Welcome to my Blog
As we behold, we actively transform the image.
Being other or otherness is part of the adopted child’s experience. However, my life-trajectory took me on a journey that led me to live away from my homeland in Switzerland, accentuating my feeling of otherness. Living in a new homeland, where I had to adapt, made me more sensitive to other migrants and their situations. I am a “love migrant” that has an empathetic connection to other migrants. I understand the Minority Stress Model and its effects on well-being. I also have an empathetic connection to the experience of different forms of racism and social justice. I have added articles to read about otherness. The first article examines the intersectionality of stigma, the second article expresses otherness in an artistic manner, the experience of otherness that evolved within the visual arts. These articles all illustrate otherness in its various forms. Even though I might look the same as my adopted family, I have always been sensitive to being other. This sensitivity has been able to be used in a positive way and is linked to my lifework.
The challenges that I faced during the transition from being a stay at home mother to becoming a full-time working mother happened as I began my European Master’s Degree in Mediation. The model my birth mother Ruth Ann provided allowed me to make the transition, as I “homed in” to her example.
That period also corresponded with tensions in my relational matrix. As my old world crumbled, and the earth shook under my feet, I was forced to let go of what my life had been, letting God guide me to a new place in my relational network. I had to learn to embody the change, integrating the many relational changes that our reunion had brought. However, it was not only the reunion, it was the loss, and the fear of losing the places and relationships that I so wanted to hold on to that gnawed on me.
When my adopted father sold our family farm on terms, the story of the Native American Indian’s Ghost Dance took on even greater meaning for me. The loss of the native lands, the hope for transformation that was embedded in the dance ritual, and the strong desire for reconciliation that ended in devastation at Wounded Knee where all aspects the Great Plains history that enfolded changes that swept through the prairie grasses ending in a massacre.
The change that was shaking my life like an earthquake, bringing down the social constructions of my life’s relationships, rattled me. I was forced to look at what I believed constituted, “Nebraska, The Good Life”. Moving from loss to gratefulness, I walked through the pain in search of a place where the different parts of my evolving Self could find refuge. Through the process of concrescence, the different facets of my identity sculpted a new container and a new life trajectory. As I wailed, danced, and hoped, my ancestors headed me in a new direction. There was no going back. I somehow sensed that I needed to invent a ritual of reconciliation. To affirm life and to survive I entered into an integration process that emerged from life crisis. With the strong intention to become whole, I found metaphors to transform my life story. I began to lifescape a hopeful future.
Carl G. Jung’s Red Book was only published in 2009, illustrating his transformational process that allowed him to develop his fundamental concepts. Ira Progoff studied with Jung, voyaging to Bolligen to learn more about Jung’s work, later developing the Intensive Journal Process and Depth Psychology. Their work has informed my own autoethnographic process. Autoethnography is a social science method that draws upon recollecting and remembering. By going deep within, the Self reveals images, dreams, and archetypes that offer a power to endure and survive enkindled by the meaning-making process.
Here are videos that share Jung’s life and work.
Here is rare documentary footage of C.J. Jung at Bollingen:
Inheritance of Dreams:
Here is a paper about Ira Progoff’s work that uses the Intensive Journal Process for holistic transformation.
Here is an interview with Ira Progoff:
Here is a video that tells about the Ghost Dance, Sitting Bull, and Wounded Knee.
Here is an article about transgenerational trauma and Native Americans:
Author of Homing In: A Story Mandala Connecting Adoption, Reunion and Belonging