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January 29, 2013

I Switched to WordPress

Hello, Readers ~ I have switched my blogging site to WordPress. The Address is: http://synchronicityjournaling.wordpress.com/ Hope to see you there! Blessings, All Ways ~ Jenna

January 18, 2013

Digging for Gold


Jenna's 'Golden Child' Collage
I awoke one day last week with old family issues pushing all my negative emotional buttons. I couldn’t remember a dream that might have precipitated the whiny snippets as they played out in my head, one after the other, “Why did so-and-so say that to me?” and “I am not feeling a connection with that person lately. Is it something I’ve said or done?” And “She could care less about me or she wouldn’t have treated me that way.” You might know the drill: the poor little orphan that nobody cares about scenario that goes round and round in your brain. Such thoughts, while thankfully rare and fleeting these days, go back a long way into my past. Normally, when this happens, I try to reason with myself that the feelings have nothing to do with the reality I live today. However, this particular morning I decide, instead, to fully explore their origins and get to the bottom of my recurring feelings of abandonment.

I begin by dialoguing with that part of me that cries out for healing and connection to the beloved child I once was, before family dynamics spiraled out of control and set me on a course over time of doubting the bright, balanced, vibrant side of Self. As I embark on this inner work, I hold at bay the impulse to tell myself how silly it is to even entertain thoughts of abandonment at this stage of my life when I have a beautiful family of my own—four creative, fun, and talented grown children, their spouses, and five beautiful granddaughters, all whom I love dearly and have close relationships with. No, it is time for my heart to catch up to what my head already knows. Until then, I will continue to feel like the abandoned child in spite of evidence to the contrary.

I am aware that the work will be difficult at times. And, that it will be worth the effort in proportion to how willing I am to make the descent into Shadow lands of psyche to excavate and bring back lost parts of me that are valuable and needed for wholeness and connection to spirit. I start the journey inward by paying attention to what comes up in meditation, dreams, and visions, as well as in events of meaningful coincidence that show up in my life.

That night I have a Big Dream. In the dream, a large and ancient tree picks me up in its branches and takes me for a ride. I am frightened at first, but soon find the ride exhilarating. The dream is long and subject for another blog post. I will say here that its numinous content lent me much support to connect to my own Living Tree.

The next day I find myself on Sheila Foster’s website. I didn’t know how or why I wind up there  (I was researching something a few days ago, but have forgotten what!) until I notice an essay Foster has written titled “The Golden Child” about her own inner work that is similar to my mine. In the essay Foster suggests certain things I can focus on to facilitate my own process, especially the positive memories of when I, too, was a Golden Child:

We all have a Golden Child within us, a core of being that has remained utterly pure and untouched by any trauma. So often, we become identified with the trauma child, the one who suffered greatly, that the Golden Child falls into the shadow. You may have a memory of a single moment, or times with a grandparent, an animal, in nature, or alone as a child when this Golden Child was present and you felt pure joy, fully present, untouched by anything painful that has happened.

She suggests finding a picture, making art, poetry, or a collage that exemplifies this Golden aspect of Self. I decide to create a collage that includes a picture of me at four-years old—a happy, much loved little girl, nestled between her two older sisters. The picture brings back a time of happiness and unity before divorce, chaos, and rootlessness becomes the norm in my family of origin. The other pictures in the collage ‘speak’ to me of healing, protection, vitality, and inner growth.

A few days later, I am perusing dream websites and come across an artistic rendition of a dream and quote by Alissa Goldring that also advises me further in on how to proceed:

The Hidden Child by Alissa Goldring
Dream of the Hidden Child
“I see a child hidden behind a mask, her tiny hands reaching out form under heavy robes weighing her down as she feebly seeks help.
The image reminded me of a Noh play where stylized characters gesture in infinitesimally slow motion and a gong echoes an eternity of timeless silence.
When I painted this dream, I understood that this was a baby part of myself long buried under layers of roles, expectations and fears, feebly seeking help. The dream was a cry to myself to shake off oppressive conditioning and be free.
As you picture this dream in your mind's eye you may sense that you too were once such a child whom you still carry within yourself in ways unique to you…
” ~ Alissa Goldring

I am beginning to get the message that the universe supports me in my quest to connect with the healthy, enlivened parts of my young self that will help me heal from unwanted bouts of abandonment feelings in adulthood.

Then some really intriguing information comes to me today in the form of a picture of a woman with a golden heart and a quote by Elizabeth Peru that a friend shares on Facebook:

IMPORTANT 24HRS COMING UP: How are you feeling? There is so much mental activity right now. Earth is currently being buffeted by a solar stream (with the chance of big flares from the sun today, Tuesday, January 16) and we are being taken back to our younger years, REFLECTING on who we used to be (and still are). We are being prodded in a BIG WAY to give up the old wounds. You don't need to take them forward in your life. Just accept what you have kept hidden about yourself and ALLOW it room to come back out and show you just how much stronger you are when you stop denying your strengths. You know what I mean. So use this influence to propel you out of your FUNK. OK? The universe helps you strongly right now. Take the help, it's there for you. ~ Elizabeth Peru

That post couldn’t be more explicitly about my own inner process even if it had my name written on it! I think that my decision to do the work of retrieving and releasing is all my idea, and come to find out there are currently Galactic influences at work in my own and other people’s lives. Which means that this blog post is probably relevant to some of what you, dear reader, are going through as well.  If, like me, you have been in a ‘funk’ and are feeling the inclination to go digging into that treasure chest of the unconscious to retrieve the Gold of Self that has been buried or lost over time, know that you are being supported 100 percent by a loving and responsive universe. The time is Now.

Happy digging ~



Jenna

January 8, 2013

Our Place in the Family of Things


This past Christmas, I created a homemade wedding album for my daughter, Julie, and her husband, David. On the front page, before the picture sections of the book, I included one of my favorite verses by poet Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
 love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Julie and David loved the album and were touched by the poem that always seems to speak on many levels to those reading or hearing it for the first time.

That following Sunday, we all went to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Berkeley—a rare event for me to join Julie and David at their church (it had been a couple of months since I'd last attended).

After the traditional opening words to the service, the first item on the agenda was a reading and enactment in dance of the poem “Wild Geese”! I was touched beyond words by the performance.

Ostensibly, I attended church that morning because I wanted to hear dreamworker Dr. Jeremy Taylor’s talk after the main service. True. But the universe had it’s own plans for me as well, a meaningful gift of grace, if you will, where the world offered itself to my imagination and called to me like the wild geese. It is fitting that the service itself was organized around the theme of Grace.


I’ve given a lot of thought to my place in the family of things. That is why the Oliver poem is so meaningful to me. It connects our basic earthiness and need to relate on a human level to the larger spirit, mystery, and imagination of life.


Poetry, like dreams, visions, and synchronicities are living pools of water in the drier ground of my secular life. In the West and increasingly in industrialized cultures in the East, there is a tendency to live life from the neck up, numbed out to the body, heart, and spirit of the world within and around us. We’ve developed science and the intellect to the near exclusion of other ways of feeling and non-analytical knowing. Forgetting that we are always and inextricably part of the deeper mystery of the world that speaks to us on many levels, we often deny the few messages that do get through to our consciousness.  How refreshing it is when a synchronicity appears in striking ways like the example above or in subtle ways through a passage in a book, music, nature, a scent, a touch, or an overheard conversation, and we take time to understand its meaning for our life.

The message for me that morning at church was to trust completely that I am enfolded in a loving, intelligent universe that announces over and over to me—through the ‘still, small voice,’ a big jolt, or an inner aha!—my  perfect place in the family of things.