The Naturopath

"Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease."  ~ Hippocrates (Ancient Greek Physician).

After my osteopath and I completed the bulk of our work together, he suggested that I meet with the naturopath working at the clinic to work through deeper issues. I had goals around quitting smoking both cigarettes and, more importantly (and harder to accomplish), pot. My osteopath knew his limits. So, I booked an appointment to meet with the naturopath, knowing that I could not afford to do so past the allotted dollars I had in my benefits package through work (I have a great plan that includes $500 for acupuncture, osteopath & naturopath services). The first appointment cost $260, so I knew $500 wouldn't go far. However, what I quickly realized is that healing my soul was priceless and that's precisely what he's been able to do for me.

It is said, by whom I'm not sure, that one appointment with a naturopath (a good naturopath and they are not all created equally) is the equivalent to a year's worth of therapy. This is astoundingly accurate. Basically, what mine did was meet with me to do an assessment that involved asking me a lot of questions about how I feel. My job was to describe, in detail, how I felt, which was far more difficult than expected. For example, one of the feelings I constantly felt was the feeling of being scattered, on fast-forward, and restless. He got me to describe each of these things, as in: what does scattered feel like? He attempted to get me to describe this concept without attaching it to the human condition and the best I could come up with was describing that I felt like a dandelion whose seeds were uncontrollably blowing with each passing wind.

After meeting for around an hour and a half, he prescribed me a remedy, of which I had no idea what it was. Naturopath's who use homeopathy give remedies that are either plant, animal, mineral or energy based. As it turned out, mine was energy based. I cannot really explain what that means as it would take a lot of time and (ha) energy. But, what he gave me has since worked to heal my soul in more ways than I could imagine. It is not a drug; rather it is water that has been exposed to a certain energy source for a certain amount of time in certain conditions. If you understand quantum physics, which I do not, you know that water can absorb the energy of different things - and that is the best explanation I can offer.

The first time I took my remedy, I felt like what I imagine a Zen-monk feels like after meditating for 20 consecutive years in a monastery in Tibet. Everything inside of me just stopped. All the feelings of restlessness and being on fast-forward halted and, I will say, it was extremely uncomfortable. This feeling was so unknown to my body and brain, I found myself smoking a lot of pot just to deregulate myself to return to my baseline state of anxiousness. Weird, I know, but I couldn't manage it. Over time, however, this feeling became far more attractive and now, about two to three months later, I cannot live without it. We have adjusted the potency of my remedy three times to find the one that is most beneficial to me, which ended up being the lowest potency that I take more frequently. Since this time, my life has changed dramatically.

I am now addicted to being happy, instead of being addicted to pot. I stopped my almost 20 year habit about two months ago and it was simple. Something I struggled with for almost two decades was no longer a difficult goal to achieve and I don't miss it nor crave it. There were other changes as well that involved ongoing feelings of calmness, being centered and reflective insight. I am a dramatically different person. A happy, happy, happy person.  I meet with my naturopath on a monthly basis to continue our work together and just being in his presence makes me feel like my feet are firmly planted on the ground. That and the feeling that the possibilities within my life are endless. 

Dolphin Boy

Given that I do therapy with traumatized teenagers, this story (featured on The Passionate Eye) carried special meaning for me. It is 45 minutes in length and worth every moment of your time.



"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself." Katharine Hepburn (American Actress).

I've been working pretty damn hard on myself since November 2010. As a person who has struggled with....well, basically everything.....for years upon years, I felt that my 33rd year better be big. Not getting any younger, that's for sure. I've realized that change is absolutely possible given the right support. You'd think I would have inherently known this given that I am a children's therapist....but, as we know, we therapists are awesome at solving anyone else's problems but our own.

Over the past 15 months I have accomplished the following:
- 15 months of therapy with a rockstar therapist to work through practically everything. Have accomplished all the goals I laid out at the beginning of therapy and am now starting to wean off sessions because all I talk about is happy stuff now.
- Quit biting my nails, a lifelong affliction. 
- Went gluten-free/ mostly organic and stopped eating red meat.
- Quit smoking pot, another lifelong affliction. 
- Ceased looking for approval from anyone but myself, particularly my wacky family. 
- Developed and following through with a plan to travel to Africa to volunteer for two months (193 days left on the countdown).
- Started seeing an Osteopath and Naturopath, which are helping me save me.
- Enrolled in an African dance class, which I begin tonight.
- Became social with friends (see quit smoking pot).
- Stopped sleeping all the time (again, see quit smoking pot).
- Recently started exploring Qigong and am looking into Tai Chi classes.

This list makes me proclaim: I am fucking unstoppable man!!!! 
Rock on. 


Oh, the Places You'll Go at Burning Man.

My sister sent me this link today because it reminded her of me. I felt understood in that moment and it brought tears to my eyes.


It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Africa

"The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing." ~ Michael E. Gerber (Non-fiction Writer)

Opening up my Christmas presents and seeing items such as a bug net, water purification tablets, and a Whiz It (a contraption that allows women to pee standing up - hahaha), made things even more real. The date is creeping closer and, as of today, I sit at 214 days until departure. Time is moving so quickly all of a sudden and there's so much to much I still don't know and need to figure out. 

When I close my eyes and picture myself there, the place I've dreamed of for so long, I get butterflies in my stomach. 
I like butterflies. 

What Would Jesus Do?

"Santa Claus has the right idea.. Visit people once a year." ~ Victor Borge (Danish Comedian, Conductor, Pianist)

I am adopted...secretly. It is the only answer I can muster that might explain my presence in a family that is so totally different than myself. I must have been adopted and no one told me. I wish they would tell me so that this theory could transition from wishful thinking into my reality. I have plenty of evidence to discount this theory, such as pictures of my mother and father and sister in the hospital with me on the day I was born. I look brand new and my mother looks like shit after allegedly giving birth me....hmmmm, pretty strong evidence to the contrary of my theory. Oh well....I'll keep fantasizing. And really....not being adopted allows me to think to myself, WOW, I turned out so well considering the circumstances. That's a happy, self esteem boosting thought.

I think I should point out that most family hilarity that I might write about on my blog EXCLUDES my dear, darling father who is, if nothing else, normal and kind. How he has managed to survive the regime he has been living under for over 40 years is beyond me....and no, the answer is not the excessive consumption of alcohol. My mother declared him an alcoholic many years back, taking away the one thing he might have been able to successfully use to cope. It helps me, I know that for sure. I don't think my father was an alcoholic, I just think he did not handle his liquor very well and was prone to drinking too much of it on occasion. Show me someone who doesn't do that! I've been known to stumble down a stair or two (or a flight of stairs, depending on how well my evening has gone). Regardless, I give him props for using what was available to him at the time to help him survive and if he started drinking again tomorrow, I'd stand and applaud him.

This holiday season was the exact replica of the one before that. Oh - and the one before that. Actually, there is a long succession of sucky holiday seasons that are firmly rooted in my memory and each and every time I have had the occasion to even consider - for a moment - moving back to my province, they have served me well in snapping me concretely back into reality. A sharp 'fuck that' and 'what the fuck were you thinking, even if only for 2.4 seconds' clearly reverberates through my consciousness. This year the major, overarching theme was: complaining. My mother complaining about my sister; my sister complaining about my mother, her husband, her life - well, basically everything. This season, I took a vastly different approach in the management of this considerable negative energy...but, don't worry, I didn't switch it up too much - there was still the over consumption of many a bottle of wonderful wine. I disengaged. I did not respond. I pretended to listen while giving a nod or a hmmm once in awhile when really I was thinking about my upcoming trip to Africa, world poverty, my next massage appointment, or many other more interesting topics. And I will say, it worked! Once in awhile, I inserted a snappy comeback to their constant meanderings about how much their lives suck, such as, I wonder what Jesus would do? Apparently, I was the only one entertained by this but, was all about me and survival at that point and if I could provide myself with some tidbits of entertainment...I was all over that.

I hope everyone had a holly, jolly drunken Christmas and that you too found ways to entertain yourself while enduring the obligatory family time. Happy New Year!