Monday, November 05, 2007

I've always liked George Carlin

From George Carlin, famous comedian of the 70's and 80's who's wife recently died...

Excerpts from
A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and h ate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to at least 8 people....Who cares?

George Carlin

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hey there

I'm still around. I wanted to say hello and that I haven't been in much of a "disclosure" blog space lately. I'm possibly looking for another blog address where I can say whatever I want, and perhaps leaving this blog as a PG-13 version of my life, for those who would prefer that rating.
The other reason for me being gone is that I'm hella busy with massage, craniosacral, the administrative tasks of running a business, Buddhist activities, and some physical issues I've got going on right now.

Be Well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Moments with Benji

Ok, I have a confession, well actually, I have a few confessions.

First of all, I am completely enamored with Benji Schwimmer ever since I saw him win the Season 2 Finale of So You Think You Can Dance, which is simply the best reality competition on television, including my beloved American Idol. Secondly, sometimes I spend more time on my space than I'd like. Thirdly, I think I'm a closet triple threat.

Ok, maybe not so much that last one.

So one day, I'm bored, I'm looking through my space, as ya do. I find Benji's page. I find myself asking to be added as a friend, he friends me. I then find myself not so secretly putting him #4 on my friends list, le sigh. The next day, as I'm reading about his love of the dance, the book Clifford the Big Red Dog, and his church, I find myself directed to his blog. I begin reading. I immediately feel guilty, saying to myself things like, "Stine, you know that if Jose knew, he would not let you live it down"AND, "you know Ly will just look at you, smile that sly Cheshire Cat smile and do the I'm-glad-she's-a-goofy-chick-has-sex-like-a-linebacker-cuz-she's-a-friggin-geek look." I read on.

You see, Benji is a Mormon. When I found this out as I watched him run away with last season, I felt a latent kinship to him. I felt as though he were "my people". Even though I am now a Nichiren Buddhist, there is a part of me that will always consider people in the LDS church, "my people". But back to Benji. I read through a post on his blog called "Human, part 1" in which he rallys support for his sister, Lacey, who is currently in the running to win the Season 3 finale of SYTYCD. In this post, he also rails against onliners who have thrown insults at him and his family because of "supposed" favoritism of Lacey due to his Season 2 win. And as if to cement the idea of how much he and I have in common, I read this referencing one of his likes, "adding sauce to every description of something really good or bad like "that's lame....SAUCE" or " totally coolsauce!" The boy loves SAUCE! I LOVE sauce! Can you believe it? Jesus! Ok wait a minute, he comes later.

See, Mormons like sauce; ketchup and mayo mixed together, honey mustard dressing, jello and whipped cream, gravy. If it's runny and creamy, we LOVE it! I love it! I must have sauce on pretty much everything. But I digress.

I then start to read Benji's blog entry "Human, part 2 (change and growth)". Awe, check out the title. Seriously man, the dude is working on his shit. I think it's the sweetest thing I've ever heard as I read on. He starts off typing the lyrics of Run to You-lyrics on Now I don't know if that means "metrosexual" or not, but again I digress. He then types
these phrases:

"wow look different"
"im very disappointed in you" "you're changing"
"we used to really love you"
"hollywood, and the world have gotten to you"
"bring back the old benji"
"it's sad to see you're giving in"

The Mormons, and hard core religious folks are TOTALLY giving him shit, talking about how he's sold out, he's given in to they ways of the world. He's gotten shit about wearing "fake" earrings, about dying his hair blonde, having 5 o'clock shadow, and not behaving in an appropriate manner befitting someone who is supposed to be an example to children.

I then think, ok, these are all BIG generalized societal indicators that Benji may be of a more liquid sexuality than some of his critics, but leave the poor kid alone. His hips can shake mountains around you. Benji went on a Mormon mission, talked in his blog about loving his Saviour, wanting to set a good example for kids today, has a charity that HE started to take dance to children around the world. I mean seriously people, what else does this guy have to do to get the gold Celestial star?

Apparently others accused him of looking strung out and drugged up. I wonder if they know what sadists dancers are regarding their schedules and bodies. He toured the country, did classes in China, taught in Norway, and did the talk-show circuit. The boy probably had jet-lag. And ya know, if they think Benji looks strung out and drugged up, they obviously haven't met any 20-something actors.

I felt myself wanting to bundle him up in a soft down blankee, bolster that beautiful body that can move like the wind, and sing him a lullaby.

Instead, I posted a comment on his blog. Yes, I even ranked and gave the full 2 kudos to his post. I told him that the Saviour had blessed him with CRAZY talent, and that he is fulfilling his destiny. I am hooked. I feel like his presence, if only virtual, completes me.

I don't care if my boy is Mormon, gay, blonde, brunette, pierced, tattooed, or what, he can slide 10 feet across a dance floor in one move. He can pirouette to make my soul sing, he can swing his partner, around, and around, and around. And he is sharing that talent with the world and can move like no one can. I love me my Benji, and I have finally decided, I don't care who knows it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Happy Leos

Happy Birthday to Missuz J today. And the happiest of birthday to my only younger sister who does not have a blog, yet - Missuz A in HI.

My world is flush with lions. I know Sophie's birthday is in August, as is daddy's. My friend in Oregon's birthday is coming up soon. My sister of chaos has a birthday the end of this month, as do her children. Ly's brother is a lion, as I think one of his children is.

And my rising sign in Leo. So many lions, so little time. So give a little roar to the favorite lion in your life.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

You can lead a horse to water

but you can't make him drink. Or so the saying goes. I'm having a bit of a quandry about a handful of recent clients that I've seen on my table. They all have varying degrees of aches, pains, symptoms, lifestyle issues in which they aren't able to do the things they enjoy because of any of the above. I ask them if they have played with any of the strength exercises I've suggested, or if they've been adjusted lately, if they drank water after their last massage, if they've done any stretching, if they've taken steps to fix the computer work station that increases their pain, if they've decreased their sugar intake (which when injested into a body that has any inflammation, is like pouring gasoline on a fire), and the answer to all these questions is no.

It's not that I don't understand not taking the time to do these things, and it's not like I haven't been very lax in the past about taking care of my own body's aches and pains. But for the past few years I've made different choices, and it's shown results and helped decrease symptoms as my lifestyle has changed. I think, in the end, it's a matter of me being a cock-eyed optimist. I see so much potential in so many people I work with. I see ability, strength, movement, and capability in their bodies, I hear it in their speech, and I want to empower them to create more of that in their lives. That's what it ultimately comes down to. I'm still working on my delivery, because sometimes I can be a big annoying Seattle bodywork hippy, but I want these people around for years to come, and some of them won't be if they don't make some changes.

Insert transition phrase here (little sister, you could help me with one of these). I seriously sit here and type and think of my English teacher little sister, my English teacher friend in Cedar City, my English major critic hubby, and well, I feel grammatically lacking. I seriously want to go back to 3rd grade, and cover basic grammar, and fractions. I feel like I was really sick those weeks during grade school.

Ly and I saw the Simpsons movie this weekend. I woke up about 3 times last night singing the choral version of Spider Pig - imagine Ly's surprise. Of course I may have only been singing it in my mind, but it makes for much better telling if I'm singing it as I sit up to pee, n'est-ce-pas? I can't get it out of my mind. For anyone with the inclination and time, I highly recommend the movie. There's a reason that they've been going for 18 seasons now.

I'm also getting a new tattoo. One of my clients has a friend who comes into town for a few weeks, and my client rounds up a bunch of tattoo clients for her. So I'm getting a tattoo on my sacrum. I figured it would be a nice balance to the ones on my feet. So this is a rough idea of what it will look like. The skull part will be much cooler, and there will be no words on it, of course. I've been learning a lot about how the pelvis and the jaw/head have a lot in common. For example, to help release my hips, and some muscles there, my acupuncturist will put needles in my jaw. The temporal bones in the head mirror the movement of the ilium(hip bones) almost directly. And well, most of my medical past has had to do with one or the other of these two areas. I just felt really drawn to this picture.

new tattoo

Like I said, it will be much more proportional, it will have a cooler face in the skull, and there won't be any words on it.

So after seeing the latest Harry Potter flick(I haven't read ANY of the books yet - I know, I know), I have decided that it is time for Ly and I to bite the bullet and get the books. I need to know what all the hype is about. I need to be swept up in the love and fury of the fandom. I have enjoyed the movies, I have become invested in the characters, but I need to know the intricacies of the storyline now. The movies can't do justice to those threads that can only be tied together with clever storytelling. I will say that the movie made me feel like a bad, bad man. I mean what is the male equivalent to "Lolita", because I was SO feeling it watching that latest movie. He IS legal now.

Insert another pithy transition here:

And it closing, my lovely little Beige man sent me this, and it pretty much sums up how I see the world:

Monday, July 16, 2007

SICKO anyone?

Possible liberal rant ahead, proceed with caution.

First, read this.
Salon's SICKO review

Lyam and I saw Michael Moore's movie recently. (Some minor spoilers contained - but you should still see the movie). And for those conservative family members to whom the name Micheal Moore compares to Lucifer, I dare you too see this movie. And having experienced the best and worst of the "health care" industry from both sides of the fence; patient and provider as opposed to liberal and conservative, it is clear to me that people are unnecessarily dying in this country due to a health care system that is deeply flawed.

As I mentioned in a previous post, our country is 37th in the world in the taking care of the health of it's people. We rank right about Slovenia. How is it possible that a country with some of the best technology, the best advances in medical equipment, the best scientific minds can rank 37th in the world in the health care of it's citizens? When a mother has a 4-year old daughter with a 104 degree fever, is told as she gets to the ER in an ambulance, that her HMO won't cover care unless it's at one of their hospitals. So being a conscientious mother, she gets in her car, drives to the HMO hospital, and as she gets out of the car her daughter starts to have a seizure. Within minutes, she watches her 4-year old daughter have a cardiac arrest and pass away in front of her. When rescue workers from 9/11, who didn't work for the city of New York and therefore didn't have health coverage, and that volunteered their time, are denied care for their respiratory conditions because no one will insure them, something in the system is flawed.

When these rescue workers can receive care in Cuba, as they did in the movie, and be charged a few US dollars for an asthma inhaler, as compared to $125 for the same inhaler in the states, the system is flawed. I have personal experience with this last inhaler issue. One of the inhalers that I'm "supposed" to be on cost me $125 a shot when I had a "health care" policy that didn't cover prescriptions.

The French have a manditory, 5 week vacation policy. They are instructed to take one week off for their honeymoon. ?????????

Does. Not. Compute. USA, does, not compute.

We take the best technology of the world, the best scientific knowledge, the best medical innovation, and we make it better. For those of you who think that a socialized health care system won't work, why are we in the United States SO intelligent that we can improve on most anything anyone around the world can create or conceive of, but our own citizens are dying in droves due to lack of health care coverage.

In the movie they show the original teletape of Nixon talking to his advisers as they had a discussion about what would eventually become Kaiser Permanente. This was the genesis of the road to health care for profit. The health care we know now is a numbers game. If the numbers are too high, if the odds don't stack up in our favor, we can cancel your policy. There are so many stories of people getting a life-threatening illness: cancer, brain tumor, heart attack, stroke, and having their insurance policies immediately canceled in the middle of what can oftentimes be painful follow-up procedures. There are people who go back over insurance applications looking for minute details that may have been omitted, prescriptions that weren't listed, doctors visits for the common cold that weren't listed, as reasons to cancel the policy.

Ultimately this movie is an anti-lobbyist movie. It's no secret that the drug, insurance and oil companies are running this country into the ground. The big brass in Washington that received hefty pay-offs for staying silent about a National health care system is staggering. The movie lists specific amounts, and persons that were paid off. And lest ye think I'm too big a ranting lefty, Hilary was paid a nice sum for her silence on pushing through a National Health Care system. She caved even though it was one of her pet issues in the beginning. I tell ya, that Illinois bruddah is looking better and better for '08.

The last point I wish to make about this movie, is the point I think Michael Moore made best, and that is "Live together, die alone." We have become so isolated from each other, in body, mind, and spirit. We are addicted to labels, myself included (She's rich, he's poor, she's a lefty whack job, he's an uptight conservative, she's Christian, he's Buddhist, she's gay, he's straight, she's Mexican, he's an Irish drunk who's family has lived here for 150 years). People in other countries do not understand why we don't see our fellow humans as our responsibility. So just be careful when you label something worthy or not of insert noun of choice here.

/end rant

In daily news, Ly and Stine will be headed to Whiskey Beach for our anniversary in August. We found a nice little "mobile park" that rents cabins that are hooked up with cable and pots and pans in the kitchen. So all we have to bring is bedding, and food. And it's way cheap.

For the first time in seriously, 20 years, I bought one size smaller in pants. My God I felt like I was 18 again. So the ass is getting a little more sproing, in all the good ways. Been working lots, but spending a nice amount of time in our pool, which thank God we have. I have official become a weather weenie living in Seattle. I mean back in Utah, we'd have 110 degree August days that would melt your face off, and since living in Seattle, I can only handle a variance of about 50 to 85 degrees. That is where I'm happiest.

Been doing a crazy amount of cranial sessions. I'm getting some wacky results. I LOVE playing with this, and taking journey's through people's bodies, including my own. And speaking of bodies, I'm getting another tattoo. It's going to be of a pelvis with a skull in the middle of it. It's not going to be a "I'm a gun-slinging-granny-Harley-kick-your-ass" type of skull, it's going to be very anatomical with a little touch of goth. The parallels between the skull and the pelvis in construction, function, and application, are astounding. So I'm getting that on my sacrum August 6th.

Well, speaking of SICKO, I must go get an allergy shot. Hopefully it will be covered.


Friday, June 22, 2007

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

that is the question...

So I've been having a bout of insomnia as of late. I think it's been brought on by a number of things all culminating at once. It started about a month and a half ago when I went to my 2nd cranialsacral weekend class. At that time I also switched from a brand name thyroid medication to one that my new insurance would cover. I also started working out 4 to 6 times a week for less time each day. Whereas before, I had been working out about 2 times a week for about an hour and a half.

The cranial class is kicking my ass, in a good way, and also in a kicking my ass intense way. After the last module, it took me 4 days to feel normal. I felt off, like someone had messed around with the furniture in my head and body, and the inner feng shui was all off. After this last module, in which we learned to work many of the facial and jaw bones, I felt great. A week after the last class, I received a session from my instructor, who I would like to one day be. My body was working on unwinding patterns from when I broke my neck. My entire right side is compressed, energetically, and fascially. She also worked a lot with my sphenoid bone, which was also compressed on the right. And for those of you following along with the cliff notes, the pituitary gland sits in the middle of this bone.

Cut to yesterday, I get a call from my doctor's office. I had recently gone in to get some more blood work to check my tsh(thyroid stimulating hormone) levels. I hadn't had them checked since my last thyroid surgery in January 2006. I call them back this morning. And it turns out my thyroid levels are too high. I've been on the same dose of thyroid med for about 10 years now. They told me to stop taking a pill on Sundays, and that my tsh levels would level out to where they should be.

Would explain the insomnia a bit, yes? Also, how did a hormone level that had remained constant for almost ten years, become too high? Why now?

I personally think it's because of whole food supplementation, increased workouts, cranialsacral therapy, liver detoxes, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic adjustments, and chanting. Honestly, it's just really nice feedback that the things I have been doing are changing my physiology. I wanna help people be able to do that.

In other news, Ly and I have seen 3 music shows in less than one month. It's amazing what having a critic husband can do for our music exploits. I think it may turn out like we see movies, one day it's his turn to pick, the next day it's my turn to pick. I did see his beloved Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum with him on his birthday. They were very theatrical, very intelligently put together, very good musicians, and scary as hell. I liked a few of the numbers. But then Sky Cries Mary was in town with a new album out, and I had to put my foot down. I got my coy pout face on, the big round hopeful eyes, and said, "dooooood, it's music I want to see, we MUST get tickets. He so very graciously complied (I love it when that happens). And last night we saw Antibalas and danced until I felt a bit faint. I see great music in our future.

PS - To my sisters, I'm glad you both now have blogs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Birthday

To my darling boy. You really are the wind beneath my wings, but I will spare you the virtual rendition of said song, as I know you hate the song. I will sing something for you tonight at the restaurant, and it will be funny, and it will embarrass you.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and let's all come clean

So as you may have noticed, I've been a bit blog shy lately. I thought long and hard as to whether I was going to get back on here and tell everyone why, as some people may be "offended". By some people, I mean one family member in particular. But as I have learned, this family member is going to be "offended", "put off", and "made uncomfortable" by many aspects of my life, no matter what I do.

That said, fuck it, after 37 long damn years, I'm tired of apologizing, making excuses, or generally hiding any aspect of myself from my family. I love my family very much, they have taught me so much - including the above mentioned "offended" family member. But all of my family must note, if you don't want to know about me, including ALL aspects of me, please don't read further. And also, to any family member who may be reading this, if you are really curious as to me, my life, or how I REALLY feel about things, please do something novel and pick up a phone and call me.

So what happened is this: I sent out an email to a few friends and family members with the link to my Creating Wellness post. Many family members had not seen my blog yet. One family member, I'll call them "D" for short, sent me back an email talking first about the Wellness post, and making some really good and interesting comments about health, nutrition, and general wellness. D then proceeded to tell me he was disappointed with some of the things that were on my blog profile page. The things on my profile page that were of concern were under my interests, namely: exmormons, bisexuality, and medical marijuana. I proceeded to read the long paragraph about how D still loved me, but did not understand how these things related to massage, or why I felt the need to display them to the world, etc. etc. etc. There was more to the email, but that was the general tone of things.

So I wait a few days to respond, because there were things I wanted to say that were best left in my head. I finally email D back and basically state that first, this is not a massage blog, this is a blog about ME, MY life, and all things ME. Secondly, I see no logic, peace, or integrity in hiding any aspect of myself. I invited D to consider that those "things" that presented problems, were things that D would have to reconcile within D. I told D that the me that exists currently is most likely a very different person than the one created in D's mind. I ended by saying that I longed for the day that these issues wouldn't even be something that needed to be discussed.

So since this all took place about a month and a half ago, I have received email forwards from D about right-wing politics, God in schools, how the Ford company is evil because they support a homosexual agenda in their advertising on TV. I have NOT received any emails that contain any personal communication of any kind. I am left to wonder what goes on in D's mind. I long to be able to sit with D and discuss our viewpoints of life, religion, culture, and the things that are important in my life like: health, bodywork, what I am learning studying Buddhism, craniosacral therapy, acting, and singing. I don't know when or if that will ever happen, but I have been chanting about it, putting that energy out there, and trying, within myself, to create a space in which D can feel comfortable with my life and my presence. However, there is only so much I can do, there comes a time when one has to surrender to what is. I just hope that what "is", is enough with which to have a relationship.

So that's the scoop on all that. In other news, my craniosacral certification is kicking my ass. It's WONDERFUL! And it's much harder to receive than I had anticipated. After my last weekend module, it took me and my body 4 days to recover, and I still haven't quite recovered. Even though it is a very gentle paradigm, it has the ability to access deep, old, and very locked somatic patterns in the body. These patterns can be more manifest in anyone who has experienced any type of trauma. So after this last module, I felt as though I were swimming in a vat of 20 years of car-wrecks, surgeries, injuries, and emotional turmoil. I have had insomnia since this last module, and my anxiety levels have increased a bit. Much of that is being worked out with my chanting, and receiving some acupuncture during this process, but it's still something I struggle with currently. I knew what I was signing on for, and I knew that craniosacral would be the avenue in which to explore these things in my body, but damn it's intense as shit. The more I learn about it, the more powerful I'm finding it is. One should go into craniosacral therapy with the full understanding of what it has the potential to access. But just as these things are being stirred up in my body, I'm also finding many of these things being able to be released and transformed, so that makes me very happy.

