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.

Judy Rebick, Early Childhood Trauma, and Telling Our Stories

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website created to support the most effective use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce stress and increase joy.  To experience the benefits of EFT for in-the-moment, trauma-informed emotional support and to build emotional resilience over the long term, contact Jane by phone at (802) 533-9277 or email jane@winterblooms.net.

Visit www.winterblooms.net,  www.aamet.org and www.neftti.com to learn more about how 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.

If you are Canadian and a Boomer, or a feminist of any nationality, you know the name Judy Rebick.  She has been at the forefront of humanitarian causes since the 1970s, and her fearlessness as an advocate and activist is legendary.  She championed Dr. Henry Morgentaler and Dr. Robert Scott when The Morgentaler Clinic was under assault from extremists in the Right to Life movement.  She also advocated for deaf-culture individuals and agencies and for labour unions threatened by NAFTA.   The author of several books, her new memoir, Heroes in My Head, is a must read for anyone concerned with early childhood trauma, it’s long-term health and relationship effects, and its profound power to unleash the protective genius of a child experiencing assault.

Continue reading Judy Rebick, Early Childhood Trauma, and Telling Our Stories

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