Jesica Hanley Vega

Sing Your Song


September 2013

Let Yourself Be Silently Drawn

By the strange pull


Of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.


Ordinarily, we like to think that the ambitions we hold – and the goals we set – represent ourselves at our best. We assume that, once accomplished, our external achievements will signify an internal ascendancy towards liberation, joy and acceptance.

However, once we surrender to being “silently drawn,” as Rumi puts it, the first thing our true love (a.ka.our essential self ) may often do is yank us away from our pre-existing strategies for success. And when that happens – when we take those first definitive steps away from life as we’ve previously strategized it – our egos may violently resist.

To begin a life that exalts and follows the guidance of one’s essential self is experienced as a direct insult to all the work our egos have done on our behalf until now. And, in the face of such betrayal, they will fight to prove that if only we stick with their plan will we achieve all that we ultimately desire.

What does such resistance feel like? Fear. Anxiety. Panic. Controlling and addictive behaviors. Obsessions. Indecision. Confusion. Certainty that we are doomed to failure, poverty and isolation. If it’s compulsively mental, compulsively unhappy, and compulsively determined to be right about something – you can be sure it’s the ego at work trying to undermine love.

The greatest irony, of course, is that everything the ego seeks for us in the future is available in the moment we embrace our essential selves. All the love, esteem, respect and acceptance I once thought would come with an Academy Award, for instance, becomes available whenever I sit quietly and surrender to the warmth of my essence. And when I stand up again and go on with my day, my life is no longer run by a desperation to achieve those things. 

But such a shift in attention – from what the Buddhists call “monkey mind” to a place of inner peace – is not instantaneous. There is no switch to flip. There are no “10 easy steps” to liberation and oneness. As I wrote a few weeks ago, there is only practice – and while your practice may be simple, that does not guarantee it will be easy.

Knowing how much work and pain is required with such a practice – in addition to courage, commitment, patience, integrity and tolerance for failure – I often fear I have to convince people that it’s worthwhile.

But if you are reading this now, you know what it feels like to be pulled by something you love. And you already know, deep inside, that if you don’t let yourself be drawn towards it, you will be missing out on something important. Your Life. Or your Self. You just want to know the struggle will be worth it.

So I won’t try to convince you. Instead, I will assure you. The road may be uncharted and the results uncertain, but it will not lead you astray.

When Walking In Fog


I think about Vermeer. His images were so peaceful, you’d never know that warfare and uncertainty defined his time.

IMG_0129Walking by Puget Sound,  I also experience the power of  peace against the backdrop of uncertain times. 


What is the proper response to a dead seal on the beach? A young man builds a tomb marker with a piece of driftwood and a white feather. Then he offers a military salute.


I put faith in the idea that if I continue to do what I am called to do, my life will continue to fall into place: work will go on, expenses will be covered,  children will be raised.  


But what about chemical weapons in Syria, extraordinary levels of radiation from Fukushima and increased government surveillance? 

Later in the morning, while I’m waiting for a school bus, Marvin Gaye sings  about another war, …only love can conquer hate.

Let us at least begin by choosing to love where we have failed to love before and create peace in our own lives, where we have waged war.

What Do YOU Need?

Without a camera, how could I continue my mushroom photo safaris?

What do you need to be the healthiest you can be? What do you need to thrive and flourish?

What do you need to satisfy your deepest sense of purpose and fulfill your divine passion?

Do you even know?

I need a camera.

Ever since Uncle Harvey gave me an old 35mm Fujica SLR when I was a teenager, I’ve had a camera. And since my children were born, I’ve probably had 5. On the one hand, they don’t make them like they used to. On the other hand – I have kids.

About a year ago, I realized I needed a very special camera. Waterproof, yes. Shock-proof, yes. Temperature-proof. yes. But, most importantly, kid-proof. So I did the research and bought a Canon especially made for extreme sports athletes, outdoor enthusiasts and people with kids who like to play with their parents’ cameras.

And then, on the first stop of this summer’s epic road trip, I lost it. Or, to be more precise, one of my kids was playing with my camera and then…it was lost.

I went a month without a camera and then I couldn’t take it anymore. Something too essential was missing from my life. Some kind of expression had become impossible and some kind of voice within me was struggling too hard to be heard.  Some kind of malaise was settling in.

So last night I went online and bought my new waterproof, shock-proof, temperature-proof, kid-proof Canon.  And breathed a sigh of relief.

What do YOU need to breathe so deeply your entire being surrenders and lets go?

Do you even know?

Or are you so used to your own constant state of  deprivation, stress and malaise that you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be deeply satisfied on a soul-level?

Do you know who you are when you’ve attended to your soul’s basic needs? When your generosity to your highest self has nurtured a greater generosity to others?

What do YOU really need? And who would you be if you gave it to yourself?

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