Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sitting with Sadness

Sadness breaches the glassy stillness
like a humpback who has been traveling
for miles without a breath

again, you return
or is it only more
from where the last tsunami

from a different epicenter, perhaps
or maybe the same
does it matter?
it all seems to wear the same coat
of desperation, of pain that is indescribable
because of its depth and
lack of physicality

"I don't know how you do it" he says
in reference to the needles and the burning
and the ropes and the beatings
that I mention, I request, I crave.
I said I didn't know either
but on second thought, of course I do.

Where emotional pain can be made physical
there is relief in the knowledge
that all things physical can and will pass.
There is a palpable

Not the continuous breaching
of drowning whales.

There is grace in trusting the process of
emrging emotional pain into the physical.
Grace in trusting another with your body, your process, your pain.
Grace in trusting enough to be held, and
Grace in recollecting yourself when the container gives in under the pressure.
We are all only human, after all,
and some of us push harder than others.
Some of us go deeper than others.
Some of us expand greater than others.
Some of us are too loud, even for our own comfort.

It is grace that can hold us.
It is the ocean and the sky that can take it
that can hold us all.

Sadness enjoys the writing. It is learning to paint with words.
It is learning to leak gently out in small manageable breaths.

So on the surface, I may seem sadder longer.
But perhaps this time, you won't be frightened off by the explosion,
cowering in your own fears of inadequacy,
thinking "Shit, I can't hold THAT!"
Instead you can be quietly concerned in your own spare time,
stroking your ego into thinking that you may have something to offer.

Just to let you know,
I will take what is useful.
I take care of my own.

I trust myself.
I trust my process.
I trust that the label of "Crazy" exists for your benefit, not mine,
to make you comfortable and separate from what you long to ignore...

...but more on that, later.

Labeling makes Sadness even sadder.
It shows Sadness unacceptance.
It shows Sadness that you acknowledge her
as something incomprehensible, unacceptable, wild.
Boo on labeling, especially the label of Crazy.


Sadness, what else would you like to share with the world?
Yikes, fear? Brokenheartedness? I am so gentle and fierce
I am so many dualities, all crossing in the center.
I am seeking integration between grief and love.
I am confused, getting tripped up in the process,
when I stumble, and hit the ground, I cry out of frustration.
Seeking flow and grace and a peaceful heart.
I pray, I stand up, I keep moving.

My life is full
of processing.
The large, complicated doughnut that I am.

Please don't fret, Mom.
Please. Have faith in me and my process.
Sadness is not a death sentence, like it seemed to be a decade ago.
You have raised such a strong, committed, loving daughter.
I may do things with my life that you would never imagine or wish for me,
but it is mine to live, and I follow only the voice of Spirit
and our ancestors.

Sadness mingles with Love and Grace on occasion,
when she is well enough to receive visitors.
They share a laugh and a good cup of tea,
in light and peaceful laziness.

It is 11:11. Think happy thoughts.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Breaststroke Meditations

So I think I got a handle on the chest pain. At least for now.

I had another session with the fabulous acupuncturist today, and we came up with this: that the grief that was being released (gratefully) was simply overpowering my typical fiery joy. Perhaps the movement of grief was also pulling chi away from Earth, the deficiency resulting in the increased anxiety I had been feeling for the past three weeks. The deficiency carried through to the heart again, coupled with the grief release from the lung, causing the chest pain.

To be honest, I just took a wild stab at processing it all within a 5E model. I've got to let my acupuncturist off the hook. He actually told me to quit analyzing it and just tell him what was going on (which is exactly what he should've done).

I was having a hard time being present for the session today. There was a part of me fighting the treatment, leaving my body, wanting to leave the room, to not get better or move on.

I attribute a bit of that to the two Guinesses I drank last night at the bowling alley. That was the first time I have drank in well over two years, and it made me nervous that I was craving alcohol that way. I packed them both down, and barely felt it. It's been a day already and I'm still doing good. Sweet! I suppose that was helped along by the triple dose of NAC and B-vits I took upon coming home, along with the 5 glasses of water I downed that night. But the numbing effects of the alcohol carried over into today's session. At one point, I was getting needled essentially in my armpit, and it wasn't going and wasn't going and wasn't going, and then I realized that I was so far away from my body that the guy could've punctured my lung and I wouldn't have noticed. I had to catch myself and invite myself back into my body. As soon as I came back home, the needle tugged and the point released. But it all really came home when I got the needle in the middle of my inner wrist. Like sudden divine inspiration, all of the sudden EVERYTHING got clear and present and real again. It felt miraculous.

