Friendly Skies

This past week I made a trip out to Southern California. I would like to share with you some of the observations I made on my journey. As you may know, each flight is unique unto itself….but there are a few things many have in common.
I arrived at the airport as instructed one hour ahead of departure. If I didn’t follow these instructions, the chances were very great that my seat would have been sold off to the highest bidder! In laymen’s terms, that’s called ‘”standby!” Once aboard the airplane, I saw that the seats had enough room so that each human being could feel that they were nicely tucked into a sardine can…..one thing to always consider before boarding a commercial airline these days is to check your weight, because if you have gained a few pounds since your last travel, with the size of the seats, it is highly possible that you may have to purchase an extra seat for your journey! The seating was three seats across…..you pray at this point that the person sitting on the aisle seat next to you isn’t the “passenger from hell,” who may practically expect you to hand over money in order to go to the bathroom! I was sitting in the middle seat….while the man who had the window seat casually mentioned to me, “If they could, they would sell seats on the wings!!!” Strangely, I was reminded of a Flintstone’s episode where Fred and Wilma won first class tickets to an island resort, and Barney and Betty went along third class, which was, you guessed it! Out on the wings!

The trip from New York to Los Angeles is approximately 5 hours and forty-five minutes. A long time for a group of people to be in close proximity to each other. Hopefully, you have ordered a vegetarian meal for your flight, otherwise, you are left with the famous “Rubber Chicken!” A meal that warms one’s heart (ha!)….. even the flight attendant’s are catching onto the joke. The lady serving me said, “Would you like some of our deeeelicious chicken?” halfway through the flight my obnoxious aisle passenger started mumbling to herself, and giving me glances that said, “Don’t even think about asking me to get up!” Through meditation, I was able to stop myself from going to the bathroom for the entire flight! This, boys and girls, is not something you should try at home:)

Once upon landing, I realized just about the entire plane had carryon luggage. These days no one wants to check luggage (including myself). It may be a good idea in the future for the airlines to fly another plane right behind us containing all the carryon baggage. There were people who stuffed their bags so far in on the overhead that they had a very hard time pulling them out. As always, there’s the mad dash for the exit door, where one could easily believe that a prize is given to the first passenger off the plane!

After a few days I completed my trip and headed for the Los Angeles airport, preparing myself for the same routine in reverse. This time I made sure to order a vegetarian meal, and an aisle seat. As the airplane pulled out of the terminal and started to taxi down towards takeoff, all of a sudden the plane grounded to a halt. The pilot announced that the airports in New York were closed indefinitely because of bad weather. I was thinking to myself, what does “indefinitely” mean? One hour, two hours? Or an entire day? My fellow passengers were looking at each other, wondering, at what point do people start to come unglued? But me? Never! I had an aisle seat, no rubber chicken, and a bag nicely tucked in the overhead…and, for my sweet-tooth, a small bag of chocolate snicker bars, which, I may say, were being eyeballed profusely. I made some new friends that flight:)

For your next trip, try to make the skies as friendly as possible….pack lightly, go veggie, bring cologne, gum, and some good reading material. As one passenger mentioned to me when the captain said we were being delayed indefinitely….”It sounds like they’re having a party in the cockpit!” One thing is for sure, the passengers were not on the guest list (ha!)

Happy Trails……

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

The Program

This week’s essay I would like to present as kind of like a Twilight Zone episode….. fantasy, or reality…..who knows? But it may be a way for us to look at life from a different angle. So let’s address “The Program.”
Have you ever noticed that there are reoccuring themes, thoughts and numbers throughout life? So often, we are reminded of something that has happened to us before and maybe something that is yet to come. It almost seems, that in some strange way, our lives progress through similar themes. A child can experience a thought at five years old that twenty years later evolves into reality. A friend of mine recently shared with me a repetitious dream that his son had at a young age, of driving a red convertible. Lo and behold, for high school graduation, what car do you think his son wanted for his gift? Well, we could say that this was in his son’s subconscious all along….interestingly, his son has no recollection of his earlier dream.

I myself was born and raised in Southern California. I too, as a child, remember whenever I looked at scenes of New England (where I had never been) in my history books I would get a jolt, as if it was extremely familiar. Have a guess where I am moving to in August?….New England. I was the only one in my family to ever leave California. Coincidence? Wishful thinking? Perhaps….but many people have these strange events happen to them time and time again.
I have always believed that life is a learning experience. A process that we all go through to, hopefully, improve who we are. In a way, we write the program each day we live…..but could it be we are also writing what we sense will happen in the future, and what we feel has happened in the past? Wasn’t it Einstein who said that the past, the present, and the future can coexist at the same time? I know I’m getting a little “out there,” but if it’s possible for the past, present and future to overlap, one can get glimpses along the way…….a program.

