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-A Womyn’s Journey -A Journey’s Story -From Educated to Enlightened PDF copy

When I live something, think something, I make sense of it by writing it. Here is today’s offering:

Life as I had known it (last century!): Educated, Focused, Gogogo

I am living my life in my second third! And I love it. Energy abounds. Enthusiasm is my go-to philosophy. I’m dancing as fast as I can, faster than most, and everyone loves me that way, expects me that way. I sparkle on command, just like my childhood taught me. I just do it; do it right; do it right now! I love helping others, love celebrating them as they take first steps into their own future.

….And I’m Fat (one doctor told me I was a fat lazy pig who eats too much and exercises too little.) (?On less than 1000 calories and more than 12000 steps a day?).

ADHD chases me and serves me.

OCD is born of surviving the impossible…after all, if it is to be, it’s up to me! I can do this!

My gut is its own boss as is my blood sugar.

And my guilty little secret:…clinical depression diagnosis (which is a sure path to losing employment as a teacher, no matter how successful the kids and their parents say that I am. We help the students who have that diagnosis, but “cannot keep a ‘crazy’ teacher in the classroom”.)

(We are living in an unenlightened age, even amongst educated people)

I know where Mum is, where wife is, where teacher Mrs. McGee is….but I haven’t seen Sylvia for years.

And I live underground, …when I am not nose to the grindstone 16+ hours a day.

I am on a constant quest to find answers and to find my place and to prove myself.

My Mum and Dad and my youngest brother have died. And unsaid words haunt me.

My loved one survives a heart attack that they said would take him away. We made that doggedly determined trip back together.

Unrelenting stress builds up.

Favourite Foods: Comfort Foods (Mum’s meat loaf w sweet sauce, brownies), indulgent foods, real food, whole foods, and a little(!) sugar to keep up and keep hyper and keep ready to gogogo all day long, to live the life that I chose and love and get much acclaim for!

References (where I learned some of my biggest lessons in that time):

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Secrets of the Teenage Brain by Sheryl G Feinstein

Essential Reiki by Diane Stein

William Lee Rand

Sacred Contracts by Carolyn Myss

Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Ekhart Tolle, Andrew Weil

You, the Owner’s Manual by Oz and Roizen

Oprah….in her early years


2001 “You have cancer, Mrs. McGee.” Crack goes the Universe. I’m awake!

I went to my doc, asking about a lump, a fullness that I can feel just below my ribs on my right. I’m told that it is “just the phantom memory of a breach pregnancy”. So I head out, seeking help elsewhere. And I find a GP, a humanitarian, with an energy-rich generosity of spirit, and the skill of listening keenly. She ‘finds something’ and sends me to a surgeon who tells me he will operate immediately. I have seven days to complete an entire set of report cards, to set up a detailed day book for 6 weeks, to ‘get my affairs in order’, to keep up the spirits of loved ones.   I clamour onto the cancer conveyor belt, gratefully. Incision is the ‘cadaver cut’. There are 7 tubes going into or out of me. My 3 day epidural numbs the incision without the dreaded fuzziness of drugs. There are hours and days of lying still and thinking. And Spirit visits me in that time. My Angels and Guides are joined by others sent from elsewhere to stand guard over me and encourage me.

Lessons learned: Gratitude for GP and surgeons and hospital caregivers, and Love sent to me.

Fat loss (well, muscle loss, water loss, …weight loss).

But I receive no avoidance or causal advice about this rare cancer, that clicks for me…so I refuse chemo and radiation which means no future with the oncologist.   And I fall thro the cracks after 18 months.

The struggle to get back on my feet, to start dancing and sparkling again is a solitary battle.   My insurance company thinks that I am cheating the system; they stalk me. Napping three times a day becomes my lifestyle… Where is my famed bountiful energy?

Laughter really is the best medicine. Life on the lighter side is just easier on everybody… (else) and it serves me, too!

And the dark corners encroach again.

Favourite Foods: comfort foods, energy foods, sugar, prop me up foods, get me back to life as I knew it foods.

References: neuro-endocrine cancer: This reference is a recent one, FYI. No available information existed in that day.

Civic Hospital Liver and Pancreas Cancer Clinic

2010. “You have cancer Mrs. McGee.” Thud!   Again? Really?

9 years later? But I thought after all this time…!   I have just retired and entered the next third of my life! I am finally finding Sylvia! I have grandchildren, the apples of my eye.

I gingerly struggle back onto the cancer conveyor belt that worked nine years ago, grasping and clinging to the same tremendous confidence in my life saving surgeons.

But Fear and Panic never lift. How the system has changed. Still grateful for the surgeon’s skill that saves my life again .. but not getting back on my feet….will I be denied what my Mum was denied…the third third of life?

I am seeking help… Living cautiously, slowly. Am convinced that I am already old. I have lost my way.

Favourite foods: does it really matter? Still giving a nod to real foods but relying on quick and easy foods, making up a short term’s worth. Thinking and planning for short term.


Writing your own will

Putting my affairs in order

Need advanced notice to go…anywhere…

OCD includes taking notes obsessively…..forgetful, can’t hear, perhaps Sylvia has left the building?

2013. “You have cancer, Mrs. McGee.” Smack!   What?   No?

Though the GP and Surgeon are still skillful, the system is completely broken, inspiring fear and confusion, focused on numbers and dollars rather than patient needs. 30+ appointments in 6 months. And the first words out of my mouth become “I’m a cancer patient”.

…poignant words that crossed my path…

“The world spins away from under my feet.

My ears ring and my heart beats in my ears and stomach”….

All those appointments, tests, scans, procedures, surgeries, consults…being on the cancer conveyor belt that is never stopping. Health care system has only one answer for me….take action with the surgeons.

But a rare cancer brings one doc out of the woodwork…. A rare cancer is opportunity to publish and turns up a cowboy who wants to treat me like a cadaver…before I am dead. My only escape is “I need a break…for a year….” “Then you will lose your referral with me!” “I’ll just have to live with that…”

And off I run, as fast as I can, to another health care provider who immediately becomes a vital member of my team…a very short list of professionals who are skilled AND caring.   Joining GP, liver and pancreas surgeons, kidney surgeon, daughter Lindsay’s research and care, is now ND Katherine.

I am encouraged to learn, to research answers, to use my skills and intellect, to see myself as alive and still vital. I can still get up and out there.

I still expect to claim every single minute of the other 26 years of my next third, to take charge of my life, to live consciously.   And I do that by waking up every morning with Joy that I woke up, with Appreciation for this body and this brain that have carried me to this day. And with the desire to be busy because I can be, and with a need to volunteer, to pay simple acts of human kindness forward…every chance I get.

Enlightened?…enlightening…still growing…


Carp Ridge a Natural Health Clinic

German New Medicine   My springboard and still my mainstay for advice, recipes

GAPS: Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride

Ditch the wheat

Taking control of mouth health

Favourite foods are now Conscious food choices: Fermented foods

Drinks: Ginger beer, root beer, orangina type drink, pineapple drink…made with ginger bug or with whey

Dill pickles


“Do something interesting every day…otherwise you dis-integrate!”

-from a facebook centenarian

Lessons that I’ve learned:

We have allowed our nourishment to become the food industry.

I Eschew sugar and grains (food industry’s favourite additives), milk, processed foods, potatoes

I Eat and drink only the very best quality / most natural food that I can find

Make my own foods

Follow Gut and Psychology Syndrome: GAPS. Our mental health issues have a connection to our gut health…you saw how my mental health declined through my cancer experience, impossible for me to overcome.

We need to find out about GAPS…follow it

Eat / drink fermented foods (sauerkraut, gingerbug drinks, fermented (Kosher) pickles and vegetables for our gut health.

I’m told First drink of the day: squeeze juice of half lemon in water

I Drink Bullet Proof Coffee (hot coffee, 1tbs butter, 1 Tbs coconut oil, 1 Tbs gelatin- blend in glass blender)

I Eat good fat (olive oil, coconut oil, butter)

I Eat vegetables with carbs, vegetables with protein. Do NOT eat carbs with protein.

Yes, tooth enamel can re grow. (Dr Westin Price)

Next up -where do I go from here:

Check it out:

–   Dr Robert Lustig on Bill Maher show, his documentary “FedUp”, his work that confirms what I have always suspected: overconsumption of sugar is the number one evil. Not just because of obesity, but also because of internal damage. What is TOFI “thin on the outside and fat on the inside”. Chronic metabolic disease…is that the same as neuro endocrine cancer

–   leaky gut syndrome

–   Asleep by 10 philosophy

–   Hashimoto’s syndrome and thyroid sluggishness


I have decided::

To Reach outward; move forward.

To Focus outside of my own skin.

To Make every activity and commitment the very best.

And I leave you with these ideas that encourage me:

Laugh…right out loud…at every little pleasure…every day. Then share that laughter.

“Be who you are and say what you feel (because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind)”

“Womyn are Angels. When someone breaks our wings… we simply continue to fly …on a broomstick… We’re flexible like that.”

Celebrate!….every little thing.   And share the celebrations.

Good Health (what I like to refer to as pursuing Happyness) requires balancing body, mind, spirit (individually and collectively).

And I leave you with this poem (from Bob Perks), that speaks to me, and keeps crossing my path:

I Wish You Enough!

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough “Hello’s”to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

– –- written by Bob Perks, P.O. Box 1702, Shavertown, PA 18708-1702, USA

Thanks for listening. See you on my website and blog page…stay tuned this summer.

I had planned to do do some food demos today, around the GAPS diet….too much information!…coming soon…sign up for our (Kim and Sylvia’s) food demos!  See the poster here: Kim&Sylvia .   Watch for information at future Carp DinnerTalks.


Sylvia Melba Christie McGee, Carp DinnerTalk May 25, 2014







Energy medicine is a broad term for therapeutic and diagnostic methods based on subtle energies.

Examples include homeopathy, acupuncture, flower essences, healing prayer, Reiki, quantum touch, Biotron sensitivity testing, shamanism, Emotional Freedom Technique, crystals, Angel healing and many more.

Research over the years has attempted to prove and disprove the efficacy of energy medicine with a mixture of results. My experience is that energy healing requires deep concentration and results vary according to the healer’s ability to focus at any given time.   Under critical observation it is no wonder that experimental results are not consistent. I used to doubt this realm until experiencing it for myself through quite a few methods.

There are many types of energy structures associated with the human body: acupuncture meridians and points, energy centres along the midline, layers of energies around us and energies associated with different functions, such as digestion, circulation and elimination. Spiritual traditions describe an energy rising along the spine as awareness awakens and an energetic core of bliss and wisdom called the soul.

Depending on their training and equipment, practitioners will assess and treat different aspects of these energetic levels.

The Vedas from India, our most ancient scriptures, teach that our soul accumulates extra layers according to positive and negative actions in our life. These layers, or samskaras, influence subsequent lives in a pattern of cause and effect. The goal according to this system is to peel off these layers in order to manifest our best selves.

The energy healer in our clinic, Jennifer Presley RMT, has the ability to pick up these influences as energy blocks she can see, translate and connect to a person’s current life, integrating knowledge from several traditions. Often it is these blocks which lead to illness and resist healing. Jennifer has seen cases of disease dissipate when the related blocks shift. She receives help from healing Angels to remove negative entities from individuals, commonly followed by a feeling of increased lightness and relief of symptoms.

On the other end of the scale, acupuncture and low dose complex homeopathy, used by many naturopathic doctors, have more of an effect on the physical body. Bach flower remedies work primarily on the emotions and Reiki works by funnelling healing through the practitioner to wherever it is needed. Cindy Fleming offers Reiki at our clinic.

When visiting a psychic, information and advice is channelled from the larger energy field we all share, described in Lynne Taggart’s book The Field, with startling research confirming energy principles that have been used for thousands of years.

When I refer patients to a psychic or energy healer, I remind them that they also have access to this information and will resonate with parts that are useful for them, so to trust their own intuition. The primary reason I refer to psychics is to resolve issues with people who have died, to obtain advice from a higher perspective or to glean information from past lives to help this one.

From what I have seen, good energy healers are competent, honest, respectful, grounded and humble, dedicated to doing their best while acknowledging that the healing comes from beyond them.

As we deepen our understanding of energy healing, more guiding principles will undoubtedly emerge to clarify this realm. In the meantime, we can exercise due diligence and common sense in choosing what is appropriate for our current healing needs as well as developing our own energetic awareness through practices such as yoga, meditation, prayer and chi gong.

Jennifer Presley, RMTby Jennifer Presley, RMT


Energy healing comes in many different forms. It is the old “laying on of hands” in many respects. The tools I happen to use include Reiki, shamanic healing and working with Angels.


With Reiki, healing energy is channelled through me from Divine source. It comes through with intelligence and intuitively goes where it is needed.


Shamanic work deals with many layers of the soul, healing through various intuitive messages and reintegration of fragments of self-leading toward wholeness.


My third modality is communicating messages from Angels and collaborating with them in direct work on the body.


How Does it Feel?
Some people feel nothing happen during a session. Some people feel everything; they feel heat, certain emotions come up, they see coloured lights or have specific memories. It varies widely per person and per session.


Typically, you feel relaxed and lighter by the end of a session.


What are the Results?
You see better physical, emotional, mental and spiritual functioning. Sometimes this will be immediately evident after one treatment or sometimes you see this after a series of sessions.


Emotionally there is less burden and more freedom to how you feel in various areas of your life.


Understanding deeper aspects of pressing issues brings mental clarity.


Experiencing spiritual healing varies depending on your openness and interest in this area.


Physically, tissue now has an opportunity to heal. This can mean less or no pain. There can also be the resolution of benign tumours, cancers and various other diseases or conditions.
Einstein’s equation of E=mc2 means that all matter is a frequency of energy. Changing or elevating the frequency of the energy governing the tissue gives an opportunity to improve the health of the tissue.


What are the mechanics of Energy Work?
Chakras, aura layers, meridians are different energy systems in the body which have their own optimal healthy functions.


Tears, cysts and blocked energy are all forms that impede healthy functioning of these systems.


Past life issues that are still problematic, current life issues and relationships with family and friends are the sources of these impediments to healthy function. Karma, contracts and the need of soul recovery because of lost fragments of self are also sources of difficulties in the energy systems.


Jennifer Presley RMT has been working in the Ottawa area doing massage therapy and energy work for eleven years. She takes joy and delight in doing this work and is honoured to assist others on their journey.

There is a building body of research suggesting that Massage Therapy can offer a number of benefits in supporting cancer care.

Things like reducing symptoms of pain, nausea, depression, anxiety and fatigue. It can improve mood, coping and can enhance quality of life. How? By increasing the happy hormone, serotonin, and our natural pain killer, dopamine, levels. At the same time, massage reduces our stress hormone, cortisol.

Depending on where you are in your stage of cancer, there are different options available. During an initial diagnosis, normal Swedish massage would be appropriate. Whether it is light touch or deep tissue is a personal preference.

A few weeks after surgery, light touch or possibly hand and/or foot massage would be welcome; which is similar for during chemo or radiation therapy where nausea, pain and fatigue are often present.

If you are in remission and having post surgical swelling issues, a treatment called lymphatic drainage is a great way to redistribute the fluid build up.
A secondary option that is receiving more study from Harvard Medical School, because of promising findings, is Reiki.

Reiki is an energy-based alternative health care treatment where pure healing energy is passed into the patient. It flows to the areas most needed, clearing blocks, chakras and meridians. Typical feelings after a Reiki treatment are lightness and a sense of well being. It’s wonderful to experience.

It is not uncommon for emotional issues to come to the surface during Reiki. Whether related to the cancer or not, these can be acknowledged, eased or allowed to remain private.

Reiki can be used at any stage of treatment. Because of its exceptional gentleness, it is a great option during radiation treatment or during any portion of the journey where the skin is too sensitive, or if massage seems too much.

Jennifer Presley has been an RMT for 11 years, taught massage for 4 years and has done Reiki since 1998.

Healing Hands On Site at Carp Ridge Natural Health Centre:
Reflexology, Reiki & Massage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy

Clinic tel: 613-839-1198

Reiki: A Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s life force energy is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

Reflexology: The Reflexology Association of Canada defines reflexology as: A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.

At the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic both Reiki and Reflexology treatments are available by appointment with Lise Lillian.
Lise is a gentle, caring practitioner with decades of healing experience. She is a certified Reiki practitioner and a registered reflexologist.

Registered Massage Therapy (RMT): The Registered Massage Therapy Association of Ontario defines massage therapy as: A regulated health profession in Ontario that should be performed by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).

A Registered Massage Therapist is an individual who has:

Completed competency-based education at educational institutions recognized by the Government of Ontario;

Studied anatomy, physiology, pathology, physical assessment, neurology, treatments, ethics and other subjects;

Completed a minimum of 150 clinical hours;

Successfully completed examinations from and have been “registered” by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (the College) in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Massage Therapy Act;

Maintained their registration by participating in continuing education and a Quality Assurance Program that assists them in the maintenance of high professional standards and quality care of their clients.

Only members of the College are permitted to use the title, Massage Therapist or Registered Massage Therapist or the designation of RMT or MT. All members of the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario must be registered with the College and are therefore licensed massage therapy practitioners.

The services of a RMT are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Registered Massage Therapy is available at the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic by appointment with Gwen Rowbottom.

Gwen graduated from the Canadian College of Massage Therapy in 1994. She is also a member of the Ontario Massage Therapy Association. She is trained in therapies from light to deep pressure depending on what is indicated and your preference. She has post graduate training in lymphatic drainage, shoulder treatment and rehabilitation, athletic therapy, craniosacral therapy, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ treatment and rehabilitation), facial bone mobilizations, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, chair massage and fibromyalgia.

Gwen specializes in computer-related injuries; head, neck, face and jaw pain; conditions caused by inflammation and edema.

“I will work with what your goals and expectations are for your treatments and together we can work towards your better health,” says Gwen.

CranioSacral Therapy:

For nearly 30 years, osteopathic physician and researcher, John. E. Upledger, D.O., O.M.M., has been a proponent of using the rhythm of another body system — the craniosacral system — to enhance body functioning, and help alleviate pain and discomfort.

The craniosacral system consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face and mouth, which make up the cranium, down to the sacrum, or tailbone area.

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle method of detection and correction that encourages your own natural healing mechanisms to dissipate these negative effects of stress on your central nervous system. You also benefi t from better overall health and resistance to disease.

CranioSacral Therapy strengthens your body’s ability to take better care of yourself. It helps alleviate a range of illnesses, pain & dysfunction including:

  • migraines & headaches;
  • chronic neck & back pain;
  • motor-coordination impairments;
  • stress & tension related problems;
  • infantile disorders;
  • traumatic brain & spinal cord injuries;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • scoliosis;
  • central nervous system disorders;
  • emotional diffi culties;
  • temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ);
  • learning disabilities;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • orthopedic problems; and
  • many other conditions.

Cindy Fleming has several health and wellness specialties. She is also the main testing technician at the clinic, performing the following diagnostics: metabolic analysis, biotron testing and regulation thermography, as well nutritional and food sensitivity assessments.

Cindy can be booked for nutrition & dietary counselling, Reiki, CranioSacral, cleansing regimes, Ayurvedic coaching, relaxation massage, and Journey Work.

Her passion for cooking is well known! Anyone who has ever eaten one of her carefully crafted meals has had a taste of her amazing talent. She serves up delicious organic meals for our Carp Ridge retreats, Forest Preschool participants, and at our frequent staff lunches.

Come see Cindy to experience her magical touch, with a Relaxation Massage or CranioSacral.

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