Saturday, 31 December 2011

Crazy is as crazy does

People, what is normal, and what is crazy?

I had dinner with a fabulous friend the other night. She told me about a guy she dated and how she wanted to diagnose his craziness with that psychology book that lists all neuroses. I told her to save herself the trouble; he's a man, and she's a woman, and would they ever understand each other anyway?

Does the fact that you can not understand someone's behavior and motivations make that person crazy? Or does it make you crazy or stupid, due to your inability to understand the other person's behavior?

I've known a few people with bipolar disorder. They do the most brilliant work when the lid comes off and they have the energy to do it, but they can't keep up that frenetic pace for too long. Who on earth could?

The thing is, things that don't fit into the norms of society are labeled as such... but who decided the norms of society?

Do you think I like working a day job, 40+ hours a week? Do you think that's what I would have picked if I'd had a choice of, say, 35 or 30 hours instead? Some days I am out of the house and in the world for an 11-hour stretch at least, battling traffic, putting miles on my car, feeling the tension seep into my body, running from meeting to meeting, wondering what is the hottest fire on my desk that I need to put out first. Yes, I feel accomplished. Yes, I am proud of my work. But do I need to do it so very much? Yes, according to society's standards. So does that make me CRAZY for wishing I could work less?

It still baffles me how people work full time and raise kids. Seriously. I don't know how they do it. It's hard to find time to spend with my pets some days. Embarrassing to admit, but true.

But I digress. What is normal? Diva laughs at me sometimes. She tells me I can't outline and explain everything logically because some things can't be discussed that way. Some things defy logic; people defy logic- some more than others.

Any diagnosis in the world is just a label; the person remains the person. Amigas, I have loved some pretty crazy people in my life. I think my life path that led me to Winterville made damn sure I'd be exposed to a whole spectrum of crazy that I never saw before. I've seen it so much up here. It used to make me angry; I'd think that the person should just take meds and assimilate, show up for work on time and get over himself or herself already. And, in the workplace, when you are part of a team, yes, I think that is true; otherwise, you're letting people down. But in life? Messy, mushy, free-form life? How crazy can we take it?

Your friend in the new year and always,

Jane Q. Phoenix

Monday, 19 December 2011

Design your own reality

Dan Pearce's blog entry about "I'm Christian unless you're gay" still has me thinking. I talked it over with some friends; it's been a good thing to trade thoughts about. One, a blunt Sagittarius who is known for her razor-sharp smarts, said to me that she thinks it's just that people get to subscribe to whatever reality they choose. We (Americans) don't have 4 TV channels anymore. The information we absorb is obtained through "channels" that we are comfortable with, such as Internet, satellite radio, cable TV, and so on.

For example, I was going through the channels on the TV today (I have 12) and there was the religious channel with an angry man talking about the One True Way. He said that the people who call themselves Christians but say that there are many paths to the same realization are just plain Wrong. His way is the Only Way. Everyone Else is a Damn Fool. Well, he didn't use those words, but you can get my drift. It all comes down to: You either believe what I'm saying, which is correct, or you're stupid and wrong. (I didn't watch that guy for too long.)

The only people who watch that show agree with that man, just like the only people who watch news programs that lean left or right are the people who want that spin to the information they ingest. That's just the way it is. If you don't want to see much about celebrities, go with the PBS station; otherwise, you'll be hearing about Michael Jackson and the Kardashians for the rest of your natural life.

I think it comes down to designing your own reality. If you really concentrate on something, it increases in importance in your life and has more meaning.

People also have to decide for themselves what level of negative news that they can handle. Personally, I did not watch any of the Casey Anthony coverage. It has a lot to do with a demanding work schedule and a life that doesn't involve much TV, but there's also the element of: do I really want this information to take up space in my brain? Ask yourself that question about the things you come across. Is this really what I want to become a part of me? I didn't want the idiocy of Casey Anthony to become a part of me. I understood most of the circumstances of the case and her behavior from hearing snippets of news on the radio in the morning and on TV at night; I didn't need the details.

Mostly because I know that whatever she did, she's going to live in her own personal hell for the rest of her life. Do you think she is going to be remotely free? She's in prison whether she's doing time or not. Karma is probably kicking her ass as I write this. Karma will no doubt continue to kick her ass, whether or not anyone actually lays a hand on her.

When the verdict came down as Not Guilty, so many people were outraged. I'm sure the evidence I didn't hear about pointed to her guilt or involvement on some level... but the thing I became concerned with was that so many people wanted to hurt her, wanted to punish her, wanted to see her be hurt or imprisoned. Sitting back from my half-ignorant viewpoint, I thought to myself that the more informed people were about the case, the more they suffered. The more angst and anger they felt.

This takes me back to my original point. Some people sought out that news coverage, while others like myself did not.

People criticize me for my detached perspective sometimes. They ask, don't I care about the world?

Yes, absolutely, I answer. But I also have to sleep at night!

Wishing you pleasant dreams and a happy tomorrow,

Jane Q. Phoenix

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I'm Christian, unless you're Gay goes viral, and other thoughts...

Single Dad Laughing, also known as Dan Pearce, wrote an essay about a topic near and dear to my heart. You see, Your Jane has seen some pretty bad hypocricy in her lifetime. Most of it revolves around two major hot button areas: religion and politics. And both areas focus on a laser onto gay people.

It always seemed to me that if Jesus said, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me," then this should translate into not denigrating some group of people in society or condemning them. However, some Christians really take a stand against gay people, to the point where they hurt people, families, and society. I never agreed with this. I stood up to my homophobic elders and told them they were wrong to ridicule gay people when I was a kid. I stood by my friends who came out and told me they were gay. Don't get me wrong; I'll desert someone in my life for being annoying, or a train wreck, or a jerk, but desert someone because they come out to you? Seriously, where are your priorities?

I know I'll never truly empathize with a lesbian because I'm straight, but boy oh boy, do I ever know what it is to be socially ostracized. It's the lesson that's slapped me in the face so many times during my internment in Winterville. When I read Dan's article, I could really relate to the man he featured, a gay friend in Utah whose friends and family have turned away from him.

I'm lucky in that my family would never do that, but one thing you'll find in life is that the people around you who aren't your friends will reveal themselves as such... and sometimes you find that even if your family sticks by you, they have their own agenda for you that probably doesn't coincide with your own goals and wishes.

I have my books and my poetry to protect me

Seriously, I got to the point in Winterville when my library card was my best friend, and the fun only broke out when I was far, far away. Simon and Garfunkel are damn geniuses with their song, "I am a rock."

A rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.

When going out among people becomes a grueling joke, that's the point when the song makes sense! But as I've said before, coming up with an exit strategy IS the only strategy when you're in a place like that.

Please check out the article; it really gives you a lot to think about.


Jane Q. Phoenix

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ramping up for 2012

Amigas, I know that 2012 will be a big year for me and Diva. Once my wordsmithing is done and her witty commentary is in place, we will be published writers next year as our novellas hit the internet. I, for one, am excited, and it's hard to stay on task. Really, I feel like it should already be done, but at the same time, it's not ready, so it's not done, is it?

Ahhhh... as our buddies G+R sang ages ago, we need a little patiences, yeaaaaaaa.

Sometimes I want all the cool stuff to happen NOW. But as they say, the reward of patience is patience. Hmmmmm....

Better get to work on this then.

Love you, amigas and amigos!


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Bless This House

Having grown up with a strict, dogmatic religion, I'm not the most enthusiastic churchgoer since before the 1990s. Having that background, though, I do understand that some things are better blessed than not.

My own mother told me that she got married in a church because she figured she needed all the help she could get!

My freelance career brought me into the path of a holy man about 4 years ago. He struck me as one of the kindest people I'd ever met. However, being as scattered as I was at that time (jobless, with a big mortgage, stuck in a town where I couldn't find a real friend), I didn't think to ask for his blessing.

I'm sure there are people who've taken an interest in me, blessing-wise, since then. I've had some incredible dreams and awakened feeling awesome, as if my burdens have been lifted. I've "felt the good vibes" at certain times, as it were. Those of you in tune with what this is will know what I'm talking about.

Following the example of an equally nonreligious sibling who nevertheless hangs up a Bless This House plaque under every roof, I decided to finally get my house blessed.

A friend who is full-throttle into raising a family also has a brood of animals to look after, and her church offered a pet blessing. She and her son took in one dog and many photo representations of other family pets.

Having seen her the day of the blessing, I asked her to take my house key with her and have it on her when she received the blessing. With my busy work schedule, I figured it was the quickest and most efficient way to get this task completed.

At the risk of sounding anti-climatic, I have to say that I feel better! I feel better being at home now. For years, I've avoided it. It's been a place to drop laundry and sleep and then my car has literally been the vehicle by which I can see good people or do good things. I've hated being here. Once in a great while, someone fun will pass through my threshold to visit; other than that, it's just been a huge expense in an inconvenient place that I didn't want to be.

Anyway, Universe, thanks for the blessing and thanks for this feeling of peace in my home. It is long overdue and much appreciated.

Jane Q. Phoenix.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I had it, and then I lost it

I had the most brilliant idea for my blog title. I just can't remember it. This is what happens sometimes. No matter how much fish oil I take, sometimes I forget.

I wanted so much to be further along by now. Is this what people say all through life? The ideas I have still swirling around my head... all the research I have to do before venturing into the world of epublishing. It's all before me. I haven't done very much yet. When I wonder what's holding me back, it's a few things:
1) my tendency to second-guess every decision
2) my careful and slow ways of making a decision
3) my research into who should publish my work has only begun; then, I have to decide (see #2) and go through the spin cycle of second-guessing my decision (see #1).
4) these steps all pertain to having a completed manuscript, which I do not have. Ahhh, details, details. Yes, I need some semblance of a manuscript... or something.
5) life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Sometimes other things take precedence. So as much as I tell myself I should have all the time in the world to work on this project, I don't. Sometimes I have the time and my brain doesn't want to work. I should probably view that as a gift from the Universe and just forget about it then.
6) why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate (8) 9!

I'm thinking of calling my collection of stories that deal with (ahem) my conflict with a certain podunk town "Jane versus Environment." This is like what you learn in English class; the main conflicts are man vs. man; man vs. environment, man vs. self. Well, there's not much manly about Your Jane so we'd first of all have to change that to Woman and second of all, why not use my name? It is a well chosen name! So there you have it.

I have 90% of that story collection done, except for a crown jewel of a tale I really need to put down. Once it's done on my end, La Diva will sprinkle in her wit and we shall see what the "finished product" draft will look like. Part of me can't wait, and part of me clearly can, since we haven't worked on it much lately, have we?

Oh, I give up. Universe, this will get done on your schedule, not mine.

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, 26 June 2011

There is no such thing as getting back to normal

Whether I'm dealing with stuff that is tangible or intangible, one thing is always true: nothing stays the same. Everything is in a constant state of change, whether we can see it or not.

I read some article about human physiology that said that our hip bones keep growing throughout life. They never stop. (Cue for Jane and Diva to throw up their hands in dramatic exasperation simultaneously.)

Your Jane is fond of packing for a vacation (who isn't?) and will often set out the things she'll be wearing for her to admire weeks beforehand, so that when she's rushing around getting ready for work she'll see, for instance, a sarong, and feel that little bit of excitement inside that precedes a new adventure. But when I get home, it's into the laundry bin with the clothes; if they are clean, they get put away. The suitcase goes back to its place in the closet, and it's back to business. Before I go to sleep, the day of my return. I like to be reminded that I'm going somewhere, but not that I've been somewhere (because the latter inevitably reminds me that my fun break from reality is over).

But coming back from being away, fixing something, changing something, painting something, whatever it is... whether you hope to hold something the same (eyes, please don't wrinkle!) or keep the things around you familiar, this is something that isn't really possible.

I remind myself of this when I say to myself that things need to get back to normal. There is no normal, and there is no getting back to anything. We are flowing down the river of life, and nothing is as it was before. Every single minute.

Thanks for reading, amigas, and have a great week.

Jane Q. Phoenix

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Earthquake Dream

Hi all.

Had a crazy dream. I was inside a girls school in Italy or Greece (somewhere beautiful, foreign, and earthquake-prone) and while I was inside the school, there was a massive earthquake- so much so that the dust outside was so deep, it was as tall as the door! There was damage inside, although not too much, and along comes my best friend.

This isn't a best friend I've ever known in my waking life, but one whose appearance in this dream made me feel quite calm- like everything was under control even though the world outside was literally falling apart.

She said to me, "Don't worry. I know a way out of here. Follow me."

And so I went, following her through rooms of this school, to a window above a door. She opened it up and we both climbed through to the daylight.

People were glad to see us (not over the moon, but then again, we weren't all that worried when we were essentially buried underground). They said, "It's a shame the school was buried. It had such a great library and we can't use it anymore." But overall they weren't concerned.

I think this is because we all knew that we had everything we needed inside ourselves: our wisdom, our knowledge, and so on.

What do you think? Any interpretations for me?


Friday, 17 June 2011

The list

Funny what shows up in real life after you make a list. I wrote:
Takes off his shoes when he's inside the house

The new dude in my life totally does this. So did my first love. Their birthdays are 1 day apart. Interesting similarities.

My friend S asked me the other week, "Why do the guys you date always cook for you?" and I had to laugh. This may be a requirement rather than a request. It's hell being a slave to your own stomach! And it's funny what that will bring in to your life.

Anyway, amigas and amigos, I just wanted to give you an update.

-Your Jane

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rough drafts abound...

OK, so with some embarrassment I will admit that I've been working on that list for years now. That list you make to the Universe to say, This is what I'm looking for in a man. But as Diva most astutely pointed out, I forget to mention everything that I think should be implied.

You can't imply that a man is generous, and a good tipper; you have to say it. You can't imply that he'll earn money and take care of his body; you have to say it. And don't laugh, but you have to specify that he works in your geographic location and plans to stay there... as Your Jane can attest, so many of them up and move away for a better job.

In my past lists, I have left out glaring things, some of which almost make me laugh as I look back and realize that maybe the man in question fit this bill perfectly; I just forgot to add the No Skoal and Illegal Drugs rule, or the No Narcissism and Alcohol Problem rule. Whoops! I had a list that said I wanted a man with beautiful hair, and I found one- 10 years younger. Relating to each other was a challenge, and it didn't last. Plus, if a man's good-looking (or even average), he doesn't need hair. So, I look back and wonder why that ended up on my list.

So my point is, sometimes you get what you ask for; generally, you do. BUT, it may not be what you really want. What is the saying that sometimes what you wish for is not what you really want? I think that applies.

Your Jane is hard at work at an exhaustive list. It is personal and will not be posted, although if you ask, I'll share it with you in person.

Jane Q. Phoenix

Monday, 9 May 2011


Omigosh, my eyes are opened up.... I'm seeing more and more people who (in my opinion) do too much (perhaps to indebt the other person?) and then expect some sort of payoff... It creates such inequalities and drama.

Can't we all just be friends with who we like and forget the rest????


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Life Preservers

In recent months, Your Jane has had several breakthroughs- with health, with mental clarity, even with overall happiness. I am doing well, amigos and amigas- better than I have in a long time. It's due to the help I've received along the way as well as the strength I've built within myself. I've tackled problems and solved them. I've been applauded and rewarded for my work. I've taken care of the things that in turn take care of me, and I've got to say, life is good.

It seems like this has gone unnoticed by a few friends of mine. Given, they are not my closest friends, but others whom I see from time to time. They seem to want to offer advice I haven't asked for, and try to encourage some sort of relationship in which Your Jane is in distress and They swoop in to save the day. Then, Your Jane puts the back of her hand to her forehead, utters "My Hero! You've saved the day!" and said people feel great.

But the thing is, I just want to have friendships with these people. I am not interested in what they think I should do with my life or how I should go about my day-to-day living. Happily, I'm no longer in the place where I need to go to either one for help, and I'm not so weak anymore that I need saving. Incidentally, what I hear from one in particular is unsolicited (and sometimes out of left field in Projectionland).

There is a pattern I've observed with a few family members, where they need to churn and sputter and tell you what they think until they are all worn out, and I just listen. I don't agree, I don't acquiesce, I just listen. I've employed this tactic, with limited success. With one amiga, I will likely need to shift into Confrontation status, in which I will say, "Are you going to tell me to do this thing or that thing until I agree to it? If so, prepare to talk for a really long time because I didn't ask for any help, I didn't wonder what your opinion was, and frankly, I'm not that interested in being told what to do!"

Yeah, it's gotten a bit out of control.

Then there are the babies. Not real babies, just the chronologically grown-up adults who look to Your Jane as some sort of life preserver out in the Real World ocean. Your Jane doesn't take on your problems. I literally had someone who would bring in her bills (problems) and dump them onto my desk. It's a gesture that says, "Here, I'm making this your problem too. Now, take some ownership of this situation."

I would say, "Why are these bills on my desk? It's not my job to figure out what to do with them."

Yeah, I kind of feel like I'm being a bitch when I do that... but why in the hell should anyone else burden me with their problems? First of all, that's terrible manners. Second of all, those are your problems, not mine. You own them. Maybe someone could help you with them... but for what I'm talking about, that is a different discussion.

So it seems we've come full circle. Your Jane is strong enough to be looked at by some as the life preserver, but others still want to see her in the flailing girl in search of a life preserver role.

For those who are looking for life preservers, you have to understand that other people can't make you want to live and enjoy your life. Other people can't force you to stop taking painkillers or sleeping 16 hours a day and pushing things you love out of your life. Other people have a limited role in what you decide to do. The decisions you make, the thoughts you think, the way you live your life and spend your time is up to YOU. If you think that you can rely on other people to give you the incentive to live a good life, you need to check yourself. That is a DECISION that you have to make for YOURSELF.

I have been known to brush off the more difficult hangers-on who want to use me to feel better. I find that I just can't handle the dependency and end up feeling resentful and annoyed. I know this is my issue, somehow.

People who help us with our physical and emotional selves can be really great resources. Feeling good physically makes us feel better mentally, often times. There is nothing like the boost you can get from nutritious food, massage, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, and so on; sometimes others have to be there to treat you (or cook for you) so that your physical body can benefit from these things. This contribution to your life is something to be celebrated and appreciated! But these people, as loving as they may be, are not responsible for making you want to live a good life. Happiness (or maybe even just the pursuit of it) begins within.

Friendship is what life's all about- not taking on the problems of others and trying to solve them, not secretly feeling superior to people in your life who are going through hard times and whom you are "helping" to "get better." Friendships don't exist on the My Fair Lady level; if you're looking for a fixer-upper, it's not going to turn out to be much of a friendship. Friendship shows the give and take, the acceptance, the letting go of the need to parent or boss around the person. Accept a friend as a peer, not a fixer-upper or a life preserver. Nobody's the same and we all are working on becoming better people, but the dynamic of friendship should be tolerance, acceptance, and a willingness to laugh at (and accept!) your friend's quirks rather than condemn and try to correct them.

Whew! Well, that was my rant, and now I'm spent. I hope you have a great week.

Yours truly,

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Excerpts from The Greatest Secret of All

Marc Allen is a writer/musician who collaborates with Shakti Gawain as partners at New World Library, a really cool publishing company. I'm more familiar with Shakti because of the Creative Visualization methods I've used since 1990. But, Marc's book had some really interesting points, and here they are:

1) The first step to discovering the secret of manifestation is to write your ideal scene on paper- your dream life five years in the future. Begin with the end in mind, and keep it in mind.
2) The simple step of writing down my ideal scene led me to discover the unfailing law of manifestation.
3) The second step to discovering the secret of manifestation is to write your goals as affirmations, beginning with: in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way...
4) The next step to discovering the secret of manifestation is to write a one-page plan for every major goal.
5) The final step to discovering the secret of manifestation is to take action. When you have a plan, an intention will form. When you take action, nothing can stop you.
6) Great success is the result of a great many small steps, all moving toward a clearly defined goal. That is the secret to manifestation.
7) Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find. That is the secret of manifestation.
8) Love one another, as I have loved you. Love your neighbors as yourself; love your enemies. That is the greatest success of all.
9) We have a great purpose in life- a mission, vocation and calling. We are here to grow, to evolve, to reach our full potential and contribute to the betterment of the world.
10) To love one another and all of creation, is the greatest secret of all. Love overcomes all fear, and transforms our lives and our world.
11) Love, serve, and remember. Remember what? I ask. Remember to love and serve.
12) Loving and serving yourself and others is the key to fulfillment, happiness, and peace.
13) When you tear away the last veil you know with certainty that love is the foundation of human consciousness- that there really is nothing else. It's our constant betrayal of it that makes us crazy.
14) We are powerfully creative beings. When we focus our conscious mind on a dream or goal, our limitless subconscious mind gets to work, and shows us, step by step, how to reach that goal.
15) Great success is the result of a great many small steps, all moving toward a clearly defined goal. That is the secret of manifestation.
16) Of course you need to build your castles in the air. That is where they should be. Then you put the foundation under them.
17) Take a blank sheet of paper and write IDEAL SCENE at the top. Imagine 5 years have passed and everything has gone as well as you could possible imagine. What does your life look like?
18) Take another piece of paper, write GOALS at the top, and list every goal you can think of for the next few years.
19) Write your goals as affirmations. Begin or end your affirmations with: in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way...
20) To build anything, you need a blueprint. The secret is to make a plan. For every major goal, write a one- or two-page plan.
21) Make a plan, then take the next obvious steps in front of you.
22) Develop a multipronged strategy for each goal, one that doesn't take no for an answer.
23) Focus on your plan, and be persistent. That is the secret to success.

24) You have everything you need: a miraculous body, a phenomenal brain, and a vast and powerful subconscious mind. Now it's just a matter of focusing your mind in the right direction.
25) Living and working in partnership is the key to solving our global problems. Ultimately, partnership is far more powerful and effective than domination and exploitation.

OK, that's the high points. The writing exercises are in bold. Maybe I'll work on those soon.


Thursday, 28 April 2011

The lightbulb just went on

It's funny.

After years of telling myself, "I deserve better" in the realm of dating, I had an epiphany: I do! Guys should be working to impress me! I shouldn't have to be catering to them! I shouldn't have to work to get to know them. They're guys! They'll go where they want to go and do what they want to do... and I should only worry about the ones who keep coming around me.

I don't know why it took so freaking long. I got a really (dare I say it?) bitchy message from Tim the other day and just woke up. Just thought, Why do I care about the actions and opinions of a guy with a history of ignoring me? He can ignore me all he wants. In fact, I hope he always ignores me from now on. I've got better things to do than worry about that ass. He can kiss my ass!!!

Anyway, I thought you'd enjoy to know that it's finally clicked into place. I'm happy to report this!

I know that as Your Jane, I project an air of confidence, but sometimes my thoughts and actions fall short of my projected attitude. But at least this time my attitude and thoughts are well matched!

Jane Q. Phoenix

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Becoming Jane

In April 2008, right after THE DREAM, here is what I wrote. I just found it. Amazing.

What Buddhism has done for me:
- help me accept my situation as it is.
- not freak out about money or career
- not be in a rush to get back to "normal"
- to recognize that there is no normal
- stop comparing self to others- money, marriage, career
- accept that I am responsible for the decisions I've made and some of the motivation behind making those decisions
- understand that all things must pass and that life is never perfect
- accept others better for who they are without the need to plot to "teach" them to be how I think they should be
- I think I am more straightforward about what I will and will not accept as far as other people's behavior toward me
- understand that there truly is opportunity in crisis (such as losing your job) and that when you are forced out of your comfort zone, you get to use/ develop new skills and stretch your brain to learn something new... and this is a good thing. Even the current economic downturn will teach a lot of people about priorities.
- taught me compassion for myself. I can't be mean and berate myself about things in the past
- I dont have the sense of entitlement I used to have about earning a living. I feel a lot of responsibility about what I do and how I get money to flow in the door
- acknowledge that there is joy in the chaos of life, in not knowing what comes next
- because all things pass away and change, it's easy to relax, even when things stink, because they won't always stink
- I finally got to meet my spirit guide and his advice was spot-on
- equanimity = it is what it is
- I don't feel so alone. Honestly, it's like I'm a better friend to myself
- I attract better people into my life and I'm more patient with them
- I accept more diverse people into my life than before. I feel less separation based on personal, religious, or political views and feel enriched from the different viewpoints rather than threatened. I realize that I need to be challenged in order to grow.
- By the same token, the ideas I had about finding romantic love have really relaxed. I realize that __ and __ fit the "list" pretty well but fell short when it came to loving me and being a real friend to me. So the old list is really a set of guidelines. Only the elemental is really important.

Post script 2011- I know I don't think this way all the time. I realize I'm far from perfect or even living up to the words I wrote 3 years ago, but if I got there once, I can get there again, right???

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Upcoming festivities

Your Jane has a birthday coming up! I know, it's so exciting. I can't wait, really. I'll be hanging out with the Diva and doing some of my favorite things: shopping, napping, body-surfing, and eating. It may just be the best vacation ever. I am working on some stories (for which Diva will sprinkle in her own brand of witty commentary!) and I can't wait to have you check them out.
Take care, amigas and amigos.

Not my will, but Yours

Dr. Carolyn Myss tells a story of a sick woman whose condition went undiagnosed. The woman couldn't accept that this was happening to her, that her body was ill and no one could provide an explanation about why this was.

She said that she lived in a state of resignation, as if to say that she wanted to bargain; if she said she accepted her illness, she believed that she should receive some reward.

"I was living in this type of attitude that said, 'All right, I'll do this. Now reward me for it by making me feel better.' And then, that night, I realized that I might never feel better and if that's the case, what would I then say to God? I surrendered completely. I said, 'Whatever you choose for me, so be it. Just give me strength.'"

Resignation is not the same as surrender. When you resign yourself to something, you say to everyone and yourself, "Well, I guess this is about as good as it's going to get." Whatever "it" may be. I've felt that way a long time about my love life. I had discussions with God about Tim last year... and I quote, "This is what I have to work with? Really?"

Surrender is letting go, truly, without any thought of reward or a "wink-wink" to the Universe that it'll finally give you what you want if you just say you give up. That's like an actor saying a line, and pretty meaningless, even if the actor is good.

I have found, though, that sometimes just when you surrender, it does work out and you do get what you thought you wanted. Sometimes, what you wanted disappears, never to be seen again. You never know what the Universe will do. Sometimes it'll zig when you think it might zag. In the immortal words of Mick Jagger, though, you'll "get what you need" even when you can't always get what you want.

There are a lot of jobs I wanted that I never interviewed for. There were guys I wanted a chance with who didn't make the slightest effort to get to know me. But then, I have been blessed with so much work, and knowing so many people. My life is in a constant state of change, from one year to the next, but some people are stable and stick with me month after month, year after year, while others add flavor for a while. Looking at the big picture isn't all about seeing what you didn't get to do; it's about seeing both the opportunities and the dead-ends. It's planting seeds; some grow into beautiful plants, while others don't. Maybe a seed you plant is eaten by a bird and then pooped out and then grows somewhere else, for someone else. Whatever! It's all good, as the hippies out west say.

My challenge these days is to look at what's out there, both the opportunities and the dead-ends, and say to the Universe, I'll show up and give this stuff a try, and it's your job to get to me all the things that I should have. It's my job not to argue why you give me this instead of that. It's my job to be grateful and make my life be as good as it can be.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Cool metal (you know, like Blue Steel of Zoolander fame)

Amigas and Amigos:

A few days ago, I made a fervent wish: that I would be one of those mellow, happy people who are better at going with the flow. I think I got my wish, in the oddest of ways.

According to Chinese medicine, acupuncture specifically, having a migraine is the result of having a buildup of "heat" in the energetic body. I've felt this coming on for quite some time, and my quick temper has grown quicker over the past few months. Having the migraine, for me, stopped the world. I had no choice but to relax (unravel is more like it) and stay still.

The physical symptoms went beyond a hurting head and the inability to function; I noticed heat. Heat coming out of me (hot pee!), heat in my belly, a little dizziness. My acupuncturist says that the heat was traveling down and out of my body. Thank goodness.

Case in point: I had some pretty haphazard directions to get to a destination this weekend. Usually, being halfway lost will send me into an anxious tirade, spouting things like, "Crappaddodles. crapidy crap, crappers, crap. Who in the hell made it so I can't get onto the expressway from this lane? Jerks. Jerky jerkfaces. They are all jerks. I hate them all!" Whereas this weekend, I didn't get mad at all. I just tried a few things, and stopped for directions to check that I was on the right track (I was). At no point did I give anyone attitude (a real accomplishment, when logging a few hours behind the wheel) and I was proud of myself.

Another acupuncturist (I know, I am acquainted with about a dozen) told me that my personality was very metal- which means, I have a place for everything and put everything in its place, I organize my life as much as I can, and I keep track of things meticulously, which I believe is true. I wouldn't have a detail-oriented job like I have if I wasn't this way. But it's my goal to be a cool metal as opposed to a hot one. Hot metal burns, while cold metal won't let go of little kids' tongues as we saw in A Christmas Story. But cool metal, it feels good. Soothing. That's my goal. That's what I want to be.

After arriving at my destination and getting in some R&R, I can tell you, I am one mellow amiga. Having rested, I am ready for the regular world again...

Best wishes for a great week,
Your Jane

Monday, 28 March 2011

Or as George Harrison said, This Too Shall Pass

Amigas and Diva, it's Jane here. The conspiracy of Aunt Flo and allergies has culminated into a giant headache that Coke straight out of the can didn't fix yesterday (yes, Jane fell off the wagon and drank a COKE!) but to no avail. It's got a hold on me and I'm at home, that home that's caused me so many emotions, and I'm relaxing.

The sale of this home will take some time, maybe stretching into 2013. I don't know yet; we're just taking baby steps toward that eventual goal. Diva, your post made me remember something that Shakti Gawain (meditation guru) wrote in a column a few months ago. Sometimes, the idea of positive thinking is given to people in such a way that it encourages them to deny what's really going on and try to convince themselves that their circumstances are better than they actually are. She said to really look at what's bothering you. Try to see what it is. Don't deny that something stinks when it stinks; just give yourself the hope that things will be better in the future, and try to imagine what that future will be.

I wonder what I'll do when I move on from this place. I really do. I realize that so much of my life is bound by this constraint. It is the reason I give for not doing more extracurricular things (oy, so much driving! So much stress! No money left over to do fun stuff) and sadly, after a recent budget review, that's true. One thing that I'm already doing, however, is worrying that I'll make some new awful mistake when I do move on, so much so that this time in my life will look like a walk in the park when it's compared to it.

I realize that much of this anxiety is the result of my hormone levels. Truly, every month at this time I wonder if I need professional help; but then, it passes, and I get up and go to work, and talk to people and laugh and everything feels better about my life.

Diva, you are absolutely right; were it not for this place, this environment as well as this house, I wouldn't have my first ebook. I wouldn't know Mike, and I'd be a lot less mature and a lot less appreciative of the things and people in my life that make it good. I'd be more selfish and greedy and a bigger pain in the ass for sure, at least to some people.

One thing that I need more of in my life is people. Fun people. This was "diagnosed" by our acupuncturist friend a few years ago. He'd prescribe "More Fun." It turned out that a house party that I was SOOO looking forward to this weekend just got cancelled, and I am bummed, but I'll figure something out. I just need to see people more, be out and about, and find things to laugh about as much as possible. I need fun. I had fun with our friend who visited last fall, and the boyfriend before him (before he disappeared). It's why I did so badly moving here and working for a small company and not meeting anyone I could socialize with. (It doesn't help that the bottom fell out of the real estate and job markets too, ha ha ha).

I also want to try dating again. Not right now, in this particular mood. I'll definitely let this headache pass. But overall, I think it's time I started being around interesting, fun people more often.

It occurred to me that when my good friend lost her father last year, she had her husband for support. When I suffer losses in my life, I have Diva and a few others, but I'd like to know what it's like to have live-in support from a real live partner, you know? I confessed to my friend K last week that I want to get married, not for glamorous reasons but for the partnership. Here I have these problems, this expensive house, for example, and no partner to work on the problem with.

Now, I know that men can bring in their own world of hurts (addictions, obsessions with former girlfriends, disrespect, cheating, whatever) and some of my friends bring this up to me when I say I want to get out there again, but I don't know. I'm so adept at being on my own that I can only hope that I'll be a good judge of character and pick a winner next time (or, one step closer to a winner; they are improving, you know!)

So- it all comes down to ensuring that the whole of my life doesn't revolve around one mistake I made. No one decision should have that much power over my happiness and my thoughts. I'll muddle through this just like I muddled through my fruitless searches for love in that other place, my mysterious illness (before it was diagnosed), and the other non-fabulous storms I've weathered since I started on this project of being a grown-up.


Friday, 25 March 2011

My turn to respond...

Ah, my dear Jane...
First, thank you, I hope the magic 8Ball is right! It's funny how you and I seem to have some similar revelations. Of course, I deserve the best (being the Diva and all...) but recently I also came to the conclusion that love is what matters. Do I love this guy? Yes, whether we're together or not. I do adore him. And I have a choice--to concentrate on his less than positive qualities, or the positive ones? Let's face it. If I concentrate on how he is less than perfect, that is all I will see and my reaction will not be positive. If I concentrate on his better qualities and his strengths, then that is what I'll see. And only good can come of it. So, I'm choosing the good. (and of course, me being Moi, I'm sure that the seesaw of frustration will at some point swing the other way, please remind me of this looking at the positive when it does!)

Now, about The House. What to do? I have noticed that you have much anger and frustration when you discuss the house and I can understand that. Been there. Done that. I am so glad I am no longer a homeowner myself. I was very fortunate to be able to bail just before things went to hell in a pretty little pink hand-basket. However, I can relate to the feelings of frustration that home ownership does bring, nevermind the added stress of feeling stuck in a place that you can't stand.

I think that maybe my situation with the boy and yours with the house can have a parallel. Think about the positive things the house has brought you: a really lovely place to hang your Elvis painting. A home for you and the birdies. A patio to sit on and look out over the pond. A garage to protect your car from the elements. A place to hide KC in the closet! Some really funny stories of roommate hunting. And of course, a really peaceful room for me to oversleep when I visit.

Of course, it's easy for me to spout the things I like about your place when it's not my responsibility to take care of it. I'm just speaking from my own experience from my house. I bought it also with the idea that it's the right, adult, thing to do. It's an investment, blah blah blah, but there were plenty, and I do mean plenty, of times that I had wished I had not bought it, that I'd stuck to renting an apartment with no worries of maintenance or upkeep or the eventual sale.

So, maybe the answer is not necessarily to try and let go of the bad feelings and frustration (because the more you think about them the more you will see/feel them), but acknowledge them, know that they are there, but also look for the happy, positive feelings that you have had (and maybe as a result feel more them??) Yes, you'd like to be out of there sooner rather than later, but remember what the Bard said, "This too shall pass!"

Monday, 21 March 2011

Horizontal Stripes on the Wall

A few years ago, I had a dream about the house I purchased as the world economy unraveled, where I've lived for almost 4 years. There were horizontal stripes on the walls, exactly like what you'd find on a prison uniform.

I can't believe how things have fallen apart sometimes. Things have fallen apart for just about everyone. Then, I see what's going on in Japan and think to myself, Jane, you selfish woman, you have food and a car that runs and a job and a roof over your head. Get over it. But yet, I still feel so angry for getting myself into this situation; I still don't know if I can trust my instincts or if I'm just paranoid about everything and everyone.

Whenever I take the morning dump (which is when I write in my journal early in the a.m. if I wake up before the alarm) I write some pretty interesting and hilarious things. One of them, which I'll have to paraphrase, is:

It seems like I wouldn't have time to stress about things beyond my control, given my packed schedule, but yet somehow I manage to find the time.

And I know this isn't healthy, amigas. I know that life goes on whether or not bills get paid and debts are paid back. I know that the world will keep on turning when I walk away from my first horrible attempt at home ownership someday.

There are so many beautiful things in this world that don't revolve around money at all. Yesterday, I spent a lot of time with someone I love dearly. There is no price on that, no bottom line, nothing but bliss. The night before, I had dinner with an old/newly in contact with friend and laughed until it hurt. These are the moments that make up a life, amigas. I don't know why I stress out so badly about my physical circumstances. The only question that really has to be answered is, Do you have love in your life? And the goal, then, is to be with those you love or doing what you love as much as you can.

I don't know what the answer is to handling my stress and letting go of the bad feelings and frustration. These jerky things get in the way of some pretty beautiful and ordinary things about life. I have to remember that all circumstances are fleeting and that there are things about today that someday I'll look back on and think were pretty swell.

PS to Diva: The magic 8 ball says that your crush won't move too far, if he has to move at all.

Friday, 18 March 2011

In response...

Crap, Diva, I don't know... it's human nature to want what you can't have. That unattainable thing always looks so great to us. We always want stuff like that.

I wish I could be a better role model for this type of situation. After all, here I am with a boyfriend who disappeared last October who I still check up on. Finding someone new has proved challenging, especially since everyone new I meet has a relationship with tobacco, or drinks more than I'd prefer, or... whatever. Or has a girlfriend already.

I'm not sure what's best. I feel like, as a single person, that you should do the opposite of what I'd advise you anyway since what the heck do I know????

How much honesty is enough??? How much should you say or not say to him??? I know what I'd do, but I don't have much luck so don't listen to me!!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

As Jane well knows (bless her for listening to my obsessive ramblings!), I've been interested in this man I know for a while now. He's interesting, charming, good looking and fun to be around. We've become good friends. However, this man is preoccupied with someone unavailable to him (as I am preoccupied with him-unavailable to me.) The irony is not lost to me.

There have been signs that perhaps he might possibly have gained some interest in yours truly, but the seesaw totters back and forth, and I have kept hanging on to the hope that maybe this man might one day wake up to realize what he's got in front of him (MEEE!) However, as time moves on, I'm getting more than a bit fed up.

It occurred to me that I am guilty of the same thing as he is-hoping for some morsel of affection from someone who is either not willing or not capable of giving it. Jane has pointed out that when he does show interest in women, these women all have one thing in common-they are unavailable to him. And I have questioned--am I doing the same thing with him? And I think the answer might just be yes.

So recently, I've been questioning my one-sided attachment to this man. And I've been asking myself, "Don't I deserve better?" I mean, he might be wonderful and fun and a really good guy, but don't I deserve someone just as wonderful that actually wants to be with me?? What a concept!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

New Dream

My spirit guide, after over a year's hiatus, appeared in my dream last Saturday night. He said, "Can I tell you something? I love you!"

It was a lovely dream. It is good to be loved.

Your Jane

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

write it down

Visiting Jane this past weekend, we headed to one of my favorite little spots-the wonderful world of Barnes and Noble. Sigh. It just makes me happy to meander through the aisles, looking at this book or that, the magazine racks, and if something really grabs me, then to sit and peruse my little find, deciding whether I want to commit or not (wow, sounds a bit like dating, only that print material doesn't talk back.) Anyways, I digress...

I found this little gem of a book on manifestation. It's a thin little book, very simply written and it completely seduced me. I took it home and we've been getting to know each other the past few days. The book outlines certain steps to achieving your dreams, and the first step is to write it down. It says to think of your ideal life in 5 years. And write it all down.

Now, I remember back in high school, some teachers would have us do a certain exercise-imagine yourself in 5 years. In 10 years. And I always hated this exercise because I remember thinking, "you want me to know where I'll be in 5 years? Or 10? Are you insane? The world is full of possibilities. How can you possibly expect me to choose something now?! I don't even know all the possibilities?!" And the exercise would generally end there for me because, in essence, I'd refuse to participate.

I see things a little differently now. Maybe if my well-meaning teachers had said, "imagine what you'd like your life to be like in 5 years," instead of "imagine your life in 5 years," then I might have been able to play along (maybe, maybe not. I do tend to stubborness, so who knows.) However, since those high school days long past, I've read more, experienced more and I'd like to think that in some ways, I've gained a little bit of wisdom. Because now, now I see that this exercise has you practice your imagination and sow the seeds for what may come.

I can't remember who wrote it, but I remember reading that you can't get to your destination if you don't know where you're going. And it makes sense. This exercise sets a goal, a destination. It's not set in stone, but without the end goal in mind, you'll wander a bit aimlessly, as I have done, until something does grab your attention.

So, if you feel so inclined, I'd say go ahead and give it a shot-what do you imagine as your ideal life in 5 years? Play with it, let your imagination go hog-wild. Watch out for that inner critic/editor to rear its head when you do this (apparently, my inner critic already had a stronghold inside me those many years ago...) As you think of what you'd like your ideal life to be like, that voice might tell you that you don't need all that, or that you're asking for too much, or who do you think you are to think you can have that, or even laugh at you and say, yeah right! You can tell your inner critic that this is just for fun, it's just a game. Again, this is not set in stone. The point is to let yourself dream.

As I did this, I found that I had a hard time just letting go enough. At first, I found that inner critic speaking, "oh come on. Be realistic. 5 years passes quickly," but as I kept going, it became more fun, like "yeah, that would be cool!" But I realized that just admitting that I'd like to have a certain life, and certain things in my life was difficult, even if it was just to myself. I've been disappointed enough times that I've learned to keep my wants quiet, lest something comes along and squishes my hopes and dreams.

And again, getting it out there, admitting it, writing it down, that's the first step. It's a bit like a vision board-it's sending the universe a message that, yes, you would like things like this in your life. That will get the wheels in motion.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Oh yeah, duh!

I've had a lot of time to think lately. I've been home sick and had to postpone time with friends, which was a big huge bummer, but this time alone led me to a revelation that has occurred to so many people and been told to me so many times. It's just taken this long for the light bulb to go on.

It's about divine love. I was thinking about my relationships with family, friends, and significant others- how imperfect we are, how our actions are sometimes driven by insecurity and plain stupidity, how we are just plain ridiculous sometimes. People will look for something out there that is perfect, and the only thing that is perfect is divine. This is why people gravitate toward religion, I think.

La Diva has counseled me lately (via readings- you know how we're into that mystical stuff) and the advice this time was just like all the others- give your worries to Heaven. Stop worrying about stuff.

As one of my favorite Buddhist authors has said, though, you can't just tell yourself to do something; otherwise, ever depressed person on earth would simply say to themselves, "Be happy," and the demand for Zoloft would plummet. All would be well.

So giving up my worries- as much as I've wanted to do it- has been difficult. Based on a suggestion I received a few weeks ago, I am lighting candles every night. (This parallel to the church of my childhood has been noted- we would light a candle for someone in need and pray for them). Believe it or not, it has helped. Sometimes I just watch the flames for a while, and it's really relaxing.

Mortal love can be so limited. In several of my relationships, there's been this element of fear and some sort of power struggle tied up in it. As in, I have to make sure you understand the conditions of my love, and vice versa. I will be disrespectful to you if you disagree with me. I will insist that my likes are your likes and my opinions are your opinions; if not, love will be withheld.

That is why I think about divine love. Divine love doesn't set conditions; it doesn't judge you based on how well you adhere to the opinions and outlooks of the people in your family or social circle. It just is. It is a great comfort to me to think about this perfect thing. It takes the power plays and negative vibes of the world and puts them in their proper place.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The story I told myself

When I talked with Tim in October 2010, I calmly explained to him that we could see more of each other if he was a willing participant, to which he replied, "I can't." I remember looking at his hands. Then, my imagination went wild.

He had said, "I can't," I decided, because his hands were turning into giant lobster claws. Red ones. No wonder he couldn't call me! Imagine trying to text with giant lobster claws for hands. You can't dial your cell phone either, or email. The poor dear. Imagine how long it took him to do his homework, and what if he needed to give his dog some medicine? Ah, the messes that would ensue. Poor Tim, with his big red lobster-claw hands. No wonder he was incapable of hanging out! Imagine if he wanted to pick up the check for dinner. How on earth could he get the credit card out of his wallet? OK, Tim, you win. You can't. I get it.

After I got his apology email, I was a little bit disappointed that his reasons weren't as colorful as the story I'd told myself. It was such a comfort in those 2 months of no contact to think of Tim (a regular-looking, brown-haired guy who generally wears sneakers) with those awesome claw hands. I wish I could draw a picture! It would be fun to share. Ah, well.

I know communication is important, and it is good to be in touch again- heck, maybe we'll both be better prepared to date someone in the future if we can work out some of our issues in a relationship autopsy- but I was a lot happier with my own story. Hearing from him reminds me of the fact that, really, I was ditched, and that is a drag.

Diva tells me that I need to figure out why I don't feel I deserve better. It's a long story, and one that I want to turn around so that my future years are brighter than my past years in that regard. I have some work ahead for me (and it's not making up stories).