Before the Dawn

A wise person once said, “It’s always the darkest before the dawn.” This year, for many, 2008 was close to the darkness. Financial market turmoil, scandals, a beckoning recession, and unemployment…wow. Still, if we have our health, we are one of the lucky ones.

Yet, “The truth will set us free,” as the old saying goes. As our problems unfold, it is only then we can lay them out in front of us and deal with them. Very few obstacles can be tackled hidden in the attic. Hang in there….the dawn is coming. At first the dawn is very hard to see….it appears as a speck of light, a hazy beacon that in the beginning seems like a mirage….yet slowly and surely its presence starts to appear. Minute by minute the light grows…a flashlight through a dark tunnel that signifies that a change is going to come. Eventually the sun bursts through, in all its glory….warming up the earth, extinguishing the chill. The dawn….a new beginning, a new chance to right the wrongs, and build on the accomplishments of the preceding day. As the seconds pass, as strange as it may be to believe, we start to forget the darkness that we have walked through. As the light grows, and the darkness recedes, over time the shadows become memories. Gone, but just behind us, is the darkness, just waiting to pounce if the light is extinguished.

We have all learned much this year….we will get through, but we cannot forget what we have learned. A new day will dawn and the chill will thaw but our lives will reflect what we’ve been through. Somebody recently wrote to me in an email along these lines, sharing an old saying, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”

This Holiday Season may we all get stronger, and await the dawning of the new day that is coming.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

Restoring Trust

Single-handedly, the financial markets have done something to America and the world that the attacks of 9/11 failed to do….bring the country and the world to its financial knees. After 9/11 when the markets opened, they sold off…yet over the course of a few months they stabilized and rebounded. Not that I don’t believe the same thing will happen again, but this time the depth of the drop teetered on creating another Great Depression.

Down the streets, within each coffee shop, around all the malls, if you listen closely you will hear that because of this current crisis, temporarily trust in the system has been severely damaged. Through the years from time to time I’ve talked to people who have lived through the Great Depression of the late 1920’s and 30’s…consistently they have told me that their view of money and assets was greatly changed by that huge downturn. Money, in many cases, was looked upon as something that one minute lay in your hands, and the next, was snatched from your view. We will get through this financial crisis, but some will never forget what they lost, and what happened.

Trust, you may ask? What trust is that? Well, trust in the markets, trust in the banks, heck, trust in the whole overall system. Crazy as it may seem, a few brilliant people came up with a strange notion that you could give people homes, never checking if they could make the monthly payments to stay there. I heard a story on television that at first I could not believe. A man went into a mortgage company seeking a mortgage for a house he was hoping to buy. The sales agent informed him that it would take a deposit of $1200.00 to secure a mortgage on the property. Then, without batting an eyelash, the agent said “Hey, would you like two homes? It can be arranged. Let’s put $600.00 on two properties, and over the next year the two properties will greatly increase in value.”  Folks, this works well as long as properties continue to increase in value…unfortunately, what happened was that the bottom fell out of the housing market, because supply greatly exceeded demand. The man lost both homes, and now his credit rating is close to zero. The man, as they say, “didn’t read the fine print.”   I guess he didn’t bring his microscope to the meeting.

While all of this is going on, there is a ton, and I mean a megaton of cash waiting on the side for what the experts call “The Bottom,” in place in the world markets. Granted, at the bottom, nobody rings a bell…but many experts believe if we are not there, we are really close. When it looks like the collective conscience of the market feels that the bottom is in place, no one is going to want to still be on the ground when the rocket ship takes off. Sadly, those who need the money the most consistently sell at the bottom, out of fear.

Trust will be restored…many will never forget what has happened…yet we will look back on this time as another chapter in the boom and bust nature of humanity. I keep hearing this Holiday Season will be the worst in decades….strangely, each time I visit my local mall, it is jam packed. If the dire prediction is to hold true, there are a lot of people just wandering around looking in stores and buying nothing…I don’t think so! Once the shock of the market crash starts to dissipate, we will stabilize and slowly head back up, with a few important lessons that I hope we never have to re-learn.

Onward and Upward,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

Save It For A Rainy Day


How many times in our lives have we heard the saying, Save it for a rainy day? For some, over and over again. With the financial crisis now circling the world, Save it for a rainy day, means more now than ever.

