Tell me a story.
Share the last time you were fired up about something. I want to hear about your priorities. When have you been spicy?
What is life supposed to consist of? Think deep. Think hard.
Having a little moment with myself recently, I asked myself the same questions. My answer might surprise you.
I think life is all about Fire.
“Jess,” my inner self whispers. “As in…Lighting things on fire, like a total pyromaniac?”
“Ahem,” my judgy jerk self says. “That’s arson. A felony, I might add.”
Don’t light your house on fire. That’s not what I’m saying. Don’t burn down your nearest school. I’m not recommending you light your nemesis’s hair on fire. Even if it will teach them a lesson. Or make you famous on YouTube.
Life is fire. Fire is life. Sparks and embers, leaking out into your existence, paving your visions of the future. Lighting your heart on fire, in a crazy frenzy of meaningful purposefulness.
Arson is for suckers. Letting your campfire get out of control is irresponsible. Allowing yourself to get so excited about the possibilities at your fingertips makes you the stuff Legends come from.
Tell me a story.
What are your priorities?
Light your world and life on fire in the places it will make the most difference. Blow warmth into places that haven’t seen the light for a while. Torch a new path to places you’ve never been with the assistance of familiar framework.by Jessi Lohman
There are places I’ve never seen
They call to me
Inviting my spirit
Across the lands
No ocean too wide
My soul calls back
Green light on the horizon
Elusive pot of gold
Hidden beyond a rainbow
Seducing the heart
Of this wanderer
Can you remember your last vacation?
True. Vacations can be expensive and take up time you can’t spend away at the office. There’s something else though- overwhelming.
Vacations can be overwhelming.
What’s THAT about?
There are so many places to go, not to mention the logistics can be daunting.
The truth? You’ve still got to do it.
Vacations are what make you feel alive and give you back control of your time.
Pick one of the following and commit to making it happen before the end of the year:
Plan a trip to go exploring something new with family.
Or go visit your loved ones at a different location.
Family (and friends…those we elevate to family status) are our treasure. Nothing matters more. When in a place and time where one of these treasures is on the brink of being lost…you’d do anything to save them. Anything to protect them.
Hold your treasure close, experience this world with them. Make memories. Enjoy the time you have. The world is our playground. Yours and theirs.
Chase the sun until it sets.by Jessi Lohman
There was a knock on the tree.
“Who could it be?” The owl thought.
Answering the door, it appeared to be a stranger.
The stranger was tall. He stood in the shadows. She sucked in a breath and tried to catch a glimpse at the face. Reaching over, she tried to catch the face in the light of the moon.
A husky laugh filled the air.
It was no stranger at all. In fact, it was someone she knew very well. He stepped into the tree-hole and he wrapped his wings around her. Bringing her into a hug that felt like home.
“Hi,” he hooted in her ear.
She furrowed her feathers at the sound of his voice…
Everyone has a story to tell. One of my favorite past-times has been helping people write their stories, bring them into reality. Give them a format where their memories, creativity, knowledge, experience and imagination can be shared. Their gifts to the world can be enjoyed by others.
If you had one thing to share with the world, what would it be?
Everyone has a book inside them.
What is yours about?
Don’t let your story get consumed by the distractions of daily life. Get it out there. If you aren’t able to, get some help. Find someone that can help you make your mark in the world. No one can share your story – but you.
Fan the Flame
Dusty cold stone hearth
Sweep out the ashes
Locate your kindling
Arrange it in an effective way
Strike the match
Ignite the spark
Blow life into flame
Watch it catch fire
Creative warmth for all
Preserve lives you’ve yet to meet
Rearrange the atmosphere
Gift a place to promote kindness
Encourage the embers
Stir life into places
Long since withered
by Jessi Lohman
Finding Yourself in a Suitcase will be available on
Kindle, iBook, Nook and 10 additional distributors in March, 2014.
Why have I gone digital?
eBooks can be carried 6,000,000 to 1 paperback.
Although I love the feel of a book in my hand, the truth is to respect my environment more, and spare my back with the boatloads of books I purchase…
It’s time I took my writing more serious. Now I have a dream worth fighting for.
Finding Yourself in a Suitcase tells the story of how I wanted to live a small, simple life. Life, however, had different plans. Several trips crossed my path and it was through those adventures I was introduced to who I was meant to be.
My Journal Entry: May 5, 2009 (Not included in the novel)
Things are great. Casey is a great traveling companion and we have had a ton of hilarious experiences already. We initially flew into Rome and spent one night there. Our hotel is a twenty minute walk from the Colosseum. And we are looking forward to spending the final five days in Rome. The past four days have been in Sorrento. We have seen the Naples tain station, missed a train had to buy new tickets, rode other little trains around to Pompei to see ruins and have been enjoying the most amazing food imaginable. We have been putting down the greatest bottles of wine and are very excited to head to Florence tomorrow morning. We will be there for 5 days. Will write more when I can. Loving Italia! Caio!”
Charging the Solar Panel of my Heart
Lighting up the Circuits of my Feeling
Expressing the Wonders of Life
-Michael Bennett, Yogini and Visionary
Your life is a watermark.
Each drop of your energy, drips into the pool of humanity… in turn, each drop expands and influences the lives of those around you.
Energy is powerful. Capturing enough energy to ripple in every direction, to interact with the pond of humanity – causing a ripple effect, a gift, with your day. This experience will reward your heart with a great sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Do you have a method to gather energy?
There are different types of energy: Positive, Negative, Tiresome, Dramatic, Etc.
You have the power to become a Master, able to wield the power of energy. You can choose the type to wield. For me, I lean toward Positive Energy. Positive Energy grants me strength and endurance, as well as elevates my soul to experience joy.
There are two fundamental ways I summon Positive Energy and capture it to enhance my day:
1 – Perform two Sun Salutations
2 – Spend 10 Minutes in Reflection
While researching Sun Salutations, I found there are a variety performed in various ways. If you have a method of performing them, I encourage it. Otherwise, I’ve included below, the Thirteen Steps on how I perform it.
1. Mountain to Namaste
Stand with both feet touching on the floor. Bring your hands together, palm to palm, in a prayer position – at your heart center. Exhale. The prayer position is called Namaste – it symbolizes all that is good within you, honors all that is good in others. One additional step I take, is to dedicate an intention for my practice. Love, Hope, Faith, Encouragement, Strength, etc. – these are examples of intentions. If there is a loved one undergoing an interpersonal struggle of some kind, I will also dedicate my practice to them and as act of love.
Inhale while raising your arms upward, stretching up toward the sky. It feels good to me when I do a slight back bend here, however, this is optional.
3. Forward Fold
Exhale and slowly bend forward and release your arms to the floor.
4. Flat Back
Slowly raise your upper body, inhaling until it is parallel with the floor.
5. Forward Fold
Exhale and slowly bend forward and release your arms to the floor.
6. Downward Dog
Place your hands on the floor and keep your arms straight, raising your hips and placing your feet as flat on the floor as possible.
Lower yourself down into a push-up stance, keeping your body straight.
8. Lower and Arch
Lower yourself to the floor as though doing a push up and press your shoulders and head up, arching backward.
9. Downward Dog
Keep your hands on the floor and raise your hips, placing your feet as flat on the floor as possible.
10. Forward Fold
Step or hop your feet to where your hands are pressed into the ground. Plant your feet and exhale, slowly bending forward and releasing your arms to the floor.
11. Flat Back
Slowly raise your upper body, inhaling until it is parallel with the floor.
12. Forward Fold
Exhale and slowly bend forward, releasing your arms to the floor.
13. Raise to Namaste
Inhale while raising your arms upward, stretching up toward the sky. Slight back bend is optional. Exhale and bring your hands together, palm to palm, in a prayer position – at your heart center. Exhale. Remember your intention. Namaste.
Repeat steps 1 – 13 to complete two cycles.
Ten Minutes in Reflection
Each day, I spend ten minutes in reflection. There are several items I contemplate during this disciplined time of devotion. Here is a list of some of those items and how you can apply it in your own experience:
- Contemplate where you are in life.
- Contemplate where you are going in your life.
- Reflect on your purpose.
