Jayne Meyer Tucker
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
I am a curious womxn with a passion for helping people and organisations be okay with embracing uncertainty.
My life-long fascination with uncertainty has its foundation in having lived a life of uncertainty. For nearly six decades, I have lived with the uncertainty of seizures, in which those seizures were a secret – even to me. I am embarking on a memoir journey to better understand these secrets and create a space for myself and others to embrace uncertainty rather than fight it.
What's easy for you as a womxn?
Due to my life experiences, I find making decisions, particularly in times of uncertainty, something I am quite skilled at or at least at ease with.
My philosophy and approach to life, which I call Balance Point, comes from the intersection between conventional wisdom and my womxn’s intuition, a fusion of my intellect and innate gift. I understand that balance is not about being ‘even or in the middle’ but being okay with uncertainty or being ‘out of balance’.
Most importantly, balance means considering opposites or dualities of the decision/s to be made. Secondly, balance seeks the best foundation/s to support the decision/s to be made whilst considering both short-and long-term gains. Thirdly, balance requires navigating and tracking the decision-making process - simply meaning - expect things to change - what is right for this moment may not be the case for the next moment.
What’s difficult for you as a womxn?
My biggest difficulty has been and continues to be asking for help from others including even letting myself be helped by myself. This is my vulnerability, which sits on the other side of my strength.
I don't know how old I was when I had my first seizure, mainly because the seizures were kept secret within my family and away from my community. When something occurs from the beginning of your life – in my case, seizures - and you have no awareness that they are strange or different, then they become as normal to you as does a sneeze or cough. This is in fact a form of subconscious denial which hampered my ability to ask for help.
I have also had three extreme cases of concussion, which have also contributed to my condition (secrets) until I began to explore this further in my 50s. The key concussion incident resulted from a tragic car accident when, at the age of 23, I was widowed. After being placed in an induced coma, the seizures became more public. From that point on and for almost three decades, my biggest difficulty was speaking openly about my seizures. For a long time, I couldn’t even say the word seizure – until now.
How do you maintain mental fitness/emotional health?
In some respect my confrontations with trauma, particularly brain trauma, has forced me to rehabilitate both physically and mentally.
Following the catastrophic car accident, which I survived after a period of intense physical rehabilitation, I completely ignored the necessary emotional healing. I now describe this period of my life and learning as an example of not making better decisions. In fact, I became expert at ignoring the needs of my psyche and brain, choosing instead to focus on my bodily repair. As I draw nearer to my sixth decade, my mental and emotional fitness has become even more prominent in my life.
What brings you joy and vitality?
Water and movement both play a big part of joy for me in my life. For as long as I can remember, I have either had a hobby or opportunities to be in or near water - be it pools, oceans, sink holes or even baths. Equally as important to me is the ability to move and opportunities to dance or exercise to music which places me in an immediate position of flow.
My innate curiosity also forms part of my vitality as I love to learn. My PhD was one of the most revolutionary experiences of my life and set me on the pathway to recognise with even more clarity my purpose and insights around uncertainty.
Spending time with my significant others is most important and although my husband Ronnie (I was fortunate to have met my second soul mate) and I chose not to have children, we are blessed by having healthy happy families and friends who also bring joy into our lives. We enjoy theatre, walks, eating out and travel (when travel returns).
How do you nurture your relationship with nature?
My connection with nature is simple as it involves exercising and movement outside. Over the years, this has taken many forms from horse riding as a child, running as a young adult, bike riding and Pilates in the most recent times. The impact from being so active in my younger years has now demanded a slower pace. Interestingly, this intersection of being slower and in nature has more strongly clarified my life’s purpose.
Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?
Sense of belonging/community for me is always best described as flow. I feel in flow when I am writing, learning or being active. Once again, I am drawn to water and can easily lose myself in my thoughts like when spending time on my stand-up paddleboard.
I align the sense of belonging and community with being at peace and therefore find this experience to also have no boundaries. This understanding has taken me a lifetime to recognise as in my earlier years I held expectations that a sense of belonging was something others had to give me almost like an expectation or a demand.
Where do you live/work?
I am a first generation Australian and live and work in Tumbalong (Darling Harbour Sydney), which is part of Gadigal country. My parents were ten-pound poms so my dual citizenship allowed me to live and work in the UK for nearly two decades while travelling the world. My second husband and I immigrated back to Australia in 2007, ready to start the next chapter of life (I call this the glowing years) in Australia.
What ideas are you working on, or playing with, or just sitting with now?
I am exploring the topic, Secret Seizures, for my memoir. I am also developing a Roadmap for Uncertainty as a resource in the writing of my memoir. As a result of the global pandemic (COVID 19) and during the 2021 lockdown period my fascination around uncertainty and research has intensified.
I was immediately interested in Jayne's experience of secrets as it is a topic I have been pondering also. There's a tension between privacy and open disclosure, a tension between how you are currently viewed and how you will be viewed if the secret becomes known. It can make you feel vulnerable, wary of pity. Perhaps fear of judgement is at the core of all secrets, we can move past this judgement by revealing our secrets to the non-judgemental people in our lives. As they respond with acceptance, compassion and validation it strengthens our own acceptance and commitment to a non-judgemental stance.
Founder and Director of JMT BalancePoint, Jayne Meyer Tucker (aka Dr JMT) says the lessons she has learned about the importance of finding balance in times of uncertainty stem from her six decades of living with the consequences of brain trauma and research. A former Director of Sure Start Dover UK government reform, CEO Good Beginnings Australia, Deputy Director of CCA and Director of The Growth Project, Jayne says research has helped her identify the tools for embracing uncertainty.