Many things happen to us that we can’t explain. All I’m trying to do with this week’s essay is place on the table some thoughts to consider for the times that don’t make sense, or are hard to comprehend. If our lives could be seen from the beginning to the end on a giant television screen, wouldn’t it be an interesting series….an interesting program?

Enjoy the show,

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

On The Fence

In life, some decisions are always easy. We look at something and we say yes, or no….. but the ones where we feel confusion, difficulty or a plain old blank stare, those are the ones that place us “on the fence.”

Relationships, jobs, where we live, etc., are in many cases choices that we make over the course of our lives. Sprinkled in among these choices are the ones that many times turn out to be the most profound….the “maybes.” The ones that say, “it could go one way or another.” The oddball ones….the upside down choices….the conflicts that come out of left field. The “on the fence” decisions are the ones we either never saw coming, or are not prepared to deal with right away….they are the ones that we mull over, which eventually have to be decided, in order for us to go on.

“On the fence” is not always the best place to be…..but it does give us the chance to reevaluate where we are and where we want to go. For example: You’re working at a job where you have been for the past eight years. You get along great with everybody at the office…..hey, even the boss loves you! Then all of a sudden, out of the clear blue sky, you run into somebody at a party and during the conversation, that person is struck by your talent and decides to offer you a job on the spot, at double your present salary. Inconceivable, you may say? It happens all the time. Anyway, you go home, mulling over the thought of whether you should take the offer, or stay put at the job where you have been for the past eight years. One more little ingredient to throw into the pie….. at your present job there is only so much further you can go, while at this new offer, promotion potential is extensive. The decision that we make in these moments can drastically alter not only the course of our own lives, but our families too. A typical “on the fence” decision.

So how do we decide? One way is to limit our chances for mistakes. Make a list of the pros and cons for staying at the present job, or taking the new one. Research as much as possible the advantages and disadvantages of both. It is never easy leaving a place where it is safe and comfortable……but we must always ask ourselves, if we stay in our present position, will the air eventually become stale because of lack of movement? Change is sometimes a frightening thought….but without it the air cannot stay fresh. Human beings are a strange crew indeed….we want safety, but not at the cost of boredom. We may also decide to stay put in our present job, because the company is more stable. Perhaps all that is needed may be to open a window….let a little fresh air in. One way or another, the decision eventually rests with us.
We go through a number of these situations in our lives….many times each one unique in its own way. The most important point is that we come out of these phases stronger and more sure of who we are and where we are going. The fence gives us the ability to reevaluate where we place our feet and which direction they will travel.

Place your feet on solid ground,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

Reunions

Recently one of my friends mentioned to me that he attended his 25th High School Reunion. He was surprised how few showed up. Thankfully, two of his teachers were still at the school…..and they said, that as time goes on, more and more former classmates come back. My friend said to me, “Jennifer, one thing’s for sure….for me, the good memories have been heightened with age, and the bad ones seem to have fallen by the wayside.”

For many, time is a strange healer. It can take our years, and heal our wounds at the same time. My high school days seem closer to me now then they were ten years ago. How can that be, you may ask? Well perhaps because I now can realize how important those memories are. I still have a good relationship with a couple of my high school girlfriends….we always send birthday and Christmas cards…we never stay out of touch for too long. Times may change, and even the school itself, but graduation year a group of people shared something in common, that only those within that group can understand……kind of like a team that wins a championship……they too are bonded forever.

So how about you? Do you ever wonder what happened to the members of that class you graduated with? Have you kept up any friendships over the years? Have you been back for a reunion? One website I would like to pass along, where many classmates can find each other is: Classmates.com. Check out your school….see who you can re-connect with. Many of our fellow students may have spread across the four corners of the world……but luckily the Internet has a way of bringing them back together. Yeah, I know…..we may not be the same people we were in high school, but like that championship team, we share a history.

I like to look at reunions as a way to rekindle the past……and using it as a scope to chart the future. A wise man once said, how can you know where you’re going, if you’ve forgotten where you’ve been? Our lives are laden with relationships we’ve had….some we may choose to forget, but others we may want to revisit.

