So, that last piece was shocking. Heavy. Terrifying.

Gut-wrenching. Painful.

Too personal to have been shared online… but I did, and I hope you can understand why.

This conversation is a vital contribution to the changes yet to unfold in the United States and the world at large. Let’s talk about it.

For those wondering, naturally, my family isn’t happy that I spoke openly about the political and religious beliefs we carry behind the scenes. That’s socially inappropriate, y’know? It’s almost as bad as talking about your income publicly.

The audacity!

But… let’s speak plainly. Can we?

Part Two | A letter to my Grandpa:

You know the…

This one goes out to the broken-hearted babes in the world today… and the fathers and grandfathers who can’t understand.

Photography ft. author Jessica Bird taken by Rachel Renee | Florence, OR USA

The drive was one of those moments that I could feel burning into my memory in real time. I wished I could forget, even as it happened.

This painful truth ruined something precious, forever. My greatest hero… my strength through the storms of life… the man who played the role of father, best friend, mentor, spiritual guide… my grandpa…

He voted for Trump.

And… he was proud of it. He thought he was right.

We sat in silence in the…

Photography by Rachel Renee ft. author Jessica Bird in her RV home on the west coast

Of all the catalysts in my life thus far, gentleness has been the most magnificent.

Have you ever noticed how, when you push and fight for something you really want, it can start to feel like every little thing is working against you? When we’re desperate, when we try to force things (especially while hiding it under the disguise of “hustling” or “getting something accomplished”), it makes a battle out of what could have been a walk along the countryside.

In the past few years, my life has been transformed from a chaotic, often-dark childhood to a crumbled but healing early adulthood to what is finally a dream come true living in the forest on…

Photography by Rachel Renee

Between Covid-19 and all the talk around vulnerability these days, I think it’s important to get intentional about how we handle misunderstandings and hurt feelings at home.

This might sound crazy, but when I’m hurt I tend to be more mindful.

It wasn’t always like this for me, and I’m certainly not perfect at it, but as I got to know myself better, my response to pain became more present and gentle.

Rather than exploding, my instant reaction is to zoom wayyyyy out to see the big picture and connect with the love I have for myself, for whoever hurt me, and for the life I live.

This keeps me calm, and it also…

Photograph featuring author Jessica Bird, taken by Rachel Renee Photographie

Have you ever asked yourself: Am I a self-help junkie?

(I know I’m not alone in this! Welcome to the club- we’re fun here!)

This month I caught myself really evaluating the deep focus, motives, habits, and patterns that I’ve left unquestioned for the past 8 years or so. If you haven’t been here long- we can sum it up by saying I was always learning some new mindset technique or working on forgiving and releasing something from my past (rape, miscarriage, childhood traumas, having cystic fibrosis).

I believe turning deeply inward saved me from re-creating the life I watched my parents living.

I thought that deep introspection, silence, and sense of detached peace was mature, responsible, beautiful, and strong. I thought it made me more…

Photography by Rachel Renee ft. Jessica Bird (author)

I spent this morning scrolling through my old Tumblr account, tearing up over all I’ve done since starting what has been my dream board since I was 14 years old. When I started using a Tumblr photo-blog, I spent the days mostly curled up in dirty closets avoiding the reality of my home life at the time. …

Happy Valentine’s Day sweet human!

Photograph by Rachel Renee near my home on the Oregon Coast!

Thanks for spending a piece of it with me. 2020 has already proven to be a year of transformation with soaring new heights and uncharted depths- and today I’m going to share a little piece of that with you that I’ve been keeping to myself these past few weeks.

If you’ve been a part of the Paradise community for a bit, you know 2020 kicked off with the start of a divorce- the end of a 10 year relationship that I spent the past 3 years or so clinging to, grieving for, and trying desperately to fix and escape in…

Originally published at Lilacs in Paradise.

Special thanks to photographer Rachel Renee for capturing my creative life so beautifully.

Something I’ve always felt a struggle with is nurturing a strong foundation.

Think: roots, a sense of being grounded, community ties, family. My parents were teenagers when I came along and they married, divorced, both remarried, and both divorced again all before I was 13 years old. I moved constantly with my mom, before my dad got custody and we moved again- in a world of split parents, my story isn’t really that unusual in this aspect- but there’s an impact common to so many of us who grew up this way. . .

I switched schools so many times between the 5th and 9th grade…

Today I want to talk with you about honesty and share with you a funny (or is it sad? I can never tell) story about honesty from when I was twelve years old… and then another one from just last week at a campfire with a German health coach who has yet to quit smoking and drinking.

Are you ready for this (blog-style) amusing and hopefully inspiring read?

Brief backstory in case you’re new here:

My mom is a recovering addict today. But when I was growing up, she was an active one. And there are a lot of behaviors…

Revision of a 2013 Essay

Police sirens scream, children yell, the guy on the street corner waves a bright neon pink sign about a mattress sale… You turn the radio volume up just in time to come to a screeching halt at the light that went from green to red… Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

If you answered yes, you’re experiencing a problem the Western culture has become famous for. There is so much to do and so little time in the day. People are finding themselves unable to make time for bare necessities such as maintaining sufficient sleeping and eating…

Jessica Bird

Author of Raped, Not Ruined. I am here to spread healing, strength, and gentleness through my own story of love and forgiveness.

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