Posts tagged: good medicine

Good things coming in!

By , July 3, 2012

Finally, the winds of change are arriving!

Literally, in fact — it’s been an unusually windy year. And finally, after feeling quite stuck for so long in situations that didn’t seem like they’d ever budge, they have.

First, our trip to Hawaii plopped itself into our laps — as things seem to do for me — very much out of the blue. Back at the beginning of the year I remember writing to my sister, half jokingly proclaiming that “After all this is done and I’m feeling better I need a flippin’ tropical vacation — like to Hawaii or somewhere benign where I can’t get sick again!” And holy cow, my poor hubby F needed a vacation even more badly than I did. And then a few months later, the chance offer to house-sit (in Hawaii, oh my!) arrived, perfectly timed, just as my big moneymaking project was wrapping up, I was really beginning to feel better, and coincidentally using up the exact number of vacation hours that F had saved up at his job.

We both knew we needed a vacation, but I don’t think we even realized how much we did until we got there. Both of our spirits had been running pretty darn ragged. I know at least for me, the utter enjoyment of our vacation — the nourishment my depleted spirit was receiving by being where I was, doing the things I was doing — made me do cartwheels and handstands and yelp for joy!

What a feeling of renewal. Of feeling so lighthearted again, so full of joy.

It drove home again, in a big way, that it’s excruciatingly important that you enjoy your life. Charles and Ray Eames, the famous American designers, said “Take your pleasure seriously.” There is such deep truth in that statement.

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And this incredible trip to Hawaiian Paradise wouldn’t have even been possible had I not felt up for it. As you may remember (or can read about here), I’ve been really very sick. So sick. 🙁 But after almost 8 months of heavy-duty antibiotics (I still have a month left of one of them), I am so much better! SO much better, it’s amazing. Still not quiiiite 100%… still maybe not completely out of the woods… it’s possible that may not come for some time… hopefully it will come eventually, and the damage done will fade away… but well enough to travel all the way to Hawaii for three weeks. Which is huuuuuge! Previously when I was so ill, I couldn’t have even done one single night away. So there’s that — that is a gigantic good thing! I feel like I get to start reclaiming my life. (It might, if it wanted to, happen a little faster, but somehow I’m thinking that’s one of the many lessons embedded in this big whopping health disaster learning moment.)

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And then — and this is so exciting! — we’re moving!!!! Not just moving, but moving into the urban oasis that is my folks’ house! (It’s also the house I occupied since the day I came home from the hospital.) It has my garden. It has a clothesline. It has an apple tree. It has my grandmother’s baby grand piano, so I’ll be able to play piano again any time I’d like. It has a beautiful front and back yard and luxurious porches — the private outdoor space my soul has been yearning so deeply for. It’s quiet!! So we won’t be hearing traffic noise every minute of every day. I also feel a lot safer in that neighborhood, so I can begin taking leisurely walks again without feeling uneasy. It’s closer to our favorite health food store, so we can start shopping there. It’s next door to Margaret, the wonderful neighbor who has been like a grandmother to me since we met over the fence that same day I came home from the hospital. It’s got some nice biking possibilities, which is particularly attractive to F. 🙂 And it’s 1400 square feet (3 bed/2 bath) — a big jump from the 650 sq ft (1 bed/1 bath) we have now. We really do go along perfectly well in 650… we really do… but I can’t deny that it’ll be a treat to have more space! There’s talk of a workout room… perhaps an art studio… we’ll see!

My parents are very ready for a change, ready to downsize and to not have a yard to care for, so they’ve gotten an apartment a few miles away. We’re all still not quite sure what our future plans look like, so we’re shifting around a bit in the mean time into something that suits us all better. It’s a temporary configuration, but one that’s so very right for where we all are at this moment in time.

I am so excited!! They’ll also be leaving behind some of their furniture that we can use if we want, so the place will feel less like a temporary college dorm setup and more like a real live home. Being a Taurus, making and keeping a home is a pleasure that sits deep within my bones. And my cat goes with the house, hehe, so we’ll have her there too!!

All of these good things!!!

I can’t sweep over the fact that life has felt very un-fun the past couple years. I’ve learned that when you’re that sick for that long, no matter how many people love and support you (I have many!), no matter how wonderful everything else might be, it’s ultimately a journey you must make alone. It’s your own journey and nobody else’s — no matter how dearly they desire to lighten your load out of love and concern for you. It’s also a very grave, lonely, and heavy journey. It’s hard. Immense. Inward. Dark. And incredibly depleting. Major, prolonged illness is not only depleting to your body, but also to your mind, heart, soul, spirit.

And as soon as you are able, you must do things to rebuild all those aspects of yourself, some of which may only be hanging on by a thread. I’ve mentioned it before, but when our spirits are strong, we heal better.

I’m not an apartment person. I can certainly make it work — and have — but there’s always the underlying “trapped animal” feeling. Some folks get along fine in apartments, and I’m not one of them. I prefer the earth beneath my feet, the privacy of my own yard or land, quietude, and no shared walls or floors with other families. And all that is coming… yahoooo! Good things are rollin’ in! Healing is taking place — first for my body, and now my spirit. Cheers to that~

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Aloha to you!

By , June 20, 2012

Just a little bit of a check-in today, as we continue to love our time here in Hawaii!! We have seen some incredible scenery here, and now that we’re settled into our house sitting ‘home-away-from-home,’ we’re really just kicking back and relaxing. It feels so good, and it’s something we’ve both been long overdue for. Mornings here for me usually consist of lying out in the sunshine on the grass and then taking a cold, invigorating swim in the stream at the bottom of the yard, and then taking an outdoor shower amidst the orchids and bromeliads that live outside year-round here. Then I’ll brew some tea, and drink it along with a bowl of local papaya with plain yogurt, lime juice (fresh from the tree in the yard!), and grated ginger. Or, a beautiful salad from their organic garden. It feels so good to be here; so healing to ones spirit. It’s a gorgeous house in an incredible location. A little piece of paradise, really. What a gift this is!

Here are a few photos of what we’ve been feasting our eyes upon:

Hanalei Valley, Kauai. Taro is grown in the fields down there.

At the north end of Kauai

Hiking on the Na Pali coast, Kauai

Our tropical fruit! All this stuff is local. Hawaii has some of the most incredible fruit you've ever tasted; I wish we got stuff like this on the Mainland. In the center there's coconut meat from a coconut I found on the beach and hacked into!

Reading about taro in "Edible Hawaiian Islands" magazine, with tea, out on the lanai (patio), with the stream in the background. This is truly the life...

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Quiet moments

By , June 1, 2012

When life gets too crazy, quiet moments do ground us back to earth. But quiet moments will rarely search us out, I find. They inhabit the shadows; if we’d like to have the grace of their presence, we must intend them. We must initiate them. We must arrange the time and the space…to bring them forth.

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**May you engineer some wonderfully quiet moments for yourself this weekend!!**

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A Special Nature Outing

By , April 27, 2012

Pelican

Just wanted to share with you some pictures from the wonderful nature outing I had yesterday! My aunt and her honey are in town visiting this week, and they, together with my mom and dad and I, all went to a nature spot that holds a special place in our hearts. I’ve been going there since I was just a toddler! The weather was sublime, and we had the place to ourselves. It was such a special family time, I’ll never forget it. I only wish my F could have been there with us, I know he would have loved it too. We saw some amazing bird & wildlife activity, including a bald eagle on its nest, a Swainson’s hawk, grebes, pelicans, a couple bullsnakes, a garter snake swimming across a canal (!), and a rattlesnake hunting a bunny!

The cherry on top, for me, was the discovery of a bunch of nettles patches around the place! I didn’t know nettles grew in dry Colorado, so this was quite exciting! More about that in the next post…

Here are some pictures:

Nettles, yay!!

This adorable sight was in the nature center!

Also at the nature center was a whiteboard where people write what they saw while out and about. I had a good laugh at one of the things on this list! Can you spot which one? 🙂

And I gathered two delicate blue speckled eggshells that had been chucked out of a nest, maybe to make room for growing babies. I added them to my nature basket at home. Aren't they beautiful!

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Gentle Reminders

By , April 24, 2012

I need these reminders, too. So…

 ♥ Speak up for yourself ♥

♥ Be kind to yourself ♥

♥ Hold yourself dear ♥

♥ Trust yourself ♥

♥ Be yourself ♥

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My Spring Manifesto

By , April 13, 2012

Different from a to-do list, a manifesto — to me — is the ‘long view.’ It reminds me of my priorities at present.

And rather than a lengthy list, I feel that simpler is better.

If you wrote a Spring Manifesto, what would you write?

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Here’s mine:

– Always have fresh flowers in the house.

– Go outside every morning, preferably with tea.

– Do lots of hand stands, for the sheer joy of it… & stretching, to regain lost flexibility.

– A temporary library book ‘fast,’ and a general reduction in reading for now (to make more time for writing and project-doing).

– Rest.

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A Warm Winter Day Walk

By , January 31, 2012

Look what I saw yesterday! Snowdrops! Spring is coming. The birds know it, the plants know it!

It was a beautiful, warm day yesterday. Admittedly, I was more in the mood for a snow day so that I could stay in and get indoor things done. This is the season of hibernation and hunkering down, and sometimes I don’t want to feel lured out by the sunshine and warmth. In wintertime, I want winter. Buuuuut…you gotta strike when the iron is hot — so I let myself be lured out anyway, and I enjoyed it so much!

I was craving Ethiopian, my favorite type of ethnic food, so I got take-out and took it to a nice nature spot, took off my shoes, rolled up my sleeves, and ate in the sunshine. Then I took a short, leisurely walk. It felt so good to be outdoors in the warm air.

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I Spy…

By , January 23, 2012

My mom & I had a sweet little leisurely walk together in the sunshine and long shadows of this quiet Monday afternoon, along with a café stop afterward for hot chocolate with whipped cream! We both loved it so much. I was totally exhausted again today, but felt that I really wanted to get out of the house into the outdoors. I had to practically peel myself up off the living room carpet to do it, but I’m so glad I did.

Medicine for the soul is very important.

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Purifying

By , January 5, 2012

It was a beautiful day today! 60°+ temperatures and sunny. So spring-like, and it made me feel like doing some spring freshening of the house. Consequently, there was lots of laundry-doing, floor-sweeping, vacuuming, and airing out of rugs and bedding. The windows were open, and I burned a stick of my favorite piñon pine incense that I bought in Santa Fe. I carried it around to all the rooms, and into the corners and crevices of each room, clearing any stagnant energy that might be lurking. In addition to making the house smell wonderful, the incense smoke is thought to be good for cleansing the energy of your home. Many cultures the world over use it for this purpose. I find it interesting when divergent cultures all happen to share a common ritual, because then I think ‘hmm, there might really be something to that.’

I took a break to sit in the sun, and was reading random pages in the book 168 Feng Shui Ways to Declutter Your Home, and came across a section that talked about the energetics of living near a hospital (and how to remedy that energy), and another section talking about living near a cemetery. I realized while reading this that my whole entire life has been lived — in one place or another — within a few blocks of two or three hospitals. And the apartment we currently live in is actually sandwiched — within just a couple blocks — between a cemetery and two hospitals! And not only that, but the very house we live in was used during WWII as a makeshift hospital. (And I hardly dare go this far, but I’ve always said “this house is cursed!” much to my hubby’s chagrin…because many of the plants I bring here have quickly died for no apparent reason.)

The hospital section says:

“If you live near a hospital, you are in close proximity to yin spirits. This is because hospitals are where the yin chi of sick (and dying) people accumulates, and this is not healthy for yang living abodes. It saps the vitality of your home. Even apartment houses and mansions on land where a hospital used to be are said to be afflicted with left-over energy. This energy can be so yin as to cause residents illness and problems. … Fire energy, in the form of incense smoke, absorbs yin chi and dissipates it, and so is an effective way to balance the yin emanating from hospitals or hospital land, and also police stations, abattoirs, and other places where there is death, sickness, and dying energy present. Many Chinese, who observe space-cleansing rituals purify their homes with incense smoke each Friday evening just after sunset. …”

The cemetery section says:

If your home or apartment house is located near a burial ground, it is a good idea to cleanse your home regularly with incense. … Homes located near cemeteries are vulnerable to what is known as yin spirit formation, an affliction that often brings illness to children or those whose astrological timing is low and weak. The Chinese are especially sensitive to this kind of affliction and often combat it with fire-energy cleansing, which makes use of incense and smoke. It is believed that smoke from holy fragrant incense that is placed on a burning coal keeps yin spirits away from your home.

I was reassured, however, by reading this particular paragraph regarding negative energies in your home:

When negative chi has seeped into the spirit of a home in this manner, it must be released. Releasing it is not difficult. It is not hard to cleanse spaces of their left-over energy, regardless of how strong the negative energy is.

Thank goodness for that! And you can bet I’ll be carrying out incense space-clearings on a more regular basis! I also like using the Australian Bush Flower Essence Space Clearing Spray and will most certainly be making up a fresh batch of that spray for much more regular household use!

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What do you do to clear the energies in your home?

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When the weather gets warm, the rugs get put out on the roof!

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