Spiritual Autobiography: What's in a name?
For one of my classes "Spirituality and Leadership" I have to compose a spiritual autobiography. We were given a bout sixteen prompts, and the first was to tell about our name. Here is the beginning of my story (some bits at the end are borrowed from my life archive which is this blog) but I believe it all weaves together to tell the tale. And so it is... He sees. I decided to Wikipedia my name and found the following:
The original Hebrew name Yiskāh (יִסְכָּה), means "foresight", or being able to see the potential in the future. The Hebrew root sakhah (ס.כ.ה) means "to see," so the name Yiskah, with the added yod, implies foresight or clairvoyance.
I immediately laughed, told my coworker and said “this is scary,” to which she replied, “but that’s so you!” My name is Jessica, and I was named after my father, Jessie who was named for his father, Jesse. Because of the connection to my father I was hesitant to begin to talk about my name but as I am learning right now in life in general, I am so much more than just my father’s child. I find it ironic that so much of me has been defined by the ghost of a relationship rather than by the solid ones around me. That absence, that void is how I saw myself, I could not see anything except for my lack, my empty. When I was asked the story behind my name I procrastinated telling the story because it lead back to the thing I hated most, that space.
What I found, though, was affirmation that I am no coincidence (as if I ever thought myself to be). I am clairvoyant and I do see the potential in the future. Nothing that describes the meaning in my name is exempt from how I would describe myself. Being able to see things before they happen, some call it premonition, some call it clairvoyance; I am not sure of the nuances that make the different. I do know that I have that gift and since I accepted that fact it has only gotten stronger. It feels like continuous déjà vu, people places and things all feel familiar even when they are not and for the longest time I never mentioned it to anyone. Two weeks ago though, I was reading a book by Deepak Chopra and he spoke of the importance of speaking truth. Not just recognizing it, not just knowing it, but speaking it because for all intents and purposes it is truth.
For example, just one week ago I stood in the kitchen of my mother’s house reading refrigerator magnets that included my sisters’ names and their meanings. I saw how closely the descriptions matched each of their names so well, and I wondered about the meaning behind my own name. I always thought it meant “God’s grace,” which left much to be desired if searching for meaning. One week later I was given the assignment to write about my name. One week after that, we are here. I have been more willing to share my thoughts and not be so intensely secretive about the parts of me that may be controversial or hard to digest.
Before I moved to San Diego I was sitting with Naia in her living room and she made a statement something to the effect of, “I assumed you would be studying spiritual awareness/alternative healing given all that has happened this year.” Finding out about being an empathy (having the ability to feel the energies of those around me), the experience of the Tao of Healing class, the concentrated effort of being more patient, listening to the universe/God, in short: Waking up. Not to say that mentorship (what I thought I would be studying when I entered my Doc program) isn’t wonderful, but all things considered… Well then I got to CA and met with my faculty advisor who, after I explained to her my experience with the Tao of Healing said, “Well why on earth aren’t you studying that? You seem to have a real vested interest in it?” I spoke with Naia that night and she said, “You know that you can’t ignore it and its only going to get louder.” Well I do know enough to know that. I’ve also noticed that it usually takes me hearing something three times for me to take it seriously. I have been trying to work on listening at two—with time maybe I will trust at the first. With this I knew at two, but was waiting for more direction. I knew it would come, but I silently abandoned my work on mentorship because I knew…it was coming.
One night my ex-boyfriend went the library and got 8 books, as he listed off the titles of them he asked which one he should start with. One title “The Power of Premonition,” stuck-out to me for obvious reasons and I suggested he start there. Because he is a total nerd, he researched the author, Dr. Larry Dossey, before even starting the book and found some webcasts he’d done with Oprah on her XM radio show. I listened to him speak about the power of prayer, not necessarily religious prayer, but meditative prayer where we are spiritually connected to the universe and we surrender our wants (ego) in favor of moving in directions guided by a higher power with infinitely more wisdom. Dossey explained it simply as “Thy will be done” Oprah reiterated it as her own personal prayer, “Guide my footsteps.” I knew then that I had to know more and contribute to this school of thought. This doctrine that I believe so absolutely because…well mainly because it has been my life for at least the past 7 months and I have witnessed first-hand the power in surrender.
Consider this (something I found a few days ago) “They” said that we will notice the physical effects more as the frequencies and vibrations increase. Many of us can sense on another level of our being that something is happening. With the changes subtly going on around us, our physical bodies must also change in order to adjust. Some of these physical symptoms are unpleasant and cause concern. “You will see and notice that as the frequency of the planet continues to raise in terms of its vibration, you will have less difficulty with symptoms of energy blockages.” The world is begging and the more we ignore it the louder it will get until we wake up and pay attention. It really is an amazing time to be alive, and in my lifetime I believe I will get to see many cycles of things. What I hope is that I do not become my own enemy… What I suppose is my most sincere hope is that I live up to my name, and even to expound on it, to see and to listen. What good is foresight if you do not trust yourself enough to listen?
One of the days that helps me to best get the story behind my name was watching an interview with Shirley McClaine on Oprah. I was sitting on my couch and was so moved by the interview that I began to text a friend of mine, here is how it went:
JessJ: Random..but did you see Shirley McClaine on Oprah this week?
JessJ: She’s talking about her belief system and karmic laws, reincarnation, the changes our world is going through, the disconnect of america (she describes US as a left brain technological materialistic society) and the rest of the world and the universe trying to communicate to us
Naia: Omg perfect that’s sooooo amazing
JessJ: Right?! I’m supposed to be studying and so of course I’m watching Oprah on my dvr
Naia: Lol that’s great
JessJ: Omg…so she walks into a house (looking to buy) and she said she felt the spirit of a dancer, and she’s a dance, she felt that house was meant for her and bought it immediately. So Oprah says “so you’re psychic too?” And she said well everybody is if they just turn the trust level up. (My reaction: !!!!) Ok..ok I’ll leave u alone now lol
Naia: Lol it’s all in the right hemisphere. U just have to get the left one/ liner side to be quiet. Just trust u are seeing all this for a reason
JessJ: I have to be. Wow…
Naia: Do you believe now?
JessJ: Oh definitely. She said “those who have encountered ‘aliens’ have said the soul does not die learning experience is lifetime after lifetime…so what they’re saying is give up war, you’re not killing anyone anyway what you’re doing is incurring more karma”. Which completely stirred everything in me
JessJ: I have to save this episode…I think everything in it was speaking to me. My body heard it.
Shirley McClaine ended the interview by saying the following words to Oprah: “I don’t plan it I don’t outline it I let it all happen, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned, Oprah, in my life is to surrender. I don’t fight and struggle anymore. I have learned to surrender to the very sophisticated divinity. “
When I tell you I cried…I don’t mean tears. I mean my soul was stirred into weeping, not out of sadness, out of finding someone who shares a truth with me. I am not completely sure I knew how I felt about most these things. But when I listened to this interview, the entire time my body was humming, vibrating. I feel like I did after the drum circle but without any work or concentration. I felt so connected to her words…she was one of mine. She is someone I’ve known before and recognize now.
Sometimes you know what’s right. Sometimes those things go beyond understanding of our conscious. Right now I don’t know what what it is I’ve just experienced but I know it is special. I know I am going to write books, three or four. I know I’m going to have the same number of children. I know I will be married and I will travel for a long time. I know I will change the life of many.
Several times within the last few weeks I’ve heard mention “the God within” or “the divinity within”. I know mine. We are well acquainted, but she speaks at a whisper barely above the breeze. She sits beside water and the water is always louder than her voice. She is surrounded by earth, more often a river’s edge in a forest than anything else. She is always certain and ironically she is always right. I love her fiercely and I miss her. I think she called to me today.
That day, April 15, 2011 was the day I knew why my name is Jessica. I knew that I was meant to see, to predict, to know. I knew and today I accept and understand. Today I can speak that truth without fear. I am Jessica, and all that it encompasses.