Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday's thought...

It's a little late in the day to do a Thursday's thought (it's getting close to being Friday where I am) but I'm doing Book of Days with Effy Wild and she posted this quote today that really hit me, so I decided to share the quote here as today's Thursday's thought.

One reason I almost didn't post this - and one reason I haven't posted an entry in a while - is that my blog has basically moved to its new home on the forthcoming Subtle Harmony site. But the site hasn't gone live yet, so the blog is just there, waiting to continue in its new location. Unless something changes, the site will be live late next week... once the new year is underway. I'll post a link here when everything is up and running.

And now for Thursday's thought...

"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; A wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity."

-- Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

Hope to see you soon at the blog's new home on the new site! ♥

Thursday, December 8, 2011

on healing and spirals...

Usually if I do a blog post on Thursday, it's a Thurday's thought - a quote (I LOVE quotes!). But this morning I woke up with these particular thoughts in my mind and I decided to blog about them today...

In my last post, I wrote about how I'd been under the weather. Well, this has turned out to be one of those sinus/upper-respiratory things where I'll start feeling better and then have somewhat of a setback... and then feel better and then have somewhat of a setback.

It's been aggravating because I really-really-really don't like not feeling well (for obvious reasons, and also for some deeply-rooted personal reasons).

And besides, I have things to do, dammit! I need to work on the Etsy shop, I need to be creating new things, I need to get content written for the new website, I need to work on the ebook, I need to do classwork and homework, I need to continue with decluttering and rearranging around the house, I need to freakin' clean the house...

But late last night, as I tried to stay warm in bed, I had a long talk with part of my inner self. I was reminded of some lessons to take from this experience (I need to truly rest more, for one thing, and honest-to-goodness do those self-nurturing things I know I should be doing... and there were some other lessons too because it really was a long talk.)

And I was reminded (reminded again, because this is something that has come up over and over for me) that healing is not a linear process. In my experience, with myself and many others, it's just not that simple or straightforward.

Healing - physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing, spiritual healing - is not usually an instantaneous and linear and one-time-for-good-forever event.

I like to think of myself as moving forward in a spiraling motion.

That's the way healing seems to me. And life.

It can circle and cycle back around, repeating some lessons, revisiting some issues, uncovering new layers... all in its forward progression.

This is one reason why the spiral is such a symbolic symbol for me. It's important to me for many reasons... but especially because, to me, it represents the path, the cycle, of life.

And the path, the cycle, of healing.

I've been doing self-work, self-healing-work, self-transformational-work, for a long time. Since my late teens (and I'll be turning 50 next week, so I'm talking a big chunk of time).

But my self-work turned up to high gear in the mid-90s when fear and anxiety took such a strong hold on my life that I became agoraphobic. I had to start working more intensely on healing if I wanted to have a life that involved leaving my house.

By the late 90s, I was no longer agoraphobic. But that time of agoraphobia revealed things to me that I still needed to work on - and that time of agoraphobia also left me with scars of its own.

Creativity helped get me through that time, and the years after. And so did learning all sorts of relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, mindfulness (back when not many people in my life were talking about mindfulness), CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and changing thoughts and self-talk... and eventually there was energy work, chakra work, Reiki, aromatherapy, crystal therapy, sound therapy...

So many tools to help. So much in my medicine bag for life.

My healing path has not been a straightforward, linear process. It cycles back at times, returning to issues I thought I had dealt with... but revealing new layers, new perspectives, deeper wounds to face and heal.

And then there's the new stuff that comes up, life stuff, hurts and deaths and new issues that need to be addressed as the years pass.

Sometimes it feels like I take two steps forward and one step back - or two steps forward and three steps back - as I'm circling around, re-learning lessons, learning new lessons, being re-reminded of things I know deep inside my self.

Moving back around sometimes, moving in a direction that is not always forward...

Except - ultimately - it is forward.

I have always been drawn to the symbol of the spiral. But the phrase "moving forward in a spiraling motion" has been in my mind since I read a certain book about anxiety in 1998, and the phrase is what I keep coming back to when I start feeling discouraged or start thinking negative thoughts about myself when it seems like I'm having a setback or going backwards. When those thoughts of: I should be COMPLETELY OVER THIS BY NOW! start yelling at me. (whether this is physical or emotional or whatever)

Over the years there have been many, many, many books I've read about anxiety and fear and emotional wellness. The book that I thought mentioned healing as moving ahead in a spiraling motion is Journey From Anxiety to Freedom: Moving Beyond Panic and Phobias and Learning to Trust Yourself by Mani Feniger.

I pulled it from a bookshelf this morning and looked for the specific quote... and discovered I've been wrong all these years about the word spiral being involved. It's the same idea but not the same word (unless it appears elsewhere in the book).

My mind substituted spiral / spiraling... and it is symbolic for me... so in my mind, spiral /spiraling will still be what I use.

Here's what the book says. The author is quoting someone she worked with and interviewed:
"I don't even use the word setback," Claire told me, "because it has a connotation that something must be wrong. We all have different learning rates and a lot of things come into play. For me it is never really a step back, because I am never where I used to be. I have all this experience to draw upon. I feel like I am always moving forward in a circular kind of way."
Moving forward in a circular kind of way. Moving forward in a spiraling motion. My life tends to move like that. So does my healing path - healing in every aspect.

So as I deal with continuing to recover from my physical bug, I am reminded of this. And in being reminded of this, I am reminded to be kind to myself, and not beat myself up for not being totally well, and to give myself the time and the space for healing to take place.

To release and let go and let the spiral of life, the spiral of healing, do its thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

oils, crystals, and chicken noodle soup...

Early last week I came down with a bug. Congestion, gunkiness, sore throat, coughing, and generally a lot of just plain feeling awful. When I saw the doctor Thursday (at an appointment previously scheduled for something else) she said it was viral, nothing that required antibiotics, and to continue doing what I'd been doing to take of it.

What had I been doing? Well, I attack this kind of thing in a variety of ways.

Lots and lots of rest. That's a biggie.

Giving myself permission to stay off the computer as much as I needed, to nap when I felt like it, to just relax and watch DVDs and read (if I felt up to even doing that), and to do whatever self-nurturing things I thought might help.

I had hot tea with honey. Chicken noodle soup. Mucinex. Extra vitamin C. Echinacea. When somebody told me about grapefruit seed extract, I switched to that instead of echinacea to see if it made a difference. (It seemed to help... although by then I was already starting to feel better, so I'll have to wait for another time to really give it a proper try.)

I also used energetic home remedy techniques. Like giving myself Reiki.

And I used aromatherapy.

I used several different essential oils... eucalyptus, lemon tea tree, ravensara, ravintsara, clove bud, mandarin, frankincense, bergamot, lemon, hyssop, cedarwood... and probably others that aren't coming to mind right now. I didn't use all of these all at once, but I'd add a few drops of three or four different oils to the water in the diffuser and I'd change up the blend every so often.

And then there was crystal therapy...

Because my throat was such a problem, I decided to work with blue stones to resonate with the throat chakra. I wore sodalite bracelets. I made a quick necklace for myself using a piece of tumbled blue lace agate. I worked with loose stones of kyanite, blue lace agate, and blue aventurine.

After a little setback Friday evening and part of the weekend, I seem to be mostly over the bug now. My energy still isn't quite back to normal but it's much better. And it feels good to feel better!

Here's to good health! Thanks for stopping by...   ♥