Papa’s Visit

 

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Dynamic!! That’s what it was like to have my father in town. As soon as we got into Fairfield after picking him up from the airport, we ran into some friends of mine in front of Paridiso. I noticed how bright my dad seemed to get just by being around other people. This revealed to my friends and I the root of where I received a bit of my extroverted quality. This playful interaction also served to be foreshadowing a snapshot of what our father-daughter time would be like. :-P

One of my closest friends told me that my dad was ‘alive‘ as in full of vitality and comfortable expression. Others said that he looked so young and strong. I personally admire his everlasting joy and contagious sense of humor. With such an animated influence passed down to his daughter, my dad was a bit curious about my preference for solitude and smaller crowds these days. After spending more time with me, he understood that I had simply found my own way of expression.


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So, what did we do while my dad was here? Papa had the chance to witness our advanced reading group recite Vedic Literature for class, he and I walked around town to visit the little shops on the square, and one of our biggest highlights of our time together was our trip to the Des Moines Botanical Garden Center. It was literally another world there! I felt as though we had stepped into a loud, yet silent, ongoing conversation amongst the plants. The atmosphere there was simply delightful. :-)

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Overall, I am so glad that we got to spend quality time together. Here in Fairfield, Dad was able to see more closely what my life is like on a daily basis. He was also able to see how I have grown. Through this visit I have received further confirmation about how important one’s environment is. There is something special about seeing someone in his or her home space, or element, that brings out one’s true nature. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to share my home space with my loved ones.

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Pretty Things, Like Flowers

 

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One of my most favorite things about walking around town are the garden spaces. I think that the time and love put into each full and vibrant garden is amazing!

Whether admiring potted plants serving as decorations for businesses or personal gardens emitting the message of “welcome home,” I can sense a very particular kind of intimacy radiating from the expression of every happy plant.


flowers-sun-orange-yellow-mum-jessi-blogRecently flowers have been grabbing my attention. The pictures posted here merely imply the true beauty of Nature’s artwork experienced in person. Regardless, you get the gist of where I’m coming from.

I think it is simply precious how people passing by get the opportunity to receive the gift of bliss from these gardens, even while the gardeners are away. And these pretty blooms are just starting to reveal themselves this May.

There is such a sweet display of tenderness in the garden over on 4th and Broadway. Sometimes, I go out of my way just to witness the subtle changes of this owner’s garden space. I can’t even imagine what joy is experienced while tending to such a garden.

I hope that you are insipred to take more leisurely walks around Fairfield. Enjoy the beautiful weather, renew your appreciation of nature, and don’t forget to show some love to the gardens! :-D

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Spending Time With Mama

 

It is always interesing to me how my mother can expose such great, yet sometimes latent and underappreciated, potential within me. This special gift of hers reminds me to abide by my path with an honest, healthy, and simple way of living. With these simple reminders, I find it easier to interact with the world around me.

Just by being around my mother I feel grounded in who I am and safe within the flow of life. Her presence is like the experience of what some refer to as darshan. Her visit to Fairfield helped me to understand the strong and comforting silence others have complimented me for. I am so grateful for her strength and wisdom.

And when I say darshan, I mean to say that my mother’s silent, saintly, and wise persona is like a unspoken blessing. While she was here in Fairfield, I found myself resting in what wasn’t said between us. In these quiet moments, we shared a mutual feeling of fulfillment as if we had a conversation about all of the things that we absolutely love.

When we were out and about, I enjoyed listening to my mother say nothing but good things about Fairfield. She said that this little town had such a quaint, old-school vibe. She enjoyed the peace in the air along with the quarky people. Even when visiting Iowa City, she held a high regard for the surroundings and people around her.

When were back at my apartment we would often sit in quiet admiration of one another. In our talkative moments, I took the opportunity to cook for her and teach her how to utilize her ipod touch for more than just a music player. This woman is such a quick learner! Of course, this is another quality I admire within her.

Other times we would play with my pet cat Lila, talk about our individual growth, spend time with my friends, do yoga asanas, and celebrate the future we could foresee in one another. Through these activities I became more aware of the respect I have for my mom. I especially admire her self-motivation to maintain a strong mind and body.

One of my personal highlights of her visit was when my friends would meet her and they wouldn’t believe how young she looked. They said that she looked like my sister. Even my doctor said that she was so healthy and strong.

Others said that she had such a beautiful soul. This particular quality in my mother has always stood out to me. In fact, even today she  reminds me to honor this aspect within myself.

Although it was saddening to watch her leave, I was glad to have time to cultivate our intimate mother to daughter relationship. The appreciation seems to be mutual. I am also happy that she chose to be with me for her vacation time. She could have been anywhere else in the world and she decided to be with me.

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Spring Cleaning: It’s That Time of Year Again!! :-D

 

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Jessi’s Spring Cleaning Tips:

1. Start Today
2. Be Efficient
3. Make it Fun
4. Parts and Categories
5. Celebrate Your Progress

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Step #1 Just Start Already! :-D

One of the biggest mistakes we do in our spring cleaning process is forget to begin. Take initiative in the purification, transformation, and expansion of your living space.

Help your home reflect the fresh and new feeling we receive from Mother Earth this time of year. Get rid of the old and useless, take care of new and welcoming, and make your inner experience as well as your outward expression of love and life a perfet balance.

 

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Step # 2 Remember To Pace Yourself

Check into your mental, emotional, and physical health. That will determine if you can put fifteen minutes, an hour, or more time into your cleaning process.

Be honest and realistic with yourself. If it doesn’t work for you to make a day of it, don’t clean in this manner. Spread out your energy and time evenly and efficiently.

Set aside short periods of time to focus on your spring cleaning if you hace to and make it fun. Remember to take breaks whenever necessary and don’t force your self into unecessary exhaustion.


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Step #3 Of Course, You Can Make It Fun ! :-)

Play your favorite music. Dance and sing while you clean. Get a friend involved. Whatever it takes for you to get this done in a way the healthfully serves yourself, others, and your environment.

Connect into your creative, artist, child-like side to complement this serious business. You’ll be surprised how much work you can get done in such a short amount of time when uou make play and work nest buddies.

 

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Step #4. Rooms And Categories

Let’s say that you’re starting with the living room. First, throughly scan through the room. Where are your eyes drawn to that screams messiness and clutter?

In case you are pretending that you don’t know what clutter looks like, it is usually the place that gives you a headache or makes you cringe and tense up just by looking at it. :-P

Start with the worst section and begin to make your piles with the following pet name: the keepers, the gotta-gos, the maybe-we-can-make-this-work, and the seasonals.

Continue with the rest of the room and add to these piles. When you have reached your time limit or your energetic capacity, comb through the ‘maybe’ pile once more and make a final decision of keeping or trashing the items there.

For the seasonal items, properly store them away for their proper time of social appearance.

 

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Step# 5. Celebrate Your Progress ! :- D

Remember to celebrate every step of progress. Treat yourself with verbal affirmations or words of motivation. Have some icecream or other desert when you finish a big task. In other words, focus on the positive. You deserve it.

And who says that you have to finish completely before you pat yourself on the back. Yes, a fully refreshed space is what you’re going for, but it helps to look at how far you’ve come along the way.

Clean with reverence, appreciation, and love for the atmosphere you have a hand in creating. Again, have fun and good luck. I semd my fairy dust nuddies your way! :-)

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Sharing Our Truth

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The Connecting Process

It is important to allow our truths to dance upon the ears of those who choose to be open to our individual level of wisdom. Whether young, old, foreign or native everyone has something significant to share about the reality of life. Naturally, when we take the journey within we come to understand ourselves and interact with others better because we are more connected with our Source.

It goes without saying that it is just as essential to actually listen to others when they speak upon their own individual values. In these moments, a true transformation can take place. When we hear what others have to say, we have the opportunity to be elevated in our own personal awareness.

Let us remember to to stay true to who we are and what we know to be right. This in turn improves the perspective we have of the world. Every time we uplift ourselves as well as encourage others around us, we automatic enhance the level of consciousness within the entire world.

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The Cleansing Process

Sometimes, when we allow ourselves to be available to another person’s intimate expression of personal values, a purification process begins within us. There are times when someone shares something that deeply resonates with us and it serves to be a confirmation for our own core beliefs, but it is also crucial to remain open to what another shares that may not deeply resonate within us.

We take responsibility for our evolution when we allow another person’s expression of truth to be a catalyst. This action becomes a breakthrough for life-long falsified paradigms that dress themselves up to look like a good way of thinking. In other words, we have the opportunity to perceive uncomfortable conversations a chance to be an active witness rather than respond solely with our emotions.

By accepting the interaction of sharing knowledge as nothing more than just that-sharing knowledge- the purification of mind and body takes on a level of radiance rather than heaviness. Be properly responsive to the needs of your mind and body after deep intellectual and spiritual conversations. Rest and rejuvenation after these kinds of conversations is all a part of the cleansing process.

 

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The Honoring Process

At the end of the day, you have yourself to come back to. According to Vedic Tradition, every form of communication is the Universe coming to know itself by interacting with itself. Whether this jives with you or not, being consciously aware of how you interact with the world and involve yourself with sharing knowledge, creates a smooth and healthy transition for self development.

Integrity above all else is how one can truly respect and love what anyone has to share through personal experience or by a collection of information in regards to the Ultimate Truth of all existence, no matter what their background may be. There are different ways to know and every way deserves the right amount of attention.

If you are unsure as to how to evaluate if something is correct or misleading, your intuition never fails you. Let us remember that knowing by faith and knowing by logical reasoning are both valid in coming to understanding ourselves, each other and the world around us.

 

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Summing It Up !! ;-D

 

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If I were to put it into ONE sentence, my experience at MUM has been this:


“Listen to yourself or you’re just following a different crowd.”

“Being here, now, is just another instance of how life continues to take me wherever and make me whatever it is best sees fit, and I’m in ceaseless enjoyment .”

“I should of got a real degree.”

“Because of all the different nuts and seeds of knowledge offered by all the people and classes at MUM in the fall, I have hibernated this winter with the knowledge and as the sun warms the soil under my feet I feel myself blossoming and sharing the beauty of human experiences with all those around me.”

“A deep grounding within myself that has supported an endless blossom.”

‎”…A loneliness like no other…”

“I kissed the feet of existence, and giggled at the tickle.”

“I have had the most transformation take place in the last three years of my life because I decided to take full responsibilty of my personal and spiritual refinement as well as have the time, space, and healthy relationships supporting this decision.”


In order to respect

the personal wishes, privacy, and integrity

of those who chose to participate in this blog,

the quotes above will remain anonymous.

Thank You :-)

 

Taking a deeper look into my life has always been a means towards more wisdom, creativity, and growth. Also, while observing others, some curiosity has been sparked within me to look into what other students have to say about their own MUM experience.

There can be a bit of a challenge to cram years of experience into one sentence but I believe it serves to be a healthy challenge and a concise sum up of lessons learned.

I also think that is quite nicely expresses the great range of development students have made here in such a short amount of time.

Thank you for participating and I hope that this becomes a continuation for later posts.

Enjoy Life ;-)

Jessi :-)

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3rd Eye ~ Mind’s Eye Whisper

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Seeing with my third eye

Wisdom with open or closed eyes

Intuition pulling me through

Dreams and visions

Stories of other lives

Feeling without sensation

Knowing

Birthing vivid truth

Manifesting fullness

Practical spirituality

Abiding by the journey within

Pure devotion and human experience

Clarity bestowed upon my innocence

Faith becoming more stable

Transformation becoming more bearable

Accepting the unknown, the mystery

Singing, allowing, forgiving

Loving all that is in and around me

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How’s Class Going?

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Senior Capstone: For the two week forest academy class, I took Senior Capstone with Dr. Chris Jones and Joe Holland. I enjoyed the class more than I thought I would. It wasn’t about having mind blowing fun or having all of my best friends close by. What I enjoyed about this class was the opportunity for my classmates and I to reflect upon our personal growth and to share our life experiences with each other.

Interesting Components: What held my interest in this class was the structure of the course revolving around time of reflection. We contemplated upon our individual progress, our fundamental values, visions for the future, and shared our ideas with each other in a class setting. Stories about our past before MUM, our time here at this unique university, and where we want to go after graduation was the ongoing conversation since day one.

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Class Projects: We had three major assignments in Senior Capstone. One assignment was geared towards constructing a concept map. We used software, mainly online, that served as an organizing tool for concepts that resonated with us in our student career at MUM in relation to Maharishi Vedic Science principles, our declared field of study, and our individual goals.

In another assignment, we worked in groups to create communities that integrated individual skills and gifts to create a blueprint of future societies. We understand that the re-building the essence of community can positively influence the world by being an example for better health, sustainability, and interconnected relationships.

