So as many of you know, my favorite singer is Jewel. While there are admittedly a few things about her that I find annoying (like her constant mention of growing up in Alaska and constant mention of how she was homeless, though she chose to be so that she could have a music career), I do find her voice to be beautiful and her lyrics highly inspirational. While I wasn’t really interested in her new book, Jewel, Never Broken: Songs are only Half the Story, I did want to see if she talked about any of her songs, etc. in it.
Picture found here
While most of the book seems kind of boring (though I only really skimmed it so far), I found some good advice in the afterward. Here is some advice she gives that I think is pretty amazing:
“You can’t outrun your pain: You are strong enough to face whatever is in front of you. Medicating your pain will only bring more pain. The only genuine shortcut life offers is facing your feelings. They won’t kill you. Feelings are your soul’s way of communicating. Pain is trying to teach you something, and if you don’t listen now, it will speak louder and louder until it is heard.”
“Access your Greater Intelligence. Your mind is a wonderful tool, but it is not all we are. Get out from under your critical thoughts. Practice meditation or prolonged prayer. Sit in nature and write. Do things that help quiet the circular thoughts of your mind and that allow you to gain the greater understanding and acceptance that is available beyond what your mind offers. This can foster inspiration. A eureka moment. A flash insight that comes from beyond what your education or experience make you capable of. You are experiencing your whole self when your body has a calm feeling, rather than an anxious energy.”
“Find the antidote. If you are consumed by self-doubting or self-loathing internal voices, ask yourself what the opposite of those thoughts are. If you are afraid you are not capable of something of something, intervene each time you think that, and replace it with a new thought: I am capable. Do it again and again until you feel your anxiety lessen. With time and practice, the anxiety will subside altogether.”
“Let go of what does not serve you. Make a commitment to choose happiness over anger, love over pain. Let go of hurt and resentment. Let go of what weighs you down and keeps you from ascending to the height you choose. The cup is half full and half empty simultaneously. Your reality will be defined by which you choose.”
“Stay Sensitive. By numbing pain you also numb your ability to experience joy. If someone or something has hurt you, don’t be hurt twice by choosing to limit your ability to ever experience trust or joy again. Being vulnerable in the world may cause you to feel pain, but you are strong and can let it pass. It will not defeat you. Let your emotions do what they are best at: communicating how safe, happy, and fulfilled you are in your life. If you cut yourself off from your feelings, you soul has no feedback system, and you will be deprived of that deeper sense of satisfaction and purpose every day.
“Let go of shame. Shame does nothing but drown us in that which we wish to be free from. Communication is the antithesis of shame. Give your worst fears a voice-speak out loud your deepest, most shameful thoughts. None of us have a secret shame that others don’t share in the world. Find out that you are deserving of love despite your flaws. Find a notebook or a loving friend to be truly seen by. We cannot change what we are unwilling to bring into the light of day.
“Choose love. You can boil down all interactions to two categories: ones that grow love and ones that diminish it. Choose love. Do not choose how to behave based on who is in front of you. Choose because it is a value you hold in high esteem and because it is how you want to experience your own life. Choose love.”
*Jewel is not a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. These quotes are not a substitute for advice given from doctors. Jewel is a singer and songwriter. For more information about her, her music, and her new book, you can visit www.jeweljk.com