Jessica Dibb answers the question:
What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?
What a beautiful question, Phil. I have to thank you for this question, because really in the time that I took to think about my life and what was the nicest thing that someone had ever done, I was just taking in again all the countless acts of kindness and compassion and empathy and wisdom that people gave to me, and realizing that as amazing and beautiful, and really sometimes I even say psychedelic as life is, it is very challenging. It’s fragile, and it’s ephemeral, and human beings are very sensitive creatures, and I really think if we all took the time to look back, amidst even what may have been suffering, to see the different ways that people were kind to us, we would realize that it’s those acts of kindness and niceness that really hold the fabric of humanity together.
So, I was thinking about it, and I thought everybody that I could think of that was a candidate for the nicest thing that anyone ever did, it had either been an act where they were responding to my suffering with a kind of healing responsiveness and caring, or they were noticing my capacity, and powerfully trying to nurture it. Those were the two themes of how niceness and kindness were developing.
I thought, "Well, should it be Russ Hudson?" Because he has done countless acts. I mean, too numerous to mention everything that we’ve been to. He actually saved my life once. I was about to walk into a car that was speeding by, and he yelled, and I jumped back. He made sure that I got to sit in the front row of Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, and one time when I was having a mystical experience, he changed his plans and came to be with me, because he knew that I couldn’t travel at that time.
And so, that brings me to my group of mystical friends throughout my life. I just want to thank all the people that did countless nice acts, where we would talk on walks, and meditation in the middle of the night about the possibilities of humanity, of people, of life, about quantum shifts, about miracles that happen. And all of those mystical friends, I want to say to you, thank you, thank you for being willing to live out loud the language of love. So that played out for me so many times, miracles, and I wanted to share this one.
So there’s a woman, and I will just say her first name, which is Martha, and when my sister, my beautiful sister Jamie had breast cancer and she was supposed to only live for about six months, we did manage to get her three years. She was quite young when she passed away, 35. She was in an AA meeting one day, and she was really feeling bereft, because we lived on a very limited budget; she lived with me, we were doing all kinds of healing things, that’s how we extended her life. But we were just running out of money, and she just was crying in the meeting as she was sharing, with no expectation, of course, but just being a sober person sharing that she wished she just had money to do the acupuncture, and get the vitamins, and all the stuff, and she knew it was a burden on me.
And this beautiful woman came up to Jamie and said, "How much do you need?" And Jamie started crying and after a long conversation said $6,000. So Martha wrote her a check for $6,000, and then over the course of the next year and a half, she wrote two more checks for $6,000 each; $18,000. And after my sister did pass away, Martha wrote me a check for $4,000 so that I could take a month off and try to get my life kind of in order after the three years of almost not sleeping. And I used to pray to God, Phil, what can I do to give back to Martha the kindness, the generosity? I just so wanted to do something.
And Martha had shared with me that her daughter had been the victim of a sexual assault in a foreign country, in Amsterdam, and not told anyone for a long time, had been quite young when it happened, and had really severe mental depression and decompensation and all kinds of other health problems until she finally was able to tell everybody what had happened. And Martha had told me where it had happened and what had happened, and about a year later, I happened to be in that city, and it was because the best friend of my sister lived there and we had gone to visit him. And I was at the Anne Frank House, and I looked up and I saw the church that was right next to the hotel where this had happened, and I walked over to it, and I sat on the steps and I just started praying... could this young woman, this daughter of Martha, be relieved of this trauma? And I prayed in Jamie’s name, in my sister’s name, that it would be done out of gratitude, but I had no expectation.
And then I went home back to the States, and I happened to get together with Martha, and she told me that her daughter had had a miraculous healing while I was gone. And so I told her this story, and then she called her daughter, and then I got to meet her daughter, and I felt so grateful that I was able, because of the incredible niceness and kindness of this woman, that I was able to give something back, and I just saw it was one of these times when I saw that literally, miracles are possible. And I think that it is the kindness and the niceness and the caring and the attunement and the responding to suffering and the caring about each other’s capacity that is what creates the world in which those miracles are possible. So I want to thank you for asking this beautiful question, Phil, because it’s one of the nicest things anybody’s ever done for me.
Jessica Dibb is founder, spiritual director, and principal teacher of the Inspiration Consciousness School and Community, dedicated to promoting personal, relational, and planetary wellness. For over 25 years Jessica has designed and facilitated workshops, classes, and ongoing breath-centered trainings that are grounded in an integrated model of psychospiritual healing and development to support self-actualization. Her teachings assist people in cultivating consciousness through all stages of life, from conception onward. Using integrative breathwork, psychodynamic principles, movement, meditation, expressive modalities, the Enneagram, and many other established and emergent wisdom teachings, Jessica facilitates embodied awareness of each moment.
Her intuitive teaching style — individualized and attuned to her students — along with an integrative approach, helps to facilitate long-lasting transformations. She teaches nationally and internationally, including teaching integrative breathwork at the Psychotherapy Networker Conference for over a decade, and being a principal presenter at the International Enneagram Conference for 20 years. Jessica is also co-director of the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance (GPBA) and current chair of the GPBA’s Ethics Committee.
She is founder and host of the annual Enneagram Global Summit, and co-host of the Breathwork Summit in 2012 and 2020. Jessica was the weaver and visionary behind the innovative conference, Breath Immersion: From Science to Samadhi, at Omega Institute and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Jessica, who initiated the understanding of the Unified Breath Field, is currently writing a book on integrating breathwork into psychotherapy.
Jessica is also a founding member of the board of Convergence, a nonprofit organization working to promote dialogue and innovative solutions for challenging social issues of our time. She was an advisor to the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, and served on the board of the United States Consensus Council for Search for Common Ground.
Her deepest passion is to support evolving creativity and positive possibilities on our planet by supporting awakened consciousness, and the embodiment of love, wisdom, and presence in every moment... for all life.