There is nothing surprising in The Washington Post’s recent profile of Jewel, but that’s precisely what makes it so pleasant to read. Jewel c. 2018 is exactly like Jewel c. 1998, the year she released her iconic song about coming to terms with the size of her hands. She’s still your typical singer / songwriter / poet / actress / entrepreneur who is just doing the best she can, and who has never spoken anything other than her truth.*
(*Not counting her fifth album 0304, which goes unmentioned in the piece.)
Jewel Kilcher (it’s weird to see her last name, isn’t it) is all about keeping calm. Being mindful. Not rushing into new career ventures without giving them considerable thought. She says fame can sometimes happen “at a pace that causes a lot of psychological problems,” and that she tried her best to avoid the pitfalls of a life lived untruthfully. Oh my god, just typing this out makes me want to start focusing on my breath.
She says her “number one” mission in life was to be “a happy, whole human.” Being a musician has always number two. And before you can mouth off with something like, “This woman’s earnestness is exhausting,” Jewel is ready to cut you off at the pass:
“I never saw that as an insult — ‘Oh, she’s so earnest.’ I always clung to that. I think there’s a danger in all of our jobs when we become too proficient at them. There’s something very, very special about the beginning of anyone’s career, when it’s raw talent, when it’s raw will, when it’s raw drive. Because that’s when you’re innovative, because no one has told you the rules or the parameters that you have to operate by.”
Her latest cause, Never Broken (a line from “Hands”), is a “personal road map to help you calm anxiety and access your own inner knowing so you can learn to make happiness a habit.” She wants people to become mindful, and has even begun making a name for herself on the corporate speaker circuit.
Writes the Post:
Her idea is to bring mindfulness and balance to the corporate workplace, school classrooms and beyond. So far, Jewel Inc. has partnered with online retailer Zappos to create the pilot program, which will offer a digital tool kit to Zappos employees — “like a whole university,” Jewel says — with the goal to ultimately make them “more resilient, more creative, less risk-averse, less anxious, more entrepreneurial.”
She’s even planning “a mindfulness cartoon for toddlers,” which makes sense, given their tiny hands. But let’s return to her earnestness. The best part of this profile is when Jewel reveals the “underlying message” in all her work. Are you ready for it? Here we go:
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all okay.
That’s it. That’s all she’s ever wanted to tell us. And you know what? I suddenly feel okay. Thanks again, Jewel!