Category Archives: self-help

Pop Song

My POP Song Dilemma

I know I have my opinions about music, but there is one thing about pop music in the present moment that drives me batty- the lyrics.  And how fitting, to see this recent “Taylor Swift feminist doppledanger” created by Clara Beyer, a rising senior at Brown University, in the news creating more empowering lyrics for Swift’s music!  After living much of my life in a co-dependent fog I can’t help but notice how often lyrics are very reflective of a co-dependent state of mind, feeding a monster within our society that says “I need you” under the guise of love.  Between the neediness and the victim mentality I seem to find myself plugging in my mp3 player almost immediately upon entering my vehicle  or being that really annoying person that keeps changing stations with the hope that something listenable will magically start playing.

The ignorant mind thrives on lyrics like “This is the part of me, That you’re never gonna ever take away from me” from Katy Perry in her song Part of Me.  I mean, no one can ever take a part of you away without your general consent- hence the continuous victim droning that plays over and over again on the radio.  Most of the listeners of Katy Perry are young girls that are buying into this fake sort of empowerment, rather than learning that relationships are not about compromising your integrity to have someone in your life.

Self-Esteem_Cartoon_Streeter

In reflecting, it is difficult for me to know that other girls really believe this stuff and continue to act it out because I used to do the same thing, and it caused me a  lot of suffering.  Not everyone has the tools to walk out of the fog of these types of limiting perceptions, and they continue to teach them to their own children, hence the cycle continues.  My meditation teacher taught me that the greatest way to help the world was to meditate on my own inner peace.  I am so grateful every day for what he taught me, and will continue to work to help all by working on the healing of my very own heart.

There is this great scene in Sex in the City, the first film, where Carrie is reading Cinderella to her goddaughter and she pauses at the end to make sure the little one understands that life does not always turn out that way.  The little girl naively shouts for her to read it again.  Carrie ends the scene with “Another one bites the dust.”  It’s funny, because it is true.

Lessons learned out of my pop song dilemma:

  • Perceptions that thrive on “me versus you” are rooted in the ignorant mind.
  • I am accountable for me and how I perceive the world- no one else.
  • I always have a choice to either accept someone else’s feelings or indulge in being a victim of their feelings.
  • My self-perceptions will always reflect in the way a relationship is unfolding- the more I shift my self-perceptions into purposeful perceptions, the more my relationships will reflect these perceptions rooted in empowerment and joy.

“LET’S ROCK BIG LOVE!”™  Jessica

That’s All Happiness Is…

It’s just the heart being free.

About 4 years ago I saw the above music video made for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, also a spoken word artist, poet and marathon runner.  The video and poem blew me away and I knew I would never be able to get it out of my head.  Which is funny, because it is all about being in your head.  I love this video because it incorporates something very relatable to me.  Some of my attachment in this life has to do with electronic music, and combining music with imagery and profound words really gets my heart going.  I feel joy, joy, joy!  What can I say?

I love this poem by Rinpoche because it expresses the passion I have in my heart to explore perception also in a relatable way.  In the end of the video he says:

When you’re happy, I’m happy.
That’s the formula.
First you, then me.
That’s all happiness is…
It’s just the heart being free.

The ignorant mind’s primary sense of being comes from the idea that it’s just “me”.  It strives to prove every day that we are separate from one another through habitual thinking.  But when you decide to train your mind to think outside of itself, and see that everyone’s experience around us is our experience then happiness becomes abundant.  When we see happiness in others, it grows within us.  Envision a garden that thrives in the joy of others- that is our heart.

I remember coming home one night from a dinner stopping at an intersection with a homeless man holding a sign in need of assistance.  It was probably 30 degrees outside and 8:30 pm. I had nothing but a $20 bill, so I decided to just give it to him.  All I could do was cry with joy on my way home because he felt so happy.  Doing things for others changes our self-perception from being all about me, to being all about us.  This is the development of purposeful perception, and another opportunity to love from the heart.

Please share this video with others if you feel inspired by it too.

“Let’s Rock Big Love!”  Jessica

Weekly Writing Challenge: Carry Me to the Stars

This is a poem and photo story displaying my heart’s connection with the perception expressed in the poem- connecting the words with pictures I have taken on my journey to a more purposeful perception daily in my life.  The journey is important, as it is part of reflecting where our perceptions have come from.  I urge you to reflect in your heart where your most limiting self perceptions play out in your life regularly and share in this blog.  Remember to scroll down and click through each page!

Remembering feelings sparked by a note
A sound, so sweet and subtle
Only your heart knows it is there
Giving rise to feelings light
You forget what is weighing you down

IMG_1082The ignorant mind trailing behind you like a predator
Wondering why you are not paying attention
In its small, small world
A perspective limited and stuck without motion

025 (2)Yet my heart- tugging me forward like a child
I shall follow, carry me into this knowing
Remind me of what it is to be
So light and airy- remind me of love’s truth

076A truth so full it explodes in the sky before me
Yet it continues to be, forever full.

WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT?

Does your mind ever feel like this? Picture by Katie Lee found on VisualizeUS at http://vi.sualize.us/by_katie_lee_photography_balloons_inspiration_beautiful_picture_5zqt.html
Does your mind ever feel like this? Picture by Katie Lee found on VisualizeUS

A long time ago during my partying days, a group of my friends and I loved to rock out to the electronica song “Where’s you’re head at?” by Basement Jaxx.  I remember dancing on the rooftop of my friends’ enormous shared house on California Street in Washington DC during the summer when the low air quality fog hung over the city as the sun would try to peak through making it more amplified-  and soon, you could always count on that song.  Why am I rambling about this song?  Because I realize how this song has revisited me in a new era of my life, where I am always reflecting on just that- where is my head at?

It is a perfect question at a perfect time where half of what I am reflecting on is perception and mind.  In breaking down perception, the basis for my upcoming book, reflecting on your state of mind and how you are about to react to something is a valuable tool for living a life that is authentic and uncompromising.  What I do realize is that most of the time we are completely unaware of where our head is at- tethered like a balloon full of helium just bobbing along and carried off by any slight wind.

Just recently I orchestrated a large event and made a mistake that really upset someone.  When the victim of my own confused and overwhelmed mind confronted me about it, she expressed with great emotion her unhappiness.  I felt terrible and could not get the moment out of my mind.  I had a running tape of it secured tightly, rolling over and over again.  I relived my own feelings of shame and guilt without end.

When I went to bed that night, I had to acknowledge a few things in order to let it go.

1- Forgiveness of Self- I made a mistake, but running a tape of the incident over and over again in my head was completely unproductive and would give me nothing but more negative “feelings.”

2- Acceptance & Boundaries- I said I was sorry, over and over again, but she chose to still be extremely upset.  It is her choice alone.  There is nothing I could do to change how she felt.  This is a good boundary- that everyone is responsible for their own choices, and that includes in how they react.  My only role would be acceptance, and staying in my integrity.

3- Release & Heal- In accepting and creating a good boundary, the one thing I did have the power to do was envision this other person engaged in feelings of love and happiness.  I bathed the situation in love, and let it go.  Even in our boundary setting, which is primarily a function of the ego-driven mind, I can also recognize that we are inherently connected in spirit, and sending love and envisioning the situation transformed, it will help heal no matter what my mind tells me.

I acknowledge I still feel a little shame.  And I shall need to work on that, continuing with the above process.  But most importantly, I also have the opportunity to practice the new perception in my life that is at the core of my past experiences with situations like this one-

I AM LOVABLE.

Even though I made a mistake as we all do, or else what is the purpose of this life, I am not unlovable, as I might have acted out in the past.  But due to awareness, and processing my old perception of self, I can now come out of situations like that empowered with the knowledge of exactly where my head is at.  Time to groove on!

Daily Prompt: Toot Your Horn / The Complement Man

reflections of lonely reeds in water
How am I reflecting your light today?

As a life coach and someone who helps people learn how to give themselves pats on the back for making headway in personal work, I was delighted to see the daily writing prompt today.  On the other hand, I am one of those typical ironic people that also feels like I am being inappropriate for maybe “tooting my own horn.”  I recall a moment in my own personal history where a great uncle figure in my family was bathing me in complements while visiting my childhood home in Virginia.  It was during a time in my life where I was just developing as a girl and felt extremely insecure about being pretty enough or accepted into social groups at school.  As I was basking in the light of these complements my uncle’s wife said to him that she felt like he had said enough and that I didn’t look that pretty.

