Jesica Hanley Vega

Sing Your Song


May 2015

A Garden Of One’s Own


This quote from Ram Dass expresses how the body, mind and spirit must all be nurtured in order to create optimal circumstancesnot only for ourselves, but for those around us.

My understanding of the way a child grows is that you create the garden, you don’t grow the flower. You can merely fertilize the earth and keep it soft and moist, and then the flower grows as best it can. It’s an interesting one, because people get guilty that they’re not doing enough about their children, and they tend to get caught in this sort of predicament.

You don’t change your wife or your child. You just keep working on yourself until you are such a clean mirror reflection, such a supportive rock of love for all those beings that everybody is free to give up their stuff when they want to give it up – your wife, her anxiety; your child, that habit. You keep creating a space in which people can grow when they’re ready to grow. – RAM DASS


IMG_8741In the last few months, there have been times when I wasn’t sure I could keep up with what was on my plate.

It can feel like a bit of a conundrum to advocate for mindfulness and spirituality while, at the same time, hustling to meet deadlines, write blog posts, create promotional materials and lead events.

And yet, I also feel that if I wasn’t confronted with these challenges of contemporary life, much of what I say would lose its relevance. It’s easy to remain mindful and connected when watching ocean waves or blissed out on retreat, but it’s another thing to remain centered when you have three things to complete in time for the arrival of a rambunctious six year old who will burst in at 2:45, drop his stuff in the middle of the floor, run to the bathroom and then immediately request a snack.

A monastery this ain’t.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As much as there have been times when I’ve longed for the monastic life – to be left alone with spirit, silent in my cell  – my calling, at least for the foreseeable future, is clearly in the world. And my mission, at least in part, is to share with others – regardless of circumstances, status or income – how to live squarely in this world while honoring our spirits at the same time.

We are all of flesh and we are all spiritual beings. To deny ourselves either the pleasures or responsibilities of either would do ourselves a great disservice. I am the last to advocate for an entirely materialistic existence, but I am also the last to ignore the demands of this earthly plane.

We can all awaken – and when we do, we should awaken not only to the fact that we are all eternal and spiritual, but also to the privilege that we have bodies and with these bodies, have business to attend to. Otherwise, I believe, we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

So I continue to breath in – taking in the gifts of spirit, wisdom and healing that are all around me – and I continue to breathe out – sharing my trials, my challenges and my own wisdom with the world. And the beat goes on.

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