Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mãe-Avó , Mom-Grandma

O melhor filme que vi este ano... Quase tudo que sou numa avó... Para os meus filhos e netos, ainda que eu nunca os tenha...
Com Amor,
Da vovó Djanine

The best movie I've seen this year... Almost everything I am in a grandma... To my children and grandchildren, even if I never have them...
With all my love,
Grandma Djanine

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Graceful Answer - Uma Resposta Cheia The Graça

I remember you said once that neutrality is next to godliness. What daily practices can you recommend from your own experience to bring this to life? Asked on 07/16/14 by Filip Galetic

Answer From Alanis
Thanks for your question.
I have a couple of rituals that bring me to this neutrality….
1–If i have a heavy feeling in me….a healthy vent-sesh with a friend helps..just to get that current of energy (anger, frustration, disappointment, grief…etc) moving in a constructive way. My friends and I offer this to each other..sometimes on a bicycle…sometimes in a sauna…sometimes after dinner (i don’t recommend doing it while you eat!)…..whenever the person listening (their blessed souls!) is ready for it….and up for it. And this offer always goes both ways. Alison Armstrong calls this generous listening “holding the bucket” for someone. It is a deeply generous act…one that helps the sharer stay physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy–and clear.
2–I journal my face off and I don’t mince words (cut to me, as a kid, throwing my journals in the fireplace after my mom found one once…these days, they are hidden away :). i just go for it. This moves the energy. and clarifies.
3—Deep breathing helps. but NOT if it is a way to shove something under the rug. Only as a way to send the message to these feelings that i am here, in my body, and ready to listen.
4–Talking to “parts of myself.” Carl Jung, and in a more modern way, Debbie Ford, among others, have heralded the virtues of speaking with various aspects of ourselves to find the answers we seek…and the visions that will guide us (including the wish for neutrality and…ultimately..what neutrality provides us…which is a sense of peace.).
it looks something like this, for me:
I ask the part of me that clearly needs attention (maybe it will be “the part of me that is enraged”, or “the part of me that knows the answer to this 5 years from now” or “the part of me that is deeply wise” or “the part of me that is heartbroken” etc.)
i visualize this part of me sitting across from me, and i ask “them” these questions (i then get pin-drop silent and listen to the answers they give me, sometimes in the form of words, or feelings in my body…or a symbol or picture):
1–what wisdom or insight do you have for me
2–what do you need from me
3–what action can i take to give you what you need
4–is there anything else you need me to know
i do the above ritual so often i can do it in 20 seconds now, in my car, in the shower, a bathroom stall…wherever, whenever i need some clarity about something i am stuck around. I make sure that i include “the opposite part” of the first part i “speak with”. So…as an example: if i speak with the part of me that is scared. I make sure when i am done i speak to the part of me that is deeply courageous as well. there often is a whole other set of answers that emerge when we engage with the opposite part of the challenge that is very helpful.
5—sometimes, (and only sometimes, it would be up to you to gauge whether the following is a way to disassociate or a way to help) i find “taking a break” from the intensity helps…i go pet my three puppies…i sit in the sun….i take a shower (water helps me)….i watch an episode of something that cracks me up. the shift in perspective and “getting outside myself” can help me see things differently when i return to them. this especially helps when i have been overthinking something.
6–sometimes the best thing to do is to reach out to someone who loves you well. and is wise. and empathic. and wants for you what you want for you. sometimes the best thing to do is to ask someone for help. we need each other as human beings. our hearts, bodies, brains, and souls benefit from this sacred interdependence. we can avail ourselves of the friends and mentors we have all around us in our times of need. and of course we would offer the same right back when appropriate. xo
there are many more, but these are the top ones off the top of my head. big hug! xo

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Graceful Answer - Uma Resposta Cheia The Graça


  What do you think we can do to address gender-based violence in our culture? How do we get to the root of healing this violence in our society? Asked on 07/16/14 by Carrie Parsons

Answer From Alanis
I love your question. I believe that violence, toward both genders, is something that lies at the heart of all things that break our hearts as a nation and as a world. This violence is NOT just what we see on television, in movies, in dramatic plays etc. This is a violence of ALL forms. and it starts with how we view our very selves. How we treat ourselves. This violence we “see” in the world is an extension of the violence we feel toward our own selves. I see two forms of actings-out in the world: the one born from the acting-out of our own self-hatred on Others; and the other the acting-out of sublimated rage (whether it be because we have collapsed and want to “rise up”, feel an empowerment, albeit a short-lived one that often comes with great destruction and consequence when it is a violent acting out). The latter is when someone “snaps” for having tolerated too much incoming violence. We are subject, at any given time to any of these, with how human we are. when this violence (or, as i call it, this “current of intense energy”) is acted out in “healthy” environments (therapy, art, with safe and non-judgmental others)…the current can move in a way that it needs to, and it can soften our hearts from this healthy expression. When it is acted out in chaotic and violent ways that are destructive, so much War begins. and the fall-out of that war, that power struggle.
So if there are ways we can invite each other to be responsible with our anger, I would encourage that. if we can see how stunning and powerful and important anger is….and how HUMAN it is, perhaps we can come up with ways to move it that won’t harm others, or ourselves. When we resist this stunning force of anger…it shows up in our reactivity, our acting out of revenge, our physical health declining, and our emotional health being compromised. All of these disconnections from god, others and ourselves leaves us feeling lonelier, angrier, more helpless and more disempowered. it simply doesn’t work. and often starts the irreparable war that we can loop through for years, at our own peril.
Often people feel as though they are “innately BAD” if they express or feel anger. This often came from us being taught that we WERE our behavior. We coupled those two together: if we did a behavior that was deemed “bad” then somehow WE were “bad”. as opposed to being innately good (i think our innate goodness is the ONE thing not subject to duality in this world, in that this does not mean that “if we are good, then therefore we must embrace its opposite and claim our “badness”…) and the behavior not working in any given context (example: hurling paint at someone at a paintball place is hilarious, hurling paint at a passerby in new york while you are painting a building is, well, not a cool behavior.—so if context is everything…then it would be safe to say that any given behavior in and of itself is SUBJECT to that context….and can’t inherently be good or bad. but rather a behavior that WORKS (given the context) or DOESN’T work. We can un-couple behavior from the person’s beingness.
–How this relates to anger is that anger is a feeling, a current of energy….it is wanting our attention…for us to see what need has not been met, what value system is being questioned or lived outside of, where have we repressed our view of how life is best lived….anger is attempting to get our attention. so to sublimate it is dangerous. T think a lot of people sublimate anger because of how we have seen it ACT OUT destructively. not because of the feeling itself.
A few ways to have anger be our friend:
1) find out what it is asking of you….
2) what way can i “move” this energy that won’t hurt others or myself?
3) what have i been sublimating or ignoring or resisting…the realization of which could liberate me toward making more empowered choices for myself and my loved ones, in areas i can control.
4) sometimes anger is also an invitation into seeing where we have control or where we don’t. which can beg for us to embrace our powerlessness and helplessness (tough ones!) in any given situation outside of our control. interestingly, surrendering often ushers us to a new perspective of what we CAN proactively do…what we can address that IS within our control. this rat in a cage feeling of rage born from helplessness is something we are often taught early in our lives. some people’s survival strategy is to barrel through and attempt to control the uncontrollable. others of us have the survival strategy that has us buckle and collapse at the first sign of challenge… BOTH of these strategies set us up for a lifetime of perpetual anger…
All this to say, that this violence we’re looking at is how we deal with this current of anger in our lives. and reactions to fear (whether appropriately interpreted or not).
If we can be responsible for these feelings (anger…and frankly ALL feelings…disappointment, terror etc) then we are in a better position to come up with how to channel them. Move them. So we can come out on the other side more awake, more loving, more conscious….more allowing of our precious human-ness.  This is what I think when I hear the word “responsible”. to me, it’s the capacity and willingness and ability I have to feel all my feelings all the way through…so that they don’t take control of me and my life, but rather, that i am their sponsor….their director….their guider. What a world we would live in if we all took how we were feeling, felt it…and came out on the other side with a mission or an action to take that was merciful and empowered and clear…rather than destructive, combative and separatist (which is truly the nightmare we all say we don’t want.)