Now that the intense stuff is out of the way, I have to say that I'm excited about this weekend, we're going to see Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum tonight. I'm a little apprehensive, as their music is SO much more Ly than me, but despite what my hubby may think, I'm very interested to see the theatrical aspects of this group. We then are having people over tomorrow during the day for a early brunch birthday celebration for Ly. He will be turning 35 on Wednesday (sorry dude, totally outed you). I'm cooking my biscuits and gravy, Ly's making breakfast pizza, we're hooking up the bloody mary's and the mimosas, and we're gonna have a good time.

Ok damn, that all just made me feel like I've been through a big therapy session. Now it's time for me to go do some therapy on my client. Thanks for listening.

Note to my family: I love you all very much. Thank you for being in my life and teaching me about love, relationships, and how to be in the world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hello World

I finished a big long post last week, and blogger ate it. But I figured I'd recreate a bit of it, plus add some new things. I've been a bit blogger shy since mailing out a link to my last post to a bunch of people including family, and getting various reactions from family members. Most loved the post. A small percentage loved the post, but had a few problems with my blogger profile page. More specifically, they had a problem with some of my listed interests. There are more details, but they are immaterial really. My interests are a part of me, and they will either read my blog, or they won’t. And that is all she wrote.

So, my question, for the last few weeks has been: Who took the rule out of the drivers handbook about 4 way stops and multiple people get there at the same time? The person on the right goes? Yes? Anyone? Anyone?

And who, told at least 3/4 of the driving population that they should not under any circumstances, signal before turning right or left. In fact, it is even better, if you don't even slow down much before veering into the aforementioned turn.

And someone, I don't know who, has been giving crystal meth to the blue hairs. But I've had at least two grannies in the last 2 weeks totally CUT ME OFF at the pass and barely missed nicking my car while vying for a parking spot at the damn grocery store. I mean shitballs these bitches were hard core.

People have been INSANE on the roads the past two weeks. And yes, I'm SURE there's a small window for projection, but seriously folks, what gives?

Ok, now that's out. Whew, feel better.

I started my cranial sacral certification. And it is is so gu...ud! Most loving it. Of course it totally is showing me how much there is to learn. I could learn this stuff for the rest of my life, and still only barely begin to have a clue. The class, and I've only had 1 module(there are 9 more), has given words to things I've already felt in the body, and with the words, it's more easy to perceive those things.

Except there is one thing I'd love to talk about, it's the idea of creating fulcrums. As a practitioner, you ground yourself by visualizing your breath/energy/whatever going into the ground below your sacrum. Then, you visualize a line of breath/energy/whatever coming out of the back of your head, just below your occiput(or the little bump on the back of your head). This energy extends out behind you at a 45 degree angle, and anchors you into the ground behind you.

I have found this later fulcrum to be very valuable in my work the past week. You can also imagine your attention moving backwards, away from the client, as you do this. You and the client negotiate an "attention space" that feels comfortable to you both. It adds a whole new level of softness and depth to the moments you remember to do it. It's an interesting exercise to actually try and be aware of, and feel your back body. It has made me realize how much I'm always pushing forward, trying to get to the next moment, instead of chilling, taking a damn breath, and letting it come to me.

Funny me bitching about drivers, n'est-ce-pas?

Total non sequitur, for you parents out there, I'm curious how many of you employ behaviorism in raising your children? If you do use behaviorism, I'd be curious to hear how you use it, at what times, with what results. I'm interested what kinds of disciplinary measures you use, and what kinds of results you see.

For the non-parents, as I am VERY interested in your feedback as well (and am really tired of having my opinion discounted in all things child related because I am a non-parent), do any of you have nieces nephews? What about children you babysit? Do any of you employ behaviorism with these children, and if so, to what success, or failure? What about if the child has a serious medical condition? Would that change any answers to the above questions?

More to come.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Creating Wellness in New Jersey

I went to New Jersey this weekend for a Creating Wellness training and seminar. What is Creating Wellness you ask. That's a really good question. You can get a good idea here.

And for those of you who don't like clicking links (although you'd get a much better idea of what it is), it's a system of objectively measuring stress on your nervous system, and therefore health, in three areas: psychological(how you think), biochemical(what you eat/drink), and physical(how you move). The system measures such things as: heart rate variability(which is the biggest indication of a nervous system heading towards disease), range of motion, skin conductivity, EMG, heart rate, weight, body mass index, cognitive stressors, lung capacity, and many other things. All these measures are then combined to give you one number that is labeled your "wellness quotient"

There are coaches that coach clients weekly on achieving goals the client sets at the beginning of the program. The program involves exercise, psychological/mental health suggestions/advice(by way of weekly CDs tailored to each individual), and nutritional support/meal planning/food journaling sorts of things. This only barely touches on what is involved in this program, but for the sake of brevity, I'll leave it at that.

What I also wanted to touch upon is the STAGGERING statistics I learned over the weekend about the "health care" (heretofore labeled HC) industry. Did you know that 2.2 trillion dollars went into the HC industry last year. 15% of the gross domestic product went to HC. And this was the most fascinating to me, 50%, or 1/2 of ALL bankruptcies are due to a major health crisis. $1 in every $6 US dollars goes towards health care.

And what about insurance? Insurance involves risk. 60% of all insurance payments are prepaid doctor's visits. Our premiums go up based on use. This in and of itself is a prepaid benefit. As I mentioned, insurance involves risk, and currently, the insurance companies aren't taking any. What we have now is NOT insurance. More companies are moving towards health spending accounts, catastrophic insurance policies, and wellness care for their employees. Hospitals are using this Creating Wellness system to take care of their employees so they don't have to pay higher premiums. How ironic is that?

The fact of the matter is, is that insurance is going away. It's not a matter of if, but when. Premiums are going up, benefits are going down, doctor's are still getting sued. I believe, it is why there is a large trend towards Wellness care. The "Wellness" industry is booming. Seems to me we've been putting the cart before the horse for so long now. Try for a second to think about where the United States ranks as far as health care quality and taking care of it's people? 5th? 7th? Not anything lower than 15th, surely?


As a health care provider, I'd rather have hundreds of clients seeing me less frequently and paying cash, than more frequently and using insurance. We've created a very unhealthy reciprocal relationship between our treatment and our "sickness". Lest ye think I'm too much a ranting Seattle hippy, the HC industry is vitally important is keeping people alive, but it IS sick care, and not health care. As a massage therapist, what happens when the pain is gone? I end up being a fix, people don't change their habits, and no one learns, becomes healthy or thrives in the long run. The only thing between where you are and where you want to be is your habits - or so they told me. Made me think a tiny little bit. So many clients come into be and say I just wanna feel goooood. Would you rather be healthy, liver longer, and thrive, or just "feel good"?

So what is "wellness"? It's the principle of engaging the world. It's the degree to which and individual experiences health and vitality in any dimension of life. The nervous system is bodies central processing system. When you don't have a cps that functions correctly, you get fractionated information to the system. The body can't function well with nerve interference. Nerve interference leads to subluxation of the vertebrae, and the cycle starts all over again. When you are subluxated, your body does not process information correctly. This is true in all three areas: psychological, biochemical, and physical.

They did a test with people and ask them to move their ankles while administering an MRI to scan their brains. The first scan showed activity in many of the motor areas of the brain. They then gave these people chiropractic adjustments, had the move their ankles again, administered an MRI, and it took 1/20th the energy to complete the same task. Just think how much energy we didn't have to be expending.

Wellness is a continuum and a process. It's not I'm better now, so I can stop the behaviors that make me feel well. The 2nd law of thermodynamics says that all things head towards entrophy(breaking down). This is why working towards wellness is a life long process. It is absolutely natural and right for the body to thrive, and be well. Just surviving, is not natural. Wellness is an active process that is all about action. Inactivity and indecision leads to a drift to the left of the continuum(towards death and entrophy). A wellness quotient below 75 indicates that you are aging faster than the norm. Wellness reflects a state of inner and outer harmony. Inner order is governed by the nervous system, and outer order is a product of informed choice and behavior, and both inner and outer order are affected by stress. But it's got to be a matter of changing thinking patterns about disease, sickness and pain. Words are things, they are energy, and instead of saying "rehabilitation" say "rehabituation". We should be "changing habits" instead of "changing symptoms". It's about "release" as opposed to "relief". They told me that where I am and where I want to be is only separated by behavior. Bastards!

Disease is the absence of something essential, as opposed to the presence of something evil. Anything you hate, owns you.

The obvious gene issue comes up in my mind. Surely many of my maladies are related to heredity and my DNA. And I found out that less than 5% of all disease is actually due to heredity. A gene, mutant or not, is either on or off. And lifestyle stressors affect the expression of the on or off in a gene.

Suffice it to say, I learned a lot. So I am in the process of training to be a Creating Wellness coach. I am also looking into the possibility of learning some things about chiropractic assisting. I start my cranial sacral certification in April (which I'm totally jazzed about). This weekend was a really good reminder of why I'm on this earth. I wanna be a catalyst for change in people's lives. I want to show people their inherent ability, and right to heal themselves. Anything's possible people.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kitty Gives a Massage

Lyam sent me this link today...and oh. my. gosh.

I'll take care of you

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Liver Cleanse - Recap

Well I'm done with the cleanse now. Ly and I went to Wild Ginger for my first meal of the rest of my life. My God it was the tastiest thing I think I've ever eaten. We had fresh spring rolls with this spicy fish sauce, and pineapple sauce. We then had sea bass lettuce wraps - which were to. die. We finished that off with some mango pork. I had a bit of the pork, but I was feeling really full by that point. It was weird though, I could actually taste the oil in the fresh spring roll wrapper. We then went to the store to stock up on more fresh veggies, but this time, I picked me up some roasted red pepper hummus, and added some damn snow peas. I thought it was Christmas.

