Shaman-ish

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October 2, 2019-

Last Sunday, I texted a friend, to see whether a meet-up we had planned earlier was still on.  Immediately, I got a spirit message:  They are all sick.  Thirty minutes later, a text from friend verified that.

Within the past year, two women, who do not know one another but each claim to be intuitive, have told me that my own intuition and spirituality run very deep.  After saying so, each distanced herself from me-one, by a series of vicious verbal attacks, followed by a loud demand that I not contact her again. (Interesting, as I had no plans to do so.)  The second quietly has dropped off the radar screen, as have both of our mutual friends.

I was told that my identified strengths are best used for the healing of those around me- and although I don’t possess medical knowledge, I have taken that aspect of the women’s pronouncements to heart.  In fact, helping others, with essential oils, has been part of my friendships with people, for about five years now.

I thought of these things, after finishing reading “Spiritwalker”, by Hank Wesselman.  In this account, he claims to have made contact with a distant descendant-from 5,000 years hence, at a time when mankind is regrouping and recovering from a worldwide calamity.  It is a compelling and plausible account, though I  don’t have a great sense that the future will unfold in quite the manner he sees.

Both men, and several people, both male and female, who are around them, appear to possess shamanic powers.  My erstwhile acquaintances ascribed such powers to me, the latest one saying that my using these powers is totally elective.  So it is in Mr. Wesselman’s book.  He and his descendant choose to do what they can, to help their loved ones and others in their respective communities.

I have embarked on a life of service, which has been understood by several, and greatly misunderstood by others, including the two women who diagnosed my nature.  All I know is, at the end of a given day, I am thankful to the Universe for having bestowed such gifts on me, and ask that the signs of how I may continue to be of use, be made clear, each day.  Titles, such as shaman, or even prophet, seem rather over the top, at least in my case.

She Never Stopped Singing

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September 30, 2019-

Had Penny stayed on this Earthly plane, she would have turned 65, today. There was not a day that went by, until her voice gave out, that she didn’t sing of one thing or another.  Her voice was easily among the most pleasant sounds I could ever have heard. It was very often infused with praise for the Divine, making its tones that much more salubrious.

She never stopped seeking a means to improve health-her own and that of everyone she loved.  It is largely her legacy that has led me to use essential oils and hemp-based CBD, which were either little known or not marketed during her long years of suffering.  I can at least help maintain my own wellness and those in my widening circle who are ill.  That would comfort her.

She was always her own person.  Years ago, I was screamed at, for having used the term, “my Penny”, in a random post.  The angry correspondent, who was not known to me beforehand, was crusading against “people thinking they own one another.”  Despite that over-the-top assessment, I never regarded Penny as being somehow under my thumb.  She stood her ground, right up until her last breath, and never hesitated to speak truth to power- doctors, hospital administrators, insurance executives, school principals, Senator Barry Goldwater, even her parents.  The woman was fierce.

Her ferocity was based on love.  No one who caught her wrath really believed her to be a noxious presence.  With a few narcissistic exceptions, friend and foe alike appreciated just how much Penny Kay Fellman Boivin was devoted to the well-being of humanity.  That love served to heal one of the most psychologically ill people she ever knew: myself.  So, here I am, still able to carry on her work, along with my own.

The spirit, the genderless essence, watches over me still, and lends strength to doing all that remains to be accomplished.

 

 

The Wheat and the Chaff

3

August 26, 2019-

Sitting at home, this sultry evening, working on a project for a friend, I got this insistent message to walk downtown, and visit Frannie’s, a frozen yogurt shop and bakery.  Setting the work a side, I headed into the bright sunset and, ten minutes later, found myself one of two patrons, in the final thirty minutes of  the shop’s open hours.

The other patron, it turned out, was an 81 year-old farmer from a small village about 35 miles to the southwest.    We chatted about a steak house in the village, and how it hangs on, week after week, with a great facility but few customers.  The owner of the steak house hails from somewhere in the Northeast.

That led to a discourse about our current President, one of his rivals and a group of Congresswomen, and how being immersed in the culture of a certain area makes one behave, consistently, in a certain way.  The gentleman expressed concerns about the motives of those who oppose our current President, whom he regards as a crusader.

I chose to listen, and not counter any of this, as it’s all going to turn out as it is supposed to transpire.  I am not much of a political animal, preferring to work across the spectrum as, the last time I checked, we were all put here to work together.  It may not always be easy to hear theories that seem made from whole cloth, yet they are only that-theories, which are subject to change, in light of new information.  This is as true of some notions that I have had, as it is of anyone else’s.

Just as his comments were about to turn into a rant, my former co-worker, her husband, daughter and daughter’s boyfriend emerged from the shop.  Delighted greetings, and exchanges of how things were going for each of us, took the next few minutes. Learning that an all-woman staff was in place, in my former work site, is an affirmation of what I said above:  The right thing happens, even if after a fashion.

Once the family left, our conversation turned to health practices.  At first, he admonished me for not having taken better care of myself, en route to age 70.  I mentioned some things that I AM doing, on my own behalf, and he relented a bit.  The gems of wisdom he then imparted, struck me as the main reason I was led to go to the shop, in the first place.

Baking soda and vinegar could augment my efforts at trimming down (Slim shakes from do Terra, along with more fruits and vegetables).  It would have to be good quality baking soda, with the Vinegar of the Four Thieves that I have on hand.  Check, for tomorrow morning!  He seconded my use of frankincense and melaleuca, for skin issues.  My exercise regimen sounded just fine.  So, his theory of a decrepit sixty-something was cast aside, with new information.

I still have work to do.  It was a walk well-taken.

The Blessings Outweigh….

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March 2-5, 2019-

This past weekend brought the beginning of our Nineteen-Day Fast, abstaining from food and beverages between sunrise and sunset, March 2-20 (most years), for those in good health between the ages of 15-70.  This year’s Fast is a bit complex for me, due to travel that will interrupt the practice (Baha’u’llah excuses the traveler; women who are pregnant, nursing, or in their courses;  the seriously ill and those engaged in heavy physical work).

I made good use of the weekend, participating in a seed education program, with one of the community groups in which I’m involved:  Slow Food-Prescott.  I am no expert on seeds, but I can still help with set-up and breakdown of the hall.  I also re-learned a lot about plants- seeds, as opposed to spores, and the various aspects of germination.

Sunday brought me back to Phoenix, for a large music festival:  McDowell Mountain Music Festival, ironically not held in Scottsdale, but in downtown Phoenix’s Hance Park. Two Drum Circles and time with a vibrant and highly artistic friend made the whole event worth the drive.

There was a most diverse group sitting in on the drum circles.20190303_152300

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This English band, Maribou State, was giving the last performance of its current tour.  It was their first visit to Phoenix.

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My friend was very busy with hoop dancing, and had been at it for three days straight.

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I headed back to Prescott in a prudent manner, and have had a good couple of days at work, this week.  Today marked the eighth anniversary of Penny’s passing.  I stopped at the gravesite on Sunday, prior to attending the Music Festival.  I was thus able to properly mark our connection, with a vase of white carnations, which were her favourite flower, and time in quiet reflection.  She loved drumming and had great respect for hoop dancers, so my participation in the former and encouraging Pam and some young women in the latter, was an homage as well.

Most important, though, I have continued with two of our shared passions:  Educating special needs children and advocating wellness.  I have, if all goes well, two years after this, in full time education.  Wellness, though, will be part of my life until it’s time to head beyond.  Essential oils and living a healthy lifestyle are the foundation of my thriving.

In a few short days, I head to South Korea, for the formal wedding of Aram and Yunhee, a return to Jeju and renewing my ties to one of our blessed homes together.  The blessings always outweigh any hardships.

Those Shadows Seen and Not Seen

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February 2, 2019, Phoenix-

So the critters back East, in Punxsutawney and Staten Island, have assured us that it’ll be an early Spring.  No shadows were in view, and after that region went through yet another polar vortex, followed by a modicum of thaw, the comfort is probably just a tad cold.

Sitting here, in a lull, during a timely and productive update session regarding the progress of our Faith in central Arizona, I think of the other unseen shadows, with which many of us deal, on a daily, or long-term, basis.

I took care of the biggest shadow, that of my nest-egg, sometime back, and the proceeds from the sale of a house, back in 2014, are in trust, for when I need them, beginning a few years hence.

The shadow of aging has its match, in daily use of essential oils, CBD and hemp products and, at least for  a month or so, Thrive products- a gift from a grateful friend. Those and regular exercise keep me healthy and moving.

Any potential family shadows are best handled with proactivity:  Research, setting time aside and regular, clear communication.  This is true for all points along the family continuum.

The shadow of intellectual cramping is best countered by free dialogue.  Closing one’s mind to opposing points of view does not make one smarter.  I don’t see how not exposing young minds to either liberal or conservative opinions is going to improve their problem-solving ability.  As a youth, I read “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto”, being captivated by neither, but at least understanding how the authors arrived at such illogic.  Closing off college campuses to Ben Shapiro, or Markos Moulitsas, will never save even the most infantilized freshman from following the primrose path of choice.

There are greater shadows-some real and some figments of vivid imaginations:  The Social Security/Medicare fizzle, or lack thereof, in the 2030’s;  the coinciding “end-of-the-world”, right about that same time; the potential change of our nation’s form of government (some have spoken of this, since Orwell published “1984”); the generations dropping the ball of civilized behaviour ( I seem to remember how “slovenly” and “unkempt” the Depression Parents and the  GI Generation regarded us Baby Boomers).

Shadows are dispelled by light.  The lights of  faith, understanding, clear communication, discourse and above, all, consistent, firm action, will work wonders at clearing the darkness which seems to pervade so many lives, at so many levels.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Nine Tasks

2

January 19, 2019-

Many people make resolutions, the first thing, when the calendar rolls over.  I don’t indulge in that particular practice, knowing that making firm commitments to new practices takes time.

There are nine task areas, labours of love, that have defined my life, since the passing of  Penny, nearly eight years ago.  I will focus today on what these mean, relative to 2019.

1.  Family- With Aram and Yoonhee based in Busan, for at  least the rest of this year, my focuses are: To be in Korea for their sacred wedding ceremony, in March; to tend to such of their needs as can only be addressed on this side of the Pacific; to meet them in the U.S., should they visit here in the summer.

2.  Work- I remain committed to working, during the regular academic year, through at least December, 2020 and no later than May. 2021, depending on the needs of the school, preferably in the High School Autism Program.  Thus, work is a major daily focus through the fourth week of May and from August-December.

3. Faith- No day has gone by, since February 23, 1981, that I have not begun my morning in devotions and a fairly long recitation of prayer.  Service to Baha’u’llah remains  a prime expression of my inner joy and love for humanity.  This year marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of al-Bab (The Gate), Who we revere as both Baha’u’llah’s Herald and His Twin Messenger of God, as al-Bab’s spiritual Dispensation took place from 1844-1853, immediately before the beginning of Baha’u’llah’s.   Their birthdays also fall on two consecutive days, on the lunar calendar.  This year, these are October 29-30, with al-Bab’s  anniversary occurring first. (Historically, Baha’u’llah was born in 1817 and al-Bab, in 1819).  There are also regular Spiritual Feasts and other Holy Days, throughout the year and I  am participating in regular study groups and other activities.

4.  Community Life-  I take part in volunteering on community projects, with the American Red Cross and Slow Food Prescott.  The focuses are on disaster response, home safety, school gardens and,  new this year, food recovery.  These activities largely define my giving back to Prescott and Yavapai County, for having been a large part of my solace, in the Fall of 2011.  The American Legion’s Post 6 celebrates its 100th anniversary, in May, and I will have a part to play in that celebration.

5. Writing- Blogging and journaling have also been critical to my inner healing, even in the midst of my caretaking, in 2008-11.   They remain an integral part of who I am, and so Word Press, with its being extended to Facebook and Linked In, remains my primary means of self-expression, through this year and beyond.  I also maintain a pen and ink private journal.

6, Hiking-  This has been a huge lifelong pastime, pretty much since I was old enough to walk.  Since I’ve been old enough to take off on my own, without getting into trouble, many trails and paths, from my native Massachusetts to the desert Southwest, Colorado, southeast Alaska, Korea and northwestern Europe have seen my bootprints.  This year, my focuses will be on further segments of the Maricopa Trail, at least two visits to the Grand Canyon, more beach walks in southern California, Fall hikes in Utah and the Navajo Nation, and several walks with Aram and Yoonhee, whilst in Korea.

7. Travel-  This has also long been one of my passions, often dovetailing with hiking.  The Korea trip will take me to Gwangju and Jeju, as well as Busan.  Prior to that, will be a Presidents’ Day weekend visit to southern California, hopefully connecting with friends in Orange County and the San Diego area-with La Jolla, Dana Point, San Clemente and possibly Crystal Cove being on the itinerary.

June and July largely hinge on my little family’s schedule.  Carson City, in late May, is a given, with a new extended family member having been born, this past week.  A 1-2 week visit to the Northwest, Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast and southeast Alaska is likely-as is the now customary jaunt through the Midwest to New England and back through the mid-South.

October (Fall Break) will find me in Monument Valley and southeast Utah- returning to Capitol Reef and Natural Bridges, as well as the Goosenecks of the San Juan River.  Christmas, God-willing, will see a return to Massachusetts.

8. Diet and Exercise- Planet Fitness and our daily Adaptive Physical Education regimen have largely provided my continuity as a healthy physical specimen.  Stretches at home have also proven critical, as I recovered from a posterior knee strain, over the past ten weeks.  Things are 99% back to normal and I want to keep it that way- up to, and maintaining, 100%.  I am cutting back on coffee consumption, not out of any pressure, but because my body tells me that’s what it wants.  Less red meat is also finding its way onto my plate-and what there is, is certified grass-fed and organic.  A greater percentage of my diet being of vegetables, fruits and whole grains is on tap for this year, as well.  Yes, I will drink more water-that’s not an empty statement. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, including Lifelong Vitality Supplements, are a continual source of sustenance.

9. Study-  My mind is always looking to keep current with advances in health, trends in positive thought and expanding my awareness of subjects in which I have scant knowledge- as well as continual study of Baha’i texts and new correspondence. This will continue, as 2019 progresses.

This is a longer post than usual, but there you have my year’s plan.

 

 

 

Rainy Day Reflections

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January 15, 2019-

Yesterday, I rushed about, in the morning, to get  an essential oil blend to a young friend suffering from a health ailment not normally associated with the young.  I hope the oil will help.  More potentially problematic was getting to my own appointment, halfway across the Salt River Valley.   I was twenty minutes late, but had been able to message the office, as to my predicament.  No worries and I emerged with a clean bill of dental health, for another four months.

On the way up to the cemetery where Penny is laid to rest, I was obliged to stop, as the funeral procession of another soul passed.  I could hear the proceedings of the person’s ceremony, as I communed with my beloved, some fifteen minutes later.  Each one of us ought to be able to expect a dignified send-off, and someone to keep us in loving memory.  Of course, what one gets in that regard, depends on what one has given.

I went up to Cave Creek, for lunch, with a trio of pleasant eateries on my short list:  Local Jonny’s, my favourite, was suitably packed; Big Earl’s, always offering a warm greeting, also offers food too heavy for my needs at that time; Divine Bakery was thus my choice, with no other customers when I walked in, but five people entering, as I left. In between, was the best quiche south of Rustic Pie Company (Prescott’s best) and a delectable cannoli.

Today the rain came down in buckets, as unusual as the snow that hit the central part of Arizona on Saturday night.  We can expect such moisture in July and August, but not so much in winter.  These are not “conventional” times, though.  Besides, there has been a lot of discussion about the fate of our larger reservoirs, with Lake Mead, which got a fair amount of rain today, also, being Ground Zero in the drought watch chronicles.

It mattered little to us, ensconced in the classroom and taking our post-lunch walk around the main building.  Our life today revolved around getting more familiar with talking electronic pads- giving voice to those without the  ability to speak, themselves.  I recognize the urgency of this, and am giving quick study to mastering the use of these devices.

My knee has been better, of late, with ongoing exercises and essential oil treatments. There are a few exercises in the adaptive P.E. class, to which we take our students, which will require more acclimating, but I am getting there.  Now it’s time to head over to Planet Fitness.

