“You need chaos in your soul”

What was before the beginning? We keep asking this question and with questions, we are capable to learn more and to teach what we learn.

Creation comes from destruction, which is the essence of evolution.   

 

People are very afraid of chaos, sometimes even just the word itself although we need to realize that we need to be grateful for any chaos that appears in our lives.

 

The first feeling that runs through us, when we think of chaos, is a dark one: a feeling of a void, of darkness, of disorder and sometimes of war. The bible, by the way, used this word a few times – but to explain a process, which chaos really is.

 

In Greek mythology, chaos is the source of all that exists, before the first gods were created and in the Torah, you can see the same idea as in the Genesis book. According to Greek mythology, it also said that chaos was the energy that created the four nature element: fire, water, earth and air. 

 

Chaos is unpredictable; it can't be foreseen or be planned for, which makes sense of why people get scared when speaking this word. But chaos is a kind of a 'kick-start' to a bigger source of energy, of the Universe and even the multi-verse. The universe grew and grows in an infinite flow, which means that the universe needs the chaos to assist with the growth.

 

Chaos is always on the move, so we can learn from chaos its dynamics and how to apply this to our daily lives. Life is unpredictable and always changing and on the move (flow). We do not need to chaos for it is a critical part of our live force and it is within each and every one of us: Our core and essence.

 

Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions—a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Surprised? Don't be. The butterfly is one of the symbols of life and death or in other words – transformation and rebirth.

 

So in spite of what society thinks of chaos (a complete disorder) we learn, once again, that we need to understand better and to search for the truth ourselves. 

 

Chaos is not an end; it's a beginning.

 

Often as I have helped create in the physical world – projects and programs – I have created chaos at the beginning. Since the universe always creates out of chaos I decided long ago to borrow the same tool. This is especially helpful when what you have to work with has problems or is unclear. Rather than try to correct old problems… stir the pot and see what comes forth. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but I have found it works quite well. Contrary medicine maybe – but effective medicine none the less.

 

One reason this chaos approach works is that things partially done or with some issues already have some negative energy. Chaos helps clear that negativity. It can also create a common bond between others involved rather than animosity, which may exist from past mistakes or false starts. Together the chaos is faced and a way to use this powerful energy is found.

 

Whether you learn to accept chaos when it appears and work through it or create some of your own chaos and use the power of its’ creative force – it is better to learn to be a friend of chaos rather than an enemy fearing it.Chaos

Using Nature to Heal Yourself

Nature Heal

Nature has always been a primary place of healing for all creatures – including and especially humans. Our relative creatures can easily and effectively use the power of nature to heal themselves because they have no mental blocks or doubts. And they are closely connected, with most of them living in nature. We humans need to release some fears and doubts before we can effectively tsp into the Earth Mother’s healing energy. Nothing new in this – many speak about it. What is new, perhaps, is the intensity of this energy and the need we now have of it.

When we share energy, healing and love together we often use nature. We speak of our favorite spots in nature and journey to them together. Both of our ‘safe places’ [another tool we will develop further in the future] are in the midst of natural settings. And our animal guides – eagle and wolf – who now work with us as one, take us to natural places throughout any journeying we may do. None of this is coincidence of course as anyone spiritually growing finds more and more deep exposure to nature a necessity. Those who do not accept this lose a large dose of personal medicine they could develop.

We humans have become more and more isolated from nature, accepting pills and surgeries in place of natural healing. And going to mental care practitioners rather than immersing ourselves in the natural world. The result is systems – mind, body, spirit, emotions, sexuality and dreams – totally out of balance. Nature holds cures for all these imbalances. And the Earth Mother is offering all She can to use right now. So we will make all the changes we can in our relationships with her.

Jim has, over the years, seen amazing healing and growth events supported by nature. He has watched the energy of the natural world enter into someone or some creature who is ill and be used to make dramatic positive changes. Sharon, in the past 18 months, has seen and felt changes in herself as she and Jim connect that are supported and enhanced by the natural world. Together they have asked Father Sky and Mother Earth to assist them as Eaglewolf and have been given the energy and knowledge needed for whatever they are working on.

Those who think because some of the ‘medicine’ of the natural world is energetic in nature that it is not effective have lost touch with what healing is all about. It is chemical substances used for cures that are unnatural – things from the Earth Mother that are natural. These, too, can be balanced. Using a man made medicine to ease pain is sometimes needed, as long as other means are used to get to the causes. We have spoken of this before. And the ways we can use the natural world for healing and growth go way beyond the body.

Just being in nature begins to provide balance. In the past we humans spent 6 times the amount of time in nature then they now do. So making conscious efforts to add this time helps bring balance and harmony to our entire being. Even science has shown this to be true.

Spiritually we have said how much we rely on nature. We give thanks all the time for our strong connection to it. We welcome Father Sky and Mother Earth into us as we connect. Each time we do we become less tired, more energetic, more focused and more connected as one. Powerful medicine. And we have become aware of teachings in all the elements of self we explore – mind, body, spirit, emotions, sexuality and dreams – when we explore them in nature. Try it – not once, but for a period of time – and see what comes to you. Whether it is letting your brain relax, your emotions come forth or sexually energy, Kundalini, flow through you – it is yours to tap and use. And save for when you need it as well.

Our biggest disconnect as a species now is with the Earth Mother and our natural world. So it makes sense to go to it for the tools we need to repair this. And to see – truly see – what we must repair.

Spiritually we have found we can soar together and learn so much more about ourselves through nature. Our spirits are connected to the natural world almost as they are to each other. We hold powerful mirrors in front of each other and we also allow and welcome nature holding powerful mirrors in front of us together.

Stop reading now and consider going outside. 🙂

~ Eaglewolf

Sharon and Jim

The Time for Visions is Now

Visions SoaringMany spiritual friends I know are wondering why their visions are now surfacing in their awareness. And the answer that keeps coming to me is that now is the time for visions to be realized. Especially visions which will help us create a healthier, saner world. And leave a legacy to be proud of you the future. Look around us friends. Do you not see so many systems and processes collapsing or at least damaged? Look at what we have done to the environment with our greed and the weather with our human impacts on climate change. If the visions do not come forth now to be manifested – when? What are we waiting for?

Visions are hard work. Difficult to carry, as I can speak to, and even more difficult to bring into reality. Even after you know what the vision is calling you to do and you understand the many levels of what you have seen. A first – huge – step in bringing forth your vision is to ask for help. You have to recoginize you can't do it all yourself. Begin to gather those around you who see the value in your vision and are willing to work with you. And then make the vision theirs as well. Give it away so you may keep it. Sounds easy, but for some it is not. Some feel they own their vision and must be the guardian and parent of it. When, in reality, those who have had a vision are keepers of that vision, meant to share it and enlist all who are willing to create from the soul of the vision.

The vision I had for Sanctuaries of the Earth Mother came to me about fifteen years ago. And was forgotten until four years ago. Then it sat in my mind and heart as I waited for some clarity around it. When I thought I understood what I had seen on the mountain so many years ago, I wrote a book which included the journey of this vision. From there my wife and I began discussing it and a friend got involved. We three came together around my books and the vision and spent a year and a half refining, debating, arguing, agreeing, dismissing and trusting in the vision of Sanctuaries. The, when time was again right, others began to appear. And my wife and I moved to yet another state – Colorado – where the vision sent us. Now we are a council circle of 13 from around the world and several thousand supporters. As I said – the time for visions is now.

Now our circle faces its' fears and doubts and moves ahead with giant strides rather than meek footsteps. Ready to backstep when needed and leap obstacles when needed a well. What comes next for this vision? Land, people, programs, legacy, teaching, learning, gathering, ceremonies – all is becoming clearer each day. And the trust of the circle in the process makes that clarity burn like an Earth bound star. My vision? No more. I am honored to have been the one given the task of carrying it and understanding it and sharing it now that the time is right. Now it is the vision of any and all in the circle who see its' merit. Beautiful!

As I watch this unfold and work with my brother and sisters on the specifics of building on the vision, I see other members of the circle having visions about the vision. One sees the building we need to build to house the programs. Another sees the documentary we will create. Another envisions the land we are seeking. And so on – around the circle. Each with a role, each needed for the vision to be complete. Just as a circle with spokes goes lopsided if one of those spokes is missing, so the vision would be damaged if one of the spokes was broken or missing. Not always easy, but so necessary, that all play their role and understand all roles are equal in a circle.

In our group forming around the vision of Sanctuaries, some have not remained as spokes in the wheel. Some were not ready for the spiritual commitment needed and had to leave. Others still had need of too much healing of their own yet to be able to avoid ego and fear – and so had to leave. Others wished to be involved only for their own benefit and so their energy was toxic to the group – and so also moved on. This was part of my vision – all were welcomed who came in good heart and pure energy. And that Creator would not allow those with wrong intent or those lacking in spiritual grounding to stay. And the Earth Mother would usher those out who would not be strong spokes in the wheel. I believe this is for all spiritual visions now growing like flowers in a spring meadow. Certainly those I am involved with and those I know of through the circles manifesting them.

Whether you are carrying a vision or have been told of another's vision, be certain now is the time. Be a spoke if you are ready. Know there will be challenges. Conditions and people walking in darkness will get in the way. And make you question yourself or the mission. The stronger the circle – the sturdier the spokes – the less effect these negative energies will have. Know, like in out Sanctuaries non-profit effort, many will come but only some will stay. Even as I am now excited by the 13 from around the world serving as spokes on the wheel with me, I also know some may move on. That is always okay. Others appear and the wheel roles forward. As long as the vision is strong and positive. It must be so. For the time for visions is now.

