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Jesica Hanley Vega

Sing Your Song

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failure

5 Steps On The Path To Peace

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Beach grass with dew.

1) In the October, 2014 issue of “O”  The Oprah Magazine, Paulo Coelho says: If you think small, your world will be small. If you think big, your world will be big*.

The smallest things seem big to me. When I was a child, I believed that if everyone slowed down and saw things as I saw them, there would be peace. Which is why I wanted to be a filmmaker. I wanted to show my world to people and have them experience life in all its perfection and glory.  If we took this world into our hearts, I believed, there would be no war.

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Fallen feather.

2) A heart is like a flower… It can be very brave, but it can easily be hurt.

As a young adult, I began to believe this desire meant there was something wrong with me: that I was naive and idealistic, that I was not cut out for the “real world.”

I was brave for a while but, as I grew older,  it seemed impossible that my vision of peace would be realized and I forgot my dream. My world grew small and I felt hurt.

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Purple Centaurea Nigra.

3) There is a Zen proverb that says, basically, if you want something, step aside and let this thing come to you.

And yet, once my heart was broken, it could be re-opened to the beauty that had captivated me when I was young. When I reconnected with the natural world, I reconnected with the vision of peace I had once known. Inside me was an inner child who said: Hey, do you remember that dream?

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Reflecting pool in an old tree stump.

4) A Personal Legend is the reason you are here…It is the only thing that gives you enthusiasm.

The only thing that gives me enthusiasm is the experience I have when I pay close attention to the world and my mind gives way to my heart. This experience is available to all people but it’s too often forgotten.

In Paulo Coelho’s terms, it is my Legend to live this principle: to demonstrate that peace is within reach at all times, within all people and between all divisions if we can slow down, listen and connect – with each other and the world around us.

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White clover.

5) If you are honest enough, God will guide you. Even if you take some wrong steps along the way, God will recognize that you have a pure heart and put you back on track. 

I have taken many wrong steps along the way but I am still on the journey. My resolve is tested daily. I’m not the proof but I AM the experiment and I live for peace not only as if my life depends on it, but as if yours does.

*All italicized statements from the Paulo Coelho interview in the October, 2014 issue of “O” magazine.

What Story Are You Living?

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Leave a trail of light and beauty in your wake and others will follow.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives but, for much of my life, assumed film-making would be the path.

For as long as I could remember, movies had been my greatest source of inspiration and joy. Nothing moved me as much as a good movie could – nothing could make me think, feel and expand as much. So it felt natural to dedicate my life to providing others with the bliss I experienced watching awesome films.

Therefore it was quite a surprise – and a crushing disappointment – to discover that sometimes when we “follow our dreams” they don’t actually come true. Despite my passion for film, I was a poor fit for the day-to-day realities of the industry and I was rarely happy there.

The realization that I was barking up the wrong tree did not happen overnight. It took many tears and a lot of  soul-searching to eventually turn what felt like a story of professional and personal failure into something more empowering, and yet…

Through a fortuitous meeting with someone who recommended I read tarot cards (of all things) I unexpectedly embarked on a new path that ended up leading me where I wanted to go.

At this point, I don’t consider myself a “tarot card reader.” Though divination and intuition remain a signification aspect of my work, ultimately I provide people with insights and tools for self-actualization. This is less because I know what my clients should do and more because – together – we create conversations in which such insights and tools naturally arise.

While the bliss of watching a movie derives from experiencing a story that touches us and provides us with a new way of seeing things, I’ve now discovered that bliss is also possible when people discover their own stories.

We are all heroes of our own story – if we choose to see our lives that way. But when we get stuck in one version of events, it can be hard to see our way out. I’ve lived my own hero’s journey – I certainly know what it’s like to be stuck in hell – but having come out the other side,  I unknowingly prepared myself to lead others out as well. 

What story are you living? Where is it going? And have you considered a rewrite?

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