Fearless

images-41“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no whenever you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”

~ Eve Ensler

My Song

This song of mine will wind its music around you,
my child, like the fond arms of love.

The song of mine will touch your forehead
like a kiss of blessing.

When you are alone it will sit by your side and
whisper in your ear, when you are in the crowd
it will fence you about with aloofness.

My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams,
it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.

It will be like the faithful star overhead
when dark night is over your road.

My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes,
and will carry your sight into the heart of things.

And when my voice is silenced in death,
my song will speak in your living heart.

~Rabindranath Tagore

Lovers

Check Out My Latest Guest Post on A Jock’s Guide To Cooking! Prinkle, Prinkle

My friend Kate Drummond is the creator of A Jock’s Guide To Cooking. A Jock’s Guide To Cooking is a Real Reality Cooking Show that has teamed up with KidSport Ontario. Kate was an elementary school teacher for sometime before she decided to pursue her dream of acting. She is also a jock who is passionate about food, but not so skilled in the kitchen. The show is above and beyond hilarious! Kate is charming and fun. So, when she messaged me asking if I would be the guest blogger for January, I jumped at the opportunity and of course said, ‘YES!’ This story I am about to share with you is one of my favorite childhood memories. Be sure to stop by A Jock’s Guide To Cooking, and check out Prinkle, Prinkle.

Helping Mom BakeHave fun!

Jessica Hinkson

 

Forgiveness

DreamcatcherWe are swimming with the snakes at the bottom of the well
So silent and peaceful in the darkness where we fell
But we are not snakes and what’s more we never will be
And if we stay swimming here forever we will never be free
I heard them ringing the bells in heaven and hell
They got a secret they’re getting ready to tell

It’s falling from the skies
It’s calling from the graves
Open your eyes boy, I think we are saved
Open your eyes boy, I think we are saved
Let’s take a walk on the bridge right over this mess
Don’t need to tell me a thing baby, we already confessed
And I raised my voice to the air
And we were blessed

It’s hard to give
It’s hard to get
But everybody needs a little forgiveness
We are calling for help tonight on a thin phone line
As usual we’re having ourselves one hell of a time
And the planes keep flying over our heads
No matter how loud we shout

Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
And we keep wavin and wavin our arms in the air but we’re all tired out
I heard somebody say today’s the day
Big old hurricane she’s blowing our way
Knockin over the buildings
Killing all the lights

Open your eyes boy, we made it through the night
Open your eyes boy, we made it though the night
Let’s take a walk on the bridge right over this mess
Don’t need to tell me a thing baby, we already confessed
And I raise my voice to the air
And we were blessed

It’s hard to give
It’s hard to get
It’s hard to give
But still I think it’s the best bet
Hard to give
Never gonna forget
But everybody needs a little forgiveness
Everybody needs a little forgiveness

Patty Griffin Patty Griffin

It’s the beginning of December. We are on the verge of completing a year. It is a time of stress, intense emotions, anxiety, fear, and doubt. It is a time of reflection. It is a time to shed old skins to prepare ourselves for the new. Letting go is complicated. Forgiveness is hard.  When looking at the process of Forgiveness, each of us could list off reasons as to why someone may not deserve to be forgiven. It’s not that you or I are wrong, it’s not that you or I are right. You have been hurt, as have they. The feelings that you feel are your right to experience. What makes Forgiveness so challenging is the lack of acknowledgement from both parties. It’s true giving space to a situation is a good thing to do. However, when someone constantly refuses to take responsibility for the part that they played in the scenario it is hard to leave emotion and the “making it personal” out of it. The good news is that we all have the ability to forgive ourselves as well as the individual who has hurt us. The truth is that there are many unresolved relationships whether it is a family member, a lover, or a friend. It, for the most part is due to lack of communication. With all of the resources that are available in today’s world, access to tools that help us better navigate who we are and what we present to the world; how does one adapt? There is unfortunately chaos all of the time due to poor communication skills.

DreamcatchersIf you are looking at how your year has gone, asking yourself if you did all of the things that you wanted to do? If you are asking why you can not seem to let go of a certain relationship and are losing sleep over it?  If you are wondering why you feel down all of the time? If you are questioning what you have done, where you will be going based on the choices you have made thus far – NOW is the time to figure out your process of Forgiveness and letting go. Each of us is different. What works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you. Investigate. Where and how do you feel safe? This includes the people that you will/are working with, be it a therapist, yoga class, energy/body work, reading material, workshops, ect. Sometimes writing letters to people and tearing them up is extremely therapeutic. How do you unhook yourself? How do you get complete about your year? Investigate. Explore. Find out and be specific. I’m committed to doing something every day for my well-being. I’m on the road to getting complete with my year. Lets do it together.

