Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

It’s only May 5 and all I can say is “Help!

As April wrapped up, I smiled and exclaimed to the Universe: I survived your 5-planet retrograde-New Moon Eclipse-Full Moon celestial, swirling extravaganza (even with Mercury going retrograde right there at the end to ensure the swirling would sling shoot me straight into May). I proclaimed my readiness to begin May with a new attitude and a heart full of gratitude. My intentions were clear.

Why, then, on May 1 did I start this kick off into sunnier, warmer days filled with sunshine and promise stricken with a fever? Not just a little fever. No. It was 102.5. No other symptoms other than muscle aches and lower back pain. That’s it. Since I rarely run a fever, I thought, no big deal, I’ll take my time and Ride (I’ve been thinking too much/I’ve been thinking too much/I’ve been thinking too much, /I’ve been thinking too much/Help me) this out. How bad could it be? Oh, I'll tell you.

The nights were far worse than the days. The fever would all but abate during the day as my sister and I entertained each other. Although, I couldn’t tell you exactly what we did to pass the time the first two days. Blurry. At night, however, my inner and outer worlds completely altered. The fever would spike in the middle of the night. 103.3 followed by high-temperature, brain-boiling nightmares and disgusting night sweats. One night I was sure there were people watching me. I could see them seeing me. They were above me. I was above them. I kept asking myself, Has it always been this way?

The third night proved to be the worst of all. I was back at home willing the fever to go down to 100 so I could go to bed. It did at 11:30pm. At 1:30am intense pressure at my temples woke me from a sound sleep. I took my temperature. Twice. The first one couldn’t be right. 104.3. The pressure soon encompassed my forehead and I could see a white light in my right eye. I know that doesn’t make sense but it happened.

I googled: What should I do if I have a fever of 104.5? PS – I’m an adult.
Google: A fever of over 102 in an adult is dangerous. Seek medical attention.

I googled: What causes high fevers in adults?
Google: Reasons vary. There could be a very serious, acute underlying condition. Seek medical attention.

I googled: Is Tylenol better than Aleve for fever?
Google: It’s advisable to alternate between Tylenol and Aleve every three hours. Seek medical attention.

I googled: Should I really starve a fever? 
Google: No, the body needs additional caloric intake to increase immune system function. Seriously, you’re an adult? SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION!

I giggled, took two Aleve, drank a protein drink, set my timer for 40 minutes and vowed to God and Google that I would seek medical attention if the temperature did not decrease. As I dosed off and on, I created a plethora of scenarios. Would I go to the ER room alone? Would I call someone? What temperature causes brain damage? Why didn’t I ask Google?

Somehow, the 40 minutes passed, the alarm sounded and I woke up not knowing where I was. That’s right. Take your temperature. 103.7. Progress! Set the timer for 40 minutes. Fitful sleeping. Weird dreaming. Sweating. Freezing. Shaking. Ding! 102.3. More progress. This went on for some time until the sun finally came up. Took Tylenol and slept. Finally at 10:30am my temp was 100.5. Almost normal.

After a trip to Urgent Care with my sister, we found that I had an infection in my kidneys. Sure, that explains the lower back pain. Cipro, rest and Purple Rain.         Best medicine.

On May 5, I climbed out my stupor (or so I thought) and started returning phone calls, emails, PMs, texts and any other way people can find us these days. I had canceled days of work with clients, missed other appointments and remedied most of that mess.

My sister and I were in the process of special ordering a birthday gift for another sister and decisions had to be made. The artist texted and asked me for the birthday girl’s birth year (for numerology reasons). Well, I wasn’t going to do the math because you know the THREE things I hate most are MATH. IPhone calculator to the rescue.

I texted the artist.
Me: 1940 (although I really texted 1040 without realizing it)
Artist: (nothing)
Me: OMG! I noticed I texted 1040! It’s 1940 because she’s not a vampire!
Artist: HaHa! That’s exactly what I was thinking. Okay … She must be a vampire!
Me: I’m the worst texter!
Wait. That might not be right. Now I can’t remember how old she’s going to be. Let me check. I'll get back w/you asap.
Artist: ok

I sat on the porch for a minute. How old am I? How old is Kim? 10 years apart. Kay is 9 years apart. Kim and I always have the same second digit. So does mom, Kristopher, Travis, Allie, Luke and Braxtan. I’m off track. Where did 1940 come from? That doesn’t even make sense. I’m so confused. Kay is going to be 60. Right?

I called my mom. I felt my fever rising. I didn't even let her speak.
Me:  Hey, what year was Kay born?
Mom: Hi, Kam, well, let's see, Dad and I were married in 1954, Kim was born in 1955 and Kay was born in 1956 …
Me: 1956. Are you sure?
Mom:  Yes, of course, I’m sure …
Me:  1956. 1956. I’ll call you back.

I texted the artist.
Me: Listen, I‘ve had a very high fever for days. Not an excuse but her birth year is 1956. I can’t explain it. 1956. Wtf?
Artist: Lmao. You’re adorable. Okay, so she’s a 9. Just like me. Awesome!
Me: Yes. She’s a 9. Sorry for all that.
Artist: No prob. Have a great day!
Me: You, too. (scream emoticon)

Seriously, where did 1940 come from?

I took another look at the calculator. Here’s the math I did:  2000 – 60 = 1940

Now I’m basically in tears. Is it because the year is 2016? Is it because I didn’t actually need a calculator for that subtraction problem but I did it anyway? Is it because it didn’t dawn on me that there is no way my sister could have been born in 1940? Does it matter? I’m going to check my temperature. I’m certain I have brain damage.

Despite my shaky start, this much I know:
May will be an amazing month.
Kay will love her gift.
I still miss Prince.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fool's Fool

Happy April Fool’s Day!
As children this was among our favorite days. A day of playing pranks on each other.
“There’s a spider on your back!”
“What? Where?” (twisting and turning to look)
 “April Fools!”
My goodness we were clever.

This exercise in fool-tility (I think I just made up a word) was not without merit. At a young age, we were learning how to tap into the archetypal fool that is in each of us. An archetype is defined as “… an original pattern of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are derived, copied, modeled, or emulated. The psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He believed that universal, mythic characters—archetypes—reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions.” – 

Jung went on to classify 12 major archetypes that symbolize our human motivations. As individuals we are inclined to adopt particular archetypes that resonate with our personal beliefs, patterns and habits. These archetypes are with us from birth paving the way to the person we will become and evolving with us as we mature. Each archetype has a healthy or positive side which mirrors the strengths of that archetype. An archetype also possesses an unhealthy or shadow side which plays out when we live in a perpetual state of fear. We may not be aware of our shadow side, and in this unaware state, we project negativity onto others. It becomes a defense mechanism.

Enter the Fool Archetype - the goal of the Fool is pure joy, pleasure and being alive.

I don’t believe I was born funny. I believe I chose to be funny and cultivated my sense of humor as a coping mechanism. I learned from a young age that people responded in a certain way if I could make them laugh. Sometimes I used humor to deflect the anger of a parent or other authority figure while other times I used humor to get attention. Either way, it served a purpose and if I could make people happy, then I was safe. Who doesn’t love an adorable, people-pleasing, joke-telling child? My claim to fame at that time: the knock-knock joke. I slayed.

As I reached my teenage years, I went through a wicked bout of depression. There were days I could barely get myself out of bed. Luckily, I was more extroverted than introverted and my desire to be in the world was stronger than my desire to stay in my room. But, I couldn’t exist as I was: sad, vulnerable and afraid, so I made a deliberate shift. I can almost pinpoint the day I decided to channel all that sadness and fear into being a smart ass.

Enter the Shadow Fool - the goal of the shadow fool is to hide the true self, use cleverness to get out of trouble and tell the truth without impunity (which really means to say what you want to say regardless of another person’s feelings).

Developing a cutting sense of humor was the perfect smokescreen. I created a persona that concealed my inner fears and melancholy while keeping most people laughing and virtually everyone else at arm’s length. I did in fact use humor to get out of trouble and I said things with the sole purpose of getting a get a rise out of others. I remember my favorite high school teacher telling me that I can dazzle ‘em with brilliance or baffle ‘em with bullshit. It was up to me. I chose the latter and my comedic armor was sarcasm. Again, I slayed.

Over time this persona became a caricature of my younger self. The little girl’s charms were long since discarded and replaced with abrasive defiance. Believe it or not, this, too, served me. As I made people laugh at the expense of myself and/or others, my armor became impenetrable giving me a false sense of safety. I used self-deprecating humor and stinging commentary to navigate my way through my 20s but became even more fearful and disconnected. Basically, I was held hostage by the very shadow fool I so carefully created.

Enter the Wise Fool - the goal of the wise fool is to live life fully in the moment, celebrate life for its own sake and find the humor in the seriousness of life.

In my 30s, I made a conscious decision to take responsibility for the insensitivity of my behavior. Reinventing myself as the wise fool, one who is witty but not caustic became my objective. It was a relief to allow a chink in my armor. Most gratifying was how differently others responded to me. It’s not that I lost my edge, because let’s be honest, that’s never going to happen. I merely learned to use my powers for good and to use humor in a healthy, positive manner.

Through the haze of Alzheimer’s, my dad saw the difference. By this time I was in my 40s. My parents were staying with me for an extended period of time so I could help care for my dad as he had for me years prior when I was gravely ill. One day, my dad and I were watching TV. He was sitting in his favorite chair and I was half asleep on the couch. Ellen DeGeneres was performing her monologue as my dad watched in silence. He smirked, turned to me and said, “Why don’t you have your own show? You could do what she does. You’re prettier and funnier than she is and you’re a blond.” I said, “Dad, I haven’t been a blond for over a decade.” His reply, “Dammit, Kammi, I just don’t see you as bald. I see you with hair. And, it doesn’t matter. You’re the funniest person I know.”

The point is that he saw me as he saw Ellen … the ultimate wise fool … hilarious without being mean spirited. Exactly what I had hoped to become. That’s the cosmic joke: I was this person all along but had buried my core essence so deeply I disconnected from myself. As I reconnected with who I was created to be, I connected with the wise fool. I used humor to help heal from illness (laughter being the best medicine), became more resilient and authentic, and in the process, developed a higher level of spiritually. Humor presented me with the of gift speaking my truth in an uplifting, compassionate way.

Of course, receiving that early validation from my dad was the greatest gift for this Fool.

10 Awesome Ways the (Wise) Fool Archetype Could Increase Your Success (from the Coaching Tools Company)

1      1.  Lighten up a Difficult Situation: Use the Fool's ability to see the humor in a situation to uncover the silver lining (and even the funny side) of a difficult or challenging situation in your life.
2      2. Get More Energy: Use the Fool's view that life is a game to allow expression of your playful side at work (or maybe at home!). When we have fun, life is easier and we move forwards with less effort.
3      3. Have More Fun: Use the Fool's zest for life and make decisions based on what gives you joy and pleasure (instead of doing the sensible thing). Do something unusual or exciting, just for the fun of it! You may find this leads to unexpected successes both in business and life.
4      4 .Get Creative! Use the Fool's inventiveness to come up with creative and unusual solutions to problems and obstacles.
5      5. Say What Needs to be Said: Use the Fool's lack of worry re: what other people think to say what needs to be said. Or simply share your wisdom in situations where you might usually 'hide your light under a bushel'.
6      6. Be in the moment: Use the Fool's ability to be present to enjoy life now, despite what else may be going on in the bigger picture of your life.
7      7. Stay committed: Use the Fool's trust in the process to worry less and stay committed to yourself during a difficult situation or challenging time of your life.
8      8. Kickstart the next stage of your life: Use the Fool's dancing mind and hunger for fun and adventure - to give you the push you need for the next step of your journey.
9      9, Get Back on the Horse: Use the Fool's resilience - to help you get back up after a difficulty, or after several difficulties. Keep going - and still embrace life, despite setbacks.
        10. Breakout! Challenge the rules and/or authority where they're getting in your way. Use the Fool's irreverence to challenge the rules, to do something new and inventive and break the barriers of what is normal and expected!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Total Eclipse of the Heart ... and Soul

Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart. Nothing I can do. Total eclipse of the heart.  Who remembers Bonnie Tyler’s epic 1983 ballad ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’? Her huge hair. Her raspy voice. Her complete surrender.

For our viewing pleasure (in some parts of the world), the heavens will delight us with a total eclipse of the sun on March 8, 2016. It seems that a total eclipse of anything does not bode well for the thing being eclipsed. Blocked. Concealed. Mooned, as it were. Plus, you can go blind looking into the eyes of the eclipsed sun. I know because it almost happened to me.

On a clear, blue, crisp, winter day, our middle school science class was all a buzz about a solar eclipse. Our teacher, Mrs. Castle, did her best to educate us on the scientific significance of the eclipse and warn us of the dangers of looking at the sun. Something about burning out our retinas. I don’t know if that’s true. You know … science. She created a safe viewing mechanism and set it up in the library for students and faculty to witness the celestial marvel.   As I waited in line, I couldn’t wait to take my turn observing the moon as it cast its shadow on the sun, just knowing it was going to change my life. I stepped up to the viewer, looked into the heavens and, well, quite frankly, I was not impressed. To say it was anti-climactic after all the hype leading up to it is an understatement.
Disappointed and disillusioned, I went outside with my friends during our lunch hour. It was a beautiful, clear day in the UP. We kicked around the snow and talked about very important middle school girl things. When the bell rang, we headed back inside. At the very last minute, just like Lot’s wife fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah, I turned around and looked back. Into the sun. No one saw me do it so I didn’t tell anyone. Shaken, I went to my locker, retrieved my books and went to class.
In a very short time, the anxiety began to mount. I searched my brain. What did Mrs. Castle say about going blind if you looked at the eclipse? Oh, why don’t I ever pay attention in class? Will I go blind right away? Does it take hours? Days? Weeks? I guess I’ll still be able to play the piano. Just the songs I already know since I won’t be able to SEE the sheet music.
My head started hurting and my eyes started watering which made my sight blurry. The first sign of blindness? Then my stomach joined the party. I felt nauseous. I couldn’t take it so I told the teacher that I was sick, and she sent me to the office. As I sat in the stiff, plastic chair scared out of my wits, I wanted to grab the closest adult and yell, “I looked at the eclipse and I’m going to go blind! I didn’t. I waited.
The principal, Mr. Berg, walked by and saw that I was very upset. He asked me to step into his office. I followed him and sat down. He looked concerned and asked me what was wrong. I told him I was very sick. He wasn’t buying it. He actually knew me pretty well from a previous incident in which I was suspended for getting into a fight with a boy, but that’s a different story.
Mr. Berg gave me a sideways glance and said, “Tell me what’s really bothering you, Kammi.” Oh, my God, I spilled my guts. I told him the whole story and finished up by telling him with complete certainty that I would spend the rest of my life blind as a bat. I’m pretty sure he tried to conceal his amusement as he did his best to reassure me I would not go blind.  Since I only took a quick glance at it, he believed I would be ok. He advised me to tell my parents.
I did not get to go home early. He sent me back to class. Somehow I endured the rest of the afternoon, the bus ride and my walk home. As I made my way up the sidewalk to my house, I looked up at the sun shining in all its glory and I cursed it. I still wasn’t convinced I’d be ok despite Mr. Berg’s best efforts.
Well, I didn’t go blind, but I also never forgot this incident. 
Fast forward to the early 1990s.I was working in Detroit at Gale Research and, you guessed it, a solar eclipse. Armed with everything from homemade contraptions (like Mrs. Castle’s) to sophisticated telescopes, people convened at a viewing event in Hart Plaza. My friends and I planned to attend on our lunch break. Beforehand, I told them the sad tale of my middle school solar eclipse debacle. We decided this would be my day of redemption. I accompanied my friends to Hart Plaza with a strong sense of Sisu. Do. Not. Look. Into. The. Sun. I was up for the challenge. 

By time we arrived, the plaza was full of people jockeying for the best position. Again, it was a clear, lovely day. Using all of my adult resolve, I kept my gaze cast downward. Not this time. NOT THIS TIME. We used our make shift eclipse viewers and watched as the moon moved at a glacial pace between the earth and sun. Again, I was not impressed, so I watched the people watching the eclipse. An elderly man approached us saying he was from the Detroit News and asked what intrigued us about the eclipse. When it was my turn to answer, I told him I was here for redemption. Then I told HIM my middle school saga. We returned to work. I didn’t look into the sun. I didn’t go blind. 

The next day there we were, featured in the reporter’s article about the eclipse spectators at Hart Plaza. In one of the largest newspapers in Detroit, he told the Reader’s Digest version of my back story including my quest for redemption. I still have the article somewhere. It closed the book on my inner struggle with the solar eclipse. I was at peace.
photo: cosmic psychic
This brings us full circle to the solar eclipse on March 8, 2016. My view of the eclipse (pun intended) has significantly changed since my days as a writer at Gale Research. Chronic illness sidelined me shortly after my day of redemption in Detroit and my world was irrevocably altered. I view everything through a different lens since becoming ill. I see my world through the crystalline eyes of Spirit. In this way, I am able to witness how we are connected to each other and the world around us. This includes the cosmos.
"The March 8 solar eclipse shows you and your goals for the next six months. Chiron shows a wound in your mind, body or soul; an illness, disease or injury at the physical, psychological or spiritual level. It could be an existing wound from this life or a previous one, or it may come during the eclipse phase. With wounding comes healing, in some cultures there is only one word to describe both.
Jupiter shows how you need to take it easy. Saturn shows the struggle, pain and fear involved. Be patient, self-disciplined and take responsibility. Forgive yourself and others. Pluto shows your powerful will to succeed and gives recuperative and healing powers. The healing of your wound leads to a spiritual transformation and the evolution of your soul."  --Astrology King
With wounding comes healing. Isn’t that the best news ever? Love, Light, Forgiveness, Respect! Nothing I can do. Total eclipse of the heart.
Note: The total solar eclipse will be visible to people in South Asia, East Asia and Australia. Like so many events for us in the United States as of late, we will have to take it on faith that all is well and everything is happening just as it should be.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Leaping Into February

What a difference a month can make! Amirite?

January presented us with opportunities disguised as challenges to facilitate our ability to shed any unwanted energetic vestiges of 2015 and begin 2016 with renewed vigor and sense of purpose. Well, me being me, I went with the challenge of illness. I’m not saying I consciously chose to be ill, but truth be told, there is a part of my subconscious that still exists in the falsehood that I must suffer to learn. So I did. I suffered for nearly three weeks from a bring-you-to-your-knees viral/bacterial bug.

By way of this latest illness, I took the plunge and dove deeper into the abyss to cleanse the emotional residue that caused my skin to crawl. It wasn’t a pretty scene as I struggled with myself and a sinus infection. According to Louise Hays, author of You Can Heal Your Life, the underlying emotional issue contributing to the physical malady of a sinus infection is ‘irritation to one person, someone close.’ Why, yes, Louise, that seems to ring true. And, what do you have to say about the emotional implications of an ear infection? What’s that?  ‘Not wanting to hear. Too much turmoil. Household arguing.’ Excuse me? Dare I ask about headaches?’ Invalidating the self. Self-criticism. Fear.’ Yikes.

Irritation. Turmoil. Invalidation. Fear.

I had my work cut out for me. And by work I mean self-care. Such a foreign concept and one I typically wouldn't subscribe to until circumstances demanded it. However, as I grow older and wiser, I’m learning to stop, drop and roll with it much sooner. I didn’t fight the need to rest. Rather, I leaned into it and leaned on the Earth Angels that came to my aid. I allowed myself to be cared for and they came with soup, banana bread, oils, tissues and ½ & ½ . They called and texted with messages of wellness, humor and love. By accepting help, I was freed up to deal with irritation, turmoil, invalidation and fear. I wrote, meditated, slept, prayed, listened to music, slept, watched movies and had vitamin IVs.

Now it’s February. All my favorite teachers tell us that February will give us a reprieve from the trials of January and the energetic yuck of 2015. February will provide us with an opportunity to lighten up and have some fun. I remember fun. And, it’s a leap year.

image via
In my leap year reading I pondered many things: the scientific explanation, the metaphysical interpretation, biblical theory, but what struck my fancy was this:

“Numerologist Christine DeLorey calls the leap year ’29’ a ‘numerological wobble in time’, the ripples of which create additional weekly insight starting in calendar week #9, which is the week in which February 29th falls.”

The article continued, “That moment out of time when you are in the potential of what could be. Kind of like the void, the emptiness that is present before something is full.” -Numerology 4 Your Soul

Shazam! "That moment out of time when you are in the potential of what could be."

Consider your potential. Consider the potential of those closest to you. Consider the potential of our nation to choose the best possible leader for the US. Consider the potential of the world to awaken to the knowledge that we are all One. 

We all have the potential to be potent. With great power comes great responsibility as they say. I say we go for it. We just do it. We just paint (that one's mine and a story for another day).

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Lament That Ends Well (ok, sort of)

In the final hours of the final day of 2015, I cried my last cry of this hellish year as I faced ringing in the New Year very sick and by myself. How did this happen? I might have a clue.

This year 2015 came in quietly enough. Gently enough. It wouldn't be long, however, before the bottom would begin to fall out. The foundation would start to crumble and the ground we walked upon would grow shaky. Not just for me, but for my family, friends, neighbors, community and the world in which we live.

This year 2015 brought many firsts. Some exciting, positive changes and some very unwelcome deviations from what I thought, prayed and hoped was possible. The Evanescence  lyric: Feels like the weight of the world/Like God in heaven gave me a turn/Don’t cling to me,  I swear I can’t fix you/Still in the dark, can you fix me? plays in my head. I feel the weight of these unwelcome deviations as they pull me down.

This year 2015 kept me on my toes and in a constant state of fight or flight.  To cope, I kept moving. Otherwise I would have to face myself, the stillness, discomfort and all that had gone wrong.  Then, in the last month of this year, God’s infinite wisdom prevailed and I crashed. Slowly at first. As if I might recognize what was happening. This was not to be. When I returned from my annual trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to celebrate Christmas with my family, I was sick. S-I-C-K, sick. Too ill to visit my sister who is facing her own health issues.  Too ill to phone a friend. Too ill to do anything. And, on New Year’s Eve no less. I was in dire need of reflection, release and renewal.

One of the best ways to accomplish a mind, body, spirit release and renewal is an old-fashioned Epsom salt bath. Hot as you can stand (unless you have a medical condition, then please don’t do it!) and mixed with baking soda which of course I cannot do because my urine report revealed that I have toxic levels of aluminum (as well as other metals) present in my body and taking up residence in my brain. Yes, heavy metal poisoning. Again. How na├»ve was I to think this couldn’t happen again?! Thank you, MTHFR. Thank you, suppressed immune system. Thank you, exhaustion.

Instead of baking soda, I mixed the essential oil copaiba in my bath to quell pain and suffering and lit a candle that illuminated a selenite crystal for clarity of mind. Both the water and the selenite crystal clear the auric field and physical body of accumulated negative energy. As I lowered myself into the ancient bathtub, every muscle screamed but I drowned them out by fully immersing myself into the steaming water. As I soaked, I allowed the events of 2015 to appear before my eyes like on a movie screen. Then the tears fell … into the bath water like acid rain tinged with the deep melancholy of loss. As I cried this last cry, I began to see the events of 2015 unfold as they pertained to my sisters, son, mother, family, friends, neighbors, community and the world in which we live. The sadness intensified as I saw how little I could do to help knowing that each of us has a personal path to mind, body, spirit healing.

It wasn’t pretty, but it did help me realize that I was crying not only for myself but for all I knew and loved. That’s a hell of a lot of tears. As I closed my eyes I heard:

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, I cry with you.
If you are grieving the loss of love, I cry with you.
If you are grieving what might have been, I cry with you.
If you are grieving the loss of a job, I cry with you.
If you are grieving the loss of your home, I cry with you.
If you are grieving your sense of purpose in this world, I cry with you.
If you are grieving the thousands of lives lost around the world, I cry with you.

When I was all cried out, I called in the Angels and began my prayer of gratitude. I thanked God for all that I accomplished professionally this year. Opening the holistic center was a dream fulfilled by faith and hard work. I expressed gratitude for my family, friends, neighbors, community and world in which we live. I flipped the sadness of 2015 on its ear, doused it with Thieves oil and watched as the released physical, emotional and spiritual pain circled the drain and disappeared.

I’m still alone (and feeling like a paska - it's Finnish - look it up!) but I’m not lonesome. Longing for what might have been expends too much energy and I have precious little to spare. Good-bye 2015. I shall learn from you but not miss you. 

Welcome Light. Welcome Love. Welcome Peace. Welcome 2016!

Many blessings to all!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Visit From Jesus

I know. That's a pretty provocative title. But, since it is the Christmas season, sharing this crazy dream seems apropos. 

The dream takes place in the Rockland United Methodist Church. Not the new beautifully rebuilt church, but the older church, the one where my sisters, friends and I grew up attending (and sometimes skipping) services, Sunday school, confirmation, weddings, funerals, baptisms...all the major milestones of life. Sadly, that building burned to the ground some years ago, but it left an indelible mark on our hearts and minds.
Rockland United Methodist Church

In the dream, I was visiting Rockland after being away for a long time. The church had new life breathed into it and rocked the vibe of a mega church. The organ in the corner reminded me of one you might see at Tiger Stadium, the decor was decidedly upbeat and secular, the energy was palpable and, of course, the feature event was slated to be a light show. Instead of pews, individual theater style chairs were placed in rows and I was sitting in the middle of the section, to the left of the sanctuary in front of what was known as the choir loft. Over the din, a booming voice instructed the full to capacity 'crowd' to turn their attention to the seemingly empty choir loft. As we watched, a laser light show ensued. An intense beam of light streaked through the church to the center of the choir loft and burst into a holographic image of Christ on the cross with sparkles of colored light falling all around him.

Ohhhh, heaven help me, it was all so cheesy. I could hardly stand it, but the congregation was digging it so I tried not to cringe too much. Next, our Lord and Savior shimmied off of the cross and appeared in the aisle as his holographic self dressed in street clothes circa 1960-something. He proceeded to walk down the aisle smiling and waving to everyone.

"Ohhhh, for the love of Christ, he's going to stop and talk to me," I thought as I totally regretted my choice of an aisle seat. Sure enough, when he got to my row, he stopped and looked me right in the eye. He gazed at me rather lovingly and asked, "Do you believe you are healed?" Well, I wasn't having any of this spectacle and refused to answer the hologram. He was not to be denied, so he persisted. He gently touched his right index finder on the middle of my throat chakra and traced the tip of his finger up the length of my throat, under my chin causing me to look up at him. I was helpless and forgot he wasn't real and answered a very feeble, "Yes." Then, he stretched out his arm and pointed across the aisle to someone in just about the middle of the section and said, "Well, then, do you believe she's healed?" 

Without looking, I knew immediately who he was pointing to: my sister Karlyn who just happens to be dealing with chronic Lyme disease. Not wanting to block the full manifestation of the healing of her mind, body and spirit, I answered in the strongest most convincingly honest voice I could muster, "YES!"

In one swift movement, past all of the people in between us, he was at her side. They were having a conversation I couldn't hear. She looked happy. Then I woke up.

And, that was that. Except that it wasn't. I couldn't shake the imagery of the dream or its possible ramifications. I shared this dream with my sisters who all thought that it was a truly amazing dream on all levels. From a symbolic standpoint alone, it's all good:

Methodist = a methodical, analytical, practical, no-nonsense aspect of you.
Church = spiritual beliefs, ideas and morals you have established; your spiritual life, philosophy or state of mind. It may symbolize religious rhetoric or dogma, old, discarded beliefs and impressions, depending on your feelings about the church. 
Right, index finger = right side symbolizes your male aspects, left side symbolizes female aspects. Index finger represents authority, direction, judgment or accusation. Either making a point or pointing to a solution.
Light = generally denotes enlightenment. As this was a laser light beam, i.e. a stream of light, this could symbolize God's light, guidance, protection or the presence of an enlightened being.
Jesus = human aspect of Divinity, salvation, healing (!), consolation, blessing and positive outcomes.*

As I reflect on the symbolism of this dream, I see it as a gift, a sign and a promise for my sister's complete and miraculous healing. To interpret the dream any other way is a missed opportunity! We have prayed without ceasing for her healing and placed her on prayer chains of every denomination and spiritual philosophy. It is my belief that these prayers are answered and healing will come to my sweet sister on the wings of angels. Or, in form of our protective, loving Dad. Maybe he'll visit her in her dreams and say, "Straighten up, fly right and get better already! And, oh, by the way, Happy Birthday, my Lovely Dove."

Yep, that would be just like him.

*Dream symbols from The Mystical, Magical, Marvelous World of Dreams (no, I did not make up that title!) by Wilda B. Tanner

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tell Me Who Are You? (Who, who, who,who?)

Here we are well into June and it's been two months since I've last written. When I started this blog, I vowed to write weekly. Weekly! It seemed so doable. I was so naive back in January.

The upside is that things at Silver Birch Integrated Holistic Healing & Consulting have picked up nicely. Better than nicely. These past months have presented me with an abundance of growth and gratitude. Thank you kindly to my clients who are my daily dose of inspiration.

This month marks the four-year anniversary of my Dad's passing. I realize I write about that old fart a lot. Truth is I miss him like crazy, and writing provides a means for me to feel closer to him. Today's post isn't about him entirely, although he does play a supporting role.

Karlyn. Kamela. What's in a name?

With The Who's Who Are You? playing in my head, I wonder what makes us who we are? What singular, initial event early in our lives is of vital importance in shaping who we are? Is it, for better or worse, the influence of our parents or siblings? Maybe. Somewhat. What I really want to know is, are we our names? I tend to believe that we are who our name implies we are even though this is not good news for me. I have railed against my given name my whole life. Not my 'first' given name, mind you, my 'second' given name: Kamela. The name just never felt quite right, and I wasn't having it. At the time, I wasn't sure if anyone heard my cries of mental anguish at having been so obviously wrongly named.

Until one day...

Right around the time I was 12 years old, my Dad had had enough of my complaining. What compelled him to (finally) right this egregious wrong and take action, I will never know. Nevertheless, something stirred deep within the man and he told me to get in the car because we were going to the courthouse to change my name.

Oh, hot damn and hallelujah!

I got dressed in my favorite outfit. Ok, I don't know if that happened, but I sure hope I took the time to get gussied up for the almost occasion. I say almost because we almost made it out of the driveway. I was giddy with delight thinking about my new name and what this change would mean for my future successes when suddenly the hammer came down. As I was listing my all time favorite names...Marsha, Jan, Dad interrupted me with, "Ah, Kammi, none of those names begin with a K."

"Yeah, so."

"Well you know your mother said your name has to begin with a K like the rest of your sisters."   Note: I have four sisters all whom have the initials KDM. Precious.

"Then I choose Kay."

"That one is already taken."

"That's the only K name I like."

"You can't have it."

This conversation went on for some time; however, my Dad was not a patient man so he put a stop to it. I was dumbfounded. Bewildered. Mad. This was my chance and I was blowing it. Yet I heard myself say, "If I can't be Kay, then I don't want to do it."

"Then you had better never bitch about this again. Ever."

He went into the house leaving me in the car to contemplate my fate. What was I doing? Why didn't I choose Kathy or Kate? I coulda been a contender!

That was the end of that, and I spent the next three decades of my life in direct conflict with what everyone called me. Until about four years ago.

My Mom gave my sisters and me our baby books. Being the fourth of five daughters you can imagine how scantily annotated my book was. It was a good effort, but you could tell my Mom was kind of over the whole baby book notion. I scoured my book for hidden truths about myself. Turns out my first expression was, "I see." I don't think I meant the "I see a bird" kind of seeing. I'd like to think I meant a thoughtful, eye narrowing "I see" as I peered deeply into our dog's soul using my powerful intuition and keen sense of The Sight. On the other hand, I may have meant, "I see" as in "Yes, and how does that make you feel, Mollydog?"

I found the real treasure tucked in a pocket at the front of the book. It was a small, hand written card. The type of card a nurse would slip into a slot on the front of a baby's bassinet in the hospital nursery so that passersby would know the child's name and who the proud parents were. Not a big deal at first glance until I realized that it did not say Kamela. It read Karlyn. What? That's my younger sister's name. How can this be?  I knew it! I was misnamed! Oh, let the questions begin.

My Mom had actually forgotten this bit of mistaken identity. She said that since they hadn't had a boy by baby four, she wanted a name that was a part of my Dad's name (but with a K): Carl. Oh, good Lord, that's not even HIS name. His given name was Douglas. Anyway, I was named Karlyn for "all of 10 minutes" as my mother explained it. Then this conspiracy between my Grandmother and my two eldest sisters went into full swing and, lo and behold, I was renamed Kamela.

This was foundation rocking news for me. I felt vindicated, validated and victorious. What, pray tell, was I going to do with this life-altering information? Sadly, there was nothing much to do. It was anti-climatic. I sat on it for a while. I pondered every possible meaning:  Does it change who I was? Who I am? Do I feel different? Am I different? I felt confused. So like any writer, I had to put my feelings into words and onto paper in an attempt to fully comprehend the matter.

Naturally, I wrote a limerick styled rant:

         There once was a babe named Karlyn for 10 minutes, I clocked it.
         The nurse slapped a label on her cradle, and rocked it.
         But the Angels stepped in, and said, "Not this little Finn."
         And they put the name in a box for five years and they locked it.

Is the naming, misnaming, renaming debacle over? Not on your life!
I still really wanna know...

         Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?) 
          I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
         Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?) 
         'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)