Goodness Thrives… jessica drake

I must admit, I have a lot of admiration for jessica and her work as an activist and educator. We have shared the stage together on a sex education conference keynote panel. We bump into each other as we present at corporate engagements and industry expos and conferences.

I knew she was golden if not only for her sex education work but also for the time, energy and money she gives to good causes like youth in peril, rebuilding homes in Haiti, or suicide prevention. When we can we have these fleeting moments of fangirling each other. Or if we are lucky these deep connective conversations about home life, sex ed or growing up rough. She intelligent and has a heart of gold.

I learn just how golden her heart is when I started cancer treatment. She delivered a big box to my home. This box was full of warmth. So thoughtfully packed with the self-care items only a true survivor and self-care expert could have sent.

I was already deeply committed to a few self-care practices.  I was working from home to reduce stress and keep my immune system strong before surgery. I was practicing restorative yoga. I was reading a lot and doing lots of breathing exercises. (They say breath is life, I was spinning so hard that at times all I had was my breath.)

jessica added to my practices by introducing me to aromatherapy. I would NEVER have engaged with aromatherapy but in those cancer treatment days– all doors to healing were flung open. The little bottles she sent me with names like fortify and pain release seemed reasonable to me. The peppermint halo for headaches worked extraordinarily well!

The eucalyptus spray she sent, made to spritz in the shower and clear the sinuses, did wonders after a round of tears. She even sent an atomizer that sends relaxing lavender oil wafting up into the air. It all worked. It all soothed me. And with every scent she introduced me to, with every application, I felt like I could hear her saying, “You are important and you are not alone.” (Thank you for this jessica.)

It makes sense when you think about it. If the scent of your grandmother’s banana bread can flood your mind with good memories. The scent of your lover’s shampoo can make your heart sing. The smell of hospital can bring panic. Scents really do have power.

So, in the end, there are a lot of reasons I grow more and more fond of jessica. One of them is that she teaches me things. She has taught me how to better care for myself and how to be a better friend. I trust her. She is thoughtful, follows her heart, and asks for nothing in return. I look forward to many more years of growing our friendship.

(This is part three of a series where I get to say thank you. I have a lot of people to be thankful for.)

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