The PathWritten By

Jessica Hinkson

I’m Going To Prison. My latest guest piece for Ardent Pictures!

I thought I knew everything….I realized that I know nothing! Here is my latest guest piece for Ardent Pictures, “ I’m Going To Prison.”

Enjoy!

Jessica Hinkson

Yoga: Establishing A Home Practice – Make It Personal

When I enrolled in the Yoga Teacher Training Program at YogaSpace, I had never entertained the idea of having a home practice. As I entered the studio for my first day of training with Kathryn Beet and Patricia White that was what we spent the entire first day establishing. Kathryn and Patricia introduced us to a basic wall series. The postures may have been basic, simple, and easy to understand, however they were also extremely active. There was a lot of moaning and groaning sounds throughout the day along with muffled laughter at ourselves. On a personal level, it was surprising to realize how tight my body felt on all levels. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. To say the least, I definitely had my homework cut out for me. As we were wrapping up our first day, Kathryn and Patricia  reinforced that establishing a home practice for self was of the utmost importance. Why? I simply like to look at that old saying, ‘Practice What You Preach.’

How can I be asking people to breathe, to scan their bodies from head to toe investigating places of stored tension when I myself am not?  How do I create a safe environment for my students if I haven’t learned to establish one for myself? If I am not continuing the investigation of myself to become more open as I stretch my tight muscles, massaging my internal organs, moving blocked energy, than how is it that I have a right to be leading anyone else, if I can’t lead myself?

Establishing a home practice is hard. It is easier to be in a classroom. In a classroom you cannot escape and attack those dirty dishes or re-organize your closet. It’s easy to get distracted at home and not do your practice with the idea that you will do it later. Trust me. I am an expert at procrastinating. So what are some tips for establishing a home practice that works for you? It took me a while to find out what worked best for me. I thought I’d share my tips with you.

1. What form of Yoga do you love to practice? Restorative, Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa, or Flow? Find out by being open to attending a variety of classes with different teachers, especially if your practice is new or if you feel unsure about your favorite form of Yoga. Once you are feeling confident in your practice in a class environment, you are probably ready to begin designing your home practice. For me, Restorative Yoga is my absolute favorite. I often refer to it as magic time. I also use books for guidance sometimes. Here are a few of my favorites!

The Woman’s Book of Yoga & Health by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann

Relax & Renew, Restful Yoga For Stressful Times by Judith Lasater

2. What works best for you? Is it morning, day, or night? When first beginning your home practice make sure that you do try practicing at different times of the day. Some days, I like to practice as soon as I get up, jumping right in to my sun salutations to wake up! Sometimes afternoons are great for a gentle practice combining both Hatha and Restorative instead of a nap. I love doing a Restorative practice right before bed at night. My mind slows down, my breath becomes steady and calm, and I am ready for a deep sleep by the time I am finished. Unless, I already passed out in Savasana. A successful practice in my books!

3. Setting up your space. What makes you feel warm, cozy, and great? My living space is sacred, as it should be for everyone. How everyone establishes that sense of sacredness, of feeling safe is dependent upon the individual. What do I do? I light a ton of candles, I role out my mat in the center of my living room and line up all of my props ( 2 Bolsters, 2 Blocks, 1 Eye Pillow, 3 Blankets). I put on whatever music it is that I feel my body is craving to listen to. To me, there is no right or wrong music. Your body knows what it needs, trust yourself that you are right.

4. Have fun! If you feel like laughing, DO! If you feel like crying, DO! If you want to make sound, stick out your tongue, stay in child’s pose for twenty minutes than DO it! Leave the idea of what you think you should be doing outside to the naked streets. My first Yoga teacher Maher Benham used to get my entire class to say, ‘I take the puppet that is of myself, and I fling it against the sky.’ – Emily Dickinson

We all thought that she was nuts! We couldn’t figure out why she would have us say that phrase repeatedly as if our lives depended on it! Until one day, I had an “aha” moment. What I realized was that she was trying to get us to realize that who we were as individuals was enough. To not try and be the person we thought we were supposed to be, but the person that we all already were.

“Today more than ever, it’s crucial that we include practices in our daily lives that promote health and spiritual growth. The state of the environment, the stresses created by the world’s ever-increasing population’s demand on dwindling resources, and political unrest are signposts of the critical state we face. If we want a world worth living in, and worth leaving to future generations, we need to take responsibility by creating well-being in our lives and by supporting others as they choose healthier lives. In other words, to transform the world, we first have to transform ourselves.”

~ Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph. D., P.T.  

Written By

Jessica Hinkson

For the Love of Miss Kaia. The Most Lovable Dog.

In December 2004 I was at my Christmas staff party. I was waiting for my then boyfriend to come who had been stuck at work. I took my phone out of my bag to see if he had texted/called. I listened to my voicemail. I did have a message from him that he was on his way, but I also had a message from a friend of ours, RJ who had recently got a golden retriever puppy. In the voicemail RJ said, ‘He had another female golden retriever puppy at his house who was in need of a home. Were we interested?’ I wasn’t sure why he had another puppy, but I got very excited and of course immediately wanted to meet her. We called them back and went over to the house right after dinner.

When we arrived at our friends’ house, we walked up the stairs full of excitement, anticipating what this puppy would be like that we were about to meet. We walked in to the kitchen and there she was. She was a beautiful golden red color with big brown eyes. As soon as she looked up at me my heart melted.  After a few minutes of us gushing over her, talking in that weird baby voice that we all swear we will never do, we sat down at the kitchen table to find out some more information about this little three-month old beauty whose name was Kayla.

“RJ told us he had received a call from the breeder the day before asking him if he could go rescue Kayla. The breeder was not able to get in contact with the family and was concerned that something was wrong. RJ agreed to go get the puppy. When he arrived at the house, he went inside and found Kayla sitting alone in a corner. The woman who owned the house was a single mom with three young girls. The house was filthy. Kayla was dirty and had gum matted in her coat and was not she being fed.”

As I was listening to RJ tell the end of the story I looked over to find Kayla nestled up asleep in my then boyfriends’ lap. She came home with us that night. We also changed her name to Kaia. Over those first few weeks Kaia slowly began to reveal little bits of her personality and being a new parent, I had no idea what I was doing. On Boxing Day a group of us had gone for a big hike. It was dark by the time we began to head home. Kaia was in the back seat wrapped up in a towel, but she was cold so she walked up to the front seat and crawled in to my lap. In that moment I bonded with her in a way that I hadn’t yet. Nor did I know in the months to come how she would forever change my life, and I hers.

Over the next few months we had moved and I had begun to realize that my relationship was not working. That Spring my relationship came to a tumultuous end. A few days after the breakup, I began to notice that Kaia’s eyes looked weird. She was blinking a lot and it looked as if her eyeballs were beginning to lodge out of her eye socket. I took her to the vet right away. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and sent me over to the Animal Critical Care Group. Kaia knew that something was wrong and kept hiding under my legs. I was an emotional disaster to say the least. With my relationship ending and now the possibility that I might lose her too. I couldn’t bare the idea of it. They ran a bunch of exams including an ultrasound of the eyes. They concluded that she was suffering from one of two things: Extraocular Muscle Myositis or Retrobulbar Tumors.

Extraocular Muscle Myositis is a rare inflammatory disorder of single or multiple extraocular eye muscles, but it would treatable with a drug called Prednisone. Retrobulbar Tumors are tumors that formed behind the eyes. If it was cancer there wasn’t much I could do. I did not have the money, and at that point it would also be pretty advanced so that means there wouldn’t be much that they could do either. After a few more tests results they were able to confirm that it was Extraocular Muscle Myositis. I was thankful because this disease could be cured with the treatment of a strong drug. From there, the real journey of Kaia and I began.

Within a day she had had an amazing reaction to the Prednisone. I, once again was thankful to the universe. Throughout the next couple of years we were in and out clinics. She was always puffy. She would get brown patches or rather lesions on her skin, not to mention constant diharrea, sometimes vomiting.  To meet her, you would have never known. I was living in Vancouver at that point. I would take her to the beach every day sometimes twice. Regardless of what time of year it was she would be in the ocean swimming to find her bright orange ball only to be curled up by my side hours later. This dog of mine has an undeniable everlasting spirit.

After being on the Prednisone for close to three years, my vet at the time decided that it would be good to lower her dose significantly so that we could slowly move her off of the drug. I was shocked. I thought that she would have to be on this steroid for the rest of her life, and as much as I was excited, I was terrified. Once again though, Kaia responded amazingly! Over the next few months her dose was lowered until the vet decided she was good to stop taking the drug altogether. She was three years old, she is now nine, and she has never had to go back on Prednisone. She is a healthy middle-aged dame rocking it out every day!

Some of the things that I love about her daily; she smiles at people. She is extremely vocal. People have asked me over the years what is wrong with her, why does she cry like that, ect ect. I have always encouraged people to speak their truth; I guess Kaia caught on. Or, as my friend Dawn used to say when people would ask those questions, ‘Kaia can’t help it. She’s the daughter of an actress!’  It’s true, she is. I refer to her as my magic little pony. She doesn’t walk down the street but prances with her head always held up high. I love when she looks up at me with her big brown eyes. That when I put The Cure on she knows it’s go time, and as I begin to let my freak flag fly dancing like a crazy person she is right there with me. Although as I have said to her many times, she gets a little carried away. Who mosh’s to The Cure? Apparently, she does.

