Ice cream & suffering

Ice cream makes you happy! At least that’s what the huge sign outside the new ice cream store next to my yoga studio assures me. Does it? Really?

I guess it’s nice to smell the sugary waffle cone fragrance as I walk in the studio doors ready to offer the sweetness of movement and mindfulness to my students. And I’m sure the ice cream is delicious. I just find the promise, well, a bit overzealous.

It’s interesting, all the promises we are made–all the things constantly vying for our attention. In fact, it seems our attention is our most precious resource these days, and we might need to do a better job of protecting it. We are bombarded with ways to make us happy or to relieve our suffering. Drink this wine! Travel on this cruise ship! Take this pill! Paint your living room this color! Try this diet! Watch this YouTube video! Wear these shoes! Sign up here and get my free e-book! I could go on, but you certainly get the picture. Some of these offers may be helpful, but none is the answer.

I woke up a few mornings ago with this phrase in my head: “Good morning, welcome to your day! Suffering is optional.” Where did that come from? Was it my guides, a departed loved one, my higher self? Often I know, but in this case, I don’t. Whoever it was, this wisdom nugget reminded me of the real secret to happiness. Suffering is entirely within my control! The wisdom also implies that peace comes from within, not from all the offered remedies I could select.

What if I began greeting every single day by remembering that suffering is entirely my choice? That feels so empowering to me. Possibly life changing. I have the power to simply choose not to suffer. We all do.

Do note here what I have not said. I did not say I choose not to cry when something is sad. I did not say I choose not to be angry about an injustice. I did not say I choose not to grieve when a tragedy occurs. Etcetera. What I do choose is not to cling to these energies, but rather to work hard to feel them then to allow them to move through me.

It’s the smaller sufferings I’m really referring to here. Things that tend to roam around in my mind uncontrollably, like worries, regrets, hurt feelings, irritations, insecurities, even aches and pains in my body. In general, fear-based thinking. I can choose not to suffer these by also letting them move through me, and ideally, much more quickly than the big ones.

Have you ever tried to make it through just one day without suffering? It’s not easy! It feels like there are a thousand opportunities to do so before noon. But it’s getting easier with practice. I’m beginning to notice when the suffering mindset creeps in, which is a start.

Things that help: supportive community, inspirational teachers, daily meditation, focusing on a slower, deeper breath, checking in with my guides, moving my body, wandering in nature, remembering Oneness, and knowing that my answers always come by accessing my soul wisdom.

A sense of humor doesn’t hurt either. As well as the occasional ice cream cone.

Want to join me? I’ll be teaching a class on accessing your higher wisdom this Saturday at Studio B in Evergreen. Find out more here.  Work with me one-on-one through an intuitive reading, healing or spiritual mentorship. Find me at

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Jennifer Reeve

I am  a healing guide, a space holder and a reflector of your sacred light. My aim is to help you connect with your wild, expansive Divine essence so you may freely share your gifts with the world. I offer intuitive readings, non-touch energy healings, spiritual mentoring, embodiment practices, nature connection and sacred ceremony. It would be my honor to guide you toward your expansion.

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