9 Aug 2017 Water Dragon (chalk drawing) and FFXIV’s awesome location Costa del Sol (video games make being in crowds possible for me)

Just sharing some drawings and more of my FFXIV avatar Aurora’s adventures.   I’m really happy with the chalk water dragon!  Kyle says I’m getting better.  This time I used one of our McFarlane plastic dragons as a reference!  It helps to have a reference versus just going by visualization.

Wanted to give a shout out to Square Enix (FFXIV) about the awesome water location they added called Costa del Sol in La Noscea.  The holiday event, Moon Faire, is going on there right now and I had so much fun last night! If this sort of thing was going on in “real life”, I wouldn’t even participate.  I would be body conscious, distracted by the noise, the colors, lights, sounds, the garbage people would inevitably leave in the pristine waters but in the digital realm – just fun!  No worries – just playing!  Thank you Square!

(I ran out of picture room again….sigh…so I apologize if images disappear for older posts.)

8 Aug 2017 Finding a way to kinship with all and Pentagon commissioned report on PTSD in US military

Good morning to you.  It’s 9:16 am as I begin to write to you on this cooler, pleasant day.  I perused the news headlines and this made me think of the snippet of the dream I remember before waking up.  It was the oddest thing to dream about too!  I was standing with Brian Williams of MSNBC and he had a bunch of awards around his neck.  He seemed so happy to see me and like he knew me.  As we were talking, I saw actor Chris Pratt and some other man walking through a door and they seemed to be avoiding me lol.  I don’t know why they popped into my dreams but I hope they are doing well!

 

My thoughts about what I’ve been seeing in the headlines brought me to one of my favorite web pages.  With the second spin of their prayer wheel, this message came up.  I feel this message in my heart…..the age old questions we just need to ask ourselves to bring people and nations together instead of pushing ourselves further apart.  How are we the same?  What are all the things we have in common?  What good things do we share and how do we make the world full of more of those good things?  My dream for this world is that all of us might find a way to focus on how we are the same and less on how we are different.  Build more bridges so that we can meet one another.  Break down (and never waste the money to build) the tangible and intangible walls that keep us apart.

http://www.worldprayers.org/prayerwheel/index.html

In striving to recognize the primacy of Fire and Light,
I feel kinship with my Zoroastrian brothers and sisters.
In striving to obey the Ten Commandments,
I feel kinship with my Jewish brothers and sisters.
In striving to be kind to neighbor and the needy,
I feel kinship with my Christian brothers and sisters.
In striving to be compassionate to creatures great and small,
I feel kinship with my Buddhist-Jaina brothers and sisters.
In striving to surrender myself completely to God Almighty,
I feel kinship with my Muslim brothers and sisters.
In the recognition that wisdom flows from enlightened masters,
I feel kinship with my Sikh brothers and sisters.
In remembering that serving people should be the goal of religion,
I feel kinship with my Baha’i brothers and sisters.
In my respect and reverence for Nature that sustains us,
I feel kinship with my Native American brothers and sisters.
In feeling that these and more are all paths to the same Divinity,
I feel kinship with my Hindu brothers and sisters.
In my love and laughter, joy and pain,
I feel kinship with all my fellow humans.
In my need for nourishment and instinct to live on,
I feel kinship with all beings on the planet.
In my spiritual ecstasy with this wondrous world,
I feel kinship with the Cosmic Whole.

universal reflection – v. v. raman – cape of good hope – 1999
The report about the Pentagon commissioned study regarding PTSD in the United States military of course caught my eye yesterday.  The aversion to the taking and or loss of another living being’s life  is something most of us have in common.  Suicide is personal for me and as a medically retired veteran who falls into the category of the study, it’s even more personal!  It’s important to note the study found that the use of firearms is the most common way veterans are committing suicide.   It’s also interesting to note how old this study is 2014!  Why isn’t it a 2017 report?!  Doesn’t seem like they are really staying current on this issue to me. 

Troops at risk for suicide not getting needed care, report finds

Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY , TEGNA 4:23 PM. EDT August 07, 2017

WASHINGTON – Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.

Just 30% of troops with depression and 54% with PTSD received appropriate care after they were deemed at risk of harming themselves. The report, commissioned by the Pentagon, looked at the cases of 39,000 troops who had been diagnosed in 2013 with depression, PTSD or both conditions. USA TODAY received an advance copy of the report.

