The Gift of Life

From the day we breathe our first breath, we are inundated with sights and sounds that shape our consciousness. With each breath, we are allowed to continue the journey through the fields of mortality. This Gift of Life should never be taken for granted….far too many have fought so hard to defend it, and hold on for just one more day. As we rise each morning, we are given a chance to bask in the wonderment of Divine Creation.

Physical existence is simply a dance between life and death. Each year we push forward to the next….to continue our quest of growth, and a greater understanding of who we are, and why we are here…until the day comes for us to leave. I used to have quite a different opinion of life and death….but over the years I have learned to see that at some point, death is a gift too. How so, you may ask? Well, a person sick and in pain, or inflicted with a terminal disease that is so excruciating, will at some point pray to be let go. To quote singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, who last week passed away from lung cancer, “To not live is a sin.” Warren embraced his final months with dignity and humor. Many of his friends were known to have heard him say, “I just want to live long enough to see the next James Bond movie!”, and, “It’s important to enjoy every sandwich!” Last Sunday Warren peacefully passed away, while taking an afternoon nap. His final months were spent recording a new CD called, oddly enough, “The Wind.” A fine example of a man who grasped his life and accepted his death. In his last interview, he said, “I’ve been very lucky…I’ve had the chance to live two lives…the first one, a crazy rock star, ranting and raving around the stage each night, and the other, twenty years of sobriety where I got to spend valuable time with my family.”

Life indeed is a series of stages. From birth to death and all the in-between. Seeing that no one yet has been able to live forever, death becomes the final gift of life. It is not an end, but a new beginning. To overcome the fear of death is perhaps the ultimate gift of life, because in doing so, every moment has value. Life is really nothing more than a grandiose vacation, where one day it is time to go home.

Live the Gift,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Two Years On

This week many of us will see images over the television screen that will relive the horror that happened on 9/11. It is hardly believable that two years have passed, yet for some, including myself, the passing time has felt like ten years. So much information, renewal, tears, mourning….and still, we have to go on.

We have learned much about ourselves…both personally and as a society. The problems of the world are no longer half a planet away…in an instant they can be in our own backyard. The love and the joy that we once took for granted has changed. If Time could be traded on the stockmarket, you would see that its value has increased significantly. Many of us have our opinions of how we got here…and where we are going. One thing’s for sure….we’ve changed.

We are all wounded in one way or another…each day we try to find ways to heal those wounds. The world too has to deal with its wounds, and try to find its healing. Mankind has tried time and again to correct the mistakes, yet strangely, where one problem is solved, another one is created. Could it be that Man’s failure for lasting Peace is because he has come up with the wrong answers? Could the answers be with a Higher Power?

We pride ourselves as a civilization that follows the Law of God….yet around the world there are so many different interpretations of that Law of God. So let’s make it easy…suppose tomorrow a Special Assembly was scheduled at the United Nations, and the guest speakers would be a Representative of the foundations of the world’s religions. To represent Judaism, you could have Abraham or Moses….to represent Christianity, Jesus Christ. To represent Muslims, Allah, to represent Buddhism, Buddah…….etc.,etc. So how could these Prophets appear? Their words and teachings would tell us all how we should handle our current problems. The Prophets of Peace would gives us the answers. The question is…can the ego of man accept the conclusion that he is not God?

As you can see, I, like you, have done much pondering. Yes, there will always be those who have nothing better to do than to wreak havoc…the point is to learn as much as we can about ourselves and why we are here. 9/11 has taught us that even in one of the most prosperous countries of the world, in a New York minute, everything can change.

In Remembrance,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

The Scorecard

Each morning after a couple of cups of coffee, I look at the day ahead and ask myself “What can I do today to surpass the 50 percent rate?” ….that to me is the point where we overcome the negative forces of life and tilt the scales to the positive. To accomplish this takes focus, awareness, planning, and the belief that it can be done. Some days I reach 60 percent or even 80 percent, and indeed once in a while I do fall short with just a performance of around 35:) Each day is a new game with the scorecard of life. We all have tough days … that’s not the point … it’s the days that could go either way…. those are the days where we can make a difference. We can win more than we lose at the game of life. Whether we decide to participate or not, around us the game does go on.

