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70: How I Built a Meditation Garden & Retreat Center (The Story of The Beam and Bell)

Several years ago I had a vision of a beautiful space where people could come and step away from the demands of everyday life and focus on themselves. Today, The Beam and Bell truly embodies that vision. In this week’s episode of Breathe In, Breathe Out, I share what it was like creating this magical space and the twists and turns that occurred along the way. 


Think meditation is hard. Do me a favor, take a slow, deep breath in, and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jacosky, and this is Breathe In. Breathe out a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peaceful while doing it.  

Krystal Jakosky:   Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jacosky and I’m really excited to share this week’s episode with you. I first met Kevin Pinnell when I was a guest on his podcast, which is Award A Better Life. It was such a delightful experience. We had so many things in common that I really wanted to bring him on my podcast so that we could talk about the indigenous people. Kevin began his journey with the indigenous people of North America in the early nineties. He met Ken two feathers early on in that journey, and Ken Two Feathers became more than Kevin’s teacher. They had a wonderful friendship. And 10 years into that friendship, Kevin wrote the book, Two Feathers, Spiritual Seed Planter as Kevin Laughing Hawk, which addressed two feathers life and Native American spirituality. There is so much more to his experience and his life. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We’re going to talk about some of the keynotes of Kevin’s experience. I really hope that you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed having him on my podcast. Hello, and welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky, your host, and I am so excited to have Kevin on our show today. Kevin Cannell, welcome.  

Kevin Pennell:    Thank you. Great to be here. This is awesome. I’ve switched roles for a change. I’m not a host. I’m actually a guest. 

Krystal Jakosky:    Oh, isn’t that fun? When you get to switch it up a little bit. Kevin and I have actually been recording right now because whenever we have the opportunity to chat, Kevin and I go off on so many different tangents and so many different realms, and it’s because we are both interested in so many different things. We are always looking for something new to learn or something new to teach, which means that we have a plethora of things that we can talk about and go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole after rabbit hole. So we’re going to make an effort to keep this a little shorter, meaning not four hours long, because we could talk for hours.

Kevin Pennell:    We’re going to try to focus.  

Krystal Jakosky:    We’re going to give it the college try, you know, the good college. Not the one where you smoke pot for the first four years and then decide to do college. We’re going to actually try to focus. Welcome to my world today. Kevin, tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what brought you to my podcast studio.  

Kevin Pennell:    Oh my goodness. Well, if you got about two or three hours, hang in there. It’s just actually been about a year ago that I decided, I’m going to try doing a podcast because for 35 years off and on, I was in broadcast journalism and radio. So I just have a lot of fun with it. And I published a book, worked on a couple of other books, and did some magazine articles. I love to write, but for whatever reason, the publisher just wasn’t impressed. Okay, this is great, but you’re not going to publish it. It’s good stuff, but we’re not going to publish it. And I’m going, Yeah, fine, whatever. And I realized part of writing is you have to be able to accept a little two letter word called no.  

Oh, that’s standard procedure. And I just, in one of those moments, I said, you know, I did broadcast journalism and I did human interest stories for years. I really enjoy doing that, just listening and talking with people about their lives. And literally, I think it was like 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning. That tends to be what I call my spirit time. Some of the most significant little truths that I’ve ever had. The title for the book that I wrote came to me in the middle of the night. And when I wrote that book, I wrote it from five o’clock in the morning until 6:30 every day until I got done with it. But that’s my spirit time. This time it came through as you need to do a podcast called Toward a Better Life.  

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Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor, take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out: a Weekly Mindfulness and Meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.

Hello. Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky and this week is just story time. I’ve had people come to the beam and bell, which is where I operate and do the majority of my work. And they always ask me about the space and how it came to be. And it’s a little bit of a story and I just thought, why not share it? So, uh, this might be a little bit longer of a podcast, and I hope that if you need to stop it because you’ve gotten where you need to go, you come back and listen to the rest. Um, because it is a story. It is definitely a story. When my kids were graduating from high school, I knew that I needed to get ahead of the game and make sure that I had a focus, and a purpose because oftentimes when a mom has focused and dedicated her life to her family and her kids, once the kids leave, you have this empty nesting syndrome and you struggle because the thing that was your purpose is no longer your purpose.

They have moved on. They don’t need you like they used to need you. And your partner is often still working. So you’re left with now. What, and I didn’t wanna be in that space. I was really concerned that I would get into that space and, and, um, end up depressed because I have dealt with depression in the past, and I am very aware of my triggers and what causes me to spiral. So I knew that finding a purpose, finding a drive, finding a reason, um, or a hobby or something to keep me going afterward would be very beneficial. And one day I was sitting in my meditation room. And as you guys know, I don’t necessarily sit in quiet meditation. I was playing with a little sand. I had a mini sand garden and I was just kind of playing with it. And, and I said to the universe, I would really like to know what my purpose is.

What’s my path? And I very distinctly heard this unbelievably beautiful, full masculine belly laugh. I heard it like you hear my voice right now. And I was surprised by it. And this voice said, do not say that if you are not ready and that shocked me. And I said, okay, fine. maybe, maybe I’m not quite ready to know what my path is. Maybe I’m not quite ready to really dive into this. Now I have listened to this voice. I’d been listening to this voice for 15 years. So I knew to trust it. I had been introduced to it during a very difficult time in my life earlier and had built up this trust and respect because I knew it as higher power and a spirit guide that would not steer me wrong. They always had my best interest at heart. So when I heard that laugh and that do not ask if you’re not ready, I was scared.

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Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.