An Ode to October.

I awake in the pitch dark and it’s there to greet me. I get a tight coolness in my chest and throat that radiates down to warmth into my chest. A heavy rock in my gut. Warmth spreads outwards across my chest and up to my throat and to my tongue. I feel like it takes effort to get oxygen to my brain, but it’s more effort to try and breath deep. The feeling comes before any thoughts. And I instinctively search desperately for a reason. Ah there it is. This morning the anxiety is a reminder of my insolence. I have not been as productive as I wanted this week. Mostly due to the tired haze this feeling has put me in. It becomes heavier. I push away the self-depreciating thought and I continue my mental search for physical reasons to why this happens to me every October.

The beginning of the month is hot. The leaves are changing and we are dancing around happily in tank tops, scarves and boots. Every year we are amazed at how mild it is and wonder if this Halloween will be warmer than the last. Then quickly, within a few days the weather changes. It begins to rain and with the sun behind the clouds it gets cold and then the darkness comes. I’ve caught onto this in the last few years and no longer wonder in awe at the beautiful warmth of the early fall season.

“Enjoy it! It’s going to get dark and start raining and it won’t stop till February.” I prepare others for it. Consciously, making myself aware as well.

I learn from my mistakes and won’t be tricked by October’s luring acrobats of deception. October has notoriously been a shitty month for me. In the past it was money that caused me the most grief. October was when my insurance ran out on my beat up old car. (Which always had problems passing Air Care.) It was the beginning of my three month gift giving season, beginning with my son’s birthday, a week later, Halloween, a week after that my birthday, then my daughters, then my dad’s, then Christmas. Fortunately, as chaotic as the next three months are about to be, the stress of money is not really all that prevalent. So, is the emotional upheaval I experience every year just the anxiety of the past Octobers haunting me now? I do not believe so.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing the physical repercussions of the month. I know there’s others like me who are feeling “off” and “edgy”. What is it about this month that wreaks havoc on us? Is it just us on the west coast? Is it the sudden change in weather? The insistent darkness that Daylight Savings Times is supposed to save us from? Maybe some of us just aren’t meant to live in constant darkness. Our animal instincts are not so supressed. Maybe October is our signal that we are meant to be elsewhere. The same as it is for the geese that scream above my head every morning. Reminding me “Hey! It’s time! We’re going south! Let’s go!” Or maybe I’m meant to just fatten up and sleep throughout the winter. Both options I’m okay with.

Whatever the case may be, trying to figure it all out just makes my October anxiety worse. So, this month I’m just trying to ride it out.

“It’s just a feeling.” I remind myself to get my mind to stop going through my file cabinet of screw ups.

I crave comfort. A soft stroke on the face, an arm around me, an understanding smile. I should just quit beating myself up over eating hot dogs and chocolate milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I just got to get through this. Whatever brings me peace I should allow. I feel the sensation of the anxiety and where it is in my body. I analyze it like a specimen, making notes of what I do that makes it go away for even seconds. The present moment seems to be the infinite answer for all things and in this case, it brings me relief. But being present constantly is near impossible for me. And it turns into a “Now now now now now” mantra and I have to do something else.

Positive emotions and feelings arise and I’m surprised by them. I don’t know where they are coming from. Images that create them are fleeting and the feelings are faint. They feel ancient and pure. Like a childhood memory unscathed by realistic views.  They are fragile and I cradle them gently afraid that even my breath will scare them off. Everything seems like an effort. Even holding onto ancient positive emotions.

I don’t want to do anything, but I want to do something. As frustration arises, I recognize it and leave the task at hand and find something else for the moment. I’m agonizingly aware of every feeling in my body. Minor irritations are like pin pricks and create a ball of rage in me that is unusually annoying. “OH just stop it, Jessica! ” I attempt to rise above them, to put it all in perspective and to just allow the feelings to wash over me leaving potential victims unscathed.

“What is this monster I’m becoming?”

I have begun to find humor in the dramatics of my inner dialogue. My goodness, the foulness I could spew if I were that person. I applaud myself for my creative use of the English language and curse words. I am now embracing the drama. Allowing it to move my body in a pouting, overtired toddler manner. “Meh!” I whine. And drink my wine. Cross legged on the floor out of a mug.

I gasped in horror at my reflection the other day. Standing there with unwashed hair, hot dog in hand, ketchup dripped on my faded “Buff Yourself” t-shirt. “Dear God, woman! Get yourself together!” I said to myself in disgust and I apply mascara. “There ya go!” And I sit back to down amongst the old tissues and dishes and immerse myself in the self-made drama of The Sims.

Distraction has become my weapon against this foul beast of a month. Distraction and life’s simple pleasures. There is no fighting what is inevitable. The days are going to be dark, the rain is going to fall and my birthday will happen. Until, I can fly away every October with the geese to get away from it all, I am going to spend my early October days wearing my boots and scarf, basking in the sun happily and fully aware that come Halloween I’ll be lying on the floor in front of the fireplace wearing an old t-shirt and sweats, eating hot dogs, drinking chocolate milk and chanting, “November is coming.” Hoping that the placebo will take effect.

October Blues

Ding! Level 39!

 

In the game of life yesterday I hit level 39.  Some little souls won’t ever have the opportunity to play at this level and that’s why today November 7th, I’m participating in Extra Life.  The 24 hour gaming marathon that is raising money to go to Children Miracle Networks throughout North America.  I am the leader of team #BuffYourself and we are playing for our chosen Children’s hospital. The hospital that I’m playing for is BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.  Please help me reach my personal goal of $200 by donating.  Each $5 donation will be put in a draw for some Legend of Zelda themed Buff Beads. *Drawing to be held Sunday, November 8th at 10 pm pst.

You can watch us play a random assortment of games throughout the day and night here on Twitch.

Thank you all so much for the love and support that I have felt throughout level 38!  I’m so excited to begin level 39 with such a fantastic bang! Much much love!

 

 

Mantra of Nature

I was lying on the overlook at our villa in the middle of the Maui jungle, just listening (as I had been instructed to do) and I heard what I thought sounded like someone meditating and humming a mantra. As I laid there taking in the soothing sounds, feeling the warms breeze on my skin and smelling the sweet air, the mantra moved closer. I realized that it wasn’t the sounds of a happy meditator, but that of a giant bumble bee.

It struck me curious of how joyful it sounded and I thought, of course it is! Look that the never ended abundance it has here in the Hawaiian jungle. What worries and concerns does it have in the moment? And what if all the sounds of nature were actually mantra’s of praise and gratitude?

So, as the passing of the sun turned the jungle into a noisy terrifying dark mass, I listened.  The chirping of the geckos (so many bugs to eat!), the buzzing of the swarms of termites (found the light in our room!),  the croak of the thousands of frogs all around us that just wanted to be our friend and then of course that one noise none of us could pinpoint what it really was.  All the work of nature and all embracing the moment and singing their mantra of praise and gratitude for all that they had.

 

The Love of Wayne Dyer

Choose to see death as simply removing a garment or moving from one room to another…It’s merely a transition. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

“Darling, I think we’re Taoists.” David texted me 6 months ago.  I scoffed and wondered if he really knew me at all.

“Sweetheart, you know as soon as we put labels on ourselves what happens.” I texted back.  Refusing to have any part of it.

3 days later…

“Omg David!  I think we are Taoists!”  I had just watched an hour long YouTube video where Wayne Dyer talks to Oprah about living in accordance of The Tao for a year while he wrote “Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life.”

For the last 6 months I studied everything of Dr. Dyer’s that I could get my hands on. I watched and listened to hundreds of hours worth of lectures, interviews and audio books. I started my day with him in my ear teaching me how to “do the Tao now.”  His message of kindness and love is always the same, yet I would not be exaggerating if I told you I hear and take something new from his words everyday.

So, like thousands of other, I was devastated by the news of his death.

I was surprised to see David home from work Monday morning. “I have two pieces of bad news. Both do not directly effect us, but you will be sad.”

“Alright.”

“Wes Craven died…”

“Oh that’s too bad.” I said with an air of compassion booting up my computer.

“And so did Wayne Dyer.”

I stared blankly at him trying to remember how I knew the name.

For some reason it was not registering with me that the one I called my teacher and learned from daily could be dead. It made no sense.

I scrambled in tears to the arms of my community where I found countless others who had woken up to the same news.

Waves of grief filled my feeds.  I was amazed at how many of my teachers were also students of Wayne’s and it comforted me to know that we all shared in this great sorrow.

Like countless others I felt like he knew me personally, that he was my friend and cared about me.

What an amazing gift he had, to be able to fill himself up with so much love that it was felt through his words by millions of people.

What a blessing to be one of those millions.

Wayne’s death was a shock.  He was the epitome of health. He successfully beat Leukemia, ate a healthy diet, did hot yoga every morning and yet he was gone.

We were all brought together by this though, weren’t we?  Our community in the millions has always shared our stories and Wayne’s quotes within the confines of our social media, but in the last few days mainstream media has been inundated with his messages of love, compassion and kindness.  How many more lives has Wayne touched just by his body’s passing? And how many more lives will be changed in the years to come?

We can be vessels of this message just by being kind to everyone we come across.  I don’t just mean please and thank you’s, but by genuinely going about to make the day brighter for everyone we come across.  Out of five people we are kind to if just one of them went on to show kindness to five more people, we are making a difference. I’m not going to try and impress you with my math, but if thousands of us do that daily, I think the odds are that we are on our way to bettering the planet.

Love is always around us. It doesn’t come and go from the universe,  it’s just brought to form.  It’s up to us to see, feel and to use this love.  Even the smallest act of kindness is an act of love. Once you see it that way you will see that love is everywhere.  You will see how easy it is to show love to others and to yourself.  Don’t see it as giving love, because sometimes that feels like you’re taking from yourself, instead see love as being everywhere and use it.

Dr. Dyer is not gone. I can still feel his love in his words and I can see the kindness in his eyes. His message will continue to touch lives in generations to come through his books and videos and through those of us who continue to share the love, compassion and kindness that he will continue to show to us.

Namaste, my friends.

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All of Wayne’s Hayhouse published ebooks, including Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life are now available on Amazon for $1.99.

His movie The Shift is available to be streamed free here.

 

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Divine Grace

Grace is the ultimate Buff.

With grace comes, forgiveness, joy, compassion, strength, love, wisdom, peace...

With grace you feel at one with your higher-self, with God, with The Tao.

What is the easiest path to Grace?

“When we express gratitude grace responds.” – Deepak Chopra

Gratitude opens us up to grace.

Getting gratitude down is not an easy endeavor.  It’s more than saying thanks for the food.

It’s looking past pain, loss, tragedy and lack and joyfully proclaiming gratitude for what you have.

It takes getting really quiet with yourself and looking at what you have.

We were created by divinity and we are nothing short of it ourselves.  It is in us to experience all the joys that come with grace.

Mantra: “Kripa Hum” – I am divine grace

 

 

Get the Ultimate Buff Beads.  Grace Buff Beads are on The Buff Beads Store for a limited time.

http://buffbeads.ca/shop/grace-buff-beads/DSC01512

Wild Geese

Heard this poem today while listening to Wayne Dyers “Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life Living the Wisdom of the Tao.” It struck me as so beautiful and I’m not even sure why yet. As I work through the book and other teachings, I increasingly feel bouts of overwhelming peace. Some last longer than the others. But nonetheless I take these feelings of peace as a sign that I’m on the right track.

wild geese

Be With Your Pain

Be still

Pain and hopelessness can sweep over us and take control over our thoughts and lives. When it happens it can be so hard to see past it and to practice all that we’ve learned. There is no quick fix for the pain. No amount of wine ever blocked out my pain. It was always there in the morning. We must just be with the pain, be gentle with ourselves and be silent. When we are in this state and allowing it to just be we will find our truth. My truth that brings me peace is that everything always works out for me. In my experience, with pain comes a chance for change and growth. Please know, that you are not meant to suffer. You are worthy of love and all good things. And you are not alone.

Don’t Pole Vault Over Mouse Turds.

treeandpot3

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Don’t pole vault over mouse turds.

Just pick it up and throw it away.

Yes it’s gross.

Just grab a tissue and pick it up.

You don’t need to call your friends over to see it. Why?

Oh great, now you are all standing around talking about how revolting it is. That was unnecessary. Do you feel better? You still need to clean it up, does it help having your friends around telling you how gross it is? If they were really your friends they would help you.

Yes everyone is leaving. They don’t want to talk about your crap anymore. It reminded them that they have their own shit to deal with. Some of it bigger than yours.

Now you’re alone with it and you’re walking away from it. You’re just going to ignore it? And is everyone you allow in going to ignore it too?

You’re not going to let anyone in.

Well, that’s lonely. Are you going to be okay living with it? You’ll see it all the time and it will attract bugs and start to smell. Ooooh wine…

Well the wine was great and we had a blast, but it’s morning and that piece of poo is still there. You going to clean it up now? Wait. When did you start smoking pot? You can’t just keep yourself numb you’re going to need to deal with it. It’s right where you can see it.

What are you doing with the box? You’re going to just cover it up? I see. The box is a little glaringly obvious though isn’t it?

Oh that’s a pretty table cloth and candelabra. No one will know there’s feces under all that beautification except you. Isn’t it kind of awkward and in the way?

Yes, I guess it would take work to clean up. More than the initial piece of toilet paper. And you’re okay with knowing what’s really beneath the nice things?

Alright well, if you’re at peace with that. See ya around.

10 years later…

Oh hey there! Great to see you. Are those your kids? What a beautiful family you have. You’re looking a little worn out though. You alright?

Oh you still have the box hiding that piece of mouse turd. That must have been hard to maintain over the years. I see it’s been knocked around a bit, but you’ve gone to a lot of work to keep it hidden.

That’s some really nice stuff you’ve put on and around it. Scented candles, flowers and happy pictures of you and your family…you sure you don’t want to move everything and just clean it up?

You do look really busy, it is definitely a lot of work now and yes everyone will see that the box and all your beautiful things are missing. Wouldn’t you feel so free of the burden?

You’re doing alright? Okay, friend hang in there.

Another decade goes by. I go into the house now quiet and calm. The box is beautifully encrusted with gems and is glorious and radiant. My old friend is beside it in a heap on the floor. She’s silently sobbing.

Hey, what’s wrong?

Your box IS very beautiful.

You do have many nice things all around it. Why are you so sad?

Ah! Yes, there is mouse turd under all of it.

Keeping it a secret has been hard on you. You must be tired. Are you ready to be rid of it?

It IS a lot of work and must seem overwhelming to you.

Yes, people will discover the truth and you may lose some friends, but you have people who love you. Some of them may already know you have a secret and don’t care. You are not alone.

It will take work to break down the box and it will have to be done by you alone, but you don’t need to BE alone.

Yes, I will sit with you.

She began to take apart the box. The lovely things she had placed on the box most recently were covering things that weren’t so lovely to her anymore. Layer upon layer were items that during a time had been used in an attempt to forget about what was hiding under the box. Some of it was painfully embarrassing and I would comfort her as she cried out in pain. Other things we came across made us laugh. How was bedazzling even a thing?

Eventually we came to the box. With shaking hands she lifted the last barrier between us and the 20 year secret that had caused her so much pain. For a moment neither of us could breathe.

She sat back with a sigh looked over at me and said,

“THAT’S what I’ve been hiding for 20 years?”

I smiled, handed her a piece of tissue and without another word she picked up the turd and flushed it down the toilet.

She invited over friends and family to dance with her in the free space. Some were uncomfortable and left. For they were envious of her freedom and did not want to deal with their own turd. Some left because seeing her joy and freedom inspired them to get their crap together. The rest of them stayed and danced the night away. For unknowingly most had known her secret all along and hadn’t cared. After all, it really wasn’t well hidden. Most aren’t. No matter how hard you try, boxes covering secrets are most often transparent and really not worth the effort of making pretty. Mistakes are made and shit happens. It’s best to clean it up right away when it does.

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“Don’t “pole-vault over mouse turds” – by the time you’ve discussed the many options available to you, the problem itself could have been long behind you had you simply disposed of those rodent droppings with a simple tissue and dumped them into the garbage!”–Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life.