- How are you living your life every day?
- How can you improve the next day?
Remember you have the right to love, to smile, to be happy, to share your love and to receive it also.
Wield it in your palm
Create your ripple
A work of art
Whom can you help?
Whom can you touch?
Let the world know
Where you stood
Where you walked
In what passions
You found love
Capture your energy
Allow the movement
To flow from your life
Caressing those around
Steering their shps
Toward loftier viewsby Jessi Lohman
The Pegasus Story is…
There once was a beautiful Pegasus with a sweet spirit. He tried to make friends with a herd of unicorns. As they were unable to fly and he had no horn to compare, they went their separate ways.
“Certainly, there must be more to life than this,” the Pegasus thought. In that moment, the Pegasus decided he wanted to make his life a more exciting experience.
First, the Pegasus decided to get healthy. He ate healthier plants and spent time exercising and honoring his body. One day at a time, his confidence began to rise. One, two, three notches and so on.
One morning, he woke up to the sun shining. He realized he loved being the Pegasus.
All of the unicorns noticed the difference, too. They began to appreciate this fun, exciting and healthy Pegasus with the confidence. They strived to make more of their lives as well.
The Pegasus made friends with the unicorns and he realized he did not need them to fly. Furthermore, the unicorns realized they didn’t need the Pegasus to have a horn.
Other unicorns came from all around. Pegasus’s from far away lands came too. They gathered around him to hear them talk about how they accomplished so much.
“I had to learn to flirt with life,” the Pegasus said. “Do this and you will have an exceptional life.”
The End.by Jessi Lohman
We’ve been told all our lives: Seize the day. Pay your dues. Contribute. Take your lumps. Accept full responsibility for the choices in your life, your blessings and your defeats.
Somehow, we also manage to choke the life out of our existence. We blur the line that there is difference between living and existing.
Is there a solution?
This doesn’t mean giving up on life in any way. More of surrender to the possibility life will lead you to your greatest adventure.
When you surrender, you live life with an open hand, allowing good things to flow into your life.
No one is exempt from hardship. Open hand or not, surrendered or not – hardship will find its way into all of our lives. There’s no magic pill and no short cut when it comes to life decides to develop our character.
We can find peace in surrender.
We can find inspiration in surrender.
We can find friendship in surrender.
Last weekend, I surrendered a story to a group of friends. Here is the story that was created by twelve contributors:
Once upon a time in a village far, far away…There lived a young girl who’s heart had gone stray. Over hill, over dale she looked for her heart. Never knowing exactly just how far they’re apart. She dreamed of being a writer and then she wrote a story…and the 1st line in the story was “Once upon a time in a village far, far away…”! She asked the goats, “where did it go?” They only replied, “baaah”. She asked the cows, “where did it go?” They only replied, “Mooo.” So she started her earnest start looking for her heart. And only found a black hearted zombie that used to be her love. With rotting flesh and half his face melting off trying to eat her face. But she didn’t have the courage to put the zombie down. So her crazed wild half tiger half mustang trampled it down. (Which half is which?) Tigers head with mustang legs… the body is half and half. Then she woke up. Out of breath, She realized the black-hearted zombie had only been a dream. Whistling for her trusty Tigang, she knew exactly what she had to do…run from her nightmare that really was breathing inches from her neck. Yes the zombie was real in both dream and the waking world. It’s breath stank of refuse and rotten flesh. It’s eyes bright yet clearly missing the light that shows a soul. Quickly it pounced on her taking a bite I ouT of her milky white thigh. She screamed. She began on the journey that began with a million steps, a thunderous beginning, that shook all the second steps, so the on the third steps, she was flying with her trusty tigang. She was losing consciousness fast. The Tigang knew he had very little time to get her to the wizard. Only the wizard could reverse the impact the bite would make. She remembered that she could use her ruby red slippers to travel quickly so she ran to her shoe closet to get them. But the bite makes her dyslexic and she can’t count past two. Thankfully the tigang knew what to do and helped her click her heels as she passed out. And as the magic ruby slippers took her back home as all magic slippers do… it whisked way back into her bed with her waiting zombie…By now she realized that even without a soul, even having taken a bite out if her thigh, the zombie smiled at her. He sat down next to her and reached for her hand. In her sleep she had a beautiful dream. Eclectic tides of a wondrous dream scape came rolling over her.
