Know Your Face and Free Your Soul

New Spirit Journal LogoKnow Your Face and Free Your Soul:
Jean Haner on Chinese Face Reading and Self-Discovery

 by Rhonda Dicksion

Ask most people what’s holding them back from joy, what they need to really improve their life, and they’d likely answer in predictable ways: they want a job that energizes them, an overflowing bank account, a relationship with a perfect someone, or vibrant health.

But what if we could discover something even better, the touchstone that makes all the rest possible? What if we could replace all the ways we might feel “less-than,” and “not-good-enough,” and “other,” with feelings of love and gentle kindness for ourselves? Then we’re free and open to joy. We step out of our way, become our best cheering squad, and allow all of life’s magic to happen in and around us.

This is Jean Haner’s life’s work. By teaching people how their own faces map their life’s journey — their habits, tendencies, and the way they look at life — she helps them understand why they feel, think, act, and react in certain ways. Through Chinese face reading, Jean helps students and clients discover that magical moment when they can flow with life, and let life’s treasures flow to them.

“Most people have never heard of face reading,” Jean says. “They think it’s a party trick or something.”

Jean was exposed to face reading by her mother-in-law when Jean and her ex-husband were preparing to buy a house in 1979. Her mother-in-law, who was from China, insisted on being in on the search.

“She knew this really weird thing called feng shui,” Jean recalls. “The rest of the family told me not to listen to her — that this was superstition — but the things she said about what to look for in a house really made sense to me. She became my first feng shui teacher. And she also knew face reading.”

Initially, Jean didn’t see the value in face reading.

“It all seemed very much like folklore to me. ‘Don’t do business with that man, he has a dragon nose,’ my mother-in-law might say. A dragon nose? What does that mean?”

But fascinated with feng shui, Jean studied it and then began to practice it professionally. As her practice grew, she realized that face reading was a natural complement to feng shui, and that face reading gave her a deeper understanding of clients and their issues.

“I came back to face reading years later thinking, okay, maybe there is something valuable here,” Jean says.

“I am one of the more skeptical people you’ll ever meet. Things have to make sense to me. Face reading has an incredible depth and foundation. My mother-in-law taught me the superstitious side of face reading, but the principles behind it are universal principles that are astonishingly true and useful.

“The Chinese have observed nature for thousands of years, and they noticed that everything is about a circle — the seasons, times of day, times of life — everything goes in circular fashion. They noticed that at different stages of the circle there were different qualities of energy. The energy of winter is very different from summer, and childhood from old age.

“This circle is what Chinese doctors or acupuncturists use as a grid or map when they look at your body to discern your physical health. What the Chinese also discovered — and what we in the West have only come to accept in the last 20 years — is that your physical health is directly related to your emotional state. Three thousand years ago, Chinese doctors discovered they could discern the health of the body simply by looking at the face, but they also found you can read someone’s personality by reading their face.

“When you unwrap the gift of face reading, inside is the circle that helps you understand how you should live your life, how you take a breath, how a business meeting happens, how you eat a meal. You can use this as a map to understand any situation or experience. Your face tells the world what you expect from it and what your experience is going to be, and you can read the same in other people’s faces: about how they will experience life, how they will experience you, and what you can do to make them feel more comfortable.

“When I started with this work I thought, ‘Oh cool! People are going to be able to understand their spouses and their kids better with face reading!’ Certainly they do, but when people really get lit up in my workshops is when they realize, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s why I do what I do!’ People are transformed when they understand why they keep feeling certain ways, or why they keep attracting certain types of people into their life.

“But this is not a head-thing. When you begin learning to read faces, there is a stage you go through trying to remember what a nose or chin means, but pretty soon you throw that away. You come back inside and it’s almost like you can read someone’s frequency; you learn to meet people where they are. And then, when you look in the mirror you’re not so self-blameful. People tell me, ‘I finally have permission to be myself. I am not blaming myself for who I am anymore.’

“To me, face reading is about getting out of your own way; about not taking yourself so seriously. It’s about knowing that you have certain feelings because it’s your nature.

“People are just like plants. Somebody is supposed to be a pine tree and someone else a willow tree and someone else a redwood. If the willow tree is trying to be a pine tree because her parents and friends are pine trees, and if she’s blaming herself for not being able to grow needles, then she’s never going to be happy in life, she’s never going to be anything but stressed. This is about moving beyond the small self and the personality we are so locked into, the filters we see the world through, and into understanding why, as a willow tree, I perceive someone else as good or bad or difficult or wonderful. This work frees people to be their authentic selves. If you are the authentic, integrated version of yourself, then you live your life with joy.

“It’s a confusing place, this planet, and we get all kinds of messages about what we’re supposed to do here. We struggle all our lives to discover or rediscover who we were meant to be, to find the fullest expression of who we were meant to be. Face reading hands this self-discovery to us on a plate. It’s amazingly eloquent and breaktakingly beautiful.”

© 2008 New Spirit Journal