Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Feb 09 2010

Miracle Marriage by Janet Jacobsen, her first eBook

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Here is my new e-book, Miracle Marriage — A Transformational Journey to Love, Joy & Intimacy.

Miracle Marriage ebookIt is a not so minor miracle that I am married! My husband Tom and I have been thriving in our relationship for over ten years. I still pinch myself and wonder, “Is this really my life?” It is so different now from what it once was. For years I was trapped in a hard-wired cage of beliefs that I was unloved and unlovable. It has been quite a journey out of that hard-wired, lonely cage into a big, open, joyous playing field with the man of my dreams. This book shows how I purposefully set out to free myself from that cage and open myself to love. It also reveals how Tom and I maintain a joyful relationship that just keeps getting better and more fun all the time. Yes, relationships really can be fun!

Get Jan’s Miracle Marriage Ebook  right now for only $5.95        Funny and Inspirational!

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Feb 04 2010

Fantasically Fun Relationship Rescue Remedy – Issue #41

My husband Tom and I have been getting high on some really potent stuff and I want to share some with you. The great thing about it is it’s free, readily available and has no bad side effects. What is this great stuff? It’s laughter. We laugh on purpose like crazy and before we know it we’re loaded…with endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain and stress relievers that create a feeling of well-being and even euphoria. It works whether the laugh is real or simulated. Want to get high together right now? Let’s cook up some endorphins in our body lab and laugh together for a few seconds and fake it til we make it.

How do you feel? You have just produced some powerful juju in your body. Besides decreasing stress and increasing bliss, you have lowered your blood pressure, activated your immune system, oxygenated yourself, and, if you’re laughing with others, created social bonding. Laughter is a strong stimulant for social bonding. Infants laugh at an early age as a way to bond and connect with their caregivers. For the same reason, most of our laughter occurs when we are with other people.

I want to share some ways you can use the power of laughter to create joyful relationships. People in happy relationships laugh often. But relationships, as you know, are not always a laughing matter. We can get stuck in our position and our playmate becomes our stale mate. Our bodies literally become frozen in the position of our position, such as, arms folded, shoulders hunched, scowl on our face – we are in lock and load mode, ready to fire, or we are locked down and glued shut. Play and laughter are powerful solvents that dissolve the glue and shift us back into closeness and feeling good.

One of the best ways I’ve found to shift quickly is to go playfully non-verbal. As adults we have well-developed minds that, like supercharged attorneys, can build strong cases for our position and keep us stuck in it – we become encased in the cases we build. Going non-verbal quiets our well-meaning but troublemaking mind and helps turn a battleground into a playground. Let me give you some examples.

Tom and I first met ten years ago at Gay and Katie Hendricks’ relationship workshop where they emphasized play as a way to shift. During the breaks Tom and I danced together and made faces at each other for the fun of it. Tom is a master of making faces. I thought, here is someone I can really play with. As our relationship progressed we added growling to the mix. Whenever we felt anger coming up we would growl. Grrrrrrr. It expressed our feelings, and it kept the anger from taking hold, and laughter would always follow. To this day we still make faces and growl to lighten the mood.

Here’s another example: Recently we were driving on the highway and Tom accelerated as the car ahead of us was braking. I was scared and yelled, “Slow down, you’re too close to that car!” I could feel my adrenaline pumping and I felt angry. Right then I knew I had a choice to either get swept away in the surge of adrenaline or to shift. I chose to shift by going non-verbal and doing some fake laughing and Tom joined me. Our fake laughter soon turned into real laughter, and my adrenaline turned into endorphins.

Another example: when Tom and I are aware of a power struggle happening between us, we shift into play mode by ‘assuming the position’ – we stand facing each other, and put our chests together and then…we push as hard as we can trying to push the other across the room. We break up laughing and we break the power struggle.

Play and laughter loosen and free us from our rigid positions, which helps us see things more clearly and allows us to find creative solutions. If you want to decrease stress, increase pleasure, and promote bonding with others, lace your day with laughter. It’s a fun, natural high and a healing medicine. As the saying goes, “He who laughs lasts.”

