Make It A No Brainer

inspirational quote

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Growing Pains and Grace

This is the kind of stuff that runs through my head on any random morning when getting ready for school at oh-freeking-dark-thirty is met with a few (not fun) surprises about homework that wasn’t completed and a particularly whiny, complaining child.

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Do you ever have a day where you want to scream at the world, rage at the world?

“Why can’t you understand that your snarky comments towards my son when he’s struggling are fucked up inappropriate?”

“Can’t you see that when you do this or do that (being all reactive) and then act out your stuff all over the rest of the world, that you don’t have to be that way? You can heal that shit.”

“Why can’t everyone wake THE FUCK UP!!!”

“Why? Why? Why?”

And then I acknowledge that my son is experiencing growth pains. (And I am, too.) Being forced to stretch himself in new ways. Being forced to apply himself in new ways. Being forced to learn how to follow lots of new directions. And especially for him, being forced to change and to grow is more painful than for a lot of people. (Allowing him to struggle, complain, stumble, hurt, get up and try again, is my own trial.)

He whines and complains enough to win a blue ribbon at the county fair. He bitches and moans. The mama in me wants to protect her cub. To keep him safe from the wolf pack. But the wolf pack is the world, and in order to survive in this world, my child not yet a man has to learn how to deal and not be eaten alive.

I need to acknowledge that my son’s teachers know what they are doing, and trust that they are not going to eat him alive. And trust that his experience this year is NOT a repeat of last year. And unfortunately also acknowledge that they are only human and their consciousnesses are still pretty much asleep; cogs in our education wheel.

A few days ago, I received a wonderful article titled, How To Care For Empaths and Highly Sensitive People from a kindred spirit and fellow blogger Jan Stone. The article describes what it is to be so sensitive to your environment that you pick up on other people’s feelings. It talks about what our medical community has deemed to be a disorder (Sensory Processing Disorder), and brings a new perspective, describing perceived challenges as extraordinary gifts and abilities. “In recent years, we’ve seen a rapid increase in the numbers of children born with SPD. In my opinion, this is a sign that the human race is progressing toward a superior state.  The ability to take in much larger amounts of sensory data is an evolutionary leap for our species.”

The article resonated so strongly with me that I wish I could require every single person who teaches my kid, to not only read it, but to be tested on it, and then demonstrate proficiency in handling my empathic son. Not to handle him with kid gloves, but to be respectful of him as a human being who is beyond ordinary. And to keep snarky comments to themselves.

I have both been told about and have read about children like my son, who appear to our medical community to have developmental delays and are given a variety of labels like disorder. And yes, he’s different and often struggles to fit into the boxes that society wants to put him in. And the information that is brought to me over and over is that he is wired for the future. He is an evolutionary leap. He is very special in these ways. Children who are delayed with speech and who have problems with reading and writing are wired for telepathy. They are already wired for a world where we communicate so much more simply, quickly, efficiently, and effectively. A world where language and words are no longer a barrier.

He is also wired for a world where you see someone do something and you can instantaneously do it as well. Or you think of something you want and it manifests instantly. We here in our 3D world are not there yet. And I see his frustration when he can’t make these things happen in the blink of an eye.

Because we live in the here and now, and are still mired in 3D, my son has to learn how to adjust to this world. And new routines, new schools, new teachers, earlier hours, aren’t easy for him to deal with. But he is. We’re all adjusting. Just waiting for the new normal to become normal.

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Since I first started writing this post last week, my son had 2 more painful experiences with one of his teachers. What really gets me (other than having one of my son’s teachers cause him pain) is that this is THE ONE teacher who is supposed to be his safe place to run to, his support teacher; it’s his special education teacher.

After the second day of 2 days in a row of my son being in a complete and total funk over how he was treated, I got pissed off. How dare she give him a stern talking to! Who does she think she is? What does she think he’s done? WTF??? Momma Bear came out with claws bared.

After getting all reactive and then going Momma Bear, I contacted a few besties and whined and complained, garnering more support for my outrage. Once I was sitting solidly in the energy of “how the fuck dare she!” I made sure my Little Man knew that he had done absolutely nothing wrong, and the way his teacher reacted and treated him had everything to do with how messed up SHE is. And I was going to make sure to put her in her place so she never treats another student that way, ever again! By the time bedtime rolled around, Little Man was feeling a little bit better about himself and about life.

The next day (yesterday) I formulated a plan of action where I was going to have a meeting with this teacher, the school counselor, and the school principal (not the assistant principal, but the brand new principal!). I was going to make sure that everyone acknowledged that this teacher had an established pattern of treating her students on occasion with cynicism, derision, shame and blame. She throws out snarky comments like poison darts. And it was going to stop here and now!

Since Little Man had visited the school counselor after the most recent incident, and related it to her in tears, I asked the counselor for a meeting. We had one on the phone yesterday morning. I was able to voice my concerns about this teacher’s pattern of behavior that I don’t like, and she assured me that this teacher has only the best intentions in her heart for her students. For some reason, knowing that softened my heart a bit. My claws started to retract.

And waking up this morning (with a meeting scheduled with (only) this teacher at the end of school today) my heart was even more open. I quieted my monkey mind and clairvoyantly read this teacher’s energy.

The first thing that came through from her was a deep-seated need to be right and to do the right thing. Ah! I get it. She has the perfection thing stuck with her. I saw it plain as day. When she was little, someone laid on her the belief that she had to be right and she had to do the right thing, and this program is still running. It’s still creating a filter through which she views the world.

I know how to facilitate some healing, so I did. I communicated with her higher self so she would allow that scared little girl inside let go of the need to control her surroundings by being right and by being perfect. There was a shift. She originally took this on from someone else. She can release it now.

As well as this belief about needing to be right, I saw she has issues about taking on responsibility; taking on that which is not hers. She has taken on ownership of her students’ behaviors (and possibly even their academic success), taking on responsibility for them. She needs to know that her students’ behavior is not her ultimate responsibility. It belongs to the student (as it does for every single person on this planet). As a teacher, she is her students’ guide. She leads them. She’s not supposed to own them. She can now learn to recognize where her responsibility ends and others’ kicks in.

