Our Real Work: Jess Ryan, MS

Coaching and consulting. Something's calling. It's your life.

You Have Time for This…Inspired by the Time I Drank Bleach


We’ve all heard it, and have definitely said it:

I’m really busy right now.

I don’t have time for that right now.

I’ll get to that later.

Many years ago, I had finished my Masters degrees and I was in an embodied state of perpetual frenzy. Instead of attending my graduation I chose to stay at a cabin in the National Forest so I could reconnect before starting a new job the following week.

I filled my water bottle from the tap at the cabin and headed out for a long snowshoe hike. A couple miles in and panting after a steep incline, I needed water. I hurriedly pulled my bottle out of my pack and started chugging. Like half a liter down my gullet before I realized… it wasn’t water.  

Long story short. The owners of the cabin plunged the water lines with bleach for the winter. It was a stressful hike out. Poison control was called. Illness ensued. But, I lived to tell the tale.

That weekend was a huge wake-up call to SLOW DOWN. If I would have paused for less-than-a-second 1) I would have smelled it was bleach and 2) I would have realized I was drinking a slimey-like substance before downing half a nalgene of it.

How many times do we miss key moments in our lives?

The brief seconds our kids are trying to tell us something, a stop sign, a gesture of kindness from a stranger, a subtle ask for support from a friend.

In our do-more, be-more, buy-more culture we’ve hard-wired our brains into a state of perpetual frenzy. We don’t see other people as actual souls that are having personal experiences and emotions just like us. We’ve lost touch with empathy and compassion. We’re angry, afraid, stressed and drugged.

We’re not meant to live this way.

Today, I invite you to slow down. It won’t take as much time as your fast-paced brain thinks it might and this gesture can drastically change your brain patterns and how you experience the world around you.

Try out the activity in this short video at least once a day and see what happens over the next month. (It’s 90 seconds. You can spare 90 seconds…said the woman who drank household cleaner.)

I bet you’ll see a lot more sweetness and miracles in your life that you might have missed.

Share this with your friends.  Who couldn’t use more miracles and sweetness these days.



PS- In the comments I’d love to hear ways you remember to slow down during the holiday season.


  1. Thanks, Jess! I am up early. Scrambling to prepare for a bangle sell at the local coffee shop. That was a perfect reminder. I love seeing your Sunday morning posts. At first (months ago), I imagined you (tucked away in the little house) up way, way early creating them while the boys slept…..then, I realized you are probably sleeping and the work is happening.

    • Judi, so great to hear from you and sometimes I do get a little work done before the guys get up. 😉 Good luck with your bangle sales and send me any promo materials. I’d love to put it in the next newsletter! And here is to a few moments of slowing down this season! xo

  2. Wow! Jess, this must have been so scary! I can totally relate….I had a big shift this weekend (thank you yoga class) and it started like this: I said to myself, “I’m done fighting. I’m done fighting the way things really are no can work to change them but I can no longer hang I to the internal fight of what “isn’t” any longer. When I focus on pure acceptance if the moment…I get to me be (without all my ridiculous expectations, my kids get to be them and my dear husband gets to be him….all of us, just as we are.

    Thanks for the incredible important reminder!! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Just when . . . | Sara Barry

  4. Wonderful! I call this meditation “cat” (learned from my shop cat) , I do it often.
    Willy@ Cunning Hammer Forge

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