Will Cook photography

Will Cook photography

I love sunset. It is my favorite time of day, no matter what the season. Sunsets in the summer are a dream. The sky is soft pinks and blues. The dragonflies are flitting all around my yard. Any minute now, the Peepers will start up, music for the soul. For those of you unfamiliar with Peepers, they are itty bitty frogs that make the coolest sound.

This time of day feels so peaceful. Almost otherworldly. A bridge between the business of the day, and the closing that the night brings. I find this time of day the most enchanted, the time I like to do ceremonies, meditation, and reflection. My garden is full of my Miss Kim Lilacs, deep purple Iris, baskets of lavender Petunias, amethyst Clematis climbing over the fountain… And all of it bordered by deep woods.

I feel so blessed. For each of you that read these posts, may your day be filled with Dragonflies, butterflies, hummingbirds, and flowers. And if possible, Peepers. And a little magic. Love to you, Judith

We Are The Champions

imageSexual abuse is a topic that tends to make many people uncomfortable. I suppose that’s understandable. What is not understandable is the culture’s tradition of sweeping it under the rug rather than addressing it head on. Whether the abuse is by a family member, clergy, teacher, or stranger, the end result is the same. Trauma, and the need to heal it. Secrecy and silence are the enemies of healing. There is a saying in 12-step recovery: “We are only as sick as our secrets”. Covering up sexual abuse leaves the victim of it alone, isolated in a landscape of shame, fear, and self-doubt. How does a person begin to recover from betrayal and trauma when they are expected to keep silent about it?

I have openly shared that I am an incest survivor. Another 12-step recovery principle I’ve incorporated into my life is about “sharing our experience, strength, and hope”. I love that one, because it tells us that anything that someone else has done, we can do. Reclaiming our capacity to trust, our joy, our sense of self-worth, is a part of the healing journey for any survivor of sexual abuse. Breaking the chains of secrecy, shame, and silence begins that journey.

I love music. It has been a healing agent for me over my entire life. One of my favorite artists is Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen. Freddie Mercury was a genius, in my opinion. Queen’s performance at Wembly Stadium for the benefit Live Aid is considered the greatest rock performance of all time. I watch it on YouTube periodically when I need a lift, or I just want to rock out and sing along. Last night, as I was watching it for the umpteenth time, the lyrics to “We Are The Champions” made me very emotional. I realized that what I had been seeing all over the News for the past few weeks about the molestation of those little girls by a family member, and the ensuing cover-up, had affected me more deeply than I had originally realized. It made me consider that perhaps it might be triggering other survivors, as well. So to all of the survivors out there, I’d like to share some of the lyrics from that song. ” I’ve paid my dues, time after time.   I’ve done my sentence, but committed no crime.  And bad mistakes- I’ve made a few. I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I’ve come through.   We are the champions, my friends. And we’ll keep on fighting till the end. We are the champions. We are the champions. No time for losers, ’cause we are the champions of the world.”

What a perfect anthem for survivors. And I have no time for the losers that pedophiles and molesters are. Molesting, violating, and raping others is a choice. Period. A sick one, certainly, but a choice, Our healing is not dependent upon understanding that choice, or forgiving it. Our healing IS about seeing the truth about that choice, that in no way was it our fault, ever. And then taking the steps to build a new life, to become the Phoenix, rising out of the ashes of our past, renewed. Free from the sadness, the shame, and the paralysis that sexual abuse leaves in it’s wake.

I dedicate this blog to all of the survivors out there. As Carl Jung said, we are not defined by what happened to us. It’s what we choose to do with it that matters. For each of us on this healing journey, remember, “We Are The Champions”. No one knows what it’s like to rebuild your life from the ground up, sometimes alone, sometimes with a trusted few to support that rebuilding. That takes guts. Courage. Tenacity. Faith. We are each champions. Heroes. Never forget that. And one more thing. Thank you, Freddie. I still miss you, dude. You made my world a better place with your music. R.I.P., man. I love you.

Staying Grounded, Centered, And Balanced, No Matter What

Remaining grounded and balanced while remaining completely engaged with life can be challenging for pretty much anybody who is not an enlightened being. (For the record, that definition does not include me. I have not as yet attained Ascended Master status. Damn.) Not being an Ascended Master, I’ve discoved a number of things that either help me remain on my center, or things that knock me completely off of it, faster than you can say “face plant”. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Let me start with some things in life that can knock us off of our center. Number 1 for me is people. Relationships are wonderful and growth-promoting. Or they should be. But relationships of all kinds take investment of energy, compassion, honesty, and self-reflection on the part of both parties. Attempting to remain in relationships where even one of these things is missing is a recipe for disaster. At this point in the world, narcissism and personality disorders have become a pandemic. So have addictions. Mental health issues are not being addressed, with funding for clinics and hospitals being gutted. The likelihood of any of us encountering any of these scenarios, whether at work, with family, friends, or partners, has increased exponentially. Nothing prepares us for dealing with the fallout of interacting with pathological narcissists or the worst part of that spectrum, the personality disordered. Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, to name a few. The disturbed energy field around these people radiates out around them, often disturbing or compromising the energy of the people in a relationshi
p with them. Healing from exposure to this group takes time, compassion for yourself, and support from people who know what this is. They are energy vampires. In fact, I believe the phenomenon of books, TV, and movies that are flooding the market about vampires are a direct response to the culture’s increasing awareness of energy vampires. I just wish it wasn’t romanticized. ( How to love an energy vampire 101. Ugh. ) Anyone who has had one of these people as a boss, a co-worker, a parent, a friend, or a partner has had to heal from the flaming wreckage they leave in their wake. Some good books on personality disorders are: Why Is It Always About You, by Sandy Hotchkiss, LSW, Malignant Self-Love, by Dr Sam Vaknin, PhD, Stop Walking On Eggshells, by Paul T. Mason, M.S., The Gaslight Effect, by Dr Robin Stern. (Excellent book). These are all very good, there are many more, but these are a good starting point. A word here about attempting to “fix” these people: don’t. They are dishonest on a core level, rewriting history in such a creative way that it rivals fiction novels. There is no accountability, and absolutely no empathy. Their inner landscape is a barren one. They operate from fear, in fact, fear is their driving emotion. I’m sorry if that comes across as uncaring. After 40 years as a clinician and healer, with numerous friends and clients that are also clinicians, the unanimous consensus is this one. Sooner or later, unless you protect your energy field, these beings will hand you your ass. Or what’s left of it. If you want to stay on your center, avoid them whenever possible.

Another thing that can knock us off of our center is the News. I’m all for being well-informed, but the constant bombardment of negativity which constitutes the News today is unreal. One glance is pretty much all it takes, for me. Wow. Politics, crazy religious wing-nuts like that family with 19 kids, including the pedophile one they covered up while ranting about gay people… Unbelievable. It made my head explode. No, no, no. That brings us to ideologies.

Any kind of ideology is restrictive. In no way does any of it support a rich inner life that directly experiences the Universe and our place in it. Ideologies are all constructs of the analytical mind. That should tell you something. No, no, no.

Now, on to things that support grounding ourselves, and reclaiming our center. Number 1 for me, again, is people. Loving, empathetic, caring, compassionate people. My inner circle of people are all Empaths. If they are not Empaths, they are not people I process with or share my deepest feelings with. I feel blessed beyond measure by the heart, wisdom, and love these people have shared with me.

Next on my list of things that centers and grounds me is nature. Animals, plants, ( including flowers, herbs, essential oils ), Stones, and Earth Mother herself, including mountains, lakes, forests, all of it uplifts, replenishes, and restores me. Even if you live in a city, there are parks. Connect to the powerful magic of the earth.

Reading centers me. I love to read. It nourishes my soul, it delights me, it reminds me of what’s real.

Meditation grounds me. It turns off the distracting chatter of the analytical mind, bringing me home to my center.

Music grounds me. Almost any kind. The joy of it, the passion of it, or the peace it can bring.

These are a few of the things that work for me. My prayer for all of us is to be able to navigate the Earth Plane joyfully and safely, avoiding the pitfalls and detours. If we use the Heart as our navigator, choosing self-love and self-respect, we will remain grounded and centered. I wish you laughter, joy, and love on your journey. I hope there are flowers, beloved pets, good food, and great music. Dance. Love.  Blessings, Rev Judith Star-Medicine