Stardust (A Theory)

Jess Vice
Jess Vice
Aug 22, 2018 · 3 min read

My new (internal) motto is this:

Open hands, straight back, bright heart.

Open Hands

Hold things lightly. We’re not promised our next breath. We even need to hold people lightly: “Rather than falling in love with an expectation or image, you love the person as a fellow human being making their own way in the Universe.

It’s easier to let go of something that is balancing in your open palms than something that is clenched in your fists.

I think about hummingbirds — I would never try to catch or grasp at one. I would hold my hands open, inviting, asking. They would choose if they landed, and they would choose when they left.

Straight Back

You set your boundaries, and you hold them. The people who love you will respect and honor them, even if they don’t understand. The people who don’t understand and flaunt or step over them blatantly — they’re not worth your time. Sometimes they’re very appealing. Most times hindsight is 20/20.

But if you choose to set a boundary aside or allow someone across, you take the results — with a straight back. No one coerced you. You weighed the benefits and the cost and made your choice.

Also, sideways, for me there’s something about being small and thin and straight-backed that gives people the impression I am taller and keen and well-collected. People have asked how tall I am, and without waiting for an answer, guessed 5'8" to 5'10". [I’m 5'5".] A straight-backed approach to life points you face-on into whatever is next — that kind of courage is hard to come by, and very hard to lose once you’ve found it.

But just because you have a straight back doesn’t mean you can’t have a soft front, soft heart. It’s ok to pull yourself up tall and admit, “I’m having a hard time right now.”

There’s balance in everything: day and night, wet and dry, hot and cold. It’s natural to stand tall and feel low at the same time.

Bright Heart

We are bright — we are not light. My life coach reminds me, “You are stardust, baby.” We don’t create and exude light like the stars themselves. We reflect their light; we mirror and refract it.

Creating light, being light takes incredible amounts of heat, combustion, fuel.

But reflecting light takes perspective, position, intention.

To reflect light, I choose where to stand, and what I look at, and what I give attention and worth to. I sparkle and share the light I see outside of myself. I don’t create it.

Stars immolate — they struggle and burn, grow and shrink, change and combust.

If I am stardust, I don’t struggle. I twist, turn, settle into, move along with the flow of the Universe. I am at the Universe’s whim — what I share and show and illuminate is outside of me. I simply choose whether I reflect the light of the stars or the darkness of space.


I’ve had an interesting year. And as I’m completing another circuit around the sun, I’m rereading and revisiting the things I’ve been learning. This is a series of posts pieced together from my journals, life coaching sessions, and booklist. I hope you enjoy.

Jess Vice

Written by

Jess Vice

User Experience. Homeownership. Whiskey. Rock Climbing. Books. Spiritual Exploration. Salt Lake City, Utah.

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