Jesica Hanley Vega

Sing Your Song


August 2012

(Not) Good at Everything

Did you ever think you had to be good at everything? I know this isn’t a problem that everybody has, but I know enough people who suffer from this perfectionism-itis, that it’s worth addressing.

I used to work in the film industry. On my resume was writer, director, offline editor, online editor, boom operator, sound recordist, assistant editor, producer, licenses and clearance maven and sound designer.

Was I good at everything? Maybe.

Was I great at anything?

Never got there.

What do I do now?

Intuitive readings and spiritual counselling.

What else could I also be doing? To name just a few things I constantly think I should be doing…Designing this website. Marketing myself. Social networking. Ceaselessly pursuing new clients.

Am I doing any of them? Not really.

Instead, I’m giving myself the opportunity to be great at one thing by admitting I don’t have to do everything: by accepting that I need help and surrendering to the idea that it’s better to enhance my strengths than strengthen my weaknesses.

Surrendering also to the idea that if I build it – my life as an intuitive, a mystic, a conduit between the lives of others and their own divinity – they will come.

It’s vulnerable. It’s radical. It’s dangerous.

It’s a risk worth taking and a game worth playing.

Slowing Down…To Taste The Raspberries

It was a little over a year ago when I finally surrendered to this path on which I find myself. Previously, I’d considered that doing readings and  practicing spiritual devotion were mere adjuncts to my “real” life – what I did in between gigs as a productive adult. With the support of an extraordinary group of women, I began to consider instead that I was already a productive adult.

For any of us raised in mainstream culture, slowing down can seem too closely akin to dropping out and going inward too akin to running away. But the more slowly I go, and the further I travel inward, the more aware I am of what the world has to give me – and the more aware of what I have to give.

On a “bad” day with the kids, I pulled into a parking lot, exasperated because someone had to pee and they weren’t going to be able to wait until we got home. It was that time of day when I felt as if I had absolutely no more to give. I just wanted to get going and go home.

Once the pit stop was complete,  I was ready to get back in the car.

But growing on the walk, between the Starbucks and our car, fresh raspberries beckoned.

I’m not saying that, in the past, I wouldn’t have stopped to taste the raspberries. But they certainly felt like a affirmation of what is possible when one stops hurrying and takes a look at the ground beneath one’s feet.

Does “God” Only Help The Winners?


In her Salon column on August 3, Mary Elizabeth Williams asked a question that was probably on the minds of many an Olympic watching non-Christian last week: Did God (really) help Gabby Douglas win that gold medal?

She quotes Douglas from an interview she gave following her epic performance.“I give all the glory to God.” Douglas said. “It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.”

Williams then inquires as to whether such statements imply that God is not equally on the side of the girls who didn’t win a gold medal that day and whether such a God is likewise only on the side of the people who survive cancer,  not  those who succumb (Williams is a cancer survivor).

While such a question is integral to an active faith (like Douglas, Williams is also a Christian) there are two things I think one must take into account when considering an answer.

The first is that, as humans,  we don’t always actually know what is the best possible outcome for any situation, i.e. that a gold medal is  the greatest blessing an athlete can attain.

I deal with such assumptions all the time in my work. Sometimes the greatest blessings are not what we assume them to be and, only in retrospect, do we realize that they had nothing at all to do with what we wanted.

The second, and more important point, is that the magic was not in the medal but in the performance.

Gabby Douglas is a remarkable gymnast because her performances involve an element of risk that seems improbable. She is a marvel on the uneven bars because, in so many instances, it looks as if she’s flung herself too far into the air to find her way back.

Many a time during her routines, it actually seems as if she’s lost – or given up – control of her own body and the outcome of her physical action.

During the Olympic competition, Douglas’ routine was so other worldly – so seemingly against some basic assumptions of physics –  that I can see why she would credit its success to a force greater than herself. 

In fact, I believe this is a visible sign of the surrender that is necessary for genius of any kind to be expressed.

Douglas does all the work she can possibly do and then gives up the rest.

Giving it up, in her case, means…to God.

Even if it is only the power of belief itself that makes for her miraculous moves, she is a vivid example of what is possible when one practices faith on the court or, in this case, on the bars. And she has a right to thank God or whomever she wishes to share credit with.

Just as we all do, whenever we accomplish anything that flies in the face of our own expectations and seems, at least partially, given by grace.

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