Self-care

Tomorrow, self-care is on the agenda. Perhaps a bath, but also housework. I’m grateful for the the opportunity to take care of my self, to try and heal, to slow down and be present in the moment.

I have procured myself a new “old Skool” planner for being more disciplined in the New Year. I’m excited to use it to plan things to do on the weekends, to keep myself committed to the events I love and that fuel me.

I have also come to realize that self-care also means not getting caught up in planning life so much that you forget to LIVE life.

This is a strange time to be living in. The world is changing. Violently and shockingly. It can be the epitome of unnerving to try and stay balanced and not go running around the lands screaming your head off…

People are hurting. People are dying. The crassness of capitalism is taking the shine off the glory of living and repackaging it in fools gold. The hunger and cold that grips our neighbors is real and 100% caused by crass capitalism, which also tried to market self-care as the way to peace and health. But only as long as you are capable of paying the entrance fee, which is high.

So, when I say self-care, I am not referring to the kind which numbs me out or has me selling my soul. As a warrior, I need to be in good shape. In all aspects of my life.

So tomorrow I will set some time aside to care for my body, mind, and spirit.

“Don’t postpone joy”

Our favorite restaurant in the world (@Pacificgrilltacoma) has a saying on their menu, that I don’t always see. This last Friday, it jumped out while perusing the menu. I’m all about it right now.

I am reminding myself this morning “slow down. Really allow joy to seep in.”

For me, joy is an elusive beast. I sometimes feel as if I can’t remember what joy feels like, and I start to panic a bit, and that panic elongates the path to joy. So, I bring to mind an anchor. A time when I felt immense joy.

Holding my babies in my arms. Looking in my husbands eyes and seeing his soul. Remembering laughter with my family of origin. Or the first time I really felt accepted by my Anishiinaabe relatives. Screaming in joy on a whale watching trip. Standing under a waterfall near Mt. Baker in only my long underwear.

One anchor leads to another. Then joy comes flooding in. The key is to slow down long enough to get the anchor set. In the choppy waters of life, sometimes it doesn’t feel safe enough to slow the engines down to get the crew on the anchor chain. Just keep trying.

Joy is the highest vibration for creation. Joy is where healing takes place. Joy is how the soul lets go enough to grieve those hurts and traumas that are held in the sinew of the heart, both literally and figuratively.

I encourage you … do not postpone joy. Like truth, the world needs more of us to be anchored, even if only for a few minutes, in the healing energies of joy.

Baamaapii

Change is constant

We change. As biotic beings, living in a biome that is constantly changing, morphing, evolving, we change. Whether we choose to see or honor that change, it is true. The rising and the setting of the moon bring us new opportunities to change in a good way. While we rest. While we slumber, our biome undergoes changes.

What we fail to recognize is how, then, we should change our habits. The old ways of being in the world no longer fit the new being we are becoming. We get stuck. We suffer. We seek relief from our suffering. But when we seek relief without acknowledging that we are changed, we cause more suffering. Not just for ourselves, but for those around us.

Changing biologically must be supported by spiritual and emotional work. Work. Don’t breeze by that word. Change is work. But it is work worth doing. Because our changes are incremental (mostly) and unseeable through our own lenses, it can be tough to understand what spiritual and emotional work really needs undertaking. And we can be thrown off the path to good outcomes in our personal work living in a world that bombards us with the effects of work not undertaken by others.

Persevere. If you hear the words that are in front of you, and feel the call to align yourself more perfectly, undertake the work and make the changes. Break the old habits. Make new ones.

You are a living being, meant to live wholly and healthily, in rhythm to the universe, where balance is a dance. Evolve, accordingly.

Day 3

My third day of self-care. I have been more active today, and am a bit worse for it, I have to admit. But, at least some things that needed to get done have been done.

I started the day with a lovely bath, another great meditation. I refreshed my reading of the Old Ojibwe Prayer, shared by Isaac Murdoch earlier this year, and it felt good to be saying good words in anishiinaabe. I re-read some of my journal entries, and notes from a reading with my dear friend Linda m. i had written a note about needing to take some time away from home, to take a personal retreat. As I started my third day of self-care, I realized that I don’t have to go ‘away’ to have a ‘personal retreat’….I just need a few things: intention, discipline, and the generous kindness of my family.

I’m grateful beyond words for the time and opportunity of the last three days. It’s been an eye-opening (third eye, in fact) experience, to retreat at home. Even though my household responsibilities pull at my attention, I found that I could successfully briefly break my retreat to take care of things (like fold some clothes, or vacuum the floor) and then easily return to the spirit and state of retreating. I committed myself to making my retreat my priority, and I could attend my responsibilities with grace and ease.

The medicines have been somewhat helpful. My mind is thinking in a good way, again. My spirit is breathing again. Today, I focused on flushing the dead and dying viruses out of my system, by drinking water and breathing deeply, as much as possible. The headache has not subsided and the pain in my back, neck and shoulders has returned. I’m going to give myself a full seven days o the anti-virals, even though the doctor wanted to see me after three days, if the headache hadn’t subsided.

Nothing has been for naught….I have some very valuable lessons from the last three days.

  1. I cannot be “in the world and not of it” if i don’t carve out time for the spiritual. Otherwise, I’m just always “in the world”
  2. I must not feel guilty about being in relationship with water when taking baths – this is sacred time and I send my relative back into the world with a blessing.
  3. it is possible to ‘retreat’ at home, and in fact, it is a must to ‘retreat’ at home if the only other choice is to not retreat at all
  4. Above all, love and hold positive energies.
  5. Be well, in all ways. speak healthy words, think healthy thoughts. Have compassion when witnessing dis-ease in yourself and others.

I’ll end with a Aleister Crowley quote which feels very right at this point.

‘Mitigate energy with love, but let love devour all things”

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viral …..

Last week, i received a pre-diagnosis of viral meningitis, after weeks and weeks of being ill with a headache, nausea, dizziness and congestion. I am on my second full day of treatment, and the headache is still immense.

I took Friday off, to have a full three day weekend of self-care. Of respite. Of not doing anything and not feeling guilty about it. I am not watching a bunch of television, and I’m trying to stay off of social media. Today, I have meditation music in the background, while I make some candles….something I have been meaning to do for months. I also am putting together batches of devils club salve and chaparral salve for my mom and dad and a dear elder.

Viral meningitis is no joke. I say pre-diagnosis, because I have not had the lumbar procedure, also known as the spinal tap, and I would like to avoid that at all costs. I have a history of chronic Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), so I should be very familiar with how viruses show up in my body, but I also tend to live in denial about it. The reality is that we are all one big petri dish. Virus, bacteria, hemoglobin, water, biological materials that are meant to work together in harmony….and when that harmony is disrupted, the imbalance creates a space for viral and bacterial bodies to colonize and cause pain.

A virus is a living being. If it has overrun my system, I need to understand how and, if I’m diligent, I can try to understand why.

epstein barr virus NIH 3D print exchange

The EBV image above, via the NIH 3D Print Exchange, looks benign and cool, kind of. There are other images on the web that aren’t as benign looking The thing about EBV, is that 90% of the population has this virus but it only causes issues in about 1% to 5% of adults. It’s kind of a nasty bugger to have riding around in your system, and especially if you don’t know how to keep it in check. {raises hand} I suspect that I became reactivated and the reactivation was aggravated by mosquito bites when I was in Texas visiting my family.

Being ill has caused me to slow down. Way down. I have had to rethink what I do with my time. I have taken a couple of hot soaks and this has reminded me the power of soaking in water. My relative. I’m determined to heal in a good way, to return to a way of being that is harmonious, light, and beneficial.

Taking time to care for my self, my whole self, is non-negotiable. I’m grateful to my friends who have given me wisdom and care, and for the love and support of my family during this time. Take time for yourself, in any way that has meaning to you.

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A season of darkness

We are entering a season of darkness. I was born into this world during this season. I do not fear the dark nor do I despise the gray. I have great respect for the dark, for the power to heal and the power to conceal.

Although we are coming in to a season of dark, I have been blessed by the miracle of light. The mild depression I was feeling has lifted and I have many lessons to harvest – some to share, and some for my personal consumption.

Today’s harvested lesson is about ego and letting humility be the royal cloak which grounds you. The ego is a powerful ally, when married to humility. A beauty and the beast kind of partnership. If ego is not allied to humility, a person can turn into an uncharitable and vulgar creature, consumed by the insatiable desire for high station, comely appearance, and constant praise. Humility brings to the relationship the grounding of “you’re important but you ain’t all that” and the insatiable desire for station, praise and baubles disappears into the ether.

Ego is a trickster, though. Make no mistake about it. Ego is an aspect of our personal sovereignty, the piece that makes the essence of your uniqueness in this world, in this time. So, ego is important. If one isn’t careful, those golden ropes of personal sovereignty can become chains so very quick. It’s important to be strong in knowing when to cut ego down. This is where community can be so helpful. A loving community of witnesses, who can help remind you when your ego becomes too powerful, but does it in a way that doesn’t shame you into despair or self-hatred.

Who is in your community? Who are you in your community? What role are you playing? Are you able to help others overcome their ego in a good way?

This season of darkness is THE time to ask these questions, to become self and situationally aware. Make good use of this time. The fire, the grey, the fog, are good allies from our more-than-human relatives.

Facing the facts

Earlier today I took a professional survey to gauge whether or not I am in a depression. It confirmed something I have felt but have not wanted to face. I have gone to great lengths to avoid facing this, to my disadvantage. Life slips away in the moments and too many moments have just zoomed by.

I’m very grateful for this opportunity to face up and hopefully start to deal with this. It has become clear that meditation and diet alone aren’t the answer.

The world is a hot mess right now and it’s hard to find the space to admit that we are, indeed, affected by the drama, intrigues, and assaults on our health. Ignoring these impacts won’t make them fade away.

I likely won’t be visible over the next few months but hopefully I will emerge in a better frame of heart, mind, and soul soon.

Shifting gears

We live in a universe that is in constant motion. The interactions between stars, planets, dark and light matter, and galaxies are gorgeous, perfectly timed, and affect life on earth, whether or not we can perceive these interactions.

gears of universe
Gears of the universe (https://wallhere.com/en/wallpaper/724427)

 

I subscribe to the space-time vortex theory. Where there is a center, and around that center, the path of life spirals up and down around the center. The center is constant. Meaning, life’s lessons come back to you during the course of your life, and hopefully you have grown since the last time you attempted to ace the life lesson. If you know the mechanisms of the universal vortex, and have a good heart, you can shift gears with grace and ease.

The last week, I have relieved myself of all social media distractions by removing them from my phone. I have attempted this before, several times. THIS attempt has been a smashing success. The proof was evidenced this morning when allowing myself some time on the platforms, and recognizing the anxiety and stress in my gut and brain after only 10 minutes of having been ‘plugged in’ to only one platform.  

I can’t completely walk away from social media, and I’m not against using technology. In fact, the time away from social media has allowed me the space to create a platform for a new venture, a podcast, and a support page for that work. I have, however, realized that I cannot continue to allow social media to consume me. I must be responsible to my spirit and manage the time that I spend in the throes of these platforms.

Over the last few months, I have ascertained that blog reading isn’t necessarily a thing. At least not what I write. So, I’m going to give podcasting a shot. I am claiming compliments on my voice, that have been granted in the past, as a foundation upon which to build. I have assured myself that it will feel wonky and wobbly for a while, but to keep a focus on spreading truth in a good way, be patient, and see what can transpire. I’m a seed planter, after all.

So, if you are inclined, you will soon be able to find me at anchor.fm/nidebwe. Facebook Profile Picture

Learning

I am over a half-century on the planet and embarrassed to admit that I have never really learned how to cook. I’m embarking on a new learning experience to connect with the bounty of the earth, to learn how to build a truly reciprocal relationship through the art of cooking. It has to be more than just sustenance for me…so this is the mantle I adopt as I begin this journey.

I am hoping that this is also a hidden obstacle to my inability to lose weight. All the holistic and scientific actions I have taken have not yielded an acceptable result, and I was thinking about how much my body changes whenever I went through a break up…the emotional impact on the physiologic, a powerful reminder that it’s not just “calories in, calories out”.

I hope to break through some things. The first thing is to remind myself that no learning is exact and perfect at the first go…not if it’s authentic learning.

Here I go….