The Fork in the Road

Last night I took a bath with rose petals, crystals and Epsom salt. I poured the rosewater over my head and let it drip over me. Trickling down my back. It felt like I was anointing myself with love. The water caressed my skin, caring with it a vibration infused with worthiness.

I have reached a turning point. A marker in the road, so to speak.

When I look back, I see all the ways in which I refused to claim my worthiness. Refused to accept the grace of the world. Refused to honor my own voice, or my own body, or my own truth.

But now I can choose differently. Now I decide which direction to take.

And I ask myself — in every situation — how can I love myself more? How can I infuse this with more love? How can I align everything before me to Truth?

I see what others want from me. I feel their expectations. Their unspoken needs. Their desires. These used to control me. I would meet them, serving them, forsaking myself in the process. I submitted myself, my needs, my desires, my truth to the others’. I put them before me and bowed down.

“Yes, master, what would you like?”

But I have hit a fork in the road.

Why shall I bow down to another and refuse to bow down to myself? Why shall I meet their needs and ignore my own? Why shall I deny my truth and honor theirs? Why shall I keep denying that I, too, am a master. The master of myself. A God-creator in form?

I can still bow down in respect, one master choosing to honor another. One divinity seeing the divinity of another. Because I can only truly recognize the God within another when I recognize the God within myself. The God-Source that emanates through us all.

When the light is recognized within everything, there can be nothing but truth.

But for this I must speak my truth. Because when I deny my truth and refuse to voice it, I am acting in fear. When I act in fear, I am denying the source and power within me. When I act in this denial, I forsake God.

Sometimes I’m still afraid of the feelings of shame that may arise with my truth, the vulnerability that cracks me open, the eyes of another in judgment. But I can no longer cower down in face of this.

For I have hit a fork in the road.

I stand tall and refuse to accept any shame, any judgment, any disrespect.

Because I know my truth. I know my worthiness. And this can never be taken from me, no matter how hard another may try. Because I am my own master. No one else has any authority over me. Unless I give it to them. But those days are over.

I have hit a fork in the road.

I choose my life, according to my soul’s desires. Regardless of how that may be perceived in a society that denies the soul. Because I know the truth of who I am. And I choose for me.

So I annoint myself in this new knowing. In this new awareness that I have absolutely nothing to hide.

I let my joy exude from me.

I let my light shine brightly.

I let my truth be heard.

And I dance. And I sing my song.

Can you sing yours? Will you join me in this chorus?

May our voices unite to nourish the world back to wholeness.

 

C 2017 Jessica Fasquel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouting New Growth

Today we’re celebrating the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring. Where the whole planet will be bathed in equal amounts of light from the Sun.

In the springtime we plant new seeds. We begin seeing growth as the seedlings shoot up into stalks and flowers. The air becomes warmer. The sun hotter.

The days are longer, so we have more time to go out and play. To sit on the grass. To feel the breeze on our skin. To bathe in the waters.

Springtime reminds us of our need for renewal. Of new beginnings. Of growth and replenishment.

We are constantly in a cycle of creation: death, rebirth, growth, transformation. Sometimes the cycle is a long one, and other times it seems to complete itself within a day. It is our nature.

The cycles, like the Equinox, serve us best when we take the time to honor them. When we relax into their meaning for our lives instead of trying to resist them.

We must let go of the beliefs and the practices and the habits that need to die. That need to be buried under the ground and transformed into new growth.

We must be patient when planting new seeds for the growth to occur.

We must tend to the seedlings with care and attention, giving them lots of water and nourishment.

We must allow ourselves to sprout up, pushing against the dirt, the Earth, the perceived layers of hardness and darkness. We must leave the world we have known to enter a new one. Where the sun can shine on us freely and directly. Where we can begin to grow taller, reaching for the sky.

We must receive the nourishment that is there for us, allowing it to soak in. If we resist the nourishment, we will not grow.

We must expand into our wholeness, our fullness. Let our buds bloom. Let ourselves be seen. Let ourselves be appreciated, just as we are, in each stage of our growth.

For our budding stage is just as beautiful as our flower in full bloom. Even our wilting and letting go of petals is a beautiful process to behold, as we shed what can no longer be. It sets the stage for new growth.

We will only grow as big and fruitful as we allow ourselves to grow.

We must give ourselves permission.

We must be willing to be seen.

To be beautiful.

To be powerful.

To express our Radiant Truth.

We must give ourselves permission.

We must stop trying to grow old roots. Let there be new. Be willing to let go, and simultaneously expand.

Each cycle yields higher growth.

Before we know it, we may even be the Sun.

Excerpt from Beyond Rock Bottom

I’m excited to feature an excerpt from a book called Beyond Rock Bottom just written by a friend of mine, Patty Smith. Her book is about a mother and son’s journey of recovery, struggle and answers as they each overcame addiction and co-dependency.

Patty began writing to get out what was boiling inside and discovered that writing was cathartic. It validated the pain she was feeling and gave her a voice. She asked her oldest son, who struggled with addiction for 15 years, if he wanted to write a book with her, and they began a new adventure together.

And now (drumroll please!) the excerpt:

When I was a little girl, I adored Julie Andrews. I idolized her. I wanted to be her. I owned her record albums, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. I would dance and sing all around the living room. The album covers were full of pictures relating to every song and I spent hours lost in make-believe. So, when I grew up and had kids of my own, naturally I believed they should be like the Vontrap children or the Banks children. We would sing and dance our troubles away – not! My vision of going on hikes through the meadow with a guitar in tow quickly evaporated in the world of reality. “I’m tired, I’m hungry,” replaced the jovial laughter of my fantasy kids.

I did not give up. We went to the park a lot! And I substituted Mcdonald’s playground for the Swiss Alps.

I bought lots of books just to quickly have them replaced by game boy. I put a lot of stock in being a Mary Poppins kind of mom and I was losing.

Middle school took my kids away even further. They began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Sneaking out of the house at the wee hours of the night was common practice for all of them.

This is not how it’s supposed to be; this is not according to plan!

Prayer and journaling became a common practice for me. Crying out to God, “God help!” was often all I could express. Exasperated and weary, I plugged away. Learning a whole new skill set of administering drug test in my kitchen! This is not normal, is it? What happened? Disney did not play out in my world.

Life was hard and I labored to even breath. My kids were going downhill fast! My sadness and heartache were unbearable. I remember walking into church, after Grayson’s car wreck, and panning the sanctuary, looking for someone to confide in, someone safe to tell what all I am going through, someone who will understand! I did finally find someone to talk to who was understanding but they did not really understand.

I always felt lost and hurting right in the middle of church. I could hardly think straight and struggled to continue my daily duties. What in the world was I going to cook for dinner? I was often paralyzed

In my pain with no one to comfort me, I learned, years later that God would be that comfort, deep in my soul, and I learned to be ok when those around me were not ok.

©2017 Patty Smith.

 

 

Let Our Cups Overflow!

It’s Valentine’s Day!!!

For me, it’s a beautiful reminder to celebrate and honor all of the Love in our life. Especially the love we have for ourselves, and how this love can permeate every aspect of our being and spread forth to all those with whom we come into contact.

We are here to BE and experience Love, in all of its forms.

But in order to truly give love to others, we must first “fill our own cups.” If our cup is empty, how can we fill the cups of others? We must keep our cups full so that we are not depleted. Love does not take; it always replenishes itself.

If there are any situations in our lives that deplete us, that take our energy without giving back, that drain us in any way, we must let them go. We must stop believing that love requires sacrifice. It does not.

Love is already ours. We don’t have to do anything to “get it.”

This morning, during my morning meditation, it occurred to me on a cellular level:

I am Complete in and of myself.

I’ve known this mentally, but today I really felt it within my body. I am complete. I don’t need anybody else to complete me or to meet my needs. Because I can meet my own needs. I have this ability. This is a wondrous feeling, and so freeing.

We are all Complete.

We are all Whole.

We are all Holy.

So today, let’s nourish ourselves in every way and celebrate our Divine Essence. Let’s fill our cups so that they overflow with love!

©2017 Jessica Fasquel.

Expanding into Love

When we expand, everything holding us back has to go.

Because we can’t play small and expand at the same time.

This is the (somewhat intense) process I’ve been undergoing recently. It started several months ago and hit its peak while I was in Magdalena, New Mexico. During the first part of January, I found myself literally opening my heart and expanding my chest every day on the bolster. My body has been asking me to open, to reach my arms far and wide and allow my heart to be front and center.

No more covering up. No more artificial protection. No more curling inward. It’s time to let my heart, and the power contained within, to shine brightly.

This means stepping into my path of service by making my offering public. Which is why I’m opening a healing embodiment practice in Asheville called Joyful Sacred Connections.(www.joyfulsacredconnections.com)

Yet this expansion brings with it doubts that try to put shadows over our light. I’m aware in my heart that these doubts – about my abilities, why anybody would come to me, or how I can offer anything – are coming to my attention to be reckoned with and not simply ignored. We can’t ignore the shadows. We have to shine the light directly on them so that they don’t block the path of our light.

The root of many, if not all, of these doubts comes down to:

Me? Little me? Who am I?

I’m nothing. Small. Inconsequential.

Don’t look at me.

I don’t even need to be here.

I can get out of your way.

Just ignore me.

I don’t have a right to be here.

I’m not worthy of this.

I don’t deserve this.

These fears – these shadows – have embedded themselves deep within me for so long that they almost feel like they’re a part of me.

But they’re not.

They don’t belong to me.

They are not me

I believe that we all secretly doubt our Greatness.

And I’m not talking about the egoic kind of greatness that’s based on what we “do,” our title, or position of authority. I had that kind of “greatness” in the past while a criminal prosecutor and attorney. It was easier for me to step into a role of so-called “power” because my law degree was backing me up, and my status was given to me. Yet, this kind of “power” also came with a feeling of superiority. I was “better than” those below me, which somehow made me more powerful.

               I was relying on an external source of power and authority. Which meant that it wasn’t real and it could’ve been taken away from me at any moment.

But True Power has nothing to do with anything outside of us. Nothing. Not even our ability to “manifest” or “create what we want.” 

No.

Our True Power lies deep within our hearts. It’s our innate connection to God/Source. The flame within that never stops burning, no matter how much we may try to cover it up. It has no sense of superiority because we recognize that we are all One. We are all interconnected, and we all contain the flame of God/Source. No one, and nothing, is without it.

I can claim no superiority. I cannot claim that I am better than anyone else, or that people “need” me. I am simply and humbly opening myself up, to offer a space of safety, trust and presence so that people can feel their own flame. There’s nothing for me to grasp onto other than the knowing in my heart that this is part of my soul’s path.

The doubt that arises is in the mind. The doubt is not in my heart. That’s why the embodiment piece is so crucial for me, because it allows me to go within and feel my heart more strongly, rather than letting my mind take over.

The mind asks us to contract, to keep playing small, because it believes that it’s keeping us safe by doing so. It may have served us well in the past, but it isn’t serving us anymore.

It is time for us all to expand. And we can only expand through love, by listening to our hearts, and connecting with our God/Source within.

The question is can we – will we – acknowledge this connection and claim our True Power?

I am.  I’m tired of contracting.  It feels so much better to expand.

© 2017 Jessica Fasquel. 

 

Expansion in the New Year

This year is about expanding more into the Truth of Who We Are.

Expanding into our Fullness.

Expanding into our Wholeness.

This includes accepting and loving those parts of us that are scared to expand.

Because it means being Seen.

It means risking disapproval. Or judgment. Or withdrawal of love by another.

But we accept this, despite the pain we may feel, because we love ourselves that much.

Because we’re willing to give ourselves the love that we seek.

Because we’re willing to give ourselves the approval that we need.

Because we’re willing to hold steadfast to our Truth amidst the conflict and disagreement.

Knowing that it is our Truth that will set us free. Nothing else.

We love ourselves enough to say Yes to what is in our Hearts.

And take the action required of us.

This is our year ahead, if we are so willing.

This morning, while reflecting on this, I looked at the beautiful pink roses sitting before me.

rose

Look at how a rose opens herself and expands into her Beauty.

There’s nothing stopping her.

There’s nothing that she fears.

She is Pure Love.

The rose is my teacher and is the inspiration for my new affirmation:

I Am Free to Expand into the True Essence of Who I Am

because I love myself.

And this is the most loving thing I can do for myself

AND for the world.

 

©2017 Jessica Fasquel.

The Simple Message

Well, I’ve officially ended my road trip and have landed back in Columbia, South Carolina to be with my family for the holidays. The adventure, however, is never finished.

After I left New Mexico, I spent time exploring the middle of our country; specifically, Oklahoma and Arkansas. After my original drive cross-country in late October, I felt a strong desire to return to Arkansas. Its energy was pulling me. Why, I didn’t know, but I had to go back.

I wasn’t planning to visit Fayetteville, Arkansas, but too many signs kept pointing in its direction. Including an invitation to attend a concert led by a group called “Harmonia.” The all-female group (with one lone male guitarist) sang beautiful songs to benefit The Magdalene Serenity House, which is being built to help women who were victims of human trafficking.

All of the songs were positive, but one in particular stuck with me. It was originally sung by Pat Humphries, called “Swimming to the Other Side.”

They handed us little sheets of paper with a short section of the song, which read:

“We are living ‘neath the great big dipper

We are washed by the very same rain

We are swimming in this stream together,

Some in power and some in pain

We can worship the ground we walk on

Cherishing the beings that we live beside

Loving spirits will live forever

We’re all swimming to the other side.”

 Feel free to listen to the whole song (highly recommended) on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mhzSXNWvGo.

The words go deep, touching on what I believe to be the true purpose of celebrating Christmas. Jesus, or “Yeshua” as he is also called, spoke about the unity of every living thing. “Cherishing the beings that we live beside.” Because they, too, are of God. God is within All. There is no separation, unless we choose to create it with our thoughts and beliefs.

“We are swimming in this stream together.” What benefits One benefits All. What hurts One hurts All.

This is a time of celebrating our Same-ness while honoring our Unique-ness. Our appearances may vary. Our cultures, our languages, our homes, our bodies, our voices, our jobs may be different. But we’re all playing our part in this magnificent puzzle we call Life.

The point is to Love. To Be Free. To Listen to the Knowing within our Hearts, and be guided by our inner truth rather than that of someone or something else. This is the original message of Yeshua that I believe has become so convoluted.

“Love is the Key and the Way.”

“For those who have ears to hear.”

“For those who have eyes to see.”

“Love is the Key and the Way.”

© 2016 Jessica Fasquel.

 

 

 

Finding Nourishment

I came to New Mexico to feed my Soul.  And I have been well beyond nourished.

Magdalena was calling me, and now I know why.  It was there that I could best and most easily connect with the primordial Earth energy, the Deep Feminine essence that resides within the heart of the Earth.

Because the land has been practically untouched by man, one can feel the raw power that emanates from the Earth’s core.  She’s fierce, ready to erupt, and yet gentle, offering solace to those who seek it.

Her energy helped me to reconnect to aspects of myself that I had denied, or forgotten, or shamed.  Through connection with my body, my heart and the Earth, I could re-member my Self into Wholeness.

On Thursday I drove to Sante Fe, New Mexico, where I was able to dance in an ecstatic dance community, my favorite form of release and integration.  Where I allow my body to move me, rather than me moving it.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like.  It matters how it feels.

The same is true for my path in life.

I’ve given up caring how it “looks” to an outsider.  To anyone but my own Soul.

For I have chosen to leave the “straight and narrow” path.  I’m not playing into appearances anymore.  I can’t participate in a justice system that I believe is fundamentally flawed.  I can’t pretend that life is about “settling down, making family and having money.”

It’s not.  Not for me, anyway.

Life is about Experience.

Life is about Feeling.

Life is about Healing.

Life is about Love.

Love is about Joy.

Life is about listening to my Soul, honoring its needs, feeling its wounds, and then licking them into Wholeness.

Before I left for Magdalena, I was still wrestling with how to justify myself.  How to explain what I was doing, so that it could “make sense” to other people.  Really, I was trying to justify the “radical decision” to myself.

But I need not justify myself to anyone.

Nor do I need to understand every step my Soul asks me to take.  My rational mind may never understand, and that’s okay.  My Heart knows.

It’s a path.  A “serpentine path,” if you will.

And I’m on it, full force.  Living by my Heart’s Truth, and not the truth of anyone else.  Letting my Heart guide me, even if it seems “crazy” or “stupid” to those who don’t know how to listen to their own hearts.  Or who are too afraid to listen.

I get it.  I’ve been there.  I’ve ignored my Heart’s whisper too many times.  And it’s never been in my favor.

Today I spent the day in Taos, New Mexico, where the Rio Grande Gorge is located.  It looks like the Grand Canyon, and is apparently one of the largest natural rifts in the world (which is essentially a separation of the earth’s crust).

I couldn’t help but be amazed at its beauty.  It was symbolic for me on many levels.  I could see the inner layers of the Earth, and the water flowing through the middle.  It looks almost like the vulva of a woman.  It symbolizes (and is in fact) an opening into the Heart of the Earth.  Into the Heart of Oneself.

And this is the only path to True Freedom.  The path of the Heart.

 

© 2016 Jessica Fasquel.

 

The Divine

I am a woman who dances wildly, with total abandon.

I am a man who stands firm.

I am a mountain.

I am a desert.

I am a leaf.

I am a mouse.

I am small.

I am big.

I am a bird who sings sweet songs.

I am a lion who roars.

I am a house that falls.

I am a seed that sprouts.

I am a tree that grows tall.

I am a flower that blooms.

I am an herb that heals.

I am the moon reflecting light.

I am the sun shining the light.

I am a song.

I am a scream.

I am the tears that flood through the rivers.

I am the earthquake that roars.

I am a tornado that changes.

I am a storm that brings relief.

I am the morning dew.

I am loud.

I am a silent whisper.

I am the highest peak.

I am the deepest ocean.

I am the wind that kisses your cheek.

I am stillness that beckons you.

I am the music that plays.

I am the silence that cures.

I am Life.

I am Spirit.

I am Breath.

