I’m grateful. Really, I’m grateful for you. You were the 3rd migraine in my life and all three happened over the course of one year.
Clearly, you have all been trying to tell me something. Clearly, the human body is a messenger letting us know what needs attention. When we listen, things go well. When we don’t, we tend to suffer.
But you see, Leadership. You know?
No, no, not status or a professional or scholarly title. Leadership: the art of expressing your vision in the world, giving it your best so that it thrives, thereby having more of what you want, and creating more of the kind of world you want to live in.
Beginning in childhood and throughout my life, I’ve been supported vigorously enough to believe my vision mattered. Confident and resourceful, I’ve started numerous businesses and not-for-profit organizations, and given birth to many movements, ideas and pieces of edgy, thought provoking writing. Leadership? I got this. Even in the realm of romantic relationship, at least three times I have written and refined a list of what I wanted in a partner, only to have that vision show up right before my eyes.
So after giving birth to my daughter at home without any drugs or interventions, boy I sure thought I could do anything. And anyone could do anything, as long as the essential ingredients are present: Vision, Alignment, Action, Surrender.
Wait. That last part.
Sigh. Apparently you, dear Migraine, came to help me with that part.
After a vibrant launch of my new project, Leaning into Light, a hub for human fulfillment offering phone workshops and blog posts addressing the deepest, most fundamental human needs, you showed up. Weeks of pressing on, trying to figure out how to make income from this project, investing potent heart, wisdom and soul into it… It wasn’t giving me back one of the fundamental ROIs a business should give: income. Press on, persevere, figure it out… Boom. You arrived. And as with the last one, my head throbbed painfully with a message I still needed to hear. Again. Surrender.
Wait. Just surrender. Let go. Release. No figuring it out. No pressure.
Spaciousness. Relax. Joy. Ease. Allowing. Spaciousness. Right underneath you, dear Migraine, was a layer of communication saying, “Spaciousness.”
That’s when I posted a note on the Leaning into Light website about how spaciousness came calling, and I answered. Prince had just died; I wanted to dance. And cry. The whales were migrating down our coast; I wanted to tune into their big, slow song.
So I did.
I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know where it would lead, everything was unpredictable but I knew one thing: Living my truth is the way I want to live. Anything else is a disgrace to this precious life I’ve been given.
The day after I made this decision, I was still breathing.
My daughter was still the most magnificent thing I’d ever known. Our family was fine, sheltered, and happy in our simplest moments. Nothing exploded. And within two days, you were gone.
I stopped trying to figure anything out.
I opened up to let the voice within take center stage.
I got quiet.
And when I get quiet, as in, days of defaulting to quiet, that’s when I know things are gettin’ real good.
Here I am now in the Great Unknown. I’ve heard it is Love, and I trust that even though my faith wobbles, fragile, in occasional moments. I know it in so much of me; I want to know it completely.
You came to lead me back to the greatest truths I know:
I am here to be happy.
Joy is my birthright and welcomes me as much as I am willing to allow it in.
I can recover to feeling good every time I slip.
I am blessed beyond words.
Love is who we are, and our natural state of mind is always available.
Circumstances have no power over our experience unless we give them power.
I know how to feel good, and my choice to feel good is a gift to all of Life.
These are inherent human truths, and anyone can choose to accept or deny them.
Enough about me. What’s next for Leaning into Light?
No Earth shattering news here. Deep in my bones, I feel resonance with this project, this endeavor of art and soul. As the main steward of Leaning into Light, I will keep writing blog posts to express my love for the human spirit, and to invite others to embrace their own authentic lives more fully. Workshops are paused at the moment, but only to give them some breathing room away from the incessant noise of left-brain planning, internet marketing and automation technology. They will be back with more refinement, more punch, more power.
Brewing slowly yet with giant fire underneath the blog posts and workshops is a deep-core vision I have had for years. It’s that “one thing” I’d do if I knew I had one year left to live, type thing. As in, the thing I am supposed to be doing n-o-w because this is it. This is what I’ve got and all I’m guaranteed. The here and now. It is about the illumination of the beauty of the human spirit. Yes... more of that.
This piece? It's close.
I feel its breath on my face. I feel its hand in my pocket. Truth. It’s right here, whispering to me. And I am listening. There is no hurry. It is my art.
Farewell Migraine. I don’t really like your company but I appreciate you. I see that you’re just the rough side of an inner messenger trying to guide me to Light. And if I ever said I didn’t need help leaning into light, I was ridiculously mistaken.
Listen to our free recording for July, a 33-minute interview with Jessica Rios & Mirsad Cindrak, called Perspectives from a Refugee Hairstylist... here.
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a mother, coach, lifelong letter writer, and eternally a fan of Fred Rogers. This deeply personal blog and our free recorded conversations are devoted to one of her greatest passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.