Tag Archive 'worry'

Jun 12 2011

Calling On Fierceness – Issue #75

Worry thoughts about the state of my health have been nipping at my heels of late — much like my new kitten that I rescued, who is literally nipping at my heels, determinedly insisting on sinking her teeth and claws into life and into me! She is a persistent little whirling cactus! Her new big bro Bo (our other cat) is ten times her size and could eat her for breakfast, but to her he is a pony to mount and ride and roll around on and play with. He swats her away and she relentlessly bounds back. She is fearless! And fierce! And she wants to PLAY!

She is my current model for determination and unabashed living! That’s the spirit that helped this little one-pounder survive in the wilds all by herself for days, until a blonde giant (moi) strolled by and she cried out to me with a loud, bellowing meow. With that volume of voice I expected a huge cat, but instead a tiny ball of fur appeared from under the bushes, with an urgent, demanding, attention-commanding MEOW!!!

I need that kind of fierceness now. The universe is demanding of me, “Be HERE now”, NOT in the feared, imagined future. Trying to bring myself back to the present moment once fear thoughts have taken over, can feel as if I’m herding cats. My fears are like feral cats who see danger everywhere, even though love and aid is being offered. When my new kitten chose to trust the love that was offered, she hit the lotto and now is nestled in the lap of luxury. She is reminding me to be brave and trust like she did.

To help me come back to trust, I’ve been reciting in my mind the line from the poem Desiderata, that says, “Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” I take a deep breath of relief with that. As someone who has come to the planet to learn and grow and evolve my consciousness, I can see how my soul might have chosen cancer in order to galvanize me to get on with that work. I distinctly remember a time just before my initial diagnosis when I was lying on the couch watching television, feeling lazy and bored, and I had the thought, “What am I doing here? I’m frittering away my time.”

I’m not frittering my time away anymore! With fierce determination, ever since being diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been focused on transforming my hell-raising fears into heaven-raising faith. When I get off track, like I occasionally do, I always come back to my life-affirming practices of focusing on my heart, meditating, gratitude, trust, acceptance, deep breathing, walking in nature, and dancing. “I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”(Rabbi Hillel) That brings me back to an expansive place where I feel like a child at play with colored balls, or, better yet, a kitten at play with EVERYTHING!

We are all gods with amnesia, waking up to who we truly are. Sometimes the universe sends us things to help remind us…like cancer and kittens.  When I think about the challenges we souls take on here on planet earth, I am in awe of our courage and spirit. I agree with Rumi who said, “When you see your beauty, you will become your own idol.”

How about you? Has life been calling on your fierce persistence and determination to return to the present moment and remember your powerful divine magnificence?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Dec 03 2009

Play Your Way Into Your ‘Right’ Mind – Issue #34

Are you in your ‘right’ mind, in a spacious place, tasting life anew in the Now? Or are you in your left mind, stuck out in left field, munching on rehashed leftovers? That’s what our left brain does — it recycles mind chatter and generates a wall of words that separates us from the peace and stillness of our right brain. We can’t function in the world without our left brain, we need it for language, numbers, structure, and boundaries; but sometimes we get trapped within those boundaries. In the book ‘My Stroke of Insight’, brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor writes about her massive stroke that blew out the left hemisphere of her brain. With the din of her left brain quieted, she was immersed in the expansive, present-moment, right brain hemisphere — the portal to a peaceful paradise.  She paints a vivid and fascinating picture of her experience.

I have found that my left brain can be like a manic hamster on a wheel, going round and round, spinning yarns, worries, and what ifs, ad nauseum. It is so dizzying that I need a drama-mine pill — a reality pill to remind me that this drama is mine and what traps me in the drama is the spin I am putting on things, the stories I am constantly recycling. The left brain loves drama. Stinking thinking, judgments, catastrophizing, shoulding on ourselves and others, these are all left brain past times, and future times — anywhere but here and now times.

On the other side, the right brain is right here, right now, feeling peaceful and calm, experiencing oneness and union and a sense that all’s right with the world. Being in the right brain is like taking a chill pill, “I’m cool. Life is good. Everything is One-derful.”

I think that there is a certain beauty to the design. The hell of left brain feelings of discord, worry and separation instills in us an impetus to seek the heaven of right brain feelings of peace and union. It could be all part of the divine plan to motivate us to find our way back Home. When I’m out in ‘left’ field, judging, worrying, and criticizing, I am compelled by the discomfort of that place to take a field trip to find the wordless, wondrous, spacious place of my right mind where I think not, therefore I AM. As Rumi so eloquently put it:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field, I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.”

How do we get to that field? First notice and identify where you are; when you hear yourself judging and spinning yarns, when you’re aware that scurrying, worrying thoughts are spinning on the wheel in your mind, know that you are in your left hemisFEAR. Take the wheel and turn to the right, telling yourself, “Right here, right now is all there is, and right now all is well — breathe, relax, trust.” The left-brain chatter quiets, the body relaxes and you become peacefully encircled in the serene embrace of the right-brain hemiSHERE.

There are many other ways to quiet left brain chatter and turn on right brain peace, such as prayer, meditation, tai chi, yoga, walks in nature, breath work, and calling on your faith in a higher power. However, the most fun and joyous way for me is to sing and dance and play. Reverend Michael Beckwith says that praying and playing are the same energetic. That makes sense, since they are both in the realm of the right brain. Playfulness is next to godliness.

