Jess Ainscough tribute (and moving forward)

417829_520897527945767_927491799_n Not only was Jess Ainscough one of my best friends, but I had the privilege of managing her career, helping share her work with the world and nurturing her beloved Wellness Warrior community.

Just like so many around the world, Jess came into my life through her inspiring words and blog back when I was recovering from cancer and ready to take a proactive approach to my health and life. Jess became my hero. A title she will forever hold in my heart.

I started stalking her online like a creepy fangirl and somewhere along the way we became friends after she spotted me defending her in a facebook debate online. Little did we know this was the beginning of an ongoing pattern.. Jess ruffling feathers and me swooping in to clean the mess. Roles we wouldn’t change for the world.

Shortly after, we met in person for the first time and somehow I excitedly started working for her. And even after working with international music industry superstars – I had never felt so excited or passionate about my work and helping Jess inspire the world to Be Kind. Be Brave. Be Well.

Through the years we developed a deep bond and love, rooted in mutual respect, honesty and admiration. My own hero became my biggest cheerleader. We challenged each other constantly and throughout these moments always felt a deep and unconditional love.. I can’t quite describe it. Even on a bad day we still made each other laugh and stay focused on our devoted mission in the world.

Part of my role in her career and life was protector. Not an easy role with someone who isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers. Whenever I tried to censor her, Jess would always remind me “I’m not here to be popular, I’m not here to be liked, I’m here to speak my truth” which is something I promise to continue doing myself in business and life in her spirit. A true elemental. A true wellness warrior.

Once things really started taking off, we brought her fiance Tallon into Team Wellness Warrior. We forgot to warn Tal that our business meetings were usually half work and half play. So many laughs yet the work always got done somehow.

It was never about the money or the social media numbers or the biggest book advance. Jess was always about what felt good and what felt right. That’s it. No strategy overkill. Just intuition all the way and an intention to always be of service.

We celebrated the release of Jess’ first published book Make Peace With Your Plate with a national sold out tour across Australia. The book became a bestseller and we had a blast on the road. Too many hilarious moments to count and so many tears and hugs with the Wellness Warrior community who Jess was always insistent to connect with, hug, smile for photos and hear all their stories. Jess loves them so much.

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The Wellness Warrior tribe is such a passionate and devoted community. They have been devastated by losing their fearless leader and have shared messages all over the world. All of which are being collated for her family.

Life will never be the same without Jess. I can’t even begin to accept or understand how we have lost her.  How I will get through this.

I’ve promised her a million times that I would not only protect her family but also her legacy. To do this we’ll need help and will be calling on the Wellness Warrior and Earth HQ communities. We want you to all be part of this.

When I had the idea of starting Earth Events it was Jess who pushed (quite aggressively, she never took no for an answer) saying that I had to do it! Yesterday on the two year anniversary of our first event (Self Love and Sisterhood in Brisbane, starring Jess of course) I organised the most significant ‘event’ of my life – Jess’ public memorial service.

Jess’ most recent and unreleased writing in the Soul Medicine theme will be shared in the right time and the right way. This is some of her best work that captures the revelations and wisdom of her final 6 months. A time I feel so blessed to have shared where our conversations about fears, surrender, peaceful death, angels, medical research, oncologists and healers would swing through to updates on her next book and wedding planning for September. I was going to be her bridesmaid.

Although instead this year I will be working with Jess’ beloved book publishers Hay House on the Jess Ainscough Writers Scholarship which will award aspiring wellness authors the opportunity to publish their book in the spirit of Jess. We will then help shape their careers and extend their message in the same way I will always miss working with Jess.

The development of a foundation in Jess’ honour is also something lighting us up right now, knowing that her mission will not only live on but be brighter than ever before. It’s so moving to hear from all the Wellness Warriors who discovered self love and self respect through Jess’ work.

Whether it be eating disorders, depression, diabetes, cancer or just passionate people wanting to live their best and healthiest life.. Jess inspired thousands to take a proactive and loving approach to their health and life.. helping them develop self esteem and self worth. This is the legacy of Jess Ainscough. (not some of the tripe online about her.. for the record many of the WW community including myself do embrace both unconventional + conventional medicine of some form)

Jess had a beautiful way of making peace with challenges in her life by perceiving them as lessons as an eternal student. Even on the final evening of her life we were discussing the latest lessons.

Although since being by Jess’ side in a circle of love with her family.. holding Jess and each other.. as she took her very last breath of this lifetime.. I’ve come to the realisation that Jess wasn’t here to learn. Jess was here to teach. She was a teacher to all of us.

Even in her death she continues to teach us, more than ever before. About priorities and what’s important in life. How to love and how to grieve someone that feels impossible to let go. Someone so unforgettable and irreplaceable. But together as a community we will and we will thrive. It’s what Jess would do.

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Written by Yvette Luciano, Soulpreneurs Creator + CEO

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