The Atheist says God is Love

God Is Love

At the end of the summer I took this awesome course about relationships with Matthew and Terces, the founders of Cafe Gratitude (more info about what I took away here, here and here) and one of the coolest things they showed me is that God is love.

I do not consider myself to be a Christian person and I often used to feel uncomfortable at religious gatherings or when people would talk about their concept of God. I have realized how limiting this is. When I do that I miss out on so much inspiration and there is a whole part of existence I cannot connect with.

In any religious passage, I can replace “god” or “jesus” or “allah” or any word like that, with LOVE! I find this very inspiring and uplifting. Here are some example:

Genesis 1:22
God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

BECOMES

Love blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

Psalm 121:7-8
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

BECOMES

Love will keep you from all harm— love will watch over your life; Love will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Psalm 9:9 
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

BECOMES

Love is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Regardless of your culture, age, religion or spiritual belief I hope we can all agree that love is a powerful thing. Go forth, love others.

I love you!

xoxox

Jenni

My Blessings

Blessed art thou
I was reading THIS ARTICLE titled “Have I ever had “ANY unwanted/undesired physical or sexual contact”?” today and I found myself having a different experience than the author. I think the end especially was interesting…

I refuse to do the happy dance because I was fortunate enough not to be molested as a little girl and have not been violently raped. I refuse to be abjectly grateful for ‘getting off easy’ with the experiences I’ve mentioned here.

Because I deeply resent that they are normal.

Because I can hardly stand the thought of these constant erosions of personhood seeming normal to our daughters and sons.

But for this love and gentleness and compassion, I am infinitely grateful.

I have a different opinion (but her’s is totally valid). I say, why not do the happy dance? Why not celebrate? I too feel sad that some of these things are “normal” to some people and that others have experienced them. However, I appreciate that I have been very blessed, both by experiences I have had, and those I have not.

For example… I have never…

  • been raped
  • been molested
  • been beat up
  • been shot
  • been physically surrounded by war
  • been physically stalked
  • lost someone close to me
  • and much more..

In contrast, I can admit that I have…

  • hurt myself on purpose
  • been bullied
  • attempted suicide
  • had “unwanted physical contact”
  • been stolen from
  • grown up in a single parent household
But I have also…
  • bullied others
  • been mean
  • hurt others physically (though I am not very strong haha)
  • potentially given others “unwanted physical contact”
  • stolen from others
AND still I have…
  • apologized
  • found unconditional happiness
  • known love
  • loved myself (and still do!)
  • lived my dreams (too many to count last year alone)
  • helped others
  • inspired others
  • gotten to exactly where I want to be
  • made a commitment to love and kindness

I am so grateful for all of it! I am so blessed by everything. Because ALL of this, makes me who I am today.

Untitled Poem on Irony

'The Comedy of Errors' by William Shakespeare
UNTITLED POEM

I want you to be my greatest coincidence,

to beat on the door of my innocence.

Shall we wrap ourselves in irony?

like some sort of Shakespeare comedy?

For there’s a danger in your smile.

It might trick me for a while.

I’ve been led down a path,

which i’ve not been.

All together unexpected –

chasing names like we meant it.

Avoiding some calamity,

with our clandestine revelry.

Do tell what’s your name?

And what is your trade?

A heartsmith or just a pretty face.

——————————————

inspired by a page from my ironic life.

OH. And while we’re talking about irony… love this.

Pay it Forward as a Christian Allegory and A Poem about Loss

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! 

Last night I re-watched Pay it Forward. This movie gets me every time. So beautiful and tragic * sigh *

I had never viewed it as a Christian Allegory before but that was definitely the reading I got this time. I think the kid represented Jesus, the people he helped were his disciples and well… you know how it ends. I think the Mom might have been some sort of Mary Magdalene figure.

Then I got to thinking, what if all of life is a Christian Allegory. I mean Jesus is Love right? And since everyone is a “divine creation” we are all Love. And if all of life is here to teach us about love and compassion then each death is for our sins. So we are all Jesus, in a way. Possibly? (Note: I am not Christian and I am not trying to be sacrilegious by writing this… I just like thinking about how love shows up in the world. No offence intended). Anywho I was really upset last night. I started pondering some recent events that have transpired in my life. The unfairness of loss. I think taking life is the worst thing one can do (weather it be the life of another or your own). I wanna watch some more Leo Buscaglia and go hug everyone. Love more. Yes…. and now a poem
Loss

 A POEM ABOUT LOSS

the inescapable feeling of all the air suddenly disappearing from my lungs,

and the unsatisfyable need to be anywhere but here.

and the sinking knowing that in this moment everything is not alright.

and the uncomfortable notion of observing the bloodshot and tear stained eyes of my weeping self. and the search for beauty in that moment but the finding of only emptiness. vast, cold emptiness.

and despite all of the happiness and joy I might have had today I want nothing more than I cry myself to sleep.

and grab, squeeze, reach any part of you or anyone who has ever known you, or would want to, or would pretend to.

bolting from the room as if to vomit up my pain and shock.

and thinking deep down that everything will be fine, and there is a lesson to be learned, and this challenge will make me stronger… but not caring because I cannot breathe.

and sinking down, away, into the bathroom stall.

but not caring because I cannot breathe.

and I think that it’s unfair. But a life taken doesn’t care.

and I think that it’s not right. But that won’t bring you back tonight.

And I am at a loss.

of life.

Jenni Meets Jesse: An Interview (and the best birthday ever)

This September I had a really amazing birthday. It was more of a weekend than a day really. On Friday I helped with the Frosh (kinda like University Orientation, fun games for first years to meet people etc) for my program at school and then went to Gorilla Food with my veggie friend Kyla. Then we got scalper tickets to the Ke$ha concert and had a glittery good time (my highlight was the giant inflatable zebra that LMFAO passed around… and the people behind me commenting on how “sleezy” the “get sleezy” tour was haha). On Saturday (my actual birthday) I helped with Frosh again and then got to see some awesome girls I haven’t seen much since High School. Sunday was a day of rest. I hung out downtown and then went for dinner with my Mom at my favorite raw vegan restaurant, Organic Lives.  Then…

On September 12th I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and fellow Super Forester Jesse Carmichael before his concert in Abbotsford, BC, Canada.

BIGGEST DISCO BALL I'VE EVER SEEN

It's huge!

I was first in contact with Jesse when I stayed at Zero One in Hawaii. Jesse is a founding member of Maroon 5, and a gift to the planet.

Jesse Being a Rock Star

It was actually so funny because just as I was finishing dinner with my Mom, Jesse and his Yoga Teacher showed up at the restaurant. It turns out he had e-mailed me inviting me to meet them but I had been out all day and didn’t get the message (maybe it’s time to get an Phone? haha). Magic!

Jesse is really awesome and knew about so many awesome things. After the interview we went for a walk in the parking lot and sat by some trees where he told me about a bunch of awesome things. For example, I learned about this awesome TED Talk on the power of Mushrooms. Fungi is amazing!

I also was inspired to participate in the 9/11 Intention Experiment (people from all around the world focused their intentions on bringing peace to a very specific region of the Middle East and they are going to track the results).

 

Special Thanks to Trini Nguyen-Don and Diana Luong for filming/driving/being awesome and SuperForest.org for making this come together!

So silly! This is the only photo I have of us together... it's pretty awesome : P

AMAZING! SO grateful! What an awesome experience and what amazing people I am blessed to know.

PS: Recently this totally come full circle when my friend Jeka played “This Love” and was able to raise a bunch of money for some leadership opportunities she wants to take advantage of.

Love!

What I loved about today

Things I loved about today:

  • Watermelon
  • Sheamus Collins
  • The Rain
  • MUSIC
  • UKULELE
  • http://ukulelehunt.com/
  • GUITAR
  • CHLOE ROWAT
  • JUSTIN BERMUDEZ
  • KAYLEE MITCHELL
  • NADIA BORDIGNON
  • Mumford and Sons!
  • New Years Song!
  • “I wish i could maybe date you?? i’d like to get to know you better first… I like walks on the beach” LOL
  • “I didn’t know you served alcohol here… In thIS bar” LOL – CHLOE ROWAT
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_Ua8iOR0g8
  • of shithead… “She had a nice smile at least… And she’s clearly very creative.” – @_Sheezy
  • Hilarious Drives
  • 2 Years of HAPPY BIRTHDAY + HAPPY NEW YEARS + HAPPY CHRISTMAS + EVERYTHING delivered
  • Piss Jacket!
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ1hrhJQDC8
  • DAN MANGAN
  • A VERY POTTER MUSICAL

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

inspiration board

“You are in the position of power in your life, but not the kind of power that controls. It has nothing to do with anyone else. It is not egomania. but a healthy self-love! This means power over your perceptions of the world, the self. This means power over how you react to situations in your life, power to do what is necessary for your own self-growth, power to create joy and satisfaction in your life,”

from Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers

….

“You have power to be strong-minded and strong-willed, and simply the power to act and power to love.”

from my inspiring friend Janice : )

Today there was this gathering I was scared to go to because I made up that I didn’t know anyone very well, but I find that whenever I push myself beyond that silly fear and awkwardness I have tons of fun and make new friends! Yay! YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!

Cafe Gratitude is closing?

This post comes as a response to the recent announcement of the sale/closing of all Northern California Cafe Gratitude locations.

I’m gonna be honest, I have not worked at Cafe Gratitude. I have not seen any actual evidence of how they deal with compensation or tips, and I haven’t done Landmark so I can’t comment on that… however, I have had my life changed by their incredible philosophy. I learned how to love better, how to listen, and how all of that was within me to begin with.

I had the pleasure of recently doing a workshop with Matthew and Terces recently where they mentioned there was a legal battle beginning and I think Terces especially was very upset about the whole thing. It was very hard for me to watch her struggle with that. I don’t know anything for sure, but I am making up they have made good in the world. Actually, that’s not true. I know one thing for sure. Cafe Gratitude inspires me every day to live better and love more.The last time I walked into a Cafe Gratitude one of my friends in the kitchen said “Hey, this girl came all the way from Canada to eat at our restaurant.” and he was right. And I am so grateful for that.