Signs of Me Reappearing

I burst out of bed today wanting to write a blog post.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling and it feels like such a relief.  A relief because writing is an integral part of who I am and so if I’m not wanting to write, then I most likely am not doing too terrific, you know?  Not that I’m likely to admit that I’m not doing well, but it seems okay to retroactively admit to it.

Wanting to write, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a topic in mind.  I’m out of practice of forming topics in my head that would work in a blog post, so I’m free-styling it here.  There are so many ideas and topics to choose from.  Do I write about personal feelings I’m going through?  Politics? (I hear a collective roar of “No!” coming from the ethers.)  The weather?  Astrology? What it’s like being married to a Dutch man and living in another country?  My 2 cats and their endless antics?  The chaos and madness engulfing the planet?  Spiders and how they’re misunderstood?

Really, I’m just wanting to write something from my heart.  (Did I just hear someone rolling their eyes at me?)  Which may seem like that would mean writing something sappy and emotional, but then you don’t know my heart.  There is something of a court jester in there.  Mischievousness written all over it.

I’ve been pretty serious (and MIA) the last couple of years, and understandably if you know all that’s gone on.  But I’ve recently been seeing signs of recovery and healing taking place in me.  Like learning how to laugh again.  Being able to think of my son without pain crashing in on me.  Remembering myself when I was whole and becoming that again.

Some things take time, like healing.  Which I have no patience for.  I mean, I’ve learned to try to be patient with it, but the whole time I’m pretty much looking at my (non-existent) watch and tapping my foot.  I want to be fine now.  You know, live in the moment, the only moment is now.  So I’m like, okay, I’m healed NOW.  (Looking around to see if it worked.)

The crazy thing, is that I know that that could actually work, but it would require that I felt and believed that to be true all of the way down to my bones.  Which I don’t, because I’ve been here long enough to have accumulated enough examples from experience that have shown me otherwise in which I use that ‘evidence’ to allow doubt into the process, slowing it down.  My healing process involves slowing down enough to understand what my doubts and fears are, and then seeing them with new eyes.  Are they really true?  Like big picture, let’s be straight with ourselves, true?  I then ease my way into the new perspective until *pop*, there I am with more room to breathe inside myself.

For example, I’ve had many experiences with individuals who have aimed their own personal fears and projections onto me, so much so that over time I came to feel and believe that I was not loved or liked.  When that is your environment’s response to you day in and day out, you can start to become confused about what is true or not true about you.  Was I doing anything I was doing for the reasons that those other people in my life thought I was?  No.  Did they bother to ask me or find out?  No.  Did they continue to declare their ideas and reasons for my behavior with the fervor of a southern baptist preacher to me and all who would listen?  Yes.

In that kind of environment, I’m not getting any feedback from the outer world that I am loved or of any value.  I do not get to have a say or voice in that situation.  Me and my side of the story have been effectively silenced.  The truth of me gets lost because I’m the only one who knows it and who is trying to keep it alive in myself while others treat me as if their own story or other’s of me is true.  This is not loving or supportive behavior.

By the way, this isn’t about judging or blaming them, or me being a victim.  My only interest lies in understanding what happened so that I can free myself from it.  I’m observing and taking notes of what I’ve been able to piece together so that I can understand where my own pain stems from so that I can help myself.  It just happens to involve other people and so it’s hard to omit them from the story.

So as I was saying, over time I came to feel and believe that I was not loved or wanted in the world by others because that’s what was reflected to me.  Saying that and how that feels are actually two different things.  How it feels in day to day life is like I’m a constant disappointment.  That no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I overcome, I will still not be liked or loved or seen or valued.  It feels like I have nothing to offer the world.  It feels like I have no place here.  Like I’ve come to a party that I wasn’t invited to.  Like nothing I do matters or makes a difference.  That there is no point to me or my existence.

Which leads me back to my healing process and this example.  What’s the truth of that pain in me, big picture, let’s be honest?  “I am not loved or liked.”  Is that really true?  Well, I mean, the hurt part of me wants to say yes, yes that is true.  It’s so sad. (blubbering madly into my handful of Kleenex)  But is it actually true?  Okay, it’s true in that those people that treated me that way were not coming from a loving place.  But does that really have anything to do with me?  Or is that more to do with the state of torture they are living with inside of themselves?

It isn’t really me that they are seeing.  So if it isn’t the truth of me that they are seeing, then my belief of not being loved or liked is back on the table for negotiation.  Also, I think I may need to find some people who are not lost in the sauce in their own pain.  Which is what I did and is when I started to get validation that my hypothesis (that maybe it *is* them and not me) might have some merit.  Getting some distance between me and those blind to anyone but themselves, and then seeing the contrast of how it feels to be around people who can see past themselves, was the difference of night and day.

But it is a weakness in me.  When things become challenging in my life, I have to really watch this part of myself.  It’s something that is too easy for me to believe.  I have had to learn and relearn over and over, what it feels like to be loved.  I don’t mean in my thoughts, I mean in my whole body.  Because being loved is something that is felt from the top of your head down to your toenails.  It warms, relaxes, and calms you.  It is a full state of being, not a mental construct.  It is something experienced within your being.

I feel like there is a general consensus that if you are a good person then you are a loving person.  We lean too much on looking like a good person regardless of how we feel inside.  We don’t want to be unloving or bad people.  But I’ve personally met a lot of good people who were not loving and a lot of bad people who were in fact loving.  Understanding the difference is critical for me to make better choices about who I let into my inner circle, and doing this is important for my healing.

Along with this I’ve had to learn about all kinds of other things such as boundaries and what my rights are as a person.  That I don’t have to be walked all over.  I can use words like “no” and “I don’t want to”.  I’ve even had to learn how to feel my own feelings again versus what I had been told my feelings were.  And that just because everyone else is going along with something, doesn’t mean it’s right, and in those situations I will stick with my feeling even if it means standing alone.  Listening to myself even when no one else will.  <– And that, was the beginning of me building self trust.

I began to provide and give to myself what others had not been able to.  I started to listen and trust myself more, even if it seemed to make my life harder.  The more I did this, the more I stayed true to that voice deep inside my core, the stronger I began to feel.  The stronger I felt, the clearer my life became.  The more aware I became of what was and was not okay in my life.  Which led to me making changes.  Ultimately walking away from everything I had once known.  I became more focused on what was actually good for me instead of wondering what others might think of my actions.  They were going to think whatever they wanted to anyways, but the difference being, I stopped trying to control that by limiting my own actions.

Allowing for that, made room for me to focus more on what I personally felt about myself.  Did I think I was evil manifested?  Does it matter?  If I was, then really, what could I do about it?  And way to paint the world white and black, as if it’s really that simple.  Way to dehumanize me and invalidate me as a complex person with many different faucets of my personality.  No, I don’t feel that I am evil incarnated.  So what does that mean?  Well . . . it probably means that I can start lightening up a little, ya know?  Be a little gentler and kinder to myself then I had been treated by others.

Which lead me to finding love within myself again.  And when you’re not cowered or hunkered down in trembling fear, it opens up your world again and memories begin to return.  Things like the memory of the truth of yourself.  It begins a spiraling up in self instead of spiraling down.  Feelings like relief of being able to let go of all of the dumb dumb things about yourself that you had come to believe, watching as they break and fall away from you.  It is simply liberating.

By the way, I’m like smooshing years of processing and trial and error into one post.  It may sound like I figured it out in a matter of hours, but I assure you this has been a monumental undertaking in my life.  In the moments that I’ve hit the sweet spot of balanced and healed in myself, there comes the realization that I could have gone into that place immediately if I hadn’t got hung up or identified too much with what was wrong or out of balance in me.  That if I were to fully believe in the real me inside, that it would have brought me straight there to that place of wholeness, which suits me and my patience levels just fine.

