One More Minute…

“Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years.”

I was messaging with my friend and colleague, Helen Patterson, about getting together soon and then we shared a little about what was happening in our lives and our businesses.

I told her that I thought one of her friends, Rachelle, was being very brave in her recent posts and podcasts.

Helen told me that Rachelle had struggled but had made amazing progress and had chosen to share her story so other women could get it.

In just over a month, I’ll be celebrating another birthday, and, every now and then, it hits me hard.

“Can I really be that old?!”

“Where did the time go?”

“Do I have another 30,40,50 good years in me?”

“Am I strong enough, pretty enough, good enough?”

“Am I aging gracefully?”

“How can I FEEL like I’m only 34 but be twenty years older?”

“I am just getting started, do I have time to do everything I want to do?”

Those are the things that go through my mind when I’m training or doing a massage or writing out my hopes and plans.

These are the thoughts that tumble around when I’m standing in front of the mirror looking at my body, and catching glimpses of my soul in my eyes.

Helen’s words hit me straight in my heart-simple, direct, profound.

Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years.”

Damn straight.

This past year, every since Covid came roaring like a dragon, scaring us into taking Shelter In Place and having mandates for masks and social distancing, people have chosen to live with such precautions, limitations and fear.

They have stopped seeing family members, stopped celebrating holidays, stopped getting together for birthdays and Sunday dinners.

I get it. I really do. They are afraid they will get Covid.

But, here’s the thing…..I did, too, in the beginning. I stayed home, did Shelter In Place. Took off my clothes in the garage if I went anywhere, santized my house and my hands and my car over and over.

We didn’t celebrate last Easter… no baskets, no gifts, no Easter dresses, no family dinner. It was heartbreaking.

We did it because that’s what we were told to do and expected to do.

Then it hit me- really hit hard.

What I was doing-what we were all doing- was taking away precious time, giving away chances, missing opportunities, losing out.

In an attempt to prolong our lives, we gave up what made life worth living.

I know people that stopped seeing their children and grandchildren because they were afraid of Covid.

Others haven’t left their home because the ones that love them are so afraid that they will lose them.

It’s became a game of chance, of control, of hedging the bets, of making deals with God.

“I’ll stay away from everyone…. But you better add another year to my life now that I’ve given up this year.”

“I am doing all this…. so I better not get sick from Covid or anything else.”

“Here’s the deal, I’m going to follow all these rules, do everything by the book… and then I’ll be safe, right?”

Maybe so…but, I can’t help but think of it this way.

Only God knows the number of our days.

People still die from heart attacks, in car accidents, in senseless tragedies. People lose their battles with cancer, with mental illness, with other congestive, chronic sickness.

All we have is this minute…. and maybe another fifty years.

Like my friend, Helen, said, “Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years”

I think that’s what’s happening, though. People have been focusing so hard on to stay here and not to be left or to leave that they have not lived!

I stopped doing that way back in May when I reopened the doors to my massage studio, Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.

I practice universal safety and sanitize procedures, but I touch people. There’s no social distancing in massage and that’s one of the beautiful things about it.

I don’t wear a mask. I have to read lips so people that come to see me express such a sense of relief when I tell them they can remove their masks.

I’ve spent so much precious time with my children, and my girls and my bundles.

I’ve been busy creating memories, making damn sure they feel loved and wanted and needed.

I’ve kissed and cuddled, shook hands and embraced. I’ve wiped tears and stroked faces.

I’ve gone to breakfast, to lunch and to dinner.. I’ve met friends for drinks at the bar, sat outside on patios sipping margaritas and listening to music.

I’ve gone dancing and I danced with anyone that asked.

I go to the gym almost every single day. I meet with my trainer, Phu, and we hold hands constantly. He places his hands on my body, I hold his legs when he stretches me. We have a comfortable intimacy. I know he’ll catch me when I stumble and he knows when to let me do my own thing.

My focus is on living every single minute of my life to the fullest.

I don’t know and neither does anyone else if I only have this minute or if I’ll have fifty more years.

I do know this much for sure.

I will not bide my time, waiting for something to be done with, or to run it’s course.

That’s not what my focus is going to be about.

I’ll do everything in my power to stay healthy and to keep my family, my friends and my clients healthy, too.

Those are the things that I can control, but life… whether it’s one more minute or fifty more years, like I hope for, is going to be spent living every single second of it!

I don’t want to have any regrets… no second guessing.. no missed kisses… no holding back.

I am planning on meeting my friend, Helen, soon. I am planning on drinking that bottle of wine that James gave me with him. I’m celebrating Easter this year with my family and for my birthday, in just over a month, I’m going to savor every single bite of that chocolate sheet cake and love on everybody that comes near me.

Just like my wise and wonderful friend, Helen, told me to do.

Helen and Jeanna’… In 2019. We will get another picture very soon.

