jesssmithwriting

Devote yourself to your purpose and you will cultivate the life you desire.

Time

What is time?
But a concept I choose to rush

In a race
With only myself
Yet place the pressure
On everyone else

Split fours into twos
To save myself time
Pay the whole price
Thinking I’m saving dimes

Because patience is a virtue
With which I wasn’t born
Forgetting to breathe
Then wondering why I’m worn

Am I running in circles
Or out-running the rest
Tearing up my feet
Acting like this is a test

Faster I go
No closer to the finish
Joy in the moment
Is the moment I’m winning

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Oh Hayyyy Gurrl: Note to The “Me” 1 Year Ago

1. Cooking is fun..embrace and find joy in the small things that you have to do anyways.
2. Your friends from home will not forget about you. Their love is abundant, embrace and appreciate it.
3. Keep a journal.
4. Talk to people. Be raw and vulnerable and real. You will realize you’re not as “weird” as you thought you were.
5. Eat healthy and drink a lot of water, your body will love you for it. (You’ll get that “pregnant glow” without the pregnancy, amaaaazzzingg)
6. Your loneliness will make you fall into negative habits/patterns. Please just sit through the loneliness, it will go away.
7. Cocaine isn’t your scene, don’t even bother being a part of it. If you ever did cocaine (judging by your reaction to marijuana) Stars air ambulance would be picking you up from the top of a mountain you decided to climb.
8. On that note, BC weed is NOT Alberta weed. You have been warned.
9. Stop waitressing..ASAP..unless you want to hate life.
10. You are going to fall in love and he will break your heart. This will be the best thing that has ever happened to you. There are different kinds of soulmates and some are here to simply remind us Who We Truly Are and then move on. Take this gift and always remember how valuable coming back to yourself was. Far more valuable than any relationship could ever be.
11. Some of the friends you make at first will not be the best choice. Some will last, a lot won’t. Be grateful for what these relationships gave you at the time.
12. Get a good phone plan, you’re going to call home a lot.
13. Yoga will change your life.
14. Develop a spiritual practice.
15. Eat less trail mix and peanut butter, unless you want to be a whale in 2 years.
16. FORCING ANYTHING NEVER WORKS. (incl. the jeans that no longer fit you from eating all that gadddamn peanut butter)
17. Something knows better than you, ease up on your desire to control.
18. Be gentle with yourself.
19. Free yourself from self-judgment.
20. Embrace your eccentricities. Make collages, take nudey pics by yourself, do hippy shit. You, exactly As You Are, are one thing in this world that cannot be replicated. Recognize the power and beauty in this.
21. You will never regret working hard.
22. You can in fact, reach a euphoric “high” from meditation, it wasn’t bullshit after all.
23. You will love your family more than you have ever loved anything. The distance will give you the room to see and appreciate all that they are.
24. You will find “God”
25. Cockroaches don’t just leave your apartment..you, on the other hand, will have to do just that
26. Perfection is an urban myth. Fuck it.
27. Your self-worth is not/never will be measured by anything outside of yourself, only you have that power.
28. Your knowledge and courage is beautiful. Be prepared though, because it will threaten some people. These are the wrong people to keep in your life. Allow this “weeding out” process to naturally occur. Hold out for those who take you As You Are and love you for it.
29. Revel in simple joys.
30. Have dance parties by yourself in your apartment. Wine, yes. Twerking, yes.
31. Embrace All that You Are and where you are at.
32. Being in a constant state of anxiety does not have to be your reality and it WON’T be your reality. Now, when you do get the odd bit of anxiety, just take it as a sign that something in your life is not aligned.
33. Sex really is just sex when it isn’t with someone you love. Hooking up is overrated.
34. Roommates aren’t as bad as you thought they’d be.
35. Embracing your feminine side doesn’t make you a vagina, it just means you have one.
36. Material things are simply that..things..they mean nothing. And at the rate you’re moving (3 places in 1 year), the less things the better.
37. Mom will nurture your wings/creativity and dad will nurture your roots/reality. Know that they both want the best for you.
38. Don’t rush, great things take time.
39. Music will save you. (You are going to play Robert Glasper’s Black Radio 2 album on repeat for 2 months, it will keep you from getting depressed. Keep it rolling!)
40. The ocean will restore you.
41. Run, bike and swim as much as possible. Just do it. Your bed will still be there when you get home.
42. Power comes in knowing you are perfectly ok on your own. Joy comes in knowing you don’t have to be on your own.
43. Wear silky stuff to bed, it’ll make you feel good.
44. You have within you an infinite pool of wisdom…TRUST YOURSELF
45. Don’t give of yourself too soon. There is a difference between sacrifice and having no self respect. Fill yourself first. Become so full of life, joy and love until it naturally pours forth for others. This is the true essence of giving.
46. Every risk you took will payoff tenfold.
47. Light candles and take a deep fucking breath. Life is goooood.

Significance

Recently I have acknowledged both my significance and my complete insignificance in the universe. It is the greatest paradox I have faced and come to understand. We spend our days running around in our own “zone.” We forget that all the while, everyone around us is doing the same thing. Reality is nothing but our personal perception. My reality is completely different than the next person’s. We can hear the same song, look at the same tree, read the same book, but we will not gather the same information from these things. We get so caught up in our own lives, assuming that that is “reality.” But it isn’t, it is just ours!

Without sounding like a complete hippy..the ocean is what has taught me this. A 5 minute walk takes me from downtown of a metropolis to standing on a beach, staring at a vast, beautiful body of water..a body of water that has more power than humankind. This is the exact moment I feel completely insignificant. And I don’t mean insignificant in a sobby, bullshitty, feel sorry for me way..I mean it in a “oh wow, I’m not the only thing existing on this planet and MY SHIT REALLY ISN’T THAT BIG OF A DEAL.” The ocean puts everything in perspective for me.

I have learned the value in balancing my perspective on life. Balancing my “importance” with my “unimportance.” Realizing our importance is valuable when we Love and spread Love. And realizing our unimportance is valuable when Ego takes ahold of us and tries to set us apart from the rest. We are all vital parts of this “system,” but..WE ARE ONLY VITAL PARTS OF THE SYSTEM SO THAT WE MAY COLLECTIVELY CREATE SOMETHING GREATER THAN OURSELVES.

The paradox is that yes, we are one of a kind..but there are 7 billion people who are also “one of kind.” It’s realizing that we are significant and special..but NO more significant and special than the other 6.999999999 billion people on the planet. The “unique” aspects of ourselves and our “gifts” are what set us apart, but we have to realize that our gifts are no more important than the next person’s. This is what separates Love from Ego, Non-judgement from Judgement, Compassion from Indifference, Connectedness from Disconnect.

It scares me at times, to think that I might not be “that important” or “special” or “unique,” but that is only because my Ego feels threatened by that thought. When I get out of my own head..talk to my grandpa who has been to war and seen his friends die in front of him..when I look at the ocean and acknowledge that it could swallow me up in an instant..when I accept that I only have control over what’s going on inside my own head (ie. my reality) and that EVERYTHING else is out of my control..when I accept that I am both extremely powerful, but also powerless against some forces..it is this balance that gives me sanity and peace at the end of the day.

The Birds and Bees (a lurrrve poem to no one!)

I am the sound of harmonics

on a hollow bodied guitar

 

I am the sweet smell of rain,

freshly fallen on a flower bed of lilies

 

I am warm mud

oozing through your fingertips

giving life to the worms, to the birds,

birds giving flight to the sky

 

I am the bass of a sweaty hip hop club

making your heart beat

deeper than it has before

 

I am the dark pockets in the ocean

you don’t know what’s there…

but you’ll jump anyways

 

I am the hook you can’t get out of your head.

 

And you…

You are red licorice..and bubblegum…

and hot lips..and cinnamon hearts!

spicy, but still sooo sweet

 

You are my favourite pop song

3 minutes and 30 seconds of perfection

that fills me just enough

yet I can’t help but play you on repeat

 

You are my favourite pair of old, worn in jeans

that I won’t ever be able to throw away

 

You are the adrenaline of jumping from heights

you make me afraid…

but I will jump anyways

 

You are the hook I can’t get out of my head.

 

So let’s run run away together

until our legs and bones ache

because our hearts no longer will

 

I want to be your free fall

And you be mine

 

I want to be your ocean shore

calling you into me

 

And we will Love deeply.

 

I want to kiss you when you cry

Have your tears land softly on my lips

And I will take them as my own

As long as I know you will not have to hurt

 

I will be a dim light,

never too bright,

to remind you in the dark

that you are not alone

 

And you,

you will do the same

Not out of need,

but desire

 

We will love freely!