So, it’s been an interesting morning, to say the least. And it will be interesting to see how our meeting goes this afternoon. I will ask what happened earlier this week, educate teacher about Little Man some more, and might even get some healing work done. This is what I call Grace.

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Here We Go Again: School Is In Session

School started early in Little Man’s life. He was 2. After beginning speech therapy for speech delay and then occupational therapy for sensory integration issues, I found out about a preschool that our town offers for free to qualifying kids. But it’s more than mere preschool; they offered therapies as well. At two, the kids only go there 2 mornings (or afternoons) a week, and during that time receive group therapies they may qualify for. At ages 3 and 4, they go four half-days a week. It was good for Little Man, and a very much-needed 2.5 hour break for me. At that time in Little Man’s life, every day was full of meltdowns and difficulties, transitions being nearly impossible, and overwhelm and exhaustion (for me) being ever-present.

First day of final year of preschool.

First day of final year of preschool.

As time went on, Little Man went from his 3 years in preschool into our local elementary school, maintaining qualification for special education, mostly as a safety net for the transition between schools. At the time, I assumed that after kindergarten, most of his delays would soon be caught up and school wouldn’t be much of an issue. Never assume.

I can’t remember which year it started (probably first grade), but at the beginning of each year, I educated my son’s teacher about Sensory Processing Disorder. None of them had every heard about it, or had the slightest clue what it was or how it affected a child/ person. I would share how each of my son’s senses were affected, and that because of it, he was different and had different requirements from most children.

By the end of first grade, the only services provided: physical therapy for hand writing and small motor coordination, ended. What we didn’t know yet, because the state we live in does not screen for dyslexia, is that Little Man had dyslexia. That’s why learning to read, and spelling were such nightmares. But no one at his school seemed concerned about it. I naively thought that it was up to the teacher to notice weaknesses in their students and by virtue of a student’s struggle or poor performance, recommend review and testing for qualification for special education. Boy, was I wrong.

By the time second grade rolled around, Little Man was having a hard time being in school. I thought it was all because of his Sensory Processing Disorder, and talked with the school counselor a number of times, trying to get a 504 Plan created to give him accommodations based on his SPD. The Plan was eventually created (about half way through the year), giving him all of ONE accommodation. About 3 or 4 others were nixed by the counselor because they would require a tiny amount of extra work/ energy from the teacher. What was granted was for Little Man to be able to sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. It helped some, but it was still a very rough road at home.

Third grade, with the teacher not being a good fit for Little Man, was a year from hell. The school counselor was no help. She’s great for kids who come from broken and drug addicted homes. But for kids with healthy home environments, who have invisible disabilities, she sucked. There was so much that I didn’t know then, that was making my son’s life at school difficult.

It took the third grade year from hell, and following a bunny trail of information, to lead me to find out that he probably had dyslexia, and to pay to have a neuropsychologist evaluate him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dawn Quyle Landau (who beautifully writes Tales From The Motherland) for telling me about the neuropsychologist who ended up evaluating Little Man and helped open my eyes in a big way about what was going on with him.

When Dawn gave me the name of this neuropsychologist, I had no idea what they did, or that I’d been needing one. Several weeks later when I was talking to a woman about the fact that I thought my son might have dyslexia, she said I should have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist. Bingo!! I love how the universe works sometimes.

Finally, in fourth grade, Little Man started the year with special education assistance and an IEP (Individual Education Program that creates educational goals and lists accommodations). That year was pretty much a lost year academically, because of having the teacher leave the class in the middle of October, replaced by a substitute. And it wasn’t until Christmas that we all found out that this sub would finish out the school year as their teacher… and it was her first classroom. Her classroom management skills were beyond green, and the class was beyond unruly.

As much as Little Man continuously gripes, whines, and complains about school, his fifth grade year was the best year he had. His teacher used to be the school’s full-time special ed instructor, when they had one full-time. She knew how to reach him, and how to get the best out of him. Their relationship was good, and by the last trimester, Little Man was on the honor roll: his first and last time in elementary school.

Last year was the swan song of elementary school: sixth grade. It started with Little Man getting sick the first whole week of school, and being out for an entire week. That set the tone for the entire year. He was chronically behind and missed a lot of school; some due to actual illness, but mostly due to anxiety and panic attacks. It took an entire school year of hell, but I finally figured out what was going on, and it was an issue between Little Man and his teacher that brought on his anxiety. Now that he’s no longer at that school, things are very different and more calm.

So here we are, at the beginning of a new school year. It’s a different school, being middle school, and a much larger school. No longer part of a class of 30, Little Man’s class is over 300 now. His classes have co-teachers, so there is more than one person teaching in the classroom. He has special education support every single day!

I connected with his seventh grade counselor last June just before school let out. One of the things I liked about her immediately, was that she confided to me that she has dyslexia, and was open to new resources about it. Unlike other people in the school system who were very closed to learning about disabilities (ironic that a teacher wouldn’t want to learn about their student), she asked me to send her links to info that I liked. And when I sent her a note that described Little Man’s challenges and his gifts, she was appreciative.

On the second day of classes, I was able to sit down with Little Man’s support team of the assistant principal, his counselor, and his special education instructor. They asked me about concerns I had, and I related last year’s anxiety nightmare. They came up with a great solution that Little Man can use if he needs a break from the classroom for a few minutes. His code words to his teacher are, “I need a drink.” And he can go out to the bubbler, take a few minutes to recoup and then return to his class. Our talk was brief, but I got the sense that Little Man’s special education teacher knows how to work with a variety of children, with a variety of different abilities.

I told them that because Little Man’s weak areas are what school’s all about: reading, writing, and math, they might not get a chance to see this rock star shine. But I let them know loud and clear that this boy is intelligent, kind, caring, intuitive, and exceptionally creative. I left the meeting feeling very optimistic about this school year.

And, of course, when Little Man came home, he was whining and complaining about having to write a huge essay. Apparently, the teacher was passing out Skittles to the students, and asked them to grab some. Then the teacher had them count the Skittles. Little Man had 58. However many Skittles they each had was to be the number of sentences in the assigned essay. Writing, for Little Man is about a much fun as having a tooth extracted. Actually, he’d rather have a tooth extracted. What really burned his butt was that he took a bunch, thinking he could give them out to the kids around him, because he doesn’t even like them.

And so we begin.

Are your memories of your school years fond ones?

For more posts relating to the voyage and Sensory Processing Disorder, check them out here.

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Middle School, Menopause, and My Rock Star

Written last night, on the eve of the first day of school 2015:

Little Man starts middle school tomorrow. In our town, that’s seventh and eighth grade. Weird, because I’ve always thought middle school was grades 6,7, and 8, and junior high school is grades 7 and 8. Nevertheless, the kid starts a whole new adventure tomorrow.

For those who are new here, Little Man is my son who is extraordinarily tuned into energy. He senses people emotions. He communicates with nature. He has a heart of gold and cares deeply. And he is an empath. He also happens to have anxiety from time to time, as is not unusual with empathic people.

School has not been a favorite place for him, partly because of being empathic, and also because of being dyslexic, having ADHD, and anxiety. It is a challenge for him to force himself to pay attention and to learn something he has less than no interest in.

One thing I’ve figured out about Little Man is that his brain moves fast, very fast. Sometimes, it moves so fast, I’m blown away. I get it now. When he’s interested in something, or if something comes naturally to him, his brain is able to cruise at mach 10 where it’s happy. But if something takes a lot of effort to learn or to understand, and if it’s something he’s not particularly interested in, in the first place, he doesn’t even want to go there. It becomes a fight to even pay attention.

After the nightmare that was sixth grade, we are cautiously optimistic that this next school year will better. The school is a different one. Little Man will have several different teachers instead of just one, and they’ll all be new to him. And the support he’ll get through the special education department should be much more than he got at his little elementary school. It’s all different. And my current mantra is “different is good.”

I was chatting with a friend yesterday whose younger son graduated from high school, so she’s out from under the obligations of the mom with a kid in school, time of life. Many of my childhood school mates started their families 10+ years earlier than I did, and their kids are in college, have graduated from college, or are getting married. When their kids were in middle school, they were around the age I was when I had my son. I realized that dealing with a middle schooler and menopause at the same time is a whole lot of hormones going on! Thank goodness for estrogen supplements and chocolate.

With summer vacation coming to a close, Mother Nature decided to bring on some excitement in the way of some major wildfires followed by our first winter storm type storm. Last Saturday, the winds howled, and the rains came and stayed. Because all the trees still have their leaves, we had more tree damage than I’ve seen since I moved to Washington state.

Just before noon, I was chatting on the phone and the lights flickered. Then they flickered again. I grabbed our old corded phone and plugged it in, mid-conversation. Thank goodness! A few minutes later, the power went out, and didn’t come back on for almost 3 days.

Little Man and I ran out to do a quick errand, and when we got out of the hollow we live in, the damage and gusting winds fast became evident. We stopped at one point to help throw tree branches off the road. And by the time we returned from our errand, a stand of cedars in the pictures above and below had gone over the road we had earlier traversed.

little man and fallen trees

It was quickly obvious that we would be without power for at least several hours. Because of this, I had my husband get the generator going and plug in our refrigerator and the freezer in the garage. As many times as we lose power during the winter, I can count the number of times we’ve plugged in the fridge and freezer on one hand.

Little Man was such a rock star during all of this. He jumped right in and helped lead extension cords to the house, through a window, and to the areas that needed power. We have several extra power strips and extension cords that he put to good use, making sure he plugged in his fish tank and a light in his bedroom. We had a few lights here and there, and Little Man remembered about an electric burner in the garage and brought that in. It was nice to be able to sip on hot tea while Little Man cooked ramen noodles for his father and himself.

Not only did Little Man help get us wired up with power, he grabbed a few buckets so we could dip water from a nearby stream to be able to flush the toilets. Being on a well, we lost our water supply. He also brought his guinea pig’s cage out to the living room so the little critter could be where the action was, as they are somewhat social creatures.

Gilbert, who joined the family on 8/1/15

Gilbert, who joined the family on 8/1/15

Little Man not only brought his pet out to the living room, where we were congregated, he brought his desk chair and a small folding table to hold his laptop. As the men were getting things set up with power, I took my loads of laundry downtown to the Laundromat.

I love how everyone jumped into gear, doing what needed to be done, no muss, no fuss, no complaining or whining; just getting it done. Little Man, in particular, loves this sort of shake up in the routine. It’s where he can shine. He is so capable in so many ways, and it’s at times like this that he truly rocks. I just wish his teachers at school could see him in action. I meet with them tomorrow and will be sure to share our latest adventure with them, to illustrate what a rock star Little Man can be.

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Becoming A Parent Should Come With Warning Labels

Before anyone becomes a parent, they need to know the possible side effects of having a child.

Warning: having a child may drive you to the brink of insanity.

Warning: having a child might cause extreme weight gain.

Warning: having a child may cause premature gray hair, intestinal upset, migraines, extreme wallet depletion, and the necessity of drugs like Prozac that causes even more side effects.

And this is especially true if you are empathic and have a child with anxiety.


Looking back at the past school year brings back shivers and chills worse than reading a Steven King book.

The long and short of it is Little Man missed 34 days of school last year because of a combination of being sick, and having anxiety and panic attacks. When he was sick (the usual stuff of getting a bad cold or having a tummy bug) and recovered to where most kids would have been well enough to go back to school, anxiety would kick in, followed by panic attacks. If it was a Monday (or the anticipation of it being Monday), anxiety and panic attacks happened more often that not. Or there could be something going on at school that would have Little Man all amped up and panicking.

And every time his anxiety ramped into panic and a panic attack, it rung my bell like nothing else. It got to me in a place so deep it drove me nuts. I tried to stay detached so I could be the calm, strong mommy, but I became the crazy mommy who totally lost her shit on too many occasions. Not judging. Just saying that I don’t like spinning out and losing my shit because it would fragment and unground me like a hangover for the rest of the day (when it came to my kid and anxiety).

The last time he had almost this bad a school year was in third grade, and his teacher had less than zero empathy for this sensitive kid. He didn’t miss as much school that year, but it was an almost daily battle to get him to school.

Kiddo couldn't handle going to school and wrote this note near the end of third grade.

Kiddo couldn’t handle going to school and wrote this note near the end of third grade.

The year after that third grade year, Little Man was diagnosed with ADHD, learning disabilities, and anxiety. With the formal acknowledgment of anxiety, I did what any diligent parent would do and, after a 5-6 week wait, finally got Little Man in with a highly recommended psychologist. When we met with the woman, she seemed very nice and friendly. Little Man was observably not comfortable in her office, and I was hoping she’d start by having him play with the toys she had, and let him get used to the whole scenario: her and her room. Remember, this is a kid who is slow to warm up to new people and things, and who was there because of anxiety.

Ten minutes into being there, the psychologist apparently forgot all her training and started right in, asking him about his worries, and about what happens when he starts to worry. Well, folks, right then and there she got a front row seat to Little Man’s anxiety. The worries marched right back in and took over my kid’s brain. Panic set in and Little Man had to leave. That was the end of that session or any hope of further sessions with her.

That all happened in the middle of fifth grade. After that, Little Man wouldn’t agree to see anyone for the rest of the year. Fortunately, he had a pretty good year with his fifth grade teacher. Since the anxiety monster really didn’t show up much, I thought it was becoming a non-issue.

But then sixth grade came last fall, and within the first two weeks of school, Little Man got sick, finally felt better, came down with another thing that brought on vomiting, recovered from that, and then had a few days of severe anxiety and panic attacks. He missed a week of school. That set the tone for the entire year.

I got in touch with very highly recommended psychologist, by a person who knows Little Man well, but his wait time was long. We waited about 4 months and finally got in. Things went a little better there. But Little Man only lasted about 3 visits before he melted down and couldn’t go. That was the end of that.

Near the very end of the school year, I was having a particularly tough day with the kid, and I spent a little time talking with the school counselor. After about 15 minutes of listening to me talk about my recent struggles, and her spending zero time with Little Man ever, she decided that the best course of action would be to get that kid on anti-anxiety medication, pronto. I explained that if I did that, it would only happen under the guidance of a pediatric psychiatrist (apparently, she wasn’t thinking about the fact that these are psych drugs, and mental health counselors and psychologists can’t prescribe – and pediatricians have very limited training in psychiatry). And the closest one is in the next county and has a six month wait time to be seen (yes, I looked into it a while back for ADHD meds). So, the advice dispensed (with great urgency) was to call the doctor and get on the waiting list as soon as possible. After all, if I didn’t address this thing, it would only get worse and worse, and end up crippling my son. Maybe.

Maybe not. Treating a 12-year-old with psych drugs and all their non-specificities and side effects, for anxiety that is highly situational; and that situation revolves around the chemistry between having to be in school with certain teachers, is not the best course of action in my mind. See for yourself. Spend five minutes researching drug treatment for anxiety in teens or children.

from Google Images

Having a bipolar mother, I’ve seen that some drugs can help mood issues at times, and there are also times that no drug will help. When it comes to our brains and “diseases” of imbalance of moods and emotions, the field of psychopharmacology (psych drugs) is still in its infancy. It’s a guessing game to see what happens to this individual when these chemicals are introduced into this particular brain. They’re getting better at guessing, but because they don’t know the cause of these dis-eases, they can’t address it directly. It’s not like seeing a particular bacteria or virus that has taken over the body or a part of the body. Psychiatry deals with unseen and unknown causes.

Sure, they sometimes do brain scans and try to evaluate electrical activity and such. But they still have absolutely NO idea about the causes of why someone experiences anxiety to the point of having panic attacks, while someone else in the very same situation doesn’t.

And just to add a quick sidebar, doctors can’t explain why several people can be exposed to the same germs or virus and not 100% of the people will get sick. Here’s one explanation that I find very fascinating, that speaks to this at several levels.

So, what’s a mom to do when her son is having the worst year of his young life, thus causing her to have the worst year of her son’s young life? Well, for anyone who has never read this blog, you might think I jumped right on the phone and put my son on a psychiatrist’s wait list and then spent the rest of the summer sitting, wringing my hands about it. But for those of you who know me at all, you probably guessed correctly, that I looked for the bigger picture of what’s really going on.

Fortune teller from Google Images.

No, this isn’t what it really looks like when I go for an intuitive reading.

Several weeks before this past school year ended, I went to a local holistic fair and had a psychic reading from a trusted and extremely gifted local intuitive (psychic). I had her look intuitively at Little Man and his teacher to see what was going on energetically. She saw several things. First off: their two souls made an agreement to come together during this lifetime for Little Man to have this experience in effort to help him learn to discern the difference between feeling his own energy and emotions, and feeling (picking up on) other people’s energy and emotions.

You see, he’d been picking up all of his teacher’s emotional baggage, and she has a butt-ton of it. She hides it pretty well, but not from Little Man. Among other regular stressors in her life, she has a deep-seated need for perfection.

More intuitive information I got about the teacher is that she carries a lot of masculine energy in the form of “it’s my way or the highway” type of persona. She hid this in every interaction I had with her up until the very last week of school, when I got a taste of it. I picked up on a lot of very subtle passive aggressive behavior.

When it came to motivating her more difficult to motivate students, she always did the same thing: dangle a carrot and hold it over the kid. When they couldn’t perform, she’d either lay on the threats or try to lay on the hurt in some way. For kids that this type of motivation doesn’t work, their lives spiral downwards quickly. As they crumble and fail (literally, getting several F’s), she never waivers or changes her tactics. After all, in her mind, she’s not the problem and holds no ownership that she could possibly be doing anything but the most correct thing.

Between absorbing a ton of emotional crap that wasn’t his, and having to deal with the way this teacher handled her more challenging students, Little Man’s body and brain reacted by becoming anxious. And when he was forced into spending the entire school day with this woman, day after day, it quickly became intolerable, and anxiety morphed into panic attacks.

Once I explained to Little Man the dynamics of the bigger picture, it helped a little. I worked with him to help him begin to discern when he was feeling something uncomfortable, whether it was truly his stuff, or someone else’s. This isn’t easy, as I’m still working on it myself (but I don’t feel as much from others as my son does). We also worked on cleaning up his energy field, and shoring it up, so he doesn’t walk around like an emotional sponge, taking on and keeping everyone else’s emotional woes. But it’s one thing to do this at home, and quite another when you’re thrown into the fire.

Things got a little bit better until the last 7 days of school, when Little Man got sick and missed all but the very last day. Part of it was, indeed, anxiety. But he was very sick for a good 4 days. Another intuitive friend told me that was all about the teacher’s own anxiety that piled up at the end of the year.

What I couldn’t understand was why the teacher seemed to be so upset and bothered when the kid missed days that were non-academic. Only ONE of the days he missed included any work that affected grades. ONE! (He missed going to a water park, cleaning up the classroom, practicing filing in and out of the gym for an awards assembly, a moving-up celebration party and swim). And the way his teacher acted, you’d have thought he missed a week of state testing that couldn’t be made up.

I finally understood that it had to do with her not being able to control this boy. To MAKE him come to school. Even dangling the carrot of a big award at the end of the year didn’t make this kid show up for school. And 24 hours later, when he couldn’t man-up and get his butt to school, the mysterious big award suddenly had to be given to another student (told to me with a heavy sigh and an “oh well” attitude).

Looking back, I can see more crap, having to do with Little Man’s IEP and not having his work assignments modified much at all; which they are supposed to be, if the work load is too much for him to keep up. He was behind in his work for about 90% of the year, which was a huge anxiety trigger for him. I brought this up, and although some grading was modified, almost no assignments were. The attitude I got was if the bar was raised up high, the kid would rise to the occasion. But that platitude doesn’t always work with my son. In fact, if he feels the bar is raised too high with no support underneath, he becomes immediately defeated. He feels the difference between a teacher who raises the bar high and demands that her students jump for it, and one who supports them so they can fly up to it.

I now understand that his teacher doesn’t believe anxiety is real. Any sort of mental issues of instability equals some sort of internal or moral weakness. She thinks a person can buck up and will their way through a panic attack. I seriously wonder what ball of shit she endured as a child to bring on the extreme amount of crap she sill carries around.

Back to the bigger picture. I see the scenario was set up for some big time learning for both me and for Little Man. And as I’ve learned, the more the pain, the more motivation to get the lesson quicker. So this past school year was a biggie.

With it behind us, and with this next year putting Little Man into our local middle school with a different set up (switching classrooms for each subject, a different teacher for each subject, and being with kids from all the elementary schools), we are both looking forward to new and different being all good.

Will there be challenges? For sure. Will it be the hell beyond all hells? Hell no! As with every school year before this, I am cautiously optimistic that it will be a good year.

Posted in Holistic Healing, Mental Illness, Sensory Processing Disorder, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Our Vacation Getaway!

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of traveling east to visit family. Well, the beginning of the trip wasn’t so pleasurable; getting to the airport to find out that our first flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours, causing us to miss our connection to Maine. The problem was the next available connection was at 7:00 am the next morning. We flew to New York, sat in the airport for 7 hours, and flew into Portland, Maine, bright and early the next morning.

With the snafu, we didn’t need a hotel upon arrival to Maine (as we would have been arriving just after all the car rental places closed). And with picking up our car a few hours early, the rental place gave us the grace of using the original, later “out” time for our rental.

Finally we made it from the Pacific Northwest to the beautiful coast of Maine!

Back in the 1940’s my grandparents rented the cottage for their vacation. At some point, they were given the opportunity to buy it, and it’s been in the family ever since. Growing up, I spent part of my summer vacations staying in the cottage, rowing small boats, and learning how to sail. Years later in my early 20’s, I took a leap of faith and started working on local boats, living in the cottage for seven summer seasons. (With seasonal water and no insulation, it’s not a year round house.)

Being situated right on the ocean, lots of our summer activities center around the shore, the water, and boats.

The day after we arrived, it was the Fourth of July! We popped into the harbor to see what sort of fireworks were going on. We walked down to the waterfront and caught the end of the display, looking through the shrouds of several docked sailboats.

The nearest harbor is a working harbor, with several lobster fishermen and other commercial fishermen plying the waters for their bounty. Tourism is heavily depended upon for a large portion of the town’s annual income, coming from restaurants, gift shops, motels, and tourist boating. And you can bet that when we visit, we take in the restaurants and gift shops. My favorite shop is The Silver Lining, a small jewelry store with an in-house silver smith and a great selection of jewelry.

the harborOne of the more popular tourist destinations, about an hour from our place, is Pemaquid. Pemaquid Lighthouse and Pemaquid Beach are two of my favorite places where I was taken as a child, and now I get to share them with my child. I never get tired of them. A fun fact: this is the lighthouse that’s on the Maine state quarter.

Most of the time we were in Maine, the weather was great. There were a few foggy days that created great mood for picture-taking, and a passing rain shower or two. Changeable weather is one of the things I miss about New England.

I got to visit friends, spend time with some family, and enjoy several days by the salt air. Heaven!

This year we decided to visit both my family and my husband’s family all in the same ambitious trip. And to make things even more interesting, we flew round trip in and out of one airport, and drove between our destinations of Maine and Tennessee.

On our way south, we stayed overnight in Hershey, PA. It had been almost 2 decades since hubby and I last visited Hershey and took in Chocolate World. With Hershey being a whistle-stop, we arrived there at dinner time, grabbed a meal and visited Chocolate World for a few hours. For those who don’t know, this is just part of the larger Hershey Park. It’s not the part of the park with rides, but basically a huge candy gift shop with a short tour showing you how they make chocolate. What fun it was to see massive displays of pounds and tons of candy and chocolate. We opted to leave behind the $15.00 Hershey flip-flops, but left with bags of candy gifts and a new sweatshirt for Little Man. The only chocolate I had was chocolate flavored lip balm.

After our overnight in Hershey, we drove on down the highway to northeast Tennessee, where my hubby grew up and his family still resides. His sister’s home is more than warm and welcoming, and is our favorite destination. She has a swimming pool that Little Man can never get enough of. The only thing that kept him out of it was mealtime and lightning. As always, it was great to visit with family face to face, and to see old friends again.

One of the natural features of this part of the country is caverns. There are several around Virginia and Tennessee. To date, we’ve visited three, this time checking out Appalachian Caverns, near Bristol. It was a smaller cavern with a stream running through the bottom because of all the recent rain. It didn’t have as many remarkable features as other caverns we’ve seen, but it’s always nice to visit some place cool when it’s almost 90 degrees out.

Being at Hubby’s sister’s house, we were treated to nightly visitors outside: a mother raccoon and her 3 youngsters. They got a treat and know where to get more.


With a fair bit of rain, the pond in the back yard of Little Man’s grandmother was full up. It’s stocked with bass, blue gills and some catfish, and from time to time, is home to a snapping turtle or two.

backyard pond

One of the more unusual sights was a nearby lake that was drained in order to mitigate erosion that is threatening one of the TVA dams. It was odd to see waterfront property and a lake front park that now sits by a small stream, with boat launches 15 feet or more above the water’s surface. Lake front property owners are truly screwed not happy.

After spending far too short a time in Tennessee, we headed north again.

After a 2 days drive, we returned to Maine to catch our flight home. Fortunately, the flights home were uneventful. It was great to get back east, to catch up with friends and family, and to see a bit of our beautiful country. And it’s good to be back home.

Bold sunset through the trees.

Bold sunset through the trees.

Posted in Photography, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What Am I Here For?

A while back, I read a fantastic post on The Sisterwives, Getting You Back to You. At the end of the piece, a question is posed:

“The most chilled-out people I’ve met in life …. exist in a micro-climate of ‘becoming’. They know their ‘point’.

Whatever else shifts and alters in their life, whatever challenges or triumphs they encounter, whatever setbacks, boosts, plateaus or changes of direction, they’ve figured out how to get back to the Them they are deep down.

They can speak up and answer “This – THIS – is what I’m here for.”

So, then…what are you here for?”

I actually know what I’m here for. And the funny thing is, when I was growing up, I never wondered about the meaning of life or why I was here.

But let me state right here and now that just because I know what I’m here for, doesn’t mean every day is a party or a ton of blissful fun, skittles and rainbows. It does, however, help me to get through life’s bigger road bumps, and navigate life’s tsunamis with a little more grace than I used to. With my newer perspective on my life, it helps me stay centered when people are whirling and twirling around me in their personal tornadoes of crap.

I am here for one main reason: to have an experience called life, no matter what that looks like. I believe that there is this one main force, energy, unnamable thing that is the big creator of all of us. I call it God. It’s not a human, so I don’t humanize God. I believe God is endlessly creative, and because of that, desires growth and expansion. After all, isn’t that what creativity is all about? Making something new or coming up with something no one else has come up with?

Well, I also believe that this creator energy is pure unconditional love. Actually, I know that to be so, because I’ve experienced it more than a few times, and it just blows me away. Don’t confuse this with romantic or conditional love. Not the same thing. In fact, the message I got is that as long as we are in these human bodies, these meat suits, we can’t fully appreciate this energy. But the closest word we have for it is love, so that’s what I’m going with.

Still with me? So, there’s this big creator who is endlessly wanting to grow and expand. And this happens by having experiences. It does this by allowing pieces of it to separate from it (or, at least think they are separate) and go have a variety of experiences. My soul happened to want to have experiences a variety of ways. It’s tried out a few different vehicles or costumes, including a really big lizard type creature. I think it was a monitor lizard. I’m sure there were other animals, plants, minerals, and probably other non-human beings. But the last several experiences have been in human bodies.

I’ve been male and female, every color under the rainbow, rich and poor, in positions of power and been a slave. I’ve had lives that were short, and ones that lasted a long time. I’ve been a perpetrator, a victim, and a victor.

I’ve also learned that my soul in particular is a real bad-ass. I tend to want to learn everything and do it quickly. The quickest way to create a big potential to learn is to bring forth a painful situation. Pain moves us to create change. Think about it: if you are sitting and your leg cramps up, do you just sit there? Hell no! You move. You do something to create a shift; to make the pain go away.

So, in this life I decided to create some painful set-ups that would give some huge potential to change and grow. I could have chosen to do this playing the part of a perpetrator; perhaps an addict who is abusive, or someone with a personality disorder or mental illness who acts out on everyone around them. The potential to change and grow is always there. Sometimes a lifetime in this role allows that person to have an experience of rising above. But often they are there to give someone else a gift. They are there to bring pain to someone, who will think of themselves as a victim. In this way, the victim has the opportunity to experience pain and find ways to deal with it, to live with it, to heal from it.

God doesn’t judge, so if a person considers themselves a victim to the day they die, that’s one experience. If that person rises up and finds a way to feel better about themselves, that’s another experience. That same person might even find a way to feel really good about themselves and reach out to help others in similar situations rise up and disengage from victimhood.

Every experience is equally valid because someone learns something along the way.

Another thing I believe about this creator being is that being love and feeling joy, happiness and peace is our birthright. And the easiest way to get there is to shut off the monkey brain and let the heart make the big decisions in life.

When you listen to your intuition, that is the direct pipeline to the big Kahuna, the Creator, God. That’s where you get the best advice and loving words of wisdom. So, when you hear it whispering, heed it. That’s what I’m here for.

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Oops! I Did It Again: A Healing Story Pt.2

In Part 1 of this post, I talked about the fact that we have the capability to heal ourselves. Check it out. After wanting to address severe chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease that I’ve been living with for about 7 years, and taking daily meds for, I finally had a hypnotherapy session about it with my wonderful soul directed hypnotherapist.

After going through the induction phase of the hypnotherapy session to get my monkey-brain quieted down, I was relaxed and focused. As we began, I was directed to picture a ball of light over my head; energetic light that was intelligent and healing. The light shined down onto me, bathing me with the energies.

Next, I was directed to ask a guide to come forward to assist me on my journey. This time one of my healing guides, John The Baptist, stepped forth. His attitude was “let’s get this show on the road! Let’s kick some butt! Let’s go do this thing!” John and I were directed to go to the part of the body that we needed to go to. It wasn’t specified how to get there, so it took a few minutes to figure out whether we were going to walk there or to get in some sort of vehicle. Finally I decided we’d hop into a space shuttle type of flying craft. When it came time to go, I couldn’t seem to make us leave. The more I tried, the more we just didn’t go. I tried asking myself a few questions to help get the ball rolling, but I soon realized that resistance had come up. So, I said that for some reason, I was resisting this process.

I was directed to look at the resistance to see if I could figure out what it was about. Then I saw a young, little me who was afraid. She said that if she was ok then no one would rescue her, and she felt that she needed to be rescued. As she was letting her feelings out, she stepped out from what felt like a cave of darkness, but it also felt like a dark closet. All I know for sure is that she had been trapped in darkness. As soon as she was out of the dark, she felt like the sun was shining on her and she opened out her arms to soak up the warmth and light.

Once that happened, several other little ones opened their closet doors and one by one came out of their darkness into the light. All they needed was to be allowed to come out of the darkness, back into the light; having that permission, they began to come out. More and more of them started coming out. Then more “knowing” popped into my mind: when I was very little and my mentally ill mother would verbally assault me, a tiny piece of me would go into darkness. It would go into a dark closet and shut the door.

The scene shifted and I saw a knife that would plunge into my chest at these times of assault, filling my stomach with knife wounds. As this healing was happening, the little bits of me were coming out of darkness (out of their closets) and into the light again.

Then I saw each one of them go to their wound in my stomach – the wound they correlated to – and kneel down, putting their hands on it. Sending healing energy of love, they each healed their wound. I saw the inside of my stomach with all these little bits of me on hands and knees, healing with their hands, sending love.

As more and more of these little ones came out of their dark spaces, I encouraged them, calling for every one of them to come out and rejoin me. I didn’t want even one to be left behind. As that process was well under way, I started to progress in age. Pretty soon I was looking more like a grown up, in my early twenties. I encouraged all of the bits of me that had been in the dark to come out, and they did, and they healed their wounds in my stomach as well. Then I knew that it was a rolling, moving, evolving healing where I aged, and the pieces of me that were split off in darkness rejoined the light and came back to me, healing my stomach in the process. After a while I reached my current age of 50.

Then I called out (like at the end of a game of hide and seek when you want to collect everyone back) olly olly oxen free! Everyone come back – especially you little ones. Everyone out of the dark! I got the message that this healing of my stomach is a process, but it won’t take very long.

Then the party music came in and I saw my stomach as vibrant and happy. I heard conga music and my stomach was pulsing with the music; as close to dancing as it could get. It felt very strong and confident, with the knowledge that it was functioning as it was supposed to be with everything just fine. All systems and processes were perfect again. The happiness it felt was not giddy, bubbly, silly, but rather a calm, confident and very strong one. Very grounded feeling.

I looked over at John the Baptist and he was beaming at me, telling me I was awesome, had done great, that I’m amazing, and the like. I felt that yes, I’m amazing (as we all are). I then saw beams of light coming from the ball of light directly to my stomach, repatterning the energy of it, making sure it’s completely healed. That was the energy of God working on it.

Soon after that, I noticed that my chest area was very calm, serene and happy. Before that, I hadn’t really noticed very much, but it must have been tight, felt upset and definitely not ok. It was now exceedingly ok and relaxed.

After this session, I had six days left of a two-week packet of medicine, so when it was gone I did not open a new pack. After missing one day’s meds, heartburn started to come back. It was then that I remembered that it can take a while for the energetic shift to be fully integrated into the body.

I decided to take a few more packets of meds and stop them when my life wasn’t a complete stress ball. During the first few weeks off meds, I experienced absolutely no discomfort or symptoms of heartburn or reflux. And I did not change my diet at all. Then, I did have some incidences of mild heartburn for a while, which I treated by drinking a cup of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with immediate relief. It’s been over two months since this healing session and my reflux has not returned. The heartburn seems to be occurring less and less and it feels like as my body continues to heal, the heartburn will soon become a thing of the past.

Nothing was done to get rid of reflux other than having this extraordinary healing session. No dietary change or weight loss. Nothing. After about seven years on daily acid blocking medication, I am healed of acid reflux!

Posted in Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Oops! I Did It Again: A Healing Story Pt.1

I have been on a mission over the past few years of healing my body and other things. The latest mission I ventured on was looking at why GERD was in my life and how I might be able to usher it out.

For those who don’t suffer from constant heartburn and acid reflux, GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s a chronic condition where basically, your stomach contents (acid and partially digested food) are allowed to come up out of your stomach (because of a weak sphincter) and into your esophagus. The worst experience I had was being woken up from a deep sleep because I couldn’t breathe and my sinuses were on fire from stomach acid. The medical community treats it with diet and medication, but has no earthly idea how to permanently cure GERD.

About five years ago, my doctor had me see a specialist because at that point, I’d been dealing with GERD for a few years, and she wanted to make sure I didn’t have any cells in my esophagus changing. That’s what can happen when esophageal cells are bathed in stomach acid regularly: they change, and can eventually change into cancer. It killed a cousin of mine.

After this specialist put a scope down my throat, into my stomach, and just barely into my small intestines, he declared that although my stomach lining looked a bit irritated, I was otherwise healthy: no bugs that cause ulcers, no celiac going on, and no angry-looking cells in my throat. He talked to me about taking a drug to decrease the production of stomach acid, and I mentioned that it is sold in packs with directions to be taken for two weeks and then stop taking it. I’d been using it off and on; and much more on than off. He then told me that I could take it daily for the rest of my life if needed.

That was all I needed to hear: lifetime sentence. No way was I going to take a drug for the rest of my life for something that doesn’t need to be here. I decided right then and there that I would take this drug as long as I needed it, but at some point I would no longer need it. That point has come. About seven weeks ago, I had a hypnotherapy session about why my body had GERD, and I healed it.

In my personal experience, healing is done in a short moment, but the body can take a bit longer to follow suit because of its physicality and density. The actual healing happened pretty quickly, during the session, but six days after, when I went off my medication, the body was still adjusting and after missing just one day’s pill, heartburn came back. I decided to take another few rounds of the medication to give my body more time to get with the new program, and this time when I stopped my meds, no symptoms returned at all. And I did not change my diet or do anything different other than have this healing session. No heartburn, no reflux, no discomfort in my stomach whatsoever.

If I can do this, anyone with determination can do this. Chronic diseases are with us for a reason, and it is very possible to find out what that is and to affect healing. I get so ticked off by the standard medical community because they are totally in bed with the pharmaceutical and insurance industries and those industries are not about healing the body and soul, they are about making money. Period. They don’t want you to know you can heal your body and eliminate or reduce dependency on drugs. And if the insurance industry acknowledged energy healing, they would want it quantified, regulated, and put into a box they could control and monetize. Double edged sword there.

I have learned enough about energy healing and consciousness technology to know that we human beings have amazing power that would blow most people away. I’ve read about how an autistic boy who eats nothing but potato chips, and who is very healthy, has the ability to affect the energy of each chip as he’s picking it up and eating it, so that chip contains the exact nutrition his body needs. Yes! People can do this sort of thing.

Dr. Masaru Emoto showed us that meditating on water affects it physically. I have done this and then using applied kinesiology (muscle testing) determined that water that had been meditated on with love, harmony, compassion, and other positive intentions tested much better for me than water that had been meditated on with intentions of hate, anger, fear, and the like. My concentrated intention physically changed the water.

You can take polluted, irradiated, chemically poisonous water, and through specific meditation, you can physically change it so it’s in harmonious alignment and resonance with your body and will not hurt you. This is the sort of stuff that people are now doing. Here’s Little Grandmother (Keisha Crowther) talking about using crystals to delete radiation leaking from Fukushima. She has actually tested this with radiation detecting equipment, using a beaker of radioactive water and putting a crystal into it. It works. Do not sell yourself short people!! (And you don’t have to use a crystal to do this sort of thing, but they are wonderful tools).

When I think about this on a bigger scale, I keep going back to why do we all not know that we can heal ourselves and we can do things like eradicate pollution of all sorts? There are energy technologies out there right now that can assist us in these things, and people who are doing these things. I’ve even participated in not only healing my body, but in healing water and land. So why is this not headline news? My guess is that the powers that be, the ones who control mass media and communication, don’t want the masses to know how empowered they are. If you know that meditating on a situation with love can heal it, it’s not sensational, it’s not dramatic, it doesn’t bring in the big bucks, and it empowers you. The 1% of the population who control 90% of the wealth don’t want for you to be empowered.

I know people who have tried to share this information with large companies and even the government, to no avail. People don’t want to open their minds to the possibilities. They don’t want to upset the apple cart. They don’t want to lose control. They don’t want to risk losing money or earning power. They don’t know how powerful they truly are.

Can you imagine having the power to get rid of radioactivity with nothing more than meditating on a crystal? Or even meditating with no crystal needed? Can you imagine contacting power plants who need this technology, only to be turned down? Can you imagine offering to help clean up horrific radioactive waste that is at this moment leaking into groundwater, rivers, and the ocean, only to be turned down because of small minds and the promise of millions of Superfund dollars? These are things I am witnessing today.

Do you know how powerful you are? Now that you know some of the things people around the planet are doing, you can’t un-know it. And these are people like you and me, not someone who has been locked away in a monastery meditating for 20 years (although I bet that helps). People with families and with jobs, and with problems, and with the most critical component that is needed: a heart. The biggest challenge is learning to connect with your heart and trust its wisdom. It’s the doorway to healing ourselves and our planet, literally.

Because I seemed to have gone off on a tangent to sharing my healing session, I’ll continue this post in a part 2, where you’ll discover just what had been causing my acid reflux, and how it was healed. Stay tuned!


Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is It About A Photograph?

I should have probably titled this post, what is it about a scene that screams out to me to snap a photo of it, to freeze it in time for posterity. But that was just a tad too long. Seriously. Sometimes I wonder what is it that makes me want to take a photo of something. For me, it’s often more than just, “oh, that’s pretty,” or “hmm, that’s interesting.” For me it’s often straight from my gut or from my heart.

I’ll see the perfection of nature of a single bloom.

peach orange rose

Or I’ll notice the way light and color play with clouds and reflect the color on the ocean. And if they are colors we don’t usually see, so much the better.

 pink sunset

For me, the urge to take a photograph can grab me when I least expect it, like as I’m leaving my house, taking my child to school. I walk out the door and, whammo! There are the most amazing rays of the sun, only visible because of some morning fog. I know that they won’t be there long, so I hustle the kid to school (thankfully, a 4 minute round trip), run back inside and grab my gear.

Suns Rays

Then there are the times when I’m out in nature, soaking up the sun and the air on a picture perfect day, something happens and I’m lucky enough to catch the action. Just recently, we were at a beach about an hour from home, and seagulls were feasting on clams at low tide. The gulls would peck in the sand until they struck gold, and fly off with their treasure, looking for a spot to dine. I’ve rarely seen a seagull flying off with a clam, but that day I froze the action.

seagull with clam

There are some things that happen so fast, we barely get to glimpse them. Stopping hummingbirds long enough to see their feathers always intrigues me. Some of their feathers are quite reflective and bright, lighting up their throat when the sun hits them just right. In this photo, you can see that those feathers look quite different from the others. (Click on the photo to see it larger).

roufus hummingbird

Some days, I love to get up close and personal with Mother Nature. The most mundane things can capture my attention. Especially drops of water.

fern water drops

So just what is it that springs forth from me, wanting to capture a moment in time? I’m not really sure, but there is something there that make me feel, “oh, wow!” or “ahhh” or “too cool!” or “too cute” and I want to hold onto that feeling just a bit longer. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite photos of one of my favorite subjects, my son, when he was little.

Little Man.

Little Man.

Do you have a passion for taking photos? Do tell!

As a reminder, these photos are my work, and as such are copyrighted to me. If you would like to use one, please feel free to contact me (email is in the About Me page).

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , | 8 Comments