REST with Jazmine Giovanni
An artist, writer, singer, and actor, Jazmine Giovanni is a Renaissance woman. She is the writer and curator behind The House of the Spirits, an all-inclusive, ever-changing alchemical art piece intended to heal, expand, and inspire.
Jazmine's responses in this interview are also healing, expanding, and inspiring. She shares a Buddhist practice, why rest is a duty of love, the language of the universe, and the importance of discipline. She also talks about tapping the divine mind and why the pieces have to come apart before new constructs can be created.
WHAT ARE YOUR RITUALS TO RELAX, REJUVENATE, AND RESTORE YOURSELF?
I keep two practices that lend to the shape of things: meditation and Intoku.
Meditation changes everything. It is a gateway to the supreme stillness. It is the inexhaustible source from which to explore and learn. We know everything in our reality is energy with its own resonance. One of the gifts meditation offers is the ability to neutralize our own vibration so that the reverberations of energy from people and situations are easily seen clearly and differentiated from the opinions of the mind and intellect. This is the seat of intuition and clear vision (clairvoyance). Clarity in perception can only be attained in a state of total neutrality and meditation is a direct route to getting there.
Another key that surfaces from meditation is that eventually a time delay presents itself between what we are perceiving and our reaction to it. In the micro-moments between these two occurrances lies all power. It is here that we are able to free ourselves from the slavery of reactivity and make different choices. Behaviorally speaking, it’s life changing.
The second ritual is a Buddhist practice called Intoku, which means “good done in secret.” So much of our society is predicated upon seeing proof or needing validation for the things we do. What I love about this practice is the state of mindful awareness it inspires day to day. It is a walking meditation that pulls us out of ourselves into the All and I enjoy having the presence of mind to give to the moment whatever is needed while, at the same time, leaving it completely in that moment.
Other than that, the way I live my life is in service to the Creative. I am very much interested in pushing thought, art, and human consciousness forward into new territory and tapping the inner iconoclast so I prioritize the things that facilitate opening to that space. I need time for my thoughts to naturally unwind themselves. Solitude, time in nature observing, being in new places where I forget myself, observing other points of view without arriving at any judgment, etc. This is a yoga that feeds innovative awareness. Then, in the no-mind of meditation, things are reassimilated into new constructs. Those who have been meditating for some time come to know the genius point -- the state of tapping the divine mind. I go there a lot. But the pieces have to come apart before they can be reassembled, you know?
That’s where discipline comes in.
What is your advice to empower women to make time for (guilt-free) rest?
The sentiment of guilt associated with taking personal time comes up a lot. I think the hang-up is that rest is viewed as a passive state, which is in direct opposition to the expectation of a society that applauds action and proof of action. Guilt comes from the mind that rationalizes it ought to be doing something. However the passivity of rest/meditation is an active state of conscious resetting. We are vessels that anchor energy. In order to keep our inner circumstances conducive to receiving, creating, and bringing forth the best of life’s energies, meditation and restful rituals become more of a duty of love and less something to feel guilt over.
Please describe a time when you had to surrender to rest.
There have been many instances in my life that I had to surrender to rest. The insularity of my experience makes me unrelatable in many ways as meditating six and seven hours a day to cope through an illness is not applicable to most people’s lives. A question is often posed regarding how to maintain the spiritual fire of seeking one’s own enlightenment when there is no great need imposed upon the seeker. Whether we come to spirituality as a casual pursuit or a life and death reckoning, the same surrender is ultimately required for entry to the spirit realm. We can drive ourselves crazy wanting and needing answers, but if we are not able to let the intellectualization go and simply be with what is, we cannot see past what is.
The human tendency is to escape dealing, to dismiss things when they become uncomfortable. However, transformational insight arrives when we can stay with whatever is coming up long enough to bring a new energy to it. The fire that burns hot enough to make us uncomfortable is the same fire that can propel us into a higher state of being.
They say in yoga that the pose begins when you want to get out of it. Everything is yoga.
Whatever is compelling us to squirm is the guru. Get comfortable within the uncomfortable.
Break it down, moment by moment, and plant new energy seeds within old patterns of behavior.
How do we know when we’re finished with a “pose”?
It moves us.
How do you tune into your body's wisdom to know when to rest?
A friend of mine who is a doctor says often that the body whispers before it screams. I find this to be true for all of life. The more finely attuned we become to the subtle energies within our vibratory field, the easier it is to hear the body, to distinguish what organs or glands need attention, to hear the guidance of the intuition, to understand nature. Everything is communicating and the true language of the universe is the language of resonance. Once we tap into that, everything is laid out before us. No teacher is needed. Life is the teacher. We need only show up with a willingness and discipline to experience, sit with, and move through the resistance presented by the mind long enough to break through the veil.