Archive for November, 2009

Nov 19 2009

Big me or Pygmy? – Issue #33

My husband Tom and I just spent last weekend in a workshop with Al Huang, a world-renowned philosopher and Tai Chi master who has toured with Sammy Davis Jr. and hung with the Dalai Lama. We have attended his yearly workshop in Santa Barbara for nine years. He is a ‘chi’leader extraordinaire, encouraging and exciting us to come alive and open to our Big ME, Big CHI, Big WOW selves. He teaches Tai Chi in a way that invites, ignites, and unites the realms of Heaven, Earth, and Human, helping us to boldly embody our vast life force, and inspiring the question, “Just how big and how vibrantly alive can we let ourselves be?”

He talked about his friend, Ram Dass, who wrote the book Be Here Now — a very important book for me that helped jump-start my stalled life force in my early twenties. Al told us he was going to talk with Ram Dass the next day. I thought, I’d love to give Al the book I wrote called Be Here Meow – Enlightening Lessons Learned from my Feline Friends. It contains some of the juicy philosophy and humor that Al was sharing with us and I thought he might get a kick out of it. Maybe he’d even tell Ram Dass about it — how cool would that be! Dare I do that? The ‘little me’ was quaking in my Crocks…who do I think I am? But Al had done his job well, and during the last break of the weekend workshop, filled with the Big Chi of the Big Me, I walked up to him and gave him my book. He laughed at the title, and shared with me his appreciation for the cats in his life, and thanked me for the book. As I walked away my energy field fluffed out like an excited feline and you could almost hear me purring!

“Who do you think you are?” is a common question of the ‘little me’, the pygmy. I am aware of times I have pulled my energy in, minimizing myself, virtually disappearing myself. People have actually bumped into me as if I weren’t there! I have super powers of invisibility! What do I get out of that? I get to be safe, to fly below the radar, to be a fly on the wall. But it creates a backlash — the fly becomes a hornet as my repressed aliveness shouts, “Hey, I’m here!” Like Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) in Midnight Cowboy, when he pounded on the hood of the car that almost ran him down, saying, “I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” It’s that feeling of being disrespected, disappeared, discounted, just generally dissed. My great dis-covery over the years has been that I was doing that to myself — I was dissing myself, I was belittling myself.

An even greater discovery is that I am so much more than the ‘little me’. We all are so much more. Our life force is vast. That vast self wants to be here, to be seen, to express through us. Even little Dennis the Menace has an inkling of his Big Self. In a cartoon, Dennis is sitting in a corner, being punished, and with a scowl on his face he proclaims, “I’m Dennis! THAT’s who I am. THAT’s what I shoulda said!”

The real question is, “Who do you KNOW you are?” That knowing, that remembrance of my Big Soul Self is the most important thing in my life. Since my recent experience with cancer, it has become even more important. Every day I invite and unite with my vast energy field by doing daily practices. In the morning I dance, moving up and down, backward and forward, side to side, inward and outward, embracing, balancing and flowing with All That Is. Every afternoon I go for a walk and feel and  affirm, “My feet kiss the Earth with every step” and likewise “The Earth kisses my feet with every step.” As I walk, I imagine the top of my head opening like a funnel, receiving love and guidance from above — I am taking my vast energy field for a walk, I am walking my God. Every night while lying in bed I visualize pink light filling my heart, radiating throughout my body, and I fall asleep held in warm, soft love light.

A few years ago there was a man on the Oprah show talking about a plane crash he survived. He said that as the plane was careening towards a violent crash he looked back at the people on the plane and saw a big bright light around some people, and lesser degrees of light around others. He was profoundly struck by that, and in that moment he vowed that if he lived, he would live his life fully, shining the full brightness of his life force.

Our life force energy has a dimmer switch, and we are in control of that switch. Just how big, how bright, how alive can we let ourselves be? It is our choice — brighter or dimmer, pygmy or Big Me. The great challenge is to become more and more comfortable with embodying our vast spirit, our vibrant aliveness, our magnificent soul.

How about you — do you feel like a pygmy or a Big Me? Where is your dimmer switch turned to? I invite us all to dare to turn up our light, to let our Big Soul Self shine through us, to be here fully, be here NOW, and be here WOW!

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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Nov 04 2009

Miraculous, Mind-Blowing Holidays! Issue #31

The holidays are here! — otherwise known as the ‘hollow’days, ‘holler’days, ‘hell’idays, or ‘holy’days, depending on what frame of mind we’re in. It can be a challenging time of year for many, evoking and shining a spotlight on our painful core beliefs, family issues, and losses.

Years ago I dreaded the holidays. My mother lived 3000 miles away, and though my sister lives nearby, she’s a Jehovah’s Witness and doesn’t celebrate holidays. My friends were visiting their families. Therefore, I spent many holidays alone. This stimulated my painful core belief that said, “I am all alone in this world, I am unloved and unlovable.” This belief was accentuated by my imagining that everyone in the entire country was gathering with loved ones for a fun, festive Norman Rockwell holiday — except me, poor Lil’ Orphan Janny.

Over the years the warrior in me decided to adopt the orphan in me…and a new attitude. I decided to use the holidays as a time to reframe my core belief by focusing on Thanksgiving and Christmas day as a time to deeply connect with my spirit, to meditate, to walk in nature, to feel my oneness with All That Is and feel the love that surrounds me. I started looking forward to those peaceful, prayerful days, filled with gratitude and appreciation for the many gifts in my life. My feeling of “all alone in the world” transformed into feeling “all one with the world”, and my holiday misery became a holiday miracle.

I also realized that I could ask my sister and her kids to get together with me on those days for a few hours and do non-holiday things, like go to the movies. I therefore got to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world, by choice.

I think that choosing to feel loved opened the spigot of love, and a beautiful love flowed to me in the form of Tom. With Tom in my life, I thought, no more holidays alone. But the universe was about to give me a pop quiz. One of our first Thanksgivings together, Tom spent with his family in Minnesota and I chose not to go. I was happy and content to spend some time with him talking on the phone, hearing all about his holiday with his huge family. I waited for his call, but no call came. As day became night, there was still no call from him; I imagined him frolicking with his family having a great time…and forgetting all about little ol’ me, all alone. I started simmering and made myself ‘stew’ for Thanksgiving (complete with ‘Chopped Liver’)!

I eventually called him and shared some of my ‘stew’ with him. As we talked, I got clearer and realized that I could have called him at anytime. If I’d done that, my Lil’ Orphan Janny wouldn’t have gathered steam and ingredients for her ‘stew’. It was another holiday miracle — waking up and seeing my part in things, realizing that it is my choice to stew or to count my blessings, and it is my decision whether I want to burrow inward in anger and sadness or to reach out for connection.

Holidays for me have become a powerful time of healing and reframing painful core beliefs, a time of awakening to the awareness that I am the creator of my reality, not the victim of it, and a time of connecting with my higher power, remembering that I am loved and I am not alone.

What is your frame of mind about the holidays? Do you have any core beliefs or feelings of loss or lack that are accentuated during this time of year? If so, you can use the holidays as a time to blow your mind-set and engage your inner warrior to re-frame the hollow, holler, holidays into a holy day of remembrance of your magnificent, loved, beautiful Self. Wishing you a miraculous, mind-blowing holiday season!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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