 

Men and Women-Not As Different As We Thought

Men and women. This topic follows the human race even since the human race has been created and notice that our animal friends don't share this issue. And in some places and among a lot of people, this topic has turned into a problem and a wall that separates us from each other and brings harm and damage only to ourselves.

At these moments of changes, it is important to look at the whole picture by putting a mirror in front of us.

"Empower the women!", "We are better because we are men!" – So much energy has been put into these words that have nothing behind them anyway. It is in our power of choice to change this separation and bring the women and the men in a place of harmony and honor towards themselves and towards each other.

What are the differences between a man and a woman?

So there are the physical body parts, the ton of voices and of course pregnancy.

The reason I used the word "Pregnancy" and not the words "The ability to create life" is the point behind my point of view on this topic.

We know how life are been created. The ability to create life can't happen without a man's sperm as it can't happen without a woman's egg. So the creation of life is depended on the two sides of this specific circle.

Now, about pregnancy: Yes, this isn't easy to carry a child (or perhaps more) inside of us, the women and yes, the men will never understand the hormones, the back pains, the nausea and some sleepless nights, but this is not a problem, either. The men are there not to stand aside and watch us in pain emotionally, physically and mentally but they are next to you to hold you, to be there for you, to comfort you, to nurse you and to be whatever you need as you're not in the position to provide yourselves whatever you need. This is the two halves of this one circle of love between the men and the women.

By the way, both men and women share them same hormones but on different level… this is was just to show you that even physically we complete each other.

I don't believe that we enter to a world that the women are stronger than men or men are stronger than women, but I do believe that this is the time to change this to a beautiful equal circle.

We complete each other; we need each other not just to our own roads but to the next generations.

 

Rainbow Eagle.

Spirit Healing Goes Deep

1Just like so many components of our modern societies that are undergoing change in these days of turmoil, how we look to heal ourselves is a sea of change for many. As masses of people are awakening to the fact that science and modern medicine do not hold all the cards to health, some of the old ways of healing are resurfacing. And the doctors many of us now seek for this healing do not wear white coats and carry a prescription pad. So why is this road opening to so many now? And who do we seek and how to we go about exploring other alternatives to our healing? This is a huge topic, with many answers from very different people, each based on their experience and life walk. I will begin sharing some of my experience and understanding of a spiritual, nature-based road to healing as I have been gifted by indigenous teachers from many cultures in many parts of our world. And some ways I have combined these healing practices to allow for powerful spirit healing to flow through myself and others.

Spirit healing is??? Many things, my friends. But, at the base of it, it is allowing for the connecting with your personal spirit – your life force, soul…whatever term you chose – in order to begin to effect changes in your mind – body – spirit and emotions as one. Not piecemeal, but as the integrated being that we are. As I have been taught by many; this connection can be achieved through practice and trust in many different ways. But all of my teachers – Native American, Mayan, Australian aborigine, Celtic and Garifuna (African) – have all taught me (and shown me) the most effective way is through the forces of nature.

Notice as I write I speak about being ready for spirit healing – being open to spirit healing – beginning to effect change in ourselves, but you will not hear me say "in order to heal ourselves." This may seem like a subtle difference, but I assure you it is not. Any healing we see in ourselves or others we work with comes directly from Creator – the spiritual essence of the universe. Whatever name we again chose to use is immaterial, the understanding that any true healing comes from the spiritual circle of energy of Creation is important. Once we have this understanding, it opens many doors for us and those who seek our help.

It took me some time to accept this role of being used as a hollow bone (in the Native American tradition) or hollow reed in the Mayan way, but it was worth all the work it took me to get there. Finally accepting we can not 'heal' anyone, but can be wonderful tools of Creator for healing to occur helps negate our often over-sized human egos and allows us to attach no guilt or sense of failure when the healing we hoped for does not occur. Likewise, we can accept a sense of joy when healing does occur by accepting we were valuable tools in the process.

If you are wondering why I feel I can share these thoughts, I understand that. So let me say a little about my walk so you may judge the value, if any, in my words for yourself. Any of you who have read my first two books, White Man, Red Road, Five Colors or Walking With the Earth Mother, will remember what I now share. Feel free – skip ahead!

I was raised on the East Coast of the U.S. in an Italian-American household. The Catholic Church my family's religion of choice. Always a loner and oddball, I never felt that I fit in. And as I reached my teens, I saw the lack of any real spiritual energy in organized religion. We will save this religion theme for a future blog, but, for now, know I walked away from religion by my early twenties and had no idea a spiritual road even existed. At forty, I moved West with my wife and soon indigenous teachers began finding me. For the full story around this, I welcome you to read my books. Over the next ten years I was honored to sit at the feet of many indigenous teachers of various cultures. As time went on my Lakota 'family' adopted me; as did my Mayan 'family'. My Native American teachers gifted my the teachings of the Chanupa – the sacred pipe – and, over time, the title of Chanupa carrier. Also the title of water pourer, as I run purification lodges – sweat lodges to many. My Mayan circle calls me keeper of medicine, having been trained in spirit healing and the use of natural plant and animal 'medicine' to guide this work.