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Nov 11 2009

A Magic, Time-Traveling Carpet Ride in Palm Springs – Issue #32

Last weekend I was in Palm Springs with my husband Tom. I’d been there one other time, forty years before, when I left my home in Mystic, Connecticut and was traveling with a friend to Hawaii and California. Back then I was searching for something very important…a reason to live. And I wasn’t finding it. As I walked in the dry heat of sunny downtown Palm Springs in present time, I kept thinking of that young girl who was there all those years ago, feeling so unhappy, so out of place in the world, convinced that she would always be alone in life.

I look at pictures of myself from that time — I was tanned from weeks in Hawaii, as trim as I’d ever been, with golden blonde hair down to my waist, a pretty girl. Yet on the inside I felt pretty empty. Now, 40 years and fifteen pounds later, I caught glimpses of myself in store windows — not so hot on the outside anymore, yet people I walked past were smiling at me. Then I realized, I had a smile on my face and people were responding to that. I was happy inside and it showed; I had discovered my inner beauty, I had created a happy life.

Quantum physics tells us that all time exists simultaneously. In downtown Palm Springs I sat on a bench in the shade and closed my eyes, and imagined reaching through time, aligning with my twenty-year-old self, doing a mind and heart meld with her, feeling her within me. I showed her what her life would become, telling her, “Hang in there Jan, your life will be so rich with love and learning, spirit and play, creativity and discovery — like the amazing discovery that you are creating it all! And…you will be married to a wonderful man! You are NOT destined to be alone forever.” All weekend I held her in the love and joy and reality of this present time, and told her something I heard recently, “Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, then it’s not the end.” 

Just imagine that it’s true that we can align with our past and future selves in the realm of timelessness that weaves our whole life together, like threads in a magic time-traveling carpet — if you were to talk to yourself in the past during a difficult time, what would you say to that self, knowing what you know now? What encouragement and wisdom would you offer that self? If right now is one of those difficult times, imagine a future self, who has come through it all to a better place, sending you a message of love and encouragement. Open to receive that message — it is ALWAYS there to draw on. Just imagine that!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Sep 08 2009

There’s Gold In Them Thar ILLs! – Issue #26

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I read something remarkable the other day that moved me to tears.  Eighteen-year-old Shawn Hornbeck, who was abducted by a predator at age eleven and held in captivity for over 4 years (he was found two years ago), wanted to share some of his insights about the experience with Jaycee Dugard, who was also abducted at age eleven and recently found after 18 years in captivity. He said in an interview:

“I realize this sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but you have to move on. You can’t dwell on the past. You have to keep looking toward the future and telling yourself that it’s going to be better than your past … I had a lot of built-up anger afterwards, which is normal. But this anger can take control of your life if you’re not careful. You’re angry about how unfair it is that this happened to you … Going to therapy really helped me get everything in order. One of the things that really helped me…is that we talked about how I could better myself from what happened to me, how could I use all those terrible, awful experiences I had, to grow and mature. I know it sounds crazy, but those experiences have made me a better person.

Wow! After all the horrors that he’d endured, this young man turned his victim’s journey into a hero’s journey by finding gold in his experience, finding the gift in his wound, and sharing this gift with others. He also freed himself from the captivity of his anger and bitterness. That is the ultimate freedom! And it is no small feat.

I know what it’s like to be a captive of resentment. It has been an ongoing teacher of mine. For years I was addicted to ‘stewing’, simmering in a soup opera of resentment, feeling victimized, wronged, and ripped off. Anyone who has ever been trapped in resentment knows what a powerful, addictive force it is. Hanging on to feeling wronged becomes more important than anything, more important than freedom from it, more important than love.

I vividly remember one day when I was about eighteen years old driving to work at the New London Submarine Base, stuck in traffic and stuck in a stew about my life, and singing, with tears and strong emotion, along to The Young Rascals song playing on the radio, People Gotta Be Free:

“All the world over so easy to see.

People everywhere just wanna be free.

Listen, please listen,

That’s the way it should be.

There’s peace in the valley,

People got to be free.”

I felt a deep longing to be FREE from the captivity of negativity and anger. I had started reading about how my thoughts and attitudes create my reality. The truth of that strongly resonated with me. I could see that it was my attitude that was creating my unhappiness. Nobody was Making me angry…I was responding with anger, and then dwelling in it, making myself stew, creating a negative attitude that made me a shit magnet, drawing to me more things to be resentful about. I realized that my resentment was far more destructive that anything anyone could ever do to me – I was only hurting myself. I set out on a lifelong quest to free myself from the confines of my negative attitude.

On this quest I eventually learned to become a “miner”: I discovered how to mine gold from my anger by seeing what is MINE, seeing my part in things, seeing how I was contributing to my own misery, seeing that I can choose to hang on to anger or let it go. I can choose to be a bitter person, or a better person because of my experiences. I can choose to dwell in the hell of The Heartbreak Hotel, or dwell in love. I can choose captivity or freedom. And I can choose to mine gold from any situation.

I’d like to share some keys to freedom that I’ve found along the way. When I notice myself feeling wronged and starting to spiral down into that sticky, stuck, stewing place, I do the following:

I witness myself - observing the physical feelings of resentment, such as a tightening of my body, shallow breath, eyes narrowed, lips pursed. Becoming aware of the contractive prison of my body enclosing me, and realizing that I am doing that to myself, helps me to take a breath and begin to shift into a more expanded place.

I accept that it is what it is. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is an example of that: taking a deep breath…accepting…there’s nothing I can do about it…it happened…it is what is.

I allow and align with the feeling. I tell myself, “Yes, this sucks. I understand how you would feel upset. Let yourself feel it fully.” My hard stance begins to melt, allowing me to feel the sadness that lies underneath the anger.

I generate loving kindness towards myself – talking to myself with compassion, like talking to a wounded child, verbally hugging myself. “I’m sorry this happened. I know this is hard for you. I’m here for you. I love you.”

Finally, I mine gold from the experience - learning from it and owning what is mine; and then, seeing how it has made me a better person, a stronger person, a more empowered person.

All this results in FREEDOM, with the added bonus of some gold nuggets in your pockets to share with others. There’s gold in them thar ills and there’s plenty for everyone! Just think, if Shawn Hornbeck can find the gold in his experience, then anyone can.

Have you ever been held captive by your resentment? What are ways you have freed yourself from that captivity?  What is the gold that you mined from the experience? When we’re able to do that, as the Young Rascals sang:

“There’ll be shouting from the mountains on out to the sea,

No two ways about it, people have to be free.

Oh what a feelin’s just come over me.

Enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see.

Everybody’s dancin’, come on let’s go see,

Peace in the valley, now they want to be free.”

    In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Jul 03 2009

Can You Hear Me Now? – Issue #18

I’ve been immersing myself this week in news about Michael Jackson, planting myself like a vegetable in front of the television and the computer, reading about and relating to his anxiety and insomnia, and the drugs he used to relieve them. My 3-month checkup at the cancer center is due, and I’ve been feeling anxious, unable to sleep and have been “drugging” myself with television and the Michael Jackson drama. The immersion distracts and disconnects me from my fear, but it also disconnects me from my spirit. The voice of my higher self, growing ever fainter in the distance, is saying, “Move your body. Take a walk.” I move my body over to the couch, pick up the remote control and search for more MJ news.

I can see how being stuck in the contracted energy of fear has kept me from doing my daily disciplines of dancing and walking, actions which help me connect with my spirit. It’s like when we lose connection on our cell phone – in order to reestablish connection we need to keep moving to another position, asking, “Can you hear me now?” until the reception is clear. I have lost clear connection with my spirit, but my spirit hasn’t moved out of range of reception – I have, by numbing my fear with hours of escapist drama.

I’m aware that whenever I feel occasional twinges of pain, fear is activated and my worried mind asks, “What is that? Is it cancer?” Fear is like a barking dog, barking at the slightest noise. The barking is now waking me up, reminding me that I have moved out of range of my higher voice – reminding me that it’s time to take my inner barking dog for a walk in nature and get reconnected to my spirit – taking my God for a walk. When I change my position and move my body, I get unstuck and  can then hear the voice of my higher self, reminding me, “You are safe. You are so much more than a body, so much vaster than your fear.” That helps put the fear into perspective – it’s just a little bitty scared dog nipping at my heels.

Anticipating my checkup, I literally shake my body like a dog shakes water from its fur. Shaking helps release the grip of fear. As I nervously sat on the exam table waiting for the doctor to come in, I acknowledged to myself, “I feel scared.” That always invites a big spacious breath. Then I affirmed, “I am so much more than a body.” I imagined the vastness of my spirit inside and all around me, and I calmed down. When the doctor examined me and said, “You’re fine. I’ll see you in 3 months,” I was tail-waggin’ happy!

Deepak Chopra said that when his friend Michael Jackson danced on stage, “It was there that he was no longer a person in emotional distress, but instead someone dancing in the world of the spirits.” Dancing, shimmying, shaking, moving our bodies helps loosen the grip of fear and allows us to reconnect with our spirit.

Fear is a great motivator – it is designed to be compelling in order to get us to take survival action in the form of fight or flight or freeze…or take ‘thrival’ action by facing into the fear, feeling it fully, and therefore freeing ourselves from it. I have felt compelled this week to face my fear, feel it, and free my body to move into a place where the reception is strong and clear. My higher self asks, “Can you hear me now?” “Yes, I can hear you now.”

What is your current response to fear? How do you connect with your spirit? Is the reception clear? Is it time for some movin’ and groovin’ to the tune of your higher self?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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May 11 2009

Fired Up & Drawing on My “Trust” Fund! 5/11/09, Issue #12

(Written Thursday, May 7)

I look out my window on this dark night and watch in frightened awe the wind-whipped Jesusita fire glowing in terrible beauty for 5 miles across the Santa Barbara mountains. My heart pounds as I see that a portion of it is racing towards us! There are urgent sounds of sirens, helicopters, planes, and a roaring wind; it sounds like war. During the day the winds had died down, and the fire slept (after destroying 75 homes the night before); it seemed we were safe. But the sundowner winds awakened the fire with startling speed into a house-devouring monster that is now spreading out of control. We are on the outside edge of the evacuation zone and are faced with the question, “What do we take with us? What is important? What can we do without?”

I am adrenalized and frantically packing essentials. Then Tom and I stop what we’re doing and look at each other; holding our gaze, he tells me, “Whatever happens, we will be fine.” I take a deep breath; I know what he means. We know how to come fully into the moment, into the here and now, and be in that state of grace where everything works out. That is our “Trust” fund, which we have access to at any time. Even if we were living in a newspaper tent under the freeway, if we are in the moment, in that state of trust, we are safe.

During the course of this fire, flashes of awareness have been coming to me that cancer is like a fire. My cancer is apparently “out”, but the doctor said there is a medium risk of recurrence; there are possible embers that could be whipped into a raging fire again, a body devouring monster, spreading out of my control – like my imagination! Sometimes I am aware of a frantic energy in me, trying to make myself relax; afraid that stress, like the wind, could whip the embers of cancer back to monstrous life. Then I am reminded of my “trust” fund, and I take a deep breath, knowing that I will be fine no matter what happens.

It is now Sunday. Over the last three days the marines landed and saved Santa Barbara! – the marine layer that is, blanketing us all in cool, moist protection. I am letting out a big sigh of relief. Tom and I went to a dance today where people gathered to commune, and share in our mutual experience of having been under siege and having survived. There were people at the dance whose homes had burnt to the ground; they had come to dance their pain of loss and their joy of community and survival. Dancing can be an act of healing ourselves. Animal’s bodies naturally tremble once danger has passed, releasing the energy of the trauma. Dancing is a way to do the same.

I danced my body in rocking, shaking, releasing movements; like a salt shaker, releasing salty sweat and tears as my heart welled with compassion for those who had lost their homes. This spilled over into compassion for all of us who have had great losses in our lives: homes, breasts, uteruses, relationships. Dancing, shaking, releasing stress and deep sadness, moving through the wreckage, rising from the ashes, as passion comes, igniting flames of rebirth and celebration – such is the dance of life.

Fires are a natural part of life. They serve a beneficial purpose. The fires in our personal lives can do the same, but that depends on how we choose to look at things. Perhaps it is no coincidence that last week there was a Buddhist sand painting exhibit here, which was exquisitely detailed and beautiful. On the last day of the exhibit they purposely destroyed it, demonstrating the transitory nature of material life and a letting go of attachment to how things are.

It is freeing to learn how much we can let go of; whether it’s a lost home, relationship, or uterus; we manage to rise from the ashes and recover our passion to recreate our lives. The human spirit has wings, like the phoenix, that carry us to new heights and new life.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.” Victor Hugo

What is really important to you? What is it you would take with you if you had to leave your house? What do you want to take with you when you leave this life? I’m taking my “trust” fund!

 In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Apr 21 2009

Owning Your Jaw-Dropping Magnificence! 4/21/09 Issue #9

A frumpy, middle-aged woman with bushy caterpillar eyebrows walked in nervous determination onto the stage. In front of millions of viewers of the TV show, Britain’s Got Talent, she declared that her dream is to be a professional singer. People snickered and rolled their eyes. Then she began to sing in a clear, lilting, beautiful voice. In the audience, people’s jaws dropped, and a spontaneous standing ovation with thunderous applause erupted. Now over 66 million people have been moved, amazed and inspired by Susan Boyle on Youtube. (Click link below to see video.)

I believe that one of the reasons this has touched so many people so profoundly is because deep down inside we know that we have within us our own version of jaw-dropping magnificence. Just like in the story of the Ugly Duckling, our beautiful swan essence exists, waiting to be owned and revealed.

Gay Hendricks says, “We are so busy trying to prove we’re okay, we forget that we’re magnificent.” I believe that, like the Ugly Duckling, we are all on a hero’s journey to discover our inherent magnificence. One of the challenges on our journey is that we misidentify ourselves as the Ugly Duckling and get lost in that image and stuck in that story. When we try to break free and be more than that, a critical inner voice berates us, saying, “Who do you think you are?” Yet there is a higher voice within urging us to remember, “Who do you KNOW you are?”

Sometimes a life challenge (such as a divorce, an illness, or a great loss) comes along to wake us up and help us remember who we really are. When first confronted with adversity, it can seem that life has turned on us; but we eventually find instead that it has turned us On! It has turned on the big, bright, luminous light of our soul, igniting our courage, strength, and special abilities, reminding us that, like Susan Boyle, there is so much more to us than meets the eye.

I had planted a seed years ago that in my 60’s I would be optimally healthy. I would be slender. I would be writing. I would be deeply connected with my spirit. Yet as the big 6-0 was just months away I found myself thirty pounds overweight and cozily nestled into the comfort of the familiar. I needed something to jolt me into a strong resolve for this life transformation, and I got it! (Life is so accommodating!)

As a result of my appendicitis and uterine cancer, something remarkable has happened…I saw something today that I haven’t seen in years… my jaw line! When my appendicitis struck 9 months ago I completely lost my appetite! I ate very lightly for three months and lost 23 pounds! When the possibility of uterine cancer entered the scene a few months ago I changed my diet even more, eating mostly raw foods, drinking wheat grass everyday, and cutting out all dairy and sugar. I lost 7 more pounds.

The seed I had planted prior to turning 60 is now in full bloom: I feel more vibrantly healthy and alive than I have ever felt. I am loving my body (including my new scars, which I see as badges of courage). I am deeply connected with my spirit. And I am writing and sharing about it all in these newsletters (with two books in the works)!

