dryadgrl: (love)
"That's crap! Don't sent me a cake made out of flowers! If it looks like food it better be edible." Erin
dryadgrl: (love)
So the recipe is...
1 part beeswax (which for me was 1/2 cup)
3 parts calendula essential oil (grapeseed oil base)
30-40 drops lavender essential oil (which is very strong)
1/8 part St. John's Wort herbal oil (from Gathering Thyme)
Arnica herbal oil (1/8c maybe - this one was also in the last recipe, but not in the notes for some reason and this time I made my own again in grapeseed oil)
1 part shea butter
10 drops Frankinsence essential oil (doTerra)

The previous recipe makes a salve that is a little to hard for my taste and left some stuff out. I like it soft and creamy and closer to an ointment than to a butter. You can vary the oils and beeswax to get something you like.

Just put spoons in the freezer - you'll get to know what you really want from dipping a frozen spoon into the mix and putting it in the freezer for a minute or two. Easy peasy and much easier than cleaning out the containers once you realize that you've not done what you really wanted.
dryadgrl: (love)
Totally similar to what I've already done. They look a little hard for my taste, but good recipe:

dryadgrl: (love)
I just started a detox protocol given to me by Joan (my healer).

The symptoms are that I've been having gastro distress in my upper belly with bloating, no intestinal involvement and some indication of mild systemic infection (which often happens when digestive stuff is involved because anything that involved metabolism effects the whole system).

She did some AK and figured out what I was reacting to and found that this would help. She used the word biofilms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm). What she seems to mean is a bunch of stuff that is all stuck together. So likely I'm in need of major detox. Not surprising given all the recent stress with deaths and the summer travel and change in adventures and so on.  I've been considering doing a fall cleanse of some sort. Apparently I waited too long.

She's never given me anything like this and in the past has recommended that I (and others) stay away from essential oils.

I don't - I use them regularly to treat all manner of stuff. Especially skin and gastrointestinal stuff. All my salves and lip balms have essential oils in them and they are the most effective stuff I found to treat cuts, bruises, sun burns, and so on. And things like fennel are so good an belly stuff it's a shame to not use them. So it's interesting to she her coming around.

She said: In addition to getting back on my regular nightly activated charcoal in water last thing before bed, she's added BFB-1 ...http://www.supremenutritionproducts.com/BFB/index.html

topical use only
it includes: piper nigum (black pepper)
rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
syzygium aromaticum l. (clove)
origanum compactum benth. (oregano oil)

The upside of having played with essential oils for years is that I knew the first two right off and smelled the oregano and I knew I could look this stuff up.  So I did and found the common names listed above. In fact I think I have all of them except rosemary in my current stash.

I don't know the amounts of each, but it's interesting to know that they are saying don't take this internally (all are edible, though I'd take the last two in a capsule). I wonder why.

The dosage info:
"Adults: First 3 days, 1 drop into the sole of each foot or bottom of big tow twice daily (either one drop of BFB1 into the foot and one of BFB2 into the other if both are indicated or one drop of the particular indicated product into both feet twice daily). After 3 days if there is good tolerance (no rash or major die off) add one drop to the print side of the thumb and one to the back of the earlobe each time a drop is placed on the foot.

"Children under 12: 1 drop on to the sole of the foot, one daily for the first 3 days and if tolerated increase to one drop on the bottom of both feet twice daily.
Do not use during pregnancy."

I'd also hesitate to use it on small children or toddlers (and never on babies). Oregano and clove especially can be really intense and you don't want to hurt anyone.

Note on healing
What I'm finding is that we are so trained to be dependent on professional healers that there seems to be a distinct lack of self trust - and I see it reflected in myself. I have done tons of research and know quite a lot these days about natural healing methods, essential oils, herbs, tinctures, plants, food, supplements and their correspondences for use in bodies. But still I sometimes don't trust myself even when I'm not in trauma.

In trauma, it's critical to see a healer - you'll need help healing. It's the nature of trauma and shock. MDs are great for broken bones and stuff especially.

But when my belly is upset for a few days I worry I don't know enough.

I wonder what kinds of of things could be done to support people in having more of an education about even simple things they could be doing to be more healthy or to come back into alignment especially that don't involve taking allopathic medicines. But to know the difference - what are pain kills good for? What can be solved just with rest and tea? What can you solve at home without intervention?

As I've been having my own adventures I'm more and more clear about what I can solve on my own and what I can't. But there's a lot of work to be done. I think what's happening is that more and more I'm realizing that I can rely on my self of myself and my healing knowledge and my sense of what methods to see out when I can't accomplish stuff.

Anyway, I want more people to have access to health more frequently and more confidence in their own health choices.  Posting here about what I do is part of how I'm contributing to that. (Not that this gets much exposure, it's been so many things to me mover time.) But health and healing are a huge piece of that.

So there.
dryadgrl: (love)
First I feel like the piece of information missing from how to do this in other places I've read is:

"The lower the heat and longer the infusion time the better quality of oil."

It came from here:

That means that the best way to make herbal infuse oils is to let them sit for a time in the sunniest window of your home for weeks.

But the other info is good too.

I started arnica, chickweed and calendula herbal infused oils today.
dryadgrl: (love)
So in 2005 I was in the hospital for a while. I had been severely depressed, anxious and suicidal for years. I stopped being invovled in activist projects, I couldn't leave the house, I gained a lot of weight (about 150lbs), my insides were a mess and I often couldn't be away from a bathroom. The acute bit was that I got a migraine that lasted for weeks (6 weeks to be exact) with no history of migraines.  And nothing seemed to help

It finally got to a place that my girlfriend at the time felt she couldn't help me and convinced me to go to the ER to talk to someone. I was really lucky in that way. I wasn't committed, I wasn't picked up at work or school. I'd been suffering for so long it was actually a huge relief to be in the hospital. And I expected that they could help me.

The upside of hospitalization is that I got some space from all the stress and no one expected me to work or go to school or take care of my then 8 yo son. I could chill out, sleep, and reflect. Mostly actually I did art, saw doctors and learned that I never wanted to be in a psych ward again.

A couple of things happened that changed my life. One is that I was diagnosed with "we think you're bipolar" and "you'll never work full time ever again."  That I should expect to be on anti-depressants, anti anxiety meds and pain pills basically the rest of my life.  I'm happy to say that I do now work full time and am a pretty productive member of society. You know, as much as a single mom of a teenager ever is.

They also did some scans of my brain and told me that they didn't know why I was having migraines and that there was a thing in my brain they didn't think was effecting me, but they didn't know. So I saw brain surgeons, neurologists and stuff. The answer there was always "we don't know." WHich, by the way, is less than heartening when your head feels like it wants to split open and you can't go outside because there were no sunglasses strong enough to deal with that big ball of light in the sky.

But another thing happened. When the doctor told me I'd never work again and should expect to be disabled my whole life, something inside of me shifted. My brain fought back. My head swam for several moments and then this small voice inside me said, "This is not my life."

In that way I was lucky. Actually in many ways I was lucky.

One night I was sitting up with a nurse, just talking because I couldn't get my head around all of this and she said to me, "You know, you're different. I see people come in here all the time and I know they'll be back. But you won't. You have support. You'll figure it out."  When I couldn't figure out what the hell she meant she said, "You have support. You have more support than anyone else I've ever seen in here." She clearly believed in me and my systems in a way that I couldn't fathom.

Also they tried to put me on anti-depressants, but I have a mortal fear of them. I watched my mom be put on every psych med known to mankind and they did all of nothing for her. She took everything form lithium to progesterone and they couldn't solve what seemed to be similar symptoms. So I had no expectation that they would help me.  I couldn't tolerate the anti-depressants. Every time they'd put me on one, I'd freak out. I don't know if it's psychosomatic or if I really couldn't tolerate them, but in the end, no anti-depressants. Which was, for me, a really good thing.

Anyway, so my brain shifted. Then I went home.

At home I was alone, which in many ways was a relief. My son was staying with friends which was an incredible gift that I did not fully appreciate at the time because I was so miserable. I could hardly make my own food, I couldn't work, I couldn't really see people and I missed my kid like crazy. So I focused on making food for myself and reading.  My girlfriend was a rockstar and she did a bunch of research and helped me (well pushed me) to look at the Yeast Connection - a book about candida overgrowth and it''s side effects. I read bits of it and decided if all I could do was feed myself, I could do this project.

So I did. And for 6 months I saw my therapist 3 times a week and made my own, boring food. The basis of the book is that if you take every good thing you've ever liked to eat and throw them in the trash instead of putting them in your mouth, you'll be much healthier. So I was off of everything that is involved with sugar, fungus, and yeast from obvious things bread, pasta, crackers and gluten (and all grains) to all forms of sugar, vinegar, dried foods, and mushrooms. So in addition to no deserts, no grains, and nothing sweet, there were no condiments outside of salt and pepper. So I ate meat and vegetables. And occasionally fruit. And did not kill myself.

In some ways it was awful, I couldn't eat out or with people mostly, but what the hell, I wasn't really leaving the house. Eventually I learned how to be in the world that way.

My migraines became instantly less frequent and less intense. But I still took pain meds, and anti-anxiety drugs.

Wait... what? Food is such an intense trigger for migraines that I could change it in a few months by not eating a few things? (Ok not eating anything good, but still.) And I had more energy, my mental health symptoms were lessening, and I started to be able to work!

I started with 6 hours. A week. That's it. That's all I could do.

And it wore me the hell out.  Two three hour shifts and I would come home and pass out each time. It took me days to recover from working.

Anyway, I did this for a couple of years on and off. The food stuff was really helpful, but it only got me so far. Because it's not the answer. It was a beginning - I needed to start the detox project and to understand that there was something I can do to create change.

I continued to see doctors, none of who where helpful and who said things like, "Well that food stuff won't really change anything."  And "You're fat of course you have migraines, they were bound to happen." And "You're not really depressed, you just need to exercise more." Really helpful guys, thanks.

As you can imagine I developed a... distaste for western medicine. Aside from being completely not helpful, they were destructive to my self esteem and mean (concern trolling is still trolling).

In about 2008 ish as I was packing to head out to a convention with my kid I fell down the stairs. (Just what I always needed!) I destroyed my left shoulder and injured various body parts. Stupidly I still took my kid for half the con after going to the ER. I know, I'm not as bright as I look sometimes. But we'll also call this a blessing in disguise.

At that stage a friend who'd been watching me struggle took me to see someone she called her chiropractor. (Dr. Joan is a chiropractor. She also does a lot of other things and has a lot of training as you'll see.)  She paid for my first visit as incentive because I was so resistant to seeing yet another practitioner who just couldn't help me. Joan made me fill out a very extensive questionaire that asked about everything from sleep patterns to bowl movements to food allergies to mood fluctuations. I think it's a couple hundred questions actually and quite daunting.

Dr. Joan talked to me for a long time (her first session is 1.5 HOURS!). She said she didn't think I was bi-polar and she did think she could help me. Eventually put me on the table where she made me move my body in various ways which I now know to be Applied Kiniesology and did my first NAET treatment. She sent me home with some supplements and instructions for rest, food, and the idea that there was help for me. I felt immediately better. (If you see doctors for your pain or chronic stuff that statement will probably shock you. I know I was stunned that someone in the medical field could actually make me feel better.)

I saw her a lot after that. The more I trusted that she could help me, the more I told her, and the more we talked about. We talked about everything from my dreams (related to kidney function!) to bowels and detox, mood, relationships, work, family, home, kid, my dreams and aspirations. Everything.  We tracked my food, my mood, my sleep, exercise, supplements... all kinds of stuff and different times to make connections and create understanding. She gave me things to read, exercises to do, things to think about and encouraged me to go slow and forgive myself when I messed up.

I tear up thinking about it. Finally having a practitioner who really got that I'm not crazy, that things can change and that compassion is a critical part of healing. Compassion, y'all! It was like being granted a gift from the gods.

She made me aware that my symptoms were a complex set of interactions about hormones, organ function and what I believed. She introduced me to ideas about how people get sick and how they get well and what's needed to do that. She partnered with me about problem solving everything in my life.

There's a lot that's happened at Dr. Joan's office over the last few years, some of it you wouldn't believe. But the result is this: nutrition is more important than almost anything else in terms of baseline mental health. Exercise is right up there and so is sleep and sunlight. And compassion.  I can control how I feel.

I learned that my body was not making certain things - like DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) so my body was anxious and couldn't be happy. So I had to take it directly. When I did it changed everything. Literally changed my attitude. I would take DLPA and about 45 minutes late (we clocked it) I would start to laugh. I would literally go from sadness and anxiety to laughter and joy. So I took a lot of them. For a long time.

There are several things I found I need to take all the time: really good fish oil, minerals, iron especially, and various b vitamins. And it changes. Sometimes something goes wacky or I eat the wrong thing and I need a different supplement or need to do a detox of some kind. Sometimes we get to a new level of healing and I need less or different supplements.

Dr. Joan taught me that my body will heal the vast majority of things that happen in my body if I listen to it and get some help to uncover the messages. She's amazing. I still see her as often as I need to. But instead of seeing her twice a week it's more like every couple of months or so to make sure I'm still on track and to fine tune supplements and such. She taught me what to look for, what's normal and what's not. Because I grew up with a mom who was sick all the time, I didn't know what was normal and still sometimes forget or have no reference.

In 2012 we reached a plateau and, after much urging from her, I went to see and MD who prescribed me thyroid meds (Armour to be precise). It was quite a battle because my thyroid numbers aren't outside the test range, but they are outside the functional range (which is a whole thing in itself). It was quite scary given my history with MDs. But I found one after only 1 mis-fire and I've been on it ever since. It's changed my life - again.

It put me over the edge into being able to work a lot more. Within a couple of weeks I could work about 40 hours a week in a way that I haven't been able to in something like 8 or 10 years.

The other thing that's happened is that I can now exercise regularly. It's been a gradual process. When I first started seeing the MD she said I had to exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes and I told her that I would try. But truth? I didn't think it was possible. And I tried and would do a few days or a couple of weeks and fall off the wagon.  It's been about a year, almost exactly and what I've found is that now, this week, I swam 3 days for 45 minutes and but was some kind of active every day - I actually left the house. I got up, ate, took a shower, got dressed and - at some point - left the house.

For most people that doesn't seem like a big deal, but remember when I was sick? I was leaving the house maybe 2 days a week. Maybe.  I would often go several days without direct sunlight.  What it comes down to is that I did a whole lot of work and I didn't give in and I didn't give up and I didn't let people tell me about my body when I knew better.

I realize that for years I was really defensive about my body stuff and I sometimes still am. But I've worked for my health. I've worked hard for it.
dryadgrl: (love)
I'm creating an entry that willbe updated (maybe a lot) about the individual herbs I'm working with. I'm guessing I'll also have them by herb for things that are important. But I find myself mentioning this or that herb so I might as well have them all together.

Astralagus - great herb- take for long term immune system support. Mild, lovely. Can put the root in stews, take the shredded or powdered herb in tea or medicinal honeys.

Black pepper -may increase the gut motility as well as the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. It has also been found that piperine can increase absorption of selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, as well as other nutrients from food. Antiseptic for tooth decay and gum swelling.

Calendula for skin stuff it's brilliantly calming. If taken as a tea with chamomile it's very powerfully for relaxation, but don't taken combined for more than a week.
Chamomile supports rest and clarity and relaxation, good for upset tummies. Gentle
Cinnamon is great for digestion, to move energy and to release heat in the body.
Clove potent, can burn your skin, numb your mouth, used internally can increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach, very warming.

Echinacea Stimulates the immune system. Short term only! It will stimulate immune system if there is something to stimulate, but can over tax weak immune systems. Over used.
Eleuthero (siberian ginseng) adaptogen - using for help with thyroid stuff. Evens out hormones and can help raise or lower levels depending on what's needed. Tinctures are fine, but they contain alcohol which can change the hormone levels as well. So caution there. But in pills, teas and capsules you get rid of that.

Elderberries are great for head colds. The perfect cure, if you will. Taken in tea or syrup.
Elderflowers are cooling which is great for the flu, it brings the heat down and for immune support

Ginger Anti-nasueau, flatulence, and helps with poor digestion. Immune system tonic. Warming.

Kava creates vivid dreams, first night/time of taking it (as a tincture) is very relaxing. Taking repeatedly seems to be too much for me and produces weird symptoms. Use sparingly.

Oatstraw nutrative nervine, helps to restore nerves (for anxiety) and a very weak sleep aid. Also good for depression.
Oregano - anti microbal, anti bacterial, parasiticide, very very strong as an essential oil can burn off skin tags, effective internally an externally but be careful, it can burn you. strong  disinfectant, stimulate the immune system, some places say it is good topically as an insecticide against mosquitos. (http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82444:origanum-compactum&catid=829:o)

Lemon balm -
Marshmellow Demulscent (good for making things wet), good for tummy cramps, acid reflux

Mint (of all kinds)Digestive aid, both hot and cooling
Nettles has trace minerals and other minerals, helps with iron uptake, allergies, reproductive health tonic, immune system support. Riyana recommends taking this every day.

Red raspberry leaf Great for when hormones get out of balance - PMS, menopause, etc. Helps tone and strengthen uterus. Pick the leaves in early spring for best potency.
Rose hips are great for vitamin C. The vitamin C is very available for absorption in the body
Rosemary - astringent

Skull cap restful, it's like putting a hat on my head, it keeps my thoughts from swirling around in the universe; I think it helps me relax.
St. John's Wort Elevates mood. Contra-indicated with anti-depressants.

Yarrow flowerGreat for cold and flu, remove heat without heating up first, support women's reproductive health
dryadgrl: (love)
For the first time, maybe in my life, I did an exercise in a workshop with a group and we got similar results to everyone else.

Whoa. That's huge for me.

I'm feeling pretty confronted by that idea. It was pointed out that we are being trained to think a specific way and I guess that's working. But the idea of losing or sublimating my creativity is ... really uncomfortable.

I mean I guess it's possible that I'm learning a new skill of following directions or ... something. And I will acknowledge that I tried to push towards the sexy and the passion and what the client in the situation wanted, but I folded to the will of what folks wanted.

I struggle with the team player stuff. I want the group to do well put I want to call them and myself to a higher way of being and doing. And that is often resisted because it's a bit more work. The results are almost always extraordinarily better. And that's important to me. To be the best, to strive to create optimum change in a loving container. And doing what, and only what, the instructions call for is rarely enough to be extraordinary.

I think of myself that way. And I look for that in others.

My friends are amazing people. They are often at the top of what they are doing or the org we are working with or the in crowd of the social scene. Not in crowd like cheerleaders, but the doers and movers and shakers.

I feel met by that.

It's funny because in sports in elementary school I was chosen last for sports (the classic methaophor for various things) and I just knew it wasn't my thing and moved on. With some pain, yeah because rejection hurts. But I wasn't the kid who dwelt in that. I danced instead (and got trophies for that). I was smart instead. And smart in really out of the box ways.

Today in the Inner Circle when we were choosing for a group by the time I stood up, I was being asked by 3 groups to join them. That felt really good like people are acknowleding my beingness - something I need right now as I process all this stuff and grow. And that's valued, in a way. But in the small group about "marketing" we made a traditional choice of asking the person with the advertising experience to lead the group.

And I didn't speak up.

She made traditional choices that I was fine, but not excited about.

And I didn't speak up.

The exercise was to write a marketing plan for a client. The thing that lit the client on fire was the pulsating yoni idea and I think we could have the motorcycling riding and aliveness. We did not think enough about the women she wanted to reach. I'm sad about that. Because in the end, the idea I had was the only originally presented idea in the room when I spoke it, but it was such a small part of our presentation. I did speak it. But and people in the room reacted.

I think that's my lesson. That the big passion is what draws people in. And I think one of the places I play small is not saying all the things. I don't talk about magic out right because I am afraid I won't be taken seriously in the money bit. It'll turn into just another bimbo talking about the "law of attraction" that doesn't land or create actual change.

Ideas are great, but the key to coaching, the key to money is getting people into action toward love.

It makes me realize that I'm committed to creating change. Not exactly surprising, but every once in a while I doubt my... self. My ability to actually create change. It might just be that I don't see my own brilliance. So it's time to seek evidence that I create actual change.

Another noticing is that I noticing is that I threw in my idea at the last minute even though we didn't really talk about it. I mean we did.

I typcially choose the freak group. And I passed this time. And the group didn't win.

1. I am having the experience of being asked a lot today. I felt really left out yesterday because I had to come in late. But three of the four groups were clamoring for me before I could even get out of my seat for the group exercise today.  And that's not what was happening in the room.
2. I have been asked by several folks to be in mastermind groups. I'm feeling like... my value is being seen. I don't know why I'm so surprised by that, but I am. I keep coming back to that.
Why is it that when I'm in groups I feel wanted and then I walk away and I just do what I do and don't know or get that anyone will want to do my programs or value my work ...
What the hell?
dryadgrl: (love)
I have been reading Adrenal Fatigue the 21st Century syndrome and it talks about food and what to eat. It's very similar to what my naturopath says to do. But it puts it in much more clear terms. Eating sugar and white flour robs my body of other nutrients in order to digest it.  So last night I was able to use that to not eat birthday cake!

I want to never eat it, but it's challenging to do that for a number of reasons. But when there's more clarity it's so much easier! So I could this as a win!
dryadgrl: (love)
Recently my son was feeling lonely (he's 15 now and in college part time so totally understandable). So we talked and I encouraged him to invite friends over. He asked one of his female classmates over and she said no because she'd just been through a bad break up. But he felt successful because he'd asked someone. (Great job!)
I looked at him and giggled. I couldn't help it. I nearly broke out in hysterical laughter. He of course asked me why and I said, "You do know she thinks you asked her on a date, don't you?"
He says, "Oh...." (Long pause.) (Longer pause.) "Huh?"
"Yeah, she thinks you want to go on a date with her."
"Weird." He says.
As much as I want and encourage my son to be sex and body positive some days having a late bloomer kid is more entertaining than internet cat videos.
dryadgrl: (love)
<a href="http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/orgasm-gap-real-reason-women-get-less-often-men-and-how-fix-it?page=0%2C2&paging=off">The Orgasm Gap</a> I hadn't thought about this, but once I did it makes a lot of sense.

I wrote this in response to a parenting list.
My son is 15 and he's not really dating yet. But he's super conscious of gender and he's just all round a nice kid. He gets things other kids don't get about gender, queerness and so on because he's spent time with me and I talk about this stuff (and I'm queer and do things like date people of all genders openly). It seems in some ways less important to talk to him about it as it is to talk about it in front of him and be in integrity about my stuff.
That seems to lead him to talk to me when he's ready. I send him links in email for him to read and have lots of books around and stuff. And then I do what I do. I don't have secrets, but I do have privacy. I let him know who I'm having sex with and, when he asks, how my relationships are. I try not to be shy about talking about what's important to me in front of him.
Recently I was meeting with folks about doing an unconference on open/all relationships and potentially making it all ages. I insisted on a 13-18 path and talked about young people really needing space to talk to each other and adults about this stuff in an open, honest, way. People engaged in a lively discussion and forgot my son was even there until he spoke up. Then some were a little awkward, but my kid got a lot out of it. He said he thinks what I'm proposing is important and valuable and that he would be good with having conversations with teens as well as adults which surprised me a little (he's an introvert, and I'm not).
But it made it clear to me that the work I've been doing is important. Even if he doesn't always want to talk to me, he does listen and my attitudes seem to be carrying over to his actual behavior which I'm thrilled by.
dryadgrl: (love)
I have:
bought InfusionSoft
Configured it
Used it to reach nearly 800 people
taught a class and schedule another
hire 2 marketing people
hire a bookkeeper
hire a new assistant
clarify my marketing funnel
put together packages
clarify my package
create 2 new reports
create new opt in pages
write 2 new articles
create a vision board and vision statement
add 10 pages to my workbook
take 2 classes
double my client load !

I gave myself 60 days to double my client load and I did it in 35. And I'm hoping to tripe it by 60.
dryadgrl: (love)
I just realized that I'm so much more attracted to butch and trans-masculine people now than I have been in a long time. I used to be very attracted in that direction. But I got sick and it went away. And the only people I dated were the ones that asked me. This fall that has stopped. 

I feel better now.
dryadgrl: (love)
I have mixed emotions about guns, but a lot of clarity about gun violence. I live in a city with a lot of it and often think about violence including my own safety and that of my son. And I'm really angry and exhausted by the rhetoric people are shouting at each other the last couple of days. So I've been doing some research about the connections between guns and homicide.

There are more gun owners and gun homicide in the US than anywhere else in the world by the numbers (which are all over FB right now). Comparing total deaths of the US and the UK or Finland or Switzerland or even Isreal is crap - they all have tiny populations compared to the US so that numbers don't mean anything - and the certainly don't inherently mean that the US is the most violent country in the world. Or do they? We don't know by those numbers.

So I started looking at things like gun ownership per capita and other ways of equalizing the statistics. Some one else thought of the same thing....

"Poverty and failing institutions appear to be much better predictors of homicide than gun ownership. Murder rates are higher in neighborhoods of America that are poorer and less educated, regardless of gun culture..." does a lot of looking at the kinds of statistics I was looking for.

There is also the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) statistics that is sited in the List of Countries by Intentional Homicide Rate List which shows just that a list of countries by intentional homicide rates per 100,000. But it coems with a disclaimer...

"The reliability of underlying national murder rate data may vary.[1] The legal definition of "intentional homicide" differs among countries. Intentional homicide may or may not include infanticide, assisted suicide or euthanasia. Intentional homicide demographics are affected by changes in trauma care, leading to changed lethality of violent assaults, so the intentional homicide rate may not necessarily indicate the overall level of societal violence.[2] They may also be underreported for political reasons.[3][4] Another problem for the comparability of the following figures is that some data may include attempts. In general the values in these lists should not include attempts except when mentioned otherwise."

In other words they don't really know. In fact that's what I came up against a lot in this research. Most suggestions were to narrow the data to first world countries so that the reproting could be more accurate and maybe I will at some stage look for more. But I just wanted to say that the causes or correlations are not as clear as many make them seem, especially in places like FaceBok where you get a picture or a short blurb in which to commnicate something complex. 

The Hobbit

Dec. 15th, 2012 11:47 am
dryadgrl: (love)
"Good whimsy to orc ratio." said Celeste.

It's true. The movie was a lot of fun. I actually found their to be a lot of battling, but that could be because it was 2am and I was tired. The movie is really pretty and we have all our favorite cast members. You even get to see Frodo at the very beginning. It's awesome.

I loved the opening with the dwarves showing up. We also recognized the vampire guy from the English version of Being Human and that was fun.

If you liked the treatment that Peter Jackson gave the Lord of the Rings movies, you'll dig the Hobbit.

Really my favorite thing was going to the opening and seeing all the geeks dressed in their best finery. Hobbits costumes of course, but also dwarves and, my favorite, a dragon with little red wings.

What I did not realize is that this is a story in two parts. That made me sad (also apparently not paying attention).

I think we'll go to the opening of the next one. But who wants to wait - not me!
dryadgrl: (love)
I went to see "Sweet Honey in the Rock" last night at the paramount with some friends. They always make me have a spiritual experience, sometimes even just listening to them on YouTube.

I found myself up in the middle of the night dealing with detox symptoms from the pain medication I've been on due to the root canal that went awry and then fixed on Friday. I this minor realization that I feel like I never get enough play and so resist doing work.

Well at least I often resist doing work I don't want to do like housework or sometimes bookkeeping, stuff like that. I had a ex who taught me about giving myself space until I was ready to work. I've used that theory for a long time and tried to prioritize self care over everything. In some ways it has worked miraculously well. I started doing a lot more self care and when I feel bad I head towards self care.

But after starting thyroid meds I have more energy and I am doing more things. I feel some days like I'm doing a lot more things. But it hasn't been feeling like enough. At the concert in my crying inspiration I came back to why I got into doing work around money - that money often is a substitute for enough. And I am enough just as I am.

On the heels of that things turned over and I had this realization that I"m starting to dive into: that I never really had a childhood and therefore I never feel like there's been enough play and I'm ready to settle down and work.

I think some of that is true. Certainly the beginning of that is true. My childhood was difficult and scary in a bunch of non-standard ways.

But I also sometimes feel so paralyzed by spending money or not spending money or time on "frivilous" things that I don't go out and spend the time and money that I need to to really play most of the time. It's kinda dumb. And has been happening a lot more since the thyroid meds. I mean I set aside the time, but I'm constantly afraid that the time should be going to something "useful." And so instead of going out for that walk or organizing meal planning, I'm on the computer answering emails and setting up social media. I mean I need more work and I need to clean the house and I need to clean the car and I'm behind on curriculum and on this and that and the other thing.... But I need the recreational time to recuperate and have the focus to do the hard things. Otherwise that social media time turns into cruising FaceBook and reposting cute kitten photos that really no one cares about - not even me.

And then I read my freewill astrology horoscope today:

"One of my spiritual teachers once told me that a good spiritual teacher makes an effort not to seem too perfect. She said some teachers even cultivate odd quirks and harmless failings on purpose. Why? To get the best learning experience, students must be discouraged from over-idealizing the wise advisors they look up to. It's crucial they understand that achieving utter purity is impossible and unrealistic. Being perceived as an infallible expert is dangerous for teachers, too; it makes them prone to egotistical grandiosity. I bring this up, Virgo, because it's an excellent time to reduce the likelihood that you'll be seduced by the illusion of perfection.

"Assume that your drive to experience pleasure isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth, but is in fact essential to it. Proceed on the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you every day."

Ok fine. I will seek joy again. I do like joy and all. But I'm warning you, I still need to do the dishes! Uh, someday.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I haven't been doing my money practices and having space this weekend I'm getting back to them and that feels good. My friends are inspired by my work and I am inspired by them. But my inspiration isn't quite moving me to action. It's moving me to self care, but I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of my work.

