Jacob and Judy use Pathfinder’s Tarot deck to pull the Fool Card. They talk about the somatic Writing Class that Judy is taking. As a part of the class, she wrote a short Mantra she shared, following the same format as one Amanda Gorman described using. They also talked more about personality and how our parents impact our temperaments.
Judy and Jacob pull the Major Arcana card, breakthrough. They talk about Judy’s time after the Convent in Portland, the breakthroughs and challenges we have in our lives. Judy tells a story about getting into a scary situation while working in a psychiatric unit. We also talk about how experiences growing up can impact us and the need to identify what is happening in our minds.
This one was a fun one. I also got my mom to give me some photos of her in her habit, while she was in the convent.
As a young child, I spent a lot of time in cars. Whether we were going back and forth between the Walla Walla State Penitentiary or going on a road trip, my mom and I listened to a lot of “books on tape.” We heard murder mysteries, educational books, and so many more. I remember listening to Dune traveling down the Oregon Coast and talk about our car being a mobile university.
I also listen to a lot of podcasts. In 2014, I wrote Jump in The Stream, Favorite Podcasts where I shared some of my favorite podcasts at the time. I still listen to most of the podcasts on that list, but the number of different podcasts I listen to has grown along, and which ones get priority. Maybe at some point, I will write up something about my current listening habits. If you are looking for some great shows, I value the Relay FM network and all of the great shows.
I have also been trying to get my kids interested in listening to audio. We have listened to some audiobooks. They enjoyed The Wizard of Oz, which was one of the first books I got them to listen to on the way to a camping trip a couple of years back. They have also enjoyed WOW in the World and Circle Round. Lately, every time we get into the car, even if we are only going five minutes away, they say to put on the Mother Dearest Show. When I have put it on, they always get reticent and listen, but afterward, they tell me that I should make it less boring. They figure the way to make it less boring would be for them to be on it.
What is this, you might be asking yourself, how would they get on to the podcast? The Mother Dearest Show is a new podcast made with my mom (Judy Dirks) and me. It is actually so new that it’s not even listed in the Apple Podcasts directory yet. I recently submitted it for review, but it takes about five days to approve new shows. If you search next week, you should be able to find it there.
So far, we have done two episodes, and it has been enjoyable. The general premise is me talking with my mom about a subject. If you know my mom, you know that she is a pretty amazing woman. She helped start a couple of non-profits. The last couple of years, I have had her come in and speak to the students in my Social Work Classes. She always gets them excited, and they tell about how great her time was with them.
To start each episode, we have been drawing tarot-style cards and connecting with the topic. The first card was from my Zen Deck and was going with the flow and the second one was from My mom’s Oracle Divination Cards and the Yang card. It has been fascinating to see how each episode how it connects with the topics. We have explored some counseling practices, my mom being in the convent, and some other interesting conversations. I figure the topics will range from areas that we have some shared interest or family interest.
The initial notes that I took when I was first starting thinking about wanting to do this project were dated October 2015. I had started brainstorming what it could look like and some possible topic ideas. I’ve considered it on and off again for years but have kept putting it off. I finally decided that this was something I’m going to start now. My intention behind this project is multifaceted. First, I want to have an excuse to talk to my mom. I think some of our conversations will be about her growing up, or maybe about my dad and all kinds of things I want to be able to capture and save. Second, I want to learn how to create a podcast. I must share that Relay FMs member-only podcast, Backstage, really helped me start learning the basics. I think it sounds ok so far, but I would like to make it better and know that going through this process will improve my editing skills and speaking skills. I don’t have any other projects I’m looking to start right now, but who knows what the future may hold.
Anyways, I’m proud to share these and would love for people to check them out. You see the episode at our website https://motherdearest.show/ or right here… and eventually, they will be everywhere you listen to your podcasts.
Jacob and Judy pull from the Wisdom of the Oracle Divination Cards and get Yang card. We talked about the Course of Miracles, Judy’s time as a Postulant with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. We also talk about silent retreats and connecting without ourselves and systems U-Theory for systems thinking and co-creation.
Jacob and Judy record their first episode of this podcast. We pull the Ace of Water: Going with the Flow from the Zen Tarot Card deck. We talked about using Tarot style cards in individual mental health services, along with her use of EMDR with clients who have a history of trauma.
Pixar’s 2020 Soul (Wikipedia Article or Pixar Article is a great movie that offers a fascinating picture of the flow state and obsession that can happen. I have for many years been in love with Pixar like so many people. Before subscribing to Disney Plus, which is a great value, I purchased most of them on iTunes. One of the things I appreciate, other than being able to watch them with my kids, is how they push the boundaries and offer new ways of imagining the world and concepts we have.
Soul reminded me Inside Out in that it pushes the theories of how our minds work to a manner of portraying it that is novel and elegant. I would propose that the format of animation affords Pixar to make these boundary-pushing visions. Soul dives into many aspects of what makes us people, our personality, the things that spark us, and does a similar job to Inside Out.
One of Soul’s visual representations is being in a flow state along with their theorized opposit of obsession and disconnection. Near The Great Before is a place that people go when they get the zone. Twenty-two, an ancient soul who had never been human before, described this area as “the space between the physical and spiritual.”
Buddhists have described this zone as Samadhi. In Nachmanovitch’s (2014), he explains that when somebody is in a selfless state and absorbed with absolute concentration. This Samadhi is about disappearing into the work and creation that we are doing. If you are interested in more about Free Play, you can read my short essay Free Play: Some Standouts of Nachmanovitch’s Book.
In the movie, Moonwind a devoted sign twirler on a Manhattan describes the The Zone and Lost Souls. He goes to the mystical astral plane during the movie, where he rescues lost souls from their uninspiring stressful lives.
Moonwind You know, lost souls are not that much different from those in the zone.
Joe Gardner What?
Moonwind The zone is enjoyable, but when that joy becomes an obsession, one becomes disconnected from life.
Soul is a beautiful movie and well worth the watch for even kidless adults. The conceptualization they offer around flow and the potential obsession that can happen when fully absorbed is engaging.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology. Springer Netherlands.
Nachmanovitch, S. (2014). Free play: Improvisation in life and art. Tarcher.
The first year that you do an event or activity, even if it something that you want to do every year, you can describe that as a ritual or an annual event. It’s not until you have done it for at least two years or more that you can start to define something as a habitual observance. My personality style does not always engage with the conventional. As a young boy, I remember the value I used to place in doing something different. I would frequently make choices because I wanted to be different than everybody else.
Even now, I like to change things up in my life and “salir de la rutina.” New projects, activities, people that we know can be invigorating and feel very engaging. While that is true in my life, I (and I would argue that people in general) need to have consistencies as well. In my professional life, in talking to teachers and parents, I frequently discuss the importance of ritual and consistency. I see it in my family as well. Not only is it essential in managing the conflict that comes up (five kids, there is bound to be a lot of strife from time to time), but we have also made some of our traditions. We might change the location or activities, but there are some routines we have fallen into every year. I’m just getting back from one of my favorites (although I wrote most of this post while watching the fire die in Pacific City, I’m not finishing it up until we have been back home in the Tri-Cities). Growing together as a family is a great place that we can make traditions and rituals—the last couple of years, we have made it to the ocean at least once each year.
We stayed in a pretty decent VRBO, although they lack in amenities (who doesn’t even have salt/pepper or other basics.. as well there was some general disrepair in the home). We are just outside of Pacific City. I’m not sure if I am getting older, but I have some significant longing for the warmer oceans in Mexico and other more tropical habitats. I know as a youth loved being in any sea. I could spend all day, and I don’t think I ever thought it was cold. This year, I waded in to be close to the kids that I could go after them if needed, but the idea of swimming around in the cold water was more than I could bear. Maybe just need a wet suit.
We made the reservation for the trip back in February. It was before we had any idea what has happened with COVID-19. We tried to stay as safe as possible, using masks when around other people. We did end up at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area and hung out at the Pacific City Beach, but spent most of our beach-going time in the almost private beach in front of our home. We also went to a restaurant for the first time since the quarantine started. We worked up an appetite climbing the giant dune and looking at the breathtaking views of the ocean against rock. We ate pizza at Doryland Pizza.
Two years ago, my wife came home from work (she was working in the fields at the time, doing agricultural work). She had found a turtle crawling in a canal and brought it home in a lunch pale. We bought an aquarium, supplies, named him/her Sheldon and they become a member of the family. We decided that Sheldon would be happier free, and this video a remember and letting go of Sheldon.