When the body speaks.

Take care of your body. It is the only place you to live - Jim Rohn 

When your body is ready, every essence of your being will alert you and disclose what is needed. The innate wisdom and intelligence urging to make a change. Shift directions. Take a pause. Carve out an alternate pathway. Surrender sweetly. Raise your vibration. 

When the body speaks. Perhaps the anger and hurt from inside will appear on the outside. Disclosing your unhappiness. Red, Inflamed, uncooperative and relentless. 

When the body speaks. A destructive interference within your digestion. An inability to be nourished by your ideas, thoughts and desires. Fear purging and eliminating. A void, hunger and emptiness ensues. 

When your body speaks. The breath is stifled and stuck. You long for stillness in your chest and fullness in your lungs. 

When the body speaks. The mind can only take so much. When it's had enough, a war will wage behind your face. Pounding in your head, pressure behind your eyes. You might hide from the light, block out the noise. 

When the body speaks. Your bones become heavy heavy.  Tissues and muscles encasing you lack fluidity. Movement is restricted. Feelings of disconnect and unfamiliarity, like you're walking in a strangers shoes. Aches, pains and tightness are now your new companions. 

When the body speaks. Your body, your mind, your heart may lose the capacity to stay awake. Unable to engage or be present in the dance of life. The tired takes over and you crumble beneath the sheets. 

When the body speaks. 

Gasping. 

Gripping. 

Clenching. 

Tangled. 

Knotted. 

Rigid. 

Imprisoned. 

When the body speaks. Heaven help you should you cling to guilt, worry and un-forgiveness. They invade your cells, toxicity riddling your insides. Silently destroying your vitality. 

When the body speaks. 

It calls upon you. 

to rise. 

to decide. 

to grow. 

to ignite. 

to live. 

Will  you feel? Will you listen carefully?  

Avoidance.

I believe that one of the biggest obstacle to our progress is something we’ve all likely been doing in some way or another for most of our life: A V O I D I N G. 

Humans, like all species, are continually evolving and adapting to the environment around them. When it is cold, the body works to warm us up. When wounded, the body is able to heal. When scared, we are alerted to fight, freeze or flee. All organisms have to be able to maintain homeostasis (balance) within some range of conditions that are not completely stable. We do so by adapting in all kinds of ways, physically, mentally, emotionally and of course, socially. 

Our brains are essentially social brains, we share information and we create and pass on knowledge. That's the means by which humans are able to adjust to new situations, and it's what differentiates humans from our earlier ancestors, and our earlier ancestors from primates. This adaptive ability not only allowed our progenitors to ride the massive seesaws of climate shifts but subsequently helped them to colonise new habitats and ways of living. 

We cope with difficulties in various ways. Some are more positive than others. Whilst avoidance and denial is a relatively harmless method that can be useful in the short term, it can result in significant internal damage and may end up coming out in other ways. Avoidant coping is one of the main causes of out-of-control stress, depression, anxiety, low self esteem, relationship problems, and eating issues. 

Avoidance is a simple way of coping by not having to cope.  When feelings of discomfort appear, we find ways of not experiencing them. Procrastination is another form of avoidance where we put off to tomorrow those things that we can avoid today. Avoidance is essentially a maladaptive way of coping which causes anxiety to snowball because typically one ends up experiencing more of the very thing they were trying to escape. Sure, sometimes the things that people come to avoid are truly dangerous and deserving of being avoided however, other times, there is no actual danger present. In many cases, feelings of anxiety and panic cause people to think they are facing a real and profound danger, when in actuality, they are not and the yet the neurological response in our bodies is the same regardless. 

In order to figure out how to stop this and shift toward healthier ways of dealing and managing life's challenges, we have to figure out why we are avoiding in the first place. The answer is, of course, our thoughts. But more specifically, when you are avoiding doing something, you are not avoiding the actual action but rather, what you are avoiding is a feeling you don’t want to have or a difficult emotion. It’s a feeling that your current brain predicts you will have if you do the 'thing', or take any steps towards doing the 'thing'. 

  • Right now you’re reading this but probably avoiding the difficult thing you don’t want to think about.
  • We are constantly checking messages, news, feeds, notifications, to avoid doing something we don’t want to face.
  • When we’re facing difficulties in life, we try to tell ourselves that’s it’s okay because (fill in the blank), or get busy with some activity or numbing agent (like alcohol) so we don’t have to face the difficulties.
  • When a problem comes up, our reaction is to want to go do something else, put it off.
  • We put off paying bills, doing taxes, dealing with long emails, dealing with clutter, because we don’t want to face these difficulties.
  • We put off exercise because it’s uncomfortable.
  • The real conversation that really needs to occur doesn't happen because we fear rejection and hurt. 

