No, I’m not talking about peanut butter and jelly. Although that sounds pretty good right about now. P&J is a term that Deb and I use to describe that buzzy, excited feeling you get when you’re having an epiphany, or you’re on the right track. “But what does P&J stand for?” you ask. Good question. Circa 1999 I dated a guy at work (mistake #1 in a line of many with this guy). He was really big into sports, both watching and playing. In the spring and summer, he played on a softball league. He was a good player and hit home runs in almost every game. Before every game he would tell me that he was “really pumped and jacked.” As much as I liked this guy, even back then I thought it was a stupid saying. Why couldn’t he just say “I’m excited to play” or something to that effect. Looking back, I don’t know why it bothered me. I mean really, who cares? But at the time it made me crazy and would immediately trigger eye rolls.
On the phone with Deb, we would use “pumped and jacked” in a joking way, mimicking his voice. “I’m really pumped and jacked about going to the grocery store, man.” “I’m so pumped and jacked that I finished dusting.” We could go on and on. At some point “pumped and jacked” became “P&J.” Before we knew it, P&J became a part of our lexicon and we’d use it without thinking in the course of casual conversation. Joke’s on us I guess. Somehow, I got other people saying it too—my daughter, some of my friends. I always felt a weird sense of satisfaction when other people used P&J in a sentence. It still makes me laugh. In any event, Mr. Softball and I didn’t last, but P&J has lived on.
We’ve all experienced that buzzy and excited feeling at some point in our lives. For me it’s one of the best feelings life has to offer. It’s so motivating. But more than that, it is tied to our intuition, the wisdom in our gut, the knowingness in our heart. The goosebumps or jolt of energy that run up your arms is your Spirit (or Guides or Angels or God—whatever term you want to use) saying “Yes! You’re on to something. Pay attention!” When you’re in this mode, ideas start flowing and it feels like every word coming out of your mouth is genius. I liken it to the feeling you have when you’re buzzed on alcohol. You think you can take on the world. But the natural “high,” this Divine message, is SO much better because it’s not artificial. There is no nasty hang-over the next day. It’s completely authentic and there for your Highest good. What could be better than that?!
For years I didn’t act on these Divine messages. I would talk a good game about all the things I was going to do “someday.” But then another year would pass and nothing changed. I would find myself getting jealous while reading stories about how some woman in California, a working stiff like me, heard a stern voice as she was falling asleep, telling her she had to start writing that book she had been thinking about. Or some guy had a bike accident and saw visions of Guides and Angels telling him it wasn’t his time and he was meant to be a healer. I read countless stories like this and although I found them fascinating, the green-eyed monster would rise up in me. Where was my sign? Why weren’t Angels at the foot of my bed giving me sage advice? It all seemed so hard and unfair. Although I did have messages come through card readings, table tipping and other methods, I wanted something without human intervention. The truth is that I wanted someone, anyone to tell me what to do next. How was I going to escape this life, this life that I knew was not for me, without some type of roadmap? What did a girl have to do? Beg? So, I did.
I’m embarrassed to say how many times I would lie in bed, having an angry tantrum, begging for God or someone “up there” to help me. “I’m a good person! I don’t know what to do?! Please help me know what to do!” I would wail. But all I would get back is silence. Eventually, after I had cried myself out, I would peel myself off the bed and look around. The air felt flat and the room remained quiet. I usually felt calmer after one of these episodes, and maybe even a little better. But I didn’t feel wiser. I didn’t feel that I received any answers. Perhaps if I had been able to sit in the stillness I would have been more open to guidance. But I didn’t have the patience. I wanted an unmistakable message—my own burning bush.
To this day I have not heard a voice from Heaven or seen a vision of an Angel. In recent years, I realized that I had been receiving messages all along, just not the ones I kept wishing for. My messages are subtler. Now when I meet someone new and get that familiar rush of energy up my arm, or I hear a song and realize the song title reflects exactly what I have been feeling at that moment, I take notice. I now recognize and honor the Divine Breadcrumbs that come my way. Don’t get me wrong--I would still love to have a grand encounter with my Guardian Angel, Mother Mary, or any number of Divine beings. But now I’m not waiting for that to happen in order to move forward. I trust my gut, my heart, my P&J meter. I know now that when I get those goosebumps and that rush of excitement, that IS the Divine message.
I’d like to think that my Angels and Guides floated around me high-fiving when they realized I was finally “getting it.” I imagine them being proud and also somewhat relieved: “Let’s hope that there are no more crying fits. I simply can’t watch that movie one more time” my Guardian Angel would say. They would all nod in agreement. Another Angel would say “Let’s celebrate! How about some music?” Suddenly a celestial version of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” would start playing. They would dance around me and unbeknownst to me, start singing along. But suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, I’d start to feel that warm, familiar energy. Someone or something was sending me love. This time I would pay attention.