As she slipped quietly past the hands time, and without notice or declaration, a lush unbounded forest burst into existence before her. Above, fanciful birds leapt and danced with chroma and grace amongst the outstretched branches of eccentrically aged trees. Below, little rogue ants whistle melodically as they pioneer trails on their first great adventure. A Golden fire breathing dragon circled thousands of feet above keeping watchful eyes on the beautiful girl. At the slightest sign of danger the dragon would soar down and incinerate the source of danger. Not even ash would be left. And in this the girl danced, twirling with abandon without knowledge of danger or fear. As she looked at the trees around her she laughed. The beautiful leaves swayed as the wind blew through them as if to fan a message that had no language she had ever heard. Just then, seemingly out of nowhere, a handsome, muscular and shirtless man appeared on the beach with a bottle of wine and two glasses. The Dragon watched the man with concern looking for any sign of ill will.
It can be hard to surrender because it feels like we might miss out on something. When in truth – the opposite will usher in healing fulfillment , love and opportunity.
Your highest good
Be all you can
Fill your lungs
Deep, fresh breath
Release stale air
Surrender to something better
Life of gifts
Connecting and sharing
Never completely alone
Surrender to yourself
Be your hero
Ignite an inspired future
To hold others
Ebb and flow
As ocean waves
Fulfillment is found
Writing is another place I’ve learned surrender is beneficial.
Giving in, it allows pathways to creativity previously closed . Now open-wide, it flows into my heart, new stories are delivered to be fired in the kiln of my craft.
Not only the inspiration.
Not only the ideas
Also – the energy.
Without energy, all the creative ideas in the world turn in a circle. Maintain the same consistency, not traveling through the hands of the artist. Dwindling until they are little more than mere twinkling in the embers of a forgotten fire.
Surrender allows fresh air to move through and churn new energy.
3 Ways to Surrender in Your Life
When my mind is all over the place and I can’t settle down to focus, this is my favorite exercise to settle down and let it go.
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position.
-Close your eyes.
- Inhale for a count of five.
- Exhale for a count of five.
- Count backwards from 10 to 1 (10…9…8..7…etc.).
- Count backwards from 9 to 1.
- So on 8 to1, 7 to 1, 6 to 1, 5 to 1, 4 to 1, 3 to 1, 2 to 1, 1 to 1.
- Repeat once if your mind hasn’t settled.
It may sound ridiculous, but after following those steps and taking a final deep breath, it almost always gives me peace. Within moments things I need to pay attention to will float to the surface of my consciousness.
Give Stuff Up
Thoughts, images, beliefs and belongings can hold us prisoner in our lives. False beliefs about us and our lives, looming magazine subscriptions or negative self talk can consume us and impact our life in a negative way.
- Write down your beliefs and negative thoughts on a piece of paper.
- Find a safe place near a water source.
- Light it on fire.
Replace negative talk and false beliefs with positive ones that will serve you well in your current life and in the life you want to lead.
Give yourself permission to feel whatever is in your spectrum. Happy, sad, anxious…whatever.
We try to stuff our emotions in a box and hold ourselves prisoner.
It’s okay to surrender.
It’s okay to be a mess for a minute.
Being imperfect is beautiful. That is what it means to be human. We can still make an effort to do our best, and forgive ourselves for our imperfections. Let’s surrender and embrace our humanity together.by Jessi Lohman
It feels as though it’s been a thousand days or more since my last post.
This isn’t true, but the time lapse experienced when you go through periods of immense loss and transition can play tricks on your mind. Adaptation requires a ton of energy.
Today’s post is dedicated to my dear friend, Julie Anna Todd Wojdac. You may know her, you may not. By the end of this post, you will know of her and what her legacy represented, as well as the importance of holding that legacy close, adopting it into your life and moving forward in a new light.
Missing my friend
For not so long.
For the gift
Hug like this.
