Tips for Fibromyalgia Fighters

I’m so sorry to hear you’re a fellow fibro fighter. It’s not easy to be diagnosed with any disease, but learning that you have one doctors cannot help you with can be profoundly defeating. I understand that you’re probably discouraged, but you’re definitely not alone – even if it feels that way sometimes, and I know it must.

A few tips:

  • Exercise will make you flare. Exercise will heal you. These things are both true, and it sucks: baby steps are key. I started out trying like hell just to get like 30 minutes a week in, done in like 90 second increments (I was bedridden though, hopefully you’re not as far gone). It really does add up, I promise.
  • Many fibro fighters have a mutation called MTHFR (which looks like another, apt, word 🤣). If you have it, you’ll want to cut out gluten and dairy and bulk up on methylated vitamins (especially methylcobalamin).
  • Cannabis help WORLDS! Fibromyalgia may be caused due to endocannabinoid deficiency, so the (exo-)cannabinoids in cannabis essentially act as a supplement.
  • Fibromyalgia has a very high correlation with physical and emotional trauma, which are also known to negatively impact the endocannabinod system; therapy and personal development can help ease your nervous system’s ridiculously painful reactions.
  • If you Insta, there’s a community of chronic illness fighters called spoonies that are wonderfully inspirational and informational.
  • Cymbalta doesn’t help most people and is HELL to go off of. I would never have done it if I knew how horrendous quitting was going to be. If you choose to try it, absolutely do not go off of it cold turkey and have emotional support ready. (Lyrica also did me no good, but Amitriptyline does help me sleep; though not as well as canna capsules.)
  • I discovered the Wim Hof method a couple months ago, which has been proved to release endocannabinoids (which you’re deficient in) and is also said to reset your immune and autonomic nervous systems. Some claim this has healed their fibro. I just do this video followed by a cold shower everyday (no bone pain from the cold, I swear!) and it seems to be helping in a few different ways! 

I hope that you’ve got understanding people around you, and in case you don’t: this is not in your head, you are not crazy, and you are not lazy.

And, most of all – YOU GOT THIS. ❤

What is ‘New Age’ Spirituality, Really?

I’m someone who’s very into what is commonly known as ‘new age’ spirituality, ‘woo-woo,’ or, more recently (and delightfully), ‘witchy stuff.’ This is something that I kept to myself for most of my life, having now openly written about it at starting seven years ago, at 30 years old; after having been raised with aligned beliefs, studying philosophy extensively in college, and a lot more afterwards. 

But mostly I secretly mused to myself back then, unwittingly in sort of a thought conversation via what I now think of as everyday intuition; but 20 years ago it just felt like magic – especially when I started learning about the ideas in a class on eastern philosophy after they arose in my own mind.

And it’s not not magic. It’s not exactly the show ‘Charmed’ either, but it’s still really cool, and I’m going to tell you about it. It may seem too different or ‘out there’ to consider, but please try. By the end, you’ll probably be surprised at how grounded and helpful this whole thing actually can be – especially when objectively compared to traditional philosophies on the matter…

‘God’ is Kinda Like ‘The Force’ 

What if there was a force of consciousness, most succinctly described as love, that replicated itself, then divided that reflection into infinity? What if it were a creative energy that exists simply to experience life in all its forms? You can call it ‘God,’ if you want to, but I call this energy names like ‘juju,’ divine presence, the universe, etc., to avoid confusion with religion. It emanates through everything, through all of energy itself, including (the illusion) of space and time. 

Therefore, I am ‘God.’ And you are God. And so is this keyboard. And my turmeric tea here, definitely God. (This has been called animism throughout history and is a belief of many ancient religions and philosophies, as are many other of the ideas presented by spirituality.)

This force doesn’t judge, and there is no heaven or hell, really; just planes of existence closer and further from source energy (another great moniker for ‘God’). After we die, we go back to somewhere much closer to source energy, it’s like a love puddle where we’re all connected. It’s often referred to in spiritual circles as home. Hell isn’t a thing in spirituality, but we can sure create something like it here on earth, and many are living it. 

