Healing Sunshine

A simple blog post tonight, very much in alignment with the simplified lifestyle I’m living right now, especially in my diet. Today is day 4 on my 28 day healing journey. I’m eating healthily and well on fresh raw fruits and vegetables and assorted greens. I’ve enjoyed trying out new fruit combinations for the breakfast smoothies. This morning I sipped on banana/pineapple/blueberry. And experimenting with a variety of fruits and vegetables in salads. 

Part of my daily health regiment is 15 minutes of sun bathing. Yes, it’s hot and humid outside this week. And as a gardener I spend a fair amount of time outside puttering among my plants. However, I’m enjoying and benefitting from these intentional moments in the sun, soaking up the golden rays and absorbing healing energy. 

I sat on the back steps late this afternoon, a bowl containing cut up apple slices and a couple of dates perched on my knee. The view of my garden was spectacular, peaceful and restorative. I tipped my head back and closed my eyes, expressing gratitude for the day, for the sun, for this journey. 

I’m grateful also to have been guided to this book, Medical Medium, and to Anthony William, and for the chance to heal from years of pain. I’m learning about myself as I journey, and how I’ve actually hindered my recovery by eating foods that quite literally feed inflammation producing viruses. By eating nutrient rich foods, snd taking key supplements, I’m now aiding the healing process. 

I can feel my body recovering. In only four days, my pain has decreased greatly. I can move easier, and have more flexibilty and range of motion. I’m excited to see how I feel after 28 days. How I think and feel about this healing journey is as crucial as the food I’m eating. My cells are eavesdropping on my thoughts. I learned that in a Keller Williams BOLD class. 

As I awake in the mornings, sit in the sun and go to sleep at night, I think or whisper “I am healing.” And I am. 

Happy Birthday Walter

Today is the birthday of my stepdad, Walter. My sisters and nieces and I will take him to lunch this weekend, however I wanted to celebrate him on his actual birthday. 

This quiet man with a sparkle in his eyes and a keen sense of humor married my mom ten years ago, joining a family that is anything but quiet! That can be intimidating, I’m sure, and yet Walter doesn’t fuss about the laughter and chatting and small children underfoot when we gather together. He joins in for a time, and then slips away to watch a movie in the other room. Or he ushers the youngest members of the family into the big backyard where they can play under his supervision. 

He joins us for celebrations and birthday dinners at restaurants and the annual Halloween party that my sister, niece and nephew create. He’s a good sport, and always shows up in costume. We would excuse him and just enjoy Walter being there, having fun, but if he’s going to participate in something, he does so, fully. That’s how he is.

I looked up Walter’s name:

Walter, when you express yourself, you most wish to follow the divine law of love. You have great persistence and hate to give up. You are charming, magnetic and intuitive. Your spirituality has been important to you throughout your life. You are bold, independent, inquisitive and interested in many subjects. You know what you want and why you want it.

You are intuitive, with a deep reservoir of wisdom and knowledge. You have strong leadership abilities and tend to lead by example. You look for ways to help others, provide service to others, and you seek to find purpose and meaning for your life. You give to others and then sometimes seek solitude to replenish your energy. You look for opportunities to continue learning. 

I see my stepdad in those words. I know his story. His life hasn’t been an easy one. And yet he perseveres, guided by his spirituality and innate wisdom. He’s always curious, interested in many topics, and he is a giving man, especially of his time. He selflessly helps others, volunteering at the hospital, and serving on the military honor guard at the funerals of veterans. 

He inspires me, more than he knows. Today, Walter is 88 years old, and he is the most fit and active octogenarian I know. He and my mother have traveled the world in the last ten years, because he loves her, and she loves to visit new places. He gives me hope that I too still have plenty of time to explore the globe. And he encourages me, by his example, to live a healthy, full on life. 

Happy birthday, Walter! May you have many more blessed years. I love you! 

Butterhead Lettuce from the Farmer’s Market

I love going to the Webb City Farmer’s Market.  The sight, and tantalizing aromas, of herbs, vegetables and fruits inspire creativity in the kitchen and strenthen my resolve to eat healthily. 

This time of year the market is open three days a week, for three hours each of those days. This afternoon the market bell rang at 4:00, announcing the start of business. I was already in line for Braker Berry Farm when the bell rang, eyeing ripe tomatoes and containers full of luscious blackberries. 

As I waited my turn to make selections at this booth, I realized the farmer’s market has the same effect on me that my garden does. It brings me joy to be among colorful fruits and vegetables, freshly cut herbs and flowers, and the chatter of people as they engage the vendors in friendly banter.  

With fresh fruits, berries and leafy green vegetables being the mainstay of my diet right now, the market is the place for me to find locally grown, nutrient dense produce. I look forward to many trips to the market in the upcoming months, trying a variety of foods as the growing season changes the harvest. 

As I waited in one line and Greg waited in another for peaches, our daughter-in-law Megan surprised us. She too was seeking fresh ingredients for her homemade bakery goodies. That’s another thing I love about the market, it’s a gathering place for people who appreciate wholesome foods. I typically run into at least one friend and find new people to chat with. 

Leaf lettuce was on my list of items to buy as well. When I made my selections, I asked for two bunches of lettuce. “Butterhead?” the vendor asked. Butterhead! Reading through the Medical Medium book, Anthony recommended this type of lettuce as being very rich in essential nutrients. I had never heard of butterhead before and now, here it was. 

My dinner tonight was made up entirely of the fresh and delicious finds from the Webb City Farmer’s Market. It was the perfect summer meal. And I feel good about supporting local farmers and growers and supporting my body as it heals. It’s a definite win/win. 

A Healthy Start

Today was a great day to begin a healing cleanse. While I will not be sharing daily about this journey over the next four weeks, I will be giving occasional updates. Here is a peek into what Day 1 of the 28 Day Healing Cleanse looked like, and what I learned. 

Starting the day with celery juice, and also with something familiar, since I began drinking this green elixir a couple of months ago. I’m radically changing my eating habits, so celery juice is as close as it gets to comfort food! Meditation and free writing followed the juice. 

Breakfast was a banana/blueberry/date smoothie. Fruit is key to this cleanse, and because of their anti-oxidant qualities, important for healing the body. Fruit has gotten a bad reputation, says Anthony. I’m willing to embrace it. 

Lunch consisted of a spinach and baby kale salad with chopped celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries and raw asparagus. I made my own salad dressing by blending together half an avocado, a handful of cilantro, and the juice of two oranges. 

Dinner was a bed of spinach and kale topped with fruit salad. I mixed together raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, chopped apple, sliced banana and a diced mango. 

After each meal, I took the supplements. I enrolled in The Healing Path program that Anthony provides for free, to offer encouragement  and support during this journey. I listened to the first audio on fruits. In the garden I paused to sun bathe for 15 minutes. It was a beautiful day that flowed smoothly. 

Ahas for the day included:

Preparing food and eating mindfully slows me down, which is great for savoring flavors and textures and for excellent digestion. 

It’s okay to mix veggies and fruit in a salad. 

Three bananas is too many for one smoothie. 

I did not know how to cut up a mango. I mangled the mango. Fortunately, there are videos and instructions online. 

I like raw asparagus! 

I don’t have to eat popcorn at the movie theater. When my mom, sister and I caught a late afternoon showing of Tarzan, I took along sliced apples. 

My biggest take away today was that this was not a difficult day. It wasn’t because I prepped for it. I prepared physically by taking notes yesterday and writing out what the day would look like. I also shopped for the fruits and vegetables yesterday. 

I prepared mentally by accepting, before today, that this is what I’m doing for the next 28 days. There’s no pep talk needed with myself. I can do this. I didn’t balk at the additional minutes spent juicing, blending and chopping because I built the extra time needed into my day. My health and healing from chronic pain are important to me, therefore this cleanse is important. 

I feel good tonight, about the day I had. I’m finishing up with a cup of hot lemon balm tea. I picked the herb fresh from my garden. This level of self care feels meditative in itself, and restorative. Anthony shares that a healthy outside starts on the inside. I’m healing from the inside, confident that health will manifest outwardly as I continue this journey.  

The 28 Day Healing Cleanse Begins

On this beautiful and peaceful Sunday, I spent time this afternoon preparing for another month of adventures. Rather than focusing on a daily creative action, during the next 28 days I’ll be focusing every day on health and healing.   

I love how life flows and the Divine guides me to the right actions to take. I came across Anthony William on Facebook a couple of years ago. I’ve benefitted from his posts concerning health, taking note especially of his insights on healing from what he calls mysterious illnesses, including chronic pain and inflammation. 

It was no coincidence that I was aware of Anthony at a time in which physical issues that I have from a long ago car accident worsened. After the accident in 1995, doctors said that in 20 years, my condition would rapidly deteriorate. I chose not to believe that. And yet last fall, right on cue it seemed, I had to begin using a cane to walk. After six months of increased pain, physical therapy, massage and energy work from my friend Margit helped me to walk without aid again. However, I was concerned. I searched for ways to bring further healing to my damaged back and legs. 

Which brought me back to Anthony William. I saw his post about drinking celery juice first thing every morning, to restore digestive health and bring balance and healing into my body in numerous ways. I have been amazed at what this daily practice has shifted in my overall well being. 

Encouraged to know more and go further, I bought Anthony’s book, Medical Medium. I finished the book today, and I am eager to begin the 28 day healing cleanse, as described within. I made careful notes, about what I could eat and when, and what herbs and supplements to include. 

It is very simple, really. For the next 28 days, I will only be eating fresh fruits, dates and vegetables…green vegetables primarily. Using a juicer and a blender, I will be enjoying celery juice plus fruit or veggie smoothies, and chopped salads. No, it’s not how I normally eat. And that’s the problem. My body needs a break from its usual fare so that toxins and heavy metals can be released, and health restored. 

I’ll share a more in depth review of the book after my 28 day cleanse, when I can also report results. I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m dedicated to being the best possible version of myself, which includes being healthy, active and pain free. 

Anthony William says, “We eat things our systems don’t appreciate, indulge in foods to comfort our emotions rather than feed our bodies and souls. As we seek out snacks, meals, beverages and desserts that keep emotions at bay, our bodies become the victims of our soul damage. We get confused and cross the line between what we like to eat and what our bodies need.” 

I am listening, to what my body needs and to the guidance I was given, at a soul level. Watch for updates over the next four weeks, as I embark on this grand adventure. 

Double Birthday Celebration

It’s incredible to believe that we are back around to the July birthday celebration for my Uncle Rex and Aunt June. Much has happened in the past year to make today’s party even more precious. Rex and June are the last two surviving members of their original family. Gone are their parents and their four siblings. At ages 83 and 81, I love that they enjoy celebrating together and having the attention and well wishes of the family gathered around them. 

Joining in the festivities today were both of my sisters, Linda and Debbie, my cousin Michael who is Uncle Rex’s son, Aunt Mary…Rex’s wife…and my cousins Denny and Alan, the sons of Aunt June. Everyone contributed food and paper goods, drinks and desserts. Michael and Alan earned high praise for contributing made-from-scratch birthday goodies…making blueberry pies and wacky cake with chocolate buttercream icing, respectively. 

I enjoyed an afternoon of visiting with my older family members, and chatting with my sisters and cousins. Uncle Rex and Aunt June were so cute together as they blew out candles on their birthday cake. While they ate a hearty and savory lunch, they were excited to sample the cake, pie and ice cream. I caught Uncle Rex having a second helping of cake. 

Watching their antics, and listening to their humorous stories, I realized that this brother and sister have reached the age where their inner children are more apparent. I’m writing with heart-aching transparency as I share that Uncle Rex, Aunt Mary and Aunt June are all experiencing memory loss. That was very evident today as they repeated stories and forgot what they were talking about or wondered about something that had just been discussed. 

What was also evident was how in the moment they were, how full of laughter and love and joy, and how easily they dipped into sorrow occasionally as they remembered those who are now gone. My family is amazingly supportive and offered only love and patience and acceptance to these dear elders. No one stopped a story that had been told already, several times. To Rex and June and Mary they were fresh tales, everytime. No one corrected information or expected anything other than what we were experiencing…a family celebration, a rejoicing that these sweet people are still here with us. 

Being with my aunt and uncle reminded me that my father, their brother, is no longer with us. I don’t know how many more of these double birthday parties we will get to create, or how many more times we will gather together to laugh and talk and tell stories. As long as they enjoy the festivities, we will continue to meet, for their sakes and ours, and for the love of family. And…for the love of pie and cake! 

My Garden, My Teacher

Although I don’t often repost them, I love the memories that Facebook shares with me every morning. They make me smile as I remember. I re-read blog posts from the Year of Firsts and Year of Journeys. I’m often amazed that so much time has passed since a special event. This morning, my attention was caught by a photo that I posted three years ago today. 

That’s a view across my backyard, on this date in 2013, as the city finished remediating my yard. After the 2011 tornado, soil samples from properties in “the zone” revealed too much lead in the soil. My yard was scheduled for soil replacemnt. It took longer than I thought it would, but when the task was completed, I had a new yard with two feet of fresh, rich dirt. Best of all, it was rock free. Missourians know how amazing that is! 

Three years ago today, I wrote that I had a blank canvas to create upon. Little did I know on that day just how true that statement would prove to be. Seeing the photo this morning stirred memories and emotions. I was excited, at the end of the day, to get into my gardening clothes and putter in my happy place. 

The backyard has changed so much since I took the first picture. I’ve poured thought and labor into this masterpiece, along with sweat and blood, joy and love. I’ve spent hours and hours in the garden, planting and watering, weeding and mulching, digging and dividing. And also…relaxing and sipping tea, humming and crooning to plants, sketching, reading and reflecting. I am so content as I putter in this sacred space, so at peace. And I am a student. 

The garden, I realized today, has taught me so much these last three years. I’ve learned gardening, of course. Such as, which plants thrive in my backyard and which ones don’t. And what plants are considered invasive. It’s illegal, I discovered, to plant Scottish thistle in my yard! And one little ivy plant can become a wild, tangled jungle. Spiders like to live in upside down flower pots. Praying mantis tend to group together. And almost any interesting container can house a flowering plant. 

Life lessons have abounded too. I’ve learned patience as I’ve waited for seeds to sprout and I was taught persistence by plants that adapted and then thrived. There is a rhythm and flow to the garden, a cycle of growth and rest, that I have recognized as being present in my own life. Surprises delight or perplex, as they do on my journey. I choose how I want to respond. 

What I have learned most from this gardening experience is that what I desire, dream about and intend, comes into existence at the perfect time. Cleaning out clutter in my studio recently I found backyard garden plans that I sketched ten years ago. At that time, I didn’t know when that dream would manifest. But I knew what I wanted in the backyard…a beautiful, whimsical, peaceful place to relax, share, and find inspiration. I completed small gardening projects, and continued to dream, while letting go of the outcome. 

I could not have forseen then how the garden would be born…that a tornado would bring destruction, and a brand new yard, a fresh beginning, a blank canvas. 

“I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make something new; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land.” Julie Moir Messervy

Yes. I am making art, as I create in the garden. And the garden is making me whole. We are growing, together. 

Science of Empowerment 

Seven years ago, as I sought to fully embrace who I was by way of understanding more about myself and my intuitive nature, I expressed a desire to connect with like-hearted, like-minded journeyers. I was studying topics such as energy and intention and intuition. Shortly thereafter, during a Third Thursday in downtown Joplin, I began to meet other people on similar paths of exploration. 

Today I have many friends to journey with, who are also learning and growing and discovering who they are and what they have to offer to the world. Rob was one of the people I met seven years ago, and connected with as a fellow sojourner. Later his journey took him away from Joplin for several years and we rarely communicated. But Rob reached out to me a couple of months ago, from Kansas City where he nows resides. To my delight, Rob shared that he is in training to receive his certification as an energy worker. We have reconnected as he travels to Joplin once a month or so, and I’ve experienced powerful energy sessions with Rob. He is gifted in this area and shows great promise as a healer. 

Rob invited his friend and colleague, Diane Breneman, to teach a class in Joplin this evening, on the Science of Empowerment. I had the privilege of attending this excellent presentation. 

Diane was a successful attorney in Kansas City for 27 years, specializing in representing severely burned children and/or their parents. She has studied mindfulness techniques and personal development practices with Joey Klein, founder of Consciousness Transformation. Since 2010, Diane has taught classes, in the Kansas City area and beyond, on  how to transform our experiences of life by optimizing the mind, emotions, body and spirit. 

Tonight, Diane shared that science is discovering the amazing power that we have to transform our minds, emotions and physical bodies, all the way down to the genome. Using personal stories together with scientific studies, Diane spoke about the negative and far reaching effects of stress on the body. We are not made to function for long, much less live, under the high levels of stress that most of us experience. Doing so is damaging to our mental, physical and emotional health. 

Diane shared transparently about her own health issues, and how adopting the practice of daily meditation brought restoration and healing to her. She is not alone in finding her way back to health through meditation. Research supports that there are many benefits in meditating, from quieting the mind and emotions, to lowering heart rate and blood pressure and healing from disease, to deepening relationships, with others, with God, and with the self. 

The teaching concluded this evening with a lovely and restorative guided meditation, led by Diane. 

I am so appreciative of Rob and Diane. I know everyone in the room tonight made their own personal applications from the teaching presented. As I listened, I had one of my “Ahhhh…” realizations, understanding why I was there. Monday I begin a new adventure as I continue to learn about healing from chronic pain as a result of a car accident 21 years ago. I’ll be doing a 30 day detox diet to reset my body, and setting the intention to heal nerves and soft tissue. Diane reminded me tonight of the remarkable power of the mind and that I do posses the ability to heal myself. Meditation will be an important daily component during this time. 

I’m looking forward as well to being part of a community of people who are learning more. Rob will be leading a book club this fall that will meet over nine weeks. The participants will read through Joey Klein’s book, The Inner Matrix. Meditation is part of the weekly meeting. There are no coincidences. This comes at a crucial point in my journey. I know I am being Divinely guided. 

As we focused on our breathing during meditation, we listened to Diane’s words. On the inhale, “I am…”. On the exhale, “…Peace”.  Over and over. Long slow deep breaths. Yes. I am Peace. 

Helping Hands

Every Wednesday afternoon, I stop at Bamboo Chinese Food in Carl Junction, to pick up take out. My grandson, Dayan, and I have lunch together, then, at his house while chatting and watching episodes of whatever series we are currently on. 

Today was no different. However, as I was getting back into my car, after picking up the lunches, a little scene played out nearby that caught my attention. There is a food and clothing ministry located adjacent to the restaurant. Called Helping Hands Ministries, I’ve seen the sign and storefront many, many times. However, today, for the first time, I saw the door open and a young girl, about eight years old, skipped out. 


Her father was sitting in a car parked next to mine. The cute little girl swung open the car door, and exclaimed excitedly to her father, “Look Daddy!” She held up a small plastic bag as she climbed into the car. “I got everything I needed!”  Her dad gave her a faint smile. 

Sitting now in my car, my eyes filled with tears and my heart was pierced by the beautiful poignancy of that unexpected moment. I drove away while the father and daughter remained in the parking lot, possibly waiting for other family members to join them. 

I replayed that scene over and over. The father seemed so defeated. But the little girl was happy, excited, grateful for her small sack of clothing. Her joy was real and sincere. I felt torn. I had about $20 cash in my purse. Should I go back and give the father what I had? Should I give them the Chinese food I had picked up? I felt conflicted and had no wish to offend the dad. In the end, I drove on. 

Why did I see that happen? I asked aloud. What am I supposed to do? I had never seen anyone coming out of the food and clothing pantry. Why did I today, being present at that moment, to overhear what the girl said? I couldn’t get that sweet child out of my mind. Such a small sack. Such obvious delight. 

Later, after leaving my grandson and showing property, my thoughts returned to that scene. When I got home I looked up the ministry. Their mission statement reads: 

Carl Junction Helping Hands Ministries exists to share the Bread of Life in our community. Our goal is to help all families within the Carl Junction school district by distributing food and clothing to those in need. 

A worthy mission, that I saw being carried out this afternoon. The website said that clothing donations were appreciated and could be dropped off outside their front windows. 

Photos from Helping Hands Ministries website. 

I was still pondering my question concerning the significance of witnessing the little girl with her sack of clothing. I knew there was an importance that I was missing. Suddenly I had a hand to the forehead moment. Oh. Oh! 

As I was getting ready for the day this morning, I was thinking about the spirit of compassion. More than thinking about it, I specifically expressed a desire to learn more about compassion, and to express compassion more. 

Compassion – a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate  the  suffering. From the Latin word compati, to suffer with. 

I was reminded of a scene from A Christmas Carol, in which Scrooge asks to be shown some expression of tenderness for the death of a man. He is whisked to a home where that emotion is played out. I asked to learn more about compassion, and I too was delivered to a scene being played out before me, that evoked strong compassion.  

Thich Nhat Hanh says simply, “Compassion is a verb.” 

I agree. My heart is full of tenderness and compassion toward that little girl and her family. And toward others who are in need. Putting action and intention with those feelings, next week, when I stop to pick up Chinese food, I will be leaving bags of children’s clothing in front of Helping Hands Ministries. And I’ll offer a cash donation, to purchase food for their pantry. 

I don’t know if that child and her dad will return to the ministry. However, she inspired me to help, for her sake and for the sakes of others in need. Because of her, I am able to immediately be compassion in action. 

I am humbled by today’s experience, and ever so grateful. 

Midyear Collage Snapshot

As I was driving to my sister’s house late this afternoon, to visit with her and her sons and grandkids, I turned over ideas for today’s blog post. Nothing really resonated. So I asked aloud, What should I write about tonight?, and let it go. 

As I sat chatting with Linda’s boisterous bunch, my mom arrived, with a stack of magazines. “For you,” she said, handing them to me. I was excited. The magazines were Country Gardens editions. And…I now knew what I would be doing later when I got home and what I would be blogging about. 

Recently I skipped an assignment in the Walking in This World book. Called You want to make something of it?, the task was to hold a thought or question in my mind, and then quickly scan through magazines, cutting out images or words that caught my attention. Next I was to arrange the cut outs on posterboard and glue them down. And lastly, I was allotted 20 minutes to write down what I discovered about myself and my question, based on the images and words I was drawn to. 

I love this type of exercise, and I find collage making to be fun. However, at the time, I only had a few magazines on hand to browse through. I decided to do this assignment another time. That time came today. My mom unknowingly provided the answer to my question, What should I write about tonight? In my world, the Divine is very responsive! 

I spent about 40 minutes rapidly flipping through magazines, only pausing when a picture, word or phrase jumped out at me. I would cut that part of the page out, and move on. That was an act of willpower, as I normally stop to read interesting articles! Not tonight. I was letting myself be responsive, on an intuitive level. 

When I was finished with the last magazine, I sorted through my scraps of paper and glued them to the poster board. Anchoring my board was the first thing I cut out…Write anything, Publish everything, Market everywhere…a definite draw toward writing. And a quote by Liz Gilbert, “What if you agreed to believe that you have more power than you think you do? That quote gave me goosebumps. 

This was a powerful and enlightening exercise. I was drawn to beauty, gardening, creativity, intimacy, travel and writing. I had one real estate magazine and I laid it aside without looking within it. That doesn’t mean I dislike being a realtor. It means I wasn’t drawn. 
Scotland managed to grab me, through a single travel catalog I had. The words “Expand your horizons” can refer to travel and also to my heart, my life. “Healthy, healing and awakening” reflects my desire to be as fit and well as I can and to heal from chronic pain. Awakening is the state I choose to dwell in. 

The thought I held as I did this assignment was, “Show me where I am…”  This collage is a snapshot of my journey, at the halfway point of 2016. I am focused on creativity, in many forms, writing, and expanding my horizons. 

The pictures on the board overlap and that is a perfect portrayal of me right now. My life is overlapping in several areas as I continue a real eatate practice and write, as I walk alongside others and explore on my own, and as I experiment with a variety of creative endeavors. Like the collage, my life fits together and makes sense, to me. 

The time IS now. I do have power…to create, to dream, to grow, to be. More power and more  possibilities than I ever thought possible.