I'm taking the plunge--Long time lurker, first time poster!

in #introduceyourself4 years ago

Greetings, Steemit! I'm taking the plunge, and posting for the first time!

Hello! My name is Jessica, and I’m a 32 year old jack-of-all-trades: Aunt, graduate student, Feldenkrais practitioner, knitter, dancer, and dreamer, to name but a few. I have been a social media lurker on many sites for a long time, but Steemit is the place that intrigued me enough to actually post!

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure exactly where I will fit into the Steemit community, so maybe I will start by telling you a little about myself…

Past

I grew up in northern Illinois, near the border with Wisconsin. I had the luxury of a huge back yard, and loved playing all kinds of imaginative games with the neighborhood kids in the nearby forest preserve.

I have always been a creative person, and thus was naturally drawn to the arts. I grew up performing musical numbers with my sister in that back yard, which eventually translated into performances on stage (both singing and dancing).

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Why not start off with an embarrassing picture! My first dance recital at the age of 12, trying to keep up with my little sister.

When I decided to purse a liberal arts undergraduate degree in Theatre, I also fell in love with the production aspect. After graduating, I worked professionally in a variety of capacities: assistant technical director and adjunct dance instructor at a small university, scenic artist, carpenter, and AEA stage manager.

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And sometimes, an unofficial live sound mixer for my roommate’s Irish band

But after a few years working in the industry, my job became less and less enjoyable—I almost dreaded going into the theatre each day. I could not separate myself from the stress of the job, and the demands began to affect my health. I lost the sense of fun and imagination that is such a big part of the arts. So it was time for a change.

Present

So when I felt my life needed an overhaul, what’s the most logical thing to do? Move across the country and enroll in graduate school, of course!

So my significant other (of 13 years, who introduced me to Steemit) and I packed up our house and two cats, and moved to southern California.

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Our moving announcement

I enrolled at Pacifica Graduate Institute, pursuing a Ph.D in Somatic Depth Psychology, and am just a couple of weeks shy of finishing my graduate course work.

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Obligatory first day of school picture, September 2013

You may be asking, “a Ph.D. in what?!?” Answering that is a whole post in itself (which I have already starting crafting), but let me give you my short answer: it is an integrative approach to human health, attending to body (somatics), soul (depth), and mind (psychology).

So where do I want to go with all of this? Why this degree? Is it worth it?

Future

To me, it is not only worth it, but necessary. Of course, having some fancy little letters after my name will feel good (I’ve already told my closest friends I will probably make them call me Dr. for a short time), but I am pursuing this degree for other reasons.

First of all, the personal journey has been amazing. Difficult, but life changing. Because of the unique field of studies I am pursuing, the structure of our program asked us not only to learn the theories, but to embody them as well. Our focus on lived experience helped me gain a unique understanding of the complex human nature.

And also, I love education. I love learning, and I love teaching. I have been involved in education as either a student or a teacher for the vast majority of my life: aside from my time as a traditional student, I also worked for 4 years at an small midwest university, and spent 4 years as a student of the Feldenkrais method (a form of somatic education).

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Graduation Days! Feldenkrais graduation 2013, and Master’s degree graduation 2016!

However, as I have become further engaged in the academic community, I also see there are issues with the current structure (too many to explore here). As my field of studies is on the fringe anyway, I don’t see my future in traditional academia.

As I have been exploring Steemit over the past few days, I have been excited by this new way to share information, and intrigued by the idea of open-sourced academic material. I am excited to see how the academia community progresses.

For now, I want to write. I really enjoy writing, and have been experimenting with ways to use language to convey somatic experiences. So I am going to figure out how to make that happen here on Steemit. I don’t know if that will take the form of personal narratives (my explorations of somatic depth psychology over the past three years), or fictional pieces. And I’m not sure how my dissertation research will fit in to the larger picture yet, either. But I am here, I want to explore, and I want to contribute. So thanks for welcoming me!

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I'd be so interested to hear what you have learned or are thinking of in the topic of psychology. I love learning how the brain works. And maybe it would act as a brainstorm pad for you as you go through your study?

It has been so interesting merging the depth psychological world of image and dream with the world of the "hard sciences." They fit together so much better than people may expect. Our research capability in many ways is just now beginning to catch up to the deep cultural knowledge passed down through myth and ritual. I wrote a paper (that I'm going to clean up, and probably post here at some point) about the "story basis of mind"--how our brains neurologically use story frameworks in order to create meaning of our numerous sensory inputs. I really find it all fascinating!

And you're right--I think using Steemit as a brainstorming laboratory could be very useful!

That is so cool! I practice that! I am currently folding in my writing and my love for stories into my ritualized witchcraft practice. I loved reading this book: Goddess in Everywoman, written by a Jungian psychologist on each of the Grecian Goddesses and their persona. She was writing it as if a woman would be more one type of persona or another, but I also practice it taking on their features or needing their particular outlook and advice. Story is just such an easier way to make contact with deeper ideas and changes in brain perspective needed for a different obstacle.

Yes! I love hearing your application of all this material I've been studying!

I'm also a huge sci-fi nerd, and I just re-watched some Star Trek: The Next Generation (I'm surprised to find out how depth psychological many of those shows are!), and there was a great moment where they toast "to all the creatures within us": "Everyone one of us has 1000s of different kinds of little people inside of us...that's why we have so many different urges at different times....and we must never be afraid to take us with them wherever we go." :) And we can call on their strength or skills whenever we need.

Love Star Trek and how they slip in my favorite ideas and live those ideas. Star Trek was also pointed out to me to have the Freudian trinity practiced in Buddhism, the ego, id, and superego as demonstrated by the Captain seeking balanced advice from his First mate and the ship's counselor. I also loved Star Trek Voyager for Chakotay and Tuvok's rituals. Chakotay's vision walk is similar to shamanic journey meditations, which would align with your story as therapy study.

Hi @jeska would say to say a warm welcome, albeit 5 days late!

Welcome to Steemit @jeska!

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Good Luck!,
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Why did the elephants get kicked out of the public pool? -THEY KEPT DROPPING THEIR TRUNKS!

Welcome to the community!

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Hi! This post has a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 7.9 and reading ease of 68%. This puts the writing level on par with Tom Clancy and F. Scott Fitzgerald.