Cinque Terre, Land of Joy

I want to tell you about my recent trip to the Coast of Northern Italy – and one spectacular colorful city on the water! And, I REALLY want to tell you about the handsome man who swept me off my feet.  Dashing features, smiling eyes, brilliant and charming… well, you know the type.

And I definitely want to tell you about the latest adventure in my business and how excited I am about the new direction I’m moving in. About the unexpected connection I made last month that is creating a wholly new enterprise I never could have imagined.

Alas, I can’t. All I can honestly tell you about is my last doctor visit and the results of my latest blood work. Truth is far less interesting than fiction. One thing I’ve learned about chronic illness is that it’s boring as hell.

Unless you’re a medical researcher (or someone else going through it), the details of my latest intensive research (dopamine and serotonin this week) aren’t going to fascinate you. And to be sure, the news of 5 days in a row without an afternoon nap is underwhelming.

Then there’s the term “better”.  For most healthy people, better is like a light switch – it’s on or off.  You’re sick or you’re better. What I’ve learned (to my dismay) is that better is infinitesimally incremental.  I’m significantly better than I was a year ago. I was better in August than I’d been for a long time. I’m better now than I was in December. But I’m not better, as in, sick or better.

So what exciting things can I tell you about?  Well, there’s my sleep, my diet, my digestion, my supplements, my brain fog… Woohoo!  (Insert sarcastic smile.)

Basically life is all about the capacity du jour. This is where my focus goes, because it has to. This is what I’ve been thinking about and dealing with day in and day out for a long time. And it’s really intense. Ongoingly.

There’s also the financial state. Because who can work when they consistently can’t find even simple words, can’t plan tomorrow’s energy level, and don’t remember what they just finished reading?

And the emotional state – living like this is hard. Mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. Some days are better than others.  Some days, I just need to be able to share at least this part so I can continue the marathon.

These are the things I’ve wanted to say for some time now but didn’t have the ability. Luckily for me, my family has been a rock, despite my boring them all to tears for years. My family and friends have stood by my side, supported me in every way. I consider myself one of the *very* lucky ones to be making it through to the other side, and I’m grateful.

As things continue to shift and I have more capacity to write, to exercise, to go 5 days without a nap, and to work, it felt important to share this for all the years that I couldn’t. For all the years I didn’t know what was wrong, and I didn’t have the energy or ability – and for all those people who still don’t. Especially when you’re undiagnosed (or misdiagnosed) and your doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong, or you’re diagnosed with something that has a stigma attached to it.

In many ways it’s a loooong and horrible nightmare when you’re living it from the inside, and just simply boring as hell on the outside.

(Image Cinque Terre at Sunset gratefully reproduced via fabzscardigli.wordpress.com)

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Impermanence and the Journey

Today’s lesson in impermanence:  I wake up in a different room, in a different city; a different car brought me here. I’m typing on a different computer.

I wake up and say good morning to a different dog. And I notice how being in a woman’s home is different than being in a man’s home.

Everything feels different today. The demarcation is pronounced: that life is now ended. Life has made itself abundantly clear.

In one way I’m nonplussed.  All of this doesn’t touch who I am.  The me that is far greater than Elizabeth’s body-mind experiences all of this as Life’s happenings and unfoldings; shifting, creating, dissolving. The stillness of me rests with this and watches while some amusement arises.

In another way I’m both sobered and excited. There’s quivering – lots of unknown. Brief (and occasionally longer) moments of fear show up and dissolve. There’s a bit of shock present.  The grief and confusion have passed, and I feel the impact of this huge life shift. I’m rebalancing. The separation from my friends– with whom I explored consciousness for four years – has the sense of a wound that is repairing and healing.

There is a force to my work. The unfolding of my business Conscious Communion is moving through me with powerful surges and the desire to create, manifest and explore.  This is the exciting part, and while unknown, it’s here now. It wants to happen and is happening, and this is exciting and fun and motivates and inspires me.

miata

I’ll periodically miss my beloved Miata convertible that was flooded in a hurricane – especially on a warm and bright sunny day.  And I’ll periodically wish I had some particular piece of data from my melted down hard drive, I am sure.

In April of 2015 I knew I was moving to Georgia. Despite the fact that I refused to acknowledge or believe it for a long time, inside a part of me knew. And in October of 2016, I knew it was time to leave. Once again, I’m trusting the knowing. That has never failed me.

It seems distant now – how for many years I would have been very happy to know that my life would be over soon. I rarely had the urge to end it on my own, but when I did, that same knowing always said, “it’s not time.”

I never could have imagined the life that is in front of me today. Now that I’m starting to taste vibrant health and mental acuity again, I am able to imagine a future in which I’m thriving, rather than surviving – one in which ease, connection, working, and contentment are my experience.

And along with that, I take the poignant knowing that it’s all passing, all in transition, all fleeting.

Experience Life in the Moment of its Unfolding

 

Campfire…

You know that very cool thing that happens when we sit around the campfire, and get lost in the magic of the fire?  Sometimes, a different thing happens – we become immersed in each other, or in a story, and it seems compelling… we’re drawn into a shared space. It can feel amazing and beautiful.

We-Space – The New Paradigm

What is a we-space? It’s the campfire on steroids… it’s exponentially more potent because it’s a conscious space. It’s the field between/among two or more people which includes the people.  It’s the intangible, underlying essence of a group that one can sense.  We can experience that intentionally, simply by putting attention on it.

In this field, or space, the combined wisdom and creativity of those who are participating becomes enriched (by the other and the field) and accessible in a new way, as the awareness of those in the space opens into the infinite field of Being in a very particular way.  This shared consciousness offers a space of profundity and aliveness.

The we-space is a space of exploration.  It’s a place of not-knowing.  And it’s a place where one can access a deep wisdom that will show you what wants to be known next.  It’s not fortune-telling.  It’s experiencing Life in the moment of its unfolding, it’s awakening, and aware-ing.

Learning to listen to this space opens one up into a deeper awareness of their true nature, as well as bringing more joy and delight into experience.  Knowing the liminal space of “coming into existence” is knowing a source of infinite possibility and potential.

How do we access the we-space?

Simply by placing attention here, with no agenda, we can access the we-space.  This field of awareness is waiting for us. In my experience, it wants to be known, and it comes to us as we move towards it. By shifting perspective from me to we, one can be continually surprised and delighted by what emerges. Through this space we become aware of Life showing us what is unfolding right now.  And right now.  And right now.

 

What will I experience in a we-space?

Initially, an experienced explorer helps make the journey more accessible. And, you can’t do it alone – it’s a we-space. For some people it’s a profound healing place. For others it deepens access to a wider, broader consciousness and knowing.  For some it’s about the powerful human connection that happens.  For most people, all of these things can unfold.

 

Are you simply compelled to explore this?

I am. My entire life has been a quest for connection, love, and peace. Now that I know these things profoundly, life has shown me a path in which to share it – the we-space.

In a we-space, I get to hold unconditional acceptance for people, a very gentle, spacious loving field, which enables people to feel safe and free, often in a new way.

I’m especially familiar with loving trauma into wholeness, as well as the exploration of intimacy in all its forms.  Curious?  Step into the we-space with me.

As part of my launch, I’m offering a complementary we-space session, along with a 25% discount on my 2 short term session programs. Let me know if you’d like to work together! – I have a limited number of complementary sessions available next week.

Are You Sensitive to Light and Sound Too? Part 2 of 2

 

It doesn’t have to hurt so much.

Do you avoid concerts and movie theaters because of the  noise?  Do you stay away from parties? Do the lights of the city at night bother you?  That was me for much of my life. Now there are things that you can do so it’s not so painful.

Let me begin by saying that being very sensitive is a gift and a blessing, but most people in our society don’t know it yet, including people who live with it.

Several months ago I heard a podcast in which a physician spoke about sensitivity to lights and sounds while he was discussing nutritional deficiencies.  This was a watershed moment for me.  It was then that I realized that a lifetime of painful sensitivity was no longer necessary. I was completely unaware that there were simple steps I could take to reduce the suffering.

The doctor said (paraphrasing), “This is a situation of nutritional deficiency. There is no moral failing here.”  And in that moment I felt a 50 lb. weight had been lifted off my shoulders. For much of my life I felt ashamed and guilty for being so sensitive. Decades of shame dropped away as tears of relief flowed. There were physiological reasons for my lifelong pain, and what’s more, I could address it and heal.

The doctor was talking about autism and developmental problems that happen in children, but clearly he was also speaking about me and many other adults as well. I was never diagnosed with ADD, or autism. I just lived with being sensitive and suppressed it as best I could.  (This also led to self medicating/self regulating with marijuana, caffeine and alcohol starting around age 14.)

My Protocol

In the past several months I’ve been experimenting with dietary changes and supplement additions.  I’ve found that my sensitivity, while still finely honed, is no longer painful, and not a problem when my brain and body are properly nourished.

This became quite clear to me when I had an accidental extended toxic mold exposure a few weeks ago, and my sensitivity increased dramatically, and was quite painful by contrast to how I’d been feeling the days and weeks beforehand.

What resolved it was an intense protocol of glutathione, PQQ/CoQ10 (Unfair Advantage), chlorella, activated charcoal, and oxaloacetate.

Within 24 hours of realizing the mold exposure and starting the protocol I started to feel better, and within 72 hours, my sensitivity to lights, sounds, and life in general was down to manageable levels.

These particular products are not just for mold management. While the chlorella and charcoal chelate and absorb toxins and move them out, the other products – glutathione, PQQ and oxaloacetate are super-nutrients that have a targeted dramatic effect on the liver, heart and brain. Under times of stress, (physiological, emotional, psychological, etc.) these three nutrients can make a difference. I’ve noticed how I shift from “coping” to “normal” to “thriving” with use.

Sensitivity is okay!

The links in this article go to the Bulletproof website because these are the products I use and depend on, and that have literally saved my life. This is no exaggeration.  The company owner Dave Asprey is uncompromising about quality control with the supplements because of the health issues he’s overcome in his life.  In fact, these products are a direct result of the years of research he’s done to heal, and then hone, his body.

This week I saw a full page ad in Time Magazine that said in big letters, “I am very sensitive to lights and sounds.” At the bottom of the page it said in smaller font, “Sensory sensitivity is a sign of autism”. It was an advertisement for the group Autism Speaks. From my perspective, it’s good for awareness, but it’s also putting sensitivity into a box that is unnecessary and sends a message that sensitivity is not okay. Once we heal the painful aspects via toxin removal and optimized nutrition, the gifts that sensitivity brings are immeasurable.

If you’d like more info about my experience with sensitivity, these products or you have other questions about what I’ve learned on this 9 month health journey, I would love to hear from you in the comments below, or the contact form on my website, or by PM on Facebook.

Are You Sensitive to Sound and Light Too?

Synesthesia

Today I walked along the Savannah River.  I usually avoid this because the highway traffic creates a noise and energy that are generally disturbing and uncomfortable.  This is too bad because it’s the one place near my house that has abundant nature to walk/jog/bike through.

Today as I walked closer and closer to the highway noise, I thought to myself, what if it’s okay?  What if it’s not painful? What if it doesn’t hurt? My body relaxed a little bit.

I’ve recently noticed that I don’t just hear sound. I feel sound.  I feel the vibrations and tones and places where it touches the body, including the organs, the bones, and what is sometimes called the energy body. Discordant or loud noise doesn’t just hurt my ears, it actually affects much more of my experience of being.

Today I was able to let the highway noise/energy be exactly as it was, and relax in it for a little while.  As I stood with my bare feet in the cool Savannah River, I felt the wind blowing gently on my body, and the bright sun, radiant and warm on my skin. Noticing the textures of the rocks under my feet, I experienced the highway noise as moving through my body, vibrating my cells – and for a little while, I became aligned within that frequency.

And then I was done. And I wanted to get out of there pretty darn quickly.  I headed back to the car.

What’s the Balance?

When I was feeling very sick about two months ago, I noticed that the noise of airplanes overhead was enough to deeply shake my state – to make me very uncomfortable.  When I felt physically better the next day, I didn’t even notice planes on the same flight path. Because of this, I’ve pondered the balance between honoring the exquisite sensitivity of this being (me) and relaxing into what’s previously been uncomfortable, even painful.

“Ow, that hurts!”

When I was about 6 years old, my family went to Florida on vacation. The first day we were there, the sky was a brilliant blue.  The sun shimmered on the water of the aquamarine swimming pool, glared off the white-painted cement, glistened off the sandy beach, and danced on the azure ocean.  I was incredibly uncomfortable.  It was way too bright for me. I couldn’t see and I had to keep my eyes closed. I was in pain.  In response to my attempt to get help, I was told to “stop being such a baby”, and “only grownups need sunglasses”.  I tried to play inside the condo, but was quickly thrown out… “it’s beautiful outside, go play by the pool or the beach”. Of course these were the hardest places to be.

I learned repeatedly that sensitivity is not acceptable, it’s inconvenient, and unwelcome. I think many people experience this type of response to their deep sensitivity. Much of society is still in the “toughen up and take it” phase – and while there’s certainly something to be said for that (at the right times) there’s also a place for recognizing, and embracing, keenly acute sensitivity.

Appreciating the Gifts

These days I’m welcoming my sensitivity, and noticing places where I turn away from it, suppress it, shut it down.  Doing so has enabled cultivation of its gifts – including fine discernment of subtle expressions, sword-like clarity, and heightened ability to precisely describe nuanced distinctions.

I’ve come to the understanding that noticing my resistance, and relaxing into it, may make some of what has been painful less so. This is most likely the case when the “contracting away from” sounds and light is due to habit and/or fear of the effect it will have, rather than being with what is happening in the moment.

The deeper level of acceptance of my own sensitivity, and the gifts it brings, is an ongoing journey.

And, that said, I’ll be posting soon about what I did when I was sick that made so much of a difference that I didn’t notice the planes the next day.  For me that was a big deal… Stay tuned for Part 2.

A Week in the Bay: The Preciousness of Life

One hour to flight time. With my bag in sight, I walked-sauntered slowly around Gate D-7 at the Phoenix airport. Tears welled up in my eyes before dripping down my cheeks as I surveyed my surroundings, and I was overcome by the beauty and simplicity of the multiplicity. In this moment, it was showing up as dozens of utterly human people of every stripe moving about their business. Businessmen businessing, mothers mothering, children playing-fighting-exploring-wandering-crying-laughing-clinging-running as I looked on. I stood rapt in awe at the sacred sweetness-bitterness-exquisiteness of human living.

A young man in a wheelchair with a debilitating disease sat to my right.  Lovers tenderly nuzzling nearby. A group of airline personnel having a lively, engaged conversation.

I watched. Tears dripped. Heart overflowing. It was a moment of deep union born of love.

This week has been an exploration of noticing where I contract from intimacy in my life.  Noticing where I pull away because I’m afraid.  Where do I move away from love?  Sometimes these movements are very subtle.

For example, my friend Aaron said to me that he felt it wasn’t okay to appreciate me – that his appreciation would bounce off, rather than be received.  As he spoke the words, I felt the truth in it, and felt the place where “deep inside” it was not okay to let appreciation land.  (And what is appreciation, except another word for love?)  Since then, for the past couple of days, I’ve been able to hear appreciation (of every kind) from people, and consciously welcome it in, feeling it fill me. When I first did this, it felt as if a crack opened in my heart, and more love began pouring forth.  (Isn’t it interesting how my receiving kindness/love/appreciation enabled me to love people/life more powerfully!)

This kind of intimacy is a moment to moment choice.  This intimacy is saying yes to life and love, in all its splendor, no matter what that looks like.

In a conversation with my mother, I caught myself responding automatically, unconsciously, in a way that discounted her experience, and rushed through the topic, away from a place of my actually feeling her pain. In the moment of realizing this, I was once again conscious, and able to nudge myself closer to her truth, open to her reality.

To step toward pain, to actually stand in it, and feel it is a practice of loving people.

While hanging out with my friend Michael, I found myself seeking reassurance, seeking to be liked and safe.  I didn’t realize this until we stopped moving and doing, and made time for conversation.  I shared with him that I was feeling uncertain, and he shared what his experience was. As I listened, I saw where my behavior was a pattern I’d put in place for safety as a small child, maybe as a four year old.  Our unique constellation in that moment enabled us both to see a place where we unconsciously moved away from intimacy, from honest connection with ourselves and with another.

These conversations showed me where I was framing the other person as an object, a thing in my life, rather than as a subject, a person with their own reality, a beloved Thou.

I notice that the more the veils in front of my eyes drop away, the more I see the preciousness of life.  This preciousness is so exquisitely tender and powerful that it’s a bit scary. It’s so full that it can be overwhelming, asking me to relax into an even deeper yes, let my heart break open ever more, and welcome yet more intimacy with life.

The Cortisol Downward Spiral (or How Moving To Georgia Saved My Life)

I’m sharing this in the hope that it may help others and possibly save someone years of suffering.  And by suffering I mean everything from depression to cancer, loss of interest in life to dementia, auto-immune diseases to osteoporosis, arthritis to chronic fatigue, inability to sleep, weight gain, thyroid dysfunction, constant sickness, general malaise, inability to work, hair loss, thoughts of suicide, brain fog, chronic inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, diabetes, memory problems, and all manner of other afflictions.

I am not implying that (what I’m calling) the cortisol downward spiral is the *only* cause of the above, rather, the body’s inability to down-regulate cortisol, over time, can cause be a primary causative factor in any or all of the above.

Cortisol is a resource intensive hormone that the body produces in response to stress.  It is a fight or flight hormone, which means it’s really important.  It could be the difference between living and dying! Because of this, it has a powerful effect on the body/mind complex, and has a dampening and depleting effect on many of the normal and regulatory body processes. This is a normal and good process when a bear is headed your way. However, if the stress/fear/anxiety is ongoing, the body continues to produce the cortisol to the detriment of other body systems.

cortisol

 

What starts as a prolonged high level of cortisol then becomes adrenal fatigue, and new symptoms arise.  Here is a sample list.

By the time I moved to Georgia, I was exhausted all the time.  My brain was slow and foggy. I couldn’t read and retain information.  I couldn’t exercise.  I would barely muster the energy to do minimally life sustaining tasks, such as cooking meals and paying bills.  I had many symptoms besides the brain fog.  A continuous low level pain existed in all my joints.  I put on weight, even though I didn’t eat that much. I couldn’t sleep through the night because I would wake up after 90 minutes, then it could take hours to get back to sleep. Of course the lack of adequate sleep made everything worse.

I have always had a low threshold for noise. Minor inconveniences were barely tolerable to me.  I would tell my friend James (who pointed this out to me regularly) that life is just so damn hard as it is… I can’t take anything else that brings more stress or pressure.

I didn’t realize how sick and non-functional I was. I just knew that my life felt significantly harder than others’ lives, and I attributed it to childhood trauma.  If you’ve followed me on Facebook for a while, you know that I think the ACE test (Adverse Childhood Experience test) is a powerful tool to help identify at-risk children at a young age, intervene, and prevent a lifetime of illness and dysfunction. Having experienced my own childhood trauma (like so many others) I created adaptive behaviors that kept me always on the lookout for danger and always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I was always ready for fight or flight.

stress
Before my arrival in Georgia, several of my friends here had begun living a “Bulletproof” lifestyle to varying degrees.  As I read Dave Asprey’s blog posts I hoped that this would help me.  I started taking the supplements and nutrients that Dave recommended, and within a couple of weeks, I was feeling significantly better.  I felt like the tide had begun to turn.

At that point I started to have a bit of life force and energy to do more reading and research.  I soon realized that many of my physical symptoms were those of leaky gut syndrome.  I read everything I could, further shifted my diet, and learned about functional medicine.

As one of the small percentage of people who fell through the cracks in health care, I had been uninsured since 2011. Since I could only work minimal hours as a consultant, I was unable to procure my own insurance. Through the generosity of family, I was offered a visit to a functional medicine doctor.  I got recommendations, did research and ended up at a doctor several hours from my home.

This is where I learned about the cortisol spiral.  And I learned about the myriad things that were going wrong in my system. I began a rigorous regime including multiple supplements, conventional medicines, homeopathic treatments, IV treatments, light therapy, chiropractic and diet modification.

Today, a month since my first visit to the clinic, I’m feeling better every day.  I have moments of sensing the sharp intelligence I had as a child now returning.  My brain works again – and I feel my clarity and ability to process information improving. My body is getting more flexible, the inflammation in my joints is decreasing, and I have started having energy to exercise.

Moving to Georgia probably saved my life. I don’t know that I would have gotten the treatment and care I needed while I was in the Bay. Certainly it is there, but for whatever reason, I had to come here to find it.

 

Brain Food – aka – How I’m Coming Back from the Walking Dead

Why can’t you just get a job?

Every time I spoke with my mom, she’d ask me, “How are things coming on the work front?” I would cringe, not knowing how to respond in a way that she’d finally understand. My family (especially mom, who’s been emotionally, and sometimes financially, supporting me) has been worried, wondering what’s wrong with me.  They haven’t understood why I couldn’t work. And I didn’t either. I just knew I couldn’t physically do it.

I think if I’d had medical insurance I might have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or something similar.

Walking Through Molasses

Friends and family had no idea how I struggled to get through the days, how sluggish, and non-functional I was. Connecting with others was nourishing, but then it would take time – days often- to recover from the exhaustion that social contact created.

I feel like I’m a computer with 16 GB of RAM, that was infected by a virus that kept it running at 500 MB.  You can see that there was not a lot of capacity there!  Thankfully, now I’m back to running at 4 GB and the contrast is stark.

As my health is coming slowly back online, I’m realizing the extent of the ramifications of not knowing what was going on, and I’m starting to feel good about what lies ahead.

The actual possibility of a flourishing life in the world exists in a way that it hasn’t since I was a young child.

What have I been doing?

  • Supplements
  • Diet
  • Brain Food
  • Yoga
  • Daily Personal Meditation
  • Group Practice and Meditation

For this blog post, I’ll cover the first three:  supplements, diet, and brain food.

I’m taking a handful of supplements listed below.  I introduced them over a two month period, and I believe that this has been one of the most critical aspects of my healing. Many vitamins and supplements are not high quality, and are not effective.  These supplements are targeted, most are relatively inexpensive, and they are from quality producers.  As I streamlined my diet, the extra nutrition had time to work and heal me, until there came a tipping point – suddenly, there’s a huge difference in my health. I’m only touching on this lightly here, but I truly believe the benefits of these supplements can not be overstated.

My eating plan is pretty simple.  It’s my own version of the Bulletproof Diet, informed by the Paleo AIP (Auto Immune Protocol) Diet. (I.e., no sugar, no nightshades, no dairy, no gluten, etc.)

Nootropics (aka brain optimizers)

I also started taking a nootropic called oxaloacetate which I believe has been a significant part of getting my brain back online. Nootropics are targeted supplements designed to improve or increase brain activity in very specific ways.  This particular nootropic is a brain detoxifier and was advertised to clear brain fog, so I felt it was worth a shot. And, wow! The results are in. 🙂

Note: The recommended dose is one capsule of 100 mg of oxaloacetate (which is combined with 150 mg of vitamin C in many formulations).  I took one capsule the first day I received it, having no idea what to expect, and felt like I was on an acid trip for the next 12 hours. I slept much of the next day, but by the third day, I was craving more.  I read more about oxaloacetate online, and decided it was a good craving, not a bad one, and took a half a capsule.  Still too much.  And yet I was feeling something good happening in my brain. It was as if lights were coming on that had been off for a long time.  Each day after taking it I was more clear, and my brain felt more alive, so I went down to a third of a capsule, and this is what I’ve been taking since then.

I wasn’t able to locate any products with this amount of oxaloacetate (pronounced ox·a·lo·as·i·tate), so I simply purchased V-caps (empty capsules) then split the drug into three portions and fill my own V-caps.

There are a lot of other effective nootropics, and I don’t know why everyone isn’t taking some form of this health booster, life maximizer.  There is DRAMATIC difference in my health since I’ve changed my diet, added supplements and nootropics.

What’s ahead?

As I said, I’m up to 4 GB out of 16, so there’s still a journey ahead to real health, but now the road is open, vast, spacious, filled with opportunity and possibility.  I’m super excited.  Sure, there may be some potholes, but I’m much more prepared than ever before, and… I actually have jet fuel for the trip!

I welcome your comments below.

Much love!

Read these recommendations to find out the many of the reasons why I chose the specific products.  I also did much of my own research to find out more.

And, these two nootropics :

Other supplements not on the above list:

Hope, Self-Love and Inspiration

 

I came for a practice.  I moved to Georgia to practice with a community of beautiful very human beings – to do the deep, powerful and intense work that rang a clarion call so strong and loud that I had to leave my beloved Bay.  Our practice blows me open further, deeper, wider.  Our group is healing, living, loving, changing. The shifts are palpable, sometimes tumultuous, and always leading to a fuller inhabiting of both my human and divine natures. We are delving into explorations at the edges of consciousness, and finding ourselves in unmapped territory.  It’s very exciting.

And…

Simultaneously, the last three months have been a blur of sleep, pain, aching, brain fog and more sleep.  Thoughts of “the end of suffering” have not been uncommon.  And by the end of suffering, I mean death. Not a plan, but rather a looking forward.

I struggled to get out of bed most days. I struggled to make decisions.  I struggled to even get dressed many days, let alone attempt to create work for myself. That seemed completely out of the realm of possibility. Forget about blog writing. That, too, was just not in the cards. With no energy and no desire, I just couldn’t see any way out of the darkness. Going to practice was all that I was really interested in doing.  That and a few calls with friends from the Bay with whom I could reconnect and drop into loving spaciousness.

One thing I was able to do over the last three months was to completely shift my diet and slowly integrate handful of beneficial nutritional supplements.  I have only eaten out twice since living in Georgia, and I’m doing all my cooking at home. I’ve reestablished my daily yoga practice.

One would think with this degree of healthy, organic eating, and other beneficial changes that I’d be feeling well – on top of my game.  That wasn’t happening, and I was getting more and more discouraged.

I came to the conclusion that I was in a period of “plateau” – a period of intense inner transformation that needed rest on the body level to complete, and that I’d simply have to ride it out, finally coming to peace with the idea.

Then, last Friday night, I felt a bad headache coming on – on top of the generalized pain in my back, neck, hips, wrists and hands that I’d been living with daily, so I took some ibuprofen.

Two hours later I was clear, energized, joint pain gone, headache and brain fog gone, and I even had some creative ideas about sharing my work with people.

Mind officially blown.

Taking an anti-inflammatory COMPLETELY shifted my gross/subtle (physical) body and changed my chemistry; it fully, utterly shifted my relationship to what I was experiencing.

After quite a bit of research, I’ve come to believe that I’ve been in a full-fledged auto-immune type of inflammatory response for an extended period of time (many years) which was exacerbated by the stress of my move.

My brain is working again! And I can’t wait to start running again, as the inflammation clears more fully from my body.

On a gross level, I’m researching diets, learning about what types of food cause this type of inflammation, and scheduling an appointment with a functional medicine doctor who specializes in auto-immune inflammation.

On a subtle/causal level… well that’s interesting… During meditation, there was a sudden insight that rang deeply true in my being that this inflammation is a war I’m raging against myself.  I saw an image of the battle, and it became clear that I turned resentment inward against myself for being flawed and imperfect, and that for full healing, it’s critical that I purposefully practice self-love and self-kindness.  I’m working on a few different practices that I can implement that will help me move deeper into this, and away from the self-critical, self-destructive behavior.

As is my usual Modus Operandi, I’ll come at this with a multi-dimensional, multi-pronged attack.  (Hmmm… interesting metaphor…)

I recently heard Jeff Salzberg and Keith Witt on the “Shrink and the Pundit” series.  They discussed Keith’s belief that the shift from first to second tier living (stages of consciousness) is the shift from a fear based- to a love based- operating system.  Hearing that felt psycho-active in its own way, as if this knowledge was what was needed to deepen the shift.

I also listened to Patricia Albere’s call on Liminality a few days ago.  In it, she discusses how miracles are more likely when we’re open, available, resting our awareness, our consciousness in liminal space. The liminal is the barely perceptible space – just beyond the edge of one’s awareness.  It’s that unique space that exists simultaneously on both sides of a threshold, the place where something isn’t a particle or a wave – it’s both. When we are rigid in our beliefs and have hard structures in ourselves that we wall off – when we’re emotionally, physically, psychologically closed – we’re not as likely to notice unexpected, implausible possibility and potential.  The more we operate from a liminal space – the more space there is for wonderful things to show up.

I feel as if a miracle has just happened, in the brief window of clarity the other night.

I have a plan, I have a strategy, I have openness and possibility, and I have an amazing group of friends around me, deeply supporting and loving me into ever greater wholeness.  How can miracles not happen?

Slowing down

Six weeks here.  I’m on the edge of an interesting warp in time.

The sweet clerk Keisha, in her beautiful Georgia drawl said, “don’t worry, they’ll send someone up to the other register.” She asked me about my day, and said, “you’re not from around here, are you!”  She stepped out from behind the counter and enveloped me before I left, a generous warm hug with a genuine smile.  She said, “Augusta is happy to have you. You’ll do well here.” And she meant it.

The people are friendly and polite, and it is sincere.  There’s an interest, a kindness that is disarming. Passersby say excuse me, and smile. Strangers ask questions with curiosity.  People aren’t rushing.

GAtrees

And it’s not just the people that are moving more slowly. The earth invites me to slow down.  The tall evergreens hide the sky with their sparse stillness and cocoon me in place.  There’s not much to see, not much to look at.  Skinny matchsticks everywhere.  It could feel like jail, but mostly it doesn’t.  It feels safe, quiet, slow, still.

My body tells me it’s time to slow down. Periods of needing days of rest, and general malaise, followed by openings of life and vitality that I haven’t experienced in decades.  I’m listening.

And my practice invites me to slow down.  The more I experience the vast infinite presence of potential and possibility, the more I know myself as unbounded freedom and stillness, the more I live as the non-separate, compassionate wisdom that is everything, the slower my life as Elizabeth in Georgia becomes.

Cosmos