The Beauty of Being Blind

To my amazement, over the past year and a half, I’ve continued to receive Smile Cards on a regular basis to take to the Brigham. Sometimes they’re from friends or family but more often than not, they’re from individuals or groups that I’m not associated with or know personally. Upon returning from the Cape on Saturday, I was immediately greeted with two batches of cards from different people. After we unpacked, I started reading thru them and, as I always am, I was moved by the kind words these strangers were writing to patients. But as I was reading through them, my mind wandered to the many tragic events that have unfolded in our country and throughout the world in the past month. It struck me, quite poignantly, that the many children and adults writing these cards don’t know who they’re writing to so they certainly don’t know the patients’ race or religion or gender or sexuality. They just know that they’re a human being. A human being in need of some support and so they selflessly offer their love, prayers and healing thoughts to complete and total strangers.

I wish that we could all see the world like the people who write these smile cards do…blind to the labels society puts on people. Blind to whether or not the person is voting for Hillary or Trump, blind to what kind of car they drive or what God they believe in or whether they’re gay or straight or transgender. They’re blind to it all; all except the fact that there’s a human being on the other end of that card, there’s a human being in a hospital bed that has a family and friends that love them. In the end, isn’t that all we really need to know? A person, just like us, is in need… We should help. 
It’s time we see people truly for the heart that beats within them.
Thank you to every single person who has written a Smile Card over the past year and a half. You’re making the world a more caring place. Keep them coming!
Lots of love & light,

Jessy

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Transitions

  

I watched a swan land on the water tonight. It was beautiful, so graceful; her wings outstretched feeling the wind beneath them, letting the air guide the way to her destination with ease, precision and power. She knew just how much force was needed to land so she could stay above water; gracefully going from flying to swimming. The transition was remarkable… it was perfect. Unlike the swan, my landing into this new phase of my life hasn’t been so graceful. My wings have flapped around wildly, I hovered above the water before my final descent and when I landed I skipped like a rock off choppy waters. Now, I’m swimming forward but there’s a tough undertow that I can feel pulling beneath me. 
Sometimes during my journey I don’t think I was processing exactly what was happening. I was in flight, sights set on my destination and nothing else. Now that I’ve landed, I’m recounting the journey and it makes me realize just how hard I hit the bumps. It was like flying through a lightening storm. When I was able, I avoided the strikes but I couldn’t avoid them all…there was too much wind and noise and chaos going on around me to dodge everything that came my way. The bolts hurt both physically and emotionally but in their own way, they were beautiful and brought light to my life. 
Finally, it’s time to slow down and tread water for a little bit. Time to just be a 27 year old. Time to let the current peacefully pull me along. Time to be one with my surroundings and the blessings that I have experienced in this life.  
I’ll never be as graceful as the swan but I can try to emulate her and some of her beautiful qualities: like stretching her wings to show her power, like her ability to swim forward gently, like how she seems to be satisfied staying in one place, like how she lets her presence been seen and felt and like her ability to be bring others joy just by doing what she was meant to do. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy

A Mix of Emotions

It’s 60 degrees out right now. It’s Decemcer 12th. I’m in heaven, along with every other New Englander. So, after having a leisurely morning with Mike and Phoebe, I strapped on my running gear and headed out to my favorite trail around Somerville. It’s right along the Mystic Riverand is just beautiful. So many people to see but also quiet spots to clear your mind. I stopped multiple times to do yoga in the various parks that overlook the water, including climbing up an old lookout tower that you can see the Boston skyline. It’s just perfect. 
 

  
As I was on my way back, I was running over the bridge, Boston on my right, Somerville on my left, the sun shining right on my face and the most beautiful sight of all: the American Flag waving proudly in the wind. With everything going on in the world right now, it felt like such a special moment. I am so proud to be an American. I am so proud to be from Boston, to be from the U.S.

    
 
 
I like to think I am a pretty gentle human being, I pray for peace and healing of everyone. But that’s certainly not inclusive of the monsters trying to destroy us. Trying to destroy innocent lives. The monsters that live with such evil in their words, minds, hearts and actions. 

