Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ancient Medicine 1.0: Gratitude

I'll keep it short and very sweet: Gratitude.  Its one of the most unlikely medicines there is.  Every time though, before I start my gratitude practice, the thoughts come swirling, like a strong cold wind to warn and keep me away, "what good is gratitude going to do?  You need urgent change, concrete solutions, not the sentimental warm feelings of gratitude!"  And I usually entertain those thoughts longer than I'd like to admit.  But eventually, though its choppy and tough at first, I begin to list what is going well, who is there for me, what has been lovely, helpful, downright miraculous in my present life, where is the love flowing and overflowing, before I know it something's shifted, I've shifted.  Practicing Gratitude appears to widen a path, widens the channel between the small I and the Big (God/Love/Eternity) I.  I don't know how it happens, why it happens, or even how far into the process when it actually happens, but it happens, every time.  Without a doubt, shifting the focus from scarcity to abundance somehow transports us to abundance.  Im not great at this all the time but like any habit, it takes practice, daily if not more. 

Lets do this together here and now:

1)  Lets acknowledge whats not going well.  There's pain, disappointment, something or someone hasn't added up or showed up the way we expected, the way we had hoped and longed for.  Its sad.  It hurts.  We honor and kiss those feelings.  We see them.  We accept them. 

2)  Lets now open the door for our old pal, as old fashioned as he may be dressed and speaks: Gratitude.  Lets open the door and welcome him in.  Lets have a dialogue and list out what has been right under our noses carrying us, blessing us, adoring us, keeping us alive and loved up to this point.  Take the time to listen to gratitude, let it flow and maybe even write down all that's shared.  Keep going.  Theres more.  Each time you cant think of any more, give yourself another few minutes to find more to be thankful for.

3) Any shifts?  Observe and give thanks for any lightness of heart, any joy that's crept its way into your experience.  Bask in the shift small or large.  Really marinate in the shift of energy.

4) Any new or old insights into your original problem/puzzle? 

5)  Still stuck?  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Repeat the process, until you've felt a veil or more fall away, revealing your shiny original eternal Whole you.  (Need more assistance?  We all do from time to time, see previous post with "spiritual resources" and/or reach out to me )

We'll continue to unveil our wholeness together, one practice, one touch, one moment at a time.  <3

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Healing Resources, Part 1

Here are some of the resources I found most helpful in healing from Lyme disease, Babesiosis (co-infection of Lyme).  As with anything, tuning into your intuition is best in finding whats best for you in this moment, at this stage of healing/being.

Diet and Herbs
Afro-Caribbean herbs:  Dr. Sebi,

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Dr. Quang Van Nguyen, Arlington, VT (inquire with me personally.  He may no longer be taking new patients)

Hormonal Balancing: "Woman Code" by Alisa Vitti

Exercise and Bodywork
Qi Gong, 7 Minutes of Magic,
Cranialsacral Therapy
Kundalini Yoga
Restorative Yoga
Reiki (theres no shortage of us Reiki healers, google them in your area.  It will yield more than physical healing and insights).  Im always happy to do Reiki on you, near or from afar:

Spiritual Care and Insight

Mental/Emotional Clarity
clary sage essential oil (clarity)
frankincense essential oil (grounding and healing trauma)
Tara Healing Incense (for relieving stress, tension, depression

General Handy Go-To's
various herbs, tinctures, books, wellness products in bulk and very affordable

discounted supplements and groceries galore



Doing Time with Lyme: An Introduction

If you know anyone with chronic lyme disease this story may not sound so strange.  This is a very brief version.  The full thing along with detailed accounts of treatments/tools/insights of all kinds (spiritual, physical, mental) will be found in the book Im currently writing about the healing path.  But here we'll start with the bare bones, how it went down. 

I was working full time, in graduate school, volunteering with one of the founders of the hospice movement, about to get engaged, and generally healthy (working out three times a week, eating mostly organic foods made from scratch), I loved to cook, even meditating regularly (vipassana).  Some time around spring of 2008 my body began telling me something was off, it started to fight something with all its might.  I would come down with something that felt like a severe flu four days out of every four to six weeks.  Im talking migraines that started at the base of my neck and crawled their way up over my head, making their home right behind my right eye.  Stab, stab, throb, throb.  Ouch.  Im talking diarrhea.  Im talking vertigo, like a hand has got you by the spine and is shaking you from the inside out.  Sometimes it was more like the room spinning.  Other times like I simply couldn't get my orientation in the world, like the ground wasn't the ground, my center wasn't my center.  That kind of thing makes a person nauseous like you wouldn't believe.  Im talking fatigue, yall, fatigue like you never knew existed, like someone emptied your fuel out and the reserves too.  Every four to six weeks I'd wake up those four days in a row and felt like a lead blanket was on top of me.  I literally crawled, inched my way to the bathroom, thankful for the smoothly polished wood floors, the coolness of the small white tiles that reminded me of my childhood bathroom.  Never in my life until that time had I become so acquainted with the floors of every room of my country apartment. 

