Since the news broke on the covid19 stuff, my thoughts have taken me many places. One place being my personal relationship with handouts.
I realized that I had become dependent on the smorgasbord of free and reduced food available.
Let me back up a bit. When I came to this community I was a widow, homeless and trying to survive. I’ve never used food stamps or county programs because I wasn’t that bad off. I was taught to work and earn my way.
For the first time in my life I used a food shelf or food bank, and it changed my life!
Not only did I have a steady supply of healthy food, but I had a place to volunteer, get my life back on track and I met my husband there!
Yes, our finances are tight and we did utilize the food shelf. But now I see how reliant I had become on it! And can empathize with those who use other programs and avenues of supplement.
It’s very easy to become dependent on these programs and to not go off them. Why put any effort in when you know it will be there?
As a business owner I have mixed feelings about using these services and volunteer often, since I cannot give back financially at this point.
This time has truly given me a new perspective on how blessed I am: food to eat, water to drink, roof over my head, vehicle to drive, clothes to wear and so much more.
Nothing I own is the newest and best, but it serves its purpose.
If we become reliant on the hand out we can miss the ‘hand up’.
Accepting a ‘hand up’ may mean cutting back or doing without, but when you earn something it has value and you take care of it.
I’ve glued my shoes and polished them like new, proudly worn my outdated clothes and darned my mittens.
After a few weeks I’ve not missed the handouts and found ways to use the canned, dried and frozen goods I’ve been saving for lord knows what!
Life has been simpler, less stressful and relaxing. There is satisfaction in choosing fresh, new, in-date items from the store shelves! You choose more wisely and in turn save money because you actually use the items!
I’ve also had time to enjoy life and study, re for us on my business.
As for the business loans offered by the government, I will not apply for one. After long consideration, I know that I do good work at a fair price and will be just fine.
My husband said, “The problem you have is, you are like the old chiropractor who sees you a couple times and gets you better, not the ones who keep you coming back for the money.”
A veteran, my husband, also gently reminds me from time to time, how, “In the navy, everything you need fits into one compartment. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t need it.”
Wise words to apply in all areas of life!
There is nothing wrong with having a bit extra stored up. The government has guidelines encouraging you to do so. But, when you begin to ‘have just to have’, or hoard and waste, then it’s time to recognize the habitual bondage and take stock on what is really necessary.
Staying inside has begun to turn me inside out. Exposing my own habits which keep me in bondage to things.
Going inside - physically and mentally, has begun to restore me inside and out:)
If you need these services, I am glad they are available for you and commend you for reaching out for the assistance! There is no shame in asking for help, ever!
FYI - therapists are not perfect, we’re just as messed up as everyone else. We work on ourselves often so that we can offer the best to you as clients.
Things to consider
A few points to remember during this time of concern.
It is March and the term “March madness” is used for a reason!
All hypnosis is self hypnosis- if you believe you will get sick by being around people, touching things or breathing the same air as someone who has a cold or allergies then, you may very well feel unwell.
If you think or fantasize about getting ill, you most likely will.
Remember how when one person yawns and then several others also yawn? Or how someone says something smells bad and others agree and notice a smell even though the food or item is perfectly fine?
I’m not saying this to discount the issue at hand, but I am saying, we are all subject to the power of suggestion- visual, auditory, olfactory, etc.
Instead of focusing on the negative why not focus on the positive.
For starters, you know there’s a virus going around and that if you continue proper hygiene habits (which your mother taught you- cover mouth when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands, sick stay home if your sick and rest, eat healthy, etc) you should stay relatively healthy.
Do the opposite of the masses and plan ahead. If the media shows panic and a run on food and toilet paper, consider not joining them and adding to the chaos!
If you listened to your mother and your government to start with, you would have the recommend amount to emergency supplies on hand. (most say 3 days worth of food, I say more)
are two places to start. Use your personal judgement from there.
If people are running out to buy toilet paper and you have some at home. Stay home and enjoy the humor! There are dozens of items in your home which can be used to tidy up down there. But don’t flush these after use, put them in the trash.
Be great full you don’t have to use an outhouse and corncobs or the sears catalogue anymore. (try a corncob and you’ll agree)
Remember when your mom asked you, “If your friends all jumped off a cliff should you?” Well we are at that cliff friends and I’m not jumping. I’m finding much humor in the oddities of panic, which boosts my immune system. I’m also staying home and using what I have saved up- this boosts my creativity. And being home I get to connect with the people I care about, which strengthens my social skills.