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

8 14 a.m. April 3 2021

Sunday Afternoon

He sat

She stood

Close enough

To touch

He spoke

She heard

For the first time

It took a long time

Years

For them to get here

Where a Sunday afternoon

Could be shared like this

She spoke

He heard

They touched

It felt good

To be in this place

To know

Each other

A little bit better

Than the Sunday afternoon before

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

9 00 a.m. 7 22 20

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Touch Someone

In her massage office in Alabama, my friend has a sign posted:
“When you touch a body, you touch the whole person-intellect, spirit & emotions.”
She is a healer, a facilitator, a conduit for connecting a person’s energy to the source of healing in the universe.
She does not cure people, she would never claim that. Just like I don’t.

During the Covid crisis and Shelter In Place, we both had to close our practices. We couldn’t touch clients. We couldn’t touch anyone.

It felt like our hands were tied and with that, so was everything else- _emotions, intelligence, spirit. It was hard. It was very hard.

Some people think what we do is just a job, a career, that we have chosen.

That’s true for many massage therapists. It’s different for us, though.

Jennifer and I both feel as if massage therapy is our calling, it is what we were created to do. It goes beyond a job description. It is who we are.

Years ago,a very good friend of mine said to me,” There is no separation between you and your business. You are Rockwall Body and Soul Massage and it is you. You are complete when you massage, when you give a massage, you seem to receive back as much as you give.”

He is exactly right. It’s the whole truth. It’s also why I’m so particular about who gives me a massage. I will only receive bodywork from those that I trust with my soul. It’s the same way as making love, or having sex… Only those that fall in love with the naked soul should be able to touch the body. That’s how I feel anyways

That’s why Jennifer’s message bought tears to my eyes. She understands so well what touch means to me.

We have been friends a long time and shared many stories-personally and professionally.

Yesterday she messaged me and my heart felt as if she had taken my words and wrote them down for me.

“When touch a person, I lose my self. I shed my skin. I am a tool. Molding muscles and tissues into a piece of art work that is soft and knotless. I connect on a level that is beyond touch. Finding the lack of flow, and creating space where there is none. Unraveling knotted fibers, smoothing out scars and adhesions. Assessing each area for congestion caused by stress whether it’s physical or emotional. This is what I do. It completes me.”

“Intimately , it is similar … When I make love, I connect fully, giving myself over completely, connecting on a level that is beyond physical-Heart, Mind and Soul.
When I fuck, I connect,too, fully, feeding on passion, and offering my own up in exchange. I can guard the heart and keep some emotions at bay, but not all of them. I am able to disassociate enough to protect myself but just barely and with a lot of effort. I have to focus on feelings of physical pleasure more extremely than otherwise necessary.”

We are both survivors of sexual assault. I can and do split myself into three parts still. I can be touched, and not feel. I can feel without being touched. I can go through the motions-heart guarded and intact while my body moves.

If my emotional cup is empty, I can swallow the bitter taste and my body can go through the paces. I can hold back most of my feelings for as long as it takes. I’m used to it

This serves me well when I’m in training and my knee gives out. My willpower takes over and I push through the pain my body feels. I can close my hands and put my spirit elsewhere while my body is present for whatever reason.

It’s a blessing sometimes. Other times, it’s a curse.

There are certain people that give and receive touch from me that fills me on every level. These people are as vital to my well being as oxygen… During Shelter In Place, I craved their touch so deeply because, quite simply, their touch calms my spirit in ways I can’t put into words, try as I might.

*Regardless, in either case, because I am either focused on complete connection, or guarding myself from emotional pain, I am often incapable of holding back, that includes my noises as well as giving and receiving pleasure.
I feel the urge, I act upon it. I do not want to hold back, there is an innate need that has to be fulfilled.
If it is not fulfilled, I am left feeling empty. Needing more. Wanting more.
This is why I am so insatiable now that I’m able to touch again
For so long, I have been empty. I have cried, I have begged,
I have pleaded for someone to help me fill my cup.
How many times did I say that when I went to fill my cup, the machines were broken, out of order signs on each and every source?
My cup was broken anyway, shattered in a million pieces.
It was impossible to fill. My cup is still broken, but I am finding the glue to mend it.
It at least holds that essence of life that is so necessary for completeness.
I am living again, I am thriving. I am starving for more.”

Jennifer had been married for over 17 years to a man that withheld affection and touch so she received the touch she craved through her work. She gave massages and in giving, she received.

During Covid, Jennifer finally signed the divorce papers and began to write a new chapter of her book of life.

“When I touch someone, I share in the healing. When I touch someone, I become a part of something larger than myself.”

She is getting new cups and filling her broken cups and she is finding ways to be complete.

She can touch again and so can I .

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
7 42 a.m. 6.24.20
http://www.jeannasoul.com

Another Women’s Words

I am not old….she said
I am rare

I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play

I am the retrospective
Of my life as Art

I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense

I am the fullness
Of existing

You think I am waiting to die
But I am waiting to be found

I am a treasure
I am a map

And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey

Ask me anything

Samantha Reynolds, poet..

I read these words and I cried at the beauty and the simplicity and the truth.

I thought of the women I know that have stories I would like to know

I wonder if they wish to be asked… To be found.. to be seen… To be known

As more than just “the old lady that sits on the far left pew”

Or the one that whispers to herself as she plants seeds of flowers

I wonder if those ladies I know wish I would ask them anything

I wonder if they would answer

Would I be surprised? Would they?

What about me? Would I tell stories and answer questions

If I was asked anything?

Or would I gaze away and say,

“you shouldn’t ask questions like that”

While thinking to myself of what I know

And who I am

Underneath it all

I am not getting old, not really

I am becoming my self

My body caresses my soul

My soul caresses my body

I find the treasures in the moments and the questions and the words of another woman

Jeanna’ Mead, poet, too

Beautiful picture.

Another Woman

Another woman

Wrote these words

But this woman

Felt them

Like a slap in the face

A punch in the stomach

She knew the pain

All too well

She wrote her own words

Imagined herself

Walking with the stars in the sky

On a beach late at night

Sharing deep thoughts

Not the shallow ones at all

that’s the way it was

For the another woman

Seems like

👣💙 Jeanna’ Mead

9 40 a.m. April 28 2020

Crazy Times

She never thought the day would come

That the doors would have to be shut

Keeping her from doing what she loves

But it’s crazy times just now

What she does isn’t deemed “essential”

And she knows damn well it’s not quite true

That’s just like beauty

In the eye of the beholder

Crazy to believe it anyways

But she aches to touch

Aches to be touched

Misses the music and the lyrics

The good vibes

The scent of coconut oil on her hands

The feel of another person’s skin

She misses the pulse she feels, the rise and fall of breath

She longs to be needed,to fill the void

To step up and press down

Give her all and get more

It’s crazy how she knows

What to do and when and where to go

But right now

These crazy times

Are keeping her

From doing what she loves

So she’ll make do

In other ways

Hold her breath

Find the treasures

On the ragged edges

And make it through

These crazy times

Until she can do what she was born to do.

👣🧡 Jeanna’ Mead

3.31.20. 6 46 a.m

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Crazy Daisies

She would rather have

Crazy Daisies in pitchers

Or Mason jars

Instead

She would rather have

Tequila and whiskey

Instead

She would rather be picked up

Taken for a ride

In blue jeans and barefeet

Instead

She would rather receive

A simple bracelet

Handwritten card

Instead

She would rather have

Chocolate kisses

Instead

She would rather be

Taken out for burgers and beer

A little live music somewhere

Instead

She would rather be

Kissed again and again

Instead

She would just wait and see

What will be

Instead

Jeanna’ Mead

6 23 a.m. 2.13.20

http://www.jeannasoul.com

She Knew

Listening to this song while drinking coffee in Christmas morning

.https://open.spotify.com/track/4z8sz6E4YyFuEkv5o7IJni?si=H-jlAXihRWC4iq1qQieQS.

Mary knew. I’m sure of it.

A woman’s intuition.

She knew and she kissed her baby boy knowing full well she was kissing the face of God.

She wasn’t intimidated. She wasn’t afraid. She was His mother and she did what came naturally. She kissed Him. She loved Him. She held Him and she soothed Him.

She gave Him love and she received love back.

Imagine this, the Lord Jesus snuggling up to His mom, nestling in her embrace, loved and accepted, cherished and wanted.

Mary was filling His needs-for warmth, for food, for shelter, for attention, for compassion, for change (yes, He had to be changed.. yes,even the baby Jesus pooped).

We tend to gloss over some parts but we shouldn’t, it’s the truth.

Babies need to be changed and sometimes it stinks and it’s messy but we do it anyways, because that’s what love does.

Love does what’s necessary and what’s good and what has to be done.

Not just the things that look good and feel good, but the hard things, the tiring things and the things that take time and energy.

Mary knew it had to be done and she did it with love, with intention, and with gratitude that she was the one who was the chosen to do so.

Chosen.

Think about that for a second.

Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.

And she knew it.

She didn’t understand why, but she knew she was.

So she kissed her baby boy and she kissed the face of God and He, in return, kissed her.

Today when you choose to kiss someone, kiss them with the intention and knowledge that you are kissing the face of God, too.

There is truth there.. for each and every person was created by God, for a reason and a plan that He alone understands.

We need to remember this…

Just as Mary gave Love to her baby boy, we need to give love, not just gifts wrapped in paper and tied with ribbons, with tags of a few chosen people.

