Toni Gilbert, RN (ret), MA
This has been an intense year, to say the least. It was also a Jupiter return year for me. I wonder if the intensity has anything to do with my natal Jupiter in Scorpio in the 8th house. First, I had a couple of articles published (Jupiter and 8th house). Becky Lara, editor of “Beginnings,” magazine of the American Holistic Organization requested that I write an article about indigenous healing and something along the lines of Angeles Arrian. I created an article entitled “The Everlasting Archetypes”, now posted to my web site. The other article “Wellness Counseling with Tarot” was published in “Cartomancer” and you can read the published articles by clicking on the links. I was also honored to be a speaker at this year’s Northwest Tarot Symposium held every year in Portland, Oregon. Of course my presentation was all about using Tarot in Wellness Counseling.
A year ago, I wrote about my experiences at the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association, held every year at Breitenbush Hot Springs (see blog post “The New Bohemians”). This year, I was intrigued with the conference offerings and so off I went in search of news and adventure once more.
Lynn Keegan couldn’t be with us due to serious health issues and we all missed her gentle presence. Every year, Deonne Bone Wright sets up an alter with positive, holistic intentions. My take on this ritual is that the participants place something, on the alter, to receive the healing alter-vibes. After the conference, they retrieve the infused item and take the healing energy home. Insuring that something of Lynn could be there too, I took a pair of pearl earrings that had belonged to Lynn. Placing the earrings on the alter I noticed, for the first time, tiny diamonds at the top of each pearl. As the tiny diamonds sparkled in the soft light of the lodge, the preciousness of life and the fleeting of time was a reminder to hold our existence in an attitude of gratitude.
On a personal note, this new year also brought me a serious health condition and with it came a lesson in inflammation. At first, I thought older age had hit me like a freight train. I was stiff and sore from my neck to my knees and could only bend enough to barely touch my knees. To top things off, I had limited range of motion in my arms due to acute bursitis and injured muscles in my arms due to muscle weakness. On my back was the only position I could lay where the pain was kept to a minimum. Ms. Independence, needed help getting out of bed! For two months, I was totally dependent on others. Surprised by this incapacitation, I communed with my higher self to ask, “What is this sudden illness about?” It communed back, “Pay attention because you will learn a lot.” Indeed I have.
Synchronistically, a book came my way via an e-mail journal, I forget which one. It was entitled “Healing Arthritis” by Susan Blum, MD. After reading her thoughts on gut health, I began to perceive that my “arthritis” was brought on by a 30 day regimen of penicillin given to me for an abscessed tooth, that caused “leaky gut syndrome”. At the same time, I was taking medication for a benign heart condition and, because of my decimated gut flora, I began getting some of its side effects particularly, muscle weakness. Following Dr. Blum’s dietary advice, and stopping the heart medication, I did a 10 day cleanse and purchased her products to cleanse the gut and replace the flora devastated by the antibiotic. In the meantime, I began to see my body and my diet in a different light. Tests confirmed the inflammation as arthritis and reported all else was within normal limits; meaning no other diseases in progress. The rheumatologist gave me prednisone which helped get me back on my feet but, like so often with pharmaceuticals, I experienced side effects.
So, here I was, doing the dietary thing and going off the prednisone and totally unsure where I would go from there….whatever it turned out to be. To my surprise and delight, once off the medications I only had slight symptoms as opposed to the incapacitation that I experienced before. But, I will remind you that I was taking good care of myself day by day, I continued to improve and, as I write this, am almost back to normal.
My regimen is this: most evenings I take a dose of marijuana with THC and CBD, do yoga with imagery and body work. Ice packs and essential oils are added when necessary. The body work is most interesting because I enter a meditative state and commune with my symptoms/body parts. For instance, one particularly painful muscle was sore from my left shoulder for about 12 inches onto my chest and was slightly tilted toward my heart. I hadn’t worked with it yet because I was busy with other parts. So, closing my eyes and upon reaching the trance state, I asked the muscle in pain how I could help. In my imagination I heard a baby crying so I instinctively began patting the muscle like you would a baby. And more consciously, the patting turned into tapping in an energetic technique….which aren’t that different from each other. Three days after babying and communing with my muscle every so often, the muscle stopped hurting (not surprisingly). I did some sound work with my voice and dialogued when needed. I journaled my insights and searching my senses, I had a dream. The dream was particularly telling: I was placing some logs on the fire in the fireplace when one fell into my lap; I lay down on the floor and called for my husband to help me. This dream expressed the inflammation (fire) and how helpless I was.
In meditation and as I listened to my higher self, I was “told” that painful muscle had to do with feelings that I absorbed, as an infant, from my very immature mother because of my immature father’s antics (They were 19 years old when I was born). Apparently, the reason for the pain was a preverbal memory.
One bonus of the bodywork has been that my benign heart palpitations have become infrequent, which is a lot different than all the time. Since my heart needed healing too, I had included the heart in some of the body work on the other parts. I had worked with my heart many times before because it seems to be the seat of much of my goings on. Another bonus: no further need for the heart medication.
And so my magical life continues to unfold. Some life changing or life enhancing events are difficult but they are obstacles and gateways that teach us many things. Our problems are central to our personal growth. As individuals, we overcome our developmental challenges; we grow and become who we were born to be. If we complete our lessons well, and even if we don’t, the planet benefits by our participation in life.
It’s all good, folks. Let life teach you.