Say hello to the past,
love, Jennifer
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

New Beginnings

The past couple of months has been a time of change for me. I have made my music available through a new arrangement with MP3.com, I have started a new radio show called “Walk of Life,” and after several years with AOL I have moved my e-mail correspondence to Hotmail. Through all this, I have learned never to have all your eggs with one company. Quite a few changes, huh?

When I started all this it was always my goal for my music and words to be available for free. Now I know artists and writers need money to survive….thankfully, over the past few years many of you have embraced my music and writings. Nevertheless, I have always thought about a person with little means having the chance to access music and words for free. Knowledge should never be totally based on money. Finally, technology and the Internet are coming to grips with that perspective. For me, MP3 gives me the ability to allow the whole world to access my work, and allowing the listener to decide whether they want to purchase or download, while paying me per listener.

Where will this Jennifer Avalon Newsletter end up? Hopefully, it would be wonderful to broadcast a live, or taped, video streamed program from my livingroom. Impossible, you may ask? Within the next 18 months, it may become a reality. How about that? Getting invited through the Internet for dinner at Jennifer’s house around eightish? (ha!) I would love to have you there:)

Each essay, every week, will now be available at the “Walk of Life” radio station, which includes past essays, music, and hopefully soon, a little poetry to go with it. For me, very new beginnings. A great way for me to extend an open hand.

Cheers,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

The Open Hand

The most powerful expression in the world is the open hand. It represents sensitivity, love, strength, and compassion. When the hand is open, the soul is revealed. It has the ability to give, as much as it takes.

When a child is born, it seeks protection, love and care. It looks for someone to show it the way. The parent’s open hand can provide what’s needed. Only when the hand is closed is damage done. During the turmoil of the teenage years, the mind seeks out understanding and has the longing to belong. When the teenager goes astray, the open hand can help heal the wounds and show the correct path to continue. As we seek out a partner to share life with, we look for someone who understands how we see the world, and the accomplishments we would like to make. Hopefully, we find the open hand that can help us along the way. When we ourselves become parents, we must always remember to reach out our hands to the ones that we love.

Friends, brothers and sisters, exchanging daily handshakes, sometimes not realizing the power of expression. The human hand can give so much love, and deliver so much pain. Only when we open our hands do we truly know what it is to be alive. The lines across our palms tell many stories……the history of our lives written on our hands.

Isn’t it amazing…..could it possibly be that when we pass on, the first thing that is said to us is, “Let me see your hands?” My my…..what a story each hand can tell. The power of the open hand is born with us……and leaves with us. No two hands are alike…..but each one can change the world.
The open hand…..the open heart…..the eternal soul…..

may your hands stay open,
love,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

Going Mobile

These days many of us travel around as a sort of communications center. We have cell phones, beepers, laptops, etc. Being cut off from people has become a choice. In the not so distant future the Internet will freely stream through our car radios, picking up signals from all over the world. Going mobile has its responsibilities, but we can never say we can’t be reached.

Where will all this end up? Who knows? A friend recently shared with me a dream that she had regarding the future. She said, “Jennifer, I had a dream last night where I was walking down the street with a robot, carrying on a conversation, and all of a sudden the robot said, “Hey look! There’s a McDonalds! Would you care for a bite?” While heading towards the McDonalds, I overheard two more robots commenting as we passed by, “There goes another stupid human!” All of a sudden my friend woke up with a look of terror on her face. The thought of hanging out with robots gave her a kind of eerie feeling. I guess that’s taking going mobile to an extreme, but, aren’t these communication tools that we use kind of mini-robots? Electronic instruments that we utilize daily that can and probably will be enhanced over time.
I’m sure there will be many more technological advances coming down the pike, and yes, with each one we have to adapt, but the speed at which information will travel will be extraordinary. With all this there is responsibility, and hopefully we will put these innovations to good use. Where wires were once necessary for us to communicate across long distances, now satellites pick up our signals from just about anywhere, and connect us half a world away. The beauty of all this is that the barriers between people and the distance of time and space are shortened. I pray that mankind uses this to the best of its ability. The more we understand each other, the better off we will be.

Earth calling,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

Healing

Healing is a process…..it involves Faith, Planning, and Execution. Faith involves belief and prayer. Planning is the map to follow. Execution is the action.

The following are my thoughts on what is needed for a person to ask themselves at the doorway to health, especially if the illness is life-threatening. Here are some of the tools I would use:

1) I would ask myself, “Do I want to live?” Strange as it may seem, it may be surprising how people can lose the will to live.

2) During the healing process, I would be careful of any negative thoughts I was either taking in, or putting out. Energy is like breath…..the caliber and the content of that energy can make a vast difference.