My jaw drops as I see that this frumpy, complacent, middle-aged woman that I was just nine months ago has transformed into my Magnificent Kick-Ass Big Soul Self, doing the soul work that I came here to do!

Who do you KNOW you are? Have you owned and revealed your jaw-dropping magnificence?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

Watch video of singing sensation Susan Boyle (47-years-old)

 

 

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Apr 15 2009

Words Cast Spells – The Power of Reframing and Renaming 4/15/09 Issue #8

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My path-ology report came back and showed that my nodes were clear. However, the cancer was more aggressive than they first thought and it had penetrated into two thirds of the uterine wall (making it Stage 1C, Grade 3). The doctor said there is a 25% risk of recurrence. I asked him,”Since I don’t have a uterus anymore, where would the cancer go?” He said, “Anywhere.”

That scared me; an image came to mind of marauding terrorist cells that had eluded the doctor’s scalpel and were cunningly roaming my body, looking for a place to set up camp and wreak more havoc.

Then I quickly reframed that. I can see how the increased risk is perfect – it keeps me awake, on my toes, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and motivated to continue with the healing life changes I have made: the vibrant diet, daily meditation, deep breathing, and enjoying my moment-to-moment game of TAG – Trust, Acceptance, and Gratitude. (TAG, I’m it – I choose what I want to focus on and generate.)

I am aware that words and images shape and color our world, they mold it like play doh. “Words cast spells, that’s why they call it spelling.” How we think of things and picture them creates a cellular response in our bodies. It is self-hypnosis. When hypnotized, our body can raise a blister if we’re touched with an ice cube and told that it’s a blazing hot coal.

Our thoughts can create heaven or hell, depending on where we’re choosing to dwell. These thoughts create feelings of well-being, or of being stuck in a well. They also create chemicals in our body, such as feel-good endorphins, or the stress hormone cortisol. We literally are walking laboratories, and our thoughts are the chemists.

Words and images also impact our immune system and ability to heal. A friend of Tom’s told him that she had cancer a few years ago and was in two cancer support groups. There were people in the groups who had an attitude of being at war and battling their cancer. Other people had an attitude of wanting to learn and grow and explore what their cancer brought up for them. In her experience, those were the people who tended to survive, while the ones who were at war did not.

Someone told me that they don’t use the word cancer, instead they call it aberrant cells. I’ve been playing with other names like waker uppers, I openers, shadows, fungi (some people believe that cancer is a fungus). How about fun guy? There’s a woman who calls hers crazy, sexy cancer (and wrote a book with that title).

My Cancer experience has opened my eyes big time in so many ways – therefore, I have decided to call it The Big See! I See the world with new eyes, big bright baby eyes. I See that I have more courage than I thought.  I See the love of friends and family. I See that my life is purposeful and things happen for a reason. I See that life is finite and spirit is infinite. I See that it’s all about love.

I invite all of you as you go through your day today to eavesdrop on yourselves. What thoughts are you dwelling on? What chemicals are you cooking up in your body lab? What is ready to be reframed and renamed in your life?

In love,

Jan Jacobsen

 

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Apr 01 2009

The View from My Hospital Bed

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It is midnight.

I am inwardly moaning and complaining about

the moaning, complaining woman next to me

who is keeping me awake.

I want to feel compassion.

And…I want to throttle her.

I ask the nurse, “Is there a quieter room?”

“No.”

There is no escape.

How perfect – I am reading the book, “The Wisdom of No Escape”

about compassion and surrendering to what is.

I surrender.

I cry.

My roomie and I cry together.

I ask about her and she tells me her story.

Her daughter died 4 months ago, which shattered her heart.

Ten days ago she crashed her car into a tree, which shattered her body.

“I am in so much pain,” she cries.

I want to hug her.

I want to hold her hand.

How perfect that she is my roommate.

She is reminding me about compassion.

I fall asleep sending her love on my out breaths.

This morning I watched the sun rise

over the mountains.

How wonderful to have this view

from my hospital bed.

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