What I try to do is break the days down into sections: morning, afternoon and night. That way the day as a whole does not get too overwhelming. There is a good chance that something will go not according to plan at some point during the day…. to look at the time in compartments can allow us to focus and redirect. If I fall behind in the morning, I still can catch up in the afternoon. The hardest task to do in the game of life is to stay centered and focused. The distraction is everywhere. Like everything else, the more we practice the better we get.

What has helped me, is to keep a scorecard of my performance. Each hour is given a percentage of how I’ve done. This has been a good way for me to see how things are going and what changes I need to make to increase the percentage. The greatest gift I have learned from this process, is how easily the mind can wander from the center and create distance from daily goals. The real enemy of success is distraction. When our minds are focused, a Grand Slam Home Run is truly possible. A scorecard can give us a good “up to the minute” evaluation of our performance.

My scorecard rates the hours between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. which is the most productive time. Roughly 12 hours, where each hour is given a score, and when divided by 12 gives me an average, which is the score for the day. Some days are better than others, but one thing is for sure, I do know what is going on in my life and how it is affecting me. Over time one starts to see a correlation between the performance on the scorecard and the level of success. For me, the scorecard has let me see that time is not the enemy if we use it wisely. Perhaps when we see our lives on paper our vision becomes clearer.

Tip the scales,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Soap Opera

So many of us watch daily the comings and goings of our favorite Soap Operas. How seriously do some take this fetish? Quite a few who work during the day video tape their favorite shows so that they can view them in the evenings when they get home. A friend of mine never misses an episode of “All My Children,” even though she watches it at around 10PM, many hours after it has aired. Soap Operas…a little touch of creative writing, with characters who sometimes can feel like next door neighbors.

In the Soap Opera genre, we watch the comings and goings of other people’s lives….but really, how far off can they be from our own lives? Humorously, don’t we also live our own personal Soap Opera daily?? Couldn’t we all fill up an hour of airtime based upon our experiences of the day? Our daily lives, a continuing story on the roller coaster of life, that can enter any climate at any given moment.

Think to yourself, don’t you too have your friends and acquaintances, and an appearance of a villain once in a while? Perhaps we too are writers of Soap Operas. Some record their Soap Opera in the form of a diary, so that they can read back over the years to see how the story has unfolded. Others do it through photo albums. Here’s an idea….how about someone in the family assigned the task of jotting down the lives of the members of the family for the week? Then, each week or month all get together to listen, laugh, and learn. Of course, we would try our best to not hurt anyone’s feelings…but, it’s a nice way to see how close to each other we really are. It could be called, “The Jones Family,” or “The Smith Family,”… get the idea. We all are characters in one Soap Opera or another. Our own, and other people’s. Many times we decide what role we play.

Strange, isn’t it….. we sometimes think someone else’s life is more interesting then our own……while all the while the classic story could be all around us.

The story continues…
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

An Artist’s View

I would like to expand a little on one of the questions that came up during my latest interview. I received a number of e-mails on the subject…and I was asked if I could expand upon it in one of the essays. The questions is: What do I think about the current state of the Music and Entertainment Industry, and how is it affecting me?

What is evolving now in the music business has far more repercussions on intellectual property in general. First, we have to go back and look at how we got here. For most of the past century, for a recording artist, movie actor or book writer to reach the masses, they had to sign a deal with one of the major conglomerates. Yes, there were independent companies, but overall, the major companies had the financial backing to enhance and grow a career in the Arts. Over the years in the business, for each wonderful tale, I have heard nine horror stories of how people were taken advantage of and just plain ripped off. While a few starlets were paraded in front of the cameras, behind the scenes many were paid little to nothing. Anyway, let me stick to what I know best….did you know that within the past ten years you could have had a number one record in America, and made zilch? Crazy, but true. How could that be, you may ask? Toni Braxton, the R&B singer, had to file for bankruptcy because she realized how little she was making after all the deductions were taken out of her percentage. The houses, the fancy cars, the beautiful clothes….in many cases are an illusion. Just like us, they can charge it too.

I’ve had the opportunity over the years to sign with two major labels…when I saw the contracts, they were nothing more than glorified documents of slavery. They wanted to own my songs, have me pay half of the making of videos, support myself on the road, provide my own individual health insurance, all for an advance of around $100,000…which, by the way, I had to use to record the album. I would not receive any royalty statements until the advance was paid back in full. After that, one-third of my royalties would be held in an account in case records were returned from stores (!) Now I ask you….would you buy a used car from that kind of dealership?:) So I went Independent. Aviator Records is a label I part own. They care about my music.

So now for the current state of affairs. The Record Industry, in their wisdom, has decided to sue the very same people that they depend upon for a living! Yes, I know…downloading songs for free is not the answer overall…but, to quote the George Harrison song Sue Me Sue You Blues, “You sue me, I sue you, swing your partners, we all get screwed.” What I would like to see is between five to ten music sites selling downloads at a REASONABLE price. As of now, songs are for sale at about $1.50 to $2.00 a download. Apple Computer’s i-Tunes is selling downloads for 99 cents. That seems more reasonable to me, but for now, it’s only available for Mac users (!)

Some wanted to know my thoughts, so there they are. What I have decided to do is to open an online store on my website where people can buy the entire CD’s for around $6.00 or $7.00 a CD (which includes shipping and handling) I would rather do it this way so I can pass along the savings to the people who matter…the music lover. The Avalon Store should be up and running this Fall.

Just like we are able to come and go freely to public libraries to access knowledge and information, so too, I believe, music should be made partially available for free, so a person can decide if they want to purchase an entire CD. Music stores do have listening booths, you might say…but, unfortunately, the artist has to pay an arm and a leg to have their CD in one. At the end of the day, I have become a big believer in shortening the distance between an artist and the fan.

Long Live Music,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Courage to Love

I recently had an interesting conversation with a few friends of mine around a coffee table one morning. We were each contributing our personal thoughts of the day until the word ‘Love” came up. Instantaneously there was five seconds of silence. We soon discovered we all had our own unique relationship with Love.

Of the four people at the table, myself included, each of us had been enhanced and/or hurt by Love. Three of us shared our thoughts and stories past and present on how Love has affected our lives. Even though some of the experiences have been painful, we were mostly in agreement that through Love, our lives over time had been enriched. One person at the table had a totally opposite opinion on Love. This person whom I will call “Tim,” told us that he has benefited from limiting the amount of Love in his life. He had an unhappy childhood, few dating experiences, and never married. He also proudly commented that he didn’t even have a pet, because, “I wouldn’t know how to take care of it.” He added that “because of my limited exposure of emotional attachments in my life, I have decreased the level of lifetime discomfort.” So the rest of us looked at each other and said, “Okay Tim…let’s examine this a little more.” The following are some of the points that came up in our discussion:

1. The day you are born, you get your first taste of Love, hopefully from good, responsible parents. As some of us know, this may not always be the case.
2. Love is a double-edged sword. When it works, it is euphoria….when it doesn’t, the trauma can seem endless.
3. To Love is to accept Loss. Relationships can end, consensually, or suddenly through death.
4. What is a life without Love? An empty sphere where all you hear is the sound of your own voice.
5. It is better to have failed at Love, then to never have loved at all.
6. Life is meant to be shared.
7. Love + Age = Enlightenment.

