Being Knocked into Our Center

Blog, feature, Lifestyle

Our first Oakland Farmer's Market!

Our first Oakland Farmer’s Market!


I am writing this post to both you and to myself. A week ago I moved from my sweet, small little town of Nevada City to Oakland, CA. I am a big believer in trusting signs in my life, and in a short amount of time, doors  spontaneously opened and I decided to walk through them and take the plunge to try my hand at city life. A big step personally and professionally. For 14 years I have been surrounded by a large, loving, tight-knit community of friends and support many people dream of. Friends I have had through thick and thin for over a decade. The kind of relationships that will be with me the rest of my life. And yet, I knew it was time to stretch my wings and step into a bigger place in my life. My heart told me it was ready for a new adventure and because I live a heart-centered life, I answered its call without question.

When I got to my new home, I was immediately knocked off center. Nothing was familiar. New everything.  New grocery store, routines, house, community. A totally normal and expected experience to feel so out of sorts, right? So I took a step back and wondered how and why do we get knocked out of our center? Are we ever really getting knocked out of our center in life? I have been spending this past week really looking at that belief. It seems however, that the idea of being knocked off center is as normal as breathing. The abnormal pap smear, the suspicious mammogram, the speeding ticket, the flooded basement, the vacation abruptly ending from sickness. Autoimmune Disease could also be seen as a constant knocking-you-off-center-disease if you think about it, right? Well, not so fast! I truly think Autoimmune Disease is a knocking-you-INTO-your-center disease if you decide to really get loving about it. Take just a moment and think about that last sentence. How do you feel in your body if you considered your disease could be the ally you need to get the life you want? You most definitely are on the AIP diet because you are looking for a way to be more centered so let’s give credit where credit is due. And from the massive amount of feedback I hear when people try AIP, it works. Regardless of how you feel philosophically about your disease, you have taken steps to be more friendly towards it by making the decision to change your diet and support yourself in a more authentic way. And I believe just that one step to change your eating habits, is one of the first ways of changing the relationship to your disease from againstness to a loving one. That is why it works so well. Your disease and your life never give up on you. And, the entire autoimmune protocol diet is a way to steady yourself inside your disease. Each step you take in your life can be seen as a way to create a bigger and bigger center for yourself so that eventually nothing can knock you out of it. And I say this to myself as much as I say this to you. This diet and this website is proof positive that you CAN do this no matter the outside influences, no matter the lab results, no matter how difficult the day is.

So this week, while I was disoriented being knocked into my center, I was teary missing friends and my town. I was extra sensitive to everything. My sister graciously let me spontaneously cry when we were together. I let myself question my decision to move. I slept extra and took a bath every night. I spent more time meditating. And, because gratitude is the antidote for lack, I was extra generous to all the new people I met at places like Whole Foods and the new restaurants I visited. The friendlier I was to others this week, the friendlier I felt inside myself. Each night I have gone outside onto my new deck, looked at the beautiful skyline and said prayers of thanks. And a week later, I feel incredibly hopeful about my decision. I don’t know how this move will turn out, just like you don’t know how your disease will turn out. But, I will take every step in this journey (like I hope you will too) knowing that this experience I am having will expand my capacity for loving and being gentle with myself. And in that effort, my heart expands to hold this new experience with grace, as I know it may for you as well. And so we all do it together, never alone, never off the path. And we can call it disease, or healing, or heartbreak or transition. But really it is just all of us coming home.


  1. erin

    I think about my love of our community based soley on our living abroad experience and am so thankful for the path that led us that way (despite a few low moments of having small children 7000 miles away from family). So you go girl, if you miss us you can get in the car and visit! I know this great motel….

    • Jessica

      I know exactly what motel you speak of. The cutest, quaintest one in the Sierra Foothills run by a fabulous friend I know xxoo

  2. Michelle

    Congrats on your move!! This piece is so beautifully written! Reading your blog gives me such an incredibly positive start to the day. I wrote to you months ago trying to figure out how to step i to paleo/AIP world, and you gave wonderful advice about taking small steps. You made a big difference in the start of my journey. Our family, not just myself, is transitioning to paleo/primal (my goal still AIP). It really helps to read about how centering Paleo/AIP can be, and I can see how making these lifestyle changes has such a dramatic effect.
    I’ve moved before too, and it certainly does make you really consider what’s at your heart core. We are considering moving as well, and maybe one year well make that jump to find what we are searching for in terms of location, until then, your posts reminds me the positive strength comes from inside, no matter where you are.
    Best of luck, keep up the wonderful posts,
    🙂 michelle

    • Jessica

      Hi Michelle
      I am so happy to read your beautiful and lovely comment. It is wonderful to hear that you are transitioning into Paleo with the goal of AIP! It is not always easy to be positive for us humans, but I continually strive for that goal. Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing! Great to hear from you! -jessica


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