On Finding Joy in the Journey...

I think eating sushi must make me smarter.

The last few times I’ve had light-bulb moments have been between dunks of a shitake roll into wasabi-laced soy sauce…

I know there's a theory about hand-and-mouth activity being good for cognition, but my hunch is that the spice is really what kick-starts my brain.

A few weeks ago, I was at an incredible Japanese restaurant with some new friends in Austin, and someone asked that we go around the table and answer the question:

“What is the one big thing that you learned from 2014?”

As I listened to everyone share their insight and accomplishments (which were both blindingly bright and equally inspiring) - I began to panic while my turn inched closer.

Was I distracted by the blistered shishito peppers and braised eggplant, or my frosty glass of perfectly chilled sake? 

Yes! Obviously, YUM! 

Was I enthralled by the table-full of such brilliant minds and cozy-warm hearts?

Of course! Right from the start.

Was I so overwhelmed by all of the good snippets to share that I froze to keep from sounding blurt-y or boastful?

Humility always seems to have a much greater return.

When I finally made myself work up the chops[ticks] to just say what came to mind first, I was relieved by the feelings of content that I found in such a loaded moment.
 
I wish I could say that I’m writing to share some profoundly original or encouraging soundbite, but my answer for the table was starkly sincere. (Yet, it satiates my heart just the same.)

Twenty Fourteen has taught me that achieving a lofty goal is NOT always the greatest reward… Some of our most treasured moments are made by simply enjoying the road along an ambitious adventure. [click to tweet]

I don’t think that goal-setting and dream-catching are intrinsically wrong (otherwise I’d be in trouble with a Capital T), but I DO know that having a "why" rooted in the right reasons can keep us from being distracted by the final outcome or derailed by fear

If these big dreams are truly driven by our heart’s desires, we can trust co-pilots Patience & Peace to help us appreciate the scenery along the way. When I realized that taking joy in the journey is WAY more fun than stressing over the view that flies by my window, I decided to crank up the music, grab my favorite snack, and invite your sweet road-tripping selves to do the same. :)

Hoping that your 2015 has mountains of blessings on the horizon, and I’ll see you right back here next year!

Countdown to Confetti Kisses,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - Care to tell me what your own heart has learned in the past twelve months? You KNOW that I’m truly dying to hear... If it feels funny at first, just pretend that we’re sharing something sweet and singing along in the backseat!


PARTY-WORTHY STYLE // I can hardly believe that my cherry on top of 2014 was a national TV segment & partnership with Pinterest a little earlier this week!  Go here to take a peek at my Good Morning America debut, and please promise me you'll partake in something shimmery tonight. (Even if it's just these!)

On Being Full of Feelings...

Did you think I forgot about you this week?  

(NEVER!)

I know I’m popping in a bit later than normal, but it’s been a busy bustle-y (and somewhat emotional) few days for me so I’m trying to go easy on myself, you know?

In place of sharing my regular reflections today, I’m writing directly to a heart FULL of feelings, and allowing for some introspection that bears the honesty of a magnifying mirror.*  

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Hello, you little beating beauty.  I’m popping in to say that I know you're heartsick about leaving California on Saturday...  

Heartsick, but SO SO grateful that we turned this total daydream into an actual thing.  What a full and blessed adventure it has been!

I know you're feeling stressed out by perfecting the plans for our upcoming Pepper Brunch in Kansas City...  

Stressed, but totally excited to see the details come together for an amazing experience with so many sweet Pepper Girls.  (Having YOU there would make the whole thing SO much more fun. - Serious!)
 
That lurking overwhelm is from the upcoming speaking and teaching opportunities that you're honored to have... 

Acknowledging the overwhelm is fine, but the camaraderie from the community always blows me away -- and if we show up ready to spread the love, the gals at Go Blog Social will handle the rest. (If you’ll be there, please come find me for a giant hug, and PUHLEASE let me know if I have anything stuck in my teeth!)

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Taking a closer look at the situations at hand made me to realize:  It can sometimes be SO easy to let the yucky stuff crash in and drown out the good.  

I try with all my might to focus on the best bits of whatever I'm facing (which usually takes a chat with my Mama and lots of hugs from Mr. Pepper), and then I strap on those newly uncovered truths before wading across to the other side.
 

Clinging to your truth will keep your head above water, and your heart where it can breathe.
— Jessie Pepper

I promise that you’ll see the sunshine when you reach the other side, and can personally vouch for the fact that it get easier every time.


I'd LOVE to have you tell me what you’re feeling right this very morning...  Doesn't matter if it’s one word or a thousand words - Just hit reply, and let me know what’s on your heart.

Our interactions here are so precious to me, and I pray for you and send hugs every time a treasured note pop into my box!

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

*Can't live with 'em OR without 'em.  Very handy for plucking eyebrows; HORRIBLE for ignoring tiny wrinkles.


GILDED GIRL:  One of the oddest purchases I've ever made in my entire life happened TODAY... Are you ready to be totally perplexed? 

Gold foil BeautyMarks from one of my favorite blogs -- Mr. Kate!  

Planning to try them out the moment they arrive, and you KNOW I will report my findings over on S&P.  Stay tuned! ;)