Henry Thoreau once said: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Julie was someone who definitely had a flair for marching to her own drummer.
Even more important, and even more admirable… Julie had the ability to notice and appreciate others marching to their own beat. She would support and encourage everyone around her to live as fully and as true to themselves as possible.
Julie spent the majority of her childhood in Oklahoma until she relocated to California in her early teen years. She was a graduate of Placer High School, Class of 1999. Forever a student of life and seeker of knowledge, Julie went on to attend Sierra College and California State University, Sacramento. She earned a prestigious degree while she was there, a Bachelor of Science in International Communications.
She was so passionate about that subject, she traveled as a student to Japan in 2003.
Julie loved being on the move. Anytime there was an opportunity to travel, even on a shoe-string budget, Julie would be the first one in line. Especially if she could be surrounded by nature. It was on one such trip, to the coast, where she got engaged to Adam Wojdac. She got to marry the man of her dreams on March 1, 2013.
She was the kind of person who always added something special to any gathering. That same special uniqueness was something her family friends loved and cherished about her too.
She thought she was quirky and geeky, perhaps even awkward at times. This is what everyone found so special, beautiful and priceless about her.
It’s a beautiful life
The one with you in it
So fond and full
Of delight in mysterious places
You shared dreams
So fun and free
Exploring nooks and cranny’s
Revealing corner shadows
Introducing your friends
To hidden knowledge
A contagious passion
Alongside warmth-filled hugs
Blustery weather walks
Creative spice and design
You wanted to change this world
Make an impact
A great one
How do we pick up the pieces and move on without one of our nearest and dearest among us?
Sometimes life throws a tsunami your way and levels your life. In my life, this is what happened with our friend Julie.
So I ask again, during these times of confusion, darkness and difficulty, how can we pick up the pieces and move forward?
In today’s post, I want to talk about the process of being a Phoenix. During the course of your life, you will be challenged to be a Phoenix. When this happens, there are guidelines on how to navigate such a transition.
Mourn the death of a beautiful dream
People put their hearts and souls into their dreams. Blood, sweat, tears and energy. Dreams become part of you. When the death of your dream happens, even after you have poured so many resources into it – the appropriate way to respond is to grieve it. It doesn’t make you weak and it isn’t wrong to show emotions. You will feel like you’re on fire. It’s okay to be sad and to be upset. This is part of the healing process and there aren’t any short cuts.
You’ll need to take a little time, just to take care of yourself, after you have mourned the death of your beautiful dream. Rooting around ashes and soot is how this time will feel. Eat healthy, get lots of rest, take time to enjoy some fresh air, and spend your time around positive people. Focus on balancing your life and it will bring some sanity and eventually peace will once again begin to settle in.
Dream a New Dream
After some time among the ashes, a glimmer of starlight will touch your heart. A destination to travel. An attractive person will warm your soul. After your life has gone up in flames and turned to ash… it is time to be the phoenix that is within all of us. You are stronger than you know. It is this realization that will help you recreate a new dream and give you the bravery to step forward to build a new life.
The most important facet, is that Julie was a fighter. She would want us to follow the steps above and make something beautiful together. She would feel honored to know she was a catalyst in a shift toward stronger connection and holding one another a little closer.
Julie, thank you for being part of lives. We are all going to miss you.
A final quote … one of Julie’s very favorite:
by Jessi Lohman
“Promise me you will always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin
You are breaking our hearts this year
Try to still the quivering in my lip
The concave throbbing of my heart
I light a vigil
In the memory
Of this collection of tragedies
One, then another
And another, followed by another
The last and most tragic
To bring us to our knees
Grieving our loved ones
Stolen from this life.
How do we ever
Look at you the same?
And those who remain
Take my hand
Allow me to hold you close
For our time together
Will never be long enough
To satisfy the depth
To which my heart cherishes you
My wish this year
Please stop thieving
These treasures from me.
You can reinvent yourself.
That is part of the art of being a phoenix. Sometimes life is going to light you on fire. Chill in the ashes for a few and then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin again.
Sure, it can be an exhausting process. Yet the amount of life you live will make it worth the sacrifice of plunging through a few tired days.by Jessi Lohman