You might be thinking at this point, well why didn't you just ask for help?  Where was your fiancé?  Where were your friends?  Where were your parents and other family?  It chokes me up a little to this day to write ponder that.  But maybe its also not so strange.  Im just an average independent, stubborn, prideful kind of being, like all the others that roam this earth, too brave or too stupid to ask for help.  I felt scared.  Scared at my core.  I was a caregiver most all my life.  It was my life to care and support others.  What is a caregiver to do when her vitality has run from her, her life source made itself scarce, her identity shriveled up collecting dust in a corner somewhere of her suddenly too spacious apartment?  It helped that these episodes only lasted four days at a time with several weeks in between.  In that time I was able to fool myself into thinking it wouldn't come again, I'd beaten it, this round of the flu again.  It wasn't all my own foolery.  Maybe two rounds into this cycle I went to my doctor.  They too confirmed it was just a persistent flu bug cycling back around.  After at least a year of this near monthly cycle my coworker pulled me aside.  She told me it was the running joke in the office how Liz takes all her sick days, leaving none to spare at the end of the year.  She let me in on the jokebecause she wanted to show me there was indeed something bigger going on.  She told me her brother became ill 15 years earlier the exact same way I was getting ill.  He had all the same symptoms, right down to the right hip pain and bouts with excrutiating chest pain.  Its Lyme disease she said, get checked for it.  Even though my fiancé and I had been going canoeing almost every weekend, I hadn't seen any ticks on me, let alone a tick bite, no rash.  She told me it didn't matter. Go get the test.  I waited another episode or so to do so as I was in disbelief, but for her urging I finally did so.  I asked the doctor for the test and they also were in disbelief because I had no bullseye rash or any new rashes.  It took persistence on my part to get the test but I got it.  Three weeks later I got a message from my doctor, full of condescension and mockery: You don't have lyme disease and you don't have mono.  You need to start drinking chicken broth and start eating meat.  Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, she said, and move on with your life.  Annoyed at the tone but relieved at the results, I did just that.  I convinced myself and let the doctor convince me that this was in fact all in my head, nothing to succumb to, nothing of consequence.  That was all fine and well, for a while.  I had a busy life and quite frankly had no time to be sick.  But a month passed by and my symptoms came back for longer than the usual four days.  It was going on a week.  Because I believed it wasn't anything big, as I was told by the doctor, I didn't take any sick days.  Instead I endured the fatigue, the pain, the discomfort, worked at my desk through it as best I could.  My boss, a former nurse, came in one afternoon and said, listen, I know your doctor said you don't have anything but youre clearly fading.  You can barely keep your head up.  I'll have someone drive you home.  Go get a note that you need bedrest for a couple weeks.  Go home.  Youre not dying on my watch. 

And so I went to the doctor from there.  Taking as many back roads as possible because it was hard to keep my eyes open, hard to stay alert.  The doctor was not in so I saw the Physician's Assistant (PA).  He was happy to oblige and write me the note for rest having examined my condition.  Just before I left the examination room, he came back in a little out of breath. After reviewing your chart a second time I called another supervising doctor to confirm what I found.  You have lyme disease.  You have several more of the markers required for a diagnosis.  I don't know why Dr.** didn't find this, its quite obvious.  You need to get on the antibiotics right away, said the PA.  I was livid with the snooty doctor who'd made the mistake the month prior, and elated by the news.  What I was feeling was real, had a real cause.  It wasn't in my head.  This is a definable, treatable thing!  I thought.  I'd be better by the time the month-long prescription ran out, I thought.  Yes, indeed, moving on with my life, my health, my plans, I thought.  Those thoughts and wishes couldn't have been farther from what would transpire over the next seven years.

That's right. It got bad.  Worse than bad.

And this is a blog on wholeness?  Reflecting back on this younger version of me, poor thing!  Little did I know what was in store for me.  The bad and the ugly, you can only imagine right?  Body falling apart, broke up with fiancé, dropped out of grad school, lost social life, lost job, lost some friends.  So wheres the good in that?!  That's the funny thing about life: within the pile of hot steaming doggy doo I was stripped of all my identities, my self of worth, only to find something more brilliant underneath.  Something eternal.  Something health status, relationship status, job status, and bank account have no say in: the Eternal Being that lies within each one of us, unaffected by good or bad fortune, a sense of Being that holds everything, an unwavering source of love, joy, peace.  Sounds too Disney?  Too airy fairy?  Unreal?  Yes.  But its the most real thing ive experienced.  How does one discover this state, how to get there, this land of experiential bliss?  There are infinite ways.  Which one will you take?  Return next week and many weeks to come to hear the paths that opened up before me, some intentional, some totally spontaneously on the waves of Grace.  We'll get there together over and over again. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Wholeness, Unveiled!

Dear Reader,

Love on you for getting here!  You made it!  Maybe you've got a fatal health prognosis, maybe you just feel like it with an inexplicable chronic ailment like chronic Lyme as I had for seven years.  Maybe you have a loved one whose tried everything the medical world has to offer.  Maybe youre just tired of lugging around this body day after day and not really feeling alive.  Maybe you need a boost in feeling turned on, alive, whole.  Whatever the case, you've joined this dialogue just by showing up and exposing yourself to something new, this blog on wholeness. 

What do I mean by wholeness? While everyone wants a silver bullet fix-it solution to whatever is ailing them, usually chronic pain of some sort (mental, physical, spiritual), and while this blog just might offer something practical that unlocks that kind of relief from pain, wholeness has more to do with your perspective, your harmonious integration, ultimately your experience of your life.  So you know Im not blowing smoke up your rear end, let me tell you about my journey with healing from Lyme disease over a seven year period, my "street cred".   My symptoms: nearly perpetual sensation of bones on fire, migraines, vertigo (like someone shaking my spine, a personal earthquake), unfathomable fatigue (like you just ran a cross country race moments ago when in reality you've only gone to the kitchen to scramble some eggs), light sensitivity, smell sensitivity, motion sensitivity (any of these things could trigger the vertigo), to name a few.  Prior to this onset of illness I was given a crumb along the path, a clue to healing and wholeness when I was a graduate student of transpersonal psychology and volunteering for hospice.  In these arenas health is more than the body being able to carry out its normal functions, its the quality of experience, the deep sense of integration, acceptance, and love known at one's core.  I got that crumb and offered that kind of wisdom and presence to people who were dying and their families.  However, when the time came that I myself felt like I was dying, the daily practice of cultivating such wisdom and presence from the inside out, it was whole other ball game.  If I didn't keep the perspective of knowing I am more than my function, what I have to offer the world, if I didn't know I was more than this body that was on fire, I would experience the closest thing I know to hell on Earth.  I say all this to relay, Ive had to put my money where my mouth is. Ive had to apply the lofty wisdom I, in hindsight realize, rather flippantly, offered to patients and clients.  To deeply acknowledge and whole-heartedly love the body in its pain, to also transcend ones consciousness from only being the body to that of an Eternal Being, one can find true and total bliss, free from suffering.  This is the wholeness of which I speak.  This is a wholeness that is already you, already your birthright, already here in the now.  Can you feel it?  What would a whole you look like?  How many layers is s/he hiding under?  Can you name the layers veiling your wholeness?  Im sure the veils are there for good reason.  Illness?  Pain unceasing? Agony of some sort?  General disillusionment with life?  Disappoinment with someone who failed you?  Maybe your own body or mind has failed you?  Does it feel like God forgot about you?  Did God fail you?  Not that its possible in my view but I know the feeling. 

Again, welcome to this blog!  Youre in good company.  Youre home.  A place where wholeness is a God given constant.  Lets see whats veiling our experience from knowing its true.  Lets explore together. 

Here you'll find reflections on the Lyme Years (2009-early 2016).  I kept a detailed journal from time to time on various diets, various protocols.  I kept a detailed journal of dreams.  I also kept a very frank account of what I was feeling, physically and emotionally.  This blog will however focus on returning to a sense of wholeness and all the ways Spirit/God/Love graced me with various avenues, pathways to unveil that mystery of the Eternally Whole Self.  Also check out my site for facilitating some steps along this path with you:  . 

Its a pleasure to be with you in this way.  Write me and connect anytime.  Lets unveil wholeness together.