I first heard the whisper in 2007, while reading Shirley MacLaine’s The Camino.
“You’re supposed to walk this pilgrimage,” the voice said.
I considered the trek of several hundred miles in a foreign land and almost choked. The idea sounded insane to me. I couldn’t visualize myself taking on a challenge like that.
“Nope,” I said. “I don’t think so.”
In 2009, the voice returned as I read Paulo Coehlo’s The Pilgrimage.
“You’re supposed to walk this pilgrimage,” the voice said.
Again, I considered the trek of several hundred miles in a foreign land. This time I wasn’t as fearful. I was apprehensive; however, I was more at ease with the idea. I could visualize myself taking on a challenge like that…eventually
“Okay,” I said. “Someday. When I’m older.”
In 2014, I received an unexpected call from my dear friend, Chazelle.
“Have you seen the movie ‘The Way’?” She asked.
“You have to see it. It’s about this ancient pilgrimage walk through Spain. I think I’m supposed to walk this pilgrimage,” Chazelle said.
“I know exactly what walk you’re talking about and I’m supposed to walk it too,” I said. This time I was smiling. The time had come.
Little did I know the grace smiling upon me. A couple of books, a whisper and one conversation would carry a seed that would grow and blossom into my latest greatest work.by Jessi Lohman
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
While on the Camino de Santiago this summer, I encountered many fellow pilgrims named Catherine. When inquiring as to the meaning behind their name, most acknowledged they were named in honor of St. Catherine of Alexandria. When it comes to passion, commitment and tenacity, this is indeed a noble namesake.
St. Catherine was age 18 when she approached the pagan emperor, Maxentius. He persecuted Christians for not worshiping idols. Upon Catherine’s request to stop harming them, Maxentius immediately put to death her 50 followers, then flogged and imprisoned her. While Catherine was imprisoned, the emperor’s wife and 200 others were converted through her commitment and passion. Upon this realization, he had all 200 put to death as well as his own wife. To stop her madness, the emperor offered Catherine a royal wedding in exchange for her submission to his beliefs. Upon her refusal, he ordered her death by the spiked wheel. At her touch, the spiked wheel shattered, flying in multiple directions and killing her accusers. St. Catherine was subsequently beheaded.
What are you so passionate about that you would face absolute horror such as this?
We are lucky. In many respects, we live in a day and age where we don’t have to put our freedom, bodies and lives on the line for the sake of our beliefs and bravery.
Being that you can step up, step out and speak – what lights up your heart in a way you love to speak about it? What gives you the strength that your song be about? What movement means most to you?by Jessi Lohman
It took 60,000 Jewish slaves nine years to build the Colosseum. Games commenced. Some games lasted up to 100 days. 500,000 people and over 1 million animals were killed within it’s walls.
Treachery knew no boundaries. That is, until two massive earth quakes swept through the area, demolishing the arena. These earthquakes, along with a number of other natural disasters are responsible for the current ragged appearance of today’s Colosseum.
Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps bad things have happened in your life. Perhaps you’ve been terrorized yourself.
The Colosseum itself was not responsible for the horrific actions taken. It still stands. You have scars. Yet you still stand.
Your scars are poised to become the most beautiful shades of your character. Developing an appreciation of your past and finding the strength to open you heart to the future is more beautiful than any structure in existence.by Jessi Lohman
I don’t know if you are spiritual. I don’t know if you’re not. This post is not designed to argue. Whether you are spiritual or not spiritual, we can agree we exist on a physical plane. You have a responsibility. I have a responsibility. We have to take care of the rocking body we’ve been given.
We take these bodies for granted and they are so beautiful. I’m not talking about the superficial whatever. I couldn’t care less how much you paid for your boobs, how long it took your beard to grow or what brand of eye shadow makes your eyes pop. What I do care about is your life being awesome.
Step One of having an awesome life – making your body a priority. A little exercise, fueling your body with nutritional choices and electing water as your most-frequent beverage choice can make a big difference.
Picture this: Increased, lasting energy. Better Sleep. Improved self esteem and confidence. Catching your own eye on the way to the shower in the morning with oh hell yeah going through your mind.
How is this a bad plan?
by Jessi Lohman
“Quitters never win and winners never quit.” – is Vince Lombardi Right?
I say it’s time to Quit Living Small.
Maybe you’ve been going around and around and around on the merry-go-round and it doesn’t feel like you’re going anywhere? Remember all those aspirations you set at the beginning of the year? Not to be a total downer, but it’s February already.
This is your year. Make those dreams happen. Let’s take the next handful of minutes to refocus and get our eye back on the prize.
Do you ever feel as though you are caught in the real-life Matrix. Who is down to take a pill? Will it be the red pill or the blue pill?
**Snap Out of It**
This is your life. Don’t forget that if you want to live large – you must take charge. Why are you standing still?
Do you doubt you are here for a mission or a purpose? Are you sad more often than you’d like to admit? Do you feel stuck or paralyzed because you don’t really know what to do next? Do you doubt yourself and all you may or may not be capable of?
Let’s chat about it. I’ll tell you more about that in a minute. First, I’m going to share with you the 3 times you should be living small and then reveal the #1 break-through key that will help you stomp out these obstacles you’re facing.
The only time you should be living small is when you need a little downtime. That should constitute a handful of very limited experiences:
Mountain-top experiences rock. No doubt about it. Take time to appreciate them when these sweet, juicy moments come your way. Enjoy the moment. Reminisce. Just be careful not to get sucked in nostalgia-world too long. Even though it was cool, it is still in the past and you have a present moment and a whole future to look forward to. Cheers to that.
2. The Cocoon.
Transformation into better versions of ourselves is a real thing. Sometimes, we come a little unglued while we are being put back together. This is very messy business and although it’s beautiful in many ways – it makes sense you wouldn’t want the world witnessing you in some weak moments. It’s okay to take a breather and lay low until you know and fully understand what the new and improved version of yourself looks like.
When the hurricane is raging in the rain forest, you don’t see trees making a big effort to grow. They are bearing down, branches are being let go. Life is beautiful but it is a real heart-breaker too. You can’t appreciate peace without unrest. Light without darkness. Life without loss. Through the foundation of our greatest and our most difficult moments we truly encompass the human experience.
Ready for that break-through key now?
The one that helps you battle depression and paralysis and self doubt and a lack of faith?
This big journey you’re on, the one where you are living small – cash in those chips. You are not here to live small. What is your Wild Frontier?
Is it Love or Money or your Body or Self-Acceptance?
Name it. Put a tag on that. Take a good look at it.
Those desires in your heart are not there by accident. They are not mistakes or wishful thinking. It is part of you. It is precious.
The best way to fight the good fight and confront your Wild Frontier is to have fun. It can’t suck! You won’t want to keep going. Create a fun environment that motivates you. Stack the odds in your favor and Knock. It. Out. Of. The. Park.
I also promised the opportunity to chat with me about it. Here’s your opportunity.
Fill out the lil form and I’ll be in touch. I’m saving a high five and a little supportive boost to help you get closer to where you want to be.
Talk to you soon.
by Jessi Lohman
When I worked at Juvenile Hall, I encountered many angry youth.
At a moment I felt they might explode, I’d invite them to ‘Show me their Bear.’ I would enact what it looked like, raising the palms of my hands and bending my finders like claws. Then I would roar in a silly way. Every time, they would look at me, make a face, chuckle a little bit, and give in to the stress-relieving therapy.
There was a source to their frustration.
Greatness lingered beneath the surface of each and every one of them. How infuriating, to know there is something precious inside and not be able to tap into it. They were frustrated, discouraged and more than anything – scared. Between their behaviors, attitudes and decisions, they found it difficult, if not impossible, to tap into their greatness without help. Yet they were missing something even more vital. Courage.
In some ways, we are very much alike, those scared youth and myself.
It took a lot for me to go on my 400+ mile trek through Spain. It took more than my behavior. It took more than my attitude. It took more than the decision to go. In order to tap into my greatness and release the inner beast within me, it took courage.
Does untapped greatness linger beneath the surface of you too?
Without courage, I would still be here, telling you about the Camino de Santiago and how I hope to complete it before I die. Yet I did complete it. Even with a hundreds reasons why I should not have gone, I went and did it anyway. This was due to courage.
If courage was a struggle for me, perhaps it is a struggle for you too.
Have the courage to fight for your dreams, your goals and your aspirations. I believe in you and want to help you get there. So you can be sitting across from me one day, telling me about everything you experienced while going for that dream. Here are a few items to help you on your way:
1. Recognize your fear without fighting it or judging yourself. Honor yourself through this process. We are all human. It is our flaws and shortcomings that give our lives color and ultimately, meaningfulness. Look at your fear as objective as you can. Recognize it exists and work through it.
2. Get support. It sucks to experience accomplishments by yourself anyway. Surround yourself with friends who believe in what you’re doing. If someone is not supportive of your dream, hold back from sharing the details. Your dream needs nurturing, protect it. Guard that dream and feed it bits of encouragement.
3. Get outside your comfort zone. Eleanor Roosevelt had a great philosophy about this. She knew each of us were meant for greatness. She said, “Every day do one thing that scares you.” Ready to hone in on her advice?
What is one thing you can do today that puts you outside of your comfort zone and gets you closer to your goal? Don’t wait. Go for it. Go take care of that right now. Set your inner beast aflight.
by Jessi Lohman
Writing is among the greatest gifts given to mankind. Through writing, we make discoveries, find ourselves and record our journeys. The best part? We get to live our adventures twice.
This is the main reason I write my adventures. Not only do I have a way to share the experience with you, but I also have the ability to relive it myself. Why do I a choose an eBook format? It’s another great gift to mankind. I can carry inspirational adventures with me everywhere I go. One of my dreams is to have some of your works, quotes and adventures with me on my electronic devices.
If you haven’t had the experience of writing your adventures to relive them, you can. In fact, you can start from absolute scratch and still develop a habit that will have your recording your adventures in no time. Even if you have no idea what to write.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. This means you form a habit of writing once a day for a certain period of time and when you are inspired by an idea, you are already in the habit of recording it.
For example, I write every night, just before a go to sleep. Sometimes, it’s for only ten minutes. I did this all the way through Spain. Just ten minutes before bed led to the completion of Riding the Camino Dragon.
The next one riding the dragon, could be you.
by Jessi Lohman
One of my aspirations for 2015 is to serve others.
There have been times I’ve been discouraged and things are just not going my way. You have experienced this too, haven’t you? There are times when you’ve been down, needed a helping hand or a pick-me-up. If I were in dire straits, in any capacity, it would be my hope you would help me. Therefore, I am encouraged to provide service to others this year.
Here are three ways to serve in your community, right where you are:
1. Volunteer for a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon.
These events don’t run themselves. I spent two days volunteering for Sacramento’s 5k Resolution Run. Having set out 261 cones and picked them up again (not to mention – those suckers are HEAVY), I got a better work out than those running the 5k. Even more important, money was raised for a nonprofit that directly benefits our local community as well as our global community.
2. Lead a local Food Drive at your workplace.
This year my workplace hosted a Food Drive for River City Food Bank, the Food Bank that has served Sacramento for the longest period of time. Friends and family also got involved and before we knew it, food was overflowing and we hardly had room for it all.
3. Take your heart to the streets.
It doesn’t matter where you live. People are hungry. People are cold. Even a small gesture makes a big difference to someone hard on their luck. Making burritos or hot soup and delivering it to them gives people hope and courage. It proves there is something worth fighting for in their lives and they their life, in fact, is worth fighting for. If you saw they were worth the time and effort to give them a meal or a blanket to keep warm, perhaps they will see value in themselves as well.by Jessi Lohman
Can you believe the first half of January has sailed by already? It seems time is slipping by at an alarming pace. Most days so far, it feels like all I can do to stay focused on the day. Somehow, I know my goals for this year must be brought to fruition. The intention of this post is to set the wheels in motion.
First things, first – many of you shared your awesome goals with me. Therefore the time has come for me to share my ten goals with you.
2. Finish Riding the Camino Dragon
3. Discover Greater Truths
4. Travel to Peru and Get the Scoop on Machu Pichu
5. Read 30 Books
6. Teach Yoga
7. Take a Friend on a Cool Trip
8. Write Another Book
9. Continue to Enjoy My Awesome Family
10. Spend More Time in Prayer and Meditation
The list doesn’t end here. Don’t be surprised if I try to crank out a half marathon here and there. Or if I squeeze in an additional few trips. Or if I make some closer friends this year. The one thing that is guaranteed is 2015 will be a wonderful year and I look forward to having many new experiences.
I am thankful to have you in my life and look forward to reaching all of our goals for 2015, together.
by Jessi Lohman