The problem is, when I’m not in that space, I forget.  I can’t remember how or why that is true.  So I go the longer healing route and then remember again.  I get knocked out of there and then walk there again, but then I begin to see that I’ve left myself bread crumbs to show me the way back.  Again and again I’ve walked this path, hoping to wear a groove into the road to make it easier to find.  Because I know one day, I’m going to go there, and I’m not going to come back.

Anyways, I was walking that road again the last couple of years, marking it even more fiercely than the last time I was there.  Like, m*therf@cker, I am NOT going through this again, you WILL remember this and not forget again!  (She said to herself oh so compassionately.)  I hate seeing the same tree trunk that I passed years ago.

So yeah.  Yay! for the ‘wanting to write a blog post’ marker I reached this morning.  I don’t remember what comes after this, but I do know that it’s the road I’m wanting to be on.  🙂

Death And Rebirth In Mid-Swing

Nearly two weeks ago (June 10, 2015 to be exact), I received some news that has forever altered my life.

But first let me back up to the week before that.  June 2 I celebrated my 38th birthday.  It was a great birthday.  I was at work, but a coworker had scooted away around lunch time (which is nothing unusual), but returned along with half of the office, singing happy birthday with a great big cake for me.  It was all done with such warmth and sincerity that it was easily one of my best birthdays.  I had people calling and texting me that I hadn’t heard from in awhile.  It filled me with such a feeling of being loved and cared about.

This was a welcomed change of pace after an incredibly challenging year both professionally as well as personally.  My girl kitty dying, starting a new job after nearly 6 years, moving a month after starting the new job, a series of events that led to me kicking my beloved 19 year old son out of the house and he went to go live with my mom, one of my step dads dying (which hit me harder than I would’ve previously imagined), finding out my dad’s colon cancer had returned, and then having to work triply hard so as to not lose my job right around the Christmas holidays.

Which I did manage to keep, but I paid a steep price for it with my health.  After months of dragging my knuckles on the ground I finally went into the doctors and found that I had middle ear infections and was immediately put on round 1 of antibiotics and loaded up with all kinds of other things.  I was told that it was probably going to take a 2nd round and that it may take awhile to get better and to just be patient with the process.

I hadn’t taken an actual vacation in over two years, and it was around this time that I realized I was in dire need of some time off.  I started to feel very strongly that I wanted . . . needed to take off 2 weeks in June to go see Jay in The Netherlands.  It’s been over 3 years since we first met, and my god have we been through some shit together.  We weren’t even on speaking terms with each other when I first felt the desire to go see him for a couple of weeks.

I was so worn down by life at this point, that I was able to actually start seeing beyond my own bullshit to my real and true feelings.  I had let unimportant things get in the way of our relationship.  I wanted to try again.  Luckily, he felt the same.  I booked the trip and was scheduled to leave June 5th for two weeks.  After which, I would have a week at my current job assignment and then scheduled to begin a new assignment on July 1, which I’m very excited about.

This was my life as I knew it leading up to June 10th, in which I found myself sitting next to Jay on the couch when I received the fateful news.  And thank god I was, because heaven help me if I had been sitting by myself in my apartment in the Seattle area upon hearing what I did.

I was alerted to the fact that *something* had happened but wasn’t given any details surrounding it.  Due to the time difference and the fact that I hadn’t told everyone I was traveling internationally, I woke up to frantic “Are you okay?!” messages from my brother and a missed call from my mother.  Initially I remained calm and speculated on what the problem could be, with Jay.  But the more I thought about it, the more I began to panic because it was all highly unusual and made no sense.

Right as I was getting ready to wake up all of North America in order to find out what in blue blazes was going on, I received a text from my mother that simply read, “I tried to call.  Look up komo news Bjorn Anderson.”

Can I just stop here for a moment and say that these are the absolute last kind of words that a mother ever wants to see?

Something bad had happened to my baby.  My boy.  I didn’t yet know what, but I did know that it wasn’t going to be happy news such as, “19 year old wins Powerball lottery!”

I imagined a number of horrible things, including a terrible car accident.  I was already falling apart, my entire body shaking like a tree in a hurricane, crying and saying no, no, no, no, no not my boy, not my baby . . . Jay grabbing ahold of me and trying to hold me still, letting me know I didn’t have to look yet if I didn’t want to . . . but I had to.  I had to know my son’s fate.  I had to know if he still lived or if I had lost him.

In the days that followed, I was most haunted by the scene I first saw in the news clip, unable to comprehend it.  Watching people on the news I don’t even know, talking about my son.  This boy I had given birth to.  This young man that I love with all of my heart and that I had spent the last 19 years of my life dedicated to caring for and raising until last September . . . was now being paraded before me in handcuffs and a prison uniform . . . for the attempted murder of my mother.

I’ll leave it up to you to look up the details of their story if you so choose.

The rest of my vacation was spent calling everything in my life into question.  Grieving.  Processing.  Integrating.  Taking stock of my life, gaining clarity.  Decisions were made.

I’ve returned to the States, and today I return to work . . . but this will be my final year here.

I’ve lived the majority of my life on my own.  Soldiering through crisis after crisis with no one to depend on but myself.  But this absolutely crossed a line with me.  If it wasn’t for the care, love, patience, and support given to me by Jay and his family . . . I wouldn’t still be here.  Maybe in body . . . but me . . . the soul and spirit inside of me, would no longer be in this world.

It was made very clear to me that my new home is there and where I belong now.  I’ve returned only to start wrapping my life up here and to give time for us to make all of the necessary arrangements and planning.

My main reason for sharing what’s happened in this way is because I’d rather get it all out in the open for everyone to see.  I want my friends, coworkers, and family to all be aware of this huge transition that I am in because I don’t want to be isolated by it.  I don’t want to feel like I have to hide this big secret from everyone and be alone in it.

I don’t want to be isolated from any of you due to my sorrow and grief, which allows me to also openly share with you my joy and happiness of my upcoming wedding and move overseas.  These things have always gone hand in hand in my life.  A paradox of simultaneous deep grief and unbridled joy.

There’s no reason for me to hide any of it, as they are both a part of life.  I wish to share both with you, so that no part of me has to hide in the darkness anymore and feel lonely.

Although, much of that loneliness has already been alleviated by my soon to be husband, Jay.  We’ve begun to move in sync with each other, switching my worldview to one centered in *us* instead of *I*.  This is brand new for me.  I’ve never known this feeling before.  I feel that it really suits me.  I feel like it’s something that I’ve been longing for and missing all along.

In the coming days, weeks, months I wish to openly share this transition.  This bittersweet goodbye to an old life and hello to a new life.  A death and rebirth in mid-swing.

Love

The UnMasking Continues

Yesterday was a really interesting and long day for me.  I got revved up into my Aries fire and it felt like I was getting oxygen into my lungs finally after a long time, but also like getting water to drink after being dehydrated for so long.

While doing the video I felt really solid, strong, and good inside.  Then I watched the video and I was like, “What in the hell is all this?”  What I felt and what it looked like were two completely different things in my mind.

First of all, I was able to hear strain in my voice.  It’s *almost* like a whine.  It’s not my favorite sound.  Because I know what I was feeling on the inside, I understand how it’s still the remnants and traces of the tightening and restriction in my body from trying to stop this kind of expression from coming out of me.

The important part is that it’s starting to come out and find expression, kind of like relieving a pressure valve in me, but being pushed through a very resistant and stubbornly tight tube.  Kind of like when the toothpaste gets so crusted and dried up at the opening of the tube and you have to push the rest of the tube so hard to force it through, that when it breaks through, toothpaste is all over the wall, mirror, . . . no?  Just me?  Anyways 🙂

And like I look and sounded like I was genuinely shaken up inside, like I was working hard to keep myself together . . . and again that’s like the opposite of what I was feeling inside.  I was feeling great!  Like AH!  YEAH!