I went home and just sat in silence for about twenty minutes then crawled back into bed for a hour-long nap. It's a struggle to get up because once again I've let my place get all piled up and grubby. Grrrr. There just doesn't seem to be enough time or energy to get everything done.

Anyway, I made it over to the gym for some laps and sweating before class. God, I love swimming. Doing the breatstroke is like flying. It's like I'm an eagle soaring through a stiff breeze. No surprise that Eagle is the animal that has come forth to help carry me through this grief-relief process. Everytime, and I mean EVERY time I go to acupuncture, my practictioner and I always see a bald eagle soaring around outside. We've both been seeing them on occasion outside of treatment as well. It's great because we're both so giddy to see them.

So Water element, coming after Metal, is giving the grief somewhere to go, in my eyes. But that's not why I swim. I swim because I love it. It's quiet, meditative. My body is surrounded in secure, cradling pressure. I can push myself as hard or slack as I want, I can daydream, I can breathe deeply, I can process, I can pray. I did all of that today. As I pushed off the wall and soared through the water, grabbing it with my hands and shoving it past me, pushing myself through, feeling every part of my self, gliding to the surface for a breath, I felt a relief that I had been waiting for for three weeks. I couldn't believe how long it had been, how bad I had let it get. The self-disgust, the self-loathing, the insecurity, the abuse I suffered at my own hands. At what point did I forget that I am made of light? Where did I get stuck between the words "I am" and "a miracle"?

I'm so grateful for this healing, and the pain and process that led me to it, scary as it was. My perceptions of this lesson was that when the going gets tough, pray harder. And I got a new list of things to pray for.

A piece of poetry:

"Hopeful I raise my bow and release my heart into the night sky. I'm aiming for the stars, and maybe I'll hit one. More likely, I will find the dark matter, and be graced another opportunity to embrace the shadow of the universe. Either way, I am a better person because of my efforts."

PS: I adjusted my first neck all on my own tonight!!!! It was so amazing, because it came from a very instinctual place.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Talent/No Talent Show Spoken Word Pieces

I dedicate these two pieces to my teachers, which you all can meet in person the next time you look in a mirror.


A psychiatrist once asked me if I realized that I was singing out loud. She said that some people might think I'm strange for doing that.

I wonder if she was one of those people.

I wonder when singing out loud became pathological.

I find myself again
piled in a cowering heap
quivering from overexposure of a perception of reality.

Stigma has me tripping over my feet

Now Silence is what
my throat seems to be stuffed with.
No wonder it hurts to breathe
My body seems to be telling me
that it's time to wake up
and start yelling
or perhaps even try to sing again

Waking up is hard to do.

Harder than wandering through the halls
Pretending or possibly actually believing the walls
don't exist, yet feeling their tension
bind with my countertension

blending the imaginings of tomorrow with the perceptions of yesterday
into a fantastical hypnosis of what I think I know.
I wander off into the daydream of my mind.

Pushing and pushing and pushing past the mirror
which has had nothing lovely to say as of late
pushing past a mirror that I would rather break
because 13 years bad luck has been
the least of my concern since then
since my heart last regained its composure
she still has a few cracks and crevices leftover
from the last time she fell and broke into a million pieces
This is delicate territory. Beware.

I find my self again
shivering on the steps outside in the night rain
a cigarette resting between
my fingers
and the palpable breathing of
a presence much bigger than my own

As I begin to wake up. Again.

My body aches and shakes and erupts
as I uneasily find my way back into my skin.
It is ok to be here
It is ok to be here
Are you sure? Yes, I'm sure, at least I think I'm sure
I swear to you, to me, the only me there be
that it is ok to be here.
I want to promise me that I can make it safe in here
Even fun.
I want to promise safety to the Sand castle that I keep building in the tide line.
That one that houses my heart,
the one that gives in and collapses with each successive wave

breaking down breaking down
breaking through
convincing myself the effort was somehow worth it
breaking down breaking out breaking in
Broken so much so often
so I swear to God I will never do it again ... until ...
I recover...and
My revived invincibility complex orders yet another

As I wake up again,
the rain kisses me gently.
It soaks my grandmother's jacket
She no longer needs it.
She is the rain now.
She and the rain and the palpable breath of presence
comfort me and invite me into their home.

