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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in healing yourself

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Healing of Zen

Everyone needs a safe haven to escape to. It may be a room in one's home, or more ideally, a garden outside. I discovered a space much my accident in a cul-de-sac between two apartment buildings. It was a strange outdoor cubby, which could only be accessed by crawling out to it through the kitchen windows, or through those in the bedroom. Making sure to open the chosen window all the way– a few head bumps later– I crawled out into a strange new world. Since we were on the second floor, this was one from being directly on the roof of our building. It was much like having a side porch, but with the added bonus of total privacy. There was a high wooden fence separating ours from that belonging to our neighbor to the west. From the sounds of it, she could access hers through her kitchen as well, listening to the familiar clink-clinks of dishes being washed in a sink. All above were the roof tops on either side and clear blue open sky. I noticed that the individual who had resided here before had brilliantly installed two heavy-duty hooks– one diagonal from the other– perfectly designed for a lazy swinging hammock. And thus, the "Zen Den" was born.

I really became excited with the possibilities of this secret zen space, so I began to decorate it. I picked out a large, outdoor, bristly throw rug, so it would be inviting to take off one's shoes and stay awhile. I also found a cool vintage table to set drinks and reading materials on in easy reach. I fastened hooks on the fence to hang cheery items: a mini tiki hut and a straw-topped wind chime from Jamaica that used shells for chimes. Although this would mostly be a space utilized in the day, I came across some pleasant outdoor lights – little metal flowers – to festoon across the windowsills leading to the bedroom. Also in order was a seasonal, gaily colored hanging plant that could withstand both shade and heat, requiring minimal care. My mother informed me that begonias would do the trick, so I went with those. I imagined there should be at least one other seating option for a guest, so I invested in a small fold-up camp chair on sale. The pièce de résistance? The hammock. I found one with the brightest colored stripes imaginable, and voila! Other items found their way here in time– a scented candle, four assorted stones arranged in a glass holder, a small clay statue from the Ren Faire in Bristol.

When the spot truly became a haven for me was the day after my grandmother died. I will never forget what a bright shiny day it started out as, that May 29th. A robin crossed my path on my way to my car to go to work. It hopped really close and stared at me for awhile. Odd, I thought. I got the call from my mother while driving. She asked if I could pull over. I told her I couldn't, I was on the highway. When she hesitated to tell me, I made her anyway. She was right about  pulling over. My eyes were so blurred with tears I could barely see. It was a beautiful day out. Gumma was gone. I didn't understand. She'd had a bout with illness shortly after her recent move to the retirement center, but I had a good long talk with her last week. She'd sounded strong. She was anxious to get out and celebrate her 95th birthday with us on June 12.

The next day I was home alone, deep in grief. My partner had asked if I wanted him to change his going away plans for the weekend to stay with me, but I declined. I thought it would be best if I were by myself to process this. And process I did – in my Zen Den. From morning until sundown. I ate meals, read, wrote, did yoga, listened to music, and napped in the comforting rock of the hammock. I sat cross-legged on the new rug trying to make sense of my loss. I looked up at the birds swooping across the sky above me and cried.

Now every year between May 29 and June 12, I reopen the Zen Den for business. I sweep it out of leaves, debris and dirt. I scour it clean with an old rag, a bucket of warm water, uplifting essential oils, and I unpack all the things taken down for the cold season. Six years after the first Zen Den and Gumma's passing, the rug needed to be tossed out. The table – which wasn't really an outdoor one to begin with – started to grow mushrooms on its edges, and the wood began to rot away. I'm not sure what became of the cheap little camp chair? The mini tiki hut and wind chimes have long since been retired, after losing many of their pieces in strong winds that have blown through. I keep meaning to replace things, but haven't quite gotten around to it. Since I've always kept rocks and candles in the space, I wanted to add some natural pool of water or a mini fountain, along with new wind chimes, so that all the four elements are represented.

I have made a point to hang a new basket of flowers in the Zen Den every year, though. Gumma would like that. She loved her flowers so.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    Zen (spirit) is the obvious reality of beings in their very own right - too simple by western terms but in reality is the basis to
  • Colleen DuVall
    Colleen DuVall says #
    Thank you for your input, Tony. The power of Zen is strong!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Real Food Gives You Willpower

I quit sugar four weeks ago today, and I am amazed at how much energy, motivation, focus, and contentment I have gained as a result.  I’ve also dropped about 20 pounds and went from a size 28 to a size 24 in these four weeks, and I haven’t even made regular exercise part of my regimen yet (that’s in my plans for the next four weeks.)

When I say I quit sugar, I mean I stopped eating refined carbohydrates: candy; junk food; fast food; foods made with white flour, white rice, skinless potatoes; processed “food;” and artificial and refined sweeteners.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ashley, I support your journey. Since 1980, I’ve basically been sugar free. I’ve also refrained from honey, maple syrup, corn syru
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thanks Francesca! I quit all those things too. I look forward to reading your blog post.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Rock on! Let me know what you think about the blog. I am hoping it will support your eating power, ... ooh, I like that, must u
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    I love your affirmation. I left a comment there too. Link your new blog post here when you are done writing it - I'd love to rea
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    You are too kind, tu! I read your blog on your own site about qutting sugar. It is such an accomplishment.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Art of Letting Go

What better day of the month to release that which no longer serves me, that which harms me and holds me back, than the night before the new moon?

I feel like I've been carrying the weight of the grieving world on my shoulders for the last few weeks.  Perhaps for the last few months.  And I've come very close to my breaking point.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Soulburn

 

Almost everyone I know has at some time had a sunburn. Nowadays I am ridiculously careful with sunscreen every day having had a skin cancer scare a number of years ago. Before then, I often didn't realize that I had had too much Sun until a day later when my skin was inflamed and sensitive. I can recall times when just a fingertip running across my arm felt like someone dragging a rusty nail across my skin. There have been times when the sunburn was bad enough that even a cool soothing balm felt like an assault upon my skin. There was also, in those extreme cases, a sense of malaise as well. Nature often repeats certain patterns, and human nature perhaps even more often. I have often observed that what we experience in our physical bodies is also similar to what we experience in our souls, our psyches, and our spirits. I think that we can get a soulburn, and it is very much like a sunburn. By the way, a soulburn is not the same thing as burnout which is what happens when we do too much and burn the candle and both ends and the middle.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    PS: 1) so many good insights in your post! 2) the dark in which we sleep is blessed.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ivo, this is so wise. I often talk to my students about not frying their circuits as magical practioners. If I understand you co
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Thanks Francesca, I would agree that fried circuits and soulburn are not the same but they do overlap. I also am a believer in th
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for this, Ivo. I can really, really, really relate. Of course, the other side is when one isn't often invited anywhere, o
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Good luck on your foray into uncertain territory. Let me know when and I'll light a candle for you.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Power to Forgive

I had so many things to be angry about.  So many people had wronged me, from my biological father who molested me, to my beloved grandmother who’d bailed him out of jail and brought him home to live with me after he shot my mother in the head, to my mother who taught me that I was worthless and unlovable, to the so-called friends who had used and betrayed me over and over.

They wronged me.  They hurt me.  They deserved to suffer for what they did to me.  How could I possibly forgive them, especially if they were not even pretending to be sorry?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Me
    Me says #
    Hi, Ashley. Thank you for writing with both skill and vulnerability about the power of forgiveness. This is something that needs t
  • Me
    Me says #
    *From my review here: http://wp.me/p2lGy6-3a
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you, Jason! I will have to check out that book. ((HUGS)) Ashley Rae

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Crystal Healing: Helping Ourselves

Hey everyone!

Another question has come up that I thought I would address as a blog post. Curt asks:

"I find my crystal work is more effective in assisting others than it is when I assist myself. What do you advise?"

That's a really great question, and one I have often asked myself over the years. Why is it that most healing modalities seem more effective when we apply them to others than when we work on ourselves?

When we work on ourselves, many different factors come into play:

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