Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finding Safety in My Skin

When I run into problems, I normally feel resistant, wondering what I have done to create this seemingly insurmountable problem. In the past I always blamed myself when I had to face or heal something I considered "awful." Recently, I have had to face a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue, which several doctors say could take a couple of years to heal. As a result I've been trying to calm and soothe myself, without feeling I had the tools to do so. Meanwhile, the human resources department at work was trying to put undue pressure on me to fill forms and run to the doctor each time I missed a day of work. All my feelings of "pressure to perform" — "not good enough" — "undeservability" came up. These buttons were put on me by my family of origin, and got "pushed" from the time I was very young. I was not accepted in my family. I was always the "outsider" after all I was "just a girl." My six brothers always had each other, but I had no one. How many times I heard, "You're not good enough." — "You were a mistake" — "Get out of here!" — "Shut up!" and finally a death threat from my own father, when I was only 14. I was so afraid of him that I left home by the age of 16.

Anyway, such dysfunction resulted in me growing up and feeling rejected in so many ways. Due to social isolation, I never had friends at school, and no one to play with at home, either. Sure, I had brothers, but they didn't want to play with me. After all I was "just a girl".

Well, the life I endured as a child seemed to follow me into adulthood. I ended up marrying a man who cheated on me all the time. When I decided to leave the family religion as an adult, my kids turned against me, choosing to obey the "disfellowshipping order."

Now I ask myself the question, why do the wounds from the past seem to follow me into the present?

What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment? Wasn't I just an unloved, lonely, and unwanted child?

Some schools of thought teach that I must not resist, but instead learn to accept and love myself, in order to heal that old energy of the past. To put into perspective, I reasoned that resistance was futile, so why not just be more accepting of my present circumstances. Why not "surrender"? After all, resisting dis-ease was doing nothing for me, except wearing me out.

This past summer, I have had to take time off work because of the extreme exhaustion and anxiety. The angst is likely the reason for the hypoadrenia for which I was diagnosed last June.

Lately, I located a healer who talks about healing the wounds of the past by using self-love practices. I've been following Matt Kahn  and have been trying out some of his exercises in order to self-soothe and calm my anxiety. Recently, he wrote a book called "Whatever Arises — Love That." Along with the book were included about eighty audio clips. I've been listening to the audios at night when I can't sleep. One of the most helpful features of his audios are the exercises where he says, "Repeat after me..." His theory is that if we self-soothe using our own voice, instead of listening to someone else's voice, over time we can heal old patterns by re-writing the critical self-talk with which we were raised.

I truly resonate with what he says. Years ago, when I first moved to B.C., I was reading Louise Hay's "Heal Your Life" book of affirmations into my voice recorder, in order to re-write my belief systems. So, when Matt Kahn speaks of listening to my own voice and speak lovingly with my Self, my inner being, my inner child, or whatever term used to describe the part of the self that still suffers from childhood wounds of rejection and feeling unloved and unwanted, it made sense. I heartily embraced his teachings about self-love. It seems to be the next step in healing my lifetime of wounds. After all, how do I feel safe, after growing up as a terrorized child? How do I start to feel safe after all these years of being afraid?

Against all odds, I have been learning to be more attentive, loving, and thoughtful towards my self. I am working towards feeling a state of calmness, which I really need in order to heal the adrenal fatigue.


What do you do to self-soothe and offer love to your inner child?


Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir.
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spirituality Blogs

Spirituality

Here is an ever-growing list of stories of getting in touch with spirituality.
 

Summer Meteor Showers

During the meteor showers this past summer, my partner Stan* invited me join him in our backyard to watch the meteor showers. Stan likes to lay on the cool grass, but I like to wrap myself up in a quilt, which I keep specifically for outside uses, such as star-gazing. Read more...
 

Is Abortion Right or Wrong?


If you want to know what changed my mind about the rightful place of abortion clinics, it is the touching story of a woman who found herself in a position of having to choose whether or not to keep her baby. Read more…
 


My Art

Ever since I was a young girl living at home, I loved to draw and paint, thanks to a very supportive teacher that I had for three years in my early school years. I have written about how difficult it was to take time for such "worthless" pursuits, as my parents believed, and which I revealed in another blog post. Nevertheless, as I got some distance between me and my parents, I dared to pick up the artist tools again. Read more…
 


Birds in My Yard

My yard is a very restful place where it is easy to relax, and where I am surrounded by my favorite feathered friends. Sometimes I even have a Woodpecker visit me. At times it feels like these critters are aware of my presence — and they are watchful — but they still linger. Chickadees, Robins and Hummingbirds are frequent visitors. For the second year, Chickadees are building a nest in our cherry tree. Maybe the birds just inherently know that I am a friend and our yard is a safe place — and I am very grateful for their company! Read more…
 


Full Moon

I had a dream a few weeks ago in which I was leaving a job accompanied by several massive pieces of baggage precariously piled up to the ceiling. It was difficult to maneuver with the sheer height of it all, as it wobbled to and fro. Read more…
 


Rest in Peace Andy

I'm playing this one for you, Andy! "Don't You Wish it Was True" by John Fogerty. I am Andy’s sister. He took great pride in saying I was his favorite sister, of course I’m his only sister, but that didn’t stop him from saying that each time we saw one another. Read more…
 
Read more blogs:
Political (Stories from the Underworld)
Religion (Stories of religious folly)
Health & Wellness
Reviews (Books, Movies, Organic Restaurants in Vancouver)


Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir.



Monday, February 1, 2016

Blogroll of Political Stories

Political Satire

“New Light” Enforcement

Rap, rap, rap!" I was jolted from a sound sleep by a sharp knocking on our door.
My husband jumped up and rubbed his eyes, "Did you hear some knocking?"
Sleepily, I replied, "It's probably just some religious cult." It was Saturday morning and I wanted to sleep in. I rolled over and closed my eyes again. Read more…

 

 

Politics (More Underworld Stories)

Foreign Interests Have Taken Over Our Province
In order to see my doctor, I used to be able to hop the SkyTrain and be there in a half an hour. But that has changed now. My doctor has moved her office out of Burnaby and into Coquitlam. Now it takes a Skytrain ride, a 20-minute bus transfer, plus a 15-minute walk to consult with my family doctor. Read more…
 

The Hollowing Out of Canada by Guest Blogger

In capitalism, there are buyers and sellers. When one company's owners agree to sell out to another company's owners, a bigger fish is eating a smaller one. Read more…
 

Videos – Oil Spills Around the World

The Canadian Government is pushing ahead with the development of the tarsands, with or without the permission of the native people, animals, and fauna involved. First Nations Communities down river from Fort McMurray in Alberta are feeling the effects of the polluted waters from agreements made forty years ago with the oil industry. Read more…
 

Oil Company Puppets Aplenty

Tom Fletcher sounds like "just another Big Oil Puppet." He writes government propaganda for the Burnaby Newsleader. His comments are not new. They echo Harper's Conservative spin doctors, all bought and paid for with Enbridge's "Ethical Oil" money. No longer do they think what is good for the planet, the country, or families. Read more…
 

Conscience or Lack Thereof in Canadian Leadership

Nothing to see here. Just another radical environmentalist mulling over the events of the past weeks. My latest radical quest has led me to summarize the New Canada and get a handle on what to do next. Read more...
 

Saving Democracy

Occupy Vancouver has been shut down by the 1%. The Tent City is gone. Except I wouldn't be too sure it is the end of the 99% — those who are awakening to the injustices of society. As the rich become richer and the poor are going into greater debt each month, the level of awareness grows. Read more…
 

Vancouver Hockey Riot

It was pre-meditated. I have been reading opinion after opinion about why the Vancouver hockey riot happened, who is to blame, and how to prevent such an event from recurring. Did it ever occur to anyone else that the riot was pre-meditated? I ask the obvious question because who of us has a sporting event checklist that reads like this: Read more…
 

911 Call for Justice

The atrocity so insidious that no answers will satisfy. The disaster so evil that any plausible answers result in even more questions. Here we are ten years later — since 911 — and the mystery has still not been solved. There was not even an investigation. That feels suspiciously like a cover-up by the powers that be. Read more…
 

Sharia Law in Canada

While one might think now that Muslims/Islamists live in Canada, they would be happy to learn to live in a more “moderate” way. Well, you’d be wrong. Not everyone wants freedom. Many people do not know what to do with such freedom. And some people cannot even define freedom such as we have in Canada. Read more…
 

Religion is Manipulative

Secular authorities appear to know little about how religions operate. Aayan Hirsi Ali, political scientist, spoke a universal truth when she said “government seems to feel they must enshrine cultural religions and hold [them] as sacred, no matter how dysfunctional these people act.” (____, p.__). She has seen religious dysfunction in her life experiences as a Muslim in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland and the United States; and I can testify about my experiences with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada. Read more...
 

Bullying in the Name of God

I read with great interest the article in the Burnaby NewsLeader called "Anti-homophobia debate packs school board meeting" (April 29). My first thoughts were, "Can anyone believe there could be a debate on this issue?" and "What is there to debate?" Read more…
 

Policy on Anti-Bullying in BC High Schools

While the bullying in Burnaby High Schools continues...a writer responded to a letter to the Burnaby NOW editor that was written by a retired teacher/Vancouver School Board Administrator, Ben Seebaran called New Policy has Weaknesses. Read more...
 

Anti-Bullying in BC High Schools

Here is the third letter to the editor written in response to the anti-bullying policy, now passed by school administrators... Read more…
 

GST/PST vs HST Tax Referendum

Interesting. For almost a year we have had the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in British Columbia. Now we are asked if we want it, by referendum. I am one of those people who signed the petition to ax the tax. Why would anyone vote for more tax? I figured. We were already paying the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of seven percent and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of five percent. We were already paying too much tax, to my way of thinking. Read more...
 

Chevron Won’t Remove Contaminated Soil

The above was the title of a news item reported on the Wednesday, January 12, 2011 edition of the Burnaby Now. The article proceeds to say, "While Chevron is legally obligated to stop the oil that's been seeping downhill from the North Burnaby refinery since last spring, the company has no plans for remediation of the onsite soil, and the provincial Environment Ministry isn't going to force them..." Read more…
 

Public Masturbation Goes Mainstream

Public Transit ignored a young woman on the local rapid transit when she reported an incident of a man sitting across from her in the early morning hours of January 12, 2011 and openly masturbating, while gazing at her. The security official reprimanded her for stopping the rapid transit to lodge a complaint. Read more…
 

Wild Beast

I am guessing that many public figures fear for their lives these days, after the Arizona shooting of the congresswoman, Gabrielle Gifford and others. The killer could be a crazy person, a religious zealot, or a political gun-totin' wack-job — or any combination of the three. Read more…
 

British Petroleum Sponsors Arizona Funeral Coverage

Yesterday I was horrified when, trying to watch the funeral coverage of the nine-year-old shooting victim in Arizona, that British Petroleum posted ads claiming responsibility for a successful cleanup of the oil spill that they caused on the Gulf of Mexico. They situated themselves as some kind of "messiah" or "hero" and thanks to them, the waters are safe, tourism is great, and fishing is wonderful.  Read more…
 

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir.

Blogroll Stories of Religious Folly

Folly of Religion
and Other Underworld Stories

Fear-Based Belief in Armageddon is a Lie

Fear is not a motivator. Rather, fear is a paralyzer. The religious teaching of wicked people being destroyed at Armageddon (god's war) is a serious lie that flies in the face of love. Read more…

Did Jesus Really Die for Me?

The Orthodox Christian God Jehovah (YHWH) is a father who is actually proud that he contracted his son’s death for 30 pieces of silver; then, for the rest of our human lives we are beholden via guilt to worship this vile god. Humans are threatened by fear and death to obey a god who made abusive demands on his son and continues to make similar disrespectful demands on any followers. This god then compels by threat of death, insisting that we owe our life, our gratitude to him for offering this blood sacrifice. Read more…

Dichotomy of Religion

Oh *sigh* I suppose this is what can happen when Mercury is in retrograde:
When I left religion
I sacrificed my beloved children
On the altar
of religion.
I left and they stayed.
Now I’m shunned.
Abandoned by their love.
Yet, I am free
From religion.
But religion turned our hearts to stone.
Read more…


Obedience or Free Will

After walking away from an antiquated patriarchal belief system, "Phoenix of Faith" author has to admit that some days are better than others. Being "born into" the family religion means that Esther knew no other way of living, other than being frightened into submission. Read more…

Shunning Ex-Members is a Religious Requirement

While browsing the internet today I stumbled across an interesting video. It is of particular interest to me because it was on the subject of religious shunning. While Jehovah's Witnesses official stance is that they do not interfere in family life, it is a personal choice to shun or not. Nevertheless, according to the video posted, I see clearly the official stance is merely propaganda for public consumption, in order to create the appearance of a benign religion … Read More…

Saving Souls

A woman tried to save my soul yesterday. Perhaps its because of the Christmas season. Nevertheless, she began by asking if I believe in Jesus. Read more…

Following My Conscience

Every once in awhile I see political or religious leaders speaking of women's rights. These are mostly (but not always) men who know nothing of what it means to be a woman. They claim authority based on their adherence to a religion or some public policy. They profess to be following their conscience.
What conscience? Read more…

Hand-Holding Banned

"No holding hands in the school yard!" commands the newest law in Tennessee. What better way to start a child off in life than teaching children to…withhold natural affection from their friends???    The reasoning behind it is…Read more…

Deconstructing Religion

When I write I see my father in me, especially when I feel angry about an injustice. He used to write letters to people with whom he was angry. I was afraid of my father. So afraid I ran away from home when I was sixteen after he had predicted my death. Read more…

Disillusioned by Religion

"In the past I thought religion was all about 'belonging' and 'Jesus loves me.' But when I attended church we felt so terribly judged," my friend explained how she felt about religion. Read more…

Residues of the Bible

Without a doubt, the Bible is a most influential book, and not in a healthy way. As a child, the Bible was used by my parents to teach me obedience and subjection. It was a book that instilled fear — a book of oppression filled with harsh, punishing beliefs. My parents used the Bible to produce compliant children who were easy to control and manipulate. Read more…

Kill the Apostates!

Jehovah's Witnesses consider themselves a "moderate" religion. However, what follows is an excerpt from their Watchtower magazine, which reveals a truth about them that they might not wish to discuss when they ring your doorbell: Read more…

Outgrowing Religion

I outgrew my religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses is one of many religions full of oppressive rules which members are not allowed to question. If a member has doubts and questions, he/she is viewed as a “Doubting Thomas.” The member is then watched with suspicion, as he/she might be an “Apostate” — a heretic, an infidel, a Judas. After all, he/she might be the one bad apple that spoils the entire bushel basket. The only way to prevent “spiritual contamination” is to watch everyone. Even better, if the elders could get its members to tell on one another. And that is exactly what they do. Read more…

Bullying in the Name of God

What can society do with religious bullies? You find them in most religions of the world today. I certainly experienced it in my life, starting with my father and working up the patriarchal line of elders who finally judged my faith as "defective" and disfellowshipped me. Read more…

Religion Pretends to Offer Choice to Women

Interestingly, I find myself following tweets about Michele Bachmann’s ideologies. I have been directed to the Reality Check website several times in the past few days. Information I am gleaning indicates that Bachmann’s is an anti-feminist movement of the Republican right wing of religious fanaticism. She and her followers are against abortions and against freedom for women in general. She promotes women’s strict biblical adherence to their husbandly wishes, which quickly translates to “loss of self.” Read more…
 

Religion is a Structure of Co-Dependence

Religion is a structure of co-dependence whereby people are taught they cannot live without it. To be sure, religion cannot survive without its members. Like an alcoholic or drug addict, the religious people “need their fix.” And like an alcoholic or drug addict, the churches need a cash flow to keep functioning—somewhat. Read more…
 

Depression, Suicide and Religion

I know of a Jehovah's Witness woman who is currently in the psychiatric ward because she tried to commit suicide. She is not alone. Other women in this religion have also tried that exit route, including me back in 1996. Read more…
 

Patriarchal Control

The Bible is full of patriarchal double-talk used to control its members. As far as I'm concerned, the Jehovah's Witness patriarchy is out of balance. Only men are allowed to claim special knowledge of the human condition. Men who have been designated "elder" may have never been married and never had children, yet it is their job to instruct women how to be good wives. Read more…
 

Crime & Punishment

A man gets arrested for stealing an apple. Instead of dealing with the thief directly, the judge's son gets murdered to pay for the theft of the apple that someone else ate. Does the punishment fit the crime? Sounds bizarre. Read more…
 

Just Say “NO!” to Religious Fanaticism

The Baptist Minister thinks he was right to burn the Qur'an, after all "The Muslims are the Apostates and will burn in hell!" Conversely, the Muslims think they have the only right view, "The Christians are the Infidels and deserve to die!" With each religious group convinced they have the exclusive channel to "Truth" there can be no cultural growth.
Muslims and Baptists are not the only religions on the planet who have this mentality. Read more...
 

Kindness of a Stranger

I was half a block away from the corner when the bus rolled up to the stop. "Oh, darn," I thought dejectedly. "There goes my bus."
It was Monday morning and I was feeling sorry for myself. Read more…
 

Christianity: Two Kinds

Christianity, the Orthodox kind, believes in a murderous, bloodthirsty, warring god. Here’s why: The Orthodox Christian God is a father who is actually proud that he contracted his son’s death for 30 pieces of silver; then, for the rest of our human lives we are beholden via guilt to worship this vile god. Read more…
 

Shameful Secrets in Religion

Child sexual predators need to be stopped. Full stop. Add religion to the mix and child sexual predation becomes a legal nightmare. In my opinion, Warren Jeffs is a child sexual predator. But, because his activities are protected under the umbrella of "religious freedom" he is getting away with his patriarchal abuses…at least thus far. Read more…
 

Questionnaire about Free Will

Please feel free to read my previous post of January 9, 2011 called "Respect and Religion" before analyzing the level of respect in your religious institution. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being honest and open with yourself. Here are some questions to ask yourself*: Read more…
 

Respect and Religion

I had an opportunity to see old friends on New Years' Eve when my partner and I went out dinner-dancing at a wonderful club where our group occasionally enjoys gathering. We talked with our friends about how busy our lives have become in the past year. We wondered about another couple who have recently disappeared from our lives Read more…
 

“Pagan” Events — Then and Now

"Mrs. Breland, my beloved teacher in Grade Two, said if any of us had a younger brother or sister, we could bring them to school one special day. It was Halloween and I proudly invited Andy, my brother next in line. Mrs. Breland handed out a picture of a cow to for all her students and younger brothers and sisters to color. I looked over to see that Andy was coloring his cow in polka dots. Read more…
 

Polygamy: Symptom of Religious Conditioning

I am a 56-year-old woman who has recently enrolled in several university courses with the intention of receiving a couple of certificates and a degree. Why now at this stage of life? Read more…
 

Pick Up Your Cot and Walk

"Pick up your cot and walk." Those were Jesus' words, weren't they? Just after he healed a paralyzed man? (Mark 2:9)
Whenever I think about the Bible, I flash back to some point of time when I used to belong to a patriarchal religious organization.  Read more…
 

Tribunal of Religious Elders

No sooner I climbed into bed and turned out the lights I was flooded with memories of the tribunal of elders who disfellowshipped me. The process of disfellowshipping quite literally cut me off from my family. My kids were told they could no longer have association of any kind with me. Read more…



Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir.

Blogroll about Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

 

Feeling Energy from the Past

Feel the energy on this old family picture. It's a wedding, and it appears to be a somber summer day in the late 1950s. ... Since the 1980s and 1990s I did much inner child work along with my therapist, as well as on my own, once I finished therapy. This year, during Mercury retrograde, I used this photo in a visualization to work with my inner child. If anyone has read, or is reading, Teal Swan's book called Shadows Before Dawn, you'll know what I mean. Read more...

 

GMO Soup

You may not want to eat genetically modified (GM) foods, but chances are, you are eating them anyway. There are urgent reasons why we need to be aware of the dangers of eating GM foods. Monsanto is one of the most malevolent organizations and considered the most hated company in the world. Genetically modified foods are now accepted as one of the biggest threats to all living things. Read more…
 

Men and Emotions

Do you know anyone who seems "stuck" in another decade? That was one reason why I divorced Jerry* in 1997. Throughout the 23 years of our marriage, his hairstyle stayed the same, his mustache stayed the same, his tee-shirts and jeans—the only clothes he would wear—were worn to a frazzle, yet he would not shop for himself. Read more…
 

Schizophrenia

I felt a strong pull on my heart strings about moving back to Manitoba and re-establishing myself with my family in the late 1990's, after my divorce. I discussed it with my therapist at the time. She was concerned that the progress I had made in moving away from codependent patterns might be hampered or even reversed if I were to re-situate myself in the midst of the dysfunction so soon into the therapy. It certainly was a valid concern for me, too. But, to hear her verbalize what I had already been thinking was enough to reconsider my course of action. Read more...
 

Times Were Simple

Our family lived on a small mixed farm at Sandy Hook in the Interlake region of Manitoba when I was a child. By “small mixed farm” I mean we had 40 acres in which to produce enough vegetables, grain and hay to feed the family of nine, to feed about 20 head of cattle and to feed 20 chickens plus several dogs and cats. Read more…

 

Migraine!

The other day I watched a bright flickering light near my computer at work. I was reminded how a flickering light, or the flash of a photocopier, or even a camera at one time could bring on a migraine headache. I paused for a moment and thought about the last time I had endured a migraine. It must have been 2005. Read more…
 

Health Challenges and Intuition

I guess we all have health issues to one degree or another. Personally, I have taken myself off wheat and other gluten products (such as rye and barley) since about 2005. My Reiki practitioner suggested a gluten-free diet to combat the eczema outbreaks that I had been having since the 1980s. Read more…



Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir.

Blogroll of Reviews

Reviews

Book Review: Nomad

One of the gifts I received this Christmas was a book called Nomad  by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is a book I have been wanting after reading her earlier book called Infidel. The author is — or shall I say — was a Muslim who managed to leave the culture as an adult — at risk of life and limb. She claims that many young Muslim girls are still being circumcised, even after immigrating to western society. In countries like Canada, the United States and even Britain and Holland, where female circumcision is against the law, the practice still continues. So I wonder to myself: Read more…
 

Book Review: Of Water and the Spirit

Malidoma Patrice Somé, who authored “Of Water and the Spirit” says his village elders believed that it is utterly impossible to survive being caught between two conflicting belief systems. We have all heard horrific stories about children of the first peoples being ripped away from the security and love of their family and village, and unceremoniously deposited into residential schools. It happened in North America, and now Malidoma Patrice Somé relates his experience in Upper Volta, Africa at the hands of the Jesuit priests. Perhaps child kidnapping at the mercy of religious fanatics is a world-wide phenomenon.  Read more…
 
Book Review: "I Wept by the Rivers of Babylon" by Terry Waldstrom
“I Wept by the Rivers of Babylon” is yet another story of a young man incrementally sliding into the mind control of a dangerous religion based on blind faith. The most unfortunate part of this tale is how the religion teaches no common sense and no survival skills to maneuver safely in the real world — only harsh, unyielding rules of total obedience by its out-of-touch taskmasters. Read more…
 

Movie Review: The Help

Dare to peer into a world set in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 60s. "The Help" stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny. It is about the marginalization of the colored folk and less fortunate whites. The elitist townswomen have nothing worthwhile to do with their lives except to discriminate against their colored sisters—the very ones who raised their children, kept their houses clean and orderly, and served them and their snobbish friends. I laughed and I cried and everything in between. Read more...
 

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir.