Jean Haner’s Blog


The Cat

There’s a hidden trail near my house in San Diego, that feels very remote and peaceful even though it’s right in the middle of town.

It’s a narrow path, with a high bluff on one side and a steep canyon on the other. Once you’re on it, all you can hear is the crunch of your feet on the ground.

And once you’re on it, you either complete the walk or you turn around and go back out. It’s about 3 miles from beginning to end and there are no exits along the way.

Continue reading

“Beautiful Old People are Works of Art”

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Click here to a fascinating study of how faces aged.

These faces are still all loveable, but in many, you can see the results of a lifetime of being locked into repeating patterns of thought and feeling…

Continue reading

You’ll Never Be Bored Again!

When someone asks me where I live, I often say, “On an airplane.” And it’s only half-jokingly – I spend a lot of time in the air and in airports, on my way to teach a workshop or do consultations.

But here’s the thing – when you know face reading, the airport is a fascinating place to be! Every face tells a story about who that person really is inside, what their life has been like, and what your experience with them will be.

Continue reading

You Mean I’m Supposed to Be Like This!

When I teach professional trainings for people to coach and consult using this work, I always do in-depth demonstrations of readings while the students observe.

It’s always everyone’s favorite part of the workshop because they get to watch, live and in person, the process of someone discovering for the very first time how deeply they can be recognized and understood. It’s often quite a holy moment.

Continue reading

Your Four Gates

I just spoke with a woman who said as soon as she turned 50 her life seemed to have taken an emotional downturn, and she asked me if the reason could be read on her face.  Continue reading

Should I Date Someone Who Looks Like Me?

They say opposites attract, but there’s a new dating website that claims to be able to find you true love by matching you with someone who has a face that looks like yours. The theory is that the more you look like someone, the greater the chances of success for your relationship with them. They claim that studies on celebrities’ faces show that the ones who have happy marriages tend to look alike. If you consider this within the context of Chinese face reading, which teaches that every feature on your face has specific meanings and messages, you might think this could make sense. If your date’s features are similar to yours, then wouldn’t it be true that you’d be very similar in personality and therefore compatible?

Well, first, we all know human beings are not that simple! We each have a gloriously intricate pattern of temperament, beliefs, talents and foibles! But also, it seems a bit silly to assume that a successful relationship can only happen with someone who’s as much like us as possible. So this got me to thinking about what relationships might be like if people shared certain similar features….

Ears that stick out: If you have two people with ears that stick out from the sides of their heads, this means you have two very willful and independent personalities! So here you have two non-conformists, who may share some similar behaviors, values and perceptions about the outside world, but at home together, this could at times turn into a nightmare of each resisting what the other wants them to do!

Arched eyebrows: Brows that look like upside-down V’s indicate that person will be quick to react. They can be spontaneous, which is lovely, but they also may be too impulsive at times. When upset, they’re often emotionally reactive – if you say something to upset them, they can immediately bristle or challenge you. At the extreme, they can be very excitable emotionally, and that can make for fireworks in a relationship, in good ways but also bad!

Nose bump: A nose that has a boney bump on the bridge (usually about 1/4 to 1/3 from the top of the nose) signifies the potential to be quite controlling. It usually derives from a very high level of personal sensitivity, which makes this person more aware of little details than other people, and more bothered if something is “off.”

It can be a real challenge to move through life seeing all the little mistakes others have made and missed. So the result often is this person feels a need to make sure the mistakes don’t happen, out of a desire to prevent stress to their own system! This can mean they always seem to be butting in to tell you how to do something, or you get the feeling they never trust you to do anything right. Put two people with nose bumps together in relationship and you can have two controllers driving each other crazy!

Visible nostrils: One way the more superstitious form of Chinese face reading refers to the nose is as “the moneybox.” They say that the nostrils show how easily a person spends money. If you ever look at someone straight on at eye level (not looking up at them or down at them) and you can see directly into their nostrils, this means they spend money easily. Though this may sound a bit farfetched, I do find this tends to be true! So if you have two people in relationship who both have visible nostrils, there’s a better chance they’ll love to spend and will end up with money problems, certainly not the most optimistic trend if you’re hoping for a successful partnering.

Round face: People with round faces often excel in really enjoying all the pleasures of life here on earth. They love the company of family and friends, wonderful meals together, a cozy and comfy home, and relaxing on a big cushy couch with their feet up. They’re not much inclined toward exercise, and so if you put two of these people together, you’ll find they tend to influence each other – to just cuddle together in front of the TV, snacks in hand, and over time, put on weight. They may actually have a good relationship in certain ways because they can get in the same rut together, but worst case, can develop health problems due to poor diet choices and lack of exercise.

It’s definitely important to understand what messages your date’s face reveals, but maybe you should beware if they look too much like you!

Do Your Eyes Light Up?

I’ve just returned from spending Christmas with my 93 year old mother and my heart is still full. My mother’s always been an amazing woman. When she was 89, I took her to one of the foremost acupuncturists in the world, and she was proclaimed to be a very rare case– a woman of that age whose spirit was still completely bright and vital.

Things have changed over the past year, and her spirit has dimmed considerably. She’s no longer able to live on her own, and is not often even fully conscious. But when she looks at me, there’s such light in her eyes, and such pure love, that I just feel totally cherished by her.

On my flight home, I was reading an interview with Oprah, where she talked about author Toni Morrison saying that what every child wants to know is, ‘Do your eyes light up when I enter the room?’ This is the gift my mother still gives me and I’m so very grateful.

When I was writing The Wisdom of Your Child’s Face, I did a lot of research into the latest discoveries in our Western understanding of child development. I was surprised to learn that the most important thing a child needs from his or her parents is not heaps of praise, and not even frequent “I love you’s,” though of course those things are essential.

But in fact, the single most powerful predictor of a child’s happiness and success in life is how much they feel recognized and understood by their parents.  To me, this is what’s happening when a parent’s eyes light up at the sight of their child.

And I don’t think that need ends with childhood.  I think the people who we feel most connected with and loved by are the ones who recognize us for who we really are, without layers of judgment, and without conditional love, which has strings attached.

This isn’t always easy to achieve. We all have different personalities, different patterns of perception and behavior, and these can really affect our ability to feel that pure love for and acceptance of another person. We misunderstand why someone in our lives is behaving as they are, or has the needs that they do. And over the years, these tiny misperceptions can build on themselves, until that light in the eyes goes out.

My mother and I are not at all alike; in fact we’ve always been very different from each other. Face reading has helped me so much in understanding her as an adult, but also in looking back throughout my childhood to give me insights about why she was the kind of parent that she was, and why I had the experiences I did because of this.  It’s what has allowed me to stay as clear and free of unresolved issues as possible with her, and to just be fully present with her, with that beautiful light in her eyes, and the same reflected back in mine.

Cheeks and Career Choices!

If you learn how to read faces, you’ll never be bored again – there’s such fascinating information available around you every day! Here are some thoughts about how just one feature can indicate potential career direction:

This fall, I spoke at an international conference for estheticians and spa professionals. As I gazed at the hundreds of faces around me, I suddenly noticed that nearly all of them had gigantic cheeks!

In face reading, each feature has many messages for you, about who you really are, what’s important to you, and your special patterns of perception of life. But a few of the things that cheeks represent made obvious sense in this situation:

One of the personality characteristics that prominent cheeks indicate is someone who naturally pays close attention to details, and has an inherent desire to create beauty in life.  So it’d certainly make sense that a person attracted to a career as an esthetician would have powerful cheeks!

In Chinese medicine, each feature also correlates to a specific organ system in the body.  (Face reading originated as a diagnostic tool for health purposes.) Interestingly, one of the things the cheeks relate to is the health of the skin – so again, we see how these cheeks would incline someone to be naturally attracted to a career doing detailed work to create beautiful skin!

But shortly after that conference, I attended another, this time about Buddhist psychology.  I found myself in a room surrounded by therapists and other healers interested in applying mindfulness techniques to help others achieve peace and balance in their lives. The focus was on powerful ways for people to observe their thoughts and feelings and start to take more responsibility for their choices in life.

And as I looked around, I realized that nearly everyone in the room had flat cheeks!  I had to laugh – one of the things that flat cheeks represent is someone who doesn’t want to have to take responsibility for another person’s work. It’s usually taken as a sign they’d not enjoy managing a staff, as they don’t like to constantly have to check up on people and remind them to do their jobs.

But another way flat cheeks can be interpreted is someone who’ll not want to boss another person around – that they want them to take responsibility for their own progress.  This is exactly the way these flat-cheeked therapists would be attracted to working with clients, and why they would be interested in this conference!

It’s amazing what you can discover in the faces around you if you just know what to look for!

School of One!

As I worked on my new book, The Wisdom of Your Child’s Face, I observed so many times how a child’s true nature was misperceived by parents or teachers, how their spirit was already being diminished by the lack of recognition and support for what they personally needed in order to succeed in school.

Chinese face reading shows us how unique each child is in every way, and that includes his or her learning style at school. There are actually simple, effective things that can be done to accommodate a child’s specific needs for integrating information in the best possible way for them. In my book, I have sections for teachers that give them ideas for dealing with different personality types. Things as small as where a child sits in the room, the way they’re spoken to, even how often they can get up and move around can have a surprising impact on their ability to function well in school.

That’s why I was so happy to read an article in The Atlantic Magazine about “School of One” (see link below) that offers a wonderful new way of re-thinking our educational system so that every child’s personal needs are honored without making unreasonable demands on teachers. We can change our schools from the mass-production model!

My only quibble with this idea is that they think they need a mathematical algorithm for this system! If only they knew how to read the kids’ faces! That would give them the information they need to know how each child best integrates information, relates to the teacher, their flow through the day and more. Well, maybe eventually face reading will be an additional tool to make life easier for more educators and parents!

This article is available online at: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-littlest-schoolhouse/8132/ Let’s support innovation in our schools!

No Technicians Here…

Someone contacted me recently to sign up for a workshop, saying he’d studied many systems of personality analysis and was looking forward to adding another tool to his tool belt. I envisioned him arriving at the workshop with a clipboard and measuring tape, ready to get all his charts and forms to fill out!

If you come to one of my workshops, one of the first things I’ll tell you is that I don’t train people to be technicians. I believe there are already plenty of systems out there that keep you firmly in your head and out of your heart. They give you questionnaires full of boxes to check, have you analyzing a thousand details, until you have the appropriate label to stamp someone with. Often you’re then directed to decide what’s wrong with them and how they can be fixed.

It’s not a surprise that most ways of understanding people do this because this is how our culture looks at everything in the world – we’re taught to judge – everyone and everything, in terms of good/bad, right/wrong, or at least look for some little box to put someone in and neatly tie it up with a string!

We even judge ourselves all the time; most of us have our own personal negative talk radio station blaring in our heads about what’s wrong with us nonstop throughout the day. We judge others, which often results in separating us further from them rather than bringing us closer. We see someone’s behavior as wrong, and this allows us to blame them rather than really understand why they acted as they did, or take responsibility for our part in the event. All this judgment serves to keep us locked in to our worldview, perpetuating the story we’re telling ourselves, over and over every day, about who we are, and who the other people in our lives are too.

For me, what’s important is to break out of this limited belief system, and to instead work on expanding our capacity to love. You can’t be truly present with someone if you’re stuck in your head, busy judging and labeling them. But you also can’t help them or have a healthy relationship with them if you’re being swept away by your feelings and reacting only from your emotional self. What’s necessary is to combine both heart and mind, to come to a compassionate understanding of who someone truly is, and to soften toward them in way that respects and supports their authentic nature.

So this is what I strive to do with my own work and what I’d look for in other systems of understanding human beings! Here are a few examples of statements that can alert you to a training or consultation to avoid:

  • If someone promises they can teach you how to tell if someone is a bad or dishonest person. (No one is by nature bad or dishonest. Everyone has the capacity to do unkind things or to be dishonest if they’re out of balance in their lives.)
  • If they use any judgmental, negative words to describe a personality type, words that have a charge to them or are not respectful, such as: sneaky, mean, stupid, unlucky, angry, domineering, smothering, uptight, etc. (No one is inherently any of these kinds of qualities, and this reveals a very limited understanding of human nature.)
  • If they say they can predict when an event will happen or exactly what will happen. (The only thing we know for sure is that everything changes. Choices you make, lessons you learn, experiences you have day by day change the future course of your life, so no one can know exactly what’s to come.)
  • If they give comical definitions of personality types, or offer cookie cutter or stereotypical characteristics. (These are not honoring of the human spirit, and don’t understand they myriad of ways a characteristic can manifest in someone’s personality.)
  • If there is no identifiable foundation to the work. In other words, if this is a system that someone designed on their own, it will most likely be overly affected by their own personality! (This is why I love Chinese face reading so much, as it has a history of 3,000 years of research and development!)
  • If the system seems overly complex or you can’t seem to get a grasp of the logic behind it. (I believe the more sophisticated a knowledge is, the more it has been developed, the simpler and more elegant it becomes.)

Don’t get me wrong – I’m an information junkie, and am always interested in learning new ways to understand myself, others, and life on this planet! But I think any knowledge that’s worthwhile will be obviously affirming and empowering, and will expand your capacity to love yourself and other people.