Friday, July 8, 2016

Notes on Healing: What I Know So Far


when we dare to step fully into our bodies and open up parts of ourselves—our chakras, our organs, the systems of the body, the mind, and breath—we open up our capacities to respond and heal
we open up truths and wisdom within ourselves
the body is part of the unconscious mind and can be called forth into the conscious mind
each part of the body has a message, and is speaking to our conscious mind

put our karmendriyas—organs of action—to work in service of our wounds
the parts of ourselves that are suffering
the parts of our communities that are hurting most
as you tend to the community of the body, you tend to the greater community, our city, and our society

what parts of yourself are neglected, abused, misunderstood, marginalized?
what parts of yourself have been violated, colonized, disempowered?
ask yourself how you can recover, reclaim, and heal those parts of yourself
listen quietly for the answers certain to come

we are microcosms of the macrocosms
whatever you do for yourself will ripple outward into the community
showing up for yourself gives space for others to show up for themselves
one of the most effective and radical things you can do is practice self-love by practicing self-care

the body is both a site of trauma and a site of healing
a place of hurt and a place of recovery from hurt
the body is designed to heal, when properly supported

rest is one of the main ways we can support our bodies in healing
the breath is a constant presence, a doorway, and a tool for healing
giving attention is a form of love, and can be enough to begin the cascade of healing

cultivate a space inside which is eternal and infinite
we are embodied beings living in the particularity of time and place, and thus, culture
as we know, certain embodiments are far more vulnerable and prone to harm than others
we must vow to protect each other
we must vow to put our bodies on the line for each other
we do this by making ourselves both strong and supple as possible
able to withstand the storm and flexible enough to move with the wind



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

After the Massacre

















my hands already full
I can hold no more
I hear the news and push it aside
so I can stand, breathe, feed myself so I don’t collapse
I stay clear of media and stay outdoors where I can see water
and canada across the way

only when I awake 2 days later
does the weight of the news drop on me
like plate glass shattering
the tears won’t stop
where is the room that can contain my screams?
where is the space that can hold my exploding heart?
how do I weather yet another storm?
who is the god that harbors me?
there is no comfort large enough
no refuge safe enough

grief is not a big enough word
for this harrowing keening raging upheaval
beyond sadness or madness
all the jars I had previously screwed tight twist open again
I’ve already burnt down all my candles and sage
what next?

I turn to you
disembodied friends, faraway souls, those I’ve never even met
expand my heart like an accordion and stretch it taut
hold my pain as I hold yours
cup your hand under my chin to bless my tears
may our love not turn bitter
may we grow bigger with each blow
more powerful and outrageous
may we never stop fighting raging dancing


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Notes on Healing: Christiane Northrup on EFT

these are direct quotes (i added highlighting for emphasis) from http://www.thetappingsolution.com/2016VideoSeries/dr-christiane-northrup/
i will add that as i post these notes and quotes, i don't always feel comfortable or agree 100% with everything in these talks. for instance, i find northrup overly heteronormative in her references, and also ageist in her rejection of what i would call healthy, constructive, productive aging. however i post these notes because i find enough material in them to make them very useful to me, and hopefully others.
  • And my dad would say, ‘You can tell the state of someone’s health by looking in their mouth.’ And he was right. Any dentist will tell you that. Osteoporosis shows up in the first place in the mandible. You can see heart disease showing up as gingivitis, and all kinds of stuff like that. So I knew – I grew up knowing that health was more than waiting for a disease to happen.
  •  Yeah, what we call healthcare has nothing to do with health. It is disease management and it is disease screening. We think that disease screening is healthcare. I don’t want to know when you get high blood pressure or diabetes, I want to know why. Because we know, for instance, from the Bogalusa Heart Study of 8-year-olds, heart disease starts when you’re 8. Diabetes – what we used to call adult onset diabetes, is now in 8- and 9-year-olds. These are all things that are emotional, environmental, and societal-wide.
  • But everything we believe about our health is a cultural construct. You have got to understand that science in the way it is practiced, reductionistic science, you have disease because this is what runs in your family, is wrong. Beliefs and your culture are far more powerful than your genes and your emotions are the key, buried emotions – anger, grief, sadness, that you don’t want to feel. We even know that healthy emotions are stressful for people. Why? Because in families we are taught that there is a limit on how much joy and happiness you can have. So the exalted emotions terrify people. They are used to a bandwidth of ordinary misery. This is comfortable misery. We don’t want to get too high here and we don’t want to get too low down here, but disease is the result of imbalances that have been present for years before you actually get a diagnosis. And that is why things like tapping is so powerful, because you can get at these things when they are ticking time bombs in the body and diffuse them long before you have got something that you can see under a slide, under a microscope.
  • Yeah, and what happens is the body is self-healing. So it does everything in its power to keep you well until it finally says, ‘I give up.’ But believe me, that little knot in your stomach, the tension headache, the overeating, the insomnia, those things are all the result of imbalances. Depression, anxiety, you know? So why wait? Although heaven knows there are plenty of people who have diagnoses and the mind-body connection helps them enormously.
  • I always say to people – you know, for my whole career, people have said, ‘I didn’t cause my disease. I am not responsible for my disease.’ No, you’re not. You didn’t cause it with your intellect. You caused it with your life. But it isn’t cause and effect, you are responsible to your body. You are responsible to your life, not for your life. And therein lies your power. To me it is so powerless to feel like, ‘Well, I am just a victim of my genes. There is nothing I can do about it. My mother had it, I will get it, my daughter will get it.’ That is the essence of powerlessness because the new science of epigenetics shows that the environment is what determines how a gene will be expressed and the environment has everything to do with your emotions and then the behavior that stems from those emotions.
  •  First of all, everyone is usually going to have to go through guilt and shame because every culture studied all over the world uses three things to keep their members in line – betrayal, shame, and abandonment. And so when you begin to get healthier or to feel healthy, invariably the childhood wounds from your parents and maybe from your church or from your school, the childhood wounds of shame, betrayal, and abandonment will come up and you will feel bad about yourself. And this exists to keep people in line. That is the work of Dr. Mario Martinez at the Bio-Cognitive Institute.
  • And one of the things that many people always feel like is, ‘Oh God, if I let myself go there, if I feel how sad I feel or if I feel how angry I feel, it will never end. I will go into an abyss.’ That is the powerlessness of a child. It will never end and what you find instead is it’s the pain that ends the pain. It is the feelings that end the awful feelings.
  • I was very impressed with the research, the fact that cortisol levels fall very significantly with the tapping. I know that cellular inflammation, the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, is all caused by inflammation. So the fact that the tapping decreases cortisol, the stress hormones that are running the whole show, that got my attention. Then we started to do it and I, through the process of tapping, uncovered emotions about food, my weight, and eating that had been buried for a lifetime.
  •  Tapping gets to the key emotion. It gets to the – I would say the inner child, as it were, who is sort of stuck in there and feels powerless and doesn’t know what to do. And the tapping takes you out of your left hemisphere, which always thinks that it is driving the bus and is never really driving the bus, it is just trying to solve a problem. It takes you out of that, into the physical body and the connections to the right hemisphere. There are far more connections to the bodily organs from the right hemisphere than there are the left. But the left, which is mostly what education educates, is the left hemisphere. So it takes you out of the that for a moment so that you get to the true body wisdom living in the organs, living in the fascia, living in the connective tissue, that has been trying to get your attention for years.
  • Well first of all, because emotions are stored, as it were, in the fascia – which is a crystalline structure that runs throughout the entire body. It is like a very tight sweater over all the muscles and all of the organs. And we now know that is where all of the acupuncture meridians go. And it is like an electrical grid that connects us to our emotions. Any yoga teacher, any massage therapist, will tell you that many times when you are massaging a certain area all of these emotions will come pouring forth. So you know, yes, we have the chakra system. And I have written about where first chakra illness is the bone, the blood, all of that, and it is stored in the body – the second chakra – they all relate to certain emotions. There is no question. Your thing has been weight loss. That is third chakra – self- esteem, personal power governs the digestive system. The heart is passion, compassion, giving, receiving, that is what the breaths are all about. So there are certain things; however, they are all stored in the fascia. And it doesn’t matter where you start, it is like unraveling a thing. And all roads lead to Rome, sooner or later.
  • You need to be imperfect. You know, when a plane goes from New York to San Diego do you know that it is never on course? It is just course correcting, then it goes here, bring it back. So we are always off course but in the general vicinity of where we are going. That is how life is.
  • Do you know that the entire term ‘teenager’ and the whole marketing of teenage really didn’t come in until they invented the car? Then kids had a way to escape, in the car, and then we did the teenager thing. Before that they were working.
  • Yes, in fact we co-author each other’s biology. This is why you want to have a tribe of people you hang around with who believe in health. We know that your income is the average of the income of your five closest friends. Guess what? Your weight, your health habits, they match your five closest friends. That’s called the new science of sociogenomics. So our genes are so impacted with who we hang out with – we are biologic systems.
  • This is Gay Hendricks’ work from way back, a book called Learn to Love Yourself. He said, ‘Here is how you love yourself.’ He was having a sore throat at the time. ‘I love myself for having a sore throat. Even though I have a sore throat, I love and accept myself right now.’ It literally creates space, creates vasodilatation in the cardiovascular system, it increases nitric oxide, the molecule of chi and wellness, and everything becomes better because it is like, ‘Wow, it is okay for me to be right where I am.’ It is interesting, when you study people who have gone through cancer and chemotherapy. They normally don’t have that much trouble with the actual chemo times. Let me tell you when they hit bottom - the year after the diagnosis, when they are already in remission. Because we can mount a response to an emergency. We are good at that, but how do we live in between? What if there is no emergency? Well, you are beginning to teach that – I love and accept myself right now. You are beginning to teach the body how to just be with what is right now and that it is okay.
  • We know from studies of the brain that the hippocampus memory area can increase throughout your entire life. Two periods of twenty minute aerobic exercise increases the number of cells in the hippocampus. That is nothing – two twenty minute periods? That is nothing. We know from London cab drivers, who have to actually learn the streets – what a concept, that they have to learn them. Their hippocampus grows exponentially during the time that they are learning all the streets of London.
  • By the time someone is in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, they have lost 40% of their muscle mass. Why? Because they weren’t using it. That is the only reason. It has nothing to do with age, nothing to do with age.
  • Until your last breath you need to be living in the present and in the future. So one thing that I would say to people right away, stop listening to the oldies station 24/7. Listen to what is current. Stay in the here and now. That is, by the way, macrobiotics eating. To be in the here and now, eat what’s grown in the here and now.
  • ‘Okay, listen, female desire –‘ which I learned from Mama Gena, here in New York, Regena Thomashauer, ‘is the strongest force on the planet.
  • As one of my teachers, says, I dance to be felt not to be seen.

Notes on Healing: Frances Weller on Grief

i am continuing to take notes on talks and interviews on healing. please follow the links to listen and watch yourself. meanwhile, i have encapsulated the main ideas here.

frances weller grief

the lost art of grief
we have little knowledge in grief so this massive darkness makes our lives are small
grief is a threshold emotion—when we enter the room of grief, it opens up the rest of our lives, we enter the hall of community and joy
wm blake—the deeper the sorrow the greater the joy
compressed terrain of grief is compressed joy—creates flatline culture, where we are now
rely on stimulation and stimulants to feel alive bc we are not expressing genuine joy or grief
soul hygiene—like taking care of body etc, need to do same for soul
to clear out soul through grief
levertov—to speak of sorrow moves it to and from soul’s hall
own soulful life to soul of the world, otherwise become isolated and disconnected

communal practice of grieving
heroic culture is DIY, not need anyone or anything—muscle thru sorrow
take sadness back out into community—always been communal thru human history
part of our grief is waiting for the village to show up—can be small
I wanna tell you about my sorrow and hear about yours
nothing is broken or need fixing—just to listen deeply and say it matters

5 gates of grief
diff tributaries coming into soul
only 1st gate of loss is usu acknowledged
other 4 gates not recognized

1.     someone or thing dies—only gate acknowledged in our culture
2.     some part of us never known love—possession of anger, joy, sensuality, exuberance etc—loss to the integrity of our psyche/soul
·       we should grieve, but usually judge w contempt, then cannot grieve it
3.     sorrow for the world—daily litany of loss
4.     loss of not receiving what we expected when we arrived here—village life, connection w nature, connection w ancestors, cannot name
5.     ancestral grief—our ancestors came from intact community which was severed with arrival here, loss of traditions and language etc, advent of slavery etc are still in our bodies

compressed grief
denied grief generates rage—explosive quality
malidoma somé—cannot trust a person who cannot grieve, they become a walking powder keg in the community
military industrial complex comes from unresolved grief
all war is unmetabolized grief—martin prachtel (?)
anger is a rightful emotion stemming from violation, boundaries, injustice, protection—a necessary energy
jung—the 1st individuation comes thru mars—who I am, this is where I stand
we usu don’t develop it into a martial art—we are unskilled and need to mature anger
anger is a relational process, revelatory—I am telling you about me, what is causing me to feel deeply—leads to intimacy
intimidation is an attempt to silence a relationship, to push one away and to feel scared—rupturing relationship instead of building
healthy power and anger serves the greater good
intimidation serves the narrow interest of individ or nation—lose soulful connection

the myth of satisfaction in modern culture
we suffer from 2 sins: amnesia and anesthesia—we forget and we go numb
the brighter world goes unnoticed—then we lean into secondary satisfactions—entertainment, shopping, addictions, or even worse power, wealth, status, privilege
our culture carries secondary satisfactions around empire
we are designed to be chronically dissatisfied—hungry for next thing
like eating dust, instead of protein—that which sustains us at soul level

primary satisfactions
soul needs to feel alive—necessary touch, laughter, shared meals, condolences, stories, rituals
otherwise we are trying to fill the hole and never achieve it—secondary satisfactions increase its own symptoms over time—addiction--more use leads to more craving

gratitude
one hand is grief, the other gratitude—one in each hand, creates the prayer of life