Spiritual awakening is all about creating heaven on earth by ascending into Christ consciousness. This is semi-aligned with Christianity, but with spiritual folk feeling that ‘the return of Christ’ is not an incarnation of a human; but a rise in mass consciousness due increasingly lighter energy, as well as thousands of old souls incarnating to teach. (Many, if not most, religious concepts neatly fold into spiritual ideas, as if religions were started in the exact same way – from humans accessing divine guidance from within, on their own.)

Earth’s Kinda Like a School

So, as humans, we’re not meant to be super-focused with what happens after we die (we were just there before birth, it’s lovely, but be here now); we’re here to learn through this bonkers experience of being human. From living on a planet that’s got a destructive cyclic history – one that this rise in consciousness will eventually cease, ushering in a new age of enlightenment. (This is where the ‘new age’ label originates, but, again, these ideas are ancient.) 

Our souls have specific plans when we incarnate, choosing our whole birth situations – the body, the parents, the personality struggles, the whole shebang. Yup, we picked the whole setup! Everything’s our own faults. And we volunteered to be alive too, due to our soul’s desire to create and grow.

I’ve dealt with dangerous depression, and knowing that I chose this life has been a big part of what’s kept me alive on this mindfuck of a planet – if I leave I know I’ll just choose to reincarnate all over again. Then I’d have to relearn how to walk, talk, do the whole school and puberty thing all over again. And I’d just choose similar challenges for the repeater lifetime, because, karma. (So, world, looks like you’re stuck with me.)

‘The Secret’ is Kinda Real.

As for the rest of life’s challenges, well they’re all our fault too. Our souls (ourselves, we’re multidimensional beings!), sort of drive us like in a video game; except that we can ignore these instructions – received as inspiration, intuition, conscience, and the like – and do whatever we want. 

Most of the time. Sort of.

We can certainly wander off our chosen path; but some occurrences in our lives just will be, they are unavoidable, they are fated. Other happenings are karmically magnetized, but I don’t mean the ‘life’s a bitch’ punitive idea; but our soul noting the lessons we haven’t learned yet, and us being attracted to situations and people that will present opportunities to learn them properly. (However, these are often unpleasant experiences, increasingly contrasted with repetition, since we’re not getting it; leading to karma’s bad rep.) 

But there’s more. It’s not all about lessons, life should also be fun! Remember The Secret? That book/movie/phenomenon was an idea commonly referred to as the Law of Attraction (LOA). That book was about how to use it to create one’s dreams; but there’s a lot more to LOA than presented there, so I don’t recommend it for anything more than tips and inspo after gaining knowledge from more comprehensive sources.

The most important thing to know about LOA is that we’ll create the things we focus on – so choose to spend your time looking at your dreams, not your worries. We create everything in our lives using this force (via feelings –> thoughts –> actions), our karmic plan + newly created karma; as well as the needs of our egos, bodily urges, and personalities.

Alignment, Intuition, and How to Meditate

Being ‘in alignment’ is to be in tune with the desires of your soul, rather than just the wants of your human mind. Being in alignment often happens to us even when we’re not trying, you’ve definitely experienced it. It happens when you’re in an emotional space that feels light, feeling present without even trying, when things feel graceful and easy, and your thoughts are contemplative and wise – if only for that enlightened-feeling moment. (Tom Robbins once aptly described these beautiful and often fleeting experiences of understanding as, ‘slippery fish.’)

Walking a spiritual path means consistently making choices aligned with your soul’s desires, which you’ll suss out by using your intuitive guidance. To do this, you’ll need to learn how to meditate, which I’ll teach you in this paragraph: Get comfy, but not so comfy you’ll fall asleep, close your eyes, and try to calm your mind while focusing on the sensations of your breath. When a thought interrupts you, note it, without judgement, and let it go. Or, as the teacher Mooji says, ‘Let every thought come and hug you, but you don’t hug anything. Then, gradually, the noise will start to back off.’

Once you start getting some mental peace, you’ll create room in your mental space for intuitive inspiration to rise from within. This will often come as vague feelings, hunches, and ideas that you have to sort out to make sense of; something that I’ve come to think of as translating energy. (Many call receiving the info an ‘energetic download.’) Intuition will also arise as thoughts that feel light but also completely neutral in tone, even if the news is very exciting or very upsetting. Other times it will just be sudden knowings – abrupt clarity on life choices or formerly foggy ideas (often spiritual concepts). 

It’s freakin’ awesome. Okay. That’ll do for now. ❤

Little Fires Everywhere: Clawing for Power with ‘Karen’

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Karen’ lately. The name has become a meme representing middle-aged entitled white women everywhere, women who are clueless to their privilege yet use it (often cruelly) on the regular. I feel that the force behind this behavior people scraping for power wherever they can find it, and Little Fires Everywhere typifies this point brilliantly.

Little Fires is largely centered around a character named Elena, who’s a white upper-class woman in the 90’s. She is a conservative woman with a lot of privilege, who uses it freely to get what she wants. But it’s not that simple. She wields her shreds of power with ferocity because she feels disempowered in her own life, aching for the experiences she dreams of; but trapped by the very culture of conformity that she actively holds up, one where she plays ‘dutiful wife.’ Because of this, she cannot wield power and privilege the ways that men do; as she cannot behave like a man and still successfully fulfill the role she’s chosen.

Women are culturally conditioned to make ourselves small, so our power plays are often more subtle, more passive-aggressive, more behind the scenes. Not that men don’t behave in similar ways, subtly manipulative ‘Soft Bois’ are probably just as prevalent as the overly-agro ‘Chads’ of this world – but it’s a completely different dynamic, our culture just treats genders too differently for the respective reactions of the zeitgeist to be the same. (I do not think the meme is sexist, we just need to point it at men more – I met PLENTY of male Karens in my time as a temp.)

However, I feel that these varying displays of personality imbalances all stem from the same desire: more power and autonomy.

The Karen meme is all about white women using what little power they have to make things go their way; throwing their weight around at PTA meetings, petulantly asking for the manager, basically bossing around whomever they can. These aren’t the actions of someone who feels in control of their life, these are actions of desperation and fear. It’s not just about being a privileged jerk; it’s also about our playing field being so enmeshed with inequality that even the top players don’t feel like they have the tools to win, so they unconsciously insist on making things even less fair.

Little Fires Everywhere sets Elena up in stark contrast to Mia, a black artist and general nonconformist. Despite her differentness, Mia displays strong self-worth and inner direction, which terrifies Elena – who feels she’s made all of the responsible sacrifices, done everything right, and generally played her role as expected by society. Elena decides to make herself Mia’s landlord on the spot, seemingly as a way to control her; but the move doesn’t work, because Mia’s not playing Elena’s game. 

Much like popular opinion today, Mia doesn’t give AF about the power of Karens, and more importantly, she’s subversive towards the unjust power structures that make ‘Karening’ even possible. The Karens of this world are searching for a way to gain control in a game where we’re pitted against each other, and doing so in a way that’s completely clueless as to their advantages and who their harming in their power struggle – and Mia sees right through it, doesn’t fucking bother with it, and is the more victorious of the two in the end. 

My point is that we live in a society where even people at the tippy-top often don’t feel like they are safe enough to express themselves freely.  They’re doing it to themselves, and then they’re doing it to the rest of us. And most Karens are smushed between other Karens in life and so think their behavior is normal. (Errr, did, before the internet called them out…) This makes confrontation very tricky, as they feel entitled to entitled behavior, it’s just what they know.

Of course, the solution to the problem of Karen lies in dismantling the power structures that she upholds. In life, this looks like confronting them even if it’s not likely to go well. (Chads, Softbois, and plain ol’ racists + bullies too!)

And while we’re working on that, and in an effort towards that, we ought to start applying a much more Mia approach to life, as a culture. We should make it normal to live our truths and stay focused on our passions, even when they’re controversial. (Even if the Karens would kick us out of book club for ‘em.) Empowering ourselves simply by being ourselves fully.

