Blog

Welcome to my written blog. I hope you’ll visit often, search categories of special interest, comment and share. Most of all, I hope you’ll find inspiration and support for your journey.

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My Holiday Message for You


   

Christmas 2019

“No-one ever sees that last moment

   the eroded rock becomes sand

But if they did, they would hear

  The Sea singing.”                 – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Dear friends, near and far,

Listening to Brene Brown’s brave and excellent book, Dare to Lead, her every word rings true for me. “When I’m scared, I make bad decisions.”  Me too Brene.  Nearly always.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” Where are all these really annoying wise people coming from anyway?

As Linus tells his BFF in one of my favorite Peanuts cartoons, “I’m staying in bed Snoopy.  It’s too peopley out there.” You know it Linus.  Human beings can be pesky critters for sure.  That may be why it’s so remarkable when one of us gets past our fear and risks his or her heart.  Great risk vs. true freedom.

Brene challenges us to be, “neither Victim nor Viking – Strong back.  Soft front.  Wild heart.”  She invites us, as so many wise teachers do, to be real.  Real and out there in the world where our deepest truth can be seen. That’s the rub, isn’t it?  To be brave and stay vulnerable. To exchange that primal need for safety, held tightly in the bunker, for the expansive though risky yet rewarding safety of community.  Can’t I just be real in my bedroom with my cats and my Kindle?  Have real thoughts, I’m mean if they’re super deep ones?

Certainly, it’s a start.  It’s where courage begins.  The baby bird standing at the edge of the cliff and thinking about flying.  Then the leap into action.  Going from contemplation to creation.  Letting go of the need to stay solid and still.  The willingness to be fluid; to deconstruct and be liberated.  Out in the world experiencing and giving, which miraculously happens at the same time.

This has been a year of deconstruction and rebuilding for me.  Trauma flares, a long Fall season of acute bronchitis and meaningful recovery with the help of friends.  My clinical work, delicate and richer than it’s ever been.  Trusting my instincts beyond all I’ve been taught.  I pray your trust is growing too.  In the New Year I invite you to join me in taking Bob Marley’s advice, “Forget your weakness and Dance.”

Always, Jeanne, my sweet, elderly Liliana and my precious naughty girl, Emma Jane :”)

Jeanne C. Folks, D.Min, LPC

CT Psychotherapeutic Resources
12 Old Farms Road  Avon, CT  06001
(860) 678-8779
Web site: http://CounselingWithDrFolks.com  Blog: https://tappingprayerfully.com
Facebook: https//www.facebook.com/drjeannefolks
Email: DrFolks@TappingPrayerfully.com


Tapping Prayerfully Training in Emotional Freedom Techniques (Meridian Tapping) for Seminarians and Spiritual Directors*

A Didactic & Experiential Workshop

* License/ordination not required for this Introductory workshop

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Click for Registration

My 2018 Holiday Message for You


 

Christmas 2018

 

 

 

Come, Come, Whoever You Are wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.  Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.            

                                                                ~ Jalaluddin Rumi

Dear friends, near and far,

I have not forgotten the troubles of the world.  I advocate and counsel and serve as ever.  I’m exploring the healing power of public storytelling.  Nevertheless, I am mindful of my need for stillness.  As the poet Hafiz said six hundred years ago:

You carry
All the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare—
Don’t mix them!

You have all the genius
To build a swing in your backyard
For God.                   
~ Hafiz

I grew quiet in October when my Susanna Noel died peacefully in my arms. Liliana Mistletoe, Susie’s aristocratic sister, and her little adopted sister Emma Jane remain lovingly with me.  Lily is an “upstairs cat”, intelligent and wise, content on my lap as I write.  Emma Jane, younger, sensitive, reactive and athletic is never far from her feral roots.  She tears around the house in the evening and spoons peacefully with me at night.

Now the bridge between my monkey and my queen is gone.  Susie was the glue that softened all the edges in our life together that didn’t otherwise fit. She was kind and endlessly forgiving; the “meeter and greeter” in in our house who could charm the socks off the most crusty of workman. Never one for halves, offering full fluffy tummy for a friendly scratch was simply Susie’s way of saying hello and welcome.  The downstairs is too quiet and Susie’s favorite chair too empty.

With the loss of Susie, I have grown softer and more still. It feels strange at a time in the world that calls for so much strength and action.   I don’t think it is the softness of weakness but of waiting, of listening, of preparation.  At 65 I find the cliché true, that I know less as I grow older. Yet the things I do know have deepened in certainty. The wise seek and wait in equal measure.  They initiate, going first into unknown places on faith of finding truth. They bring gifts, chosen by heart, rather than traveling empty handed in expectation.  They are humbled by and grateful for what they find, often in the most unlikely of places.  They take time to pause, to reflect, to ponder.

In the midst of this meditative time, when something speaks to me, it does so deeply.  I was moved during the funeral of GHW Bush at the mention of a plaque he had kept for many years before giving it to a friend, passing the wisdom on. “Preach Christ at all times. If necessary, use words.”

Just as in more active times than now, I use direct words of faith rarely and trust that my commitment to inclusion and compassion speaks for itself.

By whatever name the Divine is known to you, may you dwell in grace.

Always, Jeanne

Today I’m flying low and I’m
Not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes as it must,
The bees in the garden rumbling a little,
The fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
A terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
Into the temple.

~ Mary Oliver

 

Though still, I’m not hard to find or follow:

Jeanne C. Folks, D.Min, LPC

CT Psychotherapeutic Resources
12 Old Farms Road  Avon, CT  06001
(860) 678-8779
Web site: http://CounselingWithDrFolks.com

Blog: https://tappingprayerfully.com
Facebook: https//www.facebook.com/drjeannefolks
Email: DrFolks@TappingPrayerfully.com

Poems & Prayers for the Earth


A creative writing and expressive arts workshop

NEW DATE!

September 22nd

at Wisdom House in beautiful Litchfield, CT

Last day to register is September 15th!  Don’t Miss Out!

Why you’ll love our upcoming creative writing workshop: Poems & Prayers for the Earth

  1. It’s a day of R &R on the beautiful grounds of Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT
  2. You’ll have a wonderful vegetarian lunch
  3. You don’t need any creative writing experience.  You’ll be guided through fun activities, intriguing prompts and reflections.  In fact, you can choose to not write at all and still love the day.
  4. You can actively participate or just listen.  No one will be “put on the spot” at sharing times.
  5. You’ll turn worry and frustration about our struggling planet into strength, clarity, hope and joy.  Leave empowered.
  6. By attending, you’ll be supporting the progress of our developing book project of the same name, Poems & Prayers for the Earth.

Please join us and add to our collective celebration of and devotion to our beautiful planet Earth.  Find your voice.  Find your hope.

Click for more info and to register.  Call me if you have questions (860) 678-8779.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/poems-prayers-for-the-earth-a-writing-workshop-tickets-44370568565

Kiss the Ground


This book recommendation came to me from my friends at Flamig Farm.  I send it on to you with a holiday prayer that this New Year will be filled with the joy and rewards of good stewardship of our bodies and our planet home.

Be well!  Jeanne

Dirt (and us) to the Rescue!

We can do this! We must do this! A book I highly recommend you get and read by a mentor of mine, Josh Tickle, is called Kiss the Ground  and is subtitled,  “How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body and Reverse Climate Change.”  Our modern day agriculture system is BROKEN.  Our government policies are a major part of the problem, and due to our agricultural practices, North America is teetering on the verge of becoming the world’s next desert, all while corporations that provide “inputs” (fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds) are getting richer and farmers are going broke. Civilizations have collapsed due to their agricultural practices, and we need to change ours if we are to survive.  Nevin Flamig, Flamig Farm, W Simsbury, CT

Loving in Our Strength – Strong In Our Love


Holiday Message 2017

A sailor without a destination cannot hope for a favorable wind.”

                          Leon Tec, MD, In Defense of Animals

 

To all I carry in my heart, both near and far,

I awakened from a dream in the early predawn this morning.  In the dream, I was attending the funeral of an infant not my own.  I left the church to sob outside.  I was grief stricken.  When I went back inside, I couldn’t find the pew I’d left in which my friends were sitting.  I’d lost my place and I hoped someone would notice my seeking and come and find me.  It was then I awoke.

Dreams are not literal.  They are full of symbols and are maps to the inner workings of our fears, longings and questions.  I’ve spent the morning reflecting on this dream of mine and it makes sense to me.

