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Today,  I am  sad.  I   just  found out  that  a  brother *  (* Bob)  of a  dear friend  of  mine  ,  died this  week. He  was only  64.    A  life  ended   too  soon. I    didn’t  know this person well,    but   still,   I weep for that  unfulfilled   life  that  didn’t come to  fruition.   (  this   post is  dedicated to  both    BOB  and   DIANE  (  the   music  nazi) .~  KMK

**********************************************************************

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

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This  is  a  film  about   homeopathy  that  is   coming  later  this  year, perhaps  the  fall.

I know  the  film  maker  indirectly,  and  she is a  very   focused and   VERY  passionate  film maker.  Please   take  a  peek.  The  reason  that I am  writing this post is  because I  too  am  passionate  about natural   healthcare;   so our   circles,  although   different, overlap  nicely.   Homeopathy  is  a  fascinating  topic  that  more   people   need to  know  about  and    be  able to use as  a resource,  as   our  healthcare   system   collapses  around us  and   people    are  just  getting sicker and sicker.

http://www.justonedropfilm.com/trailer/

 

and  then,  there is   this,  which  explains   why   homeopathy  is  not   more  well  known  and  used…

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Totally  on  board  with this   quote.

“The  patient  must  learn to take charge  of  his own life.  Don’t  take  your  body  to the  doctor as if  it was  a  repair shop.”

Quentin Regenstein,  MD

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxYsTJyDT5g

I  really   hope  everyone  will  take a  few   minutes to  watch this!   Pretty soon  Walgreen’s   will  have  her    technology  everywhere,  ( it is  already in  Arizona) which  is  changing the  face of   health care…where   a  test  will  be  easily accessible  and  tests  will  cost  $1  and  up,   not $500…    I  hope to post  more on  her  here.  She  is  all  over    Youtube ,  so  go   there  as  well.  Never  before  have I  been inspired   by  such  a  young  person.  And  here is  another one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLTAFbKbC8w

She  mentions  diabetes  (  briefly) in this    talk.

As  an  aside, I  found out  about her  and Theranos  from  a  person  that I  literally   just   met in person  about  a   month  ago  (and  no,  we   weren’t   talking  about  health care,  we  were    discussing  broad   range  ideas…  about  everything…leading  many times to  long   conversations).  This is  someone that  is also   perhaps   brilliant…  but  they  simply  can’t  see it  (yet).

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THIS    is  a  made- up  word  from Dr.  Levine,    but  it is  so worthy  of a  short  post    here..

…step is a process I call “pendulation.” That’s a word I made up – what it means is that when people first begin to experience their body sensations, they actually feel worse for a moment. It is probably largely because they have avoided their sensations. So when they feel them, they feel worse. This is like a contraction. But what I have discovered is when you help support people, they discover that with every contraction there is an expansion. So if they learn just to stay with these sensations just momentarily long enough, it will contract but then it will expand. And the rhythm between contraction and expansion, that really gives people the sense, “Oh my God, I’m going to be able to master this!” So, again, when they get the sense or rhythm, of contraction/expansion, it needn’t become threatening. It just becomes, “Oh, okay, I’m contracting, and now I’m expanding.”  “…if you just overwhelm the person, the nervous system really can’t tell the difference between the trauma and just being overwhelmed/ overloaded.” “…From that sense of relative safety created by the therapist and the environment, we help the person to support  initial exploration and acceptance of sensations…”
“Pendulation is the rhythm between contraction and expansion…and titration is about carefully touching into the smallest drop of survival-based arousal.”
~ The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
http://www.nicabm.com

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Anyone   who  has  grown  up  with  narcissist  parents   will   relate. Anyone  who  abused  alcohol   falls  into this  category.

Kafka’s Remarkable Letter to His Abusive and Narcissistic Father

by

“It is, after all, not necessary to fly right into the middle of the sun, but it is necessary to crawl to a clean little spot on earth where the sun sometimes shines and one can warm oneself a little.”

Franz Kafka was one of history’s most prolific and expressive practitioners of what Virginia Woolf called “the humane art.” Among the hundreds of epistles he penned during his short life were his beautiful and heartbreaking love letters and his magnificent missive to a childhood friend about what books do for the human soul. Although he imbued most with an extraordinary depth of introspective insight and self-revelation, none surpass the 47-page letter he wrote to his father, Hermann, in November of 1919 — the closest thing to an autobiography Kafka ever produced. A translation by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins was posthumously published as Letter to His Father (public library) in 1966.

Prompted in large part by the dissolution of his engagement to Felice Bauer, in which Hermann’s active disapproval of the relationship was a toxic force and which resulted in the estrangement of father and son, 36-year-old Kafka set out to hold his father accountable for the emotional abuse, disorienting double standards, and constant disapprobation that branded his childhood — a measured yet fierce outburst of anguish and disappointment thirty years in the buildup.

His litany of indictments is doubly harrowing in light of what psychologists have found in the decades since — that our early limbic contact with our parents profoundly shapes our character, laying down the wiring for emotional habits and patterns of connecting that greatly influence what we bring to all subsequent relationships in life, either expanding or contracting our capacity for “positivity resonance” depending on how nurturing or toxic those formative relationships were. For those of us with similar experiences, be it inflicted by a patriarch or a matriarch, Kafka’s letter to his father is at once excruciating in its deep resonance and strangely comforting in its validation of shared reality.

Kafka writes:

Dearest Father,

You asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking. And if I now try to give you an answer in writing, it will still be very incomplete, because, even in writing, this fear and its consequences hamper me in relation to you and because the magnitude of the subject goes far beyond the scope of my memory and power of reasoning.

The first page of Kafka’s letter to his father.

Kafka paints the backdrop of his father’s emotional tyranny and lays out what he hopes the letter would accomplish for both of them:

To you the matter always seemed very simple, at least in so far as you talked about it in front of me, and indiscriminately in front of many other people. It looked to you more or less as follows: you have worked hard all your life, have sacrificed everything for your children, above all for me, consequently I have lived high and handsome, have been completely at liberty to learn whatever I wanted, and have had no cause for material worries, which means worries of any kind at all. You have not expected any gratitude for this, knowing what “children’s gratitude” is like, but have expected at least some sort of obligingness, some sign of sympathy. Instead I have always hidden from you, in my room, among my books, with crazy friends, or with extravagant ideas… If you sum up your judgment of me, the result you get is that, although you don’t charge me with anything downright improper or wicked (with the exception perhaps of my latest marriage plan), you do charge me with coldness, estrangement, and ingratitude. And, what is more, you charge me with it in such a way as to make it seem my fault, as though I might have been able, with something like a touch on the steering wheel, to make everything quite different, while you aren’t in the slightest to blame, unless it be for having been too good to me.

This, your usual way of representing it, I regard as accurate only in so far as I too believe you are entirely blameless in the matter of our estrangement. But I am equally entirely blameless. If I could get you to acknowledge this, then what would be possible is — not, I think, a new life, we are both much too old for that — but still, a kind of peace; no cessation, but still, a diminution of your unceasing reproaches.

But this is where the similarity ends. Kafka sees in his father everything he himself is not — a man of “health, appetite, loudness of voice, eloquence, self-satisfaction, worldly dominance, endurance, presence of mind, knowledge of human nature, a certain way of doing things on a grand scale, of course also with all the defects and weaknesses that go with these advantages and into which your temperament and sometimes your hot temper drive you.” The anguish resulting from this disparity of temperaments coupled with a disparity of power between parent and child is familiar to all who have lived through a similar childhood — the constantly enforced, with varying degrees of force, sense that the parent’s version of reality is always right simply by virtue of authority and the child’s always wrong by virtue of submission, and thus the child comes to internalize the chronic guilt of wrongness.

With such a child’s classic cycle of accusation and apologism in making sense of a parent’s hurtful behavior, Kafka considers his father’s shortcomings with equal parts pain and compassion:

We were so different and in our difference so dangerous to each other that if anyone had tried to calculate in advance how I, the slowly developing child, and you, the full-grown man, would stand to each other, he could have assumed that you would simply trample me underfoot so that nothing was left of me. Well, that did not happen. Nothing alive can be calculated. But perhaps something worse happened. And in saying this I would all the time beg of you not to forget that I never, and not even for a single moment, believe any guilt to be on your side. The effect you had on me was the effect you could not help having. But you should stop considering it some particular malice on my part that I succumbed to that effect.

I was a timid child. For all that, I am sure I was also obstinate, as children are. I am sure that Mother spoilt me too, but I cannot believe I was particularly difficult to manage; I cannot believe that a kindly word, a quiet taking by the hand, a friendly look, could not have got me to do anything that was wanted of me. Now you are, after all, at bottom a kindly and softhearted person (what follows will not be in contradiction to this, I am speaking only of the impression you made on the child), but not every child has the endurance and fearlessness to go on searching until it comes to the kindliness that lies beneath the surface. You can only treat a child in the way you yourself are constituted, with vigor, noise, and hot temper, and in this case this seemed to you, into the bargain, extremely suitable, because you wanted to bring me up to be a strong brave boy.

Kafka recounts one particularly traumatic incident when one night as a young boy, he kept crying for water — “not, I am certain, because I was thirsty, but probably partly to be annoying, partly to amuse myself,” he explains with that learned reality-questioning apologism he carried into adulthood — until his father grew so angry that he yanked little Franz out of bed, carried him out onto the balcony, and left him there in nothing but his nightshirt, shutting the door. He writes:

I was quite obedient afterwards at that period, but it did me inner harm. What was for me a matter of course, that senseless asking for water, and the extraordinary terror of being carried outside were two things that I, my nature being what it was, could never properly connect with each other. Even years afterwards I suffered from the tormenting fancy that the huge man, my father, the ultimate authority, would come almost for no reason at all and take me out of bed in the night and carry me out onto the [balcony], and that meant I was a mere nothing for him.

Illustration by Pascal Lemaitre from ‘The Book of Mean People’ by Toni and Slade Morrison. Click image for more.

In a poignant lament that calls to mind the contrasting childhood of Henri Matisse, who was bathed in parental support, Kafka bemoans his father’s attitude toward his academic and creative endeavors:

What I would have needed was a little encouragement, a little friendliness, a little keeping open of my road, instead of which you blocked it for me, though of course with the good intention of making me go another road. But I was not fit for that… At that time, and at that time in every way, I would have needed encouragement.

In reflecting on his father’s particularly oppressive “intellectual domination,” Kafka speaks to the particular burden of children whose parents have risen from poverty to success by their own efforts. (In factuality, Hermann grew up in a middle-class family but liked to mythologize the hardships of his youth after he became a successful businessman.) With piercing insight into the self-righteousness syndrome that befalls many such self-made people who come to believe their own myth of omnipotence, Kafka writes:

You had worked your way so far up by your own energies alone, and as a result you had unbounded confidence in your opinion. That was not yet so dazzling for me as a child as later for the boy growing up. From your armchair you ruled the world. Your opinion was correct, every other was mad, wild, meshugge, not normal. Your self-confidence indeed was so great that you had no need to be consistent at all and yet never ceased to be in the right. It did sometimes happen that you had no opinion whatsoever about a matter and as a result all opinions that were at all possible with respect to the matter were necessarily wrong, without exception. You were capable, for instance, of running down the Czechs, and then the Germans, and then the Jews, and what is more, not only selectively but in every respect, and finally nobody was left except yourself. For me you took on the enigmatic quality that all tyrants have whose rights are based on their person and not on reason.

Once again, Kafka returns to how his father’s warped and solipsistic view of reality made his own bleed with uncertainty and self-doubt:

All these thoughts, seemingly independent of you, were from the beginning burdened with your belittling judgments; it was almost impossible to endure this and still work out a thought with any measure of completeness and permanence.

One especially frequent form of belittlement was Hermann’s habit of dismissing anything that excited and inspired young Franz, invariably crushing the boy’s interest in pursuing anything — a particularly poisonous serpent to have in one’s nest of idea-incubation. He writes:

It was only necessary to be happy about something or other, to be filled with the thought of it, to come home and speak of it, and the answer was an ironical sigh, a shaking of the head, a tapping on the table with a finger… Of course, you couldn’t be expected to be enthusiastic about every childish triviality, when you were in a state of fret and worry. But that was not the point. Rather, by virtue of your antagonistic nature, you could not help but always and inevitably cause the child such disappointments; and further, this antagonism, accumulating material, was constantly intensified; eventually the pattern expressed itself even if, for once, you were of the same opinion as I; finally, these disappointments of the child were not the ordinary disappointments of life but, since they involved you, the all-important personage, they struck to the very core. Courage, resolution, confidence, delight in this and that, could not last when you were against it or even if your opposition was merely to be assumed; and it was to be assumed in almost everything I did.

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I have   read    many,  many articles  on  managing anxiety.   When I saw this one in my  email today, I thought
” ok.  Let’s  see if there is  anything worthy in here…. ”   not really  believing that there would be….

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17938/how-to-quiet-your-mind-when-you-feel-intense-anxiety.html

But I was  pleasantly surprised.  I   think my favorite is   #1….   but they all have  merit.  I  also  did  #5.   I took a  very short walk to the  mailbox and this, for someone who has NOT  been able to do this in a   very long time ( 8 weeks?     due to  the  neurotransmitters in my  brain  not transmitting the right signals for walking to my   legs)  this was a   major accomplishment.)   I literally   FORCED  myself to do this…    because I was going to attempt  this walk earlier in the   morning,  but I was  too  unstable  and too afraid of  falling. Plus I   did it without using my Mountainsmith  http://mountainsmith.com/index.php/trekking-poles.html#page=1trekking   poles, well,  at  least on the way to  the  box,  but  not back  because I  had to walk up  a  very slight   incline. The  other good   news about this walk that there was  mostly  junk in  the  mailbox. So  easy– to sort through….. :-)My   trekkers  have  been such a  lifesaver.  I originally  bought them to  walk on the trail(s) in and around Palos  Hill, IL,   and  on those  jaunts I experienced some  lovely moments,  sights, and  surprises.  You can read more about that a  bit here…http://www.blurb.com/b/770786-chasing-magick-book-1To  this  article on anxiety I would add  having  Kava Stress Relief tea on hand. http://www.amazon.com/Yogi-Kava-Stress-Relief-Bags/dp/B0009F3QKW The  flavor on this tea is…. a   bit  unusual,   but it does the   job.  You can  get this tea  at   any good   health food store or  Whole  Foods.

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