We’ve been abiding by the standards of Karen, and especially the powers she’s prey to, for far too long. 

Espavo = Thank You for Taking Your Power

Have you ever heard of Lemuria? It was an ancient civilization that I feel very connected to, and they were said to have a beautiful greeting, ‘espavo,’ which was used for both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’

This word was to help people re-member their true place in the Universe. Literally translated it means: “Thank you for taking your power”

Isn’t that fierce? I love how it calls one to service as well as being wildly empowering, like – thank you for standing up, being brave, and doing your fucking thing. Thank you for remembering that you are a piece of ‘God.’ Thank you for knowing you belong here and you’ve got shit to do.

GET IT, GET IT, FRIENDS. 🔥

The Best Spiritually-Oriented Books Ever to Ever

There are many paths to spirituality, but I think books might be my very favorite. Here are the books that have touched my heart and helped me find my center:

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: An epic spiritual adventure! Lots about energy, very fun read.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman: Follows one man’s spiritual awakening, and a bromance to last the ages.

Energy Speaks, by Lee Harris: Shares the energetic components of life, and brilliant ways to use them to our advantage.

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle: Great advice about staying present, such a crucial aspect of this process. All his books are brilliant!

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz: Focuses on common sense wisdom that is immediately applicable.

Ishmeal, by Daniel Quinn: Centered on our relationship and evolution with the rest of our planet.

Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, by Doreen Virtue: Helps sensitives shine by showing us why we stopped.

The Law of Attraction, by Esther and Jerry Hicks: The OG law of attraction, this is where The Secret came from and puts those ideas more in context.

Flatland-A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott: Explores life in 2-D, making 3-D seem realer whilst also making you wonder about what’s next.

Monkey, by Wu Ch’eng En: A 16th century text that follows monkey’s shenanigans on the way to enlightenment.

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu: The basis of Taoism, feel the flow!

The Tao of Peace, by Diane Dreher: A brilliant analysis of the Tao that provides grounded ways of applying the concepts to life.

Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins: Tom Robbins mixes the sacred and the profane so very delightfully. His writing feels like Pan meets Jesus. (Which happens in Another Roadside Attraction…)

Conversations with God Series, by Neale Donald Walsh: Translates spiritual concepts through a western Christian’s perspective.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story about a bird who knows that there’s more to living than meets the eye, he follows his heart even though the other sheep-birds think he’s bonkers.

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford: This book is the reason I find myself engaging in shadow work daily, she makes befriending and balancing our difficult aspects somehow kinda fun. Genius.

The Valkyries, by Paulo Cohelo: A darker look at personal transformation, occult focused. (Loved The Alchemist as well, so many more of his to read!)

Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert: A woman’s quest for inner peace via traveling the globe; to indulge, intensely meditate, and to learn ancient wisdom from a medicine man.

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury: A dystopian society, a seeker, and an enlightening young woman.

Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander: A neurosurgeon and skeptic falls into a coma and an experience of life after death.

On Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening is the process of going from being enmeshed in the traditional “3D” experience of the world, to being consciously integrated into a spirit-centered experience – sounds so breezy, doesn’t it? Hahahaaaaaaaaa.

This quote by Adyashanti sums it up nicely, “Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of…untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

However, I do think that it makes us better, and it’s also totally worth it. (Plus, you can’t stop it anyways! So, unless you dig feeling lost, just lean in.)

Mine started with 11:11’s, coincidences, impassioned spiritual study, a cyst on my pineal gland, and hallucinogens all filling my world in my 19th year. Then there was a 5-day experience that a psychologist called a ‘mental break’ but my eastern philosophy professor dubbed ‘a spiritual awakening.’ After that, colors became more rich and stayed that way.

But there was much to come, especially once I committed, which took quite awhile (I’m telling ya, lean in now). Spiritual awakening is the process of becoming aligned with your soul’s plan for your life, so it usually involves significant change; and my story’s no different, everyone and everything in my life wholly changed. It shifted in phases, and they were not fun phases. But they were filled with magic too, with meaning and significance that made the ick seem almost irrelevant (and infinitely easier to handle).

And, now into my 37th year, I’m sure there’s still much to come! I’ve heard people talk about fully awakened humans (generally referring to themselves), but I’m not convinced that’s actually a thing. I feel like I’d need to master things like astral travel before I could even begin to know what I don’t know yet, there’s just so much to awaken to, to integrate into this worldly life…I’m not convinced anyone can do it all. (I look forward to seeing how I feel about it in my 94th year.)

What’s your take, can we gain fully integrated spiritual awareness from here? Is that what you think of as ‘the end’ of spiritual awakening? What’s your awakening been like? Please comment (or bust out an article!) with your experience and knowledge…

On Asshoolios.

Asshoolios. We all know ’em. Sometimes we even behave like ’em, don’t we? Most of us eventually see our err; and try to make good, hurt as it may. But there’s some that can never ever seem to see their own wrong doings…and these are the true asshoolios.

These guys don’t mean to be mean, it’s usually just their own unhealed wounds at the wheel, but they still hurt people and fuck up lives nonetheless. They need to be taught that this behavior isn’t effective, and, as a society, we really teach them the exact opposite.

When someone’s a dick (even to someone else, even while “joking,” even if they’re the boss) it’s tempting to shrink, to make yourself less noticeable so that heat’s not tempted to burn your way – but then they fucking win, man.

They dominate the exchange, and the heat’s rarely thrown back in their stupid faces; which is the whole point of their debacles, to deflect negative attention from their insecure asses.

Assholes often appear fuckless, but it’s a faux-fucklessness. It might scream “I do what I want!!,” but it’s actually just a precious security blankie, one they have no idea they’re clinging to. A warped mirror offered to the world instead of their authentic soul.

And that authentic soul would be cool AF someday, if only given the chance to play. To grow on purpose, to not only acknowledge their errs, but to make light of them, as they used to do at others’ expense.

They could make growth a shtick, or a company culture, industry standard, or cultural norm – because these fuckheads run this world. And it’s got to stop.

To this end, I vow to call these peeps on their shit more often, and to continuing to offer “yeahHhhhh!!’s” if someone braver starts first. And, more importantly, I vow to always be my weirdass self, even though she tends to take more of this ‘heat,’ it’s just worth it.

So, you with me?

Resilience and Compassion

I love this quote. After going through a difficult time, any semi-reflective person is likely to do some thinking on their weaknesses and faults; because how else does one avoid making the same mistakes?

But it’s easy to overdo ‘er. It’s common to not only own one’s errs, but to define ourselves by them, if only unconsciously. When you decide that you’ll never be good enough, things improving seems impossible. And the mental place of “why bother?” is no breeding ground for resilience.

Compassion for ourselves helps us get to a place of seeing ourselves as stronger and wiser for our mistakes, which makes trying again seem worth the effort and potential risks.

And compassion for others is how we become able to look at the world, and the people in it, as potentially trustworthy. This enables us to put ourselves “out there” again, one of many daunting-but-essential parts of getting to a place of resilience.

Becoming resilient is generally one that must be hard won, but the goods are mighty good indeed. Excited I stumbled onto the work of Sharon Salzberg today! All that just from reading one of her quotes, fun fun.

Fragile, Strong, Love.

OnPaste.20191215-154925Ah, vulnerability. In order to really love, we have to really trust, really allow ourselves to be seen. There’s no chance of telling yourself, “Well, they didn’t even really know the REAL ME if you’re vulnerable.”

Allowing yourself to be fully seen is indeed the only way to be fully rejected, but it’s also the only way to be really loved. Who cares if someone loves the facade of you that you’ve created for them? (Yet, the obviousness of the point doesn’t make it less tempting, does it? 🤣)

It’s scary to really put yourself out there with someone, to demonstrate your fragility – but it’s the only path to real connection.