I have taken on a lot recently in some ways both in terms of my work and my healing and self care. I started seeing western docs and they want me to do various things. I am having a cervical biopsy on Tuesday. I haven't been talking about it because I don't know what to do and there's not much info yet. But it is a result of stepping into my commitment to be completely well.

I have to have a root canal and potentially 2 crowns (but at least one). All told the dental stuff is about $3k. Most of it is just ... I have no idea where that would come from. So I have to take steps based on faith in many ways. And that's hard.

I am starting to recognize that taking steps based on faith is not just hard for me, it is a major challenge in having faith or feeling connected to divinity for all the people I have ever to talked about faith. So I finally feel like I'm in good company. I feel some relief in not being entirely alone.

In the space that I've been having because of the holidays, I am really seeing how space serves me and I'm excitedly anticipating more retreat time after the winter holiday. I really got today that my financial practice is part of my spiritual practice. That money is part of life, not separate from it. My relationship with money is sacred, as is my relationship with the earth. And the more I am in respect and reverence, the more I am with myself and my feelings, the more I can open to surrendering to the moment and to divinity. Being in this moment and only in this moment is ecstasy.

I teach about money because it's been a long and painful path and I've learned a lot; I teach about money because it's been an ecstatic path that has lead to me recognize that embracing the fullness of money is embracing the fullness of life. Any place that I feel separate is a place to look for healing. Not to force or change or shame, but to bring to awareness so that in the holding of that place, it opens and relaxes and shows me the lesson and the paths to integration and fullness.

It's when I push parts of myself away or shun them that I feel brittle, as though I might break. When I open to awareness I have increased capacity for surrender and being present. Being present leads me to feeling loved and from that place so many things completely fall away.
dryadgrl: (Default)
What we ended up doing was:

3 oz of beeswax
16 oz shea butter
10 oz liquid oil grape seed, jojoba, or sweet almond oily
6ml of fragrance oil.

This recipe involves melting the solid butters and adding the oil later. Then the freezing and whipping. I think the fragrance oil was a little much. I mean it's fine and beautiful, but I think I'd like a little less.

So the recipe I'm going to try is

6oz cocoa butter
16oz avocado butter
8oz calendula herbal oil in a grapeseed oil base.
3ml of fragrance oil
2Tbl spoon Dry Flo

I think I'll split the batch and try one neroli and one vanilla and see how it goes. Or maybe I'll make a Rose vanilla one.
dryadgrl: (Default)
So I've been looking at this recipe for awhile: http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/lotion/mango-avocado-balmy-salve/

6 oz. Cocoa Butter
7 oz. Avocado Butter
7 oz. Mango Butter
3 oz. Jojoba Oil
2 oz. Tamanu Oil
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Powder
3 grams of Essential oil: Carrot Seed, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Geranium , Hungarian Lavender

Other great skin-loving essential oils that would be incredible in this recipe too: Helischyrum, Frankincense, Jasmine, Rose, Neroli

I don't use jojoba oil because I don't like it. I tend to use either sweet almond oil or herbal oil of calendula in grapeseed oil. In part because calendula is amazing and partly because grapeseed oil is edible and anything going on my skin is going *in* my skin and should get at least similar considerations.

But I want something that is more of a body butter. A variation on the last one I made, since it goes so fast. Avocado butter has a really thick surprisingly creamy consistently.

That is also about 4 cups of body butter or 8 4 oz containers, so I need to decide how much I want to make at a time. Cocoa butter is really hard like beeswax, mango butter is grainy until melted and is quite greasy and avocado butter is quite creamy. The tapioca powder I have is called Dry Flo from brambleberry.com and I haven't tried it yet. So this should be interesting. I'll let you know what i come up with!

I'm also in process with a root beer lip balm - my son loves the one he has and so I'm going to try to replicate it in a non-petroleum form using the honey lip balm I made previously.

Chick weed

Nov. 4th, 2012 11:13 am
dryadgrl: (Default)
"Combine chickweed with motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) and cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris) tinctures in equal parts. These three plants together are an ancient Chinese remedy for many "women's problems.""

From: http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/May08/healingwise.htm

I'm hearing a lot about motherwort recently, especially for hormone and menopausal stuff.


dryadgrl: (Default)

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