All of this work with amazing teachers began before my own pain-filled, physical and metal assaults on my being. When these occurred, some old programmed belief had me go back to Western medicine practitioners. For long enough to have medicines given me almost kill me and others make me a zombie as I became addicted to them. All of this while the doctors assured me no one could have all the symptoms and illnesses I was experiencing; even as their own tests told them otherwise. This was not out of a lack of compassion I now see, but by the way they have been taught and a fear that there may be more than their understandings in how we deal with disease. Because of this they treat symptoms and consider someone cured when the symptoms cease. Spirit healing works on causes and considers an aspect healed when the issue causing the pain or disease is addressed and released. Symptoms and curing versus causes and healing.

My primary teacher, a beautiful, wise, caring Lakota elder, Two Bears, guided me in the ways of the Chanupa and using prayer for part of the spirit healing work. He also taught me the value of nature's healing gifts and how to use many, especially the feathers and the sounds of the Earth as called forth by the drum, rattle and flute. As I worked with him I also learned from other Native American elders – male and female – from tribes around the Mountain West and West Coast. Each gave me new nature and spirit-based 'medicine' to put into my bag and take out as needed to work on those asking me. My medicine became the knowledge these elders gifted me. As I began pouring lodges I used different herbs and roots during the healing door – the portion of the ceremony set aside for the healing of all.

While working with my Native American teachers, I was also sent to Central America to work with students as I was with a University at this time. There other teachers appeared to me. And so my training in the plants, herbs, grasses and animal medicine of these regions and these people began finding their way into my medicine bag. There I was shown, over the years, how to ask these natural items for their help and then how to activate their energy for healing. How even to bring their medicine into other plants in whatever part of the world I was in.

From the Mayan teachers I was passed over to some Garifuna friends, who taught me the ways and medicine of the people of Africa. Then the Australian medicine and ceremony and on it went. Never realizing my walk and life were different from most, but always thankful for all I learned.

Over the years I began to unconsciously mix the medicine ways of the different people I had learned from, creating spirit healing help for others that matched their needs without even realizing this was occurring. This is the spirit healing work I have found most effective and useful. Being open – the hollow bone again – to Creator using you in whatever ways are needed. It may be ceremony or plant medicine, healing sounds or natural medicine. The 'mix' varies by the need and, by being open to all, the medicine matches itself to the disease. In the core of someone's being the spirit medicine works to prepare the one who needs it for the healing road before them.

As I share how I accumulated my healing training and knowledge I am not attempting to motivate you all to go running around the globe looking for medicine people to train you so you can use these skills. Certainly anyone called can walk this road and, if you are meant to learn the medicine, the teachers will find you, as thy found me. I am nothing special, just a human wishing to understand more about healing as I sought a spiritual path. But now, in these days of change, other ways are appearing. It is these that now hold the power we all need to tap into and share.

As I share these thoughts here I also share other teachings in many electronic places. In these ways we can share together all the ways of living, healing and advancing as people and as a species. In the legends of many cultures we are told that in these days we are to be sharing as the four colors, meaning all the colors of people. We are to come together and openly share all we have learned so we may manifest a healthier life to pass on to the seven generations – all the children who follow us. What no one foresaw was that this sharing would not just happen around the fires of the elders, but that we would have these new tools of technology to share with people around the globe as one. In this way we can each learn from elders as I did without having to trek through jungles or wade through swamps. And begin to apply what we learn, even as we pass the teachings on to others. These are powerful tools that some people set in the old ways can't accept. But I see we must accept all the tools Creator gives us to share with each other. Not that we can't go and sit around the fire if we feel it important. My wife and I travel around the U.S. and Great Britain teaching these medicine ways in circles – and learning the ways of others. But we do not all have to do this. We can still learn the old ways. This is a blessing at many levels. And just another new facet of spirit healing in today's world.

I welcome any comments or thoughts or teachings and hope to see you all around the virtual fires.

August Mountain Sky

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After a hard week, a long week, there was something special about four friends heading to the mountains with little on our minds but hiking, camping, and enjoying our own company. Hectic early morning tasks giving way to shrubs, pines, and rivers. Checking the bright sun sky as we leave home, seeing the gray cloud mass peeking over the summits as a warning of August afternoons.

Driving up into the mountains to be surrounded by nature always seems right. Rising up to nature's level, out of the everyday. Having always been an ocean man, a bay man, a forest and hills man, the mountains are still new to me. A new friend, but a good friend. As my friend I drive to the trailhead with. We talk about what we have done, what we want to do, who we are, but the more we drive, the more we talk mountains and rivers, deer and coyotes.

Heavy skies at the trailhead, packs on our backs, and four miles to camp. We walk together and talk and we walk alone, communicating with each other and ourselves. The pines are short and one-sided. Wind is no stranger here. The clouds that are racing us catch up with us after we climb a half-mile. They carry small rain but big lightning. Camp is at a lake sitting at over 11,000 feet altitude. It's our goal, and we want it. No animals are scurrying, except our dogs, and their links with nature are no longer like their ancestors. Doffing our packs under pines, we head back down to wait it out.

Stopping half way – not wanting to stop – as the others go on, I look for some signs of animals emerging or clouds breaking. I know I am daring the elements, but I can hear the rain and feel the clouds and don't want to leave. A close strike reminds me nature is ready for me, even if I am not ready for nature. I head back down.

Riding out the storm in our two cars, we break before the thunderheads. Climbing up to retrieve our packs is unhappy. We will camp at a site lower down, near the road. The lake would not be permitted on this trip.

Lightning and wind accompany us as we loss several thousand feet retracing our course down the road. These elements give up after a while and decide to stay in the high country. We pull into a campsite along the road and unpack our gear as we tell each other the site isn't as important as the camaraderie with ourselves and nature. Camp is set up under a light rain. A stream gives us water and tree-cover gives us some protection, but they do not allow for views.

Why is there a four foot deep, six foot long fire pit? People all too often overstate their presence in the wild. I wonder what the bears and coyotes think of such a scarring intrusion into their domain. Do they think we are stupid, or just callous? Being tired, soggy, and only somewhat content we begin hiking up a logging road across from camp. Our bounding dogs are still the only wildlife evident. Is it correct having them along? Do they, as animals, have the right to this area as their natural birthright? Their behavior tells me they do. They never chose to be domesticated; that was our decision.

The skies are clearing and as a vista opens before us we stop dead. Mountains, valleys, and the far plains to the east stretch out before us. Please let this be real and not a painted backdrop for a Disney movie. I think we all know it long before anyone says it – we are moving camp.

Our new camp is set and we are talking, joking, and laughing; the dogs romping as the sun leaves us behind. Shadows are stealing across the landscape and the stars are waking up. Where did they all come from? Are most of them in from out of town for the weekend? Can we see the Milky Way from both sides of the planet? The meteorite storm begins with streakers every few minutes. Heavy lightning slashes the sky off in the East. Lights from four cities begin to wink in the distance. Staring, suddenly quiet, all looking up, we just watch. Even the dogs seem impressed. Coyotes begin to howl nearby, and two dogs howl back, the third just shakes. Our group tight together, the scene and sounds around us, the vista in the distance, and the cosmic explosion in the skies seem to melt and flow together. We thought Mother Nature had taken away the lake when she was really giving us the universe.

Curing versus Healing

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Through personal experience over many years with myself and many others I now see we can never truly heal from our diseases with medical treatments that focus on the symptoms we suffer alone. Healing requires much more work on the patients part – identifying and addressing the causes. This truth was understood by our ancestors, before too many 'easy' options were created by Western medicine.


Western medicine has evolved to a point now that, in most cases, a patient without pain is considered 'cured'. If cured means no pain, this belief is true. Yet the medicines given and invasive treatments used may well stop the pain, but at the cost of submerging the true causes of these symptoms. Does this work? That depends on your definition. For a period of time it may work. The pain can be forgotten and the person function. But the symptoms appear again, sometimes in different ways, in everyone I have worked with as a healing guide. Or they continue to eat away at the mind, body, spirit and emotions of the patient. To me this makes eliminating the symptoms a cure sometimes helpful to allow the patient to work on the deeper, more systemic causes of the disease.

I will share a personal part of my life journey to demonstrate what I am speaking about and share some of what I have learned. Please, take whatever you need from this and leave the rest behind.

Some 25 years ago I left organized religion and stepped onto a spiritual road. This allowed me to begin to learn from teachers from around the globe. Many of these began teaching me the ways we can heal our whole being. They taught me that without the mind, body, spirit and emotions all being in balance we cannot walk as a healthy being. I was taught the difference between curing and healing as I shared above. And I was taught natural plants and animal products to cure – ease pain. Slowly I was also taught how to guide people in their personal healing journey. How to use nature, not hospitals as the healing environment. To continue natural remedies whenever possible to keep the pain manageable during the process. As I learned these things over the years I was given the name medicine person and keeper of medicine and other titles by my teachers. These are only words, what I was really given was understanding of the healing journey we all take throughout our lives.

Then I became very ill about eight years ago. I could not sleep and had extreme sinus and head pain. My wife, who was a strong believer in Western medicine, suggested a doctor so I could deal with the pain. Being in agony, and having not walked with my spiritual teachers for several years, I agreed. My blood pressure was very high and I began having chest pain. Tests were run and the pain increased. I wanted someone to take the pain away. To make it stop. In other words, in my suffering, I wanted someone to do the work for me. This is another thing that much Western medicine follows – the doctor, in curing you, does all the work. Healing, again, requires personal commitment and work. But I wanted relief, so I took the Xanax the doctor suggested – just to help me sleep.

Later I learned Xanax was an extremely potent, potentially addictive drug used primarily for depression. I learned this after I was addicted to the doctor prescribed medicine. Now I added panic attacks to my symptoms – every night. Sometimes non-stop for days on end. And more chest pains as well as pain in all my joints. And this was with a small dose of the medicine. The doctor never asked if I was sensitive to drugs, which I am – at a very high level. When these symptoms increased, the doctor took me off Xanax and onto another drug to wean the Xanax from my system. Within a day I became like a zombie, with the whole left side of my face and body going lax. And with no ability to even think, except very slowly. So, two days later and back on Xanax.

This Xanax nightmare would last two years. And through seven months of hell to finally get off of it. Spasms, vomiting, extreme body pains, sweats like a flood, nightmares, cold bone feelings and days laying on a bed wishing to die finally freed me from this nightmare drug. A drug the doctors’ say you can almost never get off of. And a drug that affects a large percentage of people as it did me. Yet it is legal. And I was told it "was so I could sleep". But this was later on.

As symptoms increase the doctors were confused. They began telling me no one could have this many symptoms at once. They sent me to a heart specialist next. After some tests they put me through putting a tube up my veins and into the heart. And then told me the lower chamber of my heart was damaged and I would need stents and other surgery. A second doctor ran the same test and assured me there was nothing wrong with the heart. Now, even with pain that never ceased, I said "enough!".

I moved about this time and got another doctor involved. By no the 8 doses of antibiotics the doctors had prescribed for me in 18 months had destroyed my gut. And I had yeast throughout my body. A white tongue and white fluid out the nose and other places around my body. Again I was told this could not happen, even though the doctor was looking at the proof. Off for a brain scan, which showed high peaks and dips in my brainwaves. The doctors – even after three tests – said the machine was bad. So, a psychologist was next. Who sent me to a psychiatrist who could prescribe more drugs. And higher doses of Xanax, since he was certain this would help me.

Unable by this time to do anything but try to exist minute to minute I somehow found the strength to stop going to the doctors and reconnect with my spirit self. And I went to a Chiropractor who id also an energy worker. She turned white on seeing me and she and her staff worked on me for eight hours. This began the slow, painful, scary work of connecting with my inner being and starting to heal myself. It took years and I still suffer side effects from some of the drugs given me back then on occasion. But when someone asked me to work with them as a healing guide I truly understand whatever they are going through. We receive gifts even in our worse times.

In addition to working with my energy healing people I again went into nature and found even more ways nature can heal you, even as it lessens your pain on the way. And so I again walked the healing road – not the road of cures.

I offer this story and these things I have learned so people might consider another way. So they will understand the limitations of being cured by another. And understand what might seem easier at first is, often, the more painful, less effective way to address your diseases.

I am not condemning Western medicine or doctors trained this way. The doctors have not often been offered other ideas and the medicine evolved, at least at first, for reasons of stopping pain. Now I see the greed of many companies selling these chemical medications removing caring and replacing it with self-interest. And I see doctors so busy they cannot find the time to educate themselves about much of what they suggest to their patients. Still I see times this medicine is needed. Break an arm and someone needs to set it. Have pain to intense to look at the causes; something is needed to ease it.

But do not stop with the medicines and procedures if you must use them, but go further. Learn of other way and see which speak to your spirit. To stop at a cure simply postpones the effects of the disease on your whole being. And some times cause the disease to grow to a point you may no longer have the time to heal yourself.

Walk well. Walk healthy. Heal from within.

Cityscape Green and Eight Legs

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Looking out the back door I can see the army of cars zipping north and south on Shields. It's 5:30 PM, so these maneuvers are to be expected, with people trying to re-enter, or escape, Fort Collins. It seems this traffic mimics the town: ever moving faster. I focus in on a blue minivan, a city truck, pick-ups galore, and a Transfort bus. Too bad all of these people are flying along at such speed on this perfect evening. It's 65 degrees, sunset not far off, the mountains to the west look like a backdrop in pastels, and a hawk and two magpies discuss right-of-way in the airlanes over me. I hope some of the metal enclosed folks in those autos are seeing a bit of this, and not just concentrating on the car in front, or the light ahead.

I realize I am wondering if the Shields battalion are aware of the mountains and birds while I am looking past my own surroundings. Much like my Minolta, my eyes focus down to the smaller world I am looking through to the humanity on Shields. A web, a big one, maybe a foot square, is inches from my face. My holier than thou, I see the nature around me and you don't, attitude is instantly cured with this dose of humility. Hell, I even know the web is there, it has been for 3 weeks, and I still forgot to see it.