Talk about a plane taking a nose dive?  Crash and burn.

It is funny to me now on one level.  I can watch the scene like an outsider and laugh at it like a film pointing out the hilarity of the obvious situation my ego was engaged in.  I have found in life that giving complements to others in a way does toot my own horn.  It gives cause to feeling the inherent love that exists in my heart because I am recognizing it in others.  I feel grateful because I can step back and say- this person is so kind, how can I bring more kindness into my life and interaction with others.  I recommend to everyone out there that when you see light in another person, reflect back and know that you could not see that beauty unless you had first recognized it in yourself.  It is the magic trick of life- that mirror reflecting back to you your truth over and over again.

When I lived in DC, there was this guy that would hang out at the top of Dupont Circle and give praise to people as they strolled by.  It was his way of earning a living.  He called himself the “Complement Man”.  Even though it sounds funny- everyone loved him.  He made a conscious decision that if he was going to ask people for money to help him in life, he was going to do something for it- so why not divvy out relevant complements to people?  I say “three cheers!” to that.  How can you also complement yourself today?  How can you be the “Complement Man” (or woman) in your own life or someone else”s life?

DAILY PROMPT: Confessions of a Co-dependent: Me, Myself & My Helplessness

loveyourselfchallenge_tumblrLooking back, living life as a co-dependent was like a personal hell that I would re-create through relationships for myself over and over again.  I started to feel like Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day only I didn’t feel like an omnipotent “God” with the advantage of no-calorie pastries, I felt helpless and cursed.  I lived my life like an addict, only I was addicted to being needed by others and when I was rejected I didn’t know where to turn.  Usually I would turn, but I would just turn in circles like an out of control top who could not tolerate the pain any longer.

Many addicts talk about when they “hit bottom” and my hitting bottom was definitely not something to write home about.  As for many, it was one of those experiences that has come back to haunt me in my own “hall of shame” many a time.  Understanding co-dependency is very difficult and frustrating for outsiders.  We can see certain patterns in people, but it can be trying and difficult to understand why they keep going back to that place of helplessness and loneliness whenever a relationship ends.  And why they choose partners that may seem dysfunctional or simply “wrong” for them.

For me, I had deeply ingrained worthiness issues, and I chose people that would prove to me my own personal belief system- that I did not deserve a healthy, thriving relationship that fed my soul on all levels, and that had good boundaries.  My lack of boundaries always set me up to fail because I compromised what felt right for me all the time due to my fear of conflict.  It would build up until I myself could not handle the situation any longer.  But if a breakup came out of left field, it felt like deep abandonment and I had no healthy coping mechanisms to help me get out of my personally fated riptide.

My rock bottom was not the end of my conflict, but it brought a turning point for me in my psyche that I had to take notice of.  I was young and already felt tired of having to go through the motions of life.  I was confronted with a break up that to me came out of left field.  I was a year out of college, and still very co-dependent.  When the break-up happened, I felt amazed at how people can make decisions for you and there was nothing you could do about it.  But mostly, I felt downtrodden and so helpless that life simply didn’t matter anymore.  There was a crack of light from my soul trying to expand itself into my ego-centered vision, but I was refusing to see it.

One night after going out with some friends and drinking I walked into my dark bedroom as if I was walking into a prison cell.   I looked out my window and saw the street lamp’s light, and the beautiful leaves from the trees rustling so peacefully.  In my heart, I wanted to be those leaves and not myself.  I was truly sick of my ego’s helplessness.  I then swallowed a bottle of pills.  Before going to the hospital, I simply remember this one thought- “why doesn’t anyone love me.”  What I had to learn is that my own personal love for myself and the divinity that coursed through my veins was undeveloped, and it was time to move forward.  And you know what? I am grateful every day for the grace and karma that I had to take life back by the reins from that experience and remember my truth rather than reject it so I could hold onto a belief system about myself that my ego used every day to create more separation.  The great divide within myself had to heal, as it does within all of us.  And I look forward to doing this with others for the rest of my life.