Our Journey to Cancer Treatment Centers of America

It’s been a long time since I’ve sent out a Mesa News and brought our Mesa “tribe” up to date on what’s been happening at our center and for my wife and Mesa Co-director, Kate, as she travels on her path to healing cancer.  This has not been because she was faring poorly.  On the contrary, she has been doing fabulously well.  We have both been completely focused on her healing body, mind, and spirit, allowing all else to fall by the wayside.  We’ve been telling those who have emailed or called that we have been “hibernating”, but I recognize that it’s really more than that.  We have been pupating

Pupation is the stage that caterpillars go though after surrounding themselves with a silken cocoon.  During this phase of development, the insect’s worm-like body dissolves into liquid goo, completely losing all semblance of its former self.  Mysteriously, it eventually restructures itself into its new adult form in a miraculous act of self-transformation.  We see ourselves as engaged in this metamorphosis—our old 3rd Density (3-dimensional) selves giving way to our higher, multidimensional nature.  

For Kate this has been quite literal, as her body shape so greatly changed from the ordeal of purification from dis-ease that we both hardly recognize it.  Her energy is quite different also, and by that I don’t mean that she is fatigued, but rather that her signature frequency has been stripped of the clutter of much old trauma, self- misconception, and role playing.  This has made me more attuned to her spiritual essence, now shining more brightly than ever without the bushel basket of trying to.  I marvel at the changes and revel in getting to know her all over again.  Having lost most of her beautiful long hair to the ravages of chemotherapy, she now sports a cute, close cropped hairdo to throw me off, looking much like what she herself describes as “a kiwi”. 

Through the last five months of our lives we have witnessed the dissolution of our former selves and the people we used to be, walking this hard road side by side in stride with one another.  Through tears of fear or joy, darkest doubt, poignant moments, and peals of giddy laughter, we have seen our relationship metamorphose in the process.  It has brought us ever closer together, and I have barely left her side, not wanting to miss a minute of her.  We recognize now that we had been merely crawling along, caterpillar-like on our spiritual journey together, and by the process of fiercely focusing on our healing where we knew it already existed, are now preparing to fly

After five months of her transformation, Kate is doing simply great.  This after being told back at the beginning of October by the doctor here in Pittsburgh that the chemotherapy treatments hadn’t affected the tumors in her body and that we “shouldn’t get our hopes up”.  The oncologist was implying she was going to die.  This seemed… well, insane to us, because she was obviously getting better.  (We still don’t understand why he couldn’t see it.)  After some research we took Kate to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Southwest Regional Medical Center hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a different kind of healing. 

When we arrived in Tulsa that first time for her evaluation, CT imaging showed that there was no longer any tumor in Kate’s pancreas.  It had simply disappeared in the three weeks since the last scan in Pittsburgh.  The larger growths on her ovaries were still there, having shrunk only a little.  The doctors in Tulsa recommended Kate have surgery to remove cancerous tissue, which she did there at the beginning of November. 

The surgeon took out the masses on her ovaries, which proved to be benign on the inside, but had “seed” tumors on the outside.  There were more of these little bumps scattered hither and yon inside her belly.  These little tumors are consistent with the spread of pancreatic cancer, but by the surgeon’s description there were far, far fewer of them than were seen in an exploratory surgery in Pittsburgh back in August. 

The surgeon cut out or cauterized all the seed tumors he could see, and felt her pancreas with his hands.  He said it was “rubbery” but there were no tumors on or in it.  He also removed her appendix because it had tumors on it, and an 18” section of her small intestine that had a lot of little tumors on the outside. 

He also removed a small wedge of her liver that had two or three larger, benign tumors on it that had inexplicably never shown up in any of the prior imaging processes.  Pathology confirmed that the cancer cells present were indeed pancreatic in origin.  It doesn’t matter  to us what they are calling it.  We just rejoice that it’s quickly retreating. 

Kate has been recovering really well from the surgery, an 8-1/2 inch incision from pubic bone to above her navel.  (The surgeon cut neatly around her belly button, so she doesn’t look like an extra-terrestrial.)  At the beginning of December we went back to Tulsa for her to start chemotherapy to mop things up.  This stuff is far less volume and far less toxic than what she had in Pittsburgh.  For this we are very grateful. 

Kate tolerated the first dose really well and we’ll be flying back this week (and every other week for the next few months) for more.  Then she’ll get another CT scan.  The crazy thing is our new understanding from what did and didn’t show up on previous ones.  There’s no foolproof way to tell what’s going on inside of her except to make a hole and look. 

Obviously this isn’t something we want to routinely do.  All that remains is to trust, and watch for symptoms.  At this point we’d know what to look for, but feel the cancer won’t return because Kate has released what brought about the imbalance, the dis-ease.  She has learned the lessons offered by illness and has no need to repeat them. 

CTCA is a really wonderful place and a much different environment than most hospitals.  They believe in the benefits of body/mind/spirit healing with the emphasis being placed on scientific medicine.  In all areas of the hospital, MD’s and alternative practitioners work side by side in teams that regularly meet to discuss their patients’ needs.  Kate is seen by an oncologist of course, but also by a naturopath, nutritionist, acupuncturist, pain management doctor, and has nearly immediate access to even more practitioners.

They do energy healing at some of the other four CTCA hospitals, but not yet in Tulsa.  That is about to change a little with Qi-Gong classes to be offered soon by one of the acupuncturists.  There are no plans for Reiki or other hands-on healing.  It’s partly about patient beliefs (a “Bible Belt” thing) and partly a lack of skilled staff in that area, but there’s more to it.  Acupuncture’s needles make that process look more “medical” and more acceptable to some.  It’s also pretty hard to block the effects of that kind of mechanical stimulation to one’s energy system.  One can block a hands-on healing out of fear, doubt, or disbelief, making it seem ineffective.  A skilled practitioner would sense this and reassure and encourage the recipient.  That kind of skill is hard for schools to certify or administrators to recognize or assess.  

Kate’s naturopathic doctor has recommended several natural supplements and homeopathic remedies to help with her healing.  This was done with the oncologist’s blessing because they’ve seen that they work.  The doctors here in Pittsburgh were dead set against them, mostly because of system protocols, but also because they hadn’t taken the time to learn about them.  They also exhibited garden variety resentment for alternative and complementary practices. 

Kate receives acupuncture healings right in the CTCA facility.  When we questioned the administration of a drug to boost Kate’s immune system during chemotherapy that had previously made her seriously ill and wondered out loud about acupuncture as an alternative aid, the doctor agreed and wrote an order for one on the spot.  CTCA is a different world. 

CTCA Tulsa and its staff are very encouraging, friendly, generous, and attentive, from the doctors to administrators, to the kitchen help.  So are the other patients and family caregivers.  We stay in a hotel-type guest room, right in the hospital and have had many an enlightening conversation with people from all over the country in the wonderful cafeteria.  The center has its own travel agents to get us back and forth and the hospital pays for all of Kate’s plane tickets.  (My first two trips were paid for as well, but I’m on my own from now on.)  By comparison, the hospitals here in Pittsburgh charged us for parking.  

At CTCA the patient always comes first, by policy and by practice.  Any reasonable request is met almost immediately.  There is a “we’re all in this together” atmosphere at the center, and everyone is a cheerleader for everyone else’s healing.  This is infectious (no pun intended) and we found ourselves changed by it.  What we were seeing before our very eyes was a new kind of healing, not just “holistic” in nature, but unified and all encompassing—healing from any and all sources that exist.  This has minimized our stress, been a great benefit to Kate’s healing, and encouraged us to work with a new model of healing through community.

As well as traveling to CTCA Tulsa, we have also continued to do our inner work with Kinesiology and Guided Head Movement healings, unearthing and resolving many deep emotional, mental, and spiritual issues that certainly contributed to Kate’s cancer imbalance and my resentment of its intrusion on our lives. 

We are staying focused on her complete healing where see it already exists, something we renew from moment to moment.  For now our task is to keep Kate calm and happy, and her white blood cell and platelet counts up during the chemo.  We’re succeeding in the latter thanks to Maitake mushroom capsules and Sesame oil, and the former by making her journey our only priority for now. 

Also important is to help her gain back some of the weight she’s lost, now nearly 50lbs or so in total.  She looks completely different to herself in the mirror, and I have to stop myself from shaking my head when I remember what she used to look like.  We laugh at how loose her clothes are. 

I remind her that most people with “stage IV metastatic pancreatic cancer” get worse, not better, and we are well aware how very fortunate she is, and we are.  We feel she is solidly on the path to complete cure, not just “remission”.  When we voiced this to her new oncologist in Tulsa he smiled and said, “Just keep telling yourselves that and doing what you’re doing.  It’ll make me look good.”  I laughed and told him that we didn’t care who takes credit for the cancer’s retreat. 

Meanwhile, things at the Mesa have been at a standstill because of our fatigue and total time and energy focus on Kate’s healing.  Sedona Arizona, our Mesa Cat, has been holding down the fort almost single handedly.  We’ve been lounging more than a bit and had waited to schedule any classes for Winter 2012-13 until we knew what our travel to Tulsa would entail in the short run.  We’ll be flying out there every other week (Wednesday to Friday) over the next few months for appointments and chemotherapy, and will be posting some classes and events (*see below) for when we are in town.  Fortunately, we’ll be home for the holidays.  (Whew!) 

We know that people have been missing us and our beloved center.  More and more are looking for answers.  We are clearly seeing that things on Earth are changing and people who are not connected are feeling deeply lost.  Some are succumbing to fears that December 21st will bring the end of the world. 

Recent events in Newtown, Connecticut make it look like our insanity as a species may bring that about, but I assure you that it won’t happen on the Solstice.  Think of the “end” of the Mayan Calendar as more like your car’s odometer turning over.  Some have said that there will be a brief wave of spiritual energy coming from the 12/21/12 planetary alignment that will give us “millions of new ideas” on how to change the world for the better and suggested that we be ready to write them down so we can implement them later. 

Know that those ideas already exist, and have—right here on Earth.  Deep inside ourselves, we all know what they are.  The real problem is resistance to implementing them on the part of those who would cling to the status quo out of fear or greed.  We could have economic equality for all, end all fighting, and find new sources of energy tomorrow, if we’d just get over our paradigm of conflict, separation, and scarcity and be what we already are: One with each other.  This will only change by personal choice on the part of each of us. 

My odyssey with Kate has made me rethink (and re-feel) a lot of things.  I have softened my dislike for Western medicine as I have seen it humanely applied.  I have found myself letting go of old attitudes about how much loving of another is “enough”.  My limit of what is “too much trouble” to do for another has shrunk.  I have learned that I could put another person’s needs before my own to a much greater degree than I ever thought possible and remain personally intact.  I have seen that I cannot wait for everyone else to change but must move towards Unity right now because that already exists for me.  It’s already here.

We wish all of our Mesa “tribe” a wonderful and loving holiday season, whatever you choose to celebrate.  We thank all of you for your good thoughts, gifts, love, healing energy, and prayers for us.  Know that we are sending the same to you.

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Kate Update

Kate and I just want to thank all of you who have been praying for us, sent healing or get well cards, made donations, or just thought about us kindly as we continue to work on healing the cancer imbalance inside of her.  We are humbled by it all, and very grateful.  We have seen that things are shaping up for the Site Nite benefit on our behalf (see below) scheduled for next Tuesday, October 2nd.  (Our wedding anniversary, as it turns out.)  Please understand that we are out of the loop entirely on its organization or execution and are unlikely to be there.  We remain in Gratitude. 

Today we find ourselves at yet another turning point, as a CT scan yesterday showed that the tumors in Kate’s belly have not responded at all to the rigorous chemotherapy.  We won’t know for a few days if the cancer has possibly spread.  The images also showed a bit more fluid around her lungs.  This caused great concern to the radiologist there at Magee Women’s Hospital who relayed the news to her doctor.  Orders were sent for us to go immediately to Shadyside Hospital, a place we had not yet been. 

It was a surreal and almost comical moment when I was called back into the imaging center to find Kate, dressed in a hospital gown, socks, and baseball cap, surrounded by a circle of nurses in tense negotiation.  As they apprised me of the situation, I insisted on talking with her doctor, who quickly called us back.  He sheepishly said he had relied on the word of the radiologist that Kate was in “great distress” with respect to her breathing.  I resisted the urge to speak for her, and instead looked over at her and asked if she was.  She shook her head.  “We drove her all the way over here from Burgettstown,” I said.  “We’d feel better being somewhere they have her records and where you guys can easily get to her.”  Her doctor laughed, and told us to come on over for her to be admitted through the ER.  We spent the night apart. 

This morning they drained 2 liters of that angry amber fluid from her chest.  There is about one more in there they say, but as her lung expanded it caused what she called “the greatest pain I have ever felt in my life”.  They had warned her that might happen, and stopped the procedure when she began to cough.  Back in her room, she already feels much relieved and sounded good when I talked with her.  The plan is to let her lung relax and reset itself and finish the procedure later. 

Miraculously, she’s in good spirits and has gotten through three rounds of nasty chemo with very few side effects.  That is hugely significant and showing us that something we and all of you are doing is supporting and helping her, but just not killing the cancer yet.  The doctor is offering to try another kind of chemo, but has told us that he doesn’t really see that he has much to offer.  We know that is only “one story” and shows the limitation of his resources. 

That leads us to some kind of “Plan B”, but we really don’t know what that is just yet.  We have seen and heard many stories of people who have beaten pancreatic cancer, but there is nothing that sticks out as the magic cure for her.  We are grateful to all of you who have sent web links, phone numbers, doctors’ names, diet plans, or suggested the Cancer Centers of America.  We are considering everything and listening to our intuition—resisting the urge to do it with “all our might”.  We still see the need for an MD on board in case she needs pain relief or a hospital procedure.  Ultimately, Kate will choose what to do next. 

What we see is that more than one path still exists for Kate.  Life and death are both on the table.  This is confounding, yet still gives us hope that no doors are closed and healing can come in an instant.  This points to a part of Divine Plan that has not yet been revealed.  It still seems absurd to me that she would leave when our work together is so obviously unfinished.  In moments of despair, I have tried to imagine what that would be like.  I can’t. 

Kate is being a real trooper about it all, and I am so proud of her.  As we drove through the pouring rain from Pittsburgh back to Sewickley hospital during rush hour, we found ourselves at a starkly similar place to that rainy day in mid July when the cancer was first discovered.  Kate pointed at the road ahead of us and made a reference to my image of “The Unknown” as a blank chalkboard: “I’m keeping my blackboard looking like that dark, shiny wet highway in front of us,” she said.  “I’m doing my best not to write anything on it.”  I promised to do the same. 

I have posted a schedule for our beloved Mesa Creative Arts Center for October and November on our website.  It was hard for me to remove her name from saved write-ups I pasted in from previous seasons, knowing that no matter what, she is unlikely to be there much this fall.  I toyed with the idea of leaving it there just for its lovely energy, but didn’t want people to expect her to be teaching any particular class and be disappointed.  We ask that everyone be patient with us if we have to cancel something at the last moment, or if you drive out to see us and find the gift shop closed.  Remember that we are still thinking and praying about you, too.

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Making Peace with Our Expectations, Bad and Good

This is just the briefest (Well, in comparison to the last Mesa News…) of updates about my wife and Mesa Co-Director, Kate, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  I am jumping in so many directions right now and need to focus on other things, like our Fall 2012 schedule.  I promise to pass along our further adventures in cancer healing as well as new tools we have discovered to combat this imbalance and the side effects of the conventional medical treatment (chemotherapy) she is receiving. 

Kate is doing very well, in the overall scheme of things and her energy continues to change for the better.  She had chemo yesterday and is recovering from it with very few side effects compared to the first trips.  We have been given a homeopathic remedy for them and for healing the cancer imbalance itself that is working wonders for her.  We’ve also been using a chunk of crystalline salt from the Dead Sea that I brought back from Israel in 1999.  It’s like a vacuum cleaner for unbalanced energies that not only helped mitigate the side effects, but also brightens Kate’s energy considerably and never “fills up”. 

As things would have it, last week Kate’s white blood cell count was too low for her to undergo chemotherapy and it was put off until yesterday.  We chose to look at this as a much needed break to relax, and work on deeper level issues.  We decided not to see it as a setback.  While this patience was hard at first for my double Aries wife, we quickly saw it as the gift it became. 

On the day we would have otherwise gone in for her third chemo treatment, we got the news that yet another friend was going in for a surgical biopsy after an abnormal mammogram.  Kate was already feeling a bit down because she was unable to move forward on her own treatment and this news pushed her into so great a state of teary upset that she threw up her breakfast.  I could feel her fear and wanted to help. 

As I rubbed her back and coaxed her to calm down, I asked Kate what she was so afraid of.  She replied that it was “The Unknown”.  She went on to explain that it was the not-knowing about whether she would come back to a state of good health and how long it would take if she did that so troubled her.  I thought for a moment and said, “Y’know… The Unknown is a like a blank chalkboard.  Nothing is written on it.  Who’s afraid of a blank chalkboard?  The issue is your own negative expectations you’re writing on that chalkboard.  You’re envisioning all kinds of bad outcomes for yourself.  You need to erase them.” 

I went on to tell Kate about a memory I had from when I was 17yrs old and working as an electrician’s helper during summer vacation.  My two brothers and I were putting an alarm system in an inner city school in Baltimore and discovered a sealed off classroom in the attic of the old stone building.  The room had no windows and there were rows of desks.  Each of the four walls was completely covered by a large slate blackboard, the really old kind with heavy oak frames and chalk ledges.  They were all completely blank.  There was a stunning weirdness to the room’s emptiness and secrecy, but it was beautiful and calm as well. 

“It’s not The Unknown you need to come to grips with”, I told my wife and partner.  “Somewhere within that Unknown exists your healing in the Right Now.  Do you really want to constrain the creation of it with your fears?  I don’t!  You need to make peace with your expectations, not The Unknown.” 

I recognized, of course, that I did and had been doing the very same thing—madly scribbling on my chalkboard of the unknown.  When Kate was first diagnosed, I went into a state of extreme fear.  I knew I was envisioning all kinds of horrible outcomes for her and for myself—none of which were real at that moment.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I was writing as fast as I could on the chalkboard every negative way I could imagine this life-episode could or would end.  Mysteriously, I left out all the good ones. 

We did a Guided Head Movement healing for each of us about making peace with and releasing expectations, and both felt a shift.  Over the next week or so we kept reminding each other to erase our blackboard expectations—good or bad, negative or positive, and take things as they came, for that blank chalkboard is really The Void— the place in Creation from which all possibilities can emerge.  (In reality, it’s a multidimensional kind of chalkboard thingy…<grin>

Kate and I want to thank all of our Mesa friends and family from the bottoms (and tops, and middles) of our hearts for your outpouring of love, prayers, healing energy, web links, and many gifts for us.  We are truly, humbly, grateful.  A benefit is being graciously planned for us on October 2nd.  You can see the details here: http://all4kate.webs.com/ 

So we ask, please be patient with us with respect to getting back to the many emails and calls we are receiving, and for posting of the Fall 2012 schedule.  Kate’s healing is an energy consuming process.  –And please let go of your sorrow and fear for, and about us and erase those chalkboards.  I remember when my elementary school teachers used to wash the chalkboards when they became too dusty.  They were the blackest, shiniest things I had ever seen and held the potential for all yet to be written.

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Our Journey Changes: Kate Diagnosed with Cancer

Dear Mesa friends and family, 

You may have noticed that we’ve not sent out any Mesa News emails for a while and that our Fall 2012 schedule of classes and events hasn’t yet been posted on the website.  This is not an oversight.  Some close to us have empathetically or psychically picked up that something disturbing was happening and sought us out.  Others have heard through the grapevine about our story or figured we were just busy.  At the other end of the spectrum are those of you who are brand new to our email list and are receiving this as your introduction to our newsletter.  In any case, please bear with me.  I’d rather tell more than less of our story to spare us from repeating it.

In the middle of July, after a couple of months of vague physical symptoms of fullness, weight loss, fatigue, and irregularity that many good psychics, medical intuitives, and holistic healers of all stripes perceived as bowel issues, my dear wife and Mesa Co-director, Kate Silberberg, asked me to take her to the emergency room.  Her belly had begun to swell dramatically and she was experiencing pain in her right side.

The appearance of this intense level of “dis-ease” also reflected what had been building for Kate on the emotional, mental, and spiritual levels for a much longer time.  She had been searching to find her own relaxed, empowered, and effective way of being in our world and the universe within herself, but often felt restricted by things we had yet to put a finger on.

A CT scan revealed masses in Kate’s pelvis in the area of her ovaries, a discovery we were told was consistent with ovarian cancer.  The ER doctor was in a high state of alarm and urgency.  Imagine our shock at this pronouncement.  How could this happen?  Weren’t we consuming good healthy food and water, consistently using holistic healing modalities, and walking a spiritual path?

We had sacrificed much to work as healing helpers and teachers.  Was this how we were to be repaid by the Universe for giving so much to others?  Why Kate, one of the kindest, most loving of souls?  What did it all mean?  What were we to do?  From the ER we made a call to Kate’s primary physician to come in for advice and referral.  Ten minutes later, we got a call back with a time to see him first thing the next morning, the result of a cancelled appointment.

We were both scared and confused.  We needed to know what we were facing and how to proceed.  We needed a plan.  We took a step back and decided to consulted with a dear friend and mentor to set a course of action, ponder the spiritual implications, and cry a few tears.  We drove straight to her house from the ER and appeared on her doorstep.  She took us in, hugged us, gave sage advice, and fed us dinner.  This helped greatly to ground us.

Kate’s physician agreed with the ER doctor that Magee Hospital’s gynecological oncology department was the place to go, but had no recommendation on who to see.  We looked at the doctors’ photos online, like choosing from some high tech phone book.  The next day we took Kate to be examined, opting for the first available appointment.

The doctor, though a well rated surgeon with an impressive résumé, gave us almost no information and little confidence in his approach, to wit:  “You have ovarian cancer.  I’ll cut you open, take everything out, and give you chemo… period!  But don’t worry… if I have to take some of your bowel out I’ll put it back together and you won’t have to wear a bag for the rest of your life…”  We had no idea what was going on and Kate was becoming more frightened than she already was.  I was trying not to go insane.

The experience and its energy wasn’t feeling at all good to us.  When I broke the ice about our working with “complementary healing” (I thought that less challenging than the term “holistic”.) he responded that he was OK with Kate making some “lifestyle changes” and reassured us that he was not only a scientist, but a Christian.  (“Lifestyle changes?!!”)  Total elapsed time for exam and discussion: about 20 minutes.  We were living our worst nightmare.

We were sent to another room to schedule Kate for surgery and were appalled to receive an appointment over a month away—the doctor’s first opening.  We were so shocked we asked the secretary to check with the doctor to see if Kate really had that much time to wait.  She came back and assured us she did.  We accepted the date, but told the secretary (much to her blatant chagrin) that we would not likely keep it.  Over the weekend, we stewed over what to do.

The next business day I made some phone calls and in a few hours we had another appointment with a different surgeon suggested as a “better fit” for later in the week.  We could have done what many do and stuck with the “horse we came in on”, but chose instead to trust our guts and interview another doctor who better matched our needs and our approach to healing.  When I looked at his photo online, I was overcome with emotion.  He would be the one to help us.

A few days later we met with the second physician who not only walked us through the CT scan images, but even pulled out the plastic model woman to show us what was what.  He referred to us endearingly as “you guys” and we greatly connected with him on the spot.  We knew he cared and would put Kate’s welfare first.  He recommended doing an exploratory surgery right away with an eye on giving Kate chemo first, and removal surgery (unfortunately referred to as “debulking”) later, and only if necessary.  When the time came, if he saw he could do a clean job, or felt that removal was imperative, he would make the decision when he was looking inside her belly.

We left the doctor’s office and took up a friend on an offer to give Kate an acupuncture treatment, to at least help her relax and calm down.  He pressed little seeds into each of our ears and put tape over them, telling us they would help our “spirit relax”.  Kate dozed on the table and I conked out in my chair for almost half and hour.  By the time we got back home from Shadyside, there was a message to bring Kate in the beginning of the next week for a CT guided biopsy and to have fluid drained from her swollen abdomen.

Things were quickly picking up speed and we were grateful.  After years of being completely out of the system of conventional (Western, or allopathic) medicine, we were suddenly launched headlong into it with Kate in and out of the hospital for the next several weeks.  At the same time, we recognized that we were being Divinely guided and saw the necessity to rely on our higher intuition, rather than let fear plot our course.

Kate had the exploratory surgery and the doctor came to get me only a half hour later.  Despite hands-on and distant healings from many, the tumors were still there and additional disease was present on the walls of her pelvic cavity.  We’d have to wait for the lab report on the tissue samples the doctor took to organize our next move.  Kate would stay overnight in the hospital and go home the next day.

I brought Kate home the following day, but by the middle of the night she was vomiting and scared.  I called the doctor and took her back to the ER at Magee to be readmitted.  Her bowels had not awakened from the anesthesia.  She spent the next few days resting and getting different IV medications.  Her legs began to swell with fluid.  We felt stalled.

Between extreme weight loss and the edema, Kate’s body had taken on a whole new shape..  She hardly recognized herself.  I was told that it was the cancer, not the saline solutions that had cause the swelling.  This was wholly counter-intuitive for me but I realized that we and the doctors were in that tricky place of trial and error to get Kate stabilized, diagnosed, and started on the road to healing.

Initial pathology testing showed that Kate’s pelvic tumors were indeed cancerous, ovarian in nature.  I was asked to make an appointment for a chemotherapy consult and she was to be released from the hospital later that day.  When I came to pick her up, she was back in bed, and the doctor had left word for me to call him as soon as I arrived.  He had not been satisfied (God bless him–) with the pathology report.  Something hadn’t looked right to him.  But if it wasn’t ovarian cancer, where was it coming from?

Another specialized CT scan revealed a small tumor on Kate’s pancreas and the diagnosis changed: pancreatic cancer metastasized to the ovaries.  This was astonishing news.  The doctor was visibly shaken when he told us.  A pattern of pancreatic cancer ran in Kate’s family, but we never imagined she would express it herself.  As usually happens, (I found out later) there had been very few overt symptoms until the cancer imbalance had become advanced.  The good doctor had recognized the giveaway signs I later read about for it not being ovarian tumors and trusted his intuition.  He too, had been guided.  We were very lucky. 

(The CT scan also showed that Kate has a blood clot in one lung, either from the surgery or from the cancer itself.  She is on blood thinner shots at home that are expensive, but do not have to be minutely monitored like the cheaper alternative, Coumadin.  She gives them to herself when she’s steady.  I do when she’s not.)

At that point we were passed along to a new set of doctors and nurses, a group of really caring men and women at Sewickley Medical Oncology and Hematology in Moon township PA.  There, her specialist introduced himself with his first and last name, rather than “Doctor so-and-so”, and asked if he could draw close to talk with her.

You know you’re really sick, don’t you…?” he began.  Gratefully, he never spoke of statistics or prognosis, only recommending that Kate start chemotherapy with the most aggressive combination currently available for pancreatic cancer as soon as possible.  We mentioned our work with alternative healing and were only asked to keep him abreast of supplements, and not to use any herbs because their effect on the chemo drugs was not well understood.  There were vague issues about the use of supplemental antioxidants that we still need to have resolved.

Chemo.  We had heard so many bad stories about chemotherapy nearly killing patients, but it seemed the best course for Kate to follow considering the advanced stage of the cancer.  (“You can’t let Kate have chemo…!” some have chided us…)  We saw our assignment as speeding the successful demise of the cancer while minimizing the side effects from the highly toxic cocktails.  The decision was hers, with the support of many of our friends and advisors who had actually faced cancer, not just read about it.  We saw the possibility: We were to learn firsthand how to merge the polarities of scientific medicine and holistic/spiritual healing to reverse cancer imbalance.  We wondered if we were up to the challenge.

After her first round of intravenous chemotherapy Kate did pretty well, with few bouts of diarrhea or vomiting.  A few days later she was to be given a shot to stimulate her immune system to produce more white blood cells.  These cells are particularly vulnerable to the chemo drugs and Kate would be open to infection if their numbers dropped.  If that happened, the chemo would be halted until they rebounded.  That would be a setback.

The day after the shot, Kate had some kind of reaction to it.  She had been OK in the morning, so I left early to go up to The Mesa to teach a Reiki II class.  Unbeknownst to me, her temperature was going up and she was in more pain.  It was 6pm before she called me to find out when I was coming home and I could tell something was happening.  I asked her what was wrong and when she explained her situation, I asked if she had called the doctor.  She hadn’t.  When I asked her why she told me she didn’t know where his number was.  I was stunned.  She had really made no effort to look for it.  She was waiting for me to intervene.

In part, she was afraid of making a mistake.  I had seen that reluctance to choose and act before.  I got a bit angry with her on the phone, in part because she had taken neither responsibility nor action.  Some of it was also with myself because I had not been there with her when trouble arose.  She in turn got angry back at me, in part because I had chided her, and in part because she had let herself down.

When I got home I called the doctor for her and he told us to bring her back into Sewickley Hospital where she had had more fluid drained and her IV port put in before the chemo.  By late that evening she was readmitted and I went home to sleep alone.  The next morning as I came to consciousness, I heard something from my Higher Self.  Kate was at a crossroads.  I immediately realized the implications of that statement.  If Kate didn’t take responsibility for her own healing sure would surely die.

I knew I couldn’t be with Kate every minute and that she had to make a change.  She really didn’t like me telling her about it on the phone while she lay in the hospital and (to keep the peace) I backed off.  I talked with our spiritual “big sister” about what had happened and how Kate had gotten upset with me.  I then used our Soul-to-Soul Connection technique to communicate with Kate on the level of her spirit about what I had heard, because I knew that only she could really bring about her own healing.

Thankfully, our friend went to see Kate in the hospital the next day and talked with her about her duty to herself to take charge of her life.  Either way and to my relief, she got the message.  I made sure she knew where all of the important phone numbers were and she began to make her own calls.

Meanwhile, we and others had begun to pray for and about Kate, myself as her primary caregiver, our work at The Mesa, our sanity, and our finances.  As is often the case these days, when we began this journey at the ER, we had no health insurance to cover procedures or prescriptions.  We immediately set to activating Kate’s school teacher’s retirement (delayed in the hopes it would continue to grow.) so that she could get medical coverage with that large group, and to pay mounting bills.  There we experienced a true miracle.  What normally would have taken 4-6 weeks to process was done for us by compassionate strangers in one day.  Only the first two weeks of our ordeal were without it.

Our introduction into the world of cancer treatment become a crash-course.  We had only just begun to see clients in our healing center who were dealing with it, perhaps in preparation for what we ourselves were about to face.  I quickly learned how much information is out there and that much of it conflicts, both between and within the natural healing community and the scientific world.  The bottom line would be to help Kate feel better in the short run and completely heal her body, mind, and spirit in the long.  We would have to rely on Spirit, our higher intuition, and pay attention to avoid pitfalls and setbacks.

So far, Kate has had two rounds of chemotherapy, each lasting 9hrs at the treatment center and continuing 46hrs at home with a portable pump.  She has at least 4 more to go.  I go in with her and do energy work and use our TC Energy Design glassware with every medication she is given to clear and reorganize them for her increased benefit.  We pray over them.  My observation and sensitivity to energy tells me it is working, but I am unwilling to risk not using it for the sake of a double blind test.  We’ll “prove” it by her rapid recovery.

I also mitigate the grueling chemo process with energy healings, spot remedies (like peppermints, Rescue Remedy, and acupressure) guided imagery, cheerleading, and snacks as we go and we are having pretty good success with managing the nausea and vomiting after treatments.  We know it could be far worse from the stories we’ve heard.  The nurses are very accepting of us and our approach, in part because we ask for what we need nicely, express constant gratitude, and because we have taken the trouble of learning to speak their technical language.

These very caring women are also very inquisitive.  Kate and I are teaching them about energy and consciousness, the same way we do our Mesa students.  We just substitute the word “vibes” instead of “energy”.  <grin>  We understand that this is part of the “why?” to it all.  We are showing mainstream health care workers new ways of understanding and treating cancer imbalance.  We are studying to become cancer healers first hand, like Dr. Walter Reed giving himself malaria to test its cure in an effort to help others.

First and foremost, however, this experience is Kate’s spiritual journey of transformation.  On that terrible day at Ohio Valley Hospital, it seemed entirely possible that Kate’s transformation might be by quickly going back to the Spirit World (dying).  While our fearful thoughts and emotions entertained that outcome, to our Higher Knowing that made no sense.  Clearly it would be a waste of our Twin Flame incarnation, our life mission to help change the world for the better, and everything that has gone into preparing it.  In rare moments of clarity inside myself back then, it simply didn’t feel right to me—no matter how dire the situation looked.

Present also was the possibility that Kate would be slowly ground down by chronic illness and prolonged suffering only to die a handful of years down the road.  One friend told us she could “survive this with reasonable quality of life”.  “What does that mean?” I asked.  “She won’t want to kill herself?”  I bless those who endure walking this middle path as their journey.

We are grateful that we have been able nearly from the start to focus on the third and highest path that simultaneously exists, that of Kate becoming completely cured and helping others with cancer imbalance.  We do this with the full understanding that we don’t have to know how it will happen.  We just have to focus on her complete healing where it already exists.

As cruel as it may seem, we also know that Kate’s process is, in part, to heal group Karma for all of humanity.  The rampant nature of cancer within our species makes it pretty plain that we are poisoning ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and are terribly out of balance within and without.  This must be healed for all of us to survive at higher vibration.

Kate has commented that the oncology center waiting room “looks like a bus station” with so many people sitting around in the sea of chairs, and the continuous comings and goings.  We see the ones attended by friends or loving relatives, and those who are facing illness alone.  I was appalled at the sheer number of people receiving chemotherapy in just one center on one day.  The energy of the treatment room feels horribly unbalanced, “gritty” and abrasive, a result of the killing power of the drugs and the fear, anger, and shame of the patients, most of whom sit alone.  I send them love, too.

We have become part of a community new to us, one of patients, trained medical personnel, and family caregivers that is a subculture in itself—revolving totally around severe or chronic illness as the unifying factor.  While our experience with the medical world has been blessed overall, we have seen evidence of a work-hardened system.  This is evidenced by boilerplate policy, jaded personnel, lack of communication, and outdated information held as truth.

Every drug side effect is to be routinely mitigated with another pharmaceutical.  (The nurses didn’t know about wrist pressure points for nausea, but chuckled knowingly at our mention of Kate’s use of “special brownies”.)  The nurses told Kate what side effects she was going to have instead of alerting her that she might.  We gently suggested there were other possibilities and are teaching them about “languaging”, like calling the drugs “pain relievers” instead of the standard “pain meds”.  (I’ve often wondered what goes on at those “Pain Clinics” I see advertised…)  It all needs to be done in a better way and can.  This is now part of our work.

From a broader standpoint, we have come to see that this experience is a transformation not only for Kate, but also for our relationship, our work at The Mesa, and for many others who will be touched by us and her story.  When the 7 Tibetan monks who visited our center back in May returned to Pittsburgh at the end of June, we actually talked with those present about a change we both could feel coming for our spiritual work.  Sitting around the kitchen table I told Kate that I felt that the general direction of what we were doing was to stay constant, but the way we were going to go about it was about to radically change—this just two weeks before our trip to the ER.

We also recognize and celebrate the myriad small miracles that have occurred for us along the way.  We have been guided to just the right doctors and the right medical treatment.  Caregivers of high consciousness have been magnetized to us as well, minimizing the mistakes, poor treatment, waiting, and wheel spinning that often plague the medical process.

Gratefully, we have received blessed help from our Mesa family, neighbors, and complete strangers in the form of meals, money, tips/contacts/helpful information and sympathetic ears that continues to amaze, humble, and move us to tears.  Many of those we have communicated with have offered to man our gift shop, drive Kate to treatment, or take care of Sedona Arizona, our Mesa cat.  (Sedona’s OK, too—just a little lonely.  We took Kate to see her last week…)  We need to drop all reluctance with respect to this level of receiving.

One of the most precious gifts we have received to date was that of two units of human blood that were given to Kate last week.  She had become anemic as a result of the cancer and from not being able to get in or keep down much food, more from the internal pressure of the cancer than the chemo itself.

With unconcealed delight, I looked forward to the felt-sense experience of holding the bags of blood to read its energy.  I would use our energy clarifying techniques to clear and re-enliven it; feeling it once again before it went into Kate’s veins.  We asked to have a few minutes with the bags of blood and were asked what we wanted to do with them.  (Policy wouldn’t not allow the nurse to leave us alone with it.)  To make things simple, Kate told the nurse we wanted to pray over them.  The nurse asked what religion we believed in, so we “came clean” and told her about our work.  “Fascinating!” she said.  “I’ve never heard of that.”

When I held the first pint in my hands I could feel its tremendous life force.  I could also sense the donor; a man, I felt.  It felt widely “smart” to me, but also somehow distressed or out of alignment.  I put the bag under our large TC Energy Design plate, right under the Flower of Life symbol, asked our Healing Guides to put whatever they saw fit into it, sent in some healing energy, and sat down to wait for the process to complete.

Within a minute or so, Kate and I simultaneously felt the blood relax.  After all, it had been processed somehow to take out the white cells that Kate didn’t need in her over excited immune system.  I narrated what I was feeling to the nurse.  I told her to imagine a sheet of rubber held down by its edges.  “Think of pinching it and pulling it up from the center,” I said.  “That’s how it was.  Now it’s relaxed back down.”  Kate nodded.

I then picked up the bag again and returned my attention to the energy and consciousness of the blood.  Not only was the life force in it much stronger and purer, it also felt like Love and Life themselves.  I also recognized its nature as a gift, certainly from the donor, but also from Creation itself.

What surprised me, however, was its undeniable perfection.  It is a perfect medium for life, created by a perfect intelligence.  This perfection flows through each and every one of us equally and constantly.  By this I was moved nearly to tears, and by watching and listening to me, so was the nurse.  She asked for our card for a friend in need.

If we had suspected that healing Beings were with us on our journey, we were no more certain of it than the day of the transfusion.  We could feel a strong Spirit presence and activity in the room.  They were there.  As the blood was flowing into Kate we sensed that something had happened that had not yet with the medications we had energetically reorganized.  The doctors in Spirit had put something “extra” into the blood Kate was receiving.  It was so apparent.  It also made sense to me somehow.  They had not added to the chemo drugs, but did so with the blood because it was more wholly biological rather than synthetic in origin.  (Or something like that…)

Kate and I took turns dozing in the semi-darkened room as the blood slowly went in.  At one point I woke up and looked over at her from the foot of the bed.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something bright and densely white about the size of a person move parallel to the wall over to my right.  I turned to see what was going on, ostensibly out in the hallway, only to find that the door was shut!  What I had seen had been in the room with us.

From day to day, we have bounced up and down.  It’s been hard to be upbeat every second.  When Kate was feeling poorly or had a new side effect from the chemo it was disheartening.  (I’ve watched her lovely long hair coming out in small brown bales.)  I feel many of her symptoms and emotions empathically and directly and they are hard for me to separate from my own.

Many of our days have been spent having tests or treatments, or waiting for symptoms to pass.  I have been Kate’s chauffer, advocate, historian, (What meds she’s taking and how much, when did she have the last whatever, etc.) waiter, entertainment, masseuse, and communications interface—asking needed questions on her behalf, making appointments, talking to doctors and well wishers on the phone when she’s been weak or tired.

What may be our biggest blessing so far came just the other day when I met with a woman we recently reconnected with who uses essential oils and food supplements to help her clients heal cancer imbalances.  She had been involved with the Tibetan monk tour, but I had forgotten about her healing work until Jeff Beach, the monks’ American driver, called me to check on Kate.

I had spoken briefly with the Lama (in broken English) weeks before and told him of Kate’s initial diagnosis, but had put off calling Jeff to fill him (and consequently the monks) in about the update.  Jeff said that his Spirit Guides had been telling him something was wrong and to call.  Then the seashell that Kate had gifted him during a reading kept turning up—over and over again, until he called The Mesa.  He reminded me about our mutual friend and her expertise.

This beautiful and generous soul shared with me some of her copious information and actual products she uses.  She showed me how to make healing suppositories from organic coconut oil, slippery elm bark powder, and the cancer-killing oils; making a demonstration batch with Frankincense and Lavender oils.  (She let me lick the spoon and the energy surged all the way to my hands and feet!)  This was not hearsay, channeled information, or stuff she had skimmed on the internet.  It was from cutting edge scientific and medical literature she had poured over, and 18yrs of firsthand experience.

(The nutrition information we have been supplied by the medical system pretty much distills down to “get them to eat whatever they’re willing to consume” and how to control diarrhea.  There is no discussion of cancer being susceptible in an alkaline body environment, or that certain foods might kill or feed it.)

When Kate used a chunk of the healing mixture that night before bed, she said she felt her whole body say, “Thank You!, Thank You!”  By the next morning she looked and felt visibly better, literally overnight.  She used a second dose and I could feel her energy surging from clear across the room.  We’ve dubbed them “Frankincense Torpedoes”.

Something had changed dramatically and we were suddenly both filled with hope.  We are so grateful to our friend and for the gifts of the Natural World.  This is part of what we have had to learn from this new journey—to put vanity, ego, and even self-reliance aside and allow others to help us in ways that might have once been embarrassing to us.  We had to let go of reluctance.

Yesterday, we took Kate in to have accumulating fluid drained from her belly once again.  As I sat waiting for her procedure (I wanted to watch, but they wouldn’t let me stay in the ultrasound room…) I turned my attention to her and felt sure that Kate had passed a turning point.  She was looking and feeling far better on all levels than she had for weeks and even though the cancer was still making fluid it was doing so at a greatly reduced rate. (As it turned out, a liter in 2 weeks instead of 2 liters in one.)  Although she is not out of the woods yet, her whole situation seemed to have taken a big step forward towards her being completely healed.  The third and highest path was being manifest.

After the drainage procedure was complete, I was allowed back into the treatment room and saw the glass bottle with the fluid from Kate’s abdomen on the counter.  It was the color of beer, complete with foam on top.  I asked if it was OK for me to hold the bottle to feel the energy and consciousness of the fluid and was given the green light by the technician.  The first thing I noticed was that it didn’t feel like Kate at all—not her energy as I recognize it.  As I focused my attention more closely, I realized that it felt surprisingly and intensely angry.  Better out than in, I thought.

This morning we talked about how things have been going and realized a problem we have both had: Our reluctance—not stubborn resistance, status quo inertia, or momentary hesitation, but that stopping-before-you-start uncertainty that has so often kept us from acting on our inner drive or knowing.  As we talked it became clear that we not only had trouble getting past our own reluctance, but also each other’s and the reluctance of others we interacted with.  (Us: “I can give you a healing if you’d like.”  Them: “No, I’m good…”)  We recognized its prevalence in people in our world, our exposure and indoctrination to it starting in our infancy.

This was part of Kate’s (and my) imbalance.  I had seen it from the day we met, but lacked the word and point of view to describe it.  As we had seen, she would need to drop reluctance in order be her own advocate and to completely heal.  We asked our Healing Guides in what new way we needed to deal with reluctance, to release it, move beyond it, work around it, or something else?  I heard the answer immediately.  Reluctance was something we needed to “push through”, not in a physical way, but energetically and vibrationally.  I got the image of punching my way out of a paper bag.

Without a name for it, we had witnessed this reluctance with respect to our own creativity, self-expression, and spiritual path.  We had seen it in those who were too timid to play a drum, paint a picture, speak in front of others, drive more than 20 minutes to our center, or change.  We see it chronically in our culture as non-acceptance of others, apathy, and clinging to the known instead of swinging free to reach for the next rung on the Monkey Bars.

We used our YES/NO, Guided Head Movement technique to clear this issue for each of us.  The energies released were huge for us both.  Kate’s felt nauseous as I stood at her Crown chakra.  During my healing, I felt something big relax at my Solar Plexus chakra and realized that reluctance was the antithesis of Will, and the root of procrastination.

Both Kate and I are in this for the long haul and have every intention to keep the Mesa Creative Arts Center and Mesa Healing Center open for others during the process.  I am working on our schedule of classes and events for fall and hope to have it posted soon.  I know I will be less reluctant to teach what I know to those who may be reluctant to receive it.

People who know of Kate’s condition have been asking how they can help.  We are grateful for any and all prayers for us and The Mesa.  We are grateful for meals, money to cover gasoline, parking, medications, insurance deductibles, supplements, and to keep our household running.  We may take people up on minding the gift shop.  We are grateful for healings being sent and just ask that for the sake of coherence they be sent through our Healing Guides to administer.

We also need you to push through your reluctance and keep coming to our center for classes, events, healings, ceremonies, and to participate in the lives of others.  For the past 8-1/2 years it has been our dream to create a place of community where people of like mind would come together for healing, creativity, and group work of a higher purpose.  While we have touched the lives of many, this has largely not occurred in the way we envisioned.  People tend to come for this or that and participate in extended community or community from afar, but not as a coherent group.  It is bittersweet to us that Kate’s journey with cancer might be what galvanizes our efforts.  So be it.

Overall we’re both doing OK at this point, and we have had many signs that things will turn out well in the long run.  One day when Kate was in Sewickley Hospital, I saw such an omen.  I had been at the Mesa and waited until about 5pm to leave to visit her.  It had started to spit rain just as I was going out the door.  When I got to Rt. 22, I looked up to see a faint piece of a rainbow.  I pulled over and started to take a photo of it, but it was fading fast.

I got back in the truck and continued on my way, eventually coming towards the oncology center on Thorn Run Rd.  As I got off at the ramp directly facing it, there was the rainbow, more brilliant now and looking as if it was coming out of the roof.  I pulled over once again and got two photos off before my camera batteries died.  By the time I put new ones in, it was gone.

Now, I could have told myself that it was just some coincidence, but the rainbow had appeared to me exactly when I approached the oncology center.  If I had left just a few minutes earlier or later I would have missed it entirely.  If Kate hadn’t been in the hospital that day, so too would the scene have escaped.  I made a print of it and presented it to the staff at the oncology center in humble thanks for their loving care of us.  I’ve posted it below.

On behalf of Kate and myself, Love, Light, and Gratitude to all of you,

Brad Silberberg, Co-Director,
The Mesa Creative Arts Center

Rainbow over cancer treatment center

Rainbow Over Sewickley Medical Oncology Hematology Center

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Ideals vs. Values: Living Our Values

It has long been part of my daily practice to find ways to heal myself.  I get up every morning and take a few moments to check in with my inner self to feel how things are going “down there”.  From engaging in this process over time, I have become adept at self assessment.  Even though I don’t always know “what” I’m feeling, I know when things feel good or bad, sad or happy, even if I won’t consciously admit the specifics to myself.  While this lack of admission is a safety valve to keep me from going crazy over what I’m not yet equipped to resolve, it does tend to obscure my deeper issues from my conscious mind.  I’m aware of this Catch 22 process, and wait for little openings to make change.  That happened this morning.

One of the things I have found most helpful in healing myself is paying attention, not only to the action of what is or is not going on in my own inner or outer life, but to signs and symbols that are presented to me.  Words are often signposts for me and I have learned to listen to what people say, recognizing that what they utter or write may be coming from a much higher source without them realizing it.  That happened for me last night.

We were surprised with the return of someone to our Meditation Circle that we had not seen for 8 months.  A prolonged illness and life in general had kept this visitor from coming to The Mesa.  Something finally pushed him to return.  After enjoying our guided meditation accompanied by crystal singing bowls, he spoke about recognizing the value of meditation for him and the need to get back to it.

What caught my attention was what he said next about the difference between our ideals and values.  This was something to the effect of our ideals being what we think about and hold aloft, but our values being evidenced by what we actually make time to engage in.  They are evidentiary of willingness and flow of energy.  This was relative to what we’d call “walking our talk” and whether or not the two matched up.

The implication was that the proof was indeed in the pudding.  These words were a huge red flag for me to look at what I held as ideals versus what I brought myself to enact and why.  I saw the need to use some muscle testing (Kinesiology) to bypass my egoic mind and ask my inner self some questions about my values.  What were they really compared to my ideals, I wondered?  Was I enacting them, or just thinking about doing so?  When I got home I took a little time to examine my values and was not surprised by what I found.

I asked myself two simple questions about several of them:  “Do you value _________?” and “Are you living _________?”  I asked about things like; love, art, compassion, truth, prayer, meditation, friendship, generosity, exercising, going out in Nature, etc.  With no real surprise, I got YESES for these things being valuable to me, but NO’s for living them out.

I recognized that I did think constantly about ideals—my vision for a better life and better world ever present in my mind, but that I didn’t always do anything about them.  Mostly it was a matter of engagement, of letting out the clutch and moving forward.  It was also clear that my level of engagement had been dropping over time, especially with things like making art, exercising, and spending time outdoors.  Some people might call this reduced engagement a sign of being overworked or of aging.  I recognized it as symptomatic of emotional lockdown.  I needed to watch for the key.

When I got up this morning I knew other things were working on me as well, including the still active Creational energies of the Venus Transit of 6/5/12 and some recent Guided Head Movement healings about the fallacy of “emotional dying” and being a better man than succumbing to “Screw it!”—to giving up in exasperation, both foreshadowing of what was coming down about living my values.  (Ask us about those when you see us…)

Still, I was baffled over what was keeping me from living out what I valued in my mind, of putting effort into it.  Why didn’t I?  Kate and I discussed the situation with calm detachment over coffee during our regular morning “meeting” in the living room, but when we moved on to her recounting a conversation she had the night before with another Mesa visitor, it triggered a massive sad reaction inside of me.

It was really innocuous in the overall scheme of things.  Funny how that happens.  Kate related how she and her visitor had been downstairs talking about the same kind of thing we had essentially been up in the Meditation Circle-  walking our talk, and how disturbing it was to this person when others didn’t.  Kate told me she had told the visitor about her recent practice of engaging in what she called “life review”, looking back over what she and her life had been like back when she was between the ages of 1-10, 10-20, etc and the changes she saw in herself over time.  I momentarily turned my attention to my own life in the first age bracket Kate mentioned and immediately felt grief.  I knew it had to do with the already triggered issue of my values.

I recognized a couple of things that were new for me consciously.  I was well aware that I had not been supported in my innate spiritual values by my parents, teachers, or clergy when I was young, but hadn’t realized how difficult if not impossible that had made it to live them out.  Children need that kind of support just as surely as they need support being fed, clothed, or loved.  I had blamed myself for the failure.  I was still sad about it and something kept the issue locked down.

As Kate asked me to tell her what was happening inside of me, I recognized the bigger part of it.  I felt hypocritical because I wasn’t living my own values and had been feeling it since I was a child.  I saw it every time I looked at myself in the mirror.  I looked like a lie.  At that moment I was having trouble containing it.  Obviously there was something to be resolved here, I thought, but what were the specifics that could bring it to resolution?  I asked my Guides if a healing about simply dropping my resistance to living my values (stop saying “NO!” to it) was the answer and they indicated that it wasn’t enough to get me to shift.  There was more.

As Kate and I continued our discussion the answer came into my mind from somewhere that no longer matters; I wanted others to live their values and the fact that they mostly didn’t left me in a place of bewilderment, sadness, and classic Indigo Child righteous indignation.  Then it dawned on me that I had no right to expect other people to live their values if I wasn’t doing it myself.  I had wanted them to go first!

It had started with wanting my parents to live their values instead of just forcing me to.  They had high ideals, but weren’t willing to back them up with commitment, sacrifice, or effort.  (“Do as I say, not as I do.”)  I resented it.  This wasn’t exactly a trauma for me, but it was a situation of time, consciousness, and energy, a kind of perpetual Mexican standoff that wasn’t getting resolved.  Clearly, no one else was going to flinch.  I had to make the first move.

When Kate muscle tested me when saying the statement, “Don’t expect other people to live their values if you’re not living your own,” I gave a weak or “NO!” response, the same as for the singular challenge to live my values.  Kate’s responses were the same and we realized the spiritual mandate for us to be examples of living one’s values.  My Guides suggested that this was the key I had been looking for.

We used that quote as the prompt for a Guided Head Movement healing for each of us.  after the third attempt to get that situation to shift inside of me, I wondered if it ever would, ever could.  On the fourth go-round, I felt a sudden all-over chill that heralded something breaking up and leaving me, and I knew a shift had indeed happened.  A muscle test confirmed that not only had I internally stopped expecting others to do what I wasn’t, but that I was saying “YES!” to living my values, a new state of Be-ing.  Kate shifted with one fewer pairing of YES/NO head movements and her own energy sensations.

This didn’t mean that it was all a “done-deal”.  We understood that we still needed to follow through to mobilize the changes.  We agreed we had already seen an example of people living their values, personified by the seven Tibetan Buddhist monks that had visited our center a month ago.  We could literally feel it standing near them and this had set something into motion within us that continues to this day.  We recognized that with time and practice we could feel that way to ourselves and to others, and in time become more effective agents for positive change.  The keys were in the ignition and had been there all along.

We say “Thank you” to all of our Mesa students, healing clients, and visitors.  We learn from YOU.

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Gaining Merit: Karma and Karpay

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the Summer Solstice, arriving at 7:09pm eastern time, right on the heels of today’s (Tuesday, 6/19/12) New Moon.  This will create a powerful window to spiritual energies that you can (re)connect with and provide a chance to change the course of your life.  We hope you’ll consider joining us in the Mesa Medicine Wheel for ceremony as a deliberate act, as it can provide a concrete avenue for noticeable life changes.

I mention this because we continue to hear from too many of our Mesa “tribe” and those who haven’t yet visited us that their lives feel like they are falling apart.  They are short on money, can’t find good jobs or any employment at all, are stuck in bad relationships or feel unable to find love.  They are struggling with chronic illness, depression, sleeplessness, or a lack of direction.  They feel overwhelmed, stuck, and don’t know what to do to pull out of it.  They’ve tried meditating, but can’t concentrate.  They’ve said affirmations, but nothing has changed.  They’ve tried holistic therapies, followed gurus, and read all the “right” books to no avail.

In our conversations in person and over the phone we’ve been reminding our friends, clients, and students of a couple of things.  One is what we’ve been learning about Karma.  Often, what people are experiencing has to do with what they’ve sown in the past.  This could have been in the form of conscious or unconscious thought, speech, or behavior that was negative, unloving, egotistical, or downright cruel.  This energetic is still in play for them, bringing them their current situation even though they may have seen the Light and changed their ways some time ago.  Kate and I had lived through exactly this kind of scenario before we met.

So how do we change our Karma and get life moving again?  As our friends the Tsawa Tibetan monks would tell us, we must do things that will gain us merit.  Merit is not like “brownie points with God,” but a selfless positive energy we can generate from our consciousness (paying attention) as well as our actions.  When we create this energy, all of the Natural World notices it and is affected by it.  Then it comes back around to us in good ways.  I believe that Kate and I met (in part) because we were each doing our work to live more consciously spiritually.  We balanced our individual Karma just enough to find each other.

We suggest that people start where they are and realize that it might take some time to gain enough merit to overcome their Karma and get things moving again.  What kind of meritorious things can we do or engage in for the meantime?  We can start with practicing compassion for all things, working and praying for not only our own benefit but for that of  All Our Relations.  (A simple thing is to merely recite the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra a few times a day.)  We can engage in charitable works and acts of compassion large or small.  We can take a spider out of the house in a glass instead of reacting in fear and squashing it, or feed the birds.  We can focus hard on what is positive and stop spewing negativity, fear, blame, and doubt.  We can practice acts of conscious kindness for all creatures.  Just engage with it for a while and see what happens.

The second thing is something reiterated by our Peruvian Shaman and teacher, Amaru Li, during his workshops last weekend; we can do ceremony.  He reminded us of what he would call Karpay (pronounced “car-pie”).  This is a simple and personal ceremony using the light of a fire or candle flame to reconnect and rekindle our spiritual nature.  It is done with the intent of replanting “Seeds of Light” within our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.  Amaru recommended that people do this once a month or so, near the full or new moon, but we can see that it might be beneficial for some to do so once a day.

Here’s how to do a simple Karpay:  Light a candle (preferably white) and select an object that is important and an energy-holder for you.  This could be a medicine bag, crystal, religious medal, or other “power object”.  Holding the intent to do this spiritual and literal replanting, center yourself before the flame.  Hold the object comfortably above the flame and use your other hand to “gather” light into it.  Then hold the object to your root chakra (energy center at your genitals) with both hands for 5-10 seconds and say something to yourself or aloud about planting a seed of Light into your physical body as you envision absorbing the accumulated light on that level.

Do the same thing with the object at your heart for your emotional body, and your third eye for your spiritual body.  Then hold the object with both hands in front of your face and with an upwards offering gesture, make a sound like a speedy swooshing to send the intent to Pachamamma (Mother Earth).  You might just feel better on the spot!  We’ll be doing Karpay during our Medicine Wheel Ceremony with the Light of the sun.  It’s even more powerful when we do this together and becomes a meritorious act as we share it with the world around us.  Good Karma to you!

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Emotional Spinning

I don’t know about you, but we’re still seeing last week’s Venus Transit exerting pressure in our inner and outer worlds.  Unlike other celestial events of the past, it seems to have opened a door that hasn’t closed and feels like it may remain that way for a long time, something hinted at by Mayan prophesy scholars.  To me, the energies flowing in Creation urging us to change our habits and ways of being to a more enlightened direction have markedly intensified with the Transit.  This is not happening to simply get the attention of those not already on that path, but to sweep us where Creation is going.  Felt-sense observations of friends and strangers alike, corroborated with conversation indicate that people are really feeling this push, and for many the experience is an unpleasant one to say the least.  For some it borders on maddening as they tumble seemingly helplessly with the tide.

At last weekend’s Three Rivers Holistic Healing Festival in Oakland, the effects were plainly obvious.  People seemed exhausted, harried, irritated, and even demoralized—and those were the readers and healers!  At the end of the day as we were packing up, one of the festival organizers stood near our booth and told us of feeling physically dizzy, something they had not experienced in a long time.  I had noticed this friend running constantly throughout the day in efforts to keep the event running smoothly, but also to soothe ruffled feathers and appease bruised egos.  I witnessed the wear and worry from the day taking its toll on her as I sat with my bare feet on the ground in our outdoor booth, but sensed that more had been going on for her.  I could see that she needed help.

I asked our friend if she’d be willing to sit in a chair for a few minutes and accept an energy healing.  As she gratefully accepted and sat down, I could tell that she was driven to the point of consciously committing what amounted to an act of self-preservation.  When I put my hands on her shoulders, I felt something like a very fast ticking sensation within her energy.  My intuition said it suggested the speed she was emotionally spinning, and I got an image of a rotating armature, like a large ball on a vertical stick spinning faster than its bearings could reliably handle.  The “ticking” was the ball hitting something with each revolution, like an out-of-balance fan blade striking its housing.

As I invited Creation’s energy to flow through me into this busy wife, mother, and healer, I talked to her about what I had been observing people going through, mentioning the ball on the stick image.  I told her how Creation is pushing us to change, giving that ball harder and harder pushes with greater frequency.  I reminded her that depending how fast our “ball” is spinning to start with this can result in feeling totally out of control.  I could sense her inner mind getting what I was saying and that in her case her high rate of spin had caused literal vertigo.  She had been unable to reset “on the fly” and it had taken several minutes of quiet sitting and healing energy to put on the brakes.  Eventually, we both felt her shift as her spin got below wobble speed.  She acknowledged being under stress in her life and struggling to keep up without periodically taking time out to use what she knew as a healer to slow back down.

Kate and I had seen something similar the week before the transit as the energies were still just ramping up.  We had spent the afternoon with touring Tibetan monks and then gone back to The Mesa to host an evening drumming circle in the tipi.  Eight people piled into the tipi with us, each very obviously in their own little world.  The difference in how they felt to our senses compared to the monks struck a stark contrast.  Their “spin” was palpable and startlingly uncomfortable to both Kate and me, especially after being in the calm, slowly rotating presence of the monks.  As I made a conscious effort to detach from what I sensed energetically, it made me wonder how I had felt to the Tibetans.  I reminded myself that they would have detached from my energy as well and carried on.

I hoped that engaging in drumming would quickly ground and relax those in the circle as I had seen many times before, but struggled with nervousness as my confidence clashed with my felt sense discernment.  I started a heartbeat rhythm and asked our guests to join in.  I was shocked that the group simply could not all get on this biological rhythm and stay with it consistently, a sad indication of how stressed out and caught up in their own life dramas they each were on an otherwise calm and beautiful Thursday night.  It took nearly the entire 2hr session for most to reset, reconnect, and relax even a little.  Such is the state of how we are choosing to live.

So what to do to keep from spinning faster and faster as our human world and that of Spirit pushes our little ball?  The place to start is with Mindfulness of our own spin and that from others.  By becoming more aware of this, you can learn to consciously slow that internal process down through meditating or sitting quiet, going out in Nature, physical movement, focusing on gratitude, unburdening to a friend, getting healing help, or by gently contemplating the Sand Mandala pictured above for more than a few seconds.  You might also begin to take a look at what “spins” you and why.  This can lead you to make changes in the way you think and otherwise operate internally and release the urge to spin in resonance with un-mindful others around you.  This is called walking your path.  It’s the difference between spinning in place and rolling forward.

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Practicing Joyful Compassion

It seems like a month ago now, but it’s not even been two weeks since our visit from the Tsawa Tibetan monks from the Gaden Jangtse Monastery in south India on May 20th.  We’re still experiencing changes from their time at The Mesa.  The energy of our center has been uplifted by the ceremonies they conducted and we have been touched personally in many ways that we’re still processing.  It was a joy to be around these seven gentle, enthusiastic, and caring men and to observe them in action; in prayer, hard at work, graciously fielding questions from our Mesa “tribe”, and even passing around a football on the runway.

The most stunning moment for me of the monks’ all too brief stay with us came during the House Blessing ceremony they conducted late that Sunday afternoon in the big Mesa art and craft studio.  As the commotion of the arrival of the last 3 of the monks died down, the excited crowd of onlookers settled in and the ceremony began.  I was instantly mesmerized by the sound and pure energy of it.  Then I looked across the room and took in an amazing sight that filled my heart.

There before us was a beautifully adorned altar the monks had set when they had first arrived in the morning.  A big tanka (devotional painting) of Chenrezig (the Buddha of Compassion) hung above it.  The Heart of Compassion sand mandala the monks had spent all day working on and had just finished rested on a table in front it, radiating spinning energy.  The mandala was flanked by two rows of monks and Tendrol, a visiting Buddhist nun from Washington, DC, all resplendent in their saffron and maroon robes, sitting on the floor alternately overtone chanting, and playing traditional bells, drums, brass cymbals, telescoping trumpets, and reeded horns.

I almost felt the need to pinch myself as I witnessed the spectacular energy, devotion, generosity, and connection of the ritual taking place before me—not in some grand edifice in downtown Pittsburgh, but in our humble workshop with all of its disarray.  It was right there.  I had always felt we were blessed in what we were undertaking with our creative, consciousness raising, and healing work at our center, but at that moment it seemed “official”, and at a much higher level.  I felt honored and grateful to be part of it.

After a brief communal meal, the blessings continued with the monks stepping outside to conduct the Chöd (cutting away of the ego) ritual on the old grass runway in front of the Mesa tipi.  The weather was perfect, the sky beautiful blue, and odd wispy clouds streamed continually out of the sunset as we watched the monks.  Selflessly, they started right back in with their chants and prayers to appease the “gods and scary ghosts” of the land for the benefit of all who are connected with The Mesa.  Energy poured from the tipi to fuel the proceedings.  It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful day.

As a result of their visit, Kate and I found ourselves spending the next several days researching the ritual objects, cosmology, and tenets of Tibetan Buddhism.  Kate put up a new Buddhist altar in our dining room, adorned with one of the tankas we had recently purchased.  This served to deepen and cement the effects of our visit from the monks and fortify us to spread their blessings and what they had taught us from their culture.  While looking into Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara) and the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, I came across a comparison of how compassion is viewed by Buddhism as compared to Western religions.

Long ago I had come across the idea that Buddhists saw compassion as the desire for the suffering of others to come to an end.  What was new to me was how it was suggested to deal with that suffering.  In Judeo-Christian religion, when one sees suffering we are taught to feel empathy for those in torment.  We feel sad and suffer with them because they are so downtrodden.  This is “two-party suffering”.  Buddhists see one who is suffering and while desiring their suffering to end, do not attach to it.  Instead they envision that suffering receiving help and relief through their desire being voiced, and rejoice in the seed of its eventual resolution.  This is a joyful compassion and “single-party suffering”.

There is so much suffering in the world around us, here at home and throughout the world.  Just yesterday, I spent an hour on the phone with a woman in Cape Town, South Africa, who had been desperately looking for help and found our Mesa website.  After several emails, I dropped the dime and called her over Skype, spending all of $5 and a little of my time to help a fellow “two-legged” thousands of miles away.

Lavona’s extended and convoluted family was awash in dysfunction and disarray.  She wanted to find a way to help them and find peace for herself but was at wits’ end.  I listened to her story in Afrikaans-accented English with patience, and offered some of the insights that Kate and I have learned along our spiritual way—the same ones we tell our visitors, students, and healing clients right here at The Mesa.  I explained to her about the speedup in the Flow of Creation and how it’s pushing people to the limit.  I reminded her how Apartheid had torn her country apart, something exemplified by the animosity from racial differences within her own family.

Lavona admitted to being a “fixer” and wanting her family to come back together “and just love each other”.  I reminded her that she, like ourselves, was here to help change the world but that we’re not in the business of “making horses drink”.  I told her about the Tsawa monks and what I had learned about joyful compassion.  I could tell that she was truly “getting it” and at one point I was surprised when I could feel her energy dramatically and markedly shift, right over the cyber phone.  It felt light, expansive, and hopeful.

I interrupted Lavona’s story to turn her attention to how she felt at that moment in our conversation and she admitted to feeling a lot better.  It was clear to both of us that a big part of her problem with her pain of feeling isolated from her family was that she didn’t really feel connected to anyone else.  I told her the Ugly Duckling story (see blog entry from July 28, 2011) and reminded her that she was now connected to me, Kate, The Mesa, the Tsawa monks, and what they had generously given us, and to allow that connection to bolster her.  Her deliverance was already in motion and we both felt it.  She thanked me profusely and we agreed to stay in touch.

During the monks’ visit to The Mesa, one visitor remarked excitedly on how they had always wanted to meet Tibetan monks and had now “manifested” it.  They asked me how we had managed to “get” the monks to come to The Mesa.  “By doing our work…,” was my answer, explaining that we had not sent out any request for the monks to come, but had merely said, “Yes, please” when we were asked if they could visit our center.  We had attracted them to us by our devotion to Spirit and service to others, not by clever marketing or coup of business acumen; by our actions and not by wishing for it.

You too, dear reader, can be a reliever of suffering and agent for world change.  You’ve already started by reading this little story.  We invite everyone to tap into the gifts the gentle Tsawa monks have given all of us through their devotion to practice joyful compassion and spread it to others whenever and wherever you can.  It’s right out there on the “spiritnet”.

You can see (and feel) HD video clips of the monks creating the sand mandala and holding ceremony at The Mesa with these links:

Tsawa Tibetan Monks House Blessing at The Mesa:

Tsawa Tibetan Monks Chöd Ritual in front of the Mesa Tipi:

Tsawa Monks Chenrezig Sand Mandala Opening Prayer:


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Conscious Giving and Running on “Mesa Time”.

We’re still playing catch up here at The Mesa and at home.  We have had every good intention of getting all kinds of things done, like cleaning up the gift shop, making our Summer schedule, painting the tipi liner, and much needed yard work at home, but time has been slipping away from us.  This has been in large part due to the increasing number of visits by people drawn to our center who are tired, depressed, or in pain.  They feel isolated, confused about life, and want to get on their spiritual path and don’t know how.  Some come for classes and events, but many just pop in to tentatively find out what we’re “about” or come by to “visit” us, seeking a compassionate ear, some informal counseling, and a little TLC.

Lately we’ve not been getting out of the building after Mesa classes until hours after they have ended, because people just don’t want to leave.  They admit that it feels much better to them to be in the sacred space of our center compared to their homes, offices, churches or shopping malls, so they linger.  They ask questions about everything, bask in the feeling of being accepted just as they are, drink in reassurance that they are not going crazy as their higher awareness opens.  Things slow down for them as they visit and they, and we,  lose track of time.  We chuckle that instead of the regular time zone for our area, we run on “Mesa Time”.

The new tipi is adding to the good energy up on the flat hill we call The Mesa and we’ve been getting a new kind of visitor: Tipi Gawkers.  They pull in off the highway, drive slowly past the tipi, turn around and drive back out.  If we’re not too busy, we’ll go out and wave to them; chatting through rolled down car windows if they stop.  Sometimes they actually get out to look at it, and we teach them a little about the sacred lodge.  We’re thinking of putting up an info box like the ones real estate agents put in front of houses for sale.

All this doesn’t even count the seekers who call on the phone, like the lady in California who is beginning to empathically feel the energy of other people’s negativity and suffering as her own physical pain and doesn’t know what to do about it.  She left a message expressing her distress and lamenting that no one can tell her what’s going on, “not even” her church.  She found our website and pleaded for us to call her back.  How could we refuse?

There are those who would tell us that we have serious “boundary issues” and need to just tell people to leave, but the way we see it, it’s our sacred duty to help others when the moment merits it.  We also know that what we give is being returned to us many fold and we are seeing it happen as our sacrifices become less requirements of circumstance and more conscious decisions to give.

We saw evidence of this the other day with a newcomer to the Mesa who leaned against the fence and asked questions as I trimmed the grass around the perimeter of the Medicine Wheel.  I thought about asking him to pitch in and help, but decided that he had come to learn and might not like being nudged into service.  Still, I wasn’t surprised when after a few minutes he asked if I had another pair of trimmers and we continued our conversation about how to walk a spiritual path in our material world as we snipped our way around the Sacred Hoop.  Kate and I invited him to share our dinner and afterwards he commented, “I’ve read a lot of books about this stuff, but I’ve never met anyone who actually does what you do.”  He stayed for that evening’s class and had a surprising opening of his chakras.  We felt blessed.

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The Spiritual Mechanism of Sacrifice

We are very grateful to our friend and teacher, Cree Indian spiritual leader, Jody Ground, for taking time away from his family and community back home in Montana, and for what he brought to share with our Mesa “tribe” this past (Earth Day) weekend.  He did a fabulous and meaningful job of conducting the tipi blessing ceremony for the two dozen of us who braved the weather on Earth Day to enjoy it.  We also received much from Jody’s 3 workshops, learning new things about Native American culture, ceremony, and personal spiritual practice.  We are still experiencing the energy and changes from them.

Every time we have a special teacher come to The Mesa we end up with at least one “takeaway”.  That is our word for the defining concepts imparted to us by each teacher that make all the work we have done to set workshops up worthwhile.  These nuggets are “aha” moments when our eyes are opened with things we had not considered.  They are surprising bits of wisdom that we know will stick with us, profoundly affecting our point of view, way of thinking, and approach to life in the coming weeks and months.  While we learned much from our time with Jody, our takeaway this time was about sacrifice.

In his Saturday morning workshop, “Working with Personal Animal Spirits and Totems”, Jody talked about reciprocity with the Spirit World in a new way that came through loud and clear for us.  He explained the importance and spiritual mechanism of sacrifice—not just giving of our ourselves, or making a token offering, but giving up something specific of ourselves in order to get needed or desired help from the Spirit Side.

Jody explained how in Native culture, one would go outside and put an offering of a can of fish and some berries on the ground for the Bear Spirit in exchange for his help with specific healing.  He told the story of having given away blankets, groceries, ceremonial objects of great value, and even a pickup truck in order to ensure the healing of his wife’s grandmother.  She lived 7 more years after being given only months by her doctors.  He emphasized the importance of giving something up to show the spirits that we are willing to share and give as well as receive, whether by fasting, setting aside bits of our meal before we eat (setting a “Spirit Plate”), giving up a favorite food or activity for a period of time, or through the rigors of Sundancing.

In Native culture, when a gift of tobacco and red cloth, a week’s worth of groceries, an expensive blanket, or some treasured personal object (Jody once received a pistol after having gifted his own away) is given to the medicine person when asking for a healing, this is not seen as a gift to the human facilitator alone even though they may use/consume it, but giving to the spirits he or she will call upon for the seeker’s benefit as the healing comes through into matter.  The sacrifice doesn’t have to be massive or debilitating, but is not viewed as barter.  The exchange is seen as occurring with Spirit while still respecting the healer.  This is different than the New Age-y concept of the need for an “exchange of energy” (code for “I want to be paid!”) from recipient to healer.

So many times we have heard from people who wanted healings or to take classes from ourselves or visiting teachers but lamented that they couldn’t pay for them.  Usually, we have told them to pay us what they can or come for free.  Rarely have they offered anything else in return because they have not had this tribal understanding of the power of making some kind of sacrifice, nor were we aware enough of it ourselves to be able to articulate it to them.

We’d often joke that we’d love to give all healings for free, but that for some reason the grocery stores won’t give us any food without those green pieces of paper.  Certainly all could have given (up) something, if only to offer their time to sweep up in our gift shop or to fast for a day.  This concept is missing from our European world view with its emphasis on the distribution of money, and another reason why the “Law of Attraction” and “The Secret” don’t work for many people; they offer to give up nothing in return.

We had previously learned to leave food offerings at meals and gave offerings of tobacco or cornmeal for what we took from Nature.  We made tobacco ties when asking help from the Spirit World and even made Peruvian despacho (offering) bundles to rebalance our world with theirs, but they were tokens of acknowledgement rather than sacrifices of substance.  Through Jody’s words Kate and I found new meaning in sacrifice above and beyond the nebulous concept of “the more you give the more you will receive”, and discovered the Native view on how reciprocity really works.  We sent our friend home with many gifts he’ll use for ceremony.  We now know we will benefit greatly from their use.

While we have received much from the Creator over the past 9 yrs, we now see that we need to ask for spirit help and name and exact our sacrifices in order to get faster and more powerful results.  The Mesa tipi is evidence of this.  Over the years we had been putting in lots of hard work in order to keep The Mesa afloat as a platform for Spirit, but had not always recognized our sacrifices as willing.  Without thinking of it in that way we proposed to sacrifice our time and energy to make a tipi a thing of beauty, and as its caretakers share its healing with others.  As a result, the sacred lodge was literally given to us.  What are you willing to sacrifice?  Spirit is waiting to help you.  Mitakuye Oyasin (“All Our Relations”)

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