Winter In The Pacific Northwest

Our winters here in the Pacific Northwest are very mild, compared to the ones I grew up with in New England. Temperatures often hover in the forties, and skies are usually cloudy with drizzle, rain showers, or rain. Not seeing much of the sun for about 4-5 months a year can get tough, but today, a bald eagle flying into the yard pulled me out into the wet. I thought it landed in a massive fir tree, but as I ventured out to the back forty, and carefully walked around the tree, there was no sign of the raptor.

Eagles are a common sight this time of year, flying a few hundred feet up, occasionally circling as they look for their next meal. I captured this one yesterday, as it sat drying its wings.

eagle drying wings

Today didn’t yield any eagle photos, but because this is such a wet and shaded area, moss and lichen abound. Here’s a photo of one of my favorite fence posts. The barbed wired used to corral cows, when the field next door was used for grazing many years ago.

barbed wire post

Last week, driving home one day, I stopped at the shores of a nearby lake and was mesmerized by some clouds that were so low they touched the water.

fishing in fogwinter lake

Photography has always been and will always be one of my joys in life.

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Thoughts

Washing dishes, mindlessly,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Pushing the vacuum and wiping up dirt,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Soaking in the tub
And washing up in the shower,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Mowing the yard, around and around
In circles, watching blades of grass,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Driving down long stretches
Of easy highway,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Ideas pop in and jump
From though to thought,
From idea to idea.

Sometimes in a straight line
And other times in rambling, winding paths
That go on far too long.

It’s fun when the ideas
Are wanted and welcome.
Solutions and creative expansion.

And not so much
When they’re fear-filled rambling.
Old wiring dissolving, leaving.

Eventually, time passes
And the fear beings to leave.

The rambling changes from
Endless rabbit holes,
Into more discreet and pointed pathways.

One day at a time,
One moment at a time,
My thoughts shift and change,
Until the old familiar rambling returns.

♥                                                            

Going through a Kundalini awakening process is a process of ascension. And as plainly as I can describe it, it’s a process of a person’s awareness opening up, increasing, as they healing things in their life. It’s a process of a person’s lens of perception changing, and then changing further, and further.

As it’s been happening, I notice more and more in life overall, without becoming emotionally upended. It’s being able to walk through life without judging people or events as good or bad, because I can see life through everyone’s eyes.

It’s being an incredible and at times beyond challenging experience that is very literally rewiring my thoughts, my brain, my consciousness, my body. Everything.

 

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The Journey of Life… Continues

Back in June of 2010, when I began this blog, it was a place to write out my thoughts, to get a bit of clarity and share things I’d found to be helpful. At the time, I was a mother to a seven year old, very energetic son, and raising him was my #1 function in life. That, and taking photos as a diversion to life’s stressors.

I thought this blog would be a place to share what I’d been learning about raising a child with “issues”; what worked and what didn’t, with regard to parenting tactics and therapies. And I figured it could be a place to share a few sea stories from my fourteen year journey of boating to shipping.

I’ve learned that as we go through life, we make plans and have expectations, and you know what they say about making plans in life – we plan, and God laughs.

We think we know what will come, when the reality is often very different. And if you live long enough, you’ll have many more experiences than you ever dreamed of. Some good, and some, not so much.

It’s what we don’t expect and don’t plan for, that can make life richer than we ever imagine. It’s when life becomes unfamiliar and uncomfortable, yet we muddle our way through, wading through the muck and the mire, waiting out the storms, taking tiny steps, until we can see the sun again, when we can breathe easy again, that we can look back through new eyes.

And during the seven and a half years since I began this blog, my life has brought surprises beyond anything I ever imagined or knew about. It’s brought challenges, heartache, pain that I’d never knew I could survive, joy and love that I didn’t know I was capable of, and experiences most people wouldn’t believe. I know I wouldn’t if I hadn’t experienced them myself.

For me, a few things about this blog have never changed. It has always been and still is a place I write to process things in my life, to clarify things, to sift out the chaff and share the golden wheat.

And it’s a place where people who resonate with my writing (or photos) gather to dip into the well. A place for kindred spirits to commune and share. This is the dish I’ve brought to the potluck dinner, and if you like it, feel free to have more. Taste what you like, drink your fill, and enjoy.

Thank you all for hanging out here from time to time, and for sharing your thoughts and comments.

Here’s to the continuation of the journey, both expected and unexpected, in 2018.

