Hi Everyone. After founding Mystic Journey Bookstore some 10 years ago, and Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery nearly 2 years ago, I thought it was time to have you get to know me and both of my stores on a more personal level. Each month, I’m going to write a “missive,” sharing some of my thoughts about crystals, business, the world, my life and my philosophies or values about various issues. As you get to know me more, it is my hope and desire that this will encourage you explore and pursue your dreams and passions, your spiritual nature, and the world of crystals more and more. Here goes!
I grew up in Los Angeles, from kindergarten through university at Occidental College. Needing a break from LA, I went to law school in Washington D.C. I went to law school by “default.” I took a year after college and supervised 611 operators. That was boring. I wanted to go back to school. But I didn’t want to be a doctor or run a business, so what was left – law. After 3 years in school, I returned to LA. I failed the bar exam, ran a congressional campaign, passed the bar and took a job that I would stay at for… the next 27 years! Yikes!
I failed the bar exam, ran a congressional campaign, passed the bar and took a job that I would stay at for… the next 27 years! Yikes!
After about 8 years of being a lawyer and making partner, I started to want out of the law. The pressures, the adversarial nature, and the lack of meaning in my cases left me empty, and disheartened, and just plain unhappy. I dabbled in other careers, getting a real estate broker’s license, applying to marriage and family therapist school, painting and having an art show at Bergamont Station. But nothing felt right. Nothing resonated. I keep looking, but at the same time I became more unhappy. My marriage fell apart, and at the same time my law work became even more demanding. One day I said to myself, “If I don’t get out of law soon, I’m going to get sick.” Within a year, I was diagnosed with cancer.
One day I said to myself, “If I don’t get out of law soon, I’m going to get sick.” Within a year, I was diagnosed with cancer.
But in the end, my cancer, and truly, me giving myself cancer to finally push myself out of law, was one of the great blessings of my life. Before I could reach that blessing, however, I still needed more than a push, I needed a kick in the rear. I had surgery and the doctors thought they got it all at Stage 1. All I needed to do was follow up scans. I went back to work as thought nothing had happened. Then it did. The first scan showed an abnormality. The oncologist wanted me to have chemo, but I immediately, really instinctively said “no”. I don’t know where this came from, but it just came out. I somehow felt I didn’t need that.
Instead, I put together a team of healers. I had an acupuncturist, a body worker, a therapist, and an energy mastery healer. I also took a sabbatical from my law practice. I told my best friend, who was also my doctor, what I was doing, and his reaction was “You can’t do this, your life is at stake.” I said, “I know, but I am going down this path. It is my path, and my life, and it feels right.” Then my friend and I struck a deal: I would get 90 days to “do my thing,” but if nothing changed, nothing in my scans improved, then I would start chemo.
Instead of chemo… I put together a team of healers. My… doctor’s reaction was…"You can’t do this, your life is at stake.” I said, “I know, but I am going down this path. It is my path, and my life, and it feels right.”
After 90 days of working with my team, I went for another scan. And… the abnormality had shrunk by 50%. So it was easy to get another 90 days from my doctor friend. After the second 90 days, the next scan showed the abnormality had disappeared entirely. To my friend’s scientific mind, he couldn’t figure out how this happened, but he agreed, no chemo for Jeffrey. I had a few more follow up scans, all of which were normal. I wanted to stop doing them, but my oncologist was adamant I continue. I refused, and my oncologist fired me as a patient! I have had no more scans, and have been cancer free for longer than I can remember – at least 10+ years.
During my healing time, and my sabbatical, I came to realize this was my chance, really my only chance, to get out of law. I had to. I spent much of this time thinking about, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life.” I think many people ask themselves this question. I think this is one of most difficult questions in life to answer. Hopefully people are asking themselves this and then acting on it when they are unhappy or unsatisfied in their current state. Hopefully they are not like me, making themselves sick in order to force a change. As I was once told by a very wise person: “Life does not always bring you what you want, but it always brings you what you need.”
As I was once told by a very wise person: “Life does not always bring you what you want, but it always brings you what you need.”
In thinking about what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life, I finally got to the following question, which ultimately led to the answer I was looking for: “What am I passionate about?” When I delved into this, when I looked deep inside, and listened to that “inner voice,” the answer was that I was most passionate about my spirituality. To me this included the deep questions about God, the workings of the universe and manifesting what one wants, death and the afterlife, and my true purpose in this incarnation. Once I got to this landing place, it quickly and easily came to me that where I was living, on the west side of Los Angeles, had no spiritual bookstore, no spiritual hub or center. And thus, Mystic Journey Bookstore was born.
There are so many amazing, synchronistic things that happened to ultimately allow the bookstore to open, but I will save those stories for another time. What I really want to share here is how deeply I feel that everyone should pursue their passion and do so without having to make themselves sick in order to finally do so. There are three related concepts I want to share. The first is the following saying: “Leap and the net will appear.” I have found this to be so true. Our biggest hinderance, the biggest hurdle to acting, is fear. But as Emerson wrote: “Do the thing you are afraid of, and the death of the fear is certain.” So be bold; don’t be afraid. Act. The Universe is always there to support you.
Second, I wholly, thoroughly do not believe in the saying “Life is short.” I think life is long, and lovely, and wonderous. But what I do believe is this: Life goes by fast. Really. In what seems to be an instant, you are done with school, or your child has grown up, or you’re ready to retire. Boom! It happens. So what I want to share with you is this: Don’t wait. Don’t wait to act, to take the next step, to take the leap you’ve always dreamed of. As Deepak Chopra has often said, you can change your entire life in an instant, and there are an infinite number of ways in which to change it. So if you are not happy with where you are at, with what you are experiencing, change it. Take action. Make it happen.
So if you are not happy with where you are at, with what you are experiencing, change it. Take action. Make it happen.
The final thought I want to share relates to happiness, which I think is once of the most difficult concepts to get one’s arms around, or tougher yet, define. But what I do believe is this: Happiness should not be your goal. It should be the path you travel by which you get to your goal. For if happiness is the goal, then you’re not happy the entire way getting there. That’s no good. That’s no fun. And just as bad, once you reach the goal, then what. A new goal, and the happiness drops away again? Ugh. So please, while I know it is not easy, do you best to live in a state of happiness day to day and moment to moment. Make happiness the road beneath your feet as you travel to what you really want in life.
Make happiness the road beneath your feet as you travel to what you really want in life.
I look forward to communicating with you again next month, and in the coming months as I share more about me, my views on life, living, spirituality, and of course business, as well as thoughts on the properties, uses and benefits of crystals.