Hopeful I raise my bow
and release my heart into the night sky.
I'm aiming for a sand castle built of stardust
Yes, I'm aiming for the stars,
and maybe I'll hit one.
According to the odds, however, my heart will collide with dark matter
and be graced
yet another opportunity to embrace
the shadow of the universe.

Either way, I am a better person because of my efforts.

An African Ancestor met me in my dreams that night
as I leaned against the oldest tree in the world
he approaches from out of the sun
Blink he is closer
Blink he is closer still
Blink Blink he is standing right in front of me
He is watching me, looking at something I cannot see.
He pushes me back into the tree
back into my life
back into reality

He gives me a key with which to unlock my heart

He gives me a key entitled Redemption.

Redemption. Deliverance. Rescue. I have been saved from myself and allowed to carry on, free to build sand castles in places other than the surf. Free to build tree houses instead. Free to walk barefoot on the ceiling of the universe as I swing throughout the stars, creating pictures of dreams I only now remember having since before I was born, uplifted, into a stark realization of ... reality?

This is real, and unbelievable
because if I were to believe that this kind of "real"
were truly my life
my heart surely would break wide open
into a million pieces
from inexplicable and tremendous joy.

Could I dare go there again?
I must.
If I wish to live again
I must.
So go there I must
armed with courage
and faith
and trust
that sometimes even a broken heart
is a welcomed event.

On a Journey
to the end
of the war
within my heart

On a journey
of recollection

Recall that I am
somebody's seventh generation
I am somebody's hope and dream
I am a miracle in motion,

And I was confined once
I have the scars to prove it.
and underneath scars, though, there are drumbeats and music
memories swaying to song
like merry drunks aboard
a boat at sea
lovingly committed
only to the whims of Great Mystery
and the tides

beauty shocks depths
echoing deeper
beyond the realm of knowing
it reverberates
its coming back
a sickening crescendo
as I realize that
I am about to lose my shit
the shit that keeps me
stuck, smelly and repulsive
of self love

I am about to lose my shit
and replace it with
and mirrors
and expansive love
and graceful sunshine
and deep gratitude
and inexplicable and tremendous joy.

the password is change

Transition just might be my middle name, and I would wear it proudly.
If words could be music, then I would sing my life and my love loudly
Regardless of the diagnosis.

Rejoicing in the consistency of change.
and being startled to realize that my broken heart still beats
to the sound of its own drummer
and the song that ensues
ignites earthquakes
and thunder

so go ahead
break open, dear heart, so that I may love even more




May you find this life
incredibly rewarding
deeply moving
wondrously inspirational
majestically beautiful
warmly comforting
joyfully peaceful
stoicly charming



may you find the depths
of your life

without shame
without fear
without guilt

but with indulgent passion
and unfettered bravery
with exuberant exhiliration
and harmonizing gratitude

as you reach even deeper

retract and reflect

Be called

Chest Pain

Yeah man. Chest pain. For the past two weeks. Crushing, squeezing, electrical-volt-shooting, cramping, meandering, wandering chest pain. Over the heart, or maybe the upper lobe of the left lung. BP was up as well, hovering around 130/90 for the last two weeks. It's not my thyroid, or too much B6. It's not a heart attack or a displaced rib. Some trouble breathing. I tried a lot. What worked was some homeopathy (Lycopodium 30c relieved the third year pre-clinical inadequacy freakout) and craniosacral. So here's what I learned: my body is particularly and sensitively tuned to energy. And it knows I will listen to physical symptoms. My heart needed to speak, and I needed to listen. So during the cranio treatment, it showed me a volcano that was being suppressed. I was afraid of releasing bioling hot lava into my psyche. I gave in, though, and gave it permission to dribble. Now the pangs of anxiety, the wonky energy I pick up on in the hallway, and all else that is wierd and/or not mine goes flowing through the top of the volcano. Hey, beats a heart attack.

From a 5E standpoint, after recieving an (incredible) in-depth possession treatment by the (uber-talented and quite wonderful) student acupuncturist three weeks ago, I have removing a lot of grief from my system. Grief is the emotion relating to the Lung and the Metal element. Metal is controlled by Fire (the heart and joy), is fed by Earth (stomach/spleen and worry), and flows into Water (the Kidneys and fear). It ultimately looked to me like there was enough grief coming up to overcome the tedious amount of joy I was experiencing two weeks ago. The grief was also being fed by a substantial lump of worry or concern I was feeling about my place and my worth in the world. This stuff is so fascinating, and I am excited that I have acknowledged my interest in pursuing further studies in this field. For later, for later. For now, homeopathy! Soon to come: Craniosacral!!! Oh yeah, and getting into clinic as an ND. Wow. Holler!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Week In Review -- Deeper

Everyone has been saying that it's been a week from hell. I tend to find that sort of gossip comforting, since I observe a real quality relation between human experince and the alignment of the stars. But that comfort comes a week too late, and barely scratches the surface of the energy twist compacting heart fuck that has been my life this past week. It was nice, though, to end the week with that thought.