Check in with yourself. Take a good look at your life now. Is there anything that you are trying to avoid dealing with? Your work? Your responsibilities? Your relationships?  Your health? Your dietary habits? Your exercise regime? Your financial status? Your goals? Your aspirations? Your personal issues? Your past?

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Until you acknowledge and muster the courage to deal with what you are trying to escape from, your issues will not miraculously disappear. They will continue to be there, creating looping patterns in your life. You will keep finding yourself stuck in similar situations and contexts, thinking the same things, feeling the same emotions, and doing the same things — over, and over, and over again — until the day you finally decide to do something about them. Loops require conscious intervention in order to break out of them. 

Consider the following + break your avoidance patterns/habits. 

1. Recognise it doesn't work. It is simply not an adaptive behaviour that serves you and your well being long term. Choose to stop. I’m not saying that facing your issues is easy. It’s not. When you are trying to avoid something, it is usually a reflection of deeper inner issues which you have not resolved. These issues are delicate. These issues are very real. It takes true strength and courage to be able to face them head on but you can do it. Truly, you can. 

2. Understand the cost of avoidance (physical, emotional, psychological etc). Check out this worksheet from the book ' The Happiness Trap' CLICK HERE

3. Learn to connect + tolerate uncomfortable feelings/thoughts - listen to the communication of your body, soften and reduce rigidity. Trust that your body is never lying to you and use it as your guide to help you identify when you are slipping into negative thoughts or actions. 

4. Focus on what you WANT not what you DON'T WANT. 

5. Build your capacity for Self-regulation. Move your body, get outside, breathe, meditate, write, talk - do whatever you need to do in order to increase positive energy flow in your life and return to homeostasis.

6. Always remember that although stressors arise in life, you are designed to feel good, to be happy and to belong. Reach out + get the love and support you need. 

Strength doesn't always come from the things you can do but rather overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. 

Keep going, the world needs your magic! 

xo Jess 

 

 

Begin again.

'At the beginning there was nothing but love and stardust, my heart yearns to begin again'

 Atticus

Today and every day, I encourage you to create a more personal resolution based on a deep understanding of yourself and what matters most to you. As you leap into this new beginning be sure to take a sacred pause to reconnect and recalibrate. Moving forward, take only what you must from the past and consider leaving the rest as memories, growth or nothingness. 

- Confident in the whole self - 

All of you. Exactly where you've been has made possible exactly who you are. 

- Trust the full spectrum of colour - 

Witness and embrace that which is vibrant. ALso be willing to see the dark in your life, deal with it. Choose to shine brighter because of it.  

- Truth + transparency - 

Feel beyond the senses into the depth of your own innate awareness. Show up fully, be seen and request that those around you do the same. There's no time for fake or half hearted. Only 100% is 100%, 99% = 0. 

- People are healing - 

Find the good ones and nurture your relationship to these souls. Make space and time for those who want you to be the best version of yourself and for those who love you and it's palpable. Let go of the rest. 

- Trust the yoga - 

Everything is a practice. Opt for fulfilling movement and more freedom in breath + body. 

- Give permission to yourself and others for their human-ness - 

Offer grace. This is very different to an invitation of complacency, abuse or neglect. Return those back to sender. Immediately. 

- Stay open and embody presence - 

Become so skilled at discovering love in each area of your life. Focus on it and watch the expansion occur. 

- Slow down - 

Be patient as you evolve. Honour and appreciate the process and the progression no matter how small. Day by day, step by step. Each moment, a new choice. 

- Align all ways. All the time - 

Get crystal clear about how you want to feel and say yes to people, places, things that contribute to that feeling. Carve out time to create a map of where you're going, navigate from within. 

Do more to experience the sensation of being alive.

Find joy.

Kindness matters. 

Seek adventure.

Stay wild.

Get outside. 

Love hard.

Play daily. 

Laugh deeply.

Rest often. 

Take care of yourself + others. 


Blessings + Love.  

Jess xo 

Belongings don't create belonging.

 At the end of the day, like deathbed end of day, the majority of us humans agree that the ‘things’ we own do not make us who we are, nor are they thing things that provide a sense of true importance, meaning, happiness or belonging.  Do we really believe it? If we did would be so damn concerned about black friday, cyber monday or fret about checking off the christmas lists?

Belongings DO NOT create belonging BUT your stuff does has meaning written all over, under, in and around it.  When was the last time you truly dug into the WHY behind your consumption and consumerism? Do you consciously choose your purchases and make decisions from creative choice based listening or instead are you reacting from fear. Why do you do what you do and have what you have?  I often think it comes down to this: The desire + need to belong is paramount. 

