Jeannie Bruenning Author

Our Deepest Desires

Our Deepest Desires blog by jeannie bruenningLast week I listened to a meditation. Now that sentence doesn’t even make much sense. How can you listen to a meditation? Well, for people like me who find it hard to think about nothing, we must be instructed how to meditate. Apparently organizing the day, planning the menu, and practicing conversations are not what mediation is all about.

Facebook flashed an intriguing ad about meditating and I clicked. Then I listened and for the first time in my life, 15 minutes passed without me wondering what time it was. Or thinking that surely this is longer than 15 minutes. Or if the carpet needed to be vacuumed. Or what we should have for dinner….

At the beginning of the meditation the instructor, who had a deep and gentle voice, told me to repeat the words “I am” whenever I found myself wondering. He actually said it in another language but I couldn’t understand him. I figured I could repeat sounds I didn’t know or I could just say them in English. I stuck with I am.

I heard the newspaper delivery guy and I said, I am. I thought about my day and I said, I am. I thought about Miss Piggy wanting to kiss Kermit a lot and I said, I am. I even asked myself, What am I? and then I answered, I am. I was quiet, I was peaceful, I was.

Then I heard a soft chime and I opened my eyes just a few seconds before the gentle soft voice said, “Open your eyes.”

Wait till he says, “Open your eyes” next time, I noted to myself.

“I am”, he repeated and it sounded calming, soothing. I felt that this was good!

And then he ended the meditation by saying, “I am my deepest desire.”

Pause….long pause….what the hell does that mean? My deepest desire! What’s my deepest desire?  I loved the sound of it but what did it mean – I am my deepest desire?

Any stress that had left me in the past 15 minutes came rushing back. I felt pressure. I felt the calling.

Now I have to find my deepest desire!!

I repeated the question over and over and my mind immediately went to…

all the things I want to do,

all the stuff I want to have,

all the words I want to speak.

Reading over that list left me sad and a bit depressed – because a lot of those things have been on my list for a very long time.

Maybe this is about being and not about doing. That thought rang true, but I really didn’t want that to be the answer. I wanted all the things!

I ask a few of my friends and they too went to the doings: they had their projects and adventures.

“What if this is about who we are rather than what we do?” I asked. “I wondered if this might be about being and not about doing.” They nodded in agreement, yet none of us could quantify it.

When we define ourselves with what we do, or have, or achieved, it’s a defined list. These definitions come to an end when the need for us to do is no longer needed. If they are our defining moments, we will someday become undefined.

When we can define ourselves based on character and desire, our definition continues to redefine itself to the end of our lives.

This sounded really good, but I still wasn’t sure if it was right.

I repeated those words for three days. “I am.”

 What? I don’t know, but I am.

This morning I woke-up defined. The words were so solid in my mind that I don’t think they’ll ever leave me. “I know who I am.” I said to myself. “I am my deepest desire.”

What’s that desire? To trust God with reckless abandon and live each day as a new adventure.  This is a definition I can live with. This is a life I want to live. It’s amazing what happens when we quiet our minds.

Meditation isn’t new. It’s as old as the Psalms. It’s a gift that we’ve been given and one many of us have forgotten. It’s a time of peace, a time of stillness, it’s a time of knowing. Sometimes it’s a time of self-discovery.

On rare occasions it can be a defining moment.






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Servants, I Have Many!

Servants...I have many!!She gives food to her household and an allotted share to her maidens. Proverbs 31:15

I managed a women clothing store for two years. It was an interesting experience to say the least. There was a lot of butt checking, arm wiggling, and tummy tucking. There was a great deal of comments like, “I’d never wear that” and  “But you should…”

During my time there, my little store did fashion shows. We would take eight volunteers and dress them up in three different outfits each and then allow them to parade through a crowd of other women who were all wishing they knew how to put together outfits like these. We all had a good time. At the beginning of the fashion show all the newly named models were prim and proper. Buy round two, a few began to sashay. And on the final round, there was undoubtably be one or two who felt the need to show off their chorus line moves. It was all great fun.

One of the last events that I did was for a large… as not to offend anyone, lets say… Organization. It’s one of those Organization where large numbers of people go on a Sunday morning and fewer attend Organizational Meetings throughout the week. These newly named models who attend this Organization unanimously won the ‘nastiest group we’ve ever encountered’ award. It was a new award as we had never needed it before.

As a writer, I could go in many different directions with this topic. But the one that blasted like a fog horn in my ears is taken from a Proverb called the Virtuous Woman. It’s the famous one; where the woman gets up before dawn, is wise in her business dealings, tends to her children’s needs for which they in-turn rise up and call her blessed; all while her well known husband sits at the city gates. Ya, that one.

There is a one liner in this well known Proverb that tells us this rare woman cares for her servants. Most of us would say we don’t have servants but would admit we would like a few.

I consider this question of who are our servants and realized they are all around us.

I believe its the person who checks me out at the grocery store, or the teacher who spends eight hours a day with my grandchildren. It’s the kid who takes my dry cleaning and young women who writes down my order and dutifully serves me my food. It’s the guy who has been assigned to answer my customer service call, and the barista who hands me my latte. These are my modern day servants. According to this Proverb, I need to care for my servant’s needs and watch out for their wellbeing.

How do I do that from the other side of the counter? That’s simple. It’s with kindness, gentleness and self-control. Be gracious. Be complimentative. Be present for them in the few short moments you are together. Making their life, day, or just moment better because they encountered someone who truly cares. Care more about them rather what they can do for you. Do it even when you’ve encountered some of the nastiest people ever.

I remind myself every day that I am to care for my servants, no matter where they work. After all, my children need a reason to call me blessed and my husband needs something to talk about while he sits all day at the gate.

Servants, I Have Many is taken from a study on Proverbs 31 titled, Moxy 31. These lessons have been recorded and can be found on youtube.

Audio Lesson:

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Perceptions & Our Reality

You know what it’s like when someone tells you not to think about something and all you can do is think about the thing you’re not supposed to be thinking about?

Taking my blood pressure is like that for me. For the second time in my life it’s been recommended that I take and record my BP several times during the day. So not only do I have to not think about it once a day, I have to not think about it three times a day. Not surprisingly this can have an effect on the BP reading.

For the past three weeks I’ve been pretending that this  doesn’t make me nervous. I’ve been self-talking in hopes to stay calm, to overcome my natural reaction to that little machine that squeezes my are so tightly it stops the flow of blood to my hand…

A few days ago I started asking myself why all this makes me nervous and I couldn’t come up with an answer. How silly is it to be afraid of something that you really aren’t afraid of.

This forced me to do a little research – I went to the Google and there was an article from Harvard Medical. “They should know what they are talking about,” I assured myself.

Come to find out there is a new range of numbers that qualify as normal. Go figure! Normal isn’t normal anymore! Also, the dear folks at Harvard recommend changing the way high BP is dealt with. It would have been helpful if I would have done this research a few weeks ago.

It is said that perception is reality and I can’t help but put this experience into that scenario. My perception of normal had effected my reality. Within a few short paragraphs my perception changed and so did my reality. Now that little machine that squeezes my arm no longer is there to show me what’s wrong, rather, to prove how normal and healthy I am.

What’s the lesson? It’s important to have an educated perception. One that is based on fact, knowledge and even experience. One that can be defined, explained and is reassuring. Otherwise our perception is simply an assumption…and we all know what happens when we assume.


If you haven’t checked it out, please take a look at Living Unstuck. It’s filled with stories, lessons and practices that have change my life and I would love to share them with you!

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Welcome to my new home on the inter-web! It’s like moving from an apartment to a real house.

The Jeep is gone – not in real life, heavens no! Just the images. The jeep will be around for a long time. It does need new tires however. They’re starting to look like old Converse gym shoes, the ones that look great on top but have no traction. Every time I climb into my Jeeper I picture myself at 70, 80 even 90 swing my right leg in and pulling myself up. By that time it will be less about the jeep and more about, “Look what I can still do!!”

I’m using my full name now. No more jeanniegb. I wonder if that’s a sign that I’m more comfortable with who I am and not afraid to put  my name on it. But it could be that the names are almost equal in size and make a classy logo for the header. There are too many n’s in my name. My signature is a J followed by a bunch of humps, a B followed by a bunch of humps and is finished off with the tail of the g.

The brilliant designers at A+B|Photo+Design made this for me. It’s almost done. Feel free to take a tour. The road map is to your right. The only room that isn’t finished is “Available Books.”

Which has made me think about those books I’ve written in the past 9 years. Me, writing books!! All my english teachers would shake their heads in disbelief. Mom taught us to speak properly, which is a good thing cause I never understood any of the “rules of the english language”. I can tell you what a noun and a verb are, but that’s about all. And anyway, all we need to know is what it was and what it did, right?

Back to books…”What’s your favorite?” I get asked. That’s like asking “Who is your favorite kid?” The answer to both those questions changes regularly…

Mr Hobbins was the first and I love him (the book and character) dearly.

Your Wagon is a Saggin’ is all about emotions.

Lessons Learned in Retail Management is a tribute to my life in that world.

Memoir of Beatrice Miller makes me laugh just thinking about her and her crazy aunt, but mostly about the ways they get rid of people.

The Plan is my true love. Telling my favorite stories from the Bible as they layout in my mind. The Captive, A Story of Fear and Forgiveness (2018) is the sequel, and I may love it the best.

Living Unstuck, finding your joy is hot off the presses. It’s a game changer. It’s a life changers. I can say this because I’ve tested it’s contents and it has changed my life in ways I never dreamed possible.

So thanks for visiting my new home and allowing me to share some of my favorite things with you. Come back often. I hope you find warmth and comfort here. Next time bring a friend and maybe we can share a glass of wine while we watch the sun setting over the ocean. Cheers!

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Hey Mom, I’m Just Like You!

My mom and I share a common trait. It is refer to as white coat syndrome. This is when you go to the doctor and the people in white coats, which really doesn’t exist anymore, takes your blood pressure and everyone get concerned because you are a few seconds away from a stroke or perhaps even your death.

Last week I had a follow-up appointment to make sure my pneumonia was all gone. I had put this off since there isn’t any sign it’s still around. However, I did have soreness by my rib cage and I wanted someone else to tell me that I had bruised a rib during one of the thousand coughing spells I lived through and that it wasn’t something more serious. The soreness had grown to a pain over the past few days and was poking me in the side, which prompted me to make the appointment.

After arriving 10 minutes early, filling out minimal paperwork, I sat down to wait for my name. Breathe, I kept repeating to myself. Relax. The door opened and I was invited to enter. Once through the open door I was directed to the scale which clearly said being sick the months of November and December had taken it’s toll.

“You can sit here,” she instructed.

“It’s going to be high,” I instructed. “It always is when you take it.”

She put the cuff on and the air began to fill. The machine stopped as if taking another breath and kept going. The pressure was enormous and I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head.

“Is it going to stop?” she said quietly. I laughed, closing my eyelids to hold them in.

It finally did and I waited as the pressure slowly released. “Wow.” she said.

“How high it is?” I asked.

“200 / 100,” she replied.

“Wow! It’s never been that high.” I think 200 / 100 is close to death… glad I lived!

Five minutes later she took it again and it had dropped, not to the You’re one healthy chick! level, but it did drop.

“I’ll take it again after you see the doctor,” she said. I was a little concerned they wouldn’t let me leave until it was safe.

The doctor entered, pulled over a small cart and spread my file out. He check my heart, my lungs and all was well. Then he felt my ribs. “You’ve injured them,” he confirmed. “It will take a while to heal.” I nodded and smiled.

“Your blood pressure is high,” he said.

“It’s really high!” I said “But it does that in the office.” I explained that I have had times where I had been borderline but with diet and exercise I had brought it down to safe levels. “I’d like to try again before you put me on medication.”

“Make an appointment in 6 weeks,” he instructed in his doctorly tone. “Take your blood pressure 3 times a day and record it.”

“I will I promised.” Three times, I thought, I’ve never had to take it three times.

Just before I left, they checked one more time, it had dropped again.

I left defeated. “I’ve been here before, why am I here again. When am I going to figure out the importance of diet and exercise. I fell asleep dreading the next day and starting yet another time, a diet.

In the morning the light had made a difference, as it usually does. This is the first time in my life that I don’t have to change my lifestyle cause it’s too stressful! I thought. I’ve eliminated all of that and I think I’ve learn to keep it at bay. This is now a new lifestyle that I will have until I die. (I’m planning on 40 more fun filled years!)

Fast forward one week. Right eating, daily exercise and all readings are well within the safe zone and going down.

I’ve had a few reminders and discoveries since that doctors appointment.

Two weeks prior Jeff and I were reading about one of our favorite actresses who had lost 100+ pounds. She simply said, “There is no magic pill. You have to eat right and walk more.”

I was reminded that one week prior I had asked God to help me with diet since I couldn’t seem to find the key. He always answers pray and sometimes (most of the time) it’s in very creative and humorous ways.

The soreness in my ribs that forced me to the doctor in the first place almost vanished the next day. If we listen, our bodies find ways to get our attention when something is wrong. For me it was as if it was poking me in the side, telling me to make an appointment. Not that my rib was an issue but it brought me to a place that shined a light on a real problem.

What so amazes me is that well before I knew there was an issue, the solution was making it’s self know. I love how life works when we listen.

Eating right and daily exercising is no long something I have to remember to do, it’s what I do. It’s not because my life is stressful. It’s not because I’m not disciplined. It’s simply because my Mom, who turns 90 this year, and I share a few common traits…

Excited about a new venture – check out LIVING UNSTUCK. 

Living Unstuck

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Writer, Author and Coach. Jeannie started a publishing comapny in 2009 called A Silver Thread. Resides in a small beach town on the Central Coast of California and has a passion for people and stories. Click here to learn more.

New Release

LIVING UNSTUCK is a collection of lessons to navigate through the journey of finding joy and living a life unstuck. Released Feburary 1st. Learn more...