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

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

Summer Solstice Ruminations on Resilience Building and EFT

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website in no way meant to replace building a relationship with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist.  To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the NeftTI website, the AAMET website, the Gary Craig website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane for EFT coaching support.

In this part of the ever greening world, it is impossible not to see resilience manifesting in every tended garden and field.  Even untended fields attract butterflies, bees, and the countless soil makers that flourish to ensure our magnificent earth remains fecund, at least in some places on the Globe.

Today, Summer is officially with us in the northern hemisphere.  Down under, folks are celebrating, not the longest day as we are, but the longest night.  Using our imaginations to float out into space to witness the cycling Dance of of the Seasons across our Earth Mother’s face and body can’t help but infuse us with optimism.  The Solstices are times to remind ourselves that our personal store of resilience is supported by such acts of imagination.  Now, with ever more conflict tugging at our hearts, building resilience consciously and purposefully is the life task every Possible Human.

Continue reading Summer Solstice Ruminations on Resilience Building and EFT

An Earth Day Love Letter to Earth’s Human Offspring

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website in no way meant to replace building a relationship with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist.  To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the Gary Craig website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane for EFT coaching support.

Many of us concerned about increasing extreme weather events are aware of how rapidly climate change is effecting life all over the globe.  If you would like a primmer on how human activities are causing shifts in biodiversity, please visit globalissues.org/article/172/climate-change-affects-biodiversity  or any reputable source of information on rapid climate changes caused by humans – anthropogenic climate change.  This post’s focus is not on climate change directly; rather it explores how human diversity and global diversity are mirroring each other in the patterns found in increased extreme weather events and increased human polarization and lack of civility in problem solving. Acute human polarization and lack of civility when dealing with the environmental crises mean we have fewer creative solutions to address the climate calamities that have become every day events. To find out how we can participate in positive change, read on.

Continue reading An Earth Day Love Letter to Earth’s Human Offspring

In Praise of Girls and Women: International Women’s Day 2017

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website in no way meant to replace building a relationship with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist.  To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the Gary Craig website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane for EFT coaching support.

Is there anything a group of girls and women cannot accomplish once they’ve decided to take on a cause?  The answer is a resounding “NO!”  Girls and women have always taken on the role of society’s connective tissue, reaching well beyond their comfort zones to challenge the status quo.  No where is our vital commitment to fearless involvement more apparent than in the tapping community.  Tapping is all about increased agency, and agency, that ability to identify a problem and cultivate the energy to transform it into an opportunity for positive change, has become the most obvious characteristic of girls and women during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  We are the force to be reckoned with at the forefront of Radical Love.  Anyone who doubts this should simply follow up a little of the research assembled in this blog regarding the scope of women’s and girls’ remarkable agency over the last hundred years.

Continue reading In Praise of Girls and Women: International Women’s Day 2017

Attacking the Devil: Harold Evan’s Inspiration during Turbulent Times

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website in no way meant to replace building a relationship with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist.  To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the Gary Craig website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane for EFT coaching support.

Sometimes we need inspiration, especially in the form of pertinent examples from the past, to help us to navigate a shockingly turbulent present.  Our current intersections of racism, systemic poverty, misogyny, LGBTQ assaults, and climate change with fascistic methods of governing a country that has prided itself on its democratic traditions for centuries deliver a call to action like no other in recent history.  How do we answer, and keep answering, the calls to protect citizens and non-citizens, animals, plants, birds and insects, the very air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth that grows all that is?   The most important answer to these questions is to participate in at least one of the hundreds of movements that have arisen to protect hard won democratic freedoms and all human and non-human inhabitants of our Earth home.

Continue reading Attacking the Devil: Harold Evan’s Inspiration during Turbulent Times

From: Learning, Loss, and Love – A Memoir and a Tool Kit

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website in no way meant to replace building a relationship with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist.  To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the Gary Craig website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane for EFT coaching support.

One of the most healing tools we have at our disposal is our ability to tell our stories through art.  Some of us dance the pain out of our bodies and psyches, some of us paint, and some of us write.  While I have done all three, my most consistent mode of expression  is what I think of as “telling.”  My telling involves my journal and my keyboard and a long and tender commitment to becoming whole by embracing all my broken places.  As I’ve watched this current election contest spin out of control, my personal work has led me to see this election in the same archetypal terms that have helped me to understand my personal family dynamic.  Donald Trump, in my scheme of things, represents full blown patriarchy, a system that both knowingly and unconsciously exploits and “conquers” groups perceived as outsiders.  In our day, these groups include women, all people of colour, the GBLTQ community, people in poverty, and anyone who worships differently from the fundamentalist Christian faith designed by white patriarchs to keep these groups in physical shame and spiritual distress.

Because of my early childhood trauma, I came to address patriarchy full on when I was in my thirties and forties.  I understood I had to undertake this task in order to heal from my personal father wound and a lingering sense of victimization.  My father left me as a baby, my inner story went, and no one was there to “keep me safe, give me a name I could be proud of, teach me what it meant to be a woman . . . ,” and on and on.  Formal therapy, undertaken because of a terrifying depression that took hold of me after I had achieved a major goal and was living my dream, helped me to find the context in which patriarchy played out in my personal life and in the larger world.

Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic nominee for President of the US, is and will continue to call out of all the dark places patriarchy’s last rampages.  When we do our personal work, this contest takes on mythic proportions.  No matter whether we are for Trump, for Clinton, for Stein, or continuing to cling to Sanders as our “saviour,” these current unsettling political times bring forward the personal work we must do regarding our personal belief systems.  Do our beliefs shore up the status quo?  Do they energize woman hatred in subtle ways?  Do they continually play the race card?  Whatever we feel and think politically sheds light on the personal work we are invited to do.  If we do this work well – by examining and deconstructing our skewed beliefs – we will elect the most competent and experienced candidate; if we don’t, we’ll vote in reaction to our darkest fears and hatred.

With Barack Obama’s election came a wave of overt racism, the likes of which we have not seen since the fifties and sixties.  In like manner, we will no doubt see overt misogyny rise to the surface now that Clinton has secured the Democratic Party nomination.  There are signs, however, that patriarchy is crumbling.  Fox News has replaced Roger Ailes, a man who consistently behaved as Archetypal Patriarch, contaminating the work place with degrading requests and views of women and other groups even as he gave Donald Trump a platform from which to spread fear and disinformation.

Happily, as Dylan sings, these times they are a changing.  Eight years ago, Barack Obama reminded us, despite the obvious failings of an imperfect democratic system, we have reason to hope.  And now, Hillary Clinton has stepped forward as our lightning rod.  She took on the woman haters in 2008 and she takes them on now, with the difference that she is not taking them on alone.  In the interim many of us have worked through a lot of our unconscious prejudices, largely because we could see Barack Obama move through the racist wall of hate with such amazing courage, intelligence, and grace.  Now we get to watch Hillary Clinton do the same. What a privilege to be alive today, and to participate in our evolution out of patriarchy and into maturity, kindness, intelligence, and wisdom, these qualities creating an intersection of all empowered peoples.

If you are curious about what catalyzed my healing perspective regarding what I perceived as patriarchy’s out-sized privilege, please click the link below to read an excerpt from Learning, Loss, and Love, my unpublished memoir.

Continue reading From: Learning, Loss, and Love – A Memoir and a Tool Kit