You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone

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Joni Mitchell said it best when she sang the words, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”  It’s so true.  We walk around in this life taking so much for granted most of the time, like people, places, situations, our health.  I often think that I have never known better health than I know right now, but that’s not true.  My best physical health was probably sometime back when I was in my 20’s and hiking daily through the red rock canyons of Utah looking for desert tortoises, or when I was running up and down forested ravines chasing Mexican Spotted Owls in New Mexico, or when I was hiking 17 miles into the back country of Kings Canyon National Park in a day just to get where I was living and working for part of the summer at 10,500 feet elevation.  But, I’ve never had such good health as I have now AND appreciated it as much as I do now.  THAT’S the key difference.  I no longer take my health for granted.

In 2009, just 6 months after welcoming my son into the world, I lost my health.  I almost died.  At the time, I had no idea what this meant for me or my life.  It felt abrupt and unfair.  After all, I had been one to eat healthy, even as a vegetarian for about 8 years, and I exercised extensively for my work as a wildlife and fisheries field biologist.  I felt that I didn’t “deserve” this change in circumstances.  (Stay tuned for a future post where I go into more detail about my health journey.)

It is the total loss of my health that has brought me to the level of gratitude that I live with in my present day life.  And it is this level of gratitude that breathes joy and peace into my entire being.  I have almost died and so my perspective on life has been forever altered.  It’s amazing how small other obstacles in life become when the comparison is near-death.  Try it and see what sounds like the worst-case in each of the following scenarios.  I had a stressful day at work – I almost died.  I got a divorce – I almost died.  I got side swiped by another car – I almost died. My son says he hates me – I almost died. Someone at work doesn’t like me – I almost died. Friends left my life – I almost died.  I live in California away from my family – I almost died.  Life can always be worse, my friends. Mine has been, and for that I am eternally grateful.  In fact, I am especially grateful that I lost my health.

You see, as humans, we tend to only learn, I mean REALLY learn and internalize the big lessons, when life kicks the shit out of us.  Generally, we don’t learn as much by watching others on their journeys, and we don’t learn by being happily guided through a life of little or no strife.  Our strife isn’t the Universe’s way of punishing us, but rather its way of growing us.  We get what we need, not what we want.  But, it is always our choice whether to grow and learn from our experiences, or to see them as some kind of negative force, curse, or punishment in our lives.  After living many years in the latter state of mind, I have chosen to move forward with the clarity that I am always being taken care of by the Universe and that everything really does happen for a reason.  In making that mental shift, in changing my thoughts about myself and my life towards the positive, I have completely transformed my life for the better.  I was tired of suffering, so I chose to start accepting what is.  It’s a constant choice I have to make though.  There are days when I trust how my life is unfolding more than others.  My trust is a work in progress.  I am a work in progress.

At this point in my life, I am so thankful to be able to look back on my life as sort of a movie playing out.  I can see the various turns that my life took and the lessons I gleaned from my greatest challenges.  I am aware of how past challenges have shaped me into a person who can handle today’s challenges.  It’s all about perspective.

As a child within my sometimes dysfunctional family, I grew to be a strong and independent woman.  With a name spelled like Jammie (pronounced like Jamie), I learned to be assertive and feisty.  With each loss of a friend or family member, I’ve learned not to take the people in my life for granted, nor my time in this life for granted. With the loss of my health, I learned to enjoy every breath that does not bring chest pain, and to enjoy the ability of my body to be on my feet for 12+ hours at work, and to still have enough energy to hike, swim, and play with my son on my days off!  Through a difficult marriage, I learned that I was only getting the love that I was willing to give to myself, which at the time was not much.  More importantly, from my marriage, I gained my son, who I believe is meant to be my biggest teacher in this life. Through a difficult divorce, I learned that I alone am the one who holds the power over me and my life, and that I am infinitely strong and capable of rebuilding my life from the ground up all by myself.  My time working as a Registered Nurse on an adult oncology unit taught me that death is a natural part of life and that it is not something to be feared.  Through a breast lump scare last year, I learned to not waste time worrying about the what-ifs and to instead just trust that life is unfolding for me in the exact way that it’s supposed to.  I have been shown time and time again that I am stronger than any obstacle I may face.  And as my sister, Amy, likes to remind me, so far, I have survived 100% of my worst days.  Soak that in.  YOU have survived 100% of your worst days!  What has happened in your life to give you a greater perspective of the big picture? What positives have come from your challenges?  How have your challenges shaped you as a person?

