Posted in Chronic illness, Memoir, My story

8/3/2021

Just a little intro to the meaning of this post. I am revisiting an old project and goal. Over three years ago I started to write a book, my story so to say. It’s a book about pain and despite of living with a chronic disease that causes much pain, there are various other forms that we suffer pain in today’s society. However this is my story and not an in general assumption or a one fits all approach. It is highly personal and based on my own experiences and research. Somewhere it fell through the cracks as I originally attempted to write it and I felt the timing wasn’t right. Today I understand how I ended up with that conclusion, how I paused at that crossroad, and how much of my story was still in the beginning, the development, and the “becoming” phases. And then 8/3/2021 happened….

Here is a little snapshot of what I hope to be a part of my book at some point. Feedback is graciously received and appreciated. 🙏🏼💙

8/3/2021

Something profound happened that morning. Something, that is hard to explain, and all I can say to summarize it, is that it was nothing short of amazing. It happened early morning when a vision, a channeled message, a glimpse into what’s next came through and found me. Where did it come from? Was it from my higher self, an awakened and conscious self? Was it my guardian Angel nudging me? Was it my guides or was it spirit sending me a message? Perhaps it was a sign from the universe or divine timing, telling me that the time had finally come. In all honesty, I felt that I was ready and I had searched for such a sign over the past weeks, perhaps even months. Maybe I even manifested it into existence. I say this because in addition I was wondering if it had something to do with what I was reading.

From childhood on, I have always been an avid reader and loved books. I love to hold them and feel them in my hands vs reading the E-book versions. I felt that over the years books were decreasing in value with fewer book stores around. I remember books advertised in catalogs while I was growing up and now it seemed like the carefully bound paper copies were a dying breed making way to their digitally stored cousins.

I didn’t see myself as that old fashioned that I was unable to appreciate the convenience of technology and storing my library in a cloud. From there I could recall the content at any time and from any place without carrying the weight. That in itself was pretty amazing and space saving, especially when living in a small place. And yet my books were my treasures and something I didn’t compromise on. To truly feel and connect with them, they had to come in the form of a hard copy or at least as a paperback.

There was always something magical feeling the pages, the smooth texture, while eyeing the bold and at times whimsical fond bringing the words and the story to it’s readers. There was a warmth that connected, compared to the cold computer/screen versions. Somehow, I always felt closer to the story, to the author, and it was as if I could feel their emotions and their heart pouring into their labor of love and passion. I never understood or knew why I felt this on so many levels, at least not until later in life when I learned of what it’s like to be an empath. It just simply was.

By now I had parted with many of my books and if I still had each and every one, from childhood on, they would tell the story of my life and how “it,”

or how “I” progressed over the years. How interests changed and how likes were outgrown, how fiction and drama became a reality show within my own life. Where unfulfilled love became a part of my every day routine, and where loss was casting it’s dark shadows of pain at an very early stage in my life.

Now, most of the novels were gone, the fiction and the romance, including the suspense and the thrillers. Long before then, the children books disappeared and I often hoped to find them somewhere, stuffed into a dusty box, deep inside the attic of my parents house. This was the only time someone else discarded my books, and Mom must have thought that it was time and that I had outgrown them. She never knew about my connection to my books. Maybe she’d thought I read it and it was time to move on. For me on the other hand, they marked more than just finishing the last chapter, those stories impacted my life and were a glimpse outside the sheltered life I was leading.

I wonder if we truly ever outgrow our books as they mark a pivotal time in our life. Pieces from a favorite story will always stay with us and sometimes I wished Mom could have asked me instead of making that decision on her own and discarding those all important little treasures. That I could have had a choice of whether I was ready to part with them or not. For the first time it felt like those things weren’t really mine but rather like some loaned property, here in my life for a limited time. If only one thing, it made me take good care of “my things” as I would never know when the decision would come along that I no longer needed those things.

I don’t remember much of those books, what they were and what I was reading, besides the ones, thick, with endless stories of magic and make belief, the ones that held all of the fairytales from princesses who kissed frogs to turn them into their Prince Charming, to Snow White – the seven dwarfs and other mystical fables. I remember those, despite that much of my childhood is nothing but a big blur.

What’s left of my books today are mainly self help books on the subjects of energy healing, holistic and plant medicine, Ayurveda, Reiki, Shamanism, Ancestral healing, how to re-wild our soul, or true stories about personal achievements that are mostly hiking related. The types of stories where we push ourselves and strip ourselves of modern day conveniences, only to connect deeper with ourselves, finding out who we are and what we are made of.

For the first time in my five decades of life on this planet I was reading two books at the same time. Until now, this was a first, something I had never done before. While I was reading the first book called Soulcraft from Bill Plotkin, the niece of my girlfriend

In Wales, Chloe Elgar released a psychic memoir titled “Revealed by darkness.” I was immediately drawn to the title and hooked. I ordered it and started to read the foreword and first chapter right away. As I continued further, I was in awe of how in so many ways our story parallels. Maybe with different experiences in the way we grew up but in the way of surviving and becoming. Perhaps what entered my mind in such a powerful way and completely out of blue that particular morning had found ground and a foundation between her lines to emerge and find me. Perhaps the time had come to tell my own story. A story I started to write a few years back. A story that is revisiting me again and urging me to come to life vs. living in the dark corners of my confines. As I dust off the cobwebs of dormancy, a slightly different title and subject reveals itself. One still in line with my original story but even more powerful than the first. I take it as a sign of divine timing with an even greater mission…

Posted in Life, My story, Quotes

More than skin deep

Today’s pondering comes courtesy of Morgan Harper Nichols with a quote about beauty and a picture of myself that dates back a few years. Beauty is always deeper than what meets the eye initially. Beauty comes in layers and is something that is felt as well as seen. Beauty takes time to develop and takes experiences.

Sometimes I miss my dark strands, now replaced by ever growing more and more silver fairy, or what I call silver fox hair. But that isn’t really the point here and the message in the quote delivers a much deeper meaning. So without further ado, here it is.

“And perhaps what made her beautiful was not her appearance or what she achieved, but in her love and in her courage, and her audacity to believe no matter the darkness around her. Light ran wild within her, and that was the way she came alive, and it showed up in everything.”

Posted in Health, Inspiration, My story

Unexpected surprises

Sometimes unexpected surprises come to us in the simplest of ways such as this dish. What’s the big deal some might ask and perhaps it was just that moment that mattered for me trying to create a healthy meal for myself. Divine intervention or mere coincidence, I suppose it will always come down to the way we view things. And then….even worth blogging about…well that’s a whole other level yet.

This dish came about one evening when it was already very hot in the humble abode due to the days heat. Not wanting to cook and add to the heat, I was going through my perishables that needed to be processed anyways. A half of onion, a half of a yellow pepper, some fresh mushrooms and a little broccoli and it seemed as if it was the perfect combination and solution for the day. I enjoyed sautéing it in a little butter and watch the vibrant colors come to life even more so. And did I mention already that it was very tasty and healthy on top of it.

Well the moral of the story goes that it doesn’t take much to surprise and make me happy these days. I dwell in a simple space with little material things and it’s just fine. I have a storage unit full of stuff but honestly I haven’t missed much of anything besides my crafting stuff. Little meals like that make my day and thanks to them and much more, I am happy to report that I have lost ten pounds since the middle of June. Not too shabby I’d say.

Posted in Celebration, Life, My story

A Birthday – come and gone

Birthday Week has come and gone and overall this year has been a lot kinder to my heart. Somehow I took to heart your good advice and wishes for me to enjoy my special day, knowing that Mom would want me to, while cheering me on from above. There were moments of silence, of remembrance, of reminiscing, of missing her and wishing that I could call and hear her voice one more time. Thank goodness for the other recorded bits on the phone, still a far cry from the real thing. Yet I’m grateful to have those, although I am playing them less and less, not because I’ve forgotten and the need is no longer here, but perhaps until I reach the point where they don’t feel like daggers and inflict pain and self torture. I’m not sure if that day will come when I can listen to them and just smile.

It was a quiet day, peaceful, with many reaching out to wish me a happy birthday. I guess even a few “how old are you, are you single, I’d date you proposals” came through as well. I suppose I should feel flattered about them at my age lol. But instead I felt more surprised how direct and not beating around the bush at all these approaches have become. Just saying…and I suppose it’s the new face of social media. It has become a dating platform.

The day started with a surprise FaceTime call from my cousin in Germany. Despite a fuzzy picture and the connection cutting out, it was wonderful to see each other and to say Hi. Even more special since we were both smiling face to face after her telling me how important it was to her to reach me. It was a priority for her and it made my day. Breakfast waffles with fruit and Greek yogurt followed to start the day. Add a little drive in the country, ending up at a peaceful lake/reservoir, spread out under a large blanket after a short hike with Cinnamon, and the day was perfect. Even the weather Gods meant well and spared me the heat with more comfortable, a few degrees less temperatures. Needless to say it felt good and I enjoyed the little break. Besides a few pesky critters and something always seems to bite me. Blame my rare sweet blood type for it and this is why happens when you are too sweet, ha.

On the horizon was cleverly visible the big large plum of one of the two wildfires near me. So close to me, so far I have been lucky that the fires moved away from me vs towards me. Thank the winds for it and may it stay this way.

Driving over the large Dam wall we spotted that water was being released and it looked so powerful and like something you just don’t see every day. Cinnamon wasn’t tired anyways and up for another short walk, so we strolled down to the base of the wall where I captured this panorama picture. You’d think the walls would break any minute under the pressure of this powerful water release. It made the water look like white foam, shooting way up and down the River. I got pretty close and felt the misting. Had I not had Cinnamon with me, I would have stayed longer, maybe even ventured closer, but I was afraid of her falling in on the slippery rock. Either way this release was kind of symbolic for me, releasing the pressures of the past days, the fear of birthday week, and some other things I’ve been working on. The night concluded with a simple yet very tasty dinner, a bottle of Mike’s hard lemonade and just letting the day come to a peaceful ending. Not too bad at all and I know a foundation was laid to hopefully build on in upcoming years.

Posted in Inspiration, Life, My story, simple pleasures

A new level of simplicity

I once had what many would consider “All.” The white picket fence, a house, multiple toys such as cars and a motorcycle, even the successful career and financial independence. I had it all, but in reality I had nothing but loneliness and increased responsibility. I chased false ideals, instilled with the values of others, in the pursuit of filling a void, of doing my part to contribute and live up to my duties and obligations. After all, wasn’t life and success measured by such standards? Wasn’t it ultimately required to gain status which in return would bring acceptance from society. Wouldn’t your worth be determined by your achievements in material bliss?

After many years of fulfilling these ideals that were never mine to begin with, I started to uncover layer by layer, peeling back, simplifying my life in the pursuit of true and satisfactory meaning. Not the satisfaction of others, but the satisfaction and bliss of my own. It took courage but I can truly say that it was me making those changes. That it was me in charge. Changes that spanned over many years, but changes that made a difference over time and ultimately led to this point.

It started with becoming my best friend and caring about myself in a way I never had before. Society teaches us that we are selfish when we look after ourselves and too often we feel the pressure to put ourselves last. It took time to shed those beliefs and to muster the courage for a self love of the deepest care. I overcame the fear of being judged, misunderstood, and categorized. How you wonder did I do this? It wasn’t that hard once you realize that those things are not in your control anyways and happen regardless.

Life started to simplify once I’ve left the hectic retail management career behind. Not initially but eventually and I adjusted to a lesser income and also needing less, although the mortgage and the house represented a huge challenge. Material possessions started to lose their value and I realized that I simply had too much of a good thing and that those things didn’t make me happy. All those things that once earned status did nothing more than weigh me down in way that it felt like I was carrying a huge burden that was threatening to crush me.

Then there was still the matter of where I belong to and being torn between two countries. I had fought this battle with my estranged mother for nearly 30 years while she was alive. And what about my marriage that for the past 20 years was merely existing on paper, as roommates, sharing obligations and responsibilities! A failure that had to be faced. A love once close as best friends but now lost and history.

I continued to simplify my life in whichever way I could. I simply felt called to do so even if I didn’t have all the answers or knew how the story was going to develop. I was on my way to becoming a minimalist. Every possession had to hold value and meaning, it had to bring joy, otherwise it wasn’t needed. Slowly but surely I eliminated everything I used to cling to. Everything I had worked for all my life.

In the end, the house was sold, including one of my cars and my motorcycle. “Stuff” was donated or garage sale’d for a fraction of their worth and value. My life was summarized with a few pieces of furniture and around 60 boxes which a huge part was my crafting supplies for my Etsy products. A 24ft travel trailer would become my temporary but current home, teaching me to simplify at new levels. Thank goodness the process had started already and I wasn’t a total newcomer to it. Prior efforts would come in handy and prove themselves as useful.

These days most of my garments would be washed with the delicate cycle, meaning that I would wash them by hand, stringing them to dry on a clothing line behind the trailer, I called my backyard space. Old fashioned and like Mom used to do. I took comfort and offset the lost luxury of a washing machine by buying the best smelling laundry detergent I could find. I loved it and it even was soothing to my hands to work the suds. The wring cycle was a different story and I had to strain getting my hands to do the task. Yet I took comfort in the simple life although someone else could have easily labeled it a harder life. These days I was lugging water instead of getting it filtered out of the refrigerator. Cleaning the tiny abode was a breeze, but some spaces were absolutely tiny and required to step sideways around the bed when fixing the sheets. The fridge was on the small side too, but luckily I’ve always enjoyed playing Tetris and I was good at making things fit.

Life simplified day by day, stripped off modern conveniences, but happier and more fulfilled. And I was lucky to be in a place where others truly cared about each other. Having a neighbor drive by while being outside, asking if I needed anything from the store was a new one for me. How many years had I lived in my house and barely knowing anything about my neighbors that seemed to flee at the sight of anyone to avoid any chat or conversation.

I brought a jar of my Dragons-Blood elixir (Elderberry syrup) to one of my neighbors, an older lady, living by herself. Like me she is into holistic healing and a natural approach to balance deficiencies. She was so delighted and grateful, showed me her small herb garden and finally sent me on my way with a hand full of organic herbs. Some of which I used to cook and spice my meal that evening, adding the most amazing flavor to my meal. Later that evening I was still thinking about the kindness and the two gestures I had encountered. I remembered walking home, holding the herbs tight as to not lose a single stem. I felt emotional from a bunch herbs and I carried them as if they were my greatest treasure. Faith in humanity was restored and those simply acts made all the difference for me. Would somebody understood if I told them, or would they think that I have completely lost it? Would they understand the excitement about thunder and rain, to listen to it hit the metal roof? Could someone envision the joy derived from it? I contemplated the outcome for a moment, smiled, and nodded knowing it truly wouldn’t matter one way or another. This was my moment, something that had meaning to me and it didn’t require to be understood nor approved by others. It was simplicity at new levels that filled my heart, and this time was about me and only me.

Posted in Inspiration, Life, My story

Next phase loading

Looking back it’s clear as day that I have gone through a few phases over the past couple of months, perhaps all of my life, but then…don’t we all? For a long time it was a scary phase, a stifled environment that shifted to an almost panic phase. Next came a survival phase just making it through each day, fighting, arguing, just doing what was needed while trying to keep inspired and positive. It was a phase of merely living and my purpose was found in the outlet of writing and my creative endeavors such as my Etsy store Youniqua, which is not offering any products at this time. Each phase could easily be divided into several sub-categories that brought each their own set of emotions and feelings. But I knew that this too would pass and not last forever. In fact I had been here before, at an earlier time, during my first adulthood that held the values and morals society and my parents had taught me.

Leaving it behind me, I was looking forward to the next category, the next phase, perhaps once learned and lived, but at a different level with new insight. It had it’s place then and was important already, but it’ll be magnificent in what was lying ahead as another layer was shedding. Perhaps there was more shedding’s to come, each increasing in value, understanding and meaning, who knew. I was ok with it, actually looking forward to it, and each layer allowed me to see a little more of my true self. For the time being, life was holding a different magnitude, with more experiences, more wisdom and knowledge to feel it all. New adventures were around the corner, new experiences and new freedoms not previously experienced. Once again I was looking to the tail end of the phase when it all comes together, when you feel that you have entered a threshold of being truly alive vs just living and existing. The difference is indescribable and has to be experienced to be understood.

Posted in Life, My story

Adjustments, wins and losses

Over three weeks have passed since I moved and adjustments, wins and losses came in all shapes and sizes. Luckily the losses were at a minimum and perhaps couldn’t even be called a loss. I knew that in actuality they were gifts and just another form of adjustment.

Life had taken on a much slower pace and if you looked at my step count for the day and weeks, reminders would flash most daily that there was still time to get more steps in. I didn’t care, I was more concerned with listening to my body, and even the pressure of meeting my daily quota fell to the wayside. Good or bad, too little or too much, who knows…I just went with the flow and looked at it as a chance for my body to recover from the strenuous months I had put it through. The Metatarsalgia was not causing any issues as I was wearing wide, loose and open shoes mostly. Even the calcium deposits on injured joints such as my big toe and both elbows were receding and not as pronounced anymore. Not that I’ve been walking on elbows, but some stress some pressure had been reduced and I was healing in that sense.

I was back on over the counter meds to manage the pain body, and perhaps that had something to do with it as well. Slowly the tension relaxed and to some degree a new life quality was infused even if meds are not my choice of drug. I could comb my hair, even put it up in a ponytail. Dressing was not as painful and manageable. I knew that for the time being I needed them and “temporary” was my key focus in the matter. Now if it could only cool off a bit.

I quickly learned that it was best to cook in the mornings and enjoy a lunch, vs cooking in the evening, adding more heat to the already toasty tiny abode. I could just run the air conditioning, but even here I reduced my footprint and my use on the environment, turning it on only when I really needed to. A $39 electric bill were the fruits of my labor and I know the next one will be higher. This concept would have to be revisited, because my “need to” threshold was causing a borderline suffering through the heat. But in fact, I cooked when I felt like it and enjoyed plenty of fresh salads in between. I had enough groceries to sustain me, besides the perishables like salad and veggies.

Due to the heat I postponed my trip into town for replenishment, knowing Cinnamon would have a hard time with the heat as well. So far I had met my husband each time I went to town, so he could watch her and provide an air conditioned environment in the car for her. “I missed you guys” he said the first two times we met after the move, but by now, even for him life was settling in anew, perhaps with the realization that life was moving on, without me, which seemed at some point impossible to grasp for me, but now he did just fine. Life wasn’t all that bad with a gained freedom. Actually life was good and life without me wasn’t the end of the world but a new opportunity, and a new beginning. I think he was finally coming to enjoy his freedom.

By now he purchased a new home, paid it with cash from the proceeds of our other house, which mainly went all to him. Talking to him, I perceived it as fun to go shopping for a new couch, a new dining set and other needed things to furnish the new castle, although he never fully admitted to it. It wasn’t something to share with me. He was never good with money, but always great with blowing through it quickly. Perhaps it was what I said in the end, telling him to be smart with his money, that he had the opportunity to retire and never having to work for someone else again. Either way, the sale on his new house would closed this week, he has taken procession, and the movers were scheduled. Less than a month ago, items were placed into storage and now he was preparing to move them once more. At least his share of boxes and furniture. Mine would remain there for quite a bit longer, at least until spring of next year. There was a time when he was unsure of where he would settle, always talking about moving south, and in all actuality I was a little surprised that he decided to stay. Perhaps it was fear of being to far away, alone, knowing that if he called I’d come to help him in any way. Well, mostly in any way. Now, with having a local second parent, joint custody for Cinnamon finally became a possibility, and we were getting along well enough to help each other wherever possible. At least for now.

I was getting ready to shop and explore plane tickets to Germany. It left me feeling with mixed emotions, not ready physically and on the health front, about mandatory Covid vaccination standards and about what was waiting ahead of me, dissolving a household, a home of three generations and a ton of work all over again, including another deadline of getting it done. Pressure and stress, the enemy to my existence and contributor of inflammation and pain. I was yet to weak to go into this endeavor with full gusto. Maybe next week will look better.

Posted in Life, My story, Purpose driven

Soulcraft

An excerpt from the book I’m currently reading, called Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin. I have only started it but it’s said to be a survival guide for the wild soul at the heart of our civilized life. It sounds perfect and definitely perfect timing.

Many people industrialized cultures of western civilization recognize that a fulfilling life is not about superfluous economic advancement, that modest amounts of security and comfort serve adequately as foundation for a creative and soul-stirring life, and that each of us can bring a unique gift to the world, a world desperately in need of the socially transforming contributions of initiated, actively engaged adults. I hear the world itself calling for a Renaissance of the human soul or, as James Hillman says, for a psyche the size of the earth.

Posted in Awareness, My story

Again and again

It was the day after realizing, again, that my pain might come from trapped emotions and unprocessed feelings. How many times had I been here before, in the same situation, with the same epiphany, and yet every time seemed new, like it required some discovery period, finally arriving at that same conclusion. It wasn’t a given, nor was it something already learned, something organic, something that had baked in over time. No, each time was as if the previous times didn’t existed and I was stumbling into the same “aha moment” as if it was for the first time.

Anyways, it was the day after again and it felt like I was turning the corner once more. Perhaps, it’s far to soon to tell if it was really so and the rational mind tries to analyze it and throw doubt into the equation, but for the moment it was enough to marvel in the feeling of seeing a slight improvement. Just a little relief was all that was needed. A night that appeared to be a little less pain stricken. A morning that made it just a tad easier to comb my hair and to get about my basic tasks such as dressing. It was enough to fuel a little spark of hope, of willpower and determination to fight this battle for remission once more. But boy was I getting tired of being strong and fighting, period, no matter what required strengths and a fight. I wished for nothing in my life that required a fight, but for acceptance and just a way to be for awhile.

It would be unbearable hot for the next couple of days, and both Cinnamon and I struggled with the heat. The time had finally come, and avoiding the air conditioner would not be possible any longer. We did something completely new to us this morning and rested. We conserved energy and even got a nap in before noon. How long has it been, I don’t even remember! Later when it’s too hot to be inside, we’d make a run for the lake to cool off a bit and let Cinnamon burn off some energy, giving us both the opportunity to stretch our legs.

A new neighbor arrived at the park again, spending a short vacation and a few days off in the area. Quite a few have come and gone by now, but in my quarters, at the top, it seems like the permanent residents reside. The pirate flag is up and flying, kicking convention to the corner, rebelling against chronic diseases, defying the odds and questioning what is normal these days. It seems to have gotten the approval from at least one neighbor who gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, voicing that she likes it the first time it took its flight.

Posted in Base Camp, My story, Tiny Home

The new backyard

We got out a little today and stopped at our usual wifi hotspot after Cinnamon took a dip and ran like a mad dog up and down the beach. I was reluctant but took a leap of faith, trusting her, taking her off the leash. She had a lot fun and burned off some energy.

After a rough, sleepless first night in our new home, freezing temps outside, boxes everywhere, the heater not working due to the gas being turned off which was discovered later, a run to the storage shed the next day to dig out the heating blanket, we are ok and had a much better second night. Things are coming along. The boxes are getting fewer and we finally can move a bit. I can finally cook something other than microwave a can of soup. The outside area behind the trailer is turning into a nice little oasis, and we are settling in nicely. I promise to show pictures soon.