Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Medical Drama

No sooner did I declare I was in a healer phase than I was presented with a friend’s medical drama. Our old mate James came to stay with us, and the night he arrived he had a heart attack and I ended up driving him to hospital around 3 a.m. He was transferred to another hospital and had an angioplasty, i.e. a stent was inserted into an artery that had totally closed. He’s back with us again now and has made a remarkable recovery.

Luckily he was pretty healthy in general; that helped. Also I did a lot of Reiki when it happened, and since. My nurse neighbour tells me there is ‘a very small window’ and is sure the Reiki must have been instrumental in saving his life – because it took a while to realise what was happening. He thought a rib was out and tried a chiropractic session before he got to our place, and a painkiller and a hot bath once here. I twigged what was going on when I gave him some Reiki and Theta Healing, during which he felt considerable relief, only to have the pain return as soon as I stopped.


I told Andrew to stay in bed, no sense him coming too – besides, I knew I’d need him to drive me to my teaching job next morning, because I’d be in no condition to do it myself after such a late night. Luckily he had business in the same town that day. But of course, when I finally got home from leaving James in hospital, Andrew was up waiting with cocoa, and had been giving James ‘distant’ Reiki.

James had already been gradually reducing his cigarette smoking. On his return here after the hospital stay, Andrew successfully cleared the addiction by using Thought Field Therapy. TFT has a very powerful process for clearing addictions. It took only a few minutes.


I really must try it on my chocoholism soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pagan Awareness Day

(Adapted from a MySpace bulletin)




During the months of September and October many communities celebrate Pagan Pride Day. With Pagan Pride, it's the time to celebrate our Spirituality, give thanks, and a time for renewal and rebirth. September 22nd is the Autumn Equinox, and time to wear our Purple Ribbons! The Purple Ribbon campaign was started by FOTE* in 1997 to show our support for religious tolerance and the freedon to believe in our own paths.

September 22 is the day to wear our Purple Ribbons, but why keep it a single day? We should wear our ribbons all the time! By wearing our ribbons we can help ease fears and promote tolerance!

You're welcome to use the graphic on your blog!




Blessings of love, light, peace, & hope!
Matthew & Melissa
Spirit Apothecary Botanicals & Findings
664 Broadway Ave
Bedford, OH 44146
(440)439-HERB
spiritapothecary. com


*FOTE: Fellowship of the Earth

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poetry Screeches to a Halt

Mine, that is.

A year ago, someone told me about '30 Poems in 30 Days' happening throughout September at PoeWar.com (Writer's Resource Center). I participated joyfully. I'm still grateful to John Hewitt, who started it all, for the poems I produced and the friends I made. That was the beginning of a most prolific year of writing, often in response to other online prompts I found – notably another Poem A Day challenge during the month of April, this time instigated by Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides. My Haiku on Friday profile became popular, and I was recently asked to create something similar on LiveJournal: Friday Haiku, which I then handed over to someone else to host. One of my favourite games is x365, in which bloggers write about people who've made an impact on them, one a day for a year, in the same number of words as their age – so I, for instance am writing 68-word portraits. My one regret about all this poetic activity was that I had trouble keeping up with my favourite poets on MySpace, many of whom are prolific themselves.

Finally the wheel turned and we were back to September. John started another 30 Poems in 30 Days, which I began enthusiastically. The prompts were just as good, some people I met last time turned up again, interesting new people joined …. but by Day 6 I had run out of puff. On that day, in fact, I posted a poem that was a few months old instead of writing a new one, then made my farewells from the project. And I haven't written a poem since. Even my 68x365 blog has been languishing, though I do intend to resume and will have to do some catching up. The only things I've still been able to write are the haiku. (And some people say haiku aren't poems anyhow, but a genre of their own.)

I thought I must be experiencing burn-out. I don't say I'm not, but I realise there's another factor. I've observed that, for friends of mine who have more than one vocation, things tend to go in phases. I know people who are both artists and writers. They'll paint madly for three or four months, then suddenly that will stop and they'll find themselves scribbling furiously for the next six. My own dual vocations are quite different: poet and therapist. During this year of being consumed by poetry, the therapist has taken a back seat. But not any more.

At the weekend Andrew and I did a course in Thought Field Therapy. We've been acquainted with this modality for some years now. Our teacher, Carol, was one of the first people in Australia to learn it. Soon after she became a practitioner, she told us about this exciting thing she'd done, we tried it out and then couldn't stop recommending it to people. That was maybe eight years ago, and at some point she went to America and trained as a teacher. At first we didn't think of learning it ourselves. We already had a number of excellent modalities, and when TFT was indicated, for ourselves or others, we had Carol and other friends whom she trained.