Big Bubba is up in the upper right hand corner of his maze, near the door jamb. He's got a feast, a once fat, now desiccated, gypsy moth. I think Big Bubba is a Leopard Spider, but my spider identification book has eluded me since his arrival. Whatever he is, he's a much larger version of it than he was 3 weeks ago. He's the size of a quarter, gray, with distinguishing black stripes along his back. I don't really know how to define him, 'pet' certainly is inaccurate. Pets have names, and Big Bubba isn't a name, but a description I used when my wife pointed him out on his first day of residency. Once she began leaving the porch light on at night, to provide some warmth and attract his meals, he became a permanent, temporary, part of our home ecosystem. Temporary, not because of anything we would do to dislodge him from his digs, but because, with winter coming, his slot in our ecology will be frozen out. That I won't do anything to change. Humans have done enough to alter the natural world without me moving a spider to the basement as a winter retreat. Leaving the light on at night is intrusion enough, but at least I can justify that because he may have chosen that spot because I do leave the light on late into the night. It was his instinct for survival that had him locate near the light, rather than the light being a bonus after he made his site selection.

Zoom out. Siren blaring, a member of Fort Collin's finest has pulled over one of the motorized. It would be nice to think the patrolman was telling the auto occupant to slow down and watch the hawk, but I'm fairly certain that's not his goal. This is the worse time of day for mechanized mania. At least in the morning the yellow, light flashing school zone signs, with their explicit 20 mph warnings, get most drivers to slow to 40, maybe giving them a chance to glimpse the red fox who hunts the dawn field next to Shields.

Remembering to duck under Big Bubba's snare, I walk out onto the back deck. Being able to see vistas in all directions now, I adjust to my wide-angle eye lens. Deep blues, purples, and a little red are washing across the sky. No breeze is stroking me, but there must be good air currents higher, since the hawk continues to soar overhead. The magpies have given up their challenge of him, and are picking at the dirt in the garden at my property's rear, squawking with their distinctive, cutting, caw. Panning to the west I pick out the mountains. They become more majestic as the light level lessens. It's so clear, several layers of ranges are visible, with Horsetooth Mountain a fanged presence in the foreground.

Another siren is coming this way. Blinking out of wide angle and back to normal vision, I catch sight of a white, shrieking, ambulance rounding the corner. Here, at least, is someone who really has no time to look past his or her current function. As it flies past my street, my interest in it's destination wanes and I swivel back to my turf.

A moth is lazing along in front of me (Big Bubba's next meal?), almost bouncing as he flutters along. My eyes begin to change to zoom and focus in, when a flash of blue in the background catches them. It's a car pulling over and a tall, suited, elderly man is getting out. He's stepping over the curb, into the field, and looking up. Not glancing up, but really, truly, looking up. I want to be absolutely sure, and not make any rash judgments, so I eye zoom in on him. I'll be damned, I'm right. He's smiling and watching the hawk. I think I'll go over and invite him to meet Big Bubba.

Sea Palette

4

3

2

1

As I float over this multi-colored world I am having trouble absorbing the vast variety of shapes, sizes, and hues of its denizens. A group of plate sized angelfish hover just below me, either unaware, or unconcerned, by my presence. A twenty-foot eel snakes his way through the coral just below them, unconcerned by either of us. I have snorkeled, and dived, many places, but have never been immersed in a natural aquarium the likes of this. Life is exploding all around me, bombarding my senses with its diversity. I purposefully stop thinking for a while, and just revel in it. My fish identification chart hangs from my belt, but I don't bother with it; all I care to know right now is that the creatures below me are blue, or orange, or round, or angular. Knowing their names at this moment can only lessen their impact on me.

A large sand shark is now slinking along the bottom, ever alert and watchful. As I follow him from above, I know I need to go down and swim the bottom. I suck air and dive, getting the rush I always do when I know my only air supply is what is in my lungs. The bottom seemed three feet below me from my float, but this pristine water is as deceptive as ever. I knife down about twelve feet until I am in the corals. The shark edges away, but only a few feet; I am neither food, nor a threat. There is a coral bridge a few feet ahead and I angle towards it. It's large, and I can see through it, so I know it's relatively safe. I swim through, slightly scrapping my stomach on it's underside, and shoot out the other end. A hoary old lobster is atop the coral head to my right. If I weren’t in the preserve part of the reef, it would be my option to grab him for lunch. The local people grab his cousins just off the coast of the Caye's only town, San Pedro, every day they are in season. I have been invited to many of these lunches, and have yet to turn one down.

I am so wrapped up in what I am doing and seeing I haven't paid attention to my lungs, which are starting to burn. I've been angling down, so I need to rise some twenty feet to fresh air. I know I've overstayed my visit, and I'll be gasping when I hit the surface. I haven't done any snorkel dives in a few years, and my lungs are out of shape. I begin to pull for the surface – not too fast, heavy exertion will only make it worse – as I am engulfed by a school of purple and yellow. I don't know what they are, but there must be a hundred of them. They rise up about me, making my ascent a fairyland adventure.

I hit the surface, rip off my snorkel, and gulp the sweet air deep and long. I hang there, forcing oxygen back into my body, wondering why I always have to overdo it. I chide myself for my stupidity, knowing I can go down as often as I like, but also knowing I will probably do it again.

Bernaldo's ranger boat bobs on the surface about forty feet to my port side. I like to get nautical whenever I am near the water, something I don't get to do near enough now that I live in the mountains. He waves his hat and yells out, "Jim, mon, are you drinkin' water?" The laugh behind his words tells me he knows how long I stayed down. Just another loco gringo. Chances are, he is not surprised by my obvious rapture over this place. Bernaldo is a ranger with the Marine Preserve, and he invited me out on patrol with him today. This area of reef we are in is an area of the preserve, which is off limits to users; so it is just Bernaldo and myself, and a lot of open sea. He wanted me to see a section of pristine reef, so I could compare it to the reef the snorkelers and divers use, and get a better understanding of the damage they do. He was right, I thought the recreational section of reef was incredible, but this section is a watery heaven. It makes my heart ache for the dead reefs I have seen in too many other countries.

Bernaldo snaps me out of my ruminations with, "Jim, snorkel a while. I am going to the reef point for water samples. Be back in an hour. Be careful, you're alone, mon, and you buy the rum when we get in." I tell him I will be careful; but not to worry anyway, my money is on the boat. He laughs, starts up the boat, and rockets forward, skimming the surface like a flat rock over water, in true Bernaldo fashion.

I reset my mask and snorkel and turn my attention below once again. I swim along lazily, watching the purple and yellow parade, which is only a few feet below me. I am surprised the school is still there. I don't have any jewelry or flashy accouterments on; that's the first thing you remove before going into these waters. You don't want to look tasty, or interesting, to sharks or barracudas. A huge manta ray is flying the water currents below. They usually like the deeper water. I wonder why he is……quick answer: the bottom drops off below me, suddenly, to eighty feet or more. Vertigo hits me like a wave as I watch the manta drop over the edge. I know I am floating above the abyss, but whenever I come across a drop-off, I feel like I am falling. I wait for it to pass and then move forward. Vertical coral branches reach out from the chasm wall like bony fingers stretching for the surface. Every color imaginable is poured across their surface. I am certain Neptune did some of his finest work honing this reef.

As I swim back over ten-foot deep bottom, I know I have had enough with lazing along; it's time for another dive. I start to breath deep, hoping I can stay down longer without the pain. I start to get ready: clear my mask, blow my snorkel, and watch the bottom. Shit! I catch motion and teeth, a lot of teeth, right beside me. I turn my head to look, gulping a quart of salt water in the process. My absorption in a dive made me miss the barracuda beside me, and I go into a momentary panic. His evil grin does not help, and I take another unwanted drink. I calm as we watch each other for a moment, then he moves off, leaving a foolish feeling snorkeler in his wake. A modification of an old axiom comes to my mind: their look is worse than their bite. Their look, close up, is, however, pretty bad.

I begin to do some dives with a school of parrotfish. I am proud of myself for remembering I am not one of them, only a visitor, and coming up as I need to. I feel I could stay here for days, as the colors and shapes swirl and writhe around me, but on my fourth ascent I see Bernaldo's boat bouncing back.

As I clamber aboard, I question Bernaldo, saying I thought he said he would be an hour. "Jim, I've been gone ninety minutes." Incredible, it seemed like ninety seconds to me.

Grandfather

GrandfatherTree

Grandfather tree.

Speak to me.

Roots connected to our Mother.
Canopy intertwined with Creator.
Words, pictures, signs or senses.
I am here to listen.
 

Grandfather tree. Nourish me.
My spirit is in pain. Matching Mother's.
An imperfect two-legged trying to understand.
Nourish me through the wisdom of your long tenure.
Send me peace and surety as I sit your roots.

Grandfather tree. Teach me.
My two-legged teachers have given.
I have learned.
My four-legged, winged and finned have taught.
I understood.
The rock people and plant people have serenaded me.
I listened.
My spirit guides have led.
I have followed.
Share with me now what more I need from nature.
Polish the edges of my skills and gifts.
Add to me what I need to best walk the Red Road.

Grandfather tree. Ground me.
I am floating and free as I await the next steps.
Ground me so I may see how I am now most needed.
Root me in Mother's soul.
Let my spirit fly as my roots support me.

Grandfather tree. Embrace us.
Channel the light and wisdom of Creator to those who will serve.
Fold the powers of Father Sky and Mother Earth and imbue us
with their energy.
Do all this so that the communities that must form do so with
love and understanding.
And purpose.

Mitakuye Oyasin
We are all one.

Jim Graywolf Petruzzi