Admitting Your Dreams

In February, I wrote about how I’d taken a leap of faith and left my full-time marketing job at an amazing nonprofit, not knowing exactly what my next move was.

It’s nearly November and I still am not sure what my future career life will entail but this past weekend, I took my first step towards a path that I’ve tossed around in my head for the last couple years, I took the first step towards a dream of mine- getting my yoga teacher certification.

I applied to the program this summer and was accepted after returning home from the honeymoon so I’ve known about it for a while but haven’t told many people outside my close friends and family. I started thinking about why I’ve avoided sharing this new venture since it is something I feel passionate about and it’s something that, quite honestly, I’ve committed to spending a significant amount of time and money on. I think I’ve been shy about it because this would be such a different path than my marketing career. I don’t know if people will understand or if I’ll be able to articulate what I want to do—some sort of mix between therapeutic yoga teacher, writer, motivational speaker, wellness coach. Yah, that’s easy to explain! A career in marketing was always direct- I went to school for it, I got a job in it, I switched companies, I moved up in a company, I switched to another company. It was a solid staircase that was easy to envision myself climbing and easy to explain to others. I was proud to say “I’m in marketing” when someone asked what I do. Yoga teacher/blogger seems kind of flighty. I’m worried people will instantly think that I’m leeching off Mike so that I can work two hours a day and stay in yoga pants permanently. I’m worried that people will judge me for switching gears and trying something that’s ‘trendy’ right now. That said, I know in my heart that it would be a career that would actually take a lot of work; it’d be starting a small business, finding and retaining clients, marketing myself, speaking in front of groups of people. It’d be hard. I know that, but I also know that many others don’t know that. Many others narrowly view the practice as something hippies do to workout– you’re basically stretching and breathing right?– it’s viewed as one-dimensional… just another exercise class. But it’s not. The yoga practice dates back hundreds of years and it’s connected to various other studies such as Ayurvedic medicine, Buddhism, reiki, meditation and mindfulness. Personally, I find all of the above to be fascinating and topics that I want to learn more about and be able to share with others. What I find most interesting is how you can take your yoga practice off the mat and integrate it into your daily life to profoundly affect it. I’ve experienced it personally– the amount that yoga truly helped me heal both physically and mentally when I was going through my cancer diagnosis was incredible. And then last weekend I met all these unique and amazing women women in my course and was so inspired by their accounts of how yoga has helped them or their family members. Listening to their stories of various difficulties– spanning from drug addiction to children with disabilities to coping with life tragedies– was truly amazing.

I have a deck of affirmation cards that I’ll randomly grab one and read. Recently, I picked one out and it said “My joy doesn’t depend upon the approval of others. No effective guidance will ever be achieved by seeking the approval of others, for all they desire is different things of you. Constant, pure guidance comes forth from within you. It is always there.” I read it a few times and let it sink in.  It comes from within you. How many times have I heard people say “I literally don’t care at all what people think of me.” And I always wish I could know how true their statement is. How many of those people fully act on exactly what they want to do, without any influence of others? I’d guess very few. I’m clearly an extreme example—I always care what people think. I care if they respect me. I care if they think I’m nice. I care enough to wear make-up most days. I care enough to suck in when I’m wearing a bikini on the beach. I care enough that when I went to teach a mere 7-minute yoga sequence last weekend, I was on the verge of having a panic attack. I don’t think the majority of us will ever get to a complete state of ‘not depending on the approval of others.’ But I think it’s something to work towards.

I have 9 months of training left to go and so much to learn and absorb but I thought that a healthy way to start this journey was to first admit that I’m on it. It’s a different path than I expected to be on, it’s not a clear-cut career and so I know that there’s the risk that I could get my certification and try to start a little business and fail. That’s a reality. But the other reality is that I create a career for myself that I’m passionate about, that I feel fulfilled in, that I inspire others through, that can provide financially for my family, and that I simply enjoy.

That’s the dream.

My hope is that you read this and feel inspired to share your dream, whatever it may be. Be proud of your dream—it’s your dream and nobody else’s.

Love & light,

Jessy

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Motivational Monday

  
I think this quote says it all. We all have those negative moments, it’s about pushing through and getting yourself out of the hole. DON’T LET NEGATIVE THOUGHTS DESTROY YOU! GET OUTTA THERE IF YOU’RE IN THERE TODAY. 

Take a deep breath, think about what you’re thankful for and remember, everything’s going to be okay.

Lots of love & light,

Jessy

Sweat & Smiles

The beauty of yoga is that it truly is YOUR practice. It can be mindful, humbling, spiritual, physically difficult, but it also can be fun, and silly and happy! To me, it’s about being in the moment, whether that moment is a serious one or happy go-lucky one. Yesterday, I needed to make my heart feel good. After a  stressful day at work, and more importantly a draining day on my mind as I was of course worrying about my Grammy’s surgery (which by the way, thank you all for your positive thoughts and vibes, she came out of surgery and is recovering now at the Brigham. Thanks to you all, we all so appreciate it!) So yesterday, I needed my practice to be fun. I needed my practice to lift a load off and just let me be silly in a pretty serious day. So on went the upbeat music so I could get in some poses that would challenge me physically but also allow me to snap my fingers, shake my rump, roll my shoulders and shake my head like a dog! 20 minutes of sweating it out and smiling and I was feeling like a different lady!

