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I thank fear, societal standards, and failures – a discussion of The Heart and Soul of Things

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I thank fear, societal standards, and failures – a discussion of The Heart and Soul of Things

Tis the season to reflect on the pause from the regular routine. Smile through an afternoon of family bantering over mashed potatoes or send tidings of great joy, even if it’s via text. But what if we expressed our gratitude for the things that bring us down? That’s right. Be thankful for the fears, regrets and disappointments because we can transform that negativity into authentic living.
This is one of the many messages of The Heart and Soul of Things, written simply but beautifully by Jessy Lugo-Rodriguez, appropriately known as Gaia (Earth Mother). The first few chapters of her book bring to light how we have become our own worst enemies. But instead of allowing our inner antagonists to consume us, we should accept those demons. We feel them, harness them, and then kick them in the face until they turn into angels.
Fears, expectations, and lies, according to Gaia, are what keep us from recognizing and experiencing our authentic selves. But instead of denying or dwelling on the negativity, Gaia helps us to see how it can be useful. So if we can use our baggage positively, why shouldn’t we express our gratitude for the bad as well as the good?
She devotes a whole page to this simple acrostic that speaks volumes. Our fear negatively impacts the Root Chakra which is responsible for our stability and grounding. If this first energy wheel is not turning the way it should, then the other ones are screwed. Fear is like hot air. It can only rise and cause more misery and suffocation. Gaia blatantly reminds us of the mind and body connection when she discusses the domino effect of fear – anxiety becomes depression, depression becomes gastrointestinal illness, and the tiles keep falling.
Do we need to cut loose the Debby Downers or the Gloom Dooms? More importantly, do we need to stop replacing our excuses with our fears, and vice versa? These are questions she poses, and encourages us to answer TRUTHFULLY. Being honest with yourself is difficult and can generate a huge storm, but think about how grateful you’ll be when the atmosphere rights itself again.  
“Numbers don’t impress me,” Gaia said.  This statement stuck out to me when she and I met in October during her book launch. She is aware her book may not sell like hot cakes. As a yoga instructor and spiritual healer, she may be inundated with clients one week and have very little to do the next. She may be balanced and at-peace for a while before having a day or two of batshit craziness. It is what it is. She is living authentically with no concern over expectations from family, friends, and most importantly, society. In her little memoir, she persuades us to do the same because only then can we be free and in tune.
Learn more about Gaia, her practices, services, and teachings at or check out her YouTube channel simply titled, Gaia. 

Tara Ann Lesko

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