The Simple Truth

Jeanne.Closeup.LeaninLast year was a crazy year for me, and my family. From false accusations to a cancer diagnosis to a major custody battle, my family did it all. While I was not always calm, cool and collected – I cried hysterically on the phone with Aaron Turner and yelled at Michael Neill at the top of my lungs – I did learn a lot about my mental health.

It turns out that my mental health is not related to the injuries I endured as a child or to the unhealthy relationship I left as an adult. I am not a victim to my ex, and I am not responsible for his behavior. The simplest and most apparent fact is that my mental health is dependent on my ability to see myself as human.

Human beings have all kinds of thinking, they feel all kinds of emotions, and they live in all kinds of circumstances. Human beings are sometimes kind and sometimes unkind. Human beings sometimes know what to do and sometimes don’t know what to do. Human beings have access to the most profound wisdom and the most ridiculous or harmful thinking. Some humans spend their time attempting to figure out why the world is the way it is, why they are the way they are and what can they do to change it. Some humans feel whole and complete even if they don’t know the answers.

I am human. I am born into a body. I live in the world. I work, I play, I love, and I feel crazy sometimes. If the word crazy frightens you, then use a different word. Use angry, hopeless, alone – put in any emotion you want. The Simple Truth is that these are human emotions. You will have them no matter where you live, no matter what happens to you, no matter how enlightened you are.

The Simple Truth is that you are human. You are just like me. You are not alone. You are not forgotten. You feel and act wisely, and sometimes you let your upset get the better of you. Sometimes your upsets define how you will speak to your four year old step-daughter, or your 40 year old husband, or your 70 year old mother. Other times your wisdom defines you.

The more you see your well being and the more you know that you are human, the easier it will be to follow your wisdom and the more gracefully you will fumble through your humanity.

This is what I learned last year. We are not alone. We are part of a whole. We are human. Accept the gift and be set free.

Curious? Want to find your simple truth? Grab one of the six spots left on May 15th, 16th and 17th for a deeper look at your mental health and humanity.

Life is Simpler Than You Think!

MMP_6672At Divine Play, we used to think life had to be figured out, planned and executed step by step.

But what we discovered is that life is simpler than we thought. Case in point: This month, effortlessly,

Jen Lucas co-founded the Lighten Up Community with Jacquie Forde, booked plane tickets to both the U.K. and to Chicago (for several trainings plus a meeting at the Scottish Parliament), and began plans with Andy Winter for a winter retreat to Costa Rica (details coming soon). Jen is even offering a sequence painting class in Charlottesville in May!

I took on another apprentice, held meetings for four separate groups, hosted Dicken Bettinger in Charlottesville, booked Jack Pransky for August 8-10 in Charlottesville, and enjoyed several interviews on the radio with the best Three Principles teachers. Monday April 13th I am thrilled to speak with Elsie Spittle and Chip Chipman on Being in Service from the Inside Out.

John Gray has taken on, with effortless full-time commitment, a project that once seemed like a chore.

And this is just a portion of what we’ve been doing!

We haven’t been agonizing over these plans. We didn’t do it the way we used to. Apparently, we don’t have to plan life to have plans! If you don’t know what I mean, here is an example from one of my clients:

In session she said, “But how do I build a group if I don’t have the name, a flier, a description?”

I said, “What makes you think you need any of those things to build your group?”

Here is where the misunderstanding begins. Every time we think that life should unfold a certain way, we are missing life unfolding. This is true for the ideal life partner, it is true for raising our kids and it is true for building a business.

If you really want to build a thriving business, stop thinking about it. Do what’s in front of you. This client already had someone who wanted to join her group, but instead of setting a start date, taking a down payment or asking to speak to this woman’s friends – my client was worried about the name of the group and the flier!

When we are not spending time thinking about plans and what is the right thing to do, life happens – including plans. Creativity pulls us along, showing up every moment.

Life is simpler than you think it is. Take advantage of that fact.

“Please Let Me Out” – Part 1

filing cabinetThis past Friday night I spoke to a group about the human experience. I was so struck by the need participants felt for getting away from their experience.

Unhappiness, upset, bad moments and genuine dislike for oneself can be an incredibly uncomfortable feeling. It is built into our nervous system to move away from that which makes pain. People who can’t feel physical pain end up with all kinds of physical damage. If you can’t feel the heat, you wouldn’t know you were burning.

But the mistake we have made in the mental health community is to treat thought as if it were “real.” Mental health care providers often speak to their patients as if the feelings, thoughts, memories or other human experiences are the same as being burned by a stove or being hit by a car.

While there is a physical component to our emotions – like energy impulses between neurons in the brain, or a cascade of other communicators such as hormones – you don’t have to know the details of this to notice that these cascades of events work in much the same way, no matter the subject matter. Imagining an event can cause the same cascade as actually living through it. Feeling excited comes from a cascade of chemicals and so does feeling sad. All of these patterns work in the same way; energy turns into form and we experience it.

Where we go from here is important. Traditional psychotherapy made every effort to get to the root of the upset, seeking problems from the past that could be the cause. There is a kind of logic to this if you think that memory is stored like a filing cabinet.

The dilemma with this approach is that neuroscience is finally giving us a look into the brain. It turns out memory does not work like a filling cabinet at all. You can’t go in and “get it” whole and intact. In fact, memory responds to your feelings in the moment. So if you are relaxed and enjoying yourself and you recall an incident from your life, your brain will pull together the memory differently than if you are angry and asked to remember the same memory. There is a simple reason for this, emotion impacts which part of the brain we have access too.

So where does all this new knowledge lead? It depends a lot on what you already think is true about being human. What you think determines how you feel about this information.

For me, I feel relieved. I get to live in my moment-to-moment experience and enjoy it. And when something happens that I don’t like, I get to watch the cascade of human emotions, knowing the chemicals are designed to work that way no matter what the subject matter is. As the feelings pass, because (note to self here) that’s what feelings do, I see more clearly, feel calmer, and see life simply.

What is the difference between you and me? I don’t think I am “in there.” I know my human experience is limited to this physical form. My spiritual feeling or access to wisdom is much larger than the highlighted regions of my brain or the cascading chemicals active at the moment.

Join us to explore the human experience and how understanding can release you from the box of your personal thinking. We design educational programs for just this purpose, bringing you freedom of mind. If you are interested in release from personal thinking and freedom of mind, read more here or contact us at info at divine play dot com or 434-218-9500.

One Spot Left

Jeanne Catherine smiling close upDuring an interview with Dicken Bettinger, he spoke about the experience of loss as something that can be suffered through or as something that can invite us into a deeper understanding of life.

This past Saturday night, as I snarled at my husband, (a descriptive exaggeration), for ‘letting me down again! And cooking dinner only for himself (insert not so nice words here),’ I was struck by the significance of what Dicken spoke about during our interview. After all, loss and grief don’t just happen when someone I love dies, loss and grief happen every day!

Whenever I struggle with the way I think things are supposed to be, when I suffer over how I think I should be treated, or when I speak with frustration or anger – any of these times I am choosing an experience to suffer through. For that moment, or for those series of moments, I am lost in the unhappy, hard place inside my own thinking, my own consciousness.

Later, when I slow down my busy mind, look to connect with myself or another human being, suddenly there are problems with the story I have told myself and a lot of good in the world still to experience.

There is one spot left in the relationship workshop this coming weekend. A woman told me she was afraid to sign up, afraid it would be too painful to think of her failed relationships.

I want you to know this workshop won’t be about what is wrong or what you have had to suffer. It is about what Dicken Bettinger put so eloquently in our radio interview: Human beings have the capacity to suffer through an experience or be enriched by it.

Whatever you choose is perfect. Please know, if you are considering grabbing the last spot, you are welcome! Love, Jeanne

Listen to Dicken Bettinger speaking about the simple humanity and the human potential to experience and thrive beyond great loss and grief: Embracing Grief Through Understanding

Join Dicken Bettinger right here in Charlottesville, VA for a Saturday and Sunday, March 14th and 15th, 2015: Quiet Mind, Loving Heart. Limited Scholarship available for those in need.

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