Is this your first visit? Here’s the story so far: Continue reading
Is this your first visit? Here’s the story so far: Continue reading
I am not 90% Stoked and only 10% choked about our up-coming transition. I am 100% positive this is going to be a good move for us, Sweetie is openly celebrating. There will be a *lot more* available to her as an artist and an academic than there is here, and leaving the rural west coast is something we’ve discussed previously in order to give her more opportunity, and for me as a psychic and a hospital employee, well, I’ll be just fine and there will be a lot of opportunity for advancement within my healthcare organization in Victoria.
We. Will. Be. Fine.
I was watching a livestream camera in the Johnstone Straight yesterday, which is where many resident orcas travel to in the spring, because the salmon bottle-neck through the straight to access their spawning grounds and the orcas – well, they just swim around with their mouths open. This area attracts the mighty transient orcas too, who hunt the sea lions who eat the salmon. There is *so much food* for the orcas right now, they spend a lot of their time rubbing their butts against the floor of the shallow beaches. (If you had only a month each year to scratch your butt, wouldn’t you enjoy it too???)
Here’s the highlight reel of the stream I was watching:
I realized while watching this that I will *not* be leaving my favourite mammal behind when we move to Victoria. In fact, just a few months ago we *literally saw the exact same pod of orcas in Victoria as we saw in Tofino.*
I realize now, that event could also have been foreshadowing our upcoming move. Life is really cool when you start noticing these messages, even in hindsight.
I feel a lot better about moving to Victoria when I remember that I am actually not leaving what I love about the west coast behind. It’s not like we’re going back to Toronto. There are still orcas and eagles in Victoria. We are not that far from bears. Wolves and cougars are not that close, but it’s so incredibly rare for me to see them anywhere, and I’ve been lucky to see some in my lifetime. Maybe I’ll see more, but it’s wonderful that I’ve seen them at all during my 10 years here. I’m already so lucky.
And Victoria will be a place of amazing growth for us both!
I’ll admit there is still a small part of me that needs to process the frustration of working as hard as we have, and being unable to stay in the Tofino / Ucluelet area, but I’ll let that go when I’m done with it. I think that 10% might actually be helping me to separate from this area that I have loved so deeply. Yes it’s amazing, beautiful, energetically healing – but it’s impossible for us to do well here. In all honesty, we’ve considered leaving a few times, not just for Sweetie’s sake, but because the housing situation has never been stable for us. I will be *so unbelievably happy* when we finally own a little place of our own, and I say that with humility and gratitude, because that would not even be a possibility without this whole psychic adventure. Blessings, I count them.
Anyway, this transition will be the big theme of this year, and I’ll keep you updated, but I want to make sure I’m actually talking about *psychic stuff*. Our house is still getting shown to people once or twice a week, indicating there isn’t even an accepted offer in yet, so we have at least 90 days from today, possibly longer. I’m hoping I can get a job that’s a “step up” from what I do at the local hospital here, I’ve gotten some resume advice from colleagues and a former boss, some advice on contacting managers, and I have a few calls to make in terms of networking with some folks I’ve had a friendly working relationship with over the years in the organization. All this will take a while.
So for the time-being, I want to go back to talking about Freddie Mercury!
This fellow is just *exploding* right now, thanks to the Oscar-winning performance of Rami Malek in the hugely successful movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Sweetie and I just saw it for the first time at our friend’s house – she has a brilliant big-screen tv, it was like watching it in a theatre, except there were dogs mooching our snacks! (Which for me is better than a theatre.)
Freddie of course *shows up* while we’re watching the movie and added a bit of commentary, including a complement of my friend’s cat who he called a “lovely pussy”, and a comment about how Elton John wants to produce his own bio-pic while he’s still alive because he is a solo act, and Freddie is lucky enough to have his own character in Bohemian Rhapsody be heavily influenced by his band family and friends who genuinely knew him. It wasn’t a comment against Elton at all, just an acknowledgement that Elton has endured a lot of loss in his life, and will be met by many of the people who love him best when it’s his turn to go. Freddie’s communication was an appreciation of how many people who loved him in life are still alive and still care about his legacy.
I had a conversation with Dr. Lana a while back about mediums communicating with famous people in the afterlife, and how we know that:
1) we aren’t just making it all up to inflate our own egos and
2) what makes us “special” enough to talk to them in the first place?
Here’s my thought on that, which I’ve returned to multiple times over writing this blog.
1) The nice thing about talking to famous people in the afterlife when you know very little about them, is that confirmation is *everywhere*. You’re never going to get a “clean reading” on a celebrity the way you would with a client because a celebrity’s influence is so pervasive in our culture, we all know things we don’t think we know about them – so just let go of that idea, and instead be in the moment with the conversation. A lot of good usually comes out of it. It’s up to us as individuals to keep our own egos out of it, to not be possessive of the people we talk to, nor critical of other mediums talking to the same folks. Which brings me to point two:
2) You don’t have to be “special” to have these encounters or conversations with a celebrity in spirit. These folks spent their lives working to reach *millions* all over the globe. Why on earth would they stop reaching out in the afterlife? That’s why they *are* so easy to talk to, they practically do all the work for us, and all we have to do is stumble upon them!
I had a client ask me if she was crazy for feeling so close to Freddie in spirit – of course you’re not crazy! The whole point of his art, of his life’s work, was to reach out to people exactly like us! Of course, with this movie in particular, he’s *incredibly engaged* with the people who love Queen’s work, and love him! This is exactly the way it’s supposed to me, in my humble opinion.
Just remember to check yourself, make sure that your friendship with people in spirit does not imbalance your life as an incarnate being. Have incarnated friends. Have a healthy outlook on life. Participate in life, create things for yourself, be free with your enthusiasm, wise with your energy, respectful of other people’s choices and beliefs. Let spirituality be an enrichment to your life, and keep your brain and common sense plugged in. And if you’re asking yourself the above two questions, that’s actually a good sign you’re keeping grounded.
F: Wearing a white spandex uni-tard with white feathered football shoulder pads and a long crepe-y material hanging from the back of the shoulder pads in a sheer, flowing cape. At first I think he’s wearing a tall white crown like the ice queen from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but then I see it’s his energy pouring from his head upwards in a crown that is like a hologram transitioning to rising smoke.
It’s my Angel Look, darling, and aren’t you marvellous?
He immediately welcomes me into his space, which is unusual, as my own awareness tends to stay in my body as I type, but instead my awareness is welcomed up out of my body and into Freddie’s world, where I feel tall, ephemeral, and I don’t seem to have legs – I’m more of a genie in a bottle, my skin shimmers in warm gold, pink gold, white gold shades like a hologram, and I’m wearing something that seems to change as I look at it, sheer, flowy, shiny, feathered, (no birds killed for fashion here my dear!) and my body is pretty neutral, neither masculine nor feminine, the clothing feels comfortable, fun and fancy all at the same time.
Do you mind if I get personal first, my friend? (Of course I don’t.) Your name is not Kate, that word does not embody all who you are. You need additional names, if you insist on using Kate, as I used Freddie my whole life. It was the “Mercury” which connected me with the ethereal.
K: What about the Sitka? (Sitka, for those who don’t know, is not my legal name, but the name I use in my psychic practice.)
F: NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Not powerful enough! How modest of you turning to the elements, the trees, the flowers, the birds, but you ask others to dismiss you, look past you, take you for granted with that name! Embrace your place among the stars! Let your name be your touchstone, the combination of sounds which forever reminds you of who YOU are!
Aside: Okay, I’ve been thinking of legally changing my name recently, not in the immediate future but after we have this whole housing thing sorted out (I don’t need a name change in the middle of all that legality.) But once we’re all settled, I’m going to change my legal name, which is something I’ve really wanted to do since I was a teen – and not just the last name, all of it. This is what Freddie has picked up on, and why he’s chiming in, and I really do appreciate it, because I think I was thinking “small”. I actually did have a middle name in mind which literally means “star” and is connected to memories of riding horses, which is a great energy I’d like to carry with me through my life. Without realizing it though, I did intentionally keep my name considerations “small” and acceptable. Regardless of what I choose, I will always be Kate here on the blog, and in my real life.
K: Thank you for the naming advice –
F: And don’t hide your beauty and power in middle names. Announce yourself. (He says this with a slight upward jerk of his chin, and slightly purses his lips, like this naming power is a sexy secret. He suggests I take a completely different last name.)
K: I may. I will think about it seriously for another year.
F: That’s all I ask! And how about that *fucking fantastic* piece of work (the movie) my friends assembled?
K: Do you have any additions, context, corrections?
F: YES! They were FAR too easy on me! (Shows me he did a lot more cocaine than they implied in the movie, how it affected his personality, and how much his bandmates and friends put up with.) I was a DIVA, but they were kind about it. They implied that point without DRIVING it home! (He playfully did a hip-thrust with his half-mic stand.)
K: Well, of course your friends are going to want to protect you. They wouldn’t want to show too much of your vulnerability, because they would want the work you all produced together to be what people focus upon.
F: Oh there was much discussion on how much to show. Sadly, they had to be concerned with the (management, network?)’s opinions on what the public would accept. Out of kindness, but also concern that the movie and the backlash would reject all of our work retroactively, they ended up stepping away from much of the suffering and indignities of the procession of AIDS through one’s bodily systems, as well as tipping the hat to my addictions and my lifestyle rather than throwing the curtain completely open to the bright light of day.
(Freddie and I had a quick discussion about “lifestyle” because, as a gay person myself, I’ve had people tell me they don’t agree with my “lifestyle”, which… what the heck would you say to that? It’s not up to anyone to “agree” with my life. Freddie clarifies that in his time, it was very much a lifestyle, and for him, a promiscuous one he fully-embraced for many years. Jim (Hutton) was the man who got Freddie out of the lifestyle, and into more of life that he needed.)
K: Did Jim do anything different to get you out of the lifestyle than what they showed in the movie?
F: Oh, he shined a light. You should read his book. (Second time he said this to me – I will I promise!) He never criticised me – oh correction, he DID criticize me for being an asshole, for conducting myself below a certain standard of behaviour which he reflected back to me – an unbecoming reflection which was not at all me, never mind what I felt at the time. He got through to me, and they showed that in the film. (Love for how they represented Jim.)
K: So did the production team decide to tone down the gay, to avoid – what? A backlash?
F: You know that President Trump played our song at his hateful rallies? He’s been doing that for years, the band only recently found out.
F: Oh yes, they have a PR firm advising them on this situation, and the film. They are well aware this movie, if handled incorrectly, could have caused further divisions. I am not at all critical of the choices they made – I simply wish to make additions for the right audience (flirty wink!)
K: And some of these additions are that they could have been harder on your character?
F: They could never be as hard on my character in the film as I was on myself, in real life. They did hint upon the darker times where I felt abandoned, angry and alone. All the “A”s, painful. It all came around though, when I knew I was dying and surrounded myself with the people I knew truly loved me. I was the luckiest man on earth at that concert. (Live Aid). I was the luckiest man on earth to be protected and fiercely loved for exactly who I was in the last year of my life. I do not wish illness or suffering on anyone, but I do wish that fierce love and acceptance for us all. Vulnerability, humility, is necessary to receive love.
K: Yeah, I agree. Is that all for now?
F: We’ll chat later, darling! (Dons dark cat-eye sunglasses and sweeps away!)
I just love Freddie. If you have questions for Freddie, about the movie or otherwise, please leave them below!
So it’s looking like Sweetie and I are going to take the leap and relocate. This seems like the best of all of our options, and for the most part, I’m rolling with it.
I mean, I could really use your good vibes, your thoughts, your prayers, your reiki. I am putting some effort into rolling with this. It’s taking some focus.
I just want to take a moment to talk about how to sit with the discomfort of uncertainty.
Friends, my life is about to *change*. Big change. And I don’t know what it’s going to look like… and that’s hard! It’s hard for me, and I know I’m not alone in this, when you either feel you need to make a big change and you don’t know what, or the change is happening and you don’t know what your life is going to look like after the shift.
For me, this is where faith comes in. There is so much I can’t control here. I can influence things as much as I can, get my resume together, make calls, network, focus on getting that job. That’s a positive thing. I can obsess about how difficult it is to find a place to rent when you have two cats – that’s not a positive thing, the worrying, because come on Kate, we only need *one* place to live.
I don’t think I’ve written about how we tried to buy a little cabin/trailer home over the summer. We tried, but we were unable to get reasonable financing. Now I see it’s just as well, because when we received our eviction notice, it threw a different light on our life here in Ucluelet / Tofino: Why are we fighting so hard to stay here? We’ve enjoyed this area for 10 years. I’m happy with my job and community, but Sweetie is quite limited here, and we have talked, really over the past 5 years, about relocating and starting over (again) so that she’d have some more options.
We decided to just embrace this push, and move to an area that has more opportunity for both of us.
But it’s going to be a *big* change! I would have loved to be able to stabilize our housing with this move, ie, be able to buy a condo in our next town. We’ve been doing everything we can to save money so that we can buy a place and have more control over our destiny – not to mention have something paid off by the time we maybe hopefully are able to retire. My 40th birthday is coming up next month! For a couple of weeks we’ve been optimistic, based on what our mortgage broker was telling us, but even though we have, what for us, for a lot of people, is a significant chunk of change saved for a down-payment – more than the 5% which is all we’re supposed to *have to* have for our first home purchase, this down-payment combined with my income just isn’t enough to buy anything. Partially this is because a significant portion of my income is from my psychic business, and anyone who is partially or fully self-employed has a tougher time getting a mortgage, hence the need for a bigger down-payment.
It’s frustrating too, because I’d like to start progress towards a university degree, but I can’t put thousands of dollars into tuition while our housing situation is still so unstable and costly. We’re putting everything we can towards that all-important down-payment, and it feels like we can’t move forward with other goals in life until we are paying a mortgage…
Which means we have to rent again, and no matter where we go we’ll be paying 50% more than we pay now, which is such a waste, but we just don’t have a choice. I really, really wanted to buy a home, for so many reasons.
Letting go of that want is a part of sitting with the discomfort of uncertainty. It’s not going to happen for us, not this year. Big breath. It’ll be okay. Hopefully, if we can find a rental that isn’t 50% more than what we pay now, and still be able to save towards a down-payment.
But there are so many unknowns. Until we know exactly what our income and expenses will be, there’s nothing for my brain to hold on to in terms of *what is going to happen*. Though it does make me chuckle to think that just last month I said to Sweetie, I have *never* been able to accurately predict what my life will be like five years in the future.
That’s my life cycle, my friends. I have a 10-ish year pattern between major life changes, and I have significant shifts every 5 years.
So far, Sweetie and I have been able to figure our way through these changes, and I do know that at the end of my life, I’ll be thinking about all the ways these changes showed me I was supported and loved.
That’s where I have faith. I have faith in myself, in Sweetie, in the people who have the ability to help us – that they’ll see we are worth helping, worth hiring, worth renting to… because we are worthy.
I think these big changes tend to tap on my fear of abandonment. It must be tied to some basic survival instinct, because it comes up when I’m feeling vulnerable.
And that’s where all these skills come in: the self-discipline, the self-regulation, the meditation, the focusing on just one thing at a time, the letting go of that which I can’t control or change.
Michelle Obama, in her book “Becoming” calls it “The Swerve”. Yeah, I’m swerving. Just keep looking at where you’re going, breathe through the g-force, and you’ll get through it.
Sitting with discomfort, I’ve learned, is a measured self-discipline. Act, rest, act again, lean into the swerve, focus on the destination and nothing else.
Four years ago, I took a couple of my friends out along a lesser-known trail to “the blow hole” – a formation of rock cliffs which funnel the ocean waves up and into an impressive spray, like a whale’s blow hole.
It was a magical day, with a sobering footnote: that’s the day our crap-box 1986 Toyota Tercel started to struggle with hills. We could not afford to repair it, so we very quickly reconciled ourselves to life in Tofino without a car. It was the beginning of a 2.5 year financial rebuilding phase which saw us biking through all weather, all year long. It was tough, but we didn’t resist the change. We embraced it, and our friend commented on how rapidly we made the mental adjustment, with little outwardly expressed stress.
This, our housing situation, reminds me of that day, when we embraced the inevitable and sold our car for $500 before it broke down completely.
We have learned to weather these transitions in this way because we have become aware of how much resistance drains energy and compounds stress. We don’t need or want that, and once you’ve really mastered the art of letting go, it becomes a reflex.
It’s like you’re swinging on a vine, and you feel it start to give. You could grip to it all the tighter, bemoan the reasons for it breaking, try to repair it before it gives way – or you can focus on the next vine… and leap.
I’m not a big fan of phrases like, “leap and the net will appear!” This has not been our life’s experience. Leap and learn how to land. Leap and learn how to roll. Leap, aim high, and land strategically.
That’s what we’re doing here.
I’m amazed at the mental shift this change has caused for me. When the vine is breaking, and you KNOW you’re going to leap, you stop thinking about whether this spot or that spot might be better to swing to. When you have to make a decision *now* it’s a lot easier to sort through your feelings.
There is *nothing* for sale, or for rent, in our local market, that we can afford. That could change, we might get lucky, but it very well could be the breaking vine.
We may have to return to civilization.
For ten years, we have lived without easy access to mainstream retailers. The pharmacy closes at 5pm, and the grocery store at 8pm. If your car needs a repair, they can fit you in sometime next week.
It’s a town where few people lock their doors, and many still leave their car keys in the visor or dash. Lots of folks go on unemployment in the winter, and everyone tries to sell their stuff at the same time to drum up cash.
It’s also beautiful. It’s wild! There are eagles, cougars, wolves and orcas! There are thousand year old trees, and the billion year old ocean! In our ten years here, NONE OF THIS has gotten old for me! I love it just as much now, as ever.
But Ucluelet and Tofino requires sacrifice to stay here, housing is a big sacrifice. If we were determined to stay, we could probably rent a house with roommates… but we have done that already. We just are not that determined. We have already sacrificed quite a lot to live here.
We are getting comfortable with letting go, getting excited for our new adventure. It will be an adventure – a return to society after ten years in isolation. A return to a job market with multiple options for both of us. A return to a place with other queer people, with academia, and *food delivery*.
When we started adding up all the ways our rural isolation is consistently challenging in basic survival needs, let alone flourishing enough to plan for retirement one day, we realized that the bloom is off the Nootka rose. Perhaps we are being pushed because it’s simply time to go, and we’ve been resistant to making this change of our free will.
Every time I feel into the future intuitively, I see my spirit family there, smiling and reassuring, giving me optimism and encouraging me to let go…
It’s been an eventful week. On Tuesday I received an email, which felt to me like an earthquake:
I am sending you this email to let you know that (my husband) and I have given this considerable thought.
We will be listing (your house) for sale. I’ll be giving (the realtor) your contact information. (The realtor) will contact you and give you Notice, when she needs to walk through your home to do an Evaluation and also for future showing.
I would like you to know that you are our Tenants as long as we own the property. When there is a new owner, according to the Residential Tenancy Rules of BC, they must give you a minimum of Two Month Notice to Vacate if they want you to vacate or
the new Owners may want to keep you as Tenants. The decision is theirs to make.
If you have any questions please email me,
Sweetie and I are in for a big change, but we’re not sure what that’s going to look like yet. We have *loved* living in our house these past few years, and our landlords are straight up the best landlords I have ever rented from, in 20 years of renting. I have no resentment towards them for placing the house for sale – they have been so good to us! This event was not unexpected, we figured it would happen eventually, which is why for the past few years we’ve been doing everything we can to save money so that we can buy our own house.
In fact we attempted to buy a little place earlier this year and we were unsuccessful, so we resolved to stay put for another year or so before trying again.
Well, now we’re probably going to get evicted by new property owners. It likely won’t happen for at least 3 months (the house has to sell, and then they must give us notice) but three months isn’t a lot of time, really.
The realtor last night said she has sold this place 3 times in the past 20 years, and it’s always been an investment / rental property, and that no one has had to move before… but honestly I think she was just saying that so we wouldn’t be grumpy to prospective buyers. (We wouldn’t do anything to impede the sale anyway.) The real estate market has spiked in our area, and our landlords have every right to cash in… but there is no way the new investors are going to want to keep us on, paying the rent we’re paying, when they could evict us, renovate the unit, and rent it for double what we pay. Yes, that’s legal, and known as a “reno-viction”.
It’s not a surprise that this is happening, we were just hoping we’d have some more time before it did.
The last time we moved, in 2015, life felt pretty chaotic. We almost left our beloved West Coast. Rental housing is extremely difficult to come by, and what is available is ridiculously costly. We lucked into our current housing because my friend bought her first house, and we slid into her rental at her rate, because the landlords liked us and didn’t want to bother listing it. It’s why we bought our car, which was a whole other ordeal we could barely afford at the time, but it was the only way we’d have a shot at renting our current place. It’s been my favourite place to live. I *love* this house.
And I love living here, on the West Coast. We are so blessed, so fortunate. We could not have done this without my psychic business, either. My friends, you are all a part of this.
We do want to stay here. If we can’t find a way to buy a place, or a rental we can afford, our “worst” case scenario is to leave the area and start again somewhere new. People have to do this in life, sometimes, and where we end up if that happens will depend upon what hospital job I can find. That’s another potential loss as I *love* my hospital job.
But we’re not at the job searching phase yet. We’re in the investigating and listing possibilities phase.
As I was driving through the provincial park this morning – the world’s best commute, by the way – I was thinking about how this earthquake of an event has cracked open our insulated little life here, and is showing us many different possibilities. Because a change in the near future is *necessary*, it has shifted our frame of minds to see every possibility, and assess them pragmatically, even though there are powerful emotions surrounding *all* of them.
I’m a grounded, and sensitive person. I would really have preferred this change to happen on our terms, when we’re ready, when we are moving *on purpose*. But that’s not how life always works. I have never once been able to accurately predict what my own life would look like 5 years down the line! I like to be flexible and embrace life’s possibilities, even while I grieve the potential change.
Ugh my friends, I don’t want to leave!
I have really appreciated all I’ve invested in therapy in the past 3 years. I haven’t written a lot about it, but it’s been a big part of my life. When my mother got sick, and my life became all about making as much money as I could so I could visit her a few more times before she died, the anxiety (on the heels of losing our coffee business, by the way) pushed me to a limit in my brain. For the first time in my life, I found myself struggling to cope with anxiety and normal life challenges, and all I could do was shut down. It was scary for me, and even after our life stabilized, my mother passed, and we were safely moved into our wonderful house, I found myself struggling to manage my anxiety, and I wrote about it a few times. I also developed an eating disorder, which I’ve written somewhat about, and I developed symptoms of PTSD which I got some effective therapeutic help with. Oh yeah, and I dealt with chronic pelvic pain, and had a major surgery. I’ve been busy, sorting out my brain and my body!
It’s all been positive. It’s been worth it too, because I know if this notice of high potential for eviction had come through even a year ago, I don’t know if I would have coped without panicking.
I’m not panicking. And I’m marvelling that my nervous system is handling this uncertainty so well! Somewhere along my self-healing journey, the part of my brain that felt broken by the overwhelming challenges of 2012 – 2015 has healed, and I’m back to the me I remember from my 20s, where I wasn’t afraid of change, or a challenge. Hello there, old Kate! I so appreciate this realization.
I mean, this could potentially result in uprooting our *entire lives* – which we sacrificed so much to create – and start all over again in another community leaving behind our jobs, our friends and support systems, and our beloved wild west coast. This would have turned me inside out if this had happened any sooner.
But here we are, and I can honestly say that nothing bad is happening here. We are healthy, thank god! There is a lot of good in our lives, and maybe, just maybe, we are being pushed because we need it.
Maybe we will be able to buy something, and then we’ll *really* be living our west coast dream. Or maybe we’ll find another “miracle” rental that will buy us another year or two. Or maybe we’ll move somewhere else and start over, and if so, there will be good things about wherever we end up.
There’s a lot of Buddhist practice I notice coming up right now. We are going to be proactive and prioritize what we *want* to happen, and make sure we do everything we can to make that happen, but the outcome isn’t guaranteed, and we can’t become overly attached to our most-wanted outcomes. Attachment to outcomes can really be a motivator for action, like it was for our coffee business, like it was for our cross-country move to BC, but what really counts is the action we take, and my own ability to regulate my energy, my attachments. It’s so helpful.
So stay tuned, folks! 2019 is going to be a big transitional year for us! Send us good vibes!
And hey, I just launched a special discount for Blog Friends, my “Friendship Circle” mailing list. Sign up here and you’ll get $25 off your next session with me. It’s my thank you to you for caring enough about my story, and my writing, to subscribe. Make sure you’re on the list!
Thank you to everyone who booked!
WOW that sold out faster than any promotion I have ever done previously! Thank you so much everyone.
I have a feeling that there are more than a few who missed out, because this special went so fast. I’m going to come up with something for you all to bring forward… stay tuned.
Happy Spring my Friends!
Well, it may not feel like Spring to many of us across the world, especially if you have SNOW and COLD! Here in Tofino, it snowed last night for the first time in *three years*! *It covered the daffodils! SOB!*
So I’m going to make it feel like Spring today, by launching this special discount full of flowers and warmth and welcome to you! Woo hoo!
That’s $133 for a ONE-HOUR session! I’m only offering this on sessions scheduled *before June* though, so book yours quickly and by the time we talk, it will REALLY be Spring!
If you’re one of the wonderful new folks here, I just want to gently point out this is the first time I’ve offered a discount on regular sessions in *years*. I usually will do a pet session discount, or my annual New Year Report card special, but I have *never offered a $50 discount* before – ever!
I just felt like I wanted to this time. I do a little exercise when I’m working with the “energy” of my offerings. I sit with it for some time and see how it feels, and my $20 discount which I have offered here and there in the past just didn’t feel *exciting enough* for this BLEARY ol’ February! So I upped the ante until I came to $50 off!
I have already sent this promo out to my email list, and as I’m writing this blog post, I have already TWO bookings! (Thanks CH and MP!) I think this special might just book up faster than any one I’ve done before! (That’s probably why it feels exciting to me!)
*** UPDATE *** OMG – people! There are only 4 spots left!
So join me this Spring for this special session just for you!
Talk to you soon!
Freddie Mercury is extremely easy to talk to. Like, John Lennon levels of easy. You mention him, he’s practically there! A few nights ago I was watching a youtube video that mentioned Freddie and Princess Diana’s friendship, how he and his cronies dressed her up in a “dominatrix” cap (Freddie’s description) with aviator sunglasses and took her out for a night on the town! Everyone was so focused on Freddie Mercury no one noticed Princess Di in her disguise!
Freddie knew fame, and he really knew boundaries too. He knew how to reach his fans with love and glory, and he knew (and did his best) to protect his loved ones. And he adored Diana. That was the first thing to come through. I’ll ask Freddie to come in and help me recall that conversation in a moment, but first I’d like to acknowledge that whenever I’m writing about talking to well-known people in the afterlife, I’m not trying to prove anything here. The confirmations I get are likely easily discoverable through google, and as with my previous conversations, I do my best to keep this respectful and mindful.
K: Hello, Freddie!
F: (Freddie appears in elaborate royal dress, similar to the above photo, but he says:) Tell them it’s with more fur and glitter! (Lots of fur piles across his shoulders in white and black, full length red robe with gold, and an impossibly high spiked crown.)
K: Your clothing reminds me of Lady Gaga –
F: AH Yes! I adore (says her given name Stephani). She has the heart of an angel and the voice of a Siren! We met.
K: You met? But you died in 1991.
F: We met! She and Brian and (shows me two other people) had a séance with a trusted medium and we spoke, she felt me! It’s not something she would speak on publically of course. We made the connection, Bry felt it as well. Was a blast! One of the things I always wanted to do after I died, appear in a séance. I didn’t / couldn’t knock over the table or anything like that, this medium was not dramatic and added no embelishments. They did sit on the floor, done up with piles of rugs and pillows, but they were all standing, dancing by the end! It was a special evening. I’ve spoken / visited Mary (Austin) often too. Of course I do, I would never leave them alone.
K: What about the fellow you were living with, Jim Hutton?
F: I do, he was angry with me for a period and told me to “Just fuck off, Freddie,” so I did. He had good reason to be angry with me.
K: Did you have a falling out or…?
F: No, no nothing like that. We had a non-monogamous relationship, where I would sleep with someone else, and he would either sleep with someone else as well or not, and then he’d forgive me. After a while the drama drained out of it, and I would behave badly – like a rock star, you know – and I thought he’d gotten used to it, because we didn’t fight about it anymore. After I died – no, that’s not true. Before I died, while I was sick and he was taking care of me, he was so fucking loyal, just such a good man, and I said I was sorry I had treated him as I had. He was too angry with me to feel it until after I died, and he had to process everything that had happened. There was always the suspicion too, that I had been the one to give him HIV. There was no way to know, of course, because back then many believed it happened to you *because* you slept with men. So many of us didn’t believe in god, but got the virus and thought, well, this is god punishing me for being a fag.
K: You just internalized it. Did you do that, with the disease?
F: No, I didn’t, but towards the end I thought that maybe I had ruined Jim’s life. I didn’t feel like that all the time, just when I felt really ill and depressed. Jim never let me push him away though.
I was always honest with Jim. He knew I was holding myself back from him, and he was right. Mary was the only person in my life that I was completely open with, and she accepted me completely. She knew me. We had unfailing loyalty to each other. I talked with Jim early on in our relationship about how special and irreplaceable Mary was in my life. He understood at the time, he said I could love him my way, and he would love me his way. That we would figure it out together, and he was not asking me for something I could not give to him.
After I died, I think Jim allowed himself to see he had accepted the short end of the stick. I had wondered if I should have kicked him out – but where would he go? I didn’t want to reject him, I loved him, dearly. I was always honest with him.
K: Did he ever ask you to promise him to be monogamous? I can delete this, you don’t need to answer.
F: Alright, yes, he did ask me to stop messing with other men, on several occasions. In the moment, I could not bring myself to tell him, “No, I can’t do that.” I just said, “Alright.” Those were the most painful conversations. He had every right to feel angry with me, afterwards. The anger only lasted a short time. We lived together, we travelled together, because the good times far outweighed the bad.
K: I saw in a youtube video that stated you were bisexual, but only romantically interested in women, and only sexually interested in men, which I know is a thing, but it didn’t seem to ring true to me about you. What do you think?
F: Of course, the audience wants to believe they know what goes on behind the curtain. No, I am not simply interested in men for one thing and women for another. I had wonderful, pleasing, gratifying sex with men and women, and I love and loved both men and women. I treated my relationships with them differently, and I was more leaning towards men than women, really. I only needed to journey into my adulthood to discover that.
My love for Mary and my love for Jim was quite different. My loyalty to them was complete. I felt like I owed so much of myself to Mary, there were moments in my young adult life where Mary picked me up off of the floor. She loved me unconditionally, she simply accepted me. Mary came first. I was honest with Jim about that too, Mary would come first.
Jim, to his credit, did not resent Mary one bit. He respected her, respected our relationship.
Jim was with me through my whole illness. It must have been terrifying for him at the time, knowing he had the same thing, and it was just ticking like a tomb bomb inside of him, waiting to do the same, or similar, or possibly worse things to him. My foot was gangrenous. It just never healed. It started with an infected toenail, and the tissue just started to die, and then more around it would die, and it all just went bad. They wanted to amputate my foot, but I just knew if I went into the hospital I would never get out. “Let it rot off,” I said, “I’m dying anyway.” Then we had a show that week. That was the first time I thought “This show might be my last,” so I poured every ounce of energy into every show from that point on. It felt different, pushing to get the show out, giving it every last ounce of life inside of me.
I thought, if I died of a heart attack during a performance, that would be art. It had never been done before! Or if I died of a heart attack shortly after a show, that would be alright too. I wasn’t afraid of pushing my body too far and causing a rupture or a stroke or any of the other things they said might happen if I continued to perform.
What was I here for, if not to sing? Every show became the opportunity to give *the best performance of my life*. I am proud of Queen, I am so very, deeply proud of our final performances together. We all knew each one might be my last.
K: I understand you were recording a song just a few weeks before you died?
F: Yes, and I fucked that one up. They had to finish it without me, but they did a great job. The pain in my foot was terrible at the time, I was sick from the infections. (he corrects me as I went to write “fever” but says it wasn’t a fever because his immune system wasn’t working well, and he gives me dizziness, nausea, weakness, and incredible fatigue.) All in all, I am very happy with my legacy. Let’s talk about the cats.
K: Oh yes! The other night you mentioned that you had a cat just like Rupert, and then we found a photo!
He looks just like my cat Rupert in this photo! Rupert makes that face whenever he is having an opinion about something.
F: Yes, he was a self-possessed pussy. We had others, too.
K: Yes, I found this photo, and the two of them together look like Mikey and Rupert!
F: Oh, but this orange tabby could be such an asshole. He would piss on things if he didn’t like his dinner. He could be a bully with the other cats as well, so we had to manage him. I think he was one of Jim’s favourites.
K: With so many cats in your house, I’m sure there were a few cat pee wars.
F: Yes (the female) would get upset and pee on the furniture. I just loved her too much to take it personally. I just wish she didn’t pick the antiques.
K: I saw mention of you petting Delilah as one of the last things you did in your life.
F: Yes, that’s from Jim’s book – you should read it, it’s very good.
K: I will, I love a good autobiography.
F: You will love his. He doesn’t get into much detail about his own life before we met, because he believed that people weren’t interested in him, they were only interested in the story of our love life. In truth, Jim rarely allowed anyone to get the full measure of him. He underplayed his intelligence despite being extremely well-read. He loved art, music of course, and he was humble, he never attempted to aggrandize himself through his associations. (Freddie gives love and admiration for Jim.) He is a jewel of a man. I did not give him full credit either, I thought he would surely leave me after my HIV diagnosis. We didn’t know he was positive as well. I expected him to get off the ride, but he didn’t, and I was so very lucky to have him with me when I died. He loved me right to the very end. And he made sure I didn’t die in hospital.
K: Oh right – Michael Jackson! Sweetie told me something about you pissing off Michael for “doing too much cocaine”? What happened there?
F: Oh Michael. I reached out to him, I loved his music, and we were planning on collaborating. I did quite a pile of cocaine off of his fancy coffee table in view of (shows me children’s playground equipment through the window. He clarifies it was before Michael build the Neverland ranch, but it was Michael’s home and he had children’s play equipment nearby.) Michael was an innocent. He cultivated his child-like view of the world. It was more than a faux paux to use cocaine in his house, right in the open. I don’t supposed it would have been different if I had gone to the washroom and done is discreetly, but why would I? We were both rock stars, he knew who he was inviting to his home!
K: When I first heard that, I thought Michael was upset that you did too much of *his* cocaine? (I was joking.)
F: No, Michael didn’t use cocaine. All of his drugs came from doctors, who were no better than drug dealers anyway. He would just find a doctor who would prescribe him what he wanted, and BRING IT TO THE HOUSE. If one wouldn’t do it, another would. Obtaining his drugs through doctors elevated him above “dirty druggee” status. I’m sorry to say Michael was far more dependent on his medications than I ever was on cocaine. Suffice to say that our collaboration never happened.
(indicates he also met Elton John through Princess Di)
K: Oh how did you like Elton?
F: (shrug) I believe that dear Diana believed we would become friends because we were – to her understanding – both gay men, and both musicians, performers, arguably “over the top” performers too. Di was a sweetheart, and we both did love her, but Elton and I were at opposite ends of the rainbow. My band may have been called “Queen” but he was the true Queen. He was… On rethinking it, I believe our personalities simply clashed. Elton seemed to love to live like royalty – he had people for everything! Bring me breakfast, wipe my ass! He loved the royal treatment. I preferred my privacy. I had assistance cleaning the house, cooking on occasion, gardening – but I did not have “staff” the way Elton had staff. We just could not relate. I would never have played Las Vegas, for example.
K: (This struck me as wrong, how could Queen with Freddie Mercury singing, have never played Las Vegas? I tried to google it, but as Queen is still touring and *does* play in Las Vegas, it’s more than a simple search to answer that question. I asked Freddie to clarify and he just cocked his head to the side, not sure how to interpret that.)
Have you met Michael in the afterlife at all?
F: Of course! And I was in the front row to greet Bowie, of course! The party continues! And Lennon too! John Lennon, I never had the opportunity to befriend him in life.
K: I found a photo of you two together:
F: Yes! John was a legend there and I was just starting out. Queen had not fully happened at that point. I was devastated when John was killed. I couldn’t believe I had let all of that time pass, and we had never formed a friendship. We were too busy, touring, and then John became quite reclusive, and lived in New York. I should have taken the time – but, I thought there would be time. I never thought either one of us would die, ever! (laughs)
K: You were young and immortal?
F: And a famous rock star! That’s as close to immortality as one could get in the seventies! It was absolutely wild. With the women on the pill and there was free love everywhere, our generation scared the shit out of the establishment. Your young generation should do what we did (get out of control). Did you notice they let the 1980’s economic boom happened to calm all of the rebellious counter-culture youth? It worked, as well. After a while, our fans needed babysitters to come to our shows, or some would bring their kids and leave early! Our audience was changing, but I knew Queen needed to continue as the band THEY remembered. I wasn’t interested in aging, but it was happening. Jim and I used to talk about growing old and decrepit together, I always insisted I was not going to do that! He would say, “Well, speak for yourself, I have every intention of growing old.” As it turned out, the decrepit happened, just not the old. (lights a cigarette and smiles, twinkle in his eye.)
K: Did you ever want children, or more of a family with Jim or Mary?
F: (emphatically) No. I would have been a shit father. Proper parents must make parenting the focus of their whole life. I knew I couldn’t do that. I loved my cats like children, I was fortunate to have many friends, incredible artists, and I left my mark upon the world. It was a successful life.
K: Yes it was. Thank you for talking to me. Oh Freddie! I almost forgot – a reader asked me to ask you if you are still with Jim in the afterlife?
F: Yes. (Shows Jim behind him, both have huge smiles. Jim waves, he glows happiness. There is also a privacy indicator, so I don’t ask follow-up questions.)
Hello friends! Happy New Year!
We pick up our theme of discussing smudging and other ways we could potentially be *harming ourselves and others* through our spiritual practice – this is a *must-listen* for everyone who uses this popular energy clearing technique! My good friend Andrea Sexton Dumas has come on the podcast to discuss it with us! If you check out her website, you’ll see she also clears homes professionally! Here’s her bio:
Did you know that you can have every episode of my podcast download to your smartphone, immediately? And you can have quick, unlimited access to past episodes?
Once that’s installed, just search for “Kate Sitka” or “Joyful Telepathy” and my podcast will come right up! Be sure to Subscribe so that episodes will load to your phone as soon as they are released!
That’s it! I listen to podcasts myself every day – it’s the new radio! The best part is you can download it to your phone and listen to them anywhere, even if you don’t have wifi!
Happy New Year – and Happy Listening!
I thought I’d kick off 2019 by sharing some of my favourite things, Oprah style, from this past year that has helped me, enhanced my life, educated me, or fascinated me. Here we go!
Through my health struggles and reaching out to various practitioners, doctors, naturopathic doctors, therapists, nutritionists, I developed an eating disorder. Actually, what really happened was years of disordered eating habits mutated into an eating disorder. I didn’t realize I had so many disordered eating habits, as that behavior is so normalized in our culture, and I was never considered “underweight” by BMI standards – even at my thinnest when my friends told me I was getting too thin.
It wasn’t until my body rebelled, and refused to get smaller no matter what behavior I engaged in, and then my surgeon told me to lose weight before my hysterectomy even though I’d been trying for years to reduce. I was afraid I wouldn’t be allowed to have the surgery if I didn’t manage to lose weight – but it also didn’t make intuitive sense. Before spiraling down too far on the road marked “bulimia”, I reached out to my friends, my survival instinct of “I just can’t live like this,” kicked in, and I talked to the surgical nurse to confirm they wouldn’t actually withhold the surgery if I didn’t succeed in losing any weight. The nurse surprisingly said that most people actually didn’t lose weight before the surgery, which makes me wonder why on earth this surgeon, awesome and skilled as she was, recommended weight loss before surgery at all.
Fortunately, I found Food Psych. This podcast, more than any other podcast about diet culture, intuitive eating, health at every size, and gentle nutrition, helped to confirm for myself that a lot of the messaging I’d internalized from all these professionals in my life was actually just wrong, and that the medical world which I also work in, is incredibly biased when it comes to weight.
I mean, I’d gotten to the point where the list of foods I couldn’t / shouldn’t eat due to my attempts to curb my pelvic pain and weight gain was so long that I would often feel anxiety or panic about what I could eat at all. It was not a healthy place to be in, which is ironic because I was putting so much time and energy into trying to be HEALTHY!
I highly recommend the Food Psych podcast to everyone, because diet culture affects us and oppresses us all, and until we are educated, we actually perpetuate this oppression on ourselves and each other! Let’s just STOP! And get happier J
Okay, That’s quite a lot on Food Psych. I wonder how long this post is going to get!
For decades, I have avoided massage therapy. Frankly, I don’t like being touched that much, and I feel like to pick up the therapist’s thoughts once in a while. I can’t know for sure if that’s what’s happened, but even if what pops into my head during a massage is NOT telepathic sponging, it IS, at the very least, a sign of how uncomfortable I am.
Well, this year I decided to figure out how to get over my massage hangups, because I frankly really needed the help. My recovery from surgery this past year has not been the upward gently inclined plane I had visualized it would be (not complaining, I just expected I’d be hiking regularly by now and feeling great about it, instead I still get exhausted by a 1 hour walk.) I have done *so much physiotherapy* and found it to be frustrating, because I really couldn’t progress past 20 – 30 reps for exercises that were supposed to help my knees, lower back, and endurance.
About 6 months ago, my neck started to seize up. Nothing I could do would fix it, and the discomfort was constant, and prevented me from sleeping well or enjoying my days. I decided to go see a local massage therapist to see if it would help, and it DID, though it hurt like hell at times, and I felt like the therapist was having thoughts about my body. For a while I thought I was just being self-conscious. At one point when I commented that my calves were one of my favorite body parts, she replied, “Yes, they’re very lean,” and I felt like she thought I liked my calves because they had no fat on them. This may not be what she meant at all, but really, what could she have meant? She couldn’t have meant “strong”, which is what I meant, because “strong” and “lean” are very different things.
She was a super-skilled massage therapist and I absolutely would recommend her to friends, but there was something about her that fed my inner eating disorder monster – and that may have had nothing to do with her. Regardless, I decided to switch to a different massage therapist for a different issue.
After my neck issue was resolved, it still didn’t resolve that my physio exercises just weren’t improving my ability to go on long hikes, and I was (AM) getting frustrated. It’s been a YEAR since my surgery after all, shouldn’t I be all better by now?
Well I happened upon some physiotherapists on youtube, (stay tuned for my next favorite thing) and saw a simple exercise for the gluteus medius that immediately tickled my brain as the RIGHT THING! In attempting to do this exercise over the next two weeks, I realized that my gluteus medius was just not functioning like it should, and that my legs in general were actually extremely stiff and sore all the time.
It’s funny how “stiff and sore” doesn’t register as pain at all, and therefore my brain didn’t really bring it to my attention. It wasn’t until I started focusing on this area of my body for several days in a row that I realized something was wrong.
If I can’t even do these physio exercises, and I can feel the muscle engage but then crap out after a few minutes, I realized that my low back and butt is probably in the same shape as my neck was… so I decided to try a different massage therapist.
Different therapists have different communication styles, and even different ways of working the body, so I thought I’d try a different therapist at the same practice, just to see if I liked her better.
SHE. WAS. AWESOME! Such a great listener – meaning, she listened with empathy, and I think she must have some background in energy work as well, because the session felt like massage therapy, but also like a light reiki treatment too. Today my ass feels AMAZING and I actually feel like I want to go on a 2 hour hike and my body will handle it! I can’t believe how much energy it freed up in my body!
Massage therapists are expensive for people to see on a regular basis if you don’t have benefits that cover the service, as I do. However, I have found that massage therapists, particularly young ones looking for experience and new clients, can be more flexible on their prices or even willing to work for trade. Back when Sweetie and I were entirely self-employed through our coffee roastery, I traded coffee for massage, as I was able to write off the coffee and it cost far less than the hourly rate of the session – and the therapist was happy with that.
If massage, or talk therapy, is something you really need for your health and you can’t afford the list price, there’s no harm in reaching out with a *very polite* non-entitled email explaining your situation and asking if they had any flexibility in their pricing or if they’d be willing to do a trade for whatever product or service you can bring to the table, be it child care, property maintenance, cleaning, etc. You may be surprised.
I’m very optimistic about my butt right now, I think I may have hit on the thing that will get me hiking again! And you know what that means – I can get another dog!
I have mentioned before how pelvic floor physiotherapy helped me quite a bit, but it’s been a frustrating year for physio as mentioned above. This does not sound like physio is one of my favorite things, does it? But it IS because I know once you hit on the RIGHT physio exercise, my function and my LIFE improves dramatically!
Just like massage therapists, if you’re not making progress or something feels off with a physiotherapist, don’t give up, try a different practitioner, and do your own research too. Try youtube videos! Talk to your friends! Just keep trying, because that’s the only way you’ll find what you need.
This book was SO HELPFUL to me, and I think a number of my blog friends will find it helpful too. I have often felt like I must be “creating something out of nothing” when it came to many formative life experiences and social dynamics in my life. Sorry to be vague, but the abuse continues if I get too specific.
This book helped me to understand what psychological abuse is, it helped me to understand how I was also an abuser as a child, cast as a “flying monkey” before I really had my own understanding of the situation. It is helping me to understand the cycle of abuse, which is something that drives our whole world, and it’s helped me to pick apart difficult dynamics I’ve encountered in my professional career as well.
What really enthused me was the information on how psychological abuse and spiritual abuse can team up.
I’ve seen people vilified if they “go against” someone in the group who holds more power or status than they do. This is a real danger when you have one person, or a few people, who represent a group. We see this in cults, we see it in entrepreneurial groups, and heartrendingly, we see this in spiritual groups with leaders choosing to single out someone publicly, gaslight them privately, or recruit “flying monkeys” to abuse this individual by proxy.
If you’ve ever been bullied, if you’ve felt singled out or ostracized, if you’ve felt hurt but wondered if you were just “too sensitive”, this book may give you some surprising and liberating insights!
I recommend it to just about anyone who’s interest in piqued, because abuse dynamics are everywhere in our culture. They’re in our families, our workplaces, and in our entertainment. We are so indoctrinated to accept this treatment that we may even unintentionally perpetuate it on to others – maybe even to those closest to us.
It is a surprisingly good read, and I’ve read a LOT of books like this in the past three years, since I went into treatment for PTSD in 2016. Many of these books were helpful, but Healing from Hidden Abuse was so validating, and understanding my experiences through this lens has been freeing and uplifting. Shannon’s examples and descriptions were easily relate-able and I could see my own life experiences in her words. I actually listened to the audio version on audible.com
Okay, yes, I am wearing my self-promoting fascinator just for a moment, but I am also being sincere when I say how grateful I am to have started the podcast, and to have received so much support from my listeners. It has facilitated many important discussions, talks I *never would have had* without the podcast! Joyful Telepathy has brought me friends, helped me to teach, and has taught me the skills to launch my audio class, Telepathic Communication with Animals and Spirit.
And that, my friends, is my Top 5 Favorite things in 2018! Have a wonderful day!
Cover art for massage therapy graduation. Watercolor. Artist: Brynja Magnusson
I think I’m not alone in being busy – 2018 was one beautiful, but hectic year for me. I realized today that it’s been a while – too long – since I sat in silent meditation.
I’ve noticed that when I feel too busy, I tend to push off the very things that are good for me, and help me cope with busy-ness. Yoga is something I used to do daily, and haven’t done in a while, and given my feelings of inner restlessness, I decided to start there.
I’m not one of these yoginis who finds all her peace and solace on her mat. Sometimes, it’s the opposite. If I’m moving through a series, guided by yoga youtube which I’d done before, and notice I can’t quite keep up to my old pace, or I’m not really enjoying it as the exertion is beyond my ease, I can end up feeling mentally worse on the mat than on the couch! But that’s a head problem, and knowing it’s been a while, I took a moment to get my head right, and proactively encourage myself to move through at least 10 minutes, and modify wherever I needed to without shame.
Funny how an exercise meant to be self-care can end up being self-shaming if you’re not completely on top of yourself. Being real here – I will never pretend to have my inner life together at all times, because none of us do. In fact, if you find someone on youtube, Instagram, facebook etc., who appears to have all of their act together at all times, be skeptical and wonder for a moment what they’re choosing not to share.
So anyway, I got on my mat, went through the movements, and felt myself click back into a place, intuitively, that I haven’t felt since 2013, (the year my mother was diagnosed.) It was a deeply peaceful, meditative place. I have been breathing and moving in the years since 2013, certainly! Today was different though, and I’ll tell you why I think that is:
Since 2012, I have been so focused on surviving, then doing everything I could to visit my mother as often as I could before she died, then processing the endless geyser of emotional upheaval that continued to erupt in the years since her death! Huge shifts happened within out family dynamic. Big emotional events caused relational earthquakes. My reproductive health took a nosedive and took over my life. Even childhood events began to demand attention by showing up with unrelenting PTSD-like symptoms.
I coped pretty well, I think. I went to therapy. I went to doctors. I talked to my friends. I wrote about much of these challenges in this blog! (Thank you so much for reading! You help me more than you know!)
2018 has been an incredible year for me, after all we have worked through. Sweetie and I got married! I healed from my surgery. I launched my Telepathic Communication Class. I did more sessions this year than I’ve ever done in previous years. My practice is growing, my health is improving, and I can feel things moving forward again.
To facilitate this forward motion, I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I let things go. I have put so much energy into healing myself, and through that journey, I’ve learned that I really can *only* heal myself.
While I can certainly help other people, I can’t heal them through only my own effort.
Though I can express my own convictions, I can’t change other’s opinions. I’m responsible for my actions, but not for what people think of me, my life, or what I choose to do with it.
My mission for 2019 is to let all of that go.
I’m going to leave behind the expectations that I internalized from other people. This covers A LOT.
Instead, I am going to remind myself of the standards which *I* hold dear.
I’m going to leave behind the wishes and hopes and sighs of “if only things had been different”, because they weren’t, and really, that’s okay.
I going to remind myself to hold compassion for myself and for the other people in those thoughts.
I’m going to release responsibility and attachment for relationships I would love to have, but aren’t within my reach.
I will gently remind myself that I am not responsible to do all of the work that needs to be done. And I will gently blanket myself with a new layer of emotional protection, which I deserve.
I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions – in fact, I’ve been known to resolve to eat an egg for breakfast that very day – and that’s it, resolution accomplished! However, I have been known to take up prayer this time of year, and I thought I’d share a bit of that with you.
I have a prayer book. Not a book of prayers written by other people, but prayers I’ve written myself. Sometimes I call these, “letters to God”. I do see myself in partnership with someone greater than myself, and as my understanding of spirituality expands.
I’m learning more about Judaism right now, and the philosophy discussions I’m listening to are so engaging – exciting, even. All the years I attended the teachings of a dear Buddhist monk who takes the time to travel all the way out to the coast, I never felt the excitement of “yes I believe that!” or “Yes, I value that!” So much about Buddhism is letting go, releasing expectation, attachment, giving love freely, believing in the butterfly effect of loving kindness, inner reflection, and unconditional compassion. It’s a lifelong commitment and I *will* always carry these teachings forward.
I owe Buddhism so much in my ability to cope with physical and spiritual distress, and the meditation practice is something I will take with me for the rest of my life. It is truly a gift. Whereas Buddhism has brought me quite a lot of peace and strength, and Christianity has brought community, Judaism is really bringing the brain into spirituality – which is exciting!
For example, from Wikipedia:
Jewish ethical practice is typically understood to be marked by values such as justice, truth, peace, loving-kindness (chesed), compassion, humility, and self-respect. Specific Jewish ethical practices include practices of charity (tzedakah) and refraining from negative speech (lashon hara).
There’s a lot to resonate with there, which I already hold as deep personal values. I think the thing which I find most exciting about studying Judaism is that there is literally no way I will ever hit the bottom of the philosophical discussions within the community. I’m not comparing or saying it’s “better” in any way – not at all my point, and I’ve already come across fundamentalist or uber-conservative rabbis who are problematic – it’s just that Judaism as a culture seems to embrace the UNKNOWN aspects of spirituality far more than Buddhism, Wicca, or any version of Christianity I’ve yet encountered.
I am just intrigued by a faith system that admits, “Hey, we don’t really know for sure, why the things that happen here on earth, happen – and we don’t really agree on what happens after you die either! But we’ve been talking about it for thousands of years!”
A few of the customs I’ve been exposed to through Jewish friends have made an impression on me as well. For example, in the event of an unexpected death, you still proceed with planned celebrations such as bar mitzvah and weddings, because in life, death walks beside us. When, this past summer, people criticized a bride roundly for going ahead with her wedding when her mother had died in a surfing accident that morning, I thought of this practice and believe for some families it is completely appropriate not to cancel her wedding, and I believe, as the bride said, this is what her mother would have wanted. (I don’t know if this family is Jewish or not.)
So the Faithware Upgrade continues! Back to my prayer book:
I have this special journal, with paper so fine and soft I can’t stand to use it for anything but the most vulnerable thoughts in my heart. This is not a journal for to do lists or business planning, it’s not even practical to write in that often, as the pages are small. I only write very special things in them – my gratitude for the blessings in my life, and my prayers for support in doing better work, and looking after myself, my wife, and caring for my community.
This book is where I boil everything down to what I have to offer the earth, and what I need to accomplish that.
I haven’t written in this book for four years.
I had almost forgotten what I’d written in it.
After my yoga, I felt the strong urge to just sit in my body, in silent meditation, kegels for the mind! When I sat upon my mat, with my cat, (ha) I went through my routine of addressing all the thoughts running through my head. No wonder I like to listen to audiobooks! It distracts me from all these THOUGHTS! It took a while for all those thoughts to feel heard, and for my body to make its own state of the union speech, before the space cleared and before me, in my minds eye, I saw my prayer book, and I immediately knew I needed to pick it up and write in it.
Before I did, I gently folded back the pages I’d written four to eight years ago, and to my amazement, I could tick off every prayer as answered. I had never before gone back to check.
My first entry, of course, was a big Thank You. It’s been quite a journey, these past four years, but I sense a big shift now, like the gathering of momentum under me – the feeling you get when you’re on a horse, cantering across an open straight-away, and with a click of encouragement, you feel your horse shift underneath you, as you get high on her neck, gather yourselves before the burst of speed into a gallop!
I don’t know exactly what’s in store for me in the coming years, I do know that I’m ready – not from a place of need (as in, I need things to change) but from a place of growth, where I really can leave these other heavy things behind.
Sometimes healing is about letting go, and being at peace with the scar. One thing is for sure, you can’t truly heal if you keep *looking* at the scar, you just accept it, and when you’re good and ready, you choose to release attachment to the events, the losses, the upheaval that surrounded that scar. You work with it, and most importantly, you do NOT let it hold you back!
A very Happy New Year, my blog friends! Tell me your resolution, if you have one!