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Looking Up After Lockdown

Jessica reflects on inner peace.

Our recent visit to the Arizona State Prison Complex in Perryville was an eye opener, to say the least. It was both intense and nerve-racking. As I walked around that prison, I knew we were safe...but I wasn't comfortable.

It's difficult to be hopeful for the prisoners, simply because they're in prison. I mean, I hope they get out someday, but for now they're stuck there. I'm not sure what a lot of those people did to get there, but they're serving their time, so... At the end of the day, I felt kind of like 'thank God'. I get to go out, go to a restaurant, go to bed, and do whatever it is I need to do. It led me to reflect on what's important to me and to acknowledge what I'm most passionate about in life.

These things constantly change as I grow and learn more about myself... My pursuit for mental stability and my inner peace of mind has always been an internal drive to me. Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to take care of everyone else despite how it would affect -- or what it might cost -- me.

Lately, and thankfully, this way of living has taken a shift and now includes myself as well in this new way of life. I'm concentrating on me in a more sincere, honest, and deep way than I ever have before. I'm concentrating on the shedding of old skin, behaviors, thoughts and beliefs that no longer suit who I choose to be now, and who I will be in the future.

It's one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but one of the most exciting, and sure to be one of the most rewarding. New perspective is truly a gift! I want to share what I can in this world. If I am able to somehow help someone else out, listen, or be of guidance in any way, I want to. I cherish moments like that. Especially with animals. I'm big on spreading the message that if anyone has the means save an animal, they should rescue one. Too many innocent animals are being killed or are left uncared for.

I neglected myself in many self-destructive ways as an adolescent, and have learned the hard way that I am not invincible. Yoga was recommended to me by my therapist to help relieve some inner and outer stress and I just thought to myself: if not now, then when? I go once a week to see Dr. Bobbi Jones at Liberation Yoga and she is amazing because she does deep tissue massage, a specialized yoga plan specifically for your body and situation, and chiropractic care all in one session!! It's amazing. I leave her office smiling whether I want to or not!

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