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“If you wonder whether your Work is done, if you are still in your body, it isn’t.”–Unknown

Screenshot 2014-09-28 21.36.05I don’t know why my life has to be so damn intense, but obviously it does; and, by the way, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I recently published my book, with the help of Chris. Chris is a family friend and a brilliant artist/musician. I hadn’t really interacted with him since he was sixteen, probably over thirty years ago. When the opportunity arose to transform my blog into a book, I jumped at it. I had tried once before after much urging from others, but it didn’t work out. I guess I wasn’t ready.

I never asked Chris about his credentials. I knew he published his mother’s book and his sister’s. As with all significant relationships in my life, yes, unconventional. All I knew was that he grew up with three of the most powerful wonderful women I know. That was credentials enough.

Over the last two months I have faced my mortality on several occasions. There was the choking incident where my airwave was 90% blocked, there was the decision regarding hospice that I believe would have created an unnecessary fast pace trajectory. I guess that was serious enough for me and my caregivers. 🙂 When I experience these incidents, we all do in our Care Circle. It is clear that the opportunities, the teachings are becoming more intense and more pure.

I wrote my blog one entry at a time, moving forward; I couldn’t look back, it was too overwhelming. As Chris began to work his magic, I had to peel away what was me and what was not. The last book he completed was full of graphics and purple. I loved it! However, I am white and wheat–sounds like white bread to me. I guess that is me, white bread with a little crust. This realization is pretty ironic, because on many levels, I am so not that. I am multigrain, non-gluten bread or even grated vegetables put through a dehydrator to make a cracker. But, in this book, I am white bread. So I have to own it.

After the book was out, Chris learned a bit more about pricing in publishing. Color photographs yielded a higher price and I wanted the book more accessible to anyone who wanted to read it. Much of the material may be controversial to some readers, I didn’t want to create more obstacles. Due to the excessive cost in printing, Chris took the book “off the shelves” in order to convert it to black-and-white. When I requested this, he did so with enthusiasm. How many men would do that? How many men would be so graceful to admit their complicity?

The next challenge came with some comments from people that there were too many ellipses (…). I wouldn’t have been so affected by other peoples’ opinions, except that it amplified my opinion initially that I had buried. The book is published. How could I possibly present this to Chris again? At 2 AM, being too heavy on my heart, I crafted an e-mail.

I figured, “this time Chris is going to really lose it.” Nope. “Let’s do it,” was his response. He explained his reasoning behind the… Which made my writing more conversational. I did like that aspect, so we will delete 60% of the…’s.

So that was the surface of our interaction, behind the scenes. I believe that the dynamics behind the scenes gets transmitted through the product. We all know how parents effect their children and, “nobody knows what really happens behind closed doors.” Well, this is what happened behind closed doors. I stood up from my truth, something that has been difficult for me to do in my life. I HAD MY BACK. I stood in my power. To his remarkable credit, Chris heard me, respected me and backed me up. What more can you ask for in human existence, and from a publisher, but to do that for ourselves and each other? In his grace, Chris told me that he must have to soak in my message more deeply as he sat at his computer for twelve hours, to make the changes requested.

After all, Chris existentially had said “yes” to the package I presented. He must have been ready. Welcome to the “aliyah effect.” It is not something initiated by me, but something I must have agreed to, as well.

As I mentioned in my book, the word aliyah in Hebrew means to ascend. When I took that name, I must have agreed. That was before any symptoms on a physical level manifested. If you are in my life in a significant way, you must have said YES as well. Especially if you have read my book and are reading my blog.

Sometimes publishing a book is just a straightforward matter. And sometimes it is a jump into the abyss, to meet your ego and transcend the limitations it affords. Sometimes, it means “to ascend.” Thank you all for making this possible for all of us.

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It is with much joy that I announce that my book was just published about my healing journey. Healing comes in many forms. Some include physical healing, some do not, but there is a greater healing that can happen with or without the physical. Steven Levine describes this form of healing as the heart coming to completion. One common denominator of the most significant healing is when love and joy replace suffering. And it is often through the suffering that LOVE is experienced.

This has been my journey and I am sharing it through my book Meet Me By The River, which is available on Amazon now.

http://www.amazon.com/Meet-Me-By-The-River/dp/0985960779/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1413570039&sr=1-1

I hope my journey helps you you and yours.

garmerdare_1828494iI was just reflecting on what it takes for me to live alone, in this diminished physical capacity. When the caregiver leaves at 8 PM, everything has to be just so. My computer needs to be situated just so, so I can touch the track pad. That is how I turn on my dictation software. How I love Dragon Speak. That is how I wrote my book, how I write my blog and how I control my computer to communicate.

I was always adventurous. I remember hitchhiking in Israel at sixteen with a few friends. One of us would try to communicate with the driver, while the other looked at the license plate to see whether he was Israeli or Arabic. If he was Israeli we would climb into his car. We’ve heard about hitchhikers finding themselves in scary villages against their wishes. That only made the adventure that much more exciting.

And in college, when I was uncomfortable hitchhiking, I purchased a 350 Honda motorcycle and would ride down to Key West from Miami to watch the sunset. Sunset in Key West was a happening event.

In recounting these adventures to my friend Sage, I realized that that is how I get through the night. Every night is an adventure. Will I have the correct amount of blankets for the plummeting Colorado mornings? Will I situate the computer so that I can access it in the morning? Will my toes be squished? Will the pressure on my butt feel okay? And the most important question of all, will I get too hot? Heat is my undoing. When you have heat intolerance, you cannot release the heat from your body, you do not sweat. That is why I sleep with a fan schedule to turn off at 1 AM. There is another question! Is the fan on? Is it in the right position? Is the timer on?

I get slightly neurotic as the caregiver is ready to leave, because I know that if I need anything, I have to wait eleven hours. There is no communication after they leave.

I’m really quite proud of myself, when I think about it. My physical therapist, who comes to my home for treatment, told me that I was the most disabled person he knew who lived alone. Was there a little hint of panic in his declaration?

Honestly, I can remember eliciting that same hint of panic from other loved ones when I would tell them of my adventures. Excitement and danger, a interesting combination. It is fascinating putting the pieces together of the Mystery.