humor

11:11: Don’t Read This Unless You Want Your Mind Blown

I’ve had this blog for nearly ten years.

Ten years.

Ten years of (mostly) sheer tomfoolery. From mustaches to missing thumbs to Made for TV specials, it might be easy to think I naturally see the humor in everything. That the universe winks upon my charmed world and I wink back.

Surprise! I am deeply depressed in this photo!

But the truth is, THIS BLOG makes me see the humor in everything. It forces me to consider how I WANT to be and to turn that into reality.

I need that. We all do.

Even though I’m pretty sure only my mom and two ex-boyfriends are reading this.

Aside from needing to force myself into seeing the lighter side of life, I also need to force myself OUT of being, well, a bit of a…tightwad. As part of my project manager nature, I like to track money. Think about money. BE IN CONTROL of money.

MINE. ALL MINE!!!!

In order to combat this miserliness, I make myself donate money on a regular basis – to various causes that align with my values. Because despite my practicality, I believe money, just like everything, is simply energy. It flows if you let it flow. And if you believe something is scarce? You’ll experience scarceness.

In other words, the more worried I am about money, the more I make a habit of giving it away.

It…sucks. I feel stupid. Reckless. Pissed off.

I…don’t…want…to!!!

And then, quickly, always, I feel…wonderful.

I hesitate to share the following story because it seems like a major #humblebrag, but, well, once you read it, you’ll (hopefully) see that I JUST HAD TO.

After all, I don’t shy away from the woo-woo synchronicities up in here.

Before I fled the recent wildfires here in Oregon, I made a guilt-ridden, combat-Scrooge-Jules donation to the Red Cross, hoping to help some of those faceless heroes fighting fires and other altogether badass things.

My donation was for $1,111.

Because, you know. 11:11. It’s a lucky number full of all kinds of mysticism, and if you’re like me, you’ve always made a wish whenever you’ve caught the clock at that hour.

I’m not messing around here, universe.

With that donation under my belt, I made the long drive from Oregon to New Jersey to stay with family for a couple of weeks. I worried during the entire 3,000 mile drive. Was I hand-sanitizing well enough? How would my home state feel after all of these months, especially during a pandemic? Were my friends in Bend doing okay with all of that smoke? Did I make a big mistake by not getting a t-shirt at the world’s largest truck stop?

When I arrived in New Jersey, a strange series of events ensued – all during three consecutive days.

First, my sister paid me back for a COVID-canceled trip: $150.

Next, my father wrote me a check for another family trip that I’d made a deposit for (but had mistakenly thought he’d already paid for): $933.

Then, I went out to (outdoor, masked) dinner with my two best New Jersey girlfriends, Mary and Jenn. Mary drove and after we parked, I stepped out of her car and looked down.

“Uh, Mary, there’s a bunch of money in your car…” I said, my voice muffled behind my mask.

I grabbed a wad of $5 and $1 bills that were wedged between the passenger door and seat. I hadn’t noticed them when I’d gotten in. Mary furrowed her brows.

“I haven’t even driven this car in months [because of the pandemic]. I have no idea where that came from.”

“I think it looks like more than it is because of all of the singles…”

I counted the bills. $28.

“Well, perfect, our tip is covered,” Mary smirked.

We joked about it until our dinner bill came. I quickly calculated a 20% tip.

“Holy shit you guys, a 20% tip comes out to exactly…$28!”

Mary and Jenn were already onboard Jules’s Woo-Woo Bandwagon, so we simply laughed about how cool and “typical” the whole thing was.

20 years of this.

The next day, as I quietly sipped my coffee on my parents’ living room couch, I suddenly thought, “Huh. All of this money I’ve unexpectedly stumbled upon probably amounts to close to what I just donated to the Red Cross…”

I got out my phone and tallied the numbers.

$150.

$933.

$28.

Sure enough…the total was:

$1,111.

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Psst…need some help menu planning this Thanksgiving? Your search is over!

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Blogging

2019? Let’s get DEEP.

