Long personal story ahead... I'm coming out of the spiritual closet, and may as well start from the beginning...
As a kid, I was always drawn to the astrology section of the newspaper. I remember the newspaper being spread out over the kitchen table on Sunday mornings. My parents quietly read their respective sections and my older sister, always the diligent student, proudly read the colorful comics in a very astute manner. I had just learned to read, so I couldn’t fathom reading actual “adult” articles, and I didn’t find the comics funny, so here I was, gravitating towards the astrology section. I remember my family snickering, “oh astrology is so silly, there’s no truth in there”, and while those predictions in the newspaper weren’t by any means always true – I inherently knew there was something real in there. It wasn’t until years later that I could go deeper into astrology, beyond the medieval hocus-pocus astrology– where planets “make things happen”, and instead find an astrology that is evolved and soulful.
I suppose one could say astrology was the first door for me to spirituality. While I did have a few weird spirit things happen in my childhood, I really didn’t understand them – and I pretty much grew up as a normal kid (if there is such a thing as “normal.”) Having one Jewish parent and one Catholic parent, I did have a sense there was no "ultimate" way to God, no better way per say to practice – and anyone who dumped shame and sin and “if you don’t believe in Jesus you will go to hell” was clearly out of their wits (and they clearly had not met my Jewish great grandmother, who always a delight to see and showered us with ice-cream and cookies.)
In any case, I still won’t say I had any obvious pull towards spirituality, but I can look back and see small openings. Everyone I knew in my school/town was Christian, and I knew of no other options. Even me being half-Jewish was “weird” at my school – but nevertheless I loved showing off my matzo pb&j sandwiches during Passover week at the cafeteria lunch table. Every year I relished in people asking me what I was eating – I thrived in being different and teaching my peers about a new culture and a new food (Ha! I guess not much has changed!). At a young age, I also decided I was way more Jewish than Catholic because of a story my mom told me – that as a little girl she consulted a rabbi about death – and instead of him lamenting about heaven and hell, he told her we ultimately don’t have all of the answers – and that the good in what we do at earth lives on. Then and there I decided to be Jewish – I didn’t trust anyone or any religion that claimed to have all of the answers. So in sense, I leaned towards Judaism, not as a religion, but because I liked the sense of spiritual openness I felt, at least for that initial moment.
Carrying on… by high school I was an active swimmer and into fitness, and became interested in nourishing myself better with healthy food, both for myself and for my fitness performance. For a while it was what I call "Today Show knowledge" aka what Joy Bauer recommended on the nutrition segment (in high school I stopped eating white bread, bagels, and donuts.) Over the years it became a natural evolution for me in living a healthy lifestyle (and I stopped listening to the Today Show and found other sources, after all, the mainstream idea of eating 3 servings of dairy a day is a very bad idea.) Then, in my mid-20’s, after several months backpacking in Europe and beyond, I really saw in comparison how warped our American society is – with crazy diets, people flogging their bodies at the gym, all of the processed foods, stress through the roof, and the notorious standard American diet (not a coincidence it's acronym is "SAD"). I wanted to do something about it, which led me to enrolling a holistic nutrition school, where I became a health coach. Towards the end of the holistic nutrition program I was introduced to meditation (thank you Deepak Chopra), and started attending a weekly meditation group, and that opened up a whole new chapter for me, the door at last to spirituality.
My journey is spirituality has been very gradual, one thing has always led to the next. There’s been: yoga, meditation, angel cards, healers, tantra, shamanism, astrology, various teachers and too many modalities/workshops/books to mention. But, it’s really been over the last few months that truth of how intuitive and psychic I am has come to life.
As I've looked at my friendships (the really meaningful ones that stayed around), I noted that pretty much all of close friends are intuitives and healers. It’s a nice network to have – having people as I say on “speed dial” that can tap in and tell me what to do / what is the ultimate truth. But what really surprised me, is that when they needed advice, they would often come to ME and wholeheartedly trusted my intuition (?!?!?!). It wasn’t until rather recently actually, that I've really come to terms that yes, I’m an intuitive/healer too (like attracts like, duh!). And in fact, I can consult myself (revolutionary!) for the advice and center-ness that I need to connect with spirit.
It’s taken quite a bit of – clearing house – over the last few months, to make space for my true spiritual self to come out to the world. Over the last few months (and years, really), I’ve left a number of friendships and relationships that I just knew wouldn’t be able to support me in my next evolution. It was just a few months ago that I was at a fancy dinner and someone close to me at the time completely disregarded intuitive work and a famous healer that can make contact with spirits and deceased family members on the other side. I felt my heart sink to the floor – I know people that do that, and I think given the chance I can actually do that too. There were also, the friends who degradingly called me a hippie, and the one who berated me for not watching the last season of runway shows because “that’s who you are and why you went to Paris.” Needless to say, I’ve outgrown many relationships.
But as I’ve opened up space in my relationships, and in my life, so has space cleared for my personal growth. I’ve been attending a Sensitives Support Group – and that along with other workshops, have come to realize that I’m intuitive in various ways, such as I see things, aka I'm clairvoyant, but I am also a “feeler” – meaning I can feel other people’s feelings, moods, things that aren’t my own (often, unintentionally.) It’s been quite a revelation, no wonder I was exhausted all of the time in various jobs, crowds and gatherings! I’ve had some pretty trippy experiences too – strong messages in dreams, profound meditations, and gatherings with other intuitives and tapping into spirits on the other side (I would have never thought I could do this, or that this was even possible, but it's amazing beyond words.)
Now, before you jump to conclusions – that this is some unveiling that now I’m offering 1-on-1 intuition sessions and so forth…. Hold it right there.
You see, at my core I’m still very much an artist. And for me, the beauty is where intuition meets art. I’ve been to art school and fashion school – I have seen plenty of beautiful, well-executed art that is lacking depth, meaning and connection. And I’ve seen “spiritual” stuff – like hippity dippity fairy art, eco clothes, etc. – that even with the best of intentions looks… like crap (sorry, not sorry.) For me, it’s the cultivation of both, beautifully curated AND deeply spiritual/meaningful that hits just the right note. And that's what I'm committed to putting out into the world.
And while I have been moving along in my fashion craft, my creative gifts, etc., I find my connection with spirit and nature more important than ever. Yet, at times I also find a bit overwhelming to on the spot ask spirit to answer my seemingly "big" questions and concerns. I have found that letting go of the attachments to an answer - and instead going outside, going for a walk, being drawn to various plants and aspects of nature, and even making a creation/arrangement from it - in allowing nature speak to me - in term I always find my answers.
I didn't initially plan to start doing workshops again, I was just called to do so by something greater than me. (After all, I'm leaving Richmond again very soon.) I just knew I was really tapping into something profound, and felt that I had to share my process - so that it can help others deepen their connections within themselves. (And there again is my happy medium of spirituality meets art!)
So, if you're looking to deepen your connection with nature, and ultimately yourself... If you're curious to learn more ways of practicing meditation (beyond just sitting still)... If you like the idea of merging both spirit and art (you'll have several beautiful arrangements by the end to take home)... then tally ho--> I'm leading an Intuitive Plant Arrangement-Making & Movement Meditation workshop this Sunday Feb 26th (web link here, FB event here) at my home and backyard. I'd love to have you there if you're interested. Shoot me a message and I'll send you the address and further details.
And as far as what's next here at AO... I'm headed to Bali, Indonesia next week (!!!). I will be sure to stay in touch with what next creative/spiritual offerings I'll be putting out in the world.
If you've read this far - wow, thank you for seeing me and witnessing my journey. I'm so grateful for you being part of this.
PS. This was NOT an easy post to put out in the world. I knew I had to do this, but geez… I felt the resistance and did it anyway. Knowing that I have a rolodex of creepy ex boyfriends, family members who will not buy into any of this, old friends / coworkers / lovers who will be like "WTF?!!", and who knows – maybe a “let’s introduce Jennifer to Jesus” creepy religious people. In any case, if you don’t like what you read – that’s your prerogative, and please keep it to yourself. If you did resonate, or want to cheer me on – I wholeheartedly welcome that. I love being of support and resonance to you – and I’d love to know if this has touched you in some way.
PSS. Intuitive Plant Arrangement-Making + Movement Meditation workshop is this Sunday, Feb 26th from 2-5:30PM at my home and backyard in RVA, details here.