Jessica Reino

Jessica Reino


I don’t think there is a better time to reflect on what makes me feel most alive then on my birthday.


April 12th is a special day, not only because I have now officially entered my mid-thirties, but because there have been moments in my life that, due to my health, I wasn’t 100% sure I would make it this far.

I know I have talked about having food allergies before, but in addition to my allergies, I have a number of other chronic issues that exhibited pretty scary symptoms.  While getting these symptoms checked out, I had been told I could have a number of diseases ranging from brain cancer to endocrine issues and everything in-between.  Truth be told, I have yet to receive a definitive diagnosis.

I suffer from auto-immune problems, but nothing life-threatening yet.  At the moment my symptoms are bothersome but they have lessened.  Since this can change from day-to-day, I consciously try every day to reflect on what makes me feel most alive.

So what are these things that make me feel most alive?   For me it’s certainly not the need to go racing or cliff diving because I have been forced to think about my own mortality more often than I would have liked.  I don’t need that type of adrenaline rush to convince me of my existence. For me, I think it all comes down to authenticity and living my truth in the form of being opinionated and passionate about a lot of topics.

I feel most alive when I am connected to my higher self, recognizing authenticity in others, and valuing that moment in space and time that we share.


For instance, when I write and no matter what I am writing, be it these essays for Mindsoak or picture books that I have been working on, I always aim to inspire and I feel alive.  When I am editing a manuscript and can share in an author’s creative world or am allowed a peek into their real-world experience, I feel alive.  When I am coaching an author because I see the potential in them and by the end of our sessions, they can now see that potential in themselves, I feel alive.

When I hear the bass and the downbeat in a song moving me to dance while I secretly wish I could join a dance crew, then look at my sons who dance to the same song with completely different movements of their own, I feel alive.  When I sit at the third base line and observe the hope and determination in my oldest son’s face as he makes the decision to run for home, I’m in that moment with him and I feel alive.  When my 2-year-old son pats me on the back and gives me a hug saying, “Wuv you Momma”, I feel alive.

When I’m out in public and make a reference to a so bad that it’s good movie reference like, “Use it.  Use it.” From Blade: Trinity or “Summertime” from Grownups 2 and my husband shakes his head but still laughs because he just gets me, I feel alive.  When I sit across from my best friends although we may not be saying anything, simply being in each other’s presence says everything and I feel alive.

When the sun is setting over the cornfields by my house and forces me to take a moment and breathe in the peace, I feel alive.  When I can feel the warmth of summer’s sun and listen to the tide gently roll in and out, I feel alive.  When I can look at the stars in the night sky realizing how vast the universe is and ponder all kinds of questions like the whole meaning of life and my purpose in it and realizing how insignificantly significant I am, I feel alive.

To me, life is all about the moments that we share and what we do with our time.


We all have special gifts and since it is my birthday, as a gift to me, I encourage you to be your authentic self and to live your truth.  Share your gifts with others.  I encourage you to focus on your purpose and to reflect on what makes you feel most alive.  I encourage you to find your joy.

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More About Jessica Reino: Kidlit writer, editor for @pandamoonpub, foodallergy advocate, wife and mom to two amazing boys who keep me on my toes. Find out more at