I hope this video makes you laugh or smile. Happy Tuesday loves!

Lot of love & light,

Jessy

Happy & Healthy

Back to reality, huh? Just like many of you, I decided to take some time “off” (of writing) during the holidays. I had such an amazing two weeks. Saw so many family and friends, gave and received some great presents (like my new iPhone I’m writing from), went on a perfect getaway with Mike up north where we ended the trip ziplining through the trees of the white mountains and just got relaxed and rejuvenated for 2015.

Every year, people always wish me a happy and healthy new year. I say it too. But until this year, I don’t think I truly felt the importance of this wish. This saying is so often used but so rarely embraced by the one saying it. We simply say the phrase and wish it upon those around us but don’t make it a priority to ensure that we, ourselves, are “happy and healthy.” After a year full of doctors appointments, hospital stays, chemotherapy and radiation, I’ve learned what a true blessing it is to have good health. A blessing that should not be taken for granted. But while I’ve been burdened with many health issues this past year, I’ve also been reminded of the importance of “making the right choices.” These are the things in life that we have control over, like eating healthy, working out regularly, staying hydrated each day, and exploring alternative medicines like acupuncture and massage therapy. All the little decisions add up so make each day count. Take every opportunity to better your body and therefore better yourself. Things like drinking natural teas that have added benefits such as lowering cholesterol or providing your body with antioxidants. Getting that massage you’ve been thinking of— it’s not just pampering yourself, it’s helping to lower stress and better circulate your blood. Avoiding food and products that have chemicals and toxins. Exercising multiple times a week. This doesn’t have to mean wasting away on the elliptical (unless that’s your thing!), it can be so many different things like going for a long walk, doing yoga, taking a zumba class, lifting weights, or climbing the stairs in your house a few times. Whatever it is you can find time for in your day, do it! It makes a huge difference. Just recently, I was cleared to begin going to my gym again. I was amazed at how much strength and endurance I had lost since the last time I had worked out there but I also know that the body is a powerful tool and one that, with training and dedication, can do pretty amazing things. So although we do not have control over some of the big things life can hand us, like accidents, diseases, or in my case, cancer, we do have control over the little things that can add up to a lot. Being healthy is a combination of good choices, so try to make the right ones.

Now comes the second part of this wish. Happiness. Even more than the gift of health, I’ve learned the blessing that it is to feel true happiness. I’m lucky in the sense that I’ve always been a genuinely happy person; little things get me excited like winning $5 on a scratch ticket or having a 1D song come on the radio (yes, One Direction. I may be 25 but I will always get obsessive over boy bands.) So when there were days upon days that I honestly had to try hard to crack a smile, it felt off… it felt, not normal. Feeling happy doesn’t come naturally to everyone and it certainly comes and goes depending on the time and difficulty of your life at that moment. But what I have realized is that, above anything else, the power of your mind is a force that’s hard to be reckoned with— that staying positive and keeping an optimistic outlook will make all the difference, even at the worst of times. As I said, there were many days that it was extremely difficult to stay positive and felt nearly impossible to feel a sense of happiness. However, I was always able to close my eyes and remind myself that I am a strong woman, one that has been given many gifts in life and one that has an incredible support system. These things, no matter how terrible my day was, gave me a glimmer of happiness. Remind yourself of these things when you are feeling down— say out loud what you feel blessed to be or have in this life; it’ll make you feel better, even if just for a little bit. Happiness is something that is often taken for granted, I surely took it for granted before this past year. But what I’ve learned and hope to pass on to the people who read this, is to really enjoy the “ups” in life so you can show yourself compassion during the “downs.” Smile when a snowflake falls on your nose, sing out loud when your favorite song comes on, be grateful when you’re laughing with friends, close your eyes and really feel the sun beating on your face, and dance HARD whenever you damn well please.

C-r-e-a-t-e happy. C-h-o-o-s-e healthy.

XOXO,
Jessy

Photo on 1-5-15 at 6.15 PM #2

Can’t Sleep

I do some of my best writing at 4:30 in the morning…on steriods. And that’s what’s going on right now. It’s exactly 4:37am and my mind is racing and I can’t sleep. So instead of laying here in bed with my eyes open, I thought I’d write down how I’m feeling and what’s new.

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post, the frequency of the posts have slowed down in the past month and I know it. It’s not because I’m getting bored with my blog or anything of that sort but rather because I’m bored with my life right now. The past 3 weeks have consisted of not eating or making bland, “soft” meals, throwing up, napping, being curled up in pain, going to the doctors, watching tv, sleeping. Repeat. I’ve felt anything but inspirational. I’ve felt bad for myself quite honestly and that’s really it. I felt bad for myself that Mike and I had to cancel a trip to Newport this weekend that we had looked forward to nearly all summer due to my condition. I felt down for myself that I’ve felt so sad lately, it doesn’t feel like me. But as I sit here in bed in the wee morning of hours, I am thinking about everything good that has still happened over the past three weeks.
– I got to see two of my best friends, one from high school and one from college, that live in California and Florida and I very rarely get to see. It’s always rejuvenating to visit with friends, especially those you haven’t seen in quite some time.
– I got to spend time with my family and Mikes family. Both by the pool. Both with our little nuggets. And I’ve said if before but I’ll say it again, there’s no better cure than hanging out with children you love. They put a smile on your face no matter how crummy you may feel.
– I got to slow dance with Mike to Frank Sinatra.
– I got to dance crazily to “Shake It Out” by my girl T Swift with Mike (yes, there’s a lot of dancing in this house). Works for a good belly laugh every time.
– I have been reminded how strong I really am. I have learned how much my body can be put through and how I will bounce back and come out on top, even if it takes a while.
– I got to start back up on the chemo cocktail yesterday. Now this may not be traditional “fun” but being paused is a stressful feeling as you know it’s just pushing back the end goal. So I was thrilled to continue back on the march.
– I’ve learned that the guy sleeping quietly next to me (thank god, it’s a snore a lot of the time!) is the best thing that ever happened to me. That even at my lowest and grumpiest, he loves me unconditionally.

So for a crappy few weeks, there’s still a lot of good that has come out of it. And that’s important to remember, even at my lowest lows. Sometimes, I just have to write it out. I hope you all are having a wonderful and blessed week!

XOXOX,
Jessy

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Silver Linings BlogBook

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Mornings are hard. For a split second when I’m sleeping I forget where I am and then am reminded that I’m not home and this isn’t a dream I’ll be waking up from any time soon. Mornings also mean that there’s a full day ahead of me which can feel daunting. SO, this morning I wanted to remind myself of some of the good things that will come out of this not-so-good situation.

1. Connect with people— a true blessing has been receiving such an overwhelming amount of love and support from quite an array of people in the past two weeks. Obviously with those that I hold closest to my heart, but also connecting with people that I haven’t spoken with in years, people I am only acquaintances with, or people that I really don’t know at all but felt the urge to reach out and offer their kind words and support. It truly has shown me that people are innately goodand I am so lucky to be surrounded with the most amazing group of individuals I could ever ask for. This experience has already highlighted the importance of making a better effort in connecting with those that I love and appreciate– making the time to give a call to one of my many friends that are seemingly scattered around the country just to say hello, making the time to call catch up with someone important in my life that it’s been too long since we’ve last spoken, making the time to not get lost in the “routine” of life and put in a better effort to see my family and friends that live just an hour away in which I sometimes act like live across the country, making the time to say thank you and i love you to all those that make a difference in my life. So to all of you who are reading this blog and have connected with me in these past two weeks to offer me positive vibes and energy… thank you and i love you.

2. Try new things — I will have lots of new found “time on my hands” and while I know this will be tough road ahead physically, I really believe that the mental game is half the battle and the more active and stimulated I remain, the quicker the road to recovery will be. So there’s no better time than now to try new things and gain new “hobbies”– like BLOGGING! 🙂 or knitting, DIYing or painting. Creative outlets will be a nice change of pace and one that I’m excited about.

3. Become a famous chef-– If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably saw the outrage that I took to pinning recipes yesterday. The past few months, I’ve learned to really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes/foods. But as with most people, there’s not always enough time in the day to be slaving away in the kitchen trying all the recipes I want to discover. So lucky for me (and Mike!), I’ll be slumming around our Slomerville palace for quite some time and will have plenty of time to master this talent.

I see you Guy Fierri.

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4. Possibly get a pup — not sure if this one’s possible yet but I’ve wanted a frenchie for a long time now and there really hasn’t been a good time with my work schedule. So my wheels have already begun to spin that maybe this is God opening the door for me to have a little baby frenchie on board.

A girl can dream…

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5. Have a “summer vacation” — living in New England there is absolutely a “better” time to have chemo. And it’s called not winter. I feel lucky that I’m going to go through this just as winter is ending and the beautiful New England spring and summer are beginning. I felt sorry for myself last summer being locked up in an office building everyday during those warm weather days. And although this is not how I would’ve wished to get some extra days off, (I’d take winning the lotto instead), I’m excited to spend time soaking up more rays than I had anticipated and just enjoying being outdoors and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.

So with that said….dear 10 degree days in March– get the eff out of my way.

6. More time with my Eleni Bear – lets face it, there’s no better therapy than snuggling with my favorite little nugget. Literally nothing better. And I’ll have way more time to do that. So BOOM– win.

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I’m sure I’ll think of more later but those are some of the main things I’m looking forward to with my new change of pace.

XOXO,

Jessy