Always Children

Adolescents are often classified as young adults which is only true in outward appearance. Their brains are still between young child in fast growth mode and adult with complete frontal lobe neural connections. The brain’s plasticity with its ability of ever-changing and learning, we humans are always children. Whether you believe in a divine creator and parent or evolution of matter in the universe, we spend our mortal existence in a changing childhood.

This is not an excuse for childishness but an opportunity to embrace childlike qualities and thrive.  Finding meaning in our everyday lives may be as simple as tuning into our childlike passions.  Individual strengths have emerged from these child delights ranging from intense focus and precision to finger painting unicorns on the walls. What type of activities delighted you at age 4?

My oldest offspring enjoyed lining up his books, stacking and building with blocks, battling his guys with sound effects, or making booby traps for his baby sister or “bad guys”.

His sister, offspring #2, had a different approach at four. She loved to dance and sing, play princess and dolls, imagine deep meaningful conversations with her dolls and stuffed animals, hopping and skipping and long spans of time “reading” books.

Offspring #3, the youngest brother, enjoyed lots of social interaction with family and friends, building, laughing, riding his  stick horse and listening to music.

I can only guess at my mate’s childlike activity at age 4 according to the recollections of his parents and siblings. His activities most likely involved deep affection, high intensity activity followed by relaxing. Social connections in the family and out were important to him.

As for me…my favorite Little Golden Book was, “Little Mommy”. Reading stories, writing stories and being a nurturer have always been a part of my playtime work. Strength of appreciation of Excellence and Beauty, Curiosity, and Spirituality naturally came out of my early childhood play. Believing I am a child of God came naturally to me and has influenced most of my choices and interactions throughout my life. The freedom to be childlike allows me to embrace opportunities of seeing the world through new eyes.

May you thrive in your childlike strengths and wisdoms as you navigate this life.

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Dirt Road Daily #15: Ancient Tree Nurturing-Connections that Endure

When I read Peter Wohleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, I was blown away by the similarities in how trees in old growth forests nurture and the desires of modern human nurturers. Ancient trees in old growth forests are meant to live hundreds of years. In forests around the world trees are removed when dead, or cut down around 120 years old or less. Due to their slow growth nature, many species of trees don’t reach their adulthood until they are 120 years old. Cutting them down is like cutting down  18 year olds and saying. “Your old enough. We’ll put a baby in your place so it’s ethical. Thanks for what you put out there.”

A 18 year old hasn’t even begun to realize their potential in the nurturing eco system. They are still refining their neural connections.

In ancient forests the 200+ year-old trees help teach the new saplings how to thrive. They send a message of danger and how to repel it. They pass on their experiences of how to reach the light and retain moisture. Their leaves have built up compost that creates and nourishes an ecosystem of microorganisms that aid the tree in connecting with all the other trees nearby. When the trees die, their carcass decomposes to nourish the next generation. Often the new saplings will grow up out of the carcass. They have a community, a tribe to support thousands of trees over thousands of years. These forest have even been known to migrate to better environments to thrive better when an ecosystem changes.

Many of the trees we are around in our yards and parks or more like street kids. They’ve been left to figure out the world on their own. Their leaves scooped up, the soil compacted down, they have no connection with the other trees on the street or park. No information passed on how to survive pests, and weather patterns. They tough it out until they reach adulthood and are often cut down before that because they die out.

When we nurture others we need connections that are authentic and organic. Connections which we flow our knowledge and pass on our thrival skills. How do we grow that?

  1. Fertilize your connections by giving others agency. Allow choices and consequences. It starts with children as young as one year receiving a choice between socks or two shirts, two snack options, or two vegetable options. Do you give in and do all decisions for your child? What about spouse, siblings, co-workers, employees, clients, students,etc?
  2. Loose soil allows for the most growth and stronger connections. This means your allow space and time for those you nurture. Some need more attention and engagement than others.
  3. Get your sunlight first before giving away nutrients to others. Nurturers must take care of themselves first.
  4. Accept the lightning scars. Storms happen and parts of us break off or are torn away. Like trees we can seal up our wounds and continue reaching for the sun while our roots grow deeper and spread wider touching others and sharing our experiences that can help them to grow past their wounds.
  5. Connect with other species to ensure thrival. Trees extend their neural like connections by connecting with the fungal threads that spread in the lush forest soil and connect to other species of trees and wildlife. We need plants, pets, and even those microorganisms that gross us out to thrive as a diverse planet.

May you thrive as you reach your light and advocate ecology of nurturing throughout the world.

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Semi-Hibernation Awesomeness 2017: Feed the Beast

In times when chronic health challenges seem to intensify, such as when you get a virus on top of IBS, allergies, sensitivities, fatigue, muscle weakness, mental fog, depleted humor, dull hair, and random unexplainable or explainable pains, you linger in  Depth mode with depression and addiction spectrum symptoms. Craving chocolate at one o’clock? Awake through the night with aches and pains? Can’t remember if you showered? Can’t wait to binge watch Grimm/Criminal Minds/classic MacGyver?

Sometimes when we are low in energy and strength its a temptation to feed the beast. In other words we eat what is easy instead of nourishing. We watch television narcotically–or at least I do. Feed the beast also includes wearing athletic wear with no hope of doing more than going up and down the stairs but to your family its an improvement from pajamas…during the day. How do you thrive?

  1. Set a time to put your best (clean) athletic wear on such as by 9am. Set the earliest time to put your pj’s on such as 7pm– because lets face it 5 o’clock is too early and you may need to answer the door!
  2. Eat the superfood smoothie and bone broth before the ice cream bars or potato chips. Try not to buy the potato chips.  Have dark chocolate and figs or other dried fruit on hand to snack on for your cravings. Drink lots of warm herbal tea.
  3. Learn to not guilt yourself over your weaknesses.
  4. Allow for naps!
  5. Allow yourself to feel the pain without trying to eat, watch, or dose it away. Pain awareness is a great teacher I run from too often and then I feel worse so I might as well face it, feel it, and free it.
  6. Read. This is a great time to catch up on reading whether that’s audio books, e-books, or hard copies. Reality reading is always productive–you are doing something– and reading can help your brain in processing experiences.

When you start to feel physically better you may find your dull mind and binge worlds are taking over your schedule. How do you rise from the funk slump?

  1. Treat yourself with love and kindness! I usually scream in my head to get my lazy  you-know-what up and move it–which creates anxiety and shame, which weighs me down, which halts productivity. I recover better when I say kind words to myself and focus on at least one strength.
  2. Practice patience by allowing yourself to skip connecting with others for most of the day. Introspection and mindfulness around the facts can be helpful. “This hurts. Such and such is comfortable.” Evaluate your sensations and feelings with: pain, comfort, discomfort, tension, and relaxed instead of good or bad.
  3. Write down or talk to someone close to you about what is going well, what you are grateful for, or your blessings each day. Focusing on the positives (even if its staying awake while making lunch) can help your brain to seek out more positive experiences and to see your present situation in a different perspective.
  4. Avoid time limits for recovery. Sometimes you know it usually takes two weeks or three days after an illness but you may be dealing with autoimmune symptoms that require additional time to retain resources that were diverted to fighting the virus.

 

Sometimes I feel like I lose months of my life that I’ll never get back and then I look back at the accomplishments of my indisposition: 4 magazines and 30 articles read, 3 books read, over 7 seasons of various shows viewed–taking particular note of their emotional arc and story devices (since I’m a writer this is research), over 40 hours of introspection and epiphanies, and a reserve of compassion and empathy.

May you thrive as you experience the sensations of pain and illness. Remember you are always loved regardless of your experiences.

 

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Semi-Hibernation Awesomeness 2017: Mindful Intentions

Although Spring has begun and we are emerging from natural semi-hibernation, taking time to review this period before stepping forward is worth the time. How do we navigate the darker, deeper times in our lives?

Yesterday, I decided to play with my 6-year-old niece. A cold, dark day is perfect for building a blanket fort. She was thrilled that I came to play with just her (she is 8 of 8). We built the fort and began a movie. She ate some food and then got comfortable and fell asleep. My sister and I ended up watching the rest of the movie–spending one on one time we hadn’t had for a long time because we live over a thousand miles apart and dedicate much of our time to nurturing local (immediate family, community service). I was grateful I chose to be mindful about spending time with my niece and sister instead of dashing off to work on other projects.

I’ve found that it’s important to be mindful with our daily intentions. Ask yourself, “What is my focus today?” Whatever your answer may be, action comes down to nurturing and what does that look like. What movement serves you during this time? I need to slow down and spend time doing exercise and work that strengthens without taking away from my energy reserves. Here are some ways for you to nurture mindful intentions that will support you during the depths (times when you have low energy, anxiety/depression symptoms, illness, pain, difficulty moving forward).

  1. Nurturing Choice and Accountability: Choose one to three tasks to work on or complete during the day and then accept the consequences. Are you  expressing an opinion or advocating for an organization or topic you feel passionate about? Have you received praise or persecution? The consequences of praise or persecution can be uncomfortable and finding a way to accept consequences in a positive manner–personal accountability– provide opportunities for growth (See Brene Brown’s work on Vulnerability).
  2. Nurturing Faith: A big part of faith is trust. Learning to express trust through boundaries is essential. Trust and boundaries go both ways, trust for yourself and trust for others or higher power.
  3. Nurturing Divine Nature: No matter how pressed down I feel, I consistently remind myself that I am a daughter of God. Sometimes this includes reading scripture, finding a positive quote, or baking! Yes, baking is a creative outlet and a part of nurturing intelligence, spirit, and tactile movement that supports uplifting you.
  4. Nurturing Worth: Make your bed everyday! It doesn’t matter how just make it your way. Making your bed is one thing you can accomplish with ease and it makes you feel better when you go back to bed. It is something you see throughout the day that is complete, encouraging confidence and well-being.
  5. Nurturing Integrity: Be Honest with Yourself! Do a self-evaluation of your thoughts and actions in the morning or evening without judgement. Observe yourself honestly and categorize as healthy, unhealthy, comfortable, uncomfortable.
  6. Nurturing Knowledge: Take moments several times a week to learn new things. Information from your contacts in email, books, magazines, or other research can help lift yourself using a lower energy process. Sitting or lying comfortably (on your made bed or elsewhere) and reading or studying things are productive and progressive.
  7. Nurturing Good Works: Keep it Local! Service in your community can help you feel your value and increase your well-being. Service can suit your lower energy level in winter or during the depths. You can volunteer with your local library, most have a Friends group, a local museum, food pantry–even if that is buying a few extra items each week and taking them to a drop off once a month, Youth Assistance programs, Lions Club/Rotary or other clubs, a nearby zoo, school PTA, or church organizations. You don’t have to give a lot of hours to make a big impact. One hour a week or less  makes a difference.
  8. Nurturing Virtue: You have value because you exist. Do you allow others to have value because they exist? Find ways to support your self and others by avoiding judgement and simply observing, listening, and being.

May you thrive as you nurture yourself during the depths and emerge from semi-hibernation with peace.

 

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Depth Life #16: The Bear on the Beach

The Bear stood onto hind legs and walked towards us as a woman in suede clothing and a bearskin cloak. Her bare feet stepped lightly in the sand as she moved towards us. “You must find your powers and save our people.”

“Are they all bears?”Ord asked. The woman laughed, “No.”

“The sea-born are keeping the sharks away as best they can but they won’t last much longer and the air born have been bound and are unable to turn. Forest born and mountain born have been betrayed and are bound. You must break their bonds.”

“Why did the pirates take them?” Kal shifted closer to me with the boys behind him.

“Wind born have no reason. They collect and feed off suffering.”

“If all these are changelings,”I said, “then what will prevent them from harming us?”

“Tree warriors are most sacred.”

“Tree…” Vity mouthed “warriors” without any sound. The bear woman smiled at her and pointed to us. “What about the Yeti?” Vity stepped out away from me. The woman looked at her strangely. Vity pointed to the snow-capped mountains. The woman laughed, “snow born do not change. Like tree warriors. Always one form.”

“Why aren’t we tree born? Why are we tree warriors?” asked Ord. I had wondered myself. Smiling the woman walked near the water and stepped in looking out to the ship at sea. “Tree warriors are not born in our world. Creator sends them. Always different.”

“How many have come here before us? Are they always families?”

“Who built the tree house?”

Just off shore I saw several fins…dolphins or porpoises I wasn’t sure, but they were chattering.

“They will take you to dead tree.”

“The ship?”Kal turned slightly.

“Go now.” She pointed to the dolphins. We walked towards the water. When we stepped in, our suits turned into wet suits with tanks. We had never snorkeled or scuba dived but we had seen it on tv so we put the mouth piece in, our masks had already turned into scuba masks. I was terrified and I could see that my whole family was too. I had nightmares about the ocean and sharks. Now I was supposed to head towards them. I wanted to throw up and I could feel a panic attack coming on. “Ann. Ann…keep it together. Deep Breaths.” Kal put his arm around me and moved me closer to our transports. I grabbed onto the fin and tried to breathe normal. Looking at Ord and Reas light up and Vity didn’t seem scared either. We didn’t head straight for the ship but followed the coast a bit before heading out to sea. I wanted to close my eyes but I felt I shouldn’t. We dipped down under the ship and up to the other side. The dolphins twisted and dove we couldn’t hang on. Two of them seemed to nose us up. Ord’s swim skills were not the strongest and one of the dolphins seemed to sense it and supported him up to the top until we all came above water on the back side of the ship. Our gloves had grips on them and our wet suits changed to dry, scuba gear deflated into nothing,  as we climbed the ship like crabs.

The sun was setting and I felt so tired as if it were Christmas morning and I’d been up with a baby for days. My arms burned and I worried if any of us fell what would wait below. Vity was next to me then Kal, Ord, and Reas. Reas reached the top first and peered over the side very carefully. The children seemed to sense they needed to be quiet. Kal peered over the edge and looked all around. He looked at me and held up one finger as if to say wait. He faced the boys and did the same then he hoisted himself up and onto the railing before he climbed over. I heard the smack and thud of fighting and peered over to see Kal dragging…something with boots and pants. If they are all changelings who knows what they turn into. What did bear woman say… wind born collect.

Kal looked and saw my eyes and motioned. I directed the kids up and Kal helped Vity and the boys and finally me on deck. we crept around the side and saw another…wind born, who looked like a fisherman, regular human to me. Out of Kal’s glove came a rod and he shocked the man who fell to the deck with a thud. Soon several men resembling fisherman came to us and all of us had a rod come out of our glove. We each had the opportunity to down several, Kal and I trying to protect the kids who were fearless with their electric swords. Soon a very tall man came out wearing Khakis and a polo shirt. “you the captain?” I asked. He nodded. These windborn fisherman made no sound. Eerily they never spoke, grunted or yelled out. Silence was only interrupted by our breathing and communication followed by the shock sound and thud.

Kal asked the captain, “Where are your captives?” The captain pointed to a hatch that led below. He stood on the hatch. “We don’t want to hurt you. We simply want to return the…captives to their home.”

Reas was not where I could see him. Then his head popped out slightly behind a boat before he stealthily moved behind the captain aiming his electirc sword at the captain’s legs. The captain was about to turn so Kal and I charged.

“Don’t mess with a mother bear old man.” I was very charged up and struck several blows to his torso before he flung me across the deck. Kal and Ord had Him to his knees when Vity aimed for his spine towards his head like the hole in a dragons scale armor. He was out. It took all of us to move him off the hatch. Kal opened it and stepped down. I stayed on deck to watch out for any revived pirate fisherman or any other crises that might arise. Soon people of all ages came up rubbing their hands and ankles, limping, helping others. A young woman who looked to be about nineteen came towards me. “Thank you. Did Bess show you where we were tree warrior?”

“If Bess turns into a Bear then Yes.”

“I am Mayor of Luna Cove, Tara Key.”

“I’m Ann. Aren’t you a little young to be mayor?” She laughed and stretched forth her arms towards the rising moon.

“I am 7851 cool seasons. We wear the face that feels most wise. Tree warriors do not understand true age, like infants.”

“You may be right. How do we get back to land?” Tara smiled and stretched her neck before turning into a wolf and howling. Soon we were surrounded by creatures. Kal came to my side and the children joined us. The boat seemed to sail on it’s own towards a cove left of Luna Cove Beach. It was much easier getting off the boat near a dock than it was getting on. A great celebration took place on the beach as the Luna Cove residents turned into human form and began making fires and roasting fruits and vegetables. After eating and shaking the mayor’s hand we walked back to the treehouse and collapsed on the beds exhausted.

Bright morning light penetrated the inner room of the tree house I woke and went to a window opening it up to the breeze and sweet air. Something was cooking and I turned to see bear woman, Bess, cooking something at the stove that smelled like pancakes. “You must change and eat.”

My headache was just as bad as yesterday and the thought of food nauseated me. Bess brought me a steaming mug, “drink.”

“What’s in it?”

“Sun kissed herb. Good for head.” How did she know? I took a bath in the copper mother of pearl bath tub before everyone got up for breakfast.

She left as everyone was getting up and eating. We put our tree warrior armor away and put on the clothes we came in. We returned to the slide where we found steep stairs up to the tree door. We went single file into the corridor and up the under-basement stairs through the basement floor door and into the laundry room where Kal mentioned chores to the kids while they each hiked up the basement steps and I started another load of laundry and watched the floor door disappear wondering what face would I wear that seemed the most wise.

 

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Depth Life #15: A Tree Grows

The door in the basement floor was wide open. Apparently Kal and Vity had left it that way intending to return. “Can I go first Dad?” Vity hopped, her pleading hands clasped in front.

“Sure, princess. Watch your step Vity. Ord you go next and hold the flashlight.” Kal orchestrated our descent through the laundry room floor and down the stone steps to the landing where sure enough there was a new door on the right opposite the den door on the left. It was a rough wood door with black metal latch, rounded at the top. Very different from the den or cottage doors in this fantastic subteranean fantasy portal.

Kal lifted the latch and opened the door…darkness. “Come on Mom, I’ll show you.” Vity pulled my shirt sleeve and into the darkness we went. This kid who had a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night and insisted on keeping her lamp on until she fell asleep was leading me into a dark cavernous area that smelled of wet wood. Drips of water came on us and I wished I’d have brought rain coats or something. The air was quite warm, sounds of some kind of bird chirped a happy trill nearby. Ord an Reas pressed against me and Kal stepped in and closed the door.  When the latch clicked tiny lanterns appeared around this petrified entryway with a tiny blue flame–similar to an LED flame but not quite, more…real.Was that possible? It flickered like firelight, yet it was blue and small. And yet, the light extended several feet from it’s source. Several gears ground when a round spere appeared ahead, a doorway or… “It’s a slide mommy. Come on.” Down we slide one at a time landing nicely in a large strange round room. Tree roots everywhere like columns, chairs, bedframes. In the center was a long table with roots as supports in three places moving up through it. Carved by hand, it seemed, with a design on three-inch thick edges. The top was so smooth, like the slide but not a sanded smooth, more like well-worn smooth. It had dips, it’s uneven surface would be difficult to keep a cup from spilling.

Each of the chairs around the table were unique, old stumps from different kinds of trees with still clinging rough bark; chairs of all kinds of metal work, what looked like gold and maybe silver, some copper and brass but mostly iron chairs with seats that looked made of rocks with seat depressions, the rock striations reminded me of the displays at the science museum. One chair was made of tires, several were ornately carved wood chairs,and one tractor perched across some roots. It was a small tractor like a lawn tractor but a tractor all the same.

Around the edges were several beds , a section that looked like a kitchen with cupboards and a sink, a large metal bowl atop a root with a wooden faucet out of bamboo like pole coming from the ceiling instead of from the floor. When I looked up I saw many wooden and copper pipes tangled among small roots and some cobwebs, an intricate design that wove through half the room. “Mom can I try the bathroom? I really got to go,” Ord said standing by a bamboo door near the kitchen area.

“Sure.” We soon heard a sucking sound like a toilet on an airplane.

“I wonder if it has a compost function?” I said mostly to myself. After Ord came out I peeked into the loveliest bathroom with mini rose bushes in pots in alcoves in the walls on either side of the square stone sink sticking out of the wooden wall, a wooden chair commode with lid and a pedal on the floor of brass near the base of the chair. Intricatly carved designs on the commode were either a story or directions for use. The highlight of this rose perfumed room was a copper tub lined with what looked like mother of pearl! Rectangle with the plug hole end narrower than the opposite, it was deep. A copper spigot protruded from the wall with a lever and a pipe that went up to a…Shower head?It was a half coconut shell with holes in it. I felt the pile of towels on a wooden stool next to the tub, a soft luxurious thick fine woven linen. Something I would never expect in such a rustic place. Sea shell soap dish with black soap. I picked it up and smelled it…licorice. Hmmm. I would of never thought of licorice soap.

Vity’s screams abruptly stopped my sensory bathing. Ord and Reas yelled, “Dad look out!” I stepped back into the main room to see a large snake hanging from the ceiling pipes eyeing Kal as he backed towards the children. It dropped to the floor so softly and swirled its body into a coil then unfolded and glided towards a bed in the corner, pushed on a tree root knob and a small round door about 12 inches in diameter opened before the green and yellow at-least-6-inch-in-diameter snake glided through it. We all began to look around for any more surprise occupants of the tree house. “What was that?” Vity ran to the little door that had closed. “I’m not sure. Let’s climb the ladder and show Mom, Ord and Reas this island,” Kal started to guide Vity up the ladder that was almost hidden from view by vines between the beds and the dining area near the slide door where we came in.

“Yea!” Vity hopped up the ladder as if she hadn’t seen a giant snake just moments before. The boys quickly followed.

“Don’t worry Ann,” Kal assured me as he waited for me to climb. “It will be alright.” He kissed me softly on my cheek then my mouth. I pulled him closer. It seemed we rarely had time to ourselves and I wanted to hold this moment jut a little longer.

“Moom. Come on.” Ord was persistent. I climbed the ladder feeling Kal right behind me. We all stood on a platform among the topmost branches and looked out in all directions over a spectacular island. I almost stopped breathing, taking in all that we could see around us. I could see a group of creatures, yes they looked like Yeti, gathered in what appeared to be a square at the center of an ice city. Maybe they were people wearing white coats with black boots. It was a distance. Kal handed me the binoculars. “Thanks.”

“You can’t believe your eyes can you?”

“Nope. This is more than any of our other adventures.” The white Chewbacca-like creatures in the ice city were beyond anything I could have thought of. Snow was falling over the mountain. And what seemed not far away,  a warm beach at the edge of the sea. Near the beach was a town, with modern houses, no cars, but…where were the people? “Kal did you see any people in the town or on the beach before?”

“No. Just the Yeti Wookies up on the ice cliffs. Why?”

“A town without people is a bit strange. If this is a super hero hideout lets find some super stuff. We have to have some purpose here. The doors don’t open for nothing.” We looked around for any special gadgets but found none. We decided to go to town. How do we get to town? We couldn’t find a special doorway so we sat down to eat the snacks we had brought.

Soon we realized the table was sinking and something was coming from the ceiling. Hooks with clothes similar to our armored spy gear. They were silver and had a mask, each mask a different color. Kal’s mask was gray, mine green, Reas was Orange, Vity was blue, and Ord was red–almost exactly like the game pieces each of us would always choose when playing family board games. How did they know who would sit where? It didn’t do any good to question the how. No explanations ever seemed to materialize.

Each outfit had a matching silver pack with it. We changed quickly, after all these realms rarely had explanations and it was best to go with the flow. My outfit fit comfortably and very breathable, not what I had expected. We soon found ourselves sitting on the table as it sank to another level and we could se a tunnel through roots with some kind of light guiding the way. Outside the warm breeze and thick forest seemed surreal until a small path appeared before us. I saw a bear about 50 yards to the left of us. Pulling Kal’s sleeve I pointed. We kept to the path, crossed a large stream, saw two moose, several deer, squirrels, chipmunks, another snake and the forest cleared–we were on the edge of town.

I could hear the ocean, not so far away. I wonder if the bears or critters often come to town?

As we walked the streets we saw no one. A sort of horn seemed to blow as if from high above or out to sea. We were almost sure it was from out to sea but then not quite.

“It’s the Yeti,” Vity said.

“No; it’s a pirate ship,” Ord argued back. Kal pulled his binoculars up to look around. “We don’t know what it is. Everyone stay sharp.”

Soon we found ourselves on the beach watching the rolling waves. Reas found a spyglass in his pack and fumbled with the scope. “Tell us what you see buddy?” Kal said.

“I see a…ship like a sailboat, I think you need to see this dad.”

“Ok. Well….I guess the people of town are hostages.” He took the scope down. “How do we proceed?”

A bear sauntered onto the beach. Vity covered her mouth to squelch her scream. Ord and Reas moved behind Kal as Vity scooted near me.

(to be continued)

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Weird, Crazy, or Insane?

Nurturing has its challenges and we often call surprising actions weird, such as the green and purple streaks in your son’s friends hair when really we mean, “My how creative you are. What possessed you to be brave?” As nurturers we yell to the heavens, “This person (name is usually inserted here) is driving me crazy!” Or, “Call me crazy, I let my children eat marshmallows in bed.” (Not really on the last that would be dangerous). We even proclaim ourselves insane as we deal with stress and mess. Most of these classifications are in jest. Yet many nurturers truly suffer from various phobias, diagnoses, disorders and mental wellness challenges.

I confess, I spend many hours a day trying not to go round the bend and have to be carted off to a psychiatric hospital (I appreciate all the times my husband and children have not called in the guys in white coats, if they still wear white coats, maybe they have switched to leisure suits). It may sound like I’m joking so here’s me coming out of the mental illness closet: I deal with mental health everyday. I experience various symptoms daily around the year ranging from anxiety disorder, depression, and insomnia. My body has experienced chronic illness ranging from the above mental health issues to chronic digestive, urological, endocrine, fatigue, immune-including allergies and sensitivities, inflammation and others. I’ve had very dark days (which lead to nights where I could have sponsored midnight cat rodeos but I’m allergic to cats)and even months of heaviness and darkness. I’ve tried medications, nutritional support, herbal remedies and been to various health professionals. Lifestyle medicine (nutrition, holistic, etc) works best for me. I love neuroscience and all the ways our brains and bodies can heal if we support them. If I would have taken the traditional medical route exclusively I would be dead or institutionalized. I do not confess this to sell books (although that would be lovely if I could) or sell you a list of things to do to enhance and heal your life. I know there is no one size fits all. I say this because I am brave and God as blessed me with the courage to overcome the shame and guilt I have experienced for years in dealing with the Depths. I say this to inspire you to come out, feel the sunlight, take some steps into a new path where you can live with, manage, lessen, and even eliminate those symptoms (they are not diseases but symptoms of imbalance in the body and I’m not the only crackpot who says so). Play, create happiness, embrace the bullet train and ride it James Bond style into the unknown. After all darkness is just space with oxygen where you don’t have to wear a cool astronaut suit and I would totally wear that suit and hang out in space where there is that vacuum thing, but only if I have a protective shield so space debris doesn’t kill me, because that is one of my lovely phobias and I refuse to let it keep me from my Spark Joy space/Space. I also plan on hiking the AT (Appalachian Trail) with my fellow nurturer and friend MM(she doesn’t deal with diagnosed mental health issues she just has eight kids and is awesome). Now I can hardly go walking for a half hour in our neighborhood without needing to pee but apparently there are devices that MM and I are going to test drive next summer. Otherwise I may invest in a hiking skirt so I can squat where I want and still remain private (although I have a phobia about snakes. Have you seen City Slickers 2?) The other proverbial mountain is the chronic fatigue and dietary restrictions but I refuse to let this body keep me from a goal I’ve had since I was a teenager. MM and I have a five-year plan so I can find the best gluten-free, peanut free, antioxidant rich dehydrated food out there. I tried on a 55L backpack yesterday and I think I like carrying my kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/closet on my back. Call me weird, crazy, but not insane.

Insane is not fun and should not be joked about except by those who experience it. Insane is hardcore Depth living. I avoid attracting it by saying it even in joking (like in the Secret which I haven’t read because I’ve read all the reviews and heard interviews so I get the idea and so many others have written about the attraction theory that I’m not even going to link it here so google it yourself, ok?). I work hard to escape Insane and would appreciate respect by your not using it. Thank you.

I’m so grateful for all my symptoms, the path they put me on, and the people I’ve met (or read about so I think I could call them by their first name. “Hey Arianna.”). I’m so grateful I have friends who understand I may not communicate with them for months and family who allow me to drink green smoothies at the movie theatre. I’m grateful that I have a tribe to thrive with and I’m never alone (does anyone else have unexplained freezing spells after they eat?). I’m grateful for weirdness and bless me I’m crazy (but not insane because that would not be fun).

May you thrive in your journey however weird or crazy it may be.

Some books I’ve read lately you might enjoy:

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

A Mind of Her Own by Dr. Kelly Brogan

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, My Life as an Endangered Species, Nurturing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments