The Time I Was Homeless

Yup. I was homeless for a little while. It was back when I was in my early 20’s and I worked and moved seasonally between Maine and Florida. I had the same employer and place to live each summer when I worked in Maine. But each winter that I went to Florida, I had to find a job and a place to live.

One of the things about being in my early 20’s was the thought of having to find both a job and a place to live didn’t dissuade me from doing it. I did have solid leads on the job front, so the biggest thing I had to figure out was the living situation.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/25/2356251/sequestration-homelessness/

From Google Images

The second time I wintered in Florida, I ended up working as a deckhand on a party fishing boat. The pay sucked, but the work was fun, and I loved working on the ocean. Who wouldn’t love an opportunity to go to the Bahamas once in a while and get paid to do it?

When you work for crappy pay, you need to get creative when it comes to a place to live. Luckily I went from a small flea infested (literally) apartment during off-season, to renting a room in a house during high season. Rent prices on or near the coast of Florida change drastically with the tourist season.

One of the things about being young is you don’t really care where you live, as long as it’s fairly safe, has running water and electricity, and it’s affordable. But, because you haven’t had a  lot of life experience, you might not recognize a woof in sheep’s clothing.

Soon after I moved into the rental house, it went up for sale. The landlord assured me and the other renters that there were no offers on the house yet. Even when there was a pest inspection and very interested buyers, the snake landlord kept assuring us that they wouldn’t be able to get financing.

Knowing that there was the possibility I’d need to find another place to live before I went north for the summer, I put out a few feelers.

A few months later I got to work one of the Bahamas trips, and I was gone for 10 days. Upon my return, I pulled up to the house, and recognized much of the living room furniture out on the front lawn. WTF? I went into the house and there were strangers inside. The new owners were moving into the house. Fortunately, they had left my room alone; although the landlord lied to them, telling them I’d be home several days before I actually arrived. He also neglected to let me know that the house had sold and new owners would be moving in.

Exhausted and in need of a shower, I asked the new owners if I could take a shower before I packed and moved out. The shower is a great place to have a good cry. Then I called a woman who, weeks earlier, said I could bunk in with her and her young son, once she was back in her condo. But her condo (owned by her parents) was still being rented for yet another week. So I was out on the street for a week.

Knowing that the company’s Bahamas boat would be sitting dockside for the week, I called my boss and explained my living situation to him. He was wonderful and offered me the bunk I had just spent the previous 10 days using, for the week. And he took me on the next Bahamas trip over the next weekend (usually he’d rotate crew to give everyone an equal shot at these trips).

I packed up all my belongings and put them in my car, and lived on the boat for the next week, until I could move in with a friend. So why am I telling you about a mere week that I was homeless? I didn’t have to live in my car. And I didn’t have to stay in a shelter.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about a man I know. He is my same age, and had some similar childhood trauma (but not specifically the same), but our abilities to cope with life’s difficulties is markedly different.

I’ve always been the type of person to strive for more, for better, to not let life run me over or drive me too deep into the ground. I’ve got a bit of resilience that a lot of people have, but not everyone.

This man has let life run him over and has done little to nothing to help himself. He copes with life by not coping. He’s turned to alcohol (years ago) and has no desire to stop drinking. He lost his job probably a few years ago now and will not consider doing any other sort of work. And with his body literally falling apart (bad back, knees, etc.), even if he were offered a job within his skill set, he wouldn’t physically be able to do it. He won’t do any physical therapy or job retraining. Within the last year he sold all his tools, so he can’t take on woodworking jobs on his own. His wife finally kicked him out, after wanting him out for a long time. And the last I heard from him, he lost his free cell phone (that they give out to low-income people), and wrecked his car that he was living in.

Both my husband and I have tried to help him; first by hiring him to do work. But with his poor physical condition, he can’t do the simple yard work we need done. My husband has given him money, and most recently offered to take him to a shelter that offers counseling and other support to help people get back on their feet. He wouldn’t take advantage.

I began to wonder what is it that is in one person to keep climbing, keep striving, keep looking, when another just won’t take the hand up, even when they’ve had several opportunities. I posed this question to a blog of a couple comprised of a woman who channels spiritual wisdom from a group called The Council, and her husband who presents people’s questions to her when she channels. My question and The Council’s answer are actually the first comment of this blog post.