I love that every time I get on my yoga mat to practice she thinks this is the best idea ever and proceeds to lay directly across the mat underneath me as I am in downward dog. My dog makes me laugh. When I am sick or having a bad day she will not leave me for one second. For all of this, for her I am thankful. She is a dog. She is my dog. She is Miss Kaia always.

Written By

Jessica Hinkson

 

 

 

My Freak, C’est Chic. At least My Agent Thinks I’m Brilliant?

Christmas is just around the corner and the seasonal commercial auditions are already here! What’s Santa going to bring little Jimmy? Honey, did you pick up that gift for Sammy’s teacher? Where are we going to get our turkey for this years Christmas dinner? What should I wear to the office Christmas party? All of these questions with answers to be followed with the many seasonal commercials brought to you soon.

Thank goodness this year casting decided to bring in an interesting actress that makes such interesting choices for these spots. Yes! I am talking about me. Not that the other hundred gals they brought in for the same role weren’t. As usual I received my sides the night before. I was surprised that I was being brought in for a Christmas spot because I am not your regular Merry Mary. So, I thought there must be some sort of quirky twist to this bad boy if they are bringing me in. I wonder what it could be? I opened the file and read through the sides.

When I receive breakdowns for commercials a lot of the time they say things like, ‘ Looking for someone with good comedic skills and timing. Like Tina Fey or Kristen Wig.’ Reading the sides I had just read, I assumed that this was what they were going for even though it was not stated in the breakdown. I ran through the lines a few times and whenever I got to the last three lines, I would laugh. Visualizing myself in the room the next day doing something very embarrassing, but hey…it’d be funny!

The next day was a beautiful day. The sun was shining; I was feeling peppy! I arrived at the audition, exchanged hellos, signed in, and sat down. FYI – The commercial spot was between a husband and a wife having breakfast. They were having a conversation regarding how many Christmas gifts were left to buy. The superhero wife had accomplished all of the gift shopping. She had even bought cookies for St. Nick. The husband says, ‘Wow, you are amazing.’ The superhero wife thinks he is referring to her amazing holiday organization, but really he is enchanted with the cookies. She replies back with, ‘Amazing! Who’s amazing? Can you say that again?’

I along with my momentary husband got called in to the room. We slated and after exchanging a few pleasantries, the director said lets give it a try. I sat down, picked up the mug and began to drink my fake coffee. I’m so method.

All of a sudden I had a thought that I should abort the choice I had made, but by then it was too late, and I had to deliver my last three lines of dialogue. I jumped out of my chair and began shimmy shaking towards my momentary husband like I was a fly girl, shaking my arms and singing, ‘Amazing! Who’s amazing? Can you say that again?’ The singing was out of tune, I became humiliated at my awkwardness, and my face was a brighter shade of purple. However, I couldn’t stop dancing and then my face started dancing. We all know when the face dancing begins; you have honestly reached a point of no return.

The producers, ad people, director, the camera guy along with my momentary husband were all choking/gasping with laughter. I was still trying to get my uncontrollable twitching under control and mask my purple shadiness. When I finally did look up, heads were shaking, and hands were covering mouths as they were all trying to gain some control. The director took a deep breath and kindly but calmly said, ‘We want this to be more of an internal thing. Think more to self.’ In that moment it was confirmed that I had made a choice that no other actress had made. My freaky was not so chic, but on a positive note I did liven up the room. I kept visualizing casting sitting in the office watching me on the monitor shaking their heads thinking, ‘Oh god Jess, not again.’

When I left, it took my face about twenty minutes to return back to my normal shade of pale pink. I also broke into hysterical laughter whilst on the verge of tears reliving my weird freaky geekness. My momentary husband did ask me how I had interpreted it to be as I did. I had to be honest and say because that is probably something I would do. Just to really rub it in to my hubby that I was a Rockstar for getting all of the holiday shopping done! Momentary Husband just shook his head followed by silent giggles.

What is the lesson learnt here? I’m not sure that there is one. I have been hired because I have made bold choices that no one else did. I promise I am not making this up. The choice I made in this particular audition wasn’t what they were looking for, but they will remember me, and my agent thinks it was a brilliant choice, which means that at least I was able sleep that night.

 Written By,

Jessica Hinkson

 

 

Happy 100!

Today marks From Yoga To High Heels 100th post! Jessica Hinkson and Robert Clarke take you on a mini voyage of a simple improvisation exercise. Storytelling. It’s wrong. It’s weird, but it’s the right kind of freaky. If you are wondering if we were under the influence of anything other than our wacky selves, the answer is no my friends. This is us as we are. Have fun! xo Jess