 We need to belong to one another, our friends and families, our culture and country, to our world. Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being. Our interests, motivation, health and happiness are inextricably tied to the feeling that we belong to a greater community that may share common interests and aspirations. It is proven that Isolation, loneliness and low social status can harm a person's subjective sense of well-being, as well as his or her intellectual achievement, immune function and health. Research shows that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being. 

When we feel a threat to our connection, we become afraid of judgment and petrified by what other people think of us. When this happens, we often make choices and formulate habits that actually damage us + end up separating from ourselves and others versus bring us closer together. Consider this example…You have been invited to a function on the weekend by your coworkers.  You know them but you don’t REALLY know them well. It is important for you to have them like you and to enjoy your night out. You frantically look through your closet to figure out what you might wear. You try this, that and the other thing on and nothing seems to fit. Your thoughts spiral negatively and you begin to speak poorly of yourself in your mind. Limiting beliefs creep in and you start doubting whether or not you should even attend the gathering. You question what they will think of you, their reactions, judgements and so on. To avoid potential embarrassment or pain, you come to the conclusion that what you really need is a new outfit. Several purchases on the old credit card later and you have yourself the ticket to head turns and approval from your work mates, right?!

At this point in your thought processing,  a decision is being made that seems somewhat benign, you're getting a new outfit.  HOWEVER, it is in the moments like these ones when we can make a different choice. A new choice that is empowering and integral rather than one based in reaction and the need to 'fit in'. If we peel back the layers of the Self and are open to being aware, it becomes easy to notice how fixated humans are on pleasing each others, on looking the part and needing to be liked or acknowledged. Unfortunately, fitting in is about trying to adapt to a world that’s not your own. You don’t belong there, true belonging doesn't even exist here. 

Brene Brown writes ‘Many us suffer from this split between who we are and who we present to the world in order to be accepted but we're not letting ourselves be known, and this kind of incongruent living is soul-sucking’ Fitting in is easy but it comes at a cost and it is one of the easiest ways to lose precious parts of you. Perhaps that cost is financial, emotional, spiritual, physical or soul deep. In our own ways we each experience the dilemma of fitting in, maybe we don't purchase a new outfit to do so but instead we take a job that we don't love so our parents are proud, we can say things we don't truly mean to be seen as 'cool', lease a vehicle that is beyond our budget, spend time with people that restrict our fullest self expression. The examples are endless. 

Here's the thing, if you feel like you don’t belong, there’s a very good chance you don’t, and this isn’t a bad thing! Pay attention to what specifically triggered that feeling for you. Is it that you don’t care about the things others do? Is it that you’re spending time with people who are your opposite? Is it that you don’t enjoy the activity at hand? Not fitting in doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with you or the people around you, it just means you’re different or the circumstance is not suited to you. Use this as an opportunity to explore what would need to change for you to feel like you belong. This isn’t about changing yourself or forcing yourself to be anything you’re not, it’s about taking an honest look at the situation.  

You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be known for the real deal that you are. Not for the clothes that cover your body, the car you drive, the house you live in or the job/education you have.

Maybe you need a new set of friends or to spend less time with your family. Maybe you’re not dating the right person. Maybe you’d rather be at a cultural event than out drinking. Whatever it is, just make note of it and create better alignment in your life, work, and relationships going forward. Belonging is about inhabiting the world as the R E A L you.

It takes courage to show up in your own skin.

Here are some top tips for cultivating MORE belonging. 

1.  Love yourself first. Remember that there is only one you on this planet + you have unique gifts to offer.

2. Listen to your body – it will never lie. Discover how it feels in your physical self when you are ‘fitting in’ vs ‘belonging’, the sensations, the breath, your energy level, emotions and clarity of thought. Figure out how each feels and then choose to spend more time where it feels lightest, free and soothing to your cells. (psst. it's belonging, hands down!)

3. Stop with the stories: Quit creating stories in your mind about why you aren’t important, good enough or the ‘right person’, unlikable etc. AND Do not change your values, likes, dislikes, words in text messages, embellish, pretend or lie in order to fit the part of someone else’s role for you in their story.

4. Join in + try new things. Say yes to opportunities,  get outside of your comfort zone.

5. If one pathway to connection isn’t working, seek alternative paths + people.  Keep looking.

6. Acceptance for Self + others. Practice this often. Concentrate on things you have in common rather than what sets you apart.

7. Share who you are, what you love + what you do. When you hide, people cannot find you. Your tribe is waiting. 

8. Actively participate. Begin to take part in community life and contribute in meaningful, ongoing ways that have a positive impact

9. Be the longing - discover what you are most missing in your life – and then give that thing away. EX: If you long for a listener in your life, fill that roll for someone else. Longing for a friend who checks in to see if you are well, be that caller for another. You crave community gathering and ritual, start a group, be the source of connection.