 

Purposeful

20

December 17, 2017, Prescott-

I stayed close to home today.  My spirit guides told me it’d be a good idea.  I spent some time with friends at a local restaurant, then visited another friend’s family Christmas display.

One week is left of school, before we break for two weeks.  This week will have two regular days and three shorter ones.  My purpose remains the same, though:  Impart as much, in the way of social skills reinforcement, to our five students, and maintain a consistent routine.  This last means everything to autistic people.

I have signed on for business training, with another travel blogger, albeit in more essential business practices of TODAY’S environment- both digital and physical.  It’s legitimate- I have checked.  It may even help me with other interests of mine, like teaching about essential oils.

Another subject, that keeps coming up among my fellow bloggers, is relationships.  Well, duh!  I was asked, yesterday, by a much-older friend, as to when I was going to get married again.  I have no idea-especially since:  To women over 70, I’m a younger brother; to women in their 40’s and 50’s, I’m too old; to women in their 60’s, I am also like a sibling.  Anyone under the age of 40 is like a daughter or niece.  In short, I am quite happy with all of the above.  It’s nice to have reliable friends in my life, and not have to complicate matters with romance. Penny was one of a kind.  If there is another such person, well, I will know.  If not, I am in a good place.

I have become better at living  purposefully. 2018 may well be one of the best years of this life.

Rubicon

5

August 14, 2016, Prescott- I remarked to some collaborators-in-faith, this morning, that I have scrapped plans for most travel outside North America, until at least 2021. (South Korea, where my son is to be stationed, next year, being an exception.)  There were crickets in the room, so our discourse went on to things of more common interest.

Later today, I attended a gathering that was sponsored by Team Rubicon, the disaster recovery organization that is mostly made up of military veterans.  The very allusion to making a decisive and irreversible choice defines this group, whose impact is as great, if not greater than that of the Red Cross.  These are the people who remain behind, once the news cycle is over and the long-term work begins.  They choose to walk the celestial path, with practical feet. (‘Abdu’l-Baha admonished us Baha’is to do just that, in several speeches, when he visited North America, in 1912.)

I have plenty to do around here, during the academic year, and with regard to both my Faith and the needs of the larger community.  At 65 years, 8 months, it’s important to consider at least the seeds of legacy.  I’m in fine health, and I do want to continue with a full, contributive life.  Five years of gainful employment remain.  I will insist on actively taking part in the well-being of the Prescott area, both inside and outside my worksite.  Summers will still find me visiting friends and family, in various parts of this continent, starting with a second journey northwestward, next June. Christmas and New Year’s will still be marked by the presence of loved ones and good friends, both here and on the East Coast.  June, 2021 will still be the beginning of an extended journey to many parts of the globe, the only caveats being the needs of my son, any family he might have by then, and our larger family.

I will remain working to educate people on the Oneness of Mankind, on the need for an inquiring mind, and on the healing properties of Certified, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, and the imperative of wellness.  My Rubicon was crossed, years ago, when Penny pointed me towards the mountain with a shimmering star above it.

 

Irons and Fire

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April 20, 2016, Flagstaff- En route to this superb university town, in northern Arizona’s Sky Islands, known otherwise as the San Francisco Peaks, I thought of the various “irons” in my collective fire.  Interestingly, each time I consider letting one of these go by the wayside, something occurs to put it back, front and center, again.

My Baha’i beliefs are the core of my being, so they are only becoming more important, as the bedrock for everything else. Working with children and youth is the next level, and as it gives me a livelihood, also is unquestionably important.

I am not the world’s greatest businessman, but sharing and educating on the use of Certified Pure, Therapeutic Grade essential oils is crucial to my commitment to promoting health and wellness.  There are many people and companies claiming to have the “finest” such products.  I can only testify to what works for me.

I am not available as often as the Red Cross might like, but being ready to step in, on the occasion of a local emergency, during the school year, and anytime when I am off work, even when on the road, is also not something I will relinquish.

Then, there are my itchy feet, the icing on the cake.

It’s a good life,  of many pieces.  Have you ever felt like you needed to give up one of your activities?