My Angel Handed Me a Lollypop

Posted on 04 August 2012

In yoga class today, I entered in a fog. I have nothing to complain about and everything to be grateful for. And I am. Yet, this conscious life I wake up to every morning has been feeling hard, real world activities have been feeling uncomfortable, and the work of being human has felt exhausting. As I can’t point to any particular reason or circumstance to explain my feeling states, I’m simply observing and being myself as best I can be.  A healing guide told me last week that I have some tears coming and that my heart is opening even further; like a weather forecast predicting a storm front coming, I feel the truth in that. In fact, watching a TED talk this morning I sobbed, and felt relieved to be able to let a wave of grief out of my heart. The TED speaker, Daphne Koller, shared about how crowds of people wait outside of South African universities to register for the few spots that open to the general public each semester, and recently in a stampede to register, 20 people were injured and one mother was trampled to death. She lost her life in an effort to register her son for college. Such love and sacrifice and hope! It overwhelms me. And even though it’s not my pain or experience, I’m feeling particularly sensitive to the pain and struggle of being human and being alive. I mostly want to be in the ethers of sleep and meditation, and I’m feeling the energetic shifts of consciousness and awakening so deep inside me, it defies my ability to articulate.

And so today, walking into the Kundalini yoga class at the YMCA I recently joined, I entered with a knowing that I needed to be there, despite the fact that I really wanted to go back to bed. I sent out a quick plea to the Universe: “Please send me some help. Today feels like too much to walk through.” I know I can make such requests, vague and hopeless as I might feel when I make them. And I know to expect a response.

Feeling like static on a receiver set to a station far out of range, I rolled out my mat, relieved that there was a spot in the back row. I set up next to Jack, and the campsite he’d erected for class. He had a thick mat under a thin mat, shoes, a big black bag, some personal items, and props. Jack is an older man, speckled with age spots, and crooked in his body like a broken wooden puppet. His teeth are black, his ability to get up and down is extremely limited, and he can’t straighten his spine, his legs, or his head. Yet, his eyes are bright blue and he welcomed me with a warm voice. I introduced myself, he introduced himself, and then he offered me a lollypop. Aww, a lollypop! I teared up. 

In cat and cow, I glimpsed Jack struggling to turn his body around to approximate a hands and knees position. While lying on my back for leg lifts, I could hear him still efforting to get to the floor. In standing poses he leaned against the back wall to hold himself up.  Yet, when we chanted Sat Nam at the end of class, the deep resonance of his voice filled the room and led the chant.

After class he told me about the two accidents that had left his body in it’s broken condition, his recovery time in nursing homes that left him motivated to stay in shape enough to not have to go back, and his now regular schedule of coming to the Y six days a week. Even though he struggles with the simplest of movements, he takes life one day at a time, and makes it his goal to talk to people and listen. The bright yellow smile-face button pinned to his sweatshirt reminds him and others to be happy, and he hands out lollypops, because it’s a gift that makes people smile.

I asked for some assistance and the Universe sent me Jack. And I’ll accept him as my angel. I am grateful. Even in a low state, I can still connect with others. I can cry and feel deep grief, while also appreciating the life that I’m experiencing. I can feel like I’m moving through quicksand, and yet, keep breathing and smiling at the beauty I see around me. One energetic state does not eradicate or contradict another. I am complex enough to be both happy and sad – or to find more specific vocabulary, I can say that today I was sensitive, overwhelmed, open, confused, appreciative, miserable and inspired. Yes – there is space for all such feelings within me, and this complexity, this is what it means to be human and awake.

Blessings on Jack.  Blessings on myself. Blessings on this human experience. Blessings on you.

14 comments to My Angel Handed Me a Lollypop

  • Gina says:

    This is beautiful. It’s amazing to me how many times YOU are my angel. The synchronicity of our thoughts or plights astonishes me. Feeling open & awake & grateful so much of the time, I often forget the complexity of our journey here. Questioning any emotion but joy or gratitude, you’ve helped me remember that I am not a one dimensional being & that anger, confusion & sadness also help me to grow if I experience them, look for the lesson & move through them.
    Remember, times of great chaos bring even greater changes! Much love to you & many thanks as well!
    ~ g

  • Shellie says:

    I loved this Jessica!
    I can relate…I’m sure we all can. Life can feel heavy,foggy, and uncertain – especially in times of change. (or even what appears to be no reason at all) I love this earth angel that came in the form of Jack. What a lovely man!
    I have had an earth angel that is now in spirit that came in the form “Jack” too. This man showed me how to celebrate life. Even in his last days here, he celebrated life and was celebrated by others.
    Your post was a beautiful reminder to me of Jack,celebrating life, asking for what we need, and of the magical synchronicity of life!
    Thank you!!

  • THANK YOU! I needed this beautiful sharing today. 🙂 I might get myself a bag of lollipops!

  • Klaudeen says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear! Today angel handed me a blog ♥ What a gift you are!!!

  • Aleksandra says:

    Thank you, Jessica!I feel deeply touched and inspired. Many blessings to you 🙂

  • Zena says:

    Jessica. Wow. I cried reading this. It really went deep inside and touched me. Julie probably told you I wrote her. For some reason I thought I knew how to explain how I was feeling so well, but the small things you said about your state felt almost like a mirror image of mine. It is a strange time and it seems to be one for many. I hope you know you are not alone and that by sticking to your guns and staying to your weekly routine you are inspiring many. I just can’t be grateful enough for this post. As I wipe my tears from my eyes I feel like I really needed this because I look up to you alot. Truthfully, you needed to bring me back to reality and let me know you feel those things to in life. Hah. I am still sitting in bed trying to muster up the oomf to go to the gym. I think you gave it to me. Thank you. Maybe we can talk sometime further.

  • Jessica,
    You are a truly gifted messenger of light and love! Your words grace the page. So excited that you are coming to Italy to work on your book! I know that it will touch millions!

  • Deborah says:

    Wow Jessica,

    What a beautiful reminder to embrace the complexity of our exquisite nature and the ability to hold such pain as we change each others lives with a lollypop.


  • Newsha says:

    I loved reading your article Jessica and it gave me teary eyes. You write so soulfully and are a source of much inspiration to me. It is empowering to be vulnerable and share our feelings. Reading your post reminded me of the Ted Talk by Brene Brown, The power of vulnerability. I had a french lady in my Zumba class today that invited me to her Kundalini class and I want to go. I would love for you to try a Zumba class local to you. It is fun and makes us feel light and happy. Sending you much love dear

  • shannon says:

    “today I was sensitive, overwhelmed, open, confused, appreciative, miserable and inspired”. —- i feel like this too. completely. (and i know jack!!!!!! he was such an inspiration to me!) — & i loved susan’s class on mondays & thursdays. she is amazing. love you jess.

  • I have seen Jack at the Y and did not know his story. Thank you so much for sharing and I LOVE YOU!

  • Barby says:

    This morning I woke up early with anxiety about so many things. It was a comfort to read your
    post. Hugs.

  • Stacey says:

    Today was rough. Lots of frustration and conflict. Thank you for this gift. I am grateful.

  • Oh Jessica, you are so amazing… this is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing so openly!


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