The Year Ahead

For many of us, each year has its ups and downs. This past year has had its share of strange occurrences and blessed events. For some, the year 2003 is a room where many can’t wait to slam the door shut……. stock markets, weather swings, elections, etc…….many are just purely wanting to start anew.

As 2004 approaches, we ask ourselves, “How can I build upon the successes of the past year, and move them forward into the next?” Without a course, we have no way to reach a destination. We become victims of luck and chance. What I have found is, the more responsibility and planning I take in my life, the better control I have over the outcome. Sure, unexpected things always happen…..but with God’s help, hopefully, I can chart a course that delivers me to places where my spirit can soar.

Each year before New Year’s Eve, I sit down with a pen and paper and ask myself, where do I see my life a year from now? I know I won’t get there overnight, but over time if I put one foot in front of the other, and stare straight ahead, and with the right amount of faith and focus, I do believe I will arrive at where I want to be.

I would like to wish you good health, good spirits, and successful endeavors for the New Year. With the right plan, and determination, anything is possible……

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Safe and Sound

The next two weeks are, for many, a time of great joy and for some, extremely stressful. The Holiday shopping season can be quite overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. Many travel far and wide to get together with family and friends to exchange gifts and good cheer. I hope you and yours have a wonderful celebration, and I would like to add just a few tidbits to keep in mind to help keep you safe and sound:

This time of year, even the best of us come under a little pressure. We ask ourselves, “What is the perfect gift for my loved one? How do I top last year’s present?” We’ve all been there….seen the face that sometimes is disappointed in our choices, when perhaps the simplest gifts have the most impact. The rare, the unique, the personal ones always ring true. It could be a long lost photograph, a favorite book, or a collection of memories…these gifts can last for years.

Meeting family and friends that you only see about once a year can indeed be wonderful, and sometimes a little scary. The days leading up to the encounters, we may find ourselves a little absent minded, making common mistakes, or a feeling that there’s not enough time in the day. Relax….this is all quite normal. As the saying goes, try to take it all “one step at a time,” and, by the way, a deep breath here and there doesn’t hurt either!:)

Wherever your travels make take you, try the best you can to stay alert and watch out for the other guy’s potential mistake. It’s important that wherever you travel, be it land, sea or air, that you arrive safely. As you may love and need others, so they may love and need you too.

What astounds me each year at this time is the feeling that we are saying good-bye to one year, and hello to another. Father Time marches on…presenting us with a new year of blank pages to write our story upon. Each one of us are unique…one of a kind….the world has never seen before, and will never see again. Enjoy life….as much as possible.

Last but not least, let’s not forget this is a Holy Season. The whole purpose of celebration is to remember that something greater than us all, exists. The birth of a child over two thousand years ago still gives hope to many that one day, this world can become the paradise it is intended to be.

Happy Holidays,
and may You and Yours have a Blessed and Enlightened 2004,

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Forgetting to Remember

If we forget to remember, things have a strange way of repeating themselves. We are, in general, creatures of habit…we choose our habits, or they are chosen for us. Yes indeed, unfortunate events can happen to good people, but overall, it is our thoughts that we do control that can cause the most damage. Many times, forgetting is a choice that we should try to remember.

Writers, over time, have warned us that if not kept in check, history will repeat itself. Scholars are doomed to repetition if acknowledgment of past mistakes are not contemplated for future action. We may stumble and fall, but if we are to get back up we must examine what it was that brought us to our knees. When we let go of prior experiences, either professionally or personally, we can easily lose the roadmap to success.
Triumphs and failures in our lives are always best when they are examined on the simplest level, day by day, which are the building blocks of time. We can’t expect ourselves to keep all of the information of what we are to do in our lives unless we write it down and develop a schedule, calendar, or diary to examine where we are and where we are going. My oh my…how easy it is to forget!! It is truly mind-boggling the bombardment of information we are hit with in the year 2003. No wonder even the best of us can be left feeling scatterbrained.

Success leaves a trail….and so too does failure. To know the difference of what happened is to gain true wisdom. Each morning when we rise, engulfed with the energy of the Heavens, we stand in the moment with our arms open, looking for a way to help us leap to the next level. Spiritual Beings living in the physical world must remember that for inner peace what we can’t see can be just as important as what we can. To improve our lives it is necessary to remember the past, mourn our mistakes, and make the next day better. Not only for ourselves, but for all.

In Remembrance,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Stages of Shock

I would like to share with you a story that was told to me by a friend of mine this past week. He informed me that his aunt had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. This is a woman that has rarely had any kind of ailment her entire life, and now, at age 72, cancer has entered the fray. She was diagnosed around two months ago and my friend and his family are hearing and seeing firsthand the stages of shock.

As I have mentioned, this lady was overall healthy and disease-free most of her life. Two months ago she started having cramps in her stomach, and a little discomfort going to the bathroom. She discovered upon getting on the scales, that she had lost around 25 pounds over the course of a couple of months. Her husband and family suggested that it would be a good idea to make an appointment with her doctor. After a few tests were run, it was discovered that she had a small tumor in her bowel that was causing a slight obstruction. Surgery was scheduled and performed. After the operation the family were waiting to hear the diagnosis from the surgeon. He informed them that the cancer had spread to the liver, and that the patient had about 18 months left to live. Obviously, the family was devastated. I am sure many of you have either heard or experienced firsthand this kind of a situation. This is where the stages of shock enter the picture: 1. Shock 2. Denial 3. Anger 4. Acceptance.

My friend’s aunt was fully aware that she had cancer, before the surgery….but she was not prepared for the prognosis after. When informed, she entered the first stage…shock. Rolling around her head were all the questions…”why me?”…”why now?”…”what do I do?” This stage lasted about a day or two.
A couple of days went by, and one evening while visiting, my friend’s aunt told her family that the cancer was gone, and she was not going to die. She believed that the cancer that had spread to her liver was gone. As much as I believe in positive thinking and miracles, many times it’s important to look at the disease that has to be confronted. Once one gets past the state of shock, to deal with it they embrace denial.

My friend’s aunt was then discharged from the hospital, scheduled for chemotherapy, and was allowed to go home. After one hour of being home, she pulled out her phone book and called members of her family to blast them for things that she thought they did to her in the past. This went on for hours. She would bring up things that had happened over forty years ago, as if it had just happened yesterday. She was furious….at everyone and everything. Anger became her friend.

At this point in time she is now entering the acceptance stage. She has done a lot of thinking, and much crying. In just the past couple of days my friend told me she has said “Well, this is what I face….and I will try to beat it. If I don’t, I’m going to enjoy the time I have left with those I love.” She has also mentioned that when something like this happens, your whole perception of life changes. She told my friend, “You know, you do really think you’re going to live forever.”

What I have learned from this, personally, is that it is always important to have one’s “house in order,”…so that if, God forbid, one either suddenly passes on, or finds out like my friend’s aunt that they will be passing in the near future, one can have as much a sense of peace as possible, and not have to try to scramble to either make amends, or take care of business. As Clint Eastwood said in one of his movies, “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” Mortal life is indeed temporary….the more we accept this, the more alive we become.

Carpe Diem, (Seize the day)
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

The Pantry

Our wishes, dreams, goals and desires, over time all end up in a place called The Pantry…..part of our existence where we store our innermost thoughts and actions. Like all good pantries, once in a while we have to go in and do a little “Spring Cleaning,”….remove that which is decaying, and replace it with the new and fresh. The most threatening action, or lack of it, is neglect. We may believe we can bounce along on our merry way, but checking the inventory is never a waste of time.

The Pantry is a storage room which we add to, and subtract at will. Quality fills the air in The Pantry. Without fresh air, The Pantry can easily become stale…and before too long, cobwebs cloud the entrance. The deeds of life can easily create dust….so a good broom and washcloth always come in handy. The Pantry is the place we go to for reflection on our past, absorption of the present, and storage for our future. If we are good managers, over time we will find better ways to use the space. Like an untidy room, once we enter we understand that there should be a place for everything, and everything should be in its place. Once order is established in a room, or a pantry, we can quietly close the door with a smile on our face.

Some foods have longer shelf life than others….Love is the preservative of The Pantry. The more we Love, the longer things last. Hate is the ultimate decayer…one has to be on the lookout in every nook and cranny to make sure that it doesn’t spoil our goods. Love and Hate are always at war….so it’s important for us to remember that the sweet smell of Love is intoxicating. There is no better feeling than opening the pantry door and getting a whiff of that comforting aroma.

The Pantry lives inside each one of us….the warehouse of the Soul…..the conveyor belt of knowledge where he or she who listens hears most. The Pantry lets us see who we are, what matters, and where we are going. There is no checkout counter… lines… exchange of money……just enough room for us to enter and leave. The Pantry….. with shelves full of dreams, and jars filled with memories. The perfect ingredients for the Casserole of Life.

Bon Appetit,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon


It’s quite interesting…many of us assume in this day and age that the new, improved, updated and latest model outweighs all that came before. Indeed, it could be true for certain items or information…for example: computers, history books or some of the latest gadgets … but with a little distance, the cream rises to the top.

This week the vaults are being mined once again for a recording group that broke up over 33 years ago. On Tuesday, “Let It Be…Naked,” is being released worldwide. It is to be the version of the album that was supposed to come out before it was remixed by producer Phil Spector. Each year there is a new Elvis Presley Box Set containing unreleased material and recently, in an interview, producer Eddie Kramer said that there are still hours of quality recordings to come out on Jimi Hendrix. I could go on and on, mentioning the latest Frank Sinatra release or perhaps a little Rosemary Clooney, or Peggy Lee, whatever is your taste. One thing’s for sure….there is a hunger for quality in the year 2003. I still find it quite ironic seeing a 12 year old buying a copy of The Beatles Abbey Road:)

How much have we succumbed to as a society? In an age of instant gratification, what do we give up of lasting value? Do we still find uniqueness a qualified treasure, or are we willing to settle for a copy of a copy? On a recent business show a record industry executive was mentioning the damage that file sharing has done to his business…suddenly he was stopped by the interviewer who said “Doesn’t it strike you as strange that your biggest selling artists are dead people?” Stunned, the executive was lost for words. How many more Remastered Recordings, Special Edition DVD’s of classic movies, or more In-depth Documentaries do we have to see before we realize there is a price to pay for lack of fostering new creativity?

Quality moves right across the board…not only in electronics, media, but also in clothing, food, art and construction, etc. We all have a responsibility to give our best…if not, we fall victim to obsolescence. If you have ever cleaned out your attic or basement, the quality stands out. The value shines through the dust. You remember and see the treasures you forgot.

Quality is timeless. It transcends through the ages…improving with time. Quality preserves…Quality teaches….Quality lasts…..

Good Work takes time,
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Length of Achievement

Human beings as a whole are made up of all different shapes and sizes…while some may stretch to a height of seven feet, others come in around five and a half feet, or shorter. No mystery here…it’s just the way God made us….each one of us different and unique….human development and nature, which grows at it’s own pace. Plain and simple, we should not be surprised that physical, emotional and intellectual growth differs from individual to individual….only mankind, in it’s wisdom, starts to assign rules, regulations and levels to achievement.

For each person who prospers and accomplishes early in life, there is also a corresponding number who are called, “Late Bloomers.” In a society with a short attention span seeking instant gratification, is it any wonder that there is little patience for these Late Bloomers? It can also be said, right smack in the middle of Early Achievers and Late Bloomers, is a whole hodge podge of our society….trying to find out how their successes can be measured. One question stands out…can we really put an age on talent, achievement, and acceptability?

One night I was watching The Larry King Show on CNN, and I listened with amazement to the writings of a little boy with muscular dystrophy…reciting his poetry with the wisdom that could easily been created by an eighty year old….a child with no degrees after his name, with a universal knowledge that was so unique and simple that anyone from any walk of life would be able to comprehend. It also brought to mind something I experienced a few years ago, at the nightclub Michael’s Pub in New York City, where the singer Mel Torme was appearing, before his passing. Mel mentioned, as he looked around the room, something to the effect of, that at this late stage in his career, in his late sixties, that he saw young people over here, not so young people over there, and here he was playing a two week engagement that was sold out. He added that when he was half that age, he wouldn’t have been able to sell out the place for one night! Then he thanked everyone. The point being, for anybody or any society to have the audacity to put any limits or restrictions on abilities like these, according to age, is wrong.

Life is not a race…it doesn’t matter who gets there first. It’s just that we get there.

Keep on truckin’ 🙂
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon


My definition of intelligence has greatly changed over the years. I used to believe that intelligence boiled down to having the most diplomas on the wall. I used to believe that belonging to the right societies, serving on cultural boards or counting the visits to the museum was a correct gauge of one’s knowledge. Unfortunately, a person can do all of these things, and still remain stupid.

Our great society has inflicted upon us a warped sense of pure intelligence. If the goal in life is to attain Peace, and Love, truly…..can we find it in a dollar bill? Being cultured, indeed, is important, as is financial responsibility….but, can they alone be the barometer of intellect? I don’t think so. Stupidity is a trait that is inflicted upon a person over time. The only way to overcome it is to understand why it exists, and search for the cure. So let’s take a look at what makes someone stupid, and how one can evolve from it.
As I have said before, culture and finance…two of the main gauges of success in a society, can leave us feeling empty and depressed upon achievement. How many multimillionaires have we read about over time who have spent their last days feeling empty and lost? I don’t know about you, but if I had accumulated a large amount of money in my life, and at the end of my days felt lost…I would consider myself stupid. How many more intellectual or literary writers do we need to read about, who were acclaimed by their peers, who committed suicide because they felt worthless? Yes, indeed, they fulfilled their art, but personally they were left feeling morose. Some, you could say developed psychological disorders…but overall, did they realize that their search for success and notoriety led them to the wrong place? There are four people that I know in my life who are all financially independent, and surrounded by loved ones, yet, they spend their days feeling sorry for themselves, angry, and plotting how to manipulate the next kind soul that comes their way. This is the definition of stupidity.

