Archive for March 27th, 2012

For those of you who follow my blog, you will see that I have a bit of a new look… the photo for the header has changed form the static one that comes with this “look”.

I actually took the original photo two years ago.  It is at the Japanese Garden of a small volunteer-run botanical garden in the town my parents live in.

I spent a lovely fall day taking photos at the park, with my then, new phone with some great camera apps.

After toying with the idea of what to do to change from the photo that came with this web appearance, I decided to go through my own photos to see if there was anything I liked and I came across this one.  I like the photo in general but when it was cropped to fit the header space, I knew I had found the “one”.


Take a look at the photo.

What I was struck with is that you can see both bridges in the Japanese garden from this angle.  Trust me, I’m not excited about my photography capabilities…. I’m excited because that’s what Namaste Consulting is about… finding your way, your path on the journey and honoring it, no matter what it is.

So, you might take the zigzag approach to life and dying and grieving.  Look at the bridge in the forefront.  It is simple and complex at the same time.

It’s level but it has a lot of twists and turns and you can see so many things around you from so many different angles.

There is a myth that we go over zigzag bridges to get rid of or out run evil spirits.. some say it’s an urban legend.. some say it’s real… All I know is that my life has felt like this kind of bridge in the past…

Then there is the bridge in the background.. large, a centerpiece… a dark red bridge that connects to parts of the park together, arching high over the pond.

It is a beauty scene from the bridge as it is a high point and you can see many parts of the park that you cannot see altogether from other areas.  It is regal.

The point…

… they both bring you to the same place. . . the Japanese Garden of tranquility and peace.  It doesn’t matter how you get there… you get to that healing place.

And that is what I believe therapy does.  I believe that’s what the grief journey does.  I believe that mindfulness helps us learn to be present to our thoughts, feelings, and sensations.  It teaches us to be here for the journey and to have compassion for whatever is there for us.

So, they say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one was for me.  I hope that you can appreciate the change and why I love the imagery for this site.

I wish you peace, safety, health, and comfort on whatever journey you are on, no matter what path you choose.

Metta, Jennifer

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Here is a link to a NY Times article about a mother’s grief…  On the one month anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder, a NY Times journalist sat down with Trayvon’s mother and grandmother.

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, stares longingly at his photo on her cell phone.  She’d give anything to see a video of him but she also acknowledges the real pain she perceives in the idea of calling his phone and listening to his message.

How does one ever live life again?  Some would suggest that in a few months, Trayvon’s mom should be getting her life back in order and investing her energy in creating a new life without her son.

Me, I think that’s crazy!  Have the people who suggest these crazy ideas ever loved someone and lost them?

How do you go from being the mom of a teenager who used to babysit his cousins and worked odd jobs around the neighborhood to being a grieving mom?

How can you even know what your name is when you are grappling with things like the fact that her son was killed because he was an African-American boy, out at night, and alone. . . not even here to defend himself against an alleged abuse from the person who shot him. . .

I don’t understand this kind of pain… I probably never will… Trayvon could have easily been one of the boys at school when I was growing up.  He could have easily been one of my friends’ crushes.  He could have been the proud student of many of my teachers. . .

One thing that Trayvon’s death (as with Whitney Houston’s death) is put a distraught family in the limelight at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives.  One month later and his “case” is finally being pleaded to the world.

His mom has had to go through 30 days of pain, of hoping to wake up from a nightmare, of seeing her son’s bedroom empty, of not hearing his music, and not smelling those brownies he loved so much.

You can’t say that the pain is just starting because we all now know about Trayvon’s death.  And you can’t say that it isn’t starting anew.  At a time when most of us would be numb, trying to figure out if nephews could wear his clothes, or crawling into his bed to smell his scent on the blankets, Sybrina is being asked for media interviews.

When a loss is in the public eye, all bets are off for their being “normal” grief, whatever the heck that phrase even implies.

What if the FBI does look into the case?

What if Zimmerman is taken into custody?

What if Trayvon wasn’t innocent?

What if there is a trial?

What happens when reporters want to do an article on the one year anniversary?

I am sure that there are parents in Columbine, CO start to dread this time a year in February or March… that anniversary is April 20.  And that horrible day was in 1999 and I bet people still want to know what’s going on and how they are coping.. you can only hope that they ask out of concern rather than morbid curiosity.

And in a year, people will want to know what’s going on with Whitney’s daughter.  And some people will want to know how Trayvon’s mom is doing…  and the pain resurges.

The pain would most likely come back stronger at this time even if the media wasn’t involved, but it’s kind of like 9/11/2001… remember how often we saw the planes hit the towers?  Over and over and over… and that kind of replaying the horrendously painful events does not make our loss any easier when it’s the media doing the replaying.

And there are other things that will make this loss so tough to live with, the seemingly senselessness of this cowardly act. . . the lack of a troubled history. . . the fact that someone who was supposed to be “protecting” a neighborhood could have actually been the perpetrator of such a crime….

As the bereft community tries to make sense out of all of this, a family continues to lay wounded in such a life changing situation.

How does anyone in this family or community go about mending their lives?

How do learn to live again?

How do they cultivate compassion for themselves as they deal with such sorrow and senselessness?

And what role does the larger community have in helping the healing occur?  I was very proud today when I saw a letter from the group Psychologists for Social Responsibility drafting a letter, asking for this case to be looked at again as it does not feel like any sense of justice has been carried out.

Groups, religious, secular, all over are standing in support and making this tragedy personal.  And that’s what we do… we share in the pain, even though we cannot take it away.  We open our hearts to the pain.  We open our mouths to the inequity.

And even though there is so much social engagement now being stirred, this is still about a mom, a family whose lives will be forever changed.  Their pain and sorrow in the media’s spot light.  Having to relive their worst nightmare every time they turn on the tv.

As we work toward social justice and toward taking a stand, I hope that we, as a society, remember that tender aching hearts are involved here and a young life was ended.

For Trayvon’s family, I wish for healing, safety, peace, compassion, and tenderness as they sort out their world without Trayvon.

In Peace, Jennifer

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