This past couple of weeks has been extremely difficult for a friend and mentor of mine. She has been quite ill. Another bird of a feather too has been having trouble sleeping due to his constant pain. There are many people I know who are having issues of physical pain and lack of sleep because of their discomfort. I am not sure what is going on and I cannot help but wonder if this is in part due to global issues and the negative energy emanating from the strife overseas.
I know chronic pain well as I have Psoriatic Arthritis. It hit me very hard this weekend, rendering me unable to walk. When I went to bed, I was fine and I actually got up at one point in the night without difficulty. In the morning, I could not stand on my right ankle as the pain was excruciating. It was all swollen. I did nothing to cause this. I have never had a flare like this and in never in that ankle. I made my way through the day and hobbled like an old woman. Oh wait, I am an old woman. It kept me up most of the night, but this morning it is better, which is good because I have to work this Sunday.
Why does pain seem so prevalent now? The severity of the medical situations that I am aware of seems to be pretty acute. One person I know has ovarian cancer and several of my coworkers are recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Another coworker just lost her 45 year old husband to cancer. Coworkers are falling and hurting themselves and several are just ill or suffering with chronic pain. It would be interesting to see if there was a way to measure the level of pain in the world right now to see if this is a global phenomenon. Is humanity feeling the discord and suffering caused by the monstrosities occurring in the Middle East?
One theory is that this is a test. As the possibility of global war looms in the future, and as the Quickening approaches, is this a test to see how strong we are? In my opinion, there is nothing more frightening than losing your health or battling with constant pain. If a force wanted to spread terror and weaken their enemy, making them suffer with illness would do it. And negative energy spreads like wildfire, much more easily than positive. We are mentally wired that way unfortunately.
But the strong will survive. I watch my friend with the ovarian cancer joke and laugh as if nothing is happening to her. This is her second round of chemo for it. She did not lose her hair this time. What strength and power she has and it humbles me. We need to focus on the survivors and absorb their power and strength. It gives me courage when I hear of the perseverance and moxie that people demonstrate in the line of fire of chronic and acute illnesses. We need to sing of these heroes. As a collective, we need to embrace and honor these warriors and change the fear to fortitude. We need to hold and comfort our wounded and infirmed and bolster their will power to continue to live without fear or shame. We need to create a shield to protect us from the epidemic of depression which I believe is a major contributor to illness. We need to rise against this onslaught and broadcast positive and healthy energy. Everyone can contribute to this cause.
To my friends and to the world, get better and well. We need you all.
About fourteen years ago I was trying to figure out what was missing from my life. I was a full time teacher and it fulfilled me in many ways. I had a lovely home and did not want for much in material ways. My marriage was at that point pretty much over and I had become numb to the relationship. Most of my life I had been called a feminist. The current people that I was allowed to socialize with (gives you a hint about the marriage) called me a feminazi. In my younger years, I never accepted being told I could not do something because I was a woman. I had buried the strong female warrior that resided in me in order to survive in a very male supremacist social circle. Even the wives were all in agreement that women were subservient to men and they chastised me for rebelling and being as independent as I was. I became isolated and victimized. Fortunately, I got divorced. At the time, it was horrible but it was my salvation.
I look back and see that a door had opened. I pursued alternative avenues for connection. At night on the weekends, I joined a group of divorced people in a chat room. Some of us splintered off and we met every weekend for over a year. I started taking classes at night and pursued learning about a path that resonated with me. All the people, male and female, who I was surrounding myself with were all Witches. The classes were in Wicca. I was learning about the Goddess.
Less than a year after I had moved into my new house, divorced and happy, I became very ill. I had five blood clots and one was very dangerously positioned near my heart. I have written about this before. After what was supposed to be open heart surgery, and they discovered all the clots were gone, I was placed in a room with a very sick woman. Turns out she was a Witch. At one point our hospital room was filled with several visiting Witches.
All of these events and connections were signs of the Goddess. I felt very strong back then and somehow I lost it. I have felt disconnect, frail and unsure for a long time. I needed to work through this and try different avenues of religion and practices to see where I fit. I honor all those who have influenced me and offered guidance.
My studies have brought me full circle and back to where I began. But this time, it is not about Wicca. It is about being a Witch and what that really means. The media and other religious connotations and images are so absolutely wrong about what a Witch truly is. I did not get all of this even myself when I first was learning fourteen years ago. Finding the Goddess and being a Witch is about finding the soul of a woman. Even men have a feminine side. It is about strength and love. It is not about spells: anyone can cast a spell. It is about the Light within. It is about connecting with the Earth Mother. It is about doing what is right. It is not about denouncing Jesus or God or bashing anyone or anything else. It is total acceptance, including self-acceptance and loving who we are. It is finding your soul.
If anyone would like to read an excellent book on this subject I highly recommend the following book. Do not be misled by the word Power, it is not what you think.
Power of the Witch. Cabot, Laurie (2013-12-18). Random House Publishing Group.
1. the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.
synonyms: persistence, determination, perseverance, doggedness, strength of purpose, tirelessness, indefatigability, resolution, resoluteness, resolve, firmness, patience, purposefulness…..
This word is very tricky. I am very tenacious in some things, but I am not patient. I do have determination and perseverance, but I do tire. At what point does the tenacious one become the fool? That is what popped in my head this morning.
I do not have a firm grip on my life, my purpose and reason for existence. For me, to just be is not enough. To some, a life of quiet and calm is perfect. They go through life with such ease. I need something more in my life.
I have fought very hard to rid my life of constant fear. I have been successful to some extent. Fear is not my constant companion but it would be ludicrous to think that after a lifetime spent in worry and terror that all would suddenly disappear. I would say I have learned to handle it better and make it not so prevalent. Because my existence is now not spent in survival, it has created a void. I needed to be available though and so the work was necessary.
I need to find my passion. No one can tell me what this will be either. I am totally on my own to discover it. And like an explorer, I have been off on many tangents trying to figure out what it would be. And again, the word tenacious comes in to play as I a seeker with the utmost persistence. It would be a different thing if I was still in my youth, but alas, I am far from those years. Some days I feel like I am on a game show trying to select door number one, only to find it locked or empty.
But as I said I am tenacious. I just need to work on another T-word and that is ….. TRUST.
Somehow so quickly, the summer has past. It was a cool and wet summer but the flowers loved it. I spent as much time as I could, which is never enough, sitting out and enjoying the beauty. This is my canvas and I paint in spring with my flowers. Mother Earth fills in and takes over as the summer progresses. It is the first place I retreat to when I come home and I end my day out there. This is my garden at night.
The corner of the deck
View from my chair
View of my chair
During the day I have many visitors. I also have my favorite tree named Elgin in honor of Rising Hawk. Elgin gives me great advice.
This weekend we leave for Sacred Ground. We are off to The River for a long week.
My meditation spot at the River
The suitcases are packed. However, I had to face this look all day. They know we are going. But they have their Auntie Carolyn to cuddle and smooch them up all day and every night and Uncle John, their favorite is coming over too. So they will be fine. However, I still had this face.
Two years ago I walked in to a physical therapist’s office not knowing at all what I was facing. I think back to that time in my life and it is hard to remember the fear and pain I was in all the time. It was so pervasive that I was unable to even sense how deep it was. I just lived with it. I did not know what flight, fight or freeze was and how the limbic system worked. I did not understand much of anything that was going to be presented to me in the following years. I had expectations of walking into his office and he would look at me, give me ten exercises and tell me to be on my way. “See ya next week.” I was so wrong.
Every week I would show up and like a terrified animal, I would wrap myself up as tight as I could get and almost cringe as I walked into the office or into his treatment room. I hated that yellow room. It scared me. But the daemons were all of my own making. It took months before he could even touch me to help me. Looking back it is hard to remember what it felt to be that scared all the time. It is hard to remember how hypervigilant I was all the time. I was a terrified human being whose bruises were apparent to everyone. I felt disconnected to everyone and everything. No one knows how really bad it was except John, who stood at the edge of the rabbit hole and extended his hand. It was his pulling me up to the next level that allowed me to fight for myself and ask for more help. His investment in me gave me strength and hope, something no one else had ever done for me.
Something amazing happened. I began to trust him. It was his faith in me and the courage he gave me that allowed this healing to occur. I asked to heal and I made a commitment to work on healing. My wounds were very big, some so deep that I did not even know all the pieces. Together we would eradicate the fear as they surfaced and together we would face them. I spent hours writing and sending him my thoughts; pages and pages of it. He patiently would respond with encouragement and hope. It was his hope, his light that gave me the strength to continue.
And I did continue. I found other guides who joined my crusade to aide me. I would crash and burn continually. I literally fell on my face once, but I spent hours doing face plants in a metaphorical sense. I think back and I wonder why would anyone go through something like this? Well, like the chicken, I wanted to get to the other side. We even would fight as I thought I wanted something I felt he was not providing. He was wise and knew in time I would get what I needed. Like a young child, he nurtured me and showed me that my impatience was not a bad thing but I needed to learn to trust. I still struggle with this but I am so much better.
My wheel has turned and I continue to grow. I have been blessed with a new teacher who I connected with a year ago. She has taken me places I never would have dreamed of before I walked into that small office two years ago. I write this in an effort to encourage others who are as afraid as I was to seek help and support. I am hoping someday I will pay back all that I have received by helping others find the strength to heal. I will never have the words to express the extent of my gratitude for all those who have helped me.
Tomorrow is my last scheduled visit with John. It is bittersweet because he has been such a huge part of my life. But because of his work with me, I know it is time to move on. I am hoping he will let me see him periodically.
Mr. Borden, know this: I will love you eternally. My gratitude will be demonstrated by continuing to work and grow and not falter on this quest. I know I was a challenging windmill, sir. Never doubt your power and magic as you do possess these things. My light burns bright because of your light. It will be with me always. Thank you.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about a concept I have been reading about and talking with people about. This concept is why we are here. It is the purpose of the individual spiritual journey that so many are on, including me. But I am struggling with the whole process. Well actually, the struggle is the process. The concept is our higher purpose. Everyone has one, so I am told. But it is our duty to find or figure out what that is. Oh, just to add to the mix, do not try too hard or force the issue. Oh, and do not over think it. And sadly, some people miss it completely. I do not see why this has to be so hard.
There are people out there whose energy is so magnetic and they seem so composed and sure of themselves. And because everything has a polar opposite, we all know people who are so negative and unhappy; you wonder how they get through their day. Everything for them is a painful struggle. All of this is energy from within. It is a choice also. Sadly, humans have a natural predisposition towards negativity. We are programed early on to not trust as a safety mechanism. If we did not have this awareness, the big cute fluffy cat we walked up to snuggle with would eat us. That is what lions do. We learn as we grow to trust less and less and unfortunately, we also learn to feed the negativity. The human race has been infected with a virus of hate and consumption all in the name of safety. “If I get rid of the threats, I will be safe. Therefore, I must destroy.”
For me, safety is a huge issue. I understand how it has shaped my life. I understand how and why it is hard for me to trust and feel comfortable in new environments. But I also knew instinctively that I had to find a better way to live the remaining years of my life. Our world is such a beautiful environment and I am attached to the greenness of the earth and powers of water. Gaia is such a gift. I have turned away from TV completely and rarely digest any form of reporting such a paper or magazine. Even so, I am totally aware of the destruction and evil that is growing rapidly on our planet. Yet, I am not afraid. I am drawn to help fight and save this world, even if it is only in a small manner.
Now is the time when people need to find their higher purpose. We all have a higher power to help us find what that purpose is. Now is the time to activate. Now is the time to wake up. It will be like a ripple in the water. It will start small with each gentle kindness. And exponentially it will build a powerful force to help repel the unacceptable forces that are set on destruction. In our own small circles, which may be all we can affect, the actions of love and kindness will intertwine with other small circles and connect to grow. This will help to bring balance and hope to our world. Everyone counts and everyone matters. And everyone can choose to help. We may never eradicate evil but it is time to make things better one kindness at a time.
The process of living life has many challenges and they are unique to each person. What is also unique is how people deal with things. My way of dealing in the past has been to shut off in fear and respond in anger. It is a common response for people with PTSD. My physical body has a mind of its own and would perpetuate the situation with pain. It has taken me years to understand this and a lot of therapy and help from wonderful people. It has been explain thoroughly and with compassion and empathy. I am grateful and know I have been blessed to receive such support.
But the dilemmas keep coming and that’s life. Truly that it is what life is about. We are given situations on a continuum: some good, some bad, some great, some tragic and some just perplexing. We must keep going. I have learned this and understand that present moment is not an escape from reality and issues, it is dealing full on with the moment with the clear understanding it is only what is now, not what has been or will be. But that does not make it have any less impact.
I am also learning (not quite there) that I cannot control the outcome by trying to change others. The only person I have control over is me. I do not even have control over the situation. I must deal head on with whatever it is and know the one thing I can control is my reaction. My reaction is as unique as I am and they vary from situation and issue. My biggest hurdle is my safety level. This has been extremely difficult for me to get a handle on. Because I often do not feel safe, I react (and I was going to type poorly but that is not fair either) with the methods I know. I have to build my repertoire of reactions. And one of the reactions I am going to work on is not feeling guilty for not being perfect and having reactions.
So in answer to the issue I am facing currently and in response to the question what are you going to do about it: the answer is NOTHING. I am going to do nothing about it. I am going to let go of the tight grip I have and see what happens. I am clearly aware that my safety feels threatened and I need to evaluate if that is truly the situation. And that is all I am going to do. One reaction at a time.
This world we live in is threatening and difficult. I do not understand why it has to be so. I do not understand the joy people derive from belittling and insulting each other. I do not understand why or how people can be violent and kill for pleasure. I avoid TV now completely because it upsets me too much. I occasionally catch something from the paper or internet and react terribly to the insanity of actions that is occurring in the world. It is not because I avoid this news because I am trying not to be involved. I can look at a picture and I feel deeply the anguish and pain as if it was my own. Some would say I am too sensitive. So be it, I am.
I have studied the workforce for a long time. I find it fascinating as new generations evolve the work traditions to fit their lifestyle. We all benefit to some extent as I think the working conditions are improving because of the freedom the new generations are requiring. They want the job to fit their life, not their life to fit their job. But along with this conscious attitude of getting what they want comes a sense of entitlement. To say they are egocentric is maybe a bit strong, but they definitely want a reciprocal arrangement when it comes to their jobs. There is a sense of distrust in others. What is in it for me, or what is it you REALLY want?
My generation is feeling the “isn’t time to retire?” push while the younger force does not feel safe either. They saw their parents and grandparents lose everything to the firms they trusted and devoted their lives to. Their kids are not safe in school. What will happen to this generation when they come up? They have been threatened their whole lives. Why is it an amazing thing when we hear about a company that treats its employees so good that people flock to work there? Should that not be the norm?
I know I am standing up on a soapbox, but that is what my generation did. We protested. I feel like we need to do this more. I think we need to stand up to the bullies and threats in this world. I would like to know that when I leave this plane of existence, that it is a safer and better place. I hope I will have the ability to do so.
Normally I write inside and I though I would show you where I write. In the summer, I move my laptop outside to the garden. I decided tonight to show pictures of the garden. There is another page I added to this blog which shows pictures of the garden in May. These are June and July shots. I spent a lot of time today giving plants a good trimming and weeding and we worked on the new rose bed. I love roses. For my birthday, my husband gave me a dozen and I had them next to me in my indoor spot.
I love to grow roses but I have very little sun. I put in one rose bush last year and it gave me
eight beautiful roses. This year I added another one that makes abundant little ones.
Now to the rest of my garden, my paradise.
Garden to the left
Garden to the right
This may look like a lot of work to maintain, but it is not. Having said that, I can hardly move tonight but it is ok….it is a good hurting. I have the mulch put down and the only thing I do is water, mow and prune….. ok, and plant and weed. The Rhododendron had a tough winter like us all and I did not have the normal blooms. The oldest one suffered freezer burn and I had to whack it back. But it is back completely and blooming. Joe and I did put work on the lawn and put in new grass as we had nothing after winter. But we had heavy rains and it washed a lot of the seed down the hill. Matter of fact, the drain by our property has wonderful grass growing from it. The new stuff we put in way in back looks great.
The kids love the garden almost as much as Bishop did. I do have a planter in honor of the Bish.
Browny and Cooke spend as much time as they can playing and laying in the sun.
This year I skipped growing tomatoes and went for herbs and lettuce. The lettuce is ready to be picked.
And I am growing all different Basil and catnip for Magoo, our cat.
I love my garden.
It is pouring out and we have had a series of thunderstorms blow in tonight. I love storms, except blizzards when I have to go somewhere. It can snow if I can stay home. But I have a passion for thunderstorms. It fits my mood tonight. I am not sure why I am so stormy…ok, I do. But it is alright. I will get through this.
When someone like me goes through trying to negotiate life in the present moment, it takes an abundant amount of focus and stamina to stay in the present moment. After all this time of working things out, I still struggle with memories that haunt me. They are a mere vapor as opposed to the huge specters they used to be. But every once in a while, I get hooked up by their gossamer tentacles. This most recent visit is my father’s voice. In this case, it is not something about me as much as I hear myself sound like him. It is very disappointing that I hear my father’s anger and hatred in my own thoughts. I do not vocalize it, but I hear it in my head. An example of this is when I look at people and his judgment would pop in. I am not like him, but there is this moment when I hear his critical comment on EVERY thing. I think, “wow, I hope they do not see that on my face.” And if you know me, you know my face shows everything.
But there are times when I do make a judgment and then say it. I can be very opinionated. I gave up for a long time and went belly up. And people would roll over me as I suffered in silence. Now I do ask for my needs to be met and I also know when it is not my turn. But lately, I see there are times when I am too strong or too weak and finding balance is tough.
My dear friend told me that she was going through a phase of weird dreams. This weekend, the phase hit me. I had very lucid and mildly disturbing dreams. But I wake suddenly and feel the fear that was plaguing me in my dream. It is very frustrating to start your day with the first breath of morning being one of sadness or fear. This morning I actually had tears spill out of my eyes and I cannot tell you why. I think I shake it off, but then I know I have not as the day progresses. I am in a freeze and it manifests in my physically.
I am also in a learning phase again of my journey to connect more pieces of my mind, body and soul. I have come to a place of feeling blocked. All of this will pass eventually, but for now it is unpleasant. Much like the storms that are blowing through tonight, the day will break eventually and things will be better than before.
All photos @Jdemeis 2014 taken at the River