Sharing the Joy

Last year I shared a link to a web page with a very good childhood friend of mine. That web page was full of Before and After photos of students of The Way of The Livingness. These photos show how we were before we met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and how we are now. They included a joyful ‘After’ photo of my husband and myself and a ‘Before’ photo of us eating ice cream sundaes and looking about 20 kilos heavier, a lot darker and with puffy glazed eyes… and it does not just stop there. In the Before photo I was 46 and in the After photo I was 57.

I am now 59 and looking and feeling younger, fitter and even more gorgeous and joyful and I can feel there is no end!

Nicola Lessing (Age 57) + Christoph Schnelle (Age 53)
AFTER: Nicola Lessing (Age 57) + Christoph Schnelle (Age 53)

Nicola Lessing (Age 46) + Christoph Schnelle (Age 43)
BEFORE: Nicola Lessing (Age 46) + Christoph Schnelle (Age 43)

There are tons of ‘Before and After’ photos of students of The Way of The Livingness that are quite jaw-droppingly remarkable. The first thing I always notice is the change in the eyes. There is such a joy, light, openness and presence in the After photos compared to the Before ones. In my own Before photo I remember we were on holiday when I was eating that ice cream and I would have thought I was having a great time, but looking at it now, a large part of me was not there at all and I looked really bloated.

There are other very obvious physical differences in many of the photos including some huge examples of weight loss, some scary, hairy men turning into beautiful tender men, some scary, hard women turning into beautiful delicate women and generally people looking much younger, healthy and radiant in the After photos when in fact they are years older.

These are what you might call miraculous transformations of hundreds of people going against the trend we generally see in society. People who have found a true and simple way to live where they not only transform their health and vitality, thereby saving the bankrupt health systems of their countries a fortune, but are also living productive and exemplary lives, engaged in their communities and dedicated to giving back.

A few weeks after I had shared the link to the photo with my friend, I was speaking to her on the phone and she seemed much more distant than normal and a bit angry with me. I asked her if she had enjoyed the photos?

She said “no, not really – I felt you were all gloating.”

It has been quite a revelation for me over the last few years to discover just how furiously people can at times react to my joy.

I realised in hindsight that as a child I was naturally joyful and was always being told off; people found me very annoying. As time went by when everyone kept reacting to me and people didn’t seem to like me, I came to believe there was something wrong with me. It did not occur to me that there was something wrong with everyone else.

So I stopped expressing, stopped being joyful, stopped trusting myself and comfortably joined in with others in being miserable but very functional and pretending I was not as miserable as I was. I became a lot more popular.

All that changed in 2004 when I met Serge Benhayon, a man who does not hold back in living and expressing the pure Love, Joy and Truth that he is (and that we all are at essence).

That meeting re-ignited in me a true connection to myself and through that, to life and all others. It started the return from my After back to my Before… ha ha, as I write this I just realised that really we have the Before and After photos the wrong way around. The graceful transformation that is reflected in these photos is showing a journey of us RETURNING, so really the After photos are us getting closer to who we truly are and were Before we took on all that is not the truth of who we are!

Nicola Lessing (Age 45)
BEFORE: Nicola Lessing (Age 45)

Nicola Lessing (Age 58)
AFTER: Nicola Lessing (Age 58)

However, what prompted me to write this was not about the process of return, which is indeed a whole glorious book of its own, but about the reaction of others to those who choose to return and make truly loving choices.

It seems that when we start to reconnect to and express who we truly are at essence, it can have quite a dramatic effect on others. Some are inspired and it can ignite a process of healing and transformation in them, as happened with me when I met Serge Benhayon. Others can be enraged.

The expression of love is first and foremost energetic, so whilst the photos show a transformation, it is even felt in a dark room with the lights turned out. We are all very sensitive to the vibration of others whether we are aware of it or not.

It can be very confronting to be faced with love (which is an energy) because it exposes all that is not of love (i.e. not of that same energetic quality). This can bring up in us many hurts that we may or may not be ready or willing to deal with. It can also hurt our pride and show us that we are not as truly loving, clever or nice as we like to think we are.

It can also bring up a jealous reaction. Jealousy is very harmful to everyone: the one expressing it, the one receiving it and in fact all of us as it is a direct attack on our very essence – and to add to that, these attacks come from our friends and family, for that is who we all are to each other. Jealousy is well explained at Unimedpedia and in the quote below:

“JEALOUSY is nothing more than self-fury. It is a personal attack on yourself for not doing what you knew had to be done, which is then vented outward to those who are doing what there is to be done.” Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 123

Often people are not even aware that they are reacting or allowing jealousy to come through them. For those who are not aware of their sensitivity to energy, the reaction may not even be discernible, whilst for those who are more aware it can feel like a full-frontal assault.

There are others who become so enraged and incensed by the reflection of love that they will go to extreme lengths to distort or destroy the reflection. They might close their eyes and scream at the mirror, spit, rant or throw excrement at it, deny or pretend it is not there or as we have seen throughout history, try to destroy the mirror by burning it, locking it up, putting it under house arrest, stoning it, raping it, crucifying it or in recent times embarking on campaigns of cyber-abuse, cult calling and vilification.

However, you cannot kill love or joy – it is eternal, always there and who we are!

By Nicola Lessing, Aged 59, Goonellabah

Nicola Lessing Nicola Lessing shares that she only has one job ~ it is a 24/7 job, a lot of fun and one that she plans to never retire from. Her job is to be, live and express the love that she is in everything she does!

As the General Manager and Director of both Travelbay ( and In Your Interest Financial Planning (, leader of two voluntary international teams working on Unimed Living, a Justice of the Peace, an active member of the local community and married to the gorgeous Christoph Schnelle she has plenty of opportunity to put this into practice.

Related Reading:
Everyday People in Livingness
Before and After My Self Love Program – Forever Unfolding the Real Me
International Day of Happiness – March 20th 2015 (The Difference between Happiness and Joy)
The Evil Effect of Jealousy

918 thoughts on “Sharing the Joy

  1. We can attack or ignore that mirror and reflection of love, but once connected to it I’ve started to see and feel that anything less is just that, less than love. Whereas before I would be sitting in the dark and not knowing any different because there was no comparison until Serge Benhayon came along.

    1. And this all can happen in a split second. To constantly meet the love another brings, honouring ones self in our entirety is our first meeting of love, a step we cannot miss.

  2. Knowing you for years now Nicola I have watched you go from strength to strength – the kind of true strength that is truly inspiring as it it the strength of a living love that holds firm in the delicateness of knowing one’s own essence and being able to hold all others in that very same love and delicateness.

      1. And I would love to add that your joy, Nicola, is infectious (in the best possible way)! To hear you describe exactly how you are feeling in your appreciation of others, with every little detail expressed so fully is a joy to witness.

  3. Getting attacked with jealousy is not an excuse to indulge in victimhood and avoid committing to life. Getting attacked is actually a confirmation of the fact that we have and are making great changes in our lives and others can feel these changes. It is something to appreciate and celebrate.

    1. Yes we can certainty appreciate and confirm ourselves but not celebrate seeing another equally awesome person being in denial of their own qualities and therefore allowing the force of jealousy to come through them for it cause them great harm as it does to many others.

  4. Thank you for continuing to share your joy whatever the reactions of others. It is sad that so many children start to feel that they are not acceptable and something is wrong with them when they express their innate joy and therefore choose for many years to tone it down/completely bury it in order to conform to the accepted ‘norm’. The furious reaction of others can be hard to cope with but when viewed as ‘self-fury’ it allows us to let go and not take any reactions personally and as you so beautifully put it focus on our 24/7 job… to be, live and express the love’ that we are.

  5. I just love seeing the life retuning to people in the before and after photos. It seems extraordinary that someone could be physically older, but feeling and looking younger. But these photos are prime examples of this. There is no magic pill or potion just living more and more of who we are. It’s so obvious that this way of living is superbly good for our health and wellbeing.

  6. We should be able to publicly celebrate how we feel when we feel great. Yet so many of us don’t feel or look that great anymore, so the people not struggling tend to hide it. I find that I am getting more comfortable with people’s reactions as I know if I am reflecting something that a person is missing in themselves there can be a reaction. Understanding this and knowing this is an energy coming through them certainly helps to observe and not feel cut down.

    1. Yes indeed let’s always express our love and joy regardless of the reactions for it is completely unloving not to do so.

  7. We can be convinced of something regarding ourselves and hold an image of how things are. And, if you hold onto such an image, there is nothing that can, at that time, make you revisit the truth of that image. Everything there is either ‘normal’ or justifiable. We just see what we want to see and we are quick to disregard what we do not want to see. Yet, when you do no longer hold onto that image, and go back to a real picture and are ready to see what it offers, what you see is no longer what you saw (tainted by the image you held in your mind) and you realize that the truth was right before your own eyes all along. That is why pictures are the best tool against images… if you are willing to see.

  8. Joy is a constant presence from with-in; it is sometimes kept pretty well under lock and key if we react to others reaction of us wanting to share what comes naturally.

  9. If you have a lot of love, and many young children do, then it can lead to quite a backlash for them from those around them when those around would rather not be reminded of how they feel.

  10. Nicola, reading this article I can feel how important it is that we read the reaction of others and understand that others maybe jealous and so to not take it personally and not let it stop us expressing our joy.

  11. Living our truth with no compromise is the best medicine we can offer another, whether they receive it with open arms or react it is all the same, as a seed has been planted which in their own time will eventually flourish to reveal the beauty within.

    1. Love it Francisco – brings all the responsibility to us so we can’t blame others, judge them, use that as an excuse. Its just about our relationship and then we send out the ripples.

  12. If we have any expectations that people are going to be happy that we heal, we can get really hurt. To break free of chains and heal what is not us and move to a life of more joy means that the people around us have a question come up for themselves, “what about me?” to heal in a family or group of friends, is ultimately to take responsibility and show another way and so it brings up the uncomfortable question of why others are not choosing this as well. Settling for life as it is, is fine if we are all doing it, if someone makes a choice to flourish not function the outcomes of this can bring ripples of change, reaction and upheaval all around. This is why making the choice to flourish must come from within, for the benefit of all, not just ourselves or an idea of what better looks like, it has a deeper purpose, it supports and offers a different reflection for humanity.

    1. Yes I agree Leigh, I had a good giggle when I wrote that because it only came to me as I was writing and then it was so obvious!

  13. There is so much joy and beauty that shines from your eyes Nicola, confirming that appreciation is the key to confirming and living more of who we truly are.

    1. Yes I agree Jenny, Nicola is a great example of someone who confirms and appreciates herself and others regularly… and it truly works.

  14. It is natural for us to be the love that we innately are, and this includes being joyful, and it feels beautiful when this is shared with and for all.

  15. Knowing you Nicola, I know how completely contagious your joy is in the most exquisite way. But ‘your’ joy is ‘my’ joy and such is the love we share that it cannot be owned, only resisted and attacked or embraced and expressed.

      1. How could I not be in joy Christoph being married to you and have Liane as such a dear friend?

  16. So very beautiful and inspiring to feel your joy and enthusiasm Nicola, and your commitment to living life in full.

  17. What is beautiful here to read in Serge Benhayon’s words, is how we can transform the fury that comes towards ourselves when we can see what is there to be done and not doing it, in to a confirmation or a celebration of the fact that you did actually know what needed to be done and all you have to do now is apply yourself to it. So, self fury is simply when we are aware but have not acted on that awareness, but it is important to appreciate the fact that you were aware to begin with.

  18. I agree there have been huge miraculous changes in many students, how great would it be to have documentation of all of these transformations so there is a record for all to see when they so wish, ‘These are what you might call miraculous transformations of hundreds of people going against the trend we generally see in society.’

  19. It’s so easy especially as a child to be confused by how others react to us, as children we are naturally joyful and often others don’t know what to do with that, and so over time we adapt ourselves and in doing so we loose our connection to that joy. We never lose the joy, it is always there and to once again reconnect to that joy is amazing, and very inspiring and often also confronting but it is absolutely worth it as this joy is who we naturally are and the more we live this, the more we inspire both ourselves and others that living this joy is who we all naturally are.

  20. I love the way you have turned the BEFORE and AFTER impressions around – what is considered to be AFTER is really a BEFORE, before we took on all this ballast, be it in the form of emotions, extra weight or burdens; more often than not, we’ve taken on the whole lot.

  21. The differences in the before and after pictures are remarkable, the changes in the way you are living, are having a transformational impact that is huge and clearly visible.

  22. More than a year on from this blog and when the “after” photo was taken and being blessed to see Nicola every day, I can attest that she only gets younger, more playful and joyous as she gracefully ages.

    1. It’s true ~ but then again who wouldn’t getting the chance to work and play with the super gorgeous Nikki McKee everyday 🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. “I am now 59 and looking and feeling younger, fitter and even more gorgeous and joyful and I can feel there is no end!” The before and after photos say it all Nicola. Keep on shining…..

  24. Yes it is funny (not) isn’t it how we can think we really want something but are actually doing everything for the opposite to happen.

  25. This is a great sharing on how jealousy can affect others. There is certainly a reaction amongst it – and is shared here – sometimes people don’t even realise that they are jealous. It shows how much we can deny what we truly feel.

  26. It’s important to not hold back from sharing love and joy, despite the reactions it may bring up in others.

  27. I agree sometimes we see reflections of others that just remind us of how we have not chosen so wisely ourselves.

  28. I have to say that I sometimes experience jealousy. When this happens, the most freeing thing is being honest and accepting that this is what I’m feeling. Only when I realise this, I’m able to feel how awful it feels in my body and how harmful and nonsense it is. In any case that this happens to me, it is an opportunity to check my connection and revise if I’m being fully who I am or not. Humbleness, honesty and appreciation for my ability to rectify is what takes me back to me, ready to enjoy others essence and also shine who I truly am.

    1. I love the honesty with which you describe your process – nobody could ask for more. Honesty is a wonderful and necessary step on our return to Truth.

  29. Every time I look at your before and after photos of you both I am blown away by the enormous change and it continues, you probably need to do another update of the both of you. You both are getting younger and younger by the day and sexier and even more gorgeous…. you both rock

    1. Thank you Mary Louise we feel younger, sexier and more gorgeous every year and you are right are photos keep reflecting that – going against all trends. Huge thanks to Serge Benhayon and The Way of The Livingness for showing us another way 🙂

  30. The innocence, sweetness and lightness of true joy seems by its nature to seem small and crushable (if there is such a word :-)). But truth be told, proof is in the pudding as they say, it is seen in the many many cases of before and afters like this wonderful transformation of Nicola, that exposes that true joy is actually one of the strongest and power-fullest reflections of love that can be expressed. Whilst jealousy has its bite, it is insignificant when joy is claimed and lived.

    1. That is so true – Joy like Love is a quality of the Soul and nothing is more powerful. Same applies to Harmony, Stillness and Truth and other 3 qualities.

  31. You are an inspiration Nicola in that you do ‘live and express the love that you are in every thing you do’. There is indeed joy, light, openness and presence as is evident in your latest photo.

  32. jealousy we can have when we feel another claiming their light and if we get jealous we bring that energy towards the otehr person as a gun shooting bullets. We can see the other directly contracted her/his light with not being aware why they contract again. This shows the evil hidden in jealousy.

  33. If ever there was a haulting force which stops people from being truly being in limitless potential together it is jealousy. The silly thing is that we are all equal – so jealousy and comparison only have a delaying effect on the case that there will one day be awesome potential.

  34. The phrase ‘misery enjoys company’ comes to mind in the sense that it is only through colluding with each other to express far less than the love and joy that we are, can we in any way sustain a form of expression that is in-truth not natural for us to express. And although we have done a fairly good job of making it our ‘norm’ to not live the qualities of our Soul, of which Joy is one, it is not natural for us to do so in any way shape or form and thus needs a constant investment and choice on our part to live otherwise. Does this not explain why we as a humanity are so exhausted? We are constantly fighting our natural expression. We need only look at how we come into this world, as babies and young children to understand how natural it is for us to be the love that we are and that it is only through a social conditioning that we learn to not express it.

    One of my most favourite things about you Nicola is your incredible lightness of being and radiant joy. It has been my astute observation that your delicious laughter and eye twinkle have the power to dissolve any shadow that may cross your path. Quite a threat we could say to the misery we as humans often seek to dwell in.

    1. I find it impossible not to be in Joy around you Liane – just the thought of you already has my whole body smiling 🙂

  35. “JEALOUSY is nothing more than self-fury. It is a personal attack on yourself for not doing what you knew had to be done, which is then vented outward to those who are doing what there is to be done.” Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 123 – this quote cuts right to the truth of what jealousy is.

  36. Wow, you can see it in your eyes Nicola, a vacant, spaced out kind of look in your before photos and a very present look in your after photos, and your eyes are shining.

  37. Jealousy is truly a toxic epidemic… but how can we expect less when competition, that petrie dish of dysfunction, is nurtured instead of the connection with our own hearts

  38. These changes are amazing Nicola, thats some turn around.
    It is crazy that many of us lose that natural joy as we grow older, and sad that it is often a reaction to the jealously we can feel around us. Children hold naturally that joy, as a society if we are producing children that lose this by the time they are 8/9 then we are doing something seriously needs to be changed. We need to bring our children up in a world were that joy of being ones true self is encouraged and brought out, not hidden away in fear of jealously.

  39. “JEALOUSY is nothing more than self-fury. It is a personal attack on yourself for not doing what you knew had to be done, which is then vented outward to those who are doing what there is to be done.” Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 123 To understand jealousy in this way gives us a totally different insight into ourselves and shows us that ultimately there is nothing to be jealous of providing we live everything we are with true purpose.

  40. There is indeed a great divide and vast contrast between filling our lives with desires and pleasures that seemingly give us happiness, tick the boxes and allow there to be satisfaction (limited)… however there is never in such happiness a true settlement for we will never be truly content to live a life less than the true love and joy we innately are and know – such joy is eternal and ever deepening and to live less than this we are forever aware we are selling ourselves short..

  41. “However, you cannot kill love or joy – it is eternal, always there and who we are!” This is absolutely true. So there is no need to fear jealous or furious attacks or reactions from others because if we stay steady and true to our connection, it cannot harm us.

  42. Jealousy is just that “self-fury” and the ways in which it can be masked can be very subtle or obvious rage. Either way our choices to absorb or just clock these is the difference from living and appreciating the choices we have made or choosing to react and follow the path of doubt and resentment. This is a great understanding of how we can choose to invest in the moment or simply read it for what it is and move on.

  43. Awesome to read this blog and see the joy that lives within you and so within us all. Jealousy is very much a reaction to this and keeping us away from the joy that we know, I know this very well myself. But it is just to allow ourselves to feel what is going on and take the necessary steps to evolve me further and not keep hanging in the envy of what another has.

  44. I can easily relate to the ‘negative’ reactions of others – mainly those close to me – when I began to make many changes in my life, especially stopping drinking alcohol and making very long overdue changes to my diet. It was a very challenging time but knowing my health was more important than the opinions of others my focus did not waver and it has been so worth it; a very joyful outcome.

    1. It’s good for their health too to have the reflection of you making loving choices.

  45. ‘JEALOUSY is nothing more than self-fury. It is a personal attack on yourself for not doing what you knew had to be done’ This is such a huge quote, because I’m sure very few people can say that they ‘like’ being jealous of another, but what if instead of this being a natural occurrence because there’ll ‘always be someone’ to be jealous OF, what if it was down to whether or not WE lived a life of purpose and were maximising what we can bring in our lives, jobs, families etc.

    1. Yes, it brings a whole new level of responsibility because quite often people are not even consciously aware that the harmful and attacking energy of jealousy is coming through them. Quite often when people are saying apparently nice or complimentary things you can still feel the force of jealousy on an energetic level. Therefore, it is up to each of us to not berate ourselves and to take responsibility for our choices.

  46. The commonly held belief that we are showing off and gloating has served to keep at bay the reflections of love and joy society today needs to see. It is the expression of the highest love to let someone feel and see the richness and depth of love celebrated by another. Uncomfortable as it may be in the realisation that this love may not have been our choice and day to day way, it is a message that says – ‘you are equal to this love’. ‘You are equal to this grandness. So why are you not choosing it?’

  47. I can very much relate to the reaction people have to joy, it is that what makes us doubt our inner essence. But for seeing what it truly is it can only make us more compassionate towards others as we can build a deeper understanding of what is holding them back.

    1. Yes it used to make me doubt and now I understand and see it as a confirmation. Understanding and awareness are wonderful, magical, liberating qualities!

      1. … that is liberating and healing for both the one understanding and the one being understood 🙂

    2. Absolutely – when we can observe that we are saying no to something glorious in order to say yes to what is less.

  48. Before and after photos are a great way to track the decisions we have made over time. When someone looks more joyful, younger and more tender/delicate than they did before this goes against all the beliefs we have that the ageing process is all downhill. It is interesting the way your friend reacted. It shows me the societal belief we are all under that you can’t stand out from the crowd or celebrate yourself. In Australia this is called the tall poppy syndrome. This mentality keeps us all small and average rather than the gorgeousness we are.

  49. It is indeed confusing whilst being born and growing up, knowing how amazing we are, but seeing the intense reactions and the lack of confirmation in the world. We think it is our fault and that we have done something wrong and we have to change ourselves or do better to prove ourselves, which ultimately we have successfully left the connection with ourselves, that is, we have abandoned ourselves. But this abandonment of ourselves, although it may temporarily or superficially seem to earn us some acceptance from the world, ultimately it is a lost battle, as we would feel the tension and unsettlement of not being who we are. But what if we really observe and do not react to the reaction of others…what if, we are here experiencing this because we are the ones to start this process of re-claiming ourselves through re-loving our bodies, so that everyone else will have the opportunity to see this reflection and choose this for themselves when they are ready.

  50. Seeing clearly and having the understanding that when another reacts from jealousy it is because they are choosing not to live what is being reflected; this is helping me enormously to observe. So many times I have lost myself and reacted, but choosing to feel and see with an understanding what is being presented I am finding it easier to stay with myself, revealing that it is loving the self to feel and not react.

    1. Yes it is loving to self and others to understand and see things as they are and with that understanding there is no need to react or for things to be different.

  51. I looked at your before pictures and I see humanity and how most people generally look, it is sad but true that people look generally puffy and heavy in their faces and often in their whole bodies – this has become our normal. But it is not, as your after picture shows as do the many others on the link you shared, there is a whole lot of lightness inside and outside of us that we can live as humanity.

    1. Yes I agree Lieke – I have found there is a whole other way to live and express thanks to seeing a living example in Serge Benhayon – and there is no limit to what is available!

  52. I love the before and after photos as when you compare the 2 side by side you can see that what shines in the after photo was actually there all along in the before photo, it was simply layered with things like ice-cream and glazed eyes.

    1. Thank you Nikki. Yes we ALL are always there all along it is just a question of how many layers of icecream and other stuff we have piled on top. Now that I have less of that you can see more of me and in fact there is even more of me again now since the after photo is already a few years old.

  53. I came to believe there was something wrong with me. It did not occur to me that there was something wrong with everyone else. Ditto, it took quite some time to realise how much love there is within and how much love I am and that we all are.

    1. I can so relate to that – thinking there is something wrong with me. I guess we don’t think there’s something wrong with everyone else because we somehow know that is not true either, we just don’t realise there’s a middle man – aka energy before anything. We are kept in the dark.

      1. Great point at essence we are all one and the word wrong does not even come into it. However, how we (humans) live and express is very often not coming from our essence but as you say being influenced by another energy altogether. It is a great liberation when we start to see that and are then empowered to make a different choice and show a different way.

  54. Jealousy is without a doubt a by-product of stepping up. The bad news? We’ll all get to feel it at some point. The good news? When we do it means we’re evolving as we should.

  55. An interesting take on joy and jealousy and how they play out in relationships. The photos do speak for themselves and it’s always great to have something to physically gauge and also appreciate how much impact our choices and movements make.

  56. It’s interesting how you got attacked before for the same thing – being who you truly are in your essence. How an energy is on the constant look out trying to banish what exposes its lies is quite incredible. And it brings me a big smile reading about your 24/7 job – there’s no other way. Thank you for being such an inspiration in my life.

    1. Thank you Fumiyo, I happen to know that you have the same wonderful job as I do and are also an inspiration to me and many others.

  57. Returning to read this again, I can feel the absolute wrath that we as humans can live in and the shock that can come our way when we are delivered true energetic love. But shock is what is needed, if we are to begin to let go of wrath and instead replace it with acceptance, understanding, connection and love.

  58. Thanks Nicola, essentially your words brought me to responsibility and that we are all equally able to make the same choices. Jealousy is our reaction to knowing that but continuing to avoid our responsibility. We could of course choose to be inspired instead and begin to make those choices that others are, knowing we are equal.

  59. Its a shame that we sometimes hold back from sharing our joy because we’ve experienced the negative response of people in the past. Bravo for sharing your joy Nicola. We should all be doing it more.

  60. The images of you are quite transformational , as if going along a fork in the road … left or right turn… which one to take? carry on the same way or choose you?… the pictures totally show how you have chosen you!

  61. Comparing photos from ten years ago to today, for most people would not necessarily be an uplifting experience…Amazing how in ten years plus, you have not grown older, heavier and more serious….instead you have grown lighter, more lovely and more vital and more in love! A wonderful inspiration and a reminder that our body is a reflection of our choices that we make in life, and so it is a tool or a vehicle for us to use to keep developing deeper levels of love to express all of the time.

    1. It is true the love keeps expanding and now at 60 I am even more gorgeous than ever. I am truly blessed with hugenormous thanks to Serge Benhayon who has shared and inspired so many with so much.

  62. Loved rereading this Nicola, I know I have been annoyed by others joy, irritated by the way they are – horrible to admit but its true and i imagine true for most of us. Being inspired is a far more supportive route than spitting and raging! Yet I revert to that in times of exposure of where I may really be at. The last line of your article is perfect as you really can’t kill that which is eternal and it lives equally within us all.

  63. It is extraordinary how some people can be inspired to embrace their own healing and transformation when faced with a reflection of love whilst others are deeply confronted and exposed by all they have chosen that is not love and will do whatever they can to stop the reflection. However it is gorgeous that despite this people keep reflecting what is possible knowing one day everyone will choose the former wanting the reflections for themselves too as we are designed to live in the light not the struggle.

  64. Serge Benhayon presents that we are multi-dimensional beings and when I look at your before and after of just you, that is so clear that is the case. Your after photo feels so much more bigger, grander, fuller and multi-dimensional. You just glow of yourself.

  65. What a joy and inspiration you are Nicola. I love how you deeply appreciate the choices you are now making and the loving true influence you have on others. I very much appreciate the gorgeous, solid, loving woman you are.

  66. A very true definition of jealousy presented here – thank you for sharing this experience as it does show how reactive we can be at the expensive of letting more love in.When we are faced with love we feel what is not love. So I have come to know that the more love and appreciation I live, the more I can see others as an inspiration rather than a threat.

  67. The photos undoubtedly tell an amazing story of transformation without any words being necessary. I can see how this truth may not be easily appreciated by anyone making the same harmful choices as you yourself were at the time of the before photos and the choice to indulge in jealousy is an ugly but understandable one. If only they understood the harm that jealousy does to all.

    1. It is true I made many harmful choices and still do at times as life is a constant learning and evolution. One choice I am glad I have not made and didn’t make in those days either was to be jealous – so I wouldn’t say I was making the same harmful choices. Probably if you saw me now you might even look at my after photo as a before photo as we constantly evolve so it is not about judging ourselves at any point.

  68. Thank you Nicola. Your before and after photos tell an amazing story and I am sure they bring up a lot for many people. I have been on the receiving end of some jealousy lately and this blog is a huge support. I can see that your not holding back regardless of what comes at you and the truth is that this is the best way to deal with jealousy as everyone really wants the same thing at their core.

  69. Wow Nicola, in your after photo you look much younger and far more vibrant than in your before photo. It goes to show how much we can turn around when we pay attention to the actual quality of how we live our everyday and make changes accordingly.

  70. “So I stopped expressing, stopped being joyful, stopped trusting myself and comfortably joined in with others in being miserable but very functional and pretending I was not as miserable as I was. I became a lot more popular.” – this is the sad reality of many people and it is the consumption of foods and drinks to numb this that can be seen in people’s faces and bodies. Food and drink is a great way to turn down the volume of what we are feeling.

  71. Living and expressing your natural joy shines out from the more recent photographs. Others may react and stay stuck in their reaction or they may respond and feel inspired to refind the joy that is being shared.

  72. The difference in these two photos is amazing you both look more younger, more vital and definitely have more joy now then you had 10 years ago. In a world that fears getting older you two are leading the way and showing us how its done where we can actually get more joyful, more content and more energetic. Very inspiring.

    1. Thank you Samantha. I too am inspired and amazed at the changes which are continuing. Huge thanks to Serge Benhayon for showing us The Way of The Livingness – such a simple, responsible and joyful way of life that is available for everyone.

  73. Despite all previous and current protests and reactions to the love that I am or another is, time has a way of wearing down the fighting spirit and eventually I accept what never has gone away, that love and joy remain forever. This is good to remain aware of as we all have the right to choose to resist or accept that love within us that we feel in ourselves or sense being allowed to come through and out of others. The resistance is only short-lived (and short may mean a lifetime/lifetimes) but every time I connect to the love that I am I know that it hasn’t and isn’t going anywhere.

  74. Jealousy is such an interesting word, to feel the anger of a friend to a picture shows how strong that emotion can be and how little it actually makes sense. When we see someone doing well we can either choose to celebrate the person and their thriving or we can react to it. The honest part is in admitting which one it is we feel and what is going on for us if we react.

    1. One of the many gifts I have received from Universal Medicine is far greater awareness of when I am reacting. Very often people don’t even realise they are reacting. In this particular case my friend probably thought she was being honest!

  75. The thing with joy, is that it is by definition something that you cannot hold back, once expressed and connected to. For it is by definition the expansion and confirmation of love through movement, which in itself creates an emanation and expansion of itself that cannot be held back.

  76. The before and afters are a beautiful example of the reflection of true change and beauty, coming from the love that is lived by all that are presented. It can be confronting to see as so many don’t live this way exposing all that is not true about how we live.

  77. I love the before and afters as you can really see what is possible. Anyone can make a change in their life and no matter how down and out another may seem, there is always a choice and a call to be more – more of themselves.

  78. I only have to look at the photos to see what a transformation you both have made – its truly incredible. And yes jealousy can be huge so often we can try to bring another down because we don’t like the fact that they are reflecting back to us the choices we could have made but choose not to. So it is not them we get frustrated at it is rather our lack of knowing we could have made more loving choices but chose not to.

    1. I am reminded of a presentation from Serge to support us when we feel Jealousy by making the statement that they are where they are at through their choices and I am where I am at because of mine. The quality in which this was delivered, with zero judgement and complete acceptance of self and the other person was huge I felt. Allowing ourselves to be where we are and for others to be where they are opens up space for us to be more equal and less separate.

      1. Well said Leigh, it is amazing the difference life is when we accept where we are and the choices we have made. Only then can we move forward with and from love. Otherwise I find we are playing a catch up game trying to get somewhere instead of starting with the fact that we already are love.

  79. Jealously is a poison in our bodies and to others who receive it, honesty and responsibility are the key in order to heal and to connect to the grandness that we haven’t been choosing to connect to.

  80. Jealousy has been a historical stifler of love and relationship and there are many examples of it throughout history and into our current times. It is hugely damaging to all of us though we haven’t quite grasped the full effects of this yet.

  81. Thank you Nicola Lessing for writing an inspiring blog and to be modelling examples of vitality to all ages. To confidently claim who you are and stand in your truth is a marker for many to appreciate and the free choice of every individual to learn.

  82. Love the ice cream sundae! It provides such a counterpoint to the faces behind – one alive and glowing, the other a little haunted and heavy. There is a message here, not so hard to read with our eyes.. and a joyful one at that.

  83. With the before photos, yes I agree there is a hardness and puffiness and glaze in the eyes. But there is still a sweetness there hiding amongst all that has been layered on top. I know I feel this way about myself when I look back to the me of 3, 5, 10, 15 years ago. I always felt me but what I expressed was a different thing.

  84. It is so true what you share here Nicola, the reactions from others especially family can be hard to take especially when we are young. I am a mother of a very amazing child and I know I have been jealous of her. I remember a supervisor once telling me most mothers were jealous of their children as they had so much more than they did comparatively growing up as women. It’s so destructive and felt so easily. Great to expose it and allow all that joy out.

  85. It is really interesting to see the hardness in the before photographs and how much more settled you look in yourself in the after photos. It epitomises to me the tension we can feel in the body when we are not comfortable in our own skin and develop behaviours to cope with that tension. When I consider why people react to another person being comfortable in their own skin, I am reminded that we all know these behaviours create that tension and somewhere inside we all know that they hurt. It is so much easier to blame others for our choices than to take responsibility and be the change we want to see in our lives.

  86. Very true Nicola …’you cannot kill love or joy – it is eternal, always there and who we are!’ And your pictures are a living proof of coming alive, more vital and joyful than ever before although the pictures are 11 years further in time.

  87. Being aware of this without going into judgement or comparison is awesome…”It has been quite a revelation for me over the last few years to discover just how furiously people can at times react to my joy.” It is so freeing to observe a situation, rather than react. Every one of us has felt the sting of jealousy, it is debilitating if we allow it to impact on us. Joy can be something people react to, it reminds us of the potential within but also reflects where we are at with our own relationship with it.

  88. I love all your references to joy Nicola. No matter who, what, how when, where, why the joy that is within is eternal and appreciating this in its absoluteness makes me realize that hiding it doesn’t make it disappear. I’m the one that starts to disappear if I deny what is true in my essence. So I’m back embracing all my joy and living this beautiful part of my essence and allowing the not so joyful to express how they do when they are meet with joy. I can’t change another’s response nor should I change me.

  89. Nicola, I love how the pictures speak one thousand words! In the more recent pictures, you do look so much younger, more vital and more joyful – if this is aging then it is an advertisement for enjoying aging and looking forwards to it!

  90. Learning to be okay with peoples reactions to the love and joy my body can express is something that has immeasurable benefit to life. The more I give myself permission to ‘go for it’ and learn to accept the responses around me the more I get to know and rekindle a relationship with the real and true me.

    1. This is a great point. When we let ourselves be affected by other peoples reactions it takes us away from our relationship with ourselves and the appreciation we have for who we are. It immediately puts a dent in our loveliness and ‘proves’ we are not love after all….to whoever is counting, which can be the other or ourselves.

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