This is just a quick post, as while I have so much I’d like to share, finding the words and the time to do it properly is proving a little difficult at the moment.
Just to say, there is a direct correlation between the need to control, and anxiety.
The more anxious a person feels, deep-down, in their soul, the more effort they will put into trying to control their environment, and especially, the people around them.
This comes out in all sorts of ways. The people who are trying to ‘force’ others to vaccinate their children are operating 100% from this paradigm, of feeling a deep inner anxiety and fear, that they are trying to quell by ‘by making the problem go away.’
Another hugely more extreme example of this is dictators, who try and control the masses by tyrannizing them and scaring them.
In our day and age, this plays out more via the unelected bureaucrats who are trying to ‘force’ their opinions of how the world needs to work on the unsuspecting masses, via all sorts of taxes, propaganda and other forms of manipulation and brain-washing.
Again, so much to say on this subject, but the point is this:
That inner, underlying sense of anxiety will only really disappear when people connect their souls back to God, and work on accepting that God is the One who is running the world, not them.
That’s why you find so many of the atheists out there are also the biggest control freaks, and the biggest armchair dictators, trying to close down any conversations, or discussions, or groups that challenge their illusion of being in control of the world.
And of course, it’s also playing out in our own lives, too.
I’m feeling pretty anxious at the moment, as it feels as though the world is a powder-keg, about to explode in a million different ways.
This morning, I was trying to ridiculously micro-manage my poor husband, who really does have the patience of a saint. And then it struck me: I’m acting like a control freak, as a way to try to take my anxiety down and feel ‘safe’ again.
But it really doesn’t work!
Only bringing it back to God, and working on our emuna, or faith, that God is running the world, and that God is really good, and that everything that’s happening right now, it’s for the greater good somehow – that’s the only way to really deal with all the escalating tension happening right now.
I read the following post on SassonMag.com, by writer Varda Branfman, and it blew me away. I asked her permission to re-post it here on Spiritual Self-Help, and she kindly agreed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Everyone called him “The Biggest Gastroenterologist in Colorado.” I come to him on a referral because I am suffering from intestinal pain, chronic digestive problems, and a persistent low fever.
After looking at my X-ray, Biggest Gastro feels I need to undergo a series of tests to figure out exactly what I have going on in there. He says it is urgent and I must check into the hospital immediately, even though it is the eve of Rosh Hoshanah. My baby is 11 months old and still nursing. She will have to go cold turkey and get weaned overnight onto a bottle.
It all happens so fast as we stand together in front of an x-ray of my colon. Squarely facing us is the problem and the doctor’s firm conviction that something must be done immediately to fight it. He knows exactly how to confront it, and suddenly, we, the very object of his emotional conviction, know absolutely nothing.
He is willing to save me, but it is clear that I must put myself entirely in his hands.Later, I learn that such confidence as he displays is a sure sign that I am straying in the wrong direction.
But his confidence is mesmerizing, and we’ve been numbed out by a feeling of helplessness that something bigger than ourselves is now in progress.
We live several miles from the hospital, and my husband explains to me that he will not be able to walk over to see me for the next three days, two days of Rosh Hashanah and then Shabbos. There is hardly time to say goodbye. We are both in shock. The doctor has intimated that I may be seriously ill. Rosh Hashanah begins in about two hours.
There’s no one to watch our baby if my husband stays with me. The doctor’s words have suddenly plunged us into a drama of life and death, and no one to say, “Wait, don’t put your life in the hands of Biggest Gastro. Don’t leave yourself here. Go find your healing.”
We’ve been led to believe that there is simply no alternative. There are tears in the corners of my eyes. I try to be strong for my husband. And then I find myself alone, dressed in the hospital white gown.
From my symptoms and their examination of my colon, they seem to think that I have one of those big diseases. They are determined to get to the bottom of it and have reeled off the names of a series of tests that will cover all the bases.
I am my body
My body is not working properly, and like any car engine that is making funny noises, we have taken it into the shop. The only difference is: I am my body. I can’t leave it off for a few days, and then come back and get it.
What is done to it, is done to me. Perhaps I have an unusually strong identification with my body. I haven’t quite been able to separate from it.
When it stretches, I stretch. When it feels a wave of well-being, so do I.
On my first visit from the nurse, she announces that I will be eating nothing but cubes of instant broth for at least two days. I look at the ingredients on the silver wrapping. There are written a series of chemicals designed to taste like chicken soup. Sometimes they gave me a bogus vegetable broth with just about all the same chemicals.
I surrender and watch my body get weaker and weaker. I’m being starved so that their tests on my colon don’t have to be so messy. Then, they start drawing blood every few hours and ordering me to take stool samples twice a day. I barely have the strength to walk to the bathroom.
Test after test
Left with my own thoughts for 72 hours, I die slowly from every single possible disease of the digestive system. The nurses are very solicitous, but they don’t have time to chat. They do notice my weakness and order a wheelchair to transport me to the daily X-rays, the Cat Scan, Bone Marrow Test, Colonoscopy, and Gynecological Work-Up. I overhear one of them saying to the other, “She’s so young. I think she’s a young mother.”
Perhaps they are not aware that I am an orthodox Jew and for 72 hours there will be no phone calls or visits because it’s a three day Yom Tov. The second bed in the room is empty, and I am totally alone for most of the time, almost as if I’ve been put on isolation ward.
I enter the hospital with a low-grade fever and stomach pains, the clear result of an inflamed colon. I am being moved and manipulated and rolled over all day long. No one has asked me how I’m feeling and truly waited for the answer.
I am being killed by formalities. The extra blood tests, stool tests, and all the comprehensive tests are ignoring the state of the patient. She is slowly going under.
“There is no pain”
On the second day, they perform the colonoscopy. They give me a local anesthetic which they assert is just a precaution in case it’s painful, and when I scream from the pain, they assure me that there is none. As my screams get louder, their polite assurances turn into a fierce insistence.
What a relief when the Biggest Gastro announces that he’s found what he is looking for—the ulcers in my colon. He is plainly enjoying his expedition into my interior, and he launches a description of the terrain. The cramping I feel is unbearable, and I’m flailing with my arms when the nurse pins me down.
Apologetically, she asks the doctor if it’s possible to remove the probe because the patient is not behaving. And, after a disdainful look in my direction, he complies.
The findings seem conclusive, but they are determined to rule out all the other possibilities. And so the tests go on and on. Each morning for my nine day incarceration, the nurse enters the room, looks on my chart, and cheerfully announces the day’s events.
No strength left to care
I am only a shadow of myself. On Sunday, my husband makes his long-awaited visit with my baby. I am too weak to hold her. I want to respond to her joy at seeing me, but I can only squeeze out a faint smile.
Then I burst into tears as I realize that I don’t even have the strength to care for her.
I should have known. I had already had some experience with this award-winning hospital. It was in this very same hospital that my sweet baby was born.
Together with my husband and our little overnight suitcase, we made our way down to an underground floor of the hospital complex. Our steps echoed in the giant windowless hallway until we came to the massive door with a small sign to the left announcing we were at the right place. We were then buzzed in. It reminded me of the entrance to a nuclear power plant. It all seemed very dangerous and secretive.
Once inside, it continued to be soundless. The nurse led us to the first room on a long corridor with another massive door to open. Inside, there were again no windows in a large room with a hospital bed smack in the middle. Off to the side in the shadows, a few chairs.
And then again, the door closed.
I climbed up on the bed, and for the next nine hours I labored to have my baby. When I looked up at the clock that said 3, it could have been 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. With no natural light, I had lost track of the time.
I was alone with the faithful contractions at regular intervals. Fortunately, I had hired a labor coach who kept reminding me that those contractions were getting me closer and closer to the birth.
From prison to hotel
Once the baby was born, we were taken to the maternity ward up on a higher floor. There were windows and pitchers of ice water on the table. Someone sent me flowers. The hospital became a non-intrusive backdrop to another of life’s major events. It was more of a hotel with meals at the side of the bed and triple occupancy in the rooms.
Thank G-d, I was not there to be healed. All the tests came out normal, and they sent us home after three days. I was a healthy, normal new mother, and the nurses were full of congratulations.
Now they are cold and efficient, as if they are simply there to monitor the mal-functioning machinery.
The fight-back begins
At the bone marrow test, my will to live begins to stir within me. In horror, I watch them drill a little hole into the bone of my hip and extract a bone sample. This time, the anesthetic works, and there is only a numb feeling from my waist down.
It is too late to stop the procedure by the time I find my fighting spirit. As they remove the syringe, I demand to know why they are doing this to me. They don’t have the answer. Without even looking up, they tell me to ask my doctor, as they proceed to clean up the site of the invasion.
I began to see myself as a war zone, being ferreted back and forth from room to room, from test to test, with my body being chipped away bit by bit. They are using the state of the art weaponry— miniature television cameras, chemicals, radiation, and the knife.
And an age-old tactic—slow starvation.
Arousing the sleeping warrior
When I am finally allowed to eat again, I feel some strength returning. It’s very possible that there is some real food content on the tray before me, between the wonder bread and the rubber chicken, between the instant mash potatoes and the red jello. But at least there are some calories here which translate into energy to arouse the sleeping warrior within me.
My doctor is impossible to find, apart from his star appearances every afternoon on the ward rounds as he instructs the student doctors about each case. All the student doctors are wearing white coats, but he has on an impeccable tan suit and tie. He moves with the assurance of an elevated being who has conquered the entire human digestive system.
He explains to me that there is a tendency to developing leukemia in my family since my father succumbed to that disease, and he just wants to make sure with the bone marrow test that I don’t have it.
I don’t want to argue with him that my father’s symptoms were totally different from mine, and that I’ve already endured the colonoscopy which defined my condition as ulcerative colitis.
I have been fighting a losing battle ever since I gave my consent to this hospital stay and signed over full rights to my body and my life. I know that it is useless to argue with the prince of this malevolent kingdom, but still, I dare to say the words, “I want to go home.”
With an explosion of feeling just under the surface, I calmly try to stare him down.
“Oh no, no, we’ve got to rule out the possibility of parasites in the stool tests, and that will take another few days,” is his benevolent reply.
Illness is big business
I am beginning to understand the story. The hospital is getting good money from my insurance policy for each day that I stay on. I am now quite sure that the hospital is not a place of healing, and now I discover that it is really big business. A multi-million dollar business. And this Biggest Gastro is one of the top executives.
He gives me a charming smile. “I’ll try to get you back home before Yom Kippur, but I can’t promise.”
At least, he knows what Yom Kippur is, but does he know what he is doing? All along, he has been acting as if he is doing me the biggest favor in the world, acting as if he is saving my life. He carries himself with a giant helping of self-justification and conviction, as if his chosen work is to save lives. But he is far from saving lives. Even far from healing them.
In his role as doctor, he makes a good living for his family, but does he know how much destruction he leaves in his path?
He prescribes a daily dose of cortisone to control the ulcerative colitis which he claims to be a chronic condition and incurable. When I ask him for some dietary suggestions, he is happy to assure me that I can eat anything with impunity. I just have to keep taking the cortisone.
I don’t have any medical training, but it seems obvious to me that a digestive problem might be exacerbated by eating the wrong foods, that the sensitive lining of my colon might respond well to some foods and be irritated by others.
My other big question has to do with the drug of choice. I once worked in a drug company for about six months. If hospitals are big business, then drugs are even bigger.
Without even reading the little white paper wrapped around the bottle, I know there are side effects to cortisone. With a small amount of research, I learn that the side effects include teeth loss, depression, weight gain, and after 20 years of use, a much higher likelihood of cancer.
When my husband calls the doctor to ask him about the likelihood of cancer, he laughs it off by saying something about twenty years being a long time. Apparently, he’s not very concerned about knocking a few years off my life and saddling me with a host of unsolicited ailments besides the one I have.
Grateful to be alive
It’s Erev Yom Kippur, and I finally leave the hospital about 15 pounds thinner and with big, black circles under my eyes. Our Rabbi forbids me to make the fast. I’ve been de-humanized, but I’m grateful to be alive. And I’ve learned my lesson never to give my body and my life into the safekeeping of “well-meaning” health professionals in big city hospitals.
I leave the bottle of cortisone unopened. I become an avid reader of books on digestion. I learn about the connection between stress and colitis, and between stress and problems with health in general. I discover that colitis and diet are intimately related. The lining of the colon is dramatically affected by the food that passes through there.
Biggest Gastro seems convinced that my illness is something like a wild bronco wrecking havoc in my digestive system. That we must bring in the big guns—a powerful medicine called cortisone—which will tame that bronco.
Let’s try another paradigm. The spastic colon with its internal sores is my friend. It’s me. It’s suffering. It’s trying to tell me something about my lifestyle. I’m under too much stress, and the pint of carob Hagan Daz that I consume just about every other day is too rich for anyone to handle.
I’ve developed a hyper-sensitivity to dairy products. Perhaps I’ve been internalizing certain emotions that I should have been letting out. Maybe it’s the pressure cooker principle. Just so much pressure that’s swallowed, and the top flies off. The colon is my sensitive place. It’s out of commission. Maybe I can nurse it back to health.
Illness is the body’s way of sending us a message about what needs to change
From now on, I’ll be listening to the messages it’s sending me. Maybe this bout with illness is the best thing that’s happened to me. I’ve been alerted that I need to change, even though the doctor assures me that nothing needs to be changed. “Just take this handy little pill, keep eating what you’ve always eaten, keep living like you’ve always lived, you don’t have to change an iota.”
The hospital experience has alienated me from my body. My first mistake was putting my body in their hands. They didn’t realize what a delicate, whole entity I am, how my soul is intertwined with that colon, how sensitive I am to the energy in the room, in the food, in the words that come my way. How I am a sponge, a delicate plant swaying underwater, alive to the currents.
The fact that they would submit their own bodies to the same treatment if some doctor thought it was the preferred course of action, that fact helps them to justify what they did to me.
They are caught in the system, much more deeply ensconced than I am. Their livelihood seems to depend on it.
The experience in the hospital doesn’t teach me how to heal. But it does teach me where healing is not found.Now I begin the process of healing. I allow myself permission to breathe deeply and feel what I need to feel. I won’t tell anyone. I can do it quietly without anyone knowing. I imagine a glacial lake of crystal clear water. I once swam in such a lake, and it is easy for me to return there in my thoughts.
The glacial lake feeds into a stream, and I harness that stream, coax it over in my direction, and guide its flow into my colon. I feel the cool water lapping against the sides of my colon. I even imagine little rainbow fish swimming through the colon in the flow of the healing waters.
I discover that brown rice, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, apple sauce, lemon juice, sesame butter, and rice cakes are friendly food. I drink mineral water, and prepare myself cups of peppermint tea. I lie on the couch with a book even when there are dishes in the sink, or I lie on the floor and let the baby crawl all over me.
I begin to be grateful for my ailing colon, for the message it sent me has begun to transform my life. I am more peaceful, more centered in myself, more alive again to my own dreams and visions.
And, with great amazement and gratitude, my colon responds beautifully to this gentle handling, to the listening ear, to the responsive relationship I’ve put into place. I recover my health and vitality, and begin to feel better than I did even before my “illness” began.
In light of my discoveries about how healing works, I begin to question some other paradigms that I took for granted – and I learn an amazing secret: How to honor my own intuition, listen to internal signals, and awaken to my own inner guidance.
One of my girls has been having an uphill battle with her acne for about a year and a half now. She had a few, mild, zits at 14, but in the month before she was due to start ulpana, the term for boarding school for religious girls in Israel, her spots suddenly and aggressively transformed into full-blown acne.
I knew it was related to her stress and worry about going to the new school – and sadly, her first year there was so stressful, and the food they serve in the ulpana is so very bad, that the acne became a permanent feature of her life.
It’s really, really hard to have disfiguring spots when you’re a 14 year old girl.
So, we tried this cream, that gel, this wash. I paid for all sorts of people to squeeze blackheads out of her face.
I even spent an afternoon concocting all sorts of ‘natural’ treatments for her, from my essential oils collection. After a day or two, four days max, she’d get discouraged and just stop whatever the new thing was we were trying to do for her face.
So then, I agreed with my husband that we’d spend whatever it took to take her to a professional aesthetician, to get the acne reduced. It took around 5,000 shekels (no, that’s not a typo…) and we’re still paying it off every month.
Sadly, the debt is outliving the positive effects of the treatment.
For six months, the acne did reduce a little, and did seem to be dying down. But as soon as we stopped – it came back again.
Which is when my daughter started talking about Acutane / Roacutane, or ‘Roktan’, as they call it in Israel, and my heart sank.
Because that stuff is poisonous, and a whole bunch of people launched lawsuits against its maker, Hoffman LaRoche, claiming that Acutane had caused them to develop serious Irritable Bowel issues – one guy even had to have his colon removed.
And let’s not even talk about all the terrible birth defects associated with its use, which was another serious concern for me, as the mother of a teenager girl.
And let’s not even talk about all the other, awful side effects, that so many people like to claim are not so bad, or not so widespread. This comes from Wikipedia:
“Isotretinoin is the only non-psychiatric drug on the FDA's top 10 list of drugs associated with depression and is also within the top 10 for suicide attempts. A black box warning for suicide, depression and psychosis has been present on isotretinoin's packaging in the United States since 2005.”
(Isotretinoin is the generic name of the compound previously branded as Acutane, or ‘Roktan’.)
I sat down with my daughter, and explained to her: Roktan has a terrifyingly large number of awful side-effects. Let’s go through them in detail, and then if you still feel you want to explore it, we’ll take it from there.
Acne is really, really hard to live with, so I didn’t want to take my daughter’s free choice away when it came to deciding how to deal with it, but I also really, really didn’t want her to go the drug route.
Which is when God really helped me out.
My daughter had a friend dorming with her with bad acne who’d first been put on long-term doses of oral antibiotics, which had worked for a while.
And then, the zits came back.
(As a side note, my hairdresser was also put on oral antibiotics for acne, and stayed on them for a year and a half. This stopped when her legs started to puff up and swell, when her skin turned a yucky yellow and she started to feel really, really ill – at the age of 22. The antibiotics almost caused her liver to fail, and the Dr who’d prescribed them for acne never once thought to mention that it could be potentially fatal to continue them long term. But I digress.)
So then, the doctors put this roommate on ‘Roktan’ – which is where my daughter had first heard about it. “Her skin is like a baby’s! All her spots have gone!” my daughter told me, two months into the girl’s treatment.
So, we sat down and went through all the horrifying side-effects of Roktan – and by the end my daughter told me: “My friend has got most of those.” The friend’s eyes were puffy and blurry; her skin had started to spontaneously bleed when she waded into the Dead Sea whilst on a school trip. She was hyper-sensitive to sun (a big deal, when you live somewhere like Israel); her back and stomach hurt really badly, all of the time.
But her zits had gone!
So at least that.
But thankfully for my daughter, it was enough of a wake-up call to convince her that ‘Roktan’ was not the answer to the acne. So in the meantime, she started trying to eat a little bit healthier. She started trying to make the links herself, between suppressed feelings of worry and anxiety and massive flare-ups in her face.
And slowly, slowly, the zits are starting to come around.
In the meantime, the poor girl who’d been ‘cured’ by Roktan found that her zits returned as soon as she stopped treatment. The latest I heard is that she’s still having a number of bad side effects even though she stopped taking the drug two months ago, and has been off school now for a week, while the doctors are trying to figure things out.
One thing they are sure of, and have already clearly told the girls’ parents: It’s not related to the acne drug!!!
In the meantime, what can we learn from all this?
Let’s try to sum it up:
And that last one holds true even if the Roktan works, because the zits are just signposts to some deeper issue, or deeper work, that’s required for the person to really feel happy and spiritually-fulfilled in life.
So in the meantime, I’m continuing to buy my kid any cream she wants for her face, and to splash out on any treatment she wants to try (that isn’t potentially extremely dangerous).
I’m praying on her, I’m encouraging her, I’m buying her nice clothes.
In short, whatever I can do to ease her burden, and ease her test, I’m trying to do that, and in the meantime, her state of mind is really good, considering how hard the test actually is.
But “Roktan” is off the table, and so is long-term oral antibiotics. Because even if they do work, the long-term risks to my kid’s health are just too great to be worth the gamble.
And thank God, now she actually saw what happened to her friend, and learned about the scope of the side-effects involved, she thinks so, too.
Around eight months ago, I started having some serious pain in a tooth. Before I got more into holistic health, and before I learnt more about energy medicine, and before I discovered that at least in some circumstances, teeth can actually heal all by themselves (!) – I would have immediately run off to the dentist, and bought whatever they told me was wrong.
But, things being different these days, I decided to adopt a wait-and-see approach. I waited two weeks – and the pain got worse. So, I bit the bullet and scheduled an appointment with the dentist next to the house I just moved to, in Jerusalem.
My old dentist in Israel was really good, but didn’t live anywhere near Jerusalem, which meant going to the dentist would take me half a day. So, when I moved house again, I decided it was time to find a new dentist a little closer.
I actually found a really good dentist more into ‘safer’ and less frequent x-rays, and booked the first appointment I could get – which happened to be in three months’ time. In the meantime, the tooth started to hurt.
At the end of the second week, I decided to try the dentist next door to my house, to see if things were really as bad as I’d come to believe. He could see me the next day – which is nearly always a bad sign. People don’t come to bad dentists, so bad dentists always have plenty of available appointments at short notice.
But I was desperate. So, I played it very cool; I didn’t tell the dentist I’d been experiencing any pain, just said I’d come in for a routine check-up. He x-rayed, poked around, made some noises, then asked me if there was anything specific I’d actually come in for. When I said no, he poked around again – then came out with the shocking news that I needed a root canal.
And get this – that was on the side of my mouth that wasn’t giving me any trouble at all.
At that point, I decided to wait another month, to when the ‘good’ dentist appointment was happening, to get a second opinion.
In the meantime, a very odd thing started to happen with my teeth: The pain I’d been feeling in one place, in the upper teeth, transferred down into the lower teeth. And that’s when I started to realise that the pain was actually something to do with emotions and energy, and almost nothing at all to do with my teeth themselves.
The main meridian that governs teeth is the kidney meridian – the wellsprings of life, the deepest meridian in the body. I’d just been through a few months of absolutely crushing stress, so no wonder that meridian was feeling the strain.
But then, when I went to look up which meridian was associated with the particular teeth that were hurting, I found that both the upper and aching teeth were related to the small intestine meridian – the one that governs decisions.
Again, that was so on point, it was astounding.
At that period of time, I was wracked with indecision about what to do about the house purchase we’d tried to make that had just gone so badly wrong. I didn’t know whether to sue in court, or sue for peace, to come out fighting, or to come out waving a white flag. Plus,
I was also up in the air about where to actually live in the next couple of months, now my house purchase had fallen through.
As I said, it was extremely stressful.
So, I get to the second dentist, I get my teeth cleaned, I get my teeth x-rayed, I get the dentist poking around in his professional poking way – and then he sat up straight and announced: “Your teeth are gorgeous! Let’s see you in another six months for a cleaning.”
Ah, so no root canal, like the other (bent…) dentist told me I needed, thank God?
Nope. Not even a filling.
There are many lessons to draw out from this, but I think the main one is to always, always get a second opinion, if you’re being told to take any course of action for your health that is remotely invasive, expensive, or unpleasant.
All of us can relate to that advice, however ‘holistic’ or otherwise your healthcare habits might be.
But if you are inclined to look more at the whole person, and to put the spiritual and emotional dimensions more in the picture when it comes to your health, then there is a deeper lesson here too, about what might really be behind our various aches and pains.
Often, it’s a spiritual pain, and emotional ache, and not a physical one.
And if we figure out what’s really hurting, then the pain really can go away all by itself. With not a drill bit or dentist’s chair in sight.
If you boil down most people’s problems, and certainly most people’s relationship issues, and almost just as certainly most people’s chronic health problems, at their root you’ll find one thing: avoiding reality.
Now, people aren’t doing this on purpose, anything but.
What happens is that most of us kind of get born into circumstances that are less than ideal, or find ourselves in a situation that really isn’t what we expected or wanted, and at that point, we are given a choice:
Either, we can take a deep breath, and face up to what’s really going on in our lives, and our relationships, and our own minds and hearts, OR, we can try to duck reality.
Here’s the thing: most of the modern world is built on that second option. Most of the stock market gains, and house price inflations is built on ducking reality. Most of Western healthcare – which tells you to just take the meds, just have the surgery, and that will solve all the problems – are built on the second option.
Nearly all the divorces in the world happen because people are ducking reality. There are literally whole industries – worth trillions of dollars – built on false science, and fake principles and certainties, that only gained traction because they gave people the option of being able to pretend that something other than reality was causing their problems.
What, people have emotional and mental issues because they were ignored, mistreated or traumatized as a child?!
That can’t be right.
What, women leave their husbands because the husband has bad character traits (all the time believing that he’s really perfect…) and the woman just can’t do it anymore?
What an absurd proposition!
And of course, the idea that our teens starting to smoke, or getting depressed, or dropping out of school, or going off the derecho, or struggling emotionally, might have something to do with how we are treating them also makes people feel very uncomfortable.
The whole world is a mirror.
Right now, there’s a bunch of people in California who are pretending that the only reason massive fires are going on in their state is because of man-made climate change.
And there’s a whole bunch of other people who think the world got here completely by random, when some primordial soup got hit by a lightning bolt 4.6 billion years ago (sic).
Can you prove that?
And what about God? Where does God fit into this picture, and all the other pictures painted above, because the most ‘real’ part of reality is that nothing is random, and everything is tailor-made to bring us back to God, and to get us to live the lives we are meant to be living.
For as long as we’re ignoring God, or pretending He doesn’t exist, or telling ourselves fibs about what we’re down here to do, or imagining that every action we perform (or don’t perform…) doesn’t have some very real consequences attached it – well.
We’ll remain stuck in the problem.
Whatever it is.
As long as we’re ducking reality, as long as we’re hiding the truth, we simply won’t be able to heal, improve, change and move forward in life.
We’ll stay blaming other things and other people; we’ll waste so much time tilting at imaginary windmills; we’ll stay shut up in our make-believe, often miserable ‘bubble’.
And that’s such a shame.
Sure, it’s scary to open our eyes and look truth in the face. Especially if we haven’t acted so nicely to others. Especially if we’ve made a lot of mistakes. Especially if the truth hurts.
But you know what?
We’re all in this together.
All of us have issues, none of us are perfect. And when we finally stand up, turn around, and face reality down – that’s when the good things in our life will really start to happen.
So, don’t be scared sweet reader. God is there to help us do all this stuff!
Facing reality can be so, so hard, I know.
But it’s the door to healing, health, hope, happiness and holiness.
A nice man from a woodworking company got in touch to see if I’d be interested in hearing about how woodworking has been helping people mitigate their C-PTSD symptoms. (I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about C-PTSD a little while ago, including this: C-PTSD 101: I've got c-ptsd! Now what do I do to get rid of it?)
While I don’t usually do guest posts on spiritualselfhelp.org, I’m very happy to share more real information about what might be helping people to get happier and healthier, so I told the nice man, ‘sure, send me some stuff about how woodworking is helping people deal with their C-PTSD and I’ll post it up’.
So he did – and it makes some pretty interesting reading. I have a friend who swears by her crafting and knitting, for helping her get calmer, and more grounded and centred. I myself love my painting, when I get a chance to do it.
So, I can see that woodworking could also fit the bill – and if you read on, you’ll find a few different stories of people who believe that working with wood is really helping them to heal.
HEALING & VALIDATION
Mierop Mann considers his woodworking journey as a part of his healing process. I asked him what woodworking changed in his life. “It is wonderful to bring calm and balance into once chaotic existence. Inner turmoil with creative expression is a very good emotional feeling,” he answered.
Mierop’s C-PTSD was a result of an abusive family. “I am a 52 year old guy that chose to walk alone through life, as the memories of my childhood abuse became more recurring through triggers and abuse from my family up to the age of 40.”
When he finally walked away from that situation and struggled with C-PTSD, he found a liberating passion: woodworking. Woodworking helped Mierop to properly deal with a life filled with confusion and anger. It also gave him the joy of feeling validated because of his works.
“When people ask me about what I do, the only way I can explain to them is that I am an artist without a brush but with tools. I believe in my work, and even if only one person is fascinated by it, I feel validated and I feel alive,” he proudly told me.
FOCUS & SATISFACTION
For a 50-yr old woman with medical and mental health conditions like Laura B Paskavitz, woodworking can help with self-esteem issues. At least, that was what she experienced from it.
Laura shared her story—“I don't work and have been living with disability for 25 years due to medical & mental health reasons. I have CPTSD as well as a dissociative disorder from being raised in a cult and around not-well people.”
She started woodworking when she was around 20 yrs old. Her friend introduced woodworking to her to help her refocus her anxiety. It became her main distraction from stress and later on experience its therapeutic benefits.
Keeping oneself busy can be a great way to overcome C-PTSD symptoms. Laura herself mentioned, “By doing something hands-on and creative, I've noticed my focus & sense of satisfaction increase.”
And not just that. As I’ve mentioned, woodworking helped with her self-esteem issues, too.
“My self-confidence has improved and I'm inspired to live more in the moment and enjoy the process,” Laura told me.
SHARING & SELF-EXPRESSION
For Rolando Corral Sr., an Army Veteran who has tried all types of therapy to cope with C-PTSD, woodworking offered something else other than the “traditional therapy sessions”.
He said, “Woodworking helped me open up to the idea of allowing some people to come into my personal space and share it with them just for a brief moment.”
Such opportunity to share oneself to others is a huge step towards healing, especially for veterans who have been scarred by the battles they’ve seen and been in. For Rolando, that trauma started to show its symptoms after he was medically retired from the military.
“Around 2008 I was diagnosed with PTSD. I was already attending college and something just didn’t feel right,” he said.
Naturally, Rolando started seeking professional help through therapies. “I tried out VA counseling and tried talking to a person behind the desk with a fancy degree on their walls. But I still was having dreams and nightmares and I felt the guilt for not being able to deploy the second time with my Army unit to Iraq,” he recalled.
Just by chance, Rolando met a Korean War veteran who was into woodworking. That started his own woodworking journey, which started from simple projects for his kids and bloomed into a mission-driven business of handcrafted wooden flags. But on woodworking’s effect on a personal level, he said,
“You see, it helped me open up… and encouraged me to not allow my military career define me for the rest of my life. I want woodworking to define who I am for the rest of my life.”
Over the years, I’ve noticed a pronounced correlation with the amount of ‘news’ a person feels compelled to consume, and a marked deterioration in their mental health. Even back in the old days, before everyone was addicted to internet and iPhones and endless, poisonous ‘look at me’ tweets and Instagram notifications, news could still have a serious impact on a person’s outlook and mood.
Stocks are falling through the floor!!! (Cue to jump off a bridge, if you own stocks, or at the very least develop a very bad attack of peptic ulcers.)
Russia is going to nuke us!!! (Cue to lose all your joie de vivre, and to spend endless hours worrying about being vaporized by a Commie bomb.)
Butter is bad for your heart!!! (Cue to feel all guilty every time you put a pat of that creamy yellow stuff anywhere near your bread, or frying pan. And guess what they were pushing on the unsuspecting public instead of that ‘dangerous’ butter? Yup, you got it: margarine.)
It could be that once upon a time, the mainstream news was actually useful, contained some real facts, and wasn’t just a soap-box for big business and corrupt politicians to brainwash everyone into believing their own version of reality.
It could be.
But these days, that’s almost definitely not the case.
Most of the mainstream news is so devoid of anything that you could actually call useful, or factual, or even true, and so full of pessimism, manipulation, brain-washing and opinionated craziness, that the best way to deal with it is just to stay far, far away.
Because when you log on to a news site every five minutes, when you listen to those news announcers droning on about whatever it is they are trying to brainwash you into believing and thinking, when you buy into the idea that the only ‘news’ worth reporting and sharing is bad news, and angry news, and hateful news – that has a seriously negative impact on your mental health.
It can easily bring you down. It can easily make you angry. It can easily get your paranoid. It can easily make you feel like the sky is crashing down, and send your anxiety shooting through the roof.
Go cold turkey on the news
Yes, it’s true that there are many bad things happening in the world, including fatal car crashes, civil wars, and even (shock!) Roseanne getting dumped from her own TV show.
But so what?
Do you know how many good things are happening in the world? How many nice people there are out there? I’m guessing you probably don’t, if your only source of information is the news.
So, if you’re dealing with anxiety, worry, hatred, anger, paranoid, apathy, jealousy – basically, all those negative character traits that we all have in spades, especially if we consume a lot of information – then here’s the single best thing you can do for your mental health:
Go cold turkey on the news.
If it’s really important and really relevant to your life, I guarantee you’ll find out about it anyway. And if it isn’t – who needs it?
Who needs to waste all that energy and headspace being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ Trump? Who needs to read more scare stories about humans causing global warming, and Russians being behind ever dark and despicable deed ever known to man? (Really? They are only behind half.)
And if I can add another piece of advice here, it’s this: also go cold turkey on bloggers who are obsessed with the news.
Because most of those folks are certifiably crazy. If someone has nothing better to do with their time than give second-hand opinions about third-rate news – why are you wasting the precious moments of your life by reading what they have to say?!
Go for a walk instead, go paint a picture, call a friend, play a game with your kid, read a good book, practice the lost art of thinking for yourself.
Do something, anything, instead of imbibing the deranged viewpoints of internet crazy people.
I promise you, you’ll feel so, so much better if you do.
Because really, the only good news is no news.
The link between the Eddy Solar Minimum, global cooling, and the current uptick in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
The last couple of weeks, many parts of the world have been seeing record-breaking early snowfall and cold temperatures. Parts of Canada and the Northern US even got snowfall back in September, which is very unusual.
Then, there was the 5ft of snow that landed on the Swiss alps over the last three days, the foot of snow that appeared in Morocco yesterday, and also the snow that fell in Northern England – all in October, remember.
Which is where we come to something of a cognitive dissonance crossroads for most people, because just two weeks ago, the IPCC, the UN group tasked with whipping up hysteria about man-made global warming, released a report telling us we had 12 years to prevent the world from turning into a scorched, barren desert.
Global warming is happening, don’t you know, and it’s all being caused by human emissions of CO2!
But increasingly, the weather patterns that we’re all seeing with our own eyes isn’t bearing out the ‘theory’ of anthropogenic CO2 induced global warming. Yes, the climate is definitely changing – quite radically, even. But people burning fossil fuels is not what’s doing it.
And we’re not heading into a period of global warming, rather, the exact opposite.
THE EDDY MINIMUM
I know, these are bold statements to make, so what is the science that I’m basing this on?
In a nutshell, there is a different, and far more compelling, theory for climate change, which explains that the sun’s activity is cyclical. There’s an 11 year cycle, a centennial cycle, and also a bicentennial cycle which, lasts for 206 years.
During those 206 years, the sun’s solar spot activity increases, which leads to a slow but steady warming of the atmosphere down here on planet earth. And then, the sun’s solar spot activity starts to decrease, leading to a slow but steady cooling of the atmosphere.
This waxing and waning of the sun’s activity has been scientifically observed for around 400 years, or two whole bicentennial cycles.
When the sun’s solar spots start to reduce to 50 or less a year at the peak of the 11 year solar cycle (i.e. there are only sunspots on 50 out of the 365 days of the year), this is called a Grand Solar Minimum, or solar hibernation.
The last time we reached this stage in the sun’s cycle occurred approximately 200 years ago, and it was christened The Dalton Minimum (1790-1830). During the Dalton Minimum, freak weather was occurring all over the planet, the temperature dropped off radically, there were a number of massive volcanic explosions (including Tambora) and there were also a number of catastrophically large earthquakes.
And man-made CO2 was effectively nowhere to be found.
Prior to that, the Grand Solar Minimum that occurred between 1645 and 1750 (known as The Maunder Minimum) had so few sunspots, it lead to a period of time that was christened The Little Ice Age, because the weather across the globe became so arctic and cold.
Again, a huge number of volcanoes were also erupting at that time, and there were huge earthquakes occurring all over the world, including the massive Cascadia subduction zone rift of 1700.
BENEFITS OF GLOBAL WARMING
The most recent warming part of the sun’s 206 year long cycle began around 1850. First, the planet had to recover from being in the deep-freeze of the Dalton Minimum for a few decades, and then by the early 1900s, temperatures started to rise all over the globe, vegetation started to flourish and weather patterns became much calmer and more predictable.
Just the sort of ideal conditions you need, for food to be grown in abundance and civilization to start to flourish. Which is exactly what happened. This warming trend continued up until around the year 2000, and prompted scientists to start theorizing about what was causing the ‘global warming’.
Of course, for most of these immensely intelligent brainboxes, it couldn’t be the sun that was warming the planet (or subsequently, cooling it). That would be far too simple and plebian an explanation.
And so, they came up with a new innovation called ‘man-made global warming’ a completely new theory that had no actual science to back it up, but plenty of hyperbole, and politicians eager to tap into a new way of taxing their populations.
In the meantime, just as the idea of ‘man-made global warming’ was catching on, planet earth threw Al Gore a curve ball, and stubbornly stopped heating up.
Over the last decade, the earth’s temperature has stopped rising, and since 2017, we’ve actually entered into that phase of the 206 year cycle where the sunspots decrease, and the temperature will start to drop, radically.
This latest Grand Solar Minimum has been christened The Eddy Minimum, and the coldest part of it began this year, and is set to last for another 20 years or so, until 2038.
So, there will be more snow, more cold, more frost, and it’s only going to intensify over the next two decades.
As to whether we’re going to have a relatively ‘milder’ cold snap, as occurred with the Dalton Minimum, or a much more severe and longer lasting one, leading to another ‘little ice age’, that question is currently being explored by the few (mostly retired…) honest climate scientists who are still out there.
Many of these scientists don’t live in the West, where the politicised CO2 crackpots hold sway over tenure and research budgets.
Basically, it comes down to the number of daily sunspots that will appear. If the sunspots number nearer to 50, it will be milder. If they number closer to zero (as at least one prominent Russian climate scientist believes) – it’ll be much harsher.
And we’ll have the answer to this question by 2022.
THE LINK WITH EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES
In the meantime, there’s another, probably even more disturbing link between Grand Solar Minimums and our planet, and that’s the effect Grand Solar Minimums have on seismic activity and volcanic eruptions.
In his excellent book, former NASA scientist John Casey and Professor Dr Dong Choi set out the clear evidence that the US’s most devastating earthquakes over the last 200 years occurred during the time of the Dalton Minimum.
The book includes a number of scientific papers – written in plain English, as these scientists have nothing to hide and are actually trying to share their research with the public – and some frankly very disturbing findings. Like this:
And, like this:
And, like this:
Absolutely no-one took them seriously.
Because the real threat to the planet is coming from plastic drinking straws, as any fule knows.
And in the meantime, Casey et al’s predictions are literally materializing before our very eyes.
MASSIVE EARTHQUAKES IN THE US
Government agencies don’t like honest scientists like John Casey, because they like to pretend that everything is under control, and that the world is 100% in human hands. That’s also why they pooh-pooh any notion that earthquakes can be forecast – even though Casey and his colleagues have rock-solid evidence showing that massive earthquakes routinely pop up during Grand Solar Minimums.
Take the New Madrid Seismic Zone, (NMSZ) for example. Last time it ruptured between 1811-1812, with a number of ginormous earthquakes estimated to be between 7-8 in magnitude, relatively few people lived in the US.
Casey’s team found that New Madrid experienced huge earthquakes every time there has been a Grand Solar Minimum, and that it has a >80% probability of being hit by a quake in the 8 magnitude range now too, between 2017-2038.
Eight states would be directly affected by this, and tens of millions of people.
But that’s not all: the oil and gas pipes that bring energy from the West Coast to the NE of America would probably also rupture, if a quake that magnitude struck. The roads would be cracked and unpassable. And let’s not even talk about whether the nuclear facilities in the area would be able to survive a disaster of this magnitude.
And that’s just one quake, in one place, that’s not even close to San Francisco or the LA Basin.
And really, we’re not talking about just one quake happening. We’re talking about multiple massive earthquakes striking across the globe’s seismically active areas, one after another, over the next 20 years or so.
No wonder it’s so much easier to talk about man-made global warming, and to focus so much time, attention and hysteria on banning drinking straws.
Massive earthquakes and volcanoes are far more scary prospects.
But if you look around and open your eyes, you’ll see that the process of global cooling and its associated period of increased geophysical catastrophes has already begun. And there’s very little anyone can do to stop it.
I'm currently reading a book by John L. Casey, who until his recent stroke was one of the few high-level NASA and NOAA scientists to actually speak about the clear links between Grand Solar Minimums, volcanic eruptions and freak weather.
This is the last interview he gave before his stroke, back in February 2018, and I guarantee you'll learn more real science in an hour of watching this then in a decade of reading the pap being put out by the man-made climate change lobby.
His book is called: Upheaval: Why Catastrophic Earthquakes Will Soon Strike the United States.
He wrote the book - with a bunch of illustrious, serious scientist colleagues - back in 2016, and as we're heading towards the end of 2018, his predictions about how the Grand Solar Minimum would affect the earth's climate seems to be spot on the money.
(Shmirat Eynayim friendly)
If you’re like most people on planet earth, you probably haven’t been feeling so hot the last few weeks. The more sensitive you are to space weather – i.e. how the sun’s rays, and the cosmic rays interact with planet earth and human health – the more ucky, strange, light-headed, spaced-out, wired-up or just plain weird you’ve probably been feeling.
In this post, I want to try to set out a little more clearly how the same factors that are leading to increased seismic activity is also affecting your brain, your mood, your ability to sleep at night and even, your physical health.
In recent weeks, volcanic explosions, large earthquakes and freak weather events have been multiplying across the globe. God is the main reason all this is happening, and the force majeure behind it all, but the way in which God is probably doing this is via the interaction between cosmic rays and silica.
Magma contains a ton of silica. People also require silica to produce collagen and bone - and collagen is a semi-conductor. To quote EFT guru Dawson Church:
"Semiconductors are not only able to conduct energy, in the way the wiring system in your house conducts electricity very quickly from one point to another. They are also able to conduct information; think of your high-speed Internet connection. Besides many other properties, semiconductors are also able to store energy, amplify signals, filter information, and move information in one direction but not in another.
"In other words, the connective tissue system can also process information, like the semiconductor chips in your computer. Your connective tissue system is well suited for the task of conveying both energy and information, because it connects every part of your body to every other part.”
The sun’s rays and cosmic rays are a form of radiation, or energy, that is vibrating at a particular wavelength, and that electronic ‘vibration’ is interacting with planet earth in a whole bunch of ways that we haven’t even really begun to understand.
People are electric.
What that means is that the human body is governed by an electrical system so sensitive, and so finely tuned, that even small changes in these ‘vibrations’ can have a huge impact on the hormones our bodies’ create, and on how much ‘stress we feel, subliminally or otherwise, and also what substances our cells secrete.
What brings all these things together is the human pineal gland, which is a tiny, grain-of-rice-shaped endocrine gland located in the brain ‘behind the eyes’. The pineal gland is responsible for producing a number of very important substances and hormones, including serotonin and melatonin.
Melatonin is responsible for regulating a number of the body’s most crucial biological rhythms, including our sleep cycles and ‘circadian rhythms’. As a very general rule, the body produces more melatonin when the pineal gland is exposed to light, and stops producing it when exposed to darkness. Melatonin also plays a crucial role in protecting our nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
(I.e. the stuff that can cause mutations and other genetic ‘changes’ – both good and bad – in the human body.)
Now, are you ready for the leap into some really cool stuff?
Scientific researchers have found that the pineal gland acts as a kind of ‘way station’ or link between the external environment, and the body’s network of internal systems. To quote the study:
“The pineal gland takes environmental information and converts it into chemical and electrical signals within our bodies. It converts light, temperature and magnetic environmental information into neuroendocrine signals that regulate and orchestrate body functions. It regulates our internal clock—determining our daily sleep–wake patterns and influencing our broader lifetime rhythms.”
The researchers also suggest that the pineal gland is the ‘physiological interface’ between body and mind, and the ‘gatekeeper’ enabling people to access their more spiritual side, and the spiritual dimension.
The study continues that the pineal gland is responsible for taking:
“…various forms of energy, such as light, sound, electromagnetism and the putative energy behind the healing effects of prayer,” and translating them “into electrical and chemical signals within our bodies.”
THE LINK WITH EARTHQUAKES ETC, AND SPACE WEATHER
In 1998, New Scientist published a study showing that the sun’s electromagnetic activity (i.e. the charged particles that make up the solar wind) affect the human electromagnetic field, in a similar way to how it affects the earth’s magnetic field, or magnetosphere.
There are two ways humans are being affected by the sun. In times of greater activity (also called ‘solar maximums’), the sun will typically eject much more energy towards the earth, via things like CMEs, or coronal mass ejections. These are huge bursts of energy that when they hit planet earth, can lead to symptoms like headaches, mood swings, sleep disturbances, mood swings and a general feeling of being unwell.
Then, in time of very low sunspot activity, called ‘solar minimums’, the solar wind from the sun decreases, which in turn weakens the earth’s magnetic shield and enables more of the cosmic rays (i.e. energy waves) from other bodies in the universe, such as stars, comets and other planets to bombard the planet.
Again, there is hard science (if you can call it that) that links cosmic rays – which are NOT the same as the sun’s rays – to much greater perturbation of silica molecules in magma. Greater perturbation = more chemical reactions going on = more magma on the move, = more volcanic explosions and more and bigger earthquakes.
The effects that cosmic rays have on human health are barely on the radar for ‘hard science’, but we can certainly say that levels of UVA, UVB and UVC are also on the rise – often in a very dramatic way – during solar minimums.
We are currently in a solar minimum that is shaping up to be one of the most ‘quiet’ periods of sun activity for 200 years.
That is why the volcano and earthquake activity is picking up, and that’s also why more and more of us are feeling ‘weird’, ill, or strangely emotional.
Once again, the pineal gland is hugely affected by the earth’s electromagnetic activity. Other studies show that during solar storms and other times of dramatic electromagnetic activity, the pineal gland will produce abnormal amounts of melatonin – and this can has some severe affects on human health.
THIS is a good article, to get an idea of the sort of health issues that occurred for a swathe of people back in 2015, when there was a massive solar storm. Here’s an excerpt:
“The type of intense solar activity we’ve been experiencing this week can have serious effects on: the central nervous system, the stomach lining, all brain activity (including equilibrium), along with human behavior and all psycho-physiological (mental-emotional-physical) responses. This can manifest as nervousness, anxiety, worrisomeness, the jitters, dizziness, shakiness, irritability, lethargy, exhaustion, short term memory problems, heart palpitations, nausea, queasiness, prolonged head pressure, and headaches.”
I’m willing to bet a whole bunch of the people reading this have been experiencing at least some of these symptoms, over the last few weeks.
THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
Usually, I don’t go on so much about the spiritual dimension to all the spiritual self-help stuff, but I’m going to make an exception in this post.
As we said earlier, God is the prima facie cause for all of these things happening. There is a lot of potentially disturbing things happening in the world, and the growing sense of unease is coming both internally, from our biological rhythms being affected electromagnetically, and also by the increasingly erratic and powerful freak weather, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
(Not to mention politics, wars, economic issues and all the other more mundane things
The pineal gland is the most pronounced ‘link’ between body and soul.
The more spiritually-aware a person is, the more God-awareness they have, the more they are trying to work on overcoming their negative character traits, and trying to God what He really wants, the smoother this current period of time is going to be.
The more understanding we have about body-mind-soul being linked, the smoother this process is going to be, and the more we’ll be picking up God’s cues about what we need to work on and change.
Right now, God is creating a set of circumstances that are practically guaranteed to set off everyone’s ‘stress response’ – and its attendant negative emotions and bad character traits - in a very unmissable way.
Fear, anger, anxiety, hysteria, depression, panic, hatred – all that stuff is going to be rising to the surface at the moment.
God is doing that so we recognize we still have a lot of issues to work on and work through, and to encourage us to make Him part of the solution.
The people who get that message, and who make regular efforts to calm down their pineal gland via meditation, hitbodedut, prayer and other methods that connect us to God and to our spiritual dimension will weather this storm much easier, and come through in better shape.
And the people who don’t….
Well, it’s going to get more and more stressful. So it won’t be pretty.
I’ll write more about this, but in the meantime, there is a definite link between space weather, freak weather, earthquakes and volcanoes, and human mood, sleep patterns, wellbeing and physical health.
And so much of the impact that space weather has on us hinges around silica and the pineal gland.
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