This month we’re talking about what is rejuvenating to us as far as lifestyle goes. When I was still suffering lots of my own illnesses, I had the belief that I had to have a house, a mortgage, leave my kids in daycare, drive to work in traffic, work several hours a day (including over-time), drive home, pick up the kids, make dinner and go to bed.
It is true that back then, I hated my life. I hated the tax on my capacity to be creative and spontaneous. I had limiting belief that I was stuck, with no options, or risk starvation and the bank calling me if I forfeit on mortgage payments. It was soul destroying.
Lots of folks I know can pull it off, but as I got healthier, I realized that I was not one of them. I had to find a better way. I began to look for work where I could craft my own hours and work from home. I refashioned my resumé to become a financial consultant.
I left the government, a stale marriage, and took on the Registrar position in the newly formed Hahnemann College for Heilkunst and Homeopathy. I started my four year training as a Heilkunst Practitioner and began writing my first book. This model felt more congruent as I figured out a much more sustainable ethical center for myself.
As time marched on, I became a Practitioner, the kids started going to Waldorf and I fell in love with my soul’s mate, Jeff Korentayer. I loved treating patients, writing books and living on our farm. It was all really hard work, however, I fell into bed at night knowing that I was truly contributing to other’s lives in a meaningful way.
Now, with my kids in pursuit of fulfilling their own desires, and our international digital nomad practice, I’m truly loving my minimal and rejuvenating lifestyle. I’m learning what it feels like to play again, study the stuff I’m really interested in — like Heilkunst Medicine, Art and Photography, natural building and permaculture.
I find that the more healthy I am, the more rejuvenating my life becomes. Gone are many of the limiting beliefs of 25 years ago. This way of being isn’t just sustaining me, it gives back in patient success stories, photojournalism articles I’m paid for, and the books I write and sell on Amazon. This model of natural living enables me to not just meet my goals but actually thrive. My hope for you is that you give yourself permission to fully self-actualize in your own consciously crafted life too.
I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even start new protocols on a Monday after I realized years ago that I was setting myself up for failure if starting something new with a bang. My resonance organs dictate a mindfulness in motion that begs me to be accountable to myself each and every day; self-love is a continually evolving gesture of self-honour and self-care.
After sitting for three days a week in clinic I typically feel compelled to go on a mini-pilgrimage, usually this takes form as a good 10-12 km romp into the town or hills where I live… and my step counter will show about 17,000 steps by the end of the day. Jeff and I generally enjoy the same jaunt together on the weekend. During the week, I tend to engage in an hour of something each day; I love swimming, hiking the cobbled streets where we live, taking photographs, and enjoying an hour of yoga twice a week to ensure I’m maintaining upper body strength.
I do not love plank poses, although I do love the way they make me feel when I’m regularly engaged with my practice. A thirty minute daily meditation also is part of my regular regimen. You may ask how I find the time… well, it has taken me twenty years to unhook from a life of obligation and now my health soars, with few supplements, by allowing my spirit to be free of living totally out of obligation. A decade ago, my goal was to craft a life that I no longer felt I needed a vacation from, and this goal has most definitely been achieved!
I will take Vitamin D3 in the winter months only if I’m getting insufficient sunlight, although for the last two years we’ve lived in Mexico in winter, so I don’t bother much with this anymore. If I notice any thyroid challenges, I’ll take kelp and nascent iodine to help on those occasions. I also take zinc periodically, as well as some greens powder (spirulina/chlorella). I drink 2-3 litres of spring water a day which helps to keep me feeling clear, calm, and restored. I’ve always been a very thirsty constitutional type and so drinking a lot, especially in the mornings, really helps to set me right for the remainder of the day.
Mostly I eat quite scantily, fasting a couple days a week for most of the day; as I get into my more “senior” years I find that this approach helps keep my mind and body running optimally. At this high altitude of seven thousand feet above sea level, I sleep hard and soundly given the lower oxygen levels, and seven to eight hours a night without waking is beyond restorative to me. The less I eat, the better I sleep!
Being happy and in love with my partner and my life help a lot. We enjoy great recreation such as attending the orchestra, travelling with friends to a spa or organic farm in the country, or just lying around and reading. Having tea and discussing art, photography, principles or the concepts of Heilkunst enthuse me no end and it’s great that I get to do this with Jeff. I’m also adored, nurtured and well loved on, and kissed thoroughly with intent every day. I wish every human being benefitted from this much loving and fulfillment.
Lastly, I’m rocking what I’m ordained to be. I used to wake with whole poems in my head as a child. I’ve always loved to write and it is a big part of who I am and the vehicle I use to serve others by crafting books in natural medicine and Heilkunst. I’ve also always been profoundly intuitive and so I use these skills to diagnose my patient’s deeper issues, and then use my knowledge and compassion to help them get to where they’d like to go with regard to the resolution of their chronic ills.
Jeff and I both love hearing your monthly impressions as you work through the tangle of your challenges and wins each month. It is a living model of rejuvenation similar to a fever event, when your child speaks for the first time as they shed the Autism diagnosis. You might now be able to imagine what it means when a patient tells us that she has found the love of her life as a result of going through this system of medicine, and that she no longer suffers chronic fatigue because she also let go of that gnarly day job where her creativity was suppressed.
It is our resolution to be healthy enough to continue to support you in the ways that you expect, exacting the healing and curing principles of Heilkunst Medicine to the very best of our abilities. We love serving you and it means so much to us that you keep coming back monthly and also refer your friends and family. Our hearts are filled with purpose and meaning because of you.
Many folks come to us to address a chronic issue; chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, chronic back pain; chronic sciatica, chronic depression, chronic anger, and the list goes on. This is where the journey begins, but it is not where it ends. Once the chronic symptoms are addressed, the patient generally becomes so curious that she wants to know how deep the rabbit hole goes into her psyche.
She wants to not only find out the aetiology for the chronic pain, but she knows intuitively that something lurks beyond the cause, something so rarified that she may have never known it’s purity this lifetime. Once the shocks, blocks and traumas are out of her way, she teases back the curtain to find where the joy resides. She observes this new way of being even though it frightens her.
She realizes her chronic symptoms kept her from knowing this state of being. What now? Over several weeks, she fans her newfound “growledge,” developing inch by inch her courage to know herself in a way that she’s never apprehended before. She cautiously reaches for the joy that resides just beyond her grasp. She pulls back, afraid. What if it’s transitory like all the other times she tried to know her wishes?!
She reaches, again, and it tickles her back. She wonders if anyone is watching, if they can see the Kaos in her. Her pure awe grows in the face of this newly realized essential self. She remembers feeling like this as the tiniest child. She realizes now, that the joy isn’t fleeting, but that the hardest task ahead will be to realize that she deserves it.
#joy #heilkunst #homeopathy #selfknowledge #beyondchronicdisease #beyondchronicsymptoms #hahnemannsaphroism9 #dontmissitall #theall
“circle of friends” by Valentina Powers
Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Scientist, and founder of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophic Medicine cites that children can’t in fact subsume, in a healthy fashion, reading, writing or mathematical concepts until well after the milk teeth have fallen out. The idea being that if you wake a child too early to intellectual machinations, you damage the fine tuning of their etheric (creativity and absorption) and astral (artistry and inspiration) integration.
In this over-intellectualized and mechanistic epoch in which we live, one of the greatest crimes I see in healthcare is over-intellectualized adults who struggle with accessing all of their organs for knowledge. They’re just not properly integrated! This produces anxiety and neurosis on a large scale as their capacity for trusting their inner guidance system (gnosis) has been tarnished due largely to the tyranny of forced education.
Parents who live in fear that their child won’t be able to compete in this global culture unless they’re bullied into unfolding their egghead processes early on, actually destroy their child’s innate capacities to become lifelong learners, something which ought to be borne as a self-inspired, inside-out gesture. Real knowledge has never been a successful outside-in game and never will be. You’ve heard the maxim, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
A natural curiosity is the stuff of health. It propels us from the Godhead of our ordination as human beings (not human doings) otherwise as children we’d never ask questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” If this innate desire is squashed, and replaced by government curricula and unproven homework that turns parents into hateful enforcers instead of advocates and protectors, we destroy a child’s delicate intuition.
When will we come to wholly trust, and have faith, that each of us will ask the questions – from an internal fount whose source is beyond our comprehension – that will propel the answers towards us? When will we come to the understanding that as we progress through our spiritual unfolding, our nuanced capacity to know will flow and ebb with each consciousness soul phase we blunder through so that we’re married to the functional purpose that evolution pours through each one of us?
When will we know that the gesture to bully and shove round pegs into intellectually limiting square holes is on its way out and that feminine wisdom is mounting a luminous trail so self-sustaining and rejuvenating that the silos of patriarchy are being revealed, and breaking down at an amazing rate? When will we know that the desire to “know thyself” is so flipping compelling to each one of us that its intrinsic nature is something to be preserved, not browbeaten or terrorized with ridiculous tests.
When will we preserve the essence of our innately curious being-ness as wonder-filled seekers?
When will we know?
While attending University, way back when, I used to board with a great big Irish Catholic family. Actually, there were once seven children at home but when I arrived on the scene to rent a room, only the mother and one daughter were left at home. The young woman and I both attended the University of Toronto at the same College.
When I came downstairs one day the mother, H. (I’ll call her), wearing a surgeon’s mask, was stripping the paint from around the oak window casings with a small blow torch and a paint scraper. She was singing softly to herself. I tried to creep by without disturbing her as she seemed so intent on her task. She called out, “Is that you Allyson?” I replied, “Yes, I’ve come down to make some breakfast.”
I recall commenting on the incredible amount of work she was doing and that it might take a year, or more, for her to strip all the windows in the house, including the stained glass ones, and wasn’t she afraid of burning the wood or torching the glass? She responded that it was therapy for her after the decades of work at Queen’s Park as an assistant to a prominent political member. She was now retired and it seemed stripping windows of their white paint was how she’d decided to best fill her days. At the time, I didn’t understand why a retired person wasn’t out scuba diving or lunching with a whole gaggle of friends.
She continued, saying that she wove her prayers into the vapour from the torch, that they would be carried heavenward with each bubble of paint that she scraped from the sill. During the hotter summer months, she’d often strip the paint for 8-9 hour stretches in her panties and a loose t-shirt. I wondered at this sixty-five year old feminist as if she was a most curious object. Sometimes, I knew that she could feel my eyes on her and I could feel her smile; she’d just continue humming as she worked without saying a word. One time she did ask me if I had issues with feminism, and for three decades after I was mystified by her question.
Late one afternoon, I came home via streetcar along Gerrard St. East, to find on my bed a book entitled, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. about a simple shopping list left behind by a monk and how its seemingly benign items like, “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma” speaks to the rise and fall of humanity in the face of atrocities like a nuclear holocaust. At the time, I didn’t have a clue why H. would want me to read such a book, however, since she seemed to take an interest in me (I had been orphaned the year prior) I forced myself through its pages. We never spoke about why she gave it to me.
To this day, I still don’t wholly understand the ramifications of what was written on the pages of that book, so I took it on as a gesture of intention, a meditation of sorts. Just as this woman scraped paint day after day, perhaps not wholly understanding why or what her function or purpose was at the time, she was investing her thoughts into the practice. I tried to bring the same gesture to that book, and many other books and practices since.
H. taught me that to be a woman in the 21st century, it is sometimes enough not to will something into existence with a great fury, hell bent on accomplishment. That sometimes, seemingly meaningless, repetitive tasks can allow for the space to contemplate, ruminate and even pray. That sometimes, whispering your hopes and dreams into the whiff of vapour, or exploring the incongruous meaning behind why a person is canonized by patriarchal religion is similarly mysterious.
It is the task of remaining open and receptive, in a state of gratitude for the simple things in life, where laying down the rod of doing in exchange for a state of being is an act of utter courage. It is the meaning of the “mass” portion of Christ-mass. When I look up Mass, I get a whole conglomeration of meanings in Wikipedia that look something like this:
“The English noun mass is derived from Middle Latin missa. The Latin word was adopted in Old English as mæsse (via a Vulgar Latin form *messa), and was sometimes glossed as sendnes (i.e. “a sending, dismission”). The Latin term missa itself was in use by the 6th century. It is most likely derived from the concluding formula Ite, missa est (“Go; the dismissal is made”); missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to classical missio.
Historically, however, there have been other explanations of the noun missa, i.e. as not derived from the formula ite, missa est. Fortescue (1910) cites older, “fanciful” etymological explanations, notably a latinization of Hebrew matzâh (??????) “unleavened bread; oblation”, a derivation favoured in the 16th century by Reuchlin and Luther, or Greek ?????? “initiation”, or even Germanic mese “assembly”.Already Du Cange (1678) reports “various opinions on the origin” of the noun missa “mass”, including the derivation from Hebrew matzah (Missah, id est, oblatio), here attributed to Caesar Baronius. The Hebrew derivation is learned speculation from 16th-century philology; medieval authorities did derive the noun missa from the verb mittere, but not in connection with the formula ite, missa est. Thus, De divinis officiis (9th century) explains the word as a mittendo, quod nos mittat ad Deo (“from ‘sending’, that which sends us towards God”), while Rupert of Deutz (early 12th century) derives it from a “dismissal” of the “enmities which had been between God and men” (inimicitiarum quæ erant inter Deum et homines).”
It is really a tough piece for me to sort through. I don’t fully understand its holy historical references; however, if I am patient enough, some vaporous light may illuminate it if I’m meant to know more. The other day, in a foreign country, where the language is foreign to me, I slipped into a two hundred year old church during mass. I sat in a back pew, closed my eyes in the cool stoney air and felt the wisps of incense wash over my fatigued bones. My camera draped at my side, I closed my eyes and fell into a meditative state as the filthy, homeless person with a ratty beard prayed next to me in Spanish on bended knee.
In the past, when directed by my mentor, Steven Decker, to study Rudolf Steiner until I drifted off to sleep more mystified and confused than ever, I’d become comforted without knowing precisely why I was studying such heady texts. It was like being tussled and tossed about in the washing machine of mystery. While I don’t always know in the moment, I trust that a canticle of meaning will eventually find me during the seemingly most mundane of tasks, a whispered prayer, poem or song received in the corridors of my heart.
I no longer have issues with powerful women. They don’t scare me. H. was right. It took me years to understand that just because I wasn’t counted as a wizened woman in my early twenties due to my weakened, diseased state doesn’t mean that I didn’t have the potential to eventually become one. After thirty years, through the portal of my own health, I learned to breathe many prayers into countless sill windows. Although ongoing, I now feel the answers to my own feminine mystery; a sweet place where I might serve in my ontological confines in this present space and time.
A canticle of seemingly endless lists filled with pastrami and sauerkraut in the face of political holocaust can join together to produce strong, capable and assured women, who whisper prayers for the salvation of self and other into the vapours of time. This unifying presence through family and intention is the Divine feminine ignited.
This year I am thankful for rest, health, verve, ease, strength, quiet, creativity and an inner grace that is ripening. I am grateful for inspiring women, and men, in my life who hold the candle of the mysteries of life in good stead until they’re ready to be wholly illuminated. I am able to fall into meditation, offering prayer-filled alms to the Spanish beggar for he shines the light on what is still my greatest challenge: the quickness with which I judge the sills of time to be too many to make a shred of difference.
“Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”
Happy Re-New-al Year to you all!
Well, we’ve put 19,000 kms in total on our car since June travelling across Canada and down the west coast of the United States and into Mexico. We’re finally settled in the most remarkable city that we’ve ever been to in both Europe or North America. Think ancient Italian port town nestled on a rocky bowl with mind-blowing food and culture for less than a few pesos.
Guanajuato, Mexico is built in a steep teacup that is an ancient caldera of a volcano. It was the seat for the Spanish invasion, and subsequent revolution, due to the wealth of the gold and silver mines documented in the art of Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband).
In the week that we’ve been here, we’ve already been to several concerts, with a world class symphony, with performers that hail from Russia, Europe as well as Mexico. Yesterday, I went to a piano recital that blew my socks off, afterwards there was a wine and tapas offering in the spectacular garden with local folks peppered with expats. It cost me $10 Canadian.
I’m learning to muddle through with my broken Spanish, although it is tough being so effusive and so short on vocabulary. I will start my tutoring online next week and hope to volunteer here with local youth who make organic soaps and olive oil so that I can learn more of the colour of this expressive romance language.
Our two room casita, with fibre-op, sits at the very top of the bowl with mountains jutting up on three sides. Any stroll to the the town takes us on a steep incline that makes me often think that I need a climber’s belt, ropes and several carabiners to make it back home.
Our morning hikes take us down cobbled streets through a dam, salted with patos blancos (white ducks), a gorgeous park past several schools and universities for art, political science and engineering. Of course, there are churches with huge iron bells and haciendas dotted in between with old colonial styling and balconies, man how I love a pretty balcony!
Jeff and I will scoot into Café Tal for a Sencha Tea (or the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had) and then we might have a couple of steamed tacos for breakfast from a street vendor. All totalling about $3.50 Cdn. A cab is 50 pesos (about $3.00 with tip) and the bus is 5 pesos (which is so little I can’t calculate it). Our groceries for the week come to about $30 – $40 Cdn at Mercado Hidalgo (built by Ernesto Brunel and Antonio Rivas Mercado with input by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of Paris’ Eiffel Tower) where we get all our fruits, vegetables and meats.
It’s even cheaper if you walk the streets and locate the native indians, mostly women with babes in arms, who’ve brought their wares to sell down from the ranchos way above the lip of the caldera. One such young fellow, in front of his parent’s vegetable stall, stopped and asked me in broken English where I was from. I responded, “Canada,” gesturing way, way far from here, and he asked me if we speak English there and I said, “Yes, and French too!”
The weather is very cool here at night, dropping down to a nippy 5-8 degrees celsius which is in the mid 40’s on the fahrenheit scale. Like home, we have three blankets on our bed for warmth at night. And boy do we sleep! At 7,000 feet above sea level, we’re having to take the homeopathic remedies, Coca and Cundurango, for a touch of altitude sickness. You’re extra sleepy at night, the oxygen thinner so when hiking back up the 3,500 steps (about 15 flights of stairs … no, we don’t count them … we have an app for that!) from having tea, we need to stop a couple of times to catch our breath. Also, you can have headaches right where you’d have devil’s horns, if you were thusly inclined, on the top of your head and feel at times a little hungover with a stomach bug.
While it takes about six weeks, typically, to stabilize your blood oxygen levels, we’re already feeling amazing in our new locale. We travel like this to fulfill our astral desire function to know new people, culture, art, music and language. It builds the ontic (sense of autonomy/immunity) by holding our essence in check as we’re exposed to many different circumstances and seeming social incongruencies to our more conservative Canadian sensibilities. Also, living in Canada, frankly is just too familiar, and also very pricey now that we’ve just paid off all of the “investments” we made into our education.
We’ll see what the next five months here in Mexico yields. In our opinion, we’d much rather be on this side of any walls to be erected by boisterous (better if I don’t add the other adjectives I’m thinking of) politicians.
“As I shift my thinking from our seemingly traditional way of educating children, to the new way of learning with worldschooling, unschooling, homeschooling, it’s given me some unique perspectives, although I bet many of you have found this to be true as well. Families who school traditionally always seem angry, frustrated, stressed. Not just with themselves, but with their children as well. They have that set schedule, and heaven forbid if it doesn’t work out as planned! The kids don’t get up on time, don’t do as they are told in a timely manner, etc., etc. The kids fight everyday, about things that no longer seem that important to me.
It’s amazing how much time, energy and effort families are putting into getting to school on time, (kids) behaving in school, doing well in school. Their lives are essentially put on hold … for school. Instead of learning around their life schedule, they are living around a school schedule. This is not conducive to a happy home I’m finding.
Just this morning, a friend posted on FB that her morning had gone to hell in a hand basket because no one was cooperating, no one was was dressed on time for school, lunches weren’t made yet because she had spent her early morning fighting with the kids to get them up on time and such… all so that they can get to a building on time! I posted on her status “You know … Homeschooling would fix this … Set your schedule, or don’t!” She agreed, but left it at that.
I’m also finding parents can not wait until their little ones are five, so that they can drop them off at school and let them be someone else’s issue for 6 hours. They want “Me time” again. Ok sure! I get that! Everyone needs some quality alone time to recharge, but it seems like it’s become a tradition to push our children away and on to complete strangers in hopes that they will learn something.
I watched Lainie Liberti ‘s Tedx Talk she just posted.. and the line where she says that she put a lot of focus on Education and school … but that the only goal for that was for her son to become educated. No other goal… and such a vague goal it was too, just being Educated seems to mean absolutely nothing these days. You can be educated and still have no clue about the world around you, be dense to common sense and compassion.
Come to think of it, the North American way of Parenting is extremely flawed I think. We love and nurture a growing baby in the womb, but as soon as they are born we detach ourselves from them. We push them away so often because “its good for them” that we send them to School at 2.5 years of age … calling it “Pre-School” why? what is this 2.5 year old learning? I’m not even sure.
Anyways …Total epiphany this morning! This past weekend (May Long Weekend, Victoria Day) was a sneak peek into what our new lives as homeschoolers will be like. We slept in, we did what interested us, no expectations, no set schedule, we were together as a family. I turned off the TV after lunch, we read, jumped on the trampoline, colored to our heart’s content. We were just US … togetherness. It was Amazing! I enjoyed it immensely!! As did the kids!
The more I learn about this way of Learning, the more I know it’s right for us.” ~ Candice Robertson, Worldschoolers Facebook Page