Also, while talking, I felt like I was staying much more grounded and clear than usual, but hell if I didn’t wander.  I stopped in mid-rant because I saw a white cat with big orange spots walking around the garden across the street and it was so out of place that I completely got distracted with what I was saying.  If that’s not a fine display of Gemini, I don’t know what is.

I would hear myself go into one point and then veer off into another point completely.  While I’m very, very happy to have gotten out the points that I did – I still had a hard time following all of what I was trying to say – and that’s with me knowing what I was trying to say.

I was watching it going, “wait . . . that didn’t make the impact or the point that I was getting at, that ended up sounding like such a non-issue.”  and “wait, you were about to make a good point and you just totally veered off into a non-related thing, wtf Jenn?”

I totally get the people on American Idol now who can’t sing worth shit, but are genuinely surprised when they are told so.  There’s how something goes in your head, and then there’s what actually comes out.  If you’ve never done candid videos of yourself and then watched them back with an open mind, I cannot recommend it enough.  Holy cow.

But just like when watching my other videos, there were also parts that I tend to hide or squelch in me that I really wish I wouldn’t because they are my favorite parts when I do show them.

Also, I talk too fast and run over thoughts too quickly.  I’m like, “this, that, and whatever”.  I’m like, uh, Jenn . . . why don’t you put a little more thought into those examples and list more specific things instead of saying, “x, y, z” for everything.  It’s like I’m trying to make it generic enough to fit whatever other people’s own personal situations are, but I make it so general that the point I’m trying to make gets lost in it.

It is SO Neptune-ie.  Vague, general.  When that’s not what I’m trying to do at all.  I’m trying too hard to make it fit too many situations and scenarios so that people can relate and I’m totally failing in that purpose.  Right?  Because instead of like, “oh I totally relate” it becomes more like, “well . . . I think I can relate . . I mean, I’m not totally sure if she’s referring to the same thing I’m thinking of, but it does remind me of that situation.”

I’m wanting too much to relate and to fit in, while at the same time fighting to not lose my own self and integrity.  I see how I’m still thinking too much about the crowd of fictitious people I think are watching my videos, which pulls me out of myself.

I can’t be centered in myself, being myself, if too much of my focus is hanging outside of my body and yelling back at me how to adjust what or how I say things so that this audience that is really just made up of ghosts from my past, don’t get offended or respond to me in a way that feels hurtful.

I’m trying to be too many things at once instead of just standing tall in myself.

I need to stop being afraid of using specific situations or examples from my life and trying to protect the identity of others in my life.

Here’s the thing.  I want to talk about what I’ve learned and what I’ve noticed in life, and it kind of involves other people in my life.  I’m aware that there’s how I saw and experienced a situation, and then there is how they saw and experienced a situation.  But when I try to tell how I saw and experienced the situation, it sometimes doesn’t paint the other person in a beautiful light.

There is a tendency in our society to focus on *booing* the supposed “bad guy” in a story, instead of paying attention to the point of the story.  When I’m in balance, I do not see others in my life as the “bad guy”, but when I try to tell my stories of what I’ve learned in life, all of the focus becomes on, “oh you poor dear” or “that’s horrible” or “they shouldn’t have done that to you.” which completely misses the point of the story, and it completely leaves me out of it.

It becomes about the other people in my life not being “good” and that is upsetting to me.  I don’t feel it’s fair.  That person has a life and a story to tell as well, and it’s most likely just as sad and upsetting, if not more so than my story.  I’m sure when someone else is telling a story about their life that involves me, I may look like the bad guy in that story.  Do you see how pointless all of it is?

I don’t want what other people did or didn’t do to be the focus of my stories.  They aren’t their stories.  They are mine and they are about how I overcame and triumphed over challenges and obstacles.  Don’t make it about the other person, you know?

And plus, like I love and care about these people, and I know they aren’t perfect – but it’s like I’m not allowed to share my life and my stories because other people’s judgments come in and fluff it all up for me.  I then find myself telling my stories where I’m some sort of victim, and that’s NOT even how I personally experienced the situation.

I again let how society has been conditioned to see situations, influence and overwrite me.

I have come to believe that I had a bad childhood, not because that’s how I experienced it, but because of the reactions and responses I have received from people over the years when I’m just talking about my life.  It paints my life in a darker light.  It then makes it more difficult for me to cope with it.

It ends up causing me more hurt than was necessary.  It forces me to see the world with less love in it.  I start to feel bad and guilty for loving my parents and my exes.  I get painted as being naïve and stupid for not knowing better.  I become this frail and damaged person.  “Poor thing, she doesn’t even know how damaged she is.”

Do you know why kids are so resilient?  Because they aren’t focused on the fact that they’re being wronged.  They see through the eyes of love.  If we didn’t make so many things SO HEINOUS and so disgusting and evil and go on and on and on about it and how we have to punish the evildoers doing this to our children and using children as a platform to punish other human beings . . . then children wouldn’t be so fucking traumatized about the things they go through.

They are naturally understanding and naturally forgiving.  They don’t want to be the source or used as the reason to prosecute and harm other humans, no matter what their crime is.

So in my stories about my life, you will notice an absence of me saying anything specifically about who did what to me, exactly for this reason.  To protect them from other’s unfair judgments and in making my story more about them than about me.  And the times that I did try to mention something specifically, I regretted it with every fiber of my body.  I hated that I did it and I hated the feelings it brought up afterwards.

Like I said . . . it influences me.  I start thinking less of my loved ones than I did before, and that makes me feel less about myself because that’s not how I think and that’s not how I am.  I don’t see the world like that.

Omg . . . I didn’t even realize that that is why I am so afraid to speak up or express myself.  (Having a toothpaste on wall moment.)

I love my dad.  He’s not perfect.  He’s a man from the Appalachian Mountains, who are regarded as the smallest minority group in the United States (even though they are white).  They are poor and they are humble.  It’s the general area where Dolly Parton is from, so if you’ve seen her story about her earlier life, you’ll have a good idea of the kind of life he comes from.  They work hard, they have little.

He has a temper.  Things got broken in the house growing up.  There was a lot of yelling.  There was a lot of things that went on that weren’t necessarily cool, and no a lot of it should not have happened to me.  But I love my dad.  I see the soul inside.  He’s a good man, who got hurt at a young age and got covered up in other people’s darkness.

I love my mom.  She’s not perfect.  She comes from a more proper family.  Good manners, proper grammar, no elbows on the table kind of family.  She didn’t necessarily know the struggles my dad knew when growing up, so it’s harder for her to understand where he was coming from.  His more raw and rugged ways were harder for her to handle because she didn’t have so much of a resilience to how hard life can truly be, when they had first met.

She was what a person would call naïve or not very street smart, she didn’t know how to handle the darker side of life . . . and so life kept coming  at her with darker and darker things the more she tried to run away from it, the more she tried to deny that she had those same tendencies within herself.  She held tightly to my light to keep the darkness away from her, choking the life out of me in the process.  Not intentionally.  Not knowingly.  Not maliciously.  But because she was so afraid, she couldn’t see through the darkness to the truth.

Told in stories from my perspective, they will appear on the surface to be the bad guys.  They are not the bad guys.  They are people, human beings . . . not monsters.

The “bad” people in our lives, are just human beings with painful stories of their own.  It doesn’t excuse their behavior, it doesn’t mean they don’t have to suffer the consequences . . . but it does not mean that they need to be demonized.  It does not mean that they don’t deserve to be seen through the eyes of love and with compassion.  They are already living in a hell of their own within their own skin, the last thing they need is anyone else’s judgment on them.

Discernment . . . discernment is another thing entirely.  It’s good to be aware of another person’s tendencies.  Be aware of whether their actions are hurtful to you or not, and if they are, to take the necessary steps to remove yourself from harm’s way.  Be aware of your own tendencies.  What is leading you to people who behave as they do?