Now we've all moved a little further away from Murwillumbah, in different directions, and one practitioner has more-or-less retired. Suddenly the training called to us, and so we did it – and loved it. I had fully expected to love Theta Healing, which we also learned quite recently, and indeed I do love it. I had not expected to fall in love with TFT in the same way, but to my delighted surprise I did. By the end of the weekend I realised: oh, that's why the poetry dried up – I'm in a healer phase now.

I don't expect the poetry will stop altogether, just as I didn't entirely stop giving people treatments during the writing phase; but the focus is different for the next while, however long that may turn out to be. I'm so excited, I can hardly wait to get into it! I'm getting new business cards printed; I'm creating brochures, and new signs for the market stall.

And aha! Now I can indulge in the pleasure of poetry by reading rather than writing it. All those lovely blogs to devour – whoopee!

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Separation

Our dear friend James Sellman recently returned to live in Australia after several years away. We've known him a long time. He's a remarkable man of great spiritual awareness, expressed in very practical ways – such as overcoming a degree of paralysis after a stroke and regaining the lost movement. A successful psychotherapist as well as a gifted spiritual healer, he perceives that journey as one which has given him greater understanding of his clients. I mention this background to give you some idea why we take notice of what he says.

He came to see us the other day. In the course of conversation Andrew mentioned what a good day we'd had at the market on Sunday, adding something about 'The Universe' always taking care of us.

James picked him up on it: 'WE always take care of us.'

He went on to remind us, 'There's no separation' and explained that he thinks it's important to articulate that now, that it's time for everyone to become conscious of just who is creating our experience.

It's good to be reminded!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Celebrating Germaine

Over on Facebook, my MySpace friend Julie McNeill founded a discussion group named The Dawn Club in honour of Louisa Lawson, Australian writer, feminist and political activist (and mother of Henry) who founded a similar group of that name in her day.

Julie posed the question:

What book deeply moved you, made you grow as a woman, re-energised your spirit, nurtured you into wise ways and a life of marvellous existence? Do tell!

In an email message to group members she added:

Take a moment please and share with us a book which made a difference to your knowledge and psyche as a woman - did Germaine provoke? Gods Whores and Damn Police?

Was it The Beauty Myth that helped you change, or the gentle words of wisdom from a woman in another age?

My response:

It was Germaine. Absolutely! I'd read Betty Friedan first, but I wasn't married, didn't have kids, wasn't a housewife, and didn't live in America - so I couldn't relate at all to what she said, didn't know what she was on about. But Germaine is about my age, we were at Melbourne Uni at the same time (though our paths seldom crossed) and she grew up in the same suburb where I was working in my first job - in a library - when The Female Eunuch came out. Plenty of shared experience this time! Besides, she wrote with such wit and style, and was so unafraid to tell it like it was.

No, she didn't provoke. It was more like a blessed cry of relief to find someone articulating things I had been suppressing, imagining until then that I must be wrong because I didn't conform, didn't think how one was supposed to, how everyone else appeared to. Of course, lots of us were suppressing it all for the same reasons, until someone was clear-headed enough and brave enough to express it all, and to do so with such intelligence and down-to-earthness. Talk about cutting through the crap! She got me thinking - which is what good teachers do, so it's not surprising that a teacher is what she went on to become.

I'm still a great admirer of her brains, honesty and courage. Yes, she has changed her mind on a few things over the years - and because she writes books that sell, and is good media-fodder to boot, she does so publicly and gets criticised for it. Not that that seems to bother her much! Yes she has put her foot in it sometimes and/or said foolish things; haven't we all? None of that, to my mind, detracts from her abiding brilliance.

Her book on women artists, The Obstacle Race, which alas I no longer have, was one of my favourites and another which had great impact. I am a woman artist (poet) and can recall too well when it was common for men to point out that very few women had become great poets, implying that it wasn't within our make-up. I remember Germaine writing about a woman artist of a bygone era who, according to male contemporaries and historians, failed to fulfil her early promise - and the comment that, on reading that she had numerous children (I forget the exact number, but a LOT), we might cease to wonder at it!

Erica Jong made an impression too, with Fear of Flying, particularly when her heroine is asked by her psychiatrist, 'Who said you had to be a housewife AND a poet?' implying that it's enough to be a poet and more should not be asked of one. This of course still doesn't square with reality, where women still have to be housewives as well as whatever else they are if they want the housework done, and poets of either gender still have trouble feeding themselves unless they have some other job as well. All the same, the fact that someone, even in fiction, came out and said that there was something wrong with this, and said it in the '70s - ah, that was balm to my soul. And since then I do give the writing of poetry higher priority than cleaning the house or earning an income, even though I try to do all. I know I'm a poet who just happens to get housework to do too from time to time. I'm not a housewife who fits in a bit of scribbling around that when possible. And my life is certainly a damn sight more fulfilled this way.

Thank you Germaine! Thank you Erica!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Facebook Reconsidered

I have to admit I'm having a very different Facebook experience the second time around. This is largely because lots of my old poet friends from Melbourne days are there now. There's been some kind of explosion while I've been away!

I say Melbourne days because that's where I lived during the heady days of the Poets Union (when it WAS a Union rather than a society) and the Street Poets. The poets I knew then didn't necessarily live in Melbourne themselves, though plenty did, and they don't all live there now. We got around in those days, and poets from all over the country frequently attended events in any of the capital cities and even country centres. Indeed this still happens, only I myself don't travel as much as I used to.

Anyway it's good to reconnect with my old cronies on Facebook, including some I never actually lost touch with.

Some close family members and friends are there now, too, and pounced on me the minute I reactivated my account. It's fun to be able to read their status updates, look at their latest photos and see from the quizzes how much alike we are or aren't on various matters.

I don't go there all that often, so I manage to avoid lots of people sending me silly things and expecting a response.

What I can do now is let people connect to my blogs – yes, these ones – via Facebook, an innovation since my last sojourn there.

And I can play my favourite words games — finding to my chagrin that while there's nothing wrong with my vocab, my speed is woefully slow compared with some of my friends. Ah well, hopefully it will improve with practice.

Above all I like being able to join groups of writers and poets.

MySpace is still by far my favourite social network and probably always will be, but Facebook no longer annoys the hell out of me. I actually like it now!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Quick and Painless Enneagram Test

So spot-on it's not funny!

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

4- the Individualist

Thanks for taking the test !


you chose BY - your Enneagram type is FOUR (aka "The Romantic")


"I am unique"



Romantics have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.



How to Get Along with Me



  • Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!


What I Like About Being a FOUR


  • my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • having aesthetic sensibilities

  • being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me




What's Hard About Being a FOUR


  • experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • expecting too much from myself and life

  • fearing being abandoned


  • obsessing over resentments

  • longing for what I don't have



FOURs as Children Often



  • have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • are very sensitive

  • feel that they don't fit in

  • believe they are missing something that other people have


  • attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)



FOURs as Parents


  • help their children become who they really are

  • support their children's creativity and originality

  • are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings


  • are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed


Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy

Discover the 9 Types of People

Harper
SanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

  • Take The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test at HelloQuizzy

  • Monday, September 01, 2008

    Thinkin' Trim Taut Terrific: 2

    This Saturday we had our second film shoot, three weeks after the first, and began working with Letitia's techniques. Just as well I signed a contract not to reveal details before the film is released, otherwise I'd be tempted. I already think it's such a wonderful program that I'd love to share it with the world! But of course that is exactly what the film will do, in such a way that people who view it can benefit too, much more than they would from any snippets I might describe along the way. And in fact I don't yet know what the whole program will be; the cast gets it one step at a time. Let's just say I'm finding it very exciting!

    Already we are starting to get to know each other at deeper levels, so the bonding created on the first shoot proves very necessary. We need to be able to trust each other; luckily Letitia has chosen her people well so that's not a problem. We are Letitia herself, a success coach in her thirties; me: a poet / author / teacher / healer / psychic in my sixties; a mechanic in his forties; a teacher in her twenties; an 18-year-old autistic boy attending a special school; and a 16-year-old girl who is a High School student and wants to become a photographer. Although we're such different people, leading such different lives, we are all committed to our goals and willing to be open with each other about our experiences and processes.

    Most importantly, we all trust Letitia, which is obviously vital. Not only do we know she's been there and done that, but some of us already knew her quite well as a person in our lives.

    As for the camera people and other assistants, they blend in well. We've been told to forget they're there during the actual filming, and it's surprisingly easy to do so despite lights, boom, and cameras on tripods. Perhaps that's because what we're up to ourselves is so absorbing.



    Letitia Lee