The EcoGrrl Interview: Jessica W.



Jessica is fantastic!  Along with being the editor of the Mac’s List blog where I have been a guest blogger a number of times in 2013, she is just an incredible human being with so much to say and offer the world. I’ve just loved talking to her, seeing her at local events, and getting to know her.  Check out Jessica’s personal blog she’s launching at SheAndTheMuse.Com  or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaJoEllen.

What or who inspires you most?
On Being is a radio show produced by American Public Media and hosted by Krista Tippett. I love this show for its thoughtful approach to topics around what it means to be human and alive from a religious, spiritual, scientific, or philosophical perspective. My favorite ones are those that explore poetry like, A Wild Love for the World, which features Joanna Macy, a philosopher of ecology, a Buddhist scholar, and a translator of the poetry of Ranier Maria Rilke.

What do you turn to when you need strength?
My yoga mat and meditation cushion. No amount of conversation can still my mind and help me bounce back like a little Ashtanga heat, Anjali Mudra, and meditation.

How can women best support and/or empower other women?
Be nice to one another. Every time you feel threatened by another woman’s porcelain skin, her public speaking skills, her success, her gorgeous bottom, or whatever it is that she has and you don’t, take a deep breath and send her light. Recognize your own beauty and drop the jealousy. Together we will overcome and we will succeed. Every time you knock one woman, you’re knocking the whole tribe. Remember that one woman’s success paves the way for another and use your success to help those who are coming behind you. 

What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday?
I love growing mint. It’s so hardy and so rewarding in my water, juice or cooking. Someday, I want to try to grow an orchid! I can’t keep those damn things alive.

What are your creative outlets?  Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t?
I write – in my journal, on a post-it, in a blog. I use my love of poetry and philosophy to guide my conversations with friends and to inspire long walks.

Someday, I want to write a book. Maybe in the next year or so?

In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element?
Outside in a forest of trees or on a warm beach digging my toes in the sand.

Who are your top three nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?

  • Girls Inc. NW for the programs they run to supplement the education of young girls.
  • Centre of Gravity for Michael Stone’s teachings, podcasts, and books.
  • Hollyhock, a retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia that is devoted to higher learning and transformation.

What recent “green” change have you made in your own life?  What’s next?
Lately, I’ve transformed many habits in order to be more “green.” I’ve joined Go-Box, I take my own mug for smoothies and coffee, I refuse bags, I started composting, and I joined the People’s Co-Op for their buying standards.

Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary?  Why?
Hollyhock. I spent a month there during some difficult times and it will always live in my heart as the place to go when I need healing. The land is powerful and the people are kind. Locally, I go to The Yoga Space in Portland where I’m surrounded by kind teachers, wood floors, and a community of practitioners.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
You’re beautiful and worthy of great love. Stop trying to be what you think is the “right way to be” and just be yourself (because you’re pretty awesome young lady).

How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet?
Show people how easy it is to make changes in behavior and how much difference a small change in behavior makes.

What sparked your interest in environmental issues?  What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did?
My interest was sparked by friends in Portland – they inspire me to be better to the planet by showing me how easy it can be. The first “eco” thing I ever did? The thing that sticks out is when I started picking up trash off the beach without being asked.

How do you live simply?
I don’t own a TV, I buy used furniture, I avoid frivolous purchases, I bike and walk when I can, I avoid my computer on the weeknights and weekends, I read from real books, I try to be present in my relationships, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can live more consciously.

Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours?
“How will you go about finding that thing, the nature of which is totally unknown to you?”
~ Plato

4 thoughts on “The EcoGrrl Interview: Jessica W.

  1. Aimee, I am terrible with following my email (I don’t even use Facebook!) so I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of posts I received from you (you are the only blog I’ve ever looked into). So I actually unsubscribed today. But then I started reading more carefully and found how rewarding your writing is! I realize it is like a little magazine with great information and outlooks that match my own concerns. And from a younger viewpoint with women who are vibrant and doing good in the world. It feels like a link to the upcoming generation, with inspiring stories that give me hope. I had begun to doubt my belief that someday the world would reach a higher consciousness “tipping point” where we would be more concerned with bettering the world than destroying it and more concerned with pursuing enlightenment than pursuing man’s lower nature. In fact, I find myself drawing into a more ascetic way of life to avoid disheartenment about the state of affairs in the world. But your writings give me energy and hope to put myself back in the fray, and renew my hope of reaching that “tipping point”. So I resubscribed!

    Now to a more worldly matter, How was you trip to New Zealand with your boyfriend? Next week we are going to Russia on a river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg, but our visas haven’t arrived yet! It has been a nightmare getting them. I think the KGB is still alive and well in Russia! Anyway, after that we will need to come to Portland to pick up some gargolyes that we ordered in Viet Nam. My husband’s son is there (he works on a cruise line in Japan but should be home then), but I was wondering if we might meet you, too. Portland does seem like “my kind of town”, and you have given me more proof. Anyway, it will be about the third week in August. (We leave August 1 and return the 18th.) Cheers!! Mary Lively, Spokane, Washington (we were seatmates across the country)


    1. Thanks Mary and great to hear from you! Yes I write every single day on my blog and try to do columns like a magazine 🙂 My boyfriend actually came here from Australia in June – if you go to my column titled “Wandering Soul” you’ll see my summer holiday photos 🙂 It was awesome! Would definitely love to meet up with you next time you are here. Have a wonderful time in Russia and keep in touch!! Aimee


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