Leap from the Pressure Cooker

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Today’s blog post has been written by my guest, Lessie Miller.

I rolled out of bed on a recent Friday morning facing the paralysis existing in the outside world. The peacefulness of an ordinarily buzzing urban neighborhood juxtaposed against the wanderlust of my unsettled mind. It feels like another day of stepping into a repeat where days merge into sameness like a stuck circuit. And the energy of our household bumping together like atoms wanting to be freed from confinement. 

I fantasize about running out to the yard and screaming until every emotion is drained. But I think better of it knowing that a neighborhood curtain-twitcher, or two, will post an “urgent” message on NextDoor about a crazed screaming lady.

Reality hits. We are living in an alternate universe and a new normal. 

 My morning routine of brewing an Americano coffee perks me up a bit, until I notice that my husband has left the news playing on a continuous loop and he is nowhere to be seen. I wish for my mind to grant me radiant, telepathic brain waves to turn off the NEWS from my spot in the kitchen.

I plop into my desk chair craving some internal quieting, though feeling the impossibility looming amongst a world filled with heaviness. Writing is on my personal agenda for the day, but too much is swirling in my brain. I am filled with worry about family, others who can’t afford food or medical, and how the country will look after all this settles out.

Sighing a pent up breath like a dragon breathing fire, I scroll apathetically through social media. Hoping for a reset or mostly a distraction, I pause on a friend’s live coaching session. She is a personal coach and entrepreneur. One I consider a rare breed of warmth and toughness wrapped with a beautiful bow. 

Her message is upbeat and go getting. I halfway tune in. That is until I hear the tempo drop and her voice lower. Like the sensory effect of a whisper, my ears are on alert. Her words project in slo-mo. Every syllable enunciated for effect:

“Live a life of purpose, have no regrets, move forward even when the end goal is a mystery and the fear is paralyzing. Spring into action, own your power…go”.  

Nice idioms. Maybe they will placate my mind for a short time. 

Like a good coach would do, she switches gears to keep inspiration on high alert. Only now, the words are being channeled by a catchy, rhythmic ditty– her latest favorite being used as a strategy to shift our minds to a higher place. 

 It’s the type of melody that makes you feel like a dancing marionette and the person controlling the strings is having some wild fun up above. 

As the music projects through the shyness of my laptop speakers, she mouths every lyric clearly, sight and sound senses working in tandem for greater cognition. Words such as: “ No should of’s, no could of’s, no would of’s. Don’t you know what you’re made of”? Simple words. The ones that show up on decoupage plaques that grace the desks of friends and coworkers, mine included. 

While dancing in her seat, she calls out my name and several others. I know she is gifting each of us a nudge into action. See, she knows some of my dreams and this was a moment of  “I see the God in you.” And I certainly saw “the God in her” through the ease of clichéd words.

Music has power. One melody shifting the cadence of my thoughts and my heart. That moment and those lyrics allowed a quieting of the mind chatter and created a heart space to write without pause for hours. To let my mind fly away for a time and permit “flow” to use the pen as the instrument of my soul’s truth.

For too long, I have not quieted the mind or it’s inner critic. And, the truth of that landed hard that day. 

I have lived too many years functioning like a pressure cooker–either sealing myself off from my life force or venting frustration at a lack of flow. I allowed my power and inner knowing to be contained in a narrow space where there was no room for expansion. 


Where in your life are you like a pressure cooker? Are you experiencing inner temper tantrums trying to break open the lid? Are you sealing the very light inside of you because of false constructs like fear, feelings of inadequacy or the attachment to an opinion voiced to you by a teacher, a friend or a stranger? 

We can rise out of the pressure cooker and do it even when the fear is palpable. And if the fear builds too much steam, vent the pressure. Dance and sing clichés, take brave steps forward and return back to your essence where there is complete dominion over your heart and soul.       

The planet needs us. For me to be the best version of myself, you have to be the best version of yourself. That’s our connection. And it’s a beautiful reciprocity.   

                “Don’t let the fear of what could happen make nothing happen”

                                                        -Doe Zantamata


Lessie Miller lives in San Jose, California with her husband and new puppy Cleo where she loves all things creative. She has belonged to writer’s groups, taken writing classes and loves the art of words. With her son away at college, she is stepping into a new phase of life. She enjoys travel, design, her tribe of girlfriends, giving back to the world and, of course, putting words on paper.