Category Archives: honesty

Rasing Occupy

Don’t toss the baby
 with the bathwater!

Just as new life begins in childbirth every day, the occupy wall street movement and  affinity groups are being born and nurtured the U.S. and the rest of the world.  The Occupy movement itself is the new kid in town. The baby of the family who initially restores hope and inspiration. The baby coos and she cries and she is awfully cute…the family mascot.
  But then something else begins to happen. We are exhausted. This new baby won’t sleep through the night and we must wake with her. Her crying grows louder and more demanding as our baby begins to figure out what she wants from us. Some people begin to offer unsolicited advice, “Maybe you should let that baby cry so she learns to sleep through the night” or “Just give her a bottle, she’s too dependent on the breast”.  Everyone’s got an answer, but few lend a hand.  These experts are the strangers on the bus or the distant relative who is never around when help is needed.
   Meanwhile the older kids aren’t  getting enough attention, so they dutifully fall into their well rehearsed family roles in an attempt to restore some sense of harmony, or least an illusion of control. The oldest might coddle the baby, take over some of Moms chores, reassure everyone that it’s ok, I got this. A middle child might become sulky, acting out, being “naughty” all the while muttering that things were going just fine until baby came along. And their will be other family members who will attempt to function the way they always have, incorporating the new baby into their family slowly and invisibly, hoping to forge ahead on the path they have already cleared  for themselves.
So now that OWS has been moved out of the parents bedroom (Zuccotti park) and is beginning to settle into a more concrete sense of self (individuation) it seems only natural the the standard human patterns of behavior will follow. And a society that coined the term “terrible twos” will find that they are not quite sure how to handle this entire out of control toddler situation.
It is in these early years of identity formation that we have the best opportunity as parents and siblings to either nurture our child’s strengths or, pardon my frankness, really fuck them up.  I see those of us who have been around a while, who have seen social activism cycle through several incarnations with different focus, as the big sisters, aunties and mothers. I think it’s fair to ask ourselves how we feel about this charming but disruptive new addition to the family? How has she changed our perception of where we fit in the birth order? And finally, what can we do as elders and mentors to nurture and guide this child through a healthy development process while finding her place in the family.

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

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A Deeper Look at anger

I’m going to grace you all with a special treat. I’m going to therapize myself! Aren’t you excited?
Ok fine, bear with me anyway okay?
Writing the last post on anger, along with my recent binge of crabbiness which prompted the post, has prodded me to reflect on the roots of this binge. If I listen to my own words I hear anger can be a catalyst for change, or a sign that we need to address some aspect of our lives. Right now my life is in a pretty good place so I had to dig a little deeper to weed out the roots of this agitation.

The quick check questions to ask are:

  • what do you feel in your body (get out of your head)
  • have there been another times when you felt a similar feeling
  • what event or stimulus triggered your feelings? what was happening in your life at the time?

I’m not going to go into great detail about my personal life, but after thinking about these statements three issues became clear – uncertainty,  potential change/possibly relocating and feeling pulled in different directions/ having to make decisions.
Uncertainty is unnerving to me. Change, I can manage but best with a decent amount of certainty attached. Decisions, well let’s just say it’s a work in progress and one that requires at least some guidelines and factual information that I can refer to during the internal dialog that takes place between the different dimensions of Me.
Right now, today anyway, I am in limbo. There are some questions that will be answered in the next week or so that will allow me to move on and leave the majority of the uncertainty factor behind. In the meantime I will shift the blame to the 90+ temperatures and the swampy like humidity that permeates all potentially climate controlled areas, knowing with some assurance that my own “climate control” is being carefully monitored.
Stay Cool,
Jenny

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Positive Thinking and other self help fumbles

For the past 20 years or so the quick fix self help gurus have placed a nauseating amount of emphasis on the application of “Positive Thought” as a cure all for all social problems. From overcoming  poverty to finding convenient parking spaces we are told to visualize our needs and to apply positive energy to these thoughts and we will be blessed with whatever it is that our little hearts desire. I realize this may seem to be a gross oversimplification and it probably is but truthfully for every one educator/life coach or mentor who truly understands the use of positive energy it seems there are 5 more who toss the notion around like little band aids hoping they will stick and take away all our owies. And if they don’t stick it’s probably because we did something wrong, we picked at it or maybe our skin wasn’t clean enough for the band aid to adhere properly…or we just didn’t really believe it would work.

Well of course it didn’t work and here’s why. Many of us don’t believe it will work, not because we don’t want it to, but because we’ve never been taught how to develop that velcro skin that picks up all the good stuff. We’re more like teflon when it comes to positive energy. We do this because we have discovered time and time again that any thing good and comforting and healing that comes our way must certainly come at a cost and with some hidden agenda.
And therefore we do pick at the band aids, peeking to see if our wounds are indeed healing or if they are secretly festering and and growing beneath the veil of the band aid. We have a firmly entrenched sense of mistrust, well sealed within our teflon shell not because we want to but because at some time in our lives we had to. It kept us safe from the unpredictable and confusing gestures that have been handed us in the guise of love, only to reveal the narcissistic craving that was so well concealed in the pretty picture of love and concern. You can trap more flies with honey than with vinegar as my grandmother used to say, and any predator worth their salt knows that fact all to well. They rely upon the strategy as their primary method of entrapment. Then when things go wrong and we become hurt, we are soothed with the insidious plea that begs us to remember that it was all done to us out of love and concern…how dare we feel hurt or angry when someone was merely acting out of love and in the interest of our well being.
It should come as no surprise then that when some sweet talking agent of personal growth comes along telling us that we simply need to focus on the positive, if we don’t immediately dismiss them from our lives, we may desperately want to believe them. We may even try to apply their suggestions, but we are unable to make it work.
And sadly many of us do try to make it work only to end up berating ourselves for our inability to follow the simple formula for happiness.
The bottom line is one cannot slap a bandage on a very well established wound with out first cleansing the the injury and removing any shards of emotional shrapnel that may be trapped within. Once we have done this we stand a good chance to benefit from certain applications of the Happy Band-aid Process.
 Stay tuned tomorrow for a follow up post to discuss cleansing the wounds and what and what not to expect from all those Happy Thoughts we can apply to keep them safe.

Be Safe,
Jenny

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard