WHERE ALL LITTLE THINGS ARE NOT.

Perhaps because I desire so deeply to cultivate it. Perhaps because I am awed by the intelligence of it. Certainly because I am meant to be in concert with it. Life. In its slowness and urgency, it may remain a quandry for those to won’t afford themselves the time. And even for those who yearn with all their getting to truly get the vastness of our interconnectedness, we only sip and taste, which spoils us for anything other than more of the potent truth of life that brings us to our most honest, raw selves. That I am sure it what we hunger for and need most.

So much seeking to burst through my wearied reservations, I needed to write down the wave of deep, gurgling-over thoughts and feelings, along with concerns and inspirations. Something happened in me after watching THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM this weekend. Maybe it will for you. I hope my own rush of collected thoughts which I cannot quite adequately capture only salts your own need to try.

This documentary film following a couple who dares to fulfill their promises and enter into traditional farming practices against the prevailing tides of current practices and alluring economic drum-beaters somehow transcends touchpoints of tangibility and so breathes life into parched souls. Mine especially. All of us need a more untethered, unfettered flow of being in affirming syncopation with our design and purpose that is not self-made or solo-sourced. That’s hard to deal with for self-reliants like me.

On Apricot Lane Farms, neither the seemingly lowly aphid, nor fearsome creatures of prey …or even profitable produce take preeminence over other created beings…no, not even “pests” or unsellable plants. When finally loosing the bonds of uncompromising idealism or being humbled, then awakened enough to relinquish ego exalting control to “correct a problem,” a sacred expanse within humankind may very well finally be ready to receive pure gold into our innermost being. In unrelenting, uncontrollable, unforeseeable conditions, glories seem to have come in perfect time and only for the humbled. As this couple and farm community stepped back, as they said, and looked at the matters of troubles with an unprejudiced curiosity, a web of created wonders brought gifts of sublime purpose showing that there is no issue not already accounted for… and that all in the grand design can be brought into a disharmonious beauty meant to be just beyond our full grasp of comprehension. Only in that place of precious commonality, co-existing in gratitude with all other life on Planet Earth, will beauty become most full in us and around us. That is, as long as humanity’s hubris does not too far offset nature’s most remarkable mechanisms to heal and thrive.

This is why I need to watch The Biggest Little Farm again. This first time stirred embers long unstoked within me. Perhaps these are starting to catch wind and fire again knowing that my leading within weaves a web of life–for the arts, for stewarding all life and healing in congruity with my Maker’s heart, for fulfilling my own purpose and design.

4. Beyond what I think

More and more, studies show that our heart sends more electrical signals to our brain, not the other way around… So how and how intensely we feel about what we deeply, truly believe, changes our entirety. Our hearts produce EMF. Our hearts are the body’s strongest electric field generator- 5000 times stronger magnetically than our brain (according to #drmarkhyman! Imagine how much of an impact we have on ourselves and one another… So I now so value my Father God who cared so much about the state of my heart and my emotions that He would speak to me in such a way to help me see a way forward to how He wants me to heal unto complete completeness. I share this today because it is a special week of celebrating miraculous life from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday.

So, as you know form my last blog, I had the promise from that prophetic song that I would indeed overcome, but when here feels so far from there… what’s the bridge between the now and then?

As much as I believed and believe more as years go by that the mind is a most powerful mechanism to change our world, it can also get mixed up with striving by an ego-driven outlook to achieve and that was something I knew I could not intuitively afford in the precarious situation I felt I was in. I needed something beyond what I could muster on my own at the time and I much more than just practical answers of changing diet, lifestyle, and well…changing everything. I needed to know that doing all that it would take to heal in totality would be worth the who-knows-how-long process it would become. I got my uplift in what some would call the night watches.

Sleeping was never a forte for me and it was one of my first struggles to change my lifestyle for healing. I needed to get over the guilt over sleeping more than 5 hours as I felt there was always so much to be done and so much I could be doing instead of unproductive dormancy. I drove myself around the clock and even when I tried to sleep, it would often elude me until I starting taking medical-grade cannabis oil and suppositories for the anti-cancer benefits that I started to sleep a lot. But before that, I would toss and turn and then return to my computer to work… and one week morning, I felt that this notion of suffering through life matters wrestled with me until I came to terms and at peace with this :

In fact, once I finished this meme, I felt an instant release to be able to rest and I wandered into bed with a great sense of peace. And my next night visitation came and confirmed my sense that suffering can often be changed by a choice to be wielded for our utmost good. As I dozed I had this otherworldly sense of pure joy rise in my heart and core area… almost to the physical extent that I felt I was holding a big bouyant beach ball… I was nearly awake in this state of sleep stupor and in my deepest being, I knew I had received a big gift of strength through joy for the journey of choices before me. Then that beach-ball lowered into my core and into my being…a strange enmeshing I was wide awake to know it was not just my imagination. There is the unseen more real world that loves the world we can touch. To overlook this reality is a shame that I had done for much of my life.

In my humanness, I still pressed for more in my recurrent dismay that I needed a reason or many deeper reasons to keep on going when the last decade of living in obedience and trust of my Maker was relentlessly crushing and often devoid of much earthly reward. The answer I was sent surprised me. And it’s often when the spiritual message I receive is not logical to me that confirms to me that it is indeed not me, but from beyond my limited flesh.

Of course, the answers I get from God often come in times when my resistant conscious brain cannot protest very much and since my Creator God knows me well, I got a dream. In this very vivid dream, I saw myself at a table signing things for visitors. it was not headshots being autographed. They were books I was signing … they were books where my rescue pups were the stars… and this is the main thing–I FELT HAPPY. I actually felt something other than sad or mad or nothing. I felt something. I felt happy. This reminded me that happiness was a real palpable sensory experience. I had been without it for so long, this guided me toward a productive creative outlet that could keep the happiness going and growing in my life. How I felt awakened me out of sleep. That was it! I knew that I had a future that would include working on books about my pups even though it had been 6 years since my first charitable book about them.

This dream awoke me… that I could be–that I would be happy once more. That was what I really needed–that an all out fight to live would be worthwhile and that my life indeed has purpose and value…even more so perhaps because of this process of refinement. I held on and continue to hold onto that powerful dreamlike vision. I realized that I also needed more happy in my life overall. Don’t we all?

I was and still am quite happy (yes, HAPPY!) that God chose to answer my earnest pleas so sweetly. Thank you Abba.

5. Practical Spirituality

You can probably tell I have been through many a dark, long, and winding wilderness. I felt the fear. I felt the loss. I felt the anger, shame, rage… all of humanity’s capacity for temptation to remain in pity and tears. But I thank God that my Jesus Christ did not let me linger any longer than I matured enough to be honest and authentic about my feelings while not letting myself “be” and “become” any of the horrible emotions I felt. This divide is easy to miss and I tripped sometimes, but when no human would or could, my Abba YHWH and Jesus Christ showed up and lifted me. So this is a GOOD GOOD GOOD FRIDAY indeed. I get the privilege to live in the now and not yet of Resurrection.

I am blessed and hope you are, too, on this day leading into Resurrection Weekend a.k.a. Easter. The only connection I have with that is that I used to devour Cadbury eggs and every sweet processed pseudo-food manufactured by man in my yesteryears (20’s especially!). And that connection has been severed to facilitate a fuller abundance of life and so I am able to see where I got set up to fall and see better where to maneuver in quiet before I step out. Life is much sweeter (even without sugary chocolate!) when staying most close to the Spirit-truth of all things because I plan to truly live evermore with Christ after this passing wind of life we experience on Earth. And this is why I love reflecting on where He has led me so I can more gratefully and wisely welcome the ways to come.

As I value how far I have come, I acknowledge wellness is a continuum and I get to progress and deepen enjoying life throughout the journey. So I joyfully the share the honest unknowns I tackled early in my healing and still am evaluating this very day. I am most humbled and grateful that I get to choose to show up everyday…and got to prove to myself that I could each and every time I did not feel I could, but did…and anytime I doubted I would ever heal over these last years, I chose to believe I would. And now through this present-look at my near-past part of a healing journey, I shamelessly admit I am still in process BECOMING. As an actor, I am especially aware now that there is an art in healing, too.

How do you walk on faith in real-life here on Earth? Have faith…yes, and then what. Well, when it comes to facing health issues, this is a tough space to navigate, simply because there is so much space to explore or get lost in and voices to heed to ignore. There’s just a LOT.

Simply put this is the place of flux and fuss: the now and the not yet. As a faithwalker according to Christ, I know my eternity is secured and I am whole, new, spotless, and perfected in eternity. However, I am still in my temporal state where the flesh dies a bit every day. What will break or breakthrough? Let me share two examples of making decisions about oral health and digestive discoveries in regards to my cancer skirmishes…and see how heaven finds traction with me here in my tangible world.

When facing matters of mortality, this is a most peaceful in-between in my experience. Each thought and action is best taken before God’s consideration and if I can get peaceful enough and discern with His voice above all the others, the way forward or in waiting while still becomes simple. I did not say easy.

After a year of healing my body with natural methods or detoxing and nutrification and radical supplementation (as you know if you read my earlier posts…) I did not have a clear enough answer on if my thyroid was totally in the clear and outside risk or relapse to confusion by cancer. My biochemist readings show no more malignancy, but ultrasounds show shape changes and what could arguably be growth (or dispersion?!) How maddening to be being torn in this way. Depending on your persuasion, my results were interpreted by that bias. I didn’t care of anyone’s bias, so I simply felt that my journey toward complete wholeness was not yet over. So I dug deeper… in my mouth and into my gut.

Something inside told me I should check to see if any abnormalities were in other risky areas for me. Since my dad had cancer twice, I opted to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy as a prudent measure. No one told me to… it just seemed like good sense while I was searching to make sure I was covering all my bases. The faithwalking part of this procedure was that I was led not to cause harm to my body in the process and if you know anything about the standard recommendations for preparing to get your innards examined, it is horrifically jarring. Running to the toilet all night and blasting everything out of my rectum did not seem like a kind and loving thing to do to my healing body. So, I did what my intuitive gut led me to do after seeking guidance in prayer. Juice fasting, then water fasting, then two colon hydrotherapies to seal the gentle sodium water baths I gave my insides. Sure enough the doctor said I was super squeaky clean and did not even notice I did not follow his expert advice. God knew better and I walked it out for my betterment. Here’s the link to that blog–there’s great tips if you want to be more gentle to yourself pre-colonoscopy: https://joiedejane.wordpress.com/2018/08/16/gotta-go-with-my-gut/

Then came a tooth extraction. Perfectly good tooth some dentists thought, for a dead one, that is. A root-canal-saved-tooth. You may have some, too. I have two. Since my thyroid is so close my mouth and it seemed everything I intake orally passes right by my thyroid on the way down, I took the suggestion of many naturopathic and holistic oriented folks and sought a “green” dentist. With their’ extra examinations, they discovered my upper left molar was grossly infected from a root-canal gone sour and the infection had ruptured my sinus cavity. Gross! But Eureka!! This was on the same side as the area diagnosed with thyroid cancer. There was certainly some connection there (between the longstanding infection and cancer) that needed to be severed. Clearly the best thing to do was not to try to save the tooth, but to remove the infection negatively affecting my head area and possibly my entire body’s functioning. So, I was blessed to take another step forward to clean out my body while I was trusting my spirit to guide my soul as needed to continue this work of complete restoration.

Both of these unprovoked tests were valuable for my bodily’s well-being and discoveries of needed to-do’s, but more valuable for the practice of taking my health as my responsibility and trusting the innermost leading of my Maker than the voices around me. But it was in gathering information and knowledge from the intelligent voices of authorities around me that helped me take the wisest choice for me determined through dialoguing with the author of my life.

I could have made other choices and followed widely tried, and moderately true ways, but my bigger priority steered me differently. I desire to know myself more and hear the guidance from God more and more intimately and infinitely. I suppose it can been seen as a fine line between grace giving me the permission to do whatever I want and the opportunity to do what is most prudent and expedient in the estimation of the only one who knows my beginning to my end. Since G-D is the author of all creation, I honest to goodness feel most secure in seeking alignment with that power of an endless life. And still, I honest to goodness have to discern if I should pull the other root-canal tooth and proceed with or cease from various therapies… It is a walk of connection and continued conversation with my Maker. It’s a blessed growing process.

A Woman’s Knowing

International Women’s Day causes me to think on all the ways I am WOMAN! (not necessarily roaring…but steadied, redemptive, and sure.) Even with all the struggles in the workplace, to gender/role expectations in relationships, to anatomical matters that come with the doubleX chromosome, I am truly glad to be fully female. Moments of wondering what it would be like to be otherwise flees away quickly when I think upon the wonders of womanhood.

I have loved beautiful dresses and gowns–always have thanks to my mom and dad to worked their immigrant bottoms off so that I would not be in want for the simple or extra things. Thanks to my parents, I remember what it felt like to feel like a princess, beloved and prayed for, yet be able to understand at a young age how weighty the responsibility is for a woman to keep a family together with our intuitive, giving nature and strength to humbly and ferociously protect and sacrifice. As a grown woman who still loves dresses, (but not dressing up as much!), a wife, as well as a mom to pups, I have most recently been extra grateful for what I do not know.

Through the rigors of innumerable conviction-testing unexpecteds in life, I am learning how valuable it is to have a grip on what is just beyond my reach...to cultivate the warrior woman with a war-ready stance balanced by the unshakable quiet confidence that comes from many, many hard-won skirmishes and battles. I face each steep wall, treacherous mountain, darkest depths, and bleak outlooks with a certain levity (on an increasing number days now!) Certainly this, whatever it may be, cannot fell me–have you seen the triumphs in my fresh-worn path?!

Mistake me not, I truly grieve and mourn and rage in our world’s plethora of wounds, hurts, injustices… and most profoundly in the space where the dearth of forgiveness for others and for myself hollows out humanity’s soul the most. In life, there are times one must stand very solo. But I can stay in a progressive process from faith, to hope, to a radically transformative love because of all I have come to know –more of who I AM in my maker Abba YHWH. Only my God in Christ knows me all the more richly than I can appreciate…able to call me up to the wonders I know not yet within me by His majestic design. Sweet mysteries…

With Him, I know I can walk ever forward, head high with eyes on horizons I trust will always be replete with unimaginable satisfactions and boundless joys.

Jesus loves me. This I know. And that is enough for me.

For those asking for how I overcame cancer and the injury that gave rise to it, find my wellness journeys (coming soon) at https://joiedejane.wordpress.com/ , and @janeparksmith on IG, twitter, and FB. I have realized there is artistry in natural healing, walking in faith, and how I get to choose life in each and every way, everyday. I AM WOMAN. BLESSED. BELOVED. FEROCIOUS. #artistslife indeed! Thank you!

Until we meet again

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I celebrate his life and will never forget him.

We laid him to rest today after a life full of great overcoming. He was 72. I miss him, but am so grateful for the treasure he was to me on Earth and the eternally impactful gift he leaves me…answering my deepest relational query before my Maker.

I write this remembering my long visit recently with him in which I got to hold his stroke-withered hand, tell him how much I love him, how greatness reveals itself through him in the face of his most staggering heartbreaking journey. His response? Said with a quieter-than-normal Korean man’s grunt, “I have a lot more to work on on the inside.” My heart broke open more in the ensuing palpable silence and from that moment began this unexpected confluence of revelations.

I wrote this poem to describe my uncle:

LOVING WITH UTTERLY EVERYTHING

EXPECTING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

HOPING SOLELY, COMPLETELY ON THE LORD GOD ALONE

THIS IS FREEDOM AND HIS PEACE…HIS SHALOM

EXEMPLIFIED AND ONCE EMBODIED BY MY “SAMCHOON”—UNCLE SUNGJIN CHOI.

In the throes of final arrangements and interactions with family and his friends, I am hit more deeply and see more clearly the gift he truly was.

You see, I battled anger lately about how I come from a lineage and family that is so stubbornly, incomprehensibly self-sacrificing and given over serving others… as I had lingering thoughts that this may have further compromised uncle’s already hardship-wracked life and body. He could barely walk, yet he would load himself down with things others needed and delivered them on foot! That’s just one example.

I have seen too much (and too often) injustice; unfairness…things clearly “wrong” done towards those I love, including uncle. But then, in the time since his passing, my own angst and prayers were addressed. The answer from the quiet of His Spirit unlatched the prison encasing my hurting heart : real, eternally rooted love is unreasonable. And so, that’s why it is also hard to accept the endless, unfathomable, boundless, overcoming love of God, Agapeo, because it makes no sense to a finite human until the connection and flow from God is established and flourishes. It is still hard for our human hearts–oh, the deceitful beauty of humanity. But prioritizing this flow from heaven is essential in this life because it allows the liberty only eternal election can provide. For me, this means as much self-forgiveness as the forgiving of others. Still, it’s hard to quiet the wish I did more, with more care while uncle was still with me on Earth.

As the last human to see him and embrace him in this world, I am so unspeakably moved and grateful… I got to hug him and smother his chubby right cheek with kisses. For this, I am so joyful.

Pained with gratitude, I weep that I got to see how a human who seemed to “need” so much due to his disabilities and heartbreaks pursued and found true peace…showing me how to live with the love of God in Christ and reliant on that bountiful provision alone. He showed me how one’s true hope and expectation can be on the Heavenly Father with no other dependence to cause one’s soul and footing to waver too long. Because of my family’s faith and especially in this time, due to my uncle (and my mom whose heart bears her brother’s likeness,) the deepest relational puzzle has resolved for me. Having my heart ever full, and buoyant overflowing in God’s peace and love is indeed possible in the face of any painful situations with any other soul, including those in my innermost circle…for is it not when we are most vulnerable, the deepest soul wounds can happen? Yet, it requires brokenness to be made more whole than otherwise possible. The how of this is my own path with steps to discover, but I know that because my uncle proved it possible, it truly is for me, too.

Thank you God…Thank you Jesus for overcoming death, hell, and the grave and giving me real hope. I look forward to seeing my beloved uncle as he was first intended to thrive on the other side of eternity.

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psalm 62:5

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walking and growing in faith…

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A gift from a friend to remember my uncle.

A gift from a friend to remember my uncle.

Oh, Our Soul… on Acting & Artistry

— “OH, OUR SOUL”

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(I am always so moved and filled to overflowing in being part of the rich artists’ community of BGB.)
These words just burst from me after a class working with fearless actors who help one another get free and have fun. So, I thought it was worth keeping and posting online to share as part of my celebration and gratitude for fellow artivists building such a sacred space.” See below…
—-
There are times I feel compelled and capture some fleeting words.  Wave after wave, the swells wouldn’t abate and so here they come for you and me…
After class, my heart-space panged against the limitations of my flesh as your faces and feelings ricocheted within riddling me with undulations of gripping and rending.  I’m sure that’s why we are human–because we are made most beautiful through bleakness and brokenness.
And it’s in figuring out how to live and show-up while in unspeakable pain that our otherwise divergent paths crossed enabling us to experience and elevate one another.  Who could have prescribed a better remedy for a weary and flat-lined soul than each and all of you?  To see and be…to be embraced… to feel so much — a jarring and delightful awakening.  I’m so privileged and grateful.
In each of you I see majesty, tenderness, ferocity and a can-do/must-do need to unleash the richness of yourself into this malnourished world.  Armed well through life’s chaos, loss, and seasons where celebration finds balance with purposeful suffering, our weapons of emotional warfare in this brilliant craft of acting finds its razored point unto breakthrough.  Therein and not beyond the maddening struggles and pain…there, will we all experience our greatest glory arise in strength, fervor, and clarity and we will all revel in that transformative, allowing emergence.
Fighting through and for a calling that only makes manifest sense to similarly crazed freedom fighters, our hunger to heal, urgency to connect, and the mandate within to imagine betterment sustains.  And yet, the brave pursuit crushes without discoveries of delicious uncensored truths … and destroys us if isolated and alone.
What a treasure it is that we don’t have to be so.  In pursuit of pure-honest-love, we war relentlessly and in due time, prevail.  And the victories are greater sweetly shared together.
Thank you for challenging me to weave deeply into this community, daring to believe that all is possible and real in our world of play.  In this place, I honor each of you and your commitment to thrive in the ways we are uniquely designed to powerfully and joyfully change our world.  And thank you for the lively black and white shot of me wrangling camera wires Casey !
Our class is remarkable.  We are SOULdiers!!! To me, BGB = Becoming.  Glorious.  Being…
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Any time is right for LEMON-y LOVE with Jane’s Paleo lemon loaf!

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NO JOKE… THIS WAS A HIT ON ONE OF MY FILM SETS THIS YEAR AS I LIKE TO BAKE FOR MY FELLOW CAST AND CREW FAMILY. I believe every set should have healthy options for everyone that taste super!!!

And this recipe can be made into beautiful little cakes, too!

wp-1474488710335.jpgSee end of this post for the fancy cake version 🙂

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup cashew flour

¼ cup arrowroot powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

3 large organic eggs

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

¼ cup honey (or 1/2 cup Monkfruit powder)

½ cup freshly pressed lemon juice (this is essential that is freshly squeezed!)

zest of 4 lemons—don’t skimp on this!

1/3 cup nondairy milk of choice. I use almond

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Magic drizzle

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon almond mylk

½ teaspoon vanilla bean extract

2 tablespoons coconut butter

½ heaping tablespoon of coconut oil

¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (can opt for lighter in fat version)

What to do:

-Set oven to 370 to warm up as you prep rest

-Grease up the inside of your loaf pan, preferably silicon one recycled cardboard

-Combine all the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder & soda, salt)

-Whisk up eggs, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice, zest, and almond mylk

-Combine wet with dry ingredients

-Pour in pan and bake about 45 minutes until edges welcome you by browning

-Check to see if the inside is set by poking with a chopstick or similar

-If it’s not ready and set enough in the middle, cover with foil and leave another 5 minutes

-Take out of oven and let set in pan until cooled.

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-Combine all warmed and softened ingredients in small bowl

-wait until thick enough to drizzle and spread on top of bread that is cooled

-press in the coconut shreds to fully set the frosting onto the bread…

-leave in fridge until ready to eat.

Slice up and devour… but share, too!. .. It’s okay to drool… this is a decadently fresh bit of baking goodness!

For more delightfully delicious, sustainable, and good for you delights, follow my other passion project http://www.EATScommunity.org … and find the community on social media @EATScommunity !  Thank you 🙂

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FANCY CAKE VERSION: 

Put your batter into a mold you choose (silicone molds are easy to work with!)

After baking, cooling, and popping them out of the molds, be ready to add the yummy decorative frosting!  To make it more solid than the version for the loaf, add more coconut manna than the other ingredients.

1/3 cup Coconut manna

1/8 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

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Melt all in a double boiler and mix together… let cool slightly to frost decoratively. Should be thick substantive when mixed but soft enough to be moldable.

Mash up fresh berries with drizzle of lemon juice and monkfruit granules if you want it sweeter.

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Top the cake with scoop of favorite frozen dessert.  I love coconut mylk icecream!

Enjoy 🙂

 

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