Everything you need for a long and healthy life.
She was putting her daughter to sleep when the sound came crashing onto her ears. Something had pounded into the window but she couldn’t tell what culprit was the cause until she threw open the door to discover her. She was dazed, bruised but not defeated. The weekend had been a heavy one, filled with mental distress and hopelessness for the girl, as she felt for the worlds current problems and how they affected so many she loved and also so many she didn’t even know. Now here, a physical symbol of how painfully she burned inside lay before her, slowly opening and closing her eyes as she attempted to come back to life. She knew instantly this owl was also a womxn. She could feel it in her spirit as she connected to this animal more than she had connected to anything in her life, including her lover of a decade. Why was she so cosmically drawn to this wondrous creature? Was it because of tales she had read of mystic and wise owls traveling in the night to bring about messages from the spiritual world? No, that couldn’t be. It must be because of all the owls she had decorated her young daughters bedroom with. That was the first of many connecting dots she made in the coming weeks. You don’t see all the owls until you are aware that they see you. Then you see them everywhere. A neighbour came by the next day to borrow some sugar, on her apron, owls. The next show viewed that she was aware she was watching consciously, two owls flew in and perched, staring deep into her soul. She ate her ramen noodles attempting to stay blissfully ignorant to what they could be trying to tell her. She had these visions before, years ago that started to show her a way of life that she wasn’t prepared for so she closed it down, swallowed it hard and chased it with a beer. Her eye had closed as quickly as it winced open. Truth be told, you can only avoid spirit for so long before it comes looking for you. A sign this tangible couldn’t be ignored and they knew it; she knew it. The dark night of the soul as they call it came weeks later, unexpected yet she knew exactly what to do. She gave into it, allowing the energy to run through her body as it had before but she had mistaken it for the abuse she had done to her vessel by looking for the answers at the bottom of that long-necked bottle. This energy was different though, it didn’t vibrate with the same tones as when her mind was cloudy with fear. This energy was new and exciting and she awoke after what seemed like hours in trance to start following the signs. She moved from her bedroom to the loft above the kitchen and started rummaging through the books. A bible she thought she was looking for was pushed aside when another hard cover caught her eye. She had carried this book from place to place when she moved but never cracked its cover. She wasn’t even aware of where it came from but inside the first few pages she knew it was meant for her. She read until the messages flowing through took over and sent her flying downstairs to the living room. As she glanced around, all the pieces she collected over the years started to make more sense to her than they had in the department store she purchased them from. A sense of wonder always came over her when she was in these stores, feeling drawn to certain items even when she couldn’t make sense of why she liked them. She bought them anyway and after moving them around in several different areas of the home, they settled in where she felt they belonged. Now it was all laid out for her like a map. Each item resonating with a moment in her life she hadn’t thought about in years. These moments once carried the burden of undiscovered meaning that hung onto her soul with such confusing intrigue. It all was so clear now. Her path had been written in the stars and her mission was being transmitted to her telepathically. It was time for her to begin her divine journey although she had unknowingly started it years ago. But it wouldn’t be so easy. She was not a warrior who could just rise to the challenge as presented to her in her mind. No. She was a mother, a wife, a sister and a daughter. How could she make them see what she sees? She told them about the owl yes, she even had pictures as proof of her existence but they would not accept the idea of a mystic calling she heard from her winged ally. How do you explain how the ringing in your ears is spirit attempting to speak to us but falls on the deaf ears of the blissfully unaware. How do you show a movie of thrilling events that has played out in your mind when the only copy produced was for your three eyes only? This would cause chaos and conflict in her life in the coming weeks as she silently went about her training. Following her inner gps to places around her beloved hometown as she learned how to navigate without the crutch of technology. She learned quickly but it was still frustrating as she was taken away from her daily route that called to her also as logic thought still had a strong grasp on her heart and mind. She felt torn at the seams most days, attempting to balance her life between what she knew and what she knows now. Her husband, confused and frustrated by her scattered appearance, confronted her until she confided in him her true nature, only to have it rejected and left to feel scared, alone and misunderstood. Her sister, thankfully offered some relief as she had also heard spirits cry years ago, but chose also to keep it mostly to herself. The sisters bonded over this shared gift but it was also still so different for them. The older red-haired sister, a single and free spirit not tethered to anything, was able to live her truth without worry of consequence and did more so now than ever before with her new confidence. But the younger sister who had become the domesticated goddess had more to lose. This new side of her troubled her love, who only knew a more easy willed womxn and not this fiery blossoming trail blazer; she who felt compelled to use her voice for the sake of humanity. A voice that continued to fall on deaf ears. An infuriating yet understandable narrative. The world was not ready yet. Not ready for her, and truly not ready for the message. An unprepared population lying in sleepy stillness unaware that everything and everyone they knew is not what seems. So she did what any intelligent, tactful and good-hearted womxn would do. She assured her love that she was there for the family, she assured the family she was there for her love. She put on the kettle, made herself a hot cup of tea, and she got comfortable on the sofa, surrounded by furry pillows that reminder her of the bristled coats of dire wolves. That’s why she had picked them out she reminded herself. The time would come. She would just need to wait.
It has been said, “sleep is deaths’ sister” you may be wondering why I may be saying that. It’s quite a scary thing to hear, especially right before getting into bed. Scientifically, our bodies go through regeneration and our heart rates are at its lowest. I enjoy seeing the statistics of the quality of sleep I get each night, my night time heart rate is normally 50 beats per minute. When awake and static by heart rate is at 65 to 80 beats per minute. The difference is quite significant.
We all love to eat delicious food, but delicious food involves high calories, fat, gluten, and many other ingredients that affect our health. Also, this is not good for our skin as well as our mental health. Some of us don’t have time to make use of healthy food ingredients in our diet, as it takes time for proper shopping and buying all the healthy stuff.
The First Kindness It’s the hardest kind, you know? For those of us with a history of trauma where we had to appease the powerful adult(s) in our lives, performative kindness is also instinctive. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. Are you okay? Let me help. Everyone is important except me, expect us. When a parent is dangerous, the only option is to perfect, to be sweet.
I was in fourth grade when my world broke apart in the shape of the office lady coming to my water-color covered classroom. My teacher, who taught all but two classes, was pulled to the side and delivered news that would reach me shakily. "Lydia, I need you to come with me, let's...take a walk?" she started questioningly. "Holly will cover class until we get back." she continued heading towards me, sitting in the back of the room nearest the open door.
You never know what someone is going through unless you step into their shoes for a day. Only then can you get a piece of what that person's mindset has to deal with. Only then do you realize the struggles that they face.
Have you ever wondered how a cancer patient really feels? What they really go through? Over time the word "cancer "has become a word that is whispered or never spoken of. Whether it is spoken about or not the reality is those who are diagnosed with cancer can not escape it's grasp. I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and thought I would die for about 5 weeks, then after having a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and 19 lymph nodes removed (5 testing positive for cancer) the final diagnosis was stage 3 which I was grateful that I could at least try to fight for my life. I completed 7 months of chemotherapy, 6 weeks of radiation therapy, and am 2 and a half years into hormone therapy, that I have to be on everyday for 10 years. Here is the truth, our truth. Here's my story. Before March 3rd 2017 I thought a “Breast cancer survivor" was a woman who had breast cancer and did not die from it. Boy was I wrong! The word "Survivor" doesn't give justice to what it is we really overcome. Being a Cancer Survivor means so much more then whether we live or die. Survivor is about surviving, not necessarily surviving cancer itself but more about surviving the mental abuse that the effects of cancer will put you through, have you questioning and second-guessing every decision you once were so sure of. Being a survivor is about surviving the emotional abuse that to often leave you feeling crippled, but with no crutches. Try to imagine fighting for your life while everything you once new about yourself is being taken over by an unseen impostor, that confusingly... is you. Surviving are those moments when we begin to question if it's even worth it anymore and as were crying, alone, on our bathroom floor, we find the strength to get back up in order to be a wife or a mom, because no matter what we go through we want those around us to feel normalcy within their own lives. We become survivors every time we show up for chemotherapy, radiation , and for endless surgeries, some so painful that at times you will forget how to breath, praying for it to at least lessen just enough to catch our breath, even if its just for a moment. Over time the pain does lessen while little by little strengthening the way that we will view ourselves. Eventually becoming proud to wear our permanent badge of honor. finally being able to see that we are so much more than just our scars. But that won’t happen until we overcome everything we once never thought we could, like having my breast removed, possibly having my ovaries removed and put on hormone therapy to stop the estrogen in which fuels my cancer, leaving me to ask “if you take all of that from me, than how will I ever feel like I am a woman again?" Being a survivor is the moment we are handed the pen in which our oncologist gives us and we are told to place our signature on a form (before we are given chemotherapy) stating that we understand that chemo will kill some of us. You see for me, just like so many other survivors,our fight doesn’t have anything to do with whether we will survive or not, It’s the possibility that maybe, just maybe because of the fight in which we are fighting today it will give my children and your children a greater possibility to never have to wonder whether they will lose their battle to cancer because we already fought that fight for them.
2020 was a knockout year. Really. I figure we’re all going to be in the history books our grandkids bring home from school. I have this visual of my grey-haired self pulling old dusty masks out from a drawer, explaining what it was like to live through COVID, and then showing masked selfies, pictures of the infamous “six feet apart please” stickers, and the occasional riot. It was also my second year of marriage, the year I (unknowingly) gained twenty pounds from fast food delivered by whatever service was offering promotions, and the year we adopted our second fur baby. My wife’s grandfather passed away early in the year from the virus, a week before it was even announced. I cut my hair into a bowl-cut, shaved my wife’s head, and decided I was joining the “no bra” movement. We moved into our new house and have found a way to keep ourselves occupied throughout all of this insanity, but through the good and bad of 2020, I have a few things I’d like to do differently this year. Especially since this virus doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.