I know I normally post about fashion, arts and culture but the blog is called The Avant Garde which refers to people or ideas that are innovative and push the boundaries, and Jessica certainly encompasses all of these things. I came across her meditation videos on Youtube last year and was immediately attracted to the positivity oozing out of her colourful pores, as well as her innate ability to make you feel calm in a matter of minutes and that killer smile. (I also love the fact you never know what colour her hair is going to be)! Her videos, which last between five and ten minutes are my go-to when I need an instant lift, and are great to watch first thing in the morning to get your day off to a good start or before you go to sleep. She also has many other talents, which she took the time to tell me about in her interview…ENJOY!
How old were you when you got into spirituality?
I entered Catholic school in third grade, and having to go to church made me begin asking questions. I started browsing the occult section at the library and came across a book on E.S.P. The book opened my mind to nonphysical energy and made me realize life can be magickal. It explained what I always sensed about myself, that I had an intimate connection to a power greater than myself.
In Catholic high school I explored witchcraft and Satanism mostly to be a rebel, but it was then that I learned about ritual magick and meditation. One day when I was 16 or 17, I thought I had a serious health issue, and I didn’t know where to turn. So I started meditating every night and it turned out I was perfectly healthy. I attributed my health to meditating and began understanding the power of my mind. As I grew older, I turned to meditation more and more whenever I had a problem, and it never failed to work.
You founded the School of Life Design – what are your aims?
I went to graduate school for my Design MFA so that I could be a graphic design professor at a university. However, after I graduated I realized teaching graphic design just wasn’t what I was interested in. So my wife (also a graphic designer) and I challenged ourselves to come up with our own curriculum—if we were to start our own school, what would we teach? We had just been introduced to The Secret and Law of Attraction, so we began with those concepts. After I learned that my thoughts create my reality, I was so excited to begin designing my life, but didn’t have the tools to do so. How exactly do you create reality with your thoughts, on purpose? That question helped us create our materials. Lesson by lesson, exercise by exercise, the School of Life Design blossomed into what it is now: an organization devoted to creating resources that help people practice conscious creation and incorporate positive thinking into their daily lives. Our aim is to help people feel better, more in control of their lives, and gradually, bring peace of mind to the whole world.
|Jessica with her stand full of positivity goodies
What made you decide to do the mediation videos?
I’ve always loved holding seances and guiding people through tough times. I’d become very comfortable on video from my work with The Popular Podcast (a video show my wife and I put out – https://www.facebook.com/thepopularpodcast/
). In the back of my mind I’d considered making a meditation video, but it wasn’t until my boss at the time told me I had a sexy voice that I decided to try recording one. It was so helpful to ME to listen to my own advice that I just kept going (Check out and subscribe to Jessica’s Youtube channel here
|Third eye: Jessica in one of her colourful and inspiring meditation videos
How do you choose the topics for your videos?
The topics are always based on my own personal life, unless I get a specific request. I make the videos to deal with my own problems and contrast—they’re a chance to channel advice from my higher self.
You’re a graphic designer – have you always been creative?
Absolutely! My mom is very artistic and always encouraged me with crafts and art classes. Creativity has always been my best quality.
Who inspires you in the personal development field and why?
I love Louise Hay for her concepts about healing one’s body with one’s thoughts. Eckhart Tolle taught me how to be in the present moment. Abraham-Hicks taught me so much of what I know about conscious creation. And Nicki Minaj teaches me how to be a bad bitch! Right now I’m most inspired by sober people and those recovering from addiction, because it’s helping me learn how to let go of attachment and deal with anxiety.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
From my mom: “Lighten up!” From my dad: “Relax.” From my friend: “Quit taking those pills!”
What are the three most important “lessons” you would like people to remember from your videos?
1. You are the creator. You become it, then see it.
2. Life is not serious. We’re just here for fun!
3. There is no pain in the Now. Only your thoughts can make you feel bad.
I love your colourful style! Where do you like to shop?
Thanks! I love Halloween stores for spiderweb capes and skeleton-themed things, Hot Topic for gothy-looking skirts, body jewelry and hair dye, thrift stores for staples like coats and dresses, and Nordstrom Rack for designer items. I spend most of my days in workout gear, so I shop wherever I can find Nike, Reebok and Lululemon on sale. Finally, Amazon is the SPOT for fishnet tights!
|Jessica likes to live in gym wear like me!
What are your plans for 2016 and beyond?
This year we are pushing our School of Life Design books nationwide. We have our books in stores in Austin, Bastrop, Chicago and New York, and we want to have them in every book store that will have us! We’re developing a School of Life Design app as well as a meditation app, and we’re always adding more resources to our website. We are holding several new workshops in Austin this year, and are looking forward to expanding our presence in other cities. My personal goal this year is to love myself fully and unconditionally, and beyond 2016 my plans are only to have fun and not care!
To begin consciously creating your own life, check out our Monthly Manifestation Manual (http://www.schooloflifedesign.com/monthly-manifestation-manual/). It’s available as a hardcover, paperback and PDF download. It provides a framework for designing the life of your dreams, and for appreciating how good your life already is.
|The Monthly Manifestation Manual – it’s awesome!
Thank you for your time Jessica, I’m hoping we can talk soon on my new coaching website!