So you get the gist…these are some of the thoughts that were raised during the conversation. Pros and Cons…on the topic of Love. One point that I found quite interesting is the question of Love and Loss. For each person that we choose to love, we do enter into a relationship where the possibility, and in some cases, the eventuality, of Loss is quite real. For example: Our parents. Generally, they pass on before us. We grow up with them, we share our thoughts and dreams with them, our joys and sorrows…until one day they leave us here. Now, perhaps we should ask ourselves this…as painful as the parting may be, would we erase all the memories? Did we learn, and what did we learn, from the experience? Yes, indeed…Love may end in Loss…but because of it, have we become more evolved and better human beings? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

So does it take Courage to Love? Under the circumstances, you bet. It’s always easier in life to make no choices, have no opinions, and limit Love. Like the baseball player who is in a batting slump, the Champions step forward to take another swing, while the Fearful walk away. When the Champions of Love swing and hit a Grand Slam Home Run, they will tell you, “There’s no other feeling like it.”

Step up to the plate,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Treasure Island

Have you ever imagined a mystical place where all of your questions are answered? You may have yours….mine I call “Treasure Island.” Life can get quite hectic, with mysterious air and uncharted terrain…but after a week of questions, it sure is nice to set sail for Treasure Island to seek out the solutions.

On the mainland we work, we play, and we live. In doing so, we constantly encounter our share of joy and pain. Treasure Island, on the other hand, is the vortex between the physical and spiritual world. So what is this island, you may ask? Well, let’s take a look….to get there your ship has to sail the sea of tranquility, until you see on the horizon a place where the sun always shines, fruit is bountiful, and the greenery is endless. Once you land on the beach, the first thing you notice is that the air is filled entirely with Love. The golden sun envelopes you and starts to heal your wounds. You are greeted by people who understand your every thought. This is an island where prayers can be answered. It is a place where life makes sense. Confusion and Fear give way to Knowledge and Peace. It could be an hour, a day, or even a few minutes….but one visit can recharge the Soul and give a greater understanding of Purpose and Beyond.

Human Life is not the Destination….it is the Journey. Once we leave this world, we all set sail for Treasure Island. It may not be part of this physical world, but it is as real as the home you live in. Treasure Island is Eternal….for me, it is where the Breath of God fills the sails of all those who believe in Everlasting Life. I’ve always tried to imagine what Heaven must look like….for me, Treasure Island is the portal we all eventually go through to touch the Face of God. A glimpse of Heaven in a world of weary travelers.

Sail on Sailor,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

Confronting Anger

There are two types of anger….internal and external. There are also two parts to us, spiritual, and human. Anger is an emotion that fluctuates daily in our lives…we are confronted with it’s management quite often. So let’s take a look at anger, and see not only how it affects us, but also how we can have a better control over it.

Internal anger is by far one of the main reasons we get sick. When we are upset, confused or fearful we turn off the floodlights and the microscope …suppressing our thoughts and emotions inward until they reach a boiling point. These days stress and anger are a routine challenge. While we deal with the inner emotions that fuel anger, the best way to confront it is to step back, relax, find a quiet place…and breathe deeply. This is a good way to get a handle on the emotions that can easily control you rather than you controlling them. A while ago a friend of mine developed a bleeding ulcer, and the first thing the doctor said to him was, “I don’t know what it is that is worrying you so much, but nothing is worth making your insides look like those of a seventy year old, when you are only 38.” My friend changed his diet, took time each day to relax, and before too long his life became much less stressful.

External management, is where other people project their thoughts and dislikes at us. It could be something that we have legitimately done wrong, in which case we can apologize and move on….or, it could be someone else’s rage, insecurities, or jealousies directed at us. External anger can be tricky…in many cases it could involve reevaluating relationships with friends, family, and even acquaintances. Anger has a profound affect on our lives….the best way to handle it is to confront it, deal with it, and move on.
Spiritually, we are one with God and the Universe. It is our responsibility to strengthen that relationship and remember we are Souls living human lives. The enemy of the soul is the Ego. The Ego is completely human-created. As we all need a little Ego and self-confidence to get us through the day, it’s important to not forget that our Ego’s can quite easily spiral out of control. In our world, nothing can be quite more dangerous than a dictator who believes that he or she is God. The more spiritual we are, the more the world makes sense and the greater our ability to deal with anger. Unfortunately, there will always be those who build their lives around hurting others, with anger. Sadly, in some cases the best that we can do is to be aware and limit our exposure to their pain.

I’m sure you too can add your testimony and experiences to this essay. Each one of us can tell our own unique story regarding anger. We either control it, or it will control us. The more we understand the emotions of ourselves and others, the better we will be able to multiply the positive experiences in our lives….with a little help from above:)

Breathe deeply,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon


The day that we are born, we are presented with a spiritual passport. A document that records where we go, how long we stay, what we have learned, and what we leave behind. This passport records in writing the statement of our soul. The spiritual journey that takes us from birth to death to rebirth.

In the beginning, our passport acknowledges the baby steps we take in life…little learning and building blocks that teach us the basic fundamentals of soul expansion. These are the delicate years, where the influences of our parents and loved ones are critical. On many occasions we find ourselves as co-travelers with our parents…hopefully learning as we move through time and space under the Heavens. Through adolescence, into adulthood, the stamps in our passport log the journeys of successes, setbacks, and failures. We may find ourselves revisiting places again and again until we have corrected past mistakes, so we can move on to our next destination. The more we travel, the thicker our passport becomes. A spiritual passport cannot be lost….though we may find ourselves from time to time going through stages of renewal. Not to worry…..this is all part of the journey. We may travel alone….or with others….but what matters is that we continue to evolve and learn. The road of life can be kind or treacherous, but one thing’s for sure….our trusty passport can help to get us through.

We may find from time to time the shine wearing off the cover of our passport. It may look a little weather beaten, creased and worn….but, with a little prayer, humility, and forgiveness, with one glance it can be restored to its original gleam. The passport that we hold inside us is to remind us that we are not alone…even though at times we may feel so. Like an automobile, running on empty, all that is needed is to find the gas station of Faith to feel recharged and restored. Some may choose to not use the passport….that’s fine. But, empty pages tell no stories. The passport is given to be used, as we battle through the joy and the tears.

Like any passport needed for travel, the further you go, the more you need it. Our spiritual passports are no different. If our lives are truly spiritual travels, eventually we head for home. It’s at that point we learn that we are all citizens of Heaven. A place where there are no more borders, no more barriers, and no passports needed.

Travel far,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon

The Signal

Have you ever driven around in a car and turned on the radio? Sometimes, after a while the signal goes in and out until eventually you hear static. As hard as you may try, distance makes it more and more difficult to tune into the signal.

The signal is a wave that can be tuned into a given area, but once outside of that area it diminishes. I believe we too are affected by a signal, which I call the center, inner energy, or the soul. That signal or inner energy I believe is Heaven sent. It is within each one of us…all it takes is to tune in and stay in range. In life we choose where in the circumference of the signal we want to live. The closer to the signal, the stronger the vibration and energy. The further away, the power diminishes, until eventually we succumb to static. Sadly, there are quite a few people who choose the world of static, where nothing can be heard. As it may be difficult on a daily basis to stay at the generation point of the signal, over time and a little practice, it can become easier to stay close.

The signal is not an accident…it has a purpose. It is an energy that is there to help us and find peace of mind. This signal is free for the asking. It’s interesting…as we go about our day and as we interact with others, we get to see who is close to the signal, and who is not. One conclusion I have come to for myself is that to be happy, peaceful, spiritual and complete, I have to be aware of the signal. It’s all around us….within us and without us…all we have to do is tune in…like a radio dial. The signal tells us a little bit more about ourselves every day…why we are here…what we can do, and how to make the world a better place. As I may learn through life, through my personal experiences, the signal can deliver knowledge that is timeless. We are more than flesh and bone…inside each one of us is the current of Heaven. That current is endless…it is there to remind us of who we are, and where we are going. The signal is the voice that calls to us while we are here, that there is another place to call Home. Some call it the Holy Spirit…the force that connects the entire Universe….the signal that one day leads us back to where we came from….

Hear the Call,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2003 Jennifer Avalon