I use discernment to decide whether it’s best that I cut someone out of my life or not.  It has NOTHING to do with whether I love or care about them.  If someone is blind to their subconscious actions, then they are going to continue hurting me without meaning to.  Therefore, in order to not let something keep going until I start to hate the person for hurting me over and over, I have to find the strength to push them out of my life.  They may think it’s because I don’t care or don’t love them, but that is not true.  I cry all of the time for the loss of the people I’ve had to push out of my life for these reasons.

They are so lost in fear and blind to themselves and what they do and how it impacts and affects others, that I am forced to make the painful decision to not have them in my life.  It hurts me.

But . . . in order to not turn into them as I grow older, I also have to learn to forgive this hurt and let it go too.  Which means, I can’t be seeing them as the bad guys.  When you’ve healed from your pain, the world looks vastly different.  It’s not filled with potential people who are going to hurt you, it’s filled with human beings who aren’t perfect but who are trying to find their way the best they can.  It’s filled with people desperate to find love and wanting to feel better, and are going about it in the many creative ways that humans can.  Some think they’ll get better with money, with sex, with a high position, with being a healer, being a parent . . . all the many ways we seek to find our way back to our innocence and to home.  Always trying to find our way back home.

I’m ever hopeful that I’ll find others who are willing to put in the hard work to push through the darkness that covers them so that they can bring themselves back into awareness about who they really are, so that I don’t have to continue pushing people out of my life . . . so that I don’t have to be alone.

*This* is what my story is really about.  I’m wanting to find fellow playmates . . . friends . . . who have found themselves and who don’t unintentionally hurt me and who I can be myself around because my way of being doesn’t offend them because they are seeing me from a place of love instead of from a place of fear.

eight-year-old-version-our-self

Starting To Pierce Through My Fears And Expressing My Inner Fire

I felt more of myself come through during this video than I’ve felt in a very long time.  My god did it feel good to get out.  There was a full hearted, present, and enthusiastic dance that ensued through my house for a little while afterwards (with music of course), moving that Aries energy through me.

Reaching this part of me felt like fresh oxygen getting into my body.  It was magnificent.  When I feel like this, when I feel like me, I don’t give a flying french fry what anyone thinks about it because it’s from my heart.  I know and feel it so deeply within me that it doesn’t matter if I was criticized and told I was wrong by every individual on the planet.  That’s when I know I’m being true to self.

This is SO much closer to the real me.  This is what I’ve been trying to get at and un-repress.  It’s just now surfacing and so there will be a few more bumpy trial and errors as I adjust, just like it took a little bit at the beginning of this video for me to really get there).  This was me starting to pierce through my Pluto & Saturn in my chart, through my fears/terrors – as well as my Chiron (deepest wound).

Jenn Talks Her Ever Loving Head Off

I’m waiting for my latest video to finish uploading/processing so I can link it here and then get to bed.  I’m determined to keep this momentum train running!  I finally had to break down and figure out how to do the actual recorder on my webcam on my laptop vs the one you can directly do from youtube, because I got tired of it disconnecting randomly which then made me nervous I was going to do a bunch of recording and then lose it all again.  So once I took care of that and wasn’t running into issues with the recording, I ended up talking for an hour!  O.O

It went by so fast!  Anyways, I go all over the map, but it’s also all connected.  I bring up some things in a book I read, and I only really bring up one line in it, but there’s still a ton more equally fascinating things in the book, so it is possible that it will be the topic of other videos in the future.  The main point for me at this moment, is just that I keep doing the videos and/or posts.  This is a sticky part of the ‘overcoming fear’ process for me.  This is where I either make incredible progress or I start sliding backwards, and fuck that.

Continuing To Conquer My Creative Fears

Does she mean conquering her fears of creativity or does she mean that her fears are creative?  The world may never know.  Alright, here’s another vlog (does that sound Dracula-ish?)

The Magical Place Called Healed: A Tale of the Journey to the Land of True and Lasting Joy and the Treacherous Path That Leads The Way


True healing takes discipline.  It takes dedication, sincerity, and courage.  Strength.  Similar to exercise, you only get out of it what you put into it.

I am referring to mental, emotional, psychological healing, although I imagine that extreme physical rehabilitation, such as learning how to walk again, is a very similar journey.

From my teens into my late twenties I struggled with severe depression and anxiety.  I also had Complex PTSD (C-PTSD), which is not an official recognized mental disorder according to the American Psychiatric Association, but I feel that is to do with technicalities in definition and nothing to do with whether it exists or not.  As I tried to figure out what was wrong with me that made it nearly impossible to function as a contributing member of society, I also ran into suggestions from specialists of being on the autistic spectrum, being a highly sensitive person, potentially bi-polar, and I was officially diagnosed with ADD.

I had my first nervous breakdown at 19.  I was already a divorced single mom.  My son’s dad (ex-husband) was already gone by then, and never did return despite the joint-custody agreement, and so in my mind I didn’t have the luxury of falling apart.  My son was still just a baby and needed me.  I truly believe that I still exist in this world today due to him, because he gave me a solid reason to not give up.  Through the years, no matter how shattered I was in pain, no matter how desperate my situation . . . and there were many of those . . . never did I reach a state where I could abandon my son to this world and leave him alone.

But I lived in hell within myself.  Daily I was tortured.  There were years where I was just trying to survive from minute to minute.  Breathe Jenn . . . take another breath.  Now do it again.  Again.

In my late twenties, as I hit my Saturn Return, it felt like my entire physical, mental, & emotional being hit a brick wall (which is very Capricorn/Saturn-like).  It was triggered when my son, who was just turning 12 at the time, spent a week in the hospital for suicide watch.  (I also had Pluto transiting my MC/Midheaven.)

I had only thought I suffered before that.  What followed next had me begging for the days I knew before.

I had thought that I had worked hard enough, suffered, and sacrificed myself enough, to spare my son the same pain that I lived in.  But I was given a wake up call and shown just how very wrong I was as I sat there in shock signing papers to admit him into the hospital.  Everything I thought I knew and understood about life got flipped upside down that night.

I had barely been making it, but as long as my son was doing well and thriving, I could handle it.  But he wasn’t doing so well, was he?  Now what?  I had no guidance or manual for what to do.  I had done everything I knew to get this far . . . where did I go from there?

We had just gotten new kittens the week before . . . Raven and Gir.  They were from a shelter and they were both temporarily on antibiotics that I had to give.  I remember when first returning home after they admitted my son, trying to pull myself together enough to make sure the kittens got their medicine.  I couldn’t handle anymore bad news, anymore feelings of loss, or being out of control and so it felt like at least with this I had control of something.

So I put into them, focused on them the care and love and kindness I was needing myself.  They became my focal point, my anchor, to keep my shit together while I tried to make sense of my newly shattered world.  To those of you who are regular readers, you’ll remember that it was this time last year almost to the day . . . that I got that fateful call from the vet to hear that my Raven girl was in stage 4 renal (kidney) failure and died shortly afterwards on May 5th.  Cinco de Mayo.  Perhaps it makes a little more sense now why that was so devastating to me.  She came into my life the week before everything I knew fell to pieces and was the glue that held me together through the next 7 years.

But what she did was start the process of removing that same focus from my son, and helped me transition from using him as an anchor and reason for living . . . to finding that anchor and reason for living within myself so that my son would be free to go live his own life without me falling apart or losing my reason to live.  This last year since her death is the first year without my training wheels.  My first year of trying to live for my own sake and not the sake of my mother, or my son, or any substitute outside of me  And it’s been hard.

That first night that I came home after admitting my son into the hospital for the first time, I remember being in a daze.  I also remember calling my consciousness to me so that I didn’t black out.  I had already gone through so much discipline trying to pull myself together to be the best mom I could despite being so broken inside.  I had already learned to not run from the pain, to not run from whatever situation was unfolding in front of me.  I had enough faith in myself and the universe to know that this was all happening for a good reason, even if I didn’t understand what that reason was.  I knew instinctively that this was a blessing in disguise, and so I took a deep breath and with eyes wide open . . . I walked straight into my pain to see what message waited for me there.