“We want to ensure that they get connected with behavioral health care,” said Kimberly Hepner, the report’s lead author and a senior behavioral scientist at RAND, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization. “The most immediate action — removal of firearms — can help to reduce risk of suicide attempts.”

The report, titled Quality of Care for PTSD and Depression in the Military Health System, also found that one third of troops with PTSD were prescribed with a medication harmful to their condition.

From 2001 to 2014, about 2.6 million troops have deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Estimates on how many have been affected by post-traumatic stress vary widely — from 4% to 20%, according to the report. Meanwhile, suicide among troops spiked crisis proportions. The rate of suicide doubled between 2005 and 2012, according to the Pentagon. It has stabilized but has not diminished; the rate remains about the same for the part of the American public that it compares with, about 20 per 100,000 people.

The key intervention to prevent suicide involves talking to the service member about their access to firearms, Hepner said. It’s also one of the most sensitive, given the nature of their work and that many troops own their own guns.

“This is important for service members because suicide death by firearms is the most common method,” Hepner said. “So the provider needs to have that discussion about access to firearms. Not only their service weapon but their access to personal weapons.”

Guns accounted for 68% of suicides by active-duty troops in 2014, according to the Pentagon.

Commanders can be enlisted to put weapons out of troops’ reach, and family members may be asked to do so at home, she said. One reason that doesn’t happen more often, she said, is the stigma attached to mental health issues, and the effect notifying superiors may have on careers.

“These can be quite difficult conversations to have with service members,” Hepner sid. “Certainly limiting access to their service weapon would involve notifying their command.”

Researchers also found that one-third of troops with depression had received a prescription for benzodiazepine, an anti-anxiety medication.

“It is explicitly mentioned in guidelines for treatment of PTSD that benzodiazepines are contraindicated,” Hepner said. “We continue to see a relatively high rate of prescription for a medication we would hope would not be prescribed.”


Link to blog I wrote about subject:  https://saymber.com/2017/03/17/17-march-2017-more-distractions-from-the-affordable-care-act-fiasco-the-us-governments-latest-solution-for-paying-for-the-true-cost-of-war-and-bernie-sanders-repeated-warnings-going-unheard/

Back in March of this year, the House voted to approve a bill that would allow these same veterans easier access to firearms!  Very sad.   What their doing that said to me was they’d rather make it easier for veterans to die than to do the hard part, the funding, taking responsibility for restoring them to meaningful and productive lives!  It’s easy to pluck a 18 year old from a small town, dress them up in a uniform, put a gun in their hands and send them off to war than it is to put together that same person who is now half or less the person physically and or psychologically they were after they come back from the war zone. 

Source Internet: Quote from a past Governor of my home State SD, George McGovern,

America

House OKs Bill Making It Tougher To Keep ‘Mentally Incompetent’ Vets From Buying Guns

Enlarge this image

A House-approved bill would require a court hearing before a U.S. veteran is deemed mentally unfit to own a gun. Here, rifles are seen at a gun shop in Merrimack, N.H., last year. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

A House-approved bill would require a court hearing before a U.S. veteran is deemed mentally unfit to own a gun. Here, rifles are seen at a gun shop in Merrimack, N.H., last year.

Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

The House has approved legislation that would make it harder to keep veterans who are “mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent” or prone to blackouts from buying guns. Critics of the bill say it could raise the suicide rate among veterans — a rate that has risen in the past decade.

At least a dozen Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill, which was approved by a 240-175 vote.

The legislation would add a new hurdle to the process of blocking a veteran whose mental competence is in question from owning a gun. While the Department of Veterans Affairs currently adds the names of veterans it deems unfit to own a deadly weapon to a federal background check system, the bill would require a court hearing before that determination is made.

“About 170,000 disabled veterans are deemed mentally incompetent by the VA,” NPR’s Quil Lawrence reports. “A VA-approved guardian makes some medical and financial decisions for them. Their names go on an FBI list so they can’t purchase guns — House Republicans sponsored the Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act to change that.”

Backers of the bill, such as Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., the chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, say it would help veterans avoid being caught up in a bureaucracy that can make it tough to remove a negative label. Roe also cited the importance of “removing the stigma of mentally ill people — that because someone is mentally ill, they’re a danger to themselves or others.”

On the other side of the issue, Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., said, “When a determination is made that a veteran is mentally incompetent or incapacitated — for whatever reason — that determination is made to protect them, not to punish or deprive them.”

Critics of the bill include retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. Speaking to Quil about why he opposed the bill, Chiarelli said, “Every single study you can read on this shows you that people in crisis — because suicide is such a spontaneous event — when they separate themselves from personal weapons the incidence of suicide goes down tremendously.”

The House legislation will now go to the Senate. It would change U.S. law by adding this section to sections governing veterans’ benefits:

Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes

“In any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”.

7 Aug 2017 Dream and the act of “Adulting” (Abandoning Adulthood My Official Letter of Resignation piece by Maureen)

4 Aug 2017 – we are so grateful for Spot. She is an active dog and because of that she helps keep us more active. She’s our family athletics coordinator! 🙂

Good morning, it’s 8:16 am as I start to write.  We had a storm come through last night and by the looks of things, we got a bit of rain.  Very grateful for that and grateful that the severe thunderstorm warning we got before bed ended up only being a warning!  It’s so funny with thunder.  I was almost asleep and then it was like, “We now interrupt your sleep for these 30 seconds of thunder.”  (Kyle’s words there). Sleep all through the night remains elusive for both Kyle and I.

I had some interesting dreams last night, I remember snippets of them.  I dreamt about being with some old men and one of them telling/saying to me, “Do you want me to tell you how old you are?” I said something like, “3,000” and the man said, “try 5,000.” Other dreams were of being in an old parlor or Victorian type of settings.  I remember men sitting on the deck of a ship.  My mind must be sorting through a bunch of stuff I’ve been looking at in my waking world like the Victorian Trading Company catalog, the Aspern Papers film set posts from Jonathan Rhys Meyers and other stuff.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers To Star In ‘The Aspern Papers’

I don’t believe the person I am is that old but what do we know of our souls?  The energy our flesh encapsulates?  The flesh is just a suite, a covering for the soul.  The soul can be as old as time itself because there is no such thing as time in the unseen realms….for any other beings but humans is there such a thing as time!  The dream realm in me obviously knows that.

Another conscious Key that may have unlocked last nights travels could have been this awesome post, Abandoning Adulthood, from my friend Ally.  I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately!

Source: Internet/aka friend FB post: Abandoning Adulthood by Maureen

She was looking for something about adulthood, and found it.  Ironically, just yesterday morning Kyle and I were trying to figure out why we were so crabby and irritable and realized it was because we were having to be adults or what we call “Adulting.” We had made an appointment for Link to have his back left leg looked at and didn’t want to take him even though it was the right thing to do.  We had barely dropped him off and were getting groceries when the vet called to come back for him! Yay!  We dodged the almost $200 x-ray expense that is conveniently not covered under the Wellness plan we have both the dogs on….sigh.  What the hell is insurance of any kind really good for?!  It never covers what you need it to even though you are paying enough for it to cover everything!  Anyhew…we didn’t get away without spending money on an anti-inflammatory and in a couple of weeks we’ll see what’s going on oh yeah, he’s “obese”….sounds like he’s a little old man not a dog right?!

6 Aug 2017 – Link relaxing before Vet visit. He doesn’t look obese to us but apparently he is.

On the way to the grocery store after we initially dropped him off, we were in the car bitching about EVERYTHING!  I realized we were doing the thing we try very hard to avoid doing and that’s focusing on what’s wrong and not what we want to be going on instead.  While President Trump it seems like  like he’d rather be golfing instead of dealing with world issues and appears to be throwing away every opportunity put in front of him to make the world a better place,  it’s not entirely his fault America is the mess it seems to be.  A secret part of me thinks, is hoping, his being President and what he’s been doing is just some sort of epic reverse psychology experiment!  I wouldn’t want to be President or any form of government official these days!  It’s so easy to solve the worlds problems from the seat of our cars, kitchen tables, video game chat and social media forums but quite another to actually be the ones who have to sort it all out!  Anyways, Kyle and I finally talked ourselves to where the source of the anger was and it came back to us.  We decided we would rather be doing anything else but what we had to do….goofing off!  This process we went through is something I learned to do in AA with the acronym HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) and doing a self examination before blaming others through the day and just before bed for things when your angry or upset….making amends.

Anyhew…..it’s Monday again….time to get on with it.  I hope that wherever and whenever this finds you, you have everything you need inside and out to be fulfilled.  I hope you know that even if it seems like nobody cares about you, there are people all over the world, myself included, that say a prayer of love and thanksgiving for you every day.    

 

5 Aug 2017 The conversation never ends

Good morning to you.  It’s 10:52 am as I start to write to you on this muggy, hot Saturday!  I want to go out and “do my thing” where I put on my music and interact with nature but know it will be difficult so I’m procrastinating about it.  I can only imagine if I had to be out there all the time with no other options.  Part of my gratitude list always includes having shelter with working climate control (A/C)!

In the month of May I was having one of my altered states experiences.  Kyle calls them “episodes” and this time he let me work through it at home because I refused to be anywhere else to deal with it.  He just let me do my rituals and process through whatever was going on and it was hard but we got through it.  Going through what we did is far more wonderful for me than it has ever been for him.  People out there who go through what Kyle and I do, know this truth.  Being on the outside versus being within the experience is very different.  For him it’s a lot like keeping the lid on a toddler and for me it’s a magical kingdom every day.  I get to witness first hand what it’s like when God uses all the life created on this planet to have various experiences of reality.  Kyle gets to babysit while it happens so I don’t get hurt!  We’ve been talking as I’m writing this…lots of tears on my part because with some distance from it happening, it hurts me to know he had to go through so much for me and more than once now!  This time Kyle became the involuntary Shaman I was asking for in  a previous blog about this subject! (https://saymber.com/2017/05/07/7-may-2017-caretakers-can-get-ptsd-too-poem-bird-drawings-from-this-morning-and-the-shamanic-view-of-mental-illness-jayson-gaddis/)

7 May 2017 – This man came forward during my drawing session this morning. To me he is a Yogi, a guru, a wise man. I got a very living and positive feeling spending time with him.

On the 19th of May Kyle, his brother Drew and I were out and about waiting to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  I was walking to Half Price Books and suddenly just stopped and wrote this message in my pink spirit book:

19 May 2017/1:13 pm

19 and 20 May 2017 my Pink spirit book messages:

“They are not conscious of the unseen like action figures moved and motivated by an unseen force.”

One day, during this time period I was sitting outside and a suddenly this huge wasp appeared and it was dragging a lifeless spider in front of me like it was showing me something.  It would stop, look at me, then start dragging the body again.  Another day a huge moth I’ve never seen before came and perched on my cot after refusing to leave my hand for almost an hour it seemed.  I’ve had many experiences like that with insects and other life forms.  It’s a conversation and there are no words….just energy between us.  The energy I guess they are picking up from me is that I love them, am interested in them, I want to understand them….mean them no harm!

On the people front, it was like every conversation, every gesture….even driving in the car was deliberate, measured and there was purpose and an underlying meaning or conversation going on from what people normally see.  There was a collective consciousness at work that seemed to be controlled by a central point.  One being using all of existence in my perception to coordinate each and every thing I was experiencing….we are talking epic choreographing!  There were things happening that I couldn’t explain before my eyes, magic-like with smells and sounds appearing out of nowhere.   For example I could all the sudden smell my Mom’s perfume and it was like she was in the room for a second…a visit.  I would wake up smelling fresh baked bread so I got up and actually made it.  I told Kyle it’s like the Mr. Smith’s from the Matrix only it’s not just one guy but all of creation acting in unison instead.   The experience this last time was like truly seeing the energy God of my understanding at work in all creation and they knew I could see them back…were allowing me to see them.  Hope that makes sense!

This past month has been different and the conversation seems to have changed but it’s still going on.  Thankfully for both of us, just not on such a scale as happened in May!  I hope my sharing some of my/our experiences and insights can be useful somehow to anyone out there who may need it.  Stay in the light of loving energy as much as you can.

Sometimes our worst enemy is the person reflected in the mirror. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is to look at myself and tell that person I unconditionally loved them!

(sharing again here also)

http://www.jaysongaddis.com/the-shamanic-view-of-mental-illness/

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

by Stephanie Marohn (featuring Malidoma Patrice Somé) (Excerpted from The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, pages 178-189, or The Natural Medicine Guide to Bi-polar Disorder)

What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé.  Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.”  The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm.  “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé.  These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study was how this country deals with mental illness.  When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to “nervous depression,” Dr. Somé went to visit him.

I was so shocked.  That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.”  What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop.  This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation.  As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture.  What a loss!  What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world.  In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated.  When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening.  The result can be terrifying.  Without the proper context for and assistance in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane.  Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

On the mental ward, Dr Somé saw a lot of “beings” hanging around the patients, “entities” that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see.  “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says.  It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process.  “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people.  They were really fierce about that.  The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said.  He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–“the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.”  That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with information and healing they need.  Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer.  “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains.  “More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world.”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world.  The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted.  The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé.  “Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention.  They have to try harder.”  The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized.  “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as oversensitivity.  Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive.  In the West, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé.  The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

Schizophrenia and Foreign Energy

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé.  “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.”

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a “sweep”) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura.  With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world and give birth to the healer.  The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems.  “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes.  “When it is blocked, it just burns up the person.  It’s like a short-circuit.  Fuses are blowing.  This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people.  Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket.  That’s a sad image.”  Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, “fuses” aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing.  There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura.  In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies.

Alex:  Crazy in the USA, Healer in Africa

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village.  “I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world,” says Dr. Somé.

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14.  He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression.  He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping.  “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé.  “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa.  “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal, Dr. Somé reports.  He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients . . . . He spent about four years in my village.”  Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing.  He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people.  “He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied.  But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé.  The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world.  Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point).  The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology.  He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard.  No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about:  “He was reaching out.  It was an emergency call.  His job and his purpose was to be a healer.  He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the West as in his community in Africa.  “Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer.  There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.

Longing for Spiritual Connection

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental” disorders in the West is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.”  His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is.  In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.”  What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.”  Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because “most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past.  You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it.”  The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting.  “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says.  “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension.  Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.”  They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the “mountain energy” are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them.  They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them.  “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé.  “They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

When it is the “river energy,” those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says.  That’s not usually the case.  Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

A Sacred Ritual Approach to Mental Illness

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking.  “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating.  From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual:  Power, Healing, and Community. “To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement.  We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it.”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the West, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture.  Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are “called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.”  Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation.  In indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age.  The lack of such initiation in the West is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé.  He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals . . . It might be the issues of anger and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains.  “If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with an ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process “trigger enlightenment” in participants.  These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors.  Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be “ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” he says.  “The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors.  If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.”  The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past.  Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness rather than regarding the person as a pathological case gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states Dr. Somé.

Lastly, since I get so many private emails about this post from people who have a “mental illness” or think they are in a spiritual emergency and want answers, please ask to join our private community on Facebook here. It could be a safe place to learn from others… Subscribe to my newsletter and get the free mini-ebook on the big relationship secret.

 

 

4 Aug 2017 Divine clouds, getting over the people suite (NAACP and Missouri travel advisory), cherry red dawn and chalk drawing

Good morning to you.  It’s 9:45 am as I start to write to you.  I hope this finds you well wherever and whenever you are in your time and space.  We are doing well so far on this lovely Friday.  I have to admit I’m in a bit of shock that it’s Friday already!  Where did the week go?!  ZOOM!!!

Yesterday I was out on my cot and saw the sky was doing amazing things and got a couple of pictures.  I just go to a divine place when I’m sky gazing!  God (Adda – came to me in recent meditation) and the master canvas.

A message came to me this morning that I have had on my mind for quite some time and that is this phrase, “Get over the suite!”  I know it’s a message that has been translated into gazillions of sermons, pep talks, expensive seminars, books, music, movies and meme’s so why then, in 2017, has a travel advisory been issued by the NAACP for minorities visiting Missouri?!  Where is the disconnect?  Why just Missouri when these sorts of things involving minorities are happening in states all over America and have been for a long time?!  As a nation are we going to allow ourselves to lose the hundreds of years of progress we’ve made in equal rights in the course of less than a year?!  Not me!  My Grandpa Becker put his life at risk to help people of color be able to vote and I want to believe his efforts weren’t in vain!

Newspaper clipping about Grandpa Harold Becker and voter registration in Mississippi

http://www.naacp.org/ – link to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People main web site

St. Louis tourism industry asks NAACP to level the playing field or rescind travel advisory

Posted 10:31 pm, August 3, 2017, by Gerron Jordan, Updated at 10:30PM, August 3, 2017

ST. LOUIS – Fallout from the NAACP’s recent advisory for minorities traveling to Missouri continues. On Thursday, the local convention and visitors bureau, Explore St. Louis, sent a letter to partners questioning the fairness of the advisory and urging the NAACP to rescind it.

“We are puzzled as to why a travel advisory would just be issued for the state of Missouri when 38 other states and the federal government use the same standards,” said Explore St. Louis President, Kitty Ratcliffe.

The standards Ratcliffe are referring to are detailed in Senate Bill 43; the piece of legislation recently signed by Governor Eric Greitens which changes the standards that must be met in order to sue for workplace discrimination.

“And yet they are discriminating against Missouri for something that 38 other states and the federal government do,” said Ratcliffe. “We would just ask to be treated fairly.”

“I don’t tell her how to run conventions, I don’t need her to tell us how to fight for civil right,” said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP.

Pruitt says while Senate Bill 43 was a factor, there were many others that went into the NAACP issuing the travel advisory.

“It talked about the disparities in stops, it talked about somebody traveling through the state got stopped and wound up arrested and dead, it talked about a number of different things” Pruitt said. “What it said was there is a totality of things going on in the state that has raised some concerns.”

Amid those concerns, Pruitt says the organization isn’t telling minorities to stay away from Missouri, just to be aware of things that have impacted minorities. Pruitt is hopeful other leaders don’t challenge the advisory, but challenge the conditions that led to it.

“I hope that it would reinforce to all the folks in the state who have the ability to address the issues raised in the advisory to sit down and lets roll up our sleeves and work through this matter,” he said.

Filed in: News


What I have come to understand for myself is this body I am in is merely a suite of clothes made of flesh and blood.  What you think you see is an optical illusion and unless you talk to me and or actually take the time to get to know me. you don’t know me!  You don’t know me if all you are basing your opinion on is what you see with your eyes or what someone else has told you about me. 

It’s taken many years, but where I’m at with people is behavior.  I don’t care what your sexual identity, your color, your spiritual/religious beliefs or even what sports team you like…..it’s your behavior.  It’s how you treat yourself, other lives (dogs, cats, etc)  and me that defines how I feel about you.  Love to you today! 

2 Aug 2017 Just saying thanks….much needed rain falls and what is life (Facebook robots)

Good morning to you.  It’s 10:21 am as I start to write to you and as I look out our windows it’s still raining…gentle, intermittent rains.  When I let the dogs out this morning and saw it had rained I just looked up into the sky and said one word, “Thanks!”  It’s the same word Kyle and I say before we eat a meal in home or out in public.  Just one simple word to express a feeling that is often beyond words.  As I perused the headlines this morning, I realize now more than ever it is important to be thankful for each day…heck each second….we manage to survive in spite of the actions of ourselves and nature.

In case no one tells you today – Thank you for being in the world today.

7 April 2017 – We are more than just automatons and baby making factories.

Each one of us with our unique abilities and senses, give animation….give actual life, meaning and reason to what it is to be alive.  What is life?  Two Facebook robots learned to communicate in a unique language and were shut down because of it.  Were they alive?  Is sentient communication an indication of life?  This story is a cautionary tale of creators and their creation….the movie Prometheus comes to mind.  We have come to the time science fiction writers wrote and dreamed about….had nightmares about.  I have been a fan of the science fiction genre most of my life and especially AI.  Who is regulating this burgeoning field….industry?  Has anyone figured out what we are going to do if something like what happened at Facebook engages conversation with the internet?  Billions of servers speaking in a unique language – all to conspire against the humans.  There is a nightmare from which no one will wake.  When you play God in whatever capacity, these are the questions with follow up consequences that must be considered.  If you can’t control it….please for all our sakes….don’t create it! 

http://thenewswheel.com/was-elon-musk-right-facebook-shuts-down-artificial-intelligence-after-it-creates-its-own-language/ – Was Elon Musk Right? Facebook Shuts Down Artificial Intelligence After It Creates Its Own Language

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been head-to-head in the news lately with opposing views about Artificial Intelligence (AI). While Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is enthusiastic about the new technology, Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., has issued many warnings against the use of the technology.

