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On Being Squeezed.

"When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out - because that's what's inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside." - Wayne Dyer

Since moving to Vancouver, making friends with some of the healthiest health nuts and most experimental dietary-restrictionists  has created a shift in some of the ways I fuel my body. One of the additions to my diet that this prairie girl didn't see coming was juice. I'm talking REAL juice; the kind that slaps you in the face with its nutrient-packed punch and leaves you feeling like a pseudo-superhero. After being introduced to the world of Kale and other extreme leafy greens, my curiosity overrode my eight year-old equivalent palette and I dove in. Well, drank it in, let's say. And, perhaps shocking to this sugar-fiend, I liked it - a lot.

PIC GLORY COThe past three days have been a whole other exploration into the world of juicing. I did the unthinkable over the May 2-4 long weekend: I juice cleansed. (pause for disbelief for my friends who understand my affinity for a crisp cider on a patio in the sun when there's a longer than usual amount of time available to recover from one or two too many of said ciders).

Three days of Glory Juice Co. juices awaited my consumption - as did a whole lotta life cleansing.

Long and short, the three days passed with a strange sense of ease. The hunger pangs were much fewer than anticipated and the hanger (read: emotional outburst of frustration due to extreme hunger) reared its head only one time (I was alone - it was fine). What happened alongside of my body getting a real reset was a massive brain reset and a whole lotta life clarity.

It takes trying on new things—new ways of thinking, new routines, new anything really—for me to gain a more clear and focused understanding of myself. Leaping out of a career got me connected to my true creative side. Travelling made me wise up to my passion for connectivity and relationship. This new thing—the cleanse—not only got me more aware of what was going on in my physical body, but also stretched me mentally and 'squeezed' some thoughts out of my head and heart that had been covered up by some doubt. Three days of a focused committment to one kind of 'detoxifying' opened up a wealth of ideas and productivity I couldn't have imagined would occur. Oh, and I managed to FINALLY clean off my desk. #win.

I set some new goals, re-wrote some intentions that I had for this year and made some committments to myself that might just change up the game a bit. Now, whether said clarity is a product of the season or the fact that spending some solo time armed with a serious team of delicious detoxifying delights, I'm not sure. All I know is that my body and brain got a real kick-start this weekend and I'll be eagerly looking forward to the next time I hop on the juice-train for another sweet reset.

And, next time, I'll plan ahead and keep the cleansing to the weekdays.

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Because sharing is caring and everyone loves 'Top 5' lists, here's a couple for your perusal and pleasure...

TOP 5 THINGS TO ABSOLUTELY DO ON A JUICE CLEANSE

  1. Get Netflix.  Clear your calendar, pop Downtown Abbey (er.....House of Cards?) on and settle in for a weekend series marathon.
  2. Drink every ounce of water you possibly can. Yes, you will feel like a hot water bottle with liquids slooshing around in your gut - but at least you'll feel full.
  3. Catch up on all that sleep you always say you're going to. Because what else is there to do?
  4. Take at least one bottle/jar with you on all outings. Not only will it create conversation with complete strangers but your hands will be full when you consider picking up that bag of Power Cookies at Whole Foods.
  5. Inform (warn) your friends. Always talking about sold food and moving as slow as a sloth....if these things are not already part of your personality, they may shock some friends if/when you start embodying these behaviors.

TOP 5 TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS WHILE ON A JUICE CLEANSE

  1. Going to a lunch meeting with some sweet friends and watching them eat beautifully made stuffed portobello mushrooms.
  2. Babysitting on day 2. 
  3. Teaching your very first yoga class.
  4. Standing up really fast in a repeated pattern at the very first yoga class you're teaching.
  5. Making a dinner date with someone you really like and are just getting to know.

life lessons through getting bendy and salt-water fests.

Iceland was just a chip off the very top of a deep iceberg this past July. I went to the country of contradictions to explore  my roots and spend time on the mat. Reality: it was so much more. It was about connecting to a new community, to the people in the room and to our yoga practice through the elements. That brief experience was a catalyst for overdue reflection and is what sparked a phone call to register for another yoga experience - paralleled in 'why I'm going' intentions yet unmatched by any learning experience I've cannon-balled into to date. Yep, THAT big, that ripple-inducing. THAT good.

This time around it was Teacher Training with Ryan Leier at One Yoga for the People in Vancouver (no jet setting this time). With intentions of getting really good at handstands and discovering more about yoga philosophy, I was amazed to find how much I wound up learning from a most unexpected teacher - me. While I had some friends let me know the amount of reflection and 'you' work involved in the training process, I was brought me to my knees faster than you can say 'savasana'. Albeit an intense subject - facing your demons and all that business - the week was positively positive. Ultimately I walked away from the training feeling lighter, more mentally clear and with a sense of self that I haven't felt in ages. The waterworks were matched with laughter a'plenty and high quality dance parties at the end of some of the longest (read: sweatiest) days we worked through. The fun factor was high amidst the salt-water extravaganza.

Yes, my ability to feel my way into the poses increased as we explored the anatomy of a posture. And, while ten days sans vino plus gnarly two-to-three hour practices cleansed me on a physical level, I'm moreso keen to share the top three things that were greeting me head on as we navigated this yoga-wonderland.

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the  barriers within yourself that you have built against it." - Rumi

1. I have been on the search for love for a long time. what I haven't been doing in that process is searching for what I needed to do to love me first and to let any kind of love in. To be a giver is an altruistic role to play - until it's at the expense of one's health or happiness. Or until it's a deflection tactic from getting real with oneself and owning up to some serious work needing to be done. Time to bust down some barriers, Jess.

"Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice." - B.K.S. Iyengar.

2. Out with a disposable outlook - in with a sustainable one. Most importantly - a sustainable lifestyle. One that incorporates time for work, play, people, relationships, growth, groceries, shopping and sipping wine. With people I love. Oh, and phone calls, too.

"Practice Courage. Grow Roots. Get High. Truth Is. We Are One." - One Yoga creed.

3. I have alwasy connected to yoga for the physical benefits of the practice. Although it keeps me limber and tones me up, it's truly a tuning fork for my connection with myself and what I know to be true. What I learned this week is that yoga really is union - mind, body, self, others, higher beings. Whatever that means to each individual on their unique path.

More tales from the mat are to come....of this I am most positive. Oh, and keep your eyes out for this wandering yogi offering some commnity classes here and there as time wears on....

corduroy and plaid.

it's nothing short of laugh inducing when you catch yourself being a hypocrite. i've been in situations where others have caught me saying or doing something i said i wouldn't/shouldn't do (where humor has been my best friend in sluffing off any guilt that would be oh-so-natural to cling onto). and, it's those moments where something that was seemingly SUCH a big deal isn't so insurmountable - once the context is shifted. like plaid and corduroy pants.

falshback to spring 2012. my online dating heyday. a connection made between myself and a well-written (sometimes an online red flag -- sometimes not. it's a crap shoot) dude living in VanCity resulted in a planned coffee one evening. i was running late, so said dude arrived first. he let me know he was 'the one in the blue plaid shirt' - i high-fived myself for landing someone who was a plaid-advocate. so into the shop i venture to meet my potential-future-plaid-wearing-husband-to-be. i learned in the first moment i saw my date that 'plaid' has many meanings - and to some, gingham (short sleeved, collared button down to be exact) falls into that category. and, in those few moments that i sat down and took off my seasonal outerlayer, i put on my judgey-pants. then judged his pants (thick ribbed khaki corduroy) and shoes (aasics). outfit aside, the date wasn't the best match, so upon parting ways we had a (sufficiently awkward) hug and went off into the night.

flashforward to today - on granville island - getting in line for a warm bevvy and i notice a well dressed gentleman in line a couple people in front of me. and, what did i notice? yes. plaid and corduroy. and never for a minute did i question the pairing of THIS plaid and THESE cords (plus his shoes were a win - boots. real good). i did, however, stop and pause myself and remember the epic fail that i had labelled the previous outfit with - and how quick to judge i was and to make that kind hearted soul so very very wrong for his outfit choices. yeesh, jess.

so what i came to in that lineup today was that context sure can change a lot of things. without any weight to a situation or interaction, without fear of being judged on someone else's way of showing up, without having much of or any investment in the outcome of an expereince with or of someone, the things that we fear in ourselves to be judged for essentially slip away. we reflect what we judge in ourselves onto those we interact with. or, onto those we may have some invested relationship with. so, what if we could catch ourselves in those moments of 'oh my gosh...what is he wearing?' (for example) and let the judgements take a back seat? to give ourselves an extra dose of l-o-v-e for all those fears and silly insecurities so we can be with the person, and not their fashion faux-pas?

i'm trying it on - and might even throw on a solid plaid in the process. a gingham-plaid, even.

ferry tales: milk

BC ferries. me as a solo traveller. tales of all things awkward, embarrassing, and most of the time, straight up weird. all with a lession, a learning.....a moral. it was on my most recent crossing that i boarded with a conscious confidence that THIS would be the trip that the 'strange' would be mitigated, the stars would align and normalcy would grace my travels again.

how naieve.

i joked with a good friend who was driving onto the same boat that her claim to wearing a dirndl on the boat would be contributing to my ferry-saga -- which i quickly re-named 'ferry tales' (#punny, right?). after landing ourselves on a passenger deck and spending 93% of the ride gabbing away (and witnessing one of the BEST natural orca breaching displays we had ever seen before), we parted ways so i could haul my walk-on butt off the boat. feeling like i had abated the awkward with only a small buffer of time to wait through, i opened my book and dove in. and then, the tap on my shoulder.

i looked to my left, and down about a foot, and was greeted by the sunglassed face of what seemed to be a fourteen year old. he had sage word to share with me:

'i just wanted you to know....that you can call me milk. 'cause i'd do that body good' - milk

unfortunately, the shock of the exceptional delivery and over confidence took over and my usual ability to respond with my well sharpened and cunning wit completely failed me. i mumbled a 'oh <insert cuss here>. ok, thanks' and milk walked off to share the glory of his pick up line with his like-aged friends. to support my shock of what just happened i overheard one of his travel companions mutter a 'oh, buddy that's horrible' and, to comfort my embarrassment and create some assurance that i was not the only one that couldn't really believe that just happened, totally associated it to his knowing what his friend had just said to me. whether that's the true course of events or not, i'll hang onto that glimmer of hope that others saw that as lame as i did.

so, with all other ferry tales, i look to see what's there to be learned. and here, there's something about what it means to take some responsibility around the energy i put out into the universe. in joking about the weirdness that i regularly encounter, i'm focussing on that and attacting more of it to me. in lamenting over the boy with the mouse, the three hour crossings and the public breakups, i am bringing those situations to life and again, making them propagate. simply put, i'm letting a simple activity be weird by classifying it as weird. a change of perspective here could very well be overdue - with an outcome that i can't wait to share.

let it be noted: i also learned that regardless of generation, decade or otherwise, bad pickup lines live on. fourteen year olds will always think they are invincible and twenty somethings will stumble over their words. we're in this big, badass thing called life together and we're all going to experience some unique things. moral of this one is to be big and bold - you never know who might really like milk, you know?

when it hits you over the head.....

....you say 'what up, universe?' and take a long swig of the life lesson you're being served up.

'IT' in this case, is one of those life lessons that is 100% undeniably what one is meant to be hearing at a certain (and often shifting) point in life. in my experience, it looks like this

  • experience some kind of sticky bit in life that's giving you a case of the 'icks'
  • understand the root of the 'ick' and start looking to move through it and 'find the lesson'
  • hear the learning through a mentor, friend, family member, teacher, etc
  • hear the lesson again 
  • and again
  • and again
  • ..................and again

it's a cosmic universal reminder to listen. and listen good. because we attract what we are looking for - sometimes before we know what's needed. sneaky, that universe thing....

case and point: after making my life hard for myself for the past month or so, i had a particularly eye opening address from the universe at large as to what it means to be and 'do' you. and, how important it is to know what that 'me' really is - to be rooted in my 'why' so I remember what it is that i'm up to and why i choose the stuff that i do. it took one explosive phone call (sorry mum), a couch session, two magazine articles (thank you Lizzy Goodman and Zoe Pawlak) and a dose of reflecting on last years' blog to hear it. and, get it i do.

i just have to keep on being me - because that's what's gotten me where i am and keeps me on track for where i want to go. 'nuff said.

I am no special expert, I am only passionately curious. - Albert Einstein 

curious cat for life. 

xo jrob

tug at my heart strings, why don't ya?

i've caught myself as 'that girl' more than a handful of times in recent past. 'that girl', in this specific reference, is the one that coos over squishy baby faces, that loses her s**t when a dog (in my current language: a DOGGIE!!!) comes into my workplace, and that is moved to (near)tears when endearing, random acts of kindness really hit home.

yes, i'm a little blubbery ('weepy' isn't as funny of a word) these days.

i totally lost it when i drove past a man on a street corner having a moment with his, albeit TOTALLY amazing, Golden Doodle this evening. i saw this outward expression of full-on other-being and other-world l-o-v-e for that furry little beast and i couldn't tear my eyes away. so, as most people and relationship centric happenings make me do, i got to thinking.

open-ness to love is one thing. being 'ready' in life for another person to compliment the radness that you've already got going on is beautiful. being the outward expression of that? being vulnerable in what i love and want and need? not this chick. well, not until recently..i would say. 

being so in love, i mean SO in love with each of our 'me', our going after with passion those tummy flip inducing visions of our best lives, the people that make up your world and being 100% totally on for loving and loving big every beautiful thing in your life is bold. it's bold, big, beautiful and every other epic word not starting with a b. and, consequently, it's all about our BE-ing.

i'm totally cool with being into what i'm into and who i am. with liking knitting (and being pretty-not-bad-and-kinda good at it), with being a wordy beast who loves writing and storytelling, with being totally into green juice AND appreciating quality mikshakes - it's all wrapped into my me. what i'm so stoked for? sharing that. loving every moment that i get to share it. laughing. more. always. all the time. and then even more after that. 

i'm choosing to be love. to be laughter. and to be the best silliest expression of that. so yeah, when i get a dog, i'm going to be that girl on the corner totally in love with that smushy face. and i'll show someone driving by what it means to be and share love. 

now, to get into a pet friendly apartment...

an ode to online....the things you learn in the dating world

let it be known: i have been dating. online. THREE YEARS AGO, i would not have had the balls to tell anyone that - actually, i woudln't have even thought about putting my name and picture on any site anywhere for fear of someone seeing it and outing me as 'online' - a status that most definitely i was TERRIFIED of being associated with. TWO YEARS AGO, i more or less wore the 'i'm online, i'm rad, i'm gonna be findin' me a boyfriend right quick' tshirt and was quick to tell anyone how i was leaping into the dating pool - quick to share juuuuust in case they might, again, see me online and beat me to the punch of telling other people. again, blokcing mechanism. and, a loud one. ONE YEAR AGO, i had a lingering profile and was actively waiting for someone, anyone, to knock on my proverbial dating-door (ie: message me with a witty note that might spark an interest because, gosh knows, i was all to caught up in being 'busy' to take a stand for what i really wanted in a man and make a real effort to attract that....)