The perspective that my drastic change in health gave me is one where the present is all that I have for sure.  The past no longer exists, and the future is not guaranteed.  It can be difficult to really believe that the present is all we have, after all, most of us live in the past fretting over what went wrong and regrets that we have, or in the future where we dream of a time that is better than now.  The beauty is that now is it.  All we have to do is be present today, be happy today, do things that bring us joy TODAY.  Not next year, not once we retire, but NOW.  How would you live your life if all you had was today?  What would you change?  Do you have enough joy in your life?  Do you make time for the things that you love to do?  Do you make time to be with the people you love?  What are you waiting for?

Life is short.  We owe it to ourselves to stop taking so much for granted.  May we all recognize and appreciate the wonderful things we have while we have them, and not just when they are gone.

Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi” Live

Music. Healing. Matisyahu.

In June of 2016, I had the pleasure of taking care of one of the sweetest families ever born when they were in the hospital having their second child, a boy. I remember both of the children’s names to this day. I’m telling you, this couple and their kids were some of the most beautiful spirits. Their smiles and positive energy are forever etched in my mind and made my life better in the day that I got to care for them. The other nurses who were lucky to get them in the days following me talked about how amazing they were too. Everyone wanted to be their nurse. The Dad commented that maybe they’d run into me at the Farmer’s Market, but so far, that hasn’t happened. I look for them though, and think of them often, with a smile on my face.

They were playing music in their room. At one point, when I had gone in to check on them, I really liked the song that was playing and asked the woman who it was. She told me and confirmed it by looking at the playlist on her phone. I played it cool, but barely knew what she had said, and I didn’t move my pride aside long enough to get the clarification. So I went home that night and googled it: modest yahoo. Hahaha!! Luckily, google figured it out for me and gave me my answer: Matisyahu.

Little did I know how much I needed Matisyahu, his message, and his music in my life. For the next almost 3 years, he’s helped me through a lot in my life, namely my total life transformation, the discovery and awakening of my true, higher self, my leap of faith out of my RN job in the hospital, my journey with my own business which is essentially my career of surrender and faith, and the immense amount of healing work I have been doing for myself, my family, and my ancestors.

On May 5th, I saw Matisyahu live for the fourth time. I manifested it. One morning, I said out loud that I needed to get to that show, and by that same afternoon a friend had texted me about volunteering in exchange for a free ticket to THAT show! I was thrilled to be front row and nearly center during his performance. When I listen to music, I hear and feel the lyrics. To me, Matis lyrics speak of the changes that we as the human race need to make, so that we can all live in a world of peace and acceptance. A lot of his lyrics are spiritual in nature. I can relate to the things he sings about in such an intimate way, because the human experience is ultimately a shared experience of awakening to our limitless potential. To get to that state of realization, usually we experience a lot of hardships. The plot is not unique to any of us, though the specifics of the stories vary.

Our words are our bond. They are powerful and should not be said or thought lightly. They greatly impact our lives and the world around us. It is no different to express words that we have created ourselves or to walk around singing someone else’s song lyrics. Be mindful of what you are consuming and repeating. The shows we watch and the music we listen to are vitally important, because when we’re doing those activities, our minds become open to suggestion. It’s why companies pay so much for commercials on TV and radio. The thoughts we think become our reality. Pay attention to the music lyrics you’re consuming and walking around repeating out loud or in your head. Once you look at music this way, listening to the radio takes on a whole new meaning. I was in a Lyft recently and every song that came on in a succession of 4 or 5 songs was about the person giving up their power, being a victim, and submitting to something outside of themselves. Music is heavily influenced as an industry. Consider choosing music that lifts you up without selling you material things, a certain lifestyle, or a victim mentality that leaves you seeking help from outside of yourself. The music played to the masses over the radio is most noticeably influenced, because it reaches the most people, but all music has the ability to sell a message that keeps us living small.

How is the music that you’re listening to make you feel? What messages is it sending you about life or about yourself? Would you be OK with the lyrics you’ve been walking around singing manifesting in your life? If not, it’s time to find some new music.

I actually walked away from music at the House Music Festival in Chicago several times yesterday, because they started playing things with words that just did not feel good to me. Our subconscious minds pick up everything we take in, and more so when it’s put to a catchy beat. Start paying attention to how TV and music make you feel and the kinds of messages planted in them. It’ll open up your mind in such a big way when you start paying attention.