I am Heart.

I am Love.

I am Divine.

I am All of These and More.

I Am.

I Am.

I Am.

©2016 Jessica Fasquel.

Finding Refuge

To say that this week has been “intense” would be an understatement. I’m not the only one who has experienced many deep emotions and heavy fatigue during the peak of the Super Full Moon we had this week.

I’m grateful I had the opportunity to let my body rest as needed, sometimes going to bed before 8 p.m. because I was too exhausted to stay awake. The moon is like a magnet for me. It pulls out all that’s ready to be released, helping me to see what emotions may have gotten lodged inside. Grief was the biggest emotion that kept riding through me this week.

On Monday afternoon, shortly after the moon was at its closest point to the Earth, I went on my favorite walk through the mountainous desert in Magdalena. My walk was accompanied by occasional sobs. All of a sudden, I realized that there was a large white snake to my right (no, it wasn’t a rattlesnake!). As I passed by, it lifted its head up and stuck out its tongue, which snakes do to enhance their sense of smell and to measure the heat of the object near them. It lets the snake know whether it should attack for food or stay calm.

The tears stopped, and a sense of calm moved through me. The snake had a message, telling me that I wasn’t alone, that I was guided, that I was on the right path. As much as physically seeing snakes may bring shivers up my spine, the snake is my “power animal.” It has continued over several years to bring me messages, comfort and wisdom.

I kept walking, but my stride changed. The random sobs of grief quieted down. My vision was clearer, and I felt more grounded.

The emotions and fatigue continued throughout the week, but seeing the snake helped me see through them more clearly. With awareness, I let the emotions move through me, rather than identifying with the emotion as belonging to me. I believe strongly that we must feel to heal. Deep cleansing requires deep feeling. Knowing this, I gave myself time and space.

It just so happens that the Festival of the Cranes is happening this week at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, about a 50-minute drive from Magdalena. It felt like the perfect way to spend my day on Thursday, since I always find refuge in nature, and I needed “refuge” this week. I couldn’t have picked anything better to do. It was an incredibly healing day for me, as I let the beauty of my surroundings fill my heart with peace and gratitude.

Thousands of birds migrate to Bosque del Apache each year between mid-November and February. There are ducks, cranes, eagles, hawks, raptors, blue herons, mountain lions, elk, deer, and the list goes on. It’s a place where the animals can remain in their natural state, without any unnatural harm coming to them.

(Above, hundreds of ducks played in the water; cranes fed on the ground beneath them, and snow geese gathered together.)

It’s important for all life to have a refuge, a safe place they can go for deep rest. Even the Earth herself needs a refuge from inhabitants, where she can be left alone.

One of the many highlights of my day was hiking the Canyon National Recreation Trail, which led me through the Chihuahuan Desert, entering a deep ravine carved into sandstone by flash floods called “Solitude Canyon.” It was one of the best hikes I’ve ever done, simply because of my surroundings and the pristine energy I felt while there.

I saw the path of a snake embedded in the sand as I hiked up to the mesa, which made me smile. When outdoors, especially in the desert, I’m keenly aware of how vulnerable I am to the forces of nature. I am vulnerable. There’s no escaping it or pretending that I’m not. We like to think that we have dominion over the Earth or the animal kingdom, but we don’t.

And, yet, I trust. I walk in faith that I am protected. And I use caution, constantly aware of my surroundings. Sometimes it’s hard to watch the ground before me (in search of possible rattlesnakes) while simultaneously looking up, but it works somehow. I use my walking stick to create vibrations in the Earth that forewarn snakes of my approach, giving me enough time to respond if I scare them.

We have to work with nature, not against it. Keep our distance out of respect. Avoid doing anything that may be threatening. Wild animals do not attack for the sake of attack. They only attack when necessary, for either food/livelihood or self-defense. It is only we humans who kill for pleasure or in excess of our basic needs. If I give animals their space, they’ll give me mine.

So many of us, myself included, have forgotten these natural ways. I hope to remember this ancient wisdom, so that my unwarranted fears can disintegrate. Caution is necessary, but fear is not.

(Above, views of my hike through Solitude Canyon and the magnificent views from the mesa.)

It was a day of transformation for me. The day before, I took an action that united my heart with my voice, which created an internal shift that I continue to feel. Something within me has changed. After eating lunch on a picnic table next to a gorgeous old cottonwood tree, a dragonfly landed directly in front of me, staying long enough for me to look and take photos. Dragonflies represent, among other things, transformation. What a precious, precious gift. And may there be many more, for the benefit of All.

(Above, the view of the area where I ate lunch, and the dragonfly itself.)

©2016. Jessica Fasquel.