Tobacco, addiction and healing

I never quit smoking and I don’t smoke anymore. What I did was start mindfully smoking. I started to feel every bit of the smoking process — both the deliciousness and the toxicity of the smoke as it entered my mouth,  into my lungs tingle in all my cells. I smoked every cigarette like it was my last one until I no longer smoked. I didn’t smoke for 11 years and then I experienced tobacco in a ceremony. Tobacco came to me in spirit and filled my heart. After that I have smoked tiny bits ceremonially off of cigarettes. I am no longer addicted. So I didn’t quit smoking — I healed my relationship with Mother tobacco. She is a sacred plant. 

I find that through harm-reduction, rather than via hard-core abstinence I’ve been able to bring healing to all my addictions. I’ve not talked explicitly about harm-reduction as a healing modality, but the truth is my entire path could be considered one of harm-reduction. When I worked in social services I worked for organizations that used harm-reduction models and it really influenced me and my healing journey. It’s a highly respectful way of being with oneself as we heal from the attachments (sometimes addictions) of the modern world.

Tobacco is a beautiful plant. When I first moved to Appalachia 15 years ago their were tons of tobacco fields. Really beautiful. They made me feel happy. Small tobacco farms you could watch the whole harvest year happening complete with barns with hanging plants.

All so lovely and all gone now with the shifting trends around cigarette use. I get that tobacco is flagrantly misused, but the loss of those beautiful fields and a few hundred years of tradition still felt like a loss to this yankee girl who moved to the south …

more posts on mindfulness

more posts on addiction

 

tobacco field and barn...

tobacco field and barn…

 

aug13-history-tobacco-barns-north-carolina-feat-jaysinclar

tobacco barn with drying tobacco

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money in the hopes of taking this course: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

 

All there is, is nature. To nature I surrender.

All there is, is nature. To nature I surrender.

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Sometimes being overwhelmed is the only way through.

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We’re all profoundly unique and complex and it’s really, just the lack of understanding that fact alone, that makes western medicine so dangerous for the sensitive among us. We must be met as individuals and not all of us be treated with the same pharmaceutical hammer.  (Iatrogenic *medical* injury)

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One need not believe anything at all and in fact belief will mess you up. Faith, however:

“faith means being grasped by a power that is greater than we are, a power that shakes us and turns us, and transforms us and heals us. Surrender to this power is faith”- Paul Tillich

Holding on to beliefs limits our experience of life

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Commit plant medicine.

(HERB posts)

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My body is my rosary…
My body is my meditation…
My body is my vehicle…
My body is my religion…
My body is nature…
My body IS

(The body knows)

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once the blamelessness of everyone becomes clear, forgiveness is just a matter of course. The nervous system and emotions take a bit to follow suit with the obvious.

If there is nothing to forgive in the first place there is no need to ever judge either…

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All medical diagnosis intrudes upon the mystery that is the living body/mind. Diagnosis is a request for stagnation. Naming is concretizing.

(on diagnosis)

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There are no safe spaces

Calling the therapeutic space that you hold safe is misleading. It may be safe for most of the people who show up but there will always be people for whom you cannot hold space. The people on the fringes are the ones who are repeatedly traumatized.

Safety is an illusion in any case. Always. As is danger, for that matter.

Let’s be explicit about our limits that others may have a chance to stay safe. Thank you.

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money in the hopes of taking this course: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

 

yoga teacher training. a long time coming

UPDATE: thanks to those of you who have made donations towards my yoga teacher training. I’m now officially enrolled. I’m excited. It’s the first ongoing commitment I have made (outside of my home) in 10 years. I was explicit about my limitations and they remained enthusiastic about my participation. I will continue taking donations. I’ve paid for one third of the $3000 tuition fee. I have until June to finish paying in monthly installments. Any help will continue to be much appreciated. donate with PayPal  here. More on that here: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

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I’m applying for a yoga teacher training. Very excited about it. If you’d like to help me get there and you’ve ben I would very much appreciate donations. Below is my application for a scholarship which will hopefully pay for part of the tuition which is $3000. Most of that I do need to come up with myself.  If you’d like to help you can donate here.

Any amount is welcome:  EVERYTHING MATTERS: BEYOND MEDS PAYPAL account. Whatever you send will be  forwarded to the yoga center until I reach the total needed.

Dear Asheville Community Yoga,

I’ve wanted to take this training for several years now and my physical condition has made it impossible to pursue. I have multiple brain injuries that I’m coming back from and over the last decade now I’ve been slowly rehabbing. I was bedridden and nonverbal for several years and the last 8 years it’s been back and forth in and out of bed and slowly, slowly cleansing and healing the over-taxed damaged microbiome and nervous systems. (Brain injuries impact the autonomic nervous system, thus causing havoc in any and all bodily – and subtle-bodily – systems).

It’s been a highly chaotic and lonely journey since the entire medical establishment denies what is happening to those of us impacted in this way, I’ve had to go within and learn to intimately listen to and respond to my injured body. Mine is a radical self-healing journey. I have done this while advocating for and documenting the plight of many multiple thousands of people harmed by the same pharmaceuticals I was taking. As a social worker in San Francisco I worked with clients impacted by the same pharmaceuticals that injured me. I have seen, up close what happens to folks on these drugs, both as a professional and as a patient. I have emancipated myself from the system and no longer utilize the psychiatric system at all.

I’ve become well known in critical psych circles and my work is now taught in some college classrooms. It has yet to make enough impact on delivered medical care, however, and people continue to be harmed in the multiple thousands. My work is not done. My site helps folks emancipate themselves from the psychiatric system and learn holistic ways of healing. This is done with the understanding that people need to do all they do at their own pace in their own unique ways, and sometimes that means taking psych drugs in a world in which appropriate alternative options are simply not offered or available for most people. My work is done in the hope that we can change this so that no one need ever be hurt again in the name of medicine.

So, with that intent, I’ve been helping folks navigate yoga and learn how to do home practices with challenged nervous systems for many years now. (see yoga posts here) Yoga has been one of my main practices in a life that now is always, 24/7, about healing myself and the collective. Most of us with these injuries cannot handle the classroom for some years. Indeed, for many years I rarely made it through a class, often leaving in 10, 15, 20 minutes and then doing most of my practice at home…a few minutes at a time as my challenged body allowed. Now finally, just this year, I often make it through entire classes and I can go to the more advanced vinyasa classes though my stamina is still only just developing. I often still have to skip those classes or sometimes leave early…but WOW! It’s such a revelation to make it through a whole vinyasa class, hot and sweaty. What JOY.

Yoga saved me. Literally resurrected me out of my bed when I was totally atrophied. I could barely make it to the toilet. I didn’t leave my house for a couple of years. I started yoga by sticking a leg up in the air and rotating my ankle. Then my arm and rotating my wrist. Just that for some time, actually. Slowly, slowly I did those little bits of one or two minutes of yoga, here or there, wherever I was laying down, until I could do it while I was sitting…then sitting on a mat…and slowly slowly, I did more and more…it’s taken YEARS of being totally proactive. People do not appreciate that these sorts of chronic illnesses (and most of the serious chronic stuff we see these days are all related in some ways…I could have gotten multiple diagnosis if I wanted…you know fibromyalgia, lyme disease, CFS…on and on…these illness are all variations on a theme…the body in overwhelm due to highly toxic environments we all are now subject to) In any case…healing isn’t straightforward quite often and for those of us with these long-term nightmarish illnesses it can take a very long time and the medical establishment as well as alternative health options rarely have the patience required to help us figure out what we need…again, this is why we need to do it largely for ourselves once we get out on the fringe of what we understand as a collective, we’re really on our own. Our bodies, of course, are a mystery and the health establishment doesn’t actually know how to work with that. In this regard it’s been a gift to learn the listen to the whisperings of a screaming body. To take heed and care for it in a way that has been largely forgotten by our species.

Anyway, Asheville Community Yoga has been a real, consistent, ongoing partner and ally in my care and healing transformation. I tell people about what you all have done for me all the time and generally start crying while doing it. I have offered most of what I do free of charge to those I advocate for … my work has been done largely without compensation and your generous existence has allowed me to always do as much yoga as my body can handle. I’m so deeply grateful for that. I want to raise as much of this class fee as possible and intend to start a fund-raiser on my site as I send this application off to you. I will send you whatever money is donated as I receive it via paypal. Any amount you can help me with would be great.

I would like to talk about a couple of details in terms of accommodations too. I still honestly cannot tell if this application is premature or not but I know I want to do this more than anything right now. It’s burning in my heart.

Let’s talk soon. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Please know that you can be clear and straight with me in communicating any reservations you might have etc. Let’s make this happen and work for all of us.  I understand that might mean doing it on a different timetable or whatever.

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If you’d like to donate and help me get to this training, any amount is welcome:  EVERYTHING MATTERS: BEYOND MEDS PAYPAL account 

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Suicide prevention month : thinking outside the box — #SuicidePreventionWeek

Posts on healing methods of engaging with suicidal thoughts and feelings:  such thoughts and feelings are normal and need to be engaged safely if we hope to work with them. Locking people up and drugging them for feeling despair isn’t the way to go. 

GO HERE  for ideas to consider when facing the dark emotions.

Let us begin a conversation that helps bring healing to those who are suffering.

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

Healing is not linear

Healing is not linear. (we hear that all the time, for good reason).  For me healing is like a spiral staircase with a good dose of yoyo all the way up….

So, when folks want to pathologize our healing process we can tell them, *healing* is a highly disordered process…in that the fact that it’s radically non-linear makes it hard to know what is happening…and some of it involves going into the depths of the unknown…indeed healing requires becoming very comfortable with the unknown. That’s not pathological but sometimes things look pretty dicey for sure.

Psychiatry, if nothing else, wants to concretize the chaos that can actually open up and become beautiful if we are allowed to move through it. Instead they stop the process with drugs and the chaos becomes crystallized, painful, stuck insanity.  Insanity and/or pathology is the suppression of the chaos, not the chaos itself. Life force must flow. Sometimes it’s chaotic…generally, it’s chaotic. Come on. We want to control everything but life says NO WAY.

more on healing

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I told my story. Loudly and publicly. It’s been important to a lot of people. Still, now, the message I get most loudly is SHUT THE FUCK UP. It doesn’t mean all the time, but often. And so I try to move through my life a bit more quietly now.

sitting with what being silent is like is rather illuminating sometimes!

As the nervous system quiets so does the mouth. 😆

Remember, telling the story is important when it’s time to tell it!  For all who hold toxic secrets that are making them sick

More about our stories

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We are simultaneously both broken and embodied perfection… no story really holds that — it’s time to dive off the storyboard all together

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If “self-medicating” is done with mindful awareness it is often far better and is healthier than subjecting oneself to neurotoxic pharma. Supporting oneself during healing processes is self care. Learning to listen to and respond to the body is the healing process. Self-medicate? Sounds like another way we are nasty to ourselves. We learn to support ourselves in healthier and healthier ways as we pay attention to our bodies. If we use substances that aren’t ideal they can fall away as our body indicates they are no longer needed. This is harm-reduction and can be practiced with any substance (legal or illegal)  and includes food. Harm-reduction can become a way of life as we come to respect our environment as well.

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selective focus photography of brown mushroom

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

 

Trauma, detox (physical and mental) and other odds and ends

Trauma is not an aberration. It is normal. This needs to be appreciated. The human being uses trauma to evolve and grow and come into awareness. It’s just part of the deal. We are a traumatizing species.

more on working with trauma

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ABOUT TRAUMA AND THE INNER CHILD from two years ago (still resonates from a somewhat different place)

The injured traumatized child is running the show…in order to heal…I need to let her do that…the traumatized (deeply embodied child ) needs my trust to heal…

the internal/eternal child also needs me to parent her and calm her the fuck down from time to time. the healing process is a razors edge…sometimes she starts to spin out of control. My adult isn’t always good at separating from her terror. We’re working on it.

Chronic illness is the traumatized child writ large upon the body screaming for attention. I am listening.

The traumatized self, in paradox, holds within it the highest functioning self. It’s clear I cannot be healthy without heeding the child.

more on trauma

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“Detox” is about eating well so that the body can clear daily. We’re always detoxing if we’re healthy. It’s when our detox pathways are challenged with crap food and environmental toxins etc that we get sick & actually need to think about detox. The healthy body detoxes everyday.

Detox is a word with way too much mystification around it. The healthy body detoxes without fanfare. We need to be caring for the body in the way mother nature intended, however. Our society is a long way off. As we come into alignment the body teaches us how to care for it.

mental and emotional and physical are all the same…totally interconnected. I’ve had to do really radical physical detox and it’s highly correlated with trauma release etc…in all sorts of sometimes mind-blowing ways. I wish I had more places to discuss and  share what I’ve learned.

more on detox

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Narrative is a tool of interpretation. Within a person’s life a narrative can change many times. Alternately one might apply a multitude of narratives to a single issue so that in we can see ourselves through many prisms & thus have a more holistic understanding of our experience

Imposing our narrative on another is violence, just as their imposing theirs on us is too.

Narratives carry what might be called energetic information. If one cannot find the energetic truth of another’s personal narrative one cannot communicate with the other.

Ultimately when one frees themselves from attachment to any particular narrative, then narratives cease to have energetic impact and clarity comes. Clarity is free of story.

free the story…free yourself.

more on narrative and stories

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Healing hurts. Let the pain speak. Pain management is often necessary and grounded in kindness and mercy. Pain avoidance on the other hand will go too far. Learn to walk the line. Healing is found there.

The medical system, both for physical and mental health, is largely based on pain avoidance-it’s not sustainable. We must feel to deeply heal. Fact is, healing hurts and sometimes badly…this is simply the way it is.

more on healing

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after years of paying attention to how food impacts my body/mind/spirit I can now, once again, eat whatever I want. It just so happens what I want happens to be good for me. Always, now.

more on healing diet

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Blaming someone for their “negativity” is a very negative thing to do. Feeling whatever arises is a very positive thing to do, even when the feelings are awful and dark. Let that stuff flow right through so that we might be available for joy, too, when it comes.

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I am a neuroplastic Wonder Woman.

more on neuroplasticity
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Quite simply, being “awake” means being able to trust our instincts.

Another way of considering effective awareness is being in “right relationship” with all things. This amounts to moving in seamless-flow with everything — internally and externally. This is also an awake intuitive state guided by instinct.

more on waking up

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Yesterday I was at the grocery store and there was a mom with 3 small children who was holding a screaming 1 year old. I made eye-contact with the child, made a goo goo face and he went silent. So I very lightly touched his arm with one finger hoping to further soothe him.

the mom missed the magic moment when he went silent as our eyes met. she instead violently turned around & yelled, “Don’t touch him!” I backed off & quickly apologized. Then said “I was hoping to soothe him.” She responded, “I don’t need any help!” I said, “I appreciate that.”

And I did. I understood how frightened she was. How traumatized. My heart broke as I watched her dealing with her cart full of 3 small children & I wished there was a way I could reach her. Hug her. Tell her it was going to be ok. The truth is I have no idea if it will be.

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

***

****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

My body is my meditation practice

There is a freedom, vast and beautiful, when one comes to know how insignificant ones importance in the world is. This while also deeply appreciating the great value that we all hold as well.

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If your heart is not open to yourself then your heart is not open.

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When we are resonant with others what that means is we have shared capacities at bringing in similar info about the nature of reality. It’s a good idea to extend beyond those that we resonate with because from others we can learn new info rather than just be validated. The “tribe” as we are popularly understanding it is a resonant sinkhole of incestuous and limited consciousness.

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Layers of delusion and dissociation have been directly correlated with seriously imbalanced viral and bacteria colonies and other issues with biofilm matrixes in the body. As I have cleansed (detoxed) I’ve been healing long-standing “autoimmune disease” (the body does not attack itself…we simply need to learn to listen to the body). The brain injury continues to heal as well. “Mental health issues” associated with trauma also clear up as the layers of dissociation disappear with the biofilm matrixes. Word “disappear” while true, belies the real work involved in letting go. This has an emotional/spiritual process and a physical one. No separation.

This healing process has largely been a process of returning to the body.

Listen to the body.

more on detox

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I have had to unlearn everything I took in via, not only western medicine, but all manner of “alternative” conditioning as well. Only my body knows what is right for me and almost everything else is driven by capitalism and is tainted by peoples desperation to make a buck and control others.

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My body is my meditation practice.

more on body  more on meditation more on mindfulness

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You do not need energy when you need to rest. Put down the stimulants. Listen to your body — rest if that is what you need.

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the real world is a place that exists outside the conventional understandings of the world. Conventional understandings of the world are in place to help people avoid existential terror.

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

***

****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!