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And all life’s ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.
But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born,
When from the climbing terraces of corn
I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.
What care I for the world’s desire and pride,
Who know the silver wings that gleam and glide,
The homing pigeons of Thine eventide?
What care I for the world’s loud weariness,
Who dream in twilight granaries
Thou dost bless
With delicate sheaves of mellow silences?
Say, shall I heed dull presages of doom,
Or dread the rumoured loneliness and gloom,
The mute and mythic terror of the tomb?
For my glad heart is drunk and drenched with Thee,
O inmost wind of living ecstasy!
O intimate essence of eternity!
~~ Summer is in full-swing and we are finally escaping for a long overdue respite. Destined long nights, mythical and ancient sites… meditating on cliffs, dusting off the lens and capturing images that provoke and provide aesthetic sustenance. Lingering and contemplative hikes up temple steps that have been etched by devotees feet countless times before– who are we but humble and gracious guests- not the arrogant and time-constrained forceful tourist.
Foraging in sacred forests with gamelons playing in the distance, and dancing deities battling the age-old epic between black&white-good&evil ending with the balance of Life, once again, restored. Then taking what was digested of the day to a lamp lit night to write, write, write. Littering my splattered journal with poetic meanderings that have waited, sometimes it seems far too long, for a time such as this.
Life has certainly been blessed and full of positive changes lately! Our daughter has courageously turned the tables on Anorexia within the past couple of months, and is enjoying a summer filled without “fear“, vibrant, healthy and triumphant in this very moment– we are so extremely proud of her!
Thank you so very much to all of you who are a constant source of human wisdom, compassion and many who have also lent a comforting shoulder to lean on. Along with the ever gracious comrades who work with me tirelessly towards creating our monthly “healing&creative space”– which will return once again late this fall; I really don’t have enough words to do justice in this meager post to give adequate appreciation.
I am deeply grateful for the small patch of ground we continually attempt to uncover to help support those with eating disorders and their families, partners and loved ones. I hope to continue to dig a deeper and wider-reaching network that will eventually have an even greater substantial and purposeful base of resources, along with caring, intelligent and genuine individuals to be of greater service for those who continue to suffer. Patience, time and perserverance– many of us know all too well the meaning of those words, but they truly do remain at the forefront of what long-term recovery entails well after weight-nutritional restoration has been established.
As always, many additional thanks to those who continue to be of support, who listen, read the blog and email, and have allowed me this welcoming space to share our family’s Journey to Recovery– much deep love.
Wishing everyone a relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable summer! See all of you when the leaves begin to crinkle and the crispness of fall begins to fill the air.~~
Is it really May, already?
Life has been good… definitely busy, but equally good!
The frenzy of prepping for gallery openings along with late nights doing my own work at the studio, holding support groups combined with some Yoga&Massage on the side has been quite the balancing act to say the least.
The end of the school year countdown has begun by our daughter, who has been finding recovery balances, challenges, and triumphs, mingled in with the excitement and plans for what she’ll be wearing and planning for graduation along with pre-summer preparations– Life is good!
And daily I try to make time to reflect on how grateful and blessed I am for my family, dear friends and acquaintances on this journey of Life- merci!
Kar Men Shreshth Kamandalu Chakra Trishoodlharta
Jagkarta Jagkarta Jag Palankarta
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa
Facing the bluntness of reality is the highest form of
sanity and enlightened vision… Devotion proceeds
through various stages of unmasking until we reach
the point of seeing the world directly and simply
without imposing our fabrications… There may
be a sense of being lost or exposed, a sense of vulnerability.
That is simply a sign that ego is losing its grip
on its territory; it is not a threat.
-Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
“Heinasirkka-heinasirkka mene taalta hiiteen!”
(Grasshopper-grasshopper go away!)
Having Finnish ancestral blood-lines, we take this man-made legend with both some celebratory flare as well as good-natured humor. Though when I was growing up, St Urho was presented more as a fact– I actually believed there was a real St Urho chasing those grasshoppers out of the vineyards!
And I do remember drinking the grape juice (now we’ve switched to framboise) having bowls of fish soup (not too memorable taste-wise, but I’ve revised this recipe accordingly throughout the years) wearing something purple, and having a sense of pride in our family’s heritage (rarely did anyone I know growing up have any idea about Finnish culture, let alone being a fellow Finn) ; and how my great-grandparents came to the US, fleeing Soviet conflict to make a better life imbued with “Sisu“ strength. Imagine too, to my surprise and sense of fellow-kinship when I found out one of my teacher’s was also Finnish and knew this St Urho character, even going so far as to wear the green (representing the grape leaves) and purple and taking the time during chemistry class to shed a little cultural legend to the day!
So you may be wondering what I’m going on about… what does this have to do with eating disorders, has this woman lost her mind completely, gone off on a tangent of sorts? Well yes, and no…
Our daughter has been battling anorexia nervosa since last year, and as most families with young adolescents struggling with ED know- -it’s definitely a challenge, sometimes requiring every last reserve, every ounce of your sanity, energy, finances, etc. to help pull your child through the black hole of this life-threatening illness towards supporting, loving and helping them find their way back to Life, to Hope and Healing. And it is possible for your child to find their way back towards full recovery, in whatever form that may take that fully supports, treats and assists your child and family best to getting the best care possible.
Many times as parents when confronted with the diagnosis of an eating disorder, after we clear the fog of our own lack of knowledge having not experienced the illness first hand, and then educating ourselves, we may also feel conflicted by all the advice of those while well-meaning, or touting as “experts”cannot ultimately speak for our individual circumstances and personal family needs, preferences, values and choices. And as parents, we have the right to make those fully-informed decisions knowing our child best, and not feeling coerced, manipulated, brow-beaten or given endless heavy-handed black/white-right/wrong ways of fighting this illness and finding the best treatment options for our child– whatever it takes. You, as the parent, will know what is best for your child and should not have to feel guilty or at fault, or having failed , or less of a parent in any way for your choices towards making treatment possible and suiting your individual childs’ needs as well as that of your family.
However, not making a decision or acting towards taking a stand against your childs’ eating disorder/illness will only dig that black hole even deeper, and really no one suffering with this illness or their families should be alone in finding help and the care they deserve. There is help, support and resources available, but since eating disorders are still relatively incoherently and inconsistently treated, and in many instances not adequately covered by insurance for long-term outpatient treatment/services, let alone intensive residential treatment options when necessary, we as parents must take a stand, advocate for our children (and ultimately all those suffering from an eating disorder) and be the “squeaky wheel” in our child’s treatment plan.
Even when your child is at a “safe” stage within his/her recovery, as parents we know there is no looking back– our lives have profoundly changed, ED is not a welcome guest, yet at your childs’ most vulnerable moments, the disorder will work so damn hard at trying to stay and undermine progress– Health and Recovery. Recovery takes time, patience and perseverance. It requires us as parents to listen, be present, and support our children yet also allowing them to take ownership of this process without being left on their own, and with ED’s it’s a complex balancing act because we love our children and want to keep them safe, but at the same time cannot force the process on our terms, or by what we feel when they are feeling something completely other– recovery does have to be ultimately theirs, they will own it, and feel the triumph of success everytime ED rears it’s ugly head and they can face these challenges with courage, resilience and continued strength. Slowly dismantling this pernicious illness, as Lee Wolfe Blum pointedly states: “protect your recovery”…. like the patron St Urho, chasing after either the original mythical frogs or later the grasshoppers; I think there are a couple of translations that have the word “hell” added to the chant.
We Finns celebrate this day every year at this time in March, (some corners of the globe even have a dance ritual they gather together to enjoy– very interesting!) but this year something about St Urho’s Day brought an even more striking meaning to me personally with his image holding up the trident with a captured grasshopper, I was instantly struck by the power of this statue/image minus the grasshopper(s): “ED- ED, get the hell out!”
-May the spirit of this St Urho’s Day be with you all!
So many great happenings during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008 – hope everyone is able to partake in some NEDAW events in your corresponding local areas. This year’s theme, much like last year’s, is still quite pivotal and we can all do our share to spread awareness, gently and compassionately encourage those who need support and treatment to take those vital initial steps with our love and backing.
Reach out, celebrate all our diverse shapes and sizes, EMBRACE each other, and share our stories- spread the word, be heard, dispel misconceptions and myths that still surround eating disorders and those that suffer- change can happen even with the simplest and smallest of steps!
Laura Collins, as always, an incredible inspiration, advocate, and Mom has posted some great commentary on the Congressional Briefing for the Eating Disorders Coalition with Dr Cynthia Bulik’s wisdom- Power to the People!