10. Be kind to yourself. Remember you’re not alone in this feeling, regardless of how intense, frequent, or unique to you it may feel.

 

Stay true. xo 

Jess

Best in the world.

It's easy to focus on the things we need to improve and it's often natural that we perseverate on what we don't want in our lives, the negative, the weakness, the flaw. Notice when you speak with people and ask them how they are if the first thing they share is negative. Become increasingly interested in how people share themselves with you, it is most common that they speak to their hurt or frustration, complaint or upset. It doesn't need to be like this.

We are not designed to worry, fret or to deplete our energy and life force getting trapped and tangled in the mud of this world. This is not to say you should not be aware and/or care about the state of your world and what is around you but you do not need to react, become passive, disengaged with life or crust over your heart because you are scared.  Doing these things is not nearly as powerful nor effective as thoughtful and intentional response and resolve. The brain itself and it's perspective along with our habits can all change and become more free, making positive energy flow our natural state of being. 

I'm committed to shifting this paradigm regardless of how entrenched it seems in our society.  I choose to rise above the cultural tendency to see the glass half empty, the world as broken and people as 'bad'. I constantly challenge myself to align my thoughts, my focus and my energy to the following questions (feel free to use them as your own journal prompts!)

  • What is working? 
  • What is good? 
  • What can I do to make a difference?
  • How can I be more loving?
  • What I am best in the world at?

I am best in the world at... creating environments where strangers become friends, or even better, chosen family. I curate spaces where upon landing you attune to your body and heart. Capable of thinking less and feeling more. In these moments you feel calm, trust + know with every cell of your being that you are exactly where you are needed. 

I am best in the world at... helping humans embody self acceptance and worthiness.  I love me, you, others + Nature all the same. I know deeply that we are connected, woven together inside + out. We belong to each other and my goal is to help you remember this in order to strengthen our communities.  

I'm best in the world at... seeing potential, excavating limitations. Believing that there's always more than what simply meets the eyes, that anything is possible + I choose to tap into the non verbal, non physical intelligence of myself and of everything around me to help highlight the bigger picture of what matters most. I cheer for humanity. 

I am best in the world at...using humour, creativity, play and lightness to lift the heavy loads we carry with us.  Fun and humour shift people out of fear and uplifts and softens them. We all have burdens and challenge but getting through them with laughter and fun is one of my most treasured strategies. 

I am best in the world at...hugs. We all need to be held, nurtured and reassured. Nothing soothes a soul more than the safety and comfort of loving arms. I got you. 

Your turn now. 

Start developing the habit of a restful and positively focused mind. (Hence why I enjoy flying so much, I feel like this is all I can do in the moment). If the opposite occurs and our mind constantly wanders, we doubt, grip, force, judge and fear and then ultimately we fatigue in every possible way. Over time we come to associate a distracted mind with this fatigue, anger, resentment and sorrow. We come to see the present as a refuge from the pain and imaginations or stories. We come to see that the present is a place where love lives.

Be still. 

Get quiet. 

Start to take your mind on a journey to discover and ask YOURSELF what am I best in the world at? It can be 1 thing, it can me many. Watch where your thoughts initially take you, is it + or -? Let go of any rigidity or limiting beliefs that do not serve your heart. Be more generous with yourself, ask those around you and gain insight from those you love. Upgrade your thoughts and focus on what is loving, kind and positive. You will begin to see things in a whole new way and feel more confident in sharing your best with the world.

Can't wait to hear what you come up with. 

I see you, I love you. 

Jess xo 

Lucent.

Our world is becoming increasingly filled with distraction. Information moves faster, louder, and brighter than ever before. Entertainment, social media, and marketing have never been so prevalent. They beg for our attention and our focus. These forms of distraction are easily recognised and many of us will fully admit that we spend too much time checking e-mail, over purchase and consume, binge on television / food / booze / bullshit + are challenged to look up from our devices. It would seem that distraction is a universal competency and we have all become experts.

Distractions take residence in our mind and wreak havoc on our pursuits.  Our minds + hearts wander frequently and days, weeks, months, sometimes years can become full of meaningless moments heavy with comparison. When we are disconnected and unfocused on what really matters, we feel compelled to compare our lives to the people around us. We compare our belongings, our appearance, our families, and our successes. Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you are N O T and diminish your self worth rather than enjoying YOUR life and connecting to who you are as a person. The distractions, whether internal or external, limit our ability to heal, move on + connect to our greatest potential and purpose. We know this, we feel this. 

