Thoughts on Facebook: Self Care Post # 6

Years ago I felt the pressure to join Facebook, not so much by family and friends, but by my professional affiliations. I felt resistance to joining this social media site but thought at the time that my resistance might be due to overwhelm caused by learning new technology. At the time, I was teaching at a community college while developing my practice as an emotional wellness coach and so was spending a considerable amount of my time on the computer. Because of work pressure, I gave in and joined. After participating in this inconceivably huge social medium for a little while, I felt my resistance to the platform increasing. While it would take me a couple of years to understand my resistance thoroughly, eventually I came to the conclusion that my porous boundaries and sensitivities to others’ energies made it an unhealthy place for me to exchange ideas and information.

Before I joined, I had seen the film The Social Network, and while I didn’t believe the film was without bias, I did feel that it accurately portrayed the contentious birth of Facebook, with lawsuits, acrimony, and adolescent reactions to opposition. Now, more than a year after I closed my account, I feel my decision was a protective one: first, from frustration at the overly stimulating energies the site carries; second, from distress over what people were actually putting out into the world (as opposed to what they thought they were posting); and, third, from our collective lack of awareness regarding how some users were intentionally using the platform to spread hate and disinformation.

We live in shoot-from-the-hip times that include playing for an audience. My work in the world is diametrically opposed to this reactive, retaliatory energy. In my community college classrooms and in my coaching sessions, I do what I can to support self-awareness, reflection, contemplation, and strong boundaries. Asking questions has always been my path into deeper understanding, of literature texts, and, of the emotional challenges we face when we have been traumatized. After a couple of years of experience on the site, I saw Facebook’s advantages, but I felt its potential for traumatizing its participants as well.

Now, as the social media giant struggles with boycotts over hate-groups and political messaging, my resistance to the site feels prescient. Some part of me that is always attuned to peace, understanding, and respect, resisted becoming involved in the collective energies of what is often the worst of our human behaviours. Researching other forms of social media connection has been revelatory. So far, I am in social media infancy, but my self care activities require that I move slowly into the online world of global connectivity.

I am fine about this slow, steady progress. Just as I choose to eat local and regional foods whenever I can, I choose to communicate directly with people. This means that I put myself out there as an EFT coach on reputable websites whose purpose and practice aligns with my own values. Because of this choice, I hear from people who want what I have to offer, not because of random marketing on a site that has no curating principles, but because these people have chosen to look for someone with my skills, education, and approach.

Living with the energy of violence, racism, hate speech, and rampant commercialism takes its toll, even when this influence is subliminal. Anxiety, critical self talk, and false comparisons are but a few of the side-effects of social media dependence. The 2019 Forbe’s article (see link below) is but one of many exploring the potential dangers of Facebook and social-media dependency. Because Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioners are in the business of raising our and our clients’ energy vibrations, it is especially important to choose our social media platforms thoughtfully.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicabaron/2019/01/08/is-facebook-harmful-to-your-health/#7c86fbb46436

Energy work is highly gratifying, and at the same time raises our levels of sensitivity to reactive behaviours such as fear-driven bullying, false representation, and cynical marketing. We have an opportunity to create more coherent, supportive, and positive platforms that are sensitive to the harm we can do in the world simply by going along with something we believe will benefit us monetarily. These are highly volatile times. Choosing to support peace and justice in the world is always good for self respect, and self respect is an essential aspect of self care.

Be Safe. Be Informed. Be Just. Be Love.

Until next time, Jane

Daily Grieving: Self Care Post # 5

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For the first two decades of my life, I was oblivious to my white privilege.

The 1967 Detroit riots made the first dent in my belief that we lived in a just world. Countless experiences came afterward, and now The Black Lives Matter Movement and all the racist incidents that led to its establishment make my white privilege impossible to deny.

Most recently, George Floyd’s murder has heightened my awareness.

In my attempt to use my quarantine/social distancing time both politically and creatively, I followed my daughter’s advice and committed to reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. It is a highly valuable book for white readers because it points out the fruitlessness of guilt. While many progressive white people – the group to which I belong – may not consciously take advantage of the racist systems created by white-supremacy ideology, we do benefit from them.

If I am stopped by police, I am relatively certain I will not be beaten or shot. If I show up as a visitor at a school, I am not likely to be frisked. If I walk into a retail store, I won’t be tracked as a potential thief. Writing these words makes me sick at heart. I don’t feel guilt; what I feel is grief.

Using my energy psychology tools has become indispensable to addressing COVID-19 fears for my beloveds and for the world. My daily practice of tapping on my fear lifts the heaviness that I feel when I think about the endangered lives of countless people. Since George Floyd’s death, I have been using these same techniques to address the overwhelming grief I feel when I face the racist narrative that is played out daily. As I write these words, my internal critic says, “Big deal, Jane. You live in safety, from racism and from disease.” A wiser voice assures me, “Acknowledging and releasing grief in this time of political tumult is a very big deal.”

When I do my daily personal work, including addressing my fears and my grief, I am able to be more fully present, less reactive, and more able to support the causes of justice in the world, with my dollars, with my learning time, and with my voice. I am not so paralyzed by my grief that I feel unable to act. I can explore solutions rather than add to the cacophonous chorus of defensive racism deniers. I can ask, earnestly:

How can I contribute to creating a more just world, right here, right now?

Privately grieving for all African Americans, people who have been holding the front lines of resistance since the first white men captured and sold black men, women, and children, increases our human bond. I recognize the dehumanization process at work in the world ever since colonizers committed to trafficking human beings to increase their wealth. Grieving makes it possible for me to remain fully present to the suffering that is exploding in our contemporary world. I do not want to live in a world that distracts with business as usual while an entire race and its myriad cultural threads are torn to shreds. Before I address the grief I feel over systemic injustice using EFT, I feel paralyzed by shame. After I’ve released my grief, I find the energy I need to take action.

While it remains true that I can’t do much, I can take some meaningful actions. I can read White Privilege and become more informed about white defensiveness and how to end my personal contribution to racism. I can listen to Angela Davis’s interview on democracynow.org and learn more about the challenges of participating in intelligent dialogue when fear prompts so many of us to create false choices between having militarized police and having no police at all. I can support Yes! Magazine with my money as well as my willingness to learn about how we can act to end systemic racism.

Alone, my actions count for little, but I am not alone. As part of a growing group of justice seekers of all races, the effect of even our smallest actions in support of a fair and safe world for all peoples is influential in the moment and cumulative over time. This is a long-haul justice movement.

So, let’s do this. Let’s grieve for the state of the world. Let’s grieve for our part in reaping the benefits of white supremacist systems – political, educational, judicial – and the injustice these systems cause, and then get on with it. Let’s watch Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, let’s read Alice Walker’s interview in Yes! Magazine, let’s watch again and again Ava DuVernay’s masterworks, 13th and When They See Us until we can admit and speak against systemic racism. Let’s move into activism with our African American brothers and sisters. Let’s participate in dialogues that support justice and end racism.

And let’s be sure to take some time to release our store of grief, for ourselves and others, every single day.

Feeling and releasing grief may not seem important, but it is. More than any other self-care action we take, grieving racism’s brutal severing of human bonds short-circuits shame and defensiveness, rage and impotence, and so frees the energy we need to keep on keeping on together.

Be Safe. Be Just. Be Aware. Be Love.

Until next time, Jane

Earth Day April 22, 2020: Self Care Post 4

When I was living in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, deep in the heart of Canadian First-Nations, Indian Country, I did some volunteering for the Native Centre by supporting their Traditional Pow Wows for a couple of years. I learned a lot from First Nations organizers and volunteers, loved the slow pace and long silences of meetings, and felt blessed by the irrepressible joy of a people who identified as Earthlings. My experiences confirmed what I’d known for some time: our first allegiance is to Mother Earth.

Our sole provider, without Her gracious bounty, we die.

This Earth Day, as we see the fragility of our food systems through the COVID-19 lens, let us walk upon our patch of ground with reverence and thanksgiving. Before this crisis, it was easy to forget our Earthling dependencies. Now, we are more aware than ever before of our interdependence upon the greater-than-human contributions to our human lives.

Take the time to thank a tree for this life form’s many gifts. Hold soil in your hands. Think of worms, those tireless workers who aid all farmers and growers. Drink water with awareness of its rare and vital gifts to all of life on our home planet. Listen for birds. Call out thanks to the sun.

Delight is one of the most accessible supports for our personal health and well being. May we delight in what our First Nations Brothers and Sisters call All Our Relations as we express our gratitude for what is offered to us daily by our benevolent Earth Home.

For more about this year’s Earth Day, spend some time with

https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/

With Love , Sunshine, and Worm Power, Jane

Stories that Heal: Self Care Post 3

Recently, Netflix brought the film version of Richard Wagamese’s healing story, Indian Horse, to the small screen. As a Canadian living in Vermont, I was excited to find a story from home offered to the world of viewers able to luxuriate in small-screen viewing during these traumatizing times. Richard Wagamese is a man for these times, and Indian Horse, in print and on screen, reminds us that we are ever on a healing journey.

Story, as powerfully as dance and song, helps us to find and to move the hurt nesting in our bodies and psyches from its hidden places in our viscera and our embedded beliefs. Story loves us into wholeness by showing us that others too have suffered unspeakably and somehow find the grace to speak, to sing, to dance. Story, more than any of the arts, allows us to acknowledge and witness our pain and to claim our ability to move through the worst of what has happened to us to a place where healing can seep in, through images, through kind eyes, through a fellow being’s courage to tell and to heal.

I posted Indian Horse on my Resources / Books and DVDs for Inspiration page because of its timeless ability to help us to remember we are ever in flow and flux and not stuck in the worst of what has happened, even when this sense of being stuck in the worst feels permanent. Richard Wagamese tells a story about the worst that has happened, and also about the way through the worst. This is why he is a teacher for all of us, for all time.

To learn more about the remarkable storyteller of Indian Horse and so many more wisdom stories, you can read his own words about his personal healing journey at: https://teacherlauragroome.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/returning-to-harmony.pdf

During this time of collective trauma, of growing compassion and empathy, of restrictive movements and expansive imaginative leaps, may you find the stories that nourish all your broken places, to make you sing, and dance, and tell stories for yourself and others. We are all needed to help us move along our healing path together. Never forget this: Your story is the medicine that will always support your healing journey.

Stay Safe, Everyone. Love, Jane

Inner Peace in the Time of COVID-19: Self Care Post 2

As we move into the next few months, practicing self care may become more challenging. As the human nervous system responds to real and imagined threats, we become more hypervigilant because our Sympathetic Nervous System is activated, compelling us to fight, escape, and even go numb or dissociate. First responders, medical personnel, agency employees serving high-risk populations, and traumatized children and adults are often so highly vigilant that personal and professional crisis-management reactivity becomes a way of life. Whatever our personal circumstances and professional commitments, when we are constantly expecting the worst, we run the risk of serious health challenges.

Helpful in returning our Sympathetic Nervous System to a state of calm is the simple act of bringing the hands to the head and gently and steadily allowing them to travel to the heart. If we are in a place where self-touch is restricted, especially of the facial area, we can place our hands a few inches out from the head, then follow the same slow, steady path to the heart. When at the heart, allow the hands to rest, one over the other on the chest, and open, like butterfly wings, at heart level. Breathing deeply, we can begin our meditation on trust – in the self, in others, and in our ability to work together as we open to the guidance that will help our families, our communities, and indeed, the entire world, to find peace amid the chaos of uncertainty.

I meditate in this way because I have learned that we are all connected through invisible energy fields. Rupert Sheldrake, author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, has studied these fields in depth, calling them Morphogenetic Fields, now commonly known as Morphic Fields. He uses this term because his research has proven that the energetic fields around us organize and generate our physical lives.

Indra’s Web

When I first heard the term morphic field, I immediately thought of Indra’s Web, a mythological concept describing how the entire universe is woven together through invisible interconnections. Evidence for the existence of our invisible interconnections is found in the concept of entanglement in quantum physics, what Einstein referred to as “Spooky Action at a Distance.” Spiritual leaders point to this scientific evidence of entanglement as an explanation for answered prayers.

Our invisible interconnections are especially comforting during these times of social distancing. Drawing the energy from our worst-case-scenario thoughts to our steady, reliable hearts as we meditate on trust allows each one of us to contribute to peace and calm at a time when we need it most.

May we all send out kindness and trust each day.

Love, Jane

Tapping through Panic into Peace: Self Care Post 1

Hand on Heart
Gamut Point

In these times of Coronavirus concerns, it is comforting to know we have an Emotional Freedom Techniques method of tapping that does not require touching the face. The picture to the right illustrates a tapping protocol that is especially useful in calming fears. The Gamut Point, found on the back of the hand between the ring and baby finger tendons, sits on Triple Warmer, our fight or flight meridian. Our personal First-Responder, we need Triple Warmer energies when we must take action. However, in times of great stress Triple Warmer can become so vigilant that it becomes more problem than solution. By placing one hand on our Heart Chakra while tapping on the space between these two tendons with two, three, or even four fingers of the other hand, we soothe Triple Warmer’s reactivity and assure our sensitive sympathetic nervous system that it is safe to return to a calm and regulated emotional state. Tapping on the Gamut Point while reading distressing updates, fearing the worst for loved ones in hospital or nursing home, or simply aching for the world, reminds our amazingly responsive bodies and minds that we can always return to centre, take a breath, and so add to the peace of the world. Our individual self-regulation, achieved through this simple protocol, is a wonderful gift to ourselves and to others in these highly challenging times.

with love and peace, Jane

We Are Generation Equality

Today, March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day, our theme inspires us to discover our commonalities and shared experiences regardless of race, age, wealth, gender preferences, and cultural influences. Feeling isolated is one of the most devastating of these shared experiences, and every girl and woman seeks the relief of ending isolation in the friendships, communities, and movements which change the personal and the political for the better. So, wherever we are, and whatever our plans, let us take 5 minutes to dance the theme of Generation Equality into this year of breakthrough, empowerment, and deeply supportive connections. To inspire our moves, here are Aretha and Annie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drGx7JkFSp4

If the link doesn’t work, simply Google “Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves.” Dancing and singing are universal human activities that have been healing body, mind, heart, and spirit since the beginning of human culture, so as we wiggle our hips, let us feel our healing connections with Sisters everywhere.

Ever dancing . . . , with You . . . , and with Love,

Jane

My Planet, My Self

In these times of constant Earth and human trauma, it is easy to lose sight of the good that is constantly playing out around us and through us. When edging into despair, I remind myself that the news most visible in our culture involves coverage of disasters and terrifying human behaviours. We seldom see evidence of good news – the good people do that is contributing to the changes we require to reverse the harm our destructive actions have on the world.

As constant negative emphasis threatens to get me down, an EFT tapping session can lift me out of the anxiety and despair of catastrophe-focused thought and feeling. Once I begin tapping through the points, my optimistic energies rally and I am aware of the spacious experience of balanced thinking, feeling, and clarity. In this state of self regulation, I can then about steps I might take to support a return to personal and planetary balance.

EFT and Climate Tragedy

This is EFT’s great value in times of crisis.  It’s regular use supports the personal calm that is required to be our best selves in every situation. The first step to changing our despairing point of view is to admit to the feelings we are experiencing.  EFT is all about honouring the truth of our emotional reality. Some of us are deeply sensitive to seasonal change, and here in the Northern Hemisphere, the bright sun and intense heat of summer are balanced by short, cold days and dark, colder nights.  Both extremes are vital to our food system as it has evolved in this part of the world, and so finding ways to accept and even delight in our seasonal weather patterns contributes to the strength we need to participate in the climate change awareness events that build a community of well informed activists and conscientious citizens.

Naming our feelings of loss as we read of the fires in Australia, or witness TV and film stories documenting the damage we have done to our world is the place we begin. Tapping through the points as we speak of fear, rage, helplessness, and the many other emotional responses we have to our current world situation helps to regulate the nervous system and make space for the wisdom that guides us to life affirming choices and behaviours.  We might simply tap:  “I feel so frightened and helpless when I read about __________________ or watch _________________.  I feel so frightened, for myself and for the rest of the world.”

Once we have expressed our most intense feelings, we often experience the calm that supports a healthy curiosity about how we can participate in bringing about the changes that will support balance.   Tapping through the points on the truth of our feelings, whether we feel numb, on the verge of panic, or find ourselves in some middle territory,  is always our starting place.  Whatever our emotional, physical, spiritual, or intellectual preoccupation, the EFT approach is the same: we name the most intense of our concerns as we tap through the points. 

Shifts in Perspective

After several rounds of tapping on our most intense feelings, persistent imagery, and/or obsessive thoughts, we pause to pay attention to any shift that may have occurred in our perspective.  This shift is never forced; nor is it cultivated by affirmations.  I experience it as the spaciousness that supports my ability to see a larger picture.  When this shift happens, I say, “Okay.  How might I help this situation?” 

Waiting for guidance is an interesting experience.  I usually ask for it and then go about my daily business.  Sometimes I’m startled out of a completely different focus to do some research on making a personal change in my life (for example a dietary change to support sustainable and local food systems), contributing to disaster relief funds, or taking some other action that unites me with the energies that are knitting the world together, even as human and natural disasters seem to be pulling it apart.  This tension between balance and imbalance is the dance of life.

Optimism and Longevity

As I move more deeply into my energy work in the world, I find myself thinking almost daily about the value of longevity.  Each of us must ask what our time on Earth, however long or short, is for.  I personally love the opportunity to spread the joy of learning something new, of helping others heal long standing emotional wounds in order to participate more fully in meeting the greater world’s needs.  Not everyone wants what I have to offer, some because they don’t recognize their own wounds, and others because they find me “too old.”  Neither of these points of view troubles me.  Each of us must come to learning and loving and healing in our own time and in our own way.  Longevity has taught me this vital lesson, longevity supported by my daily EFT personal work.

More Information

If you would like more information on how to keep your energies balanced and your optimism shining no matter what your age and your fears for our Earth Home, please email me at jane@winterblooms.net.  In the meantime, explore local remedies to despair:  seek out walking clubs with positive environmental biases in your area; learn how to participate in protecting your water sources, your forests, and your most vulnerable non-human and human communities; feel personally called by our climate crisis, called by our shared Earth Mother, and supported by Her, to work with others to reestablish balance and harmony.  When we release our intense emotions and obsessive thoughts daily, we find we have so much more energy for the work that has come to us to do.

Until next time,

Jane

Visit www.eftinternational.org to learn more about how the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) supports the resolution of inner and outer conflicts, informs more loving and respectful relationships, and empowers its users to contribute to the changes we want to see in the world.

Jane is an EFT International (formerly AAMET) Accredited Master Trainer,  writer, coach, and educator specializing in neutralizing the effects of personal negative thinking as well as the cultural limitations that interfere with our ability to imagine, create, and live our best lives at every age.  To engage Jane for individual or group coaching services, EFT International  Accredited, Certified Mentoring sessions,  and EFT Level One and Two Training for your group, call her at  (802) 533-9277 or email   jane@winterblooms.net. 

Visit www.winterblooms.net to learn more about how Jane supports and inspires individuals, groups, and communities.

Please Note:  This educational website cannot replace therapy with certified psychologists, family therapists, or psychiatrists.  Before training with EFT International, Jane taught at the elementary, secondary, and college levels, in Ontario, and at the Community College of Vermont. She is an early trauma survivor who works exclusively as a learning/energy coach using the best practices of EFT as taught by EFT International.  She created this website to support the most effective use of EFT to reduce general and specific stresses and to increase the joy of daily living through self regulation, resilience, and pro-social experiences.

Waiting . . . and EFT

In our highly monetized consumer culture, many have become accustomed to instant gratification.  ‘Trusting the process,’ a highly valuable attitude when involved in creative projects and problem solving, has been lost when dealing with everyday frustrations.  We’re encouraged to be the ‘right-now’ culture, whether we’re young, middle-aged or old.  In this world of constant promotions and immediate-gratification demands, we have misplaced something essential to our humanness:  our delight in free time. Continue reading Waiting . . . and EFT

Celebrating Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s long and wondrous life ended this week, on August 5, 2019. All of us alive today have been touched by her body of work whether we know it or not. For me, Toni shone as a woman in a man’s world, and more audaciously, as a black woman in that world. The literary canon still taught in many out-dated colleges and universities carries the heavy load of racial and cultural bias, skewing students’ beliefs about what makes literature great. Toni, along with many other women, outed that lie simply by writing.

As a literature student, always and forever – because story is the humanizing principle of our species – I will miss the anticipation of a new Toni Morrison offering. And I will revisit her literary children and watch the film Beloved again and again, for the heart and the soul of pain and healing it transmits through its cadences, its images, and the shocks and pleasures of its characters. So many women writing today carry on the deep soul work of our best writers. I am grateful for all of them, and especially for Toni Morrison, the woman who emerged from the literary mists of my young adulthood to assure me that the world of story, lasting, vital story, was not the exclusive property of dead white men.

Now I am on the hunt for the new documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. Up in this neck of the very white woods that is northern Vermont, we have two theatres that will likely show it, The Savoy in Montpelier, and The Roxy in Burlington. I know I can watch it on one of the platforms available to us in our homes, but I don’t want to experience this last documented Toni-Morrison moment by myself. I want the public experience of sharing her with others who love and value her work as a writer, a way-shower, a guide back to deep justice, tenderness, and love.

Thank you, Toni, for every word, uttered and written. You are and always will be a light in the darkness of human folly and treachery. First at so many things, you will continue to shine through these dark times and we, all of us, will continue to be blessed by your shining.

EFT and Grief

Losing Ms Morrison is an immediate and sorrowful event for me. I want to feel all my feelings about her courage and her work and the considerable loss I feel at her passing. EFT is useful when grief will not shift on its own. It is not a deadening tool, but rather a relieving one. I have no need to tap on my grief at losing this giant of literature because feeling this grief is part of what makes me human.

If, however, her loss leads to an unshakable depression about the state of the world, then using EFT to release that dread and hopelessness will become a forward path. Just now, I feel nothing but the loss of a spiritual teacher. I want to feel how much I will miss Toni Morrison. Missing her will lead me to revisit her books and her interviews, and this revisiting process will enrich me further.

EFT is useful for chronic, relentless grief. What I and so many others are experiencing now is the healthy expression of mourning. This grief assures us we are alive to the pain and wonder of the world. This grief is a gift. It is at the heart of the human experience. Feeling this powerful emotion for the loss of Toni Morrison, one so bravely present to the world in all its beauty and horror, is a privilege.

Until next time,

Jane

Visit www.eftinternational.org to learn more about how the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) supports the resolution of inner and outer conflicts, informs more loving and respectful relationships, and empowers its users to contribute to the changes we want to see in the world.

Jane is an EFT International Accredited Master Trainer,  writer, coach, and educator specializing in neutralizing the long-term effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)  as well as the cultural limitations that interfere with our ability to imagine, create, and live the lives we desire.  To engage Jane for individual or group coaching services, EFT International(AAMET)  Accredited, Certified Mentoring sessions,  and EFT Level One and Two Training for your group, call Jane at  (802) 533-9277 or email   jane@winterblooms.net .  Visit www.winterblooms.net to learn more about how Jane supports and inspires individuals, groups, and communities.

Please Note:  This educational website cannot replace therapy with certified psychologists, family therapists, or psychiatrists.  Before training with EFT International, Jane taught at the elementary, secondary, and college levels, in Ontario, and at the Community College of Vermont. She is an early trauma survivor who works exclusively as a learning coach using the best practices of EFT as taught by EFT International.  She created this website to support the most effective use of EFT to reduce general and specific stresses and to increase the joy of daily living through self regulation and pro-social experiences.