The practical things I've learned since being off the cleanse are: cheese gives me that histamine mouth thing like I get when I eat nuts. Different cheeses do that to different extents. Goat cheese, no big, Mozzarella ain't so bad, a piece of
havarti, then mild cheddar, and then Irish sharp cheddar when I got home, that combo woke me up at like 4:30, and I didn't get back to sleep the rest of the night, I had a headache, my tummy was growly, and it did me w.r.o.n.g. I am in mourning for my beloved cheese. To answer your question, yes, I AM going to still eat cheese, but I really wanna cut down, because I know my body functions better without it. One cup of white tea yesterday morning made me feel like I was 20 again, snorting phat lines of pure uncut white gold up the ol' schnoz, and hanging off the roof at Roosevelt University in Chicago (a story for another time).

I have lost approximately 7 pounds, about 3 belt notches, various inches; most notably on my arms, thighs, and ass. My skin is softer, and while not blemished to begin with, much more clear than when I began. Other than the disrupted cheese sleep, I sleep much better than I did before the cleanse, and get more bang for my sleep dollar, if you will. The sharpness of the pain in some of my main joints, including my neck, has diminished. My tummy is far less acid'y than before, my moods feel more stabilized, and I have much more energy than I did when I began. When I am awake, I'm awake, and I don't feel that muscle pull towards bed.

On the intangible level, I have learned that I actually DO have will power. I have also learned a bit about my relationship to food, and how & why I put it in my body(no cucumber jokes please). I have also learned that I can make, and keep a promise to myself.

I would recommend this or any other liver cleanse to anyone, WITH the caveat, that it should be attempted with the direct supervision of a health care provider of some sort. If you choose to do it, know your body's limits, do your research, and create something that will work with you, and your life.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Food Journal 3 - My cheatin' mouth

So I figured I better assess what foods I've cheated on in the last few weeks of this liver cleanse. I've been mostly, very good. The things I've cheated with are:

- approximately 4 slices of that tasty damn beef log
- exactly one tortilla chip with some insanely salty veggie dip
- 2 pieces of meat from the hubby's hot pockets (2 separate occasions)
- 2 packages of crab meat (this one is debatable as some think this IS a lean meat, and some do not - including the chiropractor that put me on this liver cleanse)
- 2 kernals (yes, exactly two) of popcorn at the movie

Other than the above, I ain't had shit man. I have had no cheese, no dairy of any kind, no overt sugar(other than fruit), and no alcohol. So ya know, I feel pretty good about it. That said...


I will be done as of 5pm this coming Monday. Ly and I will be going out to dinner. Methinks the Wild Ginger would be a good introduction back into normal food.

Liver Cleanse: Day 19 (2 more to go)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Food Journal 2 - The Cookie Mirage

I need to start by saying that sugar has never really been my thang. However, I do have my moments, and one came upon me last night.

I was sitting in the living room, doing some late night stretches as the boy and I lounged watching a Netflix. I looked into the soft glow of the kitchen, and there on the counter, was a shimmering plastic container full of round, full, bulbous cookies. I blinked for a second, because I knew I wouldn't buy cookies being on this liver cleanse. I open my eyes, I look at the container a second time, and powdered sugar seemed to appear on the tops of them muthafuckas instantaneously.

So now I'm thinking that they're some soft-baked-gingersnappy-spices-cinnamony goodness, and my mouth starts to gush waters of delight. I look at Lyam, who is watching the flick, oblivious, turn back to the cookies, and shit and behold the friggin cookies were cherry tomatoes. My gut ached with the unfairness of it all, but I sucked it up, and then sucked up 3 of my tomato "cookies".

pause for moment of silence for Stine

In other news, I have an appointment Monday with a potential biller, who I have heard raves about. Please let the gods in heaven hook me up with this chick.

I think Ly and I are going to go out to Discovery Park this Sunday, take a walk, and perhaps pack a little picnic of green onions, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts. Pity Me.

Anybody who's around is welcome to come, give a call.

Liver Cleanse: Day 11, 10 more to go

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Food Journal - Beefy Salty Nuggets

Dear Food Diary,

Last evening I had a freakout to beat all freakouts. The boy and I were catching up on some downloaded BSG. We went in the kitchen for a snack, I turn around, and the little bitch was carving up some peppered beef steak. My stomach jumped into my throat, I couldn't breathe, I felt like he was cutting my heart out. I wanted that meaty, salty nugget more than life itself. I felt like I was losing my seriously. I started to have a panic attack of the first order. I felt my heartbeat quicken, the knot in my solar plexus grew, and I started jumping up and down from the sheer torture of it all. I lurched towards my beef chopping husband, grabbed his shirt, screaming for him to bring me a nacho tray full of beef nuggets, nacho cheese, and a big glass of rice milk. In my food fantasy, I was gonna use those beef nuggets as chips. I shiver now in the mere retelling.

I continued to jump around the living room, panicking, trying to keep my head from exploding off my body from want of meat, cheese, and salt. It was really frackin weird y'all. Freaked Ly out a bit. But alas, I made it through the rain, didn't have any meat or cheese. I went to the fridge, and pulled out my concoction of brown rice, tomatoes, red onions, and flayed baked salmon. The crisis was averted, but shit man, it was close there for a bit.

Liver Cleanse: Day 5 (16 more to go)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scrub the Liver & Play with Mandy

So I'm doing a liver cleanse starting on Monday night after Mandy leaves. Ms. Krause will be visiting our neck of the woods this weekend, and I'm tickled purple about it.

I pick Mandy up from the airport tomorrow at noon. We're then going to go to the Always Chiropractic where she will fill out paperwork, get scanned, and most likely get an adjustment. I'm also giving her a massage tomorrow. Saturday we're heading to Olympus spa for a day of relaxation, naked splendor, and one of the hard core body scrubs. I never knew that labia (is the plural labii?) could be scrubbed. We're then going to see Lyam's show. And if you haven't seen it yet, you can read one review Here, and bug Ly for any other review links. Then Sunday we're going to play, and perhaps go see Pan's Labyrinth. Somewhere in there, we're probably going to go see the BODIES exhibit again. It will be peachy.

As to this liver cleanse. It will be for 3 weeks starting the moment Amanda gets on the plane back home. I will be able to eat, protein shakes, some various herbs, as many of these veggies as I want (collard greens, dandelion greens, mixed greens, mustard greens, red, yellow, and green peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach carrots, cucumbers, celery, radishes, kale, broccoli, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, artichokes, red beets), and 1/2 as many of these fruits (apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, berries, melons, tomatoes). I can also add in 2 cups of organic brown rice a day, 1 or 2 organic eggs, and/or 1 to 2 3 ounce portions of lean organic chicken or fish. I will also be drinking a shitload of water, and stepping up my exercising.

In preparation for this, so my body doesn't go into total shock, I've already eliminated sugar, dairy, bread, alcohol, most caffeine, and a lot of salt. I will most likely cheat, a little bit, while Mandy is here, but I still want it to be a fairly smooth transition into eating NOTHING that satisfies me. But I will tell you, I already feel a ton different just eliminating the above things over the past two weeks. I mean can we talk poop here? I pooped like 6 times yesterday. I don't know the last time I pooped 6 times in a day. I will say though, I've taken to turning off the sound for those late night Taco Bell commercials with all the MEAT and CHEESE in them. In the last few days, I have had moments of wanting a cheeseburger so bad I can feel my teeth swim. And if you had asked me at the time, I would have been fairly sure I could commit bodily harm to someone to get a cheeseburger.

It's gonna be good though. I'm excited to see what my body feels like all squeeky clean. I'm excited to have more energy, to figure out and feel what baseline is in my body. I found out the other day that the stomach contains more receptors for emotion than the brain does. I think that's fascinating. And also, by slowing integrating food back into my life after this is over, I can tell what things I may or may not be allergic to. I fear one of them may be dairy. I don't drink cow's milk, and I do very little butter. My big weakness: CHEESE. It's quite simply, the most tasty food on the planet, other than lobster.

My hiaku to cheese:

Cheese is so tasty
But it makes me feel pasty
I won't be hasty

(I know they aren't necessarily supposed to rhyme, but ah well.)

Burgers, cheesey chips, and ketchup, oh my, burgers, cheesey chips, and ketchup, oh

Monday, January 08, 2007

WAX is not your friend

My father just sent me this story via email, which explains, a lot.

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of
easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and
now...the wax.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix

play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully
in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing
kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise:
the bathroom.

It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax,
you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you
peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and
you pull the hair right off.

No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but
I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!)

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each
other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius
kicks in >so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees.
("Cold >wax,"yeah...right!)

I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and
pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too
bad. I can do this!

air removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all
wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire

With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I
sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting
I drop my underwear and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same
procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini
line, covering the right half of my *hoo-hoo* and stretching down to

the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale
deeply and brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!....OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!

Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the
strip. CRAP!!!

Another deep breath and RRIIPP!!

Everything is swirly and spotted.

I think may pass out...must stay conscious..

Do I hear crashing drums???

Breathe, breathe...

OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has
caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it.
I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I
hold up the strip! There's no hair on it.
Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???
Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet.
I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am
touching wax. CRAP!

I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is
now covered in cold wax and matted hair.

Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still
Propped up on the toilet?
I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. DANG!!!!!!!!
I hear the slamming of a cell door. "hoo-hoo*? Sealed shut!
Butt?? Sealed shut!
I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to
Do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop.
My head may pop off!"

What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water >melts wax!!!
I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in,
immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can
gently wipe it off, right???

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to
torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit.
Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued
together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom
of the scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't
melt cold wax.

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-
epoxied myself to the porcelain!!

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a
phone put in the bathroom!!!!!

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some
secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation
starter - "So, my butt and who-ha are glued together to the bottom of
the tub!"

There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for
removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to
know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or
who- ha?"

She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the
rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box.
YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax
off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie
goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super
hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!
By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and
I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling
for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving
grace....the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do
I really have to lose at this point?

I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!!!
The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my

It's sooo painful, but I really don't care.

"IT WORKS!! It works!!"

I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up.
I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to
My grief and despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts.
I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color...... Now thats funny