Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Mystery of the Cougar

It was just another day in the life of Rita. She woke up with the sun, transferred to her wheelchair, and went to the kitchen to get the cat food she put out for four community cats: Little Mama, her two sons Munchkin and Ringtail, and Little Girl from another litter born at the same time. She opened the cabinet door and scooped two cups of food out of the container she kept the food in.

When Rita opened the door, she saw a man riding bareback on a white horse. People didn’t ride their horses back there. She watched him take the horse down the hill into the creek, where weeds had grown as high as the horse’s back. She looked away for a minute, and when she looked back, the horse was standing still without its rider.

Alarmed, Rita tried to think fast. Should she call 9-1-1? What happened to the rider? The horse appeared to be stepping purposely as if to stomp on a snake. Did the rider get thrown? About five minutes later, the rider appeared and climbed back on the horse. Then they rode out of the creek and back through the park.

The following day, Rita saw a woman carrying a bow and arrow… walking down through the high growth. This, too, was highly unusual. The huntress continued walking past Rita’s ability to see where she was headed, so she closed the door and continued with her morning tasks. But she could not get those two incidents out of her mind.

Filled with curiosity, Rita called out to Gertrude, Thomas, and Esmeralda… three mallard ducks that hung out together in the creek – known as the Quackers – because they often spread rumors. Most of the time, they just floated along quietly and peacefully with the current. Today, the noise of water splashing as they were taking their daily bath drowned out her voice. At last, a heron swooped down into the water toward them.

Heron: “Hey guys, the lady up there is trying to get your attention!”

Gertrude: “Oh!”

The ducks shook the remaining water off their feathers and waddled up out of the creek to Rita’s patio.

Esmeralda: “What’s up? Heron says you are trying to get our attention.”

Rita: “Did you see a white horse down here yesterday?”

Thomas: “I saw the white horse. Some stupid idiot rode it into the creek where the cougar was fishing for her breakfast. When the horse saw the cougar, he freaked and threw the idiot off into the water.”

Esmeralda: “Thomas, it’s not nice to call people stupid idiots.”

Thomas: “Sorry.”

Rita: “Thomas, did you say cougar? There was a cougar in the creek?”

Gertrude: “Oh, yes! Good thing we were way up the other part of the creek… or we could have been breakfast instead of the fish.”

Heron: “I only saw that cougar when there was a full moon. Maybe it is a vampire cougar.”

Just then, Squirly Squirrel appeared. “I saw the horse, the man, and the huntress, too. She raised her bow and arrow and shot the cougar in her chest. But what was strange is the cougar vanished.”

Rita: “Vanished?”

Squirly Squirrel: “Yes. Vanished. I saw it from the top of the tree.” Then, he picked up an acorn and ran back up the tree.

That afternoon, when Rita opened the door again, Little Mama was sitting still by the edge of the door looking down at the water dish. She looked very tired. Before Rita could say anything, Little Mama said, “Rita, I’ve come to say good-bye.”

Rita wasn’t sure, but she thought she saw a lot of blood on Little Mama’s chest. Alarmed, she opened the door, but Little Mama backed off and slowly walked away. Because Rita was wheelchair dependent, she couldn’t go out on foot to follow her.

Squirly Squirrel returned a short time later bringing his wife, Angela. “Angela has something to report.”

Angela: “I saw the huntress shoot the cougar. The cougar broke the main part of the arrow off just before she turned back into one of the neighborhood cats.”

Rita: “Oh, no! Could that be Little Mama? She was here earlier, and I could have sworn I saw blood on her chest.”

Rita went to her kitchen and looked up out the window to see Little Mama sleeping under her car. She got her mobility scooter out and rode over there but couldn’t do anything. When her attendant arrived, who had fourteen cats herself, she laid down on the ground and tried to get her out. But Little Mama didn’t want anyone touching her and somehow got the strength to run out from under the car and off to another part of the apartment complex. The attendant reported she saw a stick in her chest.

Little Mama didn’t show up for breakfast the next morning, and Rita was very worried. Squirly and Angela arrived and said, “We will run around and see if we can find her.”

Meanwhile, the other three cats were off somewhere doing their jobs as security officers… keeping mice, rats, and snakes under control. They returned late afternoon for a snack of dry cat food. Squirly was sitting on the stump on the side of the tree switching his tail around to get the cats’ attention.

Squirly chattered away at the cats. “Where have you been? We have an emergency!”

Ringtail: “Ground patrol. Five mice, one rat, and a snake. What’s the emergency?”

Squirly: “Something has happened to your mother. Rita wants to talk to you.”

Munchkin and Ringtail cautiously approached the patio where Rita was waiting.

Rita: “Hey guys, have you seen your mother?”

Munchkin: “Not since this morning at breakfast. What happened?”

Rita: “I think she was shot in the chest with an arrow.”

Ringtail: “Oh, no! I told her not to wander around the creek during full moon!”

Rita: “Why is that?”

Just then, their cousin Little Girl appeared. “What’s up?”

Munchkin: “Mama was shot with an arrow while she was a cougar!”

Rita: “Little Girl, do you know anything about this?”

Little Girl: “Yes. Auntie killed a baby snake last month. Her mother turned out to be a snake witch and cast a spell on her. The snake witch also sent for the huntress to shoot her.”

Rita: “Oh, my! What are we going to do? Mama won’t let anyone touch her… so we can’t get her to a vet.”

Little Girl: “I don’t think Auntie wants to be helped. That spell did more than just turn her into a cougar. It also was a spell of doom. She no longer wants to live.”

Rita went back inside, wishing she could catch Mama Kitty and get her wound treated. She looked up out her front window to see Squirly running across the parking lot. Angela soon followed. They saw Little Mama laying under a car in the next parking area and came back to tell Rita. She got her mobility scooter out to follow the squirrels. Just as she arrived, Little Mama climbed up into the motor of that car.

Rita: “Oh, no!!! If the lady who owns this car comes out to start it, she could be toast! What do I do?” After experiencing a few moments of panic, she decided to call the cat lady. Teri was the one who founded the TNR program and knew these cats. Even though she had been up most of the night, she decided to come out and assist. She brought a trap and blankets. Rita went to knock on the car owner’s door and asked her to open the hood. But Little Mama was a very smart cat and managed to get away. For an injured cat, she sure was fast… and was soon out of sight.

Meanwhile, the city had hired a goat keeper to bring a herd of goats to eat up the overgrowth in the creek. He had his goats in another area of the park when all these events occurred and were moving them in that evening. He happened to be walking by to count them when Teri returned that evening with additional traps. He asked them to wait for him to finish counting, and then he could talk to them. Teri and Rita filled him in on what was going on. He was relieved the cougar didn’t eat any of his goats and said he would keep his eyes out for her. Teri gave him her business card.

The following morning, Teri called Rita. The goat keeper called to tell her he found Mama Kitty. She had passed away further up the creek… and knowing how special she was, he buried her, placing an arrangement of rocks shaped like a cat on top to protect her. He also tied orange flags on nearby branches, so Rita could find her.

Munchkin, Ringtail, and Little Girl conducted a proper cat funeral. Some of the other nearby colony cats attended as well. Rita visited the site several times, and Teri said that Little Mama was now the angel of the creek.

 In memory of Mama Kitty who passed away in 2019.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Adventures of Gnat

Introduction: This story was inspired after a tiny nuisance of a gnat persistently tried to fly up my nose. I couldn’t help wonder, if one did, what would he see? Enjoy this little tale I weaved!

(Previously published as an audiobook and for Kindle.)

Gnat circled around the face of the new universe he found, looking for a way inside. It was a huge universe... oblong in shape, with four branches as well as mountains, valleys, and unusually odd colored tall grass. Alas, he found two black holes and decided to fly into one of them.

Blackness ensued... no light to be found. Zillions of cells were busy with diverse tasks. Gnat tried to find one that wasn't so busy, so he could ask what the center of this new universe was.

Suddenly, Gnat was swept away into its depths, where both colors and absence of color presented itself. There were both things and no-things. Existence and non-existence. Beginnings and endings. At first, Gnat tried to fight where he was being taken and held on to the closest cell he could find. But a sense of surrender overcame him, and he finally stopped fighting.

Gnat observed a beautiful interconnected universe with planets and stars. But what he found the most amazing was that each of the planets was interconnected with all the others by a stream of energy. As he floated along, he tried to feel the essence of this vast universe. Love. 

With love, all the cells peacefully flowed. Cells aged and died off while new cells were born. As long as love was present, the new cells were healthy. But if something else like fear and anger came into play, all the cells were affected negatively.

Gnat wondered… where is the center? Where is the source? How was this universe created? Just then, one of the cells grew larger and began to speak to him with telepathic words. “It all began with two cells which merged and began to multiply within a sensation of love.”

Gnat felt the pulse of the universe get stronger and faster... was a storm coming? Pounding sounds got louder and the pulse he felt earlier got faster. He looked around at the group of cells that suddenly began working harder to bring a rush of new oxygen to all the other cells. He tried to stop one and ask what was happening, but it said, “Not now! Can’t you see we are in a hurry?”

It seemed like forever before the activities quieted back down. Gnat had to sit out the commotion and wait out of everyone’s way before he could continue on his journey. 

He came upon an area that seemed brighter in contrast to darkness and a group of wise cells was guiding worker cells in their tasks. Some of the cells were carrying other dead cells to a place where they would be purged to somewhere else. He went up to the one he believed to be the leader and asked, “What are all these cells doing?”

The leader invited Gnat to sit down beside him and began to explain: “Cells are like the employees of a company. The company is the organ that the group of people forms. Multiple companies interact to provide the overall services that human beings need, such as electric—water—gas companies. The management of these companies will sometimes have partnering meetings to share information and find out where the strengths and weaknesses are with the goal of making improvements in the operation of the whole. Each person in each of these companies performs a specific job. Sometimes lots of companies will gather together to have business expos.”

The leader paused, and continued, “We are all inside a human body. Each cell in this body performs a specific job. When an employee becomes overwhelmed by stress, he/she may take action that will affect all those around him/her... spanning out into all other aspects of the company which will affect its function. When cells become distressed, it affects the organ that it is a part of, ultimately affecting all aspects of the human body it is a part of. The same thing happens when positive emotions such as love, compassion, and happiness are predominant.”

Gnat sighed, trying to digest all that he was told. Then he asked, “Could you give me another example? Explain it in another way?”

“Cells are also like the leaves of a tree. Each leaf is an organ made up of the cells that make it a leaf. Groups of leaves are on a branch. All the branches feed off of the trunk, the main source for the leaves’ nutrition. The trunk becomes a network of roots that go down into the earth... interconnecting with the cells of the soil which interconnects with the cells of the water. Leaves also photosynthesize the sun’s rays, along with moisture in the air and carbon dioxide, and provide oxygen for all other life forms to breathe. These life forms all have efficient filtering systems that carry out carbon dioxide and toxins. Sometimes trees will get sick with a fungus, and if it is not treated, the fungus can kill the tree. Life forms can contract a fungus or other disease which can sometimes be fatal.”

Gnat replied, “This makes a lot more sense to me. Since I am a tiny bug, I usually hang out in trees.” Then Gnat asked, “Do you know anything about ants?”

“Ahhh! Ants! Ants live in large co-operative colonies. In some ways, a colony of ants is similar to the cells of a human body. I am like an ant Queen. Most worker ants could be compared to red blood cells. Some worker ants have completely different responsibilities and could be compared to white blood cells. The complex tunnel systems ants create in the ground could be compared to the arteries, veins, and neural pathways inside this body.”

After thinking the ant explanation over for a few minutes, Gnat asked, “Do cells have friends?”

“There are groups of cells that hang out together, so I guess you could compare them to a human having friends.”

Gnat contemplated all he was told, and then a huge burning question rose inside of him. “How long do cells live?”

“Boy, you sure ask some deep questions! Let me see… I’ll start with the ones who live the briefest lives and end with the ones that live the longest. Sound good to you?”

“Yes, it does.” Gnat replied.

“These are the ones I know of at the top of my head. Certain cells of the digestive tract live for only a few days. Sperm cells have a life span of only about three days. Colon cells die off after about four days. Skin cells live about two or three weeks. Some immune system cells can live for up to six weeks. Red blood cells live for about four months. Pancreatic cells can live for as long as a year. White blood cells live on average more than a year. Brain cells typically last an entire lifetime.”

It got quiet for about five minutes as Gnat and the leader cell breathed slowly and deeply. Then Gnat asked another question. “Do cells ever commit suicide?”

“Yes, sometimes they do. When a cell becomes damaged or undergoes some type of infection, it will self-destruct. A cell’s inability to self-destruct can result in the development of cancer.”

“Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this to me. Would you be able to guide me back to where I came?”

“I’m afraid not. I’ll have to take you somewhere else and have a guard escort you out. But first, I have some very important tasks to complete before I can do that.”

“OK, Gnat replied.”

“It was nice getting to know you, said the leader.”

“Yes, indeed, said Gnat.”

Four hours later, the leader cell finished his tasks and returned to Gnat to take him to the guards. One of the guards escorted Gnat back through the tunnels from which he came. Brightness became darkness, which then became blinding while his eyes tried to adapt to daylight again. Just as Gnat got to the back of the edge of the sinus, a severe earthquake rocked his world. Little did he know that he had caused the slightest tickle which produced a reaction of a terrific sneeze.

Suddenly, Gnat found himself catapulting faster than he’d ever traveled before. Out of the nostril, he flew and smacked so hard into a tree trunk, that the breath was knocked out of him. After a while, he regained rhythmic breathing and was able to return to his Gnat family, eager to tell them about all his adventures.

The End.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The ABCs of What a Depressive Episode Feels Like

I had quite a few good months. My natural self is optimistic. I could say affirmations like, “I am one day closer to getting … " and really believe it. What, I asked myself, changed or occurred since then? I asked all the usual questions that included, “Is it something I ate?” It is no longer good enough for me to blame hormone changes on my moods. I used to take antidepressants when I fell into these episodes and stayed on them to avoid them all together. Ultimately, while the anti-d helped temporarily, they had their own consequences. At the end of this post, I wrote what the solution turned out to be (for me).

Below is the list of what I experience from A-Z. I’m not kidding, when all of these converge simultaneously, it is extremely uncomfortable (an understatement). It is not uncommon for an episode to occur after experiencing stress… both the good stress of excitement (I found a van and sold my car) and one such as the explosion that went off near my apartment the other day during a thunderstorm. I’m pretty sure something blew up by my apartment when lightning struck. I thought about the people who endure this sound on battlefields on a daily basis. It would have been nice if lightning could fizzle everything on the following list so it doesn’t come up to taunt me ever again.

Change. Many changes came up in front of me all at once. There’s always a day in the fall when all the leaves of most of all the trees fall like rain. Within a week, the following occurred. I found my ideal van -- a 2002 Ford E150 that was converted with a remote-operated lift and power doors, an alternate hand control in addition to foot pedals, and the driver’s seat comes back and swivels to transfer. The seat is comfortable, it is easy to drive, and I can even see over the dashboard. In order to get it, I put my car up for sale. It sold within hours. I am in shock that it is no longer in my parking space. As for the van, it is 18 years old and needs repairs before I can use it. Every day I don’t see it in my parking space feels like an eternity. My beloved attendant gave her notice. I could always depend on her. I feel the pain and grief of empty nest syndrome. The new one I was supposed to get never showed up, so I had to fend for myself last week. Fending for myself involves increased pain, loneliness, and exhaustion. The agency that services me has lousy communication which is quite frustrating. They don’t seem to have a system of notes that all the employees have access to. Frustration mounts as each communication error piles up. Have you ever waited with anticipation for someone to arrive and they never show up?

When things stop working, it’s time to buy a new one. My Epson all-in-one doesn’t scan anymore. I found this out when I decided to scan my songs to upload into Google Drive after someone suggested it would be a good idea to have all my music on hand… just in case I come upon an opportunity I had lost hope in ever manifesting. I felt like the Epson was contributing to killing my dream. I took it personally. Making decisions is not one of the strengths I can boast about. I had no idea what to replace it with. I felt frustrated. Fortunately, a trusted friend came to the rescue and made that decision for me. Now I wait… for it to arrive via Fed Ex… with notifications warning me that due to COVID, shipments are likely to be delayed. I was thinking that with Labor Day sales, it would be a good time to buy a new one and was advised to order one NOW because due to COVID, manufacturing of computers and computer equipment has slowed way down. Ordinarily, I would think this was a high-pressure sales pitch, but another friend had just told me she tried to replace her laptop but everyone was out-of-stock. In my somewhat isolated life, I had forgotten how much COVID had disrupted everyone’s life. I found myself sad about everyone who was affected. Now for the ABCs.

A = Absolute. All or nothing. Amnesia. Achy. Angry. Aggravated. Agitated. Annoyed. Abandoned.

B = Bitter. Bed. Bull s**t. What I feel like saying because I am fed up with (everything). Bumping into everything with my scooter.

C = Change. Catastrophe. Everything is a catastrophe. Claustrophobic. Crabby. Crazy.

D = Desperate Dissociation. Diving into the Deep. Defeated. Disappointed. Dissatisfied. Depressed.

E = Everything is going wrong. Explosive. Exhausted. Envy Everyone.

F = Fatalistic. Fatigued. Forever. Frustrated. Fearful. Flustered.

G = Garbage. Grumpy. Gloomy. Glum. Grieving.

H = Hot flashes, especially during the night. Hungry. Hopeless. Humiliated. Homesick.

I = Irritable. Insomnia. Inconsistency. Impatient. Isolated.

J = Jumpy. Jittery. I seem to drop everything I pick up. Jealous.

K = Knock over. I seem to knock everything over I come close to.

L = Lies. I feel like everyone is lying to me. Lonely. Longing. Letdown.

M = Maybe. Too many maybes. I need to KNOW for SURE.

N = Nothing. Nothing satisfies me. Nobody loves me. Not even me. Neglected. Needy.

O = Oppressed.

P = Printer. The scanner on my printer died. PTSD. Pessimistic.

Q = Quesy.

R = Remorse. Resentment. Racing mind.

S = Sinking. Suffocating. Starving. Shame. Suffering. Scared. Stressed. Sleepy.

T = Tomorrow. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow. Terrified. Tormented. Teary.

U = Unknown. Uncomfortable. Unhappy.

V = Volatile. Vulnerable. Van. I was all excited about getting a van, but I can’t use it until it is fixed.

W = What is happening to me? Weary. Worried. Weak. Withdrawn.

X = Xcruciating.

Y = Yearning.

Z = Zombie.

Now that I’ve said my ABCs, I will tell you about the wisdom that came through after about two weeks of this.

First, I sat down in front of my committee of little 5-year-old dolls to hear what they had to say. I didn’t get much of an answer. I think they may have been afraid to speak up.

Memory: Ah ha! I did what my doctor advised and stopped taking Vitamin D because my blood levels were nice and high! Didn’t I learn NOT to do what doctors suggested? I felt better than I had in a really long time with the level that high. I pulled out my bottle of Energetix Vitamin D-K2 Lipospray and sprayed some under my tongue.

Memory: Irritability, racing mind, and hot flashes turned out to be symptoms that my hypothalamus needed support. I was irritable about EVERYTHING and hot flashes were depriving me of much-needed sleep. Did you know the hypothalamus controls your body temperature? I put a dropper of Energetix Hypothalmapath under my tongue. 

Memory: Essential oils: of course! I have oils that are supposed to help improve your mood… including a blend called Cheer.

I was absolutely amazed. Within HOURS I felt so much better! I felt like I was ME again. Optimism returned with really believing I am one day closer to getting situations resolved. For you, it may not be your hypothalamus or low Vitamin D levels. It is best to get tested… blood test and bio energetically. The root cause can be anything from food sensitivities, dehydration, not enough sleep or exercise, estrogen dominance, the death of a loved one or situation, loss from a fire-flood-tornado, an illness or accident, or damage to the brain from a head injury or trauma.

I suppose you can also blame it on the full moon.

Meanwhile, in a moment of synchronicity, I just received an email from the Food Revolution Network with this post. Have more time to read? 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Mac Truck in a Small Parking Lot

Have you ever felt like you've been run over by a mac truck?

Have you ever felt like you were trying to get around in a small parking lot in one?

Do you ever wonder how a handicapped person gets around inside their apartment? Or do you take it for granted they just can?

I'm attempting to create humor here as sometimes my patience is thin. It depends on how tired I am. Since people who have fibromyalgia often say they feel like they've been run over by a mac truck; I feel like I am trying to maneuver a mac truck in a small parking lot.

About two months ago, I began using my Drive Scout Mobility Scooter in my apartment. Fortunately, this apartment is wheelchair accessible... mostly. In a manual wheelchair, I could go forward into the bathroom and small kitchen, but couldn't turn around. There is certainly no room to swivel a regular electric wheelchair around. I'd still have to back them in to get certain things done. They are low to the ground, so reaching up over counters is a painful strain.

My scooter has a swivel seat and is higher, so I thought I'd give this mini mac truck a try in my small parking lot... I mean apartment. It's like trying to get into a public restroom that says it is accessible but really isn't. This happened at a Walmart store. I was able to get in, but because of the placement of the door, it was impossible to reach over the handlebars to pull it open to the left and get out. Who engineered these things?

Since I started using the scooter, it has been easier to reach kitchen counters by swiveling the seat. However, when I ride forward into the kitchen, I must back out... around the bend. Tight squeeze. The entrance is not in a very convenient place... the back door to the back patio is. But these apartments are supposedly wheelchair accessible. Ouch, every time I hit a wall, door, corner, or anything else I collide with. Not ouch to me, ouch to the scooter and the things I run into. In order to get into the refrigerator and cabinets on the far end (far for me), I must back in... around the corner. Back, forward, back, forward, until I get lined up enough to get around the bend. There's usually additional forward, back, forward, back to get into position without hugging the cabinets on either side. My kitchen reminds me of the RVs I used to live in.

To the bathroom is around a corner where I park in front of the bathroom door, swivel the seat, transfer to a stool, and scoot across the far end (feels far to me) to the toilet. There's no room to turn around, so I must back out to the other end of the hallway before turning the bend to return to the living area. I don't always calculate this turn without needing to realign and try again. This becomes a major obstacle when I tried doing this in the middle of the night in the dark... but turning on a light was too much shell shock to my senses... and being half asleep didn't help my driving ability. I'd Y turn to get out of the bedroom, steer around the bend into the hallway, pull up the bathroom door, etc. Back out into the living area to turn around and drive back into the bedroom. I finally gave up and put my camping toilet in the bedroom.

"Y" turns take a lot of practice in a scooter. Forward, back, forward, back, until I can get it lined up to back out without taking the wall with me. Reverse across a larger area takes a lot of practice, too. So does patience. I can back into my work station and swivel to use my computer. Many times, though, this takes multiple tries until I get lined up comfortably. 

I love having the floor of the scooter to put things on for transport... especially heavier items like a gallon jug of water. I love having the basket in front to put things in for transport and carry basic necessities around with like a bottle of water, a pad of paper, lozenges, portable cell phone charger, and more.

I did check into what the two other wheelchair accessible type units are like. They are the same except for no wall between the living area and the kitchen. Not enough improvement to make it worth moving again... not that the people already in those units plan to move anytime soon.

By the way, the first thing I tried was a small salon stool on wheels. It worked great scooting all over the apartment until the wheels got dirty, wouldn't roll easily anymore, and when I elevated the seat to get to the counters, the top came out of the base and nearly spilled me onto the floor. This is the one I use in the bathroom now. It stays in the down position. I then tried a larger one. When I elevated it up, I found out I am not heavy enough to get it back down again. And the seat was too big, so I kept sliding off until I placed a piece of rubber shelf liner on it. It didn't work out, and I gave it away to someone else who needed one... and is a larger, heavier person than I am.

What color is my mac truck? It's black with red trim!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

New Release!

This is a story I began writing many years ago but had not decided what to do with it. I've written other short stories, but this one wanted to be its own book. I did update the ending to bring it up-to-date. It is about 4,300 words, 34 pages. Available as a paperback (because I wanted one for my bookshelf) and Kindle.

The dreams I recorded in a journal over the years included scenes about World War II, a library I'd never personally visited, a collapsing stairway, and a theme park.

Years later, I was able to see similarities between the dreams and interesting life encounters with the Rabbi I met, the psychic I met, and the interconnectedness of life experiences and people.

The final chapter is my fantasy of being healed by extraterrestrials with advanced technology.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

New Release!

New Release! I've updated the 2020 Edition to include current information about self-publishing your own book (CreateSpace doesn't exist anymore), reorganized content, updated the index and table of contents. I've also made it available for Kindle to use along with a blank journal. You can Look inside from a computer to get a preview. If you purchased an older version of this book and would like a current one, contact me. Some of the pages can be previewed with the Look inside feature from a computer.


The purpose of this journal is to assist you with all aspects of your life, beginning with revisiting your childhood and reconnecting to the playful, adventurous part of yourself who dreamed big dreams and had an amazing imagination. I, as the author, encourage you to go on the journey. This isn’t about feeling bad about what happened if bad things did happen. This is about exploring what conclusions you made as a result of your life circumstances and learning to acknowledge, love, accept, forgive, and move the stagnant subconscious energies out of your mind and out of your body.

We all are traveling an amazing journey of self-discovery. There are always new life lessons to learn. Shifting your beliefs about all things earthly can transform your life. We become who we think we will become. We develop beliefs that do not serve us, our higher good, or the good of our planet.

There are many self-help books out there. I know. I’ve read a LOT of them. I even included some of the titles in this book. I wanted something simple with few words but big impact. I wanted a book that could be a companion guide for upcoming workshops when I succeed in putting them together.

For those who are thinking about writing a memoir, this book can help you organize your thoughts and provide a foundation for you to begin.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Bucket Theory

I grew up on the coast of Massachusetts, across the street from a small private beach. We could walk a short distance to get there. No public parking was available. It was PRIVATE. We collected seashells and pretty rocks, along with unintentional grains of sand. We walked along the edge of the ocean, feeling the sensation of waves washing in over our feet and washing out again.

I don't know about you, but I like to collect things. I also collected experiences, stress, worry, memories, toxins, sugar, viruses, and a host of other things that were detrimental to my health... filling up my bucket without the awareness that it could only hold so much before overflowing.

I think it was Bri of Complete Chiropractic and Wellness Center who first told me about the Bucket and explained how one additional grain-of-sand-sized thing can make it overflow, triggering a meltdown of PTSD, fatigue, pain, and illness. A grain of sand can include things like a thought, bad news, indigestion, an argument, an uncomfortable memory, insomnia, a flat tire, an invasion of ants, or a surprise bill.

I've been learning more about PTSD, an automatic reaction by our brilliantly designed bodies when gasoline is thrown on our internal fire. I purchased Anatomy 360 by Dr. Jamie Roebuck to increase my awareness of just how brilliant my body is. Wow. After looking at all the pictures, I am even more determined to spend time dwelling on all of that vs. what spins non-stop in my mind.

Two new docu-series/summits were released that I have been watching: Overcoming PTSD and Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed by Science. While these two are completely separate productions, both have the same basic information: understanding your body and how it reacts when your bucket overflows, along with proven methods of improving and hopefully, recovering.

In the realm of parts, mainstream medicine treats symptoms (with surgery and medications) vs. digging for root causes that include stress, trauma, and nutrition. I've known this for many years now. What I didn't realize is how the integration of 'systems' affects us. I didn't know that trauma (of any kind) resulted in chronic inflammation and auto-immune reactions. I didn't know that our unbelievably efficient immune system can't tell the difference between what type of stress the body is dealing with, it just declares war when it sees the bucket overflow.

Awareness is the key. Now that I am more aware, I can take proactive steps to bring the fires down to embers. For me, getting a handle on the original trauma(s) is the key. There are many modalities and therapies in the industry of trauma recovery out there that cost money. However, with COVID-19, in addition to the information about handling COVID itself, suddenly, there is a wealth of free information on trauma and what you can do about it. It's all about calming down the ANS -- the autonomic nervous system. The definition in Wikipedia is:

"The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions, such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. This system is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response."

In case you are one of many panicking and going crazy with all the systems that were put into place around COVID, it is the fear and anxiety that drains your immune system and increases your chances of getting sick. If you have other unhealthy habits in addition to fear and anxiety, this is an opportunity to do what is in your control: learn how to treat your body like it is a garden. Put as much love into it as you do with your flowers and plants. Let some of the load out of your bucket.

My personal plan of action includes prioritizing mindfulness (being in the present moment), meditating, drinking adequate amounts of water, avoiding foods and the news I know overflow my bucket, use the collection of essential oils I have, activate my vagus nerve, practice Donna Eden's energy-meridian balancing routines (she even has one for calming anxiety--you can find some on YouTube), and grounding by placing my bare feet on the garden rocks out in front of my apartment.

Rocks. I just discovered I could get grounded by placing my feet on rocks while sitting in my wheelchair. I had been paranoid about being barefoot in the grass due to the high number of fire ants that share space here, so I didn't try it. But when the management company redid the landscape two years ago, they provided areas of river rocks out front. I got my dose this morning. It really worked. I felt the difference in my body... and imagined I was back on that beach again.