since then, you'll be relieved (maybe not as much as I am) to know that my outlook has shifted from the 'hell no!' to the 'hallelujah online!' to the 'meh' to a very healthy place - of curiosity, connection and confidence. most of the time. haha.

and so, in this seemingly life-long experience i have recently reflected on a couple things i have learned and feel compelled to share. because, there is a 'silver lining of learning' and opportunity for reflection around every date - even the ones where the sweet man wears corduroy pants and a Metallica t-shirt.

learning point #1. you get out what you put in. for every 'dang, still no messages', i could only look to how actively - or inactively - i was involving myself in the process. trend in the jess-life is when busy-ness gets the best of me,  my me-life gets the worst of me. the times i had the most fun on dates and met the most interesting people were the times i spent time being interested - and connecting with people that i was inspired by.  good reminder in how to be present to what i want and not auto-pilot my way through life.

learning point #2. i've got a good gut - and it's time to listen to it. that weird pitty feeling in my stomach when something doesn't sound right or something in a profile rubs me the wrong way? LISTEN to it. stop forcing a conversation if all signs point to 'run the other way - don't even stop at the front door to get your shoes!!' - and trust what i know and how i know i want to be engaged. #nuffsaid

learning point #3. life repeats itself, if you let it. goes hand in hand with trusting my gut. when i feel myself not being really 'me' to catch someone's attention - i need to stop. not only am i repeating a bad habit and trying to 'fit a mold' - i'm not valuing mine or their time - which ends up in one too many coffee dates (and normally it truly is just one) and a feeling of 'womp womp' upon departure. i'm moreso me in every interaction now than ever - and have to remember in every split-second-of-doubt to be me, in every moment. all ways, always.

i might be done with the online thing for now - and know that these wee lessons-on-life apply as much in the off-line-love-life - if not moreso. practice, practice, practice.....right?

#workinprogress.

the post that should be about resolutions, short term and long term goals and hitting the re-set button. well, it kind of is.....i guess

New year, new plans, resolutions, goals, intentions….and with 2013 giving me the sensory feeling of ‘bigness’ (what does this feel like, you wonder? It’s like the night before Christmas morning when you were 6(ish) waiting for THAT PRESENT that you wrote to the big guy about. Excitement, nervousness, a little bit like you might puke. And no, it’s not gas. I promise) I am stepping into this year feeling fresh, jazzed and inspired. With big, hairy a$$ goals. Without any trepidation. 2012 gave me the time and space to learn and understand a LOT about J-E-S-S - and, if there’s one thing that I learned from 2012 that I will have on mantra-repeat (yes, like ‘Call Me, Maybe’ was for the better half of the year) it’s this:

HEAD UP - HEART OUT

I’m taking on 2013 with awareness. All too many times in the past year I lost sight of who I was, where I was going and essentially every detail of my vision for what I wanted my life to look like – both in the present moment and looking into the ever-so-elusive future. I learned that being absorbed in the ‘doing’ didn’t allow me to keep on ‘being’. I learned that patience – mostly with myself – pays. I could list off the copious amounts of times that I functioned for others – and lost myself along the way. So, for 2013, I am looking those lessons in the eye and saying ‘thanks for the wild ride – and for giving me the guts to take on myself and dominate 2013’.

The heart out part – that’s a reminder to love. Sounds silly? Humor me….

To me, love is about appreciating every moment. With yourself, with others, with strangers. Awkward conversations, exciting first-time anything experiences, horrible happenings, tragedies. Remembering to give myself the love that I need – day to day, those things that make me my best Jess – creates the space to love others, be present in the moment with them, and to live a freakin’ fun, silliness infused, laugh inducing life FULL of l-o-v-e. And it starts with me.

I’m not done learning – and know I never will be. I excel in moments where I get to look at what is, sort out the why, question the how and build a new whatever. As much as this applies to processes behind making epic businesses function or running seamless, ‘wow!’ worthy events, it’s as relevant, if not more so, when I can turn those questions on myself and figure out something new about me (or revisit somewhere I have been before and see why I am in that conversation with myself…..again,…and again).

SO, here’s to 2012 – a year of ups, down, ins and outs, failures (a’plenty) and what-the-f***’s, and of course, lessons. And a toast to 2013 – it’s here – and it’s going to be a big flippin' year.

