Shivoham – Tree of Knowledge – Music. Calming/Prayerful

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Prayer for Mercy.

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.

Amen.

Under the Crying Tree: Grieving and Acceptance

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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?

 

Protected: Lyme and Interstitial Cystitis: My formula for relief

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Lyme Poem: Whispers

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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Cannabis for Lyme Disease

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cannaleafCannabis use is a Process, not a silver bullet. But it is a worthy process to go through.

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

http://issuu.com/vegascannabismagazine/docs/vegas_cannabis_magazine_oct_2014

Blog Talk Radio “High Noon” Discussion Cannabis for lyme disease

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/papsite-radio/2013/12/14/high-noon–cannabis-oil-lyme-disease

Other helpful and important links for Cannabis specific healing:

A place to begin, Run From the Cure the Rick Simpson Story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0psJhQHk_GI

RAW juicing of cannabis, Kristen Courtney’s story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xPmR8j4plw

Cannabis International, views cannabis as dietary essential

http://www.cannabisinternational.org/

Shona Banda’s story and method, she healed herself from Chron’s with Cannabis Oil

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_otUB7pVMA

Colorado Dispensary article on ACT therapy Advanced Cannabinoid Therapy

http://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/riverrock-colorados-largest-dispensary-2/

About our Endocannabinoid System that is now being discovered

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVS9QIzTT7k

For further information please join one of the cannabis for lyme groups on facebook

My group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/375646122538840/

Another wonderful cannabis for lyme group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1506598772889860/

 

Modern Medicine People- We have come to build a bridge

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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

 

Amanita Muscaria for Lyme: A little known pain killer

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amanitaFor so many years, 10 actually, I was in awful pain daily from chronic low back pain I had as well as from the myalgias and joint pain of lyme disease. In 2012 I was at a very low point due to my pain and I prayed to God to help me find a way. I was also suffering from daily nausea that was two years and counting. This combination of debilitating symptoms was simply too much for me. In Fall of 2012 I came upon a few plant medicines that really helped me. One of them, Amanita Muscaria or Fly Agaric, the famous mushroom depicted in Disney films and iconically known worldwide for its bright red cap and white dots, came into my consciousness and has since been one of my very favorite allies. It is an ally and not an inert plant. When I first started noticing it, I just had a feeling about it, I felt drawn to it. Then I found a woman who had lyme in the UK and had utilized this very plant ally as a remedy for some of her most daunting lyme disease symptoms, and especially pain. I flew through her entire blog with utter fascination and I knew I had to utilize this plant. I started to research more about the beautiful mushroom and what I found was no short of a trip down a rabbit hole, and a visit to wonderland. Not in the way you may be thinking.

I found that in Russia, it is utilized for it’s pain killing properties, and has been for eons. It has untold medicinal properties. In Siberian villages, it was used to help the elderly during the winter time for strength and endurance. The Vikings utilized it to become insensitive to pain and feel enormously strong against their conquests. The Shamans of Siberia utilized the mushroom in a sacramental way. In fact, some scholars have argued that it is the ancient Soma of the Rig Veda, and that most religions were channeled out of a sacred intoxication with this plant. While that idea tantalizes the mind, it is certainly too lofty to explore here. What I want to speak of is my experience with this plant, and how it helped me to become free of the plague of chronic pain, structural pain in my back due to disc bulging, as well as the myriad types of pain that lyme disease creates, muscular aches, shooting pains, migrating pain, joint pain. I have been freed of most all of these pains that I had before working with this medicine.

I obtained some mushroom specimens as well as a bit of tincture made from them. I began by eating very small amounts to see how I felt. A piece about the size of my thumbnail is what I took to begin, and I felt a slight change, and a few alterations in perception. I started to sweat a lot and felt extremely happy, and I also felt a distinct opening of my heart. It didn’t occur right from the start, but I continued experimenting with it in different forms. I made an oil from it, I heated it in butter, I soaked it in grape juice, I used the oil transdermally, and then I got my tincture. This, I put directly on my spine, where my back pain was. Key word is WAS. Over the next few weeks I started to notice I didn’t have any pain. If I would stop utilizing the mushroom, the pain would return. But one of the things that was so surprising to me, is after the initial few weeks of experimentation, I simply had to use 1 drop right on my spine and it took all my pain away for about a week. Even in areas where I did not put the drop. No back pain, no muscle aches, it was all just kind of gone. I still had some breakthrough pain in my neck and shoulders, but the majority of my pain was reduced to almost nothing. I came off of my pain medication I had taken for the past 7 years thanks to this friend in the plant kingdom, and I am still off of them completely as I still (Nov 2013, a year later) have no pain.

The pain reduction isn’t the only benefit I received from this plant. I had much more energy when I used it and I found my depression started to dissipate. I felt a definite sense of the Spirit realm and a connection to nature, yet I didn’t trip out or anything like that, but I did feel like the plant was communicating with me in various ways. I started to see it everywhere, and I also started to find a lot of amazing information on it, including others who had used it with success to heal everything from arthritic joints to severe lifelong depression. All of a sudden my friends started to see it everywhere, it was a very cool phenomenon. I continue to use this very sacred plant ally through tincture I make myself. I use it daily to take away the pain of living with lyme disease, as there has been a tolerance I have developed and I do need more now. I currently use about 5-8 drops on my spine per day.

The pain reduction qualities are so impressive with this plant, I started to wonder why we know nothing of it, why science isn’t figuring out how to make the best pain medicine that is totally non-addictive from it. I, mean, I had tried all of the medical industries “solutions” to pain, and YUK. It is a world fraught with despair and addiction, and often the pain becomes just as bad after you get used to their narcotics and you are still in pain, yet now you are an addict too. It is a dark world, and there is great need for the relief this plant brings.

When I started working with Amanita, It felt like I was developing a relationship with the energy and essence of it. There is no prescription for it. You must work with it and see how it responds to you individually, as well as use caution because it is an entheogen, and can be poisonous. So I started very cautiously and I do feel there was some adjustment my system had to make to it, like I had headaches at first after using it. But I no longer get them. I think that there is a detoxification process that it puts you through before revealing it’s gifts of pain annihilation, increased energy and stamina, and a happy disposition. I feel that there is a healing quality to it on top of it’s analgesic properties. Entheogens and sacramental plants are making their way back into the consciousness of the masses, and it is my belief that they hold many of the answers to our most pressing questions of health and healing, and can help us to become like the phoenix that rises from the ashes.

Here is a link to another blog describing it’s use in relationship to lyme disease

http://flyagarictincture.blogspot.com/

Letters for Lymies: A way to help from your bed

01-writing-a-letterHello all! Please help your fellow Lyme sufferers by writing to their senators on behalf of their disability claims. This is a way we can help each other even though we are tired and in bed most of the time! Often times people with Lyme are denied disability, that is very much needed and deserved, because of lack of evidence. One way to help fellow Lyme sufferers is to write to their senators on their behalf. The more letters received on a case, the more likely they will be successful in getting approved. My goal here is to have an “army” of Lymies, who are looking for ways to be of service to their community, signed up to be “letter writers”. If you are interested in becoming a letter writer email me  @ carpedium11@yahoo.com saying so and from this point on, we can all write letters on an as needed basis. I will write and publish the standard letter that can be sent out, and all you have to do is go to the websites for each Senator (two) and fill out the email form on their website with this letter and sign your name. Our first Lymie we will be helping is Cheryl Eibert and the following are links to her Senators

http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/ , http://www.billnelson.senate.gov/

In the subject line, be consistent, put– CHERYL EIBERT SSD CASE #7854191

Here is the letter to copy into your email:

Dear Senator,

I am writing on behalf of Cheryl Eibert and her disability claim. She is a facebook friend of mine within the context of the Lyme Disease community. I write on her behalf because she is extremely ill with Lyme Disease and multiple other related disorders. She cannot function due to this disease and has reached out to her community for assistance. I, myself, have Lyme Disease and know it’s devastating effects personally. I ask that you review her case and help her to quickly get approved for social security disability as she is facing homelessness and worsening of her diseases. She has no health insurance and truly needs this assistance. Her functioning is greatly impaired due to Lyme and related disorders and she cannot work due to this decline. Lyme disease is a multi-systemic infection that effects multiple systems in the body and makes functioning especially difficult in those who have had the disease for years, as is the case for Cheryl. The following are the ways she is unable to function in each category:

Marked restrictions to activities of daily living: 

Extreme Fatigue, unresolved by resting or sleeping for any amount of time, effects Cheryl’s ability to clean her home. Her house chores are often left undone due to fatigue, dizziness while standing, and arthritis of multiple joints which results in pain.

Cheryl’s ability to vacuum her home has diminished due to extreme low back, knee, and hip pain from Lyme disease

Sitting upright is no longer possible for any normal period of time due to the pain this causes her, which affects her abilities in most areas of daily living. This includes leaving her bedridden for most of the day.

Bending over, stooping and other activities are no longer possible for Cheryl due to extreme pain

 Marked restrictions to activities of social function:

Dizziness when attempting to communicate has made social interaction extremely difficult for her.

Cheryl has memory loss and this affects her ability to function in social conversation.

Cheryl often cannot leave her home due to Lyme disease, and this prohibits her from developing and maintaining normal or even limited social function with friends and loved ones.

Cheryl is often isolated because her ability to leave her home has diminished due to severe fatigue

Agitation and anger associated with Lyme disease have affected Cheryl’s relationships negatively

 Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistance, and pace:

Cheryl’s ADD, dizziness, and Lyme disease has created marked decline in her ability  to concentrate. She forgets what she is saying in mid-sentence and often cannot finish a task or even a movie due to lack of ability to concentrate.

Extreme fatigue and pain prevent Cheryl from being able to complete tasks in a timely manner.

Repeated episodes of decompensation:

Cheryl worked as a house cleaner for many years, but now cannot even stand up long enough to do her own dishes. Her own home is now too much for her to keep up, as she can no longer bend or stoop, she gets extremely dizzy and fatigued within 10 minutes of starting. She used to be able to do these things consistently and now she has decompensated to the point of being mostly bed bound.

Thank you for your consideration,

Lisa Sikes

Lyme Advocate