Go To Your Happy Place

Mike & I were both on vacation for the week of the Fourth so we went to our favorite beach, Jeness in NH one day. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Not a cloud in the blue sky, a slight breeze to keep comfortable and the sun shining in every essence. It shined on my body, my soul and my mind.

I needed a day of peace and sunshine. A day to listen to the waves and chatter of families and friends. I needed a day to rejuvenate my mind as lately I’ve been feeling like I’m running on empty. Small things have upset me, my feelings are easily hurt and I send myself into a state of sadness too often. Life is good. But I’ve been having a hard time remembering that lately. Too much time spent checking off “tasks” that seem important during the day but when I take a second to think about it, aren’t actually that significant. I haven’t given enough time to keeping my mind in a positive, healthy space and it shows thru my rollercoaster of emotions. It’s easy to forget, but keeping our minds healthy takes some time and effort.

The beach always helps me press the reset button, however. It helps me slow down and appreciate the beauty of the day and the life I’ve been given. It helps remind me of the respect I have for our great Mother Earth. It helps remind me of how grateful I am for having Mike in my life and how excited I am to marry him in 13 days (ahhh!!). And it also reminds me of little things in life that I’m grateful for too, like the fact that it’s a blessing that I live in a country where I have the right to go to the beach and swim in the waves in a bikini!! The beach is my place to help disconnect me from the “world” and in turn, it connects me so deeply to what’s important in my life and the real world that surrounds me. 

I hope that you take the time to go your happy place more often- to go wherever it is in the world that helps you reconnect to the important things in life. Because, taking the time is important.

Love & light,

Jessy 


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Give Me Summer

 On my way to work the past two mornings, I’ve taken my sunglasses off and almost stumbled into the road as I keep putting my face up and towards the sun. I need the warmth. I want the Vitamin D. It’s time to get outside, I’m ready for it.

Happy FRIYAY everyone. Hope you had a wonderful week and an amazing weekend.

Lots of love &a light, 

Jessy  

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

Creating Serenity for Yourself

taking time for you

During a relaxing hot bath, I began reading the first passage of “The Radiance Sutras” and it ended with:

“…exhaling, breath is released and flows out.

There is a pulse as it turns to flow in.

In that turn, you are empty.

Enter that emptiness as the source of all life.

Inhaling, breath flows in, filling, nourishing.

Just as it turns to flow out,

There is a flash of pure joy —

Life is renewed.”

 

What better time for me to symbolically renew my life than now? So I breathed in deeply and exhaled, underwater. I was completely submerged and it felt so exhilarating. I love being in the water– even if it’s just a bath, I find it so cleanings. It makes my heart warm, the water gives me a flushing feeling like I’m really alive. Right now, you’re one of the one of hte most important elements– water. I dunked myself 3 times, for no specific reason other than it felt good. I got water up my nose and that was clearly an issue. So I sat up, swayed my head side to side to get out any left over cricks and sucked down the cold water that sat beside me.

What started as a relaxing nighttime bath, turned into something that left me renewed and refreshsed to start this new week and also start on the new beginning that began last week.

Same journey, different path.

Enjoy the little things in life– make simple gestures to honor yourself and your life.

Lots of love & light,

Jessy

p.s. wanted to show my beautiful oil burner– it’s one of my favorite purchases in the past year!

oil burner

 

The Hike

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend two days doing one thing and one thing only– taking time for me. I spent my 27th birthday weekend at a yoga/health & wellness facility in Lenox, MA where I did a lot of different activities but one that I did over and over again was write in my journal. I took it just about everywhere and wrote down whatever popped into my head. A lot of good stuff came out– stuff that means something to me and stuff that I want to share here on my blog. So tonight I’m starting where I ended. This is my story of my hike in the Berkshires. 

mountains

The Ascent 

After a gentle yoga/Qi Quong class followed by an aromatherapy massage, I packed my car and got ready for my last little adventure — a guided hike. As I waited for the group to arrive and assemble, I began to feel like this wasn’t right for me. This is my trip— a time to be with my own thoughts and feelings and memories. I didn’t want to make small chat or slow down or speed up for anyone. I wanted this to be my last adventure at my own pace, with my music, my ability to stop and rest, take pictures, write and simply enjoy mother nature and all her goodness. So I grabbed a map of the trails surrounding Kripalu and chose to go to Monks Pond. I’ve been meditating like a modern day Monk all weekend and any option that puts me near water is a good one. So on my way I went. The trail has been really muddy as it’s 45 degrees in February. I feel so grateful as I only have yoga pants on, a long sleeve fleece and sunnies. I can breathe in crisp air but it’s not a stabbing that can come with deep winter colds. As I approach the pond, there looks to be an abandoned little shed and broken dock. But the water has frozen to a shimmery, star-dust blue— it’s breath taking. The sun is shining off and illuminating this frozen but alive body of water.

I look to my left and there’s a stunning stream that I can now see that runs all the way down the path I just marched up. Lucky for me, I’m all alone and no one is around so I’ve sat on a ledge next to the flowing water and am angled directly in the sunlight through the trees. The moving water is so calming and reinforces the fact that life goes on. It hits rocks, splashes up and down, freezes into sculptures at some places and runs wildly down others, crashes upon rocks and creates wade pools in others. But the water, this stream, it all continues to run together in a form that’s one. Each droplet of water essentially going to the same place— a bigger, greater, calmer body of water that is all one. I sit here on this rock and think about the stream I have gone down, all the water droplets that have given me the current I needed to keep flowing on. I feel as if I’m rounding the bend with this vast beautiful body of water that will await for me now in my current life but acts as just a foreshadow of the beautiful, completely blissful, full of love body of water that waits me, and all of us, one day.

For February 28, 2016, I can smell the new body of water coming… I can sense the sunshine beaming and I can feel the love all around me.

The Descent

Just as I sat there taking deep breaths and thinking calm and loving thoughts as the stream bubbled beside me, I slowly stood and decided it was time to head back. Almost instantaneously, I got excited— I got borderline panicky— like I needed to get back NOW. I knew that I had made it to where I wanted to go and now I was ready to come home. So I started picking up my pace— jogging, skipping, jumping over mud puddles but realized shortly that I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going. I was on a path— that was for sure— but I was alone, and I didn’t know which direction I was headed. All I knew was that I was walking and I was simply looking for the blue marks on the trees to tell me “it’s this way” “stay on the path.” Immediately, Dr. D and Dr. Mandy came into my head — the whole journey, I’ve been on a path, somewhat blindly putting my full trust into their guidance— sometimes no questions asked, simply looking toward the blue marker to say “go this way” or “turn down here.” Amidst this excitement, I began to skip again. More than anything I wanted to see the clearing. But I couldn’t. Not paying attention, I slipped and fell on ice and I could briefly hear my Dad say “slow it down Jess.” Then my favorite Florence & the Machine song came on — The Dog Days Are Over. That’s it! I thought. This is it— so I literally started dancing my way down the path with my gut knowing that I was coming to a clearing. I was right. But it was the same frozen Monks Pond I had started my “descent” on. 

Keep going— I could hear my mom say, “it’s just a little bit father.”

So I did just that and marched and marched, continuing on the path looking for all signs that pointed me “home” With two very muddy pink sneakers and a damp bum from falling, I made it to the Kripalu camp. Rested right above the hill overlooking the beautiful Berkshire mountains, the sun was just beginning to set. There were cars and people and buildings. Life is just like it was when I went into those woods, but I have a completely different perspective on the same view. 

I’m glad I didn’t go with the hiking guide and group. I needed to do this on my own. I needed to walk the path, stumble, get excited, get let down, and come to the beautiful clearing that I had hoped for, knowing that every ray of sunshine that beat down on my face was a family member reminding me they were here for me— every trail marker, a nurse or doctor letting me know I was doing okay — every breeze that tickled my face and made me laugh, a friend showing their support —  and the horizon at the end, my Michael, my love, I look at those mountains and see so many adventures to be had and memories to be made.

Today is February 28, 2016.

I am here.

I am now.

I am grateful.

I am proud.

I am hopeful.”

selfie with mountains

Lots of love and 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