Last, but not least, we all created a summative statement. In this assignment, each student wrote a speech and spoke on where they were before MUM, their experience while at MUM, and their future goals. Each story was unique, and I personally found each one to be a piece of inspiration towards my particular path of alternative health care.

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My View: In a nutshell, class is going well. Beginning this semester with a time of reflection seems to be a good start for me. Of course, I will continue to take a proactive approach in my personal growth, but having Senior Capstone seemed to boost a bit of motivation in me to remain open to transformation in my life whether it happens in class and outside of school.

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Yoga Love

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Jessi Monique- That's Me In the Pic ;-)

Why Yoga Asanas? The basis of practicing yoga asanas revealed itself to me when I was alone in my practice. Coming into the practice, I was self taught through books, magazines, and videos. There was a state of perfection that I would reach when I was alone on my mat. Nothing mattered, all was one, and my perspective was clear and pure. My heart was completely open to love and protected from harm and I was truly happy.

Yoga introduced me to meditation. It was there in my practice when I would most readily experience stillness, quietness, peace, expansion, love, truth, and joy. If I hadn’t gained an interest in yoga some years ago, I would have fell upon meditation much later in my life. And I’m so glad that I found both evolutionary tools within one avenue of devotion. Simply put, yoga keeps me sane. ;-)

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From Yogini Mat to Yogini Life: Beyond the general benefits of practicing yoga asanas, I truly enjoy my practice daily. The essence of yoga is with me even after my time on the mat. The peace and love created during my practice on the mat reveals itself in my day-to-day life. I see the blessings seep into my relationships with my self, others, and the environment near and far as my heart swells with more love each day.

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Challenge and Enjoyment: I welcome the healthy challenge I receive learning new postures and perfecting the more familiar poses. Even within the turbulence of finding balance on the mat, I find that the rough edges smooth out with patience and acceptance. I believe work should be enjoyable, so I am not too surprised when I find myself bursting with laughter in the middle of practice even if I was crying just a moment before. Enjoying what I do reminds me that spirituality is practical. It also reminds me that growing pains become lessons learned.

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Personal Development: When I think on how much I’ve grown within my yoga asana practice I realize how it is the definition of yoga, union of self, that has propelled me forward. It is my practice that helps me to keep my heart open, reduce negative behavioral habits, and gain more confidence in my true essence of character. Due to yoga I digest well on all levels of my being including emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological, etc.

With the feedback I receive during reflection on my personal growth and its connection to my practice, I see that yoga is my internal motivation to do right and live fully. For example, I don’t have to fuss much about how to eat properly according to my constitution and seasonal needs due to the enlivened intuitive flow I create by having a regular practice.

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Appreciation: Also, I tend to think and plan less, thank God! I am finally understanding and living the knowledge of what it means to seek the highest first. That highest would be whatever is evolutionary on my particular life journey. Thank you, Naresh and Wendell, for reminding of this.

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Inspirational Reading

the-alchemist-jessi-blog-mumMy Personal Favorite: The Alchemist is one of my favorite books to read. I just finished reading it, again. I think this is the third time I have read it and I have appreciated the precious gems of this story as if I read it for the first time. I cried, laughed, reflected upon my personal development and enjoyed encouraging insight into my future goals.

Why I Recommend This Book: Paulo Coelho is a wonderful writer. The journey in The Alchemist is full of challenge and success as the main character embarks on a journey to unveil the meaning of a reoccurring dream and attain his true calling. It is packed with such simple wisdom.

What Stood Out to Me: The principle of omens are like little ‘post- it’ reminders that the universe leaves for each individual on their given path. They say, “Here’s where to go and it will be enjoyable. That other path may make you frown a bit.”

Also, listening to the whisper of the heart is a way of immediate confirmation. I know I’m doing the right things when it feels like my heart is singing to me. When I am forcing something to fit in my life my heart’s disapproving expression cannot be ignored.

Favorite Quotes: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” (Paul Coelho, Part 1, Page 22)

This story reminds me to remain in the moment. Before using the saying “support of nature” or “follow your true bliss” it was books like this that reminded me that the universe has a very intimate and intelligent way of communicating with every person, place, and thing.

“The sheep had taught him something even more important: that there was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout the time he was trying to improve things at the shop. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired” (Paul Coelho, P. 62)

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