The long and short of it has to do with our soul’s desire for what we want to experience during this lifetime. I was told that this man I know, chose, at a soul level, to experience what he is living. And in answer to why I didn’t end up as an alcoholic or drug addict (when it could have been so easy to do):  it wasn’t in my soul’s life plan.

While still in spirit, we each choose to experience certain things during our lifetimes, and when we are in the physical body, we are not privy to these desires for ourselves or others. The big message The Council brought forth as to why we are here, is to bring love into our lives and others. To bring love into situations.

So, specifically in the case of the guy I know who seems, in my judgment, to refuse to better himself, I now know that it is his desire at the soul level to give himself these experiences, and it also gives opportunities to allow others to bring in love. And perhaps, one day, he’ll learn to bring love to himself and make changes. But at this point, The Council says the best way to bring love to a situation such as this is by praying for him and sending him positive thoughts and energy. Praying not to change him or his situation, but rather that he is able to go through it with as much grace and ease as possible. This will actually help him.

So, when you feel helpless to change or fix a situation that you deem bad or sad, know that the person or people in the situation might have chosen to go through that experience (even if they don’t see it). Do not judge their experience based on your values. And that praying for them, accepting just where they are, is very valid and brings in love.

What did I learn from losing my lodgings and working for crap pay? That I didn’t want to have such an unstable life with little to no security. The next winter, I didn’t go back to Florida, but decided to change the trajectory of my life by going back to school so I could become a licensed ship’s officer and get a “real” job. Which is exactly what I did.

 

 

 

Posted in Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Cycles

I guess I needed a reminder that things in life are cyclical. Our emotions come and go; happy, sad, joyful, frustrated, elated, angry, on and on. The past six months for me, on the whole, have been amazing. I’ve weathered some very big changes in my life with more grace and ease that I thought possible.

And as the seasons change, so does life. Leaves are dropping to the ground, revealing lichen and moss on tree branches and trunks. The rains have arrived, leaving a day or less each week to see the sun. The yard, which could use another mow, is perpetually wet now. The angle of the sun is lower, blocked more and more by the neighboring mountains and hundred foot trees.

And in less than 2 weeks the clocks will change, plunging us into darkness earlier and earlier in the evening. Where I live, at this time of year, we lose about 3 1/2 minutes of daylight per day.

The grind of school is becoming more routine. And Little Man, as always, is struggling with school.

I am finding that lately, I am struggling as well. My weight loss is at a standstill for now. Procrastination and overwhelm are once again my companions. I am functioning, but not really thriving. I do what I have to, but not much more than that. My project “to do” list is overwhelming my brain.

The world won’t end if I don’t get certain things in the yard done (like filling in an area that is all truck ruts and a big pit I let Little Man dig this summer- because I was going to have a bunch of dirt brought in and spread out). The world won’t end if I don’t deal with our gravel becoming more and more grass driveway. The world won’t end if I don’t landscape an area beside the house that you walk past when you enter and exit our house. The area that I cut down bushes in preparation for re-landscaping, that is now a huge patch of weeds. The world won’t end if I don’t take down the old, peeling wallpaper from our downstairs bathroom, and paint and put up a new border I bought months ago.

There are so many more things around here that really need to get done, but just thinking about them has me overwhelmed into inactivity.

I don’t know what brought this all about, but I know some things that are certainly not helping, like our weather.

I am going to try like crazy to get my butt out of this chair and get even one thing done today that I wanted to get done. Or maybe I’ll just call a girlfriend.

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Why Keeping Weight Off Is Such A Struggle

So many people have the mindset of, “If I could just lose weight, then my life would be all sunshine and rainbows.” “If I could just lose weight, all of my problems would suddenly disappear and I’d feel wunderbar!”

from Google Images

from Google Images

Just take these pills: don’t change what you eat, and don’t exercise, and the weight will fall off! Or, eat these prepackaged meals for the rest of your life and you’ll be skinny! Count calories. Don’t count calories. Low fat. Low carb. The issue of weight loss is on every cover of every magazine you see at the grocery store checkout.

from Google Images

from Google Images

News flash! If you lose weight, you will be smaller and lighter, and might even feel better in your clothes, but you will still be the same person who needed that pint of Ben and Jerry’s the other night when you were watching TV. The things about your spouse that drive you nuts, will still drive you nuts.

And for those who have lost weight, only to gain it back every… single… time, the reason it keeps coming back is because there is a need for it to be there. You think, it will be different this time. This time I’m on a program. This time I’m all pumped up to go to the gym. This time I’m…

from Google Images

from Google Images

Maybe things have gotten so bad that you’re contemplating bariatric surgery of some sort. You’ve heard that the pharmaceutical industry has come out with a diet pill that really might work (and really might damage your body) and you’ll do anything do try to lose weight.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: as long as extra weight needs to be with you, it will stay with you. It always fulfills a need, serves a purpose. Sure, you can go on a diet and you will probably even lose weight, for a while. And you can even go to the extremes of cutting out most of your stomach and bypassing some of your intestines, to live a life of unpleasant and unwanted side effects, with the very real possibility if stretching out your stomach over time, regaining lost weight.

from Google Images

from Google Images

Until you heal the reason why you are overweight, you will be fighting losing weight or maintaining weight loss for the rest of your life. And 9.9 times out of 10, that reason is buried deep in your subconscious mind.

If the thought of stopping eating any category of food sends you into a spiral, there are subconscious beliefs affecting your eating. Can you give up candy, ice cream and chocolate for a few days, only to turn into Oscar the Grouch’s bitchy twin? Can you give it up for a few weeks, only to dive back into that pint of Ben and Jerry’s with a fervor? Does the thought of giving up pizza send you running for a slice? And you’ve been told over and over that you just need more willpower, more discipline, and be a more mindful eater?

I say bullshit! Willpower is a term used by people who don’t understand the mechanics of the subconscious mind and the power it has over you. However! Once, you have found a way to access that tricky little devil, you can do the miraculous. Well, it’s only miraculous because most people don’t understand how it works.

from Google Images

from Google Images

You will find that when you ferret out those pesky beliefs that have kept weight with you, and you are able to transmute, or heal, them, you will change. Your feelings about yourself and your life will change. Changing what you eat will become easy because you won’t be fighting yourself anymore. Weight will easily fall off.

The kicker will be to find a way to get down to the level where the trouble really is; your subconscious. There are a number of people out there who are gifted with clairvoyance, who can help in this endeavor. They have the ability to see beyond our physical world. Hypnosis is of the most effective modalities that’s helped me. And working with a skilled hypnotherapist makes all of the difference. Some people have used a modality called Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) to facilitate healing. And there are consciousness technologies such as Matrix Energetics that can be effective as well.

The great thing about actually healing why you are overweight, is that you will heal issues that no doubt affect your life in other ways. Some of your problems will actually disappear because you will have dealt with them. Other problems will still be there until addressed, for sure. But as a person who has had a life of issues with food, these are things I have learned after a ton of trial and error.

This past spring, I had a major healing breakthrough and have been able to easily and dramatically change my eating habits. Since that time I definitely feel different inside (in a good way). However, with the advent of school starting up last month, and with Little Man having some big struggles over the past several weeks (around school), something in me has decided to act up in response to his difficulties.

This has shown up in my life as my snacking a little more than I would like, and not being as diligent with taking time to prepare the more balance meals I had been eating throughout the spring and summer. I’ve been feeling more discombobulated and ungrounded, and becoming easily overwhelmed and inactive. Seeing and knowing this, I will definitely be returning to do more work with my hypnotherapist in the next few months. Until then, I’m hanging in there, still very slowly dropping weight (70 lbs. to date), and trying to not become mired down in Little Man’s issues. (Yes, this is a big life lesson for me).

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

How To Raise a Crystal Dragon

Raising a crystal dragon is no easy feat. They have these wings and constantly want to fly away. What is a crystal dragon you ask? It’s a creature that some people believe is mythical, but I believe lives under my roof.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=GlMxkDIoIDM42M&tbnid=zseQAQ4wf5IuZM:&ved=0CAUQjhw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.deviantart.com%2Fmorelikethis%2Fartists%2F413604644%3Fview_mode%3D2&ei=0wYmVN27AZHxiQKwm4Eg&bvm=bv.76247554,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNHTzU0hvNh7Tn_dpgmIvVuqQ7_y9g&ust=1411864591773829

from Kisarra at Deviantart.com

The crystal part comes from a being that is energetically very sensitive. This creature can sense and feel your thoughts even before you do. And it sometimes doesn’t recognize its own feelings from those of others around it.

And the dragon part comes from the spikes down his back that poke out in defense, the long scaly tail that whips around in either anger or excitement, and the fire that flies out of his mouth from time to time.

One of the things about crystal dragons in particular, is their emotions tend to be extreme. If they are happy, they are really happy. But if they are disappointed, they either lash out (watch out for their tail!), or get quite angry (watch out for that fire!).

The care and feeding of a crystal dragon can be a challenge, as they don’t like to sleep when get sleepy, and they want to eat (nibble and graze) all the time, but are the world’s most picky eaters. This makes them chronically tired, grumpy, and hungry. It’s best to keep a steady supply of mac and cheese on hand, but make sure it’s one your dragon prefers or you’ll be throwing money down the drain. There is no forcing these dragons to eat something they don’t like.

As for getting your dragon to sleep, minimize all distractions, make sure you have a white noise generator for them, and because they are afraid of the dark, keep a light on. If your crystal dragon is still fairly young, be prepared to be woken up a few times a night on most nights. Remember, they are very sensitive, which means they pick up energies that you probably don’t notice, like entities and spirits. And because of all of this, they are prone to anxiety and waking up at all hours of the night.

If you’ve managed to survive the first five years of your little dragon’s life, hang on, because the next five will have their challenges as well. Some things will be easier: they won’t be as prone to destroying the furniture. But there will still be challenges for sure.

You’ll likely want your crystal dragon to be educated, to ensure them a bright future. But these creatures need to be taught in very special ways. After all, trying to hold a pencil in a claw just doesn’t work. So, you’ll have to get really creative.

The best thing you can do for your little dragon? Love it. Remind it every day how special and amazing it is. Make sure it realizes that it’s not like any other dragon, and that’s a good thing.

Posted in Random, Sensory Processing Disorder | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Turning Bleeping Fifty

I started a post several days ago, when I was feeling all optimistic and happy with the world, about turning fifty – which I do tomorrow, September 9th. It was filled with all sorts of positive things and how my life has gone nothing like I’d imagine it would go back when I was a young and ignorant teenager. Despite the shit storm I lived through during my jr. high school and high school years, I still had idealistic fantasies about growing up, getting married, having 3.2 kids, a dog, and a house with a white picket fence. Boy, was I living in la la land. That’s what having no personal boundaries will do to you. You live everyone else’s ideas and dreams except your own, and you don’t even know your own.

birthday cake

What I’ve learned is that when I was a teenager, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined what my life would look like at 50. Not a clue in hell. In a lot of ways, my life is better than I could imagine. And in other ways, when you are young, you can never appreciate how your body will age and deteriorate without your consent.

Just the other day, I decided to really check out the lines around my eyes. Not too bad yet. I am cursed to have oily skin the occasional zit, still. But on the plus side, it’s delaying major face wrinkles. The backs of my hands aren’t so lucky. They look a good 15 years older than they should. Sun damage is for real kids.

As I was inspecting my eye area, I noticed a white eyebrow hair, and then another. WTF? White eyebrow hairs? What’s next, white eyelashes? I guess those few rogue hairs slipped down from my hairline, where I have salt and pepper hair on top.

Then, just last night, as I brushed my teeth, I notice a white hair protruding from above my lip, to the outside of my mouth. It stuck out about 3 times further than any other facial hair has dared to stick out. A true rebel. I just hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend that will soon look an awful lot like a mustache.

Breaking bones and having surgery is not for the middle-aged. Having all of that fun over a year ago, I still have swelling and aches, reminding me that I’m no spring chicken anymore.

WalterAnd people make a big deal out of bad backs for a reason. They are cranky, easily irritated, and remind me of Jeff Dunham’s irascible Walter.

Along with bad backs and arthritic joints comes sleep apnea and interrupted sleep. I long for the days when I would wake up completely rested and refreshed. I guess that’s what they make coffee for. Too bad I can’t stand the stuff.

The year before my fiftieth also brought more and new health challenges. But thanks to what I’ve learned over the past four years about energy medicine and applying it directly to my life, I’ve overcome type 2 diabetes, and I’m releasing excess weight fairly easily. Sixty-six pounds gone so far. Yay me!

Woe be unto the person who tries to punch through my personal boundaries today. I stand firmly with both feet on the ground (most of the time).

fun shoes

Speaking of feet, I’ve learned that as I’ve aged, my feet have spread out. And as much as I’d love to wear these cute shoes, no way in hell am I going to sacrifice comfort for style by cramming my tootsies into medium width shoes when they need and deserve wides. My feet have gone through too much to wear shoes that will make them hurt.

dansko shoes

So, instead, I found these cuties and bought them!

 

 

 

 

As I sit here on the eve of my fiftieth birthday, my body is definitely feeling it’s age; but I wouldn’t go back to being twenty-five for anything (other than having a non-achy body). I’ve survived hell and have risen far about it. I’ve discovered and lived some of my dreams. I know myself more and more all the time. I have come so far, had so many life experiences, changed and grown so very much that I can only imagine how much more I’ll grow in the next several years. I’m claiming and owning every single day of these fifty years.

Me two days before my fiftieth!

Me two days before my fiftieth!

 

 

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Our Time By the Ocean

Little Man and I spent a few weeks on the Maine coast, overlooking the Atlantic. It was so good to be back there, to my former home, where I started my life of working on the ocean back in the late 80’s.

We spent time on and in the water, visiting with old friends, and taking in some tourist activities. I also spent some time scraping and painting trim on the cottage. It had belonged to my parents, and now that they’re both gone, the neglected maintenance is demanding our attention. Rotting wood and peeling  paint are finally being tended to. As I’ve scraped, sanded and painted on the cottage before (years ago), it was pleasantly familiar to renew and refresh some of the trim.

One of Little Man’s passions is lighthouses. And there are definitely lighthouses a plenty in the area. And we took in a number of them, via boat and by land. Little Man loves driving a boat and was in heaven being able to use his uncle’s.

Another one of Little Man’s passions is trains. And there is a narrow gauge steam train that runs around a loop of track all summer long. The track surrounds a small village created by some historic buildings in the area that were moved there, such as an old town hall, a small school-house, and more. There is also a large building filled with antique cars and a few trucks. Visiting here is a must when we’re in town.

One of the big treats for me being at the cottage, was watching sunrise. And because the room I was sleeping in faced the ocean and didn’t have a shade, I woke up bright and early on every sunny day we were there; usually between 4:30am and 5:00am. I’m such a shutterbug that when I see a sky pinking up in anticipation of the sun coming up, instead of pulling the covers over my head or putting on an eye shade, I grabbed my camera and started snapping away. Here are some of my favorite shots. And I threw in a sunset that we caught our last night there.

One day after Little Man had been down at the dock for a swim, he came back to the cottage, telling me that someone had come by and knew who he was. He was amazed by the number of people that we bumped into or had over, who not only know me, but who’ve known me since I was a baby. Growing up, I spent every summer vacation at the cottage. And when I was a few years out of college, I lived there while I began my career working on the ocean. Once I was shipping out I didn’t get back there much, but friends of the family were able to keep up on my adventures through my parents. There is a little summer chapel right near the cottage where my husband and I were married, and Little Man was christened.

It was surreal to be back at the cottage with neither of my parents alive. This was the first time I’d been there since the death of my mother, as I went nowhere last summer. We are now the elder generation in residence, and have taken on the roll of caretaker.

Here is a final assortment of photos from around the area for you to enjoy. (All photos were taken by me and are copyrighted by me, unless otherwise specified. If you want to use one, just ask.)

Posted in Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Summer Adventures and a Quick Update

Welcome back! I’ve been gone a while because we went on a trip across country to my husband’s family in Tennessee.

Hubster grew up in the mountains where the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia come together. Some of his friends that he went to school with still live there, and always have a barbecue when we come in to visit. We enjoyed catching up, celebrating with lots of good food and fireworks.

When we weren’t visiting friends and extended family, we were hanging out at my sister-in-law’s home and enjoying her pool.

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We took in some of the local sights, one of our favorites being Bristol Caverns. It’s a nice cool place to visit on a hot day, maintaining a constant 60 degrees. Walking the cavern tour is less than an hour, and was just the ticket for Little Man.

One attraction we always visit is Tweetsie Railroad.  Tweetsie is a theme park that was created around a steam train ride.  The train ride becomes an adventure with good guys and bad guys from the old west acting out a robbery. There are town shops and restaurants, as well as live entertainment, carnival rides and games, and an area to feed deer, goats, and other critters. It was a fun time, made even more fun for Little Man because we brought a friend for him to hang with. Because the park isn’t too big, we were able to see all of it in a day. On the way home, we always stop at Troy’s Diner in Boone, NC, for a meal and a milkshake. Well, I skipped the milkshake, but enjoyed my meal.

Our time spent in Tennessee was relaxing and a welcome change of pace. One thing I noticed in particular, was how mellow I was during the whole visit. With all of the (positive) changes I’ve been going through, things that used to make me bristle a little bit, didn’t affect me. It was so surprising and lovely!

While we were there, I was able to stick with my eating plan; eating my way out of diabetes. A few days after we got home, I had blood work done to check my blood sugar and a few other things. Very jubilantly, I am pleased as punch to say that I no longer have diabetes. My blood sugar is happy, happy, happy. Food cravings have become a thing of the past. And my body is course correcting, slimming down, and feeling better and better. I intend to continue to eat in a way that will sustain healthy and happy blood sugar levels, while allowing me to slim down to a weight that suits my body best.

In a week, Little Man and I are off on yet another adventure. This time to the coast of Maine, to hang out with my family. Stay tuned!

 

Posted in Photography, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Coming Back to Life

The title of this post, Coming Back to Life, is what I’ve been feeling lately. Things that I have been working toward for the past few years are finally coming into fruition. I think that in some way, I’ve needed a catalyst to jump-start me, and being diagnosed with diabetes has been a catalyst.

For the past two months, I have been eating differently than I’ve ever eaten in my life. As a lifelong dieter, I am familiar with the Grapefruit Diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet, the 1200 Calorie a day diet that I got from an official diet doctor (when I was 15), the Lowfat Diet, and Weight Watchers. I’ve lost and gained back hundreds of pounds. About ten years ago, when I was once again trying to jump on the Weight Watchers bandwagon, and couldn’t even hold on for more than two days, something in me snapped. I realized that food for me was more than just nutrition and comfort. It was a deeply emotionally connected addiction. And I recognized that I would never be able to lose weight and keep it off until I dealt with the underlying cause.

In order to uncover and heal things going on so deep inside me that I wasn’t conscious of them, I chose to use a healing method that gets right down to the subconscious level: hypnosis. After learning about energy medicine or energy work as it’s also called, I knew that this was a key piece of the puzzle. Sometimes, our issues are deeper and older than just this lifetime. This is where energy work is fabulous. It transcends time and distance.

So, I’ve been reading and learning about us, as humans, and us, as souls that inhabit a human body, and learning about why we choose to come into life, and learning about this thing called healing, and pieces are starting to fall into place. Along the way of this thing called life, we have experiences where a piece of our energy becomes split off from us, and that bit gets stuck in that experience that split it off. An example for me would be an instance when I was little and my mother went off on me for no reason that my little brain could comprehend. Part of me freaked out and assumed that I must have done something wrong, or that something about me was bad. This little piece became separated from my core essence and forever held on to the belief that I was bad. As I grew up, from time to time, something would trigger me and this little belief would pop up, wanting to be heard. The adult me didn’t recognize what was going on and just knew that she was triggered into uncomfortable feelings. Something else that I learned at a very young age, was that sugar was soothing to me. So, put together feeling uncomfortable and the idea that sugar is soothing, and you have set up a pattern of behaviors where in order to quiet an uncomfortable feeling, I would eat. Because this was merely palliative, it became an endless cycle.

In “healing” things like this, I have uncovered what’s going on and have changed the patterns. I have transmuted the old beliefs by re-educating the young me during hypnosis sessions. Right now I am seeing that the thoughts, beliefs, and patterns that had set me up for emotional eating, are healed. When I’ve been frustrated or angry recently, my thoughts turn to food for about 30 seconds. Then I realize that I don’t want to eat, I’m just pissed off. There is no gut wrenching drive or desire to stick a piece of toast or pieces of licorice in my mouth, or to eat half a bag of tortilla chips and salsa. The ties that used to twist me into knots over food, have been severed.

I am able to stick with my current eating plan with ease. The biggest thing is planning ahead, by bringing a meal or snacks with me when I’ll need them. Or knowing which options for a meal on the go will work for me. It’s actually fun now to feel my body truly be hungry.

All of the work I’ve been doing towards healing my food addiction has also impacted my life in other ways that are fun to be experiencing. Big projects around our home, that I put off for years because they seemed overwhelming, are finally happening. I am physically moving my butt and getting things done. Change (in very good ways) is happening.

Having established healthy emotional and personal boundaries has also been a huge part of my healing. There are many things that I will no longer tolerate. I have learned that it is not only healthy, but very necessary to be aware of what truly are my responsibilities. I had a bad habit of taking on responsibilities that were not mine, and losing a bit of myself in the process. Having a child has been a fantastic exercise in boundary keeping, and it continues to be.

Finally, my favorite side effect of my new eating plan is the weight that is coming off (30 lbs. so far), and feeling like I’m getting my former physically fit body back. It’s not back yet, and might take many months, but I’m definitely on my way. Because I am feeling on the inside like I’m fit and trim, I know that it’s only a matter of time and doing before the outside matches the inside. And it’s all very exciting.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Happy 4th Blogiversary to Me!

A few days ago when I was checking my WP reader, there was a weird symbol in the box that lets me know someone has connected with me in some way (commented, liked, etc.). I didn’t recognize this symbol, and when I clicked on it, WP notified me that four years ago,  I started this blog. Wow! Where has the time gone? On the other hand, a lot of life has happened in those four short years, and I’ve changed a butt ton.

Underway replenishment of 2 ships simultaneously. What I used to do.

Underway replenishment of 2 ships simultaneously. What I used to do.

It got me curious to see just what I wrote about on my first entry, and what I was writing about back then. So if you’re curious too, here it is. I started this blog by introducing myself and using the first several entries to talk about my voyage from being a merchant mariner to becoming a mother. And shared some parenting tips that I learned from an awesome parenting philosophy called Positive Discipline. One of the posts that I particularly like talks about the Spanking Debate and why, for me, spanking (or any other corporal punishment) is not an option.

In one post I shared a parenting tip and a sea story that demonstrated what happens to someone when they aren’t taught how to problem solve as they grow up. Here I was, with a group of (grown adult) merchant mariners, and one of them was more like a toddler having a tantrum.

After writing about becoming a mom and discovering that my son has Sensory Processing Disorder, something called Energy Therapy fell into my lap. When I discovered that this magical thing, invisible to the naked eye and even to the electron microscope, could affect real change in both me and in Little Man, the curiosity in me jumped up with both ears at full attention. I wanted to learn more about it.

meditationI finally got up the nerve to write about one of my hypnosis experiences. This was one of the biggies that showed me that we do exist before we are born, and we actually plan our life’s challenges. I had read a little bit about this, but having it happen quite unexpectedly during a hypnosis session blew my mind.

About a year and a half into blogging, I discovered the feature Freshly Pressed. As I was perusing the posts, the title She’s a Maineiac jumped out at me because I lived in Maine for a time. After reading and discovering a few things we had in common, I discovered that she used Reiki to help her son (same age as mine, also with SPD) calm down and be able to relax. I had no idea what Reiki was, but on that alone, I found a local Reiki class and took it. After all, doesn’t a mother do anything and everything to help her young child?

Becoming Reiki attuned initiated big life shifts including awakening spiritually, and my posts reflected it. There were many more entries about healing, including this amazing Reiki experience I had at a gathering where Reiki practitioners donate their time to give healings to the public on a walk-in basis. It’s a great way for people to give it a try if they’re new to it.

photo of Little Man with puzzle pieces out

Searching for pieces of the puzzle that is my son.

For my son, second through fourth grade years were a nightmare in school. He spent days in tears and anguish. And as his mother, I was also in anguish. His teachers were not capable of identifying what was going on with him, and they were not interested in hearing my woes about how hard it was at home to get him to go to school and to try to get him to do homework. Here’s one of my posts about trying to figure out the puzzle that is my son and how to best help him.

The summer of 2011 began my involvement in taking care of my aging and ailing parents. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer somewhere around 1987 and with a variety of treatments, lived with it for another 25 years. But that summer was the beginning of the end. For the next year and a half, my life would be consumed with parental responsibility (my parents, that is) and flying across country a number of times to deal with them. Many of my posts between Aug. 2011 and the very beginning of 2013 chronicle this part of the journey. When I was forced to deal with things I had never had to deal with before, fear used to be the first thing to come up in me. But with my healing work and new spiritual education, I was able to see just how much I was growing and changing, especially when both of my parents ended up in the hospital at the same time and I dropped my life for a month to be with them. Things like synchronicity, trust and confidence became part of my daily existence.

photo by Just Us 3 on Flickr

photo by Just Us 3 on Flickr

After Dad died, Mom’s bipolar went out of control. First she flew into mania so high and fast that nothing could stop her. I wrote a poem when she reached insanity. Eventually, after a hospital stay, meds and time, she came down hard and fast into depression that never lifted. Ten months after Dad died, Mom took her life. She couldn’t handle life without him.

Having dealt with both of my parents deaths and the emptying and sale of my childhood home in March of 2013, it was time to shift my attention back to dealing with Little Man taking care of my family and resuming life. After about 10 days of summer vacation bliss, I broke my foot and shredded a tendon. I guess that was the universe’s way of telling me to sit down and take a load off for a while. So I did. Surgery followed by months of physical therapy and acupuncture ensued.

With the new year of 2014 and my foot being a bit better, I decided to delve deep, back into working on myself, using both hypnotherapy and a local medical intuitive. During one of the hypnotherapy sessions, we looked at my issue with body image and did some very powerful healing. I wrote about it for a fellow blogger, Liz, on Big Body Beautiful.

Other than writing about my life as a mother, daughter, spiritual being and survivor, I absolutely love photography. Here’s a post filled with beautiful flowers for you to enjoy! Thanks so much for joining me along the adventure that is my life’s journey.

Mount Baker Tulips

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, Mental Illness, Photography, Positive Discipline, Sensory Processing Disorder, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Throw Back Thursday: Preschool Retrospective

I enjoy taking part in Throw Back Thursday on Facebook, and when I look at this picture, the entire story around it comes back.

boy on tricycleThis was Little Man’s first school picture, taken when he was still two years old and attending a preschool for kids with developmental delays.

At that point in his life, Little Man had been the subject of many of my photographs, and they were all candid. I never said to him, “Say cheese!” I waited for the opportunity and caught him smiling or laughing, or concentrating while doing something.

Just weeks before this picture was taken, Little Man entered this special preschool. In order to qualify, Little Man was tested in six areas of development and was found to have delays in five. The one that wasn’t delayed was large motor skills. Go figure. His nickname was Motor Boy.

When this picture was taken, Little Man was receiving speech and occupational therapies. Even though he thought he was talking up a storm, what was coming out of his mouth were a handful of words and a lot of jargon. Eventually, the idea of words and language would click in his head. To this day, when he gets really tired, he sometimes struggles to get the right words out.

young boy sitting in sinkAbout this time I discovered that Little Man was photogenic. I’d heard that term thrown around, but finally appreciated it.

Back to the day the preschool picture was taken. As you can see, the photographer had a few props to set the scene. She had each child sit in the little chair, with the bookcase on one side and the tricycle on the other.  She had flash umbrellas set up and her camera on a tripod. We had Little Man sit, and the photographer said, “Say cheese!” The poor kid didn’t know what was going on, as his teacher and I were both there trying to get him to smile for the camera. Pretty soon I saw his left foot reaching out towards the tricycle. A moment later, he climbed on it and joyfully tried to ride off into the sunset. I stopped him, grabbing the handle bars, and pushed him back into frame. The second I jumped back behind the flash umbrella, the photographer hit the shot. I bet it was the best one she got that year.

Posted in Photography, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments