Mind Over Medicine

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, by Lissa Rankin, M.D., is a powerful perspective for anyone to consider.

Mind Over MedicineThe author is a credible and successful physician who is radically overcoming conventional medicine’s approach of doctor authority over patients.  The message is that we do not need to hand our healing power over to have someone else “fix” us, that we each have more healing power than we have ever imagined, ourselves.

Time out.  In no way is she suggesting to abandon current medical care.  The perspectives in this book are not either/or: there is room in this realm for all forms of healing, and it is the individual’s responsibility to make wise–and intuitive–decisions.

Each of us has the power to heal our body just by changing how our mind thinks and feels.  Yes, heal on a very large scale.

Now, this is far greater than simply putting on a happy face and thinking rainbows and hearts.  This is a spiritual path.  This is a challenge of connecting lifestyle dots, reexamining personal beliefs, and taking responsibility.  This is asking yourself, “What does my body need in order to heal?”  And then it is honestly looking at the answer you may receive, even if it is along the lines of:

  • I need to leave my spouse.
  • I need to quit my job.
  • I need to finally go back to school.
  • I need to leave this church.
  • I need to have a child.
  • I need to forgive ______.
  • I need to say no to ______.
  • I need to put my aging parent in a home.

The book is organized into three parts: Believe Yourself Well/Treat Your Mind/Write the Prescription.  Part One talks about long-standing scientific evidence that supports this radical idea of self-healing, including the effects of both the stress and relaxation responses physiologically on the body.  Part Two identifies strategies to identify personal stress-response indicators, as well as teach how to create counteractive measures. Part Three shows you how to diagnose yourself as well as write your own prescription for health, with specific tools, steps, and guidelines.

WARNING: This is not for the faint of heart.

Again, this is a spiritual journey.  You have the capacity, and the courage.  This book is your direct support, and anyone at any point on their path will benefit in some form by reading it.

I was graciously given this book by Hay House in exchange for my honest thoughts about it.

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Becoming Indigo

becoming indigo

Becoming Indigo is the second novel in a series by Tara Taylor and Lorna Schultz Nicholson.  As with Through Indigo’s Eyes, this is an incredibly well-written young adult novel that both young and old (ahem: and all of us in between!) will enjoy.

We now find Indie in her own apartment with two roommates, her first summer after high school.  She and her friends strive for independence and responsibility, deciding the evolutions of their individual lives.  The regular questions of employment, college, boys, friends, and what-do-I-want-to-do-with-my-life are accompanied by Indie’s personal lessons with her clairvoyance.  Learning to trust intuition, expand awareness, open to others, and protect our own energy are universal story lines that any reader will identify with and learn from, no matter if officially clairvoyant or not.

As with the first novel, this one also handles big-time issues in an overall positive manner.  Thank you very much for tackling serious, real-world subjects without devolving into and focusing upon the drama!  An example of this (no spoiler alert needed) is the healthy relationship between Indie and her family members, and how this interweaves with Indie’s in-progress lessons about boys and men.  Although easily able to have descended into a teen-drama summer-read, again the authors have successfully kept the book elevated, with the focus on the higher-vibration aspect of story.

I am thrilled with this novel, and a wide variety of readers will enjoy it!  Like the first book, this sequel is a powerful, positive force that will enhance and uplift the reader–and you won’t even see it coming because you will be so caught up with the story itself!

Looking for gift ideas for that tough-to-shop-for teen?  Give a set of these Indigo books and you will  feel you’ve done something worthwhile.  (And a money bill makes a great bookmark, even for non-readers.  Just saying.)

Hay House has graciously given me this book only in exchange for my honest opinion of it, and my copy has been donated to our local high school library.  More young adult readers need to have material like this available to them–thank you, Tara and Lorna!  The next book is eagerly awaited!

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The Weight of Sweet Memory

Walking in the front door of home with my parents and brother who is older by a year and a half, I am maybe four. My favorite Grandma and Grandpa are staying with us from out of state. This time was especially interesting: my brother and I got to each pick out a candy bar at the grocery store we are just returning from. I cradled my very first own whole Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup package lovingly in my hands as I stepped over the threshold.

Still my favorite, after all these years.

Still my favorite, after all these years.

We all removed our shoes, lining them up on the braided rag rug against the paneled wall. Dad and Grandpa padded off down the hallway’s wood floor to do Mysterious Guy Stuff with my brother in tow, while Mom and Grandma headed to the kitchen’s large red and black tiled squares to make supper. Mom held out her hand for My Candy Bar. She wished to hold onto it until after supper so that I wouldn’t spoil my meal. Instinctively turning my hunched shoulders away to safely protect my hard-earned prize, I promised I wouldn’t eat it until after supper and could I please be in charge of it?

My Grandma looked at my Mom and suggested that if I was old enough to have a whole candy bar to myself, then perhaps I was old enough to manage that responsibility. My Mom, who knew and loved me well, commandeered  my eyes as she smiled and said that she wanted me to wait to eat it until after our meal–could I do that? Grandma, advocating for me, supportively said of course, but Mom held my gaze. I promised that I would save my treasure for dessert, and also that I would eat a good supper.

I was allowed to be in charge of myself and my first very own candy bar, and I was excused for the half-hour until suppertime. Yesss! I ran back down the hallway toward the front door, turned up the warm, dark boards of the stairs, followed the grain to the right at the top into my room, and hesitated on the tan, fuzzy rug by my bed. I slowly uncurled my fingers from around the orange- and brown-wrapped responsibility I held, and soaked up its glory.

As I gazed at my chocolatey-peanut butter treasure, I realized I wanted to look at the actual candy I held, maybe just one cup with its zig-zagged dark brown paper that peeled off with so much fun. Are you eating your candy bar? my brother hollered out of nowhere as the wrapper crinkled. No way, I replied, are you?! I thought crawling under my bed would be a safer place to pre-investigate my after-dinner extravagance, he wouldn’t understand anyway, and then I could revel in my very first whole candy bar to myself and all that it implied, in private.

The smooth, dark floorboards slid easily underneath my polyester pants and shirt and warmly embraced me on this warm and steamy summer evening. Elbows out to each side, I held my solitary cup in front of my eyes. Remembering how much fun slowly peeling the paper away truly was, I giddily realized that today I got to do that twice! With the paper removed I found I had no place to safely set the chocolatey peanut butter until after supper, so the only thing that made sense in my childhood wisdom was to enjoy it now.

Just one bite, Eve...

Just one bite, Eve…

I felt sorry for that lonely remaining second cup. Besides, where would I securely set the remaining candy now? I wasn’t supposed to eat it yet, but leaving the second half set aside confused me. I decided quickly the only thing to do was to eat the evidence. I marveled at how much fun it was to peel the zig-zags of a second dark paper in a row, and licked the melted remains from the bottom of both wrappers after finishing the final candy cup.

There, as darkness fell on me way up against the wall under my bed, I felt the floor’s warm cuddle turn into a cold, hard, clutch of accusation. As the chocolate and peanut butter headiness melted away, I looked at the empty orange packaging and the two pleated dark brown paper cups,and slowly realized I had not kept my word. The weight of my failed integrity in my hands added friction and heavily I slid again across the floorboards, emerging into the twilight of my room as Mom called me down to supper.

Thinking to keep my lack of responsibility private, I hid the wrappers under my pillow to return for them at dessert-time, when I could legitimately toss my private discards into the public household garbage. None would be the wiser about my transgression, I would have a future opportunity to personally redeem myself, and I would retain my newly administered Big Girl status. The plan was foolproof.

Trotting downstairs and skipping into the dining room my feet skidded to a sudden stop. Everyone was seated at the table and the piercing eyes of my Mom, Dad, brother, Grandpa, and Grandma were all aimed at me. Why were they staring? How could they possibly know? My guilty conscience skittered around nervously inside, looking for safety. Suddenly, the entire group detonated into laughter.

Melted chocolate and peanut butter were smeared all across my lips.

What gave me away...?

What gave me away…?

A Meeting of the Minds

poker_sympathySummer has arrived with a pleasant and natural adjustment. My archetypes sit down for a meeting to examine this time.  Everyone is present around the kitchen table, settling into my old wooden chairs: the Sage, the Caregiver, the Lover, the Creative, and the Warrior.

My Sage has requested this meeting.  She is the thinker, the planner, the organizer, the philosopher.  She realizes there is much to consider and accomplish for this summer–which is why she has called this meeting.  She suggests making a list of options, prioritizing it, and then deciding what to achieve and what to postpone. She knows that summer will happen whether I pay attention or not, and that I don’t want to look back at and wonder where it went. Beginning the list with workshops, a conference, and work-related projects, she also highly recommends vacation times. Next, she hands out copies of potential home maintenance projects, a list of family healthcare appointments, and an overall financial update.

My Caregiver is just now sitting down, as she has made coffee. My Sage may have called the meeting, but my Caregiver is hosting it.  She is the parent, the homemaker, the daughter, the friend.  My Caregiver is concerned about including the kids’ activities and interests, honoring my husband’s personal balance of work and play, visiting my out-of-state folks while they are at their in-state seasonal home, and making time to connect with close and valued friends.  She announces that this year excitedly includes one son’s possible college visits and senior pictures, the other son’s search for his first job as well as driver’s license test, encouraging hubby in his own talk to both fish more often and sell unused big-ticket items (anybody wanna buy an extra boat?), and spending quality time with my parents as well as supporting my mom as she experiences a shift in her life. It also includes making time for friends, and having a fish fry at our home for my husband’s extended family. My Caregiver lobbies for these summer concerns, and then sits back with her coffee as she turns to encourage the next archetype in their turn.

My Lover archetype has been attentively listening, and springboards from what my Caregiver has offered.  As a spouse and partner, my Lover is intensely invested in supporting my husband and friend, as well as myself in relation to him. She is aware of nurturing my marriage, and offers ideas for time and activities as a couple.  This ranges from movie nights at home, dinners at local venues, and a weekend getaway somewhere both of us would enjoy. She also reminds the other archetypes to allow for open, unscheduled time for my husband to be in charge of his own self no matter how noble my desires to maximize the summer for everyone.  Then she sips her coffee and gives up the floor to the next archetype.

My Creative archetype takes a deep breath and speaks on behalf of myself as an individual with personal and solitary interests, dreams, and desires. My Creative dares to insist that these need to happen, rather than allowing them to be afterthoughts.  She reminds me that my writing and reading times are a necessity, to create daily space for them, and not to downplay or hide that time. My Creative reminds me that I am also a priority, to honor my desires as they arise, and that this does not detract from my honoring and uplifting others.  She then pours herself a cup of coffee with a liberal helping of my favorite creamer, and gently sits back in her chair with her chin strongly maintained as she turns toward the final archetype to take their turn at giving input to this meeting.

My Warrior smiles, sits forward, and places both palms on the table. She looks in the eyes of everyone present, holding each gaze with intent, love, and acceptance before moving to the next. My Warrior is the leader, the administrator. She is action, moving from thought to form, making things happen. She is strength, grace, and confidence.  She is courage and energy, bravery and evolution.  My Warrior thanks each archetype for their voice, than moves to proceed. She is the one who picks up the calendar and pen, and she is the one who fleshes out a schedule in order to maximize the wants and needs of everyone. She specifies known events on the calendar.  She identifies possible groups of days for longer activity choices.  Time magically appears for other named summer desires to unfold, as well as to be left open for spontaneity. My Warrior knows the balance of what to secure, what to leave fluid, and what to leave alone.  She understands the monthly calendar picture as well as the daily routine image. This honors everyone involved, including myself, and still allows the summer to unfold rather than be orchestrated.  My needs are met and celebrated, while at the same time allowing the same gift for others.  My Warrior refills her coffee cup and mentally reviews this action plan with the entire group.

Ya know, it’s going to be a great summer!  My archetypal meeting has helped me go from hesitation and damage control to anticipation and excitement.  My complete Self looks forward to whatever unfolds, and relaxes in the journey.  No dictates, many options.  No martyrdom, much empowerment.  No guilt, vast awareness.  All of my archetypes are pleased.

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Lego of pre-concieved ideas….

A meeting of the Mines....

A meeting of the Mines….

Your Truth Is Waiting for You

Shady Character

Shady Character

I am a writer.

It has taken me my whole life to claim this.

I used to think that in order to call myself a writer it meant credentials and a paying job in the field.  That its importance and validity came from an external end product.  That proof of being a writer was tied to the earning potential garnered from its formal education.

In high school I greatly enjoyed literature, absolutely loved writing, and completely abhorred grammar.  To this day the idea of diagramming sentences makes me shudder.  I mistakenly interpreted this to mean an English degree was out of the question for me. I also mistakenly believed that I had to have the answers before I began, and I did not know how I would be responsibly financially independent with a writing degree.  I did not believe, and I did not trust, that I was a writer.  I also felt that since I had these doubts, I must really not be one.

The universe gave me another chance at this, and I am sad to say I again chose otherwise.  Fast forward through life, pausing at facing single parenthood with my wonderful sons just having completed Kindergarten and second grade.  Responsibility for family financial independence and providing a better life for my children led me once again to higher education.  I shocked myself with the absolute clarity of the thought: “Ahhhh..this time I can get a writing degree!”  Once more, since I did not know at the beginning how it would support us in the end, practicality (doubt?) ruled and I did not listen to my writing heart.

Our stories include each other

Our stories include each other

Today I am successful in my established career and my family is fine.  God, do I laugh now that I can see the omnipresent writing parallels and subtexts all the way through!  I also see the fear patterns, as well as the pragmatism, courage, and confidence.  I rest in the quiet strength that there is no such thing as failing at life.  I’ve taken care of what was needed, and the universe is lovingly providing me yet another writing opportunity.  This time I say Yes.

My interested and supportive husband asks me what I’m doing in a given moment at the computer.  When I was tweaking my formal education, my language was “I’m working.”  Now my words are “I’m writing.”  I think of it as play, and my happiness makes him smile.  I now know that it’s not necessary for me to conceive of writing as a career path, I am able to simply let it evolve.  The treasure, for me, is in the creative process.

I write because I have a lot in my head, to say and share.  I write because I can somehow help others make a difference.  I write because I am supposed to, and I am not sure why.  And it’s okay that I don’t know why.  Because I am finally listening.

I am a writer. I no longer need parameters and definitions.  I am a writer simply because writing makes me whole.  I write because it must release.  I don’t need to earn it, I simply need to embrace the potential.  I am a writer.  I claim this.

Now teens and on the cusp of their own leaps from the nest, I tell my sons not to fear.  The answers will evolve because you have begun. They just smile tolerantly and lovingly at me, and I take comfort that already they are writing their own stories–in whatever expression they allow.

Home is where our stories begin

Home is where our stories begin

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