Face the Darkness

Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. – Henry Miller


When shadow-work is neglected, the soul feels dry, brittle, like an empty vessel. Then, people suffer depression rather than embark on a fruitful descent. When shadow-work is denied, the soul feels banished, exiled from its habitats in the wilds of nature … But when shadow-work is attended to, the soul feels round, full, sated. When shadow-work is invited into a life, the soul feels welcomed, alive in the gardens, aroused in passion, awake in sacred things. – C. Zweig & S. Wolf


Be Love <3

Emotional Anatomy

Anatomy is destiny as long as it is a somatic process. We must learn to re-envision anatomy more than as a static materialism, more than pictures of the dead, abstractions in the form of physiological formulas, ideas about nature rather than nature itself.

Anatomy is really about a dynamic, living process, a mystery, an initiation, the shape of experience which gives rise to feeling, thought, and action. It is about ourselves as feeling forms. It is about genetic, embryological, and personal history. It is about the insults we received from our families and society and what we did to preserve our own integrity under duress.

Anatomy really concerns the form we were given by nature, the forms we had to create as part of a particular society and family, and the form we are presently shaping.

To know emotional anatomy is to experience the pains of desire and disappointment, the conflicts of contact and the striving for satisfaction, the taste of intimacy and individuality, the knowledge of conditional and unconditional love.

… from the book “Emotional Anatomy”


A Most Amazing Quote

Essentially tms’ers are sweet souls who have not heeded their calling. Gifted with sensitivity, imagination, storytelling and what may be viewed as perfectionism but I prefer to see as a passion for manifesting a perfect form, they/we are artists. This is a broad stroke. Artistry can bloom in any endeavour so while many here ought follow more familiar creative paths, such as writing, dance, music and song, they could take their fine skills into architecture, cooking, physics or midwifery. Every field needs the daring and the brave. Dare we be daring and brave? It is easy to hide behind the intellect but as Leonardo da Vinci said “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”

(This is from a forum of people who are learning to heal their chronic pain through understanding the cause.)


Social Anxiety Disorder

Over the years, I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, OCD.  Add Fibromyalgia, IBS, unstable joints, and at the moment, a damaged SI joint that has been getting re-injured for the last eight months.

What a mess!! And what a daunting looking list.

I have been off all pharmaceuticals for years.

I think it is the OCD that serves me the best. It keeps me fighting!   Being vigilant, setting boundaries, and relentless self-talk. Medicinal plants and herbs and food.  Keeping my home ‘sacred’ with practical and green-living products (most I make), and creating a sanctuary that feels safe. Yoga, Poi Spinning, Belly Dancing. Breathing. More self-talk. And trying to help others. This is an under-rated activity. When I step outside my internal chaos and share pieces of myself, my intentions, my compassion, my love …. this rates high on creating moments of contentment.

There is no single answer to coping with such issues. It is a constant journey of exploration and adjustment. It is a life-long commitment to adapting and changing and getting back up after feeling battered.

It is not easy. But it does get …. easier. In increments. And sometimes more. Minutes. Hours. Days. Quicker recovery times from a crash.

My biggest challenge: “The Triggers”.  I know my triggers, so I carefully avoid situations that I know will set them off. But situations can arise that I just don’t see coming, and I’m hurled into a defensive response.  Anxiety overrides reason. Even in the safest, most loving situation, an unexpected pattern change of behavior can set off alarms.

Afterwards, it is hard not to berate myself for my responses.  This is where my ‘safe activities’ become invaluable. I put myself in a soothing mode, and remember that I am doing the best that I can, and I will do better next time!

Everyone has challenges. I believe those challenges can be faced a lot more easily IF (this is a big one!) … IF we didn’t criticize ourselves so cruelly.

You are worthy!
You are powerful!
You are strong!
You are beautiful! (yes, men too!)
Just remember to use your power to do good 😉

Love~Compassion~Kindness <3

Progress …

April 4th, 2011, I was prescribed a narcotic and gabapentin. Strong doses. Up to 2100mg of the gaba. The relief was tremendous.

May 2013 was the beginning of active reduction of the various crutches. And then we come to the —

Eve of June 4, 2015 … my first night since that long ago April without any prescription medication.

It does not mean I will do it this eve, or the next. One small success at a time.

On the downside … my jaw muscles are double-tight. I am drinking teas from Viriditas Wild Gardens and Omgrown.  Bless them for their gifts.

Fibromyalgia is a generic word for a complicated condition.  Confused pain receptors, muscle lock-downs, fatigues, digestive issues … it goes on.

The diagnosis was a relief at first, and then there was despair of it. The prognosis was grim and predictions stated it would only get worse.

After the despair came the mulling-time. And more mulling. Then some anger. Not so much at the condition of my body … rather … the doctors telling me where I was going and the hopelessness of it.

Really? I am going to end up on cocktails of drugs and overweight because of those drugs, and likely to become unable to do anything but curl up in misery?


Think again.

The fight has been (and likely will continue to be) challenging.  But I stand here now, today, weeks before the Summer Solstice … I am standing stronger than ever, and .. at least for today .. I am pharma-free.

I am finding new ways to negotiate the pain, and my sleep is improving significantly (THANK YOU LIZ!!!!!!).

… with gratitude, always <3



Roots and Branches

Burrowing and reaching. They are equal in need.

This condition labeled ‘Fibromyalgia’, which is a non-sense word, is in continual flux and negotiation. The mind commands, the heart bursts forward, the body strives. How far … how far … can it be pushed?

Stillness and motion. A balance that never quite balances.


Our Bodies … when we are given a gift, it is our responsibility to treat our gifts as though they are treasures. And that is exactly what gifts are – treasures. Some gifts we pass on because they are meant to be with someone else. Some gifts we keep because they have found their home (for now). But our Bodies … these belong to us completely.

I believe we are in a symbiotic relationship with our bodies. There is an inherent, organic intelligence involved. Our souls are housed in these ‘soft shells’. With out this, we could not navigate through the physical world. The body is not robotic. It is complex, intuitive, instinctive, intelligent, wildly cunning. We have merged with this short-lived organism to experience the spectrum of this world. Pain and wonder, weakness and strength, anger and love .. these are all chemical explosions that flood us with sensations that we either like or don’t like.

Not to be confused with LOVE in the universal sense. The Love that is true core of our being. That is untainted by the other emotions, because it is not an emotion at all …. it is what we ARE.

The choices we make in caring for this gift … they aren’t right or wrong. It is the consequences of our choices that we are really experimenting with. Do we like the outcome? Or do we grimace and say, ‘oh that didn’t work out so well …’ . The latter is when we try another variation. Until we hit on the combination we ‘like’.

Sort of like practicing music.
That is exactly what we are doing with Life.

…. something I wrote a month ago. I need to remember this.

In the end, we just do the very best we can in every given moment.

…. with gratitude and love ^_^


Catnip Part-Two

In an update to a previous post about drinking Catnip tea and reducing the need for gabapentin .. the news is great!

Sleep is coming, and still with reduced anxiety. A couple of the mornings produced extra pain .. not from lack of pain-meds, but from sleeping so heavy that I didn’t move, and my body locked down. This is the ever-on-going battle. Too much stillness results in pain. Too much motion results in pain. Still, I’d rather have the deeper sleep. The pain eases within an hour or so after waking up.

Today is my 2nd appointment with the chiropractor.

Gabapentin withdrawal can be quite unpleasant, but so far my symptoms have been extremely mild. One brief interlude of a dark-crash, which I promptly recognized and hauled my emotional-barometer out of the pit and forced my wings to spread again …. and all was good.

Progress … oh yes the beautiful progress!

…. always with gratitude ^_^


It has been over two years since I have tasted the sweet-sharp tang of my once-favorite Kahlua/Vodka/Milk. My nightly power-drink. Self-medication. The only way into immediate sleep.

It has been over a year since I have felt the soft rush of Vicodin, which did not diminish the pain. Rather, it made the pain less distressing. It leveled my mood.

And the final medication .. Gabapentin. From 2100, to 1800, to 1200, to 900 … This last twelve months has been at the 600 level, taken only at night.

The pain is sneaky, and invasive, but tolerable.

Yet is it all Fibromyalgia? Perhaps not.

I have learned that TMJ puts stress on the first two vertebrae, which then can affect nerves and it very well may be the reason my arms hurt so much. It has made my guitar and piano practice suffer considerably. My jaw is hurting my arms?? Really??  Oookay. Let’s go with that. A chiropractor that uses an adjuster is being allowed to work with me. First session went smoothly. This is a good sign.  He followed every single one of my ‘rules’ with gentle acceptance. Yes. This is good.

Sleep … a different issue. Fragile. Anxiety-ridden. Painful dreams.

Recently, I have discovered Anise as a tincture. And Lemongrass as a tea to accompany my Cozy Tea from my wonderful friend at Viriditas Wild Gardens (lizziematt@frontier.com). Hibiscus from a dear friend, turning my tea a lovely, deep rose. And then one day, I was gifted a Catnip plant. Research and musings … I tore a few leaves into my tea.

I slept. Oh I slept. Oh the beauty of real sleep. It was divine!

The next night I reduced the gabapentin to 300. And slept. Oh I slept. It was …. yes, divine!

Repeat the next night. And I crashed into walls of pain. My jaw felt like it was buried in pounds of cement and my feet were being stabbed with hot icepicks.

Mmm. Perhaps I moved a little fast on reducing meds. Ya think ;)?

Oddly, my day was lovely and I was energized and the pain level wasn’t any more or less than normal.  This gives me hope, oh yes it does!

The bees arrived, and a gorgeous butterfly.

Life IS good ^_^