Category Archives: learning

Acting Self-compassionately

Green Tara

Green Tara

I’m coming back to my blog. Or as I recently learned sitting in a circle with women to delve into self compassion, I am coming home, to myself, again. This is an act of self compassion, returning to my blog. I want to get out thoughts, ideas and ponderings that rumble around in my head. Up till now my dear husband Mike was the only one forced to sit in on my “lectures”, listening patiently and attentively as I share with him my latest mental wanderings, which usually took place in the morning. I would wake up with thoughts and emotions swirling in my head. I’d mention something to Mike and I’d be off and running.

This morning after finishing my thoughts I looked over at Mike and shrugged as if to say. I know, I know, I’m boring you.

Instead, Mike said, “You should write that down before you forget.”

I looked down and smiled. What a mind reader.

“I am thinking of blogging again,” I said, almost shyly, almost tentatively but with a kind of joyous determination in my heart. “But this time I am not going to focus on what I should write, how I should write. I am not going to worry about having proper links and references. This time it is going to be Jazzminy Crone Chronicles: just me. I am going to put voice to my thoughts and feelings and if no one sees it, if I get no traffic, then amen. Because this time I am going to write to activate my throat chakra. To get things out and moving.” I put my hands together like a cup. I placed them around my gut and moved them up through my chest and out my throat and mouth. “If someone stumbles upon my blog and likes it, that’s great but that is not going to be my goal. I really think that was my goal before. Which is why I got so stressed about it all. Which is one reason why I abandoned it.”

“That’s a great idea,” he said. “But here is my advice to you, my thought about you after knowing you for so long. You come up with great ideas and then you don’t do anything about them, you forget about them.”

I nodded raising the left corner of mouth.

“So, go do some writing now. Get the momentum going.”

I stood up. “All right, but I want it said, for the record, that I am going to write now but NOT because you said I should. Okay. You don’t tell me what to do.”

We both laughed

“I am the puppet master. I control the strings,” Mike said waving his hands in the air.

“Yeah, right, okay.” I left the room and headed straight for the computer room.

So, in closing I want to state out loud, into the void that this writing, this blog is an act of self compassion because I am opening up my throat chakra and allowing my voice to be heard, how ever small or meek. I am honoring my self, my voice, my thoughts, my feelings, my ideas. I am doing this and allowing it to be public but at the same time not actively trying to be on the search engines to try in get more traffic.  Again, acting self-compassionately, I am letting what is, is.

Just in Limbo or I Believe in Myself

Just in Limbo or I Believe in Myself

I open my eyes. Startled I sit up and peer over at the small old-fashioned alarm clock complete with numbers, hands and a built-in light sitting atop Mike’s night table. 6:15. I lay back down. I’m not taking care of my little 2 ½ year old grandson today which means I can write all morning. I moan and bring my hand up to my forehead. I feel groggy. My eyes hurt. I had a restless night tossing and turning. Last night I counted down from ten picturing the numbers in my mind in different colors, first blue then green, hoping to quiet my mind.

At some point I must have succeeded because I eventually feel asleep but I don’t feel refreshed this morning. Sighing I get out of bed and stumble to the computer room to turn on the computer. It takes a while for that sucker to fire up so on my way back to bed I stop and grab my phone off the charger from the living room end table. I unhook it and cradle it in the palm of my hand. I crawl back into bed. I’ll just check my email on my phone, I think, then I won’t have to do that when I go to my computer. Instead I can just sit down and start writing. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I prop up my pillows and nestle my head down. I bring up my HTC android phone and open my Google mail account. I scan through my in-box.

Farmer’s Almanac, Earth Day Special!
Amazon Deals, Pedi/Mani or Haircut deals

Thought for the Day, How to do Exactly What You Want
Ann Elizabeth-Nagle, Ann’s CD Release Concert
Deliberately Delicious, [Jazzminey Crone Chronicles] Comment: “resurging with spring”

I smile when I see the email from Ann and open it first. I read about her up coming CD release concert and I feel joy inside at her hard-earned and hard-won success. Sighing, I close that and stare at the email from Deliberately Delicious. I feel oddly numb.

Last night I just finished reading the memoir Live Through This: a mother’s memoir of runaway daughters and reclaimed love by Debra Gwartney and tossed the book on the floor when I was done. It felt unsatisfying. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I identified with the story about a single woman raising four daughters and the trouble she had with oldest two. I didn’t have four daughters but I understood dealing with out of control teenagers and feeling helpless. I was hoping to understand how things got better for her and her daughters. I didn’t’ get that understanding and was feeling let down.

I started to think of the memoir I am writing and I hope that I am not going to let readers down but how can I not think that I would. It’s not like I am the greatest writer. However, I have been writing on this memoir for over a year. I produced over 100,000 words. At times I felt the writing was going well. At others I felt it was a mess. I paid to have it reviewed. Show don’t tell is what I got. How can you show everything, I thought, the book could go on forever. After being in the dumps about the critique for a week or two, I finally decided to do something about it. I went to Amazon.com and found writing books and ordered four of them.

Showing and Telling: Learn How to Show and When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing by Laurie Alberts,
The Describers Dictionary by David Grambs
The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke

I also checked out from Pauline Haas Public Library the book:
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: the Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind.

Some of those books I am reading, some I am using as a reference and some I am doing the exercises in. I think its making a difference. I reworked my memoir making a whole new folder for it called “New Version”. I am making use of more scenes and dialogue. Making it more dynamic.  At least that is what I hope.

But the question still remains and the one that rolled around in my head last night, What’s the point? There are tons of memoirs out there.  Everybody and there mother wrote or is writing a memoir.  Who cares about mine? Why bother? My voice is just one in a sea of voices all clamoring to be heard. I know, I know, I need to focus on the writing and not worry about the end result. It’s just that I am a want-it-now kind of woman so that bit of advice is hard to follow.

And now in my email is a message from Ann. Talented beautiful Ann who struggled with finding a place in her life a midst all her responsibilities for her music. But she did it. She found the time. She found her voice. She got a producer and went to Nashville, cut some tracks. I heard one and the sound is amazing. The message is uplifting. When I talked to her on the phone last night before I finished my book, she told me how Nashville is teeming with singer song writers. She didn’t say she felt like she was just one in the crowd. She just reveled in her experience. So what’s wrong with me.

Sometimes I just want to chuck it all. Wave the white flag and say, Okay, life, you win, I give up. Then I get a comment on my long dormant blog. Someone out there remembers me. Is glad I’m back. It’s bitter-sweet. I am touched by being remembered but I’m not really back. In fact my goal was to pull the plug on my blog. Stop paying for the domain, stop paying for the web service. Just yank the whole thing. Yesterday while I was walking the dogs I thought I better get to it and take care of that blog before it is automatically renewed and taken out of my hands.

Here’s the truth. I haven’t written in my blog because I think I need to be uplifting and inspiring. That is what I said I was to do. Most times, I don’t feel uplifting and inspiring. Far from it. If I try to write something up lifting it would be forced and it would show. I just can’t do it. I am left with nothing to say. I told myself I am not writing because I need to spend the time on my memoir. That’s partly true but not the whole of it. The truth is I am struggling with my choice in choosing to write.

By the way, after I checked my mail from my bed in hopes of saving more time for writing I played mahjong on my phone for at least 45 minutes. The only reason I stopped was because the dogs wanted to go out. Some mornings I am playing for an hour or more. Valuable time I could spend writing but I piss away. It’s not the blog that’s keeping me from writing my memoir its my distractions, my resistance.

And where am I with ditching my blog. In limbo. Just in limbo.

So here is a blog post. It is not uplifting. It is not inspiring. It is just me plugging along. It is just me for some reason writing a blog post. Be it good, bad or indifferent.

And for a bit of uplifting, which I am in dire need of,  here is another one of my photos with a message from myself to myself to help get me through.

IMG_3468

Father’s Day and Jung’s archetypes

For Father’s day I will expound on Jung’s archetypes, specifically the father archetype and the collective unconscious.  I have  hesitated to write on a subject for which I think I know little and Jung’s theories are just such a topic.  However, it is a topic that I felt drawn to when I first learned of Jungian psychology at Alverno College in 1988. My reason for delving into such abstract theoretical concepts is because Father’s Day stimulated my thinking about the father archetype and also I made a resolve with myself to delve deeper into my inner landscape with my blog, to write about thoughts and feelings that I shied away from because I thought I was too insignificant to voice them or I was too afraid I was wrong or didn’t have it right. Putting those fears aside, here is what I think I know with regard to Jung’s theories.

Jung based his thought on the concept of the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is where all the myths, legends, images, patterns of psychic life, patterns of relating, patterns of the internal world of the human unconsciousness lie. It is the connecting thread underlying all humanity which we automatically inherit. It is primordial and I believe it is spiritual. It is an internal world rich in symbolism, abstract ideas and concepts which can be found in the archetypes.

Archetypes are the stuff the collective unconscious is made of. They are like templates of an idea or form from which like energies are attracted. In the case of the father archetype, all the energies, thoughts, feelings, actions that an individual experiences of the concept of a father are attracted to the father archetype. The basic form of the father archetype is of protector, provider, disciplinarian and authority. Carolyn Myss describes the light attributes of the father archetype as having the talent for creating and supporting life and being a positive guiding light within a tribal unit while the shadow of the father archetype is a dictatorial control and abusing of power. All the personal experiences one has with regard to the father archetype gravitate to that archetype and reside there in the personal unconscious consequently adding to the collective unconscious.

My experience with the father archetype through my relationships with my biological father and two step-fathers was abandonment and abuse of authoritarian power. I feel these earlier experiences led me to abandon and abuse myself. My lesson, as I see it, was to heal my past experiences or make conscious my archetypical pattern ultimately transforming this archetype in my life. After a few failed relationships where I repeated my archetypal pattern of abandonment and misuse of power, I made a conscious decision to find a relationship that was more benevolent.

My husband Mike was already a father who was supporting and protecting his own children when he married me and took on the responsibility of my three sons. Through the years Mike’s role of father has evolved and changed and he has shown me a distinctly opposing experience to those I had while growing up. He is a stalwart provider, generous with a strong sense of justice and right and wrong. He has a loving heart and a soft mushy inner core. He would do whatever it takes to protect his family. Due to Mike and his influence in our family he has balanced my shadow father archetype with the light attributes. Balancing and bringing awareness to the unconscious patterns of the father archetype that influenced my life has brought much-needed peace and a sense of support and security.

Any thoughts? How has the father archetype shown up in your life?

Related links:
Help with discovering your inner father archetype.
Matrignosis, a fascinating  blog I follow that deals with Jungian Psychology
A place to go for Carl Jung’s ideas and concepts.
A bloggers post on balancing your archetypes.
Exploring and balancing archetypes.

Graduation time is here

It’s graduation time: a time for coming of age. All across the United States there are people young and old attending a graduation ceremony for themselves or for a loved one. These graduation ceremonies can be from kindergarten all the way up to the graduate level of college. In fact a 97 year-old drop out received an honorary diploma from her high school this year.  However, which ever graduation a person is celebrating it signals a milestone in one’s life.

Graduation TimeWe celebrated PJ, our oldest grandson’s graduation from high school. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium. The day was hot with temps reaching near ninety but excitement was mounting as family and friends took their places in the bleacher seating anticipating the entrance of their loved ones. At last the graduates arrived wearing bright red robes with matching graduation caps. Their tassels properly placed on the left side jumped to and fro as they took their seats in orderly fashion.

I am sure many of us watching the graduating class of 2012 were thinking back to our  own graduations or lack there of. Reminisce with the graduating class of 1941.

I, however, did not graduate from high school, so watching the young adults receive their diplomas was bitter-sweet for me. I was never a teenager facing a future with options. I could only imagine the feelings these young people were experiencing. I could only imagine the excitement, wonder, fear, anxiety, joy and hope.

We listened as the speakers for PJ’s graduation tried to inspire and encourage their graduating class during these tough times.   David McCullough Jr  used the words, “You are not special” during his commencement speech to Wellesley High School seniors to help them deal with the rough road ahead.  Despite the shocking words of not being special I find his speech inspiring.   Take a few moments and listen for yourself.

While watching  PJ’s ceremony, I was struck how it is a coming of age ceremony which is sorely need in our Western culture. Yet, to end the stage of childhood and to step into adulthood is an important threshold to cross. PJ is crossing this threshold. He is leaving behind his life as a boy and entering his life as a man.  I found a quote from The Rites of Passage Institute of Cleveland, OH at ReligiousTolerance.org that sums up nicely what I am saying.

“The final entrance into adulthood has been provided from time immemorial by the ‘coming of age’ ceremony. Like the other major life chronicle ceremonies accompanying birth, marriage and death, the coming of age ceremony located the individual anew within the surrounding community and indeed with the universe as a whole. It was a critical moment of expansion, the entrance into larger responsibilities, larger privileges, larger secrets, larger institutions, and larger understandings. It amounted to a second birth, entry not into physical life but into higher life of culture and the spirit. Accordingly, it called for the society to display itself to full effect, giving presence to its myths and traditions, physical expression to its animating beliefs.

The moment arrived and I sat transfixed as I watched each young adult receive his or her diploma. When PJ’s name was called my heart fluttered. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He is a fine young man and I am sure he will make his mark on the world. It is a difficult time for young people to start their life as adults. He is faced with a country in economic, environmental and political crisis. For some graduating seniors the decision about what to do after high school can be daunting. I send PJ and all those facing these types of decision love and positive energy as they make their way.

I think this is an inspiring time not just for the graduates but for me.  I hope you feel renewed inspiration for yourself as we celebrated the graduates across the country.   Check out VideoAmy’s list of graduation speeches for more inspirational messages.

Life Lesson = Practice

“Mom, I have some great news.”

“Yeah.” I sat down holding the phone to my ear ready to receive great news.

“Emily got her first job.”

“Wow!”

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

First application, first interview and just like that first job at the tender age of 15. From the looks of it failure isn’t part of Emily’s life lesson as it is with me. Her lesson may be something else altogether and whatever it is I am sure that it will be a challenge for her. Something that feels like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with a backpack full of bowling balls.

My job history is littered with failure. After my first husband and I separated and two years after the twins were born at age 24, I realized that I needed to be both mother and father to my three sons. So, I set out to look for work.

This was my first experience looking for my own work. I filled out applications, went on interviews and was turned down time and time again. I didn’t let it stop me, I forged on. At last I applied for a job at a nightclub as a cocktail waitress and this job, after all my searching for office work, retail sales, waitress positions, this job, a cocktail waitress in an up and coming night club, this job I get. Why did I get this particular job? Because I modeled for the hiring manager in the skimpy uniform and he liked the way I looked.

At the time, I thought this was a success. I found work. I was bringing home a paycheck. But it wasn’t successful in terms of what I pictured when I made my decision to be nurturer and provider to my kids. Not a single job I got since, and they were many, has been the start of my dream of provider. For one reason or another I left the jobs. Even jobs I liked, ones where, it looked like I could go somewhere.

This one job I had working for the Medical College of Wisconsin in the animal resource department was the most depressing job for an animal lover. This was the department where they experimented on animals. I could hear the dogs barking continuously in the back from my desk. A job I had as a unit clerk at a hospital was a wonderful job. I handled it well, the head nurse complimented me but the stress of getting on a bus to travel across town while I left, at the time, four kids, to fend for themselves became insurmountable. I would get calls all day long to deal with squabbles and daily issues.

For whatever reason, all my jobs ended up in failure. All my efforts to change my life circumstances lead me to dead ends. In other words, failure upon failure upon failure. Or to put it in terms of my life lesson. Practice, practice, practice. I was practicing to overcome failure. I was persevering.

And that is the reframing I made about my work history through my understanding of the LifePrints and soul psychology, that I needed to go through all of that failure to understand that I needed to practice in failure to learn perseverance. I almost want to say that I went through all of that failure to feel like I can’t do it just so I can learn I can do it.

The Journey to reach the highest

I can climb the mountain, not Mt. Kilimanjaro but more like Mt. Everest. The highest of them all, the mountain where I express what is in my heart in my own unique way, creative expression with innovation. The mountain where while the climb is steep, the journey is beautiful, invigorating and enjoyable because instead of bowling balls I have all the necessary supplies for such a climb: perseverance, willingness to treat myself kindly, looking for the silver lining, being patient and committing myself to whatever creative endeavor I am doing.

To sum it up, life lesson = practice. Looking at it that way can lighten the load yet bring a truck load of meaning to the experiences.