So what do I think real intelligence is? I think it is the realization that the true purpose of life is to Love, and be Loved unconditionally. For me, Love and God coexist together. Love is God….and God is Love. If in my endeavors I do not incorporate the ingredient of Love, then my goal cannot involve intelligence. The purpose of Life has to be to leave this earth a little better for having been here. It has been said many times, by people far smarter than me. Real intelligence, I believe, eventually leads one to this conclusion: that Faith, Peace, Love, and Life are priceless and precious…..without them, we are nothing more than hollow shells, adrift in a sea of stupidity.

Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

For Love or Money

The two facets of life that overall inflict the mightiest highs and most devastating lows are Love and Money. Emotions and Finance…a powerful concoction that moves through our lives over time. The better we understand their affects, the more control and discipline we will have over the joy/pain factor. Responsibility is a key ingredient for both…still, a full comprehension is needed if we are to get a handle on their affects.

Let us ponder the thought…how important is it in our lives who we love, and who loves us? God loves us unconditionally, but human to human love can be a whole different scenario. Who we choose to love sets the stage for at least fifty percent of the daily influences in our lives. If we are in a healthy and growing relationship, we prosper and evolve…basically becoming better people. When in a destructive and suppressive environment, we become trapped and stagnate. Is it any wonder why the infliction of depression is so common these days? So it falls to us to try the best we can to choose relationships that can nurture our lives in a positive way. Yes indeed, relationships do go sour sometimes…and one must move on…but it’s always good to keep in mind how important emotional partnerships really are.

Finances…or for a better word, plain old money…in my life’s experiences have delivered the hardest blows. Many of my friends, myself included, have learned sometimes the hard way that “There ain’t no free lunch” 🙂 the bill eventually comes in the mail!:) If only in the present moment we realize that each financial decision we make so greatly can affect our tomorrow, we may think twice of buying an item that we will eventually pay back three times it’s value. Hey, we all need a home, a car, etc., but isn’t it interesting…it’s the mundane and temporary stuff that costs the most. So many books have been written on how to become financially independent…yet still most Americans get to retirement age with little or no savings. Money, as one says, could be the root of all evil…but that all depends on what you do with it.
Is it so important to marry the millionaire? Do we really think we would be happier? Do movie stars really have a better life? Each night on our television screens a parade of individuals are pranced out before us, telling us “We’ve made it! This is the way to live!!” Only to at some point watch them crash. The heart and the pocketbook, talk about opposites attracting! So what do we do? Is there Nirvana? The perfect world, where everything is wonderful and beautiful all of the time? Yes there is, but it’s not here.

As some say “The day is evil, it is up to us to make it good.” Wouldn’t it be incredible if each life was enriched by Love, and balanced by Finance….think about all the good that one could do with all that extra time. Then there could be no excuses, only the Truth of who we are.

Embrace the balance,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

The Lake

Let’s imagine for a moment that our life is a lake in the middle of a forest…. calm, serene, with greenery all around us. The perfect setting for a peaceful life, except in this world, is it realistic to believe that this perfect picture cannot change? Our peaceful lake unfortunately is exposed to all the elements and winds of change that life can throw at it. As much as we prepare, it is always wise to expect the unexpected.

Rain, wind, sun and evolving landscapes are what our lake has to contend with. There is life and death as we travel the shores of time, yet, why do we expect our own individual lives to have a different climate than the lake? Aren’t we too exposed to all the elements? For humans it’s just a touch different…yet not by much. Like the lake, we have our share of good days and bad ones…and still we go on. The acceptance of reality is key. We learn like the lake to preserve ourselves….to grow, to become stronger, so that the next time we are hit with adversity, we have better defenses to weather the storm. Like the lake, around us are other forms of life…we all battle the same weather. The winds may blow at us, but our neighbors too are confronted with it’s breath also….. there are people sharing the same tapestry of life. Acceptance of change is one of the hardest things we mere mortals must do. We fight it, but eventually it happens. Don’t feel alone…there is not a living creature that doesn’t have to come to terms with change….even the lake.

On a starry night, look up at the Heavens…take a glimpse for a moment of all the life that surrounds you….and somewhere, in some forest, is a lake reflecting the same moonlight. We all share the Heavens…..

Love thy neighbor,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon