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It’s a beautiful midday just before the summer solstice and I am exhausted. I make myself a cup of plain cocoa and water, my version of black coffee, and prepare to write. Sit and breathe…
My being feels pulled in two: positive excitement to be reopening the centre this fall—and anger with deep underlying sadness about difficulties that have erupted between my sister and me. The details need to be private to honour my sister. She doesn’t spread her personal life in blogs as I do. And yet, I still feel that it’s important to mention this as it isn’t unique and causes much pain in families. Witness this article sent to me by Sylvia McGee, which acknowledges that there is not very much written about sibling conflict. Or very much support. https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201503/the-ties-unwind?utm_source=FacebookPost&utm_medium=FBPost&utm_campaign=FBPost
The issues between us go back to childhood of course and bring up so much emotion that I feel swamped, especially at night. I keep turning bitter thoughts around to opening my heart, feel better for a while, and then relapse into reactivity.
…Several busy days later, early morning. It’s the actual solstice and Father’s Day. Yesterday we celebrated the longest day with Trish Wall https://ecowellness.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/trish-shines-at-solstice/ and then attended the annual barn dance hosted by our MPP Jack MacLaren https://ecowellness.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/when-politics-is-heart-warming/. Then home to tend to an orphan skunk I found staggering around the main street in Carp on Friday evening, bewildered and dehydrated. https://ecowellness.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/cute-but-smelly-visitor/
…Now it is a whole week later. I have not been able to write in the midst of my turmoil. The good news is that my sister’s recent brain MRI was clear of cancer and she is doing exceptionally well. After speaking to my close friend Stephen, I see our process from a bigger perspective of family healing: the bitter old toxins need to leak out and as they clear, my love for my sister will emerge stronger than ever. This helps me handle the strong emotions by aiming to remain as neutral as possible, focussing on my breath instead of escalating the story, thereby allowing the process to move forward without getting stuck in it. I am grateful to have found a path through the clouds!
On the easier side of things, I am full of summer energy and using it to plan the new version of the centre. Today I had a delightful meeting with three young counsellors for the holistic summer camp which starts soon and I’m hoping to offer another week in August, then a full summer in 2016. We have a new member on our staff, Sue Hall (see link), with whom I am developing various programs, a unique online store and holistic services. More about that in the next newsletter. Finally, I am realizing my dream of holding free monthly healing circles at the Carp Memorial Hall where we held the Carp Dinner Talks last year, working with Reiki Master Sylvia McGee who was central to the dinners as well.
My personal health continues to improve and I feel younger than I have in a long time, despite the emotional distress. My joint pains are almost gone where before I could barely walk when waking up in the morning. My digestion is slowly starting to normalize after two decades of distress. My eyes are stable so I can continue to avoid cataract surgery. My energy is improving, allowing me to have sleepless nights and still be productive the next day. Even my hair is slightly less gray, something I’d heard could happen, but haven’t seen before. The breast reduction surgery is having some repercussions with a slow-to-heal sore and tenderness—but I am so delighted to be lighter in that area, it barely bothers me at all!
On the emotional and mental levels, I continue to work with EMDR therapist Mary Ann Carmichael. This is the most important factor in allowing me to spiral up even as I get older as stress is my weakest link and the cause of most of my physical conditions. Other than the family situation, my main challenge is not to do too much with my somewhat manic energy this time of year, grin…
Much reason for gratitude for sure, as well as the pleasure of being in a career where I can pass it on! Wishing you well during these beautiful summer days and looking forward to seeing some of you in fall.
This baby was found in the middle of Carp last week and brought home to rescue. There are several wildlife rehab centres that can take orphaned skunks and we took him to Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
In the meantime, it was eating/drinking well, eliminating easily and liked to curl up under my hand for comfort. It especially enjoyed having its face wiped with a damp cloth–like mother giving it a wash after meals.
Cat Kaos was pretty upset about this intruder at first and stalked around while it was eating. I kept petting and reassuring him and gave him his own bowl of wet food, a treat. Then he went over to the skunk while I held my breath (and remained really close) and they nuzzled each other. Kaos was purring. Highlight of my day!
Intuitive healer Patricia Wall has been a friend for a number of years and recently we had lunch to catch up on our lives. She described being invited to an equinox gathering of almost 700 people in Florida and the exercise she facilitated. I could feel the energy just listening to her and asked if she would do something similar at Carp Ridge for solstice.
On Saturday, Jun 20, about thirty of us followed Trish as she guided us in an exquisite visualization of our energy centres called chakras and sounds that are generated from them. We were given cards ahead of time that suggested which one to focus on personally. Afterwards, she generously answered questions from each person who lined up to find out the meaning of their personal chakra. My own experience was of many colours and sounds coming together in a delicious feeling of lightness!
All in all, it was a beautiful celebration and we thank Trish for taking the time from writing and developing courses to share her gifts with us. Trish will be one of the speakers at the Carp Healing Circles, keep posted for the date and time.
Our MPP Jack MacLaren holds an annual BBQ and barn dance at his family farm overlooking the Ottawa Valley at MacLaren’s Landing. This year I was finally able to make it and was so delighted with the event, I want to share!
Instead of raising funds for conservative coffers, Jack decided to invite donations for an Abilities Centre in Ottawa and we had rousing speeches about what a difference this will make to people with disabilities. But what really caught my attention was this:
Jack has been helping various ethnic groups with their challenges and several racial groups made the trek to his farm from as far away as Toronto. They were warmly introduced and their situations were explained, demonstrating massive courage and faith in the face of persecution that most of us only have nightmares about, including torture and death. It was obvious that these folks were utterly grateful for Jack’s understanding and support. What resulted was a lovely mix of people that was maybe a bit unique for West Carleton, smile.
Then there was the dance performance by the “elderly” Chinese ladies. I peaked in at them while they were getting ready and remarked to someone that they looked between 40 and 50, not really that elderly at all. Then the announcer informed us that the AVERAGE age of these women was seventy! When the music started, they swirled and stepped and fanned in perfect time and grace, an inspiration for sure! It only got better when Jack and provincial conservative leader Patrick Brown got up and joined them, smile…
To finish up the evening there was country music and I was surprised to see musician Al Cochrane in the band. He was playing at the last fundraiser I attended and had collapsed. Being the medical person in the room, I took him to a nearby bedroom and offered reiki healing, all I could think to do. He was scheduled for an invasive cancer surgery and seemed to be on last legs. Imagine my startled expression when he dedicated the first song to me—who had “saved his life”! It turns out that he had a healing experience that November evening and became well enough not to need his surgery and with enough energy to go back to his music and life. I was humbled and astonished as that is not my usual mode of practice. Clearly it was his strong faith that opened the door to healing.
Thank you Jack for making these profound experiences possible in our community!
By the way, Reiki is something anyone can learn and Reiki master Sylvia McGee will be initiating a Reiki Community here at the Ridge where interested people can learn and practice together. We’ll keep you posted with dates in upcoming newsletters.
Paleo, gluten and dairy-free
Written By Stephanie Raymond ~ source: “Cooking with Diabetes Superfoods“, alive Australia #21, Spring 2014
This easy-to-prepare dinner pair’s coleslaw made from heart-healthy avocado with equally heart-healthy salmon. In addition to being rich in omega-3s, salmon is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D. Danish researchers have found an association between low levels of this sunshine vitamin and an increased risk of death from any cause, including heart and kidney disease, in type 2 diabetics.
Grilled Salmon Kebabs
750 g wild salmon fillets, deboned, skinned, cut into chunks
2 zucchinis, sliced 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick
1 brown onion, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) dried rosemary
1 tsp (5 ml) dried sage
16 wooden or bamboo skewers
2 cups (500 ml) shredded green cabbage
2 cups (500 ml) shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated carrot
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, pitted and chopped into chunks
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
3 tsp (15 ml) grated ginger
To prepare kebabs, place salmon, zucchini and onion in bowl.
In second bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary and sage. Pour mixture over salmon and vegetables. Toss together and allow marinating in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place skewers in water and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Thread salmon, zucchini and onion pieces onto skewers, using 2 skewers per kebab.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place skewers on grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
While kebabs are cooking, prepare coleslaw by placing cabbage, carrot and onion in large bowl. Toss together. Add avocado, lemon juice and ginger. Toss again until well combined. The avocado should coat the cabbage, giving the salad a creamy texture.
Serve coleslaw alongside kebabs.
Sue graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where she earned the designation of RHN, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and has been in private practice since 2003. Her well-rounded holistic views of nutrition and health became the foundation for her own life and business. Sue strives to continually research, read and take courses, which enables her to confidently navigate through the wealth of information that’s available to empower her clients.
As a Holistic Nutritionist and Lifestyle Educator, Sue specializes in custom tailoring individual plans specific to each person’s unique body chemistry. In her practice she utilizes the latest tools to assess the body’s ongoing environmental, dietary and emotional influences. Her emphasis is on correcting nutritional deficiencies and imbalances through dietary and lifestyle changes to restore balance to the body. She consults with individuals, couples and families on many aspects of health including weight loss, digestive disorders, detoxification/cleansing programs, whole food eating and prevention of disease. Sue provides the tools and support you need to reach your health goals and succeed.
Sue truly believes that living a healthier lifestyle changes lives. When you meet Sue, you will discover how passionate she is about helping you to discover the power within to take control of your own health. Discovering that we have it in us to live long, healthy and abundant lives is the greatest joy.
By making simple dietary changes today you can improve your health for life.
To book an appointment with Sue, please call 613-839-1198
Questions are always welcome.
Katherine Willow N.D.
After a year of cleaning up, restructuring and tending to family, CREWC will re-open this fall with programs on health, healing and sustainability; spaces to rent for holistic health practitioners and workshops; an online store; and a holistic assessment service.
For those of you who haven’t visited Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, it’s on 190 acres of rocky wilderness overlooking the Carp River valley, about thirty minutes northwest of downtown Ottawa. Trails wind through magical wetlands filled with wildlife. White pines, ash, spruce and ironwood are home to songbirds, hawks and owls. There is a holistic clinic, a learning centre, a yurt, two straw bale cabins, a pond cabin and three colourful office cabins as well as two tents on platforms, each with their own woodstove and composting toilet which practitioners can rent for treatments or workshops. A large deer-fenced garden awaits planting and is growing wild medicinal herbs in the meantime…
Over these last eighteen years we have run programs ranging from holistic family retreats to professional development courses for doctors of all stripes. CREWC hosted the first Forest School in North America, which continues in the form of Ridgewoods Outdoor Programs for 3-6 year old children run by experienced teacher Sara Raeesi.
However, the central activity at CREWC has been the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic, now simply Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, where many conditions were treated, including cancer. For several years we also offered a Healing House where patients could stay, be nourished with healthy food according to their body type and condition, and cared for by a team of holistic practitioners.
The results we saw amazed even ourselves. After starting to use a new concept of disease and healing called German New Medicine, we witnessed many cancer patients recovering without their treatments. In ten years we saved our provincial health insurance (OHIP) over two million dollars. Now we would like to put our experience into programs to pass on this extraordinary knowledge, both to the public and other health care practitioners.
Starting this fall after an open house in September, there will be classes such as meditation, body types & cooking; health assessment services; and products for health, healing and a sustainable lifestyle. We will begin offering monthly healing circles by donation in the village of Carp to introduce the idea of emotional work being as important as diet, exercise and adequate sleep. And I’m pleased to announce that the “Ask a Naturopathic Doctor” column will restart in Tone! Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that water levels this spring are the lowest since the early 1900’s? If you are on a well wanting to avoid going dry or in the city trying to decrease your water bill, here are some ways to save a good percentage of your household water:
- Use the water left over in the tub after showers and baths for flushing toilets.
- Save the water in kitchen and bathroom sinks in plastic tubs to flush as well and water plants indoors and out.
- Mulch your garden to retain moisture.
- Set up rain barrels at your drainpipes to collect water off your roof (if you have one).
Sitting at my kitchen window again, I’m listening to birds and enjoying blossom-scented air wafting in through screens keeping an army of mosquitos at bay. It’s my favourite time of year despite the insects and I’m hoping that spraying with garlic oil will discourage them enough for us to be able to enjoy the outdoors in peace. I’ll let you know, as it’s a non-toxic product and would be a marvellous solution if it works. If so, I’m even going to take it camping!
For the April blog I wrote about the struggles of my sister Lili with her treatments for brain cancer and how hellish it was to watch her suffer. Since then we almost lost her. And then things turned around. The medications were changed and, miracle of miracles, resulted in an end to her pain and nausea. Our cousin and his partner took over my sister’s care and spirited her away to their home in Pennsylvania where they helped her eat/drink/take meds regularly. She was 103 pounds 1 1/2 weeks ago and now is 118, able to walk and enjoy life again, currently on holiday on Fire Island.
I’ve been relegated to watching from a distance as I have a stubborn infection from my breast reduction surgery that prevents travel. My stress around the situation increased to the point where my whole body tightened, breathing felt like I was in a straight-jacket and sleep became impossible. It took me a while to understand that I am being triggered by a black hole of childhood issues. With everything I have learned, I am still unable to relax. Prayers and meditation don’t penetrate the tension, I can’t make myself do what I need to do and I am just making it through each day doing what is most necessary for Felix. He is starting to act out a bit, bouncing off my tension and preoccupation.
I know I desperately need to rest and face myself most of all and find I can’t do it enough to catch my balance, recover from the infection and regain my energy. I take all kinds of supplements and remedies, make compresses, see my therapist…and it’s all a drop in the bucket if I don’t slow down.
Don’t feel sorry for me please. If you came to my home right now you would not know I was in such a state—except for the chaos everywhere as I finally get to organizing the place! It will not last very much longer. Once I became aware of what this is about, it already started to lose its hold. And most importantly, I do realize that this is how growth happens and am accepting the stress as inevitable. I am hoping that my home will become orderly as my mind does, smile…
Another side of the tension is a positive one: I have finally decided how to move forward with the centre. This creates a rush of ideas and enthusiasm and some normal anxiety. Luckily I know from painful experience that I like to bury my mind in projects to avoid emotional stress. Not this time. I am firmly dedicated to moving ahead slowly and in balance with my personal life so that I can contribute back all that I’ve been given, enjoying the process into my old age!
I look forward to planning out the future of the centre to a point where it can be shared. Then I hope to see some of you again at the exciting programs that will be offered.
Until then, let’s take care, breathe into what really is and trust that our vital energies do everything they can to heal us in this lovely spring weather. And do some rain dancing…