Maintaining Balance Can Be Tricky

One thing I noticed about getting older, is the connection between my mind and body. When I’m off balance, I can work on coming back into balance as a whole, which I think is learned over time from being on the planet.   (Ellen Barrett)

When something is out of balance in our lives we can easily be thrown off track, no matter how hard we try to stay sure-footed. It can be anything that begins to disconnect the mind and body from its natural state of wholeness – physical health, mental health, jobs, circumstances, environment, people, the weather. Doesn’t matter.

But when it takes hold, it’s powerful. Especially when it makes no sense, and leaves us feeling helpless and exposed…raw and open…defenseless.

This is especially true when our voice is taken away, or someone attacks us leaving us confused and unsure of what will come next. That’s a hard one. Being caught in the midst of someone else’s imbalance hits you at every facet of your being, even when it’s obvious the other person is deeply struggling in their own lack of personal stability. The struggle can quickly become ours, and its grip is hard to loosen.

There are those of us who choose to acknowledge the disparity and work it out in our psyches to regain a sense of balance and peace. Then there are those who choose to act it out by trying to hurt their opponents in life. What they don’t know is that will never provide them with the peace or balance they clearly seek, it’s only an illusion.

The key when we are entangled with a person or a situation that impedes our physical, emotional or spiritual balance, is to use it as an opportunity to peer into our life and re-calibrate.

Emotional healing is not a destination, it’s an awareness. Although yes, there is a point of feeling better, having things flow more smoothly, more charm and less char, and an ability to slough off the crap as it comes in with more ease. But the concept of healing is just that – a concept – of something we aspire to and hope for and dream of and obtain in increments of both internal and external awareness.

My awareness has been quite heightened this week, as the backwash of Scary Mrs. Ex stormed onto our shores again. Her seemingly delusional antics are incredibly exhausting. As well, the residue of my former bookstore days innocently appeared out of nowhere. Then I received results from a Pap smear that were classified as abnormal. Turns out it was nothing to be concerned about, but that was enough. I am drawing a line in the sand and saying a loud and clear NO to all of that.

Now I am trying to come back into balance. The connection between mind and body is clear. I must remove the dis-ease in my life by bringing my thoughts and my heart to a more pure, higher, cleaner vibration. Rising above it as they say, higher and cleaner than the toxic people and things around me, no matter what. Why should I grow a disease from someone else’s personal dis-ease that is thrust upon me to deal with. NO.

I often remember that the only consistency in life is change. Knowing our feelings will change, knowing we will feel better, or at least believing we will, even if the respite is short between blows. It feels like blows, when that mallet comes down in whatever form it comes. The gentle approach of acknowledging our distress, then kindly asking those feelings to please flow away so that any dis-ease (or even disease) flows away with them, is a step toward greater balance.

I watched the people power washing our house out the window. The machine was loud and powerful, cleaning off and washing away the dirt and grime, muck and residue, years of it layered on the house. It was a much bigger job than I knew. Kind of symbolic in a way. Life is like that isn’t it.

Just Say No? Who Knew.

Why do we say yes when we want to say no?

Is it a learned thing? Do we feel obligated? Do we feel pressured? Or low on internal empowerment?

I stopped in the bookstore to say hello to one of my former colleagues and friend. I loved seeing her, but I have to say being in there drug it all back up. I thought it was gone, but the simmering yuck I had over time while working there came right up to the surface. I hated that I felt that way, because it’s a sweet little bookstore and it should have felt good. It did at first and I tried, but I never really felt better. So I faked it.

I was the good do-be, the one who would cover everyone else’s shifts so they could go on vacations with their families. The one who offered to pick up the slack, or take care of business every weekend and on holidays. The fill-in-the-blank fill in. When anyone asked, I said yes. Whatever they needed, I said yes. I thought I was doing the right thing and I was – for them.

I thought about it all the time. Why do I keep saying yes? And why does it feel so wrong?

It took a while before I realized I was wrestling with something that was deep inside of my being.

Growing up this is what I learned:

You should care more about other people than yourself.

But that didn’t teach me to care about me.

You should do what works for others.

But that didn’t teach me to value what I need.

Never say no.

But that didn’t teach me boundaries of self and others, or how to honor those.

I don’t want to feel bad for trying to learn these things now, as an adult.

I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, then or ever, but what about disappointing myself?

I didn’t want to get in trouble for finally extending to myself what I had only extended to others. Self-care is crucial to being your full self.

I didn’t want to deal with the consequences of setting boundaries. Exercising them can be tricky, and even cause some anxiety. In my younger days the consequences would have been drastic, even painful, and that sticks with you for a long time.

But I don’t live from the place of the small, wounded child anymore, in fact, that’s partly why I ended up quitting. I’m an adult now, and can feel confident in myself, my decisions, and my words, without feeling terrible about it. Consequences, or not.

And I realized that again, when I stopped in the bookstore. Yet it hung in the air around me – the yucky residue – tapping at my psyche. Let it go said my “NO” voice, it’s done. But it lingered.

So in light of self-care I must be gentle. It’s ok that these feelings re-surfaced, maybe they just want to be heard. In fact it’s symbolic in a way – I just wanted to be heard and wasn’t, because I couldn’t say it then. Now, with caring, I can.


Wait, Time Flies

Holy crap! It’s fall! Like cold out fall where we live. The windows are down at night, we have jeans and jackets on, and want to light a fire. Where did summer go? No really. It was winter forever, then maybe a couple of weeks of summer, now fall. Flip flop season seems severely shortened this year and I’m kind-of freaking out.

Not because of the flip flops, but because I don’t recall doing anything this summer that was summer-ish. We are almost to October, have I not been paying attention? I also missed two of my favorite September fairs, because I didn’t even realize it was that time of year again.

And when I finally did realize it, it gave me serious pause for thought – what am I doing? What’s going on? I actually had to look at my calendar to remember anything about summer. I guess I was so focused on quitting my job at the bookstore and trying to launch a small business, that I lost sight of what was really happening. Like life.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, but every time it does I promise myself I will never let it happen again. Please tell me I am not alone here. Am I the only one who is not paying attention to anything more than accomplishing the next line-item on the agenda? Sure they have been fairly large items…changing circumstances like a job, to initiate new endeavors is a big deal. I remember feeling like my life was “on hold” until the end of August when I was finished at the bookstore. On hold.

I’m sad that I was so caught up in ending one chapter and forging a new path with a deadline, that I slept through an entire season.

Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, or a snake shedding its skin, I must have only paid attention to my evolution, while trying to protect myself from the external environment. Plus, I was so darn busy soul-growing that I forgot to get grounded in the here and now right outside my front door. In spite of the gains, I feel like I lost quite a bit of time.

No sense beating myself up for it, but I can’t say that I’m pleased that we never got out in the kayak, or attended a summer festival without hurrying so one of us could get to work, or even sat out on the deck with a beer while the burgers were grilling. Bummer.

Yea, we did do a couple things, that I can’t really remember, so what’s the message in that?                     Stay present. Slow down. Make time for joy. Let shit go.

I had an aunt who used to do a whole lot of nothing. She was a teacher, so worked hard during the school day, but then came home at night and sat down, put her feet up, and had a cigarette. I have no idea when she cleaned her house, or ran errands, or took care of her to-do list. Maybe she didn’t have one. Although she dropped dead in her 60s, I think she was happy. She read a lot of trashy romance novels. Ate a lot of good food. Kept her nails polished. Travelled abroad. And I don’t recall her ever not smiling, even laughing. What’s that all about.

No, seriously, what’s that all about. How do you do that?

Anyway, let’s try this again. It’s fall now. And as I type this, the incredible and historical super moon lunar eclipse is about to happen. It signifies many things, including the prophesied end of the time. There won’t be another one until 2033. I better pay attention.

Give Yourself A Hand

It’s like looking in a mirror of my former self. And I wonder, are so many of my friends who are suffering, just suffering now? Or were they suffering before and I didn’t notice because I was down my own rabbit hole?

Seems like a domino effect. I suffered, now I’m better and someone else is suffering and just when she feels better someone else is suffering, and at the moment I have a domino pile of people around me feeling a bit wrecked.

But wow do I recognize myself in them. It’s a little shocking, and certainly enlightening. It’s hard to imagine I was like that – unhappy, unsure there was light anywhere. And like them, I defended my misery with good reason. It was unbearable, and I saw no way out of the darkness.

I feel you people. I hear you. I get you.

And now that I’m done with suffering at the moment, or have finally come out of the storm, weathered but wiser, I get to practice something else. Compassion.

What I’m noticing is that during my time of turmoil, my strong lifelines so easily extended compassion, but now in their own struggles don’t extend it to themselves. I get it now, I didn’t either then.

Why is it so easy to have compassion for someone else and not for ourselves?

I know how you feel. I feel it for you, to the core. I hear your pain, I hear your misery, I see your darkness. I will do my best to hold your hand, listen to your plight and upset, help you navigate if you want, and assure you that you will find your way – with compassion.

Why is it so different when it’s somebody else’s problem?

Because it’s hard to feel better. It takes a lot of work. You have to believe you can re-direct your life. You have to be able to tell some people around you to step aside, and make your way the way you need to, not the way they think you do. You have to rock your own internal power, which probably feels weak at best. When the light is so dim, we can’t always feel it.

And it’s uncomfortable to initiate change. It demands flexibility as you change what you can, accept what you can’t, and determination to keep at it. So much easier said than done.

I’m convinced that we only make the changes we need when we bump up against ourselves and our situations so many times over and over that we are shredded beyond recognition. (And sometimes not even then.) When we can’t go on another day and we want to feel better more than we think we won’t, that is when we can start to move forward.

Feeling better is such a personal journey. No one else can do it for us. We have to look at our own coordinates on our own map and decide which way we will navigate. But here’s the irony. We know what to do. We tell others what to do. We help them do it. We help them reach for the higher, better-feeling thought over and over. So with that same caring hand we so readily offer, we need to offer it to ourselves.

So yep, I’ll be there for you like you are for me, feeling compassion. But there’s more than you think and it’s there when you’re ready. Just look in the mirror.

Watching the Paint Dry

On the 10th day She rested.

And tended to her wounds.

And celebrated.

And even got a little weepy.

When I made it to the last wall to paint, an accent wall in the living room that holds the television and media set up, I smiled. I had been painting nine straight days in a row and finished the entire first floor. It was on our to-do list since moving in over a year ago.

I have bangs and bruises and cuts, painting is not easy. I almost couldn’t see what color I was painting anymore, and it almost didn’t matter, this task had reached its pinnacle.

Although immune to the odor at this point, I needed a breather after the first coat. So I sat in the rocking chair that was moved to the middle of the room, with a glass of iced tea in my hand. I rocked for a few minutes and closed my eyes. When I opened them I realized what I was doing.

I was watching the paint dry.

But it wasn’t boring. It was profound.

I had finally come out of paralysis, after years and years of chronic debilitation that only allowed for basic functioning each day. I can’t describe it other than the inability to anything beyond surviving. And all the issues about abuse, not retaining personal power, or allowing other people to control your life aside, being under police protection from a dangerous bully is brutal. I sat in my rocking chair today in my little house by the sea and felt – actually felt – like I had my own life back.

Over the nine days while I was painting there was plenty of time to think. I caught myself holding tightly to the roller and reminding myself it was ok to ease my grip. I felt myself rushing to complete the area I was working on, and remembered there is no rush. I reminded myself to relax and be present. And even if painting is not my favorite task, I tried to enjoy the moment for what it was as each wall slowly changed color, subtly transforming.

It’s not a subtle transformation anymore. It’s outstanding. And I stood in my living room with Sir Husband when I was done, this time with a glass of wine in my hand, and wept. I haven’t done anything like this since I was 20-something in my forever house a long time ago. Then I had children and lived my own nitty gritty, dirty, beautiful story, that led me to right here.

Watching the paint dry calls for a celebration. As it definitely should.

Beyond First Glance

Although I have zero experience reporting the kind of news that “real” print news reporters write, there are times when I will am afforded the opportunity to write magazine feature stories about real people doing the kind of work that goes deep and touches people way beyond the surface.

Just so happens I am working on a full-length centerpiece article about a woman who is retiring from her role as the director of a homeless shelter for the last 25 years in New York. These are the features I love to write – stories about overcoming challenges, about courage and heartbreak, perseverance and selflessness, nitty gritty dirty beautiful stories.

Perhaps I can relate, but I know when I feel it to my bones. This one especially matters to me because I have a strong pull toward homelessness, and I don’t mean being homeless. I have however, been close. But I grit my teeth and did what it took to keep myself and my three boys out of a shelter.  That’s what happens when you live with a white-collar addict, you see. The shinier version of abuse happens behind closed doors, but to the rest of the world you have it made. So when people found out what was really going on from the telltale signs, I lied. I told them I was fine, we were fine. Because I knew that if I didn’t, they would have taken my kids and me to a safe house. And I wasn’t going there. They tried, they even sent child protective services to the door to do an investigation around the father’s behavior, but I worked hard to protect my family. That is as close as I ever want to be to homeless again.

But that is not what draws me to the plight of homelessness. I don’t really know what it is, it’s just a pull, a calling, a deep-gut intuitive tap tap tap. As I explore it, I think the Universe is helping me along by sending me a story to write about a woman who runs a shelter. She was called too, and began by serving meals as a volunteer every week. She was a dental secretary by day, and a volunteer at the shelter by night. She asked if they had any job openings, and became their administrative assistant. Two years later she ran the house that sleeps and feeds the homeless in the area. Now, 25 years later, she’s written a book filled with the stories of the shelter’s guests through the years. She filled hundreds of notebooks, because she says, “When you walk down the street and see someone who’s homeless, you know that’s a life, they have a story.”

Here is a story she told me.

Allie had AIDS. She also had a drug problem, and supported herself through prostitution. She lived a lifestyle and paid the consequences at a young age. She found her way to our house [shelter] and when her illness began taking over, she came by and wanted to talk. So we went sat on the steps, I always sit with people on the steps, it’s less intimidating. 

She said her last tests weren’t good, and told me, “I don’t want to die, I haven’t done anything. I wanted to get married, I wanted a fairy tale wedding.” She was in love with another resident, Brett, and he came over and sat with us on the stairs. And we planned a wedding.

We had it right at the house. All of the volunteers came together, we got her a dress at a second-hand store, we did her hair, we had a buffet reception for all of the residents, we even wrapped little candy kisses in netting for everyone. It was just wonderful.

Then two years later when the disease really kicked in, I arranged for her to go to a neighborhood hospice. I went to see her every day. One day her room was full of volunteers, and one by one everybody went out when they were done visiting, and it was just me, Allie, and the medical resident. Her whole aura changed. She sat up in bed, her eyes wide open, and she looked into the corner of the room. Then she laid down and died right then while holding my hand. It was my birthday. 

It was like a gift, I can’t describe it. It was the culmination of every moment I had spent with her. Death is a very holy moment, just like birth. They asked me if I wanted to stay while they prepared her body for the undertaker. It was beautiful. Gentle. Loving. I sat there and took it all in. It was one of the most meaningful experiences that I have had my entire life. It was a sacred time. And I honor her on my birthday every year. 

We are all so connected in this life that all you have to do is sit down and talk to somebody and you will find some connection. It could be small, it could be overwhelmingly big. We need to just look at people individually and know there’s a story behind everybody. When it’s told, it opens up a window to their life. 

So there you have it. There’s a story behind everybody. Nitty gritty dirty beautiful stories.

No Wooooo for Woot

Everybody should have a cheer word. Mine is wooooo! It used to be woohoo, but one syllable has a bit more power when you yell it out excitedly.

According to my middle child, the college-age king of the woooos, we should all have a few woooos! every day. He does, and he insists we make a life that demands it. I always look for at least one, but have found quite a few lately. That calls for…say it with me…Woooo!

A couple years ago the middle child and his cohorts’ cheer word was “woot,” a simple, textable version of expressed joy. It caught on as its own word craze, and we made good use of it, until it lost its verve.

I’m reviving that word, but am far from feeling the woot after its namesake, really let me down. What is It’s an online store where every day you can get a really good deal on whatever the cool item of the day is, that is only available that day, or until it sells out. Every day is a new deal, and nothing is list price. It’s supposed to be woot! I got a great deal!

But not only is the name now out of style, they pulled a fast one on me. I ordered a cable modem that was supposed to be a really good deal, and what I received in the mail was a knock-off brand that was scratched and dented. That is completely the opposite of wooooo.

We seem to live in a time when it’s completely ok to lie, to scam, to steal and to get away with it. I trusted this dot-com store to send what they advertised after I paid them to do so, and they didn’t. On purpose. I still live by a tenet of trust, but I may be in the minority.

I heard about a few years ago when I was in the queue for a colonoscopy. (I’ve followed the daily deals for a long time now.) The nurses buzzing around the cubicles couldn’t say enough about it. They were buying everything on there, from wine to vacuums, to clothing, to vacations. It made Groupon sound like a lost cause.

I was still fully coherent, and perked up when I heard the words half-price Dyson. Could that be? I had been an Oreck gal my whole life, but was intrigued by the British vacuum’s reputation. Since the doctor was running late that day I was schooled in while lounging comfortably on my gurney. And a few hours later, despite a groggy afterglow, I signed up for the daily deal emails when I got home from the procedure.

Yep, I bought that Dyson. I watched every day for it to pop up as the daily deal. And in keeping with the nurses at the hospital who I trusted, I also bought a laptop for my son, and even some 400-thread count bed sheets. I didn’t think twice about the cable modem, because I trusted woot. Oops.

Every day there are reminders that trust is a hollow word. Nothing is really as it appears anymore. I don’t understand the purpose of lying or cheating or scamming others, but that seems to be the norm. At least in the ‘80’s when we bought fake Rolex watches, we knew they were fake and were proud that we only paid pennies for a spitting image. But raw deals are everywhere now, and many are hidden. Look closely at everything, you probably aren’t getting what you think you are.

It’s hard enough to feel safe in the world. To trust people’s motives. Or to even be comfortable with the world-wide web when we hear every day about more hacking, more heisting, and identity theft. But now I can’t even woot.

That’s ok. Doing my best to deal with all of it. The only thing we can really trust is that things change. So for now, I’ll stick with my wooooos.

Half-Naked and Misaligned

I have felt much better lately about everything in general, and was peacefully taking a respite from any kind of treatments. And that’s why I decided to go to the holistic wellness center where I had a gift certificate. I have never had a healing treatment when I felt good, I have only had them when I feel bad, so I thought there might be an added benefit to healing when feeling happy.

A regular customer at the bookstore generously brought me a gift certificate to the center on my last day of work. A kind soul and bit of a kindred spirit, we shared some of our stories over the counter. Although I did not fight in the Vietnam War as he did, we both had our own version of PTSD. He opted for a more holistic approach to healing, through myofascial release therapy. It’s like massage, but a whole-body approach to treat pain, when all else has failed. Its goal is to get to the root source of the pain and eradicate it through this hands-on gentle technique. I still have pain but I have been happy in spite of it.

Let me digress. Happiness was a long, long road. I feel like I almost had to start from scratch, literally learn how to be happy after a lifetime of incredible unhappiness. Happiness was just a mirage because I didn’t really know what it felt like. It wasn’t something I was taught, in fact just the opposite. I am sure I was born happy and then learned how to feel pain, live drama, and try to make sense in my family’s confusing world with confusing people around me, while pretending to be happy.

Looking back I feel like I lived in different layers of hell with many of the different players in my life, and until Sir Husband I did not know unconditional love, from others or toward myself. And then another layer of hell exposed itself with his Scary Mrs. Ex. But all that is over now. All that is over.  And after years and years of hard work, I’m done with it. And for the first time, I think I’m happy, whatever that means.

At the moment it feels like relief, and no need to have a treatment for anything.

So I peacefully drove along the winding two-lane road where rusty old mailboxes stood as gateways to fields of fall wildflowers and pumpkins. Then through a quaint little village with gas-light street lanterns, and an old general store with a vintage Coca-Cola sign that swung gently above the porch roof. Little iron tables sat empty along the sidewalk in front of the corner pub. A little further I went up and over the tall arched bridge that stood firmly above the river, boats gently floating on the underneath docks. I turned right onto the dirt road where a crooked wooden sign pointed me in the direction I needed to go. 1/2 a mile it said with an arrow. Finally I drove down the long gravel driveway, where a good-sized log cabin stood on the edge of the woods.

I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, but my friend from the bookstore said “Keep an open mind,” when he gave me the gift certificate. That is a loaded piece of advice that could mean anything, because when it comes to whole health healing, it’s a different way of thinking.

It was serene inside, spa music quietly playing, soft white furniture, lots of natural light coming in from many floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the rustic wooded land. The therapist blended in with her environment, long blonde hair, white flowing top and matching drawstring pants, pleasantly plump and soft-spoken.

She asked me a short medical history and where exactly in my body I feel pain.

“Go ahead and take off your clothes and stand in front of the posture grid,” she said while rolling her stool toward the life-size chart hanging from the ceiling, clipboard and pen in hand.

Do what? I have had lots of holistic healing treatments, but always fully-clothed in some type of yoga-style loose-fitting comfort.

“I need to see your alignment so I know where to work on your body,” she said pointing to the checkerboard poster-grid with numbers along the sides. “Just down to bra and underwear is fine.”         She waited.

Um, ok. I acted like I knew what I was doing, keeping an open mind of course, and for the first time in my life, stood almost naked in front of a chart with someone I had never met so she could assess my body’s alignment.

I pretended I was fine and it was nothing, surely she sensed my discomfort. Even in a doctor’s office you wear a gown that is only open where they are examining. But with my sort-of open mind I just went with it. I stood in front of the chart and turned like getting mug shots while she measured and shifted and lifted and decided where I was out of alignment.

“Now lie on the table on your back and we will start to get your left side rotated the right direction,” she said.

No blanket, no sheet, just me in my bra, undies, and jewelry on the table.


Open mind.

For the next 45 minutes she applied a gentle sustained pressure with subtle massage-type movement in areas of my body that appeared to be restricted and misaligned. It was actually soothing, I relaxed right into it, and forgot I was on the table exposed.

At the end of the session I got dressed, gave her the gift certificate and went on my way.

Quiet mind. Real relief. Mission accomplished.

What A Pain

Yuck. I now have the fall-change-of-season-back-to-school cold. And when I have a cold I get kind of achy everywhere. That is not unusual for me, I tend to hurt somewhere in my body every, single day and night. And I’m not alone.

A lot of people are dealing with pain. Physical pain that is, but it causes mental pain too because, well, it hurts. There are many different kinds of physical pain and none of it is pleasant.

Accident pain recently landed two people I know in the hospital with serious injuries after bicycle accidents. Ouch. Both are expert riders, now sidelined for weeks, even months. But the prognoses are good and the pain should go away.

Surgical pain comes on after surgery both where the procedure was and even elsewhere in the body. It can happen like a domino effect, and of course is upsetting. If it can be diagnosed, it should be fixable, but it’s the diagnosing part that can be tricky. I have a friend struggling with this right now.

Passing pain is the kind that happens for no reason, and you aren’t sure why. Maybe you slept funny – although it’s not funny. Or you pulled something and didn’t realize it. Even bug bites can cause pain. It will usually pass, and often with little thought. I noticed one of my Facebook buds was struggling with nonspecific pain that passed, but it made her crazy trying to identify its source.

Chronic pain is the worst. This pain doesn’t go away, it keeps moving around to different parts of the body, isn’t really diagnosable, and if it is, the diagnosis probably isn’t good. I hate being in this category, and I share it with a couple of close friends. When you have any of other type of pain on top of chronic pain, you’re bumming.

But you learn to live with it. I can’t remember a pain-free day, so ten years ago I started paying attention to my body and these perpetual pain signals. I learned that the mind-body connection is a big deal. Now backed by science, we can more easily identify our discomfort based on our thought patterns and circumstances. The bigger picture shows that dis-ease with our life can equal disease in our body.

In desperation for relief one day, I reached out to an online forum after a podcast entitled, Befriend Your Symptoms: A Path to Radical Health and Happiness. Radical health and happiness sounded like a good plan.

I asked the forum, “What if you befriended your symptoms but they don’t go away and listen to your body’s messages but can’t interpret them? How do you fix it?”

The answer was, “What is your fear or block keeping you from understanding your physical symptoms and taking full responsibility for your body?”

Ummm…what kind of answer is that? I thought I already took responsibility for my body, to the n’th degree. Sir Husband said, “You have been chased your whole life, running from other people trying to hurt you.” That is true. But I’m not responsible for their pain, even though they tried to inflict it on me, and now I have plenty of my own.

So circling back to the mystery of pain. Where does it come from. What does it mean.

I asked our village expert, Dr. Christiane Northrup, who shared a couple of high-level thoughts. She explained we have a three-dimensional universe inside of us that is emotional, spiritual, and analytical and is like a secondary nervous system. It is made up of our connective tissue and fascia. The fascia – which looks like a net or webbing throughout our body – stores all of our energy and data within it.

So as we experience our lives, we gather data, think our thoughts, we live it all out, and it’s all banked in our fascia. And here’s the bonus. Turbulence in life Dr. Northrup said, gives us an opportunity for a whole new way of thinking, so technically we can move that “pain” on out of our body.

That’s for sure. It’s not like my life hasn’t been turbulent. Who hasn’t had stress, really.

But her information made sense. Maybe we just need to look more closely at the messages, the input, and the way we assimilate it before it gets stuck in our fascia.

I’m just guessing here, but I might guess that my friends in the bicycle accidents were tripped up to get an opportunity to slow down in their lives and rest, maybe even shift gears.

And my friend with the surgical pain, part of his life’s work was to comfort others in all kinds of pain. Maybe this is his own pain, whatever that may be, now rising to the surface to be healed.

Passing pain? My friend on Facebook is just plain lucky.

And for those of us in chronic pain? That’s a helluva lot of data.

Pause for this Important Message

Nothing like a major reality check to propel you into the life transformation you have been working on. I knew that the interior house painting I started a week ago was supposed to help change my perspective, but it wasn’t the paint that stopped me in my tracks. It was the morning news.

I don’t watch the news, I have an aversion to it, and for good reason – it’s all bad all the time. I am who I am and I get news as I need it. But I mostly watch the Today Show during the week, a softened version of the news, and the CBS Sunday Morning show. Sunday mornings are not for world news, but for a peaceful respite on the day of rest. The classy, informative program almost always focuses on the arts, and personal interest stories that are relevant but not dire.

So I wasn’t expecting what I saw when they veered from the norm and did an extra-long segment about the Syrian refugees. It was heartbreaking, painful to watch, hear and feel this gut-wrenching story about people’s real lives living in what appears to be hell.

They are humans. It shook me up.

And it made me feel like a complete idiot to sit here and work every day on how to heal and evolve and grow. Sure that is so very important, but that’s nothing compared to people who cannot live in their own country, are shut out of other countries, and are trapped in prison camps with young children when they were just trying to move somewhere safe.

What do I worry about every day? How to manage my fibromyalgia. Whoopee. What color to paint the walls. Are you kidding me? What to make for dinner…what’s on TV that night…whether I should do yoga or Pilates…writing whatever I need to write that day.

How lucky am I.

What am I supposed to do with this horrific world information now that I’ve seen it and the images and sounds are emblazoned on my mind and in my memory? I can’t fix it, or change it, or even help it. Sir Husband always wished he was a war correspondent, and this one lights him up. He knows the story of his grandparents’ immigration from Hungary before WWII, and Hungary is causing huge problems now for the Syrian refugees.

Next up, a story about a man who collects working washing machines. Wow. Had to do a mental 180. I had a hard time even thinking about what we would make for breakfast at that point.

But eventually we went about our business and got on with our day, although I didn’t forget what I saw. And that’s why I don’t watch the news. It’s one more thing I have to accept but put out of my mind. How do you do that? I guess you get good at it? You watch the news and become numb to it? No thanks.

Life goes on as they say, but I assure you I will never be the same. And that’s a good thing.