Archive for October, 2009

Oct 27 2009

THUNDER & ENLIGHTENING – A Persona Celebration! – # 30

   In the spirit of Halloween, I’d like to share with you this excerpt from my book-in-progress, Miracle Marriage, revealing some of the motley menagerie of personas (those parts of us that seem to take on a life of their own) that showed up to help us celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary:

   When Tom and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary, some of the ‘guests’ who made an appearance were Mr. Blunderful, Chopped Liver and Ms. Thunderful, to name a few. It’s funny how this gang tends to show up at stressful times like holidays and special occasions – they are such party animals! Fortunately, ‘Jane Goodall’, my non-judgmental witness, shows up as well to observe them.

   Tom and I made a date to celebrate by meeting and laying together in intimate connecting, meditating, breathing, and revealing our deepest thoughts and feelings—we call this “Lying and Truthing.” He was watching the end of a very exciting Lakers game. Ms. Wonderful oh so graciously said he could finish watching the game (isn’t she wonderful!) and we could meet in an hour for our time together. The game ended, but then the phone rang and Tom got involved in a phone call. Ms Wonderful, ever the good woman, let that be okay and waited patiently for our date.

   The phone call ended, and then I heard Mr. Blunderful on the phone calling a friend to talk. Chopped Liver then entered the party and thought, “What the heck?!” It was well past the hour that we had agreed to meet and he was calling his friend for what is usually a long conversation. Did he forget?! What am I, Chopped Liver!? Ms. Thunderful had now arrived (she usually follows close on the heels of Chopped Liver). She stormed into the party and was none too happy with Mr. Blunderful!

   Ms. Thunderful mouthed the words to Mr. Blunderful, still on the phone with his friend, “What happened to our date? Well, never mind. Forget it. I’m leaving.” Revenge is sweet, and Ms. Thunderful has a sweet tooth. She was about to storm out on this run-away train to Trance-ilvania, when Jane Goodall showed up. Jane patiently sat in the field observing the monkeys in my mind and all their shenanigans; she doesn’t judge, she just observes. She noticed the swarm of adrenaline hornets that were buzzing in my nervous system, and noted with interest that my breath was shallow and I was in classic fight or flight mode.

   Mr. Blunderful, AKA Mr. Oh Oh, hastily ended his call with his friend and announced that he was ready for our date. Ms. Thunderful still had one foot out the door, ready to bolt. Jane Goodall was marveling at the compelling nature of this internal fight or flight tug of war within her. Tom calmly asked me, “What do you want?” Jane Goodall’s awareness had loosened the grip of my righteous anger a bit, and I joked, “I want a divorce.” We laughed. I said, “Okay, let’s lay together.”

   I knew that the act of laying and breathing together would help usher in the bigger field of awareness. As we did this, we became one with the field and witnessed our inner tribe of chimps monkeying around. We were allies in this witnessing, sharing our ego thoughts and compulsions and laughing about them. From the perspective of the big open field, our egos are very funny—our egos are our funny amigos.

   In this field of awareness we were in, I became aware of the part of me that was uncomfortable with physical intimacy, and I could see that that one had been hitching a ride on Ms. Thunderful’s run-away train, trying to get away from the impending intimacy.  A part of me wanted closeness and another part of me didn’t. I took a deep breath and welcomed that persona, the Flee-er. It is a big field—fear of intimacy is welcome here. 

   Tom shared with me that when I’d suggested we meet in an hour that one of his personas, “Thomas MORE – The Human Doing”, thought, “Oh boy, I can get a lot of stuff done in an hour.” I shared with Tom my own “Human-Doing” thought that was urging me right then from the sidelines saying, “This is great stuff. Let’s hurry up and finish this intimate time together so I can go write about this intimate time together.” We laughed again.

    I wondered if Tom had a persona that was excited by the danger and drama of Ms. Thunderful and he provokes her appearance. He thought about it and said, “That could be.” He knows that he thoroughly enjoys the enlightening that always follows the thunder.

   These party guests have not ruined the party, they have enhanced it. We have gone deeper into learning about ourselves, revealing ourselves, and being one with the field of energy that embraces it all. It is such a great joy and relief to me that we can be this honest with each other, that we can reveal and be real and play with it all. ALL of us are welcome here!

   Are there any personas of yours right now that have taken on a life of their own? Welcome them to the party and invite your version of ‘Jane Goodall’ to witness them in curiosity, amusement, and love. Happy persona celebration!

 

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

 

 

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Oct 12 2009

From Worrier to Warrior – Issue #29

   Are you a worrier? The good news is, if you are someone who tends to worry, you possess two very special powers – the power of VIVID IMAGINATION, and the power of PERSISTENT FOCUS. People who worry are actually able to visualize and feel the thing they fear as if it were real; in addition, they have the ability to tenaciously focus on it. Those are super powers! The trick is to harness those powers and use them for expansion and growth (instead of contraction and stuckness). That’s when the worrier metamorphs into the warrior.

   Worry can be insidious. I am someone who believes that our thoughts and beliefs create our reality. That belief sometimes leads me to worry that my worry will create what I’m worrying about – I am worrying about worrying! If what I focus on grows, did my worry grow cancer? I urgently think, “Must stop worrying. Must think positive.” But that is just another form of worrying.

   Since worry seems to be a given for me, I have a choice to either use it to suffer or to grow. I don’t like suffering, therefore, worry has been a compelling force in my personal growth. It is a burr under my saddle, a spur in my side, I am learning to harness it and take it for a ride, like a bucking bronco, riding out of the tight pen into an expansive field.

   I’d like to share with you some ways you can use the power of Vivid Imagination and Persistent Focus to transform your worrier self into your warrior self:

1. Imagine the worrier within as a child who feels small and powerless. Put that child in your heart, comfort and love the child, feel compassion for it, speak to it affectionately. In the act of doing this, you become your loving, compassionate Big Soul Self, which is who you truly wholly deeply are, and your little worrier self is put into perspective.

2. Worry is a great catalyst for prayer. Studies of prayer show that what makes it most effective is imagining and feeling the energy of what it is we desire, feeling as if it is already so. Native American rainmakers tell us that they don’t pray for rain–they pray rain; they feel it and imagine it as if it were here  and now. When my husband Tom first came to California he walked along the ocean shore longing to see dolphins, but none were showing up. His yearning held an energy of lacking, “I can’t have it.” He recognized this, and shifted into feeling joy about the dolphins that he knew were there in the ocean, sending them loving warm feelings of appreciation. Before you could say “leaping dolphins” they appeared! 

3. Imagine that there are no mistakes, no accidents, and this moment is perfect just as it is. Imagine that everything that shows up in your life is fertilizer for the garden. After all, what is shit? It is ‘shift’ without the ‘f’ , as in Focus on learning and growth. Add the ‘f’ to shit and you have created shift and rich fertilizer for growth. An acronym for SHIFT is Simply Hold an Intention For Transformation.

4. Imagine that Right Now is all there is. Worry is usually about a regretted past or an imagined future. It is a compelling reminder to come into the present moment and be here one breath at a time, one step at time. My brother lives on his sailboat off the coast of Saint Croix, and a year ago this month Hurricane Omar hit the Island head-on and sunk his boat. He was devastated, he lost everything. A friend let him stay on his boat for awhile. My brother said to himself, ‘All I got to do is get up; all I got to do is get myself to shore in the dingy; all I got to do is….’  Baby steps, one after another.” A year later he is a happy man, with more friends than he ever knew he had who reached out to him and helped him get back on his feet. He is now living on a new sailboat that he loves!

5. People who worry tend to be sensitive. Sensitivity helps us feel things more deeply. Just imagine that though our sensitive thin skin leaves us less protected from pain, it allows us to be more connected to our spirit. What a blessing that is! I wrote this poem a number of years ago:

BRONCO RIDE

You were born into a skin of vibrant sensitivity

so that you might better feel the magical nuances

that play through life.

Your challenge, brave one, is to use

the pain that penetrates that silken thin skin,

harness it like a bronco,

ride it where it might go,

trusting the grace of your being

and the direction of your flow.

Hang onto that bronco

with all the courage and spirit that is yours

and you will eventually see your landscape

change into one of such magnificence

that you will be glad for the ride

and remember why you came.

The sun is always shining above the clouds.

You will find your way back to the light

where treasures await you,

where you will remember that you ARE the treasure,

you ARE the light.

So wrap your arms tight

around that bucking bronco.

Life is worth the ride.

   Is there something in your life that you’re worried about? What are some creative ways that you can use the power of imagination and focus to transform your worrier into a warrior? Ride on!

 In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

If you’d like to see a video of me giving the speech, “From Worrier to Warrior”, Click HERE .

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Oct 02 2009

Swingin’ On A Star – Issue #28

My ego is a real swinger — it swings back and forth, like a monkey on a vine, swinging between bananas on one side and boa constrictors on the other. It goes something like this: “They love me, they hate me. I’m good, I’m bad. I did it right, I did it wrong. I am the best, I am the worst.” When I’m in my ‘Jane Goodall’ state of non-judgmental witnessing, I watch my swinging ego with an amused smile on my face.

A few weeks ago at my Toastmasters meeting, I participated with several others in something called Table Topics, which is a brief, impromptu speech. Afterwards, people voted on which speech they liked the best. I was sure that mine would win. I don’t usually think so, but that day I did. I even voted for myself, then fretted, “If everyone voted for mine, the vote counter is going to know I voted for myself! Oh, how embarrassing. I hope at least one other person got a vote.” When they called out the name of the winner…it wasn’t me. I took a humbling tumble to the other end of the spectrum and thought, “Maybe NOBODY voted for me!” Then my ego reassured itself, “At least no one will ever know…unless Blabbermouth writes about it in the newsletter!” Silly ego!

Our ego is like the elephant in the room — we all have one, but we try to pretend it’s not there. It is an inherent part of our humanness to swing on the ego pendulum between polarities. In Buddhism, these polarities are called the 8 worldly dharmas: pleasure and pain, gain and loss, fame and disgrace, praise and blame. Attachment to one and resistance to the other is what keeps us stuck in suffering (and keeps the swinging in motion).

Did you watch the MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks ago? At the beginning of the show Kanye West was cheered whenever his name was mentioned…by the end of the show he was booed whenever his name came up. Within the course of a few hours he went from fame to disgrace, praise to blame, gain to loss, and pleasure to pain. He brought that on himself by jumping onto the stage and “stepping on a kitten”, as someone described it, by grabbing the mike away from the sweet teenage girl, Taylor Swift, (who was receiving her first VMA award), and saying Beyonce should’ve won. Kanye took a big dramatic ride on the ego swing! (Other notorious big “swingers” that come to mind are Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Baker, and Bill Clinton).

Having cancer has been quite a ride on the pendulum for me. Prior to the diagnoses, I was resisting my fear of illness, convincing myself I was protected by eating right, thinking right, living right – safe, right? Wrong!” Swing! I smashed head-on into my worst fear, Cancer!

What’s a human to do? Since suffering is caused by attachment to life being a certain way, and resistance to it being another way, I eventually came to a place of accepting the illness, even accepting the possibility of death. That was very liberating.

By observing and accepting our humanness, our swinging ego, our polarity dance, our attachments and resistances, we begin to be free of them. To swing through the air between polarities is human, to love our self anyway is divine. Witnessing ourselves, telling the truth on ourselves, shining the light on our ego with love and a sense of humor and affection, makes those ego swings become less extreme and begins to calm us. My husband Tom shared this quote with me recently: “My breath loves the rhythm of the truth.” I like that. I would add to that, “My breath loves the rhythm of acceptance.”

Acceptance of who we are and how it is relaxes and expands our energy and connects us with the spacious place of spirit, where there are no mistakes, no good or bad, no polarities; there is only Isness. In that expanded state, we are perfect just as we are, and we are right where we’re supposed to be. In that spacious state of being, we are swingin’ on a star, far beyond the limited, “either/or” thinking of ego, in a space of infinite possibilities.  As the song says:

Would you like to swing on a star

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

And be better off than you are

Or would you rather be a…monkey,

(swinging between bananas and boa constrictors?)

 

All the monkeys aren’t in the zoo

Every day you meet quite a few

So you see it’s all up to you

You can be better than you are

You could be swingin’ on a star.

Have you had an honest, loving, accepting, affectionate talk with (and about) your ego lately? You could be swingin’ on a star!

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