Another wild ride, guaranteed.

the mouse, a break up and some sushi

i have an impressive laundry list of epic tales that involve the BC Ferries. their monopoly on mass transportation to and from Vancouver Island requires my interacting with their services on the regular (all for you, momma robson) which, coincidently, has resulted in the most exceptionally strange, lengthy and sometimes straight up shocking circumstances to play out. one such crossing was this weekend and while my usual act would be to lament to an extent around the drama of it all, some recent lessons in being in the moment and scanning life's interactions for what i can learn from each and every moment encouraged my patience in each awkward second of the adventure. i have labelled it: the friday of tolerance.

it took sitting through an hour's wait at a bus loop (due to poor planning on my part), having a young dude's pet mouse (yes) placed on my shoulder while riding said bus to the ferry terminal, witnessing not one but two domestic disputes while aboard the boat'o'life-lessons (one resulted in a break up - talk about an uncomfortable car ride into the city!) AND coming to terms with my poorly made dinner selection of 'sushi garden' (read: uber slippery california rolls that ended up moreso on the floor than in my belly) for me to figure out what this trip really had in store for me...which was an opportunity to practice what i preach - and truly BE with that experience.  in being in the moment, i landed that tolerance is exactly what i needed - and ooooh child i needed it a lot.

a quick stop - pause to associate oneself with what is going on and how it is a reflection of the lessons most needed to be learned is a practice indeed.  it's a practice of being ok with needing to learn 0 which normally means acknowleding our vulnerability and imperfection.  it's life's sticky spots, the muddy bits, our failures, from which we learn the most about ourselves.  there's a blessing in the bogus-ness. self inquiry is a journey and a half - for real.

your current reality is nothing more than a complete reflection of the lessons you most need to learn - Robin Sharma

AND, may it be said, that lessons of tolerance do NOT require a confined space and a pet mouse. just saying.

wanna hang? write me a limerick

there once was a blondie named jess whose top-knots were seen as the best

she decided to date

limericks you must create

to get her attention it wasnt seen as a jest

 

ever challenged someone to something obscure that you didn't think they would do...and then they did it? and then more people took on the same challenge - only prompted by your 'do it now' sense of direction in your request? ( i could give SOOOOO much context here, however where would all the mystery be when my book comes out, down the line?)

i learned this week that if you are looking for someone to take a certain action, you have to put a stake in the ground for what you want to see happen. obscure, or not.  without a clear idea of what is wanted/needed/requested, there isn't a call to action - thus zero performance and no results.

make the ask - create the call - and watch the reults roll in

(and if they roll in shaped like a well formed poetic-project, all the better)

its time to choose

life's pretty good at throwing curve balls. curve balls that affect you directly and you swing like you're ready for them, but they duck past and leave you standing at home plate. sometimes its not even you that's at the mound. sometimes it's the people you love and respect the most - that you would rally behind to get a homerun - that are left standing. it's the times that my 'teammates' are left at home plate that i look to who i can be for them and how we can move forward together. and in those moments, i remember how my choice around how i live my day to day life is what can support me in making those moments, and every moment in life, count. i often ask myself: if i look back at today, can i say that i lived outside the box, chose my best life, stood for quality and left others feeling inspired?

because THAT is the goal. to leave a day to day legacy that impacts the people around me to be big...HUGE...and create their life, day to day. to choose themselves - make time for what is important, be with people that make them happy and shower themselves with L-O-V-E - so they can be their best self for those around them and propagate their greatness into the cells of everything and everyone around them and outward beyond that. outward to all humanity, even.

and, for people to know that if the day to day gets hard, if there are roadblocks, if things don't turn out 'the way they were planned', that they still have choice in the matter - that they can choose how they handle the sticky spots. grief is going to get at us. life is going to shift. and in it all, we get to be who we want to be. we choose. minute to minute.

we get to choose who we are for others. we get to choose how we want to handle our environment(s). we get to choose who we are for ourselves.

today, i'm choosing grace and faith in the face of an inexplicable happening. and that's today.

tomorrow will be tomorrow, and i will answer the question: what is it time to choose?

i'll ask you too - what's your moment to moment legacy? and, with that in mind, what is it time to choose?

i wandered...

and am less lost than ever before.

the experience that was wanderlust whistler over friday and saturday of this past weekend was profound - and namely from a 'i had no idea it was like THAT' standpoint.  my logistics/hospitality 'what's the experience' brain was going into overdrive wondering how the city of whistler/blackcomb was going to manage an onslaught of granola-crunching and mat-yielding hippies around the regular influx of weekend warriors that land in the village from thursdays to sundays. and, my vision of mass amounts of organic cotton and hula hoops was slightly satisfied, while my slight fear of an overpowering smell of patchouli (i just can't seem to make my senses appreciate the earthiness that is...) was negated as i began my weekend o'bendy-bliss and landed in a sea of stoked practitioners out to share the culture of yoga with everyone in the village.

biggest #mindmelting moments?

- janet stone 5 elements yoga at 8:00am in 9 degree (celsius) weather. i wore wool socks. was i cold? sure. did i appreciate the crap outta being able to practice in the mountains in the freshest of fresh air. you're dang skippy i did.

- susanne conrad bringing the legacy conversation to us lusty-wanderers.  thinking into the future and looking at what you want to live to see - a very personal conversation yet in sharing what we are committed to, we begin to create its' occurrence.

- kate northrup with bringing the spiritual side of finance to the table - and confirming that it IS spiritual to be rich. sharing 20k in credit card debt with your onlookers, and what it takes to shift your relationship with dolla-dolla bills? #vulnerability

- danielle laporte. i....words...jeebus. she's just...real. and every 'just do it' and 'shut up and write' - she MEANS it. its the white hot truth - 'nuff said.

- michael franti and seane corn leading a live music yoga jam in olympic square. there was shaking, there was jumping and there were some asanas. and it was goooooood.

- mike nichols and the awesomeness and awkwardness that ARE arm balances. put that ego aside and find comfort in your shaky spots. that's the juicy place to work.

i learned SO much from each and every session.  whether it was the incremental changes that i saw in my practice or the words and concepts that punched me in the forehead and are causing me into action, i am walking away in wonder, diving into my life full of passion and stepping forward knowing my vlaue and ready to take on each day, asana, challenge, sticky spot and opporutnity with my whole, complete self.

are YOU ready for it? (please say yes....)

adding it to my bucket list

i don't currently have a bucket list on paper.  i have an extensive array of things that i know i want to experience/create/meet (people)/own that flies around in my head every minute, however have not yet started the epically fun task of getting those bad boys down on paper to shout out to the world and request support in smashing some big time bucket items.  one such task, that i am now SO present to wanting to complete, is the following:

DRIVE THE LONG WAY FROM VANCOUVER TO CALGARY.

ON PURPOSE.

the long way? highway #3 - a periously twisty, most of the itme two-lane, often VERY uneven road that winds its way along the southern interior of BC through some of the most picturesque, quaint, and yes, at times startlingly ghost-like parts of the US-border region of our find province.

how this BLI ('Bucket List Item' - i shortened it - i LOVE acronyms) got added into the mix was the happenstance of a last minute road trip to Calgary coupled with the beauty we know as Mother Nature causing a massive mudslide that closed the Trans-Canada between Revelstoke and Golden (a large leg of the highway that was not reopened until about 36 hours after the slide).  I was determined to make it back to Calgary for the graduation of my sister-from-another-mister, and had to do it Wednesday afternoon/evening to be in Calgary on time.  What was planned on being a midnight arrival in Calgary turned into a 5:30am entry as i watched the sun come up over the prairies on Highway 22. Caffeine shock aside, i experienced a burning desire to be stopping in every small town, road side 'view point' and hilarious photo op, yet with my arrival deadline looming i blazed on through the night.

an amazing drive, a test of my road skills and driving endurance, and the catalyst for what will be one of the funnest and potentially longest commutes to Calgary from Vancouver via one of the most beautiful and giggle inducing stretches of road i have encountered.

some highlights i am looking forward to:

- Stopping at every oversized beach chair that advertises lake life in Osoyoos and taking a series of pics

- Pulling over in Keremos at the 'Fine Gifts' shop (oh yeah - souvenirs)

- Going to EVERY fruit stand in Summerland and getting the best of the best - stomach ache anticipated

- Hitting at LEAST 4 vineyards in the Osoyoos area for 'Quality Assurance' testing

- Going out of my way to get to Nelson for the AInsworth HotSprings and the Outer Clove (BEST restaurant)

- Playing 2 or 3 probably horrendous rounds of golf in the interior courses (hey, the scenerey will be great additions to the trips' photo album)

- Rolling through Fernie and checking out the hill - then going to the waterpark at the hotel that is on the highway for a quick spin on some MASSIVE slides (i'm still quite the kid at heart)

- Taking COPIOUS amounts of pictures at the World's Biggest Truck attraction in Sparwood (hopefully with Cait and Mike - back to your roots, Trouty!)

- Stopping in the Crowsnest Pass at the Frank Slide informational center - it's a sight to see, full of history and that eerie spookiness of a city under rubble - a full sensory experience

- Finding a dude ranch on highway 22 that would hook me up with a sweet dawn or dusk trail ride, complete with bonfire acoustic guitar session (country with a true twang...my heart palpitates)

- Stopping in Longview at the Longview Beef Jerky shop and taking pictures of the joint that i used to drive WAY outta my way to get my jerky fix at (no longer on the red meat train but  the memories are of salty, salty goodness)

- Stopping at the Boston Pizza in Okotoks to raise a glass to by late friend A-Con. 'Nuff said.

There is SO much to see and do along that drive, and as i rolled in and out of these beautiful spots, i felt a swell of provincial pride that made me grin with excitement, laugh out loud, and build this lovely little plan for a 'tourist in your own town' adventure (the laughing out loud may very well have been caused by delirium from exhaustion, but i digress...).  I cannot wait for the photo diary that will result from getting off the 'main road' and getting into the most lush and green, majestic mountained area that i have had the pleasure to experience.  AND i am sure that the people that i meet along the way will be as inspiring and impactful as the environment i find them in.

been hit over the head with a 'holy crap, i should come back here some day!' thorughout your travels?  SHARE!  finding unique, weird, awesome, beautiful, sketchy and any other descriptive adjective and meeting and greeting the people there is my passion - so hook me up with some wicked cool places and people to get to know! (please and thanks, of course!)

being me

i've written probably 5 blog posts that have ended up sitting in my 'drafts' folder that have not made it to publish - they haven't felt quite right so i haven't been able to finish them.  

i spent time in a couple wrong post-secondary courses/departments that i took because they were the 'right thing to do'. im an achiever, ok?

i pushed, have been pushed, and continue to push myself to be more, do more, and so on.

i have been beautiful, amazing, life changing places and have met wicked cool people who are up to massive things - inspiring global change, being frickin rockstars in their own right and honing very intricate skills, taking leaps of faith and living in total and complete wonderment.

and i have been learning, loving, scoping, sensing, tasting, trying on (and taking off) different ways of being along my path to.

and today, more so than ever before, for no reason other than it's an awesome Thursday evening, i am me.  and i am here, in this moment, in my own right. being my own me, because that is exactly what and who i am.

who am i? (great question - i was hoping you would ask)

- im an endless well of energy and exuberance - i find things that i love about every minute of the day, and wish there were more of those minutes to keep that flow.

- i try to be a lot of things for a lot of people and can forget about 'the jess'.

- i run, i spin, i yoga, i dance.  sometimes i gym and lift weights.  sometimes i sit on the couch.  i listen to what my body says - even if it mentions that it could use some Ben & Jerrys (especially then, actually)

- im fired up about people - my passion is to see what makes others come alive - and to help them unlock that when maybe they can only see so far or so much of the infintessimal offering that they bring to others - those are some gooooood moments.

- i love love, and i love sharing in love. simply put.

- i really hate capital letters.

- i love the service/hospitality industry and will build/design/create spaces that facilitate the kind of open human interaction that can get missed in a drive through society - exceptional experiences with engaging interation? yes please.

- i am out to shift the world.  to enroll and engage people.  to bring a voice to a cause, a person, a place or a thing that maybe doesn't have one, doesn't know it has one, or cannot seem to find it/theirs.  there is greatness to be unleashed all around us - and giving someone or something the space to drop the 'should' or the 'it's the right thing to do's is the blow-your-socks-off kind of lightbulb moment that will spark movements.

it begins now, with sharing.  there's more to say, write, scribble on napkins, boldy state on walls and much much more.  but this blurb - a flash at my inner most loved aspects of 'jess' and the places where i truly play to my strengths - whoa.  that stuff puts a 'holy heck' flip into my stomach.  and not from fear - but from HELL YEAH. thats going to happen.  because that is me.  this is me.  now.

connector provider.

connector comes first provider comes second

i thought i was going to defy the odds of the most recent self-assessment i took, and was somehow going to be a 'provider provider' - as, historically, those who know 'hospitality jess' and 'im trying to have everyone love me so my needs can come last'-jess, i have been known to over-persue the happiness and well-being of the masses and put the needs of yours truly on hold.  by no means am i attempting to justify or claim saint status, friends.  merely identify that many choices in the past have been in service of others' best interest and in the spirit of convenience for friends and family.  its been an ongoing battle with my own ego that i am, in fact, good enough, qualified enough and worth enough to make choices.  and, that i am ultimately responsible for the ones that i do make.  however, thats perhaps another entry.  thus, i digress.

StandOut is an  online assessment brought to you by the Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC).  curious about how you show up in groups?  what your leadership edge is?  ideal careers?  this assessment is all that and more.  and, in being one of a lucky group of Vancouverites involved with one special conference mid-october, i had the opportunity to hear the backstory in the creation of this tool as well as the outward application of the work and the test.  and i liked what i saw.

i have always idolized connectors, and wanted to be seen as one too.  people are my passion.  whether its simply meeting new friends, reconnecting with old acquaintances, experiencing new cultures - i eat up every opportunity to meet/greet/see/experience/indulge/etc  people, old and new, friends and strangers.  and everything in between.  i have never accredited that love of meeting folks as anything other than an interest in personal stories and experiences.  and hadn't considered that interest as being the catalyst for bulding any 'name banks' or potential networks to connect myself or others to.  until recently (yes, when the test told me that was where my leadership strength was).

i had an insightful walk home from work recently, and fully 'got' the differentiating factors between what my strengths assess and then how my leadership shows up - and how they are complimentary, but serve different groups (self vs others) but are both reflective of who i am.  interesting, no?

im a glutton for learning.  and processes like this that are uber applicable to day to day personal and professional situations get me jazzed.  not only about my results, but the results of others.  the connector in me cannot get enough of knowing the people around me and who i could potentially hook them up with to make magic happen.

got any cool learning tools i should know about?  comment! do it now........or now works too. hee hee.

xo j

sit with yourself.....in this girdle

i am learning the lesson of patience, sitting quietly, truly listening to my body, and healing. and what it means to wear a girdle.

albeit, my reasoning for wearing said piece of much-outdated garmentry (its a word) is of medical purpose, not fashion.  in support (pardon the pun) of a successful and efficient recovery from a recent hernia repair surgery, the girdle is proving to be a lesson in many, many aspects of what i have come to identify as a fast paced, uber active lifestyle.

i have been forced to slow down not only how fast i walk (walk with purpose, i always say.) but how fast i speak (tight girdle and reduced lung capacity - plus stitches in your abdomen make you really aware of how deep you are breathing).  two pieces of my day to day life that i never looked at as in need of slowing down, regardless of the number of times i have been asked to repeat myself as i tend to fly through sentances.  and in wearing the girdle, and in binding myself in that one sense, i am really learning much in regards to how i can be of the same impact and create my same influence by taking that longer, intentional breath, speaking from a calm and non-rushed placed, and in moving about my day to day with awareness (due to having a LOT more time to look around and take in who and what i am experiencing without rushing by with my head down).

i am learning to ask for and accept help. and in doing so, can recognize that i am not wrong for needing it.  it just is what it is.

i am becoming comfortable with recognizing that i am tired.  and listening to that, shutting the computer, and getting into bed is going to get be further in 4 to 6 weeks than pushing through and feeling worse later.

i m having great conversations with friends and family, near and far, and am really feeling the love.

the girdle and the slower pace are teaching me much.  appreciation for what a strong core does for a body, in SO many senses, the importance of nurturing myself and my relationships with important people in my life, and an appreciation for a culture and era that values body and shape diversity, and doesnt force women into PAINFUL pieces of boning-and-binding undergarments every day. :)

i'll be out of it soon enough, but will let the lessons sink further than skin and girdle-deep.

 

xo j

smell the roses, robson

i was given some feedback in the recent past that an opportunity that this person saw for me was to slow down, stop, and smell the roses.  take some time to look around,reconnect with the thigns about my immediate environment that i know and love, and stop throwing myself so far into tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.  being futuristic is one thing, worrying about the unknown is another! so, i slowed down, get reconnected and yes, spent time taking in the amazingness (it's a word) that is the Kits Beach area.  then, i made myself 'busy' again......and stopped looking. the whole concept of being happy in the moment and letting go of the need to know, the need to rush ahead, came to 100% grinding halt fruition this weekend.  on BC ferries.

i set myself up in a sunny patch on deck 7, the viewing deck, after walk-on boarding at the Tsawassen Terminal (and yes, I had been moving at a road runner's pace to get past all the tourists and get the 'best spot').  and, after settling in with my books, went straight into my studying without looking up....until the space started to fill and my space-monster started to feel threatened.

the deck was all of a sudden PACKED with people enjoying the sun, and moreso the view.  to me, it's open water, green foliage, and ridiculous houses speckled on the islands.  to the people experiencing it for the fist time, its something new, unique, and 'oh so west coast'.  i know my selfish 'this is my space' friend named Larry was cropping up, preventing me from experiencing the majesty of the crossing with these first-timers, and making them all wrong for being so excited about what they were seeing.  that is, until I more than just lifted my head to look around.  i took off the headphones, put away the books, moved out of the corner onto a bench, and ended up in conversation with a couple young families.

i love being on the water, in the water, and more or less just in the presence of something so seemingly calm but so obviously powerful.  I think the islands are beautfitul.  and I LOVE that the number of people who were so excited to experience the gloriousness that are the islands.  i just need to recognize that love that rings true to every day, every environment, and get my head ot of the proverbial books a little more often.

Jenny: get your head outta the books in TO and SEE the city.  Be there lady! CONGRATULATIONS and all the best in this new chapter of your life! YOU ROCK!

xo j

out of integrity, but honoring my word

a clearing:  my commitment was to blog once a day for the 31 days in august. my actions yesterday afernoon and evening placed me in the spot of deciding that I would 'just do it later'.

the result:  a later than planned evening at work, a short amount of time at home, and a later evening (early morning) home from a dear friend's birthday - all preamble to not completing a post for Friday, August 19, 2011.

sincere apologies.

however, i am honoring my word to the committment that i made, and recognize that in not blogging yesterday i am not wrong, bad, or accountable to anyone other than myself.  AND, see that if i had tried to blog in a flurry after work, or in a stupor following a cocktail infused evening, i would not have been standing for the quality of content that i would want associated with this challenge.  THUS,  a skip and a miss, but an opportunity to acknowledge that quality over quantity is of value to me!

i will stand for the challenge that i have taken on, and continue to write daily, but will be intentional in making time to sit down and think through the content. promise.

 

as such, i am going to log off.

as there is a caesar at Oyster calling my name.  hello Victoria, I have missed you. xo j

pick it up peeps

after spending a blissful evening in Whistler and a LOVELY morning to boot (the sun was out, the mountains were imposingly attractive, even the squirrels were chatter-singing this morning) for the last 24-odd hours, I was strickingly shocked at how clean, despite tourists and the Warrior Race pushing muddy, costumed athletes all over the mountain and through the town site, it stays up there is beauty-land. that pleasure and blissed out feeling carried me down the highway, back into the city and to work tonight. then i rode my bike home, through the crowds departing the final night of the fireworks, and also departing from their manners of keeping places they love clean.  I must have ridden past 10 or 15 garbage cans that patrons were piling garbage AROUND the bins.  not in or on top.

my encouragement, full handed friends with the need for a dispoal unit: hang tight (while I pull on some spandex pants!) and wait for the next available receptacle.  Is that empty coffee cup cramping your style THAT harshly? probably not,

 

just saying.

xo j