Every morning I sing and dance and play to the Beatles song, “Twist and Shout”. “Well shake it up baby now. Twist and Shout!” I shake my body like a dog shakes water off its’ fur; this shakes free left hemisFEARs and tensions, and wakes my spirit right up — it is shake and wake time!

Sometimes when I find myself lost in “poor little me” thoughts, feeling unloved, unlovable, and ‘left’ out, I tickle myself awake by singing The Worm Song:

“Nobody likes me.  Everybody hates me.

I’m gonna go eat worms.

Long thin, slimey ones; short, fat, juicy ones.

Itsy, bitsy, squirmy little worms.”

Humor is a great waker upper and before I know it I have lightened up and transformed a can of worms into butterflies!

When I notice that I am worrying, fretting, and forgetting the big picture, I shift myself by singing this song I wrote (along with my friend Nicola Gordon) to the tune of The Ants go Marching One by One. It’s called The Now Song. Sing along with me!

“There’s nothing I have to do today, hurrah, hurrah.

There’s nothing I have to do or say, hurrah, hurrah.

Just be in the NOW all the way.

That’s all I have to do today.

Breathe in, Breathe out,

Sing and dance and play.”

That always brings me right here, right now. What are ways you bring yourself into the spacious field of right-brained peace, unity and well-being?  I’ll meet you there!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Oct 12 2009

From Worrier to Warrior – Issue #29

   Are you a worrier? The good news is, if you are someone who tends to worry, you possess two very special powers – the power of VIVID IMAGINATION, and the power of PERSISTENT FOCUS. People who worry are actually able to visualize and feel the thing they fear as if it were real; in addition, they have the ability to tenaciously focus on it. Those are super powers! The trick is to harness those powers and use them for expansion and growth (instead of contraction and stuckness). That’s when the worrier metamorphs into the warrior.

   Worry can be insidious. I am someone who believes that our thoughts and beliefs create our reality. That belief sometimes leads me to worry that my worry will create what I’m worrying about – I am worrying about worrying! If what I focus on grows, did my worry grow cancer? I urgently think, “Must stop worrying. Must think positive.” But that is just another form of worrying.

   Since worry seems to be a given for me, I have a choice to either use it to suffer or to grow. I don’t like suffering, therefore, worry has been a compelling force in my personal growth. It is a burr under my saddle, a spur in my side, I am learning to harness it and take it for a ride, like a bucking bronco, riding out of the tight pen into an expansive field.

   I’d like to share with you some ways you can use the power of Vivid Imagination and Persistent Focus to transform your worrier self into your warrior self:

1. Imagine the worrier within as a child who feels small and powerless. Put that child in your heart, comfort and love the child, feel compassion for it, speak to it affectionately. In the act of doing this, you become your loving, compassionate Big Soul Self, which is who you truly wholly deeply are, and your little worrier self is put into perspective.

2. Worry is a great catalyst for prayer. Studies of prayer show that what makes it most effective is imagining and feeling the energy of what it is we desire, feeling as if it is already so. Native American rainmakers tell us that they don’t pray for rain–they pray rain; they feel it and imagine it as if it were here  and now. When my husband Tom first came to California he walked along the ocean shore longing to see dolphins, but none were showing up. His yearning held an energy of lacking, “I can’t have it.” He recognized this, and shifted into feeling joy about the dolphins that he knew were there in the ocean, sending them loving warm feelings of appreciation. Before you could say “leaping dolphins” they appeared! 

3. Imagine that there are no mistakes, no accidents, and this moment is perfect just as it is. Imagine that everything that shows up in your life is fertilizer for the garden. After all, what is shit? It is ‘shift’ without the ‘f’ , as in Focus on learning and growth. Add the ‘f’ to shit and you have created shift and rich fertilizer for growth. An acronym for SHIFT is Simply Hold an Intention For Transformation.

4. Imagine that Right Now is all there is. Worry is usually about a regretted past or an imagined future. It is a compelling reminder to come into the present moment and be here one breath at a time, one step at time. My brother lives on his sailboat off the coast of Saint Croix, and a year ago this month Hurricane Omar hit the Island head-on and sunk his boat. He was devastated, he lost everything. A friend let him stay on his boat for awhile. My brother said to himself, ‘All I got to do is get up; all I got to do is get myself to shore in the dingy; all I got to do is….’  Baby steps, one after another.” A year later he is a happy man, with more friends than he ever knew he had who reached out to him and helped him get back on his feet. He is now living on a new sailboat that he loves!

5. People who worry tend to be sensitive. Sensitivity helps us feel things more deeply. Just imagine that though our sensitive thin skin leaves us less protected from pain, it allows us to be more connected to our spirit. What a blessing that is! I wrote this poem a number of years ago:

BRONCO RIDE

You were born into a skin of vibrant sensitivity

so that you might better feel the magical nuances

that play through life.

Your challenge, brave one, is to use

the pain that penetrates that silken thin skin,

harness it like a bronco,

ride it where it might go,

trusting the grace of your being

and the direction of your flow.

Hang onto that bronco

with all the courage and spirit that is yours

and you will eventually see your landscape

change into one of such magnificence

that you will be glad for the ride

and remember why you came.

The sun is always shining above the clouds.

You will find your way back to the light

where treasures await you,

where you will remember that you ARE the treasure,

you ARE the light.

So wrap your arms tight

around that bucking bronco.

Life is worth the ride.

   Is there something in your life that you’re worried about? What are some creative ways that you can use the power of imagination and focus to transform your worrier into a warrior? Ride on!

 In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

If you’d like to see a video of me giving the speech, “From Worrier to Warrior”, Click HERE .

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