this house holds fun. 
This house holds happiness. 
They sense the joy here.

Their giggles and laughs join the ones from children past who have called this place home.   

This house holds love. 
The love my grandma and grandpa cultivated, deep rooted love. 
Strong and powerful love that held this family close.

I feel that love like a warm embrace.

A hug and a squeeze.

Keeping me safe.

Keeping my family strong.

I know that the presence of their love is here and is always around me.

I feel it in this house.

This is the house we will grow old in.

Where we will raise our children.

Where we will live our lives to their fullest potential.

I have been blessed to have the opportunity to live here.

In this sacred space.

In the place where it all began.

Home is where one starts from

-T.S Elliot

Much love,

Jessica

‘The woman in me’ cannot be taken

Two years ago I found a lump. 
A lump on my breast. 
I had an ultrasound then, and was told everything looked OK and to come back for a follow up. 
Life happened and I got distracted and forgot to follow up. 
I got pregnant again, had a baby boy and was busy raising twin toddlers. 
A few months ago I mentioned my follow up ultrasound to my doctor and was booked an appointment in December. 
A week before Christmas, I got a call from my doctors office saying that the ultrasound was inconclusive and I would need to biopsy the lump to see if it was cancerous. 
Biopsy. 
Cancer. 
I was told that the chances of it being cancer in a woman as young as me is rare. 
I was told that it was more then likely going to turn out to be benign. 
I was told most likely all would come back clear, but we needed to check to be safe.
More then likely. 
But what if likely was not my story?
What if it was something bad?
Something scary?
Something that could take me away from all I love.
I tried to keep together. 
I tried to be my own rock.
My own support.
I tried to shield those closest to me from the fear I was experiencing. 
I tried to shield them from the words ‘biopsy’ and ‘cancer’.
That was impossible. 
I was scared and nervous. 
I was exhausted from wresting with my subconscious. 
I was trying hard to stop it from taking me to that ‘that dark place’ of fear. 
The fear of the cancer and what it could take from me.
I ended up taking my frustration and anxiety out on my loved ones. 
I was distant and ‘snappy’.
I was angry. 
Angry that this was happening and angry at my breasts and body.
My body had ‘failed me’ earlier this year with Cantons birth and the rupture of my uterus.  
With that experience, I had lost the ability to (safely) have any more babies. 
Now my breasts were ‘failing me’.
I avoided talking or even thinking about my upcoming procedure. 
I distanced my self from the reality.
I refused to write about it. 
Scared that acknowledgement would make it real.  
And that the realness of it all would break me. 
So I pushed it all away. 
The feelings of fear and resentment.
I pushed them all to the back corner of my soul. 
And soon I forgot about it.
Today arrived and I awoke to the memory of my upcoming appointment. 
Today at 10:15 am, I would have to remember. 
My mom took me. 
Not letting me be alone in my fear.
We got there early. 
Tried and succeeded in not talking about the upcoming experience.
I was eventually ushered into a small ultrasound room. 
A room that looked all too familiar. 
A room that reminded me of many experiences before. 
Positive experiences of my pregnancies. 
The first time I heard a heartbeat. 
The first time I saw two little bodies entangled together.  
The miraculous ultrasound when I saw Canton’s pulsing heart beat on the screen after a night of bleeding and being told that we had lost him.
Those ultrasounds that were all mine in my womanly glory. 
The ultrasounds, that as a mother, I will never forget. 
These memories put me in my ‘happy place’.
With and open heart and loving acceptance.

As I lay in the procedure room, topless and eyes closed, it began.
The radiologist was taking a biopsy of my left breast. 
The breasts that were a part of me as a woman.
Just as the previous experiences in rooms similar brought me closer to my ‘womanly essence’,
 this experience did the same thing. 
Brought me closer to the ‘woman in me’. 

The fear and anger left me. 
Flew away like debris on a windy day. 
I was not angry anymore. 
I was not resentful towards my body. 
I didn’t see this as another attack on the ‘bits’ of me that were woman. 
I realized that ‘the woman in me’ rested deep in my soul.
And that its wasn’t taken away from me. 
That it couldn’t be taken away from me.
My ‘woman power’ was in my children.
In our joined experiences. 
It was intertwined my my life path.
In the actions of my love. 
It was strong in me,
 no matter how my body reacted. 
And I felt joyful. 
Weird, I know, but it is the truth.
I felt strong and powerful. 
It was all going to be OK, because no matter what I was being given the truth. 
I was allowing myself to be vulnerable. 
And letting go of my fear. 
I left the hospital feeling lighter then I had in weeks.
I was  ready to let go. 
Be vulnerable and open. 
And whatever the result are (I should know in 2 and 1/2 weeks) 
I am ready to accept the truth with an open heart. 
“In the deepest, darkest of hours is often when things become the brightest”

Much love, 
Jessica

joyful immersion

For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of  ‘not enough’ occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. 
We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining or worrying about what we don;t have enough of …
We don’t exercise enough
We don’t have enough work
We don’t have enough profits
We don’t have enough power 
We don’t have enough wilderness
We don’t have enough weekends
We don’t have enough money- ever. 
We are not thin enough. 
We’re not smart enough, 
we’re not pretty enough or fit enough or educated or successful enough, 
or rich enough-ever. 
Before we even sit up in bed, before or feet even touch the floor, we are already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds race with litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done , that day. 
We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to the reverie of lack…
What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, or even the challenged life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life. 
– Lynne Twist (The Soul of Money)

I read this passage today. 
It made me feel. 
Strong and intense feelings. 
I recognized and connected to these words. 

I read it again and again.
over and over.

I know I  ‘go there’ to often; to the place of inadequacies and failure. 
I know I have mastered that role.
The self deprecating woman.
A woman who wishes she wasn’t but always is striving to ‘fit in’
A woman who can quite quickly be thrown down from her ‘happiness high horse’ by sight of someone else’s  bigger and prettier home, nicer furniture, fancier car, well behaved children or more expensive and stylish wardrobes.
A woman who compares, judges and breaks down. 
A woman who hides behind her eccentric personality to mask the feelings of shame for not being enough. 
A woman who believes she is sometimes not worthy of all the blessing she has been given. 
  
This is a dangerous place. 
A place of darkness. 
It is hard to see our beauty, 
our adequacy, 
our incredible and unique imperfection, 
when we are wallowing in the dark. 
Just by reading the words of Lynne Twist and realizing that I am not alone in the feeling of ‘not enough’, 
I realized that I am enough. 
I started in darkness and ended in light. 
I was shown my beauty. 
I felt empowered with the knowledge that I can choose the intention. 
I can choose to feel satisfied. 
I can choose to be grateful. 
I can choose to feel joyful. 
I am joyfully immersing myself into a world of uncertainty. 
A world of imperfection.
A world where I am enough. 
Much love, 
Jessica

A soul illuminated by love

Your all I ever needed.
 
 
Resolutions.
New Years.
I don’t usually take this time of year seriously.
I have never really thought about the new year and what it signifies for me.
I am usually just happy to see the holiday ‘hustle and bustle’ over, allowing me to go back to normal life again.
This year has already been different.
This year I have been thinking quite a bit about what I want to ‘change’ in my life for 2013.
I have been meditating, journaling and reading.
Simply connecting to me.
I have been ‘laying low’ in my own thoughts, hoping to discover where I want and need to spend my energy working on this year.
Hoping to find the answer for what I need to do to make this my year.
My year for conscious living.
My year for being here happily.
Through this process of self discovery, I realized something important.
I don’t want to change anything.
I love me.
I love my life.
My fateful path has taken me to this place.
My individual and incredible journey.
I want surrender to this journey.
Allow it to unfold organically.
 
Surrender was my answer.
I simply want to work on surrender.
Surrendering to being a conscious member of this universe.
I want to let go of the baggage holding me down.
I want to be free of restriction, judgements and limitations.
I want to be authentic in my imperfection, without trying to please expectations.
I want to be honest, respectful and loving. Always. To myself and to the world around me.
I want to let go of judgements.  Listen more. Judge and assume less.
I want to have fun. Let go of my restrictions and rules. Smile and Laugh. I want to be excited for each day and all the possibilities that lay ahead.
I want to connect to my spiritual ‘side’. Go to church. Meditate. Do yoga. Show my children through action the strength of a strong spirituality.
I want to connect with my body. Nourish it. Move it. Respect it.

 
 
 
 
I feel strong.
I feel ready to conquer this year with strength that will resonate into all aspects of my life.  Making me a more loving wife, respectful parent, attentive sister and daughter and available friend.
I am ready to let the waterfall of happiness fill the cups all around me.

β€œThose who are truly enlightened, those whose souls are illuminated by love, have been able to overcome all of the inhibitions and preconceptions of their era. They have been able to sing, to laugh, and to pray out loud; they have danced and shared what Saint Paul called ‘the madness of saintliness’. They have been joyful – because those who love conquer the world and have no fear of loss. True love is an act of total surrender.”
-Paulo Coelho (by the river piedra I sat down and wept)
Much love,
Jessica