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Celebrating Eleanor Rosalynn Carter

On November 19, 2023, at the age of ninety-six, Rosalynn Carter, nee Eleanor Rosalynn Smith, died. As a Canadian, I first heard of Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn during his bid for the American presidency.  CTV’s then lead anchor, Harvey Kirk surprised viewers when he abandoned his usual Walter Cronkite seriousness to inform us that we would have to learn to “talk south” once Mr. Carter took office as America’s thirty-nineth president.  Kirk could barely hold it together as he tried out his southern accent, his rendering of “tahking sahth” an unforgettable moment for the usually straight-laced newsman.  Back then, lots of people in Canada and the US made fun the the Carters’ soft southern speech patterns, but no one is making fun of them now.  After more than forty years of service in their post-presidential lives, we are much better able to see the true stature of the Carters because they stand in such sharp contrast to the current power hungry people fighting to hold office while apparently forgetting the real purpose of such elected-official positions: to serve the highest good for people and our planet.

Embedded in an article posted about Mrs. Carter on CBC’s website is a photograph of Rosalynn Carter with one of Canada’s former first ladies, Margaret Trudeau, wife of former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and mother of Canada’s current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. The year that photo was taken, nineteen seventy-seven, would prove to be momentous for Ms Trudeau and for Canada when she left her husband to pursue life on her own terms.  No one understood at the time that the former wife of Pierre Trudeau suffered from Bipolar Disorder, an especially poignant circumstance given Rosalynn Carter’s adult-life commitment to end mental illness stigma and champion mental health services.

Throughout her long life, Mrs. Carter embodied the stability and effectiveness of mental strength and clarity and its balancing power, loving kindness. A woman devoted to public service, she advocated for the adoption of the ERA, demonstrated a hands-on approach to community support through Habitat for Humanity, and shone a light on the vital need for mental health services, perhaps because she’d seen the devastating effects of mental illness on more than one occasion. In an age preoccupied with women’s appearance over the substance of their contributions to humanitarian causes, community and restorative justice, and creative inspiriation in our culture, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter shines bright, a much needed beacon in increasingly dark times.

Thank you, Mrs. Carter, for your example of loving kindness, faithfulness, political astuteness, and authenticity.  You will be missed, and your legacy of tireless public service will never be forgotten.

Until next time,

Jane

Aging, Confidence, and Beliefs

Bette Davis said it best:  Old Age is not for sissies. As if Alzheimer’s , diabetes, and cancer were not three of the worst specters of elderhood, it turns out aging human beings lose confidence in their abilities to perform tasks they are actually good at.  This last aging challenge deserves time and attention, because a lack of confidence can limit our joy in life.  Once we’re aware of confidence erosion, however, we can reframe this issue as an invitation to explore how negative beliefs may be impacting our view of who we are and what we can do.

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Tina Turner is Dead. Long Live Tina Turner.

This morning after my usual writing meditations by the fire, I turned on my computer to resume reviewing a novel I’m preparing for publication.  Before I could click on my word doc, I caught the headline, “Tina Turner Dies.”  Reading that headline, I felt the familiar stirrings of grief and gratitude.

Tina.

The woman who taught us how to heal and how to thrive against all odds.

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On the Importance of Storytelling in a STEM-Centric World

This blog is the public place where I explore relationships between my feelings and my thoughts and between others and myself/Self.  My last blog was about the relationship between my husband, and, by extension, many other enthusiasts, and the game of American football.  Why I feel the need to discover the relationships between my feelings and thoughts is directly related to one of this website’s purposes: Inviting visitors to learn about how including the body in our storytelling supports our healing desires and intentions.

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Sacred Time, Sacred Space, and Football

Recently, I’ve been researching what makes folks happy in the midst of life’s challenges.  Because my husband, Lynn, is in his eighties and still working as a maker of beautiful objects, he became my perfect case study.  His creative work makes him happy, but some days are tough because he must invent new ways of accomplishing what seems to be the impossible.  During football season, he finds a restorative source of happiness sitting on the sofa watching the skill, teamwork, and fan frenzy that is American football. This past season was no exception, and because of his interest in the games and final 2023 Super Bowl contest, I had an in-depth experience of the value of this sport to a person who never played the game but still appreciates its artfulness.

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Water, Walking, and Writing: Self Care for Life’s Active Participants

Recently, while meeting the requirements for my continued accreditation and certification with EFT International, I was struck by the stress levels I shared with the other participants.  Although we are committed to serving others through the best practices that have been evolving over decades in EFT communities, one crucial habit is less well established:  using these amazing techniques on our own challenges, including the stress overload that can result in poor boundaries, over booking clients and classes, and discounting our own needs for regular self-care.

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NO MORE! The Religiously Motivated Decisions of Patriarchy & the Infantilization of Girls & Women

In my seventies now, I remember the joy of celebrating the Roe v Wade decision that US girls and women had the legal right to choose what happened to their bodies.  It was no small thing then, to Canadian girls and women, because we all share the traumatizing fact of our past as chattel, that is, the possessions of white men and boys in charge.  Corporations had already determined to treat girls and women as bubble heads who wanted nothing more than to look good and be more popular than others.  It was very much a case of the water temperature being turned up over time – suddenly, we found ourselves boiling in the murky idea that our body image and looks, our hair and our rumps, were more important than our minds and our spirits, our hearts and our self-determination. That 1973 court decision lessened the impact of profit motivated businesses selling insecurity and self-hatred to girls and women. At least the courts found us intelligent, responsible, and wise enough to decide a fundamental life choice for ourselves.

Now,  even corporations are reacting to the court’s decision to reverse R v W; that’s how bad this current court’s decision is.  The white supremist view that the ever-creative power of the Universe is white, male, and murderous toward those who haven’t swallowed this vile white supremacy lie has revealed itself in the highest court in the land.  And we’re not having it.

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Inspiration for when Father’s Day Triggers Fear, Rage, and Grief

Stephanie Foo’s What My Bones Know is the third memoir I’ve read in the last couple of years that has prompted meditations on my own father losses.  Foo’s father was present during some of her childhood, but neglectful of her need for protection from her violent and unpredictable mother during her earliest years.  When she was a young teen, her father left her alone in the family home to complete high school and navigate the college application gauntlet, with money – evidence of the reductionist belief that fathers are providers of cash but little else – but without any parental support.  Because her mother had abandoned her earlier, throughout her pivotal teen years Foo was without emotional comfort, intellectual guidance, and consistent, loving parenting.

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Inner Work, Outer Chaos, and Deeper Meaning and Peace

Sometimes it is easy to believe the skills of reflection and discernment required when we work on our personal issues cannot influence the world we share with almost 8 billion other Souls.  In this vast mix of religious beliefs, governing procedures,  racial differences, environmental issues, gender discoveries, economic divides, and cultural mandates, the individual desire to evolve beyond reactivity into responsiveness may seem like a luxury none of us can afford.  We have created a world in which we experience relentless  pressure from every external source of information to abandon our inner lights, our discernment, our powers of reflection, so we might find meaning by merging into groups that assure us we are incomplete and inadequate unless we join them.

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International Women’s Day 2022

Celebrating the girls and woman who evolve, who begin as quietly obedient and become warriors of change.

Celebrating the boys and men who evolve, who begin in positions of power and privilege and become advocates for social justice and gender equity.

Celebrating all in transition from one gender to another or to many.

Celebrating patriarchy’s end and its simplified binary of man-woman.

Celebrating the new ways of governance replacing this archaic dominator model.

Celebrating full access to full services.

Celebrating our voices raised in support of healing.

Celebrating Post Traumatic Growth the world over.

Celebrating our shared experiences as Earthlings.