May your cycle of life begin and end in love. And may your heart be your guide.

ocean sunrise copyrighted photo

Sunrise on the coast of Maine.

 

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A Sliver

My moods have been all over the place lately. But I feel like home base is a feeling of hope and faith. The belief that everything will be ok in the end, no matter what. It’s really, really challenging at times to find this place, especially lately. But what I’m learning about myself is, it doesn’t take much to swing me back in the direction of hope.

Sometimes all it takes is a tiny little sliver of light. Just a crack will do. That tiny opening allows hope to pour back in. Today, after feeling the depths of despair, a sliver of light appeared. Just a small crack. But light nonetheless.

I’ll take it.

 

sun peaking up

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2017 Wrap Up

As 2017 winds down, looking back to the beginning of the year, we put a new president into the White House, one whom I (and many others) would soon recognize as having a personality disorder. My son was busy unschooling, and I was working on healing a cranky gallbladder using every tool in my arsenal. Little did I know that uncovering why my gallbladder was having trouble, would lead to a spontaneous Kundalini awakening of the first order.

The thing about life is, sometimes your personal plate becomes so full that you can’t see much beyond it. That’s what happened when I took my son out of school last year. It was all hands on deck focusing on helping my son. And because I understand the amazing power of energy healing, that was the route we went.

As long as life allowed us to let my son be himself and do his thing, we did. And that rolled into the first half of 2017.

With our new president creating news-worthy statements and actions almost daily, triggering America constantly into fear and outrage, most of the country has been wrapped up in news stories like it hasn’t been since I don’t know when. It’s been a year of discomfort for much of the American public. And a year of people being moved into action, pushing for change.

It’s also been a year of change me, personally. One of the effects of having Kundalini energy active in me is, lots of change, like it or not. It’s been a roller coaster ride of healing like no other, creating significant changes in my consciousness, brain, and body.

Commonly, a healing session has a side effect of temporary tiredness, that resolves within a few days at most, and a person can also experience temporary soreness and irritability. The exponential and chronic energy shifts of Kundalini energy has left me tired to exhausted, very emotional, achy, with periods of releasing mountains of fear, anger, or sadness.

The second half of 2017 has been months of extreme in many ways, rocketing healing into massively uncomfortable overdrive.

Miserable side effects aside, strings that pluck reactivity in me are dissolving. Fears of every kind are dissolving. Old threads of anger, shame, sadness, jealousy, and frustration are dissolving, changing the very fabric of my consciousness, my psyche, my mind.

Lately, I haven’t felt much like myself at all – not integrated within myself. But I know I will in time, because the feeling visits from time to time.

For my son, a change in schooling style this past fall brought back the fact that he lives with anxiety, in grand form. Extremely uncomfortable panic attacks have impacted his ability to learn. Giving him time to find ways to cope with his anxiety have finally made it very clear that it’s time to do something different to help the anxiety shift, and we’re venturing down that road now. As with all things, it will take time to sort it out.

With 2017 being a year of massive upheaval and peeling away of things that no longer work for both me, my son, and the country I live in, it’s been a messy and uncomfortable process, as big change usually is. It’s been an internal process for me, and very much an external process for the country.

Looking forward to 2018, when it comes to the US, know that life with a narcissist is constantly filled with drama because they struggle tremendously with any sort of connection to their true authentic selves. Because there is so little heart connection to themselves, life chronically triggers them into childish behavior including blatant lying, constantly bringing up past hurts, and language that is not the complex language of an adult, but becomes very simple and repetitive. Becoming triggered reverts their persona instantly to the age when they became disconnected in childhood. So, they look like an adult, but often act like a child who pouts and throws tantrums when they don’t get their way.

The world of politics will continue to be very uncomfortable in 2018, as people who have been silent are finding their voices, raising them in protest. And as some people who believed the campaign lies of our president become more and more disillusioned.

Over the course of this next year, my own personal process will continue as it needs. I’m pretty much along for the ride, using every tool I own to get through. It will be interesting to see where life has me a year from now. Hopefully, with more energy and connection within myself.

As 2018 rolls out, one thing I know for sure is, as scary and hard as change can feel, things always eventually work out to some sort of new normalcy.

Despite what our linear brain likes to have us believe, life is one big cycle with all sorts of smaller cycles within. When you’re being squeezed, know it won’t be forever. When you’re having trouble breathing, hang on. And when you don’t think you can make it another minute, have faith that this too shall pass.

Fair winds and following seas to 2017. Here’s to clarity in 2018.

 

 

 

Posted in Holistic Healing, inspiration, Kundalini | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Christmas Memories and Healing

Christmas is approaching, with the big day less than a week away. It’s a time of excitement and festivity, filled with the spirit of giving. Peace on earth and good will toward men, and all that. I’ve always looked forward to Christmas time, and especially so after I had my son. There’s nothing quite like spending Christmas looking through the eyes of a child.

The feelings of joy and wonderment have been tampered down for me by memories of the day my mother chose to leave this world. December 24, 2012, my mother’s plan to end her suffering and join my father, who passed away ten months earlier, was successful. She took her life.

As much as it was a shock to get the call of my mother’s death, it was a double shock to find out it was by suicide. Mom was bipolar, and during her later years, finding medications that worked for her, became more and more of a challenge.

Over the years since Mom’s death, I’ve come to terms with how she left the world, and I’ve been working on healing from the challenges of our relationship when she was alive.

Each Christmas season, I’m reminded of my mother’s passing, and this year, feelings of sadness, regret, and anger are gone. Last spring, while I was doing some very intense healing work, during a meditative time, I had an epiphany and was able to see my mother in a new light. I understood her mental illness, and I understood why she would verbally attack me when she was manic.

I understood it all at a very deep level and was able to bring my mother into my heart in a way I’d never been able to do before, in the process letting go of the rest of the pain I carried from our relationship. It lifted, like a balloon, accompanied by a cleansing torrent of tears. Since then, I’ve had more epiphanies that let me see my mother in a completely different light, allowing still more healing. Allowing my heart to open to my mother in ways it never could when she was alive.

What I saw as narcissism, was the little girl in her, terrified of being found out that she was poor and uncultured. The little girl acting out, needing so very badly to be worthy and rich. When her mania tweaked her perception of reality, the independent streak she saw in me became as intolerable for her as her own independent streak had been for her own mother. And she had to squash it. The little girl within Mom became triggered, and she’d lash out at me with her tongue.

Today, I have a lot of compassion for the woman who once created tremendous fear and disconnection in me. And indeed, compassion for others who walk in her shoes: people living with mental illness and other life challenges brought on by brain chemistry that isn’t “normal”.

It’s been a long road to get here, and it would have been a lot longer if it weren’t for discovering Energy Healing. Instead of carrying around fear, sadness, and pain from the past, Energy Healing has freed me up to live in the present, remembering that as much as there were many challenging moments during my relationship with my mother, I no longer carry the energy from them.

Only the love lives on.

 

One day, when it’s my time to leave this earth plane, it will be very interesting to reconnect with Mom, to see our lives together from yet a different perspective. I have a feeling that after this life, I won’t be in a hurry to come back any time soon.

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Anxiety is Real

We all get nervous or feel anxious about something at some point. And when we do, our bodies have a physiological reaction. Our hearts beat faster, pupils constrict, focus narrows, our digestion slows, and chemicals are released in our brains and bodies that allow us to run faster, be stronger, and think quicker. Our survival instinct kicks in.

In some cases, this fight or flight response is so intense, that when we’re in a situation that we can’t escape, the perceived fear response becomes overwhelming, and we believe we’re about to die, when we’re not.

As a child, lots of situations would make me nervous or anxious. But it wasn’t until my last semester of college that I had an honest to goodness panic attack. One day, sitting in class, all of a sudden, it felt like my heart stopped beating. I waited to feel it beat again, and nothing. The longer I didn’t feel it beat, the more I was sure I was about to die. My field of vision narrowed, and before I was about to pass out, I felt my heart pounding in my chest, and came out of it.

It was terrifying. Especially because it happened again and again. I had no clue what was happening, and thought I had something wrong with my brain.

Long story short, after visiting the student health center and having a neuro consult, I was put on an antidepressant. It made my head fuzzy and hard to think. Not what I wanted when I was spending my days trying to learn and pass tests. After about a month or so of a foggy and fuzzy brain, I decided to stop the medication. I honestly don’t think it helped with the panic attacks, but I realized that all I had to do was wait them out, and they’d pass. They finally left after I graduated and made some difficult life choices that I hadn’t want to make.

I didn’t think too much about anxiety and panic until I had a child and he was in elementary school. By the time he was in second grade, he begged me to stay home. He had headaches and stomachaches, and absolutely dreaded the idea of having to go to school.

Note Little Man wrote a few years back when his anxiety was at full tilt. He felt sick and really wanted to stay home.

Detective Mom kicked into gear, trying to figure out what was causing so much distress in my child. I knew he had Sensory Processing Disorder, so I deduced that while he was sedentary in a classroom, he wasn’t getting enough physical movement to help his brain work properly, so I arranged to have him sit on a big exercise ball instead of a chair, and we experimented with having him wear weighted vests.

Riding the school bus became an issue. Over the years I talked with the bus drivers. Some were better than others about making changes or helping out. By the time my son was in the later grades of elementary school, it was just easier for the both of us if I drove him to school.

Every school year, I’d start with great optimism, meeting with my son’s teacher to help her understand him. And every year I’d learn more and more about my son, having him diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, and anxiety when he was ten. After exhausting other means to address my son’s challenges of being able to focus when he was in school, we decided to give ADHD medication a try, and my son tried medication after medication.

When we reached a therapeutic dose of the first short acting medication, I was helping my son do a worksheet after school one day, and he became frustrated, his brain froze up, and he lost control of his bladder. He was ten. Two days later, I realized the medication wasn’t helping, and in fact, was hurting. After less than a week on a different medication, my son became suicidal. We switched to a different class of medication, and after one pill that scrambled my son’s head so badly that he spent half the day crying because he didn’t feel like himself, he wouldn’t take another pill. And I didn’t force him. None of the medications had a desired effect of helping him be able to focus and pay attention at school. All of them had intolerable side effects.

There were too many days when my son couldn’t handle going to school, and by the time he hit sixth grade, he missed about a quarter of the school year. My demanding he get in the car and walk into his school, created a child who was no only 100% resistant to school, but it tore me up inside. I can’t tell you the number of days I’d have to force him into the car, and after I dropped him off, I’d sit in the parking lot at school, bawling.

In seventh grade, my son hit his breaking point. Going to school became so intolerable that non-existence was preferable. In other words, if I’d kept pushing and pushing him, it very likely would have ended up with him becoming so self-destructive that he probably would have ended his life. Either very intentionally or unintentionally. But it would have ended. When life hurts, people either act out or internalize their pain. My son has always internalized things.

In February of seventh grade, my son complained about not feeling well. It took almost a month, but the truth finally came out that he couldn’t handle one more day in school. He had shut down mentally, having chronic and debilitating panic attacks. His anxiety had grown into a monster that ate him alive.

At that point, I could have put him into a mental hospital, have him medicated, and put him back into school. (The wait to see a pediatric psychiatrist in my area is six months). After the ADHD meds trial, both my son and I wanted to save that option for last.

I made the decision to take my son out of school and work with an intuitive naturopathic doctor. Another reason why I didn’t jump at the chance to medicate my son was, I’d thought that after a week or so of being out of school, my son would relax and would be able to do school work at home. But it was not so. He was shut down for a few months. Slowly, over time, I began to get my son back. His body and mind began to heal.

After spending the rest of his seventh grade focusing on healing and unschooling, at the end of the school year in June, I took him across country to a talented healer who’d worked on him when he was little.

The fall of his eight grade, my son started working with a friend of ours who tutors. I had her work on him with math because I knew this was an area of challenge for him. Despite knowing her and being comfortable with her, he lasted four sessions. Anxiety kicked in and took him down.

Since we took our son out of school, every intervention we’ve used has helped somewhat, but this fall, when our homeschooling shifted it’s format to look and feel more like regular school again (because my son is fulfilling more specific educational requirements this year) it became evident that my son is still extremely affected by anxiety.

The good news is, much of the day, he functions much like any other teenager. But when he and I sit down together so I can teach him, his anxiety becomes triggered. When I call him to do school work, he’s triggered. Some days, he can hold it together long enough to plow through a subject or two. On a bad day, he’s completely shut down and can’t do any work with me at all. Sunday nights, his sleep goes to pot in anticipation of having to do school work the next morning.

This past fall, I’ve been dealing with my own stuff (an extreme Kundalini awakening), often exhausted or unable to think clearly, so my ability to do something about my son’s anxiety has been put on hold. Over the past few weeks, my ability to function at the most basic level has improved enough that I see quite clearly that my son’s anxiety when it come to academics isn’t going away. And this is holding him back.

I’ve talked with my son about anxiety, and as much as he doesn’t have the perspective that an adult has on the need to do school work, and doesn’t clearly see the affect anxiety has on his life overall and the implications it might have on his future, he understands it’s really uncomfortable when it hits. And it shows up five days a week.

As much as I understand very clearly that anxiety is a very real thing, and it’s effects range from making a person feel very uncomfortable in certain situations, to completely shutting a person down, I sometimes come across well-meaning people who are clueless. (Like a few of my son’s former teachers).

If I share that my son sometimes can’t do his school work, they think he’s being willful or obstinate, and they throw in their two cents. They’ve never experienced having their brain lie to them to the extent that they feel like they’re going to die, when they’re not. They’ve never been so traumatized by an everyday occurrence that thinking about it makes them want to die, vomit, or loosens their stools, sending them running for a bathroom. They have no clue and it’s really annoying.

Having anxiety is a very real thing. For me, panic attacks were thankfully short-lived, passing after several months and a life change. For my son, unfortunately, the triggers that bring on his panic attacks are things he can’t escape from.

Because of that, I’ve recently given him a few options to create change for himself. One thing I’ve learned in the world of healing is, if I can’t change a situation outside myself that becomes intolerable, the one thing left to change is me. Lucky for my son, there’s an option out there he’s hesitantly willing to explore before medication. Fingers crossed that it goes well this week as he dips his toe in the waters of change.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Mental Health, Sensory Processing Disorder, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Christmas Cards

I just got my first Christmas card of the season. It’s that time again, and I’ve yet to put together our card for the year or even decide what it will be. Usually, our card is a collage of photos from the year, or one photo, often creatively made using Photoshop. Like the year I took a photo of a train ornament hanging on our Christmas tree, and digitally made Little Man the engineer in the cab. That was fun.

Putting together our Christmas card is usually something I enjoy, going through photos from the year, winding down memory lane. But because this past year has been one of the most challenging years in my adult life (and still is), I find myself in a bit of a quandary.

I don’t really feel like sending out a Christmas card this year. I’m not in the mood, not in the spirit, and am chronically exhausted, both mentally and physically. Just thinking about everything it takes to get our cards out, from creating them, to having them printed, driving to pick them up, addressing and stamping the envelopes, and taking them to the post office, leaves me almost wiped out.

So many Christmas cards show off a handsome family, and boast of the kids’ accomplishments. The card I got today included a letter filled with the year’s adventures and accomplishments, with my friend’s college aged son mulling over the possibility of going to law school like his mother.

Honestly, when I read about my friends’ kids going to college or graduating from college, getting married or having a baby, I’m jealous. And I know I shouldn’t be, because as much as I’m still in the trenches of the teen years and most of my peers started their families about ten years before me, I’m glad (most days) that I waited until I was ready. I also get jealous because my friends’ kids are able to go to school, whereas I had to pull my son out of school. Homeschooling a teenager who has learning issues, attention issues, and anxiety that is set off by academia, is not an easy road.

I’m definitely not writing a Christmas note or letter this year.

Perhaps this year’s card will be a few of Little Man’s aerial photos. He’s got some stunners.

Accompanied by a short and sweet sentiment.

Wishing you peace and prosperity in 2018.

Posted in Mental Health, Sensory Processing Disorder, The Voyage | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Strength

I never knew how strong I was until I had to be.

I never knew I could function when utterly exhausted, until I had to.

I never knew I could keep going when in a lot of physical pain.

I never knew I’d die for someone until I made the decision to do so.

I never knew that I could drop my life in a moment’s notice to do for another, until I did.

I never knew life would include having so many expectations dashed on the rocks,
until they were.

I never knew that my heart could break and heal, until it did. Many times.

I never knew I could keep getting up, keep going, no matter how much of a mess I was.

Thank you to my family and especially to my son, for giving me opportunities to learn just how strong I am.

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Gratitude

Gratitude is the feeling of connection with our heart. With the Source of Energy and Love that created us, from which we are made.

Gratitude is a feeling that everything’s ok. There’s no stress or strife or difficulty.

There’s no pushing against what is.

Gratitude is aligning with our true selves. With that sparkling, divine part of ourselves that holds infinite wisdom and understanding.

Gratitude brings us closer to our God-selves. The part of ourselves that knows we can make it through anything.

That part of ourselves that unconditionally loves and supports us. No matter what.

Taking time to focus on things we’re grateful for, even if it’s the ability to breathe, opens us up to more gratitude.

It opens us up to new and different possibilities in life.

Give it a try. You might like it.

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