Tag Archive 'trust'

Jul 01 2010

I Am Willing – Issue #54

My chemo and radiation treatments ended 3 weeks ago and tomorrow my doctor will examine me to see if the tumor is gone or still remains. The radiation continues to take effect 3 weeks after the treatment stops, so that’s why the wait.

This waiting period has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I’ve found myself fully in the Now at times, and at other times in the future where I sometimes imagine the worst and sometimes imagine the best. It’s been difficult to think positive at times when I feel uncomfortable in my body, feeling my innards scorched by the radiation, feeling queasy and fatigued from chemo.

Right now I’m in a place of willingness – I am willing to be present with whatever comes up. I am willing to feel whatever feelings are here. I am willing to experience complete healing. I am willing to experience death. I am willing. What got me to this place was the realization that a part of me was NOT willing, a part of me was resisting and resenting.

Recently a friend of mine, who is very in touch with her light, has been exploring her shadows (those disowned parts of herself). She never thought she had shadows, so this is a new exploration for her. I started looking at how I see so clearly her shadows and her resistance to them, and I wondered if she was reflecting back to me something in myself that I’ve been resisting. As I told her, I believe that if it’s in your life then it’s in you. The people in our lives that push our buttons and stir our judgments are mirroring back to us our disowned parts. How nice of them! The goal is wholeness – owning all our parts makes us whole.

I told my friend that a strong indicator that someone is reflecting back to us our disowned feelings is if we feel victimized by them (anger is often cleverly disguised as “victim”). As I explored this in myself, I was not aware of feeling victimized by anybody in my life, but I affirmed, “I am willing to see my shadows. I am willing to see every part of me. I am willing to be whole.” Just then it came to me…I don’t feel victimized by any body in my life…just my OWN body. I realized there is a part of me that feels let down by my body, disappointed, sad, mad and scared. I did everything I could to be healthy, I ate well, took supplements, felt my feelings, connected with my spirit, loved myself and others, and yet I got cancer. Now I’ve been resisting taking supplements, thinking, what good did it do me? I’m seeing my cynicism, seeing that my surly Cynny persona has been operating from the shadows.

As I connect with the feeling of being betrayed by my body, I let myself cry and feel the disappointment and sadness, I let the emotions move through me, ventilating my feelings. I welcome my cynicism and disappointment and sadness to the party, I invite them out of the shadows into the light, and I feel lighter, I feel whole.

I’ve found that the best way to anchor myself in this place of wholeness, this place of openness and willingness to feel it all and be one with it all, is to ‘TAG’ myself. I created the acronym and practice over a year ago when I first discovered I had cancer. It goes like this:

TAG – Trust, Acceptance, & Gratitude

I TRUST that I am loved, guided and watched over. I trust that things happen for a reason. I trust that my life is purposeful. I trust that everything will work out.

I ACCEPT that this is what’s happening. It is what is. I breathe and allow it to be. This moment is perfect just as it is. I surrender to it. I become one with it.

I feel GRATITUDE for the many blessings in my life: my loving friends and family, my fellow journeyers (you) and learning buddies, my wonderful husband Tom. I am grateful for this opportunity to cultivate more awareness, love, trust, and wholeness in my life. I am grateful that I remember that this is what is most important to me.

I feel scared to hear what my doctor has to say tomorrow. But I am willing to be present, to breathe, feel my fear, and face whatever life presents to me. I am willing.

It is the next day and I just got back from my exam. The doctor said that there is still something there and it’s about the same size that the last CT scan showed. The tumor shrunk to a quarter it’s original size, but apparently did not shrink any more in the remaining weeks of treatment. He said that there’s still a possibility that it could shrink more…or not. It could also grow back…or not. He suggested we wait and see and keep an eye on it. I don’t foresee any further treatment. So here I am, willing to be here one breath at a time. I think I’ll go have a good cry, eat some chocolate, and then TAG myself.

In Trust, Acceptance and Gratitude,

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Jul 16 2009

A “Muse” Letter from the Heart – Issue #20

On Sunday Tom and I drove up the coast to pick some peaches at the beautiful El Capitan Ranch, where groves and gardens adorn the hillside overlooking the ocean. Everything on the land was thriving – there were huge, fragrant, happy looking roses of every color, a datura tree resplendent in angel trumpets, succulent peaches, and oil rich avocados. The woman who owns and works the land told us how she nourished everything that grew there with a special ingredient – love. She is in a heartfelt love relationship with the land, the trees, the plants, the flowers. She told us that she talks and listens to them, and they guide her in how to care for them. That love gave birth to the sweetest, juiciest peaches I have ever eaten. (Love tastes good!).

