Sunday, 26 December 2010

Jane says, Obey the speed limit with your thoughts...

During the holidays, life seems to go faster than usual. It takes time to get all your greetings and presents together, and there can be stress that goes along with that.

I can't even blame it on the season. Lately, I've been in a rush, and I don't know why. Maybe I need to meditate more. Maybe I need to remind myself that all we really have is right now, and that's why we call it the present. I am not sure what's kept me so focused on "other" lately, but I will tell you what, it is really getting on my nerves.

I have to have these talks with myself, that consist of my super ego (I guess) saying, "Jane, pay attention to the person you are talking to right now! Pay attention to what they are saying. Days will go by and you'll say to yourself that it would be great to talk to this person, but your chance to be with them is right now, so enjoy it, get into it, experience it. Stop thinking about what you have to do next."

I got a phone call from one of my friends whom I hardly ever see or talk to. She is impossible to get on the phone, and yet, there we were, connected in the same space in time. Part of me thought, "I have to get home. I'm hungry. I'm tired and it's freaking cold." Yet, I remembered that I needed to be in that moment, and what could have been a brief conversation turned into a rollicking adventure in hilariousness (as most conversations should). She even confessed to me that she wanted to be a better friend and stay in touch with me better than before, which is awesome because if she would call me back, we'd be in touch a lot more. I sat in my car in the mall parking lot and we got caught up on our lives. It was a good exchange. I'm glad I wasn't dismissive or showed how rushed I felt at the start of it.

I've had to remind myself over and over- as I've sat down to a meal with friends, as I've met up with acquaintances when I'm out shopping or at a party or wherever- that it's time to stop and talk and be together. I don't know why I've felt so hurried inside lately.

The time I've relaxed, though, has been great. Yes, there's been a little bit more rushing around between phone calls and lunches and all the other appointments I've made (and thank goodness you amigas forgive Jane for skipping the makeup and such!). But in all, I've seen and/or talked to so many people lately... and rest assured that Your Jane has tried her darnedest to be there with you in the moment.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Taking out the trash

This weekend, when I got my Xmas decorations out, I was stuck with the mood of clearing out old things. I have to catch this wave when it happens, and I did.

Unknowingly, I had a few reminders around my house of things that reminded me of some people who were/are difficult; people I don't socialize with, work with, or live with anymore. And though it is blustery and cold, and I have a way to walk to dump my trash, I did it.

It feels good. Every once in a while I have to ask myself, Why do I still have this? And if I have no answer, it needs to go. I'm pretty good about donating items that can be reused, but the things I found today were trash. Plain and simple.

Out with the old, in with the new. It's been a great year for the most part and I hope another great one will follow.

Happy holidays, amigas and amigos.


Friday, 10 December 2010

I'd like to give everyone in the world 5 minutes with Hot Mike

Yeah, seriously. That's all anyone would need.

Diva, I've read up on the archangel M before, but thanks for putting it so succinctly. It makes perfect sense- to jump off a cliff and be able to fly is really a good way to sum up the last 2 years. Sometimes Your Jane just needs to be told to take a flying leap!

Hot Mike promised me 3 more dreams, as he's teaching me about the chakras. I've had 4 chakra dreams, which means there are 3 more (7 chakras total). BUT I understand why there's a delay.

Gentle readers (if you do in fact exist), Diva and I are writing some chakra stories. We'll publish an ebook someday, maybe next year. I figure we can copyright it in case it becomes an overnight worldwide sensation, but understanding the odds of that happening, I figure we'll make it cheap or free to Kindle users or whoever. (A side note- actually, I am writing the stories, and Your Diva is providing the witty commentary, which we can all agree is one of her great strengths).

But back to Hot MIke. Mike will come around again to me when it's time.

The thing about Mike is that he personifies courage. He is literally what you need sometimes when you are down and out. I briefly explained my circumstances before my current job to a co-worker the other day- you know, getting dumped by the dude, moving to Winterville, having to leave my job there, and losing most of my money in the stock market WHILE trying to afford a house I couldn't really afford when I was working that lost 1/3 of its value in about 9 months. And he just made this face, like Ugh! I guess that was a bit to explain in one breath. But you know what? Sometimes that is what life dishes out. And when it happens, you are allowed to feel like crap.

But courage- that is my point. Courage is what pulls you out of the morass. And sometimes, you look and look and you can't find it. To quote Madonna, what you need is a big strong hand to lift you to the higher ground. Enter Hot Mike.

Archangel Michael comes in many shapes and guises, although according to Diva's sources he is usually quite handsome (ergo, people listen to his advice. What was that you said, hot guy? Sure, I'll jump off this cliff!)

I wish I could get Mike to visit everyone I know. Even the people I've been burned by- especially them, actually, because they are definitely in the morass. They lash out because they are stuck, and they hate to see others try because they can't try anymore. Imagination eludes them and they can't imagine any other (better) kind of life for themselves. It sucks. I've been there- I know.

It's an amazing feeling to be in the presence of someone like Mike. It just feels awesome, like it's your best friend in the universe who only has love for you. Someone who is above mundane concerns, who is the embodiment of love. We all need someone like that in our lives, or at least our dreams. Some of us try to be that person too.

(Aside: part of me wonders if "morass" is really a word or if I'm thinking of something different. In any case, if it sounds like I'm talking about "more ass," that's very funny, but that's not what I meant!)

(Aside part 2: according to, morass means "a marsh or bog." OK, I can get back on topic now.)

So, to write an equation, Mike = courage = love. If I could classify him as a person, he'd be my favorite person, but he isn't.

When I went on my super-fun friend date with Amigo last month, I told him all about Hot Mike and when I got around to explaining to him that his name was Mike, he just got this look on his face- this knowing, as if to say, of course his name is Mike. Though Amigo hasn't read up on the subject, apparently he's heard some stories about Our Mike.

Very interesting!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Cliff jumping

Last week, in a fit of self-pitying PMS, this Diva took herself to the local little new-agey bookstore, wandering the aisles, just seeing what would grab at me that day. Well, as it turns out, what grabbed me was the voice of a reading going on.

I thought to myself, "oooh, I should get a reading," and things seemed to just fall into place as the lovely lady working at the bookstore just happened to come by to check on me as I had that thought, and told me that the reader had only about 10 minutes left in the current appointment. Well, how convenient! So, I booked the following 1/2 hour and browsed some more.

The reading was interesting, and reinforced some thoughts I'd been having regarding things happening in my life. She also said that I need to study up on the angels and ascended masters that apparently are hovering around me, just waiting for me to tell them what to do! Seeing that I'm not doing such a hot job on my own, I decided to take her up on that, and, after the reading, picked up a couple of things on angels and ascended masters and started reading up.

However, as I read, my dear Jane popped into mind. Remember her dream with that hot guy Mike telling her to jump off a cliff and she did? And everything was OK? Yeah, that dream!! Anyways, I was reading about the Archangel Michael, and it hit me that this might be the guy that came to her in the dream. The book I have says this of Michael, "His chief function is to rid the earth and its inhabitants of the toxins associated with fear," "...extremely tall and handsome...." and, "Michael guides and directs those who feel lost, or stuck with respect to thier life's purpose or career path. He can stimulate the unmotivated or fearful into action. Michael also provides clear guidance about which step to take next."

Now, dear readers, if that doesn't describe Jane's Mike, I don't know what does! I do know that it certainly fits what she was going through at the time-feeling stuck in a hell-hole with no way out (I mean, really, think about it-jumping off a cliff was actually an option she took in the dream! And while I understand it was metaphoric, still!!)

Was she more than a teensy bit fearful? Most probably. And what did she do? She meditated. And asked for some help. And who shows up? Mr. Hotty himself to tell her to jump.
Just go for it. Do it.

Today I was chatting with an old schoolmate, who also feels stuck. She has a lot of talent, but, like many of us, has been struggling just to make it. And talking to her, she admitted that she's scared of making a mistake-of making the wrong move. However, as I asked her, which is worse, making a mistake or doing nothing? That's a lesson I could use myself. Easy for me to give others ideas about how to get a step ahead and then not do it myself.

Jane, can I borrow Mike to give me a quick inspiration to jump off a cliff somewhere??


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Hatred can only cease by love...

Hatred cannot cease by hatred.
Hatred can only cease by love.
This is an eternal law.

Metta meditation emphasizes that some of the practices that are accepted in other belief systems are really not good for us. Guilt, for example, is a form of self-hatred that doesn't allow you to move forward. Forgiving yourself, and asking forgiveness from others, is really the way to go. Holding guilt inside does no one any good. I recognized early in life that guilt was something I didn't want in my life; however, my upbringing kept bringing it around, as if it belonged in my life. Oof. I notice that the religion that clings to guilt the most, Judaism, spawns the most Buddhism book authors, which cracks me up.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Somehow, understanding why someone behaves like a total ass helps you not hold a grudge against him or her

I once dated a guy who was very controlling, judgmental, and extraordinarily inflexible. He was constantly around me (my electric and grocery bills were sky-high when he and I started dating, since he'd stay at my place all the time). Perhaps as a result of his ivy league education, he was quite certain he knew everything- and as his girlfriend, well, I'd better just agree with him. Couldn't we just agree to defer to his superior knowledge? he wondered aloud and often. I went from thinking he was a fun, charming guy, to an insecure blowhard who wouldn't leave me alone for 10 minutes in the course of about 6 months.

It was a grueling time in my life. All I could focus on was how difficult he was, how hard it was to deal with him. That is what makes sense, after all; when you're in a situation where the house is on fire, you don't organize your recipe box- you put out the fire. There was always something new to come along and interfere with my peace of mind. I told myself that was the price of being in a serious relationship; that if I wanted peace, I'd be by myself (and let's just say that that was my #1 fantasy at the time- to be alone again). His deep insecurity was at the root of his behavior, and on some level I knew this; that, plus his controlling tendencies, made me reluctant to break up with him. After all, breaking up with a guy like that has to be presented to him in such a way that it's his idea.

With my meditation practice, which I do often, I am reminded of the core, basic goodness in others. It allows me to realize that there is a trigger for some pretty bad behavior, and sometimes I can get to the root of it. This doesn't mean that the things that were done are all of a sudden fine with me, and that I'm not (or wasn't) hurt after all. Not even close. People can do terrible things to others, things for which there are no excuses. Getting to the core of this, though, is good from the perspective of someone who needs to forgive and move on without a grudge. Sometimes, a light bulb will go on when I least expect it.

Jabberwocky (that is his name, don't wear it out) came from a family that looked pretty awesome on the outside. They were clean-cut, respectable, hard-working people; his parents were an American success story, and his siblings were all good-looking, healthy, and worked/ studied hard. At first glance, everyone seemed so well-adjusted, but it didn't take long to figure out that Jabby's tendency to drink too much but then insist he was perfectly capable of driving came directly from his dad. His dad was a hard-working man who'd worked his way up to a large salary in the finance industry and had that old white man baby-boomer air about him that, sorry boomers, made him seem like a giant blowhard. Everything's me me me, look at me I'm so successful, here I am throwing around money because I can, because I have it. Look at me, everyone! For I am the king!

This king invited us out to big, lavish meals, drank too much wine, and then drove his wife and daughters home. They didn't look thrilled about it, but they couldn't question it either. Jabby, who was only a sheet and a half to the wind, drove me home (where he'd stay too long, true to form...). He always drove.

Needless to say, I had to get away from this situation, and I had to trick him into thinking it was his idea. Maybe he needed to act on the fact that he put me down so often. Maybe I should convince him that, like he's been saying for a while, I'm "just not good enough" for some ivy league prince.

It's been 7 years since we broke up. It was a great time in my life afterward: I felt free, I turned 30, I had a lot of support from friends. After that, I went to school and changed careers. In a way, that experience made me work harder to become the person I wanted to be- because I knew what it was like to be so limited.

Jabberwocky is controlled by fear, perhaps not any more, but if that isn't so I'd be surprised. His parents were extremely controlling and judgmental and guess what? That got passed on to him. For all I know, he wanted to stay that charming, fun person who could laugh easily, make jokes, and roll with the punches that life pulls, but he couldn't do it. He was always so worried about how he would look or be judged. He always had to be the prince, heir to the throne, so that the king would look on him with favor- never mind how screwed up the king was.

I think about this in terms of the boys in my life and their fathers. I am proud to say that the young boys I know being raised right now have good male (and female) role models for the most part.

It also opened up a world of compassion in me, to think about this person and the hand he'd been dealt.

Life is all about choices. If you don't want to end up in a situation, don't take the bait. That's what it boils down to.

I could have had a cushy, rich life with a condescending and drunk husband. This is why I smile when people ask me why I'm not married. Some people feel sorry for me, but I don't think they understand what being married at a younger age would have been like for me. I too would have felt like a big fat phony, constantly scrutinized and never good enough, both within my marriage and his family; and with what I have to start with, I couldn't take that on. Nope.

I'm sure I said I wished him well years ago, but I finally mean it now. The light bulb went on and now I understand. We dated each other in the first place because we both knew what that negativity in our lives was like. The split had to happen, though, when we couldn't bond over it.

He's probably some bloated blowhard in the financial industry by now. I don't know, as he's not someone I would seek out, but it's what I suspect. I heard that he married a woman from a culture that is known for submissive women. That's got to be a better fit than Your Jane (sadly).

Somehow, understanding why someone behaves like a total ass helps you not hold a grudge against him or her. In Buddhism, they teach that you suffer when the person who caused the grudge is long gone, but you still have the grudge- and that's not healthy.

Be well, my amigas and amigos, and have a wonderful week.

Jane Q. Phoenix

Friday, 3 December 2010

Dream- Jane's Jailbreak

Last night I dreamed that I was held captive by a bad guy. There's really no good way to describe him, other than that he was nasty and mean and extremely negative. He was full of mean things to say and not shy about sharing his belittling attitude toward Your Jane. (The nerve of him! I know).

So I go through this dialogue in my mind, where I decide that if I run away and he shoots me, it's better than staying there. I am not sure if we had dialogue out loud, back and forth, but I know that I've got to get away.

I see an opening to run out of the building (I think it was a house) and I get out. I don't have time to see if the mean guy or his hench people see me leave. I duck out of sight, crawl along the floor, and get out the door.

There's blood on my shirt. It's been there since I was in the house. I don't know if he shot at me, or cut me, or hurt me in some other way, but I look like a mess.

Outside, it's a typical suburban neighborhood. There are 2 women taking a walk together and talking- both overweight, both white, and they seem friendly. I run up to them and ask for help, and they respond with, "Of course! Oh my god, look at you! Let's get you out of here!" They act as you'd want someone to act, if you were ever running away from a bad guy.

That's all I remember from the dream. Its meaning is pretty obvious, but at first I was disturbed by the imagery. Bad= male and good= female? That's not how I see the world, although interestingly (based on a conversation with a coworker recently), I tend to feel better about my job when there are more women in charge. In past situations, when men were 90% of management, I'd never really feel comfortable. Now, things are more balanced, and I am at ease with that.

Diva said that the bad guy reminded me of someone I used to work for, and I immediately agreed. Interesting...