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?”