Music has the ability to lift us up and get us through tough times. It has the ability to align us to our spirit. It has the ability to connect us all in dance. The next time you’re out at a show, consider putting your phone away and joining in the dancing. Life is short to spend it taking video the entire time of the fun going on around you. Join in. Dance. Risk being seen. Risk looking like a fool. Those of us dancing aren’t thinking about you. We’re enjoying life! Enjoy it with us!

Thank you for reading along! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. You can also catch me over on IG and FB for more content. Much love to you!

Watch Michael Franti and Spearhead‘s “Love Will Find a Way” HERE

Fleeting Moments

Grief. It’s a tricky thing. I didn’t realize how much grief I had stored in my body until recently when I went and saw the movie “Five Feet Apart”, followed by crying at Rob Bell’s ‘An Introduction of Joy’, an amazing purging of emotions during a craniosacral therapy session, and followed today by nearly bursting into tears as I watched a little three-year-old boy in front of me in line at the grocery store. Isn’t that the way with grief? It comes up at the most seemingly unlikely of times. It hadn’t even been on my radar and then BOOM, there it was, over and over and over again.

I’ve asked for this. I’ve asked Source and my higher self to help clear out anything no longer serving me. I ask for it every time I shower. I ask the water to heal me and cleanse me of any energy or way of being that is no longer serving my highest good. Enter in emotions that have been stored deep within me being brought to the surface and into my conscious awareness to be healed once and for all. The things that have been coming up have caught me a bit off guard. It’s been from patients in the hospital who died on comfort care during my time of taking care of them. It’s come up for the loss of my father-in-law as his birthday just passed. It’s come up today for the grief I feel as a mother of a child who is growing and changing right in front of my eyes.

I have felt like my grief is sitting in my chest in a conglomerate of sorts, all jumbled up together in a ball of burnt, shredded and dismantled rubber from a tire that has blown out on a highway. It’s all there, melted together. Actual deaths and suicides of friends and family. Figurative deaths of my marriage, of my old self who processed everything as best she could at the time, the loss I feel from each year that my son grows and morphs into his next round of humanness. Relationships come and gone. Jobs come and gone. Places come and gone. Some things hit harder than others, even in my new understanding and beliefs of how this all works and the fact that I don’t believe any soul ever ‘dies’.

My experience and grief is relative. I do not mean to downplay or gloss over other kinds of grief by expressing my own experiences. I left the grocery store today in tears about my son’s growth, recorded a video about it, and then learned that a friend suffered a miscarriage. It only further reiterated the fragile nature of life and the importance of our appreciation and presence in all of the moments.

My grief was pushed down and avoided when I went to work or school and was trying to function in the world as I felt like crying, but put a smile on instead. When my sadness overcame me in the form of depression and wishing for death, I still had to find a way to live in the world. That dichotomy consumed me at times. The mask I wore nearly suffocated me. Can you relate?

I almost did that today. In fact, I suppose I did do that at the register as I watched the two young boys in front of me and awaited my turn to check out and pay. I dared not completely lose it and breakdown right then and there as I waited to pay. I saved that for a few moments later for when I expressed my gratitude to the Mom that I had remained in line behind her and her children after she had told me I could go ahead of her. I cried. I cried as I spoke of my son and his crocs and the fact that he was now nearly my size, and the fact that the time had moved so fast. I cried on my way to my car, got to my car and cried some more. I know from experience that this wasn’t only about my son. This was just a path of least resistance to have me open up and release years of grief stored within me. Tears have the power to cleanse us. Tears have the power to heal us, yet often, we hold them back.

I found myself basking in the ever present fleeting nature of this life, all the moments, and all the people who have crossed my path. I recorded this video in that moment. THIS is why I live the way I do. I have taken care of a patient in their 20’s on comfort care with AIDS, surrounded by their twin and rest of their family during their final moments of life. I witnessed and stored the pain felt by their family within my body. I nearly lost my own life with a baby at home depending on me for nourishment and love. While I am aware of my infinite, spiritual nature, I also know that in this body, in this time and space, I only have one shot to make the most of it. My pain has fueled my passion. My heartache has fueled my love. I would not be who I am without every single experience of my life, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I don’t know how else to say it. Please allow other people’s stories to impact yours. Please snap out of the sleep you’re in and start living life to the fullest. Please enjoy the small moments, because they are in fact, the most important moments of our lives.

It’s a choice to follow your passion or go along with the status quo. It’s a choice to remain asleep in victim consciousness or to wake up to your full power as a co-creator in this life. It is a choice whether or not to remain present during all of your moments or to check out.

In my life so far, I have lived both ways. I have seen how feeling like a victim affected my life and I am a witness daily to the way that realizing my power to shape my reality has positively transformed my life. I know what I will continue to choose.

I will choose growth, expansion, and healing. I will choose placing my priority on my energetic vibration and my alignment with my higher self. I will choose to listen to a nudge from my intuition over the loud voices of the people and institutions surrounding me. I was asleep and desperately trying to numb my feelings and the energy of those around me for most of my life, and I will not go back to that way of being.

I will do my best to continue to do the real ‘adulting’ in this life which I believe is to say that I will do my best to feel my feelings in the moment. I have learned that when I feel feelings as they arise, they are much easier to handle and process. I have learned that feeling my feelings now means that I won’t store them in my body to process later or to have them surface as dis-ease or pain at a later date. I know that our feelings can overwhelm us. I understand why we’d oftentimes prefer to shut them off entirely. But what I have found is that those old feelings will hold us back in life until we feel and heal them once and for all. After all, energy is never destroyed, it is merely transformed. Unfelt feelings and trauma not dealt with only lead to pain, dis-ease, and suffering later in life.

I have learned that when I show up fully in my life, that my challenges stop creating stigma and start being a path for deeper connection and understanding with other humans. When I choose to open up in full authenticity and vulnerability, I find others who have had similar experiences to mine. I also find that giving myself the permission and space to open up gives others that same space and freedom. Everything starts with us and creates ripple effects outward. I think what we all really need is just the reminder that we are never alone in our struggles. That there are common threads that connect us all. Remember that we never know what someone is going through, so it’s critical that we treat people kindly, always. Remember to treat yourself kindly as well. This life isn’t a rehearsal. Are you present in your moments? Are you doing what you came here to do?

Thank you for being here on this journey with me. When I started this blog in 2017, I could have never known the freedom that it would give me to show up fully in my life. Writing here has helped me remove the compartments that I used to sort the various areas of my life into.

If you liked this post, please like and share it. In that way, we can create further ripple effects. Feel free to follow me on IG and/or FB for more content. I will be posting the video I recorded there as it won’t upload here. Sending you much love!

I Am

Hi, I am Jammie. Peaceful Jellyfish started out as the name for this blog at http://www.peacefuljellyfish.com. It stems from my favorite animal, the jellyfish and the inner peace that I have learned to cultivate. A few years ago, I channeled on the question “How can I be the light that I came here to be?”, and starting my blog came through the strongest. After my first post, I had several people reach out to me saying that I had given them hope and inspiration, including a friend who had been feeling suicidal. My path was fueled.

I am constantly changing, evolving, and expanding into the truest version of myself. My guideposts are joy and inner peace. I am not the same person I was 5 minutes ago, let alone 5 years ago. I generally do not like to be labeled and tossed into neatly defined boxes, but if you must, then then call me a Joymonger! (a term coined by author Rob Bell ‘Introduction to Joy’) My purpose is to follow my joy, and to spread and promote the feelings of bliss and delight in the lives of others!

Joy = state of delight, bliss.

Monger = a person who promotes a specified activity, situation, or feeling.

I am here to remind you that life is trying to grow you, not torture you. I am here to show you that you are not alone in your struggles. I am here as an example of how the most difficult challenges in life can lead us to the most incredible parts of life. I am here to remind you of your limitless potential to create the life of your dreams. I am here to remind you that life is far too short to take it so seriously. I am here to remind you that you are meant to follow your joy. I am here to remind you to enjoy the hell out of your journey while you can, because the only guaranteed destination for all of us is death. Without death, life would be devoid of meaning.

My despair is a superpower, because it allowed me to crack the code of this life — that it is fleeting and fragile and so we are meant to experience it fully and with as much joy as possible!

I have been blessed to use my experience to help others in a variety of ways. Right now, I help others using intuitively-guided Reiki Healing, Joy Coaching, and readings with channeled guidance. If you need extra support, email me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com.

Let’s Erase the Stigma of Mental Health

Seriously. No one should feel bad or ashamed, because they go to a therapist. We need to erase the stigma surrounding mental health in this country.

When I was battling severe depression, it was doubly exhausting to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders as I felt the need to hide my issues from others. Anyone with depression knows, it zaps your energy enough to then put so much into keeping it all a secret. But at the time, it felt necessary for me. I felt ashamed and less than because I was struggling with a sadness so severe that I could barely function. It made me have an anxiety attack once just to go and talk casually with a potential new employer about work I really wanted to do for them, because the thought of having to be ‘on’ and ‘sell myself’ was THAT overwhelming. It was also no fun to be on the verge of tears literally all the time, yet still have to go to work and hold them back. I avoided talking to people. I avoided phone calls. I avoided as much life as I possibly could. I always worried that my secret would be found out, which at the time terrified me. I felt like I was broken.

Just taking the steps to find my first therapist was daunting. But that step ended up being crucial to turning things around. I went to someone who had me try loads of natural supplements and even a SAD light as I was living in a rainy, gray Oregon winter at the time. When none of those worked, we moved onto medications. First Prozac which helped me immensely at the time. Then there became a need for less side effects, so I saw a psychiatrist to have my meds adjusted. Moved onto Wellbutrin. Then eventually landed on Lexapro. The names of medications don’t really matter, because they’re what I needed at the time. I write this for anyone else who has struggled with depression and has taken multiple medications before finding the ‘right’ one. There was a time when I thought I’d be taking Lexapro indefinitely, because of how my doctors believed my Lyme Disease was affecting me.

You are not alone. Many of us deal with mental illness and most don’t talk about it. I’ve been able to move past my years of depression, with appreciation that I’ve experienced such lows in my life. Those things we’re most ashamed of tend to connect us the most deeply with our fellow humans. This human life can be really difficult. We aren’t taught positive ways to cope, so we end up getting completely overwhelmed when challenges inevitably arise. If you’re like me, then you may relate to the fact that I used to internalize everything happening around me as something that was my fault. As a child growing up in a tense household, I took all of the negative energy on as my own and it was the start of my depression. I felt confused, alone, and unlovable.

It is my hope that in sharing, I can help remove the stigma for just one person currently being challenged by mental illness. You are not alone. Do not be ashamed of needing to see a therapist. It’s brave of you to take that step and you should be proud of yourself for recognizing when you need help and asking for it. I know none of it is easy for you.

Know that many therapists will offer a sliding scale if you lack insurance that covers it. Don’t let money stop you. There are ways. If you’re a student, check in with your school. One of the best counselors I ever went to was at the community college I attended for nursing school. She was in training, but she was the best for offering practical and positive ways to cope with my stressors at the time, which was my health crisis.

Know too that you might not find the ‘right’ therapist for you on the first try. I have been to several and they are not all the same. I’ve had some that were a good fit and some that were a terrible fit. I was once so overwhelmed with life that I asked my therapist directly for positive coping mechanisms to get me through the stress I was feeling. She didn’t offer me any that day, and I never went back to her again. You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re not having a good experience with your therapist, trust yourself and find a new one. Of course be mindful that you’re not just sabotaging it, because you never wanted to go in the first place. But your therapist should help you feel better overall, and you should feel safe and heard.

Pay attention to your intuition or repeating messages. Is a particular office calling to you? Do people around you keep mentioning the name of the SAME therapist to you? Do you keep seeing an advertisement for a particular therapist over and over? Follow those leads, because your higher self is guiding you. Trust it.

Thank you for reading! If you like this post, please like and share it. Follow me on IG and Facebook for more positive content and perspective on life. Much love!

Intuitive Eating

I’m seeing all of the posts about Nipsey Hussle’s death and the fact that he was working on a documentary exposing the natural healing work of Dr. Sebi. From what I have read, Dr. Sebi’s work, in part, was pointing us towards an alkaline, plant-based diet. It is known to be healing and is thought to prevent dis-eases such as cancer. The work of Dr. Sebi was known in the 1980’s. He had published that a cure for AIDS had been found after he had cured people with AIDS. He was taken to federal court and won.

People have to be told like a public service announcement that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest options for us. I think all too often, like most other things, people have shut off their intuition in exchange for following the crowd. This presents in food as fad diets. It seems like everyone is on some kind of specialized diet these days. But what if we’re meant to listen to our own bodies?

I have come to realize that the best way to eat is by following my intuition. Our intuition can be a guide for EVERYTHING! It’s like our own, personal, specialized system geared towards returning OUR body to it’s perfect state of wellness.

We get off track when we choose to ignore the way foods make us feel. When we eat something even though it makes us feel terrible, we are in fact ignoring messages from our bodies and our intuition. I think a decision based in self-love would be choosing to eat what makes us feel good, and gives us more energy and vitality. I get it, a lot of things sold at the grocery store and restaurants make us feel bad when we eat them, so then what DO we eat?!

In my experience over the last 8 months, I eat more fruits and vegetables. I’ve been led to a diet that is vegan, but I also don’t eat gluten or soy. I don’t drink alcohol. Why? Because I’ve noticed that I feel terrible after I eat/drink those things. I started paying attention to how everything I ate or drank made me feel. If something makes me feel good, I eat or drink more of it. If it makes me feel bad, I eliminate it. And what I am realizing is that I have been naturally led to a plant-based, alkaline diet.

When we ignore messages from our bodies, the messages get louder. I had noticed small things going on with my health long before my heart nearly failed. I didn’t realize they were happening because of something I was doing: ignoring my heart and intuition.

We can all learn to tap into and use our intuition to heal ourselves. It’s not easy work when you realize the work it’s going to take to finally face past traumas and trapped emotions in order to get healthy again, but the work is worth it. Our physical ailments usually don’t happen over night which means the patterns that got us there won’t change over night. But we CAN change them.

If we learn to follow our intuition, it strengthens and becomes easier to use. When we stop doing things that don’t feel good, we are putting our well-being first which is key to healing ourselves.

Our minds are very powerful, so we must also be mindful of what we are saying about the things we’re doing or eating/drinking. If we’re choosing to eat the dessert, it does us no good to talk and think about how bad it is for us the entire time we eat it. You’re essentially cursing the food you eat as opposed to blessing it. That food’s negative effects are then compounded. Whereas, when I go to the Sikh Temple and partake in Langar after worship, I am grateful for their sharing and I eat the flat bread offered. They bless their food during the entire time of worship and I set the intention that it will bless and nourish my body. It’s my exception for gluten during the week, and I notice I don’t have problems with it later. I believe there is a lot of power in blessing our food and water before we consume it.

Notice the difference in how you feel when you curse your food vs bless it. I have come to learn that our thoughts play a primary role in our wellness or dis-ease. Get quiet and pay attention to your thoughts about food. Pay attention to what your intuition and body are telling you to eat or avoid. You can heal yourself.❤️

Picture from post by the_enlighten_core on Instagram

Thank you for reading along. If you liked this post, please like and share it! Much love!

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I Hope You Live Louder!

This is what I want for all of us: that we live louder and shine brighter! If you don’t know it yet, living a life 100% true to yourself, and in touch with your higher self, your soul, is part of what is going to shift the energy humans are bringing to the planet. Being our authentic selves is a big key to healing ourselves and in turn, humankind and the planet. Learning to love ourselves and others unconditionally because we look at everyone with compassion for their human experience.

It sounds counterintuitive when we’ve grown up feeling the need to blend in, the need to be like everyone else so that we don’t get made fun of and rejected by our peers. We’ve been programmed to buy certain things so we can be a certain way. I get it. I’ve grown up with the same programs. I’ve been systematically working to break them down. Changing our thoughts is paramount to changing our lives and in turn, the world around us. How many of us live without peace of mind, yet wish we had peace on the planet? How many want to see others happy, but we are not doing the things that create joy in our lives? It all starts with us on the individual level.

Our lives shape us in a way that is completely unique to us, and it’s by design. Everything is by design to get us to wake up, to realize our limitless potential as powerful creators in this life. I would not be who I am today without EVERY SINGLE THING I’ve experienced.

For instance, I am a good writer, because I used to write letters to my friends and family all the time! I wrote when I went away to college and when I was working in remote camps studying wildlife.

I have such a grateful view of the world because I got so sick that I almost died.

I love my body so much, because even with everything that it has been through, it allows me to do the things I love like hike, swim, and dance. There was a time when I didn’t think I’d be able to do any of those things again.

I was able to create playlists for ecstatic dance with such a huge variety of musicians, because music is what I turned to in my darkest moments. It’s also because I got recommendations along my path as I moved around as a wildlife/fisheries field biologist for the better part of 10 years. Music has been my fuel.

I was such a compassionate nurse in the hospital, because I’ve been the patient for so many years. I know the things I needed to hear when I was scared and in the hospital, so I was able to speak those things to others.

I laugh loudly without a care for who might hear me, because I have spent many days alone sobbing hard and wishing my life would end.

I appreciate wild places extra, because I grew up watching in horror as local mountains were excavated to make way for mines and highways, and smokestacks from steel mills appeared to create the clouds.

These days, I am quick to speak the feelings I have for people, because I have lost many dear friends at young ages. I know that more time is never guaranteed to any of us.

The list goes on and on. Our lives shape us. There are things that make us uniquely who we are, and those are the things that we’re meant to strengthen and share with the world! None of us were created to live small, quiet lives! The world needs you to feel as comfortable as you can being your true authentic, and vulnerable self, so that you can do the work and help shift our reality in a way that only YOU can! Show up and get to shining! It’s time to spread your wings and fly! And it’s time for all of us to make room for each other by holding space of unconditional love and acceptance in our hearts. Nothing good comes from not accepting other people for being different than us, just as nothing good comes from us hiding our true selves from the world!

I can tell you from experience that the more you cultivate the love you have for yourself, the more you won’t care what other people think about you. The less you care about what other people think of you, the more fulfilling your life will become. The more fulfilling your life becomes, the brighter your light will shine. When your light is shining bright, you provide light in all of this darkness to light your way to living your soul’s purpose, and to be a light for other people to find theirs.

The magic in my life happens when I’m acting as a lighthouse for others. I inspire you by following my joy and living a louder life. You in turn start following your joy and living a louder life. You inspire someone else. We create a ripple effect this way.

What kind of ripple are you currently creating with your life? Is it negative or positive? Are you complaining and gossiping all of the time, or are you living with gratitude and lifting others up with sincere compliments and unconditional love and acceptance?

The change we want to see in the world really does have to start with us. I want to live in a world where we care for each other like family, where we love and accept people for who they are, where everyone lives with equality and experiences the same opportunities, where we lift each other up and encourage each other to shine brighter every day! You’ve got this one life to live. Are you making it count?!

Thank you @tduckster for posting this today!

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it.

Find me on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration! Reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com if my words resonate with you, and you could use some intuitive guidance and healing energy to further align you with your soul’s path. It’s my passion to help others live their best lives! Much love to you!

Listen to Matisyahu’s “Thunder” HERE

Why I Meditate

I began meditating in 2015. By this time, I had been through my health scare, divorce, and had been working as a Registered Nurse in the hospital for over 2 years. I had heard about meditation for years before I actually took note and put it into practice. In 2015, I partook in a “Simple Shift” group hosted by my Homeopath and friend, Torey Ivanic, that was made up of a group of women who were ready to create big change in our lives by shifting in some, small way. The “simple shift” I chose to commit to during this group was meditation. I downloaded the app, Insight Timer, on my phone, which kept track of my progress. I started with 5 minutes a day. Honestly, I’d do 2 minutes some days, 5 minutes others. Then, just after the group ended, I hit a very stressful time in my life.

I was struggling and needed a way to turn off the spiral of thoughts whirring through my mind about the situation. So I began meditating often as a way to positively cope with the turmoil I was experiencing. As I would feel the anxiety well up in me, I’d set the timer on my phone and meditate. I based it around my life, so if I had 5 minutes to spare, I’d meditate for 5 minutes. If I had more time in that moment, I’d set the timer for 15 minutes. Each time I felt myself get overwhelmed with emotions, I’d meditate. When the hamsters in my head would start running in their wheels, I’d meditate. When I felt panic rush in and tighten my chest, I’d meditate. I remember sitting in the cemetery next to the bench that marks the spot where one of my best friends from high school is buried, and I found myself talking to him in the rain, crying, and meditating. I clung to meditation like a life raft. I meditated, because I didn’t know what else to do.

These moments spent in meditation worked as a reset button for my system. I was able to reset myself and breathe. In those days, I didn’t notice a big difference. But it acted as a break from my thoughts and emotions. The break is what snapped me out of my head. It got me through that time with a lot of sanity and clarity. By the end of this 2-week period, I was able to get a sense of a big picture purpose of what was happening. I spoke about it with words that did not feel from me, but more through me. I was then gifted with the most peace I had ever experienced in my entire life. It lasted a week, and during that time I felt so at ease with EVERYTHING in my life. I felt so much love and compassion for myself and everyone else. I realize now that that level of peace is available to all of us when we place priority on our healing and aligning ourselves with our souls.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I didn’t simply gain a week of peace during that time. I also gained the awareness that it was that level of peace that I wanted to feel in my life, all the time. It gave me a contrast to compare everything against. To this day, when a person or situation is causing me to lose my inner peace, I make the needed adjustments, because for me, my inner peace comes FIRST.

This was all just the beginning for me. Last year, after I had taken my leap of faith out of my Registered Nursing job in the hospital when it began affecting my health negatively, and had gotten back from traveling to Australia and Hawaii, I got more serious about meditating again. I was in a time where I was ready to go full force with my business, but I also had to trust that the people who needed the Intuitive Reiki and Joy Coaching with me would come in divine time. I set the intention and began meditating every morning for 25 minutes while also treating myself with Reiki. This consistent practice completely changed my game. I began to have and continue to have so many inspired ideas that led to inspired action that led to so many good things in my life. For instance, it became an important aim of mine to be part of a thriving community of healers and artists, and then I got the idea to create a “Healing Arts” basket for a raffle for the Center of Spiritual Living for their annual fundraiser, which naturally connected me with local healers and artists. There was also the inspired ideas of participating in the fundraiser “Over the Edge” for The Source LGBT+ Center’s annual fundraiser and offering free Reiki sessions every week at The Source which led to me being more connected to the LGBT+ community here which has led me to amazing friendships and more of my tribe! Reaching out to the amazing author, Scott Stabile, about how much I loved his book and would like to have him come to my town to host a workshop was also an inspired idea that I took action on, and it all lined up so effortlessly after that! Scott hosted one of his workshops, “Writing Yourself” here in January!

There’s a reason why so many people urge us to meditate. It works. Deepak Chopra has written MANY books, and you want to know his biggest piece of advice for people? Meditate! I know what you’re thinking, you can’t meditate. You can’t get your brain to slow down long enough to meditate. You don’t have time to meditate. I can assure you that if you had time to read this post about meditating that you have time to meditate. You’re just choosing to use your time in other ways. My life has been a bit of a surrender experiment in the last year. Things I couldn’t have planned for have shown up. Awesome things have shown up. I would say that I owe a lot of that, if not all, to meditation. Meditation has allowed me to align with my soul, my higher self, in a more powerful way than ever before. Following my intuition about everything in my life, right down to what I eat, has further strengthened my intuition, which is also what leads to amazing things. I am so happy to say that I will be teaching kids mindfulness and meditation this summer through Parks and Recreation. I am so excited to share the exercises I’ve used to help teach kids positive ways to cope with life. It is my vision that by teaching kids positive coping mechanisms, they will be able to use them throughout their lives to combat peer pressure, to decrease the rates of teen pregnancy, to decrease addiction, and to decrease the rates of suicide. I love working with kids so much, and pediatrics continues to be the unit of the hospital that I miss working on the most, so I am really looking forward to this new adventure!

I can’t tell you how many times I have been called magic in the last year, the last 8 months especially. I look for magic, I expect magic daily, because I’ve witnessed magic every day. I am aligned with my soul, my higher self. I am following my soul’s path completely which places all kinds of amazing synchronicities on my path. I am human like you, and I got here by trudging through a lot of shit. I did not get here through ease and comfort. I walked through fire to ultimately have my soul set free. When I noticed that my thoughts about myself and my life weren’t serving me well, I worked to adopt new thoughts. I’ve listen to meditations to reprogram my subconscious mind. I’ve followed my intuition to the healing modalities that called to me and the foods that my body was craving. I used journaling. I used positive affirmations. I have a daily gratitude practice. I didn’t grow up knowing about positive ways to cope with life, so I sought them when I needed them. Instead of stressing and ‘grinding’, I learned the importance of quieting my mind through meditation and time spent in nature.

Through the journey I have walked, I have been gifted with the knowledge that our health is our greatest asset, that living in joy is what we are here to do, and that inner peace is the real ‘success’ that we should be working to achieve in this life. I did not come from peace, but I now have more peace than I ever have before. I got tired of suffering. I got tired of playing a victim, so I got serious about finding a way to change my view of the world. I adjusted my priorities. I choose to place my focus on my peace and happiness every day, because I see now how that ripples out from my life into other people’s lives. I choose to prioritize doing things that raise my energy and cause me to vibrate at a higher frequency. When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we are able to love others unconditionally. Also in my experience, when I learned to love another unconditionally as I saw their life with empathy and compassion, I loved myself even deeper in return.

Many of the practices I have had great results with are simple and available to anyone who decides to place priority on their own healing. If you struggle to quiet your mind or lead a very stressful life, I urge you to take up daily meditation. It can be as simple as setting a timer for 5 minutes and sitting in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted while you focus on your breath. You might feel resistance to it, I think that’s pretty common. It was for me. But just keep being consistent with it, and eventually, you’ll notice shifts. I lead guided meditations every first and third Wednesday of every month, so if you’re local, reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. We have meditation happening tonight on the Super Full Moon from 6 to 7 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Meditation is a simple shift we can all make towards our wellness. It’s free. It’s easy. We can do it alone or with a group. We can meditate inside or outside. If you’re finding yourself not satisfied with the way your life has been going, try meditating. What do you have to lose?

Thank you for reading! If you liked this post, please like and share it. You can also find me on FB and IG. Sending you so much love!