Tag Archive 'life challenges'

May 04 2015

The Big Show, 6 Years After the Big C – Issue #112

I’m back in show business!…the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show that is (a Sunday show at Chase Palm Park along the oceanfront). It’s where I made my living selling my crafts for 27 years, until I was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago. I left the show to focus on saving my life and regaining my health. Now, gratefully, my health seems stable; however, my finances aren’t, and it’s time to generate some income.

This is my second Sunday back, and every day since last weeks show I’ve felt tense and depleted. I know the show didn’t make me tense – I made me tense, I tensed my body. My Trouper Soul (AKA my Big Soul Self) says: “Today, let’s tune into our body and notice when and where tension begins. That will be a great challenge to stay present, tuned in, and make micro shifts when we notice tension.” As I’m driving to the show and start getting closer I feel anxious and notice tightness in my throat and shoulders. I breathe deep and slow and remind myself, “I’m all right right now,” and I relax.

Okay, now find a parking space – there’s one! Wish it was closer. It’s several blocks away from the show. I have the ingenious plan to fit my entire seashore store together like a puzzle on my little 2’x3’ pushcart and make one trip. Great idea, except it’s heavy! like pushing a baby elephant! I’m huffing and puffing after a few steps. Trouper Soul says, “Okay sweetie, let’s just stop every thirty seconds and take a rest, and then push again.” Like giving birth: push, pause, breathe, push again, get this baby rolling.

I notice passersby looking at me askance, and I realize I must look like one of the homeless people in the area with their little carts loaded with all their worldly goods. I smile at the passersby, trying to let them know I’m one of them. I notice I’m slumped over as I slog along, and Trouper Soul says, “How would a queen walk? Remember your queen self.” I pause, summon my queen, straighten my spine, and proceed pushing the royal pachyderm. And on it goes, push, slump, pause, breathe, remember my queen, straighten, push with dignity.

I’m getting closer to the show, and since I’m new and don’t have an assigned space, my Worrywart begins nervously rushing to find a spot. I take a slow breath and remind her, “There’s plenty of space, plenty of time,” and sure enough I find a space. I plop down on my chair, panting. It’s only been a half hour and I’m exhausted already! I realize now that my exhaustion isn’t just from being here all day, it’s from the physical labor of getting here!

It’s a breezy day and the day before had been gusty. This oceanfront park is lined with long tall skinny palm trees, and I notice something shocking, something I’ve never seen in all my years in California: about 40 feet away one of those tall skinny palm trees is lying prone, stretched out flat on the ground! That gentle giant had swayed in these Santa Barbara winds for years, but in yesterday’s super gusts it snapped and bit the dust!

As the persistent breeze batters me, I realize, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be winded all day and wind up feeling like that flattened palm tree. I’m leaving! I’d promised myself in coming back to the show I’d only do nice weather days. Keeping my promise, I push my pachyderm slowly, alternately slumping and queenly, on the long trek back to my car. I heave and heft my weighty load back into the car and drive my weary self to the beautiful, peaceful, less windy Botanic Garden to soulfully contemplate WTF I’m doing!

When I was diagnosed with cancer six years ago and it recurred a year later with a poor prognosis, it was a dramatic wake up call. If I only had a limited time left, what would I do with that time? I’d been in the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show for 27 years and had become bored and stagnant, and I’ve wondered if that might have contributed to my cancer. I realized back then that it was time to do the writing my soul had longed to do, and I’ve been happily writing for the last six years.

So then why am I back at the Show? Am I making a mistake? Eliminating stress as much as possible was one of my healing strategies (you can read about more of them at my website EnlightenInk.com).  One of my fears is that the stress of the show will awaken the sleeping cancer (since stress suppresses the immune system). At the Botanic Garden I walk past the field of bright orange poppies and purple lupines, down the winding path into the redwood forest to my favorite wooden bench where I lie flat on my back and look up at the branch laced sky, and surrender to the silence and stillness, awaiting insights.

This comes to me: I don’t want my life to be stressful, but I DO want it to be stretchful. My soul loves to be challenged, to learn and grow and stretch and strengthen. To stay strong, muscles need something to push against. My body and soul muscles have gotten a bit flabby, in need of a good workout. The muscle I’m most passionate about strengthening is a belief in a friendly and enjoyable universe. I think that’s one of the important things I’ve come here to do and I’ve come a long way since a childhood of feeling the universe was anything but friendly. And I’ve a ways to go. Being back in the show is a great probe for those beliefs, which is exciting for my soul (though my ego can be like that elephant I’m pushing along).

Also, I’m enjoying revising and revitalizing my crafts and my display and seeing the smiles on people’s faces. I love being creative! It’s fun, it generates income, and gets me out into the world, facing my fears and transforming them. “We can do this sweetie. It’s okay for it to be easy and fun and stretchful,” says my Trouper Soul, my One who’s come here to learn and grow and heal and transform.

Okay. Let’s do it. I will find ways to make it easier, more body friendly, and more enjoyable. I can do this! I will do this! Yes! It’s on with the show!

How about you? Are you being challenged right now? What muscles of yours are being strengthened?

In Love,

Janet Jacobsen

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Feb 11 2014

Put On Your Big Soul Panties – Issue #107

When I’m upset about something and feel challenged, a higher voice within lovingly says, “Put on your Big Soul panties and deal with it.” Putting on my Big Soul panties means shifting out of the limited view of my little ego self into the expansive perspective of my Big Soul Self, seeing the higher purpose in whatever’s happening, trusting that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and everything is happening for my learning and growth. It means choosing love over hate, faith over fear, and forgiveness over resentment.

The beautiful part is, every time I’ve been challenged and chose to put on my Big Soul panties, there have been amazing outcomes! I believe that when we’re aligned with our highest self, we enter a state of grace where everything we need comes to us and things work out better than we could ever imagine.

A dear friend of mine shared her recent inspiring Big Soul triumph. She and her husband are separating after many years of marriage and they were having a rough time with hurt feelings on both sides. But they chose to shift into their Big Soul Selves and created a healing ritual in which they sat facing each other, with a thin rope tied around them, and for several minutes they looked into each other’s eyes saying the Ho’oponopono forgiveness prayer: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” They kept repeating those words for eight minutes as waves of tears filled their eyes. At the end of that time they both had scissors and cut the rope that bound them and they hugged lightly. Peace and harmony ensued.

We’re all faced with life challenges and we have the choice to dwell in the hell of the Heartbreak Hotel or to dwell in love and healing. Here are the three most significant Big Soul triumphs from my life:

1. THE CHALLENGE: I was a depressed, suicidal teenager, immersed in the belief that I was unloved and unlovable and doomed to a wretched lonely life. I fantasized about suicide the way other girls my age fantasized about boys.

PUTTING ON MY BIG SOUL PANTIES: During that time I prayed for help, and found a book called Your Thoughts Can Change Your Life, which said that our thoughts and beliefs create our reality – we can literally hypnotize ourselves into or out of anything. That electrified me! I could see how my negative thoughts were creating a negative reality and I knew that if I changed my thoughts I could change my life! I was inspired to take on the challenge of transforming my unfriendly world into a friendly one.

THE OUTCOME: My life was ignited with a purpose and passion to learn and grow and heal. My brother reached out to me, inviting me to come to California. I’d once thought my life was over, but now this caterpillar turned into a butterfly and flew across the country from Mystic, Connecticut to beautiful Santa Barbara, California, my new home and a whole new exciting life filled with infinite possibilities!

2. THE CHALLENGE: During my dating days I found myself in relationships with men who were afraid of intimacy and couldn’t commit. I would put on my pity party panties and call my gal pals and we’d commiserate in ‘ain’t it awful’ stories about unavailable men.

PUTTING ON MY BIG SOUL PANTIES: It finally dawned on me that I was the one who picked these unavailable men – I was the common denominator in all my failed relationships. And then it struck me…I was afraid of intimacy! I was afraid of commitment! I picked guys who were unavailable because I was unavailable and protecting my heart at any cost. I’ve heard that the result will always show you your strongest intention – obviously mine was to be alone, because that was the result. I was comfortable being alone. I was safe. I could see now that though these men were not my soul mates, they could be my heal-my-soul mates, mirroring what was unhealed in me so that I could see it and heal it. With my Big Soul panties firmly in place, I was determined to heal my fear of intimacy.

THE OUTCOME: I healed my fear of intimacy! And I found true love! My husband and I have been enjoying a deeply intimate and happy relationship for nearly 15 years! Sometimes we get our panties in a bunch, but then we put on our Big Soul panties (or pants in the case of my hubby) and deal with it, and soon we are once again loving, laughing, and learning in our Big Soul playground.

3. THE CHALLENGE: Four years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. My first reaction was, “Oh crap!” I indulged in a fine whine, “Why me? I’m a vegetarian!”

PUTTING ON MY BIG SOUL PANTIES: I eventually realized it was a major wake-up call, prompting me to examine how I was out of balance, blocked, stagnant, and not fulfilling my higher purpose. I recommitted to living the best life possible, and made holistic lifestyle changes in body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

THE OUTCOME: Cancer was the kick in the panties I needed to raise my game. I’m now catapulted into the present moment, savoring life and loved ones, making healthy choices, and living a purposeful life. These four years since my diagnosis have been the richest years of my life. I am vividly, passionately alive! That is a great outcome!

From the Big Soul perspective, what’s coming up in our lives is coming up to be healed. While my little self moans, “Oh no, not another growth opportunity!”, my big Self exclaims, “Oh yeah, another chance to learn and  grow and heal!” It takes a concerted effort and commitment to shift out of the sticky addictive lower energies of victimhood, resentment, and fear, into the higher energies of love, faith, and forgiveness. But when I do, miracles and magic happens, and I celebrate by doing the happy dance in my resplendent Big Soul panties!

How about you? Are you being challenged right now? Are your panties in a bunch about something? If so, it may be a good time to put on your Big Soul panties and deal with it, and be open to everything working out better than your wildest dreams!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

No responses yet

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