Sitting in the clinic kitchen and looking out over the cold, white landscape, it’s hard to tell that it will be April next week. It makes me think of our northern inhabitants and wonder how they manage their long winters every year. Maybe lots of whale blubber full of vitamin D… At least the sunlight has significantly increased, bringing in the cleansing season again. Time to cook up some kitcharee and break out the milk thistle, grin.
Life continues to be intensely focussed on loved ones struggling with illness. If you’ve been following me since summer, you might have guessed that my sister in New York has brain cancer. It happens to be the same kind to which my late husband succumbed in 2002, glioblastoma multiforme, GBM. Lili is bravely going through chemo and radiation with naturopathic assistance. It’s almost surreal because she is so strong and healthy…as was Mickey. However she has a better prognosis and expects to live for decades. All of us pull together to get through this intact, even if it means healing through loss and death.
Mickey’s eldest son is recovering from flesh-eating disease and will need to live in a long-term care facility. It is astounding to me how he keeps his spirits up. It’s like visiting an angel. Last Saturday I went to a Salvation Army store and bought a bag full of movies, books and CD’s which I will deliver to his bedside tomorrow. It’s fun to visit him, not something one usually feels in a hospital.
My daughter’s partner is still disabled with some unknown illness, which is maybe the hardest, the not knowing. We go from doctor appointments to the pharmacist to the hospital and keep getting more tests. Her doctor has been stellar, helping us feel that eventually we will figure this out. And my good friend who had the heart transplant and is staying with us is having complications that don’t allow him to move forward in his life. Utter frustration and yet he powers on. The good news on this illness front is that the family member with mini-strokes is doing fine and back to regular life.
In the middle of all this, I do my best to help and regain some sort of balance. Normal life happens in between crises and hospital visits and trips to New York. And yet I’m generally at peace. It is deeply satisfying to be of service and growing into acceptance. My own health is improving beyond my expectations and I am booked for a long-desired breast reduction tomorrow, armed with remedies and pain techniques, which will allow me to exercise more comfortably. At this point I’m looking forward to the two week recovery—my turn to rest!! My joints are slowly getting better, my eyes are stable with days of actual improvement, my hair is shiny for the first time in decades and my back is no longer keeping me up at night. My guts are still the resistant area, leading me to deeper awareness of how I hold tension and emotions. I am definitely not as enlightened as I thought, laugh!!
Yesterday I had a phone consult with my German New Medicine teacher, Ilsedora Laker, about these guts of mine, embarrassed that it’s taking me so long to figure out the trigger. She took me in the direction of looking for a “lack” and led me to see that because of my guilt around having so much, I deny myself many things, especially time to relax. In the conversation, I could clearly see the issue but couldn’t imagine not feeling guilty. Later in my meditation, I asked myself what it would take. The answer came: to accept that I DO MY BEST to share and contribute all that I have. I don’t have to be a super-human or beat myself up or drive myself to the brink of exhaustion to justify my existence as a person with wealth. A beautiful light flooded me and I realized that I’ve cracked the code. Now to continue reinforcing it gently. Eureka!
Katherine performing her solo at the ice show.
In the middle of all this intensity there have been many fun moments: taking slow walks with my sister; participating in the ice show with Felix (see photo); sleeping in the yurt with grandson Felix and our friend Jessica—until 2am when we rushed back home through the woods in the dark because I couldn’t get us warm enough with the wood stove; trying out ecstatic dance with the regulars in Ottawa; cross-country skiing at Fitzroy Park; and simply enjoying the privilege of being well enough to do my daily tasks of cooking, laundry and looking after Felix…who is trooping through all the stress around him with courage and kindness.
The best part of my own healing process is that night is no longer a time of horrific visions and terror but growing into a delicious experience of relaxing and coming home to myself thanks to the ongoing work with EMDR therapist Mary Ann Carmichael. Decreasing my constant anxiety and increasing my awareness is the central piece that allows everything else to change. The main thing I need to be careful of is that much of the energy I seem to have may be due to being in a shock state because of my sister’s illness, a long surge of adrenalin that will take me to exhaustion as it did with my late husband. This time around I need to take better care of myself.
And underneath everything there continues the dream of the centre. Every time someone is helped with a remedy or a healing technique I fantasize sharing it in a class or workshop. With the spring sun comes new visioning and soon we will be able to let you know what we will offer here. Patience all around! I do realize that I have a compulsive tendency to overdo and am committed to moving forward slowly and thoughtfully. I think that will be easier with the recent insights.
Here’s to your own visions and dreams–