Infants in dreams often represent vulnerability, ideals and/or hopes for the future.  Clearly, as are many others, I am grieving and feeling vulnerable.  I feel a great loss.  I’ve always tried, single-mindedly to dodge or circumvent obstacles, reinvent myself when all doors seemed closed and press on.  The present social tidal wave of power used and abused confronts me.  I find myself flooded with countless recollections spanning decades of navigating through the stormy seas of verbally, energetically and physically expressed condescension, mockery, obstruction, power abusive manipulation, intimidation and dismissal, both personal and institutional.

I do not judge what others choose to do with their needs regarding healing.  Personally, I don’t feel the need to name names.  I’m not sure I’d even remember them all.  I do, however, need to name feelings and honor my experiences.  Honor how much of my journey as a woman seeking a place at the table has been uphill.  How much of my own pain I at times ignored and minimized in the name of continuing the climb. 

My “most meaningful book” recommendation for this year is Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness.  In it, Brené speaks powerfully as she observes that, “The greatest casualty of trauma is vulnerability.”  I agree.   She defines cultural privilege as a sense of entitlement that is unmerited.  She challenges each of us to examine the lens (of privilege or lack thereof) through which we look at the world and to reflect on the irreplaceable value of cultivating empathy.  To risk vulnerability in order to do so.

Brené defines power as “the ability to affect change”.  She then goes on to differentiate “power over” vs. “power with”.  She had me at “power with”.  Power that is not driven by nor does it engender shame, defensiveness or blame.  She invites us to cultivate “a hypothesis of generosity”.  To see potential good in dire circumstance and seemingly oblivious souls.  This is not to circumvent accountability, but to protect ourselves from bitterness and despair.  To always consider the possibility of redemption for self and others.

I agree with Brené as she writes, “If we own our own story, we get to write the ending.”  In my dream, after I grieve, I return and seek my friends and pray they are seeking me.  There it is.  The goal for which I strive.  The destination to which I chart my course.

I pray that we can be loving in our strength and strong in our love,      Jeanne              

Memorial Day


“We must be more than grateful for the service of our soldiers.  As individuals and as a country, we must be worthy of their sacrifice.”

                                                                         Jeanne C. Folks, DMin, LPC

Receiving and Giving – an Easter Reflection


Last night was Maundy Thursday.  In the Christian Tradition, of which I am a part, it is the night when we celebrate Jesus’ last night with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday, looking forward to Easter.   It is the night Jesus shared bread and wine with his followers to deepen their memory of him.  It is also the night he washed the feet of his disciples.  He said he did this to set an example of servanthood for them.

Christians of many denominations all over the world attended services last evening that incorporated foot washing.  At the service I attended, each person who chose to participate came to the front pew and had their feet washed in a basin by a person kneeling in front of them.  When finished, the one who did the washing returned to their original seat in the congregation. The person whose feet had just been washed then turned around and knelt waiting for the next person to sit before them.

The power and implications of this experience are many for me.  Not everyone chose to participate which is fine.   Bearing witness and offering support is important.   I’m glad, however, that I did go up.  Getting to my feet (pun intended) was the only hard part.  Like so much in life, getting started is half the battle.

Once I sat down in front of a radiantly smiling woman whom I did not know, I entered an experience that was full of kindness, relaxation and friendship.  In fact, it felt like the whole congregation was entering a companionable meditation.  It was perfect in its imperfection.  The person designated to hand out the towels for drying, got distracted and my servant and I were briefly marooned.    I leaned over and gave her arms a little squeeze.  We smiled broadly at each other.  Servanthood doesn’t always go according to plan, but we are still serving.

By the time I’d switched and was kneeling and waiting, I was looking forward to my turn.  I wanted to do this for someone else.  As a distinguished member of the congregation sat down in front of me, all I felt was joy.  I noticed her bunion, and wondered if it gave her pain.  I felt strength and sturdiness flowing from her body.  I poured water over her feet from a plastic pitcher clearly conscripted from someone’s kitchen for the occasion.  We worked together like we’d done this a hundred times before.  I was gentle and loving, but there was also a practical, workmanlike process that didn’t take long.

Dare I say I had fun?  If fun is measured by the urge, “Let’s do this again!”, then yes, I had fun.  Foot washing during Maundy Thursday services is a tangible enactment of profound spiritual principles.  It is a great equalizer, demonstrating the circle of serving and being served.  It shows us the importance of receiving first, to better equip us to serve. We are reminded that giving and receiving can’t be separated.  That each role brings equal joy and strength and that it is natural to flow back and forth between being giver and receiver.  But, receive first.  Let our gifts to others flow from our own hearts being filled.  That’s what makes it fun.