Tag Archives: health

How we are meant to see

My eyes need softening, my gaze the balm of what they were made to behold. We were not made to stare into that blue light of our screens. The computer, the television, the phone. None of these are part of our natural way of being. It is truest for us to see in the light of the sun and the moon, fire maybe too. It is good for us to take in the hues, the full spectrum of the natural world, the constant movement, rustling, shifting, drifting, and setting of nature around us.

I know this is true because I feel part of my consciousness cloud over after long periods of time in front of a screen. I wonder how many feel this and ignore it or consider it normal. I feel my eyes burning. I feel the longing to gaze upon the natural-scape. It is there that I learn to soften my gaze. It is there that I learn how to see another human being with compassion, empathy, and love on my face. If not for a softer gaze grown and birthed from time spent seeing what my body was meant to see, I would stare at others as simply sources of information, getting only a part of my attentions, easily losing interest, there to either satisfy my personal needs or nothing at all.

Give me trees, give me grass, give me a blue sky or rain drops, let the wind bring tears to my eyes. Let me find the bird in the branches, the deer among the trunks, the fish raising the surface of the water slightly as it swims by, the snaking of the centipede under the rotten log. These will train me to see as I was meant to see. These will unify my soul with windows to it and connect my body to how it was meant to be.

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Listening to Heal

Wisdom from Rachel Naomi Remen, in Kitchen Table Wisdom:

“Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal. Becoming expert has turned out to be less important than remembering and trusting the wholeness in my self and everyone else. Expertise cures, but wounded people can best be healed by other wounded people. Only other wounded people can understand what is needed, for the healing of suffering is compassion, not expertise.

“[In a Master’s class given by Dr. Carl Rogers, he shared,] “Before every session I take a moment to remember my humanity. There is no experience that this person has that I cannot share with him, no fear that I cannot understand, no suffering that I cannot care about, because I too am human. No matter how deep his wound, he does not need to be ashamed in front of me. I too am vulnerable. And because of this, I am enough. Whatever her story, she no longer needs to be alone with it. This is what will allow healing to begin.”

“Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to to effect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and by others. That which is hidden”

This is, in great part, why I am so drawn to spiritual direction and why I am so blessed to offer this gift to the community. I don’t claim to be an expert. But I do listen well, and I believe in the power of the divine to heal when we pay attention. We are all equals, all in process, all becoming. I trust this… do you? What is your experience of listening or being listened to that led to healing?

Shame and the liberated self

I just read an article by James Bowler, S.J., entitled Shame: A Primary Root of Resistance to Movement in Direction. There were a few things that I really appreciated, one being his description of laying on layers of internal messages to cover up the heart of the shame. So often, this is the case that we have multiple tapes that get played in our heads, most often negative ones, that keep us in bondage from our liberated, free, and fresh self. As I looked at our little baby this morning, I see his eyes, which though only 6 weeks old, look timeless and eternal. He is so free from all these layers. Just watching. And I think about my eyes, and my ears, and what I have witnessed. Not to mention what gets played in my head about all of those experiences as well. This is where shame starts playing out.

The other thing that was very helpful was his mention of the Enneagram. This has been such a major tool in my own movement into moving past, or at least being aware of, my own coping strategies. As a 9, my tendency is to numb out in avoidance of all stress or anxiety. And there really are endless ways that I do this… mostly leading me to a place of nearly always being unable to focus on the moment at hand. In this, I find my own shame. So many of us have these coping strategies, that get us away from the stress or the dis-harmony that comes from our shame.
Bowler also makes a distinction between guilt, unhealthy shame, and healthy shame, which he calls “discretionary” shame. In my own reflection and in my listening with others, I don’t know that I would spend much time on guilt, as it is an indicator and nothing more. Guilt is like the feeling I get from burning myself or stubbing my toe. I might do this over and over again, which is bound to happen, but it is what I tell myself as a result that leads to unhealthy shame. Pain does not have to be a constant feeling, just as guilt does not have to be a constant feeling. Accept it and move on, learning from the situation.
Negative shame is when I beat myself up for, or continue to dwell on and recall, the moments of guilt. Discretionary shame, as Bowler writes about it, is an existential awareness and recognition of our place before God and our commonality with other humans. It is like a state of humility, a remembrance that we are “not yet.” But it is far from beating ourselves up and it is far from guilt. I would probably not call it shame, however the idea is the same. We do need a deep awareness and humility that we are not yet… we are still becoming. This give us compassion for each other and a deep longing for union with the God that invites us into himself.

Daniel Vitalis and “taking the red pill”

I have been tuning in to Daniel Vitalis lately and really resonating with his ideas on health awareness, human domestication, and the ways that we as human beings can become more conscious inhabitants of this Earth. Here are a couple youtube videos that have really spoken to me. They are all part of longer talks, so if you find them interesting, I recommend watching the ones that come after.


Much of what I like is Daniel’s talks on water. Water holding memory… our bodies being made of 85% water… connecting with the place we live by drinking the live water from the local springs. There is so much we don’t know… so much we are not told.

Kat and I went on our own spring finding adventure. For those who are in Central Oregon and looking for a local drinking spring, go to the Cold Spring campground 4 miles west of Sisters on hwy 242. You can park on the side of the highway or walk to the source from the campground parking. It was so beautiful… I wish I had pictures. There was so much green in and around the spring even with the snow cover. The water is so fresh and you can drink it right out of the ground. It could be my imagination but I actually got kind of a buzz from drinking it.

As Daniel and others say (like David Wolfe), water is far more than just H2O. Coming from thousands of feet down, it actually rises out of the ground. What is it about natural water that makes it defy gravity?!? And if it holds memory and information, it is far better than the purified, chlorinated toilet water that comes out of the tap. The fact that we have antimicrobial-ized our water leaves our immune systems very weak. And then there is the fluoride… according to this site, fluoride in water can be traced to “Adolf Hitler, who added fluoride to the Nazi prison camp water supplies to lull the prisoners into a sense of complacency so they would not try to escape. It is doubtful that Hitler was concerned about the prisoner’s dental health.” So what does fluoride do to us who drink it and bathe in it every day? Here is an article that sums it up pretty well. Here is another one! Should we take showers in bleach?

So yah, been taking the “red pill” lately…