Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing

I love that quote by Edmund Burke (1729-1797). I’ve seen other variations of the sentiment, but I prefer this version. It’s so succinct!

This blog is about healing from PTSD and I have no intention of inserting any politics, but when I look at the news on my iPhone every morning—I think, What can I do?

I can write or call politicians, join protests, contribute money. I don’t have much, but five dollars here and there I can do.

There are shamans and medicine men and women dreaming a new world into being. I believe everything is energy and we can make a difference with prayer and sending energy, too, although we may not be able to see its direct impact on this side of the veil. When I read about acts of hatred and divisive speech and policy, I raise my frequency with activities that bring me joy and send prayers to those whose hearts appear to be temporarily in darkness as well as those affected by the cruelty.

Remember that story about the effect of a butterfly flapping its wings? The Butterfly Effect If the flapping of a butterfly wing can ultimately cause a hurricane somewhere in the world, kindness to just one person today can significantly change things. Even not responding to the guy tailing your car too close or waving at you in your rearview mirror to turn right on red when you can’t see the cars coming from the left so you don’t want to blindly move and you can see him yelling and swearing at you. (Oh my, that’s specific. Hmmm, I wonder who that happened to recently. Ha!)

I may have been mostly powerless as a child, but I’m not anymore. I’ve got free will. I can take action. I can choose not to act on anger.

***

Here’s a plug for my psychological thriller, which is a combination of The Valley of the Dolls, Ordinary People and The Shining in my humble opinion. In other words, my childhood. Ha. Book 1 is free Nov. 10-13.

Winnetka Road (Book 1)

Description:

It’s the Swinging Sixties and Paul and Cellina Farrell are the “it” couple on Chicago’s North Shore. He’s handsome, rich and just made partner at his father-in-law’s white-shoe law firm. She’s beautiful, brilliant and leads the crowd in all things fashion, design and elegance. They live in a mansion on Winnetka Road with their baby girl, Simone. Their life is picture perfect.

But all is not as it seems.

There is something dark and unnatural beneath Paul’s smooth exterior.

Cellina doesn’t notice. She’s too busy with her constant renovations of the mansion and trips to Paris, Palm Beach and Percocet.

Their friends don’t notice. They’re blinded by the Farrell good looks, money and standing in society.

But the baby nurse sees.

And little Simone.

Façades are beginning to crack at the big house on Winnetka Road.

***

Sending healing energy today to all those with PTSD.

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PTSD and Staying Grounded While Moving

Last weekend, I moved again. Third time in two years.

After Jack died, I moved three hours away to live near my uncle (who was in assisted living). He passed away at the age of 100 in September. How I miss him!

With my uncle gone, I decided to move to a bigger town and here I am four days in. My new locale is a few minutes from the mountains—but also a few minutes from great shopping, bookstores, tennis courts, yoga classes and so on.

This morning I felt uncoordinated and a little paralyzed. I’m used to feeling like I can’t move. It’s just a feeling. All I have to do is put on music, get in the shower and I’m good to go. But not knowing what direction I’m facing and having no familiarity with the neighborhood exacerbates this kind of stiffness.

I did improv in Chicago in my early twenties. It was a lot of fun and briefly gave me an uncharacteristic sense of well-being and connection to people. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I had PTSD and was baffled and depressed when I’d unpredictably wake up dissociated, numb, encapsulated, or triggered–and couldn’t snap out of it on demand. I eventually dropped out of the show–it’s hard to perform when you can’t feel–but it was great for a while.

This morning, I remembered my improv teacher advising me to walk all over the stage every night before the audience came in. He said it would improve my confidence and give me a sense of the stage as my territory. He was right. It made a big difference.

That’s what I need to do here. Walk, hike, run and drive around my new “stage” to make it my own.

I feel pretty grounded, though, which is fantastic. Someone recently brought up ways of getting grounded. I’ve often come across the idea of sitting and visualizing your spine rooted into the earth, but that never worked for me. I’ve always had to see myself as ready to move at a moment’s notice (fight or take flight as needed!) Someday, I may change and will really dig that kind of grounding imagery, but for now it’s not for me.

I feel grounded when I’m in touch with how I feel physically and emotionally. I was numb for decades. It felt like my body was shot through with Novocain. That changed, particularly after my meds stopped working. (I write about it in my book PTSD: Frozen in Time. See links below.) Doing a mindful body scan from my toes on up calms me down. When I do that, I’m checking out the territory, walking the stage, taking ownership, taking charge–and action when necessary.

If I push away feeling where I’m at, physically or emotionally, I get very anxious–and the more anxious I feel, the more frozen I feel.

When I put on music and dance, I’m glad to inhabit my body. If I’m not sure how I’m feeling emotionally, I can tell by how I respond to different songs.

Speaking of music, driving from the old place to the new on Friday, I heard Burt Bacharach’s “Nikki”. Oh my gosh, it gave me such a sense of where I was at in 1969. It was used as a theme song for one of the big three stations back then. I soaked it up unconsciously, so that when I heard it again fifty years later, I felt a tapestry of emotions I thought were permanently buried.

Music is miraculous and magical. Even though trauma may have shoved us out of a continuous sense of self and we lost time and a sense of safety, sometimes music gives us back what we thought was gone forever–ourselves.

***

Amazon: PTSD:Frozen in Time

 

 

 

Meet My Favorite Tree and Future Dancing Partner

Pam Montgomery’s fascinating book Plant Spirit Healing (A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness) inspired me, years ago, to invite the spirit of my first plant, Little Momma, to hop on my energy while I danced so it could dance, too. I’ll never forget that day. I was in the living room of our Chicago apartment. Jack had gone somewhere for a few hours. I put a CD on the stereo and was psyched to manifest joyful energy. (I was so happy living with Jack.)

I walked over to Little Momma, lightly touched my finger to one of her leaves, and said, “Feel free to hop on and dance with me.”

I started dancing and, within a few seconds, felt tendrils a foot long extending from the tips of my fingers.

I immediately stopped dancing.

That freaked me out!

Reading about the spirit of plants is one thing. Direct experience is another.

I did get up and continue dancing. I didn’t feel the tendrils anymore, but the visceral memory has never left me.

Pam Montgomery also suggested that when you go out into nature and are looking around and soaking up the good vibes, take a moment to see if any one tree or plant or stone is watching you.

Here is the tree I feel is looking back at me when I walk and do sprints along the path behind my apartment.

Tree1

Isn’t she beautiful?

Last week, I walked along this path listening to a favorite playlist with my Beats in and feeling optimistic about life and indescribably grateful my tummy pain was gone, (thanks to Diane Goldner, Energy Healer: Website). Aretha Franklin was singing “Sprit in the Dark” as I approached my beautiful tree. I thought, I sure wish I could dance with the spirit of that tree right now. Cars were going by, though, and would probably have slowed down or stopped to see what I was doing if they saw me dancing, so instead I put my hand on the tree’s trunk and invited her spirit to do sprints with me if she felt like it.

I didn’t feel any tendrils or branches extending out of my body. But my posture was extraordinarily good that day!! I didn’t have to put any effort into standing up straight, which I always have to do halfway through my workout when I’m starting to get tired.

Someday the spirit of the tree and I will dance to Aretha. Just a matter of time.