Monday, September 15, 2008

"Logic ridicules love, and love smiles knowingly at the whole foolishness of logic."---Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked."Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.""How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice."You must be," said the Cat, "or your wouldn't have come here."
---Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland [Lewis Carroll]

"Think with your Heart, Feel with your Mind"
---Rhonda Lipstein

"A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown."
---Denis Waitley

"It is fully practical to create that which has form in the silence. The noise art makes is usually heard by those whose lives listen to god. It is not adviseable to cheat that which has no other stake than the deeps and brights of all man."
---Kenneth Patchen

"If we walk in balance and travel in peace the divine creative energy of our soul will inspire others to journey into realms of sacred exploration."
---Michael Teal

"When the first chakra is disconnected from the feminine Earth, we can feel orphaned and motherless. The masculine principle predominates, and we look for security from material things. Individuality prevails over relationship, and selfish drives triumph over family, social and global responsibility. The more separated we become from the Earth, the more hostile we become to the feminine. We disown our passion, our creativity, and our sexuality. Eventually the Earth itself becomes a baneful place. I remember being told by a medicine woman in the Amazon, "Do you know why they are really cutting down the rain forest? Because it is wet and dark and tangled and feminine."
---Alberto Villoldo

"One cannot live a creative life without first letting go of the fear of being wrong."
---David Baird

"The pain in those chakras is meant to be felt; experienced. You are going to feel it (the sadness, and despair) move. It's part of the "push-through". The energy in the solar plexus, especially, needs to move...Balance. Practice. Meditating upon my form. These are three excellent spiritual practices to put my teachings in place. I want people to know that spirituality is a focus, a commitment, not a punishment. It's liberating."
---Kuan Yin

"If you think that peace and happiness are somewhere else and you run after them, you will never arrive. It is only when you realize that peace and happiness are available here in the present moment that you will be able to relax. In daily life, there is so much to do and so little time. You may feel pressured to run all the time. Just stop! Touch the ground of the present moment deeply, and you will touch real peace and joy."
---Thich Nhat Hahn

"Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment. "
---Dan Millman

"Accepting, allowing and interacting with your life as though it is exactly as it should be, without making yourself wrong (or right) for what you discover is it the way to Self-Realization."
---Arial Kane

"You can't put people in boxes, and you can't fit life into compartments."
---Toni Davis

"We must embrace the imperfection in our parents before we can embrace the imperfection in ourselves."
---Laura Teresa Marquez

"I don't know what I'll do, or what I'll become...only what I am."
---Paul Curran

"Love what is."
---Byron Katie

My mind has been to the heavens. My mind has been to hell. And I am still alive to depict such experiences. In fact, I would argue that my life was Divined so that I could lead others through their heavens and their hells---no matter how significant or how slight. I believe that I chose this particular path so that I could learn and teach about my Way and the Way of others.

Ok, you know what I am going to say. It is all about Love. And while that is so true, it is difficult for individuals to experience the love they want to experience---even expect to experience. And part of that is that people focus on romanticized versions of love. But part of it is that people aren't even sure what love is.

When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I began to strongly identify with Alice in Wonderland. Everything was craziness, and I was naive, so naive. I just felt constantly overwhelmed [Hence the Lewis Carroll quote at the beginning of this blog.] .

Psychiatric medicine, I have learned over the last 16 years, does not advocate for patient education. Medical checks between patients and their doctors last 15 minutes. Furthermore, many patients are not referred to a psychologist either. Patients are prescribed medications without any explanation. This often occurs in hospital settings that are filled with confusion and disturbance.

In 1994, I graduated with honors from University of Florida. So, I can say fairly confidently that I am pretty intelligent. I am classified in the top 40% of the people diagnosed with my disease because I am high functioning. However, I was relatively clueless about Bipolar Disorder until I returned from Hong Kong in 1998 [six years after my original diagnosis].

I went overseas thinking if I took my medication I was cured. [That is what I had been doing since being diagnosed.] I didn't know that if I missed a dose here or there I would fly into a rapid fire hypomanic or manic episode, or that I would dip into a clinical depression. At the very least I would have tidal wave mood swings. I didn't know that my disease was constantly cycling. I had no idea that if I messed around with the timing of when I would take my medications bad things could happen. I didn't fully understand the lithium levels I had to get periodically. I didn't realize how many different factors trigger episodes or what to do about them. I sure didn't get the full impact for my medications if I began drinking alcohol or taking caffeine---or for that matter drinking tap water filled with salt and random chemicals. I was ignorant.

When I was diagnosed, my then doctor looked at me intensely, and then said, "Don't go off your meds or it will be much worse for you." As a result, I lived in fear-driven compliance. I didn't understand what a psychotherapist was used for. I just thought they were around for me to talk with. I had experienced many professionals that did just that.

Yet when I returned to the States in the winter/spring of 1998, I began to learn the full scope of my illness. I was confused at first. I was disshelved. I didn't know what happened overseas. My mind raced and then plummeted a lot. I knew my meds got mixed up. But the reality of everything eluded me. I didn't begin to perceive the comprehensive view of my disease until I was home in Kansas for a couple months.

I went through two psychologists. The first woman was everything I didn't need. I was matched with her because she and I were both Christians. From what I could see, there was no other reason. In the midst of my mental chaos, I had to reach inside myself and find the strength to ask for a second psychologist. It was not easy and straightforward. I had to confront the woman first . I had to tell her she was not working for me. The woman was not egoless. She got upset. Wow! that was hard. I was so fragile and insecure at the time. But, eventually I was assigned a second psychologist and that person did work for me.

And she, also, helped me begin to piece together the concept of Bipolar Disorder---especially in terms of my personality. It was difficult. There were many tears. But I managed to accept my situation a little bit. At the time, I was still identifying strongly with my college girl persona [And I would for years.]. I was also living in the dream of Hong Kong---being a missionary, a teacher, and an explorer of the world [And I would for years].

I did not perceive how complex my disease was. And, my family didn't help me most of the time. I think my family members were mirrored my reality and that was awful for them. Few were there to support me. Generally, I felt very alone in the situation. And I felt I had to fight, fight, fight to survive.

Many ugly things were said to me before I returned home to the States. My headmaster called me stupid because I "stopped" my medications. He told me I could pray at home and to not ask for prayer from my peers to present at daily devotions. [I was to be forgotten as quickly as possible at ICS.] A "good" friend told me God would strip me of everything unless I gave everything over to Him. Many peers told me I just needed to pray harder. And my heart vanquished me the most. It asked incessantly, "How, why did everything happen to me while I was sincerely praying and living a dedicated, abstinent Christian life every day while I lived overseas as a missionary/teacher?"

Moreover, while I was hospitalized overseas, my meds were switched around. I was prescribed Depakote (valporic acid) rather than lithium. From 1998-1999, I experienced the ups and downs of not being on the appropriate medication [mood stabilizer]. Eventually, I learned that some meds work and some do not. It was a "tough trial and error" learning curve. Oh how I wish that I didn't have to learn that way!!!

I moved back to Virginia during that period. I was feeling so isolated and horrid in Salina. I lost the vision of Hong Kong as my life played itself out each day. I began to want to die the pain was so deep. I needed the hope of friendships I thought I had back in Chesapeake. My mom made some sacrifices and I got on the road to recovery---Virginia.

In addition, in the spring of 1999, I decided to switch back over to lithium since the mood swings were still rampant. Since I was not hospitalized, my doctor prescribed the lithium on top of my Depakote prescription. My tremor increased to an ungodly intensity. I looked like I had advanced Parkinson's disease. And then, finally, it was over. I was safely back on lithium.

Things settled down fairly quickly. I went to work for Barnes and Noble. Retail was an easy fit for me. I could do it in my sleep. I had managed a few departments when I worked for Hecht's previous to Hong Kong. Barnes and Noble was busy but relatively mindless. I got to interact with people.

I expected to be there for three months. I was there for 3.5 years.

My life was decent for awhile until the shift work began to mess with my Circadian rhythms. I went into a period of great rapid cycling. I was disabled over a 22 week period. That was another horrendous learning curve to endure!

The curve ceased in 2004. I was prescribed Seroquel in addition to the lithium. My last hospitalization was for a psychotic, suicidal depression. The Seroquel rectified the extremeness of the disease. My moods leveled. And I began to get better and better. It was that time frame when I, also, realized that my menstrual cycles were a huge factor that triggered the episodes of the disease. I was on my cycle during every clinical situation that I lived through.

My ex-boyfriend left me with a legacy of healing routes. I first began to learn about the chakra system.
Chakra Pali: chakka, Tibetan: khorlo, Malay: cakera) is a Sanskrit term meaning circle or wheel. There is a wide range of literature on chakra models, philosophy, and lore that underpin many philosophical systems and spiritual energy practices, religious observance, and personal discipline. Theories on chakras fit within systems that link the human body and mind into a single unit, described as psycho-physical, or sometimes called the 'bodymind' (Sanskrit/Pali: namarupa). The philosophical theories and models of chakras as centers of energy were first codified in Ancient India.

Anodea Judith provides a representative modern interpretation of chakras:
A chakra is a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy. The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk and refers to a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column.

There are six of these wheels stacked in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the middle of the forehead. And the seventh which is beyond the physical region. It is the six major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness...

Chakras are commonly described, as above, as energy centers in the spine located at major branchings of the human nervous system, beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull. Chakras are considered to be a point or
nexus of metaphysical and/or biophysical energy of the human body.

The following primary chakras are commonly described:
Muladhara (Sanskrit: मूलाधार, Mūlādhāra) lower body
Swadhisthana (Sanskrit: स्वाधिष्ठान, Svādhiṣṭhāna) reproductive parts
Manipura (Sanskrit: मणिपूर, Maṇipūra) navel
Anahata (Sanskrit: अनाहत, Anāhata) heart
Vishuddha (Sanskrit: विशुद्ध, Viśuddha) throat
Ajna (Sanskrit: आज्ञा, Ājñā) eyebrow or forehead
Sahasrara (Sanskrit: सहस्रार, Sahasrāra) top of head

Chakras in the head from lowest to highest are: golata, talu/talana/lalana, ajna, talata/lalata, manas, soma, sahasrara (and sri inside it.)

The concept of chakras is often treated in different ways, depending on the cultural context. In Chinese medicine, traditional chakra locations correspond to
acupuncture points. In some Eastern thought, chakras are considered to be gradations of consciousness and reflect states of the soul--these systems rely less on proof than on experience (under the assumption that 'proving' the existence of chakras is asking to 'prove' the existence of the thought process).

A mystic may deal with chakra as a model for their internal and external experience, and when talking about 'energy centers', may be talking about subtle forces which connect to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a person.

Sahasrara or the crown chakra is generally considered to be the chakra of consciousness. Its role may be envisioned somewhat similarly to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness. Symbolised by a lotus with one thousand petals, it is located on the crown of the head.

Ajna (along with Bindu, either or both are considered to correspond to the third eye) is linked to the pineal gland which may inform a model of its envisioning. Ajna is held as the chakra of time, awareness and of light. The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and awakening. Symbolised by a lotus with two petals.
(Note: some opine that the pineal and pituitary glands should be exchanged in their relationship to the Crown and Brow chakras, based on the description in Arthur Avalon's book on
kundalini called Serpent Power or empirical research.)

Vishuddha (also Vishuddhi) or the throat chakra may be envisioned as relating to communication and growth, growth being a form of expression. This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation. Symbolised by a lotus with sixteen petals.

Anahata or the heart chakra is related to complex emotion, compassion, love, equilibrium and well-being. It is related to the thymus, located in the chest. The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It produces T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Symbolised by a lotus with twelve petals. See also heartmind.

Manipura or the solar plexus chakra is related to the transition from simple or base to complex emotion, energy, assimilation and digestion, and is held to correspond to the roles played by the pancreas and the outer adrenal glands, the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. Symbolised by a lotus with ten petals.

Swadhisthana or the sacral chakra is located in the sacrum (hence the name) and is related to base emotion, sexuality and creativity. This chakra is considered to correspond to the testicles or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle which may cause dramatic mood swings. Symbolized by a lotus with six petals.

Muladhara or the base or root chakra is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. This centre is located in the region between the genitals and the anus. Although no endocrine organ is placed here, it is said to relate to the inner adrenal glands, the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight and flight response when survival is under threat. In this region is located a muscle that controls ejaculation in the sexual act in the human male. A parallel is charted between the sperm cell and the ovum where the genetic code lies coiled and the kundalini. Symbolised by a lotus with four petals.
Woodroffe also describes 7 head chakras (including Ajna and Sahasrara) in his other Indian text sources. Lowest to highest they are: Talu/Talana/Lalana, Ajna, Manas, Soma, Brahmarandra, Sri (inside Sahasrara), Sahasrara.

My understanding of the chakra system enabled me to be the body-mind I had been struggling to be for years. My health insurance company even began to manifest that reality.

I switched from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to Optima Health. Optima recognized my disease as a legitimate physical illness. Despite their classification of Behavioral Health, I was able to seek as many psychology visits that I needed per fiscal year. Anthem, on the other hand, gave me a cap of 20 visits---4 visits short of 2 visits per month. If I got in trouble and needed assistance, I had to pay for that help out of pocket. There were a number of years where that was quite unaffordable. And, of course, that is when I needed the health care the most!

You'll notice that I link the manifestation of an insurance policy that met my needs with my understanding of the chakra system. That is because the chakra system fosters a whole life paradigm. It assumes the holographic universe is in place and is working just right. I have come into the realization that we are the co-creators of our life. Our thoughts, our energy, our focus builds every aspect of who we are, what is inside of us, and what is surrounding us.

This belief does not fight against a God-reality. Rather, it supports it. Everything that happens in this plane we are living on happens as it should. For that matter, everything that happens on every plane happens as it should. God established a perfect place for life to grow and develop in. All systems are go! All systems consist in perfect order and harmony.

I intimately connect with the God-reality. Daily.

The beautiful thing is to understand what is going on and how we are to join the rest of life as we were meant to do. We are One in the space that beyond Maya.

There is a lesson I continue to learn...grounding. That is where I root myself to the earth and then pull the energy from the earth upward through the various energy centers, and then I pull the life force (chi or prana) down from the universe and back through all the centers and into the earth again. For me, it is a challenging activity.

Apparently all the aches and pains I experienced in my body-mind over the years caused all my parts to go haywire. I didn't want to be in my body. I wanted to be in the heavens "where God was." I couldn't stay centered in my chakras. I dissociated [In psychology and psychiatry , a perceived detachment of the mind from the emotional state or even from the body.] to avoid my life. I super spiritualized to gain relief from the agony of my existence. I am not sure how that happened in my physical representation, but some sort of split did occur.

Learning how to ground and to stay grounded has been an interesting challenge. My friend who does my craniosacral work constantly reinforces me about the importance of grounding and centering. I am grateful for that.

It is through the process of balancing my daily living experiences [my energy] while aligning and realigning, opening and reopening my chakras that I am able to obtain a healthy state of being. Occasionally the chakras are too open, and then they must be brought into balance as well with a little bit of closure.

I find that the chakras are a great reminder of how we should approach life. It is not natural that we live in the heavens while our feet should be resting on the planet, firmly planted, to ready us for action and effectiveness. Living requires us to be here 100% of the time. If we are in our head and not in our body, that is a problem. If we are not present---if we are in the future or in the past, that is a problem. Furthermore, if we deny parts of our body through suppression, repression, or addiction, then that is a problem. We were designed to be right here, right now.

When I was in my "High Christian" phase during the pre-Hong Kong and Hong Kong years, I mostly lived in my head and in my heart. I rarely touched the ground squarely with my feet and with my central force. I often disallowed natural attributes of my body, and I rewarded myself by telling myself that it was good of me to live above life---that it was good of me to forget whole parts of myself. I believed that true spirituality came at a horrible physical cost---even death to Self [I never recognized that that could mean a lessening of the ego]. I believed the body was only righteous if I rooted out all its natural desires---even its natural functions.

I held myself in very austere and aesthetic circumstances. And I got sicker and sicker.

The chakras are all about the body. They recognize the lower chakras and the higher chakras as equally important. I look forward to the moment when grounding and centering comes easy to me. Currently, I often feel that I am fighting with a bear to get grounded. I have a highly developed upper chakra system (The 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th chakras). I have worked and worked on my 3rd chakra over the solar plexus. I had quite a bit of life damage in that energy center.

I found after an interim period of great difficulty, that spirituality is much easier to sustain if the energy centers are aligned, opened, and grounded. I don't go flying into the heavens. I am perfectly content to worship and live with God right where I am at. If I find myself looking forward with wistfulness, I am not present. I take a moment and get myself back into my body---back into my physical self. Likewise, if I am longing for the past, I am not present.

I am so much more powerful as a creature that owns my reality as it IS. I manifest my desires so much better when everything is working as it should. I, also, understand Scriptures that say we were created as planned. That we were created with hope! I understand that each experience brings me closer and closer to my Highest Being. I understand that God [Love] IS right here, right now. Life is full of abundance because God IS everywhere---including in each of our atoms, cells, etc.---and He [She, It] IS endless. God IS and we ARE. We are love because God IS love. When we choose to accept our "now" realities, we choose to experience Spirituality at its finest. We experience all that IS. We experience Love---ours and all that we are One with.

Love has healed a lot of my physical deficits. I look forward to getting better at grounding and centering so I can experience even more healing. Everything comes to me as it should. The more I stay present, the more I am able manifest the desires of my heart.

Logic often ridicules love. But, LOVE is the most logical element that exists. LOVE is ordered. It is circular and powerful. LOVE never stops giving. IT is endless. IT is infinite. LOVE knows all that IS because LOVE created everything we know and see and experience. Get in touch with the LOVE that you are. Learn what grounding is [Ground is the reference point in an electrical circuit from which other voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current (earth return or ground return), or a direct physical connection to the Earth.] [Ground: Start by sitting comfortably in a chair. Make sure your spine is straight and your feet planted firmly on the floor. Say in your mind, the word, "ground." Begin to visualize your feet growing roots like a tree, through the ground, all the way down to the center of the earth. See these roots anchor themselves there, in the earth's core. Feel the depth of this connection stabilizing you. Allow any negative energy to drain down through these roots and be burned up. Center: Take a moment to observe where you are in the here and now. Notice how you feel. Don't judge it. Just notice it. Say in your mind the word, "center." See these roots pulling white light from the center of the earth, up into your heart. Pull all your awareness into your heart, as this light forms into a growing, glowing ball. Imagine YOU are inside the center of this ball, and you are one with it.]. Learn how to center. I am special enough to get in touch with the LOVE. Therefore, you must be special enough as well.

Monday, September 8, 2008

"The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion."---Albert Einstein

"A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use, to enjoy them, and to dominate them."
---Oscar Wilde

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
---Judy Garland

"Emotion turning back on itself, and not leading on to thought or action, is the element of madness."
---John Sterling

"The feeling is often the deeper truth, the opinion the more superficial one. "
---Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy."
---Jim Rohn

"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."
---Dale Carnegie

"In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. "
---Anthony Robbins

"Take control of your consistent emotions and begin to consciously and deliberately reshape your daily experience of life."
---Anthony Robbins

Learning my illness has been quite a trek. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1992. It came as a complete shock! I had been having extreme levels of Clinical Depression throughout high school. ["On and off," I had been very down throughout adolescence as a whole.]

My mom took me to various doctors and a therapist [so did my dad and step-mom when I lived with them], but nothing was seen conclusively at that point. I suffered migraine cluster headaches from 17-18 years of age. But those eventually resolved themselves. During my junior year at University of Florida, I began placing myself in high-risk situations. Upset---feeling out of control---I called my uncle who was an Ob/Gyn. He hooked me up with the college psychiatrist.

My UF doctor misdiagnosed my disease. He prescribed an anti-depressant called Prozac. At the time, Prozac was deemed a miracle drug. However, the medical field now knows that manic-depressives should never be given anti-depressants (including Prozac) without a mood stabilizer. In my case, I cannot take any anti-depressants at all. My energy will spike and I will shoot straight through the glass ceiling into psychosis.

Prozac did just that to me in '92. Before I knew it I was "flying as high as a kite." I was thinking, thinking, thinking. I was not sleeping and I didn't need to to keep going. I felt uneasy and yet determined---hyperfocused. Then, suddenly, my mind was all over the place. I began experiencing rapid and pressured speech; increased activities; restlessness; and impaired judgment which included lack of insight, inappropriate humor, inappropriate behaviors, impulsive behaviors, financial extravagance, increased sexual behavior, and grandiose thinking. Furthermore, this caused excitability, irritability, hostility and feelings of exhiliration. And beyond the inflated self-esteem, I experienced hallucinations, delusions and/or paranoia at any given moment.

As my perceptions shifted into over-drive, my religious ideations increased. My soul felt torn between heaven and hell. I was in and out of a mystified state of mind---up one second, down another. My creativity was at an all time high. The people I was hospitalized with became [in my mind] "characters" from childhood (Tabitha of Bewitched, Blue Beard, etc.). I played games like I was three years old.

Nothing was working right.

I was hospitalized twice that year. The first time for mania. The second time for depression. And I was dowsed with medications. Moreover, I had to come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to carry children safely. I would most likely, also, produce a child with my same disease. It was a lot for a 21 year old to absorb.

My body, of course, had to adjust to all the new chemicals I was ingesting daily, and that was especially tough. I had just learned that I was attractive to the male species, and just when things were pretty good in that quadrant, everything went "POOF!" I went up three dress sizes. I had demolished skin. And my hands tremored intensely. People said things to me which were terribly hurtful. I felt so self-conscious, and so tainted. I was lifted from my regular existence into an existence of circumspection and doubt.

For a time, my mind was obliterated. I couldn't operate on a cognitive level. I just was...and there was nothing more than that. I could think on some level because I could communicate [I am not sure how well]. But I was "in space" quite often.

The drugs then were horrid. Psychotropic drugs are much, much better today! For example, if I were hospitalized for a manic break, I would be able to ground fairly quickly without an army of side effects. And I would not experience the horrors of the old meds like horrendous stabbing pain and temporary blindness. To me, those experiences go well beyond side effects! They are deathly---unlivable!

For six years following my first manic episode, I lived in an existence that was quite hypomanic. I didn't see that or feel that; but, looking back, I definitely was on the high side of my disease. Nevertheless, it was a functioning level; and in some ways it was a spectacular period. I rose to a "calling" that took me abroad to Hong Kong as a Christian missionary and art/Bible teacher. [And maybe I had to have high emotions to create that experience.]

I have never been more thrilled than when I lived and taught overseas. I had an apartment that I shared with a roommate, I had a decent salary to play around with, I had many activities available to me, and I had students and a principal that were fabulous. The land was truly mystical as well!

But I had my second manic break in 1997. I wound up in an all Chinese hospital and I was fortunate to make it home to the United States.

But it was upon that return that I really began to understand Bipolar Disorder. I was penniless (or nearly so) so I went to the community mental health facility. I had one therapist that I immediately felt disjointed from. I ended up with another therapist who helped me to make sense of all the confusion I felt. She connected the dots of my illness and my life. I will forever be grateful to her. I can't remember her name or face either. I just remember the experience of going to her for therapy. I, also, had a psychiatrist that was quite lovely. He was a sensitive man who lost his spouse in a car accident some years earlier. He was a photographer as well so I felt some kindredness toward him.

1997-1999 were to be very difficult years to bear. I was shifted off of lithium onto Depakote (valporic acid) while I was hospitalized overseas. I remained on Depakote for nearly a year following my return. Sometime during that period, I realized the medication was not "holding" me. I was up and down a lot! Eventually, I made the decision to transfer back over to lithium. By that time I had moved back to Virginia to live with my aunt again.

The process of transferring medications was horrible. I looked like I had severe Parkinsons' Disorder. My arms and hands were shaking. But, I made it through and I went to work for Barnes and Noble. [I was supposed to be there for less than 6 months. I stayed there for 3.5 years.]

Things stabilized for a short period and then I tanked big time. The shift work was too much for my body. I could not balance my Circadian Rhythms. I began rapid cycling. Honestly, I am not sure how many times I was in and out of the hospital during that period. Many.

My ex-boyfriend, Chris, helped me through much of the worst period of my life; and then, he destabilized and began to create even more problems for me and my health. I don't blame him for that. He was truly a trooper the 3.5 years we were together. If he hadn't been in my life during that phase I believe I would not have lived. Things were that rocky and painful. He was my love and I was his; and we made it together for as long as we could. If I regret anything, it is that we didn't have the grace extended to us to survive within the bigger picture.

In 2004, I broke it off with Chris after my last tumultous hospitalization. And I began to get better. I was committed to really trying to live. I hadn't been that way since 1997. It was my time to learn to love myself. Before Chris and I ceased as a relationship, he gave me tools I never would have known about before him. I educated myself about the Chakra system, the realm of the psyche, and belief systems like Shamanism. All these tools helped me.

I had always been a student---first of grade school, junior high and high school, then of University of Florida, then life, and, finally, some advanced education regarding information studies. I was a good student (after Chris was gone from the scene) of everything Chris taught me while we were together. Step by step I began exploring the New Age studies, and Eastern and Pagan philosophies to gain a higher understanding of life.

It is here that I realized that my disease was quite a subjective experience. I owned the fact that my diagnosis was just a label to help the physicians understand how to treat my illness. I connected with the fact that my emotions were on a continuum. They would always be higher and lower than most people. I began to understand that if I slapped medication on every strong emotion I would be sick constantly. The meds only help to manage the illness. They do not perfectly contain the disease. [When I lived in Hong Kong, I thought if I took the meds I was cured. That was/is not the case.]

And suddenly I was so much more even. I stopped going in and out of the hospital. I started to have a more holistic sense regarding my health.

I was not going up and down and all around. I was beginning to predict my episodic swings and "cut the off at the pass." I was beginning to surf the waves of emotional pulls. I got so that my raging moments were softened...subdued. I learned how to effectively medicate the moments my body began to lose all sense of control. I had some peace for the first time in years. My heart was growing stronger and stronger.

And last but not least, I found love inside of me. I found my Way.

Currently, I explore many different alternative and/or holistic forms of healing. I have a few really gifted friends who have cultivated some wonderful skills that have been life changing for me. I am so grateful for Deb and Brenda S., who do BodyTalk, and Marcus who does craniosacral work. My body-mind is happier than it has been since 1992. I am not yet cured of my disease; but I am gaining so much insight into the body-mind-soul-spirit. Each insight lessens my burdens. I am healing one breath at a time. And I like it!

My disease affects the outpouring of many symptoms. But the symptoms are not my disease. My disease is genetic in origin. It exacerbates my thoughts and my emotions.

As a whole person I know that life is more involved than emotions. Life is filled with light and darkness. Life is physical and non-physical. Life is birth and death. Life is soul and spirit. Life is up and down. Life is balance/order. Disease is imbalance/disorder.

My emotions are an extension of my heart. If my body-mind is out of balance, the parts of the body will be askew. Holistic principles define life in terms of wholeness and order and balance. Each of us is a whole being. Energy is not destroyed, merely moved, blocked, or something other.

My emotional body has gained tremendous healing through the use of various energy-oriented modalities. I cannot articulate all that I have experienced. I will, undoubtedly, leave out a sentence or two; but our energy body is place of great healing potential. The work that my friends have done on me has blessed me immensely.

I am much calmer. I feel things flowing in me and through me with so much more ease. All these outcomes are miraculous to me!

If someone has a disease or injury you don't understand, please talk to the individuals. See how they feel, see what they are going through, see what you can do to help them experience their situation with more ease. Love is the strongest force in the universe. Take the opportunity to be the love that you ARE. Take the opportunity to share yourself with the person hurting from imbalance, injury and/or disease. Your love is important to EVERY person you know. Expand it. Expand you. Love IS!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A disease with many facets...

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure."
---Peter Marshall

"Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish."
---Marcus Aurelius

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was."
---Walt West

"There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them."
---Phyllis Bottome

"Too many overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are."
---Malcolm S. Forbes

Bipolar Disorder is a disease with many facets. People scarcely realize how difficult it is to manage. I listen to show after show on TV that present the illness as single-sided. In other words, I hear how Bipolar patients go off of their medications and cause themselves a whole lot of trouble. And, surely, that does occur in many patient's lives. But, the disease is more complicated than that.

For years, my biggest struggle has been getting to sleep. People take sleeping for granted. For me, it is quite difficult---quite stressful. My brain can be completely zonked and ready for bed, yet when my head hits that pillow it is like a light bulb clicks on inside my mind and my thoughts speed up. They race and race. This problem is precarious. My disease can reach horrific levels if my circadian rhythms remain off track. Two to three days without sleep can cause hospitalization.

Each evening is unique. I have to take different "cocktails" [medications] as my brother Chris would say. [And, I am all about taking the fewest medications possible so that particular reality is very hard for me.] I often feel like a failure because I cannot sleep without a tremendous dose of varied prescriptions. And then, alas, I forgive myself and try again the next night.

I had a doctor for a short time that was quite knowledgable about pharmeceuticals. He had a pharmacy degree as well as a psychiatry degree. But his personal problems were "through the roof" and, eventually, I had to find a new doctor, one that was more stable. [I know, go figure. I went through three physicians in a matter of a year and a half because the three doctors suffered all sorts of personal and business issues which were affecting my health care! There were parents dying, cardiac problems, availability issues, poor medical practices (i.e., yelling at patients as a form of communication and control), divorce proceedings, financial issues, etc.] But while I went to him, he got my medication situated so that everything with a drowsy factor would be taken at night. That certainly made a difference in how effective the medications were for me overall.

Currently, the actual sleep med, though, seems inadequate. I think sleep meds tend to wear out quickly efficacy-wise. They are meant for short term use. However, all the other drugs seem to be working. But, if the sleep med doesn't work, I have to further augment the regimine with meds that are used to calm my system down. Augmentation is frustrating and far from the best practice. [And waking up is a nightmare!!!]

For a few years I have been learning how to meditate. But meditation doesn't seem to work with me at bedtime. There is too much pressure. During the week I have to fall asleep by a certain time. If I do not, I can't wake up the next morning and I am late for work. My friend that practices BodyTalk gave me a connective hold to use to release me from the pressure and the panic; but the hold failed to work after the second day. Adrenaline pumps into my body at a powerful rate. It is difficult to override.

I try to start a bedtime routine approximately two hours before I go to sleep. Life sometimes cooperates, and then again, sometimes it does not. Actually, I am fairly disciplined and I believe my disease demands that of its victims if they are to overcome the dilemmas they face.

But my disease's dilemmas do not stop with the sleep issues. I must, also, monitor what I eat and drink. First of all, let me say that I have ceased all alcohol consumption. The last drink I had was seven years ago. Alcohol causes the balance with my medications to get off center. Lithium levels are very tempramental. It is easy to be lithium toxic. It is, also, easy to be undermedicated with lithium. Once a healthy and consistent balance is reached, lithium levels are performed twice a year. I have to take a very high level to remain even keeled. This level causes many side effects. My hands tremor, I constantly fight weight gain, and my skin breaks out easily.

Caffeine intake must be minimal. I can tolerate a certain amount of chocolate, but if I go over that amount my hands tremor more intensely, and my brain is accelerated past the comfortable point. Regular caffeine intake can spur on a hypomanic/manic episode. Drinks like iced tea or coffee can keep me up for days.

I must, also, watch my salt and water intake. Too much or too little of either can alter my lithium levels for the worse.

I have a huge list of non-prescription and prescription drugs that I cannot take because of problematic interactions. I really have to avoid almost every pain medication on the market, and some antibiotics are off limits because I have developed allergies toward them.

In addition, lithium damaged my thyroid. I am now considered hypothyroid and I take synthroid to keep my thyroid where it should be. That is a fine balancing act in and of itself. For example, I am not allowed to change the manufacturer of the prescription I take because that difference can significantly affect the organ's functioning.

My other medication, Seroquel, creates serious dietary issues. I have to watch my glucose levels because it can shift me into diabetes. So far I haven't had that problem. And I keep hoping for good health where that is concerned. This drug,also, causes weight gain.

The last major dilemma I deal with involves my hormones. I don't know whether other Bipolars suffer from intense hormonal shifts, but I do and have since I hit puberty [I was 10 when that occurred]. This aspect of my disease is completely disarming. I can't control it. I can't even manage it. My hormones are different from week to week. Some months nail me hard. Some months are simple to deal with. And like, depressions, I just have to flow with whatever comes my way. I have been cycling during every hospitalization I have ever experienced. It is frightening. But, it appears to be my current lot. I don't know whether menopause will bring me relief or whether it will "up the anty." Obviously, I hope it will bring me relief. And I guess I should start preventive affirmations as I write this blog.

Bipolar Disorder is not a single-sided disease. It is filled with complicated scenarios that can be quite difficult to manage. But, for me, there is no other Way. I like being able to work my mind effectively. If my disease is untamed, I cannot do that. Many find comfort in the highs. I find terror.

I am a highly intelligent human being. I am sensitive. I am determined. Disease of any kind is difficult to navigate. But every problem we are presented with has some sort of solution---some sort of reason for being. I read and read. I develop mechanisms that actively work against my illness and work for me. I try traditional and holistic means to resolve the pains I deal with. If you know someone with any disease, please reach out to them in any way you can. Ask what the person suffers from. Ask what kind of help the person needs. And then listen. Really listen.

I have spent almost two decades struggling against the stigmas and the belief systems that disapprove of my disorder. It has been agonizing at times. I am thankful for my friends or family that have supported me through the good and bad times. I want people to understand what I experience because it not only assists me, it assists many other people who are similar to me. Bipolar Disorder is different for every person that suffers from it. Some people overcome its debilitating aspects through medication, alternative therapies and psychotherapy. Some people hide amidst the "insanity." The more familiar people become with the disorder, the more easy it is for people to get help. Please pass this message on. People need to know there is a Way.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Good drama must be drastic." ---Unknown

"A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and a drama to an otherwise dull day."

---Bill Watterson

"The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour -- property, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible."

---Albert Einstein

"There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."

---Alfred North Whitehead

"The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself."

---Anais Nin

"We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart."

---Blaise Pascal

"Postmodernists believe that truth is myth, and myth, truth. This equation has its roots in pop psychology. The same people also believe that emotions are a form of reality. There used to be another name for this state of mind. It used to be called psychosis."

---Brad Holland

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."

---Alan Cohen

"It must be admitted that there is a degree of instability which is inconsistent with civilization. But, on the whole, the great ages have been unstable ones."

---Alfred North Whitehead

"What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

---Bertrand Russell

"Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort."

---Jean Cocteau

"As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be."

---Saul Alinsky

"If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of douts of my own."

---Johann von Goethe

"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."

---Benjamin Disraeli

"Three passions have governed my life: The longings for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].
Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. In the union of love I have seen In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of [people]. I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, But always pity brought me back to earth; Cries of pain reverberated in my heart of children in famine, of victims tortured and of old people left helpless. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living. "

---Bertrand Russell

Somewhere along my Way I learned melodrama. And with melodrama I soon failed to recognize my true emotions. For many years I felt ignored and/or abandoned by my family. And as a result, I often played the martyr or the human rights activist. I suppose that is what birth orders and individual life experiences create in people's lives...a certain uniqueness, a flavor, a personality, a path to tread.

