Jessica Shelley

storyteller, poet, bookworm

Breathing Your Story To Life

There’s something magical about embodying the imagination - taking a dream and bringing it to life. A concoction of spells through symbols to enchant your sleeping mind back into consciousness – aligning yourself with your great hunger.

A story that will not let its grip leave you. A story that demands to be honoured and spoken.

I tend to collect talismans like a magpie. Gathering the bones of inspirational seedlings to foster my spirit, vision & curiosity.

There’s something about this ritual that ignites my soul – bursting out of my chest with excitement.

How wondrous, to look down at something and be reminded of your dreams? To glance at something, you have collected, and rekindle and encourage that precious delight. This, I believe, is one of the greatest ways to honour our stories and our truths despite life’s daily fogs. To connect to it and breathe it to life!

The beautiful and courageous hearted Holly Ringland, author of The Lost Flowers of Alice Heart, described this as ‘an expression of joy’ that ‘embodies the imagination’ and gives her ‘instructions for where to find the magic in the world…feeding daydreams.’

I think about this a lot. How can I immerse myself in my stories and dreams today? How can I connect to that spark-like feeling? How & where can I find the joy?

And most importantly, how can I, as Holly says, ‘choose joy, in its myriad forms, as an act of resistance?’ Resistance to the negative self-talk inside. Resistance to past complex trauma or anxiety. Resistance to the constant exhaustion and worry. Resistance against all the external noise. Choosing ‘self-acceptance through self-expression.’

We are all made of stories. We choose our personal narratives daily. And we can gently tap back into those wonderful feelings of joy and excitement instead of self-deprecation and worry wherever we are, by coming back to love over fear.

For me, this looks like the artwork you see in this photograph. My beautiful and kind-hearted partner, Jack, took a scene from my story - a vision that had only once been in my mind and on paper but through his hands and interpretation, he turned it into a tangible reality. He gorgeously painted an important moment in my story (the crossing from one world to the next/leaving the past behind and following dreams) and manifested it to life. So now, wonderfully, I can look up at this glorious painting and not only tap back into my story, see my visions coming to fruition, but also tap back into that boundless love and remember I AM loved, no matter the outcome, and I AM supported, so gratefully, on this rollercoaster of a journey. It’s sort of become like garlic, salt or lavender to wade off those internal demons.

Whenever they pop up, I turn to this embodiment of love.

(Now that’s just pure magic!)

Other ways I try to breathe my story to life;

Adornment in jewellery

(I have beautiful gifted rings I wear daily; one shaped with a crescent moon and a star carved into its centre to remind me of my dreams & my story. And a moonstone ring as a reminder of my birth and where I come from/what I’m connected to. As well as a lovely silver necklace soldered with a book and pen - gifted by my glorious grandmother! It’s hopes made physical as she always, beautifully and lovingly says, ‘once the book is published, we’ll stick the title on the front.’ That kind of unwavering faith she has In me evokes the courage I so desperately need at times, to carry on and push through any resistance.)

Notebooks & research books

(Like the Little Mermaid, I have some breath-taking notebooks with covers in a myriad of indigo’s and electric blue’s, some with constellations and maps of the skies dark land. I keep my research and favourite books close by too, like the 16th-century collection of selected star maps by John Bevis (who humorously and tragically died watching the stars through a telescope and fell off the edge of a cliff...what a way to go) or my collection of constellation mythology, so I can tap into that headspace, trigger my love for language with lush word candy, and spark those ideas whenever necessary!)


I love to gather images and music that reminds me of the atmosphere of my world. It’s the most glorious way to find inspiration and get those idea wheels spinning in my mind. Whenever I’m a little terrified to begin writing or fear shows up in one of its shape-shifting forms, I listen to a song or look at images that remind me of my story, its heart, its world, its feeling, its atmosphere. I tap into that life source and the river starts to flow!

Through these various constant reminders, we can connect to that great hunger, the story we are trying to breathe to life and, hopefully, our truth (despite the internal noise).

Wishing you lovelies, a dreamy, aligned, inspirational Sunday!

J.M.S x

Designed with love and intention by Jessica Shelley