During the summer we always know when a heat wave hits, eventually storm clouds form to bring it to an end. On the other hand, when a storm is howling, after a period of time has passed the clouds break and the sun shines. Why then financially do we think the rules of nature do not apply? The stock market is quite cyclical…so too is the housing market. I know, this time the buffoons did quite a bit of damage…but the rules of nature still do apply. Still, humanity has a hard time believing that sun and rain are two sides of the same coin.

Many are asking themselves out there, how worse can things get? Well, short of the world coming to an end, we should be close to the bottom of this madness. Why do I call it madness? Because of a strange dilemma of human emotions. When the market is sky-rocketing, a fever grips the community where people can’t buy enough stocks fast enough….hey folks, this is what’s called, Buying at the top, and it can be a long way down. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when people are dumping their stocks at a feverish pace, where they can’t get out of their positions fast enough, this is called, Selling at the bottom. Our emotions tell us to buy when things are wonderful, and sell when things are horrible! It’s crazy….but the opposite, I believe, is true.

As we speak, there are trillions of dollars waiting on the sidelines for all the sellers to exhaust themselves. At that moment, it will look like a cattle stampede to get back into the market. Sadly, it is many of those who need the money, who sold their shares last. Is it truly the rich get richer? Or do cool heads prevail…..

So what do I mean by Save it for a rainy day? When things look like they can’t get any better, take a little off the table, and put it in an emergency fund, for when the rain comes….it always comes.

I remember during the madness in year 2000, many companies that made no earnings were bid up to astronomical levels. A floor manager on Wall Street remarked, I’ve been here 40 years and I’ve never seen anything new…the same things keep happening over and over again. This was before the housing bubble…well friends, it just happened again! And like the housing mess we are in now, it too will pass, with something else or a new fad waiting to take its place.

The sun shines….the rains come….and the sun shines again. Until the world ends, always keep an umbrella handy, just in case.

Be calm,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

The Lighthouse

All around us the storm is raging….financial, natural, and unnatural. Many of us in one way or another have been touched by a storm these past couple of months. As we may know, the storm has yet to subside, but as long as we have faith that out there somewhere is a lighthouse swirling a beam to bring us home, there is a better than average chance we will make it back to shore safely.

The Lighthouse….maintained and run by the light keeper, fully aware that out across the sea ships search for a beacon of hope and guidance. These days more than ever we too look for the guidance from the lighthouse. Storms come in all shapes and sizes, affecting the few, and the many….still, the lighthouse never wavers, never goes out, and never gives up. Within each storm there is always the feeling that there has never been one like this before….perhaps, or perhaps not. One thing is for sure, there have been storms before and many have survived and come through stronger. Tonight and every night, always keep an eye out for the beam of the lighthouse….it shines for you, and for me.

Some ships around us may be taking on much water and are in a state of peril. If possible, reach out, make room on board your ship, and give them rest. The waves have a strange way of helping those who are lost, be found. The brave and the faithful always grow stronger with a storm. Sometimes when it is most dark, all of a sudden out the corner of our eyes we spot it….a beam of hope that swirls around to guide us into safety.

Sail on sailors….battle on through the storm….and keep an eye out, for as we are looking for it, the lighthouse is looking for us. Like all storms, the ones we face today too, shall pass. We will have time to look back and wonder why it happened…but that is for another day. For now, we search, we reach out, we scope the horizon, waiting for the lighthouse to deliver us to peaceful waters.

Sail on,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

The Grey Zone

Every time I think it’s different, I’m always reminded by something happening currently that the world is not black, nor white, but grey. There are those on one side, those on the other, and those in the middle…over and over again, it falls to the middle ground to determine the outcome.

Case in point…the upcoming American elections….on one side Senator Obama…on the other, Senator McCain. The polls show that most people have lined up in support on either side…all that is left are the Independents…those people that each election cycle can go one way or the other. In this case, the Independents are the Grey Zone…they, the experts say, will surely determine the outcome of the elections. The Independents, or Grey People, are never locked into a party or ideology…they walk the middle ground. They view the landscape, see what they think is needed, go into the voting booth and pull the lever. Obama and McCain are fully aware that unless they reach and convince the Independents, they have no chance of winning, no matter how many supporters they have accumulated. This year, with the polls showing that the candidates are in a dead heat, the Independents have never been more powerful.

Wars, conflicts, economics, competitions….the Grey Zone People always hold, in their hands, the ultimate outcome. Grey Zone People are always fluid….never locked in their opinions, constantly looking at both sides of an issue to render a decision. Many feel they are the ones that keep everything in balance.

What the other two sides find quite frustrating is that they can’t always rely on Grey Zone support…each time they have to go out and earn it, which sets both sides crazy. Just because they are on one side of an issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will always be on that side on every issue. They can vote Democrat one year, Republican the next…be a Yankee fan, and then all of a sudden, be a Met fan. The Greys, or Independents, cannot be easily defined….and they like it that way.

Black, White, or Grey….we all have to ask ourselves one time or another, which one are we? One thing’s for sure….you kind of have to admire the Greys a little….they are what they are. They may agree with you on one issue, and argue with you for hours on another. Whatever subject or topic you bring up, you never quite know for sure which side the Greys will be on.

This election cycle, like many before, Senator Obama and Senator McCain have fully entered the Grey Zone.


Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

The Look

This time of the year in the northeast as Summer heads toward Fall, many of us know that Winter is not so far away. You can feel it as you walk the street, as you drive in your car, and shop in stores. Each year as Fall rolls around The Look never changes….neighbors begin talking more, phone calls increase, and outside of the local churches on Sundays the conversation eventually turns to the weather.

The Look, yes indeed….That Look….I’m sure people who face tornadoes and hurricanes are fully aware of The Look. The Look represents the acceptance that we share much more in common than we care to realize sometimes. Whenever there’s a blackout, or a storm surge, we all become One. We all face the elements together. The Look becomes entrenched on our faces. Human beings swaying between indestructible, and fragile.

So what does The Look say? “I need you, and you need me.” You can only go so far in this life alone. After God, who else do we have but each other? Perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be….the realization that no man or woman is an island. Illness, tragedy, trauma….you name it, out of the blue it can become written on our faces. As a community, storms and seasons are something that we all can experience as a collective body.

So whenever storms approach, or seasons change, take a look…you just might see and be surprised how many have The Look….especially when you gaze into the mirror in the morning.

Join hands,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

Success Does Not = Money


How can one put a price on a happy home, or a warm family? How can you place a price on a job or occupation that you love to do each day? Does a peaceful mind have a price? Yet, why do we as a society assign top value based upon monetary value?

Each morning many rise and partake in different forms of exercise…it prepares them for the day ahead and helps a person keep their health, deal with stress and maintain a level of fitness. After these activities are performed does it ever cross our minds to say, How much money did I make from this? Probably not. I could go on and on with examples of how daily, weekly, and yearly successes add value to our lives, yet not to our overall income. Some may argue that good health does contribute to income…I guess in a roundabout way it does, but that depends upon what one considers truly valuable.

When we help others, through prayer and effort, do we ever stop to think how much we made from these endeavors? Or do we look at them as contributions and efforts that make us better human beings? Do all the latest toys have lasting value…if they do, then why is it many material items devalue with age? A friend recently told me, Jennifer, do you know that once you drive a new car out of the dealership garage, it almost instantaneously loses half its value? When a person gets sick, can we place a true value on those that help them get well, free of charge?

Love, Peace, Warmth, and Soul….if these can be placed in a bank account, would those who have them be considered wealthy? I guess it all depends on societies interpretation of value. Somewhere along the way some strange oddball decisions have to be decided…do we spend the better part of our day chasing the dollar bill? Or following the heart?

One thing that’s for certain, at the end of our lives physical and material success cannot be taken with us….yet the bounty of the Soul transcends with us into Paradise.


Treasure is in the eye of the beholder,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

Deal Or No Deal

Many of us have seen the successful show hosted here in the United States with Howie Mandel called Deal or No Deal. I find the show quite fascinating…it’s interesting to watch how far people are willing to go to reach the case with the top financial prize. So many try to climb that ladder, and unfortunately few succeed.

Deal Or No Deal kind of reminds me of another show that operated along the same premise….that show was hosted by Monty Hall and was called Let’s Make A Deal.That show also tested the contestants to see how far they would go before they would take the money and walk away.

So how about you? How much does it take for us as individuals to keep climbing up the ladder, letting it ride or say, That’s as far as I want to go. Each year we hear of many employees taking early buyouts, putting them on the fast track to retirement. Those sweetheart deals seem to be coming less and less these days.

In a recent conversation with a friend of mine we had a chuckle or two about the show Deal Or No Deal. Surprisingly, both of us would quite easily walk away within the 250 to 300 thousand dollar range. Call us chicken, but with each roll of the dice after that, the chances of financial windfall greatly diminish. Here’s a crazy question I have for you all out there….if someone showed up at your door with a million dollar check, and said to you, You can have this check, if you agree to not do any more substantial work in your life. That means, all other goals are null and void. Would you do it….would you take the check? Sounds great in theory, but it’s surprising how fast a million dollars can go through some people’s hands. Not to mention, does life get strange and boring if there are no goals to strive for? Some I know would take the money and run, while others may hesitate.

I believe the reason these shows like Deal Or No Deal are successful is because it forces us to think and contemplate what we would do…how far we would go before we would be willing and content to cash out. It’s a great way to examine all our wants and needs. Those weekly contestants, deep down, represent all of us, while the spotlight shines on their blessings and flaws. The people who seem to do the best on those type of shows are the ones who know what they want and need before the game begins.

Roll the dice wisely,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon

Chickens Come Home To Roost

We all should not be so surprised regarding the energy crisis many of us around the world are now facing. It has been a long time coming. I am old enough to remember the gas lines of the 1970’s here in the United States, and the many who lined up during those times to wait for hours to fill up their gas tanks speaking among themselves that this has to change. Fast forward thirty plus years and guess what? Very little, if not anything, on a grand scale, has changed!

Oil and gas are now higher in demand than ever before. While the Middle East pushes supply more and more, the increased supplies can no longer keep up with demands. Added to the problem is the argument of whether speculators are pushing the prices even higher. This is not really addressing the problem….what we are faced with is an addiction to oil and a rejection or stubborness to try other forms of energy. In the short term, whether we like it or not, to get to where we need to be we are going to have to adapt some form of combination of solar, wind, electric and dare I say, nuclear power. One alone will not be enough…and will take too long to get us to energy independence.

Some countries are already there….France for instance has fully adapted nuclear power. Yet a lot of us look like a bunch of bumbling fools arguing over every detail, while nothing gets done and Winter is fastly approaching. Have the chickens come home to roost? You betchya! Many are running around the hen house looking at each other saying, “What do we do? What do we do?” At the current rate of oil increases, it just may be possible that there will be some coal under the Christmas tree, with a little Spam on the dinner table. Santa Claus this year may just have to settle for half the milk and cookies!

Hey, you’ve got to laugh….I look at my car and I can slowly hear a voice saying, “Feed me!” And when I open my wallet, I hear an eerie sound croaking, “Is that all you’ve got?” No joking….many are feeling the pinch! Here in the United States the state of Utah is going to a four day work week, for the workers and the state to save on energy. I’m sure more states will follow. It is a crisis and I do believe some incredible innovation and good will come out of this, in the end. We’ve been lazy too long…there are solutions…we just have to think and be realistic. The world is growing, and so must we. The day of having one dominant force for energy is coming to an end.

Hybrid cars, electric cars, who knows what’s next? But we will look back and question why we settled for so few miles to the gallon….future generations will shake their heads and wonder why it took us so long. I still look at rooftops and say to myself, why don’t they all have solar panels? I know it’s expensive, but like everything else, as more people use them, the cost will go down. Look at the plasma television screens…remember how expensive they were at the beginning? We will innovate and we’ll obtain a more personal understanding of what powers our lives and heats our homes.

Conservation and a little innovation can do wonders. We all just have to learn in government, work, and life, to compromise.

Be energized,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon


Imagine a place where the Light is incredibly bright but soft at the same time…where the Air you breathe in is made completely out of Love, where the Universe is laid out before you like an endless sphere of stars….where your body is there but made completely painless….where God is the Guiding Voice that gently puts the smelling salts under your nose….the place where you are finally Awake.  That is Death….and that is Love.

The very thing most of us fear above all is the very thing that gives us Ultimate Peace of Mind….it is Home Base, where we return to review our Life’s Lessons….did we overcome our personal obstacles, and did we leave the world below us a bit better than before we went there? And, as we sit under the Tree of Life near the flowing waters, can we look at ourselves and say we tried our best?  This is Death….and this is Judgement.

Death is the land where we can see the Heart Light in everyone….the potential of each Soul, including our own. It is the place where all fear, anger, jealousy, and hurt is evaporated….where we get back much of what many of us lost on earth, because of those feelings. Real Love is Peace. This is Death….and this is the Gift.

So why must we go through Life? Because it is the only way back to Death…the journey on the path chosen that shapes what our Souls become. The body will dissolve, but the Soul will always live on….it is this we are Loved for, Judged for, and given the Gift of Death for. Never be afraid of Death….if there is anything to fear, it is a life lived not understanding the consequences of our actions, because we will face them eventually…better to face them here, then to have to try later, from such a distance…..

Carpe Diem,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2008 Jennifer Avalon