Day 47 of being “Grounded”- 4/21/2020 Lessons Solidified Part One-Scarcity

This post is a departure from my recent attempts to be uplifting and entertaining. A month and a half into being sequestered, there are still sweet stories to be found everywhere, but we are learning hard lessons too.

At least, I am. Some lessons are mind-blowing, and some are embarrassingly simple!

I have been semi-retired since last summer, so I was already reviewing my life’s work before the virus hit, trapping me in this endless solitude. But being faced with mortality daily, in such an urgent and graphic way, I find myself in hyper-drive examining my 40-plus years of professional life.

I started my practice as a Psychotherapist through both a very direct and also an unusual route! Direct because I was “called” to do this work at Church Camp in the 4th grade and have never once veered off that course.

But things also evolved in a round-a-bout way, starting my practice in the back of my Conversion Van, in the parking lot of where I was still waitressing, while finishing school. (A long, fun story for another day…)

During these last 45 days of isolation, quarantine, sheltering at home, etc., I have had many hours to contemplate the most important learnings of my life so far.

Here is what has risen to the top of an endless list.

I have four concepts, tenets, or theories that are the core of my therapeutic and life philosophies. I try, by the way, to have those be the same thing…practicing what I preach, etc. I know where some of these originated, but they have been with me so long now, I have no idea how much I have changed them in the process of making them my own.

And some I thought up by myself…

It seems like a perfect time to write about (and share) these four models. I really want folks to read these, and comment, so I am putting them in four separate posts.

I do hope you will indulge me in this summary of my life’s work. And as always, I would love your comments and/or questions.

In this first post, I want to address the concept most obvious to me during these Covid 19 days….Scarcity.

I had a wonderful Teacher/Mentor/Adopted Mom for 30 plus years. Elaine Childs Gowell was an amazing woman, way ahead of her time. An ARNP, and public health nurse, with a PhD in Anthropology. She grew up travelling with her family on various religious missions in Africa. She lived in New Orleans, practicing as a Public Health nurse, and working for Civil Rights. Then she moved to Seattle where she became a well-loved professor in the Nursing School at the University of Washington, while she started a private practice in Psychotherapy. She also studied Shamanism all over the world, and eventually became one herself…a very loudly outspoken spiritual leader respected by thousands.

20200421_101202

Her most steadfast belief was that absolutely every issue, personally and globally, was caused by Scarcity…. literal or imagined.

Nothing, not one thing, can bring up people’s emotions and unfinished personal-growth issues faster than the belief that there is not enough of something!

20200419_104013

Elaine moved on to her longed for “light” almost 13 years ago now, but she may as well be alive because I can hear her unapologetic proclamations daily, and loudly, during this pandemic. Pointing out to all the blatant proof that her theory was correct.

When all the factories and businesses shut down and those skies started clearing over Wuhan, I could just hear Elaine’s irreverent “Duh”.

She could tell you in a minute, what your personal/psychological scarcity issues were-whether perceived or literal…not enough time, not enough structure, or stimulation, or recognition or love!

At one point, back in the 1990’s, we even created an amazing 5-day therapeutic retreat called Experiencing Enough. It was designed to provide, for all who participated, the experiential, literal and symbolic healing effect of truly having enough. Plenty of time and attention and food and staff (and support for the staff) and sleep and fresh air and exercise and above all, love!! It went on twice a year for a long time. So healing for so many.

IMG_0624

And Elaine could trace every single world problem back to a belief, imagined or true, about something of which there was not enough. Power, money, and natural resources all at the top of the list. (There are certainly some world leaders that could have benefited from attending Experiencing Enough!!)

 

Long before Oprah started talking about our life’s repeated lessons, Elaine was preaching about how our scarcity issues were going to bring us down as a species if we didn’t learn the lessons…and fast….lessons that first tapped us on the shoulder, and eventually smacking us upside the head with a two by four.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I decided I needed to have a “talk” with her.

20200421_101237

She was pissed! After she got finished with her “I told you so” tirade, she quietly said, “I guess we’re finding out what comes after that two by four upside the head…”

20200421_135728
Look how many results!!!

Elaine was a Master of the Big Picture. She could see it all, the whole layout of the universe. And she knew there was enough…of everything…and for everyone! Even in her passing (she had a stroke), she hung around in her coma for way longer than her Doctors predicted possible, even “surfacing” repeatedly to connect with the current visitor to her home bedside….but the rest of us were not at all surprised. We knew why.

She was making sure all the people, who were coming from all over to pay their respects, to say their good-byes, had more than enough time….

Elaine 020 (2)

I think my specialty is the Little Pieces, I can see minute details others miss, so I have always chosen to focus my energy, for myself and for those I work for, on the small blessings, the individual stories, and the next steps to be taken each and every day.

My goal? To learn, and live, and to show that Elaine was right. It’s always about Scarcity.

20200420_105835
Gloves and a home made mask from a neighbor so I can grocery shop…

There may not be enough toilet paper or gloves or masks, but there is certainly enough beauty!!!

 

Thank you for reading…..and forgive me for not knowing how to do a “screen shot”.   😊

 

 

Spirit Lifters–Day 40 of being “grounded”

It may be difficult these days to think about being creative, but I’m telling you right now, it is absolutely your best defense against the situational depression that is starting to creep in for many, many lonely people, stuck at home.

My dear friend Brenda has been making these amazing pendants lately…before the Virus arrived. I had given her a bunch of broken bits and pieces of old jewelry to use in her pendants and she surprised me by making me this one. She hadn’t known that the tiny blue and silver dangle she used on mine had actually came from a necklace my Dad bought me on a trip to Mexico when I was about 9 years old. I LOVED that necklace from my Daddy. I wore it well into adulthood.

20191024_193418

When the Virus hit, Brenda got inspired and made this beauty!

Brenda's Covid 19 Heart

It’s big enough to fill both hands!!! I

t’s gorgeous, and one has to look again and again to see all it’s beautiful messages

Here’s what she wrote:

This is my latest creation. I’m calling it; Corona Heart 2020

During this very challenging time, I’ve had some really hard days, and some easier ones. There’s been fear, anxiety, shock, sadness and death, but there has also been compassion and caring for one another in new ways, people reaching out and helping, singing, healing, joy and even beauty. It’s such a mixture during this potent time. I wanted to create a piece that reflected all of that.
 
Heart – I chose the heart to represent love, kindness and compassion. The heart is inclusive, caring, understanding, forgiving, strong and knowing. It can hold great pain and great love.

Yin/Yang – I’ve always loved the yin/yang symbol – a symbol of wholeness. Reminding us that life includes it all – light and dark, life and death, joy and pain. The circle is divided into black and white, but not straight down the middle. They are nestled together, holding one another; with a point of light in the dark, and a point of dark within the light – integrated and whole. Life!

Pink – The color pink represents compassion and caring, and during this incredibly difficult time, it’s come to honor the health care works and first responders and all the people who are risking their lives so that the world can still function.
 
We’re all in this together, and love is what heals. Let your heart shine!\

So your job now is to lift your own spirits and go create something!

Then share it with the rest of us.

WordlessWednesday…NOOOO!!!

I’m tired of no words!! I want some words!! Apparently, because I am so visual and kinesthetic, (NOT very auditory), I need way, WAY more WORDS than most. (Probably one of the things that makes me a good therapist.)

I mean these Zoom meetings, and SKYPE Sessions with my clients are great, actually modern day miracles, in my elderly opinion, but I want to TALK with someone, lots of someones, and be able to use the rest of my senses in a conversation!!

I miss walking arm in arm with someone. I hate that the little kids in my neighborhood that usually run up and hug my legs (I’m everyone’s Grandma on my street), are now coached (appropriately so) to stay far away from me. I miss comforting a neighbor, friend or client with a hand squeeze, a shoulder pat, or a big, long, juicy hug!

Whew! Glad to get that out!

Now, onto my WordlessWednesday post.

Spirit Lifters; Day 34 of being “grounded”

20200407_20023920200405_081207

 

Super Bad Transmittable Contagious Awful Virus! (a parody of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!) [Video]

 

20200407_13533420200403_145028

 

 

Now, PLEASE

WORDS WORDS WORDS 

Lots of them in the Comment section!!

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

Covid 19 Lock Down Survival Kit Saint Patrick’s day, 2020

To start with, one of my favorite musicians, Geoffrey Castle, an electric violinist, who plays everything from hard rock and roll to Irish Ballads, and whose biggest performance of the year is naturally Saint Patrick’s Day, has suggested that tonight, from the safety of our own living rooms, at 7 PM (PST), everyone sing along with The Wild Rover

https://music.geoffreycastle.com/track/wild-rover

He says, “No live stream, no pay per view, nothing all fancy and high tech like that, just a moment in time when all across the land we sing the best Irish Drinking song ever, all together!
Sort of like a St. Patrick’s Flash Mob, except without the “mob” part.
Actual drinking of whiskey is entirely up to you.”

 

Like so many other professions, the need to address current health crisis on our planet has basically eliminated Geoffrey’s income for now. So listen to his stuff and buy something should you feel inspired to…

IMG_6958

Next, I have received so many wonderful emails this week from my clients sharing how they are taking care of themselves while in “Self Quarantine”!! Maybe one will inspire you!!

One couple has banded together with another couple, their best friends, to support each other, and not be alone. Living, working and sharing meals at home.

Another couple writes: “We are both working from home and I just feel a new sense of connection and love between us 🙂 What a time to get that when we get to be stuck together with this new working from home lifestyle!”

Trapped in a New York apartment and working from home, this person says “I’m organizing my apartment, taking long baths, and online shopping.” (This could be dangerous for me personally…Hmm, do I really need 5 of those gaiter neck warmers??)

I LOVE this, a couple who has been struggling so hard to find enough time to keep their relationship healthy says, “We’re hunkered down in our house and oddly this time has actually been good for us even though life is very strange right now. I think cutting out the commute, social planning and resetting has meant slightly less stress and more time for those small moments of joy.”

And in a hard irony, from a newly retired person, is uplifting anyway! “What a time for having to avoid contact with people now that I am (finally) trying to expand my social connections, not limit them.  Oh well.  I have survived pet rocks, disco, gas shortages, big hair bands, grunge and having a reality tv president, so I have hope and faith that I will manage to get through this okay. :-)”

Joan Borysenko

I’ve been finding some very uplifting things and great advice online. One of my favorite “teachers” is Joan Borysenko. She shared this wonderful video a few days ago. About 8 minutes,to help you ground and relax.

Taking the Fear Out of Coronavirus

Joan wrote today: Even amidst this crisis, and all the preparation it entails, we have the ability, perhaps the obligation, to spend a little time looking for the beauty, the goodness and the grace in life. Focusing on the good calms our mind, strengthens our immunity, and it feels wonderful!

 

And lastly, for all the young people still experiencing the blissful belief in immortality, us older folks need you to slow your party roll for just a while, so you don’t expose us to this virus. Just remember:

Your Grandparents were called to war. 

You’re being called to sit on your couch.

You can do this!!

 

So hunker down. DO all the nice things for yourself you rarely have time for. We’ll all wait it out together.

In the mean time…can you CROCHET????

image1

 

 

Black History Month (African American History) 2/1 through 2/29/2020

 

 

 

“Stand Up”
(from “Harriet” soundtrack)

I been walkin’
With my face turned to the sun
Weight on my shoulders
A bullet in my gun
Oh, I got eyes in the back of my head
Just in case I have to run
I do what I can when I can while I can for my people
While the clouds roll back and the stars fill the night

That’s when I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on
I can feel it in my bones

Early in the mornin’
Before the sun begins to shine
We’re gonna start movin’
Towards that separating line
I’m wadin’ through muddy waters
You know I got a made-up mind
And I don’t mind if I lose any blood on the way to salvation
And I’ll fight with the strength that I got until I die

So I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

And I know what’s around the bend
Might be hard to face ’cause I’m alone
And I just might fail
But Lord knows I tried
Sure as stars fill up the sky

Stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Do you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
I hear freedom calling
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on
I can feel it in my bones

I go to prepare a place for you
I go to prepare a place for you
I go to prepare a place for you
I go to prepare a place for you

From Darkness to Light

Warning:

When I first started my blog, I warned readers I would be posting a lot of music and photos and humor (well, I think I’m funny at least), but would also occasionally have a heavier story to share.

Today’s post is an example of the latter.

A wonderful, provocative challenge was issued by Sreejit from The Seeker’s Dungeon. 

He said “I am asking you to rip yourself open and put yourself back together again; explaining where you’ve been and where you are headed.  In so doing, we hope to help others understand that they are not alone on this path.”

Then, encouraging us to dig deep, he wrote “Many times our darkest moments are what end up turning us towards a path of light. It is these soul shredding moments that I want us to share here. Let us in on one of the moments that took you from darkness to light.”

The following story is my response to his challenge. It’s long, and may be difficult for some readers. I would really appreciate comments, if you read it.

I am posting the link to his blog so you can read it there. That way, maybe you’ll  glance through some of the other posts also. These have been some beautiful and powerful stories.

From Darkness to Light Day 16 by Kathie Arcide

Thank you,

ChosenPerspectives

V.J.’S WEEKLY CHALLENGE #37: STORY

Here’s my story…long, but it makes me so happy every time I tell it.

Hope you enjoy.

 

It’s Never Too Late….

(Branding VS Bonding)

“Maternity is a matter of fact; paternity always a matter of opinion.” Unknown Author

When I was two, my Mom and me found me a Dad. They got married and had my sister Eileen when I was three. They had my sister Barbara when I was six. When I was nine, I found out that Dad was not my first Dad. I don’t remember that fact being particularly bothersome. But when I was twelve and my folks divorced, well, that was definitely bothersome. When I was fifteen, being fairly exhausted by the role of Junior Mother to my sisters while my own Mom drank herself into oblivion, I left home in search of the rest of my childhood. When I was nineteen, my mother made her first (at least discernible) suicide attempt. (She took pills.) She survived, but only after being in a coma for as many days as I had had years on the planet. She woke up saying, “I don’t want to sleep anymore.” I thought she meant it and was really relieved and hopeful. Her narrow escape from death seemed to inspire her. She turned her life around dramatically…but only for a couple of years. When I was 21, my mother was more determined…no reprieve this time. It is much harder to survive suicide by gun.

When I was 24, and had a toddler of my own, the difference between a biological parent and a step-parent right in my face, I wrote my Dad a note. It said, “Now that Mom is not alive, you and I are not REALLY connected by anything, do you want to stop being my Dad?”

As of this writing, I don’t remember how he answered that question. I think it was something sweet and positive.

I do know that after he died in 2001, when we were going through his belongings, I found that 30 year old note from me, crusty with age, in a small box full of obvious treasures; like a very beautiful picture of my mother (his one and only love), correspondence from his father, and a very impressive letter of endorsement from his commanding officer in the U.S. Cavalry recommending him to West Point. My barely camouflaged plea for parental reassurance was in very admirable company indeed.

When I was 40, I received the following letter from my Dad:

 

Dear Kathie,

When your mother and I got married, we didn’t have much money and you were very young so we didn’t think you would mind if we skipped the legal proceedings for me to officially adopt you. Then, as it does, time passed and we just never got around to it.

Would you think it silly now, at this late date, for me to make it all legal? Would you let me adopt you?

I think you know that you have never been any different in my eyes from your two sisters, except that you were my oldest. Your biological father left before you were ever born, marrying your mother in name only, at the “insistence” of your grandfather, so I knew I would be your only Daddy.

Have I ever told you when I knew you were mine?

When your mother and I were dating, we always brought you along. I knew from the start it was a package deal with her and that was just fine by me. One afternoon when we were out, I picked you up to carry you on my shoulders, as had become our routine. Well, while you were up there, you had a little accident and leaked all over my neck. That wasn’t too bad really. But when I went to change my shirt and tie later, I found that you had marked me. My white shirt and neck were stained a bright crimson, the color of my tie. I didn’t think of myself as a “red neck” but I proudly wore that red mark around my neck for several days until it finally wore off. I told the guys at work that my new little girl had branded me. That’s when I knew I was your Daddy.

Now, I would like to make it official if that’s OK with you. Let me know what you think.

Love, Dad

 

My response to him was a no-brainer.

So, the Christmas after my 40th birthday, my Dad flew to Seattle from San Diego. My sister Barbara was there. My sister Eileen, who had rarely seen any of us since our mother died all those years before, flew over from Hawaii, and my 2 long time best friends, Lee and Linda, attended as witnesses. It was definitely official, taking place in a courtroom in front of a judge who asked both my father and I a peculiar series of questions. “Do you have any ulterior motives for taking this step?” “Does doing this help you to avoid legal action in any way?” “Are either of you doing this for financial gain?” etc.

Then the judge pronounced us legally “father and daughter” and leaned over his bench to shake my Dad’s hand. He said, “Congratulations on your new baby girl.” And to my sisters he said “She is your real sister now.” Then he thanked us all profusely saying, “Usually during this week between Christmas and New Years, we have nothing in Family Court except Child Protective Service cases or maybe the termination of parental rights. How refreshing it is for me to have participated in this long awaited and obviously joyous occasion.”

Judging from the things my Dad did during the time immediately before he died, my legal adoption was not the first time he had considered my sisters and I being re-united.

Although he had never uttered a single word of criticism or advice concerning our long-time estranged sibling ties, clearly he had thought about it. He simply carried on three separate father/daughter relationships. He developed his own connection with his 3 grandchildren and before his death he fixed it so that at least once more, we had no choice but to all three be together. I mean really together. We had to join up and cooperate in the dispersal of his estate. All papers had to be signed by all three of us at the same time. There was even plenty of money designated specifically for travel expenses from our respective far corners, etc. Clever, clever man. Either that or he was a real brat.

If Dad was nearby, and we believe he was, we know he got a real kick out of it as his lawyer innocently said, “Yes, I thought this was an unusual request that there be 3 executors and that all must be present in the same place for all procedures. This is not how it is commonly done. Your Father must have known that you three get along really well to put you in this position as equal trustees.”

 

I wonder what that attorney thought of the look of shock, dismay and wonderment that passed among my sisters and me in that moment.

 

Dad, I’m sure, was chuckling. I guess he really believed that it is never too late.

 

IMG_4154
Wedding number ONE, Dad, back left, the only non-Mormon there, except me😉
IMG_4143
Dad, with husband number two (looks like he’s ready to “paddle” him)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #37: Story

SongLyricSunday-1/6/19 Medicine/Doctors

OK, I’m still in, even though our long-time Blogger, Helen Vahdati, is taking what I hope is just a break!

Here you go:

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/guest-host/

 

Medicine – Rising Appalachia lyrics

♪ Medicine ♪ official lyrics

Wise men say that rushing is violence
And so is your silence when it’s rooted in compliance
To stand firm in loving defiance, make art your alliance
Give voice to the fire

Move people to the beat of the wind
Gather yourself and begin, to dance the song until it ends
We are winners, champions of the light
Forming in numbers and might, keep the truth close in sight

Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands

Find your teachers in the voice of the forests
Unplug you can’t ignore this, wisdom of the voiceless
Remedies are bountiful and surround us
From the garden to the farthest, prayers made of star dust

Find your healing in the music that calls you
The voice that enthralls you, what do you belong to?
Eyes out! There’s the setting of the sun
Give thanks to each and everyone

The lesson is the Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands

I believe in bending backwards and extending
My traps trip back until the message is in action
The yard is feeding, stop stark the disbelieving
‘Cause the garden holds the shards, the medicine is in the
seeds when

We hold tight to our right to protect and
We know our might is ten fold in connection
Our elders hold them bright lights, we protect them
The medicine is evident: the wolf, the hawk, the bear clan

We hold tight to our right to protect and
We know our might is ten fold in connection
Our elders hold them bright lights, we protect them
The medicine is evident: the wolf, the hawk, the bear clan

Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands

Musixmatch.com
Lyrics copyright : legal lyrics licensed by MusiXmatch.

No unauthorized reproduction of lyric. Lyrics powered by http://www.musixmatch.com

One Gift Turned into Three

There is a whole HUGE category of people for whom MUSIC speaks way louder and more clearly than any amount of political discussion or rhetoric! Just ask any true Hippie or Flower Child!

MORE MUSIC!!

Here is a second attempt at re-blogging my friend Karuna’s post today.

I”m going to put the main song I want to pass on directly in here, in case the re-blog doesn’t work again, but do visit her sight also. She always has great, beautiful, inspiring stuff there.

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.com/2018/11/02/one-gift-turned-into-three/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FciQeRGYFlw

 

Living, Learning and Letting Go

A friend just sent me a link to this video. I loved it.

I decided to listen to another one of his other songs. I loved that one too.

Then this video caught my eye. It wasn’t by Keb’Mo’ but I also loved it!

Thanks Vani… for being the person who led me to this string of gifts.

View original post