pregnant3.jpg“Pregnant with myself.” Now that’s an evocative phrase.

Ran across it in Jane Fonda’s 2005 autobiography (“My Life So Far,” Random House) where she writes about the internal work she does to live the “examined life” (Remember? The unexamined life is not worth living?), to know herself, and to give birth to a new Jane, a Jane of her choosing, her deliberate creation versus the chaotic inputs of social conditioning, dysfunctional family dynamics, and often random events.

A recent New York Times Arts section article opined, “A large part of why Ms. Fonda feels like a different person is that she is always working on herself. She is like a relentless home improver who adds a new wing, tears down the back porch and replaces it with a deck, puts a cathedral ceiling in the family room and then goes back and rips out all the wiring and replaces the plumbing.”

I greatly admire Fonda’s continuing willingness to see herself (especially at 71!) as a work in progress. I particularly am impressed by the persistent personal initiative involved. While she has availed herself of the full range of therapies available today, according to the New York Times she has accomplished her personal and spiritual growth “mostly by rigorous self-examination and ponderous mental burrowing…”

We can be our own worst enemies. It’s nice to be reminded we also can be our own best friends and allies!