An eclectic list of healing books.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (Book one in a series)

Hammerschlag, Carl. Healing Ceremonies: Creating Personal Ritual for Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, and Mental Health

Kolk, Bessel A. van der. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

McLeod, Adam. Dreamhealer: His Name Is Adam

Mindell, Arnold. The Shaman’s Body: A New Shamanism for Transforming Health, Relationships, and the Community

Myss, Caroline. Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

Olitzky, Kerry M. Jewish Paths Toward Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing with Suffering

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

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Panic attack

Remember to breathe from your abdomen. It takes time to make that natural. Shallow breathing is normal, but it tells the brain that things are in crisis mode.

Get 8 hours of sleep.

Eat more fiber and no processed sugar. Natural fruit is fine, just don’t go overboard on it.

Go for a walk.

Stretch. Yoga is helpful.

Don’t watch or read the news.

Make art.

Connect with God through prayer.

The panic attacks are physical. They are not “real”. They feel real because you are in your body and you feel them. You can learn to observe them and see them as a sign that you are going off track. Refer to the list above. What is being neglected? Do that.

I have to do all these things every day to feel human.

Interrupted while reading

This is a fairly normal occurrence – I’m reading a book while eating my lunch. People (usually guys) think that they have to comment on it. It happened last Friday, when an older lady felt it necessary to then tell me that she only reads the Bible and Christian fiction. (I was reading a science-fiction book, which usually makes people like her twitch) Instead of letting her “witness” to me (because I’ve seen this play out before that way), I turned it around and said that I can find goodness in everything I read, because God is everywhere. That kind of short-circuited her head.

She has no idea who I am, that I have written several non-fiction Christ-based books. This kind of blind “witnessing” is something that Jesus never did.

In general, the guys use this as an opportunity to hit on me. The ladies use it as an opportunity to “witness”. Both don’t get that I’m not buying what they are selling – for the first, I’m married. For the second, I’m already a member of the club.

But either way, it is rude, on many levels. It just isn’t a good way to start a conversation or a relationship.

I’m thinking of coming up with a script like “Yeah, isn’t it strange that total strangers think it is OK to interrupt someone who is minding her own business, reading a book?”

Is reading in public such an anomaly that it requires comment?

Butterflies of 2018

First sightings of butterflies for the year.  All in Old Hickory, TN.  I am an amateur butterfly spotter, so the IDs are as accurate as I can make them for now.

July 5, 2018

Zebra Swallowtail

709b

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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July 9

Silver spotted skipper

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July 11

Cloudless Sulphur

711b

Cabbage (?)  – very active, hard to photograph and ID

711

Skipper (of some sort – there are a lot…)

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July 18

Gulf Fritilary

718

July 19

Pipevine Swallowtail

719

July 24

Hummingbird moth (Snowberry Clearwing) – not a butterfly, but still cool

724b

July 25

Variegated Fritilary

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Spicebush swallowtail – probably a male

July 25

July 26

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (first sighting was July 5, but this is a better photograph)

724

July 31

Horace’s Duskywing Skipper

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Dark morph Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

8-1-18

Monarch

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8-2-18

Hackberry Emperor

Cloudless sulphur (a better picture)

cloudless sulphur

August 11

Common Buckeye

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8/23/18. Grey Hairstreak

8-30-18   Great Spangled Fritilary.   This was huge – nearly as large as an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Mental health and the pothole

How mental health works –

I saw this pothole.

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It was on my route every day to work. I decided to fill it with rocks from my walk. I can only carry a few at a time (in a plastic grocery bag). So I will gather rocks and fill it little by little every time I go for a walk.

It took a week to get to the point from where I saw the problem, figured out the solution, and started to commit to it. It is a slow process, but that is how it works.

A little later –

It has been days since I have last worked on this. I have left myself a note on the dining room table and a large rock at the end of my driveway to remind me that I need to keep working on this task.

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It doesn’t matter that I haven’t done any more work in several days. It only matters that I continue the work. While this may look mostly complete, it is not. It is shallow. I need to add more to it. I have found a place at the end of the road where they have recently repaved so I am not taking rocks from anybody’s driveway. But to get these rocks requires that I walk all the way to the bottom of the hill and then carry the rocks, small bag by small bag, up to the top of the hill.

This too is mental health.

Do what you can with what you have, even if it is small. Something is better than nothing.  Keep going.

Also, rains will come and wash some of this away. Cars will drive over it and knock some of the rocks out. I will need to check it every now and then to make sure that it is whole and add more to it.

That too is part of mental health.

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Days later….I found a small (palm-sized) box to scoop the rocks into.

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It can’t be a big box because I have to carry it. So I walked down to the bottom of the hill to gather the rocks and then I looked up. Here’s the view looking up the hill.

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I can’t see the top from here. But I know it’s there. The trick is to just keep on walking towards the goal even if you can’t see it.

When I get to the top I see that cars have driven over my filled-in pothole, kicking out some of the rocks.

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So some of my work has gone away. This is not a “do it and walk away” project. This requires diligence.
People may try to take away from your happiness intentionally or otherwise. But all that you have done doesn’t go away. That was a lot of exercise just putting those rocks there. That is not erased. And I got a lot of encouragement from starting a project and persisting in it.

But then sometimes you have to admit that the task is bigger than you are equipped or trained to handle.  The rocks I put there were now scattered on the road.  The road isn’t a smooth surface for walking anymore.

So yesterday (7/26/18) I contacted a professional (the city government) – to fill in the pothole.

This too is mental health.

They fixed it on Friday, 7/27/18

hole

A different take on the immigration issue.

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(Image credit – Lupito’s Photography)

A friend posted this image on social media recently, and while some of his friends understood the message, some decided to take it another direction.

Ed S. said “It wasn’t stolen they fought among themselves until a third player beat everyone…has happened before…pick up a book.”

My friend replied “A third party that steals is still stealing.”

Grant A. replied “Who can claim domain first? Different tribes utterly destroyed each other from the beginning of time, well into early American history. Should Mexicans give Mexico back to the Mayans, Aztecs, Toatecs and Omatecs? They are after all in all essence Spanish by decent for the most part. This is a question deeper than we will ever know. Who was here first originally and has the original claim?”   and added “correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t early settlers/government call westward expansion imminent domain? I haven’t studied history concerning this since college.”

To which my friend replied “The thing about history is that it is written by the victors”

And here is my reply –

“I’ve heard this line of reasoning before. Is it a script? Because it doesn’t justify how we took their land and forced them onto reservations. Maybe deep down the fear of immigrants is rooted in karma – that they will do to whites what our predecessors did to the people who were living here. Maybe it is time to break the habit of history repeating itself. Maybe there is something in the message of Jesus feeding the masses, that if we give thanks to God for what we have, and share it with those in need, there will be more than enough. Maybe I’m an idealist, but so was Jesus. And he is worth following.”