1 It has been said that there is a kind of peace that is not of this world. How is it recognized? How is it found? And being found, how can it be retained? Let us consider each of these questions separately, for each reflects a different step along the way.
2 First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. It brings with it no past associations. It is a new thing entirely. There is a contrast, yes, between this thing and all the past. But strangely, it is not a contrast of true differences. The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything.
3 How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. In this condition, peace cannot be found. Therefore, forgiveness is the necessary condition for finding the peace of God. More than this, given forgiveness there must be peace. For what except attack will lead to war? And what but peace is opposite to war? Here the initial contrast stands out clear and apparent. Yet when peace is found, the war is meaningless. And it is conflict now that is perceived as nonexistent and unreal.
4 How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. Now must you once again lay down your sword, although you do not recognize that you have picked it up again. But you will learn, as you remember even faintly now that happiness was yours without it, that you must have taken it again as your defense. Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die?
5 Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape, because it is not life in which the problem lies. Life has no opposite, for it is God. Life and death seem to be opposites because you have decided death ends life. Forgive the world, and you will understand that every thing that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is.
6 What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours. Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? The Will of God is One and all there is. This is your heritage. The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belongs to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him.
Though I know not Your perfect plan,
I walk in the steps of it in perfect faith
Your Love is present and felt,
Even in the midst of my agony
Your Grace carries me through this world
Even while I am in the shackles of this broken body
I pray for your Mercy.
I had been trying to get to my parent’s house for the past two years. Trying to make it out there to see if it would be a tolerable environment for me to take safe haven in as my disease was clearly not letting up, in fact I endured many worsenings and new injuries from the medical system. I think I am in a space of acceptance. I have fought this illness with everything I had for 14 years now. I know down to my marrow that I did everything I could do to heal myself, and yet here I was, at 38 years young, declining and needing the assistance of a caregiver and many caring friends and family.
The stages of grief are never linear for anyone, regardless of what or who they are grieving. But typically the griever has the luxury of closure, conclusion, an end of some kind. This may take the form of their own death, or a death of a loved one, an end of a marriage or stage of life. With chronic illness you go through the stages of grief over and over again. Though, I had endured so many of the stages, depression, bargaining, and denial, I never ever came to a place of acceptance. For me, this was never an option. I just knew I would overcome what was eating away at my body. I never lost steam for that mission until about a year and a half ago. I finally, and for the first time, said to myself, “I might not actually get better, and maybe that is ok”.
Many people are not ok with me accepting that I am not well and may never be. If I had cancer or some other disease more easily processed by the intellects of my friends and family, this might be seen as a good thing, a place where my ailing body and soul could be at peace with what simly IS. I also find a lot of resistance from supposed positive and new age thinkers. “Well, if you don’t think you can get better, then you won’t”. I sort of chuckle when well meaning people say this to me, and yes there is an element of hurtfulness to these comments and concepts. Essentially they all indicate that I am choosing to be ill in some way or another, which essentially makes me a failure.
For many years I felt like I had failed because I had set out to cure myself, and I was not cured. I cleansed my body, my emotions, my very soul. I had literally travelled to the edges of the world to heal myself, yet the physical symptoms of this disease have not gone. Constantly fighting was not working, on any level for me any longer. I thought, what if I just let go of everything and just be with what is? This lifted a huge amount of internal stress that was living inside me. The giving over of my life to the Will of God, in every way, allowed me to finally let go of “I should be doing this” or “I could be doing that”. The fact was I spent most of my day in bed, I had very little energy to do anything with, and that this entire thing was not in my control. Therefore, how could I have failed myself? If you have tried, but not succeeded are you a failure?
One of the things that really got to me throughout this process has been the feeling of being a failure. I had made a singular mission, to which I dedicated every ounce of my being and focus for 12 years, as well as every extra cent of money. If I stopped everything and just looked honestly at where I stood, I clearly saw that I had failed my mission. That was just the truth of it. Our cultural focus on accomplishment was seared into my deep subconscious, and finally I saw how this brought me so much suffering. I never got to really go through the stages of applying my knowledge to a career. I was able to finish my degree in Social Work, but the stress of having pushed through to get that degree broke my body down, and as I entered my Master’s degree program, I nearly passed out in the first of my classes. I had to take a medical leave. That was in 2009.
So here I am in 2016, not really having moved much or accomplished anything by our world’s standards. Nor had I accomplished the feat of healing my body back to functionality so I could meet my survival needs, be a contributing member of society, and fulfill my lifelong dream of being of service to my fellow humans in the ways I had imagined. I instead became the burden that so many gripe about. I became the recipient of the welfare programs, I became the one who needed food stamps. I became a person in constant need. I became the person I was going to help. I was supposed to be the helper! This was not the natural order of things. Something had gone terribly wrong. Or had it?
When I began to dip my toe in the pool of acceptance, which has been an ongoing process for me, I was able to let some of the ideas about what my life should be go. I have always wondered what the difference between surrendering and giving up are when applied to illness. It seems like “Surrender” is a good word, we like that term, when you surrender something good is happening and you are in a space of allowing what is to emerge. But “giving up”, those are bad words, that is something we don’t do as Americans, and we certainly don’t do that as Spiritually awake and conscious beings. In my acceptance, I was able to surrender many thoughts and beliefs about myself. I was able to not be triggered by the judgments of others, if not just for moments at a time. The relief I felt permeated areas of my being I didn’t know were being hijacked by “my fight against Lyme.”
I suppose the difference is when you surrender, you still work to treat your body and symptoms for relief and comfort, but you are unattached to the outcome of those works. I have surrendered to what is. I have not given up, but I am beginning to surrender and accept what has happened to me and where I am at in life. This has brought in a fresh energy for me. It has made room for all kinds of new perspectives to come in that are life affirming, and self-affirming in the face of still being ill. Maybe I can still be valuable. Maybe I am contributing in ways that aren’t recognized with paychecks or accolades. In fact, perhaps there are some blessings here that have graced my life that would never have been had I not become so sick.
I realized that I have been able to be what I sometimes refer to in levity as a “free radical”, just getting to kind of float about in time and space and land wherever God willed me to be. I am available for the 2 hour phone calls with fellow Lymies, to be the shoulder to cry on. To be the one who understands. Yes, I get to do that, what a great honor! I have had the space to go deep into Spiritual study and practice, to meditate, to pray. I get to express my devotion to the Beloved at a pace that is natural, and allows me to gain a momentum in the direction of Spirit that takes time, often in a way I find comparable to the life of a monk or nun. Time that people working 9-5 simply don’t have. I have had the space and opportunity to explore dimensions of my deep Self, to see my ego, to work on my character. Illness has been a container for my personal and spiritual growth. They say that you can only meet people who are suffering to the depths that you yourself have suffered. Because of the depths I have gone to, I am able to truly be a place where other’s suffering can be heard and understood, or at least I hope to be.
When I finally got here to my parent’s house in August, I went from no outdoor space at all, to a practical sanctuary of nature my dad had created out of his backyard. As far as backyards go, being from Las Vegas you are used to a 5 x 10 concrete square for your “outdoor space”, not to mention it is 110 degrees out there with very little as far as trees and creatures, so being outside is not really that enjoyable there unless you can get out to somewhere like Red Rock (and don’t get me wrong, I love Vegas, it has all it’s own uniqueness). But here, in Southern California, the beautiful weather and the relatively large backyard space is just such a gift. It has been wonderful to spend hours of my day outside and enjoying the beauty and gifts of nature.
The one special spot in the backyard is my mother’s area where she goes to enjoy a smoke. It is a two-seater swing under this beautiful Weeping Willow Tree. It is technically a Pepper Tree, but for visual effect I will call it a weeping willow because it’s branches and leaves hang just like a willow. My mom has a special connection with Trees. She can feel their energy, and I believe she passed this gift onto me, it is a special thing we share together. It is just one aspect of our Empathic nature (another blog for this).
My first week here I would go to sit under it and would feel a drop of water fall on my arm or hand, and I would see little droplets of liquid coming from the leaves of the tree. I got up to look at the sky to see if there were any signs that it was raining, but sure enough the sky was clear as could be. I forgot about it, then a few days later, sitting under the Tree I felt more drops on my arm. My mom came out to sit with me and I asked her if she ever noticed that the Tree expressed little droplets of water?
She said “yes, this Tree cries.” I was taken aback. I said, “what do you mean it cries, why does it cry?” She replied, “well, this Tree is very old and knows what the Humans are doing to the Earth and to one another, and because of that it cries”. She believes that it protects her from some of the harshness of the world, just sitting under it’s wise old branches. That it carries some of the sadness of the world. This brought me to tears. I instantly felt a great love and connection with this Tree, The Crying Tree. That moment, my mother and I went to get some water as an offering to this beautiful being who creates a space of beauty and protection under which our sensitive souls can sit and just be. A soft place in a harsh world. I guess in many ways we are all grieving for something, even the trees. It is a time in our world where there is much to grieve for.
I often remember an article I read by Ram Dass that was about Trees. He said we look at trees and they are crooked and go in this and that direction, but we never question why it is the way it is. So why do we do that with people? Why can’t we look at people the same way we look at Trees, with an automatic acceptance?
Under the Crying Tree is a place where I can accept what is and be accepted. I sit under it everyday, and feel as though I am in a chrysalis of love. A place where my acceptance of myself, exactly the way I am, is being born. What, if not this, is healing?
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I have been seeing so many lyme patients expressing a need for help due to developing interstitial cystitis, which is especially painful and difficult to deal with. I know because I have had it for many years. It comes and it goes just as most lyme symptoms or complications do. However for some of us the distinct pain in the bladder and urethra can last for months and be extremely debilitating. It also prevents you from having a normal sex life, ouch.
Because of the limited help that western medicine can give to IC patients, I once again turned to my herbal allies for relief. While I prefer to work with natural medicine, let me be clear, in no way do I think allopathic or western medicine is useless. Many times we do need that 10 day script of antibiotics to bring relief. But, when the problem becomes chronic, I usually find a way that does not harm my body in the long run. So I began my research (phase 1) several years ago into remedies for bladder pain and how to prevent/cure infections because it started to become so severe for me. This pain has to be one of the worst types I have dealt with in 14 years of walking the strange and scary path of lyme disease.
This took a great deal of research, then experimentation, then failure, repeat. Until finally I found just the right combination of modalities, and one herb specifically that has been a total miracle in dealing with the nightmare of IC. And now I want to share with you what I have found, to save you the time and money, and more importantly , the pain. After several years of experimentation, the following formula is what I came to..and it not only works, but it works wonders.
Lyme IC formula:
Can be used by people with only IC.
Marshmallow Root, she is the star of the IC relief protocol! She is inexpensive, and beautifully harmless. You must obtain true marshmallow root, dry, from an herbal store either in your area or online. I use Herbally Grounded here in Las Vegas. But they buy their herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs online, so I assume you can get bulk marshmallow from them. Please do not even try to buy capsules or supplements with marshmallow, they will not do the trick and will be a waste of your time and money. You need the true bulk plain herb. Here is a picture for your reference.
Get 32 ounce glass mason jars. Marshmallow has an affinity for the bladder. It is mucilaginous meaning it produces a slimy beneficial and protective coating for your tissues, especially the bladder. It has been used to heal IC, but is somehow not truly popular. It also does not give a herxheimer reaction, that many herbs can give because most of them have some sort of antimicrobial properties and that can effect the lyme. This herb can be taken by someone with lyme with no problems with die off. However, you must be sure to drink a lot of water cause it can make you feel a little dehydrated when used regularly. So drink your water.
Marshmallow root cold water infusion (preferable method, though you can make a tea if in a hurry. The cold water infusion is superior for marshmallow because it pulls the mucilage more than the starch with cold water. The tea pulls more starch, which is not necessarily bad, but the less starch/sugars the better when dealing with lyme and yeast.
Marshmallow Root Cold Water Infusion Recipe:
32 0z glass mason jar
1 cup of marshmallow root
fill jar to rim with room temperature purified water
leave sit for 4-10 hours
Refrigerate in glass jar
Drink as needed
Begin drinking 1- 4 glasses of marshmallow infusion daily for 2 weeks or until you are pain free. Once you have established it’s presence in your system you can go down to about 1 glass a day, for a time. Then use as needed when you feel a flare coming on, or one cup daily for 6 months for long term healing of the bladder lining.
For me, this herb works nearly instantly, relieves the pain in the bladder lining as well as the distinctly painful urethra razor blade feeling, you know what I’m talkin about if you have read this far.
D-Mannose, VERY IMPORTANT Step:
Upon flare or infection, begin 1 full teaspoon in 8 ounces of water EVERY HOUR! I have found D-Mannose to help a great deal and is one of the most important elements in my arsenal. Have it on hand at all times. Take every hour until flare is completely gone, along with the other elements of this protocol. Then, take at least one or two teaspoons a day in water for many months, maybe for a year or more during healing.
My latest addition is Homeopathy, and this is what is really working for me. However, the Marshmallow and D-Mannose are KEY to successfully becoming symptom free.
(This is how I apply the Banerji Protocol for Cystitis)
Medorrhinum 200c – 2x Daily
Cantharis 200c – alternate with Medorrhinum 2 doses Daily (an hour apart)
Staphysagria 200c- One dose Every 3 Days
Once you are symptom free, continue with one dose of each daily for 2 months beyond that point.
A Note about my Journey with Homeopathy:
Earlier in this blog I mention the use of antibiotics. I am going to leave the earlier part there for those who may actually need to use them. However, for me, STOPPING antibiotics for infection was part of my journey to really healing. Summer of 2016 I began studying and using homeopathy and have not need 1 antibiotic since thanks to homeopathic remedies. I highly encourage IC sufferers to get urinalysis test strips and have them on hand along with ALL the other components in this formula. Being prepared is the only way to avoid antibiotics. Since last summer, I have healed 3 separate flare ups of my IC, that were infections, with the above protocol. I used the test strips (I bought a bottle of 100, 10 parameter test strips from Amazon) to see if I had infections, and to monitor as I used the homeopathic remedies to make sure I was actually clearing up. Now, my bladder is healing because I am not using antibiotics, I believe they are part of what causes IC. My IC started with multiple ongoing infections, treated with (usually macrobid), but they kept coming back, then I had pain all the time. It was only once I began using homeopathy FOR the bladder infections that I really began to heal. I am currently symptom free with an occasional flare, which I then treat with the above protocol.
If you would like additional help with your healing process, you can email me @ email@example.com. If you use this protocol and are successful in your healing, I give this knowledge freely, but I do ask that in return you share your success with me. I am pursuing homeopathy professionally and would like to know if this formula actually helps others! Many blessings in your healing.
An Additional Step:
For the ladies with more difficult cases, I have used this remedy, try a yogurt plus acidophilus vaginal insert:
Buy Bulgarian Plain Yogurt, or any other live active plain (zero sugar) yogurt with live cultures. We aren’t talkin about Yoplait here people.
Get your acidophilus powder
Put about 3 Tbsps of yogurt in a cup, combine with a teaspoon of acidophilus powder. Let sit until room temp with a paper towel over it.
Get needleless syringes from your local pharmacy
Once the yogurt combo is room temp (about 30 minutes), use syringe to suck up the mixture, insert into vagina. Try to do this at night so you can sleep with it and then shower in the am. This can work wonders for a case that is persistent after antibiotic use. Or if your case is just severe, add this piece to the above protocol. This helps to repopulate the beneficial bacteria in the vagina and can help with yeast which is sometimes part of the IC equation.
Dealing with Pain While You Heal
Kratom– I have used this during flares very successfully to bring relief. While you are applying the protocol, you can and should find ways to get relief. Kratom was an affordable, reliable, natural herb that would immediately or within 5-10 minutes bring relief. This is so important for your state of mind because the burning pain in the bladder often creates a great deal of anxiety. Kratom is currently legal in the US. I use 1/4 teaspoon in about 6 ounces hot water, drink the ground herb along with it. You can use more as you find how it effects you, but start with a very small amount, otherwise you may have a bad experience and not find the benefits of this plant.
Baking Soda– A bit of baking soda in water often alleviated the intense burning for me when I needed it.
Alkaline Water– When I would have a flare, I would often run and get a few gallons of alkalized water. They carry it at your local grocery store. This works in a similar way to the baking soda. I really feel it helped me during tough times.
Cannabis– Oil and smoke can both help for relief if cannabis doesn’t bring on anxiety for you. Something to consider. I use it for many symptoms and it is a very helpful ally.
Coffee and Tea substitutes:
You can order ground chickory root and use it just like instant coffee. But if you are having symptoms and have not eliminated coffee, tea, alcohol, or soda you need to. These are known triggers and should be eliminated along with food sensitivities.
If you would like a personal consult about your situation I offer them for 45.00. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
All that is required Is your presence.
You are more than your form. Like whispers.
Be still into the graces of your treacherous journey.
Your vast ever changing landscape.
We breathe together connected by a thread unwanted.
A path of hot coals and lessons.
We get to see life as if only through the pane of a rear view mirror and crooked.
With our view cloaked and our road long we rise again and again into the rising sun.
Our pipes are cashed, but all that is required is our presence.
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My journey with cannabis for lyme began about 7 years ago, and about 3 years ago I learned about the oil (you can read my article Cannabis Oil, Shifting the Paradigm below) Since then, much has been experienced and learned. I began the first facebook lyme and cannabis group in 2013 and we have since gathered a tremendous amount of information, as well as there are now other groups for lyme and cannabis hard at work gathering more. Due to a very long and in depth journey with this healing plant, much wisdom and information about the process of using it has been gained, however, there is no “perfect formula” or “standardized treatment” for using cannabis.
Currently I am only smoking cannabis and using a transdermal preparation. I still must take breaks from treatment with the oil itself due to herx reactions, which is where I am at now, on a break. But I continue to heal. Even with cannabis it is a deep spiritual, physical, and emotional process, not a quick fix. It is better to learn your way by developing a relationship with the energy of the plant and with your own body and your own intuition than to follow any one’s rules for using it, though initial research and guidance from more experienced users (best to find others using it for lyme) are a good way to find starting guidelines. Lyme does not neatly fit into the cannabis protocol developed by Rick Simpson (please do not attempt that type of dosing), nor do we do well with the solvent he uses, from what I have seen over time. Cannabis has not cured me, but continues to help me. And with lyme we need all of the non-harmful help we can get. I believe that managing symptoms and discomfort are as important as battling the disease itself. I no longer subscribe to a “grin and bare it” attitude about herxing.
There are many emotions that arise when utilizing cannabis, and this is a very important piece of the healing puzzle. Working with our emotions, past memory, trauma, fear, anxiety, and bad habits are fundamental to the process of healing lyme. I have often seen many who feel the strong emotions that arise when using cannabis and think they are a “side effect” and I do not think this is the case. I think it is more a matter of the latent emotions which are stored “come up” for purification. And in this sense I have experienced cannabis as a strong emotional healer as well as a fine physical companion.
Cannabis can be used for lyme in so many ways, it is not limited to smoke. It can be used as multiple types of oils, infusions as well as concentrates. It can be vaporized, used transdermally, it can be eaten in foods, and it can be used raw by juicing the leaves of the plant (though this has proven to be the most difficult to access).
Cannabis continues to bring me comfort, ease, support, healing, and relief from suffering. It helps me sleep better, eat better, and de-stress. It is a blessing on this very difficult journey. I encourage anyone who is beginning their path to learn as much as they can, and to really rely on the advice of others with lyme who are experienced in using cannabis second only to their own inner guidance and intuition. Go slow, start slow, remember it is a process and respect the potency and the power of the medicine. Taking breaks is ok. I do it all the time and find “pulsing” the medicine to be best for me, that may not be true for you, and you should do what your body needs. The links below should help you along your journey and orient you to some of the general yet progressive cannabis info.
Links to my article and a radio interview specifically on Cannabis for Lyme
Vegascannabismag.com article “Cannabis Oil, Shifting the Paradigm” Page 20-21
Blog Talk Radio “High Noon” Discussion Cannabis for lyme disease
Other helpful and important links for Cannabis specific healing:
A place to begin, Run From the Cure the Rick Simpson Story
RAW juicing of cannabis, Kristen Courtney’s story
Cannabis International, views cannabis as dietary essential
Shona Banda’s story and method, she healed herself from Chron’s with Cannabis Oil
Colorado Dispensary article on ACT therapy Advanced Cannabinoid Therapy
About our Endocannabinoid System that is now being discovered
For further information please join one of the cannabis for lyme groups on facebook
Another wonderful cannabis for lyme group
A Love Note to my fellow medicine men and woman
The “others” are beginning to come out of their caves and down from the high planes and quietudes of the montain ranges and peaks. The Masters of tomorrow are coming from the valley of the shadow of death into the daylight of this dimension to sing their medicine to the people connected by strings of light to exact our roles in geometric formation sacred beyond the times of the ancients. I danced in a pow wow from 10,000 years ago to which I belonged. I was home with the ancestors. Viva the ancestors! I see you. I love you. I honor you. The Awakening was a seed I had faith in, but now it is a strong seedling with roots that are spreading with strength and swiftness across the landscape of consciousness. Water. Nourish. Build. The medicine people are back and to you all I offer a song of gratitude and a feather from White Hawk medicine for your alters. As your songs are why I can live and take one more step forward with a shining heart.
Inspired by “Build a bridge” by Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People….loving their music and message