And as I said, it was like walking into a brick wall.  In a flash I saw visuals of images from throughout my life, I heard all of the things said in my childhood that never quite made any sense, I felt the repressed and suppressed (one is done consciously, one is not) feelings and emotions that had led me to that moment right there.  I was in a flurry of scenes, sounds, and feelings and all of the connections between them that summed up the root causes of my pain and suffering.  Including a therapist who my mom had taken me to when I was 8 years old and was so frustrated with me because I refused to cooperate and take his questions seriously (I honestly had no idea what he was trying to get me to talk about), told me that if I didn’t deal with the things I had been through then one day when I was about 30 it was all going to come out at once and I’d have to deal with it then.  Which I thought, and may have even said, that’s good . . . I’ll deal with it then.

So there I was, around age 30, and all of this stuff suddenly unlocked in me.  I then knew why it had to be like that, why it had to wait until I was older.  All of these things were too much for a young girl to handle and process.  They were beyond little girl me.  I had to build enough life experience, as well as build enough emotional strength and discipline just to reach the point of being able to handle knowing and remembering what little girl me went through.

Only then could the real healing process begin.  I cracked wide open.  I went through the “My whole life has been a lie” period where the very foundation of your life gets ripped from underneath you and you don’t have anything solid to anchor or orient your life to.  And it’s not that my life had been a lie necessarily, but little girl me was incredibly creative and resourceful and so she painted my life in the way that she needed to in order to survive until she was strong enough to face it and heal from it.

The next couple of years were the hardest of my life.  It felt like I had acid burning and running through my veins 24/7.  I felt like someone had peeled my skin off of my body and my nerves were completely exposed to the elements.  I was in overwhelming, excruciating physical pain.  The diagnosis being batted around at that time were things like Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I reached a point of not being able to walk.  I had to use a cane for a little while.  Mentally I was pushed into moments of true insanity from the toll of everything.

I used to be concerned with my sensitivities, such as seeing visuals and hearing things, etc. that I might be crazy.  But I am VERY clear now that there is a big difference between true insanity and being sensitive (or psychic if you wish), although there is a thin line between the two if you are not on top of your shit.  I cannot emphasize enough how foolish it is to try and force that state for recreational purposes without some sort of discipline, or training, guidance, and a healthy dose of respect for what you are doing.  I never needed drugs to have those experiences, and during the periods where I temporarily lost those abilities, I can understand why people do use drugs to reach it . . . there’s a kind of desperate feeling of being disconnected from Sprit.  It’s horrible.  In my current understanding of things, it is the root cause of all addictions.  Trying to regain connection with Spirit.  Whether drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.  It temporarily opens you back up in your body and allows that connection to take place, and it feels so good because that is more of our natural state.

When you become overwhelmed with hurt and pain (guilt, shame . . . choose your poison), that connection starts to dim and gets covered up and you start to never feel good.  So then you start to use artificial things to try and help you feel good such as food, shopping, reading, partying, drinking, etc.  But it never sticks . . . it never stays.  Why?  Because you’re trying to shortcut straight through your pain and hurt without actually dealing with the issues.  Which brings me back to:  True healing takes discipline.  It takes dedication, sincerity, and courage.

Do you want to continue depending solely on temporary fixes for fleeting moments of feeling good, or are you willing to put in the hard work and dedication needed to make the feeling permanent and long lasting?  Because I’m here to tell you, I don’t care what label or diagnoses has been laid at your feet, I don’t care how bleak or hopeless you think your cause is . . . it can be overcome.  I have overcome many supposedly impossible things.  I have personally walked this road.  There is a way through.  You are not doomed to your diagnosis.  You are not doomed to suffer the rest of your life.  You have a choice.  It’s not easy, and not everyone is at a stage in their life where they have the strength to take this journey.  But knowing the universe like I do based on observations and personal experience, if you’ve found your way into my life . . . to my words . . . then you are at that stage.  You have what it takes to find your way through.

In every generation, there are the pioneers and those that lead the way to something new.  Like the pioneers who went west in the early US.  Their life was hard.  Many died trying to make the journey.  They suffered and paid a great price just for the opportunity for a better life.  With those first few, came a few more.  Then railroads, roadways, airplanes.  Now how hard is it to reach the West?  How much does a person have to sacrifice and suffer to access it?

This is the same.  It is the unknown, and so it seems dark and scary.  We make a bigger monster out of it as a whole, because it scares us.  What current average person isn’t scared of a Psycho or Socio Path?  Who doesn’t cringe and start backing away slowly from Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar?  Who doesn’t look at Autism as being a shame and in some form tragic?  How many look down upon addicts or mental patients?  Do you see our learned attitude about these things?  Yes psychology has made great leaps in mental/emotional health, but it is still not being seen for what it truly is and so the solution is equally difficult to see.

We hurt and we suffer because something is out of balance or not right.  When it’s something that is out of balance or not right in the culture or society as a whole, it emerges as mental disorders and diseases.  If it is increasing each year, a false belief or something not aligned with natural law, is spreading or worsening.  And for as long as the group insists on running from the truth instead of actually dealing with the things they should be dealing with in the way they should be dealing with it, openly and honestly, instead of being distracted by nonsense and bullshit . . . it will continue to worsen before it gets better.

It worsens and spreads until there isn’t a single person that isn’t affected by it in some way.  Until people can no longer say, “Everything is fine.”  Until people are suffering from it so much, and after trying everything they can currently think of that is allowed within the current paradigm of thinking, it eventually leads them to a place where they’d do anything in order to make it alright again.  Including praying, maybe for the first time in their life.  Swallowing their pride.  Being humbled.  Realizing maybe they don’t know everything, maybe they don’t have as much control over things as they thought.  In those moments a person either opens their heart or they snap completely.  Have you noticed the increase in people losing their shit in recent years?  We are at that breaking point both as a collective and as individuals.

We are in uncharted territories.  We cannot currently rely on outer authority to help truly navigate these waters because the authorities aren’t *out there* yet . . . they are just now coming into being.  They are being shaped, formed, and refined as we speak, by the very horrors our world is being forced to live through.  These are not individual sins we are dealing with, they are collective sins.  Things that over generations of time, individuals let get so out of hand instead of dealing with them, that they are now all of our problems.  But at the same time it’s all we’ve ever known and so we’re blind to them.

We are the modern day pioneers, and our unknown territory is the human psyche.  To be a true pioneer, you must have a warrior heart.  You must find the strength and courage to walk alone.  You must be an adventurer, you must be curious.  You must be sincere.  You must do it for something bigger than you.  It can’t just be for you alone, or you won’t find the needed strength and motivation to get through the darkest nights.  You have to take calculated risks and chances.  You have to be willing to keep going and trying no matter how many of your ideas fail or don’t work out.  You have to risk looking a fool and being made fun of.

You have to be willing to let yourself crack open and fall apart.  You have to be willing to let go of everything you believed to be true up until that point.  And not in an endless mindless woe is me way, but consciously.  What do I mean by that?

Imagine you have before you a path of burning coals, and you just happened to be barefoot.  The bed of coals before you is only about 10 feet in length.  It’s too far for you to jump, and suddenly there’s a wall behind you and two walls alongside you and the path.  You must walk barefoot over the path.  This is very much what it’s like when having to face down one of your inner demons which are like the gatekeepers that test you to see if you’re allowed to pass through or if you need to repeat some lessons.  Your choices are to stand there for eternity making the same mistakes, or start learning how to walk on fire and burn the darkness out of you that clouds and weighs you down with burden.  When I say consciously, I mean you purposefully and intentionally step onto those burning coals and you let whatever sensation you feel, come through you without trying to fight it or make it stop.  Let it happen.

You do not close your eyes, you do not try to pretend you are somewhere else, you do not run.  It is a decision, a resolve deep inside that you will do whatever it takes to make your way through.  And as you take each step, and you initially feel that excruciating burn, you use the only resource you have at your disposal and that is your internal guidance.  You must stay aware and breathing and open in order to know what needs to be done.  If you panic, if you let yourself freak out about your situation in any way, you make it that much worse for yourself.  That much more painful.  You have to walk the coals anyways, so you might as well figure out a way to endure it.

Because something happens in a human when they are tested to this degree and they are not so rigid that they break.  A transformation takes place.  Blocks, things that are stuck, worn out beliefs, things that are not true . . . are forced from the person’s being.  In that situation, you have no room or time for ANY bullshit because you need everything you have to focus on what’s happening in that moment.  When you refuse to run and you refuse to black out or lose consciousness or awareness, you give the darkness no choice but to flee because that’s where the burning and pain comes from.  It forces it to leave, and then you are left with only what is real and pure . . . You.  And I promise you, when the last of what isn’t true leaves you, the pain and suffering within you will cease.  You will have learned the firewalker’s secret for walking over burning coals without being harmed.

It can happen quickly, within moments.  It could happen slowly over years.  It depends on a number of things, but mostly on how resistant you are to let go of what you think you know and what you believe to be true that isn’t actually true.  How stubborn, how prideful are you?  How open are you to learning?  How much does it mean to you that what you believe is right be right?  And suffering for years walking over the burning coals does not earn you extra brownie points.  It should not be considered a badge of honor.  “Yeah, I’ve suffered 20 years longer than you, so I am probably wiser than you about these things.”  Uh.  No.  That’s not how it works.  If you haven’t started to find your way out, if you haven’t continued to get closer to that state of peace and happiness in you for longer periods of time through (what seems like) superhero efforts, then you’re doing something greatly in error and you’re the last person I or anyone should be taking advice from unless we wish to learn how to be perpetually stuck.  It’s not something to be ashamed of either, because this is a fluffing hard ass path to take . . . but it takes more than just walking it to truly understand where you are and what’s going on.

To get more out of this path, you have to walk slowly, purposefully, and consciously.  The point is not to simply get past it and then recover, because it is not the only fire pit that you will be facing on this journey.  And it’s also not the point of the fire pits.  When you’ve truly learned through personal experience the point of them, and you put in the hard work it takes to slowly, consciously, and open-heartedly walk across them to the point that you not only stop fearing them, but look forward to them . . . then you will have begun to reach the place I call Healed.  Being whole within yourself.

It is a state of grace.  It is when a human is re-centered properly in themselves and they are able to hold open and stay in connection with their Spirit, Soul, as well as the Divine . . . at all times.  It is a life without fear, a life without addiction, and no longer being a slave to your senses or ego.  From that state you live and know the Truth and nature of things.  Your eyes and ears are wide open, your heart is wide open and you are fully protected and safe.  You know in the deepest depths of your being that you are okay . . . you are safe.  It’s beyond faith, beyond knowing you are safe and protected, beyond praying, hoping, and wishing you are protected . . . you are in the active state of always being safe and protected.  It’s not even a topic of discussion or a question in your mind.  It would be like asking if there is still oxygen in the air for your lungs . . . it gets to that level of silly.

The world, the physical world around you, literally shimmers as golden light.  And when you zoom your focus in on it, you see . . . you feel . . . you know . . . it’s conscious light.  You understand creation at a whole new level that you cannot see, cannot experience, and cannot know while you insist on staying small, hurt, and broken.

So if you haven’t reached that place, if you haven’t experienced that state of being while conscious and awake in your human body . . . then you are not done yet.  You have not reached the place you seek and you must keep going.  Keep trying, keep growing, keep learning.  Learn about love, learn about truth, learn about who you really are inside and not what you’ve been led to believe.  You are not doomed to suffer your whole life, not if you truly, genuinely, and sincerely are done with it.  You are not cursed and you are not fated to be miserable because of any set of circumstances that have or will happen in your life.  You can overcome.  You will have restrictions, you will have challenges, but they are there to strengthen your weaknesses that are needed in order to successfully navigate this journey . . . not to punish you.

There is so much more to life than what we’ve been taught . . . in fact Life doesn’t truly begin until you reach that place.  It’s worth all of the hard work and frustration.  Not only is it worth it, it’s what is needed most right now.  The more people who make this journey and reach the desired destination, the easier it will be for others to reach it as well.  The more people who reach it, the more support we all have, the stronger we become, and then the easier it will be for others to make the journey when their time comes.  Before you know it, people will be able to fly airplanes there.  😀

Can you imagine such a world, such a future?  Where we are healed and whole both as individuals and as a species?  What could humanity accomplish in such a world?

What if all you were asked to do in this life to play a part in bringing that future about, was to find the courage, strength, and faith to truly heal yourself.  To overcome your circumstances and to rise from the ashes?  To find it in you to overcome, to do what they said couldn’t be done.  To become a firewalker?

Velveteen Rabbit

How The Internet Going Out Changed My Life

Do you ever have one of those days where you just *know* that fate had a hand in the events that played out?  It’s been awhile since I’ve felt that, but today was one of those days.

It was more than just the unlikely sequence of events that took place that left me feeling like that.  Preposterous things in general have a way of showing up in my life, so that’s not enough to make me raise an eyebrow.  No.  These events had a little something extra added to them.  Each one increasing the presence of that extra feeling that if I had to put words to it, might say something like, “Pay extra attention . . . magic is afoot . . . something bigger is unfolding.”

So my internet went out again this last week.  This is the 3rd time in a month.  And when it goes out, it goes out for  d a y s.  I have to completely shift how I live life.  It is absolutely amazing to me how much I rely on it now, when 20 years ago, I had never heard of it.  But anyways, being ever the optimist I’m like, “Okay, well shit.  What to do now . . . ”

This alone is a micro-series of events that took place.  It involves a whole weekend of meeting up with different friends and going to the movies and coffee shops, another weekend of inviting my son over for dinner and board games (yahtzee . . . lots of yahtzee), going to a used bookstore and finding 5 book gems that I couldn’t wait to get home and read.  It involved even more inner reflection than usual (I had nothing else to do while I stared into blank nothingness as I ate my dinner.)

So all of that led to my most recent post about all of my thinking about ‘art’.  After writing that post, the thought stream didn’t end there, it continued on the next day (usually writing about something will satisfy whatever is going on in my head and proceed to leave me alone . . . but not so here).  In that post, I had brought up my flute playing from when I was younger.  It started to haunt me.

I had completely forgotten about the musician in me.  I’ve been a mom and business analyst for so long, it completely escaped my mind that this wasn’t all I used to be.  In fact, I was so into my music in school, I fully intended to major in Music.  I was going to make it my life.  I remembered asking my mom what kind of things they have a person do to get a Ph.D in music, and she said they do things like give you an unfinished score from Mozart or one of the greats and ask you to finish it.  That scared the living shit out of me, but I was like . . . I’ll do it.  That’s how I knew that was my field.

As a little girl I had wanted to be many things and I could never make up my mind.  I wanted to be a archeologist and dig in dirt and find old things.  I wanted to be an astrophysicist and study the universe.  I wanted to be a teacher, but mostly because I wanted the summers off.  When I thought of trying to deal with 30+ kids at once, I decided that wasn’t the job for me.  I would look into what it took to be all of these things I wanted to be, and more often than not I’d see the requirements and make a scrunched up face and say . . . uh . . no.

But music . . . I was willing to go through hell and back for music.

It’s just that one day in high school I kind of hit a wall.  I had reached an incredible level of playing ability with my flute, but I just couldn’t get it to the next level.  Something in me was missing.  Something wasn’t gelling in me.  I would practice for endless hours.  My sophomore year in high school, I had a tutor who had played in the Seattle Symphony.  The first time she spoke on the phone with my mother (to arrange the lessons) and upon hearing that I wanted to go into music as a career, the tutor let my mom know that the music field is ruthless and you have to give everything you’ve got to make it in that industry and that she always encouraged her students to get a degree in some sort of science first as a backup.  She always recommended it.

Then I went to my first lesson with her.  To gauge my skill she pulled out a couple of music books and had me sight read a couple of pieces.  Saying nothing she went to her extensive music library and pulled out some more books.  This.  Now play this.  That was the entire lesson, me playing one thing after another.  Then she gave me my homework of what to study for my next lesson, and then I started to walk home.

By the time I returned home, the tutor had already called my mother.  She called simply to say, “If she wants to do music, then let her do it.  She’s got what it takes to make it.”

I honestly don’t know what I had done to impress her, but at my next lesson there was talk of traveling to Paris and competing there and . . . and . . .

That’s when I hit the wall.  I suddenly could go no further.  Something in me completely locked up and froze.  As I said before, something in me was missing.  I didn’t know what it was then . . . but I know what it is now.  It took me over 20 years of life experience and of completely walking away from music and everything I loved, in order to gain that missing something in me.  I know without a doubt that I would not have made it very much further without the experience and knowledge I’ve gained from the last couple of decades.  It would have been futile.  I would have been banging my head against a wall and I don’t think things would’ve ended well for me if I had forced it anyways.

So all of this was coming back to me.  Music.  My first love in life.  I’m not just a mom or an analyst.  I am a musician.  Even just saying it out loud brought me such peace . . . and tears.  It wasn’t just remembering I was a musician, it was allowing that feeling and reality back into my awareness.  It’s been in my peripheral for so long I had become blind to it.  I spoke about it, I’ve even tried over the years to try and play instruments again . . . but it just wasn’t time yet and so it floated in and out of my life over the years like the tide.  But this time something different is happening.

And then came today.  I woke up again with that feeling of waking from a dream and remembering, “I am a musician.” with an underline feeling of excitement.  It was like saying to myself, “I won the lottery.”  I had stopped at the music store yesterday to get a silver polishing cloth because I was going to clean my flute up all nice and pretty.  I was looking forward to beginning the process of reacquainting myself with my dear old friend.  This flute has been with me for 20+ years.  I first picked up a flute 26 years ago.  Just the act of cleaning it brought me back to all those years ago.

I was checking everything on it and I saw that the cork in the head joint was most likely going to need to be replaced.  The position it was in meant that there was nothing I could do to make my flute be in tune.  I cannot play an out of tune flute.  It’s against Jenn Law.  But no matter, the music store is just a stone’s throw from my apartment.  Which was good because the internet technician was supposed to come to fix the internet, and I had been given a time frame of 8am-6pm.  So I couldn’t go too far.

I got to the music store and turned in my flute to the repair shop.  However, I wanted to play an instrument so bad, I walked over to the display case where all of the really nice flutes for sell were.  I started trying them out and proceeded to fall in love with one in particular, and so I was like screw it, I’ll buy it.  You can never have enough silver flutes I always say.

But I needed to move some money from my savings account.  I asked for them to hold it while I went home to take care of the financial part of it . . . but then I remembered I had no internet and so I decided to (finally) download the bank app for my bank and sign up on my mobile so I could transfer funds there.

It was while I was in the middle of this that the extra feeling started to make itself known to me.  Something in the background of my senses was flagging me down.  I had somehow gone from internet not working to standing in a music store trying to transfer funds for a 2nd flute.  Also I was wondering if this was my version of having a mid-life crisis.  Instead of a Corvette or Porsche, I was going to own a variety of impossibly expensive flutes.

I entered the information in the app to identify myself and the app said, “Uh, sorry but the shit you typed in doesn’t match the shit we have in our system.”  I figured I mistyped something, and so I did it all again . . . my debit card number . . . my pin . . . last 4 of my SSN.  Nope.  So I did it again.  “Not only nope, but now we’ve locked your ass out of the system . . . call this number.”  So I called, and the woman was looking stuff up and then she asked for the last 4 numbers of my debit card.  I gave it and then she said, “Oh . . . that’s what is wrong.”  And then dead awkward silence.

So what happened, is that my account was a part of *something* (she didn’t say what) that could have compromised my account information and so they had sent me a new debit card with a new number.  The *something* happened on April 1st and they sent the card with explanation on April 2nd.  Sooo I can’t do anything online, only in person transactions.

And you know what?  I wasn’t even mad.  I was glad they were on top of their shit and protected me, and also . . . this was the moment that the feeling became clear to me that something was going on that was out of the ordinary . . . I was being led to something specific.  Life had a game plan unfolding and was in the process of herding me towards it.  So I explained it to the people and they were totally happy to hold the flute until my new debit card came and I was ready to continue on my day.

Except the whole “I am a musician” thing.  I was stoked for two days to get to play my flute today and now my one is in the shop and it was suddenly not made possible for me to get a 2nd one.  However . . . a couple of years ago I went through one of my momentary moods of attempting to get back into music and had gone to rent a violin . . . which I paid off completely a year ago shortly after my Raven Kitty girl died.  I’ve had it for 2 years . . . and I have never even pulled it out of the case.

I had wanted to sink my teeth into something I already knew how to do.  Get the taste of it back into my system and *then* attempt to learn a new instrument.  And yet everything had coalesced into a situation in which I was completely set to play a musical instrument . . . and yet my known instrument was suddenly yanked out from under me, leaving me only one choice.

I came home with the recommended books for starting out on violin.  By this point, the feeling of *destiny* was very much in the air and in my veins.  Violin was actually the first instrument I had ever played.  I played for a year in 4th grade but then moved to a place that only had bands and no orchestras . . . and so started my journey with the flute.  But violin . . . oh . . . where do I even begin.  Nothing . . . and I mean nothing speaks to me like a haunting gypsy melody played on the violin.  Or like the part in the song “Devil Goes Down To Georgia” (if you’ve never heard it a) have you been living under a rock your whole life? b) go to youtube and listen to it. now.)

I want to be playing *that* already, not being a new student on an instrument . . . but then again, the universe really has put itself out there to arrange this . . . so . . .

So I read the intro and everything to the Suzuki Method book.  It’s the very same book I used when learning the violin as a little girl.  The intro is surprisingly . . . well . . . meaningful.  Suzuki isn’t messing around.  He goes all meta like I do, “Education begins the day a child is born.  As an infant’s body grows day by day, its powerful life-force absorbs all the stimuli it receives externally, developing in the process of acquiring ability.  Without stimulus to the life-force, there will be no development in the child.  Under conditions of neglect, nothing and no one can grow.”

Holy shit Mr Suzuki-san.  Is this volume 1 of learning violin or the answers to the universe?  I love you crazy violin person.  Actually, this is very indicative of the Japanese culture and something I feel and know (remember) intrinsically in me.  I understand this level of crazy, so I was all in by this point, but still I was touched further when I read this sentence, “The violin is a medium for cultivating human character, ability, and heart.”

In fact, I had to take a moment’s pause to let some heart felt tears make their way out.  The accumulation of all of this was really getting to me.

I can imagine it would be like an amputee suddenly growing their limb back.  Losing the limb . . . going 20+ years coming to peace with it . . . and then it magically starting to grow back.  There’s a mix of disorientation, nostalgia, relief, . . . and . . . a larger understanding of life.

But still . . . I was having a hard time getting myself to pull the violin out of the case.  What is it?  What was stopping me?  I kept reading through the instruction books.  Proper stance, proper way to hold the bow.  How to tune, proper maintenance of the violin.  How to apply rosin . . . the name of the strings.  The instructions in French, German, & Spanish.

Something in me was wondering what the point was.  I’m not that 17 year old girl anymore.  There’s no plans to take the world by storm with my extraordinary musical talents.  There’s no audience waiting for me.  Come Monday morning I’m still going to be getting up to get ready to go to work . . . so what good does this do me?  What’s the point?  How could this make any difference in my life, I mean really?

Then I had a feeling flashback, going back to when I would spend 5 or more hours a day practicing my flute.  It brought solace to me.  In a world gone wrong, it made me feel okay again.  As I strengthened my flute skills, my body and emotions became strengthened and I could withstand the hardships in life much easier.  Being a musician is something that is for me.

So at last I reached a point where I pulled the violin out.  I dusted it off with a soft cloth.  I tightened and rosined the bow.  It was time to start tuning the strings.  I took a deep breath and drew the bow across one of the strings . . . and it rung out deep and strong.  I felt the power of the sound of the violin vibrate through my bow, my hand, and my heart.  In that moment, I understood why the universe had worked so hard to coerce and push me towards this.

There’s listening to a violin on recordings . . . in songs . . . from other people playing it.  I’ve enjoyed the violin immensely in this way.  It is an instrument that touches my soul in a way that nothing else comes close to.

But experiencing the violin as the one holding it and drawing the bow across the string myself was another thing entirely.  It is something I would willingly dedicate the rest of my life to learning.  It’s like it enables a doorway through which my soul is easily able to sing through.  This is something my heart has been searching and longing for . . . an outlet in which it can be fully expressed.  It’s like my heart was trapped in a prison and was banging on the walls, and then the stroke of the bow on a single string made the prison doors fly open and my heart could suddenly breathe the air of freedom.

Who needs an audience when the simple act of playing gives you something as valuable as that?

Today was the start of something new for me.  I went back to the music store and told them that there was no need to hold the 2nd flute for me, I had found what I was actually looking for.  They helped me pick out a few new things for my violin.  I requested to be put on a list to be contacted when they have a new violin teacher for lessons.

Something in me has settled down and is pleased that I’ve finally taken the first steps down this road.  In this I look forward to being a student.  I look forward to the whole journey, from learning how to properly hold the instrument to sassing it up with my devilish gypsy ways.

And yes, come Monday morning, I will get up to get ready for work just as I always do . . . but something new has started to blossom in my heart.  Something that I get to nurture and grow and care for, for the rest of my days.

Violin Awesomness

My Little Furry Care Provider

I was having a really silly dream right before I woke up this morning.  I was sleeping in bed (suspiciously in the same position I was sleeping in for real) when a butler came into my room with my breakfast.  (I think I’ve watched too much Downton Abbey in my life).  My breakfast was a bowl of sugar pops cereal, which I can’t even remember the last time I ate cereal, let alone sugar pops.

I was trying to wake myself up enough so that he knew he could leave, but I wasn’t fooling anyone.  I started talking about some joke that included me teaching French.  I don’t actually know French so my joke was being done in English with a French accent.  Realizing that I wasn’t actually speaking French, the conversation shifted into how much funnier it would be if I taught a class in how to speak French accented English.

I thought I was being a riot.  I could not figure out how the butler was keeping a straight face and patiently waiting for me to actually sit up to eat breakfast, with all of my shenanigans.  So finally I sat up, he handed me my bowl of sugar pops, which I was wondering how he kept them from getting all soggy in the milk and whether the next person the butler was going to, was going to have soggy cereal because of me taking so long to get up.

At this point I started to wake up for real, because I had a little black Gir kitty walking into my room meowing at me.  I was just as reluctant to wake up as in my dream.  At first I thought his motivation was him wanting food.  I knew his wet food dish was empty because I had given him chicken from the day before instead of his usual canned food.  But this cat has never been motivated by food, so I wasn’t completely convinced that that was the situation.

I’ve been slowly recovering from both of my ears and deeper sinuses being blocked for quite some time.  I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but it must have been for awhile.  All I know is that it was reaching a point where I was barely able to get any oxygen into myself.  I began the long process of reversing all of it.  It took a long time to get to that point and so it’s taking a long time to recover from it too.

Each step that I take helps remove a deeper layer.  This has been a process of weeks and weeks.  It’s been like chiseling away concrete using a needle, but I have made some incredible progress.  It’s getting easier to breathe, which in turn is making it easier for me to sleep at night, which in turn makes it easier for me to get through a day before I start hitting anxiety, which in turn puts me in a more overall pleasant mood.

With where I’m at in the process, a good portion of my body that has been basically frozen in survival mode, is starting to relax.  More feeling is starting to come back into me, and with that I’m noticing just how exhausted my body has been from all of this.  So I feel relief, I relax, and then I’m like holy shit I am tired!  I had absolutely no idea, how over time, my body had started to fight more and more for the little bit of oxygen I was letting into myself.  It’s that stupid conditioning thing, where something happens slowly and subtly enough over time, that you don’t realize it’s happening.

So this morning I was almost in a drunk state of relief and exhaustion.  “Omg it feels so good to be able to relax {slobber} I don’t want to get up ever again.”

That’s the state I was in when Mr. Gir came sauntering into my room.  I was too crashed to even get mad at all his racket.  I was able to just stay there in my body, all comfy, not really giving a fluff.  It felt so nice to not become unhinged by what he was doing and my temper coming out.  I laid there comfortably watching what he was doing.

He was putting a paw onto my bed (I’m on the floor), walking himself into my outstretched hand.  Talking and going on and rolling on the floor and knocking everything over.  He was being adorable.  I could see an earnest want or need for me to get up.  This cat was on a mission.

So finally I was ready to get up and I started my morning routine, which Gir knows so well he leads the way.  Into the living room, open the blinds.  Plug in the internet.  Off to the bathroom.  Into the kitchen.  As I willingly cooperated with Gir’s monumental efforts to get his human moving, I noticed a whole change in his demeanor.  He got a little bit of a bounce in his step.  He started to purr so loudly.  He looked so happy.

In my half asleep (but very relaxed) stupor, it hit me what was playing out.  He has found a way to contribute to his family unit.  He has found something that he is good at, and that is useful and helpful.  It’s not just humans that like to feel needed and useful.  It’s not just humans that need a purpose in life.  As all of this went through me, I looked at him with new eyes and became as clear as day.  It was written all over his little kitty face and in his expression.  “Look mommy, look I helped!”

It’s something that I was incapable of noticing before my health started to return to me.

When I got him his breakfast (and mine) and went to sit down in the living room, he came and chilled in the living room as well, looking all extra pleased with himself.  His motivation had not, in fact, been about his food.  He was just doing his self assigned job.  In his own little kitty way, he has shown me more care than many humans are capable of showing anymore.

The little dude cares whether I get out of bed or not.  It may be for his own reasons (which are the best reasons for doing something), and it may not be a conscious thought . . . but it doesn’t matter to me.  I know care when I experience it, and he’s providing genuine love and care.

As for my dream, I can see how the more my health returns to me, so does my humor and joking.  I stop being so super serious about everything . . . I become more playful.  I, in fact, do wake up out of bed saying stupid things that I think are hilarious even if nobody else thinks they are.  And the sugar pops cereal was obviously a reference to being a kid.  My inner child returning.

And no wonder the butler wasn’t laughing at my hilarious french jokes . . . I mean, he’s a cat for crying out loud.  It had nothing to do with how funny my jokes were.  😀

Gir

Jenn’s First Video Blog!

Hello!  So I took the plunge.  I don’t know how many times I have thought about doing some video posts instead of just typing because sometimes it’s more appropriate for my mood, but I’m not a video person.  I had to setup a youtube channel and all kinds of crazy technical shit.  So anyways.  It’s short.  It’s just to get my feet wet.  It was even more fun than I thought it would be.  Ha!  Now you guys will never be rid of me!  🙂