Go Jules Go 2019 Lets Get Deep title graphic_2JAN2019

In his most recent blog post, David Cain at Raptitude wrote about his year-long exercise of ‘going deep.’ Instead of creating new resolutions for 2018, he urged readers (and himself) to pick up abandoned projects and passions, to not buy anything new, or even necessarily seek new friendships, and instead revisit all of the resources already present in their lives. The results surprised him in ways he couldn’t have predicted at the onset.

Not only did Cain discover that fulfillment isn’t something ‘out there,’ he also resolved long-standing personal issues because of the “particular demand the pursuit of depth makes on us: we can’t go deeper in a given area without coming to terms with why we were never able to before.”

Reading his words, I couldn’t help but think about how we’ve all grown so accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for answers, to “treating ourselves” to something new and shiny when what we really need is a hug or a nap or a cry. Because of this, most of the time we don’t even realize we’re robbing the world of the best and brightest version of ourselves. As the brilliant Mrs. Frugalwoods put it, “I think the concept of ‘treat yourself’ underlies the belief –or insecurity– that we’ll never realize our deeply held dreams.” We know we’re unhappy, and the cure must be more stuff –new things, people, and resolutions– all of which allow us to avoid the fear inherent in chasing our heart’s deepest desires.

“We live in great danger of inadvertently keeping our most cherished pursuits, the ones that promise the most fulfillment,” Cain writes, “buried down there in the realm of ‘potential,’ where they’re safe from the real world and its limitations. In the meantime, we find other things to do –things that offer less meaning, but more assured outcomes– and we just get older.

We don’t want to put our hearts on the line if we don’t have to, and all the important things involve our hearts.”

Cain really struck a chord as I round the bend on another year filled with exciting, transformational, game-upping goals. I’ve spent the past couple of years making friends with my demons, figuring out how to transmute negative patterns, and deeply considering the kind of life I want to create – because in the end, everything that surrounds us is a result of what we’ve created: the thoughts, the actions, and the stories we tell ourselves.

Go Jules Go Georgia OKeefe museum Babs in frame Oct 2018
It’s all about how we frame things, right, Babs? (Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe, NM, October 2018)

Who do I want to be, and what does her life look like? Who are her closest friends? How does she think, see, and feel? What are her daily habits?

Jules-Hamptons-Marathon-27Sep2014
Oh dear god, this is going to involve a lot of sweat, isn’t it?

Envisioning this ideal life has made it easier to set goals, yes, but also to set boundaries. If someone or something feels constricting and out of alignment with my dreams, guess what?

buh-bye-SNL

It hasn’t been easy. There have been tears, sleepless nights, and relentless self-doubt. But also miracles, deeper friendships, and a wellspring of hope I never knew existed before. As Cain put it:

“Going deeper means finally seeing what’s really going to come of [pursuing your dreams]. And that’s damn scary. Existentially scary. It is our one life, after all.”

I love this reminder that living a heart-centered life is scary A.F. the only way to fulfillment.

Go Jules Go vegan menu Asbury Park 1NOV2018
Life is like a menu: all the options can be vegan if that’s what you choose to see!

As a tribute to Cain’s advice, I thought I’d kick off Go Jules Go: 2019 Edition by plumbing the depths of the existential lessons I’ve begun to internalize over the past two years –ones I know I’ll come back to over and over again to truly appreciate their profundity– and briefly share them here.

“Life happens through you, not to you.” -Derek Rydall, Law of Emergence

“You cannot act in love and act in fear at the same time. You must choose between them.” -Gary Zukov

“Everyone’s opinion is right.” -Seth Godin

“That’s all anyone really needs. To know with sure conviction that the world is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.” -Pam Grout, E-Squared

“Just BE happy! It’s easy. You don’t have to save the world. You just have to be happy. If you’re happy, then you will save the world.” -Go Jules Go, woo-woo hypnosis session

Go Jules Go The Future sunset Santa Fe Oct 2018
Santa Fe, NM (October 2018)

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Happy New Year, my cherished Chipmunks! I can say with the confidence of Jessica Biel after Justin Timberlake proposed: 2019 is gonna be MAGIC!

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