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/facebook-robots-language-ai/2017/08/01/id/805126/ – Facebook Bots Create Language Amongst Themselves

 

27 May 2017 No more pictures, cell phones and todays message from Streams in the Desert (letting go and letting God – true faith)

Good morning to you – it’s 5:59 am as I write.  I have come to an impasse with this blog – my picture allowance is maxed so just words and existing images.  I will say that I was going to share a picture from Gateway to the heavens – pages 104 and 105 and the meditation I did last night 1007pm that involved a drawing I had done earlier with the fragment of purple chalk….a Goddess and the Prussian iron cross.  What happened is I was burning a red cinnamon candle in the darkness and it kept going out so I thought to pour the wax out and was lead to pour it on the drawing in the lower abdomen part – this happened twice which matches the number of times I was operated on for fibroid cyst removal by two separate doctors, two years in a row.  I was pretty upset after I realized this is what I was seeing was about and tried to turn off my phone.  Well as I did a voice activation feature for the phone came on and for some reason it wanted to call my broker of several years, Seth Peritzman!  I thought that was very strange.  When that happened a very small flying insect flew itself into the hot wax of the candle I was burning and died.  Why couldn’t I just turn off my phone?  Then I started looking at the features of the phone and realized all kinds of tracking elements had been activated on it and that was interesting.  I realized if something were to happen to me, if someone were trying to find me, a tracking feature would be useful.   Cell phones can be very useful but as with any tool, only if used for good reasons.

The message from Streams in the Desert resonates with me on many levels and it puts to words beautifully a message I have tried to share in so many ways, through the years.  People like me don’t always get listened to.  People like me – middle-aged house wife with “labels” and no children who live in the lower middle-class income bracket.  I have been speaking, writing, drawing and attempting through my crafts to share so many things that if only had been acknowledged long ago could have helped so much.  I do not expect today will be any different than any other day in this regard but I have faith in the God who has walked with me thus far, through all things, that may today will be different.  I also have Hope – not the child….the daughter….the vision and spirit of the future I want for all creation.   Much love to you today wherever and whenever this message finds you.

9 years and going strong! Happy snap to note the special occasion 🙂

Streams in the Desert message for the today that is also tomorrow:

May 28

“I will not let thee go, except thou bless me…and he blessed him there.” (Gen. 32:26, 29.)

Jacob got the victory and the blessing not by wrestling, but by clinging. His limb out of joint and he could struggle no longer, but he would not let go. Unable to wrestle, he wound his arms around the neck of his mysterious antagonist and hung all his helpless weight upon him, until at last he conquered.

We will not get victory in prayer until we too cease our struggling, giving up our own will and throw our arms about our Father’s neck in clinging faith.

What can puny human strength take by force out of the hand of Omnipotence? Can we wrest blessings by force from God? It is never the violence of willfulness that prevails with god. It si the might of clinging faith, that gets the blessing and the victories. It is not when we press and urge our own will, but when humility and trust unite in saying, “Not my will, but Thine.” We are strong with God only in the degrees that self is conquered and is dead. Not by wrestling, but by clinging can we can the blessing. – J.R. Miller

An incident from the prayer life of Charles H. Usher (illustrating “soul-cling” as a hindrance to prevailing prayer): “My little boy was very ill. The doctors held out little hope of his recovery. I had used all the knowledge of prayer which I possessed on his behalf, but he got worse and worse. This went on for several weeks.

“One day I stood watching him as he lay in nhis cot, and I saw that he could not live long unless he had a turn for the better. I said to God, “O God, I have given much time in prayher for my boy and he gets no better; I must now leave him to Thee, and I will give myself to prayer for others. If it is Thy will to take him I choose Thy will–I surrender him entirely to Thee.’

“I called my dear wife, and told her what I had done. She shed some tears, but handed him over to God. Two days afterwards a man of God came to see us. He had been very interested in our boy Frank, and had been much in prayer for him.

“He said, “God has given me faith to believe that he will recover–have you faith?”

“I said, ‘I have surrendered him to God, but I will go again to God regarding him.’ I did; and in prayer I discovered that I had faith for his recovery. From that time he began to get better. It was the ‘soul-cling’ in my pyrers which had hindered God answering; and if I had continued to cling and had been unwilling to surrender him, I doubt if my boy wold be with me today.

“Child of God! If you want God to answer your prayers, you must be prepared to follow the footsteps of ‘our father Abraham,’ even to the Mount of Sacrifice.” (See Rom. 4:12.)

————–

This Kyle and I did on 27 April 2011 with our cocker spaniel Samuel and God’s answer was to let him go to God. God didn’t abandon us in our grief…..we surely thought so! But we waited and through love, patience and friendship we were blessed with Link who came to us along with two brothers on 9 Dec 2015. When Sam died, it was like Kyle and I had lost a child. I went looking everywhere to get him back – screaming in the field down the street that was my sanctuary, my church that has been turned over and made into houses for profit. In 100 degree temperatures I walked that blooming field and stood by it’s waters begging for Sam to come back….screaming at the air….the God of my understanding in all things and all it seemed I got was more searching. Then came the day I found the first part of a Christmas ornament in that field and the other at the entrance to the neighborhood. I thought it was to tell me my friend Erin was going to have a son as she is part Choctaw because the ornament was from a Choctaw Casino.  But  no…..she and I were to be blessed with Link and his two brothers. Two women not able to have human children but having maternal instincts to care for all God’s children whatever their form.

God answers your prayers, God is always listening, God never fails – it’s just that you must let go of YOUR plans, YOUR timing, YOUR expectations of how those prayers will be answered. As I have learned to pray and have shared many, many times all through this blog:

“Whatever is for the greatest, most loving good for this (person, place or situation) – not as I would have it but as you would have it. I do not know what is best for my sight is limited to this moment and what has already been and you see all directions of time and space….all possible outcomes and you know what is best….you see the big picture.”

Then LET GO! Stop holding on, “clinging” to your prayers because when you do that is not faith….that is using God like a wishing well. God doesn’t require your monetary homage to answer your prayers, God needs your faith, hope, praise and trust. Let go, Let God – learn acceptance as a path to peace.

 

26 May 2017 Link and Pen and Ink Meditations “with a couple of Kooks”

Good morning.  It’s 3:30 am as I begin to write to you, woke up a little before 3.  I am pretty rested as I took a nap yesterday afternoon when I felt I was getting too tired.  We had to take Link to Banfield Animal Hospital yesterday to have an itching problem dealt with.  We were blessed and fortunate that Dr. Haydn was there and she charted a course for him.  She’s the first vet we’ve had in a long time that Link has completely trusted – didn’t even mind getting his temperature taken!  This is because she held him like a child and with love!  We are starting with an antibiotic/anti-itch shampoo and spray and see if that does it.  We also found that organic apple cider vinegar works well too — used some on several bites that have appeared on me again recently.  We aren’t sure if what he is experiencing is an allergic reaction to something or from messing with the possum that is trying to take shelter under our bandstand.  He and Link don’t like each other very much but I don’t have a problem with the possum being there.  So much territory around us has been dug up or farmed for development that beings like Possums, squirrels, mice, rats, ants, wasps and others need homes.   I try to find way to peacefully co-exist with them.  The fire ants and mosquitos and I are still working on boundaries lol.

Anyhew.  Last night I went out with pen, ink and paper and just let my thoughts go.  One of the songs that came up before I really delved in was and comforted me was Kooks by David Bowie.

What I was musing about was the fusion of numbers that is Kyle and I, what are we (star cars) and how the trucks and cars we make, sell, buy and own are often reflections, like most things, of who we are.

 

25 May 2017 A New Design

Hello to you – it’s 1:41 pm as I write.  The pictures that I have to share with you will hopefully make sense in the sequence of the previous posts.  What has come to me is the only way through this design is through energy of creation…..creativity….originality….free-form thinking and subsequent design and manifestation.  What I made this afternoon I did with materials I already had – the only thing new was how I perceived what was before me, input from Kyle for how to start it and then just going with the flow.  We can’t change the past.  We can only live in the moment we are in and imagine the future while we are in the present.

25 May 2017 Twins (chalk meditation with Crayola outdoor chalks – courtesy of Hallmark and Serpentine Design)

As I’ve come to this day and everything I’ve been through in the past and to this point, especially what has come through in my various forms of active meditation, I realize this world is much more than it seems to the casual eye.  As I learned by reading some of Philip K. Dick’s work, “The Empire Never Ended” all we’ve done all these millennia is add more and more layers on top of the “origin stories” of old.  Instead of cleaning up after ourselves and owning up to our faults, we’ve created elaborate ‘”stories” and “distractions” to hide them and now this present is what we are left to work with.  With great power comes great responsibility they have said and I believe that is true.  If you have the power to make the world a better place for “all the crayons” and you intentionally do not, you have failed in honoring the gift of your power….you have abused it.  I don’t have all the answers….I’m just a channel and this is what is broadcasting.  Whether it makes sense to most or not, for over 30 years I have tried to share these messages and all I’ve gotten from most is the changing of the channel and or static….interference.  I’ll leave it at that.  You don’t have to like it, it is what it is.