I felt such a juxtaposition as I ran over this bridge: immense pride and immense hate ran through my body. 

So to ISIS, the Taliban and all terrorists of every kind… EFF YOURSELVES. I hope you band together and then blow yourselves up, and leave the innocent alone. Then once you’re done blowing up each other, rot in the only place you deserve to be. A fiery fiery hell. 

  
Merry Christmas, you filthy animals. 

I’m sorry, I know that’s not inspirational but it’s how I feel and I had to get it out. 

But I’ll end with this: GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. All of us, no matter what religion, what political party, no matter what region of the country we’re from. We need to be unified. We need to be one. God Bless us all. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

Fall Fiesta

When it’s cold outside, and we’ve been cooped up inside for days, remind me of days like this…

When I woke up and headed to a corn maze with three of my favorite people in the world.  And sipped on delicious hot apple cider.  

And then picked pumpkins that we’ll carve into jack-o-lanterns and continued to use my selfie stick to capture the moments (best purchase ever, no shame here). 

    
 And then came home and thought, what better day to go for a run!? So I strapped on my yoga pants and sneakers and headed down to the good old Mystic River in Somerville. I decided to take a new route and found a great, long path right along the water. I feel so happy when I’m near the water, doesn’t matter what kind, even if I have the highway to my left, as long as I have the river to my right, I feel a little more at peace than typical. And then as I continued to run I came along a three story lookout tower that I marched right up, did some sun salutations, looked out onto the Boston skyline that I love so much, felt the sunshine on my face and felt so grateful for the moment that was upon me. Healthy enough to be running again, strong enough to climb flights of stairs and in a good enough place mentally to be able to feel the sunshine on my face, totally alone and realize how lucky I truly am. And okay enough with myself to laugh at how crazy my hair has become. 

   
   
Then I picked up some fall essentials to decorate our front steps, because honestly a decorated house is a happy house. And a happy house is a happy me. 

   
 
Now I’m sitting in my Brady jersey & sweat pants, with pulled pork on the oven (thanks to the best boyfriend in America), and a good old O’Doules in hand with my snuggley guy. 

  
Fall is a special time of the year in New England. 

Life is good today. 

Remind me of this day in January. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

Saturday = Make Yourself Happy Day 

This summer, I have so enjoyed every day I’ve been blessed enough to spend outside, soaking up the beautiful sunshine and being near or on the rejuvenating water. I feel so connected to our world, the earth and my inner self when I’m on the water, listening to the waves crash, watching the sun set on top of the ripples, and hearing the animals live naturally in their homes. I feel instantly grateful for the moment and for the day and life I’ve been given.

   
 Since these warm summer days on the water are limited in New England and we are closing in on our final days of sun rays and waves, I’ve tried to get out and active as much as possible. Theres a lovely state park near work that I’m able to rent paddle boards and go out on the lake so I’ve been doing that frequently after work. I’ll tell you, it makes such a difference. No matter how stressful the day was or how hectic it felt, standing on top of the water and rowing myself further and further away from land pushes away the worries of the day and brings my mind back to what’s really important and where my focus should truly be. I love the alone time, getting to be with just me, my thoughts and the sweet sounds of birds chirping, fish swimming and water moving. It’s peaceful and it’s always makes me feel a true sense of peace and happiness. 

  
Today, however, I had my favorite partner next to me. My Michael. We spent our morning at outdoor yoga in front of the Mystic River here in Somerville, drank our coffees and read our books in the park, and then put on our bathing suits and rented some boards to paddle down the Charles River. The wind was strong but we were together and enjoying the beauty that Saturday’s in New England in August have to offer.

  

  

  
Saturday’s should be called, “make yourself happy day” because we work hard all week, maybe doing things that we really aren’t passionate about but the majority of us are lucky enough to get two days a week to focus on ourself. It’s the time to make ourselves happy, make our inner beings smile. Whatever that means for you, I hope that’s what this day brings to you. 

Lots of love & light, 

Jessy 

Practicing Patience

patience

Last week when Mike and I were at the beach, we bought our lunches ahead of time and packed them in our cooler. As I got our my sushi (weird beach meal, I know), and had just finished pouring out the soy sauce and opening the wasabi, I looked down to pick my first piece and with that, a little girl grabbed her shovel and proceeded to throw the sand back right towards me and all over my lunch. UGH. I couldn’t be mad though as she was probably 5 or 6. How does she know better? But then her mother looked at me and didn’t think an apology was necessary. Instead she grabbed the girl and said lets go down to the water. Annoyed? I was beyond. About a half an hour later, a VERY large family decided to plant themselves practically on top of us. So much so that Mike literally couldn’t put his chair back all the way without hitting our newfound neighbors. This would’ve been a little acceptable if there had been no spots left on the beach but at this point it was later in the day and so there were plenty of spots available if they had just walked about 50 feet to the left. As this happened, we both looked at each other, giving a “what the hell?” type of face. I quickly moved onto our towel to try to get as far away from them as possible. They were talking so loudly and, in my mind, I kept thinking that they were “ruining” our relaxation time. I was thinking of myself, my happiness, my day off, I was acting in my head as if it was my beach. With that, I took out a book I’m reading and as luck would have it, I was beginning a news chapter called patience. PATIENCE!!! Just when I had about no patience left in me. As I read, it talked about difficult moments and how we react to them. It suggested saying the phrase “Only I can destroy my peace and I choose not to do so” as a way to sink into a place of peace and calm. So I tried it, saying that phrase in my head over and over. And you know what? It helped. It didn’t get rid of all my frustrations but it began to put things in perspective— that although this family was sitting too close to our liking that it really ends up being my choice to let them aggravate me. I can choose to let them affect my time at the beach or I can choose to stay calm and continue to enjoy my day. So I chose to continue to enjoy my day.

There are so many times during any given day that our patience is tested. Driving, for example. For many people, it’s the first thing they do in the morning. I get up, make my smoothie and hop in the car. Only to feel like I’m in a rat race with people driving around, seemingly to me, like maniacs. People cut you off, flip you off (happens to me quite often!) and people piss you off. Other people can really do a number our inner peace but we should try not to let them. I’ve found that reminding myself that I too have cut people off, I too have flipped people off and God knows, I too have pissed people off. So instead of letting anger arise inside of you during these moments, it’s helpful to remind yourself that there’s a human inside that car, someone with a family, someone that’s trying to get to work on time too— I think often when we get so angry at people for little things like cutting us off on the road, we dehumanize them and act like they’re not a person just like us. I do it all the time, whenever someone cuts me off or is driving too slow for my liking, I cuss “at them” in the car and talk to myself about how annoying they are. But if we were out of the car, and I could see them face to face, would I ever tell them what an ass clown they were being? No, probably not. As soon as I was met with the actual human inside the car, I’d probably end up telling them “no big deal.” That’s because, for the most part, when you humanize people and realize they too make mistakes, just like you do, it’s easier to be less upset about whatever wrongdoing they did to you.

There is a legend that tells of a king who challenges his wise men to create a phrase that would always be true no matter what the time, place or conditions. They contemplated over this for many hours and meditated for weeks. Finally, they presented the king with a tablet inscribed with the words, “this too shall pass.” Ever since, these words have humbled the prideful and offered hope to the afflicted. These words can help in such a big or small way. They help in the moments when people cut you off. Yes, I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the person. But guess what? I’m not in an accident and I didn’t hit them so that feeling needs to pass. That moment did so now I’m going to let it go — no need to hold on to anger over something that’s over and done with. This phrase can also be used for much bigger things. Like tough times in your life. I’ve said this phrase many times since being diagnosed… this too shall pass. It’s helped me when I’m in the rut of the day. It brings you hope when you need it. It allows you to shift your mindset to believe that better is coming.

Truly having patience is something that comes with much practice and mindfulness but in the end, being patient with others brings a much important sense of peace to yourself. It may not always be easy (or possible) to remind yourself of some of these things in the day to day moments, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

Lots of love & light,

Jessy