There was a halloween when I was in grade school that sent me emotionally over the top. I remember it distinctly. My dad was frequently gone on business. His visits home were very special to me. My brother, Doug, and I got into a tiff while my parents went out to do errands. Doug chased me throughout the house with a big stick. He ran outside, and I locked him out. Not to be deterred, he knocked the screen in on the front door. When Dad and Mom got home, we both got in big trouble. We were grounded for over a week.

The deal, in my opinion , was highly unbalanced. Doug was in 7th grade. He no longer Trick or Treated, or went to Fun Night. I did both. And I was going to miss out on both due to the grounding.

Plus, Doug chased me with the stick. He tore the screen. I just locked myself inside the house to keep from being knocked upside the head. And he would have done just that: BAMM!!!

When I got the "unjust" sentence, I blew into a severe rage. The day is still quite memorable (at least the major parts are). I threw things. I screamed. I did whatever I could to force my meager power onto my parents and my brother. I am sure my dad was ready to go back to work that week! Nevertheless he held out and added to my sentence.

I think that particular rage was a precursor to my manic episodes. It was an emotional tirade that just got intensely out of control. It got the best of me. I was immersed in a vortex of emotion that mocked the best tornadoes. I never did forgive my parents for the unequal punishment I received during that holiday. [I guess I should, huh???]

I learned at an early age that I lacked physical strength compared to my three older brothers. Actually, there was a brief period where Doug's strength and my strength were fairly similar. But, in the long run I came up short all the way around. There were many instances where my brothers would overpower me physically and mentally. And those many defeating lessons created my ungodly temper tantrums to come. I couldn't win. So, I made a powerful nuisance of myself so the brother(s) in question would be just as miserable as me. The method had its merits or I would have ceased using it. Yet, somewhere along my Way I lost control when my emotions would become intense. It was a damning repercussion.

And, eventually, I lost a huge part of myself. Everything in my world became somewhat confusing. I desisted in learning how to modify my thoughts so that I could retain a semblance of order in my life. Furthermore, I often repressed my thoughts and emotions when I dealt with outsiders (a.k.a., non-family members), so there was constant physical suffering under the surface that I had no idea was brewing and causing damage.

By my early twenties, my methods for emotional and stress management began to lose their vitality. My body gave way to horrible depressions. I would often take long naps to conserve my energy---to get me through the day. I developed many short term illnesses that broke my overall physical system down piece by piece.

And when I turned 21, I began participating in activities that were highly self-destructive. I was drinking in excess. My sexuality was flagrant---hyper. I hated myself. I couldn't make the world stop long enough for me to breathe. I felt terror a lot. My thoughts got darker and darker.

In the summer of my junior year of college, I became manic for the first time. I did have some assistance. It wasn't all emotional mumbo jumbo. I was put on Prozac a couple months prior to my manic break. My new doctor assumed I was clinically depressed so he misdiagnosed me as such. He couldn't see the highs in my behavior or demeanor. [I frequently wonder whether my illness would have gotten so bad if I hadn't been prescribed an anti-depressant in the first place.] {{I still cannot take anti-depressants at all. I will fly through the "glass ceiling" if I do. If I become depressed, I just have to survive the blackened mind-state naturally and with shear determination.}}

Skipping ahead, I have gotten quite adept at my disease, Bipolar Disorder. I have been in 16 years of psychotherapy as well as 16 years of psychiatric medicine. Over the last six years, I have gained an understanding about my thoughts and emotions. My thoughts create my emotions.

I watched soap operas for 25 years. I lived for dramatic TV series. I loved movies that made me weep or soar. Now I scarcely watch TV and I rarely go to the movies. I realized a few years ago that the need for drama considerably influenced my decision-making (especially in my relationships). I enjoyed the rush of emotions that drama produced. And then...I discovered a new path.

The first biggie is that I must stay in the now. If something is not happening at this moment, then I must breathe and deal with only the moment. This is huge for me! I can't tell you how this method of thinking helps me overcome situations. It is a practice, for sure, but each time I experience a success, I grow emotionally.

The other big change has come about fairly recently. I am learning to adjust my thoughts so that I sense my ability to co-create my life. I am creating positive affirmations which are designed to attract the desires of my heart. I am dispelling my negative belief systems so that I can "see" a whole and powerful future.

I, actually, feel the difference. It is great. When something unexpected happens, the first thing I do is stop. I visualize a path of openness---a path of heart-centeredness. And I move into the healing space.

We are often taught powerlessness. I sure felt that as a girl growing up in my childhood home. But, I am no longer a child, and I have learned how to empower myself. It is not healthy to get caught up in roller coaster realities. It is not good for your emotional body nor your physical body.

Eastern philosophies have spoken volumes to me about anger. Instead of repressing negative feelings, Eastern belief systems suggest you hold the anger like an infant. You watch it, you nurture it, you remain separate from it. And you let it pass.

As I have learned how to dispell drama, I have learned how to confront people more definitively. Instead of losing myself in run away thoughts, I step forward and really listen to what is being said. I reassure myself that no physical harm will come to me as a result of speaking my mind. And I say my truth. As the person speaks in turn, I reassure myself that anything that is said to me is not to be absorbed personally because each thing that is said is coming from the person's perspective and experience with the world.

The thing about America, is that we all have the opportunity to extend ourselves past our tribal upbringings. We are not tied to our families once we are 18. If we feel a tie, it can be broken. Emotional and energetic patterns are in existence so that we can recognize and choose our life paths. We have the ability to seek awareness of such patterns and then to take action to overcome anything in those patterns that hinder our growth and development. It can feel cumbersome with some things, but it is not impossible. Be persistent, and listen to your will.

As we create our lives, we simply need to choose our thoughts and manifest them into action one word at a time. The actions are not our focus. The thoughts are our focus. Our thoughts will make our Way or break our Way. But everything is available to us to shift us into the Oneness reality always.

We feel separation the minute we are born. But we are One with all that IS. We can remove our feeling of separateness by surrounding ourselves with thoughts of unison. Every day can become a day made for togetherness. It is a matter of programming.

As I have learned to love myself and get that we are all infinitely woven together within the Divine Matrix, I have let go of many of the large chunks of drama in my world. Again, it is a process, one that takes time and effort. But, love now empowers me to think through every moment. I follow the heart that leads me into new layers of understanding. My emotions mellow and become so much more managable. My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder becomes less and less trigger-happy. My adrenaline still floods through me on occasion; but overall, I am so much healthier. I am finally able to flow with most of my life experiences. And I am very grateful that I learned that drama is fun to watch on TV or in a movie theater, but it is not good to live with dramatic influences. Thinking becomes highly impaired as the emotions go from high to low. And that is entirely unnecessary!

Being level-headed, flowing with life rather than trying to control it, is much easier on the body. As I get to know my heart, I learn how to watch the "negative" circumstances without getting intimately involved. I learn how to watch things come and go---to watch things pass. Because they always do. Afterall, "This too shall pass."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Thoughts create a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy, from which new arts flow." --Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus

"Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man's discovery of fire. This basic force of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms.For there is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world. We scientists recognize our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of atomic energy and its implication for society. In this lies our only security and our only hope - we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death." A. Einstein, 1947 d.C.

"See where your own energy wants to go, not where you think it should go. Do something because it feels right, not because it makes sense. Follow the spiritual impulse."

---Mary Hayes-Grieco

" 'These laws of energy are not alterable. These laws have always been and will always be in existence.'
Sources: Silver Birch, White Eagle, Sathya Sai Baba, Barbara Brennan, Leslie Flint, George Meek, Arthur Findlay, Anthony Borgia, George Meek, Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir William Crookes, Dr Robert Crookal, Sir William Barrett, the Rev C Drayton Thomas, Rev. Johannes Greber, Geraldine Cummings, Allan Kardec, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Dr Ian Stevenson, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Helen Greaves, Stainton Moses, et al.

Traditional secular scientists are now in agreement with the spiritual scientists and have conceded that all visible matter and invisible waves in the world can be reduced to 'vibrating energy'. Below you will find laws of energy taken from information accumulated over the last few hundred years of documented human experience.

When I first started doing research into psychic phenomena I was looking for psychic laws. I found that although the laws existed by imputation, no one had hitherto formulated specific universal psychic laws.
We have laws for everything - civil and criminal laws to conduct human behavior, laws of physics describing the forces which regulate the universe, laws of biology and other laws.

Accordingly, now for the very first time it is proposed that specific laws be codified about psychic energies - not just those which operate in the physical world but energies that also transcend the physical world.
Whilst more than half of the people of the world to-day will readily attest to the validity of these laws of energy it may take some decades for these laws to be universally accepted.

First Law of psychic energy: All 'solid' objects are vibrating energy. Unseen waves are also vibrating energy- sound, radio, electricity, light, television waves, microwaves, x-rays, gamma rays and psychic energy waves.
Second law of psychic energy: The mind is an 'energy station' which creates transmits and receives energy.
The will (of the mind) can change the form of energy. Thoughts, which are waves of energy, can be transmitted to and from human minds within the earthplane and to human and other entities in the afterlife in a process called telepathy.
Third law of psychic energy: All living humans have a body made up of vibrationary energy which is a duplicate of the physical body and will survive physical death. This vibrationary energy body invisible to physical eyes can change form but can never be destroyed and retains consciousness. At the time of physical death, the duplicate body will have reached a certain vibrational level and will go to an energy sphere that can accommodate those vibrations. Selfless spiritual service increases the vibrational energy of the duplicate body.
Fourth law of psychic energy: The afterlife has different levels of energy which form different spheres according to the speed of vibration. The faster the vibrations of a sphere the higher and more spiritually evolved are the entities which reside there.
Fifth law of psychic energy: The more spiritually evolved a being is the brighter the energy of the aura.
Sixth law of psychic energy: Slowing down the speed of the atomic vortices of the energy will result in materialisation. Speeding up the vortices will result in de-materialisation
Seventh law of psychic energy: Energy is a 'boomerang' - the energy you give out will return to you. Victor Zammit (May 2001)


Spiritual Science was the term Rudolf Steiner used from spiritual investigations through a rigorous and careful process to achieve a high standard of accuracy. Accurate results through spiritual science could be achieved by careful and meticulous work on the seekers part to develop a high moral and spiritual character, so that his or her own inner distortions would not taint spiritual visions of the higher worlds. Seekers at similar levels of development could then achieve similar understandings of reality, much in the same way that scientists may explore the material world, thus promoting a scientific spiritual investigation. These spiritual understandings can be attained by a path of spiritual development as laid out in many of Rudolf Steiner's books, such as How to Know Higher Worlds and Spiritual Knowledge as an Intuitive Path. Although mystical perception was a part of this, character development and the proper balance of thinking, willing and feeling was an important part of self development towards a true spiritual science.


"What is 'life force?'

The 'life force,' often called 'energy' in Western culture, is an entity that permeates and bonds all. It is sometimes referred to as the 'vital force.' In China, it is called Qi; in India it is called prana. It is believed the 'life force' extends throughout the universe and that the individual is part of an indivisible whole. Most Eastern philosophies share this common theme of universal spirit and wholeness. Individuals who practice such alternative medical approaches as meditation, yoga or tai chi do so not only because it decreases stress and anxiety and promotes general well-being, but also because it helps them connect with the 'life energy' within and around them. The belief is that because the 'life force' permeates everything, an individual is unavoidably affected by external events and energies. Thus, treatment of the individual should consider the mind/body/spirit interaction as well as an overall connection to the universe.

What is energy healing?

Energy healing is based on the belief that our 'life force' creates energy fields that are unbalanced during emotional or physical disease. Because our energy fields are part of an interconnected whole, the use of focused intention by one individual can aid in the health and well being of another. Many individuals use their own individual means of directing their intention to heal. Others practice according to schools such as Reiki. In the West, a common form of energy healing is Therapeutic Touch, which has been taught to thousands of nurses across the United States.

Healers operate in many different ways. For example, they visualize, send intentions for diseased cells to die, send intentions for cells to revert to their optimum state of health, or simply send loving energy. A common theme is the intention for the well-being of the client. Another is focusing on being a conduit for a loving, universal life force.

An interesting feature of energy healing is that it may be performed over distances of thousands of miles. The 'life force' claimed to be transmitted by energy healers does not have the properties of any known form of energy.

A comparable practice to energy healing that is used frequently in the West is prayer. A 1996 survey showed that 82 percent of Americans believed in the healing power of prayer. A survey of patients in American Cancer Society support groups for breast cancer found that 88 percent experienced beneficial effects of spiritual and religious practice.

Blending of paradigms

The idea that an energy can be transmitted from one person to affect the health of another, especially from a distance, does have some scientific merit. This idea is quite compatible with theories of quantum physics, in which there are no time/space barriers. In quantum physics, subatomic particles communicate instantaneously, and theoretically, particles can affect each other at far ends of the galaxies.

It has been about 80 years since Einstein introduced his theory of relativity and quantum mechanics was born. This represented a complete paradigm shift that still has not been incorporated into medicine. However, as the science provides more and more indications that there may be realities and energies that are beyond our current comprehension, the interest in performing scientific research to detect the effects of such energies is increasing."


My ex-boyfriend, Chris, is a powerful intuitive. [One concrete example of his intuitive abilities can be seen if I relate an interaction he and I once had. I mailed a package to him. The day that I mailed the package {He lived in Nova Scotia. I lived in Virginia.}, I called him to tease him about the "soon to be coming" gift box. He told me what 6 out of the 7 items in the box were. From my perspective, the 7th item was a near miss. He said there was a statue in the box. It was a stuffed animal on a pedastal. The gift items were not particularly ordinary. They were pretty unique. Yet, he "saw" them with a technique known as Remote Viewing.]

Over the years that he and I were together, Chris taught me many things about energy. [Psychic work is simply energy work.] It took me a long time to transfer my ideologies from my upbringing to what I am into "playing" with now. But, eventually I started to get what he was trying to teach me. NOW I get a lot of what he taught me!

In my last post, I talked a little about how I began to make a distinction between my persona and the pathology of Bipolar disorder as it affects me. Chris opened me to so much of my current health awareness. I am so grateful to him.

Holistic belief systems encourage people to see themselves as whole and One with all that IS. At this time, I cannot cease my traditional medical regime to adopt holistic principles altogether. That would be reckless on my part, and I have had enough pain and suffering in my personal world. I firmly think that we each have a path that gets us to go where we must, in the end, go. But, I do believe whole-heartedly in the theories of holistic terms. And every day, I learn more and more so that, perhaps, one day I can jump feet first into the All loving universe I work to see and feel. I practice and I practice. I will eventually manifest it. I will!!!

In the meantime, energy work is fascinating to me. Somewhere along my Way, I began to experience the healing power of energy. I think I first read Anodea Judith's book Wheels of Life. The book really defined the chakra system. I, also, read a little bit about shamanism. Suddenly things began to make sense to me. Like a game of "Dot to Dot," I started connecting to many different philosophers, scientists and New Age gurus.

My Christian background limited me for a bit. I used to automatically discount certain authors because of my old spiritual belief system and my spiritual tracks. Eventually, however, Chris broke that barrier and I began to absorb lots of concepts I never knew existed. Concepts that were awesome and liberating!

I still have to work around my constraints like my various psychiatrists' prejudices regarding psychic phenomenon. For instance, recently I had a book with me when I went to my bi-monthly med check. The book was about psychic development. My doctor entered his office, saw the book title, and then contorted his face in disdain and "psychiatric curiosity." He immediately managed to work the book title into his evaluation.

I snickered. "How castrating," I thought. And then I gave him a mundane response so that he could disband HIS worry.

That type of "curiosity" is commonplace in my life. Friends, family, and medical personnel all question my sanity due to my interests and/or my enhanced personality features. People disbelieve what they have never experienced, especially when they have partial foundational arguements "tucked away in their pockets." And despite all the discriminatory thoughts that get shoveled my way, I believe in MANY things that fail to belong to "normal" society---whatever that is. [Is there actually a norm in the year 2008? I mean come on! A "legal" man is about to give birth to a child. Really now, think about that.]

I often have to provide calming evidence to whomever I am causing alarm. But rarely does anyone apologize to me for making me defend myself. And the best part, to me, is that the moments I am hospitalized for Mania or Depression, I am usually very alone. People may or may not be there to support me.

Besides Judith's title and the book on shamanism, I, also, got seriously interested in Carl Gustav Jung. I resonated to him right away. Initially, Carolyn Myss mentioned his theories about the universal archetypes. Then my therapist mentioned his studies about the shadow. Finally, I dug through to his concepts involving synchronicities. He is a definite soul connection for me!

Approximately three years ago, I started writing down every synchronicity I noticed. [Synchronicities occur all the time but we must be intuned to notice them. This is what the New Age and Eastern philosophy movements refer to as Awareness.] I found recording synchronicities a fascinating practice. Because of it, I began to "see" things very differently.

Suddenly many of Chris' lessons made total sense to me. I was awakening. Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth believes this is our primary role for living. I still believe loving is our primary role for living! But, awakening is certainly important in the grand scheme of things!

As I learned about the alternative and holistic modalities, I started to believe that healing from Bipolar disorder is not only possible but probable. Yet, one must apply him/herself to that healing mode---daily and with patience.

My disease has been very minimized compared to four years ago. [It has a long way to go.] I have been creating a new reality step by step by step. I lost Chris in the process. That was very hard to deal with. Obviously I think of him quite often. And I keep opening myself to the healing power of the universe where he is concerned. He is a beautiful and rare human being. It will be hard to top him and his influence on my life. But life does go on!

The last two or three years have brought me many energetic encounters. One of my dearest friends entered my sphere after I got in a major car accident and sustained neck and back injuries. My friend to be was my physical therapist. Due to insurance and ethical issues, we had to put our friendship on hold for a year. After all those issues resolved themselves, she re-entered my life and introduced me to a holistic modality called BodyTalk. Wow what a cool modality!

For two years that friend has been fine tuning my physical and mental and emotional bodies. In conjunction, a year ago I met a man that was saturated in energy "stuff." We became friends as well. Between the two friendships, I have grown a lot, and my health has increased immeasurably. [I never knew it could!] Currently, I am exposing myself to a series of craniosacral sessions. I am fascinated to see what outcome will follow.

Energy work is real. Many people cannot grasp this concept. They are dependent on viewpoints that stem from their parents or tribe(s). They refuse to open themselves to anything that they are unsure of. They are often afraid.

I began seriously investing in energetic healing when I had a severe breathing problem that lasted for over four months. I went to an otolaryngologist to correct the problem. The ENT "fired" me as a patient because my psychiatrist at the time said I was not to take any kind of steroids---topical or otherwise. The ENT told me my psychiatrist could deal with my breathing problem. [Incidentally, I had just been hospitalized for severe Mania due to a steroid pack another doctor prescribed to me for tracheitis.] I was not only shocked, I was horrifed that a physician would do such a thing! [Idealistically I thought, "Where is the Hippocratic oath when you need it?!?!] I called my friend and massage therapist about an accupuncturist she knew.

She hooked me up to the alternative modality practitioner. Within three accupuncture sessions, I was breathing problem free! That experience turned me against traditional medicine monopolies for good. Never again would I believe in the conventional practices as totally sound and solid. Instead, I opened myself to the realms of wholism. Yes, I still owned traditional modalities as frequently valid; but, I also owned that which cannot be easily seen---like accupuncture, BodyTalk, and craniosacral work.

By allowing the holistic and alternative practices into my world, I thought myself into creating a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy. I found avenues that have given me a considerable amount of healing and peace.

My heart continues to expand. A year ago my friend that is currently giving me craniosacral sessions said to me something like, "It is your heart not your head that leads you." I lit up like a firecracker. Never had I conceived that if I opened my heart continously and vigilently I would heal in so many facets of my life. And, yet, I have. And people are starting to see it. They are starting to make comments about it.

As things go, I contend that each moment is ours to co-create with. I understand that my breath is life itself joining me to all who we ARE, and WERE and WILL BE. I believe in the power of Oneness. I deny the limiting thoughts that guided me for years. I feel the energy of the earth and the sky. I encompass the powers that BE so that I might free myself from all the "boxes" I drew myself into throughout my life. I believe in GOD ALMIGHTY, GOD OF LOVE AND LIGHT, GOD WHO CARES FOR AND KNOWS EVERY SINGLE BEING IN THE UNIVERSE. I sense my importance and I strive to share it with all that I can. That is my awakening. That is my path for now.

Each of us has a Way that is not indifferent or opposed to the Source of All Life. We need only arise from the ashes from which we were born, and believe in the Love that is available to our body, mind, soul and spirit. It is a beautiful place of resurrection. Each of us are a Phoenix waiting to take flight in the glory and love of who we already ARE, WERE and WILL BE. Trust in your heart and the world of healing will open to you! We each are made of energy. We each vibrate at the level we need to be for now. Trust in the process of living...

The last exciting opportunity I must relate in this blog is that a month ago I took part in a class called, "Energetic Transformations." For the first time, I actually experienced formal "training" to work with energy in a healing context. That was thrilling. I can't wait for my next experience! Who knows where such experiences will take me.