Whether youre faced with Lyme, another tickborne bug, other bacterial/viral infection, or even certain cancers, the following can be complimentary to your healing routine. As always, check in with your gut intuition when incorporating something new. Anyone on the healing path a while knows whats good for some isn't always good for others. Here's what's working for me from the physical to the spiritual to the communal:
Clearing out infection
Chaga mushroom: grows within and on birch trees, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor properties, the outer black part may be the highest concentration of melanin in plant life--its nutritious to the pineal gland! I actually hadn't used this regularly until recently for non-Lyme related infections (bad tooth/gum issues and general immunity. Although recent new joint aches, feverish feeling, and dive in energy from time to time would say I need to drink this regularly for Lyme/Babesia ongoing treatment). You can harvest chaga yourself off of birch trees! But do be sustainable, only take what you need and with as little intrusion to the tree as possible. With the rising popularity and demand of this supreme healing being, we'll need to be sure we don't over exploit the forest of them. In general, if you don't already know/practice this, try to establish a connection with the plant before harvesting and ingesting. Ask for its permission and anything else it would like to tell you (just stay open), thank it, have a conversation. If youre not accustomed to doing this it sounds far out. But once you get in the habit of it, interacting with plants will be like interacting with any other living being who deserves respect, acknowledgement, gratitude for what it offers to us. Chaga, as a master herbalist friend says, is the Emperor of herbs in ancient Chinese medicine. We're really lucky to have it so easily accessible, abundant, and willing to share itself with us here in the Northeast. If youre not able to access in nature for yourself or from a friend, great sources are Jeans Greens in Troy, NY www.jeansgreens.com and Berkshire Herbal Apothecary based in Heath, MA accessible via facebook. To my knowledge, both will ship globally.
Sending in the peace troops! Probiotics
Fermented Foods: My trips to Japan last winter were profoundly healing not only in their ethereal spiritual shifts but also in a very grounded way by including new powerful microbe allies into my system. While I fermented some of my garden veggies here in the past few years, I also learned new fermentation forms and ingredients there that I'll elaborate on in another post. Currently my fermented diet includes coconut milk and cow milk kefir, miso (I make both), Berkshires made Hosta Hill kraut, kombucha, my own pickles from a few years back. Fermented foods are especially essential to those of us either currently taking or in the past have taken antibiotics for an extended time. Its crucial to build diversity of probiotic microbes in our gut to be able to better withstand and better integrate potentially harmful exposures. My five week stay at an eco-village near Mt. Fuji, called Konohana Family, profoundly shifted my awareness of harmonious bacteria keeping us alive. There I learned a new level of reverence for the microbe world, its divinity, its wisdom, its power to sustain us and change our lives drastically. In a way you could say I felt recolonized (I don't condone in any other way than high vibration harmonious bacteria)! The probiotics there were from the other side of the planet and long revered for keeping and strengthening the fabric of life. While preparing these life saving micro-beings we often sang songs to them of gratitude and awe for their effect on us. Eating dynamically powerful live foods adds life to your life. Give it a whirl. Sing them a song as you prepare and ingest, as they do their work in your body. Its a marvelous thing. [Note: With fermented foods, I find a little goes a long way. Its a rather efficient means of feeding yourself. I found myself not eating very much and being quite satisfied. Ease into incorporating fermented foods into your diet. It can mean a radical shift in your gut, which, to put lightly, can mean more time on the porcelain throne!]
Self hand and foot massage: When I do these first thing in the morning it drastically improves the quality of my day and experience of my body. Dr. Quang Van Nguyen, a world renowned, very humble, "barefoot doctor" of Traditional Chinese Medicine, author of "Fourth Uncle in the Mountain", was my healing practitioner for many years of healing from Lyme and Babesia. As you may know, much of Chinese herbal medicine can be very slow acting but also creates deeper shifts that last longer. In addition to the herbal tea preparations he prescribes, much of my time as a patient of his was spent acclimating to the consciousness of more subtle, routine building, self care practices from diet to self massage. Dr. Quang, suggested the self hand and foot massage to increase overall energy and decrease body pain. It really works! You need not know reflexology, just get to rubbing and probing intuitively, see what feels good for you. Deep breaths and a heart of gratitude during the massage go a long way too. In a culture that's driven on what the body can produce, our bodies really appreciate when we stop to acknowledge and nurture them in conscious ways. Like the Earth itself, our bodies are what graciously host our sense of self and our ambitions. Please join me in taking that daily morning time to be in awe, humility, and nurture for the body's generosity to us.
Frankincense Oil: a favorite this past year from treating cuts, burns, rashes, tooth/gum infections to even PTSD! It came to mind more for the PTSD healing aspects right now. If you've got trauma locked up in the body that is thawing and leaking out for attention, healing, release/integration, consider getting a little vile of this oil and dab some on you morning and before bed. Personally, at the rise of media attention on police terrorism on black men I began to have PTSD symptoms I never knew were stored in me: any time of day flashbacks of race violence which resulted in blackouts and involuntary crying and body convulsion, extreme nightmares, panic attacks. In addition to prayer and meditation, I sought out therapy. That therapist, spirit-led and a 'woke-bae' guided me to frankincense oil instead of long term therapy sessions! Whew! What a savings to the pocket. What a profound blessing to the body-mind-soul-nature connection. Using the oil before I went to sleep and a couple times through the day, my symptoms simply vanished. Vanished. There was some kind of deep integration that happened, a healing beyond conscious understanding. I didn't need to talk it out. Intuitively it seems the oil activates a cellular restoration and awareness of safety.
Nothingness 'practice': Yup, you read it right. Do nothing. You probably have a number of responsibilities to feed, house, clothe, transport, learn, heal, coordinate, perform in private and public life so, yeah, not something that appears easy to do or even desirable. The good news is there is nothing to do to do nothing:) A shift of perspective/consciousness helps us see who we are: a place of profound grace, God, Love, Christ Consciousness; a place of experiencing life has got you, you are life, not a worry exists there, its saturated with joy, peace, spaciousness--truly ineffable. There are many paths to finding it and still no paths at all. Eckart Tolle calls it the Now. Some call it Awakening. Some call it Nothing. Some call it Grace. The ego, as useful as it can be, often blinds us into thinking the ego is the only thing worth our attention. In these moments of Grace, we somehow pop out of the ego drugged state and see theres something so gorgeous holding and being with and in all of us that what we're doing and taking so seriously is kind of hilarious, kind of irrelevant, compared to this rich fabric of holding and being. I cant pretend I'm an expert at any of this. I've only by Grace popped like popcorn a few times out of my ego attention and got to experience it for no more than a few minutes to days at a time. The great ones among us and in history consciously know this is who we are and theres no leaving it even if we wanted to. Theres no teaching it or learning it. You are it. Its the single most important thing to healing, to being, outside of feeling well or not in the body. In that Love Saturation, there is only G-D, the unknowable yet Is at the core of all. People seasoned in hospice work, people dying or in chronic pain, people who've known the depths of loss and tragedy and are yet happily alive often have the ego veils thinned or yanked away and consciously live from this grace. A favorite read right now is Steven and Andrea Levine's "Who Dies?" where they tell the stories of Grace and Awakening experiences from their perspective and of others well acquainted with the beauty of loss and death. Theres a Biblical scripture about dying (ego death) daily so that Christ may live within. My favorite embodiment of this is Mooji. Find videos and other resources at www.mooji.org.
Community ("Come Unity, Come Unity, Come Unity, Come Unity")
Unify like never before, inside and out: As a new soul sister of mine just encouraged me from afar: "Im so happy to be alive at the same time as you." The recent swell of political and social scares are a great opportunity for us to come together, share resources, learn, listen, Be with each other in new ways for physical, mental, social, spiritual, communal health and evolution. We are One and we'll awaken, deepen, expand, heal, and love better together.
Weekly prayer vigil: If youre in the Berkshires/western MA or abroad, join us in body or spirit Sundays 4-5pm EST, for Community Prayer Vigil. Its an open safe space share circle. 15 min each of Gratitude, Grief, Prayer, Song. Leave with a connected warmed heart and a list of ways to join in the wave of communal healing for race, class, gender, economic and social justice.
Intentional Community resources: www.ic.org if you've got some vaca time this year, spend some of it at an intentional community! On this site theres a list of all kinds of them. Its where I found Pendle Hill (the home of the Come Unity song:) many years ago, a Quaker retreat and training center for peace near Philly, Konohana Family (mentioned earlier) near Mt. Fuji, and many more of varying flavors and intentions. I even had great body healing shift at a place called the Healing Castle in Schochvitz, Germany. Each of these places had a unique way of creating and evolving intentional community suited to their needs. While each has their weaknesses in some area, they were the closest thing to communal utopia as I've ever seen. Its great to learn harmonious community by experiencing one. Search the site. There may even be one quite close to you!
More healing resources to come as they appear and reappear...