Tag Archive 'stagnation'

May 06 2012

Stoke Your Creative Fire…Or Else! – Issue #92

“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.” –(Chuck Palahniuk) That is a darkly humorous and ominous quote, but it has a spark of truth to it. Too much stimulation creates stress, but so does too little. Being stagnant and bored with life stresses and depresses us with feelings of worthlessness. When the stress is ongoing, it debilitates our immune system, leaving us vulnerable to illness and even death. Yes, it’s true…we literally can be bored to death!

Many of us have heard stories of people who have lost their zest for life — their get up and go got up and went — and then they are diagnosed with cancer or some other deadly disease. Poet W. H. Auden refers to cancer as “a foiled creative fire.” I recently saw a good example of this: I was watching a movie about Babe Ruth, and despite his incredible success as a ball player, his big dream was to become a manager of a major league baseball team. Yet that dream eluded him; it was a foiled creative fire. At the end of the movie these two sentences flashed on the screen: “Babe Ruth never became a manager. He died of throat cancer at age 53.”

While a foiled creative fire can sap the life out of us, a fulfilled creative fire, one that we feed and fan, can save our life. Psychologist Lawrence LeShan (often called the father of mind-body psychology) wrote a book called Cancer As A Turning Point in which he illustrated this point. For years he worked with cancer patients with conventional therapeutic methods, but was disheartened that every one of his patients died. Then he discovered something important that would change that ratio to a stunning 50% remission rate!

How did he accomplish this miraculous turnaround? Instead of focusing on what was wrong with the patient, he began focusing on what was right with them. He directed them to discover what brought meaning, purpose, and passion to their lives; this stimulated their internal healing resources. In his book he relates story after story of cancer patients going into remission once they renewed their zest for life and began fulfilling their deepest dreams. (Re-mission = re-igniting our mission in life.)

He helped them ignite their creative fire by asking questions like:

*If you knew that in 6 months a giant asteroid would destroy all life on planet Earth, how would you spend those 6 months?

*What activities make you feel more alive and vital?

*What would you most like to overhear people saying about you?

*Imagine that you just had the most fantastic year of your life. Describe it.

*Imagine it is many years in the future and you have died and the local newspaper has written an obituary describing your fabulous life. What does it say?

I’m aware that prior to my cancer diagnosis I had been stagnating; I did the same work for 25 years and was bored with it. I had foiled my creative fire by not doing the writing that my soul longed to do. I believe that that stagnation contributed to my cancer. Now that I’m happily writing and my creative fires are fully stoked, I’m hoping that God doesn’t kill me! It is said that the top regret of the dying is that they didn’t follow their dream. Whenever that time is for me, that will not be a regret of mine; I am blissfully, fully, finally living my dream.

How about you? Are you excited about what you’re doing with your life? Do you have a creative fire that needs stoking? Stoke it! It will not only enhance your life, it may save it!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Oct 09 2011

Chaos is an ‘Obstacle’ Illusion – Issue #81

In my first newsletter I asked the question, “What wants to be born into my life?” Now, two-and-a-half years later I have my answer – I have been reborn into a new life, a new way of being, a higher version of myself. I can see now that I had so many fears jamming me up, creating a stagnation that kept me from fully stretching into this life. Cancer was the chaos that stirred my stagnation into the birth of a more vibrant aliveness. As Bob Dylan sang, “He not busy being born, is busy dying.” I’m now busy being born!

For me, cancer instigated a total cleanse of my body, emotions, and spirit, removing toxins, blocks, and beliefs, allowing life to flow through me more fully. I have come more into harmony with myself and now appreciate every part of my body…and I mean EVERY part. I never thought I’d be applauding voluminous bowel movements, but I am! They are so beautiful to me! They let me know that the obstruction that was there before hasn’t grown back! All systems are clear and flowing!

I’m seeing that illness can be a rousing call to wholeness and more vibrancy. What seems like chaos and disaster is actually all part of a innate intelligence and drive towards greater creativity and a higher order of being. This is beautifully illustrated in Cymatics, the study of sound and vibration in which the surface of a plate is vibrated and a thin layer of particles on the plate resonate with the vibration, eventually forming a cohesive pattern. As the frequency rises, chaos ensues — the particles go haywire, into total disarray! Then, at a certain point the particles spontaneously reorganize once again, forming an even more intricate, symmetrical, interconnected, mandala-like pattern. This process repeats itself each time the frequency increases — disintegration is followed by re-integration and a higher order of harmony and coherence.

I believe this same process happens in illness and other life challenges — chaos is a purposeful response to stagnation and a prelude to a higher state of being. However, the success of this transition depends on how we perceive these challenges; when upheavals happen it can either seem like the death of us, or an opportunity to grow and raise our game to a higher level. Once I see that chaos is just an ‘obstacle illusion’, I stop kicking and screaming and resisting, and I come into harmony with this process of rebirth. I can then ride the spiral of my personal growth upwards saying, “Oh boy, another growth opportunity!”

To determine our physical health, a doctor checks our vital signs. What I’ve learned is to determine my emotional and spiritual health by checking my vitality signs: am I fully engaged and living a creative life, facing and integrating shadows, fulfilling my life purpose? If so, I don’t need to create chaos. But if chaos comes again, I will stay with it, learn from it, and ride it out, knowing that it is all part of elevating my life to a higher level of being. Nietzsche said, “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” When stuck in stagnation we are stirred and steared onward and upward to become the stars that we truly are!

Is your life in chaos right now? Congratulations! Something magnificent is about to be born into form!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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