JD Messinger’s book “11 Days in May” is easy to read and understand, and yet, possesses a level of difficulty in explaining. I believe that is because each and every reader will walk away with something that belongs only to them, a perspective unique and individual.
“11 Days in May” is the culmination of a thirty year journey. JD traveled to the top of the corporate mountain, only to undergo a personal calamity that shattered the stones of his spiritual foundation. He was suddenly, and unexpectedly, forced to question who he was…or wasn’t. And that’s where his story of life, of hope, truly begins.
JD was the man behind the corporate scenes, amassing wealth, wielding power. He was, and remains, extremely skilled at what he does. However, what he does now isn’t what he did. I realize I’m being a bit veiled here, but bear with me. JD’s professional credits read like a Who’s Who of business, and his job experience is an array most of us will just shake our heads at. He was a fireman, nuclear engineer (how’s that for a career shift?), and served as a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. He joined Exxon, serving in a number of managerial positions, including supervising the Valdez oil spill’s cleanup. As CEO of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (South-East Asia) where he was responsible for all IT and management consulting services. In this capacity, he served as a key advisor for innovation and economic development for the Singapore Prime Ministers Office as well as numerous national statutory boards and government ministries in Singapore, Malaysia and China, and served as a senior advisor to the Singapore Ministry of Defence.
Then his neck unexplainably broke – for the second time.
The immediate question in JD’s mind was “Why?”. He became convinced something or someone was trying to get his attention. That power succeeded. Today, JD operates Essence, a company he founded that provides informational, educational and entertaining offerings to accelerate personal, corporate and global evolution. In other words, he’s trying to make the world a better place.
“11 Days in May” is a fictional conversation written over a period of eleven days. Yet, every word is nonfiction as it is JD’s journey not just of his self-discovery, but what really drives us in the directions we choose. And still, I know that once a reader finishes this book, he or she will totally disagree with my remarks here as they will have found their own interpretation and inspiration.
Yes, this book is that unique and memorable.
Q) In “11 Days,” you mention a homeless man who asked why you were sitting in a gas station. You responded, “Thinking.” His (shortened) comment ‘You think too much’ impacted your book. Has it impacted your life?
A) This single incident might not have changed the course of my life, but it certainly reinforced that every sign is a confirmation that we are never alone, always being guided, and there are no accidents. At the time, I had been sitting there asking God if the chapter on “What is Time” was fitting, and the stress was taking a toll on me. When this man I had never met before answered my prayer I felt at peace because the chapter had been perfect all along. This homeless man made me feel empowered and energized because he confirmed that help is only a prayer away.
Q) In the dedication, you state “…unusual experiences are not all that unusual.” Briefly, what did you mean by that?
A) Throughout my life I have experienced countless metaphysical phenomena that science cannot explain, but what I find more intriguing is that I am not alone—not even close. Almost everyone I have come into contact with during my ten-year quest has felt a supernatural presence in their lives whether they chose to believe it or not. The only reason these phenomena are considered unusual is because people are afraid to talk about them for fear of being judged. My greatest hope is to open a dialogue and create a safe environment for people to share and connect through their unexplainable experiences. After all, why should anything initiated by a benevolent, higher-being be considered taboo?
Q) This book will stimulate some interesting debate. How do you feel about those who will miss the point of your message?
A) Well I must admit that I’ve been there; I was one of those people that just didn’t get it, and that is part of the reason I wrote 11 Days in May. I want to share my lessons and my journey so that others will feel empowered to take a similar spiritual journey in their lives. Of course there will always be readers who aren’t ready and who don’t understand, and that is just fine. Judging them would be hypocritical. I have been in that position, and I send them compassion and love so they will eventually discover their spiritual gifts.
Q) Why should a working mother on a tight budget buy this book?
A) I think working moms often get overlooked, and they certainly don’t get enough credit for everything they do in a day: financially supporting a family, driving carpool, making dinner, doing laundry. The one thing these women seem to be searching for is rest, a moment of peace. My book is a fast read, so it isn’t daunting to a woman who has limited time, but it will teach valuable lessons about prioritizing one’s life. I was so wrapped up in work as a CEO that I focused more on money and retirement than family and fun. I think this book will offer a quiet oasis for working moms and give them a moment or two during the day to sit down and think. In the end, it’s all about the relationships we have made and the children we love and the happiness we possess.
Q) You hold your family close. Did this turn of life events and discoveries draw you even closer?
A) Absolutely, but initially we had to adjust to a dramatically different lifestyle after I quit the corporate world. I spent a decade searching for answers to life’s great questions, and everyone had to pull together and power through. We became more money conscious, and vacations were out of the picture for a while. At first it was a struggle, but it brought us closer because we learned that it doesn’t take money to have fun on game night. I also believe that families are soul groups that travel together; a family is a sacred arrangement, and this bond exists to help family members grow. Each soul has a special gift to share with the family, so we teach each other patience, understanding, and tolerance. We realized that all souls are equal. Sometimes a child’s soul might be wiser than a parent’s soul. It is all about respecting everyone’s opinion regardless of age. We still bicker, what family doesn’t? But the best part is when we can all hug after a fight because we know together we are stronger.
Q) Any parting comments for potential readers?
A) There is one message that I would like to hammer home: Hope comes from knowing that you are constantly being guided and looked after by a greater source. All it takes is trust. We are assisted every moment of every day, and it comes in the form of goose bumps—which are truth bumps confirming a spiritual path—coincidences—which are not accidents, but our guides signaling us—and amazing signs and wonders. Metaphysical phenomena are simply answers to our thoughts, intentions, and prayers. I am not special, nor am I alone in experiencing the presence of God. Everyone has access to divine guidance so that they can reach their full potential. All it takes is to believe, then the magic happens.
DA Kentner is an author and journalist www.kevad.net