Sunday, 6 December 2009

A love note to Winterville

Dear Winterville:

Oh, how your mists have inspired poems of yore, but lately, I've talked badly about you too. I abhor getting checked out when I pump gas at the BP and getting phone numbers from old men, and I blame that on you, Winterville, I blame that on you.

But if we really examine the past, I didn't come here to find dates. I came here to escape from someone who had taken me for granted, who actually wondered if we had a future together after he'd completely ignored me for 4 months when I lived 30 minutes away from him up in Far Far Away Land. Yes, Winterville, you were going to rescue me. You were going to give me work to keep me busy so that I wouldn't have to worry about men anymore. Stinky jerky men. Men who make promises they don't intend to keep. Men who to whom you want to give the benefit of the doubt, but who make you look like a jackass in the end for putting up with so much rejection. Yes, that's what I'm talking about, Winterville. I didn't think it so tragic that your dating pool doesn't exist because I thought I'd just forget about that part of my life.

How wrong I was, o Winterville! How I do miss the company of men- and by men I mean guys born within 6 years of me, not old farts who sneak looks at my ass when I'm pumping gas. Ugh.

I grew up in a town like you, where I made friends who were so loyal and compatible that we still see each other and keep in touch, but the connections I've made here have been different. Sometimes I feel like nobody at all gets me, do you know what I mean? I tried, at first, to be part of the Young Professionals Networking Group. I figured, I wanted to meet people, make friends, and get some job leads as the first job obviously didn't pan out, and off I went... to be rejected over and over until I just stopped going to those "events" they put on. I don't understand. I have been able to find communities of friendly people in every other town I've lived in, so why not here? My friends in my home city ranged from the artistic to the professional. Sure, some of them didn't like to mix with each other, but I enjoyed their company immensely.

I think it is me, Winterville. You just DON'T like me. And how you show it!

So yes, Winterville, I have grown discontent and complained at length about you- not being able to connect socially in a new town will make this happen! All the stuff that went down at my job here didn't help either. Since moving here, I've been strapped for money almost continually, and now I have to leave the county to work and earn enough to make ends meet! Seriously, Winterville, you have not-friendly "young professionals," don't support enough of an economy to allow me a job here, and I want to wear a muumuu every time I pump gas, lest I be leered at by some creep!

But let's not get too far off track. This is a love letter, remember? So now that you are FULLY aware of why I've complained about you, here is what I love about you.

1) Your nonexistent traffic. Oh, how I laugh when people get antsy in traffic here. They wouldn't last 3 minutes in Far Far Away Land. Traffic up there will teach you patience (just like trying to make friends in this town will teach you patience!).
2) Your awesome shopping. I've never seen thrift stores so full of cool stuff. Sure, I've been broke since I got here, but I've still managed to decorate my walls.
3) Your weather. It is lovely in the fall, it is lovely in the spring, it is lovely a lot of the time... and in the summer, I'm either at work in the a.c. or out of state on vacation so that's really not an issue. Let it fry an egg on the sidewalk once in a while. I'm good.
4) The peace and quiet! Any other town and I wouldn't have time to work on my creative projects- there would be tons of stuff to do! But at least here, I am getting some things accomplished. I'll know more about how project 1 will go in the spring, but in the meantime, I'll keep plugging away.
5) The nature trails, the landscapes, the stars at night. I did dream of a place like this when I lived in my home city where the ambient light blocked out all the stars.
6) The food! There are some great eateries around Winterville Townhome, and thank goodness for that.

Winterville, you and I will be together for a while, and I want to make the most of it. Between a cool exercise buddy, 2.5 acquaintances, and an improv group that meets up every once in a while, I can piece together enough of an existence here for the time being. Oh yea, and write that bestseller. Thanks for the background noise of quiet, Winterville. You have taught me a lot.


Jane Q. Phoenix

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Today, I woke up so full of love...

Truly, I did.

They say the Dalai Lama wakes up every morning with a hope to be of service to all beings everywhere. Well, I haven't quite progressed that far, but today I woke up so happy. I thought of all the people I love and even the people I love who challenge me greatly and I just wished them all well. I thought of all the jerks that have made me mad and greatly inconvenienced my life and wished them well, too. Love is just in the air, for some reason. Not like romantic love, but love of others. Agape, the Greek friendship-type love. Something. It's definitely there.

I've had some ideas about a new project: the story of Jane's enlightenment. It occurred to me that I already have an interesting cast of characters, including a spirit guide who says his name is Mike (but I don't believe him. More on that later.)

OK, so I've had 3 dreams about this "Mike" character. The first was the famous "I'm flying with pink wings and everything's going to work out just fine!" dream from last April. Then, I went to a reverend, a psychic, another psychic, and everyone has different ideas about who this Mike is. Some say he's a spirit guide; others say I met him via astral projection, which I really don't understand; and one said he was the masculine side of my psyche, and therefore he's no one in particular who ever lived or crossed my path. Maybe he's a relative of mine, long dead. I thought he looked a bit like an uncle who's been gone many years, back in his younger days. But that guy's name was long and ethnic. He was no "Mike."

The psychic told me to ask him to come back to my dreams, and he did, but I was so excited to see him in the second dream that all I did was jump up and down and hug him. I still had no idea who he was, but the vibe he gave me was like a coolest-person-ever/best friend kind of vibe.

THEN came the third dream. By then, I had calmed down about the idea of this "cute guy following me around all the time" (which, really, is what a spirit guide is, if yours is a cute guy) and I had this dream where he showed up and I was like, "All right, who are you and what's your name?" and he said Mike.

And that just stopped me in my tracks. I thought he was joking. Mike, like the dude I dated a while back, one of my high school crushes, one of my junior high crushes, some of my childhood classmates... not to mention, the most popular name given to boys from about 1960 until about 1980. How many Mikes do you know? There's a ton of them out there.

So I said to him, "I don't believe you!" and he just laughed and thought that was hysterical. "I'm supposed to get some mystical advice from a guy named Mike? The entity talking to me from the Great Mystery is named Mike? How can this be real?"

I ended up hitting him in the belly with the back of my hand and just getting confused. I woke up out of that dream laughing but feeling a bit strange.

If he was joking or it was just a dream, what a crazy dream!

Mike. Really?

So it occurred to me that I could write 10 stories about Jane and each would correspond to a different chakra. The first covers red, chakra 1, which deals with physical identity and self-preservation (unemployment, bleak outlook, and the dream with wings). Chakra 2, Orange, covers more of the hedonistic side of things, which I was happy to explore last summer and fall in Paradise Island. Chakra 3, yellow, covers personal power, vitality, and confidence- the last few months, reuniting with old friends, starting a new and fabulous job.

Apparently we're on to chakra 4, given that I woke up full of love and peace, although I am a little bit nervous about that. (I'd hoped to spend a long, long time in chakra 3 yellow but time marches on). It's all about love, relationships, communication and romance. Uh-oh. You guys know how I am about trying to relate to the dudes. Yet lately, I've wanted to give it a try. This is a HUGE breakthrough as far as I'm concerned. To want to go on dates? Crazy for my usual self. But maybe being in Winterville and having no one come along for so long has made me want to "get out there" again.

Each story will have-
a description of whatever action takes place to illustrate the chakra and area of life highlighted
a "visit (and lesson, if there's one) from Mike"
and will connect to the next.

I can embellish, change, or make up what I want, because after all, as Jane I am a character who lives through someone else slightly more mild-mannered anyways.

Well, this was just a little brainstorming on the blog. Hope it makes some kind of sense to you, or you at least got a kick out of the whole "Mike" story.

Mike. It's just like in Ireland when I met a cute boy named Mick. I went looking for him the next time we were out, and my friend BD said, "Why do you bother? There's 10,000 Micks in Ireland!" But he was CUTE- looked like a young George Harrison.

Well, whatever. Mike, if you're going to be visiting my dreams again soon, I'll try not to give you such a hard time.



Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Chakra #3 and me

The solar plexus chakra is the third chakra in the body. This chakra is used as a portal in Reiki, and therefore, must be opened and cleared from blockages when used in Reiki healing. The solar plexus chakra has several attributes and functions that help with the physical, mental and emotional states of the body.

The solar plexus chakra has several unique names that it may be referred to, including the navel center, liver chakra, stomach chakra, spleen chakra and manipura chakra. This chakra is located above the navel and when its energies are intact will open forward. This will create what it is referred to as a ten petal lotus. Inside of this chakra are several secondary chakras that can open to universal energies.

The main purpose of this chakra is to create a center for life. This chakra has the ability to give life as well as create and generate emotional energies. Many will state that this chakra forms the best between the ages of 15 and 21. Its purpose is to create a shaping of being. It is also known to be associated with transformation and purification. When one's solar plexus chakra is open, it will directly affect the sense of sight. It may also directly affect the pancreas or liver, as well as the liver, stomach and spleen.

The aura that is used in association with the solar plexus is a bright yellow. When the chakra is open, this aura will be apparent to a Reiki instructor. In relation to this, the solar plexus is often referred to as relating to the element of fire. When one goes through a healing with the solar plexus, they may have visions of sunlight or sunflowers in relation to this.

Reiki instructors will usually place their hands above the navel to trigger this energy center. For females, they will rotate left and with males they will rotate right. This will help in clearing the blocked energies in this area. If something emotional or traumatic has happened, this is usually where the blocked energies will be. Once this is opened, different emotions will also be able to open.

The solar plexus chakra is the last of the lower chakras and is the most complex of the three. It's relation to the body relies on the emotions that are being generated by that person. By opening up the solar plexus chakra and healing its center, one will find many differences in their health.

So I went on a trip with a friend to a spiritualist community and had my aura read again. This time it was red, orange, yellow, white, and a tiny bit of green.

In aura terms, this meant that my third chakra was blocking energy to my 4th-7th chakras, so they put me with a woman who would do reiki for me and release this energy.

It's probably a good thing I didn't know what was going on, because it was like this:

First, they get the singing bowl to sing. It's a bowl made out of crystal and it makes this cool noise if you roll something around the rim of it, which she did. Then she told me to visualize air like a white cloud coming up through my feet and moving slowly through my body- up my legs, into my midsection and...

Hey, what was that? All of a sudden I felt like I was 10 years old and my dog had just died. I swear, I haven't felt sorrow so deeply in years. It's a real pang, a deep pang, and it actually hurts, but then it's gone and the cloud is flowing through and the bowl stops making the cool noise and it's over.

Except... except now I'm thirsty, so I get a drink while my friend goes to the bathroom. They tell me to rest for a minute so I sit on a couch and then...

The waterworks begin. First I think about my dog who died back in 1983 and then I think about times when I felt bad about myself growing up and then it fast-forwards to the present day and all the stress and feelings of hopelessness I've known.

Now everyone's noticed. The reiki lady gives me some energy somehow and talks to me. She says I need to take a salt water bath to neutralize negative thoughts.

I say to her that I've tried so hard to think positively and get out of my crap situations; suddenly I get a mental image that tells me that I've layered positive thoughts over that which had festered for who-knows-how-long, and I wish I'd known- I wish I'd had an honest dialogue with myself sooner to address these upsets and be more aware of them so that I could acknowledge them, release them and move on.

Here's more of what I found online. The bolded info is my doing.

How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life, our capacity to succeed in business, relationships, healing and intuitive skills. Self understanding and acceptance, the bond we form with ourselves, is in many ways the most critical spiritual challenge we face. In truth, if we do not like ourselves, we will be incapable of making healthy decisions. Instead, we will direct all of our personal power for decision-making into the hands of someone else; someone whom we want to impress, or someone before whom we think we must weaken ourselves to gain physical security. People who have a low sense of self esteem attract relationships and occupational situations that reflect and reinforce this weakness. Nobody is born with healthy self esteem. We must earn this quality in the process of living as we face our challenges one at a time.

My stomach was upset all afternoon long. I found myself "releasing" stuff on a literal basis. Eeewww, I know. Eventually, we were home and I fell into bed and slept this thing off.

Well, whatever had glued that trap-door shut didn't hold that day, and I'm glad. Whatever was built up in there, that needed to go, is gone. Now it just needs to stay gone!

Strange, briefly painful, and totally mind-blowing. Yep. Just another day in the life of Janie Q.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Working in the Actual Nearby Midsize City may not fix every problem I ever had, but...

Hi guys, Jane here. It took 4 interviews plus a session of signing forms and peeing in a cup before my wild and wonderful holiday festivities (meeting the Diva at the beach and playing in the waves, flirting with a high-school crush during a night of drinking in the old hometown, spending more time on the road to see family and friends, and pondering the disappearance of The Dude I was seeing) began, but it is official: your Jane is fully employed again, starting Monday.

This time it's a real job with a raise (yes, you read that correctly) and nice people to work with. Now you're probably saying, "Shut up!" but no, it's really true, and it is truly happening.

How did this happen? you might ask. Well, let me tell you. A lot of it was through meditation and trying to capture the feeling of things going well in my life. Sure, I had to dig deep and go into the past for it, but I've been there before and I'm there again. I had to remember the good feeling and have faith in the Law of Attraction to get me there. It wasn't easy.

In order to do this, you have to truly be thankful for what you have... and sometimes that is hard. I had to figure out things that I liked about good-old-boys at work chewing on dip and talking about football this summer while the women did all the work. I had to like the situation I was in where I was working all the time, looking for a real job in my down-time and not making ends meet. I had to find the good in everything, and let me tell you, in 2008 that was really difficult. You know that song in Life of Brian when Jesus and the other 2 guys are hanging from crosses, singing "Always look on the bright side of life"? It kind of felt like that.

But that chapter is over. A new year, a blank slate, a fresh start is in the works. And I must say that it couldn't have happened to a better person!

The vibe of New Town (ANMC) is leaps and bounds in the "friendlier" direction than what I've seen/experienced in Winterville. I know this because I've been there and felt it in my gut.

New Town is a breath of fresh air to this dormant situation. It has a younger and more educated and more transient population. It is also within driving distance, so I don't have to move right away- although I may sometime, as what's keeping me here? I know that ANMC and the new job will not make my life a perfect miracle, but I have a feeling it's going to be a serious upgrade in a lot of ways.

Like they say, the rear-view mirror only shows you what's gone. But you also need to look back sometimes to see how far you've come.

Your amiga on the upswing,