I created Lucent Festival with the intention to help wake us up and feel fully alive. An experience that allows us to slow down and immerse ourselves in Nature surrounded by people who value connection and want to grow,  leaving a positive mark on this planet. There is no judgement, no frills, people are safe to be completely themselves. It is an annual celebration of individual and collective light, I suppose it is a spiritual revolution in many ways. Spirituality referring to concern for the qualities of the human spirit and cultivation of a kind heart. Lucent aims to hold space for humans to embody love, trust, patience, tolerance, presence, forgiveness, compassion, contentment, a sense of responsibility + harmony which bring happiness to both one’s self and others.

The world is a big place and we have much to offer. Those who choose to live life as a victim of distraction will always miss their opportunity to give. Additionally, those who choose to adopt an indifference to the world around them will miss out on their greatest potential and chance to evoke change because. BUT those who recognise need and seek to do something about it, experience a joy and fulfilment that can never be discovered anywhere else. These are the humans who gathered at Lucent. All different shapes, sizes, races, ages, languages, lifestyles, incomes and life experiences united  and created sweet magic that will forever fill all of our hearts + souls. NO bells, NO whistles, NO smoke, mirrors or ego.  Simple goodness + real people. 

We disconnected from our every day stressors and perceived pressure/distractions and chose to reconnect to the people and places we love.  To watch people land in this space and unravel, let go,  decompress and to witness people of all ages come together engaging in healthy movement, learning new skills, mindfully crafting, playing, laughing, authentically conversing getting to know one another, cultivating stillness, actually breathing, children exploring, dancing, sharing an incredible meal, exchanging eye contact + big hugs, multiple generations snuggled up around a fire surrounded with sweet song and music was an absolute joy + blessing.  I am fairly certain we all agree that this presence + time together is ultimately what matters most in life. Appreciating the little things and knowing that looking back, they are actually the big things. 

I truly believe that when our motivation is positive and focused, heartfelt action follows. The current ways in which we live and the state of the world must be turned upside down and inside out and the revolution of spirit is happening now. It begins within. It starts with you. Together.

By cultivating spiritual values and qualities it does not make ALL the problems in the world disappear. Each challenge, individually, locally, globally, needs it’s own practical set of solutions. Climate change for example will not improve simply because we are nice to each other nor will the negative implications of distraction disappear after one weekend in the wilderness without wifi. We must continue to shift our habits, mindset, attitudes and our belief in the power of commUNITY. Choosing to starve the distractions + fears and instead feed love as our focus. 

In the words of Iain Thomas ‘Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling ‘ This is important! This is important!’ You need to worry about this! Be concerned about that!’ Each day it is up to you to hank your hand back, put it on your heart and say ‘NO. This is what is important’. The more you transform your heart and mind by being truly connected + concerned with the well being of yourself and others, the happier you become.

Remember, your impact ripples outward + lingers for a long time. Together we are contributing to the creation of a kinder, more spiritual world for everyone. We are giving off light.  

We are L U C E N T.

Extending much gratitude again to all those who supported, participated, lead, encouraged + helped to make Lucent all that it was. 

Love you,

Jess xo

Photos displayed on site by: @lindseydawncreative.

Photos from link below by: @jeremyklager / @athenamediagroup / @mydphotographics

Please credit/tag photographers + #lucent2017 #embodiedadventure

Trust.

 

Your beliefs will guide you whether or not they are in your best interest. Choose them wisely. 

Maybe you believe that you are incapable of having a healthy intimate relationship, or that you aren’t attractive to others, or think you will not live a long life. Or perhaps you have a strong conviction that you are very lucky, or that people in general are basically good and trustworthy OR the complete opposite. Truth is, your beliefs, whether they are within your conscious awareness or not, direct and influence your life.

A number of recent events have had me pondering about TRUST and then in conversation with a friend, he mentioned ‘ I genuinely trust you, which is big for me’. The context was nothing extraordinary but this wee sentence really got me thinking. Not only did it provid me with insight into part of his belief system around trust and relationship, but it also unpacks a lot of power on a deeper level as well.  Not Power as in ego maniac power trippin’ kinda way where now I get to manipulate and take advantage of him because I now know he trusts me mmmwaahahahahah (evil laugh, duh!) BUT rather it is powerful in a way that creates openness and possibility between people -- When there is trust, there is growth/inquiry + that my friends leads to transformation/evolution which in my humble opinion is good stuff, the magic, the piece de resistance. 

For me, trust is based on witnessing actions, feeling, believing and most importantly allowing. Trust is a choice to be available, vulnerable and transparent in relationship because the person you’re trusting has also shown dedication to your partnership through consistency in their honesty, integrity and dependability. Although building trust can happen in the first few days of our existence on Earth and there is some level of innate capacity to create it, I feel as a species it would help to us all if we became increasingly aware of our relationship with the T word.

