About Jett Sophia

I've been a professional psychic reader and teacher since 1988. To learn more about me, about what I do, and about where I am, visit my Web site. While you're there, you can schedule a reading, and you can sign up for one or both of my newsletters. http://www.savvypsychic.com/

#223 Other Manifestations

Other manifestations of love, from readers: courage, optimism, awe, and remember that love is without conditions — no ifs, ands, or buts.

The reason I began listing manifestations of love is because it was easier than describing the physical, felt experience of love. And that’s what you radiate — the felt experience. You can’t radiate a thought. You can’t radiate an idea. You radiate what you are feeling. You radiate what you are experiencing within.

But knowing the manifestations of love can be useful as we attempt to radiate love. “Love” is a rather non-specific word. “Appreciation,” however, or “generosity,” for example, are more specific, and I can perhaps more easily find my way to feeling one of the manifestations of love.

I’ll check my list of manifestations. Can I experience all of them in one day?

#222 Manifestations of Love

Love is such an imprecise word.

I was wondering if I could parse it out a bit, perhaps identify various aspects of love. Once I began listing them, I realized they are not so much aspects as they are manifestations of love.

Compassion, empathy, appreciation, wonder, gratitude, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, open-heartedness.

But it seemed to me there was something missing. Then last night I watched the movie Harold and Maude, and I knew what was missing from my list — joy!

What else is missing? What are your manifestations of love?

#221 Fail, Fail, Fail

I haven’t written for a while because I didn’t know what to write. What could I say? That I fail more than I succeed at radiating love? That’s the truth. I return, again and again and again, to the practice of radiating love. But I don’t seem to be able to stay there for very long.

Then, just the other day, I found myself radiating love spontaneously, naturally, automatically!

And that is the purpose of practice. Teachers see it — a student struggles and struggles to learn a new skill, and fails and fails. Then, in the blink of an eye, they’ve got it! Click!

It’s a good feeling.

Abundance and Gratitude

Note: This isn’t an actual Tenacity Notes, but I put it here so I could link to it on Facebook. Read it. You’ll understand. This is an excerpt from a Breath and Water Club newsletter, July 2005.

I was teaching about gratitude at a recent class. I suggested that we all practice filling ourselves with the energy of gratitude. And remember, this is 360º of gratitude — gratitude that includes the self, gratitude that flows out from the self to encompass all of life. Gratitude about yourself and your life right now.

A student said she didn’t know what the energy of gratitude should feel like. I said, pretend. Make it up. Experiment. It’s all practice. You can prime the pump, so to speak, by thinking of something outside yourself that you’re grateful for. Let yourself feel that gratitude, then transfer that feeling to yourself. Have gratitude for who you and where you’re at in your life. So we all practiced “running the energy” of gratitude. It felt great.

Then Anita asked a question. Is there a cause and effect relationship between gratitude and abundance? If I feel gratitude will I then have abundance?

Remember, this is a true story

I took a breath, ready to respond to her question. I didn’t know what I was going to say. Probably something along the lines of “I don’t know about that, but I do know that gratitude allows us to become aware of the abundance we already have in our lives.” But clearly, whatever I was going to say wasn’t good enough, because exactly as I finished inhaling and opened my mouth to speak, the doorbell rang. Now remember, this is 8:45 on a dark, windy, cold December night in Minneapolis. Who could it possibly be?

At the door stood my next-door neighbor (and former student) with large, round, tin box. She’d stayed home from work that day and baked Christmas cookies. She thought I’d like some. Once she realized she’d interrupted a class, she thrust the tin into my hands and dashed off, calling happy holidays over her shoulder. I took the box into the living room and opened it to find a beautiful array of cookies. Look, I said, my neighbor brought us cookies. One of my students exclaimed, “It’s because we were running gratitude!”

Abundance is attracted to gratitude

Yes, it’s true. We were working with gratitude, feeling it in our bodies, feeling it towards ourselves, feeling it for life itself, and abundance came knocking on the door! Wow. I guess Anita’s question got answered! We looked around at each other with our mouths hanging open, delighted with the teaching we’d just been given and amazed at the way it’d been delivered. As an added bonus, the cookies were delicious! We ate cookies while we talked about the fact that an embodied teaching had knocked on the door.

It is not unusual for me to receive inspiration while I’m teaching. It’s true that I know a lot, but it’s also true that I sometimes find myself saying something in class that I didn’t know I knew, and I readily acknowledge that as inspiration. But never before have I had a teaching actually show up knocking on the front door! That’s for sure a teaching to pay attention to. Abundance comes to gratitude’s door.

Gratitude is a beacon for abundance. 360º of gratitude puts you in the position to experience and appreciate the abundance you already have in your everyday life. And 360º of gratitude opens the door to new and unexpected abundance. Thanks to Anita for asking the right question.

May the living spirit of gratitude imbue your life this coming year.

#220 Breath and Water Excerpt

Last week I mentioned the Breath and Water Club newsletter. Some of you don’t go back that far, and you wondered what it was. (I started it in 2004, and it ran for 6 years before it morphed into Tenacity Notes.)

I’ve moved the back issues of the Breath and Water newsletter from my Web site to a blog site. You can find them at breathandwater.com. While doing so, I came across this issue about water, and I liked being reminded of these things. (#38, July 2007) Maybe you’ll like it too. Here’s part of it:

I received emails about “Water Facts” from a few people. I’ll share it with you, but first let’s remember what we’ve learned from each other about the effects of drinking water.

* joints are less stiff

* thinking is clearer, you’re smarter

* never knew you were thirsty until you started drinking water

* constipation is gone

* complexion is clear

* calf muscles are free from cramping

When you add breathing, you find that:

* people you work with are less irritating

* your spouse is suddenly kinder

* life is not so hard as you’d thought it was

* you feel more rested all day

* you stop prevaricating about momentous life decisions – you get pregnant, go to graduate school, begin a new mid-life career

* you’re not so stressed out

* and interestingly, the people around you are not so stressed out

Here’s the Water Facts people have sent me. I have no idea where these statistics came from or if they’re accurate. But they are certainly not incompatible with what we already know from our own practice.

* 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

* Even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism by 3%.

* One glass of water shut down nighttime hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

* Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

* Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

* A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

* Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

* In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

That’s the end of the excerpt. The Breath and Water Club newsletters were much longer than Tenacity Notes, and came monthly rather than weekly. I invite you to check them out — again or for the first time. Maybe you’ll find something you really like. Or maybe you’ll find something you want to take issue with. In either case, let me know.

#219 It’s not a solution, it’s a path.

I got pretty crabby last week. I didn’t like being 66 years old. I didn’t like that I’ve gained weight. I didn’t like not knowing what the rest of my life would look like. I didn’t like not having enough money. I didn’t like much of anything.

So I reminded myself to radiate love. Oh sure, I replied to myself, like that’s going to solve anything!

I was stubbornly determined to remain crabby about my life, and so a rather heated internal argument ensued. Finally I said, wait just a minute. Radiating love isn’t a solution, it’s a path. It’s a path that requires practice, curiosity, and faith. So just get over yourself and return to the path that you know is yours.

I did return to my practice of radiating love, and I feel better. In fact, I suspect that my discontent was a result of having forgotten to practice for several days.

Remember the Breath and Water Club, and some of the tricks we used to remind ourselves to drink 8 glasses of water a day? Put 8 rubber bands around your glass, and take one off every time you drink it. Set the timer on your watch (now I suppose it would be the timer on your phone). Put notes on your computer, mirror, refrigerator, steering wheel.

It’s time for me to use some of those reminders for radiating love. And for drinking water. Because I also suspect that my discontent was a result of being a bit dehydrated. Actually, forgetting to practice radiating love was probably also a result of being a bit dehydrated.

Drink 8 glasses of water a day, and radiate love along with it. That’s the plan.

Now where did I put all those rubber bands?

#218 Readers re: Should

Readers write about “should.”

*  The minute I started paying attention to “should,” I noticed it everywhere! I stop myself from “shoulding” all day long! I hear my co-workers and my friends “should” themselves. I’m surrounded by should!

*  I have noticed that the shoulds I place on myself are often related to expectations that other people have of me.

*  Should, should have, and don’t forget should not have.

*  I love “don’t should on yourself.” It’s easy to remember and makes me smile.

*  When I catch myself “shoulding on myself,” I think: I shouldn’t do that. That cracks me up!

*  “Don’t should on myself” is a tall order. I’m often at a loss how to turn it around. But fortunately or unfortunately, I provide myself with plenty of opportunities to practice. Poco a poco.

Be tenacious with your de-shouldifying!

#217 I Don’t Know

One of the things I like about radiating love is the space it makes for “I don’t know.”

For example: in a given situation, I may know that I have the right to feel done badly to.

But when I radiate love, I find myself in an entirely different reality. And in that reality, not only do I not know what I thought I knew, but the whole idea of being done badly to does not exist. At least I’ve never been able to find it there.

Radical.

#216 Don’t Should on Yourself

Someone said, after reading last week’s Tenacity Note (when I failed to radiate love): “I would have been so irritated with myself!” Another reader would have felt guilty for having failed, believing she should have been able to do it. Another would have been ashamed to admit it.

The title of this Tenacity Note? Don’t Should On Yourself. Or maybe, Lighten Up On Yourself.

Here’s an idea. Is should or should have common in your vocabulary? Drop it this week. Don’t use it at all. When you find yourself “shoulding,” find a different way.

Let me know.

#215 Radiate Irritation?

So, I was driving in the Ozark Mountains recently, on our way to Hot Springs from Fayetteville. (I was driving our little car, not the big truck and trailer.)

It was a beautiful drive — steep and winding roads, awesome scenery. Suddenly, there’s a big Chevy 1 ton dually (if you know what that is) tight on my rear end. I picked up my speed a bit so I was driving the speed limit (even my 100-year-old mother accuses me of being a pokey driver) but he kept close on my tail. I studiously ignored him for as long as I could, then I got really irritated. “You f*#%r, back the f#%* off!” Of course, he couldn’t hear me. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying a spate of creative cussing.

Then I thought, “This is a perfect opportunity to radiate love!” In fact, I suspected that if I radiated love, the SOB behind me would back off. Wouldn’t that be something to write about in Tenacity Notes!

So I decided to radiate love. I tried. I really, really tried. But all I could manage to radiate was irritation! Which I actually found pretty funny. I had quite a hearty laugh at myself. By the time I was done laughing, we were at the road to the state park, and we turned away from the tailgating dually.

And that is the reason we practice — so that when we want to radiate love, we can.

#214 Why Bother?

Why bother?

It’s been a while, I know, since I sent out a Tenacity Notes. An old and dear friend of mine died totally unexpectedly, and ever since I have felt completely bewildered.

But now, as I rise out of my bewilderment, I find myself thinking, Why bother? When any day could be anyone’s last day, why bother with being crabby? Why spend any time feeling put upon? Why would I want to give any speck of my energy to being judgmental, or anxious, or fearful? Why use up even one iota of energy defending myself? Why choose to focus on worst case scenarios? Why flirt with hopelessness? Why believe that my happiness is dependent on another, or on circumstances? Why bother with any of that stuff? Why waste my time on it? Why choose to live even one moment of my life in that way?

And so I return, again and again, to the one thing I feel certain is what I do want to do with my time and energy — radiating love. I want to surrender to the practice, and see where it takes me.

#213 I’m Using My Wedding Ring

I couldn’t find any string, so I’m using my wedding ring. In an effort to remind myself to consciously radiate love, I put my wedding ring on my other hand. It’s not as effective as tying a string around my finger, but it helps. I am certain that radiating love is an intriguing path for me to follow. If only I could remember to do it!

Practice, practice, practice.

#211 You Can’t Force It

I’ve been having some interesting email conversations with people who really want to radiate love to someone or something. Or who really want to know that their radiating love is having an impact on someone or something.

But that’s just it — you can’t. The instant you go there, you’re doing something other than radiating. You’re doing forced air!

Radiating love has no goal other than to radiate love. Radiating love has no other focus and no other intent. Except perhaps the intent to know the delicious experience of radiating love. In that experience is the joy of letting go. In that experience is the exquisite curiosity about where this path is leading you. In that experience is the thrill of not knowing.

Radiating love is full of letting go. Letting go of control. Letting go of the need to know. Letting go of fear. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of having to prove anything to anyone.

Radiating love creates the path. Radiating love is the path. Radiating love is the light on the path. That is all we can know. That is all we need to know. All the rest is just details.

 

#209 Radiators vs. Forced Air

I’ve heard from several readers that they are “sending love” to this or that person or situation or animal. As always, I’m grateful to hear what you’re up to.

Those of you who live in the frigid northland know the difference between a forced air furnace and radiators. In a forced air furnace, air is heated, and fans blow it through ductwork and into the room. Radiators, on the other hand, are large cast iron tubes that fill with hot water and do nothing. No blowing, no sending. They get hot, and the heat has it’s own movement. The heat moves into the room through it’s own volition.

When I talk about the practice of radiating love, I am not suggesting that you become forced air furnaces. I am suggesting that you become radiators. Love, like heat, has it’s own movement. It needn’t be sent — it will spread out into the world through it’s own volition.

I find that I want to take this furnace metaphor and run with it! But let’s leave it here for now. Sending love and radiating love are different practices and have different results, and I’ll be reporting on some of the results you tell me about.

If you’ve been sending love, no need to quit. But do add the practice of radiating love. And let me know.

#208 What If You Are Perfect?

What if who you are now is who you came here to be? What if you are perfect?

“Find your own stress level — the speed at which you can run toward your own goal. Make sure that both the stress level and the goal are really your own, and not imposed upon you by society, for only you yourself can know what you want and how fast you can accomplish it. There is no point in forcing a turtle to run like a racehorse or in preventing a recehorse from running faster than a turtle because of some ‘moral obligation.’ The same is true of people.”

~Hans Selye

#207 Love and Gagging

Remember me talking about getting my teeth extracted, and radiating love in order to relax? (Issue #205) Well, here’s what one reader had to say about that:

 “Ever since I had chemotherapy two years ago, I have had a terrible gag reflex when in a dentist chair.  Yesterday, I tried your suggestion of radiating love while in for a cleaning and it worked beautifully. It was the first time I’ve had my teeth cleaned without gagging in over two years. I can’t thank you enough for helping me learn a new process to make an uncomfortable event into a manageable one.  I truly value your wisdom, your knowledge, and your willingness to share.”

This practice of radiating love has its challenges (mostly I am challenged to remember to do it!) but I’m really blown away (and you may know that I love being blown away) by the beauty and power of it.

If you’re not practicing radiating love, I encourage you to give it a good try.

Let me know!

I like hearing that people value and enjoy Tenacity Notes. Really, it’s your comments that keep me writing.

#206 A Falling Asleep Mantra

Open to your own true awesomeness. Accept it, allow it, let it glow.

I have used this as my falling asleep mantra, and I’ve had some lovely and thrilling dreams! “I open to my own true awesomeness. I accept it, I allow it, and I let it glow.”

What is a falling asleep mantra? It’s something I repeat over and over, as I fall asleep. I particularly like this one.

By the way, sorry for the long time between issues. I was sick in bed with the flu, and in the midst of that I had two teeth extracted. I’m still recovering!

#205 Love At The Dentist’s

I had two teeth extracted yesterday. As I reclined in the dentist chair, I wondered how I could relax. I wasn’t nervous exactly, but I wasn’t exactly at ease, either. So I decided that the best thing I could do was radiate love. Which I did. And I realized that I could radiate love simultaneous with talking to the dentist and her assistant; it wasn’t something that I needed quiet time for. I just did it, and it took, and it lasted.

Practice, practice, practice.

Have a happy and radiant 2014!

#204 It’s Not That Easy

Someone wrote: “You can’t shift from feeling betrayed to radiating love just like that. It’s not that easy.”

I know. I get it. That’s why we practice! The more you practice radiating love when it’s easy, the easier it’ll be to radiate love when it’s hard.

Practice, practice, practice.

By the way, if you want to give someone the gift of a reading from me, it is easily done. Get in touch with me via my web site to set it up.

#203 Do You Like Feeling Betrayed?

Someone asked me, how do you radiate love when you’re feeling that you’ve been betrayed?

When you radiate love, that is what you radiate. You cannot radiate love and the feeling of being put upon or betrayed. You cannot radiate love and shame, or love and any other negative point of view. Radiating love changes your point of view.

Do you like feeling betrayed? I thought not. Then just radiate love. Try it. Take a big risk and give it a chance. It’s bound to be better than feeling betrayed! Give it a week, a month, a lifetime. Trust it, trust yourself. Let disharmony go. Just radiate love. Period. All else will follow.

What do you think?

#201 From a Reader:

I’ve been practicing your idea of radiating love, and I want to tell you some things that I have noticed.

The first thing I want to tell you is how good it feels! I practiced it like you said, all the time. All the practice must have paid off, because now I find that I’m not practicing it any more, but I’m just doing it. And I am awed by how wonderful it feels. It’s like I walk in a circle of sparkling energy. I automatically feel great appreciation for how I feel.

But it’s more than feeling good. All of a sudden I realize that I’m not as envious of other people as I have always been. It’s like I’m forgetting to be dissatisfied. Also, I’m not as bothered by things as usual. Not even as bothered by politics. It’s not like I don’t care, I’m not saying that. But I’m not all anxious and afraid.

I don’t know how I seem to others. No one has told me anything like I look beautiful, or I’m so calm. But beautiful and calm is exactly how I feel. Thank you for all your teachings.

#200 I’ve Got A String

I’ve got a string tied around my finger.

We’ve been on our fall migration south, and in all the activity and stress of moving, I misplaced my intention to radiate love and practice receptivity. It’s relatively easy to maintain my practice when my days are more or less regular. But sometimes I need a reminder, and tying a string around my finger does the trick. Plus, it’s kind of fun.

Love and receptivity. One string will do for both.

Did you notice that this is the 200th Tenacity Notes?

#199 Terrifying!

#199

When I practice receptivity, I can feel all my defenses and protections fall away. It is exhilarating!

It is also terrifying.

Then I realize that the terrifying part has to do with having stepped into the future. Or more accurately, attempting to step into the future. It’s anxiety about what it might mean to be so free of defenses. When I stay in the present, in the experience of the fall away, there is only exhilaration and wonder.

Maybe there’s a lesson here about stepping out of present time. Why do it?

How much of our fear, anxiety, depression, apprehension, disappointment, etc. is the result of stepping out of present time?

 

#198

I’m trying to reconcile two images:
1. Arms thrown wide open, saying Yes! to life.
2. Radiating love.

There is a powerful vulnerability in arms thrown wide open, a vulnerability that I don’t sense in radiating love. So I wonder, with radiating love am I creating a safe place from which to live my life? A place to hide in? How do I reconcile the vulnerability of arms thrown wide open with the contentment of radiating love?

If I add the energy of receptivity to radiating love, I accomplish the reconciliation. Receptivity fosters vulnerability. And the other thing it does is it prevents my radiating love from becoming some form of giving. It’s too easy for me to involve my ego and feel groovy that I’m radiating love to all and sundry — and then it isn’t actually love that I’m radiating. Including the energy of receptivity brings a vulnerability that my ego can’t tolerate. And without the involvement of ego, I can radiate a truer, purer love.

So this week, it’s all about love and receptivity. Also this week, and next week and the week after, it’s our autumnal Snowbird migration. We’re on the way to our winter home in Blanco State Park in Blanco, Texas. Yee-haw!

#197

The more I practice radiating love, the more aware I am of when, and how often, I’m not radiating love.

At first, I practiced simply shifting from not radiating love to radiating love. It is a lovely practice, and I appreciate it. Truly, I cannot radiate love and at the same time be fearful or judgmental.

But now I’ve begun to ask myself, and often this is after the fact, if I’m not radiating love, what am I radiating? And why? And then I ask, why not radiate love in this situation? What is so scary about surrendering to love right here and now?

#196

I have come to recognize that there are forces in the universes that are more proficient at managing details than I am. When I focus on the details, all I really do is limit possibility.

When I concern myself with what the effect of my radiating love should be, I am focusing on details and putting limitations on the effect of my radiating.

If however, I just radiate love, and let the details sort themselves out, or be sorted out by those forces in the universes more proficient than I, then what will be the effect of my radiating? Who knows? And who am I to limit it?

So I just radiate love. That is sufficient. That is the very best I can do.

#195

Sometimes I catch myself imagining the energy of love traveling out from me and touching others. Even more, I imagine those shorts bursts of energy influencing the others.

But that’s not radiating, that’s directing. Pointing. Attempting to control. Judging the others as needing that energy. And that’s not love. And so I return to radiating. Just that. No other intent.

#193

I’m radiating love! Here’s how I do it.

I imagine that the energy of love appears as short bursts of sparkling energy. Rather like these dashes – - but bright.

Radiating love is simply this: imagining those short bursts of bright energy radiating out from me. That’s it.

I practiced radiating love diligently for a couple of years in the min-1980s. Every moment I could, I imagined short bursts of sparking energy radiating from me — walking down the hallway at work, petting the dog, doing the dishes, driving, grocery shopping, getting my hair cut, gardening, on hold, in line, falling asleep, waking up, cleaning the house, etc. etc. The results in my life were very nice indeed at the time, and they have been ongoing and long-lasting.

That’s all it is. I don’t to try to feel any particular thing, or think any particular thing. I don’t imagine myself as beautiful or bright or righteous or holy. I just imagine that I’m radiating short bursts of sparkling energy, and I know that it’s the energy of love.

It takes awareness. And it takes practice. I invite you to practice it with me all this week. (I think you may notice that it’s impossible to radiate love and at the same time hold onto any gloomy or judgmental or otherwise negative perspective.) But let me know how it is for you.

FYI  I’m putting all the old Breath and Water Club newsletters on a site that has a search function. I don’t have them all on there yet, but you can visit the site at breathandwater.com

#192

Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

I must view this business of radiating love as a daring adventure, or it’ll turn into nothing. What I mean is, it’s not a walk in the park!

There are times when I steadfastly resist the whole idea of radiating love — times when I’d rather be crabby or feel put upon. But when I can remind myself that radiating love is a daring adventure that I’ve set off on, then I can surrender my resistance and just do it — because I want to be on an adventure, and I want to see where the adventure lands me.

I have no doubt that this practice of radiating love is taking me on a path to me to discovering me. And I trust that where it lands me will be somewhere that I’ll recognize as a place where I’ve always wanted to be.

I’m curious about where this practice will take me, and my curiosity drives me on.

#190

Mirror, mirror everywhere.

I am more and more aware of the way other people provide a mirror for me. For example, at the Y the other day, the woman at the desk scolded me soundly because I had my cell phone in my hand as I checked out. I wasn’t talking on it, and I’d put it in my hand to remind myself to go to Natural Harvest Co-op after I left the Y, but she didn’t know that.

Going to my car I said aloud to myself, “Jeez, bossy!” Then I had to laugh, because the thing is — I have been every bit as bossy and unpleasant as she, and not just once either.

Every time I am inclined to be even the least bit judgmental of someone, I look around in my life and discover that I have been the same at some point, perhaps yesterday, perhaps 40 years ago. Really, every time!

This realization helps me to be compassionate towards others, and compassionate towards myself. It’s a practice in humility, and it’s rather fun — I get to laugh at my own foibles, and I get to appreciate the ways I’ve changed.

This week, pay attention to the mirrors in your life.

#189

(Warning: disgusting image ahead)

When I find myself indulging in old, not-helpful, habitual patterns of thought or feeling, I suggest to myself that I am “stewing in my own shit.” That image is so thoroughly disgusting that all I can do is roll my eyes at myself, and switch. I take a breath, chuckle at myself with fondness and a touch of chagrin, and switch to a thought or feeling that lifts me out of that noisome stew. No matter how stubbornly I want to stay put in the old way, after I bring that image up there is no way I can stay. I mean, yuk. Try it, you’ll see.

Once I get out, and shake myself off, as it were, I can look at the situation and see how I managed to end up in the old pattern. Then I can re-live the situation in my imagination, and choose a different path to a different and sweeter outcome.

Maybe my image is just too disgusting for you. I can understand that. For me, it’s so outrageous that it pulls me right back to present time, back to the me that knows a thing or two, and can make different choices. For that reason, I like it. Go ahead and pick a different image to try if you want, you don’t have to use mine. But pick one that will get your attention. And pick one that makes it clear that it is your response to a situation that causes the stink, not the situation itself. It’s my shit, and therefore I can do something about it. If I’m convinced that it’s somebody else’s shit, I’m powerless. In fact, if I’m convinced it’s somebody else’s shit, I’m the victim, which is an old, habitual, and definitely not-helpful pattern of mine!

Let me know.

#188

I’d been thinking about structure and the freedom that can be found within it, and about the value of practice, when someone sent me a link to this Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-day on-line guided meditation thing. Hmmm, I thought, synchronistic timing. Structure and practice.

It can be easier to build your structure on an already existing one, rather than trying to do it all alone. And the support of a group can be very helpful. Think AA. Think the Breath and Water Club. Think Tenacity Notes!

So I checked it out, and here’s my report. Today is day 1, although day 1 stays current on the web site for a few days, so it’s ok to start late. The guided meditation is not long, nor, if today is any guide, is it directive. There is also an online journal, with a few questions to ponder and write about. And a thought for the day. It’s free. Maybe you’ll want to check it out, and hitch up with this already existing structure and practice.

https://chopracentermeditation.com/home/?acode=oprah   (It was a bit of a puzzle to get signed up, but maybe that’s just me.)

Let me know.

#187

Readers sent these questions about Everyone Is Doing The Best They Can: You say everyone is doing the best they can, but wait — what if someone is being mean to me, is treating me disrespectfully? What if my son-in-law is cheating on my daughter? What if my brother is mean to his dog? What if other people’s best is just not good enough?

What, you asked me, do I say to that?

Well, there’s way more to say to that than I can fit into this newsletter. Disturbing people bring great gifts. You’ll have to read my book! By the way, before I go further on the path to publication, I could use a few readers to read the manuscript and tell me what you think. Let me know if you’re interested.

But one thing I can say for sure: do the best you can. Live your life to the best of your ability. Don’t do to anyone else what you wouldn’t want done to you. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Have faith — faith in yourself, in your ability to live your life to the best of your ability. Have confidence in yourself and have curiosity about life. Practice appreciation.

Let that be the context within which you interact with those others.

And let me know.

#186

I’m on a vacation of sorts for the next couple of weeks — grandchildren are visiting. But that doesn’t mean that I am unavailable. Please call me and write to me as you wish. They may be young and energetic, but they do go to bed!

In the meantime, please don’t forget about generosity. Increase it. Enhance it. Dwell in it. Become it. Surrender to it. Allow it. Love it. Just do it!

Again this week, throw your arms wide open and say “YES!” to life as you find it.

Please let me know.

P.S. I added a page to my Web site, on the Where Is Jett? page http://www.savvypsychic.com/whereisjett.html. If you go to that page, and then click on See where I am now, you’ll see where I was last summer, which is also where I am this summer. I’m sorry I didn’t post last summer’s page sooner. I thought I had, but when I recently went looking for it, it wasn’t there. I finally found it, and posted it. I hope you enjoy the photos.

#185

Living as though everyone is doing the best they can is an act of generosity.

Are there other ways you can be more generous? Ways you can take your generosity to the next level?

Think about any way you might be a bit stingy in your life, and turn it around. Are you stingy with your affection? With your approval? With your stuff? With your money? With your time? Do you tend to expect the worst from life? Are you stingy with self love?

This week, catch yourself being less than generous. Turn it around.

This week, throw your arms wide open and say “YES!” to life.

Let me know.

 

#184

This week, live as though everyone is doing the best they can.

I may think that this one or that one should do better, but then thinking that wouldn’t be me doing my best, and I know it. Let me just assume, for just this week at least, that everyone is doing their best. Where will that take me? In what way will my life be different?

This week, have tremendous compassion. Everyone is doing the best they can. As Pat Humphries sings, “We’re all swimming to the other side.”

Try it. Where does it take you? How is your day-to-day life different?

Let me know.

#183
Take it to the next level.

Do you practice conscious breathing every morning? Add a few minutes. Do you run a mile every day? Run a little bit more. Do you write 500 words a day? Write 550. Or maybe it’s something you’re not doing. Are you trying to smoke less? This week, smoke even fewer cigarettes. Are you trying to complain less? This week, make appreciation your main perspective.

This week pick one thing in your life and take it to the next level. Take the next step. And let me know how it goes.

#182

I’ve quoted from Nygaard Notes before. I’m doing it again. I consider Nygaard to be a clear thinker and a clear communicator, and his idea of “anchors” is useful. I suggest you read the entire issue, #532. http://www.nygaardnotes.org/  Here are parts from that issue. Read to the end and see my comments.

Question: What kind of fish performs brain operations?
Answer: A neurosturgeon!

You may or may not think this is funny (I think it’s funny), but the point here is that one cannot “get” this joke—or any joke—without connecting it to some things that one already knows.  You’d have to know that a sturgeon is a kind of fish, for instance.  And you’d have to know the name for a person who does brain operations.  And you’d have to know that fish don’t generally perform surgery (as far as we know).  The point here is that every joke relies on the listener having some previous knowledge, and this odd little answer to this odd little question becomes funny ONLY when connected to that previous knowledge.

Here’s the thing: This doesn’t apply only to jokes.  Actually, no fact or bit of information that we come across has any meaning unless and until it is connected—in our brains—to something that’s already there. …So, we should all be very interested in what is “already there” in our brains, since it gives meaning to your world and mine.  And, when enough people share the same existing base of ideas, then the meaning shifts, in practical terms, from being your world or my world to being the world.
 
…In previous issues of Nygaard Notes I have referred to this pre-existing knowledge of the world as our ABCs: Our Attitudes, Beliefs, and Conceptions about how the world works. …Since incoming information needs to attach to something in order to stick in our brains and mean something, the things to which they stick can be thought of as “anchors.”  Sometimes these anchors can be trivial, such as knowing that fish don’t do surgery. But sometimes they can be quite important, shaping our understanding of the world in critical ways. An example from the personal level will illustrate.

One important idea that is believed by many people is the idea that “I am a bad person.”  This is the basis of the “shame dynamic” that I discussed back in the year 2000 in Nygaard Notes #100 (“The Psychology of White Racism, Part 2”).

When a person with this belief is told, for example, that he or she has a book overdue at the library, the meaning of that fact will be something like, “Here’s more evidence of what an idiot I am!”  The anchor here is my nature as a person who is stupid, incompetent, unorganized, or otherwise “bad” (as I define it), which the fact of the overdue book serves to reinforce.  Such little things can be sufficiently embarrassing for a shame-based person that they may put off even longer the returning of the book.  If, on the other hand, my anchor, or underlying belief, is that “I am a good person,” then the same overdue notice will likely produce a feeling of gratitude, or relief, for having been given the information needed to do the right thing, which is after all the primary concern of a “good person.”  This is an example of how one piece of information can have different meanings, depending on the “anchor” that exists in the mind of the listener before the information ever comes in.  Any incoming fact (like an overdue book) gets attached to that anchor and takes on its meaning only when it is so attached.  And, as we see in this example, the same bit of information can be immobilizing or paralyzing for the person who anchors all incoming messages to their feelings of shame, or activating or motivating for the person whose anchor is high self-esteem.  The facts don’t change, but meaning changes, and thus behavior changes, depending on the nature of the anchor to which the facts attach.

I have said before: I stalk my beliefs. This is why. I want to be able to name my anchors, my ABCs — my Attitudes, Beliefs, and Conceptions. Our ABCs determine our perspective and inform our expectations. What are your ABCs — about yourself, about the world, about what should be, about everything?

Let me know. Thanks.

By the way, I was wrong about no more frost before Labor Day. Scattered frost all around up here this morning! Had to cover the tomatoes!

#181

I want to revisit appreciation.

Do you ever wreck your present time experience by worrying about what might or could or should happen in the future? Or by thinking about something that happened or didn’t happen in the past?

Try appreciating your present experience instead. Let go of all the what ifs, should haves, could haves, and mights. Be in your present time moment with as much appreciation as you can muster. And let me know how it goes.

In case you’re wondering, I’m living in Iron (also known as Iron Junction) Minnesota for the summer. The North Country. It’s beautiful up here. We had a hard frost last week, but now people are planting their tomatoes, so hopefully there’ll be no more frosts before Labor Day!

#180

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

#179

I’ve been thinking about demons, and about being possessed by them, and about what a commonplace experience that is.

If a demon is something outside of you that can posses you and take you over, then your beliefs, your expectations, even your values and goals can be demons. A demon is anything that is not of your own essence and that can control you.

What are your beliefs? What are your expectations? Your values? Your goals? Are they truly yours? Or are they demons that stalk you, that perhaps have been stalking you for most of your life?

Do you doubt your own beauty? Consider that doubt a demon. Banish it! Do you believe that life is meant to be hard? Another demon! Perhaps you have a goal to achieve this or that. Is it truly your own goal, or was it imposed upon you by your family, your culture, your religion? If so, consider it a demon. Banish it!

I know “demon” is an odd word for me to use, a religious word. But it is a good and useful concept. Because, really, who would want to consort with demons? Name your constricting beliefs demons and you may find it easier to stop hanging around with them. Get thee behind me, demon!

What demons stalk you?

#178

While navigating a difficult situation with a commitment to make the best of it, I found that the situation did not have the power to confound me. Challenge me, yes. But not cause me distress. And as it went along, I kept finding silver linings. If I hadn’t been making the best of it, if I had been grumbling, feeling like a victim, being judgmental — any of the ways I have of being defended — I wouldn’t have noticed the silver linings. Making the best of it revealed silver linings that I would otherwise have sworn could not be there.

Notice: My internet provider has informed me that my email address must change. (Another opportunity to make the best of it!) My new address is jett@mnmicro.net. My old address, jett@mm.com, will work for a while yet, but please change my address in your address book now, since I’ll begin using the new address soon. That way, you’ll avoid having Tenacity Notes end up in your junk mail.  Thanks.

If you’re curious, we’re staying in a campground in Apple Valley, a southern suburb of Minneapolis, and we’ll stay here for 2 weeks. It’s very nice to be back in the Twin Cities for awhile.

#177

I’m having plenty of practice in making the best of it. I find that at my best I am open-hearted and undefended. I also find that I am at my best in fits and starts. I trust that I’ll get better with practice!

We’re in the midst of the spring snowbird migration, and grounded in Osceola, Iowa for awhile. Another week and we should be in the Twin Cities, where we plan to stay for a week or two. Then up to northern Minnesota for the summer. At least that’s the plan as it stands now.

#176

A reader writes: “I have a lot of distress in my life, and your idea that it is self-inflicted was insulting. At first. But since the idea came from you, I gave it my consideration. Grudgingly, I admit that you’re probably right. So I’ve made a list of all the things that cause me distress, and one at a time I’m trying to figure out how not to be distressed by them. This is a big deal for me, and it is not easily done. But I’ve told myself that I’ll try it religiously for two months, without judging the process as I go, then I’ll evaluate. I’m keeping a daily journal about it. Since you instigated this, I may be calling on you for your wise counsel. (That last sentence is meant fondly. Picture it with one of those smiley faces.)”

I like this reader’s organized approach. I’m eager to hear how it goes, and what her final evaluation is. And yes, she can call my any time. As can any of you.

#175

I was sick in bed for awhile with pneumonia. Thus no Tenacity Notes last week. I’m pretty much better now. Having pneumonia put me in mind of death, and I’ve been thinking about a couple of people I know who’ve died. One of them thought a lot about how people — her children, her landlord, etc. — were messing with her. It distressed her greatly. The other spent a lot of time fussing about the people in her life, wanting them to live their lives differently. It distressed her greatly. And now they’re dead. I wonder: “Why? Why didn’t you focus on fulfillment? Why did you shroud yourself in defenses? Why didn’t you step free of them?”

Of course it’s not for me to analyze them. I don’t know their paths or purposes. I don’t know what they were learning here. (Unless of course they were clients, but that’s a whole different story)

But thinking about them has caused me to think about myself, and to wonder about the ways I inflict distress on myself. And so I ask of myself what I’d asked of them. These can be useful questions for all of us. What patterns of thought or behavior, what beliefs, what expectations do you have that hinder your happiness, that cause you distress, that move you away from fulfillment? Name them, recognize them when they show up, and then find a different way to think or act. Which is often easier said than done. Sometimes it will seem that you’re stubbornly committed to distressing yourself! But give your attention to it, and you’ll soon find that you’re not distressing yourself quite so much as you used to.

What do you think about this: most, if not all distress you experience is self-inflicted.

Let me know how it goes.