Joy

In a world that is given to ups and downs, it is difficult to find the elusive emotion of “Joy” sometimes. One might even ask, what is the face of Joy? The answer would be, it is the light in a baby’s eyes when it recognizes it’s parents….it is the grin on a person’s face when they greet a loved one after a separation….it is the laughter of a toddler when they get the toy they’ve wanted…it is the peace in the heart of a person who gives and receives Love.

When I was seventeen years old, I was walking through the woods one day, pondering life, when I suddenly felt like I was “shot” out of my body. The next thing I knew I was enveloped in what felt like a cloud of pure Love….and then I realized I was in the Universe, amongst the stars. I felt a sense of peace that can only be described as the “peace that surpasses all peace,”….pure Joy. I knew that this is the place we all come from….the Heavens. I was shown by someone whom I couldn’t actually see, but could feel, and could hear their voice, that everyone has a heartlight….I could literally see light coming out of people’s chests, on earth. I was also told that most people don’t realize they have this. That made me sad. When I “came back” I was in the middle of a stream, on a rock, and when I looked up I could see a waterfall pouring down into the stream…the water was swirling around the rock I was on. I made my way to the shore, and never forgot that experience. It taught me that Joy is in all of us…it is what and where we come from.

Watching the news on television, hearing all the negativity, one can easily forget the truth. What I do every night just before I fall asleep is recite the Lord’s Prayer, because it sums up what I know to be the truth.

“Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses, as we
Forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but
Deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power,
And the Glory, now and forever. Amen.”

Peace, and Joy, be with you,
Jennifer Avalon
© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

The Power

These days many of us have a lot on our minds, and much to take care of. Children, aging parents, work, our households, etc. etc….responsibilities that come with the turf of being a human being. We watch the news at night, and see a myriad of things we would probably like to see improve. We feel powerless, except on voting days, when we hope our vote counts. Many politicians from both sides seem to end up in the same place….bought and sold by Special Interests. So what is left for us, to impose our power?

 The average American has no idea how powerful they truly are. They have generally been mass educated, commercially convinced to spend their savings, and told that adhering to a spirituality or religion is akin to being one step above being brain-damaged….at least that’s what most of the elite media says. The actual truth is that every single American holds tremendous power in their hands….and it comes with the Power of Shunning. I have mentioned this before, but feel it is necessary to remind folks again of the most powerful tool in their hands….and it’s never violence. Violence is only temporary, and backfires. Shunning is lasting, and does the job.

 Shunning is turning your pocketbook away from companies, causes, or people that you don’t like, or share their motives. Shunning can be as simple as not watching certain television shows that you feel are dishonest, or worse. Without your pocketbook, and without your televison views, you would be stunned by what can happen. But until people really realize their own power is that simple, it could take a long time to make things better.

 I’m sure some of us occasionally wish we could just buy a small plot of land in the mountains some where, build a comfy little shack, plant vegetables and fruit trees, go fishing, and try to “get off the grid.” But let’s get real…somewhere along the way, especially now, with all the many forms of media, we will run into the reality of the fact that there is a whole country out there, and we’re a part of it. Our Founding Fathers knew the power Americans could have….that’s why they put themselves on the line to insure that power could never be taken away. But it’s up to us to keep that freedom alive….to keep our Power.

 Use it,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Falling Forward

Here in the Northeast of the United States, this is my favorite time of year. The leaves display a multi-colored paradise, and we start to hunker down for Winter. Neighbors begin to look at each other differently. The weather has a strange way of reminding us we all need each other to get through the cold and darkness until Spring. Even my little dogs have started the process of hibernation. One thing’s for sure, my doggies always tell me that Winter is coming.

Summer has its own charm and beauty, yet Fall brings mystery, and sparks the imagination. I’m not quite sure if its the looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years…but one thing’s for certain, the spirituality of Autumn breezes through the air. This time of year gives me a chance to look back and see how far I’ve come, what I’ve lost, what I’ve gained. Nature has its own way of helping us come to grips with our mortality and our blessings. It’s so easy to forget, but its the little things that mean the most. Love is all around us, and the stronger, the better, for it is when it is weak we decay. I’m sure if you live in a part of the world that has a harsh Winter, you understand how important community and love is needed to get through.

The economy, quality of life, loss and grief…whatever we may be going through, one day it does dawn on us what truly matters. Although Autumn and Winter may blow cold winds, they also can warm the heart. As the cycle of the year goes by, we always remember what was, and what will be. Our dreams live on, like a blank empty page that stares back at us, waiting for us to imprint upon.

As Fall comes, we do indeed move forward, learning as we go along, hopefully becoming a better person, embracing what we have, and discovering what we need. No matter how many times we circle the year, there is always something new to learn. As nature falls asleep for Winter, many will enfold the charm and the magic of the season.

Stop, Look, and Listen,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Betrayal

We always think we know the folks who are dear and close to us, but sometimes, upon their deaths, and sometimes long before, we find out things about them that stun us….even to the point of finding out that they are betrayers. Such is the case with a very close friend of mine, who had a relative pass away a couple of days ago. He says now, that looking back, there were many hints and indications that this relative was not “up to snuff” in his dealings with him, but because of the blood line, he didn’t want to actually believe it. Still, fortunately, my friend was very careful in whatever he said to his relative.

 Betrayal is about loss….the loss of a previous image of a friend or relative, the loss of something you felt you once had. It takes a long time to recover from a betrayal….one has to really look at the entire picture of the relationship, and let go. Anger is involved, as is disgust. And when the anger and disgust fade away, there is sadness and disappointment.

 What makes someone betray someone else? Envy, jealousy, and in some cases, money. Whatever the reason, betrayal is an act of revenge. It can also be classified as an act of evil, in some cases. That’s if one believes there is good and evil, of which I personally believe both exist. For those who don’t believe evil exists, I suppose acts of betrayal aren’t as horrible to them, just as robbery, and pedophilia and murder, are just simple acts of selfishness, in their books. Not to be classified in any way as evil, since evil to them just doesn’t exist. If evil doesn’t exist, then betrayal can’t exist…it’s just another act among many that can somehow be justified.

 None of us are perfect….we probably wouldn’t be on this planet if we were! We all make mistakes, we are all here to overcome. But I feel for my friend, who was betrayed. I told him to try to forgive because I know that in order for the person who has died, the only way he can be forgiven, is for my friend to forgive him first. That’s the way it works, whether we like it or not.

 In the end, we all face Judgement. We all have to look at ourselves, and every good thing we ever did, and every bad thing. We get away with nothing. Some may think we do, but they are in for a gigantic surprise. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This phrase really does mean something.

 If people only knew this, there would be no more Betrayers.

 

Light into the darkness,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

All In The Mind

We go about our lives almost as if we’re in a comatose state at times….like zombies shuffling through time. Alarm goes off…time to get up…take a shower….grab a bite, gulp the coffee…get dressed…get kids organized…and out the door. At work we have occasional moments of freshness and clarity, only because usually something “new” comes across the desk, to do…but overall, our minds are in drone position, designed to operate at an even, uninterrupted pace. And even though we think that this kind of living is reality, it’s really all in the mind.

Have you ever sat quietly and let your mind race, to places it wants to go? Artists, musicians, writers and people in the arts in general do this all of the time. It’s called “imagination,” and it takes us to spaces and heights that others think are unimaginable….but that’s the whole point of art…to think beyond the confines of earthly reality…to take us to “another place.” This, to me, is the “magic” of art…that it can transport people to other realities.

As a human group, we contain something called a “human consciousness.” It is the collective thoughts of all, combined into one overall idea, or image, of the way things are, or should be. If the collective consciousness thinks the world is a bad place, then the world will reflect that. And if one takes a general look around, it’s obvious that human consciousness has decided that this place is a mess. Can the same human consciousness imagine, also, that this place can be wonderful? Absoloutely. Everything great that ever came to be on earth, began with imagination. Even John Lennon of the Beatles wrote about it, in his song “Imagine.” Because it really is that simple….it really is all in the mind.

Think lovely thoughts,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Swept Clean

We come into this world with a clean slate….or, in other words, the “slate has been swept clean.” Going forward there are “deja-vu” moments when we feel we’ve “been here before,” or a particular place or person feels “familiar.” I suppose those could be called “trace memories”, if one believes in reincarnation. To others, they are just “coincidence.” Regardless, we are all inter-connected, in one way or another.

History tends to repeat itself….different eras, different people, same scenarios. For many, the blood of  their ancestors still flows through their veins, and that is why a child born a couple of generations after “Uncle Joe,” can turn out being the “spittin’ image” of Uncle Joe! Did the child ever meet Uncle Joe? Of course not…but it doesn’t seem to matter. “Uncle Joe” has come back!

With all these comings and goings of Life and Death and perhaps Rebirth, we are supposed to gain knowledge and improve humankind. In some ways this is happening, and in other ways it is not. Whenever man decides to “play God,” there are disastrous consequences. And whenever man forgets his/her history, there are, sadly, repetitions of the past. Each time history repeats itself there is better technology, and more room for human error.

In the end it is not about “how many toys we have,” “where we live,” “who we know,” “what family I come from,” or “this is how much money I made.” It is about how we treated people, from the simplest exchange at the grocery counter, to the life and death decisions…to even the thoughts we think. It is about how much Love we gave, and how much Love we let in. Both matter. The slate is swept clean, for the love story to continue….

Let it in,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Let’s Get Real

I am born and raised in America. My mother’s family (from the northeast) sailed over on the Mayflower, to Massachusetts. My father’s family (from the south) were one of the first to free their plantation slaves, in Virginia. My roots to this country go way, way back. I consider myself a Patriot, and, yes, a Nationalist…meaning, I believe in the ideals of this nation, which includes the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. Included in that is, of course, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms.

I read the daily newspapers diligently….the left ones, and the right ones…I like to form my own opinions. I like to feel the pulse of the country. Of course, some of the papers don’t care about the feelings of the majority…..only of posturing to their smaller minority. Other papers aren’t in touch with the two more “sophisticated” coasts. It makes for very interesting reading, overall. Whenever the polls say a “majority of Americans” feel a certain way, I always laugh because the truth is, only 50% of Americans vote, overall, which means of that 50%, roughly 25% vote liberal, and  roughly 25% vote conservative. So that leaves an entire 50% unaccounted for, altogether!! And I suspect that overall, that 50% leans more to the conservative side…which would mean then that about 75% of America is conservative, or, independent thinkers. You would never know this by the so called “polls.”

Outside of America, all around the world nations feel nationalistic, and have agencies and armies formed to protect their beloved countries. So do we, but, some in this country seem to think that  we will just be “magically” protected, even if they bash the very agencies and  armies that are in place to protect us. People who put their lives on the line every day don’t want to hear that  their country isn’t backing them 100%. Granted, there can be abuses in all places of work, but there are ways to address those things, and, in the present case being thrown around Congress, these things have already been addressed, years ago. What is frightening to me is that while liberals and conservatives are arguing, the rest of the world is watching, and probably thinking that we are losing our minds.

This country, since 9/11, has been under tremendous stress. I certainly don’t agree with everything President George Bush did, but  one thing’s for sure, he did keep us safe for all the years after 9/11. I pray to God that our President Obama will be able to say the same thing after his years in the White House…that he was able to keep us safe. At the rate we’re going, I doubt if there will be many individuals who will feel it’s worth it to risk their lives to protect this magnificent country…and that would be a real tragedy. Wake up Congress…..it’s all of our lives on the line. Please put our country and   our safety first…that, for goodness sake, is what we voted you in to do.

Let’s get real,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was one of those talents that only comes along in a generation. He pushed the envelope of music with a combination of well written, superiorly recorded songs (thanks largely to producer Quincy Jones) combined with an infectious dance presentation that has to be marveled at. In 1984 there was nowhere you could escape the sounds of his album “Thriller.” Even now, years later, the album holds up as a classic. Michael will live in our hearts musically forever…his songs we will hear over and over again for years to come. It has been reported that there are over 100 unreleased recordings by Michael in the vaults. Over the next few years there are plans being set in place to release them. Now on to the other half of the story.

 The tragedy of Michael Jackson has happened before to many who have been swept up in the glaring lights of fame and excess. The eerie similarity surrounding Michael’s death and that of Elvis Presley is shocking. Elvis was an icon that pushed the envelope of music for years. Many fans split his career into two stages….before he went into the army in 1958, and after. The changing moment in Elvis’s life was, while stationed in Germany he discovered “prescription medication.” He took pills to keep him up at night when he was out on maneuvers. One problem, when Elvis returned from the army in 1960 the drug taking continued. Elvis never thought he was addicted…to him, it was all legal. He never went to the street corner to buy off the local drug dealer. He just had a series of doctors write him prescriptions. When anyone approached him that he may have a problem with the drugs, they were banished from his realm. What Elvis had left was an entourage of “yes” men. Fast forward to August 1977, and his tolerance and abuse of the medications took his life.

 Michael Jackson in 1984 burned the top of his head when a mishap occurred during a Pepsi commercial. That was the beginning, experts say, with his fascination with “prescribed medication.” Here we are 25 years later, and Michael has left us with suspicions of the same problem as Elvis. Friends have been coming forward saying that they had tried to warn Michael about his growing dependency on drugs. Anytime they brought up the subject, they too were banished.

 There are more glaring similarities. Shortly before Elvis’s death he had just played a game of racket ball while preparing for an upcoming concert tour. Michael had just been rehearsing two days before his death, for a series of concerts in England, which he called his “This Is It” tour. Oddly, another thing they both have in common… Lisa Marie Presley. Elvis’s daughter, and Michael Jackson’s ex-wife.

 Abuse of prescribed medications is turning into an epidemic in the United States, and probably in other countries too. If I see another commercial that says “Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you,” I’m going to scream! A friend of mine recently told me that half of his son’s college class is on mood stabilizers. If anything good is to come out of the death of Michael Jackson, I hope it is the revelation of the escalating abuse of prescription drugs in this country. We only hear about the rich and famous who die from the abuse…not the many others who don’t get a headline.

 Rest in Peace,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Time

Time is either a journey along a continuous line, or a circle that revolves over and over again. Mankind is at the crossroads to determine which one is true.

As the old saying goes, if we forget the past, are we destined to repeat it? Or are we doomed to consistently repeat old formulas and ideas that have been proven time and again to fail? Each morning when I pick up my newspaper and read the headlines, is it me, or do you also, after a while, start to feel that you’ve seen this movie before? Have we as a society forgotten what works, and what doesn’t?

Can mankind overcome its defects, to the point of not repeating them? I want so much to believe in the perfect world, where everything can be negotiated and compromised…where nations can sit down around the table, discuss their differences, and find peace. A world where thieves and crooks don’t have their way in our financial markets. Is it naive to want a better world for our children? Eerily, more and more I start to see the mistakes and demons of the past begin to show their faces with new masks. The name Neville Chamberlain has been going over and over in my mind this past week. He was the Prime Minister of Great Britain who tried to reach a peace treaty with Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain was convinced that he could sit down and negotiate an agreement with Hitler, that intelligent men could meet and find a compromise. He watched as Adolf Hitler signed the agreement not to invade Poland, brought that agreement back to the British people and, as he was getting off the plane, held out the agreement and said “Peace in our time.” Before the ink was dry on that agreement, Hitler invaded Poland. We all know where that ended up.

We will find out in the next couple of years if Time is a straight line, or a repeating circle. The past few months President Obama has opened his hands to compromise and peace, over and over. He wants so much to reach common ground with those who consider America their enemy. President Obama will either succeed, or become Neville Chamberlain. What we as a society are going to have to see firsthand is, are there people who want peace, or are there people that will do anything to avoid it?

Time is the great commoditizer. Products that were once extremely expensive eventually drop in price so that just about everyone can afford them. Computers, televisions, flat screens, and yes, eventually, robots. Unfortunately, so too has nuclear material become commoditized. Where once nations shuddered at the thought of a nuclear war, other groups now see no problem with purchasing and using such weapons. Is the time line flat, or a circle? Can one rationally have a conversation with a madman?

I love my country, I love the world. I want all God’s children to get along. Time hangs in the balance.

May true hearts prevail,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon

Get Hungry, Get Thirsty

One thing’s for sure that we have all learned, is that no lifestyle or job is a guarantee. Except for a few rare circumstances the days of working at one job and one company until retirement is gone. Recently a friend said to me, “Jennifer, this downturn took my job and most of my life’s savings…how could this happen? I was considered successful!” Then she just shot me a look and said, “One thing’s for sure, it’s time to get hungry, get thirsty, and go and do what will make me happy and make me complete.”

So there it is….many of us know that all the promises, all the guarantees, can they any longer be trusted? Will we ever feel that we have the job that can’t be downsized, or done without? For many years we all thought that we will do the job that pays the most money, regardless of whether we enjoy it or not, and some have found that at the end of that road is a dead end street. All the hopes, passions and dreams we pushed aside, for the paycheck that we thought would always be there, can just as easily vanish.

The great promise of the large 401K, the perfect home, and the mega-bucks job, for quite a few, has come crashing down. If you’re one of them, don’t feel bad…it may be the beginning of an opportunity that will bring you real happiness doing something, this time, that you love. Another friend shared her thoughts with me, angrily saying, “Jennifer, it feels as if somebody came up to me and stole my life’s savings and my home. What adds insult to injury is that particular thief could have been arrested…but in this economic environment, nobody wants to take the blame.” She added, “From here on in, I’m only going to do what I love, for a living. I may end up broke, but at least I’ll be happy, and that they won’t be able to take away from me.” I responded, “I guess you’re not only mad, but now you’re hungry for your passion. God Bless you.”

So many emails, all of them saying the same thing in different ways. What went wrong? I played by the rules. I wasn’t a pig. Something evil went down here. This is America, these kind of things are not supposed to happen, yet nobody seemed to know what was going wrong until it was too late.

I’m writing this essay to let those out there who have been devastated by this downturn, know that they’re not alone. You will come back, but learn, there are always shady people out there claiming to be looking out for us all, yet behind our backs, they’re sharpening their knives. Success can be the best revenge, yet this time let us try to be successful at what we love, and what stokes our passion. Why is it that many times we only find out who cares about us when we go through troubles? Maybe it’s a way to take a good look at our lives, at what we have, and what’s missing.

Carpe Diem,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2009 Jennifer Avalon