We need to give love generously, gently, graciously to those people that cross our paths, that come into our lives, that somehow bump into us.

Ever stop and think that maybe, just maybe God chose that meeting, chose that person to come into your life, chose YOU to be the one that’s present and in awe of the chance to give and receive love.

Kind of like Mary was.

I think we know this.

Intuition.

We know that Love is the greatest gift we have.

So please give it, receive it, share it, find it, celebrate it, embrace it and be it.

Choose to be like Mary and choose to be like God .

I think we all want to do this just has we instinctively know that Love is what we should be giving, but we get intimidated and afraid.

We fall back on rules and regulations and on lists and others things.

We choose.

Sometimes we choose not to love, not to give, not to receive, not to embrace and not to be present and in awe.

Isn’t that a shame?

Think about it… A baby needs a mother.. needs to be held and touched, to be nurtured and loved.

It’s that simple.

And really, so is everything else.

Mary knew that.

And so do we, deep down in our soul.

So Merry Christmas, may you love more and be loved more.

Jeanna’Mead

7 32 a.m. 12.25.19

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Men

Open letter to men,

I want you to know that I see the ways in which we (women) have contributed to the wounding of the masculine psyche.

We don’t often recognize that while we talk about how men have hurt women in this culture, women are also hurting men.

With our words, our actions, and our unreasonable exceptions of you.

I want you to know that being vulnerable is masculine.

That to give me the gift of seeing you in your vulnerability is a blessing, not something to curse.

I want you to know that I will never tell you to “man-up” again. It must hurt to hear that when you are stumbling, you are no longer perceived as a man.

You may even be confused as to what’s expected of you now that so much has changed.

Dear men, we still want you. We still need you.

I want you to know that your energy, your presence, your commitment and your devotion show me that I am safe, protected and cared for.

I want you to know that I can hold space for you too, just like you do for me.

I can witness your emotions, sit with your tears, or be with you when you’re confused.

You are human, it’s ok if you stumble.

I will not leave you if you cry.

I want you to know that you’re not expected to perform or be ready to at all times.

Most of all, making love is about presence, it’s about passion, it’s about true connection.

Make eye contact with me when our bodies connect, show me you’re with me, give me your energy, and you will feel our passion rise to create true love.

When things go sideways let’s laugh together. Intimacy is more than just sex, it’s about kisses, snuggles, eye-gazing, and conversation. It’s many forms of expression.

I want you to know, that you are most attractive when you are fully expressed. I want to see you dance, to laugh, to play, to hug and give/receive love.

Dear men, you are safe to be yourself.

As a woman, I promise to do my best to contribute to the rising and healing of the masculine, alongside the feminine.

This is not a one sided journey. We need women to rise, and we need men. We need you too, so please show up with us.

I want you to know that I see you.

You are valuable beyond measure and the gifts you provide are different and unique to what a woman provides, and this is why communities are made up of all genders, not just men or just women.

We are meant to work together, to support one another, to cherish each others differences, not demonize them because we have false expectations that aren’t being met.

I want you to know that I will do my healing work and support women in theirs so that projections of the mother or father are not placed upon you in relationship. And I invite you to do the same.

You are not responsible for my happiness. It is not your job to “fix me”.

You have the opportunity to lead as a conscious man in this world. To demonstrate what it’s like to live with an open heart, as a humble leader with a mission.

And I believe in you.

~ Rising Woman ~

Sometimes I must share what I’ve read and how it touches my soul.

This does.

A few days ago, another woman made a post about how when a man leaves his cell phone on silent, and turned face down, and has to unlock it when he picks it up, it means he’s messing around. She didn’t know the man but had been observing him at a coffee shop. She was quick to jump all over his case by the way he had his cell phone.

I couldn’t just let it go.

“Maybe he’s deaf, maybe he’s a massage therapist, maybe he’s a First Responder and knows what happens when a phone lands in the wrong hands.

She got her panties twisted… “That’s the way most men are.”

Bullshit.

I love men.

My best friends are men.

I’m married to a man.

I have three grown ass sons that are good men.

I know they are not perfect but neither am I or any other women out there.

When I need a real friend, it’s my guys that come.. when I’m working late, it’s my guy friends that check on me, when I’m at the gym, it’s the guys that stop by and talk to me.

Most of my clients are guys.

I realized the reason why.

I make them comfortable. They can be vulnerable and strong. They can be silent or talk to me. They can fall asleep and know they are safe.

I hold space and I hold hands. I hold secrets and I hold their regrets. I hold on when they are falling apart and I hold back the demons when they feeling attacked and alone.

I’m a man lover. I will not let men be trashed or painted with broad brushes.

I will take them as they are and make them into what they want to be.

I’m gonna stand by my man…. Every single one of them.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

6 22 a.m. 12.18.19

http://www.jeannasoul.com