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The Joy of Simply Waking Up.

December 25, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Anna Jorgensen.

From Gucci to Gap to Goodwill and Grateful.

The other day I’m on my way to a vintage clothing shop, and I see two fellows on the bus bench in front of the shop. They’re obviously homeless as evidenced by their grubby, layered frocks; mangy, matted hair; shopping cart of filthy blankets and extra, oversized army jackets; and the 2 litre bottle of cheap chardonnay they are sharing at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.

The fellow facing me has brown hair and glaucoma. He asks, “Can you spare some change?”

I say, “Just a minute,” and go into the store, not wanting them to filch my cash, feeling paranoid they’ll steal my wallet and somehow out-shuffle me down the street. I enter the store, search my purse and find two dollars. I go back outside—the other man has removed his jacket revealing a body riddled with scabs. As I approach the men, I smell stale urine. (I must note that I have chatted with a few home-lacking people, and they do not all smell foul. I ride my bicycle on the boardwalk and see plenty out of doors dwellers at the free public showers soaping up. The water isn’t heated. But I digress.)

I approach the men and hand them each a dollar. The fellow who didn’t ask for money and isn’t facing me immediately hands his dollar to his friend, and I feel chastened having made the assumption.

I ask his friend, “What’s your name?” Continue Reading…

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Soldier Interrupted

August 15, 2014

Reblogging for my dear dear friend Joules Evans, who is close with Barbie. Please read, comment and share!!! Love you all, Jen

It humbles me and is my deeply felt honor to defer this post to my friend/survivor sister/wounded soldier/and one of the newest SCAR girls, Barbie. I was at Barbie’s quite recent SCAR photo shoot. She is one of the three newest young women to be photographed by David Jay for The SCAR Project.  By that, I mean UNFORTUNATELY… there are new SCAR photos… which is why we are doing this. The youngest of the 3 was 22. She was diagnosed when she was 21. Barbie was diagnosed WHILE IN AFGHANISTAN. I’m sorry for the all caps but again… this is why we are doing what we are doing. We must end this bitch of a disease. I think SCAR Project LA producer Diana Haye said it best: “Try fighting in Afghanistan, getting diagnosed with breast cancer, having a mastectomy, and then having the guts and fortitude to help raise awareness for…

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Losing (and Winning)

August 12, 2014

I love Jason’s blog. He’s been writing about depression, which, as you know, I deal with.

This is from his “about me”.

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Wait. Before I begin, it is unfortunate that I have to say so, but … I do not want to purchase one of your kidneys. I can’t afford it. I’m not even sure I think that organ sales is cool. Or ethical. In any event, don’t ask me.

Just before April, in 1987, in the middle of my high school’s big Battle of the Classes, my girlfriend Erin broke up with me. I got really, really sick. My mother thought maybe my heart had broken. She was close.

Continue Reading…

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Letter Against Fear. By Lidia Yuknavitch.

July 29, 2014

By Lidia Yuknavitch

lidiawithscarydoll

This is me running away from home for the first time.

I’m three. I have a small plastic suitcase and a big scary looking doll. Look at that thing. My cat “spice” is in the foreground, probably wondering where I’m going. My sister is in the background, nearly out of the frame, in the most glorious red dress.

I went to the edge of the yard and sat on the curb for about 30 minutes.

The house is near Stinson beach near San Francisco, where I was born. The yard was filled with fruit trees. The house was filled with anger. My sister and I were terrified most of our childhoods. My father bred fear into the bodies of his daughters.

And yet look at me. In that moment of the picture, taken by my mother who no doubt thought it looked cute, like mothers do, I knew what to do. Volition.

Continue Reading…

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Perfection and eating dirt

July 27, 2014

I love how my friend Sara writes about her travels. Feel pretty lucky that she’s come on a couple of my Manifestation Retreats. Check her blog out. I loved this post! Happy Sunday from Seattle, Jen

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Now Leaving Childhood. By Amy Ferris.

July 23, 2014
Now Leaving Childhood

Now Leaving Childhood By Amy Ferris

He was a spiritual advisor/therapist of sorts. More like a healer/shaman. I had known him for years. I told him that I felt empty, lost… completely depleted. “I think I need to re-connect with a spiritual path,” I said. “It finds you,” he told me. “One day you’ll be doing something, standing somewhere, driving in the car… and you’ll just feel it, get it… know it. You’ll know it. It’ll wash over you.”

“Oh,” I said, “you mean like an Aha moment.”

“More like an Ah-yes moment. Aha is a light bulb, Ah-yes is the whole wiring system. It’s not a fall-to-my-knees moment, it’s pure clarity.”

It was sort of like an impulse buy.

Continue Reading…

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To Be and What Not to Be: On Having Lupus.

July 22, 2014

By Carin Enovijas

A few weeks back I posted an angry little rant about the wonder and horrors of Prednisone, a corticosteroid drug, scornfully dubbing it “better-than-dead-Pred (BTDP).” While I still believe that it’s better to be alive upon this mortal coil than not to be, I must concede that I underestimated the bitter sting of the many slings and arrows I so glibly described as BTDP’s “side-effects” such a short time ago.

Lupus is responsible for the auto-immune driven ITP (ideopathic thrombocytopenia) that is devouring my blood’s platelets. The treatment, high, prolonged doses of Prednisone has now manifested something called Cushing’s Syndrome which is responsible for side effects such as Moon Face, Buffalo Hump, muscle weakness and spasticity, bone and joint pain, weight gain, dramatic mood swings, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, blood pressure swings, blurry vision, acid reflux and ulcers…just to hit the relevant highlights. It’s hard to believe that Hamlet had no ken of modern day pharmaceuticals when he questioned whether ’tis better to “bear those ills we have, Than fly to others that we know not of.”

Continue Reading…

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On Neruda

May 14, 2014

My dearest Angela Giles Patel’s latest. Please follow her blog. She is one of the editors of The Manifest-Station. An amazing poet and friend. ps, I know I am behind on posts with The Manifest-Station but will be getting some up this week. xojen

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Soul Tattoo

May 8, 2014

At the end of my life, when I ask one final “What have I done?” Let my answer be: I have done love.” That’s my quote. And Joules Evans tattooed it on her skin the other day. I am touched and humbled. It looks stunning. I met Joules when she showed up at a retreat of mine in Massachusetts in February. I have since become a huge fan. She just wrote this poem for me. I had to share with you all. Check her out please! I have done love, indeed. xo jen