I believe that when we are in love with what we do we are guided and wonderful things come from that. I have been in a love relationship for over 25 years with my muse, creating crafts to sell at the Sunday Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show. I named my company after my muse, A-Muse Ink. Over the years this love has spawned many “children”. One of the first of these children was a little pig, which came into being this way: I said to my muse, “I need something that will make people say, ‘That’s too cute, I have to have it.’” I wanted it to be something that was easy and inexpensive to make. Then a vision came to me of a pig wearing sunglasses lying on a rock, “bacon in the sun”. That day, in magical synchronicity, just the right materials and equipment to easily make the pig presented themselves. After a period of labor I gave birth to my Bacon in the Sun line of pig magnets and flying pigs. Through the years I have often heard people say about them, “That’s too cute, I have to have it”. Those little guys helped me bring home the bacon.

In recent years I’ve been doing a daily meditation where I imagine shimmering light showering onto me, into me, and all around me. I wanted my booth at the craft show to shimmer like that. An idea came to me of butterflies balancing from a thread that dangled from a wire attached to a rock. I found the perfect holographic shimmering material to make them with, and my dancing butterflies were soon born. My booth shimmered in the sun as they danced and sparkled in the breeze, delighting me and my customers.

Many other ideas have come to me in this way. I’ve found that the creative process is like the birth process – it’s best when it begins with love. From that love, conception occurs. Once I conceive an idea, it is time to let it gestate and develop. Then I go into labor, doing the grunt work, which eventually results in birthing the idea into form. Finally I present my baby to the world. Some of my “children” became big stars – a line of Animal Guardian Angel Pins I created was sold in stores all over the country.

I have loved being in relationship with my crafty muse and with the Arts and Crafts Show all these years. However, relationships can eventually become stagnant, the joy is gone and we fall out of love. I was feeling that with the show – it had lost its sparkle for me – it became more a drudgery of labor than a joy of birth. I was feeling labor pains for something new to be born. Then, several months ago, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I don’t know if the cancer was born of that stagnancy, which in turn gave birth to  the impetus to do something new that excites my soul and stirs my juices. What I do know is that is the result. During these several months I’ve taken a leave of absence from the show, and in that time I have been developing a relationship with my writing muse. We have intimate conversations, and I listen and receive guidance. I have fallen in love, and that love is birthing these “muse” letters.

There is a law of the Universe that inflow needs to outflow and outflow needs to inflow. I had been inflowing a lot of information, spiritual learning, and growth over the years, but I wasn’t outflowing very much of it, I wasn’t sharing it. The pressure built and the dam has burst, and like a birthed aliveness, creativity flowed out in the form of writing.

I feel excited about this relationship with my writing muse – Tom-Cruise-jumping-on-Oprah’s-couch excited! This new love is juicy and sweet, like the peaches at El Capitan Ranch. While I was dealing with the cancer, I felt more captivated by the joy of writing than the fear of cancer. It is a loving partnership that I nurture by taking walks in nature, and eating healthy foods that keep me clear-headed and better able to connect with that higher part of myself. Like any good relationship, the more I talk to it, the more it responds; the more I listen, the more I hear.  Sometimes my mind is blank, I don’t know what to write and my muse assures me, “Relax, just listen, it will come.” And it does.

Commitment is an important part of relationship. Therefore, I am committing to this new relationship by publicly declaring my love and letting go of my old relationship. I feel a little scared and sad about that. My longtime relationship with my crafty muse and the Arts and Crafts Show has been a central part of my life for over 25 years. It has shaped and formed my week. It has been a steady dependable income. My mind wonders, “How is this new relationship going to work?” Yet my higher self is urging me to take the leap into the unknown. As I wrote in a prior newsletter, the quote keeps coming to me, “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions – All life is an experiment.”  Higher Self is compelling me to “Go where the love is and trust you will be guided.”  And so I am.

Are you in a love relationship with where you are and what you are doing in your life? Are you feeling urges to go where the love is? Trust that when you follow the love, all that you need will come to you.

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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May 11 2009

Fired Up & Drawing on My “Trust” Fund! 5/11/09, Issue #12

(Written Thursday, May 7)

I look out my window on this dark night and watch in frightened awe the wind-whipped Jesusita fire glowing in terrible beauty for 5 miles across the Santa Barbara mountains. My heart pounds as I see that a portion of it is racing towards us! There are urgent sounds of sirens, helicopters, planes, and a roaring wind; it sounds like war. During the day the winds had died down, and the fire slept (after destroying 75 homes the night before); it seemed we were safe. But the sundowner winds awakened the fire with startling speed into a house-devouring monster that is now spreading out of control. We are on the outside edge of the evacuation zone and are faced with the question, “What do we take with us? What is important? What can we do without?”

I am adrenalized and frantically packing essentials. Then Tom and I stop what we’re doing and look at each other; holding our gaze, he tells me, “Whatever happens, we will be fine.” I take a deep breath; I know what he means. We know how to come fully into the moment, into the here and now, and be in that state of grace where everything works out. That is our “Trust” fund, which we have access to at any time. Even if we were living in a newspaper tent under the freeway, if we are in the moment, in that state of trust, we are safe.

During the course of this fire, flashes of awareness have been coming to me that cancer is like a fire. My cancer is apparently “out”, but the doctor said there is a medium risk of recurrence; there are possible embers that could be whipped into a raging fire again, a body devouring monster, spreading out of my control – like my imagination! Sometimes I am aware of a frantic energy in me, trying to make myself relax; afraid that stress, like the wind, could whip the embers of cancer back to monstrous life. Then I am reminded of my “trust” fund, and I take a deep breath, knowing that I will be fine no matter what happens.

It is now Sunday. Over the last three days the marines landed and saved Santa Barbara! – the marine layer that is, blanketing us all in cool, moist protection. I am letting out a big sigh of relief. Tom and I went to a dance today where people gathered to commune, and share in our mutual experience of having been under siege and having survived. There were people at the dance whose homes had burnt to the ground; they had come to dance their pain of loss and their joy of community and survival. Dancing can be an act of healing ourselves. Animal’s bodies naturally tremble once danger has passed, releasing the energy of the trauma. Dancing is a way to do the same.

I danced my body in rocking, shaking, releasing movements; like a salt shaker, releasing salty sweat and tears as my heart welled with compassion for those who had lost their homes. This spilled over into compassion for all of us who have had great losses in our lives: homes, breasts, uteruses, relationships. Dancing, shaking, releasing stress and deep sadness, moving through the wreckage, rising from the ashes, as passion comes, igniting flames of rebirth and celebration – such is the dance of life.

Fires are a natural part of life. They serve a beneficial purpose. The fires in our personal lives can do the same, but that depends on how we choose to look at things. Perhaps it is no coincidence that last week there was a Buddhist sand painting exhibit here, which was exquisitely detailed and beautiful. On the last day of the exhibit they purposely destroyed it, demonstrating the transitory nature of material life and a letting go of attachment to how things are.

It is freeing to learn how much we can let go of; whether it’s a lost home, relationship, or uterus; we manage to rise from the ashes and recover our passion to recreate our lives. The human spirit has wings, like the phoenix, that carry us to new heights and new life.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.” Victor Hugo

What is really important to you? What is it you would take with you if you had to leave your house? What do you want to take with you when you leave this life? I’m taking my “trust” fund!

 In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Apr 29 2009

Kitty Whiskers and Sweet Soul Whispers 4/29/09 Issue #10

I’m lying on my back and my cat Zeena is circling me; she wants to lay on my soft warm belly, as she usually does. “No.” I say. I am guarding my belly; it is still sore from the hysterectomy, and vulnerable. I protect it like a mama bear protecting her cub from a mountain lion.

This girding of my belly is a familiar thing. I am often aware of a clenching tension in my belly. It makes sense to me that this stress would impede the flow of blood, oxygen, and chi, leaving me susceptible to health problems in that area.

I tell this to Tom and he says, “You use the word stress a lot. What do you mean by it?” “Hmm, good question.” I tune into the feeling of stress. “It is really fear.” “What do you mean by fear?” he asked. I close my eyes and feel into it more deeply. What I experience is that I am breathing shallowly and my belly is tight, contracted, armored, as if resisting. I see that it’s all about protection. It is the opposite of trust.

I love to watch my cat Zeena and her brother Bo lying on their backs like rag dolls, legs outstretched, stomachs exposed, completely open and trusting. They have come a long way from being the fearful feral kittens that we discovered on our porch four years ago. Back then I would watch them through the screen door, but as soon as I opened the door they would bolt. I longed for them to trust me. I talked to them through the screen in a soft, reassuring voice, “You are safe little kitties. You can trust me.” I like to imagine that it’s much like my angels and guides, watching me from the other side of a screen, telling me, “You are safe, dear one. You are loved. Trust. Trust.”

My cats are my gurus, showing me how to bare my belly, surrendering, trusting, fully open to life. Stephen Levine talks about softening the belly as a way of healing ourselves. “We store fear and disappointment, anger and guilt in our gut. Our belly has become fossilized with a long resistance to life and to loss. Each withdrawal, each attempt to numb our grief, turns the belly to stone. Have mercy on this pain you have carried for so long, the pain that sometimes makes you want to jump out of your body.”

He advocates softening our belly by bringing loving attention to it. He says, “As we soften around the sensations and gradually move into them, they melt at the edge. It’s not opposing the hardness but rather meeting it with soft mercy, knowing that we cannot let go of anything we do not accept.”

I have begun talking to my belly the same way I talked to the fearful feral kitties on the other side of the screen, the same way I imagine my higher self is talking to me: “I love you. You can trust me. You can let go. You are safe. I will take good care of you.” As a result, my belly softens, my heart softens, my throat relaxes, and my mind quiets. The belly is control central; once it is soft, the whole system softens and relaxes, and breath comes easily.

I’ve been listening for the voice of my higher self talking to me through the screen. I recently had the thought that if I knew I was going to die soon, I would walk in nature every day. Instantly a voice came to me, saying, “Do it now.” I am now walking in nature every day, breathing through my soft, trusting belly, listening to the sweet whispers of my higher self, “You are loved. You are safe.”

Do you hear the voice of your higher self talking to you through the screen door? What is it saying to you?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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