My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting to know you...(Me)

I hope anyone has had time to look over and consider the practices for familiarizing ourselves with our emotions. It's not something that can be done in a finite amount of time, and I don't know if we ever reach the "finish line'. Rather it's an ongoing process, just like developing any other relationship. I believe it is well worth the effort, essential really, if we are to truly become the best and brightest we can be. In this process, we become an inspiration, source of support and a good friend to others. It's amazing how once we stop trying to live up to the standards of others and refuse to allow them to dictate how we should feel, think and act, we begin to attract people into our lives who respect and love us for who we are. After all if we don't know ourselves, if we become social chameleons, how can we expect anyone to get close? It's ironic that we wear these masks; we take on these roles that don't fit all because we want other people to like us. Somehow we got the idea, the fear, that if people knew who we really are, they would run screaming in the other direction. And why do we have this idea? Because we are not so sure WE like ourselves, therefore why would anyone else?
After becoming more familiar and hopefully comfortable with our feelings, we can start to take stock of what things elicit certain feelings. Part of that is looking at what makes us happy. It may be the simplest thing, like seeing a snowflake up close, tending to a garden. It may be that we have favorite books, movies or music that speaks to something deep inside in a way no one else can. Sometimes it helps to remember your childhood dreams, fantasies and favorite activities. By rediscovering the things that capture our interest and that bring us joy, we begin to remember who we are.
Anyone who has been through a controlling relationship, drug/alcohol abuse or has endured deep depression knows the loneliness and grief at losing one’s self. It's like having had a friend once and now she's gone. 
The good news is, a true friendship always holds a spark that with proper tending can be rekindled to a flame that will guide us out of the darkness.
Rekindle that flame. Indulge yourself in something that brings you joy. You may be surprised at what a good friend you make.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Self by Definition


noun, plural selves, adjective, pronoun, plural selves, verb
1.a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one's own self.
2.a person's nature, character, etc.: his better self.
3.personal interest.
4.Philosophy .
a .the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
b. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.

In recent days I've been making a solid effort to keep myself moving in a positive direction. I had a bad couple of days last weekend and found myself slipping into old attitudes and thought patterns that are no longer comfortable. Like a pair of damn stilettos, sharp, spiky and binding. I needed to put those shoes on, just for a bit, and to be angry, just for a bit. There were valid reasons for my anger, and many of them beyond my direct control.
Anger gets a bad rap in our society. Just as money itself is not the root of all evil, but greed for money that causes all the problems; anger is not a "bad" emotion. It's what we choose to do with anger that becomes a problem. It's the belief that we attach to the feeling that gets us all wound up. The biggest troublemaker is the belief that anger is "bad"..."don't be angry" "stop pouting", "Be Nice". The vast majority of us have had those words tossed at us, sometimes gently sometimes harshly, since we first learned to crawl around and assert our will. Is it any wonder that we will do just about anything to avoid it. We will drink ourselves into a stupor, stuff our faces with food, ingest drugs and chemicals and don't forget sex and rock and roll and compulsive shopping and get on that hamster wheel and keep running. Keep running and it won't catch you.
But it does. Our emotions always win in the end. They are not going to let us off the hook, no matter how hard we may try. So why does our culture tell us not to feel?
I guess if I knew the answer to that I'd be writing a Doctoral Thesis. I do know a few things about feelings, a few insights I've picked up along the way in my endless observations and analysis of Human Behaviour.
First off, we are lazy. We like things to be easy. We like simple answers, solid evidence based solutions, and we want them to work quickly. Personally, I see this as kind of cheating in the game of life. Sitting on the sidelines pretending to have your period. Fact is, feelings are messy and complicated and they get in the way and mess up and complicate our "self directed" lives. And God forbid, sorting out feelings takes TIME!
Another thing it takes is Honesty, and we aren't so good at that either. Especially not with ourselves. We lie to ourselves more than we lie to anyone else, we're so good at it most of the time we don't even know we're lying! We are amazing creatures!
One last thing we need to do in order to know our emotions is feel Pain. ouch! You don't have to watch more than an hour of television to know how much we hate pain. The alleviation of pain and worry is a multi-billion dollar industry that sells us happiness in a pill.
But wait, didn't we learn in school that drugs are BAD? Hmmm this leaves us in quite a conundrum. Apparently drugs are only bad if you buy them from someone who is not authorized and licensed to sell them to you. And by all means don't even think about growing your own drugs in that back garden.
So let's summarize...don't be angry, drugs are bad, anger is bad, take some drugs so you don't feel angry. Oh and if you do decide to be some whacked out Hippie nut-job who wants to explore your feelings...don't expect insurance to cover it. It costs far too much money to spend all that time getting messy.
Now I propose that we replace the last set of assumptions with a new one.
Feelings, including anger, are a natural part of being human. They are our bodies way of communicating with us. If we don't listen to the voice of emotions how do we really know what's going on? Especially given that we are so good a deceiving ourselves with our brains.
Once we accept that our feelings, even the "bad" ones are really our friends trying to tell us something, we can stop running away with our hands over our ears screaming..."lalalalaaaaa I can't hear you" when really what were are saying is "Go away! You scare me!"
Once we stop all that nonsense, we can LISTEN without judgement, without defending our Ego, to what those feelings are trying to tell us. Don't be discouraged if it takes a while (remember time is a factor?) Be patient and listen. Do some art work, or write some words, give your feelings a name, a persona a character. Get to know that person and ask her what she needs. Trust me, this CAN be fun, although it probably won't be painless. You will survive the pain, I promise, you have survived the pain of repressing those feeling, of denying your true self (remember, we lie to ourselves). You wouldn't want to lie to someone you love, right? And you certainly wouldn't want someone you love to lie to what are you doing lying to yourself?
Ha, look what's happening, you are beginning to develop a relationship with your Self! Go slow, don't worry if it's awkward at first. Take your time, be honest and get messy!
Next time: Taking your relationship to the next level (no not that, silly!)

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard
Definition of "self" courtesy of

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Justice continued

Since I published my last post only a couple of days ago, I have spent hours reading through various reactions to the event in Arizona and reactions to the reactions to the event. You may be asking yourself "what does this have to do with being a survivor?" These news events, political analyses, contradictory opinions and attempts to assign or deny responsibility, are events that affect us all as citizens. The voices and opinions we hear are those of Politicians, media pundits, political journalists and, occasionally from a survivor or a relative of one of the victims. It is in complex scenarios such as this that the truth and honest assessment gets lost in rhetoric and convenient hackneyed sound bites. And that is why those of us with real life experience, who have experienced losses, who have felt the pain of discrimination deserve to have our say in these very public issues. If we continue to leave the editorializing to the same old sources, we get the same old story, usually very black and white, narrowly focused and worst of all, divisive.
Last week on my website, I posted a bit about social responsibility, as an example of one of the facets of the Whole Person. That post was before the tragedy in Arizona, but I gave an example of a cause that has struck a chord with me recently and while I do not expect for anyone to jump on MY bandwagon, or anyone else’s for that matter, I do think it is important for those of us who have been excluded from the mainstream, who have known the despair of powerlessness and whose opinions and ideas have been dismissed to take an opportunity to reexamine our values. Many of us have been told by others for most of our lives what to believe; or worse we've been sheltered from the news and events of the outside world and denied the opportunity to form our own conclusions. I think that gaining access to information and taking the time to examine our own reactions is an essential part of rediscovering and reconstructing the women we want to be as we create our future. Not everyone will agree in their final conclusions, and that's a good thing. Not everyone will find themselves passionately dedicated to a cause or a social agenda and that's ok too. I am suggesting, however, that we take some time to learn about world events, especially those that may be foreign to us, as one of the many exercises in empowering ourselves and establishing our rightful place in society as Women of Wisdom, Strength and Resiliency.
Knowledge, as they say IS power.
If you haven't visited my future/developing business website have begun a series addressing "the Whole Person" and the importance of recognizing our roles within different areas of our lives, social, spiritual, health and body, family, career and financial and community. It is still a work in progress but I always welcome support and feedback as I construct my dream piece by piece. It's not a one woman job and my ultimate goal is to create a Community of survivors because we all have something that is unique to us that will create our own link the Chain of Wisdom that strengthens the Community.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can we get a little Justice around here?

Remember this? know if a citizen was to post a hit list of politicians and one came up dead or close to, the FBI would be all up in their ass. hmmmm let's all think about that for a moment shall we? as we also consider that Bradley Manning is being held in solitary confinement indefinitely for allegedly revealing a rather similar scenario involving US troops and Iraqi citizens....please I really want people to think about this!!!
I've just about had it with this country, the hypocracy, the hatred, the paranoia the lack of empathy for Human Life.
Maybe we can't stop the fanatics, but lets support those who have made grave sacrifices to reveal the truth out of a sense of duty that goes beyond military orders, beyond false patriotism and rhetoric.
Thank You,
© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

Thanks to my friend and Media Consulting Diva (among other roles) Theresa Reed, I have received another tip on promoting an online presence and getting noticed. I started blogging because I felt it was a way for me to stay active while unemployed and to use my experience to continue to inform and advocate for others in my own way. As my mother has often said "You do like doing things your own way" I'm not selling a product or promoting services at this point, but I am finding blogging, writing and networking has not only fulfilled the role of "keeping me busy", but has allowed me to communicate with and learn from so many others with treasure troves of wisdom to share.
I just recently published a post addressing the value of social networking for survivors and I don't want to be redundant. I do, however, want to re emphasize the my conviction in the potential that is offered by todays media for the disenfranchised, for those who have been robbed of their voices and will no longer be silent to utilize whatever method they are comfortable with to share their message.
For myself, I've spent the past year, learning the ropes the basics of various online resources and opportunities. I've written more than I have in years. I'm discovering I am happy, this is a lifestyle I can hang with, writing and community organizing. So if any others are interested in ways to promote your writing, or to make connections with others who share similar goals and interests, I will be happy to share resources as I become aware of them. Just drop me an email and I will reply as soon as I am able. In the meantime, no more sales pitches (it's good practice for me so thank you for indulging me!) Next post we'll get back to the real nitty gritty!

Theresa can be reached for individual consulting sessions at

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

technical difficulties

Ach, I should leave well enough alone, let sleeping dogs lie and such...but that's never been my style. I was changing the look of my page (again) when i somehow screwed up up creating this wide section in the middle I'll figure out how to fix it. I just needed to throw it out there.  It's like having someone tell you your underwear is showing, you know you have to tell them first so you don't like a fool. (This fashion rule no longer applies in the 21st century!)

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I am Jenny's Liver; my Hep c experience: New Year, No Pressure

Hello All,
I've enclosed a link to my other blog because of the common ground they share in relation to the New Year! Also please note the other links I've included as well :)
Thank You all for your continued support as I navigate my way through the blogging experience!
I am Jenny's Liver; my Hep c experience: New Year, No Pressure © 2010 Jennifer Hazard