Tag Archive 'present moment'

May 01 2011

Amazing Surprises, Awesome Twists, and Spellbinding Coincidences Ahead! – Issue #72

Psss-s-s-s-t-t, S-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Around the bend, in the unseen, arising from the very uncertainties that may now seem to taunt you, there are some amazing surprises, awesome twists, and spellbinding coincidences about to emerge that you can’t even now imagine.

Mooo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-haaaa,

The Universe

This was the perfect Note from the Universe (from Mike Dooley at Tut.com) that I received last week. One year ago this month I had begun my 6-week radiation and chemo treatment for recurrent uterine cancer and was deeply immersed in the misery of nausea, weakness, and the dismal awareness that the chances of the grueling treatment working were slim. It was difficult to imagine back then that a year later I’d still be here…thriving!

With time possibly limited, I was motivated this year to immerse myself in the present moment, savoring it like delicious candy, and to my great delight, time has stretched like taffy into a sweet eternal Nooooow! The quality of time has literally changed for me. I don’t just know, I feel that right now is all there is. Whenever my mind races into a feared future, I say “Whoa Nelly!”, and take deep slow breaths, bringing my mind back to the bounty of this nourishing present moment. This is a great treasure I have found!

Another great treasure that this year has brought me is the priority of focusing on the healing, wholing, holy energy of love. For the rest of my life, love is what I want to create and where I want to dwell. How much I have loved in this life is something I believe I take with me when I go.

I have also lasered into living my life on purpose, getting on with what I came here to do — writing from my heart and soul and sharing it with others. It is a treasure beyond measure to think that I can be of help in this way.

This year I have learned to not sweat the small stuff, but instead to celebrate the big stuff, like the present moment, love, and living a purposeful life. What a bountiful banquet I have found myself at! I couldn’t have known a year ago when things seemed so dire, that a more vibrant, meaningful, luscious life was about to unfold.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

Last week I saw the documentary, I Am, created by Tom Shadyac, a highly successful director of comedy hits like Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, and The Nutty Professor. In 2007 he was in a bike accident, which damaged his arm and his head, leaving him with Post Concussion Syndrome. He suffered intense pain, mood swings, and ringing in his head for many months. He didn’t think he was going to make it, and he began to welcome death.

Faced with death, he asked himself, “If this is it for me – if I really am going to die – what do I want to say before I go? What will be my last testament?” Miraculously, with this new sense of purpose, his symptoms began to subside, allowing him to focus on and create the heart-opening, soul-stirring, mind-expanding film, I Am. In it he explores what’s wrong with the world and how we can help make it right. What he ultimately discovered is that there is more right about the world than wrong.

Can you remember times when things looked bleak, but turned out even better than you could imagine? When we hang in there, twists and turns and coincidences present themselves, and our life miraculously goes from sucky to succulent, from yucky to YUM!  No matter how things may seem, be open for surprises and miracles!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Jul 11 2010

Best of Jan’s Juicy Nuggets – Issue #55

Last Wednesday I was interviewed about my cancer journey on Pamala Oslie’s weekly radio show. Pamala is a high caliber psychic and author in Santa Barbara who receives my newsletters, felt inspired by them, and wanted me to share some of my learning with her listeners. I was nervous but also thrilled to think that sharing my experience and tools might help people. Being of service helps this whole thing make sense to me, it makes it all worth it. Tom was there at the interview as well and got to share some of his learning and experience living with a loved one with cancer.

Prior to the show Pam asked me to make a list of some of the things I’d be most excited talking about. I reread all my newsletters and culled from them the juiciest bits. Here are some of those juicy bits. (Most of them were covered in the interview. Below is a link to the archived tape of the interview if you’d like to listen to it).

WAKE UP – YOUR DREAM IS WAITING TO BE BORN!

I first found out I had uterine cancer just before my 60th birthday. Having something growing in my uterus at the time of such an important birthday made me wonder, “What wants to be born into my life?” I realized that I had been stagnating — I’d done the same work for 27 years and was no longer inspired by it. I’ve always wanted to do inspirational writing. That was my dream. I would tell myself, “Someday I will write.” Cancer kicked my ‘someday’ into ‘WRITE NOW!’ It shook me awake and compelled me to take a risk and live my dream. That’s when the newsletter was born. Have you given birth to your dream?

“GROWTH” OPPORTUNITY

As someone on a spiritual path, I believe that life is all about soul growth and all about love. I see this cancer growth as a growth opportunity and I want to get the most growth I can from it! I’ve asked myself, “What can I learn from this cancer? What wants to be loved here?” I see the tumor as an energy blockage. How am I blocking my energy?  I realize that the belly and pelvic area of my body have sometimes been unloved parts of me. I haven’t brought a lot of breath and awareness to the area. I’ve felt shame about some of the bodily functions there. I’ve also blocked chi energy there by clenching in fear. I am now breathing fully into this area, ventilating it with healing energy. It has got my full loving attention. Is there a part of your body and emotions that you haven’t loved?

TWO ARROWS

The Buddha talks about the two arrows of suffering. The first arrow is called primary suffering — it’s when we have a physical pain or an emotional pain, such as the loss of a loved one. The second arrow is called secondary suffering and it is self-inflicted when we react to the primary pain with resentment, resistance, distraction, or wallowing in victim energy. Those reactions lock the pain in. This has been a challenge of mine, to not get sucked into contractive victim energy. Finding ways to free myself of secondary suffering and move into expansive energy has been my life work. Are you trapped in secondary suffering? The following are valuable tools I’m using that might be helpful for you as well.

A ‘GOOD’ CRY VS. A ‘BAD’ CRY

Since I found out last week that the chemo and radiation treatment didn’t eliminate the cancer, I’ve felt scared and sad and have been having many a “good” cry. A good cry is when I feel the energy fully and allow it to pass through, without putting spin or story on it. This allows it to move through quickly, like a rain shower, and I feel clear and cleansed afterward. A “bad” cry is when I’m circling the drain in a sad story, in a tailspin, like a dog chasing it’s tail of woe, round and round I go, and ‘poor me’ down the drain. A bad cry is very draining!

BEFRIENDING THE FEELING

Sometimes I am gripped by fear. When that happens I move toward the fear by bringing my awareness to my body. I notice where I’m feeling the fear, such as shallow breath and a tight stomach. Then I name the feeling, saying, “I feel scared.” No spin, no story, simply, “I feel scared.” I begin to breath more easily. (This works with anger and sadness as well).

Next I bring loving kindness to the fear, my compassionate witness talks to the fear, saying, “I know that you’re scared. It’s okay to feel scared. This is scary. I’m here with you. I love you. I’ll take good care of you.” More breath and more expansion happen. I’m now ready to TAG myself, affirming Trust, Acceptance, and Gratitude and I expand even more.

IT IS WHAT IT IS

One of my greatest learning in all this is to accept that this is what’s happening. Accepting isn’t giving up, it’s coming into harmony with what is. It’s letting go of the contractive energy of regret and resistance (secondary suffering), and coming into the expansive energy of surrender. That expansive energy leads to a state of grace where guidance and solutions appear. It’s a state of flow where everything I need comes to me. It’s a state of wholeness and oneness with all that is. It’s a state of being where healing can happen. The words healing, health, holy and wholeness all have the same root.

THE HEALING POWER OF PLAY

Singing, dancing, laughing and smiling creates endorphins, enhances the immune system and puts us in an expansive state. Reverend Michael Beckwith says that praying and playing are the same energetic. Chinese healer Chunyi Lin advocates that smiling generates healing love energy. He has a great acronym for SMILE:  Starting My Internal Love Engine.

Play is also a powerful shift tool when we’re stuck in negative patterns. When I notice my cynical attitude is taking over, I play with it! I give it a name, Cynny, and I exaggerate her grousing, I let her rip! This brings her out of the shadows, into the light, into wholeness, and I expand into the playful, prayful state of grace. Plus, it’s just plain fun!


THIS ETERNAL NOW MOMENT

Knowing that my time here may be limited has galvanized me into the present moment. I want to be fully alive while I am alive, fully here and now. I’m seeing the world through present-moment baby eyes, brand new, drinking it all in. Tom and I look into each other’s eyes, really seeing each other, feeling the eternity of the present moment. When I find myself thinking about the future and worrying, I affirm, “Present moment, only moment.” When I’m fully in the present, time actually expands and it’s beautiful. In truth, right now is all there is. I am here now.

It is such an honor and so gratifying to me that you are reading these newsletters and that they may be of help to you in some way. It was a thrill to be on the radio, for the same reason. I truly feel that I am right where I’m supposed to be. I am doing my soul’s work. This moment is perfect just as it is.

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

P.S.

Here is the link to the radio interview http://www.netbriefings.com/event/auracolors/Archives/radioshow/index.html

You can also access it by going to Pamala’s website, Auracolors.com, click on Radio Show, then Archives, then Podcast.

There is a wealth of other wonderful archived interviews with fascinating people such as Kenny Loggins, Gay and Katie Hendricks, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Swami Beyondananda, Mike Dooley, Dan Millman, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Terry Cole-Whitaker, Ceasar Millan and many more. I listened to several yesterday as I was getting a blood transfusion (for severe anemia) and it put me in an expanded state. Pamala is very personable and an excellent interviewer who brings out the best and the depth in people.

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Feb 27 2010

Facing the Unfaceable – Ear Aches, Rear Aches & Fear Aches – Issue#44

I just came face to face with a massive issue I’ve been avoiding, and I have my butt to thank for it.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time messing around on the computer, watching TV, and eating. I recently did something I haven’t done since my diagnosis and removal of cancer a year ago. I have been faithfully avoiding sugar (it feeds cancer) and dairy, but the other day I walked to the Fresco bakery (voted best desserts in Santa Barbara) and I got a big slice of berry pie with homemade whipped cream. I was proud of myself for bringing it home and sharing half of it with my husband Tom. Two days later I went back and got another yummy dessert (a caramelized banana marzipan flakey pastry), but this time I didn’t share it with Tom. I didn’t even tell him about it. It was a sweet, secret treat that I hoarded and hid and ate all by myself.

Big fat red flag! There have been other red flags that something was up, or held down, something I didn’t want to face. A few weeks ago I had a severe ear infection and blockage in my left ear with pain radiating into my neck and face. I couldn’t hear out of that ear and I felt unbalanced. In addition, for several weeks my butt has been unrelentingly aching with painful hemorrhoids (the grapes of wrath!) So I asked myself, “Your ear aches and your rear aches, what’s up with that?”

I’m taking antibiotics for my ear and it’s better. But the pain in my butt is not going away. My rear aches everyday, like a tiger’s got ME by the tail. The persistent pain scares me, with the thought that cancer is always a possibility. I tried to reassure myself that everyone gets hemorrhoids (it’s said that’s why Napoleon rode side saddle!) But then a lady from the community garden told me she had hemorrhoids and it turned out to be anal cancer. Oh My God, my worst fear! I googled anal cancer and hemorrhoids and my fear mushroomed.

Fear has taken over. I am out of balance — I’ve lost touch with my spirit. In trying to avoid this fear by distracting myself with TV, food, and the computer, I have also separated myself from my spirit. I have been spirited away by the addictive distractions that fill my day.

My ear aches and rear aches are fear aches. I’ve been tightly clenched, trying to push fear away, avoid it, sit on it. But once again I am reminded that when I try to sit on my feelings, they bite me in the butt! And it’s very painful! I am now willing to come face to face with my ear, rear, and fear aches.

Laying in the spaciousness of Tom’s arms, I let go and I let myself go into the depths of my fear and sadness about cancer. Even though it was removed, I have a creeping fear that it will return. I face into the surprising awareness that a part of me would rather die than to go through more cancer, pain, hospitals, expense, needles, knives, blood, and fear!

I cried and released and unwound my pain, and then…I became aware of Tom holding me, and I felt the sweet space he was providing me, and I suddenly remembered how I used to cry and feel this deep despair years ago when I felt so alone in the world. Now here I was with Tom. My eyes opened wide, taking in this present moment where I was held and loved. I awakened to this wonderful moment and I smiled, happy to be alive, feeling my feelings fully, in the spaciousness of the here and now with this beautiful man.

I can see that my butt has been aching to communicate with me, trying to tell me, “Get off your butt. Take walks in nature. Reconnect with your spirit.” My hemorrhoids feel better when I’m moving, walking and breathing fully, and they hurt when I’m sitting around distracting myself with mindless, breathless activities.

I am hereby committing to reconnect with my spirit, to meditate, to walk in nature, to call my doctor, to face my fear, to breathe fully and recommit to life.

Later today Tom and I are going for a walk in nature. We’re going back to the Botanic Garden where I haven’t been since the Jesusita Fire ravaged it several months ago. I haven’t wanted to see it’s marred beauty — I didn’t want to face it. Today I am willing to face everything.

How about you — is there something you haven’t wanted to face? Have you been distracting yourself? Is the universe probing you with aches and pains and discomforts to wake you up? Nestle into the spacious embrace of the present moment and let it all hang out. You will feel so much better afterward.

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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May 28 2009

Now Here This – The Purrer of NOW #14

Eckhart Tolle has said that he’s known three Zen masters in his life and all of them were cats.  My Zen master, Zeena, is teaching me valuable life lessons. One of the most important things I’m learning is to Be simple and to Simply be, to feel my feet on the ground and be fully present.  

Buddha said, “Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” It’s easy to go unconscious and sleepwalk through our life, therefore, it’s important to have reminders that wake us up. In the novel “Island”, by Aldous Huxley, the mynah birds on the island are taught to say “Attention, Here and Now, Here and Now.” Zeena does this for me; sometimes I’ll be lost in watching some TV show and Zeena will jump on my lap and say, “Neow Neow Neow.”

She’s teaching me that Now is all there is. Whether you’re chasing a mouse or chasing a dream, be fully present with it. It doesn’t matter what your dream is and it doesn’t matter what you do; all that really matters is that you be fully where you are while you’re doing it. A cat isn’t concerned about yesterday or tomorrow. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, right now is a gift, that’s why they call it the present. I invite all of us to open our present like a cat does. A cat enjoys all that there is about the present; the present is something to fully savor with all our senses.

I’m also learning from my cat that we are purrfect just the way we are. I’m learning to fully allow, accept, and welcome All of who I am. Like Zeena, I can sometimes be persnickety, and have been known to throw the occasional hissy fit. But like Zeena, I’m learning to accept myself just as I am. Carl Jung said, “I’d rather be whole than good.” I bet Carl Jung had a cat. A cat doesn’t judge and criticize itself and try to be good. A cat doesn’t think, “I really need to be more loving.” Or, “I shouldn’t be napping now, I should be doing something, I should be accomplishing something.” Or, “I really shouldn’t use my human as a trampoline when she’s trying to sleep.” No, a cat allows ALL of its catness. A cat is a cat and that’s that.

I was getting ready to go to a party one day and I was feeling nervous about it. I feel uncomfortable at parties sometimes. I worry about what to do or say. I feel a bit like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. As I was worrying about this, I looked at Zeena, and these words came to me: “There’s nothing I have to do today, there’s nothing I have to do or say, just be in the Now all the way, that’s all I have to do today.  Breathe in. Breathe out. That’s all I have to do.” I love those words. They’re very soothing to me.

While driving to the party I shared those words with my husband Tom, and our friend Nicola Gordon, a singer and songwriter from Santa Barbara. She loved those words too and said, “Let’s turn them into a song!” And we did! We put the words to the tune of  “The Ants go Marching One by One”.  We call it the Now song. This song has become a great reminder to me and my friends to breathe and come into the Now whenever we feel stressed or pressured. It’s also a great reminder, just like Zeena is, that we are enough, we are purrfect just the way we are.

(This part was written a week ago)

I am laying on my back and Zeena is laying on my chest. We are looking into each other’s eyes. She is very sick; her liver is failing. She is so still. I pet her, and she softly purrs. “I’m so sorry sweetheart that this is happening. I’m so sorry you are hurting.” I realize I’m saying this to myself, as well as to her.

As we lay heart to heart, I imagine pink light radiating from my heart to hers, flooding her whole body in pink light, trying to change her yellow jaundiced skin to pink. Maybe I will suddenly be endowed with healing power and a miracle will happen and she will survive, proving the vet wrong.

We hold each other in our silent gaze. We lay together in the warmth of loving presence for a long time, heart to heart, eye to eye, soul to soul. As I look at her, my mind starts to wonder, “How will it be without her?” It is hard to imagine her not being here. I will miss so much her sweet meow, her bunny-soft fur, how she runs to me for safety when her brother Bo is chasing her, how she lets me hold her like a baby, how she nestles into Tom’s armpit when he’s laying next to me, how she licks us with sweet kitty kisses and we joke, “Zeena can’t hold her licker.” Tears slowly roll down my face.

As I wipe my tears, I look at her – she is still here. Right now, she is here. She is laying on my chest. She is looking into my eyes. She is breathing in and breathing out with me in this warm, intimate moment, in this sweet, timeless space. This moment is all that there is. She is here now, and, so am I.

Is there something that life is asking you to come into loving presence with? Breathe in. Breathe out. Now…Here…This. Right Now is all there is.

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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