 

Because I make you fly

And you make me drip like honey

It’s just you and me,

the birds and the bees

Tell Me I Can’t..Creating “My Own Movement”

In the Woodkid video I attached in the previous post he says a couple things that got through to me: 1) “Curiosity is about filling the gaps that you have inside of you.” and 2) “Create your own movement.” 

There have been times when I have told people my goals and they respond with some sort of warning, as if to save me from inevitable defeat. I have learnt to be very careful about who I share my aspirations with, and no one really knows the depth of them. I have found there is a balance between being able to verbalize goals and keeping them to myself for “safety’s” sake. 

As I have gone through life I have learned there are people who are going to “talk you down” no matter what you tell them you want to achieve. The first thing I do when someone starts talking down my goals is, look at their life. How do they seem to feel about their own circumstances? Do they complain about work/life regularly? Do they have any dreams besides plainly existing? My guess is they are quite unhappy with where they are at. People have a tendency to project their own “shit” onto others in the hopes of putting themselves just a bit “above.” And I have fallen into believing these people, taking their word. Only to then a few days, weeks, months down the road, look back at our conversation and wonder why I ever listened to them in the first place. 

I 100% believe that a huge part of achieving “success” is by surrounding ourselves with people who have a similar idea of success. Surround yourself with people who stir something up inside of you, in a positive way. Surround yourself with people who intimidate and even threaten you due to everything they have achieved (because the minute someone threatens you, without having made any sort of attack on you, it is due to an insecurity inside of yourself). Deal with your insecurities by putting yourself directly in circumstances that make you feel afraid. There is a difference between people who threaten your dreams because they talk you down and people who threaten you because they have achieved/are in the process of achieving what you want to. Surround yourself with the latter. 

We are only able to take our lives where we can take our minds. How are you supposed to go somewhere, be it physically, mentally, spiritually, that you do not believe could potentially exist? Create an environment for yourself in which curiosity is nurtured. We were given curiosity, a desire to explore, so that we may see/learn that greater and bigger things DO exist. I want to write a book one day, I want to speak to people in large volumes..I have only told a few people these things and I have had both ideas shot down. I was told, “just choose one thing.” And to those people I say, thanks but no thanks. I will not allow my life to be a smaller version than I want because I took the advice of someone who had no dreams of their own.

Nurture your curiosity. Fill the gaps inside of you through the process of discovery. Never get too comfortable. Take risks. Push the limits. CREATE YOUR OWN MOVEMENT. Just because no one has done what you want to do, does not make it impossible, it simply means no one has thought about things the way you have. 

Defining Who You Are & Your Path: Leave Room for Where You Will Go

Once I began the process of questioning my path and considering whether or not a career in music is what I want, I had a life altering discovery. I realized that there is no need to concretely define Who We Are/what we do. In fact, in doing so we will be sadly disappointed if/when that person changes. We also have to be careful of defining Who We Are by “what we do” in general. We are NOT “what we do.” Who We Are is manifested through our actions, but we ourselves are not WHAT WE DO. I believe that if we understand this we will be less afraid of changing our paths. In attaching our identity to “what we do,” we build barriers for ourselves. The moment we attach our identity to anything we stop “the FLOW.” We stop the process of evolution. In calling myself a “musician,” I do not allow room for anyone to think anything else of me. And I do not allow room to think anything else of MYSELF.

So when I hit a wall, like I recently did and began questioning myself and where I wanted to take my life, I became deeply afraid. I felt like I was losing my identity. All my life I called myself a “musician,” and now I was possibly losing that. I felt/feel conflicted because there are so many things I am passionate about. Writing, for example, I am deeply passionate about writing. So in calling myself a “musician,” I did not allow room to also consider myself a “writer.” When in fact, right now I spend more of my time writing than I do playing music.

We live in a world where we define ourselves and others by careers, relationships, etc. We are not these things though. Our attachment to these things is exactly what causes us pain. The moment we lose a job or breakup with someone we feel panic. This panic is rooted in the loss of our identity. This is why I believe we should not “define” ourselves at all. We live in a world where we need something to grasp onto because it makes us feel safe, but I have experienced firsthand the peace in not being attached to ANYTHING. I have reached a point in my life where I feel so comfortable and happy on my own. Honestly, I used to be desperate to love someone and have someone love me. I was so scared of being alone. It has taken a lot of personal development and “soul searching” (for lack of a better term) to come to peace with Who I Am and to LOVE that person. Now that I do love myself, I feel invincible in a sense. There is an African proverb that says “when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm” and this could not be more true.

In loving ourselves, we become invincible. But the key is loving ourselves WITHOUT CONDITIONS. In being unattached to Who We Are/what we do and unconditionally loving ourselves, no matter where we decide to go, we allow Who We Are to evolve. We reach new heights and go places we never imagined possible.

 

(See attached video. Woodkid on his career and transformation.)

My Path: The Questioning and It’s Beauty

Part One: The Questioning
There are days I am absolutely sure of “where I am going”, days I don’t for a moment question my path. Then there are days where I wake up very unsure of myself.

Singing/performing music has always been my retreat from the world..my beautiful escapism. When they say “music is my drug” it comes off cliche, but it truly is my drug. I go somewhere outside of this planet, some place where I get to exist in my most raw and vulnerable form. A place where people’s perceptions of me are irrelevant and more importantly my perception of myself is irrelevant.

I always believed that because this was what I was most passionate about, in order to be happy in life I HAD to pursue music as a career. This is now something I question regularly. And THIS is my deepest secret. I always judged people who questioned their art. I thought that meant they didn’t care enough, didn’t love it enough. So now, karma is coming full circle as I question my career and critically judge myself.

I have come to learn that it is not so much my ART that I question, but the industry I have to enter if I choose to make a career out of my art. There is so much about the music industry and “show business” that honestly disgusts me. Show business is not about art, show business is about MONEY. And I am NOT about money. I innocently (and accidentally) fell into this with honest intentions, to make art and share it with the world. I did not realize the business side of what I was entering into when I made the choice to pursue this dream. The show industry is built upon ideals that in NO way, shape or form align with Who I Am.

People ask me “Jessica, why don’t you go on one of those singing shows? Go on Canadian Idol or something?” And I always respect that those asking this want the best for me, so I respond with something along the lines of “oh that’s not really my thing, pop music.” What I am truly thinking is “that is the nearest thing to selling my soul.” While I have much respect for the talented contenders of these shows, I see what a twisted scheme the whole thing is. I watch a young, innocent, talented kid enter a competition to achieve their dreams and come out a generic PRODUCT. They choose their most suitable/marketable bubble for each contender and SELL. What some people don’t realize is that once you win a competition like this, there are contracts that bind you. When some labels sign you, they assume the right to “OWN” you. There are countless stories I have heard/read about where artists lose rights to their music, where they are told what they can and cannot do, and what kind of art they can and cannot create. When people are desperate to achieve their dreams they don’t pay attention the rights they are possibly signing away. THESE are the reasons I question what I am doing.

MUSIC I love, with all of my heart. It has saved me over and over. The music industry on the other hand, is so far removed from reality, in the worst possible way. And I am afraid of it. I am afraid of having to become something I am not. The reality is, I will NEVER become someone else’s product. I will never allow someone to tell me who I can or cannot be. I will NOT pretend. I have spent so much time and energy discovering Who I Am and learning to love that person, and to lose that now would be detrimental.

I have never shared this with anyone, and I am afraid to. I want to be the girl who “always wanted this” and “always will want this,” but I am not sure right now. I am not sure if I am willing to be a part of an industry in which it’s ideals do not align with Who I Am and what I value.

Part 2: The Beauty in the Questioning
At first it scared and threatened me to be questioning the one thing in my life I was so sure of. It felt unstable. This was always my “thing” I could fall back on, when nothing else felt guaranteed. So I panicked, obviously, in true Jessica style. Do not think, do not breathe, just panic… After doing this for a little while and recognizing that I was solving nothing, I took a deep breath and told myself I needed to look at what I was scared of, what I was questioning. That is when I learned what I discussed above, that I was not questioning the art itself, but rather the industry. This was a relief because it meant I never undervalued my work and what I was creating. Where the beauty lies is that had I never questioned any of this, I may have blindly entered into a career/life that goes against so many of my beliefs. Now I at least have the foresight to be prepared and have built a shield to protect myself from anyone/anything that may try to mould me into THEIR idea of what is “right.”

I read an article written by a man named Ryan Coleman, in which he discussed the positives in questioning ourselves and he said “questions structure and guide your thinking.” If we do not question, than we are likely floating, oblivious to our reasoning for our actions. Now, post-questioning, if I decide to continue pursuing music as my career, I know that it has been a very conscious and well informed decision. I also know that I have now created a safety “moat” around me, keeping out people who do not align with my beliefs, no matter what business venture I take part in.

It is through questioning that we discover the importance of things in our lives. If we do not take the time to discern, then we are unaware. Pursuing something mindlessly, having never looking at the other possibilities keeps you in a bubble. And while that bubble may be safe, who knows what you might be missing out on. Now, on the other hand, if we take time to question the things we love (careers, relationships, etc.), there are two options: A. We release whatever it is we are questioning, because we realize it no longer serves us. OR B. We question and come back with full force, stronger than before, because we NOW know how important it is to have that “thing” in our life. There is absolutely nothing lost either way, and that is the beautiful part.

You Are the Light

I am unfinished business,
but perfect as I am.
My imperfections lay stagnant,
perfect as they are,
until the day they no longer serve me

I am cracked,
but never ever broken
Glass stained,
but beautifully with colour

In the same time the pieces “fall apart”
They all come together

There’s a picture
Beyond my control
That I long to see,
sooner than I am allowed

I am not God,
but there I days I crave to be
Pretend to have all of the answers,
but know that I do not

I have come to find Peace in this madness
Happiness in the chaos

Whoever said madness and chaos were the problem?
Man did
And this is the source of all man’s suffering

Beneath the chaos lies the truth.

I feared lack of control
But could only hold so tight

I can only see so far
And hindsight 20/20
has always served me well

As the pieces fall apart
They always come together

I am learning
I work hard
And I falter, day in, day out

But I am learning to be gentle with my soul
It only knows what it sees

But seeing is not believing.

I have grown
Not because I have the full picture now,
but because I no longer need the full picture

I walk blindly
Knowing He holds my hand
Taking me higher and higher

Pain will not bring me down
Hurt will not bring me down
Nothing will take me down

I will only be lifted higher

I will not suffer
Because I have chosen to no longer suffer

And yes, there will be moments
When I will fall back into suffering,
but I will release those moments when I am ready

I will repeat old patterns
Until they are no longer justified

Yes, I am afraid
Afraid to let go
I am human
No different than the rest

But I will never let fear control me

Fear lives where love belongs.

So fill the spaces in your life with love

Do not view those spaces as holes,
voids that need filling with immediate pleasure

Immediate pleasures only last so long
And when they leave they take a little more of you with them

So, as I said
Fill the spaces in your soul, in your life,
with love

Start with loving yourself,
Nothing good comes from a worn out soul

Pleasure should never be provided through your pain
Happiness should not be provided at your expense
Please know you are worth more than that

When you are happy with yourself
You emanate peace

The world absorbs your light
Without you losing any

Nothing good ever comes from a worn out soul.

So, feed your heart
Live and learn passionately
Feeding your soul is the path to enlightenment

The madness is just a dance,
Nothing more than a game of hide and seek

In the moments you feel lost
Remember you have everything within you to be found

In the darkness
There is a light
You are it
Yes, You are the Light.

Devote yourself…

Devote yourself to your purpose and you will cultivate the life you desire.

-JS

Concept Entry: Marriage

Our society today has become obsessed with taking note that 50% of marriages end in divorce. They blame marriage. What they fail to acknowledge is that marriage is not the issue, 2 human beings are the issue. Now I have never been married, I don’t claim to know anything about marriage or it’s challenges, but I have been in relationships. Marriages are essentially relationships with a legal contract binding the 2 people together for a long time.

My opinion is that perhaps marriages wouldn’t fail if we went into them with different intentions. As young women growing up we are taught to find a man “who can/will provide for us,” and young men grow up learning that they “need to provide for women.” And we are taught that this is what makes us loveable. The women being provided for are the loveable women. And the men providing are the loveable men. This is the very reason marriages/relationships DO NOT last. Society/WE have placed these expectations on one another. If every human being went into a relationship solely providing for themselves first (and maintaining this mentality throughout the entire duration of the relationship), I would be willing to bet my life on that 50% decreasing enormously.

And if 2 people come together in marriage and grow apart, who are we to judge that? Do I hope to one day meet someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with? Yes. Do I hope to meet someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me? Yes. But I never plan on saying the words “until death do us part.” That sounds absolutely horrifying to me, like a jail sentence, a set up that will only develop a complacent attitude.

If I am staying by someone’s side and they are staying by mine, it will be out of the DESIRE to do so. If the moment ever comes that a legal contract or having my needs met are the only reasons I am in a relationship with someone, that is the moment I will likely get out of that contract and relationship.

If two people come together, not out of NEEDING one another, but because they truly WANT to dedicate their love to one human being for the rest of their lives, I cannot think of anything more beautiful.

In Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet-On Marriage” he wrote:

“Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”