Tag Archive 'awareness'

Sep 21 2011

Compassionate Witness On Board – #80

When I was in my early twenties, I read an article in Parade Magazine about Liza Minnelli, who had just emerged from rehab. Something she said in that article has stayed with me all these years. It was very simple, yet so vastly profound that it helped change my life forever. She said that she was developing a new relationship with herself and throughout the day would check in, asking, “How are you doing honey?”

That blew my mind! The thought that I could talk to myself that way opened up a whole new way of being with myself. I started checking in with myself and calling myself “honey’ and ‘sweetheart’.  Gradually, over time, the critical voice that was always beating me up became a loving voice. My chronic, internal judge was being replaced by my Compassionate Witness. This is an on-going process that continues to this day.

In my forties I fortified the voice of my Compassionate Witness by doing a two-year training in Hakomi, a healing, therapeutic approach that brings mindfulness, curiosity, and loving presence to whatever is present. Strengthening the energy of presence was building a mighty muscle that would carry me through tough times.

I flex that muscle now whenever I’m haunted by horror thoughts of possible cancer carnage…I take deep breaths and become very present. This invites in my Compassionate Witness, who says, “I know that you feel scared right now honey. Let yourself feel it.” I reassure myself that when and if that time comes, I will be present with what’s present, breathing into it, fully feeling and facing it, putting on my Big Soul panties and dealing with it. (And…if it gets too bad, LOTS of powerful, kick-ass painkillers…because saint I ain’t!)

I know that healing happens in the light of awareness. The glue that binds our painful patterns together is soluble in awareness, which is much like water: “Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water; yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it.”(Lao Tzu)  Awareness is very potent stuff!

When I bring my Compassionate Witness to everything I think, do and feel, something astonishing happens…I gradually BECOME more the witness than the thing that I’m witnessing! Bringing all my shadows into the light, I become whole – welcoming every part of me to the party. My Compassionate Witness throws a great party! Every shadow, every guest who shows up (and they are quite a motley cast of characters!) is welcomed with open arms. Even the biggest shadow of them all…death.

Facing our death is something we’re all going to have to do eventually – it is the big fat elephant in the room. Buddha said, “Just as the elephant’s footprint is the biggest footprint on the jungle floor, death is the biggest teacher. Death or Yama Raja, death personified, drove me to the peace beyond birth and death.”

I want to be in that peace beyond birth and death; therefore, I’m intent on facing my fear of death, and death itself, and making friends with it. That way I am embracing it, rather than bracing against it. Leonard Cohen wrote, “If you don’t embrace the ocean you’ll be seasick every day.” When I come into harmony with all that floats and flounders about in my ocean, I am at peace.

What I resist persists; in that case, I’m hoping that now that I’m no longer resisting, maybe death won’t be persisting! Not any time soon anyway. Hopefully, I’ll have many more years to practice being fully present with my fears about the big “C” and the big “D” — bringing me more into union with the big ME, my true oceanic self!

Byron Katie said: “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it…it’s just easier if you do.” With the loving support of my Compassionate Witness, my greatest intention is to face whatever happens, and all my feelings about what happens, with an open mind, an open heart, and open arms.

Do you have a Compassionate Witness? There is no better traveling companion on life’s journey…it will help you get through ANYTHING!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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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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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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Mar 25 2009

Mr. Toad’s Wild Elevator Ride! 3/25/09 Newsletter #5

A friend said to me recently, “You are on Mr. Toad’s wild ride, and you’re managing to enjoy the scenery.” That made me smile. It has been a wild ride, but I’m experiencing it more like a wild elevator ride that goes up and down and every floor has a different view. The bottom floor is a limited ego’s eye view; the top floor is an expansive eagle’s eye view.

Sometimes my elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top; but when it does I can see the big picture. I can see how everything fits together perfectly. I can see how I am connected to it all.

When my buttons are pushed I often descend to the lower floors. Going down……..Thump! On the bottom floor there is worry, what ifs, whys, regrets, blame, danger, drama, duality, me versus them. On the bottom floor I am in the thick of it all.

Yesterday my elevator plummeted to the bottom floor. My sister told me she was examined by her gynecologist this week, who was concerned about some unusual bleeding. The doctor right then and there in the office took a sample from her uterus to biopsy, just like that! Her doctor said under her breath that that is what my doctor should have done over a year ago when the abnormalities first came to his attention.

When I hear this I am stunned! My elevator crashes to the bottom floor! Whys and what ifs rush in – Why didn’t my doctor biopsy mine a year ago? (They did ultrasounds instead, which showed an apparently benign polyp, so nothing else was done.) What if it has spread? What if I have to suffer through chemo and radiation (or worse) because they didn’t do the biopsy right away?

A flood of tears and fears and old pain bodies enter the scene saying, “The world is unsafe, people can’t be trusted, I am in danger!” Anger rages on board. “They should’ve done it differently!” A girl named Sue stomps in, pumping her fist, chanting, “Sue, sue, sue the incompetents!” The elevator is getting very crowded!

Fortunately there is room for one more…my Compassionate Witness. She holds the space for everyone who shows up. She encourages good ventilation by saying, “It’s ok to feel angry, sad and scared. Let yourself feel it. Feel it deeply. I will hold you.” She does not try to tell me, “This moment is perfect just as it is.” This is not a time or place for that. This is a time to Be where I’m at, in the thick of it, feeling it fully, shining the light of awareness on it. (I know from experience that if I try to rise above my feelings, that just positions me better for them to bite me in the butt!)

These feelings deserve to be heard and honored. If they are not, then they take up permanent residence on the bottom floor, spinning round and round in ain’t it awful stories like a dog chasing its tale of woe. My elevator was stuck on the bottom floor for many years – until my Compassionate Witness came to live with me.

When I rest and release in this spacious loving awareness, I am naturally elevated to a higher perspective. Going up……I begin to get glimpses of how I collaborated with how it was done and the decisions that were made; I had been happy to minimize the abnormality and make it all go away. I can also see my doctor more clearly as someone who was caring and concerned, not a bad person out to hurt me.

My elevator ascends higher and I can see how on the lower floors my mind’s tendency is to seize on the what should’ve beens of the past and what ifs of the future. From this elevated vantage point I am aware that there is only Now, and right Now I am fine. I am more than fine. I am experiencing a treasure of learning and inspiration, as well as the great joy of writing and sharing my experience. If this had been nipped in the bud a year ago would I be having such a rich, full-bloomed experience now?

I am seeing how it is perfect that this is bringing up my pain bodies; on the lower floors they are a torment, but elevated in awareness they become pain buddies, here to help me heal deeply imprinted fear and trust issues.

I can see that this is the healing that is most important; healing the belief that the world is unfriendly and I am its victim; loosening my ego’s tenacious grip on feeling wronged; learning to forgive and let it go. As James Ray (The Secret teacher) says, true forgiveness is being able to say, “Thank you for giving me this experience.”

Right now, as I am peacefully perched on the top floor, I can see how it all fits together. Now I can hear and let in these words, “This moment is perfect just as it is.” From this higher view I see and know that I am One with it all. It is my movie.

I also know that I will continue to ride the elevator up and down; but with my Compassionate Witness along, I am enjoying the scenery. There is no good or bad, right or wrong experience; just being with it with curiosity, compassion and a willingness to learn from it all. That always elevates me to the top floor.

“Just go into the room and put one chair in the center.
Take the seat in the center of the room, open the door
and windows, and see who comes to visit.
You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors,
all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable.
Your only job is to stay in your seat.
You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this—
wisdom and understanding will come.”
Achaan Chan

What is the view from your elevator right now? I hope that your Compassionate Witness is by your side helping you enjoy the scenery on your wild, wonderful, wisdom-gathering ride!

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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