Trust can be tricky though as many humans have been hurt or disappointed both self inflicted + by others.  Not only that but the messages about trust are often riddled with fear and negativity'Trust only yourself' 'Trust is easily broken' 'The only thing I trust is my ability to trust no one' 'When trust is broken, it's over' "Don't trust easily.' etc. etc. etc. As a result of conditioning + trauma, walls have formed around human hearts, their listening and receptivity shuts down or they begin operating from a place of Fear + Distrust. This programming of Distrust/Mistrust looks like this - doubt, suspicion, anxiety, with-drawl, unhealthy habits and self - preservation. Distrust can spread through a relationship like a wildfire. What starts as a small ember of doubt can mushroom into a full-on blaze of distrust if we don’t take steps to address it.

The best way to prevent distrust from taking a hold of our lives is to proactively focus on building trust rather than waiting to rebuild or repair. Trust must be continually developed and nurtured throughout the course of a relationship, not just when or after it’s been damaged. This critical in friendships and intimate partnership but it is also pivotal in business relations and transactions. The process of building trust intrigues me and I wanted to share it with you. 

6 Stages of Trust

 Connection. Caution. Consistency. Courage. Commitment. Comfort. 

 

Connection - For most of us we are drawn to others, products or experiences because we FEEL a connection. Perhaps something solves a problem for us, gives us hope, is attractive or desirable, meets a need or is simply appealing to our senses. As connection builds and relationship progresses, we allow more opportunities to explore and evaluate.  We are truly sensing all aspects + elements of relationship. 

Caution – While engaging in those opportunities where we can observe another person’s character in action and allow them to view the same in us we proceed with caution and patience, because we know the process of building trust is delicate however, recognising the importance of human tenderness, being open + curiosity versus judgement. Fostering curiosity rather than judgment can lead to a variety of benefits, including more inner peace, self-acceptance, kindness and healthier communication which creates foundation for Trust.  By “judging,” I’m not referring to being discerning, which is a good thing. Being thoughtful, reflective, and wise is an important part of healthy living. But, feeding a mind that’s always evaluating things as – black or white, good or bad, better or worse – is a recipe for emotional and behavioural discontent.  

Consistency - Consistency is the primary ingredient of trust. When we witness consistency in honest words and actions from someone or a company we naturally let our guard down and can experience deeper levels of intimacy. Their consistency gives us the courage to take the next step whether that is purchasing product, investing in an experience or developing a partnership on any level. 

Courage – Courage = Heart Wisdom and this certainly requires an element of faith (conviction + action). Most of us will agree that when we have connection and consistency in relationship, putting your heart on the line is much easier. When trust is established or being built, feeling confident, safe and secure when being vulnerable is critical. When you are valued, heard, understood + acknowledged, the more you tend to open yourself up, share, give, receive + risk. Without courage to continue on our path of growth, we can become complacent, disconnected or apathetic when it comes to the needs of our selves / others. This could be classified as 'Make it or break it' type of stage. 

Commitment - Our courage to trust always leads to a commitment. Every relationship requires some level of commitment, and the level of our commitment will ultimately define the level of our relationship. Relationships are a constant ebb + flow of giving and receiving. When we notice things are out of balance (unmet needs, disconnection, not speaking same love language, different vested interests or goals etc) this is the stage where communication and action are imperative to the maintenance of trust within the relationship. Lack of alignment without being addressed effectively can lead to individuals seeking external sources that support them in feeling aligned, even if it is temporary. Reestablish connection, get clear on boundaries and intentions, reset and make healthy new commitments if necessary to help move forward in a healthy manner otherwise a destruction + hurt occurs. 

Comfort - When you truly trust someone you FEEL safe and comfortable within their presence or even in the absence of their presence, the feeling still exists. You choose to see and believe the best in them. If someone has given you every reason that you can see to trust them but you STILL do not feel fully comfortable then perhaps identify if YOU are the one who is holding back or in need of clearing up / taking responsibility for old trust wounds + their impact OR do the work to distinguish whether someone is being phoney baloney with your fine self. Take time to dig a little deeper, ask more questions, listen harder, pay closer attention to what’s really under the surface. Your feelings and bodily sensations never lie, they are always communicating and innately intelligent. Listen. Listen. Listen. 

Tune in + Reflect

  • What do you absolutely trust in?
  • Who do you trust? Why do you know this to be true? 
  • Do you trust in yourself? If not, how come? If Yes, why?
  • Which stage of trust do you find the easiest?
  • Which stage is the most difficult?
  • What are some ways that you can invite more trust into your life?

Life isn’t perfect and some people prove not to be trustworthy. But will increasing your willingness to trust produce, on balance, a positive benefit? Will it make your life more pleasant and less stressful? I believe so. You have little to lose by trying.

Trust has to start somewhere. Why not with you, today, right now? 

Resolute.

There has never been a better time to start or stop.

At any given moment you can make a new choice.

You can commit.  

Experience an upgrade.

Set a clear intention.

Declare what you need. 

Purposefully decide what you desire.

Raise the bar. 

Forgive. 

Forget. 

Let go. 

Give in. 

Hold out. 

Go towards. 

Self -knowledge reveals to the soul that its natural motion is not in a straight line but rather it is circular, always fluid. The self is a circle, whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. The circle being a universal symbol representing the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection,  the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement. 

It is time to embrace your innermost and incomparable uniqueness.  This all-encompassing embrace of the self requires a journey into our rejected selves, and perhaps most importantly, our own pain. Examine + then shed the layers that hold you back, that stifle and restrict you. Dismantle the old. The parts that you no longer require.

When you can really sit in nothing, you can become everything.

What would you then do? 

Be firm in your purpose + belief but allow it to softly move through, in, out, and all around you. 

 

Now what?

It's been just over a week since I have arrived back In Canada after facilitating our Take the leap retreat in Bali with the most inspiring group of humans I could have ever dreamed of + the best copilot @createthelove. Words do not even begin to explain how grateful I am for this time together, the learning, sharing, the tears, laughter, the pool parties, epic rooftop yoga and the gentle spirit of Bali that cradled us as we busted down barriers, broke down walls + cracked our hearts wide open. 1 week together and our hearts got a little softer, our wounds a little less festy, our vision clearer and our presence bolder + brighter. 

Much like when we complete any of these pivotal and life altering, soul soothing experiences (regardless of where or when because even if you didn't come to Bali with us I know you have had these moments and begged for them to last forever!) we really do wonder how to keep the bliss alive + bring more of the good vibes into our everyday existence. How can we aim to stay in alignment, to continue breaking the patterns, refusing to build walls and find the clarity and calm in our communication we so desire.  After weeks of pondering what to write in this post, I came up with countless ideas - was it going to be my top 5 tips on how to stay awesome? The best ways to keep connected to your path + purpose? What to do to ground you after being on a mega high with your tribe? NOTHING resonated fully and I felt the guilts start to creep in, the shoulds, the timelines, the expectations. 

In all honesty, it wasn't until tonight that what I needed you to know was truly revealed to me. I felt it in my bones + I knew that it was spot on. The words are not just for those who ventured to Bali with us, they are for all of us. Anyone who wants more for themselves and craves deep + meaningful connection/contribution in this lifetime. Those of you who are committed to showing up and being 100% YOU. Humans who want to stand for another's greatness. The shifters, the dreamers, the makers, the innovative badasses who together are healing themselves + the entire world. 

Here is what you must know especially when life gets tough and shit is flying at you so fast.  

I AM CONDUCTING GODLY/DIVINE GIFTS

I AM BOUND FOR GREATNESS

I RECEIVE GRACE (The word translated "grace"  comes from the Greek word charis, which means “favour, blessing, or kindness.”) 

YOU ARE THE GIFT + THE GIVER. 

Marinate in that. Say it aloud or write it out. What does it mean for you? How are you the gift? Where / what are you giving? Are you allowing Grace + greatness into your world? Please remember how deserving you are of happiness + joy. 

And finally, from one of my favourite pieces of poetry Desiderata

Be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

I love you.  

Jess x

Prescribing Presence

Cultivating our capacity to sense energy and information flow helps us expand the 'Self' beyond the boundaries of our body and reveals the fundamental truth that we are indeed part of an interconnected world. - Dan Siegel

For the last few weeks, I have been immersed in Nature, surrounded by amazing human beings + have learned a lot. I hosted our Autumn Attunement retreat in the mountains + then travelled to the far west corner of Canada to participate in a Mind, Body, Medicine training. After a couple weeks digesting and reintegrating back into my every day routine I am feeling grateful and would love for you to know what I've been pondering. It has the potential to be more helpful than anything your Dr. would ever order. 

Whether you are in conversation, listening, learning a new skill, parenting, sharing a meal, making love, immersed in Nature, healing your body/heart, playing a sport, facilitating a meeting, executing important business transaction, practicing yoga or at home with a cup of tea: P R E S E N C E is pivotal.  My personal thinking is that most of our problems in relationships, parenting, business, and our health, stem from our inability to be present with ourselves, each other + our lack of intimacy with Mumma Nature. Most of us lead incredibly busy lives, trying to cram an impossible amount of activity into our days, and in the process of trying to take care of everything the brain deems important, we forget what truly matters. 

What is presence? Can we simply define it and therefore truly understand? I don't believe so. For me presence is more than a state of existing or occurring in a place or experience because you can physically be in a space with others or alone and not be there at all in heart, mind or spirit. I liken presence to a feeling, a willingness to embody receptivity.  The ability and desire to truly engage oneself in the moment. Life is only happening right now, in this moment. 

When we leave the moment by getting distracted by our thoughts, we lose the opportunity to experience what it feels like to really be alive. We can easily get caught fixating about a past hurt or worrying about a future concern. But when we can bring our focus back to the moment, we have the opportunity to heal and step into a future we actively choose.  One thing that consistently blows me away when I am hosting trainings, retreats or participating in them is the intense level of presence and healing that can be done with strangers. Presence does not have limited access to those closest to you. I hear things like:  'I can only be open with those who know me best' 'I don't even know them, no way I am touching them or making eye contact!' 'I'm too shy to share with people I don't know' 'Strangers don't care about my story or who I am' 
Blah blah blah that is WRONG. You can actually feel such tremendous love, strength and depth from someone you have never met (trust me, I witness it OFTEN) but you must open yourself,  show up + BE with them sans judgement, fear or distraction. Some of my most profound healing moments have been with people I do not know well, they have been acts of pure human tenderness, compassion, empathy and gratitude. In order for you to radically increase your ability to be in relationship with other people and share embodied experiences YOU must learn to be embodied. 

At my recent training, we spoke in depth about the universe of cells that make up our physical vessel. Your being is always sensing,  seeking, waiting + responding to stimuli / information.  Our bodies are equipped with a natural mechanism called the “stress response,” also known as the “fight-or-flight” response. When we encounter something that feels like a threat the amygdala in the brain experiences the emotion fear. The brain then communicates to the hypothalamus, which communicates to the nervous system, which signals to the adrenal glands to release the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This assembly-line-like process of the sympathetic nervous system is a crucial part of our body’s internal self-protection mechanism. Many of us live in overdrive and operate in a constant state of 'fight or flight'. This can be a result of feeling the fear of imagined threats: financial security, societal achievement, the steadiness or demise of a relationship, a perceived health threat or the loss of a loved one etc. 

We are not physiologically designed to be frightened as often as we are. 

Constantly operating from this place, it is no wonder that many of us feel the perils of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. We struggle with migraines, digestive issues, difficulty breathing, lack of concentration, fatigue, depression, isolation, and innumerable other physical ailments because our body is actually attempting to flee the scene of a real threat (car crash, lion chase, assault, etc.) that simply isn’t there. We are spending less time in Nature, our communities (although electronically are expanding) are becoming smaller + we feel more alone than ever.  We find ourselves reacting to the body's information by stuffing down pain, emotions, numbing, we push through and past the bodily feedback in order to achieve the external goals, tasks or demands of every day life. To survive, get by, make it to tomorrow to hang on. Disease generally occurs when we abuse our bodies or deprive them of basic requirements to keep us healthy over extended periods. When we idle at the surface of the problem and do not dive deep into the root. 

Ask yourself why it is that you take time to understand how your computer or iphone works but you cannot take time to explore, learn + understand how YOU work? 

 The good news is: YOUR BODY WANTS TO + CAN HEAL ITSELF. Both our energetic and physical bodies have an innate genius for balancing themselves -- maintaining homeostasis through intricate, constant acts of self-regulation.

And when we bring consciousness/awareness to parts of ourselves that are out of balance, and for whatever reason are resisting coming back into balance, that deep, listening awareness can help remove the resistance and ALLOW our natural balancing/healing power to reassert itself. You must calm down though and get out of the stress response.

To help get present, try this...

1. Take a sacred Pause from whatever is happening, in Nature is best of course. 

2. Breathe, inhale deeply (deeper than you have all day)

3. Breathe, exhale deeply (through the mouth, a big purge/sigh of air) 

4. Repeat + keep shifting OUT of Doing + INTO Being. 

5. Sense the difference in the Body/Mind/Heart. 

Mind-body connection + awareness is a practice and like most behaviours we engage in, our degree of awareness is habitual. How can you start to cultivate presence in your every day life, despite the level of chaos and whirlwind pace? We must learn to prioritise spiritual sustenance: Nature Appreciation. love, connection, breathing, nurturing movement, high vibe foods, whole body listening and gratitude. I am confident that humans can choose to develop and increase their frequency, their ability to attune to themselves + others and therefore tap into their deeper self - healing potential: Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

Realising that presence is a skill is an incredibly empowering thought and opens the door to beautiful possibilities. xo

Stay connected + Keep it real.