The start of the week began, let's say on Saturday. That coincides with the beginning of my cycle. I began bleeding that morning, just in time to drum for a soul retrieval. Apparently I needed the protection. After a *long* session, lasting almost six hours, the practitioner and I were winding down, sharing stories. Then she totally blows my mind (probably hers was blown as well) when she suddenly tells me to close my eyes, that she's got a gift for me. When I open my eyes, she's offering up her Owl wing to the four directions, Mother Earth, Father, Sky and Mystery before placing it in my hands.

It's times like this that I wish I could feel deeper, that I could allow myself to feel as moved as I "should" be. I wanted to be so moved in that moment that I cried. She was definitely crying; this was a wing she had done ceremony on herself and worked closely with for over two years. Instead I laughed. In some ways, laughing is like crying, I suppose. It's possibly just our social norms that deem laughter an inappropriate expression of whatever. So that's how Owl came into my life. The practitioner advised that I sleep with it nearby and let it teach me through my dreams. So that's what I did.

Sunday: I meet up with my aunt and uncle for breakfast. It's deper than that though. This particular aunt and uncle are the "long-lost" ones. The aunt is the twin sister of my biological father, with whom I've had a total of two weeks of personal contact in my whole life. I just met my aunt, uncle, and cousin a month ago. It's cool that they live relatively close; ironic that out of the whole big ass country, I unknowingly pick to move to the spot where 85% of the biological paternal lineage has resided for decades. With my aunt and uncle are two cousins that I have met only days ago, very briefly. My aunt, my cousin Joe and I all have the exact dame smile; a smile that streches from one corner of your face to another, and just kinda lights up your heart. We eat french toast and eggs benedict, then take a lap around Green Lake. We eat ice cream (it's two degrees above freezing, mind you) then head back to the house for some lounging. My aunt and uncle go off to do some shopping, and my cousins and I take another lap around Green Lake.

It's amazing what you learn about people when you walk with them. Like the movement of their body facilitates the movement of their soul. Like a violin string being rubbed by a rosined bow, the soul begins to vibrate and sing. I really like my cousins. We reverberate.

I leave. Back home. I have been reading up on the history of health care all week for a midterm in public health. I am surprisingly more interested in this subject than I predicted. That's always exciting.

Monday. I continue to read up on health care policy, and write up my midterm. I forgo the gym today, because I'm bleeding. Instead, I call my biological father. It's only been nine years. It sounded like it, too. I could've crank called some random person and had a conversation quite similar to the one I had with Jim. It's like we both sense that we should know more about each other, and possibly even be interested in the other person's life, but it's just not there. At least, I don't feel it. And I feel a lot of things, usually without trying.

Apparently, it's a snow day, and the school is closed. Thankfully I get this message via email as I'm sendong off my midterm, and I rejoice in getting to spend an entire day in my jammies. I celebrate by watching four episodes of the L word back to back (God bless Netflix). I go to bed at 2am.

Tuesday. School. A day at school is like three days of manual labor. Something about it is neverending, and strikes a deep chord of inadequacy and humility amidst the marinated tofu and relfection pond. People still tend to have fleeting moments of fun or freedom, but it's rare: the collective consciousness of the place can feel like a cross between a prison and a mental institution. This particular day at school, I learned that I hadn't performed well enough to receive advanced standing in a certification class I had been taking for months. The teacher said multiple times, not to take it personal, and I didn't. I mean, I wasn't mad at him. I was, however, furious with myself. God, if I were my domme, my sub would be black, blue, bleeding and broken, I'm that good at being ruthless with myself. Today I guess I couldn't take it that well. But boy did I shove it. Later I'm at Liberty, chomping on sushi and negotiating a bondage-and-blood scene with a marvelously sweet sexy kinky couple. The scene was to happen that night. In retrospect, I might have acknowledged that I was already feeling a little shitty, but I thought at the time that the scene would cheer me up. I wound up pretty deep in the headspace of my youth, unquestionably the darkest years of my life to date. Themes of shame and defiance bubbled up over the emergent property of the night: inadequacy. The couple assured me they had fun, and I've no choice but to believe them. I worry about being seen. About being seen, judged, and dismissed, like "Whoa! Don't want to go there again." But I know this couple can handle deep space, I'm confident in that. But what will convince me for certain is a return office call, so to speak. And this is how time builds trust in others.

Wednesday. I don't remember much about Wednesday, other than I went to the gym and swam until I pulled my scalenes on the left side.

Thursday. Whoa. All I wanted was needles in my wrist. Instead, I got to sit through seven hours of class, three of which were nearly the most frustrating in my career.

I can't remember when the chest pains started. I'm pretty sure I woke up with them on Thursday. I'm pretty sure they started before that, but since this is a recurring theme, I didn't start paying attention to them until they had me nearly doubling over. That was on Thursday. Shock waves. That's what it felt like. Shock waves shooting straight into my heart. I was having trouble breathing, and I was so agitated. I wondered if the adrenaline of Tuesday had caught up with me and I had become a junkie of sorts looking for a decent wallop of pain to make it through another day in the fiery pit of med school. Every moment was like sitting on wiggling red hot nails. I got to my preceptor and the concerned office manager had me take my blood pressure three times consecutively. Even I was floored when I averaged 130/90, unheard of for me. The doc said I was having an anxiety attack and suggested I either pop a Xanax or drink a beer. From past experience, I know there's no use in being either righteous or snotty with this guy, so I just laughed it off. He doesn't really know me anyway, that's clear. But who really knows anyone? The best we can hope for in this life is to know ourselves. Everyone else is their business. I leave the office with a bottle of Stress X and sit in an hour of traffic on the 520 bridge.

Friday. I wake up and cringe. I don't wanna. I am exhausted and the pain in my chest had gotten worse, so the exhaustion is quickly compounded by mild panic. It crosses my mind that I have tried just about every trick I know of to get me back to good: exercise, good diet, detox tea, gingko shot...what was I missing? I go to school, into Herbal Ways and lament my circumstances to my dear friend Rob. We make a tea that helps (Rose for the heart, Vervain for the throat, Motherwort for the heart and nervine properties, Fennel because Rob said so, and Cinnamon because I said so), and I also snag some Sticta to work the grief out of my lung while I'm at it. It works for maybe an hour, then the tension is back, along with the heart pain. I float off during homeopathy class and flip to remedy that has caught my eye recently. The mental-emotional keynote is inadequacy, after all, and today I just can't seem to think of another way to tackle this predicament. I wonder if Spirit was saying, Hey, if you are so into homeopathy, let's see how far you can trust yourself with it" or something. The remedy moved a lot: it felt like my head was a toilet that finally got flushed. It was a very forlorn feeling as I meandered the halls, looking for something or someone, guidance, direction, support, help. I finally sat down in the caf, and my friend Lisa joined me. The angel that she is, her message so clear: "Be gentle with yourself" The tears responded to that, as I recognized the part of me that felt like I deserved abuse, if not from anyone else, then certainly from myself.

We decided a walk to the lake was in order. As we slopped down the muddy hill, Lisa in her stockings and Mary Janes led me into the woods, back into my soul. The remedy was working, the chest pain fading, the tolerance to cold returning. Lisa fell square on her ass, and laughed out loud, bounced up again and kept on down the hill. We got to the edge of the lake, and I turned to her and confessed that I was always subject to this insatiable urge to jump in the lake every time I was down here. And this I why I love Lisa. Her face lit up and she said "Sure! Let's go!" So this is how Lisa and I celebrated a new month (that month being February) in the PNW with temps once again hovering around freezing. We stripped off our clothes and barreled into the water, screeching the entire way. "This is why I love you," she said. And this is why I love her too.

We walked back in the dark. We decided that the woods at night merely amplifies the internal state of the observer. If you're freaking yourself out with your demons and haunts, the woods will convince you that you will never leave it alive. Conversely, one who is at ease and in a state of inner peace moves through the woods at night like it's a warm bath.

That evening, and the following day, Saturday: Cell Salts with Louise Edwards. Great class, lots of info, less heart pressure, although still seeking out a one-drop remedy. How much time is alotted for healing? Til results come barreling in? How do you know when you're done? When it's time to just wait, or time to redose?

All of these fucking questions.

I ended Saturday with lots of chocolate cake, a Guiness, a cigarette, jamming on the djembe and spanking a beautiful sweet birthday girl.

It's 2am. That is just one week.