With not much volunteer time available and little client load, I am able to focus on things like: my presentation for the upcoming IMDHA conference, which is now virtual. And writing two new books.
FYI- if you’re healthy and want to work on an issue, my schedule is open.
Focus on wellness and health.
If you cough or sneeze it’s not doomsday. Perhaps it’s an allergy or your body was just clearing it’s pipes out keeping you alive! Or you may need to dust and clean your house a bit!
Your mind and body are going to do their best to keep you in homeostasis. But it’s harder to do that if you keep focusing on and worrying about the worst case scenarios that your mind or media keep feeding you.
JUST STOP IT!
Now, once again, let’s review:
All hypnosis is self hypnosis
Focus on the positive
Do the opposite of the masses
Focus on health and wellness
Get news from reliable sources
Be great full for what you have
"Be ye trance-formed by the renewing of your mind"
Jessica L Hanson CHt
Yup, it's another sunday. Sitting in a pew, my mind wandering.
Every week I find new ways to entertain myself: analyzing the music and when it is played, watching the people go through the ritual standing, sitting and reciting of creeds. It's like being in elementary school in phys-ed, playing simon says or red light green light.
I find humor that if one person stumbles in wording, so does everyone else, especially when the Lord's prayer is recited. Then there are the times when the pastor loses his spot or blanks out for a moment. You can hear everyone stop breathing, as if life cannot continue if the pastor cannot recite the proper words. Ah the joys of the creative wandering mind!
One scripture passages come to mind from Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect, the will of God." (KJV) This had nothing to do with the sermon, it's just what my church trance brought me today.
This passage, along with much of the bible, has never been the same since completing my hypnosis training. You see, sentence structure, word usage and suggestion; along with story telling, meditation, deepening and all aspects of hypnosis work can be found in the bible as well as many other religious books.
The late Milton Erickson, a man who helped bring much credibility to hypnosis, often did his best work by simply telling the client or group a story. Erickson knew the value of stories and how easily the client can identify with a character(s), internalize the metaphors, and create change within themselves, with Erickson never having to address the original issue.
Storytelling is a powerful form of trance communication. It has been used far past recorded history for passing knowledge, skills and heritage to the next generation. Every culture has a creation story, a flood story, and a saviour story.
When you allow yourself to identify with a character or situation, your subconscious mind begins to compare your experience with the fictional one and learn or relearn, opening up possibility where before there was pain, anger, issue, etc. It is through the metaphors and symbolism of the story that change happens. Remember, the subconscious mind loves to play. Whether or not the story is true holds no value, it is in the identifying with a character or situation which holds the value.
It doesn't matter what you think a symbol means, it's what it means to the person hearing it that matters most. Remember, the cross, swastika, skull, star, triangle, eye, and a myriad of other symbols all hold different meanings to different groups.
Going back to "being trance-formed by the renewing of your mind".
One of the most beautiful things about Hypnosis is that we get to help clients rewrite their stories, and create change using their metaphors and symbolism. Their story has already been written and we have a way to help the client trance-form, edit or change the ending.
If we really live from one trance to the next, then there is so much room for growth, change and potential! All we need to do is help the client shift their next habitual trance story slightly. We do this in so many ways, changing the: size, shape, color, location, temperature, volume, etc or the trance inducing issue. If the original association with the trance inducer; fear, hate, pain, has been changed, then so has the trance. It has been trance-formed by renewing the clients mind - allowing room for change where before there was no choice. The client was in bondage or a slave to this trance of fear, hate, pain, etc. not aware of another option.
No matter which religion or spiritual belief you subscribe to, it should offer you an option for change. It should tell you stories which stir up memories and desires, but it should also leave you changed in some way. With a desire to want better, do better and be better. A reminder that you matter in the world and are here for a reason, and that you are worthy of good things.
If the place you attend for worship leaves you feeling depressed and unpassionate about yourself and life, RUN! Find a place or group of people who uplift you. A place you can go to hear a story, which creates change within you. A place which you leave trance-formed.
By trance-formed, I am not talking about BIG dramatic changes, though they can and do happen. I mean the transformation of yourself; a change in how you feel, speak and act. It may be something as small as using a new word or smiling, but this is trance-formation at its core. When the trance has been changed, it can never be experienced in the same way again.
I leave you with this: Be trance-formed by looking at your issue from a new point of view. Seek possibility and ask yourself, 'how can I ....?'
Out of Body vs Alien Abduction
It has been my expereince several times in life to have strange things happen to me. Upon searching further into some of these things, it has become my conclusion that the out of body experience or OBE is much more calming than to look at it as an alien abduction.
Once around the age of 4- It was summer and I was playing outside. My mom had gone in to make us lunch. Across the lake I saw what appeared to be a helicopter but it had no sound. It proceeded across the lake and landed near the shoreline on the grass. Two, what appeared to be people, stepped out through a door and began walking towards me calling my name. I will stop the story here. Only saying that I was returned but highly traumatised.
On a second occasion I had been prescribed a medication and after taking the first does I became very ill, lossing consciouness and leaving my body 2 times. During this time I was alone but felt like two people were pulling me out of my body by the shoulders. These two beings were very kind and when I had be removed from my body the second time, I was given the choice to stay or return. But there was an urgency to this question. I feel that I was dead long enough that I may not have survived. When I decieded to return to my body, I was brought into another room and various things were done to my spirit or essence. I was told there were no guarantes it would work, since not many return at this point.
Sparing further details, I did return to my body and was found by my roommate who said it looked like I had a stroke or something. I did not go to the hospital, so there is no medical verification, only the people who I was living with the time, 2 of whom were nurses; why go back to the people who just killed me? What happened next was a miracle - I regained the use of my body, speach, etc. I credit much of this to self hypnosis and prayer. All that remains today is a general weakness on my left side, more prominent when I am over tired or very stressed.
There are many more encounters of the like in my past. After much work with reserchers I have come to conlude that I don't know any more than I did when I began my search. But I do know that each enccounter is easier to live with if I think of it as an OBE or spiritual rather than an alien abduction. You see, in an abduction, you have no say, choice or control. You are at the mercy and devices of someone or something and helpless.
In the OBE you often have a choice and are treated with respect. Fear may still be present, but you come to understand the importance of this experience and fear subsides.
To this day I sill cannot tell you if I was druged and raped as part of a sex cult, or if I had an OBE and was being helped. The memory is just as strong and real either way. No amount of hypnosis or regression work has seemed to change the fact that something happened to me.
So I have had to accept that, yes, something very real happened that night and that it is part of my past, and that I lived to tell about it. I choose to believe that whom ever or what ever meant no harm, but we simply misunderstood eachother.
Looking at things this way helps me to live with the fact that I will never know the answer. But the one thing I can do is choose how I remember what happened. It was an experience that changed my life forever and in the long run, changed my life for the better!
When a client is sitting in my office who has a history of rape or abuse, I can truly empathise and tell them that there is hope. Also, I have learned that you should never underestimate human nature. We are complex creatures and are capable of so much good and so much evil. It is up to each individual which side is chosen.
As a fellow hypnotist has shared many times in his trainings and books: Regarding a mishandled regression, "Was I abducted by aliens or did I have an OBE? I don't know. Both memories are equally real. The experience keeps me vigulant to teach the proper uses of hypnosis and the dangers of its misuse as well as how easly one can create false memories. The experience has made me a better teacher and hypnotist."
One things to know for sure is that fear is a trance which renders one helpless. In fear, all one sees is more of the same; abuse, death, aloneness, etc. But if one you can step out of fear and change the perspective to neutral or possibility, then you open up a whole new set of options and opportunites.
For example, reguarding the insident I refer to as rape; while it was happening I kept telling myself to remember the faces and to stay awake. If I lost consciousness I lost control of what little control I had. As awful as it was to rememmber and feel everything, it gave me the ability to seek help and give the police a place to start from. And knowing that little bit has helped me to stay strong. Since this, one person involved has died, and the rape kit was never processed, but I am told it remeains in custody as evidence should I ever reopen the case. The whole investigation was botched and mishandled, but taking legal action would only prolong my suffereing. I decided after the death of one person involved, to let karma or God handle the rest of them. This way I can live an empowered life instead of a fearful one as a victim. And could I live with myself knowing that I may send an innocent person to jail if it was rally an OBE?
The experiece is real, the memory's I live with are blurred and mixed. I choose to believe that whatever happened, I am still here because I have soething to do.
There is so much we have yet to learn and discover about ourselves, our planet and our universe. Remain open to possibility and you will live a rich full life.
As I tried to stay awake through another sermon, my thoughts wandered to many things: how many pencils were in the pews? How many hymnals and bibles were in the pews? The color of the carpet clashing with the color of the pew cushons. How pink the pencil readers were, Etc.
Then I heard one blurb from the sermon - something about young people walking away from the church after having spiritual questions and questioning God.
This got my attention and derailed my counting of objects!
My thoughts drifted off to hypnosis and one of it's many uses, which is, helping people find their purpose or meaning. Some call it Spiritual Hypnosis, others call it 5-Path. I just call it Hypnosis.
Many times when we find ourselves questioning life, God, work, motives, beliefs, decisions, it brings us to uncomfortable places within ourselves.
I've done several sessions with people who were retired or nearing retirement. They had concerns about who they were without the title or job? What was their purpose? Who am I without someone to care for?
Many discovered insecurities that they had carried all along about self worth and belonging. But when they rediscovered their purpose, these folks began to enjoy life for the first time in their lives! Most went on to develop a rich life full of relationships and meaning.
These Seeking Sessions are some of the most profound work that I get to be part of. At times it is like being present at a birth, only less messy and more quite. My favorite thing about these spiritual seeking sessions is when the client discovers the truth which they were seeking. For each person this is different.
There is nothing mystical or woo woo about the process. Most clients say it is the most spiritual thing they have done in their lives. For others, it is the closest to God they have ever felt - saying, "this is what I've been missing all these years!"
Questioning beliefs, traditions and customs should be done! But in the questioning process, it should bring you to your own truth, not the truth of others. Questioning beliefs, religious or otherwise, should be uncomfortable and bring you closer to something, even if it's closer to one religion than another.
Know that all religions say they are the only way to God!
Are they all correct or all wrong? If anyone knows the truth on that matter, I would question them as well!
There is nothing wrong with learning about all religious beliefs and then finding which one(s) fit you. You were created uniquely you. Why should you be forced to think or believe the same way someone else does?
Ultimately in your spiritual quest, your questions should lead you to something. And with that something you should find a sense of peace or inner acceptance.
How long will this quest last? Will you could find your answer in a week, month or year? I do not know, but I do know that you could simply take an inner journey and find your answer so that you can get back to living your life!
Trance can be anything, it is simply open to suggestion. The numbered light on a pole, lit up near a cashier in the store, is a suggestion to pay for your items at that checkout. A roped off area made into a zigzag is a suggestion to form a line and wait to be served. Or a difference in flooring color or material can suggest to stay in a certain area until called upon or to divide departments.
We have been trained by ourselves and society to follow certain rules such as, stop at a red light or red sign. To stay on the certain side of a solid double yellow line until it is separated into yellow dashes. The habits of driving follow through even when there are no cars or yellow lines. When you’re in a store, people tend to stay to the left or right of an aisle depending on which direction they are going, as if still driving.
Color can induce trance, as can smell, touch, taste or sound. The list can go on and on, all the way back to the Bible, to Egypt, the Hun and beyond, dim lighting, chanting, colors, textures and smells have been used to induce a trance and bring a mystical, spiritual or healing experience to the masses. These same strategies have also been used to prepare for war and armed conflict.
The ancient temples we are still unearthing today, were often dimly lit, filled with smoke from fragrant plants and divided by large sheets of fabric which were moved by the wind or men. Entering a temple made you feel small and looking up at the beautiful building induced an instant trance. The slightest touch from a priest would deepen the trance, often parilizing a person so that they would ingest potions or waters spiked with various herbs. Touching sacred objects and hearing muffled sounds while intoxicating fragrances filled ones senses made for quite the encounter with the god or goddess of the temple. Let me throw in haunted houses as well. They are simply the opposite of a temple experience. Only one enters a haunted house expecting to be scared as well as to see and experience disturbing things. Only instead of healing and relief, this experience brings nightmares and sleepless nights, can cause edginess and PTSD like symptoms for several days afterwards. Some people get a thrill out of this sort of trance.
Even though both are man made experiences, to overwhelm the senses and induce trance, they serve very different purposes. Let's look at the old Catholic tradition. People enter the sanctuary which is dimly lit by candles and stained glass. Very tall ceilings with rapturous scenes, draw the eyes up towards the heavens. Instant trance induction! The people are seated on benches which may not be comfortable to sit on, seeming to remind one that they are unworthy of earthly comfort. The priest or authority figures enter, wearing bright colors and swinging an inscense burner, lead by a gilded cross lifted high above their heads, creating a feast for the eyes and nose. Perhaps an organ or choir is singing or there is chanting in another language taking place as well. Instant trance!
The atmosphere is set, all the senses are engaged. Everyone stands or kneels at the wave of the gilded ringed hands of the priest or authority figure. This is followed by ritual chanting or repetition of creeds and approved wording, reminding one that they are poor and lost, unable to touch the God or saint they are praying to. Creating the sense, that this god or saint may look down upon one or two and grant a plee, if the tradions are followed correctly.
Then comes the sermon. An authority figure stands high above the people in a pulpit, causing them to look up and receive these words, as if from God himself. "You poor unworthy sinner!" Instant trance or a trance deepener!
After a time, people drift off thinking about their sore bottom or what they are going to do after the service, what they are eating for lunch or about their sinful actions and condemn themselves. Then in this self incrimination state of mind, the music changes and the offering is taken.
The slow monotoned music keeps the self incriminated person in trance and from this mindset they decide how much money will ease their troubled mind or ease their mental burden just enough to feel better. As if emptying their pockets is emptying their soul and they are redeemed. Allowing each one to decide how much to pay to have their guilt recompenced. If they are unable to decide, there is a preset suggestion of how much to pay as well.
Towards the end of the hour or two, the people stand and are told, "your sins are forgiven", as the money is placed on the altar of gold, which is looked down upon by a cross or the figure of a man hanging on a cross, representing Christ, as if to judge whether enough was given to release you from your self induced guilt.
The authority figure now has the people stand and they are told in an authoritative tone, "Your sins are forgiven. Go live in peace."Ominous, yet upbeat music plays and candles are extinguished. In a grand procession the authorities march out, followed by the young initiates in their training, often dressed in white robes. Then ushers come and release people from their seat by a nod of the head. The people walk like sheep to the slaughter, up the aisle as the others, waiting to be released, look on, casting judgements upon them as to how their hair is done or what they are wearing, or what so and so said to them and how God should strike them dead where they stand!
After shaking the hand of the authority figure(s) and thanking them for easing your self induced condemnation, you step out into the light of day. In the back of your mind there may still be doubt, a hesitation. Making you feel either greatful for another chance or cautious, expecting that lightning bolt to strike you then and there.
Usually this trance wears off after an hour or so. After you arrive home and eat, then relax or talk with friends and family. But like magic, on Sunday morning, you wake up and for some reason you are compelled to get dressed up and to sit perfectly still on an uncomfortable bench, with people you avoided all week. To repeat approved words and create self condemnation, then once again pay for your forgiveness.
Why do you continue this trance?
On the other side of this. A person who is genuinely down trodden can enter this atmosphere and look into the eyes of a statue or authority figure, leave a token of thanks and leave a different person. As if transformed by the whole experience.
A church service differs from a stage hypnosis show only in that everyone participates in the trance. Where in a stage hypnosis show, only those chosen few on the stage are part of the trance and the rest of the group are mealry onlookers, there for a good laugh or two.
Is any of this wrong?
In my humble opinion, yes and no. Yes it is wrong if people are robbed blind and repeatedly made to believe they are bad just because they are alive, while religious authority figures build their financial wealth on lies and greed.
But I also say no, this is not wrong.
Many a historical figure and the common man has had a divine encounter or inspiration by attending a religious service or during a time of prayer. Many a desperate man and woman has entered a church and found forgiveness and the will to live or to change their ways during this church induced trance. The down trodden sinner stepped outside of their problem long enough to surrender and realize that there may be nothing they can do about the burden, but they can hand it over or lay it down at an altar and leave it there, choosing to do better.
At times magical things happen as we enter prayer and meditiation or embark on pilgrimages. Climbing high mountains to holy sights, touching holy objects, lighting candles in dark places, or entering a small room and telling an obscured person about our deepest darkest inward things.
Yours truly has been on many religious quests. One stands out among them; the time I climbed Bear Butte, a sacred Native American place, on a 100 degree day, searching for an answer. On my way up I realized I had not brought an offering. When I stopped for a brief rest, at my feet was a cigarette. I felt it was to be my offering; similar to when God provided Abraham a ram in a bush to offer in place of his son Issac. This cigarette was my ram in the bushes, provided by God or some great chief; as tobacco is the traditional Native American offering. No doubt He was laughing at my quest and placed it there to help ease my troubled soul!
At the top, I laid for several hours in the burning heat, looking up from time to time as if hoping to see a holy man or receive what I was seeking. Instead a fellow seeker came and went without saying a word. On my way down the butte I found myself picking up after him; bottles of water, sunscreen, granola bars, a pair of sunglasses and a hanker chief. I collected these items and carried them to the bottom, then placed them on a bench, near the beginning of the trail, in hopes that an unprepared seeker may be aided by them on their journey and that they may find what they were seeking. I left the butte learning much about myself that day and that a way would be provided as I stepped out in faith.
Is there really any answer, cure or relief in the religious ritual? Yes, but it is found in the trance of it. In believing that this is the thing that will make me whole again.
For ages people have recited words and preformed ritual sacrifices and offerings to obtain something. In the times before Christ, BC, humans were sacrificed during new moons and eclipses to appease some god or spirit and bring back the sun or moon. At other festivals, virgins were laid on altars and impregnated by priests to bring about the changing of seasons, to ensure a plentiful year. Then if a drought or bad storms occurred, the babies of these women or the women themselves were sacrificed to appease the gods and change the weather. It was either an honor or a disgrace to be sacrificed for such means.
There is nothing wrong with a religious belief or approved wording as long as it is not imposed on the belief of another and causes them harm. By all means pray for one another! All religions teach about prayer or meditation to some degree and about lifting a fellow human in need, up in our thoughts, prayers and intents.
Climbing Bear Butte is not for everyone! There is nothing wrong with wishing a downcast soul to be well or to find peace. But be prepared; by praying for your fellow human, you may find that the best solace comes from you. You may be called upon to offer a smile, kind word, or listening ear.
Is the trance of religion bad? At its core no. There will always be those who use their position and authority to dominate others, this is not the original intent of religion. Take the best parts that your place of worship has to offer. If you don't attend a place of worship, then you can find the best in your fellow man or in nature. Then take this best and internalize it. Go out into your world and take on more good things, then be the best human being you can be, knowing these things, wherever you may find yourself.
Live your life from one trance to the next, knowing you have the power to change it for the better as you go along.
Jessica L Hanson CHt
Happy new year!
So far mine is off to a new and magical start.
In preparation for speaking at the upcoming IMDHA/IACT conference I needed a watch for my presentation. And client recently commented that I should have one in my office.
The old type of pocket watch that you can swing by it’s chain. The kind often used by hypnotists in old movies.
Going through some boxes I located the one I needed.
Upon opening the box I was pleased to find 5 pocket watches in various states of disrepair.
One shiny gold watch stood out among them. It is not worth anything and runs on a battery but it is stunning to look at.
It should induce trance nicely! Muhahaa:)
Looking further at the pocket watches I picked up the oldest one. It belonged to the father of my late husband and was first given to me after we had married.
It did not work but was a beautiful watch none the less.
Today as I held it in my hands, to my amazement, it began to tick!
It has been 7 years since my late husband’s death and several more years since his fathers death.
It seems there is magic of sort in the number 7.
I met my late husband after he had been a widower for 7 years.
I met my current husband, also a widower, 7 years after the death his wife.
The watch is now ticking away making up for lost time. And it seems to be keeping time nicely.
I laughed, thinking of the psychic I nannied for years ago: she would stop any watch she came in contact with and we learned I could start them again. It became a contest. She handed me the box of dead watches and asked me to start them for her.
After I started the watches, she would wear them and they would stop working. It was job security!
Another clock story of mine; my late husband’s pendulum clock had not chimed as long as he could remember. It hung in his parents home as long as he could remember, perhaps before he was born.
On the day of our wedding it chimed!
Later it chimed again when I hung our marriage certificate from the church on the wall.
It continued to chime at unique moments during our marriage, and only when it chose to do so.
Then at the moment of my husband’s passing, the pendulum clock stopped dead on the wall.
Strange and mysterious things happen at the sacred moment of death!
Just like that children’s song, “My Grandfather's Clock" written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work.
My grandfather's clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopped short — never to go again --
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering
(tick, tock, tick, tock),
His life's seconds numbering,
(tick, tock, tick, tock),
It stopped short never to go again when the old man died
In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours he spent as a boy.
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
And to share both his grief and his joy.
For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride;
But it stopped short — never to go again --
When the old man died.
(My Grandfather’s Clock, lyrics and info from Wikipedia)
A year ago I unpacked the box the clock was in and opened up the back. Inside I found the very small piece which makes the pendulum swing was broke. With my new husband’s approval, I purchased a new piece for the clock and it now hangs on the wall, ticking away, ringing from time to time as it pleases!
Going back to today: Just why the pocket watch started today, I do not know, but I can only imagine it was destined to happen for reasons yet unknown.
Perhaps a curse is broken or a soul is redeemed, a witch is dead or a new child is born.
This will remain an unknown. I will just be grateful for whatever it represents, knowing that I played my part by starting time again!
A few metaphors come to mind:
“time heals all things.”
”time marches on”
And, that oft quoted scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and The Byrds song called Turn! Turn! Turn!
A time for everything.
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
What the new year of 2020 brings each one of us remains a gift to be opened. What matters most is that Time has started again and YOU have the opportunity to do something wonderful and great with it!
I leave you with this thought from Norman Vincent Peale-
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
A stress release exercise:
hold your hand up in front of your face so you are looking at your palm and admire it.
Recognize how much good it helps you do.
Next touch your thumb and index finger together, noting how good it feels to relax your thumb.
Now gently allow your pinky and ring fingers to fold down to your palm and relax as well.
Notice how good this relaxation feels.
Now, look at your hand and notice your finger.
(laugh if you want to)
Then allow this finger to relax as well.
One last thing.
Now turn your entire fist sideways so your thumb is on top.
Put your thumb up and smile:)
You did a wonderful job!
Happy less-stress Holiday season!
At times I still marvel at why people want to come to this country at all?
Yes we seem to have it all; houses, cars, malls, natural wonders, etc. but what people don't know is that most Americans have no dream to aspire to. Most are flat out broke, homeless and discriminated against.
Yes, even yours truly has had the pleasure of experiencing decrimination, have been homeless and lived on very little. When I job hunted 4 years ago, I was told everything from: You're to pretty, to qualified, to white, to old, etc.
This prompted me to start my own business and make a difference. Not to save the world - this guy named Jesus already did that, or so people say. The best I can do is make a difference in someone's life, help them live their American Dream, or even to have a dream at all.
Today as my husband and I were making cauliflower pizza I had to laugh because I realized I am living the American dream!
Well my version of it at least.
You see, I own my own business, have a roof over my head, a vehicle to drive and food to eat, thanks to the local food shelf.
My business is in it's third year and I'm lucky to see one client a month. The plus side of this is that I do not have debt since I am have a small amount saved up from the death of my first husband seven years ago.
Widows are not rich! Especially younger widows without children. They throw these widows to the wolves and say, "See you when you are 65, or if you can prove your disabled."
No hope there!
But I am okay since my mother taught me to make the most of what I have. I can sew, so at least I can mend clothing. My winter coat is now in it's 10th years of use! Not bad considering it came from a consignment shop!
The coat was well made to start with, sorta like me. You see, if you start with good materials in the beginning, things will last a long time. I was raised with hard work, homegrown food, fresh air and lots of discipline. Even several spankings and a soap bar or two.
On the plus side, I have lived a life of adventure thus far.
I have traveled living out of my vehicle, eating once a day. Then met a fellow traveler who made life better for a while - more food, a hotel every once and a while, etc. But he was abusive so I left and decided little food and sleeping in the vehicle weren't so bad after all!
Soon doors began to open - a person I knew offered me a place to stay. Living in the library room of an old legal office was nice - beautiful architecture, lots of books and it was quiet. Someone signed me up for a program, which was trying to sell me to the local employment office in the name of Christianity. That was an interesting bunch!
Soon an apartment opened up in an old house. This was a new adventure living in the same building as two registered sex offenders who were mentally unstable!
The bats in the house became my best defence and way to gain respect, seeing how both men were afraid of bats! Amazing how such a small animal can strike such fear in the heart of a man!
But I am grateful for having lived in that old house. You see, it was because I lived there that I learned about the food shelf.
At the food shelf I met people worse off than me and with way less skills - some didn't even know how to do basic self care or make mac and cheese from the box.
The best words of hope I heard in 5 years came from one of the food shelf staff. You see after receiving delicious food the day before, I felt guilty. Others needed it worse than me. I had a little bit of money after all. I went back the next day to meet with a staff member to see how I could give back a bit. I was just a widow after all, but some of these people had much less and had been treated far worse.
I entered the office space and the kind lady D closed the door. After telling her about me and feeling badly about not being able to help, she said, "We are here to help people who need food. We are not here to judge why you need that help. People from all walks of life come through those doors each day, some are well off and others have nothing. You are not alone."
After this talk I became a daily volunteer. Because of volunteering I met another widower and developed a friendship that turned into a marriage.
The American Dream right?
Well, let me continue. By now my business has been around for three years. I love the work I do, but the books don't look positive, another year in the red.
Coming back to today. As I was chopping cauliflower from the food shelf with my husband, I began to remember how other businesses started out. Most had less than me. Some were lucky to eat once a week, and then it was just bread. Many slept in their office space and only had one change of clothing. But from these humble beginnings came the corporate giants of today.
My goal isn't to become a corporate giant, but I do hope to help people, make enough money to have an income and give back finacially to the food shelf, so that it's there for the next me who walks through those doors in search of food.
I truly hope they find more then food. I hope someone takes the time to listen and offer a few kind words. You never know, that person could just be the next business owner who employs your children, allowing them to have big screen TV's, three dogs, a large house, with fancy vehicles and multiple luxury vacations per year!
The American Dream!
As for me, in a couple weeks I will finally recieve my First Dollar Award from the Chamber of Commerce. It seems someone forgot to do that 3 years ago when I became a member!
But for me it means progress. At least I get the recognition, some soldiers who died in battle never even get a thank you!
Another good thing is that I have the honor of speaking at the IMDHA/IACT conference this coming year in Orlando FL.
I am also writting a book and hoping to keep my doors open long enough to help the people who come my way, creating a business out of it.
This is my American Dream.
There is not a tree covered in lights with presents under it, nor will there be. My husband dislikes this time of year due to the war he was drafted into and the unfortunate loss of life that happened at Christmas.
Fancy trees and gifts are not our version of Christmas.
The only presnts we will exchange this year are gratitude in our hearts for being able to volunteer at the food shelf and time with each other.
We most likely will be making cauliflower pizza and playing cribbage.
This my dear readers is The American Dream!
Or at least my Amercan Dream.
Have a joyous holiday season and a blessed new year.
Jessica L Hanson
Stress now and later
(not intended to diagnose or prescribe)
In the coming day make time and take time – 5 to 15 minutes or more each day – for yourself. To be kind to yourself: listen to music you love, take a walk, spend time in silence, sit and do nothing, meditate or do self hypnosis.
The article below is a good reminder of the continual stress we are under in today's world.
70 percent of the presenting issues in a clinical setting are stress related, meaning they started from a stressor in the persons life.
I have personally felt the load of stress via death of spouse and know the physical and mental changes it can bring about in a very short amount of time.
A question I ask nearly client, regardless of issue is, “What happened 3, 6 or 9 months ago?” For some issues I go back even further, depending on how long the issue has been present.
Stress-Proofing Programme by Leon Chaitow, 1985 Thorsons Publishers Ltd
pgs 14 through 18
Stress and Changes in Lifestyle
This scale is based on the work of T.H. Holmes and R.H. Rahe (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1967, No.11) and is meant as a guide to the assessment of measurable stress factors, resulting from having to adjust to change. There are many other sources of stress, but it is true to say that a high score on this chart (300 or more) over a short time-span (six months or so), is a strong indicator (affecting 80 per cent of people) of the likelihood of major illness becoming apparent. If the score is relatively high, anything from 150 to 299 points, about 50 per cent of people become ill soon afterwards, and if under 150 points are scored, fewer than 30 percent become ill. The higher the score, the greater the need for stress-proofing.
Changes in Lifestyle Scale
Death of husband of wife 100
Marital separation 65
Jail sentence or being institutionalized 63
Death of close member of family 63
Illness of injury 53
Los of job 47
Reconciliation with marriage partner 45
Health problem of close member of family 44
Sex problems 39
Addition to family 39
Major change at work 39
Change in financial status 39
Death of friend 37
Change in line of work 36
Change in number of marital arguments 35
Large mortgage taken out 31
Mortgage or loan foreclosed 30
Responsibility change 29
Child leaves home 29
In-law problems 29
Personal achievement realized 28
Wife starts or stops work 26
Start at new school 26
Leaving school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Change in personal habits 24
Trouble with employer 23
Change in working hours 20
Change in residence 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Small mortgage taken out 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family get-togethers 15
Major change in eating pattern 15
Minor violation of law 11
It is known that these scores and positions on the scale vary in different cultures. Different belief systems place the stress of marriage higher in Europe than in Japan.
There is another element in life which often can produce more stress than the events themselves. This is the highly charged area of anticipated problems or events. While losing a job is indeed high-scoring stress factor, the anticipation of the loss presents potentially greater stress by virtue of time-scale involved. Once a job has been lost, the reality of the situation determines that the individual does something about the matter. Looking for a new job, making financial arrangements, etc, are all stressful, but are in fact responses to the event.
Conflicts, real or imagined, between the individual and other people or groups is a further major stress factor.
External stress factors, while easy to identify, are less easy to measure and control. There might include excessive noise (construction), exposure to excessive heat (bakers), cold (working in cold-storage areas) boring or repetitive occupations (assembly line workers) and factors of commuting on an unreliable transportation system or driving in heavy traffic for hours every day.
Over the next few months give yourself the gifts of: extra grace, a laugh or 10 and smile.
Be well, stay well and get well.
Jessica L Hanson CHt LLC