3) You’re never too old. Can you believe that some people think that after a certain age they have no right to live? I recently overheard a conversation where a young teenager said to a man in his seventies, “Hey Pops, will you hurry up and die so there will be some money left for me for social security?” The elderly man replied, and rightfully so, “Up yours!”

4) I would tell the people I love that I love them. It’s just amazing how many of us never say I love you….we just assume that the other person knows. A friend of mine who was having surgery told me that his father came to visit, stuttered, and said, “If anything happens to you, I will stick my head in the oven!” That was the best way my friend’s father could say I love you. My friend replied from his hospital bed, “Dad, I love you too.” Upon hearing this his father said, “Son, men don’t say I love you to each other.”

5) I believe, overall, healing does not involve the physical…..it involves everything else. To heal, to want to live, involves drive and determination. The will to live rises beyond our bodies.

6) Last but not least, the soul and the mind must interlock and become one. The life force is the energy between the core, which is the soul, and the mind, that is the home of thought. The body is the shell that we use here on earth. For the body to heal, the energy between the soul and the mind must stay strong.

My final thought on all this is that miracles can happen. The unexplainable does occur, but it’s nice to give it a helping hand…….

To Life……
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

Backroads

The highway is the fast route to the destination of choice. As we cruise along the highway we look down and see the images of unique little towns that have their own kind of charm, in a blur. The highway is one of our express lanes through life….a road that increases the speed of time and distance.

Recently on a trip to London I discovered how important the difference is between the highway and the backroads. As many tourists love to visit the sights and sounds of England’s capitol, as I learned, the real charm of England lies on the backroads. A tour guide mentioned to me, “They all want to see Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace, but to really experience England and its people one has to take a trip about fifty miles outside of London….that’s where the magic begins.” I guess the same can be said for many USA cities. While each has its charm, the surrounding communities also have much to offer. In this society, where we seek out the highways, many keys to experiences and successes await us on the backroads.

Tom Scholz of the rock group Boston, is considered a little eccentric and off-the-cuff, but this former MIT graduate left his trademark on the sound of the guitar, and how music is recorded. Scholtz, you see, is one of those geniuses that refuses to take the highway of life…….he seeks out the end of the rainbow. As one band member mentioned in regard to Tom’s work ethic said, “Tom is one of those people who tries things a hundred different ways. He may fall flat on his face 98% of the time, but that 2% is where miracles occur.” Tom, I guess, rarely takes the highway.

In our lives we choose, many times, when searching out solutions, the highway, the road that everyone takes. And then, we wonder why we lose track of what it is we had set out to find. The backroads may not be the fastest route, but, because it is the road less taken, you may find treasure “in them there hills.” Yes, we too may not be successful 98% of the time, but, along the backroads we just may find that magical 2% that can change our lives.

Take the backroads,
love,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

The Current

I find it interesting that people who are successful in life always seem to have certain similarities. Success, most times, comes in three stages. The first stage is faith, planning, and hard work. The second stage is breaking through the walls, learning, and hard work. The third stage is momentum, connecting to what is needed, and hard work. At some point a strange thing starts to occur. Something I call, “The Current.”

What is The Current? It is a wave that builds over time, and eventually it lifts you up, carries you along, and helps you do things you never thought you could accomplish. Some of our greatest successes take place when The Current is in motion. The connection to The Current is within all of us…… all we have to do is to plug in, provide the necessary work, and lo and behold, something miraculous happens.

Athletes talk about “Being in The Zone,”….many, before they either start a race or play a game, just know they are going to succeed. It’s almost as if they already know the outcome. The Current is that powerful.
How does one get to The Current? Let’s put it this way…..when an airplane taxis down the runway, it builds up speed and takes off. At first, it experiences turbulence, but at a certain altitude, it enters cruise level….that’s where, once airborne, The Current takes over. We, too, seek to be airborne in life. The place where our wings can soar through the air.
Religions have talked about this Current through the centuries, using different metaphors and phrases. To Christians, it is the Lord Jesus Christ. To Jews, it is God. To Muslims, it is Allah. To Buddhists, it is Buddha….. many mentioning a sense of what we put out, comes back in one form or another.

Perhaps The Current provides the energy for what we have projected. There is something very mysterious about this place called Earth. Probably, there is more we have to understand than what we know. Mystery is all around us. Maybe if we understood the tools that are available to us, and how to implement them, life would not look so complicated. I believe there is a purpose for us being here, and The Current is there to provide knowledge and motion.

So flows the current,
love,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon