Thursday, August 18, 2016

Playing in the Sand

This delightful little story of a really fun playtime came to me after receiving a prompt at The Toronto Writers Collective. The prompt was a photo of what appeared to be an old dilapitated building with floors of dirt and sand. One door was standing ajar so I came up with the (obvious) title DOORWAYS.  This Doorway turned out to lead right into my Joyful Childhood Self.

Doorways

   Oh how I want to dig my feet in the sand. I want to sit right down on that dirty, sandy floor and roll all around on it. I want to feel the grittiness of those sand granules massaging my skin, making me feel all tingly.


 Closing my eyes, I bend down and pick up a handful of sand and dirt. I rub it all over my face and all through my hair. My white clothes are getting sooooo dirty as I pick up another handful of dirt and rub it all over my belly and my  arms and my legs. I am so happy --  there are no adults here to get upset or yell at me for getting dirty. There is just me and the sand, hidden behind these walls where no one can see me. I'm safe and protected by these walls. This is such a magical place to play and to explore. And to get as dirty as I want.

   My skin is tingling from the grittiness of this dirt. My Heart is singing with the joy and freedom of  laying down and rolling, moving, digging oh so happily, in the dirt.

   I remember the little piglets from the farm and how they love to roll in the dirt. They are so cute --  the way they bury their little snouts right in the mud -- just playing, exploring. I often wondered what those piglets were searching for as they so vigorously buried their snouts in the mud. Now I am thinking that maybe they are not looking for anything. Maybe they are just loving the feel of rubbing those wonderful gritty dirt granules all over their skin just like I am loving it now. 




   Those poor adults that would yell at me for getting so dirty. They just don't know what they are missing. I feel kind of sorry for them!

              ************************************************************

More stories from my child self coming up soon. It feels amazingly good to allow that little girl part of me to come forward and share her stories. I especially love that in this story, the little girl started off expressing some fear of the adults who would yell at her if they caught her playing in the dirt. She felt safe to indulge in her tactile, sensual sand play because she was hidden behind those magical, protective walls. By the end of the story, she actually comes to a place of feeling compassion for those poor uptight adults who just don't know what knd of pleasure they are missing out on.  

Barbara    

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yoga -- What a Journey!!

**Originally written and posted Feb. 8, 2014. Updated June 20, 2016

My favourite definition of Yoga is UNION WITH THE DIVINE.


It is an interesting journey that we humans progress through in our lifetimes. Many of us are becoming increasingly aware of our own Divine Nature (intellectually anyway) and of the Divine Nature of Life. We do our best to live well and to honor and care for all of life. And yet, if our nature is purely Divine, why do we go through so many bumps in life? Why are we subjected to so much pain and suffering? Why is our world so full of so much cruelty and unbearable atrocities?

Looking back on my own lifelong relationship with Yoga, which I see now as my own deep craving to feel united with the Divine, I can honestly say that it has been one hell of a bumpy road!!! Surprise, surprise -- Yoga is not always all bliss and cushy relaxation and white light and showing off one's flexibility. There were times, when I was much younger, that I thought it was all of the above. There was a time that, through Yoga, I thought I had found "heaven".  Yoga became my "Great Escape" for awhile, until it brought me crashing back to earth!

My Personal Philosophy of Yoga and Other Spiritual Traditions

What I express here is MY opinion, based on MY experience. Yoga is many things to many people. For some folks it is a time and place to get away from their busy lives and chill out. Practicing Yoga has many health benefits and stress reducing qualities for sure. For a lot of people that is enough. People "do" Yoga and then go back to their lives. For other people, and I suspect this is the case in Yoga's original birthplace of India, Yoga is life. The quest for Union with the Divine IS the purpose for life. Coming from that perspective, Yoga takes on a deeper meaning.  As the postures, the pranayama and other aspects of Yoga are practiced with focus and diligence, they do begin to open the pathway back to the Divine. However, I think what many of us Westerners don't always understand is that as we move more fully into our journey back to the Divine and we begin to bring more light into our consciousness, all that we have been holding in the body (perhaps for many lifetimes) -- all the grief, all the pain, all of the repressed memories and emotions, all the trauma and dis-ease that we have been holding onto and burying ever more deeply, is going to emerge into our conscious awareness. I do believe, from my own personal experience, that we do hold not only our own personal issues, but also we carry the unresolved pain of our ancestors. Maybe that has something to do with what we call genetics. I also believe that we do have the power to heal that pain and to shift those unhealthy patterns or genetics. I DON'T believe that we can simply say some affirmations, as some of the new age pundits would have us believe, and everything will be fine. I think the journey to true healing, which, in my mind, is also the Journey back to the Divine, means honoring our pain, honoring our traumas and offering love and compassion to those darkest and most distressed places in us. It is not about escaping into the light. It is more about calling  the light in to illuminate those places of darkness and fear and trauma within us -- so we can be fully present with them or with those parts of ourselves and our world.


Really Important Stuff Here!

Balance is Essential
The ONE REALLY IMPORTANT THING I have discovered, the hard way, is that as we journey back to our Divine Nature and we bring an increasing amount of light into our darkness, we need to be simultaneously taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Our bodies and our nervous systems need to be strong and we may need to find some good emotional support for ourselves. I think there are very few of us that don't have some kind of unresolved grief, trauma or other kinds of emotional pain buried deep inside. The nature of our Western culture has been to "suck it up", to suffer in silence. Certainly we Canadians , especially, are not very likely to sound our grief and our distress. Most of us were conditioned to keep it buried inside -- where it festers and builds up. So imagine if we do a massive amount of Spiritual Practice and bring in lots of white light -- all that "dark stuff" is going to come pouring out, possibly too quickly and  in ways that could re-traumatize us or throw us totally off balance. Unfortunately there are some Yogic and other Spiritual Traditions and New Age philosophies in our Western World that do seem to  promote this constant focus on the White Light and fail to honour or even acknowledge the equally important darkness or shadow side. Some people do get frightened away from various Spiritual Traditions or practices  for this very reason. As much White Light as we bring in, we need to be prepared for an equal amount of Darkness or Shadow material to show up. We humans do live in a duality of light and dark. It is very important to find Spiritual Traditions or therapies that recognize and honor both the dark and the light sides of human nature.

The Importance of Finding Balance

 Balance is essential here and it is important for each one of us to explore what is manageable on this Journey into the Light or back to the Divine. This can take some trial and error. Even though I have been aware of this need to find my own manageable balance, I still sometimes over reach and end up traumatized or triggered. But, at least now, in those moments, I can generally recognize that I have simply pushed a little too far and I need to back up a little and reach out for support.I do my best, in those moments, to sit with and hold, with love and compassion, whatever darkness or injured part of me

has shown up. Ultimately, it is a real gift when those vulnerable parts of us emerge from hiding. But we need to know how to be with those parts of ourselves and how to create safe and sacred space for ourselves. It may be important to search for a teacher, therapist or helper that can support our process.

Here is a short article about Spiritual Awakening that may be helpful.
Awakening Kundalini -- Yoga Journal


The Importance of Recovering Memories and Healing Trauma

Also I think the emerging field of learning how to heal from trauma is a vital part of the healing process for many of us. Fortunately, the whole area of trauma and PTSD is coming into the forefront in a very positive and healing way. No matter what spiritual tradition we follow in our quest for the Divine, I don't think we'll get far if our foundation is damaged. I, personally, am really excited to see this vitally important work gaining so much attention and energy.


A link to this vitally important work of healing trauma.

It is only by facing our traumas, personally and collectively, that we, as a culture can begin to heal. A few weeks back I received an e-mail notice from a doctor who was advertising that he could help us "get rid of those pesky negative memories once and for all". If we just "get rid of" those so called negative memories, that means we will never face and deal with them head on. That means the perpetrators are home free. So those who have been sexually or otherwise abused by religious institutions, by residential schools, etc. could just get rid of those "pesky" memories and nothing in our society would have to change. Clearly, I did not appreciate the doctor's approach. Thank goodness for the people who are doing the work to recover memories and bring them to the public's awareness. These are the courageous people who are changing our world. 


My Personal Journey Through Yoga and Life

Cats are Natural Yogis

When I was a very young girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old,  I used to sit alone in my bedroom, in front of the window looking down on a massive willow tree and a large grassy yard. Beyond that was a raised garden surrounded by small trees and greenery that grew wild. Oh the joys of growing up in a little village!! Nature was alive and abundant all around me. As I would sit there and look out that window, some part of me would be transported to India of all places. How did I know about India in those young days? I would see myself as a Yogi wandering through the forests with a walking stick in hand. Now that is really mysterious. Growing up in that little village under the watchful eye of very protective parents, I was very sheltered from the rest of the world. So I really have no idea how I knew anything about India or Yogis, but there I was, dreaming of my Yogic life in India.

My Secret Yoga Practice

   As soon as I was old enough, I went to the library in the next town. Our village didn't have a library. I immediately started searching for books about Yoga. However when I brought those books home, my mother became very concerned. She somehow had the idea that Yoga was some kind of cult, the work of the devil. So Yoga books were banned in our house. Even though I honored my mother's beliefs, I somehow knew that she had a mistaken idea about Yoga. So the books stayed at the library. But I still went there and read them, as much as I could. I would study the pictures of people in the various Yoga poses and then I would practice them in secret in my bedroom.



Yoga in Toronto

In 1972, after I graduated from nursing school and began my working life in Toronto, I immediately looked for a Yoga teacher. Even back then there was no shortage of Yoga in Toronto and I explored several different schools and traditions of Yoga. I eventually found my way to a yoga school which had a number of different traditions within it. By then I was hooked on Yoga! But I still kept my yoga practice secret from my family in the little village. By 1983, both of my parents had passed away and soon after, I dove, head first, into a very intensive Yoga Teacher Training Course at the same school that had a variety of traditions. Now there was some conflict between the various traditions so as a student teacher, that was quite confusing in itself. Despite that however, I finally felt like I had a purpose, something to hold onto, something that was giving my life meaning.


The Great Escape -- from Addictions to Yoga

Prior to signing up for that Yoga Course, I was suffering through some addictions -- both substance and behavioural. Being quite a troubled teen-ager and young adult, it was easy for me to fall into those addictions once I arrived from my little hometown village into the  bright lights of big city life! But it seemed, at the time, that Yoga was my saving grace. I went "cold turkey" on all those addictions; I buried away all feelings of grief and abandonment from the loss of my parents. At that time I had no idea that those addictions were actually a sign of deeply buried trauma. I just knew that life wasn't feeling very good, and I was certain that Yoga would make it all better! So I literally threw myself into the Yoga practices and focused on the White Light. The teachers training course consisted of a lot of fairly aggressive pranayama (breathing exercises) and of course postures, which I practiced relentlessly. There were a lot of strict guidelines put on our behaviour and lots of suppression or denial of physical desires and needs.  There was absolutely no acknowledgement of the darkness or the Shadow. Now that I look back, it was a recipe for disaster! Especially for someone like me who had a damaged foundation to begin with and no real support or deep understanding of what was wrong. So the inevitable happened. About three quarters of the way into this course, after I had been doing massive amounts of Spiritual awakening practices, the kundalini awakened and shot up through my unprepared body and nervous system and psyche.


Awakened Kundalini
Kundalini, as I understand it, is the Spiritual Energy that is coiled in our Root or base Chakra. It gradually awakens and moves up through the energy centres that are connected with the spine and the endocrine glands, as we do Spiritual Practices. The important word here is gradually.   But first one has to be coming from a strong foundation. Healing of trauma and being grounded through healthy relationship with the self and others needs to be the first priority.

As a result of not being prepared or ready for this massive surge of energy, I fell right into the darkest, most terrifying time of my life. Addictions overwhelmed me again -- but this time they were even worse. I found myself feeling trapped in an abusive relationship. I completely lost touch with reality for awhile and came very close to losing my life. These are powerful energies, not to be messed with or taken lightly. Clearly, not all spiritual teachers understand the importance of balance and stability and acceptance of the darkness and the  possible memories and traumas that may emerge when the light is brought in or when that kundalini is activated.

Escape to Mexico!

I got myself out of that abusive relationship and I took off to Mexico for 2 years. That was winter of 1985.


I was, once again, struggling with addictions but after that experience, I didn't even want to hear the word YOGA. At that point, I was also feeling betrayed and abandoned by the very teachers I had so totally trusted, and of course I was terrified to get close to anyone after falling into that horrible abusive relationship.

I turned to Bodybuilding!!! In retrospect, I see my bodybuilding phase as a desperate attempt to get back into my body, to feel grounded. It was also a defense mechanism --a way to build up the protective amor I felt that I needed . After a time, I landed back in Toronto, back in nursing (where I didn't want to be) and I dedicated myself to Competitive Bodybuilding! By 1989 I became extremely ill. Between the intensity of my job, the intensity of my workouts and a still very damaged foundation, my body gave out.

BACK TO YOGA!!!


The Healing Power of Iyengar Yoga


Yes Yoga called me back again, and it was Yoga that helped me through that illness, but this time I discovered Iyengar Yoga. Interestingly enough, the same school where I had taken that fateful Yoga Teacher's Training course was now home to the Iyengar Tradition of Yoga. This type of Yoga has some definite benefits. It is all about "facing your life", not hiding or escaping from it.  Through the use of equipment in the Iyengar tradition, each Yoga pose is adapted to fit each body individually. I attended a Special Needs Program in which I was given a practice that was specifically developed for my particular illness. I did remarkably well and was moved into a regular class setting. This was 1989/90.  I didn't do so well in the regular Iyengar classes. Because I was still holding unresolved trauma in my body, I was very emotionally fragile. In the regular Iyengar classes, teachers generally use their voices to bring more consciousness to the body. In other words they speak loudly. In my emotionally fragile state, I felt like I was being criticized and yelled at. I frequently left the regular classes in tears! I was just too emotionally fragile to handle the teaching methods at that time. So despite the fact that I knew Iyengar Yoga offered the best bodywork in terms of precision and alignment that I would ever find, I left in search of quieter, gentler forms of bodywork.


The Spirit of Yoga
The Power of Yoga!

Interesting that, although I kept leaving Yoga, the true spirit of Yoga never left me!

Healing and Getting Stronger

So my Yoga journey has resumed. From all that I have learned and experienced through the gifts of many different Yoga Teachers and many different methods, and, most importantly, through learning to listen and communicate very deeply with my own body, I now create my own Yoga practice.  My own body has become my very best teacher and Yoga guide.


So my Yoga Journey has had some bumpy moments, but I am happy and grateful to be re-developing my relationship with this remarkable practice. For me, as I do my Yoga Practice, there is a real sense of coming home to myself. I am tuning in more often to the true spirit of yoga, and we are becoming friends again!!!

That little girl that I was already knew that Yoga was a very important part of my life's journey. It just took me, as the adult, a while to find my way.

Wow -- what a journey it has been!    

Namaste.        

Barbara                    

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mariposa -- My Childhood Fairy Friend Returns!


*Written on April 3, 2013. Updated on May 15, 2016

I seem to have a lot of friends from the "Unseen" (by the physical eyes) World". As a young child, I spent many happy hours with "Jeffrey" my imaginary friend. However, I don't, for one minute, believe that Jeffrey was only a figment of my childhood imagination. In my young days, he appeared to me as a warm, loving, brotherly type of energy. He was my playmate during my many solitary hours alone in my bedroom and he was my greatest support and protector. As I became a teenager and began to "put away the toys of childhood" it seems as though I forgot about Jeffery. Until...in my adult life, at close to 40 years old -- I was experiencing a pretty heavy duty health crisis and in my time of greatest need, Jeffrey re-appeared! When I asked him where he had been all these years, he informed me that he hadn't gone anywhere. He had always been right there beside me. It was me who had turned a blind eye (literally) to his existence and presence in my life. Now, when Jeffrey appears to me, I see him, not as a big brother and companion any more. I experience his true nature which is Divine Light. It is such an amazing light -- beautifully white, just tinged with a hint of blue. Healing and protective. And always there whenever I remember to tune in to it.


Adventures in Mexico

Mariposa -- my fairy friend
In 1994, when I was just beginning my 5 year adventure of living in Mexico, another childhood friend returned to me in a most unexpected way. That was Mariposa, my childhood fairy friend. I was doing a lot of writing while I was in Mexico -- especially in those tropical summers that were unlike any kind of heat and humidity that I've ever experienced before. Even sitting perfectly still, one would be dripping with sweat. (My skin sure was clean and glowing in those days!) I spent many of my "summer in Mexico"  days alternating between sitting writing and jumping into the Ocean. Even the Ocean felt like a warm bathtub. There was no relief from that tropical heat and humidity, except to stand in front of my open refrigerator, which I sometimes resorted to!

The Miracle of How Mariposa Came to Me

Mariposa is the Spanish word for Butterfly. My fairy friend, Mariposa, is sweet and delicate and tiny like a butterfly. And she is as powerful as those Mighty Monarchs that fly from Canada to Mexico and back again every year.

 In 1994, when I arrived in Mexico, I began learning Spanish from a private tutor. I was studying very hard to learn this beautiful language and I used to practise writing simple little stories in Spanish for my teacher to correct. One day, probably about three or four months into my studies, when I still wasn't very advanced in my Spanish, I started writing a little story in Spanish. However that story which I called Un Secreto Cosmico was neither simple nor little!! It was quite a complex story and quite long. It started just pouring out of me, in Spanish. Well maybe not quite pouring. I had to frequently pause and refer to my Spanish/English Dictionary and Verb conjugation book. For many days, I sat and wrote and wrote, struggling through this story with my pretty basic knowledge of Spanish. I was so excited by this story and so mesmerized by the appearance of this beautiful fairy friend, Mariposa, that I barely noticed the rivers of sweat pouring down my face and body! When the story was finished, I took it to my tutor and he, obviously, had to make some corrections in my grammar and verb conjugations, but he totally understood the story. It was all there, readable and understandable.  When I think back, I'm sure Mariposa was actually there spurring me on to write the story in my "unrefined" Spanish and to remember my beautiful and magical connection with her.

The drawing up above and to the right, of Mariposa, didn't actually come about until around late 2007 while I was recovering from eye surgery (see my previous post "With a Little Help From My Alien Friends" about the amazing drawings and Beings that came through when I literally could not see on a physical level).

Travels with Mariposa

Life with Mariposa is quite an adventure. As a child I used to dream of visiting far off planets and
galaxies with Mariposa. She took me to all kinds of planets and introduced me to all kinds of other beings -- most of which have never been seen by the human eye. She took me once to the planet where she came from -- a planet where fairies live. They were all dancing and they invited me in to dance with them. It was exquisite -- so light, so ethereal, so free. I felt, even in my human awkwardness, totally drawn into this lightness and the beauty of this energy.


 I am very grateful that circumstances of this physical life have drawn me into this re-connection with these very special Spirit Friends. Even now, if I just close my eyes and think about Mariposa, I feel drawn right back into Un Secreto Cosmico. Mariposa is there waiting to take me on another adventure right into the Secrets of the Cosmos.

I would love to hear any stories anyone might want to share about their "Imaginary Childhood Friends".

As children, we could see and experience so much -- it is beautiful to go back and validate those childhood experiences. Who knows what treasures and "old friends" may be waiting for us to remember them.

Wishing you all wonderful journeys and adventures!

Barbara


A Letter of Love to My Twelve Year Old Self

*Written on Oct. 3, 2014. Updated May 15, 2016

Introduction:

 It is a sad, but true fact that many of us transitioned from childhood to puberty with a cloud of shame, confusion, disgust, even abuse, hanging over us. Too often, we were given the message that our feelings and desires (many of which were triggered by very normal physiological changes in the maturing female body) were somehow wrong and immoral. Our parents, our teachers, our religious leaders and other significant people who were around us during our tumultuous teenage years were simply passing on what they believed to be true.

Here is what I wish my Mother could have said to me when I was blossoming into my Sexuality, and here is what I, as a CRONE, now say to my twelve year old Self who still lives inside me. 

                                       ***********************************

Hello (12 year old)  Barbara,

   This is your Adult (well, CRONE actually) Self speaking to you.

Your Blossoming Sexuality

   At 12 years old, you are beginning to move into a very beautiful and remarkable Awakening of your Sexuality. Your breasts are beginning to develop and take form. The flow of estrogen in your body is increasing. You are likely becoming aware of unfamiliar feelings of sexual desire. You may start feeling some unexpected and thrilling sensations in your genitals, accidentally discovered as you are doing some Yoga Poses or some other exercise, or perhaps they will show up when somebody you like looks at you in a certain way. You may start to feel a growing, unexplainable attraction to other people (maybe boys, maybe girls, maybe both, maybe classmates, maybe older people like teachers). Any and all feelings of attraction are totally normal at this stage in your life. You may, at times, feel confused or uncertain about how to react to these attractions. I'm here, always available to listen to you and to help you sort through your confusion. Just know that these feelings of desire and attraction are a really healthy sign that you are awakening sexually, that you are moving more fully into your Goddess Self.


   This is a hugely transformative awakening that is happening to you. You are in that beautiful transition from childhood to womanhood. Even though you are still a very young teenager, your sexual urges and desires and potential are quickly morphing into that of a mature, fertile woman.

   This can be a tough, confusing, thrilling, exciting time as your body undergoes rapid changes, your hormones flow with an intensity that you have not known before, and powerful and chaotic emotions that you are probably feeling for the first time, begin to swirl around in you.

Welcome to Your Blossoming Sexuality

   I, as the adult and as a woman who loves and cares deeply for you, want to welcome you into your blossoming Sexuality. I love, honor and respect the woman that you are becoming.

   Everything that you do feel and will feel, in all its intensity and overwhelming newness, is completely normal. These are normal physiological changes that happen in every young, healthy body around this time. It is a time to rejoice, a time to celebrate, a time to explore and a time to welcome your rapidly changing inner landscape and rapidly changing physical body. You are in a beautiful and dynamite transition time.

Emotional Highs and Lows

   You may feel many emotions during this time -- maybe anger and rebelliousness, Maybe joy and warmth. There may be times of utter confusion, maybe even despair, possibly inter-woven with extreme excitement and intense desire. For sure, the teen-age years can be a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows.

   Your first period, your first bleeding, is a signal of your arrival into womanhood. All the women around you will celebrate and honor and pamper you as you transition into this beautiful and fertile time of your life. The women -- your mother, your aunts, your older cousins -- will all dance for you and sing for you. You will be honored and respected and protected and cared for as you move into your Sacred Bleeding Time.

   Barbara, you are totally and completely honored and loved and respected. ALL that you are feeling, ALL that you are experiencing, are welcome and accepted.

   Teenage Barbara, you are in a safe circle of women now. We hold you in deep love and respect. We are here for you. Always.


May the teenager within each of us be healed and loved.

May all teenage girls be held in love and respect. May all teenage girls be safe and protected. 

May the Blossoming Sexuality of ALL be always treated as Sacred and Beautiful.







 

Healing for the Eyes

**Originally written on Feb. 26, 2014. Updated on May 14, 2016

Eyesight is a beautiful and remarkable gift.


Many Ways to "See" the World

Eyesight is one of those miraculous gifts that we can sometimes take for granted unless our own sight is somehow threatened or compromised, or we connect with someone who is blind or visually impaired. Hopefully, one of the things we can come to understand, either through our own visual challenges or through the challenges of someone we know or hear about, is that there are many ways to "see" or experience the world. 

I'm sure we all know the story of Helen Keller, born in 1880. Left blind and deaf before she was 2 years old by an undefined illness, Helen went on to live a full and remarkable life. She graduated with a BA from Radcliffe and went on to become politically active, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities and for the rights of workers.  Check out this video of Helen experiencing singers and dancers, and following the beat of music that she can't hear. This video reduces me to tears every time I watch it!
                                                     Helen Keller "Watches" Dancers

And There Was Light
This is the autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Resistance. Completely blinded at the age of 8 years old, this man learned to "see" in ways that we sighted folks couldn't even imagine.


Overworked Eyes and Contracted Eye Muscles

I think we, sighted folks, have come to rely so much on our eyes that we may be overworking them -- especially in this era of "screens".  Just a short trip on the subway, or a walk down a busy city street reveals that many people are totally pre-occupied with staring intently at tiny hand held screens. Not only can this be a dangerous distraction and disconnection from the world around us, but imagine what it is doing to the eyes. Think for a minute about those poor eyes that are constantly straining to see tiny images or print. Think about the muscles of the eyes that are constantly contracted to see up very close when we stare at screens. We know what happens if we hold a muscle in a constantly tight contracted position -- in time it shortens and seizes up. We know, when our other muscles tighten up, we have to stretch. Our eye muscles need "stretching" too. They need to see distance. They need to see the "real" three dimensional world. They need to relax and be supported while we also use our ability to feel the ground under our feet, to sense and hear what is going on around us as we move through the world. It is vitally important to include all of our senses, both physical and our emotional "felt sense", in experiencing and processing  the world around us. People who are blind often become very perceptive in ways that we sighted people, in our dependence on eyesight, can't even imagine. It is disturbing to see how really busy eye doctors are these days, and how many people are showing up with serious eye issues. The majority of eye doctors will only offer symptomatic help -- stronger glasses, surgeries, etc. There is seldom, if ever, any suggestion of getting to the root of the problem.

Yoga for the Eyes
Here is a wonderful video showing the work of Meir Schneider, a man who was born with cataracts, went through many surgeries as a child and was left legally blind. As a young man, he began to develop his own program of eye exercises, based on the Bates Method of eye exercises. Through the exercises, Meir Schneider regained his sight to the extent of being able to pass the vision exam for his drivers license. A remarkable story and wonderful body of work for helping to heal the eyes.
                                       Yoga for the Eyes


Getting to the Root of My Own Eye Issues

Sometimes, or maybe most times, the actual root of eye issues goes even deeper than too many hours on a little screen (although that does not help!). But, since I am one of the few who has never owned any hand held screens or iphones, and in fact didn't even have a computer until 2008, and there is no known history of eye problems in my family, I had to look deeper into the root causes of my own very serious eye issues. By 2007, I had developed retinal detachments in both eyes, and cataracts in both eyes. I lost the sight of my right eye, but fortunately, after a number of surgeries, I did regain some sight in my left eye. So believe me, I am very conscious of limiting my "screen time" and alternating it with lots of looking at nature and trees and sky and following the birds with my eyes. I also do plenty of palming, which is described in Meir Schneider's video above.

I Lost My Sight and Discovered a Whole New World
 For more details on the remarkable story of that time when I suffered through some very invasive eye surgeries and spent a number of months as a legally blind person, scroll down to my previous (first on this blog) post  "With a Little Help From my Alien Friends".  I lost my sight and connected with a whole other world and dimension! Incredible Spirit Helpers and other non-human beings came in to help and guide me. They are still my main helpers and supporters today. But I need to add that, after losing my sight, I learned, for the first time in my life, how to reach out to other people for support and help. I found some wonderful therapists and healers who have been really crucial to my healing process. The work I have done, and am still doing, with my "human" healers has helped me to begin developing some warm, deep, supportive friendships.
Dolores
Hank
Sweet Wisdom

These are some of my Alien Friends. These are images which I drew (or maybe I should say they came through me) during the time that I had very little sight. My heart and soul were definitely guiding my hands in this process because I could barely see what I was doing at that time. Anyway, more of that story in "With a Little Help from My Alien Friends".



Sometimes the World is Just Too Scary to See! 

               The Story of a Very Beautiful and Shy Little Girl


A while back, in a therapy session, my therapist helped me scan my body and tune into those places that were calling for my attention. That particular day my eyes were calling to me. I tuned in and focused my attention on my eyes to see what messages or memories might be wanting to come through. Before long, a very vivid memory of me as a young girl in grade 5 popped into my consciousness. Being painfully shy in those days, I was terrified to open my mouth in class (or anywhere else!) to answer questions or to say anything. The teacher that I had in grade 5 was not a particularly sensitive or kind man. He would stand over my desk and shout at me for not putting up my hand to answer questions. Of course I withdrew even more. In this recent therapy session, I re-experienced the exact moment when, with this teacher shouting at me as he did, I pulled back into myself and I felt myself literally pull the energy of my eyes back from this glaring man. Soon after that, I could no longer see the blackboard and was sent to the eye doctor to get glasses. Maybe I didn't even need glasses. Maybe I just needed a kind and patient teacher! Of course nobody would think of that in those days.

The Beauty and Power of Recovering Memories

For me, the beauty and gift of recovering memories like this is that it gives me the opportunity to be in close contact with that frightened little girl part of myself. It gives me the opportunity to love and hold and nurture that part of myself. It gives me the opportunity to consciously integrate that frightened girl into my adult self. It gives me the opportunity and the right to feel my anger at that very insensitive teacher and to reassure the little girl part of me that the teacher was completely wrong in the way he treated me. That kind of treatment was very damaging to that precious shy little girl who needed love and care and kindness. And now I can help that young part of me find her voice and recover her sight. By holding her in my heart I can keep her safe and she can tell that teacher exactly what she thinks of him. And maybe I can help that part of myself free the energy that got trapped in my eyes all those years ago.  Every time I recover memories like this one, I develop a deeper understanding of what other children and other people may be experiencing and feeling and that is an incredible gift.

 So that was the beginning of my visual challenges. Or was it??

Looking Deeper

Maybe some karmic or past life issues?

There is another part to this story that goes even deeper than my grade 5 experience. As a very young girl I was totally entrance by the Story of Helen Keller. After reading Helen's story, I was fascinated, particularly by people who were blind. I read every book I could find about blind people. I wanted to know everything about how they coped in the world, how they experienced and understood the world, what they felt. Somehow, and I have no recollection how, I managed to get hold of a book in braille and I struggled to learn to read braille. At that point, I had no problems with my eyes and no one in my immediate family had any eye issues that I was aware of.  The other curious thing I used to do as a young girl, when no one was home, I would put on a blindfold and explore my way through the entire house. Our house was quite large -- two floors plus a finished basement. Blindfolded, I would feel my way from my upstairs bedroom all the way down to the basement. It was fascinating and intriguing to feel the textures of the walls and railings. I was curious to try and figure out, without seeing, the various twists and turns I had to take as I made my way through the various hallways and up and down stairs. This was my secret adventure. As I look back on this time, it seems to me that I was actually preparing myself for what was to come, although I had no way of consciously knowing that at the time.

My Theory is that from a karmic perspective, I likely was heading towards blindness. I have not deeply explored the karmic connection at this point but I somehow think that if I had just continued following the path of karma, without any awareness or intervention, I likely would be blind now. I still sometimes feel like I am walking a fine line between being sighted and being blind. On the other hand, my eye doctor always seems surprised when he sees me for my now yearly check up and my sight is either stable, or sometimes even slightly improved. I certainly had a real taste of being blind in 2007 and though it was pretty scary, it also felt oddly familiar. Past life experience? Maybe. Seems likely to me.

Fortunately, that time of losing my sight in 2007 signalled the beginning of diving deeply into my inner world, finally finding, and being open to, the help I needed to begin to explore and heal deep old traumas and wounds. Since that time, I have been healing on many levels. Old, self destructive patterns are shifting and/or falling away altogether. And probably most important of all, I frequently tune in now and "listen" to my eyes. I dialogue with them. I pay attention to the messages they are sending me. I hold them in my awareness, as one might hold and comfort a child. My eyes have been through so much, and they have  much to teach me -- now that I am learning how to listen. Recovery is a journey.

Goats Eyes are Fascinating

Love your eyes. Take care of your eyes. Give them lots of rest and relaxation. Appeciate and cherish this remarkable gift of eyesight.

Till next time, 

Barbara



With a Little Help From My Alien Friends

**Originally Written Oct, 11, 2012. Updated May 14, 2016 

Sweet Wisdom 

Are there Aliens or Beings from other planets and dimensions here on Earth with us? I believe that there are Aliens here on Earth and I also believe that they are here to help us and support us as we transition through these challenging times on this planet we currently call "home".

    In my experience of Aliens, they are highly intelligent, evolved, supportive and they are here to help us (if we are willing and able to accept their help). My Alien Friends have been instrumental in my own healing process. In fact, I am not sure I could have done it without them.   

According to Ruth Montgomery, a  well known psychic and medium who wrote many books, including "Aliens Among Us" (1985), these Beings are no longer coming to Earth in spaceships or UFO's as they tried to in the past. Human Beings, in general, have not been very welcoming or even open to the possibility of the existence of Beings from other planets. We humans do have a tendency to fear, deny, reject or even try to destroy that which we do not understand.  So -- according to Ruth Montgomery -- these Alien friends of ours are having to find alternative and safer ways to come to our planet and to reveal themselves to us so that they can help us. Apparently, one way that they are revealing themselves to us is through individual humans who are open and sensitive to their existence and welcoming to them.


The following is my story of how I met my Alien Friends

I have no scientific evidence or proof that this is true. I have only my experience and my story. I feel compelled to share this story and I appreciate your willingness to read it and consider the possibility.
Dolores

Hank
This story begins with what might seem like a pretty bleak and (literally) dark time in my life.

     Losing My Sight

In 2007, I was undergoing many challenges and problems with my eyesight. For a period of about 6 months, I was legally blind. I had only very limited and shadowy sight in my right eye and I had lost the sight in my left eye.  I underwent several surgeries during that time. So, since I was either recovering from yet another surgery or just couldn't see well enough to get out and around, I was pretty housebound for a while. Although I could barely distinguish colours, something in me began to crave colour. In my mind I saw bright vivid colours. I surrounded myself with brightly coloured scarves, carpets and cushions (I like to sit on the floor a lot!).

               Playing with Colour

A really wonderful friend (an Art Teacher) had the amazing insight to bring me a whole lot of Art supplies. She brought me oil pastels, watercolours. tons of sketching paper and collage materials. It seems like an unusual gift for someone who can hardly see! But, as it turns out, it was probably the best gift I could have received. I started playing with colours and shapes and just drew picture after picture, seeing what I could and imagining the rest. Out of all these pictures that I kept drawing, faces began to emerge. I never sat down to intentionally draw a face, but all kinds of faces began to show up on my art paper. In the beginning, the faces looked like the drawings of a child -- after all, I could barely see and I had never done any kind of Artwork before. Initially the lines and shapes were very  flowing and sweeping and free. And then I had another strange craving -- I started to crave lines and angles and symmetry.

This is YACONI. He is a Spirit Guide who has been with me since 1999. 

Although YACONI is a Spirit Guide (as opposed to an Alien Friend) I include him here because this was the first angular and symmetrical drawing that I did. Keep in mind here that I was, at this point, legally blind and did not even own a geometry set to make the angles. So -- how did I do this drawing when I couldn't even see what I was doing? The simple answer to that question is -- I don't know!! But, as soon as I finished this drawing, I knew it was my Spirit Guide who had come through onto the paper.

After this drawing,  I actually developed an irresistible craving for a geometry set! So my niece went to the store and bought me a geometry set! The drawings you see at the top of this blog post of Sweet Wisdom, Hank and Dolores (three of my Alien Friends) were done with the help of my new geometry set! Hank and Dolores also came through during my "blind" days. Sweet Wisdom was drawn a little later once I had regained some sight. But always, I would just begin by drawing lines and angles or circles with no thought of what I was actually going to draw. I just kept checking inside, asking my Soul what kind of line or angle or circle should I draw next. I could really feel that I was being guided. There was no preplanning of what I was going to draw.

Soon, my walls were covered with drawings of these faces. At this point I didn't know who they were but their presence on my walls felt good -- supportive and healing. (Pictured on this blog post are just a few of the Aliens who have been most prominent in my life, but there were many many more!)

Joseph  Celestial Musician

Kevin   Space Station Doctor











My First Visit to the Space Station (not the ISS!!)

In Sept. 2007, when I was in the process of regaining some sight, I had a most remarkable dream. In the dream, I woke up in the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. Initially I had no idea where I was but, gradually, in the dream, I got up and began to explore. I came into contact with some intriguing beings -- one was a Doctor who did some healing work on my eyes. Some other beautiful beings came and danced around me. At some point, I realized that these beings were quite different from me (from humans)-- more ethereal and light -- and I could feel their beautiful light coming into me as they danced. I realized that I was in a Space Station with Aliens. 

Once I woke up from that dream, I went out into my living room and looked at all those faces I had drawn that were now proudly displayed on my living room walls and I had a jolt of recognition! I knew them as the Beings that had been in my dream. Now I use the word "dream" loosely here. It felt more like I had actually been somewhere and when I woke, it felt like I was being jolted back into my physical body. I recognized Sweet Wisdom as the Guiding Force and Wise Woman of the Space Station. I recognized Hank and Dolores as the Keepers of that Sacred Space. I recognized Kevin as the Doctor who helped to heal my eyes. And Joseph played beautiful music for us as the other Beings danced around me. 

Discovering "Aliens Among Us"

Shortly after that, I told my hairdresser  a little bit about my Alien Friends and, would you believe it, she just happened to be reading a book called Aliens Among Us. I had never heard of that book, but I ordered it immediately. According to the author, Ruth Montgomery, the Aliens are actually preparing Space Stations where humans can reside if Earth becomes uninhabitable and needs a time to regenerate. Those humans will then be able to come back to Earth to create a sustainable way of life. Much of what was in that book (from 1985) was very similar to my current experience of My Alien Friends.

Possibilities

One other really interesting tidbit of possible proof of the existence of my Alien Friends came probably a few months after reading Ruth Montgomery's book, I went for a Cranial Sacral Session. The therapist, whom I knew quite well by then, had me lie on the massage table as usual. At that point, I felt the presence of four of My Alien Friends. I sensed Sweet Wisdom at my feet. Hank and Dolores and Joseph were around my head and shoulders. I said nothing about this to the therapist. But then he said, "Some friends of yours are here. Is it OK if they join us?"  I was pretty astonished that he would perceive that, so I asked him what he saw. He said that he felt a strong  dominant feminine presence at my feet and he sensed three other beings around my head and shoulders! So My Alien Friends joined in my Cranial Sacral Session! At the end of the session, my Cranial Sacral Therapist  told me about the planet Arcturus and the Arcturians. So I went home and immediately googled Arcturus. Actually Ruth Montgomery also talks about meeting some Arcturians and, from what I have learned about them, they are remarkably similar in qualities and personalities to My Alien Friends. I don't know where my friends are from, but Arcturus seems like a possibility. Who knows? There is so much mystery and so much that is unknown to us in our limited way of seeing the World and the Universe.

On that note of mystery, I will end this story for now. More stories to come!

Sweet Dreams to All,

Barbara

Saturday, May 14, 2016

WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG!



My purpose for this blog, as the title suggests, is to share my stories, dreams and hopes of healing.
As I look back on my many years of being on this journey of healing and awakening, I realize that I have written quite extensively about my journey, and the healing journey in general, in many different ways. I've posted my stories on various blog sites, on facebook, in e-mails to friends, in (handwritten) journals etc. In this blog I plan to bring the best (in my humble opinion!!) and most powerful stories together and then carry on from here with new stories that are also bursting to be told.

I look forward to sharing with those of you who may be drawn to explore and read some of my adventures AND I look forward to hearing/reading any of your stories that may get stirred up as you read mine. I find it pretty remarkable how many of us are going through similar things (with slightly different details or ways of approaching or experiencing) at similar times.

Sharing stories is a beautiful and powerful healing tool.  






Thank you for allowing me to share some stories and dreams with you.

Barbara